Usually I have something silly, witty, pithy, or profound to offer at the beginning of each issue of the Blind Coloradan. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. But this time, in a growing, dynamic affiliate like ours. There’s no time for my nonsense! So much to report – let’s get to it!
What's My Line? By Julia Zanon
From the aggregator: Julia Zanon has been kind enough to write this profile of our colleague, Cody Bair. Many of you will know Julia from her tenure at the Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR). One of the most respected, knowledgeable, and kind contributors to work with the blind of Colorado for three decades. She served as a counselor, a supervisor, and the first manager of the Blindness and Low Vision Services Unit within DVR. We are running these profiles in conjunction with the Denver chapter’s employment session. Info about these employment sessions found here on the Blogspot.
If you are as old as I am, then you might remember the television show featuring a panel of celebrities asking questions to figure out the occupation of a guest. It was called "What's My Line" and it was a fun way to learn about jobs and the people that do them. Since Denver Chapter is hosting employment workshops this spring, the Mile High chapter decided to help out by highlighting the occupations of some remarkable members.
Cody Bair, who lives in Denver, became interested in business when he was growing up. His father owned a construction company. After taking an accounting class in high school, he realized how much he enjoyed learning about the numbers behind the business. Majoring in accounting in college and learning about tax law provided him the skills and opportunity to help individuals with the businesses they value.
Cody states, "I am a first-generation college student so when I was in high school, I didn’t really know what to expect for my career. I knew that I was interested in business and accounting sounded cool; however, all I knew about accountants is that they prepared tax returns. While I did this for several years out of college, there is certainly much more to accounting than taxes and even more to taxes than just completing the tax return."
Cody is currently employed as a Senior Associate in the Research and Development Tax Services Group at Moss Adams, LLP. He serves clients throughout the west coast and mid-west in industries such as technology, agribusiness, consumer products, and energy. He had worked as a tax accountant for just over five years, but moved into a consulting role a little over a year ago. Cody is licensed as a CPA, or Certified Public Accountant, and has a Bachelor's in Accounting and a Master's degree in Taxation and has taken advantage of a lot of on-the-job training. Cody stressed that business networking skills are just as important as academic skills. While keeping up with tax law and working long hours can be challenging, what Cody loves about his job is talking with clients, learning about all of the exciting things they are doing with their businesses, and, in turn, being able to provide them with advice that saves them money on their taxes.
Cody would like to continue to work in a large firm and become a partner someday. Cody further states," I have been involved in the NFB ever since I graduated high school. Without the mentors I have gained through the organization, I would not have been able to achieve the success I have today. I currently have the honor of serving as president of the Mile High chapter and hope to see many of you who are reading this at one of our future meetings."
Be sure to check out the employment workshops hosted by the Denver Chapter.
Join President Riccobono for the Latest Updates & Perspective on Our Movement
Monday, April 5, 2021 at 8:00 p.m. ET via Zoom | En Español
Join President Mark Riccobono as he delivers the monthly presidential release of the National Federation of the Blind. Members of the Federation are encouraged to attend, and non-members are warmly welcomed. Closed captions will be provided on the Zoom platform, and you may also access the closed captions/transcript through 1CapApp. There are several options to attend the release. Submit questions in advance to email@example.com and put PR504 in the subject line, or call 410-659-9314, extension 2473.
Join the Zoom (English and Español)
Join the event via the web, mobile app, or dial in. Use the link below to join the webinar which will include closed captions, Spanish interpretation, and the Q&A feature.
Or one-tap mobile: +13017158592,,92243777679#
Or telephone; dial then enter the corresponding webinar ID:
+1 669 900 6833
Webinar ID: 922 4377 7679
More Ways to Access
Save the Date: Upcoming Presidential Releases
Mark your calendars! Here are the upcoming 2021 presidential releases that will be live events held at 8:00 p.m. ET. Closed captions will be available.
• Monday, May 3
• Tuesday, June 1
We look forward to your participation.
How Do You Know If You Are Deafblind?
From the aggregator: Doula Jarboe has been a member of the National Federation of the Blind since she was a child. Over the past 30 years, she has taken on a number of roles in the movement. Doula currently serves as President of our NFBCO Deafblind Division. Here is the first in a series of posts we intend to publish about the work of the division, and the possibilities of the deafblind to live the lives they want.
Until a few years ago, I didn’t really consider myself to be Deafblind. However, once I thought about it, the amount of hearing loss I have without hearing aids is enough of a deficit for me to feel like I’m deaf. When I filled out the application for I Can Connect, however, I was very confused about if I qualified for the hearing loss part, because there wasn’t a clear statement for level of hearing loss.
For those of us who happen to be blind, we have a clear legal definition. If your vision is 2200 or less, then legally you are considered blind. This definition exists for the Social Security Administration, SSA, to have a clear cut way of qualifying blind people for assistance. But when it comes to defining deafness, there isn’t anything so clear cut. From a medical perspective, deafness is broken into categories based on levels of hearing loss. As far as a legal definition of deafness, that is a bit more complicated. Such definitions can be different from the ADA to different state laws.
I think this is the other challenge with hearing loss and the word deafblind. Hearing loss is so gradual that it can be difficult to detect. Even for someone like me who has had hearing loss all of my life, my loss is so gradual that it’s difficult to detect. This is why it’s important to get a yearly hearing test, but I think the other issue is the stigma of semantics and what people are comfortable with. Some may be more comfortable with saying that they are hard of hearing or don’t hear well. When someone says they are Deafblind, many times people don’t know what that means. Just like with blindness, it covers a broad spectrum. There simply needs to be more education both within and outside the blindness community so there is a better understanding and more of a comfort level with this subset of the blindness community.
Let’s Get Going! By Maureen Nietfeld
From the aggregator: Whether you are an active member or a casual reader of this blog, Maureen Nietfeld should need no introduction. President of our Blind Parents Division, Secretary of our great affiliate, Sports and Recreation activist and proponent, as well as mother of 2-year-old Logan. How does she do it? Read the following for part of the answer.
With warm weather soon approaching and the hope that things will continue to open up, the thought of getting in shape, having more energy, and just feeling healthier may be in the forefront of your mind. This can stir feelings of excitement or feelings of dread. Sometimes knowing where to start can feel like a daunting task.
People tend to find the most success by starting with goals that are achievable and realistic. Start small! Focus on what makes you feel good. Getting healthy and active should feel amazing. Maybe it’s taking a 10-minute walk – whether outside or in place – after every meal. If you have three meals a day, that’s 30 minutes a day of walking! Maybe it’s telling Alexa to start a 7-minute workout or stretching for five minutes when you wake up. Maybe it’s simply being able to lift your arms and legs or putting focus on mindful eating and breathing. It’s important to remember that we don’t have to get on an elliptical for an hour or spend two hours in a gym to be an active, healthy person. The key is to maintain movement throughout your day.
Every single one of us faces a variety of barriers when it comes to getting active and being healthy. Maybe it’s work, children, illness, or mental health. I personally believe that removing guilt and shame around what we feel we are unable to do and focusing on what we can do is step one. Trying to make a conscious effort around noticing what you were able to do each day instead of what you weren’t able to do can make a world of difference. Be kind to yourself. 😊
Having an accountability partner can also be helpful. Having outside support from a friend, family member, or any kind of support group can help sustain motivation. The sports and recreation division wants to remind everyone that the board is here to be a resource to each and every one of you. Please reach out with questions, ideas, concerns, or any of your needs pertaining to health and wellness.
One Way to Stay Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise in the Ways of Our Federation is to Read the Braille Monitor. Available in Several Formats. Check Out the Dynamic April Issue Here.
Know Your Rights
The second in our series of Know Your Rights on Mountain Time at 5 was a huge success. Currently available on YouTube, more than 135 attended to learn more about the rights of blind travelers with cane or canine. Expert guests included the President of the National Association of Guide Dog Users Raul Gallegos, the President NFBCO Scott LaBarre, NFBCO Wild West Chapter President Paul Sandoval, long-time Federation leader, author, nationally known guide dog advocate, and member of the Board of Directors of the Colorado Center for the Blind Mike Hingson. Held March 11, it was the 72nd Mountain Time at 5 and had the highest attendance.
Stay tuned for info about what’s next in our Mountain Time at 5 Know Your Rights series.
Izaac, now retired Fidelco guide dog and 11 years old. Photo credit Sue DeMaio
Announcing 2021 Summer Programs for Youth at the Colorado Center for the Blind
From Martin Becerra-Miranda, Director CCB Youth Services:
The Colorado Center for the Blind is excited to announce three programs for youth, ages 13 to 21, to be held in the summer of 2021! Two of the programs will be virtual and one will be a day program for students in the Denver metro area. The virtual programs will take place on the Zoom Cloud Meeting platform, which can be accessed using an Internet connection and computer, by iPhone or Android apps, or by dialing in. Students will receive Zoom meeting information before the first day of the course in which they will participate.
All three courses address important Pre-ETS skills, such as job and career exploration, college counseling, independent living, self-advocacy, and self-determination. Thus, course costs are eligible to be paid by Vocational Rehabilitation Pre-ETS funding for youth.
To apply for any of these summer programs, please visit the application page and complete the online form.
If you have any questions, please contact Martin Becerra-Miranda at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (303) 778-1130, ext 223.
World of Work
The Colorado Center for the Blind is offering a two week virtual program to students aged 13 - 21 from across the country. Before the first day of the program, students will receive a materials box that will include a slate, stylus, Braille instructional book, long white cane, sleep shades, tactile graphics, and much more. Students will receive instruction in our four core subject areas of Braille, Technology, Home Management, and Cane Travel. In addition to this, we will hold workshops and activities that focus on career exploration and developing strong employment skills. These workshops include an employer panel, career interest assessment, mock interviews, and one-on-one informational interviews with professionals in the student’s field of interest.
The program will be held Monday through Thursday, June 7 - June 17, 2021. We will meet on the Zoom Meeting platform from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM and from 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM Mountain Time.
Cracking the College Code
This two week virtual program is being offered to students aged 13 - 21 from across the country. Before the first day of the program, students will receive a materials box that will include a slate, stylus, Braille instructional book, long white cane, sleep shades, tactile graphics, and much more. Students will receive instruction in our four core subject areas of Braille, Technology, Home Management, and Cane Travel. In addition to this, we will hold workshops that focus on preparing for college and student life as well as participate in hands-on STEM activities. These workshops include a college student panel, hands-on chemistry project, ADA workshop, conversation with a Disability Resource Office counselor, robotics project, and more!
The program will be held Monday through Thursday June 21 - July 1, 2021. We will meet on the Zoom Meeting platform from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM and from 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM Mountain Time.
No Limits to Learning
The Colorado Center for the Blind is offering a two week day program to students in the Denver Metro Area aged 13 - 21. Space is limited to 12 students, and we will take applicants on a first-come first-serve basis. In this program, students will receive instruction in our four core subject areas of Braille, Technology, Home Management, and Cane Travel in a maximum student to staff ratio of 3-to-1. On the first day of classes, students will receive a slate, stylus, Braille instructional book, long white cane, and a pair of sleep shades. We know that using non-visual skills is the most effective and efficient way for a blind person to live a successful and independent life. This is why our blind staff fully implement the Structured Discovery teaching method, which allows our students to learn through their own experiences and problem-solving techniques. In addition to the classes mentioned above, we will hold a daily Philosophy class in which staff and students will discuss a variety of topics that focus on developing a positive attitude on blindness. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in challenge rec activities that will establish and grow their self-confidence.
Local health department guidelines permitting, the program will be held Monday through Friday July 19 - July 30, 2021 from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
Take Charge with Confidence and Self-Reliance
Breaking News! From Kim Ann Wardlow, Executive Director, Audio Information Network of Colorado (AINC)
From the aggregator: Over the long and distinguished tenure of Colorado’s AIN, originally Radio Reading Services of the Rockies, the organization has had many blind employees. We are excited to tell you that AINC currently has one part-time and two full-time positions available. For all the deets: Click here to link to the postings on our website.
Colorado’s Business Enterprise Program for the Blind Announces the Addition of Troy Larson
From the aggregator: We received the following news from Krista Hedlund, Manager, Blindness and Low Vision Services (BLVS). Here it is, in part.
Please join me in congratulating Troy Larson and welcome him to the Business Enterprise Program. Troy was the unanimous and unequivocal choice of the interview panel. The panel included the DVR Director, DVR CFO, BEP Operator, and BLVS Manager.
Troy joins the team as the BEP Manager and comes to us with 4 years of experience working for the great state of Colorado, and 25+ years of experience working in the food, beverage, and hospitality industry. Several of those years were spent operating a family-owned cake decorating business. Troy graduated from South Dakota State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Restaurant and Institutional Management.
Welcome to the team!
My Blind Story, by Sylvia R. Vigil
From the aggregator: The philosophy of the National Federation of the Blind comes directly from the lived experiences of blind people. I first met Sylvia Vigil when she was a student at our Center. I happen to be there to enjoy her mini meal and enjoy it I did! I consider myself a bit of a chili connoisseur. The chili Sylvia served was sensational. Look for Sylvia’s sensational chili recipe at the end of this blog. I asked her to write a bit about her life growing up in Walsenburg, Colorado. Here is what she says.
I was born into the world on May 2nd, 1975. I was born with an underdeveloped optic nerve. So, I have been like this all of my life!
I lived in the small town of Walsenburg, Colorado. I attended a normal elementary school. While I was attending that school, I was featured in the local newspaper for receiving a CCTV. I had really nice friends that didn’t tease or bully me. They were very nice and helpful. My grandfather worked in the cafeteria as a custodian. He would always help me throw away my trash. They told him to let me do it for myself. I never thought much of it. I guess when you’re little you don’t think about those things and they don’t bother you. So, you just go with it. I’d spend my recesses on the playground listening to music.
I also went to a normal middle school. I had the same friends there; they never stopped being my friends. I had tutors to help me as the work got harder for me to do. I went to a normal high school for two years. After that, I attended the Colorado School for The Deaf and Blind from 1993-1996.
While attending CSDB, I lived in a dorm away from my family for the first time. It was a new experience for me. It was the first time I had used a cane. I made a lot of new friends and felt like I actually fit in. I learned the basics of cooking and cleaning. Before going to CSDB, I didn’t know how to turn the stove/oven on. I didn’t even know how to do my laundry. CSDB was also the first place that I traveled for the first time on the bus. Other than my classes, I had different jobs. My first job was at the student center doing concession type work. I worked at a steakhouse wrapping baked potatoes and tending the salad bar. I also worked in the laundry at both the Antlers Double Tree and Embassy Suites – not to mention in a bakery at Cub Foods and in a convenient store on Peterson Airforce Base. I was captain of the cheerleading team and Homecoming Queen. I graduated in ‘96 and then went back to Walsenburg.
Amira Lucas is the dynamic President of the Colorado Organization of Parents of Blind Children. She serves as co-chair of NFBCO Education Initiatives. She is relatively new to the movement, but she has already made her mark. She has a 2-year-old blind son, Kadyn. It seems that Kadyn really enjoyed himself at the zoo.
Local Chapters and Statewide Divisions Engage for Spring and Summer
Don’t forget your local chapter meeting. Chapters are now in the midst of planning for activities to take place through the fall. Be a part of the planning and learn what your local chapter or state division can do for you. Invite friends and family. Warmly encourage families of blind children to learn more about our parents’ divisions and education initiatives. For information about how you can become more involved, email email@example.com or leave a message requesting information on the NFBCO hotline: 303-778-1130 ext. 219.
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.
About NFB BELL
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.
Limited space is available. Learn more and apply now!
Bulldog Band Honor Pandemic Heroes Through Song and Pictures
From the aggregator: We received the following joyful piece from Diane Taylor. Diane is a true partner and friend of this blog. Diane manages community relations for the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind.
Attention! Impact to the heart! Students, in the School for the Blind Bulldog Band chose this song, by Alicia Keys, at the start of the quarter to honor community helpers. The students gave their teacher the idea of using pictures of heroes instead of having themselves shown as the singers. Mikayla recorded the piano part and sent the part to all of the students. They recorded their individual parts at homes and sent them to their teacher through email. The students then independently chose who they wanted to thank at the end. How does this performance make you feel?
[This video is captioned, and audio described.]
Sylvia’s Sensational Chili Recipe
· 2 pounds ground beef
· 2 cans dark red kidney beans, drained
· 1/4 onion, chopped
· 3-5 garlic cloves, minced
· 2 cans diced tomatoes with green chili
· 1/4 cup red chili power
· 1 tsp cumin
1. Heat a large pot on medium to brown the ground beef.
2. While ground beef is cooking, measure the chili powder, cumin, and a pinch of garlic salt. Put it in small bowl and set aside.
3. Drain beef in colander, making sure to reserve the grease in a bowl.
4. Open the tomatoes and set side.
5. Pour reserved grease back into the pot and then add 1/4 cup flour to the oil/grease to toast the flour. Stir constantly so flour does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
6. Add your water to the flour and stir. You will know that you have enough water when the flour stops sticking to the spoon, or you could go by how much juice you want in your chili.
7. Add beef, garlic, onion, canned tomatoes, kidney beans, and seasonings to the pot.
8. Stir chili until all ingredients are combined.
9. Bring chili to a boil.
10. Cover with a lid and turn down to medium-low to simmer.
11. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
That’s It for This Edition of the Blind Coloradan
Forward, always Forward!