[Ohio-talk] {Disarmed} Winter Buckeye Bulletin

Eric Duffy peduffy63 at gmail.com
Wed Dec 24 16:57:54 UTC 2014

National Federation of the Blind Ohio

Winter 2014
Buckeye Bulletin
A publication of the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio
Barbara Pierce, Editor
237 Oak Street
Oberlin, OH 44074
bpierce at oberlin.net <mailto:bpierce at oberlin.net>
http://www.nfbohio.org <http://www.nfbohio.org/>
(440) 774-8077
Eric Duffy, President
(614) 935-6965 (NFB-O Office)
Peduffy63 at gmail.com <mailto:Peduffy63 at gmail.com>
P.O. Box 82055, Columbus, OH 43202
The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise expectations, because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. Live the live you want. Blindness is not what holds you back.
            The National Federation of the Blind of Ohio is a 501 (c) 3 consumer organization comprised of blind and sighted people committed to changing what it means to be blind. Though blindness is still all too often a tragedy to those who face it, we know from our personal experience that with training and opportunity it can be reduced to the level of a physical nuisance. We work to see that blind people receive the services and training to which they are entitled and that parents of blind children receive the advice and support they need to help their youngsters grow up to be happy, productive adults. We believe that first-class citizenship means that people have both rights and responsibilities, and we are determined to see that blind people become first-class citizens of these United States, enjoying their rights and fulfilling their responsibilities. The most serious problems we face have less to do with our lack of vision than with discrimination based on the public's ignorance and misinformation about blindness. Join us in educating Ohioans about the abilities and aspirations of Ohio's blind citizens. We are changing what it means to be blind.
            The NFB of Ohio has eight local chapters, one for at-large members, and special divisions for diabetics, merchants, students, seniors, parents of blind children, guide dog users, and those interested in Braille. This newsletter appears three times a year and is circulated by email, posted on NFB-NEWSLINE®, our digitized newspaper-reading service by phone, and can be read or downloaded from our website, www.nfbohio.org <http://www.nfbohio.org/>. For information about the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio or to make address changes or be added to the mailing list, call (440) 774-8077 or email bpierce at oberlin.net <mailto:bpierce at oberlin.net>. For information about NFB-NEWSLINE, our free digitized newspaper-reading service, call (866) 504-7300. Local NEWSLINE numbers are: 330-247-1241 (Akron), 330-409-1900 (Canton), 513-297-1521 (Cincinnati), 216-453-2090 (Cleveland), and 614-448-1673 (Columbus).
The NFB now has a vehicle donation program. For complete information go to <www.nfb.org/vehicledonations <http://www.nfb.org/vehicledonations>> or call our toll-free vehicle donation number (855) 659-9314.
Table of Contents
From the President's Desk
by Eric Duffy
Convention Wrap-Up
by Shelbi Hindel
The National Federation of the Blind of Ohio's 2014 Scholarship Winners
by Deborah Kendrick
The 2014 National Federation of the Blind of Ohio Awards Report
by J.W. Smith
2015 Committee Appointments
Ode to the Code: How One Student Came to Love Braille
by Kaitlin Shelton
National Federation of the Blind 2015 Scholarship Program
Seeing Is Believing: Further Adventures of the White Cane Guy
by David Cohen
Buckeye Briefs
Activities Calendar
From the President's Desk
by Eric Duffy
            The National Federation of the Blind is beginning its seventy-fifth year of service to the nation. The National Federation of the Blind of Ohio just concluded its sixty-eighth annual convention. The foremost challenge faced by leaders in the organization at every level in the beginning was simply organizing: building an organization strong enough to make a difference in the blindness field and in the everyday life of blind people. Today the National Federation of the blind is the strongest force in the blindness field. Our job is to keep the foothold we have gained and to continue to build stronger. 
            Two years ago I was elected president of the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio. Dr. J.W. Smith, who is my predecessor, always said he saw himself as a transitional president. When he first said that, neither of us believed the transition would be as short as it was.
            I made it clear to any one who asked that I hoped JW would serve until both of my boys finished high school. I was in a job that I knew could be short term, so I wanted to be a little more certain about my own future before taking on the responsibility of the Presidency of the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio.
            Therefore I was as surprised as anyone when JW invited Richard Payne and me to his room and announced that he would not run for reelection at the 2012 National Federation of the Blind of Ohio Convention. As I have already said, for a number of personal reasons I did not want to take on the presidency. However, when the Federation calls, I have always answered. 
            I believe that, if we are to continue to grow as an organization, we must have commitment and stability in the office of the president. Dr. Jernigan once said, "The Presidency of this organization is not a plate of cookies to be passed around." So I knew two things by the end of that meeting in July of 2012. They were that I was prepared to be the president of the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio and that I would give the organization all of myself that I could. The other thing I knew was that I was prepared to run for the presidency and do all that I could to get myself elected to the office. I made these commitments because I believe in the National Federation of the Blind and because I believe in you, the individual and collective membership of the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio.
            At the conclusion of that 2012 convention you elected me as your president. In doing so, you gave me two of the most challenging but also most rewarding years of my life. In my candidate speech I said that, if I was elected, we would have a Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning (BELL) Program in Ohio in 2013. When I made that pledge, I meant it. Yet after I was elected, I asked myself, "What have I just done?" For a couple of years prior to 2012, I heard Barbara Pierce, president of the National Association to Promote the Use of Braille of Ohio (NAPUB) say, "If we only had more money, we could have a BELL Program in Ohio." 
            Well, we had less money in November of 2012 than we had had in November of 2011. The same is true for 2011 and 2010. So how could I so confidently say we would have a BELL Program in 2013? I believed it, and I said it because I knew I could count on you. I knew I could count on your love, support, generosity, and faith in and commitment to the next generation of the blind.
            So in the midst of establishing my presidency and all that goes with that, I began laying the groundwork for a BELL Program in Ohio. Our first BELL Program was more successful than even I could have hoped for. You heard from some of our students, their parents, and our program staff at our 2013 convention.
            During my first year as president I had to look at how to cut costs. The board of directors had already decided that we no longer had funds to assist people who needed help coming to conventions. I had to apply the same approach to the Washington Seminar. This was not an easy or popular decision for me. We have had to find as many ways as possible to cut our spending.
            While cutting costs, we have also had to find ways to raise money. I have been in the position of having to say, "No, I can't help you financially to participate in the Washington Seminar or the National Convention, but I need you to raise some money for this project or that program." Without fail you have answered the call. Chapters, divisions, and individuals have helped support our work. Yes, we all could do more, and I include myself here as well.
            We have assisted blind children and their families with IEP development . We have continued to answer questions about assistive technology. We have assisted with rehabilitation cases. In fact, we helped Macy McClain get to the Louisiana Center for the Blind.
            We amended our constitution. Amending the constitution is something that shouldn't be taken lightly, and it should be done only when necessary. Tom Anderson began floating the idea of reducing the size of the board of directors at least five or six years before I was elected. We got it done at the 2012 convention. 
            There is always more to be done than we have the time or the resources to do. There is an ocean of problems out there that blind people need assistance with. Some of those problems are different than they were when our organization first began, and some of them are the same. We talk about our concerns in a different way than we did in the beginning. We dream bigger because we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. But how different are our concerns?
            The unemployment rate among the blind is still very high. We must do what we can in many ways to change this. We must do so internally and externally. We must ask ourselves what it is that is keeping me from getting a job (or a better job) and do what we can to eliminate those obstacles in the way of our dreams.
            Externally we must improve educational and rehabilitation opportunities for the blind at every level. We can and must do this through systemic change in the education and rehabilitation systems, but we must do it in our daily lives as well. We must continue to educate the public about the capacity of the blind and to let them know about the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio.
            You once again elected me as your president at our 2014 convention. I thank you for your confidence and trust. I again pledge to give all that I can to help build and grow the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio. I will lead with as much strength, determination, wisdom, patience, and love as I possibly can. As I look at the challenges before us in 2015, I can say that the road that lies ahead of us is daunting. The hills that we must climb are steep, but the rewards along the way are worth striving for, and the fruit that we harvest will be sweet.
            We will again have a BELL Program in Ohio, and that takes a lot of time, energy, and effort. We must change some of what we do in this program to meet the needs of the students who are more advanced Braille users. There is work to be done in Congress and in the Ohio General Assembly. our work in both of these bodies will begin shortly after the start of the new year.
            Ohio is one of the original seven states that founded the National Federation of the Blind. President Riccobono has asked the founding seven to come together once more to host the 2015 convention of the National Federation of the Blind. Leaders in all seven states (including Ohio) have answered the call. We will begin planning shortly. I don't yet know what responsibilities Ohio will have, but I know we are engaging in a tremendous undertaking. 
            Our Drive for 75 campaign will kick into full gear in January. Our goal is to have a minimum of seventy-five Ohioans at our 2015 convention in Orlando. It has been several years since we have been able to provide financial assistance to those in need who want to participate in our national convention. Our Drive for 75 Campaign headed by JW Smith will change that for 2015. We are looking at raising money in a variety of ways, but we know we will have five major events around Ohio between January and May. We will have events in Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dayton, and Toledo. We will do what we can to assist as many people as possible to be an active part of our 2015 National Convention.
            In May we will be bringing blind elementary and high school students to the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) in Columbus. These students are a part of the STEM2U program, which you heard Ashley Russell and Lillie Pennington talk about at the convention. We must instill the expectation in the minds of the coming generations of the blind and sighted alike that the blind can participate in science, technology, engineering, and math. 
            I am pleased with the way students are involved in our movement. Macy McClain and Lillie Pennington were presenters during general sessions of our 2014 convention, and Macy was elected to our board of directors. Aleeha Dudley recorded and streamed our convention. This is the first time that has ever happened in Ohio. Katie Shelton did a terrific job of leading us in Federation song. 
            As I look forward to 2015 and the next two years of my presidency, I am filled with hope, energy, and love by participating in the National Federation of the Blind. My expectations are raised, my contributions make a difference to me and to others, and I can celebrate the realization of my dreams with my Federation family. I know with certainty that the National Federation of the Blind is the only organization that believes in the full capacity of blind people and has the power, influence, diversity, and determination to help transform our dreams into reality.
            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. 
            I am confident that we will continue to march into the future together more united and stronger than we have ever been before. By doing so, we will make our dreams come true.
Convention Wrap-Up 
by Shelbi Hindel
            Editor's note: Shelbi Hindel is the secretary of the NFB of Ohio. Here is her report of the 2014 state convention:
            It should not come as a surprise to anyone that once again this year our state affiliate had a convention jam packed with business, meetings, and activities. There were so many things to work into such a limited amount of time that at its September meeting the board of directors voted to hold the board meeting on Thursday evening, October 30. This might seem like a new schedule to some, but to others it was a familiar schedule revisited since until recent years that was when the convention began. 
            The convention did indeed start on Thursday evening at approximately 7:00 p.m. with the board of directors meeting, which lasted for two hours. Please read the minutes of that meeting for details. 
            Friday morning did not start at the break of day, but at the civilized hour of 10:00 a.m. with a workshop organized by Deborah Kendrick with the goal of being particularly informative and attractive to counselors from Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities. This year the counselors were required to attend one consumer convention. 
            The workshop was divided into two segments, one hour each. The first was titled "Doing Work We Love: What will you do when you grow up? Anything you want." Three blind professionals participated in the discussion. They told us about their paths to get to their current positions, what they do professionally, and how they do it.
            The second segment of the workshop was entitled "Braille Is Cool, and it Gets Jobs!" This portion of the program consisted of two people. They spoke about the ways in which they use Braille in their jobs. The theme they both had in their presentations was that Braille is effective, efficient, and necessary. 
            The first general session of the convention was called to order Friday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. by President Eric Duffy. Due to the planned evening fundraiser, this session was somewhat abbreviated. We did hear from Danene Fast from the Ohio State University. She reported on preparing teachers of blind children. She came to the Ohio State University to head its relatively new orientation and mobility program after serving as outreach coordinator at the Ohio State School for the Blind. 
            Our national representative, Marc Maurer, and his wife Patricia were introduced to the convention. Dr. Maurer gave the national report. Many of us are familiar with his presentations from national conventions. He was even more riveting and personable at our convention when addressing us. Mrs. Maurer also spoke briefly to us. It was an absolute pleasure to have a couple with us and hear from both of them.
            The Friday afternoon session concluded with a report from the Opportunities for Ohioans With Disabilities director, Kevin Miller, and his colleague, Melinda Duncan, director of the Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired. We did have an opportunity to ask questions and make comments. It is safe to say from those questions that the bureau administrators are much more pleased with the services that are being provided to consumers than we as a consumer organization are. We concluded their program time by singing some old favorite NFB songs about rehabilitation in the old days led by Kaiti Shelton. The remainder of the afternoon was devoted to registration and committee and division meetings.
            The fundraiser took the entire evening on Friday October 31. It started with time for people to look at the items in the auction and place written bids on the ones they were interested in. This took place in the foyer area of the Griswold Ballroom. In the Griswold Ballrooms J.W. Smith was master of ceremonies for the evening's activities. Art Schreiber spoke on his experiences touring with the Beatles in 1964, and the John Schwab Band performed all-Beatles music. Eric Duffy conducted the vocal portion of the auction during the band's intermission. It was a wonderful evening from start to finish. We learned a lot from this fundraising effort. We now have experience from which to expand and grow our fundraising activities. 
            Saturday, November 1, started early with the Diabetes Action Network and National Association to Promote the Use of Braille holding breakfast meetings. The general session opened another full day of presentations at 9:00 a.m. Aleeha Dudley gave a demonstration of the KNFB Reader app for the iPhone. Pat Eschbach told us why she is a Federationist. Tracy Grimm reported from the Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled. Richard Payne and Dr. Maurer spoke about building the Federation and the new branding concept. The morning session concluded with a presentation by Rosa Jones and Charlene Bolden of the Cleveland chapter on Charles Bonet Syndrome. There were lunch meetings for divisions. Then at 2:00 p.m. we started a full afternoon of presentations. Stephen White, legislative director of Rob Portman's Columbus office, addressed the convention briefly. He was there in response to an invitation to Mr. Portman to address the convention about his position with respect to the Technology, Education, and Accessibility in College and Higher Education (TEACH) Act. We were disappointed to find that Mr. White had nothing to say about the TEACH Act. Macy McClain spoke about her experiences at an NFB training center in Louisiana. Gayle Stanford from Columbus Speech and Hearing spoke about the program for deaf blind Ohioans, ICANCONNECT. We had a lively presentation from a BELL student, Makenzie Love, and her mother. I loveSjoberg-Witt from Ohio Disability Rights Law and Policy Center Inc. spoke to us about working together to create positive changes for blind people in our state. Ashley Russell from the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) and Lillie Pennington, a high school member from Cincinnati, presented the STEM2U Columbus program. Lillie will be a high school mentor in the Columbus program in May, and Ohio will have two of our BELL students participating. The afternoon session concluded with Kaiti leading us in song.
            As always the banquet was held Saturday evening. Richard Payne served as master of ceremonies for the banquet. Dr. Maurer gave the banquet address. J. W. Smith presented the gavel awards to the chapter and division winners. A full report of those awards appears elsewhere in this issue. Deborah Kendrick presented the scholarship awards. Deborah reports about these presentations elsewhere in this issue. President Eric Duffy conducted Money for the Movement. We can report that the Drive for 75 Fund toward getting seventy-five Ohioans to the Orlando convention next summer now has $1,541 in it. The amount raised Saturday evening was $1,840, and the amount pledged was $925. After-banquet activities consisted of games and singing. 
            Sunday morning started early with a leadership breakfast for those serving as presidents or treasurers of chapters and divisions. Dr. Maurer spoke to us at this breakfast, and we had an excellent conversation. 
            Again this day, general session was called to order at 9:00 a.m. We began the morning with a moment of silence in remembrance of Federationists who had died: Bruce Peters, Summit County; Bob Crawford, Cincinnati Chapter; Robert Boyd and Cordelia Leach, Cleveland Chapter. We then had panel presentations on the history of the Federation and NFB philosophy. Crystal and Mark McClain reflected on rearing a child guided by Federation philosophy. The treasurer reported financial activity in 2013, and elections were held. We reduced the size of the board in accordance with the amendment to the constitution passed last year. Elected were president, Eric Duffy; vice president, Richard Payne; secretary, Shelbi Hindel; treasurer, Sherry Ruth; and board member, Macy McClain.
            It was a very busy, full, encouraging, and fun weekend. We have a lot of work ahead of us and invite everyone to join us in our efforts.
National Federation of the Blind of Ohio's 2014 Scholarship Class
by Deborah Kendrick
            Editor's note: Deborah Kendrick chairs the NFB of Ohio Scholarship Committee. Here is her report of activity at this year's convention:
            Our treasury is small, but generosity abounds, both within our affiliate and beyond. Consequently, it was our pleasure to award three scholarships to outstanding blind students at our 2014 NFB of Ohio convention. All three winners attended the entire convention as our guests. Although each was aware that he or she was a winner, neither they nor we knew which scholarship was being awarded to which individual until the Saturday night banquet, November 1. 
            Shortly before the banquet the Scholarship Committee held a brief meeting to make those final decisions. The committee was comprised of Deborah Kendrick, chair; Barbara Pierce; Robert Pierce; Kyle Conley; and Suzanne Turner. All but Suzanne were present at the convention to make the final decisions. 
            Arriving at that final decision was a difficult task indeed because all three of our 2014 winners are excellent students and are either already working hard or eager to get involved with the Federation. Scholarships presented at the banquet were as follows: 
National Federation of the Blind of Ohio scholarship in the amount of $1,000 was awarded to Jonathan Thomas. Jonathan is a first-year student at Wright State University. His commitment to ending world hunger and helping others less fortunate than himself impressed the committee, particularly the shoe drive he orchestrated single-handedly during his senior year of high school, during which he collected 3,600 pairs of shoes to be sent to underdeveloped countries. 
The Robert M. Eschbach Memorial Scholarship, in the amount of $1,000, was awarded to Kaiti Shelton. Kaiti is a junior in music therapy at the university of Dayton, active in a number of student organizations, and the dynamic leader of the Ohio Association of Blind Students, our NFBO student division. Kaiti's contributions of time and talent to our affiliate are numerous. A special treat for all of us at this convention was hearing Kaiti's guitar and voice as she led us in a number of Federation songs.
Elif Emir Oksuz was awarded the Jennica Ferguson scholarship, in the amount of $1,500. Elif is a doctoral student in counselor education at the University of Cincinnati. Elif and her husband are sponsored by the government of their native Turkey to study in the United States for five years. Elif came to the Federation almost immediately after her arrival here in 2012 and has been sharing much of Federation philosophy with the blind of Turkey. She launched an online magazine in which she translates articles found here in the Braille Monitor and AccessWorld, records them in Turkish, and uploads them for the benefit of the blind in her native land. 
Congratulations to all three 2014 scholarship winners. We will be watching your progress and welcome the work you do. 
            The application for the 2015 NFB of Ohio scholarships will soon be posted on our website. Three scholarships will again be awarded, and three winners selected to be our guests at the 2015 NFBO convention, to be held in the fall at a hotel as yet to be announced. For information visit our website <www.nfbohio.org <http://www.nfbohio.org/>> or contact NFBO scholarship chair, Deborah Kendrick, dkkendrick at earthlink.net <mailto:dkkendrick at earthlink.net> or (513) 673-4474.
The 2014 National Federation of the Blind of Ohio Awards Report
by J.W. Smith
            Editor's note: J.W. Smith chaired the Awards Committee this year. Here is his report of the awards that were presented at this year's banquet:
            At the 2014 banquet of the NFB of Ohio, held on November 1, three awards were presented. First, Dr. J.W. Smith, the committee chair, thanked the members of the committee for their service. The committee was comprised of Paul Dressell, Cheryl Fields, Shelbi Hindle, Emily Pennington, Barbara Pierce, Jerry Purcell, and Cathy Withman. The first award presented was the 2014 Chapter Gavel Award, and this year's winner was the National Federation of the Blind of Cincinnati. Dr. Smith announced the winner and then asked its president Deborah Kendrick to come forth and accept the award and bring any of her chapter members with her if she'd like to. The certificate was presented to President Kendrick in both print and Braille, and the text reads as follows:
Chapter Gavel Award 
by the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio
to the National Federation of the Blind of Cincinnati
For your very successful October 15, 2013, White Cane Safety Day March, which drew nearly 100 participants; for your effectiveness and willingness to teach Braille to students at the University of Cincinnati; for your involvement with the development of an effective video on appropriate interaction with blind people, developed by the Clovernook center; and for the 33 percent membership growth in your chapter. You are an example and an inspiration to us all.
            In addition to awarding this certificate and $50, the committee also recognized the NFB of Cincinnati for an outstanding chapter activity and suggested that they receive an additional $25 for the activity they called "Mini Blinds." Here is how the activity was described in the chapter's Gavel Award questionnaire:
            For the last few years we have opened our meetings in the NFB Cincinnati chapter with what I whimsically dubbed "Mini Blinds." As we go around the room introducing ourselves, each person gives his or her name, tells whether or not he/she is wearing NFB insignia, and finally adds a response to the Mini Blind of the month. 
            To introduce the Mini Blind, I tell a little story and then frame a question for others to follow suit. examples:
What is one cool thing about being blind?
What is your favorite low-tech solution to a blindness-related problem? 
Who was the first person you met in the Federation? 
            I set it up by telling a story. For example, last year I suddenly started giggling one day at convention when I realized that panic-stricken sighted people wanting to give directions often begin shouting "Go straight! Go straight!" They do this whether the direction is at all relevant to the situation. So I asked each person to give an example of good or bad verbal directions they'd been given.
            Admittedly, I am more creative some months than others, but our members enjoy the Mini Blinds, and it gives us a way to learn a bit about one another, share attitudes, and sometimes laugh.
            It is ironic that, after President Kendrick's acceptance comments and elaboration of the Mini Blinds activity, we all had to be particularly careful about getting on and off the stage which was set up rather awkwardly. In fact, we all found ways to use the term "go straight!" as a way of providing directions for this purpose. 
            The 2014 Division Gavel Award was then presented to the Ohio Association of Guide Dog Users, and President Deanna Lewis was asked to come forward to accept the award and to bring anyone she liked with her. Once again the Division received a certificate, which was read, as several members stood on the platform. The text of the award is as follows: 
Division Gavel Award
Presented by the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio 
to the Ohio Association of Guide Dog Users 
For your current work with police officers and firemen concerning proper service dog etiquette; for the efforts of your members to educate both third and fourth graders as well as high school students about guide dogs and blindness; and for the development of your effective and proactive listserv and frequent conference calls. You excite and inspire us by your dedication to the NFB and the values for which it stands.
            Finally, the committee felt that one division was worthy of special recognition this year, and thus the Division on the Move award was presented to our students. President Kaiti Shelton was asked to come forward and accept the award and invited to bring anyone she wanted as well. She brought with her the entire division board, and their enthusiasm was contagious and enthusiastic. The text of the certificate is as follows: 
The Division on the Move Award 
Presented by the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio 
to the Ohio Association of Blind Students 
For the development of your listserv and your very effective and informative monthly conference calls; for the development of a viable constitution, complete with membership dues; for the promotion and implementation of a significant fundraising activity; and for your increased visibility and contributions to our state affiliate at every level. You excite and inspire us by your dedication to the NFB and the values for which it stands.
This division received a print and Braille copy of its certificate, and it was clear that a strong foundation had been established for this division. 
            We had excellent submissions for our chapter and division awards this year, and every effort will be made to maintain and increase this involvement in the future. 
If you or a friend would like to remember the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio in your will, you can do so by employing the following language:
"I give, devise, and bequeath unto the Ohio Council of the Blind dba National Federation of the Blind of Ohio, P.O. Box 82055, Columbus, Ohio 43202, an Ohio nonprofit 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."
National Federation of the Blind of Ohio
2015 Committee Appointments
            Editor's note: These are the committee assignments made at the December 8 board meeting.
Deaf Blind Coordinators: Delcinia Brown, Lisa Hall, and Kaiti Shelton
Awards Committee: Shelbi Hindel (Chair), Paul Dressell, Cheryl Fields, Jerry Percell, Emily Pennington, Barbara Pierce, and Kathy Withman
Constitution Committee: Shelbi Hindel (Chair), Annette Anderson, Barb Fohl, and Colleen Roth
Convention Arrangements Coordinator: Sheri Albers
Education Committee: Debbie Baker (chair), Kyle Conley, Marianne Denning, Colleen Roth, Kaiti Shelton, and Suzanne Turner
Financing the Movement: Sherry Ruth (Chair), Annette Anderson (SUN Coordinator), Barb Fohl (PAC Coordinator), and Barbara Pierce (Jernigan Fund Coordinator) 
Fundraising: Milena Zavolie (Chair), Susan Day, Aleeha Dudley, Shelbi Hindel, Deanna Lewis, Annette Lutz, Richard Payne, Lillie Pennington, and Emily Pennington 
Legislative: Barbara Pierce (Chair), Sheri Albers, Debbie Baker, Susan Day, Deborah Kendrick, Annette Lutz, and Walter Mitchelle
Membership: Richard Payne and Macy McClain (Co-Chairs), Sheri Albers, Stephanie Claytor, Cheryl Fields, Cheryl Fischer, Lillie Pennington, Arlie Ray, Colleen Roth, Gloria Robinson, Suzanne Turner, William Turner, and Mary Weldon
Promotion and Publicity: Deborah Kendrick (chair), Susan Day, Barbara Pierce, and Milena Zavoli
Resolutions: Deborah Kendrick (Chair), Paul Dressell, and Colleen Roth
Scholarship: Deborah Kendrick (Chair), Barbara Pierce, Bob Pierce, Kaiti Shelton, and Cheryl Fields
Vehicle Donation: Richard Payne (chair), Tim Janning, and Aleeha Dudley
Ode to the Code: How One Student Came to Love Braille
by Kaitlin Shelton
            Editor's note: Kaiti Shelton is president of the Ohio Association of Blind Students and a winner of two NFB of Ohio scholarships and one NFB national scholarship. She is also an enthusiastic supporter and user of Braille, but she was not always excited about the code. Here is her story:
            Today I am an avid Braille reader. I love reading novels on my BrailleSense or in hard copy, and couldn't imagine life without literacy. Some would say I'm even a bit too stern about Braille because I tend to avoid other forms of reading like audio and readers since a part of me considers using those methods of reading to be cheating, but you really just can't replace Braille and the independence that comes along with it. From the way I talk, you're probably assuming that I've had a Braille-filled childhood and parents who fought long and hard to secure the privileges of reading for me, but that wasn't the case. 
            One day in pre-K I was pulled out of class by a woman from the county for an assessment. We sat in the hall, and she introduced me to the Perkins Brailler for the first time. We brailled a few letters, and I was starting to get the hang of it, but she took me back to class, and I never saw her again. County officials concluded that I saw well enough that reading Braille might not be the best option. I was sent along to kindergarten with the notion in my parents' heads that I would read large print. 
            Kindergarten came and went, and I started the first grade in the fall of 2000. My teacher, a creative and wonderful woman named Mrs. Murphy, noticed that there were a few problems with my academic performance right from the start. For one thing I could read print, but it was painfully slow and tedious. Since I have nystagmus and a very small focus in the one eye that has vision, I had to scan each letter individually before I could identify the word I was reading. I was also missing out on a lot of the incidental learning that the sighted students gained from seeing things like alphabet posters, number charts, and other visuals on the walls of the classroom. Mrs. Murphy decided that this needed to change. She researched the problem and decided that it was time for me to switch from reading print to reading Braille. 
            This terrified my parents, especially my mother. She had been told that, since her child had vision, everything should be done to allow that vision to be used and that using it would help me be more like my peers. In a round-about way, she had been told that reading anything other than print would make me look blind. Under these conditions she was against the idea of my learning Braille. She thought, "Who does this teacher think she is?" 
            But Mrs. Murphy followed her instinct and fought for me to learn Braille. She sat my mom down and told her that I was a bright student; there was no reason why I should be reading below grade level and falling behind my peers if it didn't have to be that way. She explained that for me Braille would be the great equalizer. The books would grow longer and more complex, I'd be expected to read more for my classes, and without Braille I would continue to function at a lower level than my sighted classmates. She also made the point that the doctors had no idea how long I would have usable vision and that it would be much harder to learn Braille as a middle-school or high-school student than it would be at six years old when reading instruction was part of the curriculum. My mom finally agreed that I should start learning Braille, so my instruction began. 
            But that wasn't the half of my struggle to become Braille literate. By that time the idea that reading print was what made me the same as my friends had already wedged its way into my six-year-old brain. When my books that had pictures on the covers and looked just like everyone else's were taken away, I was absolutely distraught. The Braille books I was given instead were bland, bulky, and very different. I didn't like being the only one in my class to have books like them, so I resisted the instruction. I also came to despise the Perkins Brailler. Before I used the Perkins, I used a grease pencil to write. I'd often lift my face from the page to have black grease smeared all over myself, but I figured that I was at least doing what my friends were. The brailler was heavy, bulky, and loud. We were supposed to be very quiet during spelling tests, and using the noisy machine made me feel self-conscious.
            Many of my spelling tests were not completed because I would get frustrated or upset and begin to cry or throw a temper tantrum in the middle of class. I remember being carried out of the room into the hall by my aide, sobbing out, "I hate Braille." Though I laugh about it now, it was a serious self-esteem issue for me at the time. As the year went on, I started to devise other methods for avoiding the Brailler. Once, when my aide had left me alone in our Braille room to grab something, I shoved everything I could get my hands on into the brailler. Pencils, paper clips, and thumb tacks were among the items that the aide tried to fish out of the brailler, and it needed to be sent off to be repaired. Unfortunately for me the county brought a spare brailler to the school for me to use while the one we had was being fixed, and I think that was when I realized that I wasn't going to avoid Braille. It was clear to me that it would now be a part of my life, and I would just have to deal with it. 
            In the second grade, after I had been reading Braille for a year, my attitude about Braille began to change. My skills had improved to the point where I could start reading the same stories as my classmates, so, even though I still didn't have pictures, I could at least read the same Junie B. Jones and Magic Treehouse books. My mother had become a staunch supporter of Braille and began purchasing the print copies of books I read so she could read with me. Each Christmas after that, until I became a member of Bookshare and NLS, I received several Newberry Award-winning books from Seedlings in Braille. I soon started reading books above my grade level, and by the third grade my favorite books included The Trumpet of the Swan, Matilda, Charlotte's Web, James and the Giant Peach, and some books in the Goosebumps series. 
            Over the next several years I began to advocate for Braille along with my mother. Together we established a Braille book library for blind children throughout Ohio, and several of my Seedlings Books remain in that library today. Whenever I hear a parent of a blind child say that he or she uses audio and the computer to read, I always ask, "What about Braille?" and try to educate them about how it has benefitted my life and the lives of other blind people. As Mrs. Murphy said, for blind people Braille is the great equalizer. It is what makes us literate, and, although technology and audio can certainly be useful and do serve their purposes, they can't replace Braille. I know that I would have at best struggled through high school and performed less successfully than I have and at worst not finished high school and found some small job which doesn't require literacy skills. Fortunately, I can say that, not only am I well versed in the literary code, but I also use the music Braille code for my studies as a music therapy major and know the scientific and Nemeth codes as well. 
            In the Federation we hear all the time about parents fighting their school districts for Braille instruction. My situation was the opposite, and I shudder to think of where I would be today if my parents had never changed their minds about Braille. I am glad that both my parents and I have come to see Braille, not as something which makes me different from my sighted friends and classmates, but as something which lets me compete and perform to the same standards. I consider myself to be extremely lucky, not only because I learned Braille at all, but because most kids like me with usable vision are denied the right to receive a comparable education to those of their sighted peers. If it weren't for Mrs. Murphy's insistence, I would never have discovered the necessity and joy of Braille literacy. It is fitting that my birthday is the same as Louis Braille's, January 4, because I owe so much to him-as we all do--for the code which has made me who I am today. 
National Federation of the Blind 2015 Scholarship Program
Deadline: March 31, 2015
            Are you a legally blind college student living in the United States or Puerto Rico? This annual program offers thirty scholarships worth from $3,000 to $12,000 to eligible students, from high school seniors beginning their freshman year in the fall semester of 2015, up through grad students working on their PhD degrees. These merit scholarships are based on academic excellence, community service, and leadership. In addition to the money, each winner will receive assistance to attend the July 2015 NFB annual convention in Orlando, Florida, providing an excellent opportunity for high-level networking with active blind people in many different professions and occupations. To apply, read the rules and the Submission Checklist, complete the official 2015 Scholarship Application Form (online or in print), supply all required documents, and request and complete one interview by an NFB affiliate president (unless the president requests a later date). Applications are accepted for five months, from November 1, 2014, to March 31, 2015. Go to <www.nfb.org/scholarships <http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001t1zze93ay64Iq6zadKricgSiysPsiPx-56NFlZ85Dn5YQYz9mAcKSXuqAIEvFbXmXyv7-qYK-708C2yKwg7aTAhhLlG1gk552kDXkluEKrLREWQuBnxeP40ZRuxL-55s7UF5WWwvmH_lIA_PiOHtrmQy4YTjGAwmh-Pl2Qo31aEl6mCGv-ufHA==&c=sHYamoFaaE1z_eyb2EUMKlvphrb-wFqxjcrC6lircGbzWMjVJ5oQTA==&ch=5xldvhUBogkhkbzxkGxk2u9Z188zpo5C2VxNi_fxD3R14WSsDekwLw==>> for complete rules and requirements.
Seeing Is Believing
The Further Adventures of the White Cane Guy
by David Cohen
            Editor's note: In the last newsletter David Cohen, a member of the Miami Valley chapter, wrote about acquiring the nickname of White Cane Guy (WCG for short). Here are WCG's further adventures in the neighborhood.
            If ever there was a loaded statement, "Seeing is believing" packs the equivalent of the funniest Looney Tunes gags. I'm thinking of Yosemite Sam in the episode about the singing sword, wherein he finds himself along with the loveably innocent resident dragon inside the castle turret surrounded with explosives and the dragon's desperate need to sneeze fire again:
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUCUQJBmpdQ <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUCUQJBmpdQ>>.
            Seeing and believing is one thing, and it is quick and easy. Observing and allowing the facts to be revealed takes time and patience, but often that which is revealed needs no words of explanation, for the truth of it is a feeling of knowing. Or, if any words at all are spoken, the result is an oh-my-God moment and that's all, folks. The question is then, how many times has public education about blindness resulted in an oh-my-God moment? In short, there's a whole lot more of them than there is of us. "Us and them" is an expression of separation, and we have to resign ourselves to the struggle to make ourselves understood to the general public.
            I have two black dogs that I walk regularly. The elder is Maggie, and she is 100 percent Labrador. The younger male is Snerdley, and he is at least half Labrador and possibly more since he is always mistaken for Labrador; but his crescent-curve tail, his pinched-short ears, and his twin elongated canine teeth, which bow inwards to his mouth, lead me to think he's got something else in his bloodline-possibly Burmese Python or the vampire Lestat. So when I am asked-and I am often asked about the dogs-I like to say that I have 1.5 servings of the recommended daily allowance of Labrador.
            The three of us were out walking, as we do at least twice daily, and this particular day was the late afternoon of the Labor Day holiday after the parade. The parade began at ten o'clock in the morning and finished by noon. Now the traffic outside on State Route 48 passes at a reduced volume like a Sunday evening as opposed to the normal weekday ever-present and rushing volume one can expect from the most heavily-traveled road in the state of Ohio's second largest suburb.
            The sidewalk on which we were walking was blocked entirely by twin aluminum bleachers outside the Board of Education Building two blocks north of my home. Additionally the city stationed portable toilets a few yards from the corners of select blocks both north and south along the one-mile stretch of the parade's route. Years ago, when I was passing one such port-o-John and struck the backside of the molded plastic enclosure with my cane a bit too forcefully, a surprised voice called out from within, "Just a minute. Occupied." The smile on my face had a life of its own as I recalled how many times I had accidentally knocked the doors of hotel rooms, apartment doors, and cubicle walls at work before I decided to employ a softer touch in such situations.
            We circumnavigated the portable toilet stationed on the sidewalk between my driveway and the nearest corner to my house, and I knocked and identified with my cane the wooden sawhorse barriers placed in the crosswalk of this first street adjacent to my house to discourage through traffic from entering the parade route. My cane tap echoed the location of the upcoming curb, and I swept, looking for the wheelchair ramp on the other side, and we three stepped up onto the next block. Maggie stopped after a few yards to sniff at a routine spot. Ahead of me I heard a voice and several footsteps. The voice rose in volume as it approached. I realized as the voice drew closer that it was a man. Walking along with him and behind him were younger people.
            "Stay to the side, everybody; those dogs are working," he announced importantly. As the group passed, I exchanged neighborly greetings perfunctorily because it was important that my primary focus remain on Maggie, who on occasion relieves herself at this spot, and I needed to attend my civic duty and pick up if nature called.
            "Hi. Hello. How are ya."
            "Hello sir, hi, hi sir." Three voices of younger people spoke in passing, and I smiled but did not take my full attention away from Maggie, who was rooting in the grass to my left at the end of her leash like an Iowa hog and snorting just as loudly. This informed me that she was not thinking of relieving but probably searching for edibles. If you have a Labrador of your own or have ever lived with such a dog, you know that no other appetite on earth compares, not even that of professional athletes injected with HGH and steroids. I do believe that, if I ever spilled mustard or ketchup on her, she'd consume herself into nothingness and find a way of communicating with me spiritually to beg for something else to eat.
            "Those dogs are working," the man told the kids behind him, and his voice was like the informational voice that interrupts television broadcasts to announce that a test of the Emergency Broadcast System is taking place, that such is only a test, and that, if such was not a test, I would be advised to take shelter and to Tweet or post to Facebook only if the tornado strikes my neighbor's home.
            I gave Maggie a cursory leash tug to signal to her to come along, and the three of us were walking northwards again. I had the twin leashes in my left hand and my cane in my right; I kept the dogs always to my left, which took some patience and a lot of repetition to train into them. Obviously I could not have one or both of them crossing in front of me to my right side to sniff routinely, but sometimes they could not resist. Two legs or four, you cannot beat the arc of the cane is what I like to say, and many times I've tickled the pad of a dog foot. Dog feet are so cool-especially Labrador duck-style feet.
            The way I went about managing this dog-walking coordination was simply to use the common stainless steel choker chains so that I could heel them both quickly with a catch and release tug/signal, and shorten the length of leash or leashes as necessary-Maggie always the culprit-without the vinyl cloth collar rubbing and/or holding uncomfortably against the neck. This is not as cumbersome as one might think, although I do experience times when Snerdley sights a rabbit or cat and rockets ahead, crossing to my right side; but I simply stop, replace my shoulder in the socket, and think of something equally disappointing, like the fact that Chipotle does not deliver, in order to quell my guilt for restraining his nature.
            "I know, Snerdley. I know. You missed the rabbit. I love fast food too but can't always have it," I tell him, and he chuffs at me disgustedly. A twin portal blow through his dog nostrils is his way of dismissing me, I'm sure.
            The three of us have been walking together for five years now. Prior to engaging this twin walk, I would walk one dog and return home to walk the other, but, after months of their competitive bickering and hearing, "She always gets to go first," and "That's my leash! Why doesn't he get his own?" I'd had enough and made the change to walking them simultaneously.
            "Now listen, you two," I would demand. "If you do not stop with this bickering, I'll go myself. Cane and I are Abel, ha ha ha." I routinely engage them with playful language this way as a means of both annoyance and distraction.
            At present both dogs are pulling ahead strongly to be the first to capture the next freshest inhalation of oxygen, and I pick up my own pace. The sidewalk beneath my feet soon begins to slope downward and informs me that we're approaching the end of this block. I mentally throw my ears forward to the cross-street and the crosswalk and include the passing traffic on State Route 48 to my left as I reel and shorten their leashes in toward me. Hearing predictability ahead, we cross this next street without stopping and maintain our pace. It's a perfectly executed crossing; even the Russian orientation and mobility instructors are pleased, and their scorecard displays a 9.7 score rating. For me it is just one of those days when alignment is Zen-like, and no other people approach with dogs, and no remnant of parade food has been discarded in the crosswalk for distraction.
            In this next block is where the aluminum bleachers are positioned, and both block the entire sidewalk, which is at least twice the width of suburban sidewalk paths because it accommodates a nicely cobbled brick area surrounding a city bus stop and shelter. I am very familiar with the parade bleacher setup because at least twice in the early years of my residency here I took a five foot nine-inch bleacher seat or step to my forehead, my cane sweeping beneath and my ears and mind elsewhere, probably dreaming of the advent of Diane Sawyer's voice in my computer's synthesizer or a Wendy's double burger with everything the size of a Frisbee.
            Today as in previous years since my last headshot, I have stepped off the sidewalk well before the placement of the bleachers and along with the dogs walk up the sloping grass of the Board of Education lawn to go around the blockade.
            "Hello. I like your dogs," a woman's voice speaks to me. Maggie and Snerdley are heading directly for her until Maggie stops short to root at what I can only imagine is food droppings from parade-attendees. "Oh I'm sorry," the woman says as I tug on Maggie's leash-Snerdley is not a constantly begging, sniffing or food-on-the-brained kind of dog-and I am again giving Maggie a smart leash correction of the sort I learned how to administer when in guide dog school twenty years ago. It is a mental check at best, and the equivalent of a tap on the shoulder.
            "I'm sorry," the woman repeats. "I know they're working; I shouldn't have distracted them," she says apologetically, but I hear she's smiling because, well, dogs have this effect on people, unlike politicians. 
            "No problem," I say loosening my hold on Maggie because she's now sweep-sniffing and no longer rooting, which tells me she's not eating or about to eat.
            "I know you're not supposed to pet working dogs, but can I?" the woman asks me.
            I worked with a Black Labrador guide dog for many years, and I never did get used to this question of simultaneous acknowledgement and dismissal. I wonder if this is limited to those who work with service dogs only or if it is spoken elsewhere.
            "I know you're not supposed to smoke in the maternity ward, but can I?" "I know the sign reads 12 items or fewer, but...." "I know it's a school zone, and the cautionary light is flashing, but c'mon, man, it's a Porsche."     
            "Sure," I say, and ask if she attended the parade, attempting to non-sequitur a guide dog conversation, which as you know is not the reality of the situation, but seeing is believing. I cannot imagine being so equipped as a blind person with a cane, all my senses in working order, and only four dogs short of a sled-team of guide dogs, but this is what is seen and spoken to me routinely when we three are out for a walk. My blindness experience has taught me that we see what we know and that knowing is not the same as understanding. Knowing is good for multiple-choice tests and Jeopardy, but understanding has very little to do with memorization.
            "Yes. We're cleaning up and are waiting for the trucks to remove the bleachers. Were you here for the parade," she asks.
            "Yes and no," I tell her. "I live just two blocks south of here, and the parade... well, it passes in front of my house. It's like having a marching band playing in your living room," I say to her and feel chills on the nape of my neck as I recall the scene I've just inadvertently described from The Amityville Horror movie.
            "Oh I know you," she says. "You're the guy with the dogs," and I know she's saying that I am the White Cane Guy with the dogs, more or less. But herein I am not WCG but the blind guy with two guide dogs, working dogs or service dogs... whatever.
            "Yes, that is me," I reply acknowledging her with a glance.
            "I think these dogs are so amazing... I mean what they do for you," she says, bending over to pet one then the other.
            "What do I say?" I ask myself. Do I tell her the truth, that my dogs are regular walking, trashcan-sniffing, rabbit-chasing, and obviously harnessless dogs with no formal training? This is a uniquely dissonant situation, for everything in plain view contradicts the woman's belief. "God, why are you doing this to me? I ask internally. "Why am I doing this to myself? Please turn my head into a plasma flat screen so I might be seen," I muse patiently. "Give me the radio voice of Art Schreiber, Rush Limbaugh, or Teri Gross so I might be heard."
            "Now where did you get them?" she asks still petting and cooing to them.
            "Maggie is from a breeder in Tampa, and Snerdley comes from the Tampa Humane Society, where he was doing three to six for civil disobedience," I reply.
            "Whaaat?" she asks laughing at me, but I know she's sincere and believes the twain are working.
            "The truth is that neither dog is a working dog," and this I relate seriously. "I sort of rescued them, and they are from Tampa, Florida."
            "But they work for you, right?" she states more than asks.
            "Nope. This works with me," I say softly, smiling sincerely and holding my cane upright to my side above the recently shorn front lawn I feel beneath my feet. I know my cane's simple utilitarian power, but most folk know it only as an accessory to the DMV driver exam picture and functionally like a candy-striped barber pole mounted on the wall outside the shop.
            "They're not working for you... They're not service animals" she replies, and I can hear the disbelief in her voice.
            "No, they're served animals," I reply. "They get served meals in the morning and the afternoon, eat dog snacks, and take routine walks with me to the pet store, where they are served treats and God only knows how many discounts that I am unaware of which they steal from the store's lower shelves."
            The woman is laughing. I am laughing. I think she's definitely a dog-person. This mistake has occurred many times since I began walking the dogs I've cared for in the past ten years since my former guide passed. Who knows, maybe I'll educate someone or, even better, maybe she'll want two dogs.
            "I don't understand. I always thought they guided you. I've seen them take you across the street," she says.
            "Take me across the street" I consider incredulously to myself? Chinese emperors are taken places by rickshaw inside the Imperial City. The New York Yankees are taken by floats or convertibles through the streets of Brooklyn in parades celebrating victory, but the last time I was taken across a street was by pram by my mother in the very early seventies.
            "Do you have a dog?" I ask, mild in tone and turning my gaze away so as to make sure I am communicating understandingly. I do not want to give the impression that I am at all incredulous. I do not want this kind woman to feel anything but openness to the reality of my walking the dogs. I do not want to communicate a corrective "Well duh" tone of voice to her.
            "Yes, a Beagle mix," she says.
            Hearing Beagle, I so want to reply, "BeagleJuice BeagleJuice BeagleJuice," 
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nz15PudXkXM <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nz15PudXkXM>) but even I know now is the time for seriousness.
            "When you walk the Beagle, the Beagle sometimes walks ahead of you and sometimes at your side. Beagle turns at all the routine corners and after certain street crossings. The Beagle marks territory at the usual places and walks down curbs and up wheelchair ramps along with you," I am explaining, and she is understanding this, I know, because she is now speaking to me engagingly and, truth be told, laughing at herself, which I can appreciate because I've walked into bleachers in broad daylight.
            "Oh my God. You're just walking these dogs. You're blind though, right?" she asks, and she is most definitely in need of confirmation. If ever there was an opportune time for me to walk into a tree or bleachers it is now. This would be called taking one for the team.
            "This is true," I say. You know it is, that moment when engaged by a person unfamiliar with blindness but simultaneously in the know of blindness who needs you to confirm something obvious in its functionality like reading Braille in an elevator and pressing the corresponding button so the light illuminates the seeing-is-believing truth. It's like asking someone at a costume party to remove his Batman mask even though you know he planned to arrive as such despite the fact that the entire event is a pre-planned Barack and Michelle Abama look-a-like costume party.
            "Yes," I reply now looking uncomfortably directly at her for only a second or two.
            "Ohhhh," she exclaims. She's cool in manner and not at all uncomfortable with the word "blind," which I really appreciate.
            "Sweet!" I'm elated. She's cool with it. I can get on with my walk, but suddenly I notice the dismantling of my presumptions of what is going on between us. 
            "But how...? You just walk... alone..., with that," she states a bit incredulously and obviously pointing at my white cane as if I were holding a soiled diaper.
            I have a choice to make. I can prolong the exchange, which has turned into a whole bunch of everything regarding blindness, and maybe dispel her disbelief. I could make another joke and tell her that, yes, I do use the cane; it works free; I incur no health insurance costs; it requires no room and board, does not cheat at cards, and also functions as a sweeping tool for the identification and retrieval of all the single socks that have gone astray beneath beds and behind the washing machine and dryer in my home. I could answer yes and excuse myself and continue walking, and this is what I did more or less.
            "My name is David," I say, holding out my hand to her, and we shake. "This cane is to me a literal extension of my arm and hand with five fingers, each with an eyeball for a fingerprint. It informs me of everything I need to know **added an i in fivesixty-five inches ahead of my scheduled arrival. It really works wonderfully in its simplicity."
            "Oh I guess so," she replies in a tone of challenged consideration. "I never really thought.... But don't you need a service dog?" she asked.
More Tools for NFB-NEWSLINE Readers

by Scott White

            Editor's note: Just as the newsletter was closing, the following notice came from Scott White, the director of NEWSLINE services at the National Center for the Blind. We thought that these changes would be of real interest to everyone who uses NEWSLINE to read newspapers or magazines. If you don't know about NEWSLINE, refer to the information at the top of this newsletter. Everyone who can no longer read newspapers should try NEWSLINE. Here are the description of the new features available:

            The NFB-NEWSLINE team is pleased to announce the introduction of a new feature for the telephone access method that will help subscribers streamline the reading of their favorite publications. This new mode is easy to navigate; you are able to move quickly from section to section without having to return to the list of sections and their corresponding option numbers, and you still retain the ability to move swiftly from article to article.

            Ever find yourself reading the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, Vogue or one of the other 400 publications on NFB-NEWSLINE and wish you could hear all the sections one after another, without having to go back to the section list and listen to all the sections in order to select the correct number of your choice? Now you can press 99 at the section level of your favorite publication as soon as you hear all the sections listed with their associated option numbers, and you will be placed in the new Continuous Reading Mode.

            What about those Sunday mornings when you are relaxing with your coffee and wish to read your USA Today all the way through? Using the Continuous Reading Mode, you can hear every article in every section. With the easy navigation of Continuous Reading Mode, you can read an entire newspaper beginning to end or skip any section that you are not interested in by simply pressing the * key.

            While reading the Metro Section of the Washington Post, you can still move from article to article by a press of the 3 key as you have always done in the past. Need to have an article emailed to you for your personal use? Press the pound nine key combination, and it is on its way to your in box.

            Once you are finished using the Continuous Reading Mode and wish to exit, press the pound key followed by the * key and you are immediately returned to the section level of the publication that you are reading.

            These new reading tools do not affect the existing tools you are accustomed to using. Pressing Pound 9 will still email articles to your email address in our system. Pressing 3 will still move you to the next article in a publication even while in Continuous Reading Mode.

            For users of the "My Newspaper" feature that allows you to design your very own customized publication, we have also enabled the Continuous Reading Mode so you can quickly move through the content that you find of most value to you.

Summary of Continuous Reading Mode Tools

99-Turn on Continuous Reading Mode from the Section Level

*-Skip to next Section of the Publication while in Continuous Reading Mode

Pound*-Return to Section Level

            We hope you enjoy this new reading feature of the NFB-NEWSLINE service, which was designed to provide you with more flexibility in your reading and an opportunity to efficiently discover other sections in the publications that you read. We would very much like to have your comments on this new Continuous Reading Mode. Please call us at (410) 505-5896 or email me at swhite at nfb.org <mailto:swhite at nfb.org> to let us know what you think.

Buckeye Briefs
            The Ohio Association of Blind Students had a very successful and enjoyable time at the 2014 convention of the NFB of Ohio. The division's split-the-pot fundraiser went very well, and the division plans to sponsor similar fundraisers at future conventions. 
            The division and its members were more visible and active than they have been in years. Lillie Pennington spoke about her experiences at the STEM2U Leadership Academy this past September. In addition to monitoring our streaming, Aleeha Dudley demonstrated the KNFB Reader app. Kaiti Shelton spoke on a panel about Braille on Friday morning, and Macy McClain and Aleeha were a part of the BELL presentation. Macy also spoke about her experiences as a student of the Louisiana Center for the Blind, of which she is now a graduate. There was also a lot of singing this year, and Kaiti provided instrumental backing to favorite Federation songs. 
            OABS elected a new board for 2014-2015 at its business meeting. The board includes Kaiti Shelton, president; Aleeha Dudley, vice president; Macy McClain, secretary; Emily Pennington, treasurer; and Elif Emir Oksuz, board member.
            Finally, three members of the division received scholarships from the affiliate. The NFB of Ohio Scholarship of $1,000 was awarded to Jonathan Thomas, a freshman psychology major at Wright State University. Kaiti Shelton, a junior studying music therapy at the University of Dayton, received the Robert M. Eschbach Memorial Scholarship of $1,000. The Jennica Ferguson Memorial Scholarship of $1,500 went to Elif Emir Oksuz, who is a graduate student in counseling at the University of Cincinnati. OABS would like to thank the affiliate and the scholarship committee for offering this program to blind students. We thank everyone for supporting the division thus far and plan to continue to become a bigger and better division in 2015. 
            Eric Duffy has appointed a special committee and asked J.W. Smith to chair it. The name is the Drive for 75 Committee, and its purpose is to raise sufficient funds between now and July to get seventy-five Ohioans to the seventy-fifth convention of the National Federation of the Blind. Obviously most of the funds will have to be raised beyond the membership, but members are invited to make contributions of $75 to this fund. So far $1,541 has come into this fund.
            J.W. has assembled his committee and begun planning for fundraisers in Cincinnati, Dayton, Cleveland, Columbus, and Toledo. The committee members in addition to J.W. are Sheri Albers, Mike Anderson, David Cohen, Annette Lutz, Mark McClain, Walter Mitchell, Renee Payne, Colleen Roth, and Tom Ruth. You will be hearing more from this committee in the months ahead.
Announcing a New Fundraising Drive for the NFB of Ohio: 
            From now till December 31, 2015, Commtech USA will donate 10 percent of any purchase from any of their products or services, unless noted, to the NFB of Ohio. So, if you are interested in new cell phone purchases or new memberships to instructional classes, mention the NFB of Ohio. Commtech will donate 10 percent of the purchase price to the NFB of Ohio over the next year. If you are in need of support, training, a new website, or a new cell phone or service plan, remember, get more bang for your buck by helping Commtech LLC donate to the independence, empowerment, and assistance that the NFB of Ohio provides to the blind of Ohio. Go to the website commtechusa.net/nfbohio <http://commtechusa.net/nfbohio> or call (623) 565-9357. If you do not use the link, mention the NFB of Ohio in the order.
            The Miami Valley chapter conducted elections in December. The results are as follows: president, Richard Payne; vice president, Gloria Robinson; secretary, Kathy Withman; treasurer, Tim Janning; and board member, Carolyn Peters. 
            We have just learned that Deborah Kendrick is the winner in the Excellent Work category of the North America/Carabbean Region of the Onkyo Braille Essay Contest. She was encouraged to enter this contest because she was told that they need good contestants. She has won $1,000 and other prizes. Congratulations to Deborah.
            Debbie Baker reports an interesting job held by a member of the Springfield chapter. Bethany Goff of the NFB of Springfield has a November-December temporary job at the Springfield Mall, working as an elf to bring the children to Santa. As Bethany has gotten to know Santa better, she has learned that he too has a visual impairment. He is interested in learning more about the NFB and perhaps becoming a member. We ho ho hope that he does.
2015 NFB Writers' Division Writing Contest:
            The annual youth and adult writing contests sponsored by the NFB Writers' Division will open January 1 and close April 1. Since it is the Federation's seventy-fifth birthday, for the first time ever the contest will have a required theme. All submissions will need to incorporate the theme of seventy-five. It does not have to be about the anniversary of NFB. It could just be the number seventy-five, or perhaps the diamond anniversary, or seventy-five steps to your destination, or even seventy-five balloons. In the pattern of some past entries, seventy-five aliens would work. Seriously, let your imagination take over. Write the piece you want; just remember to include the theme of seventy-five to commemorate the seventy-five years of the work that has been happening within and because of the National Federation of the Blind. 
            In the adult contests poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and stories for youth are open to all entrants eighteen and over. The youth writing contests, poetry and fiction, are to promote Braille literacy and excellence in writing. The contest is divided into three groups by grade level-elementary, middle school, and high school.
            Prizes in the adult contests may be as much as $100; winners in the youth contest may receive as much as $30. All contest winners will be announced during the Writers' Division business meeting at the NFB national convention, held in Orlando, Florida, in July of 2015. In addition the list of winners will appear on our website, <http://writers.nfb.org <http://writers.nfb.org/>>, and their submissions will be considered for publication in our division's magazine, Slate and Style. For additional contest details and submission guidelines, go to <http://writers.nfb.org <http://writers.nfb.org/>>.
            The Cleveland chapter held elections for two board seats in October. The new members are Richard Kirks and Bryant Ealy, Sr.
            Debbie Baker says that on October 25 she administered the National Braille Literacy Competency Test in Cincinnati. She reports that both Marianne Denning and Deborah Kendrick passed it. Congratulations to both women, even though as of January 1 we change to UEB.
            Jennifer Love reports that Love Chiropractic will be doing philanthropic marketing for the 2015 calendar year for the NFB of Ohio because of the close connection with Dr. Love's daughter MaKenzie, who is involved with the NFB BELL Program. When the office does any outside marketing especially for new patient activities such as screenings or health fairs, the cost of the initial appointment will be donated to the NFB. We will have flyers and brochures printed for our activities so that people will have information about the NFB and what patients will be donating to. We will also have an event within our office for existing patients.
Activities Calendar
January 4-11, Braille Literacy Week
January 26-28, Washington Seminar
March 31, National scholarship application deadline
May 1, Ohio scholarship application deadline
May 14-16, STEM2YOU at COSI
July 5-10, National convention, Orlando, FL

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