Updated on Friday, July 24th, 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.

MCB will be hosting an “Orientation to MCB’s College Services” on Thursday, August 13th from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM at 600 Washington Street in Boston. This is a mandatory meeting for students planning on attending college who are entering their senior year of high school or their freshman year of college. Learn about MCB’s financial support policy for college students, your responsibilities as a student of MCB’s Vocational Rehabilitation Program, Orientation and Mobility services for college students, and Assistive Technology services for college students. You will also learn about accessing disability services at your university/college and learn best practices for achieving success in college (student panel discussion). Please RSVP to your Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor by Friday, July 31, 2015. Please also indicate your preferred format for materials. Parents/Guardians are welcome to attend.

The MBTA is updating its standards for providing service, and customer input is an important part of this process. The MBTA is conducting an online survey at www.mbta.com/survey to help determine service priorities and the standards it uses to evaluate service. To learn more information about this survey, you can also visit www.mbta.com.

The Carroll Center for the Blind in partnership with an international corporation, is recruiting participants with vision loss for a usability research study. This study will research the perception of computer-generated speech by screen reader users. To take part in the study, you must have full or partial vision loss and be a daily screen reader user. You must be a native speaker of American English and possess the ability to hear spoken instructions easily. You must also be available to participate in the study during the week of July 27th. A total of 20 qualified candidates will be selected for the individual interviews held between July 27th and July 30th, and 20 qualified individuals will be selected for one of three focus groups taking place on Friday, July 31st. All individual sessions and focus groups will be held at the Carroll Center for the Blind on the Newton Campus. Participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from the center. Each selected candidate who completes his/her scheduled 60-minute individual interview will receive $80 for participating. Each selected candidate who completes the 90-minute focus group session will receive $120. Therefore, those candidates who complete both parts of the study will receive a total of $200. To register, or learn more, please contact David Kingsbury at david.kingsbury@carroll.org or 781-974-2001.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has a design class, titled 6.811 Principles and Practices of Assistive Technology (PPAT), which is a 12-unit, interdisciplinary, project-based course in which small teams of engineering students work closely with a person with a disability in the Cambridge area to design a device, piece of equipment, app, or other solution that helps them live more independently. For the fall 2015 semester, this class will be looking for 12 adventurous individuals who face daily life challenges related to their disability. You must have one or more specific project ideas in mind, be willing to meet in-person with students for an hour every week (class dates are September 23rd to December 9th), be open to new experiences, and be ready to give active feedback to the students. You can email ppat@csail.mit.edu to learn more about the class or go to http://bit.ly/1Nzj4Ms to fill out an application prior to August 8th.

The Museum of Fine Arts Boston (MFA) recently announced their prescheduled events and tours for visitors to the museum who are blind or have low vision. Feeling for Form Tours are available in July for the Hokusai Exhibition, where you can explore the works of the leading woodblock artist of his time. Tours are available on Monday, July 27th at 1:30 PM, Thursday, July 30th at 6:30 PM, Fridays (July 24th and 31st) at 10:00 AM, Saturday, July 25th at 10:00 AM, and Sunday, July 26th at 1:30 PM. You can contact Hannah Goodwin at hgoodwin@mfa.org or 617-369-3189 if you would like to attend any one of these tours or request a tour at another time.

Do you have a favorite iPhone or iPad app? Have you just been dying to share it with someone? Well, now is your chance! The Hadley School for the Blind is hosting a low vision app smackdown. Join Seminars@Hadley on Wednesday, July 29th at 3:00 PM as Hadley technology experts, Doug Anzlovar, Ian Shadrick, and Douglas Walker share their favorite iDevice apps that are accessible for low vision users. Come prepared to share an app or two of your own. Dawn Turco, Hadley’s senior vice president, will moderate this 60-minute seminar, which is an audio presentation. A question and answer session will be included as part of the seminar. Space is limited, so please register only if you know you will attend. To register, please go to http://hadley.edu/SeminarDetails.asp?sid=288. You can learn more about this and other seminars at www.Hadley.edu.

For the 20th season, the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (CSC) will be producing Free Shakespeare on the Boston Common. CSC is pleased to present King Lear for the very first time. Performances started on Wednesday, July 22nd and will continue through Sunday, August 9th. King Lear follows the journey of an aging king, faced with his own mortality and mental decline, who tries to secure the legacy of his kingdom by dividing it amongst his three daughters. Only through loss — of status, of love, of loyalty — does King Lear learn what is truly resonant at the end of a life. King Lear is often considered one of Shakespeare’s monumental plays. 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 8th. CSC will offer an Audio-Described performance of King Lear on Thursday, July 30th at 8:00 PM. The rain date for the audio described performance is Sunday, August 9th at 7:00 PM. Braille and large-type programs are also available at each performance at the CSC Information Tent. 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.

Is your student ready for a summer program? The Carroll Center for the Blind would like to invite you to join them on Thursday, July 30th for a summer visiting day for students (ages 13 to 18) who have never attended a Carroll Center summer program. Prospective students will be paired up with a current student and participate in classes and enjoy lunch with fellow students. Parents will learn about program offerings for Summer 2016 and tour the campus. Professionals are also welcome to attend. The program will start at 10:00 AM. To register, please email Dina Rosenbaum at dina.rosenbaum@carroll.org. You can also learn more at www.carroll.org.

The Association of Blind Citizens (ABC) will hold its Summer Luncheon on Saturday August 1, 2015 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 from 12:00 PM until 1:45 PM. Attending the luncheon 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 with your email reservation. If you are using the Ride, please ask to arrive at noon and pick you up at 3:30 PM. You can also learn more 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 8th 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 3rd, 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 Hudson Cub Scouts and Boys Scouts. This event is free for all MAPVI members, and $10.00 per family for non-members. Please RSVP by August 3rd by emailing Amber Bobnar at amber@wonderbaby.org or by calling her at 617-923-1241.

Thanks for reading this message and it will be updated again on Friday, July 31st.

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