Let’s Go To The Beach!

Hello all!

I hope everyone is having a very awesome and great summer so far in 2017.   The weather is nice and beautiful for many days here in Chicago.

Unfortunately, we have some news to share.   Due to a scheduling mishap, we are unable to enter the Disability Pride Parade this weekend as there are no slots available.   Therefore, we will not be partcipating in this weekend’s parade.   However, we still plan great things for this summer.

On August 12, 2017, we will have our first CDBA Beach Party!   Yep, many of you have told us that you would love to have CDBA for beach party on the Lake Michigan shores.   We will be providing picnic with sandwiches and chips and fun activities for everyone.    All you have to bring is your swimsuit, towel, sunscreen and your favorite drinks.

We are working now to identify the easiest beach for everyone to meet at and we will post the details of that no later than July 25th, so mark your calendars.  We are looking forward to seeing you there.

Again, we regret the scheduling mishap due to a miscommunication that we are unable to participate in this year’s parade.  We will definitely be in the parade next year and we’ll have our awesome float then.     Please continue to enjoy your great summer and see you all on the beach in a few weeks!

CDBA-Get Your Pride On!

Hello everyone!

 

Last month was such a great time at the Cicno de Mayo celebration hosted by Roge Ramos and his family, including his parents and his grandmother.  What an awesome event with great foods, pinata, and decorations everywhere.   CDBA thanks Roge and his family for making it so memorable.

Next month we will be returning to the Disability Pride Parade in downtown Chicago.   As requested by members last year, we will be including a float.   Today, we are seeking volunteers to join the decoration committee to create an awesome float to represent the DeafBlind community in Chicago.   If you are interested, please send an email to info@chicagodeafblind.org.

We will begin decorating the float during the week before July 22nd.   Your creative ideas will be valuable.   We know there are many creative people in our organization and we want you to come out and show your amazing skills.

After the parade, we will s the area.  There will be an awesome exhibit area for many booths that you will want to visit.   We will eat lunch at a local restaurant in the immeidate area.   More details on the location whwere we will have our luncheon will follow soon.

SSPs are especially welcome and we request that SSP volunteers contact us soon to work with us both during the decoration week and at the Parade and luncheon.

See you all soon and stay cool in this very warm weather we are having now.

 

Cinco de Mayo on May 13th!

Oh boy, we have an exciting luncheon for Cinco de Mayo this year!   Roge and his family have worked together to create an awesome meal.    What is the menu?

  • Steak or Chicken Fajitas
  • Rice and beans
  • Pickled Carrots
  • Salad
  • tortillas
  • -Red and green chips

MMM  Yummy!   From the best Mexican restaurant in the Chicago   Top quality food.   And guess what?

 

There will be a pinaa for the kids too!

When:  May 13, 2015 – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where:  Chicago Lighthouse – 1850 Roosevelt Road, Chicago, IL

RSVP:  If youc an RSVP and let us know, by May 10, send email to info@chicagodeafblind.org.

COST:  Free, but if you can help us keep our costs down, please feel free to donate $5 if you can.   If you cannot afford, that is fine.

See you all on Saturday, May 13th.  Bring empty bellies, lots of food and fun to enjoy!

REMINDER: DeafBlind Retreat Deposit Due

If you want to attend the 2018 Illinois DeafBlind Training & Retreat, a $50 non-refundable deposit is due BEFORE April 25, 2017 to secure your spot.

Julie Somers will attend the CDBA Earth Day Event this Saturday if you want to hand her your deposit.

For more information, please contact:

Mindy Joy Mayer, Director – mindy.j.mayer@gmail.com

Kim Mokris, Registration –  mokrisk@yahoo.com

CDBA: Earth Day Celebration

Our next gathering will be on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at the Chicago Lighthouse. It’s Earth Day, Be prepared to work with dirt!

What: We will decorate flower pots and plant herbs to take home.

When: Saturday, April 22, 2017

Time: 10:00 am – 2:30 pm

Where: The Chicago Lighthouse

IMPORTANT: There is no van service to and from the train stations and the Lighthouse. Email info@chicagodeafblind.org if you need a volunteer to travel with you from the train station.

Lunch will be provided: Pizza and Garden Salad.

Please bring a beverage or dessert to share.

RSVPs are always appreciated but not required. Email info@chicagodeafblind.org

 

DeafBlind Retreat: DEADLINE APRIL 25, 2017

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SAVE THE DATE!

Illinois DeafBlind Training & Retreat

DATE: Tuesday, July 24 to Friday July 27, 2018

Where: Cenacle Retreat and Conference Center

513 W. Fullerton Parkway, Chicago, IL

ILDBTR is a biennial event lasting about 4 days during early summer.  DeafBlind people who attend will have an experience of a full inclusive environment with learning activities, mentoring, modeling, peer support, recreation and FUN!   Interpreters, SSPs, service providers, families and friends who attend will have an immersion experience working with a variety of DeafBlind folks as SSPs.

Deposit of $50 non-refundable is required BEFORE April 25, 2017 to secure your spot for the retreat.

Total cost for 3 nights and 4-day retreat is $305. A deposit of $50 non-refundable will be applied to your total cost. 

Total cost for 4-day local commuter is $218. A deposit of $50 non-refundable will be applied to your total cost.

Payment plan is available and will be included in your application packet. Application packet will be e-mailed to you once we receive your $50.00 deposit.

For more information, please contact:

Mindy Joy Mayer, Director – mindy.j.mayer@gmail.com

Kim Mokris, Registration –  mokrisk@yahoo.com

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Illinois DeafBlind Training & Retreat Deposit Form

DEADLINE IS APRIL 25, 2017

NAME: ___________________________________________

ADDRESS: ___________________________________________

___________________________________________

CITY: ___________________STATE: _____  ZIP:_______

EMAIL: __________________________________________

PHONE: ___________________________                                 VOICE or VIDEOPHONE  (circle one)

 Please check one:  ______ Local Commuter  ______ Overnight Stay 

Are you (please check one)  ________ DEAFBLIND  _______ SSP

Check payable to The Chicago Lighthouse

Please mail this form with deposit of $50.00 to:

Kim Mokris

Registration Chair

2131 Pembridge Lane

Joliet, IL 60431

DEADLINE IS APRIL 25, 2017

CBDA March Meeting Update: More parking available at Chicago Lighthouse

Good Evening,

If you need to find more parking space while attending CBDA March Meeting at ICRE. Joann Rushing and Chicago Lighthouse has graciously offered more space at Chicago Lighthouse if you are unable to find parking anywhere else.

Look forward seeing you all!

Vice President

Jason Salerno

CDBA Issues Testimonial on IL Senate Bill 0752

Yesterday, on March 14, 2017, the Illinois Senate Committee on Human Services passed Senate Bill 752 which proposes reforms to the Ilinois Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission (IDHHC).   Our organization was there to provide testimony on the legislative proposal.   It was also the first time that our organization formally asserted its new name “Chicagoland DeafBlind Alliance” which is formally known as LeCOBDA.   Come join us for our meeting this Saturday, March 18, for more exciting news about our new organization direction!

Below, is the written testimonial given to the Senate Committee that you can read.

—————–

Submitted by:  Chicagoland DeafBlind Alliance – March 14, 2017

To:  Members of Illinois Senate Committee on Human Services

Thank you, Honorable members of this Committee, for allowing me this opportunity.  My name is Bryen M Yunashko, and I am the president of the Chicagoland DeafBlind Alliance.    We are the only official DeafBlind non-profit organization in the State of Illinois.

In 1995, the State conducted a survey and identified 7,000 residents with combined hearing and vision loss.   Two recent surveys elsewhere show significant numbers.   In North Carolina, for example, 26,000 residents were identified, and a national survey conducted by a university in New York identified 2.4 million people with those combined losses.  This only identifies those who willingly identify themselves as having combined loss.   Many more exist out there, who live with the societal shame that somehow, being DeafBlind is a terrible thing.   With our population continuing to live longer, it is easy to assume that in Illinois, that number is higher today than it was in 1995.

It is for this very reason, that we deeply appreciate that language is now included to recognize DeafBlind as a stakeholder of the Illinois Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission.   We agree, it is important, and its time has come.    However, our organization expresses deep concerns about the fact that we have never been consulted in any way on the drafting of this legislation.   If we are a stakeholder, should we not be a part of this resolution’s outcome?

We are a growing community, coming into consciousness as an empowered and diverse group.  We are neither Deaf nor Blind.  We are DeafBlind.   We strive to speak for ourselves and not presume others to speak for us.   Our lives, our experiences, are ours and the challenges we must overcome, we must overcome them with our own determination of destiny and future.

Make no mistake about it, we are keenly aware of what lays before us.   We face obstacles, education, and discrimination on a daily basis, even by those who are seemingly our closest allies.

We are concerned about language in Senate Bill 0752.   If we are now granted formal stakeholder status, should not the name of the agency IDHHC reflect that?   And while the bill increases specificity of representation, we are concerned that this specificity will in fact a) tokenizes us and b) provides inadequate representation of the true DeafBlind life.

As I mentioned, we are a diverse community.   Some live in denial, and some embrace who they are.   Some live in rural areas, and others in urban areas.   Some have been DeafBlind all their lives and some became so later in life.   Nationwide, our unemployment rate stands at 84%, one of the largest of any disability.    Some have ready access to training services, others do not.   And in states like Illinois, we do not even offer some of the most basic services to life empowerment and independence.    In fact, I could not even submit a witness slip independently without assistance, even though Illinois state law requires accessible websites.  How many other DeafBlind voices are not being heard because a function as simple as submitting a witness slip is not accessible?

It is impossible for a single DeafBlind person to adequately represent the views of such a huge and growing population.

We recognize the intent of this legislation is well-meaning and we do not oppose that spirit.   What we ask for today is to revisit and ensure broader stakeholder input into the development of the language in this legislation in order to support a truer and more representational and diverse Commission.

Thank you,

Bryen M Yunashko

President – Chicagoland DeafBlind Alliance

president@chicagodeafblind.org

LeCOBDA Meeting / Social for March 18. 2017

March Member Meeting

What: LeCOBDA Meeting / Social

When: March 18, 2017 – 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: ICRE-Wood – 1151 S. Wood St, Chicago, IL 60612

NOTE: Sorry, no kids allowed at this event

LeCOBDA will be hosting the meeting at ICRE-Wood. The agenda will be the following:

  • 10 a.m to 12 p.m.  Become more involved: Join new committees.
  • 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.  Lunch, we are providing Jimmy Johns sandwich and chips. We welcome your drinks, sides, or desserts.
  • 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Social Time

With special thanks to our host for March, Jeffery Bohrman, for his help with planning this event!

RSVP:   Please let us know if you are coming and if you are bringing any dishes.   Send an email to info@chicagodeafblind.org

Volunteers:  We welcome volunteer SSPs and interpreters.   Let us know if you can attend our fun event.  Vounteers should plan to arrive by 9:30 a.m.

Cheers!