Back to the Future!
2023 Spring Edition
As we reminisce about the 80’s, we think about big hair, boom boxes, Madonna, Michael Jackson, and much more. Among the best products of that era was the formation of the Affiliated Blind of Louisiana Inc. organization. ABL has cleared and paved numerous roads over the past 40 years. Well, what about the future? As our friend Doc Brown from the Back to the Future movie says, “Roads, where we are going, we don’t need roads!”. We need each other to work side by side to create the future of programs, services, and support for people who are blind, DeafBlind, and have low vision in Louisiana. Now is the time for us to come together! Our primary strategy is collaboration throughout our organization, state agencies, state and federal elected leadership, the medical community, the aging network, and more. The exciting opportunities that we will pursue together start today!
Meet the ABL State Board of Directors
A new Affiliated Blind of Louisiana State Board was elected in Baton Rouge during the 2022 Treasuring Our Success State Convention. Your Board of Directors are planning an array of fun and educational activities for the organization. Members of the 2023 Board of Directors are:
President – Gertie Bias, Acadiana Chapter
1st Vice President – John James, Shreveport Chapter
2nd Vice President – Emma Palmer, Shreveport Chapter
Secretary – Peggy Goodman, Bayou Region/Acadiana Chapter
Treasurer – Tyrhonda White, Baton Rouge Chapter
Board Member – Ernie Garcia, Bayou Region Chapter
Board Member – Kim Savoie, Acadiana Chapter
Board Member – Debra Wells, Baton Rouge Chapter
Board Member – Ferral Domingue, Baton Rouge Chapter
We appreciate each of you for helping the ABL State Office in its mission to educate our communities about blindness, to support the ABL Training Center and to serve as mentors to others who are blind, visually impaired, and DeafBlind.
ABL Chapter Appreciation
Looking back at 2022, we want to thank all of our membership for your support and success! Our chapters worked to increase membership, engaged in an informative Leadership Conference, participated in our first VI Family Fun Day, sponsored blind teens for Camp ABLE, devoted time and funds to our annual peer to peer fundraiser, and we all celebrated together at the 2022 “Treasuring Our Success” convention.
In 2023, we know that our membership will commemorate our 40th anniversary. We are privileged to have everyone in it together. We know that for every second and minute that we work for the organization, our appreciation never ends, For we are all blessings, our ABL family and friends.
The ABL State Board of Directors and the State office team look forward to a new year with all of you.
Crispy Honey-Lemon Chicken Thighs
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
salt and pepper (to taste)
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
5 cloves garlic (peeled)
1 tablespoon butter
juice from ½ of a lemon
1 ½ tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, stems removed and chopped.Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 425°F. Pat chicken dry, and season both sides with salt and pepper. Drizzle olive oil over skin sides.
Set a cast-iron skillet or oven-safe pan over medium heat. Cook the chicken, skin-side down, until browned and crispy (about 15 minutes). 5 minutes through readjust so the fat touches the skillet and coats it with liquid.
Remove skillet from heat, scatter garlic beside chicken and place the skillet in the oven until the chicken is cooked through (about 15 minutes).
When chicken is cooked through, set it on a separate plate, leave the garlic and juices in the skillet. Add butter, lemon juice, and honey to the skillet, and stir, over low heat. When combined, replace the chicken, and spoon the sauce over the thighs. Garnish with parsley.
Coffee Rubbed Steak with Chili Lime Butter
1 tablespoon packed finely ground coffee (not instant coffee)
1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon hot chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 ribeye steaks (1 inch thick), taken out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before cooking
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 green chili
1 clove garlic
6 tablespoons salted butter (slightly softened)
A pinch of salt (to taste)
Start by making the butter. Chop the chili very finely, peel and crush the garlic and zest the lime (you only need the zest).
Mix the chili, garlic, and lime zest into the softened butter along with a pinch of salt. Spoon the mixture into a small dish that has been lined with plastic wrap. Place the butter in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.
Now prepare the steak. Preheat a griddle until very hot. Mix the coffee, brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, salt, garlic powder and black pepper in a small bowl. Rub coffee mixture onto both sides of steaks, pressing the mix in with your hands.
Brush the griddle with oil and add the steaks. Cook for two minutes on one side, then turn over and cook for 1-2 minutes on the other side (one minute for medium-rare, two minutes for medium). Cook for longer if your steak is thicker.
Take the steaks off the griddle and let rest for five minutes. Take the chili lime butter out of the fridge and remove from the dish. Unwrap the plastic wrap, then chop the butter into chunks. Place the steaks on two plates, top with a couple of chunks of the chili lime butter and serve with fries and salad.
Stuffed Avocado Salad
16 cooked and peeled shrimp
small bunch cilantro (finely chopped)
2 scallions (chopped)
¼ red onion, peeled and finely chopped
¼ red bell pepper, de-seeded and finely chopped
2 ripe avocados
10 cherry tomatoes (halved)
1 packed cup pea shoots (or other salad leaves)
For the dressing:
6 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon hot chili sauce (we used sriracha)
1 Tablespoon tomato ketchup
1 teaspoon lime juice
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Slice the avocados in half and remove the stone. Zest the lime, and squeeze one teaspoon of juice out for the dressing.
Make the dressing first by mixing all of the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.
Place the shrimp in a bowl and add half of the dressing. Add the cilantro, all but one teaspoon of the scallions, the chopped red onion and all but one teaspoon of the chopped bell pepper. Mix together until the shrimp is coated in the mixture.
Divide the shrimp mixture between the four avocado halves. Top each one with two cherry tomato halves, then sprinkle with the remaining scallions, chopped bell pepper and the lime zest.
Place the pea shoots on a serving dish. Add the stuffed avocado, and scatter on the rest of the cherry tomatoes. Serve with the remaining dressing.
Louisiana Hang Out
Roberta Nevels and Lynn August, both blind Louisiana residents, invite you to The Louisiana hang out, a scheduled Zoom meeting every Thursday night from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm central time.
Louisiana Hang Out is a group of people from Louisiana who like to make new friends or talk to old friends. These chat meetings are informal opportunities to get together in an open chat setting and have good conversation.
1. You must be blind or have some kind of vision loss.
2 You must live in Louisiana or have lived in Louisiana in the past.
3. Please do not use inappropriate or offensive language while participating in the Zoom meeting.
We are not representing any organization for the blind, everyone is welcome!
For more information send an email to: email@example.com
Please make sure you put in the subject line Louisiana Hangout
Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87906860345?pwd=T3dqNHpPNlVReHZWN29HNzhtVnFjUT09
Meeting ID: 879 0686 0345
Alexa Where is My Pizza?
If you're ordering on the Domino's website, you can click the "Track with Alexa" button on the order confirmation page to receive order updates on your Echo device. Click the link for more information: https://www.dominos.com/en/about-pizza/amazon-echo/
Keeping Up with Alexa!
Do you want to receive a Keeping Up with Alexa e-mail newsletter each week? This newsletter is filled with lots of Alexa hints, tasks, and great games to keep you busy with your Echo device. Just use this link to subscribe: https://developer.amazon.com/en-US/alexa/alexa-skills-kit/alexa-developer-newsletter-subscription
CVS Pharmacy is expanding an in-app feature for visually impaired patients, which reads prescription information out loud, to all its nearly 10,000 U.S. locations.
The solution, called Spoken Rx, was designed in collaboration with the American Council of the Blind. Patients enrolled in the program can scan the labels on their prescription containers and have their information, including the medication’s name and directions for use, read out loud to them in either English or Spanish.
CVS first rolled out the feature in July 2020 for 1,700 stores, with a promise to make it available across all its pharmacy locations by the end of 2021.
It’s the first in-app prescription reader application developed by a national retail pharmacy. “We continue to remove barriers to healthcare for all patients, and this in-app technology furthers our commitment by providing patients added flexibility and independence,” said Jared Tancrelle, Senior Vice President of Store Operations at CVS Health “Our patients are increasingly digitally connected, so digital tools like Spoken Rx are a priority for us as we listen to feedback and adapt our suite of pharmacy services and programs to ensure we’re best meeting the needs of all customers.”
The feature is free to all patients who enroll. CVS can provide a standalone speaker device to read prescription labels if the patient doesn’t have a smartphone.
CVS also offers ScripTalk on its website, which allows patients who get their medications delivered to their homes to have their prescriptions read aloud through the separate ScripTalk app. The pharmacy giant first made the service available in 2014.
The company has options for braille and large-print prescription labels through their online pharmacy too.
“This is a positive step that offers same-day access for prescriptions filled in CVS stores. Spoken Rx allows for a greater level of privacy, safety, and independence for blind and visually impaired customers,” said Eric Bridges, executive director of the American Council of the Blind.
For more information about accessible prescription labels, ask your CVS pharmacist or call CVS customer care at 1 888-607-4287.
Christian Record – Bible Correspondence Courses
Christian Record has put together Bible Correspondence Courses for individuals in the United States who are blind or DeafBlind to enroll in and learn more about Jesus. Lesson books are sent through the mail and contain quizzes to be completed and returned for grading. There are currently four courses to choose from. For information about the courses or to request a bible study course contact the Members Services team at (420)488-0981, option 3 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
FREE 2023 Braille Calendars
Would you like to receive a free 2023 Braille calendar? The American Action Fund is now taking orders. You can request up to three calendars per person. Please call (410) 659-9315 or e-mail your request to email@example.com.
Camp ABLE Needs You!
Thanks to the incredible support from our ABL Chapters and other wonderful donors, our first annual Camp ABLE was a great success!
Camp ABLE is a one-week summer camp for blind high school teens between the ages of 15 to 21 and free to campers and their families. Camp ABLE 2023 will be held from Sunday, June 18 to Saturday, June 24 at the ABL Training Center. Camp activities will include classes in cooking and independent living skills, employment exploration, orientation and mobility field trips, arts and crafts, and more! We are proud to announce that some Camp ABLE campers will be joining ABL for National Camps for the Blind camp in Wewoka, Oklahoma.
ABL and their partners, Blind Grace and the Stuller Family Foundation, were able to find funding for 12 campers tuition this year. However, extra supplies and monetary gifts are needed to keep all Camp ABLE activities free of charge to the campers and their families. If you and/or your local ABL Chapter would like to help campers receive the full benefits of this camp experience, checks can be made payable to ABL, Inc with Camp ABLE in the memo or Venmo your donation to ABL-Sales.
Here are the categories where we need help:
$250 - Accessible Games - Braille cards, UNO, Bop It, trivia, and bingo.
$250 - Arts and Crafts - supplies for tie dye projects, beading, puff paint, and clay.
$100 - Health and Safety - sunscreen, first aid supplies, long white canes and tips.
$100 - Snacks - granola bars, fruit snacks, crackers, chips, juice, and water.
APH InSights Art
An Annual Art Competition for Artist Who are Blind.
Since 1992, the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) has hosted an art contest for artists who happen to be blind. Both amateur and professional artists from around the world enter their artwork in a juried art competition. Original works of 2-dimensional art, sculpture, or craft are considered each year.
Winners receive prizes, experience their artwork displayed in the annual exhibit, and have a chance to travel to Louisville, Kentucky, the hometown of APH, to receive their award at our annual InSights Art awards celebration.
Who can enter their artwork? Any person who meets the following definition of blindness may enter artwork: corrected visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye (determined by a Snellen Chart), or a visual field limited to 20 degrees or less. This includes those who function at the definition of blindness (FDB), listed above, due to brain injury or dysfunction.
When is the deadline for all entries? Entries must reach us by March 31, 2023.
What are the criteria for artwork and how will judging work? Artwork will be selected on the basis of originality of concept, expressive use of media, and artistic excellence. The artwork must be created by the artist, with minimal assistance from anyone else. The work of students in preschool through 12th grade will be judged in grade placement categories; the work of adult artists will be judged in categories according to medium. The judge(s) will be a professional in the art gallery/art museum field, an art educator, and/or a practicing artist.
All entrants to APH InSights Art contest will receive a certificate. Award winners will also receive a monetary award and a ribbon. They will be invited to come to Louisville to receive their awards at the fall meeting of APH Ex Officio Trustees.
For more information and to receive an entry form, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 502-895-2045, ext. 457 or Toll-Free: 800-223-1839, ext. 457.
Give a Donation Win a Vacation!
Casie Mire with A Pair of Ears Travel and Blanche Faulk with Blind Grace have paired up together to throw this awesome fundraiser! With a $10.00 donation you can enter to win a $4000 Vacation to Disney destination or cruise, Universal Studios Orlando or Hollywood, Royal Caribbean Cruise, Sandals and much more.
Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by contacting Casie Mire by emailing email@example.com or calling (225)335-2666.
The drawing will be held April 7, 2023, at 3:00 pm via Facebook Live:
Only 1000 tickets will be sold!
Proceeds will help visually impaired and blind students attend Camp ABLE, a transition camp to learn skills for independence.
Are Your Mobile Phone Services Accessible to You?
Companies like AT&T, Team Mobile and Verizon specialize in providing special resources and accessible cell phone service for people with visual impairments.
AT&T National Center’s customer service representatives can offer specialized product and service support for individuals with disabilities, including those who are blind or visually impaired.
Representatives can be reached by phone (866-241-6568) Monday through Friday, 7 am to 9 pm Eastern, or by e-mail.
Representatives can offer help with:
- Products and services
- Suggesting devices that work best with accessibility
- Accessible product documentation
- Troubleshooting information, including help with accessibility software
- Questions about your account, transactions, or service.
ABL Chapter News
The ABL New Orleans Chapter is fundraising with a Mother’s Day raffle. The winner of the raffle will receive dinner for 2 on the Natchez Cruise Steamboat and $150.00 cash. Each ticket is a $5.00 donation. If you would like to purchase tickets you can contact the New Orleans Chapter President, Reedell Parker by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call the ABL State Office at (337)234-6492. The drawing will be held Saturday, May 13, 2023. Winner need not be present. Natchez Cruise Steamboat tickets are valid anytime after the drawing date.
ABL’s Jolly Jokes!
80 Miles An Hour Ticket - Boudreaux and Marie were speeding along on the Interstate 10, high rise bridge over Whisky Bay when Boudreaux saw the red-light flashing in the rearview window Boudreaux pulled over as well as he could to the side of the bridge. The State Trooper walked up to the window with his clipboard in his hand. He axed, "Did you know that you were going 80 miles an hour and the speed limit on this bridge is 60." Boudreaux looked at the carpet of the truck for the cigarette he dropped. He said, "Nope. I was going 60." The Trooper sounded fed up as he looked at his clip board and said, "Nope. I clocked you at 80." The trooper looked over at Marie sitting looking out of the passenger window at the cypress trees in the water. The Trooper said, "Ma’am, I clocked the man at 80. He said he was going 60. Now you tell me. Was he going 60 or 80?" Marie said, "I never argue with Boudreaux when he's been drinking."
Hide and Seek - Mr. and Mrs. Brown had two sons. One was named Mind Your Own Business & the other was named Trouble. One day the two boys decided to play hide and seek. Trouble hid while Mind Your Own Business counted to one hundred. Mind Your Own Business began looking for his brother behind garbage cans and bushes. Then he started looking in and under cars until a policeman approached him and asked, "What are you doing?" "Playing a game," the boy replied. "What is your name?" the officer questioned. "Mind Your Own Business." Furious the policeman inquired, "Are you looking for trouble?!" The boy replied, "Why, yes."
Computers for the Blind
Computers For the Blind (CFTB) is determined to bridge the digital divide for the community of the blind and visually impaired in the US by providing affordable, accessible refurbished computers and training. There are no age or ability restrictions. CFTB are an ally for the community of the blind and visually impaired. Their solutions are ready, accessible and facilitate the individual to lead an independent and connected life, opening life-long opportunities for employment and digital equity. CFTB provides customer guidance from purchase and beyond. Their seamless support is just a phone call away.
To order computers call their Customer Service team at (214)340-6328. Be sure to ask about financial help that can lower the cost of the system.
All computers come with the following:
- Windows 10 Pro Operating System
- Microsoft Office Home and Student 2019 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote)
- Microsoft Edge and Mozilla Firefox Browsers
- Various helpful programs: Project Gutenberg, Bard Express, Adobe Acrobat, Typio Typing Tutorial (demo Version)
- Various help files: Computer setup instructions, tutorials, training guides, and FAQ articles
- JAWS 2023 Screen Reader or ZoomText 2023 Screen Magnifier/Reader
- Includes a one-year license to desired program, and access to the Home Annual License afterwards. Requires an email address to activate and for access to the Freedom Scientific licensing portal.
- The JAWS Training Bundle, which helps users master using JAWS.
ABL Community Reach Out – Inclusion in Action!
Affiliated Blind of Louisiana would like to introduce a new opportunity for community engagement with the DeafBlind residents of Lafayette. Our goal is to educate the Lafayette community about the importance of including our DeafBlind neighbors in local events. Together we can change apathetic to excited, limited to expansive, and isolation to participation!
Affiliated Blind of Louisiana Community Reach Out will bring together resources for the DeafBlind population in Lafayette by educating community organizations to better understand the needs of this disability group and how to provide accessibility during local events.
Consulting and Collaboration – The ABL Reach Out team will partner with local organizations to facilitate inclusion and community engagement for persons who are DeafBlind. We will guide Lafayette businesses and organizations to incorporate a process for fostering accessibility and inclusion at their local events.
Interpreting and Support Service Providers - ABL Reach Out will provide platform interpreters and support service providers, using tactile interpreting, to allow for community engagement. Providing these services gives the DeafBlind population access to full participation in local events.
Recognition – Businesses and organizations that participate in the ABL Reach Out program and promote the value of including DeafBlind and blind neighbors in local events will be featured on local television, radio, and social media platforms.
For more information email Clair Amy at email@example.com