IFB Beat – Week of November 6, 2023

A Message from the Editor

Attention IFB employees: there are many reminders, updates, and celebrations to note this week! You can find Flex Spending Account open enrollment details, read about employees’ community involvement, and learn how your giving through the IFB annual Staff Giving Campaign makes a difference. And at our Winston-Salem Facility, we’ll be honoring veterans as well as recognizing or employees of the month during Monday’s general assembly.

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful week!

Anastasia Powell

IFB Solutions Communications Manager

apowell@ifbsolutions.org | 336-245-5698

Quick Links:

New this Week

Winston-Salem Facility General Assembly
Reminder: Winston-Salem Facility Veteran’s Day Details
IFB Solutions Annual Staff Giving Campaign
Department of Energy BSC Employees Empowered During NDEAM
Daylight Savings Safety Tips
Asheville Facility Halloween Parade
Congrats to Asheville Facility Employee Robin Robinson
See what S.E.E. is Doing
Adult Support Group Meetings
CLVC Item of the Week

From Our Community

Insider Corner

HR and Opportunities

2024 Flex Spending Account Open Enrollment Details
IFB Benefit of the Month
New Job Openings

Support Group Zoom Meeting Links


New this Week

Winston-Salem Facility General Assembly

There will be a General Assembly meeting held on the manufacturing floor on Monday, November 6at 3:15 pm. We’re looking forward to presenting employee of the month awards for August, September and October as well as honoring our veterans and remarks from Dan Kelly, President, and CEO.

Supervisors, please be sure to shut down all equipment, fans and other things that contribute to noise on the manufacturing floor promptly at 3:15. If your workspace is not close to the central offices (outside Pedro Rojas and Edward Sykes’ doors), please move closer to ensure you can hear. Any office administration working in the building, your presence will be appreciated.


Reminder: Winston-Salem Facility Veterans Day Details

The Winston-Salem Facility will honor veterans on Monday, November 6 at 3:15pm during our General Assembly (note, the date was chosen due to Veteran’s Day falling on a Saturday this year). The celebration will be held on the manufacturing floor with words from Dan Kelly followed by the singing of the national anthem by S.E.E. Programs instructor Charity Hampton and the recognition of our veterans. As we honor our veterans, all employees will remain at their workstations.

Winston-Salem facility veterans who registered their status with HR will be provided lunch in TAD’s Room from 11:30-12:30. Questions? Connect with Anastasia Powell at apowell@ifbsolutions.org.


IFB Solutions Annual Staff Giving Campaign

Each year, IFB Solutions employees are invited to give philanthropically to support the programs and services offered to individuals who are blind. While these funds support many activities, they especially help ensure our after school programs and camps for kids run smoothly and remain free of charge as well as enabling our Community Low Vision Centers to provide training and support for individuals new to visual impairment. IFB has a goal to raise just over $1.5 million this year, and our employees, alongside their family and friends, make up a vital part of these contributions.

Image of lunch cooler with "I Donated"The annual Staff Giving Campaign for 2024 will kick off on November 1, 2023. Here are some details about the upcoming campaign:

  • If you have an IFB email address, you’ll receive two optional calendar invites to attend a Zoom meeting to learn more about the specific areas of our mission your gifts will support.
  • These sessions are December 5 at 10 a.m. and December 7 at 1 p.m. Each session will contain the same information, so if you plan to join, just accept the best fit and decline the other As always, everyone is invited to participate in Staff Campaign sessions, but giving is not mandatory.
  • For employees who work at our Winston-Salem Facility, you’re invited to attend an in-person session in the TAD’s Room that will last approximately 15 minutes. These sessions will occur between November 13 and 15; supervisors will receive a separate email with the meeting schedules to share with employees.
  • For employees who work in our Asheville Facility, you’re invited to a general assembly session on November 29 at 10am.

For those that decide to donate, you can contribute in the following ways:

  • Payroll deduction: fill out and sign a payroll deduction form before December 8, 2023
  • Cash or check: give directly to Tatiana Russell or Naomi Venable (make checks out to IFB Solutions)
  • Online at https://ifbsolutions.org/donate/

All donors who contribute $20 or more will receive a customized lunch bag and be entered into a drawing for a chance to win gift baskets donated by a generous donor.

THANK YOU for supporting job training, employment, transportation, support groups, and programs for IFB employees and communities throughout North Carolina.

Questions? Contact Tatiana Russell at trussell@ifbsolutions.org.

Department of Energy BSC Employees Empowered During NDEAM

Collage of photos from DOE's NDEAM Celebration

On October 26, US Department of Energy (DOE) employees Yvette Lyles and Debbie Adjei attended the Department of Energy’s Disability Employment Awareness Month Program in the DOE auditorium. During National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), the Department of Energy recognizes the immense contributions of disabled Americans, and is committed to delivering America’s full promise of equal dignity, respect, and opportunity for every American. The keynote speaker was Mr. Olegarion “Ollie” Cantos. Mr. Cantos has been visually impaired since birth. He is the Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the US Department of Education. Another featured speaker at this event was Amy Nicholas, Senior Attorney Advisor for the National Council on Disabilities. This was a great opportunity for our employees to be educated and empowered!


Daylight Savings Safety Tips

With Daylight Savings ending this weekend, please take extra care navigating our campuses as it will be darker both early morning and late afternoons. This includes parking lots, sidewalks, pathways to/from bus stops as well as outdoor break areas. If you identify any safety concerns related to the time change, please share them with me at ajordan@ifbsolutions.org.

Thanks and stay safe!

Angela Jordan, IFB Solutions Director of Safety and Environmental Health


Asheville Facility Halloween Parade

Asheville employees pose in their Halloween costumes.

Employees at the Asheville facility had a spooky good time cheering on their co-workers who dressed up for the Halloween parade! They had a great time watching the parade and enjoying Halloween treats.


Congrats to Asheville Facility Employee Robin Robinson

Robin Robinson poses with her award

Robin Robinson, Packer at the Asheville Facility, won 3rd place in the Lions Club’s 2023 VIP Fishing Tournament. Robin participated in the tournament held in mid-October at the Outer Banks of NC where she caught 11 fish. Way to go Robin!


See what S.E.E. is Doing

S.E.E. students in their costumes trick-or-treat

The S.E.E. kids enjoyed a night of trick or treat, crafts, and exploring the exhibits in Kaleideum North. This was a special after-hours night with a smaller number of guests offering more time at each station. Everyone enjoyed this night of delight with candy and toys, crafts and stories, science and puzzles, friends, and fun.


Adult Support Group Meetings:

Upcoming Support Group Meetings

  • Monday, November 6 AAA Committee meeting from 12:00-1:00; please check with Shonn Redmond for location as the veteran’s lunch will be in TAD’s Room at this time
  • Tuesday, November 7 VIPS Club meeting from 12:00-1:00 in TAD’s Room
  • Wednesday, November 8 Blind Ambitions support group meeting from 12:00-12:45 in TAD’s Room.


CLVC Item of the Week:

Talking Washable Plastic Stickers

Talking Washable Plastic Stickers for $35.95. Get even more from your RNIB PenFriend with these reusable, water-resistant labels for use on cans and bottles. When the container is empty, peel off the label and put it on the new jar/bottle. As well as being reusable, these plastic labels can be wiped clean with a damp cloth.

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. Reach out to her at fharding@ifbsolutions.org

Visually impaired Accessible technology: Estée Lauder applies AI, AR for cosmetics accessibility.

The original design involved taking a selfie, which the algorithm analyzed to assess the uniformity of application and then provided guidance to the user. It didn’t take long, though, for the team to instead utilize real-time video the app could use to scan the user’s face. For instance, if the video shows the user has applied foundation or lipstick unevenly, the app provides verbal descriptions of the specific areas that need a touchup and guidance to correct the issue. The user can then make adjustments, rescan, and the app will provide a prompt when everything is correctly applied.

First priority, however, was for Aidan and his team to directly engage with the visually impaired community. “We really wanted to gain an understanding of what their unique needs were, their pain points and preferences, and what they desired from our products,” he says. “We pulled together focus groups and asked questions, but mostly listened to them about their personal experiences with makeup and technology.”
Importantly, he says, some focus group members were completely blind, some experienced varying degrees of low vision, and some had excellent peripheral vision. This enabled his team to gain insight from a variety of individual experiences and to question their own assumptions.

“We assumed that a natural, more humanistic sounding voice would be the preference for the implementation, but the user research confirmed that familiarity was actually most important to our users,” Aidan says. “Whatever they had set up on their device is what they wanted to experience.”

The team also partnered with internal advocacy groups at ELC, external advocacy groups, and experts in accessibility and inclusivity, and combined their insights with feedback from the focus groups to gather requirements for VMA. The team then leveraged the user research for everything from naming the application to getting the tone of voice just right.

“Throughout the design, build, and test phases, their feedback was informing our decisions, even the small features like being able to adjust the speed of the virtual assistant’s speech,” Aidan says.

Read more here: https://binged.it/3QrOrkm


HR & Opportunities

2024 Flex Spending Account Open Enrollment Details

2024 Flex Spending Account Open Enrollment will be open in Paycom beginning November 20th through December 1st. Please note that to be eligible for FSA you must have 1 year of full-time service at IFB Solutions.

What is FSA Medical: Allows you to pay for qualified out-of-pocket expenses, such as:

  • Medical expenses, like monthly supplies and over-the-counter products
  • Copayments / insurance deductibles / prescription medications / eyeglasses

FSA Dependent Care: Allows you to pay for qualified out-of-pocket expenses, such as:

  • Before or after school programs / childcare / day camp / preschool / au pair
  • Custodial elder care (work-related) / adult day care center

IFB Benefit of the Month

Reach IFB Solutions Benefits Supervisor Ciara Frenette at cfrenette@ifbsolutions.org.

Guardian Oral Health Rewards Program: Regular visits to the dentist can help prevent and detect the early signs of serious diseases. That’s why Guardian’s Maximum Rollover Oral Health Rewards Program encourages and rewards members who visit the dentist, by rolling over part of your unused annual maximum into a Maximum Rollover Account (MRA). This can be used in future years if your plan’s annual maximum is reached.

  • The Dental Low plan has an annual maximum benefit of $750.
  • The Dental High plan has an annual maximum benefit of $1500.

Need Assistance? Call the Guardian Helpline (888) 600-1600, weekdays 8:00 AM to 8:30 PM, EST. Refer to your member ID (social security number) and your plan number: 00056230.

Guardian’s Early Smiles Benefit:

Preventive, Basic, and Major services are covered at 100% for children ages 12 and under if the child sees an in-network dentist.

  • No deductible will apply
  • No waiting periods apply if the child sees an in-network dentist.
  • Frequency limitations and plan provisions apply


New Job Announcements

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

Bus/Van Driver- Programs- Winston Salem

Education and work experience:

  • Must have a high school diploma or GED.
  • Must be 21+ years of age with 5 years of driving experience.
  • A valid driver’s license with an acceptable driving record is required.

External candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=76147&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909

Internal candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=76148&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909&jpt=ce8685cef740a6280b5fcb492b556fa5


Customer Service Representative – Maximus (San Antonio)

Education and work experience:

  • High School Diploma or GED equivalent
  • 2 years of customer service experience preferred.
  • If applicable, demonstrated proficiency in use of Assistive Technology required with either JAWS and/or Zoom Text for visual adaptation.
  • Bilingual Spanish-English capability a plus.
  • Must reside within 70 miles of San Antonio, Texas.

External candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=76375&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909

Internal candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=76376&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909&jpt=ce8685cef740a6280b5fcb492b556fa5


For 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
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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)