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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2017 National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky State Convention
Focusing on Our Future
Hear Yea! Hear Yea! Hear Yea! Come one and come all. The annual state convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky will be held the weekend of September 22, 23, and 24 at the Hilton Garden Inn Northeast, 9850 Park Plaza Avenue, Louisville, KY 40241. You can make room reservations by calling the hotel directly at 502-423-0018. Don't forget to mention that you are with the NFB of Kentucky. You don't want to miss out on our reduced room rates. Reservations must be made no later than Friday, September 8th in order to guarantee you will have a room. The hotel room rate is $135 a night, plus tax which will total $156.60. You can accommodate up to four persons in a room. Because this year's room rates are higher than usual, the affiliate will subsidize rooms up to $35 per night per room for members. A member is someone who has paid his or her dues to a chapter or division on or before August 1st, 2017. In addition, a member must preregister for the NFBK state convention by the deadline to qualify for the room subsidy. Once the details are worked out with the hotel we will let you know how your room will be credited the $35 per night.
Preregistration is once again being offered. You save money and time by completing the registration process. It also helps Mike Freeholm, our treasurer, with convention details and meal planning. Your convention registration fee is $15 per person. Registration is charged to help off-set convention costs, and is not your membership dues. Members will be given a complementary luncheon ticket. Non-members will pay $25. Banquet tickets for members are $26, and non-members will pay $30. The deadline for preregistration is Friday, September 15, 2017.
The Technology Assistance Division will start things off the Friday morning of the 22nd by hosting its Technology Symposium. Todd Stephens, President of TAD, and his board members have an agenda ready to present. Mr. Stephens will make preregistration available to those attending the TAD seminar. So, you should be on the lookout for this additional registration information. It is my understanding that lunch will be available for those attending the symposium.
Our newly formed Sports and Recreation Division will meet later that afternoon of the 22nd from 5:00 until 6:30 PM. Jayne Seif is president of this division and I am quite sure she has something interesting up her sleeve. If you are a sports and leisure sort of person you should give serious consideration to joining this active division.
There will be an open meeting of the resolutions committee in the presidential suite Friday evening. The time will be announced. This is your opportunity to hear the proposed resolutions that will be presented to, and voted on by the membership during our Saturday afternoon general session. Katie Adkins is the chairperson of resolutions. You can email her at Katie Adkins or phone her at, 502-533-5933 if you are interested in submitting a resolution.
I hope you will join us at our Friday evening social. This is a great opportunity to mix and mingle with friends. There will be a cash bar, light snacks and music to keep the place jumping. We will begin drawing the names for our reverse raffle. Once again this year we will have an auction, however this time we have decided to make it a live auction. Michael Freholm will be our auctioneer. Michael will no doubt add an element of fun and laughter to the event. If you would like to donate a new item we would be most appreciative. The proceeds from the auction go toward defraying convention expenses.
Speaking of the Reverse Raffle, you will most certainly want to purchase your tickets. A $10 donation puts you in the drawing for several cash prizes. As you have probably guessed by the title, the last name drawn is the big prize winner of $500. The second-to-last name drawn will receive $250. There is another twist to all of this. To add to the fun we draw every ticket. The first lucky name drawn will be the proud winner of $25. The excitement builds as the drawing continues because every twenty-fifth name pulled will win $25. The more tickets sold means the possibility of more $25 prizes being given away. Tickets are now available. You can contact me; Cathy Jackson, your local chapter president, or any NFBK board member to make a purchase, or to help sell. The person selling the most tickets will receive the amount equivalent to one-night's stay at the hotel, at the convention rate. The person, who sells the winning ticket drawn, will receive the cash equivalent of a banquet ticket. Let's get busy!
Child care will be available if there are at least three children who need the service. Jayne Seif, a certified child-care provider, will be in charge of hiring licensed caregivers. The cost per child will be $20. We will provide snacks, lunch, and dinner. The safety and well-being of your child is the most important thing to us. Therefore, you must register your child or children no later than Friday, September 8th, so that we know how many attendants we must hire. There is space provided on the preregistration form to register your child (ren) for childcare. If you have any questions, please contact Jayne Seif at 502-500-7675 or click here.
We will call the convention to order at 9:00 AM sharp on Saturday morning the 23rd. I have started working on the agenda and inviting guest speakers. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at what's in store. It is customary for our national representative to share with us what's happening on the national level. This year we are blessed to have Dr. Fred Schroeder to serve in this capacity. Fred has been a member of the NFB for a number of years. He has served as the first-vice president of the national organization, and currently holds the office of president of the World Blind Union.
I must admit that I wasn't sure if the concept of having the luncheon open board meeting would be a popular event when I first approached our board about the idea a number of years ago. But, it continues to be well attended. The Board of Directors of the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky will hold a brief business meeting during the luncheon on Saturday at noon. This gives the members an opportunity to witness those who lead the Kentucky Affiliate at work.
It's back to business after lunch. Most of the afternoon session is dedicated to the business of the organization. We will discuss legislation, vote on the resolutions that are presented by the committee, hear the treasurer's report, discuss old and new business, and elect the board of directors. Members are expected to be in attendance. Non-members are cordially invited to join us.
After a hard day's work it's time to sit back and enjoy the annual banquet. Our banquet is a special time for our members and invited guests. We can revel in our success knowing we share the true spirit of the NFB. This year our banquet address will be given by our national representative, Fred Schroeder. Fred has been a friend and colleague of mine for several years. I know we will be captivated by his address. Our banquet is particularly enjoyable for other reasons as well. We have many members and friends of the NFBK who work tirelessly to keep this Affiliate moving in a positive direction. They need to be recognized for their efforts. George Stokes is chairing the awards committee this year. If you have someone in mind that you believe deserves special recognition you are encouraged to contact George at: click here, or by phone at, 502-330-2344.
The NFB of Kentucky believes strongly in education. That's why we continue to support our scholarship program. What better place to make these presentations than at the banquet where the recipients can bask in the spotlight.
The convention will wind down on Sunday morning. Our National Association to Promote the Use of Braille in Kentucky Division, our Entrepreneurs Division, and our Technology Assistance Division will hold their annual meetings and election of officers. If you are interested in one or all of these divisions you should check out the meeting times and place and make sure you are present. It is safe to say that the respective presidents are looking forward to your participation.
Although this is a hectic time of year preparing for state convention, it is also rewarding. I am proud of the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky and how the members have stepped up to make sure we meet our goals. It is also exciting to be an Affiliate of the nation's oldest and largest membership organization of the blind, The National Federation of the Blind.
National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky
2017 NFB National Convention Perspective
The excitement of a National Federation of the Blind annual convention is something that can hardly be described unless you have had the opportunity to experience it for yourself in person. Although many individuals from around the world may never be able to experience this event in person, the advent of technology allows people from all over the world to participate in the NFB national convention through live streaming. One individual shares her diary of thoughts as she experienced her first national convention held in Orlando, Florida this summer through the miracle of technology.
A Unique Perspective
by Adrijana Prokopenko
Excitement is in the air for many people going to convention and lots more that can't go including me. Looking forward to finding out what is in store. Making a list to make sure I have everything at hand while convention is streaming, so I don't have to get out of the room - looking for things. Water, ice coffee, snacks, mouthwash, cups, spoon, tissues and wet wipes on the shelf, brailler and braille paper for taking notes next to me, the phone near the computer on silent mode, doors closed to prevent outside noise, Skype and Facebook opened for immediate communication with members that are there at the spot.
Some great presentations regarding technology equipment like orCam and braille devices that have been improved over the years. The thought of being able to access information as the sighted with not much hustle is great enough, just hope the price is right for everyone; otherwise, some people may miss out on it again.
The Job fair seems to have brought some cool things, as someone recommended my Facebook group to people from employment divisions, like lighthouse and different companies. I was even chatting live with someone like that getting contact info of one of them to be able to email her with more!
Lots of work today, trying to hunt down exactly the names of companies that are out there so people can meet them live and get their job ads and include them into my job group. Also following the progress of convention from the stream and members that are already there posting on the groups and to me privately. Everyone seems to be enjoying convention, including Ciera, the fearful high school girl who thought that the NFB wasn't for her. NFB related messages spread on the groups' big time! It is great they are opening the stream 30 minutes early, so we could feel the atmosphere and hear some informal chat there! As Arianna enjoyed exploring her dad's watch and feeling overjoyed that she will have to announce the National Federation of the Blind name to mark the start of the meeting, I could see how kids could grow into the federation and have fond memories of it. Practice from the performing arts division in front of the veterans and more...recognition for their work from others and probably way more that happened during other events that aren't streamed. Me being the student that I am, I keep learning the NFB lessons as before, so lesson number 3 goes, stick being a federations in the true sense of the word, no matter how close or far you live. And lesson number 4 goes, the NFB site always has surprises, so keep checking and scrolling to find them. Even though advertisements about the Nations Blind Podcast didn't appear anywhere before, I could find it from the audio link and start listening to it to keep up with what is going on! Dick Davis had an interview on 1520wbzw, so had to spread the info far and wide beforehand so people can listen in. Seems like the KNFB Reader is also expanding its features to become even more accurate and the brother of Victor Stream was just born to help those who want to get it with mobility at the same time. Feels very rewarding to be able to do all this work even from afar!
I'm already getting replies from companies that they are joining my group and supporting the idea, praying this would bring some cool things for many. Lots of money talk at convention today, which made me feel inadequate for not being able to provide any, but promising I will fix this next year. If nothing else, I can send a door prize and surprise someone! As presidents got reelected and kept sharing their enthusiasm, others shared experiences on growing up with blindness and lack of opportunities and how they became the way they are to help others, which shows if you really want to do something, you can probably find a way to do it! Hopefully discrimination would be less talked about when it comes to blind parents, students and jobseekers rights, as many of us hope for by what was being said. So many Emails given out at convention were inaccurate. I'm glad I wrote to them first to test before I spread the info out about the NFB news...line echo testing, radio station interview, job related emails, and address information. So lesson number 5 may be, when people get excited, some addresses can go wrong! Smile. Also glad that I subscribed to the press release email list and presidential reports link. I wish someone had told me about these things way back when I became a member! Don't think any of this was mentioned in the new member pack and I think it would be useful for any new member and anyone else who is truly interested to help the NFB.
An exciting day today, don't want to miss the banquet or anything else by falling asleep, so dividing my sleep hours so I can stay up and listen. What a great thing to hear that companies and organizations can work together to achieve things, even if change is slower and things take time, no one said no at convention so far to the president's words, which made me gain whole new respect for conventions like this one because of this. If it was a roundtable in Macedonia, the discussions would have probably gone nowhere and everyone would have blamed the other for all our problems. Prizes and awards going to deserving professionals once more, which may probably bring many great things for them and the rest they are connected to, to even keep achieving greater things together and stay together in the fight! What can be better than that?
As the banquet gets going and prizes get drawn, it's exciting to hear who gets recognized for drawing in the largest number of people and raising the most money, people cheering for certain individuals and their own state, loud enough to hear even with the sound trouble! As Dr. Maurer gives little NFB facts and stories from the past and lets people get ready for the main thing, excitement goes greater about what is to follow. As singers start introducing each other and invite everyone to join in, I can't help but get to sing with them and pull the headset out of the computer for the whole house to hear, not minding that it is one AM where I am! As songs go in a faster mood, people get to clap and dance around in their limited space in the crowd. As the video for the students' scholarship and sponsors starts, we are having a chance to learn more about everyone that is involved in the deal, hoping that they will continue to support the organization as greatly in the future. As students recite their little songs especially created for the occasion and prizes get drawn, I can't help but want to suggest that it may serve a great purpose if some are given in products and not money, because this would benefit both the organization and the people that receive and purchase them from. As amazon gives out a certain amount of money for every product you buy from certain organizations, it may actually benefit the NFB to get their own products from there and get back some of the money in for the organization. As many people are also recognized and skilled for doing different things, from music to crafts and other things, if they have a way to show their products in front of such a large audience, it may be a great pathway for them to be able to keep promoting and getting their products to others that they don't even know much about! That way everyone would feel equal and it wouldn't give an impression that only sponsors and people that put in the big money are greatly promoted at convention and since the organization keeps tracks and cares for all its members, it would be a nice thing to know that people are thought of at all times and their talents and skills are always recognized and appreciated. With the banquet address starting and the room getting quieter, the serious business starts that will hopefully give us the great address for a greater tomorrow. As science and technology advance and take a great part in blind peoples' lives if they are able to afford it, our power to change things for a better tomorrow for us and our children is even greater than ever, if we possess all the skills and knowledge to be able to do this nonvisual. As we stick together and share what we have and can do, it is the only way that will bring us and many others forward. As these years' scholarship students come to shake hands with former and current presidents, Marc Maurer and Mark Riccobono, Kurzweil inventor, Ray Kurzwiel and others, let's hope that they would be the ones that would be the great movers and shakers of the organization in the best way they know how!
About the author: I'm Adrijana Prokopenko and I was born on February 02 1979 in Skopje, Macedonia. I attended primary school at the state school for blind children in my own city, then went to mainstream high school and after that spent a year at the Overbrook school for the blind in 1998and 1999 learning blindness skills.
After that, I did my English teaching degree at Eastern Mediterranean University in North Cyprus from 1999 to 2003. After coming back to my country, I have been doing volunteer work to help the blind and have been the founding member of a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that helps disabled people with assistive technology. I have been working as a teacher of English at the same school I studied since 2007.
NFB-NEWSLINE Kentucky Update
By: Todd Stephens,
Within the last 30 months, NFB-NEWSLINE Kentucky has subscribed 177 individuals to the service. The NEWSLINE team and community partners worked very diligently to accomplish the milestone of cracking the 2,000 subscriber mark, which happened for us at the end of March 2017. There are now 2,023 current NFB-NEWSLINE Kentucky subscribers.
NFB-NEWSLINE Kentucky would like to introduce a new partner in the Offices of the Kentucky Attorney General. We are fortunate to be able to disseminate vital information through the NFB-NEWSLINE audio reading service for the print impaired concerning fraud alerts in Kentucky. The reality is that our population is among those who are at the highest risk for this criminal behavior. The NFB-NEWSLINE service provides subscribers with a substantial tool of empowerment. As we all know, knowledge is power!
The NFB-NEWSLINE Kentucky team has been busy with outreach events this year. Allow me to briefly summarize those events since our last update:
March 21st, Lora and I presented on NFB-NEWSLINE(R) at the Kentucky Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (KAER) conference in Lexington. There were more than fifty in attendance in the session on NFB-NEWSLINE. One of the teachers from the Kentucky School for the Blind expressed in the session how she planned on incorporating NFB-NEWSLINE into her classroom on researching current events. Ms. Parker said that she had nine students that she wanted to subscribe to the service. Laura Parker relayed to me two days after the KAER Conference that the information that she brought back to share with students on the NEWSLINE service resonated very well with them; the students were anxious to get started. Ms. Parker sent twelve to subscribe instead of nine; so as a result, NFB-NEWSLINE had a tremendous month with twenty total subscribers registered at the end of March.
I was graciously given time to present some of the features of the NFB-NEWSLINE(R) audio reading service to forty members of the Bluegrass Council of the Blind on March 22nd in Lexington. There were also members from the Kentucky Legislature in attendance to present on fraud alerts. I was asked by Bluegrass Council Executive Director, Theresa Thomas and key members from the Offices of the Kentucky Attorney General if NFB-NEWSLINE Kentucky would be interested in partnering with the Offices of the Attorney General and The Bluegrass Council of the Blind to share public updates and alerts as well as prevention techniques, since the elderly and disabled are at the greatest risk for this sinister and criminal activity. The new channel on NFB-NEWSLINE Kentucky is called News and Alerts from the Offices of the Kentucky Attorney General and can be found under the Kentucky Info section on the State's Information Channel.
On May 23rd, I attended an ADA National Network Resource Conference in Ashland, KY. The presenter was Barry Whaley who serves as Project Director for the Southeast ADA Center, a project of the Burton Blatt Institute of Syracuse University). The focus of the conference was on cognitive disabilities. Mr. Whaley was intrigued with the NFB-NEWSLINE(R) audio reading service.
I was invited to attend a press conference on May 30th at the Capitol whereby Kentucky Attorney General, Andy Beshear celebrated the one-year anniversary for his Spam Alert Project for the Elderly and Disabled here in Kentucky. The Kentucky attorney General also introduced a number of community partners in this venture and had them share a bit about their organization. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend due to my inability to secure transportation, so NFB of Kentucky President Cathy Jackson attended the press conference in my absence. President Jackson spoke on the valued partnership that NFB-NEWSLINE Kentucky is proud to share with the Offices of the Attorney General in informing and preventing scams where the elderly and disabled are often targeted as easy prey. The YouTube clip can be viewed in its entirety at: youtube. This event was also televised on WKYT and can be viewed at: WKYT.
Outreach Coordinator from the Office of Senior Protection Lori Farris asked me to attend the Elder Abuse Awareness Day on Thursday, June 15th in Frankfort, KY at the Capitol Rotunda sponsored by the Kentucky Attorney General. I was unable to attend due to a meeting conflict in Louisville. So, I asked NFB Kentucky Board Member, George Stokes if he would represent NFB-NEWSLINE Kentucky in his absence. The feedback from Lori Farris was that George Stokes did an awesome job with informing those in attendance about the NFB-NEWSLINE service. Furthermore, the Kentucky Attorney General was pleased to have someone there from NFB-NEWSLINE Kentucky at this event!
I attended the KCB weekly "Round About" meeting in Louisville on Friday, June 16th. Joseph Hodge from American Printing House for the Blind (APH) was demonstrating the new 20-cell Orbit Braille reader/note taker, which will retail for the amazing low price of $449. After this demonstration by Joe, ACB Treasurer, Carla Ruschival asked me if I could say a few words about NFB-Newsline to KCB members in attendance. I was pleased for the opportunity to present NFB-NEWSLINE®. I let members know that there was an established KCB Channel on NFB-NEWSLINE Kentucky, and that I was just awaiting information to post. On Monday, June 19th, Carla provided me with their latest newsletter and the KCB July Calendar of Events to be uploaded to their channel.
Todd E. Stephens,
BELL Academy Update
BELL-Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning
By: Jayne Seif
Jayne Seif served as the BELL Academy Program Coordinator for the 2017 Kentucky BELL Academy that was held at the American Printing House for the Blind in Louisville during the week of July 24-28. Here is how she describes the week of fun and learning.
The BELL rang in Kentucky for the second year this July. This year our program grew as we had the privilege to serve three children. I think all the children and families would agree that Makenna, Anthony, and Colten had an amazing week.
Each day of the program the children worked on their Braille skills with our very own volunteer TVI Lora Felty Stephens. These in classroom activities were paired with lessons on science, cooking, and non-visual techniques for self-help skills. Together we made play dough, trail mix, music shakers, grilled cheese, and more. Using learning shades the children learned to rely on Braille measuring tools and other tactile information to accomplish their tasks.
Each child received a free cane from NFB's National Office and we lost no time in trying these out. We used our new canes and learning shades to explore in and out of the classroom.
What is a summer program without some fun and games? Volunteers and children alike enjoyed countless spontaneous games of Rib-It ball, soccer, Shut the Box, BANG, and who could forget all that dancing?
Our friends at APH provided us with some wonderful learning opportunities. Katie Carpenter and Barbra Henning came to our classroom on Tuesday afternoon. Barbara read a Braille book from the Braille Tales collection, the gruffalo to the children. Each child got a copy of the book to take home. Katie brought materials to make stick puppets of the characters in the story. They made the puppets and had the book and puppets to take home for a puppet show. Perhaps, best of all, if you were Anthony, Ms. Barbra let the children have a few moments visiting with her adorable dog guide, Hannah. On Thursday afternoon we were able to have a hands-on, behind the scenes look at items in the APH Museum, thanks to Mike Hudson. We explored Braille making through the years and other technology as it developed. Thank you so much to APH for their generosity in providing us with a wonderful location to hold our BELL Academy!
Jayne's daughters, Fiona (Elliot) and Terran volunteered during our week of BELL. We couldn't have gotten through the week without them. Here is what Fiona had to say about her experience.
Because of my family's connection to the National Federation of the Blind, throughout my life I have partaken in plenty of volunteering opportunities with Louisville's visually impaired community. BELL was by far the most instructive and entertaining of these.
Although I have spent my entire life around blind and visually impaired people, including my mother and sisters, I have never acted on my interest in learning Braille. As such, before working at BELL, I never knew more than a few letters. By the end of the camp, I was able to read and write exponentially more than I have in my entire life - just by helping the kids reconnect with their skills.
BELL was also a great tool to get to know the kids and learn how to better help kids with multiple disabilities. They had a great time, and so did we! We played games and made snacks, all while honing their skills a little more before the start of the school year. I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it.
Volunteering to help with BELL was one of the best decisions I made all summer, and I'm extremely grateful for the experience. I will definitely help out again in the future.
Youth Slam 2017
The Kentucky Affiliate was excited to have six students and three adult volunteers attend the 2017 Youth Slam in Baltimore, MD this July. Laura Parker, science teacher at the Kentucky School for the Blind was one of the adult volunteers. Here is what she has to say about Youth Slam and her experience.
Dear NFB KY Chapter Members: Thank you so much for playing a key role in helping six Kentucky high school students and for me as a volunteer participant in the 2017 NFB Youth Slam STEM Camp. Youth Slam was extremely beneficial to the students. They represented Kentucky so well by participating fully, following all expectations to the tee, and always being on time.
NFB Youth slam is a wonderful example of an organization "paying it forward" and pouring into the lives of the next generation. The success of the camp was solidified by a large number of NFB adult volunteers and instructors who rearranged their summer to be a part of this camp so that students could experience a high level of instruction in academics and independent living skills. For anyone who does not know, NFB Youth Slam is a weeklong learning opportunity that gets blind students excited about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), and careers in STEM, by offering hands-on learning opportunities. NFB Youth Slam is a program sponsored by the National Federation of the Blind's National Center for Blind Youth in Science initiative. This five-day STEM academy engages and inspires the next generation of blind youth to consider careers falsely believed to be impossible for the blind. For the week of the academy, students stay in the dorms at Towson University in Baltimore, MD and eat in the dining halls, getting a taste of the college experience. They also spend a day visiting the Jernigan Institute and NFB headquarters meeting blind and visually impaired professionals and learning about how to "live the life you want". I personally was very moved by the amount of learning and relationship building that took place in this one jam-packed week where not a moment of time was wasted and every activity was carefully planned with the utmost consideration to student safety and student learning. I especially enjoyed the way Anil Lewis, Executive Director of the Jernigan Institute, was personally involved in every step of the process always making sure that students were as safe as possible and learning as much as possible while teaching and developing young adult leaders who have recently graduated from high school and are in the college process to do the same. Natalie Shaheen, The National Center for Blind Youth in Science Project Director and Mya Jones, Executive Assistant to the Executive Director of the Jernigan Institute also provided outstanding leadership, orchestrating every detail for a superb program that offered every student present wonderful opportunities for the entire time they were present.
I am honored that I had the opportunity to participate as a volunteer in such an incredible experience and I look forward to your organization personally hearing directly from the students who attended NFB Youth Slam. At that time, you will be able to learn firsthand how much the National Federation of the Blind generosity has impacted the lives of six Kentucky students and beyond. Thank you again.
You may check out more about NFB Youth Slam at: Twitter, Twitter Handle: @NFB_VoiceNFB, Instagram, Instagram Handle: @NFB_Voice, Facebook, NFB Facebook page: National Federation of the Blind Program Hashtag: #NFB Youth Slam #STEM
Kentucky School for the Blind
Riley Seif was one of the six students from Kentucky who had the opportunity to attend the 2017 NFB Youth Slam. Here is what she had to say about her experience.
My experience at Youth Slam rose above whatever I expected. The staff was really cool, and so were the other students. I actually made friends. The food was great! The whole plan was great. I like how we participated in activities to better understand what we learned, and to make lessons more fun and interesting. My favorite thing we did would have to be learning to program Arduino Uno boards. My partner Noah and I programmed a button to set off a buzzer. We did need some help, and Noah understood it better than I did, but now I understand it way better. I am planning to learn C++ coding, and if it's anything like C# coding which we used, it sounds like my idea of fun, maybe frustration, but fun frustration, and since I now have prior knowledge, not as much. I participated in the zombie walk. Walking around dressed as zombies for which we made background stories and being told stories along the way, but that wasn't part of a lesson, unless, "don't bring a bunch of loud teenagers dressed as zombies through a small Starbucks or you might get kicked out counts as a lesson, but we were heading for the other door anyways, so I'm pretty sure we fulfilled, well, I'm not sure what our goal was, but we were noticed. The car(s) we blocked crossing driveways and a car that honked at us probably had many questions, as for everybody else. It was fun, though. My zombie has the best story, in my opinion. The whole week was great.
Ashland Chapter Update
The Ashland Chapter has kept active in recent months being busy about the work of the Federation. In March Todd and Lora Stephens gave a presentation about NFB Newsline and KNFB Reader at the Kentucky Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired Conference in Lexington. In April, Todd and Lora Stephens, along with Michael K. Freholm joined other NFBK members in Frankfort to present the TAD Symposium for the pre-employments students at the Frankfort Public Library. In July Lora Felty Stephens spent a week in Louisville to work as the lead teacher for the 2017 BELL Academy, while Michael K. Freholm volunteered as a mentor at the 2017 Youth Slam in Baltimore, MD.
Members of the Ashland Chapter are looking forward to the annual summer picnic that will be held at Armco Park on Saturday, August 26th. This event is always a fun time for everyone. The chapter is hoping to gain some new members as a result of making a concerted effort to invite new people to the picnic.
The NFB Ashland Chapter is once again selling sheet sets. We are currently taking up orders. The sets are $30 for any size set from twin all the way up to California King. They come in several colors: white, light blue, chocolate, cream, gray, taupe, sage, navy, camel, eggplant, silver & burgundy. These sheets are highly recommended. If you would like to order, Please email Lora the size and color of the sheets that you want at email@example.com, before September 5. Then, please send a check for $30 per sheet set, made out to the NFB of Ashland to Lora at 1127 Sharon Court, Ashland, KY 41101. We will deliver sheets to you at state convention. If anyone has bought sheets lately, you will know that $30 is quite a bargain, especially for the larger size sheets! If you have any questions, please email or call Lora at 606-465-2743.
Lora Felty Stephens,
Frankfort Chapter Update
Karen Mayne, president of the NFB of Frankfort reports: On July 27 we had elections. I was elected president, Clinton Applegate was elected vice president, George Stokes was elected second vice President, Mary Jo Hackworth was elected treasurer, and Ranelle Mackey was elected secretary. We are raffling off over $400 in cash. The tickets are five dollars each. The drawing will be September 23 at the banquet at the NFB K state convention.
Lexington Chapter Update
During this spring and summer, NFB of Lexington continues to promote the mission of the National Federation of the Blind. We in the NFB know that blindness or visual impairment is not the characteristic that defines us or our future. Every day we raise the expectations of blind people, because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. You can have the life you want: Blindness is not what holds you back. Some chapter members have explored a variety of nonvisual access technology, adventured into the kitchen to prepare some delicious dishes and enjoyed bowling. NFB of Lexington has welcomed new members and is excited about the chapter building outreach and activities. NFB of Lexington is a resource for the Central and Southeastern Kentucky area providing information about services, programs, blindness issues and the National Federation of the Blind. For more information, contact Pamela Roark-Glisson, President (859)948-8484 or email Pamela Glisson.
Follow us on Facebook at National Federation of the Blind in Lexington Kentucky.
Greater Louisville Chapter Update
Hello from Louisville!
It's been a beautiful Spring & Summer here in Louisville. We kicked off the spring season with our annual April Luncheon. This year we had the pleasure of hearing from Mr. Keith Creasy from the American Printing House for the Blind. He demonstrated the Nearby Explorer App and gave us an update on other products APH is working on. Then Louisville's own Reece O'Bryan talked about and demonstrated the AirA glasses. Our board got shook up a bit with the results as follows. Nickie Pearl, President. Sandra Williams, Vice President. Jayne Seif, Treasurer, Cindy Smith, Secretary, Scott Spaulding & Reece O'Bryan Board Members. The board got right to work & took care of some necessary housekeeping. With members consent, we got rid of our long time talking bulletin board phone line that was hosted by AT&T. We switched to a free Google voice system. Our new talking bulletin board number is 502-771-1632, which is, 502-771-1NFB. We also cleaned up our NFBGL.org website & it is now hosted by nfb.net. I'd like to thank Phil Seif for this transition and for maintaining content. All summer we have been out and about in the community. We have had a picnic in the park, strolled the Big Four pedestrian bridge, stopped for ice cream and to top off the summer we went bowling. Jayne Seif and committee are revamping our Mittie Lake Academic Scholarship with the intention to distribute for applicants the first part of the school year. Sandra Williams and committee are working on a massive resource and informational mailing that will be going out to hundreds of doctors, hospitals, churches, community groups, Louisville Metro offices nursing and rehab facilities. We had a successful fundraiser this summer and appreciate everyone who purchased a peel and save coupon card.
In the middle of July, our chapter had the pleasure of spending some fun time with the students at the McDowell Center who were participating in the PATH program. They sure were a lively bunch and greatly enjoyed our activities. We took advantage of the hot July weather and had prepared 500 water balloons for some outside refreshing fun! We capped off the evening with lots of ice cream and desserts and some NFB philosophy!
We are gearing up for a busy Meet the Blind Month in October and look forward to meeting people in our community, spreading the NFB philosophy and showing how we Live the Lives we Want!
Sports and Recreation Division Update
The National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky Sports and Recreation Division had a great time playing some spring Beep Baseball with the students at the Kentucky School for the Blind. Kyle Sochia, who is certified in adaptive PE, and works for the school, helped both children and adults by walking us step by step through the game. We all had an amazing evening.
We are planning to hold our first special event at the forthcoming State Convention. We are hoping to reveal plans soon. What I can tell you is that it will be on Friday after the TAD Symposium, so please stay tuned for more information.
Be sure to check us out on Facebook at click here.
Technology Assistance Division (TAD) Update
Let me start off by expressing my gratitude to the members who assisted in bringing the first Pre-Employment Transition Student (Pre-ETS) training for the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky Technology Assistance Division to fruition. Our thanks to President Jackson, Michael Freholm, George Stokes, Ranelle Mackey, Sandra Williams, Hellena Emery, Scott Spaulding, Tonia Gatton, Nickie Pearl, Avery Baggett, Nathan Blevins and Lora Stephens for their outstanding contributions.
We asked George Stokes to MC for us. Since the training was at the Paul Sawyier Public Library in Frankfort, KY., I asked George and Ranelle if they could be our go-between in acquiring the training room and making sure that everything was in order. As we all know, George and Ranelle are always willing to do their part and a bit more. They did quite a bit to ensure the success of this training. George made an excellent recommendation for lunch. My goodness, it was astonishing to see all the delicious food that we received for such a small price tag!
Now, let me provide you with a report on our Pre-ETS symposium. Sandra Williams got things kicked off at 10:10 A.M. by providing a historical background on advocacy with an illustration of supreme advocacy by a well known 20th Century advocate, Ed Roberts. Ed Roberts successfully advocated for the right to an education and a right for a reasonable accommodation regarding student housing when he was initially met with resistance at Berkeley University in California. Sandra went on to explain what Advocacy is, who can advocate, how to advocate in a respectful and responsible way, and the difference between advocating and threatening.
Part 2 of this session was setting an example of role playing between Sandra Williams and Michael Freholm whereas Michael was a blind student and was being advised by his guidance counselor (Sandra Williams) to choose a field of study that was more "suitable" for someone with a visual impairment. Sandra followed up with questions asked of students creating a great dialogue.
There were twenty two students at seven tables, so as a group project for each table Sandra gave the students seven different scenarios involving advocating on their behalf. It was refreshing to see the solidarity at each table in tackling these unique case studies and students arriving at impressive, professional and respectful solutions.
This session was very interactive and students were vocal within their group as well as on an individual level.
11:10 AM to 12:10 PM Apps for Independent Living Lora Felty Stephens, Nickie Pearl, TAD Staff
Lora Stephens started this session with giving an overview of the options used to interface with apps such as Android phones and tablets, and iOS phones and tablets. Lora explained to the students that it might be preferable to choose a device that is smaller vs. one that is larger when one has a touch screen and interacting with the device auditory. When considering the most appropriate device for an individual with no useful vision, it is much easier to navigate a device where the space is smaller vs. larger, and thus an iPad mini might likely be a better choice vs. the standard iPad.
Lora and Nickie provided resources for students to learn screen reader technology for both Android and iOS. Then, they followed up with an interactive discussion on Apps broken down in specific categories. Finally, Lora and Nickie had students share their favorite app and what they deemed to be special about their favorite app. This segment brought about some very interesting and healthy dialogue.
12:10 PM to 1:10 PM Creating Your Virtual Image Todd Stephens, Tonia Gatton, TAD Staff
I began this segment by discussing barriers to some online applications with regard to screen reader interface due to coding conflicts. I also explained that it was important to be familiar with IE, Firefox and Chrome as one internet browser may work better than another, depending on the content.
I explained to the students that when they create their virtual image, which is generally the way that most get to know applicants in today's society, it is crucial to create the very best impression of yourself that you can. Because the bar is generally set low for individuals with disabilities, it is essential to project an image that is clean and impressive.
With regard to online applications, this requires one to read an application thoroughly to understand what is expected. Check work for spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors.
Six laptops, with four operating magnification and screen reader software were arranged at tables to create workstations for students to engage in the exercise of completing a brief accessible online application that I designed. The application was designed to give students experience with interacting with edit fields, check boxes, and drop down boxes. The laptops all had external keyboards so that we could create some level of consistency with students needing to use a PC that was foreign to them. Some students chose to use their own PCs, which was just fine. All students participated and we had 100% completion as evidenced by the email submission of results from applicants.
The wrap up was conducted by Tonia. Tonia discussed the positives and negatives regarding various social media outlets. Tonia explained that what you say online can be a permanent record of what you say, so be careful not to tarnish your image. We all have the right to exercise free speech, but there are always consequences to what we say. We as individuals with disabilities must be extra careful as there are some who are looking for a reason to disqualify us; let's not give them that opportunity before they actually meet us. Students were particularly interested in how social media can be used to network, which can often lead to positive experiences.
This outreach was a wonderful experience for staff, volunteers and students as evidenced by all of the positive feedback. Now, allow me to share our next big venture where TAD will collaborate with the Entrepreneur and NAPUB Divisions at our NFB Kentucky State Convention.
The NFBK Technology Assistance Division (TAD) is pleased to announce that we will join with two new partners to bring our Fifth annual technology symposium to you and for you at the NFB of Kentucky State Convention!
Todd Stephens, President of the NFB of Kentucky Technology Assistance Division (TAD), Michael Freholm, President of the Entrepreneur Division and Angela Dehart, President of the National Association Promoting the Use of Braille (NAPUB) are extending an invitation to you, to join us on Friday, September 22, 2017 at the Hilton Garden Inn at Louisville NE,9850 Plaza Ave., Louisville, KY 40241.
Assistive technology education and training is essential in maximizing the learning potential for the blind/visually impaired, because this specialized equipment levels the playing field for opportunities in education and for opportunities in employment. In extracting a couple important facts from the article found on the NFB website written in 2015 by Edward C. Bell, Ph.D. And Natalia M. Mino, entitled Employment Outcomes for Blind and Visually Impaired Adults, the employment rate among the blind and visually impaired is 37%. Conversely, the unemployment rate is a whopping 63%! There is a direct correlation between employment and education/training. The higher the level of education and rehabilitation training (technology, orientation and mobility and Braille), the greater the outcome for employment. Individuals who read Braille on a weekly basis and use a white cane experienced greater opportunities for employment and receive higher earnings as compared with those who did not use these tools. How can you put yourself in the best position to market yourself effectively? These questions will be answered an more as we explore the solutions to maximizing our marketability and skillsets. We are going to hear from some of our favorite blindness and visual impairment Technologist like Larry Skutchan and Joe Hodge from APH, Dave Wilkinson from HIMS Technologies, and Tom Blackman and Ron Dukes from Freedom Scientific. You will have the opportunity to experience this assistive technology. You can visit with these vendors and others in our display room from 11:35 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. You can visit with and ask questions from technologists an others representing: APH, HIMS, Freedom Scientific, Kentucky Talking Books, Android, Apple, NFB-NEWSLINE along with KNFB Reader, Bill Brooks, Blind entrepreneur and owner of Your Travel More Store, Vanda Pharmaceuticals and maybe, just maybe a few more!
Come one, come all...Be sure to mark your calendars today!
Todd E. Stephens,
Have You Heard?
Members of the NFB of Kentucky are keeping busy these days and have lots of new and exciting things happening in their lives.
Hellena Keaton was married to Jim Emery in April on their romantic trip to Hawaii. In addition to her new marriage, she held a starring role in a murder mystery dinner theater production, the first done by an all blind cast. Imagine Blind Players, a new theatrical group established in Louisville of blind actors. Those who saw the performance of "Lady Anderly's Rose" were quite impressed. The performance was professionally done, and those who attended were treated to a special dinner at the Bristol in downtown Louisville. Congratulations on your new marriage! We know that you are taking a break from your acting career to focus on your marriage for now, but we do look forward to seeing you in future performances of the Imagine Blind Players!
Danielle Burton of the Ashland Chapter is currently seeking training at the Helen Keller Center for the Deaf-Blind in New York. Danielle is learning how to use tactile American Sign Language in order to increase her communication skills in order to deal with her hearing impairment. Danielle says that learning sign language is a challenge. You can't just "google it", as you can so many new things that you want to learn. Danielle explains that she wants to know how to communicate, as she deals with possible future hearing loss. Hang in there, Danielle, we know it is tough, but you are certainly up to the challenge!
Avery Baggett is enrolled in her first semester at the University of Kentucky where she is pursuing her master's degree in linguistics. She says that now that she has enrolled in graduate school, she plans to be in Kentucky for at least three more years. Avery, we are so glad that you will be here with us for a while longer!
Angela Dehart just completed her first semester of graduate school at the University of Cincinnati where she is working toward her master's degree in applied behavior analysis. In mid-June she began a new teaching job as an interventionist at Applied Behavior Services in Cincinnati, Ohio. Best of luck, Angela, as you continue your work toward your master's degree and as you settle in to your new job!
J.P. Pullens recently purchased his first home in Louisville. Congratulations on your new digs! We are very happy for you, J.P.!
Fiona (Elliot) Seif, the daughter of Phil and Jayne Seif, is beginning her first semester at the University of Louisville where she plans to double-major in art and marine biology. Fiona (Elliot) volunteered for the entire week of our BELL Academy. We appreciate all of your help during BELL. Best of luck as you begin your exciting college career!
Alecia Jones, daughter of Kenny and Maria Jones gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Alexia, on April 1st. Mother and baby are doing well. Kenny and Maria are so proud of their beautiful new granddaughter. Congratulations on the new addition to the family.
Katie Adkins has accepted a teaching position at KSB in the elementary department where she will be teaching kindergarten. Best of luck with your new teaching position, Katie!
Todd Stephens began his tenure as the new chairperson of the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) for the Kentucky Office for the Blind in July. Todd will serve in this position as the Office for the Blind transitions into the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. He is pleased to serve as chairperson and to lead the council through the transition. Congratulations, Todd!!
Carmynn Blakely, the very first student from Jefferson County Public Schools to compete in the National Braille Challenge in Los Angeles, CA captured first place in the Apprentice category last June. Carmynn, now a third grader, competed with thousands of first and second grade students from the United States to position herself to compete nationally.
There were 30 spelling words, 10 proofreading sentences, and four reading comprehension passages.
The NFBK was honored to make a financial contribution to Carmynn's trip which helped her to get to the National Braille Challenge this year. We wish Carmynn continued success and are looking forward to having Carmynn and her mother, Rebecca at the NFBK state convention on September 23rd. You go Carmynn!
Summer is a time for picnics and family gatherings. Below are a few salads that would be a special addition to any fun get together pot luck meal.
German Potato Salad
Cathy Jackson, president of the NFB of Kentucky shares her recipe for this German Potato Salad. Growing up, Cathy's mother always made this potato salad for family gatherings. Now that Mrs. Brothers has passed on, Cathy has taken over the family tradition and brings this delicious salad to all of her family get-togethers.
German Potato Salad
6 Potatoes, 6 Strips Bacon, 3/4 Cup Onions, 1 TBSP. Flour, 1 TBSP. Sugar, 1/2 Cup Dark Vinegar, 3/4 Cup Water, 1/3 Cup Grease, 1 1/2 tsp. Salt, 1/2 tsp. Celery Seed, Dash of Pepper
Boil potatoes until tender when stuck with a fork. Fry bacon until crisp (save grease).
Add diced onions to 1/3 Cup hot grease. When onions begin to cook add all dry ingredients stirring thoroughly. Add water and vinegar. Bring to a full boil. Let boil about 3 minutes or so. Pour hot sauce over pealed diced potatoes. Crumble bacon into potatoes and stir. Leave some crumbled bacon to garnish top of salad.
German Potato Salad is to be served warm Using frozen diced onions saves time in the preparation process. Thick sliced bacon yields more grease.
Summer Fruit Salad
Lora Felty Stephens, secretary of the NFB of Kentucky, makes this delicious fruit salad in the summer time when lots of fresh fruits are available. It is great to bring to a picnic or just to make a big bowl and keep in your refrigerator for a refreshing snack.
Use any fresh fruits you desire. Cut them into small pieces and put into a large bowl. Mix well. I recommend the following fruits for a delicious taste combination:
Strawberries, Blackberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, Cherries (pitted), Grapes, Kiwi, Plums, Fresh peaches, Fresh pineapple
I have added melons and mango, but these fruits don't seem to add as much to the overall flavor of the salad combination.
1/4 cup Lime Juice 1/4 cup Water 1/4 cup Sugar or Splenda
Combine lime juice, water and sugar. Pour dressing over cut fruit and stir together. Refrigerate salad until ready to serve. The lime juice helps preserve the fruit and adds a delicious flavor. This salad keeps well in the refrigerator for several days.
2-3 large tomatoes, 1 onion or several green onions, chopped, 1 large Cucumber, 1 large Green or Red Pepper, 1/2 box Rigatoni Spiral Pasta, 1 bottle Italian Salad Dressing, 1-2 tsp. Salad Delight or Salad Supreme seasoning
Cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse and cool. Cut vegetables into small, bite-size pieces. Mix vegetables and pasta. Pour salad dressing over all and stir. Add the salad seasoning if desired. Chill in refrigerator before serving.
Hints: Multi-colored pasta makes prettier salad. Also, you can add any other fresh vegetables you desire to this salad.
Summer Mandarin Orange salad
Cindy Smith serves as secretary of the NFB of Greater Louisville and treasurer of NAPUB. She shares this delicious mandarin orange salad recipe.
Mandarin Orange Salad
6 cups chopped Romaine Lettuce, rinse in cold water, 1/4 cup Red onion, chopped, One Red, Yellow or Orange Bell Pepper, seeded and chopped, 1/4 cup Craisins, 1/2 cup Mandarin Oranges, 1/4 cup Shredded Cheddar, 1 Hardboiled Egg, chopped
1/3 cup mandarin orange juice from can, 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1/8 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
Lightly toss all ingredients except egg and cheese. Mix 1/3 cup juice from Mandarin orange can, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, and 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar. Then pour dressing over salad. Top with cheese and egg. Lightly salt. This recipe makes two servings.
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
Michael K. Freholm
1510 Chestnut Drive
Ashland, KY 41101
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
4805 S Forth St
Louisville, KY 40214
216 Maddux Ave.
Salem, KY 42078
202 Manor House Ln.
Frankfort, KY 40601
1127 Sharon Ct.
Ashland, KY 41101