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The Promoter – May 2019

May 2nd, 2019 by

Table of Contents

From the President

Dear NDAB Members,

There are a lot of exciting things happening in NDAB!
We were invited to partner with the Minot Lions for a Dining in the Dark event held on April 4th. This is the 3rd year of this collaborative effort. For details, please see the report from our Dining in the Dark Chairperson, Janelle Olson. I do want to thank both Janelle and Perry Olson for their efforts. This event is a wonderful opportunity for us to have an open conversation with the public about NDAB and vision loss while enjoying a delicious meal. Thanks to all who participated.

The next day we had a “Morning After” work session. Most of the NDAB table hosts from the night before met from 9-12. This group addressed the following four areas:
Trampes Brown, chairperson of the Sports and Recreation Committee, reported on what the committee has done and plans they have for the future. He then asked for suggestions and guidance from the group.
After a break, we divided into three groups:
Group #1 Taking stock of our future – Financial Planning
Mary Stip worked with the Finance Committee (Allan Peterson, Development Director; Rebecca Anderson, Treasurer; Gretchen Campbell, Secretary/Board Representative). They reviewed our accounts and investments. They also looked at our current budget in preparation to putting together the budget for the coming year.
Group #2 – Making a good impression – NDAB Stationery
Shereen Faber, Kathy Johnson and Angie Kokott evaluated our current letterhead, sympathy card, thank you card and logo. They made some suggested updates and changes.
Group #3 Let’s get connected – Philmore Voicemail
Paula Anundson, Mickey Teubner, Brant Adams, Doug Stip, and Trampes Brown and I began with discussion about what areas the 9 different “boxes” in our NDAB system would hold. We then had a teleconference call with Phil Scopes, owner of Philmore Productions. He described the system and then answered questions from the group.
We spent the last half hour with the three groups reporting their efforts. I want to thank everyone for their willingness to participate in this work session. Because of the teamwork and cooperative efforts, good progress was made in all three areas. If you have an idea about any of the areas, please contact me.

Our 2019 State NDAB Convention will soon be here. Be on the watch for your Call to Convention for your registration and other information.
Check out the article in this Promoter “Aira at Convention.” During our convention at our hotel location, there will be free minutes to anyone who has a smartphone and has downloaded the app.

Also, we have decided to have a Cane-Vention and support the You Cane Give Initiative by asking everyone to bring unused canes – straight or folding. They even welcome cane parts – tips, handles, etc. We will have a collection both at convention and at camp. We have a special connection with the Boehms, the people behind the You Cane Give initiative. Allan, Mike, Lexee and I had the opportunity to meet James “Jimmy” and his wife, Wendy last July in St Louis at the ACB Convention. They are terrific people! Jimmy was a scholarship winner, so Wendy slid into a chair at our table during a session to take his picture. She and I spoke briefly. Later Wendy and Lexee were at the same event and hit it off and this resulted in Wendy planning and accompanying us to see the fantastic fireworks display under the Arch on the 4th. They then joined us at our banquet table later in the week. I was thinking of their project one day and was looking for the business card they had shared when I ran across an article on the ACB Leadership List. For more information, read the article “You Cane Give” about the Cane-Vention Initiative. Check out the following link https://vimeo.com/328783053/c3f6bfca6f It gave me goosebumps!

Attention: It's not too late to buy or sell tickets for the NDAB Statewide Raffle; just call 701-204-8943. The drawing will be held the last day of the convention.

See you at convention!

Serving you,
Zelda Gebhard

Coming Events:

  • April Just Talking-Tuesday the 16th at 7-8 p.m. Topic: What's going on with Alexa now?
  • NDAB Board Meeting-Sunday, April 28th at 6:30 p.m.
  • Pre-Convention Board Meeting – May 19th at 6:30 p.m.
  • May Just Talking -Tuesday the 21st at 7-8 p.m. Topic: What do you know about Robert? Robert's Rules of Parliamentary Procedure that is! This is also an opportunity to ask any questions you have about the proposed amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws.
  • NDAB State Convention, Sleep Inn and Suites, Minot, June 7-9
  • Adult Summer Camp, August 4-11

From the Editor

I looked back at my editor’s note from May 2018, and I can almost repeat those words. Many of the articles sent to me for this issue have included something about the weather! Once again Mother Nature has provided a topic for conversation.

Thanks to Loris Van Berkom for sending in the following quotes:

If you don’t think that every day is a good day, just try missing one!
True friends are mathematical. They divide sorrow and multiply joy.
Authors Unknown

Doug Stip sent in the following words that are actually on the wall of his doctor's office. Thank you, Doug.

One sign reads:
"Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny."

Here's another one from Doug:
"Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time, and it annoys the pig."

This issue of the Promoter is #28 for me as your NDAB editor over a seven-year period. I have decided that it is time for someone else to accept the job as editor of our quarterly newsletter. I want to thank all of you who have sent in quotes, articles, tips and tricks, recipes, readings, stories, and all kinds of other good information. I have appreciated receiving your submissions by the specified deadline for each issue. Thank you very much for that. I have enjoyed being your editor, and as I stated years ago, I love quotes, so I will leave you with the following one:

“Our purpose on this earth is not one single event, an accomplishment we can check off a list. There is no test. No passing or failing. There's only us, each moment shaping who we are, into what we will become.” Cynthia Hand

Kathy Larson

Welcome to NDAB

We welcome the following new members to NDAB: Colleen Johnson, Brenda Morelli and Todd Ringoen all of Minot; Andrea Beaver from Rugby; Virginia Miller of Dell Rapids, SD: Lois Orwick from Michigan, ND: and Liz Braun of Madison, WI. We welcome back John Streese of Melbourne, FL.

2019 NDAB State Convention

The convention planning committee is busy brushing up on as many Ole and Lena jokes that we can find as we prepare to welcome you to Minot for this year’s convention. We have worked hard to incorporate the theme “Envision the Possibilities” throughout the weekend.

The convention will begin with an audio described tour of the Scandinavian Heritage Park followed by a picnic and festivities.
We will return to the hotel for your choice of two breakout sessions focusing on iPhone and iPad questions and learning how to use the Philmore voicemail system. Wrap up the evening with fellowship in the hospitality room.

Saturday will kick off our general business meeting leading into the legislative luncheon. We will have the opportunity to hear from Billy Altom, our key note speaker, throughout the convention. He is the Executive Director of the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL). He is an accomplished disability rights activist with a passion for accessible public transportation in rural areas. We will be entertained with energetic storytelling and enjoyable music. He will also be encouraged and challenged to advocate for the blind community.

Sunday will include our memorial service as well as officer elections and drawing of the raffle ticket winners prior to the closing of the convention.

We encourage everyone to watch for the Call to Convention. It will include many details plus your registration form with meal options. If you do not receive your Call to Convention by May 4th please contact Mary Stip, NDAB VP/Membership Chair to have it re-sent or to register over the phone. Mary’s number is 701.720.0738. Hotel reservations may be made at The Sleep Inn and Suites at 701.837.3100. When you call to make your reservations, please note the block of rooms reserved is under “NDAB Convention” and they are only being held until May 24th.
Come to Minot to “Envision the Possibilities.”

“Picture the Future”

Save the dates of Friday July 5th to Friday July 12th for the 58th annual American Council of the Blind conference and convention in Rochester, New York! The ACB experience provides the opportunity to meet professionals in the field of blindness and make new friends as you enjoy a week of tours, special events and the exhibit hall. Opening session will be Saturday July 6th.

Daily general sessions occur Sunday through Wednesday morning. In the afternoon, there will be special interest meetings, workshops, and seminars offered. Thursday’s general session will include elections.
Room rates at the Hyatt and the Riverside are $89.00 per night (single or double occupancy with an additional $10 per person for up to four people.) This room rate does not include tax. For telephone reservations call the Riverside (585) 546-6400 or the Hyatt at (800) 233-1234. Make sure to mention you are with the American Council of the Blind.

For convention-related questions, contact Janet Dickelman, convention chair, at (651) 428-5059 or via e-mail, janet.dickelman@gmail.com

Special Notice

Members planning to attend the ACB Conference and Convention may apply to receive a $300 stipend. Send your letter of request to: North Dakota Association of the Blind, PO Box 824, West Fargo ND 58078

Alternatively, you may email your request to treasurer@ndab.org or telephone Rebecca at 701-277-8127.

Requests must be submitted by June 7th to be considered for the stipend.

Aira at Convention

Have you heard about Aira? On the February “Just Talking” call we had Jonathan Mosen from Aira as our guest. He shared a lot of great information. If you would like to listen to the recording of that call, dial 515-604-9671, access code 824825#, reference 27#. Then if you wait about three minutes, the twelve callers start joining the call.
Aira is offering a special free offer at ACB state affiliate conventions in 2019. We have decided to participate, so while we are at the Sleep Inn and Suites in Minot on June 7, 8 and 9 we have free minutes. This is a great way to try Aira out.
About the offer:
Aira is proud to be a part of the ACB family. As part of our partnership, we are offering Aira Access for 2019 State Conventions.
What is Aira Access? Individuals can use Aira for free through Aira Access. We’ve partnered with some of the most well-known businesses in the world to provide free Aira Access to more people, in more ways. It is the ability for anyone to download the Aira app and use Aira for free: finding a hotel room, a conference room, reading a hotel menu, describing exhibit hall tables, or calling an Uber or Lyft to get to the airport.
Download the free Aira app as a Guest at www.aira.io/app today so you can use Aira for free while attending our event.
What if you are already an Aira subscriber? Do you get free minutes too?
When an Explorer (which is what we call someone who is an Aira subscriber) attends a state convention that is enabled with Aira Access, then the minutes they use while at the state convention location are free.

Do you have to have an iPhone? Any smartphone can be used: iPhone or Android. If someone interested in downloading the app on their smartphone visits the link aira.io/app while on their smartphone, it will direct them to the app store directly to download the Aira app.

Dining in the Dark

By Janelle F. Olson

The third annual Minot “Dining in the Dark” was held on Thursday, April 4th. Seventy-six diners enjoyed a scrumptious five-course evening meal at the Elevation Restaurant. This event is put in motion and coordinated by Lion Perry Olson and the Minot Lions Club.

For readers who may not have heard of this event, sighted diners are seated, given blindfolds and eat the meal, relying on all of their senses accept their sight. The purpose is to bring awareness to the public of challenges that result from someone losing their vision and to show how life continues when one faces such a challenge.

Each table has a host, a person with sight loss, who guides the diners through the meal, giving hints and tips as the meal progresses. This is where NDAB comes in. This year, sixteen NDAB members were hosts. Through this shoulder-to-shoulder exchange, participants get to know us and the mission of NDAB.

Corporate sponsors again this year included KXMC, First International Bank & Trust and Martin Law. Town and Country Credit Union was added as a first year sponsor.

A great big thank you to Perry, the sponsors, the restaurant and staff and to the accommodations made for us NDAB members and the people who got us to Minot for our overnight accommodations at the Staybridge Inn and Suites.

To my NDAB friends and people who got us there, thank you for being so willing to be a part of this event. We may never completely know the impact of this event on those who attended, but someday when someone has just gotten the news from the eye doctor that nothing more can be done to correct their vision, this night’s happenings and NDAB may be looked to as a resource and a guiding light out of the darkness.

NDAB Summer Camp Plans for 2019

Submitted by Loris Van Berkom & Rick Feldman

Plans are underway for the 49th annual NDAB Summer Camp to be held at the Elks Camp Grassick August 4-11. The camp packets will be mailed out toward the end of June so watch for them. If you know of someone who might be eligible to attend, please pass that information on to one of the Co-Camp Directors and they will make the contact.

The banquet theme this year is “Mardi Gras” planned by Becky Monroe, Brenda Bruins and Bob Westermeyer. They have parades planned every evening with everyone taking turns riding on their float. Mardi Gras colors are purple, green and gold so plan to wear one of those colors when it is your turn for you and your cabin mates. They also request that you decorate your cabins inside and out with lights and other decorations. Banquet attire may include most any kind of costume. It sounds like it will be a lot of fun.

If you have any questions about camp, call Rick at (701) 793-5210 or Loris at (701) 774-3399.

Below are the NDAB Summer Camp Guidelines:

PURPOSE

  1. To provide an opportunity for persons who are visually impaired to come in contact with persons with similar impairments and share a common concern.
  2. To help in the process of adjusting to blindness.
  3. To provide an opportunity to learn new skills, techniques, and leisure time activities to enhance the quality of life.

ELIGIBILITY

  1. Must be at least 18 years of age with vision loss as the primary disability.
  2. Must be capable of participating in the program set-up for camp.
    a. Must be able to care for one’s personal needs including bathing, dressing, eating, etc.
    b. Must be physically able to get oneself around the camp grounds, with the exclusion of difficulty with mobility due to vision loss.
  3. Must be cooperative and demonstrate willingness to abide by the regulations of camp.
    a. Alcoholic beverages and/or unauthorized drugs are not allowed on the camp grounds. Any violators will be promptly sent home at their own expense.
    b. All campers must remain overnight at camp.
    c. Campers must attend the entire week of camp unless other arrangements have been made with the co-camp directors, or a situation arises, such as an illness or a family emergency.
    d. Participants must notify one of the directors if leaving the campus for any reason.
  4. Must demonstrate respect for authority.
  5. Must display consideration for fellow campers.

GEOGRAPHICAL ELIGIBILITY GUIDELINES

  1. Any adult who is visually impaired and not a North Dakota resident but is attending a North Dakota college or university will be eligible to attend the NDAB Summer Camp at no cost.
  2. One member of ACB leadership will be eligible to attend the NDAB Summer Camp annually as a camper at no cost.
  3. Any adult who is visually impaired and who lives in another state other than North Dakota could attend camp but must pay for their room and board, which is set by the Elks Camp Grassick Director. At this time, the cost is $250. Any adult who is visually impaired and lives in a border town may attend at no cost. Border towns include East Grand Forks, Moorhead, Breckenridge and West Fairview.
  4. Camp capacity, which is set by the Elks Camp Grassick Director, is 60 people. Residents of North Dakota would be given preference to out of state campers if the camp capacity were reached.
  5. Any member of NDAB who moved out of state but continued to pay their annual dues would be eligible to attend camp at no cost.

Why Not Minot?

Make sure to come to this year’s NDAB State Convention June 7th, 8th and 9th in Minot and be ready to cast your votes! The nominating committee has heard from a few candidates willing to serve the organization and we are eager to hear from more of you. Remember, nominations may be made from the convention floor with the member’s prior consent. Nominees must meet the following qualifications:

  1. Have attained the age of 18 and paid annual dues.
  2. All elected officers and directors must be a resident of ND during their term of office or a city sharing a common border with its sister city in ND.
  3. To avoid conflict of interest, officers shall not hold office while serving as an officer in another consumer organization of the blind.
  4. No more than one member from a household shall serve concurrent terms.

The 2019 slate of candidates to date reads as follows:

  • Secretary 2-year term: Gretchen Campbell
  • Development Director 2-year term: Allan Peterson
  • Treasurer 1 year of an unexpired 2-year term: Rebecca Anderson
  • Board Director 3-year term: Dawn Freemont, Mickey Teubner
  • Editor 1-year term: Lexee Steffan
  • 2020 ACB delegate to Schaumburg, Illinois: Gretchen Campbell, Milissa Miller
  • First Runner up for ACB Delegate will serve as our alternate.
    We will be using a new procedure during elections. Ballots made of card stock will be distributed. Candidates will be listed alphabetically and assigned a number. Members will be instructed to tear off the corners of their ballot to indicate their choice of candidate. A slotted box will be passed for each to insert their own ballot. This procedure will allow members to independently and privately cast votes; regardless of ability.

If you have any questions about the new voting process or to add your name to the developing slate of candidates, please contact one of us on the nominating committee!

Respectfully submitted by Missy Miller, Carol Scallon and Michelle Zentz

Members of Our NDAB Family

By Kathy Larson

Never in any Promoter since I have been editor has this article included the loss of five of our NDAB members. I apologize for the very late acknowledgement of two of our members, but I didn’t receive notice of their death until after the last Promoter.

We extend our sympathy to NDAB member Elaine Larson on the death of her mother Edith Larson who passed away on October 5, 2018 at the Good Samaritan Society in Lakota, ND. Elaine and her mother both joined NDAB in 2007 after attending a Family Adjustment Seminar. Edith was a devoted wife, mother, and care giver of other family members in her home. She loved gardening, canning, baking, sewing, playing cards, and family gatherings. Edith will be deeply missed by her four daughters, one son, 16 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.

NDAB member Richard "Dick" Ramsay, 82, of Grand Forks died December 31, 2018 in Valley Memorial Homes Eldercare Center, Grand Forks. He was raised and educated at Northfield. Dick earned a degree in Music Education from St. Olaf College, and a Masters Degree from the University of North Dakota. Dick married Kathleen Yon on August 14, 1960 at Bathgate, ND. He had a 36 year career as a vocal music teacher at Fertile, MN, South Junior High School in Grand Forks and Nathan Twining at the Grand Forks Air Base. Richard directed several church choirs, sang in the Grand Forks Master Choral, and played in several bands. He sang at countless weddings and funerals. He was a member of the Acacia Masonic Lodge and the KEM Shrine. He had been a member of NDAB since April of 2008. Richard is survived by his wife of 58 years, Kathy, Grand Forks; three children and eight grandchildren.

We extend our deepest sympathy to NDAB member Paula Anundson on the death of her mother Connie Ertelt of Valley City, ND, who passed away on February 9, 2019. Connie married Gordon Ertelt on May 5, 1947, and started their married life together operating the Tower City Café and then farmed in the Fingal area for 25 years. Connie was a member of Holy Trinity Catholic Church, the Holy Trinity Altar Society, Vets Auxiliary and the American Legion Auxiliary, and was a member of NDAB since 2012. . Dear to her heart was being a wife and a mother. She worked most of her life raising her children, helping care for her grandchildren and working on the farm and caring for her husband in later years. Connie is survived by her seven children, 17 Grandchildren, 38 Great-grandchildren, 5 great-great grandchildren, one brother and one daughter-in-law. Day to day activities drastically changed for Paula, as she and her mom lived near one another in the same apartment complex. Please keep Paula in thought and prayer.

NDAB has lost still another member. Diane J. Smith of Fargo passed away on February 12, 2019 in her home under the care of hospice after a courageous battle with leukemia. She worked at Tri State Beauty Supply, Fargo Nursing Home and the past several years at Swanson’s Health Products until her retirement. She was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary and the Eagles Club Auxiliary. She joined NDAB in March of 2017. Diane is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, two grandchildren, two step-grandchildren, two step-great-grandchildren, two sisters, two brothers and many friends.

NDAB member Dennis Nez lost his son Dennison Nez, Sr. on February 26, 2019 in his home in Parshall. Dennison attended North Dakota State School of Science in Wahpeton for training in automotive, and then moved to Denver where he worked for A & K Auto. He returned to North Dakota in 1989 and began work as a cage manager at 4Bears Casino. Throughout the years he also worked for BOS Roustabout and as a contractor for Whiting Oil. He was athletic; he was a standout pitcher at East High School in Denver and was invited to tryouts with the Cincinnati Reds. He loved playing pool and traveled to many tournaments. Dennison cherished spending time with his children and grandchildren. We extend our deepest sympathy to Dennis and his family.

Brenda Bruins of Williston is in need of our prayers. She was diagnosed with uterine cancer when she and Becky Monroe were in New Orleans in February. She has had surgery and will be having chemo and radiation treatments in the future. You can read more about her story in the “Williston Wanderings” news later in this Promoter.

Many of you knew Corey Hall from Belcourt as he was a frequent NDAB Summer Camp attendee. Corey passed away on March 28, 2019 at his home. We extend our deepest sympathy to his family. He has been a member of NDAB since 2007. Corey married Dawn Delorme in June of 2003 with the marriage later ending in divorce. From this union four sons were raised. Corey worked at the Sky Dancer Casino in Belcourt for nearly 15 years before retiring due to medical issues. He loved to spend time with his family members, especially his sons, brothers and sister, nieces, and nephews. Corey visited and spent a lot of time with his mother, Kathy, doing different things and traveling to different places together. A highlight for Corey was a trip to Vegas with his brother, organized by his treasured childhood friend and brother, Hogan Ayers. He enjoyed being outdoors, hunting and fishing, cooking, going to the casino, and watching television. He loved driving around on the back roads looking for deer to hunt and going for walks with his sons as well. Corey is survived by his sons, one grandchild, mother, a sister, two brothers, a niece and three nephews. Corey will be lovingly remembered and greatly missed. He would have celebrated his 49th birthday on April 17.

Please remember Shereen Faber of Fargo in your thoughts and prayers. She is scheduled for a difficult and complicated hernia surgery on April 17. Shereen said the surgery will last four to five hours with a hospital stay of five to seven days. The doctor said her recovery time will be four to five weeks. Pray for no infection! Shereen has a positive attitude as she always does, and is planning to come to convention in June.

Memorials and Donations

January 2019 Memorials & Donations
Memorials & Donations $3363.60
Memorials $98.60
Genie Lang - From: Susan Olson, Renee Walz
Donations $3265.00
Donna Hepper, West Fargo VFW, Valley City Lions, Wildrose Lions, West Fargo Lions, South Heart Lions, Wilton Lions, Carrington Lions, Scranton Lions, Jud Lions, Stanley Lions, ACB

February 2019 Memorials & Donations
Memorials & Donations $9773.00 Total
Memorials $465.00
Diane Smith - From: Shereen Faber, Judy & Allan Peterson, Greg Falde, Zelda Gebhard, Mary & Doug Stip
Connie Ertelt - From: Shereen Faber, Mary & Doug Stip, Zelda Gebhard
Richard Veal - From: Zelda Gebhard
Maxine L & Kenneth L Johnston - From: Jana Stenson
Belinda Fadness From: Zelda Gebhard
Lorene Kirsch - From: Zelda Gebhard
Cid Krachel - From: Zelda Gebhard
Donations $2900
Lora Bendickson, Cheryl Brooks, Gen Bruins, Patrick Colliton, Irene Davis, Irma Dullmage, Daniel & Judith Geske, Ruth Geske, Shirley Gustin, Marian Karalis, Beatrice Krogen, Evelene Krogen, Elizabeth Love, Lyle Nelson, Judy & Allan Peterson, Ruth Phalen, Carol Schmitt, Mary & Doug Stip, Walmart-Gretchen Campbell
GHD Impact Foundation online giving in honor $495.00
Wendy Baumann in honor of Allan Peterson, Cimarron Drewicke in honor of Roger Drewicke, Char & Rick Feldman in honor of Mabel Feldman, Zelda Gebhard in honor of Steve Anderson, Chase Johnson in honor of Carly Cannon, David Klein in honor of Jim & Rose Klein, Brenda Krogen in honor of Beatrice Krogen, Mark Krogen in honor of Bernice Krogen, Brenda Menier in honor of Vicki Cook, Carolyn Probst in honor of NDAB members, Beth Schaible in honor of Charles Filipek
(Donors who didn’t make a dedication are not listed here, but much appreciated.)
Donations from Lions $2375.00
Alexander Lions, Edgeley Lions, Emerado-Arvilla Lions, Enderlin Lions, Fargo Lions, Harvey Lions, Horace Lions, Wishek Lions
Charitable Gaming Donations $3538.00
American Legion Edgeley, American Legion Lakota, American Legion Washburn Post 12, Betterment Trust Dunseith, Devils Lake Rotary, Fairmount Volunteer Fire Fighters, Hazen Community Chest, Mandan Moose Lodge, Minot Junior Golf Assn, Minot Lodge #822, Sertoma Club Minot, Tolley Fire Dept, Valley City Eagles Aerie #2192

March 2019 Memorials & Donations
Memorials & Donations Total $3,075.00
Memorials & Donations from Individuals $325.00
Memorials
Dick Veal - From: Derek & Bonnie Oldenburger, Connie Grause
Donations
Kristina Reich, David & Carla Reiten
Donation from Thrivent $200.00
Donations from Lions $700.00
Gateway Lions, Sawyer Lions, Reeder Lions
Donations from Charitable Gaming $1850.00
Velva Volunteer Fire Dept, Drake Columbian Club, Moose Lodge #239 Williston, Am Legion Williston, Mott Gaming Trust Fund, Veterans Inc Casselton, Dickinson Eagles

Susan’s Favorite Snack

Soda crackers
Ice cream

Put a spoonful of ice cream on top of a soda cracker and enjoy. You can top it with another cracker to make your own mini ice cream sandwich. Susan says that when she eats this snack it resurrects wonderful childhood memories.

Hello from NDVS/SB!

By Ryan Torgerson

February 9th we were to have our annual goalball event with our friends from South Dakota. Due to Mother Nature, South Dakota was not able to attend. That is two in a row now as last spring we had to turn down the opportunity to go down to Aberdeen. Once we heard the news we modified things a bit so that our students would still be able to have an active weekend.

We were joined by four volunteers from Delta Gamma, a sorority at UND that does a great job of sending help when we need a few extra hands around here, and about 15 students along with Dr. Chan Park from UND in the Adaptive PE class. Our seven students along with a few volunteers were split into four teams. Dr. Park’s class led the teams in physical fitness stations where they worked on their flexibility and learned a few activities to get their heart rates up. After that the teams rotated three stations. The main station was the goalball station where we were able to utilize a few of those volunteers and teach them the sport. Another station was Power Showdown. This is a game that is kind of a mix between ping pong and air hockey. Players hit a small plastic ball that rattles with paddles that are shaped like the flat end of an oar back and forth till someone scores. The game is challenging and fun at the same time. The third station was darts! Thank you to NDAB for letting us use your board and darts. I didn’t get a chance to visit with the students about their experience or if they had thrown darts before, but the staff person helping with darts said they seemed to really be enjoying themselves. We ended the morning with lunch and an awards ceremony. We are tentatively planning our trip to South Dakota April 5th-6th. Let’s pray the weather holds out.

One last thing I would like to mention is The Store here at NDVS/SB. We have many products that may aid in your daily life. There are lighted magnifiers, talking products such as clocks, timers and thermometers, canes and tips, an assortment of games, writing guides, labeling products, and more. You can find our catalog online at www.ndvisionservices.com/services/store. If you are looking for something other than what is in there, feel free to call Ryan at (701)795-2714 and I can see what I can find for you.

If you have other questions regarding programming or services we provide, call 1800-421-1181 and ask for Ken for adult services or Cindy for student services.

Other offerings at NDVS/SB

By Amy L. Osvold

iPhone/iPad Clinic and Distance Lessons
At the 2019 NDAB Convention in Minot, NDVS/SB will be offering a Smart Phone Clinic. Friday night for those who finish the tour early, we will have a general Q&A session. On Saturday, we will have a table where you can stop by and ask any questions you have about smartphones/tablets. We will offer assistance with both Apple and Android products. Tracy Wicken and I will be providing five to fifteen minute blocks on a first-come, first-serve basis. We can assist with:

  • General accessibility features
  • Vision specific apps (Seeing AI, BARD, VO Tutorial, Vision Assist, KNFB Reader, etc.)
  • Non-vision specific apps (Pandora, Music, Message, Facebook, Messenger, etc.)
  • All other questions and concerns

As a reminder, I am still providing distance iPhone/iPad trainings. You can contact me about setting up lessons at 701-340-9226.

TeleGroups
I would like to start a vision support/social group via the phone for ND residents. These group sessions may cover the following tips:

  • Adjustment to vision loss
  • New technology
  • Helpful household hints

If you are interested in this service, please contact me at 701-340-9226.

You Cane Give

The board decided to turn our “state convention” into a “Cane-Vention” by participating in the You Cane Give Initiative! Read about how a young couple can turn your unused canes or even parts of canes into functioning, independence-restoring tools for those who need them. We will be collecting canes at both our convention in Minot in June and at camp in August.
Help us give to those in need by accepting cane donations at your convention. Wondering what to do with that old folding cane you no longer use in the closet? Is that drawer of used canes collecting dust and taking up space? Please donate your old or used folding canes to the You Cane Give Initiative! We are collecting donated folding canes to refurbish and send to individuals who are blind and visually impaired around the world. Let’s face it, we have it good in America. With the click of a button, we can order almost anything we need, including a cane. In countries like Mexico, the Philippines, India, and South Africa, people do not have access to the proper tools to empower independence and success. Please do not let your canes go to waste! The You Cane Give Initiative allows you to provide your cane to a person far away who needs it!

James Boehm has spoken with many individuals around the world who have shared heartbreaking stories of family and friends who have been injured or have died because they attempted to cross streets without a mobility cane. During our recent trip to Kenya, we heard blind organizations refer to the shortage of canes as a “white cane famine!” You Cane Give not only empowers the lives of the blind, but it also saves lives. We need canes in all sizes. We are able to send folding canes overseas, but straight canes can be donated to individuals within the United States. We have contacts in Peru, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, the Philippines, South Africa, and more who wish for a cane of their own. Your convention is a great opportunity to bring your unused canes with you and encourage others to do so as well. As a thank you for collecting canes, You Cane Give will donate a Kustom Cane gift certificate and other cool accessories for door prizes to thank you for your support!

Thank you so much, and we are grateful for your generosity!
Sincerely,
James and Wendy Boehm, Founders of “You Cane Give”
Cell phone for James Boehm: 901-483-1515
Email: youcanegive@gmail.com

Want to make a donation or see where your canes are going around the world? Please check out our website: www.youcanegive.org
Our Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/You-Cane-Give-Initiative-1558518134229769/
Check out our YouTube video at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CD3lX0EtQlA

Xavier Society for the Blind's Transition to DTB Format

Xavier Society for the Blind is pleased to announce that our conversion to digital talking book format is now complete and we have added some popular titles on cartridge to our library! These books can be played on the talking book machines provided by the National Library Service. With an existing catalog of over 1,500 braille and audio titles, Xavier Society for the Blind provides inspirational, spiritual and religious reading materials in braille and audio to the blind and visually impaired community of faithful free of charge. One of our primary objectives is to choose new titles which will appeal to a larger audience and we hope that the combination of more appealing titles and the digital talking book format will allow us to reach many more people. Adding titles in Spanish is a key objective as well. We look forward to serving many more patrons in new and innovative ways!

Reading materials include:

  • Monthly readings, prayers and responses for the Sunday Mass and selected Feast Days and Solemnities
  • Faith formation textbooks for children and adults
  • Many popular titles related to the Catholic Church, religion, and spiritual themes

For more information, including how to register for our materials, please visit our website xaviersocietyfortheblind.org or call us at 800-637-9193.

Library Users of America

Quality library services through NLS Talking Book libraries and BARD are a high priority for people with low vision. Budget cuts and shortages of operating funds threaten current and future services for people who are visually impaired. LUA President Brian Charlson and other LUA members are presenting at conferences and participating in ongoing discussions that encourage more accessibility at local public libraries and address issues related to the NLS program.

LUA meetings at the American Council of the Blind Conference and Convention include informative programs and discussions related to library services. LUA presents workshops on the latest book-related hardware and software applications.

LUA brings its programs within the reach of every person who is blind or visually impaired in the country. Our Library without Walls conference calls are an opportunity to share good books on a variety of topics; calls are scheduled every other month and are open to all.

"The LUA Ledger" is our excellent magazine; it is published one to two times a year and is available in braille, large print, on NLS audio cartridge, and by e-mail.

A LUA members-only email list was established in 2017. Posted there are announcements of Library without Walls conference calls and other teleconferences and information of interest to library users. The LUA Ledger is also posted on this list.

Become a member of LUA now. LUA dues are $12.00 for one year or $150.00 for a life membership. You can join LUA directly, or through one of our three chapters: California (510-846-4080), Kentucky (502-895-4598), or Texas (281-438-9665). Note that chapters may have additional dues as well. If you wish to join LUA directly (not through a chapter), you may do so in one of several ways. Pay with your credit card by calling 502-897-1472, or visit www.paypal.com and send money to lua.payments@gmail.com. Or make check payable to Library Users of America and mail to: Library Users of America, 148 Vernon Avenue Louisville, KY 40206
Thank you for becoming part of Library Users of America.

Just Talking

Do you like talking? To learn more about each other, technology or our world, we have been getting together by phone on the third Tuesday of each month. You can join in the conversation too!

Just dial 515-604-9797, access code 824825#. Remember there will be long distance charges unless you call in with a phone that is toll free such as a cell phone or home phone with free long distance.

If you have something you would like to talk about, please call me at 701-493-2399 to suggest a topic for a future call.

Future dates and topics include:

June 19 - Let’s Connect with the Philmore Voicemail! Call in and see what kind of information is on it and how to use it. Dial in and meet the team behind the scenes. They’re putting all of this together for your listening pleasure.

July 17 – NDAB Summer Camp – Have you been a camper? Are you considering it? Come and hear others tell about their experiences. Let’s sit in the sand and dip our toes in the water.

August 20 – We’re Grilling it – Are you the grill master at your house? What’s the best thing you have ever eaten off the grill? Call in and get inspired to throw something on the fire. We’ll meet in the backyard.

Let's keep talking!

Blind users can now explore photos by touch with Microsoft’s Seeing AI

Microsoft’s Seeing AI is an app that lets blind and limited-vision folks convert visual data into audio feedback, and it just got a useful new feature. Users can now use touch to explore the objects and people in photos.
It’s powered by machine learning, of course, specifically object and scene recognition. All you need to do is take a photo or open one up in the viewer and tap anywhere on it.
“This new feature enables users to tap their finger to an image on a touch-screen to hear a description of objects within an image and the spatial relationship between them,” wrote Seeing AI lead Saqib Shaikh in a blog post. “The app can even describe the physical appearance of people and predict their mood.”
Because there’s facial recognition built in as well, you could very well take a picture of your friends and hear who’s doing what and where, and whether there’s a dog in the picture (important) and so on. This was possible on an image-wide scale already.
The app now lets users tap around to find where objects are — obviously important to understanding the picture or recognizing it from before. Other details that may not have made it into the overall description may also appear on closer inspection, such as flowers in the foreground or a movie poster in the background.
In addition to this, the app now natively supports the iPad, which is certainly going to be nice for the many people who use Apple’s tablets as their primary interface for media and interactions. Lastly, there are a few improvements to the interface so users can order things in the app to their preference.
Seeing AI is free. This app is available on the App Store for iOS devices.

NDAB Fund Raising Report Spring 2019

By Allan Peterson, Development Director

First and foremost, thank you all so very much for your support and help with our effort to fund raise and create greater awareness for North Dakota Association of the Blind through this year’s 2019 Giving Hearts Day Appeal. It truly is a team effort and our success is generated from our combined efforts. At the great risk of not naming everyone who was on our NDAB Giving Hearts team, I wish to acknowledge and thank those who were vital to our effort in some way, in no particular order. They are Zelda Gebhard, Michelle Zentz, Rebecca Anderson, Missy Miller, Shereen Faber, Cheryl Cassman, Robert Hart, Mary Stip, Whitney Engbrecht, Lexee Steffan, Brant Adams, and my wife, Judy Peterson. Brant attended 2 of the Giving Hearts training sessions that were conducted in Bismarck. If I somehow didn’t list your name, I apologize; it’s not my intent or wish to slight anyone. I also had help from students and NDSU and some members of the NDSU Sociology Club.

Hip, Hip, Hooray!! Our final total of funds raised for this year’s Appeal was $18,045. We had a match of $8100 declared prior to February 14 and raised a total of $9,945 in on-line donations on Giving Hearts Day itself.

The next question that’s sure to be asked is how this compares to last year’s Appeal – the short answer is that it’s equivalent to results from last year. We raised approximately $700 more last year but we did receive $2500 from Gate City Bank and had a couple other boosts that netted us an additional $1500. So we actually did generate more money from our donors this year.

This was our third year to participate in Giving Hearts Day. I can truthfully say that each year we learn more about the process of what to do and when to do it. Personally I’m very confident that we can do much better with Giving Hearts Day in 2020. The planning for that begins today. 2020 sort of has a ring to it, doesn’t it?

For those inquiring minds who are wondering whether we are planning to have a “Walk for Vision” event this year, the short answer is yes! However, it won’t be happening this spring but is planned to happen this fall – the suggested day is Saturday, October 12. We will also take advantage of the fact that “White Cane Safety Day” happens in October and will use it as a tool to help promote our NDAB walk for Vision at the same time.

We would like to hold a Walk in as many North Dakota communities as is possible. It would be absolutely wonderful to have participation from our members in our state’s major cities such as Bismarck, Fargo, Grand Forks, Minot, Jamestown, and Williston. We, of course, would like to retain and add many more communities to this list, so if you have an interest in “Stepping Out for NDAB,” please get in touch with me. My phone numbers are (701) 282-4644 at home and my cell number is (701) 429-7209. Or send me a message via Email – my address is allan.peterson@ndsu.edu.

As I said, the date that’s suggested for our 2019 NDAB Walk is Saturday, October 12th; however, the time, date, and location of each Walk site could be dependent on arrangements that could be made by each local Walk facilitator.

In the jargon of fund raising, NDAB’s Walk for Vision is classified as a special event. What is true about special events, like our Walk, is that they involve a lot of work but they are a very necessary part of an overall strategic fund raising plan for any non-profit organization.

Obviously, the work we do and what is possible for us to do, is dependent on our success with fund raising endeavors. I do appreciate that fund-raising isn’t everyone’s “cup of tea.” However, the reality that we must deal with is that our projected annual expense budget is in the neighborhood of $60,000. Through the hard work of many, we have had much success in meeting our fund raising goals in the past and I’m very confident that we will continue to do so into the future!

People With Disabilities Are Entitled to a Free Lifetime Pass to National Parks

If you or your child has a permanent disability you may be entitled to a free, lifetime pass to visit the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands.
Qualifying disabilities include physical, mental, or sensory impairments.
The pass can be used at over 2000 Federal recreation sites across the nation. Those include National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges, National Forests, and other federal recreation lands. It also extends that same privilege to everyone in the vehicle with the pass holder. So, if one person in your family qualifies, you can all visit a park for free with that person’s pass.
In order to get a pass you’ll need:

  • A statement signed by a licensed physician attesting that you have a permanent physical, mental, or sensory impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, and stating the nature of the impairment; OR
  • A document issued by a Federal agency, such as the U.S. Department of Veterans Administration, which attests that you have been medically determined to be eligible to receive Federal benefits as a result of blindness or permanent disability. Other acceptable Federal agency documents include proof of receipt of Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI); OR
  • A document issued by a State agency such as a vocational rehabilitation agency, which attests that you have been medically determined to be eligible to receive vocational rehabilitation agency benefits or services as a result of medically determined blindness or permanent disability. Showing a State motor vehicle department disability sticker, license plate or hang tag is not acceptable documentation.
    You’ll need to fill out this application, and then either mail it in with a $10 processing fee or go to a federal recreation site in person with proof of disability and residency, in which case you can skip paying the fee and filling out the form. The Access Passes can also be purchased online through store.usgs.gov/access-pass, which is the organization’s preferred way to receive applications.

ACB Leadership Meetings in Washington, D.C.

I want to say thank you to NDAB, Allan and Zelda for the opportunity to join them for the legislative sessions held in Washington, D.C. from February 23-25, 2019. It was a great experience for anyone who is even mildly interested in politics and who has an interest in laws or the proposal of laws that could improve the situation for those who are blind or visually impaired, should try to attend.

We arrived a day early so that Zelda and I could do a little exploring around D.C. while Allan attended the ACB board meeting. We chose to go to the Museum of the Bible located very near to the Capitol. I think both Zelda and I would agree that it was a most interesting place to explore. They told us it would take seven or more eight-hour days to see the whole thing, but we gave it a good try in just six hours. We were there when it opened at 10 a.m. and stayed until it was nearly closed at almost 4 p.m.

During our stay in Alexandria, we enjoyed eating out in the neighborhood at places that were close enough to walk to if it was not too cold and windy. We ate at a couple of Italian Restaurants, and once at the Grain and Field Restaurant, which was an experience unto itself. The food was mainly spicy and the waiter kept on filling our glasses with water to help it go down.

I also enjoyed the ACB sessions we had. ACB had it all well planned and had very good information regarding the three points that we wanted to stress to our senators and congressman. I will leave that information up to Allan and Zelda to tell you. I just want to say how glad I was to have the points explained that could convince our senators to vote in favor of issues that could work to the benefit of the blind and visually impaired. We were talking with the staff in the office of the senators and congressmen. We felt fortunate when we did get to talk directly to a senator. Senator Enzi of Wyoming met with us and was very informed about our topics and had read all the information Allan had sent to all of them prior to our trip to D.C. It was especially interesting to hear what he had to say about the experience he had while driving in a driverless car! He seemed to really understand what it would mean to a person who is blind or visually impaired in a state as rural as ND, giving us the freedom to travel to a town with an airport, a shopping mall, or perhaps to the town where a NDAB Convention would be held!

However, this was our last point to stress as the first two points were much more important for living more independently and freely. They were points regarding the improvements in diabetic apps and equipment and for video magnifiers. Allan will be giving you more information in these areas. I am just saying what a great experience it was for me and wanted to share some of the highlights of this trip and to express my thanks to all of you!

Respectfully Submitted by Carol Schmitt

Report from the 2019 ACB Legislative Seminar

This year’s 2019 American Council of the Blind (ACB) Legislative Seminar was held on Monday, February 25 and Tuesday, February 26 at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. The two-day ACB Legislative Seminar is included as one of a trio of meetings held at this site. Together these meetings are referred to as Leadership meetings. The meetings include the Seminar, a one-day Board meeting and a one-day Affiliate Presidents/Leaders meeting.

Altogether there were approximately 120 individual Advocates that represented 44 ACB affiliates who attended one or more of these Leadership meetings. Notably, for the first time, JP Morgan Chase provided financial support for ten New Generation advocates so they could attend the meetings. This New Generation group in ACB is composed of individuals who are 40 years old and younger – very sorry to say, it doesn’t include those of us who like to say we are young at heart.

The three NDAB representatives at the 2019 Leadership meetings were Zelda Gebhard, Carol Schmitt and me, Allan Peterson. As a part of the Legislative Seminar, the three of us made twelve visits to the offices of four state congressional delegations on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, February 26. Besides our own North Dakota congressional delegation, we also made visits to the congressional delegations of Montana, South Dakota and Wyoming.

Prior to our trip, I worked with the presidents of Montana, South Dakota and Wyoming to arrange our meetings with their members of Congress. As states that have demographic populations that are similar and relatively small, we don’t have much influence in the U.S. House of Representatives because each of our states has a single congressperson among 435 other representatives; however, each of our states has two senators which is the same number of senators from any of the other states in these United States of America.

There were three principle priorities that were the focus of this year’s 2019 ACB Legislative Seminar.
They are:

Issue #1: Re-introduction of the Medicare Demonstration for Coverage of Low Vision Devices Act. If adopted as proposed, would establish a 5-year demonstration project to establish the feasibility of expanding Medicare coverage to include low vision aids, such as video magnifiers for qualified Medicare beneficiaries, who have low vision and must rely on this type of equipment to help maintain and strengthen their ability to live independently.
The Medicare Demonstration of Low Vision Devices Act has been introduced during the past two sessions of Congress but hasn’t been granted a Committee hearing. This legislation is needed because the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid in 2008 expanded the interpretation of the eyeglass exclusion rule to exclude Medicare coverage for any device, regardless of its complexity and usefulness, if that piece of equipment includes a lens. This bill would set the parameters for a 5-year study to demonstrate the usefulness and feasibility of providing Medicare beneficiaries who have limited sight with useful low vision equipment.

Issue #2: Access to Durable Medical Equipment. Many devices that are classified as durable medical equipment are not easily accessible to people who are visually impaired. The lack of accessibility exists even though access can readily be engineered into equipment which monitors a person’s health measurements. This information could ultimately greatly improve the health of people affected by chronic diseases such as diabetes. ACB is very interested in pursuing introduction of a bill in Congress on this issue.

Issue#3: Autonomous Self Driving Vehicles. In the 115th Congress, organizations of the blind and the auto industry, supported legislation that would establish working groups to focus on accessibility and prevent discrimination to operate these vehicles based on disability. We as a group urge the 116th Congress to move forward with similar legislation that will (pardon the pun) drive this technology forward.

It’s my impression that all our visits on Capitol Hill went very well – some perhaps better than others. We had good visits with legislative aides in the offices of our North Dakota congressional delegation - U.S. Senators Hoeven and Cramer and Congressman Armstrong.

It’s my firm belief that the best takeaway from these meetings on Capitol Hill is getting to know the aides in these offices. We are usually assigned to meet with the aides that are designated to cover health care issues for the member of Congress, which does mean that they are the ones who are often most knowledgeable about many of the issues which are most important to us. The visits also help to establish contacts which we can use later to reach out to gather information and to do more advocacy work with these offices.

After being elected to the seat that former Senator Heidi Heitkamp had held, it was interesting to learn that one of the committees that now Senator Cramer has been appointed to is the Senate Budget Committee. It’s also significant that Senator Hoeven is a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and that both the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committees are influential in determining what is eventually included in the federal budget.

One of the most notable highlights of our Capitol Hill visits was a personal visit with U.S. Senator Mike Enzi from Wyoming. Our issue that he seemingly most closely identified with was that of autonomous self-driving cars. He told a story about his experience in riding in such a vehicle and the problems he witnessed which will need to be addressed before these cars become widely used on our nation’s highways.

We did make visits in eight of the 50 Senate offices which is approximately one-sixth of all the seats in the U.S. Senate. Perhaps among the more influential senators that we made office visits with were U.S. Senator John Thune from South Dakota and U.S. Senator Mike Enzi from Wyoming. Senator Enzi holds leadership positions on three important senate committees, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions - HELP Committee, senate Finance Committee, and is the chair of the Senate Budget Committee. During the past 115th congressional session, Senator Thune was one of the sponsors on a bill in the Senate that addressed autonomous self-driving cars – the senator has been a strong proponent for exploring the use of this technology.
Advocacy is so very important to what we are about! Perhaps historically our greatest advocacy achievement has been the expanded availability of audio description in TV broadcasts, the movies, the theater, the arts, and elsewhere. Bottom line, technology is absolutely fantastic. We just need to make sure that we have greater access to using it.
Thank you so much, NDAB, for again having the privilege of representing your interests at this year’s ACB Legislative Seminar! A huge and very appreciative thank you too to my fellow conspirators, Zelda Gebhard and Carol Schmitt, for their great help to me during this latest adventure to visit the so called “zoo” in Washington, D.C.

Constitution and Bylaws Committee Report

This spring, our committee met twice. Since governing documents are to clearly communicate the structure, procedures and rules an organization follows; 12 proposed amendments have been drafted.
You will notice the first proposed amendment addresses unfinished business from 2018; relocating the Constitution Article VIII Miscellaneous Section 2 which was deleted. It is appropriate to include this information within membership section of the Bylaws. We propose to combine 3 related sections into one section that is focused on dues payments. Several sections were identified as needing to be relocated to and within the Bylaws from the Standing Rules and the Constitution. A new Article that will be labeled Elections can now include the election of an editor and an ACB delegate. The relabeled Article, Officer Duties, can now contain the Constitution sections for their proper placement within the Bylaws according to Robert’s Rules of Order.
We have attempted to eliminate unnecessary duplication within the proposed amendments as well. Hopefully, these suggested changes will make our governing documents easier to read. If you have any questions, please contact someone from the committee.
Respectfully submitted by the Constitution and Bylaws Committee.
Trampes Brown, Zelda Gebhard, Allan Peterson, and Michelle Zentz

Proposed Constitution and Bylaws Amendments 2019

Amendment 1

Where it stated within the Constitution Article VIII Miscellaneous Section 2. North Dakota Association of the Blind is a state affiliate of the American Council of the Blind (ACB). Through this affiliation, all members of NDAB are also members of the American Council of the Blind and have all the rights and privileges so conferred by such membership.
Proposed substantive amendment
Add text listed above to Bylaws Article II Membership as follows:
Section 1. The North Dakota Association of the Blind is a state affiliate of the American Council of the Blind (ACB). Through this affiliation, all members of NDAB are also members of the American Council of the Blind and have all the rights and privileges so conferred by such membership.
Justification: This explains NDAB’s affiliation with ACB and the need to add the election of a delegate.

Amendment 2

Where it states in the Bylaws Article II membership Section 1. Members shall pay annual dues by February 1 of each year. Payment of annual dues shall be a pre-requisite for the right to vote or hold office in NDAB. Section 2. Members shall be considered delinquent if current dues are not paid by March 15. And Section 3. Delinquent members may be re-instated upon payment of current dues. If a member’s current dues are not paid by May 30th, their membership is forfeited, and they must reapply to become a member.
Proposed clerical amendment
To combine the three sections into one section. Striking out the sentence “Payment of annual dues shall be a pre-requisite for the right to vote or hold office in NDAB.” As it is repetitive. Also strike out the word “delinquent” replacing it with the term “inactive” to read as follows:
Section 2. Members shall pay annual dues by February 1 of each year. Members shall be considered inactive if current dues are not paid by March 15. Upon receipt of current dues, members will be re-instated as an active member.
If dues are not paid by May 30th, their membership is forfeited, and they must reapply to become a member.
Justification: Combining these separate sections into one section will help make it easier to locate information.
Notation: Relabel Section 4 as Section 3. Membership Dues.

Amendment 3

Where it states within the Standing Rules Section 8. Those qualified to vote at conventions of NDAB shall be members in good standing and have paid their membership dues. Non-voting members include those who have been recognized as honorary members, junior members, guests and delinquent members who haven’t yet paid their dues prior to the time of convention.
Proposed substantive amendment
Strike text from Standing Rules and add to Bylaws Article II Membership. To read as follows:
Section 4. Voting Members. Those qualified to vote at conventions of NDAB shall be Lifetime Members and adult members who have paid their annual membership dues. Non-voting members include junior members, honorary members, and invited guests.
Justification: Only those issues that may be revised without prior notification should be included within the Standing Rules and would be better placed within the Bylaws.

Amendment 4

Where it states within the Constitution Article III Membership Section 4. Honorary Members. The title of Honorary Member may be conferred on any person at any convention by a majority vote. Persons, so entitled, shall not hold office, vote or be required to pay dues. Recognition as an honorary NDAB member may be conferred on any person outside the organization whose service to the community has in some manner benefited people who are blind or visually impaired. And Section 5. Lifetime Membership. The title of Lifetime Member may be conferred on any worthy person at any convention. Persons, so entitled, shall not be required to pay dues, but shall retain their full membership rights. The recognition as a lifetime member shall be based upon accumulated years of service to NDAB and the person so honored shall have demonstrated a consistent dedication to the purposes for which the organization was established.
Proposed clerical amendment
To strike out sections listed above from the Constitution and move to the Bylaws Article II Membership to read as follows:
Section 5. Lifetime Membership. The title of Lifetime Member may be conferred on any worthy person at any convention. Persons, so entitled, shall not be required to pay dues, but shall retain their full membership rights. The recognition as a lifetime member shall be based upon accumulated years of service to NDAB and the person so honored shall have demonstrated a consistent dedication to the purposes for which the organization was established.
Section 6. Honorary Members. The title of Honorary Member may be conferred on any person at any convention by a majority vote. Persons, so entitled, shall not hold office, vote or be required to pay dues. Recognition as an honorary NDAB member may be conferred on any person outside the organization whose service to the community has in some manner benefited people who are blind or visually impaired.
Justification: Recognitions should not be present within the Constitution and are better placed within the Bylaws according to Robert’s Rules of Order.
Notation: Article III. Membership of the Constitution renumber Section 6. Application To that of Section 4 and Section 5. Dues. Within the Bylaws Article II. Membership renumber Sections 5,6, and 7.

Amendment 5

Where it states within the Bylaws Article III. Officers
Proposed clerical amendment
To revise title of Article III as Elections, relabeling Article IV as Officer Duties.
Justification: This amendment will provide more structure and make it easier to locate information included within the Bylaws.
Notation: Appropriately renumber the remaining Articles of the Bylaws.

Amendment 6

Where it states within the Standing Rules 5. The convention shall annually elect an editor for the Promoter. And where it also states within Section 3. The policies of the Promoter shall be determined by the convention of NDAB and Section 4. The executive board shall be responsible to the convention for the approved policies of the Promoter.
Proposed clerical amendment
Strike out the sections listed above from the Standing Rules and insert two of them under Article III Elections. Strike out text of Section 4. from the Standing Rules entirely as it is already included within the Constitution Article V Executive Board Section. Duties of the Executive Board, subsection l to read as follows:
Section 5. The convention shall annually elect an editor for the Promoter and shall determine the policies of the Promoter.
Justification: Items listed under Standing Rules can be dispensed with without prior notification, by a simple majority, and an elected position would be better placed within the Bylaws.
Notation: Appropriately relabel sections within the Standing Rules as necessary deleting Section 3, Section 4, Section 5 and Section 8.

Amendment 7

To add in the election of a NDAB member to represent our affiliate at the national convention to read as follows:
Proposed substantive amendment
Section 6. The convention shall annually elect a delegate to attend the subsequent year’s ACB Conference and Convention. The first runner up for this position will serve as the alternate delegate if for whatever reason the elected delegate is unable to attend.
Justification: Currently, there is no mention within the Constitution or Bylaws for electing a delegate.

Amendment 8

Where it states within the Constitution Article IV E. The immediate past president shall provide advice and counsel as needed to the president regarding matters pertaining to the administration of the organization. And the following Sections 5. The president shall have the following duties: Section 6. The vice president shall have the following duties: Section 7. The secretary shall have the following duties: Section 8. The treasurer shall have the following duties: Section 9. The development director shall have the following duties: and text of all subsections.
Proposed clerical amendment
To strike out the text and sections listed above from the Constitution Article IV and move them to Bylaws Article IV Officers Duties as follows:
Section 1. The president shall have the following duties:
A. To be the chief administrative officer of the organization.
B. To preside at all conventions and meetings of the executive board. As its presiding officer, the president votes whenever a tie vote occurs, a secret ballot is cast, or a poll of the board is taken.
C. To be informed as to the proper rules and procedures for conducting meetings in an efficient and harmonious manner.
D. To appoint a sergeant at arms and a parliamentarian for each convention. Duties of the parliamentarian shall be to interpret and to clarify the Constitution, By-Laws, standing rules, and rules of order at the request of the chair. Duties of the sergeant-at-arms shall be to help maintain order and to ensure that voting is done in accordance with the standing rules of the convention.
E. To appoint the members of all committees not otherwise provided for by the convention or by the executive board and to replace vacancies that occur.
F. To serve as ex-officio member on all committees with no voting rights.
Section 2. The vice president shall have the following duties:
A. To preside at meetings of the executive board when the president is absent from the chair.
B. To succeed to the office of president in case of death, resignation or disqualification of the president.
Section 3. The secretary shall have the following duties:
A. To take, record and keep all minutes of meetings of the executive board and proceedings of the convention and be prepared to present them upon request.
B. To submit the minutes of board meetings and convention proceedings for publication in the quarterly newsletter. Minutes taken while the board is in executive session for the purpose of discussing matters that are of a sensitive nature may not be submitted for publication.
C. To keep on file records of all official transactions of the executive board and other committees.
D. To call the roll of the membership when requested by the chair. The response to roll call shall determine whether a quorum has been established.
E. To keep a roll of voting members at convention from a classified list. This list should correspond to the one that which is kept by the treasurer.
F. To take care of mailing and official correspondence when required to do so.
Section 4. The treasurer shall have the following duties:
A. To be in charge of collections of dues and special assessments.
B. To make all disbursements authorized by the convention or the executive board.
C. To be the official custodian of all monies and commercial papers. In this capacity, the treasurer is to receive all monies paid to the account of NDAB and is to keep an accurate record of the same.
D. To be the official custodian of all property not otherwise provided for.
E. To keep an accurate record of each financial transaction, and to procure an annual review of the books for presentation to the convention by a qualified auditor.
F. To collaborate with an accountant or another qualified person to prepare the organization’s 990 report to the IRS and insure that this report is submitted before the filing deadline.
G. To keep a classified list of all members that includes their status as to payment of current dues.
H. To be bonded at the expense of NDAB in an amount no less than is sufficient to protect the assets of the organization at any given time.
Section 5. The development director shall have the following duties:
A. To coordinate and lead the fundraising efforts that are conducted by the organization with assistance from the executive board and the membership.
B. To report results of fundraising efforts to meetings of the board and to the membership while they are assembled in annual convention.
C. To investigate potential fundraising and grant opportunities.
D. To collaborate with the treasurer to prepare the annual fiscal budget that is presented for approval to members that are assembled in annual Convention.
Section 6. The immediate past president shall provide advice and counsel as needed to the president regarding matters pertaining to the administration of the organization.
Justification: Officer’s duties should not be present within the Constitution and are better placed within the Bylaws according to Robert’s Rules of Order. Placing the Officer’s duties within the Bylaws will also allow us to eliminate repetitive text currently existing within our governing documents.

Amendment 9

Where it states in the former Bylaw Article III Officers Section 5. The vice president shall be a permanent chairperson of the membership committee.
Proposed clerical amendment
To insert text under Section 2. Vice President as subsection C as follows:
c. The vice president shall be a permanent chairperson of the membership committee.
Justification: Officer’s duties are better placed under Article IV and should be removed from Article III. Elections.

Amendment 10

Where it stated within the Bylaws Article III Officers Section 6. The secretary shall issue notices of special meetings as instructed by the executive board.

  1. Notices of meetings shall be issued not less than thirty (30) days prior to such meetings.
  2. The text of proposed amendments to the Constitution, By-Laws or Standing Rules may be included with notices of meetings.
    Proposed amendment
    To strike out this section under Article III. Elections. and insert the text as a subsection within Article IV Officers Duties Section 3 to read as follows:
    G. The secretary shall issue notices of special meetings as instructed by the executive board.
  3. Notices of meetings shall be issued not less than thirty (30) days prior to such meetings.
  4. The text of proposed amendments to the Constitution, By-Laws or Standing Rules may be included with notices of meetings.
    Justification: Officer’s duties are better placed under Article IV and should be removed from Article III. Elections. Officer’s Duties.

    Amendment 11

    Where it states within the Bylaws Article III Officers Section 7 The treasurer shall pay the expenses that are incurred by the organization which have been approved by the board or have been included as a part of the annual budget that was enacted by the convention. These disbursements shall be made by bank check.
    Proposed amendment
    To strike out section 7 from Article III. Elections and insert the last sentence to Article IV Officers Duties Section 4 Treasurer subsection B. to read as follows:
    B. To make all disbursements authorized by the convention or the executive board. These disbursements shall be made by bank check.

    Amendment 12

    Where it states within the Bylaws Article III Officers Section 8 The treasurer shall prepare an annual financial report that is subject to an annual audit / review / compilation / agreed upon proposal by a qualified auditor.
    Proposed clerical amendment
    To insert the text “/ review / compilation / agreed upon proposal” to read as follows within subsection E. To keep an accurate record of each financial transaction, and to procure an annual review/ compilation / agreed upon proposal of the books for presentation to the convention by a qualified auditor.
    Justification: The treasurer’s responsibilities are better placed under Article IV and should be removed from Article III. Which now addresses Elections.

How’s Your Vision?

Reprinted with permission from Steve Goodier www.LifeSupportSystem.com

One woman laughs about the time she took her 14-year-old daughter and her daughter's best friend to a Peter, Paul and Mary concert. They were all fans of "oldies" music from the 60's and 70's and felt lucky to get front row seats. When they returned home, her daughter said, "During the show, we looked back and saw hundreds of little lights swaying to the music. At first we thought the people were holding up cigarette lighters. Then we realized that the lights were the reflections off all the eyeglasses in the audience." (Thanks to "Reader's Digest")

My eyesight isn't what it used to be, either. But as Helen Keller (who could neither hear nor see) said, "The greatest tragedy in life is people who have sight but no vision." Maybe I should be more concerned with my vision than with my eyesight.

There are numerous stories of people who lacked vision. A Hollywood producer scrawled a curt rejection note on a manuscript that became "Gone With The Wind." He had no vision for the success that movie would enjoy.

Orville and Wilbur Wright felt excited. On December 17, 1903, they had finally succeeded in keeping their homemade airplane in the air for 59 seconds. Immediately, they rushed a telegram to their sister in Dayton, Ohio, telling of this great accomplishment. The telegram read, "First sustained flight today fifty-nine seconds. Hope to be home by Christmas."

Upon receiving the news of the successful flight, their sister was so excited that she rushed to the newspaper office and gave the telegram to the editor. The next morning the newspaper headed the story: "Popular Local Bicycle Merchants To Be Home For Holidays." The hapless editor saw what was obvious, but missed the real story.

Vision is never about seeing the obvious. It's about looking ahead; about seeing what is not there -- YET. It's often about seeing the potential behind the obvious.

Like the potential in people. Spotting the potential for success in a student who, as is obvious to everyone else, will likely fail.

Or recognizing the potential for something good to come from a situation others are writing off as lost.

If we want to see what is really going on, we will need to learn to spot what is not there, then act on it.

So... your eyesight may be perfect, but how's your vision?