This Week at CSC

Keeping you “In the Know…” 3/22/19

Click here for a weekly archive of what's happening at CSC.

Strengthening Partnerships and Educating the Community:

-CSC partnered with the Cincinnati Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired and the Sight Center of Northwest Ohio to host the 2019 “Sight Center Day at the Ohio Statehouse” advocacy event on Wednesday, March 13th. Representatives of the three agencies, including CSC’s Larry Benders and Alicia Howerton, participated in meetings with state officials and legislators to continue to advocate for vision rehabilitation programs and services. The day concluded with a well-attended reception to continue dialogue on opportunities to improve services to those with blindness and low vision and build off the meetings earlier in the day.

-Call Center Team Lead Amber Wallenstein has been accepted to National Industries for the Blind’s Effective Supervision program, a year-long commitment with three sessions to be held in Wichita, Kansas. Amber will be joining a group of other students from various agencies to learn about many leadership topics. Please join the Call Center team in congratulating Amber being accepted into this group!

-The Outreach team had a very busy couple weeks. Last week, they attended The Retina Foundation’s Optometric Retinal Update event in Beachwood and provided information on CSC’s programs and services, answered questions and networked. It’s their largest meeting of the year, with over 200 OD’s in attendance. Outreach also attended the Medina County Senior Services Network Meeting and hosted the Foundation Fighting Blindness Vision Walk Kickoff Meeting at CSC where they presented the “Tips Talk” to help people live better with vision loss. This week, they answered questions about vision loss and hosted five different activities under blindfold to students at Mound Stem Cleveland School. Alicia Howerton and Tom Sawyer were part of an accessibility new project run-through at the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes this week, as CSC staff will be collaborating on their multiphase project. Outreach concludes this week with attending the Eldercare Professional Network meeting in Brecksville on Friday.

-A collaborative CSC team effort hosted two classes of Occupational Therapy students from Cleveland State University this week (30 students in each of two classes) as Alicia Howerton and Tom Sawyer gave a CSC overview and Assistive Tech talk, Monica Owen talked about Occupational Therapy and Children & Young Adult Services, Alicia and Karen Bain Hiller gave tours, while Annette Jakse and Taylor Volrich hosted each class in the PREP area to make food under blindfold.

-Assistant Camp Manager/Recreation Specialist Vince Williams spoke to a Recreation Internship Seminar class at Kent State University where he discussed opportunities at Highbrook Lodge and talked about the types of recreation activities available at Cleveland Sight Center. Vince also traveled to the University of Toledo this week for a Job Fest where he spoke with students about summer work opportunities at Highbrook Lodge.

-Manager of Volunteer Services Melissa Mauk attended a Strategic Planning workshop through the Forum for Volunteer Administrators, a group of volunteer management professionals. During the workshop, participants explored different styles of thinking that influence planning and discussed high impact areas for strategic planning in the volunteer world.

-Melissa Mauk also participated in a volunteer fair at Beaumont High School this week. The fair was open to all students during their lunch blocks to learn about community volunteer opportunities they might be interested in.

-Pick your pony! Join Delta Gamma Cleveland East Alumnae for “A Night at the Races” to benefit Cleveland Sight Center! The event will be held Saturday, April 13th in CSC’s Clyde E. Williams, Jr. Auditorium. Tickets are $35 each and include dinner. Doors open at 6:00 p.m.; dinner at 6:30 p.m. For more information, to buy tickets, sponsor a race and more, click here.

What’s Happening at CSC: 

-The Anthem/USABA National Fitness Challenge participants have been doing a FANTASTIC job getting their steps in! And they have made it to La Paz, Bolivia. After a little research, they discovered that La Paz is an extremely interesting city to visit – it is the highest administrative capital in the world (at 3,500m above sea level) and it is known for a witches’ market that sells magic potions. Unfortunately, the group doesn’t have long to cast spells and relax in Bolivia, as they need to get themselves to Chile and down to the tip of South America! Only 237 more miles until they make it into Chile…and then it’s a looooong way to go, as Chile is frighteningly lengthy. Please be sure to cheer on members of the team as they continue on this journey! 

-Welcome to new Radio Reading volunteers Beatriz and Yve, Large Print volunteer Eunice and Independent Living administrative volunteer Varna. We are excited to have you as part of the CSC team!

-Don’t be a bummer! Remember how volunteers help you in summer! Volunteer Services is now collecting volunteer opportunities that will be available May – August 2019. If you work with volunteers or are interested in using volunteers as a resource to help complete your goals, here are some tips to kick off a successful summer volunteer session.

1.    If you work with volunteers who are engaged in May-August placements, check in individually with volunteers to verify their availability to provide the commitment you need for summer programs to be successful. Consider the number of volunteers you will need, the time commitment you will need from each and the tasks you are asking volunteers to support. Learn how many volunteers are able to return for summer programming and connect with Volunteer Services to report if there are additional volunteers you will need to be successful.

2.    If you would like to request a volunteer to support you in working towards your goals this summer, think through your goals and needs that will be relevant during the summer placement session and beyond. How many clients or companies are you looking to engage and how can volunteers support that? Can volunteers help with projects you are moving forward? What projects will volunteers support? What are your next steps? How many volunteers will you need to support upcoming goals and programs? After thinking through these goals, complete a Volunteer Request form found on the CSC Intranet. Contact Melissa Mauk (x4581) with questions or for more information. Be sure to connect with Melissa Mauk by next Friday, March 29th if you are interested in requesting summer volunteers.

-Students in Bright Futures Preschool have so much to share! Recently, Miss Ali from Human Resources visited the class to read “Fox in Socks” and Ms. Karen from the Development Department read “Are You My Mother?” Since the class accepted the “15 Minutes Reading Aloud Challenge” they have hosted quite a few visitors coming to the classroom to read so they can achieve their goal. The students also had a visit from Fieldstone Farms, where instructors Ms. Tonya and Ms. Nora helped the youngsters prepare for their horseback riding sessions in April and May. Ms. Allison from Fieldstone Farms also assessed what kind of support may be needed during the riding sessions. The students also enjoyed beautiful weather while playing outside and looking for signs of spring!

-The Children & Young Adult Services Department is gearing up for the annual Spring Fling event on Saturday, April 6th at the agency for the families of CSC’s very young clients…which means raffle baskets will soon be available for staff ticket purchases! This year’s offerings include the ever-popular lottery ticket basket, a wine collection, a gardening basket and a baseball-themed basket with Cleveland Indians and Akron Rubber Ducks tickets. More information to come!

-CSC will host a large group of students from Cuyahoga Community College on April 10th for a “Day with CSC” to learn about the agency, programs and services. This is the second “Day with CSC,” building off the success of the November 2018 event. The students are currently in areas of study including Optical Technology and Early Childhood Education.

Eyedea Shop’s Product of the Week: Pocketalker Ultra

-This week’s featured item of the week is actually for the hearing impaired and is called the Pocketalker Ultra. It is a device that when worn will reduce background noise and bring the sound or talking directly to the ear. Ideal for one-on-one conversations, small groups or conversing in the car or listening to television. Powerful sound amplifier improves speech understanding. Portable sleek compact design. Take it with you everywhere. Easy simple operation. Batteries included. Our price is $165.00.

From the CSC Wellness Committee: Observe and Re-Frame Negative Thoughts to Boost Self-Esteem

-You have the ability to harness your own thoughts and perceptions in everyday life. Only you have the ability to control how you feel about yourself. What others think of you is not nearly as important. Low self-esteem can lead to a road of negativity that can stop you from leading a healthier lifestyle, getting that big promotion you have always wanted, or furthering solid relationships with people. Consider using the following pointers from a cognitive behavioral therapy approach to help boost your self-esteem.

1. Identify troubling thoughts

Common triggers might include: Work, school, troubling relationships, change in roles or life circumstances; job loss, death of a loved one.

2. Become aware of your beliefs

Once you have identified the way you feel, become an observer of your thoughts.

3. Challenge negative or inaccurate thinking

Identify thought patterns that erode self-esteem: All or nothing thinking, converting positives to negatives, jumping to negative conclusions, mistaking feelings for facts, negative self-talk. Ask yourself whether your view of yourself is consistent with facts and logic or whether your feelings stem from other explanations.

4. Adjust your thoughts and beliefs

  • Use hopeful statements - Treat yourself with kindness and encouragement.
  • Forgive yourself - Mistakes aren't permanent reflections on you as a person. They're isolated moments in time. Recall that everyone is not perfect.
  • Avoid "should" and "must" statements - If you find that your thoughts are full of these words, you might be putting unreasonable demands on yourself or on others.
  • Focus on the positive- Remind yourself of the things that have went smoothly in your life and consider the coping skills you've used in sticky situations.
  • Re-label upsetting thoughts - Do not react negatively to negative thoughts. Instead, use negative thoughts as signals to try new, healthy thought patterns. Ask yourself, "What do I do well?"
  • Encourage yourself- Give yourself credit for making positive changes and putting in the effort.


Items of Note:

-Check out this cover of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” played by a 6-year-old piano prodigy from Dayton, Ohio, who not only taught himself to play piano by ear – but he's also blind. Click here for more.

-Do you know what a tenji block is? Check out this article to learn about the history of tactile slabs that are used to help those who are blind or have low vision navigate streets and sidewalks with greater independence. Click here for the article.

-Menus4all provides menus for customers that cannot read menus in 9 out of 10 restaurants. The organization provides menus on iPhones for people who have blindness and low vision through supporting voiceover, braille refreshable displays and three low vision display settings. They have the potential of reaching 21,000,000 customers in the U.S. who are AT iOS users and would like to collect additional customer data through a survey. Click here to take the survey.

-University of California Berkeley scientists inserted a gene for a green-light receptor into the eyes of blind mice and, a month later, they were navigating around obstacles as easily as mice with no vision problems. They were able to see motion, brightness changes over a thousand fold range and fine detail on an iPad sufficient to distinguish letters. The researchers say that, within as little as three years, the gene therapy — delivered via an inactivated virus — could be tried in humans who’ve lost sight because of retinal degeneration, ideally giving them enough vision to move around and potentially restoring their ability to read or watch video. To read the full article, click here.

-Apple unveiled a new iPad Air and iPad Mini Monday, ahead of its video streaming service announcement next week. The upgraded models offer keyboard support for the first time and work with the Apple Pencil. The announcement marks the first upgrade to the iPad Mini since the fall of 2015, and brings popular features of the iPad Pro to its smaller counterparts. For the full article, click here.