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Friday, November 22, 2019

Not Your Typical Thanksgiving 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

So much news, so little time. In coming weeks, your Blind CO Blog will feature moments in words and pictures from our 2019 State Convention. Of course, we will also be detailing the work being done as a result of the energetic planning during the convention. We can report that many have said that our Fort Collins convention was one of the best ever. We look forward to sharing the highlights in weeks to come. So please send your recollections and results from division elections.

Two other quick notes. Remember that your Blind CO Blog is available on NFB Newsline from the local Colorado channel. Second, all of us in our NFBCO family wish for you and yours a truly joyous giving of the thanks. Whether you are traveling over the river and through the woods or just hanging around the house in your jammies, find the joy. Please know that we are a family. Holidays can be tough for some. If you need a helping hand or an open heart be in touch. This holiday season live the life you want.

Heads Up! Denver to Vote on banning sub-minimum wages.

We, in the National Federation of the Blind have worked tirelessly for more than two generations to end the practice of minimum wage payments by for-profit and non-profit companies to laborers with disabilities. For years, we have taken our fight to Congress, to the courts, to the public, and increasingly to state and local legislative bodies. On Monday evening, November 25th, 5:30 p.m. the Denver City Council will be considering Denver’s minimum wage policy. Councilman Chris Hines will present an amendment to eliminate sub-minimum wage pay for people with disabilities by any company within the city of Denver. Councilman Hines is looking for Denver residents who may wish to testify. Contact Dan Burke for more information,  Meeting will be held at the City & County Building.


CCB Seeks Blind Colorado Youth to go to DC in February.

Early each year, more than 500 blind Americans tap their canes across Capitol Hill in the District of Columbia to keep appointments at the offices of every member of Congress.  It is the Washington Seminar of the National Federation of the Blind, and it is how we make our legislative concerns and priorities known to those who have been elected to serve us.  It is how we, the blind, make our voices heard, and doing so is the foundation of our democracy. 

For the 2020 Washington Seminar, The Colorado Center for the Blind will assist up to 3 blind Colorado high school students to travel with the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado to the annual Washington Seminar February 10-13, 2019.  The scholarships will include the costs of air travel, lodging at the Holiday Inn Capitol and a food allowance. We typically fly on the Sunday before the Washington Seminar begins, returning late on Wednesday. So, our travel plans will likely run from Sunday, February 9 to Wednesday, February 12, 2020. In that time, students will attend the National Association of Blind Students (NABS) meeting, learn about this year’s legislative priorities, attend meetings at the offices of members of the Colorado Congressional Delegation, and possibly get to visit some important sites in our nation’s Capital.

How to qualify

Blind and low vision students will submit an essay, 350 word minimum, that details how their experiences leading up to this point have shaped their goals and how attending the Washington seminar will helped in their transition into college or the workforce.

Applicants are encouraged to read more about the Washington Seminar, and be able to identify who represents them in the United States House of Representatives.

Essays should be sent to Martin Becerra-Miranda, Director of Youth Services, by December 1, 2019.  Electronic copies are preferred, but Braille will also be accepted.  Send essays to or Braille to Colorado Center for the Blind, 2233W.Shepperd Ave., Littleton, CO 80120, ATTN: Martin Becerra-Miranda.

For more information, call Martin at 303-778-1130, ext. 223 or via email at

The Boot Scootin’ Boogie Halloween extravaganza was a hog-killin’ time!

We started the shindig with a delicious Western Barbecue and music DJ'd by Brett Boyer. The Boot Scootin’ portion of the evening was led by Jessica Beecham. She taught the group the basic two step along with several line dances.
The Old West was alive with characters including two sheriffs; Rooster Cogburn; a rodeo gal, her cowboy, and their baby horse; a father-daughter rodeo cowboy and rodeo clown; Old West ladies and gents; saloon girls; zombie brides; Paw Patrol characters; and of course our own Wild West cactus Mr. Thorny.

Prizes were awarded to The Nietfeld Family for their family getup as rodeo girl, cowboy, and baby horse. Hailey Hecker as Rodeo Clown. And Paul Sandoval as Mr. Thorny the prickly cactus.

The Nietfeld Family. Maureen dressed up as a rodeo gal, David the cowboy, and Logan their baby horseRodeo Clown Hailee Hecker with her dad, cowboy Nate Hecker

Paul Sandoval dressed in a cactus costume with a hat the say Feel 'N Thorny

Stink. Stank. Stunk. We have this important announcement from Nate Trela, President, Colorado Association of Blind Parents.

Kick off the holiday season with tickets to an audio-described performance of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The children's classic brought to life in a musical. Your purchase will help support the NFBCO's Blind Parents Division and your heart could grow three sizes that day. *

The audio-described performance will be December 7 at 3 PM at the Buell Theatre in downtown Denver. Tickets supporting the Blind Parents Division are $40 and can be bought by contacting Brittany Savage at 804-832-5439 or at We can accept cash, check, or card.

*  Heart growth offer applies only to grinches. If you are not a
grinch and your heart grows three sizes in a day, please seek medical

Public comment on Blind and Low Vision Services unit rules.

As readers of this blog know, NFBCO passed a resolution at our 2018 state convention urging Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, CDLE, to codify, strengthen, expand, and commit to full funding for the Blind and Low Vision Services, BLVS, unit. Our affiliate’s committee on Rehabilitation Services and Employment, chaired by Julie Deden, has been working closely with the department. We have submitted written comments intended to inform the rule making. Here is a note from Jennifer Scilacci, Manger, Partnership Engagement and Communication, which will be of interest to our readers.

DVR is considering a revision to administrative rules, which will formalize the organization and functions of the Blind and Low Vision Services Unit. The purpose of the revision is to ensure high quality statewide vocational rehabilitation services to DVR clients who are blind or have low vision.  The draft rule is available by contacting Jennifer Scilacci.

DVR invites stakeholder input and is holding a public meeting on Friday, December 6, 2019 at 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM. The meeting will be held at 2211 W Evans Ave, Denver CO 80223.

If you are unable to attend the meeting, you are welcome to submit comment to

F.A.S.T. Fun Activities & Skills Training. Kicking off the holiday season with CCB!

Who?      Blind students of all ages, families and teachers
Where?   Colorado Center for the Blind, 2233 W. Shepperd Ave. Littleton CO, 80120
When?    Saturday, November 23, 2019 from 10:00AM - 2:00PM

It’s becoming a bit of a tradition around here. November’s FAST Program is all about the meal we eat, the games we play, and most importantly, the people we share this time with. This year, on November 23, we will hold our own Thanksgiving get together, FAST style that is. Join us for an afternoon full of cooking, eating, sharing each other’s company, and games! We promise to keep the competition to a minimum during dinnertime. If we are expected to eat the meal, we should be expected to help cook it as well.

For many of our students this will be the first time they’ve been expected to help prepare such a meal; this is the type of teaching/learning we love to implement at the Colorado Center for the Blind. We will have plenty of volunteers to work with students as well as other participants. Although our focus is working with students, we love working with parents, siblings, and teachers to encourage them to have expectations that their blind child/sibling/student actively participate in all aspects of life.

We will:
         Prepare/bake chicken and ham
         Make mashed potatoes, gravy, creamed corn, stuffing, dinner rolls, and pie
         Play games: Pin the Feather on the Turkey, Pumpkin Roll, and Thankful Alphabet Game

Deadline to RSVP is Wednesday, November 20th.
For questions or to RSVP, please contact Martin Becerra-Miranda at or (303)778-1130 Ext: 223.

Grand Valley Chapter highlights December bookfair and cheesecake fundraisers during December.

December 10, Grand Valley Chapter bookfair at Barnes and Noble. Learn how a percentage of sales at Barnes and Noble will benefit Grand Valley Chapter; contact Rob Harris 970-208-3100.
The chapter also has cheesecakes for sale. Best for local delivery. But again, find out more about this scrumptious fundraiser by reaching out to our colleague, Grand Valley Chapter Treasurer Rob Harris. Happy reading! Happy cheesecaking! YUM! I could go for a big slice of pumpkin cheesecake. Happy Thanksgiving from your aggregator.

Doula Jarboe leads effort to organize NFBCO DeafBlind.

For those of you who may not have heard, at our Blind, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind meeting at the state convention we got a board elected to work on building a division. As part of that endeavor, the group has already held its first monthly call. To learn how you can become involved contact Doula Jarboe,  

Art gets hands-on in annual “Shared Visions” Exhibit. Arapahoe Community College and Colorado Center for the Blind Collaborate for 5th year.

Littleton –The walls of the Colorado Gallery of the Arts at Arapahoe Community College (ACC) hang with works of art that visitors are encouraged to get hands-on with, while the center of the gallery displays even more tactile pieces. It’s the annual “Shared Visions” exhibit, and it is intended to be both seen and touched by everyone, something blind visitors especially value.

The November 7 opening reception was packed with sighted and blind patrons, attesting to the show’s popularity, attracting more and more each year, because the works are both visually attractive and tactilely intriguing to sighted and blind art lovers alike.

Thursday from 10 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., a group of blind students and staff from the Colorado Center for the Blind (CCB) returned for a second viewing of this year’s tactile art show.

"We wanted to spend more time with the pieces,” said CCB Executive Director Julie Deden, who is blind. “I felt like a kid in the candy store,” she said of her first time through last week.

Begun in 2015, the show is an annual event which features works by students from ACC’s Art and Design students, as well as works by blind students at nearby CCB, a training center for the blind which brings students from across the United States.

Ann Cunningham, CCB’s art teacher for more than two decades, coordinates with ACC art faculty members Nathan Ables and Katie Caron to assemble and hang the show each November. For information about the internationally known tactile arts programing at the Colorado Center for the Blind, get in touch with Ann Cunningham,

CCB student young and old, under sleep shade, feel the standing sculpture artistry created by Arapaho College studentsCCB student young and old, under sleep shade, feel the wall mounted artistry created by Arapaho College students

Anchor Center welcomes new Executive Director!

We received the following good news from Jeff Watson, President, Anchor Center for Blind Children Board of Directors.

This month, Anchor Center said goodbye to our Executive Director of four years, Heather Cameron, as she begins a new life in Florida with her daughter and grandchildren. Knowing of Heather’s planned departure, in early September, Anchor Center embarked on an Executive Search process. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am happy to announce our search was successful and we are pleased to welcome Meghan Klassen as our new Executive Director! Meghan will officially take the helm on Monday, January 6, 2020. Read More…

From the Denver Center for the Performing Arts:

Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical is the record-setting Broadway holiday sensation which features the classic songs “You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch” and “Welcome Christmas” from the original animated special. Max the Dog narrates as the mean and scheming Grinch, whose heart is “two sizes too small,” decides to steal Christmas away from the Holiday loving Whos. Magnificent sets and costumes inspired by Dr. Seuss’ original illustrations help transport audiences to the whimsical world of Whoville and helps remind us of the true meaning of the holiday season. Don’t miss what The New York Times calls “An extraordinary performance! 100 times better than any bedtime story.”

From our home to your home, Have a glorious Thanksgiving. 

Forward, always forward.