The Promoter – November 2022
Official Publication of the
North Dakota Association of the Blind
Available in four formats:
large print, email, braille and cartridge
Editor: Beth Bakke Stenehjem firstname.lastname@example.org
Not they who lack sight, but they who lack vision are blind.
“We strive to enhance the way of life for people
Who are blind or visually impaired,
To encourage employment opportunities,
And to educate the public about sight loss.”
TABLE of CONTENTS
Submitted by Trampes Brown
Get your tickets while they last. I invite you to join us on an exciting adventure, as we enhance the past and explore the future. If this sounds interesting to you and you do not want to miss the chance of a lifetime, I encourage you to jump on the NDAB rocket into 2023 and beyond. I apologize if you thought I was inviting you on a luxury vacation or safari in a far-away land.
However, the future of NDAB is very exciting. We have so many wonderful, long-lasting programs that we continue to support and grow: NDAB adult summer camp, sports and recreation retreats, and Dining in the Dark to name a few. While those continue to be cornerstone activities of our organization, we are working on expanding the impact we have on the lives of individuals with sight loss in North Dakota.
The newly developed life enrichment opportunities and the teen summer camp are new programs that will benefit many individuals. I encourage you to explore ways to use these programs to further your life opportunities and share with others your talents and gifts. Our teen camp is very early in the planning stages but will hopefully be launched in late summer 2023. Stay tuned for future updates.
I have been working with NDVS/SB to partner on upcoming programming. Some possible opportunities that members could participate in are very exciting. There is a possibility that we will be more involved with the Family Weekend that is offered each spring to parents and families of youth with sight loss. This program rotates across the state every year and we may have a chance to talk with families and provide fun activities to encourage and educate those families about NDAB and how we have lived our lives to its fullest. This is an exciting partnership and we look forward to fostering this relationship and including many of you. The board and committees work hard throughout the year to plan and facilitate all the many programs we offer to our members. However, we have realized that we may be missing what our members really would like to be involved in. With that said we are planning to send out a survey to all members to get your opinion on what we are doing and what we could be doing to better assist each of you on your journey with sight loss. We are still working on this, and you can expect to see something in the spring. We will offer this to you on a variety of platforms, including an online form, paper form, or even assisting you via a short phone call, whatever you prefer. We want to make sure everyone has a voice in our organization and anticipate this will give us a guide to making our programs and organization stronger and more robust.
We have also identified that NDAB could be doing much more to educate the public about many aspects of NDAB and the low vision and blind population in North Dakota. We have started investigating how to launch a statewide multimedia campaign to educate the general population about white cane safety, pedestrian travel, and general interaction with individuals with sight loss. NDAB will research and work with an organization that can help develop a strategic plan to raise awareness to inform citizens of our state the importance of these issues. As this will most likely be very costly, we will hopefully be bringing a proposal to next year’s annual convention in Grand Forks for member approval.
I encourage each of you to reach out to me or any member of the board if you have any ideas, questions, or concerns. We are all elected to serve you as members and would love to hear all of your opinions and feelings on any program committee or future plans. It is impossible for the board to know each person’s perspective if we don’t hear from you directly.
SEE BLIND POSSIBLE
Tech Talk Tuesday is at 3 PM and Coffee Chat Wednesday is at 3 PM. Please join in on the conversation. Instructions are below.
Many of you may have already experienced the difficulties getting in to our zoom calls. It is due to a security update that ZOOM has implemented. There are a few options around this but the one we have decided to go with is using the pass code. Like the pop-up that comes up that says you except that the call is being recorded you will need to enter this code in order to get into the zoom session.
The pass code is 244018.
Link for computer or smart devices
One tap mobile
Landline or cell phone
Dial: 1 253 215 8782
Meeting ID: 845 243 2062#
If you are having difficulty trying to unmute when you connect to Zoom events, we might have help!
When connecting to a Zoom call that is being recorded, a window will pop up to inform you that a recording is in progress. You Will need to acknowledge that a recording is being made in one of the following two ways. If you don’t, you will not be able to unmute yourself during the call.
If on a computer and using a screen reader, when the window pops up, tab down to the option labeled “GOT IT” and hit enter.
If on a computer and not using a screen reader, when the window pops up, put your cursor on the “GOT IT” button and click to select.
There will be long distance charges unless you call in with a cell phone or home phone with free long distance.
Submitted by Trampes Brown and Emily Stenberg Brown
We hope you will join us in the new year during our NDAB Book Club discussions. We meet the first Wednesday of every month at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. The link to join in on the Zoom call is sent out weekly in the Sneak Peek email. Here are the books we will be reading during the first 3 months of 2023. We always have a faithful group of readers, but we’re eager to have more in on our discussions. And there’s no better time to try something new than in a new year. Please consider joining us!
January 4 – Intensity by Dean Koontz (DB 41250)
February 1 – The Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn (DB 107522)
March 1 – I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai (DB 77454)
December 4-9 Adult Training Week at ND Vision Services/School for the Blind
January 22-26 Black Hills Ski for Light in Deadwood
February 9 Giving Hearts Day
The 51st NDAB Summer Camp was held August 7-14 at Elks Camp Grassick on Lake Isabel. We had anticipated lower numbers again this year due to the ongoing pandemic. There were 28 campers and staff. We would have been at 32, but four campers/staff had to cancel due to various reasons.
Our biggest challenge this year was losing 7 of our tried-and-true instructors for the year because of family obligations and, in some cases, poor health of the instructor. Three instructors had to decline teaching within weeks of camp. Due to staffing challenges, we secured Camp Grassick’s two Assistant Directors to help, Kate Hausauer and Chloe Nilson. They joined Mickey Tuebner and Nick Pavel as our new instructors.
A very special instructor returned to New Camper 101 to pitch hit for her sister, Janelle, who couldn’t make it to camp this year. Loris Van Berkom graciously agreed to teach two of the four classes Janelle offered in the camp registration. We are eternally grateful, as we needed that special touch to welcome Sue Dahl from Mohall as a new camper. Thank You, Loris!
Twenty-five classes were offered this year. After registrations came in and, after losing some instructors, seventeen classes were held. The classes and instructors were as follows: Archery—George Racine, Basket Weaving—Helen Baumgartner, Caning— Tim Kachel, Chair Exercise, Walking, and Electronic Darts—Susan Jorgenson and Karlyn Frantsen, Multicultural Diversity and U.S. History—Allan Peterson, New Camper 101 and Who’s Minding Your Brain?—Loris Van Berkom, Outdoor Games—Nick Pavel and Chloe Nilson, Entertaining Technology—Nick Pavel, Talking Technology with Mickey—Mickey Tuebner, Spanish Language and Braille—Lexee Steffan, Ukulele Lessons—Angie Kokett, Water Zumba—Kate Hausauer and Helen Baumgartner,
Camp Nurse—Kathy Johnson, Lifeguard—Jenny Hunt
Camp Directors—Missy Miller, Tim Kachel, and Rick Feldman
Camp Committee—Whitney Engbrecht, Lexee Steffan, Helen Baumgartner, Tony Scherer, Missy Miller, Tim Kachel. Thank You to Loris Van Berkom, who helped much in an advisory position, and to Rick Feldman for showing us the ropes the week of camp.
Kristina Brown from NDVS/SB was with us for a few days to help campers with Camp Grassick Orientation and to get a feel for what we do at camp. We hope to have her for the entire week next year as she was great fun and could bring much to our group!
A BIG Thank You to all instructors for your hard work and dedication to camp. Allan Peterson said recently, “Camp is the glue that holds NDAB together,” and you, our valued instructors, are what holds camp together. Anyone interested in teaching at camp, please contact one of the camp committee members for more information.
A special Thank You to Susan Dahl, Carol Schmitt, and Sue Jorgenson for leading Sunday devotions, to Bob Westermeyer and friends for leading flag raising, to Lexee and Karlyn for sharing morning readings, and to all who helped set up, execute and tear down activities. And last, but not least, a very special Thank You to Jenny and Elks Camp Grassick for hosting us, to the cooks and kitchen staff for our delicious meals and snacks. They really do go the extra mile for us. We truly feel loved and cared for by the kitchen staff as they serve us not only food but also smiles and a positive attitude. We so appreciated all the staff at Elks Camp Grassick, our home away from home.
Most of the usual evening activities were enjoyed throughout the week. We started the week off with a mixer on Sunday, followed by Tim’s terribly challenging group Trivia on Monday. Tuesday evening, Helen and the gang turned the dining hall into a blackjack casino while Kathy and Missy called BINGO in the Lucky 7 BINGO parlor (Cabin 7). On Wednesday, Jenny and Chloe treated us to a hayless hayride followed by a wonderful campfire, S’mores included! The Thursday evening Talent Show was hosted by our resident comedian, Tim Kachel. The theme for Friday’s banquet was “New Beginnings.”
The camp committee hosted the banquet to honor our past and speak to the future hopes for camp. The dining hall was filled with bright and cheery décor. Lime-green tablecloths were accented by white and yellow placemats that were the shape of daisies. Bright yellow treat boxes were filled with trail mix and mints. Centerpieces made from glass jars holding greenery and bright yellow flowers adorned the center of the tables. A floral arrangement of bright rose, purple, white and bright yellow flowers decorated the fireplace mantle. The finishing touch was a table display that held a very special retirement cake for Rick Feldman to celebrate and honor his 21 years of Co-Camp Directorship. Lexee emceed the evening. Loris spoke and paid tribute to Rick. Missy thanked Rick for his dedicated service to NDAB and presented him with a surprise wooden guestbook that campers had signed throughout the week. The delicious meal consisted of cranberry punch, dinner salad, rolls, roasted potatoes, California blend vegetables, Chicken Allison (See recipe in this Promoter), and Rick’s special cake for dessert. Thank You, Tina, our head cook for making his awesome ‘Gone Fishing’ themed retirement cake.
The weather was beautiful most of the week. Thursday brought a little rain, followed by some cooler weather that stuck around for Friday. The beautiful weather returned for Saturday just in time for us to enjoy lake time, pontoon rides, socializing and a great evening picnic and campfire. In response to the camp survey last fall, the decision was made not to hold an auction at camp this year. In that survey, our members asked for more free time to socialize with their friends and more outdoor offerings. We thought a picnic and campfire sendoff was the perfect fit. The picnic was held in the covered picnic shelter by the lake. Tina and the kitchen crew outdid themselves with fresh lemonade, bacon cheeseburgers fresh off the grill, potato salad, chips, watermelon, and strawberry shortcake for dessert. Afterwards, Jenny and Chloe treated us to one last campfire. It was the perfect way to unwind after a busy week of classes and activities, to reflect on the week, and to truly let the magic of NDAB Summer Camp sink in.
Shirley, Bobbi, Carol, Mary, Susan, and Rosie are standing in front of the Audible Electronic Dartboard
Loris is practicing her basket weaving skills at camp.
Nick is standing with bow drawn at the archery range.
The recipe is named after the women that shared it with me many years ago. I shared it with Camp Grassick’s cook Tina, and it is what was served at our 2022 camp banquet. It makes a delicious gravy that can be served over any side dish, but I like it best served over long grain and wild rice.
4 packages of dried beef, chopped
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast
6 slices of Swiss cheese
6 slices of bacon
Equal parts cream of chicken soup and sour cream. I use 2 cans of soup and sour cream as I like lots of gravy
Line a 9×13 baking dish with the dried beef. Wrap each chicken breast with a slice of cheese followed by a slice of bacon. Place chicken on top of beef. Mix soup and sour cream and spread over chicken. Cover pan with foil.
Bake at 325 for 2 hours.
Milissa Miller, or Missy, is someone you should get to know if you don’t already know her. She will make you laugh out loud. She loves life and is more than willing to help get everyone involved in NDAB. Milissa is a board member and NDAB Camp Committee chair.
Where do you live? Currently I live in Fargo and have been here for 22 years. I grew up in Dickinson, moved to the east coast for a while to be a nanny and then onto Fargo for college. After graduation I moved to St. Paul, then Medford, WI, back to Dickinson and finally back to Fargo. One could say, I’ve come full circle.
Occupation? The woman at the tax office described me in our tax forms as “domestic goddess.” I worked many years in Food Service and Retail management. I am a graduate of NDSU with a BS in Food and Nutrition with a minor in Hospitality Management.
Family? I live with my husband of 27 years, Clinton, and my dog Apatchy. His name is Apatchy because he is a yellow lab with black patches.
What are your hobbies? I have several hobbies. I like to attend group fitness classes at the YMCA and love to walk. Year-round, my husband and I load the dog into the truck and drive into the country for a long walk. When the snow gets deep enough, we slap on our snowshoes. I love to be outdoors and especially enjoy gardening. I always get a little bummed this time of year when I lose my flowers.
My husband and I also enjoy cheering on the FM Redhawks and the NDSU Bison football team. Photography is also a passion of mine and I think I have the last digital camera with a viewfinder.
How long have you been an NDAB member and why did you join? I became a member after attending NDAB summer camp in the summer of 2006. During my first camp experience I met so many people who I could relate to. NDAB camp is a lifesaver; you can experience for the first time that you are not alone in your sight loss. It gave me a sense from the very beginning, that we will continue down this journey together. I remember that I didn’t want to go to the snack time at night because I was afraid of the dark. After several nights of skipping it, my fellow campmates told me that they would get me there and get me back again. This was when I realized that I had not been leaving my home after dark without a guide for many years. I now can travel in the dark on my own. I move very slowly but can make it to my destination independently. I am partially sighted which enables me to be a “sighted” guide at camp during daylight hours. I may help a blind individual get to their destination a bit faster by offering an arm. At night, that same blind individual will offer me an arm to get me to my destination more quickly. It is a give and take and it is TOTALLY AWESOME!
I got my first cane at camp and Becky helped me know how to use it and had to remind me to, “look up.” This was when I realized that I often didn’t look up at people even in a restaurant when eating.
Camp is such a lifesaver; it is there as an outreach to people who are looking for support. At camp, you are not the minority; you are the majority. Camp is what brought me to NDAB and it continues to drive my passion for the organization. I decided to become the Camp Commitee chair to make sure that camp continues. I will do my best to ensure the camp experience is there, for new and old campers alike and for many years to come. For all individuals that need the support, education, and fun that camp provides.
Missy Miller with her mother, Janice Baker, at her mother’s 80th birthday party.
Elias Youngbloom, is a fairly new member of NDAB. He graciously agreed to answer a few questions to help current members get to know him. I think you will see that he is quite an interesting guy who is becoming more and more involved with NDAB.
Where do you live? I currently live in Fargo.
Occupation: I am the Head Drumline Instructor at NDSU. I got my bachelor’s degree in music education from NDSU and was involved with the marching band when I was there. While on my last year of my degree I lost my sight and still did my student teaching but wasn’t then interested in teaching it. I moved away from Fargo for awhile and when I returned, I started working with the director of the NDSU marching band and became the Head Drumline Instructor in the last year. I write music for the drumline and really enjoy my position.
Family? I have two older brothers and I am getting married to my future wife, Katie, on November 12.
What are your hobbies? I enjoy writing music. I also sing in a local men’s chorus here in Fargo. In whatever free time is left, I like to do various woodworking projects. I have built birdhouses, cutting boards, a couple of dining room benches, and started building a bar for my fiancé’s sister.
How long have you been an NDAB member and why should someone join? I have been a member since 2020. Since losing my sight, I have realized how widespread vision loss and visual impairment really is. Almost everyone either has some type of visual impairment or knows somebody with one. Being a part of NDAB not only brings you into a community of people who are experiencing similar life circumstances, but it is also a great connection to resources and information that isn’t always easy to access on your own. Even sighted folks can benefit from just knowing more about the blind and low vision community.
By Tyson Ernst (from ACB Voices)
If you pay any attention to the news, you will inevitably hear unemployment is at a 50-year low. I have, as a result of feeling left out of the traditional employment market, decided to become an entrepreneur as a professional job applicant. Over the last year, I have created 20 candidate profiles, filled out nearly 100 online job applications, participated in 4 Zoom interviews, received a dozen rejection letters, and worst of all, had 3 postings I’m highly qualified for taken off the job board entirely after submitting my application. Talk about a blow to your self-esteem. From a 10,000-foot level, it appears the only job I’m qualified for is applying for jobs!
It feels as though I have created a full-time position where my job duties include researching the latest postings across traditional and non-traditional industries, draft both custom cover letters and resumes, and master the attachment function of Microsoft Outlook. Maybe I could make a web series on YouTube out of this, or possibly a blog, if only I could find the time to create a decent website. What do you think? “My life as a serial job applicant?” I’ll keep you posted.
Sometimes, you just have to reinvent yourself!
Can you believe, it’s that time of year again–time to renew your 2023 NDAB membership, that is! The form for your 2023 NDAB membership renewal will be mailed sometime in January. Along with your renewal form there will be an envelope enclosed for your convenience to mail it back. You can also go online at ndab.org and renew your membership in January.
Do you enjoy winter sports but have little opportunity to enjoy skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and a good snowball fight? If you are looking for a winter activity, consider attending the Black Hills Ski for Light event in January 22-26, 2023. This is a weeklong event in Deadwood and surrounding area.
Plans are still being finalized for transportation for those participants needing a ride from North Dakota. The rate for transportation will be $35 per person and will be smaller vehicles, not a bus this year.
The Black Hills Ski for Light event cost in the past has been $250. This includes five nights lodging based upon double occupancy, four lunch meals, one evening meal and a banquet ticket. The payment also includes equipment rental costs. Partial scholarships for those who qualify for financial need may be available. Scholarships must be approved by the SFL Board. In order to receive a scholarship, applicants must be willing to share a room with another Ski for Light participant. please call the BHSFL office at 605-341-3626 to receive a scholarship application. Scholarship applications will be processed on a first-come first-serve basis.
Registration will soon be up on the bhsfl.org website. Amy Osvold, NDVS/SB Rehab Teacher, will be the contact for participants in western North Dakota. She can be reached by calling 701-857-7635 or emailing email@example.com. Pam Haus, NDVS/SB Rehab Teacher, will be the contact for participants in eastern North Dakota. She can be reached by calling 701-795-2719 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The instructors may assist with applications and answer questions you may have.
We extend our deepest sympathy to the family of Dave Sundeen of Buxton who was a NDAB member for many years, was an instructor at NDAB camp, and a yearly participant at the Black Hills Ski for Light event. He died on September 8.
We offer deepest sympathy to NDAB member Char Feldman on the death of her mother Bernadine Jundt from Pembina who passed away at the age of 88.
NDAB member Jean Marks of Minot peacefully passed away on October 10 at her home with her son and hospice by her side. Our sympathies go out to her loving family.
Submitted by Rebecca Anderson, Treasurer/Registered Agent
$4,825.00 Total NDAB Donations July-September 2022
Drake Columbian Club
High Plains Cultural Center, Killdeer
Rolette Dethman Armstrong American Legion
Tioga American Legion Post #139
Tolley Fire Department
Vets Club, Jamestown
Denise Karalis and John Weiss
Richardson Charitable Fund
Memorials and In Honor of
Ann and Lawrence Anderson for Keith Iten
Loris Van Berkom for Nick Pavel
Submitted by Allan Peterson
Fargo Forum photo from the Walk for Vision event
The time is ripe to get excited about our two major upcoming fundraising activities, the NDAB 24th Walk for Vision/White Cane Safety Day event and NDAB’s participation in the 2023 Giving Hearts Day Appeal!
First, presently, we are preparing for this year’s Walk for Vision event that will coincide with celebration of White Cane Safety Day. The importance of the white cane and dog guides to people with sight loss are publicly acknowledged through the promotion of White Cane Safety Day, established initially by a joint resolution of Congress in 1964 that designates October 15 of each year to be observed as White Cane Safety Day.
NDAB extends its heartfelt gratitude to North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum and Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney for their proclamations that will have declared October 15, 2022 to be observed as White Cane Safety Day in the State of North Dakota and in the city of Fargo. We are planning to hold an NDAB Walk for Vision event at 2 sites on Friday afternoon October 14 that will coincide with White Cane Awareness Day on October 15. One of the Walks is in collaboration with North Dakota Vision Services / School for the Blind on Friday afternoon beginning at 2 o’clock at NDVS/SB 500 Stanford Road in Grand Forks. This event will provide information about services at the school, a brief presentation about NDAB’s services, the cooperative alliance between NDVS/SB and NDAB, a commemorative walk, and refreshments for participants. Thanks to Cindy Williams and the staff at NDVS/SB for organizing this event. And thanks to Walk participants that include members from local Lions clubs in Grand Forks and members from the Delta Gamma Sorority at UND.
Our second Walk for Vision event will be held the same day Friday, October 14 in Fargo at the NDSU Crossroads Campus Lutheran Center at 1201 13th Ave. North in Fargo. Registration will be held at 4 P.M. The event will include sharing information about the use of the white cane, a commemorative walk, demonstration of using accessible technology, door prizes, and refreshments for participants. Danielle Hillebrand a NDVS/SB mobility instructor in the Fargo area will speak about how the white cane is used as an aid for independent travel by people who are blind and visually impaired. Students from the NDSU Campus Lions club will help us host our event in Fargo.
We are grateful for the support received from our lead Walk sponsor, the Horace Lions Club, and support from Hornbacher’s Foods and Thrivent Financial for our Walk event in Fargo. To reiterate, our NDAB Walk for Vision is one of our major fundraisers. To this end, a letter has been sent to potential donors that invites them to be sponsors of our 2022 NDAB Walk for Vision appeal. All proceeds from the walk will go towards funding the many service programs that NDAB offers to people who have visual impairments.
Our second upcoming major really, really big SHOW fundraising activity will be our participation in the 2023 Giving Hearts Day Appeal (GHD). Following are some basic nuts and bolts about this upcoming effort:
Giving hearts Day 2023 marks the 7th consecutive year that we will have been approved to be among the worthy causes that will benefit from this region wide Appeal! Fortunately, it’s true that each year, our participation in GHD has become an ever-greater source of income for us.
A fundamental requirement of all Giving Hearts Day participating organizations is that they establish a Match Fund that’s secured in advance of the Appeal. The purpose of the fund is that it be used to challenge donors to match this amount on Giving Hearts Day. In essence, it tells Giving Hearts Day donors that their donations will be matched and in this most appealing way will be doubled. As has been the case, our Match will be established from a combination of sources – major individual donors, donations from Lions clubs, organizations that have charitable gaming licenses, and contributions received from our NDAB Walk for Vision.
The final total of our participation in the 2022 Giving Hearts Day Appeal was $27,050.74. And prior to GHD we had established a Match Fund of $20,200. Thankfully, these figures represent a significant increase over what we had raised previously from our participation in the Appeal. So, the hope is that we will sustain this growth and even build upon it for GHD in 2023.
Following is a brief review of basic guidelines for Giving Hearts donors:
- Giving Hearts Day is a one day only, on-line fundraising appeal happening on Thursday, February 9, 2023. The allowable giving period will begin at 12:01 A.M. that morning and will end that day at 11:59 P.M.
- To make a secure online contribution on February 9, go to www.givingheartsday.org and click on the Giving Hearts Day Donate button and then select North Dakota Association of the Blind from among the listed charities. Donations can be made by credit or debit card. Donations must be at least $10 to qualify toward the match. All donations are eligible for a tax deduction.
- Donations can be made by check prior to February 10. Checks must be dated February 9, 2023 and mailed to our treasurer, Rebecca Anderson, P.O. Box 824, West Fargo, ND 58078. Checks should be mailed at least ten days before February 9 so they can be received and credited as a Giving hearts Day donation. The checks will be uploaded into the GHD system that day so they can be counted as a part of our total.
Another innovative alternative is to schedule a donation in advance by creating a GHD account at givingheartsday.org between January 2 and February 7. Add your donation to the cart and be sure to check “schedule this gift”. This will ensure your donation is processed on February 9, 2023.
At present we are a bit less than four months away from February 9. 2023. Please contact me if you would like in some way to participate and help with our involvement with the Giving Hearts Day Appeal, I very much would like to speak with you. If you have any questions or suggestions, contact me at 701-282-4644 or email me at email@example.com.
Stay tuned for much more to come about the 2023 Giving Hearts Day Appeal.
OCTOBER 15, 2022
WHEREAS, a white cane or dog guide is commonly recognized and identified as a mobility aid that people who are blind or have low vision rely on to travel independently; and
WHEREAS, White Cane Safety Day originated through approval of a joint resolution by Congress on October 6, 1964 (Public Law 88-628, as amended), which designated October 1 5 of each year as White Cane Safety Day; and
WHEREAS, White Cane Safety Day is an important reminder to our motoring public that North Dakota traffic statutes require drivers of motor vehicles to yield the right-of-way to individuals Utilizing a visible white cane or a dog guide; and
WHEREAS, North Dakota Vision Services and the North Dakota School for the Blind provide a full range of services, including statewide leadership, center-based programming and regionalized outreach services, to meet the needs of our blind and visually impaired citizens and their families; and
WHEREAS, chartered as an independent nonprofit in 1 936, North Dakota Association of the Blind strongly advocates for our visually impaired citizens, for observance of our state’s white cane safety laws and tor provision of rehabilitation white cane training for people with sight loss so they can travel independently with confidence wherever they need to go in their daily lives. Now, THEREFORE, as Governor of the State of North Dakota, I do hereby proclaim October 15, 2022, WHITE CANE SAFETY DAY in the State of North Dakota.
By: Allan Peterson and Zelda Gebhard
It’s time again to fasten your citizenship seatbelts as we are on the flight path to descend on this fall’s nationwide general November 8 election. It may be wise as well to grab and hold on tight to your seats, as we again are in the midst of an election season, which is said “like none other than before”. Oops! it’s possible that we may have said something like this previously?
Two years ago we said this, “Let’s put these ingredients into a mixing bowl and see what we can cook up, first a pandemic that we cannot seem to get a handle on, widespread economic uncertainty, nationwide racial unrest, inflexible political polarization, a controversial Supreme Court nominee, wild social media stories, uncontrollable wild fires, a record number of hurricanes and flooding, and much more. Yes, all in all, it should be a pretty interesting ride to the election on November 3, 2020 and beyond.” Oh no, fellow good citizens, in many ways, this seems like it’s the rerun of the movie that we saw two years ago.
If you choose to vote at a polling site whether you vote early or on election day, all sites in North Dakota will again have the ExpressVote machine available for voters to mark their ballot. This machine does provide an accessible option for people who are blind or visually impaired to cast an independent secret ballot that they can verify for accuracy. The ExpressVote machine is equipped with a keypad and headphones that will allow someone with no eyesight to mark a secret independent ballot. Many of us with limited or no eyesight who have used this machine, verify that this equipment works very well!
The North Dakota Protection and Advocacy Project has produced a video on using the ExpressVote machine. The link to the video is:
A word of caution, this video is a bit dated in that it was produced two years ago when the pandemic was at its height, other than that, it is still very instructive. Also, you may have to put up with a few ads before you can view the video.
If you wish to vote using an absentee ballot, you do need to file an absentee ballot application to vote this way. An application can be requested from the web at vote.nd.gov or call your county auditor’s office. Note: We continue our advocacy for access to an electronic accessible secret independent absentee ballot that we receive and submit electronically. Our access to this accessible means to vote was passed as part of the bill on voting that was enacted by the last Legislative session but hasn’t yet been instituted. A new Secretary of State will be elected this fall who hopefully will clear a path to make this happen.
There are two statewide initiated measures on the ballot in this fall’s election:
Measure One is a constitutional measure that limits state legislators and the governor to two terms in the seat in which they are elected. Present office holders are grandfathered in, so for however long they may have already served in their positions, they will still be eligible to serve in that seat for another two terms of office.
Measure Two is a statuary measure that relates to the legalization, processing, production, sale, and possession of cannabis/marijuana.
As you are aware, the wording on measures can sometimes be tricky. With that in mind, if you vote yes on either of these initiated measures, it means that you approve of the intent of the measure and voting no means you disapprove.
If you have listened to media outlets lately, you well know we are voting for two seats for Congress in North Dakota, the Senate seat to which Senator John Hoeven is seeking reelection and the House seat to which Congressman Kelly Armstrong is seeking reelection. And there are seven statewide offices on November’s ballot, they are the ND Secretary of State, ND Attorney General, ND Commissioner of Agriculture, Public Service Commissioner, Public Service Commissioner (unexpired term), ND Tax Commissioner, and ND Justice of the Supreme Court. Because these are statewide races, they will appear on every ballot in the state regardless of location.
The ballot isn’t the same from one community to the next, due to the local elections for office where a person lives. Also, after the last general election two years ago, the state legislature redrew the state legislative boundaries to reflect changes in population that occurred since the census in 2010. Given this scenario, there is a fair chance that you may live in a new state legislative district.
Fortuitously, the League of Women Voters have a web site where anyone can go to find out what is on the ballot for their specific address, that site is: www.vote411.org.. You will need to enter your postal address, which will give the sample ballot that you will use to cast your ballot on November 8th.
In January 2023, the newly elected state legislature, including those who had unexpired terms of office and weren’t up for election in this cycle, will compose the makeup of the 68th session of the North Dakota Legislative Assembly and the 118th session of the U.S. Congress. Whatever the outcome of the election, we will need to advocate for policies that help people with sight loss lead independent and more fulfilled lives. In that regard, we do invite and welcome your participation with us as we will be monitoring the policies and legislation considered by the next State Legislature and Congress!
Both of us have decided to go to our local polling places and use the ExpressVote machine to independently cast our ballots. We encourage you to vote in whatever way you find most convenient. Just Vote!
Communication submissions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: NDAB, PO Box 824, West Fargo, ND 58078
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.