DEDICATED TO IMPROVING THE LIVES OF BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED PEOPLE

Resources for Partners October 23,2020

Join AFB’s Celebration and Honor RDPFS Partners –
Congratulations to two RDPFS partner recipientss who will receive awards at The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) annual awards ceremony (virtual of course) for “individuals who have made superb contributions to improving the lives of people who are blind or have low vision.” Anthony R. Candela (who championed Bookshare’s participation in the RDPFS/Lighthouse Guild SELT Bookclub pilot) will be receiving the Stephen Garff Marriott Award, and this year’s Corinne Kirchner Research Award will be presented to the Institute of Movement Studies for Individuals with Visual Impairments (IMSVI) research team, with Dr. Lauren Lieberman accepting on behalf of the team. Dr. Lieberman is known to RDPFS through her work as the founder of Camp Abilities. The event is October 27, 2:00 pm EDT. To participate, register online or listen later as the celebration will be recorded and archived. 


Town Halls

Our October 2 bulletin announced the release of AFB’s Flatten Inaccessibility report. In addition, their Access and Engagement to Education Survey. looked at the impact of COVID-19 on students visual impairments, families and professionals. In conjunction with the release of these reports, AFB is holding three Town Halls . Panelists will field questions and comments submitted in advance or entered into the Q&A feature of Zoom. Live captions will be provided for each town hall, and ASL is available on request.
Healthcare, Transportation & Voting, Oct. 23, 2-3 PM EDT Register here.
Employment and Technology, October 29 from 2-3 PM EDT Register here.
Education Across the Lifespan, Nov. 10 2-3 PM EST Register here.

Economic Impact Payments

My Congressman sent the following which may be of use to your community. The deadline to register for an Economic Impact Payment (EIP) has been extended.
The new deadline is now Nov. 21, 2020. People who don’t typically file a tax return – and haven’t received an Economic Impact Payment – should register as quickly as possible by clicking Here. Two weeks after registering, track payment status using the Get My Payment tool, available only on IRS.gov. Economic Impact Payments are a provision of the CARES Act. Qualifying Americans received up to $1,200 in the form of a direct deposit, check, or debit card.

Manage Financial Challenges

For those coping with COVID-19 related financial challenges, the National Disability Institute’s Financial Resilience Center has partnered with AFCPE® financial professionals to “offer trustworthy virtual financial counseling or coaching sessions – free of cost!” Help is available to manage immediate expenses and prepare for future emergencies; determine which bills to pay first; build a plan to pay off debt and avoid debt in the future and navigate unemployment benefits and financial assistance programs. Register and request a financial counselor or coach who has completed the Financial Inclusion Essentials course, six modules on debunking myths and stereotypes, understanding money management rights and resources, navigating favorable tax credits and services, understanding employment resources, education on major acquisitions, and ABLE accounts. Financial Counseling

Summer 2021 on the Horizon – Applications due soon

The American Association for People with Disabilities Summer Internship Program is seeking applicants. Interns work in Congressional offices, federal agencies, non-profits and for-profits in the Washington, DC area. “We recruit a diverse cohort of interns. As a result, we connect our host employers to talented emerging leaders with disabilities.” Internships are paid and interns receive a living stipend, transportation to and from Washington, and fully accessible housing as well as assistance from a mentor who provides career guidance Apply for the 2021 AAPD Summer Internship by 5 p.m. WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28.

Job Source?

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has revamped the Employment Referral Resource Directory (ERRD), which lists government and nonprofit organizations as references to assist federal contractors’ in hiring of qualified people with disabilities, veterans, women, and minority groups. Make sure your organization’s listing is correct or added to the list. ERDD list

Jumping to Success
Lex Gillette lost his vision at age 8 and “today, Lex is a three-time long jump champion and an 18-time national champion. He is the only completely blind athlete to sail past the 22-foot long jump barrier”, according to Calm.com. Looking forward to the 2021 Olympics, Lex “likens envisioning success to creating a vision board; only for him, those visualizations live in his head and not on a corkboard. Each day, he plays out the scenarios of what he wants to happen, carefully noting every step it takes to get results. Visualize your goals.

On the radio
Anyone who has ever worked with blind teens has likely heard “I want to be a deejay” many, many times. Tommy Edison, in the segment titled “My Day Job Outside of You Tube,” on his channel The Tommy Edison Experience, reviews his work as a radio station deejay – running the control board, talking up records, doing the weather, reading commercials and changing his voice – smooth and cool for jazz, upbeat for oldies, and later as a traffic reporter. Edison speaks out about collecting benefits, too, and draws both positive and negative comments from his audience. Working in radio.

Costumes and Canes

When we googled Blind Halloween Costumes we got a long list of links on how easy it is to make a last minute Halloween costume mimicking blindness – dark glasses and a cane, of course, or characters like a blind referee and three blind mice. A young blogger with low vision, Veroniiiica with Four Eyes, has 10 ideas for DIY Halloween costumes using a white cane. “…a person who uses a blindness cane definitely doesn’t have to make their cane part of the costume,” says Veronica Lewis, but gives full instructions for those who would be a bat, a fairy, a Star Wars character, Daredevil, Destiny from the movie Finding Dory, three blind mice, Willy Wonka, a magician or ringmaster, and a candy cane. Lewis’s Halloween costume ideas will work for both children and adults. Link to her article on “Decoding the Colors of Blindness Canes”, too.