[Community-Service] November 2021 Newsletter
ravensfan784 at gmail.com
Mon Nov 8 21:00:00 UTC 2021
“Beyond the Six Dots”
National Federation of the Blind Community Service Division
November 2021 Newsletter
We use a white cane, slate & stylus, and screen readers in between,
We read from the left, write from the right, and will tap tap onto any
We want our communities to know what we’ve got, a commitment to serve,
Beyond the Six Dots!
*A COASTAL INSPIRATION*
Reflections by Veronica Alston
We hope none of our readers have been asleep for the past month. October
was packed tight with thirty-one days of over the top, autumntastic and
momentous occasions! Calendars north, east, south, and west were rolling
out extraordinary events like the Women’s Empowerment Conference, daily
Blind Equality Achievement Spotlights, White Cane Safety Day, Hands Up Join
US Community Service Blind Date, and tons more.
We’ve got one word to sum up the month of October, or maybe two.
Exhilaratingly Awesome! Just read on to witness the power we possess, the
abilities you possess, in building a federation!
“My name is Veronica and I’m currently the secretary of the Southern
Chapter of the NFB of Connecticut, as well as, an affiliate board member. I
have been an NFB member for the last three years and have had minimal
interaction and engagement with members outside of the Connecticut
affiliate, until recently.
On White Cane Day, October 15th of this year, I attended an NFB women’s
empowerment virtual conference where I had the pleasure of listening to
powerful testimonies and presentations from very inspiring and motivational
guest speakers. I was captivated by a spoken word presentation done by
Jeanetta Price, and connected with her immediately after the conference.
During our initial discussion, we discovered how much we share a passion
for helping, encouraging, and empowering individuals in our communities. I
invited Jeanetta to be a motivational guest speaker on The New Lifestyles
Women’s Empowerment Virtual Lounge, where she did a phenomenal
presentation. In turn, Jeanetta invited me to the NFB Community Service
Division virtual Meeting on October 23rd to share my involvement with New
Lifestyles Transitional Housing for Women and Opportunity for Growth. As
soon as I joined the meeting, I automatically felt the positive energy and
enthusiasm from the facilitators and other arriving guests, and enjoyed the
way the guests were encouraged to interact with one another. I loved
listening and learning about opportunities to connect with other businesses
and hear the work others are doing in their communities.
Attending the Community Service Division meeting has inspired me to let go
of my fears of failure and expand my horizons in achieving success. I thank
you Jeanetta for giving me the opportunity to connect with such supportive,
talented, amazing and gifted individuals. If I could be this excited,
encouraged and empowered in one day, I can’t even imagine the multiplicity
of exuberance, resilience and power for future days to come.”
We are not McDonald’s, but we are loving it! A beautiful connection that
was planted in Washington, DC, was nurtured down in Texas, then blossomed
its miraculous essence onto a national platform with the CSD! Now, that’s
what we call a COASTAL INSPIRATION!
*TAPPING THE TALK*
Reflections of White Cane Safety Day
Written by Carol King-Ries
Photo contributed by June Hunter-Hardy
Blind Equality Achievement Month was on, and was popping in Delaware
throughout the month of October. The Northern Delaware Chapter made a
concerted effort to be out in our community to inform, unite, and make a
difference! We set up tables in Senior centers, a department store and
daycare center, to spread the news about what the National Federation of
the Blind is doing in Delaware, and beyond.
By far, our favorite event was our White Cane Awareness walk on October 15th
at the Wilmington Riverfront. There were a few of us in attendance, but we
made a significant impact, especially with a lot of the younger people when
they saw one of our member’s guide dog, Udell! We interacted with a lot of
curious travelers and had an opportunity to share how we as an organization
are all working together to improve the lives of blind people around the
world. We did not know what to expect when we showed up, however, we were
pleasantly surprised and excited about the conversations we had. If was
inspiring, empowering and has moved us forward in building our Federation.
It truly left us beaming here in Delaware!
*“When life hands you a white cane, change the world’s view one tap at a
>From left to right, image includes Carol King-Ries, June Hunter-Hardy
(NoSmoke), Destinee', & Shannon Britt with her guide dog, Udell. The above
picture was taken at Delaware's Riverfront on White Cane Safety Day.
*THE KT21 CHALLENGE*
Faithful readers, we want you to join us and take a moment to ponder a
particular thought. In the month of November, there is an observance for
World Kindness Day, which takes place on Saturday, November the 13th. Then,
there is a whole week dedicated to caring for others, called World Kindness
week. Plus, in the United States, we traditionally celebrate Thanksgiving
Day on the last Thursday of the month. It could be a long shot, but do our
readers believe that maybe, just maybe, the world is trying to tell us
There is power in being friendly, generous, and considerate towards others.
We have an entire division that motto that kind of compassion for others.
Some may even say that it is what binds us all together.
So, CSD & Readers! We know, we’ve seen, and we’ve heard of your abilities
to bring and give joy. It’s time for a November Challenge, a K&T Challenge!
We want you to flood our list serve and social media page with your
demonstrations of November 2021 acts of kindness or your words of
Use the hash tag, #KT21 whenever and wherever you post. We’re not only part
of the blind movement, we’ve got the mightiness to be, the kind movement!
*THE ONE MINUTE VIDEO CHALLENGE*
Yes! Another challenge for our readers this month! We absolutely love being
able to move it, move it, within all of our communities. And we are dying
to know, who do you appreciate? So, take on our One Minute Video Challenge!
Dust off your smart devices and get ready to roll the camera, for our
November Attitude of Gratitude video blast!
Send your best videos to:
Jeanetta Price by email or SMS message.
Three things you must say:
1. Your full name
2. National Federation of the Blind Community Service Division
3. “The Attitude of Gratitude”
Now, it’s time to express your sweetest gratitude in your own unique way.
In one minute, tell us about that special person that has influenced your
service. All of your November 2021 video blasts will have the hash tag,
#OneMinute21 and will be shared on our social media platforms! Okay CSD,
roll the camera.
*A STUDENT AT HEART*
MSG Vernon F. Humphrey, US Army (R)
Contributed by Emily Gindlesperger
“It was an honor to be a soldier. And it continues to be an honor, to be a
Veteran’s Day is an important day that has been set aside each year to
honor the champions who have sacrificed and served and continue to serve
our nation. More specifically, it’s an enlightening opportunity to
recognize the courageous men and women that are the living veterans among
It is our honor and a privilege to be able to introduce to our readers,
Master Sergeant, Vernon F. Humphrey and President of our National
Association of Blind Veterans.
“I have many feelings about Veterans Day. Proud, honored, reflection,
respect, longing for times gone by, and my father (who was also a veteran).
And unfortunately, there are some that are not so positive ones. For
instance, when I see people who do not understand the importance of
thanking those who gave (or offered to) give everything. I am honored to
have served my country and, in many ways, will always be serving. My
sisters and brothers in arms and I, will always share a bond that most will
Because of my vision loss and medical retirement, I had an advantage most
do not. I was able to spend a few years watching my children grow, and then
Veterans Affairs offered to send me back to college.
At Columbus State University (CSU), I helped create and was an officer
Omicron Psi chapter an honors program for nontraditional students. I
eventually graduated in 2005 with a BA degree. I soon realized how much I
loved learning and started a Master’s degree in Counseling at CSU. It was
not long after that I realized the many years of being a Non-commissioned
Officer (NCO) and a father, that counseling wasn’t for me. I went to the
University of Louisiana at Lafayette (ULL)and earned a Masters in
Communication with a focus on Interpersonal and Organizational
Communication and a minor in counseling (2009). There, I helped create
Delta Alpha Pi chapter an honor society for people with disabilities.
Additionally, I was a member and officer of the Beacon Club at ULL. Our
focus was to bring disability awareness to the campus and community. Not
wanting to stop, I went to the University of Southern Mississippi and
earned my PhD in Communication with a focus on Interpersonal and
Intercultural Communication (2015). The topic for my dissertation was
unique in that I researched how couples changed their communication
patterns when one of them became blind.
After I returned to Columbus, Georgia, I became the Chair of the Board of
directors for a Non-profit organization, the Disability Service Center,
where we created a one stop shop for people with disabilities. I joined
Rotary and found the camaraderie I knew in the Army. I have joined and
become the President of the National Association of Blind Veterans, as well
as, the First VP of the Fountain City Chapter of the NFB Georgia Affiliate.
In addition, I am active in the Blinded Veterans of America (BVA), the
Disabled American Veterans (DVA), and supporting local law and enforcement,
fire prevention, and EMS fields that my children are also active in.
I feel it is very important to remind people of how honored we are as a
country, to have had Veterans serve us. Although I think it should happen
every day, and I am often told thank you for your service, celebrating
Veteran’s Day in unity, on one day makes us feel even more honored. Our
country thought enough of our service, to set aside one special day, every
*SAYING THANK YOU*
National Veteran’s Day
Every November the 11th, we are given a life-altering opportunity to truly
learn and understand the sacrifices that service members and their families
make day after day, year after year.
Have you ever wondered how you could celebrate Veteran’s day? We went on
the hunt for eager volunteers in search of their plans to pay tribute to
our Veterans this year!
"We invited all of our church members and families, to our ‘Care Package
Party’! We didn't know someone currently overseas, but we’ve all have had
loved ones in service at some point. We wanted to let our soldiers know
that they are not forgotten and contacted Blue Star Moms in our local area,
to see if there were any troops that were in need. We were able to send
four heavy boxes this year!” -A senior citizens group at North Chapel
“We pass out flyers throughout our neighborhoods, hang them on the doors of
our local post office, library, grocery stores, coffee shops, and post on
the VA bulletin board, about our annual, ‘Chicken Soup For Eleven Eleven’
event. We say thank you by offering free unlimited, homecooked bowls of hot
chicken soup.” -The Frederick & Bloomberg Families.
Join the Community Service board members, our Willing Worker’s Committee
members, and all of our invaluable Community Achievers, as we say, thank
you! We are eternally grateful for your service!
*“Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our
country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude.”*
*IT’S YOUR YEAR OF VISION*
National Scholarship Awareness Month
Written by Mirranda Williams
I am not here to boast or brag, nope, never that! However, I am here to let
you all know that I am a scholar with a vision!
Excuse me while I give a holler of praise to my god for blessing me! Ok,
praise break over for now, and now back to our scheduled narrative!
I am Mirranda Williams an original Georgia Peach that has been racking up
multiple wins in this season since 2020 the year of vision. Collectively, I
have received a total of 10 scholarships to further my life’s endeavors.
This number includes the opportunity to be a part of the National
Federation of the Blind illustrious 30. I was awarded a scholarship that
afforded me the opportunity to continue my education as well as starting my
own consulting agency Inspeyere LLC), assisting the older adult population
concerning mental and behavioral health.
I am truly thankful for all my scholarship opportunities because they
motivated me to reach for my greatest potential and let it shine for all to
see. It is not about the amount of money I received but how I use it to
achieve my life goals. Most people say that the process is rigorous, and
truthfully it is. However, nothing is worth having if it can be easily
obtained. Pause and let that soak in! Challenges make us better and allows
us to recognize our inherent strengths we all have them! I challenge you to
take a little time and apply for scholarships and see how they could change
your life, I did, and I could not be any more grateful than I am now! Thank
you, Federation Family, for believing in me and recognizing my hard work!
Now future fellow scholars go apply, apply, apply and let your own light
*A FIERY PASSION TO SERVE*
November is National Diabetes Month, a time when communities across the
country team up to bring attention to a far too common condition, diabetes.
Wanda Sloan also known as Firecracker, is a member of the National
Federation of the Blind of Ohio and was born with a form of insulin
rejection, but was not properly diagnosed as a diabetic until she was 32
years of age.
Wanda Marie Sloan was born in Dayton, Ohio in 1948. She is a graduate from
Sinclair Community College with an associate degree in Nursing & Liberal
Arts. She is also a graduate from NYACK College, with a bachelor’s degree
in Organizational Business Management. Wanda has been blessed with a
beautiful singing voice and has been a dedicated member of local traveling
community gospel choirs for the past twenty-one years. While she was in
college, she wrote a script, and performed a Historical Tribute To Gospel
Music. It was originally written for a Black History program, and it was
and has been performed throughout the Nation. Her script was so powerful
and popular, it was sold to Dr. Bobbie Jones and his Tennessee Super
Choir. And the best part, when they came to Dayton, she had an amazing
opportunity to sing with them.
Miss Sloan has served and continues to serve on many committees and boards
such as the City of Dayton Civil Service Board, Home Finding Apartments
committee, HRC (Human Relations Council) board, ACIL (Access Center for
Independent Living) board, DAN (Diabetes Action Network) board, for a
number of years. When she is not working tirelessly to advocate, fundraise,
and educate her local communities, she is expanding her skill sets like
taking Sign Language courses to be able to communicate with deaf community
Diabetes is the leading cause of adult blindness, kidney failure,
cardiovascular disease, amputations, nerve damage and other complications.
This is why individuals like Wanda work hard to create awareness,
resources, and opportunities. She is extremely passionate and committed in
being a resource for those newly diagnosed with diabetes, individuals new
to blindness with diabetes, and continuing to educate herself on all the
latest technology advances regarding this condition.
“I know what it’s like to be blind and I know how it feels to be diabetic.
People need to know they are capable of managing their condition without
sight. I’m living the life I want and so can they.
It’s important to encourage people to establish a healthy eating habit, be
faithful in taking their blood sugars, and monitor their A 1 C test, which
is a very important reading.”
Wanda believes that it is crucial for every diabetic to know all their
options and to not be afraid to ask questions. Members like Miss Sloan and
the NFB Diabetes Action Network have made tremendous strides, and know
there is still a lot of work to be done.
“Remember to take small steps. Making changes to your lifestyle and daily
habits can be hard, but you don’t have to change everything at once. It’s
okay to start small. Also, remember that setbacks are normal and do not
mean you have failed. The key is to get back on track as soon as you can.”
*THE GIGGLE SPOT*
Friends & Families! CSD is celebrating the fall harvest and every blissful
blessings from this past year! Which brings us to your November giggle for
Question: What did the turkey say to the computer?
Answer: Googgle, google, google!
*Don’t think about it, laugh about it!*
*AT THE INTERSECTION OF BLINDNESS*
Native American Heritage Month
Written by Justin Mark Hideaki Salisbury
“I was first elected to the board of the national Association of blind
students in 2012, and I am currently the second vice president. There were
a few years that I was not in school and not on the board, so that is not a
continuous nine years of leader ship, but it is true that I was first
elected to the national Association of blind students board in 2012 and
currently serve as second vice president.”
Community Service Division, this young man has done so much for so many
people, it’s very difficult to keep track of all the ways he has empowered,
advocated, inspired, and educated his local communities. We could not truly
celebrate National Native American Heritage month without including Justin
in the conversation. It’s important to our federation family that we
recognize Native American and Indigenous peoples heritage, the original
inhabitants of what is now the United States.
“When I showed up on the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison, I was
ready for all the intensity of a university program that would prepare me
for my career. It was a beautiful university on a lakefront property, and
there were a lot of talented people there. I was still wondering why they
chose me to be a part of their club.
Another part of arriving on that campus meant that Native American students
kept approaching me to recruit me to cultural programming. At first, I
started wondering if I was wearing something that showed off Native
identity, but I wasn’t. Then, I started paying attention to what these
Native students would do after they left our conversations. Did they just
keep inviting everyone? Were they catching me as part of a canvassing
effort to recruit? No, it wasn’t that, either. In Wisconsin, my fellow
Native students could see me as one of them. Now, I am a mixed-race person,
and I had been going to school in the Confederate states, where I don’t
look like the Native people from there. In a way, these recruitment efforts
were super validating to me. Many mixed-race people go through a process of
figuring out where we fit in with each group. I’m not sure any of us get to
a point where we don’t have to figure that out in new circles of people. I
can be sure of one thing, though: service helped me belong.
At the University of Wisconsin, service often meant helping to put on
events. I remember walking throughout campus in small teams with other
Native students, putting up flyers to advertise. When it comes to putting
on a powwow, there is a lot of planning involved. We spent a lot of time
working with the venue, the lodging, the vendors, and putting together a
solid program. It involved a lot of the same skills we use to put on a
student seminar or state convention in the National Federation of the
Blind. People didn’t seem to think about the fact that I was blind. They
seemed to think about the work that needed to be done and the ability that
I had to contribute. I remember coming back from a state convention only to
help clean up at the end of the University’s powwow, which I had missed.
That wasn’t my first-time doing service activities in our community. During
my undergraduate years at East Carolina University, I was able to help
rebuild a traditional Native American village and cultural center after a
hurricane had damaged them badly. On that occasion, I did not go out of my
way to prove what I could do as a blind person. Perhaps there were
activities that people silently thought would be off-limits to a blind
person. I really don’t know. I just focused on doing the tasks that were
given to me. Was I asked to drag the brush out of the woods after others
had used the chainsaws because I was blind, or was I asked to do the other
job because the people operating the chainsaws were the owners of the
chainsaws? I don’t know. Could I have used a chainsaw? Sure thing—I had
done this many times at my parents’ house—but the goal was to address the
hurricane damage as quickly as possible. I focused on being a part of the
team, and I allowed the elders to divvy up the tasks. It also occurred to
me that certain tasks could have certain meaning to the people doing them.
I did not have to know that meaning for each person, but I knew that we
collectively took meaning from our work. I was a part of the team, and we
served our Native community.”
*NFB Diabetes Action Network for the Blind (DAN)*
President: Debbie Wunder
Email: debbiewunder at charter.net
Mailing List: nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/diabetes-talk_nfbnet.org
*NFB National Association of Blind Veterans*
President: Vernon Humphrey
Email: mr_president at nabv.org
Mailing list: nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/blindvet-talk_nfbnet.org
*REPRESENT YOUR STATE*
November 12-14, 2021
Location: Olathe (Holiday Inn)
For more information, please visit: nfbks.org
November 5-7, 2021
For more information, please visit:nfbofky.org
November 5-7, 2021
Location: Baton Rouge (Crowne Plaza)
For more information, please visit: nfbla.org
November 12-15, 2021
Location: Baltimore (Holiday Inn Inner Harbor)
For more information, please visit: nfbmd.org
November 11-13, 2021
For more information, please visit: nfbmi.org
November 5-7, 2021
Location: Minneapolis (Minn/St. Paul Airport Hilton)
For more information, please visit: nfbmn.org/
November 13-14, 2021
For more information, please visit: nfbnevada.org
November 10-13, 2021
For more information, please visit: nfbnj.org
November 5-6 2021
For more information, please visit: nfbohio.org
November 12-14, 2021
Location: Cottage Grove
For more information, please visit: nfb-oregon.org
November 12-14, 2021
Location: Harrisburg (Crowne Plaza)
For more information, please visit: nfbp.org
November 5-7, 2021
For more information, please visit: nfbtx.org
November 5-7, 2021
For more information, please visit: nfbw.org
November 13, 2021
For more information, please visit: http://nfbwyoming.org/
We want to feature you in our next issue! Write about your personal
experience with your community service project and submit the article by
the first of the month.
We also want to help promote your community projects and state affiliate
events. Share your calendar with Beyond The Six Dots and we will feature
your events in the ‘Represent Your State’ section of our next issue.
Contact our editor to submit your calendar events and featured articles.
(The editor may edit the Length and/or wording of your article.)
NFB Community Service Division
President Jeanetta Price
Email: price.jeanetta at gmail.com
Mobile: (409) 344-1005
Newsletter Editor: Maggie Stringer
Email: Ravensfan784 at gmail.com
Mobile: (443) 750-0070
*ONE MINUTE MESSAGE*
The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the
characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise the
expectations of blind people because low expectations create obstacles
between blind people and our dreams. We are survivors!
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