[nfbmi-talk] Newsletter of the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado

Larry Posont president.nfb.mi at gmail.com
Thu Feb 28 21:40:26 CST 2013

Dear Michigan Federationists:

     Here is some information from Colorado you may want to read.

FYI  Enjoy a little news from the Rocky Mountain State.
From: Colorado-talk [mailto:colorado-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of
Lisa Bonderson
 [image: NFBCO] <http://www.nfbco.org/>

Newsletter of the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado

Vol. 3 No. 1

* *

*Scott C. LaBarre*

NFB of Colorado President

2233 W. Shepperd Avenue

Littleton, CO 80120

Phone: (303) 778-1130

slabarre at nfbco.org

*Kevan Worley*


1837 S. Nevada Avenue

PMB 243

Colorado Springs, CO 80905

Phone: (866) 543-6808

kevanworley at blindmerchants.org

* *

*Table of Contents:*

A Letter from the Editor
______________________________________________      Page 3

>From the President's Desk _____________________________________________
Page 4

Jessica At Large _____________________________________________________
Page 6

Presidential Report __________________________________________________
Page 8

NFB-NEWSLINE® at Your Finger Tips: Push It, Flick It, Click It, Read It
___________ Page 16

Resolutions, 2012 NFB State Convention _________________________________
Page 19

Indy Super BLAST 2013 _______________________________________________
Page 26

* *

* *

*A Letter from the Editor*

Dear Reader,

Wow! It's been a long time since our last *Blind Coloradan.* Let me
apologize, dear reader. As you recall, it was our intention to publish a
newsletter approximately four times a year. Well, it looks like we will be
publishing about three times per year. We are committed to a newsletter. We
know of the great need for information distribution. We must spread news of
our meetings and events, and provide the philosophical perspective of the
NFB to those within our organization, as well as others who enjoy reading
the *Blind Coloradan. *I do regret the delay, but during our hiatus you can
rest assured that this affiliate has been on the move. You will read about
that movement in these pages. We hope we inspire you. We hope there is
information in these pages which will be useful to you. Our next
publication date will be just prior to the National Convention. So, send
your articles, ideas and accomplishments. We look forward to sharing them
with friends and colleagues.

At Your Service,

Kevan Worley

Aggregator & Contributor

*From the President's Desk*

First, let me start by wishing all of you a happy 2013 and may you have an
excellent year. Of course, I wish our Federation the same thing and expect
it to come true. As I write this, we are at the 2013 Washington Seminar.

There will be approximately fifteen of us representing the NFB of Colorado
and we have appointments scheduled with our seven Representatives and two
Senators. Go to our main NFB website to read about this year's national
legislative priorities.

On February 27th, 2013, we will conduct our Annual Day at the Capitol
starting at 8:00 am in the Old Supreme Court Chambers, which is located on
the 2nd floor of our State Capitol.  This year we will again seek state
funding for our NFB Newsline Program and pursue legislation that guarantees
access to education in our state, which is becoming more and more digitally
based. It is likely that we will pursue other items and those are presently
under consideration. Join us on the 27th of February and let the voice of
Colorado's blind be heard.

We plan on conducting an in-person, public Board Meeting of the NFB of
Colorado in March where we will discuss our ongoing priorities as an
organization. Stay tuned to our website and email lists for the date and
time of the meeting. Currently, we are targeting March 2nd at our Colorado
Center for the Blind but this has not been set in stone.

Once again, the NFB of Colorado will be offering academic scholarships for
up to five blind Colorado students. Buna Dahal, our State Secretary, is
chairing that committee and applications are due by April 15th. Go to our
website, www.nfbco.org, to obtain the application and other relevant

The NFB of Colorado will be offering limited financial assistance to our
National Convention in Orlando, July 1-6. The deadline to apply for such
assistance is May 1st and you can contact Lisa Bonderson at
lbonderson at labarrelaw.com or 303-504-5979 to process your application.

Before you know it, it will be time for our State Convention. We will be
holding the Convention in Colorado Springs and don't be surprised if the
Convention is a little earlier this year. There is a possibility that we
will conduct the Convention during the first weekend of October. Stay tuned
for details. We expect to finalize this year's convention plans in the next
couple of weeks.

Thank you for your support and commitment to our Federation. It takes all
of us to change what it means to be blind. May the rest of your winter be
not too cold or snowy. I look forward to seeing all of you at our various

Scott C. LaBarre
National Federation of the Blind of Colorado

* *

* *

*Jessica At Large*

*From the Editor:** I told you that during our hiatus from publishing this
newsletter, the NFB of Colorado has been on the move. This is so because of
our members and our great leadership driven by a philosophy of empowerment
and change. One manifestation of that commitment and imagination is the
tremendous work being done by Jessica Beecham. As most readers know,
Jessica was hired last spring. She 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. Here it is. *

2013 is shaping up to be a busy and exciting year for the NFB of Colorado.
The NFB of Colorado Board of Directors and staff from the Colorado Center
for the Blind started things off in true Federation fashion with a
leadership seminar at the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan
Institute (NFBJI) in Baltimore, January 2-6. Dr. Maurer, Mrs. Maurer and
Mark Riccobono spent the weekend showing off the building, teaching the
history of our organization, and helping us take a closer look at the
future of the NFB of Colorado. Besides learning that 300 average-sized
houses or 150 Kevan Worley-sized houses could fit into our NFBJI building
along with lots of other useful information about the Federation, we had
the opportunity to grill our own steaks, use a chainsaw, enjoy lots of warm
cookie breaks, and get to know one another better. Our Board of Directors
and staff from the Center came back with tons of knowledge, innovative
ideas, and the energy and enthusiasm that is sure to help the NFB of
Colorado do GREAT things in 2013.

Since the last issue of *The Blind Coloradan*, our Community At Large
chapter, our chapter that meets via conference call, officially adopted a
constitution and elected a Board of Directors. The new President is Penn
Street of Loveland; the Vice President is Alice George of Loveland; the
Secretary is Karen Norton of Fort Collins; the Treasurer is Mark Meusborn
of Holyoke; and the Board Member is Zubie Devish of Meeker. NFBCO is very
proud of our Community At Large chapter and expects to see great things in
the upcoming year. A special thank you goes out to Beth Allred,* *Buna
Dahal, Julie Deden, and Eric Woods who served as the Executive Committee
for the Community At Large chapter while it was in the development stages;
as well as to Diane McGeorge who willingly offered her time, support, and
advice to ensure the success of the chapter. If you or someone you know
would like to be involved in the NFB of Colorado but do not have access to
an in person chapter meeting, please join our call. The Community At Large
chapter meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 7:00 PM. To access our
meeting, dial 605-475-6700 and enter access code 3566475#. We will be
organizing a chapter in Fort Collins at the beginning of March, so if you
have blind friends in the area please let them know we are coming and pass
along our contact information. Anyone interested in more information about
the Fort Collins chapter can call Jessica Beecham at 303-778-1130,
extension 223, or e-mail jbeecham at cocenter.org.

NFBCO has continued to do lots of work with the Colorado School for the
Deaf and Blind (CSDB). We are still working to launch our Mentors Offering
a Vision of Excellence and Success (MOVES) for blind students program. "If
the good Lord's willing and the creek don't rise" as they say in Tennessee,
our program will begin in mid-February. Brent Batron and I have been
working on the strategic planning committee at CSDB to give our input about
the future direction of the school. During our last session there was a lot
of brainstorming and sharing of ideas. In our next meeting on February 13,
these ideas will be narrowed down into more specific areas of focus. We
will keep our members up to date on CSDB happenings as they pertain to NFB
of Colorado. Brent and I, along with three students from the Colorado
Center for the Blind, assisted in the 2013 Braille Challenge. More advanced
Braille learners took tests to determine speed, accuracy, and knowledge of
Braille. Our group worked with the rookie learners and got to play games
like Braille twister, Braille cards, spelling challenge, and more. The day
ended with Goalball instruction by United States Association of Blind
Athletes. Everyone had a fantastic time!

Our chapters around Colorado are doing lots of exciting work. The Mile High
chapter will be holding a wine and chocolate tasting on February 10th from
2:00 PM to 5:00 PM at D'Vine Wine, located at 1660 Champa St., Denver,
Colorado. Tickets are $25.00 and can be purchased at the door or by calling
Jessica at 303-778-1130, extension 223. The Colorado Springs chapter is
looking into the formation of a community Braille class. This will be a
great project to help individuals who are blind gain the gift of Braille
literacy. The Boulder Valley chapter is focusing on reaching out to
individuals in Longmont so that they can attend Boulder Valley chapter
meetings until there are enough participants to form a Longmont chapter.
The Greeley chapter is working to plan a Do It Different Expo to show the
community alternative ways that the blind access technology and perform
daily tasks with high and low tech devices. It is always a joy to be
involved in the great work being done by our chapters throughout the

Brenda Mosby and I have formed an employment committee, which will ideally
transform into an employment division. Our initial plan is to offer
employment seminars which will educate individuals who are blind about the
skills necessary to get a job, what employers are looking for, as well as
introduce participants to prospective employers in the area. We will also
be creating YouTube videos about employment topics such as dressing for
success, acing the interview, work place dos and don'ts, and more. Our
first employment seminar will take place in Pueblo. When the details have
been decided information will be available on our website at www.nfbco.org,
so keep checking to learn more.

This year is going to be another GREAT one for the NFB of Colorado and we
want YOU to know EVERYTHING that is happening around Colorado!  Keep
reading "Jessica At Large" in the Blind Coloradan, check our website at
www.nfbco.org, read our blog at http://nfbco.blogspot.com, follow us on
Twitter @nfbco, like us on Facebook by searching for National Federation of
the Blind NFBCO, and stay tuned to our local NFB-NEWSLINE channel. For more
information about how you can become more involved with the NFB of
Colorado, Contact Jessica Beecham at jbeecham at cocenter.org or by phone at
303-778-1130, extension 223.

*Celebrating Our Success and Embracing Our Future:*

*A Presidential Report*

By Scott C. LaBarre

*Delivered before the 58th Annual Convention of the National Federation of
the Blind of Colorado*

*October 26, 2012*

Blindness, the very thought, strikes fear into the hearts of many; signals
helplessness to most; and represents a manageable challenge to a determined
few. We, the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado, fall into this
latter group. We formed in 1955 for the expressed purpose of combating the
debilitating stereotypes and misconceptions born out of the fears held by
so many. As we have often said, it is not our physical disability that
prevents us from achieving first class citizenship and full participation
in the mainstream of society. Rather, the artificial barriers and attitudes
erected by society represent the true limitations we face. Over the last
fifty-seven years, we have devoted ourselves to taking down these barriers
piece by piece, person by person. In the ways of the universe, fifty-seven
years is such a miniscule period of time, yet the progress we have achieved
can only be called extraordinary. The success we have achieved in this past
year is no different and gives us great confidence that our dream of true
equality will be realized.

This year, we have taken a slightly different focus with our convention.
Not only are we celebrating our success and looking to our future with
hope, we have spent considerable time examining our past. Yesterday's
history seminar reminded us from where we came and how we have built such
great success in Colorado. Tomorrow, Mrs. Jernigan will remind us that the
power of the Federation here in Colorado stems from the fertile land
planted and nurtured by our national movement. It is no mistake that our
Federation reminds us that from Hawaii and Alaska to Florida and Maine, we
are one movement. Although the Federation has a slightly different
personality here in Colorado, we are an indispensable part of the national
movement and the national movement is indispensable part of us. We grow and
succeed only while working together in one organization, one movement.

*Colorado Center for the Blind*

As I have said from this podium several times in the past, our chief
program is the Colorado Center for the Blind. It is the living, breathing
embodiment of who we are. It is the application of our philosophy to real
life. Our Center demonstrates that our philosophy is much more than just
theory. It is a formula for independence and true first class citizenship.
Tomorrow, you will hear from our Center and all its success in the last
year. Our program has touched countless lives, not only here in Colorado,
not only throughout the United States but all throughout the world. I have
not enough space in this report to highlight all the achievements of our
Center in the last year, but there is one I must mention. On May 11, 2012,
we cut the ribbon and officially opened McGeorge Mountain Terrace. This is
our very own apartment where our Center students can live and put their
independent living skills to the test. We have always rented student
apartments, of course, but this beautiful complex is ours. Due to our
success and status in the community as recognized by the Karl Smith estate
and others, we had the financial capacity and maturity to purchase this 2.5
million dollar facility. Money from estates does not magically fall from
the skies like manna. It comes as a direct result of the great work we do.
After all, people do not want to leave money to organizations and causes
they deem unworthy. The strength of our Center comes from the excellent
leadership exhibited by our Executive Director, Julie Deden, the great
capacity of our staff, the wonderful spirit and enthusiasm of our students,
and, perhaps most important, the support of all of us through our
Federation. In 2013, we will celebrate the Silver Anniversary of our
Center. The first twenty-five years haven't always been easy but they have
been wildly successful. The heights to which our Center shall exceed in the
next twenty-five years will only be limited by our imagination and our
unwavering hope for the blind of our nation and world.

*Colorado Commission for Individuals Who are Blind or Visually Impaired*

On May 24, 2007, Governor Bill Ritter signed into law H.B. 07-1274 which
allowed the sun to rise on the Colorado Commission for Individuals Who Are
Blind and Visually Impaired (CCIBVI). The Commission's charge was to
evaluate and make recommendations concerning programs affecting the blind
including vocational rehabilitation, the Randolph-Sheppard Program,
independent living programs, prevocational programs, and anything else of
importance to the blind of Colorado. At first, we had great hope that this
Commission could make a real difference. The authorizing legislation
mandated that the Commission sunset this year, 2012, unless the General
Assembly specifically reauthorized it to continue.

As part of our 2012 legislative agenda as established by resolution of this
convention, we advised the General Assembly that even though we were the
ones to create the Commission, we had great reservations about allowing it
to continue. The fact is that the Commission made no significant progress
in achieving any of its legislative mandates over the five years of its
existence. There were many reasons why this was so, including a lack of
staff, lack of appointments from the Governor's office to fill positions on
the Commission, a lack of priority placed on the Commission's programs, and
political squabbles on the Commission. Even though the Colorado Department
of Regulatory Agencies recommended that the Commission be continued, on
24, 2012, the House Health and Environment Committee voted by a nine to one
margin that the sun be allowed to set on CCIBVI. It is our testimony and
organizational strength that made this happen. We must always remain a
strong advocate for the programs we need, but once we realize that a
program has failed, even if it is one we ourselves advocated be created, we
must maintain the strength to call for its termination.

*Goodwill Protests*

Last year, I reported to you that on the twentieth anniversary of the ADA,
over eighty of us gathered before the Colorado office of U.S. Senator
Michael Bennett to protest legislation that would have linked the
subminimum wage provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act to the
Rehabilitation Act. Due to our protests all over the nation, Congress
dropped that legislation and it hasn't raised its ugly head since. In
addition to our protests, we introduced into Congress H.R. 3086 which would
eliminate the lawful practice of paying workers with disabilities less than
the federally mandated minimum wage.

As we examined this issue more closely, we discovered that one of the
largest employers which still pays subminimum wages is Goodwill Industries.
Goodwill purports to be a leading advocate for the employment of people
with disabilities yet pays thousands upon thousands of them less than the
minimum wage, sometimes as little as twenty-two cents an hour.

We felt it was imperative to bring this issue to the attention of the
public and media and that is why we, along with nearly fifty other
organizations, called for a nationwide boycott of Goodwill Thrift Stores
earlier this spring. Additionally, we let it be known that on August 25,
2012, we would protest in front of Goodwill stores all throughout America.
Here in Colorado, we have two main branches of Goodwill, Goodwill
Industries of Denver and Goodwill Industries of Southern Colorado based out
of Colorado Springs and we confirmed that both these entities routinely pay
less than the minimum wage to workers with disabilities, sometimes less
than a dollar an hour. In advance, of the protests, we reached out to both
of these entities to engage in a discussion of their policies. The Goodwill
in the Springs absolutely refused to speak with us and the one in Denver
agreed to meet with us. Although the discussion with the Denver based
Goodwill was an honest exchange of views resulting in a further commitment
to keep talking, Goodwill Denver said that it would not, at this time,
change its policies.

So, on August 25, 2012, we joined over ninety other protests throughout
America and staged two protests in front of Goodwill stores, one in Denver
and the other in Colorado Springs. Over ninety of our members  and several
others from the Colorado Cross Disability Coalition carried picket signs,
chanted slogans, sang songs, and let the public and media know all about
Goodwill's unfair practices. Thousands of members of the public saw our
picket lines and took our informational pamphlets. Hundreds of thousands
saw the news stories and read the articles that came out of our protests.

Afterwards, the Goodwill in Colorado Springs did in fact agree to meet with
us, and on September 4, 2012, Dr. Maurer who happened to be in town, Kevan
Worley, and I met with a contingent of  the Springs Goodwill including
their CEO and members of their board. They agreed to take our concerns and
ongoing request that the practice of paying less than the minimum wage be
stopped back to their board. We will continue our efforts to change
Goodwill's mind and we will push for passage of the Fair Wages for Workers
with Disabilities Act so that Goodwill shall have no choice in the matter.

It is astonishing to me that we must engage in this battle early in the
twenty-first century and some twenty-one years after passage of the ADA.
When people tell me that things aren't so bad for the blind or disabled any
more, all I need to do is think of the struggle we face trying to obtain
fair wages for workers with disabilities. On this issue, some try to tell
me that it is complex and not as simple as we portray it. Really?  If you
as an organization expect someone to show up on time every day and labor to
make some product and you sell that product to advance the mission of your
organization and you pay wages which can be taxed, we call that activity
work and everyone in America gets paid the minimum wage except for workers
with disabilities. This is blatant, unadulterated discrimination and we
can't stand for it!  We must work as hard as we know how to eradicate this
great injustice. We will not rest until every worker with a disability in
our great land knows that he or she can expect to be paid fairly. We know
how to get this done and we will!

*Google Apps for Government*

The digital era presents great opportunity for those of us who are blind.
We can get our hands on the same information at the same time as the
sighted. We can, if the system being used to transmit the information is
compatible with the assistive technology that we use. If the system is not
compatible, then the door of opportunity is slammed firmly shut in our
faces and we are just as far away from true equality as ever.

We currently have an example of this very dilemma blooming right here in
Colorado. Our state government has adopted Google Apps for Government and
is in the process of requiring all state employees to use it. The problem
is that large portions of Google Apps are totally inaccessible. If this
lack of access is not remedied very soon, our blind state employees will
become far less efficient and not be able to keep up with their sighted
colleagues. Someone like our very own Jon Deden who works as a Securities
Examiner for the State of Colorado may find his job in jeopardy.

We will not stand for this. Colorado's purchase of Google Apps violates the
very law that we got passed in 2001. That law requires the State to
purchase only technology that is compatible with the assistive technology
that we use. Beyond violating this law, forcing blind employees to use
inaccessible technology runs afoul of the Colorado Anti-discrimination Act,
the Americans With Disabilities Act, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation
Acct. Under Dr. Maurer's signature, our national president, we have sent a
letter to Governor Hickenlooper and the State Chief Technology Officer
demanding that this problem be fixed immediately. Our hope is that our
dialogue will lead to an accessible solution. Regardless, if discussion and
negotiation do not work, we will take all means available to us to force
the State of Colorado to follow the letter and spirit of the law. We will
not be left on the wrong side of the digital divide. It is our right under
law and we will see to it that our right to work in a discrimination free
work place is protected. After all, that is why we have the National
Federation of the Blind.

*Colorado BEP*

The Federation has been the nationwide leader in establishing and
maintaining the Randolph-Sheppard Program. This program grants a priority
for trained and licensed blind managers to operate food and vending
facilities on federal property and we have a very similar law on the books
in Colorado as to state properties. Recently, we have learned that the
State is opening a new administrative courts building which will have over
1200 employees. By right and Colorado law, food and vending opportunities
at the building must go to our Colorado Randolph-Sheppard Program. The
state is attempting to avoid our program and give the food service and
vending to an outside party. We won't stand for this!  We have filed a
complaint and will see to it that it is a blind licensed manager who
operates the food and vending facilities at this new building.

*Bell Programs*

Last year, I reported to you on the success of our first BELL Program,
Braille Enrichment through Literacy and Learning. This year, we expanded
and ran two BELL Programs, one in the Denver area and one in Colorado
Springs. We served fifteen children and their families. Michelle Chacon and
Diane McGeorge served as our coordinators and did a terrific job. Countless
others pitched in and helped out such as Marty Rahn who served as our lead
teacher in C. Springs, Quinita Thomas, Eddie Culp, Ann Cunningham, Amelia
Dickerson, Buna Dahal, and others. I had the opportunity to visit each
program and spend several hours with the children. I circulated through
every learning station, and from writing thank you cards to reading
exercises to drawing tactile diagrams, Braille was the key component. The
kids also engaged in a number of fun activities from visiting the swimming
pool to enjoying local pizzerias where the kids were allowed to tour the
kitchen and make their own pizzas. The key distinguishing component of our
BELL program is that it is almost exclusively taught by blind teachers and
role models. When I asked the kiddos what they were learning, they told me
that they were learning how to be free and independent, learning how to be
their own advocate, and learning that they should not be ashamed of being
blind. We can be very proud that we have the capacity to touch these lives
at a young age and that these children are coming into contact with our
philosophy and our people much earlier than the vast majority of us had the
opportunity to enjoy. Imagine how much brighter the future of these
children is because they are armed with literacy tools and, more important,
the self-confidence and belief in self espoused by the Federation. The BELL
rings loudly and clearly in Colorado and it sounds a future full of great
hope and promise.

*Educate Blind Children Now*

Last year, we established as one of our highest priorities the education of
blind children in our state. We intended to conduct a thorough and robust
review of how all education programs are affecting blind youth in our
state. The Educate Blind Children Now Committee under the leadership of
Kevan Worley has been doing exactly that, conducting high level meetings
with the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind and the Colorado Department
of Education. We will receive a full report from this Committee tomorrow.
Although education for blind youth in our state is good, we must strive to
make it better and we shall.

*The Blind Coloradan*

Over the last fifteen months, we have now published five Blind Coloradans.
Our newsletter has grown considerably in its scope and effect. The last
issue, for example, contained, for the first time, a table of contents and
ran nearly forty pages. The Blind Coloradan has helped us reach thousands
in our state, and many others throughout the country and world have been
reading it as well.

*Chapter Development*

Last year, I told the affiliate that we planned on hiring a full-time
chapter and community development coordinator and we did exactly that. In
mid March, Jessica Beecham joined our ranks and she has been doing a
terrific job ever since. It is impossible even to summarize all she has
done, but I will highlight a few items. She has traveled all over the state
to visit existing chapters and start identifying sites for new ones like
Rocky Ford, for example. She has led the effort to create our statewide, at
large chapter. She has put us on the map in the social media world by
revamping our website, creating an NFBCO Twitter account, developing an
NFBCO Facebook Page, and starting an NFBCO blog. The blog has been visited
by some one thousand-thirty different individuals who mostly come from the
U.S. but also visit us from Russia, United Kingdom, Germany, Latvia,
Canada, Malaysia, Sweden, France, Korea, India, Australia, and Ukraine. She
has maintained and built our membership database to include over 900
individuals. You will notice that our local channel on NFB Newsline now
contains several new categories and up to date information. We will be
starting a mentorship program with CSDB soon. This and so much more has
been accomplished by Jessica alone or through her leadership. You will hear
from Jessica directly on Sunday morning for a full report. Needless to say,
we are very grateful that Jessica is now a part of our family; here in

*Chapter Highlights*

Our strength comes from several sources, one of the most important of which
is our chapters. In the last year, our chapters have helped to make us a
stronger and more dynamic affiliate. Like so many other items in this
report, I cannot possibly tell you every wonderful thing that our chapters
have been doing, but I will attempt to capture the flavor and essence of
how we are changing what it means to be blind.

We have often said that our future resides in the student chapter. They
have been busy this year by participating in technology conferences where
our very own Antonio Rozier, President of the Colorado Association of Blind
Students, has been delivering major speeches on assistive technology.
Additionally, the students conducted one of the most successful leadership
seminars in years with dozens of participants and great participation from
our state board.

Under the tremendous leadership of Michelle Chacon, our North Metro Chapter
continues to grow and has held a number of successful fundraisers like the
spectacular evening at Spero Winery where we sampled wonderful Colorado
wines and tasty Italian foods. These fundraisers have allowed the chapter
to send people to national and state conventions. The Chapter has also been
conducting information campaigns at local north metro libraries.

Gary Van Dorn capably leads our Mile High Chapter and it too has grown in
the last year. Its fundraising, through a chocolate tasting last year, has
allowed it to support, financially, our BELL Programs and is helping to
send people to our national and state conventions.

Maryann Migliorelli leads our Boulder Valley Chapter and it changes what it
means to be blind by getting Braillers into the hands of blind youth,
providing assistive technology to CU students, partnering with a local YMCA
to make workout machines accessible and working with CU engineering
students to develop equipment for adaptive recreation.

Because of the amazing and energetic leadership of Jeanette Fortin, Our
Colorado Springs Chapter grows rapidly as evidenced by sending nine members
to national convention this year and holding a chapter picnic this summer
which drew nearly fifty persons. The Chapter participates in several local
events and fairs, spreading a positive message about blindness.

Despite the tragic setback of losing its president, Rick Holcomb around
Christmas time last year, the Pueblo Chapter soldiers on under Michael
Massey's fine leadership. The Chapter engages in public education campaigns
throughout the community and just held a successful fundraising dinner.

Melissa Green has provided solid and steady leadership for our Greeley
Chapter and it has held a number of successful fundraising and public
education events in the last year. This summer it held one of its largest
chapter picnics ever. They also wanted to brag a little this year and point
out that three of our state scholarship winners hail from Greeley.

Brent Batron, President of our Denver Chapter, has provided excellent and
steady leadership for several years. The Chapter continues to prosper and
its achievements are too many to mention here. It has conducted information
campaigns at events all over the metro area and held a wildly successful
event on the Sixteenth Street Mall on White Cane Safety Day. The Chapter
also continues to raise significant funds to help all of our programs.
Several of our Denver Chapter members serve in various capacities with the
local transportation agency, RTD, including service on the Automated Stop
Announcement Advisory Panel. Those efforts are leading to RTD's
implementation of an automated stop announcement system which will be a
nationwide model and leader.

*Thank You and Conclusion*

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.

We know that a life with blindness need not be one of tragedy. Now,
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 and first
class citizenship. This is our Federation and this is my report to you!

* *

* *

*NFB-NEWSLINE® at Your Finger Tips: Push It, Flick It, Click It, and Read It

By Nijat Worley

*From the Editor:** One of our affiliate's favorite sons is Nijat Worley.
As we head to the Colorado state legislature to ensure funding for NFB-
NEWSLINE*®*, we thought we would publish this article from the Director of
Marketing and Outreach for NFB- NEWSLINE*®*. Some of you may know that
Nijat graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder last spring. During
his years in Colorado, he was an active state and national blind student
leader. In August he accepted a job at the NFB Jernigan Institute in
Baltimore. He grew up on NFB NEWSLINE and is now helping to spread the word
about that service to others who can benefit from it. Here is what he says.

Since July of 1995, the National Federation of the Blind has operated
NFB-NEWSLINE®, the world's largest* *newspaper service for the blind and
print-disabled. NFB-NEWSLINE® was the brainchild of the late president of
the National Federation of the Blind, Kenneth Jernigan, and today it has
expanded to something much more than just a newspaper reading service for
the blind. Currently NFB-NEWSLINE® service has over 100,000 subscribers,
and it operates in 45 states. NFB-NEWSLINE® is available on a variety of
devices carrying a number of different types of information for the blind.

Currently NFB-NEWSLINE® carries 307 local newspapers, 38 magazines, 10
international newspapers, six national newspapers, and blindness specific
publications including the Braille Monitor, Future Reflections and the
Matilda Ziegler Magazine. The Denver Post, the Colorado Springs Gazette and
the Associated Press of Colorado are the three newspapers from Colorado on

Some of the other publications on the Colorado NFB-NEWSLINE® channel
include The Blind Coloradan, information about the Colorado Center for the
Blind, news about Colorado elections, information about the Colorado
Talking Book Library for the Blind, NFB-NEWSLINE® Jernigan Institute
National News, and NFB of Colorado News, which provides news about
networking groups for blind Coloradans, scholarships for blind students,
and events and activities taking place around the state concerning the
blind. In addition, NFB-NEWSLINE® provides access to interactive television
listings, job listings, weekly target advertisements and emergency weather

Some of the new publications recently added to NFB-NEWSLINE® include the
Abilene Reporter News, Cat's Pause, Citizens Voice, Dover Post, Times
Tribune, Topeka Capital-Journal, and Winston Salem Journal, Reader's Digest
and Web MD the Magazine. The Financial Times, Kathimerini (from Greece),
and the Moscow Times were also added, as well as Future Reflections, a
publication for parents and teachers of blind children. For a full list of
all the publications on NFB-NEWSLINE®, please visit

In May of 2012, a new feature was developed that allowed users to create a
personalized newspaper containing the sections that interest them the most.
For example, readers can select the Business section from the Boston Globe,
the Sports section of the Chicago Tribune, and the Technology section of
the New York Times, etc.  Subscribers can create their own "My Newspaper"
by logging on to NFB-NEWSLINE® over the telephone. They can then enter the
subscribers control panel from the main menu by pressing zero, followed by
the five key. Currently this feature is available on the telephone service,
on the web service and on the NFB-NEWSLINE® Mobile App. This app is an iOS
app designed and maintained by NFB-NEWSLINE® to provide access to all our
content right from your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The NFB-NEWSLINE®
Mobile App version 2.0 allows NFB-NEWSLINE® readers to read their
newspapers, magazines, TV listings and emergency weather alerts right from
their smart phone or tablet. The app runs on all iOS devices running iOS
version 4.3 or later. The app is available in the Apple App Store, and you
can find it by searching for "NFB Newsline" under the search tab.

In September of 2012, we added AccuWeather emergency alert service to
NFB-NEWSLINE®. This emergency alert service provides up-to-the-minute
warnings on flashfloods, snowstorms, freezing weather advisories,
wildfires, and hurricanes to the NFB-NEWSLINE® community. The information
is provided to each subscriber for their specific area based on their zip
code. AccuWeather alerts are automatically active for all NFB-NEWSLINE®
subscribers. In order to take advantage of this service, all NFB-NEWSLINE®
users should make sure that their address and zip code on their
NFB-NEWSLINE® account is accurate. Once subscribers' location information
is updated, they will hear emergency alerts for their zip code when they
log on to the system. They can choose to listen to the entire alert by
pressing the number one key on the telephone keypad or they can bypass the
alert by pressing the number two key to go to the main NFB-NEWSLINE®
service. The emergency weather alerts are also available on the

In December of 2012, NFB-NEWSLINE® added a new category called "Breaking
News Online." The Breaking News Online channel currently carries BBC Press,
CNN news, Fox News, and the Huffington Post. The Breaking News Online
publications are similar to the Associated Press and United Press
International News Wires in that they are constantly updated with the
latest news throughout the day. The Breaking News publications are
available under option five from the main menu on the telephone service,
followed by option one.  Subscribers can also add these publications to
their Favorites List for ease of access. Additionally, there are no longer
limits to the number of publications subscribers may have in their
Favorites Lists.

Subscribers can also read their newspapers on the web by visiting
www.nfbnewslineonline.org and logging in with their User ID number and
security codes. There are instructions and appropriate software on this
website to allow readers to download their favorite publications to various
types of playback devices such as the Victor Reader Stream from HumanWare,
the NLS Digital Talking Book Player from the Library of Congress and all
other MP3 players.

NFB-NEWSLINE® service is constantly growing. If you have new services or
publications that you would like to see on the system in the future, please
call our comment line at (410) 505-5896 and leave us a message, or write to
nfbnewsline at nfb.org. If you have any questions or if you would like to
subscribe to the service, please feel free to call (866) 504-7300, or
e-mail nfbnewsline at nfb.org. You can also register online at
www.nfbnewsline.org. We are your NFB-NEWSLINE® Team, and we are here for
you so that you can have your NFB-NEWSLINE® on the phone, on the web and on
the go.

* *

* *

*Resolutions Passed at the*

*2012 National Convention 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 change what it means to be blind in
Colorado and beyond.***

* *

*Resolution 1, 2012*

*Regarding Accessibility of Assessment Testing and Material*

WHEREAS, online testing is a rapidly growing method for assessing students
in Colorado; and**

WHEREAS, these assessments are all too often not accessible to students who
are blind and who have low vision; and

WHEREAS, these students must utilize screen magnification, Braille and/or
screen reading software to access information and such technology is often
not accessible with the newly popular assessment material and programs; and*

WHEREAS, computerized testing has limited accessibility to those students
who use Braille as their primary reading medium; and**

WHEREAS, Braille displays only show a limited amount of text which does not
allow users to interpret charts, graphs, tables, drawings and other visual
representations appropriately; and**

WHEREAS, under current methods a blind student's ability to read and
comprehend is not being accurately measured; and**

WHEREAS, current assessment methods are often unsatisfactory to measure
accurately a student's ability to read and comprehend other essential
materials; and, **

WHEREAS, reliance on audio assessment tools may be appropriate for those
students who may rely on screen-reading software as their primary reading
medium; and

WHEREAS, companies and school districts are moving in the direction of
online testing and assessments without considering how all students will be
impacted: Now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado
assembled in convention on this twenty-eighth day of October, 2012, in
Boulder, Colorado that this organization strongly encourage the Colorado
Department of Education to engage in direct communication and partner with
the Federation in research before moving to online assessments and/or
curriculum; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we insist that assessment companies must
maintain traditional paper assessments to ensure accessibility for all
students; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we urge the office of the Commissioner of the
Colorado Department of Education to collaborate with the National
Federation of the Blind of Colorado and the private sector for profit
companies to ensure that computerized testing will meet ADA and other
accessibility standards and will be designed to assess accurately students
who are blind or have low vision.

*Resolution 2, 2012*

*Regarding Successful Employment Outcomes for Transition Aged Kids*

WHEREAS, the federal Rehabilitation Act and the Individuals with
Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) define transition services as "a
coordinated set of activities for a student, designed within a results
oriented process, focused on improving academic and functional achievement
to facilitate movement from school to post-school activities, including any
of the following: employment, post-secondary education, vocational
training, continuing and adult education, independent living skills, and
community participation; and

WHEREAS, under the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998, a person must
have a disability that interferes with the ability to work and must need
vocational rehabilitation services to obtain or maintain employment and A
person is presumed to be employable unless otherwise determined by DVR not
to be so; and

WHEREAS, Transition services, as defined under the Rehabilitation Act, are
provided to all eligible youth with disabilities who can benefit from these
services, including youth within the special education system; and

WHEREAS, blind and low vision students have the option to remain in their
home school districts which usually means that they are typically limited
in their exposure to other blind people including peers or adults who are
successfully employed; and

WHEREAS, this leads to lower expectations of themselves and a lesser
understanding of blindness and their own abilities; and

WHEREAS, acquiring transition services at the earliest possible time is
crucial to self-esteem, confidence, having a positive attitude about their
disability and success in a career, and also as vital participants in their
communities: Now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado in
convention assembled on the twenty-eighth day of October, 2012, in Boulder,
Colorado that this organization demand that DVR, the Colorado Department of
Education, and all local school districts collaborate with the National
Federation of the Blind of Colorado to ensure that all blind and low vision
students of transition age are provided the opportunity to acquire the
specialized training in areas such as daily living skills, college and
employment as mandated by state and federal legislation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we call upon DVR, CDE, and all local school
districts to work collaboratively with us to ensure that the student's
Individual Education Plan and the Individual Plan for Employment are
closely linked as sister documents to ensure the goals lead to the success
of each student; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we insist that these organizations work
diligently to level the playing field in regards to multiple employment
experiences for blind students which will provide these students the same
opportunities to encourage and increase successful employment outcomes
allowing them to compete on equal terms with their sighted peers.

*Resolution 3, 2012*

*Regarding Demanding Appropriate Implementation of all Colorado Statutes
With Regard to the Business Enterprise Program*

WHEREAS, the Randolph-Sheppard Act is "a cooperative federal-state program
that provides employment opportunities for the blind;" and

WHEREAS, this cooperative federal-state program provides opportunities for
licensed blind individuals on federal and other property to manage and
operate food service and vending businesses. 34 C.F.R. § 395.1 et seq(n);

WHEREAS, Section 26-8-105, Colorado Revised Statutes, specifically sets
forth the procedures for cooperation between all state departments and the
Department of Human Services with regard to implementation of the Business
Enterprise Program for the blind; and

WHEREAS, the Judicial Department has categorically refused to apply the
blind vendor priority at the Carr Judicial Center, and has instead issued
requests for proposals, rejecting the DHS bid for a blind person licensed
by DHS to operate the cafeteria and vending machines at the Carr Judicial
Center; and

WHEREAS, the law requires that all state agencies provide notice to DHS of
plans to "acquire by ownership, rent, lease, or otherwise" and of plans to
"substantially alter or renovate" any building with a view to making a
determination as to whether the building contains a satisfactory site for a
vending facility. C.R.S. § 26-8.5-103; and

WHEREAS, the Judicial Department failed to provide the requisite notice; and

WHEREAS, Colorado's blind vending law applies to all state property, with
the exception of institutions of higher education, the Auraria Campus, and
the Colorado State Fair Authority. C.R.S. § 26-8.5-101(2). Thus, the
Judicial Department is required to apply the blind vending priority at the
Carr Judicial Center; and

WHEREAS, upon realizing that the State Judicial Center under construction
would serve as an excellent opportunity for the Business Enterprise Program
to place a licensed blind vendor to operate food service and vending the
Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services took immediate
steps to procure this facility in accordance with state statute; and

WHEREAS, officials at the Ralph L. Carr Judicial Center have taken every
opportunity to rebuff overtures made by the appropriate staff representing
blind vendors: Now, therefore

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado
assembled in convention on this twenty-eighth day of October, 2012, in
Boulder, Colorado. This organization commends the advocacy of the Colorado
Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and applauds the imaginative and
vigilant efforts underway by the Business Enterprise Program management and
staff; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization condemn and deplore the
actions being taken by officials at the Colorado Judiciary Center for their
attempt to circumvent Colorado statute and limit job opportunities for the
blind of Colorado; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization pledge to take all necessary
action to ensure that proper implementation of the law occurs, particularly
in view of the fact that these blatant illegalities are limiting
opportunities for Colorado citizens at the Colorado Judicial Center, of all

* *

*Resolution 4, 2012*

*Regarding State of Colorado Implementation of Google Apps *

WHEREAS, the digital era through the use of assistive technology provides
the blind with the opportunity to access the same information at the same
time as the sighted; and

WHEREAS, assistive technology will provide timely access if the underlying
information technology is compatible; and

WHEREAS, the State of Colorado is implementing Google Apps quite Government
for all of its employees; and

WHEREAS, large portions of Google Apps are incompatible with the assistive
technology used by the blind; and

WHEREAS, even though blind state employees warned the state that Google
Apps is not accessible, the State of Colorado purchased Google Apps in
violation of several laws such as the Information Technology Access Act
which requires that the State purchase information technology that is
compatible with assistive technology, as well as violating the Colorado
Anti-discrimination Act, the ADA, and SECTION 504 of the Rehabilitation
Act; and

WHEREAS, under the signature of national president, Dr. Marc Maurer, the
National Federation of the Blind has sent Governor Hickenlooper and the
State Technology Officer a letter demanding that the state provide equal
access to Google Apps immediately: Now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado in
convention assembled this twenty-eighth day of October, 2012, in Boulder,
Colorado that we express our outrage and grave concern that the State of
Colorado purchased Google Apps for Government without ensuring that it is
fully accessible to blind state employees; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that if the State of Colorado does not provide
accessibility to Google Apps for Government in the very near term, this
organization take all measures necessary including legal action to force
the State of Colorado to follow the letter and spirit of the law and
provide accessibility.

*Resolution 5, 2012*

*Regarding Statewide Transportation*

WHEREAS, lack of accessible transportation is one of greatest barriers
faced by blind men and women in achieving gainful employment, maintaining
health, completing tasks that sustain independent living and family life,
and realizing community integration; and

WHEREAS, If a blind person cannot gain meaningful employment, enhance their
education, complete tasks required of independent living, contribute to the
sustainability of their families, and participate meaningfully in their
communities, the chance of them leading positive independent lives is
negatively impacted; and

WHEREAS, despite the many rural and urban areas of Colorado that have
transportation networks which provide blind travelers with the independence
they seek, there are rural areas along the Front Range, Western Slope, and
throughout the state that do not offer any transportation options for
individuals who are blind, and other rural and urban areas throughout the
state that offer such limited transportation that blind men and women
cannot achieve gainful employment, maintain health, complete tasks that
sustain independent living and family life, or realize community
integration; and

WHEREAS, the lack of options for the blind traveler will only increase as
the population of the state grows and accessible transportation for the
blind is ignored; and

WHEREAS, there are federal and nonfederal grant opportunities, loans, and
other revenue sources designated for building and maintaining mass and
rural transit services; and

WHEREAS, we, the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado, are well
equipped to represent the rural and urban transportation needs of the blind
of Colorado: Now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado in
convention assembled this twenty-eighth day of October, 2012, in the city
of Boulder, Colorado, that this organization work closely with the Colorado
General Assembly to enact legislation to require that adequate
transportation be provided in all areas of Colorado so that blind men and
women have access to transportation services that will ensure the ability
to fulfill basic life functions including employment, activities of
independent living, and community integration; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization work to ensure the enforcement
of county, city and other ordinances already in place which are intended to
give blind travelers equal access to transportation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the National Federation of The Blind of
Colorado strongly urge the Department of Transportation to work with The
Federation to ensure any changes made to the transportation network
throughout the state meet guidelines that ensure the independence of blind

*Resolution 6, 2012*

*Regarding a Coordinated Effort to Address Transportation Problems in Rural

WHEREAS, blind residents of rural communities within the state of Colorado
desire to be free from the shackles of poverty by securing remunerative
employment and participating fully in the economic life of their respective
communities; and

WHEREAS, inadequate transportation causes blind people in rural areas to be
dependent upon others and hinders them in their efforts to become
taxpayers; and

WHEREAS, good taxi service within small cities, and good bus service
between small cities strengthens the infrastructure of each community: Now,

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado in
Convention assembled this twenty-eighth day of October, 2012, in the city
of Boulder, Colorado, That this organization call upon federal, state, and
local officials to work in creative partnerships with the National
Federation of the Blind of Colorado, interested nonprofit providers, and
small businesses from the transportation industry to develop a cost
effective robust set of solutions to meet the essential transportation
needs for the blind to participate actively in all aspects of community

*Indy Super BLAST 2013*

*From the Editor:** Many blind vendors in the Colorado Business Enterprise
program have begun making their plans to attend BLAST. Some readers of this
newsletter know that BLAST stands for Business Leadership and Superior
Training for Blind Entrepreneurs. Blind vendors and others interested in
building business opportunities for the blind of Colorado will want to
consider attending Indy Super BLAST 2013. Here is all of the information
you need to make your plans now*

Mark your calendars! Please plan to join us for education, motivation and
the largest trade show for blind entrepreneurs and others interested in
building small business opportunities for the blind. The National
Association of Blind Merchants, a strong and active division of the
National Federation of the Blind, is very pleased to announce that the
BLAST Business Leadership and Superior Training Conference will return to
Indianapolis, Indiana in May of 2013.

After much negotiation and vigilant consideration of the top conference and
hospitality venues across the country, contracts have been signed with the
magnificent Indianapolis Marriott Downtown.

The Business Leadership and Superior Training conference has become the
principal conference for blind vendors and state licensing agency
management and staff over the past decade. Each year we have expanded
curriculum, sought out the most dynamic speakers, added networking
opportunities, team-building exercises, and top notch tours and
entertainment. In 2013 we are moving this dynamic Business Leadership and
Superior Training conference to the spring.

In light of the recent far-reaching memorandum issued by President Obama
and the recent launch of our National Federation of the Blind
Entrepreneurial Initiative, we have much work ahead of us.

Recent BLAST training conferences have also included a track for blind
individuals who wish to develop small business opportunities in addition to
or beyond Randolph-Sheppard. This effort will continue during Indy Super
BLAST 2013.

How can a rehabilitation agency help you start a business? What role can
the Small Business Administration play? What is SCORE? How do you increase
active participation between blind vendors and a state licensing agency?
What are the best social media strategies to help build your business? How
do you get started in franchising? What are the latest healthy vending and
food service approaches? What are best human resource practices? What are
the latest and greatest accessible business technologies? Join us as we
answer these and many other questions at Indy Super BLAST 2013.

Register now at www.blindmerchants.org. Conference registration fee is
$200.00, or save $50.00 with early bird registration by registering before
April 15, 2013. For assistance with registration and for further
information, call 866-543-6808. Hotel rooms are available at the low rate
of $124.00 per night plus applicable taxes. Room rates are effective from
Friday, May 17th through Thursday, May 23rd. Reserve your room at the
Indianapolis Marriott Downtown by calling 1-877-303-0104, under BLAST 2013
or National Association of Blind Merchants. You can also reserve your room
online by visiting:

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