Published Quarterly By






An Affiliate of the American Council of the Blind



KABVI strives to increase the independence, opportunity, and quality of life for all blind and visually impaired Kansans, and to assist us in taking our rightful place as equals among our sighted peers.


Volume 54                 summer, 2011                       No. 2




Corporate Office, 603 SW Topeka Blvd. Suite 304 B

Topeka, Kansas 66603

Telephone:  785-235-8990; In Kansas, 1-800-799-1499

E-mail:  kabvi@att.net               Web site:  www.kabvi.com


Editor,                                            Associate Editor

Nancy Johnson                             Ann Byington

714 SW Wayne Ave.                       909 SW College

Topeka, KS 66606                           Topeka, KS  66606

(785) 234-8449                                785) 233-3839

Supermom1941@sbcglobal.net      abyington@cox.net


Chairman of the Board and President

Ann Byington

909 SW College Avenue

Topeka KS 66606

(785) 233-3839




Membership Secretary, KABVI


         The purpose of KABVI NEWS, published by the Kansas Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Inc. (KABVI), is to promote the general welfare of the blind and visually impaired in Kansas.  KABVI NEWS shall reflect the philosophy and policies of the Association, report the activities of its members, and include pertinent articles pertaining to blindness and low vision. 
         Publication Policy:  Send us your news, views, articles, and features.  Materials in braille, on tape, on computer disk (Microsoft Word, plain text, or ASCII), or typewritten (double spaced) will be considered.   When quoting from other published materials, please include dates and sources.  Unsigned material will not be considered for publication.  If you send a stamped, self-addressed envelope, original materials will be returned.  Articles for publication must reach the editor by January 22, April 22, July 22, and October 22 of each year.  Editorial staff reserves the right to edit submitted materials. 
         Membership renewal letters are sent annually to persons who have not paid dues.  If responses are not received within a reasonable time, names of those persons will be removed from KABVI’s mailing list and their subscription to KABVI NEWS discontinued.  Membership is open to anyone who is interested but is not required for receipt of KABVI NEWS.  A membership renewal form on which you can indicate your newsletter preferences can be found at the end of each issue.  Thank you for your cooperation.


Table of Contents

What’s Happening?  By Ann Byington, President,

Notions, by Nancy Johnson, Editor

Put Your Thinking Caps On Now!

Report from the Board of Directors, By Nancy Johnson, Recording Secretary

How to Participate in the State Wide Conference Call June 25, 2:00

Youth Activities, By Nancy Johnson, Youth Activities Chair

National Alliance of Blind Students (NABS),  By Sara Conrad, National President

Congratulations to 2011 Scholarship Winners, By Bob Chaffin, Scholarship Chair

Research Opportunity

Chapter Chatter, Compiled by Nancy Johnson

Tantalizing Tidbits, Compiled by Nancy Johnson

In Memoriam, Compiled by Nancy Johnson

2011 Board of Directors

2011 Membership Application


What’s Happening?

By Ann Byington, President

By the time you read this, KABVI and the Topeka Lions’ Foundation will have completed our fourth annual “Eyes Wide Open” golf tournament.  We weren’t able to get a nationally known blind golfer this year which means I need to do the asking as soon as we have next year’s tournament date set.  KABVI members and Lions have been meeting every week since the first of March to do the planning, creating sponsorship packets, creating lists of businesses to contact within the community, delivering materials, collecting money, recording the myriad of information needed to make things work smoothly. 

I will report on the May Ks State School for the Blind site Advisory Council meeting in a later issue.  The Kansas Advisory Committee for the Blind and Visually Impaired has not met since January.  . Reports on the impact of recently passed legislation as well as on our current Esther v. Taylor Scholarship winners are in other articles in the newsletter.

KABVI members will be participating in the Kansas Youth Leadership Fair in early June and a workshop for law enforcement officials in the Kansas City area.  Some of us also attended an invaluable workshop on Accessible Pedestrian Signals presented by Janet Barlow, a nationally recognized author, researcher and orientation and mobility instructor. We learned about more aspects of the choice, location, installation, evaluation and maintenance of these signals than I ever imagined existed.  Guidelines and other related materials are in the library at the corporate office should you wish to educate yourselves or your city officials.

On a personal note, Michael and I have recently parted with two very dear friends.  The first was my fifteen-year-old retired guide, yellow lab, Cleo.  Cleo was always my “happy” dog—she helped guide me through some extremely stressful times.  She crossed the Rainbow Bridge on Saturday, April 14th.  Our other loss is one shared by KABVI members and was unexpected.  David Bruce died quite suddenly in late April. Michael will be remembering him in another article. We are told that we cannot know joy without sorrow.  And, indeed, KABVI members have been blessed with employment, safe housing, ample food and smaller doses of tragedy than those living in the South who have survived monumental losses from tornadoes and the most recent flooding of the mighty Mississippi. And, in case I haven’t said it lately, “thank you” to all of you who continue to help us fulfill our mission, stated on the front of the newsletter. 



By Nancy Johnson, Editor

       Before I jump onto my high horse, I want to thank all the people who help get information for KABVI NEWS.  You will notice many items say, “Compiled by.”  That means people sent items to me, and I simply pulled them together for the NEWS.  I need and greatly appreciate the items others send.  I can’t use everything, but the information is always helpful. 

       Has KABVI, during its 91 years of existence, accomplished anything?  Does the organization need to change its image to meet today’s needs?  I think the answer is “yes” to both questions. 

In 1920, when KABVI was established, more adults and children became totally blind than do today.  The prevalent belief was that blind people were basically helpless, needed protection, couldn’t care for themselves, and couldn’t support themselves.  KABVI’s founders knew differently.  Until recently KABVI advocated for services through state government.  The state chose to do away with specialized programs for persons who are blind or visually impaired and encouraged other entities to provide services.  Some services do exist.  Their quality remains to be seen.  The era of advocating through state government is ended.

During 29 years as a rehabilitation teacher, I saw gradual changes.  First, medical science now slows the processes of conditions such as diabetes and macular degeneration so fewer people become totally without sight.  Low vision specialists go beyond corrective lenses to help individuals use remaining vision.  The internet is loaded with information (not all accurate).  With all of this improvement only an estimated 30% to 40% of blind people are employed.  Sixty to 70% remain unemployed or under-employed. 

What is blind?  A legal definition based on visual acuity and visual fields is used for purposes of Social Security and rehabilitation programs.  Those definitions don’t tell us how well an individual functions visually.  Vision loss distorts an individual’s view of the world.  Some people adapt fairly well without assistance until the loss becomes severe.  Others experience functional difficulties earlier in the process.  A dictionary definition of blind says, “Unable to see; unable to recognize; lacking or grossly deficient in the ability to see.”  Today’s public defines “blind” as totally without eye sight,” and people seem to want no part of the word if they can see anything at all, so we use terms like “low-vision” and “visually impaired.” 

For whom, then, does KABVI exist?  It’s in our name - Kansas Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired.”  We exist for those “Unable to see; unable to recognize; lacking or grossly deficient in the ability to see.”  These are the same people for whom we have always existed.

Because KABVI has worked through the legislature – and continues to do so – the general population doesn’t know us as it knows other organizations.  This organization works behind the scenes.  Our mission statement says, “KABVI strives to increase the independence, opportunity, and quality of life for all blind and visually impaired Kansans, and to assist us in taking our rightful place as equals among our sighted peers.”  What are independence, opportunity, quality of life, and our rightful place among our sighted peers?  You tell us.  Then we can put together a program to let others know who we are and what we want to achieve.

Join us June 25, 2:00, for the first statewide conference call, open to all KABVI NEWS readers, and tell us how you’d like to see KABVI move forward.  This is – after all – your organization.  For call-in information, contact the office at (785) 235-8990 or 1-800-799-1499 or go to www.kabvi.com


Put Your Thinking Cap On Now!

        Now is the time for all KABVI members to think about the people we know who demonstrate that special spark that makes them stand out among their peers.  We’re looking for one or two outstanding individuals to be recognized state-wide by the Eleanor A. Wilson and Extra Step awards.  Recipients will be honored at the 2011 annual meeting and convention

        The Extra Step Award is presented to a visually impaired individual for unique courage and successful personal rehabilitation.  The nominee shall have demonstrated initiative and ingenuity, in meeting the unique challenges in life, and shall have contributed to society in an outstanding manner.  The nominee shall be a Kansas resident, at least legally blind and shall be selected without regard for affiliation with any organization of or for the blind. 

        The Eleanor A. Wilson Award is presented to a sighted or visually impaired individual who demonstrates outstanding service to the visually impaired and blind in Kansas.  The nominee should, through personal characteristics and activities, promote public acceptance and understanding of visually impaired and blind persons as capable and productive members of the community.  The Eleanor A. Wilson Award emphasizes contributions beyond those achieved through the nominee’s regular employment. The nominee shall be a Kansas resident and shall be selected without regard for affiliation with any organization of or for the blind. 

        Nominees for both the Extra Step and Eleanor A. Wilson awards shall be invited to attend the annual meeting and convention in November.  Travel, registration, and one night’s hotel expense may be covered for award winners, if requested and when funds are available.  The award ceremonies are an expression of KABVI’s genuine appreciation for what these extraordinary individuals have contributed for the benefit of visually impaired people in Kansas. 

        No members of the Awards Committee or their immediate families are eligible to receive an award.  Members of the KABVI Board of Directors may be nominated.  Please send nominations to:  KABVI, 603 SW Topeka Blvd, Suite 304, Topeka, Kansas  66603 by July 16. 


Report from the Board of Directors

By Nancy Johnson, Recording Secretary

The meeting of the Board of Directors of the Kansas Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (KABVI) was convened April 30, 2011, at the corporate office.  Present were nine directors, three by Skype conferencing.  Colleen Talley, office manager, read a letter of resignation to the Board of Directors from Donna Sanborn. 

Car donations are doing better since KABVI is no long required to pay advertising costs.  The brailler was sent in again for repairs and KABVI will be billed full price because the machine is now out of warranty. 

Henry Staub, new director, was introduced.  Also introduced was Colleen Talley, office manager.  Marilyn Lind, the second new director, was absent because of illness.  When new board members are brought in, adding sighted individuals as directors was suggested.  Possibilities were discussed.

Although the Kansas Advisory Committee for the Blind and Visually Impaired was scheduled to meet in April it did not.  It was suggested the entities taking on service provision meet to coordinate services.  The committee would be the appropriate place to discuss this. 

The Midwest Leadership conference is a joint venture of the Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska affiliates of the American Council of the Blind (ACB).  Conference dates are August 19-21 at the Garden Plaza Hotel, St. Peters, Missouri.  The agenda was reviewed.  A preregistration form and agenda are available online at www.acb.org.  The conference is paying transportation, hotel and meals for each affiliate.  Targeted are people interested in leadership.  The purpose of the conference is to interest and educate people about ACB and its affiliates.  KABVI’s portion of the Start-up money was sent,

Ann Byington still needs affiliate meeting dates and times.  She wants to visit KABVI affiliates across the state.

KABVI testified regarding closure of the Kansas Neurological Institute (KNI) and the voter ID bill, passed in spite of KABVI’s work.  The reason KABVI is interested in KNI is that about one third of residents are blind, and some blind employees work there.  Community supports are not in place.  The legislative committee will continue to work on this. 

A Diversity Policy will soon appear on KABVI’s website.  This is basically a statement assuring against discrimination and is a step toward political correctness. 

Colleen Talley is the office manager and is paid by KABVI for 20 hours per week.  KABVI is a training site for the part-time office assistant.  His mother’s company, not KABVI, pays him.

KABVI received only 2 scholarship applications after 60 packets were sent.  Both applicants are qualified to receive awards. 

A stack of newsletters was returned.  A database overhaul is needed soon.  Mike McCary, Colleen Talley, and Nancy Johnson will work with that.  Beulah Carrington agreed to help make phone calls.  KABVI paid 161 memberships to ACB in March. 

Because of the problems with the brailler, Braille copies of the spring 2011 issue were not sent until early in May.  

        The contract with the Kansas Youth Empowerment Academy (KYEA) was dissolved because the youth activities committee members believed, though much was learned from the relationship, KYEA’s goals and clientele are narrower than KABVI’s.  KABVI is interested in reaching even very young children and up as well as parents.  KYEA’s focus is on high school and college age youth.  Many young children with blindness and vision impairment have severe multiple disabilities including intellectual disabilities.  KABVI’s youth activities committee appreciates the time and effort of KYEA as well as the knowledge they shared. 

        The committee plans to make the website more interesting by adding a page for accessible games.  Links to information for parents are also planned.  The committee has people working on


design with W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) full access in mind.  On June 25, from 2:00 to 3:00 a statewide conference call is planned, open to all members, to learn what members would like to say about KABVI, what the organization is doing, and what KABVI should do in the future.  The committee is particularly interested in hearing from youth and parents of children and youth.  The committee is also looking at collaborative relationships with the local Families Together organization and the National Association of Parents of the Visually Impaired (NAPVI). 

Plans are underway for the fourth annual KABVI/Lions fourth annual Eyes Wide Open golf tournament to be held June 9, 2011, at the Cypress Ridge Golf Course in Topeka.  Attempts are being made to contact a blind golfer.  On May 25 at 4:00 p.m. Nancy Johnson and Irene Owen will represent KABVI and the Lions in a short presentation on Ralph Hipp’s afternoon television show on WIBW TV.  Players and sponsors are being sought.  A link to registration is available at www.kabvi.com

Paul recommended keeping Skype on at the office all the time.  Skype users could then call in at any time.  The Skype contact is kabvi.kabvi1. 

Convention dates are October 28-29 with the post convention directors meeting October 30.  The site is again Envision in Wichita.  KABVI will be charged for security Friday evening and Saturday when the building is not normally open.  Donna Sanborn, who resigned, was vice president, so help is needed with the convention program. 




How to Participate in the State Wide Conference Call June 25, 2:00

       Note:  You are responsible for your normal long distance fees from your existing long distance provider. 

Your Conference Telephone Number:  (712) 432-6100

Participant Pass code:  126083# (pound sign key on your telephone)

Moderator Pin 126072#

Your Replay Telephone Number: (712) 432-6190

How to Join the Conference:

1.  Dial 1-(712) 432-6100 and

2.  Enter the Pass Code 126083 followed by # (pound sign key).

If the conference is not in session, the system will put you on hold until the moderator arrives.

During the Conference - Conference Commands:

Press *3 – Exit Conference

Press *4 – Help Menu

Press *6 – Mute Individual Line

Congratulations! You now have online access to all of your recordings. Once you have successfully recorded your conference call you can download it immediately to your desktop.

1.  Login to : http://totallyfreeconferencecalls.com/712recordings

2.  Enter dial in number: 7124326100 Access code: 6100126072

3.  Welcome page will be displayed

a.  All wav files will be listed on that first page.

b.  Right click on the wav file and select “Save Target As” to your Desktop.

All calls will be deleted from your site every 30 calendar days. It is very important to download your wav files immediately so you do not lose any conference calls.  If you have any further questions please contact Customer Support, support@mytfcc.com.


Youth Activities

By Nancy Johnson, youth Activities Committee

       On June 25 at 2:00, KABVI will hold its first statewide conference call to get better acquainted with people across the entire state and to give everyone a chance to tell directors and officers what you’re doing and what you’d like KABVI to do in the future.  We invite young people and/or parents – and everyone else – to call and talk with one another to give us some guidance.  We plan this as a regularly scheduled event.  Call-in information is posted on the website, www.kabvi.com

Please Join us, young people and parents, and let’s plan a party to kick off a statewide chapter of the National Alliance of Blind Students (NABS).  See the next article to learn more about the NABS affiliate of the American Council of the Blind (ACB).  If you can’t join us for the call, send an email to supermom1941@sbcglobal.net and give me your party ideas.  Make the subject “KABVI/NABS” so I’ll know it’s an email I want to open.  If you don’t have access to a computer, call your ideas in to the Kabvi office at 1-800-799-1499 (toll free) or (785) 235-8990.  .  KABVI’s convention and annual meeting begins Friday, October 28, and the party can be planned for that evening.  It’s a chance to make new friends, learn some new things, and have a little fun.   And it will be your special party because you helped plan it! 

Lots of folks enjoy playing games on the computer.  Watch the website for links to accessible games.  Let us know if you already have some favorites you could share.  That will help us get started.  Bring other ideas to the conference call June 25 at 2:00. 


National Alliance of Blind Students (NABS)

By Sara Conrad, National President

It is my pleasure to inform you that our membership information and dues payments are now available online! A lot of exciting things go on in NABS that you don't want to miss.

       What is so special about being a NABS member? You have....

• the right to vote at conventions
• the right to serve on committees
• the right to speak on the convention floor
• the right to hold office in NABS
• the right to be appointed to a NABS appointed position.
• Membership in the American Council of the Blind

What exactly does NABS do?

1.  We coordinate an annual National Convention to focus on topics of interest to blind and visually impaired students via formal and informal programs.

2.   We build partnerships with disability organizations to realize our common goals of worldwide accessibility.

3.   We organize social conference calls to connect students with students.

4.   We host an email list to provide a forum for discussion and dissemination of information about employment, scholarships, advocacy efforts, and more.

5.   We publish the Student Advocate, a biannual newsletter that features articles of interest to blind and visually impaired students.

6.   We serve as a resource for blind/visually impaired students, parents of blind/visually impaired students, DSS offices, and University disability organizations.

Joining NABS is affordable, quick and easy.  To join, go to http://www.acbstudents.org/joinnabs.htm.   There you will see, among other things, a place where you can choose the type of membership that interests you and a place where you can give a donation. Dues are just $15 for general members, college age and above. (High school and younger are considered junior members at just $8 a year). Yes, just $15 will get you all these great opportunities with NABS.  For more information, go to http://www.acbstudents.org or email me at president.acbstudents@gmail.com  - Sara Conrad National Alliance of Blind Students, President


Congratulations to 2011 Scholarship Winners

By Bob Chaffin, Scholarship Chair

Congratulations to Brenna Koch and Patrick Hackathorn who have each been awarded a $1,000 scholarship from KABVI.  The consensus of the scholarship committee is that both of these people are


deserving of these scholarships.  For several years, KABVI has awarded scholarships to individuals who have graduated from high school and plan to attend a post secondary college or technical school.   To qualify, the person must be a resident of Kansas and be visually impaired. 

Brenna is a student at Washburn University majoring in Business/Accounting and anticipates receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in 2012.  Brenna has maintained a very respectable grade point average after completing over 100 credit hours of classes.  In addition, she participates in many community activities such as business clubs, Bible studies, and academic groups.  Brenna has been accepted into the Washburn University Mortar Board, a senior honor society.  Brenna has received KABVI scholarships in previous years and has made good use of them according to her academic achievements and involvement in extracurricular activities.

Patrick Hackathorn is a recent graduate of Olathe North High School and has been accepted to Kansas State University in Manhattan.  Patrick has maintained a very respectable grade point average through his high school career.  He has been able to accomplish this record through the use of large print materials and making other adaptations.  Various honors and extracurricular activities are also part of Patrick’s resume.  At this time he is looking at various options for a major at Kansas State University. 




Research Opportunity

Dr. Alfred J. Lewy is a professor of Biological Psychiatry and Director of the Sleep and Mood Disorders Laboratory at Oregon Health & Science University. He is asking for help in reaching blind youth without light perception (ages 5-20) who may be interested in contributing to a research opportunity funded by the National Institutes of Health.

The body clocks of sighted individuals are synchronized to a daily 24-hour cycle by the perpetual rising and setting of the sun, a process that is not always possible for blind individuals who are unable to see light through their eyes. Entirely blind people sometimes have natural body rhythms that free-run, meaning that their rhythms drift each day, similar to the experience of jet lag when traveling. This can lead to sleep complaints and difficulty staying alert during the day and can also contribute to social and academic challenges.  For more information on this phenomenon, type “circadian rhythms in the blind” into your internet search engine.  Through decades of research, we have learned that we can adjust these body rhythms with low doses of melatonin—a naturally occurring hormone produced in the brain. We think understanding this problem better and confirming melatonin as an inexpensive, low-risk, and effective treatment will be invaluable to the social and academic functioning of blind children in the United States and worldwide.

Our research group has been studying sleep disorders in the blind in the Portland area for almost thirty years. We recently simplified our procedures so individuals can participate in our studies from home, allowing us to include contributors from anywhere in the nation. In this project, we will measure body rhythms by using wristwatch-style activity monitors, sleep journals, and by periodically measuring melatonin levels in saliva. Sleep quality and daytime functioning will be measured by simple questionnaires completed by participants or parents. Daytime saliva collection sessions for 16 hours will occur in participants’ homes and will be scheduled at their convenience.  For participants with qualifying body rhythms, we will offer the option of taking a daily low-dose of melatonin in an effort to confirm that it can be used to adjust these irregular body rhythms in children and adolescents, as it does in adults. All costs associated with this study, including pill costs, will be covered by the investigators, and participants will be compensated for their time.

The success of our research and the opportunity to positively impact the health, social, and academic functioning of blind children and young adults worldwide is dependent upon your help. If you have any questions about our project, would like to participate, or have any suggestions as to how we might reach interested families, please contact Sarah Alejandrino, Research Assistant, at sleeplab@ohsu.edu, (503) 494-1402, or 1-866-424-6060. Thank you in advance for your support. - Dr. Alfred J. Lewy, MD, PhD, Director, Sleep and Mood Disorders Laboratory, Oregon Health & Science University,  Principal Investigator, eIRB #4664.

Circadian Studies in Young Blind Children and Adolescents

Purpose:  Many totally blind children and adults have trouble sleeping.  We know that this is often due to a lack of light stimulation to the body’s internal clock, located in a part of the brain called the hypothalamus.  The body clocks of sighted people are re-set daily by the perpetual rising and setting of the sun.  Natural sunlight is important for keeping the internal rhythms of most sighted people on a 24-hour schedule.  However, this is not always possible for those who are unable to see light through their eyes.   These children and young adults tend to have natural body rhythms that free-run, meaning that their body rhythms drift, usually later, each day, causing sleep and activity difficulties.

The purpose of this study is to learn more about body rhythms in blind children and young adults that keep them from falling asleep at the desired time or cause them difficulty staying alert during typical waking hours. We will conduct state-of-the-art, individualized body clock assessments for each participant through the use of a highly-sensitive, wrist-worn sleep and activity monitor and through occasional saliva sampling. If a participant is found to have a body rhythm that is out-of-sync with the 24 hour day, he or she may have the option of taking a low-dose of melatonin daily. We hope to confirm that melatonin can be used to adjust irregular body rhythms in children, as it does in adults.

Is my child eligible?

We are currently looking for subjects who are:

·       Between the ages of 5-20, with or without sleep difficulties

·       Blind with no light perception

What will my family need to do to participate?

·       Phone screening

·       Complete questionnaire packet about general health and sleep history

·       If the child/young adult qualifies:

·       Wear an Actiwatch® wrist device to monitor periods of rest and activity

·       Keep a sleep diary

·       At home, conduct occasional saliva collections:

·       Use a cotton saliva collection device called a Salivette®

·       Saliva sampling takes place as necessary through the study

·       If your child has an out-of-sync body rhythm, he/she may be invited to take a daily low-dose of melatonin to see if it re-sets their body clock for a better night’s sleep!

Your child will also be compensated for their time, on average between $115 $190/month!

All materials will be paid for by the investigators.

Who is conducting this study?

Principal Investigator: Alfred Lewy, MD, PhD.  Co-Investigator:  Jonathan S. Emens, MD, DABSM.  Sponsor This study is funded by a grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development which is a part of the National Institutes of Health. Sleep and Mood Disorders Laboratory.

       As an internationally-recognized center for research on melatonin, circadian rhythms, and disorders related to the body clock, we aim to expand the understanding of human circadian rhythms and to develop and refine treatments for body clock disorders.

       The Sleep and Mood Disorders Laboratory focuses on studies of circadian rhythms ("body clocks") and how they are affected by melatonin and light. The Laboratory continues to refine the understanding of how circadian rhythms govern the sleep-wake cycle.  

   For more information or to enroll in this study, please contact: Sleep & Mood Disorders Laboratory (503) 494-1402 or 1-866-424-6060 sleeplab@ohsu.edu   Oregon Health & Science University Sleep & Mood Disorder Laboratory L469, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Rd Portland, OR 97239.   Visit us on the Web: http://www.ohsu.edu/sleeplab.  


Chapter Chatter

Compiled by Nancy Johnson

       Northwest Kansas Association for the Visually Impaired (NKAVI) members recently learned about the reassignment of Kan-SAIL services to the IKAN Program through PILR out of Hutchinson.

       Central Kansas Association for the Visually Impaired (CKAVI):  On April 17, 2011, CKAVI sponsored a three-hour workshop in Great Bend, Kansas, including information and resources for persons with visual impairment. 

       Southwest Kansas Association for the Visually Impaired members continue to learn about low vision aids and lighting, and the Talking Books program.    A focus group regarding IKAN services in southwest Kansas and a discussion of avoiding scams were held.  IKAN services in that area are uncertain because independent living centers in Liberal, Dodge City, and Garden City were closed unexpectedly by the state, reportedly because of accounting problems. 

       Topeka Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TABVI) spent a pleasant afternoon touring the Great Overland Station learning railroad and Kansas History.  Some participants toured the children’s museum and visited the gift shop.  They recently enjoyed the camaraderie of a covered dish dinner. 


Tantalizing Tidbits

Compiled by Nancy Johnson

Students create robot designed to lead blind classmate:  The seventh grade students enrolled in the robotics class at San Jacinto Junior High School in Midland, Texas, worked together to design and create a robot to help a visually impaired classmate navigate the school. Robotics student Claire Lancaster described the impetus for the project: "[Dante] was just telling us how it's really hard for him to get around with a cane because people jump over it and run in front of it." Dante Hall, the classmate mentioned by Ms. Lancaster, lost his eyesight in 2007 from a severe asthma attack. The students will bring their way finding robot to a Texas-wide competition in April 2011 at Angelo State University, in San Angelo. For more information, contact: Mr. Cowdrey, robotics teacher, San Jacinto Junior High School, 1400 North N Street, Midland, TX 79701; phone: 432-689-1350; web site: www.midlandisd.net  

Social Networking for Families FamilyConnect, the web portal designed by and for parents of children with visual impairments, recently launched a social networking component that will allow registered users to connect with each other and share support and information. Individuals will be able to send friendship requests, update their own pages with news and photos, share links they like, and follow their friends' online activities via e-mail alerts. FamilyConnect is a joint effort of the American Foundation for the Blind and the National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments, and is completely free of charge. For more information, contact: FamilyConnect, American Foundation for the Blind, 2 Penn Plaza, Suite 1102, New York, NY 10121; e-mail: familyconnect@afb.net; web site: www.familyconnect.org

http://www.afb.org/afbpress/pubjvib.asp?DocID=jvib05031 4  Retrieved from

http://www.afb.org/afbpress/pubjvib.asp?DocID=jvib050313  Print edition page number(s) 187-188

Improve your screen reader skills:  The Hadley School for the Blind has launched three new online courses designed to assist individuals who are blind or visually impaired to become more proficient with their computers in school and work environments. "Screen Readers: Listening Skills" trains users to listen to and comprehend a screen reader while at the same time talking with a potential customer or client on the phone. "Screen Readers: Web Browsing" offers tips and techniques for navigating the most accessible and inaccessible web sites. "Screen Readers: Formatting Word Documents" gives instruction in editing text, adjusting fonts, using headings, bullets and much more while using a screen reader with Word 2007. Each course includes two lessons. For more information, or to register, contact Hadley at 1-800-526-9909 or e-mail student_services@hadley.edu.

Block solicitation calls to your cell phones:  Cell phone numbers are public now.  All cell phone numbers were released to telemarketing companies and you can now receive sales calls.  YOU WILL BE CHARGED FOR THESE CALLS!  To prevent this, call the following number from your cell phone: 888-382-1222.  It is the National DO NOT CALL list.  It will only take a minute of your time.  It blocks your number for five (5) years. You must call from the cell phone number you want to have blocked.  You cannot call from a different phone number.  https://www.donotcall.gov/default.aspx

American Council of the Blind Celebrates 50 Years:  Because this is the 50th Anniversary of the American Council of the Blind, members may have their names listed for $25.00 on the 50th Anniversary page in the conference program.  It will be titled as such.  About 26 names will appear on each page.  If you would like your name to be on the page, send it with $25 to Lane Waters, American Council of the Blind, 6300 Shingle Creek Parkway, Suite 195, Brooklyn Center, MN 55430.  Entries will appear like this:

American Council of the Blind
      In the Silver State
"Golden Past - Diamond Future"
Congratulations on 50 Years of Success

Directions:  Welcome to Directions for Me TM , your one stop source for accessible packaging information. Directions provides the information that’s on consumer packages or labels in a simple online format for anyone who has trouble reading the small print, including people who are blind or visually impaired. 

This site provides a consistent, quality source of complete packaging information for everything from preparation or cooking instructions to ingredient lists to Nutrition and Drug Facts labels for many common grocery, health and beauty and general merchandise products.  It also provides potentially life-saving allergy and drug interaction warnings. 

For those watching their carbohydrates (carbs), fat, sodium or cholesterol intake, Directions provides a user-friendly way to get access to this information. Gaining comprehensive access will foster self sufficiency and allow you live more healthfully and independently.  

Directions for me TM was designed to be completely accessible with text-to-speech screen readers, magnifiers, and Braille displays as well as web-enabled cell phones. This information is presented in a uniform, easy-to-use format and eliminates features that hinder accessibility. 

Regardless of the product or brand, all packaging information is formatted and displayed the same way. Users will be able to access this data exactly the same way, every time and will no longer have to search a variety of sites with different formats and varying levels of accessibility. The site remains current by using a database that is frequently added to and updated.  Visit the website at  http://www.directionsforme.org/ 

Accessible Devices:  GW Micro Introduced The First Stand Alone Video Magnifier That Can Read Text Aloud.  The Orabis and the Vocatex are the first HD video magnifiers (also known as CCTVs) that recognize text and read it back without a computer.  Many users of video magnifiers can only read for very short periods.  The Orabis and Vocatex distributed by GW Micro now solve the problems by reading the magnified text out loud and eliminating the need to stare at the screen for long periods.  In addition to speaking the text, a focus rectangle follows each word as it is spoken making it simple for low vision consumers to see exactly where they are in the document. There are no special modes to go in and out of. The image a low vision consumer sees is exactly how the text appears to a sighted person.

The Orabis and the Vocatex do not require a computer.  They consist of the CCTV with a monitor mounted on top.  Both units were created by KOBA Vision, a Belgium firm providing high-end low vision solutions for over 25 years. The Vocatex has been extremely successful throughout Europe. A person who is legally blind can use the machine to read printed material by pressing a button and having the machine instantly read to them.

 The Vocatex was the first talking video magnifier created by KOBA Vision.  The patented technology was then used to create the Orabis. The Orabis boasts many of the same features of the Vocatex, and is the entry-level unit in the series.  The Orabis provides HD video, comes with a large 22-inch widescreen monitor with a minimum magnification of 2x, includes 22 different languages, and has 32 high-quality human-sounding voices from Nuance.  Low vision consumers who need a larger monitor can step up to the Vocatex, which comes with a 26, 32, or 37-inch monitor.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYcfVG4SxOk showcases the products.  For pricing, specifications, and other information, call GW Micro at  (260) 489-3671, email GW Micro at sales@gwmicro.com, or check GW Micro on the web at www.gwmicro.com.

Way-finding Technology:  The iGlasses™ Ultrasonic Mobility Aid is a head-mounted device that enables more informed, confident, and efficient pedestrian travel. Objects in your path are detected by the ultrasonic sensors and communicated via gentle vibrations. As obstacles get nearer the frequency of the vibration will increase.  The device is intended as a secondary mobility device to complement the traditional long cane or guide dog.  For additional information, go to www.ambutech.com/iglasses.  

Accessible Prescription Issues:  ACB is working on accessible prescription issues with the country's large pharmacy retailers.  We are interested in talking with individuals who currently get their prescriptions from the following retailers either in a local store or by mail order from one of these pharmacies:  CVS, Rite-Aid, Target, Walgreens, Wal-Mart

            Please contact us by email at:  LF@LFLegal.com or info@gdblegal.com or toll free at 1-800-822-5000.  If you send an email, please let us know your phone number, where you are located, and which pharmacy you are writing about. 

Introducing the Kapten PLUS personal navigation device:  Leader Dogs for the Blind believes that everyone has the right to travel independently—to go here, there, everywhere they desire.  But without the benefit of street signs or printed maps [admit it; you still use them] to help get them where they want to go, people who are blind often rely on others to help with directions.  The game changed when GPS became accessible to people without sight. Leader Dog jumped on the location technology bandwagon [heck, we pushed the bandwagon] by providing pedestrian GPS devices and training to our clients.  But with big price tags of $2,040 for 1st generation technology and $925 for 2nd, these devices were out of reach for many people and the cost limited how many we could give to our clients for free.  Smart phone GPS applications weren’t an option for us due to limited accessibility and service fees that could easily run $1,000 a year.  In our relentless pursuit of putting GPS in the hands of people who are blind, we’re changing the game again with the Kapten PLUS.  This device is 74% smaller than previous devices, is more user friendly, has voice recognition and comes with a smaller price tag of only $295.  Leader Dog is the exclusive U.S. rights-holder and distributor of the Kapten PLUS.  Free Kapten PLUS devices are distributed to LDB clients throughout the United States and Canada. Kapten PLUS devices are available to everyone at LDB’s online gift shop for $295.  Visit http://www.leaderdog.org/gps/kapten.php.  




In Memoriam

       Please, when information is sent for this column, try to locate obituary information if you can.  Sometimes that helps readers recognize the individual.  Names are often picked up from your affiliate newsletters.  Thank you to those who keep us informed.

       Betty Stremel died January 4, 2011, in Florida.  Betty was a long-time member of the Southwest Kansas Association for the Visually Impaired. 

       Barbara (Phinney) Jackson passed away about March 7.  Barbara worked for Kansas Industries for the Blind and presently resided in the Wichita area.

Lura June Trail, 86, retired housekeeper, passed away Sunday, April 24, 2011.  June was preceded in death by her parents, Orval & Verda (Wysong) Wright; husbands, Chulo Livers & Chester Trail; son, Paul David Livers; brothers, Robert & Ercel Wright; sister, Evelyn Livingston. Survivors include her sister, Verdabelle (Dwayne) Cox; nephews, Kenneth, Robert & Michael Cox; nieces, Marjorie Stephans, Merlene Odenwald, and Karen Dehdari. A memorial was established with Calvary Bible Church, 220 S. Handley, Wichita, KS 67213.  June was very involved in the Wichita Association for the Visually Handicapped (WAVH) for many years.


2011 KABVI Board of Directors

Please send all correspondence e-mail, surface mail, or phone contacts, to:  KABVI, 603 SW Topeka Blvd. Suite 304, Topeka, Kansas 66603.  Telephone:  785-235-8990 or, in Kansas only, 1-800-799-1499. 
kabvi@att.net.  Web site:  www.kabvi.com.

Note: Shown after the Directors' names is the year their current terms expire.

* Appointed to serve until elections are held during the annual meeting. 

1.  Marilyn Lind, ms.delta1976@yahoo.com *

2.  Bill Moore 2011 brm@kni.ks.gov

3.  Paul Berscheidt 2011 pberscheidt@kitusa.com

4.  Terese Goren, 2011 terese@goren.com

5.  Michael Byington, Corresponding Secretary, 2012 byington@cox.net

6. Robert (Bob) Chaffin, Treasurer, 2012 chaffin@ruraltel.net

7. Henry Staub, 2012 hstaub@cox.net *

8. Mikel McCary, Membership Secretary, 2012 mikel.mccary@gmail.com or (work) mccary@rcilinc.org

9.  Nancy Johnson, Recording Secretary and KABVINEWS Editor, 2013 supermom1941@sbcglobal.net

10.  Beulah Carrington, 2013 b1car@cox.net

11.  Ann Byington, President and KABVI NEWS Associate Editor, 2013 abyington@cox.net

12.  Vacant upon resignation of Donna Sanborn – 2013


2011 KABVI Membership Application


____ Enclosed is $10.00 for my 2010 KABVI dues.


___  Enclosed is $250 for my Life Membership.














Are you: 


_____Legally blind  _____Visually impaired 


_____Deaf-blind  _____Sighted


I would like the KABVI NEWS and THE BRAILLE FORUM in: 


_____Braille  _____Large print  _____


_____  Cassette  _____Regular print  ______E-mail


_____I do not want these publications.


I am including a tax deductible donation to KABVI


in the amount of $______.___.


SEND this form and your enclosed check to:

Robert Chaffin, Treasurer

1105 Centennial Blvd.

Hays, Kansas  67601.