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News Weekly Information Update

Updated every Friday, the Weekly Information Update provides important blindness and disability-related information and updates to MCB consumers.
  • Massachusetts Commission for the Blind

Updated on Friday, March 23rd, 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.

There are 11 updates this week:

1. In an effort to evaluate the services we provide, MCB is soliciting your feedback. The agency would like to understand which of the information provided on the telephone tape you find useful.  Additionally, do you access this information via MCB’s website, NFB Newsline, or the Weekly Telephone Tape? MCB greatly appreciates your assistance with this request. Please provide your feedback to or call 617-626-7503.

2. The Perkins School for the Blind and the Deafblind Extended Supports Unit at MCB would like to invite you to join them at the MA State House on Thursday, March 29th for Deafblind Awareness Day. This event, which will start at 10:00 AM, highlights the importance of fiscal resources, programs and services that enhance the lives of children and adults who are deafblind. Presenters will share their stories and highlight the vital impact of services on their lives. Organizations and agencies will showcase the critical services they provide to children, youth and adults in the Commonwealth who are deafblind. Following the one-hour program, participants will be invited to visit with state representatives and senators to discuss issues that are important to them. If you need help identifying and contacting your legislator, you can email the DeafBlind Contact Center, at Should you have any communication access requests, please contact Carl Richardson, State House ADA Coordinator, at 617-727-1100, x35502 or via email at

3. The Carroll Center for the Blind is holding a 10-week series of seminars to facilitate employment-related skills and promote job exploration. Each session will be held on Thursdays from 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM. You can go to one or all ten, or any number in between, however, the Carrol Center strongly recommends you sign up for as many sessions as possible to benefit the most from the series and the better chances you will be successful at job development. All sessions are free but are limited to individuals who are blind and actively seeking employment. Here are the remaining three dates and topics to be covered: (dates and topics subject to change): March 29th, Social Media; April 5th, Preparing for Job Fairs; and April 12th, Roadblocks to success on the job. All seminars will take place at the Carroll Center for the Blind, Technology Auditorium, 770 Centre Street in Newton. RIDE users should arrive at 2:45 PM and depart at 4:45 PM. Dress is business casual and there is no cost for these sessions. To RSVP, please email You can also learn more by visiting

4. The Technology Department at the Carroll Center for the Blind is presenting a series of one-day, small group (maximum of 3 to 4 participants) computer courses that will consist of a mix of both hands-on and demonstrational approaches. Instructors will use the most recent version of JAWS, Windows 10, and Microsoft Office 2016. To supplement training, participants will receive a thumb drive with a series of audio and text files to serve as reference materials. The following is list of topics, dates and times: When One Browser is Not Enough, March 28th; When One Scree Reader is Not Enough, March 29th; Introduction to Excel, April 2nd; Intermediate Excel, April 3rd; Format and Proofread Your Word Document Like a Pro, April 4th; Mastering Outlook, April 5th; and Introduction to PowerPoint, April 6th. Reduced pricing is available for private pay individuals. To find out more and register for one of these courses, please call Maureen Foley at 800-852-3131 ext. 225, or email her at You can learn more and see the full course descriptions at

5. MCB and the Carroll Center for the Blind are pleased to announce the 2018 Carroll Awards, which recognize outstanding employees who are visually impaired through the annual Carroll Society Awards Ceremony, scheduled for Thursday, June 7th. Individuals are chosen because, despite vision loss, they are exemplary employees and contribute to the overall culture of both their business and community. Who do you know who deserves to be nominated this year? If you know of a blind or visually impaired person who demonstrates the highest degree of excellence as an employee or is successfully self-employed, we invite you to nominate him/her to be recognized through the Carroll Society Awards. Nominations may come from any source, but must be confirmed and approved by the candidate’s employer and others who know their work. Visit for more information about the Carroll Awards and to complete an online application.

6. The Boston Mayor’s Commission for Persons with Disabilities, the Access Advisory Committee to the MBTA (AACT), and the Boston Regional Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) would like to invite you to a summit on accessible transportation. The discussion will take place on Tuesday, March 27th from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM at the Boston Public Library, McKim Building, Guastavino Room, 230 Dartmouth Street in Boston. Help shape the Boston Region MPO’s Long-Range Transportation Plan, provide input on accessible transportation needs and opportunities for people of all abilities traveling in Boston, and learn about new innovations and speak with transportation professionals, including: The MBTA, The RIDE, WAV Taxis, Uber, bicycle and pedestrian planners, and more! ASL and CART will be provided, and this is a scent free event. To request an accommodation or translation, please contact or call 617-635-3682 prior to March 20th.

7. Attention guide dog users! Many of you are already followers of the guide dog advocacy blog, Seeing Life Together. This blog was created by Sara Conrad and she has written posts for the past two years. Sara took a step back a few weeks ago to be the editor of the blog. Seeing Life Together currently has 17 writers who are writing for the blog instead. The blog offers excellent advocacy ideas for guide dog users and education for the public. If you are not familiar with Seeing Life Together, you can access it at: If you wish to follow the blog or to want to consider becoming a writer for the blog, please send an email to SeeingLifeTogether@

8. The Perkins School for the Blind is inviting you to the 6th Annual Beeping Egg Hunt, scheduled for Saturday, March 24th. There will be two separate egg hunts, starting at 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM. Please arrive up to an hour before your hunt time to check in and enjoy arts and crafts. Everyone should plan to meet at the Lower School, on the Perkins campus in Watertown, for snacks and tactile crafts before going over to the Bradlee Playground for our egg hunt. This event is free for all families and everyone is welcome! The hunt is accessible for children in strollers and wheelchairs. Perkins' Beeping Egg Hunt is a specialized event for stu/dents with visual impairments and their families. Sighted family members are welcome to assist in finding eggs, but we ask for them to be mindful of the visually impaired participants. This year, Perkins will be supplying the egg hunt bags. All beeping eggs must be returned to Perkins after the hunt. Please park in the Lower School parking lot for the Beeping Egg Hunt. Should the weather be inclement, there are planned indoor activities. You can also visit to register and learn more.

9. Our Space, Our Place and the Junior League of Boston are co-sponsoring a 3-day workshop, titled Be.You.tiful, for girls in middle and high school. The theme of the workshop is “Empowering Girls, Breaking Barriers and Building Friendships. Dates are April 17th, 18th, and 19th, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM each day. Workshop location is the Non Profit Center, 89 South Street in Boston. Girls in middle and high school who are blind or low vision and girls without disabilities are invited to participate in this program to explore gender, ethnicity and visual impairment, how it impacts ones relationship with the self and others, and one's ability to navigate social and academic success in school and beyond. By the end of the program the students will: Get to know each other; Have tips and actions which can be used to succeed academically and socially; Be able to identify Healthy friendships and relationships and; Obtain resources on where to turn to when it feels like it is all going wrong. For more information, questions, or the register, please call 617-459-4084 or email

10. The Emerson/Cutler Majestic Theatre, located at 219 Tremont Street in Boston, has announced a special Audio Described date for Bedlams Hamlet. This performance will take place on Sunday, March 25th at 2:00 PM. Prince Hamlet is depressed. Having been summoned home to Denmark to attend his father’s funeral, he is shocked to find his mother already remarried, to his father’s brother, Claudius. Worse still, Claudius has had himself crowned king despite the fact that Hamlet is heir to the throne. No wonder Hamlet suspects foul play. Bedlam brings their unique performance style to Shakespeare’s greatest play, arguably the greatest play in the English language, and four actors perform all 25 roles! Performance is 150 minutes with two intermissions. Tickets can be purchased by emailing, or by calling 617-824-8400. You can also learn more by visiting

 11. Zary Amirhosseini, Manager of Disability Programs at the Massachusetts General Hospital, is planning a focus group targeting barriers to accessibility encountered by those in the blind / low vision community. Zary is looking for 5 to 6 blind and low vision participants to take part in this important endeavor. To be eligible, participants: must be patients at Massachusetts General Hospital and familiar with the main campus; must be registered with a State Commission for the Blind agency; must be willing to complete a survey prior to the focus group; and must be willing to attend 1 to 2 sessions, each lasting between 2-3 hours. The purpose of these focus groups is to identify issues for patients with visual impairments and review and implement possible action items. The focus group will take place in late April. The exact date is to be set. Anyone who meets the above eligibility requirements who is interested in participating should contact Zary AmirHosseini at

Thanks for reading this message and it will be updated again on Friday, March 30th.

Massachusetts Commission for the Blind 

MCB provides the highest quality rehabilitation and social services to Massachusetts residents who are blind, leading to their independence and full community participation.


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