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Friday, September 27, 2019

Blind CO Blog September 27, 219

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

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

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

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

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

Colorado Center for the Blind programs making a difference.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All I can say is, HMM.

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

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

Forward! Always Forward! Live the life you want!

Community Meeting About the 16th Street Mall Flier

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

A meeting with the
Disabled Community

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

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

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

Drawing outline of public transportation bus

Please RSVP with Jan Ross:, 303-299-2266

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

For other accommodations based on a disability please contact Ed Neuberg at 303-299-2370 or email

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

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Blind CO Blog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Blind History Lady.
From time to time, we post articles and observations from Peggy Chong. Did you know the Blind History Lady has books that detail and celebrate our blind ancestors available at

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information feel free to contact Lauren Ashley Hughes at 662-386-4887 or by email

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

Forward, Always Forward!
Live the Life you want!