Published quarterly by
Kansas Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired
An Affiliate of the American Council of the Blind
Vol. 61 Summer 2018 No. 2
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 firstname.lastname@example.org www.kabvi.com
Editor Associate Editor
Michael Byington Ann Byington
Phone: (785) 233-3839
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 KABVI’s 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 KABVI’s records currentj
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Gleanings from your President by Ann Byington, page 5
The Editor Ponders by Michael Byington, page 7
Report from the Board of Directors by Nancy Johnson,
New E-mail Addresses for KABVI by Michael Byington, page 12
The AARP Kansas Care Act: Recognizes the Critical Role of Family/Informal Caregivers, Submitted by Rev. Paul Whiting, page 13
Delta and Dogs: A Different Perspective by Al Vopata, page 16
U.S. Department of Transportation Seeks Comment on Amending Regulations Concerning Service Animals on Flights, by Livaughn Chapman, Jr., page 18
“UNBLINDED,” FREE BOOK AVAILABLE by Michelle Ferrell and Michael Byington, page 21
MUSICAL WEBSITES by Kathy Dawson, page 23
Shirt Slogan Appropriate for Blind and Low Vision Folks
Submitted by Michael Byington per Nancy Johnson’s front, page 23
Chapter Chatter, compiled by Michael Byington, page 24
Special Chapter Chatter Feature, by Trella Berscheidt, Page 25
IN MEMORIAM, compiled by Michael Byington, page 27
Membership and KABVI Renewal Form, page 29
Gleanings from your President
By Ann Byington
My President’s message is going to be a compilation of observations information, and ideas. I am becoming more technically challenged as I age. I got information on how to unlock my IPhone 6S which was fairly understandable. What I wasn’t told was that I needed to enter a code to proceed with the process. Yes, the code was spoken but, even with a headset on, I apparently wasn’t hearing each number accurately. So, as is so often the case lately, I will wait until Michael or a totally sighted person can help me with this tas
Putting my frustration aside, there is good news for those of us who may be hospitalized after July 1st. SB 69, The KS CareGiver’s Act provides that now the patient may designate any person as his/her caregiver when admitted to a hospital. Previously, only family members/relatives would be accepted by the hospital for this role. The designated person’s contact information must be placed in the patient’s file upon admittance and, most importantly, when the patient is released, the hospital must provide training in dispensing medication, and related in-home medical procedures to the caregiver before the patient goes home. . Such instruction will require the hospital to contact the patient’s caregiver before the patient’s release, ensuring that plans are made ahead of time for at-homecare. By providing such instruction, the hospital and caregiver should reduce the money and time spent on the patient’s re-admission to the hospital. The KS AARP recommends that care-giver contact information be placed in one’s wallet, along with other pertinent medical information. This seems to be very significant legislation, so there is an article later in this issue offering more detail
But what about KABVI, you may ask. Michael and I are planning to attend the American Council of the Blind (ACB), convention held in St. Louis, in early July.
We have continued to get various components of the office organized, including setting up my new computer (provided by the Dashnaw family) and installing jaws on it, moving our phone/internet service from AT&T to Cox and getting Michael’s printer (also a donation from the Dashnaw family) to talk to his computer.
Though absolutely nothing is set in stone yet, we may be going back to our former convention format of a one and a half day event in Great Bend. Stay tuned for more information as plans develop.
And, to my mind, the best news of all is that Phyllis Schmidt, the retired teacher of the visually impaired who has been doing research and consulting out of the KABVI Office, continues to improve from her past year’s health crises! Her office is waiting, and we look forward to her presence again. She has already been able to make a few short appearances at the office as her health continues to improve.
The Editor Ponders
By Michael Byington
As I write this, the schools I serve as a contracted Certified Orientation and Mobility (O&M) Specialist have all let the students out for the summer. Today was my last day working with my wonderful students for a while as I am not contracted to work over the summer months. I may take on a few adult students as I have some pending inquiries from some folks about O&M training. I still consider myself, to be semi-retired, and not truly retired, so I will be available to help where I can.
Nonetheless, I expect to be spending more time in the KABVI office doing work for the Organization. There are donated CCTVs to be renovated, always things to be filed, more newsletters to edit, and there is usually a new person or two who has contacted us because they have no idea where to get services specially focused toward blindness or low vision. I want to discuss some of these contacts in the rest of this column.
At one time, there were over 70 State employees in Kansas who worked specifically with blind adults. They were based out of a division of services for the blind and visually impaired which bounced around the organizational chart of the old Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS) for many years. Even earlier, this Division included social workers for the blind who covered all 105 Kansas Counties, and included staff for the Kansas Talking Books program, which is now ably operated by the Kansas State Library. With these two units being a part of the Division, I do not know the total number of employees who served blind adults in the State, but logic would suggest that the number was well over 100.
The social work programming was largely dissolved in the early 1970s, when every federally assisted program for the disabled was folded into the SSI/Medicade program. It was also at about this time that the State Library took over the talking books staff. The remaining 70 plus employees worked in such capacities as: Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors for the Blind, Rehabilitation Teachers for the Blind (formerly called “home teachers,” Prevention of blindness specialists, job placement specialists, etc. The first priority for all of these people, however, was to be the State’s experts in areas of blindness and visual impairment.
I am not going to suggest that all of these people were excellent at their jobs. Some were and some were not. If a Kansan needed to know something about blindness or low vision, however, they could easily locate someone in the government listings to help.
Over the years, SRS chipped away at the specialist blind services model. The concept was that all SRS employees should be cross trained in all of the things SRS does, so anybody could help almost anybody. The problem with this is that blindness is a rather low incidence population, and the services and accommodations that blind and visually impaired citizens need, particularly in terms of travel, independent living, and assistive technology, are rather specialized.
The first thing that needs to happen to address the needs is to be honest about the problem. The fact is that none of the problems discussed here are going to be corrected very quickly. Our role as members and friends of KABVI must be to realize that we can not do as much for blind adults as those 70 plus employees could do. We would be stupid to try. Doing so would burn out the small cadre of volunteers that we have available, and who are doing as much as they can.
The best we can do is lunge forward, assisting as much as is possible, advocating as much as is possible, and maybe doing a bit of praying along with all of that. If we keep as much as we can of categorical services for the blind available by doing as much as we can as an Organization, logic and analysis of political history would suggest that eventually, the pendglum will swing back the other way, and we will get some of the essential services restored.
Report from the Board of Directors
By Nancy Johnson
On April 18 2018 the board of directors of the Kansas Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired met in the corporate office. Nine directors attended.
The treasurer’s report was discussed. In his report, Bob suggested KABVI look for ways to cut expenses until fund raising can be improved. KABVI cannot borrow against the scholarship account. KABVI offers two scholarships a year if there are applicants.
Michael had researched a change of phone companies at Bob’s suggestion. Michael shared some information he obtained. He found VoiceOver is least expensive but has some disadvantages. Cox, if cell, internet, and phone numbers can remain as they are, is similar to what KABVI now has and will work with Skype, but it involves locking into a three-year contract. Cox would charge $99 per month plus 15% tax or $113.85 monthly. He, Bob, and Paul were authorized to determine options for change of phone companies as long as KABVI can keep its current numbers.
Michael now donates $100 monthly to KABVI for use of an office and KABVI’s phone and Internet. He offered to pay $200 per month during August through May, when he will be working for the schools. He plans to work two to three years longer, at which time that will cease. Michael’s offer was accepted with gratitude.
Michael and Phyllis will work with Logan Business Machines to find a copier with color, better accessibility, and less expensive if possible.
Michael discussed a book written by a man who became blind because of Lieber’s Syndrome and then experienced regeneration and regained some vision. The publisher contacted KABVI offering to send copies of the book. Michael requested two or three books but was sent 25. Barnes and Noble said KABVI should keep them without charge because the error was theirs. The books will be offered through the newsletter. Nancy, Henry, and Bill were provided copies. One will be kept in KABVI’s library.
Ann reported the last braille newsletter has not yet gone out. Illness of Michael and herself and the death of Michael Schmidt are contributing factors. Grant writing projects have not begun for the purpose of obtaining videographers necessary for the production of oral histories, job performance, and “how to” videos. Media Wire still has not been contacted.
Because she had some grant writing training while earning her graduate degree, Nancy offered to assist with the grant writing project. She reminded everyone that they need to provide their volunteer hours as requested earlier. She is not receiving reports of volunteer hours from anyone.
Carolyn reported KABVI has only 79 paid members, including life members. The database, which used to have nearly 600 contacts, now has only 383. Carolyn suggested membership may be down because fewer people have been contacted. KABVI’s share to ACB has been paid. Non-members continue to receive the newsletter, and names are removed when newsletters are returned as undeliverable. Please be sure KABVI has your current mailing address.
A golf ball frenzy was again discussed as a fund raiser. For this activity, a donor “buys” a numbered golf ball. At a specific time, the golf balls are dropped on a specific spot. Prizes are given to specific winners. More detailed information will be provided if this event is undertaken.
Paul has a new computer with more space for the web site and is using Zoomtext 2018. He has not yet been able to get training to update the web site.
Phyllis received and will review two scholarship applications. It has been some years since two applications were received.
Ann is reconsidering day trips across the state because of lack of a driver. She is considering a return to a convention in Great Bend in October. Paul presented information he gathered. Details will follow as plans are developed.
Ann still planned to work on the children’s library, braille production, and contacting volunteers from Delta Gamma and other resources.
The next board meeting is scheduled for July 21, 10:30 a.m., at the corporate office.
New E-mail Addresses for KABVI
By Michael Byington
As was explained in the previous article, KABVI is changing its E-mail contact information. This will hopefully provide us with better service at a slightly lower price.
The old e-mail address was KABVI@ATT.net. We used this address for all electronic correspondence. By the time you are reading this, this address will no longer work.
Our new provider allows KABVI to have up to ten e-mail addresses at the same base price. We are not confusing you with that many at this time. We have set up three, however, for the use of members and the general public.
Our new main e-mail address, for most correspondence you might send to us is KABVI@cox-internet.com . It will be checked by volunteer staff regularly.
To correspond directly with the KABVI President, use KABVIPresident@cox-internet.com. This will be checked only by the President, and occasionally, volunteer office staff will forward thinghs to the President through this address.
To contact your newsletter editor and corresponding secretary directly, use ByingtonCOMS@cox-internet.com . Michael Byington uses this address for general contacts concerning his volunteer work with KABVI, and also for the orientation and mobility services he provides.
The AARP Kansas Care Act:
Recognizes the Critical Role of Family/Informal Caregivers
Submitted by Rev. Paul Whiting
Compiled by American Association of Retired Persons of Kansas Staff (AARP)
Edited from original text by Michael Byington
AARP Kansas worked with the Kansas Legislature to pass The Kansas CARE Act, which provides better recognition, information and support for Kansas caregivers. This Legislation was brought to our attention by Rev. Paul Whiting, who feels that it may have considerable significance to people who avail themselves of the services of caregivers because of blindness or other minority status.
Reasons for the need for this legislation are listed by the Kansas AARP as follows:
1. Kansas Ranks 35th in the Nation for support of unpaid caregivers.
2. Kansas has more than 345,000 caregivers that provide about 3.85 billion in unpaid care.
3. Caregiver training and engagement is vital to improving care.
4. In 2013, two thirds of all United States hospitals were penalized about 227 million dollars for excessive re-admissions.
5. This legislation has already been adopted in 35 States and Washington, DC.
The Caregiver Act significantly puts the opportunity for family caregiver involvements into the hands of the patient and gives all family caregivers the opportunity to receive instruction that will help their loved ones at home following a hospital discharge.
Some provisions of the caregiver act are as follows:
1. Allows a patient to designate a caregiver, to be recorded in the patient’s file, when admitted to a hospital.
2. The caregiver is notified if the loved one is to be discharged to another facility or sent home.
3. The facility provides an explanation and live instruction of medical tasks that will be performed after discharge or transfer.
Almost half of the 40 million caregivers in America have performed medical or nursing tasks tasks for loved ones. These include wound care, injections, and multiple medications, and operating and monitoring specialized medical equipment. The number of elderly Americans with chronic conditions has grown, and family caregivers have taken on medical tasks once provided only in hospitals, nursing homes, or by home care professionals.
A 2016 AARP Kansas Caregivers survey revieled:
1. 97.4% of current caregivers believe it is important to provide care for loved ones so that they can live at home or independently.
2. 59.3% are responsible for other medical or nursing tasks on a daily basis.
3. 71.4% of caregivers oversee medication management on a daily basis.
4. 65% of caregivers would find helpful assistance with understanding of how to manage medications.
5. 84.1% of caregivers support recording caregiver information in a loved one’s medical record upon admission
6. 92.8% support hospitals keeping caregiver information upon pending transfer and discharge of the patient.
7. 94.6% support requiring hospitals to explain and demonstrate nursing tasks caregivers will need to perform after the patient returns home.
The CARE Act is a basic first step to engage family caregivers in the hospital setting so they can safely provide care for their loved ones at home, care that can prevent costly hospital readmission.
For more information, AARP Kansas may be contacted at (866) 448-3619 toll free. Ernest Kutzley is their director of advocacy. Andrea Bozarth is their director of outreach.
Delta and Dogs: A Different Perspective
By Al Vopata
EDITOR’S NOTE: Mr. Vopata taught orientation and Mobility for many years in Kansas. Although he worked with people of all ages throughout his career, his last few years of work were largely with school aged children. He is now retired and lives in California. This article responds to the one by Penny Reeder in the last issue of this publication. “The KABVI News” does not take any official position on issues where Ms. Reeder and Mr. Vopata may disagree. Our membership has not given the Organization direct guidance on these issues. It is thus our duty to present varying views. Also, this issue is moving quickly. Given the limitations in turn-around time on print and Braille publications, we can not insure that either Ms. Reeder or Mr. Vopata have presented the most up-to-date status on the issues covered here.
In recent years, major airlines have become increasingly frustrated by flyers who have attempted to bring comfort pigs, peacocks, and possums, among other wild or barnyard animals, onto their flights. More legitimate service animals, at times with questionable justification, came aboard. That has prompted the issue of whether it is fair and legal to make it more for visually impaired persons to bring their guide dogs on flights.
Penny Reeder, in “Delta Airlines New Policies Trouble Guide Dog Users,” printed in the spring issue of “The KABVI News,” presents a strong case in favor of people who need to have their guide dogs with them when they fly. She also helps us see the issues from the airlines’ perspectives.
I personally applaud her efforts, and I encourage readers to follow through with the actions she is proposing. At times, when a complex set of issues are involved, decision-makers appreciate it when well informed providing input show that they have a balanced understanding needs for amelioration.
With that in mind, let us take a closer look at the Delta Airlines position. In the September 22, 2017 issue of “The New York Times,” an article by Tiffany Hsu, entitled, “Delta Airlines Tightens Rules for Service and Support Animals,” she explains that service dogs are specifically trained to help people with impairments, while support animals give comfort and companionship to their owners.
By that definition, a guide dog is definitely a service dog with the legal right to be with its owner/handler on a flight. Even so, airlines have to cope with the effects of passingers who have allergies, with those who are disturbed by dogs, and with people who abuse the system.
Starting March 1, 2018, Delta is requiring proof of health or vaccinations through its website at least 48 hours before a flight. That appears inconvenient, but reasonable, as its new requirement as is its new policy that persons traveling with an emotional support must sign a document saying that the animal will behave on the flight.
All airlines are having increasing problems with animals on board. Delta is leading the other airlines toward being fair, yet firm, in providing safe and comfortable flights for their passengers, including blind persons and their guide dogs.
U.S. Department of Transportation Seeks Comment on Amending Regulations Concerning Service Animals on Flights
By Livaughn Chapman, Jr.
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportatio (Department) today announced that it is seeking public comment on amending its Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) regulation on transportation of service animals. The Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on Traveling By Air with Service Animals provides the public with 45 days during which to offer comments.
This ANPRM is intended to address the significant concerns raised by individuals with disabilities, other members of the public, airlines, flight attendants, airports and other stakeholders regarding service animals on aircraft. The Department recognizes the integral role that service animals play in the lives of many individuals with disabilities and wants to ensure seamless access to air transportation for individuals with disabilities while also helping to deter the fraudulent use of animals not qualified as service animals.
In this ANPRM, the Department solicits comment on:
• (1) treating psychiatric service animals similar to other service animals;
• (2) distinguishing between emotional support animals and other service animals;
• (3) requiring emotional support animals to travel in pet carriers for the duration of the flight;
• (4) limiting the species of service animals and emotional support animals that airlines are required to transport;
• (5) limiting the number of service animals/emotional support animals required to be transported per passenger;
• (6) requiring service animal and emotional support animal users confirm that their animal has been trained to behave in a public setting;
• (7) requiring service animals and emotional support animals have a harness, leash, or other tether with narrow exceptions;
• (8) limiting the size of emotional support animals or other service animals that travel in the cabin and the potential impact of such a limitation;
• (9) prohibiting airlines from requiring a veterinary health form or immunization record from service animal users without an individualized assessment that the animal would pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others or would cause a significant disruption in the aircraft cabin; and
• (10) no longer holding U.S. airlines responsible if a passenger traveling under the U.S. carrier’s code is only allowed to travel with a service dog on a flight operated by its foreign code share partner.
Comments on the ANPRM must be received within 45 days of the date the notice is published. The ANPRM can be found at regulations.gov, docket number DOT-OST-2018-0068.
Today, the Department also issued an Interim Statement of Enforcement Priorities Regarding Service Animals to inform the public of its intended enforcement focus with respect to transportation of service animals in the cabin. Given that the service animal issue is currently the subject of an open rulemaking, DOT’s Enforcement Office will focus its enforcement on clear violations of the current rule that have the potential to adversely impact the largest number of persons.
The Department seeks comment on this interim statement, and intends to issue a final statement after the close of the comment period. Comments on this interim statement must be received within 15 days of the date the statement is published. The statement can be found at regulations.gov, docket number DOT-OST-2018-0067.
“UNBLINDED,” FREE BOOK AVAILABLE
By Michelle Ferrell and Michael Byington
In early April we received the following e-mail at the KABVI office, addressed to KABVI President, Ann Byington, and to the membership in general. It was from Michelle Ferrell.
Dear Ann and the Kansas Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, I have a miraculous story to share with you, one that is full of euphoria and agonizing setbacks. Here is a sneak peek:
Kevin Coughlin wakes up one morning in 1997 and cannot read the newspaper. Even the bold headlines are fuzzy. Kevin has no idea that he is carrying a rare genetic disorder: Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy. Within five days he is blind.
Fifteen years later, Kevin catches what seems to be a glimpse of light in his bathroom mirror. Kevin’s is the only documented case in the world of a non-medically assisted regeneration of the optic nerve
The reason I am writing you today is we have synthesized Kevin’s dynamic journey into an impactful book that publishes in two weeks! We are thrilled to share this story with the world.
We have the unique ability to provide promotional publisher copies of this book to you/your organization for free (limited amount of time.)
“Unblinded” is a story of miracles within miracles that will leave the reader wondering what lies behind the reality we think we see.
If you would like us to send you promotional publisher copies of the book for your organization please reply with your address and the amount of books you can use. . . All we ask is that you make the books available in your office, school or university. No strings attached!
Michael Byington responded that we are a small, all volunteer Organization, and that we would accept three to five copies of the book. It was Michael’s thinking that a few of our members and friends might find the adjustment to blindness sections interesting. He did not ask for a lot of copies because miracle cures are not a hallmark of what we do.
The publisher has sent us 25 copies of the book. Michael checked with Amazon, which is the distributer, and explained the error, and explained that, as he had not requested the additional books, he did not want to take the time and possible expense of sending them back to Amazon. He was told that KABVI could accordingly keep the 25 copies.
Michael has not read this entire book at this writing, but he has read some significant excerpts thereof. The book is very well written, and it does provide some useful information about the adjustment to becoming blind that this gentleman went through. The emotional trauma and uncertainty of getting sight back is also covered fairly well. Overall, his impression is that the book is perhaps more helpful and relevant to our Organization than he had anticipated.
The book is not available in alternate formats yet, although given its subject matter and the national reviews it has received, it probably will be available through National Library Services for the Blind soon. The print is very clear, and might be around 14 point, which would allow the book to be sent free matter for the Blind.
Anyone wishing to receive a copy of this book free of charge should send an e-mail to KABVI@cox-internet.com, or call Michael at his cell phone number of 785-221-7111. He will send a free copy to you.
This book seems to be an appropriate gift for sighted friend or relative who may want additional information concerning adjustment to blindness.
By Kathy Dawson
I have found a new website. I enjoy it a lot. It is called fun45s. It plays music from the 50s 60s and 70s. There are very few commercials. I listen a lot at night. I also would like to put a plug in for Tune in Radio. They have every topic you would want and many more. Happy listening.
Shirt Slogan Appropriate for Blind and Low Vision Folks
Submitted by Michael Byington per Nancy Johnson’s front
Nancy Johnson wore a T-shirt to a TABVI meeting a few months ago that had a slogan on it that seems particularly profound for some of us low vision or blind folks. The shirt said, “I took the road less traveled. Now I’m lost.”
Compiled by Michael Byington
The Southwest Kansas Association for the Visually Impaired (SKAVI) had to cancel their April meeting because of bad weather. In May, they had a pizza and bingo party. At their September meeting, Dorlene Steele will do a demonstration and lead exercises that they do at the residence where she lives. These are low impact exercises that can be done while seated. The September meeting of SKAVI is scheduled for September 8, 2018, 1:00 pm, at the Park Plaza Apartments, 1914 Central, Dodge City. For more information about SKAVI, contact 620-227-2594.
The speaker at the May meeting of the Topeka Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired (TABVI) was Linda Oaks, Director, Shawnee County Health Department. She talked about the programs the Health Department offers, and recent changes in both services, and locations. By the time you read this, the June meeting will have taken place. In June, TABVI is being visited by THE NEW BEGINNINGS, a singing group made up of local senior citizens. TABVI takes July and August off, but program staff is working on getting someone from the Commissioner of Elections office to come and talk about accessible voting and the upcoming election in September. TABVI normally meets at the Wheatland Building on the campus of Kansas Neurological Institute (KNI) at 21st and Randolph in Topeka. For more information, contact President Kathy Dawson, 785-408-8204.
Holly Dickman, Hays Water Con-servation Specialist, was guest speaker at the May meeting of the Northwest Kansas Association of the Visually impaired (NKAVI). She was the former KSU Horticulture Extension Agent for Ellis County. Holly is responsible for education and outreach concerning water conservation in the city of Hays. By the time you read this, Jeannie Sharp with Assistive Technology will have presented the program at the June 9 meeting of NKAVI. She will have discussed a new program, IKAN Connect. The program evaluates your needs and makes funds available for low vision equipment. There are some qualifications that have to be met to obtain the funds. NKAVI meets at Thirsty’s Restaurant starting at 11:30 on the second Saturday of the month. Lunch orders are taken at that time with the program following the meal. For more information about NKAVI, call President Pat Hall at 785-628-6055. NKAVI takes the summer off after its June meeding and will meet again in September.
Special Chapter Chatter Feature: CKAVI NEWS
By Trella Bercheidt
EDITOR’S NOTE: When I was putting the Chapter Chatter column together, I realized that I had misplaced my last CKAVI newsletter. I thus wrote to Paul and Trella Bercheidt in Great Bend and asked them to send me another copy, or if that was not convenient, to send all of the relevant news about CKAVI that the rest of our readership might want to know. Trella sent such a newsy and complete article, I decided to run it as a separate piece.
In the last few months, CKAVI has welcomed new members who have expanded our knowledge of current assistive technology. Two of our members have learned how user- friendly MAC computers are for the visually impaired.
We have had an increase in membership and attendance at our monthly meetings at the Senior Center.
We will have a CKAVI booth at the annual Juneteenth Celebration in downtown Kilby Square on June 30th.
CKAVI is in the process of helping a member receive a grant for home safety improvements.
When the Low Vision Department of the Great Bend Library decided to discontinue their inventory of low vision aids, they contacted CKAVI to see what products might interest us. We picked up items that we thought would be useful for low vision and blind individuals in our area.
We have had numerous conversations with Tammy Fuhr of Prairie Independent Living in Hutchinson. Tammy has been extremely helpful to our members as well as to individuals who have contacted us for assistance with magnifiers, assistive
technology and training on smart phones.
Seems like we finally got the ball rolling, hopefully, it will continue.
Compiled by Michael Byington
One thing that I feel badly about as I compile this section of the newsletter is that I do not always hear about the deaths of our members and friends as quickly as I need to to get the information into the next issue. I must thus list some people in this issue that died as long as seven months ago. I feel it is better to list them late than not at all. In the instance one of the folks listed below, I must admit that I had the information in my computer when I was compiling the last newsletter, and it simply got put in the wrong file in the computer to get published. I promise to try and do better, but I do not promise perfection. I keep looking for that perfection thing, but somehow it seems to keep eluding me.
REBA HUBBARD, 88, died December 30, 2017. Ms. Hubbard was the Talking Books librarian for Kansas for a number of years in the 1970s and 1980s.
KRYSTAL LITTLEFIELD SULLIVANT, 37, Topeka, passed away November 8, 2017. Many members of KABVI did not have an opportunity to know Krystal; she became severely visually impaired a few months prior to her death. She worked with KABVI volunteers to find resources, and to learn orientation and mobility skills. Unfortunately, she lost her battle with cancer.
MICHAEL SCHMIDT, 60, Topeka, passed away March 12, 2018. Michael was the brother-in-law of longtime KABVI volunteer, and teacher of the Visually Impaired, Phyllis Schmidt. Michael was a sighted member of KABVI and often hired out his driving services to help with convention and meeting transportation as well as doing other types of driving for KABVI members and friends. He was also an artist, and contributed several pieces to assist KABVI in fundraising and in decorating its offices. He was a member of First Lutheran Church of Topeka.
LOREN SCHMITT, 73, who taught Braille at the Kansas Rehabilitation Center for the Blind And Visually Impaired through 2010, died of a heart attack at his home in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Loren was active in the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints and was a life member of KABVI. He also worked with the National Federation of the Blind. He tried to support both Organizations. Loren enjoyed tai Kwando, and also had a tai Kwando demonstration group at the Rehabilitation Center. His funeral was April 27, 2018.
Membership and KABVI NEWS Renewal
City ___________________ State ___ Zip ________
Phone _______________ ______________________
I am ___ Totally blind ___ Legally blind
___ Visually impaired ___ Deaf-blind
___ Enclosed is $10 for current year’s dues.
___ Enclosed is $250 for life membership in KABVI.
___ Enclosed is a tax-deductible donation of $_________.
Please send KABVI News and The Braille Forum in:
___ Braille ___ Cartridge ___Email
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Please send this completed form with your check to:
Robert Chaffin, Treasurer,
1105 Centennial Blvd.
Hays, KS 67601