LeCOBDA-Meet Us At Uncle Julio’s

What better way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo than a tasty meal at Uncle Julio’s Fine Mexican Restaurant?Uncle Julio's Logo

The May LeCOBA meeting will be held at Uncle Julio’s instead of the Chicago Lighthouse cafeteria.  Also, we will meet on the first Saturday of May, May 4th, instead of our normal second Saturday of the month.

If you plan to join us, please arrange your transportation ride to meet directly at Uncle Julio’s, not at the Lighthouse.  We will meet there from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Uncle Julio’s
855 W. North Avenue
Chicago, IL  60642
Near Red Line North/Clybourn Station

LeCOBDA Members, please bring $10 or more to help pay for the meals for SSPs and Volunteers.  Your contribution will be gratefully appreciated.  Family or friends who wish to join this event will need to pay full price for their meals.

If you plan to go, please RSVP to Mindy Joy Mayer before April 26 at mindy.mayer@chicagolighthouse.org

Curious to know more about Uncle Julio’s?  You can visit the link here to their website or read the sample list of menu items below.  Warning:  You will get hungry reading this list!:

  • Homemade Tamales:  pork or chicken or veggie or shrimp
  • Quesadillas:  Veggie or Chicken Shrimp
  • Chicken Fajita Cobb Salad
  • Chicken Tortilla Soup
  • Ensaladita (Salad)
  • Ensalada Grande (Big Salad)
  • Salad Dressings:  Ranch, Honey Dijon Vinaigrette, Chipotle Ranch and Citrus Vinaigrette
  • Cheese and Onion Enchiladas
  • Chicken Enchiladas
  • Beef Enchiladas
  • Combination Enchiladas:  Beef, chicken or cheese & onion
  • Soft Taco Plate:  2 chicken or 2 beef or
  • Supreme: 2 chicken or beef fajita
  • Crispy Taco Plate:  3 chicken or beef
  • Flautas Dinner:  Chicken or beef
  • Herschel’s Platter:  Chicken enchilada, cheese chile relleno, pork tamale, beef taco al carbon
  • Juanita’s Platter:  Create your own custom combination of 2 enchiladas (chicken, beef or cheese & onion) plus 1 crispy taco (chicken or beef) plus 1 tamale (pork or chicken)
  • Benito’s Platter:  Cheese chile relleno, chicken enchilada, pork tamale
  • Cheese Chile Rellenos
  • Plato Tampiqueno:  Carne Asada & enchilada
  • Mesquite Grilled Salmon Filet
  • Ensalada Especial
  • Grilled Vegetable Platter
  • Fajitas al Carbon:  choose Chicken, or Beef, or Chicken and Beef or Spicy Shrimp
  • Vegetable Fajitas Especial
  • Vegetable Fajitas
  • Fajitas Especial:  Beef and chicken fajitas
  • Honey Chipotle Salmon
  • Carne Asada:  marinated beef skirt steak.
  • Grilled Fish Tacos:  grilled tilapia
  • Tacos al Carbon:  chicken or beef fajitas
  • Pechuga de Pollo:  grilled chicken breast

LeCOBDA Election Season Is Here!

The next LeCOBDA meeting will be on Saturday, April 13, 2013 at the Chicago Lighthouse from 11:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m.  in the Cafeteria at:

1850 W. Roosevelt Road
Chicago, IL  60608

Soup, sandwiches and beverages will be provided and you can bring your favorite desserts to share with the group.  We will be joined by interpreting students from Columbia College and Harper College to help facillitate communication.

Annual membership dues will be collected during this meeting.  Please bring $15 to renew your membership for 2013.  Your membership helps to keep our organization strong and cover costs such as the monthly luncheons, field trips and other fun things we do in our group.

If you are planning to attend the LeCOBDA Luncheon, please call or email the Deaf-Blind Program to reserve your lunch.  Contact information is below.  If you are an SSP/Interpreter/Volunteer, please arrive at 10:30 a.m. so we can pair you with a DeafBlind individual and we can start our meeting on time at 11:00 a.m.

This is an important meeting for the LeCOBDA members as this is the time of year when we elect new officers to help organize LeCOBDA.   We will elect a President, Vice-President, Treasurer and Secretary.  All votes are due by April 13.  If you are not able to attend next LeCOBDA meeting, you can still vote by email.  Send an email to Mindy Joy Mayer at Mindy.mayer@chicagolighthouse.org.

Here are our official nominees:

  • Sara Chung
  • Celine Bush
  • Catherine Klein
  • Camille Page
  • Jerrie Lawhorn
Treasurer’s Assistant:
  • Debbie Hecker
  • Lori Eshoo (non-voting Volunteer)

Special Note:  Jerrie Lawhorn has been serving as our treasurer since 1980!  WOW!  And she is definitely not ready to retire yet.  However, she is willing to teach another to be her assistant Treasurer.

Only DeafBlind members in good standing (dues paid in full) can vote or run for office.  One exception is the Recording Secretary, which can be fulfilled by a non-DeafBlind volunteer.

To RSVP your lunch for the April LeCOBDA meeting, please contact one of the following at the Chicago Lighthouse Deaf-Blind Program:

Joann Rushing – 312.666.1331, ext. 3415 voice
312.957.4865 videophone
312.666.8874 TTYMindy Joy Mayer
312.447.3454 TTY
312.957.4865 videophoneVeramarie Baldoza
312.957.4865 videophone



In Memoriam: John W Robe

President of American Association of the Deaf-Blind, Jill Robe-Gaus, lost her father over the weekend after a long illness.  Jill, of neighboring state Michigan, has been a strong friend to our region and many of us have had the opportunity to work with her promoting DeafBlind social causes.  We join her in prayer for her father and offer our support during this time for Jill and her family.

One of her father’s final requests was to ask all of us to donate to the Leader Dogs program for the DeafBlind in Michigan in lieu of flowers.  Those of you who were at the 2012 Illinois DeafBlind Retreat will remember the wonderful folks who came to our retreat from Leader Dogs.  The Leader Dog program is an important project in strengthening the independence of the DeafBlind individual, and as a community, we are honored that Mr. Robe chose to support this program as his final wish.

If you would like to make a donation in Mr. John W. Robe’s memory, here is the information:

Leader Dog School DeafBlind Program
1039 S Rochester Rd
Rochester Hills, MI 48307

You may make an online donation here.

Hearing Aid Legislation in Springfield

If you wear hearing aids, you know that buying a hearing aid can be very expensive.  Not only that, but most private insurers do not cover the costs of hearing aids.  With hearing aids now costing thousands of dollars per ear, immediate financial relief is sorely needed.

The Illinois State Legislature aims to put an end to this unfair practice of excluding hearing aids from private insurance coverage.  Right now, there are two bills moving through the Illinois State Senate and Illinois Sate House.  They are legislatie bills SB 38 was introduced by Chicago Senator Ira Silverstein and HB 1231 was introduced by Bloomington Representative Dan Brady.  Both bills want to make private insurers pay up to $2,500 per hearing aid per ear per every three years.

So contact your state representatives soon to let them know to please support these bills.  Legislators need to hear from you why this is so very important to all of us.   You can learn more about this legislation by clicking here.


Valentine’s at Le COBDA Was Great!

We had a great time at the last Le COBDA meeting in February.  Lots of people showed up and we had some awesome guests.  We had a few new people come to the event and it is great to see our Le COBDA community growing!

Joan recognized many of our faithful, loyal, committed and gracious volunteers, giving thanks to our many volunteers with sweet treats!  Thank you for the bringing the Deaf-Blind members to the meetings, for interpreting, guiding, carrying food, running to the trains for pick-ups and drop-offs, helping with the fundraising, and the hundreds of other necessary assistances you provide!

Unfortunately, our president, Celine Bush, was unable to attend the February meeting.  We wish to express our condolences on the passing of her sister and join together in saying prayers for her.


We had several fundraising opportunities to raise money for our next Illinois DeafBlind Retreat to be held in 2014.

Mindy Joy and Julie are selling raffle tickets, $5 each or 3 for $10.  1st prize is $500, 2nd prize is $300 and 3 prize is $100.  They will sell raffle tickets until July.  The winners will be announced on the July cruise, but do not need to be present.

Elke W, friend of several Deaf-Blind members, brought the “Miche” collection of changeable handbags and wallets for sale. The clever bags have interchangeable shells to give you a variety of good looks.  Each sale at the LeCOBDA meeting earned more money toward the Deaf-Blind Retreat.

With the success of Scentsy and now Miche, Joann wondered if the Le COBDA members think it is a good idea to find more businesses to come to the meetings and sell their products with a percentage of the profit going to the Deaf-Blind Retreat.  What do you think about that idea?  Do you know any businesses that could come and sell goods at the LeCOBDA meetings?

Presenting ILDBA

The Illinois Association of the Deaf-Blind returned to Le COBDA to give a great overview of their organization.

Karyn Campbell, Renee Ingalsbe and Laura Ebersohl came to Chicago for the Le COBDA meeting.  The Illinois Association of Deaf-Blind is still seeking members.  Join now and grow the ILADB powerbase.  Membership is free at this time.  After ILADB receives its 501(c)3 status as a non-profit organization, membership will cost money.  The ILADB will be your advocate to the state and federal government for the SSP Taskforce, rehabilitation services and other services and programs specifically for the Deaf-Blind.  Alone, your one voice may not be heard, but when you group together with Deaf-Blind across the state of Illinois, legislators will listen.  Also, the position of Treasurer is still open and two Board member positions need to be filled.  Contact ILADB at:  iladbboard@gmail.com.

Come to our meetings!

As you can see, our meetings are always a lot of fun.  You get to meet great people and new friends and learn quite a bit about what’s going on around the community.  If you haven’t come to  our meetings yet, don’t miss the next one on March 9th at the Chicago Lighthouse, 1850 W. Roosevelt Road, in Chicago.  We’re all going green for St. Paddy’s Day!

Get Green for Le COBDA!

Our next monthly Le COBDA meeting will be Saturday, March 9th at the Chicago Lighthouse.

Lunch will include chicken, turkey and veggie pot pies, salad, and beverage.  You can bring your favorite dessert to share with the group. Planning to attend the March Le COBDA luncheon?  Call or email the Deaf-Blind Program to reserve lunch (contact information at end of this newsletter).  Wear green to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day!

For SSPs and Volunteers, please arrive at Chicago LightHouse at 10:30 a.m. so we can match you with DeafBlind individuals prior to the start of the meeting at 11 a.m.


 March 9, 2013
11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Chicago Lighthouse Cafeteria
1850 W. Roosevelt Road in Chicago


Please let us know as soon as you can by contacting us at the Lighthouse:  You can post your comment below to say you are coming.  Or contact us directly at the Lighthouse.

 Videophone: 312.957.4865
TTY:  312.666.8874


SSP Task Force Meeting – Jan 31, 2013

The Illinois Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission (IDHHC) formally launched the SSP Task Force in October of 2012.  The task force is responsible for developing a proposal for providing a Special Service Provider (SSP) program for DeafBlind residents within the state of Illinois.

The next meeting will be held on January 31, 2013 in Springfield, Illinois at the new IDHHC offices.  All task force meetings are open to the public, and you are welcome to join us for this important initiative.


528 South 5th Street, Suite 209
Springfield, IL  62701
Meeting Time:  11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The office is located just several blocks away from the Springfield Amtrak station.  If you are unable to make it, we will post here on ChicagoDeafBlind.org information about the results of the meeting.

Current Task Force Members:

  • Karyn Campbell
  • Ingrid Halvorsen
  • Renee Ingalsbe
  • Julie Somers
  • Tamara Ward
  • Bryen Yunashko

Next LeCOBdA Meeting – February 9, 2013

When: February 9, 2013
Time: 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Where: Chicago Lighthouse
1850 w. Roosevelt road
chicago, IL  60608

We hope everyone had a safe, healthy and happy holiday and New Year!  For our combined Valentine’s / Mardi Gras celebration luncheon, we will have fresh, hot pizza, crispy green salad, and hot coffee and soft drinks.

Feel free to bring your favorite dessert to share and look for your piece of King Cake.  Planning to attend the February LeCOBDA luncheon?  Call or email the Deaf-Blind Program to reserve your lunch (Contact information at end of this announcement).  Wear red to celebrate Valentine’s Day, or wear purple, green or gold to celebrate Mardi Gras!
For SSPs/Volunteers, please come to LeCOBDA at 10:30 am; we need to match you with Deaf-Blind individuals at 11 am so we can start the LeCOBDA meeting on time with announcements.

Scentsy will be back on February 9 for orders; this is to raise money to fund the Deaf-Blind Retreat.

If you’re planning to come to our exciting gathering, please RSVP by February 4th to one of the contacts below:

Joann Rushing – 312.666.1331, ext. 3415 voice
312.957.4865 videophone
312.666.8874 TTY

Mindy Joy Mayer
312.447.3454 TTY
312.957.4865 videophone

Veramarie Baldoza
312.957.4865 videophone