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Sunday, May 24, 2015

75th Year Convention: Preregistration & Delta Discounts

Yes, there will be umbrellas and much more. Our 75th-year National Convention starts July 5 in Orlando, about six weeks away! If you haven't finalized plans, here are some practical tidbits.

Delta Offers Discounts


If you're flying to Orlando for NFB15, Delta Airlines, one of this years sponsor's, offers a discount of from 2 to 10 percent during the convention travel window. The information below is taken from an e-mail to the NFBNet mailing lists by Dick Davis, Chair of the NFB Employment Committee.

Travel Window: July 2 to July 13, 2015

Call: Delta Meeting Network, (DMN),
800 328 1111
6:00am-6:30pm Mountain Time

Discount Name: "NFB 75TH ANNIVERSARY CONVENTION DISCOUNT" 

Account Code: " NMLJV"

Preregistration Ends May 31


Online convention preregistration has been a huge success in the years since it was first implemented. Fewer and fewer of us remember the old days of standing in line on Sunday mornings to register:

"Cash to the left, checks to the right!"

Truly, it was a social time - a time to hear the voices of old friends and to meet new ones,, but now we have Twitter and Face Book, right? And we can save ten bucks by getting it done in advance. There's only a week left to do that now, so if you haven't gotten it done, take a break from your social media pursuits and preregister right away!

Go to the National Convention 2015 page to find the link to the Preregistration Form and other helpful information.

See you in Orlando!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Raising Umbrellas in Orlando

By: Kevan Worley and Chris Danielson

Will you be one of the more than 100 from Colorado attending the 75th Annual Convention of the National Federation of the Blind in Orlando, Florida? There is still time to decide to join us to celebrate 75 years of progress and possibility. The organization was formed in 1940. Little more than a decade later, Ray McGeorge and a small band of blind buddies formed the Colorado affiliate. By any measure, our NFBCO has grown to be one of the very strongest affiliates. In Orlando, we will join forces with thousands of Federation members to set a world record. A world record? We have had a history of record accomplishments. But, there is still time for you to join us as we attempt to have a great deal of fun setting a Guinness World Record. Hotel rooms in the overflow Rosen Plaza are still available. Some folks are looking for roommates to help cut expenses.


Go to NFB Conventions



You can still save money by registering now and purchasing your banquet ticket for what is certain to be an historic banquet address from our new President, Mark A. Riccobono. But what is this world record all about? Here is the press release from our colleague, Director of Public Relations for the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute, Chris Danielson.

Join Us for a Guinness World Record Attempt at Seventy-Fifth NFB Convention in Orlando

The seventy-fifth annual National Federation of the Blind National Convention in Orlando is rapidly approaching and the excitement is building! As part of this year’s historic celebration of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the National Federation of the Blind, on the morning of July 8, 2015, we will attempt to set a Guinness World Record. Every day we raise the expectations of blind people, because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. On July 8, we will be raising expectations of the blind by raising umbrellas to set the world record for the largest umbrella mosaic. Will you be one of the three thousand people in attendance at our world record attempt? All you have to do is join us outside the Rosen Centre Hotel and hold an umbrella up at the designated time to help form the message that will be viewed from above. Sign up to make history with us by visiting www.nfb.org/gwr. And for more details on national convention, please visit www.nfb.org/convention. See you in Orlando!


Monday, May 18, 2015

More Charges Against Colorado Department of Human Services Management; No Surprise to NFBCO


More Charges Against Colorado Department of Human Services Management; No Surprise to NFBCO

By: Kevan Worley

The latest series of articles in the Denver Post detailing a growing chorus of dissatisfied voices from members of the public and General Assembly over Department of Human Services mismanagement brings us no pleasure, neither is it a revelation. Last week in this Blind Coloradan blog post, we cataloged our effort to bring about systemic change in culture, funding, and meaningful service delivery at the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, overseen by the Department of Human Services. Before going to the General Assembly with our substantiated and substantial list of grievances we met with numerous officials of the Hickenlooper administration. Although not mentioned specifically in the Denver Post piece I have chosen to print below, lack of service delivery and employee dissatisfaction at the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation has been one more failure of Director Reggie Bicha’s department.

On March 7, 2014, a delegation of leaders from the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado met with Director Bicha, as well as Viki Manley and Joelle Brouner of his team. We were cordial, concise, and clear. We were given a one hour audience and it was evident that we were being hustled with the bureaucratic shuffle. In the face of the department’s numerous egregious violations of Federal and State laws, unsatisfactory audit conclusions, and a wait list of Colorado citizens with disabilities eligible for services approaching 7,000, we were there to offer our knowledge, experience, and solutions. In return, we were treated to excuses, denials, and platitudes.

Last spring, we took our serious concerns and our offers to be of help to key officials within the Governor’s highest echelon. They acted very interested. They were quick to return our calls and agree to dialog. But, within days these very highly placed officials told us that they had met with Reggie Bicha and most of our concerns were unfounded or without merit.

As previously detailed, the Joint Budget Committee has agreed with us that immediate change is necessary. The General Assembly has agreed to take an unprecedented look at services for Colorado’s citizens who are blind. And now, others who have borne the brunt of the DHHS callous, unyielding bureaucracy have joined us in our quest for compassion and accountability. Make no mistake, it gives us no pleasure to say, we told you so. Too many people have been hurt. The contributions of countless DVR employees have gone unrecognized and devalued. Federal funds have been squandered. Jobs have gone unfilled by people with disabilities. Who knows how many blind people have simply gone home to the rocking chair rather than face the continued battle to be taken seriously. Who knows how many Colorado residents who happen to be blind or have other significant disabilities have been denied the kind of quality empowering training that would have changed their lives. The fact that other advocates, the media, and legislators have come to realize what we have known brings us no joy or opportunity to gloat. It does give us an opportunity to say to all who will listen, the National Federation of the Blind has subject matter experts. Our philosophy of blindness and rehabilitation has been proven out over generations. We do not go off half-cocked, looking for red herrings, or causing trouble for the sake of trouble causing. We are caring, well-informed advocates. We represent a significant constituency. We will not go away. We seek mutual respect and partnership in order to bring equality of opportunity through training and employment. Everyday, we work to raise expectations because we know that it is the low expectations which all too often stand between blind people and a bright future. We don’t always get it right, but we often do. Those who work with us will often find that they get it right too. We simply ask and occasionally we have to demand that public officials take us with the seriousness we deserve. When they do, great things happen. When they don’t, opportunities are lost. Below, please find the text of one of the Denver Post articles from Wednesday, May 13.  

Colorado lawmakers demand Hickenlooper make changes at Human Services

 Nearly 90 of the state's 100 lawmakers signed a letter delivered to Gov. John Hickenlooper this week saying they have lost confidence in the leadership of the human services department, requesting he replace top-level staff or correct the management problem.
The letter addresses "numerous accounts of disturbing issues" within the department that oversees child welfare, youth prisons and mental institutions, including alleged abuse of people with disabilities and overmedication of the state's foster children.
"Most recently, these accounts have increased dramatically, now coming directly from our constituents, some having reached the public media outlets, with no word from the department or your office," says the two-page letter, which precedes 86 signatures.
It says lawmakers also are concerned about a "pervasive hostile work environment" at the human services department, including a "driven-from-the-top culture of fear, retaliation, secrecy and self-protectionism."
The letter comes after a tumultuous year for the department and executive director Reggie Bicha, who clashed with lawmakers over a youth prisons funding request one legislator called "deceitful" and a bill to give independence to the ombudsman who investigates the handling of child abuse and neglect cases.
"Please know I take all concerns seriously," Bicha said in a statement. "I have worked my entire life to make the lives of families and children better — a goal I know is also motivating those who signed this letter."
The Denver Post, which requested the letter Monday night, received it from the governor's office Wednesday afternoon. The delay occurred because release of the letter required review by the governor's legal division as a matter of procedure, spokeswoman Kathy Green said.
The governor and staff were surprised by the letter because "many of the issues had not been raised" during weekly meetings with legislative leadership, Green said. In contrast, the letter states lawmakers requested meetings with the governor to talk about the problems but were denied or ignored.
"Therefore, with the health and welfare of thousands of Colorado citizens at risk, the legislators signed below are asking for your formal accountability and stewardship in correcting or replacing the highest levels of leadership within the Colorado Department of Human Services, in whom we have lost confidence," it states.
The letter, dated May 4 but delivered to Hickenlooper on Monday, does not mention Bicha by name. Hickenlooper hired Bicha from Wisconsin, where he headed the department of children and families, soon after he was elected in 2011.
Green said Bicha "has addressed or is currently addressing each of the concerns raised.
"That said, we take the letter very seriously and intend to review and provide the full context that the people of Colorado deserve. Our priority has been, and continues to be the health and welfare of our residents."
Bicha said he had "brought a number of the issues noted in the letter to the attention of lawmakers and have worked collaboratively in addressing them."
Sen. Lucia Guzman, a Denver Democrat who signed the letter, said lawmakers have been concerned in the past two years about problems within the department that surfaced during state audits and legislative committee hearings. Lawmakers who signed it also are concerned about allegations of abuse reported last month at the Pueblo Regional Center, which treats people with developmental disabilities.
"There was concern about problems that continued to arise in the department, which is responsible for the health and well-being of the most vulnerable people," Guzman said.
Sen. Kevin Lundberg, a Berthoud Republican who signed the letter, said he is fed up with the department's "intimidation" and "heavy-handed politics" when dealing with day care and child treatment facilities it licenses. The senator said constituents working with him on past legislation have backed away because the pressure from the department was too strong.
"We've been very frustrated with just the general tone," he said. "What I have experienced through the years is an atmosphere of intimidation." He said the letter was initiated by Democrats but he signed it "quite willingly."
The purpose of the letter, which its authors originally intended to keep quiet, was to inform the governor of dealings between the legislature and the department.
In January, Bicha took heat from the budget committee regarding a request for additional guards for youth prisons. The department had asked state budget writers in December for $6 million to add 125 guards, but Bicha made no mention that the agency already started hiring in November.
The lawmakers didn't learn about the 53 hires until January, when the department, which oversees the Division of Youth Corrections, asked for an extra $1.2 million this year to pay the new guards.
Sen. Pat Steadman, a Denver Democrat on the budget committee, questioned then whether the department's initial request for extra hires was "purposefully deceitful."
"These plans didn't happen overnight," Steadman said after concerns led the committee to unanimously reject the request for additional money. "And to keep it a secret ... just really seems like poor form."
Sen. Kent Lambert, the committee chairman, said the agency's transparency problems are not new.
"Transparency, (it) appears to me, is what's needed here," the Colorado Springs Republican said in January.
On Wednesday, Lambert said he added his name to the letter because of multiple concerns about the department's leadership and middle management.
"There is so much going on in that department, and it seems it's in every division," he said. "It's just one bad audit after another."
Sen. Rollie Heath, a Boulder Democrat and one of 14 lawmakers who did not sign the letter, said he does not regularly deal with the department or Bicha and didn't have "any personal knowledge of all of this."
Human services department leaders also battled with lawmakers this session over a bill to give the child welfare watchdog independence from the department.
A compromise bill to move the ombudsman to the state judicial branch is awaiting the governor's signature.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

THE CURRENT STATE OF DVR: National Federation of the Blind Wins Battle for Two Bites at the Apple


National Federation of the Blind Wins Battle for Two Bites at the Apple
By: Kevan Worley

On Friday, May 8, Governor Hickenlooper signed legislation to transfer most programs currently being operated by the Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation from the Colorado Department of Human Services to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (see press release below). One week earlier, a committee of General Assembly leaders working with legislative council voted to establish an interim study committee recommended by State Representative Pete Lee, HD 18 Colorado Springs, supported by Senator Michael Merrifield, SD 11 Colorado Springs. This interim study committee will be charged with conducting a thorough review of services being provided to the blind of Colorado and making recommendations to the General Assembly by November of 2015. The study committee was recommended on a bi-partisan vote, 15-3. It will be appointed no later than July 1, 2015. The Blind Coloradan will provide further details about the study committee in our next post. Readers will want to pay close attention to the people, process, and possibilities inherent in the committee brought about through the effort of Legislators Lee and Merrifield. It occurred because the National Federation of the Blind was vigilant. We had a compelling story to tell. The anecdotal evidence of pervasive lack of service to the blind of Colorado over many years was supported by facts and figures. And, our members made friends in the General Assembly.

During the past session of the General Assembly, the National Federation of the Blind has also been working with officials at the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, the Joint Budget Committee, and a number of progressive organizations and agencies which provide a variety of services and perspectives. Following devastating findings uncovered by audits of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation two years ago and demands from consumers along with concerns over lack of quality services voiced by Colorado Legislators, the Joint Budget Committee developed legislation which would move DVR from the Department of Human Services to the Department of Labor and Employment. This process was unfolding at the same time the blind of Colorado took our study committee proposal to members of the General Assembly late last fall and into the Winter 2015 Legislative Session. When first hearing of the JBC proposal to transfer DVR, it is fair to say we were skeptical of the move. In the words of disabled civil rights activists stretching back for at least two generations, “nothing about us without us”. We, Colorado’s citizens with disabilities, were not included in the discussion of a possible agency transfer. This is so, despite the fact that the National Federation of the Blind and the Colorado Cross Disability Coalition had been vehemently voicing our dissatisfaction with the level of and appropriateness of services from DVR. For more than two years, the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado has been very specific with our concerns, criticisms, and proposed solutions communicated to Director of DHHS, Reggie Bicha, and the Governor’s office.  

At one point, during 2013 and 2014 a wait list of Colorado citizens with disabilities qualified but not being served by DVR reached more than 7,000. The Colorado Center for the Blind is internationally respected for its cutting edge independence and skill training models. Yet, rare is the student referred to CCB by DVR. Many counselors make a mockery of the legally mandated informed choice provisions. There is no requirement for those few counselors who do work with blind and visually impaired consumers to have subject matter expertise and experience in rehabilitation training and job development specific to blindness. The Business Enterprise Program, with a dedicated front line staff, has received inconsistent attention from upper management allowing the program to languish in obscurity. The BEP has historically been the most successful employment program of the blind in the Nation. To add insult to injury, despite cries from consumers and the insistence of legislators to improve food and vending services, the concessions at the State Capitol Complex directed and overseen by the Business Enterprise Program have often been lack luster at best. Coloradans have also voiced concerns about the way the older independent blind programs are funded and administered. DVR has no commitment to a robust transition program. While most states allow blind teens to open rehabilitation cases in order to receive appropriate and necessary transition services; hundreds of Colorado’s blind teenagers have been summarily turned away.

The NFB and CCDC put together an ad hoc committee, or informal coalition, to review the status and implications of the JBC’s agency transfer legislation. The group studied and strategized. At the same time, leaders of the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado began very frank conversations with Colorado Department of Labor and Employment officials. Julie Deden, NFBCO First Vice President, chairs the State Rehabilitation Council. Julie heard a presentation from Ellen Golombek, Executive Director of Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, in which Ellen outlined her views on the possible transition. Deden also serves as Executive Director for the Colorado Center for the Blind. She reported that she was very impressed with the spirit, integrity, and competence of Director Golombek. Federation leaders also spoke with DVR staff- those who would speak frankly with us, legislative council, and other service providers, including those organizations which were participating in our ad hoc strategy efforts. Forthright conversation, research, a willingness to compromise, and an overwhelming need to improve direct vocational training and employment services caused us to support the JBC legislation, signed by the Governor on May 8th.

Although the National Federation of the Blind voiced public support for the transition, those who communicated with the General Assembly from both CDLE and DHHS opposed State Representative Lee’s interim study committee on services to the blind of Colorado. Following open, and we think thoughtful, dialog with the Federation initiated by CDLE, they withdrew opposition to the interim committee. Those who represent DHHS did not withdraw their opposition. We happen to know that almost until the 11th hour folks at DHHS advocated, behind the scenes, to oppose the study committee. One might wonder why, since moving DVR from their shop to CDLE was at that point a fait accompli.  Perhaps, yet one more indication of the culture which has prevented imaginative, concrete, progressive, and inclusive services to Colorado citizens?

Already, nine teams consisting of staff members from Department of Human Services and Colorado Department of Labor and Employment are in various stages of the initial work necessary for the departmental transfer to occur by July 1, 2016. According to CDLE officials, one of these transition teams will focus specifically on assuring that stakeholders have significant input into the transition. Important transition items are Budgeting and Accounting, Procurement, Communications (both internal and external), IT, Facilities, Federal Regulations, and others. As one can easily imagine, reorganization will be a monumental task; everything from assigning office space to gaining understanding of Federal regulations by CDLE administration. It seems clear to us that there is already a culture shift underway, specifically with regard to CDLE’s proactive interaction with stakeholders.

Moving the division from one house to another is not a magic fix. But the opportunity to influence major culture change at DVR is at hand. As one member of the National Federation of the Blind put it, “well, things cannot get any worse over there.” In fact, we now have the opportunity to significantly improve culture, staffing, funding, and rehabilitation delivery. After all, we, the blind of Colorado, have two bites at the transition apple. We will be working closely with the interim legislative study committee throughout the summer and fall. This committee will focus specifically on services to the blind and visually impaired of Colorado. At the same time, we will be working closely with officials at DVR’s new home to help ensure that one day soon essential employment and rehabilitation services to the blind of Colorado can become the best in the nation.

Here is the press release issued by The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment:  


Governor Signs Bill to Improve Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Services

On Friday, March 8, 2015, Governor John Hickenlooper signed a bill transferring the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, formerly a part of the Department of Human Services, to the Department of Labor and Employment.

The move affords Colorado an opportunity to better respond to the requirements of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).  That new federal law specifically identifies Vocational Rehabilitation as a required workforce partner.  WIOA mandates that workers with disabilities be provided access to high-quality workforce services so they are better prepared for employment.  The legislation signed into law today affords Colorado an opportunity to better respond to the new federal mandates.

But at the heart of the matter, the move supports Governor Hickenlooper’s call to better serve individuals who have previously struggled to participate in the workplace, including thousands of Coloradans with disabilities for whom employment has remained completely out of reach, as well as other groups, such as youth, recently discharged veterans and the long-term unemployed  More than two-thirds of Americans with disabilities do not participate in the workforce at all and disabled job seekers have an unemployment rate more than double that of the general population.

“A job means more than a paycheck,” says Ellen Golombek, Executive Director of the Department of Labor and Employment.  “It means independence, confidence and dignity.  The Governor’s signature on this legislation today calls for us to capitalize on the talents of an important talent pool and to help those workers succeed.  Aligning DVR with the Department of Labor and Employment is a natural fit with our mission to help people succeed in the job market, whatever their barrier to employment may be.”

“The Department of Human Services is proud of the progress we have made in getting people with disabilities reemployed,” says Executive Director Reggie Bicha, “but housing these services with the labor department whose focus is on getting people to work will allow even greater potential.”

Since reorganization is considered a substantive change that affects the provision of vocational rehabilitation services, public meetings must be conducted throughout the state to allow the public, including individuals with disabilities, sufficient opportunity to provide input.

“Much work lies ahead,” Governor Hickenlooper says, “but with this legislation, we are about to take some important first steps.  Housing the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation within the Department of Labor and Employment is a strategy that will strengthen Colorado’s level of service to people with barriers to employment and make Colorado workplaces more inclusive.”
# # #
For immediate release
Date: May 8, 2015
Contact: Office of Government, Policy and Public Relations
Bill Thoennes at (303) 318-8004 or Cher Haavind at (303) 318-8003
Fax: (303) 318-8070
Web: www.colorado.gov/cdle

Monday, May 11, 2015

Find Your Fit Best Fit for Federation Building in Colorado


Find Your Fit Best Fit for Federation Building in Colorado

By

Kevan Worley

Members of the Colorado affiliate build our National Federation of the Blind and improve lives in many ways. In recent times, we have conducted a series of very successful seminars hosted by our Colorado Center for the Blind in Littleton, Colorado. In addition to our always energetic and impactful state convention every fall, these informative, action-packed seminar days target specific areas for growth and empowerment. Last year’s guide dog seminar and Western States Student Seminar have been two shining examples.

On Saturday, May 9 The National Federation of the Blind of Colorado Sports and Recreation Division joined the parade of powerful training days for the blind, their families, and educators. Approximately 80 people attended the Find Your Fit Seminar. While we know that the untimely, unprecedented rain, sleet, snow, and hail, throughout the weekend prevented a number of people from attending, the crowd braving the rain was energetic, thoughtful, and highly engaged. Hats off to the NFB of Colorado Sports and Recreation Division, lead by their extremely competent, caring, and energetic President, Maureen Nietfeld. The curriculum covered the civil rights of health and wellness, cardio drumming, dance, full body workout, goal ball, tandem biking, guide running and walking, tricks and tips for making better nutrition choices, fitness apps, advocating for your children to be better integrated in fitness programs, and much more. Hosted by the Colorado Center for the Blind, the building was buzzing with goal balling, weight lifting, jumping jacks, and the joyful noise of some creative team building exercises to end the day.

The National Federation of the Blind of Colorado founded its Sports and Recreation Division at last fall’s state convention in Denver. It has been a division on the move! Scott LaBarre, President, National Federation of the Blind of Colorado, said, “Some have recognized by many do not know that I have had to join the fitness parade having lost about 40 pounds since last July and I intend to keep it off. Even the breakfast, snacks, and lunch at this seminar proved that you could eat more healthy and tasty.” Scott said, “We must definitely plan programming of this type at our fall state convention. And I congratulate the Sports and Rec. division for this great day.”

The Colorado Center for the Blind has begun to incorporate a focus on more healthful nutrition choices and wellness philosophy as part of its home management curriculum. Julie Deden, CCB Executive Director, and Maureen Nietfeld, Home Management Instructor, both touched on some of the work the Center is doing during lunch presentations.

Attendees were inspired as they listened to four personal stories from blind people in different stages of finding their fit. Steve Patton, Brittany Savage, Maureen Nietfeld, and Phyllis Chaves offered perspective, advice, and motivation to kick off the day.

It has been observed that health and wellness is one of the most important issues facing our country today. A few have suggested that equal access to information in the areas of exercise and nutrition is the most critical element to bring about lifestyle change. If information is truly power than the opportunity for people to get nutrition facts empowers them. If knowledge is power one must be able to access printed information on exercise equipment in order to utilize the equipment.

One of the great attributes possessed by the people of Colorado is our general commitment to the outdoors and recreation of all kinds.  We have the lowest obesity rate per capita in the US. But blind folks continue to face barriers to participation in sports, recreation, exercise, and proper nutrition. Due to lack of training, low expectations, economic disadvantage, and a propensity to live sedentary life styles, the obesity rate among blind and visually impaired people continues to rise. Many employers look at obesity as an additional disability when determining whether or not to hire an individual. Whether or not it is fair, or even legal, it is the reality. If you are blind AND out of shape you have at least two strikes against your odds of employment. Whether it is access to employment, community life, family, or spiritual life, equality of opportunity is the mission of the National Federation of the Blind. In order to live the life we want, to live it to its fullest and longest, exercise and nutrition must be a part of the solution. This was definitely the statement being made at the Find Your Fit seminar.

The seminar was sponsored by the Colorado Business Enterprise Program (BEP). That program is currently seeking blind entrepreneurs. And it knows that in order to work long hours in business folks must be in their best health. The BEP is collaborating with the Department of Health and Environment and other stakeholders in order to bring better healthy choices to customers in the government buildings it serves. The Find Your Fit seminar was also sponsored by the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA). USABA is a Colorado-based 501(c) (3) organization that provides life-enriching sports opportunities for every individual with a visual impairment.  A member of the U.S. Olympic Committee, USABA provides athletic opportunities in various sports including, but not limited to track and field, nordic and alpine skiing, biathlon, judo, wrestling, swimming, tandem cycling, powerlifting, and goalball (a team sport for the blind and visually impaired).

The principle sponsor of Find Your Fit was WE Fit Wellness. WE Fit Wellness knows that there are barriers which often make regular exercise and eating well seem unattainable for many. The organization understands that there is a need for options that promote delivery of health and wellness products and services in a manner which is more inclusive and cost effective. The WE Can Culture is designed to foster real world solutions which are accessible, affordable, and achievable. WE Fit Wellness provides tools, research, training, and consulting that makes wellness fit for everyone. Jessica Beecham, Director of WE Fit Wellness, presented during the day and collaborated closely with Maureen Nietfeld and the NFB Sports and Recreation Division Board to plan a remarkable day of information, activity, and inspiration. The Sports and Recreation Division knows that they could not hold such a nurturing, action packed day without the help of a number of great volunteers. Working together, we create a climate of opportunity in which more people who are blind can truly find our fit.