This is a Publication of the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky.
President: Cathy Jackson 210 Cambridge Drive, Louisville, Kentucky 40214, Phone: (502) 366-2317, Email Cathy Jackson
The NFB Kentucky Cardinal Editorial staff members are: Monica Stephens and Jennifer Stephens.
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Table of Contents
Eighty Years of NFB History
By: Cathy Jackson
"To the blind of the nation: The time has come to organize on a national basis." so declared the first president of the National Federation of the Blind, Jacobus tenBroek. He made this declaration at the organizing convention of the National Federation of the Blind at Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania in 1940. Dr. tenBroek believed the time was right for the blind to organize so that their voices could be heard, and the needs of the blind could be met. At that first convention there were only 16 delegates from 7 states. Compare that to our 2019 NFB convention in Las Vegas, Nevada where 51 Affiliates were represented and we registered 3,284 delegates. We take it for granted that we will have our annual convention every year, not to mention our state conventions, local chapter meetings and division meetings. Things were quite different in the 1940s. The blind had to actually fight for the right to organize. Agencies for the blind and the public in general believed that the blind should stay home and be taken care of. Dr. tenBroek and his colleagues continued to fight for their right to organize and today we are enjoying the fruits of their labor. We can be proud to say we are members of the nation's oldest and largest organization of the blind, speaking for the blind, The National Federation of the Blind. We are very visible in the 21st century.
In the 1940s jobs for blind people were far and few between. In fact, they were almost nonexistent. In California it was estimated that only about 200 blind individuals were employed. The majority of these workers were in sheltered workshops performing, what was commonly referred to as (blind trades), such as chair caning and broom making. They were earning 5 cents an hour and there was little hope of ever finding a job outside the sheltered workshop. Others considered themselves lucky if they could sell pencils on the street corner. The really fortunate blind person was a teacher at the state-run school for the blind, or worked washing dishes in the kitchen at the school. Still others played the organ in church on Sunday, or worked in the state agency that served the blind. Even those who were working were living in poverty. They were hardly bringing home enough money to support themselves, much less a family. They were unable to provide the most basic of human needs. The rest of the blind population wasf totally dependent on their family, friends, their church, or handouts from total strangers. Social Security was signed into law in 1935. The purpose of this sweeping legislation was to protect against unemployment, the security of destitute of age, and despair of the blind. However, by 1940 it was apparent to Dr. tenBroek that the intent of the Social Security Act was not being upheld. Consequently, this became one of the first issues undertaken by the newly organized National Federation of the Blind. The NFB helped pass Social Security legislation which ultimately provided an income for the blind. Once blind people were able to contribute financially to the support of their families things slowly began to change. Blind people began to feel good about themselves both physically and mentally. The whole idea was if blind individuals had enough food in their bellies and decent clothes on their backs, their level of confidence would be raised. In short it would be easier to face the world.
Blind people came out of the shadows and began to assert their independence. The word and work of the National Federation of the Blind began to spread to every state in the union. Kentucky jumped on the Federation band wagon in 1947 and elected Harold Reagan as our first president. In those early days, blind people hungered for more input in how they were going to be rehabilitated. In the 1930s and 1940s vocational rehabilitation efforts were ineffective at best. There were attempts on the state and local levels to provide some limited training. It wasn't until 1943 when the Federal-State Rehabilitation Program became law that the blind officially were recognized as "feasible" for rehabilitation services. Today every state in the U.S. provides rehabilitation services for the blind. Admittedly, some state agencies do a better job of rehabilitating the blind than others. But it was the overall failure of these agencies and some charitable organizations that made the NFB step up to the plate and get involved in a big way. The National Federation of the Blind made a huge impact on the lives of the blind in the mid-1980s when our NFB training centers were launched. We currently have three centers: the Louisiana Center for the Blind in Ruston, LA, the Colorado Center for the Blind in Littleton, CO, and Blind Incorporated in, Minneapolis, MN. Although there are some differences, each of these centers strictly adheres to our NFB Philosophy. This philosophy promotes high expectations and challenges students to become independent and empowered as blind people. It's through the structured discovery methods and opportunities that blind men and women leave our centers knowing they can compete on terms of equality with their sighted peers. Through the continued work of the NFB in those early years more and more parents were beginning to realize that it was just as important that their blind children be educated as it was for their sighted children. At this point in history the majority of blind students were sent to the state schools for the blind. Back then more often than not they received a better education at the state school. That is not necessarily the case these days. Now the tables have turned, and the majority of blind children are enrolled in their neighborhood schools. Even if a student is attending a school for the blind he or she is often given the opportunity to be mainstreamed part day to a public school. We want to make sure that blind students in our public schools are receiving an appropriate accessible education. So, we the NFB were instrumental in presenting the legislation that was signed into law by President George Herbert Walker Bush that guarantees that blind students will receive their textbooks in the desired format, including Braille, the same day as the other students are receiving their books. It goes without saying that there are more and more blind students than ever entering college to pursue degrees in every field imaginable. We can boast that there are blind lawyers, nurses, college professors, ministers, teachers, social workers, and the list goes on. The success of blind college students is due in large part because of legislation put forth by the National Federation of the Blind. Our Accessible Instructional Materials in the Higher Education Act, which we are currently striving to have put into law, will promote instructional technology and educational content that is accessible to the blind and others who are print impaired.
Through the passage of the Randolph-Sheppard Act in 1936, business opportunities for blind men and women began growing. Vending stands as they were referred to in the early days were a simple counter where the proprietor sold candy, gum, cigarettes, newspapers and the like. These vending counters began popping up all over the country in state, federal, and municipal buildings. This entrepreneurial opportunity continues to grow and in turn, provides this generation of blind men and women a business opportunity equal to, or in many cases superior to their sighted peers. These entrepreneurs are operating cafeterias where meals are prepared and served on site to federal and state workers. Many of the vending facilities in the rest areas that we patronize along the interstate highways are being maintained by the blind. Again, it is the oversight of the NFB that keeps this program viable and intact. We will stand strong against those who are trying to dismantle the program; those who do not know the history and origin of the Randolph Sheppard Act.
If it wasn't for the efforts of the National Federation of the Blind, we would not have the pleasure to enjoy the continued advancements in the area of accessible technology. Many of the original pieces of Braille technology and special equipment were developed by members of the Federation. They knew there had to be a way to overcome barriers to reading and writing print. The fact of the matter is, there was no one else more capable of tackling this project than the blind. A longtime member of our Kentucky Affiliate, Tim Cranmer and a friend, Dean Blazie were instrumental in developing one of the first speech output devices called the Braille n' Speak. This piece of technology has morphed in to the many Braille note-takers we use today. The National Federation of the Blind is directly responsible for the Kurzweil Reading Machine, the KNFB Reader, and NFB NEWSLINE. Each of these has made reading the printed word possible for the blind. It was Dr. Kenneth Jernigan's dream that blind people would one day have access to the timely information in newspapers. We are living that dream today. We are enjoying over 500 local newspapers along with national and international publications, including a variety of award winning magazines.
The NFB continues to be heavily invested in the Legislative process in state and federal government. Each year in late January or early February, we make our pilgrimage to Washington D. C. to take part in the Washington Seminar. Each Affiliate sends representatives to speak directly with their congressional delegation. We are prepared with our position papers and fact sheets which clearly outline the pressing issues for that legislative session. Although many of our issues are new and reflect the time in which we live, some seem to have a life of their own. For example, we continue to monitor Social Security benefits and how they are appropriated just as we did in the 1940s. But we are also keeping an eagle eye on other aspects of the administration. The National Federation of the Blind recently won a lawsuit against the Social Security Administration for failing to provide their printed materials in an accessible format. We are also promoting the passage of the Access Technology Affordability Act. This legislation will facilitate the purchase of accessible technology by establishing a per-person refundable tax credit to be used over a three-year period to offset the high cost of much needed technology for the blind. The Transition to Integrated Meaningful Employment is by no means new legislation, but continues to be of utmost importance to the blind and others with disabilities. If Congress can see fit to pass this law, we will erase section 14 (C) of the Fair Labor Standards Act which allows employers to apply for a wage certificate giving them the right to pay the blind and others with disabilities far less than the federal minimum wage. This will greatly change the complexion of the sheltered workshops by creating more job opportunities and removing the stigma of low expectations. Parent's Rights Legislation is something near and dear to our hearts. We are adamant about protecting our blind parents against the discriminatory practices in our hospitals, courts, social services agencies, and guardian's ad litem (appointed by the court to represent a client or estate in a particular legal action). This battle is being waged in many Affiliates across the country including Kentucky. This is an act relating to preserving families that include a parent who is blind. This bill will ensure that blind parents are treated fairly in custody cases, adoption proceedings, foster care cases, and with social services in general when our ability to parent comes into question. The individual or agency bringing the charges must prove that the blind parent is unfit. It will no longer automatically be assumed that we are not capable of raising children based solely on our blindness.
The National Federation of the Blind is an organization working for the good of the blind of all ages. We are welcoming and innovative which can be seen through the variety of projects offered to members and nonmembers alike. Take our Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs for example. Until the NFB got involved and decided that blind students will no longer take a back seat to their sighted peers, it was thought that blind students could not fully participate in these subjects, much less ever dream of a career in these fields. These week-long science camps developed and facilitated by the NFB have given blind youth the experience of a lifetime. Participants are taught how to use alternative techniques and adaptive equipment to perform a myriad of experiments, including launching a rocket. Blind students have entered a new world of learning taking part in class projects and experiments alongside their classmates. Even our very young blind people are taking part in an innovative NFB programs. Our four to eleven-year-old kiddos are spending a week at BELL Academy (Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning.) This is an all-out effort to show these youngsters the importance of Braille and to provide that extra tutoring one might need during the summer. Braille teaching is woven into every facet of the curriculum. If the students are cutting vegetables or baking brownies they are reading Braille measuring cups and Braille recipes. If we are playing a game the playing cards and instructions are in Braille. One very significant aspect of our BELL Academy is the mentoring these young children are receiving from the blind teachers and volunteers that are with them the entire week.
There is a new problem facing the National Federation of the Blind. It is not unique to the blind. It is a problem that has engulfed the world as a whole. I am of course speaking of the COVID-19 pandemic. This national crisis has caused us, the members of the NFB to cancel our face-to-face chapter meetings, our fundraising events, and planned meetings at our National center, our scheduled BELL Academies, and worst of all our National Convention. It has forced some of our Affiliates to postpone their annual conventions until late summer and early fall. You notice however, I said face-to-face meetings. Nothing stops the National Federation of the Blind from following through on our commitments. The Zoom platform has been made available to us by our national organization. This media has allowed us to continue with business as usual. NFB Chapters all across the nation are once again holding their monthly meetings. Our Scholarship committee will convene using Zoom to choose our scholarship finalists. Affiliates have gotten creative and planned exciting and different topics of discussion to engage not only their members but blind people everywhere. These themes may range from NFB philosophy, to membership building, and technology training (Zoom in particular), socialization and relaxation, and goodness knows what else. President Riccobono hosted the first ever live Presidential Release in April. I am estimating that well over 1,500 people were in attendance. We were also afforded the opportunity to ask questions which was a rare treat. The event was such a success that President Riccobono has already announced that the May Presidential Release will go live. For the first time in history we will conduct our National Convention using technology. We will use the Zoom technology to bring together the nation's largest organization of the blind, the National Federation of the Blind! We are anticipating that this will be the largest convention ever. Registration is free, and we urge each and every one of you to participate in as much of the convention as humanly possible. President Riccobono has already begun working on convention programming. One huge hurdle to overcome will be scheduling meetings to accommodate the time differences. Remember Hawaii is 6 hours behind those of us here in the Eastern Time zone. I don't think we should plan on opening ceremonies starting at 9 AM Eastern time, unless we want our friends in Hawaii to rise and shine at 3 in the morning. Of course, times will be made available to hold annual division meetings, reports and resolutions, guest speakers and our national business meeting. Some of you have asked if there will be door prizes. Well, the answer is yes. Just how all of this will be handled hasn't been determined yet. But, I can tell you that you must register as usual. I am hoping that by the time our national convention rolls around many of our social distancing and group restrictions will have been lifted. I would like very much for the NFB of Kentucky affiliate to, at least, be able to plan a caucus. But even better, I am hoping we can enjoy a dinner together. This journey through the past 80 years shows just how far we have come, and how far we are willing to go to enhance the lives of the blind. Our forefathers knew they had to take a stance against society's negative attitudes about blindness, and the low expectations these attitudes generated. Because of Dr. tenBroek, Dr. Jernigan, and countless others both past and present we have a solid foundation on which we can continue building. It is with love, hope and determination that I will carry on the work of this organization preserving its rich history and doing my part to make the National Federation of the Blind even bigger and better for future generations.
Washington Seminar 2020
Karen Mayne, president of the NFB of Frankfort attended the NFB Washington Seminar for the first time this year. Below she highlights the issues of emphasis during the 2020 Washington Seminar.
Access technology affordability act HR 2086/s 815: The cost of critically needed Access Technology is out of reach for most blind Americans. We talked to them about a tax credit to help blind people pay for equipment so that they could be employed for a job or do the job they are hired for. Our Goal: Improve affordability of critically needed access technology necessary for employment and independent living.
Greater access and independence through non-visual access technology HR 3929: Advanced digital interface is creating barriers that prevent blind individuals from independently operating essential devices that enhance the quality of life. We would like manufacturers to be required to make their products accessible during the manufacturing and development process. In this way we can use them right out of the box. I talk to them about my refrigerator. Who ever dreamed that a refrigerator would have a touchscreen that I can't use? Our Goal: Decrease the digital divide for blind Americans.
Accessible instructional materials in higher education hr 5312/s 3095: Until a market driven solution for accessible instructional materials is achieved, blind college students will continue to be denied access to critical course content. We talk to them about assembling a mission based Group to talk to community colleges and universities about their inaccessible materials and class participation technologies. Our Goal: Remove barriers to equality in the classroom.
Here, Karen shares her personal thoughts about her experiences as a part of our Kentucky delegation in DC.
"On February 9th, I not only went to Washington DC for the first time, but I also traveled alone on a plane for the first time. I admit I was a little nervous, thinking I might get lost, but I landed nearly the same time as the other ladies did, and it was no trouble meeting up with them. Our president, Cathy Jackson, had been asking me to go for several years, but I always had to work. This year I didn't have that excuse, so I decided that I would go just this once. After it was over, I decided that if I was invited to go again, I would go in a heartbeat. The first day we had no appointments, so we got to explore the city. We went to the Holocaust museum and the Vietnam War Memorial. We also got to get close to the White House. As you would imagine, the Holocaust museum was very, very moving, and so was the Vietnam Memorial wall!
The next day was the Great Gathering In, and I'm not sure what I expected, I think maybe to be bored. But, I was far from board! It was wonderful to see everyone there fighting for the same causes! Our appointments with our Kentucky representatives went fairly well. However, we only got to meet two congressmen in person: Congressman Massie and congressmen Yarmouth. Senator Rand Paul canceled his appointment with us, but we did get to meet with Senator McConnell's aid. Congressman Rogers meeting was out in the hall, but, at least, his aid heard us. I have to admit that I was extremely nervous about talking to politicians, but it was a lot easier than I thought it would be. My sister gave me a pep-talk before I went, saying that it was easy to talk about issues when you understand them. She was right about that. I also traveled back to Kentucky alone on a plane. The only trouble I had was, when I landed in Lexington, and the person who came to assist me had a wheelchair. In my opinion, he needed it way more than I did. I restrained myself from telling him that, however. I had a wonderful trip and got to make a new friend in Sarah, and got to know Jayne better. I want to thank Cathy for inviting me to go to the Washington Seminar, and I'm glad that I was finally able to go. If you have never been to the Washington seminar and you get the opportunity to go, I highly recommend it!"
Sarah Flick, the mother of Colton Peters, an alumnus of the Kentucky BELL (Braille enrichment for Literacy and Learning) Academy, was a member of our four person delegation to the Washington Seminar this February. Here are her thoughts about her NFB experience.
"On February 9-12, 2020 I had the incredible opportunity to attend the Washington seminar with the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky. My son, Colten is currently a 7th grader at the Kentucky School for the Blind and a graduate of the Kentucky BELL Program. I was asked to go as a parent representative. Little did I know the major impact it would have on my life?
As a parent of a blind child, I have learned most from other blind individuals. The Washington seminar allowed me the opportunity to spend my days with three wonderful ladies who taught me so much, Cathy Jackson, Jayne Seif and Karen Mayne. They did not mind my endless questions about how to best understand what it is like to live without vision. We had many laughs along the way and I cherish all the memories we made.
I never thought in a million years I would have the opportunity to go to Capitol Hill and lobby for something so important for me and my family. The seminar participants were so full of excitement and emotion to be doing something so crucial for their future. The feeling in the room when we all met before going to the Hill was truly electrifying.
The seminar was run like a well-oiled machine. As a participant I felt very prepared for my meetings. Although nervous, I was given all the information needed regarding the bills we were to discuss. It was such a wonderful experience to walk the halls of Congress/Senate knowing I was there to make a difference for the future of my son and other blind individuals.
I cannot thank the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky enough for allowing me to be a part of this amazing seminar. Thanks again go out to Cathy, Jayne and Karen. I will never forget this experience!"
Blind Students Across Kentucky Connect Via Zoom
By: Jayne Seif
As we all know today is an unprecedented time in history. During this time many of our children are learning to negotiate their education in a whole new way. For many of our blind students this presents specific challenges and frustration as they navigate systems and assignments that are not always accessible. In an effort to support these blind students in Kentucky, our affiliate has created a place for them to share their stories with one another, ask questions, and be there for one another. In the beginning, moderators Jayne Seif and Angela Henderson got the conversation going with a series of questions. But as this has grown the students have now begun making the forum their own and facilitating their own conversations. We are from all over the state, but Zoom has brought us all together. Thank you to Riley Seif for running the Host position, Danielle Burton for creating a Google Meets for all of us to stay in touch, and to each student who has been with us on Tuesday nights to contribute to the community.
Here is what some of the participants in the Zoom meetings say about their experiences.
"I have really enjoyed these meetings. I have been able to connect with new people from all across the state and learn about some useful information. Thank you, NFB, for doing this."
"These sessions have helped me find creative solutions to the challenges of online schoolwork. We have the chance to collaborate and combine our knowledge. Most importantly, though, they remind me that I'm not the only one struggling."
Newsline Reaches Out
By: Ginny Green
Ginny Green works as the assistant project coordinator for NFB NEWSLINE Kentucky. During this COVID-19 world pandemic, she hopes that she is in some small way making a difference in the lives of some blind individuals in Kentucky. Here is what she has to say about her work for NEWSLINE during this time.
One thing I will always remember is the fact that my mom taught herself how to write braille with the slate and stylus. She asked me to make her a braille chart which she used to teach herself. Through the years she would surprise me with a letter, or a card. I still have a cookbook she started for me a few years ago. Through the years friends from school and church have made me feel included by giving me birthday cards with braille. From getting me a talking alarm clock after we got together, to encouraging me to try new technology, my husband Travis is always finding new ways to make sure my loss of vision is not the reason that I am not involved in something. It makes us feel good when we are included. When people around us do what they can to involve us in life it is wonderful. Something as simple as playing a game of UNO can be a big deal. It's a big deal if everyone around you is playing it and having a good time while you are left sitting on the sidelines listening. But when accommodations are made to suit your needs, so you can participate, things change. You walk away feeling like the champ you are.
COVID-19 has brought tremendous change to a lot of lives. But for some it hasn't changed very much. It has caused us all to have to separate, and the need to stay connected is greater than ever; the need to accommodate is greater than ever. The unique thing about today is that this applies to people without disabilities alike. The entire world has to make changes to protect and insure productivity. My hope is that more people will take notice and realize that we are all on the same page now. In a time of uncertainty, to say everyone is concerned would be an understatement. It can be so easy to get caught up in the business side of things. The world moves so fast and we stay so very busy. That's when we start forgetting! It can be so easy to forget to connect with others, and that there are others who desperately need us to connect with them. As COVID-19 reared its ugly head in March, my outreach for NEWSLINE became so much more. I've made it a point to inform each subscriber about the access to the COVID-19 updates provided by NEWSLINE. It is especially important that we all stay updated during this pandemic. I call the subscribers to check on them. I just want to know how they are doing. Several of them live alone, and because of the restrictions they are truly alone. They are people who are scared and need someone to talk to, and I listen. I listen to their concerns, complaints, jokes, stories, their hopes, and their prayer requests. I sympathize with them, and they remain in my thoughts and prayers. For some, being able to vent to someone is what they need. Many of them need someone to listen; they need someone to just be there. My outreach has been about reaching out to let them know that someone still cares by making them feel included. These individuals are the voices of NEWSLINE! Communicating with people on different levels is important because we all have different needs. I called a subscriber and they didn't answer. I received a text shortly thereafter from this person. They explained they don't talk on the phone and asked if we could communicate through email. We had another subscriber that had the same request. Any number of things can take away from a person's ability to talk on a telephone. Maybe that person suffered a stroke or had an accident, or a complication to some type of illness. Unfortunately, some people live in a situation which warrants a different form of communication. A few subscribers' phone numbers were disconnected, so I was able to reach out to them on Facebook with success. I have several Facebook friends who are also NEWSLINE subscribers; so, being able to converse with them on messenger is quite convenient. Subscribers also send me friend requests; Facebook allows me to contact a lot of young adults, and teenagers. Text messaging provides another quick way for subscribers to communicate with me. If someone misses my call and they do not have a voice mail set up, sometimes they will send me a text asking who I am and why I called. At times, I am able to assist them via text. I worked with a few subscribers in person who live nearby. Why do I use so many methods of outreach? It is because sometimes it is necessary for me to adjust to their needs; keeping an open mind to different means of communication leads to better quality service. Communication along with accessibility is essential for participation. Accommodating each subscriber is something I do to the best of my ability. After all, NEWSLINE is about the subscribers. We cater to the print impaired citizens of Kentucky. Each form of access is designed with the subscriber in mind. There is telephone access, online access, the IOS app, and now Alexa. We have different choices when it comes to accessing NEWSLINE for the same reasons we use different ways of communicating. It's because we all have different needs with the same goal. We all want the ability to keep up with the latest news, the chance to read magazines, and right now, it is vital that we are all able to remain updated on COVID-19. In order to do this, we each have different accommodating needs that must be met. Meeting the needs of each subscriber doesn't end with accessing NEWSLINE. That's only the beginning. It means reaching out to help someone in need. That person could be a member of your community, a neighbor, or a friend. When someone asks you to help them, it isn't about what you want. You simply do what is asked of you, within reason. If you are trying to reach some one via telephone, and they are unable to communicate that way then you're not going to accomplish anything unless you meet them halfway. If they ask for an alternative way of communicating, then it only makes since to accommodate them. If not, then you deny them accessibility. Helping people with various disabilities means sometimes thinking outside the box, and stepping outside your comfort zone, and always strive for your best effort. I look to God for guidance each day. That is how we live the lives we want. Stay safe everyone and God bless you.
NFB Newsline Update
2,200, here we come! The NFB-NEWSLINE Kentucky Project is pleased to report that we now have 2,146 total subscribers in the Kentucky Commonwealth. Please remember that we are always counting on you to spread the news about this world class audio reading service for the print impaired. Take a moment to share with those you come in contact with; those who will absolutely have their lives enriched by accessing up-to-date audio news and community information. NFB-NEWSLINE is a free service that is available 24-7 via touch-tone telephone, iOS App, internet and Alexa smart speaker. There are more than 500 worldwide publications on this world class audio service for the print impaired. NFB-NEWSLINE was developed in 1995 by the National Federation of the Blind. -Twenty five years later, this service is still thriving and continues to be managed effectively and efficiently by the blind. The NFB-NEWSLINE audio reading service is designed for the print impaired; those who have certain cognitive issues, fine motor skill impairments and of course, the blind, are potential candidates for this service. Don't keep this gem to yourself; spread the word about NFB-NEWSLINE!
Now, I cannot conclude my report without this reminder to those using the touch tone telephone to help us to minimize the telecom charges incurred at the national level. How can you help? Choose a local number vs. the toll free number. To find out what your local calling number is in your area, or any other area, go to Click Here and place the ten digit number in the wizard and press Look It Up to see what that local calling number is. It is as simple as that. Please note that this disclaimer is for those who have free long distance, but may or may not have a local calling number in their area.
Thank you for your time and be sure to visit us on our website at NEWSLINE Kentucky website. Give us a Like on Facebook at: Facebook, or on Facebook Mobile at: Facebook MobileYou can also follow us on Twitter at: Twitter
BARD Reading Corner
During this time of the COVID-19 world pandemic, we thought that everyone might appreciate some ideas of good books to read. We reached out to our NFB of Kentucky members to find out what good books they have been reading during the "Safe at Home" recommendations from our governor. Here are the great reads that were shared with us.
Mary Hackworth, treasurer of the NFB of Frankfort loves a good suspense novel. Here are two of her favorites.
The First Family DB91472 Palmer, Michael. Reading time: 11 hours, 46 minutes. Read by Fred Berman. A production of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress.
Suspense Fiction Medical Fiction
When the President's son Cam, a sixteen-year-old chess champion, experiences extreme fatigue, moodiness, and an uncharacteristic violent outburst, doctors quickly dismiss his troubles as teen angst. But Secret Service agent Karen Ray is convinced Cam's issues are very serious--and so does her physician ex-husband.
Download The First Family
The First Patient DB66323 Palmer, Michael. Reading time: 12 hours, 5 minutes. Read by Michael Kramer. A production of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress.
Suspense Fiction Medical Fiction
Dr. Gabe Singleton's college roommate Drew Stoddard is now president of the United States. When his personal physician disappears, Drew asks Gabe to step in. Arriving, Gabe learns Drew is having frightening attacks. While Gabe investigates their cause, attempts are made on his life. Violence and strong language. 2008.
Download The First Patient
Bill Deatherage, member of the NFB of Greater Louisville has an eclectic taste when it comes to what he enjoys reading. He has three recommendations that he thinks you will also enjoy.
Blind Faith DB28894 McGinniss, Joe. Reading time: 12 hours, 22 minutes. Read by Ray Hagen. A production of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress.
In 1984, Rob Marshall, a respected New Jersey businessman, was knocked unconscious near his car at a picnic area, and his wife, Maria, was killed. As the result of the police investigation, Marshall was placed on trial, and his sons made the anguishing discovery that their father was the killer. McGinniss depicts the effects of murder within a family. Strong language.
Download Blind Faith
- Ellis Island: A Novel DB18696 Stewart, Fred Mustard. Reading time: 12 hours, 39 minutes. Read by Merwin Smith. National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress.
A sweeping saga tells the stories of five enterprising young immigrants who land at Ellis Island on the same boat in 1907. The tale takes its heroes and heroines to Tin Pan Alley, the farms and mines of Appalachia, the sumptuous homes and political halls of New York, and the violent world of early labor organizers. Strong language and some descriptions of sex.
Download Ellis Island: A Novel
Orphan Trains to Missouri DBC05758 Patrick, Michael; Trickel, Evelyn. Reading time: 3 hours, 22 minutes. Read by Tom Collier. A production of Wolfner Talking Book and Braille Library.
Discusses the use of orphan trains to place orphaned or abandoned children in home in nineteenth-century Missouri. For senior high and older readers. 1997.
Download Orphan Trains to Missouri
Taryn Seif has this to say about her book recommendation. There is a dystopian fiction novel called "Life as We Knew It" by Susan Beth Pfeffer. Some of its topics and themes are scarily represented today. The story documents the survival of one family struggling to meet their needs; for me, it is a nice change of pace from other, more action-packed novels of the genre. Sadly, the other books in the series stray from this, but overall, the series isn't a bad read. Here is her book recommendation.
Life as We Knew It DB65047 Pfeffer, Susan Beth. Reading time: 9 hours, 38 minutes. Read by Aimee Jolson. A production of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress
Science Fiction Young Adult
Sixteen-year-old Miranda keeps a journal describing her family's struggle to survive after an asteroid hit the Moon and causes disastrous climate change on Earth. She records her feelings about losing contact with friends and the outside world, locating food, and keeping hope alive. For junior and senior high readers. 2006.
Download Life as We Knew It
Todd Stephens is always in search of a good book on BARD. He is especially interested in Westerns and Suspense novels. Here are three books that he highly recommends.
Elevator Pitch DB96405 Barclay, Linwood. Reading time: 12 hours, 55 minutes. Read by Johnathan McClain.
Suspense Fiction Psychological Fiction
Four people board an elevator in a Manhattan office tower, each pressing a button for their floor, but the elevator proceeds, non-stop, to the top--then plummets to the bottom of the shaft. When it happens again the following two days in other skyscrapers, chaos erupts. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2019.
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The Forbidden DB65546 Johnstone, William W. Reading time: 6 hours, 58 minutes. Read by Roy Avers. A production of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress.
Gunslinger Frank Morgan drifts into Heaven, Montana, looking for rest and relaxation but ends up in the middle of a range war between ranchers and farmers. When the dispute turns deadly, Frank helps protect the townspeople--including lovely widow Julie--from cattleman Colonel Trainor's hired thugs. Some violence. 2001.
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The Legend of Perley Gates: Perley Gates, Book 1 DB94716 Johnstone, William W; Johnstone, J. A. Reading time: 9 hours, 44 minutes. Read by Danny Campbell. A production of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress.
Western Stories Perley travels west to the untamed frontier to bring news of his father's death to his grandfather. Along the way, he faces dead ends, outlaws, near-fatal encounters, killers, and more. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2018.
Download The legend of Perley Gates: Perley Gates, Book 1
Karen Mayne, president of the NFB of Frankfort loves a good suspense novel. She recommends this book as a great read.
Watchers DB25982 Koontz, Dean R, (Dean Ray). Reading time: 16 hours, 22 minutes. Read by James DeLotel. A production of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress.
Suspense Fiction Science Fiction
A fable-like tale that blends suspense, fantasy, and sentiment. World-weary Travis Cornell stumbles upon a super-intelligent golden retriever with uncanny powers in a California wood. The dog, Einstein, reveals how he and a vile murderous creature called "The Other" were created by U.S. scientists in a secret genetic experiment. The plot includes a romance and follows a psycho killer hired by Soviet spies. Strong language, violence, and some descriptions of sex. 1987.
Danielle Burton loves to read. She had a tough time trying to choose a book recommendation, but she finally chose this one.
Keeper of the Lost Cities: Exile DB83323 Messenger, Shannon. Reading time: 24 hours, 10 minutes. Read by Faith Potts. A production of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress.
Adventure Fantasy Fiction
In Keeper of the Lost Cities twelve-year-old elf Sophie learns that she has secrets buried in her memory, for which some would kill. Sophie remains in danger in Exile, but helps train a precious, magical creature. For grades 5-8 and older readers. 2013.
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Lora Felty Stephens is always looking for books that portray blindness and visual impairment in a positive light. She searched for a book to recommend for one of her students with albinism and found the following books. Both are very positive in their portrayal of blindness.
A Blind Guide to Stinkville DB83027 Vrabel, Beth; Witherspoon, Pilar. Reading time: 5 hours, 51 minutes. Read by Pilar Witherspoon. A production of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress.
Leaving her best friend and the familiarity of Seattle for the paper mill town of "Stinkville," South Carolina, twelve-year-old Alice, who lives with albinism and blindness, decides to enter the town's essay contest. For grades 4-7 and older readers. 2015.
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A Blind Guide to Normal DB90816 Vrabel, Beth. Reading time: 7 hours, 54 minutes. Read by Gary Telles. A production of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress.
After spending the last year at Addison School for the Blind, Ryder relies on his sense of humor when nothing seems to be going right for him at his new school, Papuaville Middle School. Sequel to A Blind Guide to Stinkville (DB 83027). For grades 4-7 and older readers. 2016.
Download A Blind Guide to Normal
Those are the BARD book recommendations from your NFBK family. We hope that anyone looking for a good book to curl up with will be able to find something of interest in the above list. Enjoy!
As we all deal with the stresses of the COVID-19 world pandemic and the stay at home recommendations from our state government, it seems a good time to share some favorite recipes from our NFB of Kentucky family. Interestingly enough, when I reached out for recipes, it seems that our members have spent time baking during this time of being at home. Below are the recipes that members wish to share.
Jayne Seif shared the following cookie recipes. Here are her recipes and her thoughts.
I don't know if it is because we are at home or because we are all stress eating, but lately Taryn and I can't stop making cookies. These are two recipes we made this week.
Classic Peanut Butter Cookies
Ingredients: 1 Cup of unsalted butter (we used margarine, because that is what we had)
1 cup of Peanut Butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp baking soda
Directions: Soften butter and combine with sugar and eggs. Add the peanut butter. Add the rest of the dry ingredients. Mix well. Let dough stand in refrigerator for at least an hour before baking. Form balls with the dough and flatten them on your cookie sheet by using a fork, in a crisscross pattern. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees.
Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Ingredients: 1 Cup of Butter
¾ cups brown sugar
½ cups granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
3 cups oats, quick oats or old fashioned, doesn't seem to matter. We used half a bag of chocolate chips, but if that doesn't seem enough, bring it on. We have also used butterscotch, Carmel chips, or white chocolate chips.
Directions: Cream butter and sugars. Add eggs, vanilla and other dry ingredients. Mix well. Place by teaspoon full onto cookie sheets. Bake for 10 minutes in a 375 degree oven.
Bill Deatherage, member of the NFB of Greater Louisville offers this cookie recipe. Our BELL Academy kids will remember these cookies, as Mr. Bill baked a batch to bring to our BELL Academy last summer. Thanks, Mr. Bill for sharing your delicious recipe!
Snicker Doodle Cookies
Ingredients: 2 ¾ cups flour
2 tsp. Baking powder
1 cup butter
1 ½ cups sugar
plus 2 tbsp. Sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour, and baking powder in a large bowl. With a mixer, mix butter and sugar until creamy together. Mix in eggs. Gradually add in flour mixture. In a small bowl, stir together remaining sugar and cinnamon. Shape dough in to balls. Roll in sugar/cinnamon mixture. Place 3 inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake 12 to 15 minutes.
For those of you who want to bake some cookies, but are trying to watch your waistline, here is a recipe that Lora Felty Stephens adapted from the WW Weight Watchers re-Imagined app.
Fudgy Chocolate Raspberry Cookies
Ingredients: 2 cups self-rising flour
⅓ cup dark chocolate unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ cup white granulated sugar
1 individual container unsweetened applesauce
⅛ cup vegetable oil (fill ¼ cup about ½ full)
1 and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (Or, just dump a bit from the bottle into the bowl like I do)
1 large egg
Additional ¼ cup granulated sugar
Unsweetened raspberry Jam
In a medium bowl combine flour and cocoa powder. Blend with a Wisk. In a large bowl, combine ¾ cup sugar, egg, apple sauce, oil and vanilla. Beat the liquid mixture with an electric mixture until smooth, at least one to two minutes. Incrementally add the dry mixture and stir into the wet mixture. As you add the dry ingredients, this becomes more of a dough texture, and you may need to mix with your hands. After all ingredients are combined, pinch off dough and roll into cookie size balls. Put additional sugar into a small bowl and roll each cookie ball into the additional sugar to lightly coat. This keeps the cookies from sticking on the cookie sheet as they bake. Place cookies on cookie sheet and press down. Make a thumb print in each cookie and add a dollop of raspberry jam to each. Bake the cookies for approximately 8-10 minutes. These cookies are a soft, cake-like texture. They are great for a sweet tooth when you want to eliminate some of the calories, and they freeze well
For those of you who have a sweet tooth and want to tackle something a bit more challenging, Hellena Emery shares her recipe for a Chocolate Soufflé that she learned how to make during this COVID-19 pandemic.
Ingredients: 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
½ c. granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
¾ c. milk
2 oz. (2 squares) unsweetened chocolate
3 tbsp. butter
1 tsp vanilla
4 eggs, separated
¼ tsp cream of tartar
⅓ c. granulated sugar
Directions: Prepare inside of four 8-ounce ramekins with butter and a light coating of sugar. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In small saucepan, combine first three ingredients. Add milk, cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Remove From heat. Add chocolate and butter, stir until completely melted and well blended. Add vanilla and egg yolks, stir thoroughly. In medium bowl using electric mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add cream of tartar while continuing to beat egg whites on high speed. Gradually add sugar until stiff peaks form. Mix one-third of egg whites to the warm chocolate mixture. Add remaining egg whites and gently fold into chocolate mixture until well incorporated. Pour batter into prepared ramekins filling to one inch beneath the rim. Cook for 16 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Top with whipped cream, ice cream or sprinkle powdered sugar over top. Yield: 4 servings
For those of you who don't have a sweet tooth, here is a savory recipe that you will likely enjoy.
Mary Harrod, member of the NFB of greater Louisville, shares her favorite recipe.
Hash brown casserole
Ingredients: 1 pound of frozen shredded hash browns
4 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
16 ounces of sour cream
1 can of cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup
1 Cup of milk
Directions: Set aside 2 cups of shredded cheese. Combine all other ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Spread into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes. Take out of oven and spread remainder of 2 cups of cheese on top of casserole. Place back in oven for 10 additional minutes or until cheese is melted.
NFB Kentucky Board of Directors
Cathy Jackson, President
210 Cambridge Dr.
Louisville, KY 40214
Jayne Seif, First-Vice President
4805 S Forth St.
Louisville, KY 40214
Todd E. Stephens, Second Vice President
1127 Sharon Ct.
Ashland, KY 41101
Lora Felty Stephens, Secretary
1127 Sharon Ct.
Ashland, KY 41101
J. Mike Freholm, Treasurer
2012 Harris Way
Russell, KY 41169
Nickie Jackson Pearl
1014 Camden Avenue.
Louisville, KY 40215
538 Williamsburg Rd.
Frankfort, KY 40601
427 Wallace Ave. Apt 1
Covington, KY 41014
2021 Wallie Ann Ct.
Louisville, KY 40214
Olive Hill, KY 41164
5109 Bannon Crossings Drive
Louisville, KY 40218