[Nfb-seniors] New Mexico's quarterly newsletter - QUE PASA
Robert Leslie Newman
robertleslienewman at gmail.com
Mon Mar 5 13:18:35 UTC 2018
Hi You All
RE: Newsletters are still one of the Federations best sources of
Check out what New Mexico has going on in their state, and what they are
doing for the rest of the nation!
Quarterly newsletter of the National Federation of the Blind of New Mexico
(Published in March, June, September, and December)
Adelmo Vigil, President
E-mail: nfbnewmexicopresident at gmail.com
James Babb, Editor
E-mail: jim.babb at mysero.net
Tonia Trapp, Assistant Editor
E-mail: nfbnewmexicosecretary at gmail.com
To submit an article or recipe for possible inclusion in this newsletter,
please email it to jim.babb at mysero.net. By submitting your article or other
material, you are agreeing to the following:
*You assert that your article does not violate any confidentiality,
copyright, or other laws, and that it is not intended to slander, defame, or
*The NFB of New Mexico (NFBNM) has the discretion to publish and distribute
the article either in whole or in part.
*NFBNM is authorized to edit the article for formatting, length and content.
*NFBNM reserves the right to not publish submissions for any reason.
Table of Contents
EDITORS NOTE.. 3
PRESIDENTS MESSAGE.. 3
THE POWER OF IDEAS <> . 4
NEW MEXICO GOES TO THE <> . 7
2018 WASHINGTON SEMINAR <> . 7
TACTILE ARIAL MAPS AVAILABLE <> . 9
LOCAL TEACHER DEVELOPS NAVAJO BRAILLE CODE <> . 9
GOOD EATING.. 12
USEFUL WEBSITES, APPS, AND TELEPHONE NUMBERS. 14
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS. 15
The National Federation of the Blind of New Mexico (NFBNM) is a 501(c)(3)
consumer organization comprised of blind and sighted people committed to
changing what it means to be blind. Though blindness is still all too often
a tragedy to those who face it, we know from our own personal experience
that with training and opportunity, it can be reduced to the level of a
physical nuisance. We work to see that blind people receive services and
training to which they are entitled and that parents of blind children
receive the advice and support they need to help their youngsters grow up to
be happy, productive adults. We believe that first-class citizenship means
that people have both rights and responsibilities, and we are determined to
see that blind people become first-class citizens of these United States,
enjoying their rights and fulfilling their responsibilities. The most
serious problems we face have less to do with our lack of vision than with
discrimination based on the publics ignorance and misinformation about
blindness. Join us in educating New Mexicans about the abilities and
aspirations of New Mexicos blind citizens.
(Adapted from NFB of Ohio newsletter.)
By Jim Babb, Editor
Hello fellow Federationists and other interested readers,
We have some interesting articles, a favorite recipe, and announcements in
this issue. Without these articles and other submissions, we would not exist
as a publication. Thank you all.
We have experienced interesting and helpful technology in recent years such
as voice-command cell phones and voice assistants such as Alexa and Google
Assistant. They can tell you the time and current weather, change your wall
thermostat, and much more. Soon to come to market are LG-brand appliances
such as washers and dryers that were demonstrated at the Consumer
Electronics Show in January in Las Vegas. These appliances can be controlled
with voice commands; for example, you can choose settings by saying things
such as "Hey LG small load and gentle."
I wish to thank Assistant Editor Tonia Trapp who, among other things,
organizes and makes corrections in the articles and gets Que Pasa ready for
distribution. She also reads the finished version onto New Mexico Newsline
for the Blind.
By Adelmo Vigil, President, NFB of New Mexico
Greetings Federation Family:
Together with love, hope and determination we will transform dreams into
2018 is young, and we have continued to stay busy carrying out the business
of the National Federation of the Blind of New Mexico. Our job is to
continuously promote and advocate for the rights of the blind of New Mexico
and throughout our country.
This year we worked on a parenting bill that would give blind parents the
right to raise their children without their parenting abilities being
questioned because of their blindness. Unfortunately HR171 did not make it
out of the Rules Committee. We will continue to advocate for blind parents,
and we will pass a law that gives all of us equal rights to parenting. We
continue to work with the Secretary of State to make accessible voting a
reality in our state.
Let's talk about the importance of partnerships. We the members of the
National Federation of the Blind of New Mexico need to find ways in which we
can create partnerships with our legislators, business owners and other
public entities across our state. In order to build partnerships with these
important individuals and agencies, we need to invite them to chapter and
division meetings and activities such as white cane banquets, holiday
gatherings, and last but not least, our state convention. When we share our
message with those in public offices, business owners and the public as a
whole, the National Federation of the Blind of New Mexico can and will
achieve our goals and dreams so that we can live the life we want, and
blindness will not stop us.
We are fast approaching our state convention, the largest gathering of blind
people in New Mexico. The convention will be held at the Sheraton
Albuquerque Uptown on April 19-22, 2018. We are honored to have Mrs. Amy
Buresh, President of the National Federation of the Blind of Nebraska and a
member of our National Board of Directors, as our national representative at
our convention. I invite you to join us at our convention and experience the
strength and energy of the organized blind of New Mexico.
We invite you to join us in promoting our mission so we can grow our state
affiliate. United we can change what it means to be blind for children,
youth and adults of all ages in New Mexico and throughout the country.
The National Federation of the Blind of New Mexico knows that blindness is
not the characteristic that defines us or our future. Every day we raise the
expectations of blind people, because low expectations create obstacles
between blind people and our dreams. We can live the life we want; blindness
is not what holds us back.
THE POWER OF IDEAS
By Nancy Burns
Much of the history of our country has been created around, and was focused
on, a single and totally unique idea. In 1776, the words of Thomas Jefferson
boldly proclaiming that "All men are created equal" resounded through our
new country. Wars and unrest have followed, and still occur, as a result of
this seemingly simple proclamation. This unique idea, however
straightforward, is still being fought not only in the judicial system, but
in our very own streets.
As our new country moved forward, a huge westward push emerged. Hundreds of
early settlers grasped the idea to expand our new country westward. Wagons
were supplied with food, clothing, and utensils of all kinds as the draw of
land, gold, or simply the idea of a new way of life called to these hearty
and adventurous souls.
As this infant country progressed, many creative thinkers developed the
radio, telephone, and even a horseless carriage. Throughout the 19th and
20th centuries, an explosion of progress in many areas became evident.
In 1886 the Statue of Liberty was erected on Ellis Island and welcomed
immigrants to this growing nation. At the same time, land owners were using
freed slaves as sharecroppers to plow their vast plantations, to pick
cotton, and to generally serve their old masters. These practices clashed
with the concept of equal rights. The question of civil rights began to loom
on the horizon, and conflict arose. War and controversy spilled over in our
As agricultural issues were becoming overshadowed by manufacturing, civil
rights and issues of equality began to appear. But little attention was
given to those citizens who were blind or had other disabilities.
In 1940 another forward thinker set forth a new and innovative idea about
the role of the blind in this country, but he has received little
acknowledgement in the history books. Dr. Jacobus tenBroek, a blind attorney
and professor, set forth the unique notion that the blind should have a
voice in their own affairs. This thought-provoking proclamation has also
created ripples through the country. Agencies established for the sole
purpose of caring for the blind have not only been unhappy with this belief
but have attempted to thwart such thoughts on the part of the public.
In 1940, in Wilkes-barre, Pennsylvania, Dr. Jacobus tenBroek brought
together a group of 16 blind people from seven states and organized the
National Federation of the Blind. The seven states represented were
California, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and
Wisconsin. This meeting was somewhat miraculous considering that in this
time of our history, blind people were considered to be either indigents or
paupers and were mostly closeted with no voice in their affairs. Jacobus
tenBroek was a true visionary, and much like Martin Luther King, Jr., had a
dream of equality. He realized, even at this early time, that the plight of
the blind was primarily the result of discrimination and untrue belief
systems shared by the general public.
Since those early days, the NFB has encountered resistance from many, but it
has steadily grown stronger and more influential. Agencies for the blind
flourished and attempted to determine the path that blind citizens should
follow. Sheltered workshops sprang up under the guise of employment for the
blind. Blind workers were given menial tasks such as broom-making and
basketry, and they were never encouraged to gain meaningful employment.
These workers were paid disgraceful sub-minimum wages regardless of their
actual abilities. Conditions were deplorable, and the issue of
self-confidence was never addressed.
Unfortunately, there are still some agencies for the blind that have the
invalid idea that they know what is best for those of us who happen to be
blind. They continue to make attempts to monitor, establish guidelines for,
and control other agencies providing services for the blind. Little if any
consideration is given to those successful agencies operated by blind
professionals. Does it not seem reasonable that blind professionals have the
knowledge and expertise to operate such training facilities? How is it that
many sighted professionals are unable to understand the benefits of such
The National Federation of the Blind has been strengthened by continued
outstanding leadership. Following the incredible leadership of Jacobus
tenBroek, Dr. Kenneth Jernigan was elected president in 1968. The Jernigan
administration launched the NFB into a new era of education. The goal to
educate the sighted, as well as the blind, was enhanced by the creation of
Kernel Books in 1991. Dr. Jernigan believed that these small books, written
by blind people, would assist in the effort to educate the general public.
Dr. Jernigan did all of this and much more. A warehouse building in the
south Federal Hill area of Baltimore was transformed into the National
Center for the Blind. Leadership seminars, technology training, the aids and
appliances programs, public service announcements, and the International
Braille and Technology Center evolved within this building. Three
residential training centers for the blind were established in Louisiana,
Colorado, and Minnesota.
Dr. Marc Maurer, an attorney, was elected to the position of president in
1986 and revealed his visions for the future. Ensconced in the philosophical
foundations laid by tenBroek and Jernigan, Marc Maurer projected a renewed
enthusiasm. The Jernigan Institute was established with an incredible
In his 2010 banquet address, Dr. Maurer outlined the progress of the
National Federation of the Blind and referred to himself as the third
generation of the organization. He considered Dr. Jacobus tenBroek as the
first generation, Dr. Kenneth Jernigan as the second generation, and that
the fourth generation of Federationists was already handling much of the
work of the Federation, with the fifth generation on the horizon.
In 2014, yet another dynamic leader emerged. Mark Riccobono believes that
we, as blind citizens, have the right to live the life we want. Live music
and enthusiasm set the stage for this young, energetic leader.
Throughout the history of our nation, as well as that of the NFB, not all
ideas are perceived to be good ideas. It is early in President Riccobono's
administration, but he is being challenged with troubling actions. Once
again, agencies comprised of mostly sighted people seem to be intent on
creating standards for programs that train blind individuals. Historical
evidence points to the fact that the National Federation of the Blind will
simply not allow these attempts to succeed. If necessary, we will again take
to the streets with our message. This organization, aided by the profound
leadership of blind men and women, will not allow blind people to be treated
as second-class citizens. We have come too far to allow this to occur. It is
imperative to maintain the high profile and professional standards that have
been established by decades of devoted efforts. Riccobono has proudly picked
up the gauntlet and will lead the battle to allow blind citizens to live the
life we want.
NEW MEXICO GOES TO THE
2018 WASHINGTON SEMINAR
By Curtis Chong
Long-time members of the National Federation of the Blind know that each
year, near the end of January, Federationists from across the country
converge on Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress to educate them
about issues that are of concern to the blind of the nation. This year, the
Washington Seminar was held from January 29 through the first of February.
We hoped that because the State of the Union address would take place on the
evening of January 30, members of Congress would be in their offices and
more likely to meet in person with their blind constituents.
This year, six stalwart members of the National Federation of the Blind of
New Mexico traveled to Washington to attend the seminar: Adelmo and Soledad
Vigil; Curtis and Peggy Chong; Kaity Ellis; and her grandmother, Phyllis
Conner. During the weekend before the seminar, state presidents and students
gathered for meetings at our National Center for the Blind. Consequently,
Adelmo, Soledad, Kaity, and Phyllis had an excellent opportunity to meet
with fellow Federationists from other states.
We dealt with four issues at this year's Washington Seminar:
*Passing the Accessible Instructional Materials in Higher Education (Aim
High) Act, which creates voluntary accessibility guidelines for educational
technology to stimulate the market, improve blind students access to course
materials, and reduce litigation for schools;
*Passing the Access Technology Affordability Act (ATAA) so that blind
Americans can obtain costly access technology through a refundable tax
*Strongly opposing the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 (H.R. 620),
which significantly erodes equal access protections and progress made since
the original passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990; and
*Ratifying and passing legislation to implement the Marrakesh Treaty, which
enables cross-border exchange of accessible books, thereby vastly expanding
the availability of accessible foreign language literature to blind and
otherwise print-disabled Americans.
Our group from New Mexico was able to visit all five offices of our
Congressional delegation in Washington and meet with key staff members to
discuss these issues. We were glad of the chance to spend a few minutes with
Senator Tom Udall, who has frequently made it a point to meet in person with
Federationists from New Mexico.
On Tuesday evening, the same night as the State of the Union address, New
Mexico Federationists were pleased to attend a reception, hosted by the
National Federation of the Blind, at the Newseum. The purpose of this
significant event was to celebrate our partnership with John Olson and his
innovative 3D photo technology, to promote greater accessibility in museums,
and to honor the sacrifices of the Marines that fought in the Tet Offensive.
We were thrilled to be able to touch tactile representations of some of the
pictures and to hear audio recordings describing them. There were even some
live audio interviews with veterans who had participated in the Tet
Attending a Washington Seminar is very much like going to a smallerbut no
less vibrantconvention of the National Federation of the Blind. The energy,
enthusiasm, and strong sense of camaraderie which can be found throughout
our national conventions was just as pervasive at the Washington Seminar. I
have been going to Washington Seminars off and on for decades now, and I
always return from these trips feeling a renewed sense of commitment and
determination. The National Federation of the Blind is truly the vehicle of
collective action for the blind of America.
TACTILE ARIAL MAPS AVAILABLE
By Mary Willows
Many people have asked me how I oriented myself to a totally new city when I
moved from California to Albuquerque. One of the tips I would like to share
is a service provided by the San Francisco Lighthouse for the Blind. It is
now possible to send your new address and receive back a tactile map of the
area surrounding that address. So I got online at
For a reasonable price you will receive three versions of the area. The
first is within a block or two of the address. The second view includes a
little larger view, and the third is the area within about half a mile of
the address. You can give them any address. So if you want to see an aerial
view of a mall or park, you can do that. The instructions for how to read
the tactile map are included. It is very interesting to discover dead-end
roads or horseshoe-shaped streets that are not obvious to us when driving in
The Lighthouse website indicates that to order a map, you would call their
product specialists at the Adaptations Store at 1-888-400-8933 and specify
the destination of the map you are interested in. So whether you have moved
to a new place or just want to learn more about your neighborhood, this is a
great way to do it.
LOCAL TEACHER DEVELOPS NAVAJO BRAILLE CODE
By Noel Lyn Smith, nsmith at daily-times.com
Published 4:29 p.m. MT, December 30, 2017
[This article is posted on the website of the Farmington Daily Times:
FARMINGTON As Carol Begay Green's index finger moved along the Navajo
braille code she developed, she read aloud a story about a boy and his
Green, a teacher of the blind and visually impaired for the Farmington
Municipal School District, has developed a braille code for the Navajo
Braille is a system of raised dots that enables people who are blind or
visually impaired to read and write through touch, according to the American
Foundation for the Blind.
The Navajo braille code Green developed uses English Braille with the
absence of the letters f, p, q, r, u and v and with the addition of a
prefix code for the vowels a, e, i and o.
Photo Caption: Carol Green talks about her braille system for the Navajo
language, to her knowledge the only such system in existence, on Thursday in
There is also code to instruct the reader to pronounce vowels as eight
plain, high tone, plain nasal or high tone and nasal.
"The advantage of having this code for the reader is that they can
distinguish and pronounce everything properly," Green said.
Green, who is born for Tó'aheedlííníí (Water Flow Together Clan), was raised
in Michigan but visited her parental grandparents in Lukachukai, Arizona.
She learned basic words in the Navajo language from her grandparents and the
exposure instilled a lifelong interest in further learning the language.
During Green's junior year in college, she transferred to Northern Arizona
University in Flagstaff, Arizona, and graduated from there in 1991.
Before joining the Farmington Municipal School District in 2010, she taught
at Red Mesa Elementary School in Red Mesa, Arizona and at Nataani Nez
Elementary School in Shiprock.
Photo Caption: The Navajo language is in some cases a requirement for
students to apply for scholarships. Carol Begay Green wanted blind or
visually impaired students to have fair opportunity.
Green developed vision problems as a child and eventually lost sight in her
left eye at 13.
Cataract surgery in her right eye in 2000 led to further decline in her
vision and, in 2009, she learned how to read and write braille.
Since she wanted to continue learning how to speak, read and write Navajo,
she asked the Braille Authority of North America in 2013 if a braille code
for Navajo was available.
When she found out there was none, she began working on one. To her
knowledge, her work resulted in the first code for Navajo.
Another reason Green, who has a National Certification in Unified English
Braille, developed the Navajo braille code was to provide the opportunity
for blind and visually impaired Navajo students to learn about their
With the Navajo language being taught in schools, and in some cases, a
requirement for students to apply for scholarships, Green wanted blind or
visually impaired students to have fair opportunity.
"I thought if I am going to develop it for myself, then I might as well
share it so these children have that opportunity. The same as their peers,"
In a resolution passed by the Navajo Nation Board of Education in October
2015, the Navajo braille code was adopted to teach blind and visually
impaired tribal members Navajo.
Green continues to share information about the code at various conferences
and in presentations across the country.
One of Green's students in Farmington is a Navajo girl who is learning
"She is just learning braille. As she moves in her progress, she might want
to take the Navajo language in junior high and high school. That will be an
option to her now," Green said.
Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be
reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at
nsmith at daily-times.com.
GREEN CHILI APPLE PIE ENCHILADAS
By Don Burns
Fun and easy to make.
1 (21 Ounce) can of apple pie filling
6 (8 inch) flour tortillas
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup margarine
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp green chili powder
Preheat oven to 350.
Mix green chili powder into apple pie filling.
Spoon pie filling evenly on all six tortillas, sprinkle with cinnamon.
Roll up tortillas and place seam side down on lightly greased 8x8 baking
Bring margarine, sugar and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat and
simmer, stirring constantly for three minutes.
Pour sauce evenly over the rolled enchiladas, sprinkle with extra cinnamon
on top. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.
Serve as six large enchiladas, or cut in half and serve 12 small enchiladas.
You may substitute peaches and 1 tbsp of habanero jam for the apples and
USEFUL WEBSITES, APPS, AND TELEPHONE NUMBERS
Go here to get the lowest price for your prescription drugs in your
Go here to have junk mail substantially reduced.
Go here and print out the "where to find my important papers" checklist.
This includes many categories such as passwords, wills and trusts, combo to
your safe or safety deposit box and much more.
Go here and find two versions of the Jitterbug phone designed for blind and
low vision users: the Jitterbug Smart and the original Jitterbug flip phone.
Go here and find many scholarships available that are not well known, for
which you might qualify.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
March 31: National NFB Scholarship applications due by this date. They range
in amount from $3,000 to $12,000 and will be awarded at the National NFB
Convention in Florida in July. Go to <http://www.nfb.org/scholarships>
www.nfb.org/scholarships for more information.
April 15: deadline for applications for Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award
April 19-22: NFB of New Mexico State convention to be held in Albuquerque at
the Sheraton Uptown hotel at 2600 Louisiana Blvd Ne.
July 3-8: National NFB Convention to be held in Orlando, Florida.
More information about the NFB-Seniors