The Promoter-February 2023

The Promoter – February 2023

Official Publication of the

North Dakota Association of the Blind

Available in four formats:

large print, email, braille and cartridge

Editor: Beth Bakke Stenehjem

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.”


From the President 3

Ring in the New Year with a Good Book 4

Calendar 4

Save the Date for NDAB Convention 5

Sports and Recreation Spring Urban Retreat 5

Convention Attendance Incentives 5

Life Enrichment 6

Member News from around the State 7

Williston Wanderings 7

News from the Lake Region and Bottineau 8

News from Bismarck 9

Delicious Easy Recipes from Mary Stip 9

2023 BADIE Contest for Young People 9

NDAB State Fair Parade (July 2022) 10

Spotlight on Board Member, Doug Stip 11

Your Eyes Don’t See, But Your Heart Does 12

NDAB Membership Renewal Time 13

Members of our NDAB Family 13

Emotional Support Group 13

Donations October through December 2022 13

Board of Directors Meeting Minutes from December 5, 2022 14

“See Blind Possible” Revisited for Giving Hearts Day in 2023 15

A Short Guide for 2023 NDAB Giving Hearts Day: 16

Nominating Committee Report 17

Robert (Bob) LePage Service Award 18

Advocate of the Year Award 18

Legislative Report – Winter 2023 18

Leadership Roster 20

Committee Chairpersons: 20

Local News Reporters: 20

Communication Connections 20

From the President

Help Wanted

by Trampes Brown

How many times have we seen or heard this statement? Sometimes posted in the front window of a small local business, usually in large block lettering in white or red on solid black background. Or occasionally heard on a TV or radio advertisement because a business or charity is in need of assistance letting you know the great pay, work hours, or how your assistance will benefit the organization. I have been analyzing the phrase HELP WANTED lately. How would the meaning change if there was punctuation included?

I imagine many times it is assumed there is a period at the end of the phrase. We want you to work for or with us to increase our profits, make the owner of the business’s life a little easier by removing some of the burdens of small business ownership. Because it is a large and prominent post, it hopefully catches the attention of someone in need of a job who has the ability to provide for themselves and their family. But what if the punctuation is not what we expect?

What if it is surrounded by parentheses? I would assume that to mean they are telling me I should ask for help even though I don’t want it or feel I don’t need it. I know what I am doing; I just need a little more time, a few more resources, or I am too proud to ask for help. You should just know I need it without asking or advertising for it. I see this affecting non-profit organizations all the time – especially if it is volunteer-based. We know what we need to do. We feel our ideas are already perfect, and we will continue to do things the way we always have so you can try and help, but we will probably not accept it. I have seen this come out at times in myself, so don’t be offended if you think I am referring to any specific individual.

The next punctuation to consider is the exclamation mark. If you imagine HELP WANTED! I see that with ultimate desperation. The organization or business is way over their head in a situation; they have bitten off more than they can chew. I imagine that every one of us has been there at some point. I know that I have, and it feels like an insurmountable situation. It can be scary and without helping hands around you, you can sometimes become discouraged from accomplishing your goals.

As we enter 2023, I would like NDAB to consider some punctuation following HELP WANTED that is not often used, the question mark. That’s right HELP WANTED?  We can do so much more when we ask and accept the help that others offer. I am not great at accepting assistance. I am setting that as one of my goals this year – to accept and ask for help. I know that many people around me are willing and ready to do more. I hope that we all can look to others – both members and non-members of NDAB – both for personal and organizational growth. Another area that I want to take the HELP WANTED? is to reach out to each and every member by phone if possible, to see what either I or NDAB can do to assist them or what they want NDAB to focus on in the future. This will be a large task, but I feel it is very important for showing the willingness of our organization to do more for our members.

I challenge each and every member to consider what punctuation they use with HELP WANTED. I am not asking anyone to change who they are or what they do, but I do challenge you to use the question mark more than any other punctuation.

HELP WANTED? Who will you ask?

Ring in the New Year with a Good Book

Submitted by Trampes Brown and Emily Stenberg Brown

The book club hosted by NDVS/SB and NDAB is now two years old and still going strong. We have a few dedicated participants who join us each month, but we would love to have new readers join us. We are also always looking for more book ideas as many of our monthly picks are recommended by book club members. We meet virtually the first Wednesday of every month at 10 a.m. during NDAB’s weekly Coffee Chat time and again at 7 p.m. for those of you who can’t join us in the morning, or who just want to continue the discussion. Our discussions are lively and, we admit, often get off-track! But good books provoke much thought, and we hope these open up your world a little more. Here are the book picks for the next few months. Hope to see you in Book Club!

 February 1 – The Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn (DB 107522)

 March 1 – I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai (DB 77454)

 April 5 – A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (DB 84392)

 May 3 – The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie (DB 15312)    

 June 7 – The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven by Nathaniel Ian Miller (DB 105565)

 We will be taking the months of July and August off, but Book Club will return on September 6!


January 22-26 Black Hills Ski for Light in Deadwood, SD

February 9 Giving Hearts Day

March 31-April 2 Sports and Recreation Urban Retreat in Bismarck

June -11 NDAB Convention in Grand Forks

June 30-July 7 American Council of the Blind Convention in Schaumburg, IL

August 6-13 NDAB Camp at Camp Grassick

Save the Date for NDAB Convention

The 2023 NDAB Convention “See Blind Possible”

June 9-11 in Glorious Grand Forks

The official Call to Convention will be forthcoming this Spring. The venue will be the Ramada Inn which will include continental breakfast as well as a full-service bar and lounge. The rate is $109 + tax. Friday night activities and meal will be at ND Vision Services/School for the Blind.

Don’t miss the fellowship, food, and fun!

Questions: contact Paul Olson at (701) 795-2717 or email at

Sports and Recreation Spring Urban Retreat

Submitted by Brant Adams and Lexee Steffan

The Sports and Recreation Committee would like to announce that we will be having a spring retreat from March 31st through April 2nd. This will be in conjunction with the North Dakota Vision Services/School for the Blind Family Weekend. There is a block of rooms reserved under ND School for the Blind at:

Ramada Bismarck Hotel & Conference Center

1400 East Interchange Ave

Bismarck, ND 58501

We are working on lining up several possible activities including goalball. Planning is still in progress, so keep an eye out for more information in your inbox and on the NDAB website. Deadline to sign up for the event and the rooms is March 15.

If anyone has any questions, please feel free to email either Trampes Brown at or Brant Adams at We hope to see you at the end of March in Bismarck!

Convention Attendance Incentives

We recognize the importance of involvement in the organization’s decision-making process and provide stipends to encourage you to attend the state and national conventions.

Members, excluding board members, who indicate on their registration form are eligible to receive a $100 stipend to be used for lodging and/or transportation expenses to attend the NDAB convention. There is an expectation that recipients will attend the business meeting. Up to 10 recipients will randomly be drawn. A $250 stipend is available for two individuals who are attending the state convention for the first time. Selected individuals will receive their stipend at the registration desk.

Members traveling to the year’s ACB convention may request a $300 stipend. The number of available stipends is limited to ten per year. A written or verbal request to the treasurer must be made by Friday of the state convention to be considered. Requests are approved during the Post-Convention Board meeting. Stipends may be received prior to leaving for the ACB Convention from the treasurer. If the stipend is not utilized, for some reason, it is to be returned to the treasury.

Life Enrichment

Submitted by the Life Enrichment Committee

Tired of doing the same old things? Ready to explore something new? Have you wanted to try something but didn’t have the money to do it. If any of above sounds familiar, keep reading.

NDAB has created a new program called Life Enrichment and we challenge you to use it to explore new possibilities. The purpose of the program is to financially assist NDAB members in their quest for new life experiences in ways that enrich their lives by pursuing skills, training, and nontraditional education.

How it works:

  • You must be a member to apply.
  • Identify an opportunity that interests you and collect the details.
  • Submit the information and answers to the questions listed below by mail to NDAB, PO Box 824, West Fargo, ND 58078, by email to or by phone 701-709-0262.
  • You will be notified within 30 days whether or not your opportunity has been approved.

Responsibility of NDAB:

  • If your opportunity is selected, 75% of the cost will be paid by NDAB in an amount not to exceed $1,000.
  • “First Time” experiences will be given preference.
  • Monies will be distributed directly to the entity involved upon submission of registration or as reimbursement of expense receipt.

Expectations of Recipient:

  • 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 Promoter article.

Requested Application Information

  1. Describe the opportunity.
  2. State why you are interested in this opportunity.
  3. Describe expected benefit to you and/or others.
  4. Where will the experience be held?
  5. When will it occur?
  6. How much will it cost?
  7. Have you explored other funding sources?

Still need a nudge? Read the following quotes:

“We don’t know who we are until we see what we can do.” – Martha Grimes

“It’s better to look back on life and say, “I can’t believe I did that.” than to look back and say: “I wish I did that.” – Unknown

“If you never did, you should. These things are fun, and fun is good.” – Dr. Seuss

Remember – there is no better time than now to try something new. Apply today.

Delicious Easy Recipes from Mary Stip

Peanut Clusters

1 package (20 oz.) white almond bark

1 cup peanut butter

1 package (12 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips

4 cups salted Spanish peanuts

In a pan, melt the almond bark over low heat. Add the chocolate chips and peanut butter. When melted, add the peanuts. Stir well. I have used more than four cups to my recipe as I love lots of peanuts. Drop by a tablespoon onto wax paper then put in a cool area to harden. 

Butterscotch Flakes

1 cup peanut butter

6 ounces butterscotch chips

5 cups corn flakes. 

In a saucepan, melt the first two ingredients. Then add the corn flakes. Break up the flakes as you stir them in the pan. You can add more cornflakes if you desire Drop by tablespoon onto wax paper then put in a cool place to harden.  Enjoy!

2023 BADIE Contest for Young People

Once again, the American Council of the Blind’s Audio Description Project (ADP) and the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP) are co-sponsoring the Benefits of Audio Description In Education (BADIE) contest for blind and visually impaired young people, ages 7 to 21. To participate, students review an audio-described film or video from the more than 6,000 educational titles available through DCMP. To register for the contest, find guidelines and prize information, learn how audio description is created, and get tips for writing a good review, visit  

Deadline for entries is March 17, 2023.

NDAB State Fair Parade (July 2022)

Submitted by the Parade Committee

Evelyn Hildebrand and Helen Johnson with parade entry

We were excited to do the parade!! We had encouragement and support from local medical folks and families who have become familiar with NDAB.

The parade preparations area started with a rain shower as we were decorating!! Many thanks to the “Station Gourmet Coffee Shop” as we were able to drive in under their canopy and finish the job. We were also treated to coffee which was really good and treats.

We were #110, so we got to see and hear the crowd along Broadway and Burdick. It is so great to see and hear the cheers after they read our posters. The announcer read all the services that are available. We are pleased that this one event broadcasts across the state through the media and to the thousands attending the state fair. The public needs to know what is available. We sent this article to be included in the November Promoter but the Pony Express must have lost it, so we are submitting it for this Promoter.

Spotlight on Board Member, Doug Stip

Doug Stip is probably someone you know if you’ve been a member of NDAB. He is friendly and always loves a good chat. After the spotlight is a poem Doug wrote about his wife; he recited it at their wedding.

Where do you live?  I currently live in Fargo where we moved 3 years ago.  Before Fargo, I lived in Minot for nearly 21 years.

Occupation?  Right now I am “quasi-retired”, but have held many jobs over the years.  My positions have included a church secretary position, board operator for KCJB Radio, reservation sales representative for Choice Hotels, and disc jockey for KZZY in Devils Lake. I moved to Fargo in 1994 and worked for a time at the Fargo Forum. Currently I volunteer at HERO (Healthcare Equipment Recycling Organization).  I got involved in this non-profit after their staff came and spoke at our Vision Support Group meeting.  Once a week I assist with the cleaning and preparing durable medical equipment for resale.  I really believe in their mission and am proud to do my part in keeping the landfills free of items that may be discarded that way and allowing those who need these pieces of equipment a more affordable way to obtain them.

Family?  Mary Lou is my wife who I’ve been married to for over 22 years.  Bobo the cat lives with us in Fargo and I have one stepson, Chad, who has 2 daughters.  I also have a brother, John who lives in Minot and several nieces and nephews.

What are your hobbies?  My wife teases me that my iPhone is my hobby, but I really enjoy life and keep it full with interests.  When I lived in Minot, I sang with the Chamber Chorale from 2002-2019.  I still enjoy singing in church.  I also enjoy reading (mostly history and biographies), solving crossword puzzles, and leading the occasional trivia or Name That Tune sessions on our weekly Zoom calls.

How long have you been an NDAB member and why did you join?  I first joined NDAB in June of 1997.  I immediately went to the state convention that year in Jamestown.  I really don’t remember exactly why I joined but it was something that sounded interesting.  

My first elected position with NDAB was as Promoter editor from 2002-07.  When I served as editor, I also recorded the cassette tapes for those who wanted the newsletter in audio format, dubbed them, and sent them out.  Many of our members probably recognize my voice from those tapes.  There were many late nights, working to get the newsletter out in the various formats!

Another opportunity that NDAB provided was going to ACB Conventions.  I have been to several which allowed us to visit Alabama, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, and Ohio.  The convention in New York in 2019 also gave me the opportunity to check off an important bucket list item – visiting the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.  I was a delegate twice to ACB conventions and I was on the planning committee for the 2019 NDAB convention in Minot. I never dreamed when I joined all those years ago these opportunities would even come about.

Your Eyes Don’t See, But Your Heart Does

By Doug Stip

Your eyes don’t see, but your heart does.

And that’s okay with me because

God moves in His mysterious way.

(We view through dark glass anyway.)

He shows His love for me, through you

In little things you say and do.

Like, when you take me by the hand,

Or tell me how you understand

The pain I feel of being blind

And how that messes with my mind!

Your eyes don’t see, but your heart does.

That’s still okay with me because

You’ve helped me learn, you’ve helped me grow.

I think that I can never show

Enough devotion, enough flair

In showing you how much I care.

This love you have brought to me

Is living, breathing, changing, free.

It stirs my life, my soul, my heart –

Ah! Love is but the strangest Art!

Your eyes don’t see, but your heart does.

That’s all okay with me because

When we at last come face to face

With Christ and His unchanging Grace,

He’ll take us Home. We’ll realize.

He’ll wipe the teardrops from our eyes.

For, we shall see Him as He is,

And live in Heaven with Him in bliss,

Love is the greatest Gift,


Your eyes don’t see

But your heart


NDAB Membership Renewal Time

Submitted by Lexee Steffan

Membership renewal forms have been mailed out and have hopefully arrived in your mailbox! Please mail the completed form, along with your $15 annual dues, to P.O. Box 824 West Fargo, ND 58078 or complete the form and pay your dues online at All forms must be filled out as thoroughly as possible for the NDAB database, with exception to the optional race, gender and survey questions. Simply sending in a check or the partially filled out form will not automatically renew your membership. If you have any questions or if you do not wish to renew your membership, feel free to email me at, or call or text me at (701)260-8914. I look forward to your continued membership in NDAB!

Members of our NDAB Family

We extend our deepest sympathy to the family of Dennis Register of Fargo who was a NDAB member for many years. Dennis passed away November 11, 2022.

Emotional Support Group

Dear NDAB Members,

Just a reminder that NDVS/SB offers small emotional support groups via the phone. I currently have two groups started but am looking for people who might be interested in joining a new group. The third group would be meeting in the evening and will focus on individuals with vision loss who are transitioning to college, work, or are currently in college or are working. Please contact me at #701-857-7635 for more information!

Amy L. Brunner Osvold, BSW

Vision Rehabilitation Specialist II

Donations October through December 2022

Submitted by Rebecca Anderson, Treasurer/Registered Agent

Correction to previous Promoter: Loris Van Berkom made a donation in memory of Dave Sundeen.

$18,547.67 Total NDAB Donations October-December 2022


Beulah, Fargo Gateway, Jamestown, Lake Metigoshe, Valley City, West Fargo, Williston Korner

Walk for Vision

Other Donations and Memorials

Marlene Ames, Anonymous, Amy Elbert, Donna Hepper, MMS, PayPal, Richardson Charitable Fund, Mona Rindy, Your Cause, Sharon Johnson in memory of Elsie Friesz

Charitable Gaming

Kenmare Veterans Club

“See Blind Possible” Revisited for Giving Hearts Day in 2023

Submitted by Allan Peterson, NDAB Development Director

We loved it so much, we are keeping our theme “See Blind Possible” again for our 2023 Giving Hearts Day (GHD) Appeal! As people with sight loss, we can appreciate that blindness imposes changes on how we do things, but that it doesn’t eliminate what is possible for us to achieve. To help emphasize this point, videos of NDAB members involved in what they do with limited or no sight are being collected by Trampes and Emily to be shared with donors through our website and social media outlets to help promote NDAB for Giving Hearts Day in 2023.

Our preparations include developing a master donor list thanks to Michelle and Zelda. Also, a direct mail letter making a Giving Hearts appeal will soon be sent to potential donors in January. We are contracting with Mail Chimp to more efficiently do Email messaging and to better organize our potential donor list.

A video of NDAB archers and our Archery Summer Camp instructor George Racine is being prepared for our use for Giving Hearts Day. This video was just shot at Sandhills Indoor Archers in West Fargo. A very appreciative thank you to George for all of his efforts to make this happen which included his drive from his home in LaMoure and picking up Zelda along the way! A very appreciative thank you goes out too, to Gerald and Lisa Byron for making their trip from their home in Edinburg and picking up Emily Zilka in Grand Forks and Missy in Fargo to make this video. Many thanks to our archers Zelda, Emily, Missy, and Gerald for being our star archers! Plus a very appreciative thank you to Eric Falde, Rebecca, and Greg’s son for all of his time and his talents to serve as our videographer.

Please help us! We will again participate in the Giving hearts Day video contest sponsored by Vision Banks. Contest winners are determined by the number of likes that a video receives. For anyone interested in helping us with this effort, we can send you the link to vote in the contest.

Our goal is to meet and work to exceed the $26,351 that was raised from last year’s Giving Hearts Appeal. This total does not include the $20,200 we had established in our Match Fund in advance of GHD in 2002.

For the 2023 Appeal, we recently have reported that a total NDAB Match Fund of $25,186 that was raised from 35 donors. The largest donation of $6,300 came from the Horace Lions Club. Our Match Fund will be used to double the donations we receive from our Giving Hearts Day donors. A Match Fund is important for two reasons, one, it is an incentive for GHD donors to know that their donation is being matched dollar for dollar, second the money in the Match Fund adds to our total and the larger it is, the better the chances are that we become eligible for cash awards from the Impact /Dakota Medical Foundation.

With our Match Fund in place, our goal is to raise a total of $50,000 from this year’s 2023 Giving Hearts Day Appeal; $25,500 from the Match Fund and $25,000 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 2023 GHD goal of $50,000.

A Short Guide for 2023 NDAB Giving Hearts Day:

Giving Hearts Day donors can use 3 options to donate:

Option #1: On Thursday, February 9, 2023, a donor can make a secure online contribution by going to, clicking on the Giving Hearts Day Donate button, and selecting North Dakota Association of the Blind, from among the listed charities. The allowable giving period will begin at 12:01 am that morning and will end that day at 11:59 pm. Donations can be made by credit or debit card. Donations must be at least $10 to qualify for the match. All donations are eligible for a tax deduction.

Option #2: Donations can be made by writing a check prior to February 9. Checks must be dated February 9, 2023, and mailed to treasurer, Rebecca Anderson, P.O. Box 824, West Fargo, ND 58078. Checks should be mailed at least ten days before February 9, so they can be received and credited as a Giving Hearts Day donation. The checks will be uploaded to the GHD system that day, so they can be counted as a part of our total.

Option #3: An alternative is to schedule a donation in advance by creating a GHD account at between January 2 and February 7, 2023. After adding your donation to the cart, be sure to check “schedule this gift”. This will ensure your donation is processed on February 9, 2023.

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.


Please direct any questions about NDAB’s participation in Giving Hearts Day to Allan Peterson at 701-282-4644 or by email at

Nominating Committee Report

Submitted by Michelle Zentz, Chair

Happy New Year Members!

Are you ready to try something different to ring in the New Year? How about devoting some of your time toward serving on a committee or to serve as a leader of the organization?

As chairperson of both the Constitution and Bylaws Committee and the Nominations Committee, I am here to let you know that much of the work is done within the first three to four months of the year in preparation of the state convention. All proposed amendments and the slate of candidates must be complete and ready for report during the spring board meeting. In addition, both of these reports must be ready by April 10th for publication in our newsletter so all members are aware of business and elections which will occur in June.

The number of proposed amendments to our governing documents will be limited this year. There will be just a few to work at eliminating any areas clarification or to eliminate duplication. But, the most important amendment, in my opinion, will be written to clarify and emphasize the need for members to complete membership renewal forms and submit payment of annual membership dues by February 1st of each year.

After all, NDAB needs to have accurate, up to date contact information of members for mailings of the newsletter and Call to Convention Letter so you can select your banquet meal preference. We also need to know who has or has not paid their dues well in advance to determine if a person is eligible to run for an office or to vote at convention.

The nominations committee is seeking candidates for the following positions:

A secretary will be elected to serve a 2-year term.

A development director will be elected to serve a 2-year term.

A vice president will be elected to serve 1 year of an unexpired 2-year term.

A board director will be elected to serve a 3-year term.

An editor of the quarterly newsletter, “The Promoter”, will be elected to serve a 1-year term.

A delegate and an alternate delegate will be elected to attend the 2024 ACB Conference and Convention in Jacksonville, FL. The alternate delegate will attend the ACB Convention if for whatever reason the elected delegate is unable to attend.

If serving on the Constitution and Bylaws Committee, the Nominations Committee, or serving in a leadership position within NDAB is of interest to you; just let me know! I am willing to answer any of your questions, provide you with appropriate officer or committee manuals which explain responsibilities or to add your name to the developing slate of candidates. Please contact me as soon as possible at 541-2970, thank you.

Robert (Bob) LePage Service Award

Submitted by Mary Lou Stip, Robert LePage Service Award Chair

All the letters for the Robert (Bob) LePage Service Award were sent to the presidents of the Lions clubs across North Dakota by the end of December. I have a few nominations already and a decision will be made before mid-March. 

Advocate of the Year Award

Submitted by the Awards Committee

NDAB is not handing out Golden Globes or Tony Awards, but we are accepting nominations for the Advocate of the Year Award. You may recall this is our newest award given to a member of NDAB that shows an extra level of advocacy for the blind and low vision population. Whether that is helping with local support groups, talking to local, state, or federal leaders, or assisting with activities within NDAB. The only requirements for the award are to be a current member in good standing. One thing to remember is that for this award, advocacy and service must be done during the fiscal year June 1, 2022 until the application deadline of March 15.

You can submit your nomination letters to:

Paula Anundson

151 S. Central Ave #206

Valley City, ND 58072


Call #701 490 0888

We look forward to reviewing your submissions and presenting the award at the 2023 NDAB State Convention in Grand Forks.

Legislative Report – Winter 2023

Submitted by Allan Peterson and Zelda Gebhard

Best wishes for a Happy Healthy 2023. Join with us in the following new year resolution – “We resolve to try to develop good legislative policy for people with sight loss in 2023”. The key word here is ‘try’. We will continue to do our best to advocate for policies that help people who are blind or have a visual impairment in 2023.

The 2022 general election is over and a new chapter in state and federal governance has begun. Both the 68th session of the North Dakota Legislature and the 118th session of the U.S. Congress convened on January 3, 2023.

Republicans continue to hold super majorities in our North Dakota Legislature and hold all of the elected offices in state government. They enjoy a 43 to 4 majority in the State Senate and an 82 to 12 majority in the State House of Representatives. They also continue to hold each of North Dakota’s three seats In Congress with Kelly Armstrong reelected to North Dakota’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senator John Hoeven reelected to a third 6-year term as one of North Dakota’s two Senators. FYI: Senator Kevin Cramer’s seat wasn’t up for election during this general election cycle.

The issue that dominates each state legislative session is adopting the budget that authorizes operating funding for state government for the next 2-year biennium. The Governor’s budget serves as the template for the State Legislature to accept and/or modify. When all the deliberations on appropriation bills have been finalized, this determines how state spending will be allocated during the 2023 – 2025 North Dakota biennium.

We have been advised on many occasions that our advocacy is vital to the provision of services to deal with blindness from the State of North Dakota. It is with that knowledge that we have adopted resolutions in support of services from North Dakota Vision Services School for the Blind, the Talking Book Program at the State Library, the Older Individuals Who Are Blind Program within the North Dakota Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, and the Public Transit Program within the North Dakota Department of Transportation. Resolutions in support of these programs were adopted in June during the 2022 NDAB Convention in Fargo. These resolutions will support our testimony when we are allowed to speak to the Appropriations Committees in the North Dakota House and Senate. In addition, we will be tracking any legislation that affects people with disabilities throughout the session with help from the North Dakota Protection and Advocacy Program.

The Leadership Meetings of the American Council of the Blind (ACB) that normally occur each year in late February or early March were held virtually the past two years. This year, ACB decided to host a virtual legislative seminar plus a separate in-person leadership meeting. The in-person meeting does not have a virtual option. The meetings we have had in the offices of our members of Congress on Capitol Hill have become complicated by the fact that security at our nation’s Capitol has become very strict. We, of course, will attend the virtual ACB Legislative Seminar and will arrange for virtual meetings with the offices of our North Dakota members of Congress.

Each new session of Congress begins with a clean slate. Bills from the previous sessions are no longer viable; and if legislative action on those issues is still desired, new bills must be reintroduced. At this point we haven’t heard what legislative priorities the ACB Advocacy Committee and ACB Leadership has decided to select for this year.

Three resolutions were adopted during our 2022 NDAB Convention in support of previous federal legislative priorities. Those resolutions support the Medical Device Non-Visual Accessibility Act (making medical equipment accessible to people who are blind), the Website and Application Programs Accessibility Act, and a bill to enhance and update the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act. Legislation that addresses these issues will need to be reintroduced to be considered by this 118th session of Congress.

As you can well appreciate, passage of legislation like these bills requires a lot of time and effort by ACB and all of us working together.

We thank you for your involvement and support and ask you remain ready to respond to a call or email request for your personal advocacy during the 2023 sessions.

Communication Connections



Communication submissions:

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 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.