Additional VEs Needed, Billerica ARS, April 11, 2019

Billerica ARS logoGary Frascarelli, W1GFF, Billerica VE Liaison, writes on the Billerica ARS list:

The Billerica VE Session is short on VEs for this month’s test session [on April 11, 2019].  I need 6 (SIX) due to the fact that in addition to our regular session we need to have a second session in  a different room for someone who is visually disabled and needs the test read to him.   I only have two plus myself at this time, so I really need four or five more.  Please respond direct to me.  It is held at the Chelmsford Bible Church, 128 Gorham St, Chelmsford (across from Gary’s Ice Cream).  Park and come in the downstairs door out back.  

Gary Frascarelli <>



Zola Center Kit Building Workshop, Feb. 17

Members of the Zola Center ARC are participating in a kit-building workshop on February 17, 2018 at the Irving K. Zola Center for Persons with Disabilities in Newton Highlands.

According to Zola Center ARC’s Bob Druk, WA1UIY, “the group will build continuity testers as a club project. At the December meeting we held a soldering workshop where we they learned the basic fundamentals of soldering. At the end of the session each participant was able to successfully solder the ends of wires together.” Many of the current Zola members are either legally or totally blind.

WA1UIY adds: “The continuity tester project is the next step in their progression. Their goal is to build an AM/FM radio from an Elenco kit which they hope to start by April.”

Additional volunteers are sought to assist in this project.

Dan Brown, W1DAN, Eastern Massachusetts Technical Coordinator and president of the Wellesley Amateur Radio Society will conduct this week’s session.

N1BLF Now Recording Eastern MA Section Audio News

Bob Zeida, N1BLF
Bob Zeida, N1BLF

A Dartmouth amateur is now producing audio recordings of monthly Eastern MA Section News.

For over thirty years, Bob Zeida, N1BLF has volunteered his time with the Talking Information Center, a nonprofit reading service that broadcasts newspapers, magazines, books, and special consumer information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to visually impaired and print-impaired listeners. Bob has also recorded ham-related materials from QST and CQ Magazine for the Courage Kenny Handiham System.

“It struck me that your section newsletter […] would be a nice opportunity for me to promote ham radio activities by inserting audio commentary about some of the local ham radio clubs throughout Massachusetts.” In addition to entire audio recordings, Bob will select certain materials from the section manager’s letter to include in his weekly TIC hobby program. “I would pick and choose by weekly broadcast time-frame those activities that would coincide with the audio airing date.”

N1BLF’s first recording of the January, 2018 Section News can be found online.

“Amateur Radio Gives Newton’s Zola Center Another Outlet”

photo of Eric Falkof, K1NUN operating a radio at the Zola Center“Donna Suskawicz knows the value of interaction. A disabled woman who once spent a year at home, the Zola Center coordinator was familiar with avoiding the world. But when she heard about a disabled man who used only his amateur radio to communicate during Hurricane Katrina, she saw an opportunity…”

The online Wicked Local Newton edition published this December 16, 2011 story by Ashley Studley describing a new ham radio program at the Zola Center for Persons With Disabilities in Newton Highlands.

[Full story]

Waltham ARA Raises Funds for Courage Center Handiham

Waltham PHI logoMembers of the Waltham Amateur Radio Association recently embarked upon a project to benefit the Courage Center Handiham program, and to honor the memory of long-time member and Silent Key, Laurie Cote, KC1BN.

A Cote family member contacted Handiham in November, 2009 to inform them that KC1BN had left a sizeable amount of ham equipment from his estate to the non-profit organization based in Golden Valley, Minnesota. Handiham’s Manager, Pat Tice, WA0TDA reached out to Eastern MA Handiham volunteer instructor Phil Temples, K9HI.

Handiham very much appreciated the generous gift from Laurie,” explained Temples. “But the Handiham staff were not easily able to take possession and liquidate the equipment.” That’s when Temples thought to approach Laurie’s home club, the Waltham Amateur Radio Association and seek their help.

“I suggested to WA0TDA that it might make sense to enlist the aid of WARA to sell the equipment from Laurie’s estate, retain a portion of the proceeds, and donate the remainder to the Handiham program. Pat agreed.” Temples added, “I thought it would both honor an organization that Laurie admired, and afford WARA the opportunity to honor Laurie’s memory.”

All parties were agreeable, so K9HI presented the idea at a Waltham ARA meeting in January, 2010. WARA’s Vice President, John Flood, KB1FQG enthusiastically agreed; he volunteered to spearhead the project.

“I’m glad that WARA is able to help the Handiham group with this project,” said Flood. “I do remember hearing that [Laurie] liked the work they do. He wanted to do something like this to help Handiham.”

Flood spent many hours cataloging and testing equipment from Cote’s estate, as well as advertising the items on the club’s mailing list. The response has been very positive: to date, over $3,500 has been collected from sales, with an additional $1,000 expected in the coming weeks.

“Thank you so much for your hard work on our behalf,” wrote Pat Tice, WA0TDA to Flood on behalf of WARA.

“I want to add my thanks for all the hard work [KB1FQG] and other Waltham ARA members have contributed to this project on behalf of Laurie’s family and the two organizations,” added K9HI.

The Courage Center Handiham System is a national program that provides tools for people with disabilities to learn Amateur Radio and technology skills, and to earn their Amateur Radio licenses.

The Waltham Amateur Radio Association is an ARRL-affiliated club, established in 1938. Its repeater site is located on Prospect Hill in Waltham, MA.

Zola License-In-A-Weekend: “A Tremendous Success”

Zola Center License in a Weekend classMembers of the Boston Amateur Radio Club facilitated a License In A Weekend session at the Irving K. Zola Center for Persons with Disabilities in Newton on June 13-15.

A dozen Zola Center members, with assistance from volunteers of the Boston club studied and reviewed test material from the ARRL license manual. The sessions were conducted on Friday evening, all day Saturday, and Sunday morning. On Sunday afternoon, the Boston ARC Volunteer Examiner team administered the Technician and General class elements.

BARC members held a May prequel meeting to the weekend study session to distribute the materials, and to prepare the students for what lay ahead.

“Everyone helped in some way. Some were on the front lines, but it took everyone else’s support to really make it happen,” wrote BARC Vice President Eric Falkof, K1NUN.

“Paul [N1ZKR] and Nora [KB1OHB] called people to encourage or ensure there were no outstanding problems. This was an essential element, because it maintained the club’s contact with the students. We did not leave them adrift. This helped the students to know they were not being abandoned to their own devices entirely. … We showed we were attentive and cared.”

“The 80 percent passing grade of the participants was a testament to your good work,” wrote Donna Suskawicz, the Center’s Director, complementing the Boston ARC crew on their efforts. “All participants enjoyed the weekend and communicated to me they were thankful for the opportunity to study and take the license exam.” She added, “I know this was time consuming for all of you and I am appreciative of the personal dedication from each of you.”

Suskawicz also participated in the course; she successfully passed the Technician exam and is awaiting her license.

Participating Boston ARC members included K1NUN, WA1IDA, KB1OHB, N1ZKR, KB1OKP, N1ICN and K9HI.

Costs for the weekend program were partially offset by the Avon Products company, who awarded Suskawicz a national “Avon Hello Tomorrow” grant to encourage women with disabilities to pursue ham radio.

The Irving K. Zola Center for Persons with Disabilities at Brigham House is a drop-in community center for persons with disabilities. The center is named for Irving Kenneth Zola, a resident of Newton, MA, who was an internationally known sociologist and advocate who specialized in disability studies and medical sociology.

[See also:
K9HI Promotes Handiham System At Zola Center
Zola Center Founder Receives Cash Award to Promote Ham Radio
Boston ARC, Zola Center To Hold License In A Weekend Course]

Zola Center Founder Receives Cash Award to Promote Ham Radio

A Brighton woman has been awarded funding to operate a program promoting ham radio communication for women with disabilities.

Donna Suskawicz, who founded the Irving Zola Center for Persons with Disabilities, was selected the winner in the nationwide Avon Hello Tomorrow Fund. Suskawicz says that the award money will allow her to “assist with training, purchasing equipment and sending at least one woman to the summer Courage Center Handiham camp.” Suskawicz adds that she looks forward to working on the project with the Boston Amateur Radio Club in the coming year.

“I am thrilled to be nationally recognized and will continue to work to empower persons with disabilities,” writes Suskawicz, who competed against 1300 applicants for the $5000 cash prize. She adds, “One person CAN make a difference!”

The Irving K. Zola Center for Persons with Disabilities at Brigham House is a drop-in community center for persons with disabilities. The center is named for Irving Kenneth Zola, a resident of Newton, MA, who was an internationally known sociologist and advocate who specialized in disability studies and medical sociology.

[See also: K9HI Promotes Handiham System At Zola Center]

Framingham ARA Donates To Courage Center Handiham System

Framingham ARA logoThe Board of Directors of the Framingham Amateur Radio Association has voted to donate $100 to the Courage Center Handiham System, according to FARA President Gordy Bello, K1GB.

Guest speaker and Handiham volunteer Phil Temples, K9HI presented at the Association’s September 6, 2007 general meeting. Temples’ talk included a showing of the Handiham promotional video “Making Contacts… Making Friends” produced by Pat Tice, WA0TDA and directed by Gary Gordon, K6KV.

“The board made its decision based on what we saw in [the] presentation and felt it was a worthwhile cause. We were moved by both the courage of the campers and the dedication on the part of the instructors who gave up their own operating time to serve others,” wrote K1GB.

K9HI Promotes Handiham System At Zola Center

Phil Temples, K9HI, presents about the Handiham System at Zola CenterStaff members and clients of the non-profit Irving K. Zola Center in Newton, Massachusetts heard a presentation about Amateur Radio and the Courage Center Handiham System on June 9, 2007 from Handiham volunteer Phil Temples, K9HI.

Temples spoke about the various aspects of ham radio to the audience, including amateurs’ important contributions to public service. He also described the California and Minnesota radio camps in detail.

Temples’ presentation featured the Handiham promotional video “Making Contacts… Making Friends” produced by Pat Tice, WA0TDA and directed by Gary Gordon, K6KV, followed by a question and answer session.
“The group was really fired up at the conclusion of the presentation,” remarked K9HI. “The director inquired about affiliating with the Courage Center Handiham System. And, several clients asked about the possibility of holding a License In A Weekend session at the Center. I’d say that there’s an excellent chance the Zola Center might form a ham radio club in the future.”

The Irving K. Zola Center for Persons with Disabilities at Brigham House is a drop-in community center for persons with disabilities. The center is named for Irving Kenneth Zola, a resident of Newton, MA, who was an internationally known sociologist and advocate who specialized in disability studies and medical sociology.

[Photo: Phil Temples, K9HI, gives a presentation about the Handiham System at Zola Center.]

–Thanks, Courage Center Handiham System

K9HI Honored By Boston College For Community Service

K9HI receiving award at Boston CollegeAn Eastern Massachusetts amateur has been recognized by Boston College for his work with the Courage Center Handiham program and participation in the Read Aloud program in the Boston school system.

Phil Temples, K9HI, an employee in the Boston College Computer Science Department and a Handiham volunteer instructor, was honored with the prestigious 2007 Community Service Award at a recognition dinner on May 23, 2007. University President William P. Leahy, S.J. and Thomas Keady, Vice President for Governmental Community Affairs presented the award to Temples at a banquet with approximately 100 invited guests, university officials and other honorees in attendance.

“You have been recognized for your efforts in recruiting, organizing, teaching and mentoring at the non-profit Courage HandiHam System Camp in Lake George, Minnesota and Cupertino, California,” wrote William R. Mills, Jr., Director of Community Affairs at Boston College. “We know you consider yourself a privileged man to be able to serve others because you believe that people should have the right to live, work and learn in a community based on abilities, not disabilities.”

Photo (L-R): Phil Temples, K9HI and Fr. William Leahy, President, Boston College

[See also: Temples Seeks to ‘Open Lives’ of Disabled]

Openings Available At California Handiham Radio Camp

Handiham logoAttention Eastern MA hams: do you know of a disabled individual–either licensed or unlicensed–who might benefit from attending a Handiham radio camp? California Radio Camp slots are still available.

“If you are interested in attending the California session, which will be the week of February 17 through 23, 2007 please let us know and we will send you an application package. If you are a Handiham student working on your Technician Class license and you pass your examination at Camp, we will give you a brand-new 2 m hand-held radio. This new radio program is made possible by the generosity of a Handiham donor whose special mission is to get new people licensed and on the air. Please e-mail Nancy at for a camp application as soon as possible if you are interested in attending. You may also call toll-free at 1-866-426-3442.”

Handiham World Weekly E-letter, December 13, 2006

N1BLF To Retire From Question Pool Reading

Bob Zeida, N1BLFA North Dartmouth ham has received praise from the Minnesota-based Courage Center Handiham Program. Volunteer reader Bob Zeida, N1BLF has announced that he will retire from reading the FCC question pools beginning in 2006.

Zeida, who is also a member of the Southeastern MA Amateur Radio Association, has read all of the current pools on behalf of Handiham members. He is a familiar voice to many blind amateurs studying for their Technician, General, and Extra Class licenses.

“His measured, clear delivery is appreciated by those of us who must make our way through the huge number of questions during our studies,” writes Handiham Manager Pat Tice, WA0TDA. “We thank Bob for his wonderful service to Handiham members who listen to his reading around the world!”

Although N1BLF will not be reading the pools, he will continue reading the monthly magazine digests. Bob also reads for blind listeners via the Massachusetts Talking Information Center. —Thanks, Handiham World Weekly E-Letter, November 23-30, 2005

[See also: N1BLF CD Recordings for the Blind]

Openings Available At Handi-ham Minnesota Radio Camp

students at Courage North, K9HI photoApplications are being accepted for persons with disabilities who wish to attend the Courage Center Handiham Radio Camp in Lake George, Minnesota, from August 23 through 30, 2005. Camperships to help with tuition are available for first-time campers working on their first license.

“Courage North staff will pick up campers at the Bemidji, MN airport or the bus station,” writes Handi-ham Program Manager Pat Tice, WA0TDA. “Wheelchairs and service animals are no problem, and campers using these accommodations will find that Courage North is a fun and easy to use place!”

For more information, or to obtain an application, contact Courage Center Handiham at 1-866-426-3442 email or visit

[Pictured, left: Gerry Kloss, N0VOE. -K9HI photo]

Southeastern MA ARA Becomes Handi-ham Affiliated Club

SEMARA logoThe Southeastern Massachusetts Amateur Radio Association has voted to become a Handi-ham Affiliated Club at its April 7, 2005 business meeting, according to SEMARA President Tim Smith, N1TI.

“The club has made a commitment to make Amateur Radio as accessible as possible for people with disabilities,” explains Smith. “Whenever we have a course, we can help [disabled persons] avail themselves of what Handi-ham has to offer in the way of study materials. The best part of becoming an affiliated club is that we all become more aware of the issues faced by disabled people.”

According to SEMARA newsletter editor Bob Kelley, K1KVV, “The notion of affiliated club status was mentioned by Phil Temples (K9HI) in a talk about the Courage Handi-ham program. I volunteered to bring this up for a vote at next business meeting.”

Courage Handi-ham System Manager Pat Tice, WA0TDA, was very pleased to receive the inquiry from the SEMARA gang. “We would love to have you on board,” he wrote to Kelley in an email response.

The Southeastern MA ARA counts among its members one of most active Handi-ham volunteers in the country: Bob Zeida, N1BLF. Zeida has been instrumental in supplying audio recordings of QST, Worldradio and other ham radio-related content for Handi-ham members. (See also “N1BLF CD Recordings for the Blind”.)

Eastern MA Handiham Volunteer Assists At California Radio Camp

K9HI explains cw simulation program to campersAn EMA amateur participated in the annual Courage Center Handiham’s California Radio Camp. Phil Temples, K9HI was invited for the fifth straight year to attend the event, held Feb. 28-March 5, 2005 at the Joan Mier Camp near Malibu, California.

“I was thrilled to have been invited back again as a volunteer,” said Temples. “It’s a way for me to give back to the hobby and to serve others. In the process I feel I’ve made many life-long friends, and I’ve joined a tight-knit community.”

The radio camp draws volunteers, staff and campers from across the United States and Canada. Campers who are blind, who suffer from brain injuries, or diseases that affect their mobility study for their Technician, General and Extra licenses in a safe and supportive class room environment. Morse code mentors work with those who wish to learn or improve upon their code skills.

In addition, the radio camp holds an Operating Skills class for licensed campers who wish to improve their operating skill level. K9HI along with four other volunteer “veteran” hams led the Op Skills class. “The Op Skills class has become increasingly popular. We had nearly 16 participants this year,” said Temples. “In the class we cover a wide number of topics–HF operating, familiarity with station equipment, propagation–even news and current events about Amateur Radio.”

Two popular activities during the week-long camp include the radio direction finding foxhunt and the simulated emergency test. “This year I wrote the script for the emergency test,” remarked Temples. “It involved a simulated mudslide that affected Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. It didn’t take much imagination for everyone to identify with the scenerio, since the immediate area experienced mudslides only weeks earlier.”

The camp established five different simulated “emergency” stations on 2 meters, including a Salvation Army canteen truck, and a Red Cross Shelter. In addition, a real station was set up next door at the Ventura County Fire Department. Well-known ham instructor Gordon West, WB6NOA, was on hand to assist the campers at one operating position. “We introduced a number of realistic scenerios into the script, including intentional interference,” Temples said.

The Courage Center Handiham program runs an identical radio camp in the late summer at Camp Courage North near Bemidji, Minnesota. In addition to its highly successful radio camps, the program provides equipment and audio materials for blind hams. (See also N1BLF CD Recordings For The Blind.) For additional information about the Courage Center Handiham program, visit

Pictured, above: K9HI demonstrates a Morse code simulator program to campers Grady, KB5SDU (standing); Marie, WA0MMK; Evan, KB1IWR. (WA0TDA photo)

Openings Available At Handiham Radio Camp, Malibu CA 2/27-3/6

Handiham logoOpenings are still available for persons with disabilities who wish to attend the Courage Center Handiham Radio Camp in Malibu, California, February 27 through March 6, 2005.

Camp Joan Mier is a fully-accessible facility featuring comfortable accommodations and great food.

“Our ham shack is equipped with a triband beam overlooking the Pacific. Talk about a great location,” says Handiham Coordinator Pat Tice, WA0TDA. “If you have been considering a first license or upgrade, or just want to learn operating skills in a friendly environment, give us a call toll-free and request a Radio Camp application.”

The cost is $225 for the week, which includes food, lodging, normal caregiving (no need to bring a caregiver), radio classes, and recreational opportunities. Handiham staff will meet your flight at LAX if you arrive by air. Camp is designed to make it easy for people with disabilities to enjoy a week of worry-free ham radio learning and fun.

For more information, contact Courage Center Handiham at 1-866-426-3442 email or visit

Handi-ham Radio Camp Openings Available

From the Handi-ham web site:

“There are still openings for beginners at Handi-ham Radio Camp in Malibu, California. We are looking for new campers who are getting started in amateur radio and want to earn their Technician tickets. Camp is open to any Handiham member with a disability, and we have a special deal for beginners this year—it is FREE! Well, almost free. We will pay your camp tuition except for a $45 registration/insurance fee, but that’s it.

Handiham logoCampers get picked up at the Los Angeles airport if necessary, get all of their food, lodging, and normal caregiving needs met through the week, ham radio classes and fun activities, and a VE session. Campers do have to pay their travel expense to Los Angeles, but we take care of almost everything else.

If you know a beginner who may benefit from this camp experience, please contact Handiham Student Coordinator Jerry Kloss, N0VOE, at his callsign at or call Nancy toll-free at 1-866-426-3442.”

[Please share this with all Eastern MA clubs. The camps are a fantastic experience for any ham or would-be ham with a disability. – K9HI]