KABVI NEWS

Published quarterly by

Kansas Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired

An Affiliate of the American Council of the Blind

Vol. 60 Winter 2017 No. 4

 

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 among our sighted peers.

KANSAS ASSOCIATION for the BLIND

and VISUALLY IMPAIRED

Corporate Office, 712 S. Kansas Ave. Suite 410

Topeka, KS 66603-3080

(785) 235-8990 - in Kansas 1-800-799-1499

E-mail kabvi@att.net www.kabvi.com

Editor Associate Editor

Nancy Johnson Ann Byington

714 SW Wayne Ave. 909 SW College Ave.

Topeka, KS 66606-1753 Topeka, KS 66606

Supermom1941@cox.net abyington@cox.net

President

Ann Byington

909 SW College Ave.

Topeka, KS 66606

Phone: (785) 233-3839

abyington@cox.net

Send address changes to:

Membership Secretary, KABVI, 712 S. Kansas Ave. Suite 410, Topeka, KS 66603-3080

KABVI NEWS promotes the general welfare of blind and visually impaired persons 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.

Send your news, views, articles, and features. Materials in Braille, on disk (Microsoft Word), or typewritten (double-spaced, large print) are considered. When quoting from other published materials, please include dates and sources. Unsigned material is not accepted for publication. Send a stamped, self-addressed envelope, and original materials will be returned. Editorial staff reserves the right to edit submitted materials.

Articles for publication must reach the editor by January 22, April 22, July 22, and October 22!

Annual meeting notices and membership renewal letters are sent to all persons on KABVIís mailing list. If notices are returned as undeliverable, those names are removed from the mailing list and their subscriptions to KABVI NEWS discontinued. Membership is open to everyone interested but is not required for receipt of KABVI NEWS. A membership renewal form on which to indicate your current information and format preference is included at the end of each issue of KABVI NEWS. Thank you for helping us keep KABVIís records current.

Table of Contents

Upcoming Annual Meeting Plans, by Ann Byington, President - 3

Reflections, by Nancy Johnson, Editor Ė 4

A Special Thank-you for a Special Person, by Ann Byington, President - 5

White Cane Safety Day, by Michael Byington, COMS Ė 6

Report from the Board of Directors, by Nancy Johnson, Recording Secretary Ė 6

Kansas Advisory Committee for the Blind and Visually Impaired, by Nancy Johnson Ė 9

Kathyís Book Nook, by Kathy Dawson Ė 9

Kansas State School for the Blind Advisory Board Meeting, by Nancy Johnson - 10

"Letís Talk Low Vision" with Dr. Bill Ė 10

2018 Membership and KABVI News Renewal Form Ė 10

UPCOMING ANNUAL MEETING PLANS

By Ann Byington, President

To economize both in terms of time and money, the KABVI annual meeting will be done via conference call, Saturday, December 16 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. The company we use is called Free Conference Call.com.  They now offer free video-conferencing, and we will experiment with that option for sighted members. 

The conference call-in number is: (712) 432-6100.  You will be asked for a Participant Pass code which is:  126083. The service can accommodate a thousand callersówouldnít that be exciting!

KABVI must hold an election and annual meeting according to the current Constitution.  Unless candidates are voted by acclamation, we will need to have a voice roll call vote, which means you must contact us before this meeting call to let us know you are participating so a roll call list can be created.  Donít despair, we will have door prizes, too which should motivate all of you to participate and to let me know ahead of time.  If your name isnít on my list, you canít win anything! Call me at: (785)-233-3839 or (785)-235-8990 BEFORE December 16.

Hopefully, we will get to meet our new Kansas Talking Books Director and the meeting will offer a panel discussion of some of the new tele-help services such as Aira and Orcam.  We covered Aira rather extensively in our last newsletter, but would like to get more "hands-on" with both services from usersí perspectives.

The plan is to hold one-day meetings next year in several towns throughout the state where parents, children, current KABVI members and blindness professionals can meet to learn more about KABVI and to grow membership.

We will be sending print membership renewal forms.  Please, please, complete the forms and enclose your checks for membership in the return envelopes.  They will go to Bob Chaffin, Treasurer.  You will also find a membership renewal form at the end of this issue.  As has been often said before, we need this information to keep our database up to date, both for the American Council of the Blind voter eligibility records as well as our local newsletter and mailing information.

Be sure to save the date: December 16, 1:00 PM.

Reflections

By Nancy Johnson, Editor

I wish Godís blessings for you and all of yours during this Christmas season and throughout 2018! Joy to all, and a great year ahead!

People are working to improve the lives of those of us with disabilities. Deafness and blindness Ė sensory disabilities Ė are included. Disabilities occur to varying degrees from mild to severe. Some individuals deal with more than one disability. Experience with a broken leg taught me the problems of a person using a wheelchair are not the same problems faced by a person with blindness. Our job, as I see it, is to be sure the blind and visually impaired are included as the nation moves forward in its endeavor to become accessible to everyone with a disability.

Groups in Kansas working to improve the lives of people with disabilities include the Kansas Commission on Disability concerns (KCDC), Kansas Council on Developmental Disabilities (KCDD), and (specific to blindness) the Kansas Advisory Committee for the Blind and Visually Impaired (KACBVI). Others of which I am unaware may exist.

I am involved with KCDD and KACBVI. KCDD emphasizes youth in transition and employment. KACBVI works with Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) where emphasis is on employment and the Older Blind program. New efforts around transition are being developed. These groups report to the governor. Blind and visually impaired persons are included within the population of persons with disabilities. Itís hard to put all the "apples" in one barrel while being certain the red ones, green ones, and yellow ones are treated as needed. Although one size does not fit all, some needs do cross disability lines.

We blind people fought alone for many years and won much. Other groups eventually followed our lead and began fighting for what they need. Blind people set the example: We must learn now to work with others whose needs are similar. KABVI must serve positively in this process.

After approximately 20 years (give or take a few) I believe itís time I turned this job over to someone new. I tried a year or so ago to get someone else to take the newsletter editorís job. No one came forward. Iíve done what I know how to do to encourage people to share thoughts and ideas with little success. I believe in KABVIís mission and will contribute to KABVIís activities as I am able. I have, for the most part, enjoyed preparing KABVI News, but itís time for someone with a different approach and different ideas to take over. Ií m therefore, with this issue of KABVI News resigning as its editor. Thank you to all who have contributed to KABVI News and helped me through the years. Iím here to help the person who assumes responsibility for getting future newsletters out, and I look forward to helping work toward KABVIís 100th birthday celebration.

A Special Thank-you to a Special Person

By Ann Byington, Presiden

Nancy Johnson, who has been our KABVI NEWS editor, for twenty years, has tendered her resignation.

Having done some editing myself, I am well aware of the time, energy, dedication to detail, and just plain hard work Nancy has given to KABVI.  She has often requested input from you folks out there, with little success.  We will need to seriously consider if and how we should proceed with this publication in the future.

Thanks so much, Nancy for all your work and dedication to the production and editing of our KABVI News.

White Cane Safety Day

By Michael Byington, COMS

Thanks to the school districts that let the blind and visually impaired kids attend. Several Districts and Co-ops sent students to participate.

Our White Cane Safety Day celebration took place on Friday, October 13th as the 15th was a Sunday. The students met four Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists (COMS) in front of the Kansas Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired  (KABVI) office in downtown Topeka, Kansas. We marched to the Kansas Capitol, about three blocks through downtown traffic. There, the students inspected new Braille signage at the Capitol. They heard short presentations by two legally blind adults who both work in the Capitol, Tom Roth, a Librarian at the State Library of Kansas, located on the third floor of the Kansas Capitol, and Tanye Brown, a receptionist at the Visitor Center.

Tanye introduced the band of cane carriers to her cane, whose name is Herman. She said her cane is Herman because it is HER MAN.

Tom took the kids on a tour of parts of the State library which included climbing up iron stairs to the glass floors of the library stacks. The stacks were designed and installed in the 1860s.

They examined some of the exhibits in the historical gallery that have braille.

The group then marched back through downtown Topeka to the KABVI office. The route used between the Kansas Capitol and the KABVI office includes several varieties of accessible traffic signals, lots of street furniture including statues of some historical Kansans, and truncated dome detectable warnings marking many hazards. To see multiple pictures of the event, go to my personal Facebook page.

Report from the Board of Directors

By Nancy Johnson, Recording Secretary

The Board of Directors of the Kansas Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (KABVI) met October 21, 2017 at the corporate office. All directors were present except Phyllis Schmidt, who was in the hospital, and Kurt Bailey.

Ann reported expenses of $100 for lunch for Blind Veterans Day at the Capital and $120 for White Cane Safety Day tee shirts.

Transportation issues prevented Annís participation in the K.C. All-Stars event in September.She plans to attend the Kansas School for the Deaf and Blind long-range planning meetings October 23 and 30.

Mail is now delivered to the KABVI office rather than to the Byington residence.

KABVI received 5 boxes of books for the braille library from the Teachers of the Visually Impaired (TVIís) of the Topeka Public Schools. They indicated they cannot use the books because they are not produced in Unified English Braille (UEB). The books are shelved but not catalogued and made available for loan.

KABVI was offered 1 hour of grant-writing services so production of braille books can begin. Some volunteers have been contacted, and Ann plans to contact the Delta Gamma Sorority to see if they can help. Anyone willing to help with the project, please contact Ann. Book preferences will be solicited from TVIís regarding books they would like to have.

Carolyn reported 10 volunteer hours in September, assisting people with technology and maintaining the database. Nancy documented 40 hours since the July board meeting, which includes teaching braille, 6 public education presentations to local retirement communities, and contact with a client at the office. This board meeting adds 15 hours (10 participants at an hour and a half each) for a total of 65 hours since the July meeting. Everyone Ė not only board members Ė was reminded to submit volunteer hours to Nancy.

Nancy reported Blind Veterans Day at the Capital was attended by an estimated 30 people including drivers and family members. Lunch was a variety of sandwiches and salads, drinks, and cookies. Participants chose either to climb to the Capital dome or to take the historic tour. After lunch, Wayne Bolin, Commissioner of the Kansas Commission for Veterans Affairs spoke about their services. Nancy spoke briefly about KABVI. The veterans were particularly interested in KABVIís assistive technology recycling program to pass along used items when the VA replaces them. Tim Hornik, the groupís president, invited KABVI to participate in a 5 kilometer walk in Kansas City in October of 2018.

On White Cane Safety Day, Michael reported, 12 students from area schools walked from the KABVI office to the Capital, crossed streets, examined statues, toured the Capital, and met blind Capital employees Tom Roth and Tanye Brown. They returned to the office for a snack. Each child chose a book to take home and received a tee shirt. Follow-up activities will be planned.

Twelve TVIís and certified mobility specialists (COMS) from the Topeka area held a Best Practices meeting at the KABVI office October 20. Michael discussed KABVIís scholarship program, ACBís, and others of which he is aware. Kansas is divided into 5 areas that hold Best Practices meetings. There was no cost to KABVI for this meeting.

Carolyn reviewed the names of persons whose newsletters were returned to learn if anyone had updated information for them. Those for whom no information was available were removed from the database and will not receive communications from KABVI when mass mailings are sent. The database contained 393 records at the time of this meeting.

Paul is updating his system to improve the KABVI web site. He stated he needs a larger hard drive.

Bob reported KABVI will receive $33.41 from the Dillons Community Rewards Program this quarter. Everyone who shops at their local Dillons Store is encouraged to sign up for this program.

The annual meeting will be a conference call this year because of the high cost of conventions and recent low attendance. Information with dates and call-in numbers is provided in Annís article, "Upcoming Annual Meeting Plans." Business will be conducted, possibly followed by panel discussions. Plans are for an afternoon meeting of 3 or 4 hours Ė from 1:00 to 4 or 5:00. The goal is to get people involved. Skype will be used where possible. Ann wants to follow up with day trips to local groups.

Ann asked about progress toward videos for KABVI. Nancy indicated the committee has not moved forward because guidance regarding content is needed. Ann wants to capture memories of older members and "how to" videos. No other ideas were offered

Ann announced openings are available on the State Independent Living Council of Kansas. KABVI should be represented. The governor appoints members, and lengthy forms must be completed. Anyone interested in filling the position, please contact Ann. Her contact information is on the front of this newsletter.

The suggestion was made to invite the new director of the state library to participate in the up-coming conference call. The next board meeting will be held January 20, 2018.

 

 

 

Kansas Advisory Committee for the Blind and Visually Impaired

By Nancy Johnson

The Kansas Advisory Committee for the Blind and Visually Impaired met November 3, 2018 at the DCF Administration Building. Space does not allow for detailed information. Several topics were discussed.

Following remarks by DCF Secretary Gilmore, the chair of the subcommittee on blind VR maintenance updated its progress. Michael Donnelly, Director of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR), reported on the numbers of VR clients served. The Older Individuals Who Are Blind (OIB) program was reviewed by Betty Williams of DCF, and the new transition program for youth was reviewed by Beth VanVleck. Mr. Donnelly agreed to provide additional information later. Plans are for the committee to meet quarterly in 2018.

Kathyís Book Nook

By Kathy Dawson

I would like to recommend a "recently read," Dust and Roses" by Wes Brummer, a blind author and KABVI member from Wichita, Kansas. "Losing everything is only the beginning. Ö In depression-era Kansas, a few have never experienced hard times," says the book jacket. Much Kansas history is woven through the story. I read a lot, and I found this book hard to put down.

I read a lot and am always looking for another good book. Please let me know about books you "just couldnít put down," so I can share with others who enjoy reading. Send your "book reportí" to kdawson8952@cox.net.

Kansas State School for the Blind Advisory Board Meeting

By Nancy Johnson

A meeting of the Kansas State School for the Blindís Advisory Board was convened at the Kansas State school for the Blind (KSSB) November 7, 2017.

Stakeholder meetings were recently held and a study conducted by the Kansas Association of School Boards. Their report had not yet been received. They are looking for ways to increase the value of KSSB to the local communities.

The accreditation process was discussed. KSSB is working with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges to align KSSB with Kansas Education Systems Accreditation.

The first quarter of the school year was reviewed. Discussed were technology, community partnerships, use of facilities, KC Blind All Stars Foundation, and the transition program.

Changes and challenges in field services were reviewed. Updates were provided on the personnel prep grant, the Kansas Instructional Resource Center, and the Deaf-Blind Project.

Finally, Dr. John Harding, Interim Superintendent, offered ideas for individuals to become more involved with the activities of KSSB. The Braille Challenge is an opportunity to help students demonstrate and improve their abilities to read and write Braille.

Become involved with the All Stars Walk and with the KC Blind All Stars Foundation, through which people can make donations to the school.

"Letís Talk Low Vision" with Dr. Bill

The Council of Citizens with Low Vision International (CCLVI) presents "Let's Talk Low Vision with Dr. Bill." The call-in time is 8:30 PM Eastern & 5:30 PM Pacific.  As calls are recorded, please consider dialing in 5-minutes early to avoid interfering with the quality of the recording.  The call-in number is 712-432-3447 and enter the participant passcode: 145330. If you are not currently a member of CCLVI, we invite you to become a member so you can also receive our well respected magazine, Vision Access.  Call the CCLVI Office at (844) 460-0625 to request an application. To check out recent podcasts of "Let's Talk Low Vision with Dr. Bill", please visit http://www.cclvi.org/lets-talk-low-vision#main-content. Additionally, past favorites of "Letís Talk Low Vision" shows are now being rebroadcast on ACB Radio on Friday evenings at 10:00 PM Eastern/7:00 PM Pacific.  Visit www.acbradio.org for further details. "Letís Talk Low Vision" is a service of CCLVI.  For a complete schedule visit http://www.cclvi.org/lets-talk-low-vision#main-content.

2018 Membership and KABVI NEWS Renewal

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City ___________________ State ___ Zip ______

Phone _______________ ___________________

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Please send this completed form with your check to:

Robert Chaffin, Treasurer,

1105 Centennial Blvd.

Hays, KS 67601