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Committees of the California
Council of the Blind



Advocacy Committee:

Steven Mendelsohn, Chair
Phone: 510-357-1844
Advocacy Committee Chair

Awards Committee:

Joe Smith, Chair
Phone: 916 429-8002
Awards Committee Chair

The CCB Awards Committee solicits nominations and selects recipients of the general awards given by CCB. We induct people into the CCB Hall of Fame and present the Distinguished Service, Community Service, Humanitarian and Merit Awards, as well as the Legislator of the Year Award. We also procure the plaques for the other committees who present awards, the Publications Committee and the Membership Committee.

Committee on Access and Transportation:

Eugene Lozano, Jr., Chair
Phone: 916 485-8307
Committee on Access and Transportation Chair

The Committee on Access and Transportation's mission is to:

  1. Ensure that State and private facilities as well as Transportation facilities are accessible to individuals with disabilities.
  2. Review and submit comments to proposed Federal and State access regulations/guidelines as to how they affect accessibility of the built environment for individuals with visual impairments.
  3. Provide consultation and resource information to public, transportation and private entities on issues related to access needs for individuals with visual impairments.

Committee on Employment Assistance:

Mitch Pomerantz, Chair
Phone: 626 844-4388
Cell: 626 372-5150
Committee on Employment Assistance Chair

The Committee on Employment Assistance (C.E.A.) oversees a Revolving Loan Fund to assist blind and/or visually impaired persons to purchase necessary assistive technology or other work-related equipment. The Fund is designed for persons needing such equipment:

  1. To retain their present job in light of the use of more advanced technology in the work place;
  2. To facilitate a promotional opportunity;
  3. To accept an offer of employment where technology is required to perform job duties;
  4. or, To accept a volunteer position in a structured, supervised work place which is likely to lead to paid employment.

Conference and Convention Committee:

Jeff Thom, Chair
Phone: 916 995-3967
Conference and Convention Committee Chair

For each annual conference and convention, the Committee shall be responsible for:

  1. reviewing all hotel site bid proposals;
  2. recommending the acceptance of a single bid proposal;
  3. advising in the development of the general session and track programs;
  4. assisting in the planning and development of activities;
  5. and conducting an evaluation of the event program and the hotel facilities and services.

Constitution and Bylaws Committee:

Gabe Griffith, Chair
Phone: 925 768-8195
Constitution and Bylaws Committee Chair

The Constitution and Bylaws Committee shall be available to any member who wishes to propose amendments. It shall be responsible for sending notices of pending amendments and changes adopted to voting members. It shall initiate changes that it believes will make the Council more democratic and effective.

Credentials Committee:

Pamela Polagi, Chair
Phone: 626 445-7297
Credentials Committee Chair

The Credentials Committee reviews the credentials forms from all chapters and affiliates and verifies that the information is correct, complete and submitted by the deadline. This criteria is necessary in order for chapters and state affiliates to be considered in good standing with the Council.
The Credentials Committee Chair reports the status of chapters and affiliates to the CCB Conference and Convention body and presides over the Nominating Committee session.

Crisis Committee:

Christy Crespin, Chair
Phone: 909-800-7189
Crisis Committee Chair

Devotional Services Committee:

Gussie Morgan, Chair
Phone: 323 971-1801
Devotional Services Committee Chair

Domestic Violence and Hate Crimes Committee:

Pam Metz, Chair
Phone: 818 388-4995
Domestic Violence and Hate Crimes Committee Chair

The domestic violence and hate crimes committee of the Ca. Council of the Blind provides resources, education and support pertaining to all aspects of domestic violence and hate crimes to all Californians who are blind and vision impaired.
Our goals are to:

  1. Educate Californians who are blind and vision impaired about all aspects of domestic abuse and hate crimes.
  2. Assist people in obtaining accessible media pertaining to domestic abuse and hate crimes.
  3. Support those who may be going through abuse, or a hate crime that has been committed against them.
  4. Become proactive in the reduction of incidence of domestic abuse and hate crimes to all Californians.
  5. Educate those who work in shelters and hospitals, and police departments as to how to appropriately deal with someone who is blind and/or vision impaired.

Education Committee:

Joni Patche, Chair
Phone: 916 359-1212
Education Committee Chair
Leena Dawes, Vice Chair

The education committee reviews a broad range of educational programs for visually impaired and blind students.
The committee discusses and advocates for the ease of accessibility in educational programs. We look at techniques and tools used for teaching and learning, and we try to keep abreast of current trends in the field of education.

Finance and Budget Committee:

Judy Wilkinson, Chair
Phone: 510 388-5079
Finance and Budget Committee Chair

The Finance and Budget Committee is one of 7 standing committees set up by the CCB Bylaws. The committee arranges for an annual audit and conducts an annual review of the Council's Books. We also present a summary of the Council's financial position and provide an annual budget to the Board of Directors for adoption.

Governmental Affairs Committee:

Jeff Thom, Chair
Phone: 916-995-3967
Governmental Affairs Committee Chair

The Governmental Affairs Committee examines legislative and regulatory issues of concern to the California Council of the Blind. The committee, subject to resolutions adopted by the membership or any action taken by the board of directors, determines positions that the organization will take on state legislative proposals. The committee also disseminates information to the chapters about positions that the organization will be taking and issues on which we require members to advocate.

Hearing and Vision Impaired Committee:

David Hanlon, Chair
Phone: 858 610-0825
Hearing and Vision Impaired Committee Chair

The Hearing and Visually Impaired Committee exists to represent the needs of people with both vision and hearing impairments to the general membership of CCB and to work out methods of improving the accessibility of CCB and its activities to such people. Lately we have been trying to arrange more and better audio equipment for our conventions for assistive listening.

History Committee:

Catherine Skivers, Chair
Phone: 510 357-1986
History Committee Chair

Membership Committee: And Sub Committee First Timers

Vivian Younger, Chair
Phone: 562-879-6693
Membership Committee Chair
Sylvia (Sugar) Lopez, Vice Chair

The mission of the CCB Membership Committee is to encourage and assist CCB chapters and affiliates in increasing and maintaining membership by planning programs and projects, as well as visiting affiliates with specific membership issues. The educational seminars, membership discussion list, and helpful materials developed by the Membership Committee guide chapters and affiliates in their own membership development initiatives, which can include starting a new chapter or affiliate.

First Timers Committee:

Ardis Bazyn, Chair
Phone: 818 238-9321
First Timers Committee Chair

The CCB First-timers Committee mission is to acquaint new and prospective members with the mission of CCB, its governance, its history, and its general practices and activities. The committee endeavors to make all people with low vision and blindness become aware of the wonderful opportunities and advocacy available in CCB and our parent organization ACB.

Nominating Committee:

Pamela Polagi, Chair
Phone: 626 445-7297
Nominating Committee Chair
(Members are chosen by the chapters and statewide special interest affiliates)

The Nominating Committee consists of one member from each chapter and statewide affiliate in good standing. Each member is responsible for nominating candidates for positions on the Board of Directors as well as representing their chapter and/or affiliate during voting at the CCB Conference and Convention.

Personnel Committee:

Dr. Catherine Schmitt Whitaker, Chair
Phone: 909 274-8497
Personnel Committee Chair

The Personnel Committee is responsible for advising the President and Board of Directors on personnel matters.
The Committee prepares job descriptions, produces and maintains the employee handbook, and performs any other personnel related duties requested by the President.

Public Relations Committee:

(Undergoing reorganization)

Publications Committee:

Linda Porelle, Chair
Phone: 415 577-8437
Publications Committee Chair
Mike Keithley, Editor

The Publications Committee is responsible for Council publications distributed in Braille, recorded or print format both within and outside the organization, including: The Blind Californian, the Council's quarterly magazine, as well as brochures, pamphlets, speeches, articles, position papers, and any special publications.

Resolutions Committee:

Gabe Griffith, Co-Chair
Phone: 925 768-8195
Resolutions Committee Co-Chair
Jeff Thom, Co-Chair
Phone: 916 995-3967
Resolutions Committee Co-Chair

The Resolutions Committee is responsible for the process by which resolutions come to the floor of the annual CCB Conference and Convention. Resolutions may be drafted by the committee or the committee may assist CCB members draft resolutions for presentation to the committee. The committee holds hearings at which resolutions presented to it are modified both substantively, if agreed to by the author, and by making technical language and grammar changes. The committee makes recommendations to the membership concerning passage or other action to be taken on resolutions.

Resource Development Committee:

Frank Welte, Chair
Phone: 510-541-1442
Fund Raising Committee Chair

"The goal of the Resource Development committee of the California Council of the Blind is to devise and engage in purposeful activities that will both raise funds to enable the C C B to continue it's worthy goals of serving and empowering Californians who are blind or visually impaired, thereby enabling them to reach their full potential as citizens of the communities in which the live, as well as to make the California Council of the Blind and the available services known to the public."

Scholarship Committee:

Christy Crespin, Chair
Phone: 909-800-7189
Scholarship Committee Chair

Seniors with Vision Loss Committee:

Vickie Parker, Chair
Phone: 818 980-1897
Seniors with Vision Loss Committee Chair

The Seniors with Vision Loss Committee was founded in1995 in order to promote outreach to the elderly blind and visually impaired.
Currently the committee provides information and resources to seniors. Programs are presented at each CCB state Conference and Convention. Also, a number of publications are available on the CCB website under the Resource section.

Technical Operations Group:

Vita Zavoli, Chair
Phone: 510 846-4080
Technical Operations Group Chair

The Technical Operations Group (TOG) is responsible for the overall maintenance of the CCB website, mailing lists, email accounts; and providing technical advice and suggestions to the CCB office as requested.

Technology Committee:

Gabe Griffith, Co-Chair
Phone: 925 768-8195
Technology Committee Co-Chair
Andrea Pitsenbarger, Co-Chair
Phone: 714 921-0289
Technology Committee Co-Chair

The purpose of the technology committee is to plan and organize informational technology sessions and workshops.
The technology sessions address various aspects of assistive technology needs and concerns for individuals with various degrees of visual impairment. The overall objective is to Educate, inform and work with developers and manufacturers to introduce the latest technology to the blind community.




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