Braille and Talking Book Library Book Club

The next Michigan Commission for the Blind Braille and Talking Book Library Book Club meeting will be held on July 14 at 1:30 p.m. in Lansing at the Library of Michigan in the BTBL public service area located on the first floor across from the elevators. This month's book is DB60225, How Green Was My Valley, by Richard Llewellyn. The meeting can be attended in person or via the OPAL online meeting room. The meeting site is accessible. Individuals attending the meeting are requested to refrain from using heavily scented personal care products in order to enhance accessibility for everyone. People with disabilities requiring additional accommodations (such as materials in alternative format) in order to participate in the meeting, or those seeking more information, should call Scott Norris at (517) 373-5516 at least five business days prior to the meeting.

Caregiver Burden: The Sandwich Generation

Are you caring for an aging parent? You aren't alone. This monthly series, "Caregiver Conversations" co-sponsored by Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County and Arbor Hospice will address the issues many caregivers face, especially those who are working full time and/or raising their own families. The Sandwich Generation series will explore many of the issues adults deal with in their role as caregiver including finding a balance between caregiving & pleasure, disagreements between siblings & talking to a parent about giving up the car keys or moving. The next meeting, Thursday June 21st, is from 6:30-8:00 PM at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Ann Arbor and is open to the public.

Reader's Digest Now Available on NFB-NEWSLINE

Recently, the Reader’s Digest has been added to the list of participating publications with National Federation of the Blind NEWSLINE. NFB-NEWSLINE provides independent access to hundreds of local and national newspaper and magazine publications to anyone who cannot read printed newspapers due to loss of vision or physical disability. Call toll free: 1-866-504-7300 for more information or complete the online application.

Braille and Talking Book Library Book Club

The next Michigan Commission for the Blind Braille and Talking Book Library Book Club meeting will be held on June 9 at 1:30 p.m. in Lansing at the Library of Michigan in the BTBL public service area located on the first floor across from the elevators. This month's book is DB71540, Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, by Jamie Ford. The meeting can be attended in person or via the OPAL online meeting room. The meeting site is accessible. Individuals attending the meeting are requested to refrain from using heavily scented personal care products in order to enhance accessibility for everyone. People with disabilities requiring additional accommodations (such as materials in alternative format) in order to participate in the meeting, or those seeking more information, should call Scott Norris at (517) 373-5516 at least five business days prior to the meeting.

Doc Watson, the heart and soul of bluegrass guitar music, has died

Doc Watson, whose lightning-speed flatpicking style of guitar playing befuddled those who have tried to emulate it and who brought new life to folk music, died yesterday In Winston-Salem, NC, following complications from colon surgery.

Blinded when he was one, Doc Watson's first instrument was the harmonica. A few years later, at age 10, his father gave him a banjo and a neighbor gave him guitar lessons.

He eventually graduated to the electric guitar, playing with a rockabilly bind with an unreliable fiddle player. To fill the fiddle gap, Doc Watson figured out how to translate that sound to his guitar.

In the 1960s, Ralph Rinzler, a prominent folkie, encouraged Watson to go back to the acoustic guitar. Watson immediately became a hot commodity on the folk music circuit.

Toward the end of the 60s, Merle Watson, Doc's teenage son, joined his dad for a wonderfully successful run, fueled by their performance on Will the Circle Be Unbroken?, the million-plus album by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.

Doc Watson's career was nearly derailed by his grief over the death of Merle in 1985, the result of a tractor accident.

Watson, who earned eight Emmys despite his deeply ingrained modesty, was 89 years old. His was the second death to rock the North Carolina and the national music world. Beloved Earl Scruggs died in March.

Cancer Survivors' Day Celebration

The University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center is pleased to announce its 18th Annual Cancer Survivors' Day Celebration. The event takes place this Sunday, June 3rd from 1:00-3:30 at the Morris Lawrence Building on the campus of Washtenaw Community College. Presenting will be Lori Hope, motivational speaker & cancer survivor. There will also be exhibits & information, light refreshments & door prizes! To register, complete this form or call 734-998-7071.

Bookshare Celebrates its 10th Anniversary!

Access to books for education, employment & social inclusion has dramatically increased for people with print disabilities. An early ebook innovator, Bookshare developed a new approach to digital rights management (DRM) which include both electronic fingerprints in the books as well as legal agreements & social pressure. Bookshare's parent company, Benetech is a leading provider of accessible open content and open source tools to improve accessibility. Bookshare started with volunteers digitizing and legally sharing materials over the Internet with others who had qualified print disabilities. To date, over 180 publishers have now contributed over half of the 140,000 titles in the collection. For more information about Bookshare or to see if you or a family member qualify, click here.

Braille and Talking Book Library Book Club

The next Michigan Commission for the Blind Braille and Talking Book Library Book Club meeting will be held on May 12 at 1:30 p.m. in Lansing at the Library of Michigan in the BTBL public service area located on the first floor across from the elevators. This month's book is DB73178, Rawhide Down: The Near Assassination of Ronald Reagan by Del Quentin Wilber. The meeting can be attended in person or via the OPAL online meeting room. The meeting site is accessible. Individuals attending the meeting are requested to refrain from using heavily scented personal care products in order to enhance accessibility for everyone. People with disabilities requiring additional accommodations (such as materials in alternative format) in order to participate in the meeting, or those seeking more information, should call Scott Norris at (517) 373-5516 at least five business days prior to the meeting.

National Library Service in Novel Form

The novel Liberty Lanes by Robin Troy is a mostly lighthearted story of a group of elder residents in a small Montana town whose lives intersect through their three-times-a-week bowling league and their meeting a young reporter from a local newspaper. It’s a good read for the active social lives of the characters and how their friendships help them navigate one man's experience with the initial stages of dementia, relations with grown children, and budding romances. It also includes a first reference that I’ve come across to a character who is blind named Alastair who receives talking books from the National Library Service at the Library of Congress, which is what the Washtenaw Library for the Blind & Physically Disabled is all about. After all is said and done, not a line is bowled, but lines on friendship are on full display.

Running Blind

Thursday April 19 2012, 7:00 - 8:30 pm, Downtown Library -- Multipurpose room

Learn about the value of sports for visually impaired athletes with Hal Wolfe, a Michigan Blind Athletic Association board member. Hal will discuss competitive sports for the blind such as Beep Baseball, Track and Field, and Goalball. He will also discuss how he developed specialized software to help manage track & field meets involving visually impaired athletes. Hal is a runner, race volunteer and race professional and the founder of Running Blind, a non-profit organization that will help visually impaired runners to find necessary support from guide runners.

Amy Shepherd will offer a local perspective by discussing the impact of sports on her visually impaired son Austin. She is the President of the Michigan Parents of Children with Visual Impairments (MPVI). Her volunteer efforts include the Michigan Department of Education-Low Incidence Outreach Independent Living Skills committee, the Ann Arbor Public Schools Parent Advisory Committee to Special Education, and the Ann Arbor Disability Awareness Workshops.

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