IFB Beat – Week of June 13, 2022

News to Know

Demarious Bowens, Living the Mission!

For over eight decades AbilityOne has been a vital and inclusive part of the social framework to generate employment for Americans with disabilities. There is no “one size fits all” approach to providing meaningful employment. Born with glaucoma, Demarious has worked his way up in the Twenty200 Optical Lab. He now serves as a liaison between customer service and the lab to ensure that orders go out on time. Watch and be inspired!



Shop Pinnacle Mercantile on Amazon!

With summertime fun ramping up, our Pinnacle Mercantile Amazon store is the perfect place to get essential items for making your next cookout, family outing or weekend of yardwork a success. Review our full line of products here: https://www.amazon.com/pinnaclemercantile.

As you browse the site, check out the Pinnacle Mercantile Authentic Woobie and read the review by Adam Ruggiero, Editor in Chief of GearJunkie.com here: https://gearjunkie.com/camping/authentic-woobie-blanket-review.

Programs and Services

We are inviting you all to join us for the next Assistive Technology Support Group meeting.

It happens this Thursday night from 6-7 PM. It is June, and that means more Apple news about upcoming operating system releases. New voices are coming, including one that has been asked for by users for many years.

We will discuss the latest Assistive Technology news. We will also be taking a deep dive into web-based email clients, like Gmail on the web, and even Outlook. We will field your questions and have a lot of fun along the way. If you have not joined us before, I invite you to give us a try. You might like what you hear. The Zoom link for this meeting is at the end of the newsletter.

Adult Support Group Meetings:

  • Monday, June 13 AAA Committee meeting from 12:00-1:00 in TADS Room.
  • Tuesday, June 14 Transportation support group meeting from 12:00-12:45 in TADS Room.
  • Wednesday, June 15 Diabetic support group meeting from 12:00-12:45 in TADS Room.
  • Thursday, June 16 Assistive Technology support group meeting from 7:00-8:00 via Zoom (zoom information for this meeting is at the end of the newsletter)

Community Low Vision Center

CLVC Item of the Week:

Image of Free Matter for the Blind Stamp

Free Matter for the Blind self-inking stamp. $10.95. No more worries about ink pads and dry ink. Easy to use. Our Community Low Vision Centers are one stop shops! While you are purchasing a self-inking stamp, check out our bold line paper!

CLVC June item of the month:

multi color cutting boards

Flexible Cutting Boards – $7.95. People with low vision can find the best contrast for them with this pack of 4 multi-colored cutting boards. Different foods may require different colors—a blue board for a carrot, a red board for an egg. These flexible boards allow users to easily dump chopped items directly into a pot or pan, making cooking that much easier.


Insider Corner

Bookshare eBooks Meets Audio

You asked for it! For the first time, Bookshare members can listen to books read by actors, authors, and celebrities. From How to Train Your Dragon to The Keeper of Lost Things, enjoy stories for every age and interest read by professional narrators. Bookshare is a yearly subscription service providing access to millions of downloadable fiction, non-fiction, and textbook eBooks available in text, braille, daisy, and additional formats. If your attending school or Hadley’s online courses, there is no fee. For more information visit:



Sonos introduces its own voice-activated digital assistant

The new service, called Sonos Voice Control, is focused on controlling media content and the company’s devices, rather than serving up information in the style of Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri. Still, it marks an ambitious expansion for a company best known for sound bars and other audio accessories.

The service was part of a new lineup of products announced including a new lower-cost sound bar aimed at TVs. The functionality, which Sonos claims is the most private on the market because data is not shared to the cloud or monitored by the company, will be added to existing Sono’s devices via a software update on June 1.

Sonos Voice Control can manage music and video playback, adjust volume, and allows users to specify which speakers in their home they want the audio to play on. Similar to the “Hey Siri” and “Hey Google” wake words used by rival systems; the Sonos technology can be activated by saying “Hey Sonos.” The service will launch first in the US and eventually roll out to France and other regions, the company said.

Sonos’s new Ray sound bar, meanwhile, will cost $279 — well below the price of its $449 Beam and $899 Arc models. It is also releasing its Roam portable speaker in new blue, orange, and green colors. The company is looking to push into other new areas to maintain growth. Sonos has long been working on wireless headphones to better compete outside of the home, for instance.


On ‘Strange New Worlds,’ Meet the Blind Telepathic Engineer

‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ co-stars Bruce Horak as Hemmer. Bruce Horak is a Visually Impaired Performer Creator, according to his website. He is an actor, playwright, composer, visual artist, and other things, so that sounds about right. He is also legally blind, seeing about 9% of what the average person does. On May 5, 2022, the unknown Canadian co-stars in “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds,” the latest installment of the venerable franchise. Horak portrays Hemmer, a blind telepathic Aenar who works as an engineer on the USS Enterprise. A company Hemmer is a tyrant at work, but he is also a miracle worker:



Have some interesting information to share or topic you would like to see in the Insider Corner? Whether it is your favorite podcast, website, or article that caught your attention, send to Faith Harding at fharding@ifbsolutions.org and we will post it!

Community Connections

Spread the word!

Folks for Good Housing is hosting a kickoff session for a seven-part public series to discuss local solutions to Forsyth County’s housing crisis. This 1st session will be held at Forsyth Tech on June 14th from 6-8 PM. Please register for the event!


Kaleideum Introduces a Laser Extravaganza Series with Rosé and Play!

Check out the Featured Artists for June Laser Specials. $2 for members; $3 for non-members. Laser Specials happen on Saturdays at Noon and 4 pm, and Sundays at 4 pm.

The Laser Special schedule for June is:
• June 18 and 19: Queen
• June 25 and 26: Backstreet Boys


Mark your calendars for Youth LEAD NC’s next LEADing on Series on Tuesday, June 21st from 7PM-8PM!

This month we are teaming up with our partners in crime, centers for independent living. Have no idea what a center for independent living is? More reason to learn about the work they do!
Centers for independent living, or CILs, are local organizations that help people of all ages and disabilities live independently and advocate for people with disabilities in the community. They also help youth with disabilities transition into adulthood and become the next generation of disability rights advocates. Join our next LEADing on Series for a panel with youth coordinators and other CIL staff from across the state to learn all about what they do for youth with disabilities!

Get connected with a local disability organization that can help work on individual goals, offer a sense of community, and so much more! The Zoom information is down below. If you are planning to attend or need accommodations to participate in this event, please let us know by Friday, June 17th.
Please pass along the word to any young people with disabilities! Hope to see all our youth, who are thirty and under, and NCYLF alumni there!

Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/9163000318?pwd=SGtaTGVNV0lOcG1Zd3BiaHZ1b29LUT09



We are HeRe for you!

Are you looking to take the next steps of home ownership? Summer is considered to be the prime season for buying a home. Did you know that according to many financial advisors and statistics, it may be cheaper and more cost effective in the long run to look into buying a home verses renting from someone. With the market of renting, buying can be cheaper for you as you are working towards something that you will own and build equity in. If you are interested in potentially purchasing a home and taking that next step, there are several resources available that are close by such as Experiment in Self-Reliance, Financial Pathways, and even Truist Financial. If you would like more information, please contact Haleigh Yarboro at X5635.


We are pleased to announce information regarding the IFB Scholarship offerings for the 2022-23 academic year.

The application period has officially opened!

The Tina Bess and Daniel J. Boucher Scholarship Information

IFB offers its employees two scholarships to further their post-secondary education. The Tina Bess Scholarship and Daniel J. Boucher scholarship are offered to our employees and direct dependents to continue their education in accredited universities or colleges and is described below. There is a formal process that individuals must follow to be considered for a scholarship also described below:

1. The Tina Bess Scholarship is for blind, visually impaired or sighted employees – who are full-time, are in good standing and have completed 1 year of service. Tina Bess was employed at IFB for 30 years as a Production Assistant. She was recognized as the 2001 Career Achiever and twice honored as the employee of the year. Tina was best remembered by her peers as a mentor, advisor, and friend. Tina did not allow her vision impairment to hold her back from being independent, instead using her circumstance to maintain a steadfast level of determination, perseverance, and courage. Countless employees during her time at IFB have accounted stories of Tina’s personal generosity, commitment, and loyalty to them and the organization. Tina’s excellence and inner drive to perform was the priceless personal character contributor to all who met her.

2. The Daniel J. Boucher Scholarship is for blind, visually impaired, or sighted employees and their direct dependents – the employee must be full-time, in good standing and have completed 1 year of service. Mr. Boucher served as the IFB President from 1996-2008 prior to working in the role of Executive Chairman from 2008 through 2016. During his time as President, he led IFB through tremendous growth establishing new business lines including Optical, BSC store locations, and services, resulting in tremendous growth of blind employment nation-wide. A friend of Mr. Boucher’s established this scholarship to honor his legacy and provide opportunities for continued professional development for those Mr. Boucher worked with and held in the highest regard.

To be considered for either scholarship, each applicant must submit a completed application, an acceptance letter from the college or university, a copy of the student ID (front and back), and documentation of the tuition and associated costs.

The deadline for submitting applications and all supporting materials indicated above is Friday, June 24, 2022. Supporting materials should be submitted to Brent Burkholder at bburkholder@ifbsolutions.org. All applications should be completed at the following links:

Tina Bess Scholarship Application: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=SQbDxA4fmESiHhoGX06NHOYPKmJQb4VLrwA3jsZJq_NURE5WQVY4NlBFSlJQTExHRUNaNVJSNE9OQS4u

Daniel Boucher Scholarship Application: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=SQbDxA4fmESiHhoGX06NHOYPKmJQb4VLrwA3jsZJq_NUM1Y5RzFGQ0w3VlQ2UDFIQUROVlhQM1lLQS4u

Once all applications and supporting materials are received, the committee will consider each applicant for an award. If chosen, the recipient must show proof of class attendance and must complete all classes with at least a “C” to for future funding. The amount of the scholarship awarded depends on tuition costs submitted, how many applicants are being considered for scholarships and funds being available in each scholarship fund.

For more information, please contact Brent Burkholder at 336-245-5611 or bburkholder@ifbsolutions.org


Just a friendly reminder!

The Winston Salem location has a $250 referral bonus program for any current employee that refers a blind or visually impaired candidate or sighted/temporary candidate to IFB.
Please contact HR for referral bonus program criteria. Associates at other locations should ask your HR Manager or supervisor for the specific programs available at your location.

Job Announcements

Machine Operator I – Clemmons, NC Distribution Center

Education and work experience:
• Must be 18 years or older
• Can be trained to perform job

External candidates may apply at: https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=40486&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909
Internal candidates may apply at: https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=40487&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909&jpt=ce8685cef740a6280b5fcb492b556fa5

Senior Receiving Clerk – Clemmons, NC Distribution Center

Education and work experience:
• High School Diploma or GED equivalent
• Valid North Carolina Drivers License
• Good driving record
• Minimum of 2-3 years experience in manufacturing environment

Internal candidates may apply at: https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=40566&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909&jpt=ce8685cef740a6280b5fcb492b556fa5
External candidates may apply at: https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=40565&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909

For more information, please contact Brent Burkholder at 336 245 5611 or bburkholder@ifbsolutions.org.


Zoom Meeting Links

Adult Support Groups Zoom

Meeting ID: 994 9807 8576
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+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)