Thought Wheel

From the mind of Ann Chiappetta

Meet The Author

| Filed under blindness Guide dogs Poem Relationships Uncategorized Writing Life

Meet The Author Ann Chiappetta
May 16 from 5 – 7 p.m. Westchester Disabled on the Move 984 N. Broadway, suite 400/4th floor, Yonkers, 914.968.4717 or www.wdom.org/

In this new collection, Words Of Life: Poems And Essays, the author once again exhibits the ability to write about both the light and dark sides of life. .

Victory for Web Access for the Blind

| Filed under blindness Uncategorized

From: Disability Rights Advocates
Sent: Tuesday, April 30, 2019 2:14 PM
Subject: County of Westchester Agrees to Make Website Accessible to People who are Blind and Low Vision

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contacts:
Maria Samuels: (914) 260-5837
[email protected]

Monica Porter: (510) 665-8644
[email protected]

Torie Atkinson: (212) 644-8644
[email protected]
County of Westchester Agrees to Make Website Accessible to People who are Blind and Low Vision
Redesigned site will be compatible with screen reader software used by blind and low vision visitors
April 30, 2019 – White Plains, NY –As a result of advocacy by the Westchester Council of the Blind of New York (“WCBNY”) and Disability Rights Advocates (“DRA”), the County of Westchester has agreed to make its website fully accessible to blind and low vision users by the end of 2019. These users will soon have equal access to information and functions such as signing up for emergency alerts, accessing resources in the event of severe weather storms and flooding, reviewing election results, and reserving ParaTransit,
People who are blind and low vision use software called “screen readers” that converts the text displayed graphically on a screen into audible synthesized speech or outputs that same information on a digital Braille display. Counties are required by law to ensure their websites or applications are compatible with screen readers and accessible to people who are blind or low vision, pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and guidelines established in the Web Accessibility Initiative’s Web Content Access Guidelines, available at https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG21/.
Today, accessibility barriers prevent a blind user from orienting herself on the County’s website, using keyboard navigation, skipping to the content of a particular page, or gleaning any useful information from untagged and unformatted PDF documents. WCBNY members have encountered numerous obstacles when attempting to access information and complete functions online, such as making ParaTransit reservations and learning about upcoming community events.
Maria Samuels, President of the Westchester Council of the Blind of New York, said: “This is a joint victory for Westchester Council of the Blind and the Westchester County Government. Together we achieved a significant step in the right direction for the inclusion of people who are blind. People with disabilities must have an equal opportunity to use all the programs and services available in this great County of ours, including the websites. We are delighted to find that the County Executive’s office agrees with us. Website accessibility is a process that must be vigilantly maintained but it is the law and, equally important, it is the right thing to do.”
WCBNY has long advocated for the ability of blind and low vision residents and visitors to have equal access to the County’s website, and they are pleased that the County has publicly committed to making its website accessible to screen reader software by the end of this year.
“Website accessibility guidelines and disability laws exist to ensure that people with vision disabilities have the same access to information and services as sighted people,” said Stuart Seaborn, Managing Director, Litigation, at Disability Rights Advocates. “DRA is pleased that the County has agreed to comply with the law and we hope that other public entities will follow suit as websites increasingly become go-to resources for critical public information.”
About Westchester Council of the Blind of New York
WCBNY consists of blind and visually impaired volunteer members. Through a network of advocacy and support, WCBNY focuses on the needs of people living with visual impairment. We strive to be a voice for all people who struggle with physical and attitudinal barriers resulting from others who don’t understand blindness. Our members volunteer and take part in important initiatives concerning people with disabilities in Westchester County like emergency preparedness, transportation, and accessible and safe streets. For more information, visit www.wcbny.org.
About Disability Rights Advocates
Founded in 1993, Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) is the leading national nonprofit disability rights legal center. Its mission is to advance equal rights and opportunity for people with all types of disabilities nationwide. As part of that mission, DRA has advanced multiple precedent-setting cases related to website access for persons who are blind or low vision; including securing the most comprehensive settlement ever to make online voter registration and election information accessible to millions of blind voters in New York, ensuring that blind voters in Alameda County, California had access to accessible, private voting machines on Election Day, and obtaining a settlement agreement requiring accessibility improvements to all of the roughly 4,000 Redbox video-rental kiosks in California. DRA is proud to have upheld the promise of the ADA since our inception. Thanks to DRA’s precedent-setting work, people with disabilities across the country have dramatically improved access to websites and web applications, disaster preparedness planning, voting, transportation, health care, employment, education, and housing. For more information, visit www.dralegal.org.

This email was

How Things Go On Social Media

| Filed under Relationships Uncategorized

A few weeks ago, I read something disturbing on my social media feed. Two people who I only know through social media became friends.
I read person one was going to visit person two. I thought, at the time, well, how nice folks can connect and build a meaningful friendship thanks to social media. I clicked off, and thought no more of it until a few days later.

What I read made my heart sink. Person one allegedly stole items from person two while visiting. Person one did not immediately call them out, but eventually it happened. Person two might have attempted to take of this very difficult situation privately, I do not know anything about what happened outside of social media. What I do know is person two rescued their dignity by making an impact statement. Person two did the right thing by telling the story without blame or angry words. Person two took back their power. I want to tell person one to go get help. I want to tell person one that is this is a cry for help, causing another person pain is not the way to go, call the crisis hotline or find a mental health provider, anything would provide a better outcome than to steal from a friend.

Person two, based on this interaction, I decided to unfriend you. It actually felt like I was doing the right thing, standing up for others who are betrayed and victimized by uncaring people. As for the sociological influences this situation and others like it have upon our lives, only time can tell.
What I found interesting was the impact of our virtual neighborhood and how it can protect us or leave us open to those who can cause harm. Our lives play out within the cybersphere just like in our physical lives.

Weekends Are For…

| Filed under blindness Fiction Poem Relationships Uncategorized

Writing, planning, and wishing I could find an assistant or part-time publicist. Weekends are not conducive to visiting independent bookstores to promote books. Weekends are good for catching up on things, like laundry and cooking a meal and sharing it with my husband. Weekends are for brushing the dogs, binge watching favorite Netflix originals, and catching up on long-distance phone calls with extended family and close friends. Weekends are for connecting with the personal, foregoing the professional, keeping the boundaries defined and clean. When I board the bus come Monday morning, the channel changes, the persona shifts, and by the time I step down off the bus and slide the key into the office door, the transition is initiated. I greet my office mates and begin the day.

National Poetry Month

| Filed under Poem Relationships Uncategorized Writing Life

TROPHIES
By Ann Chiappetta

Burnished figures on pedestals
Inscribed electroplate
Into households they gather, insidious
Conniving onto shelf and mantle place

They represent childhood paragons
Foster a competitive edge;
Rally spirits when called upon
As we leap and clear the proverbial hedge

They possess our emotions, sentiments
Simbiants woven into beliefs
A bit of blanket, a toddler’s treasure
Photos that trigger grief

Even in death we cannot escape
Carved markers above bones underneath
Grassy knolls peppered with maudlin
Guardians, trophies the dead bequeath

Yet the living tend the reminders
While the dead are set free
What a breath holds dear
Spirits don’t need.

2005

Blogging Words of Life

| Filed under blindness Poem Uncategorized Writing Life

Yes, indeed, dear readers — blogosphere followers, it is a two-for-one weekend. Thanks to Ann Harrison-Barnes and Sally Cronin for helping promote my newest book, WORDS OF LIFE: POEMS AND ESSAYS C2019.
First, Sally’s link:
Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Sunday Interview – Getting to Know Author Ann Chiappetta
and here is Ann’s:
Featured Book of the Week: Words of Life: Poems and Essays by Ann Chiappetta
Feel free to Re-blog, tweet, and share and thanks very much for all the support.
Visit www.annchiappetta.com for more about me or go to www.dldbooks.com/annchiappetta/ for all eBook and print purchasing links to all my books.

Words Of Life Press Release

| Filed under blindness Guide dogs Poem Relationships Writing Life

For Immediate Release
Contact Ann Chiappetta, author: 914.393.6605 [email protected]
Local Author Celebrates National Poetry Month with New Book Release
April 2, 2019 – New Rochelle, NY
New Rochelle author Ann Chiappetta publishes WORDS OF LIFE: POEMS AND ESSAYS. It is the author’s third independently published and self-promoted book. The collection combines poems, essays, and flash fiction drawing upon life’s vicissitudes, including nature’s beauty and cruelty, the foibles of relationships, the love of family, and the unconditional regard and respect for the author’s guide dogs.
The book is available in e-book format for $3.99 and in paperback for $9.95 from Amazon and multiple other online booksellers. Go to Chiappetta’s author’s page, http://www.dldbooks.com/annchiappetta/, for book buying links and to read an excerpt.
Chiappetta’s books were edited and prepared for electronic and print format by DLD Books Editing and Self-Publishing Services: http://www.dldbooks.com/ .
From the Author:
“I loved organizing the poems and essays for this book. I feel it is an autobiographical sketch of my creative life, and the reader gets a peek into who I am and how I feel and think. This collection is especially meaningful to me because I have proven that being blind is no longer a significant barrier to completing a printed book with a beautiful cover and top-notch book preparation, thanks to DLD Books.”
Chiappetta’s book signing dates, planned for later in 2019, will be announced on her website, www.annchiappetta.com. To book Chiappetta as a guest speaker, go to www.annchiappetta.com.
About the Author:
Ann Chiappetta, M.S., is an author and poet. Her writing has been featured in many small press publications and collegiate journals. Ann’s nonfiction essays have been printed in Dialogue magazine, and her poems are often featured in Magnets and Ladders. Her poetry is also included in Breath and Shadow’s 2016 debut anthology, Dozen: The Best of Breath and Shadow. Her first collection, UPWELLING: POEMS (C 2016) and FOLLOW YOUR DOG: A STORY OF LOVE AND TRUST (C 2017), are available in both e-book and print formats from http://www.dldbooks.com/annchiappetta/ .
Ann’s blog: www.thought-wheel.com
Ann’s personal website: www.annchiappetta.com
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For 314 PI Day

| Filed under blindness Poem Relationships Writing Life

For PI Day from my new book.

book cover white rocks beside patterns of sandFrom WORDS OF LIFE: POEMS AND ESSAYS © 2019 By Ann Chiappetta

Elixir of Life

A perfume memory
Aromatic
Fills the air nostalgically

Notes
Of geranium, moss, soft musk
Perennial tones capture the scent of sunlight and sorrow

Ache Awakens
Once hibernate in the mental loam
Memory buds bloom, perfume released

Rekindling the loss
Caressed by Ribbons of comfort
Like honeysuckle on the wind, flavors of love

Sweeten bitter tears like dew drops on cheek petals
Within each lies a prism of hope
Awaiting release, gathering energy, aroma clusters coiled in readiness

Flowery, Sweet scents
Patchouli, bergamot
extracted, bottled, applied

Aromatic notes fill an olfactory repository with meaning
Remembering the smell, searching
Whispers of love, warmth, consolation

For what
Triggered a walk through the bouquet-journal
The book

The perfume memory
The nostalgic elixir.

WORDS OF LIFE: POEMS AND ESSAYS
C 2019 by Ann Chiappetta

About the Book

In this new collection of poems, essays, and flash fiction, the author once again exhibits her ability to write about both the light and dark sides of life. There are numerous poems and stories about nature: its kindness, cruelty, and wonder. There are frank expressions of the sadness and frustration she felt at the progressive loss of her eyesight and a poem about the social isolation that disability can bring. Other pieces, though, sing of joys as diverse as family closeness, the love of dogs, the delights of scents, and the power of the muse. Just as in her first volume of poetry, Upwelling: Poems (2016), there is no fluff here. To read Ann Chiappetta’s works is to feel them deeply, appreciate them mightily, and remember them forever.

From the Introduction

While it is my hope that all the pieces in this book resonate with my readers, I have my favorites. Some of the poems have been previously published; all reflect what lies within. This volume is accented with a few photographs. As I lose the last vestiges of my vision, bringing a meaningful visual array to this collection seems imperative. Finally, dear reader, I want to share the prose that reflects the way I’ve lived my creative life.

If just one poem or essay resonates with you, I have accomplished the purpose. For a moment, as the eye reads and the brain interprets, the reader slips into the shoes of the writer. This is the true spirit of what it means to be creative, open, to offer the emotions in such a way as to give another person the opportunity to appreciate the writer’s experience with the words of life.

Contact Information

Ann Chiappetta lives in New Rochelle, New York
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 914-393-6605
Book-related website: http://www.dldbooks.com/annchiappetta/
Blog: www.thought-wheel.com

The author’s previous two books are Upwelling: Poems (2016) and Follow Your Dog: A Story of Love and Trust (2017)