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Greater New York Council of the Blind

A chapter of the American Council of the Blind of New York; An affiliate of the American Council of the Blind

GNYCB Achivements 2020-2021

GNYCB Gets Masks and Gloves for Selis Manor
By Terence Page

Photo of four men standing outside Selis Manor Photo of Ramakrishna Kadukuntla, Elijah Hobbs, Terence Page, and Braulio Thorne receiving PPEs.

On Feb. 22, 2021, a shipment of masks and gloves were hand-delivered to Selis Manor by Mr. Ramakrishna Kadukuntla, a representative of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD). Mr. Kadukuntla provided the answer to an urgent request to acquire Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Mr. Elijah Hobbs, a Rep. for Selis Manor Management, approached me, President of the Greater New York Council of the Blind, in the lobby of Selis Manor and stated, “We give out masks to anyone entering the building or to anyone who is in need, and we are in short supply. Could you or GNYCB acquire any masks?” I responded, “We will try our best.” I called and emailed the MOPD, but our request seemed to get lost in the early COVID fog. We didn’t give up.

We assigned the task to Mr. Victor Andrews, known for being a dogmatic Board Member. Within a week or so, we received a call from Mr. Kadukuntla, and the 2,500 masks and 50,000 pairs of gloves were handed to Mr. Hobbs, Mr. Braulio Thorne, and me, by Mr. Kadukuntla.

The PPEs were distributed on Wed., March 3 at 10 a.m. to the residents of Selis Manor, acknowledging the efforts of MOPD and the Greater New York Council of the Blind.

Mr. Kadukuntla stated, “I tried to give your group as many as I could. We usually send PPEs to individuals, but when we were informed of your need, my driver and I got here as soon as possible.”

While shaking my hand, Mr. Hobbs sang our praises: “GNYCB, you guys kept your word and delivered, and I respect that!”

We at GNYCB thank Mr. Jonathan Novick and Mr. Kadukuntla of MOPD for their continued support of the blind and visually impaired community.

The GNYCB wants to help you, so please contact us and let us know your concerns.

by Terence Page

The Greater New York Council of the Blind (GNYCB) has been in a state of mourning since the COVID-19 pandemic began, but that does not mean we have been inactive! Our website has continued to grow and keep the community informed with our excellent Web team of Rachel Graff, designer, webmaster, and editor, and Karen Kacen, designer, editor, and monitor of our museum lists. Our new Social Media Director, Yasmin Campbell, has established our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. We are dedicated to being the ultimate source for advocacy, legislation, voting, health, entertainment, sports, and activities for individuals in New York City who are blind and visually impaired. Our chapter meets via teleconference the first Saturday of the month, and all are welcome.

Since the pandemic, GNYCB has been called on in many capacities. We are currently on the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) COVID Response Team, along with other grassroots organizations. We are tasked with disseminating and gathering information on the mood of the community. We have come up with the following ideas:
  1. Outdoor restaurants must leave a clear path for the blind and visually impaired;
  2. COVID-19 testing information should be available and accessible to screen reader software;
  3. PPE (personal protective equipment) must be distributed throughout our community; and
  4. The blind and visually impaired should receive proper nutrition during the pandemic.

Our Work with the TLC

Ellen Rubin, Gail Sussman, and Terence Page have been working with the Taxi and Limousine Commission to improve the relationship it has with our community. Concerns put forth by this group include:

Special Acknowledgments:

Procter & Gamble:

Our chapter was tasked by ACB National to distribute products by Procter & Gamble to assist during the current pandemic. The products were shipped in see-through plastic bags. In these bags were shopping bags containing a mask and various cleaning and personal hygiene products. Some of the products were damaged in shipping, but overall, the packages ended up in the hands of very grateful residents of Selis Manor. The bags were handed out by Braulio Thorne, Robert Weekes, Yelitza Picon, and Terrea Mitchell in the lobby of Selis Manor with social distance kept in mind.

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