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Thursday, February 25, 2021

NFB BELL® Academy In-Home Edition: Applications Now Open!


National Federation of the Blind of Colorado logo including the tagline Live the Life You Want

Attend 2021 NFB BELL® Academy In-Home Edition: Applications Now Open!

Enhance Braille and nonvisual skills with us

The National Federation of the Blind is offering three virtual programs of the NFB BELL Academy this summer to prepare blind and low-vision children to grow into confident and independent blind people by enhancing their education. Options are available for beginner, intermediate, and advanced students for the following dates:

  • Session 1 - June 7-18, 2021
  • Session 2 - July 19-30, 2021
  • Session 3 - August 9-20, 2021

Receive Braille and other fun materials for lessons. Connect with experienced teachers. Build relationships with other blind students and mentors.


NFB BELL Academy, an annual summer program, is appropriate for blind and low-vision children, ages 4-12, who:

  • Do not receive enough Braille and nonvisual skills instruction in school
  • Could benefit from more Braille exposure over the summer
  • Would enjoy connecting with blind role models

While the program is typically in person across the country, we are excited to offer it virtually in 2021.

Apply Today

Take advantage of this opportunity for your child to connect with blind role models.

Limited space is available. Learn more and apply now!

Monday, February 1, 2021

A Blind Coloradan Blog To Make You Smile-February 2021


National Federation of the Blind of Colorado logo including the tagline Live the Life You Want

Writer, Aggregator Kevan Worley 
Contributors Dan Burke & Erin Daley
Here is what you need to know-


This Is Bound to Put a Smile on Your Face

From the aggregator: Nothing puts a smile on our faces like the ability to provide services and support for those we serve. During this pandemic, we have not been in retreat. In fact, we have been offering more opportunities for members to serve members as well as the organization to serve Colorado’s blind citizens of all ages, from our favorite two-year-old to our very special seniors. We put smiles on faces.

During this pandemic, almost all of us have been shopping more online than ever before. In order to keep the smiles coming, Affiliate Treasurer Cody Bair reminds us we must continue to raise dollars. The Amazon Smile program is for you! Will you take some time to share this at your next chapter meeting or division meeting? Whether or not you are a member or ally of the Federation, we warmly invite you to join this quick and easy Amazon Smile effort. Seriously – every little bit helps! Please help us keep the smiles coming. This is what Cody has to say:

Want to give back to NFBCO as a part of your everyday shopping activities? As the COVID-19 pandemic forces many of us to do a significant amount of our shopping online and many of us already do a significant amount of business with Amazon, the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado is enrolled in the Amazon Smile Program. What this means is that you can select for a small percentage of every purchase you make to be donated back to NFBCO. In order to enroll your Amazon account in Amazon Smile so a percentage of your purchases are donated, you can follow the instructions provided below.

1.   Go to AmazonSmile: You shop. Amazon gives.

2.   Click the get started button

3.   Type “National Federation of the Blind of Colorado” in the search box.

4.   Click the select button and select the checkbox that represents your understanding that you must always start at “”

5.   The next time you go to purchase something use instead of

Setting this up only takes a matter of seconds and will be of great benefit to NFBCO considering the volume of purchases some of us make on Amazon. If you have any questions or issues getting Amazon Smile set up, please feel free to contact Cody Bair at (970)673-6998 or


Know Your Rights

From the aggregator: Wednesday, February 3 Mountain Time at 5 presents the first in a series of Zoom programs entitled “Know Your Rights.” Each month, our Mountain Time at 5 cast of usual suspects will be joined by experts who can explain the rights and responsibilities blind Coloradans have. This Wednesday’s program will feature Blindness and Low Vision Services. Future programs will consider the rights of guide dog handlers, students, housing, voting, transportation, and other subjects. If you have ideas for upcoming programs, please contact us at

Mountain Time at 5 Wednesday, February 3 will feature a panel of true experts.

·        Curtis Chong has worked in the area of technology for both private and public sector organizations. Curtis is a teacher, a developer, an activist, an advocate, and a mentor.

·        Julia Zanon will also be joining us. Julia was a highly successful rehabilitation counselor. She was also a supervisor for a number of years for the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Ms. Zanon launched and managed the Blindness and Low Vision Services unit within DVR, which she directed until her retirement in 2019. Julia brings her kind and generous spirit to everything she does.

·        Jodi Witthaus will be joining us, as well. Jodi is one of our Federation leaders and a counselor for the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.

·        Scott LaBarre, President of NFBCO, will also be on the call. Scott is a blind attorney who has often been engaged to represent VR clients in Colorado and elsewhere in the U.S.

·        Julie Deden has directed the Colorado Center for the Blind for more than two decades. In this role, she works with both students who are receiving rehab services in addition to rehab counselors. Prior to directing our Center, Julie was always regarded by her clients as one of the most effective counselors.

This Mountain Time at 5 is meant for anyone, of any age, who would like to know more about possibilities, rights, and responsibilities available to consumers of Colorado’s Blind and Low Vision Services programs, whether you are in transition to college or work, a current client, work with potential DVR clients, a Colorado Center for the Blind student, or a parent or teacher of a teenager or young adult. If you want to know more about what the system and you can do together, THIS is the Mountain Time at 5 call for you. For further information, please e-mail We will be giving away two $25 Amazon gift cards to bring a smile to your face. Closed captioning will be available.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 974 1756 2247
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        +1 346 248 7799
Meeting ID: 974 1756 2247


The Blind Go to Washington February 8th-11th. Members and Friends, Join Us for a Powerful, Virtual Visit with Our Colorado Congressional Delegation and/or Congressional Aides

You may have attended our highly successful virtual convention last July. Perhaps you have traveled to Washington to meet members of congress with us before. Whether or not you have enjoyed these powerful events with us before, we encourage you to join us for Washington Seminar 2021. We are seeking Federationists and friends who want to take the journey with us in order to share with congress the aspirations and initiatives important to the blind of Colorado.

We will be offering legislative and logistics training on Saturday the 6th and Sunday the 7th of February over Zoom prior to the seminar. Many Federationists consider Washington Seminar one of their favorite activities of the year. It also tends to be one of our most expensive events of the year. This year offers even more members the opportunity to participate as expense will not be a barrier. Some of us will miss meeting for a beverage at the 21st Amendment or eating at a fine Washington D.C. restaurant, but all of us will miss the camaraderie and the experiences that a trip to our nation’s capital offers. But nobody does Zoom like we do Zoom, so please join us this year in Washington and let’s change the world.

Please check this blog space, our Colorado listserv, and Facebook for further details of our affiliate’s ambitious participation. Read up on all of this year’s important legislative initiatives.

At our Washington Seminar, members of the National Federation of the Blind convene to learn about and advocate for legislative initiatives that will improve the lives of blind Americans. 

Approximately three legislative initiatives are chosen for priority attention each year. These initiatives, which form the Washington Seminar priorities, are based on the official positions of the NFB adopted at the national convention and can address concerns related to civil rights, educational programs and services, rehabilitation of the blind for competitive employment, the operation of vending facilities by blind persons on public property, specialized library services for the blind, the organization and funding of federal programs, Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income programs, and other timely topics.

The first Washington Seminar took place in 1973. Today, more than five hundred people from the fifty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico typically attend. 

Join us! It will make you smile!

Note: Washington Seminar legislative factsheets are available for your listening pleasure are available on NFB-NEWSLINE®. Not a subscriber to NFB-NEWSLINE®? Register for NFB-NEWSLINE® today. Email


Attend the February Presidential Release on February 1—Captioning and Spanish Available

The February Presidential Release of the National Federation of the Blind will be delivered on Monday, February 1 at 8:00 P.M. Eastern. After the remarks, there is an opportunity for questions. Submit questions in advance to  and put PR502 in the subject line, or call 410-659-9314, extension 2473. Closed captions and Spanish interpretation will be available.

 Learn about the many ways to participate.


A Recipe to Make You Smile, Shared by Colorado Sports and Recreation Division

It can be difficult to find snacks that are quick to eat, delicious to eat, and good for you! These banana bread energy balls promise to do all three. The original recipe, nutrition information, and notes can be found on Downshiftology with Lisa Bryan, but see below for the full recipe. Energy balls are meant to be bite-sized, so feel free to customize them to the size that is perfect for you. Once you try them, feel free to email any comments to

Banana Bread Energy Balls

Makes 16 servings, each serving 106 kcal


2 cups old fashioned rolled oats

Half cup mashed banana from one medium banana

Half cup almonds

Half cup pecans

Third cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Quarter teaspoon vanilla extract

Quarter teaspoon salt


Add all the ingredients to a food processor and pulse the mixture for 10 seconds. Scrape down the sides, then blend again until the mixture is fairly smooth, with a slight bit of texture. The dough will likely start to roll around the food processor when it's blended enough.

Scoop a ball using a medium cookie scoop and roll it in between your hands. Then place it on a parchment lined plate or baking tray. Continue this process until you've used up all the dough.

Chill the balls for 30 minutes to firm up, then enjoy!


If the balls don't hold together, it's likely the texture is too big. Just put it back in the food processor and pulse for a finer texture.

The balls will be a little soft when you first roll them, but they'll firm up as the oats absorb the maple syrup.


Colorado Center for the Blind Loses a Star but David Nietfeld Is Not Going Far

From the aggregator: One of the finest gentlemen I know has been teaching, mentoring, and encouraging Colorado Center for the Blind students for more than a decade. Persistence, patience, and perseverance are the personal attributes of one of the most incredible teachers we have ever had at our Colorado Center for the Blind, and we have had some good ones! Mr. Nietfeld is a colleague in the National Federation of the Blind. He leads like he teaches, with expertise and graciousness. David will be accepting a new position working for the State of Colorado, but as he says below, “I’m not going anywhere.” Here is what he says:

         This isn’t goodbye. 

It’s hard to believe that I started working at the Center in July 2008 as the residential manager. I then went on to teach cane travel for a decade, obtained my ONMC, and for the last 2+ years I have been the home maintenance and woodworking instructor. I have valued my time at the Center, and I am grateful for all the opportunity that I was provided. I’m excited to announce that my new position is with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment as the assistive technology analyst. 

I am also extremely grateful that, through these years in Colorado, I also met my wife of nine years now, and we are proud parents of two-year-old Logan. I say that this isn’t goodbye because though I won’t be teaching at the Center anymore, I am an active member of the National Federation of the Blind and currently serve on the board for the Blind Parents’ division, among other various tasks that Maureen often has for me. 

A very special thank you to Julie Deden for being the most amazing boss, mentor, and friend. Thank you to all of the staff that I have worked with throughout the years at the Center, and a big, big thank you to all of the students that I have had the honor of teaching. Instead of goodbye I will say forward, always forward.

David Nietfeld holding Logan, standing next to Julie Deden inside the lunchroom at CCB

That’s It for This Edition of the Blind Coloradan.

Forward, always Forward!