[Nfbaz-news] NFBA president's July monthly message
krezguy at cox.net
Mon Jul 15 21:42:14 UTC 2013
July 15, 2013
Hello, fellow Federationists
Our NFB of Arizona state convention is coming very soon - you need to make
your hotel reservations and your convention pre-registration quickly! We
again have low hotel rates and are keeping our other costs under control.
Still, if being a few dollars short will prevent you from participating in
our September 13 through 15 state conventions, please speak with your
chapter president for financial assistance as authorized by our affiliate
Our Tucson chapter is host of the 2013 convention, held Friday, September 13
through Sunday, September 15 At the Radisson Suites hotel.
Hotel reservation cut-off Date is August 27, 2013
The room rate is $79.00 plus tax, and includes hot breakfast. The
convention registration cost is $20.00 at pre-registration, the plated lunch
on seminar Friday is $15.00, box lunch Saturday is $15.00 and the Saturday
banquet is $40.00.
Please call the Radisson Suites Hotel -reservation number at
(520) 721-7100 and use the reservation code 913nfb
If you are traveling to Tucson, you should consider using the bus
transportation our affiliate is arranging. You will then arrive in Tucson
Thursday evening, September 12. More details of our bus transportation to
state convention from Phoenix and East Valley will be sent in a later
An MSWord files and an RTF file of the convention pre-registration form are
attached. Please do not wait to complete your pre-registration! You can
mail or email the completed form, and pay with a check, pay pal donation on
our website www.az.nfb.org, or, in some cases, make arrangements to pay upon
arrival. Having your pre-registration done ahead of time makes the first
day of convention much easier on everyone!
* The NFB of Arizona quarterly board meeting will take place by
teleconference on Saturday, August 10, between 9:30 a.m. to noon. You can
participate by dialing - 218 844-3388 and the Pin number 6322 and the pound
All meetings of the NFBA are open. You are welcome and encouraged to attend
this board meeting!
* The NFBA affiliate is raising funds again this year, primarily to create a
Bell Program (Braille Enrichment for Learning and Life) for very young blind
children. We hope to be the 20th state affiliate to participate in this
imaginative program for blind kids. The fundraiser is a raffle for a $2,500
travel package, with the winner to choose his or her own travel vacation at
her own time and place. Much easier to sell than last year's Caribbean
cruise! The raffle tickets sell for $10.00 and if the raffle winner chooses
to take cash rather than a travel agency voucher, he or she can collect
$1,500.00 check. The seller of the winning ticket will also win $100.00.
Please sell the raffle tickets to your friends, family, doctors, neighbors,
cab drivers, and anyone else you know who would like to support our efforts.
We will draw the winning raffle ticket at our state convention. You can
pick up your packs of raffle tickets from your chapter president. If you
need more packs of ten raffle tickets to sell, please call Bob Kresmer toll
free at 888 899-6322.
* From Sharonda Greenlaw, president Phoenix chapter - The Phoenix chapter
will meet Saturday, August 3, from 9:30 a.m. to noon at the SAAVI office.
The address is
4222 E. Thomas Rd., Phoenix AZ
SAAVI phone number is (602) 795-0195
. From Marcus Schmidt, president of West Valley chapter
The west valley chapter is holding their next social on July 25th from 5 to
7 pm at the California Pizza Kitchen, located at 2502 East Camelback, suite
112, in Phoenix. Throughout the entire day, 20 percent of their proceeds
will be donated to the west valley chapter for anyone who mentions the NFB,
though showing a flyer is preferred.
Anyone wanting to help spread the word should contact Marc Schmidt at
602-758-0057, who would be happy to Email you a flyer.
The west valley chapter is continuing to sell 50-50 raffle tickets for a
Dollar a piece, or $5 for 6 tickets. Tickets will be sold up to the state
convention, at which the drawing for the lucky winner will take place.
Remember that "you can't win if you don't play".
For tickets, please contact either Marc Schmidt or Kristen Johnson, who can
be reached at 720-299-8039.
* From Larry Martin, president of Tucson chapter
The Tucson chapter will host an ice cream social on Saturday August 10 at
the Sahara apartments. We will meet socially with the SAAVI students, the
Stepping Out program students, and blind high school and college students
who are members of, or are considering joining the Arizona Association of
Blind Students. The chapter is already planning an October meet the blind
month activity of a picnic or pot-luck with members of the local Arizona
* From Garret Mooney, president of Arizona Association of Blind Students -
Hello my fellow federationists. I hope everyone is having a wonderful
summer, and are staying out of the heat. Also I hope we all are looking
forward to our state convention which is fast approaching.
However before we get there I must inform you of the activity of the student
division. At national convention the student division held a pizza and
social get together with all other students who were from Arizona and were
attending the convention. It was simply just an opportunity for students to
get to know the board and for us to answer any questions about convention.
We would like to think our president Bob Kresmer, his wife Lynn, the first
vice-president of the NFB of Arizona Alison Hilliker and the second
vice-president of the National Association of blind students Darian Smith ,
for coming and lending their help in the planning, serving of the meals, and
the clean up. The student division is now in the planning stages of forming
our agenda for state convention. If there are any students who would like to
give input, it is always welcomed.
On another topic, the student division is bringing a small version of the
independence market to our state convention, but we need your help. We need
to know what you would like at the market. We have narrowed it down to
canes, cane tips, 20 20 pens, cooking wear such as timers and measuring
cups, and Braille and talking watches. If there is something that you think
that would be popular. We would love to hear from you and we will take your
suggestion in to account. My email is azabs.nfb at gmail.com and my phone
number is 4804338003 we need to hear from you soon, because the order has to
be put through in the next couple of weeks.
Also the student division is having a fundraiser. We are raffling off an
iPad mini at state convention. Tickets are five dollars for one ticket and
$10 for three tickets. If you don't when the iPad mini then you're
automatically put in the drawing for a $50 iTunes gift card. We will be
selling the tickets at convention, and will be doing the drawing Saturday
night. Thank you all see you at convention.
. From Debi Chatfield, chair of convention arrangements committee -
2013 Technology Auction and Fund Raiser!
We will be having a Technology Auction and Fund Raiser, at our annual state
convention, which will be held from Friday, September 13th through Sunday,
September 15th . Check out the forthcoming convention agenda for the exact
date and time. Please begin putting aside items to be auctioned. Here is
what we need:
Perhaps, you have updated your adaptive technology and have a talking
dictionary lying around collecting dust, or what about some software,
keyboards, microphones, notetakers, cellphones, headphones, hard drives, mp3
players, digital recorders, and even computers, that you've meant to sell,
but just haven't found a buyer? We've got the perfect solution for you!
Donate your technology items, whether new or gently used, to us, so that we
may auction them off and raise money for our Arizona affiliate. Most of
the donations tend to be accessible electronic items, however we are not
going to limit it to just this. So if you have any homemade craft items,
desserts, or anything non electronic we would appreciate the donation of
those items as well.
When donating please let us know the physical condition as well as the
working order of your item. We also ask anyone who is donating to pay for
the shipping of that particular item to the winner of that bid, if
applicable. If you wish to donate an item to this fund raiser, please,
contact: debiblackaz at gmail.com. Please give us the name of your item, how
old the item is, model number, a brief description, any problems with the
item, and any other pertinent information about the item which would be
beneficial for the new user to know. It would also be helpful to label the
item in Braille. If you need help with this, just let us know. Weather you
donate or not to the auction, everyone is welcome for a great bunch of
friendship and fun!
If you are unable to attend the auction, but wish to make a tax deductible
donation, please send your check to:
National Federation of the Blind of Arizona
9014 East Bellevue Street
Tucson, AZ 85715
Thank you for your support! Together, we can change what it means to be
blind! See you at the auction!
* From Mary Hartle-Smith, Deaf Blind Division of NFB of Arizona -
If you have a combined vision and hearing loss, or work with people who do,
you will want to participate in our seminar at state convention Friday,
between 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. We will have a guest speaker, reports on
the progress Arizona RSA and the Governor's Council on Blindness are making
in improving statewide services for this minority of Arizonans. You will
learn about the new federal program to distribute assistive
telecommunications devices and services, as well as your local resources.
The division will also elect officers at this meeting.
* From Jane Erin, University of Arizona -
Mentors for University of Arizona Students needed!
If you have a visual impairment and would like to share your work,
experience, and knowledge with university students who are studying to be
teachers of students with visual impairment, we'd like to talk with you. The
University of Arizona's Specialization in Visual Impairment Program is
seeking mentors to work with graduate students in our new federally funded
program. One of the goals of this project is to increase our students'
understanding of issues related to education and employment that are
experienced by people with visual impairments.
You must be:
1. A working adult with a visual impairment, preferably in mainstream
employment outside the field of visual impairment.
2. Able to commit to mentoring a student for a full academic year.
What you will do:
1. Share with the student your educational and work experiences, how you
manage your transportation and technology, and let them follow you on the
job or accompany you to a recreational or social experience.
2. Communicate regularly with the student to provide information and
opportunities the student needs to complete assignments that are part of
3. Involve the student in activities related to consumer groups, advocacy,
and social interactions that will help them understand how a visual
impairment affects your daily life.
You will gain knowledge that you are helping ground future TVIs in real-life
issues so that they can pass this along to their students. You will receive
a $100 honorarium for each semester that you work with a full-time student
or for each school year that you work with a part-time student. We
especially need mentors from Tucson, Prescott, Flagstaff, Safford, and
If you'd like to be part of this program, please let us know by contacting
Dr. Jane Erin at 520-621-0945 (jerin at email.arizona.edu) or Dr. Irene Topor
at 520-626-3863 (ilt at email.arizona.edu).
. I recently had occasion to seek information about particular
techniques a blind person uses to do an out of the ordinary task. I used
the blindhow.com service and was very impressed. You may want to try this
BlindHow.com allows for community members to view and share video, audio, or
written tutorials and information on a myriad of topics regarding blindness
and visual impairment.
Topics could include, "How do you use an iPhone with voiceover?" "This is
how I put on makeup every day, how do you?" "How do you mow your lawn?"
"This is how I downhill ski."
If you can't find the answer you are looking for, then we want you to ask!
If you have something to share, then become a contributor today! We know
that there are many different ways to do one thing. For example, I may iron
my shirt one way . and you another! Knowledge is power and sharing is
caring! You can make a difference!
Visit, sign up, test drive, make comments, rank content, and become a
contributor by submitting articles, videos and audio! There are thousands
of resources on the web available, but they are scattered and take valuable
time to find and sift through. Submit content from the web that you have
found enlightening, positive, and/or helpful. We also encourage original
articles, videos, or audio tutorials! We want and welcome both!
With your help, BlindHow.com will become the premiere, one-stop website for
questions and answers related to blindness or visual impairment.
* From the SD NFB Library card that hold hundreds of minutes of NFB speeches
and literature. This SD card will be available at our state convention -
>From the Kernel book "Summit"
PIGEONS, SEALS, AND NAVIGATING ON LAND
by Anthony R. Candela
One day, while on my way to work in San Francisco, I had a most irksome
thing happen to me. I suddenly found myself alone in the deserted recesses
of a bus terminal that I used every day. I had no idea where I was or which
way to go to get to the street. Taking an educated guess, I struck out in a
direction I thought might lead to a more populated part of the station.
Things got bleaker as I found that I had wandered into a rather quiet place.
All I had for company were the cement walls that seemed to typify the
station's maze-like structure. A remnant from the past when trains were the
dominant form of public transit, railroad tracks once ran into the several
side-corridors that honeycomb the station. Although the tracks were removed
long ago, the building retains dozens of smooth ramps and pedestrian
walkways, leading to a variety of places within this venerable old edifice.
Echoing from several feet away and to my relief, I heard a voice call out,
"Do you need help?" I called back, "Yes, I'm simply trying to get out of
When the man approached, I grew a little nervous. He smelled terrible-in my
mind, a sure sign of someone who is homeless and, I imagined, a person who
could rob me. I suspected I might need to raise my guard.
I thought to myself, "This shouldn't be happening. I travel this route every
day. I guess I shouldn't have assumed I was let off the bus on the usual
platform." I smiled as I realized that I didn't know the bus station as well
as I thought. I marveled how the dozen or so people who had gotten off the
bus with me had disappeared so quickly. Was it because they knew something I
In general, most people experience the physical environment as predictable
and logical. We believe implicitly that the ground will remain solid,
buildings will remain upright and permanent, and streets will not suddenly
shift direction. We expect that, if we use common sense and safety
precautions, we will arrive at our destinations unscathed.
Untoward world or geological events can temporarily shake our confidence,
but, generally, most of us believe that, so long as we can see what is in
front of us, we will remain safe. How, then, do those who cannot see figure
out how to get along in environments that are not always predictable?
When I was a youngster, I had a small amount of vision. As the years went
by, this vision slowly deteriorated and, although I remember many visual
images, I can no longer see more than light and occasional shadow. Like many
people, it took time for me to learn that blind people do indeed travel
their neighborhoods, cities, towns, back roads, hiking trails, mountain
paths, and, yes, even labyrinthine bus terminals.
I learned to supplement common sense with a collection of special skills to
compensate for lack of vision. I can attest that anyone can learn these
skills, but, because most people believe their eyesight is the only tool
they need, they usually don't. I, too, resisted learning how to do things in
nonvisual ways. If not for the encouragement of blind mentors who convinced
me that I was slowing myself down by insisting upon using my less than
adequate eyesight, I would not have learned how to use my other senses and
my powers of perception and reasoning nearly as well or as quickly.
The man approached and jovially announced that he would show me how to get
out of the bus station. He asked, "Where do you want to go?" I hesitated,
thinking, "Do you really want to get involved with this fellow?"
Deciding that I could handle anything that might happen, I told him the
names of the streets that formed the intersection nearest to my destination.
He considered for a moment and then lightly said he didn't know where I
meant, but not to worry. After getting to the street, he plotted, we would
ask someone for directions. Then he surprised me, saying rather
authoritatively, "Take my elbow, and we'll be on our way." I did, and we
quite smoothly commenced our journey. Realizing that this man seemed to have
a natural 'feel' for how to walk with a blind person, I began to relax.
Walking down three flights of stairs, turning left then right and then left
again, we emerged, at last, into fresh air. Happily noticing that the sun
was shining and feeling its delightful warmth on my right temple, I
calculated that we had left the terminal on its extreme western wing, and we
needed to travel straight ahead (north) until we met a busy street. At that
point, I estimated, we would then need to turn right and walk east a few
blocks to head in the direction I needed to go.
The man seemed genuine when he said, "I really appreciate your ability to
tell direction from the sun." Before I could feel gratified by his
compliment, he re-kindled my suspicions when he said, "When I was a Navy
Seal, we learned all sorts of survival strategies, including some we could
use if we became disabled."
Frankly, I found it hard to believe this disheveled, smelly, and somewhat
scrawny man could have possibly been a Seal. Yet his mild and lighthearted
demeanor belied his physical appearance. He asked, "How do you navigate and
travel safely?" I said I would explain as we walked. I asked him when he
served in the Navy. He said, "I was in Vietnam. I'm almost 60 years old."
We walked a block and stopped at a corner. Still unsure of my guide and
hearing someone approaching, I hailed a pedestrian and asked for the name of
the street in front of us. Learning which one it was, I was heartened when
my benefactor confirmed my reckoning and suggested we turn right. I told him
that even the best blind traveler occasionally relies on the assistance of
others. He replied that the Seals taught him that you must always look out
for each other.
"Teamwork is the name of the game," he said. "By the way," he asked, "Where
exactly do you want to go?""The bagel shop," I answered somewhat sheepishly.
"I always stop there on my way to the office."
We walked two blocks. Suddenly and seemingly out of nowhere, I was surprised
by the familiar coos and characteristic wing flaps of a flock of pigeons
scrambling to rise from the ground where they were feeding. I then
remembered with delight that this was the spot directly in front of the main
entrance to the bus terminal.
In my everyday travels to this station, I had managed to figure out that the
pigeons (admittedly, an unorthodox environmental cue) seem always to dine in
the same place. It took me a while to believe it was true, but eventually I
allowed myself to use this natural phenomenon to help me determine my exact
Feeling a surge of triumph, now that I knew exactly where we were, I said to
my new friend, "I can go the rest of the way on my own.""No" he insisted,
"I'll take you to the bagel shop." I thought to myself, "I'll buy him
Nearing the bagel shop, we stopped to wait at an intersection. My guide
asked me how I could possibly cross these streets by myself. He was
particularly concerned because the main street intersected two sets of
perpendicular streets at an acute angle.
I explained that, with practice and a lot of listening to automobile traffic
movement patterns, a blind person can learn to target the opposite corner
and cross with parallel traffic. When in doubt, I explained, listening for
the footsteps of other pedestrians and, if necessary, requesting assistance,
would be appropriate ways to stay on course. He chuckled at my nautical
Arriving at the bagel shop, its familiar aroma filling me with comfort this
particular morning, I was surprised when my companion slapped me on the
shoulder and said, "Here you are. Have a good day." He told me he thought
the skills I used were quite interesting. "You're a 'top gun,'" he said. As
he turned to leave, I saluted him, turned away, and entered the shop to
purchase my morning repast.
* We're putting together the agenda right now for our September 13-15 state
convention. If you have suggestions for an item you'd like to see on our
agenda, please speak up quickly!
Bob Kresmer, president NFBA
Toll free (888) 899-6322
Wondering what to do with your old car or truck? Donating your vehicle to
the National Federation of the Blind is convenient and may qualify you for a
tax deduction. Call 1-855-659-9314 or visit
Your Donation can Take the Blind Further!
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