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“Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.”

- Babe Ruth


By Nancy Johnson

After the 5th annual Mary T. Adams Educational Seminar and its 85th annual meeting, the Board of Directors of the Kansas Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (KABVI) met at the Hampton Inn, Salina, Kansas. Ten directors and nine guests attended.

A letter written to Acting Secretary Gary Daniels of the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS) appeared to have had positive impact. Shortly after receipt of that letter the secretary and deputy secretary of SRS visited the Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Visually impaired (RCB) and acquired a better understanding of what the program does and that it is not a revenue-producing program.

In August, 2005, a complaint against SBC was filed on behalf of KABVI. Since then, SBC has agreed to back off temporarily on charging for business searches through Directory Assistance. A toll free number, 888 373 3411, is available for getting telephone numbers. Use of this number requires listening to a small amount of commercial material.

A letter concerning the closure of sub-regional Talking Book libraries was sent to various library entities after the July directors’ meeting. Christie Brandau, State Library Director, has agreed to support the sub-regional system for Talking Book services. A positive response was also received from Gina Milsap, Director of the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library. KABVI now needs to work with the legislature to assure funding is provided to support the needs of the State Library System for the Talking Books program.

The manager of the KABVI office building has been contacted regarding space for storage of donated equipment. KABVI’s name was again removed from the building directory. This was also discussed with the building manager

KABVI officers were elected as follows:

* President - Michael Byington

* Vice president – Kathy Dawson

* Treasurer – Bob Chaffin

* Recording Secretary – Nancy Johnson

* Corresponding Secretary – Mark Coates

* Membership Secretary – Mikel McCary

Gloria Lefort, newly elected director, can be contacted by e-mail at glefort@fryeye.com.

A house in a poor neighborhood, which is not in the best of condition, might be available to KABVI through a member’s church. The house could potentially be auctioned to raise funds. This potential source of revenue will be investigated.

More discussions with thrift stores have been held. A good management company is a must in this business. Study continues.

The grants committee has met twice and is beginning to organize applications and the information necessary to send them. Most of the required materials are available. The committee consists of Nancy, Ann, Tammy, and Michael.

The sixth annual Mary T. Adams Educational Seminar was tentatively planned for November 3, 2006, with the KABVI annual meeting on Saturday, November 4, in Salina. Dr. Lewerenz will again spearhead the project. The topics will be bioptic driving and pedestrian safety. Envision is planning a very large conference September 21, 2006, but it is expected to be longer and considerably more expensive and it is believed there is room for both conferences with some time between them.

Scholarships were discussed. The education committee consists of Ann, Bob, Gloria, Chuck Tyrell of the Kansas State School for the Blind, and Darlene Howe of Wichita. They will prepare a report for the January board meeting to outline an updated scholarship program.

Actions of the Convention were ratified. Elsewhere in this issue of KABVI NEWS is a summary of resolutions.

A letter was read from Kansas Action for Children asking KABVI to become a member of the Coalition for a Prosperous Kansas “ … to stop the Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR) and other measures that would take away elected officials’ authority to make decisions on expenditures and revenues.” Where TABOR has been enacted, funding for services such as those provided by Kansas Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired have reportedly suffered. It is a tax restriction bill that would freeze everything. The Coalition opposes the TABOR. KABVI joined the Coalition for a Prosperous Kansas.

The next meeting of the KABVI Board of Directors was planned for 10:00 January 21, 2006, at the Salina Public Library. Confirmation will be sent to directors when plans are finalized.

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