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
We invite and encourage your participation in this newsletter. Articles may be edited for length, and the editors reserve the right to judge suitability for this publication. Material must take the form of an attachment to an e-mail and may be submitted to any of the editors.
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2016 STATE CONVENTION
By Cathy Jackson, President
OMG! The 69th annual state Convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky will be here before you can blink an eye. The convention festivities will take place at the Holiday Inn Airport Fair and Expo Center located at 447 Farmington Ave., in Louisville, KY. Our room rates are $99 per night, per room plus, applicable taxes. Reservations can be made by calling the hotel at 502-637-4500. Reservations need to be made no later than Friday, September 16th to guarantee the convention rate. Don't forget to specify that you are with the NFBK when making your reservation.
Everyone needs to take advantage of pre-registration. It is a most helpful tool for both you and our Treasurer, Mike Freholm. It allows Mike ample time to prepare convention packets, and it offers you some exciting perks as well. This years registration fee is $15. We are acutely aware of rising costs and shrinking pocketbooks. That's why the NFBK Board of Directors voted unanimously to include the cost of your luncheon and banquet tickets as part of your pre-registration---as long as you are a current member and meet the pre-registration deadline. And while we are on the subject, the deadline for pre-registration is Monday, September 19th. If one chooses to wait until convention to register you should be aware that the cost is $20, and you will be expected to pay full price for any meals you wish to attend. The cost of the luncheon is $18 and the banquet is $30. There is a pre-registration form that can be found at 2016 NFB Kentucky Pre-registration Form
Complete the form and mail it along with your check or money order made payable to NFB of Kentucky to: Mike Freholm, 2012 Harris Way, Russell, KY 41169. Mike needs your form and money no later than Monday, September 18th, 2016. Be sure to include the names and money for all persons for whom you are registering. By all means please let us know how many will be attending the luncheon and or banquet.
For that member who will be attending the state convention for the first time you will be awarded $100 in addition to your luncheon and banquet. If you are a first-timer you should contact me no later than Monday, September 5th at 502-366-2317. Families will be given financial consideration depending on the number of individuals who will be staying at the hotel.
Those who have pre-registered should stop by the registration table between 5 PM and 7 PM on Friday afternoon to pick up your convention packet. The location of the registration table will be announced as soon as details have been completed. The table will open again on Saturday morning between 8 and 8:45 AM. Those wishing to register at convention must do so during these scheduled times.
You will notice that there is information on the registration form regarding childcare. A safe, fun environment for our children is a top priority. We need ample time to find qualified caregivers and plan activities for the children. We have set a deadline of Monday, September 11th to enroll your child in childcare. If we do not have at least three (3) children signed up by this date, we will not be able to offer the service. There is a $10 non-refundable charge per child that must accompany your registration form. If however, childcare is not offered the money will be refunded. Jayne Seif, who is a certified caregiver, will be coordinating our care attendants and the activities for the day. If you have questions please call Jayne at 502-500-7675. Doors will open at 8:30 AM Saturday morning and will remain open all day until fifteen minutes after the close of the banquet. Snacks, lunch, and dinner will be provided.
Back by popular demand, and because it is the major fundraising event for NFBK, we will be sponsoring our reverse raffle. Tickets are available for a $10 donation. We are asking for your cooperation in making this the most successful raffle ever. If you are interested in buying and selling tickets you should contact me, any NFBK board member, or any local chapter or division president to obtain tickets. We award the major prizes to the two lucky individuals whose names remain in the drawing at the conclusion of the banquet. Second place gets $250 and the grand prizewinner receives $500. But there's more! In addition to the big prizes we draw for $25 amounts. The first name out of the hat wins $25. There's still more! From that point on, the 25th, 50th, 75th, 100th name and so on, will also receive $25. Not only does our affiliate net a bigger profit the more tickets that are sold, but also there is a good possibility that we will have more $25 prizes to share. The individual who sells the most tickets will receive the amount of one nights stay at the convention rate. The person who sells the winning ticket drawn will receive $25.
Katie Adkins will chair our resolutions committee. Any one with an idea for a resolution can contact her for help with putting your thoughts to paper. Contact Katie at, Click Here, or by phone at 502-553-5933. Our resolutions are an important part of the inner workings of the organization. The resolutions that are passed at convention set the tone of business for the coming year
Nickie Pearl, one of our newest board members will chair the awards committee. Individuals are eligible to be nominated for one of three awards. They are the: Susan B. Rearick Award, Harold L. Regan Award, and the T. V. Cranmer award. Chapters and Divisions can be nominated for the Robert E. Whitehead award. Please give careful consideration to the individual, chapter, or division you wish to nominate. Nickie can be reached at Click Here, or by phone at 502-489-4457. A description of each of the awards is given in this issue of the Cardinal.
Door prizes make the convention go round. Karen Mayne will serve as our door prize chair. She is asking everyone to bring at least one new item to contribute. Money is always a good option.
Michael Freeholm, my able-bodied assistant and I are working on putting together the agenda. Michael attended a seminar at our National Center last spring geared toward convention planning. He has brought back some innovative ideas that we are eager to implement right here at home.
Todd Stephens, President of our Assistive Technology Division has told me he has begun work on the annual technology symposium to be held on Friday, September 30th. I have all of the faith in the world that Todd and his crew will once again come through with flying colors.
Our Friday evening social will be sponsored by our Frankfort and Louisville chapters. It is being billed as a "laid-back evening with friends." From 9:00 PM until the Bewitching hour George Stokes will be providing a variety of music that spans the decades. If you and some of your friends enjoy playing games, you are invited to bring your cards or favorite board games. There will be a silent auction for the shopaholics in the crowd. Light hors doeuvres and snacks will be served, and a cash bar will be available.
For the most part the convention will have a traditional feel. On Saturday morning we will introduce our guest speakers. These speakers for the most part are collaborative partners, or play a significant role in the work of the NFBK. This year we are privileged to have in our midst as our national representative, Jim Gashel. Jim has been a member of the Federation since the early seventies. He served as the director of our Governmental Affairs Office for more years than I can count. He currently holds the position of Secretary of the National Federation of the Blind.
The afternoon session is generally reserved for the business portion of the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky convention. This includes: legislation, resolutions, the election of officers and any further business that needs to come before the membership. Those of you receiving any sort of financial help are obligated to be present during these important sessions.
I dont know anyone who doesnt enjoy a banquet. It is our NFBK family reunion. The banquet is much more than a meal. There is fanfare and excitement in the air. I have a hunch that there will be laughter a plenty with Nickie Pearl as our mistress of ceremonies. We take pride and pleasure in announcing our scholarship winners. And too, there is always the anticipation of other NFBK awards that might be presented. But the highlight of the evening is the key note address given by our national representative, Jim Gashel. You will want to remain in your seats because the excitement doesnt end here. We will conclude the banquet with our reverse raffle and any other drawing our chapters and divisions may have.
To be announced will be the usual and customary division meetings that are held on Sunday morning. I am quite sure our NAPUB division will meet. And, very possibly a new division or two may be formed.
Just as soon as Michael and I can finalize the agenda it will be posted on our list serve and other social media outlets.
As always it is my pleasure to serve as president of the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky. The road isnt always smooth, and many times it takes an unexpected twist. But, one can't hold this position for sixteen and one half years and not feel a true sense of pride and accomplishment in what we as an affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind have accomplished. I tip my hat to you the members---our greatest resource.
Cathy Jackson, President
National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky
Once again NFBK will hold a silent auction as a part of the Friday evening social during the 2016 NFBK state convention. Please consider making a donation of an item or items to include in the auction. Last year we had some really nice items and earned nearly $300 to help off-set the cost of the Friday night social. Lets make it even better this year. So, take a look around your house…perhaps you have a gift that wasnt quite right for you. Instead of re-gifting, donate it to the silent auction. Or, if you like to bake or make sweet treats, consider making some yummy items to include in the auction. The favorite items last year were homemade fudge, contributed by our own Joan Balot and Diana Cline. Once again, Lora Felty Stephens is coordinating this event. Please contact her via email to let her know what you will contribute. Click here to reach Lora Lora Felty Stephens
OUR NFBK AWARDS
In regards to our awards, president, Cathy Jackson has this to say…I thought this would be a good chance to share with all of you the criteria for each of the awards. By doing so I am hoping that everyone will have a better understanding of what qualities we are looking for in our candidates.
SUSAN B. REARICK AWARD
Susan B. Rearick was a first grade teacher at the Kentucky School for the Blind in the early to mid-1900s. She was a forward thinking individual who expected more from her blind students than did her peers at the school or the public in general. Because of her high expectations of her students she clearly represented the teachings and philosophy of the National Federation of the Blind.
The person who receives this award can be a blind or sighted Kentuckian.
HAROLD L. REAGAN AWARD
Harold L. Reagan was the first president of the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky and a member of the National Board of Directors. As such the emphasis for receiving this award should be placed on the recipients leadership in the organization. This award can only be given to a blind Kentuckian.
T.V. CRANMER AWARD
The T. V. Cranmer award is a very special one. Tim; as he was known to all of us, served for many years as an officer of the NFBK. He also held the position as chairman on the Research and Development Committee at the national level. This award is given to a blind person who has served many years in the NFB and will continue to be a driving force in this organization. The Cranmer award is given to a blind person, but it is not restricted to individuals living in Kentucky.
ROBERT E. WHITEHEAD AWARD
Our Robert E. Whitehead (Bob) was the second sitting president of the Kentucky Affiliate. This award is presented to an affiliate chapter or division that strives to build membership in the organization. The chapter or division is also actively changing the publics perceptions about blindness through innovative projects and community outreach.
NFB-NEWSLINE Kentucky UPDATE
Within the last 18 months, NFB-NEWSLINE Kentucky has subscribed 101 individuals to the service. The NEWSLINE team and community partners have worked very diligently to accomplish this milestone, but we are not yet done! There are 1,957 current NFB-NEWSLINE Kentucky subscribers. Our goal is to crack the 2,000 subscriber mark by years end. I'm asking you, can we count on you to assist with meeting this goal? By introducing an individual with a print impairment to the NFB-NEWSLINE audio reading service (please reference: http://www.nfbnewsline-ky.org, you are helping to increase our service subscribership, which supports our funding. In addition, you are providing an opportunity for someone with a print impairment to take a step forward in increasing their independence. How so? For those who have a print disability, NFB-NEWSLINE allows for independent access to timely and relevant print information through an electronic interface, which enables those who use the service to have the same access to crucial information as those who do not have a print disability. Dont ever forget about the value of the NFB-NEWSLINE audio reading service!
The NFB-NEWSLINE team, accompanied by other members of the NFB Kentucky affiliate, travel to Frankfort on Monday, February 8th to meet with Kentucky Lt. Governor, Jenean Hampton, Secretary of Education and Workforce Development, Hal Heiner and former Kentucky Governor, current State Senator, Julian Carroll to discuss what we thought to be The void of funding in the newly elected Governor Bevins budget for the Accessible Electronic Information Service (NFB-NEWSLINE Kentucky). The other critical topic for discussion was the insufficient funding for the Kentucky Office for the Blind (KY OFB) agency. The discussions were productive and all three elected officials endorsed their support. Lt. Governor Hampton, Secretary Heiner and Senator Carroll also endorsed full funding for KY OFB whereby this agency would be eligible to receive the federal match of $3.69 federal dollars for every state dollar. Both issues were presented jointly to reflect unity in a common cause. On Thursday, February 18th, we traveled back to Frankfort to speak with five selected Kentucky Legislators about the aforementioned funding concerns. We also distributed info packets for members of the Kentucky Congress. Again, these meetings were productive and there was no outward opposition expressed. On Tuesday, February 23rd and Wednesday, February 24th, we traveled to Frankfort to attend the Senate and House Appropriations and Revenue hearing committees. I testified on the importance and value of the Accessible Electronic Information Service at the senate hearing on Tuesday, February 23rd. Time did not allow for testimony at the house hearing on February 24th. The feedback on the meetings and testimony was excellent; there was not a single dissenting opinion from anyone in state government that we spoke with on either issue.
I mentioned earlier that we thought there was no funding available, because we did not find the line item in Governor Bevins budget for the Accessible Electronic Information Service, also known as NFB-NEWSLINE Kentucky. This actually wasnt the case at all. What the NFB Kentucky Legislative Committee has uncovered about the Funding for the Accessible Electronic Information Service from Representative Kelly Flood and substantiated by staff members from Senator Gerald A. Neals office is that NEWSLINE Kentucky was not allocated as a line item expense in the previous Governors budget. However, this expense line was and is present and earmarked for the Accessible Electronic Information ServiceProgram (AEISP) in the Kentucky Office for the Blinds budget. According to Leah Mason, who serves as the General Council for the Senate Minority, AEISP has its own line item in the biennium budget. This year, you will find it on page 56 under #7 Office for the Blind. AEISP (NFB-NEWSLINE Kentucky) was directly appropriated $36,400 (which is a 9% decrease over the last budget of $40,000). This nine percent reduction in this line item is very much consistent with the budget cuts made to the vast majority of Kentucky state agencies.
Given the economic woes as well as the conservative fiscal strategy of the current gubernatorial cabinet in this state, there is probable reason for concern about sustained funding for the NEWSLINE project going forward. Cathy Jackson and I have been working with the NFB Kentucky legislative team to formulate a strategy as we have opened up dialogue with staff members from the offices of Senator Gerald A. Neal and House Floor Leader/Representative Rocky Adkins as we explore potential options for funding in the 2017 biennial budget.
Thank you for your time, and we will keep you apprised of our progress.
Todd E. Stephens, State Coordinator
THE BELL RINGS IN KENTUCKY
By: Katie Adkins
At the end of July The National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky hosted our first ever Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning (BELL) Academy at the American Printing House for the Blind. This year we had the pleasure of working with a first grader from Louisville. Our student, Makenna, was brand new to Braille and all things related to blindness. During the BELL Academy she was able to learn new Braille skills, begin using a cane, and complete several daily living skills activities. At the start of the first day, Makenna was able to write a Braille "a" and "b" without assistance, and could occasionally write a "c" and "d" . By the end of the program she was able to write letters a-q and model them using a Pop-a-cell and an egg carton with Easter eggs. She also worked on several tracking exercises and was introduced to using a slate and stylus. One of my greatest joys of the entire program was hearing her say several times that she loves Braille.
When we started, Makenna had never used a cane before, but she was super excited to get one. Getting a cane was the part of the program that she was most looking forward to. Makenna learned how to navigate the room she was in, most of APH, and even walked a couple of blocks with her cane while using learning shades. For fun she got to decorate her cane with felt stickers and create a cane fob with staff members from APH. Makenna is looking forward to using her cane at school and when she travels in the future. For daily living, Makenna made several snacks including trail mix, lemonade, and "sandwiches" consisting of wafer cookies, peanut butter, and bananas. When making these snacks she was able to practice measuring, mixing, pouring, cutting, and spreading. Makenna was even able to drop off several bags of the trail mix to various employees at APH as a thank you for allowing us to host our BELL program there. Makenna also practiced matching socks, folding clothes/towels, using hangers, and putting a pillowcase on a pillow.
We also played several games during BELL. Makenna played a tactile matching game and played catch with a Rib-It ball. The Rib-It ball is a large ball that has "ribs" along the outside that are made of a foam material. We put rice inside the ball to make it audible while playing catch. Thanks to the wonderful staff at APH, Makenna was also able to take a tour of their museum and make a cane fob. Several of the staff members at APH also gave Makenna several Braille books and a tactile puzzle to take home at the end of the program.
This years BELL Academy provided us with a wonderful opportunity to work one on one with a great kid to ensure that she has a head start on learning the skills she needs to be successful as she loses her vision. We look forward to being able to reach even more students next year.
NATIONAL CONVENTION THOUGHTS AND REFLECTIONS
National convention is always a highlight of the year for NFB members. Several Kentuckians were able to travel to Orlando to attend the 2016 national convention this summer. Here is what some of them had to say about their experiences.
Nickie Pearl attended national convention for the first time in several years this summer . She serves on the board of directors of the NFB of Kentucky. She has served in various capacities in the NFB of Greater Louisville, as well as serving on various committees and in various divisions. During the 2016 national convention, Nickie had an incredible experience which she shares with us.
Building More Than Expectations!
By: Nickie Pearl
Once I made my decision to attend national convention this year, the reason became clear. One day after reserving my air fare, I received an email, as all of you did. This email was from the President of the NFB's Community Service division and the subject was, Volunteers Wanted for Habitat for Humanity "Build in Orlando." No questions asked, no more details needed, no explanation wanted, I was in! I was super excited and pondered on all of the many trades that go into building a house. Yes, that's my brain; we were going to completely and totally build a house in 6 hours! I did go through skills I do have and how I can contribute in all of these ways. I can paint, I can hammer in a nail, I can handle landscaping, I can sure lift & carry heavy objects, I love power tools, and oh goodness what were we going to be doing?
Finally the day was here, its 6:45AM the first day of convention and I'm meeting my fellow Federationists in the lobby to go build a house! I'm so anxious to get on the job site, the hustle of construction, the smell of saw dust, the racket of air compressors and the taste of your own sweat.
The 11 of us are getting to know each other on the ride to the build, were from all over the U.S., all ages and all different skill and knowledge levels of what we were about to do, but one thing was totally clear, we were headed to brighten the future of someone we do not know. Habitat for Humanity has a long history of providing affordable housing for people & families in need. Its a complete volunteer operation and even the home owner has to put in sweat equity. There is another side to our mission that day. We were also going to be showing the habitat team that we, the blind, can give and contribute to our communities and with a little patience & training, we can do anything we set our minds to!
After some introduction from both sides and a prayer led by Justin, our Habitat volunteer coordinator, we rolled up our sleeves and got to work!
The modest 3 bed, 1 bath house was weather tight already. Major electrical work had been completed. Rough plumbing was in. Even though a tremendous amount of work had been done on this house to date, it still didnt resemble a home. You walk in the front door and you can see straight to the back. Nothing but studs, there is no definition to what you're seeing. Hmm, what is this room supposed to be? Is this a closet or a pantry? I believe we were tasked with one of the more pivotal jobs of the build, creating rooms & a true vision for the home. The task for the day was hanging drywall.
How about a little drywall lesson? Drywall or in some parts of the country its known as, sheetrock. Drywall is bought in sheets that are 4 feet by 8 feet. The weight can vary, depending on the thickness. A ½ inch thick sheet will weigh 52 pounds. Drywall is made up of calcium sulfate dihydrate. Its a chalky substance that is wrapped in a heavy duty paper. The sheets are screwed into the studs & then the seams are taped & mudded. With a keyhole saw, you can cut the drywall for the electrical boxes, windows, light fixtures etc. So here we go, drills in hand and very patient habitat team members giving instructions on what to do and how to successfully do it! The flurry of drills squealing and the laughter from my fellow Federationists who are experiencing a power tool for the first time is priceless. With each sunken screw this home is one step closer to its family.
The work may have been on the repetitive side, but it had its challenges. Try working right handed when you're up against a right angle. Your leverage is off a bit due to the odd position of your hand and drill. Imagine, with only 2 hands trying to line up the screw, on the end of the drill and having to approximate the center of the stud and the appropriate distance from the last screw. The perfect sunken screw is straight, flat and the head of the screw is just below the surface of the drywall. This for professionals can sometimes be a tedious chore. Same grip on the drill, applying the same amount of pressure, knowing the exact moment to release the trigger so you dont go too far.
After a few hours in the extreme Orlando heat, it was time for lunch. The generous members from the Golden Triangle chapter in South East Texas prepared us sack lunches. We walked down to the model home for a well-deserved break and some greatly needed AC. The model home was not the exact layout as the one we were working on, but it was nice to see the finish line.
With our day coming to a close, its time to clean up the job site. Pick up scrap drywall pieces, fallen screws, stray tools and recyclable water bottles. You'd think after 6 hours in the heat & activity some of us who were not used to that, we'd be all ready to head out, not so much, you know us Federationists, we like to finish what we start! We hung about 80% of the drywall for that home on that day. Our intended mission that day was completed; we sat out to help the community. Our secondary mission was also completed. We shattered the expectations of the habitat team. Our willingness, our enthusiasm, our determination and attitudes redefined what it means to be blind to them.
When we can shatter expectations while helping others, its a humbling experience. I have reached out to our local Habitat for Humanity volunteer coordinator in hopes my Greater Louisville chapter can build expectations, relationships as well as houses!
Several members of the NFB of Kentucky had the opportunity to attend their first national convention in Orlando this summer. We are honored that three of these individuals share their impressions of their first convention experiences with us.
Sharri Anderson is a member of the NFB of Greater Louisville. She has served on the NFBGL board for the past two years. This spring she received her Masters Degree in Social Work, so she decided that she would step down from the board to pursue her career goals. Sharri is excited to be an NFB member. Here is what she has to say about her first experience attending a national convention.
On the flight to Florida the anticipation was building, this would be my first time attending an NFB National Convention. I was not sure of what to expect. The thought of thousands of visually impaired and blind individuals all in one place was slightly overwhelming. The anxiety of never traveling alone, being visually impaired and without my husband or family members was scary!
The first few days of the convention were very busy and there was a lot to take in. There was one night that I called my husband in tears telling him I could not handle this and I did not want to be blind. My husband reminded me that this was part of the journey, and I needed to trust God and stay on course. I stayed the course, and along the way, I saw successful individuals from every state and every walk of life, I saw and heard stories of individuals who had experienced great dilemmas but had the strength to make it through. I was inspired by the gentleman who was from the United Kingdom, and was a BBC reporter. His story was fabulous! I never would have thought that a blind person could be a reporter, and the young woman who had to endure the questioning of her and her husband being parents to a newborn. I love the commitment that the members have for this organization and the commitment to being change agents for the blind community. The words spoken by our president were very uplifting and full of action.
I am so glad I went, I met new friends and grew closer to those individuals I traveled with who helped me so much. NFBK/NFBGL is the best!! After attending this convention my confidence has increased, I know that what has been stopping me from moving forward is ME!
Jayne Seif and her daughter, Taryn, attended their first national convention together this summer in Orlando. Jayne is the treasurer of the Greater Louisville Chapter, and she serves on various committees. Taryn is a sophomore at the Kentucky School for the Blind in Louisville. Here is what Jayne has to say about her experience.
The first night of the convention, there was a knock on our door. It was Alex, a friend Taryn had met earlier that day. He had come to get her for the NABS social. Off they went by themselves, neither of them knew anyone, and yet they met and talked with all the other students for more than 2 hours. The next night he showed up again to take her with him to the NABS annual meeting. I once read somewhere on a parents forum that they actually have a phrase for this, "convention magic", and that might be true. Taryn, though mobility wise is completely, capable tends to be very introverted. But she was all over the hotel, with a friend, or by herself. She even marshaled for the end of the final general session. It was amazing to watch this transformation.
For both of us one of our favorite parts of contention was the Be Healthy Fair. We were able to learn, at least the basics, of accessible tennis, something we didnt even know existed previously. Also we did the Climb to Independence, a rock wall set up by USABA. I am not a fan of heights, but Taryn was so pumped I guess it was contagious.
Beyond the fun and games I was so happy to see Taryn actively interested in things going on as we sat on the convention floor. I am sitting here watching Taryn and the presenter is Microsoft. She has been listening and asking questions all along, but I can feel her light up, listen more intently, smile. She loves her technology, and I am watching her see how the NFB's work in partnership is impacting the things she loves to use and would love to use in the future. I think it was the Presidents report that captured Taryns attention after lunch though. Every time they would talk about particular injustices that the NFB has fought against throughout this year she would begin clapping. I dont really know how to explain it, but I think you never know how much of an impact something like this will have on a teenager, but let me tell you it was pretty powerful.
Taryn shares her thoughts about convention.
My favorite part of convention was the exhibit hall. I enjoyed seeing different types of technology. I particularly liked the Google Glass Glasses, which I got to try out. I also got to use a Ruby which I would love to get for school. I also went on a guide Dog walk with one of the instructors from Guide Dogs for the Blind. I'm still not sure if I want to get a guide dog but I liked the experience.
I also loved the Be Healthy Fair. I liked that I got to see different blind sports, especially the Tennis and Rock Climbing. Mom and I also became members of the Sports and Recreation Division later in the week. If we start one of these in Kentucky I would really like to join. I also met a lot of the older students from NABS. It made me really think about being a member here in Kentucky. And I am definitely interested in going to National Convention in the future.
We would like to thank the National Federation of Greater Louisville for awarding us their Parent Child Scholarship to attend convention. You all have made such an impact on our lives and we hope to be around to work with you all for many years to come.
Avery Baggett is a new member of the NFB of Kentucky. She joined the NFB when she attended a chapter meeting of the Greater Louisville Chapter while she was a student at the Charles McDowell Rehabilitation Center in Louisville. Now, she is back in Lexington and looks forward to her future involvement in the NFB. Here are Averys thoughts about her convention experience.
A Rookies Impression of Orlando
By: Avery Baggett
I went to the national convention this year without any preconceptions. I was nervous, to be sure, but also terribly excited to embark on my first big solo trip as a blind woman. Looking back at the aspects of this years convention, I see a theme emerge. What most grabbed me was the focus on technology. In particular, three presentations offered me hope and a way to harness the tools of technology to help me adapt to a world built for people with perfect vision. My takeaway from the 2016 national convention is that if I am smart and employ technology wisely, I can live the life I want.
I got really lucky this year. The very first presentation I attended was also one of my favorites. I went to the augmented reality talk and saw a demonstration of a new technology that thrilled me. AIRA is a new application of Google Glass whereby a visually impaired user connects via a smartphone to a trained human agent who uses Glasss camera as well as online resources such as GPS, blueprints, and Facebook and searches to provide the user with information about the immediate environment. This all-new tech can be used in all sorts of ways: finding a specific office in a large complex, recognizing a friend in a crowd, finding a new restaurant, not having to be wheeled through an airport; the uses are limited only by ones creativity. The AIRA team was looking for two hundred beta testers, and you better believe I made my deposit and signed up on the spot. I can already envision many ways I will use this product in my daily life. I'm really looking forward to meeting up with friends for coffee this fall on the UK campus without my mom escorting me. One thing I love about my new Federation family is the willingness to brave being on the frontier of technology and to explore every avenue to increase our level of independence and improve our quality of life.
The second memorable presentation I attended was a committee on computer science and blindness. In college, before visual impairment changed my life, I had been pursuing a degree in Linguistics... The nature of the work I had wanted to do relies heavily on programming. While I never loved programming, I was pretty decent at it and was counting on being facile enough with coding to automate graduate-level research. I wanted to take my linguistics studies to the doctoral level. (I also wanted to become the second Dr. Baggett in my family.) Post injury that dream no longer seemed possible. Being in that room full of like-minded nerds though gave me a renewed sense of possibility. Resources are out there, and while I may have to bootstrap skills from several places, and I may have to complain loudly when software is inaccessible, at least I know I have the backing of the mighty NFB. My dreams have been rekindled.
By far the most personally meaningful moment of the convention for me came the morning of the last day. Jordyn Castor is the first totally blind, full-time software engineer at Apple. She, like me, contends with multiple disabilities. Apple, along with Google and Facebook, are every computer scientists-sighted or not-dream company to work for. I took great comfort in seeing that the upper echelons of industries are still attainable by persons with multiple disabilities. I was furthermore extremely pleased to see a representative of the NFB with disabilities besides blindness is so accepted. When I first joined the NFB, I was unsure if I would have a place. Now, I feel as if I've found a second family.
Before she could begin her amazing career, Jordyn had to navigate and negotiate her way through college. I am currently facing the same fight. Jordyn spoke about having to advocate hard getting her alma mater, Michigan State University, to adjust some curricula to accommodate her. She met the same standards as her sighted peers, but she worked with professors to develop non-visual assignments. She became the first-and I hope not last-blind student at MSU to graduate with a Computer Science degree. I also was encouraged to know that there is a place for me in the NFB, with my blindness and other physical limitations, too. She gave me the courage to face my own last semester (and only one I will face blind). I will finish my degree this December. Thanks to the support and tools I have received from the NFB, I have no doubt that one day I'll be inspiring another young person to live the life she wants.
Ashland Chapter Update
Since the last issue of the Kentucky Cardinal, members of the Ashland Chapter have been working hard in efforts to support the business of the NFB of Kentucky. During our Kentucky legislative session, members made many trips to Frankfort to lobby for maintained funding for the Kentucky Office for the Blind and to support NFB-NEWSLINE in Kentucky. Unfortunately, Legislators were not responsive to our needs. But, in the spirit of the NFB, we will continue to move forward. In March and April, members participated in transition fairs in southeastern Kentucky at the Knox County Sportsplex and at Morehead State University where they spoke to high school students with disabilities and their teachers about the National Federation of the Blind and NFB-NEWSLINE. Currently, they are planning their annual summer picnic and looking forward to the upcoming state convention in September.
Lora Felty Stephens, President
Four Rivers Chapter News
The Four Rivers is having an exciting summer! We have been beating the heat by learning about technology and helping one another be aware of what is available. In June, we met at the McCracken County Public Library in Paducah. Several of the members have been requesting a technology day where all of their technology questions could be answered. After collecting many great suggestions, we met in a very cool room and worked out a few technology problems. We will continue to do technology days every few months in order to cover each members particular needs. On July 30, we joined together at Logans roadhouse in Paducah. We celebrated the 26th anniversary of the ADA. It is a busy time of year with school starting back and vacations, so our group was small but the fellowship was wonderful! We discussed accessibility of technology and how far we have come and how far we still have to go. Transportation issues are always a given topic at our meetings and this was no exception! We discussed state convention details and are looking forward to another movie outing in August to check out the audio description once again! The Four Rivers chapter wishes everyone a great rest of the summer and cannot wait to see everyone at convention!
Jennifer Hall, President
Greetings Fellow Federationists from your (Capital City) NFB Frankfort Chapter:
Between doctors and more doctors, we have had the opportunity to hold a few meetings. Since I am sure all of you have had a similar challenge, we will not go into a lot of detail about that. At our "fund raiser meeting, " we decided to have a drawing for a $400 Walmart Gift Card. Gift cards seem to be our best fundraising venture, and everywhere across the good old USA, Walmart stores proudly present themselves. In presenting ourselves to our public here in Frankfort, we are supporting a Spellapolooza team. Spellapolooza is a "WHAT"? It is a spelling bee that is done annually to raise funds for Thorn Hill Learning Center. It is a really fun time for all who participate, including live and silent auction items, dinner, and desserts. It is also broadcast on our local channel, Cable 110.
We are looking forward to our upcoming State Convention. I believe we will have at least two "First Timers " attending.
Our summer event was a pool party/meeting held at the home of Ranelle Mackey & George Stokes and that pool is so inviting; as well as the fried chicken, coleslaw, baked beans, dressed eggs & desserts. State Convention here we come!
Ranelle Mackey, Secretary
NFB of Lexington
Spring and summer 2016 finds the NFB of Lexington chapter remaining consistent in the education and outreach into the community to promote the mission of the National Federation of the Blind. (NFB) The chapter President became the host of the Conversations program with Radio Eye. The initial interviews were recorded with members of NFB guests who shared the 75 years of history about the Federation including philosophy, advocacy, legislation, scholarships, the NFB Centers, services and programs, as well as, the annual meetings at the local, state and national level. These programs were one hour in length and aired on two different Saturdays going out to hundreds of listeners around Kentucky. The NFB of Lexington is excited to collaborate with Radio Eye to provide information about resources available in the local community and around the state.
NFB of Lexington participated with an exhibit at the KAER conference in Berea, KY, making new contacts and reconnecting with acquaintances.
The NFB of Lexington celebrated twenty-two years at the annual spring luncheon in April with welcoming some new members, congratulating Joseph Boggs on receiving the I Can award and with Sam Seavey, guest speaker who is blind and shared information about technology and devices for people who are blind or visually impaired. You can learn more about him on YouTube at The Blind Spot Sam, if you are interested.
The chapter President participated in the One Touch training which was in May and began the exciting, yet challenging journey to becoming a One Touch certified coach. There were other NFB members participating in the training from Tennessee, as well as, other individuals from Kentucky. Lexington was honored to host the One Touch training.
Three chapter members attended the NFB national convention, one person who is a new member and two others who volunteered technical assistance in the NFB-NEWSLINE® training room. Though, they were unable to stay for the entire convention, all accounts were that the opening session was again magnificent.
In July, NFB of Lexington hosted an Access Technology Seminar to provide technical assistance, training and resource information about the iOS devices, BARD app, social media, NFB-NEWSLINE® and the android system. The chapter will continue to host the Access Technology Seminars in the community and provide technical assistance.
NFB of Lexington has remained involved with the Committee of Community Partners in finalizing the plan for the annual Eye Opening Symposium which will be on October 6, 2016 at the Fayette County Extension Office in honor of White Cane Safety Day. Continuing Education Units will be offered again this year.
NFB of Lexington will offer some financial assistance to chapter members who plan to attend the NFB state convention (9/30-10/2). For more information, please contact Pamela Roark-Glisson at Contact Pamela, or call (859)-948-8484.
Pamela Roark-Glisson, President
An Update from Louisville
At our meeting in March, Nickie Pearl provided us with hands on demonstration of how to use various tools and fix common household problems. Those in attendance learned how to do everything from unclogging a drain to using a power screwdriver.
In April, we met at Logans Roadhouse for our annual April Luncheon and election of officers. Our guest speaker was Dr. Tom Owen, who provided us with a detailed history of Louisville. Our election results are as follows: Katie Adkins, President; Sandra Williams, Vice President; Cindy Smith, Secretary; Jayne Seif, Treasurer; Nickie Pearl, Board Member; and Scott Spaulding, Board Member.
In May, we held an outreach event at The Kentucky School for the Blind. We shared pizza and ice cream with the students, went on a Braille scavenger hunt around campus, played kickball, and of course talked about NFB.
July was a busy month for our chapter. We had multiple members attend this years national convention in Orlando, including several first time attendees. We held another outreach event at The Office for the Blind with their summer transition program. At this event we played a trivia game, had dessert, and spoke about NFB. We also had an unplanned outdoor meeting. (The meeting was planned; the being outside part was a surprise to all of us.) At this meeting we spoke about our experiences at national convention. Several of our new members shared their thoughts through a Q&A session and Nickie spoke about her experience building a house with Habitat for Humanity. We also began a donation drive for The Humane Society this month. We will be collecting donations at our monthly meetings until September.
Katie Adkins, President
The Technology Assistance Division of NFB Kentucky is gearing up for their fourth annual TAD Symposium. Heres what we have going on this year:
The Technology Assistance Division (TAD) Symposium for 2016 will take place at the annual state convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky (NFB KY on Friday 9/30 from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. at the Holiday Inn Louisville Airport and Fair/Expo Center in Louisville, KY.
The focus of this training event will be on Work place Readiness Training and Self Advocacy with our target group being pre-employment transition students between the ages of 14 and 21. In the 2016 symposium, the NFB of Kentucky Technology Assistance Division will provide our participants with an environment for learning by engaging in hands-on/interactive learning and training sessions.
Accessible Solution to Financial Management: There are very few software programs available to the visually impaired that allow one the independence of establishing and tracking a budget and related expenses, tracking checking, savings and other financial accounts. Tad will provide a classroom training session for participants demonstrating accessible financial management software that is inexpensive, easy to use, works well and is designed for individuals who are visually impaired.
Apps, Apps and More Apps: Is this app right for me? Is this app accessible? How do I get it onto my phone or tablet? Our team will answer these questions and more. We will work with students to introduce several apps that we use to promote our independence that run on both iOS and Android platforms. This will be a classroom training session allowing for interactive instructor-student based training for all participants.
Creating Your Virtual Image: Many job applications today are only accepted online. TAD will work with students on obtaining and accessing free email accounts through hosts like Google and Yahoo. We will also provide an exercise in building a simple resume from an accessible resume wizard. Finally, we will tackle a mock application while addressing issues with potential magnification and screen reader compatibility. The classroom session will also cover the importance of techniques in submitting accurate, complete and professional applications.
Advocating the Right Way: The art of advocacy is exercising your legal rights as a person with a disability in a systematic and professional manner to intercede on your own behalf. This lesson will be taught through an interactive panel and will focus on the lessons in advocating effectively and responsibly regarding potential opportunities in the workforce. There is a right way, and there is a wrong way. We must do our diligence in learning tactics that are effective. The reality is, sometimes, there is not a second opportunity.
Because this format is a bit different from that in prior years, we have selected only two vendors to join us this year. We are pleased to announce that Dave Wilkinson from HIMS, Inc. and Jim Fortman from Vision Aid Systems will present and demonstrate on their companys blindness and low vision technologies, respectively. Presentations and demonstrations will take place during the lunch segment in our program.
The TAD Business Meeting will begin at 5:00 p.m. This is a preview of TAD training topics. Additional details are coming soon!
Todd E. Stephens, President
NFB of Kentucky Technology Assistance Division
HAVE YOU HEARD?
This has been an exciting and busy summer for Danielle Burton, senior at Morehead State University and member of the Ashland Chapter. Danielle has spent the summer in Minneapolis, MN, working at Blind Incorporated as a teacher and counselor in their summer programs for children and youth. At the 2016 national convention, Danielle was the first Kentuckian to be honored as a TenBroek Scholar. This means that she received her second national scholarship. Danielle received an NFB Scholarship in the amount of $3,000, along with other cash and awards as a part of this honor. Danielle, we are very proud of you! Continue all of the hard work! We know you will do great things in your future.
Congratulations to Kenny Jones, former treasurer of NFBK, who retired after 30 years of service as a teacher in both the center based programs and the outreach services programs at the Kentucky School for the Blind. Kenny, we wish you the best in your retirement!
Congratulations to Angela Dehart, secretary of the Ashland Chapter. Angela just signed a contract to teach special education at the elementary level in the Covington Independent School District. Angela has found an apartment just four blocks from her new school and is preparing to move from Ashland to Covington. Members in the Ashland Chapter will miss her greatly, and will obviously be looking for a new secretary. Also, rumor has it that our president, Cathy Jackson will be encouraging her to revitalize a chapter in the northern Kentucky area.
We are excited to announce that, Todd Stephens wrote an article about the NFB-NEWSLINE audio reading service that was featured as the service of the Month in July on Vision Aware, a project of the American Foundation for the Blind. The article can still be located at: AFB: Vision Aware
Along with good news, we sometimes have sad news to share. We are deeply saddened to announce that Ed Williams, Father of Sandra Williams, Sharon Eiland and Crystal Brock passed away on July 8th.
Sandra, Sharon and Crystal, our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your entire family in your loss. Always remember that your NFB family is here for you in your time of sorrow.
The following recipes come from the kitchen of Karen Mayne, 2nd vice-president of the Frankfort Chapter. Karen likes these recipes because they are both simple and delicious. Everyone loves some good comfort food!
Crock Pot Meatloaf
2 LB ground beef 2 eggs, beaten 3/4 cup milk 1 tea spoon salt 1/2 tea spoon pepper 3 slices of bread crumbled 1 pack dry ranch dressing mix 1/2 cup catsup
Mix eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and bread and allow to stand for about 20 minutes. Then Mix with ground beef, ranch dressing mix, and catsup. Mound meat mixture in a greased crock pot. Cover the top of the meatloaf with catsup. Cook on high for 15 minutes; then, cook on low for 7 hours.
This is wonderful to come home to after a long days work! Very delicious!
Karens potato soup
Make this soup in a large, 4 quart pot.
2 cups water 1 cup milk 1 can chicken broth 1 chicken bouillon cube 2 table spoons butter 1 Bag cubed, frozen Hash Brown Potatoes 1 can cream of chicken soup 1 can cream of celery soup
Put first five ingredients in the pot and bring contents to a boil. Then, reduce heat. Add the bag of cubed hash brown potatoes. Bring to boil again, and then reduce heat. Add cream of celery soup and cream of chicken soup. Stir with a Wisk until well mixed. Salt and pepper to taste. Simmer on low until potatoes are tender.
National Federation Of The Blind Of Kentucky
Officers And Board Of Directors
Cathy Jackson, President
210 Cambridge Dr.
Louisville, KY 40214
Katie Adkins, First-Vice President
2025 Brownsboro Rd.
Louisville, KY 40206
Dennis Franklin, Second-Vice President
3639 Hurstbourne Ridge Blvd.
Louisville, KY 40299
Lora Felty Stephens, Secretary
1127 Sharon Ct.
Ashland, KY 41101
J. Mike Freholm, Treasurer
2012 Harris Way
Russell, KY 41169
Board of Directors:
Nickie Jackson Pearl
1014 Camden Avenue.
Louisville, KY 40215
3639 Hurstbourne Ridge Blvd.
Louisville, KY 40299
216 Maddux Ave.
Salem, KY 42078
202 Manor House Ln.
Frankfort, KY 40601
Michael K. Freholm
P.O. Box 6925
Raceland, KY 41169
1127 Sharon Ct.
Ashland, KY 41101