A publication of the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky

Cathy Jackson, President
210 Cambridge Drive
Louisville, Kentucky 40214
Phone: 502-366-2317

Edited by Denise Franklin, 3639 Hurstbourne Ridge Boulevard,
Louisville, Kentucky 40299
Phone: 502-499-0759
E-mail: {denise.franklin@nfbofky.org}

Editorial staff: Lora Felty, E-mail: lora.felty@nfbofky.org
Dennis Franklin, Formatting Specialist

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.

President's Corner

Is There a Place for
Visually Impaired Individuals in NFB?

By Cathy Jackson, President
National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky

I was a participant on a panel at a State Presidents seminar held at our national headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland where the topic of visually impairment was discussed. We also touched on how to convince partially blind individuals that they can benefit greatly by being a part of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the nation's largest organization of the blind speaking for the blind. Of course, just as important is the fact that they in turn have much to offer the NFB. For many it is automatically assumed that we are an organization of the blind because our name says it all, the National Federation of the Blind, not the National Federation of the Blind and Visually Impaired.

For purposes of this article I am going to use the terms visually impaired, partially sighted and partially blind or similar phrases that may come to mind. I am not afraid to use the word blind or admit that I am a blind person, but I need to make distinctions and clarifications.

The public in general only recognizes total blindness or perfect vision, anything in between is a mystery. Trust me, it's also a mystery to those of us with partial vision. How can I see a dime on the floor from across the room and fall over a chair getting to it?

There have been countless times when, during a conversation I have said something like, "As a blind person I..." There is an immediate gasp. "You're not blind; you can see, can't you?" Then they start waving their hands in my face. I feel compelled to launch into an explanation. "Yes I have some usable vision but my visual acuity is 20/200 which means that I meet the legal and medical definition of blindness." The discussion doesn't usually end there. They start pointing to objects asking if I can see them. When my daughter, Nickie, was little and her friends asked how well her dad and I could see, she would simply say, "My dad is almost blind, my mom is half blind and I am a little bit blind."

The honest to goodness truth is that all too often visually impaired people don't know exactly where they fit in. On one hand we the NFB say "Admit you are blind." But on the other hand, there are those who have somewhat of a condescending attitude that says, "But you can really see."

At a national convention I overheard a conversation between two people and one of them said, "NFB doesn't ever discuss the issues faced by those of us with low vision, do they?" I stopped and thought, You know, we really don't. I have talked with Members in the Kentucky affiliate who have expressed this exact same sentiment to me.

If you stop and think about it, visually impaired individuals face the same problems as totally blind people. Actually, our situation may be even more precarious. The public in general is convinced that totally blind people can't do anything, however, they aren't exactly sure just what to expect from those of us with partial vision. If we are half blind are we expected to do only half as much?

We walk into the job interview and it is apparent that we have some vision, but we called ahead to have the test put in an accessible format--large print, audio, and even Braille. We too have to convince the potential employer that we can do the job and with the proper accommodations we are every bit as competent as our sighted peers. We have to make accommodations in the classroom. We have the same issues with public transportation. More often than not, we are unable to read the destination sign in the window of the bus and have to ask, What bus is this?

Now put a cane in the hand of someone like me. Let me tell you that really adds a layer of confusion. I am treated quite differently when I am carrying my cane. I was traveling to Oregon a few years ago to serve as the national representative to their state convention. As I recall I had to change airplanes twice before I arrived in Oregon. I was grabbed by the shoulders and turned around and the end of my cane was lifted off the ground. I protested and took the opportunity to turn the situation into a teachable moment. During one of the layovers I decided to head to the ladies' room to freshen up a bit. I stood my long white cane next to me and proceeded to comb my hair and reapply my lipstick. In the mirror I could see a lady standing behind me watching with curiosity, unaware that I was watching her. All sorts of thoughts were running through my head. Did she think I was faking my blindness? Was she wondering if I could actually apply lipstick? Was she waiting for me to make a mess of it all? There were a couple of other things I was considering. Maybe I'll just apply the lipstick on and around my lips so as not to disappoint her if she doubted my skill to put on makeup. No, I decided then I would have to wash my face. Then a second brainstorm popped into my head. I think I'll turn around and ask her if I look ok. No, there would be nothing gained by embarrassing her. Instead I chose a more polite approach. When I turned around I simply said hello. She made a beeline to the nearest stall.

On this same trip coming home from Oregon I was pretty tired and not in the mood to be hassled. An attendant in the O'Hare airport decided that I needed a cart to transport me to my gate. I assured her I was fine and if she would just give me directions I could travel alone. Besides I had been sitting for several hours and needed to stretch my legs, to which she replied, "not on my watch." I was told to stay put. Lucky for me O'Hare is quite busy. When she turned her head I collapsed my cane and bolted. Should I have folded my cane and run? Probably not. Looking back that was the coward's way out. I should have stood my ground, but as I said, I was tired and not very rational. I was counting on the fact that if I put my cane away I would be just another passenger in the airport and it worked. I hope by now they have called off the search.

If I wasn't already a member of NFB how would you convince me or any other partially sighted individual that joining NFB would be a great idea? What would you say to me when I tell you I have enough vision to "fake it?" How would you persuade me that learning to do things using non-visual techniques might actually make my life easier? How would you encourage me to open up and share my experiences, both good and bad? And probably the biggest challenge to me: What would you say and do to make me feel comfortable in my own skin? Just telling someone it's ok to be blind isn't always enough.

Most of you reading this article know that I am self-sufficient and strong-willed. How did this happen? It was no accident. I was fortunate enough to have parents who made it clear from the get-go that I was no different from my siblings apart from the fact that I couldn't see as well. I was expected to do well in school and to do chores around the house. They also made accommodations which I was totally oblivious to, but grew to realize their importance. I had large print storybooks and coloring books and white paper plates dotted the baseball field so I could see the bases. They instilled in me a sense of confidence and well-being.

Looking back over my life there were very few times when I was made to feel embarrassed or ashamed of being visually impaired, or made to believe that I was less of a person. I understand this isn't always the case. Some partially blind people haven't been so lucky. For these individuals NFB could be a pivotal point in their lives. If we can convince them to attend a chapter or division meeting and especially a state or national convention, we can begin the mentoring process and show through our actions that the NFB philosophy does apply just as precisely to partially sighted people. Visually impaired individuals will learn that they no longer have to "fake it" but "face it." We can teach them to advocate for themselves. They will learn the use of alternative techniques that can reduce a visual impairment to a nuisance. Pretty soon they won't care if they are referred to as blind and the word blind will become just a part of their vocabulary. It's all about changing attitudes. You see, no pun intended, there truly are more similarities than differences between partially sighted and totally blind people. We all want to be treated with respect. We all want to be independent and productive citizens. We need to continue setting the success bar higher for ourselves than others do.

If you have ever doubted your place in the National Federation of the Blind, let me assure you that you are welcome and that your membership is valued. I attended my first national convention in New Orleans in 1977. Every national board member I met or saw walking around the convention was totally blind, or perhaps it was merely the fact that they were using their blindness skills to perfection and I assumed they were totally blind. Although at that time I thought one had to be blind to be a member of the Board of Directors, I am living proof that this is not the case. I have never doubted for a minute my membership in the Federation or the contributions I have made. I also value the lessons and opportunities that the NFB has afforded me. So for those of you who are partially blind members of the organization I want you to realize your worth; and to all of us, let's share with other partials who may be feeling left out.



Experience Equals Wisdom


by Jennifer Hall

Knowledge comes from experience; wisdom comes from trial. The National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky has experienced its share of trial and uncomfortable circumstances to gain the knowledge and wisdom necessary to build and maintain a strong foundation for each of its members. Where would we be without the thinking, caring and fortitude of strong Federationists who have tirelessly served our great organization? I had the honor and privilege to interview three such Federationists: Mr. Lloyd Whitmer, Mr. Lloyd Agnew and Mrs. Mittie Lake.

Mr. Lloyd Whitmer, age 93, resides in Louisville and has been a Federationist since the beginning of the Kentucky affiliate. He sat on the board of the Kentucky affiliate for a number of years. Lloyd was one of the pioneers in getting the NFB of Kentucky up and running. He worked two jobs--one as a vendor and the other in a factory. The one major issue Mr. Whitmer recalled dealt with the vending/merchant issue. He said they wanted to take away the vending FACILITIES from the blind vendors. Through Mr. Whitmer's interview, I realized this struggle is not new and we need to remember to support our vendors.

Mr. Lloyd Agnew was responsible for starting the Federation in western Kentucky in 1973. He and his wife, Joretta, have been completely devoted to raising two wonderful daughters, Ava and Karen, along with a devotion to their faith and attendance at their church in Henderson. They also run a successful business, a Farm Bureau Service Center. One of the major issues Mr. Agnew remembers is the seating of blind persons on airplanes. "They thought they had to seat all blind individuals near the exits," he said. Also, he remembers when traveling with canes on airplanes was an issue. "They wanted to take them from you until the end of the flight." Mr. Agnew has met several friends over his life as a blind man. Members of the State Legislature are among many. He said that one legislator was asked about a piece of legislation dealing with a blindness issue and the Senator said he had to speak with Lloyd Agnew before his final decision! We definitely have strong men like Lloyd Agnew to thank for the path he has already trod. Lloyd and Joretta hold a very special place in my heart. They are responsible for introducing me to the NFB and taking me to my first state and national conventions. Their example is one I can hope to live up to.

Mittie Lake--what a woman! Mittie and I played phone tag for a few days before this interview, but what a privilege it was to hear her history! Mittie attended KSB from kindergarten to 12th grade when she graduated in 1949. She remembers the Federation comprised of KSB alumni and wanted to join. She married Joseph Lake, Sr. in 1951. Joseph was also a KSB alum and devoted Federationist. Mittie didn't know how much she would have to offer to the article, but she gave a unique look back and showed just how far we have come. She remembered some of the same issues as Mr. Whitmer and Mr. Agnew. However, she explained that her experience was limited in the beginning because she was at home taking care of children. In those days, childcare was definitely not an option. Mittie said the Federation was not child-friendly at all. She remains as active as she can in our Kentucky affiliate and still helps out in the nursery of her church. Mittie's outlook, "I want to keep going and doing as long as I can."

Spending just a few moments with these great individuals was priceless and taught me a very important lesson. The lesson learned from Mr. Whitmer, Mr. Agnew and Mittie is that struggle may always be a part of our Federation history, but quitting is not an option. Where would we be if the KSB alumni had not seen the need to branch out and continue the cause? We must see their example and remind ourselves that it is not about what we can get as Federationists, but what we give to ensure our future.


By Lora Felty

After a brief retirement, George Stokes has returned to work at a vending facility in LaGrange, Kentucky. Best of luck to George on this new venture.

During 2009 the National Federation of the Blind held a "Letters to Obama" campaign. Through this effort the NFB solicited letters from blind Braille readers explaining the important role that Braille plays in their everyday life. One hundred letters were selected from over 150 submissions to be included in a book entitled "Let Freedom Ring". The original plan was to present this book to President Obama in a ceremony held during Meet the Blind Month. Unfortunately, this could not be arranged so, on February 2, 2010, the book was presented to the head of the United States Department of Education. You can read the book on the NFB website. OUR own Lora Felty is pleased and honored to have her letter included among the other submissions.

We are excited to congratulate Danielle Burton. Danielle is a freshman at Elliot County High School and was featured as one of our student Braille readers on the state convention program this past September. Danielle competed, along with other students from Kentucky and Tennessee, in the regional Braille Challenge that was held in Nashville, Tennessee at the Tennessee School for the Blind in February. Danielle placed first in the Junior varsity division and may have the opportunity to travel to California in June to participate in the National Braille Challenge, sponsored by The Braille Institute. We are so proud of you, Danielle!

Our own Jayne Seif, the parent of two blind daughters who attend the Kentucky School for the blind was recently appointed to the Kentucky School for the Blind Advisory Board as the parent representative. Jayne attended her first board meeting on Monday, March 22, 2010. Jayne, we are pleased that you were selected, and we know that you will add your belief in NFB philosophy and love for KSB to the board. Thank you for all that you do to make KSB the best school it can be.


By Katie Penny and Marissa Helm


Describing Washington Seminar on paper to someone who has never attended is a nearly impossible task. I became a member of NFB in 2005, and ever since that time I have wanted to attend Washington Seminar, which to me is one of the most important things that NFB does. Talking to congressmen and getting to feel that in some way I have helped to improve the lives of blind people across the nation is an experience I will never forget. For once instead of just hearing about all of the amazing things NFB accomplishes, I was able to become a part of that process. But There is much more to Washington Seminar. The annual trip to our nation's capital provides everyone (especially students) with an invaluable opportunity to network and gain further knowledge of NFB. I plan on taking this fore-mentioned knowledge I've acquired from meeting with other student presidents and using it to help evolve KABS into the thriving division I know it has the potential to be. I also fully intend on calling our congressmen and reminding them of the ongoing issues and I urge everyone else to do the same.


Washington Seminar. There's a lot to say. If nothing else, it's the experience of a lifetime. All the experiences and emotions of a National Convention coupled with the excitement that one rarely gets to feel made for an amazing time. I met tons of new people, tried to bid on a friend in a student auction, and got to step where greatness has been. Personally, Washington Seminar was liberation. I got to walk the hallways I hope to walk someday when I truly get to participate in the political process. They say you can't describe a National Convention to someone who has never attended…the same applies to Washington Seminar. Lingering around the memorials and petitioning Congressmen is a true blessing. I'm not sure it's something I can put into words or simply describe on paper. Even if you find yourself short of your goals, the experience is something to live and build on.


NFB of Lexington

Well, NFB of Lexington has braved a hard winter, but a little bird tells me that Spring is coming!

I personally want to thank all of my Federation brothers and sisters for honoring me in Ashland at our NFBK State Convention! I love all of you and look forward to serving you during 2010 as the 1st Vice President of NFBK!

On Saturday, September 12, 2009, I awoke to an enormously strange sensation around my left eye, that side of my face, and pain in and around my left ear. Only after a very few minutes, all these sensations became frightening, as numbness overtook my face, and the left corner of my mouth was drawn to the left with the left eyelid unable to close. John and I both, even though we didn't want to believe it, were quietly thinking ‘Stroke'.

We quickly knew that I needed to visit the emergency room and did so. There I learned that Mr. or Mrs. Bell had a palsy of some sort named for the occasion. The prognosis was positive in that I should fully recover in 3 to 6 months. The condition certainly took that amount of time, too. March 11, 2010 was the six month mark, and I'm going strong. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers!

Meanwhile, NFB of Lexington marched onward with scheduled events. Though few in number, the Walk-a-thon remained on target, and Michael, Harley, John and Desh with her husband walked 3 miles or more for the cause later in September. When October rolled around, Michael, John and volunteers joined the city-wide Second Sunday event. Every service organization and agency imaginable were lined up and down Main Street and around the side streets, as traffic was blocked and rerouted for the event. Michael and John distributed NFB materials and had the Braille coin on display, as well as meeting and greeting scores of Lexingtonians.

NFB of Lexington had visitors from Breathitt County, Ms. Bess Douthitt-a retired Visual Itinerant Teacher-over the mountain from Lexington at the October Saturday School. Bess and Eastern KY friends visited again in November, and a number of us had the opportunity to visit them as well with a great reception. A good number of blind and visually impaired Jackson Kentuckians were treated to a presentation of NFB of KY and the KY NFB-NEWSLINE®. In yet another part of the October ‘Meet the Blind' initiative, Michael, Katie, Adam and Ruth Kennedy put on an impressive display at the Lexington-Fayette County Public Library/Main Street Branch where Michael and Katie Brailled tons of names of passersby and shared information about NFB. We would be remiss if we didn't mention John and Richard who helped with the materials set-up and break-down.

Of course, I cannot speak about the NFB of Lexington without the honorable mention of Shannon and Paula Caldwell residing in the London, Kentucky area. Shannon has new employment through the University of Kentucky and continues his national and international leadership affiliation with the ASI organization. The couple also maintain their NFB representation in and around the Laurel County School System and even though they are unable to get to Lexington regularly for Chapter meetings, we are very proud of their NFB presence in London and their work toward ‘Changing What It Means to Be Blind'.

Todd Stephens is our newest member of NFB of Lexington and has pitched in and taken up the support of the Chapter in a meaningful fashion. We've been blessed with Katie and Adam over the past year, but look out NFBGL! Katie just informed the Chapter that she is returning to Louisville to pursue her education. Katie is fired up with the vision and the passion of the movement, so we expect to be hearing a lot from Katie in the coming months.

Of course, I cannot talk about Chapter activity without talking about the KY NFB-NEWSLINE®! I appreciate all of you who participated in the Newsline event in Frankfort on February 24, 2010. Our Murray Chapter left their homes in the far southwest at 2 A.M. to attend, and we had a good number of NFBK members from Louisville, Frankfort, and Lexington! Senator David Boswell, upon Charles Allen's invitation, Representative Melvin Henley, upon Mr. Perry's invitation, U.S. Senate candidate Johnny Stephenson, upon the Glissons' invitation, and Mr. Scott White, Director of the NFB National NFB-NEWSLINE® office in Baltimore were present to join with us for a productive morning. We made many office visits while in town as well.

We are especially excited about the latest advancement to Newsline, the receiving of any and all specific newspaper articles to the private e-mail box! While you are reading an article, should you need the article for future reference, simply press the Pound key and the number 9 key on your telephone keypad, and presto! The article is immediately sent to your personal e-mail! Call your representatives and share this wonderful technology with them. Some are e-mailing their representatives also and including the article(s) specific to the individual representative. This makes a very loud statement of the meaningful use for the service to Kentuckians. Be careful, though, for we do have copywrite restrictions to consider before sharing the article(s) with others. We've been using the headline and enough of the article to make the point and explaining the feature in our own words.

The next time you run into Scott White, please thank him for his service to Kentucky. Scott has spent a great deal of time in Kentucky over the past few months to insure the continued support for Newsline in our State. I do want to thank Cindy Sheets and Nickie Pearl for joining Scott last August in Louisville to help with the KY Educator conference. Scott and Bob Watson, Content Manager, spent an entire week here and had meetings with APH, KSB, OFB, Cabinet of Education, Association of Counties and others in the promotion of the service for Kentuckians. After digging out of the 4 and a half feet of snow in and around Baltimore, Scott returned to Kentucky in February 2010 to continue the promotion.

I sincerely appreciate NFB and all of you who make the services and programs for the blind in Kentucky reality! Together, we are certainly promoting true Independence for the blind and visually impaired in Kentucky. Keep up the good work! Call us at (859) 494-0NFB, our new telephone number for NFB of Lexington.
Submitted by Pamela Roark-Glisson, President,
NFB of Lexington, 1st Vice President,
National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky

NFB of Ashland

The National Federation of the Blind of Ashland had a busy summer and fall last year planning for the 2009 NFBK State Convention. We were so pleased to host everyone in our city, and we hope that you enjoyed yourself. After the long hours of work in planning we now know how much goes into planning a convention and we commend the Louisville and Lexington chapters who have hosted convention so many times. On October 29, 2009, the NFB of Ashland celebrated "Meet the Blind Month" by passing out Halloween goodie bags with braille alphabet cards and chocolate Louis Braille coins at the Ashland Central Park annual Trick-or-Treat in the Park. It was a beautiful autumn evening. Over 600 treat bags were given out. In December the chapter relaxed by celebrating Christmas at my home. Thirteen individuals attended, including two guests from the Ohio River Valley Chapter of the NFB of Ohio. We had a finger food potluck, exchanged Christmas ornaments and sang carols. A pleasant evening was had by all those who attended.
Submitted by Lora Felty, President
National Federation of the Blind of Ashland

NFB of Murray

The NFB of Murray has been busy as usual this winter. They had their annual Thanksgiving dinner and silent auction on November 21. In December, they hosted their annual Christmas party at Sirloin Stockade. This year was extra special. They hosted a family in need as their special guests. A DVD player was purchased as a gift for the family. Danny and Anetta were not able to join us--they were in Florida! Pat and I were really eager to get to the party--we showed up a week early! We held a conference call meeting on January 31. Brenda, Jackie, Ashley, Danny and Anetta all attended the legislative conference in Frankfort on February 24. I had gallbladder surgery on January 13 and am happy to report a great success! Thanks for the cards and prayers! The Murray Chapter is hard at work on their auction planned for June and as usual, they always have a great picnic in May. Looking forward to a great spring and summer!
Submitted by Jennifer Hall

NFB of Greater Louisville

Hello from Louisville! Another Chili Supper, Cook-off & Auction in the books. On Saturday, March 13, the Greater Louisville chapter hosted our annual event with tremendous success. After many years we decided to move this fundraiser from the Kentucky School for the Blind to a more central location near downtown. Our new venue exceeded our expectations and for the first time in the history of this event we ran out of seats. I believe I say this every year, this year's event was the best yet, raising close to $3700.00.

We had five contestants in our Chili Cook-off this year with the winning chili receiving a $50.00 Kroger gift card. Jennifer Gregory with her White Chicken Chili took home top honors this year. Jennifer got a bonus…she got to go home with a clean crock pot since all her chili was eaten during the evening. Thanks to all the contestants for participating.

Our chapter members stepped up to the plate and really gave back in December. Once again we adopted a deserving family and helped provide Christmas. The family, which consisted of a mother and three kids, was very appreciative and I believe a little overwhelmed by our generosity. I did receive a thank-you/Christmas card from them, Thanking us and letting us know how much they liked all the gifts.

We all did a little celebrating of our own back in December at our favorite hangout, Logan's Steakhouse. Gathering together to have some Christmas fun is always welcome with our bunch. Santa Claus also joined us and even brought the kids some gifts.

I'm starting to notice a pattern with our chapter--we like to give a lot! Back in November we collected food items as well as essential household products for a KSB family who had lost their home to fire. Once again the generosity of our members was great. I did receive a card from the family thanking us and letting us know how much those items helped them out.

Boy did we have fun in October! Cathy Jackson, Denise Franklin, Sarah Williams and I got all dressed up and went to VIPS for their Halloween party. With our stuffed goodie bags in hand, we trick-or-treated with the kids from VIPS. What a great night…the kids dressed to the nines in their best Halloween garb, the spooky decorations and the smiles.

Our other "Meet the Blind Month" activities included The St. Stephen Martyr Health Fair, TARC & MV White Cane Day event down at 4th Street Live! and the "Seeing with your Fingers" library event. Due to serious flood damage to the Main Library last year's event was done on a much smaller scale. Cathy Jackson and I manned a table at the Iroquois Branch Library. We handed out goodie bags only if the kids could decode a Braille word using the alphabet cards. We also handed out literature and answered all sorts of questions from the kids. Just to let you know, all kids did decode a Braille card therefore all kids received a goodie bag.

Spring is right around the corner and that means it's time to plan our April Luncheon. Please keep your eye on the NFBK list and continue to call the Greater Louisville "Talking Bulletin Board" at 502-495-7130. You can also follow us on Twitter. Look us up under NFBGL.
Submitted by Nickie Pearl, President
NFB of Greater Louisville


The Word is Membership

By Reni Jackson

Have you ever looked at the word membership? No? Let's do so.

Some people might argue that it is a compound word, but not to me. The root word is member, a noun, meaning who officially belongs to a group. Ship, a noun, a big boat. So if this is a compound word, it doesn't make any sense.

My theory is that it is the root word member with the suffix ship and together it is still a noun meaning, the fact of being a part of a set.

You are now asking yourself why I gave you this English lesson. I want people to look at what it means to be a part of a group, such as Kentucky Association of Blind Athletes.

Look back up at the two meanings of member and membership. The two key words in those definitions are belong and part. Whether you are a part of a group such as KABA or belong to a church, work hard and give it all that you have.

Men of Vision

by Reni Jackson

Louis Braille, Jacobus tenBroek, William Hadley: The method, the voice, the opportunity. Three great and passionate men who put forth so much courage and intellect on behalf of blind and visually impaired individuals.

Louis Braille proved that if you have the motivation, you can do incredible things. Practically every country in the world uses Braille.

Jacobus tenBroek, spiritual and intellectual father, leader, mentor, spokesman and philosopher to tens of thousands of blind Americans over a quarter of a century, gave to the organized blind movement the force of his intellect and the shape of his dreams.

William Hadley, to address the absence of educational opportunities for blind people, began teaching Braille by mail and established a school offering accessible, tuition-free classes for blind and visually impaired people.

As a visually impaired person, I can appreciate what these three men have done for me, especially William Hadley. He grew up as a devout Quaker. This religious group, first known as the Religious Society of Friends, was deeply concerned that children were not receiving the education they deserved unless they happened to be part of affluent families. In an effort to correct this problem they developed the adult school movement.

William learned at a early age the importance of a good education. The ability to read was foremost to him, because his hobby was to read in four different languages--English, German, Latin and Greek.

William must have been devastated when, at the age of 55, he lost his sight and the ability to carry on his passion to read. But with encouragement from his ophthalmologist, E.V.L. Brown, William taught himself Braille and in five short years, began the Hadley School for the Blind.

Braille, tenBroek, Hadley: Motivation, leadership, courage. Three great men who have taught us that it is respectable to be blind. William, I hope your courage is passed on to every student who is served by the Hadley School for the Blind.


Editor's Note: At NFBGL's recent Chili Supper and Auction fundraiser, the Chili Cook-off produced its usual array of delicious offerings. But there can be only one winner and that winner was Jennifer Gregory. We thought it would be appropriate to begin this section with her prize-winning recipe.

Jennifer's White Chicken Chili

  • Ingredients:
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 10 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cubed)
  • 2 cups of chopped yellow onion
  • 4 (8 oz) cans of chicken broth
  • 8 oz of canned chopped green chili peppers
  • 2 tsp of minced garlic
  • 3 tsp of ground cumin
  • 2 tsp of dried cilantro
  • 4 oz of canned chopped chipotle peppers
  • ⅛ cup of chopped jalapeno peppers (with juice)
  • 1 tsp of crushed red peppers
  • ¼ cup of heavy cream (you may use more or less for desired thickness)
  • 3-4 cans of northern white beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 2-3 cans of white corn (drained)

sliced green onion
sour cream
shredded monterey jack and pepper cheeses

Turn your stove top on medium-high. In a large pot add olive oil and chicken, saute until cooked through, then add onions. Add chicken broth, green chili peppers, garlic, cumin, cilantro, chipotles, jalapenos and crushed red pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer 30 minutes. Keeping heat on medium-low, add heavy cream and let simmer 15 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add beans and corn. Simmer on low over stove top or in crock pot stirring occasionally 1 hour 30 minutes. Makes 10 servings.

Slow Cooker Pepper Steak

  • Ingredients:
  • 2 pounds beef sirloin, cut into 2-inch strips
  • Garlic powder to taste
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cube beef bouillon
  • ¼ cup hot water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2 large green bell peppers
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes, with liquid
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Sprinkle strips of sirloin with garlic powder to taste. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the vegetable oil and brown the seasoned beef strips. Transfer to a slow cooker.

Mix bouillon cube with hot water until dissolved, then mix in cornstarch until dissolved. Pour into the slow cooker with meat. Stir in onion, green peppers, stewed tomatoes, soy sauce, sugar and salt.
Cover, and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours, or on low for 6 to 8 hours. Great served over rice or egg noodles. Makes 6 servings.



Lemon-Raspberry Mousse Squares



  • Ingredients:
  • 48 vanilla wafers, divided
  • ¾ cup boiling water
  • 1 (3 ounce) package JELL-O lemon flavor gelatin
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 1 (8 ounce) Package Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Lemon Zest
  • 1 (8 ounce) tub Cool Whip whipped topping, thawed, divided
  • ⅓ cup raspberry preserves
  • 1½ cup fresh fruit

Stand 16 wafers around edge of plastic wrap-lined 8-inch square pan. Add boiling water to gelatin mix. Stir 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Stir in ice until melted.

Beat next 3 ingredients in large bowl with mixer until blended. Gradually beat in gelatin. Whisk in 2 cups Cool Whip.

Pour half the gelatin mixture into prepared pan; cover with 16 wafers. Microwave preserves on high 15 secondsor until melted; brush onto wafers. Top with remaining gelatin mixture and wafers.

Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm. Invert dessert onto plate; top with remaining Cool Whip and fruit. Makes 12 servings.