[NFBOK-Talk] Spring 2016 NFBOK Today Newsletter
jmassay1 at cox.net
Fri Mar 18 22:59:08 UTC 2016
Greetings on this beautiful Oklahoma day! I hope you are each happy and
Attached and below, you will find the latest issue of the NFBOK Today
newsletter. Congratulations and thanks to our new Editors, Rex Schuttler and
Cammie Loehr. Enjoy and hope to see you at our upcoming state convention!
Jeannie M. Massay, President
National Federation of theBlind
505 Baker Street
Norman, OK 73072
Jeannie.massay at nfbok.org <mailto:Jeannie.massay at nfbok.org>
The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the
characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day, we raise
expectations of the blind because low expectations create obstacles between
blind people and our dreams. Blindness is not what holds you back. You can
live the life you want.!.
"Whatever you dare to dream, begin." - Goethe
A quarterly publication of the National Federation of the Blind of Oklahoma
Rex Schuttler, 2nd Vice President NFB of Oklahoma
Cammie Loehr, President, Oklahoma Association of Blind Students
Articles for publication consideration should be sent to
<mailto:newsletter at nfbok.org> newsletter at nfbok.org
Comments and questions should be sent to Jeannie Massay, President, NFB of
Oklahoma, <mailto:Jeannie.massay at nfbok.org> Jeannie.massay at nfbok.org.
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.
In This Issue
All About State Convention
Live The Life You Want
Braille Literacy and Learning Bell 2016
2016 National Convention
My Journey at LCB
Free Smoke Alarms
Getting to Know your Affiliate Board
All about State Convention
We are gearing up for our 42nd Annual National Federation of the Blind of
Oklahoma state convention to be held the evening of March 31st thru the 3rd
of April at the Holiday Inn City Centre located in downtown Tulsa. We all
hope that you can join us! Sessions will be fun and interactive. There will
be items of interest for all blind persons and those who work with them.
Additionally, there will be sessions specific to blind students as the
Oklahoma Association of Blind Students is holding their first Student
Seminar on Friday, April 1st, in conjunction with the Seminar day of our
annual convention. General Session will include speakers and panels
regarding rehabilitative services for the blind in Oklahoma, programs and
services for blind persons of all ages including children's programs in OKC
and transition programs offered in state and out-of- state. You will also
learn what legislative initiatives we are working on at local and national
levels. Additionally, if you are interested in the Business Enterprise
Program, are interested in Sports and Recreation or are a student of any
age, there will be Division meetings of the Oklahoma Association of Blind
Merchants, the NFB of Oklahoma Sports And Recreation Division and the
Oklahoma Association of Blind Students. Our national representative is Ever
Lee Hairston, a Member of the Board of Directors of the National Federation
of the Blind and a recently published author.
The convention will be held at the Holiday Inn City Center, 17 West 7th,
Tulsa, OK. 74119. You can make reservations by calling 1 (918) 585-.5898
The room rates for single or doubles is $89.00 not including taxes.
Individuals must make their own hotel reservations. The convention package
cost $95.00 including registration, box lunches, and one banquet meal for
Saturday evening. You may register for the convention at:
Our state convention is important for many reasons. One that I find
particularly important to me personally is that it provides an opportunity
for our Federation family to occupy the same physical space which allows us
to share our thoughts, to work on what we choose for our organization to be
and to love each other as we work towards helping the blind and the sighted
to understand that blindness is not the characteristic that defines us or
our futures. Every day, we raise expectations of the blind because low
expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. Blindness
is not what holds us back. We are living the lives that we want!
If you are already a Member of the National Federation of the Blind, I look
forward to seeing you again. If you do not yet know about the National
Federation of the Blind, I encourage you to attend our convention. Please
come find out for yourself what we know to be the truth about blindness.
Jeannie Massay, President
National Federation of the Blind of Oklahoma
Live the Life You Want
By Glenda Farnum, Treasurer
The Board of Directors recently voted to create the Live the Life you Want
fund by designating $1000.00 from the treasury to this fund. The Live the
life you want fund will be used to help fund member development in the form
of scholarships for Education and for attendance and participation in State
convention, National convention and Washington Seminar. The Central Oklahoma
Chapter has made the first donation to the fund in the amount of $40. The
fundraising initiative will officially begin at the upcoming State
Convention in Tulsa, March 31 to April 3. As an incentive for donors the
Central Oklahoma Chapter has donated refrigerator magnets with the
photograph of our attempt at setting the world record for an umbrella mosaic
last year at our national convention. The umbrellas spell out Live the life
you want! Those who choose to make a minimum $5 donation will receive a
If you are interested in helping support NFB Oklahoma visit our donations
page at <http://www.nfbok.org> www.nfbok.org.
Make a One-Time Donation
Use our donate button to easily make a payment online. If you prefer, you
can also send a check payable to NFBOK and mail it to:
6116 W. Gun Hill Way
Warr Acres, OK, 73132
Get on the NFBOK PAC Plan
Through our Pre-Authorized Contribution (PAC) program, supporters sustain
the efforts of the National Federation of the Blind of Oklahoma by making
recurring monthly donations by direct withdrawal of funds from a PayPal
account or a charge to a credit or debit card. You can set up a NFBOK Pac
Plan contribution by selecting the monthly donation amount you prefer and
clicking the select button below. A PayPal account is not required to
contribute. It only takes $5 per month to get on the NFBOK Pac Plan.
If you or a friend would like to remember the National Federation of the
Blind of Oklahoma in your will, you can do so by employing the following
"I give, devise and bequeath unto the National Federation of the Blind of
Oklahoma, 505 Baker Street, Norman, Oklahoma,73072, a non-profit
corporation, the sum of $__ (or "__ percent of my net estate" or "The
following stocks and bonds: __") to be used for its worthy purposes on
behalf of blind persons."
Cars Help the Blind Go Further
Donate your old car to the National Federation of the blind today! It's
easy! Just visit the Vehicle Donation Page or call toll- free
You shop, Amazon gives.
Amazon donates 0.5$ of your eligible Amazon Smile purchases to the National
Federation of the Blind of Oklahoma. Amazon Smile is the same Amazon you
know. Same products, same prices, same service.Support NFB of Oklahoma by
starting your shopping at <http://www.smile.amazon.com>
When: Thursday, June 30-Tuesday, July 5, 201
Where: Rosen Shingle Creek Resort
9939 Universal Boulevard
Orlando, Florida 32819-9357
Preregistration is now open. When purchased online by May 31st, the
preregistration fee for convention is $25 ($30 on-site) and the cost of a
banquet ticket is $60 ($65 on-site).Go to the following link for more
information: <https://nfb.org/convention> https://nfb.org/convention
The NFB of Oklahoma is serving as a Co-Host Affiliate along with the
Louisiana, New Hampshire and Utah Affiliates. Watch for more information on
volunteer opportunities at national convention.
Central Oklahoma Chapter Update
By Audrey T. Farnum, President
In February, the Central Oklahoma Chapter hosted its 4th annual Elmer Wright
Memorial Chili Supper and Scholarship Presentation. Approximately 100 people
gathered for a chili cook-off featuring 14 talented chili cooks. Two prizes
were awarded to the top chili entries. The Judges choice award for best
chili was given to Earl Kessler. All attendees had the opportunity to vote
for their favorite chili as well to select the people's choice prize winner.
The People's Choice winner was Cathy Tuton with her famous turkey chili.
Cathy is a repeat winner having won the Judge's Choice award in 2015.
At the chili supper, President Audrey Farnum presented the Elmer Wright
Memorial Scholarship to Cathy Tuton. Cathy, who is working to achieve her
life-long goal of working in the medical field, will start school in the
fall to work on a Bachelor's degree with the goal of becoming a dietitian.
The $1000 scholarship is awarded by the Chapter annually in memory of one of
its founding members, Elmer Wright, who passed away in 2010. Cathy is a
valued chapter member who has overcome much personal adversity while working
toward her dream. The Chapter is very proud of Cathy and we all know that
she will achieve her goals through her continued hard work and
The Central Oklahoma Chapter meets on the second Friday of the month from 7
to 9 pm. Please note that for April, due to several conflicts, the Chapter
will adjust its usual schedule and have its April meeting on April 15 at the
home of Mark and Nedra Ruth located at 8508 St. Michael Court, Oklahoma
City, OK, 73139.
The Chapter provides transportation to its meetings to persons living in the
OKC metro area for a cost of $15. If you are interested in attending a
meeting or would like more information, please contact President Audrey
Farnum at 405-590-6110.
April 15 - 7:00 pm. Chapter meeting
May 13 - 7:00 pm. Chapter Meeting
June 10 - 7:00 pm. Chapter meeting
No Chapter meeting in July due to National Convention
July 23 - 3:00 pm. Annual Pool Party and Cookout
Student Division Update
By Cammie Loehr, President
The Oklahoma Association of Blind Students has been working very hard to put
together a student seminar. We finally have everything we need for a
successful student seminar. We will be introducing students to a number of
topics and be host to several activities for students at this year's state
convention, including a breakout session built around confidence building
about ones blindness. We are encouraging all in attendance at the convention
to join us. We will be doing many activities including lighting candles,
working with knives and power tools, and orientation tips.
We will also be fundraising at state convention. This year we are holding a
raffle for VIP Seating during general session. We will be selling tickets
from now until Saturday April 2. $5 for 1 ticket or $10 for 3. You can
purchase a ticket from any member of the Oklahoma association of Blind
Students or by contacting me at 580 678-8222 or by email at
<mailto:cammieloehr767 at gmail.com> cammieloehr767 at gmail.com to purchase your
ticket prior to the convention.
We meet as a division once a month, every first Monday of each month at
7:00pm by conference call. The call in number is 877-394-5901, access code
Tech Talk: The Amazon Echo
By Audrey T. Farnum
<mailto:Audrey at nfbok.org> Audrey at nfbok.org
Perhaps you saw the Super Bowl ad. Maybe you've heard people talking about
it. The latest gadget that seems to be all the buzz right now is the Amazon
Echo. My curiosity got the best of me and some strategic hint dropping
resulted in me getting an Amazon Echo for my birthday. I've been using the
Echo since late February and am totally in love with it. Its features range
from super convenient and useful to ridiculously entertaining yet frivolous.
All in all, it's a handy little gadget to have around the house and if I
could get her to split the bills, Alexa would be a perfect roommate.
The Echo is a cylindrical speaker that stands about a foot tall. The top
ring, which spins to adjust the volume, contains 7 multidirectional
microphones that listen at all times for user voice commands. The Echo has a
personal assistant, similar to Siri, called Alexa. Voice interactions are
initiated by using the wake word, "Alexa" followed by a request. You can
change the wake word to "Amazon" in the settings section of the Alexa
companion app if you prefer. It would be nice to have more options for the
wake word because the Star Trek nerd in me wants to call her "Computer", but
I got used to Alexa easily enough.
Alexa is a personal assistant that can handle a plethora of tasks. Amazon
Prime subscribers can play music from the Amazon Prime library. Spotify
subscribers can connect their account and play music from Spotify. Alexa
also plays streaming audio stations and podcasts from Tune In, no
subscription required. Request a Flash Brief and Alexa plays the latest news
updates from NPR and other popular news sources. The Flash brief is totally
customizable from within the Alexa app. The sports brief, also customizable,
gives you scores and upcoming games for your favorite sports teams. The Echo
uses your location to give local weather forecasts and can search for nearby
businesses. The sound quality of the speaker is acceptable. It puts out good
volume and sounds clear. I could use a little more bass, but it's not
unpleasant to listen to. I have some portable Bluetooth speakers that sound
a bit better, but the convenience of being able to ask Alexa to play
whatever I want to hear without having to mess with my phone or a computer
has resulted in me listening to a lot more music since I got the Echo. In
fact, I'm listening to music on the Echo while I write. I have asked Alexa
to adjust the volume, skipped songs and change artists all without having to
leave my desk.
One feature that is really cool, yet misses the mark for me, is the ability
to play books from your Audible library. I was pretty excited about this
feature, but without the ability to increase the narration speed of my
books, I won't use this feature. Like a lot of blind people, I like my audio
books and screen readers to talk pretty fast. Listening to things at a
normal rate of speed is unbearable for me so I was pretty disappointed when
I realized the Echo was limited to normal playback speed from Audible. For
the average user, this is probably no big deal, but it could be an issue for
many blind users. This is also an issue if you plan to listen to a lot of
podcasts. I use a podcast app on my phone that allows me to speed things up
and will continue to do so until narration speed adjustments become
available on the Echo.
I have found the Echo to be particularly useful in the kitchen. Whenever I
run out of an item I just ask Alexa to add it to my shopping list. Next time
I go to the grocery store, I just open the Alexa app, navigate to my
shopping list, and there are all the items I added ready to be checked off
as I go through the store. My grocery shopping has become drastically more
organized and efficient since my Echo moved in. Similarly, you can add items
to your To-do list and access the list from anywhere with the Alexa app.
Also handy in the kitchen is the ability to set timers totally hands free. I
have always used my phone for timers while cooking, but it is so much more
convenient to ask Alexa to set a timer without having to worry about getting
my phone dirty or wet. Alexa also does measurement conversions, so when I
forget how many teaspoons are in a tablespoon, all I have to do is ask.
The Echo is on alert 24/7 waiting to answer my questions. Alexa gives sports
scores, tells me how to spell words, tells jokes, plays games, answers
questions on every topic imaginable, tells me the time and so much more. The
tasks that the Echo can perform are constantly growing thanks to the Skills
store. Skills are somewhat like apps. You can browse the skills store and
activate the ones you want to use. There is the Jeopardy J6 skill that gives
you 6 new Jeopardy! Clues every weekday, the Dominos skill that lets you
link your Dominos account and order pizza and an Uber skill that allows you
to request an Uber to your location. Like apps, there are a lot of skills
that are just plain silly and pointless (Yes, there is a skill that makes
your Echo fart), but the possibilities and potential for things to come are
One of the more intriguing things that I haven't yet explored with the Echo
is its ability to integrate with smart home products. Currently, the Echo
can be linked to Hue lights, a few smart thermostats, and other devices that
allow you to control your home by voice. I will at some point decide on a
smart thermostat for my home and look forward to the day that I can ask
Alexa to adjust the temperature for me. I don't need Alexa to turn my lights
on and off for me since I don't use lights anymore, but I can definitely
appreciate what a useful feature this would be for those of you who are
light dependent. The range of smart home products that can integrate with
the Echo is expanding rapidly and I will plan my home upgrades accordingly.
The setup process for the Echo was a breeze. When you power up the Echo for
the first time, it prompts you to open the Alexa app which walks you through
a step by step process to get Echo linked to your phone and your home Wi-Fi
network. The process was totally accessible and took less than 5 minutes.
Once the setup is done, the app does have some minor accessibility issues,
but nothing that prevents the app from being used with VoiceOver. There a
couple of unlabeled buttons and navigation on the screen is a little odd,
but the app and all of its features can be used. If you have used the Amazon
Prime music app, the accessibility quirks in that app are similar to what
you'll find with the Alexa app. It's annoying, but not a deal breaker.
The voice recognition on the Echo is pretty good. I find interacting with
Alexa to be less frustrating than Siri. Alexa gets my requests right most of
the time and the responses are very quick. The most impressive thing about
the Echo is the range of the microphones. I can speak to the Echo in a
normal voice without having to talk unnaturally slow to be understood from
across a room, even with music playing or other background noise. I have my
Echo placed on a counter between my kitchen and dining area and can use the
Echo from anywhere in the kitchen, dining room, attached living room and a
small office that is connected to the living room. I'd estimate this space
to be about 800 square feet. I have talked to another Echo user who lives in
a 1000 square foot apartment who reports using the Echo from anywhere in the
apartment. The sensitivity of the microphone is an enormous plus for the
Overall, the Amazon Echo is an entertaining device that can add some
convenience to your life. True, the Echo doesn't do anything that you can't
do with an iPhone and Siri, but the extra convenience of being totally hands
free does make it a worthwhile addition to the home. The Amazon Echo sells
for $179 from Amazon.com. Also, Amazon recently announced two new Echo
products that will be available at the end of March, the Amazon Dot, $89,
which is a smaller version of the Echo that gives up speaker quality for a
smaller size and price tag. The Echo Dot can connect to a Bluetooth speaker
or home stereo system, so if you already have a quality speaker and want to
add the convenience of Alexa to your life, the Echo Dot is a good Choice.
The Amazon Tap is also a portable speaker with the Alexa technology, but it
takes away the hands free feature. Interactions with Alexa are initiated by
pressing a button instead of voice activation. The Echo Tap will sell for
$129.99. Both the Echo Dot and Echo Tap can be pre-ordered from Amazon.com.
I'm not going to lie. I have already pre-ordered an Echo Dot and look
forward to having the convenience of Alexa in the bedroom. The Dot will be
my alarm clock, give me news and weather while I get ready for work and
provide me with tunes in the shower, all hands free. I can't wait.
(Note from the editor: The following article is written by a student
attending the Louisiana Training Center for the Blind early in his training.
As a student of LCB each student must write an essay about their time at LCB
as a computer assignment. We felt this would be a good article to add into
the newsletter so you can see a firsthand experience from someone in
My Journey at LCB
I heard about LCB when I joined the NFB back in 2011. At first I did not
want to go there. I thought it was a waste of my time. After I talked to
some of my friends, and wasting my time at dead end jobs. It still took me a
long time to convince myself, but I finally made the choice to go to LCB. I
have not looked back since I made the choice.
My reason for going to LCB was I needed to learn how to read and write
Braille. Braille was one of the main reasons I made the choice to go to LCB.
Since I have been at LCB I have learned a lot of good and new things. One of
the classes I like is shop, where I get to learn how to use power tools.
Another class is kitchen, where we learn how to cook all kinds of different
things and learn how to clean are houses. Those are my two favorite
classes. I also have three other classes they are mobility, Braille, and
computers. We just got back from a trip to Arkansas, where we went rock
climbing, zip lining and horseback riding. My favorite was the rock
climbing. I also liked the zip line. Some of the things we have to do before
we graduate is a 10k in O&M. We cook a meal for forty people. We have a
chance to do a final project in shop. I am going to do a final project in
shop I do not know wat I am going to make yet.
Also we go on other trips to build our confidence. Our next trip is to
Mardi Gras. I am not as excided for it as I was for the rock climbing trip,
but I hope to learn from it. All of my classes have taught me a lot of good
things that I can use in my life from this day forward. I am also doing well
in my O&M class. I was kind of scared of doing it with sleep shades on. My
Braille class is going better than I thought. I am surprised that I am doing
so well in kitchen. I have made so far two types of cookies, a pizza, a
breakfast casserole, and a cheese cake. In shop class I have use radial arm
saw, a table saw, and a router. I am writing an essay in computer class. I
am so thankful for the chance to learn how to be an independent blind
I planned to go back to school for degree's in broadcasting and in
communication. I have been into radio for a log tine I have been on radio,
and TV. I like to talk, and play music. I have pretended to have my own
radio show. And maybe work for the NFB someday to get the word out that we
as blind people can live the life we want without being told we can't do it.
I know as a blind person myself that LCB can teach you all that you need to
know to be independent. I hope that I can get the word out there, by the way
The skills that I am learning will help me succeed in anything I do. I thank
everyone at LCB so much, and love all of the teachers there.
(Note from the editor: Here is an article from our friends at Able Tech
advertising a new program they are offering. Able Tech will be at this
year's convention presenting and exhibiting.)
FREE Smoke Alarms and Alert Equipment for Oklahomans with Disabilities
STILLWATER, OKLAHOMA (March 16, 2016) - If you are an Oklahoman you take
tornadoes seriously and take precautions to survive the storms that occur
here every year. But did you know according to the OSDH, Center for Health
Statistics, 10 times more people die, on average, every year in home fires
than from tornadoes in Oklahoma? Yet, do we take the simple precautions that
are readily available to us to be alerted to a fire in our home, so we can
For the third consecutive year, the Oklahoma Assistive Technology Foundation
(OkAT) has been awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland
Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to install smoke alarms
and specialized alert equipment in the homes of Oklahomans with
disabilities. This equipment alerts the consumer and gives them as much time
as possible to escape a fire in their home. This year's grant provides this
life saving equipment for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, blind or
have low vision, or use a mobility device. Trained professional installers
from grant partners Oklahoma ABLE Tech, Fire Protection Publications, and
Fire Service Training (all at Oklahoma State University), install the
equipment for the consumer by appointment, and provides them valuable fire
prevention education to help them be more fire safe in their homes.
Assistant Director Nancy Trench at Fire Protection Publications said, "We
are fortunate that we are able to provide this equipment to alert
individuals with disabilities and give them as much time as possible to
escape a home fire. And the education we give these individuals teaches them
how to prevent fires from happening."
These grant partners have a long history of saving lives by installing these
smoke alarms and alert devices through their past grants. Direct feedback,
from Oklahomans who have received this equipment, has documented 18 "saves"
from these grant projects.
"We want every Oklahoman to know what to do in the event of a fire. This
grant allows us to follow our mission of providing the resources for
Oklahomans with disabilities to maintain the greatest independence in their
environment," commented Linda Jaco, director of ABLE Tech.
There is no cost to the consumer for the equipment or the installation. Time
is limited and equipment is available while supplies last. Applications and
information are available at <http://www.okabletech.okstate.edu>
www.okabletech.okstate.edu or by calling ABLE Tech (888-885-5588). To
qualify applicants only need to have a professional attest to their
Getting to know your affiliate Board
Read on to learn about the individuals who serve the National Federation of
the Blind of Oklahoma as your Board of Directors!
Jeannie Massay, President
Jeannie Massay is a Licensed Professional Counselor. After having lost
vision as an adult, Jeannie returned to university as both a non-traditional
and blind student. Jeannie reports that she was fortunate to find the
Federation when she did. Right around the time that she began graduate
school. With the support of her Federation family and her husband, Mark,
Jeannie completed her Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology at the
University of Central Oklahoma in 2011. With the assistance of the National
Federation of the Blind, Jeannie took her national exam in an accessible
format and has been fully licensed in the State of Oklahoma since January of
2014. Jeannie has been in Private practice since October of 2014 where she
works with adults and children who experience anxiety, depression and
behavioral disorders. Jeannie enjoys reading, cooking and spending time with
her family and Federation family. She is passionate about equality and
inclusion for all blind people and issues of social justice, in general.
Jeannie has served the NFB of Oklahoma as President of the Affiliate since
2011. She has served as a Member of the Board of Directors of the National
Federation of the Blind since 2013 and currently serves as the Treasurer of
the National Federation of the Blind.
Audrey T. Farnum, First Vice President
Audrey is an attorney working in the Administrative Proceedings Division of
the Oklahoma Tax Commission. She received her B.A from the University of
Tulsa and her J.D. From Oklahoma City University School of Law. Audrey is
passionate about Braille literacy and assistive technology. She currently
serves on the Oklahoma Rehabilitation Council and is a member of the Able
Tech Advisory Council. In her spare time, Audrey participates on the OKC
RiverSport Masters rowing team which travels several times a year to compete
in regional regattas. Audrey also enjoys tandem cycling and has completed
the Hotter'n Hell Hundred, a 100-mile bike ride in Wichita Falls Texas.
Audrey is an avid sports fan, enjoys reading and music, geeking out over the
latest technology and spending time with her family. In addition to serving
as First Vice President of the Affiliate, Audrey is the President of the
Central Oklahoma Chapter, Vice President of the NFB Sports and Recreation
Division and webmaster for nfbok.org.
Rex Schuttler, 2nd Vice president
Rex Schuttler IS the Second Vice President of the National Federation of the
Blind of Oklahoma. Currently HE IS a student at the Louisiana Center for the
blind and will be graduating on March 30 of this year. I am excited to be
involved in the national Federation of the blind OF Oklahoma. I am working
on going to school for a degree in Radio Broadcasting which will fulfill a
dream of mine: to work in the radio industry.
I recently just passed my JAWS certification test which is a big
accomplishment. I am now licensed to train, teach, and help install jaws
programs. I have had many great opportunities in my life such as going to
Peru in South America twice. I enjoy hanging out with my friends and
family. I also love learning about the Old West, all of its history, and how
it helped to shape the US as it is today. I am happy to serve as your second
vice President of the Oklahoma affiliate. Let's go build the Federation.
Glenda Farnum, Treasurer
My name is Glenda Farnum. I am the Legislative Director and Treasurer for
NFB of Oklahoma. I also serve on the BELL, Fundraising, Resolutions and
Convention Committees. I am a member of the Central Oklahoma Chapter and
serve as Treasurer. I also serve as treasurer of the Sports & Recreation
Division of NFB of Oklahoma. I have been a member of NFB since 2011. I
attended my first National Convention in 2012 and haven't missed one since
then. I am a proud, active and willing volunteer for my chapter, our
affiliate and NFB.
I retired in 2007, after more than 30 years of service as a rehabilitation
professional. Currently I am self-employed as an Independent Beauty
Consultant for Mary Kay Cosmetics and a distributer for Young Living
Essential Oils. I am living the life I want and I am filled with love, hope
and determination for the future.
Jedi Moerke, Secretary
I moved to Oklahoma about four years ago when I started working for the
Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services as a travel instructor. I
earned my master's degree from Louisiana Tech University concentrating in
Cain travel instruction and my bachelor's degree in Bellingham Washington
where I am from. I have served on our affiliate board since 2012 and was
elected as secretary in 2015. I serve as president of the T-Town chapter in
Tulsa. Our chapter meets every first Saturday at Elote Cafe at 5:14 S.
Boston Ave. in Tulsa. We meet from 4 PM to 6 PM.
Cammie Loehr, Board Member
My name is Cammie Loehr and I am a board member of the National Federation
of the Blind of Oklahoma. I am currently the president of the Oklahoma
Association of blind students and I am a member of the sports and rec
division. I serve on several committees for the NFB of Oklahoma including
the fundraising committee, the BELL committee, the resolutions committee and
the state convention planning committee. I joined the NFB of Oklahoma in
2012 after winning the state scholarship and attending my first state
convention. The same year I also attended my first National convention with
assistance from the affiliate. Since then I have been actively involved in
I am currently an undergrad student at Cameron University, majoring in
psychology. I wish to get my Masters from the University of Oklahoma in
marriage and family counseling and receive my marriage and family
counselor's license. I eventually hope to open my own private practice. I am
also a recent graduate of the Louisiana Center for the blind. I enjoy
reading, cooking, and hanging out with my friends. Together we will improve
the lives of blind people. Let's go build the Federation!
Mike Harvey, Board Member
I have Mississippi roots and Louisiana ties. I attended the Mississippi
school for the blind as a child and was very fortunate to be taught Braille
at the age of 4. I moved to the Middle Tennessee area and lived there for
several years. I worked as a translator for Spanish speaking patients in a
medical clinic. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University, I
was privileged to be a student at Louisiana Tech University. I have a MA in
Teaching with an emphasis on Teaching blind students as well as a National
Orientation and Mobility Certification.
After working in Utah for 3 years I relocated to Oklahoma City in January of
2015. I work for the State of Oklahoma's Department of Rehabilitation
Services as an Orientation and Mobility Instructor. Professionally, I enjoy
empowering people and teaching people that they can be independent.
Personally, I enjoy sports (Geaux tigers & who dat!), good food, friends and
reading. The love of my life is my son Sam who turns 5 on March 19.
Mike Floyd, Board Member
Mike Floyd is a Board Member of the National Federation of the Blind of
Oklahoma. He is currently serving as a Board Member on our T-town Chapter
as well. Mike has been a member of the National Federation of the Blind
since March of 1982, when he was elected as the first President of the newly
reorganized Oklahoma Affiliate, serving until 1985 when he and his wife
Fatos moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, where Mike began his career in the white
cane instruction business. He attended the Rookie (Leadership) Seminar
which was led by Dr. Kenneth Jernigan in May of that same year, in the
National Center for the Blind in Baltimore. Mike also served as State
President in Nebraska from 1996-2000, as well as a term as chapter president
in the 80s in Lincoln.
Mike also lived in Minneapolis and St. Louis where he continued his work in
blindness rehab. He received his Master's degree in Counseling Services, in
1992 from Webster University in St. Louis. After training blind people to
travel independently via the Structured Discovery method in three states,
Mike had a second career as a drug and alcohol counselor, including four
years with the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services.
He returned to our Oklahoma Affiliate in May of 2014, and immediately
returned to service in the Affiliate and his local chapter.
March 31- April 3rd State Convention
April 5th People With disabilities day 2016
June 13 to June24 2016 NFB Oklahoma BELL Academy
June 30- July 5th National Convention 2016
A message from the editors.
We are always looking for information or good stories to add into the
newsletter. If you would like to submit articles to be published in our next
newsletter please email them to <mailto:newsletter at nfbok.org>
newsletter at nfbok.org.
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