IFB Beat – Week of May 1, 2023

A Message from the Editor

Every week I strive to gather the most important updates for you. Whether you work as a production supervisor, manufacturing employee, on the supply chain team, a customer service agent, or in HR, if you have information that would be helpful for employees to know, I want it! Here’s what’s new this week:

  • Meet Asheville’s new Plant Manager.
  • Claim your Affordable Connectivity Program benefit and get $30 per month off your internet bill.
  • Learn how Teladoc virtual care can make your life easier in our new “Benefit of the Week” section.

Do your colleagues read The Beat? Ask them! And remember you can listen to a recording of a slimmed-down version of The Beat by calling 336-245-5691 for English or 336-245-5663 for Spanish.

Thanks to everyone who is sending me news and updates to share. Submissions are due to me (apowell@ifbsolutions.org) by 5pm each Wednesday. Have a great week!

Anastasia Powell

IFB Solutions Communications Manager

apowell@ifbsolutions.org | 336-245-5698

Quick Links:

New this Week

Introducing Travis Guerra, IFB Solutions Asheville New Plant Manager
See what S.E.E. is doing!
Adult support group meeting schedule
CLVC Item of the Week

From Our Community

Insider Corner
Join local Veterans in Winston-Salem for a fun day of food, prizes and fishing!
Claim Your Affordable Connectivity Program Benefit

HR and Opportunities

NEW: Your Benefit of the Week
New Job Announcements

Support Group Zoom Meeting Links


New this Week

Introducing Travis Guerra, IFB Solutions Asheville New Plant Manager

Travis inside the Asheville Facility

Travis Guerra will oversee Asheville operations as the new Asheville plant manager. In his new role, Guerra will lead IFB’s Asheville manufacturing team and oversee all facility operations. “Who I am is an open book,” said Guerra. “I like to treat people the way they want to be treated, because I want to be treated the same way. I want to create the type of environment where folks know that I’m focused on their well-being and what they can accomplish as individuals.”

Over the last decade, Guerra has managed manufacturing and production operations in the Greensboro, N.C. area. He holds an associate degree in information system technology from Rockingham Community College and has experience maintaining ISO 9000 standards in manufacturing environments.

“I want to make our blind associates feel more independent and to encourage and promote more opportunities for people who are blind,” Guerra said. “As a plant manager, I can help with those opportunities even more than I could before.”

Guerra resides in Marion, N.C. with his fiancée and their three children. In his free time, Guerra is an avid billiard player and enjoys participating in competitive billiard tournaments.


See what S.E.E. is Doing

Brandon poses by rainforest mural

The S.E.E. After School Winston traveled to the Amazon rain forest. We learned that there are 4 layers: forest floor, under story, canopy, and emergent. There are some animals in our rain forest with raised lines. This mural is about 5 feet tall and everything is ready for touching.

Adult Support Group Meetings:

  • Monday, May 1 AAA Committee meeting from 12:00-1:00 in TADS Room.
  • Tuesday, May 2 VIPS Club meeting from 12:00-1:00 in TADS Room.
  • Wednesday, May 3 RP support group meeting from 12:00-12:45 in TADS Room.
  • Thursday, May 4 Sight Adjustment support group meeting from 12:00-12:45 in TADS Room.


CLVC Item of the Week:

Extra Big Digit Timer White and Gray

Extra Big Digit Timer – $14.99

Straightforward kitchen timer has big digits, with 1″ high minutes and 3/4″ high seconds. Timer can count up and count down and has a long alarm. 3 way mounting with a magnet, stand, or loop. Last count recall. Three big buttons keep it simple and easy to use.

CLVC May Item of the Month:

Image of Heated Foot Massager by Moshi

Heated Foot Massager by Moshi – $39.95

The Massage Boot with warmer function will stimulate blood circulation and eliminate fatigue. In addition, the heating option provides soothing warmth for your feet. 3 vibration modes provide multiple massaging options, and the speed can be increased for higher effectiveness.

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.

Hello, IFB family!

What were you doing at 12 years of age? I was playing with Legos amongst other things. Well, highlighted below is a student who found a beneficial use for the classic toy. From the development of various hardware bodies and their software brains, without technology many individuals with visual impairments would not be able to thrive in their careers, grow independently in the community, or find relief from always asking for help at home. We appreciate those with a vision willing to have these discussions and provide innovative ideas to the market.

Family, information is valuable and what you know can help someone who wants to learn. Share your ideas, articles, and information with me at fharding@ifbsolutions.org.

Make this a good week!


BRAIGO – A Lego Braille Printer

Contributed by: Kim Shoffner

Accessibility devices tend to be prohibitively expensive, and it’s always nice to see a hacker apply their skills to making these devices more affordable. BRAIGO is a low cost braille printer by [Shubham Banerjee]. He built the printer using parts from the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 kit, with a few additions. This LEGO kit retails for $349, and a standard braille printer costs over $2000.
The BRAIGO print head uses weights and a pin to punch holes in standard calculator paper rolls. LEGO motors are used to feed the paper and align the head for accurate printing. It takes about 5 to 7 seconds to print each letter, which are entered on the Mindstorms controller.

While this is a great prototype, [Shubham] intends to continue development with the goal of creating an affordable braille printer. He’s a bit swamped with media requests right now, but is working on releasing BRAIGO as an open source project so others can contribute. It’s an impressive project, especially for a 12 year old student.

Source: Braille – Bing News – Tuesday, April 4, 2023 at 2:29 AM


ACB Presents: Chat Bots, Bad Actors and Propaganda!

In general, it is very difficult to know what is true and what is not. It is a little frightening to suggest that the field of blindness and visual impairment is riddled with misinformation. How do we explore what is true in the blindness field? Hopefully many listeners will want to help the host explore how to protect the truth and learn to think critically!

When: Tuesday Topics: 7pm ET, 4pm PT, 1pm HT

Where: Podcast and Phone

Access Tuesday Topics podcasts, Listen on ACB Media 1

Say to your Amazon device, “ask ACB Media to play 1.”

Join the call: Tuesday Topics

One tap mobile: +13126266799,,87991221181#

Phone: +13126266799

Webinar ID: 879 9122 1181


Join local Veterans in Winston-Salem for a fun day of food, prizes and fishing!

The Winston-Salem Elks Lodge #449 is hosing a fishing tournament to support local veterans and would love to see you there!

Details are below; if you have questions, please contact Dale Baker, IFB Solutions Distribution Center Manager at dbaker@ifbsolutions.org or 336-480-4474.

Fishing Tournament
Date: May 6, 2023
Time: 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Registration Starts: 8:30 am
Location: 2585 Griffith Rd. Winston-Salem, NC 27103

Veterans: Free
Non-Veterans: Donation appreciated

Prize categories: Smallest, Largest, Most Caught
Each participant will receive one pole and bait if needed. However, we are asking all participants to bring your own bait.

Food: Hot dog lunch will follow the tournament!

RSVP: by Wednesday, May 3


Claim Your Affordable Connectivity Program Benefit!

The Biden Administration has created the Affordable Connectivity Program that provides eligible households $30 per month off their internet bills OR offer high-speed internet plans for no more than $30 per month. To be eligible you must meet any one of the qualifications below:

1) Your income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

2) You or someone in your household participates in one of these other programs:

  • • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or food stamps)
  • • Medicaid
  • • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Woman, Infants & children (WIC)
  • • SSI
  • • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
  • • Veterans Pension & Survivors Benefit
  • • Free & reduced-price school lunch program
  • • Federal Pell grant (received in the current award year)
  • • Lifeline
  • • Certain tribal assistance programs

For more details on if you are eligible or would like to learn more please visit https://www.whitehouse.gov/getinternet/?utm_source=getinternet.gov or reach out to Aleeica Hansley at ahansley@ifbsolutions.org or ext. 5612.


HR & Opportunities

Your Benefit of the Week

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

It’s allergy season! Remember if you are enrolled in IFB’s health coverage you and your dependents have access to Teladoc – A virtual healthcare company! Download the “Teladoc Health: Virtual Care” app today to speak with a doctor within minutes regarding nonemergency medical issues. You can also seek this care by calling (800) 835-2362.

Teladoc virtual care makes your life easier. Doctors will be able to diagnose, call in prescriptions to a pharmacy of your choice, and suggest a treatment that’s appropriate for you!


New Job Announcements

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

Customer Service Representative – Alphapointe (Part Time)

Education and work experience:

  • Highschool degree or equivalent with one or more college level credits or pass certifications
  • Typing speed of 30 wpm with 95% accuracy.
  • Two or more years experience in an entry-level customer service position.
  • Proficient-to-intermediate PC skills (Word, Excel, Windows Explorer) and assistive technology (JAWS, Window Eyes, ZoomText), including demonstrated knowledge of folder structure/navigation, form navigation on the web, and table navigation in all contexts.

External candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=61573&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909

Internal candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=61574&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909&jpt=ce8685cef740a6280b5fcb492b556fa5




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)