Silhouette of people standing together

The Promoter August 2014

December 15th, 2015 by

Official Publication of the North Dakota Association of the Blind

Available in four formats: large print, e-mail, braille and cassette tape

Editor: Kathy Larson              klarson@dia.net

 

“Not he who lacks sight, but he who lacks vision is blind.”

“We strive to enhance the way of life for people who are blind or visually impaired,

To encourage employment opportunities, and to educate the public about sight loss.”

 

Table of Contents

 

Greetings from the President 2
Note from the Editor 3
Welcome New NDAB Members 4
Here We Come! 4
Members of Our NDAB Family 5
Benefit for Shereen 6
NDAB 2014 Convention 7
The 2014 Ed Christensen Award 9
Peterson Receives 2014 LePage Award 9
2014 NDAB Member PIP Report 10
NDAB Membership Manual 11
Member News From Around the State 12
Donations and Memorials 16
McCartney Treats Fargo NDAB Members 17
Candy’s Corner 17
From Bloomington 18
Fishing Trip 19
Note from ACB 20
A Life-Changing Event 20
U.S. Currency Reader Program 21
AFB Offers New & Expanded Free Apps 22
Intuit QuickBooks Accessibility Initiative 22
Discounts 23
ScripTalk Talking Prescription Labels 25
Walgreens Talking Prescription Devices 25
Are You a Chess Player? 26
Ai Squared & GW Micro Join Forces 26
DisAbility Scholarship at Microsoft 27
Valor Achievement Award Scholarship

 

27
2014 NDAB Fund Raising Report 29
NDAB Board Meeting Minutes 4/13/14 31
NDAB Board Meeting Minutes 6/13/14 33
NDAB Board Meeting Minutes 6/15/14 35
Legislative Report Summer 2014 37
Family Adjustment Seminar Revisited 40
Life As an Active Science 41
NDAB Leadership Roster 42

 

Greetings from the President

Hello Team NDAB,

Well, summer seems to have finally smiled its face upon the great state of North Dakota with splendid wildflowers and the farmlands with many caregivers looking over the fields of crops in hopes of a grand harvest. Like the love and pride of a farmer for their land, I look with solid confidence into the future of NDAB. I feel honored and privileged to once again serve as NDAB’s president for another two years and hope as the farmer does, for the seeds we plant today to bring forth a bountiful harvest for this great organization. To say I love this organization is truly an understatement; words cannot possibly express the depths of my gratitude for both past and present members of NDAB, for the seeds, love, and care they have given me. Thank you.

“Awesome Job Fargo”

This year the state convention was held in Fargo, and if you were not one of the lucky attendees you missed a great convention! Just ask those that attended and I am sure they will agree that it was memorable. The Fargo crew put together an awesome weekend for our members, and to all those involved in the planning no matter what your role, you should be proud of your efforts and give yourself a big pat on the back for a job well done. And, attention NDAB members, remember this name: Missy Miller. Missy, you are the best! What an awesome job you did as convention chair! I am exceedingly grateful for all your hard work. I know it was stressful at times and a lot of work, but what a great job! Thank you. Also, a big thank you to Missy’s right hand, Char Feldman, for all of the many things you did that most of us had no idea. Thank you to all the members who helped during the convention from set-up to tear-down, from the Sergeant of Arms to the mike runners, to those that gave us our nametags, to everyone no matter what the task, thank you. A very special thanks to William Hawkins, our speaker, and the vendors who attended our convention. Thank you to our parliamentarian Jan Stone for whom I am extremely grateful, and most importantly to all of you, our members, for which none of this would have been possible without your help and teamwork. Thank you.

Additionally, Congratulations to Helen Baumgartner, our newest Ed Christensen Award winner, for whom I have the greatest respect. I have worked with Helen for a number of years and this is well deserved. Thank you, Helen, for your service to NDAB.  Congratulations to Dianne Giessinger, our new secretary, and Sherry Shirek, our new board member. I look forward to our working together; welcome to the board! Also, a very special thanks to Paula Anundson for your years of service to the board; and to Alexandria Engraf, our past secretary, thank you for a great two years and I hope you will consider running for the board in the future. I am proud to have had the opportunity to work with both of you and you have my deepest respect.

“Respect & Communication”

For each of you who attended this year’s NDAB State Convention in Fargo, I want to first say with great pride and gratitude, “Thank you for your ‘Respect and Communication’ during the convention, towards the whole convention body.” These words and actions mean much more than Webster’s or Oxford’s Dictionary can define; in fact, these two words can change an organization. Did you catch that? I will say it again, “In fact, these two words can change and organization.” Let me give you just one example. After Sunday’s meeting was adjourned and it appeared everyone had left, I had grabbed a left-over sandwich and sat down to reflect on the weekend’s business meetings and to make a couple of notes. A couple minutes later I heard a voice call my name and as I looked up, I saw two individuals were headed my way. I said hello and asked how they liked the convention. They responded very close to the following, “We loved it! This was nothing like what we had expected.” One earnestly stating, “In fact, I was to an NDAB convention a few years ago where I saw a lot of disrespect and I swore I would never come back. I had felt defeated, angry, and wondered why I had ever joined NDAB and stopped participating in all of NDAB’s activities. But, I had heard things had changed, and although I had my doubts, I decided to try one more time. And, wow what a surprise! I am so excited! I want to be a part of what is happening here.” I asked, “What was different?” Their words: “Respect & Communication.” Since that day I have heard from two other members with the same basic story and are excited to once again become involved with NDAB. Good things are happening with NDAB and you our members are responsible. Keep planting those seeds, tending our future, and changing people’s lives like we have for so many others in our 78 years. Excitement is building once again and NDAB is growing; be a part of what’s happening, get involved, and have fun!

Great Job Team!

Creating our future today, together!

Mark Kueffler, President

 

Note from the Editor

 

First off, I must echo the praises made by President Mark and say, “What a great convention we had in Fargo! Thanks to everyone who helped to make that event a success.

 

Summer finally arrived after a cold and wet spring. We’ll soon be at camp! I can hardly keep my calendar turned to the right month. And so begins another year of publishing our Promoter. I enjoy the work of the editor, and will continue to do my best in the publication. I appreciate the work that Doug and Mary Stip do with the reading, recording and mailing of the cassette tapes. Thank you, Doug and Mary.

 

Thanks to those of you who submit quotes for the newsletter. Keep them coming! This year I thought we could add a “book review” column, so if you’ve read a great book that you want to tell everyone about, send me that information and I’ll put it in the next Promoter.

 

Helen Baumgartner shared the following quotes:

“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” --Jonathan Swift

“The man who complains about the way the ball bounces is likely to be the one who dropped it.” --Lou Holtz

“You can tell when you are on the road to success. It's uphill all the way.” --Paul Harvey

“The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.” --Maureen Dowd

“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” --Beverly Sills

“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” --Zig Ziglar

 

Michelle Zentz shared this one:

"No one has a right to consume happiness without producing it." --Helen Keller

 

These quotes were sent in by Loris:

“Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to.” --John Ed Pearce

“Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.” --Judy Garland

Loris also sent this thought-provoking verse:

Before you assume, learn the facts.
Before you judge, understand why.
Before you hurt someone, feel.
Before you speak, think. --Author Unknown

As in prior Promoters, I will end the issue with an article written by Steve Goodier, a favorite writer of mine.

 

Kathy Larson, Promoter Editor

15225 59th St NW, Williston ND  58801-9560.

klarson@dia.net

 

 

Welcome New NDAB Members

 

NDAB welcomes new members Sandy Marcellais of Mandan, Roxanne Hepper of Bismarck, Dawn Brush of Aberdeen, SD, and Morgan VanWell of Fargo. Welcome back to Bonnie Streitz of South Heart.

 

 

Here We come!

 

Are you ready? August 10th is almost here! If you sent your camp application back marked “Yes, I will attend the NDAB 2014 Summer Camp,” then we’ll see you very soon. If you were unable or unwilling to attend camp, then you’ll just have to read all about our fun-filled week in the next Promoter issue in November.

Don’t forget that our banquet theme this year is “Gone Fishin’.”

Submitted by Loris Van Berkom and Rick Feldman, Co-Camp Directors

 

 

Members of our NDAB Family

by Kathy Larson

We have lost a dear NDAB member, and we extend our deepest sympathy to Olga Neal on the death of her daughter, Donna Lee.

Donna Lee Neal, beloved daughter, sister, mom, grandma and friend, made her way to heaven on May 1, 2014. She was born on October 14, 1953 in Bismarck ND, daughter of Don and Olga (Dorr) Neal. Donna Lee attended the University of North Dakota and received her Masters Degree in English Literature. She was known for her remarkable writing talent, music ability and her depth of faith. At Donna Lee’s request her body will be donated to the UND Medicine and Health Sciences Deeded Body Program. She is survived by her mother, Olga Neal, Grand Forks, ND; sister, Sherry Neal (Marty Klann), Rochester MN; son, Christopher Neal Anderson, Eugene, OR; grandchildren; numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. Donna Lee was preceded in death by her father, Don.

A memorial service was held on Monday, May 5, 2014 11:00 AM at University Lutheran Church, 2122 University Ave, Grand Forks.

----------

 

We extend our sympathy to Angie Marciniak who lost her grandfather. Steve Marciniak of Drayton, ND passed away at Altru Hospital in Grand Forks on May 1st at the age of 89. Memorial services were held on May 7th at the Austin Funeral Chapel in Drayton.

----------

 

We extend our deepest sympathy to Susan and Glenn Jorgenson on the death of Susan’s mother, Jeanette Kjorstad, who passed away on June 25th at the Bethel Lutheran Home in Williston at the age of 91. She was mother to seven girls and one boy, and grandmother to 26 grandchildren and 29 great-grandchildren. Jeanette was known for her baking and creative cooking skills. She so enjoyed God’s creations in searching for crocuses, Juneberries and chokecherries, allowing her to can fruit, fruit butter and jellies. One of her most enduring legacies can be seen in each and every one of her children – a sincere desire to engage people she met in conversation…not just pleasantries, but a true desire to establish a connection. The calm and confidence, and the consistent guidance that she provided all live on today in her family.

----------

 

Those of you who have been NDAB members for a long time will remember Leo and Fern (better known to us as Maggie) Brilz. Maggie passed away on Friday, July 11th at ManorCare Health Services in Minot at the age of 93. She was mother to five, grandmother to 12, great-grandmother to 38 and great great-grandmother to 27. Leo and Maggie were very active NDAB members; Leo was the one who encouraged me to take the job of financial chairperson when I first joined NDAB. Leo lost his battle to cancer in 2000.

----------

 

Bev Austin sends greetings and hugs to all who know her. I am very sad to say that she will not be at camp. She has made frequented stays in the hospital and her doctor does not want her too far from his watchful eye and care. She is looking forward to her 5th great-grandchild next month. Bev, know that you will be greatly missed by many at camp! Should you care to send her greetings, mail to: Beverly Austin, 602 Indiana Ave, Mott ND  58646.

Twins Rosie and Ruthie will also be absent from our camp session this year. They have both been dealing with various health issues, but according to Ruthie, they are both doing fine. They send greetings to all and are hoping to be back next year. We’ll miss you both, and we’ll miss your skit at the talent show! If you want to send them greetings, you can mail to: Rose Landsem, 2360 7th Ave E #2, West Fargo ND  58078

Ruth Poer, 1908 Burlington Drive, C 10, West Fargo ND  58078

 

Benefit for Shereen Faver

 

A benefit is planned for one of NDAB’s long-time members, Shereen Geske Faber, at the Fargo El Zagal Shrine, 1429 3rd Street North, Fargo ND, on Sunday, September 7th, 2014 from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. We are reaching out to you as one of the many organizations she has been active in to spread the word to those who will want to show their support. As you may or may not know, it was recently necessary to amputate one of Shereen’s legs above the knee. We are happy to report she is now recovering and continues to be an inspiration to us all.

 

Shereen has always been there for those in need, and one to help others; we are hoping you will help us pay it forward to her. The benefit is to help defray costs involved with this new challenge. Modifications are needed to be made in her home to make it accessible and to make her life easier.

These are ways you can help:

  • ATTEND THE BENEFIT (BBQ picnic, silent auction, rummage and bake sale)
  • DONATE SILENT AUCTION or RUMMAGE SALE ITEM(S)
  • DONATE BAKE SALE ITEM(S)
  • MONETARY DONATION

Donations can be mailed to:

Bell State Bank

c/o Shereen Geske Faber Benefit

409 Sheyenne Street

West Fargo ND  58078

 

If you have items for the silent auction/bake sale/rummage sale, or questions, you can contact Brad Morris at (701) 237-6354 or RRValley6@msn.com.

 

Thank you,

Friends of Shereen

NDAB 2014 Convention

 

Hello from Missy, your very tired Fargo Convention Chair. Yes, I am still tired. At the time of this writing it has been a few weeks since Fargo hosted our 78th convention and we sure hope all attendees had a great weekend.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my committee members as I could not have done it without them. I had many initial volunteers but the following group stuck with me to the very end: Kathryn Loe, Kathryn Schmidt, Ali Engraf, Mark Kueffler, Char and Rick Feldman, Shereen and Elton Faber, Sherry and Jesse Shirek, Melissa and Dean Petersen, Judy and Allan Peterson.

Additionally, I need to extend a huge Thank You to all who   “came to their senses” and attended the weekend of June 13-15. Thanks to your efforts in making the long trip to Fargo we were over 70 strong at Friday night’s picnic, our largest event.

We opened the convention with a Legislative Picnic. As we feasted on pulled pork we mingled and heard a few elevator speeches from state and local representatives. Big Thank You to Char Feldman and her Noridian coworkers for serving us, and to Allan Peterson for extending the invitations to our guest legislators. The money for the food was provided by Sunmart Foods, Hornbachers Foods, and the Horace Lions. Transportation to and from was provided by the Gateway Lions.

Saturday morning and afternoon were filled with our annual business meeting. A special guest speaker William Hawkins, President and CEO of Hawkins Financial Service in Kansas City, MO, addressed the convention just before lunch. William has been advising NDAB on our financial matters for a few years now and was gracious enough to make the trip north with his wife Tracey to speak to us personally. Following William’s presentation we enjoyed a very informative Vendor Showcase Luncheon hosted by Sherry Shirek. I will share contact information for our vendors at the end of this article.

This year brought a few changes. One was to have a vision rehabilitation specialist available for hotel orientation on Friday afternoon. I hope many of you took advantage of Rebecca Anderson’s assistance as she was gracious enough to take time out of her busy schedule to be with us. A second change was to our afternoon break. I was so pleased to hire Darrin and Lori Arneson from Popcorn Central to deliver fresh popcorn to us. Darrin owns and operates the business, offering more than 12 flavors to choose from. He pops the corn as his wife helps with the flavoring, packaging, and delivering of the tasty treats all around Fargo/Moorhead. Darrin would probably do the deliveries too, but he just happens to be blind and can’t drive. He has a very inspiring story of determination, and I so wanted to share their product with you. By the way, they do pop fresh and mail it all across ND and MN. The last change that I’d like to share is the Early Registration Drawing. In an attempt to get people registered early, we gave a refund of all convention fees to one lucky person. All the names that made the deadline went into a drawing and Joseph Dekaria took home the money. Congratulations Joe! Just think, all he had to do to get his money back was to make the deadline and show up. I hope this idea continues as it really helped make things easier for the convention planning. I received three quarters of our registrations by the deadline!

Saturday evening we laughed, we cried, we were inspired by our special guest speaker Retired Army Master Sergeant Eric Marts and our very special banquet emcee, Char Feldman! It was an absolutely awesome awards banquet. Scholarship recipients, Brandon Kartes, Jessica Bolt, Jana Heiser, and Candice Rivinius were recognized as well as Kory Peterson, recipient of the Robert John LePage Service Award. For me, the most exciting, and the biggest highlight of the night is always the announcement of the winner of the Ed Christensen Award and this year was no exception. Helen Baumgartner took home the honor! Congratulations Helen. They couldn’t have picked a more deserving recipient.

We started Sunday morning with a beautiful Memorial service arranged by Shereen Faber, then finished up our business meeting. It was a big election year with many re-elections and the addition of two new smiling faces on the board.

Congratulations:  President Mark Kueffler, Vice President Zelda Gebhard, Secretary Dianne Giessinger, Treasurer Helen Baumgartner, Board Member Sherry Shirek, Promoter Editor Kathy Larson, and ACB Convention Delegate Missy Miller

Convention Contact Information:

Popcorn Central

Darrin Arneson, Owner/Operator    701-232-0101

www.popcorncentralfargo.com

Safety and Security Source

Tracey Hawkins, Safety and Security Expert    816-372-0939

www.safetyandsecuritysource.com

Low Vision Products and Training of ND

Dennis Baumgartner and Kevin Vannett    701-214-4785

www.lowvisionnd.com

Guiding Eyes for the Blind

Dawn Brush    1-800-942-0149 Number for Admissions Manager

www.guidingeyes.org

NDVS/SB

Jesse Shirek     1-800-421-1181 Number for the Center Base Office

www.ndvisionservices.com

If you were able to attend you may remember me warning you that we were going to make attempts at using our sense of humor. I hope we were successful and that it made the time you spent with us more enjoyable. It was an absolute joy (most of the time) to be your hostess.

Sincerely, Missy Miller, 2014 Convention Chair

 

 

 

Lucky NDAB Members

Submitted by Char Feldman

Winners of the door prizes at the 2014 NDAB Convention:
Paula Anundson, Shereen Faber, Judy Petersen, Kathy Johnson, Dianne Giessinger, Mary Stip, Ruth Phalen, Char Feldman, Kathy Larson, Jesse Shirek, Roxy Hepper, Michelle Zentz, Kathryn Loe, Doug Stip, Stan Larson, Brenda Bruins, Sherry Shirek, Dean Petersen, Donna Hepper and Marvin Heaton.

A 50/50 fundraiser was held. Four hundred tickets were sold for $1 each. Half of this money was given back in four drawings of $50 each. The lucky winners were Elton Faber, Donna Hepper, Paula Anundson and David Sundeen.

 

The 2014 Ed Christensen Award

It was with honor that the 2014 Ed Christensen Award was presented to Helen Baumgartner at the banquet on Saturday, June 14, at the NDAB Convention held at the Country Suite in Fargo, ND. This award is given to an active NDAB member and is primarily based upon their dedicated service to NDAB. Helen has been an active NDAB member for 34 years. She has served as an officer on the NDAB Board several different terms, first as vice president, and since 2010, as our current treasurer.

Helen has assisted in many capacities at our NDAB Summer Camp. This includes teaching classes in lawn chair macramé and stool and magazine rack caning. Other camp activities she has helped with include volunteering as one of the blackjack dealers and helping at the Saturday night auction. She has also been a strong advocate for people with vision impairment and blindness through NDAB, through her employment, and also through her community and other groups. She has stepped up to the plate many times and taken a leadership role in preparation for NDAB conventions in her local community. She has also been very instrumental in the creation of the foundation of the current Lion’s Video Magnifier Program in ND, and has been a very worthy recipient of the Robert John LePage Service Award.

These are just some of her many contributions to NDAB over the years. The Ed Christensen Award is just one way in which NDAB would like to thank you, Helen, for all the ways you have supported and promoted NDAB over the 34 years!  Congratulations!

Respectfully submitted by the Ed Christensen Award Committee,

Carol Schmitt and Shereen Faber

 

 

Kory Peterson Receives 2014 LePage Award

by Candy Lien

During the 2014 NDAB State Convention in Fargo, June 13-15, Mr. Kory Peterson of Horace, ND, was presented with the Robert John LePage Service Award.

Mr. Peterson has been a member of the Horace Lions for the past 11 years, serving as director for two of those years. In addition to chairing the Mega Raffle for six years, Mr. Peterson received a Melvin Jones fellowship in 2010. The main reason that Horace Lions President, Michael T. Rerick, nominated Kory, however, is his leadership in starting and organizing an eye screening at Horace Elementary School for all students K-5. “Working in conjunction with a local eye clinic,” wrote Mr. Rerick, “the Horace Lions with Kory’s leadership have performed eye screenings and referred many students to local ophthalmologists for further evaluation.”

Committee member Shereen Faber and Elton Faber presented the plaque to Mr. Peterson during the evening banquet at the Country Inn and Suites in Fargo. The plaque reads: “With thanks and appreciation for your 'vision’ and dedication to people with sight loss in North Dakota."

The Robert John LePage Service Award is given every year by the North Dakota Association of the Blind to a North Dakota Lion who has been judged to embody the spirit of Bob LePage. Bob worked tirelessly behind the scenes for many years, never accepting any compensation, to serve the unmet needs of people with vision loss, particularly in the Fargo area. During the 2008 NDAB state convention, Bob was presented with a plaque in gratitude for his many years of service to the visually impaired. When he died suddenly in September of that year, the North Dakota Association of the Blind decided to Honor his memory by continuing the tradition of granting an award in his name to the North Dakota Lion who best exemplified Bob’s quiet, humble type of service.

Congratulations to Mr. Kory Peterson on receiving this well-deserved award!

 

2014 NDAB Member Participation Incentive Program Report

I have some great results to report to you. Together, the participants in the Participation Incentive Program have made a very positive impact on our organization again this year. They raised $9871.60, recruited four new members, gave one presentation and set up two displays about NDAB. The truly amazing part is that these results were accomplished and reported by only five members!

I know that there are many of you out there who are encouraging others to join, attending your local walk, raising money for the organization and talking to groups about NDAB and sharing your vision story to encourage others with vision loss. You just didn't fill out a report. Your efforts are appreciated and they do make a positive impact.

Sometimes we think what we do as individuals won’t make a difference. That’s wrong! No matter how big or small, your efforts are important!

I want to encourage you to do what you are already doing, do a little more and then report it by filling out a PIP report form before convention next year.

At the banquet during the NDAB 2014 Convention, all the participants were honored for their achievements. The three with the most points were awarded a framed certificate and a cash prize: Mary Lou Stip earned 1st place and $100 with 339 points, Eugenie Lang came in 2nd with 167 points and received $50 and with 121 points Shereen Faber was awarded 3rd place and $25. Also receiving Participant Certificates were Susan Jorgenson and Kathryn Schmidt.

I am so thankful to all of you - Kathryn, Susan, Shereen, Eugenie, and Mary Lou for your dedicated efforts and commitment to NDAB. You should all feel great about your accomplishments.

May the results of their efforts be an inspiration to all of you to do what you can to make our already great organization an even better one.

Hopefully, you are now asking yourself, "How can I get involved?” Here are just a few examples.

  • Talk to those around you – on the bus, in the waiting room, in the church pew behind you. Tell them about NDAB and how being a member has impacted your life.
  • Ask for donations – NDAB is a nonprofit and contributions are tax deductible.
  • Plan to attend your local walk – April might seem like a long way off but it will be here before you know it. Maybe you can help your local chairperson in some way or start your own if your community doesn’t already have one.
  • Educate the public – Groups are always looking for new information. People just naturally want to help but just don’t know how. You could talk to a group you already belong to and help them better understand you as a person with sight loss. Often times there will be someone undergoing vision loss who will be encouraged by your vision story.

 

Start today! We have 10 months to see what we can accomplish together by the 2015 NDAB Convention. If you have any questions, please give me a call at 701-493-2399.

Zelda Gebhard, V.P. and Membership Chairperson

 

NDAB Membership Manual

 

I am pleased to report that we held a New Member Orientation session during the 2014 NDAB State Convention. We gathered on Friday evening after the Legislative Picnic. Information was shared verbally and via a Membership Manual. Though the manual was initially created for new member orientation purposes, we would like to offer it to any member who would like to have a copy.

The manual is the result of a cooperative effort from a host of contributors and I thank them all for their efforts. Together we have created a comprehensive resource full of information about our organization which should be helpful to encourage knowledge, understanding and involvement in the organization.

It is available in several formats including large print in a three-ring binder, cassette tape and digitally by email. I have already sent email copies to all members I had on my email list. If you have email and didn't receive a copy, please email me at zgeb@drtel.net and send me your email address.  I will then send the manual to you. If you would like either the taped or large print versions, please call me at 701-493-2399. I will have a limited number of both with me at Adult Summer Camp in August. To make sure I have enough of both for interested persons, please give me a call so I can be prepared.

Whether you are new to the organization or have been a member for years, you will undoubtedly discover something new by reading the NDAB Member Manual.

Zelda Gebhard, V.P. and Membership Chairperson

 

 

Member News from Around the State

 

Bismarck News

By Bob Vandal

 

I would like to thank Donna Hepper, Bob Westermeyer, Genie Lang and Mavis Anderson.

 

Things are nice and green. This area has had plenty of rain. There has also been some destructive weather. I guess you take the good as well as the bad. This is better than drought in my opinion.

 

Mavis said that the Heritage Center is still progressing toward completion. Two wings are complete. There is a glass structure with iron used for reinforcement that people have said reminds them of a teepee, while others said it remind them of a granary. I have been in the Center but I was not able to walk through it. I would like to encourage you to come and see it even though it is not completed.

 

Donna Hepper reported that once again she will be attending the ACB Convention being held in Las Vegas. She also attended NDAB's state convention held in Fargo. She said that it was very well organized. The food was very good and the entertainment was also very good. Congratulations Fargo; I have heard this before. Genie Lang also said basically the same.

 

Speaking of Genie Lang, her seven-year old granddaughter is coming to Bismarck to stay with Lola Genie (Grandma). This will be her fourth year of doing this.

 

Bobby Westermeyer told me that he participated in a couple of fishing outings. First on May 31, he was taken down to Graner Bottoms. He reported landing three walleyes and to the best of my knowledge this is not just a fish story. On June 21st, he participated once again in a fishing outing. No report as to the fish caught. He said that next year “Escape to the Lake” will be held on June 20th. For more information, call Geri at 701-795-6603.

 

The VIP group met on May 19th at the Rice Bowl. This Asian restaurant was declared as one of the top establishments in the US. On June 16th VIP met at the Golden Corral. In July the group will meet at the Vandal's for a summer-like picnic.

 

My daughter, Bobi Jo, will move out of Boston in December and move to Portland where she will begin her internship.

 

Thanks everyone, and we will be back in touch in three months.

 

Fargo News

by Shereen Faber

Hello to all once again! I first want to thank everyone for your prayers, and to those of you who sent me cards, flowers, and phone calls. They meant everything to me and really lifted my spirits. I am still waiting for the day when I can start the process of getting a prosthetic, still waiting for a bit of healing to take place.

It was absolutely wonderful to see everyone that went to the convention. I want to compliment Missy Miller for a great convention and hope that she treated herself to a complete spa treatment afterwards. I wasn’t there for 100% of the convention but it sure seemed like Mark once again ran things very smoothly and stress free. Congratulations to the newly elected people on the board and also to the incumbents.

From July 2nd through the 8th we had friends that stayed with us from New York. Some of the time was spent at the lake, and yes, I was able to get on the pontoon and go fishing!!! Sunday July 6th we came back into town and went to a fabulous Bonnie Raitt Concert, outdoors. The amphitheater that the concert was held at is the same venue where our Trollwood musicals are held every summer. This summer they are performing “How to Succeed at Business Without Really Trying.” The audio description was July 25th.

My niece Acacia from Thailand is back with us for the summer until she goes up to UND in August. She will be a freshman, going into Forensic Science, and we are so thrilled to have her close by.

Candy and Terry Lien went to Odessa, Missouri, the last weekend of July. Candy’s sister and her husband are celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary and are having a get-together with friends and family.

Everyone in Fargo is doing well. Several, of course, will be coming to camp this summer, which is just around the corner. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend for my second summer in a row but will be thinking of you from August 10th through the 17th. Everyone take care until next time and hope our fall is warm and long.

P.S. “Maybe I’m Amazed,” yes there were 12 of us that were very amazed that Sir Paul McCartney has a soft spot for the visually impaired and blind. Friday night July 11th I received a call from Judy Peterson who wanted help with phone numbers and to help find people who wanted to attend the concert on July 12th. We went into a “Helter Skelter” mode and found 12 people. “All Together Now” we enjoyed an amazing concert! It was a bit of a “Long and Winding Road” for me and my current situation in a wheel chair. I couldn’t do steps so they switched out our tickets for floor seating and we ended up eight rows back center stage. He played for almost three hours non-stop, and at 72 years old he was fantastic! I hope that I’ll have as much energy as Sir Paul “When I’m 64.”

Grand Forks News

by Ruth Phalen

I’m back again as your Grand Forks reporter. When Editor Kathy asked me to do this at the Fargo convention my first answer was no, but I realized there were very few active members from Grand Forks and we do need to stay connected. I still consider Rom Thielman to be a Grand Forks member while realizing she now lives in Bloomington. Dave Sundeen, Rom and I were In Fargo for the convention and I saw David McCloud on Saturday but didn’t really visit with him. Paul Olson, Director of North Dakota Vision Services/School for the Blind, spoke on Saturday but I didn’t visit with him, either.

I did talk to David McCloud since then. He works a full time job for Grand Forks City and then stays in shape to run marathons. He ran the Fargo Marathon this year and will run next year. He’s really close to getting his time down to four hours and then will qualify for the Boston Marathon – a goal of his. So be sure to watch for him next year. He also has been on jury duty recently – something he’d like to talk about more. He is anxious to get back to camp this year and see and talk to everyone then.

It was good to be with Rom again, and she is planning to come to camp. That tells me things are going well for her. She came back to Grand Forks when the convention ended to visit with Olga Neal. I understand they had a great visit.

Olga says she is doing well alone even if there are many lonely times. She has many friends and neighbors who see that she gets the things she needs, and she has had relatives come to visit so she has had many visitors. It is always good to visit with her and know she appreciates contacts from friends.

When I asked Angie Marciniak about coming to camp she said she’d like to but since we can’t predict the weather and she can’t tolerate the heat she most likely will not be able to come. She spends much of her time taking care of her health problems. When there are groups at the North Dakota Vision Services/School for the Blind she works there and helps there when needed. She sees her boyfriend often and visits her family in Drayton often and they are all doing well.

As for me, I keep busy and can’t understand why I don’t get more done but guess it’s just that I’m slowing down! I have been to a grandson’s graduation and wedding in Houston in May and will go to Hillsdale, Michigan, in July for another grandson’s wedding. My brother is driving there, a sister will join us in Wisconsin, so we will also spend time just being tourists after the wedding. I am often asked about my sister Norie who was at camp with us two times a few years ago. Physically, she is well, in a nursing home in Moorhead, but has lost much of her memory so it is hard to visit. That is nothing to look forward to and I try to visit her as often as I can. I do plan to see most of you at camp.

Our senior support group does not meet during the summer so will catch up with them for the next issue. Enjoy the summer – we sure haven’t had much of it!

 

MINOT NEWS

by Doug and Mary Stip

 

We don't have much news to report this time. Dianne Giessinger was elected the new NDAB secretary at convention in Fargo. As for Fourth of July celebrations, the people we talked to all reported having a quiet Fourth of July weekend with friends and family.

 

Our Many Thanks

by Doug and Mary Stip

We had a very successful walkathon this year. We would like to take this opportunity to say many thanks to our wonderful contributors! Because of them and our many friends, Minot raised a record amount for NDAB. The following is a list of contributors:

Financial Contributors:

American Legion William C. Carroll Post 26, Ameriprise Financial Employees, Bradley Eyecare, Cashwise Foods, Corridor Investors, LLC, First Western Bank, Gate City Bank, Hooterville Flion Lions, Johnson Eyecare and Eyewear, Magic City Lions Club, Main Street Books, Marketplace Foods, Minot Elks Lodge B.P.O.E. 1089, Minot Lions Club, Minot State University Alumni Association, Montana-Dakota Utilities, Dr. Shawn Nelson, Niess Impressions, Optical Outlook PC, Prairie Federal Credit Union, Professional Hearing Services, Saunders Chiropractic, Souris River Telephone, Thomas Family Funeral Home, Verendrye Electric Cooperative, Wal-Mart, Dr. Darrell Williams, Dr. Chad Wolsky and Minot Moose Lodge #822.

 

Door Prize Contributors:

Burger King, Burger Time, Carmike Stadium Cinema 9, Cold Stone Creamery, Dacotah Bank, Dairy Queen Dakota Square, Dairy Queen South Broadway, Ebeneezer’s, Gideon’s Trumpet, Gourmet Chef, Joan’s Hallmark, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Scheels, Subway, Trinity Health, Val’s Cyclery, Wells Fargo Bank and Wendy’s.

 

Williston Wanderings Summer 2014

by Loris Van Berkom

Six of us from Williston traveled to Fargo for the 2014 NDAB State Convention June 13-15. We extend a big thank you to the Convention Chair Missy Miller and all of the convention committee members for making us come to our senses in grand style. We welcome all of you to Williston June 10-12 in 2016 for the convention.

Brenda Bruins spent a few days in June at her childhood home to spend time with her sister from Fargo and her nephew’s eight-year old triplets who live in California. She also spent the weekend of the 4th celebrating with her family in Arnegard.

Carol Scallon’s family has a cabin near Garrison. They have been remodeling it and can now enjoy weekends there. She is happy to take the summer off from teaching but will be going back in the fall. Her classroom will be moving to one of the other rural school locations farther out of Williston.

Janelle Olson and her husband Jeff have been remodeling there main floor bathroom. They have moved into the 21st century now that they got air conditioning installed just in time for the summer heat. Her mother-in-law sustained a back injury from a fall and is now recuperating in a local long term care facility so Janelle visits her daily.

Jean Cote will not be able to attend camp this year due to health reasons. She said that if anyone is on the fence about going to camp, they should call her and she will tell them what a great experience it is.

Steve Skjei will not be at camp either. He has some up-coming medical appointments. His wife who moved here from Iowa last year after retiring as an elementary guidance counselor and worked part time here in Williston the last half of the year in the middle school, has retired for good this time. Steve and his dad are faithful members of our local support group.

Our deepest sympathy goes out to Susan Jorgenson and her family on the loss of her mother. Susan is the oldest of eight children so they had quite a reunion celebrating their mother’s life.

Sheryl and Dan Gerhardt traveled from Kentucky in May to attend a granddaughter’s high school graduation in the Devils Lake area. They spent a week in Williston at their son Danny’s home visiting family and friends. Janelle, Susan, Carol and I met Sheryl one day for lunch. They are still waiting to break ground on their apartment which will be attached to their son David’s home. We had several chuckles hearing about Bacon Bits, the family’s pet pig who thinks he is a dog. Sheryl never thought that she would be enjoying the antics of a fifty pound, black and white pig. When I called her later with happy birthday wishes, she told that Dan had unexpected heart surgery in Louisville and had a stent put in on July 10th. The main artery on the back side of his heart known as the “widow maker” was 98% blocked. He is recovering at home.

June was the month for conventions for Kathy and Stan Larson. The week after the NDAB convention, they drove back to Fargo to attend the 100th anniversary of District 4 Sons of Norway as delegates from their local lodge, meeting old and new friends from Canada, Montana and North Dakota. In July they enjoyed visiting Medora with two of their children and families, eating, shopping, swimming, playing mini-golf, and of course, taking in the Medora Musical; the 50th anniversary of the musical was excellent! Once again, they drove back to eastern ND where Stan grew up to visit family and take in festivities at “Shuffle off to Buffalo” with six of the nine Larson siblings in attendance. They’ll attend “Frost Fire” in Walhalla the end of July together with their “cruising friends.” Soon it will be harvest and time for camp!

My basement remodeling project actually ended, just a year shy of when it first flooded and is now ready for guests. In June, a tempting rebate offer enticed me to take the big plunge and exchange my nine-year old flip phone for an iPhone which wasn’t as scary as I had imagined. My house is very empty now without my four legged companion, Foxie, who had lived a good life for 15 years. My son, home over the 4th for his twenty year class reunion, did a lot of little jobs for me before we left for a resort in Minnesota for a week-long family reunion.

Enjoy the days of summer because they are flying by extremely fast!

 

Donations and Memorials

NDAB has received the following Memorials since the last issue of the Promoter:

Zelda and Steven Gebhard, Rom Thielman, Shereen and Elton Faber, Irene and Lyle Nelson in memory of Donna Lee Neal

Irene and Lyle Nelson, Catherine Buettner in memory of Connie Springsted

Catherine Buettner in memory of Garnett Preabt

Irene and Lyle Nelson, Shereen and Elton Faber in memory of Linda Oyloe

Total Memorials: $235.00

NDAB has received Donations from the following people since the last issue of the Promoter:

Lonna Gipp, Ruth Phalen, Brett James Warckin and Joan Ehrhardt

Total Donations: $148.26

Thank you for your generous contributions to NDAB. We appreciate your support.

Helen Baumgartner, Treasurer

 

 

 

 

Sir Paul McCartney Treats Fargo NDAB Members!

by Char Feldman

It was Friday evening, we were watching television and the phone rang. Rick answered and it was Judy Peterson. She had FREE tickets to see Paul McCartney at the Fargodome Saturday, July 12th. Yes, I said FREE! Rick jumped at the opportunity and said, "Yes!"

I picked up the tickets from Judy Saturday morning at her work and it started to become real. But how did we get the tickets? Who paid for them? It was still a mystery. We did find out that evening, however...the rest of the story...and it is incredible.

 

Someone from Sir Paul's group called the office in Fargo where Rebecca Anderson Falde is employed, said he was going to do a concert in Fargo and wanted to give tickets to blind/visually impaired in Fargo. They needed a name to contact and Allan Peterson's name was given. Allan and Judy didn't quite believe the call when they got it....FREE tickets? They waited to see if the tickets would actually appear and Friday, the day before the concert...they did. Twelve tickets!

 

We had great seats; Shereen with her wheelchair was positioned eight rows from the stage! She got to feel the heat from the production, as there were fires, fireworks, and all kinds of special effects. It was absolutely out-of-this world entertainment. Very hard, if not impossible, to describe.

 

He came on stage with two guitar players, keyboard player and a drummer. There were two different pianos he played, several different guitars and a ukulele. He sang for almost three hours straight and I don't think I even saw him stop to take a drink of water.

 

Sunday, the Fargo Forum had the entire front page devoted to his picture and a story about him with the caption "McCartney shows ages just a number with dome concert." Every song had a fabulous background production of either film clips, lights, lights on the ceiling, and all kinds of effects. He looked like he was having a great time, joked with the crowd, and I could see why his trademark is his humble attitude.

 

Sir Paul has donated tickets before to the blind in other cities, but I could not find out why or if he has a personal connection with the blind. He is in the Guinness Book of World Records for several notables:

Most #1 hits

Most covered song "Yesterday"

Largest paid audience for solo concert - 350,000+ in Brazil

 

It was a wonderful night, a "magical mystery tour' night, and one Rick and I won't forget for a long, long time.

 

 

Candy’s Corner

Did you know that braille greeting cards are available for purchase from North Dakota Vision Services/School for the Blind? For $1.00 each, you can obtain braille greeting cards for a variety of occasions, including birthday (several types); congratulations (General);congratulations (Baby); congratulations (Graduation);get Well; thank You; sympathy; Valentine’s Day; Christmas (many different designs);and Hanukkah. Just call Leslie at 1-800-421-1181, extension 2713 if you are interested in purchasing any of these cards.

Also, braille/print greeting cards are available in the Hallmark store in West Acres in Fargo. I am not sure if they are available in all Hallmark stores or not. I can tell you from personal experience that as a braille reader, receiving a card that I can read without assistance is very much appreciated!

 

From Bloomington

by Rom Thielman

You all have probably heard the saying, "You can take the boy out of the country but you can't take the country out of the boy." Well, I've adapted that saying to fit me: "You can take Rom out of North Dakota but you can't take North Dakota out of Rom."

Though I have lived here in Bloomington, MN, for about two years - in an Independent living facility (Presbyterian Homes and Services) - I still feel I belong in North Dakota.

I'm so glad that I "came to my senses" and managed to get to the NDAB Convention in Fargo. Being a part of those three days - interacting with old friends and meeting some new friends along with sharing our "vision" ("Not he who lacks sight but he who lacks vision is blind") - energized my "belonging." By the way, Congratulations to the Fargo group for so effectively organizing the "Come to Your Senses" weekend!

I still miss Grand Forks, especially where Lee, my husband, and I lived for 27-28 years and became members of NDAB 12 years ago. Though many members throughout NDAB have had a positive influence in our lives, Olga Neal in GF became very special. So, after the Convention, when Ruth Phalen and her brother offered to give me a ride to GF, I was thrilled. I spent two wonderful days with Olga. We shared many happy memories but also some sad ones since the death of her daughter, Donna Lee. I'm so grateful for her, her friendship, for her faith, and for her many friends who continue to support her.

As far as my life here in Bloomington goes ~ it is good... I have many opportunities to get involved whether in taking part in a variety of activities offered or in volunteering. Some of my family, who live in this area . . . my brother, sister-in-law, two nieces & husbands, and four grand nieces, often show up when I want or need them. I'm so blessed! Besides getting me to appointments or shopping, lately we have celebrated together a grand niece's high school graduation and will soon enjoy going to a Scottish Festival in near-by Eagan, MN. (Yes, I'm a full-blown Scots woman with a maiden name of Mac Kenzie.)

Sometimes I feel like I'm really growing old with the aches and pains connected with the "territory," but get this. When I turned "80" in February, some of my "little older" friends said, "Oh! You're just a kid!"

I'll use that perspective of "kid" as I start getting ready for our NDAB camp in August.

See you there!!

Carey McWilliams is an outdoorsman who happens to be blind; he is a freelance journalist who wrote the following article for Safari Club International about a most recent fishing tournament that Bobby Westermeyer participated in. He has given permission to reprint it in our Promoter.

Fishing Trip

Well, after being grabbed suddenly by the Missouri’s strong river current and fishtailing during launch, and right after a good whitewater goose from the boat stopping too fast and having the wash ride up back on us, I finally got to dip a hook in some offshoots of the mighty Missouri River as thunderheads passed dark but harmless overhead. Hours passed with not a nibble. And so, after receiving a hit by a passing piece of driftwood, I asked the brothers if they would consider carving me a walleye for the wall. That was when I first learned the nickname of my guide, Jon, which was, of all things, "No Fish." This was proudly displayed on the customized license plate of his truck. The nickname, he later told me, had been given to him by his kids upon a fishing trip up north for salmon. By cell they would call their dad and ask how things were going, to which the reply from their dad would be a short, “No fish.”

Fantastic, I groaned in my head. Here I had come half a state from home with wife and guide dog to troll the still flooded waters of the Missouri River for a chance to land a big specimen of a fish that has proven so elusive for me to catch, and my assistant’s nickname had to be “No Fish”? As a man who had just the year before hooked a giant tiger shark just outside Pearl Harbor, great luck seemed to belong, at least for me, to be limited only to waters of the ocean variety. As for fresh water found in nearby lakes and rivers, my luck seemed to be in for only sunfish and catfish. Others claimed to have landed such known game fish as walleyes, northern pikes, and big mouth bass, but although they had shown me their catches and even had me clean a few over the years, such was like the Lock Ness Monster—heard of, but never seen.

And so dropping my hook with little enthusiasm for what felt like the hundredth time, my heart seemed to follow my bait to six inches above the bottom, trailing along the weeds, plowing through the underwater jungle on a fruitless search. At least drummer fish hit my line, apparently eager to join up with the bundle of sticks to strike up a cadence. They were foul Balls at best. But soon the line sunk into a mouth and I drew forth a 1.5-pound half bread of walleye called by some a slaugeye, a cross between a junk fish like a slauger and a full walleye. Well, a successful bunt and progress, I supposed, tossing it back.

But soon more and more larger pure walleye began striking my line, so fast and furious that I did bag my limit after all with a total of five two - pounders pulled from the Missouri River. And so fishing by boat with a pair of brothers and another blind fisherman, a contest began, just the four of us to see which side could land the most walleye. Soon fish began to practically jump in the boat, sometimes hitting the baited hooks upon impact with the water. The brothers began lunging after hooked walleyes, sometimes reaching so far out with the nets that they nearly went overboard themselves. However, the chop and gusts of an approaching cold front turned off this feeding frenzy, leaving a fleet of other boats swarming over the spots we had vacated, trying for just one more bite before the midday break.

 

But to spite it all, I walked away with a limit and an extra ten in my pocket. This I was handed by my guide Jon, who swore that he would begin paying me a buck every time he called me by the other blind fisherman’s name. At the end of the day, he had to pay me ten, five for the five times he called me Bob, and five for thinking I was reeling in a tree instead of a fish of which he grabbed the line In an attempt to free my hook from a believed underwater snag. The result was the jerking of the hook right out of a monster walleye’s mouth. First time I ever saw a sunken log ever eat a minnow bait, but apparently my laughing remark that he should have to pay me a five spot for the lost fish had not gone unnoticed upon our return to the dock where the ten was quickly handed over.

Anyway, that final score had Jon and me coming out on top, but only by one over his brother, glen, and his blind fishing partner, Bob.  In the end, my largest measured 21-inches and about 3, or so pounds. And although my wife elected to stay with my guide dog golden lab, Dave, to watch out for the onset of his seizure issues, I believe all went well with fresh fish for us and the others for whom we will share this catch on this, the newest chapter in the saga that is “blind outdoorsman.”

 

Note from ACB

 

You can now hear the ACB Braille Forum, E Forum and ACB Reports via the telephone. To hear the latest issues, just dial 231-460-1061. Please note that long distance charges may apply.

 

A Life-Changing Event

Submitted by Genie Lang, Bismarck

 

On April 12, 2014, eight individuals plus myself participated in a life-changing event. We were participants of the first self-defense class for women who are blind or visually impaired in the state of North Dakota. Sherry Shirek was instrumental in bringing everyone together to begin the class. Sherry commented that because of our visual impairment we pay extra attention to our surroundings, yet we are very vulnerable.

 

I started the class with many fears, questioning whether I would learn anything that I could actually use. We were first taught about prevention. We were encouraged to select brightly lit routes. Even though we may not see the light, a well-lit street may deter someone who means us harm. If it can be prevented, never allow yourself to be taken to a secondary location. Statistics prove that individuals who are taken to another location rarely survive. We received hands-on training and learned how to use our hands, elbows, feet, bodies and canes as weapons. We practiced our new skills in actual fights with some of our trainer, who were fully padded so that we could hit back at full force or 100%.

 

The class was taught by a group of experienced individuals. They included Beth Bakke Stenehjem, Paul Olson, superintendent of the ND School for The Blind, Dillon Zubke, and Bryan Johnson. If you have any questions about the class, contact Beth Bakke Stenehjem at bethbakke@btinet.net.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEP Announces U.S. Currency Reader Program for Blind and Visually Impaired

 

Orlando, FL - The Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) revealed its plans to distribute currency reader devices at no cost to eligible blind or visually impaired persons, as one component of its initiative to provide meaningful access to Federal Reserve notes (U.S. currency). Program details were presented at the National Federation of the Blind's (NFB) Board of Directors meeting and annual convention by the Senior Advisor to the BEP's Director, Dawn R. Haley, in Orlando, Florida.

 

Haley signaled the U.S. Currency Reader Program kick-off by announcing that currency readers would be distributed to eligible attendees at the July and August summer conventions of the National Federation of the Blind, American Council of the Blind (ACB), and Blinded Veterans of America (BVA), followed by a broader launch of the program in two phases:

 

Pilot: Beginning September 2, 2014, in partnership with the Library of Congress National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) the BEP will initiate a four-month pilot where NLS patrons can pre-order a currency reader. The pilot program allows the government to test its ordering and distribution processes and gauge demand for currency readers.

 

National Rollout: Currency readers will be widely available to all U.S. citizens, or persons legally residing in the U.S. who are blind or visually impaired, starting January 2, 2015. Individuals who are not NLS patrons must submit an application, signed by a competent authority who can certify eligibility, to request a currency reader.

 

"The BEP has participated at the summer conventions for a number of years now," Haley said. "We are excited to introduce our currency reader program plans here at this venue and to provide currency readers to interested conference participants here and at the other conventions as well."

 

Through a national network of cooperating libraries, NLS administers a free library program that circulates braille and audio materials to approximately 400,000 eligible borrowers in the United States. "The fact that we already have a process in place to provide reading materials to individuals who are blind or visually impaired made our partnership with the BEP a natural fit," explained Isabella Marques de Castilla, NLS Deputy Director. "Our role in the U.S. Currency Reader Program will be to process orders and distribute currency reader devices to eligible individuals."

 

In 2011, the BEP introduced EyeNoteR, an app that scans and identifies note images on mobile devices operating on the Apple iOS platform. A similar app for Android phones, the IDEAL Currency Reader R was developed through collaboration with the Department of Education.

 

Individuals interested in applying for a currency reader device or learning more about BEP's meaningful access program can visit www.bep.gov.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The AFB Offers New and Expanded Free Apps to Help People with Vision Loss

New York (June 25, 2014)

The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) today launched the all-new CareerConnect App™, a tool for professionals, job seekers, parents and youth, and announced that AccessNote®, a specialized notetaker for people who are visually impaired, will soon be available for use on Android devices. Thanks to generous support from funders, AFB is making AccessNote (formerly $19.99 in the Apple App Store) available free of charge.

Based on AFB's popular CareerConnect® web program, the CareerConnect app is designed to be used on the go for job search tips, quick lesson ideas, and career advice. Key features include the CareerConnect Blog tab, providing current info about navigating the employment process; transition-related lesson plans grouped by topic; and Our Stories, packed with informative personal stories from people who are blind or visually impaired and successfully employed in various fields.

AccessNote, originally released in 2013 for use with iOS devices, is the first notetaking app developed and designed specifically for users with vision loss. AccessNote; has been lauded for its user-friendly features such as easy text navigation, DropBox integration, compatibility with Bluetooth keyboards and wireless braille displays, and its powerful search function.

"We're always looking for ways to expand access to technology for people who are blind or visually impaired," said Carl R. Augusto, AFB president and CEO. "Based on the popularity of theCareerConnect website and the original version of AccessNote we realized it was crucial to further develop these programs and offer them for free to a wider audience."

The CareerConnect app is available for download for iOS, and AFB will be adding new features through the coming year. AccessNote; will be available for download for iOS and Android.

 

 

Intuit QuickBooks Accessibility Initiative

MyBlindSpot Screen Reader Scripts for Accessible QuickBooks

 

Note from the editor: In the past, QuickBooks has not been user-friendly for those of us with sight loss. Now QuickBooks 2014 is now largely accessible to users of JAWS and NVDA.

What is the Intuit QuickBooks Accessibility Initiative?

 

The QuickBooks Accessibility Initiative is a multi-year, multi-product project to make key components of QuickBooks accessible for people who are blind, visually impaired and print disabled. It is a partnership between My Blind Spot and Intuit that addresses the accessibility and usability needs for people with disabilities.

 

The “MyBlindSpot” website with a lot of good information, so to learn more about Intuit QuickBooks Accessibility Initiative or to purchase scripts for QuickBooks, go to:

http://myblindspot.org/quickbooks/quickbooks_jaws_scripts.php

 

Discounts

Submitted by Char Feldman

 

Check out this list for discounts… for senior citizens.

 

Applebee's: 15% off with Golden Apple Card (60+); Arby's: 10% off ( 55 +); Ben & Jerry's: 10% off (60+); Bennigan's: discount varies by location (60+); Bob's Big Boy: discount varies by location (60+); Boston Market: 10% off (65+); Burger King: 10% off (60+); Chick-Fil-A: 10% off or free small drink or coffee ( 55+); Chili's: 10% off ( 55+); CiCi's Pizza: 10% off (60+); Denny's: 10% off, 20% off for AARP members ( 55 +); Dunkin' Donuts: 10% off or free coffee ( 55+); Einstein's Bagels: 10% off baker's dozen of bagels (60+); Fuddrucker's: 10% off any senior platter ( 55+); Gatti's Pizza: 10% off (60+); Golden Corral: 10% off (60+); Hardee's: $0.33 beverages everyday (65+);

IHOP: 10% off ( 55+); Jack in the Box: up to 20% off ( 55+); KFC: free small drink with any meal ( 55+); Krispy Kreme: 10% off ( 50+); Long John Silver's: various discounts at locations ( 55+); McDonald's: discounts on coffee everyday ( 55+); Mrs. Fields: 10% off at participating locations (60+); Shoney's: 10% off Sonic: 10% off or free beverage (60+); Steak 'n Shake: 10% off every Monday & Tuesday ( 50+); Subway: 10% off (60+); Sweet Tomatoes: 10% off (62+); Taco Bell : 5% off; free beverages for seniors (65+); TCBY: 10% off ( 55+); Tea Room Cafe: 10% off ( 50+); Village Inn: 10% off (60+); Waffle House: 10% off every Monday (60+); Wendy's: 10% off ( 55 +);

White Castle: 10% off (62+).

 

Retail & Apparel:

Banana Republic: 30% off ( 50 +); Bealls: 20% off first Tuesday of each month ( 50 +); Belk's: 15% off first Tuesday of every month ( 55 +); Big Lots: 30% off

Bon-Ton Department Stores: 15% off on senior discount days ( 55 +); C.J. Banks: 10% off every Wednesday (50+); Clarks : 10% off (62+); Dress Barn: 20% off ( 55+); Goodwill: 10% off one day a week (date varies by location); Hallmark: 10% off one day a week (date varies by location); Kmart: 40% off (Wednesdays only) ( 50+);

Kohl's: 15% off (60+); Modell's Sporting Goods: 30% off; Rite Aid: 10% off on Tuesdays & 10% off prescriptions; Ross Stores: 10% off every Tuesday ( 55+);

The Salvation Army Thrift Stores: up to 50% off ( 55+); Stein Mart: 20% off red dot/clearance items first Monday of every month ( 55 +).

 

Grocery:

Albertson's: 10% off first Wednesday of each month ( 55 +); American Discount Stores: 10% off every Monday ( 50 +); Compare Foods Supermarket: 10% off every Wednesday (60+); DeCicco Family Markets: 5% off every Wednesday (60+); Food Lion: 60% off every Monday (60+); Fry's Supermarket: free Fry's VIP Club Membership & 10% off every Monday ( 55 +); Great Valu Food Store: 5% off every Tuesday (60+); Gristedes Supermarket: 10% off every Tuesday (60+); Harris Teeter: 5% off every Tuesday (60+); Hy-Vee: 5% off one day a week (date varies by location); Kroger: 10% off (date varies by location); Morton Williams Supermarket: 5% off every Tuesday (60+); The Plant Shed: 10% off every Tuesday ( 50 +); Publix: 15% off every Wednesday ( 55 +); Rogers Marketplace: 5% off every Thursday (60+);

Uncle Guiseppe's Marketplace: 15% off (62+).

 

 

Travel:

Airlines:

Alaska Airlines: 50% off (65+); American Airlines: various discounts for 50% off non-peak periods (Tuesdays - Thursdays) (62+)and up (call before booking for discount); Continental Airlines: no initiation fee for Continental Presidents Club & special fares for select destinations; Southwest Airlines: various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount); United Airlines: various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount); U.S. Airways: various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount).

Rail:

Amtrak: 15% off (62+)

Bus:

Greyhound: 15% off (62+); Trailways Transportation System: various discounts for ages 50+.

 

Car Rental:

Alamo Car Rental: up to 25% off for AARP members; Avis: up to 25% off for AARP members; Budget Rental Cars: 40% off; up to 50% off for AARP members ( 50+); Dollar Rent-A-Car: 10% off ( 50+) Enterprise Rent-A-Car: 5% off for AARP members; Hertz: up to 25% off for AARP members; National Rent-A-Car: up to 30% off for AARP members.

 

Overnight Accommodations:

Holiday Inn: 20-40% off depending on location (62+); Best Western: 40% off (55+); Cambria Suites: 20%-30% off (60+); Waldorf Astoria - NYC $5,000 off nightly rate for Presidential Suite (55 +); Clarion Motels: 20%-30% off (60+); Comfort Inn: 20%-30% off (60+); Comfort Suites: 20%-30% off (60+); Econo Lodge: 40% off (60+);

Hampton Inns & Suites: 40% off when booked 72 hours in advance; Hyatt Hotels: 25%-50% off (62+); InterContinental Hotels Group: various discounts at all hotels (65+); Mainstay Suites: 10% off with Mature Traveler's Discount (50+); 20%-30% off (60+); Marriott Hotels: 25% off (62+); Motel 6: Stay Free Sunday nights (60+);

Myrtle Beach Resort: 30% off ( 55 +); Quality Inn: 40%-50% off (60+); Rodeway Inn: 20%-30% off (60+); Sleep Inn: 40% off (60+).

 

Activities & Entertainment:

AMC Theaters: up to 30% off ( 55 +); Bally Total Fitness: $100 off memberships (62+); Busch Gardens Tampa, FL: $13 off one-day tickets ( 50 +); Carmike Cinemas: 35% off (65+); Cinemark/Century Theaters: up to 35% off; Massage Envy - NYC 20% off all "Happy Endings" (62 +); U.S. National Parks: $10 lifetime pass; 50% off additional services including camping (62+); Regal Cinemas: 50% off Ripley's Believe it or Not: @ off one-day ticket ( 55 +); SeaWorld, Orlando , FL : $3 off one-day tickets ( 50 +);

CELL PHONE DISCOUNTS :

AT&T: Special Senior Nation 200 Plan $19.99/month (65+); Jitterbug: $10/month cell phone service ( 50 +); Verizon Wireless: Verizon Nationwide 65 Plus Plan $29.99/month (65+).

 

Miscellaneous:

Great Clips: $8 off hair cuts (60+); Supercuts: $8 off haircuts (60+).

 

Now, go out there and claim your discounts. Remember…You must ASK for your discount ---- no ask, no discount!

 

 

ScripTalk Talking Prescription Labels

CVS/pharmacy announced that it now provides ScripTalk talking prescription labels for prescriptions ordered for home delivery through its online pharmacy, CVS.com. The ScripTalk labels provide a safe and convenient way to access information on prescription labels for individuals who cannot read standard print. The labels are free to CVS.com pharmacy customers who are blind or visually impaired. Customers can also obtain a free ScripTalk reader from En-Vision America that will enable them to listen to the information on the ScripTalk label.

Do you order prescriptions from CVS.com? Would you benefit from talking labels? To request the labels with a prescription that you ordered through cvs.com, contact CVS at 1-888-861-4363. If you have questions about the ScripTalk system, call En-Vision America at 1-800-890-1180. We recommend that you call CVS.com first.

 

Walgreens Launches Nationwide Program Offering Talking Prescription Devices

For Customers with Visual Impairments

Deerfield, IL, June 3, 2014

 

Walgreens, the nation’s largest drugstore chain announced the launch of a nationwide program offering talking prescription devices to customers with visual impairments. The initiative introduces a new service that complements other accessible prescription information Walgreens currently provides.

 

Walgreens is the first in the industry to offer this exclusive talking prescription device, called the Talking Pill Reminder, at its retail locations chainwide.  The device attaches to prescription containers and will be provided free of charge with prescription medications that Walgreens dispenses to its pharmacy customers who are blind or who have visual impairments. The Talking Pill Reminder can be recorded to speak the information on the customer’s prescription medication label, and also has an audible alarm to remind patients when to take a medication.

 

The Talking Pill Reminder is available to customers of Walgreens retail pharmacies across the country and through Walgreens prescription mail service.  The devices also are available in Walgreens drugstores for purchase for a retail price of $9.99.

 

“Adherence to medication can be critical in treating illness today, and this is an innovation that will help our visually impaired customers correctly identify and take medications as prescribed,” said Jeff Koziel, Walgreens group vice president of pharmacy operations.  “As part of our mission to help customers get, stay and live well, we’re proud to have worked closely with other leading organizations to make the Talking Pill Reminder available across all of our more than 8,100 stores nationwide.”

 

The initiative is the result of a collaboration between Walgreens, The American Council of the Blind (ACB) and the ACB affiliates in California and Illinois.  All partnering organizations praised the Walgreens announcement.

 

“Accessible prescription information is critical to people who are blind, and with today’s announcement, Walgreens assumes a significant leadership role in serving its customers with visual impairments,” said ACB President Kim Charlson.

 

Illinois Council of the Blind representative Ray Campbell commended Walgreens initiative, saying, “So many of our members and ACB members across the country value Walgreens excellent customer service.  The company’s rollout of the Talking Pill Reminder gives them yet another reason to make Walgreens their pharmacy of choice.”

 

California Council of the Blind President Donna Pomerantz said, “Standard prescription labels put customers who are blind at risk for mixing up medications or taking them incorrectly.  For this reason, Walgreens initiative is a matter of basic safety, and we congratulate the company on its efforts in this important area.”

 

In addition to providing the Talking Pill Reminder, Walgreens also offers large print patient information sheets to customers who have visual impairments.

 

Walgreens accessibility initiative will help people with visual impairments who have difficulty or are unable to read a standard prescription medication label.

 

 

Are You a Chess Player?

 

Lichess claims to be the first chess site accessible to visually impaired people. They have implemented several changes that enable announcing moves in text format, showing textual representation of board diagrams and eliminating CAPTCHA's, among other changes. Check it out at http://en.lichess.org/blog/U5AX_DcAADkAz-L5/accessibility-for-blind-players

 

 

Ai Squared and GW Micro Join Forces

Manchester, Vermont and Fort Wayne, Indiana (May 1, 2014)

Ai Squared, the maker of ZoomText and sitecues; and GW Micro, the creator of Window-Eyes, have merged into one company. With this merger, the companies will combine their talents to better assist computer users who are blind or visually impaired.
ZoomText is the world's number one screen magnifier and text-to-speech software package that allows people who are visually impaired to use a computer with ease. Window-Eyes is a popular screen reader that enables people who are blind to be fully independent on the computer by translating visual information into speech and/or braille.
"Our mission is to provide a full family of computer accessibility solutions for users who are low vision or blind, whether they access digital information via their desktop, the web or their mobile device," said David Wu, CEO of Ai Squared. "Earlier this year, we commercially launched sitecues, a product which enables website owners to build accessibility tools right into their websites. Today's merger with GW Micro rounds out our mantra of 'We've got accessibility covered' - with our combined forces, we can now deliver an even wider range of computer access solutions."
The need for assistive technology continues to grow. According to the World Health Organization, over 285 million people in the world are considered visually impaired; 39 million of those are blind, and 246 million have moderate to severe visual impairments. "The merger of Ai Squared and GW Micro brings together two companies that offer great solutions for the millions of Microsoft customers around the world who are blind or visually impaired," said Rob Sinclair, Chief Accessibility Officer at Microsoft.
"We are also delighted that Ai Squared will continue to develop and support the Window-Eyes for Office Offer as many of our customers rely on this screen reading solution to enable access to Windows, Office and other Microsoft products," Sinclair said.
Dan Weirich, Co-founder of GW Micro and now Vice President at Ai Squared, said he is thrilled to incorporate Window-Eyes into the Ai Squared product family.
"It's a natural fit," Weirich said. "Combining our companies will strengthen Ai Squared's global presence in the assistive technology industry, allowing us to serve even more customers."
Weirich noted that many customers using web and computer accessibility tools inevitably progress further along the visual impairment spectrum during their lifetime. As a result, they will require more advanced assistive technology as their needs change. With the merger, Ai Squared will be in a better position to assist those customers, developing products that provide a seamless transition and user experience as customers adapt to their changing vision.
Ai Squared will continue to offer Window-Eyes and its related products as they were previously offered by GW Micro. In addition, a free and fully featured version of Window-Eyes will continue to be available via the Window-Eyes Offer for Users of Microsoft Office as part of the recently announced partnership with Microsoft and GW Micro. The GW Micro team will remain in Indiana as part of the Ai Squared team, which is headquartered in Vermont.

 

The DisAbility Scholarship at Microsoft

 

The mission of DisAbility Scholarship at Microsoft is to empower and enable high school students with disabilities to (a) go to college, (b) realize the impact technology has on the world, and (c) target a career in the technology industry. A primary goal of this scholarship is to increase the pool of persons living with a disability enrolling in higher education and, in long term, decrease the unemployment bias for this demographic.

This scholarship will identify promising high school seniors who have potential to enter and successfully complete a vocational or academic college program and have a financial need. The amount of this non-renewable scholarship to be awarded is $5,000, which is paid through the Seattle Foundation on behalf of the disAbility Employee Resource Group (ERG) at Microsoft to the recipient’s school’s Financial Aid Office.

All candidates must be high school students living with a disability who plan to attend a 2 to 4 year University or College program, maintain a cumulative 3.0 CPA or equivalent and have declared a major from the approved list (you can see scholarship guidelines on application).

 

For further information about the requirements, how to apply, and/or to download the application, go to:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/diversity/programs/microsoftdisabilityscholarship.aspx

Deadline for this scholarship is March 15.

 

 

New Valor Achievement Award Scholarship to Support Higher Education

USABA and I C You Foundation, Inc. Partner to Assist College Students Who are Blind and Visually Impaired

Colorado Springs, CO (July 8, 2014)

Funded by the I C You Foundation, Inc., the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) is pleased to announce that a new scholarship, The Valor Achievement Award, will be available to college-bound students who are blind and visually impaired. The Valor Achievement Award has been created by Markeith LeRoy Price, CEO and President of I C You Foundation, Inc. and USABA/Paralympic athlete.

One male and one female student will be awarded $500 respectively towards their higher education. The Valor Achievement Award Scholarship’s criteria are as follows:

  • Student must be legally blind
  • Student must be enrolled or enrolling in a 2-year or 4-year college or university, including technical school
  • Student must have a GPA of 2.5 or better

Interested applicants may send the required documents to Katie Keating at the U.S. Association of Blind Athletes at kkeating@usaba.org no later than August 29, 2014. Application to include:

  • Applicant’s name
  • Applicant’s contact information, to include phone number, email, mailing address
  • Official transcripts from most recent school year
  • Applicant’s short biography
  • An essay discussing what role sports has played in his/her life; 1-2 pages

Send all questions to Ms. Keating at 719.866.3222.

Markeith LeRoy Price, CEO and President of I C You Foundation, Inc., has been an active member of USABA since 2005 when he competed in the 2005 IBSA World Youth Championships. As a T13/F13 track and field competitor, Price has made his passion for the sport count through hard work and dedication. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Family and Consumer Science with a concentration in Fashion Merchandising from Tennessee State University in December 2012. Price also competed in the 2012 London Paralympic Games, where he finished 6th in the long jump and 8th in the 400-meter dash. He is currently training full-time at the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center preparing for the 2016 Summer Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

About United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA)

Since its founding in 1976, USABA, a community-based organization of the United States Olympic Committee, has reached more than 100,000 blind individuals. The organization has emerged as more than just a world-class trainer of blind athletes, it has become a champion of the abilities of Americans who are legally blind. USABA’s mission: to enhance the lives of blind and visually impaired people by providing the opportunity for participation in sports and physical activity. For more information go to www.usaba.org

Address postal inquiries to:

United States Association of Blind Athletes

1 Olympic Plaza

Colorado Springs, CO 80909

 

Fund Raising Report for Fiscal 2013 - 2014

by Allan Peterson

Fund raising anyone? I realize that the prospect of working on a fund raising project is something that’s not very appealing to many, but the truth is that income generated from fund raising is a critical necessity for the life blood of most nonprofit membership organizations like NDAB. It’s for that reason that I’m so very grateful for those of you who have been willing to be involved and have contributed to our fund raising efforts! There are a number of you to acknowledge and thank for our successes which is what I most want to communicate to the readers of this report.

The highlights of this report were shared with those of you who were in attendance at our convention in June, so what I’m communicating may be old news to those who were there to hear what was said at that time.

Please be aware that this report covers our fund raising activities for the past fiscal year that began last year in June of 2013 and ended in May of this year when the treasurer’s books were closed for an auditor’s review in preparation for our convention.

No doubt, one of this year’s income highlights was our 2014 Walk that generated over half of our fund raising income. This year’s Walk was our 16th and it was our best financially. Results continue to demonstrate that the Walk is by far our major fund raiser. Our income from this year’s 2014 Walk totaled $24,066.77, which is some over $4600 better than what we generated from the 2013 Walk and the 2013 Walk was significantly better than the one held in 2012.

With one caveat, this year’s Walk was held in four cities - the one caveat is that although Paula Anundson didn’t walk the Walk, she did raise money for the Walk. A breakdown by city and the amounts that were raised in each individual city are as follows: Bismarck - $4,698; Fargo - $13,050.01; Minot - $5,695.16; Williston - $225; and Valley City - $245. A very special thank you to Mary Stip for once again holding a bake sale in conjunction with their Walk in Minot! I’m truly impressed by the effort and enthusiasm that Doug and Mary have demonstrated every year for their involvement in our Walk fund raiser!

Acknowledgements of appreciation and thankfulness to those individuals who served as Walk chairs in the four cities that hosted a Walk. Mary and Doug Stip led the effort in Minot, Donna Hepper and Genie Lang in Bismarck, Carol Scallon in Williston, and I served as the chair in Fargo.

Please know that it’s not my intent to diminish the efforts of some by highlighting the efforts of those individuals who went beyond the pale so to speak. Individuals who need to be acknowledged for their extraordinary effort include Mary and Doug Stip in Minot who raised $5,695.16, Genie Lang and Donna Hepper in Bismarck who together raised $4,698, Shereen Faber who raised a total of $1,640, and Michelle Zentz who raised a total of $635! Shereen’s total was a personal record best, even though she was recuperating from having a portion of one of her legs amputated - a truly very inspirational effort on her part!

If I’m proven incorrect with any of these numbers, I apologize in advance for those errors of omission and fact. Please know that, above all, your efforts are greatly valued and much appreciated!

I’m pleased to say that our Walk in Fargo was aided once again by a $1,200 supplement from the East Cass County Chapter of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and a $1,000 donation from the Horace Lions Club. Sizable donations for the Walk in Fargo were also received from the West Fargo VFW, the NDSU Student Lions Club, Bremer Bank, Park Co. Realty, Scheels, and Northern Improvement, the Fercho Eye Clinic and the Fargo and Gateway Lions clubs. Significant donations were also received from other eye care professionals, area businesses and friends and the family of NDAB. If I’ve omitted anyone from what I’m sure is a partial list, I apologize, and it was in no way intentional.

 

Our Walk in Fargo this year was greatly aided by the involvement of the NDSU Campus Student Lions Club. The Club has been peripherally involved with our Walk for the past two years but this year chose to take on the Walk as their signature project for the year. The enthusiasm and willingness of these young people to be involved in this effort was very gratifying. What I feel is so positive about their involvement is that it’s quite likely that they will be Lions and leaders in communities wherever they go in the future, so I believe their involvement with people who have sight loss could be a lifelong relationship. Another positive that was gained from this relationship is that the advisor for the NDSU Campus Lions Club is Fargo Lion Robert Littlefield who has just been elected to the International Lions Board of Directors. Friends in high places can be a pretty good thing!

 

Thanks to Valley News Live in Fargo for again producing an ad for our Fargo Walk which was aired on their three local TV channels 150 times (50 per channel) for the three weeks prior to our event! This was the third year that we were granted this opportunity. Our Fargo Walk was also promoted by Sergeant Eric Marts, host of “Heroes of the Heartland” on his show on WDAY radio. Of note, Sergeant Marts is a person who is blind due to combat injuries that he sustained in the Iraqi War.

 

Other cities also made significant efforts to promote their Walk; most notable among these efforts, was in Minot where Doug Stip was interviewed again this year by media of the two local TV stations that serve the Minot area. Securing the attention of the media is so important for a number of reasons, not only does it help to enhance donations but it also helps create a greater public awareness about our organization and the capabilities of people who are blind and visually impaired.

 

To help generate income through a direct appeal by mail, letters were again sent to the various Lions clubs in North Dakota and to a number of organizations who hold charitable gaming licenses in the state. The appeal letter was sent to over 100 Lions clubs in North Dakota; the return on this appeal letter totaled $2,925.

An appeal letter was also sent to 231 organizations that hold charitable gaming licenses in the state; the return on this gaming site appeal letter totaled $7,100. A very appreciative thank you is extended to those individuals who helped with sending these appeal letters to the holders of charitable gaming licenses in areas of the state where they live! Our members who helped with this work include: Carol Scallon, Evelyn Hildebrand, Eunice Ketterling, Karlyn Frantsen, Grace Sharbono, Janice Sowokinos, Rose Landsem, Paula Anundson, Elaine Kelm Haugen, Zelda Gebhard, Helen Baumgartner and Bev Austin. Thanks so much to each of you for a job that was very well done!

Other sources of fund raising which produced income for NDAB during the past fiscal year included a generous donation from the sale of a car, a grant from Walmart, and other corporate and individual donations; altogether these sources totaled $9,629.26.

Thus, total income that can be attributed to fund raising for fiscal 2013-2014 is $43,721.03

Revenue, not counted with fund raising income, is that which is generated from sources which include: summer camp, the state convention, actual gains realized on investments, membership dues and fees, memorials, and miscellaneous sources.

Total revenue from non-fund raising income was $13,764.69

 

Thus, our fund raising income for fiscal 2012-2013 accounted for approximately 76% of our total revenue. This is an accomplishment that is shared by many of you and I thank you so much for your help with all of our fund raising efforts!

Grand total income from all sources was $57,485.72

 

 

NDAB BOARD MEETING

April 13, 2014

 

BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Allan Peterson, Michelle Zentz, Donna Hepper, Helen Baumgartner, Zelda Gebhard, Alexandra Engraf, Mark Kueffler, Paula Anundson, Janelle Olson

GUESTS: Tracy Wicken, Melissa Miller

 

President Mark called the meeting to order at 7:10 PM. Adopt a student program was added to the agenda. Allan made a motion to adopt the agenda with the addition. The motion was seconded and carries.

 

  1. Business
  2. Welcome:. All members and guests were welcomed to the board meeting.
  3. Respect & Communication: Everyone was reminded of the concepts of respect and communication. Let’s keep this a safe environment where we can express ourselves.
  4. Convention Update Report: (Missy Miller) The NDAB annual convention will be Friday June 13 – Sunday June15 at the Country Inn and suites in Fargo, ND. The hotel has apub. Though there is no restaurant, the hotel serves a good breakfast 7 AM – 10:30 AM. On Friday nightm we will host a picnic at the Elmwood shelter. Saturday, we will have a business meeting and vender luncheon. This luncheon will be catered. In the evening, we will have a banquet. Our guest speaker will be Eric Marts, host of Heros of the Heartland radio show and veteran. Sunday morning, we will have a memorial service followed by caramel rolls. Then we will continue with our business meeting, including the election of officers.

Missy will send Tracy information about the banquet for the scholarship recipients.

Discussion was held about a possible time for a new member orientation. Friday at 7:30 PM was mentioned as the best time. The board meeting room was also suggested as a possible location. That room would hold approximately 14 people.

  1. Robert John Lapage Award Report: (Mark on behalf of Candy Lien) There is no report at this time regarding this subject.
  2. Scholarship Committee Report:Tracy Wicken) The scholarship committee report was given. Michelle made a motion to approve the report as given by the scholarship committee. The motion was seconded and carries.

Tracy will send Helen the scholarship recipients’ addresses.

  1. Secretary’s Report: (Ali) On March 26 via E-mail, we approved a motion to financially support traveling expenses (plane tickets, hotel room, food) for William Hawkins and his wife to attend our annual convention in June.
  2. Treasurer’s Report:(Helen) The treasurer’s report was given and placed on file.

Discussion was held about the possibility of NDAB having a debit card.

Allan made a motion that NDAB obtain a debit card for NDAB. The motion was seconded.

There would need to be a limit on this card. An idea of a gift card was suggested. A point was made that we are not tax exempt. Helen has sent $600 to the cities for convention costs in the past. This $600 comes from an appropriated fund for convention use. The convention guidelines are not really specific about this matter. Therefore we do not believe these guidelines can provide us any direction for this action. maybe Helen can work with this year’s convention committee to provide them with the $600 allocated for convention use prior to the convention to assist with growing costs.

Helen will send the allocated slush fund amount to the Fargo convention committee chair.

The motion was withdrawn. The second was withdrawn.

  1. Financial Chair Report:(Allan) Fundraising results for this year were reported.

Discussion was held about the Walk-a-thon. Fargo, Bismarck, and Minot will all host their walks on April 26th. The date for the Williston walk is TBD.

 

  1. Committee Reports

 

  1. Camp Dates: Camp will be August 10-17, Loris is continuously looking for more classes.
  2. Family Adjustment Seminar: (Janelle) We need to re-evaluate the direction and format of this event.

Janelle was thanked for all her efforts with this project.

We need to set up a committee to look further into this project.

  1. Legislative Report: (Alan): At the end of February Zelda, Donna, and Allan went to Washington D.C. to advocate for current legislative issues. they had a good visit with Heidi Heitkamp. Allan also has composed a detailed report in the Promoter.

There were good speakers and information. Some speakers are streamed online for interested parties. We had good visits and excellent legislation to discuss. Encouragement was expressed about reading Allan’s report.

A question was asked about legislators at the convention picnic. We should present legislators by having them introduce themselves, inform us what they do and if they have family members with visual impairments. Individual contact is also important.

  1. Membership Report: (Zelda) Since our last meeting, we have had four new members. These members include: Mary Frelich, Gene Haugen, Marcy Roehrich, and Gretchen Campbell. Since the beginning of this year, we have acquired 12 new members. We currently have a total of 184 members. Discussion was held about delinquent members.

Discussion was held about new member orientation.

  1. Publicity Report: (Mark on behalf of Sherry) Templates for business cards was discussed. Sherry’s computer crashed, so she is still working on templates. The White Cane Project was discussed. Mark is currently working with Sherry on developing a proposal for this project.
  2. Nominating Committee Report: (Paula): let paula know if you are interested in running for any of the board member positions.
  3. Participation Incentive Program (PIP): (Zelda): discussion was held about the public awareness component of the PIP. People can tell their personal testimonies and bring up NDAB but people should present NDAB with accurate facts when serving as a public awareness authority on the organization’s behalf.

 

III.          Old Business

 

  1. 2015 Convention: The location decision has been made. We have reserved rooms at the Gladstone Inn and Suites in Jamestown for June 12 and 13. They will waive the cost of the meeting rooms due to the meals we will be eating. They have many amenities.

Zelda will mail Paula copies of the contract.

  1. Post-convention Meeting: Mark will contact the historian and scholarship chair to discuss the importance of photographs.
  2. Strategic Planning: We have been elected as trusted leaders of the organization. It would be tedious to present this report to the whole organization. We were given the task by the convention body to put a strategic plan together. Therefore, we have the authority to approve the strategic plan we have been developing.

First we need to approve the strategic plan. Then, we will approve the budget.

Allan made a motion to approve the strategic plan as written. The motion was seconded and carries.

Now we need to prioritize the goals of the strategic plan.

 

  1. New Business

 

  1. Website & Facebook: (Mark) Copies of the website bids have been sent to the board via E-mail. Mark has also been in contact with Annette.
  2. Adopt a Student Program: unfortunately, we have not been able toparticipate in this program due to the lack of interest expressed by other affiliates.

Allan will contact the necessary people to figure out what the future of the program will be.

We will need to inform the convention body that the national level program was not put into action due to the lack of interest shown by other affiliates.

 

  1. Announcements

 

There were no announcements.

 

  1. Date and Time of Next Board Meeting

The next board meting will be tentatively at the Country Inn and Suites in Fargo, North Dakota on June 13 at 2:00 PM.

 

VII.       Adjournment

Allan made a motion to adjourn the meeting. The motion was seconded and carries.

 

The board meeting was adjourned at 9:34 PM.

 

Respectfully submitted

 

Alexandra Engraf

NDAB Secretary

4-18-14

 

Approved on June 13, 2014.

 

 

NDAB BOARD MEETING

June 13, 2014

 

BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Paula Anundson, Helen Baumgartner, Allan Peterson, Zelda Gebhard, Michelle Zentz, Mark Kueffler Donna Hepper, Janelle Olson, Alexandra Engraf

GUESTS: Sherry Shirek, Jesse Shirek, Loris Van Berkom

 

President Mark called the meeting to order at 2:12 PM. Zelda made a motion to approve the agenda as written. The motion was seconded and carries.

 

Business

 

Welcome: All members and guests were welcomed to the board meeting.

 

Respect & Communication: Everyone was reminded of the concepts of respect and communication.

 

Publicity Report: (Sherry) Example business cards were presented to the board.

Zelda made a motion to make these business card templates accessible to board members. The motion was seconded and carries. Sherry will E-mail everyone on the board the template for these cards.

The white cane safety program was discussed. This subject was tabled for a later date.

 

Secretary’s Report: (Ali) sympathy cards have been sent to Olga Neal on behalf of her daughter, Donna Lee Neal, and Angie Marciniak on behalf of her grandfather.

Discussion was held about the April minutes. Allan made a motion to approve the April minutes as submitted. The motion was seconded and carries.

 

Treasurer’s Report:  (Helen) the treasurer’s report was given and is placed on file.

 

Financial Chair Report:  (Allan) a report will be presented at the convention tomorrow. Overall, we had a very successful walk.

 

Committee Reports

 

Camp Report: (Loris) Camp will be August 10-17, Loris is continuously looking for new ideas for classes. Classes for camp were presented. A new class will be arm knitting. There are fourteen non-craft and five/six craft classes. Kathy Larson and her daughter are planning the banquet, and the theme is “Going Fishing”. Room and board rates are the same.

Paula made a motion to approve the camp classes as presented by Loris. The motion was seconded and carries

 

Family Adjustment Seminar: (Janelle) There was not a Family Adjustment Seminar in October or April. There will need to be further concentration as to how it is done. We need to re-evaluate this seminar.

A suggestion was given to make a committee for this project.

An idea was to make it a bigger event in a central location.

Willingness was expressed to chair a committee. Janelle will form a committee for this project.

 

Legislative Report: (Alan) There will be three resolutions that will be presented to the convention tomorrow. These resolutions were discussed. These resolutions are all in anticipation of the upcoming legislative session.

Michelle made a recommendation for a “do pass” on these resolution. The motion was seconded. Discussion was held. The motion carries.

 

Membership Report: (Zelda) Since our last meeting, we have approved six individuals for membership via E-mail. On April 22nd, Jim Klein and Marvin Heaton were approved for membership, and on April 23rd, Cole Roberts was approved for membership. Bonnie Streitz was approved for membership on May 2nd, Sandy Marcellais was approved for membership on May 3rd, and Roxanne Hepper was approved for membership on May 18th.

We have also lost one of our members. Donna Lee Neal died on May 1, 2014.

Nominating Committee Report: (Paula) The current nominations were presented.

 

Participation Incentive Program (PIP): (Zelda) The amount of money raised by the participants in the PIP is outstanding. Awards will be presented tomorrow night at the banquet.

 

Old Business

 

2015 Convention: (Zelda) The invitation for the 2015 convention was read to the board. Participation in the convention planning is welcome.

 

Post-convention Meeting: Mark has contacted the historian and scholarship chair to discuss the importance of photographs. These individuals will not be able to attend the banquet this year. Ali will bring her camera and make sure appropriate pictures are taken.

 

The board went into executive session at 2:46 PM.

Michelle made a motion to end executive session. The motion was seconded and carries. The board concluded executive session at 3:30 PM.

 

Announcements

 

There were no announcements.

 

Date and Time of Next Board Meeting

The next board meeting will be held after the convention on Sunday June 15th.

 

Adjournment

Paula made a motion to adjourn the meeting. The motion was seconded and carries. Meeting adjourned at 3:32 PM.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Alexandra Engraf

NDAB Secretary

June 14, 2014

 

Approved on June 14, 2014 by the convention body.

 

 

NDAB Post-Convention board meeting

June 15, 2014 (corrected minutes)

The post-convention Board meeting convened shortly after the convention adjourned on Sunday June 15, 2014 at the Fargo Country Inn and Suites. The following board members were present:  Mark Kueffler, Allan Peterson, Zelda Gebhard, Sherry Shirek, Michelle Zentz, Helen Baumgartner, Donna Hepper, Dianne Giessinger and Janelle Olson via speaker phone.

The following topics were covered:

Welcome to new board members- Mark welcomed Sherry Shirek, newly elected board  (member and Dianne Giessinger, newly elected secretary.

Zelda will forward to the ACB secretary the names of our 2014 delegate Michael Hoeppner and names of the  alternate delegate for the nominating committee, and number of chairs needed from NDAB members that will be attending the 2014 ACB Convention in Las Vegas, NV.

Zelda will also send board contact information to both Sherry and Dianne.

Respect and Communication- Mark emphasized the importance of respect between all members. This will encourage open thoughts and opinions shared between all members in a safe and unthreatening environment, so that all ideas can be considered and discussed in a positive atmosphere.

The code of conduct will be given to all board members to be signed and returned to the secretary and kept on file.

ACB 2014 Convention- Three members requested the $300 stipend to defray costs of attending the convention in Las Vegas and were approved.  They are Michelle Zentz, Allan Peterson and Donna Hepper. Jesse and Sherry Shirek sent in letters of application for the stipend and were also approved via e-mail on June 28th . The treasurer will send Zelda the checks for the $500 donation to the ACB Braille Forum and to purchase a $50 auction item to be taken by the group from North Dakota.

Membership Approval- the board has received a new application for Dawn Brush from South Dakota. A vote was taken and the board passed approval of her application.

Strategic Plan- the plan has been completed and Mark will send the final draft to all board members as well as the action plan forms

Website- No new bids have been received. We have two bids which are each approximately $15,000 each. We are currently working with Riven Design of Bismarck.  Riven does have a visually impaired employee and the company has done other work with concern for accessibility of all aspects of the site.

Sherry Shirek has volunteered to set up a list serve for the NDAB Board.  When she has this completed she will send out an email notice to invite all members to join.  When the invitation is accepted this will automatically add that member to the list.

President Mark appointed members to an executive committee to address the issue of delinquent membership.  The committee will be Michelle Zentz, Allan Peterson, and two other members. The committee will address the formally written motion-resolution, regarding delinquent membership.

Helen B. asked for clarification of when the board reimbursement amendment as passed at the business meeting would go into effect.  Mark stated it is in effect as of June 14, 2014 when voted upon.

The next meeting of the NDAB board will be September 14 from 7:00PM- 9:00PM.

Allan Peterson moved to adjourn the meeting. It was seconded by Zelda Gebhard.

Respectfully submitted by,

Dianne Giessinger, NDAB Secretary

dgiessinger@midco.net

807 12th St. NW, Minot, ND 58703

 

Legislative Report Summer 2014

by Allan Peterson

As I’m preparing this report, I’m also making plans to attend the Conference and Convention of the American Council of the Blind (ACB), beginning Friday, July 11 and ending on Saturday, July 19. The ACB Conference and Convention serves a number of important purposes, one of which is to help advance our advocacy goals. In this regard, during the week we are sure to hear the latest and greatest about what kind of progress our present legislative priorities may be making within the halls of Congress.

As set forth at the Legislative Seminar, ACB’s current top policy priorities include:

(1) H.R. 3749: The Medicare Demonstration of Coverage for Low Vision Devices Act of 2013. To help remind you, this bill, when it’s enacted, would provide funding for a 5 year study to determine the feasibility of expanding Medicare coverage so that it would include payment for accessible low vision devices for qualified Medicare beneficiaries. A qualified Medicare beneficiary could receive equipment, such as a CCTV video magnifier, if that individual were to be included in this demonstration project.

(2) H.R. 4040: The Alice Cogswell and Anne Sullivan Macy Act. Briefly, the bill is heralded by advocates as being the most comprehensive piece of legislation that seeks to enhance and reform America's special education system for students with vision loss and students with hearing loss, since passage of IDEA 40 years ago.

Because there appears to be some recent movement on this issue in Congress, another issue likely to be addressed at the ACB Convention is the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). Our interest in this issue is primarily due to the fact that the bill does include reauthorization of the Rehabilitation Act. In addition, it’s also likely that a number of other issues could potentially be addressed through resolutions that are presented to the members during the business meetings at convention.

On a more casual political note, I’m pleased to report to you that our first “Picnic with Legislators”, held Friday evening as a part of our State Convention, could be judged to be successful! There were four current legislators and six candidates who are seeking office who attended the picnic. Each of them were given a brief opportunity to address our picnic goers and we gave them literature about NDAB and a copy of the resolutions that were adopted at our convention on Sunday.

A copy of the three resolutions that were adopted at our convention are also included as a part of this report. As you can see, these resolutions are very similar to ones we adopted at our 2012 convention in Bismarck; the reason for the similarity is due to the fact that these are issues that are so key to our independence and, because they each deal with state appropriated money, they are addressed at each and every session of the ND Legislature. So, at each session of the Legislature, it is necessary for us to make the case for why these services are so very important to us.

By the time that the next issue of the Promoter is published, we will be very late into this fall’s election campaign races. So, I would challenge you to become acquainted with the candidates who are seeking office in your State Legislative District. And, if you have the opportunity, ask them how much they know about services for people who are blind and visually impaired. You may be the expert and can tell them a thing or two!

Note: In this fall’s general election, only half of the State Legislative Districts actually have a race for a position in the Legislature – it is the odd numbered districts that have an election for State Senate and House this time. In two years, it will be the even numbered districts turn to have their races for offices in the State Legislature.

 

NDAB Resolution 2014-01:

Biennial Appropriation for the Older Blind Independent Living Program

Whereas, an independent demographic study has projected that by the year 2015, a minimum of 14,335 citizens of the state will have experienced medical conditions that will have resulted in a significant loss of eyesight, of this number 10,283 will fit the definition of persons with “low vision” and the remaining number in excess of 4,000 will fit the definition of persons that are “legally blind”; and,

Whereas, demographically, North Dakota has the highest proportion of people per capita over the age of 85 and this is the subpopulation of people that has the highest incidence of sight loss; and,

Whereas, seniors who receive blindness rehabilitation skills training to adjust to sight loss can postpone or avoid institutionalized care and live more productive, fulfilling and happier lives; and,

Whereas, the appropriation that’s made for the older blind program in the state’s budget is critical to meet the costs that this program realizes because, (1) the federal government funds the program in North Dakota at a minimal base level due to the proportional size of our population compared to other states, and (2) travel costs are significant because the vision specialists employed in the program meet in the clients home setting to do a proper evaluation and training;

Now, Therefore, be it resolved that the North Dakota Association of the Blind in convention assembled on Sunday, June 15th 2014 at the Country Inn Suites in Fargo That, given the increasing demands for the vision rehabilitation services available through the Older Blind Program, that we,

(1)  Strongly Urge the Governor to maintain the increased appropriation made in the last biennial budget for the Older Blind Program and that this be increased to $150,000 in the state budget that’s submitted to the 64th Legislative Session that convenes in January, 2015; And,

(2)  Strongly urge the 64th Session of the North Dakota Legislature to allocate a minimum of $150, 00 of state funding for the 2015 – 2017 biennial budget to be appropriated for the operation of the Vocational Rehabilitation older blind program. Federal funding for the Program is authorized through (Title 7, Chapter 2 of the Rehabilitation Act).

 

NDAB Resolution 2014-02:

Biennial Appropriation for North Dakota Vision Services / School for the Blind (NDVS/SB)

Whereas, an independent demographic study has projected that by the year 2015, a minimum of 14,335 citizens of the state will have experienced medical conditions that will have resulted in a significant loss of their sight, of this number 10,283 will fit the definition of persons with “low vision” and the remaining number in excess of 4,000 will fit the definition of persons that are “legally blind”; and,

Whereas, the loss of eyesight is a major life altering disability that requires specialized and specific rehabilitation skills training to help people of any age cope with this condition; and,

Whereas, North Dakota Vision Services / School for the Blind in Grand Forks has all the components of a comprehensive center based program, is recognized regionally and nationally, as a program that is of excellence and high quality which has the capability and capacity that allows it to serve people of all ages (i.e. it has both children and adult oriented training programs); and,

Whereas, children and adults with sight loss, who receive a regimen of specific, comprehensive, intensive center based blindness skills training, such as that which is available at NDVS/SB, are employable and are capable of functioning with a high degree of independence;

Now, therefore, be it resolved by the North Dakota Association of the Blind in Convention assembled on this date of Sunday, June 15th, 2014 at the Country Inn and Suites in Fargo, urge the Governor, in his budget to the Legislature, and the 64th North Dakota Legislative Assembly that convenes in January of 2015, maintain and increase funding for North Dakota Vision Services / School for the Blind in the state budget for the 2015 -2017 biennium so that the NDVS/SB appropriation will,

(1) Add one FTE to the NDVS/SB staff for the specific purpose of providing orientation and mobility instruction with the white cane for children and adults who are visually impaired that live in the western communities of our state and,

(2) Provide funding so that the needed improvements and repairs that have been identified can be made to the NDVS/SB facility in Grand Forks, and

 

(3) Add funding capacity to the NDVS/SB budget so that an annual “low vision” clinic can be conducted to assist K-12 children who have visual impairments, and

 

(4) Provide for a sufficient raise in NDVS/SB’s appropriation that will enable them to meet the increased demands to educate and train people of all ages who are blind and have sight loss.

 

 

NDAB Resolution 2014-03:

State Public Transit Appropriation for the 2013 – 2015 biennium

 

Whereas, North Dakotans, with many types of disabilities and economic reasons, are unable to drive their own personal vehicles and thus are very dependent on the availability of public transportation systems; and,

 

Whereas, people who are unable to use a personal vehicle for their transportation needs are dependent on the availability of public transportation as a viable means of providing independence in their lives; and,

 

Whereas, studies have demonstrated that for every dollar that governing entities choose to invest in public transit generates a $3 return to communities that are served by such service systems; and,

 

Whereas, demographically, North Dakota has the highest proportion of people per capita over the age of 85 than any other state in the nation (and this trend is expected to continue well into the future) and most people so categorized want to “age in place”; and,

 

Whereas, the rural characteristics of North Dakota and its high proportion of roads to its population base, strongly supports the need to supplement and increase the amount of public assistance and development of public/private partnerships for mass transit;

 

Now, Therefore, be it resolved by the North Dakota Association of the Blind in Convention assembled on this Sunday, June 15th, at the Country Inn & Suites in Fargo that we,

(1) Urge the Governor to increase the amount of funding in the budget dedicated for the operation of public transit systems that he presents to the 64th Legislative Assembly  when it convenes in January, 2015, and;

 

(2) Urge the 64th North Dakota Legislative Assembly to support an increased appropriation of state funds for all public transit systems throughout the state in the state budget that it adopts for the 2015 – 2017 biennium, and;

 

(3) Urge our U.S. North Dakota congressional delegation to maintain and increase the amount of federal assistance for public transit systems in the rural and urban areas of our state when the Federal transportation bill is considered for reauthorization by the U.S. Congress.

 

 

Family Adjustment Seminar Revisited

by Janelle F. Olson

 

Perhaps I should borrow the words from a song from the 1960's "Times, they are a changin'" for the title of this article. What has worked in the past appears to no longer be working. Over the years, Family Adjustment Seminar has given people with sight loss and their family members an opportunity to connect with NDAB and get the message that living and living well after sight loss is possible. The seminar scheduled for this past October in Bismarck was cancelled due to lack of participants. We attempted to schedule another one for April in Minot and got the same response.

 

The board voted to give this project a make-over, and President Mark suggested a committee be formed to explore the possibilities. I volunteered and asked Jesse and Sherry Shirek and Loris Van Berkom to join me on the committee. To date, we have had one telephone conference to begin tossing around ideas. The membership will be kept posted.

 

In the meantime, keep in mind each one of us is the best advertisement for NDAB, and it is up to us to give encouragement, strength and hope to those we meet who are struggling with vision loss. We too have been told by the eye doctor there is nothing more that can be done, but we truly know "the rest of the story."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life As an Active Science
Reprinted with permission from Steve Goodier www.LifeSupportSystem.com

That tireless inventor Thomas Edison famously said of his various experiments, “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” Murphy's Law is much less sanguine about it: “If you never try anything new, you'll miss out on many of life's great disappointments.”

I have to say, though, that I like to experiment – especially with my life. I believe in self transformation and try to challenge myself regularly to adopt new attitudes and behaviors. I realize that I can be a little excessive with self change (you may know that already), but I am drawn to the exciting idea that my life is an “active science.”

I think changes in wrist watches over the past 50 years beautifully illustrate how important it is to experiment. Do you know who set the standard for fine watch-making for most of the 20th Century? If you answered, "The Swiss," you are correct. Swiss wrist watches dominated world markets for at least 60 years and Swiss companies were committed to constant refinement of their craft.

It was the Swiss who came forward with the minute hand and the second hand. They led the world in discovering better ways to manufacture gears, bearings, and main-springs of watches. They even led the way in waterproofing techniques and self-winding models. By 1968 the Swiss made 65 percent of all watches sold in the world and laid claim to as much as 90 percent of the profits.

Now...which country sold the most wrist watches in the 1980s? The answer is Japan. By 1980 Swiss companies had laid off thousands of watch-makers and controlled less than 10 percent of the world market. Between 1979 and 1981, eighty percent of Swiss watchmakers lost their jobs.

Why? One reason is the advent of Japanese digital watches. Another major reason is that the Swiss were reluctant to change the way they traditionally designed wrist watches. Like the fact that for too long they refused to utilize the less expensive and more accurate Quartz crystal. In short, they kept doing what they always did. Because they did not seriously experiment with radical new ways of designing timepieces, most Swiss watchmakers found themselves doing something else for a living.

Our lives are not so different. Of course we need to accept ourselves as we are, but we can't stop there. We also need to value ourselves enough make needed changes.  It's a simple formula: If we want to live fully we have to keep growing. If we want to keep growing we have to adapt. And if we want to adapt we have to try on new ways of thinking and new ways of doing. For me it's about making my life an active science.

I appreciate Mark Twain's encouragement. "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do," he points out. "So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

Sounds like fun to me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NDAB Leadership Roster

 

President:

Mark Kueffler, 1406 14 ½ Ave E, West Fargo ND  58078-3428, #866-9908

Vice President:

Zelda Gebhard, 8169 66th St SE, Edgeley ND  58433 #493-2399

Secretary:

Dianne Giessinger, 807 12th St NW, Minot ND  58703 #720-4866

Treasurer:

Helen Baumgartner, 402 12th Ave NW, Mandan ND  58554 #663-8878

Past President:

Michelle Zentz, 1025 7th Ave S #5, Fargo ND  58103 #298-9105

Board of Directors: 

Donna Hepper, 1420 83rd St, Ft. Yates ND  58538 #854-7395

Sherry Shirek, 2307 10th St S, Fargo ND  58103 #540-6356

Janelle Olson, 915 2nd Ave W, Williston ND  58801 #570-0801
Financial Chairperson:

Allan Peterson, 7009 Horseshoe Bend, Horace ND  58047 #282-4644

Legislative Liaison Chairpersons:

Allan Peterson, 7009 Horseshoe Bend, Horace ND  58047 #282-4644

Zelda Gebhard, 8169 66th St SE, Edgeley ND  58433 #493-2399
Co-Camp Directors: 

Loris Van Berkom, 604 8th Ave W, Williston ND  58801 #774-3399

Rick Feldman, 3301 Bohnet Blvd, Fargo ND  58102 #235-3293
Family Adjustment Seminar Chairperson:

Janelle Olson, 915 2nd Ave W, Williston ND  58801 #570-0801
Sports and Recreation Chairperson:

Dave Sundeen, 310 Dunsmoore Ave #1, Buxton ND  58218 #847-3139

Scholarship Committee Chairperson:

Tracy Wicken, 733 Dawn Circle, Grand Forks ND  58203 #772-7669

Historian:

Denise Kirsch, 1934 N 16th St Unit 3, Bismarck ND  58501 #223-8774

Publicity Chairperson:

Sherry Shirek, 2307 10th St S, Fargo ND  58103 #540-6356

Local News Reporters:

Bismarck: Bob Vandal, 1311 N 3rd St, Bismarck ND  58501 #400-0109

Fargo: Shereen Faber, 3001 Madison Ave, Fargo ND  58102 #237-4589

Grand Forks: Ruth Phalen, 725 40th Ave S #114, Grand Forks ND 58201 #772-4546

Minot: Doug and Mary Stip, 813 Park St, Minot ND  58701-4551 #839-4128

Williston: Loris Van Berkom, 604 8th Ave W, Williston ND  58801 #774-3399

Promoter Editor:

Kathy Larson, 15225 59th St NW, Williston ND  58801-9560 #875-4291

All members are encouraged to submit items of interest to the editor by mail, phone or e-mail for publication. Deadline is the 10th of the month prior to quarterly publications of February, May, August and November.

 

NDAB is a nonprofit organization which promotes the interest of ND residents who are blind and visually impaired. As a nonprofit organization, we welcome donations to help in advancing the cause of persons who are blind and visually impaired.

To learn more about NDAB visit us online at www.ndab.org