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Thursday, April 22, 2021

Blind Coloradan Blog April 22


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 another jam-packed Blind Coloradan put together with love just for you, the members and friends of the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado. I apologize to those of you who have sent material that did not make the cut for this issue. This means we will have some great articles for our May Day Blind Coloradan. As you know, we are in the midst of the legislative season. Please be in touch with Dan Burke to keep up with all of the work we are doing on accessibility, voter’s rights, and other initiatives in the General Assembly. A number of our members have testified at hearings in recent weeks. Thank you. We’ll have more on the politics and policy of our work in the next Blind Coloradan. In the meantime, dear reader, let’s get to it!  

The 2021 National Federation of the Blind Convention is at Hand & Free. Register Now!


Map of United States with many brightly lit points and connected lines; text reads 2021 National Convention July 6-10 Anywhere and Everywhere


Stronger Together: Transforming and Unifying Our Future.
Attend the premier event for the blind community and take advantage of the opportunity to:

  • Network with thousands of blind role models
  • Connect with leaders in the field of blindness
  • Attend presentations on a variety of empowering topics
  • Learn about the latest in technology and innovation
  • And more!

Schedule Outline

The schedule for the 2021 convention is:

  • Tuesday, July 6:  Seminars & Specialized Meetings
  • Wednesday, July 7:  Board Meeting & Resolutions
  • Thursday, July 8:  Division Meetings & Opening Ceremony
  • Friday, July 9:  Presidential Report & General Session
  • Saturday, July 10:  Business Session & Banquet

Is this your first convention or do you need a review of what to expect? Mark your calendar for the Rookie Roundup meeting scheduled for Tuesday, June 29 at 8:30 p.m. ET.

Register Today

Registration is now open and free! Get access to the latest information as it is made available and more. While there is no registration fee to attend the National Federation of the Blind 2021 National Convention, please consider a donation if you are in a position to do so. There is a donation option available during the registration process. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Register for the NFB 2021 National Convention now!

If you are already registered, please encourage a friend to attend. We look forward to your participation in the biggest event of the year!


NFB Code of Conduct Added to NFB Newsline

Dan Burke reminds us that, before you can even begin filling out your name on the 2021 convention registration form, you must check a box with the following text:

By checking this box, I fully acknowledge and verify that I read and understand the Code of Conduct of the National Federation of the Blind; and will abide by its guidelines.

Obviously, this isn't just another "Terms of Use" agreement on a phone app or your laptop, nor is it one of those privacy statements from the tech megaliths that none of us have ever read. Our commitment to the implementation of the NFB Code of Conduct is essential to ensuring the Federation and all of its activities are safe and welcoming to all of our members and to all those interested in becoming members. So, unlike those user agreements and privacy statements, we really don't want to just check the box that we agree having never read the code itself. We want to actually read and understand the code because we take it seriously.

The NFB Code of Conduct can be found on the NFB's website. It is not a quick read, however, and takes some time to read and absorb. An FAQ, or Frequently Asked Questions, page is also being developed. It can be a great help in understanding the Code, its expectations, and how to file a complaint.

Not all of our members or interested convention participants, however, have the ready and reliable level of connectivity necessary to read the Code of Conduct.

Why not NFB Newsline, then? Done. You can now read the NFB's Code of Conduct and the FAQ on NFB Newsline. Thanks to Scott White, it can now be found on the iPhone app under Information Sources, All Publications. It's right up at the top! Tap on "Code of Conduct" and find both the traditional text or an audio recording of the code or the FAQ.

If you're dialing into NFB Newsline, press one, then one again. Then you're in the National Channel, and item 10 is the recorded audio of the Code of Conduct. It's followed by the FAQ.

This is just another way that NFB Newsline makes critical information easily accessible to all with print disabilities!


Maureen Nietfeld Returns to CCB

 Maureen Nietfeld standing in front of the Colorado Center for the Blind sign in front of the building

From the aggregator: Many years ago, beginning in the late 50’s and lasting for decades, it used to be said by the blind of the Nation, “If you have to be blind? It’s best to be blind in Iowa.” Those who know of our history realize that was because the blind of Iowa were served by the revolutionary philosophy of the Federation through the Rehabilitation and Training Services provided by the Iowa Commission for the Blind. The Commission was led by the second great president of the National Federation of the Blind, Dr. Kenneth Jernigan. During the second decade of the 21st Century, we started hearing, “if you are going to be blind perhaps you should make Colorado your home.” Of course, this is due to the great state of Colorado, a fabulous, active, Federation affiliate along with the teachers and philosophy at our Colorado Center for the Blind. Like the old days in Iowa, our Center both attracts and develops talent. It‘s talent that changes lives. Maureen Nietfeld is no stranger to the readers of this blog. Beloved by her students for more than a decade, winner of the NFB’s largest National Scholarship in 2017, having earned numerous certifications and her recent degree, she will now return to the Colorado Center for the Blind to assist CCB Director Julie Deden and her team as we continue to make Colorado one of the best places to live – if you happen to be blind. Here is what Dan Burke says about a Nietfeld returning to CCB.

Apparently, the CCB can't go more than a few weeks without a Nietfeld working here. David, who taught Cane Travel and then Wood Shop/Home Maintenance for over a decade, left at the end of February to take a job with the State of Colorado. On April 5, Maureen returned to CCB in a new role as Director of Student Services.

It was a long five weeks!

Of course, Maureen worked previously at the center as a Home Management instructor for many years. She left in August 2018, shortly after the birth of Logan. In the time she was away from the center, she finished her bachelor's degree, served on the CCB Board of Directors, and lots of other activities, both in and out of the NFB.

Though her first two days back at the center were not at the center (we were virtual for two days pending COVID test results, all negative), she's already proven a tremendous advocate for students trying to thread their way through housing applications, medical bureaucracies and benefits tribulations. As always, things just get done when Maureen is in the picture. We feel fortunate we didn't have to go for long without a Nietfeld on staff!

Tag-teaming Wood Shop and Home Maintenance at CCB

CCB is adopting a team approach to Wood Shop and Home Maintenance.

James "Jed" Davis has joined us to teach wood shop on Mondays and Tuesdays each week. Jed is the owner and proprietor of James Davis Designs in Lakewood, where he has a full wood shop to build custom wood designs and sells his own wood creations along with those of his students there.

Home Maintenance is a different animal, though the two areas have been combined at CCB for some time. We've folded Home Maintenance into our Enrichment program, which has daily themes, such as fitness and health, employment and tactile art. Our 2019 graduate, Paul Stewart has agreed to teach this class every Wednesday, which could cover everything from unplugging a vacuum cleaner to changing the furnace filter to clearing the P-trap under the bathroom sink.

And we're excited to have both of these teachers with us moving forward!  


Let’s Read and Explore Tactile Facts About Colorado with Learning Box Number 4 and the Colorado Parents of Blind Children

Come and join us to read a short story. The story will be in large print (18 font) and Braille. There will be five tactile pictures for the students to explore. Four of the five will have magnetic packing on them and they will need to be inserted into the book by the students as they read the story. Students will also have the opportunity to explore their creativity by creating Colorado Flag Art using air dry clay techniques.

This book and the activity are designed for elementary, middle, and high school students who are blind or low vision.

When will this Learning Box activity occur?
April 25, 2021, from 2:00 to 3:00 PM.
Preregistration is required by Sunday, April 18 so that Learning Boxes can be prepared and shipped in time. Please register your student at the link below.

April Learning Box registration

If you have any questions, please contact us.
Amira Lucas
President, Colorado Parents of Blind Children

Learning Box activities are a program of The National Federation of the Blind of Colorado, Project Literacy, Colorado Center for the Blind, and American Action Fund. 


"When Does a Calling Become a Career?" by Julia Zanon

From the aggregator: This issue features not one but two articles from Mile High Chapter leader Julia Zanon. You can read her first profile of our colleague Cody Bair in our April 1 blog. Here is what Julia says about Wild West Chapter President and Tech Entrepreneur Paul Sandoval.

Headshot of Paul Sandoval
Paul Sandoval

Some people know what they want to do in life when they are children. Others explore different types of jobs and make choices based on their interests, abilities, and opportunities. Then there are those folks who get inspired to make a difference so that others have the chance to thrive. Colorado native Paul Sandoval falls in this last category.

When he was in college, he began working at the accessibility lab at the Auraria Campus and discovered that he loved helping others conquer their disabilities using technology. As a teenager in high school, he figured that he would go into some sort of technology field but didn’t realize that his focus would be helping others with disabilities. Paul reported that back in 2001, there was not a lot of support for people using adaptive technology, and he realized that he could be that resource for positive change.

Paul states, "I am the Owner/Founder of Blind Tech Training. We primarily train individuals in various assistive technologies including JAWS, NVDA, and Voiceover on both the Mac and IOS. We specialize in working with braille devices . . . We have been in business a little over 5 years now." Blind Tech Training now has contracts with government and non-profit organizations and provides services to private pay clients.

When he first started his career, there was no formal training for adaptive technology specialists. Paul began to gather experience while working for three years at Beyond sight, a specialty store in Littleton. This experience allowed him to network and grow his confidence enough to take the chance of starting his own business. This field does not require any specific certifications; however, it does require the ability to memorize lots of key commands as well as continually learn emerging technologies. With the prevalence and ease of mobile devices, the toughest task is to keep people focused on using a computer. This is so important since many jobs require employees to have excellent computer skills. Despite the challenges, Paul stated that he enjoys working with people and solving problems.   

Paul lives in Lakewood with his wife Shawn, daughter Mia, son Paul Jr., and a yellow lab dog guide named Yonkers.

Regarding his future, Paul stated, "I would love nothing more than to continue helping to improve this community through training, advocacy – whatever it takes."

And, finally, what does Paul have to say about being a member of the NFB of Colorado? The best part is "the incredible leadership resources that we have available here in Colorado, and the active participation of our membership."


Panel of Successful Blind Entrepreneurs Address Denver April Chapter Meeting, from Dan Burke, Chapter President

The second in the Denver Chapter's spring coming-out-of-the-pandemic employment series featured a fascinating panel of entrepreneurs who are blind. Joanne Franklin of Colorado Springs, and the Springs chapter Vice President, is a real estate agent. Peter Slatin of New York City is a journalist and ADA consultant for the hospitality industry, and Jamie Principato-Crane from Mountain View, California is a developer working on an app with the intent of creating accessibility in the product from the outset. Joanne hit one of the panel's themes when she talked about working in another capacity in the real estate field. After learning a great deal about it, she realized that she could sell homes and blindness wouldn't actually be a factor. That's when she went for it.

The second part of the meeting was devoted to mock interviews. Peter volunteered to be an interviewer and he was joined by our chapter secretary, Erin Daley and Mile High Chapter member Julia Zanon, the former and first director of Colorado Blind & Low Vision Services (BLVS).

Our May 15 meeting will complete the employment series. We'll be discussing a host of apps and web sites that can be helpful when on the job hunt, including apps for networking. We'll be joined by the NFB's social media guru Danielle McCann and others.

And, one more thing. We welcomed seven new members to the Denver Chapter this month, including four current CCB students. Give them all a round of applause!


The National Federation of the Blind of Colorado Blind Parents are Committed to Providing an Open, Safe, and Inclusive Space for all of Us to Grow, Learn, and Share Together – an Open-Ended Invitation from Maureen Nietfeld

The Blind Parents Division is excited to announce that we will be holding a monthly open conversation on the fourth Thursday of every month from 7 PM until 8 PM. Our Blind Parents Division board meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m., and all are invited to listen in.

Different parents throughout the state will be facilitating these open discussions about a variety of topics pertaining to us as blind parents. We look forward to you joining us.

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 830 7659 9743

Passcode: 1111

One tap mobile


Dial by your location
 +1 646 558 8656

Meeting ID: 830 7659 9743


From the Blind History Lady, Peggy Chong, the Tale of Walter Grant Worley

Peggy Chong headshot

The Blind History Lady-Peggy Chong

Walter Grant Worley, born in 1868, was a farmer, owned his own farm, raised five children, and did well financially. Around 1925, he began to lose his sight. He lost his farm and ended up asking for financial help from the Moffit Poor fund beginning in the spring of 1926. He received $75 a month. His health continued to decline.

His obit appeared in the newspapers: 

Mr. Grant Worley of Box Springs died in Pueblo Wednesday, Sept. 7th. He has been in failing health for a number of years, was almost totally blind, and two weeks ago, his wife and 1 sons had him taken to Pueblo where the best of medical attention could be had. From the first, the doctors there gave little hope, his mind had become feeble and he also had hardening of the arteries around his heart. Mr. Worley was an old pioneer of this valley. He was a fine man and leaves a host of friends, besides a wife and three children to mourn his death.

He was only 61.


Did You Know? by Julia Zanon

In 2017, the Colorado State Office of Information Technology (OIT), created a unit dedicated to accessibility and hired Theresa Montano to lead the unit as the Solutions Architect for Accessibility. Theresa, who is blind, brought her 23 years of professional career experience as a software engineer and project manager to her new role. She recruited an advisory board consisting of experts from the public and state employment realm, including several well-known NFBCO members.  

Theresa Montano,  Solutions Architect of Accessibility PMP, CSM and her guide dog Thyme.
Theresa Montano and her guide dog Thyme

On April 15, the advisory board met the new Colorado Office of Information Technology Executive Director, Anthony (Tony) Neal-Graves, who was hired by Gov. Jared Polis to lead the state OIT division. Unlike previous executive directors who seemed to be lukewarm at best about ensuring accessible content of state websites and resources, Tony was attentive, asked good questions, and expressed his motivation and commitment to supporting accessibility for people with disabilities. With House Bill 2021-1110 waiting to be funded, there is a bit of optimism that not only will there be actual funding for accessibility needs, but also an executive director who is committed to hold the Office of Information Technology accountable. With approximately 1,000 technology employees working within the OIT division, they not only need employees who are knowledgeable about accessibility, but they also need to hire qualified applicants from the blindness community to fill open positions throughout the division. During the meeting, the advisory board challenged Tony to create a model organization and lead the nation in assuring accessible government OIT resources.              


Accessible Pharmacy Services for the Blind is Excited to Announce Our Upgraded and Expanded Braille Printing Capabilities for Medication

Our new label printing system allows us to apply contracted braille labels to anything through our home delivery pharmacy service:

•          Prescription Medication

•          OTC Medication

•          Eye Drops

•          Insulin

•          Vitamins

•          Nutritional Supplements


We can also apply braille labels to our various accessible packaging:

•          Presorted Disposable Pill Organizers

•          Presorted Daily Pill Packets

•          Standard and Easy Open Bottles


For braille readers and family members, this is the most robust braille solution in the pharmacy industry. All braille labeling, accessible packaging, and delivery are FREE. Simply call 215-799-9900 or contact us through the Specialized Help Section on Be My Eyes to speak with a pharmacist to learn more!

Also, coming this summer we will be offering Guide Dog and companion pet medication with the same packaging and braille labeling!

Accessible Pharmacy Logo, clipart of a sun cresting over a hill

From the Aggregator

Did you read the great story in our April 1, 2021 blog about Sylvia Vigil? She delighted readers with her memories of growing up in small-town Colorado. You can still read her story; it is still up here on the Blogspot – as is her great chili recipe. We end this issue of the Blind Coloradan with another recipe from Sylvia, another of our wonderful Colorado Center for the Blind graduates. Bon Appetite!

Baked Pasta 

·        1 box of pasta, your choice (penne, bowties, or rotini)

·        1 pound ground hot Italian sausage

·        1 package pepperoni slices

·        1 container of sliced mushrooms

·        1 stick of butter

·        Jar marinara sauce

·        Jar tomato and basil spaghetti sauce

·        Chopped onion

·        3-5 garlic cloves, minced

·        Packet spaghetti seasoning

·        Package shredded mozzarella cheese


 1. Warm the pot to medium heat.

2. Cut 10 pepperoni slices into tiny pieces.

3. Add ground sausage and cut up pepperoni to the pan and brown.

4. Wash mushrooms and pat them dry. Then put to the side.

5. Drain the grease from the meat if any. If not, just pour in a bowl.

6. Melt one stick of butter in the hot pot.

7. Once the butter has melted, add the garlic and onion and sauté for one minute.

8. Add mushrooms and sauté until tender.

9. Add the meats, spaghetti sauces, garlic, onion, and seasonings to the pot, then stir to combine.

10. Bring to a boil.

11. Reduce heat to medium low to simmer and cover. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

12.  Once sauce is halfway through cooking, start your pasta. Cook as directed on package.

13. Spray a 9 x 13 baking pan with cooking spray.

14. Preheat oven to 350°.

15. Scoop a little bit of sauce onto the bottom of the pan and spread.

16. Pour pasta into the sauce and stir to coat.

17. Poor pasta into prepared cooking dish.

18. Top with mozzarella cheese.

19. Garnish with pepperonis.

20. Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Note: Once it is done, it will look like a pepperoni pizza.


Colorado Center for the Blind Logo

 That’s It for This Edition of the Blind Coloradan

Forward, always Forward!

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