Published Quarterly By


 An Affiliate of the American Council of the Blind



Volume 54                            Winter 2011                           No. 4


Return to:


603 SW Topeka Blvd., Suite 304

Topeka, KS  66603



Corporate Office, 603 SW Topeka Blvd., Suite 304 B

Topeka, Kansas 66603

Telephone:  785-235-8990 or, in Kansas only, 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



         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

KABVI Computer Refurbishing Program Is Ready to Go! –

by Jonathon Marcotte, Technology Committee Chair

A Look at KABVI’s Mission – by Nancy Johnson, Editor

How to Participate in Statewide Conference Calls

2011 KABVI Resolution Summary  – compiled by Nancy Johnson, Recording Secretary

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

Envision Seeks Subjects to Participate in National Clinical Research for the BrainPort®Vision Device Clinical Study

Giving Thanks is Good for Your Psychological Outlook 

TSA Cares, A Toll-Free Helpline to Provide Information and Assistance to Passengers with Disabilities and Medical Conditions

Chapter Chatter, compiled by Nancy Johnson

In Memoriam

Membership Application

Scholarship Application


KABVI Computer Refurbishing Program Is

Ready to Go!

by Jonathon Marcotte, Technology Committee Chair


Here at KABVI headquarters, in Topeka, we have a computer-recycling program.  Carolyn Thomason and I are working hard every week to get previously donated computers up to a working state using Windows XP, and including MS Office 2003 and the assistive technology of the purchaser’s choice.

All computers provided will have the previously listed operating system and programs but the cost of each computer will be determined by the processor speed.  All computers will come with a monitor, keyboard and mouse.  The price for the set will be:


366 MHz $50

733 MHz $75

1 to 1.9 GHz $100

2 and above GHz $150


The computers will be delivered and training on how to use some of the programs is provided.  The charge for delivery of the computer is negotiable, but there is no cost for training.

Though KABVI will continue to accept donated computers, due to the MS program, RRP, that we are working through, we can only accept computers with, at the minimum, 1.3 GHz processor and 512 MB of RAM.  This is due to Windows XP no longer being offered after the 50 licenses, we currently have, are sold.  Windows 7 will be offered following this and it requires a larger processor and more RAM.

If you are interested in purchasing one of these computers, or you have an old computer to donate, please contact the KABVI office.


Phone: 785-235-8990 or in Kansas, toll-free at: 1-800-799-1499.  You can reach us by email at: kabvi@att.net.




By Nancy Johnson, Editor

Before I get onto my soapbox, I want to wish every reader of KABVI NEWS a blessed holiday season and a fantastic 2012 ahead!  I also want to apologize for the lateness of the newsletter and thank Ann Byington for helping me in a pinch.  I’m half-way through my last course in my program to achieve a Masters degree in education with emphasis on adult education and training and got a bit bogged down in the writing of papers.  The end comes January 13, 2012.  Now to that soapbox!

“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.”

It’s our mission – the task the organization set for itself years ago.  The task encompasses three elements – independence, opportunity, and quality of life.  What does each of these words mean?  What is KABVI doing to increase them?

The resolution summary lists seven services the state discontinued throughout the years.  Are people with visual impairment and blindness today deprived of independence, opportunity, and quality of life?  Or do they believe they are because they do not understand what they need to do to achieve them?

We who belong to KABVI believe independence, opportunity, and quality of life are possible.  Many, as I do, believe we have achieved those goals.  How did we do that?  Answering would take too long. 

As a part of my coursework, I looked at what is available for individuals newly experiencing vision loss and discovered in the process that, according to  Lighthouse International, one of every six 45 year-olds, and one of every four adults 75 and older reported visual impairment.  Additionally, 94% did not use available rehabilitation services and 60% did not know such services exist.  The total annual cost of visual impairment for adult Americans is approximately $51.4 billion, and most of that falls on taxpayers.  People do not obtain routine dilated eye exams.  Thus, they do not receive early diagnosis and treatment for conditions that cause significant vision loss and can lead to blindness. 

Few organizations provide public education – let alone education related to vision loss.  I suggest this might be a direction for KABVI, particularly in light of the reduction in rehabilitative services.  We need to teach people that independence, opportunity, and quality of life are possible, but they must be pursued by each of us in our own ways whether we experience vision loss or blindness or not.  Until individuals realize more than one way exists to be independent, many people simply give up and thus lose opportunities and experience diminished quality of life. 

Of the services the state took away, which might KABVI, to some extent, replace?  I think some are possible, though they will of necessity be provided differently than they were provided by the state. 

1.   Prevention of blindness – KABVI certainly can work in this area by developing a public education program.

2.   Social Workers for the Blind – KABVI might provide similar services, at least to a limited degree.  The social workers contacted individuals to determine they were aware of and received whatever of the available services they wanted.

I visualize public education and annual contacts as feasible activities, though funding is the first issue for consideration.  For KABVI to work toward accomplishing its task – its mission – we need to get organized, and start doing.  After January 15, I can work toward organizing the public education program and a direct contact program in conjunction with the resource information and referral services KABVI already provides.  If you’re interested in being involved, contact the KABVI office with your name and phone number.


How to Participate in State Wide Conference Calls

Conference calls are held the third Monday of each month from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. 

Your Conference Telephone Number:  (712) 432-6100

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

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



2011 Resolution Summary

Resolution 1101

The Kansas Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (KABVI) worked diligently with the Statewide Council on Independent Living of Kansas (SCILK), the Kansas Legislature, and Governor’s office to successfully adopt amendments to K.S.A.38-2201.  As a result of these efforts, Section (C) of that Statute now states: “(c)   Nothing in this code shall be construed to permit discrimination on the basis of disability. 

(1)   The disability of a parent shall not constitute a basis for a determination that a child is a child in need of care, for the removal of custody of a child from the parent, or for the termination of parental rights without a specific showing that there is a causal relation between the disability and harm to the child. 

(2)   In cases involving a parent with a disability, determinations made under this code shall consider the availability and use of accommodations for the disability, including adaptive equipment and support services.”

Despite the clear intent of this change in statutes, KABVI has been contacted by several blind or legally blind parents who have had children removed from their custody.  While the initial removal of the child or children has not always related to concerns about the blindness or visual impairment, even after the initial concerns have been completely corrected, the restoration of custody to the visually disabled parents has, within KABVI’s experience, always, and therefore frequently, been delayed while issues related to the parent’s blindness or visual impairments have been investigated. This clear pattern suggests the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS) is flagrantly violating Kansas Laws.

The Disability Rights Center of Kansas (DRC) is the most appropriate advocacy entity to address these situations of discrimination.   The DRC of Kansas expressed reluctance to become involved with these situations, and in some cases, has done so only after considerable advocacy involvement from KABVI.  Similar discriminatory behavior on the part of officials of the State of Missouri recently resulted in negative national press coverage concerning discrimination against blind parents by that State.  

KABVI calls upon SRS to immediately educate all employees and contractors involved with child custody issues or investigations concerning children in need of care,  concerning the content and meaning of K.S.A. 38-2201 (C);  The organization calls upon the DRC to more highly prioritize work with cases of discrimination against disabled parents that result in child custody issues and to work with KABVI to educate judges and other court officials in Kansas who are involved with child in need of care situations concerning K.S.A. 38-2201 (c). 

KABVI may find it necessary to initiate selected press involvement concerning discrimination of blind parents in Kansas unless patterns of discrimination described in this document promptly cease, but would prefer to see SRS take all necessary steps to insure that such discrimination by its agents is ended without the involvement of State or national press scrutiny.

Resolution 1102

(SRS has taken several actions to discontinue specialist services to assist Kansans who are blind or visually impaired, including but not limited to.

3.   Discontinuing the policy of providing specialist vocational rehabilitation counselors;

4.    Eliminating all but one and a half rehabilitation teacher for the blind positions from State government, thus failing to provide Statewide coverage

5.    Closing the Kansas Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired (KRCBVI);

6.   Discontinuing specific prevention of blindness services;

7.   Discontinuing the Social Workers for the Blind program;

8.   Reducing the number of Business Enterprise Blind vending opportunities in the State by more than half;

9.   Discontinuing comprehensive Braille training and the housing and maintenance of a Braille collection

The State of Kansas, when closing the KRCBVI, provided KABVI with its Braille collection, but has offered no ongoing funding to maintain and grow this collection, thus resulting in KAVBVI spending several thousand dollars per year of its limited funding to maintain what was formerly a state owned and maintained Braille collection.

The one remaining employee of the State of Kansas who was an information and referral professional specializing in blindness and visual impairment recently retired, and the State of Kansas has not expressed an intent to refill her position.

SRS is being massively re-organized, further complicating newly blind or visually impaired Kansans’ ability to determine what services are available, and even more importantly, where and how to apply for them.

KABVI is the only statewide entity in the state of Kansas  to currently maintain both an office and a toll free telephone listing which has the words “blind and visually impaired” included in telephone listings and signage and KABVI staff receive at least 10 information and referral  calls per week concerning resources for blind and visually impaired Kansans, and many of these callers tell us that they have called SRS only to be told by SRS workers that they have no idea what to tell people about blindness and visual impairment now that SRS does not do those kinds of services anymore.

Envision, a comprehensive not-for-profit provider of blindness and visual impairment services, has chosen not to maintain the words “blindness and visual impairment, in its listings, and is therefore often not recognized by uninformed individuals needing specialized services due to visual impairment. 

KABVI maintains a comprehensive cadre of knowledge and resource information about blindness, visual impairment, and services available in Kansas.  

KABVI urges the State of Kansas, and Envision, to provide ongoing funding to KABVI to hire at least a half time, professionally compensated, information and referral/resource specialist to assist Kansans who have questions about blindness and visual impairment, or who require specialized referrals and resources because of  these conditions and that the information and referral number be widely advertised via public service announcements, presentations on radio reading information services, telephone news services, and through the Kansas Talking Books program.

Resolution 1103

Two years ago, KABVI proposed Legislation which would create a Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired that functions at parity with those duties currently authorized in Kansas statutes for the Kansas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.  When a hearing was held on this proposed legislation, Kansas Rehabilitation Services director, Michael Donnelly, stated he was taking a “neutral” position on the legislation, and then quite clearly spoke in opposition to it.

Mr. Donnelly successfully took the position that blind Kansans did not need to have a Commission which would place services and functions available for blind Kansans at parity with those provided to Kansans who are deaf and hard of hearing and instead supported a weaker Advisory Committee on blindness and visual impairment that was created by Executive Order 1001.  This Committee has no legislative authority to plan for or significantly influence services for Kansans who are blind or visually impaired, and in fact only receives information from SRS.

KABVI urges Governor Sam Brownback, and SRS Secretary, Rob Siedlecki, to include in their legislative packages for the 2012 session of the Kansas Legislature, enabling legislation, to establish a Kansas Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired, which has parity in duties and functions with the Kansas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.  The KABVI Legislative Committee is directed by this organization to provide a draft of this Legislation, along with a copy of this resolution, to Governor Brownback and Secretary Siedlecki.



Report from the Board of Directors

By Nancy Johnson

       President Ann Byington convened the meeting of the board of directors of the Kansas Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (KABVI) at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Wichita, Kansas October 30, 2011.  Ten directors, office manager Colleen Talley, and three guests, including Melanie Brunson of the American Council of the Blind (ACB), attended.  

Ratification of Henry Staub, Jonathon Marcotte, and Marilyn Lind, directors newly elected by the members at the annual meeting, was completed. 

Officers elected by the membership and approved by the board included President Ann Byington, vice president Jonathon Marcotte, treasurer Bob Chaffin, corresponding secretary Michael Byington, recording secretary Nancy Johnson,  And membership secretary Mikel McCary. 

Resolutions adopted by the members during the annual business meeting were ratified.

The technology committee inventoried computers on hand for refurbishment and found 70 computers, 12 unusable.  The committee ran into several roadblocks, but these are in process of being overcome.  Eight computers are ready to have programs installed. 

Packets for scholarships were provided to members of the Kansas Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired. The scholarship application will be placed on the kabviyouthconnection.com website.  Application deadline is April 15, 2012.  The organization is seeking new ways of advertising its scholarships. 

If you have not done so, go to kabviyouthconnection.com and see what the youth committee developed.  Participation is welcome.  Content must be of interest to young people. 

 The 2012 legislative committee was appointed with Judy Davis as chair and Michael Byington as co-chair.  Other members will be added in the near future. 

Nancy presented an action research project demonstrating the need for public health education regarding the need for routine dilated eye examinations for the prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of vision loss.  She suggested this should be a program for KABVI to develop.   

Melanie Brunson explained ACB’s database.  It will benefit KABVI by helping track membership and can be used in conjunction with the database the organization already uses. 

Lawrence and McPherson sent information to KABVI regarding upcoming conventions.  Discussion of the next location was deferred to a later conference call.

As requested by the members during the annual meeting, monthly conference calls will be held at 7:00 the third Monday evening of each month.  The purpose of these calls is to provide an opportunity for participants to share concerns and ideas and for leadership to share information.

       Meetings to plan the 2012 Eyes Wide Open golf tournament will begin shortly after the convention.

KABVI supports the Kansas Youth Empowerment Academy (KYEA) in its effort to provide a disability mentoring day.  KYEA provides services to youth with vision impairments and blindness and needs mentors for that population.   

Colleen Talley is working on a grant proposal to pay her salary for 2012.  Without such funding, KABVI will not be able to pay the small salary we are now. 

The cost of producing KABVI NEWS has gone up.  Envision made some changes in their procedures.  The cost increase is being investigated. 

Next board meeting is planned for January 21, 2012, at 10:30.


Envision Seeks Subjects to Participate in National Clinical Research for the BrainPort®Vision Device Clinical Study

The study may give people who are blind a chance to see electronically.

Wichita-  The Envision Foundation announced today that the Envision Vision Rehabilitation Center (EVRC) has been chosen as a site for a clinical trial research study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the BrainPort vision device in subjects who are blind. The EVRC is one of seven sites across the nation, selected by Wicab, Inc., the study sponsor to participate in this clinical trial research study, This 12-month study allows subjects to use the device at home after completion of initial clinic screening and training.

The BrainPort vision system consists of a postage-stamp-size electrode that is placed on the tongue, a base unit, a digital video camera, and a hand-held controller for zoom and contrast inversion. Visual information is collected from the user-adjustable head-mounted camera and sent to the BrainPort base unit. The base unit translates the visual information into a stimulated pattern that is “displayed” on the tongue. The tactile image is created by presenting white pixels from the camera as strong stimulation, black pixels as no stimulation, and gray levels as medium levels of stimulation, with the ability to invert contrast when appropriate.  Users often report the sensation as pictures that are painted on the tongue with Champagne bubbles. 
       With the current system, study participants have been able to recognize high-contrast objects, their location, movement, and some aspects of perspective and depth. Trained participants use information from the tongue display to augment understanding of the environment.

       Eligible subjects must be between the ages of 18 and 79 years of age and have had a medical diagnosis of blindness (light perception or no light perception) for at least 6 months. Blindness may not be a result of cortical injury, such as a traumatic brain injury or stroke. Subjects must have completed rehabilitation (such as orientation and mobility training with a white cane or guide dog). Previous use of the BrainPort vision device, pregnancy, regular tobacco use and allergies to nickel or steel exclude participation in this study. Participants should be able to easily commute to and from downtown Wichita, and are required to make four quarterly clinic visits in addition to the initial training sessions.

       If you are interested in participating in this clinical study, please visithttp://vision.wicab.com/index.php, and contact Shannon Riley, Research & Analytics Associate, Envision at (316) 440-1528.

Founded in 1933, Envision is a Wichita-based not-for-profit agency that provides employment, public awareness, professional education and vision rehabilitation services to individuals who are blind or low vision.


David C. Austin

Manager of Public Relations & Events

Envision Foundation

610 N. Main St.

Wichita, KS 67203




Giving Thanks Helps Your Psychological Outlook
Excerpt from The Associated Press, November 22, 2011


WASHINGTON (AP) -        Count your blessings this Thanksgiving. It's good for you.

While it seems obvious gratitude is a positive emotion, psychologists for decades rarely delved into the science of giving thanks.  But in the last several years they have, learning in many experiments that it is one of humanity's most powerful emotions.  It makes you happier and can change your attitude about life, like an emotional reset button.  Especially in hard times, like these.

Beyond proving that being grateful helps you, psychologists also are trying to figure out the brain chemistry behind gratitude and the best ways of showing it.

"Oprah was right," said University of Miami psychology professor Michael McCullough, who has studied people who are asked to be regularly thankful.  "When you are stopping and counting your blessings, you are sort of hijacking your emotional system."

And he means hijacking it from out of a funk into a good place. A very good place. Research by McCullough and others finds that giving thanks is a potent emotion that feeds on itself, almost the equivalent of being victorious.  It could be called a vicious circle, but it's anything but vicious.

He said psychologists used to underestimate the strength of simple gratitude: "It does make people happier... It's that incredible feeling."

One of the reasons gratitude works so well is that it connects us with others, McCullough said.  That's why when you give thanks it should be more heartfelt and personal instead of a terse thank you note for a gift or a hastily run-through grace before dinner, psychologists say.

"Gratitude also serves as a stress buffer," Emmons said in an e-mail interview.  "Grateful people are less likely to experience envy, anger, resentment, regret and other unpleasant states that produce stress."

Scientists are not just looking at the emotions behind gratitude but the nuts-and-bolts physiology as well.

Preliminary theories look at the brain chemistry and hormones in the blood and neurotransmitters in the brain that are connected to feelings of gratitude, Emmons said,   and the left prefrontal cortex of the brain, also associated with positive emotions like love and compassion, seems to be a key spot, especially in Buddhist monks.  However it works in the brain, Emmons said there is little doubt that it works.

Emmons, who has conducted several studies on people from ages 12 to 80, including those with neuromuscular disease, asked volunteers to keep daily or weekly gratitude diaries. Another group listed hassles, and others just recorded random events. He noticed a significant and consistent difference.  About three-quarters of the people studied who regularly counted their blessings scored higher in happiness tests and some even showed improvements in amounts of sleep and exercise.

Peterson also asked people to write down nightly three things that went well that day and why that went well. That took longer to show any difference in happiness scores over control groups, but after one month the results were significantly better and they stayed better through six months.  Peterson said it worked so well that he is adopted it in his daily life, writing from-the-heart thank you notes, logging his feelings of gratitude:  "It was very beneficial for me. I was much more cheerful." 

Emmons actually encourages people to "think of your worst moments, your sorrows, your losses, your sadness and then remember that here you are, able to remember them. You got through the worst day of your life ... remember the bad things, then look to see where you are."

"In order to be grateful for something, we have to remember that something good happened," Peterson said. "It's important to remind ourselves that the world doesn't always suck."



TSA Cares, A Toll-Free Helpline to Provide Information and Assistance to Passengers with Disabilities and Medical Conditions             

(Excerpted from a message by Kimberly Walton, Special Counselor Transportation Security Administration, provided by Laurie Mehta, Guide Dog Users Inc., Legislative Chairperson.)

      On the quarterly
TSA Disability Coalition teleconference held last week, we informed our members that TSA planned to launch TSA Cares, a toll-free helpline to provide information and assistance to passengers with disabilities and medical conditions and their families before they fly. We are excited to announce that TSA Cares is now available and accepting calls.
      Travelers may call TSA Cares toll free at 1-855-787-2227, prior to traveling, with questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint. Travelers who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to contact TSA Cares or can e-mail TSA-ContactCenter@dhs.gov. The hours of operation for the TSA Cares helpline are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. EST, excluding federal holidays. After hours, travelers can find information about traveling with disabilities and medical needs on TSA’s website at: http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/disabilityandmedicalneeds/
      When a passenger with a disability or medical condition calls TSA Cares, a representative will provide assistance, either with information about screening that is relevant to the passenger’s specific disability or medical condition, or the passenger may be referred to disability experts at TSA. TSA recommends that passengers call approximately 72 hours ahead of travel so that TSA Cares has the opportunity to coordinate checkpoint support with a TSA Customer Service Manager located at the airport when necessary.
      For more information about TSA Cares, go to:



Chapter Chatter

Compiled by Nancy Johnson


Southwest Kansas Association for the Visually Impaired (CKAVI) learned techniques for making life around the home easier for people with low vision.  One suggestion was to mark the edges of tables and cabinets with tape in a contrasting color.  The annual holiday luncheon was held in November, and the group does not plan to meet in December.


Central Kansas Association for the Visually Impaired (CKAVI) successfully held its annual bake/craft sale.  Several nice items were raffled.  CKAVI is now on Facebook.  You can type CKAVI into the search area on your personal Facebook page or request to join the group by sending e-mail to CKAVI@groups.facebook.com.  You can also join KABVI on Facebook by entering KABVI into the search area on your personal page or KABVI@groups.facebook.com


Western Kansas Low Vision, Tara Keesling, provided two helpful articles, one about driving and one about lighting, that will appear in later issues of KABVI NEWS.  Thank you, Tara!

       Editor’s Note:  Information from the Braille Forum, the publication of the American Council for the Blind, is not published in KABVI NEWS.  Please review your Braille Forum so you don’t miss anything.


In Memoriam


http://mi-cache.legacy.com/legacy/images/Cobrands/CJOnline/Photos/photo_5143811_20110923.jpgMichelle Shelly Linn Studebaker, 33, of Topeka, went home with the Lord on Wednesday, September 21, 2011. She was born to John P. and Kathy M. Studebaker on February 9, 1978, in Topeka. Michelle attended Topeka West and transferred to Washburn Rural High School, where she graduated in 1996. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Washburn University with a degree in Social Work in 2001. Michelle worked for St. Francis Hospitals Human Resource Dept., Student Services at Washburn University, Topeka Public Schools in both the Visually Impaired and Hearing Impaired programs, Kansas Disability Rights Center, and then later went to work for the Kansas Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired. She attended Grace United Methodist Church, Topeka. Michelle is survived by her parents, John and Kathy Studebaker, Topeka; a brother, Jeff (Janet) Studebaker, and their son, Jack, Topeka; a sister, Julie (Mark) Hafenstine, and their daughter Brianna and son Ryan, Lawrence; grandmother, Eleanor Studebaker, Topeka, and many aunts, uncles, and cousins. She was preceded in death by her grandparents, Paul Studebaker, Gail and Ila Kingsley, and guide dog, Inca.   Memorial contributions may be given to Kansas Specialty Dog Services, 124 W. 7th Street, Washington, KS 66968. To leave the family a special message online, visit www.PenwellGabelTopeka.com. Michelle Studebaker


Conrad Jacob Lauck      

Conrad J. Lauck, 58, passed away peacefully on November 27, 2011, at Manor Care Health Services in Topeka, Kansas. He was born July 18, 1953 in Greeley, Colorado the son of Henry F. and Lorraine R. (Brittian) Lauck. He attended school in Greeley. Conrad was an over the road truck driver for many years. He had traveled to every state in the union except Alaska and Hawaii.
       After he lost his eyesight, he enjoyed listening to television and a wide variety of music, visiting with his friends, drinking dark roast coffee and “coca-cola.” He earned a ham radio license and belonged to a ham radio club. He felt very useful to truck drivers and their families, especially in the winter months. If a trucker got stranded, he could contact Conrad and in turn Conrad would telephone their family with the much-appreciated message that their driver was “OK” and would be home as soon as possible. 
        Conrad lived at Landmark Plaza apartments with the help of several personal care assistants until he had to move to Manor Care due to Multiple Sclerosis. He will be sadly missed by his friends, family and the staff at both facilities. His jokes and laughter always brought joy to those around him. Conrad is survived by his mother, Lorraine Slemp, Greeley, CO; daughter, Brooke Renfroe, Oroville, WA; 4 grandchildren; sister, Jentry (Jack) McNeese, Pierce, CO; 2 brothers, Henry (Lola) Lauck and Fred (Daisy) Lauck, both of Greeley, CO; several nieces and nephews; and his two best friends, Nancy D. May and Mark Kauffman, both of Topeka. He was preceded in death by his father and step-father, Ralph Slemp. A private service and scattering of his ashes will be in the mountains of Colorado.


Tony “Lewis” Haverland

Tony “Lewis” Haverland died on Thursday, Nov. 24, 2011 at a Topeka hospital. He was 46. Mr. Haverland was a former client at the Kansas Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and an accomplished writer. He had hoped to pursue a career in writing, and had already written, but not completed, a novel.  He expressed another aspect of his creativity by making white canes with decorative handles.  Memorial contributions may be made to the Tony “Lewis” Haverland Memorial Fund and sent in care of the Jones VanArsdale Funeral Home, at PO Box 43, Lebo, KS 66856.

Jim “Red” Cottle             


James William Cottle, 64, of Topeka, KS, passed away suddenly on November 7, 2011. Jim is survived by his wife of 41 years, Reita Fox Cottle, his two sons James V. and David Cottle, and his sisters Marla Bowles of Lawrence, KS and Jan McKinney Darrah of Manhattan, KS, as well as many nieces and nephews and their families. He gave freely of his time to many charitable organizations, and was generous and loving to all he knew and met. 

In Remembrance of (Jim) Red Cottle

By Ann and Michael Byington


Jim (Red) Cottle died suddenly in November, 2011. He was known to many who have attended KABVI conventions.

We watched as the house next door was auctioned off.  We wondered who would buy a house next door to our purple one, which at the time was much more of a stand-out than it is now.

Red became our neighbor, and became our friend as well. He additionally became a friend of many other KABVI members and blind associates whom we introduced to him. Our association with Red started mostly because he did driving for us, taking us to and from the airport in Kansas City when we traveled to out-of-state conventions.  He spent time at our state KABVI conventions as well. We hired him to do some driving for conventioneers, and he did even more as a volunteer.  Red and the Byingtons went to and from Washington, Kansas with at least two of Ann’s most recent guide dogs; he videotaped a part of our graduation with one of them.

Because our blind friends met Red through us, many of them also hired Red to do some driving, reading, or other assistance when it was needed. Anyone who worked with Red once was always willing to do so again.

We could not ride with Red for so many miles without learning a lot about each other.  Red, Michael and Ann could talk about anything and everything: dogs, cell phones, computers, politics, and places throughout the country we had visited, food, restaurants, the past and the future.

Ann knew that, when she was alone for whatever reason, if there was a major or minor catastrophe, she could call Red and he would come to try and help.  When Michael was away at his internship in Wichita, Red served as mail sorter and reader, shopper, dog-finder, and so much more.  I hope Red got as much pleasure out of spending time with us as we did him. He was a good friend and we will miss him.



2012 KABVI Membership Application


____ Enclosed is $10.00 for my 2012 KABVI dues.


___  Enclosed is $250 for my Life Membership.










E-MAIL ADDRESS:  _________________________


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.





The Kansas Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (KABVI) will award two $1,000 scholarships to visually impaired students enrolled in an academic, vocational, technical or professional training program beyond the high school level.  The KABVI scholarship committee will accept applications from residents of Kansas enrolled in a college, university or technical school.  Material must be postmarked on or before April 15, 2012. Send the completed application and all supporting documents to:  Robert Chaffin, 1105 Centennial Blvd., Hays, Kansas 67601

Esther V. Taylor, for whom this scholarship is named, was a charter member of the Kansas Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired.  She became a music teacher and taught at the Kansas State School for the Blind.  Esther helped craft early special education laws in Kansas long before special education became a mandate of the Federal government.  In her eighties, Esther wrote an autobiography, "The Professor's Family" about herself and her sister, Eleanor, exploring the challenges of growing up and becoming educated as blind women during the early 1900's. Esther particularly wanted blind students to be problem-solvers and as resourceful as their sighted peers in coping with the challenges of academics, employment and everyday life.

NOTE:  Please DO NOT MAKE copies of this application as committee members, who are blind or visually impaired themselves, will be reading Xeroxed copies of your application using CCTV’s and/or scanning software.  To request additional copies of this material, call (800)-749-1499 or e-mail kabvi@att.net.


 To be eligible for a scholarship the applicant must:

(1)  Be a visually impaired student admitted to a post-secondary training program for the 2012-13 school year 

(2)  Be a resident of Kansas

(3)  Submit a completed, application form together with the required supporting documentation postmarked on or before April 15, 2012.



To be considered for a scholarship the student must submit the following items:

(I) A completed application form:

(2) An autobiographical sketch (please update if you have applied previously) of no more than two double-spaced, typewritten pages. This sketch should include goals, strengths, weaknesses, hobbies, honors, extracurricular activities, achievements, etc. This must be typed; hand-written material will not be accepted.

(3) A certified transcript from the school presently, or most recently attended.

(4) Two letters of recommendation from current or recent instructors

(5) Proof of acceptance from a post-secondary school. Entering or transferring students must submit a letter of acceptance from the admissions office.

(6) Certification of visual status on the form attached to this application.

Recipients of this scholarship will receive a one-year free membership to KABVI.



Esther V. Taylor Scholarship Application Form



     A. Name, mailing address, and telephone number:


   Name: ____________________________


          Address ___________________________


          County ____________________________


          Phone number ______________________


     B. Are you a U.S. Citizen? Yes            No      ­__



     A. Name and address of the school you are currently attending or have completed (Secondary and post-secondary schools)        _________________________________________


          1. Enrollment status: ____ Full-time   ____ Part-time


          2. Number of hours completed to date. __________


          3. Major ____________ GPA (based on 4.0 scale)


     4. Degree/certificate/diploma sought; BA, BS, MS, etc.____________

          5. Date you expect to receive it. ___________

   B. Name and address of the school you plan to attend during the semester for which you are applying for this scholarship (if different from A. above):



1.  Enrollment status: ___ Full-time ___ Part-time

2.  Number of hours you are planning to take per semester _______

          3.  Major _____________________________

          4.  Degree/certificate sought: BA, BS, MS, etc. ____

          5.  Date you expect to receive it: ___________ 




Are you eligible for other financially based student aid? Yes_____ No_____




     A. Completed application.

     B. Typed autobiographical sketch: include work experience, extracurricular activities, and/or volunteer service.

     C. Certified transcript from the school you are attending or most recently attended.

     D. Two letters of recommendation from current or recent instructors.

     E. Proof of acceptance from a post-secondary school.

     F. Certification of visual status on the attached form.



Certification of Visual Disability


(This form is to be completed by an ophthalmologist, optometrist, physician, vocational rehabilitation counselor, or independent living center counselor.)


I certify that ____________________________ is known to me and is visually Impaired as specified by the following definition:


"Visual acuity best corrected with conventional spectacles or contact lenses of 20/60 or worse in the better eye, or a visual field restricted to 20 degrees or less in each eye." This also includes those certified as legally blind.


Date of examination: ______________________


This is a permanent condition: Yes _____ No _____


Certifier’s Name: ______________________________


Degree: ____________________________________


Title/Agency: _______________________________


Address: ___________________________________


Phone: ____________________________________


Signature: _________________________________