Updated on Friday, July 3rd, 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.

Due to the July 4th Holiday falling on a Saturday, all Massachusetts Commission for the Blind offices will be open on Friday, July 3rd and Monday, July 6th. MCB is proud to join in the celebration of the history, independence, government, and traditions of the United States.

The MBTA recently announced its service schedules for the Fourth of July holiday, Saturday, July 4, 2015. Customers are urged to take public transportation to and from Fourth of July events and advised to check T-Alerts for the most up-to-date service information during the holiday. Fares will be free after 9:30 PM on July 4th. Customers should also note that all MBTA parking garages and the Wellington Station lot will be pay-on-entry and cash-only on the Fourth of July in order to ensure all customers exit in a timely manner. Due to heavy parking demand, some MBTA parking garages and lots may fill more quickly than normal. Customers planning to park in an MBTA garage or lot should plan accordingly. All subway lines, bus routes, Commuter Rail lines, and boats/ferries will operate a regular weekday schedule on the observed Independence Day holiday of Friday, July 3, 2015. To learn more about the July 4th MBTA schedule, please visit www.mbta.com.

The MBTA is also 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 New England ADA is soliciting your assistance. They are seeking your help to make a pledge to support the next 25 years of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). This is your opportunity to support the celebration of one of the most important civil rights law in our time. Join others in their commitment for another 25 years of the ADA and beyond. Take 1 minute and sign the pledge by visiting http://adaanniversary.org/pledge. The New England ADA’s goal is 25,000 signatures by the July 26, 2015 anniversary. Act now by using your smart phone, tablet, or computer and visit www.ADAanniversary.org.

The Carroll Center for the Blind and a reputable research firm in Boston are seeking individuals with low vision to participate in a compensated television and remote user testing study. Individuals must have sufficient visual acuity to independently operate a television remote and see visual content on a television, tablet, or other device used to watch video content. Four to eight qualified individuals, ranging in age 21 to 59, will be selected for this study. Each person must be willing to attend a 60-minute testing session scheduled on either July 13 or 14 between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM. The study will take place at the research firm’s Boston office near South Station. Each selected individual who completes their scheduled 60-minute testing session will receive a $150.00 AMEX gift card for their participation in this study. If you are interested, please complete an online survey by visiting https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/071314_LVTV_Study. If you are a good fit for the study, you will be contacted with more information. You can also contact Maria Brown at 508-485-1347, x101 for additional information.

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 Mondays (July 20th and 27th) at 1:30 PM, Thursdays (July 9th 16th, and 30th) at 6:30 PM, Fridays (July 24th and 31st) at 10:00 AM, Saturdays (July 11th and 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.

The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is pleased to announce the release of a free, accessible iOS app: VisionConnect, a prescription for independence for patients who are blind or losing vision. VisionConnect provides a searchable directory of services available in the U.S. and Canada for children and adults who are blind or visually impaired. Find services such as computer and technology training, daily living skills training, braille and reading instruction, dog guide training, employment services, low vision services, and more. Individuals who are blind or have low vision can use this accessible app themselves to find resources and tips for living independently with visual impairment, including information on products and technology, personal stories about how people live everyday with macular degeneration or glaucoma, and advice on maintaining employment. Health care providers can use the app to create customized lists of rehabilitation service providers that they can email to their clients, and provide their patients with home survey checklists, ideas for managing their medications, and more. For the iPhone or iPad, you can download VisionConnect from the App Store. You can also learn more at www.afb.org.

The American Council of the Blind (ACB) has posted their streaming schedule for this year’s conference and convention, scheduled for July 4th through the 10th, to the ACB Radio website. You can view it by going to http://acbradio.org/acbconvention2015. There is also a link to it on the front page where you can also add the full event calendar to your mobile device. Also please note that streaming times may change with little or no notice due to technical difficulties or changes to the events themselves. ACB will be activating the convention@acbradio.org email address so if you have questions or comments about the convention you can send them there. They will also be monitoring the acbradio twitter account so you can reach them there as well.

The buzz continues to build around the new Apple Watch. Curious about the accessibility features of this new iDevice? Learn how to navigate the watch face, the digital crown and the communications button with three new iFocus videos available on the Hadley School for the Blind’s website at http://hadley.edu/InstructionalVideos.asp. You can also learn more at www.hadley.edu.

The Bay State Council of the Blind (BSCB) is inviting you to join them on Saturday, July 11, 2015, for a Community Partners Day at the Museum of Science (MOS). This event will coincide with Butterfly and Caterpillar Weekend. In addition to visiting the main exhibit halls, including the Theater of Electricity and the Hall of Human Life, guests can attend presentations from Harvard University researchers on butterflies and caterpillars, learn to make their own butterfly garden at home, participate in hands-on activities in the MOS’ caterpillar lab, and more. All registered attendees will receive exhibit hall entrance. Registered guests will receive up to 4 free adult and/or children exhibit hall passes per reservation. Guests can view the exhibits until 7:00 PM, when the Museum closes. ASL interpreters will be available. Please indicate if you need an interpreter. Guests can pick up their reserved tickets at the community relations registration table in the Museum lobby on July 11th between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM. If you have any questions, please contact Maria Cabrera (mcabrera@mos.org, 617-589-0418) or James Boyd (jboyd@mos.org, 617-589-0315). Registration ends July 9th at 5:00 PM and can be completed at http://tiny.cc/mos711.

The Perkins School for the Blind and the Massachusetts Association of the Parents of the Visually Impaired (MAPVI) are inviting you to the last Adventure Day of the 2014-15 school year, scheduled for Saturday, July 11th, from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Families are welcome to visit the Perkins campus and experience different aspects of the Perkins programs while also getting to socialize and meet other families, all in a kid-friendly environment! This event is free and open to the public, as well as any kids currently enrolled in any Perkins program. Kids of all ages and their siblings are welcome to attend. Learn more about adapted and tandem bicycles and how to ride them safely. Everyone will meet at the track behind Eliot and Moulton cottages. Families are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch to enjoy outdoors on picnic tables, and Perkins will provide the juice and cookies. You can learn more or register by contacting Amber Bobnar at amber@wonderbaby.org.

Thanks for reading this message and it will be updated again on Friday, July 10th.


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