TABLE of CONTENTSFrom the President 3
Save the Date – NDAB Convention 2022 5
Coffee Chat Book Club with the Browns 6
Member News from around the State 7
News from the Lake Region and Bottineau 7
ND Vision Services/School for the Blind News 8
Help Us “To See Blind Possible” on Giving Hearts Day (GHD) 9
Spotlight on Board Member, Allan Peterson 11
NDAB Membership Renewal Time 11
Donations October, November, December 2021 12
October Donations Total $7,965.00 12
November Donations Total $8,143.20 12
December Donations Total $1,915.00 13
Olga Neal Memorial Committee 16
Legislative and Advocacy Report 18
From the President
Submitted by Trampes Brown
As the North Dakota Association of the Blind enters 2022, I hope we all had a wonderful holiday season spent with family and friends. While NDAB has celebrated a year with many successful events and activities, we always continue looking forward to the many opportunities in the upcoming year.
NDAB, its many members, committees, and board are hard at work planning for Giving
Hearts Day, Convention, and Camp, just to name a few. We will be relaunching Just Talking calls in February after a short break, along with a restructuring of the Zoom calls with NDVS/SB.
While these are far from the only activities that the organization works on, these are a few of the big events in the first half of the new year. I am sure you are, like me, in hoping that 2022 is better than the last nearly two years we have dealt with this pandemic. It has been trying on all of us in many ways. Together, we move forward to help make life with sight loss better for everyone in some way, shape, or form.
I have begun looking at advocacy, leadership, and overall life with a new set of tools that I think you will all have had some personal experience with. As we all most likely use some form of lens, be it a magnifier, screen reader, or monocular, I have started using lensed items when looking at any situation to determine how to best view any given situation.
To preface this, very few situations will ever require a single lens or single individual to
come up with the best possible outcome, which is where I will take the opportunity for a
shameless plug that we can always use more members to participate in assisting for the
betterment of the organization. If you are interested in serving on a committee or volunteering for our many events, please reach out to me. OK, now I have checked that off.
Lens #1: Telescope
As we all know, we would never use a telescope to read this edition of the Promoter. A telescope is used to look a long way into space to see the stars and planets, distant worlds that we could never see without this tool. We couldn’t even imagine many of these celestial bodies without the telescope. I use this lens to look at ideas that are long term goals personally and for our organization – dreams that many of us have for the future of the organization. These could be anything, but I think of advocacy issues like the future of self-driving vehicles that one day may be an option for individuals with sight loss to not rely on public transportation to get anywhere
we want to travel.
Lens #2: Binoculars, or monocular like I would use.
This device helps us see things just off on the horizon or something just a little off in the distance. Like the bird sitting on the fence post, calling out on a cool spring sunset evening. These activities could be endless for NDAB: new programming ideas like the mentoring program that has been discussed at strategic planning and that I have heard brought up at numerous Zoom sessions, use of social media platforms for expanding NDAB’s public awareness, or something that you have been thinking and dreaming about. Let’s pull out the binoculars together and get a better look and see how, together, we can make it happen.
Lens #3: Reading glasses
Sometimes things might just be a little blurry; we just need a little clearer view of what is right in front of us. We can’t quite make out the numbers in the Sudoku in the Sunday paper, so we get a little help from our cheater glasses to make out the finer details. We use these lenses most often because we are probably looking at something that has been worked on
many times or is an activity or program we have already worked on at length. This is everything from our budget convention or the dozens of other NDAB events. This is not to say that we are doing anything wrong or that we need to change them but simply to make sure there is nothing we could do to make them even better. I know I need to use this set of lenses most often.
Lens #4: Magnifier
I am sure I am not the only member of NDAB with low vision that could probably leave the house without my wallet or even shoes, but I would be really lost if I left my magnifier. I use this lens for all those things I would miss. Reading that credit card receipt, a menu, or what my daughter’s report card says she got in science class (don‘t worry she is doing well, I don’t have to look too close). But we need this lens to evaluate and look at what we may have missed if not for that tool of the magnifier. We may use it to see who would be interested in an activity or to determine what the best way is to reach the most people as we try to educate the public on the importance of accessible websites. This may be the lens that gives us the perspective needed for the best results.
Lens #5: Microscope
The microscope is sometimes the hardest one to use. It is difficult to focus your field of vision since it is very small, but when you get it in focus and are on the right target, that small protozoa your professor was needing you to view is incredibly clear and gives you all the answers you were looking for. As it is designed to bring those tiny things to light, we sometimes need this to look at the small details of a situation, such as the financial implications of making every paratransit an on-demand service, or the other disability groups that may benefit from an advocacy issue. It is many times easy to see how it will affect us positivity or negatively, but seeing how it will hinder or help others takes a much closer look.
I hope that as each of us considers the dreams in the sky to the tiny protozoa in our lives, we consider what combination of these lenses will help us make the best decisions both personally and for NDAB. I know that I will do my best to use these as I continue to do my part in helping NDAB make 2022 another year full of successes for our NDAB family.
Calendar for 2022
February 10 Giving Hearts Day
March 11-15 ACB’s D.C. Leadership Conference in Alexandria, Virginia
March 20-25 NDVS/SB Adult Week Programming in Grand Forks
May 15-20 NDVS/SB Adult Week Programming in Grand Forks
June 5-10 NDVS/SB Adult Week Programming in Grand Forks
June 10-12 NDAB Convention in Fargo
July 1-8 ACB Convention in Omaha, Nebraska
August 7-15 NDAB Camp at Camp Grassick
October 15 White Cane Safety Day
Save the Date – NDAB Convention 2022
The Fargo Convention Planning Committee would like to inform you of the location and dates for the 2022 NDAB State Convention. It will be held in Fargo at the Holiday Inn Express Southwest I-94. The address for the hotel is 4711 19th Ave South. We look forward to hosting you from June 10–12. Please watch the Promoter for future updates.
We plan to re-launch the Just Talking Calls starting the third Tuesday in February. The calls will be less structured than in the past and be more of a fun topical Zoom call. This will give us a chance for some chit-chat and time to get to know more about each other.
Just Talking is the third Tuesday starting again in February from 7- 8 p.m. Please join in on the conversation. Instructions are below.
Link for computer or smart devices
One tap mobile
Landline or cell phone
Dial: 1 253 215 8782
Meeting ID: 845 243 2062#
There will be long distance charges unless you call in with a cell phone or home phone with free long distance.
To suggest a topic, call 701-389-7982 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coffee Chat Book Club with the Browns
Submitted by Trampes Brown and Emily Stenberg Brown
Happy New Year! I hope one of your resolutions for 2022 is to read more books. Here is what we will be reading in Book Club over the next few months. As always, please share any book recommendations you may have with either Trampes or Emily. And join us the first Wednesday of every month at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. to discuss the book of the month.
Book: The Answer Is …: Reflections on My Life by Alex Trebek
Discussion of the True Crime Podcast “Blackout”
Available Free on iHeartRadio: https://www.iheart.com/podcast/867-blackout-30717931/
We will be listening to season 1 of this podcast together every Thursday at 7 p.m. during the month of February. Join us on the 3rd, 10th, 17th, and 24th. Listen with us or on your own through the free iHeartRadio app.
Synopsis: When modern civilization is upended, what choices will you make? BLACKOUT is an apocalyptic thriller set in a small-town community trying to hold itself together in the dark. BLACKOUT stars and is executive produced by Academy Award® winner Rami Malek and produced by QCode and Endeavor Audio.
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality by Michael J. Fox
Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrick Backman
ND Vision Services/School for the Blind News
Submitted by Ken Dockter
In early December, we had three adults join us for a week of Adult Programming. It was great to have adults back within the walls of the school. We had to start a day late as Mother Nature made her presence known on Sunday and delayed travel to Grand Forks. The adults were able to make it to the school on Monday afternoon and start classes on Tuesday. The adults had classes in Orientation & Mobility, Technology, Daily Living Skills, a group session to talk about adjusting to their vision loss, and Braille. The Skills of Blindness for adults are very important as they learn to complete skills in a non-visual technique.
The adults also had a lesson from a local dance instructor, which was a great time of learning to dance and laughing. Our adult students learned the cupid shuffle, the two-step, a little salsa, and the wobble. Another evening, those attending programming were treated to a Christmas piano recital by students who are taking piano lessons, which was a great way to get us in the Christmas spirit.
At the end of the week, we had a Courage Ceremony where Certificates of Courage were passed out to each adult client. We present these certificates to all who attend a week of programming to acknowledge the time, effort, and courage it takes to attend a week of programming and learn skills to become more independent. The staff and clients shared highlights from the week, and the clients also shared how they will take new skills home to help them in the future.
One week may not be enough time for a person to gain the skills they need to live a more independent life. We have other weeks of Adult Programming coming up. Our next week is March 20-25, 2022. New or returning clients may come to NDVS/SB that week. We will also have a week in May, June, September, then back to December. If people need in-home instruction, please contact Amy Osvold in western North Dakota and Pam Haus in eastern North Dakota to come and instruct you in your home or community.
Contact info: Amy Osvold, NDVS/SB Rehab Teacher, can be reached by calling 701-857-7635 or emailing email@example.com. Pam Haus, NDVS/SB Rehab Teacher, will be the contact for eastern North Dakota. She can be reached by calling 701-795-2719 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help Us “To See Blind Possible” on Giving Hearts Day (GHD)
Submitted by Allan Peterson
The theme chosen for our North Dakota Association of the Blind’s participation in this year’s 2022 Giving hearts Day appeal is “See Blind Possible”!
A common belief among the public is that blindness makes it impossible for us to participate in almost all of life’s activities. This is an opinion we very much want to change! As many of you, know one of the ways that we See Blind Possible is by the use of assistive technology. Programs that convert visual information into speech output is what makes it possible for us to access many types of technology. Our letter to potential Giving Hearts Day donors features NDAB member Mickey Teubner who is an accomplished technology user and is quoted by saying that he “would be lost without a computer and Smartphone.” Many of you know that Mickey serves as an expert on a weekly virtual meeting on accessible technology, hosted by NDAB and ND Vision Services/School for the Blind and is often the person many individuals with sight loss call when they have technology issues. Thank you, Mickey, for your willingness to be our Giving Hearts Day star in 2022!
Our Giving Hearts Day team is meeting regularly and is working on many projects in preparation for Giving Hearts Day. Our preparations include developing a master donor list of approximately 2,700 contacts. An end of the year an email message was sent to this master list which highlighted some of our NDAB activities in 2021, a postal mailed letter making a Giving Hearts appeal will be sent to them in January, and videos of members using assistive technology will be posted to promote our participation in GHD on our Facebook page and website. Make sure you look for the videos on our Facebook page.
Please help us! We will again participate in the Giving hearts Day video contest sponsored by Vision Banks. This year’s video will feature Micky Teubner and his use of technology. Contest winners are determined by the number of likes that a video receives. For anyone interested in helping us be a winner, we can send you a link to vote in the contest.
Last year in 2021, we did raise a total of $25,890 through our participation in Giving hearts Day, and we did again increase the number of donors who did make a donation to NDAB. Half of our total was money from our Match Fund which we are required to create to help challenge our Giving hearts Day donors.
As in the past, your donations to NDAB for this year’s 2022 Giving Hearts Day appeal, will be doubled by matching your donation “dollar for dollar” from money that’s in our 2022 Match Fund. The Match Fund was created from generous benefactors like the Horace Lions who donated a total of $6,250 for the Fund, and we have already secured a number of other contributors for our 2022 Match Fund that will total $15,000 plus.
Having our Match Fund in place, our goal is to raise a total of $30,000 from this year’s 2022 Giving Hearts Day Appeal; $15,500 from the Match Account and $15,000 in donations we receive from donors on Giving Hearts Day itself.
We are confident that with your generosity, we can “See Blind Possible” and achieve our 2022 GHD goal of $30,000.
Guide for 2022 North Dakota Association of the Blind (NDAB) Giving Hearts Day Givers:
- Giving Hearts Day 2022 is Thursday, February 10, 2022. It’s a one day 24-hour appeal.
- To make an online Giving Hearts Day donation, go to GivingHeartsDay.org on February 10, click on the Donate Button, and search for North Dakota Association of the Blind from the listed charities. A credit or debit card can be used to make a donation. A minimum donation of $10 is required to be counted toward the match.
Donations may also be made by check. Checks must be made payable to: North Dakota Association of the Blind or NDAB, and dated February 10, 2022 or have “Giving Hearts Day” written in the memo line or with an accompanying note if post-dating the check is not possible. Checks must be received by NDAB by February 10 to count towards Giving Hearts Day.
- Please mail checks to NDAB, PO Box 824, West Fargo, ND 58078.
- Another online giving option is to schedule a donation in advance by creating a donor account at GivingHeartsDay.org between Jan. 4 – Feb. 8, 2022. Before completing the gift transaction, review your cart to ensure that the “Schedule This Gift” box is checked. Scheduled gifts will be processed on Giving Hearts Day, February 10. An email reminder will be sent to notify you that your gift has been scheduled, and you can opt to cancel the gift any time prior to Feb. 8 by logging into your donor account and unchecking the “Schedule Your Gift” box.
We thank you for supporting our non-profit, all volunteer organization and our goal of educating and enhancing the well-being of North Dakotans who live with vision loss.
YOUR GENEROSITY IS genuinely APPRECIATED!
Please direct any questions about NDAB’s participation in Giving Hearts Day to Allan Peterson at 701-282-4644 or by email at email@example.com.
Spotlight on Board Member, Allan Peterson
Residence? My wife Judy and I have made our home in Horace, North Dakota for the past 45 years.
Occupation/Education? I’m proud to say that I’m a veterinarian that benefited from additional education and training in veterinary microbiology and pathology. I was last employed as an assistant professor in the Department of Veterinary Science at NDSU.
Family? My wife and I are the parents of three adult children: Lisa, Neil, and Kurt. We have three grandchildren: Evan 12, Owen 11, and Teagan 8.
Hobbies? I’m a lifelong learner; I enjoy reading and learning about science, medicine, history, and so much more. I enjoy listening to sports broadcasts such as the Bison, Vikings, Twins, and Gophers.
Membership to NDAB? I’ve been a member of NDAB for 39 years. I joined in January of 1983 when I first received blindness skills training.
Why should someone join NDAB? NDAB offers many great opportunities to learn and benefit from an interaction with others who have common life challenges due to the loss of eyesight.
NDAB Membership Renewal Time
Can you believe, it’s that time of year again–time to renew your 2022 NDAB membership, that is! The form for your 2022 NDAB membership renewal has been mailed out. Along with your renewal form there will be an envelope enclosed for your convenience to mail it back. If you have not gotten your form, please contact Ali at (701) 206-1028.
Members of our NDAB Family
We extend our deepest sympathy to Stan and Kathy Larson and family on the death of Stan’s brother Vincent who passed away on January 11.
We also offer our sympathy to NDAB member Lora Bendickson on the loss of her sister, LeAnn Watson.
Donations October, November, December 2021
Submitted by Rebecca Anderson, Treasurer/Registered Agent
October Donations Total $7,965.00
For Shereen Faber, Elsie Friesz ($25.00 included in Walk for Vision)
From Linda Bjornstad, Delphine Marshall
Taylor Lions $150.00
Horace Lions ($6,250.00 Included in Walk for Vision total)
Walk for Vision $7,155.00
AgCountry Farm Credit Services for Sports and Rec
AMMS Quarterly Donation
November Donations Total $8,143.20
In memory of Shereen Faber from Denise Karalis and John Weiss
Jamestown Lions $100.00
Lake Metigoshe Lions $100.00
Williston Korner Lions $500.00
Charitable Gaming $450.00
Langdon Eagles $250.00
Rolette American Legion $200.00
Walk for Vision $1,098.51
IRA donation $4,319.69
Giving Hearts Day Match $1,000.00
Blackbaud Giving Fund $325.00
December Donations Total $1,915.00
David and Geri Beckman in memory of Dr R.D and Marlene Nelson; Jeannie Orke for Thrivent Memorial
Walk for Vision $300.00 and Other Donations$1,065.00
Jerry and Mary Peterson, John Postovit, State Bank and Trust of Kenmare, Gene Taylor
Olga Neal Memorial Committee
Submitted by Helen Baumgartner
Olga Neal, one of the founding members of NDAB, made a generous donation to NDAB upon her death. Shereen Faber chaired the Olga Neal Estate Committee and did a fantastic job of determining the best ways to utilize these funds to benefit the people who were near and dear to Olga’s heart. Shereen partially accomplished this goal by funding two projects at the 2021 NDAB State Convention.
At our 2021 NDAB Convention, a motion was made and passed to purchase two Little Rooms for infants and toddlers who have a vision impairment. Two rooms were purchased totaling $5,194.
A second motion was made at the 2021 Convention to purchase benches in Olga’s memory to be placed at Elks Camp Grassick, not to exceed $1,540. The benches Shereen had researched purchasing are no longer being made. The current Olga Neal Estate Committee is researching benches that will best accommodate the grounds at Elks Camp Grassick.
The Olga Neal Estate still has approximately $22,000 remaining. At the 2022 Convention, discussion will be held to determine how the remaining funds will be spent. The Olga Neal Estate Committee is taking any ideas from the NDAB membership expressing how the remaining funds can be spent. Ideas submitted thus far have been: scholarships for those getting a degree as a Teacher of the Visually Impaired, putting siding on the Hide Away at Camp Grassick, an NDAB sponsored Teen Camp, and scholarships for college students who are visually impaired.
If you have any ideas that you think would benefit people with vision loss, please submit your ideas to Helen Baumgartner by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling her at 701-277-8127.
Thank you for your time and thought to come up with a way to use the money Olga donated to our organization in a way that will help her love for the visually impaired continue on into the future.
Submitted by Michelle Zentz
It is that time of year again! Let’s start preparing for the selection of NDAB’s future leaders. If any member is interested in serving on the nominating committee, please contact Michelle Zentz, committee chairperson as soon as possible.
It is expected candidates are knowledgeable and/or have read the manuals, guidelines, and handbooks which explain the role and responsibilities of elected positions being sought. Just ask and we will make applicable materials available for you. Remember, the following qualifications of officers are required by our Constitution:
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.
We will resume the rotation of positions elected during even numbered years during the 2022 State Convention in Fargo which include the following:
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 2023 ACB Conference and Convention in Schaumburg, IL. The dates of the 2023 ACB Conference and Convention will be June 30 through July 17. First runner-up from the delegate election will serve as our alternate delegate if for whatever reason the elected delegate is unable to attend.
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!
Legislative and Advocacy Report
Submitted by Allan Peterson and Zelda Gebhard
Lest you’ve been slumbering in a Rip Van Winkle like sleep, you’ve been made well aware that there will be a national and statewide general election this year in November.
With this as an emerging reality, the state’s political parties are in the process of reorganizing to prepare for this fall’s election. Following last fall’s process of redistricting and the subsequent changes in legislative district boundaries, many of the state’s 47 districts will be required to conduct an election for seats in the North Dakota Legislature. And, because the state legislative district boundaries were redrawn, many voters will find that they are now in a different district.
Over the next 2 to 3 months, candidates for political parties will be nominated and selected in the state’s 47 political party district conventions. The composition and hierarchy of the State Legislature after this fall’s election could change markedly because a few key longtime leaders in the state legislature have chosen to retire, people such as State Senator Rick Wardner from Dickinson and State Representative Chet Pollert from Carrington are among those who have made this decision.
The political parties in the state will each hold a convention sometime in late March or early April to nominate and select the candidates who will run for statewide office in this fall’s election. The seats currently held by U.S. Senator John Hoeven and Congressman Kelly Armstrong will be up for election on this fall’s ballot; this ballot will also include the election for a number of offices in North Dakota State government.
A statewide primary election will be held in June, it will determine the nominees from each political party for the offices that are up for election. The endorsed candidates for the political parties will be on the primary ballot, but the endorsed candidates can be challenged by others that are seeking to be the party’s nominee for the general election on the November ballot.
This year the annual Leadership Meetings of the American Council of the Blind, that include the Legislative Seminar, will be held March 11-15. An in-person Leadership meeting is presently planned to be held in the Alexandria, DC area. However, given the concerns with the surge in Omicron COVID cases, a decision on whether to go ahead with the in-person meeting will soon be determined by ACB’s Board of Directors.
If the decision is made not to hold an in-person gathering, we will be participating virtually as we did last year in ACB’s Leadership and Legislative Seminar meetings. And as we had done last year, we will arrange for virtual meetings with the offices of U.S. Senator John Hoeven, Kevin Cramer, and Congressman Kelly Armstrong to address implementation of our ongoing legislative and advocacy priorities.
You can listen to live streaming on ACB Radio to the ACB Board meeting on Friday March 11, the Affiliate Leadership meeting on Saturday March 12, and until noon on Sunday March 13, and the ACB Legislative Seminar Sunday afternoon March 13 and Monday, March 14.
If you have an interest in issues that are to be addressed with our members of Congress, listen to live streaming on ACB Radio Sunday afternoon March 13 and Monday March 14, during the Legislative Seminar or call Zelda at 701-709-0262 or Allan at 701-282-4644.
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.