Lake Life

     
Clubs
& Such

BNI (Business Network International) - Cedar Creek Professionals - meets every Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. at Comfort Suites, located at U.S. Hwy. 175 and TX 198 in Mabank. For more information, call Larry Williams (903) 887-2847 or www.bninetexas.com
Boy Scout Troop #398 meets at the Cedar Creek Bible Church from 7-8:30 p.m. each Tuesday. For more information, call (903) 498-5725 or (903) 498-3830.
Cedar Creek Art Society meets from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. the last Thursday of each month at the Mabank Volunteer Fire Department. A $3 donation per artist is asked.
Cedar Creek Domino Club meets each week on Wednesday at the Mabank Volunteer Fire Department. For more info, call (903) 887-6549.
Cedar Creek NAR-ANON meets at 8 p.m. on Thursday at 715 S. Hwy. 274, Ste. D in Seven Points. (903) 432-2405.
Cedar Creek Narcotics Anonymous meets at 8 p.m., Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, at 715 S. Hwy. 274, Ste. D in Seven Points. (903) 432-2405.
Cedar Creek 49ers Club meets every Thursday for fellowship and dancing. Doors open at 6 p.m. The club is located off Arnold Hill Road in Seven Points. Call for more information, (903) 432-3552.
Cedar Creek Lake Kiwanis Club meets at noon each Wednesday at The Jalapeno Tree in Gun Barrel City, except the second week of the month, when the club meets Thursday in conjunction with the area chamber of commerce luncheon.
Cedar Creek Optimist Club meets every Tuesday at noon at the Dairy Queen in Seven Points. For more info, call Danny Hampel at (903) 778-4508.
Cedar Creek Republican Club meets every fourth Thursday. For more information call (903) 887-4867.
Cedar Creek Rotary Club meets at noon each Friday at Vetoni’s Italian Restaurant. For more information, call Dee Ann Owens at (903) 340-2415.
Celebrate Recovery meets each Friday at Rope, Catch & Ride Church in Mabank, located at 570 VZ CR 2807. For more info, call (903) 603-8051.
Cub Scout Pack #333 meets at the First United Methodist Church of Mabank the second and fourth Monday at 7 p.m. For info, call Mary Harris at (903) 451-5280 or Tonya Capley at (903) 498-4725.
Disabled American Veterans Chapter 101 meets the second Monday of each month at the Senior Citizens Center on Hwy. 31 in Athens.
Girl Scout Troop #112 meets at the First United Methodist Church in Mabank on Fridays at 6:30 p.m. For more info, call GeriLeigh Stotts at (469) 323-7943, email glbstotts@hotmail.com,   or (800) 422-2260 or visit www.gsnetx.org.
Girl Scout Troop 2667 meets every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Aley United Methodist Church. For more info, call Suzann Smith at (903) 887-3889.
GriefShare Recovery support group meets at 7 p.m. each Tuesday at Cedar Creek Church of God, located at 142 Rodney Dr., Gun Barrel City. Call (903) 887-0293 for more information.
Gun Barrel Quilter’s Guild meets from 10 a.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at the Tri-County Library in Mabank. For more information, please call (903) 451-4221.
Kaufman County Republican Women’s Club meets the third Saturday of each month at the Farm Bureau Insurance Company, located at 2477 N. Hwy. 34 in Kaufman. For more info, call (972) 287-1239 or (903) 880-6770.
Kemp Kiwanis Club meets at noon each Thursday at La Fuente Mexican Restaurant in Kemp. For more info, call Dr. Jim Collinsworth at (903) 887-7486.
Lake Area Council of the Blind meets at 6 p.m. on the second Saturday of the month at West Athens Baptist Church.
Lake Area Democrats Club meets at 6:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month at the Library at Cedar Creek Lake in Seven Points. Email bhanstrom@embarqmail.com   for more information.
Mabank Al-Anon Family Group meets at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays at Mabank First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall. Families of alcoholics are welcome. Call (903) 887-2781 for info.
Mabank/Cedar Creek Area Lions Club meets at 6:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month at the Tri-County Library in Mabank. Call (903) 887-5252 for info.
Mabank Garden Club meets at 2:45 p.m. at the Tri-County Library on the third Tuesday of every month (different times in May and December).
Oak Harbor/Tanglewood Crime Watch meets at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month at the R.T. Beamguard Community Center in Oak Harbor.
Rainbow Girls, Masonic Youth organization meets on the second and fourth Saturdays at 10 a.m. at the Cedar Creek Masonic Lodge. For more information contact Donna Dean at ddean45@hotmail.com.
Roddy Masonic Lodge meets at 6:30 p.m. the second Monday each month. Call (903) 887-6201 for info.
RootSeekers meet at 7 p.m. on the third Monday of the month in the Tri-County Library in downtown Mabank.
Southeast Kaufman County Senior Citizens Center Board of Directors meets at 1 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month at the center, located at 300 N. Dallas Street in Kemp. For info, call (903) 498-2140.
Suicide Survivors Group for those grieving the loss of someone by suicide, meets every Monday at 6:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Mabank.
Tamarack Ladies Club meets at 11 a.m. the first Wednesday of each month at the TLC Hall.
TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) meets at 9 a.m. each Wednesday at the First United Methodist Church of Athens. Call (903) 489-0563 or (903) 675-2600.
Trinity Valley Community College Band meets at 7 p.m. every Tuesday in the TVCC band hall. Group is open to any community member who plays an instrument. Call (903) 675-6222 for info.
Trinity Valley Singles Support Group meets at 7 p.m. each Monday at Athens First United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall on Lovers Lane. This is a support group for singles of all ages. For more info, call Jean Love at (903) 451-4697 or Donna Stinson (903) 675-7270.
 

 

Blind recognition
Local resident shows Medical Documentation industry
changes needed for visually impaired professionals

By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

CEDAR CREEK LAKE-An Enchanted Oaks resident is helping to transform an entire industry, so its accreditation programs are more accessible to everyone.
She has become the face of those locked out from visual information on a computer screen.
BlindRecognition.jpg (328591 bytes)Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
Kathy Melton wears her convention badge she wore in Austin recently, where she was a speaker to 200 Medical Documentation professionals about the needs of the visually impaired in the industry.

Kathy Melton, a medical transcriptionist for 30 years, was recently invited to address the international Association of Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) when it met in August for its annual conference in Austin.
The association offers accreditation, support and networking opportunities for the entire industry of medical transcriptionists.
Melton addressed about 200 industry leaders during a breakfast meeting about the challenges the visual impaired experience when they seek accessibility in such areas as:
• the platforms used by employers of medical transcriptionists,
• availability of reference materials,
• inclusion in webinars offered by the Association, and
• textbooks and other material offered by schools which teach medical transcription.
Melton is blind and has been training others like herself via the Internet for the past six years.
“When I became certified 30 years ago, we didn’t have computers,” Melton said. “We used typewriters.”
Now, all testing is done on the computer. However, testing centers do not allow screen readers.
“It’s like asking a sighted person to take a computer test with the monitor shut off,” she said.
(A screen reader is a computerized voice, which verbally tells the operator what’s on the screen. It reads the contents at very high speeds.)
Melton wasn’t able to maintain her accreditation because the continuing education courses in her profession were not accessible to the blind, and when she attempted to retest, well, she had to do so … with her eyes shut.
However, she could also report that this issue had been resolved earlier in the year with the use of online testing centers.
She pointed out that updated reference materials, once accessible, are now unavailable to the visually impaired, and the software platforms that carry medical transcription programs at employment sites are also inaccessible.
“Most of the fixes are fast and relatively easy,” Melton pointed out.
Her talk won her an introduction to some of the major software platform designers for the industry.
In those talks, she learned that many of them have already begun to address some of the problems she pointed out, and they appreciated putting a face to the end-user for which they are redesigning much of their software.
Melton had come to the attention of the association about two years ago, when she contacted them about forming a chapter for the blind and visually impaired.
About 20 representatives from the Association held an online conference with Melton, which resulted in the formation of the Visually Impaired Transcriptionist Alliance or VITA in March, 2009. Membership is open to any member of AHDI. Today, there are about 30 members, Melton said.
When she made her request, the association was developing an approved training program for spouses of military personnel that they could take while overseas.
This brought the association under the scrutiny of the U.S. Department of Labor, which asked the some hard questions about what it was doing to accommodate workers with disabilities. At that time, not very much was being done, she said.
Online testing centers seemed to be a way to address both issues.
As chairwoman for VITA, Melton was invited to talk to the contractor who was setting up the online testing centers and found the company to be very agreeable to including online screen readers and designing the program to run either without use of a mouse, or attracting the cursor to the next logical selection.
The association’s interest in bringing its military spouse program forward offered VITA the opportunity to get its issues heard and some of them resolved.
The convention was a way to bring these developments to a wider audience.
“I was made to feel welcome, and every possible offer of help was offered,” Melton said.
“I could have attended the convention unaccompanied,” she said. Her husband, Claude, came to assist her.
She was able to show key people that the reference materials online, which used to be compatible with a screen reader, were that way no longer.
She also spoke with programmers from a company whose online reference data base is currently inaccessible.
“They promised a skeleton package text driver that would be compatible with a screen reader,” she said. “Two association representatives witnessed the conversation.”
The company was already considering such a program, she was told.
Melton also got to meet with a software company representative who works with making sure there is a way to put narrative dictation into transcription platforms.
When the lack of accessibility within these platforms was explained to this gentleman, he promised to make sure the needs of the visually impaired transcription population are addressed by these companies.
Melton said she’s been corresponding with him via e-mail since she returned from the August convention. He has asked her to meet with software developers via an online conference to discuss the details.
“It’s a programming thing to make sure that if it’s a button, it says what the button is and made so the cursor lands on it and the operator doesn’t have to hunt for it. These are the types of accommodations the federal and state governments are interested in seeing,” she said.
“It was exciting to interact with others and to explain issues that the visually impaired deal with in this industry,” she added.
Following her breakfast presentation, she was asked what individual association chapters could do to be more accommodating to the visually impaired.
Melton told them that being willing to talk to and communicate with someone with visual impairments is very important. “We depend a great deal on audible communication. Don’t be afraid to talk to us,” she said.
A Best Practices session left Melton feeling a little low, as it presented what seemed to be insurmountable obstacles to the visually impaired. However, in that session Melton met a woman from Louisiana, whose company employs two blind transcriptionists.
She told Melton that she has always wanted to open a school, but not by herself.
“I‘d love to work with you,” she told Melton.
“Well, that’s been a dream of mine for a long time,” Melton answered.
So the two of them are working together on making a mutual dream come true.

 


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