[Community-Service] March 2022 Newsletter

Maggie Stringer ravensfan784 at gmail.com
Thu Mar 24 14:55:31 UTC 2022

*“Beyond the Six Dots”*

National Federation of the Blind Community Service Division

March 2022 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!


The COMMUNITY SERVICE DIVISION wants to say thank you, thank you, and thank
you! The commitment to our mission and all those dedicated popcorn lovers
made our gourmet fundraiser a magnificent success! Because of you, each of
you! Your generous donations and your buttery love for delicious treats,
CSD doubled their efforts and raised over $19,000! And we did it in our own
cheddar-rific way!

Now that we have had a taste of the Little Kettle That Could, we would like
to take this moment to POP-light a few individuals that set this fundraiser
on Queso Fire!

Thank you, Gloria Nathan-Cherry for once again, organizing a spectacular
fundraiser!  Marvin Griffin also known as the “Pop King” held tight to the
popcorn royalties for a second year by selling nearly $4,000 worth of
delicious popped goodies. We also want to give a kernel salute to the CSD
Willing Workers Committee; your enthusiasm, participation, and diligence to
our community fundraiser was served with carmelicious excellence. And last
but not least, we thank all of the supporters, especially the thousands of
hungry bellies for popping with us!



Celebrating Women’s History Month

Contributed by Daria Bannermen

When you think of deafness and blindness as one, the first name that comes
to mind is probably, Helen Keller. Naturally! She was and has been a symbol
of courage for many generations. She was undeterred by deafness and
blindness, she rose to become a major 20th century humanitarian, educator
and writer. She was a remarkable woman that inspired so many other people
with disabilities, to accomplish their goals and live their lives to the
fullest, with all the fierceness and determination she could muster.

We want to take you back a generation before Helen. How many of you know
about the woman that mentored, trained, inspired, and was instrumental in
the building of Helen’s legacy.

Anne Sullivan was born in 1866 from impoverished immigrants of Ireland and
became partially blind by a bacterial eye disease at the age of five.
Because of the death of her mother and the abandonment of her father, she
was sent to live in the Tewksbury Almshouse, a home for the impoverished.
Despite the turmoil she endured while living there, she advocated for her
right to receive an education from the Perkins School for the Blind.

She persevered and graduated as the class valedictorian, and was one of
Perkins School for the Blind’s best-known students. After graduating from
Perkins in 1886, she traveled to Alabama to educate Helen Keller, and
remained Keller’s instructor, interpreter and friend until her death in

Most do not know that Anne learned finger-spelling from Laura Bridgman. A
graduate of Perkins, Bridgman was the first person with deaf blindness to
get a formal education. The two spent time together when Anne was a student
at Perkins. Bridgman taught her how to form letters with her fingers to
spell out words into the palm of a hand. Anne used that same
finger-spelling method to teach Helen Keller.

Anne’s extraordinary skills were so exemplary that a famous author, Mark
Twain, described her as a miracle-worker. That inspired the name of the
iconic movie about Anne & Helen, “The Miracle Worker.”

Anne's heroic traits and determination to escape from her terrible
childhood led her to achieve exceptional things that no one would have
expected from her. She is one of the countless women who have left a
monumental mark in our history, even when some chose to overlook her impact.

CSD recognizes all of the women that have come before us, and want to
celebrate each of their ambitions, strengths, and courage. Their life’s
journey has flickered a spark within all of us and have helped illuminate
our worlds!


National Athletic Training Month

Asia Quinones-Evans

For sports fans, sports are the epitome of hard work and dedication. To get
to the pinnacle of their sport, even the most naturally gifted athletes
have to give it their all. It is our honor to introduce to our readers,
Miss Asia Quinones-Evans.

“I am blind, but I was not born blind.

I had 20/20 vision until the world suddenly went black eight years ago, in
September of 2014 when it was discovered that a brain tumor was compressing
my optic nerve, causing 100% vision loss in less than a week. I had sight
throughout my life until the month prior to turning 17, meaning I had no
visual impairment experience nor the need to learn the skills. It was never
in my plans to go to college, however, after gaining a significant number
of blind skills, I decided to be a first-generation college student in my
family by enrolling at Lorain County Community College to pursue two
Associates of Applied Sciences degrees in Sports and Fitness Management and
Coaching and Promotion. It has not been an easy transition from attending
classes in person to everything shutting down and going virtual due to the
COVID – 19 pandemics throughout 2020 & 2021, but things are getting better
and slowly transition back to in person.

I chose this major because I wrestled 6 years and developed a great passion
for the sport. When I wrestled at Ohio State School for the Blind, I had a
blind coach, and this motivated me to learn more about becoming a wrestling
coach. It is not usually a requirement to have a degree to become a
wrestling coach unless someone wants to become a coach for a college team.
I was very motivated to learn more about how to provide for my athletes. I
wanted to learn about how they can do such a demanding sport and mitigate
getting injuries.

This path is not typical for a blind person due to many challenges with
learning fitness without sight. I have a background in sports, so this
makes it somewhat easier. After I went blind, I was told by my athletic
director that I could not wrestle due to liability of injury. I had many
bruises, busted lips, and even bruised bones from wrestling with sight. As
a female wrestler this is even more difficult. I did not understand why I
could not wrestle without sight when I never complained with getting
injured being a smaller female. Wrestling is one of the easiest sports to
adapt for the blind because all that must be done is to keep constant
contact while in a match or practice. The referee is responsible for
ensuring that this rule stays applied while a blind wrestler in in the
match. I do know that when I continue to look for positions, I will come
across the same inability to understanding that a blind person can be a
coach for such a demanding sport.

I am involved in my community by having the opportunity to assist coaching
a youth wrestling team in my local area. I work with the athletes more
individually when they need help. I am apart of several divisions of the
NFB of Ohio. I am the Treasurer of my local chapter, the Treasurer of the
Ohio Association of Blind Students, the Secretary of the Ohio Communities
of Faith, and a Board member of the Ohio Association of Guide Dog Users.”

Asia is living her life as a champion!

“It is not the size of a woman, but the size of her heart that matters.”



Written by Carol King-Ries

March is National Flower month:  Get ready for Spring to produce beauty,
joy, and growth!

“Minds are like flowers; they open up only when the time is right” …
Stephen Richards.

I have always loved the beauty of flowers, their colors, both vibrant and
subtle, their shapes and of course, their fragrance.  When I began to lose
my sight, I thought I had also lost the beauty of flowers.  I was so
wrong!  In 2019, I started a container garden on my deck, and even though I
had my successes and failures, I have enjoyed this endeavor far more than I
could have imagined.  My mind has opened to the beauty of flowers in deeper
and more gratifying ways.  I have been blown away by flower power!

“A flower does not announce its arrival to the world, it just blooms” …
Matshona Dhliwayo.

When I started my deck container garden in 2019, I kept it simple.  I had a
couple of pots of geraniums, some lavender plants, and a couple of pots of
herbs.  These few plants taught me so much about container gardening and
life.  First lesson, you must be present every day!  Because these plants
were in containers, they had to be watered more often.  This made me go
outside onto my deck regularly, which in turn made me begin to
differentiate the large variety of birdsong in the trees around me.  I took
notice when there was a different bird in the area and would have my
husband come out to see if he could spot it.  I have downloaded some
birdsong aps so that I can learn who is in my yard.  Second lesson, you
must prune your plants.  As a novice gardener, I just wanted things to
grow, but in gardening, as in life, you must prune to promote fuller
growth.  The key was knowing where to prune.  For example, the geraniums
must be dead headed at the top of the plant, but the herbaceous plants must
be pruned right above the joints to promote fuller growth.  Life is the
same, you must know what to cut and where to make that cut to get the most
out of it.  Third lesson, sometimes you must get rid of the flowers
altogether to get the most out of your plants.  In the case of most herbs,
you must pinch the flowers off so that they do not go to seed but continue
to grow and produce wonderful smells and taste. This was hard for me to do
because the show was so pretty; but when I did, my nose and taste buds
benefited!  There were so many other lessons I learned… what to do and what
not to do.   These were truly life lessons.

“Where flowers bloom, so does hope” … Lady Bird Johnson.

When 2020 came in with a pandemic, like most, I was house bound.  However,
that Spring, I planted an even bigger flower and herb container garden with
some tomatoes and peppers added to the mix.  The silky feel of the lilies
with their heady fragrance, and the addition of herbs like sage and
rosemary just added to the sensual delight. My container garden became a
place of peace, joy and even hope for a better future.  So…  in 2021 it
only got bigger!

“A flower blossoms for its own joy” … Oscar Wilde.

We are the Community Service Division, and I am constantly amazed by all
that our members do for others.  However, I must confess, this container
gardening adventure has been for my own personal joy, and I don’t think
there is anything wrong with that!  During these trying times, self-care is
extremely important.  We must find those areas of personal joy and beauty
so that when we go out to serve others, we have something beautiful and
joyful to give.  I did share my garden with others in the form of herb
bundles, beautiful flowers, and pickled peppers; that was the overflow from
the joy I got from gardening.  I am starting to think about and plan my
2022 container garden.  Every time I think about it, I smile.  I cannot
wait to be wrapped in sunshine, serenaded by birdsong, brushed by silken
petals, enthralled by beautiful fragrances, and delighted by bold and
subtle tastes.  As Claude Monet said, “I must have flowers, always, and

A PILLAR OF Perseverance

National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month

Written by Eric Duffy

March is Cerebral Palsy Awareness month, which gives us the opportunity to
both celebrate and educate others about cerebral palsy. We immediately
thought of Eric Duffy of Kettering, Ohio. A man who has dedicated most of
his life educating the world on his blindness and CP not being the
characteristics that would defines him or his future. Eric is a proud
father of two sons, and is a dynamic leader within our federation and on
Capital hill. We are proud to have him share a part of his story with us!

“Cerebral palsy (CP) is a group of disorders that affect a person's ability
to move and maintain balance and posture. CP is the most common motor
disability in childhood. COULDC estimates that an average of 1 in 345
children in the U.S. have CP.

I am the only one in my immediate family with a disability.  CP and
blindness were not anything my parents were familiar with, but something
they had to learn about very quickly. My mom always told the story of how
people in my family often carried me because I was blind, and therefore,
they weren't aware of my struggles with walking and balance for a while
after I was born.

When most kids my age were starting school, I was having surgeries on my
legs. I don't remember the exact ages of the surgeries, but I remember
being in the hospitals having casts and doing physical therapy.

I have always fallen fairly frequently, and that is something I remember
that from an early age. Although when I was young, I didn't know much about
CP, I knew that I would not be able to walk, run, jump, and do other things
in the same way other kids did. In my early days at the Ohio State School
for the Blind, I made a conscious effort to build my upper body strength. I
did pushups, pullups, isometrics, and anything else I could think of. No
one prompted me to do this. But this upper body strength came in handy
during the rough and tumble of boyhood and later as a wrestler. I completed
all of my Physical Education requirements, although I could have gotten an
exemption. In addition to that, I did physical therapy while at school and
on Saturdays when at home.

I had the last surgery on my legs at the age of 14. I missed several months
of my seventh-grade year, but when I came back to school, I wanted to try
out for the wrestling team. I was not permitted to wrestle that year, but
the following year I made the team. I was not that good, because wrestling
does require a lot of leg strength.

Other than in those early years of my life, CP has not been something I've
thought about very much. I do the things that I want to do, and it does not
slow me down. When I am traveling outside, it literally does slow me down,
and it does help me to walk with someone for balance. Now I tend to walk
with others more than I used to, because I am getting older, and falls are
harder on the body.

I have never been treated differently in the Federation because of my CP.
Those who know I have it, have all been very supportive. Over the years I
have had the opportunity to talk with many parents of blind children who
also have CP, and my hope is that I have been able to help these children
and their families.”


"Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flow charts. It is about one
life influencing another."


National Crafting Month

Contributed by Lynn Heitz & Reverend Leonard Leyton

Creativity is something that needs to be unleashed, explored, and
expressed. Poets, writers, artists, craftsmen, crafters, everybody
specializes in a particular kind of craft. There’s always something new to

"I proudly serve as the President of the NFB of Pennsylvania.  I was taught
to knit and crochet by my mother when I was about eight years old.  In
those days, crocheted vests were a hot item and I made several for myself
in a variety of colors.  For many years I did not crochet but about five
years ago I picked it up again as a stress relieving activity. I make hats,
scarves, blankets, and Afghans and donate them to the Salvation Army and
two local women’s shelters.  I hope that my stress relieving activity
brings comfort to many individuals who have less than myself," said Lynn

We know that anything can be made with a machine, but nothing compares to
something made with your hands and from the heart. We want to help everyone
rediscover the joy of crafting!

“Going through seminary as a blind man, and raising four kids on my own,
had it’s trying times. One of my kids wanted my help in building a wooden
model car they received as a present. Unfortunately, this particular brand
was not made very well and it broke fairly easily. My eight-year-old son
was so upset; I had to go into action mode. After checking out several
how-to books at the local library and visiting the hardware store, I ask my
kids if they would be interested in a family woodworking project. They
nearly knocked me over with their excitement. That was sixty years ago and
I cannot tell you how many wooden toys we have made for the neighborhood
kids and the local children’s home. I’ll tell you that I believe making
crafts with young people brings the biggest smiles you have ever seen,
bigger than Christmas and birthdays,” said Reverend Leyton.

CSD believes in you, and believes your art is as natural as sunshine and as
vital as nourishment!



Mississippi State Conventions

March 25-27, 2022

Location: Virtual

For more information, email: president.nfbms at gmail.com

Nebraska State Conventions

March 25-26, 2022

Location: Virtual

For more information, please visit: ne.nfb.org

Missouri State Conventions

March 31 - April 3, 2022

Location: Springfield, MO

For more information, please visit: nfbmo.org

Massachusetts State Conventions

April 1-3, 2022

Location: Boston, MA, Embassy Suites by Hilton Boston at Logan Airport

For more information, please visit: nfbma.org

Wisconsin State Conventions

April 1-3, 2022

Location: Onolaska, WI

For more information, please visit: nfbwis.org

Louisiana State Conventions

April 9-10, 2022

Location: Shreveport, LA

For more information, please visit: nfbla.org

Idaho State Conventions

April 21-23, 2022

Location: Idaho Falls, ID, Holiday Inn

For more information, please visit: nfbidaho.org

South Dakota State Conventions

April 22-23, 2022

Location: Grand Rapids, SD, Rushmore Suites

For more information, please visit nfbsd.org

Tennessee State Conventions

April 22-23, 2022

Location: Clarksville/Hybrid

For more information, please visit nfbtn.org

Utah State Conventions

April 29-30, 2022

Location: Park City Utah, Sheraton Hotel Park City

1895 Sidewinder Dr. | 435-649-2900

For more information, please visit nfbutah.org

Vermont State Conventions

April 29-30, 2022

Location: TBD/Hybrid

For more information, please visit nfbvt.org

Hawaii State Conventions

May 13, 2022

Location: TBD

For more information, please visit hawaii.nfb.org

2022 Buddy Program, a summer program for all blind and low vision students
ages 9 to 13!

When: August 6-August 20, 2022!

Where: BLIND, Inc.; 100 East 22nd St. Minneapolis Minnesota, 55404

Application Deadline: April 30, 2022

Contact Michell Gip, Youth Services Coordinator, at 612-872-0100, Ext. 231,
or mgip at blindinc.org for more information

NFB 2022 National Convention

July 5 to July 10, 2022

New Orleans, LA

Website: https://nfb.org/get-involved/national-convention

Register today: https://nfb.org/civicrm/event/register?reset=1&id=479

Will NFB22 be your first National Convention?

Learn about the Kenneth Jernigan Convention Scholarship that helps active
NFB members, blind or sighted, attend their first NFB National Convention.

If you have questions, please contact us at:

Phone: (410) 659-9314

Email: nfb at nfb.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


The National Federation of t*he 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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