Braille Through Life was the theme for a braille emphasis day held in the rotunda of Pennsylvania's State Capitol on May 26, 2005. Anthony (Tony) Swartz, Lehigh Valley chapter president, presented the keynote address and Shelly Rhodes, graduate of Kutztown University and a PCB member, spoke on how she used braille as a blind person and student. There were also exhibits and a proclamation by Pennsylvania's Governor Rendell that was read at the conference. Braille Day at the Capitol was arranged by Pennsylvania's state agency for the blind in cooperation with PCB, its braille committee and the state's Braille Revival League.
PCB's state convention will take place Oct. 21-23 at the Green Tree Radisson Hotel near Pittsburgh. Hotel rates are $79 plus tax per night. The theme of the convention is "Get to the Point." In addition to reports and affiliate business, there will be panel discussions on radio reading services, an update on accessible voting in Pennsylvania, the future of recorded books, the Freedom Box in use, long-term care insurance, and planning on the Delaware Council of Citizens with Low Vision and PCB working together. For more information contact the PCB office at 1-800-736-1410 or e-mail [email protected]
Berkeley Springs, W.Va. is the site for the Mountain State Council of the Blind convention, which will be held the weekend of Oct. 14-16, 2005.
Berkeley Springs offers an interesting look at colonial history, featuring George Washington's bathtub (which is a natural rock formation very much like our present-day bathtubs). It fills naturally with mineral water which is actually quite warm even in the winter. No, you cannot take a bath there now unless you want to risk public display. However, not far from this is the natural mineral springs bathhouse which offers a variety of services, including a professional massage, infrared heat treatment, steam, a bath in your own large ceramic tub of mineral water and a shower. We will be doing this on Saturday afternoon. Within very easy walking distance are a variety of smaller restaurants, craft shops, herbal shop, a homeopathic shop, a historical Catholic church which still holds services, and the park. There is also an art gallery and a museum. We are working with a local performance group on an audio-described performance, too.
The Inn and Spa, where the convention will be held, is a historical inn with a full-service restaurant and outdoor swimming pool. A block of rooms will be reserved. Room rates are $99 per night (plus tax) for single and double. Each room has two queen beds. Please call (304) 258-2110 for your reservation and let them know you are with MSCB.
There will be opportunities for presentations, fun, socialization, relaxation, history, food, entertainment and did I say fun? MSCB believes in keeping the business short and precise and the fun and food lavish. And so far, not much we have done has been real conventional. I don't expect this one to be any different.
We are well aware that transportation is an issue here and we are working with Lions Club members on this. If you fly, you can fly from Pittsburgh to Hagerstown, Md. and be taken to Berkeley Springs by arranged transportation. You can also fly into Washington, D.C. and catch the train into Martinsburg from there and then we will get you to Berkeley Springs. Greyhound also goes into Hagerstown, Md.
So if you have always wanted to come to West Virginia, this just could be your time to do it. And remember, we are an easy 90 minutes from Washington, D.C. so it would be easy enough to work in a tour there as well.
For more information, contact Jessie L. Rayl at (304) 263-5688, or by e-mail, [email protected]
The 34th annual convention of the American Council of the Blind of Indiana will be held on Nov. 4 and 5, 2005 at the L.A. Pittenger Student Center at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. Room rates are as follows: twin room, one person, $48, and two people, $55; king room, one person, $54, two people, $61. There is an 11 percent tax on all rooms. Room reservations must be made by Oct. 4, 2005. Call (765) 285-1555.
Dr. Richard Windsor, a well-known optometrist, and Richard Harris, coordinator of services for students with disabilities at Ball State University, will be speaking to us. There will be exhibits as well. Mark your calendar now and plan to join us for an enlightening and delightful weekend. If you have any questions, contact Gerry Koors at (317) 251-2562 or e-mail [email protected]
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