Main Menu

News

Updating the Law Regarding Service Animals

Julie decides to stop in to Bob's Market on her way home from work. She has her service dog, Jasper, accompanying her. When Bob sees Julie and her dog entering the store, he is confused. He wonders why that lady has a dog with her. Is it a service animal or an emotional support animal, or a pet? How can he find out? Can he approach Julie, or will he be violating the law? What questions can he ask? The ambiguity in Wisconsin service animal law leaves business owners and employees confused and...
Read More

Built-in Screen Magnifiers: A Free Way to Get the Accessibility You Need, Right on Your Computer

Assistive technologies, such as magnifiers and screen-readers, have increased accessibility to information now more than ever before. As someone new to magnification, consider utilizing the built-in accessibility options before purchasing equipment or installing software. "I use these settings every day," says Kathy Brockman, Council board treasurer. "I can customize my computer to display text in ways that meet my specific needs. There is a lot out there in terms of technology that can help...
Read More

Exhibit Featuring Artists who are Blind or Visually Impaired.

On Friday, October 5, the Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired hosted a Gallery Night featuring artists who are blind or visually impaired. Works ranged from pencil sketches to water color to paper cutting to large oil painted canvases. The event was a part of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA) seasonal gallery nights and one of nearly 70 locations throughout the city featuring art and entertainment. Participating artists talked to guests about how they create art...
Read More

Legislative Update: How to Impact the Wisconsin State Budget

State agencies, such as the Department of Workforce Development, the Department of Public Instruction, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of Health Services-which houses the Office for the Blind and Visually Impaired (OBVI)-use tax dollars to create and manage programs that help Wisconsinites live happy, empowered lives. The Wisconsin Biennial Budget provides the breakdown of funding so these state departments can implement programs effectively.   Knowing how the...
Read More

October 2018 On Sight

Today is White Cane Safety Day! Did you know? October 15 is White Cane Safety Day. Share upcoming posts to educate people you know. #WhiteCaneLaw (logo for the Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired) Spread the word about White Cane Safety Day today. This day was declared by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964 to honor and recognize the achievements and capabilities of people who are blind or visually impaired nationally, as well as to increase awareness of the White Cane...
Read More

White Cane Safety Day is Monday, October 15

On October 6, 1964 Congress authorized President Lyndon B. Johnson to proclaim October 15 of each year as White Cane Safety Day, also known as Blind Americans Equality Day. Today, there is a variant of the White Cane Law on the statute books of every state in the country. The law encourages the year-round independence of people in the blind and visually impaired community, creating a sense of empowerment and improving public safety. Thousands of blind and visually impaired individuals around...
Read More

Legislative Update: Sample Questions for Candidates and Legislators

Speaking with legislators and candidates of those up for election is important because it humanizes an issue. Each of the topics below provides talking points and questions related to the Council’s five legislative priorities. These questions can be asked during political debates and other election-related events. It would be helpful to provide an example from your own lived experience right before asking the question.   Transportation: Lack of adequate transportation options is...
Read More

Legislative Update: 10 Steps for Taking Legislative Action

While contacting your legislator might seem daunting at first, our step-by-step guide will help simplify the process. Feel empowered to take part in making legislative change! “Communicating with your legislators is important because it helps legislators be empowered to work on the constituents’ behalf,” says Council CEO/Executive Director, Denise Jess. “If legislators don’t know what is important to their constituents, they’ll be left in a position to make decisions from their own...
Read More

The White Cane Law: Beliefs and Facts

Since President Lyndon B. Johnson proclaimed October 15 of each year to be White Cane Safety Day, the White Cane Law has been central to the safety of people who are blind or visually impaired as they travel and go about their daily activities. The law acknowledges the capabilities of the blind and visually impaired community, creating a sense of empowerment and a way to educate others. To provide this education, it is important to make sure people know everything they need about the White Cane...
Read More

Lighting Your Way - Webinar

This webinar will include an introduction by the Council’s new Sharper Vision Store manager, Amy Dean. Focus will then turn to a discussion of indoor light, a critical component for people who have low vision or aging eyes. The webinar will cover how to select light bulbs, the type and placement of light to match activities, and an introduction to task lamps. This 1-hour webinar is free. Registration is required to receive access to the...
Read More

September 2018 On Sight

 Student Spotlight: Shannon Columb Shannon accepting her award shown with Council board member Kelsey Tiradani.   Staying positive and enjoying the little things in life helps UW-Stevens Point senior, Shannon Columb, focus on her goals. From teaching about the environment at Lions Camp to traveling to Europe for a summer field study, Shannon has discovered that “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” She sat down for a chat with Katherine Corbett, Council Communications...
Read More

Preparing for College

News You Can Use August 2018 – Preparing for College Fall is a time for new beginnings--especially for students. This year’s college freshmen might be both nervous and excited, as they are not sure what to expect when it comes to the differences between high school and college. To ease this transition, the Council would like to offer tips on self-advocacy and obtaining disability services through campus resources. Throughout K-12 education, students who are blind or visually impaired work...
Read More

Council Seeks New Board Members

Would you like to make a difference in the lives of those who experience blindness, visual impairment or vision loss? The Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired is pleased to announce that we are accepting applications for our board of directors through Friday, September 14, 2018. Terms are three years in length and begin on January 1, 2019. Founded in 1952, the mission of the Council is to promote the dignity and empowerment of the people of Wisconsin who are blind and...
Read More

Join us for Gallery Night 2018

Friday, October 05, 2018, 05:00pm - 08:00pm This event is a part of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA) seasonal gallery nights and one of nearly 70 locations throughout the city featuring art and entertainment. Participating artists will display and discuss how they create art. Attendees are welcome to browse the artwork, enjoy live music, refreshments and talk to the artists. Artwork will be for sale for those interested. Registration is not required. Event is free...
Read More

Macular Degeneration Symposium

Age-related macular degeneration affects over 10 million Americans – more than cataracts and glaucoma combined. Join the Council, UW-Madison Department of Ophthalmology and UW Health for the 2018 Macular Degeneration Symposium at the Alliant Energy Center from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on October 10. Learn about the latest treatments, tools and discoveries for macular degeneration from University of Wisconsin ophthalmologists and researchers, experts from the Wisconsin Council of the Blind &...
Read More

GingeRootz - Dining in the Dark

GingeRootz Asian Grille offers a delicious 5-course meal that challenges participants to rethink the importance of vision in the food experience. Guests are blindfolded for the meal.

Join us on Tuesday, August 14 from 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM at GingeRootz Asian Grille, 2920 N. Ballard Road, Appleton.

Call 920-738-9688 for reservations. The cost is $45 per person with wine pairings available for an additional $20. GingeRootz donates the proceeds from the event to the Council.

...
Read More

Upcoming Assistive Technology Classes

GPS, which option is right for me? Have you heard of GPS, but not sure what app or device is right for you? This free presentation will demonstrate a variety of accessible GPS options which can help you navigate your neighborhood. The Sendero GPS, Blind Square and SoundScape apps, as well as the Victor Reader Trek will all be demonstrated. There is no cost to attend. To register, call 608-255-1166. This class will be held on at two different dates: Wednesday, August 15, 3:00 p.m. -...
Read More

Accessible Voting Webinar

Have you given up voting due to a lack of access in the system? June 20 from 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. Join Sara Linski, WisVote Elections Specialist, and Jennifer Haar, City of Madison Clerk's Office, to learn about the voting options available to individuals with disabilities who want to vote, whether it is voting prior to Election Day or voting on Election Day at the polls. Hear about the voting experiences of Randy and Virginia Black. Find out what you can do to have an effective voting...
Read More

Vignette Dining Club - Dining in the Dark

Thank you to all who made reservations for our first vegetarian Dining in the Dark event! Both dinners are sold out on July 12 and 13. A reminder to guests that you will receive email notification of the location and menu on the morning of the event, which begins at 6:30 pm. We are grateful to Vignette Dining Club for their generosity and support over the years. Vignette has hosted this unique dinner several times as a fundraiser for the Council. If you are interested in joining us for future...
Read More

Annual Low Vision Fair at UW - Manitowoc

The Council’s next Low Vision Fair takes place Thursday, August 9, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It will be located in Founder’s Hall at UW – Manitowoc at 705 Viebahn Street in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. The event is free. No registration is required. Come to compare and try adaptive products, learn new techniques at informational breakout sessions and meet Council staff and vendors. Talk with other people who are going through what you are experiencing as your vision loss progresses. Find resources...
Read More

White Cane Safety Day Toolkit

Do you like bringing attention to the needs and concerns of people who are blind and visually impaired? Do you enjoy planning events in your community? Does educating the public excite you? If you answered “Yes!” to these questions, then consider planning a special event or spreading the word about White Cane Safety Day. Our White Cane Safety Day Toolkit is here to provide inspiration, examples and helpful hints as you plan for and promote this important day. The Toolkit includes...
Read More

Upcoming Assistive Technology Classes

iPhone ABC's, Apps, Badges, and Controls Learn how to take control of your iPhone. From installing and updating apps to configuring notifications and working in the Control Center, this workshop will have you using your device like a pro. Commonly used and popular apps will also be explored. Jim Denham, Assistive Technology Specialist, will be leading this class on May 22.   Tuesday, May 22 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. This event will be held online via Zoom meeting (instructions...
Read More

Birding by Ear: Learning to identify birds without sight

Birding by Ear: Learning to identify birds without sight Co-organized by the Madison Audubon Society and the Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired Just as unique as their coloration and shape, bird songs come in all tunes and pitches. Identifying birds by their song is an exciting activity and skill, and any experienced bird watcher will tell you that most birding is done without actually seeing the bird, but by hearing it. Birding by Ear is a class that meets on two...
Read More

Thank You, Volunteers!

The Council is so fortunate to have community volunteers sharing their talents with us! THANK YOU to Margaret and Monica for audio recording our publications; to Karen Lee for providing personal assistance; to Adam, Ethan, Delta Gammas, Margaret and Karen Lee for helping out at special events; to Peter for sorting archive material; to Joe Hodgson for repairing braillewriters; to Mary Kay for making product instructions accessible; and to our dedicated board and committee members. We sincerely...
Read More

A Welcoming Main Street

WCBVI seeks to empower people with vision loss to engage in their communities. To help businesses and organizations interact with customers and clients who have vision loss, we compiled simple tips and techniques everyone can use. You can download the booklet by clicking here. Feel free to print and share the information.

...
Read More

The Big Share - Thank You

THANK YOU for making The Big Share a success for the Council and the other non-profit organizations who participated under the umbrella of Community Shares of Wisconsin! The Council received gifts totaling $3,758 from 57 individuals. Special thanks to Council staff for 100% participation! We appreciate your interest in our services and your financial support for the education, vision services, and legislative advocacy for people in Wisconsin who are living with vision loss. Thank...
Read More

The Big Share

The Big Share is Tuesday, March 6th! The Big Share is a 24-hour online fundraising event to support local nonprofit groups, including the Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired. You can select from over 60 nonprofits and direct your gifts to the causes that are important to you. If the Council has the most donors between 10:00 – 11:00 am on March 6th, we will receive a cash prize of $750! Just think what the Council could do with an extra $750 - home visits, free white...
Read More

Dining in the Dark

Charlie’s on Main is partnering with us for an experiential dinner that will challenge you to rethink the importance of vision in the food experience. Dining in the Dark at Charlie’s on Main begins at 6:30 pm on Thursday, March 22. The evening includes a four course dinner. Guests will wear a blindfold during the meal so you can savor the food using senses other than sight. Chef Dave will describe the meal to you as the courses are served. Since the menu is not announced prior to the...
Read More

A Welcoming Main Street

WCBVI seeks to empower people with vision loss to engage in their communities. More than 500 people with vision difficulty live in Iowa County. To help Dodgeville businesses and organizations interact with customers and clients who have vision loss, WCBVI compiled simple tips and techniques for them to use. We will share these ideas with Dodgeville businesses over lunch on Tuesday, February 6 at the Health and Human Services Center on Chapel Street in Dodgeville. Please arrive by noon and...
Read More

Planning Ahead

Plan ahead. We hear that advice over and over as we grow in age and experience. The lesson is just as valuable after retirement, as you make decisions about how you will manage your insurance and assets. One of those decisions may be finding a way to benefit a charity that has helped you or a family member over the years. By naming the Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired in your will, the services you received will be available for the next generation of people with vision...
Read More

Legislative Day 2018

The focus on the day is primarily on state-wide advocacy, with particular attention to employment and transportation access. Here are some highlights. Our morning session will feature a legislative update and overview of some of the Council’s work over the past year. We’ll have visits from a representative from the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation to speak to the implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act for both the transitional population and older working-age...
Read More

Get Ready to Bid!

Our online auction is coming soon – November 8 -14! Auction items include gift certificates for dining, tickets to concerts, cookbooks, family entertainment passes, and lots more. Over the years, we have gained a following across the state for the fun and practical items that people can bid on. Please share this link biddingforgood.com/wcbvi  with friends, family and co-workers! Items will be available to view by mid-October; bidding starts at noon on November 8 and ends at 8:00 pm...
Read More

Giving to the Council at Work

Workplace giving is a convenient and safe way to donate to vetted local organizations doing good work in Dane County and beyond. Over one hundred local businesses partner with Community Shares of Wisconsin for workplace giving. These businesses encourage their employees to donate any amount through the convenience of payroll deduction. Each employee can individually choose which non-profit will benefit from their financial gift. A list of current workplace giving sites can be found by...
Read More

Upcoming Assistive Technology Classes

Wednesday, July 25              3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Free is for Me, Using Free Screen Readers for Windows and the Mac WCBVI Office - 754 Williamson Street, Madison Come learn about the powerful features available in three screen readers which are all available free of charge. This class will be presented by Jim Denham, Assistive Technology Specialist, and Khanh Hoang, Assistive Technology Intern. For registration and more...
Read More

Vision Services Open House: Low Vision, Assistive Technology, and the Sharper Vision Store

Join us for a spring open house and see what’s “blooming” at the Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired.  Talk with Jim Denham, assistive technology specialist, who will demonstrate magnification and screen reading software, as well as Amazon Echo and Google Home.  Find out about the assistive technology classes Jim is offering this spring.  Chat with Amy Wurf, low vision therapist, who will use the LuxIQ to determine your preferred lighting strength and...
Read More

Birding By Ear - Webinar

Do you hear the birds singing and wonder what bird you are hearing and what is the meaning of that song? If you would like to get started "birding by ear," join Kerry Wilcox, avid birder and volunteer with the Madison Audubon Society, and get tips on how to listen and interpret what is heard. Kerry will have support from the Madison Audubon Society and persons with vision impairment who enjoy this outdoor activity. The focus of the webinar will be the calls of common Wisconsin spring...
Read More

We Can Use Your Help

Do you enjoy offering your time to help support a great cause? From time to time the Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired looks to volunteers to help assist with special projects. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Heather Buggs at 608-237-8101 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. // . Current Opportunities Archive Volunteer The Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired...
Read More

Amazon Echo Class Offered in January

Join Jim Denham Assistive Technology Specialist, at the Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired for this upcoming technology class: January 24 - All About the Amazon Echo Attendees will learn all the features of the Amazon Echo Smart Speaker, including set-up, configuration and uses of the many features available with this new tool. It will be from 3:00 - 5:00 pm at the Council, 754 Williamson Street, in Madison. The cost is $20 per person. Register by calling...
Read More

Upcoming Assistive Technology Classes

Wednesday, April 18     3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Using ChromeVox on a ChromeBook Presented by Jim Denham, Assistive Technology Specialist WCBVI Office - 754 Williamson Street, Madison, WI 53703 Registration required. No cost. Please contact the Council to RSVP. Tuesday, April 24         1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Using ChromeVox on a ChromeBook Presented by Jim Denham, Assistive Technology Specialist This presentation will be held...
Read More

Upcoming technology workshops offered by the Council

Tuesday, March 20: Did You Know JAWS Can Do That?

Presented by Jim Denham, Assistive Technology Specialist

3:00 - 5:00 pm; This presentation will be held online.

For more information and to register, call 800-783-5213.

The cost of the event is $20.

...
Read More

Five Steps to Accessible Voting

Vote as if your life depends on it, because it does." --Justin Dart, disability civil rights leader As a voter with a disability, you may consider a wider set of needs and issues when you vote. Voting for local, state and federal leaders during this election year lets you share your perspective and make your goals known. For the coming elections this can be done privately, and with more accessibility than ever before. We will have a voter registration table at the Disability Pride...
Read More

Publications

Friends Newsletter FRIENDS newsletter is sent to our friends and supporters twice a year. It includes information about vision health issues, Council-sponsored programs and special events, and occasional testimonials. If you would like to receive the Friends newsletter, you can subscribe here. Friends Summer 2018 - pdf version Friends Summer 2018 - Text version Friends Summer 2018 - Audio version E-Newsletters Looking for the Council’s weekly e-newsletters? On Sight, News You Can...
Read More