This is a Publication of the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky.
We invite and encourage your participation in this newsletter. Articles may be edited for length, and the editors reserve the right to judge suitability for this publication. Material must take the form of an attachment to an e-mail and may be submitted to any of the editors.
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Step up to the Plate
A Message from Our President: Cathy Jackson
First of all, let me say a big thanks to those of you who have always been there to take on whatever task or tasks need to be done in our Affiliate. I have said it many times before and it deserves to be said again; "I can't do it without all of you."
I try very hard to spread the work load around. Most often I will start by assigning our NFB of Kentucky board members chair positions and committee appointments. I try to look around to see who the active and interested members are. This is often times a more difficult task than you might imagine. Too many times I find myself assigning the same people to the same positions year after year because I have failed to look deeper into the membership. The squeaky wheel usually gets the grease. If someone approaches me asking to take on a specific project I am grateful and normally I don't hesitate to say YES. Sometimes this method works, and other times it doesn't.
I have been accused of showing favoritism. I plead guilty to the charge. When you have been in this organization for as long as I have, and the president for sixteen years, it is almost easier to just let individuals keep doing the jobs they are doing. One learns very quickly who will follow through without having to be coaxed and prodded every step of the way. It is disappointing and frustrating when individuals are given a task to do, they agree to take on that task, then, they don't follow through. Then, others are left to scramble and pull things together that should have already been done. Some members are happy working behind the scenes while others are more outgoing and can take on the bigger responsibilities.
You can help me make the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky a more productive Affiliate. I invite you and encourage you to do so. If you have a particular interest and want to get involved please don't hesitate to let me know. My crystal ball isn't always so crystal clear.
I can't possibly know the interests of every member. There are individuals that say they aren’t active because they aren’t given a job to do. I understand completely. We all need to feel needed and welcomed as a part of the group. But, it is your responsibility to voice your concerns to me directly, and not your neighbor or best friend. I am open to listening to your thoughts and concerns. Unfortunately, in the past, by the time I heard the rumors that individuals were upset and feeling left out of the important work of this organization, the appointments to the various committees were already made. Let me say, there is plenty of work for all of us to do in this organization, and there are numerous areas where your participation is needed and encouraged. Some of these opportunities are: legislation, fundraising, scholarships, awards, mentoring, help with convention weekend details, and membership building. We are always looking for good writers who can help with the editing and publishing of our Kentucky Cardinal newsletter.
If you are interested in getting involved in a particular committee or project, let me know. If you have an idea or suggestion, I want to hear it from you. If I tell you that we have tried your idea before and it failed, it is your chance and challenge to convince me that you can make it work. Believe me, there is plenty of room for new ideas and a new twist to some old ideas. If you are willing to step up to the plate and take a swing, I invite and encourage you to contact me by phone at 502-366-2317, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What are your interests? In what areas of the organization will your talents be most useful? It is up to all of us, members of the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky to use our gifts and talents to work together to make our affiliate a strong and productive one. This is your chance to hit a homerun for the team.
Go team NFBK!!!
NFB-NEWSLINE Kentucky Update
Below, Todd E. Stephens, State Coordinator and Project Manager of the NFB-NEWSLINE Kentucky project provides an update of recent changes to the management of the service and some new offerings it provides
I'm sure than many, if not most, are already aware that the NFB-NEWSLINE Kentucky project is now under the management of The National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky. The service was formally managed by Independence Place of Kentucky for more than a decade; however, at the end of the contract period (October 31, 2015), both Independence Place and the National Federation of the Blind felt it prudent not to consider extending the contract beyond the current contract term. The NFB-NEWSLINE Kentucky contract was subsequently awarded to NFB of Kentucky starting November 1, 2015.
I've served as state coordinator and project manager since January 2015 and will continue to serve in this capacity under contract for the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky. Allow me to introduce the other members of the Kentucky NFB-NEWSLINE team. Cathy Jackson serves as our NFB-NEWSLINE Kentucky Program Manager. Adam Adkins of Louisville is our technical coordinator and will be primarily responsible for the text mark-up necessary to upload the Kentucky Bench and Bar Magazine onto the NEWSLINE service. Diana Cline of Ashland is our Subscriber Support Representative and will be responsible for subscriber outreach and monitoring our social media content. Cathy and I are pleased to have both Adam and Diana working on this project. We are fortunate to have Diana join the Kentucky NEWSLINE team as a volunteer.
Funding continues to be challenging, but we are hopeful that at some point, we will be able to expand our current team. Recently, I have written several grants and will continue to explore those options for funding. As project manager, I will continue to seek the grants that are a good match by which NFB-NEWSLINE appears to be an attractive proposition to fund sponsors with regard to their philanthropic giving criteria. In the meantime, let's all continue to spread the good word about NFB-NEWSLINE;Let's never overlook anyone who could potentially qualify for this service based on a print impairment.
Social media is an excellent and inexpensive marketing tool. NEWSLINE Kentucky has 1,934 current subscribers, which is a mere 1.5% of potential subscribers in Kentucky. Not all who qualify will register for NEWSLINE, but our goal is to introduce the NFB-NEWSLINE® service as well as the countless attractive features of this audio reading information service to the public so that those who are print impaired can make an informed decision about potentially subscribing. With this said, I am pleased to announce that NFB-NEWSLINE Kentucky is now on Facebook! Check out the brand new NFB-NEWSLINE Kentucky Facebook page! Be sure to click on the access link below and Like Us. Please share your comments and experiences as well. The links to the page are as follows: Facebook Facebook and the alternative accessible link to Facebook M. Facebook
Now, on to the less than pleasant topic that we must communicate to current NFB-NEWSLINE® subscribers. I must remind all NFB-NEWSLINE® subscribers that it is in violation of the terms and conditions of the service to share your codes with anyone. These codes have been assigned to you and only you. If you are married to or live with someone who is print impaired who is interested in the service, they must establish their own credentials. I would be remiss in not addressing forwarding email content captured on the NEWSLINE service as well. It is never permissible to forward NFB-NEWSLINE content. If said person is not signed up for the service, this would be an excellent opportunity to refer them to me, or to our website:
The NFB National Office is always diligent in looking for ways to minimize expenses as all responsible and successful organizations are. Current subscribers who have free long distance plans can help to minimize telecom charges incurred at the national level by simply selecting a Local Number to use rather than the toll free number (888) 882-1629). You can select any local access number of your choosing by following the instructions at: Local Number Access
Over the last several months, the Kentucky Information Channel has gone through a bit of an overhaul. There is more content, including content from community partners. You can find the Wheels Paratransit Rider's Guide, which has been posted for quite some time, but more recently posted is the TARC Rider's Guide. There could be an event posted just for you! Be sure you make your way over to what's happening in our state.
Thank you all for your time. Let's pump NFB-NEWSLINE®!
2016 NFB Washington Seminar
Well, the 2016 Washington Seminar of the National Federation of the Blind was nearly the Washington Seminar that didn't happen. During the weekend prior to the beginning of the Washington Seminar our nation's capital was bombarded with two feet of snow, Federationists scrambled to decide how to deal with these circumstances. In the over 30 years that our NFBK president, Cathy Jackson, has attended Washington Seminars, this was the first time that something like this had happened. She said that in her recollection, the seminar had often just missed snow, either prior to or just after, and the seminar had not been affected. Well, this year was a bit different. Originally, six Federationists from Kentucky planned to attend the 2016 seminar, but due to flight cancellations and other circumstances, only three members from Kentucky made it to D.C. this year. Our president, Cathy Jackson, NFB of Greater Louisville treasurer, Jayne Seif, and NFB of Lexington member, Chris Stewart braved the adversity and arrived in D.C. to make our presence known. Below is Jayne's account of their experiences of the 2016 Washington Seminar...
They say that everything happens for a reason. As we walked into the quiet of the Washington Seminar we didn't at first know what that reason would be. So much was different that one couldn't help but wonder what we were all doing here. We would soon find out.
At the end of the first day we knew that the government offices were closed. The Great Gathering in had been moved to Tuesday morning. And again with so many missing and a change of schedule no one knew quite what to expect. From the first moment of the Great Gathering in the energy was as always evident. Emails were flying back and forth from people in the ball room to the offices of Congress. We expressed our willingness to still meet and so many of them were willing as well. And if they couldn't, were much more open to figure out a way to fit us in. It is an atmosphere experienced only in those moments where so many people are out of their normal lives and see a certain camaraderie with others fighting the same circumstances. And I think it made a difference this year even before we walked through the doors.
They say that everything happens for a reason and as we gathered on Tuesday night we soon saw our reason. As the intrepid blind met on force on an all but deserted capitol hill, friendships were formed, contacts were made, and the recognition of the spirit of people willing to brave the odds to get a message heard was felt. So many of our comrades from throughout the nation met with Senators and Representatives that in years past were too busy to meet with us. . The stories poured out and fed the energy to go fourth on the second day, despite outrageous emergency cab fares, and mountains of piled snow reaching over the heads of most of us walking the streets of Capitol Hill.
Though the trip was different than those of us in Kentucky had originally anticipated, with some of our group unable to get out of the snowed in airports, we as true Federationists got the job done. We met with people in the offices of all but one of our congress persons. As a team we really felt that we had said well all that we had come to say. And for the first time, though we have tried in years past, we were able to sit and talk with Senator Rand Paul for the first time face to face. Yes, this year may have been a little different, but maybe this was the reason. We were able to show that as with everything else in our lives the members of the National Federation of the Blind are always going to show up in strength, to face adversity, and have our message be heard.
An Update from Kaley Outlaw
, Our 2015 NFB of Kentucky Scholarship Winner
I have so many things to thank this organization for. The scholarship, of course but also the experience of being at a convention surrounded by people who are brilliantly and unapologetically blind, which was amazing. Thank you for that.
My college experience has been absolutely amazing. I joined the loving sisterhood of Pi Beta Phi women's Fraternity and became the first legally blind member of the Eastern Kentucky University Honors Program. As a legally blind student, I'm faced with the added stress of having a disability. But luckily, I've had amazing professors who go out of their way to work with me, and wonderfully accepting friends that see my blindness as part the beautifully wrapped package that is me.
I like to consider myself brilliantly blind; my friends would agree. I don't hide my disability from them; I don't pretend to be something that I'm not. In fact we joke about my blindness, a lot. I believe that laughter is the best coping mechanism for something as impactful as a disability. I understand that everyone deals with their disability in their own way and that is their right, but this is my way. I laugh when I bump into things, when I walk through the wrong door, when I bring out my mobility cane, when I fall down, and they laugh too...right after they help me up. I bring up my disability and I make them bring it up to encourage familiarity. This is important. Because of that familiarity, when they meet another blind person or any disabled person they'll feel comfortable enough to have a conversation and treat them as a person, without the disability holding it back. I understand that can be a little tricky, especially if you've never seen a disabled person, or if you've only seen the stereotypical disabled person. I know, I get it. People are unintentionally rude but I represent my disability. Therefore it is my responsibility to disprove as many stereotypes as I can and to leave a positive impact on whomever I can in the best way possible. One less ignorant person is one more person on our side of the line.
The National Federation OF THE Blind is a unique organization in that the majority of its members are blind, legally blind, or visually impaired. There are rules in place to keep it that way. Of course, you know this. However, I call this "unique" because it is, and it shouldn't be. I've been doing some research on disabilities. For my final paper in my honors class I discussed "Disability and Quality of Life." I didn't focus on whether or not a disabled person can live with a high quality of life, that's not what intrigued me. What did was whether the answer was "yes" or "no" It was almost always determined by someone without a disability. The perspective of the disabled person whose life was being analyzed wasn't even considered. That person's opinion on their own quality of life wasn't taken seriously. Now of course, disability is a broad spectrum of functionality and severity, but in all situations, no one took into account the opinion of the disabled person. This came across to me as "disabled people don't have a say in determining their own quality of life; their opinions don't matter." Which is wrong! that's what I wrote my paper on, and I'm noticing that line of thinking more and more. I'm planning continuing my research and presenting it at a National Conference. I would love your blessing and input as I do this.
Thank you again for the experience and with the warmest regards
, Kaley Outlaw
All About Our NFB of Kentucky Academic Scholarship Program
Lora Felty Stephens, chair of the NFB of Kentucky scholarship committee shares some exciting changes to our scholarship program.
The National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky Scholarship Program began nearly 20 years ago in 1997 when the Emerson Foulke Memorial Scholarship was established to honor the recently deceased Emerson Foulke who had been a long time, influential member of the NFB. Our 1997 convention was one of new beginnings and final farewells. For those of us who have been around for a number of years, we will remember that this convention was held at the Holiday Inn on Broadway in downtown Louisville. This was a special state convention because we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky. As a part of the celebration, we chartered our Kentucky Association of Blind Students Division (KABS) during a Saturday luncheon. Our former President Emeritus, Kenneth Jernigan attended this convention as our national representative. Sadly, not long after the conclusion of this convention, Dr. Jernigan learned that he had cancer. As it turned out, our NFB of Kentucky 50th anniversary convention would be the last state convention he would attend before he passed away in 1998.
The first Emerson Foulke Memorial Scholarship was presented that year to Gnu Nuenin, a student at the University of Louisville. As time passed, and the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky suffered the loss of our own, beloved state president, Betty J. Niceley in 2000, the Betty J. Nicely Memorial Scholarship was established in 2004 to honor all of Betty's hard work and dedication to the advancement of Braille literacy for the blind. The first Betty J. Niceley Memorial Scholarship was presented to Mary Harrod, also a student at the University of Louisville.
In 2008, our scholarship program continued to grow when long time members of the National Federation of the Blind, Charles and Betty Allen worked to endow the Charles and Betty Allen Scholarship fund. As a celebration of this new scholarship fund, three Charles and Betty Allen Scholarships were presented to three individuals that year, along with the two established scholarships. So, a total of five scholarships were awarded at our 2008 state convention.
In reviewing the criteria for our established scholarships, the NFB of Kentucky scholarship committee and board of directors realized that the established criteria was somewhat limiting in the awards that we could bestow. Therefore, The NFB of Kentucky leadership agreed to establish the NFB of Kentucky Scholarships. These scholarships could be awarded to any blind individual pursuing post-secondary education, even individuals who attend school on a part time basis. Several NFB of Kentucky Scholarships have been awarded over the years.
Our academic scholarship program continues to evolve. Lora Felty Stephens, chairperson of the NFB of Kentucky scholarship committee, along with scholarship committee members are in the process of developing an on-line application. Until now, the application was a paper application that could be submitted by either Email or snail mail. The committee feels that moving to an on-line application makes the application process more efficient and streamlined.
Below, you will see the specific criteria for our various scholarships. If you are a post-secondary student, we encourage you to apply for our scholarship program. If you are not in post-secondary study, we ask that you share information regarding our scholarships to individuals who may be eligible.
NFB of Kentucky Scholarship Awards and Honors
Emerson Foulke Memorial Scholarship
This scholarship in the amount of $1,000 is presented by the NFB of Kentucky in honor of Emerson Foulke. Emerson was a long time Federationist. In his career he worked as a professor of psychology at the University of Louisville, where he served as director of the Perceptual alternatives lab. He conducted countless research projects dealing with all aspects of perception. This scholarship will be presented to an individual studying for a degree in psychology, science, research, technology or education/teaching.
Betty J. Niceley Memorial Scholarship
This scholarship in the amount of $1,000 is awarded by the NFB of Kentucky in memory of Betty J. Niceley, long time president of the NFB of Kentucky. Betty worked for many years at the Kentucky Department for the Blind. She served as president of NAPUB (National Association to Promote the Use of Braille) and served on the BANA (Braille Authority of North America) board. Braille was near and dear to Betty's heart. Throughout her life, she was a tremendous advocate for Braille. This scholarship will be awarded to an individual who reads Braille and finds it an essential part of his/her daily life.
Charles and Betty Allen Scholarships
These scholarships in the amount of $1,000 are endowed by Charles and Betty Allen, long time members of the Frankfort Chapter of the NFB of Kentucky. Charles Allen has served in various leadership positions on both a state and national level, and his wife, Betty has been by his side to support all of the work of the NFB. In order to be eligible for this scholarship, an individual must be a resident of Kentucky and a member of the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky. The applicant must be recommended by a fellow member of the NFB of Kentucky. Individuals receiving this scholarship must have a grade point average of at least 3.0 and must provide proof of enrollment in a full-time college or university program. Priority will be given to any applicants who are totally blind.
NFB of Kentucky Scholarships
NFB of Kentucky scholarships in the amount of $500 and/or $1,000 may also be awarded to deserving candidates. These scholarships may be awarded to either full time or part time students who meet the criteria set forth below in the general eligibility criteria section.
General Eligibility Criteria:
All applicants must be either legally blind or visually impaired and/or eligible to receive services from the Kentucky Office for the Blind. Proof of legal blindness or a statement of eligibility from the Kentucky Office for the Blind must be provided as documentation. Students receiving scholarships must attend an accredited college, university or on-line program. Applicants must reside in Kentucky and/or attend a post-secondary school in Kentucky. Students who participate in on-line programs based in Kentucky, but do not have any physical ties to Kentucky, i.e. are not physically in Kentucky, are not eligible to apply for these scholarships. Scholarship finalists must attend and participate in all activities at the annual state convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky. The NFB of Kentucky state convention takes place annually during a weekend in late September or early October. Convention expenses are covered as a part of the scholarship program. . Scholarship winners will be chosen during the annual state convention. Information in regards to convention date and location is forthcoming.
Please visit our website at NFBK Scholarships for more information about our NFB of Kentucky academic scholarship program.
Please note that the scholarship application will be open on March 1, 2016 and the deadline to submit applications and supporting documentation is July 15, 2016.
NFB National Scholarship Program
Now that you have heard all about our NFBk Scholarships, we want to put a plug in for our national scholarship program. The NFB offers 30 scholarships that range from $3,000 to $12,000. These scholarships are awarded during the banquet of the National Federation of the Blind that will be held in Orlando, FL this summer. The deadline to apply is March 31, 2016. Please visit the NFB National Website for details about these scholarships. We encourage all post-secondary students to apply. If you are not a student, please share this opportunity with any blind college students who you know.
Chapter and Division News and Updates
Lora Felty Stephens, president of the Ashland Chapter of NFBK tells of recent happenings in the Ashland Chapter.
Christmas is a time to share warm memories with family and friends. Once again the members of the Ashland Chapter were welcomed into the home of Michael and Kennetta Freholm to share the blessings of the Christmas season. For those of you who don't know, Michael is an avid collector of antique Christmas decorations. Inside their home and all across their yard, we were treated to a menagerie of Christmas magic. This year, instead of an ornament exchange, members decided to have a "white elephant" gift exchange. So, what is that, you say? Well…it can be nearly anything from an actual “white elephant” to lemons for lemonade! We all had a wonderful time making new Christmas memories.
On February 8, Todd, Lora and Michael met other NFBK members in Frankfort to meet with our Lieutenant Governor, Jenean Hampton, as well as, the Secretary of the Workforce Development and Education Cabinet, Hal Heiner, and Senior Senator, Julian Carroll to encourage legislators to continue to provide funding for NFB Newsline and the Kentucky Office for the Blind. It was an exhausting day, but we were received positively and hope to make a difference.
Ranelle Mackey, secretary of the Frankfort Chapter has this to share about all of the Happenings in Frankfort since state convention...
Toward the end of November, us being such family oriented people, we decided to let the turkey & fixings & pumpkin pie have priority over our meeting.
Then of course, we are heading into December and still in the family-party mode. We decided to have a potluck at Ranelle & George's home. OH, What a fun time! As you know, we do lots of things to help children and others who are less fortunate than ourselves. So this year, once again, Charlie & Betty Allen asked for each person to bring an unwrapped little toy to give away. As always, we had a pile of trucks, dolls, games, etc. These were taken to the Simon House and the Salvation Army. This gave us a "feel good feeling" Then of course we play a game called “Right-Left”. Now let me explain, we all sit in a circle and everyone had brought a gift to exchange. You number them and then each person gets a number in the circle (easier to pass than actual gifts). Ranelle read a cute story about the Wright Family (totally made up) and Christmas and you guessed it, every time Wright or Left was said, you passed your numbers accordingly. At the end of the story that is the number on the gift that you received. Now we also like to toot our own horn, or as in this case, ring our own bells. Charlie & Betty Allen set us up with a time and place, being Walmart, to make a little noise and collect a little money for the Salvation Army. Charlie, please, next year, pick a day with no wind and a bit warmer. We like to have frozen! But, all in all, with the help of Charlie, Betty, Ranelle, George, and Calvin Samuels (one of our newer members), and others, we covered the day and had a good time. Now let me say a few words about "Mr. Calvin" OMG, does he have the gift of gab. Calvin has a heart the size of Texas!! And a deep, rich voice and had no problems using them. He wished every person who passed by, donor or not, blessings and a smile. What a neat guy he is and we are truly blessed to have him as a member of our organization.
Jennifer Hall, president of the NFBK Four Rivers Chapter has this to say about the recent happenings in her chapter...
The four rivers chapter has had quite an exciting winter! In November, we held our meeting and celebrated Thanksgiving at Chin's restaurant in Paducah. It was an awesome experience in learning how to help one another navigate such a restaurant! There were many different stations of Asian cuisine to travel around. The staff was excellent in learning how to address our needs. In December, we celebrated Christmas and held our meeting at Casa Mexicana restaurant in Paducah. We decided at the November meeting to bring a special bit of Christmas to a visually impaired student who was in need. Some of the members bought individual gifts to give to our student and we held a raffle which helped us raise $100 to give to the family. In January, we travel to the movies! Our goal was to teach both members and movie employees about the importance of audio description. We still ran into a few issues about not having the devices on the right setting. We are continuing to have dialogue with the theater on an individual basis. We have had some very exciting times getting to know one another and going over issues that we would like to address over the next year! We would like to wish everyone warmest wishes for the remainder of winter!
Tim McCann, a new member of the NFBK and the Four Rivers chapter is pleased to be a part of our newest chapter of the NFBK. Here is what he has to say...
The most immediate benefit of joining our Chapter was to expand my social circle. Since our group is so new I've yet to associate voices with names, but that will come as we venture out into our community for new experiences. Already, we have taken in activities and speaking for myself, I wouldn't have done on my own if not for our group. For example, recently we went to the local Cinemark Theater Complex to try out the Audio Narration. I had no clue such technology existed, but now that I know, I'll be able to enjoy a movie with friends and family in the future. Unfortunately, the theater staff mistakenly assumed all the units were working properly, so everyone, depending on the narration, had to depend on the old fashioned "theater of the mind", but it wasn't all bad because all of us were reminded to have the equipment tested before leaving the counter.
Generally, joining the Four Rivers Chapter has been a really positive experience for me and I look forward to the new friendships and things I'll learn in the future.
Katie Adkins, president of the Greater Louisville Chapter of NFBK updates us on the happenings in Louisville. Here is what she has to say...
Greetings from Louisville! The winter months have come to represent the busiest, but best time of year for our chapter. In December we held our annual Christmas party. We had an untraditional (but delicious!) meal catered by Mark's eed Store, Santa came to visit our wonderful kiddos, and we got to see some faces we hadn't seen at a meeting in months/years. Our members also came out in full force to show their generosity and donate gifts to a family in need again this year. As I write this article, I find our chapter less than a week away from our annual chili supper and auction. On February 20th, at Christ Church Cathedral we will once again meet for our biggest fundraiser of the year. Our members have worked diligently to get donations, and after compiling the auction list I have no doubt that this year will be another success for our chapter! We hope our friends from across the state will once again be able to make it this year! Finally, we are in the early stages of planning this year's April Luncheon. Look for more information to come on the NFBK listserv or our Facebook/Twitter accounts.
Pamela Glisson, president of the NFB of Lexington has this to say about happenings in Lexington and their participation in White Cane events during Meet the Blind Month last October...
Reflections on the Eye Opening Symposium: Looking ahead to Meet the Blind events in October 2016
The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) of Lexington has been an integral part of raising awareness about the abilities of people who are blind and organizing community events during October in recognition of the White Cane Safety Day Act for the past twenty-one years.
In the mid-1990s, just after the chapter of the NFB of Lexington was organized, the chapter began to host White Cane Safety Day events annually during the month of October in the community to raise awareness and share information regarding blindness issues. Some examples of these events included, Informational seminars, with the mayor presenting a proclamation regarding White Cane Safety Day, exhibits at the public library to braille names of patrons and disseminate materials about people who are blind and share the National Federation of the Blind philosophy. There were also White Cane Day walkathons which promoted inclusion, independence and empowerment to the participants who were blind.
White Cane Safety Day is a national observance in the United States, celebrated on October 15 of each year since 1964. The date is set aside to celebrate the achievements of people who are blind or visually impaired using the white cane, an important symbol of blindness and a tool of independence.
The background of the White Cane Safety Day Act is as follows: In convention on July 6, 1963 the National Federation of the Blind called upon the governors of the fifty states to proclaim October 15th of each year as White Cane Safety Day in each of our fifty states. On October 6, 1964, a joint resolution of the Congress, HR 753, was signed into law authorizing the President of the United States to proclaim October 15th of each year as "White Cane Safety Day." This resolution said: "Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives", that the President is hereby authorized to issue annually a proclamation designating October 15 as White Cane Safety Day and calling upon the people of the United States to observe such a day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
Within hours of the passage of the congressional joint resolution authorizing the President to proclaim October 15th as White Cane Safety Day, then President Lyndon B. Johnson recognized the importance of the white cane as a staff of independence for blind people. In the first Presidential White Cane Proclamation President Johnson commended the blind for the growing spirit of independence and the increased determination to be self-reliant that the organized blind had shown. The Presidential proclamation said:
The white cane in our society has become one of the symbols of a blind person's ability to come and go on his own. Its use has promoted courtesy and special consideration to the blind on our streets and highways. To make our people more fully aware of the meaning of the white cane, and of the need for motorists to exercise special care for the blind persons who carry it, Congress by a joint resolution approved as of October 6, 1964, has authorized the President to proclaim October 15 of each year as White Cane Safety Day.
Now, therefore, I, Lyndon B. Johnson, President of the United States of America do hereby proclaim October 15, 1964 as White Cane Safety Day.
With those stirring words President Johnson issued the first White Cane Proclamation which was the culmination of a long and serious effort on the part of the National Federation of the Blind to gain recognition for the growing independence and self-sufficiency of blind people in America, and also to gain recognition of the white cane as the symbol of that independence and that self-reliance. There was a time when it was unusual to see a blind person on the street, to find a blind person working in an office, or to see a blind person operating machinery in a factory. This is still all too uncommon. However it does happen more often. People who are blind are able to participate in community activities and compete with all others in society by the use of the white cane. With the proper training and use of the white cane, people who are blind gain freedom, self-confidence, self-esteem and independence.
After a number of years of hosting and participating in community events, as NFB of Lexington has continued to reach out into the community, it became apparent that many times when people who are losing their vision or who have family members who are blind or losing their vision, they did not know where to turn after the diagnosis. In addition, the health professionals did not know where to refer the person when there was nothing more medically that could be done. Therefore, NFB of Lexington in collaboration with community partners organized another annual White Cane Safety Day event, which is now called Meet the Blind events, to bring together the health professionals, blind professionals and service providers. The focus was to provide information about eye disease, eye research, as well as, consumer organizations, services and programs. The health professionals, service providers and other participants learned that there is life after blindness. The consistency of planning, organizing and developing partnerships brought a number of community partners to the table to plan the Eye Opening Symposium which was held on October 15, 2015. This event was a grand success with record breaking participant and vendor attendance. Many traveled from around the state to attend the widely publicized event. There were two hundred participants, thirty-four vendors and nine presenters.
Perhaps, this White Cane Safety Day event was so successful because of the momentum that has grown with the annual events that NFB of Lexington has had in the community of organizing these events and the inclusion of community partners with the common goal to outreach and share information. It was the most successful to date and took months of planning, message in the media and hard work. The Symposium Planning Committee has had follow up meetings to review Participant's surveys and to wrap up the 2015 event. The planning committee is not quite sure what can be done to top the 2015 Symposium, yet the committee is in the beginning stages of planning development. NFB of Lexington is excited to participate in the planning of the next Symposium which will be October 6, 2016. While the next White Cane Safety Day or Meet the Blind event in your local community may not have 200 in attendance, now is a good time to begin to plan for an event in October. Community outreach activity is important so that the nation's blind may live the life we want. Organize a committee, set a date, reserve a location, develop an agenda and let's Rock October with Meet the Blind events!
Todd E. Stephens, President of the NFB Kentucky Technology Assistance Division shares the success of the 2015 TAD Symposium, as well as upcoming plans for the 2016 event. Here is what Todd has to say...
We had another fabulous turn-out for the NFBK TAD Symposium that took place on Friday, September 25, 2015 at the Galt House in Louisville, KY. I want to take this time, once again, to express our gratitude to our awesome presenters: Barbara Penegor with Kentucky Talking Books; Danielle Burton (TAD Board member) presenting on the KNFB Reader app; Roseanne Hoffman and Larry Skutchan from American Printing House; Jim Fortman from Vision Aid Systems; Dave Wilkinson from Hims Inc.; VaShaun Jones and Damashe Thomas from Fedora Outlier, LLC; Jimmy Brown and Jerry Wheatley from Kentucky Assistive Technology Service (KATS) Network; MacArthur Darby, Chris Stewart, Danielle Burton, Cindy Sheets, and Jennifer Hall (Moderator), NFB-NEWSLINE Roundtable Panelists; and last, but not least, Tonia Boyd-Gatton, Extraordinaire Mistress of Ceremonies!
Where there is a will, there is a way!
VaShaun Jones and Damashe Thomas traveled from Atlanta Georgia on the Megabus, on their own dime arriving in Louisville about 8:30 p.m. on the eve of the TAD Symposium. On the morning of, VaShaun called me at 6:00 a.m. to ask me how he could help with the set-up. I was thoroughly impressed by this gesture of friendship, kindness and support. I'll have you know that VaShaun and Damashe Thomas stole the show with their usual presentation of excellence on all things Apple. They presented, answered all questions and departed about 45 minutes after their presentation to catch Uber to get to their Megabus stop, which departed for Atlanta a little after 4:00 p.m. They arrived safely in Atlanta early Saturday morning. When I asked VaShaun to be a part of this symposium, he said, "you ask and I'm there." Over the years, I've heard those words too many times to count, but VaShaun didn't leave us hanging and he certainly backed it up!
VaShaun is the President of Fedora Outlier. His firm is the first nationally-recognized firm delivering consulting, teaching, and support in blindness-related assistive technology for Apple. To learn more about Fedora Outlier, VaShaun Jones, Damashe Thomas and the rest of the Fedora Outlier staff, you may find their website at Fedora Outlier
The Technology Assistance Division has gotten an early jump of exploring funding options for the 2016 TAD Symposium. We are excited about as well as hopeful that we can deliver an impactful symposium in 2016. The focus will be a bit different from those in prior years. Our content has been in training the trainer. The objectives in 2016, however, is to identify those training opportunities that are most in demand from NFBK members and others in the community that are affected by vision loss, so that we can offer break-out training sessions giving all an opportunity to reach their goals in learning more about assistive technology devices and software. We plan to circulate a survey to find out from you where your interests in assistive technology applications might be. The survey will be generated by Survey Monkey, so stay tuned.
Thank you for this opportunity and don't forget to visit our website at NFB Kentucky TAD
Have You Heard?
Congratulations to Katie Adkins, president of the NFB of Greater Louisville and 1st vice-president of the NFB of Kentucky. Last semester she completed her student teaching, and in December Katie graduated from the University of Louisville with a Master's of Arts in Teaching. Katie is in the midst of interviewing for a teaching position in Jefferson County Public Schools. Congratulations, Katie, and best of luck with the job search!
Our warmest congratulations go out to Danielle Burton, a junior at Morehead State University and member of the Kentucky Technology Assistance Division board of directors. Danielle entered the Onkyo Braille Essay Contest, with only a hope of being among the top entries. The Onkyo Braille Essay Contest is an international contest sponsored by the World Blind Union. The National Federation of the Blind coordinates the North-American and Caribbean region of the competition. Competitors in the Braille Essay Contest must submit an essay of 800 to 1000 words in hard copy braille along with a digital copy. The essays had to pertain to at least 1 of 3 topics which were: 1. How blind persons acquire knowledge through braille or audio. 2. How blind persons become independent through braille literacy, and 3. World peace from the viewpoint of an individual with a disability. The essay contest was divided into two categories, a junior and senior division. The junior category was for individuals under age 25 and the senior category was for individuals over 25. Prizes are awarded in each category, with a top prize winner being selected among both categories. This top award is the OOTUSKI award and is given to one winner among all the essays in both categories. Danielle Burton received the 2015 Ootuski award in the Onkyo Braille Essay Contest. She was awarded $2,000, along with a plaque, and an iPod Shuffle. Danielle says, "I entered the contest with only a hope of placing. I never dreamed I would receive the top award!" Danielle, congratulations! We are very proud of your accomplishments! If you would like to read Danielle's award-winning essay, please click on Danielle burton's Essay, which is located on the NFB of Kentucky website.
Joseph Boggs to receive the Yes I Can Award
Joseph Boggs, a deaf/blind student at Tates Creek High School and member of NFB of Lexington has been selected to receive the Yes I Can award in recognition of his achievements. He will receive this award in June, 2016. The Yes I Can awards honor children and youth with exceptionalities who shine. The Council for Exceptional Children has recognized the accomplishments of thousands of students since the program started in 1982. Award Benefits: Each 2016 Yes I Can award recipient will attend a special awards ceremony and celebration of the Council for Exceptional Children 2016 Convention and Expo in St. Louis, MO, receive two nights hotel accommodations, receive a Yes I Can Star trophy, be featured on the Council for Exceptional Children web site, be asked to share his story to help promote the Yes I Can program and to help the Council for Exceptional Children advocate for children and youth with disabilities to share gifts or talents. In addition, Joseph has been invited to speak to a large group of educators at the University of Kentucky. Joseph's family provides strong support to him and NFB of Lexington is honored to be a part of Joseph's support system. Joseph's hard work, determination and self-advocacy to live independently are commendable and NFB of Lexington is excited to celebrate with him.
Congratulations, Joseph, to you and the entire Boggs family. We in the NFB of Kentucky are very proud of you and your accomplishments! Have a wonderful time in St. Louis this summer!
While most of us remained here in Kentucky enduring the frigid winter temperatures, some of our friends from Frankfort and Louisville sailed off to the sunny, warm Caribbean for a week of relaxing in the warm sunshine. Here is what Ranelle Mackey has to say about their adventures.
In January Ranelle and George, of the Frankfort Chapter, along with friends from Greater Louisville, took a trip that must be mentioned. Denise & Dennis Franklin, along with their daughter and son-in-law, as well as our state president, Cathy Jackson & former OFB counselor, Ann Burge, went Cruising. Not cars think BIG, SHIP! Independence of the Sea! What a great bunch to travel with! We had such a good time in Jamaica & Haiti! We left in the nick of time, as snow & ice arrived as we made our escape (plane had to be de-iced before takeoff). Then, it was smooth sailing in warm temperatures, 80-90 degrees! Then on our return home we came back to single digits! What a shock to our systems! People asked, “Why did you come back?” Funds were depleted, so sad! All were homeward bound. It was back to reality for all of us, but we have lots of wonderful memories of our fun days in the sun!
The following recipes come from the kitchen of Jayne Seif, who serves as treasurer of the Greater Louisville Chapter. Jayne's husband, Phil, serves as the web master for our NFB of Kentucky web site. I am sure that husband Phil and their three daughters quite enjoy these delicious recipes.
Jayne's Taco Supper
This recipe is quick and easy. Perfect for work or school nights
1 lb. Ground Beef or Ground Turkey 1 Can Refried Beans 1/4-1/2 Cups Taco Sauce of your choice 1 Can Crescent Rolls 8oz. Sour Cream 2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Brown Ground beef and in the same pan add refried beans and taco sauce. Cover bottom of 9/13 inch cake pan with crescent rolls. Layer meat mixture on top of rolls. After spreading smooth, a fork works best to do this, layer sour cream and cheese on top. Cover with foil and bake on 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Variations: If you want some crunch inside, add a layer of crushed Doritos or Cheez-it crackers on top of the crescent rolls. Additionally you can add bell peppers, onions, or cilantro to the meat mixture. Depending on your own personal taste, you can experiment and have fun with this recipe. Enjoy!!!
This is a delicious addition to any meal.
1 head of broccoli 6-8 slices of bacon cooked and crumbled 1/2 cup chopped red onion 1/2 raisins, optional 8 oz. of sharp cheddar, cut into very small cubes 1 cup of mayonnaise 2 tbs white vinegar 1/4 cup sugar 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes 1 small bag sliced almonds 1/2 cup sunflower seeds Salt and pepper if desired
Remove stalks and cut and wash broccoli. Put your bite sized broccoli into a large bowl. Add the crumbled bacon, onion, raisins, and cheese. Combine all other ingredients in small bowl and stir well. Add to the large bowl and toss gently.
Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies
For those of you who won those yummy chocolate chip cookies that were given as door prizes during the 2015 NFBK state convention, well, here is the recipe. You can make them for yourself when you are craving a delicious, sweet snack.
2 sticks Margarine 3/4 Cups Brown Sugar 1/4 Cups Granulated Sugar 2 Eggs 1 tsp. Vanilla 1 tsp. Baking Soda 1 Small Package Vanilla Instant Pudding 2 1/2 Cups Flour 12 oz. Chocolate Chips
Mix softened margarine, sugars, and eggs, with a fork for best results. Add in all other ingredients, following the list above. Be sure everything is mixed thoroughly. Drop by teaspoonful onto a cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Variations: Although the recipe calls for 12oz. of chocolate chips, I often use half the bag, as the cookies are so rich. Additionally, feel free to use any flavor of pudding or chips you like to give this cookie a new flair. Feel free to be creative!!
National Federation Of The Blind Of Kentucky
Officers And Board Of Directors
Cathy Jackson, President
210 Cambridge Dr.
Louisville, KY 40214
Katie Adkins, First-Vice President
2025 Brownsboro Rd.
Louisville, KY 40206
Dennis Franklin, Second-Vice President
3639 Hurstbourne Ridge Blvd.
Louisville, KY 40299
Lora Felty Stephens, Secretary
1127 Sharon Ct.
Ashland, KY 41101
J. Mike Freholm, Treasurer
2012 Harris Way
Russell, KY 41169
Board of Directors:
Nickie Jackson Pearl
1014 Camden Avenue.
Louisville, KY 40215
3639 Hurstbourne Ridge Blvd.
Louisville, KY 40299
216 Maddux Ave.
Salem, KY 42078
202 Manor House Ln.
Frankfort, KY 40601
Michael K. Freholm
P.O. Box 6925
Raceland, KY 41169
1127 Sharon Ct.
Ashland, KY 41101
President: Cathy Jackson, 210 Cambridge Drive, Louisville, Kentucky 40214, Phone: (502) 366-2317, Email Cathy Jackson