Tuesday, March 21, 2023

April Blind Coloradan


Here is what you need to know:

Dear reader, March is women’s history month. In Mark Riccobono’s, national banquet address of 2018, he reflected on the history of and contributions by women in the organized blind movement. He said, “Women have faced social, economic, and political barriers that have created inequality compared to men, and their stories have been under recorded in history. Blind women, faced with the twin low expectations of being female and having the most feared disability, blindness, have been limited in opportunities to pursue their dreams. The lack of adequate training for blind people before the organized blind movement contributed to blind women being considered inadequate for even stereotypical roles in society. The full participation of blind women has been further complicated by efforts like the eugenics movement that reached its height in the early part of the twentieth century. Proponents of eugenics believed in selective breeding, which led to a movement to pass state laws requiring forced sterilization of the poor and disabled. These forced sterilization programs largely impacted women with disabilities and contributed to misconceptions about the capacity of the blind to be effective parents—a painful history we are still trying to overcome.”https://nfb.org/images/nfb/publications/convent/banquet-speech-2018-2.html

The history of blind women in the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado has been a rich one. Years of leadership and the founding of the Colorado Center for the Blind, Diane McGeorge, one of the leaders in our movement and was the executive director of the Colorado Center for the Blind. Julie Hunter, a sighted woman, who is blind at heart, worked with Diane to establish our CCB, is still with us today, as is Duncan Larsen, who has spent many years working with blind seniors. Our affiliate has been so fortunate to have hardworking, thoughtful, kind women organizing, contributing, and leading, since the beginning of our affiliate in 1954. Our current President, Jessica Beecham and Vice President Maureen Nietfeld continue to set a high bar of achievement and inclusion. We are incredibly lucky. I urge you to read President Riccobono’s address linked above.

As we honor the women of the movement and bring you up to date through this blog, we also share with you great loss.

As the great author Charles Dickins might say, “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.” The National Federation of the Blind of Colorado has continued our quest for equality of opportunity for all blind and low-vision people. Our robust and innovative programs at the Colorado Center for the Blind, chapters, and divisions continue to provide services, mentorship, and an unbounded philosophy of love and acceptance. We have done all of this despite the loss of people of our movement who have meant and will continue to mean so very much to our federation family and beyond.

Picture of John Deden

As I write this. We have just received news of the death of longtime NFB of Colorado leader Jon Deden. For approximately 40 years, Jon brought his love, enthusiasm, and expertise to our movement. Before his illness, he was, “one of the boys.” His love of football, the Broncos, the Avalanche, and the Rockies, was shared by his buddies. Jon was a successful stockbroker who retired from the Colorado Securities and Regulatory Agency in 2016. Jon understood right and wrong, and he was a fierce advocate for justice. For many years Jonny was the chair of our convention door prize operation and loved giving things away to our members. Reading posts on Colorado Talk about Jon reminded me of how many of our blind youth were inspired by him. He loved to tease and challenge our teens. Many of them have expressed their love and appreciation for Jon. He is survived by his amazing wife, Michelle Chacon who is a leader in her own right. He is also survived by his sister Julie Deden. Of course, our readers know Julie as the dynamic executive director of the Colorado Center for the Blind.

Image of Traci Jones with a dog

In recent weeks we also learned of the passing of Traci Jones. Dr. Jones was a deeply caring member of our affiliate. She was a guide dog user and a person of great conviction. I will always remember her virtual advocacy in recent years during our Washington Seminar calls with members of Congress. Traci was a hero of great spirit. She fought illness all of her life. In recent times she had become very active in the movement, bringing her indomitable spirit and quest for knowledge to our work. When health allowed, she attended our Northern Colorado Chapter. Traci was a very special person who will be missed by many, including your aggregator.  

Note: in our next Blind Coloradan, we will post a beautiful tribute to Traci from her friend and the President of our Mountains and Planes Chapter, ReNae Anderson.

Image of Scott LaBarre at a Microphone

You know that on December 10, we lost Scott LaBarre. There have been many tributes paid to Scott. Undoubtedly there will be many more on these pages and elsewhere. We want to thank those of you that were able to attend Scott’s celebration of life on January 21st. Scott was truly my brother and my dear friend. His family, Anahit, Alex, and Karter are our family. This month’s Braille Monitor features many tributes to Scott and highlights his celebration of life. I recommend it to you. https://nfb.org/resources/publications-and-media/braille-monitor

Through the celebration of Scott’s contributions to his family, his federation, and the law, you will hear a personification of the philosophy and love of the National Federation of the Blind.

Note: We would like to thank the United States Senator Michael Bennett for his remarks about Scott placed in the congressional record. We also deeply appreciate the proclamation from the governor of Colorado, Jared Polis, declaring January 21st, 2023, to be Scott LaBarre day in the state of Colorado. Again, we warmly recommend that you read the March Braille Monitor. You may also wish to watch the January 21st event available on YouTube. 


Let’s go to the Zoo! A FAST Activity

By Chaz Davis

“Something tells me it’s all happening at the zoo. I do believe it. I do believe it’s true” (Paul Simon)

From the aggregator: Chaz Davis is the director of youth programs at our Colorado Center for the Blind. He continues our tradition of breaking down barriers and creating fun, educational, joy-filled, and interactive experiences for blind children and their families. We encourage you to become involved in our Fun Activities & Skills Training, FAST!

Until very recently, I have done everything I can to avoid trips to the zoo. When I was a child, I would go with my peers on field trips to the zoo. I would go, reluctantly, on family outings to the zoo. I abhorred it. It was walking and walking through the crowds. I did not have good cane skills. I would be forced to walk with a sighted guide everywhere. “Nothing to see here!” The smells and sounds of the animals, the oohs and ahhs of the children, left me bored. I think many blind children have experienced this isolation. Last spring, Papa Worley took the family, including 5-year-old grandbaby Finley to the zoo. It was a new and renewing experience. The joy of Finley and her playmates was especially profound. I found myself petting a giraffe. I had never petted a giraffe. The big old long, neck giraffe bent down and licked me in the eye.  Grandbaby Finley squealed, “Papa Worley, it yicked you in the eye.”

Here is what Chaz Davis has to say about FAST at the zoo.

Ever wondered what it would be like to experience wildlife from different continents? Who says that you have to be in a coastal-tropical climate to interact up close with a sting ray?

Image of someone reaching out petting a giraffe on the head

That’s right, a stingray! Join the Colorado Center for the Blind for our March FAST trip to the Denver Zoo where you’ll have an immersive field trip visiting animals from climates near and far! Who knows, maybe you’ll get to touch some animals too! We are delighted to be working with the Denver Zoo to present this zoo experience designed for blind and visually impaired youth. Among other activities, our visit will include the Zoo’s newest exhibit, Stingray Cove, where we’ll be able to feed the rays! Come see how the Denver Zoo can be enjoyed non-visually!

Of course, the whole family is encouraged to take part in this fun, educational visit to the zoo as well!

When: Saturday, March 25 from 10:00 AM to Noon

Where: Denver Zoo (2300 Steele St. Denver, CO 80205)

**Transportation from the Colorado Center for the Blind (2233 W Shepperd Ave. will be available and departing from the center at 9:00 AM. Please indicate if you will need transportation for that day during the registration process. Of course, families can meet us at the zoo before 10 AM, as well.

Register by March 24 for a Trip to the Zoo!

For more information contact Chaz Davis at 303-778-1130, ext. 212, or email cdavis@cocenter.org


A Message from the CCB Alumni Association

Image of the Colorado Center for the Blind Sign

Dear CCB Alumni,

(We sent this out last week and are resending to an expanded alumni list. And we encourage you to share with other CCB alums that you may know of.)

We are launching an alumni association, and we invite you to join us! It's our privilege to invite you to the CCB Alumni launch party being organized on Saturday April 1st on zoom at 10 am MDT. We are hoping that alumni from all four decades will join us for this special kickoff event.

You can find us on April 1st at the following Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89959983674?pwd=NmNhdnk4U1BxdytmYndiOGRjcWdNZz09

Since many of you have been away from CCB for many years, it will be wonderful to see old friends after such a long time and foster new connections as well. It's a great opportunity to get to know our new alumni community, to relish & refresh your memories, and share what’s happened since your graduation.

To apprise you in brief, the event will begin with check-ins and introductions at 10 AM MDT and will be two hours long. After 12 PM, MDT the facilitated part of the event will end and the room will be left open for socializing and connecting with old friends or making new ones. Talk openly in the lobby or request to be put into a private room.

If you are interested in joining the alumni association and/or being a part of the organizing committee, we would love to hear from you, please fill out the CCB Graduate Survey at this survey link and we will be in contact. If you do not want to be a part of the alumni association, we still invite you to fill out the survey as your feedback is still important to us and there will be a place to indicate your preference on the survey. If you wish to opt out of receiving emails or calls from the alumni association, please respond to this email with your name and write, “Please do not contact me again”.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to email us at alumni@cocenter.org.

We look forward to new adventures and opportunities to connect with our alumni community. Hope to see you at the Launch party!

Thanks & Regards,

Image of Julie Deden in the CCB gym

Your Organizing Committee:

Jim Barbour (1988 Graduate)

Kevan Worley (1992 Graduate)

Maureen Nietfeld (2009 Graduate)

Peter Slatin (2016 Graduate)

Jamila Lane (2022 Graduate)

Laura Millar (2022 Graduate)

Dan Burke, Public Relations Specialist, and

Julie Deden Executive Director

Chili today, hot tamale

From the aggregator: I had the pleasure of cooking up a pot of chili to represent the Olympic City Chapter in the great Chilipalooza. Here is what Cody Bair, President Mile High City Chapter says about this tasty event.

On Saturday February 25, 2022, the Mile High Chapter held its first annual Chilipalooza at the Broadway Shot Spot in Englewood. The event was a smashing success and raised in excess of $1,700 for the Mile High Chapter. The main highlight of the event was the ten chilis that were entered the contest for people to taste and vote on which chilis they liked the best.

The placing chilis were as follows: 1st Place: Sol Betancur, 2nd Place: Ileen Gallegos, and 3rd Place: Dishon Spears.

Also, we would like to extend a huge thank you to are other cooks who are as follows: Jo Elizabeth Pinto, Kevan Worley, Pipi Adams, Nate Hecker, Alex Fowler, Stephanie Baldwin and Lisa Bonderson.

If the chili wasn’t exciting enough for everyone, we also had a live auction in which we auctioned off ten items. A couple of the items included a Blackhawk Trip and day at a shooting range. In addition, everyone got their fill of Jell-O Shots as the bar donated 50% of the proceeds to the Mile High Chapter on the sale of Jell-O Shots.

In conclusion, thanks to everyone who cooked, tasted, bought auction items and Jell-O shots and for making our first Chilipalooza a huge success. Also, we couldn’t have done the event without the help of Josh and Angel at Broadway Shot Spot for providing the location and for their outstanding hospitality. We look forward to our 2nd annual Chilipalooza the last weekend in February of 2024.


NFBCO 2023 Day at the Capitol   

Image of Blind Coloradans walking past the CO state capitol

From the aggregator: Again, this year, the blind of Colorado took our case for equality of opportunity to the general assembly. This year more than 60 members and friends met with legislators or their legislative aids. Many of our students and staff from the Colorado Center for the Blind were on hand to educate and advocate for access, education, and jobs.

Senetor Jesse Danielson meeting with blind coloradans at the Day at the Capitol

There was also a celebratory note. Senator Jesse Danielson presided over a Celebration of Life in honor of Scott LaBarre during the morning secession on Monday, February 13th. I heard a remark that Scott’s spirit and intention called us all to

action and unity.

This session’s legislative agenda will empower thousands of blind and low-vision Coloradans. We will continue to work throughout the session to make these proposals a reality. If you have contacts in the general assembly, please work closely with your chapter president or our state legislative chair Dan Burke. Below, find our 2023 legislative agenda.


1.        NFBCO calls upon the Colorado General Assembly to adopt legislation which would require pharmacies in Colorado to provide accessible prescription labels for blind and/or print-disabled users, thereby enabling them to accurately and independently identify the medications they use.

2.        We ask the Colorado General Assembly to pass the legislation embodied in HB23-1032 which seeks to correct Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA) by Restoring the legislature’s original intent that administrative exhaustion should not be required before a person with a disability may file a disability discrimination lawsuit.

3.        Provide $500,000 in state funding for Colorado’s Business Enterprise Program so that the program can recover from the disastrous effects of the pandemic and expand opportunities for blind entrepreneurs.

4.        We urge this Assembly to at least maintain funding for NFB-NEWSLINE® which gives blind and print-disabled Coloradans timely and independent access to newspapers and other periodicals.

For further information contact:

Jessica Beecham, President, National Federation of the Blind of Colorado

Phone: 615-497-0435 / Email: jbbeecham@gmail.com

Can We Change the World

by Jo Elizabeth Pinto

From the aggregator: Readers of this blog are probably familiar with author Jo Elizabeth Pinto. She is a frequent contributor. We have also enjoyed her poetry at NFBCO state convention banquets. Here is what she offers up for this Blind Coloradan.

Sometimes I get frustrated because the world isn’t changing fast enough. It angers and saddens me when prejudice and ignorance happen, especially in front of impressionable young people.

I need to get blood drawn regularly because of my autoimmune issues. During one of my visits to the local hospital, the woman who checked me into the lab was nearly young enough to be my daughter. During her long list of routine questions, she inquired about my insurance. I told her I have Medicare.

She saw the guide dog sitting placidly beside me and asked, "You're disabled, right?"

I affirmed that I'm blind.

She said, "So you don't work."

Irritated, I started to ask her what my disability had to do with not working. But before I got my mouth open, my teenage daughter spoke up. "My mom edits books."

The woman turned to my kid and asked, "She edits books? But she does it for free, doesn't she?"

"Why would my mom work for free?" My daughter laughed in that condescending way only a teenager can. "No one does that."

"Oh ... um ... she's disabled, and she works for money?" the woman stammered.

"Sure she does. Lots of disabled people work for money," my daughter replied as if the woman had just sprouted an extra head.

"I'm self-employed," I broke in. "I draw Social Security Disability and freelance as a braille proofreader. Let's move on with the relevant questions, please."

This is the New Millennium, people. Our kids understand equality as naturally as breathing when they grow up with it, but we're still explaining the basics to professionals.

Image of Jo Elizabeth Pinto standing behind a statue that makes her look like she has dinosaur wings

Thirty years ago, I thought we could change the world in sweeping waves. These days,
I'm older and wiser, and I’ve learned that change comes one hard-won inch at a time. When I speak up for myself at the hospital, or when my daughter laughs because an uninformed lab tech suggests I must work for free because I’m blind, that’s an inch. When members of the NFB gather at the Capitol to speak to their elected officials or demand textured pavers on the Sixteenth Street Mall, that’s an inch.

The answer is yes. We can change the world, inch by precious inch!

Aira Services Launched for the State of Colorado

We received the following from Karen Pellegrin, Senior Manager, Technology Accessibility Program, state of Colorado. Aira is a service well-known by most blind people. Some find it extremely useful, and some find it of little or no value in their lives. This announcement from the state of Colorado has certainly been grist for discussion on Colorado Talk and at chapter meetings. Full disclosure your aggregator served as a consultant for the company from 2017 until late 2019, and I use the service extensively.  Here is what we received.

Every Coloradan deserves equal access to essential state services.

Which is why the State of Colorado is excited to now offer a new service for blind and low-vision Coloradans through a partnership with Aira, an app that provides live, on-demand visual interpreting through human-to-human assistance. Coloradans will get free access for up to 30 minutes per session while navigating state locations and digital services, reducing barriers to services, and creating a more welcoming Colorado for all.

Please use our Aira Media Kit to help get the word out to your community and organization. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Q4FCtCj4-3DEvDFtk5XhHTKXyoJQUN-EFfKaPfIOD3Q/edit

To learn more about Aira, including frequently asked questions about the service, visit our OIT Aira webpage. https://oit.colorado.gov/accessibility/aira

For additional questions, please feel free to reach out at OIT_Accessibility@state.co.us.


Greeley Chapter on the Go!

Thanks to chapter president JJ Aragon for the following chapter update. If you know folks in the Greeley area, let them know about opportunities for service and camaraderie in our Greeley group. Here is what JJ says:

We've got some exciting things coming up in the next three months. In March, we will be celebrating 23 years as a chapter, holding elections, and beginning planning for our 2023 Vision Fair. On April 15th, we are going to have an iPhone/Android seminar. And for May we *might* be doing a spring picnic together with the NoCo Chapter. The May plans are still in the works, but we are beginning to work with NoCo and are very excited.


The Stars Come Out to Meet Aftersight Podcast Host Penn Street

NoCo NFB Chapter member Penn Street is the host of the Podcast, Aftersight, which is sponsored by Audio Information Network of Colorado. Penn interviews people who are blind and visually impaired from around the world.

Some of her guests are Sven, a master gamer from the Netherlands, Erik Weihenmayer, the first blind person to summit Mt. Everest; Lex Gillette, a multi-medal winner in the Paralympics; Diane Schuur, a multi-Grammy Winner; and so many more. Penn strives to create a space for people who are blind and visually impaired to share their stories, celebrations, skills, and struggles.

If you would like to be a guest on Aftersight, contact Penn’s Podcast Producer, Jonathan Price, at jonathan@aincolorado.org. You can listen, follow, and rate Aftersight every week anywhere you listen to your favorite podcast. Apple, Google, Spotify, or your smart speaker. Ask your Alexa or Google Nest to play Aftersight Podcast. To contact Penn, email her at penn@aincolorado.org or find Penn at https://aincolorado.org/audio-publications/aftersight/


Colorado Senator Michael Bennett Pays Tribute to Scott LaBarre in the Congressional Record

From the aggregator: Scott’s loss has been felt by many here in Colorado, but also around the world. Many of us take some comfort in the accolades and tributes paid to our dear friend and longtime leader. We thought you would enjoy reading remarks from senator Bennett in the congressional record.

Mr. Bennet. Mr. President, I rise to honor the life and career of my dear friend Scott LaBarre on the sad occasion of his death after a battle with cancer. Scott passed away surrounded by his family on Saturday, December 10, 2022. From his days as a college student until a few months before his death, Scott, who went blind as a youth, fought tirelessly for the rights of blind people and other people with disabilities. Born and raised in Minnesota, Scott attended the Colorado Center for the Blind, a world-renowned rehabilitation training program for blind people, and ultimately established his law practice and his family in the Denver area. His legal work focused in the areas of employment law, disability rights, and international copyright policy. He held several leadership positions within the American Bar Association and the National Federation of the Blind--NFB--most recently as NFB's general counsel. He served as chair of the board of the Colorado Center for the Blind, led the National Association of Blind Lawyers, and helped establish and guide the Jacobus tenBroek Law Symposium, the premier conference for practitioners and students of disability law. His impact will continue to ripple across the world because of his leadership in securing the Marrakesh Treaty, an international agreement permitting the cross-border sharing of books in Braille and other accessible formats, which was ratified by this body. Scott conducted all of his work with confidence, humor, and a joyful spirit. Going forward, I will miss his presence in the halls of the Senate when the National Federation of the Blind visits Washington each year, as well as my many other interactions with him. I am sure that many of you also encountered Scott, and I know you will join me in lifting up his wife Anahit and their children, Alex and Karter, as they cope with this devastating loss.

I take comfort in the knowledge that Scott leaves a legacy encompassing not only his many accomplishments, but his impact on the hundreds of blind people whom he personally mentored and the millions who will benefit from his efforts for generations to come.

National Convention in Houston

Reminders: don’t forget to reserve your hotel room for the National Convention, don’t forget to register for the National Convention online by May 31. One way to get geared up for National Convention is to listen to the March Presidential release. There was at least one Coloradan in the audience on Wednesday, March 1st. Joanne Franklin, the Olympic City Chapter Vice President, was attending a leadership seminar. The question-and-answer portion of the March presidential release was particularly informative.

Click the following link to listen to Presidential Release number 525.


Mark your calendars for the great guide dog seminar Saturday, May 13th, from 9 am until 2 pm. To help or register for the seminar, email kevan@nfbco.org.

Don’t forget that scholarship applications for national and state scholarships are available at nfbco.org and nfb.org. For further information, contact Cody Bair, scholarship chairperson codyjbair@yahoo.com.

That’s all she wrote. Forward always forward!

Friday, March 10, 2023

March Blind Coloradan



Blind Coloradoan Blog

March 10, 2023

Writer, Aggregator: Kevan Worley.
Contributors: Dan Burke & Erin Daley. With assistance from Lisa Bonderson, National Federation Of The Blind Of Colorado, President, Jessica Beecham

Here is what you need to know:


Dear reader, there is so much happening in our federation family, along with many of our partners, that we will post an additional Blind Coloradan next week. In the meantime, in between time, here are some updates for you.

It’s woman’s history month. We would love to see posts from you, dear reader, about those special blind women of our movement. Respond to this blog or email me directly at kevan@nfbco.org. Thanks to all the blind women who make our federation the distinctive, loving dynamic civil rights movement it is.



Colorado Center for the Blind Embarks on New Strategic Plan

From the aggregator: It’s my honor to be a 1992 graduate of the Colorado Center for the Blind. For many years I have served as treasurer of the CCB board of directors. In order to maintain a robust, caring, dynamic training center, from time to time, we undergo long-range strategic planning. During 2023 we will be working with stakeholders to take a realistic look at our work. We will work at the granular level to plan for a stable, resilient, and expansive plan for the future. This introspective review and planning are vital for any organization. We look forward to hearing your comments. You can reach the executive director, jdeden@cocenter.org. Or call 303-778-1130.


Lyfting up expectations and opportunities

It’s easy! So many of our friends, families, and ourselves use the Lyft app. How many Coloradans can we get to, “round it up to the next dollar” when we ride? It’s easy! Do it today!  Money goes to the National Federation of the Blind. Your few cents will make a difference.



Mile High Madness is Back!

By Cody Bair, president NFBCO Mile High Chapter

It's that time of year again when we all become basketball experts and complete our brackets with the hopes and dreams of a perfect bracket, but all too often, to have our dreams crushed by the end of the first day. Either that or fill out a bracket based on which mascot would actually prevail in a dual. Whatever your strategy is, this fundraiser is one you won't want to miss.

As such, the Mile High Chapter is excited to kick off our 2nd annual March Madness Bracket Fund Raiser. Remember, we crowned Kevan Worley bracket king last year! Do you have what it takes to take down the king, or will he repeat? The only way to find out is to join the fun!

Brackets are $20 a piece, and you can buy as many brackets as you like.

Entry fees are due prior to 10:00 A.M. Mountain on Thursday, March 16, which is the time at which your bracket must be submitted. Funds raised will be split, with 50% of entry fees going to the first place bracket and the other 50% going to the Mile High Chapter.

Entry fees can be paid via Zelle at garyvdrn@msn.com or by credit card at the link below.


We are using ESPN to host our bracket pool, and the link to join the pool is below.


Please note the link above has a password on it to join. Please reach out to me once you have paid at either codyjbair@yahoo.com or (970)673-6998, and I will provide you with the password. Please also make sure the name of your bracket is identifiable to me, or let me know what your bracket name is to avoid any confusion.

You can join any time between now and next Thursday morning; However, the brackets will not be available for completion until this Sunday afternoon at 4:00 P.M.

We are using the traditional scoring rules, which are as follows:

First Four: not picking these games

Round 1: 1 Point

Round 2: 2 Points

Sweet 16: 4 Points

Elite 8: 8 Points

Final 4: 16 Points

National Championship Game: 32 Points

Please don't hesitate to reach out to me directly should you have any questions or need assistance filling out your bracket.


CSDB Students Journal the Journey  

From the aggregator: We were pleased to receive this article by Emma Avery, teacher of visually impaired students. It’s always a joy to hear from our Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind.

“The symbiotic relationship between reading and writing is a cornerstone of our individual intellectual journey and our educational system. We write as an act of self-expression. We read because language renders unto us the vitality of real and imagined experience.” – author Marita Golden

Being a “good reader” or a “good writer” is not as simple as learning to read or to write. Each of these skills is built on many, many subskills that can be acquired directly or incidentally as students progress through schooling. For students with visual impairments, however, opportunities for incidental learning are harder to come by. By integrating explicit instruction and deliberate practice of these subskills, we can help students fill in the gaps on their journeys to becoming strong readers and writers.

In my secondary English Language Arts classroom, integrated instruction in these subskills takes the form of a daily journal. When they enter class, students take a journal prompt in print or Braille from the pouch on the ELA Essentials Board, a bulletin board on the south wall of my room. They independently read the prompt and type a response on their device. On Thursdays, students submit all journal responses for the week. Ideas and skills from the journal prompts are also incorporated into curriculum instruction throughout the week.

The journals act as review for students who have already acquired the day’s subskill, and an opportunity for direct instruction for those who have a gap in this area. On the ELA Essentials Board are posters in print and Braille containing information and examples of this week’s subskills. The subskills are organized into four categories: Word Part (root words, prefixes, and suffixes), Grammar Gem (grammar and punctuation conventions), Comprehension Strategy, and World Connection (integration of cultural topics such as Black History Month). The subskills change each week but may be repeated throughout the year to reinforce the topics.

For an activity that only takes 10-15 minutes at the beginning of class, the journals provide several opportunities for students to grow as readers, writers, and learners. Each student must read their journal prompt independently in their learning media, so they are practicing their print or Braille reading skills. Each student must write their response independently on their device, so they are using their technology as they practice critical thinking and writing skills. Finally, students are reminded that they can access the posters on the ELA Essentials Board if they need help, which reinforces their independence and provides an opportunity for accessible research. Students are taking charge of their learning as they practice integrated skills in the literacy classroom.


Chapter Name Change

Our Colorado Springs Chapter has changed its name. It will be doing business as “The National Federation of the Blind of Colorado, Olympic City Chapter.” President Jenette Fortin continues to lead our effort in the Olympic City Chapter. Congratulations to Joanne Franklin. Joanne serves as the chapter’s vice president. She has just attended a leadership seminar at our National Center for the Blind in Baltimore. Sounds like our Olympic City Chapter is a winner.


Are You Ready to Expand Your Pawsibilities?

The great guide dog seminar is coming!

The Colorado Association of Guide Dog Users has announced that they will be holding a special seminar for all who are interested in guide dogs. If you are a guide dog handler, consider getting a guide dog or know someone who may be interested in learning about the world of guide dogs. You will want to learn more about the great guide dog seminar. The seminar will be at the Colorado Center for the Blind in Littleton. It will happen on Saturday, May 13th. A dynamic curriculum is being developed. If you have ideas for the event, please contact kevan@nfbco.org., 303-929-2369. Forward!


You’re the Boss, Applesauce

By Gail Hamilton

From the aggregator: Gail Hamilton is an active member of our Colorado Association of Guide Dog Users. She is an experienced handler. She is also an author and a nationally known motivational speaker. She posts a regular blog, “ Soaring Into Greatness.” From time to time, we post one of Gail’s thoughtful articles. Here is one we thought you would enjoy.


When I was a young child, my sister had a friend Gretchen who used to say:

“I’m the boss, applesauce. You know what I mean, jellybean? You understand, rubber band? Cause, I like apple pie.”

Ridiculous, right?

Yep, however, there is some truth in “I’m the boss, applesauce.”

We have a choice! Just because our family members, friends, acquaintances, coworkers, or society says we “should” do something doesn’t necessarily mean we should! Now, I’m not advocating breaking rules. There’s a proper way to make societal and legal changes for that. What I’m suggesting is—as my dad used to say—”if all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?”

I may create some waves with this blog; however, here I go!

Almost two years ago, I had a bone density test which showed I had severe Osteoporosis (-2 to -3.5 on their scale). At the time, the doctor convinced me to take the weekly prescription of Fosamax to strengthen my bones. I followed her advice, “I’d put my mother on it” for six months. Then, a friend sent me some video links regarding side effects which included fractures. I decided I didn’t need a prescription medication to give me more fractures, and I stopped taking the Fosamax.

A year later, my new doc suggested I go to the Colorado Center for Arthritis and Osteoporosis and get a second opinion. That doc immediately wanted to put me on the prescription of Evenity—a once-a-month shot—followed up by Prolia, a biennial shot for the next 7 years. She made the “drug” sound so promising! My friend and I returned home and did more research. This prescription, along with fracturing, can cause heart attacks!!!

I then talked with my pharmacist and others, who said I needed calcium supplements. Of course, after talking with other docs, I found out that supplemental calcium can lead to estrogen-dependent cancers.

I’m not so uneducated that I cannot comprehend that everything has side effects! I could eat too many nuts and get something! However, I’d rather overdose on nuts than break a bone. Or, if I ever broke a bone, I’d rather do it walking with my pup than because I took a prescription drug.

Here’s what I’ve decided to do for my bones. Each day I’m going to eat calcium found in plants—1000 to 1200 mg is recommended. Along with these, I’m going to take 5000 mg of vitamin D3, and I’m going to lift weights at least three times a week.

What about you? Are you being your own boss? Are you allowing others to dictate your future?

Health is a personal thing. I can’t tell you what to do or what not to do, and I’m definitely not a doctor! I can encourage you to be your own boss and maybe to eat some applesauce!   We all must take responsibility for ourselves—to stand up to the Goliaths in our life! We must live with the consequences of our actions and be the best we can be! In being our own bosses, we’ll change the way we see, and we’ll change the way we live! Now, go have that applesauce!


Dear reader, we hope you have enjoyed this Blind Coloradan. There is much more to report, including remembering Scott LaBarre, Jon Deden, and Traci Jones. We will have more on the lives of these 3 federation family members in upcoming newsletters. As most readers know, we have lost Scott, Jon, and Traci. Please keep their families in your thoughts and prayers.

Until next time, forward always forward.

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

February Blind Coloradan



Blind Coloradoan Blog

February 1, 2023

Writer, Aggregator: Kevan Worley.
Contributors: Dan Burke & Erin Daley. With assistance from Lisa Bonderson, National Federation Of The Blind Of Colorado

President, Jessica Beecham jbbeecham@gmail.com

Here is what you need to know

From the aggregator: First, an apology from me. As you know, dear readers, the Blind Coloradan Blog is the newsletter of our NFBCO family. It is for our federation family members, allies, supporters, partners, and sometimes foes. Our federation family suffered a great loss on December 10, 2022, with the passing of our beloved colleague and friend Scott LaBarre. Dealing with the tragedy of such a great loss has been difficult. This is a major part of the reason our family newsletter did not appear in December and January. This doesn’t mean that activities and plans affecting the lives of blind and low-vision people haven’t continued.  As you will see in this Blind Coloradan and in those to come, NFBCO and our Colorado Center for the Blind continued to do the hard work and heavy lifting to change the world. We will be writing more about Scott and his life’s work later in this post and newsletters to come. And I know there will be a great deal of material about my very best friend and immediate past president of NFBCO in a Braille Monitor coming soon.

We want to take a moment to thank all of those who joined in the celebration of life for Scott on January 21st at the Denver Marriott South and those who joined on zoom and over YouTube. There were over 300 at the event and well over 300 on zoom. Along with many, many more who joined on YouTube during the event and during the days following the celebration of life. And what a life it was. You can still see or hear this amazing event on YouTube.

With special thanks, appreciation, and love we send our most sincere condolences to Anahit LaBarre, Alex LaBarre, and Carter LaBarre. The family has asked those who wish to make contributions in Scott’s honor to consider making a gift to the Scott C. LaBarre Leadership and Justice Fund. The fund will support many things that were near and dear to Scott, such as our advocacy work and our work around education. To give to the fund, visit https://nfb.org/donate and indicate that your donation is in memory of Scott.

As we post this blog, there is a delegation from NFBCO in Washington DC on capitol hill this week meeting with members of Congress. In addition, we can now announce that our NFBCO day at the capitol will occur on the morning of Monday, February 13th. These two annual activities were two of Scott’s very favorites. As Scott would say, “let’s get to work.”


Wild West indoor golf course fundraiser at SuperFly

We received the following from NFBCO board member Nate Hecker.

Are you golf curious?

Do you want to get a taste of what it’s all about without dropping a bunch of money or spending hours outside?

Now you can experience the action of golf alongside your friends from across the front range with the Wild West Golf Preview!

When: Saturday, February 4, 4-6:00 p.m.

Where: The Superfly Golf Lounge, 2100 W. Littleton BLVD Suite C

Littleton, CO 80120

Cost: $20 for golfers, free for all the rest. Kids welcome

We rented both bays, so it will be just our group at this facility! So don’t be scared. Come on down!

These guys have TrackMan golf simulators, which allow you to play foursome matches just like we’ll have on June 6 at the Wild West Golf Classic.

It’ll be a fun way to dip your toe in and get professional-caliber feedback on how you’re doing; no clubs required.

Never swung a golf club in your life? Now’s the time! You’ll be able to get a feel for a proper golf swing and how that changes based on the type of club you’re using.

 Not a golfer?

This place has a little sports bar with TVs, beer, and cocktails, plus some food from the highly regarded Bacon Social House right next door.

 So, whether you want to see what golf is all about, especially the kind we’ll be playing at the Wild West Golf Classic, or you just want to lounge around with some of your faves, join us this Saturday at the Superfly Golf Lounge in Littleton. $20 gets you some time in the golf simulator and helps support the Wild West Chapter!


This just in!

Dear reader, we have just learned about a seminar to address blind students seeking scholarships. It will be held on the afternoon of Friday, February 10th, at the Colorado Center for the Blind. Both the applications for our state and national NFB scholarships are now available. And there are numerous scholarship opportunities available to college students. Get your questions answered and share ideas. For complete information, call 303-778-1130. More details as they become available will be posted on Colorado Talk. Not a subscriber to Colorado Talk? Subscribe to our list serves today.



Making Christmas a joy for all members of the family

By Maureen Nietfeld

From the aggregator: Taking care of some unfinished 2022 business. We know you will love this account of a wonderful family holiday experience sponsored by our parents of blind children division. What shines through for me when I read Maureen’s article is how blind people, when working together, can create dynamic, fun-filled, and educational experiences that will last a lifetime. Certainly, blind parents can find many ways to make sure that their sighted and blind children will be able to take part in holiday traditions. And we do. However, it’s not very easy or practical to spend money on an Uber or Lyft to take in a light display. The excitement and empowerment a blind parent, grandparent, or other family member gets when bringing these family experiences home through our wonderful NFBCO communities makes the holiday just that much more special. I wish I had been there to hear the children sing and the oohs and ahs as the kiddos found delight in the shimmering light displays. Here is what Maureen says.

As a cited child, I have wonderful memories of driving around during the holiday season to look at Christmas lights. My parents would bundle us up, kick the heat up in the car, and we would spend hours driving around, admiring all of the beautiful sites. Now, as a blind parent who doesn’t drive, this often weighs on my heart as something I wish I could do for my son. this season, we found a solution!! On December 4, Sunday evening, 25 of us met at the Colorado Center for the Blind to have our first annual Christmas light extravaganza!! We started the evening with cookies and let our kids run around the center to play. The Blind Parents Division is a dynamic group, and all of our kids have grown up together. Our kids range in age from 2 to 17. It’s very special to watch our older kids look out for the younger ones and have the opportunity to watch our little ones grow and learn together.  As all the kids ran around excited for the evening ahead, we passed out Christmas stockings complete with reindeer ears, fiber optic ones, end, of course, Hershey kisses. we then all piled up into the Colorado Center for the Blind‘s two largest vehicles. We made our way to Bandimere Speedway for the drive-through Christmas light display. The vans echoed with laughter, Christmas caroling, and excited voices as we all headed to the big show. all of the kids had faces glued to the windows as we drove through the elaborate display. The best part of all was the animated descriptions of all of the displays coming from our children. the only word to describe the night was magical. We can’t wait till next year!!


Announcing the 2023 NFBCO Scholarship Program

From the aggregator: Robert Lamm is now leading our effort to establish our Northern Colorado Chapter. He heard about us through our robust scholarship program. Here is what we received from the NFBCO scholarship chairperson, Cody Bair.

It is with great excitement that I announce the opening of the application for the NFBCO 2023 Scholarship Program! To view further information on the Scholarship and to apply, please visit the below link.


Please don't forget that all applications must be completed by 11:59 P.M. on April 15, 2023. Scholarship winners will receive expense-paid trips to both our National convention in Houston, TX, and our state convention in Lone Tree, CO, along with an academic scholarship.

If you aren't a student and thus not eligible please help us by getting this application in the hands of all blind students you know. As a past NFBCO scholarship recipient myself, I can attest to the fact that the mentorship received through the scholarship program is priceless and has played a significant role in allowing me to live the life I want as a successful professional. Of course, the cash scholarship was extremely helpful in my educational pursuits as well.

Should you have any questions regarding the application or application process, please don't hesitate to reach out to me at codyjbair@yahoo.com or (970)673-6998.


Who makes the very best chili? The Mile High Chapter is about to find out.

Save the date

On the afternoon of February 25  from 2:30-4:30 P.M. for our first annual chili cook-off at Broadway Shot Spot located at 4011 S. Broadway Englewood, CO 80113.

Are you interested in entering the Chili Cook-Off? If so, the entry fee is $25, and you will have the opportunity to win fabulous cash prizes should you finish in the top three as voted by are tasters. Participants are encouraged to bring a crock pot full of Chili for entry. We will be providing bowls and spoons; However, participants are encouraged to bring any side items they may want to serve with their chili. The link to enter as a participant is pasted below. We need all individuals who want to make chili to enter prior to February 17.


Not interested in making Chillie. No problem. You are welcome to participate as a Chillie taster for the low cost of $15. Your $15 will get you a bowl for tasting all of the various Chilies and a  voice in crowning our Mile High Chapter Chillie Cook-Off Champion.

The link to make payment of your $15 can be found below. Payment ahead of time/RSVP’ing to be a taster is not required but is encouraged.


In addition to the Chillie Cook Off we will be hosting a live auction with descriptions of the items to be auctioned to come in the next couple of weeks. This is bound to be a time you will not want to miss.

Should you have any additional questions, please feel free to reach out to Cody Bair at codyjbair@yahoo.com or Nate Hecker at heckerhead @gmail.com.

PS, your intrepid aggregator has already paid my entry fee. So, chili champions, bring it on!!


Big day at the capitol coming sooner than you think.

Big day at the capitol coming fast!

From the aggregator: Federationists and friends will gather at the state capitol on Monday, February 13, beginning at 8 a.m. for our first in-person Day at the Capitol in three years. In conjunction with that event, Sen. Jessie Danielson plans to honor number one advocate Scott C LaBarre on the floor of the Senate. A delegation will be asked to join Senator Danielson, sponsor of our parents with disabilities rights and accessible voting bills in previous years,  Details are still being hammered out, but we anticipate that the tribute to Scott will begin when the Senate comes into session sometime after 9 am that morning.

After members of the general assembly honor the life and many achievements of our long-time affiliate president, members of the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado and our allies will do what we always do – we’ll visit the offices of all 100 general assembly members. Those who aren’t planning to go on the floor will have gallery seating.

We realize this is short notice. But the federation is always ready to be on the move. Each year our Day at the Capitol events do much to raise awareness and continue to change laws that change the world. Please work through your chapters and divisions. Pull out the stops. Work with President Beecham and Dan Burke to help encourage and arrange a great crowd to honor Scott and continue his work.

We will gather at 8 am in the old supreme court chambers. As directed by the NFBCO board of directors and by resolution, we will be reaching out to the members of the legislature regarding 3 priorities. We want to ensure that funding for NFB Newsline continues. We want to urge the members to consider legislation to require pharmacies to provide accessible prescription labels for blind and print-disabled users.https://view.officeapps.live.com/op/view.aspx?src=https%3A%2F%2Fnfb.org%2Fsites%2Fnfb.org%2Ffiles%2Ffiles-word%2FModel%2520Accessible%2520Prescription%2520Labeling%2520Legislation%2520v2.docx&wdOrigin=BROWSELINK

This year we will also ask that the Joint Budget Committee, JBC adjust how dollars funding the Business Enterprise Program are apportioned.  We are working to support the effort of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, CDLE, to mitigate damage to the program by recent trends, pandemic impact, and recent US Department of Education rulings. We are also asking the general assembly to authorize an additional $500,000 to study challenges faced by this program and institute changes and develop new opportunities.

We have a robust agenda. The General Assembly will be honoring one of our beloved leaders.  The joy of working in collaboration with our membership across the state will all make for a great day at Colorado’s historic state capitol.

For further information, contact Dan Burke at 303-778-1130 or dburke@cocenter.org.


Aftersight podcast starring Penn Street discusses the life of Scott LaBarre

From the aggregator: Penn Street is the Development and Outreach Director of Audio Information Network of Colorado. She also serves as a leader in our NFBCO Northern Colorado Chapter. One facet of Penn’s work with AINC is to host the Aftersight podcast. If you have not listened to her interviews of interesting blind people, we urge you to take a listen. In the latest episode, Penn and guests Julie Riskin of the Colorado Cross Disability Coalition and Kevan Worley discuss friend and mentor Scott LaBarre, his life, and his legacy. Here is the link. And let Penn know what you think. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/in-memoriam-scott-lebarre/id1589864901?i=1000595392004


Scott C. LaBarre a place in history

July 2, 1968 – December 10, 2022

Scott C. LaBarre has made his place in history as a giant among those in search of civil rights for blind people and for all who receive less than they are due in the world that those who love justice pursue. He was the general counsel to the National Federation of the Blind and managed a multi-million dollar legal advocacy program. Because of him, applicants can use assistive technology as an accommodation on the multistate bar examination and can pursue a doctor of chiropractic degree with their desired accommodations. More systemic in nature were his victories in employment law, disability rights, and international policy work, particularly in the area of copyright law. There he was a primary advocate for an amendment to the Copyright Act, allowing materials to be transcribed for use by the blind without having to undergo the long and tedious process of prior approval that was the case prior to 1996. Extending this work, he was instrumental in the drafting and adoption of the Marrakesh Treaty, permitting the sharing of books in special formats among the blind and print-disabled of many countries.

Scott was permanently admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States; the United States Courts of Appeals for the Second, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, and DC Circuits; the United States District Court for the District of Colorado; the Supreme Court of Colorado; the United States District Court for the District of Maryland; and the Maryland Court of Appeals (Maryland’s highest court). He was named one of Colorado’s Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers, distinctions recognizing the top five percent of Colorado attorneys.

This role model understood the importance of serving in the American Bar Association, believing that advancing his career must proceed hand in hand with advancing his career field. He was a founding member of the Disability Rights Bar Association and served on its Executive Board as Vice Chair. He served a three-year term on the American Bar Association’s Board of Governors, where he chaired the Member Services Committee and served on the Board’s Executive Committee during his last year. Scott was also active in the ABA's Solo, Small Firm, and General Practice Division, holding a position on its governing council for several terms. He recently became Chair of the Division in August of 2022.  ABA President Reginald Turner asked him to serve on the ABA’s Standing Committee on Meetings and Travel and the Steering Committee of ABA’s Practice Forward, a committee appointed to examine the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the practice of law.  Lastly, Scott represented the Denver Bar Association as a Delegate to the ABA’s House of Delegates.

More impressive than his professional accomplishments are the things Scott did for his family, biological and spiritual. He knew he was one of the luckiest men alive when Anaheit agreed to be his wife and life-long partner. Together they brought into the world and nurtured two souls who would mean more to Scott than any hired or elected position. Biology gave him the title of father; love and commitment affirmed that the biology was right, and being the finest father he could be was a commitment he strove to affirm throughout his life. He cheered on Alexander as he played baseball and was immensely proud when he achieved the rank of Eagle Scout even before he could drive. Scott was enthusiastic in Karter’s participation in the choir, on the basketball court, and in the theater activities, where set design became a major focus and may well become a career. We dare not forget his beloved labradoodle, Moka

Scott loved the mechanics of flying, even when his life was made more difficult as a blind consumer who would not be left alone by those intending on learning where it was he was trying to go and telling him how slow and deliberate he should be in getting there. He loved anything to do with space and space travel, and when there was a launch or landing, he was often found in front of a television set cheering on the activity in the same way he would celebrate the victories of his favorite college and professional sports teams.

This outstanding Federationist will always be remembered for his distinguished service to our Colorado Affiliate, The Colorado Center for the Blind, and his long-standing and successful efforts to raise funds through our monthly donation program. Beyond his work, our love sprang from his determination to make us laugh, feel better about ourselves, and to know that we are appreciated and loved. Scott was one of the finest examples of an integrated human we have ever known, and may his work and example propel us not only to grater victories as a class but to even grater successes as we strive to live as full and balanced human beings.

It is time for us to tell our story, Scott’s story, in order to dramatically enhance the public understanding of blind people and our contributions within society. Our legal and legislative victories are central to our stories, and Scott’s work, including the Marrakesh Treaty, will be highlighted in the museum. The museum is encouraging five-year pledges during this phase of the campaign. Please contact Patti Chang for more information at 410-659-9314, extension 2422, or pchang@nfb.org.

We also want to express thanks to each of those who spoke to honor Scott during the celebration of life.

Mark A. Riccobono, President, National Federation of the Blind

Dianne Primavera, Lieutenant Governor, Colorado

Julie Deden, Executive Director, Colorado Center for the Blind

Julie Reiskin, Executive Director, Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition

Jessie Danielson, State Senator, Colorado

Alan Olson, Thirty-Year Friend of Scotty

Maryanne Diamond, Past President and Representative to the Marrakesh Diplomatic Conference, World Blind Union

Francis Gurry, Former Director General, World Intellectual Property Organization

Daniel Goldstein, Founding Partner, Brown Goldstein & Levy

Judy Perry Martinez, Past President, American Bar Association

Pam Allen, First-Vice President, National Federation of the Blind

Marc Maurer, Immediate Past President, National Federation of the Blind

Jessica Beecham, President, National Federation of the Blind of Colorado

Anahit LaBarre, Wife of Scott


Seize the Clay!

From the aggregator: We received this from our friend Dianne Taylor Community Relations Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind. Dear readers of this blog, know how important we think tactile art is. We explore it at our Colorado Center for the Blind. Here is what Dianne says about recent efforts at CSDB

Allie Unker, the CSDB art teacher and Michael Christiano, director of the Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, applied for the Gerald Erickson Trust Fund grant and won! The grant provides the funds to invite a guest artist to teach our students tactile art or music/theater, on a weekly basis through second semester. Recently, students from the School for the Blind art class hosted an Artist-in-Residence joined by Michael Christiano from the FAC, as they taught the students about clay. The following week, an Artist-in-Residence came to the music class, building trust so students could confidently express themselves. In addition to the Artist-in-Residence program, the grant will fund the partners to make the shows that the FAC puts on and the displays within the museum more inclusive.


The Wild West chapter will hold our annual elections at the February meeting.

When Saturday, February 4, at high noon!

Meeting location:

Belmar Library

555 S. Allison parkway

Lakewood, CO 80226

And, on Zoom.

Join Zoom Meeting https://zoom.us/j/7206208007


CTBL Winter News Letter available on NFB Newsline

From the aggregator: there is always something for readers on NFB Newsline. More than 500 publications, including this blog and our Colorado Talking Book Library newsletters. NFB Newsline is free. I will always remember those mornings when I would get a call from my best friend Scott Labarre about some article he had read with interest or enthusiasm from the Denver Post or the Wall Street Journal available on his free NFB Newsline subscription. For info or to apply call 303-778-1130 


Here is a message from the NFB Boulder Valley Chapter.

The NFB Boulder Valley Chapter invites you to join us for a social evening at The Gondolier Italian Eatery, February 21, at 5:30 pm. The restaurant is located at 4800 Baseline Road Suite A104. Phone 303-443-5015.

Check out the menu at https://gondolieritalianeatery.com/boulder-menu/

Let Maryann Migliorelli know if you can make it by Monday, February 20, at NFBBoulder@gmail.com or by phone at 303-499-9125.

Please note: This event is in addition to our regularly scheduled chapter meeting which will take place on Saturday, February 4, at 10 am on the customary Zoom link https://us02web.zoom.us/j/7202842318?pwd=NlJ2NDJIZFk5S2J2MVZHUkVzaklKQT09


My back page by Kevan Worley

In our thanksgiving blog I announced our new column written by me. This gives me an opportunity to sound off. It gives you an opportunity to comment when I sound off. In this, the second My Back Page column, “Blind at heart”.

Over the years, I have heard and used the term “blind at heart.” I’ve heard it when complementing some of our sighted members. I think it’s a way that we express deep appreciation to members and allies who give much to the movement. But it’s much more than that. It is a compliment of the highest order to those who are not blind from members of our federation who share a deep understanding of our philosophy. In my life, I have known people who seemingly, intuitively comprehend blindness. They just do. They don’t need explanations. They don’t need great delineations on the way we choose and strive to live the lives we want. These special people, few and far between as they are, just get it. I could mention a few of these dear souls, but I fear I would leave someone out. However, as we organized the life celebration for Scott, two of these special, “blind at heart” individuals were integral to the event. Scott’s longtime administrative assistant Lisa Bonderson and longtime thought leader in our movement Mary Ellen Jernigan.

To paraphrase supreme court justice Potter Stewart from an entirely different subject, “I can’t define it. But I know it when I see it.”  A colleague of ours told me that he thought “blind at heart” may mean, “that there are some sighted people who understand how we feel about blindness even more than those blind people who may not be as steeped in the profound philosophy we share in the federation.”  I find this an interesting concept. In fact, I would add, that not even members of my family would be “blind at heart.”  What do you think?