American Council of the Blind

Western New York Chapter

Our meeting began at 6 PM. We held our meeting a week early because of Good Friday. The following members were present: Richard and Karlene Fiorello, Marie Lyons, Douglas Whitford, Anita Williams, John Spencer, Ian Foley, Alex Meister, Kathy Lyons. Linda Olsen joined us by telephone. Because Karen Blachowitz could not attend, Kathy Lyons presided over the meeting.

Kathy announced that the summer picnic will be at Karen Blachowicz’s house on June 17 instead of a meeting at the Placa. Please let Karen know what you are bringing so she doesn’t make duplicates.

Secretary and treasurer’s reports were given and accepted. The treasurer’s report stated that our checking account contains a balance of $6,389.94. Advances of $300 each were given to Ian Foley, Richard Fiorello and Karen Blachowicz for the legislative weekend. Kathy gave a brief pedestrian committee report. She is on the national environmental access committee with national ACB.

Richard gave an NFTA committee report. NFTA says they are getting new vans. They are trying to make the subway ticket machines and the paths to the trains more accessible. They are also trying to make the subway doors more accessible.

Ian talked about issues for the legislative weekend. 1 Funding for aid to blind and deaf students which will include readers, interpreters, and additional needed adaptive equipment up to $6,000.00 per student per year; (a6515 and s4831) are the bills; 2 licensing of OandM and rehab instructors; 3 voting accessibility; and 4 making the funding for newsline be limited to actual expenses demanding accountability. Marie Lyons stated that she has not had a reply to her letter about audible signals. New business: Kathy stated that the Town of Tonawanda is planning a traffic circle at Decator and Parker Avenues. She believes our chapter should call the town trying to discourage this circle. Marie suggested that a letter should be written to the newspaper addressing both audible signals and traffic circles. Marie will work on the letter. Ian mentioned the gift baskets for the legislative weekend. Money can be given to either Richard, Ian, or Karen.

We briefly discussed whether out of area residents should be eligible for our scholarship. This issue will go back to the scholarship committee for further clarification.

Our meeting adjourned at 7:20 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Karlene Fiorello