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By Michael Byington

On a partly personal note, I want to thank many readers for their expressions of friendship and support as Ann and I have been traveling through the experience of my mother’s, Bonnie Byington’s recent death. Information about Bonnie will be contained elsewhere in this publication, but I wanted to say a special thanks for the expressions of friendship and support, and for understanding that some things are not happening as fast for KABVI as they might otherwise during this time. My mother would be the first to urge, however, that things get back on an even keel as soon as possible and that the business of life continue. We are attempting to make this happen.

The week before Bonnie died I attended the American Council of the Blind Legislative Seminar. I am now working on catching up all of the reports which have to be filed about the legislative contacts made with the Kansas Congressional delegation in Washington. I am going to submit a separate article about things to say to staff members of the folks we send to Congress from Kansas, should the spirit move you to call and have a chat with them. I say the bit about the spirit moving us toward legislative advocacy contacts at federal and State levels a bit tongue in cheek. I actually hope the spirit moves many of our readers to make such contacts. Between ACB’s excellent website, publications such as “The Braille Forum,” and your “KABVI News,” we try to give you the tools to know what to say to power brokers about the needs of the blind and visually impaired populations, both of Kansas, and nationally. Anything we have achieved over the years has been achieved, not because of one or two advocates who work at the most visible top of the food chain, but because of the grass roots support of many blind and visually impaired citizens making back-up contacts to supplement the advocacy work. Your tongue does not have to be silver to support the issues you read about in our publications, and know about as a blind or low vision citizen. You do not have to use $2.00 words. Most of all, you just have to realize that you need to turn off your S.E.P. field.

Now, let me explain the concept of the S.E.P. field. It is not original. I learned about the scientific principle behind the S.E.P. field from science fiction writer, Douglas Adams. Adams wrote humorous, yes I will use the term again, tongue in cheek, science fiction stories which were long on satire and comedy, and often short on specific scientific principles, but they usually made some pretty interesting points. In one of his books, he explains a method used by some space faring races to make their space ships invisible. The ships are outfitted with the S.E.P. technology. S.E.P. stands for “somebody else’s problem,” and the principle is that if one makes anything somebody else’s problem, then whatever it is becomes invisible. Nobody sees it and nobody cares about it because it is somebody else’s problem. If you are receiving the “KABVI News” then the issues discussed therein, and through ACB, are not somebody else’s problem. They are yours, and mine. You got on the mailing list to get this magazine either because at some point you expressed interest in issues relating to blindness and visual impairment, or you are one of the power brokers who gets the magazine because you are in a position to change programs and policies we discuss. In either case, the problems and issues should not become invisible to you. They are not somebody else’s problem. They belong to all of us. There are none so blind, regardless of visual acuity, as those who turn on their S.E.P. field.

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