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 –

Kim Mokris, Registration –

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 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


DeafBlind Retreat: DEADLINE APRIL 25, 2017



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 –

Kim Mokris, Registration –


Illinois DeafBlind Training & Retreat Deposit Form


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


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

Committee Members Needed

Let’s continue the momentum from the Forum!

We are seeking volunteers to join new committees.

Do you enjoy planning get togethers?
Join the Events Committee and start organizing the next gathering.

Interested in shaping the future of our organization?
Join the Bylaws Committee.

Please email Bryen and Jason with the committee you are interested in.

Thank You!


The DeafBlind Forum was AMAZING!

The first ever Chicago DeafBlind Forum was well attended! There were 77 participants in the DeafBlind session and 97 participants in the Ally session. Here is a recap of all the discussion topics.

DeafBlind Needs and Concerns:
Change name of LeCOBDA
Peer/Support Group
Family/Parent/Children Support Group
Family of DeafBlind Outreach
Communication: access; sign language classes; ProTactile workshops
SSP (Support Service Provider) volunteer programs
DeafBlind member workshops
Education accessibility
Transportation: needs drastic improvement; discount card; communication card
DeafBlind Committee volunteers needed

Ally Session Discussion Topics:
“LeCOBDA” establishing independence from Chicago Lighthouse by forming non-profit 501(c)3 organization (under new name)
We become point of contact for DeafBlind issues
Create peer support groups of DeafBlind in different locations
Create mental health advocacy group
Train Interpreters to work with DeafBlind
Establish state standards for DeafBlind Interpreting
Create SSP Registry
Develop SSP as recognized profession
Create sign language classes accessible to blind
Transportation- need text capabilities; send paratransit complaints to
Collaborate with organizations for improved access
Advisory Committees need DeafBlind representation
Upcoming legislation on certified DeafBlind Intervenors for children at school
Develop identification card for DeafBlind

Our discussions will continue. We want to know your opinions.
Please contact a board member to join a committee!

The LeCOBDA Officers


Support Service Provider (SSP) Training for working with DeafBlind Consumers

Support Service Provider (SSP) Training for working with DeafBlind Consumers

In this workshop, the participant will embark on a 3-hour journey learning the significance of the Support Service Provider (SSP) role and become an effective resource tool in empowering DeafBlind individuals to live successful and independent lives. Come, close your eyes, open your mind, and experience a world of awareness through touch as we go through multiple hands-on activities to make you an effective SSP and a valuable ally to DeafBlind individuals. This course will also include ProTactile strategies for enhancing the SSP experience for both the consumer and the provider.

September 28, 2016
Moraine Valley Community College,
Palos Hills, IL
6-9 pm

September 29, 2016
Columbia College
Chicago, IL
6-9 pm

$15 OR Free with commitment to
volunteer at October 1 Forum and
future LeCOBDA events.

That’s .3 CEUs absolutely FREE!
Email Bryen M Yunashko to register

Bryen M Yunashko, a national DeafBlind advocate from Chicago, was born Deaf. It was when he was 26 that he discovered that he also had Usher Syndrome. Now nearly completely blind, he happily relies on tactile ASL. Bryen has long advocated in many aspects of both the Deaf and DeafBlind communities on everything from captioning to accessibility. With a strong focus today on DeafBlind social issues and advocacy, he travels extensively providing trainings and workshops, particularly on vidism and ProTactile techniques. In addition to serving on numerous national and statewide legislative committees and task forces, Bryen owns Access256 Productions, LLC, providing consulting, presentations and workshops, advocacy and self-advocacy training, mentoring, and Braille printing services. He makes his home in Chicago.


Pro-Tactile Happy Hour

Pro-Tactile Happy Hour


SWOBODA Deaf Center

7050 W. Belmont

Chicago, IL

June 20, 2015

11:30am to 3:30pm


CTA Bus #77

(Coming from West – Belmont & Nottingham)

(Coming from East – Belmont & Sayre)

Admission: $5.00

Food (Pizza): $5.00

Good way to practice using PT



Additional: For DeafBlind Training & Retreat Fundraising

Bake Sales

Buy Raffles and other things


Mindy Joy Mayer:

LeCOBDA August Newsletter

September 2014 Newsletter


We, Le COBDA, will be having a meeting at The Chicago Lighthouse.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

TIME: 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Please get to The Chicago Lighthouse by 10:45 AM
The Chicago Lighthouse for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired
1850 W. Roosevelt Road
Chicago, IL 60608

Anyone who has transportation arrangements, PLEASE have your ride ready by 3:00 PM, no later than 3:00 PM. Please be aware that we will be not assisting or waiting for anyone to leave after 3:00 PM. Thank you.

Jimmy John’s sandwiches

Roast Beef

We, Le COBDA, are asking you to kindly bring two liter soda to share with everyone, or bring your own drink. Bring any chips, desserts, and/or pasta salads. That would be great. We definitely will bring ours as well.


Members: $6.00

SSPs: Free


We, Le COBDA, are aware that there will be the IDHHC annual statewide interpreter conference on the same weekend.

If you are not attending the conference, please come and help volunteer as SSP. We would love to see your pretty face.

Be sure to show up on time or a bit early that would be appreciated.

Monday, September 8th

Please have your money ready on the day of our meeting. We will collect money to pay for Jimmy John’s sandwiches.

Please contact Sara at to RSVP by September 8th.

Sara Chung,
Le COBDA President

Jessica Carleton is one of our very own SSPs. She received two Emmy awards for her outstanding work in her TV program. You can read about it on She will bring her puppet to show everyone at the September meeting. She designs the costumes and makes the puppets.

Come out and see the puppets!!

Meghan McGovern is one of our DB individual members. She has attended Le COBDA a few times in the past. She received an Employee Appreciation Award from The Chicago Lighthouse. The certificate of appreciation was presented to her from Dr. Janet Szlyk, President and Executive Director, on July 16th. The certificate reads, “For Being Outstanding Customer Service Representation / Advocate Call Center.”

Congratulations, Meghan!

Le COBDA will start selling Terri Lynn candies and nuts in September. Packets will be handed out at the September meeting. Orders and money need to be turned in by October meeting date.

A message from Adrienne Brooks:

Adrienne asked if anybody is interested in joining the bowling league, here is the info.

CHICAGO SPARE CHASERS invite you all to come bowling with us every Saturday at 1:00 PM.

We will be pulling teams on August 23rd at 12:00 PM. Please join us. We will have the reading of leagues Rules and Bylaws plus we will get to bowl 3 free games that day. First day of bowling will begin September 6th 2014 at 1:30 PM. If you like to just sub, it will cost $10.00. You will have until December 6th to join. If you will like to join, it’s $20.00 a week.

Come out and join us.

TIME:      12:00 O’CLOCK
PLACE:   LAWN LANES, 6750 S. PULASKI, CHICAGO IL 60629  773-582-2525 OR

The very first DeafBlind International Expo was held in Las Vegas at the Riviera Hotel from July 30 to August 3, 2014. The Expo was hosted by the Bapin Group, LLC. Over 400 people attended in which, 150 were DeafBlind.

There was a shortage of SSPs and interpreters to accommodate the 52 DeafBlind individuals using tactile communication. The show went on and everyone was able to receive communication.

Joann and Veramarie attended the Expo and were surprised to see six other individuals from Illinois attend the Expo. Two were SSPs and four were DeafBlind.

LeCOBDA May 2014 Newsletter

We, Le COBDA, will be having an outing to Green City Market. It is located at the south end of Lincoln Park between Clark and Stockton Drive (approximately 1790 N. Clark).

Saturday, May 10, 2014

TIME: 10:30 AM to 2:30 PM

****Bring your cash as the vendors selling may not accept the cards. Also bring your bag for the vegetables and fruits****

Before heading to the Green City Market, please MEET at The Chicago History Museum first. We all will walk to the market which is about five minutes away

The Chicago History Museum is located at the south end of Lincoln Park
1601 N. Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60614

Please get to The Chicago History Museum by 10:30 AM.

Transportation Arrangements
PLEASE have your driver drop off at 10:30 AM and pick up at 2:30 PM at The Chicago History Museum.

PLEASE have your ride ready by 2:30 PM, no later than 2:30 PM. Please be aware that we will be not assisting or waiting for anyone to leave after 2:30 PM. Thank you.

Discounted parking is available for $10.00 for under two hours with validation in the Chicago Historical Museum parking lot off of Stockton Drive. Pick up a validation ticket at the Market Info Booth.


Be sure to show up on time or a bit early that would be appreciate.


After the Green City Market, we’ll be having lunch at Elly’s Pancake House which is close by walking.

Elly’s Pancake House
101 W. North Ave
Chicago, IL 60610

Serves: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Features: Open 24 hours, Accepts Credit Cards, Lunch Special
****Pay lunch on your own money***

If you will be attending, please contact Sara at to RSVP by May 8th.

Looking Forward to seeing you all!

Le COBDA President

Friendly Reminder:

A membership fee is DUE in May. It is $15.00. Please see Jerrie, the Treasurer for your renewal membership. Thanks!

Please remember we will not have a meeting in June. We’ll have an outing to the cruise at Navy Pier in July. Save the date of July 12th. Details to follow.
Illinois DeafBlind Retreat will be hosted from June 10, 2014 through June 14, 2014 at Illinois School for the Visually Impaired in Jacksonville, IL.  Application packets are ready.

If you are interested, contact Mindy Joy Mayer at for an application packet.


A message from Renee Ingalsbe and her co-directors:

Hi! Friend,

It’s that time again! 🙂

You’re invited to our 3rd DB camp at Camp Tuolumne Trails in Groveland, California on the dates of Saturday, July 19 through Saturday, July 26, 2014.

Party Theme – STAR WARS

Information – click this:!info/cjg9

We are looking forward to have a great time and hope you can join us!

Sincerely yours,

Mike Walton, founder/retreat co-director
Renee Ingalsbe, retreat co-director
Sue Morgan, retreat co-director

If you have any questions about this information, contact Renee at

2014 International Deaf-Blind Expo in Las Vegas

July 30, 2014 10:00pm to August 3, 2014 10:00pm
You are invited to take part in this first of its kind event.
Greetings all,

Happy New Year to you all! Bapin Group is excited to open 2014 with an announcement. We will be hosting the first-ever International Deaf-Blind Expo, scheduled to take place Wednesday, July 30, to Sunday, August 3, 2014, at the Riviera Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas! Please read below for full details.

For more information, please go to Stay tuned for more details!