[Tall-Corn] FEDERATION FOCUS, a Bimonthly eNewsletter of the National Federation of the Blind of Iowa

Jerad S. Nylin jerad.nfbi at gmail.com
Fri Jan 20 22:30:38 UTC 2017





A Bimonthly eNewsletter of the National Federation of the Blind of Iowa

Vol. 1   January-February 2017            No. 1


Affiliate President:  Jerad Nilin

Editor-in-Chief:  Sandi Ryan

Editors:  April Enderton; Cindy Ray


>From the President


Greetings fellow Federationists,

I hope you had a great holiday season and are off to a great start in 2017.
Here is to good health, memorable moments, and excellent opportunities in
this new year.

I want to offer my personal reflections on the last year with you. As I
reflect on my time in the Federation over the last year, I am humbled at the
opportunities I have had.

At this time last year I was preparing to attend Washington seminar for the
first time as Iowa’s Legislative Director. I had no idea of the adventures
the trip would offer. I spent the weekend before Washington seminar
networking with many leaders in the Federation. Through my conversations and
interactions I was encouraged to apply for the 2016 summer internship held
at the Jernigan Institute.

At the same time, I was strongly considering running for the Iowa affiliate
presidency. My time as an intern sealed the deal for me. I was able to
develop both personal and professional skills that I use in my daily life.
One of the most important lessons I took away from the internship was the
importance of working with our leaders both nationally and locally.
In October I was elected president of the Iowa affiliate. Since then, I have
been working hard to get to know each and every one of our members and come
up with new and innovative ideas for affiliate activities.
I am energized and excited to see where we will go in 2017. It is with love,
hope, and determination that we transform our dreams into reality.
If you have any suggestions or ideas for our affiliate, please reach out to
me with your thoughts. I would love to hear from you.


Jerad S. Nylin

President, National Federation of the Blind of Iowa

E-Mail:  <mailto:jerad.nfbi at gmail.com> jerad.nfbi at gmail.com

Cell: (319)535-3723

Website: www.nfbi.org


News Right Now!


2017 Washington Seminar


Washington Seminar begins 10 days from the time of this newsletter. Five of
our members will attend this year and speak with Iowa congressmen in person.

Even if you are not attending, you can still help to move our agenda
forward. Please contact your representative and our two senators within the
next week and a half to express your support of this year’s Washington
Seminar issues. Our legislative priorities are: 

·                    support for the Accessible Instructional Materials in
Higher Education (AIM HE) Act, which will establish a commission to
formulate voluntary accessibility guidelines for education technology on
college and university campuses across the nation;

·                    an amendment to the Internal Revenue Code to create a
refundable tax credit for blind taxpayers who purchase access technology;

·                    a request for an appropriation to the National Library
Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) to purchase
refreshable Braille displays to be loaned to NLS patrons; and

·                    ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate
Access to Published Works for People Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or
Otherwise Print Disabled. The Treaty may be ratified before we arrive in

Find more information and the fact sheets at 

 <https://nfb.org/washington-seminar> https://nfb.org/washington-seminar 


Member Spotlight


NOTE:  Each issue of this newsletter will introduce one of our affiliate
members. Enjoy getting to know others who share our Federation spirit and
philosophy, and live the lives they want.


Meet Tori Miceli: Beauty is Everywhere

By Cindy Ray, Editor


Victoria (Tori) Miceli is new to the Des Moines chapter, having joined only
this past summer, but she is by no means new to the National Federation of
the Blind. Her grandparents, Bill and Sheila Kappler, were associated with
the National Federation of the Blind long ago. The Kapplers attended the
Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School, and were students at the Iowa
Orientation and Adjustment Center when Dr. Kenneth Jernigan directed the
Iowa Department for the Blind.

As a young child Tori became a student in the National Federation of the
Blind of Iowa’s Saturday School, begun by Merry-Noel Chamberlain, with help
from Des Moines chapter members, in the early 2000s. When she was in middle
school, however, her interests became more mature, and she no longer
attended Saturday School. She may have been a little rebellious about the
blindness card, too.

Tori will attend Upper Iowa University in the fall. She has a passion for
teaching blind children, and demonstrated her ability as a helper at last
summer’s BELL Academy. The Academy helped her, too, as she started working
on her braille in earnest.

Tori is not afraid of hard work. Pageantry with all its glamour and the
lucrative options, is hard and rewarding work. Tori has been blessed with
both outer and inner beauty, and she has used this beauty to become involved
in pageantry. She was crowned Miss Hawkeye Teen, and was first runner up in
the national pageant. Tori lost the national crown by a very small margin,
to a young woman whose father had died only a couple of days before the
finals. Tori graciously expressed her pleasure for the girl who won. 




    (Caption: Victoria leans over, showing a fellow pageant princes (about
age 5) to use a white cane.)


Tori will crown her own state successor in March and will then participate
in the Miss Coed Hawkeye and Miss Coed Iowa contests. Before Tori embarks on
a new pageant, she and her family, along with her boyfriend, have a family
meeting to determine if her participation still feels right for everyone.
Pageant contracts do not allow her to become engaged while she is
participating, and she is planning to marry one day. For now though, she
loves what she is doing. It gives her the opportunity to show the world that
blindness is not what holds us back. She has high expectations for her life,
and she knows she can live the life she wants!

Because she did not win this year, Tori has the freedom to do other things,
and she is involved in Beauty Everywhere. Former and future pageant winners
are provided a crown to wear for 72 hours, during which time they are to do
something to better the lives of others in the world.

When a young woman is involved in pageants, she is offered many contracts.
Tori could get into a wide range of modeling, but some of the contracts
place the young participants in compromising positions. Tori’s deep
Christian faith and her strong character won’t allow her to sign such
contracts, so she examines each one carefully before deciding what to do.
She sometimes forfeits a large amount of money, but she knows that she must
always be aware of who she is, and she must never sell her soul for glamour
and glitz.

Asked why she is a Federationist, Tori said that she believes that the
Federation shows blind and sighted people alike that any one of us is
capable of doing more than that for which we give ourselves credit. She
believes that the Federation is needed to show the whole world that we can
live the lives we want.

Tori, welcome, and we are glad you are with us!


Chapter Focus


NOTE:  Each issue of this newsletter will examine one of our chapters or
divisions in depth to help you learn what fellow Federationists around the
state are doing.


The At Large Chapter: Just a Phone Call Away

by April L. Enderton, Editor


On February 21, 2013, a new chapter held its first meeting. The At Large
Chapter, NFBI, was conceived out of the desire to connect blind people in
rural communities with the NFB and to share our message of hope and
encouragement. Being the only blind person in one's community is often a
lonely and isolating experience. Through a monthly phone conference, the At
Large Chapter provides its members the opportunity to discuss and exchange
information on such blindness-related topics as technology, transportation,
alternative techniques, education, jobs, resources and philosophy. Our
chapter meets the third Thursday of the month at 7 Pm. We also hold an
annual face to face meeting at our state convention.

The response has been overwhelming. Immediately, people from all over Iowa
joined. Some were longtime federationists who did not have a local chapter,
while others were new to the NFB. Jerad Nylin, our new affiliate president,
was one of our first members. In 2013, no chapter existed in his area, so
Jerad came to us. During the past four years, we have had the pleasure to
watch Jerad grow from a new member to the president of a newly-formed Cedar
Rapids Chapter, to a state board member, to an intern at the National Center
in Baltimore and, most recently, to our affiliate president.

We have held three Schwans fundraisers, one of which is still in progress.
We compiled a Braille cookbook which we sell for ten dollars. At our 2016
state convention, we sold candy. Our fundraising efforts have allowed us to
send chapter members to state convention every year since 2013. After four
years, our membership continues to grow. Future goals include becoming more
involved in our communities, hosting a state convention and raising money to
send chapter members to national convention and Washington Seminar.

Who may join the At Large Chapter? If you have no local chapter or are, for
some reason, unable to attend local chapter meetings, the At Large Chapter
is for you! Our next meeting is Thursday, February 16. Our call-in number is
712-432-8812. When you hear the recording asking for a conference id, enter
87458 followed by the pound sign. Our meetings are open to anyone interested
in blindness issues.

          For more information, contact April Enderton, At Large Chapter
President, (phone) 515-282-0049 or (e-mail)  <mailto:alenderton at gmail.com>
alenderton at gmail.com.


Chapter and Division Highlights


At Large: (April Enderton,  <mailto:alenderton at gmail.com>
alenderton at gmail.com) See article above for details.

Cedar Rapids: (Sam Claassen,  <mailto:blindsoul93 at gmail.com>
blindsoul93 at gmail.com) We are working on growing our chapter, and changing
the misconceptions about blindness by educating the youth in our schools.
During Meet the Blind Month, Mayor Ron Corbett came to our October chapter
meeting to discuss with us the need for accessible public works in the Cedar
Rapids area. At the same meeting, Tim box from the Lynn County auditor’s
office brought in an accessible voting machine just in time for the November

At our November meeting we celebrated two years of being a chapter. With
love, hope, and determination, the Cedar Rapids chapter transforms dreams
into reality.

Des Moines: (Cindy Ray,  <mailto:cindyray at gmail.com> cindyray at gmail.com) The
Des Moines Chapter kicked off another year with our meeting on January 14,
and we are filled with optimism. We gathered for the chapter Christmas Party
on December 9. The 25 members present enjoyed food and fellowship at Chuck’s

Our January meeting included voting in a new member, Soo Kee Jung. She is a
mathematician, and plays the violin. Following reflections on the year just
ended, we conducted our annual elections, with the following results:
President, Cindy Ray; vice president, Scott Van Gorp; Secretary, Terri
Wilcox; Treasurer, David Hammel; Board members, Sandi Ryan, Jim Rechkemmer,
and Don Shepherd. Our former treasurer, Mary McGee, now works during our
meeting time and could not continue in this position. President Cindy Ray
noted the chapter’s appreciation for her hard work and attention to detail
over the several years Mary held office. Gloria Graves has been assigned to
arrange community service projects. We are expecting a good year with some
new ideas for raising funds.

The chapter will celebrate two years of Game Night in April. On the third
Tuesday of each month we take food to the Iowa Department for the Blind and
invite students to join us for dinner and table games. Starting in February
we will begin to include the students in preparing the meal. We believe it
will improve the event.

Old Capital (Iowa City): (Darrel Kirby,  <mailto:kirbydarrel at gmail.com>
kirbydarrel at gmail.com) The Old Capital chapter is currently focusing on
hosting the 2017 Iowa NFB BELL Academy next summer. We are busy working on
fund-raising and advertising for the event.

Siouxland: (Karen Clayton,  <mailto:Karen at sipco.org> Karen at sipco.org) The
Siouxland chapter will hold its holiday party on January 21, 2017, 3:00-5:00
p.m. at Perkins East, 5925 Gordon Drive in Sioux City. Karen Clayton,
Siouxland President, will attend Washington Seminar at the end of January.

Southeast Iowa: (Richard Webb,  <mailto:rwebb.nf5b at gmail.com>
rwebb.nf5b at gmail.com) No activities reported.

Bell Academy: (Donna Prime,  <mailto:dprime27 at gmail.com> dprime27 at gmail.com)
Iowa’s second NFB BELL Academy, which helps blind children learn Braille and
other blindness skills in a fun environment, will be held July 31-August 11,
2017 At Trinity Episcopal Church in Iowa City. Planning is well underway,
and activities right now involve attending events where blind children and
their families might be reached, identifying funding for this year’s event,
and advertising the academy. Families may now apply for the Iowa NFB BELL
Academy at   <https://nfb.org/bell-student-application-form>
https://nfb.org/bell-student-application-form Stay tuned—once again we will
need volunteers!

Iowa Diabetes Action Network: (Michael Barber,
<mailto:m.barber817 at gmail.com> m.barber817 at gmail.com) Our members are blind
diabetics and friends from all over Iowa. We discuss all things related to
diabetes, with an emphasis on dealing with diabetes as a blind person.

In February we will be hearing from Tom Ley, former president of the NFB
Diabetes Action Network about the upcoming artificial pancreas and his
experiences monitoring his diabetes with the help of his iPhone. In March,
we hope to deal with the subject of dental hygiene and diabetes.
Organization dues are $5 and anyone is welcome to join.

Student Committee: (Katy Olsen,  <mailto:katyo.nfbi at gmail.com>
katyo.nfbi at gmail.com) The NFBI Student Committee is a very new addition to
our affiliate. Since October 2016, the students have met three times by
conference call. we are excited about our future plans! Our hope is to
become an official division at the 2017 NFBI Convention. Some topics we have
discussed on the calls include the national scholarship program, Washington
Seminar, AIM HE, and how we can become a stronger and closer group.


News Briefs


Below is information about two new Iowa discussion List’s

Iowa affiliate list: 

List name: Tall-Corn 

The National Federation of the Blind of Iowa (Tall Corn List) is an email
list where we keep in touch, sharing advice about chapters, divisions, and
other blindness issues. We will pass on information relating to the
happenings in our state using this list and other social media platforms.
>From time to time our national office will share important information with
us as well. We welcome all who are interested in what’s happening in the
National Federation of the Blind of Iowa to check in with us, share and
learn. To subscribe to the list go to 


Iowa Students list 

List name: NFB-Iowa-Students

This list will be used to communicate with students who live or are studying
in Iowa. It will be an easy way to distribute information concerning
fundraising, group events, appointments, current events etc. from time to
time important information is shared from our national office. To subscribe
to the list go to


Like the National Federation of the Blind of Iowa on Facebook


National Federation of the Blind Scholarship Program

Each year the National Federation of the Blind awards 30 scholarships,
ranging from $3,000 to $12,000,to legally blind high school seniors and
college students. Last year, two Iowa students received scholarships and
other gifts. The application deadline for this year’s program is March 31,
2017. For the rules of application, a Frequently Asked Questions document,
and other information, visit

 <http://www.nfb.org/scholarships> www.nfb.org/scholarships

Questions? Contact the NFB Scholarship Program; Chairperson Patti Chang,

E-mail:  <mailto:Scholarships at nfb.org> Scholarships at nfb.org

Office: (410) 659 -9314, ext. 2415, (8 a.m. - 5 p.m. EST)


Apply to Become a National Federation of the Blind BUILD Team Member:
Technologies are being developed every day that affect the way we all live,
work, and play. In order to ensure access to the ever-evolving technologies
that make it possible for blind people to live the lives we want, we need
blind users to innovate and lead the design process. The NFB is establishing
a database of Blind Users Innovating and Leading Design (BUILD) to evaluate
websites, products, and services for accessibility. Apply to become a member
of our BUILD team by completing the survey at  <https://nfb.org/build-team>


Recipe Corner


NOTE: In each issue we will feature a couple of recipes from our members. If
you have a recipe to share in this section, please e-mail it to Sandi Ryan,
Editor-in-Chief, at  <mailto:sjryan2 at gmail.com> sjryan2 at gmail.com. 


Best-Ever Bean Casserole

April Lynn Enderton


This recipe comes from At Large Chapter President and Federation Focus
editor April L. Enderton. It represents the scrumptious recipes in the At
Large Chapter’s cookbook, Food at Your Fingertips!


1-1/2 pounds ground pork sausage or turkey

1 medium green pepper, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1 (31 ounce) can pork and beans

1 (16-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 (15-ounce) can Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained

1 (15-ounce) can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained

1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained

1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

1-1/2 cups ketchup

¾ cup packed brown sugar

2 teaspoons ground mustard, optional


In a skillet over medium heat, brown sausage; drain. Add green pepper and
onion; sauté until tender; drain. Place all ingredients in large greased
casserole or stockpot. Mix well. Cover and bake at 325 degrees for one hour.
Uncover and bake 20-30 minutes longer, or until bubbly.

Yield: 12-16 servings


Funny Fudge Pudding

Sandi Ryan


Sandi Ryan, our Editor-in-Chief, contributed this recipe, which originated
in a nearly 50-year-old cookbook, A Leaf From Our Table, compiled by the
Catholic Guild for the Blind. The rich chocolate cake with a surprise of
chocolate pudding underneath could make a perfect Valentine’s Day treat!


½ cup sifted flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1/3 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

¼ cup milk

1 tablespoon melted butter

½ teaspoon vanilla

¼ cup chopped nuts

½ cup firmly packed brown sugar

¾ cup boiling water


Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and 1 tablespoon cocoa
powder. Add milk, butter, and vanilla. Mix only enough to blend. Mix in
chopped nuts. Turn into a greased 3-quart casserole dish. Mix together brown
sugar and remaining cocoa powder. Sprinkle over batter in casserole. Pour
boiling water over the top. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 40
minutes. A fudge sauce forms in the bottom of the pan as it bakes. Serve

Makes 4-5 servings.


Upcoming Events


Jan. 28, 2017: Iowa Braille challenge (Iowa Department for the Blind).

Jan. 30, 2017: Great Gathering-In (Washington DC).

Jan. 30-Feb. 2, 2017:  <https://nfb.org/washington-seminar> Washington
Seminar (Washington DC).

Feb. 4, 2017: 1:00 PM, Iowa Diabetes Action Network Meeting (712-432-8812,

Feb. 6, 2017: 7:00 PM, NFBI Student Committee meeting (712-432-8812,

Feb. 11, 2017: 11:00 AM, Old Capital chapter, (Iowa City Public Library).

Feb. 11, 2017: 12:00 PM, Southeast Iowa Chapter meeting (St. Paul United
Church of Christ,

          303 W Mt. Pleasant St, West Burlington).

Feb. 11, 2017: 2:00 pM, Des Moines Chapter meeting (Iowa Department for the

Feb. 12, 2017: 4:00 PM, affiliate board meeting (712-432-8812, 87458#).

Feb. 16, 2017: 7:00 PM, At Large Chapter meeting (712-432-8812, 87458#)

Feb. 18, 2017: 11:00 AM, Siouxland Chapter meeting (TBD)

Feb. 18, 2017: Cedar Rapids Chapter meeting, (Scottish Rite Temple, 616 A
Ave A NE)

March 4, 2017: 1:00 PM, Iowa Diabetes Action Network Meeting (712-432-8812,

March 6, 2017: 7:00 PM, NFBI Student Committee meeting (712-432-8812,

March 11, 2017: 11:00 AM, Old Capital chapter meeting, (Iowa City Public

March 11, 2017: 12:00 PM, Southeast Iowa Chapter meeting (St. Paul United
Church of Christ,

          303 W Mt. Pleasant St, West Burlington).

March 11, 2017: 2:00 pM, Des Moines Chapter meeting (Iowa Department for the

March 12, 2017: 4:00 PM, affiliate board meeting (712-432-8812, 87458#).

March 16, 2017: 7:00 PM, At Large Chapter meeting (712-432-8812, 87458#)

March 18, 2017: 11:00 AM, Siouxland Chapter meeting (TBD)

March 18, 2017: Cedar Rapids Chapter meeting, (Scottish Rite Temple, 616 A
Ave NE)

March 30-31, 2017: Jacobus tenBroek Law Symposium (Jernigan Institute,
Baltimore, MD)

March 31, 2017: Deadline for  <http://www.nfb.org/scholarships> scholarship

April 15, 2017: Deadline for  <https://nfb.org/bolotin-award-main> Jacob
Bollotin Award applications

April 15, 2017: Deadline for Kenneth Jernigan Scholarship Applications

July 10-15, 2017: National Convention, (Rosen Shingle Creek Resort, Orlando,

July 21-29, 2017:  <http://www.blindscience.org/nfb-youth-slam> Youth Slam,
Towson University, (Towson, MD)

July 31-august 11, 2017: National Federation of the Blind of Iowa BELL
academy (Iowa City)  


The National Federation of the Blind of Iowa knows that blindness is not the
characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise the
expectations of blind people, because low expectations create obstacles
between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life you want;
blindness is not what holds you back.



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