The Promoter – May 2021

Table of Contents {#table-of-contents .TOC-Heading}

From the President 3

From the Vice-President 5

From the Editor 6

NDAB Welcomes New Members 7

Members of our NDAB Family 7

Remembering a Former NDAB Friend 7

Just Talking 8

NDAB Book Club News 10

Attention NDAB Members! 12

2021 NDAB Convention Keynote Speaker on Kindness 13

Convention Standing Rules of Order 14

2021 Constitution and Bylaws Committee Report 16

2021 Nominations Report 17

NDAB Summer Camp Plans for 2021 18

Health journey 21

News of an NDAB Friend 21


Donations January-March 2021 28

Development Report, Spring 2021 41

Legislative Report, Spring 2021 44



From the President

Hello Everyone,

How’s your weather? When you hear a weather report like, “Today will be partly cloudy” do you focus on the clouds or on the implied sunshine?

It is April in North Dakota and those of us who have lived here for long know our weather this time of the year can vary greatly ranging from warm, sunny days to cold and overcast with blowing snow.

This morning I awoke to the birds in the trees outside my bedroom window enthusiastically singing their happy spring melody. You can imagine my momentary confusion when I opened my eyes. Outside, everything was white! Yes, even the grass Steven mowed amid a whirlwind of dirt on Saturday was shivering under a blanket of snow.

For me living with COVID-19 this past year has been 365 days of a similar type of confusion. There have been days of sunny optimism and days clouded by disappointment and negativity.

I experienced a dramatic change to my previous schedule of working part time, attending weekly in-person church services, bible study and quilting group. I missed out on a scheduled family trip to Yellowstone, normal family gatherings for birthdays and holidays, fishing, and camping. These changes were disappointing but not all bad. They gave me an opportunity to reflect on what is most important in my life. The old saying, “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone.” comes to mind. Out of necessity we have found creative ways to connect while social distancing and isolating. In many ways those efforts were more appreciated and treasured than ever before because we didn’t take them for granted.

Disappointments were not only limited to us as individuals but have also been experienced by organizations like NDAB. In 2020, there was no camp, no convention, no raffle, no support group meetings…

However, we are a resilient bunch and we found ways to get together via Zoom on a weekly basis through Tech Talk Tuesday, Coffee Chat on We Care Wednesday, and Independence Thursday. We met monthly with Just Talking and Fargo Insight Support Group gatherings. A successful Giving Hearts Day campaign was planned and executed. (Be sure to read Allan’s Development Report to read about the success of this event.) The Sports and Recreation Committee hosted a great recreation retreat last fall. With teamwork our NDAB Board has been successful in continuing to carry out the business of the organization. We continued to advocate for legislative issues despite being unable to physically go to Capitol Hill or attend sessions of the 67^th^ ND Legislative Assembly. For details, see Legislative Report.

Even though the pandemic seems to be lessening its grip, the forecast continues to be “partly cloudy”. However, we are determined to focus on the sunny parts and try to ignore the clouds.

Our extended forecast includes:

  • Continued opportunities to learn and socialize through our weekly sessions.
  • A virtual NDAB convention June 11-13 where we will Get ‘er Done in ’21 — with Kindness. Be sure to return your registration form by mail or complete at before the deadline of May 7^th^. Read information about our speaker and the Convention Standing Rules located elsewhere in this issue.
  • Just Talking on May 18 will further introduce you to what to expect when attending the 2021 NDAB Convention, both the familiar and the new.
  • Attending the 2021 ACB Convention will be within everyone’s budget as it will be held virtually July 16-24. Learn how all ACB members will be able to vote in the election during Just Talking on June 15.
  • Getting super excited about getting together at NDAB Adult Summer Camp, August 8-15.
  • Planning ahead to enjoy the Recreation Retreat in the fall.

Here’s hoping the weather you experience in your life will be “mostly sunny” despite any clouds you may encounter.

Best Regards,

Zelda Gebhard

From the Vice-President

Membership is alive and well. We have recertified our members, who have renewed their membership. During these past few months, I have been reaching out to members, who have both renewed and not yet done so. We are very fortunate to have a lot of members, who have placed their talents into our community to make it what it is today.

If you have not yet renewed your membership, it is truly never too late. Please contact me using my contact information in your appendix or utilize our website to renew your membership and pay your membership dues.

I have enjoyed speaking with many of your during our membership renewal process. It is nice to put voices and faces to names as well as to get to know who each member is and what they would like to see in our organization.

When recruiting members, it is always a good idea to mention all aspects of the organization. Not everyone will be interested in being a member, yet there are so many ways we can encourage and inspire involvement in our organization. Donating, fundraising, volunteering, and beyond: we appreciate all types of involvement. It is important for us to welcome individuals and entities without bias or obligation. We have all joined NDAB in a time that fits best in our lives. We should respect other people’s boundaries and the choices they make in regards to being members of our organization.

We are excited to welcome Peg Hansen and Greg Otis of West Fargo as well as Morgan Foster of Jamestown as new members of our organization. It is always nice to have new faces and talents among our community.

We also would like to extend our condolences to family and friends of Helen Arntzen, who passed away on March 25, 2021. She will be a very missed member, and we will memorialize her during our upcoming memorial service.

As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding membership, please feel free to connect with me using the information in the appendix.

I hope all of you are enjoying this seasonal and timely weather, and I look forward to connecting with you virtually at our 2021 convention.

Let’s Get ‘er Done!


From the Editor

Hello NDAB!

As many of you may know, this will be the last edition of The Promoter with me as editor. I have given this a lot of thought and have decided it is time to step down. I wish the best of luck to my successor! When I was first elected, I was told that I would “grow.” Well, I can honestly say that I have definitely learned a lot in my two years in this role. I learned that there is much more to this position than meets the eye and that it can be so cool to see each edition of The Promoter come together. I have learned that the position of Promoter editor can be both rewarding and challenging and that there is never really a dull moment when compiling each issue and getting it sent out to the membership. I have had the opportunity to work with many NDAB members as well. Thank you to all of those who sent in articles to me in these past two years. The Promoter would not be what it is without your contributions and dedication to NDAB. I also want to thank those who helped me feel more at ease as editor by answering my thousands of questions. Your insight is much appreciated! I am not quite sure what my next adventure will be in NDAB, but I am excited to see what the future holds! Thank you all for the opportunity to be your Promoter editor and for allowing me to learn and “grow” in these last two years.


Lexee Steffan, Promoter Editor

NDAB Welcomes New Members

NDAB welcomes the following new members:

Michelle Engraf of Hettinger, ND; Sharee Lafromboise of Belcourt, ND; Peg Hansen and Greg Otis of West Fargo, ND; and Morgan Foster of Jamestown, ND.

Members of our NDAB Family

We extend sincere condolences to the family and friends of Helen Arntzen of Bottineau. Helen passed away on March 25, 2021. She was 93 years old at the time of her passing.

Remembering a Former NDAB Friend

Submitted by Loris Van Berkom

Elaine Rose Rud, 90, of Kasson, MN, passed away on Sunday, March 21, 2021 at her home.

If you attended our summer camp when Donna Jean Harstad was the director, you will remember Elaine. Donna Jean and Elaine went to school together and they were lifelong friends. She always drove DJ to camp and taught some craft classes. When Bob and I were at the Mayo Clinic dealing with Bob’s surgeries due to cancer, Elaine would sit with me so I didn’t have to face waiting during those surgeries alone.

Elaine was born on November 8, 1930 to Emil and Ragna (Lee) Asleson in Ambrose, ND. She attended Oak Grove High School in Fargo, ND. After high school she attended college in Minot, ND and in Williston, ND. She went on to work in civil service for the United States Air Force in California and North Dakota. She moved back to North Dakota in 1977 to take care of her parents. In 2003, she moved to her home in Kasson, MN.

Elaine enjoyed art, painting and silversmithing. She also loved to play the piano and sing. She will be deeply missed.

Elaine is survived by her children, Linda (Tom) Carpenter, Arlen Rud, and Judy Rud, all of Kasson, MN, three grandchildren, six great grandchildren, and two sisters. She was preceded in death by her parents, a sister and grandson-in-law.

Just Talking

Join us on the third Tuesday of each month from 7- 8 PM. To attend, see the Zoom information listed below.

Zoom Connections:  

Link for computer or smart devices


One tap mobile


Landline or cell phone

Dial: 1 253 215 8782

Meeting ID: 845 243 2062#

There will be long distance charges unless you call in with a cell phone or home phone with free long distance.

Topics for the next three months:

May 18 — Come and hear all about the 2021 Virtual NDAB Convention and how we plan to Get’er done in ’21 — with Kindness.

June 15 — Everyone gets to vote in the election during the ACB Conference and Convention this year. Find out how you can meet the candidates and cast your ballot.

July 20 — Pack those bags and head to Camp! No camp in 2020 means we will have double the fun in 2021! Some things will be the same and some things will be different — plan to enjoy it all!

To suggest a topic, dial 701-493-2399.

Let’s keep talking!

NDAB Book Club News

Submitted by Trampes Brown and Emily Stenberg

We’ve had a great time reading and discussing a variety of books over the last few months and we are excited to announce the next few book selections! Here are the books we will be reading May — August for the Coffee Chat Book Club that is led by Trampes and Emily. They are all available from Audible, Bookshare, BARD and Talking Book.

May 5^th^ at 10 a.m. & 7 p.m.

Book: The Shack by William P. Young

Available on Audible, Bookshare, BARD or Talking Book

DB 67237

Synopsis: Mackenzie Allen Phillips\’s youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later, in the midst of his Great Sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he find there will change his life forever.

June 2^nd ^at 10 a.m. & 7 p.m.

Book: Beautiful Boy by David Sheff

Available on Audible, Bookshare, BARD or Talking Book

DB 66107

Synopsis: Before meth, the author’s son, Nic, was a varsity athlete, honor student and award-winning journalist. After meth, he was a trembling wraith who stole money from his eight-year-old brother and lived on the streets. With haunting candor, Sheff traces the first warning signs, the attempts at rehabilitation and, at last, the way past addiction. He shows us that, whatever an addict\’s fate, the rest of the family must care for one another, too, lest they become addicted to addiction.

July 7^th^ at 10 a.m. & 7 p.m.

Book: Being Heumann by Judith Heumann

Available on Audible, Bookshare, BARD or Talking Book

DB 100399

Synopsis: Paralyzed from polio at 18 months, Judy\’s struggle for equality began early in life. From fighting to attend grade school after being described as a “fire hazard” to later winning a lawsuit against the New York City school system for denying her a teacher\’s license because of her paralysis, Judy\’s actions set a precedent that fundamentally improved rights for disabled people. Working with a community of more than 150 disabled activists and allies, Judy successfully pressured the Carter administration to implement protections for disabled peoples\’ rights, sparking a national movement and leading to the creation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Candid, intimate, and irreverent, Judy Heumann\’s memoir about resistance to exclusion invites listeners to imagine and make real a world in which we all belong.

August 4^th^ at 10 a.m. & 7 p.m.

Book: Lives of Edie Pritchard by Larry Watson

Available on Audible, Bookshare, BARD or Talking Book

DB 100414

Synopsis: Edie – smart, self-assured, beautiful – always worked hard. She worked as a teller at a bank, she worked to save her first marriage, and later, she worked to raise her daughter even as her second marriage came apart. Really, Edie just wanted a good life, but everywhere she turned, her looks defined her. Two brothers fought over her. Her second husband became unreasonably possessive and jealous. Her daughter resented her. And now, as a grandmother, Edie finds herself harassed by a younger man. It’s been a lifetime of proving that she is allowed to exist in her own sphere. The Lives of Edie Pritchard tells the story of one woman just trying to be herself, even as multiple men attempt to categorize and own her.

Thanks to everyone who has been participating in Book Club! We meet the first Wednesday of every month at 10 a.m. during Coffee Chat. If you can’t make it then, or if you want to keep discussing the book, join us that same evening at 7 p.m. Please refer to the weekly Sneak Peek emails from President Zelda Gebhard for the Zoom link to join in on the conversations. Reach out to Trampes or Emily with any questions about Book Club or with your ideas on what we should read next!

Attention NDAB Members!

We want to get to know you more.

The NDAB social media committee, consisting of Lilli Mann, Gretchen Campbell, Ali Engraf, Trampes Brown and Andy Davis, would like to introduce anyone who would be willing to submit an introductory to us to the followers of the NDAB Facebook page. This is 100% optional. If interested, here are some ideas of what to include:

  • Name
  • General Location
  • Brief description of your vision condition
  • How vision loss has affected you
  • Hobbies/Activities
  • The impact NDAB has had on your life
  • Your favorite NDAB memory
  • Photo(s) of yourself
  • Any additional information of your choice

We think this will be a great way for people to get to know our unique and talented members within our community as well as highlight the diversity and strength within our organization.

If you would like to submit an introductory, please email Gretchen Campbell or Ali Engraf or send your submissions to our PO Box for review.

Please note all submissions will be subject to edits by the Facebook coordinator and contributors.

Respectfully Submitted,

Lilli Mann, Social Media Contributor

2021 NDAB Convention Keynote Speaker on Kindness

Meet Bob “Mr. Attitude” Prentice. For over 30 years, Bob Prentice has been positively impacting the lives of thousands of people through his motivational speaking, corporate training, and business consulting. A true entrepreneur, Bob has authored, produced, and published hundreds of articles, a book, and numerous podcasts, that convey his message to the world.

Interestingly enough, Bob has accomplished all of this without ever going to work — because he loves his work so much, he considers it play!

Bob’s quest to help humanity began at home with a loving, 41-year marriage to his wife Vicki. Together they have enjoyed the pleasure and privilege of raising and mentoring two sons and two daughters to adulthood by using the same values and strategies that Bob shares with his audiences.

Although Bob has delivered effective and empowering workshops on Customer Service, Leadership, Sales and Team Building to hundreds of companies, hospitals, schools, and organizations all over the USA, his most important mission is now YOU. It’s YOUR turn to join the ranks of the 400,000 people who have benefited from Bob’s inspirational and motivational message.

Attitude is everything, so it’s no accident that Bob Prentice was nicknamed “Mr. Attitude” by his family, friends, and the many people whose lives he has touched.

Used with permission:

Convention Standing Rules of Order

The North Dakota Association of the Blind, Incorporated

Convention Standing Rules of Order

The following Standing Rules will apply to all business conducted during the 85th NDAB Virtual Convention to be held June 12 and 13, 2021.

Rules and Etiquette

Registered attendees may join the Virtual Convention via the Zoom Webinar platform using a landline, computer, or device of choice. To ensure a good experience for all attendees, rules must be followed. Anyone not following these rules may be dropped from the Convention by the moderator.

1. All participants will be automatically muted.

2. To seek the floor for any reason, you must raise your hand.

3. The moderator will alert the chair when someone has raised their hand and seeks the floor. Once recognized by the chair, the moderator will ask you to unmute and lower your hand. When finished speaking, the moderator will mute you.

4. Remember, you will need to raise your hand when you wish to ask for the floor again. While your hand is raised and you are waiting to speak, make sure your surroundings are quiet. Background noise is amplified when you are unmuted and will prevent others from hearing clearly.

5. The use of foul language, inappropriate use of the chat box or any other disrespectful behavior will not be tolerated. Any individuals engaging in such behaviors may be immediately dropped and reentry blocked by the moderator.

Rules of Debate

On matters of debate, such debate is limited to 20 minutes per issue. If debate is to continue after this time period, it must be approved by a simple majority vote of those assembled. Each person speaking is limited to 3 minutes and may not receive the floor again unless no others are calling for the floor who have not already spoken. The parliamentarian will act as timekeeper.

The chair will only recognize a speaker on the opposite side of an issue after a speaker from the alternate side has had the floor.

Motions to interrupt a speaker such as Point of Order, Point of Information, Parliamentary Inquiry, Question of Privilege may be initiated by raising your hand.

Election Rules

The slate of candidates from the nominating committee will be read. During the 2021 convention, members are limited to seek only one elected position.

Nominations from the floor will be taken. Prior consent and understanding of the position’s responsibilities is expected.

During election, a total of five minutes may be used by a candidate to speak or they may allot a portion or all their time to others to speak on their behalf.

Only members who have paid their dues and convention registration fee are eligible to vote. Appointed ballot tellers will phone qualified voters during the allotted time. They will record the votes for the entire slate of candidates. They will then report the votes to the parliamentarian. The parliamentarian will tally the votes received from the tellers and report the results to the president. In races of more than two candidates, if no candidate receives a majority vote, a second election will be held on Sunday. The results of the election will be announced by the president prior to the close of the convention on Sunday.

2021 Constitution and Bylaws Committee Report

In order to make the process of having NDAB’s first virtual convention go smoothly, we will not be placing any proposed amendments to the governing documents in 2021. The committee has already prepared 9 proposed amendments to put forth at our next face to face convention.

Most likely the committee will need to do a bit of homework and spend some time considering wording for virtual conventions if necessary. In the meantime, Let’s Get “er Done in 21!

Kindest regards,

Michelle Zentz, Constitution and Bylaws Chairperson

Trampes Brown, Zelda Gebhard, and Allan Peterson

2021 Nominations Report

The Nominating Committee is very proud to announce those who are willing to serve as leaders within NDAB. Since no elections were held in 2020, the number of positions and length of each term will differ than in past years. The following is a list of the open positions, the term length and names of eligible candidates seeking election.

President, 1-year term: Trampes Brown

Vice President, 1-year term: Alexandra Engraf or Cole Roberts

Treasurer, 1- year term: Rebecca Anderson Falde

Secretary, 2-year term: Gretchen Campbell

Development Director, 2-year term: Allan Peterson

Director #3, 3-year term: Milissa Miller

Director #2, 2-year term: Dawn Freemont or Doug Stip

Editor, 1- year term: Beth Bakke Stenehjem

ACB Alternate Delegate: Allan Peterson

There will be no election for ACB Delegate since the last elected delegate was unable to attend the national ACB convention in either 2020 or 2021 due to Convention cancellations. The last elected delegate, Gretchen Campbell, will be attending the next face to face ACB Convention which will be held in Omaha, Nebraska in 2022.


The slate of candidates will be read on Saturday afternoon. Remember, members are limited to seek only one position as stated within the 2021 Convention Standing Rules.

Nominations from the floor will be taken. Make sure to raise your hand to call for the floor and be recognized by the president.

A member’s prior consent, qualification, and understanding of the position’s responsibilities is expected when nominations from the floor are made.

A total of five minutes may be used by a candidate to speak or they may allot a portion or all their time to others to speak on their behalf.

Once the entire slate of candidates has been determined it will be emailed to the Williston Korner Lion members that have volunteered to serve as our ballot tellers for 2021.

Only members who have paid their dues and convention registration fee are eligible to vote. A ballot teller will phone each eligible member and record their slate of candidate votes between the hours of 5 and 7 PM. The parliamentarian will tally the votes received from each of the ballot tellers. In races of more than two candidates, if no candidate receives a majority vote, a second election will be held. So, please refrain from using your telephone during the stated election timeframes. Only, if you have not been contacted to record your vote after 7 PM, you may call Rick Vannett. (See: Convention information packet for phone number)

On behalf of the Nominating Committee, thank you for being willing to serve NDAB and good luck to each of you!

NDAB Summer Camp Plans for 2021

Submitted by Loris Van Berkom

Plans are underway for the 50^th^ annual NDAB Summer Camp to be held at the Elks Camp Grassick August 8-15. We will be celebrating 50 years of NDAB camp throughout the week and at the Friday night banquet. 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 one’s personal needs including bathing, dressing, eating, etc.

b. Must be physically able to get oneself around the campgrounds, 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 campgrounds. 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 \$300. 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.

Health journey

By Mickey Teubner

On November 4^th^, I got up. It was just a normal day, so I thought I just did not feel good. I was short of breath and my heart was going absolutely nuts! It just so happened that I had an appointment with my oncologist on that day. So, I went to the lab and had some blood drawn and then went home for a couple of hours. Then, that afternoon, I went to see the doctor. When I got there, he saw me and said, \”you don\’t look good at all!” So, he briefly read over the lab report and said in a matter-of- fact way, \”you have been diagnosed with a rare form of Leukemia!” Later on that day, I was admitted into the hospital where I underwent 7 days of very aggressive chemo treatments! After the 7-day treatments, I went through a long stint of recovery! I was discharged from the hospital 2 days before Christmas. Then, I was placed in a rehab/nursing facility where I went through rehab to get back on my feet! I was there for tw0 and a half months and on the 8th of February, I moved in to Edgewood Village where I now reside. That, in a brief summary, is my health journey. I appreciated all of the phone calls, text messages and most of all the prayers during this long journey. I feel great! However, I am still going for checkups and some chemo treatments from time to time. I appreciate everyone and God bless!


Mickey Teubner

News of an NDAB Friend


This article is to inform you that around Christmas of 2020, Dave Sundeen was diagnosed with an incurable form of cancer called leiomyosartoma. It is located in the soft tissue of his spine.

Currently, Dave has undergone 6 weeks of radiation at the Roger Maris Cancer Center in Fargo. He received much relief from the pain he was having from the radiation treatments. On March 8th – March 12th, he underwent his first week of chemotherapy, also at Roger Maris Cancer Center. The week of March 29^th^ — April 2^nd^, he had his second week of chemotherapy. He is scheduled for his third week April 20^th^ — 24^th^. The doctors have told Dave he has a year, maybe two.

I last spoke with Dave on Friday, April 9^th^. He is doing very well. He sounds so good and is free to share any and all information.

One thing Dave would like is to hear from his NDAB family. He would greatly appreciate a call from you.

Dave can be reached at (701)847-3139. If you would like to send him a card, his address is:

Dave Sundeen, 310 Dunsmore Ave, #1 Buxton, ND 58218

Thank you for taking the time to let Dave know you are thinking of him. Your prayers would also be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Helen Baumgartner


By Cole Roberts

On Sunday, March 21, 2021, I was touched by God when a lifetime dream and love for aviation became a reality thanks to the husband of one of my mom’s coworkers who took me on a discovery/introduction flight lesson. Through a little preparation and research, I learned there are several visually impaired and blind people in the world, such as Miles Hilton Barbara, who are taking flight lessons or have their private pilot’s license. This research and my special situation on this past Sunday proves my life quote from USA Goalball: “A lack of sight doesn’t equal a lack of talent, dreams, or desire.”

My flight lesson took place at the Mandan airport in a Cessna 172, which is a Four-seater and high-winged aircraft. As soon as my parents and I arrived at the airport, my pilot met us and he and I left for the ramp where the plane was parked. My parents departing words were, “Good luck. We are going to stay here and take pictures. If you crash, we love you and nice knowing you!” As soon as my pilot and I reached the plane, he walked me around the entire aircraft and he described all the exterior and interior parts of the plane and how they work, and more importantly, how they work together. One thing that really impressed me was how much of a natural master my pilot was in giving me audio descriptive comments of what we were looking at and what was coming up next. This really helped me stay engaged and know exactly what was happening even with my eyes closed.

After our walk around, we got into the plane and got situated. I sat on the right side front seat of the plane and this is where the co-pilot normally sits. Then, the pilot explained a lot of things including our current position, the position of and the layout of the runway, the direction and speed of the wind, how we were going to taxi out to the runway, how and from which direction we were going to take off, our taxi speed, our takeoff speed and much more.

As we taxied and took off, he had me keep my feet on my foot petals and my hands on my yolk stick, so I could feel the movements of the plane and what he was doing. When we first took off, we had a lot of bumps and vibrations due to it being a very windy day. But by the time we got up to our cruising altitude of 4,000, feet it had really smoothed out. My pilot then said, “Flying for the blind can become very easy and they almost have an advantage. We are 4,000 feet above the ground. When you are on the ground and you look at an object 4,000 feet in front of you, that object is going to seam very small compared to what it would look like if you were only 20-30 feet away from that object and the same illustration is true for flying. If you could see and would look down, you couldn’t see the ground very well. Most pilots don’t look out the front window like sighted people look out their car windows, but they fly by what their flying screens say and look like and most pilots who have been flying for a while don’t even look at their screens every second. But they fly by being aware of their body’s vibrations in their hands and feet and the vibrations will tell the pilot if they are going up, down, left, or right. So, you could say it is normal and easy to fly blind.”

Once we got 4 miles from the airport, my pilot let me take the controls for a few minutes and he started to teach me how to be aware of my vibrations like he described to me when we were taking off. By the end of the flight, I was getting pretty good at it. After I flew for a little while, the pilot took back the controls and did a couple of flight tricks like a touch and go and a circle pattern. All in all, this experience was very cool and exciting. If I ever get the opportunity to do it again, I would do it in a heartbeat.

Donations January-March 2021

January Donations Total \$60.00

Cassel Everson, Linda Engraf

February Donations Total \$250.00

Donations and Memorials Total \$140.00

Tim and Carol Kachel, Tammy Winn and James Swartz, Marie Slanger,

Lyle Nelson in memory of Irene Nelson (GHD)


Capital City Lions \$100.00

Charitable Gaming

Hazen Community Chest \$10.00

March Donations Total \$3,306.00

Donations and Memorials Total \$3,231.00

Anonymous in memory of Duane Preabt, Neal and Nancy Jordheim,



Kulm Lions \$75.00

Respectfully submitted,

Rebecca Anderson, Treasurer/Registered Agent

Development Report, Spring 2021

By Allan Peterson

A very grateful THANK YOU to all who supported NDAB on Giving Hearts Day. We can’t thank you enough for your generosity. Your support is so greatly valued and so very deeply appreciated! Our financial stability is dependent upon the donations we receive and the various fund raisers we conduct.

We can declare and celebrate that our participation in this year’s 2021 Giving Hearts Day Appeal on February 11 was a success, this measured by the goals that we had set at the initiation of our planning for this event.

Initially, our goal was to raise \$25,000 from the 2021 Giving Hearts Day Appeal. Half of this goal to come from the Match Fund that we had to establish prior to the event and half from Giving Hearts Day donations.

Great news to share! We met and surpassed this goal! Giving Hearts Day records credited us with raising \$25,890. Half of this amount was generated from Giving Hearts Day donors, doubled by money from our Match Fund. The amount raised from Giving Hearts Day donors itself was \$12,945, just \$55 shy of \$13,000. This total is significantly higher than the amount we’ve raised from our previous Giving Hearts Day appeals.

In preparation for Giving Hearts Day, we raised \$14,575 for our Match Fund account. This is the fund that is used to match our donations on Giving Hearts Day. This meant that we did have a “dollar for dollar” match for all the donations that we received on Giving Hearts Day. Thanks to some very generous donors, this year’s Match fund was significantly higher than what we’ve been able to achieve previously.

We also received what we have chosen to call “bonus money”. These were from donations meant for Giving Hearts Day that were received a day or so after February 11. There were 15 such donors who gave \$1,620. Thus, the total in donations that can be credited to Giving Hearts Day donations alone is \$14,104.88.

The total number of Giving Hearts Day donors, including the 15 “bonus” donors, was 173. This is an increase from prior years.

A very appreciative THANK YOU to those of you who pitched in and helped in some way!

Special THANK YOU Acknowledgements to:

  • Our treasurer, Rebecca Anderson, for handling the donations made by check, monitoring our Giving Hearts Day online account, and sending out thank you notes to donors that had sent in checks.
  • Emily Stenberg, Lilly Mankie, and Tramps Brown for their work on creating videos for our website and Facebook page. Their creativity and work on many videos that were used during the weeks that led up to Giving Hearts Day is so very greatly appreciated! These will be used to help promote our cause in the future as well!
  • Zelda Gebhard and Michelle Zentz for the many hours of work to create, refine and maintain our donor database. Actually, this is an ongoing effort.
  • Missy Miller and Whitney Engbrecht for their editing and graphic work.
  • Communications Committee, Robert Hart and Ali Engraf managers respectfully of the website and Facebook page.
  • Zelda for sending out emails to remind our donors about GHD.
  • Karlyn Frandsen for the photography that we used.
  • Those who made calls to thank donors.

I sincerely apologize if I have neglected anyone who helped in some way!

A total of 2,504 pieces of mail and over 5046 emails were sent to potential donors.

Each year we’ve managed to improve our efforts with Giving Hearts Day incrementally. Perhaps more importantly, the fact that we participate in this effort does bring more awareness about our organization and what we do which isn’t possible to be measured in dollars and cents. The fact that this was accomplished as an all-volunteer organization during the pandemic is a noteworthy achievement.

We can all share in celebrating this achievement! It helps strengthen NDAB and what we can do into the future.

Legislative Report, Spring 2021

By: Allan Peterson and Zelda Gebhard

Family Feud Survey says these are the top signs that spring has sprung here on the prairies of North Dakota: the little snow we had is gone, it’s warmer outside, the birds are tweeting (that’s the real birds, not the electronic kind), and it’s coming up to crunch time for the legislators to end their session in Bismarck.

Speculation is that the current state legislative session will end sometime around April 23. Our North Dakota Legislature is, by state law, allowed 80 days in which to conduct its business. They may keep a few days in reserve if they believe there’s a good reason to do so. The days kept in reserve can be used to reconvene between sessions to address any business they feel requires them to come back into session.

The controversy over voting in last fall’s election has been the stimulus for introduction of many bills that seek to alter the rules and requirements for voting in elections in many states around our nation. So, it’s perhaps no surprise that a number of bills on voting have been considered by the current North Dakota Legislative Assembly. One of the principal bills among those introduced is House Bill 1253; it was introduced and sponsored by many legislators. The principal authors of HB1253 are election officials in the North Dakota Secretary of State’s Office.

To conduct an election, while in the midst of the pandemic, has highlighted the need for voters to have access to an absentee ballot. It has also highlighted the need for those of us who, because of disability, cannot access the standard paper absentee ballot to vote independently. This was the stimulus for us to seek access to a secret, independent absentee ballot which is technologically feasible and has already been instituted in a number of states around the nation.

Our advocacy for an accessible secret, independent absentee ballot led us to seek advice from election officials in the North Dakota Secretary of State’s Office. When House Bill 1253 was under consideration by the North Dakota House Government and Veterans Affairs Committee, we requested that Representative Mary Schneider of Fargo bring forth an amendment. After debate and with a majority in favor, the Committee did add the amendment for an accessible absentee ballot to House Bill 1253. Subsequently, the amended bill was then passed on the House floor by a 93 to 1 vote and is currently under consideration by the North Dakota Senate Government and Veterans Affairs Committee.

The North Dakota Senate Government and Veterans Affairs Committee held its initial hearing on House Bill 1253 on Thursday April 8. It is an 83 page bill and the section that addresses an accessible absentee ballot is one paragraph in this very lengthy document. After the Committee heard a synopsis of the bill from Jim Silrum, the Deputy Director from the Secretary of State’s Office, others were given the opportunity to speak. Zelda and I both offered virtual and written testimony from our personal perspectives and on behalf of NDAB in support of our right to vote an independent secret absentee ballot. The written testimony was accompanied by a written resolution approved by the NDAB Board. Janelle Olson made the trip to the Capitol to testify in person in support of the bill. Thank you, Janelle, for your heartfelt, effective testimony in support of this amendment. Judy DeWitz from North Dakota Protection and Advocacy offered testimony in support of the amendment so that the wording when passed would include any person with a disability that prevents them from marking or reading a paper ballot.

At this time, the bill has yet to pass out of Committee, so we do not know what the outcome will be. We are optimistic that the final bill sent to the Governor for his signature will include our amendment for an accessible secret, independent absentee ballot.

Further, our advocacy work during this legislative session also included providing written and oral testimony in support of the appropriation requests for North Dakota Vision Services/School for the Blind, the Talking Book Program at the State Library in Bismarck, and the Older Individuals who are Blind Program within North Dakota Vocational Rehabilitation. Our advocacy for the appropriation for NDVS/SB did highlight the need for a certified orientation and mobility instructor to serve clients in the western half of North Dakota. These appropriation bills started with hearings in the House. After crossover they have now been heard by the Senate Appropriations Committee. The final composition of these budget bills likely will be one of the final decisions that will be made by the Legislature before it adjourns here sometime in late April.

Zelda, Trampes, and Allan attended the Leadership Meetings of the American Council of the Blind held virtually February 21 – 23. Two of these days were devoted to the Annual Legislative Seminar that focuses on the status and goals of ACB’s advocacy efforts. Had we been attending the Seminar in person we would have made a trip to Capitol Hill to advocate for issues effecting people with sight loss in the offices of Senators Hoeven and Cramer and Congressman Armstrong. Instead, we arranged to have virtual Zoom meetings with staff people in each of these offices. We did have virtual visits with a staff person in Senators Hoeven and Cramer’s offices but notably we did have a virtual meeting with Congressman Armstrong and a member of his staff.

Our virtual Capitol Hill visits focused on 4 major issues:

(1) Medicare’s refusal to cover the cost for low-vision aids by its expansion of the eyeglass exclusion rule. It prohibits Medicare’s purchase of any durable medical good that has a lens, such as a CCTV. We are seeking the reintroduction of the Medicare Coverage of Low-Vision Devices Act to address this issue.

(2) Reintroduction of the Disability Access to Transportation Act which addresses issues effecting the mobility and transportation needs of people with disabilities. This bill was just recently reintroduced in Congress as H.R. 1697 by representatives Jim Langevin and Dina Titus. 

(3) Reintroduction of the Cogswell Macy Act that addresses the unmet educational needs of k12 children who are blind, visually impaired, deaf, or deaf-blind. The bill was recently reintroduced in the Senate as S. 813 by Senators Markey and Capito and in the House as H.R. 1959 by Representatives Cartwright and McKinley.

(4) Reintroduction of The Exercise and Fitness for All Act that addresses the need of people who are blind or visually impaired for access to exercise equipment and facilities that currently are inaccessible. The technology does exist that could make exercise equipment accessible without much additional cost and would make it more universally accessible for all.

Unlike the current state legislative session that will end shortly in late April the current session of Congress will proceed throughout the first 2 years of Joe Biden’s Presidency. Thus, our advocacy for the issues addressed above will continue with the hope that they will be addressed as individual pieces of legislation or be included as a part of a larger bill passed into law by Congress.

All members are encouraged to submit items of interest to the editor atpromoter\ 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.