[Colorado-talk] Blind Coloradan Holiday Issue 2013 attached and following

Lisa Bonderson lbonderson at cocenter.org
Fri Dec 20 18:53:32 UTC 2013

 <http://www.nfbco.org/> NFBCO
                                            Newsletter for the National
Federation of the Blind of Colorado


Vol. 3 No. 3
December 2013 Holiday Issue


Scott C. LaBarre

NFB of Colorado President

2233 West Shepperd Avenue

Littleton, CO 80120

Phone: (303) 778-1130

 <mailto:slabarre at nfbco.org> slabarre at nfbco.org


Kevan Worley


1837 South Nevada Avenue

PMB 243

Colorado Springs, CO 80905

Phone: (866) 543-6808

 <mailto:kevanworley at blindmerchants.org> kevanworley at blindmerchants.org


Table of Contents:

A Letter from the Editor
Page 3

>From the President's Desk
Page 5

2013/14 NFB of Colorado Scholarship Program                Page 9

Blindness Cured? And thank you for it.                               Page 10

Jessica at Large
Page 12

Meet the Blind Who Lead the Blind                                    Page 15

Audit Slams Spending in Colorado Program .                   Page 18

A Presidential Report                                                   ____
Page 24

An Email from the First Vice President .                            Page 34

In Memoriam
Page 36

In the Family: A Book Release Announcement                   Page 37

Quality CCTV's from and for the Visually Impaired            Page 38

Blind Buzz
Page 39

Page 45


The Letter from the Editor

Dear Reader,


"Here we come a-wassailing." For most of us the holidays mean family in one
form or another. This is our holiday 2013 issue of the Blind Coloradan...an
issue filled with celebration, family, reflection, resolution, recognition
of accomplishment and love.  I begin this issue with a heartfelt wish for
peace, prosperity and joy from the Worley family to yours. The Federation
Family revels in many faith traditions. The Federation is truly a people's
movement. We are thankful for each and every member. We honor your faith and
worship traditions. It is our diversity that makes us the strong and dynamic
force for change that we are. I hope you will agree that we capture some of
our Federation family diversity and spirit in this issue of the Blind


Our family is sometimes reverent and often rambunctious. These are the
characteristics which also describe the recent mid-October State Convention
of the NFBCO in Colorado Springs. You will read some of the highlights
throughout this issue. Our Federation family is in the midst of amazing
growth and unprecedented influence. When it is important to the blind and
visually impaired of Colorado, the Federation will be the leading voice.

In Colorado, we are fortunate to have a President who is not only a voice
for the blind of Colorado. He is a voice for the blind of this Nation on the
world stage. As many of our readers know, Scott LaBarre has traveled
throughout the world to bring our Federation perspective to international
treaty negotiations and other matters important to the world's people with
disabilities. As Scott will tell you, however, he has been able to earn
those opportunities because we have such a strong engaged affiliate working
with him. He will also tell you of the love and support of his wife, Anahit,
a blind woman who is a leader in her own right. Our State President has two
bright, active children who serve to keep him grounded. There is never a
dull moment in the LaBarre family, especially at the holidays. The same can
be said for our NFBCO family. Scott's report is always a high point of our
State Convention. We proudly include it in this newsletter. 


Holidays are for the children. You will learn a little of the work we
continue to do for our spiritual children at the Colorado School for the
Deaf and Blind. I know you will enjoy reading the reflections of NFB of
Colorado Board member Eric Woods. We will hear from budding author and
student Rebekah Felix. You will read about one of the leaders of our
Federation family, Wayne Marshall, as he works to create opportunities, both
within the Federation and for others who are socially and economically
disadvantaged. In this issue's Jessica at Large column, we learn about new
chapters of our family being developed around the State. 


We are publishing the full text of the resolutions passed at the State
Convention. These policy statements identify some of the work we will take
on in 2014, some of which has already begun in earnest.

The Blind Coloradan cannot bring you fruit cake. But you will be filled with
joy to note that Blind Buzz is back! 


Let's keep doing amazing things in 2014. In order to illustrate our work,
for our print readers, in a more vivid way, we hope to be able to add some
graphics and photos to the Blind Coloradan in 2014. Again, we thank Julie
Hunter, Lorinda Riddle, Lisa Bonderson, and Jessica Beecham. Without them
there would be no Blind Coloradan. Please forward the Blind Coloradan to
anyone you think may not be receiving it. Call it our own family holiday
letter. 2014 here we come! 


At your service,



Kevan Worley

Aggregator and Contributor




"And so at this Christmas time I greet you. Not quite as the world sends
greetings but with profound esteem and with the prayer that for you, now and
forever, the day breaks and the shadows flee away." -Fra Giovanni


>From the President's Desk


Unbelievably 2013 is drawing near a close and the holiday time is full upon
us.  This time of year provides an excellent opportunity to slow down and
reflect upon the year upon which the calendar is about to close and to look
forward to the year about to start.  


For the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado, I think this has been
a tremendous year.  We have taken several significant steps forward on our
march to equality and true freedom for the blind.  Many of our
accomplishments are highlighted in the Presidential Report reprinted
elsewhere in this issue.  Over all, we continue to grow and thrive, adding
new members and programs all the time.  I want to extend my sincerest
gratitude to our members and supporters for the tremendous work we have
accomplished together.


Since that report, a number of significant events have occurred.  On
Wednesday, December 11, 2013, our Educate Blind Children Now Committee,
under the tremendous leadership of Kevan Worley, met with officials from the
Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind.  Superintendant Carol Hilty,
Principal of the Blind School, Jennifer Langley, and Director of Outreach,
Laura Douglas traveled to the Colorado Center for the Blind  to meet with
us.  We had a very positive and encouraging exchange of ideas.  As you will
see in my Presidential Report, I had expressed concern over the school's
lack of full engagement with us.  Our recent meeting appears to be the
beginning of a new, much more meaningful era.  NFB Colorado and CSDB have
pledged to work together more extensively on a number of projects, including
a mentorship program and future BELL programs in Colorado Springs.  Since I
have been President of this affiliate, we have never had such a high level
meeting with the school.  We met for over two hours and I am very hopeful
about what we will be able to offer the dozens of blind children who attend
the school and its programs.


Recently, I returned from the National Center for the Blind where we held
some national board meetings.  As most everyone has heard, Dr. Maurer
announced at that meeting, he is not planning to seek reelection to the
Office of President at the 2014 National Convention and he will be
supporting Mark Riccobono to become our next President.  As you can imagine,
it was a very emotional and momentous board meeting.  Dr. Maurer has been a
great National President.  He is stepping down at the zenith of his powers
and abilities.  He is still very healthy and vibrant, making this the best
time to affect a smooth transition.  Mark Riccobono is the Executive
Director of the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute. He is
bright and highly capable.  I am confident that he will lead us well.  Here
in Colorado, we proudly own a piece of Mr. Riccobono's success because he is
a graduate of the Colorado Center for the Blind.  Congratulations to Marc
Maurer and Mark Riccobono!


I have asked Dan Burke and Eric Woods to chair our Legislative Affairs
Committee.  Our Annual State Day at the Capital is scheduled for February
28th. As is our custom, we will gather around 8:00 a.m. in the old Supreme
Court Chambers. We will discuss logistics and the issues important to the
blind before taking our message to the halls of the State Capital. Please
stay tuned to all NFBCO information channels.  


Before leaving this message, I also wanted to tell you about a couple of
special events which took place at our 2013 Banquet.  We presented Dr. Tanni
Anthony with our Distinguished Services Award.  We did so because of her
incredible leadership in securing a stronger and better education for all of
our blind children.  The handsome wooden plaque presented to Dr. Anthony was
engraved this way:


National Federation

of the Blind of Colorado

Distinguished Service Award

Presented to

Dr. Tanni Anthony

In recognition of your outstanding leadership in educating blind children
and for your tireless advocacy in making sure that blind children receive a
strong Braille education.


Dr. Anthony is the Director of the Access, Learning, and Literacy Team of
the Exceptional Student Services Unit within the Colorado Department of


At the Annual Banquet, I also had the great honor of presenting this year's
Raymond W. McGeorge Award to Kevan and Bridget Worley.  The McGeorge Award
is our highest honor and I cannot think of a couple more deserving than
Kevan and Bridget.  These two exemplify and live Ray's spirit and work hard
to accomplish the work Ray started in 1955.  Although she is the quieter of
the two, Bridget works hard and in a very powerful way to spread the
Federation philosophy and message everywhere.  Since 1983, Kevan has
committed his time and energy to helping us secure real opportunity for the
blind in our state and throughout the world.  Like many of us, there is no
doubt that Ray McGeorge deeply touched Kevan's life and provided for him the
ongoing inspiration to keep realizing our dreams.  When I presented the
award, I reminded Kevan of his own words in an article entitled The Ties
That Bind which he wrote for one of our NFB Kernel books.  Here those words


"A group of students and I were heading out to the bus stop, talking about
the things we wished we had learned as blind children. I casually mentioned
wishing I had learned to tie a tie. Ray McGeorge overheard and said, "I can
teach you to do that right now." 


As I hurried away from the center, I told him I would appreciate the lesson.
Perhaps we could get together sometime before I graduated. Ray replied
slowly, drawing out his words as he always does, "I don't see why we can't
get started right now." It was past 4:30 in the afternoon, and I was ready
to get back to the apartment. Ray was saying, "I'll see if we can't find a
tie around here, and we'll just fix you right up." He's retired now, but at
that time he had been a machinist for about thirty-five years. I was sure he
must be tired from a hard day at work and certainly he would not be able to
find a tie. But as I stepped up to the bus stop on Broadway, I heard Ray's
distinct low voice behind me. "Come on, Kevan, this shouldn't take long.
Let's get to it."


With busses going by every ten minutes, Ray stood behind me, patiently
showing me how to make the knot. He had me do it until I not only got it
right but could do it again and again. "We need to do it so you will never
forget this time," he said. And then he added, "Maybe someday you will show
some other young man how to tie a tie.""


Our heartfelt words to Kevan and Bridget as permanently engraved on their
plaque are:

National Federation

of the Blind of Colorado


Presented to

Kevan & Bridget Worley

You inspire us with your passion, dedication and commitment. You make a
difference for blind people everywhere. We respect you, but above all, we
love you!


As I bring this message to a close, I want to wish all of you the absolute
best of the holiday season.  May we all enjoy some quality time with our
friends and family during this delightful time of year.  It has been a
terrific 2013.  Let's make 2014 even better!



Scott C. LaBarre, President

National Federation of the Blind of Colorado



"Heigh-ho! Sing, heigh-ho! Unto the green holly: Most friendship if
feigning, most loving mere folly: Then heigh-ho, the holly! This life is
most jolly." -Shakespeare



2013 - 2014 NFB of Colorado Scholarship Program

By: Buna Dahal


>From the Editor: Buna Dahal is the effervescent chair-person of our State
Scholarship Committee. She has served in a number of leadership positions.
She is an entrepreneur and corporate trainer. Her website is
<http://www.DynamicBuna.com> www.DynamicBuna.com. Each year the National
Federation of the Blind of Colorado has worked to increase our support for
blind students. Here is Buna's latest report: 


Congratulations to our scholars for 2013; Nicholas (Nick) Thomas from Fort
Collins, Nure Kebirtilmo from Greeley, and Antonio Rozier from Littleton.
Nick is pursuing his undergraduate degree in psychology at Metro State
University. Nure is a graduate student at the University of Northern
Colorado studying rehabilitation counseling. Antonio is attending the
Arapahoe Community College majoring in Computer Information Systems.
Scholarships were presented at the banquet of our state convention in
October. In addition to achieving scholarly distinction, these winners have
taken on leadership responsibilities both within and outside of the
Federation. Nure Kebirtilmo serves as a board member of the Greeley Chapter,
Antonio Rozier from Littleton, serves as President of the Colorado
Association of Blind Students and the First Vice President of the Denver
Chapter and Nicholas (Nick) Thomas from Fort Collins is President of our
Poudre Valley Chapter.


Antonio Rozier serves as President of the Colorado Association of Blind
Students. Nick Thomas is President of our Poudre Valley Chapter. We are
proud of our students!


The 2014 NFB of Colorado Scholarship Program is in full swing. This program
is one of our priorities that enrich the lives of blind students in
Colorado. The application deadline is April 15, 2014. Scholarship
information can be found on this site:  <http://www.nfbco.org>

Previous winners are encouraged to apply. Let's spread the news throughout
Colorado so new blind scholars can benefit from our excellent program!


Blindness Cured?

And thank you for it. 

By: Eric Woods


>From the Editor: Eric Woods is a long-time Federationist and a member of the
NFB of Colorado Board of Directors. As a blind adult he has been an
Industrial Arts instructor. He has worked as a counselor and role model for
hundreds of blind youth. Many of our readers know Eric as a guitar player,
singer and songwriter. Eric regularly performs in the Americana Group 'Stray
Dog'. We are thankful for Eric's reflections during this time of celebration
and Thanksgiving. Here is what he says:


It being the holiday season and especially that of Thanksgiving, I find
myself, as many of us do around this time of year, putting the giving of
thanks that is in my heart into words.  I've had what most people around the
world would consider to be a blessed existence, at least comparatively
so...decent up-bringing, opportunities, plenty of good food and friends, and
some times more than enough beer.  For all these things I am quite thankful.
But as I get older, not only in my overall years of life but also in the
increasing number of years which I have been blind, I find that my hopes for
the future and my thankfulness for all I've been lucky enough to have has
simplified some.  I imagine that this is not altogether uncommon.


When I was a little boy I had such dreams; dreams that very few could ever
obtain, but the stuff that makes youngsters bounce around and would likely
lead to discouragement if dared to be dreamt at a later age.  I wanted to
win Wimbledon.  I wanted to play second base for a World Series winning ball
club.  I wanted to be a rock star and have countless busty chicks trying to
tackle me on the street.  Nobody will be surprised to realize that not even
a whiff of these or similar dreams came true, though I once was knocked over
by two women coming out of a Wal-Mart.  Gradually we all realize the
differences between dreams and reality.  I had given up the pie-in-the-sky
sort of dreams for a regular existence and I was fine with that.  I was
about where I wanted to be at that stage in my life when I went blind.
After going blind, I wanted to be cured and, God knows I would have been
thankful.  Of course I was cured shortly thereafter.  At least I began the
curing process though I didn't quite understand how all that was happening
at the time.


Initially I wanted my eyes back in good working order but, really, that was
just the cause of my problems, not the underlying manifestation of my
situation.  I wanted to feel normal again.  It wasn't that I couldn't see a
book or a newspaper; it's that I suddenly had no means of reading any
longer.  It wasn't that I couldn't see the grocery store; rather that I had
no way of getting there.  I wanted to feel good about myself and I didn't.
I wanted to feel optimistic about the rest of my life and I couldn't.  I
wanted to be a normal guy again and I didn't know how.  God never chose to
give me my sight back.  Doctors couldn't medicate or operate my eyes back
into usefulness.  Scientists and engineers had no solutions.  After some
time feeling despair and desperation I did find a cure of sorts. My eyes are
not healed, but the hole I felt in my soul over the loss of sight I
experienced as a young man has been filled with countless caring men and
women. I have known them for many years now. I am thankful for them.  I feel
good about myself.  I read books and newspapers again and feel optimistic
about my remaining time.  I am a normal guy.  Thank you, National Federation
of the Blind with all your individual, local, state and national components.
You have done this for me.  I will never be able to thank you enough.




"Are you going to send a flaming red neck tie to a quiet man with pepper and
salt taste in clothing? Are you going to give teaspoons to a woman who
already has several unused pounds of them? Are you planning to give a set of
Scott's novels to a man who already has every volume? Are you planning to
give large objects to people who live in small rooms? Are you going to send
a potted fern to a lady who lives near the woods? Are you planning to send a
dyed goat skin to a hunter? Are you forgetting that an author will already
have plenty of ink wells? God tells us to forgive our enemies, cried the
fiercest of all, the Medici's. But nowhere does he tell us to forgive our
friends. And one may well suspect that he was moved to this exasperatory
burst by the receipt of an ill chosen gift for which he was expected to be

-Saturday Evening Post, 1907


Jessica At Large

By: Jessica Beecham


>From the Editor: Jessica Beecham is the Chapter and Community Development
Coordinator for the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado. I know you
will be inspired to read Jessica's report.  Catch up to her if you can.


Colorado has an amazing affiliate.  An affiliate that makes a difference in
the state of Colorado and across the Nation.  As I reflect back on the last
few months, my heart swells with pride as I consider all of the
accomplishments and growth that has occurred in the National Federation of
the Blind of Colorado.  


The word is RUN!  Last April Scott LaBarre asked me to run the Cherry Creek
Sneak 5k to support Lending Sight, a USABA athletic club in the Denver Metro
area.  It was a fantastic opportunity to meet and reconnect with awesome
blind athletes like Randle Crosby, Amelia Dickerson, Ethan Johnston, Kerry
Kuck, Terry Garrett, and so many more.  Now that he knows I can run he has
me running EVERYWHERE.  Hoofing it through the shops on 16th street mall to
collect donations for the NFBCO auction, dashing to meetings with the Denver
Regional Mobility and Access Council, DRMAC, membership committee, sprinting
to the Greyhound station to catch a ride to Rocky Ford to discuss
transportation issues, racing to Greeley for the New Perspectives Technology
Expo, jogging down to the Springs for a chapter meeting, jetting downtown
for a night time cocktail party/fundraiser on a beautiful balcony. It's all
a part of the exciting and high energy work I get to do for NFBCO.  From
Colorado Springs to Greeley then back to Denver all in a day's time, that's
my style and I would be lying if I said I didn't absolutely LOVE it.  Here,
there, and everywhere, the way to build the Federation in Colorado is to
RUN, RUN, RUN!        


As the leaves were changing color and falling from the trees, we of NFBCO
were experiencing new growth.  The Aurora chapter had its first official
meeting on August 24.  The chapter was formed with eight members.  Wayne
Marshall is the President, Beth Mouriquand is Vice President, Richard
Mouriquand serves as a Secretary/Treasurer, James Triplett serves as a Board
Member, and Jan Triplett is a Board Member.  By the second meeting in
September we doubled the number of members to 16!  There is nothing like
exponential growth! In October they hosted a fantastic Meet the Blind Month
activity at Town Center of Aurora Mall.  The chapter had a table where
members passed out NFB literature and Kernel books.  


In October our State Convention was held in beautiful Colorado Springs!  If
you have never attended a NFBCO state convention it is an experience worth
having.  In the opinion of many people who have attended NFB state
conventions across the United States, Colorado puts on one of the best.  We
heard from great speakers who presented information on topics relevant to
the blind of Colorado.  We heard from Joelle Brouner, who is the new
director of Rehabilitation Services in Colorado. She had only been on the
job a short few days. Conventioneers were impressed with her energy and the
experience she has brought from the state of Washington.  We were inspired
by Professor Cary Supalo, a nationally recognized blind chemist. Members and
guests were treated to a banquet address from Carl Jacobsen, President,
National Federation of the Blind of New York. Carl also serves on the Board
of Directors of our National Organization. Throughout his long career, Carl
has inspired a number of innovative youth programs for the blind in New
York. He is a retired entrepreneur who brought his unique New York brand of
wry humor, self-reflection, and encouragement. The Friday luncheon featured
Colorado Representatives Pete Lee and Mark Waller. Each of these leading
legislators has shown a keen interest in our work. They were particularly
interested in a resolution brought to the convention raising concern over
the newly introduced name of the State Agency which houses the Colorado
Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.  Representative Lee immediately
championed our cause. There is no doubt that the policy statement passed at
the convention, along with Representative Lee's inquiry, had an immediate
impact on Colorado Officials. They stepped up their process to rename the
"Office of Long-Term Care" to one which more accurately represents its
mission.  The convention featured many excellent seminars including seminars
on iDevices, emergency preparedness, wellness, tactile graphics, deaf
blindness, and more.  Our newly formed Colorado Association of Guide Dog
Users elected a Board of Directors, which includes Melissa Green, of
Greeley, as its President. Vice President Shon Spears, Secretary Marty Rahn,
Treasurer Becky Sabo, and Board Members Daniel Sweeney, Beth Allred, and
Jenny Hwang.  Our Exhibit Hall was packed with exhibitors of technology and
information for the blind. It wasn't all meetings, exhibits, and seminars.
We made sure to take some time to have fun!  On Friday night we put our
heads together to figure out "Whodunnit" during the western-themed
murder-mystery presented by Red Herring, a local theater troop.  Evening
festivities ended with a Ho-Down and the beginning of contests which pitted
two Colorado Springs chapter leaders against one another in a unique
convention fundraising competition. If you weren't, you should have been
there! Let's put it this way, in Colorado the Federation knows how to have
fun. Next year's convention will be in Denver over the last weekend in
October. Plan now to attend. There is nothing like the fun of a NFBCO
convention at Halloween. We will be planning activities for the children of
all ages from 2 to 92.


There is no rest in Colorado!  As we head into a new year, we have begun our
work to form a new chapter in Grand Junction. Our organizing meeting will
take place on Saturday, January 18. The get together will be at the Center
for Independence. The address is 740 Gunnison Ave. The meeting will begin at
10 a.m. with lunch to follow around noon. How about pizza?  If you know
blind people in Grand Junction please share their contact information with
me.  You can e-mail  <mailto:jbeecham at cocenter.org> jbeecham at cocenter.org or
call 303-778-1130 x 223.  Stay tuned to Colorado Talk, Facebook, Twitter,
<http://www.nfbco.org> www.nfbco.org, and the NFB-NEWSLINER local channel
for details. If you have colleagues, friends or family members anywhere on
the Western Slope forward this newsletter to them. Our organizing team will
be in Grand Junction Wednesday, January 15 through Saturday, January 18. 


Although our mentoring program got off to a slow start, we are now in full
swing.  Our first mentoring session was held on December 11.  We met with
four AWESOME students, ate pizza, and had lots of fun.  During our second
session on December 18, we made holiday cookies and Braille cards.  There
were 12 students in attendance and everyone had a blast.  I am happy to say
that we are making great strides in our efforts to work with CSDB
administration.  We are certain that with our shared passion and commitment
for educating blind students we will come away from our discussions with a
strengthened relationship that will help both entities serve blind children
more effectively.  


As always, we want you to be in the know.  The best way to keep up with all
the happenings in Colorado is to sign up for Colorado Talk.  You can do this
by going to  <http://www.nfbnet.org> www.nfbnet.org and finding the link for
Colorado Talk.  You will be asked to complete a short form that will take
less than a minute.  If you need help, call 303-778-1130 x 223.  You can
also read our blog at  <http://www.nfbco.blogspot.com>
www.nfbco.blogspot.com, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter 

@nfbco.                 Well until next time. got to run!



Meet the Blind Who Lead the Blind


>From the Editor: From time to time in these pages we introduce you to one of
our leaders. This month we proudly highlight Mr. Wayne Marshall. Wayne has
been a leader throughout his entire life. Before his blindness and since,
Wayne has worked to make a difference. We are lucky to have his leadership
in the movement. 


Born in Saint Louis, Missouri, Wayne Marshall is the youngest of seven
children. While growing up, Wayne was very active in school, sports, church
and various community based activities. Upon the completion of high school,
Wayne attended college as a communications major until leaving for a job in


He relocated to Denver in 1982 to advance his career. He later became a
building engineer for Beta West, a division of US West Telecommunications.
While at Beta West, Wayne was diagnosed with RP, Retinitis Pigmentosa, a
degenerative eye disease. Wayne is now blind as a result of his RP.  Before
leaving Beta West, he founded Handy Solutions of which he was the sole
proprietor for ten years. Handy Solutions took pride in providing
high-quality, low-cost home repair and landscaping services to seniors and
single parent households. After operating Handy Solutions for several years,
Wayne began to experience substantial vision loss. This made it difficult
for him to operate his company at the level of service he had become
accustomed to providing. At this time in Wayne's life he had not learned the
alternative methods used by many blind people. 


As a result of Wayne's vision loss, he became a client of the Colorado
Vocational Rehabilitation Services where he met Julie Deden, who was
assigned as his counselor. She then referred him to the Colorado Center for
the Blind as a student in the SRT (Service Rep. Training Program). As a
student at the Colorado Center for the Blind, he became a member of the
National Federation of the Blind (NFB); however, he did not participate
actively because he was not totally accepting of his blindness. After
graduating from the Center, Wayne sought the counseling services of Dr.
William Saker, also blind, to help him deal with adjusting to his blindness.
It was Dr. Saker who encouraged Wayne to pursue an education in human
services.  In 2007, while at Metropolitan State University, Wayne returned
to the Colorado Center for the Blind as an intern.  It was then that Wayne
began to actively participate in the NFB. In January of 2008, Wayne became a
CCB staff member, where he is currently employed.  His responsibilities
include counseling and case management, orientation and mobility instructor
for the Independence Training Program, Adaptive Technology Instructor, and
facilitator for the Senior Services Program. 


During his time at Metropolitan State University, Wayne worked at the Access
Center for Students with Disabilities. While assisting students and staff
with accessibility issues, Wayne was coined "Ambassador" due to his diligent
advocacy on behalf of students with disabilities. Wayne has served as a
board member of both the Denver and Mile High Chapters of the Colorado
affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind, and currently serves as
the president of the newly founded Aurora Chapter.


Wayne is the father of two wonderful children, Tyler and Kelsey. As a result
of his divorce in 2002, Wayne founded the nonprofit organization Me and My
Dad, A Responsible Fatherhood Initiative. The organization began because of
a lack of support for fathers who wanted to be an integral part of their
children's lives. "Though Me and My Dad  was founded as a support group for
single and divorced fathers, it has since evolved into a responsible
fatherhood initiative to meet the needs of all fathers  who want to be a
significant part of their children's  lives", says Wayne. 


Wayne holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services for Mental Health
and Counseling, and Certification in Human Services for High Risk Youth
Studies from Metropolitan State University of Denver, Colorado.   He has
earned an Associates of Arts degree from the Community College of Aurora in
Aurora, Colorado. He gained his Service Rep Training Certification from the
Colorado Center for the Blind, and his National Orientation and Mobility
Certification from the National Blindness Professional Certification Board.


Wayne's recognitions include Alma Mater (MSUD) in 2008 "Outstanding Alumni
Award for Work Ethic", for his work on obtaining equal rights for people
with disabilities and his advocacy with the National Federation of the
Blind. He is the recipient of the Inclusion in Education award from the
Cross Disability Council of Denver and the Martin Luther King Peace Award,
for his human services and volunteer work within the state of Colorado. 


Currently, Wayne is the president of the Aurora Chapter of the National
Federation of the Blind of Colorado, the Executive Director of Me and My
Dad, a member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, and a member of the Aurora
Cyber Lions Club. Wayne's hobbies consist of swimming, bowling, tandem bike
riding, attending sporting events, live concerts, listening to music
(especially Jazz), and reading books. As is often the case with
Federationists, Wayne stands up for justice and equality. He is committed to
children and those dads who overcome obstacles to be a part of their
children's lives. He touches many with his energy, good humor, and humanity.



"Christmas is coming. The geese are getting fat. Please to put a penny in
the old man's hat. If you haven't got a penny, a ha'penny will do. If you
haven't got a ha'penny, God bless you." -A beggar's rhyme.


Audit Slams Spending in Colorado Program to Help Disabled Get Jobs

 <mailto:jbunch at denverpost.com?subject=The%20Denver%20Post:> By Joey Bunch
The Denver Post

Posted: 12/10/2013


>From the Editor: In the Labor Day 2013 Blind Coloradan, we carried an
article about mismanagement at the Colorado Division of Vocational
Rehabilitation, which has made it virtually impossible for eligible blind
individuals to receive appropriate and necessary rehabilitation services. We
published information about an upcoming legislative audit as well as last
summer's dismissal of long time DVR Director Nancy Smith. Since that issue,
the division has hired Joelle Brouner as its Director. The Legislative audit
has been presented to the Joint Budget Committee of the Colorado State
Legislature. Printed below is an article from the Denver Post. It is
followed by a letter to Members of the Legislative Audit Committee from
Julie Reiskin. We think these two items provide a balanced perspective.
Julie Reiskin is wise and persistent. She is the Executive Director of the
Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition, and a long time friend of the National
Federation of the Blind of Colorado.  Here is the Denver Post Article: 


A scathing audit of the state program intended to train disabled people for
jobs found that millions of dollars have been misspent with little or no
oversight, while people who need the program languished on waiting lists.


The audit of Colorado's Vocational Rehabilitation Program, presented to a
legislative committee Tuesday, found "concerns" in 98 percent of the cases
that auditors reviewed.


In many instances, administrators and staff didn't understand state and
federal laws that govern the program, including how long people can receive
benefits, auditors found.


One person received $203,000 over 32 years without moving any closer to
employment. Another was paid $315,000 to pursue a variety of unfinished
degrees - including from a university in the Caribbean - over a 19-year
period and still doesn't have a job, the audit found.

A client who got more than $2,000 for job training spent the money on
personal expenses instead, while another got $1,300 for a laptop computer
but then exchanged it for a video game system.


The audit also found $13,800 in questionable charges on the program's credit
card, including a tent, gift cards, children's clothing, tools, and
household and cleaning supplies.


The report flagged $171,000 in bonuses to job-placement vendors, on top of
$340,000 in regular fees, although the bonuses did not appear to be
"reasonable, necessary or allowable under federal requirements."


The program, which serves nearly 20,000 people, spent about $53.5 million in
the current fiscal year. As of August, nearly 4,300 people were on the
program's waiting list, while others continued to receive benefits year
after year without finishing their educations or finding a job.


Audit committee member Sen. Lois Tochtrop, D-Thornton, said she was "very
appalled," and Sen. David Balmer, R-Centennial questioned whether fraud
charges were appropriate.


Jenny Page, the legislative audit manager who presented the report, said
that although there was no obvious proof of fraud, there were pervasive
mistakes and misunderstandings of the law.


In some cases, vendors billed for the same services more than once, "but it
wasn't clear whether that was a mistake or intentional," she said.


Reggie Bicha, head of the state Department of Human Services, asked for the
audit after the assessments he received from former division administrators
didn't match the data. He promised immediate reforms.


"We can do a much better job of being good stewards of the taxpayers'
resources," he said.

Bicha said the problems were the product of a "risk-averse culture" to
approve every request and leave people in the program indefinitely, rather
than challenge suspicious claims.


The program, however, has been the subject of critical audits in the past,
and no substantiative changes were made, Page said.


Viki Manley, director of the state Office of Long-Term Care, has been put in
charge of overseeing reforms. Manley cleaned up similar problems with the
Colorado State Veterans Nursing Home program, Bicha said.


In October, Joelle Brouner was hired to run the division. She served in a
similar role for the state of Washington.


Nancy Smith was the division director until about six months ago. Manley
would not say whether Smith was fired, only that there was a "settlement
process" and Smith no longer works for the state.


In an interview, Brouner and Manley said they had already reassessed half of
the division's cases. They spoke of restoring the public's trust.


"It's totally unacceptable," Manley said. "Nobody here thinks it's


Brouner said the audit's findings should not be a black eye for the value of
the program.


"It is not a waste of money to help people with disabilities cultivate the
skills necessary to find employment," Brouner said. "Not when the
alternative is for government to support them their whole lives."


Gov. John Hickenlooper, who has spoken often about being a good steward of
the tax money, declined to comment through his press office, but his
spokesman said steps were being taken to correct the problems.


That is what the Denver Post had to say. Here now, in part, is the letter to
the Joint Budget Committee from Julie Reiskin.


Dear Members of the Legislative Audit Committee:


I am writing you on behalf of the  <http://www.ccdconline.org> Colorado
Cross-Disability Coalition (CCDC).   As most of you know, CCDC is the
largest disability rights organization in Colorado and we represent people
with all types of disabilities. .   

We are very interested in the results and aftermath of this audit and wanted
to provide our position. .


First, we applaud Director Bicha calling for an audit. It is good leadership
to know and admit that you have a problem and seek transparency in the


Second, we applaud Director Bicha and the Department management for hiring
Joelle Brouner as the new director. While we have not yet had an opportunity
to work with our new DVR director, we are confident that Ms. Brouner has the
vision and leadership that we need. Under her leadership, the Rehab Council
in Washington state helped their program make significant improvements,
including a 98% placement in competitive employment and assuring that 97% of
clients had significant disabilities. CCDC participated on the hiring
committee and STRONGLY supported her hiring.   .


It is tempting when a negative audit comes out to make super restrictive
policies.  It is tempting to find one client that received what may be "too
many" services or one vendor that may have been overpaid and
over-compensated by blanketing the program with rules, layers, and
bureaucracy. We do not know what is or is not being proposed at this point.
We hope that changes will be based on data, some of which may or may not be
immediately available.   Changes in policy or programs that are not based on
data are the cause of most program failures.  Audits spot weaknesses but may
not provide comprehensive data.   While we agree that even one dollar
misspent is a serious problem that needs to be corrected, we ask that you
not allow broad based punitive policies to be enacted. 

Excessive bureaucracy and punitive oversight in disability programs has not
worked and will not work.   People with disabilities deserve policy and
program changes that are based on fact, not fiction.  We ask you to direct
the department to allow Ms. Brouner to work with the disability community to
come up with realistic plans that will assure some real outcomes and then
hold us to those outcomes.


Any corrective action plan must be outcome based.  Under the leadership of
Director Bicha, CDHS has been a model in outcome based solutions.  We need
to show that the money we spend on DVR is helping people get or keep jobs or
increase their earning power. The money we spend on Independent Living
Centers should be helping people get out and stay out of institutions and
should be providing measurable increases in community integration.
Micromanagement and layers of bureaucracy will not achieve these goals.  To
achieve these goals we need real and meaningful community engagement.


Real and meaningful community engagement is more than a rubber stamp.
Meaningful engagement is demonstrated when all parties listen, share, and
take action together.


.Please avoid the temptation to make the problem worse by

cutting off their resources.   

We need DVR to be an agency that helps get people with disabilities real
jobs with livable wages.  We need DVR to be an agency that will support
Independent Living Centers to provide useful, outcome based, Independent
Living Services as mandated by the Rehab Act.  The goal must be to end the
drastic poverty and isolation that is reality for too many of us with
disabilities. Colorado has a proud history on disability rights and
inclusion, and has a strong disability community that stands ready, willing
and able to support Ms. Brouner and the Department to implement a productive
corrective action plan. Your direction is the first steps towards a
transformation that will help Colorado take our rightful place as a national
leader in employment and integration for people with all types of






Presented by: Scott C. LaBarre, President, NFBCO

October 18, 2013


We are amidst the 13th year of this 21st Century and we are now embarking
upon the 59th year of the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado.  For
many the number thirteen represents bad luck and impending doom.  However,
for the NFB of Colorado, this thirteenth year of our still young century has
been one of growth, celebration, accomplishment, and good fortune.  Despite
our successes, there is also much to remind us that we have not achieved our
ultimate goal of first class citizenship for the blind.  In the last year,
we have achieved new heights, but we dream for more.  We have made great
strides, but our march towards equality must continue.  Exactly how we will
chart the course ahead is unknown, but we do know that we have set ourselves
firmly on the road to first class citizenship and a life of true equality.
No force on Earth shall detour us and hold us back.  Our dream is within
reach and we shall make it come true.




In 1988, we made history by turning one of our dreams into reality.  Since
our inception, we have always wished for a day when every blind person would
have the kind of training and opportunity necessary to live life on his or
her own terms, not those prescribed by society's misconceptions about
blindness.  For decades, we struggled to change the existing rehabilitation
system for the blind.  Eventually we realized that we must take the future
of rehabilitation for the blind into our own hands.  So in January of 1988,
Diane McGeorge and a handful of other Federation leaders opened the Colorado
Center for the Blind.  At first, our Center lived week to week, more like
day by day.  Its existence and survival was an open question.  Funds were
scarce and opposition plenty.  


What a contrast that is from today.  Our Center now stands as an
international leader and the best model for how to deliver adjustment to
blindness training.  We are a strong, mature, and well-funded program.  We
continue to touch the lives of blind individuals from all over the world.
The Center is truly an application of our Federation philosophy to daily
life.  It is living proof that a life with blindness need not be one of
tragedy but rather one of limitless possibility.


Our Center succeeds because of the National Federation of the Blind.  Sure,
this affiliate has poured millions of dollars into the Center over its first
twenty-five years.  At times, Federation funding has been the difference
between keeping the doors open or shutting down.  More important than the
money, though, is the unwavering commitment of the NFB of Colorado to make
the Center grow and prosper.  It is our love and our philosophy that stand
as the true foundation of the Center's success.  Our Center has our eternal
support and backing.  We shall never stray from our commitment to the Center
because it represents everything for which we stand and thereby gives any
blind person touched by its programs the greatest opportunity to succeed.


On September 13, 2013, a very lucky day, we celebrated our Silver
Anniversary in style.  We held a wonderful open house celebration at our
building where Dr. Maurer, National President of the Federation, joined us
to salute our success; Mark Riccobono, Executive Director of the NFB
Jernigan Institute and a graduate of the CCB offered rides in the
Federation's blind drivable car; we unveiled Ann Cunningham's amazing
tactile and multisensory depiction of the beautiful Colorado front range
mountains; and we were joined by community and civic leaders adding their
congratulations.  The next day we enjoyed a gala dinner where current and
former students and staff delivered stirring and inspirations accounts of
how the CCB has changed their lives.  Tomorrow, we will hear more about the
Center's amazing first twenty-five years and speculate about how much more
we will accomplish by the time we celebrate our Golden Anniversary in 2038.
Before leaving this topic, I would be remiss if we did not acknowledge Diane
McGeorge's tremendous leadership, inspiration, and courage for founding and
sustaining the Center; Julie Deden's incredible leadership and boundless
capacity to keep growing the Center in new and innovative directions; the
current and former staff members who give the Center its quality, and, of
course, the current and former students who give the program life.  Let's
hear one giant, loud Federation roar for our CCB!




Our relationship with the Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
(DVR) over the years has been quite diverse, to say the least.  The
relationship has gone from contentious to productive and everywhere in
between.  Over the last few years, we have enjoyed a generally positive
experience.  We don't always agree with DVR one hundred percent of the time
but we have had meaningful input and we are recognized as a key partner.
For example, recently, our First Vice President, Julie Deden, served on the
selection committee for the new DVR director.  


Right now, I feel we are at a critical juncture with DVR, for a couple of
reasons.  First of all, DVR has a new director.  You heard from her earlier
today.  We welcome Joelle Brouner to the post and we extend our sincere best
wishes and congratulations.  We also offer our cooperation and support.  We
are hopeful that we can work together to create new and improved
possibilities for the blind of our state.  


However, let it not be forgotten that we intend to hold DVR accountable.  We
have many concerns.  DVR is on an order of selection currently with hundreds
of individuals on a waiting list to receive services.  DVR has been moved
within the Department of Human Services from the Office of Economic Security
to the Office of Long Term Care.  To our way of thinking, vocational
rehabilitation should emphasize the economic security of its clients by
getting them training and education necessary to enter the workforce.  Long
Term Care smacks of lifelong dependence and reinforcement of the welfare
model for the blind and others with disabilities.  An even bigger problem is
the fact that DVR is several steps down in the bureaucracy of the Department
and does not have the profile necessary to maximize opportunities for its
consumers.  These are challenges we intend to address and overcome.




Last year, we created the Educate Blind Children Now Committee.  Kevan
Worley has been chairing this committee and has done important work to
improve our relationship with the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind and
to work more effectively with teachers of blind children.  Progress is being
made on these fronts which we will address more fully later.  However, there
are a couple of specific items that must be mentioned.  Despite the fact
that this year's state convention is in Colorado Springs, home of the
Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind, and despite the fact that we have
extended invitations to the school to participate in this convention several
months ago, there is no participation at all from CSDB at the state's
largest gathering of blind persons.  Although we are working with CSDB on a
mentoring program and the school hosted one of our BELL programs last year,
we are concerned about the relationship we have with the school.  We intend
to meet with CSDB's leadership team and see if the relationship can become
far more meaningful.  We are steadfastly committed to the principal that
every blind child in Colorado has the right to expect that he or she can
reach his or her maximum potential.  We call upon CSDB to join us as a true
partner to secure this right.


I also want to take a moment to highlight another project of the Committee.
As you know, each third through twelfth grader in the state of Colorado
takes a state-wide assessment test known as TCAP.  Dr. Tanni Anthony and her
team at the Colorado Department of Education have worked vigorously to make
sure that blind students are able to take this paper and pencil test in an
accessible format under fair conditions.  Things are changing, however.
Colorado will be moving to a computer based assessment known as PARCC that
will be taken by all third through twelfth graders starting in the 2014 and
2015 school year.


Our main concern is that this computer based test is fully accessible to
blind and low vision students.  Currently, the prototype versions of it are
not.  The Federation's past experience is that the vast majority of these
computer exams do not work with the assistive technology used by the blind.
In June, Michelle Chacon, our NFBCO Treasurer and a teacher of blind
children, and I met with Joyce Zurkowski, Executive Director of Assessment
at the Colorado Department of Education to express our concern.  We left
that meeting with a commitment from the State that the exam will be
accessible.  We intend to hold the Department of Education to this promise
and to take action if the assessment is not fully accessible.  Although this
is a significant success, it does not address the problems we are
experiencing with accessible exams used by local school districts.  We will
work as hard and as long as necessary to insure that our blind children have
the same ability to demonstrate their level of learning as other children.




A year ago, I reported to you that Colorado State government intended to
have all of its employees switch over to Google Apps for Government to
conduct the vast majority of their computer work.  The problem with Google
Apps is that much of it is inaccessible with assistive technology.  If fully
implemented, Google Apps could have the effect of threatening the jobs of
many blind employees, like our very own Jon Deden, because they would be
unable to use the computer effectively and thereby become unproductive.  We
wrote a letter to Governor Hickenlooper advising that implementation of
Google Apps would violate the law.  We demanded accessibility and full
participation.  I am pleased to say that the State largely halted its
efforts to implement Google Apps and our blind state employees are able to
do their jobs effectively using preexisting tools.  It is also my
understanding that many schools throughout the state are attempting to
convert entirely to Google Apps.  To address this issue globally, we have
been working with Google nationally.  Google has sent engineers to work with
us at the National Center and earlier this year, Google hired Ray Kurzweil
to become its Director of Engineering.  As you know, Ray Kurzweil has been
working with the Federation since the 1970's to create accessible
technology.  One way or the other, we will make certain that Google Apps are
accessible and that blind employees and students will not be thrown out of
work or school because of a failure to comply with the law.  We will
absolutely not be caught on the wrong side of the digital divide!




We face discrimination based on blindness in all walks of life, not just
employment and education.  Sometimes, we literally can't even get in the
front door.  The Federation, under Dr. tenBroek's leadership, introduced the
so-called white cane laws in the 1950's and 1960's.  These laws boldly
declared that the blind have the same right to public places as anyone else,
whether using a cane, a dog, or neither.  


Late last year, Karen Norton from Fort Collins had to visit Walden, Colorado
for her work and she had reserved an upgraded room at the North Park Inn.
Karen happens to use a guide dog to aid her independent travel.  When she
entered the hotel, the owner challenged by saying "didn't you see the sign?
It says no pets."  The owner refused to give her the upgraded room because
of the "pet policy" and tried to assign her to another, less desirable room
which also happened to be a smoking room, something which she very much did
not want.  Karen tried to explain that it is the law of this state that
blind persons are allowed to bring their guide dogs anywhere they go.  The
owner told her to leave and when she refused, he called the Jackson County
Sherriff.  Instead of enforcing Colorado Law, the officer who responded
ordered Karen to leave or she would be arrested and her dog impounded.  My
friends, if anyone tries to tell you that we no longer face blatant,
unadulterated discrimination, tell them about Karen Norton.


We have filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division and we
will not rest until justice is done.  We will teach the hotel owner that all
guests are welcome, even the blind, and we will teach the Sherriff a thing
or two about the law.




Last year, I reported to you that the NFB of Colorado had participated in
two informational protests against Goodwill and its practice of paying
workers with disabilities less than the minimum wage.  Those protests
brought us hundreds of thousands of media impressions and further our
campaign.  This year, we have continued our advocacy in the halls of
Congress through our support of H.R. 831, the Fair Wages for Workers with
Disabilities Act, which would eliminate the practice of paying subminimum
wages over time and our opposition to proposed Section 511 of the
Rehabilitation Act which would grant payment of subminimum wages a more
legitimate status as an acceptable outcome for a rehab client.
Representative Ed Perlmutter of Colorado has cosponsored H.R. 831 and
recently, Kevan Worley, Anil Lewis, and I met with Senator Bennet and his
chief staff members about these issues.  He pledged to help us find a new
way to proceed on this issue and get around the log jam we currently face.
We will not rest until every worker with a disability has the same right as
any other American, the right to earn a fair wage.     




We are not only changing the world through our Colorado Center for the
Blind.  Members of the NFB of Colorado are helping to end the book famine
faced by the blind.  Less than one percent of published works are turned
into accessible copies, creating a great dearth of information for the blind
of our world.  Part of the problem is that in the vast majority of countries
in the world, anyone who wants to take a book and turn it into an accessible
format copy like Braille, audio, or accessible electronic text must go to
the publisher and get permission to do so.  It often takes way too long or,
sometimes, permission is never granted.  That is why some of the world's
countries have adopted exceptions and limitations to copyright law that
allow books to be put into accessible formats without the permission of the
copyright holder.  We have such a law here in the U.S., the Chaffee
Amendment.  The other big problem has been the fact that even if you
produced an accessible format copy in one country, you could not share that
copy across international borders.  That all changed when the international
community, through the World Intellectual Property Organization, adopted the
Marrakesh Treaty To Facilitate Access To Published Works For Persons Who Are
Blind, Visually Impaired, Or Otherwise Print Disabled.  Once the Nations of
the world start ratifying this treaty, a great deal more information will
start flowing across international borders for the blind.  


We, here in Colorado played an important role in getting the Marrakesh
Treaty adopted.  As most of you know, I have had the honor and privilege of
being the chief NFB delegate to WIPO since 2009.  However, what many of you
may not know is that in June of this year, many of our members donated
significant time and effort recording their stories about the importance of
literacy and what the treaty would mean to them.  These real life accounts
were seen all over the world and helped us put pressure on the various
rights holders and industries who were opposing the treaty.  On Sunday
morning of this convention, we will review some of these inspiring accounts.
The work of the NFB of Colorado will forever be imprinted upon the fabric of
the Marrakesh Treaty.




For the third year, we operated a BELL Camp.  BELL stands for Braille
Enrichment through Literacy and Learning.  This two week summer camp offers
blind children, ages five through twelve, an immersion into Braille
instruction and several other independence skills such as cane travel and
daily living, not to mention a bunch of fun activities like horseback
riding, swimming, and scavenger hunts.  Once again, Diane McGeorge and
Michelle Chacon led a wonderful team who gave our BELL kids a tremendous
summer education.  At the beginning of camp, many of the children let their
parents do just about everything for them.  By the end, the kids are
insisting that their parents let them take care of themselves.  Tomorrow, we
will have a full report on the 2013 BELL Camp complete with a video we have
produced about the program.  The BELL rings loudly and clearly in Colorado.




Last year, we hired Jessica Beecham to serve as our Chapter and Community
Development Coordinator and she is doing her job very well.  In the first
eight months of this year, we created three new chapters of the NFB.  In
June, we welcomed the Poudre Valley Chapter to our family with Nick Thomas
being elected as our first Poudre Valley President.  In July, we created the
Colorado Association of Guide Dog Users with Melissa Green being elected to
serve as its first President.  And on August 24, 2013, the Aurora Chapter
joined our ranks with Wayne Marshall being chosen as the first President of
that chapter.  Our new chapters are helping us reach new members and
allowing the Federation philosophy to reach new minds and hearts.  Hats off
to Jessica and our new chapters!




It is through our local chapters that we reach our members on the most local
and frequent basis.  I want to share a few highlights of how our chapters
and divisions are changing what it means to be blind. 


Recently, the Denver Chapter scored a major victory when the Regional 

Transportation District (RTD) finally implemented the Automated Stop
Announcement system.  Using GPS, this system automatically announces each
bus stop in a clear, easy to hear voice.  Since 1992, the Americans with
Disabilities Act has mandated that these bus stops be announced but we have
struggled for over two decades to get even minimal compliance.  This new
system takes human inconsistency out of the equation and stops are announced
regularly and clearly.  It is the NFB of Denver who never gave up on this
project and got the job done.  Now, we need to advocate for similar systems
all throughout the state.  


Under Jeanette Fortin's tremendous leadership, our Colorado Springs Chapter
has grown by thirty percent in the last year and has participated in several
community events spreading the Federation philosophy.  I also want to thank
the C. Springs Chapter for hosting this year's convention!


Earlier this year, Cody Bair became the President of our Greeley Chapter and
led the effort to put on the chapter's New Perspectives Expo at the
University of Northern Colorado, reaching new individuals and the potential
teachers of the blind.  


Mike Massey, our capable President in Pueblo, has directed the Pueblo
Chapter through several fundraisers, participation in disability awareness
fairs and an information table at Wal-Mart during Meet the Blind Month.  


Our new Aurora Chapter has doubled in size since its first meeting and will
disseminate information about blindness this month at the Aurora Mall.  


Our Mile High Chapter with Gary van Dorn at the helm has held several
fundraisers including a wine and chocolate tasting and a night at the Denver
Center for the Performing Arts.  These fund raisers have helped people
travel to national and state conventions and have supported our BELL Camp.  


Michelle Chacon has led our North Metro Chapter to another great year where
the chapter has raised substantial funds with its wine tasting at Spirro's
Winery and other fundraisers allowing the Chapter to send several people to
national and state conventions, and to send Elizabeth and Emily Romero to
Baltimore for our NFB STEM X event, an intensive seminar exploring math and
science for blind youth.  


Our Parent's Chapter under the leadership of Everett Romero continues to
grow and has put on several events such as a large picnic for parents and
blind children in the summer and it publishes the E-Connector on a monthly


The Seniors Division sponsors support groups all over the area and works
with the CCB to empower blind seniors in a variety of ways including
teaching assistive technology.  Marie Dambrosky, for example, is mastering
the iPad at the tender age of 94.


In this report, there just is not enough time to tell you about everything
that our chapters are doing.  This does not diminish their importance,
however.  Our fifteen chapters and divisions serve as the backbone of this
affiliate.  We will hear from all of them on Sunday morning.




As I conclude this report, I must say thank you. First, if it weren't for
the support and love of my family, Anahit, Alexander and Emily, there is no
way I could serve as President of this wonderful affiliate. Thank you
LaBarres!  Second, I thank all of our officers and board members. You are an
awesome team with whom I have the pleasure and honor to serve. Third, I want
to thank our staff, Lisa Bonderson, Jessica Beecham, and Lorinda Riddle for
helping us manage this terrific organization. Last, and most definitely not
least, I thank all of you for your support and loyalty. It is only through
all of our work together that we can truly change what it means to be blind.


As many of you know, this year is the 50th anniversary of Dr. King's 

"I Have a Dream" Speech.   The corresponding media coverage gave me 

the opportunity to hear that amazing rhetoric again.  It left me in a mood
of reflection.  The fact that we have made great progress in achieving
equality and freedom for the blind is undeniable.  The fact that we still
face tremendous barriers is equally undeniable.  When will we be judged on
the content of our character and not the existence of our disability?  The
answer to that question is in our hands.  We know that a life with blindness
need not be one of tragedy.  First-class citizenship is no longer just a
fanciful dream. It shall become our reality. We have touched the flame of
freedom and it has ignited our hearts and minds. Let us join those hearts,
minds, and our collective action together and march the rest of the way to
true freedom.   This is our mission.  This is our Federation, and this is my
report to you!



An Email From the First Vice President of the National Federation of the

By: Dr. Fredrick K. Schroeder


>From the Editor: Dr. Fred Schroeder has served as First Vice President of
the NFB for many years. He has been a pioneer in work for the blind over
more than 3 decades. During the late 1990's Dr. Schroeder served as
Commissioner of the Federal Rehabilitation Services Administration. He
currently serves as visiting professor at San Diego State University, among
other posts. Of special interests to Coloradans, Dr. Schroeder serves on the
Board of the Colorado Center for the Blind.  Typically, the Blind Coloradan
does not publish items which may be thought of as more "National in nature".
We choose to concentrate our focus on Federation activities here in
Colorado. However, as you will see from Fred's email, this announcement has
great significance for every blind person in America. We received this email
the morning of December 2nd. Here it is:



Over the weekend I participated in a meeting of the Board of Directors of

The National Federation of the Blind. The meeting was held at our National
Headquarters in Baltimore.


As you know, Dr. Marc Maurer has been our national president since 1986. He
has served as president longer than any of our previous presidents, and has
guided us through a period of unprecedented growth and change. It was under
Dr. Maurer's leadership that we established the Jernigan Institute and all
of the programs that have been so successful in demonstrating the truth of
our assertion that when given proper opportunity and training, blind people
can live and work as others.


In particular we have developed many programs designed to provide blind
children and youth with the skills and confidence they need to compete fully
in their education, and to develop their life ambitions. We have conducted
the Youth Slam, Science Academy, and more recently the BELL programs.


In the area of technology under Dr. Maurer's leadership we developed the
KNFB Reader Mobile, allowing blind people to have immediate access to print
with nothing more than a cell phone and special software. And then there was
the Blind Driver Challenge. There is no question that lack of access to
reliable transportation remains a major barrier for blind people. Yet, the
Blind Driver Challenge showed that we could develop the technology to enable
a blind person to drive a car, not simply sit passively in a car that drives


These are the expressions of Dr. Maurer's leadership. Yet at the heart of
his leadership are his spirit and his belief in every blind person. He has
inspired and encouraged us, faced the most difficult challenges with
resolution and strength, and he has kept us together, and never let us
waiver in our belief in our own right to live normal, productive lives.


On Saturday afternoon, November 30, Dr. Maurer told the board that it is his
intention to not seek reelection to the presidency next summer at our
national convention. He feels the time is right to transition to the next
president, the next individual who can lead us for a quarter century or
more. Dr. Maurer is in good health and believes that it is important that he
step down from the presidency while he is able to assist with the
transition. Dr.

Maurer told the board that he, Dr. Maurer, plans to support Mr. Mark
Riccobono as the next president of the National Federation of the Blind.


Mr. Riccobono presently serves as the Executive Director of the Jernigan
Institute. He is an accomplished individual with the strength and wisdom to
assume the serious responsibility of leading our movement. He has brought to
his work the imagination and competency we demand from our president.


We are truly fortunate that within the Federation we have individuals who
are able and willing to give all they have to furthering our move toward
true equality. The demands of the NFB presidency are unimaginable. We
require our leader to give all of his time, all of his imagination, and all
of his personal reserve of judgment to leading our organization. This is
what Dr. Maurer has done for the past 27 and a half years, and it is what
Mark Riccobono will do for the time of his presidency.


The transition brings to an end one chapter in our history and what a
glorious chapter it has been. We cannot face the loss of Dr. Maurer's
leadership without a sense of sadness; but the transition to a new president
is not just the absence of what we had before. The transition heralds a new
chapter in our history and with it, new opportunities- the chance to take
all that has come before and build something bigger and more powerful than
we have ever known.

In Memoriam


>From the Editor: The National Federation of the Blind of Colorado has an
Educate Blind Kids Now Committee. It is very engaged. We know of the need to
recruit more teachers of visually impaired students. Our support for
Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind mentoring programs, our ever growing
BELL Summer Programs, and Science Technology Engineering and Math, STEM,
demonstrations at the CCB are only a few of the ways we support the
education of blind kids. Those of us who care about celebrating Braille took
note of a great loss this fall. On Tuesday, October 1 the world lost a great
man. Dr. Abraham Nemeth was a teacher, thinker, inventor, musician, mentor,
and friend to thousands. Dr. Nemeth died at the age of 94 at his Detroit
home. He invented a unique Braille code which bears his name. The Nemeth
Code makes it practical for blind people all over the world to do simple or
complex computations for math, science and engineering. It's true. Some
blind people do those things and are quite competent. They do them, in part,
due to the effort of a wonderful, witty, quirky blind man named Abraham
Nemeth. I first heard the term "Nemeth Code" in the second grade. You can
bet that I was in awe when I actually met the man himself many years later,
realizing that he was a real blind intellect of the 20th Century. I had the
great privilege to dine with Dr. Nemeth a number of times. He was caring,
creative, and always curious. I use the Nemeth Code every day. When learning
of his passing I was filled with more sadness than I would have imagined.
There aren't many people who can say they invented something so innovative,
practical, and impacting that it carried their name. Nemeth did. He knew of
the Code's significance. He was proud but humble. When observing some blind
children meeting Dr. Nemeth I was struck by how excited they were. I found
the fact that they were drawn to him compelling. It's rare that a child has
the opportunity to meet a legend. When Nemeth lived he gave that opportunity
to many blind kids. Unlike the transient thrill of meeting a sports hero or
celebrity, rare as that is for most of us, Nemeth was accessible. He was a
living legend of letters. He was an inventor of something tangible, special,
meaningful. A thing blind people use every day. And he was a blind guy. When
meeting him there seemed to be a special connection. He was one of us yet on
a different plane. That's the only way I can explain it. He is now gone but
his code lives on. Thanks Doc. 



In the Family

A Book Release Announcement

By: Rebekah Felix


>From the Editor: Rebekah Felix, we know her as Bekah, is an active member of
our Colorado Springs Chapter. She is a freshman at Pikes Peak Community
College. She intends to transfer to Colorado Christian University. Here is
Bekah's announcement:


Have you ever wondered if a blind person could write and publish a book?
Well, the answer is of course! And I'm living proof! I have successfully
written a novel, In the Family, and it is available now! The coolest part is
the main character, Aliyah, because she's blind! 


Aliyah is tired of her fellow classmates teasing her because of her
blindness. Her only friend, Kyra, is afraid to make her relationship with
Aliyah obvious to her friends for fear that it might ruin her reputation.
But when Aliyah realizes she has a secret admirer, Hayden, her world turns
upside down.


As they head towards the end of their senior year of high school, Aliyah
begins to fall in love for the first time. She becomes part of Hayden's
group. But as she begins to discover some of Hayden's family secrets, many
unique situations arise that threaten to ruin all of her friendships for


Can Aliyah and her friends learn to look past physical traits and focus on
what really matters? Can they learn to love themselves, love each other, and
love God the way the Bible instructs before they lose each other for good?


There are many different ways to find out! For print readers, In the Family
is available in paperback and hard cover formats, and they are in large
print. You can find these versions at Amazon.com or Barnes&Noble.com. 


In the Family is also available in several digital formats. Some of which
are accessible. On booklocker.com, you can find the e-book in large print.
You can also find it in Blio, Kindle, Nook, and iBooks. If you want to find
my book, look for In the Family by Rebekah Felix, or go to
<http://www.bekahfelix.tripod.com> bekahfelix.tripod.com. 



Quality CCTV's from and for the Visually Impaired:

A Colorado Company Making its Mark


>From the Editor: It's always inspiring to highlight a company which is
locally owned. A company owned by a blind entrepreneur. A company owned by a
member of the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado Springs. Such is
the case with MagniSight and CEO Brian Smith. 


Founded in 1990, MagniSight is the longest running manufacturer of video
magnifiers (CCTV's) for the visually impaired in the United States.
MagniSight products are assembled in Colorado Springs, Colorado and are sold
throughout the U.S. and overseas to both individuals and agencies. Brian
Smith says, "One of our proudest achievements was supplying America's
visually impaired veterans with our products for many years under the
National V.A. contract."  


Brian further explains, "When I founded MagniSight, my goal was to
manufacture equipment that would really make a difference in the lives of
visually impaired people.  This was especially important to me since, at an
early age, I myself was diagnosed with a juvenile form of Macular
Degeneration.  Today, MagniSight continues to fulfill that goal by combining
a unique understanding of low vision with the latest technology." For more
information about MagniSight products and services readers should visit
<http://www.magnisight.com> www.magnisight.com. You can reach Brian at (800)






"It's good to be children sometimes. And never better than at Christmas,
when it's mighty Founder was a child himself." -Dickens



Blind Buzz


>From the Editor: Blind Buzz is a column which will have announcements,
notes, vignettes, profiles, assertions, snap-shots, rumors, innuendo and
observations. Blind Buzz is solely responsible for the content. What's
happening? Blind Buzz wants to know.


A visit from the Commissioner

On November 13, the newly appointed Commissioner of the Rehabilitation
Services Administration of the United States Department of Education toured
the Colorado Center for the Blind. She came with 44 directors and managers
from State Programs across the Nation. Students told their stories of
challenge, hope, and determination. The tour was part of the National
Council of State Agencies for the Blind Conference held at the Denver Grand


Again with the sharks? 

Blind kids seem to love dissecting sharks. Wouldn't you? Colorado Center for
the Blind seems to enjoy helping them do it. In November, over 30 middle
school and high school students from the Denver metro area had an
opportunity to learn about and dissect dogfish sharks.  Thanks to Arapahoe
Community College and Terry Harrison, chair of the biology department, blind
students learned that they could fully handle all aspects of the dissection


Amazing Travel Raffle

Congratulations to Jerry Adams. He won our 2013 Amazing Travel Raffle. His
daughter, Gina Bullard, bought the ticket for his birthday gift. Gina is a
NFBCO Springs chapter member. Dad now has $3,500 to travel anywhere he
wishes. That's the second year in a row Colorado Springs sold the winning
ticket. Happy Birthday dad! 


Brenda Mosby continues her journey

After more than 6 years, Brenda Mosby, a member of our Mile High chapter,
has announced that she is leaving the Colorado Center for the Blind where
she has been providing vocation and employment service. She intends to
continue her counseling and community work for EEI. 


Blind entrepreneurs unite

Colorado Association of Blind Merchants reorganized at the recent NFBCO
State Convention. Bradley Basta was elected President. Joy Lynn Nelson
organized the group's Christmas Party. It was held December 7 at the
Cheesecake Factory downtown Denver. It also happened to be President Basta's
birthday. We can't report everything that went on at the party, but we know
the group raised some bucks for the affiliate. 


Colorado native to direct BLIND Inc.

In the Summer 2011 issue of the Blind Coloradan, we brought you an update on
the Wenzel family. They were part of our Colorado Federation family for many
years.  At that time, Dan was managing State Programs for the blind in
Wisconsin. Prior to his work in Wisconsin, Dan served as assistant director
at the Colorado Center for the Blind and as a Board Member for the NFB of
Colorado. Dan is one of our best.  The Buzz has now picked up big news. Dan
Wenzel has accepted the position of Executive Director of BLIND, Inc. in
Minneapolis, one of our three NFB training centers.  He believes deeply in
the work of the Federation and in our training centers as an expression of
the Federation. He is currently working as manager of youth services at
Blind Industries and Services of Maryland.  


What's the buzz at the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind

Kiddos and staff are on Holiday break. On December 11, NFBCO began our
2013/14 blind mentoring program. On December 12, the school held it's very
popular Winter Program. On January 30, it will be time for another Braille
challenge event. April will bring the annual employment fair. NFBCO role
models will be a part of this event. It's all about the kids. 


Elections bring change in Denver chapter

We receive the following from Brent Batron: 

I wanted to give everyone an update on the recent elections of the National
Federation of the Blind of Denver.


President - Tom Anderson

1st Vice President - Antonio Rozier

2nd Vice President - Maureen Nietfeld

Secretary - Jennifer Spears

Treasurer - Suzie Drum

Board Member - John Batron

Board Member - Dishon Spears

Board Member - Jim Pilkington

Board Member - Beth Allred


It has been a pleasure to be president of this wonderful chapter and I have
served in that capacity since 2006.  I am so pleased that Tom has been
elected and I know that he will do great things as the newly elected
president.  Congratulations to the new board


>From the Buzz inbox

A graduate of the Colorado Center for the Blind writes "when I was a child,
I was never allowed to decorate the Christmas tree. It was just assumed that
my siblings would do it. So, for me, attending CCB where I actually cut down
a Christmas tree was truly a life transforming experience." -Anonymous. 


Gary Van Dorn honored

On December 5, NFB Mile High chapter President Gary Van Dorn was presented
the Paul Bilzi Award for community service from the Colorado
Cross-Disability Coalition. Paul Bilzi was paralyzed after an automobile
accident. He spent many years avoiding people with disabilities. Ultimately,
he became a champion and long-time leader of the Denver community of people
with disabilities. Congratulations Gary for your steadfast commitment to
bringing highest quality transit services to all people in the Denver-metro


Journey of success

The lead article in the December Braille Monitor was written by our own
Julie Deden. It celebrates 25 years at the Colorado Center for the Blind. It
is well worth a read. Congratulations to Julie and the team. You truly have
helped hundreds reach new heights of independence. 


The Colorado way

It's the way of strength, character, and camaraderie found in our affiliate.
Those qualities are envied around the nation. In early January, NFBCO
leaders will participate in a seminar at the Jernigan Institute. Our leaders
will mentor and share strategies for success which have worked in Colorado.
However, in true Federation fashion, our NFBCO Board will gain as much as it
gives. That's the Federation way.  


The New Year means making National Convention reservations

The Buzz has the skinny on this summer's National Federation of the Blind
convention. For many of us it's like our annual family reunion. The
convention will take place July 1-6 in Orlando, Florida at the Rosen Centre
Hotel. Room rates are unbelievably low! This is a first class facility.
Double rooms are $82.00, triples and quads $88.00 plus 13.5 percent tax.
Make reservations beginning January 1 by calling 800-244-7234. For more
details, keep checking the Braille Monitor. Make plans now to attend. You
won't be sorry. 


The NFB Scholarship Program invites blind students who will attend college
in Fall 2014 to apply for a scholarship

The National Federation of the Blind offers 30 awards, worth from $3,000 up
to $12,000, plus assistance for the 30 winners to attend the July 2014
Annual Convention in Orlando, Florida. For full information and the online
application form, go to www.nfb.org/scholarships.  Deadline: 3-31-14.


What's the deal? 

What's the deal with silly string competition at Colorado Springs chapter?
One never knows what fun might break out at a NFB chapter Christmas party.
Hold the hairspray, bring on the silly string! 


Boulder Valley conducts training for professionals

We have this from Boulder Valley Chapter President Maryann Migliorelli: 

On November 13, the Boulder Valley Chapter conducted the first in a series
of in-service workshops at Boulder Manor.  We presented blindness
technologies, from canes and Braille to iPhones, and the latest adapted
medical equipment, along with an in-depth discussion of current and
appropriate attitudes of blindness.  The dozen physical, cognitive, and
occupational therapists who attended learned many new things, but most
importantly, they learned what a valuable resource the National Federation
of the Blind is.


Feel the buzz! Go to a local chapter meeting

Below find a list of chapter meeting times and locations. Occasionally,
circumstance may dictate a change in time or location. You may wish to check
with your chapter president. You can also call Jessica Beecham, she usually
has the scoop. 



At Large Chapter

When:        4th Tuesday of the month

Time:          7:00 p.m.

Where:       Telephonically

                  Call-in phone number: 712-432-1500 / Access code 564151#


Aurora Chapter

When:        4th Saturday of the month

Time:         10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Where:       Fire Station #11

                   2291 S Joliet

                  Aurora, CO 80010


Boulder Valley Chapter

When:        4th Saturday of the month  

Time:          11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Where:       The Egg and I

                   2574 Baseline Road

                   Boulder, CO 80305


Colorado Springs Chapter

When:        2nd Saturday of the month

Time:         10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Where:       Garden Ranch YMCA

       2380 Montebello Drive West
       Colorado Springs, CO  80918 

*Special note* We are informed by Jeanette Fortin, Colorado Springs Chapter
President, that in January the chapter will meet on January 4 to hold annual
elections and celebrate the birthday of Louis Braille. In February the
chapter returns to its regular 2nd Saturday schedule.


Denver Chapter

When:        3rd Saturday of the month

Time:         10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Where:       Colorado Center for the Blind

                   2233 W. Shepperd Avenue

                   Littleton, CO  80120




Greeley Chapter

When:        3rd Saturday of the month  

Time:          12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Where:       Greeley Senior Activity Center

                   1010 6th Street

                   Greeley, CO  80631


Mile High Chapter

When:        3rd Wednesday of the month

Time:          5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Where:       Brooks Towers 

                   1020 15th Street 

                   Denver, CO  80202


North Metro Denver Chapter

When:        2nd Saturday of the month

Time:         1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Where:       10324 W 62nd Avenue (residence of chapter president)

                  Arvada, CO  80004


Poudre Valley Chapter

When:        1st Saturday of the month

Time:          12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Where:       Old Chicago's 

                   147 S College Avenue

                   Fort Collins, CO 80524


Pueblo Chapter

When:        2nd Saturday of the month  

Time:          1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Where:       Wesley Methodist Church

                   85 Stanford Avenue

                   Pueblo, CO  81005





Resolutions Passed at the

2013 State Convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado


>From the Editor: Each year at our State Convention the Federation
deliberates over and typically passes a number of Resolutions. These
Resolutions become the policy statements of our organization.  In effect,
these are the official planks of our platform. Below are statements of our
resolve to take actions necessary to redefine blindness in Colorado and


Resolution 2013-01

Regarding the Implementation of the Regional Transportation Districts Work
and Implementation of the Automated Stop Announcement System


WHEREAS, the Regional Transportation District (RTD) initiated Automated Stop
Announcements (ASA) on all its local, limited and regional routes within the
past month and a half, which will make traveling on all routes within the
2,400 square miles of RTD easier for all blind and low vision Coloradans and
visitors to Colorado; and


WHEREAS, conventions of the NFBCO passed Resolutions 2005-04 and 2006-05 to
encourage Colorado Transit Companies to announce transit stops and install
ASA: Now, therefore,


BE IT RESOLVED, by the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado in
Convention assembled this twentieth day of October, 2013, in the city of
Colorado Springs, Colorado, that the NFBCO applauds RTD for working
partnership with us and working diligently throughout the implementation of
ASA; and 


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the NFBCO extends a special thank you to Eric
Farrington and his staff at RTD for their professionalism and willingness to
work with the NFBCO to implement all our suggestions for ASA, up to and
including, the voice used for ASA, the cadence and volume of the voice, and
the nuances of how the announcements are pronounced; and 


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the NFBCO encourages RTD to continue reaching out to
the NFBCO on other projects and elements of transportation such as,
paratransit, Transit Oriented Development (TOD), budget, route development,
Light Rail, Commuter Rail, accessibility on all RTDs services, Smart Card
implementation, and other future developments which make RTD a world-class
multi modal transit agency; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the NFBCO encourages other transit agencies
throughout Colorado, and the nation, to work with the NFBCO and RTD on the
implementation of ASA on its buses as soon as possible to allow blind and
low vision riders to more effectively use its systems.  


Resolution 2013-02

Regarding RTD's Smart Card System


WHEREAS, Denver's Regional Transportation District (RTD) has begun deploying
a smart card system which allows passengers to pay for bus and train fares
by electronically charging a smart card with the amount chosen by the
passenger; and


WHEREAS, it is RTD's intent to eliminate paper tickets and passes and
replace same with these smart cards; and


WHEREAS, the kiosks which passengers use to select their fares and perform
other functions related to the cards are inaccessible to blind individuals
due to the fact that the nonvisual access solutions chosen by RTD are
ineffective; and


WHEREAS, the NFB has repeatedly advised RTD that its solutions are wholly
ineffective; and


WHEREAS, RTD has callously ignored the Federation's input, a perplexing and
disturbing circumstance given the fact that RTD has interacted productively
with the Federation on other projects such as the automated stop
announcement now in place; and


WHEREAS, the inaccessibility of the smart card system constitutes a
violation of federal and state law: Now, therefore,


BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado in
Convention assembled this twentieth day of October, 2013, in the city of
Colorado Springs, Colorado, that we condemn and deplore the Regional
Transportation District for the cavalier manner in which it has handled the
accessibility of the smart card system and for its disregard of the law; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we call upon RTD to make the smart card system
fully accessible to the blind immediately; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we urge RTD to work closely with us, as it has
done on other projects, to identify and implement the proper accessibility
solution; and 


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that if RTD fails to make the smart card system fully
accessible within a reasonable time, this organization shall take whatever
legal or political action necessary to force RTD to comply with the law and
provide full accessibility to blind passengers. 


Resolution 2013-03

Regarding Accessibility of Freestyle Touch Screen Vending Machines 


WHEREAS, Colorado-based Noodles and Company, Burger King, and large
government institutions have begun to place Coca-Cola freestyle machines
offering consumers hundreds of choices through touch screen technologies
which are not accessible to blind and print disabled customers; and


WHEREAS, while sighted customers are granted numerous choices for self
service soft drinks with their meal purchase, the touch screen nature of the
selection buttons on freestyle machines makes it difficult if not impossible
for a blind user to independently make even a random selection and serve him
or herself without requesting assistance; and


WHEREAS, such machines with multiple choices are possible thanks to the
power of small computer processers; and 


WHEREAS, the cost of speech technologies is increasingly inexpensive and
easily incorporated into the electronics of such machines, and is always
cheaper and easier to implement when accessibility is a priority in the
process of design: Now, therefore,


BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado in
Convention assembled this twentieth day of October, 2013, in the city of
Colorado Springs, Colorado, that this organization call upon the National
Automatic Merchandising Association, soft drink manufacturers, major vending
manufacturers such as Crane and U Select It to take immediate steps to
deploy speech technologies so that all customers can access product
information and enjoy refreshing beverages on equal terms and independently.


Resolution 2013-04

Regarding Commending the Work of The Independence Center of Colorado Springs


WHEREAS, the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado exists to be the
voice of the blind of Colorado striving to ensure security, equality, self
determination, and independence for the blind of Colorado; and


WHEREAS, since its inception 59 years ago, the National Federation of the
Blind of Colorado has exhibited a spirit and emulated a philosophy best
articulated by the first President of the National Federation of the Blind, 

Dr. Jacobus tenBroek, widely considered to be the father of the disability
rights movement; and 


WHEREAS, long before advocates for the Americans with Disabilities Act, the
NFB of Colorado had begun laying the groundwork for independence, equality,
and opportunity for people who are blind or otherwise disabled; and


WHEREAS, The Independence Center, located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, has
as its mission to work with people with disabilities, their families and the
community, to create independence so that all may thrive; and


WHEREAS, The Independence Center shares the NFBCO's commitment to the civil
rights of the disabled and the role models at The Independence Center sit,
stand, or lie at the point where people with disabilities decide whether to
create the life they desire or give in and resign themselves to society's
reduced expectations; and


WHEREAS, The Independence Center is not a Social Services organization but
an empowerment and learning community striving everyday to create a society
where people with disabilities will be accepted, employed, and welcomed; and


WHEREAS, The Independence Center has had an open door policy toward the
people and philosophy of the National Federation of the Blind; hiring
competent blind individuals, encouraging consumers to learn about the
activities of the NFB of Colorado Springs chapter, and promoting a shared
philosophy: Now, therefore,


BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado in
Convention assembled this twentieth day of October, 2013, in the city of
Colorado Springs, Colorado, that this organization commend The Independence
Center for its steadfast commitment to independent living, civil rights, and
equality of opportunity; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado
stand ready to work in collaboration with The Independence Center on
community projects of mutual benefit to include employment, access
technology, and transportation.


Resolution 2013-05

Regarding Proper Location of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation in
the State of Colorado Governing Structure


WHEREAS, the Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation is the unit in
state government with a mandate to assist persons with disabilities to
succeed at work and live independently; and

WHEREAS, its principle focus is one of vocational training and employment
outcomes for people with disabilities; and


WHEREAS, the blind of Colorado strive to be a part of a mainstream
integrated workplace supporting the economic development of the state; and


WHEREAS, a recent reorganization of the Colorado Department of Human
Services now finds the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation under the
Agency know as "Long Term Care" within the Department of Human Services; and

WHEREAS, Coloradans requiring services under the Division are, generally
speaking, not seeking services in any way resembling long term care; and


WHEREAS, while a government entity charged with the provision of oversight
of long term care is meritorious and necessary, it is inconsistent with the
mission of vocational rehabilitation; and


WHEREAS, housing an agency responsible for greater economic possibilities
and social integration of the blind within an agency for long term care
sends the wrong message about the capacity of people with disabilities to
consumers themselves, the general public, and employers: Now, therefore,


BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado in
convention assembled this twentieth day of October, 2013, in the city of
Colorado Springs, Colorado, that this organization strongly urge Governor
John Hickenlooper, The General Assembly, and The Executive Director of the
Colorado Department of Human Services, Reggie Bicha to take such action as
necessary to immediately transfer the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
to the Office of Economic Security.




Thanks for reading The Blind Coloradan, Holiday Issue 2013. Errors,
assumptions, or omissions should be brought to the attention of the editor
who will likely blame Blind Buzz for any mistakes. Happy Holidays!








-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: image001.png
Type: image/png
Size: 11486 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://nfbnet.org/pipermail/colorado-talk_nfbnet.org/attachments/20131220/5cae2e52/attachment.png>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: image003.jpg
Type: image/jpeg
Size: 40276 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://nfbnet.org/pipermail/colorado-talk_nfbnet.org/attachments/20131220/5cae2e52/attachment.jpg>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: image006.png
Type: image/png
Size: 17642 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://nfbnet.org/pipermail/colorado-talk_nfbnet.org/attachments/20131220/5cae2e52/attachment-0001.png>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: image007.jpg
Type: image/jpeg
Size: 1802 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://nfbnet.org/pipermail/colorado-talk_nfbnet.org/attachments/20131220/5cae2e52/attachment-0001.jpg>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: 8. Blind Coloradan Holiday Issue 2013.doc
Type: application/msword
Size: 245760 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://nfbnet.org/pipermail/colorado-talk_nfbnet.org/attachments/20131220/5cae2e52/attachment.doc>

More information about the Colorado-Talk mailing list