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Friday, October 11, 2019

Colorado's New Accessible Voting Goes Live as NOv. 5 Mail Ballots Are Delivered

Mail ballots for the November 5 Coordinated Election are about to land in mailboxes across Colorado, and for the first time ever Colorado voters with disabilities, including those of us who are blind, will be able to vote privately and independently from home or any other location.

Great news, isn't it? Yes, you can vote from home, or anywhere you have access to the Internet and a printer! So you can use that ballot envelope to mail your ballot back - the one you vote on independently and privately with the voting machine you know best - your smart phone or laptop or tablet!

Here's what the Secretary of State's office has to say about this accessible voting option, which came about because we passed SB19-202, Voting Rights for Voters with Disabilities Act this year:

  1. The voter will first need to decide if they are eligible for this service. A voter who has a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act is eligible to vote an electronic ballot under Colorado law.

  2. If the voter is eligible and wants to vote an electronic ballot, they should visit https://myballot.sos.colorado.gov. Once on the website, it will guide them through the process of voting their ballot online.

  3. Once they have completed voting online, the website will prompt them to print both their ballot and an electronic ballot application form. The application form should be filled in with their information, so all the voter will need to do is sign the application.

  4. The voter should place both the ballot and the printed application in an envelope, write “Ballot enclosed” on the envelope, and return the envelope to their county clerk either at a drop box, a voter service and polling center, or through the mail. It is really important that the voter includes the signed application with their ballot, because that is how their county clerk will identify them and count their ballot.

  5. Voters can visit www.govotecolorado.com to update their voter registration information (which they will need to be updated to access the online system). They can also visit that website to find their nearest voter service and polling center and drop box.


So get out your vote right now - it's live!

(Note:  Standard accessible voting at your county polling places is still available.)

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Blind CO Blog with all the news you need and more

National Federation of the Blind of Colorado logo including the words live the life you want


Writer, aggregator Kevan Worley. Contributing editor Dan Burke.


Here is what you need to know

Blind Coloradans Worry of Plans to Remove Curbs From 16th Street Mall

In this piece, Cody Bair, NFBCO Treasurer and downtown Denver blind resident offers his take to the media.

Blind Parents Meet

We received the following from Nate Trela:

The Blind Parents Division of the NFB of Colorado will hold our next meeting at 6:30 PM MT this Thursday, October 10. The meeting will be on the phone only. We'll firm up plans for the blind parents meeting at the state convention and move along with plans for the regional parents seminar, tentatively rescheduled for March.
Dial-in info:
Conference line: 515-603-3194
Access Code:  364151 Pound
Cheers,
Nate

Curtis Chong recommends slow go with new iPhone update

Quite often, your Blind CO Blog features Tech Tips from our tech guru Curtis Chong. Here is what he says about the latest iPhone update:
As it usually does around this time, Apple released a new version of its iOS operating system: iOS 13. The first update (iOS 13.0) was released on September 19. Since then, two additional updates have been released; as of October 8, 2019, we have iOS 13.1.2.

I regret to inform all iPhone users that iOS 13.1.2 (although less problematic than earlier versions) still has some problems for users of VoiceOver, the iPhone's screen reading program. Unless you want to experience some programming bugs for yourself, my recommendation is that iPhone users stick with iOS 12 for at least the next month or two.

Community to join the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind for White Cane Awareness Day celebration

Tuesday, October 15th is celebrated at White Cane Safety day, a.k.a. White Cane Awareness Day. Many don’t realize that Dr. Jacobus tenBroek, founding President of NFB, marshalled our members and our allies to lead the effort for the establishment of White Cane Day. The esteem in which members of Congress held the National Federation of the Blind in the early 60s was evident when 100 members of Congress attended the 1965 NFB National Convention banquet. That kind of attendance at a banquet of any organization, then or now, is unheard of. We received the following from Diane Taylor, School/Community Liaison, Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind:

People who are blind or visually impaired often cannot see barriers in their path, or changes in terrain.  The white cane enables them to feel for steps, uneven ground and obstacles.  It is in this way that people who are blind travel independently and why the white cane is regarded, not only as a tool for travel, but as a symbol of independence. This day also serves as a reminder for drivers to yield to pedestrians who are blind and using a cane.

As President Lyndon B. Johnson proclaimed on October 15, 1964, “The white cane in our society has become one of the symbols of a blind person’s ability to come and go on his own. Its use has promoted courtesy and special consideration to the blind on our streets and highways. To make our people more fully aware of the meaning of the white cane and of the need for motorists to exercise special care for the blind persons who carry it Congress, by a joint resolution approved as of October 6, 1964, has authorized the President to proclaim October 15 of each year as White Cane Safety Day.”

This year, students and staff from CSDB invite the general public to Acacia Park, in downtown Colorado Springs, for a rally between 12:00-1:30 on October 15th. During this event, the CSDB Bulldog Band will perform songs throughout the hour and a half, including original music honoring the white cane.    Celebrating the achievements and contributions of those who are blind or visually impaired, CSDB has invited Jessica Beecham, blind runner and Program Director of WE Fit Wellness, as the keynote speaker. 

White Cane Day is a highly anticipated event, at CSDB, because of the opportunity it represents to interact with the public and explain the importance of the white cane. Every year, more people come to Acacia Park to eat their lunches and listen to the Bulldog Band.

Colorado Governor Polis speaks out for Colorado Free College Application Day

This is exciting! On October 15, White Cane Awareness Day, Colorado students can apply to Colorado colleges and universities absolutely free! We received this notice from our friends at Comcast. Comcast is a great sponsor of our NFBCO 6 Dot Dash.

On October 15, students across Colorado can apply for FREE to more than 35 colleges, universities and technical schools. This new Colorado tradition helps to ensure our Colorado youth can continue their educations without worrying about application fees.

Watch this quick message from Governor Jared Polis to learn more: https://highered.colorado.gov/freeappdayco.html.

Colorado VisionWalk

We have received the following notice from our good friend and Business Enterprise Program trainer, Ellie Karre. Each year, she puts together a team to participate in the Foundation Fighting Blindness VisionWalk. This year’s event is Saturday morning, October 12, registration begins at 9 at City Park Pavilion & Bandstand – Denver. Ellie and family put together a team called the Monkeys. Ellie says HERE IS THE LINK TO ALL THE MONKEY FUNDRAISING!

October Springs Chapter Meeting Waits for You and Yours

We have got a chapter meeting in Colorado Springs this Saturday morning at the Garden Ranch Y. We start gatherin’ up between 9:30 and 10 for a bit of conversation. President Jeanette brings down her mighty gavel at 10 a.m. sharp. During the 11:00 hour, Gerald Klein will be demonstrating the NuEyes glasses, whatever they are. I guess they are pretty cool, so we better show up and find out.
We look forward to seeing you all. Bring a friend. Let’s go build the Federation.

When thinking about professional development, career exploration, and continuing education. Think no further than the NFBCO State Convention 

Where else can you meet fellow professionals and former and future consumers.
For information about continuing education opportunities contact Brent Batron, bbatron@cocenter.org, 303-778-1130 ext. 222.
To learn about CE credits for teachers of blind students contact Nancy Cozart, ncozart@lps.k12.co.us, 303-347-7867.
Blind entrepreneurs and Business Enterprise operators can contact Brad Basta, bmfvend@yahoo.com.


There are many connections to be made, much to learn, and professional opportunities to pursue at the upcoming NFBCO convention. Register for Friday and Saturday sessions now!

Boot Scoot Boogie Western Halloween Ball is serious business

Act now, search the closet for whatever you might have on hand that will make your western character come alive. Play dress up and have a ball. Dance the night away and win one of the top prizes at the NFBCO Boot Scoot Boogie Western Halloween Ball, Thursday evening at the convention. We have heard from people who are coming as Country and Western stars, gun slingers, cowboys, heroes and villains. I think I am going to dress up as Martin Struthers from the movie Cool Hand Luke. That way I can say one of my favorite movie lines, “what we have here, is, failure! to communicate.” More of a chain-gang Southern movie, I guess.
 
But it is all about the crazy fun we will have together. YEEHAW! Admission $5 or show your NFB membership coin at the door.

It's hockey time. He shoots! He scores!

Here is a note from the CCB Director of Youth Services Martin Becerra:

Hi everyone,
The Colorado Visionaries Blind Hockey Club will be having our monthly ice skating/hockey practice this upcoming Saturday, October 12.
The practice will take place from 2:30 - 3:45 at the Foothills Ice Arena. Skaters of all levels are welcomed and it’s free of cost.

If interested, contact Martin Becerra at the Colorado Center for the Blind, 303-778-1130 ext. 223.

Hats off to the Aurora Chapter

NFBCO Aurora Chapter, Heather Gardens, and Rendezvous Restaurant sponsor a special Meet the Blind Month Luncheon this Saturday, October 12 at noon. For information contact President Dale Holden, 303-905-9738.
   
If that’s not enough, Aurora chapter has those stylish NFB hats for sale. Contact Dale or buy them at the upcoming state convention.

Live the Life you Want

Forward, always forward!

Aurora Chapter Luncheon to Celebrate Meet the Blind Month


SPONSORED BY:
HEATHER GARDENS CIVIC AFFAIRS COMMITTEE!

Please help us celebrate Meet the Blind Month by joining us for a luncheon hosted by the Aurora Chapter and the Rendezvous Restaurant at Heather Gardens.

When:  October 12, 2019
Time:   11:00 TO 2:00 pm
Where: Rendezvous Restaurant at Heather Gardens
     2888 South Heather Gardens Way

Your $15 donation will:

Ø Help seniors losing vision to understand that blindness does not need to be a tragedy

Ø Give blind/low vision individuals training in cane travel, Braille, cooking, shopping, technology, and transportation

Ø Support scholarships for blind students as they work to become productive and independent

Ø Help blind people to attend state and national gatherings of blind people who work together to change laws and advocate for themselves

You will hear from Scott Labarre, President NFB of Colorado, Dale Holden, President of the Aurora Chapter & Peggy Chong, The Blind History Lady.

Donation includes an Italian buffet, drinks, dessert.

For tickets contact: Dale Holden 303-905-9738 or
Edith Holden 720-308-8270

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Letter Concerning Changes Proposed for 16th Street Mall

On September 5, 2019, The President of NFBCO sent a letter to Denver Mayor, Michael Hancock. President, Scott LaBarre, writing on behalf of our affiliate thoroughly and accurately expressed our concerns about planned changes on the pedestrian mall. Scott explained the inherent safety risks and usability issues that would result from many of the current planned changes. As we understand them.

On the date of October 2nd, we received the following response from the Mayor. We think the letter was gracious, clear, and informative. Here is the text of the letter.

October 2, 2019

Dear Mr. LaBarre:

Thank you for your recent letter regarding potential impacts of the 16th Street Mall project to the visually impaired community. Your comments are important to us.  Please know that our first priority for this project is to create a safe and accessible environment for all. 

As you may know, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is currently reviewing an Environmental Assessment (EA) of the 16th Street Mall to evaluate proposed improvements.  The EA is a component of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which requires the City to assess, prior to making final decisions, the potential environmental and related social and economic impacts of a proposed project.

The EA was published in April for a 30-day public review period. A copy of the document is available on The Mall Experience website (https://www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/community-planningand-development/planning-and-design/plans-in-progress/the-mall-experience.html). The EA includes commitments to coordinate with the disabled community during all project phases.

As part of our outreach efforts associated with the EA for the 16th Street Mall, we held meetings with a variety of organizations representing people with disabilities, including a meeting with the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado on February 20, 2019. The goal of these meetings was to better understand the accessibility needs for different communities in order to best inform the design moving forward.  Based on these conversations, we are considering the following improvements: 
  • Physical elements to be constructed on the Mall, such as tactile markings that offer landmarks and guidance for feet, guides and guard dogs;
  • Directional signing with words, braille, and/or graphics; and
  •  Consideration of materials and methods to reduce icing on the curb ramps.

We continue to engage with community members to learn more about the limited curb “hybrid” option and get a full understanding of the design option and delineation measures.  Your organization has been invited to a meeting scheduled with the disabled community on Tuesday, October 8th from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Webb Building (201 W. Colfax Ave) in Room 1.B.6. Representatives from my office will be in attendance. For questions, please contact Brian Pinkerton at brian.pinkerton@denvergov.org or 720865-2524.

There will be opportunities for future engagement throughout the duration of the 16th Street Mall project. We appreciate and look forward to your participation. Thank you again for your time and input. 

Respectfully,
Michael B. Hancock Mayor

Blind to Raise Concerns about Proposed 16th Street Mall redesign at Oct. 8 Meeting

For Immediate Release
National Federation of the Blind of Colorado
October 7, 2019

Littleton - More than 30 members of the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado(NFBCO), including two Metro-area chapter presidents, staff and students from the Colorado Center for the Blind in Littleton, will attend a Tuesday evening public meeting with City of Denver planners and RTD to discuss proposed changes to the 16th Street Mall that could effectively ban the blind from Colorado’s largest single tourist destination.

The 5:30 p.m. meeting at the Wellington E. Webb Building, 201 W. Colfax Ave., will discuss the proposed “curb-less option” City of Denver Planners favor, but which will not replace this most detectable of tactile features for the blind.

“… if the 16th Street Mall makeover is as we fear, without any tactile markings to offer landmarks and guidance to our feet, canes, and dogs,” said Scott C. LaBarre, NFBCO President in a Sept. 5 letter to Mayor Michael Hancock, “the 16th Street Mall will become not only a hassle. It will become a safety risk — for us and other pedestrians."

Tuesday’s meeting comes in response to that request from LaBarre, who will be present.

From the meeting flyer distributed by RTD:
Tuesday, October 8, 2019
 
Wellington E. Webb Building
 
Room 1.B.6.
 
5:30 pm to 7:00 pm 201 West Colfax Denver, CO

 
Note:  Enter Webb Building on the Court Street Side 

For more information, contact:
Daniel J. Burke, M.S
Public Relations Specialist
(406) 546-8546
Colorado Center for the Blind
Phone: 303.778.1130  Ext:  213
Fax:  303.778.1598
2233 W. Shepperd Ave.Littleton, CO 80120


Friday, September 27, 2019

Blind CO Blog September 27, 219


National Federation of the Blind of Colorado logo including the words live the life you want


Writer, aggregator Kevan Worley. Contributing editor Dan Burke.Here is what you need to know


Reception to welcome Dr. Nancy Benham as new Superintendent at Colorado School for Deaf and Blind.

Julie Deden, Executive Director Colorado Center for the Blind;Dr. Nancy Benham, Superintendent  CSDB;Martin Becerra, Director Youth Programs CCB at welcome reception in CSDB gymnasium

In a previous blog, we detailed the process by which the new superintendent of our state residential school for deaf and blind children was managed. We were pleased to announce that Dr. Nancy Benham was hired to begin leading the school for the 2019/2020 school year. School has been underway for a few weeks. Homecoming has already come and gone. And the kiddos are already working on holiday festivities. On Wednesday evening, September 25th, CSDB opened the gymnasium for the community to welcome Superintendent Benham. The Bulldog band played on. Members of the Board of Trustees were on hand. Also, in attendance was Julie Deden, Executive Director Colorado Center for the Blind, Brent Batron, Assistant Director of our Center, and Martin Becerra, Director of CCB Youth Programs.

Colorado Center for the Blind programs making a difference.

Here are three updates from Dan Burke to make you smile. Job well done CCB!
  • As the Blind Coloradoan hits the cybersphere, this week's Seniors in Charge is getting close to wrapping up. Six students from Greeley, Montrose, Grand Junction, Glenwood Springs, and the Denver area are in their final day of classes. We'll tell more later about their reactions to their training, except to say that this group can be heard laughing longer and louder than any in recent history.
  • Monday we'll welcome four VR Counselors from Nevada for a week of professional training. We want to thank our old friend and colleague, Richele Pennock for helping to make this happen. Richele was a counselor and supervisor with Colorado's Blind & Low Vision Services until she and her husband moved to Las Vegas. Now she's a supervisor with Nevada Bureau of Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired and wanted her counselors to come for the same training she had received at CCB a number of years ago. We're looking forward to a productive and exciting week with them!
  • FAST Goes Scary on Friday evening, October 11!  Our Fun Activities and Skills Training (FAST) invites blind youth, their parents and families to celebrate the scary season with us. There will be a scavenger hunt, above-water bobbing for apples, and a lot more, including dinner. Call Martin Becerra-Miranda to RSVP at 303-778-1130, ext. 223, or e-mail him at mbecerra@cocenter.org.


Will we be denied equal access to Denver’s 16th Street Mall? Not if we have anything to say about it.

On the Blind CO Blog of September 5, 2019, we carried an item about changes being planned on Denver’s 16th Street Mall. We urge you to read that blog post and join us at the community meeting to discuss changes which will limit access to the mall for people with disabilities. The city should know that NFBCO and our allies will be taking a strong stand on this. We call to your attention the information about a planned community meeting to be held on October 8th, 5:30-7:00 p.m. Wellington E. Webb Building Room 1.B.6. 201 West Colfax, Denver. Billed as a meeting with the disabled community “you will learn about the limited curbs design option that has been selected for the reconstruction of the mall.” That is what the flier says. It suggests that these changes are a fait accompli. I guess we shall see. Join your colleagues listen, learn, and be ready to advocate to ensure that we can live the lives we want on the 16th Street Mall.

State transportation leaders ask for public input on possible Front Range passenger rail.

We received the following information from Gary Van Dorn. In addition to being the only blind photographer I know, Gary is an expert and enthusiast in the area of public transportation. Much of our work with the Regional Transportation District has been informed and led by Gary’s long hours of labor.

9News ran a very interesting story on 17 September 2019 concerning rail on the front range.   Plans are underway to operate rail from Trinidad to Fort Collins; the State of Wyoming has interest as well.  There is also a survey as part of the article.

Live the Life You Want in the Equality State, by KW.

Wyoming is a state of parks, mountains, mining, and people of the West. Wyoming is known as the Cowboy State. It’s also called the Equality State. Believing, as we do, in the state of equality we in NFBCO have always had a relationship with our blind and visually impaired buddies in Wyoming. Wyoming is a state of a little more than half a million people living in an area of 97,000 square miles. Much of it is mountainous and rural. It is also home of a number of national parks, state parks, and monuments. The population of Colorado is almost 6 million people living within about 104,000 square miles. Similar size landmass with 10 times the number of people. Although we have rural communities and great open spaces outside of our front range, it is nothing like the wide-open spaces of the Equality State. Finding people who are blind, low vision, and their families can be tricky. Services for people losing sight, the elderly, and blind kids are not as easy to come by. Finding folks who can benefit from involvement in the National Federation of the Blind is like riding a broke down mare over a narrow, rock-strewn trail watching for the rattlers in the rain. Well, you get the idea. If you’d be interested in helping with our outreach effort in Wyoming let us know. The convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Wyoming is Saturday October 19 in Casper, Wyoming at the Ramkota Hotel.

Dear reader, are you still looking for something to do this Saturday night?

Are there tickets remaining for the wine tasting at Spero’s Winery located at 3316 W. 64th Avenue in Denver? Call our colleague Jon Deden and find out, 303-722-2529. Saturday night, September 28, 6:30 p.m. Tickets, if still available, $50.  Cheers!

Speed Dating at NFBCO State Convention? Who would have thunk it?

We received the following note from Nate Hecker. Nate is a member of the Wild West Chapter and an entrepreneur.

On Saturday afternoon, November 2nd, come get to know members of the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado in a fast, fun, and friendly game of speed dating. Don’t worry! No actual dating is required!

Speed dating: “an organized social activity in which people seeking romantic relationships have a series of short conversations with potential partners in order to determine whether there is mutual interest.” -www.Dictionary.com.

All I can say is, HMM.

There is a lot for guide dogs and handlers at the Fort Collins State Convention.

Melissa Green, President, says, “join us for the COAGDU Business Meeting on Saturday afternoon, November 2. We will be making plans for the year ahead and electing officers. As the month of September, National Guide Dog Month, draws to a close, we at the Blind CO Blog wonder if the Colorado affiliate has COADGU, what do they call it in the Washington affiliate?

Forward! Always Forward! Live the life you want!


Community Meeting About the 16th Street Mall Flier


16th STREET MALL PROJECT
The Mall Experience Logo including the words, the future of Denver's 16th Street mall

A meeting with the
Disabled Community

You are invited to attend a meeting hosted by the City and County of Denver and RTD to learn more about the limited curbs design option that has been selected for the reconstruction of the 16th Street Mall. The goal of the meeting is to ensure that members of the Disabled Community have an opportunity to learn about the limited curb; ask questions; and leave the meeting with a full understanding of the design option and delineation measures. This matter is of particular importance to some in the sight-impaired community and we encourage you to attend.
Drawing outline of public transportation bus
Drawing outline of public transportation bus 

JOIN US FOR A PUBLIC MEETING ON October 8th, 2019 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM

Wellington E. Webb Building
Room 1.B.6.
5:30 pm to 7:00 pm
201 West Colfax
Denver, CO
Note: Enter Webb Building on the Court Street Side

Drawing outline of public transportation bus


Please RSVP with Jan Ross: jan.ross@rtd-denver.com, 303-299-2266

    • Interpreters will be provided
    • Food and refreshments will be provided

For other accommodations based on a disability please contact Ed Neuberg at 303-299-2370 or email
edward.neuberg@rtd-Denver.com

Denver Logo including the words The Mile High City   RTD logo Downtown Denver Partnership Logo Downtown Denver Business Improvement District DURA logo including the words Renew Denver Federal Transit Administration logo



Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Blind CO Blog


National Federation of the Blind of Colorado logo including the words "live the life you want"

Writer, aggregator Kevan Worley. 
Contributing editor Dan Burke.
Here is what you need to know



Onyx at the State Capitol during the 2018 NFBCO Day at the Capitol. (Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation)
Onyx, Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation

Celebrating National Guide Dog Month.
In this month’s release from our National President Mark Riccobono, he made mention of National Guide Dog Month. We in the Federation celebrate those canine companions that enhance opportunities for many blind people to live the lives they want. In 2009 National Guide Dog Month was established to benefit the non-profit guide dogs schools accredited by the International Guide Dog Federation. We salute the dogs, and we compliment blind handlers who work every day to nurture, train, and groom their buddies to be the best they can be. We salute the breeders, puppy raisers, trainers, kennel workers, administrators, and the thousands of donors who make it possible for guide dogs to be of service. And serve they do!


Oh My Aching Back: Posture, Travel, Wellness.
Traveling with a cane or teaming with a guide dog takes a toll on our bodies and affects our lifestyle, posture, and overall health. How does exercise, massage, chiropractic, and proper travel technique apply to you? Experts, interactive live demonstrations, and personal consultations will be the focus of a 90-minute workshop on Friday afternoon, November 1 at the NFBCO State Convention in Fort Collins, presented by Canines and Canes, Colorado Association of Guide Dog Users, and WE Fit Wellness. In the NFB, we describe, demonstrate, teach, and mentor to bring practical solutions for living the life you want. That’s really the nature of independence. Note, one of the tenets of National Federation of the Blind philosophy was communicated to us by Dr. Kenneth Jernigan in his 1993 banquet address, the Nature of Independence.

Maryann Migliorelli with guide dog Uno racing along the Mary Carter Greenway in Littleton Colorado during the second annual 6 Dot Dash 5k (Guiding Eyes for the Blind)
Uno, Guiding Eyes for the Blind


Here is stuff you will want to know.
  • Wild West Chapter Meet Up: Friday night, September 20 at Blind Faith Brewery, 2842 West Bowles Ave in Littleton, starting at 5:00 p.m. Our Wild West Chapter colleague and Business Enterprise Operator Nate Hecker says, “It is our way of saying thanks, and giving support back to this establishment. They were sponsors two years in a row for the 6 Dot Dash 5k. The food truck there will be Michigan Colorado chefs.”
  • Denver Chapter monthly meeting and gambling adventure happens this Saturday, September 21st at the Colorado Center for the Blind.  Folks meet for coffee, donuts, and business meeting at 10. The gamblers head to Blackhawk at around 12:15. Cost for Blackhawk trip is only $15! Check to see if seats are still available, email Brittany Savage.
  • 3 Margaritas is the place to join our Greeley chapter Saturday afternoon September 21st at noon.
  • Here is a notice that we ran in a recent blog, but your aggregator deems it so important that we must run it again. Read and find the joy.
    Cooper Smith’s Pub in Fort Collins is the place to meet. Read the dets about the September 24 happy hour event for the Poudre Valley. As we ready for another high-power NFBCO State Convention, we are gathering up our friends, families, colleagues, and acquaintances for an NFB style meet-up. Let’s enjoy a beverage and a bite. Join us September 24 anytime you want to show up between 5ish and 7ish. You will enjoy Federation fellowship. You do not have to be an NFBCO member to meet up. In fact, we look forward to meeting all Poudre Valley people who are blind and professionals in the field of blindness. Bring the kids, bring the dogs, bring your wallet, bring your buddies. See you there. 5 Old Town Square, Fort Collins, CO 80524.
  • Colorado Springs Chapter reports that the city blind meet up grows in popularity. Fun for everyone, this Tuesday evening between 5 and 7 at Springs Orleans 123 East Pikes Peak.
  • There is still time for you and your friends to reserve your space for the Spero’s wine tasting event. Saturday evening, September 28. This is an annual fundraiser for the North Metro Chapter. For cost and all ticket information contact Jon Deden, 303-722-2529.


The Blind History Lady.
From time to time, we post articles and observations from Peggy Chong. Did you know the Blind History Lady has books that detail and celebrate our blind ancestors available at https://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/24325.


If you were there, relive! If you weren’t, you will want to read the outstanding summary of our recent National Convention by Gary Wunder.
Find it now in the August-September double issue of the Braille Monitor. No one captures the feeling, festivities, fun, and import of convention like the Editor of the Braille Monitor does in his convention round-up. Find it now on NFB Newline or read online.


Guide Dog Onyx riding in an Uber (Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation)
Onyx, Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation

Making Security Inclusive. by Jerry Geis.
In the wake of frequent natural disasters and these horrendous mass shootings, safety, and security must be a priority for everyone. I am guessing that most of us haven’t thought as much about it for home and workplace as we should. How does a deaf, hard of hearing, or a legally blind individual receive instructions and take appropriate action in the event of an emergency? It turns out, our own CSDB is leading the way to ensure that those with sensory disabilities are not left behind. We received this article by Jerry Geis from Diane Taylor at the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind (CSDB):

Imagine a crisis hits right where you are: a natural disaster, active shooting, gas leak or other emergency that puts you at risk for harm. You notice the commotion around you, but can’t figure out what is going on, or what to do. It’s a scenario blind, deaf and hard-of-hearing audiences know well—segments that are particularly vulnerable and underserved during emergencies.

How do you deliver time-sensitive instructions to audiences who may not see, hear or understand routine communication formats? What’s more, how do you do so instantly when people under your care have just moments to react? Leaders at the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind (CSDB) and their counterparts at the American School for the Deaf (ASD) have found uncommon ways to tackle this predicament, leveraging tools they already had.

Participants with low vision needed for research study on the impact of contrast in interior design.
This caught the ear of your Blind CO blog aggregator. I have always been interested in architecture and design. Many of us have become fascinated with ways in which people who are legally blind can comprehend, experience, and enjoy art, décor, and design. You, dear reader, might recall a presentation at our 2014 National Convention from Christopher Downey, a blind architect from San Francisco. We thought you might enjoy listening to the audio from his presentation at the 2014 convention, he is introduced by Dr. Marc Maurer. He was also featured on a 60 Minutes piece last year. In addition, we are fortunate to have a tactile arts club at the Colorado Center for the Blind. (This club next will meet on White Cane Awareness Day at the CCB Tuesday, October 15 at 6 p.m. in the art room.) The American Action Fund for blind children and adults has been researching and beta testing various methods that will allow blind kids to appreciate and create art. NFBCO member and long-time teacher of blind students, Trina Boyd, has designed and published books with raised, detailed pictures for elementary school children. And, of course, our own expert and enthusiast Ann Cunningham has led the way as an artist and teacher for almost a generation. It is with that background that we call to your attention a study being conducted at Mississippi State University (note, you should know that the only art I have ever been able to make was in 2nd grade making a Christmas tree using a Perkins Braille writer.):

To be eligible for this study, participants must:
·         Have a low-vision diagnosis. 
·         Be over age 18
·         Live in the U.S.
My name is Lauren Ashley Hughes, and I am a visiting Assistant Professor at Mississippi State and a graduate student at the Ball State University. I am conducting an online study investigating how contrast in the interior environment can affect a low-vision person’s perception of the environment and their behavior within that environment.

This study consists of an online survey, which should take you less than fifteen minutes to complete. Your willingness to participate in the survey will allow interior designers and architects to learn how to design the built environment to accommodate the low-vision population more effectively in the future.

For more information feel free to contact Lauren Ashley Hughes at 662-386-4887 or by email ahughes@caad.msstate.edu.


Guide Dogs Onyx and Prada taking a nap after a session during the 2019 Washington Seminar (Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation)
Prada and Onyx, Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation

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