The Promoter – May 2018

Table of Contents

From the President

I am going to ask a silly question. Are you ready for spring? I think everyone is more than ready for the longer, warmer days of spring and summer! What are you longing to do? Take a leisurely walk, one that is not hurried along by the need to stay warm? Maybe you have plans to sit on a porch swing while reading an interesting book. Perhaps you just want to lay down in the grass and feel the sun on your face. I like to do all of the above, but my favorite spring and summer activity is gardening. I just love digging in the dirt and then watching things grow! Gardening is in my genes. I actually inherited the love of gardening from both sides of my family! My paternal grandmother grew beautiful flowers. My mom liked flowers too but focused on vegetables that would feed our family of six. The men in the family, my grandpa and dad, were focused on growing acres of wheat, corn, and oats.

I think gardening is a lot like being a part of an organization.

What does it take to be a planter? You have to be an optimist. No matter how dry the soil is a true gardener doesn’t wait for it to rain but instead steps out in faith and plants the seeds in the dust. Likewise, during times of conflict or just lack of volunteers, those of us in an organization must continue to move forward and trust that someone will join you along the way. “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” You need to trust that your hard work will be well worth it.

Having a plan
Dream a little and reach for the sky! My garden starts with a seed catalog and a sketch. I need to decide what to plant and where to plant it. As an organization we decide what is needed, develop a plan and follow it one step at a time. We can’t hop from an idea to the finish line without going through all the necessary steps. If we did, we would miss out on all the fun along the way. Working together builds relationships and brings about personal growth.

Planting seeds
Your mind is a garden, your thoughts are the seeds, you can plant flowers or you can plant weeds. What do you spend your time doing? Do you think positive thoughts or are you a friend of Oscar the Grouch? We can’t spend our time grumbling and complaining or we will end up with a “garden” no one will enjoy.

Getting down and dirty!
There is a lot of hard work that must be done leading up to a bountiful harvest and we have to be patient while we are waiting on seeds to turn into beautiful flowers or delicious tomatoes. There are many days when the only thing we bring in from the garden is a sunburned nose and blisters on our hands. When we do volunteer work for an organization we also have many days where little progress is seen. Then there are the glorious days when everything comes together and we see successful outcomes.

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant. We don’t get instant rewards with every action or task we do for an organization. Sometimes it takes years of patient working and waiting to be able to see how our actions have made a difference. Instead of expecting to see instant success, we need to be satisfied with every task well done and wait patiently for good results to come of it.

All of the flowers of all of the tomorrows are in the seeds of today. Be satisfied with a day well spent doing ordinary things that may someday bring extraordinary results.

My friends, I feel so blessed to be dreaming, planning, and planting in the NDAB garden beside you. We are planting seeds now that will grow into something beautiful for others to enjoy in the future.

Zelda Gebhard
NDAB President

Coming up:
Just Talking – 3rd Tuesday of the Month
For dates and topics, see article “Just Talking”

From the Editor

Well…I dare say that there hasn’t been one article sent in that hasn’t included something about spring or the lack thereof! Mother Nature has certainly provided a topic for conversation.

I’ve only received one quote for this issue, shared by my husband Stan.

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” –Albert Einstein
On one of these recent, chilly spring days, homemade chili was on the menu for dinner, and I thought cornbread muffins would be just the right combination. They were delicious. I’ll share the recipe with you.

Honey Cornbread Muffins
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
½ stick butter, melted
¼ cup honey

Preheat oven to 400 º.
Into a large bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the whole milk, eggs, butter, and honey. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir until just mixed.
Place muffin paper liners in a 12-cup muffin tin. Evenly divide the cornbread mixture into the papers. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden.
(I like to use silicone muffin molds.)

Thanks to those of you who have sent articles for this issue of the Promoter. If there are quotes or articles you’d like included, please send them to
Kathy Larson, Promoter Editor

Welcome to NDAB

We welcome the following new members:
Arleen Finders of Williston, Julianne Horntvedt, Lacey Long and Arline Olson all of Bismarck, Tami Petersen of Rapid City, SD, Dora Ganuelas from New Town, and Ron Jan of Minot.

2018 NDAB Convention

“Oh the Places You’ll Go With NDAB”

Mark your calendar to spend the weekend of June 8th – 10th in Bismarck for the 82nd Annual NDAB Convention. The theme will be all things Dr. Seuss, but in specific, “Oh the Places You’ll Go With NDAB.” Please make your reservations at the Quality Inn, formerly the Comfort Inn at 1030 East Interstate Ave., by May 25th by calling 701-223-1911. Room rates are $81.90 plus tax. Be prepared to leave the hotel on Friday afternoon at 2:30 to travel to the State Library/Heritage Center for a couple of hands-on tours. We will be returning to the hotel at 5:00 to begin our activities for the evening, beginning with a meal. We look forward to hosting you!!!!

2018 NDAB Membership Renewal Notice

Thank you to those of you who have paid your 2018 NDAB membership dues. At the convention in Devils Lake last year, a change was made to the delinquent member policy. Members who have not paid their dues by May 30th will no longer be considered a member of NDAB and will have to re-apply to be reinstated. Membership must be paid if you want to attend summer camp, serve as an elected officer, or participate in any of the programs NDAB offers. If you have any concerns or questions about membership, please contact Helen Baumgartner at (701) 663-8878 or me at (701) 839-4138.

Mary Stip
Vice President and Membership Chairman

Members of our NDAB Family

Submitted by Kathy Larson

This winter found NDAB members Mickey Teubner, Melissa Petersen, and Allan Peterson in ND and MN hospitals. You can read about their stories later in this issue in the Bismarck and Fargo news. You will all be in our thoughts and prayers.

We extend sympathy to Geraldine Florence of Velva on the death of her husband. Dr. Gerald R. Florence, 91, long time Velva area Dentist and civic leader died on February 11, 2018 in a Velva care center. Gerald and Geraldine were married in 1951, establishing a dental practice in Velva in 1954. He and his family participated in a World Brotherhood Exchange to Madagascar where he did dental work from July 1968 to February 1969. Dr. Florence transferred his Velva dental practice to his son, Jon, in 1994 and he retired following 42 years of service. He was a very active member of his community throughout his life.

Sincere sympathy is extended to Pamla Davy on the death of her mother Madelyn “Madge” Alme, affectionately known to many as “Gram.” She died February 24 in her home in Minot at the age of 95. Madge taught full-time for over 36 years, while raising four girls and driving to Minot at night for classes to earn her B.S. degree. One of her favorite outings was lunching with her high school classmates in Rugby on the second Wednesday of every month. She is survived by three of her four daughters, and she was a proud and loyal grandmother to seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

We extend sympathy to Lexee Steffan on the death of her grandmother. Georgina Steffan passed away March 28 at CHI St. Alexius Health in Bismarck. She was mother to four children, five grandchildren, three step-grandchildren, and several great-grandchildren. Georgina loved to garden and was known to make the best sauerkraut, dill pickles and beets. She loved to bake honey cookies, sour cream twists, kolache and rice krispie bars. Her family loved waking up to the delicious aromas coming from her kitchen. She enjoyed crocheting, blitz card games, putting together puzzles, going to the casino, and polka music.

Our deepest sympathy is extended to NDAB member Denis Register of Fargo on the death of his son. Darrin C. (Pinto Bean) Register, 39, of Valley City, passed away unexpectedly in his home on April 4. Darrin was born on February 8, 1979 in Fargo as an 8th birthday present to his sister, Erika, from his parents Denis and Karen. Darrin graduated from Fargo North High in 1997. After graduation, he spent a year at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. He took a few years off, working for US Bank before enrolling at Northwest Technical College in Moorhead, graduating in 2003. After graduation, he worked at a variety of garages in the Fargo-Moorhead area where he enjoyed working on vehicles. He also spent some time with Valley Movers in Fargo. Darrin settled in Valley City and spent several years on the road assembling farm machinery for Best Equipment Setup Team. He most recently worked at Drug Plastics in Valley City. Darrin loved his motorcycles and was a member of Dakota Riders MC for 2½ years but had always been a brother while riding with Prometheus MC. Darrin is survived by his father, sister, niece Lili, stepfather, and his beloved cat Banana. He was preceded in death by his mother, Karen Lundberg and maternal and paternal grandparents. He will be greatly missed by everyone for his supportive and protective personality.

We extend sincere sympathy to Doug and Mary Stip on the death of Doug’s mother Lavile Stip. She passed away on April 9 in a Minot hospital at the age of 85. She married Ray Stip September 12th, 1949 at First Baptist Church in Minot. They made their home in Minot, living for more than 50 years in Green Valley on Souris Drive. She had been a member of the Elks Lodge and was also a participant in bowling leagues. She enjoyed gardening, reading, sudoku puzzles, various crafts, and watching classic movie channels. She also loved cooking and baking. She was mother to three children, and grandmother to six grandchildren and one great-grandchild. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband of 66 years, daughter Gennie Loken, daughter-in-law Karen Stip, and all 12 siblings.

It is with much sadness that I include information about another NDAB member we have lost. We extend our deepest sympathy to Gretchen Campbell and Tonya (Brant) Adams on the death of their mother. Genie Lang, 69, died in a Bismarck hospital on April 11. Genie was born in Carson, ND, graduating from Elgin High School. She married Myrle Lang at Faith Lutheran Church in Bismarck on July 26, 1969. Genie graduated from Bismarck Hospital School of Nursing with a Diploma in Nursing in 1971. Later she attended Jamestown College, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Nursing in 1990. She worked at various hospitals and health facilities throughout North Dakota before settling in Jamestown, working at the North Dakota State Hospital for several years. She then worked for the North Dakota State Department of Health, Division of Disease Control, as a Field Epidemiologist in the Jamestown area. She continued to work for the North Dakota Health Department until her retirement.  Later Genie moved to Bismarck and lived there until her death. Genie was a member of Faith Lutheran Church.  During her life, she was an active member of The American Legion Auxiliary, Burleigh and Stutsman County Chapters of Thrivent, The Germans from Russia Heritage Society, and she served on the board for Churches United for The Homeless, a homeless shelter in Moorhead, MN. Genie served as president for the North Dakota Sate Genealogical Society and was also very involved in the North Dakota Association of the Blind. She was currently the Public Relations Chairperson for NDAB and co-chair for the upcoming NDAB State Convention to be held in Bismarck in June. At the time of her death Genie was serving on the Governor’s Committee for Vocational Rehabilitation. She had a love for hockey, and she became a billet mom for the Bismarck Bobcats for six years, treating these young men as the sons she never had, and they saw her as a second mom. Genie enjoyed crèches and the nativity, bird watching, pinochle, reading, hardanger, and spending time with her family and friends. She is survived by her two daughters and son-in-law, one granddaughter, three sisters, one brother, Lang family members and many friends. She was preceded in death by her husband Myrle, granddaughter Shelby Lynn Campbell, and several other family members. Genie touched many lives and will be greatly missed!

Richard Veal brings greetings from Miller Point in Mandan. He says that he is doing okay and stays busy with therapy and listening to books; he enjoys the good food that is prepared for the residents. As our phone conversation ended, he said, “One day at a time.” So true…

NDAB Summer Camp Plans for 2018

Submitted by Loris Van Berkom & Rick Feldman

Plans are underway for the 48th annual NDAB Summer Camp to be held at the Elks Camp Grassick August 5-12. The Friday night banquet with the theme “New Year Resolutions” will be planned by Janelle Olson and Kathy Larson. The camp packets will be mailed out toward the end of June, so watch for them. If you know of someone who might be eligible to attend, please pass that information on to one of the Co-Camp Directors and they will make the contact.

If you have any questions, call Rick at (701) 793-5210 or Loris at (701) 774-3399.

Below are the NDAB Summer Camp Guidelines:

1. To provide an opportunity for persons who are visually impaired to come in contact with persons with similar impairments and share a common concern.
2. To help in the process of adjusting to blindness.
3. To provide an opportunity to learn new skills, techniques, and leisure time activities to enhance the quality of life.

1. Must be at least 18 years of age with vision loss as the primary disability.
2. Must be capable of participating in the program set-up for camp.
a. Must be able to care for ones personal needs including bathing, dressing, eating, etc.
b. Must be physically able to get oneself around the camp grounds, with the exclusion of difficulty with mobility due to vision loss.
3. Must be cooperative and demonstrate willingness to abide by the regulations of camp.
a. Alcoholic beverages and/or unauthorized drugs are not allowed on the camp grounds. Any violators will be promptly sent home at their own expense.
b. All campers must remain overnight at camp.
c. Campers must attend the entire week of camp unless other arrangements have been made with the co-camp directors, or a situation arises, such as an illness or a family emergency.
d. Participants must notify one of the directors if leaving the campus for any reason.
4. Must demonstrate respect for authority.
5. Must display consideration for fellow campers.

1. Any adult who is visually impaired and not a North Dakota resident but is attending a North Dakota college or university will be eligible to attend the NDAB Summer Camp at no cost.
2. One member of ACB leadership will be eligible to attend the NDAB Summer Camp annually as a camper at no cost.
3. Any adult who is visually impaired and who lives in another state other than North Dakota could attend camp but must pay for their room and board, which is set by the Elks Camp Grassick Director. At this time, the cost is $250. Any adult who is visually impaired and lives in a border town may attend at no cost. Border towns include East Grand Forks, Moorhead, Breckenridge and West Fairview.
4. Camp capacity, which is set by the Elks Camp Grassick Director, is 60 people. Residents of North Dakota would be given preference to out of state campers if the camp capacity were reached.
5. Any member of NDAB who moved out of state but continued to pay their annual dues would be eligible to attend camp at no cost.

Nominating Committee Report

Submitted by Michelle Zentz and Milissa Miller

Bismarck is the place to be June 8th – 10th. Come prepared to cast your votes! The slate of candidates reads as follows:
President 2-year term: Zelda Gebhard
Vice President 2-year term: Mary Stip
Treasurer 2-year term: Helen Baumgartner
Board Director 3-year term: Cheryl Cassman, Shereen Faber, and Mickey Teubner
Editor 1-year term: Kathy Larson
ACB Delegate Rochester, NY: Paula Anundson, Cheryl Cassman
Alternate Delegate: First Runner up for 2019 ACB Delegate will serve.

Remember, nominations may be made from the convention floor with the person’s prior consent. Candidates must meet the following criteria:

  1. The president, vice president and two members of the board must be legally blind or visually impaired to maintain that a majority of the executive board is blind or visually impaired.
  2. The member must be at least 18 years old and current in payment of dues.
  3. All elected officers and directors must be a resident of ND during their term of office or a city that shares a common border with its sister city in ND.
  4. To avoid conflict of interest, officers shall not hold office while serving as an officer in another consumer organization of the blind.
  5. No more than one member from a household shall serve concurrent terms.

ACB Gateway to Success

The 57th annual American Council of the Blind conference and convention will take place Friday, June 29th to Friday, July 6th, 2018, at the Union Station Hotel in St Louis, Missouri. Approximately 1,000 people who are blind and low vision are expected to attend. The ACB experience provides the opportunity to meet professionals in the field of blindness. Make new friends as you enjoy a full week of tours, attend special events, seminars, workshops, the general sessions and exhibit hall.

The Union Station Hotel is located at 1820 Market Street, St Louis, Missouri, 63103. Room rates are $89 (single or double) with an additional $10.00 per person up to 4 guests per room. Room tax (currently 18.4%) will be added to the room charge. For reservations by telephone, call 1-314-231-1234 and mention that you are attending the ACB convention in order to obtain our room rate. To make reservations online, visit and follow the 2018 convention link.
Read articles in the ACB Braille Forum or join the ACB convention e-mail list. Send a blank e-mail to For convention-related questions, contact Janet Dickelman, convention chair, at (651) 428-5059 or via e-mail,

*Special Notice:

Please send a letter of request, e-mail message or telephone our NDAB Treasurer Helen Baumgartner prior to Friday, June 8th to possibly receive one of the ten $300 stipends available for members attending the year’s ACB Conference and Convention. The Board will make final decisions during the post-convention Board meeting. Requests made after the close of the state convention will not be considered.

2017 ACB Delegate Report


The 56th Annual ACB Convention was held in Sparks, Nevada, June 30th – July 6th, 2017. The meeting opened on Saturday with a welcome letter from the Nevada Governor. Outgoing officers were thanked for their service to

President Kim Charlson gave her report. Among the topics covered was a fascinating fact that 17,758 volunteer hours were reported last year by ACB members. She equated this to over $420,000 of service contributions. Issues ACB continues to advocate for are the implementation of the ADA, the Medicare Demonstration and Coverage of Low Vision Devices Act, accessible currency and the Macy – Sullivan Act. ACB is in the process of developing/implementing a new strategic plan. The ACB Link app is being promoted. Thus far, over 5,000 people have downloaded the app.

Throughout the week, speakers from various large companies shared their work with ACB in attempts to make accessibility more widely available for people with vision loss. Such companies included AT&T, Google, MicroSoft, JPMorgan Chase, etc. Five leadership fellows selected by JPMorgan were introduced, one of them being Michelle Zentz from Fargo.

One of my favorite speakers/topics was Karen Keninger, director of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. She outlined five goals for NLS: maintain quality, add more content, leverage technology to improve reading and delivery, expand the patron base, and improve braille literacy. Recent NLS accomplishments include distribution of more than 50,000 currency readers, and the release of BARD Express and BARD Mobile. This year NLS expects to add 1,000 new commercial titles to its collection, and 2,000 titles recorded by talking book narrators. All 37,000 cassette titles in the BARD collection will be converted to cartridge by summer’s end. She described the Orbit Reader and a braille display that will deliver books digitally. The Orbit Reader will be piloted first at Perkins, and by next summer, at eight regional libraries. NLS is also considering design possibilities for the next generation of talking book machines. Madalyn Buzzard, a talking book narrator, gave a variety of her experiences narrating books for NLS.

Joel Snyder gave an update on the audio description project. On July 13, the FCC was scheduled to vote to increase audio description to 7 hours on network television. There are more than 1,000 hours of described content for Netflix. Amazon announced that titles will now be described. In 2018, all movie theaters in the U.S. will have audio description equipment. And for the first time, the Olympics were audio-described.

Many awards were presented throughout the week, one of interest being to the Visually Impaired Veterans of America with an Affiliate Growth Award for increasing its membership by 327 percent. The Utah Council of the Blind received the Affiliate Growth Award for having added 65 new members.

As treasurer of NDAB, I found the ACB auction and walk to be a challenge for NDAB to achieve!! The auction raised over $16,000, and the walk raised $63,000.

Similar to the NDAB Convention, at the ACB Convention many resolutions were read and passed. Bylaws which needed to be changed were read, discussed and passed. A slate of officers was read with a vote taken at the end of the convention.

Different sessions which I attended during the convention were the President’s Meeting, where I learned that North Dakota’s ACB liaison is Patrick Sheehan. The fact that each state is assigned a liaison was new information for me. I also heard about ACB Link during this meeting and the things the app can be used for. Another meeting I attended was the Membership Meeting. I found most of what was discussed during this meeting were things that did not specifically pertain to NDAB or that we are already doing what other states are to recruit and retain members. Various sessions on personal growth were also attended throughout the week.

I would like to thank NDAB for allowing me to fill the role as ACB Convention Delegate. It was an interesting and educational experience. I found it amazing how much NDAB and ACB Conventions are similar, yet very different!

With gratitude and appreciation,
Helen Baumgartner, 2017 ACB Delegate

Donations and Memorials

AmazonSmile – $6.84
Trudy Lenzmeier (Thrivent Donation) – $53.00
Total: $59.84

Paula Anundson and Connie Ertelt in memory of Hilda Freadrich, Lyle Nelson in memory of Irene Nelson, Bill and Becky Marion in memory of Donna Rixen, and Ruth and Robert Geske in memory of Harold Taylor.
Total: $165.00

Total donations and memorials: $224.84

Helen Baumgartner, NDAB Treasurer

Area man celebrates a ‘new language’ of sight

By Helmut Schmidt on Mar 22, 2018

Allan Peterson talks Monday, March 19, 2018, outside his office at North Dakota State University about the image processing unit hanging from his neck that interprets movement from a video camera in his glasses to send flashes of light to a chip embedded in his retina. He has been blind for three decades.

Read the whole story at

Constitution and Bylaws Committee Report 2018

Greetings Members;

Plans are falling into place for the 2018 Convention. I understand a new sound system has been purchased and some listening devices may also be available for better communication this year.
You won’t want to miss Trampes Brown’s article on parliamentary procedure in the May issue of the Promoter. If you do, he will also provide us with a few pointers and helpful tips on parliamentary procedure at convention.
The Constitution and Bylaws Committee met together in October and via conference call in December to review the structure and procedures of our governing documents. There is a total of five proposed amendments being brought forward which we believe are representative of our findings. Two of the proposed amendments were submitted from the membership and are listed below in the order they appear within our governing documents.
Take some time to read through the proposed amendments so you are ready for discussion. If you have any questions about the proposed amendments before convention, feel free to give us a call.

Submitted on behalf of Constitution and Bylaws Committee
Michelle Zentz
Allan Peterson
Trampes Brown

2018 Proposed Amendments

Where it states within the Bylaws Article III. Membership Section 3: Delinquent members may be re-instated upon payment of current dues. If a member’s current dues are not paid during a calendar year, that person’s membership is forfeited and they must reapply to become a member.
Proposed clerical amendment: Strike through the last sentence and replace with the following: If a member’s current dues are not paid by May 30th, their membership is forfeited and they must reapply to become a member.
Justification: The amendment reflects the adopted amendment made to Article III Section 7. Dues of the Constitution in 2017.

Where it states in the Constitution Article V. Executive Board Section 3. Meetings: B. The executive board shall be called into session at the discretion of the president or upon request of ten (10%) of the members of NDAB, or upon request of any three (3) members of the executive board.
And, where it states within the By-Laws and Standing Rules Article IV. Executive Board Section 1: The executive board shall receive and act upon petitions by members if such petitions carry the names of at least ten (10%) of members in good standing. And, where it states within Section 7: For voting purposes, the executive board may be polled by postal mail, electronic mail or telephone call. The secretary shall keep an accurate record of such polls. The executive board shall be called into full executive session at the discretion of the president or on petition by ten (10%) of the members of NDAB or upon petition of any three (3) members of the executive board.
Proposed substantive Amendment: Add the word “percent following the written word ten in the first two occurrences listed above. Strike through the sentence The executive board shall be called into full executive session at the discretion of the president or on petition by ten (10%) of the members of NDAB or upon petition of any three (3) members of the executive board within Section 5.
Justification: The current wording as written can mean either 10 members or 10 percent of the members which would be approximately 20 members of NDAB. The placement of the sentence listed above is repetitive of Section 1. and not necessary to be included within the text of Section 5.

Where it states in Article VIII. Dissolution Section 1. within the Constitution: Upon the dissolution of this organization, the executive board after paying or making provisions for the payment of all of the liabilities of NDAB, shall dispose of all the assets of this corporation to such organizations which have been organized and operated exclusively for charitable, educational, religious, or scientific purposes qualifying under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code and any future tax code.
3. Proposed structural Amendment: Move Article VIII. of the Constitution to the Bylaws following Article VII.
Justification: This information refers to a procedure which would be followed only if such an event might occur and need not be included within the Constitution.

Where it states in the Constitution: Article IX. Miscellaneous Provisions Section 1. NDAB is organized and located in the state of North Dakota as a not for profit corporation under the laws of North Dakota and the 501(c) (3) tax code of the Internal Revenue Service or any future tax code.
Section 2. North Dakota Association of the Blind is a state affiliate of the American Council of the Blind (ACB). Through this affiliation, all members of NDAB are also members of the American Council of the Blind and have all the rights and privileges so conferred by such membership.
4. Proposed structural amendment: Strike through the entire Article IX. Miscellaneous Provisions and it’s listed sections.
Justification: There should not be an Article named Miscellaneous Provisions within an organization’s Constitution. This information is already included within the Articles of Incorporation Article VI- Location Section 1. and Article VII-Corporation Status Section 2. filed with the Secretary of State and does not need to be repeated again within the Constitution.

Where it states in the Bylaws within Article VI. Amendments to the Bylaws Section 3.: A two-thirds (2/3) vote of those present and voting at a convention is required to pass all proposed amendments.
5. Proposed substantive amendment: Strike out two-thirds (2/3) and revise sentence to read:
Section 3. A simple majority vote of those present and voting at a convention is required to pass all proposed amendments to the bylaws.
Justification: This amendment was brought forth during the 2016 Convention. The organization was advised that governing documents should require a 2/3 vote for their amendment. We agree this is true for the Constitution which lays down the principles or rules of how our organization is structured. It is our opinion the Bylaws which are supposed to contain the procedures for carrying out those principles should be a document which is easier to amend.
Submitted on behalf of a NDAB member.

Just Talking

Are you interested in learning new things? Do you enjoy sharing what you know with others? Do you like to know what is going on around you? If so, you will want to use your phone and dial 515-604-9797, access code 824825 the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 7;00 p.m. Remember there will be long distance charges unless you call in with a phone that is toll free such as a cell phone or home phone with free long distance.

Ten NDAB members met on Tuesday, March 13 via teleconference. We spent an hour together talking, laughing and organizing a new communication format for NDAB members. We decided to name it “Just Talking.” Possible call topics were discussed. Let us know what you would like to talk about!

We will announce the topics in each Promoter. Dial in every month or just when there is a topic that interests you. We are open to suggestions and welcome you as a guest host if there is something you would like to share. We decided on the following:

April 17 – The Amazing Amazon Echo Dot – Check it out and discover how you can get Alexa to work for you.

May 15 – All About Vacations. Share vacation tips, the most amazing destination. How do you make the most of your vacation dollar?

June 19 – Stepping out of the Box – What do you want to do or have done that wasn’t in your comfort zone? Did it help you to grow as a person or were you scared spitless? Perhaps it provided you with a sense of accomplishment and boosted your self confidence.

July 17 – What’s Cookin’ – What is the best thing you ever made or ate? Share your favorite time-saving cooking tip. Don’t come hungry, do come prepared to talk about a popular four-letter word – FOOD!

Let’s start talking.

Candy’s Corner

I recently learned about an amazing new product that might be of interest to some of you. It is called the Betty Crocker Pizza Maker Plus, available From Amazon for $40.00.
The Pizza Maker Plus is a countertop appliance that can be used for multiple cooking projects, including grilled cheese sandwiches, chicken strips, French fries, onion rings, tater tots, cookies, and, of course—pizza. It’s also the simplest omelet maker ever! This gadget is easy to use for people with all degrees of vision loss. It’s clam-shell design, with a non-stick cooking surface, allows for super-easy clean-up—just wipe it out with a damp cloth.  And you don’t have to worry about setting the temperature; just plug it in and when the green light goes on, or you hear it click, it is preheated. It can also be used to re-heat left-over foods like pizza and fries and they come out crisp, not soggy, as can often occur with a microwave. The Pizza Maker Plus cooks just as quickly as a regular oven but is much easier to handle. It comes with a recipe booklet.   This item may just become one of your favorite and most frequently used tools in the kitchen!

Lean Forward and Follow Your Dreams

Submitted by Loris Van Berkom

“Lift your chin and smile!” That was the last thing I heard before I was freefalling towards earth for 46 seconds at 143 miles an hour.

Perhaps I should start at the beginning of this story. For many years, I have been checking items off my bucket list. On February 12th in San Marcos, Texas, a dear friend helped me check off the top item. I have always wanted to go skydiving. I had experienced freefalling a couple of years ago in Orlando in a simulated event called “I Fly.” My son arranged that for me thinking that I would give up the notion of skydiving. Needless to say, his plan didn’t work!

It was a rather cool but sunny day when my friend and I drove to Skydive San Marcos where I had scheduled a tandem skydive. We arrived in plenty of time for her to read to me a lengthy document consisting of lawyer jargon basically giving up any rights to sue in the event of an accident. After I had initialed all eighteen paragraphs, we also watched a video telling us how dangerous it was to skydive. Never the less, I approached the counter with my signed, initialed form, credit card in hand, ready to pay. I was asked for my doctor’s permission of which I was unaware of needing. Apparently, on their web site, it says that anyone over the age of 65 needs a doctor’s permission. A few days before I left on my trip to Texas, I had just had my final appointment with the orthopedist who did my rotator cuff repair surgery. I had asked her if I could go skydiving and she laughed and said that if I was so inclined, she didn’t see any reason why not. (Actually, I think that the word “crazy” was in her statement.) I called her office and discovered that she was in surgery. Her nurse found my chart and read the notes from my last visit in which she had stated that we had talked about skydiving. The manager said that he would accept those notes so they were quickly faxed to him. I thought that it would be clear sailing now. Not so. Then he said, “You are seventy.” I’m not sure what that number had to do with my ability to partake in this activity, but I immediately assured him that I was still 69 until July. They finally took my credit card and I was approved for the jump.

I decided that a trip to the bathroom was in order first and while I was taking care of business my phone rang. It was my doctor checking to make sure that the information that the nurse had faxed to us was enough. After telling her that it was, she told me to have fun.

Immediately departing the bathroom, Andrew, a very handsome young man, met me and said it was time to get suited up. He assisted me in donning a jump suit and my part of the harness. We walked out to the plane with two other couples and the videographers and climbed in. I’m not sure what I expected but there were no comfortable bucket seats but only a bench that we straddled. As we ascended, Andrew connected our harnesses together as he very calmly reviewed the instructions he had given me earlier. There was a lot of sky diving humor that I told them wasn’t very funny, but it was all done to keep things very light and relaxed. The plane reached the two-mile altitude and it was time to put on my goggles and scoot over to the open door in a squat position.

I had always thought that you jump out of the plane, but we just leaned forward and fell. I’m pretty sure that it was Andrew doing the leaning and since we were harnessed together, I had no choice but to follow.

I’m not sure why, but I kept my eyes closed while freefalling. I had the smile still plastered on my face and realized that my mouth was getting extremely dry, so I promptly closed it. When the parachute opened, it was a huge jolt that shot us back up before floating down at 31 miles an hour.

I often have dreams about floating down the stairs which I have discovered the hard way that it is impossible to do. Floating to the ground with a parachute above gave me that very peaceful feeling. Andrew told me to sit back into the harness just like sitting on a swing and he twirled us around. I was instructed to stretch my legs out and before I knew it, I sat quite softly on the ground.

I had purchased a video package so my entire skydiving event was captured for posterity. The only downside to the entire adventure was that it was only in the 40s and I was very cold.

I have been asked many times if my friend went skydiving with me. She is very afraid of heights and was very happy to keep her feet firmly planted on the ground and pray for my safety. I had not told anyone about my plans, so when the video was posted on Facebook, I got many comments. I had not even told my children what I was planning, and their responses were less than favorable. Oh well, sometimes you just need to live a little, lean forward and follow your dreams.

So far, I have ridden in a hot air balloon and a helicopter and been skydiving. What’s next you ask? Zip lining, here I come!

Be My Eyes joins forces with Moovit

Public transit can impose a challenge for people who are blind or have low vision and rely on public transit to get to work and travel independently. Catching the right train, finding the bus stop or determining your departure time is imperative to getting to your destination quickly and easily. Be My Eyes’ goal is to make the world more accessible for people with blindness or vision loss, including public transportation. With Be My Eyes, blind and low vision users are connected to sighted volunteers with a tap of a button, who are ready to help them navigate to work, find their way through a new environment or choose the best transit route.

How Be My Eyes users have used Moovit for traveling with public transportation

“I used to have to ask someone to tell me what bus stop I was at or which tram was coming, but now Moovit can help.” – Peter, United States “Moovit helped me find the right train platform, and once it arrived I used Be My Eyes to make my way on board.” – Marco, Switzerland

About Moovit
Moovit <> is the world’s largest transit data and
analytics company and the number one transit app. Moovit simplifies urban mobility all around the world; getting around town via transit easier and more convenient.
Until Moovit, no public transport apps provided additional support for low vision folks to improve their transit experience. Relying purely on driver or station announcements wasn’t a comprehensive solution. For the 253 million blind and low vision people in the world, traveling on public transportation can be difficult without accessible infrastructure, but accessible technology can help.

Moovit worked with Adi Kushnir, a blind a developer who provided his own first-hand experience as a blind transit rider. Kushnir helped create an accessible integration and ensure the app would be easy to use for all visually impaired users.

Moovit has made every screen accessible with VoiceOver and TalkBack enabled on iOS and Android devices. With the accessible integration, low vision users simply hold their finger on their phone screen to hear which button or icon is beneath it, helping them to navigate more seamlessly through the app and allowing them to plan trips on public transit with ease. With the Live Directions feature, they get step-by-step GPS-style guidance for their journey and even receive alerts when the bus is arriving or when they’ve reached their stop.

By combining information from public transit operators and authorities with live information from the user community, Moovit offers travelers a real-time picture, including the best route for their journey. Named “Best Local App” by Google in 2016 and one of Apple’s “Best Apps of 2017”, Moovit launched in 2012 and surpassed 100 million users in five years. The app is available in 44 languages, in over 1,800 cities, and across 79 countries.
Blind and low vision Moovit users can now access Be My Eyes directly from the Moovit app, to ensure a smooth journey with public transportation.
You can download Moovit in App Store and Google Play> .
You can learn more about Moovit on

Organized Chaos

Submitted by Trampes Brown

As I sit at my desk and scan both my computer desktop and the stacks of paper and other miscellaneous items, I wonder how do I make this all work. Well, the simple answer is organized chaos. I picked up that term from a restaurant I used to work at; it referred to the seemingly chaotic motion and interactions of all the kitchen and wait staff. A guest at the restaurant would think these people are crazy. They are going to run into each other, or they seem to have no rhyme or reason to their movements. In all actuality, every action had a purpose and a flow, there were no wasted trips in or out of the kitchen, and everyone on the team was working together for a common goal of providing a wonderful dining experience. All of these motions, actions, and duties were trained and supervised by the management staff of the restaurant. As I describe the activities from this job, I cannot help but see the similarities between the actions in the restaurant and how Parliamentary procedure can help the function of an organization’s business meeting.

As many of you have already learned, I really enjoy proper parliamentary procedure. Yes, I am a nerd. You can laugh if you want…it’s ok. Robert’s Rules of Order are the procedural standard that guide most meetings. While every group can be as strict or lacks as they choose in how Robert’s Rules are utilized, in general, the closer an organization can adhere to the procedures the better the meeting will flow, creating fewer issues overall.

While the North Dakota Association of the Blind operates its meetings very efficiently, there are always a few things to keep in mind to help us function even better at our board meetings and state conventions.
Debate or discussion of a topic is technically not allowed prior to a motion being made and seconded, then the President would ask for discussion.
For each motion or amendment, each individual is limited to speaking only two times unless asked a question for clarification.
The president or individual presiding over the meeting has the ability to suspend some of the rules of meeting operations, such as not having a limit on debate time or occurrences.
These are just a few of the very basic rules and guidelines of parliamentary procedure that can help NDAB function at a higher level. If you have any questions about parliamentary procedure or how to have more efficient meetings, feel free to reach out to the board at any time.

Toronto Astrophysicist Offers a Musical Guide Through the Universe

TORONTO — A Canadian astrophysicist who used the orbital patterns of seven newly discovered planets to create music will be bringing his work to the public in a Toronto show that will also allow those with visual impairments to experience the wonders of the universe.

REad the whole article at

How to Really See a Blind Person

By Brad Snyder
This article was submitted by Allan Peterson

I tell my story a lot. I tell the story of how I wasn’t always blind. I tell the story of how I lost my vision while serving in Afghanistan, by stepping on an I.E.D. I tell the story of how I put my own injury into perspective by considering the greater sacrifice of my fallen comrades, and how I owed it to them to make the most of my escape from death.
I tell the story of how I did that by winning a gold medal in swimming at the Paralympics on the first anniversary of the loss of my vision. And after I tell it, people often thank me. They tell me that it’s an incredible story, and that I’m a good storyteller. They tell me how inspiring it is to see how I’ve overcome my blindness.

Read the whole story at:

Why We Need Emoji Representing People with Disabilities

When Carrie Wade first heard the news that Apple was proposing emoji to represent people with disabilities, she felt happy — then immediately curious about what sorts of emoji Apple had come up with. Wade has cerebral palsy and works at the American Association of People with Disabilities. To finally have emoji made specifically for people like her felt like an important step forward.

Read the whole article at:

In the Spin Cycle

Reprinted with permission from Steve Goodier

As Norm said on one episode of the television show Cheers, “We live in a dog eat dog world and sometimes it seems like we have milk bone underwear on.” It can be tough, I know.

An old story tells of a little boy who went into a grocery store and asked for extra strength laundry detergent. As the clerk was finding it, he asked the boy what he wanted to use it for. He said he wanted to give his pet rat a bath.
The clerk replied, “Well, I think that this detergent is a bit strong for a rat. I’m not sure that I would use it.”
The child said that he believed it would be all right and the grocer added, “Just be careful. This is awfully strong detergent.”
About a week later, the boy came back. When asked by the grocer how his rat was, he said, “Well, he just sort of walks around in a daze.”
“I’m sorry to hear that,” sympathized the clerk. “But I did tell you that the detergent was probably too strong.”
“Oh, I really don’t think it was the detergent,” the boy replied. “I believe it was the spin cycle that did it.”
Do you ever feel as if you have been through the spin cycle? Maybe even hung out to dry? Living through pain and suffering is like going through the spin cycle. Often our pain is physical, the result of illness or injury. But more often we suffer from emotional pain like loss, fear, worry, rejection, loneliness, guilt or depression. In either case, sometimes we feel as if we have been through the spin cycle.
We sometimes long for a world with no pain, no problems, no obstacles, no disappointments, no hurts, no handicaps, no troubles. We wish our bodies might always run like fine-tuned machines – no permanent breakdowns, no serious illness – purring along forever, or at least until they quickly and painlessly cease to function altogether (and, of course, at the time of our choosing). We might crave a world where loss is unknown, loneliness unheard of and all things unpleasant somehow banished.
But the truth is, we live in a world with pain. And we all experience our share. We can run, but we can’t hide from suffering. It will always find us. And should we even try to run from it? For as much as we hate going through tough times – the spins cycles of life – even hardships help us to grow. It’s amazing, but our most difficult times can serve this valuable purpose.
Helen Keller, without sight or hearing, suffered her share of pain. But after many years of anger and hostility toward her “solitary confinement,” she was eventually able to say, “I thank God for my handicaps. For through them, I have found myself, my work and my God.”
I don’t know if you can give thanks for your sufferings, but can you accept them as the indispensable teachers they are? Can you embrace trouble as a necessary (if unwelcome) part of life? The spin cycles we inevitably go through are not the problem; getting stuck in them is the problem. Find your way through and you just may come out stronger than ever.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.