7-Member Meeting; 6:00 pm at the Buckley's
11-Board Meeting; 6:00 pm
6-Member Meeting; 6:00 pm at the Buckley's
Board Meeting; 6:00 pm
20-27 UT and Knox County spring break
WHAT IS NEW THIS MONTH ON OUR BLOG PAGE?
THE ADA: FACT AND FICTION
People often have inaccurate ideas of what the American with Disabilities Act provides for the disabled and requires from employers. To help sort out the truth,
COOKING WITHOUT LOOKING PART 1
As unlikely as it seems, cooking is an activity enjoyed by a number of blind people. To find out some of the tricks that make cooking without looking possible,
A NEW TRIP IS COMING UP
Six VIBES members who have earned the required number of points by contributing to Club VIBES have been invited to participate in a trip to Louisville, Kentucky, over Memorial Day weekend. Some ways that members have earned points are by
organizing club activities, sending an RSVP to a meeting or event, attending meetings and activities, bringing snacks to share, inviting guest speakers, writing articles for the newsletter, and participating in fund raising projects. In Louisville, the group will visit Churchill Downs for a behind the scenes tour of the stables (which will allow a hands on opportunity for members), visit the American Printing House for the Blind, take a bike ride at the Horse Park in Lexington, and take a carriage ride around Louisville. This trip is planned for May 22-26.
Front entrance of the museum of the APH
SOPHIE REPRESENTS VIBES
On January 23, Johnson University held a disability awareness event to educate students at the school about those with disabilities. Sophie, a student at the school and VIBES member, hosted an information table to provide information about vision impairment and about Club VIBES.
Sophie, wearing Club VIBES "difability" shirt, behind Club VIBES information table including handouts, t-shirts, bicycle helmet and a tandem bicycle beside the table.
SARAH HELPS WITH RURAL HEALTH CLINIC
VIBES member and physician assistant student at Lincoln Memorial University Sarah helped bring attention to the school's new Rural Health Clinic. Sarah contacted Emily Stroud, WBIR reporter and friend of Club VIBES, who did a story on the new clinic which aired on WBIR Live At-Five-At-Four. To watch the report,
is an organization committed to connecting people with disabilities and making technology accessible to everyone". Spark grew out of the former ETTAC. VIBES is helping the new team at Spark learn about technology for the blind so that they can help persons with vision difficulties learn about and learn how to use technology useful to them.
One of the goals of Club VIBES is for members to be responsible citizens who strive to make their community a better place. Club VIBES is looking for a charity project that members could participate in in conjunction with this goal. We would welcome ideas of possible projects for us to participate in. Email any suggestions to Sue.
Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB) is a guide dog training school with locations in California and Oregon. They hold Camp GDB in July for blind and visually impaired youth aged 14-17 to expose participants to life with a guide dog to help them decide if a guide dog is something they will want in the future. Admission follows strict guidelines for prospective campers including independence in self care and strong orientation and mobility skills. For more information,
Yellow lab guide dog guiding man across a bridge
THANK YOU TO OUR VOLUNTEERS
One of the most
important elements to the success of Club VIBES is the participation of volunteers in our many activities. Some of the jobs volunteers do are pilot and transport our tandem bicycles, assist members as guides for our group walks, organize parties and events, serve as mentors and role models for members, and serve on the Club VIBES board of directors. We gathered for dinner in November to thank key volunteers and board members for their contributions and to let them know how important they are.
Thank you to all of our volunteers.
Group picture at thank you dinner showing everyone seated at two long tables
Mark your calendars for the VIBES member meetings the first Friday of each month, at 6:00 pm at the Buckley's unless you are notified otherwise.
The Debbie Van Cleave scholarship is available to blind and visually impaired students in community colleges, colleges, universities, and vocational schools. Application deadline is February 15 and is available through the East Tennessee Foundation.
for online application and more information.
TANDEMS FOR SALE
Club VIBES is selling several of our older tandems. These bikes are in good condition and available for purchase to Club VIBES families and volunteers. Contact Sue for details.
Blue tandem bicycle similar to those for sale by Club VIBES
VIBES member, Marian, loves the outdoors and is very resourceful in seeking out activities for blind and visually impaired participants, many of which are out of the Knoxville area. Here is a story about one of her recent adventures.
CROSS COUNTRY SKIING ANYONE?
Cartoon of a very happy cross country skier hard at work. He is very colorful in bright blue pants, an orange sweater and a dark blue toboggon
Imagine gliding along groomed trails on powdery snow through evergreens and emerging to a stunning view of snowy mountains and bluebird skies. Smell the evergreens, feel the soft snow under your skis and the crisp, dry air on your face, warmed by the sun and hear the profound silence and the soft swooshing of skinny skis on snow. Interested yet?
Ski For Light is a nonprofit organization that organizes events for blind and visually-impaired adults, as well as those who are mobility-impaired, and pairs them up with a sighted volunteer to cross-country ski. I went to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado last January for the first time, and it was a transformative experience for me. Participants must be at least eighteen years old and must pay their own
The 44th annual Ski For Light International Week included 120 blind and six mobility impaired skiers. With extra volunteer staff, we were about 260 friendly, laughing, happy people at the YMCA facility outside Winterpark. The program was brought to the US from Norway, and there are events in Norway, Canada, the US, and local regional events around the country. Participants must be 18 years old and pay their own expenses, with lodging and meals subsidized.
I used to do a lot of mountain activities, hiking, backpacking, backcountry skiing, etc. I called myself a Mountain Woman, but for most of the past 22 years, due to decreasing vision as well as career and family, I have rarely been able to go to the mountains. I cannot explain how powerfully the Ski For Light week affected me. I was free to be in the mountains, enjoy vigorous activity outdoors and make many new friends despite my near total loss of vision. I felt moose tracks in the snow, moose fur and even poop, but we never encountered one. I had the billions of stars, and sunrises and sunsets over the mountains described to me, I experienced the quiet, powerful, perfect grace and beauty of the mountains again. I got to push myself physically, which is hard to do, especially in the outdoors, for a blind or low vision person. I found the mental and physical balance again that being in the mountains, away from roads, buildings and cars always gave me.
And, the participants were amazing! Not only were the blind skiers excited, outgoing and interesting to get to know, the volunteers were also extremely kind, friendly and many have been coming back for ten, twenty or thirty years to volunteer to help share their love of cross-country skiing with those who need a little help. My volunteer for the week is in her 70's and has been volunteering with her husband for 17 years.
I shared a room with two new volunteers, friends from Michigan, who were 63 and 70, but I guessed decades younger when i heard them come in the room for the first time, laughing and excited about their training day on the snow. We became fast friends, as well as many others during the week. I will be going back this February, to Casper, Wyoming, as well as attending the event in Calgary, Canada. I came home ready to get back into outdoor activities with the support of adaptive programs, and so far, I have been rock-climbing with Catalyst Sports, joined the East Tennessee Whitewater Club and practiced my eskimo roll again, signed up for horseback riding through STAR, (Shangri la Therapeutic Academy of Riding), and missed a day of waterskiing with The Patricia Neal IRC Program to attend Club Vibes bbq and swim day at Big Ridge State Park. And, of course, I have been tandem bike riding with Club Vibes!
The self-confidence, physical and mental health benefits and pure joy these activities bring are just accentuated by the friendships I have formed with other like-minded, challenged participants and the incredible volunteers. Registration for the 46th annual Ski For Light weeklong event will open in late summer. If you wish to participate or volunteer and have any questions, please feel free to ask me or to visit the website
SEE is a TV show that premiered in November on the new Apple TV network. The plot of this series is
that the human race has lost the sense of sight, and society is left to find new ways to interact, build, hunt, and survive. Meanwhile, the wife of blind warrior and chieftain Baba Voss gives birth to a set of twins. To his tribe's amazement, the twins can see.
Apple focused on making blindness as realistic as possible by hiring blind actors and hiring a full-time "Blindness Consultant" who is also blind. For more information,
Joe Strechay, who is blind, has had an interesting career path which eventually led to his current job as a Blindness Consultant for the new Apple TV show, See. This show is about a world where everyone is blind. Apple thought it important to hire blind actors for a number of the roles. Continue reading
THANK YOU TO OUR PROGRAM PARTNERS FOR 2020-2021
PLATINUM- Delta Gamma Fraternity and Nalls Sherbakoff
SILVER- Smoky Mountain Wheelmen and West Knox Lion's Club
Dr. Ruth Bailey, Cosmetic Dentistry of Knoxville
THANK YOU TO OUR PROGRAM PARTNERS FOR 2020-2021
DELTA GAMMA FRATERNITY THE NALLS SHERBAKOFF GROUP LLC.
WEST KNOX LIONS CLUB SMOKY MOUNTAIN WHEELMEN
COSMETIC DENTISTRY OF KNOXVILLE