The Promoter – February 2020

Table of Contents

Letter from the President

As I opened my 2020 calendar, I thought about something we used to say while playing hide and seek as children. When we were “it” and had finished counting, we would shout, “Ready or not, here I come” before we raced off to find our playmates.
The beginning of a new year is an exciting time – full of promise and opportunity, but it also arrives whether we are prepared for it or not! Ready or not, here I come!
I am going to share with you some information that may help you get ready for 2020 in NDAB.

  • Membership dues for the year are due on February 1st. Congratulations if you’ve already paid them. If you haven’t, it’s not too late, mail your check to Mary Stip at 4212 Estate Dr. S. Fargo, ND 58104. Or if you would rather you can pay electronically by going to our website at www.NDAB.org.
  • Support NDAB by making a personal donation and encouraging friends and family to give a gift to NDAB on Giving Hearts Day, Thursday, February 13. For more details see Allan’s article about GHD.
  • Attend the Just Talking teleconference call by dialing 515-604-9797, access code 824825# on February 18 from 7-8 PM. Learn what’s on ACB Radio and the different ways you can listen to it. To see other future topics, see the Just Talking article.
  • After participating in the February Just Talking call, you will be ready to listen to the live streaming on ACB Radio of the ACB Leadership Meetings in D.C. from the comfort of your own home. The Affiliate Presidents meeting on Sunday, February 23 and Legislative Seminar on Monday, February 24.
  • Plan to talk your pharmacist about how having accessible prescription labeling on your medication bottles would help you safely and independently manage your meds. See the article about ScripTalk.
  • Scheduled adult weeks at North Dakota Vision Services/School for the Blind on March 2nd, May 11th and June 1st. See the full article describing adult weeks for more information.
  • Make plans now to attend “Focused Forward in 2020” the annual NDAB Convention in Grand Forks. It will be at the Townhouse Hotel June 5-7.
    I look forward to all the many positive things that 2020 has in store for all of us. Together we can say to the world, “Ready or not, here I come.”

Your president,
Zelda Gebhard

Remember: “In every day there are 1440 minutes. That means we have 1440 opportunities to make a positive impact.” Les Brown, author

From the Editor

Happy 2020 everyone!
I hope you all had a great holiday season and that your new year is off to a good start! Thanks to all of you who submitted articles for the February issue of The Promoter. I appreciate all of the hard work you put into each submission. If anyone has any questions or would like to submit something for the May issue, please contact me before April tenth to get it in on time. I hope that you all take care and stay warm in this frigid weather.

Lexee Steffan, Promoter editor

Welcome to NDAB

NDAB welcomes the following new members: Miguel Adrover and Melissa Snyder both from Fargo, ND; Donna Kress, Walfrid (Wally) Hankla and Lorraine Ziegler all from Minot, ND; Wanda J. Kroeplin from Bottineau, ND; Margo Lentz from East Grand Forks, MN; Nick Pavel from Sioux Falls, SD; and Wayne Stenehjem from Bismarck, ND.

Members of Our NDAB Family

We offer our deepest condolences to Cheryl Cassman on the death of her husband.
Paul George Lehmann of Fargo, ND passed away December 4th after a brief battle with cancer. He was 65. Paul was born August 6th, 1954 in Breckenridge, MN to George and Marie (Gast) Lehmann. After growing up on the farm, the family moved to Fargo where Paul graduated from Shanley High School in 1972. He attended North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton studying accountancy, graduating in 1974. Most recently, Paul worked for Petro Serve USA doing bookkeeping.
In 1977, Paul married Patti Lien. Settling in Fargo, they had two children, Melissa and Michael. Patti passed in 2010 of lung cancer. In 2014, Paul married Cheryl Cassman. Living in Fargo, Paul and Cheryl were together until his death.
Paul is survived by his wife of nearly 6 years Cheryl, his two children, two step-sons two grandsons and two step-granddaughters. He is preceded in death by his parents and his wife Patti.

NDAB Membership Renewal Reminder

If you’ve already sent in your renewal form and dues for this year, thank you! If you haven’t yet sent in your 2020 NDAB Membership Renewal form and dues payment of $15.00, please do so. Renewal of your membership allows you to participate in the programs and services NDAB offers such as Summer Camp and receiving our quarterly newsletter, The Promoter.

Each year, $5.00 of your membership dues goes to The American Council of the Blind (ACB), our national affiliate. This allows us one vote per 25 NDAB members at the national convention. Our dues to ACB are due March 15th of each year. NDAB is not allowed to vote on national issues that affect the blind and visually impaired if national dues are not paid on time.

Sometime in the first part of February I will be sending out second notices. If you don’t receive one, please give me a call or E-mail me.

Mary Stip, Membership Chair (701) 720-0738 E mail vice-president@ndab.org or maryloustip@midco.net.

Just Talking

Do you like talking? To learn more about each other, technology or our world, we have been getting together by phone on the third Tuesday of each month. You can join in the conversation too!
Just dial 515-604-9797, access code 824825#. Remember there will be long distance charges unless you call in with a phone that is toll free such as a cell phone or home phone with free long distance.
Future topics include:
February 18 – ACB Radio Anytime, Anywhere: ACB Radio offers a wide variety of programming for your listening pleasure from music, real life issues to the latest information from a blind perspective. Dial in to find out what’s available and the ways you can listen.
March 17 – Have you heard about Ski for Light? Who can attend? What does it cost? How long does it last? Call in and hear what SFL attendees have to say about their experiences.
April 21 – What’s Alexa doing in 2020? Join in the conversation and see what this very popular and sought after electronic helper is doing for others and explore what she can do for you.

To suggest a topic, dial 701-493-2399.
Pick up your phone, dial in and let’s get talking!

Be Healthy, Be Wise, Be a Donor for NDAB On Giving Hearts Day (GHD)

By Allan Peterson, NDAB Development Director

It’s true! A Generous Giving Heart is a Healthy Heart. Studies have proven that there are real health benefits to being generous. It’s been shown that people who donate from their resources and volunteer to worthy causes live longer and healthier lives. Of course, you well know that NDAB is one of the very best of worthy causes!
Donations we receive for Giving Hearts Day will be doubled by money that we have designated in our Match account created for that purpose. Our goal is to have $10,000 in this account by January 27.

With this in mind, we have set our goal to raise a total of $20,000 through the Giving Hearts Day Appeal; $10,000 from the Match Account and $10,000 in donations we receive from donors on Giving Hearts Day itself. Last year we raised a total of $18,045 from the Giving Hearts Day Appeal – approximately $11,000 of this total was generated from donations made on Giving Hearts Day and approximately $7,000 was the amount we declared in last year’s Match Fund. We are confident that with your generosity, we will be able to achieve our 2020 GHD goal of $20,000.

The following are important guidelines that one should be aware of when making donations to NDAB on Giving Hearts Day:

  • This year’s Giving Hearts Day will be held on Thursday, February 13, 2020. It is a one-day, online appeal.
  • Donations can be made at givingheartsday.org using a credit or debit card. Click on the Donate Button and select North Dakota Association of the Blind from among the charities that are listed.
  • Remember, on-line donations must be received between the hours of 12:00 am – 11:59 pm on February 13.
  • Donations may also be made by check. Checks must be made out to North Dakota Association of the Blind or NDAB and be dated February 13, 2020. Important reminder: Checks must be mailed so that they are received on or before February 13th. Please mail checks to NDAB, PO Box 824, West Fargo, ND 58078.
  • GHD donations must be at least $10 or more to qualify for matching funds. All donations are eligible for a charitable tax deduction.
  • There is a new donation option for 2020. Donors will now be able to conveniently schedule online donations for Giving Hearts Day 2020 by making a donation at GivingHeartsDay.org anytime from Jan. 6 – Feb. 11, 2020. They just need to ensure that the "Schedule This Gift" box is checked when they review their cart before completing their transaction, and create a donor account if they don’t have an existing one. Scheduled gifts will then be processed on Giving Hearts Day, Feb. 13.
  • Donors will receive an email notification that their gift has been scheduled, and they will have the ability to cancel a scheduled gift any time prior to Feb. 13 by logging in to their donor account. The "Schedule This Gift" box will be checked by default for anyone who makes a donation at GivingHeartsDay.org from Jan. 6 – Feb. 11, with donors having the option to uncheck this box if they do not wish for their donation to be scheduled for Giving Hearts Day.

The Foundations that host GHD under the Giving Hearts Day umbrella, have again developed a number of incentive awards for organizations achieving significant milestones and exceeding donation increases from the prior year. These incentives are strong motivators for us to make 2020 an even greater success for NDAB.

Please share this information about “Giving Hearts Day” with family and friends who also potentially could choose to "Double their gift to NDAB on Giving Hearts Day” and join with us in our quest to help people with vision loss lead a more productive, fulfilled life.

If you need more information, contact me at allan.peterson@ndsu.edu or call me at 701-715-5482. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

Message from the Nominating Committee

It’s the beginning of a new decade and also time to start the process of choosing our NDAB leaders. Can you picture yourself filling one of the following roles?
This is a brief note to inform you of the positions that will be open for election during the 2020 state convention at Grand Forks in June:

  • A president to serve a 2-year term;
  • A vice president to serve a 2-year term:
  • A Treasurer to serve a 2-year term;
  • A board director to serve a 3-year term;
  • An editor to compose the quarterly newsletter for a 1-year term;
  • A delegate to represent NDAB at the 2021 ACB Conference and Convention in Phoenix, AZ; First Runner up from the delegate election will serve as our alternate delegate if for whatever reason the elected delegate is unable to attend.
    Remember, the following qualifications must be met if you intend to run for election:
    Officers and directors must be a resident of ND or a city that shares a common border with its sister city in ND.
    NDAB Officers may not hold office if serving as an officer in another consumer organization of the blind.
    No more than one member from a household may serve concurrent terms.
    If you can imagine yourself filling one of the positions listed above or would like to be a member of the nominating committee call 541-2970. I am eager to hear from you!

Respectfully submitted,
Michelle Zentz

NDAB Raffle 2020

Raffles are for making money and for winning money, but there are other good reasons to sell tickets for NDAB:
• Each ticket you sell gives you an opportunity to tell someone about NDAB.
• Sell tickets and have a chance to win one of five $25.00 gift certificates. For every book of tickets (five tickets/book) you sell, your name will be placed in a drawing for your chance to win.
The cost is $10 per ticket and the prizes are $2,000 for 1st place, $1,000 for 2nd place and $500 for 3rd place.
The statewide raffle drawing will be on Sunday, June 7th, the final day of the NDAB Convention, at the Townhouse Hotel in Grand Forks. YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE PRESENT TO WIN, and you do not need to be a member of NDAB to buy a ticket.
Sell them to your family, friends, acquaintances and strangers. Give them all an opportunity to win big both by winning the cash prizes and by learning about our organization.
If you would like tickets to buy or sell, contact Gretchen Campbell at secretary@ndab.org or 701-204-8943 and let her know how many books you would like, your name and address. She will mail them to you. The tickets will be signed out to you and you will be responsible for them. Be sure to return ALL tickets (both sold and unsold) along with any money collected to Gretchen. Thanks for helping with this NDAB fundraiser and outreach effort!

2020 ACB Conference and Convention Information

Plans for the 2020 American Council of the Blind conference and convention are under way! The convention will take place in Schaumburg, IL from July 3-10, 2020. The home of the convention is the Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center. Room rates are $94 per night for up to four people in a room plus tax, which is currently 15%. To make a reservation, call 800-468-3571. This is a central reservations number, so please indicate that you are with the American Council of the Blind 2020 Conference and Convention at the Renaissance Hotel in Schaumburg, IL. Rooms must be booked by June 10th, 2020 to guarantee the convention rate.
Stay in touch regarding the convention plans by reading upcoming articles in the ACB Braille Forum or joining the ACB convention e-mail list. Send a blank e-mail to acbconvention-subscribe@acb.org.
For convention-related questions, contact Janet Dickelman, convention chair, at (651) 428-5059 or via e-mail, janet.dickelman@gmail.com

Special Notice:
Please send a letter of request, e-mail message or telephone our NDAB treasurer, Rebecca Anderson, prior to the first day of the state convention to possibly receive one of the ten stipends available for members attending the annual ACB Conference and Convention. The Board will make final decisions during the post-convention Board meeting. Requests made after the close of the state convention will not be considered.

Think Summer Camp!

Submitted by Loris Van Berkom and Rick Feldman

Doesn’t the word “summer” sound glorious right now? Start making plans to attend our 50th annual summer camp for adults with sight loss at the Elks Camp Grassick. Camp dates this year are August 9-16. We will celebrate NDAB’s 50 golden years of summer camp all week and at the Friday night banquet planned by Missy Miller. If you have any ideas or suggestions for camp classes, contact Loris at (701) 774-3399 or Rick at (701) 793-5210.

Memorials and Donations

Submitted by Rebecca Anderson

Donations Received
October 2019 Donations Total $693.30
Memorials $0
Donations $393.30 Walk for Vision/$300 undesignated
Yvonne Anderson
Rebecca Berg
Jane Cumber
Julie Herzog
Don Nelson
Michael Rerick
Natalie Rick
Kelly Sclauderaff
Doris Slaaten
Taylor Lions

November 2019 Donations Total $13,051.10
Memorials $0
$5,888.00 Walk for Vision
PayPal, checks & cash were given by many generous donors.
Donations $5,913.10
Anonymous-designated part for video magnifier
Anonymous-designated for Camp
Walmart on behalf of Gretchen Campbell
$1,250.00 Lions Clubs (excludes $1,100 from Horace & Lake Metigoshe that’s part of Walk for Vision Total)
South Forks Lions
Korner Lions Club
Fargo Gateway Lions
Beulah Lions

December 2019 Donations Total $3,102.17
Memorials $0
Donations $2,902.17
$1,530.00 Walk for Vision
$ 130.00 GHD Match
$1,242.17 Not Designated
Robert Guertler
Jacob Gust
Chad Haugen
Karen & Dennis Kooren
Mary Lou & Doug Stip
Cassel Everson
Judith Geske
Rudy Hepper
George Hellyer
Betsy Harmsen
Langdon Eagles

Lions Clubs $200.00
New Rockford Lions-for Camp
Kulm Lions
Wishek Lions

Highlights from the 2019 “Walk for Vision”

By Allan Peterson

Members and friends of North Dakota Association of the Blind (NDAB) and members from the NDSU Campus Lions Club gathered at the Crossroads Lutheran Campus Ministry at NDSU Tuesday afternoon October 15, 2019 to help celebrate White Cane Safety Day and to host the annual NDAB Walk for Vision. Although the weather outside was chilly and frightful, ergo windy, we managed to walk in a 10-block area near the NDSU Campus. After completing the Walk, we returned to the Lutheran Center to enjoy conversation, hot coffee, Judy’s Special K bars, fruit, soda, and other goodies.

A special thank you to Lexee Steffan and Darlene Henning who drove to Fargo from Bismarck via Dickinson to attend our NDAB Walk event! It was truly such a thoughtful effort and delightful surprise to have them join us!

We did hold our Fargo Walk for Vision event specifically on October 15 to coincide and draw attention to White Cane Safety Day. Important historical significance: The white cane and all that it symbolizes, was acknowledged on October 6, 1964, by a joint resolution of Congress which authorized the President to designate October 15 of each year as “White Cane Safety Day.

We wish to express words of gratitude and deep appreciation to both North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum and Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney for issuing resolutions that proclaimed October 15, 2019 to be “White Cane Safety Day in North Dakota and in the City of Fargo. Nick Broadway a reporter from WDAY TV in Fargo came to our event for a news story about it; his news video clip about our Walk was shown on the 10 o’clock news that evening. Our President, Zelda, sent the Governor’s proclamation to the statewide ND news media and we were delighted that the proclamation appeared in print or was read by many of the state’s media outlets on October 15, 2019.

A huge thank you too to Emily Stenberg and other staff at North Dakota Vision Services/School for the Blind for hosting our second site for our NDAB Walk for Vision on October 24, 2019. Their GF Walk included some 30 participants and was held at the mall in Grand Forks and included some of the k-12 students who came to the School for training that week. Their Walk raised $441 and most certainly helped create a greater awareness about NDAB among our state’s youth who have been affected by sight loss.

I am pleased to report that the combined 2019 Walk for Vision efforts raised a total of $8011.30. A very appreciative, THANK YOU to anyone who helped and/or contributed in any way to the success of this event!

Accessible Prescription Labeling

By Zelda Gebhard

Do you take any prescription medications? For those of us with vision loss, it is very difficult to correctly manage our medications without some help from others. Even if you have been successful in figuring out a marking system that works for you, there is likely information that is still unavailable such as refills, Rx number, dose and instructions, prescribing provider, and side effects.
There is a need and there is also a solution! The following letter was mailed to all ND Pharmacists in October to inform them of En-Vision American, a company who provides people with vision loss a device called ScripTalk and makes available to pharmacies the equipment and software they need to provide accessible prescription labels that work with ScripTalk.
What is the next step? As individuals with vision loss we need to talk to our pharmacists and let them know that in order to safely and independently take our prescriptions we need them to provide us with prescription labeling we can access. They can’t fix a problem if they aren’t aware of it so be honest and tell them of the struggles you have had taking your medications correctly. They are in a profession that helps people and I believe they will respond positively to your request.
We need your help! I believe the message found in the letter that was sent to the pharmacists will provide you with the information you need prior to your visit with your pharmacist. The last paragraph contains contact information that you and/or your pharmacist can use to contact En-Vision America directly. If you have questions, or would like to help with further advocacy, please call me at 701-493-2399.
Letter to the Pharmacists:
Since October is recognized as American Pharmacist Month, we want to thank you for your work and service. What you do helps us stay healthy! This year’s theme, Know Your Pharmacist, Know Your Medicine, reminds us of how lucky we are here in North Dakota. They say customers who know their pharmacist’s name are twice as likely to ask their pharmacist the questions they have. Thank you for being there for us and for answering our questions!
Residents in North Dakota have had longstanding access to affordable and convenient prescription medications because of our many independent rural pharmacies and we value your dedicated service. Because we want to continue to get our prescriptions filled in the community we live in, by a pharmacist we know by name, we wanted to share some information with you.
Every year in the U.S. failure to take medications as prescribed causes more than 1.5 million preventable medication-related adverse events and costs the healthcare system approximately $290 billion. Americans spend billions of dollars each year on prescription and over-the-counter medications. That money is wasted if the medications are used incorrectly. Many people with vision loss due to eye conditions such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, retinitis pigmentosa or those with print disabilities such as dyslexia or illiteracy struggle to take their medications correctly. This is a concern shared by both you and us.
Accessible prescription labels help save lives and make managing medications independently much safer. We believe the best option at this time is ScripTalk by En-Vision America. They make a prescription label reader known as ScripTalk available to anyone who would benefit from its use. Once a pharmacy provides the service, a simple notification to En-Vision America is all it takes for a patient to get the ScripTalk reader. En-Vision America even provides a ScripTalk mobile app on both Android and iPhone. No matter what option the patient prefers, it is free to them!
En-vision America helps pharmacies get set up with the software and hardware needed to generate the RFID labels that contain information such as the medication name, prescriber, directions for use, refills available – all the information already available to those who can read regular print.
We thank Medical Pharmacy in Fargo and Gateway Pharmacy South in Bismarck for making ScripTalk labeling available. There are mail order pharmacies who offer accessible prescription labeling through ScripTalk and the RFID technology, but other than the above two pharmacies, residents in ND currently have no other “walk-in” options for accessible prescription labeling. We encourage you to change that.
We want to get our prescriptions from you, our local pharmacist, the one we know by name.
Please contact En-Vision America at www.scriptability.com or 800-890-1180 to see how your pharmacy can start offering prescription labeling that provides a safer and more independent way for your customers with vision loss and other disabilities that prevent them from reading regular print.
Thank you for your consideration.

A Phone Designed with the Blind in Mind

By Candy Lien

Are you tired of tapping, swiping, and all those other gestures required to use your phone? Are you ready to move up to a more advanced phone from your basic flip phone? If so, the Blind Shell Classic may be the phone for you. I recently purchased a Blind shell Classic because I was frustrated with trying to swipe and tap and using my voice and having mixed results. I also disliked using (or attempting to use) the virtual keyboard, especially when using an internal menu on a call (press 1 for this, press 2 for that). I have been very pleased with my choice.

The Blind Shell Classic (as well as its sister product, the Blind Shell Baroque II) is a phone designed specifically for use by people who are blind or have low vision. I myself am totally blind, so I will be speaking about its use for people like me, but it also has a screen for low vision users. The print on the screen can be magnified and the contrast can be adjusted. Everything, and I mean everything, on this phone speaks. There is no guessing and no need to press a button or tap a certain number of times in order to hopefully reach the menu item you are looking for. No guesswork at all!

The Blind shell is not a "smart phone," per se, in that you cannot use it to surf the net. However, it has a plethora of useful, preloaded apps, such as a stop watch, timer, music player, alarm, color identifier, calendar, calculator, and more. You can use the Blind Shell phone to listen to FM radio stations and to internet radio and to make your own RFID identification tags. It also has its own camera, voice recorder, and book player. The latest update provides a flashlight and access to YouTube. The battery status and connection status, as well as the current time and date, are easily accessible. It also sports a replaceable battery, and it comes with a cradle for easy charging.

The Blind shell Classic can be operated using voice input or by pressing easy-to-feel tactile buttons. You can use the "Notes" app to record or type in notes. The Blind Shell also has an email app, which I haven’t tried using yet. You can send texts and make phone calls either using your voice or the handy keypad.

The only somewhat negative thing about this phone, in my opinion, is that I had to switch carriers from Verizon to AT&T. It also works with T-Mobile. To use all of the phone’s many functions, 4G is required.

I purchased my Blind Shell Classic phone from ATGuys, a company that is owned and run by visually impaired individuals, and so they understand the specific needs of those of us who are blind or have low vision. The cost was $349, with free shipping. There are video tutorials on how to use the phone, and you can access the manual on the phone itself. The menus are intuitive and easy to learn. For more information go to www.atguys.com The AT Guys support team is very helpful if you need assistance.

If you are happy using a touch screen phone, that’s great. But if you want a different phone experience, you might want to look into the Blind Shell Classic.

NDVS/SB’s Fall Popup Events

Submitted by Leslie Pederson

NDVS/SB has been working on a new kind of training opportunity to promote services and provide even more individualized instruction to adults. Popup events providing basic training were held in Devil’s Lake in October and in Fargo in November. As we are still developing the event, attendees were kept to small groups chosen by NDAB. The goal is to give a taste of the services offered at center-based programming to encourage new clients to attend a week of adult training.
The first event in Devil’s Lake was one day with three clients. Training included technology and independent living skills. Attendees worked on iPhone training, kindle training, cutting skills, and the importance of keeping things organized. The second event in Fargo was two days with instruction in independent living skills, braille, technology, and orientation and mobility. Attendees selected the areas in which they wanted instruction, the most popular being iPhone training. Topics included how to add appointments into the phone calendar, deleting voicemail and messages, useful apps, plus the basics of voiceover, swiping, and double taps. In daily living instruction, attendees learned chopping skills, how to wipe a table in a grid pattern, sweeping techniques, and how to tell when meat is cooked. One client made pancakes, another fried potatoes in a pan. They also covered the importance of organizing and having labeled appliances. In orientation and mobility, basic techniques were demonstrated along with sighted guide instruction. Basics in braille and lighting evaluations were also provided for clients.
Feedback has been good for both events; attendees were able to see what services are offered at the school while others used it to refresh their skills. NDVS/SB will continue experimenting with the event and will likely do another in the spring.

Adult Weeks at ND Vision Services for the Blind

Have you heard of the adult weeks at North Dakota Vision Services / School for the Blind? Have you wondered what they are, how they work, what happens at them, etc.? Below is a description of an adult week that occurs at NDVS/SB.
The adult week adults usually arrive on Sunday after 3:00 P.M., they stay on campus at NDVS/SB. We have Suites where the adults get their own bedroom to themselves; they may share a bathroom with another adult. We have a common area outside of the bedrooms with couches, tables, and a large screen television. The evenings are staffed with house parents, who help with evening meals, and evening activities.
The week of programming, the adult who is attending a week of programming will have been in contact with a NDVS/SB Vision Rehabilitation Specialist provider beforehand. They will determine the adult’s needs and what classes they want. The classes can consist of many different kinds:
Technology, learning how to use a smartphone and the number of different apps a person can use. Learn adaptations for one’s computer, adaptive software such as screen magnification or screen readers.

Orientation & Mobility develop skills to travel safely inside and outside independently. Learn about human guide, learn about a cane and how might that be helpful for a person in a variety of different settings.

Daily Living Skills, Nervous about cooking, this class can take away some of the nerves, from cutting safely, safety at the range top, money skills, identification of clothing, what we all take for granted on a daily basis can be covered in this class.
Braille, wonder what Braille is? Wonder if it can be used in your life for
reading, labeling, everyday communication? Already know braille but need further instruction and an update on the code.
Recreation and Leisure, this class can teach a variety of different skills that a person can do since they have lost vision. It may be physical from tandem bicycling, board games, how to adapt tasks you have been doing and you enjoy.
Adjustment, we offer a class with the University of North Dakota in the Clinical Psychology and have an intern who can help with some of the adjustment and loss a person has due to vision loss.
What does the schedule of the day look like? The day starts out at 8:00AM with breakfast and then classes start at 8:30 with the classes being an hour long. Lunch is at 11:45 and then a group class at 12:30 where a variety of topics can be discussed due to vision loss and coping. The day concludes at 4:00PM. Adults have enjoyed coming to the school and learning new skills and enhancing other skills that they already have.
Does an adult have to come to all five days of training? No, they could come for as little as one day or all five days. We would like the adult to have at least two goals to work on. For a new client they may just be learning and getting information about the variety of classes.
Do you have to be scheduled for all six classes during the day? No, if you need a break during the day, we can schedule this in for you. We are flexible in meeting your needs.
When are the Adult weeks? Our next adult week is March 2nd, May 11th, and then June 1st. There will be adult weeks next fall, but they are not scheduled yet at this time. They will be in September and December.
If you have any questions about the adult programming, please give us a call. (701) 795-2700.
Reprinted with permission from Reaching Out, newsletter of North Dakota Vision Services/School for the Blind. To subscribe to the newsletter contact Editor Ryan Torgerson at rltorger@nd.gov.

Legislative Report, Winter 2020

By: Allan Peterson and Zelda Gebhard

Presently, it’s the centennial anniversary year of the adoption of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution that granted women the right to vote. The U. S. Congress passed the amendment on June 4, 1919; however, before it could become the law of the nation it needed to be ratified by three-fourths of the states. There is a great advocacy story about how this was finally ratified by the Tennessee legislature on August 18, 1920.

At the time there were 48 states so 36 were required to ratify the amendment and Tennessee was the 36th state to do so. The amendment wasn’t expected to pass in the Tennessee legislature but narrowly did by just one vote. A legislator who was expected to vote no, instead voted yes because he found a note from his mother in his pocket which said, “Be a good boy, son, and vote yes”. It’s such a great story of how advocacy can work to change minds!

Passage and ratification of the 19th amendment is a study in persistence and dedication by those who worked for decades for its passage. Likewise, we who advocate for North Dakota Association of the Blind and the American Council of the Blind have worked for years to see laws passed so people with sight loss can lead more fulfilled and productive lives.

The work of advocacy to help change minds is what we try to do when we testify or speak to our state legislators or visit with our legislators and their staff members on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. We will again have that opportunity to advocate for needed legislation when we meet with our North Dakota congressional delegation on Capitol Hill Tuesday, February 25. If you are interested in the specific issues we are taking to the Hill this year, listen to live streaming on ACB Radio Monday, February 24 during the Legislative Seminar or call Zelda at 701-493-2399.

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