Disability Voter Registration Week is July 16-20

July 16 – 20 has been designated as Disability Voter Registration Week.

You have to be at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen in order to vote.
An application is required to register, but you only have to register once.
You can get a voting application at a public library, tax assessor’s office, high school, post office, or workforce commission office. You can also find the application online at https://webservices.sos.state.tx.us/vrapp/index.asp

Three ways to vote if you are elderly or have a disability:
1) Mail in ballot
2) Curbside voting (call ahead for this option)
3) in person voting at a polling location

Persons with disabilities may request an accessible voting machine, an interpreter, or they may bring an assistant to help them vote.

Everyone must bring a form of ID if they vote in person. This may be a voter registration card, Texas ID card, driver’s license, gun license, military ID, passport, paycheck, birth certificate, or bank statement.

For more information on voting for people with disabilities, please visit www.RevUpTexas.org or call the Voting Rights Hotline at 888-796-VOTE (8683)
The last day to register to vote in the November 2018 election is October 9th. Early voting begins on October 22nd. The election is on November 6th.

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) Disability-Related Resources

All of the programs within the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department can be adapted for seniors and persons with disabilities. Activities include but are not limited to fishing, archery, boating, kayaking, hiking, and biking.

In addition, organizations can apply for an Accessible Resources in the Community Outdoor Outreach Program grant to fund a variety of needs such as equipment, supplies, transportation, and staff. For more information about the grant, visit https://tpwd.texas.gov/business/grants/recreation-grants/community-outdoor-outreach-program-co-op-grants

The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department web site features the following links for wheelchair users:
Wheelchair-accessibility at parks: http://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/parks/things-to-do/wheelchair-accessibility-in-state-parks
Wheelchair-friendly events: http://tpwd.texas.gov/calendar/wheelchair-friendly
Please note that inclement weather can affect the accessibility of a park or outdoor space.

Sandra Heath is the Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator at TPWD. She can be reached at 512-389-4818.
For more information about what the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department has to offer, visit https://tpwd.texas.gov/

Talking Book Program to be Closed from 5 pm Friday, June 22 through 8 am Monday, July 2nd:: El Programa de Libros que Hablan estará cerrado de las 5:00 pm el Viernes 22 de Junio hasta las 8 am el Lunes 2 de Julio.

Starting at 5 pm on Friday, June 22nd, we will be closed to the public while we upgrade our computer system. We will reopen on Monday, July 2nd at 8 am.  While we are closed, you may leave simple requests such as book orders or contact information changes on our voicemail, and they will be processed during our closure. We regret that we will not be able to call you back; if you need to speak to a staff member, please call back when normal hours resume on July 2nd.

Please do not visit the library between June 22nd and July 1st, as we cannot accommodate walk-in patrons during the closure.

You may also contact us via e-mail at tbp.services@tsl.texas.gov.  While we are closed, email requests will be processed, but no replies will be sent.

Thank you for your patience while we make this important transition.

Comenzando a las 5:00 pm el Viernes 22 de Junio, estaremos cerrados al público mientras actualizamos nuestro sistema informático. Abriremos de nuevo el Lunes 22 de Julio a las 8:00 am. Durante nuestra clausura, usted puede dejar mensajes sencillos en nuestro correo de voz, como ordenes de libros o cambios en su información de contacto (teléfono, dirección, etc.) Esas solicitudes serán procesadas durante la clausura. Sentimos no poder regresar las llamadas durante ese tiempo; si necesita hablar con un miembro del personal, por favor llámenos cuando reanudemos nuestras horas hábiles el 2 de Julio.

No podremos admitir visitas en persona del 22 de Junio al 1ero de Julio, ya que no estaremos capacitados para ayudar usuarios durante nuestra clausura. Usted puede mandarnos mensajes por correo electrónico a tbp.services@tsl.texas.gov.  Durante nuestra clausura sí procesaremos solicitudes recibidas por correo electrónico, pero no mandaremos respuestas.

Gracias por su paciencia durante esta importante transición.

July 2018 TBP Book Club Title Announced!

Texas Talking Book patrons: please join us on Tuesday July 24th at 7 pm (Central Time) for our book club discussion of MY GRANDMOTHER ASKED ME TO TELL YOU SHE’S SORRY by Fredrik Backman (DB 83204)

Our book club meetings are hosted via toll free conference call, so all you need is a telephone to participate. To RSVP call the Talking Book Program at: 1-800-252-9605 (RSVP preferred by June 26st) or email us at: tbp.ral@tsl.texas.gov. Please indicate if you would like us to mail you the digital cartridge or if you prefer to download it from BARD.

We request that everyone remember the following:

  • Keep external distractions to a minimum.
  • Be courteous. Try not to interrupt or talk over others; give everyone a chance to talk; be respectful of differing opinions.
  • Keep discussion points concise and relevant to the book.
  • If comfortable doing so, please preface your comments with your first name.

NLS Annotation:
Seven-year-old Elsa is acknowledged as weird. The grandmother she lives with is flat-out crazy, but she shares tales of the fairyland of Miamas. When her grandmother dies, Elsa is entrusted with delivering letters of apology and learns about her place in the world. Translated from the original 2013 Swedish edition. 2014

College Scholarships for Texas Students who are Blind

Two advocacy agencies in Texas offer scholarships for students who are blind:

The National Federation of the Blind of Texas (NFBTX):
Deadline: August 15, 2018
Link: https://www.nfbtx.org/scholarships.php
For more information and questions, call the NFBTX office at 281-968-7733 or send an email to Lara Sowell, NFBTX Scholarship Committee Chair, at scholarships@nfbtx.org

American Council of the Blind of Texas (ACBT):
Deadline: July 7, 2018
Link: http://www.acbtexas.org/financial/financial.htm#ACBT%20Scholarship%20Program
For more information and questions, contact Dianna E. Carter, ACBT Scholarship Committee Chair, at ddcarter2000@gmail.com
Applications may also be obtained at Texas Workforce Solutions offices and Education Service Centers.

Free Diabetes Seminar at the Lighthouse of Houston

The Lighthouse of Houston will host the first in a series of seminars about diabetes on Friday, June 15, 2018, from 8:30 – 11:30 a.m. Presenters will include an ophthalmologist, a podiatrist, a registered dietician, a low vision doctor, and a behavioral health specialist.

Seating for this event is limited.
Please call Alma Segura at 713-284-8422 to register.

A light breakfast will be served, and there will be gift bags and opportunities for door prizes.

Staff Pick – Laura Jean– BLACK RIVER by S. M. Hulse: BR 20669, DB 80695

Do you enjoy psychological fiction with flawed but sympathetic characters set amidst the backdrop of the modern West? You might enjoy BLACK RIVER, by S. M. Hulse. Leisurely paced with a strong sense of place, Black River won the 2015 Reading the West Book Award and was nominated for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize in 2015.

NLS Annotation: Wes Carver has not returned to Black River since he was held hostage in a prison riot while serving as a corrections officer. Now his former captor, Bobby Williams, is up for release, and Wes must consider what he believes and whether he can let Williams walk away. Some violence and some strong language. 2014.

If you have already read this book, or simply enjoy modern westerns told in a lyrical style that delve into the thoughts of the characters, you might also enjoy The Plainsong series by Kent Haruf.

Opportunity for Texas Artists with Disabilities

Every year the Texas Governor’s Committee for People with Disabilities produces a poster for National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). Texans with disabilities are encouraged to submit artwork for consideration.

Do not send original artwork. Entries must be received electronically or through the mail by July 16, 2018.

The winning artwork will be displayed in the Governor’s Committee office permanently, and the posters will be distributed across the state. The artist will also be recognized at the Lex Frieden Employment Awards reception in October.

For more information, visit the NDEAM page at https://gov.texas.gov/organization/disabilities/ndeam_poster

ABLE Accounts Now Available

Individuals with developmental disabilities in Texas can now set up ABLE financial accounts. These accounts allow people with disabilities to save money for disability-related financial expenses without fear of losing state or federal benefits such as Medicaid and SSDI. In order to be eligible for an ABLE account you have to have a developmental disability that was diagnosed before the age of 26.

For more information about ABLE accounts:
• read the FAQ: https://www.texasable.org/faqs/
• visit the website: TexasABLE.org
• call for information at 844-489-2253; or
• send an email to: customerservice@TexasABLE.org

Campaign for Disability Employment Social Media Effort

The Campaign for Disability Employment (CDE) has started a social media effort to show people with disabilities at work. Post a picture of yourself at work on social media (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram) with the hashtag #ICanCDE.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, the CDE is a collaborative effort among several disability and business organizations that is working to change attitudes about disability and employment.

Show the world what you can do!

For more information, visit https://www.whatcanyoudocampaign.org/news/.