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Wednesday, February 27, 2019

2-27-19 Blind Coloradoan




Blind Coloradoan Blog February 27, 2019
Writer, aggregator Kevan Worley. Contributing editor Dan Burke.
Here is what you need to know.

First, this is the 7th Blind Coloradoan since we founded Project Literacy. We are still figuring out the best format. Our social media folks will be helping to put the new format together. We want to make it easy for folks to get to the information they really want while not having to endure my prose. But we also want to make it inviting to read longer pieces. We will be driven by your feedback.

For the First Time Ever in the 30-Year History of the Colorado Center for the Blind, A Member of Congress Comes to Learn. Our thanks to @RepJasonCrow for spending an hour visiting and for taking the grand tour. Freshman Congressman Crow serves Colorado’s 6th District, which includes the Colorado Center for the Blind. Dan Burke Public Relations Specialist, Colorado Center for the Blind was there. Dan says, “Thanks for coming, meeting, and listening, Congressman! It meant a lot to everyone!” Of great interest to our veterans who are blind, Jason is an outspoken advocate for veterans’ rights. He helped lead the charge to replace the overcrowded, 60-year-old VA hospital in Denver and bring it to Aurora. Jason Crow, a man worth knowing. Top of his class at ROTC, former Army Ranger, Bronze Star recipient, Captain, attorney, Congressman. Thank you for your service to the nation.

Standing in front of the tactile Colorado Mountain mural are Brent Batron, Scott LaBarre, Congressman Jason Crow, Julie Deden, Dan Burke.
Coming Soon! Coming soon, you and your friends and family will be able to register for the 2019 NFBCO 6 Dot Dash on June 29 at the Colorado Center for the Blind. We need your help! If you have connections with agencies, employers, or people you think may have an interest in learning about all of the sponsorship opportunities for 6 Dot Dash and related weekend activities please make the introduction. Please make the introduction today! Contact Kevan Worley 303-929-2369, or kevan@nfbco.org.
Live in Power. Rest in Peace. The disability rights movement lost a true thought leader, woman of heart, and activist on February 24, 2019. Carrie Ann Lucas was a talented photographer and cook. A citation of Carrie Ann’s activities, accomplishments, and awards is astonishing. Of heart to the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado is her strong, intelligent, imaginative advocacy during our fight to pass H.B. 18-1104, Family Preservation for Parents with Disability Act.
   
A group of disabled parents bill supporters the day of the vote. Carrie Ann is bottom left corner.
According to the obituary on the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition website, “Carrie Ann died after an arbitrary denial from an insurance company caused a plethora of health problems, exacerbating her disabilities and eventually leading to her premature death.  She was 47 years old.” You can read the entire obituary, www.ccdconline.org/2019/02/24/disability-community-loses-one-of-our-rock-stars.
Dan Burke and Scott LaBarre worked closely with Carrie Ann during the negotiation to pass Family Preservation for Parents with Disability Act. Dan said, “what a terrible, terrible loss.” “She was tireless, man. She was fearless. And, she knew that bill backwards and forwards.” “She knew every comma in that bill.” Carrie Ann Lucas, we mourn your passing, we celebrate your life. Your work will impact the lives of people with disabilities, their families, and society for generations to come. Thank you. At this writing we do not have information about memorials. Please subscribe to Colorado Talk, local channel of NFB Newsline, or check out Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition. On a personal note, the reports on the CCDC website indicate that Carrie Ann’s death was largely due to a failure of our health care system. The fact that a life with such soul and humanity could be lost due to lack of money is truly disturbing. I think what Carrie Ann would say is “this shows how much further those of us who care about human and civil rights have to go.”
From the Mountains to the Plains. NFBCO Mountains and Plains At Large chapter conference call meeting, 3rd Thursdays of the month at 7 p.m., call in 641-715-0866, code 405276#. President ReNae Anderson and the team look forward to hearing your voice.
Hey Partner! Wild West chapter saddles up first Saturday of the month. High noon. Carmody Recreation Center, 2200 S. Kipling Street, Lakewood.
“If everything isn’t black and white, I say why the hell not?” -John Wayne
Here’s What Happened at The NFBCO Triumphant 2019 Day at the Capitol. When we last left our state capitol in 2018, State Representative Jessie Danielson was in the midst of marshalling support for and bringing together stakeholders in order to ensure passage of H.B. 18-1104 - Family Preservation for Parents with Disability Act. Colorado now has the strongest blind parent protection law. And here we are again asking Senator Jessie Danielson to sponsor a bill that would make it possible for blind Coloradoans to vote from home without a sighted person to read or mark their ballot for them. During the Day at the Capitol, Monday February 11, attended by dozens of blind Coloradoans and allies we got the word. Senator Jessie Danielson, S.D. 20, planned to introduce a bill for an act concerning ballot access for voters with disabilities.

It is fair to say that Jessie Danielson has dedicated a great deal of her career to ensure that everyone has a right to vote secretly and independently, but that right has not always been guaranteed for the blind and visually impaired.

“We absolutely insist on our right to vote privately and independently,” said Scott LaBarre, President of the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado, on the Day at the Capitol. “But we also have the right to vote at the time and place of our choosing, just as our sighted friends and neighbors do now, for the same reasons they do.”

Colorado blind citizens fanned out to visit the offices of the General Assembly with fact sheets in hand. Our legislative memoranda featured three issues.

First, a solution to the barrier that currently prevents people who are blind from voting by mail.

Secondly, we were at the capitol to tell our government that the Blindness and Low Vision Services unit developed by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) in 2016 had largely been successful. However, we detailed for them the need to protect the unit within the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) in statute or at the very least regulation. Furthermore, our legislators needed to know that despite successes in eliminating waitlists for services, increasing number of job placements at higher wages, and bringing expertise to clients from professional staff uniquely qualified to serve the blind; Rural Colorado was not receiving those specialized services. Funding would be necessary. (Note: before the day was out, we heard from CDLE management that they shared our concerns and they pledged their commitment to work with us and the General Assembly.)

We also urged law makers to continue supporting NFB Newsline through the Disabled Telephone Users Fund (DTUF). For 12 years, the Legislature has funded this unique and dynamic news and entertainment delivery service to the blind of Colorado.

Visiting with our legislators and their aides was educational, challenging, and fun. Button-holing members of the General Assembly wasn’t always easy. The idiosyncratic nature of the room numbering system was, well, interesting. It made for a uniquely challenging training experience for Colorado Center for the Blind students. We met legislative aides in the basement cafeteria. We called them off the floor during session. The National Federation of the Blind of Colorado was bringing our message of love, hope, and determination to the golden dome!
Pictured left to right is Scott LaBarre, Senator Jessie Danielson, Dan Burke, Ann Cunningham.

The big news of the day being able to vote by mail would likely soon be possible for blind Coloradoans!  

In This Issue, We Congratulate Ann Cunningham. She has been teaching and inspiring blind artists for 20 years. My favorite piece is the mural depicting a beautiful Colorado Mountain-scape. Stop in and touch it, see it, and enjoy it in the dining room at CCB. She inspires people who are blind to live the lives they want through art. The more you learn the more you will love! Check out acunningham.com. You may also take joy from her Sensational Books.

NFBCO Grand Valley Chapter Makes a Difference on the Western Slope. Join them the first Friday of each month at the Center for Independence, 740 Gunnison Ave., Grand Junction. Join the group at 10 a.m. Thanks for hosting, CFI!

Students and Parents There Really is Money for College. Get your higher education in the art and science of winning those all-important scholarships. NFBCO will conduct an informative and lively work session from noon until 4:00 Saturday March 2nd. Be there or be poor. Contact jessica@nfbco.org.

National Federation of the Blind of Colorado Awards Congressional Experience Scholarships. Deyannira Villa Cazares, 16, of Denver, and Ian Lee, 18, of Aurora, joined other Coloradoans who participated in the National Federation of the Blind's Washington Seminar, January 28-31. Villa Cazares and Lee were chosen in a statewide essay contest.

Two Colorado High School students traveled with more than a dozen blind Coloradoans to Washington DC to advocate for legislation to improve the lives of the blind throughout the country.  The group joined more than 500 blind Americans at the 2019 Washington Seminar held each year by the National Federation of the Blind (NFB).

Deyannira Villa Cazares, a 16-year-old sophomore at DSST: Conservatory Green High School, and Ian Lee, an 18-year-old senior at Aurora West College Prep, were the winners of an essay contest sponsored by the Colorado Center for the Blind in cooperation with the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado for blind high school students to attend the annual event. Deyannira of Denver and Ian of Aurora earned an all-expenses paid trip to the seminar, where they met with Colorado's congressional delegation and learned from leaders in the National Federation of the Blind.

"One of the biggest reasons visiting Washington would enrich my life is that I want to be able to advocate for people like me, blind or visually impaired, to have the same rights or opportunities as sighted people," Deyannira wrote in her essay.

"I need to know what laws impact my life and what I can do to help influence changes in the future," Ian wrote.

According to Julie Deden, Executive Director, Colorado Center for the Blind, “Beyond the legislative issues, these two bright, engaged students will be traveling the halls of our nation’s capital with blind adult role models. Our nation’s capital is big and complicated. They will learn that blind can go anywhere and engage members of congress.”

While in Washington, the students joined others in educating representatives and senators about three legislative priorities:

·      The Access Technology Affordability Act (ATAA), which would provide a refundable tax credit for qualifying purchases of critically needed access technology. With this bill, Congress would stimulate individual procurement of this technology and promote affordability of these tools.

·      The Greater Accessibility and Independence through Nonvisual Access Technology (GAIN) Act. The legislation would have Congress set minimum accessibility requirements for advanced digital interfaces which create barriers that prevent blind individuals from independently operating essential devices that enhance quality of life.

·      The Disability Employment Act (DEA) is intended to spur innovation that will increase and enhance modern employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

(Note: Much of the above information about Washington Seminar and our two essay winners was taken directly from a press release distributed throughout the state by our contributing editor Dan Burke.)
The Builders. True stories from the history of the Rocky Mountain blind by Peggy Chong. The History Lady, Peggy Chong, has agreed to share her research with us in the Blind Coloradoan. I am very excited to share these columns with you all with greatest appreciation for Peggy’s work. We will learn of the victories, the vices, the legislation, the lives, the exclusion, the poverty, the adversity, and the achievements of those who lived lives with blindness over more than a century. We stand on their shoulders. Of course, we had our rogues, rats, traitors, and rascals. What would the history of Colorado be without them? We had our thinkers, our leaders and rank-in-file members, families and allies working to make it possible for more blind people to live the lives they wanted. As she digs through the dusty bins of history, I hope she finds a story about a blind gunslinger. We know there were blind miners, cowboys, and pioneers.  Here is our first installment from The History Lady. -KW
As this is our legislative season and we have just come from the Day at the Capitol, I thought a look back just over 100 years at the activities of the blind in the legislative arena would be nice. 
From the Keota News, October 4, 1918
“An Important measure of constructive initiative law coming up at the forthcoming election is the inaugurated be the United Workers for the Blind of Colorado entitled “An Act for The Relief Of The Adult Blind”; And we want everybody to vote for it.  The bill must be alright, as it is officially endorsed by both the leading political parties, and the Colorado State Editorial Association, the Denver Press Club, Colorado State Federation of Labor, Denver Labor and Trades Assembly, Colorado State Grange, Farmers Educational and Co-operative Union, Colorado State Federation of Women’s Clubs, Women’s Club of Denver, W. E. T. U., Jane Jefferson Club, Nine United Italian Societies, Sons of Colorado, Ministerial Alliance of Denver, Colorado Farmers Congress, Farmers Institute of Greeley, Loveland and other places; Navy League Colorado Pioneer Printer, Denver Rotary Club, Mothers Congress, Colorado Suffragists Association, Parent and Teacher’s Association, Society of Ornamental Horticulturists, Royal Highlanders, National Order of Cow Boy Rangers, Colorado Tourists Bureau, Colorado Milk Producers’ Association,  Jewish Relief Society, besides the approval of several religious and fraternal societies and labor Unions.”
That was a long sentence and must have been a lot of work for the blind members of the United Workers for the Blind.  Just think if we had to get the support of all of these groups today for our legislation.
As We Go to Press, A.K.A BREAKING NEWS! We are told by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind, Brent Batron that the appointment of a new superintendent had been offered to Dr. Nancy Benham. We strongly urge the reading of an article in the Colorado Springs Gazette dated February 15 detailing the process, the offer, and different perspectives voiced by the deaf and hard of hearing community about the process.
For more information about the appointment, read the official release from CSDB.
Governor Polis Names Cabinet Appointees. Of special interest to our community is the appointment of Joe Barela to direct Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE). Joe brings more than 25 years of workforce management leadership to the DOL including working with Arapahoe and Douglas counties, the State of Colorado, and most recently with Skillful - an initiative of the Markle Foundation. We look forward to getting to know the new director of the state agency charged to keep Colorado working. The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) is under the management of CDLE. We look forward to getting to know Joe Barela.

Congratulations to Anchor Center for Blind Children on a Highly Successful Visions of Love Gala. On Friday, February 8th, Jessica Beecham and Kevin Kovacs joined over 200 members of the community at the Anchor Center for Blind Children. The 9th Annual Visions of Love Wine Tasting was attended by supporters of the Anchor Center including parents of blind children, volunteers, staff, donors, eye care professionals, Delta Gamma alumni, and members of the community wanting to know more about Colorado’s only brick and mortar early intervention program. Guests were treated to a tour of the facility while tantalizing the taste buds with wines white to red. There was a delicious selection of chocolates and hors d’oeuvres. VIP guests started the tour with an exclusive bubbly and beer tasting and ended with signature sensory cocktails that tantalized. Beecham said, “it was exciting to see all of the thought that went into the architecture of the building as well as the care and love that gushes from each of the staff members.” She went on to say, “The Colorado Center for the Blind and National Federation of the Blind of Colorado are great resources for blind people but often come into contact with families when the kiddos are a bit older. It was excellent to build connections to families as well as professionals who provide early intervention services.”
In This Issue We Have the Duty to Give You Information About the Death of Two Wonderful Human Beings. Our Aurora chapter mourns the loss of James Knight. The Denver Post says, in part, James Brian Knight of Aurora, CO passed away peacefully on January 26, 2019 following a long illness. James served honorably in the Armed Forces as an Army Paratrooper and most recently served as an officer in the Colorado Department of Corrections. James was also a Certified Coach with the 1Touch Project, which provides self-defense training for the blind.
Donations may be made to the National Federation for the Blind, the National Association of Blind Veterans, or the 1Touch Project. NFBCO honors the life of a hero. His life honored ours. Thank you for your service.
Have you Enjoyed This Video? You really Should. It truly captures the essence of our community. In a time where life can often seem tumultuous this 10-minute piece shows that sometimes things really can be poignant, poetic, and possible. Love inspires.
And the Show Must Go On! Members and friends know of the retirement of Lorinda Riddle. We also know of her dedicated service. She handled the management of a number of NFBCO activities. One of her duties was to manage some of the affiliate’s theater fundraisers.  Here is a note from Anahit LaBarre about upcoming theater events to benefit CCB Seniors Programs. She says, “So, here we are, with an upcoming performance of Hello Dolly on April 7th, at 2 P.M. It will be an audio described performance. BUT, HOLD THE PRESSES! This Hello Dolly fundraiser is SOLD OUT! But, never fear! Our next show will be Fiddler on the Roof, June 15. For information email Anahit LaBarre. 

Thanks to Those Exhibitors Who Made an Early Commitment to Our NFBCO 6 Dot Dash 5k for 2019! Five Wellbeing Studio & Spa

Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh. I Hear the BELL of Summer Confidence Camp Ringing. This summer, The Colorado Center for the Blind will combine their experiences and results-based summer programing with the curriculum of the National Federation of the Blind BELL Academy. Since our Littleton Center was established more than 30 years ago, NFBCO has empowered many families through a variety of summer-fun programs. Over the past decade, the NFB Jernigan Institute has been rolling out Braille Enrichment in Literacy and Learning, BELL, Academies. These BELL Academies are managed by affiliates all over the country, including Colorado. Let’s make sure families know about this unique day camp opportunity. Kiddos love getting their fingers on playdoh, Braille, and peanut butter and jelly. There is always a host of activities from pizza making to swimming all with the goal of fun, confidence, and education. Stay tuned for more information about confidence camp BELL in Littleton June 10-21, Westminster June 24-28, and Grand Junction July 15-19. The NFB BELL Academy helps blind and low-vision children, ages four through twelve, develop the literacy skills that will empower them to achieve their academic goals and live the lives they want. This year, with the assistance of our Wells Fargo partners, we provide opportunities for students to imagine, create, and touch their future and dreams; by not only raising expectations through Braille instruction, but by nurturing their development of tactile arts and graphics. To apply visit nfb.org/bell-academy. We are also looking for volunteers.  If you or someone you know enjoys working with blind kiddos and are able to pass our background check please be in touch with Martin Becerra, mbecerra@cocenter.org, Colorado Center for the Blind 303-778-1130. Here I am at Camp Granada!
Young BELL student Asher stepping out to check out the world, cane in hand.
A Victory for Braille Literacy! Dan Burke writes: Colorado Center for the Blind hosted the Braille Challenge January 24th, referred to as the “Braille Blizzard Challenge” by CSDB staff who drove north in the storm.  It was slow going for participants, teachers, and parents who came from as far away as Dillon and Fairplay.  Even took as long as 90 minutes to get to Littleton from Aurora as wind and snow swirled across the Metro area that morning!

There were 14 participants in the Braille Challenge hosted at the Center, and there were 25 in Colorado Springs Thursday January 17th at the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind (CSDB).  No doubt, BRAILLE RULES!

Four Colorado Students Recently Completed the Braille Readers are Leaders Contest. Sadie Ainsworth, Parker, CO received the Kelly Doty Award. These awards are given to students who have coped with extra challenges in order to become proficient Braille readers.

Come On, Just Try It! On your mark, get set, GO! Saturday May 11, Colorado Center for the Blind will be hosting a Try It Seminar. You will be able to try numerous physical and adaptive sport activities. Details coming soon.

Second Saturday in March is March 9. That will be the next meeting of the Colorado Springs chapter NFBCO. President Jeanette Fortin, VP Brian Smith, and the gang invite you! to join them! at the Garden Ranch Y. It is 9:30-10 for the great get-together and 10-11:30 for the meeting. Location 2380 Montebello Drive West. And dig this, the first Colorado Springs Meet-and-Greet the Blind of the City will occur at Springs Orleans, 123 E. Pikes Peak. Drop in any time between 5:00-7:00 on Tuesday March 19. People who are blind and are allies and friends gather to break bread, do some visitin’, lift a toast on your own tab. Bring a guest and guest gets first beverage on the house. No purchase necessary, void where prohibited by law.
“May your troubles be less, and your blessings be more. And nothing but happiness come through your door.” Saint Patrick’s Day is Nigh. Befittingly on a Sunday, March 17th. We toast the lads from Saint Patrick’s Brewing Company and Blind Faith Brewing. Thanks for brewing up good times in support of our 6 Dot Dash 5k 2018.

“Luck is believing you're lucky.” -Tennessee Williams

“To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone.” -Reba McEntire

“I try to be grateful for the abundance of the blessings that I have, for the journey that I'm on and to relish each day as a gift.” -James McGreevey

“Lucky is how I feel to be doing what I do with so many of you.” -Kevan Worley

Did Not See Your Item in This Issue? Be a contributor! Send announcements, ideas, articles, and observations to either myself or Dan Burke. Enjoy this blog on NFB Newsline or read it at blog spot. When it comes to 2019, we say, Live the Life You Want.”

1-25-19 Blind Coloradoan



(Up there on top is the NFB of Colorado Logo followed by “Live the life you want.”)
Blind Coloradoan Blog January 25, 2019
Writer, aggregator Kevan Worley. Co-editor Dan Burke.
Happy New Year! Here is what you need to know.

Hear ye, hear ye! Oh yay, oh yay! Draw nigh! Carpe Diem! The Seventy-second session of the Colorado General Assembly has begun. On February 11, blind citizens and allies will gather for the NFBCO Day at the Capitol. NFBCO extends to you a warm and welcoming invitation to join the day. We will assemble by 8 a.m. on Monday February 11 in Senate Caucus Room 352, S.C.R 352, for our issue briefing. Senator Pete Lee and State Representative Mark Schneider plan to offer brief remarks. Those who have previously joined us for the Day at the Capitol know that after the briefing we will fan out to locate members of the general assembly in their offices or elsewhere in the capitol. We will have educational materials about the National Federation of the Blind for General Assembly members and their legislative staff members. This year, we will provide legislators perspective and information about our continuing effort to gain complete total and convenient access to the ballot. (See Dan Burke’s excellent article, I Voted Twice, in the January issue of the Braille Monitor.) We will also advocate for the General Assembly’s continuing support for NFB Newsline. In addition, we will be following up our work of 3 years ago to ensure that specialized services through the Blindness and Low Vision Services Unit under the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation continues unimpeded. Even those who are not active members of NFBCO will enjoy the Day at the Capitol experience. Learn about the positions taken by the oldest and largest organization of the blind in Colorado. Learn about the process of law making at the state level. Enjoy the camaraderie. You will meet some wonderful people. The need for change is great. Our record of legislative accomplishment has been remarkable. In the last session, Representative Jessie Danielson sponsored and managed our parent’s rights bill, H.B. 18-1104, The Family Preservation Safeguards for Parents With Disabilities Act. She did so with determination and diplomacy. When concerns were raised by county officials as to the sweeping nature of reform, Representative Danielson brought leaders and stakeholders together. NFBCO President Scott LaBarre is an expert on civil rights law. He says he thinks this new law, signed by the Governor this past June, may be the strongest parents’ rights bill in the nation. When we share the authentic needs, hopes, and dreams of the blind of Colorado with members of our General Assembly they are willing to take up our cause. This is what we will do on February 11. (Note: This past November, Jessie Danielson was elected to the Colorado Senate. Congratulations to her!)
Field Trip. Teachers and parents bring your blind students to our Day at the Capitol! It’s a marvelous way to experience how laws are made. You and your students will benefit by joining blind role models. It is great fun! Hey teachers and kids, lunch on me.


Photo of blind entrepreneur, Nate Hecker, standing by the kiosk he operates at State Capitol Lower Level.





Colorado is a vote-by-mail state. As noted above, members of NFBCO and our allies will visit with members of the General Assembly on Monday, February 11. Curtis Chong, long-time Federation leader, has provided perspective on equal access to the ballot to the Blind Coloradoan. Here it is. Registered voters receive in the mail a printed ballot which they mark and send in during an election. Blind Coloradans who are unable to see the printed ballot have no way to mark this printed ballot without sighted assistance, thus compromising their ability to cast a truly secret ballot. Although it is possible for voters who are blind to use equipment at the polls to mark the ballot in complete secrecy, some voters who are blind either do not have transportation available to get them to the polls or the equipment provided for nonvisual access to the printed ballot oftentimes does not work.

Fortunately, there is a solution to this dilemma. Technology exists which enables blind voters to request an online version of the printed ballot and secretly and independently mark the ballot using the access technology with which they are most familiar. This technology has been successfully deployed in Maryland and New Mexico, and in the case of the latter, at little or no cost to the state.

The State of Colorado should adopt a similar system—a system that is based on proven technology and which has worked extremely well for blind voters.

Membership in the National Federation of the Blind brings tangible benefits. Aira announces NFB exclusive plan. For details and to experience go to aira.io/nfb or call 800-835-1934. Introduce yourself! The NFB Aira Intro Plan is the most inexpensive Aira has ever offered. $20 for 30 minutes per month. It’s a very nice rate to begin enjoying the service. The most popular plan is the NFB $99 offer. Receive 140 minutes, numerous guest features, connect with agents anytime anywhere, referral plan to earn savings and minutes. Austria glasses are included. Inexpensive options to upgrade to the newest Horizon glasses available. Learn more by listening to NFB President Mark Riccobono’s release January 4, #worldbrailleday.

To paraphrase Herodotus,Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night nor Government shut down stays these civil rights activists from their appointed rounds with members of Congress.” National Federation of the Blind will visit the 116th Congress January 28th, 29th, and 30th. If you are not able to attend send us your positive energy. We will need your help when we return. Get all the facts! You become the expert. Read and share with your chapter or division.

Hey Alexa. Monday January 15, NFB Newsline subscribers received orientation to the Alexa NFB Newsline Skill. Colorado joined subscribers from Georgia and Indiana. The interactive presentation was taught by the main man himself, Scott White. Scott is Director, NFB Newsline. He has led the development of this service for 12 years. Scott’s innovative management has led to more ways to access the service. His commitment to increase content has built NFB Newsline into the power news and entertainment provider for people who are reading disabled. Future NFB Newsline training calls are contemplated. To do a deep dive into the Skill spend some time at NFB.org.



Maureen Nietfeld joins Project Literacy. At the 2018 NFBCO state convention, we kicked off a new initiative to grow and promote braille literacy, NFB Newsline, NFBCO scholarship program, and our 2nd annual 6 Dot Dash 5k. Maureen Nietfeld, one of the busiest, most respected NFBCO leaders has agreed to join this new effort. Maureen left her position at the Colorado Center for the Blind after 8 years as the Home Management Coordinator. At CCB she taught, mentored, and inspired staff and students alike. Maureen and David Nietfeld are now the proud parents of Logan. The little man is 5 months old. Mamma Maureen plans to return to school and go back to work assisting with the Project Literacy enterprise. She joins NFBCO Secretary Jessica Beecham and all of us who do this work with joy.


Our Christmas Babe in arms. Pictured here David holds sleeping Logan, Maureen with Santa Dan Burke at the Colorado Center for the Blind.

In its January 19 meeting, the NFB of Denver Chapter elected the following:
Dan Burke, President;
Vicki Sayler, 1st Vice President;
Dishon Spears, 2nd Vice President;
Treasurer, Brittany Savage;
Secretary, Kyra Sweeney;
Board Members John Batron, Brett Boyer and Showe Trella.

Note to our fitness enthusiasts. The January USABA Newsletter is out. Click here to check it out!

A discussion of air travel among the bling will inevitably lead to stories of the horrible and hilarious. Doctoral student, Bhoomika Bhagchandani, offers us an opportunity to share our experiences. Bhoomika is a doctoral student at Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at Arizona State University. She is conducting a research study to examine the air travel experiences of individuals who are blind and visually impaired. She can be contacted at bbhagcha@asu.edu or 602-317-2337.

Award * Encourage * Achieve
Building opportunities for the blind in education and beyond.

So, you are blind. You are visually impaired. You are a parent or teacher of a legally blind student. Never fear, the NFBCO is here! On Saturday March 2nd at noon, NFBCO will share tips and tricks to seek and complete scholarship applications specific to blind students. Do not face the daunting task of searching for financial assistance to further your education alone. Details about this all-important training will be announced soon. For now, just spread the word and plan to join the experts. This special seminar at the Colorado Center for the Blind will be one not to be missed.

This year the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado will be awarding up to $15,000 in scholarship funds for deserving students. If you are a legally blind student who is a resident of Colorado, please apply immediately!
v  If you are a teacher, counselor, family member or friend of a legally blind student who is a resident of Colorado, please encourage them to apply now! Students who have previously won an NFBCO scholarship are encouraged to apply again.
v  All scholarships are awarded based on academic excellence, service to the community, and financial need.
v  Applications are due by Monday, April 15, 2019
v  Winners will attend the 2019 National Federation of the Blind of Colorado’s annual state convention held October 31st through November 3rd at the Fort Collins Hilton. Winners will be awarded their scholarships at the banquet on Saturday evening, November 2nd, 2019. Proud moms, dads, teachers, siblings, grandparents, and friends are invited to join the celebration. In addition, scholarship winners will be required to attend the 2019 NFB National Convention which is scheduled to take place July 7-12 at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.   This expense-paid National Federation of the Blind convention education experience is in addition to the scholarship grant.
v  For info reach Scholarship Chairperson Jessica Beecham, jessica@nfbco.org. Also visit National Federation of the Blind of Colorado.    

But wait, there is more!
Deserving, starving students always need more money.  The National Federation of the Blind has the most robust scholarship program in the nation. Thanks to our generous partners, there are thirty merit-based scholarships currently available, ranging from $3,000 to $12,000. Deadline for applications is March 31, 2019. Visit National Federation of the Blind for more scholarship information and application.

But wait, there is even more!
The SEE THE FUTURE Fund is pleased to award scholarships to qualified visually impaired and blind students who are Colorado residents. This scholarship fund is made possible through generous donations by ophthalmologists, optometrists, opticians, staff, corporations, educators, foundations and many others with an interest in the lives of the visually impaired and blind. All scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, school and community service, and individual need. Scholarships totaling up to $42,000 may be awarded. Probable distribution will be one (1) $12,000 four-year scholarship, one (1) $10,000 four-year scholarship, one (1) $8,000 four-year scholarship, and three (3) $4,000 two year scholarships. Application deadline, March 1st, 2019. For more information and application, See The Future.

Christian Record Services for the Blind Scholarships.
“When I was a child of about 7 years old, I was living with grandparents in small-town Illinois. I felt isolated with no access to reading material or blind peers. One day, a gentleman came to our door from the Christian Record Services for the Blind. He was interested in my welfare and that of my family’s. He provided information and inspiration. And, he gave me a record. He connected us with the Library of Congress Talking Book Program and the Foundation began sending me these audio magazines on record. Inspirational articles were read. Interviews with real blind people were presented. I will always have a place in my heart for the Christian Record Services for the Blind.”
As one of the leading producers of free full-vision publications for children and teens with visual impairments, Christian Record Services for the Blind awards several partial scholarships annually for up to $2,000 to legally blind young people who are striving to obtain a college degree in the United States. Deadline, April 1st, 2019. Get the info at Christian Record Services for the Blind.

The December 14th issue carried a note about the upcoming Anchor Center Visions of Love event. But, you can never have too much love! Especially around Valentine’s Day. Friday, February 8th, the Anchor Center for Blind Children is hosting Visions of Love 2019. This charming event pairing wine and chocolate celebrates the artistry of all things decadent. Enjoy this opportunity to pamper your palate and share the magic of Anchor Center’s building and mission during the season of love. Hosted by the Denver Delta Gamma Alumnae Chapter, tickets are $50 for General Admission, $75 for VIP. Get all the dets at Anchor Center for Blind Children. See you there!

Winner, winner, winner! At the 2018 convention of the National Federation of the Blind, an award of $5,000 went to Peggy Chong who, for more than two decades, has documented empowering stories about blind people on her website, theblindhistorylady.com. Peggy was honored along with 5 other recipients of the distinguished Bolotin Award. Many of us enjoyed Peggy’s stories at the 2018 NFBCO State Convention. Peggy and her husband Curtis have been leaders of the Federation since the early 1970s. This past Fall, they moved to Colorado. Peggy is already taking a leadership role in our affiliate. The Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards honor individuals and organizations that are a positive force in the lives of blind people and whose work advances the ultimate goal of helping transform our dreams into reality. Dr. Jacob W. Bolotin (1888-1924) was the world’s first physician who was blind from birth. He achieved that goal despite the tremendous challenges faced by blind people in his time. Not only did he realize his own dream, but he also went on to support and inspire many others.
Application information. Application deadline, April 15, 2019. Contact James Gashel, Chairman, Email: bolotinaward@nfb.org, Mobile: 808-234-9259, Google Voice: 970-306-9779.

Applications are now open for the third annual Holman Prize for Blind Ambition. The Holman Prize is funded by the LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired of San Francisco. This prize awards up to $25,000 each to three blind individuals who wish to push their own limits and carry out a “dream” project of their own creation. The Holman Prize is named for 19th century explorer James Holman (“the blind traveler”), who was the first blind person to circumnavigate the globe, and the most prolific traveler of any person before the era of modern transportation. The application process consists of 3 phases. Phase 1, the YouTube Pitch. Phase 2, the written proposal. Phase 3, the interviews and judging. 2019 prizewinners are announced in July. Check out the frequently asked questions at www.holman.ligthhouse-sf.org/faq.

Share Braille books. Do you have a Braille book you'd like to share with others? Are you interested in receiving a Braille book in the mail? Register, log in, share, and browse. Join hundreds of Braille readers, teachers, parents, and students in increasing the use of Braille books through ShareBraille.org. www.ShareBraille.org lets you share Braille books all year long. You can continually send and receive Braille books, keeping them in circulation for years to come.

NEW BOOKS FROM NATIONAL BRAILLE PRESS. National Braille Press, nbp.org, 800-548-7323. A number of board books for babies and preschoolers are available from National Braille Press. They can be purchased singly or, at a discount, in sets of three. Titles include Animal Kisses; Hop on Pop; Bears and a Birthday; What's Wrong Little Pookie?; That's Not My Monkey; That's Not My Pony; and That's Not My Elephant.

Writing Your Way. Also available at nbp.org, Composing and editing on an iPhone or iPad, by Judy Dixon. Available in Braille and electronic formats. Most of us who have used an iPhone or iPad have done some writing on it, but how many are ready to write a term paper or full-length article with this technology? In this comprehensive reference guide, Judy Dixon explores strategies and techniques that can make writing and editing on your device a breeze.

TECHNOLOGY. Computers for the Blind, computersfortheblind.net, Computers for the Blind provides refurbished computers with assistive technology installed at affordable prices. Recently Computers for the Blind has partnered with VFO, whose brands include Freedom Scientific and Ai Squared. Laptop and desktop computers with monitors are available with Windows 10, and they ship with JAWS and ZoomText installed.

“There is no business like show business” especially when we join our friends for truly spectacular performances direct from Broadway at the Denver Center for Performing Arts. Lorinda Riddle, our own Ethel Merman, sends the following announcement. The Mile High Chapter of the NFB of Colorado have two plays lined up as fundraisers for the spring and summer season.  Ticket prices this year, even at our discounted rate, have increased so our price to you is also higher.  For those who have attended in the past you know that our seat locations are quite good and worth the cost.

The first play for the Mile High Chapter will be "The Play That Goes Wrong" on Sunday, March 17 at 2 pm.  Tickets are $40 each.   On Sunday, June 1 at 2 pm we will see "Wicked."  Those tickets will be $50 each.

The Blind Parents are also planning to attend two shows to raise funds. CATS on Saturday, April 27 at 2 p.m.  "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" on Sunday, July 27 at 2 pm. Contact Brittany Savage at tanielizabeth21@yahoo.com if interested in these shows.

The Seniors will be attending Fiddler on the Roof on Saturday, June 15 at 2 pm and possibly Hello Dolly on Sunday, April 7 at 2 pm. Contact Anahit LaBarre at alabarre@cocenter.org if interested.

“Mr. Wonka: "Don’t forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted."
Charlie Bucket: "What happened?"
Mr. Wonka: "He lived happily ever after.”
― Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Did Not See Your Item in This Issue? Be a contributor! Send announcements, ideas, articles, and observations to either myself or Dan Burke. Enjoy this blog on NFB Newsline or read it at blog spot. When it comes to 2019, we say, “Live the Life You Want.”