The Promoter – August 2022
Official Publication of the
North Dakota Association of the Blind
Available in four formats:
large print, email, braille and cartridge
Editor: Beth Bakke Stenehjem firstname.lastname@example.org
Not they who lack sight, but they who lack vision are 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
Submitted by Trampes Brown
See Blind Possible
We have had a busy summer thus far, with NDAB State Convention and the ACB National Conference both being held within the last two months. Both events involve the business aspects of our organization. I would like to extend a huge thank you to our wonderful Convention Committee for putting together a fabulous event for us this year, as we were finally able to meet in person after three years. The convention was a wonderful time of fun, entertainment, and taking care of that pesky business.
Our small delegation that attended ACB Conference and Convention were able to attend and participate in many informative and interesting sessions, tours, and events. I hope many of you were able to listen in to at least part of the nearly three-week-long programming provided by ACB.
The picture is of the ND contingent at ACB: Emily Stenberg Brown, Trampes Brown, Brant Adams and Tonya Adams (who were representing Ohio but are NDAB members and live in Bismarck), Allan Peterson, Steven Gebhard, and Zelda Gebhard
We have a busy next few months ahead with Camp, Sports and Recreation Retreat, and planning for future events. As we look to the next few months and year ahead, I would like to pose a question to each and every one of you: How do you “See Blind Possible”? We will continue this motto for the upcoming year’s Giving Hearts Day, day of giving. With this in mind, I would encourage each of you to consider and answer this question for yourself as well as sharing it with NDAB. We would like to share and publicize your responses either in the Promoter, on our website, or on our Facebook page. It could be in a short article or statement, or even a video. It is important for us to show the public how we “See Blind Possible.” NDAB is OUR organization, and we want to promote all the ways, however great or small, we live life with vision loss.
We also have a few committees and areas that we would appreciate your help. We are in need of a new historian. We greatly appreciate the hard work that Karlyn Frantsen has given us for many years. If interested, please let me know and we can discuss the role further. We also have a few committees who could use your talents to further their efforts to make all of our activities and programs even better. I will also be meeting with each committee or committee chair to review the guidelines for clarification as well as modifying any appropriate areas of the documents.
The board is excited to serve the organization in the upcoming year. I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Mickey Teubner at the completion of his three-year director term on the board. Mickey was a valued member on the board and continues to assist and at times lead Tech Talk calls with North Dakota Vision Services/School for the Blind. We also welcome Gerald Byron on the board as our newest director. He brings a new perspective and common-sense approach that will be very valuable as we proceed with the guidance of NDAB.
The board is looking into ways of being more efficient and effective in our meetings and planning. We have decided to do a test-run of consent agenda; you may have received my email referring to this. What this means is that we will be requesting all reports two weeks prior to board meetings. This will allow me to send them directly to the board members ahead of the meeting for review. If there are no questions or discussion on a particular report, we can approve the report as submitted. This can save us a large amount of time during each meeting and allow us to address programming and other business topics without having three-plus-hour board meeting calls. We will review this process after two meetings. We are also moving our meeting date and time to Friday evenings at 7 p.m. This is to better respect individuals’ weekend plans. We will keep everyone posted on the new process as we move forward.
If anyone has questions or concerns about anything, please contact me. I also encourage each and every member to bring your ideas for activities, advocacy, or programming to the Board’s attention. We are simply here to serve each and every one of you.
Thank you so much for allowing me the opportunity to continue as the NDAB editor for the Promoter. I have to apologize for not having the editor’s report ready for the convention. The statistics on last year’s editions are below. I welcome any suggestions members have towards the publication and would love to try new articles or submissions. If you have suggestions, please give me a call at #701-471-5004 or email me at email@example.com. Thank you again for the opportunity to assist this wonderful organization.
Beth Bakke Stenehjem, Promoter Editor
August 2021 edition of the Promoter
November 2021 edition of the Promoter
February 2022 edition of the Promoter
May 2022 edition of the Promoter
August 7-12 NDAB Camp at Camp Grassick
September 16-18 NDAB Sports and Recreation Annual Retreat at Wesley Acres near Dazey, ND Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions
Submitted by Trampes Brown and Emily Stenberg Brown
We hope you can join us for the book club discussions this fall. Book Club takes place the first Wednesday of every month during Coffee Chat at 10 a.m. and again that evening at 7 p.m. Join us at both sessions if you can, as we always end up discussion new themes in the evening.
Here are the books and the DB numbers for September through December 2022.
September 7 with special guest host Candy Lien – Finding Chika: A Little Girl, an Earthquake, and the Making of a Family by Mitch Albom
October 5 – Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
November 2 – Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
December 7 – Me by Elton John
If you have any questions about Book Club, feel free to reach out to Trampes (email@example.com; 701-389-7982) or Emily (firstname.lastname@example.org; 701-795-2709). We’d also love to hear your book suggestions. Happy Reading!
The 2021/2022 NDAB membership report will show a large change in membership totals. The organization had six members that passed away in the previous year. They were memorialized during our state convention. We had 14 members apply and be approved for membership as well. The largest change on our membership totals for the year is that we had 37 members who did not renew for the upcoming year. Numerous attempts are made for individuals to renew their memberships; for a variety of reasons they have chosen not to continue with the organization. We currently have 164 paid and up-to-date members. We are working to reconcile our membership list both for mail and email communications as well as determining the breakdown of visually impaired and lifetime members. We will try to get you all of that information in the next promoter.
Trampes Brown/Rebecca Anderson Falde
Submitted by Zelda Gebhard
Tired of doing the same old things? Ready to explore something new? You may have wanted to do something but didn’t have the money to try it out. If I just described you, keep reading.
NDAB has created a new program called Life Enrichment, and we challenge you to explore new possibilities. The idea was discussed, approved, and funds set aside during the 2019 Convention. Before the program could sprout and grow, the pandemic closed the doors to many opportunities.
Now that things have opened up and people are feeling more comfortable about meeting face-to-face, we decided to get to work and create the guidelines, develop the process, and make this opportunity available to all of you.
Committee members Mike Beck, Trampes Brown and Zelda Gebhard drafted the guidelines and sought input from the NDAB Board.
We will begin accepting Life Enrichment application immediately. So, if there is something you would like to try, learn, or experience, we encourage you to check it out and get the details. When you are ready to apply, or if you have questions, contact the committee at email@example.com or call 701-709-0262.
Please see the board approved guidelines listed below.
Approved: May 22, 2022
To financially assist members in their quest for new life experiences in ways that enrich their lives by pursuing skills, training, and nontraditional education.
75% not to exceed $1000
Preference will be given to applications from individuals who have not been awarded a grant in the previous three years.
May include but not limited to training, workshops, classes, seminars in a variety of areas such as technology, arts, exercise and wellness, cooking, etc.
“First Time” experiences will be given preference such as attendance to Ski for Light for the first time.
Monies will be distributed directly to the entity involved upon submission of registration or as reimbursement of expense receipt.
Application, Promotion and Awarding Process:
Ongoing promotion in each Promoter.
Application review and award determination will be made within 30 days of receipt of application.
Selections will occur throughout the year with up to 50% of life enrichment budget being dispersed prior to December 1st.
Selection Committee: Shall include at least three members
Expectations of Recipient:
Award recipients are asked to share information about their life enrichment experience including, but not limited to, their choice of the following – a presentation, a video, or a Promotor article.
Requested Application Information
Describe the opportunity.
State why you are interested in this opportunity.
Where will the experience be held?
When will it occur?
How much will it cost?
Have you explored other funding sources for this opportunity?
Place of Residence: I live out in the country between Mountain and Gardar. My mailing address is Edinburg.
Occupation: I was a journeyman electrician. I had to quit that job 14 years ago when I was losing my sight.
Family: I am married to my lovely wife Lisa. We have 2 daughters; one of them lives nearby and the other one lives in Virginia. We have 5 grandkids between the ages of 7 and 21. We have been fortunate to have the grandkids who live in Virginia staying with us this summer so that has kept us very busy.
Hobbies: I have a very big garden and even a greenhouse. I brought tomatoes last year to NDAB camp. The farmers market in Park River is where I sell my produce. Recently I gave Janelle Olson some beet pickles.
How long have you been a member of NDAB? I have been a member of NDAB over 10 years; I can’t remember exactly how long it has been.
Why should someone join NDAB? NDAB membership has helped me to meet people in a similar situation and get advice from them on how to handle things. Someone always has it worse but we can all learn from each other.
Pictured are Gerald’s family with mountains in the background. Lisa and Gerald are with daughter Kelsey and her family on the left. Kelsey and Ryan, they have Braven (14), Bridger (12), and Berlyn (11). Daughter Heather and her family on the right. Heather and Travis, they have Shelby (21) and Derek (7).
We extend our deepest sympathy to Shirley Tomlinson for the loss of her grandmother, Darlene Olson.
We also offer our sympathy to Judy Iten for the loss of her son, Keith Iten, NDAB member.
Donations: April, May, June Donations
N & D Richardson $100.00
GHD Bonus Donations
Stripe Transfer $75.00
May Donations Total $160,00
GHD Bonus Donations
Stripe Transfer $160.00
June Donations Total $10,781.80
For Keith Iten and Dan Gerhardt from:
Stan and Kathy Larson
Judy and Allan Peterson
Loris Van Berkom
Other Donations $4,581.80
ACB MMS $25
FM Area Foundation-Life Enrichment $4,206.80
Illiteracy Project $80
Minot Area Community Foundation-Keiser Endowment Fund $170
Denis and Nelson Richardson $100
Walk for Vision $300
Fargo Gateway Lions
Charitable Gaming $4,750
Bismarck Eagles 2237 $500
Bismarck VFW Post 1326 $50
Casselton Veterans Inc $250
Devils Lake Rotary Club $300
Enderlin Alumni $250
Fargo AmVets Post 7 $100
Kenmard Vets Club $500
Mandan Moose Lodge 425 $500
Mantador VFW Post 9317 $100
Mott M.O.T.T. $100
Napoleon American Legion Post 72 $200
Park River American Legion $200
Souris Rural Fire Dept $ 500
Velva Volunteer Fire Dept $200
West Fargo VFW 7564 in memory of Bob Geske $500
Williston American Legion $500
NDAB Resolution 2022-01:
State 2023-2025 Biennial Appropriation for North Dakota Vision Services / School for the Blind (NDVS/SB)
Whereas, statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau in 2020 indicated that there were 760,394 residents living in North Dakota. Conservative Demographic studies have consistently demonstrated that 3.3% among the general population have medical conditions which mildly, moderately, or severely compromise their eyesight, this means that there is a significant population of people in North Dakota affected by uncorrectable sight loss; 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 the components for a comprehensive center-based rehabilitation training program, is recognized regionally and nationally as a program of excellence and high quality, has the capability and capacity that allows it to serve people of all ages (i.e., 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 North Dakota Association of the Blind in Convention assembled at the Holiday Inn Express Southwest in Fargo, ND on this Saturday, June 11, 2022 that, we strongly urge that Governor Doug Burgum and the 68th North Dakota Legislative Assembly that will convene on January 3, 2022 to maintain and increase the appropriation for North Dakota Vision Services / School for the Blind (SB2013) in the state budget which is adopted for the 2023 -2025 biennium so that the NDVS/SB appropriation will,
- Maintain funding for all the current professional positions serving children and adults across the state to ensure that the frequency and intensity of services required to attain their goals is met.
- Increase funding for the temporary salary allotment to maintain the appropriate number of part-time employees that work evenings and overnight during short-term programs for students and adults who come to the training center for intensive instruction.
- Increase the operating portion of the NDVS/SB budget to appropriately adjust for greater costs of service-related travel, maintenance of the facility, purchase of modern technology, and for essential professional staff development.
State 2021 – 2023 Appropriation for the Talking Book Program at the North Dakota State Library
Whereas, demographically, North Dakota is among the states with the highest proportion of people per capita who are 55 years of age and older and this is the subpopulation of people who have the highest incidence of significant sight loss that is not medically correctable, and that this is a population trend that is expected to accelerate as our population continues to grow older in average age into the future; and,
Whereas, thousands of North Dakotans, with many types of disabilities in addition to blindness, cannot read standard print and rely on audio books from the talking book program at the State Library for hours of entertainment and a source of valuable information in their daily lives;
Now, Therefore, be it resolved by the North Dakota Association of the Blind in Convention assembled at the Holiday Inn Express Southwest in Fargo, ND on this Saturday, June 11, 2022 that
Given how extremely valuable this program is to so many citizens in our state, we strongly urge that Governor Burgum and our State Legislature would maintain and strengthen the appropriation that is allotted to the Talking Book Program that is included in the appropriation within the State Library (SB2013) for the upcoming 2023 – 2025 biennium.
Further, we strongly urge our North Dakota congressional delegation, Senators Hoeven and Cramer, and Congressman Kelly Armstrong, to work to maintain and increase the amount of federal funding that is appropriated for the NLS Talking Book Program whenever the federal budget is under consideration by the U.S. Congress.
NDAB Resolution 2022-03:
State 2021 – 2023 Appropriation for the Older Individuals Who Are Blind (OIB) Program
Whereas, demographically, North Dakota is among the states which has the highest proportion of people per capita who are 55 years of age and older, and this is the subpopulation of people who have the highest incidence of significant sight loss that is not medically correctable; and,
Whereas, seniors who receive blindness rehabilitation skills training to adjust to sight loss can postpone or avoid institutionalized care and live more productive and fulfilling lives; and,
Whereas, the appropriation that’s made for the Older Individuals Who Are Blind (OIB) 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 rate due to the size of our population compared to other states, and (2) travel costs are significant because the vision specialists employed in the program need to meet in the client’s home setting to make a proper evaluation to assess the skills training needed for that individual person;
Now, Therefore, be it resolved by the North Dakota Association of the Blind in Convention assembled at the Holiday Inn Express Southwest in Fargo, ND on this Saturday, June 11, 2022, that given the increasing demand for vision rehabilitation skills training services available through the Older Individuals Who Are Blind Program, that we, Strongly Urge that Governor Burgum and the 68th State Legislature that convenes on January 3, 2023, to maintain and increase the state appropriation that is allocated in the 2023-2025 biennial budget within the SB2012 Human Services budget for the Older Individuals Who Are Blind (OIB) Program and that our state appropriation for this program would be increased to a 25% match of the federal appropriation that North Dakota receives for this program; And,
Further be it resolved that we urge our federal congressional delegation, Senators Hoeven and Cramer, and Congressman Armstrong, to work to maintain and increase the federal appropriation for the Older Blind Program in the federal budget and that they would work to have the formula for the federal appropriation be based, not only on the state’s population size, but also on a state’s per capita percentage of people who are 55 years of age and older.
NDAB Resolution 2022-04:
State 2023 – 2025 Appropriation for Public Transit Systems
Whereas, North Dakotans with various disabilities and economic reasons, are unable to drive a personal vehicle and thus are reliant on the availability of public transportation systems; and,
Whereas, people who are unable to use a personal vehicle for their transportation needs are often highly 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 served by such service systems; and,
Whereas, demographically, North Dakota is among the states with the highest proportion of people per capita over the age of 55 and this trend is expected to continue and most people so categorized want to “age in place” in their own homes; 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 at the Holiday Inn Express Southwest in Fargo, ND on this Saturday, June 11, 2022, that we, urge the Governor and State Legislature to increase, by a minimum of 10%, the appropriation for the operation of public transit systems in the budget that is adopted for the 2023-2025 biennium; and,
Further, we do urge our U.S. North Dakota congressional delegation, Senators Hoeven and Cramer and Congressman Armstrong, to support maintaining and increasing 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.
NDAB Resolution 2022-05:
Enactment of the Medical Device Non-Visual Accessibility Act
Whereas, digital display interfaces that are utilized by a majority of outpatient equipment and home use medical devices are not accessible to people who are blind, have limited “low” vision, and are deaf-blind; and,
Whereas, advancements have been made in healthcare technology which have resulted in a number of products, commonly referred to as durable medical equipment, (DME), which can be independently used by patients for self-monitoring vital health conditions, and,
Whereas, DME developed to help monitor a person’s vital health conditions are often manufactured without consideration for their use by someone who has a visual impairment or other disability; and,
Whereas, the population of people with sight loss is significant in our current North Dakota population of 760,394 residents (2020 Census Data). Demographic studies consistently have demonstrated that, conservatively, 3.3% of the general population have conditions that mildly, moderately, or severely medically compromise their eyesight which means that there is a significant population of people in North Dakota who are affected by uncorrectable sight loss; and,
Whereas, the use of durable medical equipment to help monitor health measurements and conditions can lead to improved health, help prevent chronic illnesses, reduce morbidity and lead to substantial cost savings; and,
Whereas, accessible interfaces that are integrated into DME during the process of manufacture have often proven to have greater reliability and additionally will avoid having to re-engineer accessibility features into the product after its purchase;
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the North Dakota Association of the Blind, in Convention assembled at the Holiday Inn Express Southwest in Fargo, ND on this Saturday, June 11, 2022, that we urge Congress to pass the Medical Device Nonvisual Accessibility Act to ensure that medical equipment with a digital display is accessible so people with disabilities can monitor their health. This legislation requires the Food and Drug Administration to consider non-visual accessibility when approving Class 2 and Class 3 medical equipment and devices with a digital display to ensure access for patients with disabilities.
Further be it resolved, that we urge our North Dakota federal congressional delegation, Senators Hoeven and Cramer, and Congressman Armstrong, to help sponsor and support H.R. 4853 The Medical Device Non-Visual Accessibility Act that would help ensure that Class 2 and Class 3 medical equipment and devices with a digital display is accessible to patients who have disabilities
Further be it resolved that we strongly urge Senators Hoeven and Cramer to help sponsor introduction of a companion bill to H.R. 4853 in the U.S. Senate.
NDAB Resolution 2022-06:
Ensuring That Websites, Application Programs, and Online Services Are Accessible to People with Disabilities
Whereas access to websites, applications, and online services in today’s world is essential and impacts most all aspects of daily life; and,
Whereas the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted the importance of digital inclusion for everyone; and,
Whereas, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has not finalized enforcement standards which clearly define that websites, applications, and online services must be accessible to people who are blind, visually impaired (low vision), and deaf-blind. As a consequence, people who are so defined have faced significant barriers when accessing workplace portals, educational platforms, healthcare and public health information, transportation services, shopping, entertainment, and more available through the Internet;
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the North Dakota Association of the Blind, in Convention assembled at the Holiday Inn Express Southwest in Fargo, ND on this Saturday, June 11, 2022, that we urge Congress to give clear guidance to the Department of Justice to finalize and implement enforceable online information access standards. These standards must include a strong functional definition of accessibility so that website and application owners and operators are keenly aware that their online services do not violate the rights of people with disabilities.
Further we urge our North Dakota congressional delegation, Senators Hoeven and Cramer and Congressman Armstrong, to support legislation and directives for the Department of Justice that will protect the online civil rights of people with disabilities and provide clear guidance that websites, applications, and online services will be accessible to people with disabilities.
NDAB Resolution 2022-07:
An Amendment to Enhance and Update The Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA)
Whereas, the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) helped guarantee access for people with disabilities to advanced communications services, telecommunications hardware and software, accessible video displays and user interfaces and digital apparatuses, and has provided for the delivery of audio-described content; and,
Whereas, electronic communications, social media networking, and video streaming services have undergone dramatic advancement and change in the intervening years since passage of the CVAA in 2010; and,
Whereas, audio description for people who are blind and visually impaired and captioning for people who are deaf and hard of hearing has added immeasurable quality to the lives of people affected by these disabilities. Furthermore, people, not affected by disability, have often found the information that these services can provide to be of great benefit to them as well; and,
Whereas, provisions of the CVAA have been very beneficial in helping provide needed services to people with disabilities since its implementation but the scope of this legislation has reached its potential limits of influencing future policy changes; and,
Whereas, the CVAA has focused its requirements for audio description on the nation’s largest television broadcast markets, but hasn’t included similar requirements for smaller sized markets;
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the North Dakota Association of the Blind, in Convention assembled at the Holiday Inn Express Southwest in Fargo, ND on this Saturday, June 11, 2022, that we urge Congress to update the accessible video and communications requirements for the CVAA. This legislation should ensure that everyone in the United States may receive audio-described content from their local broadcaster, utilizing the technology already required to deliver accessible emergency alerts, and ensure that accessible user interface and audio-described content requirements are modernized to reflect the shifting landscape to Internet protocol and online delivered video content. And, that any legislation should require the Federal Communications Commission to ensure that all video communications services are accessible to people with disabilities.
Further be it resolved that we urge our North Dakota congressional delegation Senators Hoeven and Cramer and Congressman Armstrong to support and help sponsor a Communications and Video Accessibility Amendments Act when it is introduced in Congress.
The first Ed Christensen Award was given in 1993, following a motion made by Joe Hintz to honor Ed Christensen who was the Administrator of Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Grand Forks.
This was a state program funded by Vocational Rehabilitation for adult individuals with visual impairments. Several of NDAB’s members took part in this six to ten-week training program. Ed was a member of NDAB from 1975 until 2001 and was active in updating the By-Laws in 1983. This award is given to recognize an active NDAB member and their years of dedicated service to the association.
At the 2022 NDAB Convention the Ed Christensen Award went to Mary Stip. Mary has been a dedicated member of NDAB for 26 years, serving as vice president for four years, attending several national conventions, co-chairing one of the state conventions and assisting with the planning of several others, and been an active committee member for several NDAB committees. In addition to this impressive list of activities, Mary has also helped raise funds and acquire a huge amount of new members for the organization and knitted hundreds of caps and scarves for the camp auction and those in need. She was able to get so many new members that she received both the NDAB Advocate of the Year Award and the coveted ACB Most Increase in Membership Award.
Anyone who knows Mary knows she is always willing to lend a hand or make phone calls or do the things that need to be done for a volunteer organization.
Mary Stip in beautiful green blouse holding her Edwin Christensen Award.
Submitted by Mary Lou Stip
The North Dakota Association of the Blind recently named Gary Pedersen the recipient of its Robert John LePage Service Award at their annual convention June 11th at the Holiday Inn Express in south Fargo.
Pedersen has been active with the Gateway Lions for 42 years since joining the club in 1980. Current club president Gelaine Orvik said he has served as club president, first, second and third vice presidents, board member, secretary, and treasurer among numerous offices. “Gary is an amazing example of a serving Lion and has a long history of quietly helping people with vision loss,” Orvik said in the nomination letter.
He helped host Bowling for the Blind and also chaired and co-chaired the program. He has driven campers to and from Camp Grassick and taken participants to and from state NDAB conventions. He has also supplied transportation to the sports and recreation retreat at Wesley Acres and driven Ski for Light participants to catch their bus to Deadwood, among other things. He was also a good friend of Bob LePage and still keeps in contact with Bob’s wife, Virginia, on occasion.
Congratulations to Lion Gary Pedersen for this well-deserved award!
Mary Stip (right) presented the Bob LePage Award to Lion Gary Pedersen.
Bob LePage’s daughter, Cynthia (left), attended the banquet as well.
Submitted by Allan Peterson and Ali Engraf
Karla was initially nominated to be the recipient of the Friend of Vision Award by Shereen Faber and was additionally endorsed by Allan Peterson and Ali Engraf.
Many members of NDAB are deeply indebted to Karla for the time, effort, devotion, and skill that she has given as an audio describer for the past 23 years in the local Fargo Moorhead community.
In 1999, she participated in a 2-day audio describer training. The first play she audio described was Neil Simon’s play “Rumors” at the Fargo Moorhead Community Theater in the fall of 1999. Since then, Karla has used her talents to describe a number of plays and musicals in different local theater sites.
Karla is well suited to be an audio describer. As a child, after reading accounts of Helen Keller’s life, she was sensitized to the need of people with blindness to access visual information. She loves learning the details about the plays and then sharing that information with us and truly enjoys and values the friendships she has forged over the years with those who have appreciated her skills.
Karla has a life-long connection with the theater having been in a number of plays in high school at Granite Falls, Minnesota and is a member of the group that founded the local Tin Roof Theater Production Company. She played the role of the wife of Willie Lowman in “The Death of the Salesman” which was the company’s inaugural play in 2005.
One of Karla’s many memorable description moments happened at Trollwood’s production of “Hello Dolly”. Karla indicated to the group when the carriage Dolly was riding in was almost right behind their seats. A lady with some sight looked over her shoulder and smiled broadly which indicated to Karla that the woman had been able to look for Dolly at the exact location that Karla had described. It’s a memory Karla won’t ever forget and the joy that was shared by both of them.
Karla has lived most of her life in the Moorhead community. After graduating from high school, she was a student at Concordia College and was a teacher in a Moorhead nursery school for many years. She is the mother of two sons, Gary Jr. and Nicholas, who both live in New Mexico.
Mary Stip presenting the Friend of NDAB Award to Karla Peterson.
Doug Stip and banquet emcee Vince Ulstad are in the background.
Submitted by Helen Baumgartner and Milissa Miller
The NDAB Advocate of the Year award requirements are the following: Must be a member of NDAB in good standing, has demonstrated leadership skills in the organization and/or community, has educated the public about the needs and capabilities of people with sight loss, and has been involved in public relations and fundraising efforts of the organization.
Shereen Faber met and exceeding all these requirements. Shereen had been an NDAB member from 1977 until the day of her death on August 13, 2021. She was a leader in the organization. She had a passion for helping the organization become a better place for its members. She wanted to represent the organization and be the voice for those who could not, by being a board member. While on the board, she diligently worked on several committees to accomplish the work of the board; she either led the committee or helped get the work accomplished. She was on the phone immediately after an assignment to do the research necessary to gather the information needed to make the best decisions.
In the community, she was a leader in acquiring accessible recreation for people with vision loss, especially in the area of the arts and theater. She worked with Karla Pederson from 1999 until her passing to coordinate audio description opportunities for events in the Fargo/Moorhead area and beyond.
Shereen was constantly educating the public about vision loss. Just by being in the public, she advocated and education people about how it was possible to do many things, even without vision and being a double amputee. She did not let either of these things stop her from attending many social activities and going to places she wanted to go. Shereen was a true poster child for the theme of this year’s Giving Hearts Day and convention – “See Blind Possible.”
Shereen was an accomplished technology user and used her phone often to call business to get information needed for board purposes; she also called members to get their views on how they felt would be best to move forward with an organizational plan. She had the amazing ability to memorize all the details needed to report on any given project she was working on at the time. She also participated in fundraising at times when it seemed impossible for her or the organization to do so. She could not attend camp, but she would bid on items at the auction over the phone. During the challenging times of the COVID pandemic, when next to no one was having in-person events, Shereen planned an in-person fundraiser with the help of her family to raise money for the organization. The memorials after her death brought in more funds than any other memorials in the past. Her family has even sponsored the coffee breaks at the convention.
NDAB is a much better organization because of Shereen’s presence as a faithful, kind, and positive member. She may not be here physically, but her presence will never depart from this organization because of the wonderful person she was and the effect she had on so many of us.
Ruth (Shereen’s mother) and Elton (Shereen’s husband) holding the Advocate of the Year Award.
Two $2,000 scholarships were awarded to Amy Osvold and Faith Norby. Faith will be attending the University of Mary this fall; she is majoring in English education and minoring in special education. Amy Osvold is working on her master’s degree in social work through Florida State. NDAB extends our best to the both of you in your studies and your degrees.
Submitted by Brant Adams
The Sports & Recreation Committee is pleased to announce we will once again be hosting our 4th annual retreat at Wesley Acres near Dazey, ND. The event will be held September 16th, 17th & 18th, starting at 3:00 p.m. on the 16th and ending at noon on the 18th. This year’s event will be similar to the previous three years, with activities ranging from rock climbing to kayaking, as well as other blind sports. Once again, this year, in addition to our other activities, staff from Wesley Acres will be instructing archery classes!
Any individuals with sight loss ages 14 and up are welcome to register and attend (14–17 year-olds do require a chaperone.) The cost is free for participants with sight loss. A plus-one is welcome to attend with each participant for $75. This can be a parent, spouse, friend, child, etc.
Wesley Acres’ COVID-19 policies will be adhered to for this event as well as NDAB Camp policies and guidelines.
The Sports & Recreation Committee is excited to welcome each and every one of you to attend this year’s retreat, as we promote exploring new activities and leading active lives.
We plan to have an application on ndab.org directly after camp around August, 15th. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Submitted by Allan Peterson, NDAB Development Director
A very appreciative thank you to all who supported NDAB with your donations and or helped with our fund-raising activities in any way during the past year. We rely on and are so very appreciative for your ongoing support that’s critically important for us to operate as a financially viable organization.
FYI: Our NDAB reporting year begins on June 1 and ends on May 31 of the following year; so, this past reporting year began last year on June 1, 2021 and ended this year on May 31, 2022.
Our fundraising efforts revolve around two main events – the NDAB Walk for Vision and our participation in Giving Hearts Day.
Our Walk for Vision event is held to coincide with White Cane Safety Day, observed annually on October 15. As such, Walk for Vision serves as our signature event and White Cane Safety Day focuses on our advocacy to promote the safety and independence of people who rely on a white cane or guide dog as a mobility aid.
Walk for Vision in 2021 featured 3 separate events: Walk for Vision Olympics at NDVS/SB on October 10, our NDAB Walk for Vision event based at the NDSU Lutheran Center on October 15, and Sports in the Dark at Polaris Park in Minot on October 16.
The publicity we receive by pairing Walk for Vision events with White Cane Safety Day is notable. We requested and received White Cane Safety Day proclamations from ND Governor Doug Burgum and Mayors from the Cities of Fargo, Grand Forks and Minot. Also, we garnered media coverage from WDAY TV in Fargo and Trampes was interviewed on a local radio station in Minot about our advocacy and fundraising activities.
Our major fundraising activity in terms of monies raised has evolved into our participation in Giving Hearts Day (GHD). A requirement for any organization’s participation in Giving Hearts Day, is that they raise money to create a Match Fund. This money is then used to “match” the funds that are raised from “on-line giving” on Giving Hearts Day itself. I admit this is a bit confusing, but is comparable to other fund-raising endeavors, like, when Prairie public TV advertises that if you make a donation, that money will be matched by some group or person. In effect, as a consequence, your donation is doubled, it gives the impression to donors that their donation has greater value. This is why we actively seek donations for our Match Fund prior to Giving Hearts Day.
Our Giving Hearts Day Match Fund for this year’s appeal was reported as $20,200. The money in this fund came from a mix of donations made by Lions clubs, a few generous individual donors, some of whom wish to remain anonymous, businesses, and donations made by licensed charitable North Dakota gaming organizations. To be clear the money in our Match Fund is not ever given to the administration of Giving Hearts Day and is always in our possession. We must, however, report the existence of the Fund and who has made contributions to it. The information about Match Fund donors is kept confidential and is NOT shared with other organizations.
This year’s actual Giving Hearts Day for “on-line donations” happened on February 10, 2022. The theme that was chosen for our Giving Hearts Day participation was “See Blind Possible”. Thanks, Ali, for suggesting this title! There is a tremendous amount of work that is necessary to gear up and have a successful Giving Hearts Day outcome. I did acknowledge these most valuable volunteers in the previous edition of the Promoter but do want to emphasize just how crucial their work is to our ongoing success for Giving Hearts Day.
Our fundraising is categorized into 5 separate income streams: (1) NDAB Walk-for-Vision, (2) Giving Hearts Day, (3) North Dakota Lions Clubs, (4) licensed charitable gaming operations, and (5) Donations, not including memorials. For fiscal year 2021 – 2022 results for these five categories: NDAB Walk-for-Vision = $8,554; Giving Hearts Day = $26,351; Donations (minus memorials) = $6,996; Charitable gaming = $5,558; Lions clubs = $3,190. The income raised from these five funding streams totaled $50,648.
Note #1: The amounts in the separate streams are not duplicated, the amount in each category is what can legitimately be claimed for that funding stream.
Note #2: Walk for Vision and Giving Hearts Day donations include a number of contributions made by North Dakota Lions clubs. So, the amount reported separately in the Lions income category in no way accurately reflects the generosity of the ND Lions clubs.
FYI: In addition, the above fundraising income total does not include the $4,072 income generated from the 2021 Summer Camp Auction and the $700 donation made for Dining in The Dark by the Minot Lions last fall.
Total fundraising expenses for the past fiscal year = $5,061.02. Fundraising expenses were offset by applying for and receiving two Thrivent action team grants that totaled $500. An appreciative Thank you to Thrivent Financial for this personal member benefit.
Total gross income (Quick Books) for the past fiscal year = $61,754.69
Total expenses for fiscal 2021 – 2022 = $44,894.13
Net return (total income minus expenses) = $16,860.56
Other income sources excluding fundraising: Memorials = $2,441.04; NDAB Membership dues = $2,516.90; State Convention Income = $152.95; Sports & Recreation = $873.02; promotions including t-shirt sales = $199.11; and Miscellaneous + interest income = $151.30.
A very grateful and appreciative thank you to NDAB Treasurer Rebecca Anderson for her help in compiling the figures for this report. Her work is absolutely vital to the maintenance of the financial accounts for NDAB. Also thank you to her husband Greg Falde for helping out when another set of helping hands and eyes is needed.
In taking stock of our past year, once again we pause to thank and acknowledge the successes that were achieved in connection with our fundraising efforts, among them were the videos that were created to promote Giving Hearts Day, the work that has been done to expand and update our database of donors, the letter writing editing and graphic design work, the work to maintain and update our web page and Facebook page, and all the contact calls that were made and followed up on. It all boils down to hundreds of hours of volunteer work.
A personal thank you to Mickey Teubner for being featured as the star for our fundraising efforts; he was featured in our mailings and a video that was done for Giving Hearts Day. Mickey was highlighted for his ability to use and benefit from the use of technology in his life as a person who has no functional eyesight. Mickey helped define our theme, “See Blind Possible”.
Submitted by Allan Peterson and Zelda Gebhard
The focus of the 2022 NDAB Convention report was on the advocacy that Zelda, Trampes, and I did in connection with the 2022 ACB Legislative Seminar that was held virtually on March 14 and 15. Subsequently, we had virtual meetings with staff members in the DC offices of Senator Cramer and Congressman Kelly Armstrong to advocate for the priorities that were the focus of the 2022 ACB Legislative Seminar. Our convention report also included a conversation we had with Brian Newby, Director of Elections in the Secretary of State’s Office about progress toward the provision of an accessible absentee ballot for people with disabilities in North Dakota.
FYI: The report that summarized our advocacy efforts for the legislative priorities that were advanced at the 2022 American Council of the Blind’s Legislative Seminar were published in the last edition of the Promoter. Accordingly, three of the resolutions we adopted at our 2022 NDAB Convention advocated for enactment of these priorities by Congress and urged support for them by our North Dakota congressional delegation, Senators Hoeven and Cramer, and Congressman Armstrong. Support for the fourth 2022 ACB Legislative priority, the Exercise and Fitness for All Act, was adopted by resolution at our 2021 virtual ACB Convention. All four of these priorities deal with access to vital visual information for people that are blind or visually impaired. Note: For more information, please refer to our 2022 NDAB Convention Resolutions, published elsewhere in this edition of the Promoter.
This session of Congress will end sometime after this fall’s election. However, our advocacy for passage of these priorities will continue if these issues are not acted upon by this session of Congress. Advocacy never stops for very important accessibility issues like these, the need for advocacy is a constant. That doesn’t ever go away. The only way we have been successful is to be ever persistent and ever determined to reach our advocacy goals.
Four of the resolutions we adopted at our 2022 NDAB Convention in Fargo deal with our forthcoming advocacy during the North Dakota State Legislative Session that will convene January 3, 2023. The resolutions are in support of the state biennial appropriations for North Dakota Vision Services/School for the Blind, the Talking Book Program administrated by the ND State Library, the Older Individuals who are Blind (OIB) Program administrated under ND Vocational Rehabilitation, and state funding for public transportation services administrated by the ND Department of Transportation. We will be using the resolutions adopted at our NDAB 2022 Convention to help guide our advocacy during this coming year.
Zelda, Trampes, and I did meet virtually with Brian Newby the Director of Elections in the Secretary of State’s Office in May to discuss progress toward implementation of an accessible electronic absentee ballot. As you will remember, we were successful in having access to an accessible absentee ballot included in the major voting bill (HB1253) that was passed by the most recent North Dakota Legislative Session that met in 2021. At the May meeting we were told that an accessible absentee ballot would not be available in time for this fall’s 2022 election, but that they are working toward having one available for the North Dakota election in November 2024. It is our intent to continue to work with officials in the Secretary of State’s Office and other allies in the disability community to make this happen in time for the 2024 election.
A very appreciative thank you to those of you who attended our “Lunch with Legislators” that happened during our 2022 Convention in Fargo. We had 3 state senators, 3 state representatives, and one candidate attend plus the state directors for U.S. Senator Hoeven and Congressman Armstrong and a representative from U.S. Senator Cramer’s office in attendance. This event was successful in that they had a chance to hear personally what issues are important to us as people who are dealing with the loss of eyesight.
We would strongly encourage you to exercise your right to vote in this November’s election. You can call the city or county auditor’s office in your area to learn where you need to vote. It is your right and, dare say, duty to be a voter and be knowledgeable about candidates and issues that will be on the ballot in this important election.
Communication submissions: email@example.com
Address: NDAB, PO Box 824, West Fargo, ND 58078
All members are encouraged to submit items of interest to the editor at #471-5004 or firstname.lastname@example.org 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.