Published Quarterly



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 55                                        Fall 2012                                           No. 3



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




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

State Wide Conference Call Instructions

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

Plans Underway for KABVI Annual Meeting and Fall Conference, by Michael Byington

Matthew, My Love, by Marilyn Lind

Colleges Go to the Dogs for Stress Busters, by Dorie Turner, AP Education Writer

Support Groups:  What They Are and How They Help, by Nancy Johnson

Tantalizing Tidbits

Chapter Chatter

In Memoriam

2012 Membership Application




By Ann Byington

KABVI’s members have been very busy this summer; and yes, many of my last NEWS article’s wishes have been granted.  We had the largest membership participation ever in the July conference call, we have sold 2 more computers and a CCTV, I and Colleen will be visiting the KABVI organizational member meeting September 8th in Hays; convention plans are being finalized, and at least here in Topeka, the weather is cooler and we’ve gotten some minimal rain.

Nancy Johnson and Michael Byington have both written more on subjects that I would include in this article, so be sure to read their contributions.  We completed our 5th annual “Eyes Wide Open” golf tournament on July 26th, and despite having 2/3 as many participants as last year, funds raised are slightly above last year’s total. A heart-felt “thank-you” to the Topeka Lions’ Foundation, and Dr. Mark Saylor for an incredible job.

We continue to work on grants to pay office staff, and hopefully, give our volunteers a bit of recompense for their help. Stay tuned for more opportunities for you to get involved, informed and maybe even entertained.



By Nancy Johnson, Editor

It’s amazing how quickly three months pass and how quickly events move.  I’ve attended my granddaughters’ annual dance recital in Texas and my son’s wedding in Salina, and I’ve remodeled my bathroom and kitchen.  I also learned I need my roof replaced – not in the original plan. 

During that same time, KABVI made seven refurbished computers available, sold one, and has two more spoken for.  A new grant request was submitted for youth activities, and a technology fair was held for youth in Topeka.  Ann Byington and Paul Berscheidt appeared on a talk radio show in Great Bend.  Individuals who entered training as COMS (Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists) for the independent living centers are graduating.  And that’s just what I can think of that KABVI’s done during the past quarter.  But we’ve just begun.

A major gap in training, particularly for those newly visually impaired or blind from high school graduation through age 54, who erroneously believe they are no longer employable because of the vision loss still exists.  Help to adjust to vision loss is not available.  Independent living centers are experiencing severe cuts, and I’ve heard concerns that funding for the Older Individuals Who Are Blind programs may suffer. 

Vision-related statistics are difficult to interpret because definitions of vision impairment and blindness vary among researchers.  However, the best estimate indicates 50 thousand Kansans experience some degree of severe vision loss.  Where are these folks?  Are their concerns being met and, if so, how and by whom?  If not, why not? 

I believe the days of legislating services through the state are over.  It is up to KABVI – not as an organization, but as individual members and concerned friends - to find the people and meet the challenge.  I think KABVI needs a strategic plan to carry out its mission and action steps to accomplish it.  By convention time in October, think about a committee on which you are willing to work:

  Fund raising             Public relations           Scholarship

  Convention               Legislative                  Membership

  Newsletter                Youth activities           Awards

  Nominations             Planning (suggestion).

The committees are all important to making the organization work and grow – so please get on board!  Committees don’t function without willing workers.  We have the Internet and a conference call line to help us meet.  Everyone can participate.  Considerable progress is possible when people commit to a few hours a month.  With more individual involvement, KABVI can grow and achieve more in the future. 



State Wide Conference Call Instructions

       You are responsible for your normal long distance fees from your existing long distance provider.  Mark your calendar.

August 20                   September 17      October 15

November 19       December 17


Conference Telephone Number:  (712) 432-6100

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

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:

Press *3 – Exit Conference

Press *4 – Help Menu

Press *6 – Mute Individual Line.  (Use this when the dog goes crazy, the baby cries, and/or the kids get loud.  Press it again when you want to be heard.) 


Report from the Board of Directors

By Nancy Johnson, Recording Secretary

President Ann Byington convened the meeting of the board of directors at 11:04 AM in the corporate office July 21, 2012.  Ten directors and the office manager attended. 

Sessions from the annual convention of the American Council of the Blind (ACB) can be heard on ACB Radio.  A resolution that did not pass would have supported the need for everyone to earn minimum wage.  Severely multiply disabled, individuals who are able to work but cannot produce up to the standards for minimum wage, are still protected.  Members also voted down a resolution about Google’s self-driving car because of safety concerns.  This car is technology of the future.  Google was the heaviest supporter of the ACB convention.   Resolutions are archived. 

Discussions during the ACB convention indicate Kansas may be out of compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Kansas is doing one of the worst jobs with services for the blind.  Blindness is not a high priority for the state.  It is questionable what KABVI can do legislatively.  Still nothing is available for the after-school to age 55 population. 

Grant application status was discussed.  Funds are again being sought from Envision for KABVI’s efforts to replace state services and will include a budget of in kind donations.  About 20% of any project is all KABVI can ask for, and it is uncertain that this amount will be received.  A grant application was submitted to American Eagle Outfitters Foundation for youth activities.  Results have not been received.  Wal-Mart was considered as a possible funding source, but was not pursued because the Foundation Fighting Blindness of Kansas City had a project with them at the time.  Other funding sources are being investigated.  A motion was made to submit a grant request to support pay for office staff.

The grant application process including the kinds of information required, the need for careful project planning and description, anticipated costs to determine the project’s budget and explain what the funds will be used for, was discussed.  Directors were reminded the project must not only benefit KABVI, it must benefit the grantor in its work as well.  For these reasons KABVI needs to know about projects undertaken or volunteer work done to benefit the organization.   Please contact the office and tell us what you did and how much time you spent doing it. 

A presentation for teachers including youth activities, scholarship availability, computer refurbishment, and introduction of Debbie Grubb of ACB is planned during the lunch hour on Friday during the KABVI convention in October.  The cost for a hotel room is $79.95 plus tax.  Some rooms will be available at the dorm for $10 per night.  Pizza is again the menu Friday evening.  A box lunch is planned for Saturday evening rather than the customary banquet style meal.  The ACB representative is Debbie Grubb, who recently rewrote the pedestrian safety handbook.  She is active with the dog guide users and the board of publications.  Watch your mail for registration information and more details.

The annual low vision fair sponsored by the Northwest Kansas Association for the Visually Impaired (NKAVI) is scheduled October 12 at the Sternberg Museum in Hays.  Mark your calendar to see what’s new and learn more about low vision.

Several volunteers are now available to assist with such projects as Braille projects for BRL, Help with files, help in the library, and more.  The goal is to become more organized and thus accomplish more.

KABVI Awarded two scholarships, but only 2 applications were received.  KABVI sent over 60 packets.  The committee is targeting people who work with persons who are blind or visually impaired to send scholarship information.  Telephone interviews with winners will be presented at the convention.  Pictures of recipients will be posted on the website if possible.

KABVI has 142 members according to the list sent to ACB.  The organization’s focus needs to be on reaching people and increasing that membership.

The youth technology fair, though small, was successful. The youth website, www.kabviyouthconnection.com, continues to be a work in progress.  Because teachers are blocked when they use the site for training, the committee needs to contact schools to explain the site to the IT staff to make the site more accessible as a teaching/learning tool for teachers and students. 

Fewer teams have signed up to play in the Eyes Wide Open golf tournament this year.  Some thousand dollar sponsors have signed up.  Good prizes are being given.  The Annapalooza golf tournament, sponsored by Anna Bricker, is also coming soon.  Anna is the daughter of Linda Bricker, a member of the youth activities committee.  Thank you, Anna and Linda for your work and support. 

KABVI still has four refurbished computers available for purchase.  One computer was sold and two others are being sold on time payments.  Please call if you are interested in purchasing a computer.

The organization’s website, www.kabvi.com, continues to receive 137 hits per month.  The site needs to be more visually interesting, with more pictures.  A photo gallery was suggested.

Ann Byington and Paul Berscheidt participated in the radio talk show, “Ask the Experts,” on which they appeared in Great Bend in May.  Few callers participated, but a good deal of information was shared.

A nominating committee was appointed.  It includes Marilyn Lind, Jonathon Marcotte, and Michael Byington.  The committee is tasked with locating individuals who will serve as directors and officers to run for election at the annual meeting.  If you are willing to work for KABVI, please let one of these folks know or call the office and we’ll pass the information to the committee.

KABVI needs money (Don’t we all?) to keep the organization going and growing.  Please share your ideas – things we can sell, things we can do.  The office phone should begin ringing after all the suggestions you’ve read here.  Please – MAKE IT SO!


Plans Underway for KABVI’s Annual Meeting and Fall Conference

By Michael Byington

KABVI’s Annual Meeting and Fall Conference will be held Friday, October 26th and Saturday, October 27th, 2012. The fall meeting of the KABVI Board of Directors will be on Sunday morning, October 28th. All KABVI Board meetings are open and anyone staying over from the conference is welcome to attend the Board meeting.

This year, these meetings will be in Kansas City, Kansas.  This will be the first time in over 25 years that KABVI has had its yearly events in Kansas City.

What is more, this year’s events will be less expensive than usual. This is because Superintendent Madeline Berkindine, has graciously invited KABVI to hold most of its annual meeting events on the campus of the Kansas State School for the Blind. Her staff will provide the meals, and they will be a lot less expensive, and very likely much better, than hotel food. Our events will start with a Friday noon luncheon, at only $4.00, and there will be a Friday pizza party that evening. The pizza will be covered as a part of your conference registration. There will be a continental breakfast on Saturday morning, also a part of your conference registration, a luncheon on Saturday for only $4.00, and a wonderful full banquet meal on Saturday evening for $6.00.

Our Convention hotel will be the Best Western Kansas City Inn at 501 Southwest Boulevard, Kansas City, Kansas. The rate will be $79.99 per night. As far as getting back and forth between the Kansas State School for the Blind and the Hotel is concerned, we have a no cost option there as well. The Byingtons have purchased a 15 passenger van, and we will hire a driver to drive it back and forth  between the hotel and the State School pretty much constantly if need be. 

There is also a less expensive sleeping room option. Superintendent Berkindine is making rooms available in the State School dormitory for ten dollars per night per person. We can not give extreme detail about how the room assignments in the dormitory will work yet. That will be in the registration that we will send out about a month before the meetings.  While we can not say exactly how room sharing will work, we promise that you will not have to share a bed, and you will not have to room with anyone of opposite gender, unless of course that is your preference and theirs as well…

There will be a hospitality room at the hotel, so anyone wanting to sit up socializing visiting with friends a little later into the evening, and perhaps bend an elbow a bit, will have the opportunity to do so, and yes, there will be a sober driver to drive revelers back to the dormitory if that is where they are staying.

People who are reading this may now be thinking, “Okay, the arrangements sound all right, but why attend?” We think we will have quite a number of interesting program items for you, some of which are still being finalized, but here are some highlights:

The Kansas Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (KAER), will be meeting at the School on the 25th and morning of the 26th. Our Friday luncheon is a joint part of both Organization’s programs, so this will be an opportunity for the blind and visually impaired consumers of KABVI to meet with the teachers of the visually impaired and other professionals working with the blind and visually impaired to exchange ideas and to learn from each other. Our exhibits will also be a joint project of KABVI and KAER, and will take place at the end of the KAER conference, and the beginning of the KABVI events.

Our featured national speaker will be Debbie Grubb. Debbie is a former member of the American Council of the Blind (ACB) Board of Directors, and a former member of ACB’s Board of Publication. She currently chairs ACB’s Environmental Access Committee, and is a noted author. She has just completed a new and very exciting edition of ACB’s Pedestrian Guide. Debbie is also a dog guide user and has been a leader in Guide Dog Users International. She is one of the most effective and informed consumer advocates on access issues for the blind and visually impaired in the country, and is an inspiring speaker.  

As noted above, we will send out official registration for the KABVI Annual Meeting and Fall Conference a month or so before the event. All members and all others who are on any of our mailing lists will get this information. Anyone reading this article, but who does not receive an official registration form in the mail may request one by calling the KABVI office at 800-799-1499 or 785-235-8990. Keep in mind that the KABVI is run by a bunch of hard working volunteers. We can not always have someone there during business hours, so if you call and get the voice mail, leave a message, what you want, your name, and telephone number and someone will get back to you as promptly as we can.


Matthew, My Love

By Marilyn Lind

I want to share a powerful experience of the bond that grows between dog guide and owner.  Matthew, my first guide, was a love with a heart of gold.  I'm not saying Matthew is the only guide I've had with a heart of gold because the dog I have currently also has a heart of gold

On July 15, 1997, I left for Gresham, Oregon to attend a class at Guide Dogs for the Blind for my first guide dog.  There I met Matthew, a black lab.  Matthew and I became a working team upon graduation on August 15, 1997.  Matthew gave me freedom and improved my self confidence.  A friend said, “Marilyn, you now have your head up.” 

       When I left for class to train with Matthew, Dad wasn't sure I was doing the right thing but, when I brought Matthew home, Dad grew to love the dog and understand what Matthew did for me.  Matthew also loved Dad.  They seemed to share some type of bond separate from the bond Matthew and I held for each other.

One morning I received a call from Dad saying he was sick.  My brother took him to the hospital.  When I got to the hospital, the doctor said Dad only had a few days to live.  Following tests, he was placed in ICU.  Matthew was the first dog allowed in ICU. 

I'd stay with my dad all day. Dad would pet Matthew and talk to him.  One afternoon I told Dad I needed to find a green spot.  He said, “Be careful.” 

“Be careful” were the last words I heard from my dad.  After that, Dad was no longer conscious.  I'd put Dad's hand on Matthew's head and do a stroking movement.  The nurses began asking if they could have Matthew.  The nurses placed my dad's hand on Matthew's head and did the stroking movement with his hand.  The nurses discovered Dad's rates would go down and he could relax.

       My dad helped Matthew in a couple of ways.  Before Dad got sick, Matthew experienced some health problems. The vet was unable to find out what was wrong with him.  While I was at the hospital I took Matthew to relieve himself in the same place every time.  Matthew's nose would start running.  I'd been talking to Dr. Patti at Guide Dogs for the Blind about Matthew's health problems. When we went to the funeral home after Dad passed away, Matthew's nose began running like a faucet. 

As we pulled up to my house following the funeral, someone ran out and said I had a call from guide dogs.  It was Dr. Patti saying she had set up an appointment for Matthew to go to Kansas State Vet School.  I thought this was Dad's way of helping his friend.  We eventually determined hostas, ground covering plants not grown in Oregon where Matthew was trained, were the problem. 

Matthew's allergy was so unusual nothing was available to help him.  My cousin, who lived in Oregon, adopted Matthew.  He and his wife treated the dog like he was their son.  When Matthew died my aunt called and said she hadn't heard Dana cry so much.


Colleges Go to the Dogs for Stress Busters

By Dorie Turner, AP Education Writer

Just down the hall from the reference desk at Emory University's law library in a room housing antique legal texts is Stanley the golden retriever puppy, barking his
head off.  Stanley rolls around on the floor and chews on a squeaky toy while zombie-like law students wander in, a giant grin breaking out on their weary faces when they see
the cuddly boy.  Puppy therapy - just in time for finals week. 

From Kent State University in Ohio to Macalester College in Minnesota, more and more pooches are around campus during exams to help students relax and maybe even crack a smile or two.

"We had a student who came in and a staff person commented they had never seen that student smile," said Richelle Reid, a law librarian who started Emory's pet therapy program this year after hearing about one at the University of California, San Francisco.

"It has had positive effects, helping them to just have a moment to clear their minds and not have to think about studies, not have to think about books."

Pups are in counseling centers for students to visit regularly or faculty and staff bring their pets to lift spirits.  Pet-friendly dorms also are popping up where students can bring their dogs or cats from home.

Want to check out a pet?  It's possible at Harvard Medical School and Yale Law School, which both have resident therapy dogs in their libraries that can be borrowed through the card catalog just like a book.  Some dogs, like Harvard Medical School's resident Shih Tzu Cooper, hold regular office hours.  Researcher Loise Francisco-Anderson owns Cooper and said she got permission to bring him to campus after her husband read that Yale Law School had a therapy dog on campus named Monty. Cooper, who sports a crimson scarf with paw prints on it, is so popular that undergraduate students have been petitioning for him to spend time on their side of campus.  Many of them take the shuttle across the river to the medical school just to visit the pup on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

"You can release some of the emotions to a pet that you can't to a human.  A pet keeps it confidential.  You don't have to worry about someone else saying, 'Oh, I think she's having a nervous breakdown over the science exam,'" said Francisco-Anderson.

Most schools, like Emory, partner with organizations that train companion dogs so that the canines get their social training while students get stress relief.  Others,
like at Harvard, have faculty members bring their dogs - which are certified to be therapy pups - to campus certain hours during the week.  The service is almost always free for students.

Research shows that interaction with pets decreases the level of cortisol - or stress hormone - in people and increases endorphins, known as the happiness hormone.

Scant research exists on how pet programs on college campuses help students cope with stress.  That's why Kathleen Adamle, a nursing professor at Kent State, hopes to garner a grant so she can conduct research as part of her "Dogs on Campus" program.  Adamle launched the program in 2006 with just her dog and has since added 11 other therapy canines to the team that visits dorms regularly throughout the year.  The dogs belong to Adamle or other community members and are certified therapy dogs. 

She has plenty of anecdotal evidence that her program works.  As soon as there's a tragedy on campus - a student dies in a car wreck, for example - dorms scramble to book the dog team to help comfort upset students, she says.

"I don't care if it's 10 at night; we go to that dorm and sit on the floor.  The kids are crying, and they grab the dog and put their face in the fur and just let it go," said Adamle.

Since 2006, Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., has asked faculty and alumni to bring their dogs to campus during finals as part of the "Dog Day Afternoon" program.  At Kenyon College in Ohio, the counseling center and dorms offer puppy play dates with Sunny the yellow lab and Sam the poodle-Chihuahua mix.

Last month, Indiana University students romped around with dogs in the first ever "Rent-a-Puppy" day. For $5, students could book time with one of 20 puppies from the local animal shelter - and could adopt them if they couldn't bear to say goodbye.

First-year Emory law student Anna Idelevich took a break from studying for exams at the library on a recent afternoon to visit Stanley and Hooch, two golden retrievers
training to be companion dogs for disabled owners.  The private university brought in the dogs as part of a new program to help students cope with the stress of exams.

"I've literally been here every day.  This is the best thing that's ever happened to me," said Idelevich, 22. "They couldn't have thought of a better way to relieve
stress.  If they don't do it next year, I'll be upset."

© 2012 Kansas City Star and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved. http://www.kansascity.com 


Support Groups:  What They Are and How They Help

By Nancy Johnson

According to the Mayo Clinic website (2012) a  support group is a gathering of people brought together by a common health concern or interest such as severe vision loss.  Members of support groups often share experiences and advice.  It can help to talk with other people who share your boat.  A support group can help you cope better and feel less isolated as you make connections with others facing vision loss.  It doesn’t replace medical care, but it can provide valuable resources to help you cope.  Support groups are NOT group therapy sessions and are not under the guidance of a trained mental health provider.  Support group formats include in person, Internet, or telephone.  They may be led by professional facilitators or by group members.  Some groups are educational and structured. For example, the group leader may invite a doctor, psychologist, nurse or social worker to talk about a topic related to the group's needs.  Other support groups emphasize emotional support and shared experiences. Some groups may focus on a combination of education, experiences, and socialization.  Members of a support group usually share personal experiences and offer one another emotional comfort and moral support.  They may also offer practical advice and tips to help you cope as you hope for improvement. 

Belonging to a support group can help you:

·       Feel less lonely, isolated or judged

·       Gain a sense of empowerment and control

·       Improve coping skills and adjustment

·       Allow you to talk openly and honestly about your feelings

·       Reduce distress, depression or anxiety

·       Understand what to expect with your situation

·       Learn about new medical research

·       Get practical advice or information about treatment options

·       Compare notes about resources, such as doctors and alternative options

If you would like to locate or organize a support group in your area, contact KABVI for help. 

ReferenceMayo Clinic, 1998-2012. Support Groups:  Make Connections, Get Help.  http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/support-groups/MH00002/


Tantalizing Tidbits

Compiled by Nancy Johnson

A special thanks to all who contribute information for this column.  I couldn’t do it without you! 

Introductory Braille Course to be offered in the Kansas City area:  If you live in the Kansas City/metropolitan area and are interested in mastering the basics of Braille, consider enrolling in “Introduction to Braille”, being offered this fall at Johnson County Community College.  Each course costs $99.00 and is taught by a certified teacher of the blind and visually impaired.  The non-credit course is designed to offer a hands-on approach, allowing for ample live instruction and instructor feedback.  Introduction to Braille I. will take place on consecutive Thursday evenings, 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM, September 7 through October 25, 2012.  This course covers the Braille alphabet, punctuation, and a few simple literary Braille contractions. Introduction to Braille II., will take place on consecutive Thursday evenings, 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM, November 1, 2012 through December 13, 2012.  This course will expand on material covered in Introduction to Braille I. to encompass many commonly used literary Braille contractions.  For more information or to register, call (913) 469-2323. Questions may also be directed to the following email address: drkimctvi@gmail.com

Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act:  On May 24, 2012, y a vote of 96 to 1, the U.S. Senate passed a massive package of policy updates that includes provisions that would establish national best practices for retail and other pharmacies to use in providing accessible prescription drug labeling to their customers with vision loss.  Once these best practices are promulgated, a Government Accountability Office study will assess the extent to which pharmacies are employing such best practices and improving access.  Once enacted, these provisions will serve as a valuable supplement to existing requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act and other federal and state laws imposing obligations on pharmacies to ensure effective communication and barrier removal for people with disabilities.
       While the House’s treatment of this legislation is less certain, observers seem to think action on the Senate bill or on the House’s companion legislation this year has an excellent chance in spite of the contentious political environment.  While the House version does not yet include the drug label accessibility language, the Chair of the House committee with jurisdiction over the bill, Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), affirmed at a recent hearing on the measure that he is committed to working on inclusion of the drug label language during the conference process, meaning that if the House acts on its own bill, House Republican leadership seem willing to advocate for drug label access language as the House and Senate work to resolve their differences.

On June 20, the U.S. House of Representatives passed comprehensive legislation, the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act.

Stay tuned to AFB-DC for updates on next steps for advocates to take as this important work moves forward.  Special thanks to the many advocates and organizations who took time, as previously invited via AFB-DC, to thank key Senate leadership for championing accessible prescription labeling.  Read more about the legislation at:

Catalogs:  Readers at Home has a newer catalog, Roamans Summer 2012 now available for download or available to order on quad track cassette or mp3 or CD.  We have many other catalogs available for download at this time:  LL Bean Summer 2012, Lands End Summer 2012, Avon Campaign 12, Beauty Boutique, Anthony Richards, and Carol Wright Gifts on the website.  Puritans Pride Vitamins is now having their buy 1 get 2 free sale.  You may use your old catalog or download it again from our website and place your orders soon.  Be sure to tell them you are a Home Readers customer!  Please visit www.blindaudiocatalogs.com and download your favorite catalogs or call us at 1-877-814-7323 and place your order.

       Talking Prescription Program.  Wal-Mart announced it is offering the ScripTalk Talking Prescription program on a pilot basis to its mail order customers with visual impairments and to Wal-Mart pharmacy customers in three stores.  The press release is available at: http://lflegal.com/2012/06/walmart-prescription/

This is the first time in the United States that a national retailer has offered Talking Prescription labels to the blind community on a national basis.  Wal-Mart is working with the American Council of the Blind, the American Foundation for the Blind, and the California Council of the Blind through the Structured Negotiations process on this important health, safety, and privacy initiative.

Inquiries about talking pill bottles or accessible prescription information in connection with Wal-Mart or any other retailer or prescription provider should be directed to Scott Grimes through the following email address or toll free telephone number: prescription.access@gdblegal.com or 1-800-822-5000.

Wal-Mart mail order customers or customers at the three pilot stores (none in Kansas) may contact En-Vision America at 800-890-1180 for a free ScripTalk Talking prescription reader.  Wal-Mart mail order pharmacy can be reached on line at: http://www.walmart.com/cp/Pharmacy-Home-Delivery/1042239 or by calling toll free 1-800-2REFILL (1-800-273-3455)

New Radio:  Best Buy recently unveiled a new tabletop radio with voice prompts that guide users as they change channels and maneuver other push-button commands.  It’s the technology retailer’s first product designed for the nation’s estimated 20 million visually impaired, but experts say consumers can expect to find similar technology in a growing number and variety of products for the home and workplace. Aging baby boomers may soon be ready for the convenience of the new Narrator radio, which goes on sale in July at bestbuy.com.

Special features for people with normal vision include a picture of the on-air radio talk show host displayed on a screen.  The radio’s Artist Experience display includes the artist, song, program host, and so on for users with low or full vision.  A son or daughter of an aging baby boomer might see the Narrator radio and say, “Wow, this could be a perfect present for Mom or Dad.” 

Best Buy is working with IAAIS member radio stations to help visually impaired people order the radio online, and the company is evaluating whether it will eventually sell the Narrator in its stores.  The AM-FM-HD Narrator, made by Insignia, Best Buy’s private-label brand will sell for $99.

     Coming soon to a TV near You!  Beginning Sunday, July 1, the landmark provisions of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) requiring the nation’s leading networks to provide a combined total of at least 450 hours of described video programming per calendar quarter will come to life.  Consumers are encouraged to begin asking their local broadcast stations and cable providers about accessing the described programming to be provided.  In addition, given that information about which programs are to be described and the means for accessing description can sometimes be difficult to obtain, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has recently launched a web resource to help consumers navigate program choices, the technical means for accessing description via digital TV and/or cable set top box, and the FCC’s complaint process for consumers to use to resolve network, station, or cable provider failure to put described programming in consumers’ hands.  Visit the FCC’s web resource at: http://www.fccgov/encyclopedia/video-description.  An independent but more memorable web address can also be used to be directed to the FCC’s site; this more user friendly address is: http://www.VideoDescription.info.  For additional information, contact: Mark Richert, Esq., Director, Public Policy, AFB, (202) 469-6833 Mrichert@afb.net

      Buy the Trekker Breeze for $729!  http://visit.humanware.com/e/3332/eeze-handheld-talking-gps-html/2bcdbr/459 868752.  Save $200 on the Trekker Breeze!  Toll – free: 1 800-722-3393. Valid for U.S. residents only. This offer ends August 31st, 2012! http://www.humanware.ca/web/en/Newsletter/images/ban_breeze_sumpromo.jpg

The easy all-in-one handheld talking GPS.  Imagine doing your neighborhood chores freely without having to depend on other people, without having to count your steps or always worrying about getting lost… Breeze tells you where you are, where you are going and what is around, such as stores and public services.  Breeze will tell you where you are and where you’re going!

* Know where you are and where you are going on foot or in a vehicle.

* Find out what is around at your location (public services and businesses).

* Easily retrace your steps if you get lost. Simply push a button.

* Record routes as you learn them with sighted people so that you can use them later without assistance.

* Record landmarks along your route. They will serve as reference points on your way to your favorite restaurant or a friend’s house.

* Get step-by-step instructions from start to end.
http://visit.humanware.com/e/3332/web-en-Newsletter-385-htm/2bcdcf/459868752 to watch the video




Chapter Chatter

Compiled by Nancy Johnson

Southwest Kansas Association for the Blind (SKAVI):  Congratulations to Darlene How, who earned two third-place awards on ceramics products at the Sedgwick County Arts and Crafts show.  Darlene took a ceramics class through an arts and crafts class for people with vision impairments at Envision.  Way to go, Darlene! 

Central Kansas Association for the Visually Impaired (CKAVI):  In March, Ann Byington, Nancy Johnson, and Colleen Talley attended CKAVI’s meeting to discuss KABVI and its services.  KABVI advocates for the blind and visually impaired through contact with legislators, testifying before state committees, governing bodies, and Kansas SRS.  KABVI tries to direct all blind and visually impaired individuals to the services available, from assistive technology to teaching Braille, to mobility training.  Ann spoke of the changing deterioration of state services for the blind and visually impaired resulting from budget cuts.  She reminded everyone about Talking Books and the new digital players that allow users to download books from the State Library system. 

Ann spoke of the need to connect with youth with visual problems and discussed the youth website at www.kabviyouthconnection.com, the Facebook page, and KABVI Youth Connection on Facebook.  The original website and Facebook page are www.kabvi.com and Kansas Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired on Facebook.  She also explained the computer refurbishment program. 

Nancy Johnson asked what KABVI could do for us.  With services for the blind almost non-existent, mobility and independent living are taught at independent living centers throughout the state.   Nancy is available for speaking or training.  She suggested doing public service announcements on the radio, having a program on Audio Readers, or community meetings on the importance of regular eye examinations.  Use every means possible to educate people about our local and state groups to help the visually impaired.  Nancy is in the KABVI office most days from 9:00-12:00 in the morning. 

Colleen Talley, office manager, helps the group with newsletters, membership maintenance and will help you find the answers to any questions you might have about blind and visually impaired services.

KABVI wants to serve you.  They want a truly statewide organization, helping the blind and visually impaired throughout the state.  The KABVI team offers over 100 years of experience with blindness and visual impairment.  Contact them at 800-799-1499 to talk or leave a message about any question concerning living with blindness and visual impairment.

On May 30 and 31, Ann Byington, Colleen Talley and Paul Berscheidt educated listeners about KABVI, CKAVI and resources and programs available to blind and visually impaired.  The first day, Ann presented the teaching program. The next day, Ann, Colleen and Paul were live in the studio, speaking and taking live phone calls.  Although only two phone calls were received, John O’Conner and all of us thought the program went well.  If either group gets even one follow-up call, or the information presented directs anyone to Talking Books or other service, the programs were successful.  CKAVI is grateful to John O’Conner and the KVGB staff for helping make the programs happen. 

Sister Corona is working to organize the September sale.  She finished a beautiful queen-size quilt and chose a beautiful embroidered, linen tablecloth/napkin set and a shop vacuum to offer for our raffle.  We plan to have the flyers and raffle tickets for the sale available at our Potluck on July 22nd.   Mark your calendars for September 28th and 29th for our annual Craft/Bake Sale.  Also, put on your thinking cap for any new ideas to boost the sales. 

       Note:  If you create your newsletter on the computer, please feel free to forward it to supermom1941@sbcglobal.net for inclusion in KABVI News.  I hope you’ve all had a wonderful summer in spite of the heat!


In Memoriam

Melissa M. Tweedy, 32 (1980-2012), went to be with her Lord and Savior.  She is survived by her parents, Robert F. and Gwendolyn Tweedy; her beloved grandparents, Robert and Ruth Tweedy, many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.  In lieu of flowers, donations would be appreciated and sent to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  www.oldmissionmortuary.com

Published in The Wichita Eagle, May 10-11, 2012.

2012 KABVI Membership Application

____ Enclosed is $10.00 for my 2012 KABVI dues.


___  Enclosed is $250 for my Life Membership.


Name: ___________________________________


Address: _________________________________


City: _____________________ State: _________


Zip: _________ Telephone: _____-___________


E-mail address:____________________________


Are you: 

____Legally blind ____Visually impaired  ____Deaf-blind ____Sighted


Please send 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.