A self-help organization dedicated to improving the lifestyle and independence of the blind and visually impaired
Working in New York, Our Members Have:
Advocated for the installation of speech-enabled payment systems in New York City taxis
Worked to make crossing streets safer by increasing the number of Accessible Pedestrian Signals (APS) installed at intersections
Advocated for accessible Web sites in both public and private spheres
Worked to ensure programs and professionals serving people who are blind and visually impaired provide the highest quality services
Recent Things We Have Done
Filomen M. D'Agostino Greenberg Music School
January 5, 2019 - At a meeting of the Greater New York Council of the Blind, an overwhelming vote was passed to donate $1,000 to The Filomen M. D'Agostino Greenberg Music School. The director, Dr. Leslie Jones, came to the November meeting of GNYCB to explain the issues facing the music school. Dr. Jones explained to all in attendance how the music school was doing after Lighthouse Guild decided to close the school. She stated this could be a great opportunity for the music school because it could promote its accomplishments, fundraise, and look for a permanent location. Dr. Jones impressed the room by announcing that The Filomen M. D'Agostino Greenberg Music School is the only community music school in the country that specializes in teaching and training blind and visually impaired musicians. The music school is also a resource center for blind and visually impaired musicians--not just in New York, but around the country. The music school provides services far beyond music lessons. It also transcribes ccompositions into Braille and provides music teaching material in Braille and large print. Now that the music school is independent from Lighthouse Guild, the school is free to be a completely independent music school. Currently, the music school is seeking a permanent residence but is sure it will find a suitable space soon.
We in the Greater New York Council of the Blind encourage all persons and all chapters to reach out and support the music school.
We were so thoroughly impressed by the accomplishments of the school that we felt it needed our support. Most of our members at some point have attended the music school and felt we owed it a debt of gratitude for bringing the joy of playing an instrument or singing into our lives.
On January 5, the new President of the Greater New York Council of the Blind brought forth his agenda
for his term. Terence Page stated that he wanted GNYCB to demand that cable providers do what they're obligated to do by law. "Our money is just as
good as everyone else’s, so why are we getting inferior service?" Mr. Page went on to say Spectrum, Verizon, and CableVision are not providing audio description,
accessible billing, accessible contracts, accessible channel guides in Braille or large print, or accessible Web sites, among other issues. The providers
are not guilty of breaking all of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and FCC (Federal Communications Commission) rules, but they all break the law
in one way or another. "My goal is to bring all of the cable providers to our chapter to answer the question “Why?"
With this goal in mind, Victor Andrews set off with a dogmatic and relentless goal to have a cable provider meet with our chapter. Mr. Andrews has been
very successful at getting the cable companies' attention. On March 2 from 2:00-4:00, the Disability Specialist from Spectrum, Petr Kucheryavyy, was the first to address our concerns. Mr. Andrews hopes to get Verizon to confirm for our April 6 or May 4 meeting.
The Greater New York Council of the Blind meets on the first Saturday of the month from 2:00-4:00 at the
Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library.
Upcoming meeting dates are Apr. 6, May 4, and Jun. 1.
All are welcome! Come on out and help shape the world!
Board of Directors:
President: Terence Page
Vice President: Barbara Robins
Treasurer: Gail Sussman
Recording Secretary: Karyl Cafiero
Corresponding Secretary: Rachel Graff
Delegate / Legislative Representative: Maureen Moscato
Board Members: Ellen Rubin, Sal Moscato, Victor Andrews, Karen Kacen
Immediate Past President: Bob White
AccessWorld: A digital electronic magazine dedicated to any device that is accessible - from apps, TV’s to appliances. Price: FREE
Aipoly Vision: An artificial intelligence app. Point the camera to a thing or person, and it will learn to identify it. Price: FREE
BARD Mobile: A digital book app from the Andrew Heiskell Library to download audio books, magazines, instructional music material, some in multiple languages or in digital Braille format. You must join the library first. Price: FREE
Be My Eyes: An app that uses the camera on your phone to identify objects or anything with a visual assistant (real person). This app is also connected to the Microsoft Help Desk for 24-hour computer assistance; Google products are also supported. Price: FREE
Blindfold Games: Games everyone can play but developed for blind and visually impaired persons. Price: Depends on the Game.
BlindSquare: A navigation app that lists locations of arts and entertainment venues, colleges and universities, restaurants and their menus, outdoors and recreation, nightlife spots, professional and other places, residences, shops, and services. While traveling, this app will also bring up a map and estimate your walking time to public transportation and how much it would cost to travel by Uber. Price: $39.99
Here We Go: Tells you how to get from one place to another; is easier to use than Google Maps. Price: FREE
KNFB Reader: Scans documents and will turn them into Word or emails. Price: $99.99 (price varies during the year)
Money Reader: Reads money in many different currencies. Price: FREE
Move It: A transportation app that tells you the nearest subway station or bus stop from where you are standing. This app will also tell you when the next bus or train arrives. Price: FREE
Nearby Explorer: A navigation app that tells you where you are and what’s around you. Price: FREE
Netflix: A movie streaming app. A person can also request a movie on CD with audio description. A good portion of the movies are audio-described. Price: $10.99 per month
OO Tunes: A digital radio. Gives you access to hundreds of stations in the U.S. and around the world. Radio alarm clock, records online radio shows, stores your favorite stations. Price: $4.99
Over There: Tells you what store you're pointing your phone at. Price: FREE
Read to Go: A digital book app brought to you by Bookshare. Digital audio books and Braille format accessible by downloading into your phone. This app is associated with joining the library. Price: FREE
Seeing AI: Scanning program that reads documents, labels, money, environments, faces, and handwriting, depending on the model of your phone. Price: Free
Soundscape: A navigation app that tells you where you are and what’s around you in walking distance. Price: FREE
Spectrum TV: Allows a person to watch those cable features you have trouble accessing on your TV, such as the guide, shows on demand, and movies. The app has a library so you can go back and continue watching much later. Price: comes with your cable provider.
Talking Tuner: A chromatic tuner that helps you to tune any instrument by listening. Price: $.99
Tap Tap See: A camera app that describes pictures you have taken. Price: FREE
Voice Dream Reader: This app allows the listener to improve or change the voice on the Read to Go app and other places on your phone. Price varies depending on voice purchased
Voice Dream Scanner: A scanning app that does the job better than KNFB Reader and Seeing AI. Text can be oriented in any direction, and your phone can be tilted in different directions. Recognizes text in low light and can save it in various file formats. Price: $6
Blind Mice Mega Mall A shopping mall that contains stores carrying a great variety of products. Also includes a Movie Vault, where you can download the soundtrack of thousands of audio-described movies
Directions For Me A Web site that provides cooking directions or packaging information for thousands of products