[Nfbofsc] Positive Note 1692

David Houck nfbsc at sc.rr.com
Wed Jan 16 13:48:37 UTC 2019

January 16, 2019

Memo To:  Executive Officers, Board Members, Chapter & Division Presidents &

From:  Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1692

Greetings Fellow Federationists:


              Now that the 2019 state wide seminar is behind us, let's look
ahead at two of the activities which will be occurring during the next
couple of months in the NFB of SC.  

              Please do not forget to purchase your tickets to attend the
fourth annual Sweetheart dance sponsored by the NFB of SC which will be held
on Saturday, February 16, 2019 at the Federation Center of the Blind from
5:00 p.m. to 9 p.m.  The evening promises to be a fun and enjoyable
experience with a professionally catered dinner, door prizes, music and
dancing.  Tickets to this event will be $25 per person and all proceeds will
go to the NFB of SC.  Photos of you having fun with your sweetie or a friend
will be taken and can be purchased during the dance for a nominal charge.
Please make checks payable to NFB of SC and mail to:  NFB of SC, 119 S.
Kilbourne Road, Columbia, SC 29205.  Please note the memo line for
Sweethearts Dance. Deadline to purchase tickets is Wednesday, February 6,
2019.  In the past, members, chapters, and divisions have been very generous
donating door prizes for this special event.  Door prize Contributions can
include: gift cards, cash or assembled gift baskets. Please contact Jennifer
Bazer at 803-960-9977 or jhipp25 at sc.rr.com if you would like to contribute a
door prize.   If you have any questions regarding this fundraising event,
please contact Debra Canty, Sweetheart dance Chairperson, at 803-775-5792 or
via email at debra.canty at frontier.com 

              On Saturday, March 16, 2019 the NFB of SC will host a
Leadership Seminar at the Federation Center of the Blind from 10:00 a.m. to
4:00 p.m.  Lunch will be provided.  All members are encouraged to attend and
there will be no charge for the seminar.  I plan to start developing a
program for this seminar in the very near future.  If you have any
suggestions for agenda items, please feel free to contact me at (803)
796-8662 or email me at frankcoppel at att.net.  

              If you have not done so already, I strongly encourage you to
pay your $10 state dues as soon as possible as the deadline to receive dues
is January31 2019.  When you submit your $10 state dues, it is extremely
important you provide accurate contact information such as, name, address,
phone number and email address if applicable.  These things do change and if
we do not have accurate information, we cannot keep you up to date on what's
going on.  our national office is requiring each state affiliate to submit a
spread sheet listing members and their contact information. Once the
national office receives this information, members listed on the spread
sheet will receive a membership medallion which will signify you as a member
of the NFB.  

              Congratulations to Loretta Green, NFB of SC District one state
board member and chapters in her district (Charleston, Upper Dorchester,
Georgetown, Conway) for meeting by telephone Monday evening to discuss ways
to financially assist Rocky Bottom.  Loretta informed me the meeting lasted
for approximately an hour and plans are to raise funds and collect needed
items for Rocky Bottom.  They would like to accomplish this goal by the
Leadership Seminar on March 16.  It is my understanding Isaiah Nelson, one
of our NFB of SC at large board members, is also assisting with this

              The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is
not the characteristic that defines you or your future.  Every day, we raise
the expectations of blind people because low expectations create obstacles
between blind people and our dreams.  You can live the life you want:
blindness is not what holds you back.  Joining me for comments in this
Positive Note is the President Emeritus of the NFB of SC.  Here is Dr.

              This week we are spotlighting a very busy and involved
federationist who makes a difference in work with the blind.  I am speaking
of Jennifer Duffell-Hoffman who was born and raised in Fairfax County,
Virginia.  Her parents were Floridians. They raised her brother and her in
Virginia.  Jennifer's husband Bob was born in Erie, Pennsylvania and was
raised in Buffalo, New York and Erie. Their sons Michael and Matthew were
born in North Carolina and Andrew was born in Lancaster, South Carolina.
They lived in Lancaster since 2003.  Jennifer's dad died in April of 2018.
Her mother lives two blocks from her and Jennifer's brother and his family
lives in North Carolina.

              Jennifer graduated from James Madison High School in Vienna,
Virginia, and from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia with a
Bachelor's in Social Work.  She worked in retail for about eight years
before and during college. After college she worked at a half-way house for
male nonviolent offenders, for Parks and Recreation in a before and after
school care, for a county Department of Social Services as a Transportation
Coordinator for Medicaid, for a community college as an Adult Education
Instructor and as an instructor in English as a second language. When
Michael was born in 1998 she quit working, with the very brief exceptions of
working the 2000 and 2010 US Census as an Enumerator, to stay home with him.
Matthew was born in 2000 and Andrew in 2003; her intention was to return to
work, but Michael was diagnosed with cone-rod dystrophy in 2005 and Matthew
in 2006 and she started learning about being the mother to two blind sons
with IEPs in a school not experienced in educating blind students. During
those years Jennifer volunteered frequently at the grade school and for six
years weekly in the library at the middle school, she spent three years
helping to establish the Lancaster County Community Garden and she was the
NFB BELL Academy Coordinator for four years.  In January of 2017 she applied
to the Lancaster County School District and was hired as an aid in a
classroom of primarily autistic middle school students. She was good at the
work and enjoyed the job greatly but left when her dad required care in the
last weeks of his life. She has not returned to work because Michael, her
eldest, has returned home after three semesters of college. Michael has
started at USC Lancaster and Jennifer is helping him to learn how to get
organized and stay on track in college. She receives occasional calls from
other parents of blind kids and from educators and other professionals
engaged with blind students and assists them by sharing her experiences and
by sharing the resources she is familiar with.

              Jennifer Duffell-Hoffman had heard about the NFB previously
but it was in April of 2011 when Michael and Jennifer attended the NFB
Legislative Advocacy in Washington DC. In July of 2012 Matthew and Jennifer
attended the NFB Project Innovation. Both times they stayed at the Jernigan
Institute and both programs separated the parents from their blind children.
It was with Matthew that she saw an immediate change in his self-confidence
and he quickly asked to attend a National Convention, so our entire family
first attended a National Convention and the NOPBC Conference in 2013.  She
attended the state convention four times, in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018 and
the national convention/NOPBC Conference also four times in 2013, 2014, 2015
and 2018.  From 2014 to 2017 she was the State Coordinator for NFB Braille
Enrichment for Literacy and Learning Academy in S.C. She is the parent
contact for parents of blind children in S.C. Unfortunately her schedule
doesn't permit her to attend the Lancaster Chapter meetings but she has the
pleasure of driving the Lancaster Chapter President, Daisy Drakeford and two
to four additional members to the State Seminar annually.

              As hobbies she loves watching her sons run cross country and
wrestle. All three boys have been on the Lancaster High School XC team and
Matthew and Andrew wrestle. She almost must list driving as a hobby, as she
is the primary driver locally and long distance for my family.  She believes
that the white cane and Braille, assistive technology and nonvisual skills
equal independence and should be taught to blind students in our schools and
that parents of blind children should push for their children to learn these
skills. She also believes that blind mentors are a tremendously important
part of the upbringing of a blind child and that without the NFB Bob and she
could not have helped Michael and Matthew to reach their full potential. The
best thing for a blind child is the Federation Family.  Let's salute a
mother who extended what she does for her blind children into an example for
what parents of blind children should experience in raising their own

              Our NFB President, Mark Riccobono included some wonderful
comments on my beloved wife Betty in his Presidential Release of January 4,


              Final Thought:  Try to recruit at least one new chapter member
in 2019.  We could double our size in just one year!

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