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A Message from our President: Cathy Jackson

Happy 75th BirthdayNational Federation of the Blind

This is indeed a historical time in the National Federation of the Blind. History tells us that there were organized groups of blind people as far back as 1,000 years ago in China and in the Middle Ages in Europe. These self-governing guilds or brotherhoods were formed to protect the blind from exploitation by the government and to regulate the trade and craft areas of employment. In November of 1940, there were sixteen delegates from seven states that came together in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania to officially organize the National Federation of the Blind. To refresh your memory the seven states were: Pennsylvania, California, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Illinois, and Ohio. Under the leadership of our first President, Jacobus tenBroek, our founding fathers and mothers were following their dream of organizing for the purpose of national unity and self-expression of the blind.

Seventy-five years later there are fifty-two affiliates, including Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. There are over seven hundred local chapters and countless divisions. We are one organization united to fulfill our purpose, which is "the complete integration of the blind into society on the basis of equality".

In 1940 our national headquarters was housed in Dr. Jacobus and Hazel TenBroek's tiny apartment. Now we own a beautiful building that spans one square block at 200 Wells Street in Baltimore, Maryland. Our National Center is the hub of considerable activity. In addition to the approximate one hundred employees of the Federation, there are numerous volunteers in every affiliate who make our organization such a tremendous success. There is a constant buzz of activity at the Center, even on weekends. Our technology center is second-to-none. The teckies here work with companies like: IBM, Apple, Microsoft, and others to build accessible products. Our Jernigan Institute focuses on the education of the blind. One of our most popular and innovative projects is our BELL program, (Braille Education for Learning and Literacy). More than half of our affiliates will be hosting BELL programs this summer, including the NFB of Kentucky. Our Jacobus tenBroek Library is the largest library in the world devoted to blindness. It contains the history of our movement as well as the biographies and autobiographies of those men and women on whose shoulders we stand. The library is a tremendous resource for not only the blind, but sighted people who are seeking more information about blindness.

Our members and sighted colleagues gather at our center for leadership seminars, senior blind seminars, scholarship committee meetings, law symposiums, affiliate president trainings, and legislative seminars, just to mention a few.

One of the very first goals of the National Federation of the Blind was to legislate laws that would make blind people eligible for Social Security and other forms of public assistance. Dr. tenBroek believed that if blind people had adequate financial resources to meet their basic needs, the attitudes of the blind would be greatly improved, motivating them to look for employment. Over the years we have continued to keep the Social Security Disability laws in tact. We have worked to increase the annual earnings limits so that those who wish to enter the workforce are not penalized for taking low-paying entry-level jobs, which do not offer medical benefits. The NFB has intervened in thousands of cases when a blind individual is denied SSDI benefits, or a current recipient has been charged with an overpayment.

Competitive integrated employment is another issue that our organization takes very seriously. In the early days of the NFB, jobs for the blind were few and far between. There were a lucky few who found occupations as teachers and staff members in schools for the blind or state rehabilitation agencies serving the blind. Others found employment in the so-called blind trades such as piano tuning, chair caning, and in vending stands. The majority took work in sheltered shops making pennies on the hour. Because of the efforts and determination of the National Federation of the Blind, the employment opportunities for the blind have grown ten-fold.

Our blind teachers are teaching in public schools across the United States. Blind people are now serving as directors of our state agencies. Those who were tuning pianos and working in vending facilities are now businessmen and women in every sense of the word. They are hiring and firing their employees, running cafeterias, and managing the facility on every level. Over the past several years, we have voiced our dissatisfaction about the blind and other disabled workers being paid for less than the federal minimum wage. We have been successful in getting HR 188, The Transitioning to Integrated and Meaningful Employment Act (TIME) Act introduced into the House of Representatives. This act will repeal section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, which will make it illegal to pay the blind or disabled less than the federal minimum wage.

Once again, because of the hard work of the National Federation of the Blind, we continue to make sure that blind students of all ages will receive an equal education. Early on, it was the National Federation of the Blind who stood behind parents who chose to enroll their son or daughter in a public school, rather than having him or her attend the state run school for the blind. Today our blind students are enjoying the fruits of these battles. We the NFB witnessed President George W. Bush sign into law the Instructional Materials Access Act for students in grades Kindergarten through 12. This law simply stated that students who are blind or print impaired will have books available to them in their preferred format, including Braille. Furthermore, these materials will be available at the same time that they're offered to students reading print. In 2015, we continue to move forward in the area of education to include those attending college and post secondary education. Another one of our issues presented at the annual Washington Seminar was our TEACH Act. TEACH stands for Technology, Education, and Accessibility in College and Higher Education, and addresses inaccessible instructional material in these venues. The scope of educational materials has changed as a result of advancements in technology. The instructional materials in higher education have expanded to include: digital books, PDF's, WebPages, etc., most of which is delivered through digital databases. The National Federation of the Blind is extremely focused on removing significant barriers to equality in the classroom. Once more, the NFB has the know-how and can work with colleges and universities, publishers, and manufacturers to identify just what accessibility is for the visually impaired.

There is no denying how important a formal education is. It is however, as equally important for blind people to learn the art of using non-visual techniques to perform the skills of everyday living. We cannot hope to reach full inclusion into society unless we become competent and are able to function independently. Proper instruction on the use of a long white cane is one of the most basic skills needed by the blind. Traveling with a cane opens the door to freedom of travel. We can be as capable traveling to our offices, to our child's school play, to church, or walking along the streets of Paris France as we are with making a trip to the corner grocery in our neighborhood. Blind people can learn to cook, clean and do laundry too. The best place to learn these skills is at one of our National Federation of the Blind Training Centers. You can find an NFB Center in: Louisiana, Minnesota, and Colorado. What makes our training centers stand head and shoulders above the others is the preeminent standard for excellence set by the schools for their students. Another unique feature is that blind instructors actually teach and mentor the students. Teaching by example reinforces our positive can-do attitudes about blindness.

I have to admit that I am never surprised by the accomplishments of the National Federation of the Blind, but I have to be truthful; there are things that boggle my mind. NFB is the brainchild behind the development and continued improvement of NFB NEWSLINE®. The blind and print impaired readers have electronic access to over 350 newspapers, 42 magazines and 14 International publications via touch-tone telephone, on-line, downloading to a DAISY/MP3 player, or iOS device. We can structure a Local Channel where we can announce events in our local chapters, state affiliates and communities. This very issue of the Kentucky Cardinal will be available on our state's Local Channel (on your touch tone telephone, select the Local Channel - option 2 off of the main menu, option 4, and option 22). One of the most popular features is the ability to receive emergency weather alerts, which are vital to our safety. We no longer have to wonder what announcement is scrolling across the television screen when we hear the emergency alert tones.

I am not sure that anyone in the NFB back in 1940 thought a blind man would actually drive a car without sighted assistance. Oh sure, I would imagine blind people dreamed of what it would be like, but the technology didn't exist. Well, it does now! President Mark Riccobono drove an automobile equipped with non visual technology around the track at the Daytona International Speedway just before the Rolex 24 in front of thousands of racecar enthusiasts and hundreds of Federationists.

Some say we should be concentrating on the more pressing issues of blindness. They say that most of us couldn't afford to purchase a car outfitted with such hi-tech features, even if we wanted to. Some believe we should focus on accessible appliances, not accessible cars. However, we haven't abandoned any of our blindness issues, nor our objectives to make the kitchen more user-friendly for the blind. The accessible car has technology that has since been adopted by the major car manufacturers. This collaboration has opened endless possibilities for future teamwork with some of the most prominent companies in the country. Without a doubt, such joint efforts will help change the negative attitudes about blindness held by the general public. They will see that blind people are intelligent, capable, and imaginative human beings who set goals for themselves just as sighted people do! They will come to know that we are just like them; we just happen to be blind.

So who are we? The National Federation of the Blind is the nation's oldest and largest organization of the blind. We know that blindness is not what holds us back and that we can live the life we want. We look back proudly over the last 75 years and celebrate the accomplishments of the organization. We will continue to look ahead for the next 75 years, and dream about what the future will hold for the generations to come.

Come help us celebrate our 75th birthday this summer at our National Convention in Orlando, Florida the week of July 5th through the 10th at the Rosen Center Hotel. Our conventions are always exciting! I can only imagine what will be in store for us this year!!

The Bells Are Gonna Ring in the Bluegrass State!
By Michael Freholm

That's right, folks, the NFB BELL program is coming to Kentucky this summer! What is the NFB BELL program you ask? BELL stands for Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning. The NFB BELL Program is designed to provide intensive Braille instruction to blind and low vision children during the summer months. This program is meant to serve students who are not currently receiving enough Braille instruction in school or who could benefit from Braille enrichment over the summer. The goal of this program is to provide children ages 4-12 with two weeks of intense Braille instruction through fun, hands-on learning activities. I cannot imagine a Federationist who wouldn't get excited about this!

Kentucky's NFB BELL program will be held July 20-24 and 27-31, 2015 at the South Ashland United Methodist Church in Ashland, kY. The facilities there are ideal for this type of program and the church is very excited to host.

If you have any questions please contact Michael Freholm, program coordinator by phone or text at 859-608-2470 or email at Michael Freholm

If you are interested in volunteering we are interested in hearing from you. We need volunteers on site but we also will have things we need help with that you can do from your home. You can also talk to Briley O'Connor, Cathy Jackson, Katie Atkins, Lora Felty Stephens and others who are busy planning this huge, life-changing program for our kids.

NFB Washington Seminar 2015

The National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky delegation that attended the NFB Washington Seminar 2015 included, President Cathy Jackson, Melanie Peskoe and Michael Freholm. Members from the NFB of Kentucky provided informational materials pertaining to issues that are important to blind and disabled Americans.

NFB is counting on the support of Kentucky's Congress Members regarding the legislative initiatives. They are:
1. The Transitioning to Integrated and Meaningful Employment (TIME) Act (HR 188) Passed in 1938, Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act allows employers to pay workers with disabilities subminimum wages. This antiquated provision breeds low expectations and discourages disabled Americans from reaching their full potential. HR 188 will responsibly phase out the use of Section 14(c) Special Wage Certificates over a three year period, ending the era of segregated, subminimum wage work.
2. The Technology, Education, and Accessibility in College and Higher Education (TEACH) Act Technology has replaced traditional methods of learning in postsecondary education, but the overwhelming majority of e-books, courseware, web content, and other technology are inaccessible to students with print disabilities. Preexisting law requires equal access in the classroom but fails to provide direction to schools for how that applies to technology. The TEACH Act creates voluntary accessibility guidelines for educational technology to improve access for blind students, stimulate the market, and reduce litigation for schools.
Just after the NFB Washington Seminar, the 2015 NFB Washington Seminar Recap video was published on the NFB's Youtube page. Please check it out if you missed it! Washington Seminar Recap

In just days after the Seminar ended, there were several exciting updates on our legislative priorities. The TIME Act (HR 188) is up to 28 cosponsors. This is a fantastic way to kick off the session, and provides great leverage for negotiating a Senate companion bill.

The very day the Washington Seminar concluded, Lauren McLarney and John Paré ran an intense negotiation meeting with the higher education lobby regarding TEACH policy, right in the Holiday Inn Capitol! It was the most productive meeting that they have had to date, an outcome driven by the energy that was present throughout the Seminar. Thanks to the NFB advocacy, several offices have been heard from eager to see the language, giving more leverage to hopefully have a bill in the next month.

Scott LaBarre and Lauren McLarney recently attended an informal meeting of stakeholders about the Marrakesh Treaty. It turns out, the advocacy during Washington Seminar was the first time (and only time, as of yet) that anyone had brought the Treaty before members of Congress. Because of the delegation's feedback, it was learned that the Marrakesh Treaty was not on many people's radar. The ratification package is expected any day now.

Another issue on everyone's mind lately is Social Security. Although that was not a priority at this year's Washington Seminar, NFB is starting to dive into the issue. The team is working with President Riccobono and other Federation leaders on a strategy to combat proposed cuts to the program, make sure NFB is at the table for critical reform conversations, and reinvigorate the initiative to improve SSDI work incentives. The team plans to mobilize on this very soon, so please standby!


NFB of Kentucky appreciated the time, professionalism and attention that legislative staff paid to the issues that were brought to the attention of Kentucky's Congress Members. NFBK remains committed to working on the endeavor to accomplish these goals on behalf of Kentuckians who are blind or disabled!

Respectfully Submitted By Pamela Roark-glisson, NFBK Legislative Director

National Federation of the Blind Washington Seminar January 26 - 28 2015
by Melanie Peskoe

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to attend the Washington Seminar this year with our NFBK President, Cathy Jackson and my fellow NFBK member and friend, Michael Freholm. Although we were a small delegation we were mighty.

Before the official Washington Seminar began I attended the National Association of Blind Students semi-annual seminar. I was glad to meet different college students from around the country and hear about what student divisions in other states are doing to progress our movement. There was a real energy in the room that was nearly tangible. These students were very excited and passionate about issues of importance to blind students and I could tell they were ready to get busy in DC! We heard from the National Association of Blind Students President, Sean Whalen; President of the National Association of Blind Lawyers, Scott LaBarre; and none other than our own National Federation of the Blind President, Mark Riccobono. Yes, the energy in the room was high!

Later in the afternoon on Monday the traditional Great Gathering In was held in the same ballroom. For those who don't know, this is something akin to a team huddle (except on a much, much larger scale). Everyone gathers to hear from NFB national leadership and employees in our governmental affairs office about the key issues we are there to discuss with our Representatives and Senators. If we're lucky we may even get a visit from elected officials who either have or plan to support our efforts. The Gathering In has been so well attended that in recent years there has been a need for an overflow room in which attendees hear over a loud speaker what's being discussed in the main ballroom. Remember how I said the energy in the student meeting was almost tangible? Well, that was nothing compared to the excitement and energy of the Gathering In! Cheers and applause could be heard far outside the ballroom when someone would make a call to action. NFB members can really raise the roof!

After the Gathering In, Cathy, Michael and I met to discuss how we would address the issues with our Senators and Representatives and Cathy briefed us on our appointment times and locations so we could plan out the next two days. There are several Senate and Congressional office buildings, many of which are connected through underground walking tunnels, to which we travel for our appointments. Kentucky has six Representatives and two Senators located in four different buildings, so we were preparing to hustle!

On Tuesday, January 27, we were hopping all over to make our five scheduled appointments! We had a couple close calls, but luckily we always arrived cool, calm and collected (if not a bit winded!) The lineup for Tuesday was Congressman Guthrie in the Cannon building at 1:00, Congressman Yarmuth (still in Cannon) at 2:00, Congressman Barr in the Longworth building at 2:30, Congressman Whitfield in Rayburn at 3:00, and finally Senator McConnell in the Russell building at 4:00. Can you say busy? Yes, we were very busy, but it was a good busy and we were looking forward to a good dinner afterward! More about the dinner in a minute…

During our Tuesday meetings we were fortunate to meet directly with both Congressmen Yarmuth and Barr, both of whom were very pleasant and interested in the issues we presented. In the rest of the meetings we met one of the senior staffers who may handle the policy area to which one or more of our issues belong. While some appointments went better than others and some people were more receptive to our issues, everyone was very welcoming and willing to listen. By the time we wrapped up our last meeting on Tuesday the three of us were getting pretty hungry and Michael twisted our arm to go have some soul food at a local restaurant he'd visited before after seeing it on the TV show Diners Drive-Ins and Dives. The restaurant was called Ooohs and Aaahs and it was as good as its name implies! If you ever find yourself in DC and your stomach is growling, grab a taxi and head over there - you won't regret it.

After a very huge, yet economic meal, we headed back to the hotel to regroup and rest up for our last three appointments on Wednesday. Wednesday wasn't nearly as hectic as Tuesday had been. We had three appointments and they were luckily spread out over a few hours. When at the mercy of our Senators and Representatives busy schedules we had to take what we could get by way of appointment times. While we're talking about appointments, this is a good time to thank our legislative chairperson, Pamela Glisson, for working hard to secure our appointments. So our agenda for Wednesday went like this: Congressman Massey in Cannon at 9:30, Congressman Rogers in Rayburn at 11:30, and Senator Paul in Russell at 1:30. Between appointments we had a little time to stop by the House of Representatives gift shop and pick up a few souvenirs and have a good lunch in the House cafeteria. By our last appointment on Tuesday we had our spiel down pat so our Wednesday appointments were a breeze. We knew who would speak on which issue, who would jump in with supporting information or anecdotal stories, and who would pick up anything that was left out. We had it down cold and we were like a well-oiled machine. John Paré and Rose Sloan, from the NFB department of governmental affairs, attended our meetings with Senators McConnell and Paul and both commended us on a job well done. After our last meeting of the day, we caught a taxi back to the hotel and began preparing to come back home where the rubber meets the road and the real work is done.

The 2015 Washington Seminar was a great experience. it's amazing to see our government up close and personal. It's very exciting and surreal to think about all the history that is made in those offices and hallways every day. While everyone with whom we spoke was open to our issues and some may even join us in our cause, we must persevere in our efforts to change attitudes about blindness and live the lives we want.

Have You Heard?

As the Winter edition of The Cardinal is composed, Kentucky and surrounding states is seeing an entire season of snow packed into one week. The week of February 15 has blanketed us with a snow and frigid temperatures we will not soon forget. Good news! Spring is just around the corner and our NFBK family is celebrating new beginnings that will bless them for a lifetime!

Last June, Danielle Burton, a member of the Ashland Chapter spent several weeks at Guiding Eyes for the Blind where she trained with her first guide dog, Willa. Here are some thoughts that she had as she was first introduced to her new partner and friend…

"I got Willa on June 3, 2014 at Guiding Eyes for the Blind. She is an almost 3 year old yellow Labrador retriever. I will never forget that day she came bouncing into my life.

As I sat on my bed waiting on my instructor to come knock on my door with my dog, the only thing I could think was that it was taking forever and how would my dog react. I couldn't sit still. I found myself pacing the room nervously and texting on my phone constantly, to attempt to occupy myself. Then, I finally heard the knock on my door and my instructor's voice. I nearly forgot to take my leash to the door. Running back to my bed to get the leash I managed to call through the door that I was, in fact, coming.

Then, after what felt like the longest 10 steps of my life, I opened the door to my new guide. She came almost barging into my room and the instructor held her on leash while I clipped my leash onto her collar. A small thing to do but to me it was a start of a turning point in my life.

It took me a minute to actually get the leash clipped due to such intense emotions. I was having trouble thinking straight; however, I did eventually get the leash clipped. It only took a few seconds in reality, but I could have held that moment forever. The trainer then had me sit in the desk chair while she brought Willa over to me. This was a good thing since I do not think I could have stood much longer. There were too many emotions going through me at one time. I was excited and nervous all at the same time; not to mention that Willa was not in any way calm. She was literally squirming with excitement and energy at the new situation. I must confess that this shocked me a little bit. At the time, I thought that this dog was a little bit too energetic; however, I could not help but find her high energy level sweet and adorable. A part of me also wondered if I could even handle such an energetic animal. I mean, I'm small, and she was a big dog. When I was finally sitting in the chair the trainer brought Willa over on the leash and handed me a handful of treats. I was instructed to call Willa to me, and when she came, to praise and treat her a few times. I was touched at how eager she was to come. Of course, we all know that Labradors love food, which was most likely the main reason she was coming at this point, but it was still precious the way she took her nose and pushed against my hand. I can vaguely remember the trainer talking to me during this time;it was barely registering in my brain, although I somehow processed what she was saying. It was a little bit too much for my brain to deal with at that particular moment. Then, before I knew what was happening, the trainer was handing me the leash to a not so calm dog and told me to hang out with her until lunch, and if I had any questions to just call. The next few minutes were spent trying to keep up with a dog who insisted on sniffing every single inch of my room. After the trainer left us to get to know each other, I finally came to my senses enough to sit down in the floor with Willa. I was surprised at how quickly she calmed down and stretched out on the floor beside me. I began to pet her and found myself talking to her. The longer I sat there, the more I could not believe I was actually petting my first guide dog.

I was already starting to love this dog. Within those 15 to 20 minutes her personality was already growing on me. There was a strange connection I had with her that I cannot describe. She barely knew me and was already giving me tons of kisses and wagging her tail. She didn't know me, but it was apparent that she already liked me. Although it may have been because I gave her food, and if you give a dog food, they will certainly love you for it regardless of who you are.

So, there we sat on the floor for the next hour before lunch. I could have sat in that floor all day with her and been just fine with that. I knew lunch time would be our first adventure we would have together as a team. Although I had no idea of what was in store for us, I knew even then that we would make it, somehow and some way."

Angela Dehart, secretary of the NFB Ashland Chapter, graduated from Morehead State University in May with a BA degree in education. She spent the summer filling out job applications and hoping she would get a job. After a disappointing job interview in June, Angela feared that she would not get hired for the 2014-2015 school year; however, on July 28, she received a call from the Fairview Independent School district in Ashland, offering her a job at Fairview Elementary teaching students in grades K-5 with severe cognitive disabilities, and she was to report to work the next day. Angela experienced so many different emotions at that time, but she has nearly completed her first year as a full time teacher. Angela, we are very proud of you and all of your hard work!

Last September, John Glisson, secretary of the NFB Lexington Chapter and NFBK board member, was re-elected as the President of the Kentuckiana Regional Group of the Blinded Veterans Association (BVA), Inc.-Lexington Chapter, beginning his eleventh year of service to blind veterans and their families. Congratulations on your re-election, John!!!

On October 16, 2014, Michael, Kennetta, Wesli and Ian Freholm of the Ashland Chapter were excited to welcome the newest member of the Freholm clan, Miss Eva Kate Freholm. Mom, Kennetta, says that little Evie is a cuddle bug. She is a mommy's girl and she loves to snuggle. Congratulations Freholm family on the new addition to your family!

On Saturday, December 20, 2014, Lora Felty, secretary of the NFB of Kentucky and president of the Ashland Chapter and Todd Stephens, president of the Technology Assistance Division (TAD) and former first vice-president of the Lexington Chapter were married at First Baptist Church Russell. Federationists, Angela Dehart and Danielle Burton were maid of honor and bridesmaid to Lora, and Chris, Todd's brother, was Todd's best man. Todd and Lora were so very happy to have many members of their NFBK family from across Kentucky and Indiana to share in the celebration of their special day. If you missed the occasion and would like to see photos, hear audio and see videos of the wedding, please visit Todd and Lora's wedding web site at; the password to view the protected content is ltstephens2014. Enjoy!

Chris Stewart, a member of the NFB Lexington Chapter, law student at the University of Kentucky and NFBK 2014 scholarship winner was published as co-author on an article for the London School of Economics and Politics. The subject was the role of state court judges in defining the right to vote. The piece was published in December, and a PDF version is now archived at Congratulations on your publication, Chris!

After ten years of service as Executive Director of Independence Place, the NFB of Lexington chapter President, Pamela Roark-Glisson, has moved into engaging services for people who are blind or who have other disabilities in a new and greater dimension at the state and national level.

Corbb and Briley O'Connor of the Greater Louisville Chapter look forward to welcoming their first child, a son, named Silas! Silas will arrive in April. Corbb and Briley are appreciative of prayers for God's grace throughout these final few weeks and for this baby to glorify Him! Best wishes for the new addition to the O'Connor family!

Kevin Pearl, member of the NFB of Greater Louisville, is the new manager of the vending facility in the Gene Snyder building in downtown Louisville. Good luck, Kevin with your new job opportunity! We wish you lots of success in this new venture!

Miss Hana Priddy, daughter of nickie and Kevin Pearl, of the Greater Louisville Chapter and grand-daughter of our NFBK President, Cathy Jackson, will graduate from Presentation Academy in Louisville on May 16. She was offered a scholarship and has signed her letter of intent to play Lacrosse for the University of Indianapolis Greyhounds next fall. Congratulations hana and family! We are so proud of you!

Our NFBK family has many things to look forward to this spring; new love, new life, and new beginnings! May God comfort each of you through this season and always remember to "live the life you want!"

Chapter Round-UP

NFB of Ashland Chapter Update: Lora Felty Stephens, President: Regretfully, the Ashland Chapter doesn't have much to report in regards to NFB related news in recent months because the members of the chapter have been preoccupied with new and exciting life changes; first guide dog, new job, new baby and new marriage. Six members of the Ashland Chapter attended the NFBK state convention in Louisville this past September. The only member who was unable to join us was Kennetta, wife of Michael Freholm who stayed home to await the birth of their daughter. As a part of Meet the Blind Month, the Ashland Chapter had planned to participate in a white cane walk being planned by Verna Howell, Kentucky School for the Blind Outreach Consultant, that was to be held in Greenup, Kentucky. Unfortunately, this event was cancelled at the last minute. Verna says that she plans to hold the event in 2015, and the Ashland Chapter will be there to support the event. Due to our hectic schedules, we did not have our annual Christmas party; however, all of the members of the Ashland Chapter were on hand to celebrate the marriage of president, Lora Felty to Todd Stephens on December 20. Michael Freholm attended the BELL Seminar at the national office in Baltimore in December. He and Lora Felty Stephens are involved in planning the upcoming BELL Program that is scheduled to take place here in Ashland in July. The chapter looks forward to assisting in making Kentucky's first BELL Program a great success.

NFB of Frankfort Chapter Update: Ranelle Mackey, secretary of the Frankfort Chapter, reports: The new slate of officers for the Frankfort Chapter in 2015 is President, George Stokes, 1st Vice President, Darlene Stephens, Secretary, Ranelle Mackey and Treasurer, Betty Allen.

In January, we had a representative from Hospice speak to us. We voted to donate $100 to support the work of Hospice.

Our fund raiser this year will be the gas card (Valued $400) raffle, and we will begin selling tickets soon. This went over extremely well last year, so we thought we would try it again. Tickets are $5 for one, or three for $10. Contact a member of the Frankfort Chapter to purchase a chance.

At this time, five members of the Frankfort Chapter are planning to attend the75th annual national Convention in Orlando, FL, and we are hoping that a couple more members will work it out to join us there.

We would like to say "Job Well Done" and congratulations to Greater Louisville for a very successful chili supper and live auction. We had lots of fun with our Louisville friends!

NFB of Lexington Chapter Update: Pamela Roark-Glisson, President: NFB of Lexington remains dedicated to the efforts of changing what it means to be blind in promoting living the life you want through advocacy and outreach. Just after the 74th national convention of NFB, where NFB of Lexington was well represented, chapter members continued the devotion to loosening the chains in the world of print through the chapter's work in promoting accessible audio information services. The NFB of Lexington members joined with the NFBK Technology Assistance Division members to plan and participate in the Technology Assistance 2014 Symposium to kick off the 67th NFBK state convention. Ten chapter members participated in the activities of the state convention to support the NFBK President and her efforts to promote inclusion across the Commonwealth. The chapter members were encouraged and energized by the banquet address delivered by Mr. Sam Gleese, the NFB national representative.

The Chapter President and Secretary participated in the year-long planning of the Eye Opening Symposium which occurred In Lexington on October 8 and was well attended by teachers of the visually impaired, service providers, ophthalmologists and people who are blind from across the state. The National Federation of the Blind was highlighted, along with other consumer and service organizations. This community event was held in recognition of the White Cane Safety Day.

In November the NFB of Lexington chapter organized and participated in a Bob Evans Family Restaurant fund raising opportunity. Chapter members spent an entire day working an exhibit table and sharing with restaurant customers about NFB.

The NFB of Lexington chapter is looking forward to 2015 activities of advocacy, outreach, and living the life we want.

An Update from NFBGL: Katie Adkins, President: As always, we've been extremely busy here in Louisville! Right after convention ended we got started on Meet the Blind Month in October. Members set up tables and informed the public about NFB at both the St. Stephen's Martyr health fair and the Office for the Blind open house. This year's White Cane Day was a rainy one, but several of our members braved the weather in order for NFBGL to have a strong presence, as we always do.

In December we had our annual Christmas party at Hourstbourne Christian Church. We had a wonderful turnout, enjoyed a great dinner, and Santa even came to visit the kids! For the past several years, NFBGL has made donating to local children in need a priority for Christmas, this year was no different. This year we chose three children from KSB that would benefit from presents from us. As always our members went out of their way to make sure these kids had a wonderful Christmas.

Two weeks ago we had our annual chili supper and auction. We had some wonderful items this year that helped us bring in tons of money, once again. We really appreciate the support we received not only from our members here in Louisville, but also from those of you that came from around the state to help support us. Thank you!

Our goal for the past couple of months and for the months to come has really been to raise enough money to send our hardworking members to this year's national convention for the 75th anniversary. We knew we would make a good amount of money at the chili supper, but we wanted to start thinking outside of the box so that we could make as much money as possible. Our fundraising committee has been hard at work doing just that. In January we launched our Birthday Bonanza raffle. First prize for the raffle will be a 50' inch class T.V., second prize is a $200 air voucher to Southwest airlines, (a great way to get to convention!) and third place is a $100 gas gift card. Tickets are one for $5 or 3 for $10. Tickets can be bought online at or from a GL member. The raffle drawing will take place at the April Luncheon.

We've also started having local fundraising events each month. In January we had a fundraising dinner at Mark's Feed Store and on March 11th we'll have another dinner at Rockie's Pizza. Lastly, we are selling tickets for a night of comedy at The Laughing Derby on February 27th. Comedian Henry Phillips is sure to please all!

We are currently in the process of planning our April Luncheon. The April Luncheon is our time to look back at what we've accomplished in the previous year and make plans to do even better next year. Details will be coming out about the luncheon within the coming weeks.

Technology Assistance Division (TAD) Update: Todd Stephens, President: Well, the Kentucky Technology Assistance Division is and has been following up on how best to continue its outreach in assistive technology to members of TAD as well as other individuals with visual impairments. We are focused on building on the TAD Assistive Technology Symposium, featured at the 2014 NFB Kentucky Convention, which had an amazing turnout of more than sixty individuals from all over the state. Our new program manager Cindy Sheets has been hard at work planning and coordinating TAD's new training program, otherwise known as TAD Tech Tuesday. Here is some detail that Cindy would like to share with us about TAD Tech Tuesday:

Tech Tuesdays will always be held on the second Tuesday of the month and feature a short presentation of a device, software, or app that will be taught later in the month. These presentations are not designed to teach step-by-step Instructions, but to give an over-view, list features, and give you a chance to ask questions so you can decide if the item will meet your needs or just simply be something you want.

To join the chat dial (712) 775-7031 and when prompted enter the code 192-638- 683. Tech Tuesdays are brought to you by the Technology Assistance Division (TAD), a division of the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky. To find out more about us or how to join, go to

We are very excited about providing assistive technology instruction, and we are excited about continuing our growth in NFB KY TAD membership. don't forget to visit the Tad website at and be sure to check out the webinars in "Events Just for You at the bottom of the Home Page. The webinars and seminars are free, informative and are updated on a regular basis.

Our At Large Chapter: By NFBK President, Cathy Jackson: The National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky finally took the plunge. For several years we had talked about organizing an At Large Chapter. This past fall in September Katie Adkins, Michael Freholm, and I facilitated our first meeting. Katie and Michael are members of the Spirit of 75 committee organized by the National Federation of the Blind as a means of building our organization. We are celebrating our 75th anniversary of the NFB, and what better way to celebrate than to invite others to join us in the movement. The purpose of an at large chapter is to bring people together from across the state who do not live in an area where there is an organized NFBK chapter. Hopefully, at some point, we may actually find enough individuals from a particular region that they can come together to form a physical chapter. The ultimate goal is to build our membership.

Unfortunately we have not managed to generate enough members to charter an at large chapter, nor a physical chapter, but we are persistent. In the meantime we are spreading the word about the National Federation of the Blind. We have had six meetings thus far. Some who call in are just becoming acquainted with the NFB. Still others are very familiar with who we are and what we are all about. We set an agenda for each month much like we do at regular chapter meetings. We have discussed NFB philosophy, read and discussed a Kernel story, talked about state and national conventions and talked about our Washington Seminar issues. Something we would like to do at a future meeting is to invite an NFB state president where an at large chapter is flourishing to share with us their success story. At this point in time we are not conducting business so therefore we do not keep minutes or have a treasury.

We would like to ask all of you to help us in our quest to build our affiliate by spreading the word about our at large chapter meetings. Katie, Michael, and I make phone calls, send emails, and post announcements on social media each month as a reminder. We encourage those who attend to bring a friend or two to the next meeting, but we need to do more. If you know of someone who you believe would be interested in joining us, please reach out to him or her. Our meetings are held the second Monday of each month at 8 O'clock Eastern time, 7 O'clock Central time. We are pretty good about keeping on topic so you can expect a call to last about forty-five minutes, on average. The call-in number is 1-712-432-0600, followed by an access number, 1021099. You must have unlimited long distance on either your land line or your cell phone or else you will be charged for a long distance call. You might want to check with your carrier before calling to make sure there are no charges associated with this number. If you or anyone you know would like more information you are welcome to call me, Cathy Jackson, at 502-366-2317. Let's go build the Federation.

Cook's Nook

As these cold winter days have settled upon us, Angela Dehart shares two special recipes with a Mexican flare that are sure to warm you up and give you a lift as you try to keep cozy and snug as you dream about adventures south of the border.

Taco Soup


  • Ingredients:
  • 1.5 pounds ground lean beef (or turkey)
  • 2 cans black beans, not drained
  • 2 cans kidney beans, not drained
  • 2 cans whole kernel corn, not drained
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes, not drained (I use Chili tomatoes)
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes with green chilies, not drained
  • 1 can of beef broth (If using ground Turkey use chicken broth)
  • 1 packet of ranch dressing dry seasoning mix
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning.


On the stove: Brown 1.5lbs lean ground beef drain and rinse.


  • In a slow cooker or large pot pour contents without draining or rinsing...
  • 2 cans black beans
  • 2 cans kidney beans
  • 2 cans of whole kernel corn
  • 2 cans diced chili tomatoes
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes with green chilies.



  • Add:
  • Browned ground beef
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning
  • 1 packet ranch dressing seasoning.


Cook on low for 2-4 hours.

This soup is good served with: Avocado, Shredded cheese, Tortilla chips, Sour cream, or Hot sauce.

Homemade Tortilla Chips:


  • Ingredients:
  • 8 - 6 inch corn tortillas
  • Canola oil
  • Sea salt
  • Cracked black pepper (optional).


Position racks in middle and lower third of oven; preheat to 375 degrees. Coat both sides of each tortilla with cooking spray and cut into quarters. Spread in an even layer on 2 large baking sheets. Sprinkle with salt and pepper (optional) Bake, rotating the pans from top to bottom and stirring once halfway through, until the chips are golden and crisp, 14 to 18 minutes.

These recipes are not of my own creation, but I have enjoyed tweaking them and making them my own. I hope everyone else enjoys them as much as I do!

National Federation Of The Blind Of Kentucky
Officers And Board Of Directors


Executive Officers:

Cathy Jackson, President 210 Cambridge Dr. Louisville, KY 40214 (502) 366-2317

Pamela Roark-Glisson, First-Vice President 3390 Montavesta Rd. Lexington, KY 40502 (859) 335-9282

Charles Allen, Second-Vice President 801 Leawood Frankfort, KY 40601 (502) 875-1413

Lora Felty Stephens, Secretary 1127 Sharon Ct. Ashland, KY 41101 (606) 324-3394

J. Mike Freholm, Treasurer 2012 Harris Way Russell, KY 41169 (606) 839-0577

Board of Directors:

Katie Adkins 2025 Brownsboro Rd. Louisville, KY 40206 502-533-5933

Denise Franklin, 3639 Hurstbourne Ridge Blvd. Louisville, KY 40299 (502) 499-0759

John Glisson 3390 Montavesta Rd. Lexington, KY 40502 (859) 335-9282

Jennifer Hall 216 Maddux Ave. Salem, KY 42078 270-559-1780

George Stokes 202 Manor House Ln. Frankfort, KY 40601 (502) 875-3111

Todd Stephens 1127 Sharon Ct. Ashland, KY 41101 (859) 433-5023

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

Edited by:Lora Felty Stephens & Todd Stephens, 1127 Sharon Court, Ashland, Kentucky 41101,Phone: (606) 324-3394, Email Lora Felty Stephens or Todd E. Stephens

Editorial staff: Jennifer Hall, Email Jennifer Hall and Angela DeHart, Email Angela DeHart