IFB Beat – Week of July 31, 2023

A Message from the Editor

In the July 24 Edition of The IFB Beat, we shared best practices when interacting with our unique workforce of individuals who are sighted, low vision, and blind. This week, it’s all about cane etiquette; it will be a refer for some and new info for others. In addition, this week we introduce you to our new manufacturing supervisors, invite you to Saturday morning trivia, and provide you with the latest update from our S.E.E. campers. Enjoy reading and have a great week!

(No time to stroll the full Beat? See the quick links below – those will help you find the most relevant info quickly.)

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 2: Cane Etiquette
What’s Happening on the Floor: Meet New Winston-Salem Facility Supervisors
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 is one of the largest employers of people who are blind in the US. With such a unique workforce of individuals who are sighted, low vision, and blind, there are several practices we need to consider to keep everyone safe and productive on the job.

Last week we highlighted Tips for a Safe and Productive Workplace  when interacting with your coworkers who are blind or low vision. In this week’s edition we share tips on cane etiquette. This will be a refresher for employees who are blind and etiquette awareness for employees who are sighted. Please take time to read and follow these tips as they are for your safety and for the safety of all employees.

What Is a White Cane?

A white cane is a mobility aid that can be used by people of all ages who have low vision or blindness. This is a tool that helps you to move independently while providing safety and balance. There are different types of canes available depending on your level of vision loss. It’s used around the world so that people everywhere can recognize it and its purpose.

Using a white cane is a choice. Some people choose other ways to navigate with low vision, like using a guide dog. A white cane has many different functions since you can use it to probe and feel what’s in front of you. A white cane acts as a bumper against the environment, in addition to letting others around you know that you have low vision or vision loss.

Using a cane correctly means learning the right techniques for holding and maneuvering it. While you’ll find tips for using a cane below, it’s worth noting that many non-profits or state programs offer courses for using a white cane so that you can receive top-notch training. Your eye health specialist will recommend that you go through proper training. Another option is to work with a certified orientation and mobility specialist (O&M), an expert who works with blind or visually impaired people so that they can safely travel and live independently.

When learning how to use a white cane, the proper techniques will allow you to be able to search the ground ahead of you with every step. You should have a cane that’s fitted to you to make sure that you’re learning how to use the right tool for you. The length of your cane depends on your height. It should go from the floor up to your sternum when holding it upright. Then you can safely rely on your white cane to guide you on your way.

Tips for Using a Cane

The first step in using a white cane is to hold it correctly. Hold it in your dominant hand with your hand centered in front of your body. Your index finger should point down the shaft of the cane and your thumb and other fingers should wrap around it. You can think of this technique as shaking hands with your cane. This is the beginning of the arcing technique, sometimes called the foot cane technique, which is used in most daily situations.

Once you’ve got the right grip, you can begin to move your cane. When using your cane, your arm should remain still. All movement should come from your fingers and wrist. Keeping your arm close to your waist can help prevent it from becoming tired. Make sure that your elbow is bent comfortably. Beginning by moving your cane in a sweeping or arcing motion that’s about the same width as your shoulders or an inch wider than your body.

The constant contact technique is letting the tip of your cane constantly slide across the ground. You can also try the touch technique, which is tapping the tip of your cane with each arc. If you’re using this technique, you should never lift the tip of your cane more than an inch off the ground.

Next, make sure that you’re moving your cane in rhythm with your feet. If your right foot is forward, then the tip of your cane should be touching the ground on the left side of your body. If you’re tapping your cane, there should be one tap with each step. Alternating the cane with your feet gives you a two-step alert to objects in your path.

It’s important to keep a light touch. The lighter that you touch something with the tip of your cane, the more information you’ll be able to get from it. You’ll be able to notice not only things in your path but things like changes in terrain or cracks in the sidewalk. The goal is for your cane to become your eyes and gather information about the world around you.

Things not to do when interacting with a person using a white cane:

  • Do not grab a person’s cane to lead or guide them. Provide verbal directions or offer sighted guide.
  • Do not jump over a person’s cane to avoid contact with the person or cane. This can be a tripping hazard.

Watch 5 things not to do when someone is using a white cane.

Stay tuned for more tips.


What’s Happening on the Floor: Meet New Winston-Salem Facility Supervisors

Welcome New Employees - William "JoJo" Lindsay, Manufacturing Supervisor, Winston-Salem Facility

William “Jo Jo” Lindsay returns to IFB this Monday, July 31. He will be working under the direction of Pedro Rojas, As the supervisor in the Army Combat Shirt (ACS) department. Jo Jo served many years as a supervisor with IFB Solutions and has a broad knowledge of IFB’s diverse manufacturing operations. He is a great team player and was recognized for his hard work and dedication by receiving the Delmer Wall Outstanding Service Award in 2019. Welcome back to the team Jo Jo! We look forward to your valuable contributions.

Welcome New Employees - Aaron Miller, Manufacturing Supervisor, Winston-Salem Facility

Aaron Miller will also start with IFB Solutions this Monday, July 31. He will be working under the direction of Pedro Rojas, as the supervisor in the T-shirt department. Aaron comes to us with supervisory skills and a vast knowledge of Managing and directing production processes. He has a passion for coaching & motivating others. Welcome to the team Aaron! We look forward to the many contributions you will bring to IFB.


See what S.E.E. is Doing

Large Zucchini

The S.E.E. kids picked a very large zucchini grown in the schoolhouse garden. The biggest one so far is 15 inches long and about as big around at the largest part as a quart jar.


Adult Support Group Meetings:

  • Tuesday, August 1 VIPS Club meeting from 12:00-1:00 in TADS Room.
  • Wednesday, August 2 RP support group meeting from 12:00-12:45 in TADS Room.
  • Thursday, August 3 Sight Adjustment support group meeting from 12:00-12:45 in TADS Room.

Attention Winston-Salem Employees:

Join the Sight Adjustment support group on August 3 and learn all about the mental and emotional affects of vision loss.  Gretchen Jacobs, a certified clinical therapist will provide answers to your questions and resources for coping and healthy vision loss transitioning. Brian Ballard, support group president, hopes to see you all there!


CLVC Item of the Week:

A man runs the C-Pen Reader2 Pen Scanner over a book to hear the text in his headphones

C-Pen Reader2 Pen Scanner for $399.99

The C-Pen Reader2 Pen Scanner is a portable, pocket-sized handheld device that reads printed text aloud with a human-like, high-quality digital voice in English with different accents: Irish, Scottish, Indian, Australian, Latin, and American Spanish. Now you can personalize your pen with an accent you enjoy! Targeted accents help students with comprehension while creating a sense of familiarity. For left and right-handed use.


From Our Community

Insider Corner

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

August Apple Support Hour

Attention all iPhone and iPad owners who use voiceover! If you have ever experienced difficulties using your iPhone, iPad, have questions about using an app, or are curious about how other people are using their devices, then feel free to drop in for the Apple support hour. During the hour, you will have the chance to have your questions answered as well as to learn what challenges other members of the blind and visually impaired community face when using their devices. No invitation is needed, just drop in. for more information, email Doug Curley at mab.iphone.group@gmail.com. If you would like a contact card sent to you, so you can dial in using Siri, or you would like to receive notifications about future meetings, email Doug Curley at mab.iPhone.group@gmail.com.

When: Wednesday, August 2 from 8:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.
Where: Zoom online
Join Zoom Meeting https://us06web.zoom.us/j/83228582881?pwd=ZDNjMG52WUJvdWM0SW9renZBZHQwQT09
Meeting ID: 832 2858 2881
Passcode: 508496
One tap mobile +19292056099,,83228582881#,,,,*508496#

If you want to dial in using a landline, follow these steps:
Dial: 1-929-205-6099
When prompted enter the meeting ID: 832 2858 2881#
When asked if you are the host, press the * button.
When asked for the Passcode, enter: 508496#

ACB Presents: Saturday Morning Trivia: 11am ET

Play Saturday morning trivia with Danette and your fellow ACB (American Council of the Blind) Community members. Some of these are pretty easy. Some will break your brain. Fun and laughter will be plentiful.
Join the call:
Saturday Morning Trivia
One tap mobile: +13126266799,,87608122562#
Phone: 312-626-6799
Meeting ID: 876 0812 2562
Passcode: 3146


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, take advantage of checking out prescription home delivery, a convenient service for members who take medications to treat a chronic condition on an ongoing basis, prescriptions are delivered directly to your door, so you never miss a dose.

You can contact RX benefits member support at 800-334-8134 or email CustomerCare@rxbenefits.com

Member Services assists you with questions or concerns regarding your pharmacy benefits such as:

  • Benefit Details
  • Claims Status
  • Pharmacy Network
  • Coverage Determination/Inquiries
  • Mail and Specialty Scripts
  • Pharmacy Information

New Job Announcements

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

BSC Store Clerk – MacDill AFB

Education and work experience:

  • High School Diploma
  • No prior experience required

External candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=68069&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909
Internal candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=68070&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909&jpt=ce8685cef740a6280b5fcb492b556fa5


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)