This is a Publication of the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky.
President: Cathy Jackson 210 Cambridge Drive, Louisville, Kentucky 40214, Phone: (502) 366-2317, Email Cathy Jackson
The NFB Kentucky Cardinal Editorial staff members are: Kennetta Freholm and Jennifer Stephens.
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 may be submitted to any of the editors and must take the form of an attachment to an e-mail in doc, docx, rtf or txt format, or may be submitted directly in the body of the email. No text messages will be accepted.
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Table of Contents
- A Tribute to George Stokes
- Passing the NFB Torch
- Looking Back: Las Vegas Convention Reflections 2019
- NFB-NEWSLINE News
- NFB Kentucky Technology Assistance Division
- Have You Heard?
- Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Update
- Bard Reading Corner
- Officers and Board of Directors
- Executive Officers
- Board of Directors
A Tribute to George Stokes
This issue of the Kentucky Cardinal is dedicated to the memory of long-time Federationist, George Stokes. George served the state affiliate at both the state and local level for many years. George had suffered from a terminal lung disease, but he continued his Federation work until the very end, speaking with several Friends in the Federation only days before he passed. George was a loyal friend to his Kentucky NFB family. He will long be missed. Below are tributes that show the legacy he has lef among his Federation family
Cathy Jackson, president of the NFB of Kentucky remembers George Stokes in this way. Here is what she has to say.
I have known George Stokes since we were students at the Kentucky School for the Blind. Although George was three years ahead of me in school I remember him well. I guess the two things that spring to mind are his booming voice that echoed through the halls of the old Costigan Building and his love for music. After George graduated in 1964 we lost contact with one another for around twenty years. And wouldn't you know it, the next time we crossed paths was at the 1984 state convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky. George was president of the Owensboro Chapter which was hosting the convention that year. My memory of the convention is a bit foggy but I do know we were at the Executive Inn in Owensboro. The hotel was known for booking outstanding entertainment. The chapter had arranged for us to attend the Tom T. Hall concert. Of all the things I should remember...that's what pops in my mind. If memory serves me correctly, even though George was no longer president of the chapter he was an intricate part of convention planning in 1998 when once again we found ourselves in Owensboro, Kentucky.
George moved to Frankfort in 1999 when he became manager of the vending facility in the Capital Plaza. When I became president of NFB of Kentucky in 2000 our Federation connection grew right along with our friendship. He was very active in the Frankfort Chapter as well as in the state affiliate. He was well known in the Frankfort community and promoting a positive image of blind people. He was the perfect example of living the life we want. He helped organize Meet the Blind activities and fundraising events. Because George was well known by many of the state representatives, it was easy for him to talk to them to garner support for or opposition to various pieces of legislation. George served as President of the Frankfort Chapter from 2015 to 2018.
George Stokes gave it his all for our State Affiliate as well. He began serving on the board of directors as Second-Vice President in 2003 and for many years as a board member until his passing on August 8th 2019. I can't remember a time that he ever told me "NO." He served as chair of our awards committee on numerous occasions. He took on the task of chairing the convention assistance committee for both state and national conventions. We could always count on George to M.C. our Friday night convention socials. After all, music was the name of his game. As I mentioned already, he could corner legislators who came to buy their morning coffee or afternoon snack to let them know under no certain terms how they should vote. And he could do this professionally with a silver tongue.
Being friends with someone also means you have to learn to take criticism and to be able to see the honesty behind it. George and I didn't always agree by any stretch of the imagination. Most often these disagreements stemmed from the fact that one of us or the other didn't have all of the facts. I always knew when George approached me with a difference of opinion that it wasn't out of spite or in any way meant to be combative. He was a curious-minded individual who needed answers. Many of our conversations revolved around NFB philosophy, policies, and history. Some of his thoughts and ideas were fuelled as a result of his attending a leadership seminar at our National Headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland. These exchanges were always insightful and we learned a great deal about one another in the process. I never felt like I was being disrespected, and I know for certain I have the utmost respect for George. George Edward Stokes is one of those people that won't be forgotten anytime soon. George we love you, we will miss you and all that you have meant to each of us individually and as an organization.
Karen Mayne, who currently serves as the president of the Frankfort Chapter remembers how George has mentored her in the Federation over the years. Here is what she has to say.
Several years ago, I was approached and asked if I'd like to be the president of the NFBKY's Frankfort chapter. I was very worried about what kind of job I would do. I agreed, but, only because I had George Stokes to help me. And what a huge, and I do mean HUGE, help he was. During that time, we had a few members become ill, or just lose interest. I told George that I was worried about our chapter, and that we might not have enough members to keep it going. He said, we can have a chapter with just four or five people if need be. That relieved me so much that I didn't stress quite as much anymore over the job I was doing. A few years after that, I was having a few personal problems, and asked George if he'd mind taking over for a little while. I was so very glad when he agreed. When I told him I did not believe I was doing as good a job as I wanted to, he said you're a very good president! That also lifted my spirits and relieved me!
George was the glue in our chapter, and without my realizing it, he became my mentor. The Frankfort Chapter received the outstanding chapter award, presented by the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky during the annual state convention. I know that it was because of George that we received this award. His loss has left a hole in our chapter. We will miss him, greatly.
Michael Freholm, vice-president of the Ashland Chapter remembers George in this way.
I was attending a meeting of the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky, Ashland chapter, when we heard the news of George Stokes passing. George was such a huge influence in my life. When I needed to do training for a vending position, George offered, not only training, but arrange for my room and board for the four weeks I was training. The training was good; the time with George (and Ranelle) was great! I got to know the man, to hear his advice, and to enjoy his company. I originally met him as a leader of the NFB. His quiet, calm demeanor was noteworthy. George was the kind of leader who always wanted to look at every angle, to consider all options. Anyone who knows me knows I need someone like that in my life, to make sure I don't jump ahead without fully considering the consequences. He was never a slave to popular opinion, nor was he a man who always has to be alone in his opinions. It was always about helping the people who we were charged in helping. He also didn't mind partnering with folks who he differed with, even those he disagreed with on a fundamental level. And, he was the kind of guy who people genuinely respect. It was well-deserved respect. And while George was a highly respected leader he also loved people and loved to have fun. Needless to say, that's why he loved Ranelle. Ian was a little guy when I did my training and I noticed that George always lights up when he knows children are around. He also never met a stranger. I watched the way customers acted when around George and it was obvious that he treated them well and service was a big deal to him.
I'm not sure it is common knowledge that George liked to trade stuff. Anything and everything. He was much more experienced at the "game" than I was and as we negotiated he would always work the deal his way and at the last minute would give me more than a fair deal. He just loved the whole process of the negotiation but his kindness and graciousness were the only things that kept me from literally losing my shirt! Kindness and graciousness were key characteristics of George Stokes. He would do anything for you and go to bat for you at the drop of a hat.
At the end of my training George gave me two things: a key belt clip for my work keys and a gold cross pen. The key clip was practical and, for him, the pen was a matter of looking professional. Practicality and professionalism are two words that truly describe my friend, George. I am truly grateful to have known him and to have learned so much from him. We will all miss him.
Passing the NFB Torch
Cathy Jackson, president of the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky served on the National Federation of the Blind board of directors for seventeen years. During the board of directors meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 9, 2019, Cathy ended her tenure on the board and graciously passed the baton on to the next generation of Federationists. Here is what she has to say as she reflects on her experiences serving the Federation.
An Experience I Won't Soon Forget!
I am fortunate to have had an amazing experience that most Federationists only dream of. For seventeen years I had the pleasure and responsibility of serving on the Board of Directors of the National Federation of the Blind. Since I was elected in 2002 at the national convention held here in Louisville, KY, I can honestly say I have grown as a member of this organization in ways that I never imagined.
I have been a member of the NFB for forty-four years. I have served in many capacities in the Greater Louisville chapter, in divisions, and the state Affiliate. Most recently, I have been president of the Kentucky Affiliate for nearly twenty years. I remember so clearly the 2002 national convention held at the Galt House Hotel when I was just a wet behind the ears state president with the task of helping to host a national convention. I received a phone call from President, Dr. Marc Maurer requesting a meeting with me in the presidential suite. All I could think about was, "OMG what have I done wrong." Naturally, I kept the appointment. After we exchanged pleasantries the inquisition began. Dr. Maurer started pacing. Those of us who know President Maurer knows that when he starts pacing something serious is about to happen. I was having a hard time following the line of questioning, but it didn't appear that there was anything wrong with convention planning. All of a sudden, Dr. Maurer popped the question...well, not that question. I realized he was asking me to stand for election to fill a one-year vacancy on the National Board. I must say, Dr. Maurer had more faith in me than I had in myself. It hasn't always been easy serving in this capacity. There were times when we had to make those tough decisions that would have a far-reaching effect on the organization. For the most part, though, serving on the board has been a positive experience. For example, as a board member we are given the opportunity to serve as the national representatives at other state affiliate conventions. The duties of a national representative are: giving a national report updating everyone on what is happening on the national level, delivering the banquet address, as well as, serve in any other capacity as needed by the state president; and most importantly, serve as an ambassador for the national president. I honestly don't remember how many states I have visited, but I can tell you that each and every one of my assignments was a unique experience. The NFB of Kansas convention was lovingly labeled as the "Good Humor Convention," even though the ice cream man wasn't anywhere in sight. I laughed so hard at the stories and jokes they told on one another that I thought I would split my sides. And then, there was the West Virginia Convention when I left the weekend before the actual date of the convention. I was in New Jersey before I realized, somewhere along the way, I had the wrong dates. That was the trip from hell. Because my return flight from New Jersey back to Louisville got cancelled, I spent the night on the floor in the airport terminal. Perhaps, the convention that gave me the most cause to panic was in Maryland. Having to stand in front of all of those people who worked at our national center, and give a report, had me shaking in my boots. And, as if that wasn't scary enough, I still had to give the banquet speech. As fearful as I was, I must say that the members did their best to try to make me feel at ease. I still remember Mrs. Jernigan coming up to me on the podium Saturday morning to tell me I had nothing to be nervous about. After all was said and done, it ended up being one of my favorite experiences as a national rep. Although, getting to see a panoramic view of the ocean from the convention venue in Hawaii was a pretty good gig, too. Those conference call board meetings could get pretty involved. We had to take care of budgetary concerns surrounding such things as our KNFB Reader, fund raising efforts, tax returns, and affiliate financials. Legislation was always a priority, whether we were talking about federal or state issues. Membership building has been near the top of the discussion list for the past several years. And, the board is always given a chance to help plan the agenda for our national conventions. Our Annual face-to-face meeting, which is held at the end of November into early December, is a chance for us to build camaraderie with our fellow board members. We do a year-end-review, taking a careful look back to determine how well we had done, keeping the NFB on track. We access how successful we were with fundraising, and other programs and projects sponsored by the NFB. It also gives the directors of each department the opportunity to speak directly to the board. Each of them gives us a detailed report about the successes, and even sharing their thoughts on when and where things could have gone more smoothly. It is always exciting to hear what is in store for the future, whether we are talking about education, legislation, technology or renovation plans for our national center.
Now, here I am seventeen years later. The National Federation of the Blind is under the leadership of President, Mark Riccobono. President Riccobono is taking this organization to an all new level of excellence. And, although it is bitter sweet to no longer be serving on the board of directors, I will gladly pass the torch to the next generation because this is how we keep growing the National Federation of the Blind. I know Terry Rupp will do an outstanding job representing us. She has all the makings of a true leader.
I want to thank President Riccobono, Dr. Marc Maurer, fellow board members, past and present, and all of you, the members of the National Federation of the Blind, for affording me this amazing opportunity that I won't soon forget.
Looking Back: Las Vegas Convention Reflections 2019
Kentucky was well-represented at the 2019 NFB national convention in Las Vegas this summer, registering 39 individuals. Several individuals from our Kentucky delegation share their thoughts and reflections on their convention experiences.
Stephanie Cornett from Lexington, Kentucky received a Jernigan Scholarship, as well as support from the Kentucky affiliate in order to attend the 2019 convention. Here is what she has to say about her experiences at her first national convention in Las Vegas this summer.
Being at convention was an awesome experience. It was even greater that it was in Las Vegas. I was so nervous at first, but once I realized that there were so many people willing to help, and others who were just as nervous, I kind of became more relaxed and confident about navigating around and asking for help. During my time there, I was amazed at how people were so independent, kind, helpful and energetic. Everyone was so happy for one another. I was really amazed to see how the different speakers were focused on making sure the blind and visually impaired are able to get and have the same benefits or rights as someone who is fully sighted.
The one part that really had me in tears was hearing how the 2 blind parents had their baby taken from them. This was because I began losing my vision when I was 25 years old, and that was always a fear for me, having someone who didn't understand that just because I don't have my sight, I am not capable of taking care of my own children. So, knowing that the NFB will fight like that for those parents made me so happy because, although we have to advocate for ourselves, we also need that extra ump sometimes, and it's just good to know that someone has our backs.
My favorite bible scripture when I was a child was "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." And, still to this day, I live by that because people don't understand how I get up every day and continue on with my life. It's because I want people to know that, regardless of whether you have sight or not, you can do whatever you want.
Michael Freholm, vice-president of the Ashland Chapter reflects on his convention experiences past and present. Here is what he has to say.
After the first general session of the NFB National convention in 2005, I knew I wanted NFB conventions to be a regular part of my life. For the next twelve years I did not miss a convention. Some years were leaner than others but somehow I made it work out, and it was so worth it. Convention set the tone for me each year, recharging my batteries for another year. Then, life got in the way. I missed not only one but two years in a row. Such a huge part of my life disappeared, and I missed it. Listening online was great, but not quite the same. Hugging old friends, meeting new ones, selling the NFBK fundraiser, navigating the hotel, and finding a way to circumvent the crowd are all a part of the convention experience.
I was thrilled when I heard the 2019 convention was to be held in Las Vegas, Nevada. My wife, Netta has wanted to go back to Vegas since her first visit years ago. I knew my convention drought was soon to be over. But, it had been so long, I had to ask, "Would it be the same?" In the past, NFB conventions had lifted my spirit, invigorated my spirit, and refocused my resolve, but that was years ago. It did not take long to realize my fears were unfounded. The energy was still there. The spirit of the National Federation of the Blind was as strong as ever, our resolve as fixed as ever. But there was something more; there was something different, some type of shift had occurred. It didn't take long to figure it out. The last convention I attended, President Mark Riccobono was new to the job and still finding his way, but now, his leadership style and influence was fully realized. Our organization has had four great presidents over its nearly 80 year history, and each one has put his own unique voice into the movement. It was so great to see Mark being the leader we believed he would be. His modern, progressive mind-set was evident throughout. Inclusion and equality for everyone are some of the main values my wife and I have chosen to make central to our family. How wonderful to hear in the Presidential Report how our organization is continuing to hold these values. It reminded me how our founding President Dr. Jacobus tenBroek insisted on only meeting at hotels where there was no racial segregation at our banquets in the early 1950s. If you were not there, I strongly recommend listening to the Presidential Report. Not a boring moment throughout, as usual.
All the seminars and meetings (especially the Living History Group, which is my personal favorite) filled our heads with knowledge and our carry-on bag with papers and pamphlets. The opportunity to visit with old friends and networking with new ones was worth the cost by itself. I won't lie to you: we had a great time in Vegas. Someday I will go back, but not before the next NFB National Convention in Houston, TX 2020.
Kennetta Freholm, Michael's wife, who serves as a vocational rehabilitation counselor in the Blind Services Division for the Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation has this to say about her 2019 national convention experience.
This year convention was so inspiring. As a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor for the State, I don't get training very often about new developments. It was great to be able to learn more about new technology that is available to my consumers. OrCam and ARIA are systems that I was looking to purchase for a consumer. I was able to really get a hands-on demonstration and see these systems working for others. I was able to compare these products in a way that would not have been possible. It was an experience that I do not believe I would have ever been able to have without going to the National Federation of the Blind National Convention. I was also able to work the NFB Independence Market. We sold talking watches. I very much enjoyed helping people decide which piece worked best for them. I also got to show some of the pieces to kids that had parents that were blind. So many children don't have access to watches because of new technology. It was fun to show how we "used to do things". Also, exploring the Exhibit Hall, finding agencies that are working for people with disabilities was very educational. I rarely get to be a part of this kind of thing on such a large scale.
I was also very impressed with the way that the National Federation of the Blind emphasized that we need to fight for ALL people to have the same civil rights. To hear stories of how others are fighting this fight was amazing. It made me remember that we still have work to do. I was encouraged by having opening prayers given by people of different cultures and by the organization of a chapter for our LBGTQ community. It was incredible to be in a group of people so diverse but all working toward the same goals of making the way easier for those after us. I am grateful for the education that I received at Convention this year.
Jacob Hack who is beginning his second year at Eastern Kentucky University, and who was one of our 2018 NFB of Kentucky Charles and Betty Allen Scholarship winners, attended his first national convention in Las Vegas this summer. His experiences in Las Vegas are ones that he will never forget. Here is what he has to say.
They say that everything's bigger in Texas, but I feel like they forgot about Vegas. My first year attending the national convention, I was amazed at how many blind people there were, I had never been wacked by so many canes in my life. I had certainly never been to a hotel that was as immense as the Mandalay Bay. My first thought was, there is no way I am going to be able to get around and find where I need to go, but I made it, only getting lost most of the time. Later I found out that the hotel was a free access location for Aira. I was able to use it for the first time, and it helped a lot, especially when it came to finding the convention rooms.
Attending the convention, really gave me a better sense of the power behind NFB and the impact it has in bettering the lives of blind people all over the world. I was pleased to see the There was a huge focus on diversity and inclusion, which until then I wasn't sure how other marginalized communities with blind individuals fit in at NFB. It is good to know that everyone with blindness is recognized.
President Mark Riccobono and other speakers talked a lot about high expectations, and not limiting yourself to low expectations that others set for you. I think that spoke to me a lot at convention as I got to meet a variety of well-educated blind people who have jobs that many would say blind people could never obtain. I think that any blind person should attend at least one convention, if their able, it really gives you a good perspective on what the blind can accomplish.
Angela Dehart Henderson serves on the board of directors of the NFB of Kentucky. Here are her thoughts about her 2019 convention experience.
The 2019 National convention of the National Federation of the Blind was surely one to remember as always. I was blessed this year to be able to not only reunite with my Federation family from other states, network, engage in advocacy and learn new things but I was also able to share this experience with my husband. I am pleased to report that he enjoyed himself immensely, and I don't just mean at the slot machines and craps table! There is always so much to do at convention and what feels like so little time in which to cram everything and this year was no exception. This year was my second year volunteering in the Independence Market, which is always an interesting experience, and one that allows you to engage with many people. The exhibit hall itself was phenomenal, with so many booths set up with different things to explore or to purchase. I was able to explore blindness related technologies that could be useful in my day to day life as well as my career. I was even able to speak with someone from Google who provided me with technical support on an issue I have been having with Google Drive and my screen reader for some time now. General session is always a vivacious and educational experience; we heard so many wonderful presentations this year; we passed many fantastic resolutions and continued our Federation work.
One of the presentations that I enjoyed the most was Natalie Shaheen's presentation on spatial awareness and engineering. The educator in me loved the hands-on spatial awareness activity she included in her presentation, and was more than willing to sit on the floor and plan out my construction with the dot candies and toothpicks. In fact, I enjoyed this activity so much; I took it back to my school and used it as a beginning of the year ice breaker with my coworkers. Sighted individuals always find braille to be fascinating, so imagine their fascination when I handed them a paper with raised drawings on it and told them we were going to create said raised images with pieces of candy!
As an educator, I always find it refreshing and enlightening to connect with other blind educators; the Blind Educators division meeting is a great place to do just that! I enjoyed the many presentations given during the division meeting, and even took some notes for later use. One great thing about the Federation is being able to network with so many people who share a common ground, with so many different perspectives.
Although I attended a lot of meetings and listened to many presentations, convention wasn't all business all the time. My husband and I enjoyed experiencing the Las Vegas strip with friends, eating at many wonderful restaurants, and visiting the shops. We were educated and excited with the experience of riding in the autonomous cars Aptive created and were provided for Lyft customers traversing the Las Vegas strip. This was a unique experience in which we learned a lot about the technology involved in autonomous vehicles. Which in turn, gave this blind mother hope that one day; I may be able to drive my own children to their school and/or sporting events. I am excited to see what this company's partnership with the NFB will lead to in the future. Another memorable experience was going to the Venetian Resort where we enjoyed a delicious Italian meal with excellent service. The ambiance the hotel provided with the live flautist, accordionists, and violinist along with the sounds of the canal was truly one to remember. We enjoyed gelato while sitting on a terrace with friends listening to the beautiful aforementioned sounds. During this visit we were even serenaded by one of the gondoliers singing opera.
When speaking to my husband about his thoughts on the convention, his words were simple but poignant "Convention was amazing, simply because it is a wonderful thing seeing and being surrounded by so many people gathered together to make a positive, impactful, influence on society", and that my friends are the epitome of the NFB in a nutshell: a group of people striving to make a positive impactful influence on society through education, legislation and advocacy, by living the lives we want. I look forward to our upcoming KY state convention and the 2020 National Convention which will both be, I'm sure, a fantastic gathering of individuals working to empower, educate and network together. See you next year Federation family!
Nickie Pearl serves on the board of directors of the NFB of Kentucky. She recently graduated from the Louisiana Center for the Blind and worked there in the summer youth program. Here are her thoughts about the 2019 national convention as she experienced it with her group of high school students from the Louisiana Center.
As an O&M Instructor in training, and one who loves a good challenge, this year's National Federation of the Blind National convention in Las Vegas, at the Mandalay Bay, was exciting. Don't misunderstand me, each national convention I am able to attend is exciting and energizing, but this year just had that extra adrenaline rush. From the wide-open spaces of the convention center hallways, to the sensory overwhelming casino path, to the enticing smells of chlorine and sunscreen while walking the outside path, to the tight spaces of the elevator bays, every aspect was an experience.
The students I was responsible for from the Louisiana Center for the Blind's STEP program were troopers. Even though most of them did not find my level of excitement to be appropriate, they learned their way around just like everyone else. One day I believe Kevin and I logged about 7 miles walking without ever leaving the hotel property.
I feel this year's agenda was one of the best. The whole week was just jammed packed full of interesting and relevant items. President Riccobono's banquet address received a lot of discussion from the STEP students. The very next morning, we actually experienced some of the airport headaches that President Riccobono talked about the previous night. To witness these students handle themselves as respectful young adults, and to see them advocate for the group in an honest and matter of fact way, was touching.
I'm not going to lie, after being in Louisiana for a month prior to the convention; it was a well needed reunion with Kevin, my mom and friends. This convention, this summer, shucks, this whole year has been amazing and its testament to the Federation philosophy I have grown up with. My journey this year is paved due to the Federationists past and present and I will continue to pave that path for the future with independence, possibility and respect!
Kevin Pearl is a member of the NFB of Greater Louisville Chapter. Here are his thoughts about this year's national convention.
This was my favorite convention! It had nothing to do with being in Las Vegas either since we did almost nothing related to Vegas. I enjoyed it so much mainly because I got to spend time with my lovely wife, Nickie, who had been working at the Louisiana Center for the Blind STEP program. But, also because I got to experience the convention through the eyes of some first-time convention goers. This was the first convention for some of Nickie's students who were in their late teens. So I was able to recapture some of the awe and excitement of my first convention. The rush of adrenaline that comes with new experiences, the challenge of trying to take in all the meetings and seminars that interested me, and the thrill of being in the midst of three thousand other blind people.
From the color guard presentation during opening ceremonies, to President Raccoon's banquet speech, there was no shortage of emotion. Here are some of my favorite speakers from General Session:< br/>Eve Hill and Anil Lewis on the subject of digital accessibility, John Paré, Jr., on advocacy, Brian Bashin speaking about services BY the blind as opposed to FOR the blind, Kyle Vogt and David Schwietert on autonomous vehicles and Martine Abel-Williamson on being blind around the world.
An area where I get to meet literally hundreds of people was working in the Independence Market for a couple of shifts. This is the convention version of the NFB Store. It is located in the exhibit hall, and it is where you can get your hands on some of the merchandise sold from Baltimore. Everything from cane tips to slates to braille books to talking scales is available. Some people wanted to buy them there to avoid paying shipping charges, while others just wanted to get their hands on them to get a feel for what they were. This was an excellent opportunity to interact with people from around the country and the world, while helping them find just the device that could make their lives just a bit easier.
IF you have never been to a convention, I urge you to start saving your pennies and go to Houston in 2020. If you have gone before, but it's been a while, I give you the same advice. Our local chapters and affiliate are wonderful resources; but, going to a national convention is the best way to recharge those Federation batteries and get you re-invigorated to fight the good fight.
I hope to see you in Houston.
Jayne Seif serves as 1st vice-president of the NFB of Kentucky. She represented Kentucky as our alternate delegate to national convention this summer, and she was thrilled to share her 2019 convention experiences with her family. Phil, Taryn and Riley received support from the Jernigan Scholarship program in order to help make this possible. They share their thoughts about the 2019 convention in Las Vegas. You can clearly see from their remarks, they are a true Federation family!
My name is Phil Seif. While attending the NFB National Convention in Las Vegas, I thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere of the Federation family. In the first day, the experience seemed overwhelming due to the number of people in attendance. I quickly learned that even though there were thousands of people I did not know; I was familiar with somebody at every corner I turned, even if I didn't personally know them. I realized that the NFB, while a seemingly enormous organization (as the largest organization of blind individuals in the world), is full of people who love to know and help each other. After discovering that the convention was not full of people I didn't know, I spent the rest of the week meeting more people I will never forget.
Describing the energy of the general session in words seems difficult: there is a lot of excitement in the air, anticipation of various speeches during the agenda, and both competition and camaraderie between state representatives. I suppose my personal experiences in life would lead me to describe the overall feeling of the NFB National Convention as this: as an army prepares for war and they know their cause is just and worth fighting for, the troops gather with their commander to receive both inspiration and direction. I am glad I was afforded the opportunity to attend at least one National Convention, and my personal goal is to try and attend as many NFB National Conventions as I can from now on.
My name is Taryn Seif, and I attended NFB National Convention this year. I enjoyed learning about new technologies and techniques, as well as exploring the different divisions and seeing what they have to offer. As a blind student transitioning to college this year, it was helpful to learn new things and practice my mobility skills. National Convention was a wonderful experience, and I would like to encourage everyone to attend.
My name is Riley Seif. I am a blind individual in 12th grade, and I attended NFB National Convention 2019 in Las Vegas. I did learn of some new technology such as different embossers, braille displays and adaptive every-day technology for blind users, and I experienced NFB's way of electing board members and voting on bills. I was glad I got to go to convention
Todd Stephens serves as the 2nd vice-president of the NFB of Kentucky. He shares his thoughts about convention 2019.
The 2019 NFB National Convention was pretty special with almost 3,300 folks registered, which included all affiliates with the exception of Vermont. Furthermore, there were also nineteen countries outside of the USA represented - not a record but, very, very close. The last time that I attended convention was in 2014 when Dr. Mark Maurer was passing the NFB leadership torch to Mark Riccobono. In 2019, the atmosphere seemed a bit different to me as each man has his own style, but it was clear that Mark Riccobono has put his own stamp on the National Federation of the Blind!
I was fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in the NFB leadership Seminar in spring of 2018. Among many things that were covered, this seminar provided a forum for those who are existing leaders and/or have aspirations of becoming leaders to engage in camaraderie through understanding the history and philosophy of the National Federation of the Blind. What I most appreciated about this event is that it gave me a better appreciation of the work that the Federation does on behalf of the blind across the country, but it also gave me abettor appreciation of our leader, President Mark Riccobono! Prior to the start of general session, President Riccobono stated very clearly and succinctly that we are a diverse group of individuals who come together for a shared cause. Mark Riccobono emphasized that we come from different backgrounds; different cultures and we have different ideas based on our culture and experiences. He said, let us appreciate each other for the unique individuals that we are and respect the ideas, values and cultures of other members even though they may differ from our own.
I was among several past seminarians who were invited to attend a leadership conference at the NFB National Convention moderated by Federationist, Kevin Worley. I happened to attend this conference on Sunday, July 7th, prior to the start of the actual convention. In my opinion, this meeting really set the tone for a concerted effort in the extension of diversity and inclusion throughout the convention. The federation has always strived to be welcoming to all, but we have realized that not all feel welcomed...not all feel loved! In this gathering of past seminarians, we explored solutions to building on the greatness of this organization by making sure that no one is left behind. We must focus on the concept of inclusivity. It is very easy for those who feel like they belong; those who feel like they are part of the family to dismiss the concerns of those who aren't feeling the love within the federation. In particular, we had quite a few young folk in the meeting that said that at times they felt excluded because their talents were not recognized nor appreciated. Some of them were told to just be patient and eventually their time would come. Others in the meeting said that they themselves, for whatever the underlying reason may be, had also been over looked or they knew of folk who felt dismissed. What about the work that they could be doing today on behalf of the federation? We came to realize that there are certainly contributions that everyone is capable of making each and every day in the federation. So that we do not lose our talented youth and others that just do not feel like they belong or matter, let's find a place for them.
We concluded that we must make sure that we recognize the gifts and talented members within this organization and put them to work -give them a job. No one needs to sit on the sidelines for some day in the future that may never come. There is always more work to be done than people available to do the work within the National Federation of the Blind. If someone is given a task and they mess up, let's give them another opportunity. Often learning is encountered through the mistakes that we make. It seems nonsensical to think that we can build the federation if we have members looking for the exit!
Lora Felty Stephens serves as the secretary of the NFB of Kentucky. Here are her reflections on the 2019 national convention.
My husband, Todd and I were happy to be a part of the Kentucky Affiliate at the 2019 NFB national convention in Las Vegas this summer. This was the first national convention that we have attended since 2014. My first national convention was in 1992 when I was a scholarship winner, and since that time, I hadn't gone more than three years between conventions. The 2019 convention had a quite different feel for me. First of all, this was my first convention to attend as a married woman. Secondly, I left the 2014 convention the night before the banquet in an ambulance and had emergency surgery in Orlando, Florida the final day of convention, finally returning home from Florida about ten days later. That is one reason why I hadn't been to convention in so many years. I felt strange about returning to a place where I nearly died. As I personally have changed during these past five years, the National Federation of the Blind has evolved as well. The thing that stood out most to me was the emphasis on diversity. When I joined the Federation in 1992, there wasn't discussion of diversity among us. We are all blind, and that characteristic unites us. There was little discussion of our differences because this was viewed as something that could potentially divide. However, as times have changed and the world has changed, the Federation has come to understand that we must embrace our differences in order to unite us as blind individuals. We are all blind, but we are not the same. We must strive to understand and accept the differences among ourselves in order to unite and move toward full acceptance into society as a whole. Our president, Mark Riccobono, who was elected at my last national convention, has been the driving force behind the Federation for the past five years. He sees the vision of total inclusion for the blind in our society and in society as a whole. I believe he is up to the challenge of leading the Federation toward the achievement of this goal. I believe that we can truly count on him to propel the Federation into the third decade of the 21st Century with vision, hope and determination. I look forward to seeing how our organization will continue to grow and evolve as we move into the future.
Sandra Williams serves on the board of directors of the NFB of Kentucky. Below are her thoughts about the 2019 Las Vegas national convention.
Bats, Butterflies, Beliefs
The day I left Louisville Kentucky to attend the 2019 Convention of the National Federation of the Blind in Los Vegas, was very hot, partly sunny, and more than a little stressful. Sunny and hot are usual for early July in Louisville, however the stress was due to the fact that prior to going to the airport, I needed to pick up my medication at a local grocery store about eight miles from my home. I decided to take paratransit since it was more cost effective. In looking back, I should have spent the extra money and just taken a Lift. To make a very long and arduous story shorter, I will just tell you that it took me an hour to go the eight miles, and more than two hours to get home due to the fact the ban had no air conditioning and the driver was eight months pregnant and she had reach her breaking point. I made no complaint when she pulled over to the side of the road admitting defeat to driving the hot vehicle any longer. After all, I know nothing about birthing babies, and eight months along is a bit close. The person bringing the cooler van got lost, and it was a very long and hot wait. . I was terrified I was going to miss my ride to the airport. It felt as if I had bats in my stomach. I finally arrived home irritable, hot, and more than a little out of sorts, since the second van did not have much air-conditioning either. Shortly after arriving home, my ride came, and I was off. Once again, I had the bats right along with me. You see, this was the first time I had traveled to an NFB convention with my vision as low as it is.
The bats remained with me as I boarded the plane. I am not fond of long flights, nor, of planes in general. However, I wanted to attend this year's Los Vegas convention so Fly I did.
As I sat in my seat next to our state president Cathy Jackson, I reflected on the many years I have been a member of the Federation. I became a member in 1993, and I remembered going to that convention and flying for the very first time. I could not help but to remember how much I could see back then and how navigating through airports posed no real problem.
When we finally arrived in Los Vegas, we had a true adventure in the airport. Once we found our way to where we would claim our bags, Cathy said "we are coming up to an escalator; "Oh, no!" I said ", I don't know how" By this time, I could feel the metal beneath my cane and knew there was no turning back. The bats seemed to be consuming me. I used my cane to find the rail, and held on for dear life praying fervently the whole time. It seemed as if the escalator was the longest I had ever seen. As it took me upward, I remembered that quote by Martin Luther King that says "faith is taking the first step even when you can't see the stair case." I could not see that escalator but I held on faithfully until I arrived at the top.
Once that adventure was over, we went on to get our luggage and then to find the car park where we could get an uber. That place was crowded, loud, and quite confusing. By this time though we had met a couple who were residents of Los Vegas, and they assisted us. As we stood waiting for our second car since we were left the first time the bats receded and were replaced by butterflies. After all, I was not alone, and reaching our final destination was in sight.
What a site it must have been. I was not able to see the size of our hotel The Mandalay Bay, however entering its doors; I could feel the enormity of the lobby. After checking in, I was able to recognize the sheer magnitude of the building which would be our home away from home for the next eight days.
Cathy and I spent the majority of that first evening wandering around the hotel. Our aim had been to find food. Honestly, we found everything else it seemed before reaching a place we could get something to eat. We stayed rather lost for a while going back to our room. I had the butterflies with me however they were not awful since I was not alone.
Saturday found us enjoying some fun at the beech behind the hotel. I had never experienced a wave pool. I had no idea how one navigates the waves so I wound up flat on my back side with waves over my head and a bit of asphalt burn. Both the bats and butterflies were at bay that day since I spent time with friends and relied on them for navigating the mammoth hotel.
By the time Sunday arrived, I knew that this would be my first real test. I arose, dressed, and paced the room. Cathy had gone off to fulfill her obligations as a member of the National Scholarship committee, thus, I was left to my own devices.
I called a friend and Thought myself quite fortunate, since she was going where I wanted to go and so I left the room to meet her and attend my first event.
I spent Sunday attending events including yoga, and the meeting of the senior division's event which included healthy cooking tips, in home safety, and adapted yoga. I was able to meet many interesting people from around the country. I was able to navigate the hall in the convention area independently with only occasional butterflies for company.
Then it happened. I was alone and had to make my way back to my room. I was quite certain that I would not find my way going back through the hotel so I took off to where I thought the doors to the back of the hotel were. As luck would have it, I met Nickie Pearl along the way. She is training to be certified in orientation and mobility. She agreed to show me how to navigate the route to the hotel.
She was quiet as we walked. I would not have known she was there accept for the occasional tapping of her cane. As I walked, I asked myself "if Nickie is doing this and is not fearful, what on earth is wrong with me." I was truly afraid and the bats were making me feel physically sick.
When I arrived back at my room, I threw myself down on my bed and hugged my billow. I began to shake, the tears were so close. The bats were by this time doing the rumba in my belly and I just wanted to go home.
I reached for my phone to call my mom. I know, a fifty something needing to call her mom, but I truly was a mess. I would just check on her I told myself. I picked up the phone. Before I could make the call there came a message. It was from a friend in Louisville. "Hope you are all right" it said. Part of my response went something like this. I am hot. I am afraid, and I am tired. I don't like this. I don't like being fearful I hate feeling incompetent and I hate being the person I have become. I can't see. I can't walk well. I am hungry and I want to cry.
I did cry. I did not eat. I was too afraid to leave the room alone, and too proud to call anyone to see if they wanted to eat. I even looked up types of food that would come to the hotel. I put it in my shopping cart but never hit request. I was too frightened to look for the car place to pick up the delivery; even though I had a general idea of where it was. I fell asleep that night with the growling of my stomach as my lullaby. So why am I writing this for everyone to see. What would make a person who teaches the blind to become more independent bare their sole? I will attempt to tell you.
I joined the National Federation of the Blind in 1993 as a young woman recently out of college ready to meet the world and all of its challenges face to face. I wasn't fearful, just uncertain. The Federation gave me the confidence I needed to do whatever I chose to do and I set forth doing just that after attending that first convention.
Through the subsequent years I have changed; grown from that very young woman to a middle-aged woman, a woman who has changed; in body, mind, and sight. A woman, who now walks more slowly, thinks more rationally, at least most of the time, and who sees the world without benefit of literal sight.
A woman who has embraced the principals and beliefs of the Federation who knows that fighting for security, opportunity and equality for those who are blind is an admirable fight that has to be won: a woman who believes that it is respectable to be blind, a woman who also knows that in earning that respectability there will be pain. There will be potholes, and there will be times when succumbing to the pain an, fear, and uncertainty would be much more comfortable.
I did not succumb to my doubts and fears about myself at this year's convention. I had my pity party on Sunday evening. I was up bright and early on Monday to take my place in the Independence Market.
To be honest, I am rather grateful for the difficulties I experienced at this year's convention. Were they fun? Absolutely not! Would I wish to experience them again? Positively, no! Did I learn something? Most definitely!
As an instructor of the blind, I come into contact with all sorts of individuals who are struggling to deal with their vision loss in many ways from the students who tell me they've got this to the ones who cry daily. In working with these students, I often say to them that they can accomplish anything they wish. I sometimes tell them that I know how they feel. After this convention, and the experiences there, I can relate to those frightened, uncertain, absolutely terrified students even more.
I tell those students the same thing I told myself when I awoke the Monday morning after my miserable Sunday "Blindness is only a characteristic like our eye color or the color of our hair. It does not define the person we are. "I also said to myself as I say to my students, "feelings and emotions concerning our blindness are not in any way wrong. They are just feelings and emotions, and like noses, we all have them." Now here is the more difficult part. What we choose to do with those feelings and emotions are totally up to us. We can let them take over and result in our becoming sad, bitter, and reclusive, or we can boldly embrace our fears and step out on faith to find our place in the world
Stepping boldly into the world with my fears and misgivings is what I have always chosen to do. And with the precepts, principles and beliefs of the National Federation of the Blind as my compass, I will truly never be totally lost.
Kim and her son Chris Zeigler from the Frankfort Chapter received Jernigan Scholarships and support from the NFB of Kentucky in order to attend their first national convention in Las Vegas this summer. Here is what Kim has to say about her experience.
Thank you for the opportunity to attend the 2019 National Federation of the Blind Convention. It was truly an opportunity to learn more about the Federation, and how each person strives to make this world a better place for all individuals who are blind. As the rookie round up gave me a small taste of what was about to come throughout the week, it was highlighted at the banquet with all Federationist wonderful accomplishments presented throughout the night. With the selection of sessions to attend, it was difficult selecting which session to attend. I gained knowledge from other people that I met during the convention with wonderful welcomes. I attended the Sports and Recreation workshop, the mock trail, able accounts empowering opportunities, empowering seminar which gave me valuable information, and the general sessions telling me about on-going work. Thank you again for this opportunity.
Here are Chris's comments.
Thank you for your support so I could attend the 2019 National Federation of the Blind Convention. I learned a lot from this convention during general sessions listening to what were the Federation's current goals and vision for the future. I talked to some of the vendors to learn about their products. I was able to get some help that I had tried to solve with a specific program and look at the different products specializing in technology like CCTVs with getting firsthand expertise. I met a gentleman from Florida who said it would take a few months for all of the information obtained at the convention to soak in, and he sure was right. There is so much information to gain and people to talk with. I enjoyed the technology sessions, humanware, what's new with jaws, fusion and zoom text along with rookie roundup and general session. Thank you for this opportunity!
NFB-NEWSLINE Kentucky now has 2,114 NFB-NEWSLINE Kentucky subscribers to the service! There is no other service like it in the world!
Let inquiring minds know that there are over 500 worldwide, yes, worldwide publications on this elite audio service for the print impaired. Surprisingly, the number of selections on NEWSLINE is actually more than just about what any cable network has to offer. NFB-NEWSLINE has and continues to be an awesome tool in allowing those who have print impairments to gain free and independent access to current news and information 24-7!
NEWSLINE is an opportunity to stay current with what is going on around you and what is current around the globe. What is more important than being well versed in matters that affect you? What is more important than having an educated opinion on matters that affect you? The answers to these questions would be absolutely nothing! With the way that information is disseminated today, you better make sure that you do your homework by exploring all options that are available to you so that you can determine for yourself and independently what is or what is not "Fake News". NEWSLINE provides you with the option to seamlessly explore news content with a few keystrokes when accessing the service by touch-tone telephone, iOS App, via web at NEWSLINE on the Weband using Alexa on your Amazon smart speaker. For Alexa commands, please visit us at: Alexa Instructions for NEWSLINE.
- Because you have only text content on this service, you need not be concerned with facing pop-up ads, unwanted video streams or irritating disruptions in the content that you are confronted with on the web. You will not find this in any other service.
By the way, if you do have an iPhone or iPad, you can find NFB-NEWSLINE in the apps store for free. You need only your six and four digit codes to get that app up and running. If you do not know your codes, you can contact Todd Stephens at
or Ginny Green firstname.lastname@example.org> to obtain your codes for the service. If you are accessing NFB-NEWSLINE via touch-tone telephone, remember to use the local number in your area vs. using the toll free number. Why is this? This allows the national office to minimize telecom charges, which becomes very expensive when you consider the scope of this nationwide service. If you have free long distance, you can actually use any local calling number to access NFB-NEWSLINE®. To find out what your local calling number is in your area, or any other area, go to Look It Up and place the ten digit number in the wizard and press Look It Up to see what that local calling number is. It is a simple as that.@gmail.com>
Last, but certainly not least, my thanks to Ginny Green, Assistant Project Manager, Diana Cline, Customer Service Coordinator, Adam Adkins, Technical Coordinator, and Kennetta Freholm, NEWSLINE-Kentucky Editor for the crucial roles that you all play on the NFB-NEWSLINE Kentucky team.
Be sure to stop by the NFB-NEWSLINE Kentucky Table at the NFB Kentucky TAD symposium on Friday, September 20th at the NFBK State Convention.
Todd E. Stephens,
NFB Kentucky Technology Assistance Division (TAD) Update
Greetings to each and every one of you!
The Technology Assistance Division is pleased to announce their seventh annual Symposium that will take place on Friday, 9/20/19 between the hours of 8:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M. The location is the Hilton Garden Inn NE, 9850 Park Center Avenue, Louisville, KY. 40241. Day of registration will start promptly at 7:30 A.M.; it will cost you $5. For those who would like to preregister for this event, You will have two options (please choose one or the other so that we do not receive duplicate registrations): 1. The online convention registration form which is up on the states website at www.nfbofky.org has a checkbox for you to mark on the form if you plan on attending both convention and TAD symposium. 2. If you are not goign to attend convention, you may find the TAD symposium registration form at the URL: http://www.nfbkentuckytad.info. It will be in your best interest to preregister for this event so that you are not caught in the lines to register the day of. The TAD symposium will be absolutely free for you to attend in 2019, if you preregister. The last day to preregister will be 9/18/19.
Selected members of TAD and selected members of the APH staff will focus this year on sharing software with you that will aid you in enhancing your independence through using accessible apps to build confidence and independence. As members of the National Federation of the Blind, does maximizing one's independence sound familiar to each and every one of us? Well, if not, it should! Members of the TAD Board of Directors are in the process of building the agenda that will be truly captivating! This year, TAD has asked not only assistive technology providers to join us in setting up a vendor table, but we have also invited those in the blind community who provide resources, services and information to join us as well. We will be sharing the list of vendors that will be with us in the near future, so stay tuned.
Note to potential vendors who might be interested in sharing either technology, services or resources in the field of blindness - please join us! The NFB Kentucky Assistive Technology Symposium is expected to have its usual great gathering of those folks interested in blindness technology, resources and services as we continue to strive for a level playing field in education and in employment. Your product and/or service might just be the answer that participants are seeking. Please join us in touching the lives of blind Kentuckians by sharing your technology, your resources and/or your services by reserving your vendor table today. Tables are $75 per company.
We will need to have your table confirmation at the end of business on Friday, August 30th. Please note that, if the cost is a financial hardship, please call so that we can work with you. We do not want this to be a sticking point for you in reserving your table at the NFB of Kentucky Convention in 2019. We are very much looking forward to your participation in this event on September 20th.
Be sure to mark your calendars; we are looking forward to seeing all of you at the NFB Kentucky 2019 Technology Assistance Division Symposium on September 20, 2019. If you have any questions, you may contact Todd Stephens, (859) 433-5023 or email:
Todd E. Stephens,
Technology Assistance Division
Have You Heard?
Nickie Pearl tells of her experiences at the Louisiana Center for the Blind this summer.
For eight weeks this summer, I had the privilege of instructing and mentoring the youth of tomorrow for the Summer Transition Empowerment Program (STEP) at the Louisiana Center for the Blind. I hadn't even received my emersion completion certificate back in April when. Pam Allen and Eric Guillory asked me to come back and be involved in this program. At that time, I was already full of so many emotions, I was dumbfounded over their proposition, and all I could do was cry. Thank goodness they did not want an answer right then and there. They knew I had to come home and gently tell Kevin about my possible departure from home again. After many conversations, weighing the pros and cons of this opportunity, I decided it was something I had to do. That feeling of others having so much trust, confidence and faith in you, for something you've never really done before, is both scary and humbling. I set out on this adventure knowing I would get some hours towards my O&M apprenticeship, a paycheck, and test myself to see if I really have what it takes to be an O&M Instructor.
Not only was I an O&M instructor, I was the Residential Counselor for the female students. Of course, I have lived with my own teenagers before, but never someone else's teenagers and, honestly, these girls were my first non-family roommates I've ever had. Structured from the adult LCB program, these teenagers had O&M, Braille, Technology and Home management every day. I ended up with 3 O&M students, and a lot of miles logged walking. As far as the girls, I lived with; they were great, teenagers, but great girls. I was responsible for mentoring and teaching them daily living skills, which was everything from time management to laundry, to personal relationships.
I surprised myself with the ability to tamp down my impatience, sitting back and letting the students make mistakes, so they could problem solve and figure it out on their own, to letting teenage drama play out until they came to me for advice. I do not give myself enough credit most of the time, so this was another personal growth realization.
As a group, we got to experience a lot. We went to Monroe and Shreveport Louisiana for bus and mall travel, we got to test ourselves at a ropes course and zip line. We went on a safari, swimming, and even tested the waters in Las Vegas at the 2019 NFB National convention. Some of these students have been involved in their local NFB chapters, some have never heard of the NFB, but with all the skills they had been learning up until Las Vegas, they all got a better understanding of what we were teaching them. They had testimony to back up what we as instructors were telling them. They had real world problem solving to do in the convention hotel. They had thousands of other blind people around them to learn from, to vibe from, to understand as a blind person, with some skills and knowledge; you can live the life you want!
To witness the growth in these students was priceless. As an O&M instructor, to witness the improvement and independence in my students was reaffirming that being and O&M instructor is exactly what I am meant to do.
Jayne Seif shares exciting Seif family news. It's an exciting time in the Seif family this fall. Taryn Seif, NFBGL Board Member, is heading to the University of Louisville. Taryn graduated from the Kentucky School for the Blind this past spring. She was named one of the Mayor's Outstanding Seniors in Louisville. In addition, she was named outstanding Senior of the North Central Association of Schools for the Visually Impaired by receiving the Thompson Award. She received academic scholarships from U of L, KSB Charitable Foundation, and the NFBGL Mitty Lake Scholarship. We are so proud of her and excited for this next adventure in her life.
It doesn't stop there. Riley, our youngest, is also having a big year. This summer she attended INSIGHT, at Morehead State University, Engineering Quotient at NFB National headquarters, and PATH at the McDowell Center. She has just made the transition to full time at Central High School. Riley has applied for early graduation and is scheduled to graduate next spring. She currently plans to attend U of L, to study a technology field or forensic sciences.
Our family was so privileged to attend NFB National Convention this summer. It was Phil and Riley's first time. We all learned so much and loved participating in workshops and groups throughout the week. It is wonderful watching your blind children experience the power of the National Federation of the Blind
Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Update
Cathy Jackson, Carla Ruschival, Theresa Thomas, Lynn Florence and Todd Stephens each received an appointment from the governor of Kentucky to serve on the newly formed Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Advisory Council. There are 19 total members on this council, representing all areas of disabilities. This means that 26% of this council is represented by blind individuals. We are proud to be a part of this council and to help ensure that rehabilitation services for blind Kentuckians are sustained.
BARD Reading Corner
We all enjoy a good read, but with the vast options available to us on the BARD website, sometimes it is difficult to locate that book that is just the thing you want to curl up and listen to. The editors of the Kentucky Cardinal felt adding the BARD Reading Corner to our newsletter is a great way to share books that our members have enjoyed and recommend to others. Below are our first BARD book recommendations.
Jayne Seif, 1st vice-president of the NFB of Kentucky highly recommends the Stephanie Plum book series. If you enjoy a good murder/suspense mystery, but want a good laugh as well, this is the series for you. Below is the first book in the series. If you like this one, you are in for a treat because there are over twenty books in this hilariously well-written series.
One for the money DB40224 Evanovich, Janet. Reading time: 7 hours, 6 minutes. Read by Celeste Lawson.
Mystery and Detective Stories
Out-of-work lingerie buyer Stephanie Plum blackmails her cousin Vinnie into hiring her as a bounty hunter. Her first case is Joe Morelli, a vice cop accused of shooting an unarmed man. Stephanie's feelings towards Joe are mixed because he never called after she gave up her virginity to him in high school. She locates Joe over and over again, but he refuses to cooperate unless she helps him prove his innocence. Strong language and some violence.
Download One for the money
If you enjoy British fiction that is lighthearted, while also being thought-provoking, this may be the book for you. It explores the complexities of family relationships with unique style, while utilizing episodes from past and present to tell the story. NFB of Kentucky secretary, Lora Stephens, recently read this book, and she highly recommends it as a worthwhile read
The library of lost and found DB94352 Patrick, Phaedra. Reading time: 10 hours, 30 minutes. Read by Imogen Church.
Librarian Martha Storm's life changes when a book of fairy tales arrives on her doorstep. Inside, she finds a dedication written to her by her grandmother Zelda, who died under mysterious circumstances years earlier. Martha also discovers a clue that her grandmother may still be alive. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2019.
Download The library of lost and found
If you like true crime stories, 2nd vice-president of the NFB of Kentucky, Todd Stephens, recommends this book as a real suspense novel.
Secrets of a Marine's wife: a true story of marriage, obsession, and murder DB94616 Hogan, Shanna. Reading time: 10 hours, 35 minutes. Read by Charlie Spicer.
Biography True Crime
Twentynine Palms, California, 2014. Award-winning journalist recounts a case that began when a pregnant nineteen-year-old Marine wife was found murdered at the bottom of an abandoned mine shaft after a two-month search. Investigators soon learned she had been having an affair with a married Marine neighbor. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2019.
Download Secrets of a Marine's wife: a true story of marriage, obsession, and murder
For those of you who are looking for more good BARD reads and are on Facebook, Jayne recommends the Facebook group, BARD Book Babes. Bard Book Babes on Facebook was started by a group of blind people to share book ideas we could find available on BARD. You can find this group at the following link BARD Book Babes.
Officers and Board Members
Cathy Jackson, President
210 Cambridge Dr.
Louisville, KY 40214
Jayne Seif, First-Vice President
4805 S Forth St.
Louisville, KY 40214
Todd E. Stephens, Second Vice President
1127 Sharon Ct.
Ashland, KY 41101
Lora Felty Stephens, Secretary
1127 Sharon Ct.
Ashland, KY 41101
J. Mike Freholm, Treasurer
2012 Harris Way
Russell, KY 41169
Board of Directors:
Nickie Jackson Pearl
1014 Camden Avenue.
Louisville, KY 40215
528 Williamsburg Rd.
Frankfort, KY 40601
427 Wallace Ave. Apt 1
Covington, KY 41014
2021 Wallie Ann Ct.
Louisville, KY 40214
Olive Hill, KY 41164
202 Manor House Ln.
Frankfort, KY 40601