The Quintessential Summer Picnic

What can be better than summer at the sea shore? Center members and volunteers are rushing plans to completion for our annual outing at Camp Harkness in Waterford, CT. It takes place in mid-July and goes from mid-afternoon to dusk, with food, games, music, and swimming or just enjoying a “quiet walk on the beach”.

The annual picnic is one of our biggest events of the year and provides something for everybody. The Center will provide hotdogs and burgers, condiments, soda and water—(alcohol is not permitted). Members will bring side dishes or desserts or make a $10 donation.

Individuals and organizations wishing to make a donation to help us out with expenses may call the office or click the Donate Now button at the top of your screen.

Members enjoy the beach at Harkness State Park
A Day at the Beach

The Center of the Blind Needs You!

Woman with white cane exiting a car

If you’ve ever thought of finding a meaningful way to serve your community, the South East CT Community Center of the Blind would like to talk to you. We are looking for volunteers with a variety of interests, from helping with crafts to assisting in the office and running errands. We Really Need Drivers! If you can provide transportation to center activities and meetings, as well as doctors’ appointments and shopping, give the office a call. Help out when your schedule allows and discover the satisfaction of helping where it’s most needed. Transportation is often described as the biggest difficulty for people who can’t see to drive themselves. Paratransit and public transportation are not always options, particularly outside of their operating hours or to and from locations not situated near bus routes. Many of our long-time drivers prefer not to drive at night or like to winter in Florida.

As a Center volunteer, you will meet interesting people and your time will be immensely appreciated. (Note that volunteer drivers will be subject to a background check).

To learn more, call Wendy at, 860 447-2048.

Audio Newsletter Now Available to Members

The Center of the Blind has begun offering an audio version of its monthly member newsletter, available to those having difficulty reading the publication or who find it easier to listen to it.  The audio newsletter can be heard by dialing a local phone number and is updated on the same day that the publication is emailed.  Members can volunteer to be readers for the program by contacting the office.  Readers are able to record their spoken parts using their mobile devices.

“The more readers the better”, said Kevin Harkins, who is coordinating the project and providing training in instruction as needed.  Harkins says he hopes this will make it easier for more of our members to keep up with all that’s going on at the Center.

Center Closed for Holiday Weekend

Close up of US Flag

The South East CT Community Center of the Blind offices will be closed from Friday, June 30 through Tuesday, July 4 in observance of the Independence Day Holiday and our nation’s 247th birthday.

Touching Connecticut

On June 22nd, Center Vice President Kevin Harkins met with ADA trainer-consultant Elana Sherman, and officials from the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.  The two-hour meeting at Gillette Castle in East Haddam sought ways in which disabled visitors to the state’s parks and historic locations could more completely experience all these sites have to offer.  The high-energy meeting focused on awareness and an abiding understanding that providing a more enriching outcome for handicapped individuals is possible.  One manager described how, with the visitor’s permission, he guides the fingers of blind patrons so that they can safely feel the shape and texture of actual turtles and other creatures without risk of being bitten or exposed to harmful bacteria.  Another D.E.E.P. representatives suggested exploring whether wooden structures and furnishings that can be harmed by the oil from human skin might be felt with special gloves, or if certain features like doors and historic tables might be set aside for tactile discovery by visitors.  The challenges of giving adequate training to temporary volunteer docents was also discussed.  A training seminar is being planned for later in the year that will feature a panel of disabled citizens to further explore accessibility in our state’s many parks and historic sites.

Gillette's Castle

Our Beautiful New Sink has Arrived

Our new sink has been installed and is definitely a helpful addition to The Center for crafting sessions and Lunch and Learn meetings. Thanks again to the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT for the grant funds that made this possible.

A Kitchen Sink! Courtesy Eastern CT Chamber of Commerce

Our kitchen area at the center was sorely lacking a sink. Since we moved into our new location we have been making do with the tiny bathroom sinks. Thanks to the help of a grant from the Eastern CT Chamber of Commerce, we are delighted to get a sink installed at last.

Wendy receives grant from Eastern Connecticut Chamber of Commerce

Warm Welcome by the Greater Norwich Area Chamber of Commerce

Wendy receives a grant from the Greater Norwich Area Chamber of Commerce

The Center of the Blind is welcomed as a member of the Greater Norwich Chamber of Commerce.

Center Receives Grant from Eversource

Wendy receives Eversource grant

The Center of the Blind was the recipient of a grant from Eversource Energy to help cover the cost of our 50th Anniversary Celebration.