SUMMER, 1996
 Steve Dresser, Editor

 Published by
 The Connecticut Council of the Blind
 Marcia Nigro, President
 Telephone: (203) 407-0737
 Toll-free: (800) 231-3349
 Together, we can make a difference.

 Produced in braille
 Steve Dresser

 Produced in large print
 John Mattioli

 Recorded on cassette
 April Hutchins and Bryan McGucken


 by Steve Dresser   1
 by Marcia Nigro  3
 by John Mattioli  5
 by Steve Dresser  9
 by Julie McLean  14
 by Marcia Nigro  14
 by Alice Jackson  15
 by Bryan McGucken  16
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     Once again, it seems, Summer is racing by at warp speed.  Soon, vacations
that seemed far too short will end, and we'll be picking up the pieces of
whatever we do to fill our lives when we're not out somewhere having fun.
Luckily, we've still got almost two months left on the old sidereal calendar,
so let's kick back, relax, and enjoy Summer to the fullest.

     A nd speaking of enjoyment, I hope to see all of you at our CCB
picnic on
August 17th.  I don't know exactly what will happen there, but I can assure you
that there'll be plenty of fun and food for everyone.

     As I began this column, I wondered, as I often do, why anyone should sit
around writing articles for this newsletter when they could be outside having
fun.  After looking at the table of contents, however, the question seems moot.
I'm grateful to everyone who took time to submit articles, and I hope you will
keep up the good work.  For those of you who didn't get around to it this time,
there'll be other newsletters where you can make your voices heard.  CCB will
remain vital only if we share what we know, and what we do.

     For the past several years, I've attended the annual convention of the
American Council of the Blind. At first, I went because I wanted to keep
abreast of the latest computer technology, but I soon realized that high-tech
gadgetry isn't the only thing to see at an ACB convention.  I can think of no
way to capture the spirit of a convention for anyone who's never been to one,
except to say that each year, I come away with a new perspective, and enough
food for thought to last for at least a year.

     The BIG TOPIC at the 1996 ACB annual convention was accessibility.  The
techno-wizards showed us the marvels of Windows, and the wonders of accessing
the Internet.  The legal experts discussed the ADA and all its ramifications.
Environmentalists talked at length about new developments in accessible
signage.  Musicians showed us how one person could combine talent, electronic
keyboards, and computer technology to make music that would have once required
a large group of musicians.  With all that razzle-dazzle, it was hard not to
get caught up in the accessibility fever.  Yet, one question kept bothering me.
What did we do _before all this?  What made life accessible in the "good old
days?"  I've pondered this a lot, and finally concluded that no matter how many
laws we pass, or how much technology we invent, the key to accessibility is
nothing more, nor less than the creative impulse that lives within each of us.
Without that spark, there can be no accessibility.

 --Steve Dresser

[ PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE] by Marcia Nigro

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     I hope you're having a wonderful summer.  It certainly is going
by fast!

     The 1996 ACB Convention was, as usual, informative and fun.  Your
delegate, John Mattioli, recaps convention business elsewhere in this issue.
The social highlight for me was the live performance of _Oklahoma!, at an
outdoor theater, with descriptions by Narrative Television Network.

     At the affiliate presidents' meeting this summer, Brian Charlson informed
us that he is eager to expand the scope of ACB committees through increased
participation by local members.  ACB committees include: membership,
constitution and bylaws, scholarship, credentials, awards, women's concerns,
multicultural affairs, and history.  If you'd like to get some great experience
by becoming involved on the national level, please let me know as soon as
possible so I can pass your name along to Brian.

     I hope you'll mark your calendar and start planning now to attend the CCB
Fall Convention on October 26th.  It will be here before we know it!  This
convention is especially important because you will be electing a new slate of
officers to serve you for the next two years.  The nominating committee report
will be included along with the convention notice, which you should receive by
the middle of September.

     As I look back on the last two years, I am very proud of what we,
together, have accomplished.  We have awarded two scholarships; outreach
activities have increased significantly; we are forming regional and special
interest chapters; and our new brochure is just about ready to be sent off to
the printer.  We need every one of you to contribute your unique talents to our

     I especially want to thank the Board of Directors.  You often went above
and beyond the call of duty; your teamwork and creative thinking were a
constant inspiration to me.

     It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as your president.

     I look forward to seeing all of you at the picnic, and at the fall

[ DELEGATE'S REPORT] by John Mattioli

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     I would like to begin my report by thanking the members of the Connecticut
Council of the Blind for entrusting me with the duties of delegate.  Several of
you have done this job before, so you are aware of the responsibility that goes
along with it.  For those who have not served as delegate to an ACB convention,
here's the procedure used by the American Council of the Blind to conduct

     Each individual member of ACB is entitled to cast one vote on any issue
brought before the convention.  Voting is usually done by voice because the
outcome is often so decisive that an exact count isn't needed.  This year, for
example, of the thirty resolutions brought to the convention floor by the ACB
Resolutions Committee, six concerned various forms of support for audio
described videos.  ACB members adopted these resolutions by an overwhelming
voice vote, demonstrating their long-standing support of service providers such
as DVS, and the Narrative Television Network (NTN).

     On the other hand, when the result of a voice vote is inconclusive, a roll
ccall vote is employed.  Calling the roll takes a fair amount of time, but
ensures an accurate count.  The roll is almost always called in contested
elections, or after a heated debate.

     There are two parts to the voting process.  First, the individual members
stand to express their support, or opposition, with those in favor standing
first.  To guarantee an accurate count, movement on the convention floor is
restricted during this part of the voting.  After the individual members' votes
have been counted, the ACB national secretary reads the names of all the ACB
affiliates.  Each affiliate casts 1 vote per every 25 of its members.  Thus,
CCB, which has 68 members, casts three votes.

     It is the delegate's job to decide how an affiliate casts its votes, and I
based my decision on a consensus of all CCB's members attending the convention.
Although a delegate can vote contrary to the affiliate members' wishes, it
rarely happens, and causes controversy when it does.

     This year, elections were held for five positions on the ACB Board of
Directors, and three Board of Publications positions.  Two incumbents, Ardis
Bazyn and Sue Ammeter, were elected to the board unopposed.  Chris Gray, also
an incumbent, retained his seat on the board by defeating Charlie Glaser.

     Perhaps the most interesting contest of the convention was the three-way
race for the fourth board seat.  Whenever two or more candidates compete for a
position, a standing vote is held, followed by a roll call vote.  Anyone
receiving over fifty percent of the votes is automatically declared the winner.
This rarely happens, however, so a runoff is required.  In this election,
Charles Hodge, a sixteen-year veteran on the ACB board, took on Pshon Barrett
and Dawn Christensen.  Hodge placed third by the narrow margin of four votes.
This left Pshon Barrett and Dawn Christensen in a runoff, which Dawn won by a
narrow margin.

     Four candidates ran for the final board position: Charles Hodge, Pshon
Barrett, John Buckley, and Jamal Mazrui.  Hodge and Barrett were eliminated in
the first round of voting, and Buckley won the runoff.

     The three Board of Publications positions were filled by Tom Mitchell, Kim
Charlson, and Mitch Pomerantz.  All were incumbents, who ran unopposed.

     The 1997 convention of the American Council
of the Blind will be held in Houston, Texas from July 5th to July 12th.  The
convention hotel will be the Adams Mark, where you can reserve a room by calling
(800) 436-2326.  Room rates are $49 per night.

 Election of a 1998 convention site took place at this year's convention. There
were two bids: Detroit and Orlando.  The Detroit site is a large hotel, mall
and office complex with dozens of stores and restaurants.  The Orlando site is
a more conventional location. Because of several factors, the Orlando site was
selected.  At this time it is still too early to book rooms, but you might want
to plan to attend the convention in Orlando from July 4th, 1998 to July 11th,

     Finally, I recommend that all of you attend future ACB conventions.  They
are a time for great learning, and give us a tremendous amount of motivation,
inspiration, and insight.  Even small ones, such as this year's in Tulsa, are
unforgettable experiences!


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     Now that the warm weather is here, it's time to think about all the
things that make summer so much fun--like the smell of a backyard cookout
on a warm Sunday afternoon.  I had always assumed that cooking on a grill
required some sight, but after hearing that a totally blind friend of mine had
successfully managed it, I decided to see what I could do.  It turned out to be
far easier than I thought, and I'd like to share the experience.

     A word of warning before you don your chef's outfit and rush off to
the nearest department store, credit card in hand.  If you're going to use a
grill of any kind, you'll be working around an open flame, and you have to
expect a certain amount of heat.  There are several easy ways to manage both,
as you'll see later, but if you're frightened by the prospect of having your
hands near the fire, my advice is to sit back, enjoy the aroma and eat the
food, and let someone else do the cooking.

     The most essential item for outdoor cooking is, of course, the grill.
There are two types; those that burn charcoal briquettes, and those that run on
propane gas.  I ruled out charcoal-burning grills because I
didn't want to mess around with briquettes and lighter fluid.  I also knew that
when you cook with charcoal, you have to let the fire burn down to the point
where the coals glow red hot before you can put anything onto the grill.  This
requires more patience than I have, and besides, I've noticed that many sighted
people have trouble mastering the fine art of controlling a charcoal flame.
Perhaps one of you will want to try using charcoal, and can write an article
about it.  I prefer a gas grill for two reasons; there's almost no mess
involved, and the flame is controlled by simply turning a dial.  You don't even
have to worry about matches, since most gas grills have an electric igniter
which lights the gas at the touch of a button.

     Gas grills come in several shapes and sizes, and cost anywhere from $100
to $300.  I chose a Sunbeam for $169, which looked reasonably well built, but
didn't have lots of features that I thought I might never use.  I may someday
outgrow this grill, but for now it is quite adequate.  Incidentally, the grill
will have to be assembled.  This takes about two hours, and requires the aid of
a friend.

     Before you can start using your new grill, make sure that the grill's
propane tank has been filled.  This means a trip to a gas station, or some
other place equipped to fill propane tanks.  Remember that propane is a highly
explosive fuel, so read and heed the accompanying instructions for its use and

     Before you start to dazzle your friends with culinary wonders, you need to
assemble your arsenal of tools for handling the food.  First on the list is a
_good pair of oven mitts.  I prefer the kind that come up to the elbow.  After
all, summer is the time for short sleeved shirts, and there's no sense in
burning your arms.  Next, you'll need something to turn the food.  Some people
like to use a long-handled fork for this purpose, but I prefer a double spatula
because I think it gives me better control.  If you can't find one of these
spatulas in your favorite cookware store, they are available from Ann Morris
Enterprises, Easier Ways, and several other places.

     While the double-sided spatula works well with steaks and other large
pieces of meat, it's practically useless for manipulating hot dogs, or chicken
legs which can roll around on the grill.  It's equally unsuited for flipping
hamburgers because of their tendency to break and crumble.  In these situations,
a wire basket is the perfect solution.  Available in department stores, these
baskets come in several shapes and sizes, depending on the type of food they're
designed to hold.  I bought two of them; one designed to hold up to four
hamburg patties, and the other (called a "barbecue basket") intended for more
general use.  While the hamburger basket is smaller and more maneuverable, the
barbecue basket will hold pieces of chicken, lamb chops, or even various types
of fish.

     Now that you're equipped with all the necessary utensils, it's time to
fire up the grill and begin cooking.  Most grills have two burners, each of
which is controlled by a knob with a pointer.  Fortunately for us, grills have
not yet become as high-tech as some other appliances--no digital displays or
touch-sensitive keypads to confuse and confound us--just two rotating knobs
with pointers that we can actually _feel!  Each pointer swings in an arc
running from about 12:30 (off) to 9:30 (highest intensity flame) to 5:30
(lowest intensity).  I do most of my cooking with the pointer set somewhere
between 6 and 7 o'clock.  You'll have to experiment a bit here, since the
position of the control may vary from grill to grill.  In general, however, you
use the lower flame for chicken and other small pieces of meat which need to
cook more slowly, while the higher settings are more suitable for steaks.  Be
careful not to use the highest setting, or you'll end up with something more
appropriate for a fire sale than a cookout.

     Once you get the flame properly adjusted, you'll find that your success as
a backyard cook depends on timing.  Here again, you'll have to experiment,
although there are a few simple principles to keep in mind.  At the risk of
stating the obvious, thicker pieces of meat require more time to cook than
thinner ones.  Generally, I cook steaks anywhere from 6 to 8 minutes per side.
Pork chops take about seven minuites, while chicken takes from ten to tweleve
minutes.  The optimum cooking time for swordfish is about seven minutes, again,
depending on the thickness of the cut.  You may want to have a sighted friend
inspect your handiwork the first few times, but once you draw up your own list
of optimal cooking times, you'll find that your results are pretty consistent.

     Now that we've covered the basics, you're ready to venture into the
wonderful world of backyard barbecuing.  I hope that you too will discover how
much fun it can be.  _Bon _appetit!


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     At the spring convention, the second annual CCB $1000 scholarship was
awarded to Nicole Mason, a senior at Windsor High School.

     Nicole is legally blind, and uses large print and taped materials to
complete her work.  She is employed as a waitress at Delamere Woods Retirement
Home in Windsor.

     Nicole will enter St. Joseph's College in West Hartford in the fall, where
she plans to major in social work.  Ultimately, she hopes to work with the
visually impaired; she believes that her personal experience with blindness
will greatly benefit her in her career.

     We wish Nicole the very best of luck in her future endeavors.

[ IT'S UP TO YOU!] by Marcia Nigro

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     On November 5th, Americans will elect a new president.  In Connecticut,
voters must be registered by October 8th to participate.

     If you are not a registered voter, be sure to call your town hall and ask
for assistance.  If you can't get there in person, the necessary forms may be
filled out over the phone, and some towns will even send someone to your house
for this purpose.

     On Election Day, you can arrange transportation, and assistance in voting,
by contacting either the Democratic or Republican party in your town.  Let your
voice be heard!  Go to the polls and cast your vote!


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     The Connecticut Council of the Blind is growing!  At our last convention,
small groups met to discuss the formation of three new chapters: Guide Dog
Users, a student chapter, and a Southern Connecticut chapter.  I am excited
about the formation of the Southern Connecticut Chapter, and want to report on
our progress to date.

     We have had three chapter meetings.  A constitution and  bylaws are being
developed, and we have put together the following list of short-term and
long-term goals:
1.  Becoming a resource for such local community agencies as the Paratransit
System, and volunteer agencies.

2.  Helping local banks to increase the availability of braille and large print
bank and credit card statements.

3.  Helping people get voter registration assistance and information.  Working
with area towns to make referendums and local questions available in an
accessible format.

4.  Sponsoring a career day, where high school students can meet with blind
adults to discuss the technology they use to help them with their jobs.

     If you live in Southern Connecticut, and would like to join our new
chapter, please contact us via the CCB toll-free number at (800) 231-3349.  We
are planning an end-of-the-summer picnic, to relax and have some fun.  All work
and no play makes for a dull organization.


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     As many of you may already know, Steve Dresser is one man who really knows
his mouse.  How many of you know, however, exactly what he does with
his mouse, his keyboard, and all that other superhighway supercomputer stuff
we've all come to depend on?  I plan to answer these and other riveting
questions in the first of a series of columns for CCB Outlook called

     Steve Dresser is a Systems Developer II for the Department of
Administrative Services.  This department is affiliated with the state and
gives computer-based assistance to other state agencies.  For those of you that
actually speak English, Steve is a programmer and a systems analyst all rolled
into one.  This means that he develops the code that tells the computer what to
do (programmer), and helps other people decide what tasks the computer should
perform (systems analyst).

     Steve's prowess in electronics is not limited to computers.  He is quite
knowledgeable about electronic music synthesis, working with keyboards and
other musical equipment.  He is an amateur radio operator, and hosted jazz and
rock shows for W//HUS, the campus radio station of the University of
Connecticut.  While there, he majored in sociology, which led to a three-year
career as a drug rehabilitation counselor.

     Frustrated with the rehab business, he enrolled in a nine-month
programming course at CPI, the Computer Processing Institute.  He has been
working with computers since 1975, so if you have any questions, he's the man
to see. Even if he can't answer your questions, he might know who can, or could
find out.

     Steve has two children--Sarah, who will be twenty in October, and Raleigh,
who turned fifteen in May.  He lives with Raleigh in West Hartford.
     We were saddened to learn of the recent death of John Mattioli's guide dog,
Harris.  He died on July 17th at the age of seven after a short illness.  John
and Harris worked well together, and those of us who knew Harris will miss him.

[ CCB BULLETIN BOARD] Compiled by April Hutchins and Marcia Nigro

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     Up-to-the-minute information on a wide variety of topics is now as close
as your touch-tone phone, at no cost, 24 hours a day!

     Infotalk is an audio text service sponsored by the _Reminder and
_Broadcaster community newspapers.  Through this service, callers can access
information on topics from news, weather, and financial information, to
horoscopes and soap opera updates. For an audio list of available topics, call
Infotalk at (860) 870-4252, and dial the 4-digit access code 9000.  A complete
listing of topics appears in the indexes of both the _Reminder and

     Register Connect, a similar service operated by the New Haven _Register,
has 40 categories of available information, with over 2000 listings.  Topics
include: national and international news, sports, nutrition and medical
information, parenting, and restaurant reviews.  The weather forecast is
updated every half hour, and stock market information is updated hourly.  In
the New Haven area, call 401-4000.  In outlying areas, call toll-free (800)
638-3338.  A complete list of access codes can be found in the New Haven
 * * *

The Macular Degeneration Support Group of Southeast Connecticut meets
every other month in Waterford with varied programs including: speakers of
interest to the group; "talk and share" sessions; and potluck suppers.  For
more information, contact Duncan Smith, 42 Goshen Road, Waterford, CT 06385.
 * * *

     CRIS has formed a Program Advisory Committee.  At least one listener from
each satellite area (Hartford, New Haven, Norwich, Danbury, and
Trumbull/Bridgeport) is needed.  If you'd like to have a voice in CRIS
programming, call Steve Kellar in Wethersfield at (860) 956-3579, or toll-free
at 1-800-708-0004.
 * * *

     The new catalog from Ann Morris Enterprises is now available.  To receive
your large print, cassette, or disk copy, call   1-800-454-3175.
 * * *

     Braille and large print greeting cards can now be purchased at Community
Place, 730 Main Street, in Manchester.  Messages include: "Thinking of you,"
"Happy Birthday," and "Get well soon!"

     For more information, stop by, or call Community place at (860) 645-3177.
 * * *

The Mary Cheney Library, at 586 Main Street in Manchester, now carries nearly
fifty DVS home videos for loan to anyone currently holding a Connecticut Public
Library card.  Titles include: "Mary Poppins," "Ghost," "Raiders of the Lost
Ark," and "Ann of Green Gables."

  Over 700 public libraries across the country now carry DVS home
videos, and the list, which includes Hamden and Wallingford, is growing.  DVS
is willing to assist local libraries interested in procuring titles.  Call your
local librarian to find out if DVS titles are available in your area.
 * * *

     __Little Stevie Wonder in Places Under the _Sun, by Sonja Wiley, is a new
children's book produced on laminated plastic in both braille and print.  The
book also contains a touch pad with braille numbers which lets the reader
augment the text with appropriate sound effects, such as a harmonica, an
airplane, singing, and a bicycle.  Ask about it at your local bookstore.


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 President: Marcia Nigro
    20 Towne House Road
    Hamden 06514.
    (203) 407-0737 (1-800-231-3349.)
  First Vice President: Steve Dresser
    142 Webster Hill Boulevard
    West Hartford 06107.
    (860) 521-8903.
  Second Vice President: Dan Mills
    48 Campfield Road
    Manchester 06040.
    (860) 643-8442.
  Third Vice President: John Mattioli
    146 Trap Falls Road
    Shelton 06484.
    (203) 929-4244.
  Recording Secretary: Alice Jackson
    191 Centerbrook Road
    Hamden 06518.
    (203) 281-0676.
  Corresponding Secretary: Julie McLean
    8 Tabshey Court
    Wethersfield 06109.
    (860) 563-3783.
  Treasurer and Immediate Past President:
    Dave Bates
    44 Garden Street
    Wethersfield 06109.
    (860) 257-0602.
  Board Member at Large: Paul Morline
    20 Tabshey Court
    Wethersfield 06109.
    (860) 257-3157.
  Board Member at Large: April Hutchins
     140 Maple Street
     Manchester, CT 06040.
     (860) 646-7631.

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