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          summer 2012                No. 3



Corporate Office, 603 SW Topeka Blvd. Suite 304

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

Youth website:  www.kabviyouthconnection.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 reflects the philosophy and policies of the Association, reports the activities of its members, and includes 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) are considered.   When quoting from other published materials, please include dates and sources.  Unsigned material will not be considered for publication.  Send a stamped, self-addressed envelope for return of  original materials.  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 are removed from KABVI’s mailing list and their subscription to KABVI NEWS discontinued.  Membership is open to anyone interested and is not required for receipt of KABVI News.  A membership renewal form on which to indicate your newsletter preferences appears at the end of each issue.  Thank you for your cooperation.

Table of Contents

A KABVI Wish List, By Ann Byington, President 

Notions, By Nancy Johnson, Editor

ACB Legislative Seminar2012, By Michael Byington 

How to Participate in the Statewide Conference Calls

Put Your Thinking Caps on Now!

Dear Parents, By Nancy Johnson

Technology Fair for Parents and Youth, By Nancy Johnson

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

Social Security Announces New Conditions for Compassionate Allowances Program, Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Considerations for Visually Impaired Drivers, Submitted by Tara Keesling, Western Kansas Low Vision

Can Braille Be Faster Than QWERTY? By John D. Sutter, CNN

Tantalizing Tidbits, Compiled by Nancy Johnson

Chapter Chatter, Compiled by Nancy Johnson

In Memoriam

2012 KABVI Membership Application 



By Ann Byington, President

I’m certain that you have all heard the saying, “Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.”  The implication is, of course, that things might not be as wonderful once a given wish is granted.  But, being a long-time wisher from way back, here’s what I’m wishing for as KABVI President.

·       That people from all over Kansas will come to our Annual meeting at the Kansas State School for the Blind, Kansas City, the weekend of October 26-28th.  You can have “hands-on” experience with new technology for the blind and visually impaired, both high and low;  meet a truly enthusiastic ACB representative, Debbie Grubb, talk with teachers of the visually impaired who will be finishing up their conference just before ours, and much, much more. And, if you want to stay in the dorm, rooms are a mere $10 per night!

·       That we can acquire/groom more Board members from all over Kansas, including Wichita, Hayes, Salina, Emporia-not just those of us from Topeka.  I don’t want to be KABVI’s President for the rest of my life!

·       That folks will purchase our refurbished computers for $150, a great deal for anyone needing a computer, monitor, speakers, keyboard, mouse, and Microsoft 2003 software plus access technology demos of your choice. No, it’s not the latest and greatest, but we will do set-up and training free!  Envision has helped with this project with a large grant and we want them to know the money has been put to good use.

·       People from everywhere in Kansas will call us on the third Monday of the month conference call, even if you don’t think you’re interested in the topic.  We have recently learned that if you dial 1010987 and ten place the call, the cost is approximately $3.  Not too much to spend to enjoy the research efforts of your President and others, is it?

·       That our upcoming Technology Fair on June 2nd will have ten kids participating. Check out KABVI’s Facebook page, the kabviyouthconnection.com web sites and later articles in this issue of KABVI News for more information.

·       That all of us will make more use of Facebook on our web site to inform and encourage anyone who needs it.

·       * That KABVI needs members to work to make this organization last another 90 years.   



By Nancy Johnson, Editor

Have you wanted a computer or CCTV but felt you couldn’t afford to purchase one?  KABVI now has an answer for you. 

KABVI’s technology recycling project moved forward slowly – but it did move forward.  Thanks are due the technology committee, chaired by Jon Marcotte, certified assistive technology instructor, for the work they do with this project.  Special thanks go to Joshua Morrison, CompTIA, A+ certified technician, who comes regularly to the office to work on the computers.  Carolyn (Perez) Thomason, past instructor at the Kansas Rehabilitation Center for the Blind, is also appreciated for her ongoing work with the computers.  These people and others provide countless volunteer hours to keep this project going. 

   KABVI’s computer refurbishment project abides by the guidelines of Microsoft’s refurbishing program.  At this writing, seven computers are waiting for new homes.  The package includes the tower, monitor, keyboard, and speakers.  Windows XP with Microsoft Office 2003 is installed.  A free screen reader, NVDA is included.  Demos of access technology such as JAWS, Magic, Window Eyes, or Zoom Text may be available.  Purchasers who wish to send e-mail or otherwise work on the Internet must set up their own accounts for Internet access.  Help can be arranged to do this.  Beginner-level training may be possible for purchasers to use the access software.  Computers are priced according to their processor speed and prices vary.   These computers are basic and appropriate for individuals just learning to use a computer such as older people who may want to send and receive e-mail among family members or students just learning to type and use the Internet for homework.  These are older, slower, basic computers without any “bells and whistles.”  Even without the Internet, they can provide a means for individuals to manage personal information such as tracking appointments, addresses, phone numbers, financial information, etc, keeping it all in one place and eliminating those scraps of paper we all seem to have lying around and can’t read.  These computers can open the door to technology at less cost than beginning with a new system – which can be overwhelming.  The prices range from about $100 to $250 for an entire system, which barely covers the cost of refurbishment.  KABVI also has some electronic visual aids (CCTVs) for redistribution.  They are checked, known to work and provided “as is” at a cost of 1/3 to ˝ of their market value.  Money received from the items sold is used to continue the program by purchasing parts and licenses. 

   A wide variety of other assistive devices including some magnifiers and white canes occupy the shelves at the office.  Space is not available to list them so, if you want something to accomplish a task, KABVI may be able to help.  The item may not be the latest on the market, but many price tags say “FREE” and they’ll do the job. 

   The technology recycling program is intended for people to find help to live independently even if they can’t afford to purchase new equipment.  KABVI can still accept used equipment for refurbishment according to specific guidelines.  We can help only if you let us know – which you can do using the toll free number – 1-800-799-1499.  If no one is in the office, please leave a message with your name and number so someone can return your call. 


ACB Legislative Seminar 2012

By Michael Byington

The American Council of the Blind (ACB) held its 2012 Legislative Seminar February 26th, 27th, and 28th.  Our day talking with Legislative Representatives was the 28th.  Two major issues were addressed with our elected representatives.

Many ACB affiliates, including ours here in Kansas, have used car donation programs as a part of our fundraising efforts.  These programs were encouraged through the Reagan tax reforms in the 1980s.  Supporters of not for profit organizations donate used automobiles to the not-for-profits.  The not-for-profits, then, usually through third party contractors, sell the autos to benefit the not for profits.  Often, these sales take place through auctions, and, where a third party contractor is involved, that contractor gets a significant cut.  The donors of the automobiles get a tax deduction for their donation.  All of that sounds pretty simple, but the devil is in the details.  The original tax reforms contained some loophole that a significant number of donors abused.  For example, a car could be valued by the donor at up to $5,000.00 with no appraisal or significant documentation.  A great many cars were self-valued at somewhere around $4,999.00.  In 2005, reforms swung the pendulum back very far in the other direction.  An appraisal was required, for example, for any car where a value of over $500.00 was claimed. The tax deduction for the car was not to be taken until the car had actually been re-sold.  This could mean that a tax deduction often could not be taken in the year the car was actually donated.  House of Representatives Bill 860 would move the pendulum back to center.  It would not open all of the loopholes that originally were there, but it would restore much of the effectiveness to car donation programs.  Two major changes are that the tax deduction could be taken in the year that the car is donated, and an appraisal would be required only if a value of above $2,500 is being claimed.  In Kansas, the car donation program made KABVI as much as $24,000.00 when the organization entered the program. Subsequent to the 2005 changes, KABVI is lucky to clear $1,500.  Kansas is one of the many ACB affiliates that support the restorations proposed in H.R. 860.

One of the greatest health threats to blind Americans is the inability to read prescription instructions and information.  A number of viable prescription labeling solutions work quite well for blind Americans, but no one solution has caught on, and the vast majority of blind Americans still do not have access to prescription instructions and information.  H.R. 4087 would require research and regulation toward making sure that access to prescription instructions and information is universally accessible.  It does not direct which solutions should be used, only that a range of solutions must be readily available.  To the extent that the bill says, “Solve the problem” but does not promote the one and only solution, it is similar to the Bill that ACB successfully got through Congress in 2009, requiring solutions be found to the fact that people who are blind cannot hear quiet cars coming.

The job of the ACB Legislative seminars is to teach those in attendance from across the United States about important issues that need to come before Congress on behalf of blind and visually impaired citizens.  These people from across the country then go to Capitol Hill and discuss the issues with Congressional staff members representing their States.

I chatted with representatives in the office of all six of the folks that Kansans have sent to Congress, both Senators and all four Representatives in the House. Representative Linn Jenkins was the only one of our elected officials I met with in person, but meeting with the actual elected official is not an indicator of the inside track. Getting to the right staff person is often more important.

I was well received by all six offices, and they listened attentively and asked intelligent questions.  None of our folks, as this is written, however, have signed on to the legislation we requested.  This makes the point that one visit is not as significant as follow-up contact.  I have followed up with all offices subsequent to my visit - some offices more than once - and I will do so again.  Other KABVI members need to make contact also.  It makes no difference whether you call the Washington, D.C. Congressional switchboard or call your local offices here in Kansas.  The point is to maintain the contacts.  Call and read the substantive portions of this article to the representatives over the telephone.  If you have had a problem reading or getting prescription information, personally let them know about it.

The reason I am so often the one who represents KABVI at these Washington events is that I am willing to go.  When KABVI cannot afford to send anyone, I am willing to go at my own expense because I think it is important.  What is done at the legislative seminars and on Capitol Hill is not rocket science.  I hope others will develop interests in attending with me, or instead of me. KABVI works to raise funds to help people go.  Keep it in mind.

More importantly, get to know your House of Representatives members’ staff in your local area.  Get to know the local staffers for our two Kansas Senators - Senator Moran and Senator Roberts.  If they know you, they will keep listening, and maybe if we repeat enough, we will get some of our priorities through Congress. 


How to Participate in the State Wide Conference Calls, 7:00 PM CST, Third Monday Each Month

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

May 21                June 16                  July 16

August 20            September 17         October 15

November 19 December 17          January 21, 2013

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 - Conference Commands:

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.) 


Put Your Thinking Cap On Now!

   It’s time again to think about the people we know who demonstrate that special spark that makes them stand out among their peers.  The awards committee is looking for two outstanding individuals to be recognized state-wide by the Eleanor A. Wilson and Extra Step awards.  Recipients will be honored at the 2008 annual meeting and convention the week end of October 26 at the Kansas School for the Blind.

   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, Awards Committee, 603 SW Topeka Blvd, Suite 304, Topeka, Kansas  66603 by Friday, July 20. 



Dear Parents

By Nancy Johnson

In February, I went to the Kansas School for the Blind and asked parents what we can do for their children.  KABVI’s youth activities committee hopes to learn in which types of activities youth and parents would like to participate with the goal of bringing young people together so they can interact with one another as well as with blind and visually impaired adults.  Two activities of interest were a technology camp and activities involving music.  Please help us by answering the questions below.  Responses will help us plan appropriate activities of interest to youth and parents across the state. 

1.   In which county do you live?

2.   Your child’s age

3.   Is your child totally blind, legally blind, or visually impaired? 

4.   Child’s age?

5.   Please identify disabilities in addition to vision impairment.

6.   What activities does your child enjoy?

7.   Would your child benefit from self-advocacy training?

8.   Do you need more information about living independently as a blind/visually impaired adult?

9.  Would you be willing and able to help with arranging locations for activities transportation, providing healthy refreshments, or helping children during activities? 

10.                    How can we contact you as we plan activities in your area? 

If you are a parent of a visually impaired or blind child of any age – infant through high school – the youth activities committee is here for you and your child.  Please take a few minutes to answer the questions and get back with Nancy Johnson.  Put your answers into an e-mail and send them to supermom1941@sbcglobal.net or Kabvi@att.net.  Your responses will help us plan future activities. 


Technology Fair for Children and Youth

By Nancy Johnson

The youth activities committee plans an assistive technology fair at the Wheatland Building of KNI, 3107 SW 21st St, Topeka, Kansas, June 2, 2012, from 10:00 until 3:00.  The fair will involve children from preschool through high school, (including those with multiple disabilities) and their parents.  The fair will provide hands-on opportunities for youth and parents to work with computers using screen magnification, and text-to-speech, as well as items for independent living and recreation. 

Booths, each involving an activity using technology, are planned.  Youth will be divided into small groups.  Each group will visit booths until all have an opportunity to participate in all activities.  The fair will conclude with an interactive activity involving music – exactly what is not yet determined.  Breaks and lunch will be provided.  There is no cost to participants, though volunteers are welcome to bring healthful treats for snacks and lunch.  Mikel McCary, Assistive Technology Specialist of the Resource Center for Independent Living, will be available to share his expertise.    Also manning booths from Nanopac will be Dave Wilkinson with Braille technology and Darrell and Linda Hallford with Low vision items. 

KABVI invites you and your children to participate in this assistive technology fair for children and youth who are blind and visually impaired.  Please respond by Friday, May 18, if you and your child can participate.  You may RSVP by calling the KABVI office toll free at 1-800-799-1499 or (785) 235-8990.  You may also e-mail Kabvi@att.net or supermom1941@sbcglobal.net

We would also appreciate any help you can provide to reach other youth with impaired vision and blindness and their parents to inform them of the fair. 


Social Security Announces New Conditions for Compassionate Allowances Program

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, today announced 52 new Compassionate Allowances conditions, primarily involving neurological disorders, cancers and rare diseases.  The Compassionate Allowances program fast-tracks disability decisions to ensure that Americans with the most serious disabilities receive their benefit decisions within days instead of months or years.  Commissioner Astrue made the announcement during his remarks at the World Orphan Drug Congress near Washington, D.C.

The Compassionate Allowances initiative identifies claims where the nature of the applicant’s disease or condition clearly meets the statutory standard for disability. With the help of sophisticated new information technology, the agency can quickly identify potential Compassionate Allowances and then quickly make decisions.  

Social Security launched the Compassionate Allowances program in 2008 with a list of 50 diseases and conditions.  The announcement of 52 new conditions, effective in August, will increase the total number of Compassionate Allowances conditions to 165.  The conditions include certain cancers, adult brain disorders, a number of rare genetic disorders of children, early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, immune system conditions, and other disorders. 

The agency is improving its online disability application process, which is already substantially shorter than the standard paper application.  Starting April 21, 2012, adults who file for benefits online have the option to electronically sign and submit their Authorization to Disclose Information to the Social Security Administration (Form SSA-827).  This improvement allows applicants to complete disability applications in a streamlined online session, rather than printing, signing, and mailing paper authorization forms to Social Security offices.

In March, Social Security approved eight research projects through its Disability Determination Process Small Grant Program.  This new program aims to improve the disability process through innovative research by graduate students focusing on topics such as the Compassionate Allowances program, Wounded Warriors initiative, homelessness and SSI, and disability enrollment issues.

For more information on the Compassionate Allowances initiative, please visit



Considerations for Visually Impaired Drivers

Submitted by Tara Keesling, Western Kansas Low Vision

If you are a driver with impaired vision, you need to consider these critical factors at various times of the day.  How do you function when driving during the day, at dusk, at dawn, on a cloudy day, and at night? 

·       Is it difficult to read clearly and quickly all the instruments on the car’s dashboard?

·       Is it difficult to read road signs or, if you are driving, do you notice and understand the signs in time to react comfortably to them?

·       Do other cars on the road seem to “pop” unexpectedly into and out of your field of vision?

·       Do you drive well under the speed limit and much slower than the cars around you? 

·       Do you have difficulty positioning yourself on the road with respect to other cars, lane markers, curves, sidewalks, parking spaces, etc.?

·       Do you find yourself feeling confused or disoriented on the road?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you might be wise to suspend driving and consult a specialist.  If you have difficulties only under some conditions, seeing a specialist is still recommended. 

Be aware of your abilities and your limitations, and study the state’s driving regulations.  This referenced book contains regulations for all states.

Reference:  Peli, E. and Peli, D.  Driving with Confidence:  A Practical Guide to Driving with Low Vision. 


Can Braille be faster than QWERTY? App developer thinks so

By John D. Sutter, CNN, February 20, 2012

Mario Romero, a post-doctoral researcher at the Georgia Institute of Technology School of Interactive Computing has co-developed an app, called BrailleTouch, that could help blind people send text messages and type e-mails on touch-screen smartphones without the need for expensive, extra equipment.  To use the app, people hold their phones with the screens facing away from them and punch combinations of six touch-screen buttons to form characters.  The app speaks a letter aloud after it's been registered, so there's no need to see the screen.

The system is designed for blind and visually impaired people, who otherwise have to purchase thousand-dollar machines or cumbersome “hover-over” … keyboards to be able to type on no-button smartphones.  But Romero sees a spin-off for the technology:  The touch-screen Braille keyboard is so fast that sighted people may start using it, too.

"It may be a solution for everybody to get their eyes off their phone so they can walk and text or watch TV and make a comment on a blog," he said by phone.  "It may free the sighted people's eyes" and help visually impaired people to type more easily.

The free app, which is being developed for Apple iOS and Google Android devices, should be available in a matter of weeks, he said.

You can watch a video of the app in action on YouTube.  So far, the app has only undergone limited tests, and Romero declined to make a pre-release version available to CNN.  In an 11-person trial, however, he said, some Braille typists were able to go faster than they could on standard, QWERTY keyboards.  One visually impaired person, who was already familiar with Braille … typed at a rate of 32 words per minute … with 92% accuracy. Romero, who never had used a Braille keyboard, was able to type at about 25 words per minute with 100% accuracy after a week of practice.

The app will undergo more rigorous testing before it's released, said Romero.  It was developed with the help of Brian Frey, Gregory Abode, James Abowd, James Clawson and Kate Rosier.

Smartphones are generally pretty good at reading material on their screens to people who have vision problems, he said, but it's usually difficult to enter text on the devices.  To get a sense of what it's like for a blind person to use an iPhone you can go to Settings >> General >> Accessibility, and turn the "Voiceover" feature on.  When you touch a menu item, the iPhone reads the text aloud in a computerized voice.  To select something on the screen, you double-tap that item.  To scroll, you use three fingers.

All that works well, Romero said, but typing on an iPhone without buttons is a pain.  Another alternative, he said, is attaching a hardware Braille keyboard to a Smartphone, but those are difficult to carry and are expensive:  "The options (blind people) have right now are either too expensive and cumbersome or too slow.  Virtual keyboards and soft keyboards - like Apple's voice-over keyboard - are too slow.  Or they have options to get hardware that costs several thousand dollars."

The new app may not alleviate all of those problems. On Android phones, the BrailleTouch app can be programmed in as the phone's standard keyboard. Because of restrictions on iOS, he said, that can't happen on an iPhone, so people who want to use the BrailleTouch keyboard have to open the app, type into a text document and then copy-paste that into an e-mail or text message.

Romero admits that this app isn't the end-all-be-all in typing. But it's helping create a future …when "one day we're not slaves to the screens."


Tantalizing Tidbits

Compiled by Nancy Johnson

KABVI Facebook Group:  Below is the email address for the KABVI facebook group. By using this address you can post information about activities or services of interest to the KABVI Facebook page.  This might make it easier for individuals who are not used to working directly with Facebook. If you have items of interest to KABVI, please send them to KABVI@groups.facebook.com .

Reach Out Wireless:  is a site where people can get free cell phones with free minutes. The url for this site is www.callrow.com . For information call 1 877 870 9444. This could be a resource if you are concerned about the cost of participating in the monthly statewide conference calls.

Voter Registration Information:  If you are a registered voter in Kansas and would like a FREE copy of the Kansas voters registration, absentee, or advanced ballot information in Braille, Large Print, or Audio CD, in English or Spanish, contact info@kbti.org, or call 316-265-9692 and ask for Carma.

Alternative Labels:  Sometimes you find yourself with two or three items that feel the same, such as several cans of tuna or chicken, and need to be able to identify them.  One way to do this is to put like items together in a plastic bag and then label the bag with a large print card , Braille, or tactile label.  If you’re putting frozen food items into bags, you might want to place the label in a zip-lock sandwich bag to protect it from moisture. 

You can also identify similar items using many common household items such as string, Scotch or adhesive tape, and rubber bands.  If, for example, you have a container of shampoo and one of hair conditioner, you might place a rubber band around the conditioner. 

Safety pins are great for helping match clothing.  For example, place a small safety pin at the waistband of your slacks – vertically for black and horizontally for blue.  Shirts or tops that match the black slacks get vertical pins in the tag at the collar while those matching the blue slacks get horizontal pins in the tag at the collar or some other “invisible” place on the garment. 

None of this is set in stone – you are limited only by your own creativity (or lack thereof).  What common household items have you that you can apply to one of two like items to make them feel different?  Expensive labeling items are available, but many household items are already available in your home. 

       Congratulations:  Charles Scrivener, who previously worked at the Kansas Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, recently accepted a position as Braille instructor at the Mississippi Agency for the Blind. 



Chapter Chatter

Compiled by Nancy Johnson

This column is a bit behind because I didn’t get newsletters from some of you.  I can’t share with the rest of our KABVI members if you don’t share with me!  PLEASE keep those newsletters coming.  I depend on hearing from you and sharing your fun and successes!

      Topeka Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TABVI) members learned more about ghosts in Kansas, specifically the Wichita area.  In February, Mikel McCary demonstrated new assistive technology devices.  In March they heard singers from Washburn Rural High School.  In April, the attorney General spoke.  New officers are:  Michael Byington, president; Bill Moore, vice-president; Henry Staub, secretary; Kathy Dawson, Assistant secretary; Beulah Carrington, treasurer; and two board members, Jon Marcotte and Kurt bailey. 

      Southwest Kansas Association for the Visually Impaired (SKAVI) ate pizza and played bingo in January and had so much fun they celebrated St. Patrick’s Day by wearing green to the meeting and playing bingo again.  .  They learned about the Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion programs.  March 3-10 was Talking Books Week.  Mignon Luckey, an independent living specialist with Prairie Independent Living Resource Center (PILR) in Dodge City, was honored as a “Talking Book Hero” for her involvement with the program.  Congratulations Mignon!  Daisy Wasson and Joanne Martin were reelected to their positions as president and treasurer respectively. 

      The Vision Support Circle of Topeka was reminded about the services of the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library’s Red Carpet service and received a tour.  Services of Audio-Reader were reviewed.  A pharmacist answered questions about medications.  They learned the difference between “normal” aging and dementia. 


In memoriam

John Anthony  Lynch, M.D., 81, Topeka, died February 6, 2012.  He was born March 27, 1930, in Fort Dodge, Iowa, son of Earl and Alice (Donahoe) Lynch.  John obtained his bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1951, and medical degree from St. Louis University School of Medicine in 1955.  He honorably served in the US Navy.  John completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI, in 1963.  On November 26, 1960, John was united in marriage to Maureen Twink Canfield.  They relocated to Topeka, in 1963.  He was a founder, partner, and surgeon at Kansas Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, Topeka.  John was a pioneer and innovator in the field of total joint replacement for the treatment of arthritis.  He was a past president of the Arthritis Foundation , Kansas Chapter and a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.  John also served in numerous leadership positions at Stormont-Vail Hospital and St. Francis Hospital in Topeka.  John had a lifelong passion for the University of Notre Dame, where he established a lecture series in the life sciences and made yearly football-Saturday pilgrimages.  He followed his passion for music, studying voice under Gordon Gaines for many years; the theatre, both as a performer and patron; flying, by becoming an experienced private pilot; and travel, having explored nearly the entire planet.  John had a boundless curiosity about virtually everything and never tired of learning.  He was a loving husband and father and an inspiration to his family and others whose lives he touched.  John is survived by his wife, Twink Lynch, Topeka; children, Mark (Mary) Lynch, Overland Park, KS; Dr. Christopher (Kim) Lynch, Shawnee, KS; Dr. Nancy Lynch, San Mateo, CA; and Dr. Gregory (Tiffany) Lynch, Mission Hills, KS; grandchildren, Brenna, Ryan, and Michael Lynch; Parker, Aidan, and Garrett Lynch; Haley, Annie, Paige and Jack Lynch. He was preceded in death by his parents, and infant sister, Mary Lynch. Memorial contributions may be given in Johns name to the Arthritis Foundation , Kansas Chapter, 1999 N. Amidon Avenue, Suite 105, Wichita, KS 67203-2122 or the University of Notre Dame, att: Carol Hennion, 1100 Grace Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556. Published in Topeka Capital-Journal from February 7 to February 10, 2012

David “Bush” Stalcup, National Beep Baseball Association member of Pismo Beach, California passed away April 9th, 2012.  Bush was an early member in the California league in the late 1980s and a long time member of his home town team, the Wichita Sonics in the1990s.  The league extends their condolences to his wife and long time spotter for the Wichita Sonics, Ann, and to his brother, Randy and family.  


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