IFB Beat – Week of October 23, 2023

A Message from the Editor

We’re still celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Check out how IFB is empowering people who are blind! Please note an important update regarding annual Performance Reviews and the Canteen Market. Get ready for IFB and community Halloween fun! Feeling sick? We have tips to keep everyone safe. Lastly, join the AAA Committee in Winston-Salem for a don’t want to miss lunch and learn.

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

IFB Sick and COVID Policy Refresher
Celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)
Asheville Facility: Hot Dog Benefit
Halloween Activities: October 31
Reminder for Veterans: Register Your Status with HR
Winston-Salem Facility Canteen Market Update
See what S.E.E. is Doing
Adult Support Group Meetings
CLVC Item of the Week

From Our Community

Insider Corner

HR and Opportunities

IFB Annual Performance Reviews Open October 23
IFB Benefit of the Month
New Job Openings

Support Group Zoom Meeting Links


New this Week

IFB Sick and COVID Policy Refresher

Feeling sick? Be considerate of others and stay home. As we gear up to move into the cold and flu season, we must remember that COVID-19 is still here, as well as other respiratory illnesses. Do you know the difference between a bad cold, COVID-19, or the flu? Because the symptoms can be similar for all three, you can’t tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. All three are contagious and this is why we ask you to stay home when you are sick.

At this time masks are not required inside any IFB Solutions facility unless you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or you have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 10 days. If you have tested positive for COVID-19 you must isolate (be out of work) for a minimum of 5 days from the time your symptoms began or from the date you tested positive if no symptoms were present.

We will continue to follow CDC guidelines to help minimize the spread and keep each other safe. In addition, we also ask that you follow good everyday hygiene practices by washing your hands frequently or using hand sanitizer and covering coughs and sneezes. Please use the links below for more information on exposure, isolation, and free test kits. If you have questions, please email staysafe@ifbsolutions.org.

Thank you,
Angela Jordan Director of Safety and Environmental Health

Celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)

Observed each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month celebrates the contributions of America’s workers with disabilities past and present and showcases supportive, inclusive employment policies and practices that benefit employers and employees. The U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has chosen “Advancing Access and Equity” as the theme for NDEAM 2023. NDEAM en Española.

The workplace is an important part of National Disability Employment Awareness Month and IFB Solutions remains steadfast in its mission to provide employment opportunities, training and support services for people who are blind or visually impaired. Meet Brent Burkholder.

“Sometimes in today’s workforce, we cross paths with individuals who formulate negative perceptions towards others based on their own limited ideas. I am very familiar with this perception. I was born Premature at 26 weeks, which resulted in vision loss that has ultimately created some obstacles in my life. Read all about it here: https://ifbsolutions.org/seeking-employment-at-ifb-solutions-opportunity-provider-for-people-who-are-blind/.”


Asheville Facility: 10/24 Hot Dog Benefit for NC Division of Services for the Deaf + Services for the Blind

On Tuesday, October 24 the NC Division of Services for the Deaf along with Services for the Blind will be hosting a Hot Dog Benefit Lunch in our parking lot and all employees are invited to participate during your regular lunch break.

Cost for lunch:

  • 1 hotdog, soda, and chip combo – $4.00
  • 2 hotdogs, soda, and chip combo – $6.00
  • Homemade baked goods will also be for sale.

All proceeds will be donated to State Employees Combined Campaign to benefit the following charities:

Halloween Activities October 31

Halloween is right around the corner, and we invite all interested employees at each location to dress up and have a little fun!

On October 31, the Winston-Salem facility will have a costume contest, parade, and various treats for all employees to grab. Categories for the costume contest are:

  • Scariest
  • Most Creative
  • Funniest
  • Best Group
  • Best Overall

On October 31, the Asheville facility will have a Halloween Parade at 8:30 AM and all employees will enjoy candy bags and cookies during breaks after the parade.

Please reach out to a team member of HR if you have any questions.


Attention Veterans: Help needed!

Each year around Veterans Day, IFB Solutions honors individuals who have identified with our HR department as Veterans. PLEASE report your veteran status to HR by Thursday, November 2nd so that we can recognize your service – if we don’t have you on the list, we can’t honor you! Stop by the office of a member of HR or send and email to HR@ifbsolutions.org.


Winston-Salem Facility Canteen Market Update

On Friday, October 13th, the Canteen Market was moved into its permanent location inside the kitchen area of the cafeteria. The new location provides an easier flow to accommodate your service needs. To help us provide these services we ask that all employees purchasing items from the canteen, please have your form of payment ready when you get to the kiosk to check out. This will help keep the line moving so everyone can maximize their time to enjoy lunch. If you need assistance or have questions, please reach out to one of the canteen attendees.


See what S.E.E. is Doing

flaming onion tower on hibachi grill

The S.E.E. kids practiced their skills of table manners, polite conversation, spatial awareness, cultural appreciation, fine motor skills, adapting to ever changing food presentation, and enjoying a new experience at Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse. The talented chef stacked up some onions into a tower and then lit it on fire for an exciting big blaze.


Adult Support Group Meetings:

AAA Committee Lunch and Learn

Come one come all, My Daughters House and Joyce Spencer-Mintz will host a Financial Literacy Seminar in the TAD’s Room on October 25, 2023, from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM. This is the first of many lunch and Learn Series hosted by your AAA Committee.

  • Monday, October 23 Guide Dog support group meeting from 12:00-12:45 in TADS Room.
  • Tuesday, October 24 Glaucoma support group meeting from 12:00-12:45 in TADS Room.


CLVC Item of the Week:

Your Minder

Talking Personal Recording Alarm Clock for $45.95
Talking Personal Recording Alarm Clock – The MedCenter Your Minder Talking Personal Recording Alarm Clock allows you to record your own voice and use it as a personal alarm or reminder. Ideal for those with vision impairment, or for those who simply have a hectic schedule, this talking alarm clock recorder will remind you of important appointments, medications and more. Using the built-in microphone, you can record up to 6 personal alarm messages. Your.Minder gives you endless possibilities for recording everything from wake-up alarms to medication/dosage reminders to appointment reminders. You can record any sound of your choice (such as birds chirping) or record a specific message in your own voice.

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

Discover Existing Photos

Continuation from previous post, It’s Getting Better, Be My Eyes has an additional feature using artificial intelligence. Once the app is downloaded, you can peruse your existing photos within the camera app.
First, find a photo you desire to be described. When using VoiceOver, iOS provides a rudimentary description such as, “a wooden fence in front of a grass field under a cloudy sky”.

Next, tap on Share and scroll to, Describe with Be My Eyes. Once activated a message screen opens. Wait a few seconds for the AI to compile a description and a response is read.

“The picture shows a serene countryside landscape. The foreground has a wooden deck with railings. Beyond the deck, there is a large open field with patches of green grass. On the left side of the field, there is a small quaint shed with a burgundy exterior. The shed is surrounded by various plants. The background is adorned with dense collection of trees in autumn colors ranging from green to golden yellow and deep red. Above the trees, the sky is filled with scattered fluffy clouds illuminated by the soft light of either early morning or late afternoon. The clouds are in various shades of grey and white creating a beautiful contrast against the blue sky. The overall atmosphere of the picture is calm and peaceful evoking a sense of tranquility.”

You may also ask additional questions pertaining to the photo. When complete, a cancel button is located at top left of your screen returning to the photo and video viewer.

Remember, be mindful. Refrain from sharing confidential information such as banking, health, or bills with this application.

Parks and Recreation community events for Halloween:

  • Thursday, October 26 Fall Festivals for Families at 6 PM, at Carl H. Russell, sr., Miller Park, Old Town, and Sedge Garden Recreation Centers.
  • Saturday, October 28 Special Olympics Trunk, or Treat hosted by Therapeutic Recreation from 12-1 PM, at Bolton Park.
  • Saturday, October 28, Boo at Bethabara from 1:30-4:30 PM, at Bethabara Park.
  • Sunday, October 29 Spooktacular Truck or Treat from 1-5 PM at kaleideum North.
  • Monday, October 30 Hayrides on the Trail starting at 11:00 AM, at Salem Lake.


Register now for Lowe’s Spooky Trick-or-Treat Event Oct. 28

Lowe’s stores nationwide are hosting a Trick or Treat event on October 28, 2023, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Kids can put on their costumes, bring their candy receptacle, and collect free candy. Registration is required and space is limited. Register HERE for Spooky Trick or Treat. Spots might go quickly. If there is none in the store you usually go to, check to see if there’s space in another store.



HR & Opportunities

IFB Annual Performance Reviews Open October 23

IFB Annual Performance Reviews will be made available through your Paycom Employee Self-Service portal on Monday October 23rd. Please log into your portal and complete your employee self-assessment as soon as possible. **NOTE: Self reviews will close out on November 10th and cannot be reopened.

Once you log into the review, you will notice that the process flow is the same as it was last year. When completing the review, comments are required to support ratings. Please refer to your easy-to-use instructions for more details.

Upon finishing your review, please be sure to type your name on the signature line and date the review and click “Final Approve” so your manager/supervisor can complete their portion of the review. Managers/Supervisors must have ALL employee reviews completed in Paycom by Sunday, November 19th.

All hourly performance reviews will be handled by appropriate Supervisors accordingly.

Thank you in advance and feel free to contact Brenda Livingston at 336-245-5694 or blivingston@ifbsolutions.org if you have any questions.

IFB Benefit of the Month

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

Friendly reminder to use your 2023 FSA funds by December 31, 2023. You may roll over a max of $610 into 2024 for FSA eligible purchases.

Over the counter meds are also eligible expenses, stock up for the winter months! Want to check your health care account balances and submit receipts anywhere, anytime? There’s an app for that, download “My Plans by CBIZ.”

Navigate to https://www.fsafeds.com/explore/hcfsa/expenses?take=100&skip=200 to see a list of eligible FSA purchases. IFB will have 2024 FSA open enrollment coming soon, be on the lookout here!


New Job Announcements

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

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)