Updated on Friday, July 22nd, this is the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) Information Network. This information can be accessed on the MCB Voice Information System by calling 617-626-7660. You may also call 800-392-6450 and say either “tape” or “telephone tape” into the speech recognition menu. Lastly, this weekly update 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.

The Carroll Center for the Blind recently announced that Gregory J. Donnelly, a long time operational and senior management executive at Massachusetts Eye and Ear (MEE), has been named the organization’s President. Donnelly has over 20 years of non-profit management experience in the healthcare field and founded a family-owned private investigation business. Donnelly began his management career at MEE in 1997. With a Bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University and Master in Management degree from Cambridge College, Donnelly is currently serving as MEE’s Executive Director of Clinical Services. Over the course of his career at MEE, Donnelly has directed over 13 different departments, both in support and clinical service areas. Donnelly’s success at MEE includes implementation of new service initiatives and expansion, major new construction and renovation of departments, outstanding financial performance and the development of innovative customer service programs. In his current position as executive director of clinical services, Donnelly oversees more than 120 employees and is responsible for the strategic project development, long-range planning, new business initiatives, human resources management, financial operations, legal and regulatory compliance, and facilities and information systems in his service areas. He will assume his new role at the Carroll Center on August 8th. You can learn more about this announcement at www.carroll.org.

MassDOT has designed a survey to help you identify how the MBTA should prioritize different types of investments over the next 25 years for bus, rapid transit, commuter rail, ferry, and THE RIDE services. MassDOT is hoping to get a good representation of riders from across the region’s diverse population and is seeking your participation. You can access the survey online at http://fluidsurveys.com/s/focus40/. If you have questions or issues accessing the survey, please contact Jennifer Slesinger, MassDOT Office of Transportation Planning, by phone at 857-368-8871. The deadline for response is July 31st.

Today's commercially available GPS leaves a traveler within a 30-50 foot radius of their destination, which is a micro-navigation challenge often referred to by people in the visually impaired community as the "last 50 feet of frustration." Despite accessible smartphones and navigation app improvements, pedestrians who are visually impaired still face challenges when navigating to public transportation. The Perkins School for the Blind's vision is to close the gap between GPS and reality, starting with bus stops.  Perkins is developing an iPhone app that will help people who are visually impaired locate MBTA bus stops via crowdsourced landmark clues and provide predictive bus arrival information. If you are interested in volunteering to be an app tester, clue contributor, or receive an update when the app is available, please complete the online form at www.perkins.org/bus/#notifyme.

The Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (CSC) will be presenting the 21st season of Free Shakespeare on the Boston Common with a production of Love’s Labour’s Lost, which started on Wednesday, July 20th and will continue through Sunday, August 7th. In Love’s Labour’s Lost, friendship and loyalty amongst four young men and four young women are put to the test when romantic youthful notions of love encounter the challenges of adulthood. A high-spirited romantic comedy filled with dazzling wordplay, strong comic characters and a few unexpected twists, Love's Labour's Lost both charms and touches the heartstrings of young and old alike. 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, August 6th. Mark your calendars. The July 31st and August 4th performances will be audio described with a rain date of August 7th. ASL interpreted performances will be on July 30th and August 5th, with a rain date on August 7th. 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.

For users of technology who are blind or deaf-blind, accessibility of apps (applications) can be a major challenge. Would you like to learn more about how to become an active advocate for accessible app technology? Join the Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired’s Seminars@Hadley titled, “AppleVis and Advocating for Accessible Apps”, scheduled for Wednesday, July 27th at 3:00 PM as Scott Davert, Coordinator of the New York Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program, shares methods and strategies to advocate for the accessibility of apps. Although the primary focus will be on iOS apps, many of the ideas and experiences shared can be applied to apps on any platform. Larry Muffett, a member of Hadley’s Seminars team, will moderate this 60-minute seminar. A question and answer session will be included as part of the seminar, which is an audio-only presentation. Space in this seminar is limited. To register, go to www.hadley.edu/SeminarDetails.asp?sid=330. You can learn more about this and other seminars at www.Hadley.edu.

The American Council of the Blind (ACB) is seeking your valuable input and real-life experiences on audio description for broadcast cable television, mobile apps, streaming services, and film. In recent months, there has been a significant amount of movement in the television and film industry, which could greatly impact the quality and quantity of audio described choices for viewers. ACB has developed a brief survey to collect information about your experiences accessing audio described content. This survey will take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete, and your responses will be kept confidential. You can access the survey at the link below or by visiting http://tinyurl.com/h63rw4q. We hope you will complete the online survey and share this information to encourage others to do the same. If you have questions or require assistance with the survey, please contact survey@acb.org. ACB thanks you for your input.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is inviting individuals with disabilities to participate in an assistive technology class to work with engineering students to create customized assistive technology solutions. Students from the MIT class, Principles and Practices of Assistive Technology (PPAT/6.811/HST.420/2.78) are looking for twelve adventurous individuals who face daily life challenges related to their disability. Potential clients must: have one of more specific project ideas in mind; be based in Cambridge, MA or nearby; be easily accessible via phone or email; be available to meet in-person with students for approximately one hour every week from mid-September through early December; and be open to new experiences and willing to give active feedback to the students. Previous client projects have included: a nurse call system for a residence for people with neurological conditions; a coffee cup holder for a crutch-user; and a text-to-speech app for people who cannot communicate clearly. If you are interested in participating as a client, please complete the brief application at http://goo.gl/forms/oEcWBt96XQS0dTTJ2. Applications will be considered on rolling basis from June 24 until August 5.If you have additional questions, please call Dr. Julie Greenberg at 617-258-6086.

The Association of Blind Citizens (ABC) will hold its free Annual Summer Luncheon on Saturday July 30th at the Fours Restaurant located at 166 Canal Street in Boston. The Restaurant is a two minute walk from the North Station MBTA station. Come and be part of an ABC summer tradition. The luncheon will include a variety of hot sandwiches, entrees and a cash bar will be available. The sit-down Lunch will be served at 12:00 PM until 1:45 PM. Joining everyone at 2:00 PM will be WBZ's talk radio host, entertainer, and trivia expert Morgan White Jr. You have heard his trivia game on the radio, but this is your chance to test your knowledge live. Morgan's style and wit make him a unique and interesting individual. Morgan will have many prizes to reward you for your knowledge. ABC's Summer luncheon is free to the blind community, family and friends. Bring a group of your friends and have some fun. Please be sure to make a reservation and let us know the number of guests in your party. Register by emailing president@blindcitizens.org and be sure to include your telephone number in your email reservation. If you are using The RIDE, please ask to arrive at noon and pick up at 3:30 PM. If you do not have access to email, you can still attend without a reservation. Additional information about the luncheon can be obtained at www.blindcitizens.org.

The Massachusetts Association for Parents of the Visually Impaired (MAPVI) invites you to a fun-filled day of fishing on a private pond, scheduled for Saturday, August 13th at Riverside Gun Club, 16 Wilkins Street in Hudson from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. This event, which is limited to 50 participants, is open to any family who has a child with a disability, however children with a visual impairment and their siblings and friends will be given priority until August 8th, then it will be first come, first served. Rods and reels for the children will be provided by Wildlife and Fishery. Baiting and casting will be provided by Boys Scouts Troop 77 and the Blind Ambassadors Program. This event is free for all MAPVI members, and $10.00 per family for non-members. Please RSVP by August 8th by emailing Sue Rawley at rawleys@hotmail.com or by calling her at 978-501-2677.

Thanks for reading this message and it will be updated again on Friday, July 29th.


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