Corporate Office, S Kansas Ave.  Suite 410

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

Nancy Johnson

714 SW Wayne Avenue

Topeka KS 66606-1753

(785) 234-8449




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

Reflections, by Nancy Johnson - 4

Job Description:  The Editor, by Nancy Johnson – 6

Report from the Board of Directors, compiled by Nancy Johnson – 8

KABVI Committees and What They Do, compiled by Nancy Johnson – 13

Pet Corner, by Marilyn Lind – 15

Tantalizing Tidbits, compiled by Nancy Johnson – 16

Happy Faces and Rainbows – 19

Chapter Chatter – 21

In Memoriam – 22

Scholarship Application – 23

Membership Renewal Form – 28



By Nancy Johnson

“KABVI strives to increase the self-sufficiency, opportunity, and quality of life for all blind and visually impaired Kansans.”  So says KABVI’s mission statement.  How is KABVI fulfilling that mission?  What do blind and visually impaired people today need, that we don’t already have, to make us more self-sufficient, provide more opportunities, and improve our quality of life?  To my mind come improved transportation, improved rehabilitative training, and improved access to information readily available to our sighted counterparts, and those are but the beginning of the list. 


KABVI’s database contains nearly 500 contacts, most of whom receive KABVI News.  Between 125 and 150 of these are members.  Do the math:  Annual membership is $10 a year.  If 150 people pay dues, KABVI takes in $1500, half of which pays membership in the American Council of the Blind (ACB), leaving KABVI $750.  Although membership is NOT required for receipt of KABVI News, it’s easy to see that your membership helps KABVI continue to do its work.


Additionally, not only does KABVI desperately need money, it also needs people to carry out and expand its projects.  Most of us have more time than money, and life can become extremely boring without something to do.  Involvement in KABVI can fill quite a few hours, keep you in touch with others, possibly challenge you, and might even be FUN!  So many possibilities for communication now exist that even those of you who live in the far corners of Kansas can be involved in committee work through E-mail, SKYPE, phone conferences – pretty much whatever works for you.  We’re no longer limited to “snail mail” and long distance phone, though those do still work. 

Elsewhere is an article showing the committees that do KABVI’s work, who chairs them, and some explanation of their functions.  I encourage everyone to consider these committees, compare them to your interests, and pick one on which to serve.  Committee chairs know what needs doing so, if you think you can’t contribute, don’t let that stop you from becoming involved.  Call KABVI’s office at (785) 235-8990 or toll free at 1-800-799-1499 and clearly leave your name, phone number, and the committee you’d like to join.  We’ll put you in touch with the chair of that committee.


Also, chapter news editors, please keep sending your news.  We love knowing what you’re learning and doing.  Likewise to anyone who has an idea or experience to share.  Please contribute your thoughts.  Email supermom1941@sbcglobal.net or send your item in any format to the KABVI office.  Don’t worry if you’re not a writer – just send your ideas, comments, items of interest to us – we’ll “fix” the item if we can use it.  (What fun it would be to get way more than we can use!)


Ann Byington resigned as KABVI News editor.  Anyone interested in the editor’s job, please contact Nancy Johnson.  She didn’t know how to do the job when she took it, but she did it anyway and isn’t sure she knows how to do it yet.   The point – you can learn, and there’s help available.  (Another option is to elect someone else President.  As much as Nancy enjoys both jobs, one person really can’t do justice to both.)    To get an idea of what the KABVI News editor does, look at the job description that follows.  Remember – one person doesn’t have to do it alone. 


Job Description - The Editor

By Nancy Johnson

KABVI News needs an editor.  The job isn’t difficult, but it can be time-consuming.  This is a quarterly publication with high standards.  KABVI News needs someone who can:

·       Prepare, rewrite and edit copy to improve readability 

·       Read copy to detect and correct errors in spelling, punctuation, and syntax.

·       Allocate space for text according to copy significance.

·       Plan the contents of KABVI News according to the publication's editorial policy and publishing requirements outlined at the front of the newsletter.

·       Verify facts, dates, and statistics when necessary.

It helps if you:

·       Communicate effectively in writing.

·       Manage time to meet deadlines.

·       Understand the implications of new information for readers.

A new editor will likely develop his/her own process, but here’s what works for me. 


1.   All copy to the editor - January 22, April 22, July 22, and October 22. 

2.   Newsletter to the printer by February 15, May 15, August 15, and November 15. 

3.   Volumes are numbered yearly with the January deadline. 

4.   Issues are identified by season and number:

a.  Spring = No. 1 – should reach readers early March

b. Summer = No 2 – should reach readers early June

c.  Fall = No. 3 – should reach readers early September

d. Winter = No. 4 – should reach readers early December.



Process for Preparing KABVI News

5.   Make 1 18 pt. (large) print & 1 12 pt. (regular) print hard copy of the newsletter.

6.   Have proofread when possible.

7.   Print labels for large print & print readers.

8.   Send for printing.

9.   Print labels and put on envelopes for Braille readers.

a.  Email print copy for Brailling.

b. Assist with sending out Braille newsletters.

10.                     Email large print file to people requesting email.

11.                     Email copy for cartridge readers. 

12.                     Monitor returns for labeling errors or address changes.

If you’re interested, please contact Nancy Johnson as soon as possible! 


Report from the Board of Directors

By Nancy Johnson

Acts 13, an organization providing items to inmates in various facilities, was contacted in hopes of donating Braille Bibles.  No response was received.  In the KABVI office are several copies of the Bible in Braille.  One will be kept for display along with our full Braille dictionary, but the others are available.  A Braille Bible requires a good deal of shelf space because of the large number of volumes.  If you or your church would like one of these Bibles, please contact KABVI at 785-235-8990 or 1-800-799-1499.  The space cleared will provide shelving either for children’s books or a display of equipment or technology used by blind persons over time.


Twenty people participated in a full day workshop provided by the Northwest Kansas Association for the Visually Impaired (NKAVI) in Hays.  NKAVI covered travel expenses for Nancy Johnson and a driver to make this possible.  Nancy is glad to provide training for other groups when possible.  Interested groups, please contact the KABVI office.  Nancy participated in the KYLF resource fair.  No scholarship applications were received this year. 


The Topeka Moving Ahead training program (TMAP), which worked toward employment readiness training, closed.  The Legal services office moved, and KABVI acquired a conference table, two chairs, and a small file cabinet.  KABVI has access to the conference room shared with legal services in the past.


Response was received to a letter sent to the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) regarding the gap in services to the blind of Kansas.  The response was not substantially helpful, with RSA promising to do future monitoring to determine service gaps for blind and visually impaired Kansans, referring our concerns to Mike Donnelly, KRS director, and suggesting a review of guidelines at the website: www.rsa.edu.gov.   The last meeting of the Kansas Advisory Committee for the Blind and Visually Impaired (KACBVI) was in January 2014 and at least two more meetings should have occurred. 


Contact with the Illinois services for the blind suggested that their services were protected only by having both blindness consumer groups work together and the need for more public visibility of KABVI.  The leadership of Kansas National Federation of the Blind (KNFB) has expressed no interest in collaborative efforts with KABVI.  Unlike other states which have found funding for their rehabilitation teaching programs, Kansas has refused to do so because RSA is not providing all such funding.  Further, the 1.5 rehab teachers Kansas still has may only serve clients seeking employment. 

After a review of further efforts to get agency service rebuilding legislation passed and KNFB’s lack of support, Consensus was a willingness to work with other disability organizations to move forward.  Families Together is one to consider.


Randy Cabral, Kansas Braille Transcribing Institute, expressed interest in renting office space, as well as teaching members to use the Tiger embosser.  Appointment scheduling became difficult and no meeting occurred.


Efforts are afoot to make participation in KABVI activities easier.  Paul Berscheidt developed an e-meeting form that makes it possible to participate in committee discussions and decision-making.  This was submitted to the board and is available on request to anyone interested in participating on a committee. 


Because KABVI is a statewide organization, it is important to include the entire state in our fundraising efforts.  KABVI earned $115 at the Auburn Theater production of “Butterflies Are Free”, and $187 was earned at this year’s convention, totaling $302 from crafts.  Some other fundraising possibilities are selling restaurant gift cards, a “golf ball frenzy” similar to what the Kansas Neurological Institute (KNI) does.  (Blind or visually impaired students might involve their schools in such a project.  Business sponsorships are tools ACB affiliates mentioned as a part of their fundraising efforts.  A contact was received from a person interested in doing a bike ride fundraiser with blind people as a way of increasing public visibility and raising funds.  Continuing the craft fair at the 2015 convention is planned. Selling crafts at the KABVI office and participating in local craft sales are other possibilities. 


Fundraising requires the time and effort of everyone.  KABVI will be 100 years old in 2020.  Reaching that landmark will be outstanding – but we need money to get there and to celebrate as befits that accomplishment!  What are you willing to do to help us raise funds to keep KABVI going into its second century? 


Actions of the members at the convention and the election of the Board of Directors and officers were ratified.  No changes occurred.  A list of committees, chairs, and responsibilities is elsewhere in this newsletter.  Everyone has a little talent.  Please – don’t hide yours.  KABVI needs everyone!


Underlined symbols were removed from the online Membership Renewal form at www.kabvi.com.  It is now a “fillable form,” which means one can enter information directly into the form, then print and mail it with a $10 check for membership to Bob Chaffin, Treasurer.  Go to www.kabvi.com, the KABVI membership information link, and find the link to the membership form at the bottom of that page.  To maintain voting status with ACB, the KABVI office needs your membership form by March 1. 


Board members are concerned about how few people are involved in the work of KABVI.  Holding regional meetings throughout the state in lieu of an annual convention was suggested.  Creativity is this year’s convention theme.  The planning committee will make final arrangements for the 2015 convention, so watch for more information and save your pennies to attend!   October 16-18 2015 is the proposed date, depending on hotel availability.    


Newsletter content was reviewed and members agreed that it needs a bit of humor.  Ann Byington resigned as Newsletter editor, citing computer issues and little membership feedback as reasons.  Nancy Johnson resumed the editor’s responsibilities until another editor is found.  


A multigenerational workgroup between the Kansas School for the Blind and KABVI resulted from Dr. Anne Nielsen’s presentation at the convention.  The purpose is to reach parents and children throughout the state with blind and visually impaired adults to act as mentors and to promote camaraderie among these groups. 


KABVI has loads of ideas and possible projects.  The organization doesn’t have dollars or (apparently) people willing to help earn them.  Your directors understand the difficulties of operating a statewide organization from one corner of the state.  It’s as difficult for us to get to you as it is for you to get to us.  When I became involved with KABVI News almost 25 years ago (can’t believe it’s been that long) statewide communication was much more difficult.  We had long distance phone, “snail mail,” and email.  Now we have all of those plus devices like cell phones, smart phones, and i-devices and SKYPE that make communication much more possible.  Yet the silence continues, and we really wonder if anyone’s out there.  You can contact me – Nancy Johnson – at the KABVI office, 785-235-8990 or toll free 1-800-799-1499.  Call me at home – 785-234-8449 – or cell – 785-438-8839.  Email kabvi@att.net or supermom1941@sbcglobal.net or supermom1941@icloud.com.  I look for messages in all those places.  I love finding them!  KABVI has a page on Facebook too.  You can find the link at www.kabvi.com.  Or contact any board member.


KABVI Committees and What They Do

Compiled by Nancy Johnson

Fund raising - Bob Chaffin, treasurer:  Develops and coordinates activities to raise money to meet KABVI’s expenses and support its projects. 

Legislative - Judy Davis:  Monitors activities of the Kansas legislature for activity that affects blind and visually impaired persons, and organizes members to respond through phone calls, letters, or testimony as appropriate. 

Convention - Ann Byington, recording secretary:  Plans and coordinates KABVI’s annual convention – locating facilities, presenters, exhibiters, caterers, etc., as needed.

Newsletter - Nancy Johnson, president:  Submit items regarding blindness/vision impairment and other items of special interest.   (Pets, food, travel, as examples.)

Scholarship - Phyllis Schmidt:  Send annual notice of scholarship, review applications, and determine scholarship awards.

Membership - Marilyn Lind:  Mikel McCary (membership secretary), Nancy Johnson.  Keep database up-to-date, work to increase membership in KABVI across the state.

Public Relations - Henry Staub:  Nancy Johnson.  Improve KABVI’s visibility in communities across Kansas by participation in resource fairs, health fairs, or other community education activities.  Develop and present programs such as fall prevention, prevention of vision loss, etc.  Develop “how to” videos for YouTube or other presentations.

Youth - Nancy Johnson:  Ann Byington, Phyllis Schmidt.  Increase KABVI’s contacts with children, youth, and parents across the state.  Develop activities for families with blind children or blind parents with sighted children.  Work with the Multigenerational Workgroup in conjunction with the Kansas School for the Blind.

Technology - Paul Berscheidt, vice president:  Mikel McCary, Henry Staub, Carolyn Thomason, Bob Chaffin.  Guide the organization regarding all things technological – phones, computers, etc.

Nominations - Bill Moore:    Contacts members to locate individuals interested and willing to serve on the Board of Directors and officers and preside over elections at the annual meeting/convention.

Awards - Kathy Dawson:  Ruby Simmonds.  Review letters of nomination for the Eleanor A. Wilson and Extra Step awards, obtain and present the awards at the annual meeting/convention.

Constitution - Michael Byington, corresponding secretary:  Guides KABVI’s activities so they conform to its constitution and directives of the Internal Revenue Service.  Guides the membership through making changes in the constitution when necessary.


Pet Corner

By Marilyn Lind

Now that it’s spring, it’s time for you and your pet to work off those extra pounds, so put Your Front Paws Out and Your back Paws Out and get going!  Surveys state that 25 to 50 percent of pets are overweight.  To determine if your pet is overweight, rub your hands along your pet’s rib area. You should be able to feel ribs beneath a thin layer of fat, and the skin should move easily under your fingers. Here are some tips to help you manage your pet’s weight. 


Don’t over feed your pet.  How many calories should your pet eat per day?  Indoor cats weighing 10 pounds, 180-200 calories:  Dogs weighing 10 pounds, 200-275 calories:  Dogs of 20 pounds, 325-400:  Dogs that weigh 50 pounds, 700-900 calories.  These amounts apply to indoor pets only.  Dog and cat food bags usually list the number of calories that’s right for your pet.  If they don’t, contact the manufacture.  Look at the calorie content of food with no fillers.  When measuring your pet’s food, use a regular measuring cup, not a mug.  It’s best to feed your pet twice a day.  Don’t feed your pet scraps of your food. 


To help your pet have fun and maintain a good weight, walk with your pet.  Dog parks are great. For both dogs and cats, throw a ball and have your pet bring it back. If you like to challenge your pet, place its food in a dog or cat puzzle. This helps the food last longer.


Suggested treats for dogs include green beans, carrots, apples, charley bears, and animal crackers.  Treats for cats might be apples, strawberries, or blueberries.  Enjoy the summer with your pet! 


Tantalizing Tidbits

Compiled by Nancy Johnson

The 2015 Gwendolyne Hawley Scholarship Award for blind/visually impaired students who will be attending college in the fall of 2015 is open to applicants. All the information about the scholarship, instructions on how to apply, and the student and sponsor applications are available at kssb.net.

Two $1,000 scholarships offered by KABVI.  Information is available in this issue of KABVI News and at www.kabvi.com

KSB Family Week End:  The Kansas State School for the Blind will host a Family Weekend April 17 and April 18, 2015.  The goal is to invite families of children with a  visual impairment as well as professionals in the state who work with students with visual impairments to come together.  This weekend will allow us to provide and share resources with families and help them gain knowledge about techniques and strategies relating to blindness and low vision.  On Saturday April 18 from 7:30am to 4:00pm technology vendors, consumer groups, and service organizations will provide informative resources to participants.  Come join us for a fun and informational weekend at KSB.  This event is open to all families in the state of Kansas who have a child with a visual impairment.  Parents, siblings, and grandparents are all welcome and may stay in the KSB dorm for a minimal fee.  REGISTRATION INFORMATION COMING SOON!  For more information contact Judy Imber:  jimber@kssdb.org.   (913) 645-5843

ABLE Act:  President Obama signed into law the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, aimed at reducing financial burdens for people with disabilities and their families by providing them access to tax-saving 529 Education Savings Plans, called 529-ABLE Accounts. While there will be a delay while each state sets up and begins to operate these accounts, the passage of the Act means that soon people with disabilities and their families will be able to set aside funds(up to $14,000 per year) for disability-related expenses to supplement insurance and other benefits. Money set aside in these funds, up to $100,000, will be excluded from the income and assets calculations used to determine eligibility for federal benefits such as SSI. Also, Medicaid benefits eligibility will not be impacted by funds saved in an ABLE account. States will have to determine asset/income eligibility with respect to ABLE Accounts for other state benefits which do not include federal funds. Eligible individuals must have a condition that occurred before age 26. We strongly encourage people who are blind/visually impaired and families of children who are blind/visually impaired to consult their tax advisers about the financial planning benefits and implications of the ABLE Act and 529-ABLE Accounts. Stay tuned to AFB’s Policy Center and FamilyConnect for future updates on this and other important topics for families!  Read the text of the ABLE Act.  Questions? Email Rebecca Sheffield, Senior Policy

Researcher at rsheffield@afb.net

Children with English as a Second Language:  According to 2013 data from the American Community Survey, an estimated 668,000 American children and youth ages 5 to 21 are blind or have trouble seeing. Of those, over 159,000 (almost 24%) speak a language other than English at home. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) guarantees that if these children have a visual impairment or other disability which impacts their access to education, they are eligible for special education services, including individualized evaluation and educational supports and instruction. At the same time, both IDEA and Title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act require special provisions for English-language learners. IDEA requires that testing and evaluation materials should be “administered in the child’s native language or mode of communication unless it is technically not feasible to do so” (IDEA, 2004, § 612).  To shed light on issues surrounding psychoeducational assessment of students with visual impairment who are bilingual/English-language learners, the AFB Public Policy Center arranged to interview Dr. Olaya Landa-Vialard, assistant professor at Illinois State University and Coordinator of the Special Education in Low Vision and Blindness program. Dr. Landa-Vialard is an Educational Diagnostician and a certified teacher of students with visual impairments. Her dissertation research investigated the assessment practices and procedures used by educational diagnosticians when assessing students who are bilingual with visual impairments.

Blind Penpals Magazine:  Interested in communicating with a blind person from another part of the world?  Blind Penpals Magazine is issued monthly at no cost by Adrijana Prokopenko, a blind teacher from Macedonia bringing blind and visually impaired people together by e-mail.  For more information or to sign up, send e-mail to Adrijana Prokopenko, adrijanaprokopenko@gmail.com


Happy Faces and Rainbows

“Stuff happens.”  An event may seem tragic at the moment, but retrospectively it may bring forth a smile or reveal the rainbow after the storm.  I broiled a pie, put the crackers into the Hamburger Helper instead of the noodles when preparing dinner for friends, and had numerous adventures getting lost while walking to a destination – and those are just a few frustrating experiences that I now smile about.  I’m sure others of you have had experiences that were frustrating or upsetting at the moment but are now humorous as you look back on them.  This section is intended for you to share humorous experiences that changed your frown to a happy face or ended a storm with a rainbow.  Send them to share here.  Remember – You don’t have to be a writer – just get your ideas into an understandable form and we’ll take care of the rest. 


Attitude Adjustment:  John received a parrot as a Gift.  The parrot had a bad attitude and an even worse vocabulary.   Every word out of the bird's mouth was rude, obnoxious and laced with profanity.  John tried and tried to change the bird's attitude by consistently saying only polite words, playing soft music and anything else he could think of to 'clean up' the bird's vocabulary.  Finally, John was fed up and he yelled at the parrot.  The parrot yelled back.  John shook the parrot and the parrot got angrier and ruder.  John, in desperation, threw up his hand, grabbed the bird and put him in the freezer.  For a few minutes the parrot squawked and kicked and screamed.  Then suddenly there was total quiet.  Not a peep was heard for over a minute.  Fearing he'd hurt the parrot, John quickly opened the freezer door.  The parrot calmly stepped out onto John's outstretched arms and said "I believe I may have offended you with my rude language and actions.  I'm sincerely remorseful for my inappropriate transgressions and I fully intend to do everything I can to correct my rude and unforgivable behavior."  John was stunned at the change in the bird's attitude.  As he was about to ask the parrot what had made such a dramatic change in his behavior, the bird spoke-up, very softly, "May I ask what the turkey did?


Chapter Chatter

Northwest Kansas Association for the Visually Impaired:  Jim Heunergarde and Scott Watford from the Hays Lions Club gave NKAVI members an overview of their club’s activities in January.  The first Lions Club was organized in 1917 as a community service organization.  They are working on a 100 year celebration.  In 1925, at the urging of Helen Keller, Lions took on helping visually impaired individuals.  The Hays Lions Club has made several donations in support of NKAVI’s Low Vision Fair.  Heartland Eye Bank is part of the Lions and is responsible for collecting corneas for transplant.  The Lions also gather used eye glasses for recycling.  Several other community organizations in Hays are the recipients of financial support from the Hays Lions.  In cooperation with Dr. Kendall Krug, the Lions are working to screen all children for vision loss before they enter kindergarten.  Highlights in the Hays community are the annual pancake feed fund raiser and the sale of 2500 beirocks at the annual Oktoberfest celebration.  Marvin Honas was the guest speaker in February, talking about the recycling program operated by the city of Hays.  Bernice Herman has an Acrobat Reader HD 27 inch video magnifier (CCTV) for sale.  One year is left on the factory warranty.  Contact Bernice at:

Cell 785-623-1729 or Home 785-628-8010 and leave a message.


In Memoriam

Mary Teresa (Armstrong) Kruse 87, passed away November 20, 2014.  She was born December 17, 1926 to Thomas M. and Nona M. Armstrong in Wichita.  Mary graduated from WSU with a degree in speech pathology.  She began her career in Manhattan, KS, where she met Wilbur F. Kruse.  They married September 5, 1949.  Mary was voted Kansas Mother of the Year in 1989.  She worked as a speech clinician for 20 years in public schools.  Helping children with special needs, was an important part of her life.  Mary was involved in her church and community.  She was a member of the Serra Club, Needlework Guild, a St. Francis Hospital volunteer, and taught religious education throughout her lifetime.  She was our mentor, our teacher, our confidant, our adviser, our cheerleader, our family matriarch.  Mary is proceeded in death by husband Wilbur, daughters Joan Holthaus, infant Gloria; brothers J. Leo, John and William Armstrong.  Survived by children William (Glenda) Armstrong, Karen, Thomas (Leigh) of Wichita; Kathy Tramp (Rick) of Topeka; Teresa White (Brad) Andover; Peter (Janet), of Carlsbad, CA; Ann Ecklund (Terry) of Overland Park; son-in-law William Holthaus of Topeka; 25 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.  Suggested memorials to St. Patrick Catholic Church.


Editor’s Note:  If you have the obituary of a member or friend of KABVI who has not been recognized, please send to supermom1941@sbcglobal.net so we can include the information here.


Scholarship Application

Esther V. Taylor Scholarship Supplemental Sheet

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, 2015. Send the completed application and all supporting documents to:  Phyllis Schmidt, 1916 S.W. 66th St., Topeka, KS  66619. 


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.


Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for a scholarship the applicant must:

 (1)  Be a visually impaired student admitted to a post-secondary training program for the 2015-16 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, 2015.

Required Documentation

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

(1)   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


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: _________________________________


Editor’s Note:  This application is also available online at www.kabvi.com, or call KABVI, (785) 235-8990 to have a copy mailed to you. 


Membership Renewal Form

___ Enclosed is $10 for 2015 dues.

___ Enclosed is $250 for life membership in KABVI.

___ Enclosed is a tax-deductible donation of $__________.






City __________________ State ____ Zip ____________


Phone ______________


Email ___________________________


I am ___ Totally blind ___ Legally blind


___Visually impaired   ___ Deaf-blind ___Sighted


Please send KABVI News and The Braille Forum in:


___ Braille ___ Cartridge ___ Large print,


___Regular print ___Email


___ I do not wish to receive these publications.


Please complete this form and send it with your check to:

       Robert Chaffin, Treasurer

       1105 Centennial Blvd.

       Hays, KS  67601