Updated on Friday, July 18th, this is the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) Information Network. This information can be accessed on the MCB Voice Information System at 617-626-7660 and 800-392-6450. You can say “tape” or “telephone tape” into the phone. This message is also available on "Newsline," the accessible newspaper service by pressing number 2, the local Channel, and in the "Massachusetts Commission for the Blind" section of “Newsline”. This update is produced by Wayne Levy.

In celebration of the 24th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), there will be several events held across the Commonwealth in July.

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Mayor’s Commission for Persons with Disabilities invite you to join them at ADA Celebration Day 2014 on Thursday, July 24th, from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM at Boston City Hall Plaza. This is a free event for children, families, and individuals of all abilities, and features food, music, information, T-shirts, friends and fun. No registration is required to attend this event. New this year, is a Disability Pride Parade, scheduled to take place at 11:00 AM near the flag pole on City Hall Plaza. This event is wheelchair accessible and scent free. ASL and CART will be provided to anyone needing accommodations by calling 617-635-3682. For more information and updates, please visit www.cityofboston.gov/disability.

The New England ADA Center is inviting you to a juried Poetry Slam and juried Art Exhibition, both by artists with disabilities on Wednesday, July 23rd at the Institute for Human Centered Design, 200 Portland Street in Boston. Refreshments and an art exhibition will be from 6:30 PM to 7:00 PM, followed by the Poetry Slam from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM. You can RSVP by emailing Stacy Hart at shart@IHCdesign.org.

The Massachusetts Statewide Independent Living Council and the Department and Conservation and Recreation’s (DCR) Universal Access Program invites you to come and celebrate the ADA at Dunn State Park, located at 289 Pearl Street in Gardner on Friday, July 25th from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Enjoy adaptive sports, live music, food and fun. For more info, please contact DCR’s Universal Access Program at 413-545-5353. Directions and additional park information can also be obtained by calling 978-632-7897.

The state Supreme Court recently upheld a decision requiring 11 J.M. Hollister clothing stores in Massachusetts to make their entrances accessible to people with disabilities. The Supreme Judicial Court refused the company’s request to overturn a Superior Court judge’s decision that was upheld last year by the Appeals Court. “The decision was based on substantial evidence of meaningful differences in the use and functionality of the three doorways at issue, and denial of the variance was based on evidence of a substantial benefit of access for persons with disabilities,” the court said. More information about this case and decision can be found at www.masslawyersweekly.com.

Have you been thinking about volunteering but haven’t taken that step yet? Do you volunteer and find you benefit as much as or more than anyone? The Hadley School for the Blind invites you to join them for a seminar titled “Volunteering in Your Community”. Join Seminars@Hadley on Wednesday, July 23rd at 10:00 AM, as a panel discusses how volunteering has enhanced their own lives while benefiting others and their community. While volunteering can help create positive change in your community, the personal benefits are many. Volunteering can build your skills and your resume; build connections and friendships; and bring fun and fulfillment to your life. The seminar panelists will include Hadley colleagues Sharon Howerton, Patti Jacobson, and Colleen Wunderlich. This seminar is an audio presentation and space is limited. To register, please go to: http://hadley.edu/SeminarDetails.asp?sid=238.

You can learn more about this and other seminars at www.Hadley.edu.

The Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (CSC) will be presenting the 19th season of Free Shakespeare on the Boston Common’s production of Twelfth Night, starting on Wednesday, July 23rd and continuing through Sunday, August 10th. Twelfth Night, Shakespeare’s classic comedy of love in disguise, follows the journey of Viola and Sebastian, twins separated by a shipwreck, as they encounter loss and love in their homeland – the mythical and magical land of Illyria. Performance hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 8:00 PM; Sundays at 7:00 PM; and a special matinee performance at 3:00 PM on Saturday, July 26th. The July 27th performance will be audio described with a rain date of August 3rd. ASL interpreted performances will be on August 3rd and 8th, with a rain date on August 9th.

All performances are FREE and open to the public and will take place at the Parkman Bandstand on the Boston Common. More information can be obtained at www.commshakes.org or by calling 617-426-0863.

The Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) is inviting you to a Museum-trained guide for a “Summertime” tour at the MFA on Sunday, August 3rd at 1:00 PM. This tour will include audio description of paintings and original sculpture. Related tactiles and raised line drawings will also be used. This tour is free for art lovers who are blind or low vision and a sighted guide companion, but pre-registration is essential. For more information or to pre-register by Friday, July 25th, please call 617-369-3302 or email Valarie Burrows vburrows@mfa.org.

The Carroll Center for the Blind’s Outdoor Enrichment Program (OEP) would like to invite you to two upcoming events in July.

  • Every Saturday in July, and continuing through August 9th, recreation sailing will be offered. Participation will be offered weekly depending on available space and guides. Sailing will take place at Courageous Sailing Center, Pier 4, Charlestown Navy Yard in Charlestown from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM and costs $5.00 per person. Contact Bob Costello at pinusstrobus92@gmail.com to register.
  • Every Wednesday in July, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, canoeing will be offered at Charles River Canoe and Kayak, located at 2401 Commonwealth Avenue in Newton. Participation is determined weekly depending on available space and guides. The cost to participate is $5.00 per person/per session. Please contact Jill Suarez at jill.suarez@carroll.org to learn more.

July 22, 2014

The Chicopee Public Library is inviting you to a special Open Lab for JAWS in July. If you live in the western part of the state and are interested in learning more about this screen reading software, please join assistive technology specialist (and Chicopee resident) Robert Baran, M.Ed., on Tuesday, July 22nd, from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM. This event is free and open to the public. Additional information can be obtained by calling 413-594-1800, ext. 108.

July 27, 2014

The Boston Renegades is taking their talents to Lowell. National Braille Press is inviting you to Braille Literacy Night at the Lowell Spinners baseball game on Sunday July 27th at LeLacheur Park in Lowell, MA. The Lowell Spinners game is at 5:00 PM, but come early for a special beep ball exhibition at 4:00 PM. To reserve discounted tickets for $6.00 (while tickets last); please contact Jennifer Gonyea at jgonyea@nbp.org or 617-266-6160, ext. 436.

August 6, 2014

MassMATCH (Maximizing Assistive Technology in Consumers’ Hands) and Easter Seals MA would like to invite you to an Assistive Technology Exposition and Conference, scheduled to take place on Wednesday, August 6th at Holyoke Community College in Holyoke, MA. Join more than 200 professionals, educators, therapists, consumers, service providers, and businesses to learn about the latest in assistive technology for work, home, school and community living. Workshop topics will be relevant to employment, education, community living, and communication. Exhibitors will also be on hand to demonstrate their latest products. The cost to attend the conference is $95.00, but scholarships are available. Through the efforts of MassMATCH and United Cerebral Palsy in Pittsfield, FREE transportation will be available from communities in and around Pittsfield. Please contact Jeff at jmcauslin@eastersealsma.org to find out more about transportation. Additional conference information can be obtained by contacting Rufina Kennedy at rkennedy@eastersealsma.org or 508-751-6312.

Thanks for reading this message and it will be updated again on Friday, July 25th.

This information is provided by the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind.