Homeless Shelter Refuses to Accept Blind Man With His Dog Guide

(Source: HUD) — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it is charging City Rescue Mission of New Castle (CRM) and one of its employees with refusing to accept a blind man and his guide dog at a homeless shelter in New Castle, PA.

HUD’s investigation found that CRM denied a reasonable accommodation request to allow the man to keep his dog in the shelter, in violation of the Fair Housing Act.

The Fair Housing Act requires housing providers to make reasonable accommodations in their rules, policies, practices, or services when needed to provide persons with disabilities an equal opportunity to use or enjoy a dwelling. Continue reading

For the first time, Virginia will fully fund the education of its blind K-12 students

For the first time, Virginia will fully fund the education of its blind K-12 students Delegate Bob Brink to be honored for exceptional leadership.

ARLINGTON, Va. – Delegate Bob Brink (D-48), who led the advocacy  to increase funding for teachers of blind students, will be recognized today with the Commonwealth Award by the National Federation of the Blind of Virginia (NFBV)-the Commonwealth’s largest and oldest organization of blind people and the leading advocate for braille literacy. Continue reading

National Federation of the Blind Comments on Verdict Against Henry’s Turkey Service

Baltimore, Maryland (May 2, 2013): The National Federation of the Blind commented today on a $240 million verdict awarded by an Iowa jury to disabled former employees of Henry’s Turkey Service.

Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “The National Federation of the Blind congratulates the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for obtaining this important verdict, and we commend the jury for recognizing the equal dignity and value of workers with disabilities.  The jury in this case has sent a strong message that the exploitation of Americans with disabilities is morally reprehensible and those responsible must be punished.”

Among other forms of exploitation and abuse, the Henry’s Turkey Service employees were paid only forty-one cents per hour.  Over four hundred thousand other American workers with disabilities are paid less than the federal minimum wage.  Under current law, subminimum wage payments to workers with disabilities are legal under an exemption in the Fair Labor Standards Act.  The National Federation of the Blind and over fifty other organizations of people with disabilities are seeking to phase out this discriminatory practice by supporting the Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act of 2013, H.R. 831.

For more information on this issue, please visit http://www.nfb.org/fair-wages.

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About the National Federation of the Blind
The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) is the oldest, largest, and most influential nationwide membership organization of blind people in the United States.  Founded in 1940, the NFB advocates for the civil rights and equality of blind Americans, and develops innovative education, technology, and training programs to provide the blind and those who are losing vision with the tools they need to become independent and successful.  We need your support.  To make a donation, please go to www.nfb.org.

National Federation of the Blind Comments on Amazon Kindle App

Baltimore, Maryland (May 1, 2013): The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the nation’s leading advocate for access to technology and education for the blind, commented today on Amazon’s incorporation of new accessibility features into its application for the iPhone and other devices using Apple’s iOS operating system.

Dr. Marc Maurer, president of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “We are pleased that Amazon has taken advantage of the inherent accessibility of Apple products and Apple’s clear guidelines for creating accessible applications by finally releasing a version of its Kindle app that allows blind readers to access Kindle content on Apple devices. Continued improvement of this app is needed, however, in order to make it appropriate for use in educational settings, and Amazon must also make its Kindle devices fully accessible. Amazon should also make its future software, devices, and content available to the blind when these products are released to the general public rather than implementing accessibility at an unspecified later time. Today’s app release is a significant step on the journey to full access to Kindle content by the blind, but that journey is not over, and the National Federation of the Blind will not rest until its completion.”

The National Federation of the Blind has advocated for full access to Kindle devices and Kindle e-books since Amazon introduced the Kindle. Most recently, NFB members staged an informational protest in front of Amazon’s Seattle headquarters to explain why Kindle e-books should not be used in schools because they do not provide equal access to all of the same information and features by both blind and sighted students. For more information on this issue, please visit http://www.nfb.org/kindle-books.

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About the National Federation of the Blind

The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) is the oldest, largest, and most influential nationwide membership organization of blind people in the United States. Founded in 1940, the NFB advocates for the civil rights and equality of blind Americans, and develops innovative education, technology, and training programs to provide the blind and those who are losing vision with the tools they need to become independent and successful. We need your support. To make a donation, please go to www.nfb.org.

 

Colorado Center for the Blind Newsletter

Message from the Director

Last week, one of our Braille instructors was out for three days.  She had some of our students substitute for her.  This gave several of our students an opportunity to teach Braille and to learn how rewarding it is when someone makes progress.  One of our students from Oregon is working on an internship.  She is proficient in the area of technology and is teaching others in this area.  She loves this and is a natural teacher with creativity and zeal. Last week I had the pleasure of spending time with our seniors.  I observed a conversation and was proud to see how one of our seniors was so encouraging of another.  Just a couple of minutes ago I walked into the meeting room to discover that one of our students was teaching another about how to fold table cloths.  Yesterday, I met with Debby who is from Washington state to discuss what it means to be a student mentor.  She is chairing this committee and is excited about matching up mentors with new students so that they will feel welcome and have a connection even prior to their arrival.  Students travel to and from the Center each day taking a city bus and walking a couple of blocks each way.  Our students are always happy to work with each other and exhibit caring and kindness when teaching their peers the route to and from the Center.

Our students have Braille study groups in the evenings, get together for dinner, go shopping with each other and simply spend time learning, growing and having fun.  Whenever I ask a student to give a tour, work at the front desk, set up tables or clean, the answer is “Yes, I will be happy to help”.  Our culture of caring, unity and understanding is what creates our Center.  I never take this for granted and know how privileged I am to be a part of this.  

Program Notes

Youth Program

On April 12th, the Center hosted a science fair.  We were pleased to have eighteen students in attendance along with ten students from our Independence Training Program. Too often, blind people come to the conclusion that they are not capable of working in the area of science.  They only see that this is visual and are not aware of alternative techniques that can be used to place a blind person on equal ground with their sighted peers.  Many times, the blind student sits on the sidelines during science class, or works with a lab partner who ends up doing the work.  We are changing this misperception by holding workshops in all of the STEM areas (science, technology, engineering, and math).  Not only are we dedicated to working with blind students, but we are also passionate about working with educators so that they will have the ability to fully integrate their blind students into all classes.  Blindness is not a barrier when determining what career to enter.

“Success in College” Program

We have hired Dan Burke to coordinate our new program which will pair blindness skills development and confidence with college classes.  Dan has over twenty years of experience working with disabled students at the University of Montana.  He also has a rehabilitation counseling background and feels strongly that with training, opportunity and confidence, we as blind people can compete equally with our sighted peers.   He is looking forward to jumping into this new program.

Independence Training Program

When our students enter the Independence Training Program, they make a commitment to fully participate in all aspects of training.  Usually, students are enrolled for six to nine months.  A major part of their work with us is to determine what they will do when they graduate.  Employment class is a key component.  On April 11th students had an opportunity to network with over twenty employers.  They shared their resumes and business cards.  Employers from the Veteran’s Administration and Wells Fargo bank were particularly interested in several of our students.  Employers who attended this event learned that blind people are just like anyone else.

On April 19th we were pleased to have over twenty-five volunteers from Ignite join us for a tour of the Center and lunch.  The Ignite organization provides ski guides for all of us when we go skiing at Eldora.  Several students gave thorough tours of the Center.  They made bourbon chicken, rice, stir fried vegetables and banana pudding cake for dessert.  Seventy of us enjoyed the meal.  The ski guides learned that we are proud to be blind people and that we can easily handle all aspects of our lives.

Senior Program

April was a busy month for us in all programs.  We had a Seniors in Charge program where students received intensive training for four days.  They loved spending time in the woodshop learning how to use a click rule to measure within one 16th of an inch.  They also used the table saw and other woodworking equipment.  The seniors prepared lunch each day, worked on technology including the iPad, practiced their Braille, and increased their ability to use their cane effectively.

One of our participants did not realize that he could enjoy fly fishing anymore.  He learned how to string the fly and is eager to go fishing now.  At the completion of the program he expressed his feelings of accepting his blindness and said that he is excited to reinvent his life now.  

Senior groups are available weekly.  For more information, please call Duncan Larsen at 303-778-1130 extension 226.

 

Upcoming Events:

May 4:  Colorado Association of Blind Students College Seminar.  Contact Antonio Rozier arozier@cocenter.org for more information.
May 6-10:  “Seniors in Charge”.  Contact Duncan Larsen dlarsen@cocenter.org for more information.
May 10:  CCB student Talent Show from 6:00 to 7:30 pm
May 18:  Youth Track from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm.  Contact Brent Batron bbatron@cocenter.org for more information.
May 18:  NFB of Denver chapter meeting from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
June 7:  Start of Summer Program for high school and college prep students
June 10-21:  “Confidence Camp for Kids” Elementary Program
June 18:  Braille Carnival.  Contact Brent Batron bbatron@cocenter.org for more information. 

To refer someone who is interested in training, please call Robert Dyson at 303-778-1130 extension 249. 

If you have items for the newsletter, please send them to ccb@cocenter.org

Carol Sprague
Administrative Coordinator
Colorado Center for the Blind
2233 W. Shepperd Ave.
Littleton, CO  80120
303-778-1130  ext. 211
303-778-1598 fax
www.cocenter.org