Happy Holidays from ACB Maine

Happy Holidays from ACB of Maine!

 

Well, it’s that time of year again. The stockings are hanging, the Christmas lights are twinkling, the mistletoe is mistleing, and the holiday music has taken over the airwaves and shopping centers. It’s hard to believe another holiday season is staring us right in the face.

 

2014 has been a rapid moving year, with so much happening in the world around us. Non stop, twenty four hour news cycles bring us the latest, the greatest and a never ending barrage of stories that never sleep. New technologies of assistance and accessibility have paved the way towards a future full of amazement and possibilities.

 

Through this past year, friends have been made, hands have been shook and hugs have been seen all around. It’s a special time of year, filled with the promises that have supplied lasting memories through the ages.

 

ACB of Maine would like to wish you and yours all the best through this holiday season. May your Christmas be a merry one, and may the New Year bring you inspiration, strength, healthy happiness and love.

 

Please always remember and never forget that ACB Maine starts with you!

 

Have a great time out there and be well!

 

ACB Maine

2014 Augusta White Cane Awareness Walk

White Cane Awareness Walk    

Augusta Paws and Canes Event

Saturday, October 18, 2014

 

 

The chilly morning wind took my breath away as I stepped out of the car on Western Ave. The morning seemed gray, and cold, and if but only for a moment, a slight hint of winter crept in and inconspicuously worked its way down through my unsuspecting billy goat bones. I couldn’t believe it had been a whole year already. I couldn’t believe another walk event was staring me right in the face. I couldn’t believe how fast the time had gone by, and as my cane snapped to attention and the tip touched the ground, I remembered exactly how I had felt the year before. I remembered the nervousness, the electricity, the amazing feeling of being part of something so important, so special, so much bigger than I. So many different emotions grabbed hold of me as I straightened up and took a deep breath. There was a definite full blown feeling of fall in the air, and with it, October 18th grabbed hold of the day and stared it square in the eye.

 

Another white cane and guide dog awareness event was at the doorstep, waiting patiently for the participants to bravely and proudly show their stuff. It’s what mobility is all about. It’s what independence is made for. It’s what helps me distinguish who I am now, compared to who I never dreamed of being. It’s true inspiration, wrapped around a purpose unlike anything I have ever done before. Its one day a year when friends, family and loved ones gather together throughout the great State of Maine, and across this great nation to serve as carriers of the torch that shines brightly upon the blind and visually impaired community.

 

The morning’s events started with an amazing assortment of hot coffee, hot chocolate, donuts, muffins and the most incredible cinnamon buns generously provided by Karen McGilvery of nearby Tim Horton’s on Western Ave. She delivered the tasty morning delectable’s next door to Damon’s Sandwich Shop, also on Western Ave. Doug, the owner of Damons had graciously allowed the collection of paws, canes and all those in attendance to hold the morning’s precessions inside the popular eatery on Western Avenue.

 

I was glad when I herd of the distance that the long portion of the walk was scheduled for, because I really needed to work off all the pastries and coffee I wolfed down.

 

As similar events of the past had transpired, there was a ceremonial presentation brought forth to the participants by Pine Tree Guide Dog’s Pauline Lamontagne, Lynn Merrill, Cheryl Peabody and Bruce Prindle. Along with Dr. John McMahon and the honorable Mayor of Augusta, Mark O’Brien, the morning’s recognition of the special event took on a feeling that mimicked events of the past. Mayor Mark O’Brien read the city’s Mayoral and Governor’s Proclamations, and Bruce Prindle read the official White House Proclamation.

 

Shortly thereafter, the annual walk ensued with the dozen or so participants making their way down Western Avenue. Shortly after the walk began, the sun came out, the chatter briskly livened up and before long, the turns were made as the canes and paws made their way back towards Damons.

 

Personally, I noticed that the traffic on Western Avenue seemed much heavier than the previous two years on the eastern side of the river. The semi trucks were rolling heavy, the planes taking off just overhead felt as if they were trying to land on my shoulders, and still, the electricity among the walkers never let up. It was a grand old morning, full of every ounce of determination and bravery that has inspired so much of what this day has become to so many.

 

With the late morning sun at our backs, and our eyes on the prize, we made our way back up Western Ave, and by the time we arrived again at Damons, the temperature had risen twenty degrees. It was a perfect ending to the White Cane Awareness Event of 2014.

 

I would like to thank Pine Tree Guide Dog Users of Maine, Tim Horton’s, Damons and all those who attended this memorable morning. This was my fourth walk in as many years, and I’m already looking forward to next year’s White Cane event. As time goes by, I am in ever increasing awe of the blind community of Maine. From you all, I have gained hope, inspiration, strength, friendship, trust and love. If I live long enough to pay any portion of what I have received back, then I will be wearing a smile bigger than the one I wore on this year’s morning of October 18th.

 

Until next year, when we walk again, I bid you all a wonderful year full of those memories that last.

 

Best to you all.

Deon Lyons

ACB of Maine 2014 State Convention

Hello to All,

 

Another year has passed, and it is once again time for our annual ACB of Maine State Convention.

 

The hotel in Portland that ACB of Maine is having the annual state convention is no longer called Howard Johnson.  It is now The Ramada Plaza.  It is located at:  155 Riverside St in Portland.  If you are planning on spending the night either Friday, October 31, or Saturday, November 1, AND YOU ARE NOT AN ACB BOARD MEMBER, you need to call the hotel and make the reservations yourself.

 

The number is:  774=5861. It is my understanding that you will get your room for $69 plus tax.

 

If you would like to receive a copy of the ACB of Maine registration form, or if you have any additional comments or questions, please contact me.

 

Hope to see you there.

 

Cheryl Peabody

 

Treasurer, ACB Maine

Tel: 872-7594

Email: epeabody@roadrunner.com

 

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This Years Convention Agenda

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ACB of Maine State Convention

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

 

CONVENTION AGENDA

 

8:30-9:00 Registration

 

9:00-10:00 Bonnie Gouzie with Access Technology & Employment Services (ATES)

 

10:00-11:00 Darth Law, OTC from the Iris Low Vision Clinic on Traumatic Brain injury and vision

 

11:00-11:15 BREAK

 

11:15-12:15 Jim Phipps (The Iris Network) and John McMahon (DBVI): Immersion Center

 

12:15-1:30 LUNCH

 

1:30-4:00 Business Meeting (including Marsha Dresser from the Bay State Council o/t Blind)

 

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Please always remember that ACB of Maine starts with you!

 

Have an ACB day!

The Iris Network Presents

The Iris Network Presents

In Blind Sight

A Film Premier and Discussion

 

In Blind Sight is a documentary that examines the experiences of people who are blind, how they navigate our modern world, and how they rise above the obstacles of their condition to lead rich (and sometimes extraordinary) lives. It examines the built environment we live in and what we can do as communities to help people who have disabilities better integrate into them, through urban planning and through educational programs for individuals. Pulling from presentations and interviews by Claudia Folska (Denver, CO), interviews and on-site footage with Randy Pierce (2020 Visionquest), Jim Phipps (The Iris Network), and many more, In Blind Sight presents a vision for our society that focuses not just on cars, but on multi-modal transportation design, and hopes to show how accessible design for blind pedestrians acts as a “gold standard” that will improve the built environment for us all.

 

Here is the URL for a two-minute piece that was the inspiration for the full length film:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/613250121/the-new-american-dream?ref=email.

 

Ms. Folska will be the evening’s featured speaker with Mr. Pierce and Mr. Phipps joining her for a discussion of the issues raised in the film. There will be an audience Q&A session following brief presentations.

 

Information about Ms. Folska (it is a bit long): http://www.westword.com/2012-09-27/news/claudia-folska-public-transportation/full/

Information about Mr. Pierce: http://www.2020visionquest.org/randy-bio.html

 

Information about Mr. Phipps: http://www.theiris.org/about-us/executive-director

 

Date: October 17, 2014

Time: Reception at 5:30; Film at 6:30

Place: USM’s Abromson Center and Hannaford Hall

 

The October 17th premier is a short version of the film; at this time we’re anticipating it will be about 25 minutes. The full-length version of the film, 55 minutes, is being developed to meet the technical specifications for public television.

 

The filmmakers and Claudia have two goals for this film: 1. To use it as a teaching tool all across America by planners working on community infrastructure accessibility projects and 2. To have millions of Americans see it on television so they better understand what it means to support and live in an accessible community.

 

 

Summer 2014 Update

Well here we are, smack dab in the middle of August. It’s hard to believe that there’s only one month left to Summer. The ice that left its mark on the 2013-14 Maine winter will surely not be forgotten soon, and these warm days and months have surely helped to ease those burdens that seemed to never end last winter.

 

There’s lots going on in our state, and folks in the blind community have surely been making an effort to get out there and get a taste of what this great state has to offer. A taste of flavor that the rest of the country just doesn’t have a clue about. It’s all here, and it’s one of the reasons we can smile when we talk about being home.

 

Stay tuned to ACBMaine.org for upcoming news, information, events and everything else that’s fit to tell.

 

The Summer ACB National Convention was a huge success. The sights and the sounds clearly labeled it as one of this Summer’s premier conventions, and as we head towards Fall 2014, ACBMaine.org will do its best to keep you informed of all there is to know with our upcoming ACB Maine State Convention, as well as news from around the great Pine Tree State.

Thanks to all of you for your continued support and for your inspiring commitment to help the blind community forge on and take on the future with continued inspiration, strength, courage and hope.

 

We urge you to keep coming back to ACBMaine.org as our site will continue to change with the times, striving to keep you abreast of everything.

 

Take care, and have an ACB day!