[Ohio-talk] Finally, Spring Newsletter
barbara.pierce9366 at gmail.com
barbara.pierce9366 at gmail.com
Sun May 8 20:13:57 UTC 2016
If you have not received this newsletter in your personal email address already, your chapter did not include your email address last fall when your chapter list was compiled and turned in. Be sure that it does not happen this year. I hope that you can read the table of contents in this copy. But don’t worry if you can’t. The articles should appear in order. You can also download the newsletter from the website within a day or two.
A publication of the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio
Barbara Pierce, Editor
198 Kendal Drive
Oberlin, OH 44074
barbara.pierce9366 at gmail.com <mailto:barbara.pierce9366 at gmail.com>
Richard Payne, President
1019 Wilmington Ave., Apt. 43,
Kettering, OH 45420
rchpay7 at gmail.com <mailto:rchpay7 at gmail.com>
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 life 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, 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://nfbohio.us12.list-manage.com/track/click?u=20afbf9079ebdc3ced81b27b7&id=389e39750a&e=ba338c7696>. 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 barbara.pierce9366 at gmail.com <mailto:barbara.pierce9366 at gmail.com>. 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://nfbohio.us12.list-manage.com/track/click?u=20afbf9079ebdc3ced81b27b7&id=08ab7f4e7c&e=ba338c7696>or call our toll-free vehicle donation number (855) 659-9314.
Table of Contents
From the President's Desk <applewebdata://FB2F32DC-D9A2-4B96-BCF9-4091A2284F76#_Toc450151777>
Convention 2015 Wrap-Up <applewebdata://FB2F32DC-D9A2-4B96-BCF9-4091A2284F76#_Toc450151778>
Awards Committee Report <applewebdata://FB2F32DC-D9A2-4B96-BCF9-4091A2284F76#_Toc450151779>
2015 NFB of Ohio Scholarship Winners <applewebdata://FB2F32DC-D9A2-4B96-BCF9-4091A2284F76#_Toc450151780>
2015 Resolutions <applewebdata://FB2F32DC-D9A2-4B96-BCF9-4091A2284F76#_Toc450151781>
2016 Committee Appointments <applewebdata://FB2F32DC-D9A2-4B96-BCF9-4091A2284F76#_Toc450151782>
Editor’s Musings <applewebdata://FB2F32DC-D9A2-4B96-BCF9-4091A2284F76#_Toc450151783>
BELLs Ring Again in Ohio <applewebdata://FB2F32DC-D9A2-4B96-BCF9-4091A2284F76#_Toc450151784>
Quantum Rehabilitation <applewebdata://FB2F32DC-D9A2-4B96-BCF9-4091A2284F76#_Toc450151785>
The 2016 Washington Seminar: Making a Statement in the Snow <applewebdata://FB2F32DC-D9A2-4B96-BCF9-4091A2284F76#_Toc450151786>
A Tour, an Education, a Strategy for Life <applewebdata://FB2F32DC-D9A2-4B96-BCF9-4091A2284F76#_Toc450151787>
Airports Can Mean Humiliation for Some Travelers <applewebdata://FB2F32DC-D9A2-4B96-BCF9-4091A2284F76#_Toc450151788>
The Diabetes Action Network Is Getting the Word Out <applewebdata://FB2F32DC-D9A2-4B96-BCF9-4091A2284F76#_Toc450151789>
On your Mark, Get Set, Go! Join Us on June 26 for Fun, Exercise, and Fundraising <applewebdata://FB2F32DC-D9A2-4B96-BCF9-4091A2284F76#_Toc450151790>
Recipes from the Capital Chapter <applewebdata://FB2F32DC-D9A2-4B96-BCF9-4091A2284F76#_Toc450151791>
Buckeye Briefs <applewebdata://FB2F32DC-D9A2-4B96-BCF9-4091A2284F76#_Toc450151792>
Activities Calendar 31 <applewebdata://FB2F32DC-D9A2-4B96-BCF9-4091A2284F76#_Toc450151793>
From the President's Desk
by Eric Duffy
Editor’s note: If you read the masthead of this issue, you noted that Richard Payne is now listed as the president of the NFB of Ohio. In March Eric Duffy was invited to apply for a technology job at the New Jersey Commission for the Blind. Dan Frye is the director of the commission, and he knew Eric and appreciated his skills as a technology teacher and his political sophistication as an administrator. Eric has been out of work for a long time, and he could not afford to turn down this job offer. He will report for work on May 2, so on April 16 Richard Payne conducted his first Board of Directors meeting as president of this affiliate. By that time, however, Eric had written his farewell column as president. That is the story of how you are now reading Eric’s column with Richard was listed as president. Here is Eric’s final president’s column:
As I write this column, I am the president of the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio. In just a few short days, however, Richard Payne will be the new president, and soon after that I will no longer live in Ohio. I have accepted a job as a technological support specialist with the New Jersey Commission for the Blind. This is an opportunity that I believe will enable me to accomplish some of my life-long career goals.
So how do I say good-bye? I have contemplated this for a while now. The answer is that I don't. Even when geography separates family members, they don't say good-bye. That just seems more final than it should be among family.
We talk about the Federation family all of the time, and that is exactly how many of us see the organization. We are brothers and sisters in a movement. No matter what differences and beliefs we have that might divide us, the one thing that unites us is the National Federation of the Blind.
I have received an incredible amount of love and support from the members of this organization over the years. From the time I met Bob and Pat Eschbach, they welcomed me into the Federation family and to their family. I do not exaggerate at all when I say I was welcomed into the Eschbach family. I will always remember the trips we took together, the long hours we spent on the work of the Federation, the card games, and so much more. I first met the Eschbachs in 1984. I had no idea of what was still to come.
In early 1985 Bob called to ask if I would like to go to the March on Washington as it was called at that time. We now know this as the Washington Seminar of course. I said that I would like to go. Of course I was a young, brash, overly confident political science major. I thought I was going to teach those people so much. Wow! was I ever shocked when reality hit.
I got to what we now call the Great Gathering In, the kickoff to the Washington Seminar. I heard Dr. Jernigan speak, and everyone who experienced that knows just how captivating that was. In and of itself that was impressive. Then came Jim Gashel, the director of governmental affairs at the time. I was just blown away. There were two extremely impressive blind leaders on the stage, and it was clear that there were more in the room. I had not yet figured out that there was one sitting very close to me. But that's the next chapter of this story.
Barbara Pierce deserves not only a chapter but a book. If i had the time to write a book, I certainly would. Some of you might find it interesting and perhaps even instructive. But really it is our story, a story that is unique to us and can never be repeated.
From our first meeting I learned that Barbara is a teacher. She has taught me so much about the Federation, blindness, life, and loving. She has taught so much about all of these things not as much through words as by her actions. She has always given me much; thus I have learned to give to others. She has been forgiving and thus taught me to forgive. We have spent hours talking about human nature over the years.
In the early 90's we engaged in an experiment that as far as I can tell had never been done before in the Federation. Barbara proposed to Dr. Jernigan and Dr. Maurer that I become an employee of the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio. They were both a little uncertain, but said that, if it could work anywhere, it could work in Ohio, and it could work because of the relationship that Barbara and I had. Not only did it work, but in many ways it exceeded our expectations for over sixteen years.
As I talk to Federationists around the country, I get some sense of just how many lives Barbara has touched. But no one has been blessed in the way that I have. We are soon going to embark on a new chapter in our relationship, but love endures forever. The love and affection that Barbara and I have for each other has been no secret to anyone who has the power of observation. Some have thought that, while she was my supervisor and while I have served as president of the affiliate, she perhaps let me slide on some things that others might not have gotten away with. But that is not Barbara, and that is not love. Both dictate that she push me to be all that I can be. That is what she has done, and that is what I am sure she will continue to do even when I am in New Jersey.
What can I say about the McClain family? Crystal had a phenomenal run as president of the Parents of Blind Children Division of the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio. The division experienced growth and success under her leadership that has not been seen before or since her presidency. Of course Mark was a tremendous part of that success. They both continue to be great friends to me.
There are those who questioned how long I would continue to be involved in the Federation after Barbara was no longer president in Ohio. But those people didn't know me and didn't know the Federation. I had the pleasure of serving as vice president under JW Smith. Although his presidency was only slightly longer than mine will turn out to be, we worked well together. We can be proud of what we accomplished, and we have built a lasting friendship
It has given me a great deal of personal satisfaction to watch the personal growth that Shelbi Hindel has experienced over the years. In recent times she has experienced more growth and commitment in the National Federation of the Blind. She has pushed herself to do some things that have taken her out of her comfort zone, and when we do that, that is when we all learn and grow the most. Although the geographical separation will be difficult for the two of us, both of our comfort zones will be expanded, and that will insure continued growth for each of us.
I don't have the time or space to mention individually all of those who have touched my life in a deep and profound way. You know who you are. You know that you could not have touched my personal life in the deepest way possible without being a part of the National Federation of the Blind. Of course the reverse of that is true as well.
Where do we go from here? There is much to be done in the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio. As you will see in my article entitled “Quantum Rehabilitation" elsewhere in this newsletter, there is much work to be done concerning Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD). We must see that our efforts to improve services for the blind in Ohio continue.
We have a parental rights bill to work on and legislation concerning guide dogs. We have got to continue to develop relationships with members of the Ohio General Assembly even if we don't get specific legislation introduced in this session.
There is much to do including our BELL program, the national convention, and shortly after that the state convention. I have often written about how exciting it is to be a part of the National Federation of the Blind and the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio. I have enjoyed all that I have done for these many years. I thank you for giving me your love, support, and trust for the better part of my life.
Now you have a new president in Richard Payne. He will not do things in the same way that I did, and you should not expect him to. He is a different person, and he will have his own leadership style. Give him a chance to lead. Give him your love. Give him your support for as long as he needs it and deserves it. How long is that? He will need it as long as he is president. I always asked people to apply the Jernigan principle of support to my presidency. Dr. Jernigan once told Dr. tenBroek that as long as he agreed with 51 percent of what he was doing as president, he would have 100 percent of his support. If there came a time when he could not agree with at least 51 percent of what tenBroek was doing, then he would have none of Jernigan's support. That is what I always expected of you, the members of the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio. I believe that is what Richard should expect as well.
As I have said, love is everlasting. I will always love the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio and those of you who are a part of my Federation family.
Convention 2015 Wrap-Up
by Shelbi Hindel
Editor’s note: Shelbi Hindel is the secretary of the NFB of Ohio. Here is her report of last fall’s state convention:
The sixty-ninth state convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio convened on Thursday evening, November 19, 2015, at 7:30 p.m. with a Board of Directors meeting. The convention was held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Independence, Ohio.
Friday morning was filled with a variety of workshops that people could choose among. There were workshops for users of IOS devices and those interested in Unified English Braille, diabetes management, and the art of structured discovery. While these workshops were going on, there was an exhibit area. All activities were well attended by our members. I first chose to attend the Art of Structured Discovery because it was led by our national representative Pam Allen and her husband Roland. It was a fantastic learning experience. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I attended it again the second session. Each workshop was repeated with the object of allowing people to rotate between them. The most significant things I learned at the workshop were that it is ok to explore our way and that our NFB training centers have the goal of supporting and teaching, not using fear tactics.
Friday afternoon a workshop on advocacy was held. Guests from Disability Rights Ohio Barbara Korner and William Pucket joined us. President Eric Duffy and TVI Marianne Denning did role playing. Although they did a very realistic job, it was sad to think that our rehabilitation system has gotten to the point portrayed in this role-play.
The evening was taken up by committee and division meetings, as well as the At-Large Chapter meeting. Hospitality was available sponsored jointly by the Cleveland and Cuyahoga chapters, and there were lavish amounts of food. Then at 9:30 the Not the Royal Shakespeare Company presented its version of Pyramus and Thisbe, a play within a play from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. For the first time the director of the company, Bob Pierce, participated in the performance. The performers read their parts in Braille as is tradition.
Saturday morning we were all up and at the work of the Federation. This day started with the NAPUB breakfast meeting and the Diabetes Action Network breakfast meeting. Both of these started at 7:00 a.m. I attended the NAPUB breakfast meeting, and along with some good food we held an election. New officers were elected. DAN also elected new officers. You will read about the newly elected officers elsewhere in this newsletter.
Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m. our President Eric Duffy called the first general session of the convention to order. Once we were called to order, the first piece of business was a door prize, which our long-time chairman of door prizes, Paul Dressell, gave out via telephone. We were all sad that Paul was not able to join us for the 2015 convention, but we were glad to hear his voice. This was an especially sad time for me as the person who filled in for Paul. I am glad and honored to have done it and very thankful for all the assistance I received, especially from Judy Cook. Judy has helped Paul with door prizes for many years.
As is always the case, after our housekeeping issues were taken care of, our national representative, Pam Allen, addressed the convention. This was her first address to us.
There were three more presenters during the morning session. Two of these are regular visitors to our convention, but one of them was new to us, as was his topic. The familiar presenters were Will Reed from the Talking Book Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled in Cleveland and Mindy Duncan, Director of the Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired. After Will gave his report, we played a name-that-book game with him which everyone seemed to enjoy. We were given more time to ask questions of Mindy once she had completed her report. The new presenter at this convention was Dewey McClin. His topic was also new to us. It was non-24 sleep disorder. The question that Mr. McClin answered was, what is it? He said that you should not let non-24 sleep disorder prevent you from living the life you want. That phrase should sound familiar to us Federationists.
Lunch recess was another opportunity for some of our divisions to be at their work. Other people used this time to relax. Regardless of what you did during the recess, the time passed quickly, and we were once more in general session. Yes, you know it, the afternoon agenda was completely filled.
The afternoon session started at 2:00 p.m. During the afternoon three NFB-sponsored programs were presented. The first was the KNFB Reader, Go Totally Mobile. Aleeha Dudley is our coordinator for this, so she made the presentation. Ben Gillespie and his son Andrew spoke to us about the BELL program and STEM2U. Andrew participated in both of these. Deborah Kendrick told us why she is a Federationist. This topic is always interesting, and each year we get to hear from a different person, so this presentation is always unique.
During the afternoon we also heard from Joel Zureick from the Cleveland Sight Center. He works to help clients find rewarding employment. Ann Williams, PhD, RN, CDE, Professor of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University, spoke to us about living a long and healthy life even with diabetes. We also discussed transportation options now and in the future. This business is changing.
The annual banquet was held Saturday evening. Prior to the start of the banquet, we enjoyed a social hour with a cash bar. The banquet agenda was traditional. Our national representative Pam Allen gave the banquet address. Affiliate awards were presented. The National Federation of the Blind of Cincinnati received the Chapter Gavel award, and the Ohio Association of Guide Dog Users received the Gavel Award for the divisions category. The scholarship awards were presented to Macy McClain and Emily Pennington. The banquet concluded with Money for the Movement.
After the banquet there were a band and cash bar. People could dance or simply listen to the music. This year we did not have the traditional Trivia game that Sherry Ruth hosts.
On the final day of our convention people were once more up early and at Federation work. This day started with a leadership breakfast. The breakfast attendees were invited by the president. When the breakfast concluded, it was time for the general session to start.
General session began with a brief time to remember those who are no longer with us. After this NFB of Ohio Vice President Richard Payne spoke on building the membership of the Federation. Christopher Sabine gave us information on optic nerve hypoplasia.
This year we had two resolutions to vote on. One of these was brought to the Convention by the Resolutions Committee, and the other came through the Board of Directors. One concerned Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, and the other concerned the vending training program in Ohio. The texts of both resolutions appear elsewhere in this newsletter. Both resolutions passed. These are serious resolutions, and NFB-OH will act upon them. We do not simply present and pass resolutions to say we have them.
We heard the financial report from Treasurer Sherry Ruth and then the report from the Nominating Committee.
The convention concluded with elections. Debbie Baker announced that she was not a candidate for a board position this year. The election was lively. There were enough candidates that we were not able to conduct voice voting, so we had to have counters. Thank you, Tom Ruth and Crystal McClain, for serving as counters. Congratulations to those elected to serve on the Board of Directors of the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio: Sheri Albers, Cheryl Fields, Rachel Kuntz, Deanna Lewis, Barbara Pierce, and William Turner.
This was a terrific convention. If you were not able to be with us, you missed a good convention, and I hope you will be able to join us November 10-13 for the 2016 convention. It will be held in the same hotel as the 2015 convention.
Awards Committee Report
by Shelbi Hindel
Editor’s note: Shelbi Hindel chairs the Awards Committee. Here is her report of the 2016 awards:
For two years now I have chaired the Awards Committee. This has enabled me to examine first hand the growth of our chapters and divisions and therefore to understand the strength and growth of our affiliate. After all, the affiliate is comprised of chapters around the state and our statewide divisions. The state affiliate can be only as strong as these parts that make it up.
Each year chapters and divisions are invited to submit reports for the awards contest. All chapters and divisions must submit a report of activities to the president prior to the annual convention, so why not do it in time to be a part of the contest? Most chapters and divisions do exactly that, and we have a lively competition each year.
This year the National Federation of the Blind of Cincinnati won the chapter Gavel Award for its effectiveness in education about blindness in English and Turkish and in advocacy; and for the 25 percent membership growth in the chapter. If that's not enough, they had a very successful White Cane Walk. Staff and volunteers from the Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired and the Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, as well as several chapter members, participated. They were also joined by one of our students from the BELL program and his father. A proclamation was read and presented by a member of City Council. The walk was dedicated to Paul Dressell.
The committee also recognized the work of the Ohio Association of Guide Dog Users for its work with police officers and firemen on proper service dog etiquette; efforts to modernize Ohio legislation concerning service animals; and development of an effective listserv and frequent conference calls.
We enjoy good competition among chapters and divisions, but we also have individual service awards for worthy recipients. Please consider nominees for these awards when the gavel information comes out later in the summer. I can't wait to present the 2016 awards at the convention to be held in Independence November 10-13. I hope you will plan to be there in case you or your chapter or division wins an award.
2015 NFB of Ohio Scholarship Winners
by Deborah Kendrick
Editor’s note: Deborah Kendrick chairs the NFB of Ohio Scholarship Committee. Below she reports on the scholarships won at the fall convention in 2015:
We presented two scholarships at this year’s convention. The Jennica Ferguson Scholarship of $1,500 went to Emily Pennington. She is a senior accounting major at Xavier University. A two-time National Federation of the Blind scholarship winner, making her a tenBroek Fellow. Emily has received many other scholarships throughout her academic career.
She is treasurer of the Cincinnati chapter. Emily’s skills, however, are not limited to accounting and treasuries. She is a talented musician (quite a show stopper at the Blind Inspiration fundraiser in Cincinnati with her vocals last May) and is involved in many musical, social justice, and academic organizations.
Macy McClain was awarded the Robert M. Eschbach Memorial Scholarship. Macy, who describes herself as having grown up in the Federation, is studying to become a worship leader at Cedarville University. She is a gifted musician--playing flute and piano and singing. Macy is a member of the Board of Directors of the NFB of Ohio. She is a graduate of the Louisiana Center for the Blind.
Congratulations to both of these fine winners.
We passed two resolutions at this year’s convention. The text of the first one appears below. The second one appears in full in Eric Duffy’s article, “Quantum Rehabilitation.” Eric took this resolution to the Ohio Vendors Representative Committee. They have had a representative from the Hadley School present to them, but they have not yet taken a stand on the issue. Here is the resolution:
NFB-O Resolution 2015-01
Regarding National Association of Blind Merchants /Hadley School for the Blind Training
WHEREAS, state licensing agencies (SLA’s) under the Randolph-Sheppard Act are required to provide training to ensure that prospective blind entrepreneurs are qualified to manage and operate vending facilities; and,
WHEREAS, many state vocational rehabilitation agencies have inferior training programs or do not have the resources to provide effective training to prospective blind entrepreneurs; and,
WHEREAS, recruiting qualified candidates for the Randolph-Sheppard Program has become a challenge for many state licensing agencies; and,
WHEREAS, a major deterrent to attracting quality candidates is the time required away from home to complete training; and,
WHEREAS, the National Association of Blind Merchants and the Hadley School for the Blind have launched an online training program that represents the first ever national training curriculum for Randolph-Sheppard; and,
WHEREAS, the training is delivered using Hadley’s internationally recognized online training model; and,
WHEREAS, Hadley has a faculty instructor dedicated to teaching the online courses; and,
WHEREAS, most higher education institutions in this country now allow students to complete undergraduate and post-graduate degrees online, a platform that has proven successful for educating college students; and,
WHEREAS, this training is available to state vocational rehabilitation agencies at a reasonable cost per student; and,
WHEREAS, the Hadley training allows prospective Randolph-Sheppard vendors to complete critical modules that replace most of the classroom training, requiring only that the SLA’s provide state-specific training and hands-on experience; and,
WHEREAS, adopting this training will give our state’s blind citizens more options to be placed in other state Business Enterprise Programs: Now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio in Convention assembled this twenty-first day of November, 2015, in the city of Independence, Ohio, that this organization urge the Committee of Blind Vendors and the Business Enterprise Program management to give serious consideration to adopting the Hadley training as the core coursework or as an alternative to the core coursework required of all prospective Randolph-Sheppard entrepreneurs; and,
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we urge the Business Enterprise Program to develop a short-term training for educating trainees on state requirements and also to develop a hands-on, on-the-job experience that reinforces the concepts learned from the Hadley coursework.
2016 Committee Appointments
Committees are appointed by the president. The first name given for each committee is of the person who has been appointed as chairperson of that committee. It will be noted if special circumstances exist within a committee.
Deaf-Blind Coordinators--Lisa Hall and Delcenia Brown
Awards Committee--Shelbi Hindel, Paul Dressell, Cheryl Fields, Jerry Percell, Emily Pennington, Barbara Pierce, and Sheila Wilson
Constitution Committee--Shelbi Hindel, Deborah Kendrick, and Colleen Roth
Convention Arrangements--Sheri Albers
Education Committee--Debbie Baker, Kyle Conley, Marianne Denning, and Suzanne Turner
Financing the Movement Committee--Sherry Ruth (treasurer), Sheri Albers (PAC), Deanna Lewis (SUN), and Barbara Pierce (Jernigan Fund)
Fundraising Committee--Carol Akers, Aleeha Dudley, Shelbi Hindel (NFB Scrip Ohio), Deanna Lewis, Annette Lutz, and Emily Pennington
Legislative Committee--Barbara Pierce, Sheri Albers, Aleeha Dudley, Deborah Kendrick, Annette Lutz, Walter Mitchell, Jordy Stringer, and Suzanne Turner
Membership Committee--Rachel Kuntz, Stephanie Claytor, Cheryl Fields, Cheryl Fischer, Macy McClain, Lilly Pennington, Arley Ray, Gloria Robinson, and William H. Turner
Promotion and Publicity--Rachel Kuntz, Denver Jones, Barbara Pierce, Jordy Stringer (social media), and Suzanne Turner
Resolutions Committee--Debbie Baker, Paul Dressell, Deborah Kendrick, and Colleen Roth
Scholarship Committee--Deborah Kendrick, Cheryl Fields, Rachel Kuntz, Barbara Pierce, and Bob Pierce
by Barbara Pierce
In an organization like ours there are never enough hands to do the work. I try to keep my NFB responsibilities separated in my mind, but I recognize that it would sometimes be difficult for people to tell what hat I was wearing. This column is going to be a good example of that confusion of roles. I am both the editor of the newsletter and the legislative director for Ohio. I have decided to use this space in the newsletter to review the legislative efforts that we are embracing this year on both the national and state levels.
Just over two months ago six Ohioans braved a huge snow storm to travel to Washington DC for the Washington Seminar (see Rachel Kuntz’s article elsewhere in this issue). Capitol Hill was nearly empty, but those staffers who were there had no choice but to take note of the National Federation of the Blind because our canes and dogs dominated the scene. We had four issues to discuss with members of Congress. Actually, we had three issues for the House and four for the Senate. For a full discussion of these issues, you can find all four fact sheets on our national website, nfb.org <http://nfb.org/>.
The first issue was the Transitioning to Integrated and Meaningful Employment (TIME) Act. We have been discussing this bill for several sessions. It would gradually eliminate the Section 14(c) certificates of exemption from the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. Holders of these certificates can pay disabled line workers less than the minimum wage if 75 percent of the production workforce is disabled. In the beginning there was a floor for these wages. They could not be less than half of the minimum wage, but through the years this floor has been eliminated so that today some of the 300,000 disabled workers affected by these certificates can earn as little as pennies an hour. Representative Gregg Harper (R-MS) introduced this bill, and to date in this Congress only Ohio Representatives Marsha Fudge and Marcy Kaptur have co-sponsored it. A number of Ohio representatives were co-sponsors in the last session, but they have apparently been approached by some of the 127 sheltered shops in Ohio with 14(c) certificates, and they have persuaded these past sponsors that their ability to continue in business would be compromised by losing their certificates. They get federal contracts, they can accept tax-exempt contributions, and their able-bodied administrators earn huge salaries. But they have convinced Ohio’s representatives that the only way they can make the sheltered shop system function is by paying workers inadequate wages. We contend that, if they would try to find work that workers were suited to do, impose efficiencies like keeping equipment functioning, and supplying their workers with materials so that they do not face downtime while they wait to return to work, they could operate their shops efficiently enough to pay a living wage.
The Accessible Instructional Materials in Higher Education (AIMHE) Act is pronounced AIM HI ACT. We do not yet have an original sponsor for this bill, but we are apparently close. The intent of this bill is to provide guidance to institutions of higher education so that they will be able to provide accessibility in digital books, PDFs, webpages, and other electronic course and program content. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act have settled the right of disabled students to have accessible materials. But producers are not clear how to produce accessible materials, and institutions do not know what to demand. AIM HE would establish a purpose-based commission made up of stakeholders to develop guidelines for truly accessible materials and programs. If an institution chose only electronic content that followed these guidelines, it would have a safe harbor from litigation by students needing access. Schools would not be required to adopt these guidelines. If administrators believe that they have experts who can solve the access problems in another way, they would be free to devise their own solutions, but they would be open to lawsuits if access was not achieved. The American Council on Education (ACE) is apparently unwilling to negotiate in good faith to work out the details of this bill, so we are working alone to try to solve this far-reaching problem for American college students.
The Equal Access to Air Travel for Service-Disabled Veterans, (HR 2264 and S. 2596) is a bill that we have been working on for some time. The good news is that it has bi-partisan support, and we have had lots of co-sponsors from Ohio in the past. We need to get these members back this year. At the same time we have to encourage the Armed Services Committees in both houses of Congress to include the bill in the National Defense Appropriations Act (NDAA). The effect of this bill would be to allow veterans who are 100 percent disabled from service-connected injuries to qualify for competing for space as it is available on military flights. Vets disabled after September 1993 qualify for this privilege, but those wounded before that date do not. This is grossly unfair, and this injustice must be corrected. The Hon. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) is the original sponsor in the House, and Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) introduced an identical bill in the Senate in February of this year. You should call your Representative and our Senators to ask them to co-sponsor this bill and urge that it be added to the NDAA.
Our issue for the Senate only is the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled (the Marrakesh Treaty). Blind Americans have more access to print materials than blind people in any other nation, but still 95 percent of print publications are unavailable to us. The Marrakesh Treaty, adopted on June 27, 2013, and signed by the US on October 2, 2013, removes the legal barriers to producing, importing, and exporting accessible publications across national borders. The treaty provides copyright exceptions like the US Chafee Amendment to our copyright law. The treaty would allow American students access to Braille and recorded books in other languages and give them access to English books produced in other countries. The United States was an enthusiastic supporter of the Marrakesh Treaty. It will provide permissions to publish and circulate books almost identical to the permission provided by the Chafee Amendment. This means that a sleek and narrow ratification packet has been prepared by the Department of State. This has now gone to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, chaired by Senator Bob Corker (R-TN).We need for this committee to approve the treaty and send it to the Senate floor, where sixty Senators must vote to ratify it. We need to urge both Senator Portman and Senator Brown to vote to ratify this treaty.
At the state level we have three legislative issues of concern. The first is changes to Ohio Revised Code 955.43, Dogs with Blind, Deaf, or Mobility-Impaired Persons. The name of the law should be changed to “Persons with Disabilities and Service Animals.”” All references to “assistance animals” should be altered to “service animals. All references to “blind, deaf, hearing impaired, or mobility impaired” should be changed to “persons with a disability.”
The following language should be added to the law:
“Service animal” means an animal that is trained to perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The tasks may include, but are not limited to, guiding a person who is blind, alerting a person who is deaf, pulling a person in a wheelchair, assisting with mobility or balance, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, retrieving objects, or performing other special tasks. A service animal is not a pet. In addition, assistance animals and emotional support animals are not defined as service animals. A business can ask two questions to ascertain that the animal is a service animal: Is the animal a service animal? What tasks has the animal been trained to do? Documentation is not a precondition to providing service to an individual accompanied by a service animal.
An individual with a disability is liable for damage caused by a service animal if it is the regular policy and practice of the public accommodation to charge nondisabled persons for damages caused by their pets. The care or supervision of a service animal is the responsibility of the individual owner. A public accommodation may exclude or remove any animal from the premises, including a service animal, if the animal’s behavior poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others. Allergies and fear of animals are not valid reasons for denying access or refusing service to an individual with a service animal. If a service animal is excluded or removed for being a direct threat to others, the public accommodation must provide the individual with a disability the option of continuing access to the public accommodation without having the service animal on the premises.
A person who knowingly and willfully misrepresents himself or herself through conduct or verbal or written notice as using a service animal and being qualified to use a service animal or as a trainer of a service animal commits a second-degree misdemeanor. Instead of or in addition to a fine, a person who misrepresents themselves as using a service animal could also be required to volunteer a number of hours at an organization working with persons with disabilities.
All penalties should be changed from a fourth-degree misdemeanor to a second-degree misdemeanor.
We also hope to introduce a bill to protect parental rights for blind people. The bill stipulates that blindness is not sufficient in itself to prevent blind parents from keeping their children and protects the rights of blind people in custody battles and in seeking to be foster or adoptive parents or becoming guardians of children. If disputing parties insist that blindness prevents a blind person from caring for children, the burden of proof is on the disputing party to prove this contention. This is a model bill that the NFB is trying to introduce in states across the country.
The final legislative effort in Ohio is the one Eric referred to in “Quantum Rehabilitation.” We are seeking a review of OOD and its services to Ohio’s disabled citizens and urging the legislature to establish a separate agency to serve blind Ohioans.
This is an ambitious legislative program. We need the support of every member of the Federation in working on it. I urge everyone with a computer to sign up to receive ohiotalk. This is the primary way that we communicate legislative needs. Stay informed, and help us carry out our legislative program.
BELLs Ring Again in Ohio
by Mary Anne Denning
Editor’s note: Mary Anne Denning is one of our talented teachers in the Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning (BELL) Academy. The following is her announcement of this summer’s BELL Academy:
NFB of Ohio will hold its fourth annual BELL Academy during the week of July 18, 2016. We will again be at OSSB. We are very excited this year because we will have a full residential camp experience for our students. They will stay in the cottages at OSSB and learn life skills and leisure activities in the evenings. We will need additional volunteers this year, so, if you are interested in volunteering during the week of camp, please watch for additional information. This is a satisfying time for all volunteers and participants, filled with fun and discovery.
by Eric Duffy
The human body has five senses, a sense being one of the physiological capacities of an organism that provide data for perception. Blindness is the condition that results when the capacity to collect and transmit images of visible light to the brain for interpretation fails to function. To state the obvious, without this failure there would be no blind people facing the problems caused by blindness.
But what are those problems? As blind people, many of us have come to understand and define those problems in a different way than has most of society. Much of the sighted world continues to believe that the blind live in a world of darkness. They transfer their ancient fear of the dark to us and sometimes tell us how brave we are just for walking down the street. Some believe that blind people cannot parent. Thus we are having to work for the adoption of parental rights legislation in every state.
Even in today's modern world and global economy 70 to 80 percent of all blind people are either under-employed or unemployed. This is not so because we can't work or because we don't want to work. Many of the employment problems we face have to do with the perceptions and attitudes about blindness of potential employers. But if that were the worst of it, we could use the laws on the books and break down many of those barriers. After all, since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the environment and places of public accommodation are far more accessible to people with physical disabilities today than in 1990.
If the attitudes of the employers were the worst of it, we could be patient and continue chipping away at the high unemployment rate. We could open new fields of employment for the blind one job at a time.
It is not the attitudes of employers that hold us back and keep us down the most. Sadly the rehabilitation system that is supposed to serve us often stamps out our dreams almost before we have the chance to dream. In Ohio the agency responsible for providing rehabilitation services is Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD). Many state agencies around the country work with the blind in partnership. That hasn't always been the case. History tells us that most if not all rehabilitation agencies and personnel resisted the organized blind movement. They wanted no part of the struggle of blind consumers for quality rehabilitation services and social acceptance because they were certain that they knew what was best for us.
A close look at another field is in order because I believe it closely parallels our history as a people's movement, including our struggle to obtain quality rehabilitation services that lead not only to meaningful employment but also to full participation in the community.
Historically perhaps physics is as little understood by the public as blindness is today. Even those who think they have a clear grasp of physics may not appreciate how the field has reached the sophistication of theory that exists today.
As the nineteenth century came to a close and and the new century dawned, strange things began to happen in the scientific community. The capacity to make increasingly minute observations of physical phenomena became possible, and those observations ceased to be in accord with long-established theories of physical reality. The most brilliant minds in the field were confronted with the necessity to abandon Newtonian physics, a familiar and comfortable belief system regarding the very nature of matter in favor of a radically counter intuitive new way of describing reality.
Today the terms "particle physics" and "quantum mechanics" are relatively familiar in popular culture. Less familiar is the controversy that led to their becoming so. Even the great Albert Einstein was for a time an outspoken opponent of the young Werner Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, the bedrock of quantum physics, only grudgingly giving it his blessing.
Not only were whole new thought processes demanded, but a whole new set of tools had to be developed before the new realities of the physical world could begin to be unlocked. Until physicists understood the new concepts, the mathematics to develop them could not be conceived or created.
It takes only a small stretch of the imagination to grasp the analogy between the emergence of quantum physics of the twentieth century and the emergence of a new paradigm in blindness and rehabilitation during roughly the same period. When old belief systems cease to be in accord with observed reality, the movement to abandon the outdated in favor of the true and accurate view of the world is inevitable. The success of such movements, however, is not inevitable.
The unraveling of Newtonian physics came about because of its fundamental error in describing the nature of matter and the laws that govern it. The destruction of the old paradigm of blindness and rehabilitation is coming about because of an equally fundamental error in the model describing blindness and rehabilitation. Likewise new patterns of thought are demanded, and new tools and attitudes must be conceived and created.
In order to make the leap to quantum physics, the intellectual world had at precisely the right moment the imagination, creativity, passion, and giant intellect of a handful of brilliant scientists and mathematicians: Max Planck, Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, Paul Dirac, Werner Heisenberg, and Erwin Schrödinger among them.
When the time came for the quantum leap in the blindness field, we had leaders of our own such as Jacobus tenBroek, Kenneth Jernigan, and Marc Maurer. Now we have Mark Riccobono, who is leading with the same philosophy and message in a slightly different package.
It is more than a matter of philosophy, however, when it comes to quality rehabilitation services. Dr. Jernigan began to revolutionize rehabilitation services while he was the director of the Iowa Commission for the Blind. New ways of thinking about blindness began to take hold. New techniques of travel and new attitudes about equal treatment of blind people evolved. New training practices were implemented, and there was a time when it was said that it was better to be blind in Iowa than anywhere else in the world.
It was the National Federation of the Blind that helped to expand opportunities for blind people to teach and hold other positions in the field of education. We opened the Civil Service and the Foreign Service to blind applicants. We began to create opportunities in the science and engineering fields long before it was fashionable to talk about STEM.
Today we have STEM, however. STEM, of course, stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. Through our work at the Jernigan Institute, we conduct science camps for blind children and teach them that they really can participate in science.
Many blind youth now have greater expectations for themselves than my peers and I could ever have dreamed of. They also have higher expectations of society. They expect Braille to be readily available and demand it when it is not. They expect the academic environment at all levels to be accessible and demand that changes be made when necessary. They now have the support of the National Federation of the Blind.
They also want to find their way into new careers. These expectations are not unreasonable. Historically blind people have had to make their own way, but thanks to the NFB that hasn't been so for many years now. The National Federation of the Blind has been on the scene to lend a helping hand and will continue to be there. The progressive rehabilitation agencies in the country are beginning to realize the new possibilities and the new reality as well.
What about the Ohio agency, Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD), and the Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired (BSVI)? I could answer this question in just a few sentences, but I think that the question deserves more consideration than that.
Here is the Resolution passed at the 2015 convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio concerning OOD. It lays out a troubling pattern of actions and attitudes reflective of the outmoded rehabilitation that I have been describing. Here it is:
Regarding a Request that the State Legislature Convene an Ad Hoc Committee to Study Services for the Blind
WHEREAS, a robust economy and healthy tax base require the inclusion of all Ohio citizens who are willing and able to work in order to participate actively in civic life and to pay their fair share; and
WHEREAS, the opportunity to take part in the social and economic fabric of our state is no less sought after by blind people than by any other group of citizens; and
WHEREAS, our Ohio culture requires equality of opportunity for all; and
WHEREAS, such a requirement demands a variety of programs and services to bring appropriate regulation and the fostering of entrepreneurship, education, training and rehabilitation, and job placement to a diverse group of Ohio citizens; and
WHEREAS, blind people must have effective training in specialized skills in order to be successfully employed and integrated into the economic fabric of the state and nation; and
WHEREAS, state vocational rehabilitation programs are mandated by federal and state law and designated and monitored by the United States Department of Education Rehabilitation Services Administration to provide such services; and
WHEREAS, effective vocational rehabilitation requires that administrators, supervisors, and counselors providing these necessary services to the blind have an absolute belief in the capacity of the blind and possess a thorough understanding of the nonvisual and low-vision strategies and adaptive technologies necessary for successful rehabilitation of their clients; and
WHEREAS, Ohio's Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired has far too few counselors serving blind clients and is not a distinct and separately functioning entity from the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation providing services to blind Ohioans and does not have supervisors specifically charged with providing services to the blind; and
WHEREAS, the extensive services often necessary for blind clients are rarely understood by those serving as Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired supervisors and administrators, despite federal and state requirements for individualized services, which leads to pernicious delays and unjust, incompetent, and illegal denial of legitimate services and/or the exercise of federally mandated informed choice; and
WHEREAS, the Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities agency recently created new policies regarding time limits in which services must be provided without giving consideration to blind clients or the policy's impact on those blind clients when developing these arbitrary and capricious restrictions; and
WHEREAS, the Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities agency, which houses the Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired, has time and time and time again submitted a budget which does not allow the state to take full advantage of significant federal 110 dollars, which can be drawn down in direct support of adjustment, training, and job placement for blind people; and
WHEREAS, the blind of Ohio can no longer stand by while inadequate services are delivered through the current administrative structure; and
WHEREAS, irrefutable evidence exists from the many states that have separate, identifiable services for the blind that better outcomes and reduced costs result from a separate state agency model:
BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio in Convention assembled this twenty-second day of November, 2015, in the City of Independence, Ohio, that this organization call upon the President of the Ohio Senate and the Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives to convene a special ad hoc committee of the General Assembly to consider how best to address the woefully inadequate service delivery system of Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this committee be asked to create a separate, dedicated unit within state government to provide the targeted expertise necessary to enhance quality of life and improve employment outcomes for Ohio's blind citizens.
This is a strong resolution that is rather critical of the agency. It is not undeserved criticism, however. We do not mean disrespect toward OOD Director Kevin Miller, BSVI Director Mindy Duncan, or any other OOD officials. However, we are simply no longer willing to accept second class treatment from the agency and its staff. Are we really being treated as second class citizens? Well let's look at what has happened to our own member, Aleeha Dudley.
Aleeha's counselor has told her that blind people can't work as veterinarians . She didn't say that Aleeha doesn't have the academic qualifications; she simply said blind people can't be veterinarians. I believe that Aleeha Dudley can be a veterinarian if given the proper training and opportunity. Whether or not I am correct, one thing is certain: Aleeha should not be deprived of the opportunity to try to become a veterinarian solely because she is blind.
Let's suppose you have not made the quantum leap and come to believe what many in the rehabilitation field are beginning to believe—that blind people have the right to demonstrate their competence in the classroom and laboratory—then what about the way the agency has treated Shelbi Hindel? Here is Shelbi's story as she told it to the Ohio Vendors' Representative Committee:
Date: February 15, 2016
From: Shelbi Hindel
Subject: Appeal of Decision to Remove from Business Enterprise Program Training and Request for Reinstatement
Below is a chronology of my experience from the time I decided to make my vocational goal Business Enterprise Operator and began the process to get into the training program and my interactions with VR counselor Sharon Valade and Cynthia Lee, Training Coordinator for the Business Enterprise Program, to the present.
June 2014–After many months of job development and job searches, I reached the conclusion that the best fit for me vocationally was to move into the Business Enterprise Program. Once I had decided this was the best fit for me, I discussed this decision with my VRC, and we moved forward to request a meeting with Cynthia Lee to work on how to proceed with the process.
In August 2014, I met with Cynthia to take a math test and discuss the training; it is important to note here that this meeting was the first and only time I met in-person with Cynthia until August 17, 2015, when I was ordered to a meeting with her and Sharon to tell me I was being removed from training. Over the twelve months from this initial meeting I moved extremely slowly and with many delays along the way, but never once in that year did Cynthia ask to meet with me in person, and never did she set a meeting up to discuss my progress or any concerns she had.
September and October 2014 were filled with getting a background check and a drug test, and I was asked to do a pretraining evaluation with Doug Bruso, which I completed; I received an outstanding evaluation from him (he gave me a copy of it). I was not given a copy of the evaluation or told how I did by Cynthia.
I was just asked by Cynthia to do another pretraining evaluation with Yvette Johnson Shackleforth at DFAS. I agreed and spent two weeks in December 2014 with her in her location. I was not given a copy of her evaluation and was not told how I did there. Only at the August 17, 2015, meeting, when I asked how I had done at Yvette’s, was I told that I received an excellent evaluation.
In January 2015 I was contacted by Cynthia and told I was approved for training and that I needed to take Module 1, the safety and sanitation class, put on by the Health Dept. I was not given any information on how to sign up for this class and did not receive a copy of the textbook in Braille or audio tape or CD. After researching on my own, I found a class and attempted to sign up but could not get the computerized form to work. I contacted Cynthia to ask for help in completing the form and asked for the book in a format that I could use. She attempted to complete the form for me, but I was unable to use it and eventually went to the Health Department. They helped me get signed up for the May class—all other classes were full.
I firmly believe that Cynthia told me I was not to move forward into any other modules until I had completed Module 1, the Servsafe class. I attended the class from May 3 to May 15. Eventually I did get a copy of the book on CD from Cynthia. I was now able to read the material during the class. I did not have the handouts in an accessible format until after the class was over. I sent these to Cynthia and did eventually receive a Braille copy. I took the final exam on May 15 and received a score of 93. I know this from the Health Department.
August 17, 2015--Cynthia acknowledged that I had received the highest score of any trainee on this test since she has been in the job. She did not meet with me in person to congratulate me or discuss the process of moving on to Module 2. In late May I attempted many times to download and read the modules using my very old desktop computer. It was determined that my old operating system would not function with the Moodle platform. Sharon found a loaner laptop and hired Functional Training to help me load and begin the modules. After I completed Module 2 and 3, the laptop began to malfunction and would repeatedly turn off in the middle of a session or else would not start up. Sharon had Functional Training attempt to fix it. This was not successful. She had me use a computer at their location to move on to Module 4 and 5.
I was contacted by Cynthia on July 8, 2015, to see how I was doing with Module 3, and she seemed to be pushing me to take the quiz a second time. I requested help on some of the concepts in Module 3 since I had missed two out of ten questions the first time I took it. She replied that I should Google math and/or go to the State Library for help. I had read the material several times and felt that I did understand it but wanted to sit down and talk over the material one on one with someone. After going back and forth by email, she put a list of the remaining modules I needed to complete and put goal dates to try to complete them. At this time my laptop still was not working properly, but I had made good progress on Module 4 and 5 although I had not submitted them to her for grading yet. Cynthia was about to leave on a two-week vacation from 7/15 to 7/28, so I said I would do my best to move forward while she was on vacation. I held on to my work and planned to submit in early August when she returned. I did not take these suggested dates to be a strict timeline for completion of each Module, and I did not agree to such a thing. I was never told that not meeting these goals would be used as grounds to remove me from training.
I moved forward on my own while she was on vacation and finished Modules 4 and 5 and began working on Modules 6 and 7. I submitted my work to her when I knew she was back from vacation on August 5 and August 10. I continued working and was finishing up modules 6 and 7 by August 14 when I was contacted by Cynthia and ordered to come to a meeting with her and Sharon on Monday, August 17. I asked what the purpose for this meeting was, and she refused to tell me. I submitted these modules on August 15 before the meeting. Module 7 had a significant number of links to articles that were to be read and questions answered based on the reading. The links did not work.
Never once in those thirty-five days did Cynthia contact me to ask how I was doing or why I had missed submitting paperwork by the dates in her July 8 email. Since she was gone a good part of July, I believed these were just general guidelines for me, and I moved on my own to progress through the modules and waited to submit my work once she was back from vacation. There were no communications between Cynthia or my counselor and me that could have prepared me for the bombshell that was dropped on me when they said that I would not be allowed to complete the training program. I had been frustrated at the pace of the training, but I attributed this to a combination of Cynthia being new and moving a little slower as she learned the program and because of my technology issues along with the delay in getting the Servsafe class completed before I could move on to the later modules.
I filed an appeal under the rights afforded by the Rehabilitation Act. I requested mediation, and the agency agreed. According to the mediation agreement, I was required to complete the modules and score a minimum of 80 percent on the final exam. I have now successfully done both.
When I was reinstated to training, I was told that I must complete the modules at Functional Training Services, where I was closely monitored. My cell phone was taken, and someone literally stood outside the restroom when I was inside. I was also told that I could not talk to BEP operators and that I would have to travel outside of Columbus for the final OJT. What have I done to deserve such treatment?
One of the modules I had to complete was the creation of an employee handbook. The handbook I created was sent back with some comments and suggestions. I completely revised the handbook and spent many hours doing so. At this time I have still not been given a grade or any feedback on the revision.
I was then told that I must take the final exam prior to the OJT experience, which I do not understand since my training was not complete yet. Still I was being tested prior to completion of all my training. Even with this unfair requirement, I successfully passed the final with a 90% when all scores are totaled and divided by 7 test sections, well above the required 80%.
Here are my scores after a retake:
Mental Math 100% Pass
Menu Planning 87.5% Pass
Vending 94.4% Pass
BE Rules and Regulations 93.3% Pass
Customer Service and Marketing section was 72.7% and is now 100%
Employee Relations section was 41.9% and is now 90.3%
Daily and Monthly Reports section was 53.5% and is now 66.3%
I have worked very hard for more than eighteen months to become licensed in the BE Program, and I have done everything I was asked to do and met all requirements. I believe that I will be a good operator, and BSVI has spent many resources on my training. It is in all parties’ interest to move forward and for me to be licensed in the program.
What about those who want to participate in training at a high-quality residential training center? Can they get help from OOD? Over the last many years, our experience tells us that the answer is no! Macy McClain had to find her own way to get training from the Louisiana Center for the Blind. She did it and as a result is now far better prepared for college and eventually the work world.
Joy Mistovich had to find a way to get training from Blind Industries and Services of Maryland. She has finished her training, and it is clear that the training paid off. She could not have gotten the same training in Ohio.
Aleeha Dudley is now completing her training at the Louisiana Center for the Blind. She is much more confident and is better prepared for the world as a result of the training that she has received. Did OOD help her get to Louisiana? I don't have to tell you. Of course the answer is no! Unequivocally no.
But wait, you say, open-minded reader. Perhaps we got it all wrong, maybe it was only least cost that the agency was concerned about. Maybe if the consumers had filed appeals when the counselors told them the agency wouldn't help them go out of state for training, the appeals would have been resolved in favor of the consumer.
Pam Allen is the Director of the Louisiana Center for the Blind. She is also the First Vice President of the National Federation of the Blind. She was the National Representative at the 2015 convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio. Pam asked BSVI Director Mindy Duncan if the agency sends people to out of state training centers, and Mindy clearly said no. There were agency policies in place that do not permit that. Pam said that federal law is clear about the consumer's right of choice. Mindy held her ground and said that Ohio policy prevails
For those in the General Assembly who read this column, I am sure you are astonished to learn that you have at least one agency official who believes that state policy preempts federal law. In my son's basic government class in high school he learned this is not the case.
The next reasonable question might be why the agency would need to send people out of the state for training. Because we do not have a residential training center in Ohio that offers the quality training blind consumers can receive at centers like the ones in Louisiana, Colorado, Minnesota, Maryland, and other locations around the country. Not long ago Mindy Duncan said, tell the facilities here what you want. My response was, you should let them know what OOD expects. You pay the bills after all. But that takes us back to the original problem: OOD's expectations simply aren't what they should be.
The Ohio General Assembly should study rehabilitation services for the blind in Ohio and give the agency the momentum it needs to take the quantum leap in to modern times for rehabilitation for the blind. Governor Kasich needs to know from the blind of Ohio just how well his agency serving the blind and disabled is doing. I believe he would be extremely disappointed to learn the facts. It is the job of the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio to see that the Governor understands that serious change needs to be made in the way blind people are served in Ohio.
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.”
The 2016 Washington Seminar: Making a Statement in the Snow
by Rachel Kuntz
Editor's note: Rachel Kuntz is a state board member and a member of the Cincinnati chapter. A native of Dayton, she now lives in West Chester and is a 1999 graduate of Wright State University in financial services. She has a college-age son. She attended her first Washington Seminar this past January. This is what she says about the experience:
Over the course of the two months leading up to my journey to DC, I conjured up all sorts of scenarios that resulted in disaster befalling me while on my first Washington Seminar adventure. Most of my mental scenes involved doing something to embarrass myself in front of people that I look up to or saying something nonsensical that would result in my leaving the seminar in disgrace, never to be invited back. I even pictured walking around in snow. At no point, however, did I envision that Washington DC would be blanketed by two feet of snow two days before our scheduled arrival.
The record-breaking blizzard forced the entire region to shut down for two days and many Congressional offices to close for the week. The people of DC were just emerging from their forced hibernation when I showed up ready to take on a few of our esteemed congressmen. The crazy weather kept three members of our Ohio dream team from reaching DC. Our revised force not to be reckoned with was comprised of Barbara Pierce, Eric Duffy, JW Smith, Susan Ott, Jordy Stringer, and me. Two team leaders were among the forced no-shows, which, with the closed offices and missing staffers, resulted in a complete reorganization of our plans for our visit.
This humble band of Ohio warriors was undeterred by chest-high snow piles, locating the only entrance open to the public in a building the size of a city block, or negotiating a fair deal from cab drivers taking advantage of the weather conditions by significantly hiking up fares. We navigated all of this while keeping a smile on our faces as we presented valuable information to anyone brave enough to show up to work on the Hill.
This wintery turn of events offered a real benefit for me. It gave me the opportunity to participate in meetings led by Barbara, JW, and Jordy. Each of them has their own communication style, which I plan to mold into something that will work for me in the future.
Barbara’s grasp of the facts made her quick with responses to tricky questions. One moment in particular has stuck with me. While discussing the TIME Act, she was superb in her answer to a tough question about the fear that eliminating Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act might take away the sheltered workshop employee’s SSI benefits. I remember her answer was something to the effect that we should not plan on ways in which we can keep disabled workers on Social Security by paying them less than minimum wage. We should look for ways to help them live independent and productive lives earning a fair paycheck.
JW allowed his experience as a college professor to direct his dialog with the young congressional staff. He did what I like to call “assuming the sale.” This is an effective technique when your confidence and knowledge of the subject matter will make anyone want to say yes. His confident approach was evident throughout his talk but was most impressive when he spoke about the Access to Air Travel for Service-Disabled Veterans, also known as the Space Available Act. At this point in the meeting he leaned in and said, “We are sincerely thankful that the Congressman supported this effort as a co-sponsor last year, and we are grateful to know that we can count on co-sponsorship again this year.” Keep in mind that the congressman had not yet signed on to the act.
Jordy and I shared the special task of delivering materials to several congressional offices whose staff had been unable to meet with us due to the weather. That same day we held two face-to-face meetings on the Hill. Together we ran from one enormous building to another, logging more than 15,000 steps. Although this adventure was tiring, I would not have missed it for the world.
Those who have met Jordy know that he has a deep and commanding voice. He skillfully used this voice and his confidence as a storyteller to convey the importance of each of our issues. In our discussion about the Accessible Instructional Materials in Higher Education (AIM HE) Act, he shared vivid stories detailing the challenges he and other blind students face struggling to succeed while being blocked at every turn by inaccessible instructional materials. This drove home the stark reality for blind students as they work hard to follow their career dreams.
Between the blizzard and the blisters on my very overworked feet, I will never forget the experience I had on Capitol Hill. I will carry with me the stories of my grand adventure for a lifetime. Hopefully I behaved well enough to be invited back.
A Tour, an Education, a Strategy for Life
by Annie McEachirn Carson
Editor’s note: Annie McEachirn Carson is a member of the Cincinnati chapter. She worked at the Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired for twenty years. She has two children and three grandchildren. Here is what she says about a recent chapter activity:
The LaTerza Coffee Roasterie tour occurred on February 20, 2016, with ten NFB chapter members in attendance. From the planting of the seed to entering the coffee cup, the fascinating inner workings of this micro-roasterie were presented to the group.
From the moment of our entering this quaint coffee facility, located in Lockland, Ohio, it was apparent that David, the owner, had given a lot of thought and preparation to how to ensure that people with visual impairments could have an unforgettable experience. Together with Aaron, an additional tour guide, who was also a passionate coffee fan, Dave led us into a small, cozy room, where we sat to hear the intriguing history of coffee sourcing, roasting, and delivery, which David called the “business pillars of his operation.” As we listened, we learned that their sourcing involved identifying and working with small farmers in second- and third-world countries. The two-fold purpose for this approach is to purchase a high-quality coffee while those countries in turn use the income to build up their communities, including their schools, and provide healthcare for their workers and families.
Absorbing every word, we were informed of the three primary regions (Africa, Central South America, and Indonesia) from which the samples of the various coffees we tasted were purchased. The African coffee had a fruity wine taste, Central South American coffee had a chocolate, nutty flavor, and the Indonesian coffee had an earthy, bold taste. We all selected our favorite coffee to go with the cake and pumpkin crisp (brought by NFB members) which we enjoyed at the end of the tour. Our tasting experience also included infused coffee tea, brewed from dried coffee cherries, called cascara. This was imported from Costa Rica.
Next we went to the roasting area, where we learned that the two major methods of processing coffee are air and gas drum roasting. At LaTerza, the gas drum is used because it allows small batches at a time as opposed to air roasting, in which the coffee is roasted in large batches. We were given the opportunity to touch the drum, listen to the movement of the coffee spinning as it roasted, smell the aroma, and hear it make a sound like popcorn and finally pour into the cooling tray as the fan pulled the hot air from it. When we asked how long it takes to roast a batch, David said, “Between ten and twenty minutes depending upon the temperature set; generally, though, it varies—roasting is a marriage between science and art.”
After nearly everyone had left, I asked David what made his coffee roasterie so special. What he shared helped me understand why each of us had come away with a new appreciation for coffee and grateful for having had this experience. David said, “While our company’s passion is about roasting great coffee, I would have to say that my personal passion is doing business in a way that makes the world a better place.” My ears perked up, and I leaned closer to hear more as he continued. “From my interaction with my sources, roasters, employees, customers, competitors, and my family, it is my practice to strive to treat others the way I want to be treated. We work with the farmers to help them produce a high-quality product; I give my employees the necessary tools to do their jobs along with creating a warm and positive work environment; I give my customers a high-quality coffee at a fair price; I encourage competitors since coffee is the second largest world commodity; and I work with other business owners to encourage them to have a healthy, balanced family life. It is very important that these entities are given my best before I reward myself.”
I left thinking, “to put others first”--what a profound principle to have as a family man and business owner! To learn additional information about scheduling group tours or registering for coffee brewing classes, visit LaTerza Coffee's website at http://http://www.laterzacoffee.com <http://http//www.laterzacoffee.com>.
Airports Can Mean Humiliation for Some Travelers
by Deborah Kendrick
From the Columbus Dispatch
Editor’s note: On October 5d, 2015, Deborah Kendrick’s commentary appeared in the Columbus Dispatch. I struck a chord with many blind readers. I subsequently wrote a letter to the editor confirming Deborah’s experience. To my surprise, I then received a hand-written note about my letter from Senator Sherrod Brown. Here are the commentary and the two letters:
A recent midnight flight from San Francisco to Cincinnati held the elements all blind travelers dread most: the moment when one disability is mistaken for another, and deep-rooted misconceptions engender humiliation. When the last plane landed, I’d been traveling for thirteen hours. It was 11:00 a.m., and I was exhausted.
Here is the scenario. My ride home is in the cell phone lot. I ask the gate agent if someone can walk with me. This is a simple enough request and one I have made hundreds of times in dozens of airports. I am a blind person carrying a long white cane. My request is for someone to walk with me who knows the way.
The gate agent is smart, courteous, eager to assist. She makes the call.… And another.… And another. When five minutes has gone by, I am impatient. At ten, I am agitated. At twenty, with a red-eye flight behind me and the knowledge that my ride home is just a few minutes’ walk away, I am close to meltdown.
I hear the agent say into the phone, “No, she doesn’t need a wheelchair. Just needs someone to walk with her.” At 25 minutes, the somewhat embarrassed gate agent comes over where I am leaning on the wall, trying not to cry, wishing I weren’t so tired and could just start walking, exploring, figuring it out.
“The problem,” she informs me, “is that they won’t come unless you will sit in the wheelchair." She is apologetic, sees the folly of this supposed “rule.” But I am ready to disassemble with fatigue and humiliation, and thus I acquiesce.
The young woman who comes with the wheelchair tells me that if I don’t sit in it, she will be fired. Either she will leave me here, or I will ride. I sit down. For the half-mile distance from gate to exit, I pray no one sees me who knows me.
Don’t get me wrong. There is no shame in using a wheelchair. For my friends who use them with purpose, the wheelchair is a tool of freedom and flight and euphoria. No, for me, the shame was rooted in the fear that others would think me a shirker, a faker, a jerk able to walk who commandeered some deserving passenger’s wheelchair. The subtext here, the message conveyed, is this: Because I happen to be blind, I am not worthy of the same respect as any other paying passenger. If I need assistance, I will shut up, sit down, be addressed like a child (or piece of furniture), and be grateful.
This, regrettably, is not an isolated incident. I have scores of stories from others–blind lawyers, athletes, and CEO’s--recounting similar nightmares. Kaiti Shelton, a University of Dayton music therapy major, returned from a college abroad trip in June. The emotional high sparked by success in another country, the joy of having been treated as an equal by the residents there and her fellow college students, plummeted quickly in an American airport. She, too, was given the ultimatum “no wheelchair, no assistance.”
Eric Duffy of Columbus, president of the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio, says the wheelchair argument has happened more times than he can count. “I can be coming back from a powerfully positive experience, meeting with members of Congress on Capitol Hill or participating in negotiations with other leaders, and then the [emotional] balance shifts at the airport. The disrespect leaves me feeling insulted and angry.”
The only consistency in flying, if you happen to be blind, is inconsistency. Sometimes the curb-to-curb process is rich with encounters of mutual respect, jumpstarting your business trip or vacation with a general love of humankind. Another time the misconceptions held by airport workers result in degradation. You are grabbed, pulled, talked about in the third person, and given inappropriate “assistance.”
One TSA worker might allow you to move through the line without any particular notice, while another wants to hold your hands and talk to you in the sing-song tones reserved for preschoolers. One flight attendant might order you into the bulkhead row while another just as quickly orders you out of it. One day you might ask for someone to walk to the gate with you, and the employee who arrives is so engaging that you have exchanged life stories by the time you arrive. And another day the request results in a stripping of dignity. Disability awareness varies widely from one airline/airport to another. Not surprisingly, that difference seems to be in direct correlation to the source of training for employees.
If you want to know how best to treat people with disabilities, ask them. And then listen to what they say.
Deborah Kendrick is a Cincinnati writer and advocate for people with disabilities.
October 9, 2015
The Monday Dispatch op-ed "Airports can mean humiliation for some travelers" by Deborah Kendrick brought back painful memories to me as a blind traveler. Airline personnel always seem to pick the times when we are exhausted and frazzled to begin making up airline regulations such as "I will lose my job if you don't agree to ride in this wheelchair." We don't expect that people who are willing or assigned to help us will know what we need. But Kendrick's advice is spot-on: Ask what we need and then listen to the answer and believe it.
People whose only disability is blindness do not need wheelchairs or elevators. Neither do deaf people. Blind people use white canes to investigate the ground in front of us. It is not helpful to have someone grab hold of the cane and try to drag us around by it.
Thank you, Kendrick, for pointing out this failure in personnel training. Common sense would do the job, but common sense goes out the window when a white cane heaves into view.
Barbara Pierce, Oberlin
Then several weeks later Barbara received a hand-written note from Sherrod Brown which read:
Barbara—Very good letter to the Dispatch. I miss your visits to Washington. Thank you for your activism over the years.
The Diabetes Action Network Is Getting the Word Out
by Denver Jones
Denver Jones is the president of the Diabetes Action Network of Ohio. Here is his report on what the division is up to:
On Saturday, March 26, 2016, the Diabetes Action Network partnered with Greene County Public Health and the Miami Valley chapter of the NFB to host its first public health and wellness event of the year at the Xenia Public Library. It was well received and attended by area residents. The event was filled with vendors and opportunities for learning. Visitors received health screening information, blood pressure and vital sign checks, diabetes education, handouts on good food choices, public health resources, and foot care, foot examinations done by an area podiatrist, massages by a blind massage therapist, technology demonstrations, dog guide information and interaction, orientation and mobility demonstrations, information on independent living services for the older blind, and information on Greene County parks and recreation resources to encourage families to get out and explore.
Of course there were lots of great healthy snacks available and fun door prizes. The NFB was well represented by members who interacted with the crowd and shared positive information. This event resulted in an invitation from the library coordinator to do future public events.
One of the goals for this event was to reach out to blind persons and families in the more rural areas who may not know of the NFB and its divisions. There are many counties across Ohio which are not close to the major cities and therefore do not have the same resources for health, wellness, and blindness. Working hand in hand with local chapters is important when we are discussing the growth of our organization. By reaching out together, we can make a difference in the lives of those who may not be aware of all we have to offer. Statistics show that type 2 diabetes is on the rise partly due to sedentary lifestyles of the population and that diabetes is a leading cause of blindness. Research suggests that one out of three adults has pre-diabetes, and of this group nine out of ten people are not even aware that they are pre-diabetic. A report from the International Diabetes Foundation indicates that as of 2013 there were more than 387 million people living with diabetes. Diabetes is the leading cause of newly diagnosed blindness in people twenty to seventy-four in the United States. Our work is cut out for us. The people are out there; it is our job to go find them and spread the word. There is hope, there is training, and there are opportunities to live the life they want.
On your Mark, Get Set, Go!
Join Us on June 26 for Fun, Exercise, and Fundraising
by Carol Akers
What do warm weather and sunshine have in common for those of us in the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio? I would say they bring a lot of positives to our lives, and two of them are the national convention and the Charity Day 5k, both happening in June.
The Charity Day 5K is part of our Marching for Independence effort to raise funds to get people to national convention and is a wonderful opportunity for the NFB of Ohio to be part of an inaugural 5k race. This is the very first Charity Day 5K Race, held in Columbus, Ohio. What is so special about this event, you may wonder? We, the NFB of Ohio, have partnered with other charities to make our presence known, to make our members visible, and to show our independence to the citizens of Ohio, all while generating funds for the affiliate.
This event was created because many organizations were putting a lot of work into holding their own individual race events for fundraising and doing so in direct competition with numerous events statewide. Did you realize that on any given weekend in Ohio there are at a minimum six races taking place? Participants and supporters have difficult decisions to make.
The Charity Day 5K gives organizations the opportunity to come together and share the costs, the details, and responsibilities of the race. This translates into more profit for each organization. Even better than that, think of all the exposure each charity will receive by sharing the audience and participants.
Gather your friends, families, co-workers, and chapter members together to register for and attend this event. Online registration is available at:
This link is home to a page of information and a video to share with people.
In the registration area, you may choose to participate in the race or to sponsor someone who is already participating or just to receive a t-shirt without participating in the race. The cost is $30 until April 30, and after that it goes up to $35 until May 31. From June 1 the fee will be $40, and we will receive half of whatever the fee is. You may also send a check directly to Sherry Ruth at 6922 Murray Ridge Rd., Elyria, Ohio 44035, and don’t forget to put a notation in the memo line to indicate that the money is for the Charity Day 5K Race.
What time does the race begin, you ask. The opening remarks are at 7:45 am, the National Anthem is at 7:55 am, and the race begins at 8:00 am. Where will it take place? Downtown Columbus, behind COSI at Genoa Park, which will showcase the newly completed renovation of the Lower Scioto Greenway Trail. Why not get your canes tapping or your guide dogs walking to show Ohio who the NFB is? I will be pushing Dustin in a wheelchair for this, so come join me. Let’s go build the Federation by joining together and making a difference
Recipes from the Capital Chapter
Editor’s note: Shelbi thought we might all enjoy a recipe column in this newsletter, so she sent along a couple of them for us to try out. If you like this idea, send the recipes along. The editor will be happy to put them together. Here are the offerings from the Capital Chapter:
Chicken Salad with Fruit and Nuts
by Carol Akers
3 cups chicken, cooked and shredded
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup seedless grapes, halved
1 large apple, cored and diced small (Gala apples are suggested.)
1 cup thinly sliced celery
1 small onion, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup honey mustard
Method: Mix all ingredients together. This salad is very good served on a specialty bread or croissant.
Banana Split Pudding
by Shelbi Hindel
1 large box instant vanilla pudding
1-1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup whipped topping, thawed
2 or 3 bananas, sliced
Ice cream topping, caramel or chocolate (Choose your favorite flavor.)
Method: In a medium mixing bowl beat with an electric mixer pudding, milk and vanilla. Beat until thickened, about two minutes. Fold in whipped topping. Arrange a layer of sliced bananas on top of the wafers. Spoon half the pudding mixture over bananas. Repeat banana and pudding layers. Top this with a layer of vanilla wafers. Drizzle with your choice of ice cream toppings, and sprinkle with chopped peanuts. Chill in refrigerator until set.
by Eric Duffy
“I found this recipe by using Siri and my iPhone and sent it to Shelbi so that she could make them. They were served at OSSB while we were students.”
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped dill pickle or dill pickle relish
1/2 cup catsup
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup mozzarella cheese
Method: Brown ground beef and onions and pour off any grease. Add pickles, catsup, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for about five minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes. Add cheese. Fill nine to twelve hamburger buns with meat and wrap them in foil paper. If desired, top each with a slice of provolone cheese. Heat for approximately twenty minutes in a 400-degree oven. You can heat the number of fun buns that will be used immediately. Refrigerate leftovers for later use. You can also freeze them, but allow a little more time to heat.
The NFB of Ohio scholarship form is now available on our website. You can fill it in online and have your references sent directly to Keboah Kendrick. Her email address is listed on the form. If you have questions about the process, contact Deborah Kendrick or Barbara Pierce.
We have recently learned that, when Pat Eschbach returned home following the national convention last summer, she was met at the airport by her daughter Mary and Mary’s husband Russ Meeker, who drove her from Columbus to her home. They drove back to Columbus on Sunday, July 13. That evening Russ died suddenly after a heart attack. Pat rushed to Columbus to be with Mary, and she learned on Monday that her nephew Dave had died also after a heart attack on Monday. Russ was seventy and is survived by his wife, three children, and his mother, Margaret Meeker. If you wish to write to Mary, her address is Mary Cunnyngham, 628 Binns Blvd., Columbus, OH 43204. Pat’s email address is grandmaesch at gmail.com <mailto:grandmaesch at gmail.com>. We extend our deepest sympathy to both Mary and Pat.
The NFB of Cleveland election for the next two years was held on October 16, 2015. Elected were president, William Turner; vice president, Cheryl Fields; secretary, Shawana Griffin; treasurer, Natassha Ricks; and Board members, Teresa McKinney and Rosa Jones.
The Capital Chapter held elections at its November meeting. The results were as follows: president, Shelbi Hindel; vice president, J.W. Smith; secretary, Annette Lutz; treasurer, Stephanie Claytor; and Board member, Carol Akers. Our meeting time is the first Saturday of each month at 10:00 AM. We meet at Maynard Avenue United Methodist Church, 2350 Indianola Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43202.
The following were elected at the At-Large Chapter meeting November 20, 2015: president, Colleen Roth; vice president, Shirley Beckner; and secretary/treasurer, Yvonne Soldan.
The Miami Valley chapter of the NFB of Ohio held elections on Saturday, December 12, 2015. The following were elected: president, Richard Payne; vice president; Gloria Robinson; treasurer, Tim Janning; secretary, Robert Spangler; and Board member at large, Carolyn Peters.
The NFB of Lorain County conducted its biennial election in January. Elected were president, Sherry Ruth; vice president, Dick Walker; secretary, Barbara Pierce; and treasurer, Pat Standen.
On February 20 the Cuyahoga chapter elected the following leaders: Shawn Martin, president; Jeanne Gallagher, vice president; Ryan Sima, secretary; and Jerry Purcell, treasurer.
On Thursday, January 28, 2016, the Capital Chapter held our annual pizza party at OSSB to celebrate Louis Braille’s birthday. We had cookies instead of cake, played games, and talked to the students about the Federation. Everyone who attended had a good time. Saturday afternoon, March 5, the Capital Chapter sponsored another pizza party. This time it was to provide scholarship information for the Ohio and national programs to potential applicants. We answered questions, shared experiences, and gave advice to those attending.
Here is information from BSVI:
BSVI has updated and posted its annual compilation of Vision Loss and Hearing Loss Resources. The document primarily contains Internet links and other information on general resources, advocacy groups, media and communications access, hearing aid assistance, learning resources, etc. The resources are divided as useful for deafness, blindness, and deaf/blindness. This is a downloadable Word document accessible to screen reader users.
http://w.ood.ohio.gov/Portals/0/VR/Vision%20Loss%20and%20Hearing%20Loss%20Resources.do,x <http://nfbohio.us12.list-manage.com/track/click?u=20afbf9079ebdc3ced81b27b7&id=c27036b856&e=ba338c7696>If you are deaf/blind and want to learn Braille or if you have interest in volunteering/staffing for such a project this June 12-24 in Columbus, we in BSVI would like to talk with you. Please email Elizabeth.sammons at ood.ohio.gov <mailto:Elizabeth.sammons at ood.ohio.gov> for details.
May 15 Deadline for NFB of Ohio scholarship applications
May 17-20 Business Leadership and Superior Training (BLAST), Chicago
June 26 Charity 5K run, Columbus
June 30 to July 5 National convention, Orlando, Florida
July 18—22, BELL Program, Columbus
August 18 to 25 World Blind Union and ICEVI general assembly, Orlando, Florida
September 17, NFB-O Board of Directors meeting, DoubleTree Hotel, Independence
October Meet the Blind Month
October 2 NFB-O 5K run, Columbus
November 10 to 13 Annual convention, NFB of Ohio, Independence, Ohio
More information about the Ohio-Talk