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Friday, February 14, 2020

Valentine's Day Blind Coloradan Gets to the Heart of the Matter

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

Writer, aggregator Kevan Worley.

Contributing editor Dan Burke.

Here is what you need to know



English Poet Chaucer Said Love is Blind


What do you think? This issue of your Blind Coloradan is all about celebrating the love, the passion, and the heart of our NFBCO family, partners, and supporters. Because we truly mean it when we say, with love, hope, and determination we transform dreams into reality. We hope your Valentine’s Day is special.

Danza! Danza! Danza!


Colorado Center for the Blind students get dance lesson preview profiled on Denver’s KDVR.  
Nothing more romantic on Valentine’s weekend than learning those Latin, ballroom, and folk-dance steps. Moises Hinojosa is a recognized expert. He is a blind Latin dance teacher. Enjoy lunch and learning to dance. Saturday, February 15, 11:45 until 2:45. This immediately follows the Denver chapter meeting, and, that begins at 10.

Amor!

Mark Your Calendar for Sunday May 31


If you are blind or blind at heart come walk, run, volunteer, exhibit, or sponsor our 3rd annual NFBCO 6 Dot Dash.

There Is Nothing Truer in This World Than the Love of a Good Dog, -Mira Grant


There is nothing better than the passion for and devotion of the blind handler, guide dog team. On Sunday, February 16 at 4 p.m. join the Colorado Association of Guide Dog Users, COAGDU, Board of Directors and membership all call. All are welcome. Here is how, https://zoom.us/j/5955066474 Meeting ID: 595 506 6474.

Accessible Voting in the March 3 Primary Election


Curtis Chong has been our most active member leading the charge, managing our effort with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office to make sure blind Coloradans have complete and equal access to the ballot. The longer version of the following info was posted on Colorado Talk, the official list serv of NFBCO:

On March 3 (Super Tuesday), Colorado will be holding a statewide presidential primary election which will determine the presidential nominees for each political party. The printed ballots for this election are scheduled to be mailed out on Monday, February 10. On February 10, any registered voter in Colorado who has a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (blindness qualifies) will be able to retrieve a ballot, mark the ballot online, print both the ballot and the voter application, and sign the voter application. The ballot and signed application are then mailed together to the voter's county clerk or dropped off at an authorized drop box or polling facility. You will need a computer, tablet, or smart phone; access to the Internet; and a printer that can be reached from the computer, tablet, or smart phone.

From the aggregator: Here is a link to Curtis’s detailed instructions. Because of NFBCO’s engagement with State Senator Jessie Danielson, Secretary of State Jena Griswold, Colorado is one of only 3 states in which we can vote on terms of equality. It takes a little extra effort. We think democracy is worth it.

$$$ SCHOLARSHIPS! $$$

For the love of money



Blind students, teachers, counselors, and parents you are encouraged to learn about NFBCO state and NFB national scholarships. And that’s not all! We love our students! Here is a note from NFBCO Secretary Maureen Nietfeld:

Learn about college scholarships for blind students.
Take a deep dive into the national and state scholarships for the NFB of Colorado.
Hear from Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, DVR.
Plus, free lunch!!!

When: February 29th noon till 4
Where: CCB 2233 W. Shepperd Ave.
Littleton Co. 80121

Questions??? Email Maureen at maureenbassmaster@gmail.com.

Build a Better Book

Author Jo Walton said, If You Love Books Enough, Books Will Love You Back


The NFBCO Boulder Valley Chapter explored the Build a Better Book accessible art exhibit at the Boulder Public Library after the chapter meeting on February 1st. The Build a Better Book project works with school and library Makerspaces to engage youth in the design and fabrication of inclusive media, including picture books, games and graphics, funded by a grant under the National Science Foundation.

Here is what Chapter President Maryann Migliorelli reports: 

Maryann Migliorelli enjoying tactile art


We started by enjoying Anne Cunningham’s story pieces which included very tactile panels, Braille, print, and audio provided by QR code technology with our cell phones. We next journeyed to the land of 3D printed bugs and other small art pieces which were very authentic, or so I’m told.  Afterward, we challenged our noses and creative thinking with the scents display that had us guessing aromas and thinking about what feelings or stories we could create.

We also met artist Luanne Burke and checked out her laser cut pieces. 

Maryann Migliorelli enjoying one of Luanne Burke's laser cut art piece

Some of us also met another local artist whose tapestry hung with fascinating beads, stones, and shells from Hawaii.

We finished our explorations with accessible games and puzzles which made me want to stay and play for the rest of the day.

The chapter would like to express our sincere thanks to all the artists, workers, and everyone else who had a hand in making this wonderful exhibit possible. We also hope that all the kids who walked through the exhibit on their way to the climate change summit are now thinking about making their art and efforts more accessible to everyone.

Grand Valley Chapter Member Isabelle Harris, Daughter of Chapter Treasurer Rob Harris, and Mom Susan Harris Enjoy the Spirit of Fun and Games Through Build a Better Book


From your aggregator: Speaking of Build a Better Book and the joy and resolve it can bring. Here is Rob Harris’s account of his blind daughter’s experience:

During NFBCO Convention 2019, Isabelle and Susan took the agenda seriously and found a break in the art room. In exploration, Isabelle was introduced to an accessible version of Othello and played a highly competitive game against her mom. The Build A Better Book program was a vendor demonstrating their work toward bringing community and inclusion together by collaborating with middle schoolers tasked with creating accessible games for blind and low vision friends, this was one of the results of that collaboration. Othello keeps giving in Grand Junction, with Isabelle receiving a copy of the accessible game and now she plays with friends at home. Who knew her competitive spirit! We sure do, now!

Portrait of Isabelle Harris smiling, holding box of Othello game


Jon Asper Leaves A Legacy of Love and Service


With a heavy heart, ReNae Anderson, President, NFBCO Mountains and Plains Chapter, has informed us all that a dear friend and great member of the Mountains & Plains Chapter has passed away. Jon Asper was a very dedicated member of the NFB, often putting up his own money for fundraising for the Mountains & Plains Chapter. He has been a member for the last three years and immediately paid for a lifetime membership upon joining. He was a retired fire chief, who was blind throughout most of his life and showed how someone who is blind can do anything they set their mind to.

He will be greatly missed! Soar like an Eagle, Jon!

To find articles and videos about Jon, search Vaildaily.com. One of the videos shows him target shooting. You can hear his great laugh!

Are You ABLE? By Jessie Lorenz


Jessie Lorenz is a member of our NFBCO Colorado Springs chapter. She is the former director of the Center for Independent Living in San Francisco. She is a grass-roots activist who knows about benefits and opportunities for people with disabilities. Can people who are blind save for the future and remain eligible for certain benefits? 
Here is what Jessie says about ABLE accounts:

ABLE Accounts- A New Way to Invest and Save.

In 2014, the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act was signed into law by President Obama. The ABLE Act allows people with disabilities to invest and save through tax-advantaged savings plans called ABLE accounts.

ABLE accounts offer the opportunity to save without jeopardizing eligibility for Social Security, Medicaid, and other public benefits.

Expenses that qualify include housing, education, transportation, health prevention and wellness, employment training and support, assistive technology, personal support services, and other disability-related expenses.

There are eligibility requirements related to opening an ABLE account. Currently, an individual must have a disability which began before age 26. People with disabilities or their friends/family can contribute funds to an ABLE account, but individual contributions are limited to $15,000 a year. In addition, the first $100,000 saved in the account is exempted from the Supplemental Security Income $2,000 asset limit.

Each state establishes its own regulations to make ABLE accounts available and administers its respective plan. Here in Colorado ABLE accounts were established under the state's ABLE legislation and are implemented by College Invest, a not-for-profit division within the Colorado Department of Higher Education.
You can learn more about Colorado ABLE here. https://www.coloradoable.org.

Note from your aggregator: We know that Colorado State Treasurer, former member of the General Assembly, Dave Young is working with other state treasurers to strengthen and expand the program.

Wild West Elects Wild Bunch to Board of Directors at February 1st Round Up


NFBCO Wild West Chapter meets on the first Saturday of each month. On February 1 the chapter elected their 2020 Board of Directors.

The newly deputized posse is:

Paul Sandoval, President,
Nate Hecker, Vice President,
Brad Basta,Treasurer,
Annie Pineda, Secretary,
Ileen Gallegos, Board Member.


Next meetin’, March 7, Carmody Rec Center in Lakewood at high noon.

Praise and Honor Received for Achievement. Colorado Business Enterprise Program’s Kudos Corner


BEP recently recognized three talented team members.

Licensed business operator Abraham Fisher was recognized for exceptional customer service and positive representation of the program. Abraham’s effort has directly led to business growth on Peterson Air Force Base.

Capitol snack bar operator Nate Hecker was recognized for customer service excellence.

Scott Parker, CaƱon City, was honored for the constant commitment and highly imaginative effort he brings every day to secure new vending opportunities in Southern Colorado.

Congratulations. Enjoy the Kudos Corner! This expression of love brings no cash, diamonds, flowers, or chocolate. Only our sincere admiration.

What did one bee say to the other bee? “I love bee-ing with you honey!”


What did boy squirrel say to girl squirrel? “I am just nuts about you!”


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rjPC7-JMUM


That’s It for This Edition of the Blind Coloradan

Forward, always Forward!