IFB Beat – Week of August 7, 2023

A Message from the Editor

I hope the tips for a safe and productive workplace have been helpful as we navigate such a unique workforce of individuals who are sighted, low vision, and blind. This week, read about guide dog etiquette.

Please also read about how the Winston-Salem AAA Committee is looking for new members to help promote Advocacy, Awareness, and Advancement.

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Anastasia Powell

IFB Solutions Communications Manager

apowell@ifbsolutions.org | 336-245-5698

Quick Links:

New this Week

Tips for a Safe and Productive Workplace Part 3: Guide Dog Etiquette
Introducing New Employees
Winston-Salem AAA Committee Call for Members
See what S.E.E. is Doing
Adult Support Group Meetings
CLVC Item of the Week

From Our Community

Insider Corner

HR and Opportunities

Benefit of the Week
New Job Openings

Support Group Zoom Meeting Links


New this Week

Graphic: Tips for a Safe and Productive Workplace

Tips for a Safe and Productive Workplace

IFB Solutions has a very unique workforce of individuals who are sighted, low vision, and blind, and there are several practices we need to consider to keep everyone safe and productive on the job.

In the last two editions of the IFB Beat we have highlighted tips on how to interact with a co-worker who is blind and cane etiquette. In this week’s edition we share tips on guide dog etiquette. Please take time to read and follow these tips as they are for your safety and for the safety of all employees.

General Guide Dog Etiquette tips:

I know we all love cute furry dogs, and it is hard to resist petting them. Guide dog aside, it’s important to teach everyone to ask before petting another person’s dog, especially for guide dogs. We should keep in mind that guide dogs are not pets but are working animals that help people with disabilities. You should always be respectful of the dog’s job and not pet or distract them while they’re working. We encourage you to ask questions and learn more about guide dogs and their important role in society.

Here are some additional tips:

  • Do not distract the dog: Guide dogs are trained to be focused on their work and to ignore distractions. If you try to pet or interact with the dog, it could distract them from their important duties and put their handler in danger. It’s important to treat guide dogs with the same respect and professionalism that you would give to their human handlers.
  • Ask for permission: If you want to interact with a guide dog, always ask for permission from the handler first. They may be happy to let you meet the dog, but it’s important to follow their lead and respect their wishes.
  • Do not feed the dog: Guide dogs are trained to follow a strict diet and feeding schedule. Giving them extra treats or food can disrupt their training and lead to health issues. Avoid offering the dog any food, even if it seems friendly.
  • Don’t call the dog’s name, make eye contact with a working dog, or attempt to give the guide dog directions. If you’re meeting with a blind person who has a dog, talk to the person only.
  • When traveling and on the same path as a handler and their guide dog, do not try to go around the guide dog, they are trained to go around you and all other obstacles.

I hope these tips on how to interact with co-workers who are blind or have low vision and cane, and guide dog etiquette has been helpful. If you find yourself in a situation with a co-worker and do not know what to do, the best practice is to just ask.


Introducing New Employees

Welcome new employees: Tiara Reynolds, Marketing and Design Assistant, Winston-Salem Facility

Tiara Reynolds, Marketing and Design Assistant, will start Monday, August 7th joining the IFB marketing, communications and philanthropy team in the Winston-Salem office. She will report to Seth Anderson, Senior Director of Marketing and Development. Tiara previously worked at IFB as a graphic designer, and we’re thrilled to have her back! In this new role, she will support graphic design and marketing admin for Pinnacle Mercantile, BSCs, Workforce Services, Philanthropy and many other business units and internal groups as well as managing the marketing ticketing system. Please give her a warm welcome!


Winston-Salem AAA Committee Call for Members

The AAA Committee is looking for new, enthusiastic, mission-driven members. AAA is an employee-driven committee representing Advocacy, Advancement, and Awareness. Their mission involves serving as a bridge which conveys awareness towards improvements and ideas from employees who are blind or low vision to upper management and the executive team. This collaboration progresses successful advancement of IFB’s future.

AAA is the advocator of blind and low vision employees work, navigation, and accessibility needs. They bring awareness through:

  • Sensitivity to Blindness Training for new hires and sighted employees
  • Literal hands-on manufacturing experience for executives and upper management improving their knowledge of work environments
  • Offering a variety of support groups for employees’ collaboration, growth, and advancement in numerous ways
  • Enhancing Winston-Salem’s view of our community through volunteer opportunities and partnerships. As well as providing clear communication connecting it all and so much more.

If positively advocating, bringing awareness, and seeking advancement is an interest of yours, the AAA Committee would love for you to join. Contact Shonn Redmond, AAA Committee President, by stopping by the Community Low Vision Center or emailing sredmond@ifbsolutions.org for more information.


See what S.E.E. is Doing

S.E.E. Campers work on their flowers traced with jello project

The S.E.E. campers painted tactile pictures of flowers with glue and Jell-O powder spread inside the raised lines. They made a flower box for the picture from an index card with homemade puff paint on it. Self-rising flour, salt, and water with a pinch of Jell-O powder for color covered the index card and puffed up when heated 25 seconds in the microwave. Each of the 6 Jell-O flavors had a different fruity scent so the S.E.E. campers could tell which colors they wanted to use.


Adult Support Group Meetings:

  • Monday, August 7 AAA Committee meeting from 12:00-1:00 in TADS Room.
  • Tuesday, August 8 Transportation support group meeting from 12:00-12:45 in TADS Room.
  • Wednesday, August 9 Blind Ambitions support group meeting from 12:00-12:45 in TADS Room.


CLVC Item of the Week:

Tel-Time Talking Calorie Counter

Tel-Time Talking Calorie Counter. $9.99

This talking calorie counter monitors and announces the calories burned from your walking, jogging and running.

If you are interested in purchasing Low Vision Equipment through our Loan Program (3rd Party), please contact a Low Vision Coordinator for assistance.


From Our Community

Insider Corner

This section is edited by Faith Harding. Have something to share? Email Faith at fharding@ifbsolutions.org

Tell Us How You Feel About the Internet!

The Metrolina Association for the Blind, together with the Center for Digital Equity, is hosting a workshop to explore the Digital Divide. We are talking about challenges and barriers to internet access for many folks in the greater Charlotte area, and the CDE is hosting a workshop especially for people who have low vision or who are blind to talk about this topic.

If you would like to talk about your frustrations or even your successes in using the internet with other people who are visually impaired or blind and those who will be working to change access policies, we would encourage you to sign up and be heard! The CDE will take your thoughts and ideas, along with members of other communities here in the Charlotte area and propose policy initiatives designed to make internet access more available to everyone, including people who are blind or who have low vision.

Register for the Zoom workshop at the below link. You will receive a $25 participation gift and a T-shirt. The workshop will take place on Saturday, August 12 from 10:00 to 11:30. Register here https://share.hsforms.com/1Lo7Gpx-2TY2UrziTiknduA3qimx.

Support the NFB Annual Fundraiser!

The Forsyth County chapter of the NFB presents a Fish Fry on Saturday, August 26 at 2:00pm. We will meet at Southfork Park located at 4403 Country Club Road. There will be music, games, and a fish dinner. All dinners are $20 and include two pieces of fish, coleslaw, baked beans, dinner roll and a drink. Hope to see you there!


HR & Opportunities

Your Benefit of the Week

This section is a weekly feature supported by IFB Solutions Benefits Supervisor Ciara Frenette. Reach her at cfrenette@ifbsolutions.org.

If you are enrolled in IFB’s medical plan through Healthgram, you must provide proof of a physical to the benefits department no later than 5/30/24 to receive your wellness discount on your medical premium. Everyone currently enrolled is paying the with wellness premium, so please submit your physicals if you want to continue this discounted rate for next plan year.

If your provider prefers to fax those directly to IFB Solutions Benefits, they can do so to Ciara Frenette at 336-251-1192.

New Job Announcements

For all current openings, visit https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs?clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909

For more information about any employment opportunities with IFB Solutions please contact Brent Burkholder at bburkholder@ifbsolutions.org or X5611.


Zoom Meeting Links

Adult Support Groups Zoom

Meeting ID: 994 9807 8576
One tap mobile
+13017158592,99498078576# US (Germantown)

13126266799,99498078576# US

Dial by your location.
877 853 5257 US Toll-free
888 475 4499 US Toll-free
Meeting ID: 994 9807 8576


Assistive Technology Support Group Zoom


Meeting ID: 944 3463 0872
Passcode: 924496

+13017158592, 99434630872, #, # US (Germantown)

+13126266799, 99434630872, #, # US (Chicago)