The Promoter – February 2024

NDAB in blue inside the outline of the state of North Dakota. Also includes the text: North Dakota Association of the Blind PO Box 824, West Fargo, ND 58078 a white cane is at the bottom of the image horizontally.

Official Publication of the 

North Dakota Association of the Blind

Available in four formats: large print, email, braille and cartridge

Editor: Emily Stenberg Brown,

Not they who lack sight, but they who lack vision are blind.

Persons with vision loss will live a successful, productive life.

“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

From the Editor

Calendar for 2024

Book Club with the Browns

Come One, Come All

NDAB Membership Renewal Reminder

Welcome to Our New Members!

Save the Date: NDAB Summer Camp 2024

Williston Wanderings from Janelle F. Olson

Bismarck & Other News from Robert Westermeyer

Spotlight on NDAB Member: Kaity Young

Spotlight on NDAB Member: Brant Adams

Spotlight on NDAB Member: Lexee Steffan

Dining in the Dark

A Sweeping Good Time

Low Vision Solutions from the Low Vision Store

FM Visions Holiday Gathering

“On Target” with NDAB On Giving Hearts Day in 2024

Legislative and Advocacy Report Winter 2024

Message from the Nominating Committee

How Can I Participate?

Development Report Winter 2024

Donations April-September 2023

North Dakota Association of the Blind, Inc. Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

Leadership Roster

Committee Chairpersons

Local News Reporters

Communication Connections


From the President

Happy New Year to all!

The calendar has once again turned over to a new year. I hope everyone had a great 2023 and is looking forward to the adventures a new year brings. As many of you know, I enjoy looking to the future and how the North Dakota Association of the Blind can continue our mission. I will express a few of the opportunities I see for our organization but would love for each and every one of you reach out to me or the board with some of your own ideas for what you see NDAB doing in the upcoming year and years to come. If I don’t hear from you, I know you did not read anything I wrote. I am half joking, but when the board does not hear from its members, we move forward with what we think is best, and it is always our goal to do what the members would like, so do not hesitate to let us know what your dreams and passions are for our future.

A few members including myself have identified an opportunity to better educate the public. We try to offer many programs and activities for our members; however, we have noticed that we still end up in the shadows at times. With that in mind, at our November work session Zoom meeting, we talked about how to better let the public know how to help. Thus, we have reconstructed our “What Can I Do to Help?” information sheet. This is a tool that we plan to use in public awareness posts and activities that we do throughout the state of North Dakota. This information sheet is also available for any member to share with family, friends, or other groups that they feel comfortable sharing with or presenting to. We also have a goal to visit every Lions Club in the state of North Dakota to share this information and present information about NDAB. This goal has an 18-month timeline. While we have not kicked this off at this point, we are looking for a handful of volunteers to assist in this plan. We are hoping to gather a small army of around 10 members, then provide some virtual training so that we are presenting a unified message, with each member still adding their personal touch and flair.

Another area of emphasis for 2024 is the use of our website, Facebook, and Zoom platforms. These tools will help our members by sharing more about what we are doing, highlighting members, and hopefully educating the general public. While we have a great Communications Committee, we are open to ideas. We want to better utilize our Zoom sessions for our members. If you want to present a topic, hobby, or passion, we will assist in making that possible to share with our members. If there is something interesting you are doing in your home or community or you know a member doing something our membership would like to know about, we want to share that with everyone via social media. No matter how big or small, if you volunteer with a community of faith, receive an award for any reason, or just want to share the experience of a new recipe you have mastered, let’s post it online. We want the public to know we are living our lives the way we want. Too many people think we live boring lives. They will continue to think that if we do not change their assumptions.

I am sure many of you think these goals for NDAB do not or will not affect you. I would say you might be right; they may not directly affect you as an individual member. However, they will affect individuals with sight loss now and for years to come. I want to make a positive impact for people with vision loss and all the people we have not met yet that someday may be living life just like you and me. Learning how to advocate, work, and live life with as few barriers as possible due to the efforts of NDAB.

Making life better for each and every one of you is tops on my list as president of this fabulous organization. I appreciate each and every one of you. It is an honor to serve in any way possible to better the lives of people with visual impairment.

Trampes Brown, President NDAB

From the Editor


I hope 2024 is off to a good start for you all so far. I know many of you are gardeners, so I am sharing this book list compiled by the Arizona Talking Book Library of books about accessible gardening. It’s safe to start dreaming of spring weather again! Download these titles through BARD or contact the North Dakota Talking Book Library to have them mail you your requests on a cartridge.

Accessible Gardening for People with Physical Disabilities by Janeen R. Adil (DB 052241)
An avid gardener provides tips and techniques for adapting garden format and methods for people with limited mobility. Explains advantages of containers, raised beds, and vertical gardens. Chapters discuss appropriate tools; choosing vegetables, herbs, flowers, vines, and ornamentals; and starting children in gardening. 1994.

The Enabling Garden by Gene Rothert (DB 043253)
A step-by-step guide to barrier-free gardening for people with disabilities and older adults. Provides a checklist for assessing one’s gardening abilities, then offers advice on selecting appropriate structures, tools, equipment, plants, and garden designs. 1994.

Gardening through Your Golden Years by James W. Wilson (DB 057787)
Former cohost of PBS television show The Victory Garden shares wisdom gathered from “seasoned” gardeners on the benefits of continuing this hobby into old age. Includes tips to minimize fatigue and other ailments, describes laborsaving methods, and offers all kinds of advice. 2003.

Accessible Gardening by Joann Woy (DB 049080)
Advises gardeners with special needs on ideas, tools, and methods. Topics include garden design and layout, raised beds, container and tabletop gardening, easy composting, watering, lawn care, and accessories to facilitate physical tasks. An appendix lists sources of tools, supplies, and information. 1997.

The Able Gardener by Kathleen Yeomans (DB 040311) Nurse and gardener Yeomans covers general aspects of gardening while emphasizing adaptive techniques such as using raised beds, back-saving tools, and easy-care plants. If the gardener is visually impaired, she suggests designing with plants that are fragrant, textured, edible, or even audible. Included are exercises for gardeners and mail-order sources for plants, seeds, and supplies (including adaptive tools). 1992.

In Braille The Nature-Friendly Garden: Creating a Backyard Haven for Plants, Wildlife, and People by Marlene A. Condon (BR 016677)
Birds and Blooms magazine field editor’s guide to cultivating an ecological, low-maintenance garden to serve as a habitat for native species. Environmentally conscious techniques stress reducing lawn area and eliminating chemicals. Discusses using natural fertilizers and pesticides, creating ponds, and observing wildlife. Offers tips for elderly and disabled gardeners. 2006.

Please let me know if you have any feedback on the Promoter. Submissions are for the next edition are due on April 10. Email with your concerns and content. Thank you!

Emily Stenberg Brown


Calendar for 2024

February 1 – Membership renewal deadline

February 8 – Giving Hearts Day

February 20 – Camp Catch Up Zoom session

March 1-5 – ACB Legislative Meetings, Washington, DC

May 17 – Dining in the Dark, Minot, ND

June 7-9 – State Convention, Regent, ND

June 11 – North Dakota’s Primary Election

August 4-11 – Summer Camp, Elks Camp Grassick

Don’t forget that Coffee Chat is still held every Wednesday at 10 a.m. on Zoom. The first Wednesday of the month is Book Club; the other weeks are a time for members to socialize and visit.

Book Club with the Browns

Submitted by Trampes Brown and Emily Stenberg Brown


Here are the book selections for the next few months.

March 6Still Alice by Lisa Genova (DB 68429) led by Candy Lien

April 3 – Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin (DB 72709)


May 1 – The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules by Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg (DB 06241)

If you have any questions about book club or have book suggestions, please reach out to Trampes ( or 701-389-7982) or Emily ( or 701-795-2709). Happy Reading!

Come One, Come All

Submitted by Loris Van Berkom

You are invited to attend the NDAB State Convention June 7-9, 2024, at the Enchanted Castle in Regent, ND, which is located at the end of the thirtymile Enchanted Highway just off of I-94, close to Dickinson. The hotel has nineteen very spacious rooms with two queen-size beds in each, with room rates of $100 plus tax. There is a bed and breakfast a few blocks away for any overflow and a very fun gift and ice cream shop close to the hotel. It will be a unique experience so plan on attending.

NDAB Membership Renewal Reminder

NDAB Membership renewal forms were sent out near the end of December, so look for them in your email inbox or spam/junk folder, or, if you do not have an email address, check your mailbox. If you received an email copy of the form, you can either fill out the Word document and email it back to me or fill out the form online. You may either pay your dues via PayPal online or by mailing a check to: NDAB, P.O. Box 824, West Fargo, ND 58078. If you do not have an email address, please send the completed form, along with dues, in the enclosed envelope to the above address. If you did not receive a form or need help filling it out, feel free to contact me at (701) 260-8914 or as soon as possible. All forms and dues of $15 for adults and $3 for junior members are due no later than February 1, 2024. Thank you for your continued membership!

Respectfully submitted,
Lexee Steffan, Vice President/Membership Chair


Welcome to Our New Members!

Donnie Frasier from Grand Forks, ND (returning member)


Save the Date: NDAB Summer Camp 2024

Submitted by Lexee Steffan

The 53rd annual NDAB Summer Camp will be held at Elks Camp Grassick from August 4-11, 2024. The banquet theme will be “Happy Thanksgiving,” planned by Carol Scallon and friends, so feel free to dress up nice. If you’re feeling extra festive, you can dress as a turkey, or even your favorite side dish! Camp packets will be sent out on June 1, so keep an eye out for them in your mailbox or email inbox. You will also be able to sign up at Convention again this year. The Camp Committee is planning a “Camp Catch Up” Zoom session for Tuesday, February 20th at 7 PM. This will give us an opportunity to discuss what a week at camp looks like. New and returning campers are welcome to attend. More information will follow in an upcoming “Sneak Peek” email. If you have any questions about camp, please contact Missy Miller at (701) 446-7125. See you at camp!


Williston Wanderings from Janelle F. Olson

After Sheryl Gerhard’s summer visit to Williston, she flew back to Kentucky on September 8th. Christmas was spent with her son David and family. She has not been able to get all of her phone contacts back in place as was mentioned in the last Promoter and would still like phone calls from her NDAB Friends. Her cell number is (701) 651-0149.

Kathy and Stan Larson spent ten magnificent days in South Carolina at the end of November visiting their kids. Charleston and Myrtle Beach are both very beautiful places to visit. Larsons hadn’t done any traveling since 2019 so they were glad to say that all went well. They enjoyed the Christmas season with family and friends and are looking forward to a cruise in February.

Carol Scallon and family enjoyed a Christmas at home. Their son’s basketball season has begun so they are headed for the gym bleachers. Carol is thankful for the amazing weather we are currently enjoying. The rest of us concur.

Susan Jorgenson’s visit with her four sisters hiking in beautiful Fort Ransom State Park was fun. After, she and Glenn headed to Arizona; they flew out to go on an ocean cruise in Greece, Crete, Cyprus, Naples and Rome from November 18th to December 5th. Susan’s favorite part of traveling is meeting people from many places. They are looking forward to family heading south to visit them in January and February.

At the beginning of December, Brenda Bruins’ attended an adult week session at NDVS where she met new fellow students and brushed up on her iPhone skills. Brenda is a great encourager and ambassador for NDAB and Summer Camp. She spent Christmas with her family in Arnegard. Brenda has a Merlin Video Magnifier she is no longer able to use. Anyone interested in it should give her a call.

Loris Van Berkom visited a friend near San Antonio for a week in October and flew to Los Vegas in November to fulfill another bucket list goal by attending an awesome Berry Manilow concert. December found her busily preparing for the Christmas holiday. Both of her kids and their families were home. She hosted Christmas Day dinner. Now she is trying to catch up on sleep and get her house back in order.

Jeff and I flew out west at the end of November to visit Matt and Dan. We four spent Thanksgiving Day with Mickey Mouse at Disney to return home a week later to find one of his relatives resting dead, but apparently peacefully, in our washing machine. I was the one who found him or her as I opened the lid, sweeping around the bottom as I usually do to make sure it is empty and ready to load. Unlike Disney Land, when my hand connected and I came to the terrifying realization as to what I was touching, my laundry room was not the “Happiest Place on earth.” I heard horrific screaming and then realized it was coming from me. I had to be my own superhero and dispose of the unfortunate creature, but it took every ounce of courage to do so. It goes without saying that I will NOT be applying for a retirement job with the pest control.

Brenda was the only one venturing out to commit to a New Year’s Resolution, that being to take down and launder a curtain in her kitchen. Good for you, Brenda! After a final review of what I have just written, I am offering our collective best wishes and possible resolutions for each of you as we move into 2024:

Whether on land or on sea, may you travel and enjoy great adventures.

May we be grateful for friends and family and remember with love those who have passed.

May progress be made on your bucket list and should you be missing one, get going. There is no time like the present.

May you strive to learn something new each day.

When change or loss stand in your path, may you be able to walk on with grace.

May you take the time to enjoy the accomplishments of a youngster.

May the peace of a nap be yours as often as you like.

May your phone contacts stay put and…

May you never find a dead mouse in your washing machine.

Bismarck & Other News from Robert Westermeyer


The Bismarck Supper Club met at the China Star in November and the Rock’n 50’s Café in December. For more information on upcoming meetings, contact Pat at 426-5619.

Sporting Chance, an organization that provides outdoor opportunities for those who otherwise would not have the chance, has two major events coming up this summer.

Fishing – Geyger Fishing Event is scheduled for Saturday, June 1 at Grainer Bottoms near Mandan. A fish fry is scheduled to take place after the event. For more information, contact JR at 226-6578.

Adaptive Water Skiing – Escape to the Lake, an event that provides adaptive water skiing for those who wouldn’t have the chance, is scheduled for Saturday, June 15 on Nelson Lake. For more information, contact Erich at 425-4074, or NDAD, which hosts the event, at 739-5349.

Spotlight on NDAB Member: Kaity Young


Tell us about yourself.

My name is Kaity Young. I’m a Minnesota native now living in Fargo with my husband, Elias, our two cats, and a tortoise. Elias and I got married last November and have been together since 2019. I love to cook, bake, read, craft, and play board games. I work as a news editor at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, and I’m a homebody when I’m not at work. Elias was the first blind person I ever met. To answer the most frequent questions we get: No, he has never seen me, and no, that does not bother me.

What are some of your hobbies?

I’ve recently gotten into sewing, and I also crochet. I’m currently working on a couple of quilts and a shawl for a friend. I’ll do pretty much any craft you put in front of me. I also enjoy reading, both on my own and to Elias. In the warmer months, you can find me in my vegetable garden, and after the snow hits, I spend that time playing video games.

How long have you been a member of NDAB?

I have been a member of NDAB since the spring of 2022, although I had been attending Insight meetings in Fargo since late 2019.

Why did you become a member?

I became a member when I realized that I was allowed to be. I hadn’t considered that, as a sighted person, I could join the organization. The opportunities the North Dakota Association of the Blind offers to blind folks help make our world a little bigger and a little better.

What is your favorite memory from NDAB events?

Watching people conquer their fears at the 2022 Sports and Recreation Retreat as they took on the ropes course and paddled canoes in the pouring rain was invigorating.

What do you consider NDAB’s greatest accomplishment?

NDAB’s greatest accomplishment is giving a voice and drawing attention to blind and low vision people, both through media attention and within government. The work done to connect with legislators so those making the laws in our state do so with consideration of people with different needs will have a lasting impact, and connecting with media to tell stories of blind people helps others understand that they don’t need to treat people differently just because they have a disability.

Is there anything you think NDAB should add or do differently?

It would be great to see more of a focus on shorter get-togethers at different venues throughout the state, and I think it would benefit the organization to offer Dining in the Dark in more locations in the state to further our outreach.

Why should someone join NDAB?

Anyone who wants to have a greater understanding of what life is like for blind and low vision people, has a loved one with a major sight impairment or who simply wants to find a welcoming community with a positive mission should consider membership.

How do you See Blind Possible?

I see blind possible through the people I have met in this organization and, of course, through Elias. While I never had any doubts, he has proven to me over and over again that there is nothing he can’t do that a sighted person can — except drive. Every time we figure out or learn of an adaptive way to take on a challenge, it’s incredibly empowering. Sharing ideas with other sight-impaired people about different ways to approach a task and hearing that each person might have a different way to do that only furthers the notion that the biggest hurdle is often one thing: doubt. Seeing blind possible, to me, means doing whatever it is you want to do, even if it takes a little more time, a special tool, or a friend to remind you that you can do it.

Kaity has short, curly brown hair and yellow cat-eye glasses.
Caption: Kaity, wearing glasses and a black shirt, smiles at the camera.

Spotlight on NDAB Member: Brant Adams

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Brant Adams. I live in Bismarck, with my wife, Tonya, and kid, Eli. I have been blind, essentially since birth, caused by Retinoblastoma. I grew up in Ohio and moved to North Dakota in 2018. In Ohio, I worked for a factory that makes steel tubing for 18 years. Tonya is a Nurse, and Eli is a Junior in high school.

What are some of your hobbies?

I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, reading, watching YouTube, and playing with computers. I have played with Windows, Linux, and phone operating systems Android and iOS.

Why did you join NDAB? When did you join?

I have been a member of NDAB for 7 years, I think. Originally, I joined because my mother-in-law and sister-in-law were members. Now, I have friends in NDAB, and I like to try to help.

What is your favorite memory from NDAB events?

The time I got too many chips at adult blind camp.

What positions have you served on the NDAB board or helping on certain committees?

I am currently the chair of the Sports and Rec Committee and serve as webmaster. I served on the 2021 convention planning committee.

What do you consider NDAB’s greatest accomplishment?

There are a few. Simply existing for so long is amazing. Adult blind camp. Partnering with NDVS/SB, because it helps connect us with lots of people we might not be able to connect with otherwise, most importantly young people.

Is there anything you think NDAB should do differently?

I think that it is important to keep working on ways to attract young people and keep them interested.

Why should someone join NDAB?

First of all, it gives one the opportunity to know people in a similar situation. The activities NDAB hosts are amazing social and learning chances.

How do you see blind possible?

I just try to do what I want and need to do. Sometimes that’s hard, but usually something can be figured out. I try not to let fear stop me from doing those things. I will admit that as I get older, that is becoming more difficult.

Brant wears a red T-shirt and khaki shorts. He smiles while on a treadmill with a teen and woman smiling behind him on their own treadmills.

Caption: Brant, Eli, and Tonya walking on treadmills that are next to each other in a gym.


Spotlight on NDAB Member: Lexee Steffan


Tell us about yourself.

My name is Lexee Steffan, and I live in Dickinson, ND with my two fur babies, Oliver and Lucy. I work part-time as a Spanish interpreter/translator. I was born four months premature, and my visual impairment is a result of that. I was diagnosed with Retinopathy of Prematurity, or ROP.

What are some of your hobbies? 

I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, reading, shopping, traveling, playing card/board games, and watching movies.

How long have you been a member of NDAB? 

I joined NDAB in August 2013 and have been a member for just over ten years.

Why did you become a member? 

I joined NDAB during my first time attending camp because I decided that I might like to go back to camp again the following year.

What is your favorite memory from NDAB events? 

There are too many to choose from, but I think my favorite memories are meeting/making the amazing friends I have made at camp and sports and rec retreats. Some of my favorite memories also involve pranks with the camp crow… oh and chips!

What positions have you served on the NDAB board or helping on certain committees? 

In the past, I helped out with the NDAB Facebook page. I attended the 2018 national ACB convention in Saint Louis, MO, as the NDAB delegate. I served as Promoter editor from 2019 through 2021. I currently am on the Sports and Rec Committee, Camp Committee, 2024 Convention Planning Committee and am the current vice president/membership chair. I also teach Spanish and Braille at camp.

What do you consider NDAB’s greatest accomplishment?  

I think camp and sports and rec retreats are NDAB’s biggest accomplishments. They are both fun events that encourage people to step out of their comfort zone and try something new. It is really cool to witness the positive effects these events have on our members.

Is there anything you think NDAB should add or do differently? 

I would seriously like to see ax throwing as a class at camp or an activity at retreat.

Why should someone join NDAB? 

NDAB is a great resource and great way to connect with others with similar visual impairments and experiences.

How do you see blind possible? 

I just live my life the best way I can. I do my best to be as independent as possible, and sometimes that means a different way of doing things. I guess I do not see it as “seeing blind possible,” but as “living,” because I do not focus on my blindness in my everyday life; I focus on accomplishing a task or getting through a situation as a person and not as just someone who happens to be blind.

Lexee has curly, blonde hair and wears a light blue shirt in a salon.

Caption: Lexee, who has blonde hair and is wearing a green shirt, smiles at the camera.


Dining in the Dark

Submitted by Janelle F. Olson

NDAB once again was invited for the seventh time to work with the Minot Lions as table hosts for this event which was held on Thursday, October 19, 2023, at the Northwest Arts Center on the campus of Minot State University. Over 50 blindfolded diners enjoyed a four-course meal. Ten table hosts, two who were first timers, provided guidance, shared their life experiences, answered questions regarding vision loss, and gave information about NDAB. We thank the Lions for providing us sleeping rooms at the Staybridge Suites, and also thank our four drivers for graciously giving of their time: Kelsey Byron, Darlene Henning, Monica Jeannotte and Gary Petersen. We will return again for a special Lions’ Dining in the Dark on May 17, 2024, which in addition to Lions from North Dakota, will include an International Lions Director and Lions from both Canada and South Dakota.

A Sweeping Good Time

Submitted by Ken Dockter, NDVS/SB Adult Program Coordinator

How can a person sweep a floor if they are low vision or blind? This is a great question and a task that needs to be completed when cleaning the house. A technique that works quite well is the clock method, also known as the rainbow pattern. When a person uses this technique, they should use an upright boom, not a push broom. First, take the broom and sweep around the edges of the room, pulling the dirt out from the corners. Once this is completed, stand a few feet away from the walls in front of you and on the side of you, making sure that you can reach all the way to the wall in front of you and to your left side, with the broom.

Now it is time to start sweeping. Take the broom to the 9:00 position (on your left) and sweep towards the top of your toes. Return the broom to the 10:00 position and again bring the broom to your toes. It is important not to move your feet as you will keep sweeping from 9:00 to 3:00, or in a rainbow pattern, bringing all of the dirt towards your toes. Once you have completed the entire rainbow pattern, place the broom at the top of your toes on the floor. Now take a step or two back and bring the dirt back to your toes. Repeat the pattern of sweeping from 9:00 to 3:00, or in a rainbow pattern, bringing all the dirt to your toes. When you get to the edge of the room, you can sweep the dirt into a dustpan.

Next, move back up to where you started, take a step to the right, and start the process again. A person can cover the entire room with this method. This is a great method of sweeping and works quite well. A person may need to practice a few times but soon it will become easier and second nature.

For more information on this method or other daily living skills, reach out to Ken Dockter, or 701-795-2724.

Low Vision Solutions from the Low Vision Store

Submitted by Erick Nelson of the Low Vision Store

I have been a reseller of visually impaired devices for over 20 years and learned under Terry Nelson, who was in the business helping people for over 30 years. I am Erick Nelson, working for the low-vision store in Saint Paul, MN. I want to introduce technology that has improved people’s lives.

The first category is the head-worn devices, including the Patriot Vision, the Vision Buddy, and Iris Vision. They are worn over the eyes, on your head; the purpose is to help people read, watch TV, and attend events like movies, sporting events, church, and more. They are simple to use with some training and installation for watching TV. The devices will magnify from about 3x up to about 17x. That magnification includes near viewing and far viewing with automatic focusing. They are all battery-run and can be recharged. They all have contrasting color modes for reading, like a black background with white print, a white background with black print, and other color options. Some feel-good stories include an individual who watched his granddaughter play hockey for the first time in years (the granddaughter also scored a goal). Another went on a cruise and saw the excursions he went on with his wife, like whale watching and the general beauty of nature on the cruise. People have also played musical instruments, including the piano and Constantina: I know personally because I sold the device and was given a 30-minute show on both. The smiles from the individuals after their concert were priceless to me. These are not for walking or driving but can help in many ways in a person’s life.

Second, I would like to present the Clover Book portable video magnifier. The device comes in three different versions: the Clover Book Lite, which does magnification; the Clover Book Plus, which does magnification and distance viewing; and the Clover Book Pro, which has magnification, distance viewing, and text-to-speech. They all have a large 12.5″ touchscreen with easy-to-use controls. It can be run on a battery for up to 4 to 5 hours or run plugged in and not worry about the charge. The camera for reading mode is a 4K (60 fps) camera for reading magnifications of 2x to 50X. The distance camera can easily be folded in and out and can magnify from 2x to 15x. The distance camera can rotate out for distance and around towards the user for self-viewing mode. The text-to-speech or OCR mode reads aloud in a male or female voice, and the reading rate can be adjusted. The best part is that the OCR is a full letter-size page that captures more reading area. The Clover Book can be controlled in two ways: either tactile controls or touch screens. Lastly, when you are done using the Clover Book, you can fold it down and put it into a protective carrying case.

The Low Vision store does sell these devices in the North Dakota area. Please call 651-203-2200 if you are interested in learning more about these devices.

FM Visions Holiday Gathering

Submitted by Vince Ulstad

The FM Visions Group met on Monday, the 18th of December for a time of shared food, visiting, singing, and some bingo. About 30 individuals participated in the light and informal time. We are grateful to and thank the congregation of St. Paul’s Free Lutheran for this opportunity to gather at their site, utilize their kitchen facility, and have their pastor, Matthew Nelson, lead us on his guitar for the time of singing.


“On Target” with NDAB on Giving Hearts Day in 2024

Submitted by Allan Peterson, NDAB Development Director

‘Tis the season! Throughout the year there’s fishing seasons and a variety of hunting seasons. I would argue that we now have Giving Hearts Day (GHD) season and are hunting for bucks. Yes, we are already in this year’s Giving Hearts Day season, because early giving began on January 2 and ends on February 8, the last day of the season, the “target day” for GHD. So, with this in mind we say it is time for all good people to be “On Target” to shoot some bucks over to NDAB during this GHD season.

To prepare for the GHD season, one of our first tasks was to secure donations needed to create a Match Fund. Admittedly, the concept of how a Giving Hearts Day donation differs from a Match Fund donation may be confusing. Match Fund donors are solicited in advance with the intent that their donations will be used as an incentive. Alternatively, Giving Hearts Day donors make their donations by going online or paying by check during the actual season for GHD.

A Match Fund minimum of $3,000 is required to participate in Giving Hearts Day. The larger the Match Fund, the larger the amount of GHD donations have a match. We reported $22,549 as our Match Fund total for GHD this year. This means that GHD donations we receive up to this total will be matched dollar for dollar. If more than this amount is raised, it means those donations will not have a match, but they will still count as funds we will have raised for NDAB.

A very appreciative thank you to Rebecca for her work to do the job of tracking our donations and sending the thank you notes to our donors. The thank you messages are an extremely important key to keep donors acknowledged and appreciated. Her work on thank you notes never stops, regardless of whether donations are made for Giving Hearts Day or for some other reason.

Another key factor in preparation for Giving Hearts Day is development and updates to our master donor list. Thank you so much to Michelle and Zelda for all their time and diligence in doing this vitally important work. The accuracy of this list is vital in that it’s the primary means by which we use for communicating with the contacts on our donor list.

Also vital to communicate with Giving Hearts Day donors is the work that has been done to make our website visually appealing for Giving Hearts Day. Many, many thanks to Kaity Young for her work and skills to get this critically important job done. A shout out too to Brant Adams for his work to make our website accessible as these updates are made.

Acknowledgements and many thanks to Emily Brown for the work she has done to post messages to NDAB’s Facebook page about our participation in Giving Hearts Day. To visit our Facebook page, go to

Last year for GHD, we began using MailChimp to send email messages to the contacts in our master donor list. This was accomplished due to the work and skills of Zelda, Trampes, and David Olson from NDVS/SB. This is a great way to send messages more economically and to discover who opens our email messages and thus may have an interest in learning more about NDAB.

A Giving Hearts Day letter and GHD guide were sent on January 10 to 3,386 contacts in our master donor list. Many thanks to Kaity Young and Missy Miller for the job of editing this mailing. The printing services of Sir Speedy were used to make this happen. Thanks too to Lilly Dunrud for the editing and graphical design work she did for this mailing.

The video of NDAB archers with Archery Summer Camp instructor George Racine produced last year will be used for the Vision Bank GHD contest and is posted on our Giving Hearts Day webpage. The video was shot at Sandhills Indoor Archers range in West Fargo a year ago. We acknowledge and thank the range administrators for their kindness in granting us this favor. A very appreciative thank you, too, to George Racine, our Camp archery instructor, for all his work that made this video a reality. Acknowledgements and high praise to Eric Falde, Rebecca and Greg’s son, for his time and talents to serve as our videographer, and to Missy for being the video’s narrator.

Your help is requested! We will again participate in the Giving Hearts Day video contest sponsored by Vision Bank. Contest winners are determined by the number of likes that a video receives. For anyone interested in helping us with this effort, we will send you the link to vote in the contest. Voting in this contest begins February 1 and ends on February 7.

Our goal this year for GHD is to raise a grand total of $45,098. A total of $22,549 to be raised from Giving Hearts Day donors that will match the bucks in our Match Fund. We are confident that with your help, we will be “On Target” and can achieve this goal. Great news! The Horace Lions have pledged $7,500 to NDAB for GHD, so with their help we are indeed well on the way toward achieving our 2024 GHD goal!

The cast of characters on our NDAB Giving Hearts Day team includes Brant Adams, Rebecca Anderson, Trampes Brown, Lilly Dunrud, Zelda Gebhard, Missy Miller, David Olson, Kaity Young, Michelle Zentz, and Allan Peterson.

The two options for making a Giving Hearts Day donation:

Option #1: Anytime between now and 11:59 P.M. February 8, 2024, a secure online contribution can be made by going to Click on the Giving Hearts Day Donate button, then select North Dakota Association of the Blind from the listed charities. 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.

Heads up: Online Giving Hearts Day donations also can easily be made by visiting our website at Select the donate button, which will take you directly to our webpage at GHD where you can make an online donation.

Option #2: Donations can be made by check prior to February 8. Checks must be dated February 8, 2024, and please write “Giving Hearts Day” on the memo line, and mail it to NDAB Treasurer, P.O. Box 824, West Fargo, ND 58078. Checks should be mailed at least 10 days before February 8, so they can be received and credited as a Giving Hearts Day donation. The checks will be uploaded to the GHD system on February 8 so they can be counted as a part of our GHD total.

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


Legislative and Advocacy Report Winter 2024

Submitted by Allan Peterson and Zelda Gebhard

With fervent hopes for a Happy New Year, we, as a nation, are embarked on a journey to survive this year’s presidential election. This ongoing drama makes it clear that each of the states or the state’s political parties manage the primary election for our nation’s presidency on their own terms, whether it is through caucuses or a primary election.

This year our North Dakota statewide primary election will be held on Tuesday, June 11. Those who vote in the primary election must choose to vote using a ballot for either Republican or Democrat nominees. Party nominees, who are successfully elected in the primary elections, will be the party’s candidates on the November general election ballot. The primary ballots for either party may also include elections for nonparty local offices and voting for public policy issues.

For better or worse, there will be an abundance of news about political activities leading up to the nationwide election on November 5. Sometime soon the two major political parties in North Dakota will hold district conventions in each of the 47 ND legislative districts. The district conventions will endorse their district’s nominees for the State Senate and House of Representatives for the June primary ballot and select delegates to attend the statewide political party conventions that convene in late March or early April.

The state political conventions this spring will select their nominees for the U.S. Senate, and the ND seat in the U.S. House, currently held by Kevin Cramer and Kelly Armstrong. The Conventions will also nominate nominees for Governor and a number of statewide offices plus delegates to attend their national party Conventions that convene this summer in July and August.

On our upcoming advocacy events calendar is this year’s American Council of the Blind Leadership meetings that includes the ACB Legislative Seminar. The Leadership meetings will run from March 1 through the 5th and will be a hybrid affair, meaning they will be conducted both in-person and virtually.

Three of the four ACB 2024 legislative priorities are the same as they were for the 2023 Seminar, which means, of course, they haven’t yet been enacted into law by Congress. These priorities address our need for access to important visual information. Notably, Resolutions in support of three of these priorities were adopted by our membership at the 2022 NDAB Convention in Fargo.

Briefly, these 2024 ACB priorities are:

  • The Medical Device Nonvisual Accessibility Act – to help ensure that medical equipment that has visual information on a digital display can be made accessible to people who have sight loss.
  • Website and Software Applications Accessibility Act – to establish clear and enforceable accessibility standards for websites and software applications.
  • Communications, Video, and Technology Accessibility Act – to update existing requirements for accessible media, video user interfaces, and video conferencing services.
  • Medicare and Medicaid Dental, Vision, and Hearing Benefits Act which would provide Coverage under Medicare and Medicaid for hearing, vision and dental devices and services.

Although the above legislative priorities have not been passed into law by Congress, each of them has been introduced as a bill in the U.S. Senate and/or the U.S. House. And we know from our experience that our North Dakota congressional delegations are aware of them and if we continue to persevere, this legislation could be included in a larger piece of legislation that is passed by Congress and signed into law.

Thankfully, ACB recently announced the hire of Claire Stanley to fill the vacant position of ACB Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs, the position formerly held by Clark Rachfal. Claire had been Clark’s associate prior to her leaving to pursue employment with another nonprofit disability advocacy organization. Welcome home, Claire, we are so happy to have you back!

Message from the Nominating Committee 

It is that time of year again when we start to prepare for the selection of NDAB’s future leaders. We will assume the rotation of positions elected during even numbered years at the 2024 State Convention in Regent, ND. The open positions will 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 and an alternate delegate to represent NDAB at the 2025 ACB Conference and Convention in Dallas, TX. The alternate delegate will serve if for whatever reason the elected delegate is unable to attend the national convention.

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.
  • It is expected that all candidates seeking a position are knowledgeable and/or have read the manuals, guidelines and handbooks which explain the role and responsibilities of the position being sought. If you would like a copy of any of the materials, just ask.

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 so we can begin the process of developing a slate of candidates together.

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the nominating committee,

Michelle Zentz


How Can I Participate?

Submitted by Michelle Zentz

Some members may be pondering the question, “How can I be involved in making a change to NDAB’s governing documents?” Well, you are in luck because each of our governing documents (Constitution, Bylaws, Articles of Incorporation) explain the details of the process a member can follow to make a proposed amendment, and all three are located online at

Specifically, Section 1 of Article VII of the Constitution outlines that proposed amendments to the Constitution are to be submitted in writing to the executive board at least 60 days prior to the Annual Convention. The executive board is to place the petition to make amendment(s) to the Constitution on the agenda of the next convention and include a copy of the proposed amendment(s) with the notice of the convention. A two-thirds vote of all members present and voting is required for the adoption of any constitutional amendment.

The other way a member can bring forth an amendment to the Constitution is to make a motion during a regular convention. The motion then requires approval by a simple majority. If the motion to consider passes, the proposed amendment shall be placed on the agenda of the next convention and a copy of the proposed amendment shall be included with the notice of convention and a two-thirds vote of those present and voting will be required to pass all proposed constitutional amendments.

But what about being on the Constitution and Bylaws committee?

Since the adoption of NDAB’s Strategic Plan in 2014, the committee has slowly been working toward providing proper placement of Articles between the Constitution and the Bylaws. We have worked hard toward clarifying officer duties, updating our committee structure, and removing any duplications within the governing documents. We even had a short break during COVID!

Remember, the members of the Constitution and Bylaws committee are appointed by the president. So, if you are interested in becoming involved in the process, give Trampes a call!


Development Report Winter 2024

Submitted by Allan Peterson, NDAB Development Director

A review of NDAB’s financial accounts for our fiscal year that began on June 1, 2023, through December 31, 2023, reveals our donation total for this period from all sources, excluding memorials, was $27,667.61.

A summary of Donation Sources and amounts in those categories are as follows:

Individual Business and Corporate Donations =

ND Charitable Gaming = $14,100

Giving Hearts Day = $24.13

ND Lions Clubs = $2,200

Walk For Vision = $3,502.04

Notes from our 2023 NDAB Walk for Vision event:

  • The Walk was based at the NDSU Lutheran Center in Fargo and was held late Monday afternoon on October 16, 2023.
  • Our Walk for Vision event was paired to coincide with White Cane Safety Day.
  • Our volunteers at the event included our helpers from the NDSU Campus Lions Club and our NDAB workers Rebecca Anderson and Judy Peterson plus the Fargo-area NDAB members and friends who joined us for this event.
  • The publicity received by pairing Walk for Vision events with White Cane Safety Day was notable. We requested and received White Cane Safety Day proclamations from ND Governor Doug Burgum and Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney. Also, we garnered media coverage from WDAY-TV in Fargo to promote our White Cane Day advocacy and our Walk fundraising activities. A news story about our event ran on the 10 o’clock evening news after the event on October 16.
  • A mailing to solicit Walk sponsors was sent to 675 contacts in our master donor list.
  • A very appreciative thank you to Paul Olson who came to be with us. His participation added much to the celebration of White Cane Safety Day and our Walk for Vision event.


Donations April-September 2023

Submitted by Rebecca Anderson, Treasurer/Registered Agent

Donations October-December 2023

Total $11,406.23

Charitable Gaming $600.00

Metigoshe Lions

West Fargo VFW

Walk for Vision $3,202.04

From many generous donors

Lions $1,700.00

Capital City Lions

Fargo Gateway Lions in memory of Bob LePage

Grand Forks South Forks Lions

Jamestown Lions

Taylor Lions

Williston Korner Lions

Memorials $425.00

Sharon Johnson in memory of Elsie Friesz

Jeannie Orke in memory of Jeremy Ketterling

Reed Schwartzkopf in memory of Angie Kokott

Other Donations $5,479.19

ACB Quarterly Donation


FM Area Fund

State Bank & Trust of Kenmare


North Dakota Association of the Blind, Inc.
Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

December 11, 2023

BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Trampes Brown, Lexee Steffan, Rebecca Anderson, Helen Baumgartner, Elias Youngblom, Gerald Byron, Janelle Olson, Allan Peterson and Zelda Gebhard

GUESTS PRESENT: Mary Stip, Doug Puetz & Michelle Zentz

CALL TO ORDER:  Trampes called the meeting to order at 7:03 pm via Zoom.

ROLL CALL:  Helen took roll call.


President: VR reached out to NDAB requesting opportunities to volunteer. Trampes is working on finalizing DITD for May 2024 and a Google platform to record volunteer hours. He requested volunteers to assist in completing some tasks he does not have the time to complete.

Secretary: On Oct 14, Zelda made a motion to approve the Oct 2nd board minutes, seconded by Lexee. MC

Treasurer’s Report: Allan made a motion to approve the amended report, seconded by Janelle. MC Rebecca has received one $30 deposit for SFL. She will accept deposits on a first come, first served basis, up to 10 participants.

Development Director: Since June 1, 2023, $26,633.48 has been received from donations from the Lions, the Walk for Vision, Charitable Gaming and Individual and Corporate donations. GHD is February 8, 2024. See Blind Possible is the theme. The goal is $45,000, including the match fund, which has been raised. The Horace Lions have pledged $7,500 toward GHD. Kaity Young is updating the webpage prior to GHD. Allan is researching doing a mini dessert Dining in the Dark in Horace sometime in January. MailChimp will be used to send out emails prior to GHD. A letter will also be sent out in early January. Donations can be made online beginning January 2nd through February 8th. The Walk for Vision on NDSU campus received publicity from WDAY and the Fargo Forum. We raised approximately $3,400.

Membership: Zelda made a motion to approve membership for Donnie Frasier, a former member from Grand Forks who is blind, seconded by Allan MC. There are currently 158 members. Membership renewal forms will be sent out around January 1st via email to those with email addresses and by mail for those who don’t have email.


Awards: Mary reported the letter requesting nominations for the Robert LePage award has been published in the ND Lion newsletter. A letter will be sent out to Lions Clubs in January. The Awards Guidelines was updated and sent out for the board to read and approve. The guidelines will be approved via email.

Constitution and Bylaws: Michelle will review the documents for clerical changes. An article will be placed in the Promoter informing the members about the procedure to make changes to the documents.

DITD: Janelle reported the October DITD went well. Plans are being made to have another event on May 17, 2024, for the MD5 Lions Convention in Minot. Expectations are to have 20 table hosts for this event. Lions’ members will have the first chance to purchase tickets. Ticket sales will be opened to the public after April 1st.

Publicity: The “What Can I Do to Help?” document has been reworded. It will be available to be used for the Robert LePage nomination letter, printed from the website and used for other education events. The document will be sent to the board for approval. A tag line is being worked on to help educate the Lions regarding vision loss.

Legislative: The leadership meetings will be held in Washington, DC March 2 – 5, 2024, including visits to Capitol Hill on March 5th. Parts of the meetings will be virtual.



CPA Financial Review: Rebecca reported on the response from the CPA in regards to questions asked at a previous meeting. Janelle made a motion to approve the Annual Financial Review, seconded by Gerald. MC


NDAB History: Michelle suggested our history be digitized. Following discussion, Janelle will talk to Loris VanBerkom and Mark Kueffler to see what they have recorded from the talent shows at camp. Trampes will get the historian materials from Karlyn Frantsen. Zelda will contact Sharon Lovering at ACB to get some information. Elias will research Legacy Box.

First Link: Rebecca received information from First Link. Trampes and Helen are the contacts. This will remain the same for now.


NEXT MEETING: Monday, February 12, 2024 at 7:00 pm.

ADJOURN:  Allan made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Lexee.  MC The meeting adjourned at 9:34 pm.

Respectfully Submitted, Helen Baumgartner, NDAB Secretary


Leadership Roster


President: Trampes Brown #389-7982

Membership Chairperson/VP: Lexee Steffan #260-8914

Secretary: Helen Baumgartner #663-8878

Treasurer/Registered Agent: Rebecca Anderson #277-8127

Past President/ Legislative Liaison: Zelda Gebhard  #709-0262

Director: Elias Youngblom #612-968-1044

Director: Janelle Olson #570-0801

Director: Gerald Byron #993-8755

Development Director/Leg. Liaison: Allan Peterson #282-4644

Historian: Open

Webmaster: Brant Adams #419-566-0918

Promoter Editor: Emily Stenberg Brown #215-1796

Camp Committee Chair: Missy Miller #298-8091

Committee Chairpersons: 

Awards: Paula Anundson #490-0888 & Mary Lou Stip #720-0738

Communications: Trampes Brown #389-7982

Dining in the Dark: Janelle Olson #570-0801

Finance: Rebecca Anderson #277-8127

Scholarship: Tracy Wicken #772-7669

Sports and Recreation: Brant Adams #419-566-0918

Public Relations: Zelda Gebhard #709-0262

Local News Reporters:  

Bismarck: Robert Westermeyer #391-8499

Lake Region: Carol Schmitt – #662-3363

Minot: Dianne Giessinger- #720-4866

Williston: Janelle Olson – #570-0801

Grand Forks: Ruth Phalen – #772-4546

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 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. For more information about NDAB, visit