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/.

Austin’s Capital Metro Needs Blind Testers

Capital Metro is currently testing new smart beacon technology, which will help fixed route passengers who are blind or visually impaired locate bus stops.

If you are interested in being a tester, please click on this link to complete a survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/THH7CHM

Testers will need a smart phone that can download and install the BlindSquare app. The app is available on iOS devices including Apple phones and iPads.

Books About Wildlife and the True Meaning of Spring

Winter is over, and spring is finally here. People are starting to plan trips to parks, hiking spots, public pools, or just making time to sun themselves in their back yards. Spring fun also has a lot to do with experiencing wildlife, but even if we’re outdoor-types there are only so many kinds of animals we get to have contact with, especially if we live in a city. Most of us don’t get to pet a littler of wolf-pups or witness a band of wild horses, but thankfully we can read about them. Experience spring fully by checking out these wonderful books about animals, their life-cycle, and their environment.

WILD THINGS, WILD PLACES: ADVENTUROUS TALES OF WILDLIFE AND CONSERVATION ON PLANET EARTH by JANE ALEXANDER  DB   86016

Actress, conservationist, and author of Command Performance (DB 51526) examines the field of animal conservation. Discusses scientists researching the animals and their environments, her own travels to locations, and efforts to preserve conditions for the flourishing of future generations, both human and animal. Commercial audiobook. 2016.

FASTEST THINGS ON WINGS: RESCUING HUMMINGBIRDS IN HOLLYWOOD by TERESA E. MASEAR        DB   85238

Hummingbird rescue-and-rehabilitation organizer recounts a five-month period in 2008 when she took in 160 birds. Describes the lessons she learned from individual birds, particularly Gabriel and Pepper, male and female Anna’s, who came in a month apart and developed a bond. 2015.

CALL OF THE OSPREY by DOROTHY HINSHAW PATENT       DB   82388

Follows a crew of scientists who are involved in the Montana Osprey Project–which studies the effects of mercury pollution on wildlife and humans. Highlights observations from spying on the raptors with several strategically placed webcams and the continuing research efforts aimed at better understanding of environmental problems. For grades 6-9. 2015

SECRET WORLD OF RED WOLVES: THE FIGHT TO SAVE NORTH AMERICA’S OTHER WOLF by T. DELENE BEELAND       DB   82537

Examination of conservation efforts for the red wolf. Discusses the status of the red wolf population in the early twenty-first century, their natural history, and a prognosis for their future. Profiles research studies and the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Red Wolf Recovery Program in North Carolina. 2013.

WILD HORSE SCIENTISTS by KAY FRYDENBORG         DB   76337

Discusses wild horses that reside on Assateague Island National Seashore, a barrier island between Virginia and Maryland. Details their diet, physical characteristics, life cycles, and behavior, including their interactions with humans. Explains the steps taken to control overpopulation. Contains a glossary and resources. For grades 5-8 and older readers. 2012.

ELEPHANT WHISPERER: MY LIFE WITH THE HERD IN THE AFRICAN WILD by LAWRENCE ANTHONY    DB 85906

Conservationist relates his experiences caring for a rogue herd of elephants on his South African game reserve. Describes his misgivings in accepting them, challenges faced with both the herd and local communities, lessons learned from individual elephants, and the joys and sorrows he encountered. 2009.

VOICES IN THE OCEAN: A JOURNEY INTO THE WILD AND HAUNTING WORLD OF DOLPHINS by SUSAN CASEY   DB 82327

Recounts author’s two-year global adventure exploring the nature of dolphins and their interactions with humans. Examines the careers of others who work with dolphins and communities in which dolphins play interesting roles. Discusses how they are mistreated by the captivity industry. Commercial audiobook. Some violence, some strong language, and some descriptions of sex. 2010.

TIGER: A TRUE STORY OF VENGEANCE AND SURVIVAL by JOHN VAILLANT      DB 74579
Nature writer follows a government tiger-control team as it pursues an endangered Siberian tiger, which had killed a poacher, through Russia’s far east in the winter of 1997. Explores the beauty of the setting, the tiger’s strength, and the political and geographical forces that shaped this remote region. 2010.

ELEPHANT TALK: THE SURPRISING SCIENCE OF ELEPHANT COMMUNICATION by ANN DOWNER   DB 73966
Discusses elephant evolution, society, and body language. Explains field researchers’ use of observation and high-tech recording equipment to shed light on the role communication plays in the herd. Includes facts about the elephant’s status as an endangered species. For grades 5-8 and older readers. 2011.

Seniors Without Walls

Seniors Without Walls is a free telephone and web-based service that offers a wealth of programs for persons aged 60 and older. More than 70 programs are available, in categories such as fun and games, conversation, languages, philosophy and religion, meditation, arts, reading, writing, special interest, supportive groups, health and wellness, etc. A few groups are available in Spanish. Sessions run from thirty minutes to an hour. Seniors Without Walls is a California-based program that now has more than 1000 participants in 35 states. The service is a great resource for seniors wanting phone and online interaction, continuing education, and entertainment.

For more information, please call 877-797-7299 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time) or visit www.seniorswithoutwalls.org

#SidebySideTX–Celebrate Developmental Disabilities Month

There’s only a few days left in the month of March, but still time to participate in the #SidebySideTX social media to celebrate Developmental Disabilities month. Here’s what you do:
1. Use your phone or camera to take a photo or short video of you and another person or a group of people participating in activities in your community, side-by-side.
2. Add the photo or video to your favorite social media site (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.).
3. Include the hashtag #SideBySideTX and post your photo or video.
For more information about the campaign, visit http://www.tcdd.texas.gov/resources/side-by-side-texas/