Skip to Content

News And Views July 2016

File 2016 convention Pre-registration.rtf62.03 KB

National Federation of the Blind of Arizona
News and Views
July, 2016

In This Issue
Greetings from Our President
Special Note from the Editor
Word on the Street
Guess Who Just Took Another Trip Around the Sun
HathiTrust and NFB Make Books Accessible to Blind Users
NFB Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards
NFB Newsline to Feature Walmart Ads
NFB Files Inaccessible Online Voter Registration Suit
Convention and Membership
VRATE Coming Soon
Uber Driver Refuses Blind Passenger with a Guidedog
The Book Shelf, 2 Selections
22 BELL Ringers Make a Big Noise
Do I Hear $10, or How About $15?
Writing in the Dark
Enable Savings Plan Launched
Blindness is No Obstacle for Currency Trader from Mumbai
Air Canada Makes In Flight Systems Accessible for the Blind
Healthy Choice, Healthy Living, Trust in Others
East Valley News
Some SIRI Tricks You May Not Know About
New Free Alexa App for iOS
The Recipe Box, Chex Mix
Debi’s List
A Round of Applause
Stay Connected
Grins and Groans, the Usual Endings


The NFB of Arizona newsletter has been produced in such a manner that makes it easier to stroll through the articles. If you are using JAWS, System Access, NVDA, or Window Eyes, press the letter H to move through the headings. If you wish to go back to a previous article, simply press the shift key + the letter H. For MAC users, press Control Option Command plus the letter H and to go backwards through the articles press Control Option Command shift plus the letter H.

Greetings from Our President

Hello, fellow Federationists,

National convention is now an accomplished fact, and we prepare for our September state convention. We once again had a record number of Arizonans attend the national convention, and these 119 members included 53 first timers.

Our state convention takes place in Tucson at the Radisson Suites hotel from the evening of Thursday, September 8 through Sunday, September 11, adjourning at noon. I am attaching the 2017 convention pre registration form, and this will also appear shortly on our website. You can pay for your pre registration through paypal, mail a check, or complete your preregistration and pay at the registration desk at convention. We will have a charter bus picking people up at the SAAVI Phoenix office Thursday afternoon, then making a second pickup at the Village Inn in Mesa before travelling to Tucson. Roundtrip fare for our charter bus is only $10.00 per person if arranged for with your preregistration.

You can make reservations at the Radisson suites hotel by calling, 520 721 7100, and ask for the NFB block of rooms. Room rate is $89.00 plus tax.

Our national representative this year is NFB Chairwoman of the Board, Pamela Allen. Pam is also first vice president of our national organization, and the director of the Louisiana Center for the Blind. We will be sending out more information about convention. As we build this years agenda, I hope you will let me know your ideas about how we might include activities and agenda items important to you!

I am sorry to report that long time member, Gerry Piatt of the Tucson chapter passed away on July 13. Gerry served many years as treasurer of the chapter, and later as vice president. Gerry fell and broke a hip, and she passed away from complications. She had just celebrated her 81st birthday. Her daughter, Peggy, asks that we delay phone calls for a week or so, and that news of an August memorial service will be forthcoming.

At national convention, K.J. Johnson received word that her mother died. Here is a note from K.J.

Carol Pinkava Johnson, passed away on about July 4th 2016, at the age of 62 in her home due to a burst aorta.

My mom was an extremely strong woman who battled severe pain her entire life. When I was first going blind, she found the best retinal specialist to perform surgery. It was successful. When however, I tripped in a whole and knocked the retina loose, prompting more unsuccessful surgeries, she transferred me, in the middle of sixth grade, from Gold Dust to Desert Cove Elementary. There I was able to try large print which did not work, and then learn braille. I love braille and started teaching my mom some so she could experience the joy of learning something new too.

She tried to learn braille and I tried to continue painting, but neither of us could quite get the hang of these tasks.

She was able to stay alive for fifteen more years than I expected. This was due in part to her will to live, God granting her the time, and nutritional supplements which strengthened and nourished her.

While, her passing was not unexpected, it was not expected either, but when is death ever?

My mom is being cremated and interred at Holy Cross Cemetery this Saturday at a private family Celebration of Life Ceremony. We found a beautiful pewter urn with blue doves carved into it, which we know that she would like.

My consolation right now is that she is in the arms of Jesus, out of pain, and being loved in heaven by our past family members who have gone before her and that someday soon I will see her again.

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers.

Kristen Johnson

I hope you enjoy your summer vacations and other summer fun,

Bob Kresmer, President

1 888 899 6322.

Special Note from the Editor

I will be away for the month of August and for half of September, so there will be no newsletter for these two months. The newsletter will resume again in October. Please continue to send in your articles though, and they will be placed in the October edition. Thank you, and continue to enjoy your summer!

Word on the Street


Another engagement in our NFB family! On Saturday evening, July 8, Jordan Moon proposed to Ashleigh Gonzales, and she said unequivocally, “Yes!” The happy couple are considering marriage toward the end of 2017 and are excited about their planned future together! They thank their NFB family for all of the love and support they have received! Congratulations!

New baby!

Congratulations to Bob and Lynn Kresmer, who became grandparents again, of a beautiful little baby girl on June 15! Winnifred Gwendolyn Krooksmer is now the newest addition to the Kresmer clan! Best wishes to Winnifred, her parents, and her grandparents!

Newly Elected!

Congratulations to Bryan Duarte who was elected to the National Association of Blind Students board during the 2016 annual NABS meeting. If you would like to learn more about NABS or how to get involved with NABS committees please reach out to Bryan at,

Play Ball!

Bryan Duarte is also a part of a beep ball baseball team called the Arizona Phenoms who were invited to participate in the Major League Baseball All Star fan fest in San Diego California. His team demonstrated how blind athletes can not only play baseball but compete nationally. On July 25 the Arizona Phenoms will be competing in Iowa against 20 other teams from around the nation during their world series. Go Arizona Phenoms!

Happy retirement!

On July 31, Lynn Kresmer will retire from the Tucson VA Southwestern Blind Rehabilitation Center, after 19 years, 4 months, and 4 days of service! Lynn plans to relax and spend lots of time with her grandbabies! Thanks for your dedication and hard work serving our blinded vets for all of these years! Congratulations, Lynn! You deserve it!

Got any news to share with us? Send it in to:

We look forward to sharing your news with our extended family here within the NFB of Arizona.

Guess Who Just Took another Trip around the Sun?

Happy birthday to the following people for July, August, and September!

July 3, Judy Schneider, from Tucson.

July 3, Steve Castorena, from Phoenix.

July 5, Jordan Moon, from Tempe.

July 10, Gerri Piatt, from Tucson.

July 12, Arthur Bradford, from Phoenix.

July 15, Sherry Boduo, from Phoenix.

July 19, Voin White, from Glendale.

July 20, Debi Chatfield, From Sun Lakes.

July 21, Dhanya Emerson, from Mesa.

July 21, Philip Davis, from Phoenix.

July 29, Judy Hartman, from Mesa.

August 11, Darrell Shandrow Hilliker, from Tempe.

August 14, Ruben Barron, from Phoenix.

August 22, Norma Trujillo-Reed, from Mesa.

August 27, Charlie Barnhardt, from Tucson.

September 1, Melody Taylor, from Phoenix.

September 3, Janna Peyton, from Tucson.

September 5, Allison Hilliker, from Tempe.

September 7, Ginger Glick, from Northern Arizona.

September 9, Katie Cuppy, from Phoenix.

September 11, Walter Gray, from Phoenix.

September 12, Hilda Moreno, from Phoenix.

September 13, Deborah Williams, from Mesa.

September 15, Bob Kresmer, from Tucson.

September 19, John Chatfield, from Sun Lakes.

September 19, Sharonda Greenlaw, from Tempe.

September 19, Amy Porterfield, from Tucson.

September 19, Somaya Tarin, from Gilbert.

September 25, Nikki Barrett, from Phoenix.

September 29, Gary Reed, from Mesa.

Please help us build our birthday list, by sending your first and last name, date of birth, (year optional), and the city you live in to:

HathiTrust and NFB Make Books Accessible to Blind Users

By Chris Danielsen

More than fourteen million digital books will soon be made available to blind and print disabled users, thanks to a new collaboration involving the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and the HathiTrust Digital Library, a digital repository hosted at the University of Michigan.

When launched, the program will dramatically increase the availability of books for users who are blind or print disabled. According to the NFB, currently less than five percent of all published works are estimated to be available to the blind, most of which are popular titles.

NFB President Mark Riccobono says the effort will be an important advancement that will specifically benefit print disabled students and scholars within the academic community.

"While most barriers that blind people face are artificial ones created by low expectations, access to the printed word has historically been a great challenge," he said. "This collaboration will, for the first time, make millions of books available to blind readers across the nation, giving us access to more books in a single repository than we have ever had. The significance of this development cannot be overstated, and we are delighted to work with HathiTrust to transform this dream into reality."

Founded in 2008, HathiTrust is a digital preservation repository with more than one hundred institutional academic and research partners that is housed at U M. Their online archive, a major portion of which was scanned by Google, currently contains millions of digitized titles in different languages from libraries around the world. Users can search not only by title, author or subject matter, but also via page by page content within a book.

"Supporting print disabled users has been a focus of HathiTrust since the very beginning, and we have long provided students at HathiTrust member schools with access to our collection" said Mike Furlough, executive director of HathiTrust. "The collaboration with NFB is an important turning point, because we are now striving to help non academic print disabled users for the first time."

Over the coming year, NFB and HathiTrust will collaborate to plan and implement these services. User eligibility will be determined by criteria used by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped and similar services authorized under US law.

According to Furlough, HathiTrust currently provides a similar service to qualified print disabled students at its member schools. The new program will expand this service to allow similarly qualified users not affiliated with HathiTrust schools access to full text works in the HathiTrust collection.

NFB and HathiTrust, like the federally operated National Library Service, will lawfully and securely make books available to qualified people in the U.S. who have print disabilities.

NFB Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards

By Chris Danielsen

The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) today presented $50,000 in cash awards to individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions toward achieving the full integration of the blind into society on a basis of equality. At the National Federation of the Blind annual convention in Orlando, the ninth annual Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards honored four innovators who are helping blind people live the lives they want.

A $5,000 award was presented to Audio & Braille Literacy Enhancement, Inc., a Wisconsin based transcription service that converts textbooks for school children into Braille, and is able to provide immediate transcription services for other classroom materials. A $10,000 prize was awarded to Oskar & Klaus Publishing, a company that produces children's books detailing the adventures of a real blind cat (Oskar) and his feline pal (Klaus), with the message of accepting those with different characteristics and not allowing blindness to prevent a cat, or person, from embarking upon extraordinary adventures. A $15,000 award was presented to Winston Chen for his creation of the mobile application Voice Dream Reader, which makes reading and navigating a variety of electronic documents possible using synthetic speech and an innovative, accessible user interface. A cash prize of $20,000 went to the Semitic Scholars, a group of three blind graduate students who created a Braille code for ancient Biblical languages so that source documents of religious texts can be studied independently by blind students in their original context, a feat that was previously impossible.

Dr. Jacob Bolotin, the namesake of the award program, was a blind physician who lived and practiced in Chicago from 1912 until his untimely death at age thirty six in 1924. Dr. Bolotin was especially recognized for treating diseases of the heart and lungs. Despite his rigorous schedule tending to his patients' needs at all hours of the day and night, Dr. Bolotin also became known as a public speaker and advocate for the employment of the blind and their full integration into society.

Mark A. Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said “Dr. Jacob Bolotin was a pioneer who overcame low expectations and discrimination to become a renowned member of the medical profession without the benefit of the support services and civil rights protections available to blind people today. The National Federation of the Blind is proud to honor the memory and spirit of Dr. Bolotin by recognizing and financially supporting those individuals and organizations, both from within the blindness field and outside of it, who are doing exceptional work to help achieve the shared dream of Dr. Bolotin and the National Federation of the Blind, a society in which the blind,, like all other Americans, can pursue their goals and live the lives they want.”

The Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards Program is funded through the generosity of Dr. Bolotins nephew and niece in law, Alfred and Rosalind Perlman. The late Mrs. Perlman established the Alfred and Rosalind Perlman Trust to endow the awards. Income from the trust is distributed to the National Federation of the Blind and the Santa Barbara Foundation for the purpose of administering the Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards Program. For more information about the Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards Program, including more information about this years winners, as well as eligibility criteria and application procedures, please visit,

NFB Newsline to Feature WalMart Ads

By Chris Danielsen

The National Federation of the Blind today announced that it is working with Walmart to offer the retailer’s ads on NFB NEWSLINE, its audio information service for the blind and print disabled.

“Being able to independently access the same information as our sighted peers, including information about consumer goods, is a vital part of removing obstacles and enabling blind people to pursue our dreams and live the lives we want,” said Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind. “We are very pleased to work with Walmart to bring the companys retail ad content to NFB NEWSLINE subscribers.”

Walmart circulars will now be available on NFB NEWSLINE, which is a free audible information service available to the blind and print disabled that offers more than four hundred publications, including newspapers and magazines, emergency weather alerts, job listings, and TV listings, along with retail ads. The service will share information on products and pricing for the Walmart store closest to the customer.

“Before retail ads came to NFB NEWSLINE, I had to ask someone to read them to me,” shared an NFB NEWSLINE subscriber from Utah. “NFB NEWSLINE makes me feel independent because I can read what I want, when I want, and as much as I want. For those of us who cannot read retail ads and check sales, saving money is so difficult. I love that I am now able to bargain shop at Walmart just like my sister does.”

“The ability to access the information you want, when you want it, is an important facet of our NFB NEWSLINE service. We continually strive to expand NFB NEWSLINE as a comprehensive service,” says Scott White, Director of Sponsored Technology Programs for the National Federation of the Blind. “Now, through NFB NEWSLINE, blind and print disabled people will have unprecedented access to the full content of retail ads from Walmart. These ads will provide not only pricing but also valuable product information that would otherwise be inaccessible to someone who is unable to read print. We are extremely pleased to continue to grow NFB NEWSLINE by providing ads from Walmart.”

NFB NEWSLINE is accessible via a touch tone telephone, email, internet, portable players, or an iOS Mobile App. For more information or to register for NFB NEWSLINE, visit,

or call, 1 866 504 7300.

NFB Files Inaccessible Online Voter Registration Suit

The National Federation of the Blind, the Center for the Independence of the Disabled, and individual plaintiffs who are blind, today sued the New York State Board of Elections and Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) over online voter registration that is inaccessible to people with disabilities.

States are required by law to meet accessibility and confidentiality standards when providing services such as online voter registration, but New York is failing to comply, the complaint charges.

Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “The right to vote is a fundamental one, and equal access to this right cannot and must not be denied to blind Americans. Equal access means the ability to participate in all aspects of the voting process, including registering to vote, with complete privacy and independence. The National Federation of the Blind is committed to ensuring equal access for blind voters in New York and across the nation.”

“There are many barriers that can stand in the way of New Yorkers with disabilities exercising their right to vote. The shame of inaccessible online registration is that there is an easy and inexpensive fix. It is a mystery why the New York State Board of Elections refuses to do it, and it is disappointing. People with disabilities have the right to privacy and independent registration and voting just like every other New York voter. It is the law,” said Susan Dooha, executive director of the Center for Independence of the Disabled, New York.

“Online voter registration is key to ensuring access to the ballot for people with disabilities. Yet in New York, it is not just difficult for hundreds of thousands of people with disabilities to register online, it is virtually impossible,” said ACLU attorney Susan Mizner. “We have told the state where the worst barriers are. It can easily fix the problems, but has refused to do so. ”

Those barriers include DMV webpages and downloadable forms that cannot be read out loud by the screen reader software used by blind and low vision people to hear and navigate computer screen content. On the privacy rights front, the software cannot read the fillable form’s section on party affiliation on the Board of Elections website; blind and low vision voters are forced to disclose this private information when they print out the form and get someone else to help them sign it, destroying their privacy and independence.

Plaintiff Eva Eason of New York City encountered numerous obstacles when attempting to update her voter information online after getting married. Eason, who is blind, could not access the DMV site at all, and was only able to access the Board of Elections online registration after getting assistance from someone who is sighted, compromising her privacy and independence.

“A lot of people paved the way and fought for me to be able to vote, so why is New York making it so difficult?” said Eason.

Plaintiff Meghan Schoeffling of Albany added, “I was thrilled when New York created an online voter registration form, thinking it would enable me and others to register to vote privately and independently for the first time. But because the DMV failed to ensure the site was fully accessible, I was unable to register to vote without sighted assistance.”

“Everyone has the right to register to vote privately and independently, and online services are a great way to make that happen. Yet, because the states websites are not coded to operate with screen readers and other accessibility software, voters with disabilities cannot access those services. Voters should not be excluded from online registration or have their privacy violated just because they have a disability,” said Disability Rights Advocates attorney Christina Brandt Young.

The lawsuit cites violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act. It seeks immediate adjustments to ensure the websites are legally compliant, creation of Board of Elections policies that ensure accessibility and provide a clear path of accountability, and the development of policies and procedures to ensure the sites remain accessible.

The complaint, Eason et al. v. New York State Board of Elections (1:16 cv 4292), was filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. Plaintiffs are represented by the American Civil Liberties Union; Brown, Goldstein & Levy, LLP; and Disability Rights Advocates.

More information is at,

Convention and Membership

By Amy Porterfield

We all have a story on why we joined the federation. Many were mentored by a member who showed them by example of what it means to be blind when you have confidence and skill. Others attended an NFB training center where skills met confidence steeped in a positive philosophy of blindness. For many, the National convention is one of the biggest life changing events in our lives. Receiving the opportunity to experience our sheer numbers of confident competent blind people living the lives we want destroys our preconceptions of what blindness is supposed to mean. Our highly organized approach to advocacy shows the power of collective consciousness. The great variety of sessions ranging from resolutions, to

Salsa dancing demonstrates our diversity and capacity. This year we brought 54 first timers. Here are some of the things they said about the impact national convention had on their lives.

Omuntre: The NFB convention has affected me in many ways. But, the greatest way was teaching me that blind people can accomplish anything. Even sighted people are limited sometimes, and learning this gave me confidence.

Kiera: Made me realize how many issues blind people face in the world and I’m a part of that.

Alexis: It was very interesting because I still can’t believe that blind people from all 50 states could fit in one room.

Mesha: It was an interesting experience because I haven't ever heard anything that they taught me before, and it was hard because I didn't know how to be loud enough there.

Selam: The convention was very good because it showed me how to be independent and confident.

Leslie: It helped me understand that there were more things to consider out there then I had thought, and it made me feel as though I needed to get out of my comfort zone.

Margurite: Convention allowed me to be a mentor to younger students at the youth track.

Armando: The NFB convention made me realize how much we get discriminated. Therefore, without the NFB and other advocates we would suffer a lot.

David: NFB helped me get a jump start to my interpreting career because they let me interpret for one of the general sessions.

Octavio: NFB impacted me by bringing me to a realization that there are many people out there with blindness. There's also a lot of technology which is successfully accessible for the blind community.

Oscar: The NFB impacted me a lot as I got to meet new people who are also visually impaired. That gave me confidence and friendships.

Rudy: I gained so much confidence being at the NFB it really pushed me to go above and beyond and I'm forever grateful , I'm so blessed to have had such a life changing experience.

We are still tallying all the new members we have gained from our first timers. Stay tuned to learn how you can help welcome them.

VRATE Coming Soon!

By Christine Tuttle

Hey, Arizona!

What are your plans for Friday, September 30th? This is an AWESOME event to attend for those who are blind, visually impaired or deaf blind. This expo is going to be great because we have all the latest products and services available to learn about.

This is going to be the best year yet!!

Join us for VRATE (Vision Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology Expo) at the Glendale Civic Center located at 5750 West Glenn Drive, Glendale, AZ 85301.

The expo is from 9 AM to 4 PM.

What to do at the Expo?

There will be a full day of FREE lectures, workshops, and panel discussions. A wide array of organizations that support our community will also be available on the expo floor. Participants are also able to browse and purchase assistive technology from onsite vendors. NASA will be at the expo conducting tactile astronomy sessions (still free, but seating is limited and registration is required).

It is a FREE event. Registration is free! Parking is free! Contact us if you need transportation help!

Sponsorships are currently available. Donations are always accepted.

For the most current information, go to

Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter.

Uber Driver Refuses Blind Passenger with a Guidedog

Reprinted from KABC News

An Uber driver in Orlando was arrested for allegedly refusing to provide a ride to a blind man from Los Angeles and his service dog, and allegedly hitting the man with his vehicle as he tried to drive off, officials said.

The incident happened on July 4 at a Bahama Breeze restaurant in Orlando.

Police say the blind man, identified as Robert Stigile of Woodland Hills, Calif., was with a group of people, including other blind people with service animals, and had ordered a van from Uber.

When the driver, identified as 60-year-old Simon Pierre Andre Nau, arrived, he told Stigile he doesn't take dogs.

Stigile argued with the driver, telling him the dogs were service animals and he was required by law to take them, he later told a sheriff's deputy.

Stigile's yellow lab showed indications of being a guide dog, including wearing a walking handle, the deputy noted in his report.

Nau continued to refuse and started to drive off with Stigile still in the open door frame, according to the sheriff's report. The car door frame hit Stigile, he later told a deputy, and he started to yell at the driver, who then stopped.

Stigile then had the restaurant valet call the Orange County Sheriff's Office to file a complaint.

A deputy said Nau laughed about the incident when interviewed and apparently did not understand he had broken the law.

Nau, a Kissimmee, Fla. resident, was arrested on two misdemeanors - failure to transport a blind person with a service dog and battery.

The Book Shelf, 2 Selections

Do you love to curl up with a good book? Been meaning to read that best seller? Here are two book selections that you may wish to read! If you have a book that you absolutely loved and want to share your thoughts about it with us, please send in your write up to:

Happy reading!

Book #1, Around the World in 50 Years

My Adventures to Every Country on Earth


Written by Albert Podell

Read by Jason Culp

Reading time 14 hours, 34 minutes

Genre: Travel

Journalist describes his travels to every country on Earth, including seven that no longer exist, since he began in 1962 with a trip to Canada. Describes personal relationships with his family and girlfriends, coleading the Trans World Record Expedition, and ways he entered countries closed to tourists. 2015
Download Around the world in 50 years: my adventure to every country on earth

Book #2, The Good Guy


Written by Dean Koontz

Read by Richard Ferron

Reading Time 9 hours, 21 minutes

Genre: Suspense Fiction, Bestsellers.

Timothy Carrier is having a beer at a local bar when someone mistakes him for a hired killer and hands him a photograph and an envelope full of cash. Minutes later, the actual hit man approaches him, placing Timothy in a moral dilemma. Some violence and some strong language. Bestseller. Commercial audiobook. 2007.
Download The good guy

22 BELL Ringers Make a Big Noise

By Amy Porterfield

This summer’s NFB BELL Academy finished with a flourish and a great time was had by all. At our Tucson NFB chapter meeting several families attended for the first time for our chapter ice cream social. During the week Bell Ringers made their own lunches including Pizza and a new delicious meal Tauchos. For those of you who don’t know those are tater taught Nachos. Older students cooked meat on the stove for the first time, and all older students waiting on the younger students as they practiced going through the line.

This year we did a pre-post assessment for all of our bell ringers and were able to state that all students increased their reading speed and comprehension.

To end our fun week, We took a bus trip to an audio described movie, and then Mc Donalds where they purchased their own food, like accomplished young men and women. We learned all about great non-visual ways to stay safe when crossing the street. At Graduation, Many families cheered their bell ringers on as they learned all about the great tools for independence. How they can do their own chores and play age appropriate sports and games on the playground and at home. Most of all, Every single bell ringer can say with confidence that “It’s not what you can see… It’s what you can do that matters.”

From the Arizona NFB BELL Academy team, we want to offer our most sincere thanks for all the affiliate support and generosity. We look forward to growing our great philosophy to future NFB BELL ringers in the Phoenix Area.

Do I Hear $10, or How About $15?

By Debi Chatfield

Time’s running out! More items added for this year’s auction, so check them out and lend us a hand by letting us know what items you will be donating as well!

Do people tell you that you make the best fudge and chocolate chip cookies in town? Do you have an old iPhone lying around that you no longer use, because you have upgraded to the latest and greatest? No longer using that Victor Stream as often as you used to do? Or, maybe your speciality is creating a beautiful afghan, or hand crafting a vase out of wood?

Looking for a place to donate these items? Well, we’ve got just the place for you! Donate them to our 2016 NFBA Fall Auction coming up in Tucson, from September 9 to 11.

Help us now to collect items for donation. All proceeds go to our state affiliate for continuation of our important programs, education, and sharing of our philosophy.

Important details:

· Items must be $20 or more in value. Items below $20 should be donated to the Door Prize committee.

· Items should be brought to the convention and delivered to either Debra Smith, or the Auction Committee.

· Please email a description of your item, such as, the brand name, condition of the item, age of the item and any pertinent information you feel the winner of the item would need to know, and send it to:

· Auction item descriptions will be displayed on our website at:

It is due to the generosity of you, the members of the NFB of Arizona, that we are able to continue providing so many resource and outreach opportunities to those who need to know what we have to share—the truth about blindness! So, thank you for your donation, and let’s get busy and make this auction the best we have ever had!

Here are the items we have up for bid at this year’s auction. Hurry, and send in your descriptions so we may add them to our auction page! Don’t forget! Send them to:

Blue Tooth Wireless, Mono Pod Selfie Stick

Donated by Debi Chatfield

Supports iOS and Android devices

180 degree adjustable frame. Fits most Smart phones

Brand new, never used.

Sony Speaker System

Donated by Patrick Hamblin

3 years old, but gently used.

Cost $350. Has 4 speakers and can hook up to a TV, Cable Box, or DVD player. Awesome Sound!

Minimum bid is $125.

Levi Strauss Brown Jacket

Donated by Patrick Hamblin

Size Medium. Brand new. Jacket has one inside pocket on left side and two small pockets on outside, upper chest.It also has a hood, and is very warm. A cross between a heavy jacket and a Windbreaker.

Minimum bid is $50.

Black Hills Gold and Silver Earrings

Donated by LaDonna Rocher

These beautiful dangle earrings were purchased in South Dakota at the price of $55. The gold was also mined there in the Black Hills. These earrings are for someone with pierced ears.

Autographed Hits and Hymns CD by Jimmy Fortune

Donated by Debi Chatfield

Country music Hall of Fame singer and songwriter, Jimmy Fortune, performs some of his classic Statler Brothers hits, in addition to top Gospel hymns. The album, which features unique collaborations with country and Gospel music’s top artists, including Vince Gill, The Isaacs, Dailey and Vincent, The Oak Ridge Boys, Ricky Scaggs, the Gaither Vocal Band and the Whites, was released in August, 2015. Songs include, “Elizabeth”, “Amazing Grace”, and “How Great Thou Art”. This CD was autographed by Jimmy in March, 2016 during his performance at the Mining Camp Restaurant in Apache Junction.

George Foreman Grill

Donated by Debi Chatfield

George Foreman GRV80, Lean Mean Fat Grilling Machine measures 10 inches long by 9 inches wide. Includes, exclusive fat removing design, George tough, non stick coating, power indicator light, dishwasher safe drip tray, and print owner’s manual. Grill is approximately 4 years old, but has never been used. Grill plates are not removable.

Pepper Mill and Salt Shaker

Donated by Debi Chatfield

See through, acrylic and stainless steel salt shaker and pepper mill, measuring 7 inches tall. Received two as a gift, so auctioning one set.

Writing in the Dark

By Robert D. Sollars

The writing group, specifically for blind and visually impaired writers, Writing in the Dark, is proud to announce that 2 of its members placed highly in the National Federation of the Blind’s Writing Contest for 2016. Toni Young, Vice President, placed 3rd with her poem, “The Power Within”. This poem is also the preamble for the group’s handbook.

Robert D. Sollars placed 2nd in the Fiction category, with his short story, “Escape”. A story set inside a dram, but this is not known as such, until the end of the book. The story also has a sci-fi angle woven throughout.

If you would like to interview either of these 2 writers for an upcoming story, please contact:

President, Robert D. Sollars at, 480-251-5197, or email at,

Enable Savings Plan Launched

Reprinted from Dans Tips

Nebraska State Treasurer Don Stenberg and First National Bank of Omaha recently informed us that the Enable Savings Plan will launch nationwide on June 30.

The Enable Savings Plan provides individuals with disabilities an affordable, simple, and straightforward opportunity for financial independence. Account owners can save for their future in tax free savings accounts and pay for everyday expenses. The plan will be available to individuals with disabilities living in any state in the United States.

The Enable Savings Plan will provide a range of comprehensive options for families to save. Key features include:

Risk based growth, moderate and conservative allocation investment options;
An FDIC-insured bank savings option; and
A checking account option, with debit card capability coming in fall 2016.

The Nebraska ABLE Act was approved by the legislature and signed into law on May 28, 2015, following action by the U.S. Congress. In December 2014, Congress enacted Section 529A of the Internal Revenue Code, allowing for a tax favored savings program for eligible individuals with disabilities to be used to pay qualified disability related expenses. The act was called the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act, or ABLE.

Under the Enable program, earnings in the accounts will not be subject to state or federal taxes as long as used for qualified disability related expenses. Federal benefits will not be jeopardized if assets in a beneficiary's account remain at $100,000 or less.

To learn more about the Enable Savings Plan, visit or, and read the Enable Savings Plan blog.

Blindness is No Obstacle for Currency Trader from Mumbai

Reprinted from

Feeling his way with a white cane, Vishal Agrawal, 29, reaches his foreign exchange trading desk on the fifth floor of Standard Chartered Plc’s office in Mumbai’s business district each day by 8:00 a.m.

While his eight other colleagues watch blinking screens to make trades, Agrawal listens to price movements on the trading terminal via special speech recognition software feeding into a device in his left ear.

“I hear the moves and make trades,” Agrawal, who turned blind nine years ago, said in an interview on the floor where he started as an emerging markets trader in September 2013. “With technology to help me, I don’t find it harder to trade, in spite of my visual impairment.”

He’s doing as well as many of his fellow traders and has potential to grow further in the company, said Gopikrishnan MS, Agrawal’s boss and the Mumbai based head of foreign exchange, rates and credit for South Asia at Standard Chartered. Agrawal’s trading limits have steadily increased since he started, Gopikrishnan said without providing more details, citing company policy. But that’s a sign that Agrawal is good at his job.

India has more blind people than any country in the world, with 5.4 million, and the visually impaired are often stigmatized by employers who fear the disability will impede their work and won’t hire them, said Bhushan Punani, executive secretary at the Blind People’s Association in India. Successes like Agrawal’s “are few and far between,” he said.

“Till the stigma that society attaches to the blind is done away with, it is a tough battle for them to do well in a career,” said Punani.

Standard Chartered aims to be the employer of choice for banking professionals with disabilities, and has hired some visually impaired people in senior roles around the world, a Mumbai based spokesman said, without specifying how many. Additionally, the bank has hired disabled people for entry level sales jobs in nine countries, he said.

Other Traders:

There are only a handful of known blind finance professionals in the world. Wall Street has at least two blind women: Laura Sloate, who cofounded Sloate Weisman Murray & Co. and manages the Strong Value fund; and Lauren Oplinger, who works in municipal bond sales at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York. A blind money manager at BlueCrest Capital Management, Ashish Goyal, who had previously been a London based portfolio manager at JPMorgan, left BlueCrest in May. He served as a mentor to Agrawal when he was looking for a job, he said by telephone from London.

“I told Vishal that all he needs to find is a person who is willing to take a chance on him,” Goyal said. “Once you find that person who will give you a break, then knowledge is going to be the key and performance is the only thing that matters, whether you have an impairment or not.”

Agrawal was diagnosed with the degenerative eye disease retinitis pigmentosa in 2004 as he was preparing to leave for undergraduate study in the U.S. Constrained by the diagnosis, he settled for studying accounting close to his home in Mumbai.

Agrawal, who had been planning to follow his father into his diamond trading business, started to read voraciously using a Kindle after his diagnosis. With his Kindle’s screen reader, which provides audio reading the text aloud, Agrawal spent hours a day learning about finance and technology. He also listened to business news channels.

No Job:

By the time he graduated in 2008, Agrawal was unable to see. Still, he had his mind made up about making a career in trading and investing in capital markets.

But he found that none of the local brokerages or trading firms where he applied wanted to hire a blind person. Agrawal, then 22, instead pooled together a couple hundred thousand dollars from friends and started equities trading on his own using a long short strategy. Three years later, when he returned the money to investors because he planned to begin an MBA in finance, he had logged a 400 percent return on the initial investment, he said.

He thought another degree from a respectable university would land him a job trading equities at a reputable firm. But after graduating from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, one of India’s top management schools, he was the only one of 120 grads who didn’t find a job.

Standard Chartered:

For seven straight months he kept looking for work without success, starting with equities trading desks and then branching out from there, he said. Eventually, Standard Chartered decided to hire him for its forex trading.

“I mailed and cold called everyone I knew who could give me a job. Headcounts at equities trading desks were being slashed at that time,” Agrawal said. “So when the Standard Chartered offer for forex came my way, I grabbed it with both hands.”

When he started at Standard Chartered, Agrawal, like other traders with no experience, was asked to record possible trades rather than actual ones, to see how he fared and to build up his confidence. Soon he moved to real time trading. He continues to invest in stocks in his personal account with approval from the bank’s compliance department, he said.

High Conviction:

“I have asked him to focus on high conviction trades rather than technical trades, which require constant tracking of charts,” said Gopikrishnan. A conviction trade can be left for a longer period of time to show profits, and often involves taking a view on the wider trends in a particular economy or asset class.

Job Access With Speech, a screen reading software known as JAWS provided to him by Standard Chartered, reads out charts and messages to him at lightning fast speed, cutting down the processing time of information for him, Agrawal said. His iPhone 5 also reads out text messages as he receives them.

Agrawal claims George Soros as a personal hero since 2004, as most of the friends he had while sighted left him as he slowly turned blind. The rejections and hardships that Soros had to face, as he rose as an investor after coming to London in 1947 as an immigrant from Hungary, were harsher than what he’s had to deal with, Agrawal said.

Overseas Travel:

Agrawal, who lives at home with family and never left Mumbai in his early years of blindness, is now comfortable traveling overseas alone. He visited Hong Kong in early June for a traders conference and said that the facilities and infrastructure for the visually impaired is better in many developed countries than in India.

“But then Mumbai is home, and if I ask people for assistance they are always willing to help out,” said Agrawal, who spends his free time reading, going to cricket matches and to movies. “I may be visually impaired, but I can imagine it all in my head when I hear the dialogs and songs and the commentary at matches. I like doing that.”

Having spent almost three years on the Standard Chartered trading floor, he knows each turn between the trading desks and can navigate the floor without the help of his cane or assistance from anyone. He still reads about three books a month and aspires to become a more successful investor.

“Now looking at my face at the end of a day, you cannot say whether I made money or lost money,” Agrawal said with a smile. “My boss says that is a sign that I have become a professional trader.”

Air Canada Makes In Flight Entertainment Systems Accessible for the Blind

Submitted by Roger Khouri

Editors Note:

Accessible in flight entertainment systems! Wouldn’t this be great here in the U. S. as well?

John Rae and Marcia Yale are pleased to have reached a settlement concerning a complaint they filed with the Canadian Human Rights Commission for passengers who are vision-impaired to more easily access Air Canada’s in-flight entertainment (IFE) system. Both Mr. Rae and Mrs. Yale are vision-impaired.

“The parties are delighted to have arrived at a settlement of this matter to ensure that persons with a vision impairment who travel on Air Canada’s flights can enjoy the In Flight Entertainment System,” said Mr. Rae.

“Air Canada has shown true leadership in this regard and we are very proud to have participated in the process,” added Mrs. Yale.

“To date, there are no suppliers of audio-visual, on demand, in-flight entertainment systems that are accessible for passengers with a vision impairment. We are extremely proud to have a creative and innovative team that was able to develop these solutions over the years. As technology evolves, we are hopeful that IFE systems manufacturers will follow our lead,” said Eric Lauzon, Manager Multi-Media Entertainment at Air Canada. “Air Canada is committed to ensuring that future requests for proposals for in-flight entertainment systems will include the requirement that they be accessible for passengers who are vision-impaired.”

In 2009, Air Canada became the first airline to develop a template that could be placed over its seat back IFE screens in order to provide access to its Thales IFE audio system in use at the time.

Prior to the introduction beginning in 2014 of its new Boeing B-787 Dreamliner fleet, Air Canada undertook the adaptation of its new Panasonic IFE system to ensure the carrier’s IFE experience would be fully accessible across its entire Dreamliner fleet.

In 2015, Air Canada began retrofitting its existing Boeing B-777 fleet with the newly adapted Panasonic IFE system. The retrofit is now complete and will also be available on new Boeing B-777 aircraft on order.

As previously announced, Air Canada will renew its existing Airbus narrow-body fleet with new Boeing B-737 MAX aircraft, scheduled to begin delivery in 2017. The airline is in the process of choosing the supplier for the IFE system for these aircraft which will also be fully accessible for passengers who are vision-impaired.

Air Canada recently completed equipping its entire narrow-body North American fleet with on-board Wi-Fi, including the Embraer 175 and Bombardier CRA-705 fleets operated under the Air Canada Express banner, in order to offer all customers the convenience of purchasing and using Wi-Fi during their flight.

Healthy Choice, Healthy Living, Trust in Others

By Lawrence MacLellan

Hello everybody!

This month I would like to chat about trust, as in having faith in others, and especially in yourself. Being able to go places, participating in local events and feeling safe enough to go for a walk is very important for overall good health.

Let me tell you about a friend that really did trust in humanity and I guess if there was a Guinness Book record for trust , then I think that he would win.

Here in the province of Saskatchewan we host one of the largest outdoor country music concerts in the world and it is called “ Craven Country Jamboree” which brings in the top names in country music. This concert is held outside, attracting thousands of people from all over North America and the music continues for 3 or 4 days.

My friend books his holidays so he can attend. Well here’s where the story gets interesting. He starts out by catching a bus in the city that takes him out into the country where the concert is held. This he does by himself and the only company he has is his white cane. When he arrives he gets off the bus and starts heading to the sound of the music. There isn’t anybody there that is going to meet him and he gets the last bus back each night only to return the next day to enjoy the best in country music.

At this point you may be thinking, what about if he needs to go to the bathroom or would like something to eat. How about tripping over people, bumping into someone who may have had too much to drink? There could be hundreds of problems that could show up for my friend but it doesn’t stop him.

I did ask him how do you do it and his answer was that he trusted in people. He said that people frequently offer assistance. He ends up spending time with real good people and makes a few friends along the way.

He said that when you trust in people things turn out good and when you don’t trust in people then the wrong kinds of people show up in your life. I certainly subscribe to his theory.

The news is full of terrible things and it can be very easy to not trust but by doing so, are we attracting the wrong people in our lives?

I am not suggesting that you find the most dangerous part of the city and walk the streets at 4 in the morning. What I am saying is that if you are afraid to go to the local store in the middle of the afternoon or to simply go for a walk in your neighbourhood then I think there’s a problem.

Ask yourself, am I afraid? What am I afraid of? What’s going to happen if I go outside?

There are lots of blind people that have no problems participating in their community and I would say “ keep up the good work”, because you are showing the rest of the world that blind people can live a good and healthy life and your community will admire you for that.

For those that are having a little trouble, I would challenge you to start slowly trusting in people. Start with baby steps. Be careful and be smart about it. It could be as simple as going for a walk around the block. You could call a friend and have them meet you at a coffee shop or even pick a certain corner to meet and you know if you don’t show up they will come find you. Carry your phone with you and if you have G P S then that should help you to feel a little safer.

With all my articles I suggest that you start out slow and keep adding to it. You never know what will happen! If you like country music then some day you may end up at Craven’s country jamboree! Trust in the first step you take!

East Valley News

By Megan Homrighausen

This month in the East Valley we are still fundraising! Please don’t forget to participate in our raffle. Whether you want to buy or sell raffle tickets, each ticket is $5 which gives you a chance to win $1000 if your ticket is drawn! For every $100 you sell in raffle tickets the East Valley will give you $50 towards the 2016 State Convention or the 2017 National Convention. Half of the proceeds that are made will go to our state affiliate. Contact the East Valley if you would like to participate. We will draw the winner at State Convention. The winner does not need to be present to win.

It is also that time of the year for our Macy’s Shop For A Cause fundraiser. The East Valley Chapter is selling Macy’s coupons for $5. With this coupon you will be able to shop at any Macy’s store Aug 26th through the 28th 2016 and enjoy a 25% discount on most items in the store. You will also be entered into a drawing for a $500 shopping spree. Just fill out the form located on the inside left page of the coupon leaflet. There you will also see in writing everything that I have explained above. We welcome you to participate. For more information please contact any East Valley Chapter member.

And, still more news!

The East Valley is so excited about the new regionalization of Dial-A-Ride! We would like to remind everyone that Ron Brooks will be visiting us on Saturday July 16th between 1pm and 3:30pm. Please come share your thoughts and help us make Dial-A-Ride even better with your solutions and ideas! Also if there are any regionalization questions or other comments in general this will be the perfect opportunity to talk to the boss Ron Brooks.

Schedule your rides to meet us at The Mesa Public Library Saturday July 16th from 1:00pm to 3:30pm. The library is located at 64 East 1st Street Mesa AZ 85201. Our meeting room will be on the second floor in the Saguaro Room.

And, finally, July will be a very special month for our active chapter members. I am so excited to announce that we have gotten our membership cards. For chapter presidents who haven’t seen these cards yet I would highly recommend ordering them from National as soon as you can. We will be presenting each active member with a card starting in July of this year. With these cards our goal will be to recognize new as well as existing members by showing them how much we appreciate and value them and older members as well as new will be able to carry their membership cards with pride.

If you have any questions, please give me a call at:


Some SIRI Tricks You Might Not Know About

By Rita Howells

Rita’s iDevice Advice

Apple's voice-activated assistant is now a well-known personality in his/her own right, but unless you've taken the time to dig into all the features that Siri offers you might not realize just how capable it is now.

Here are several ways to get Siri working harder for you.

1. Find a particular setting

Siri can not only "turn off Bluetooth" but will also help you find a setting if you don't know where it's located. Try asking to "change the font size" or "adjust the screen brightness" or "edit Safari settings," and Siri will direct you to the right options page, with no need for you to search through screens yourself.

2. Passing planes

Ask Siri "what planes are above me right now?" and you'll quickly get the results back thanks to data pulled from the FAA's database and Siri's integration with Wolfram Alpha. Unfortunately, it only works in the US for the time being, but it's a handy option to have if you're wondering where a passing plane is heading to or coming from.

3. Setting power naps

You can tell Siri to "wake me in 40 minutes" and your iDevice's alarm will be set accordingly. This is in addition to the standard alarm clock commands that let you set an alarm for a specific time and date. If you're so jetlagged that you're not sure what time it is but you know you need an hour's shut-eye, Siri has you covered.

4. Movie reviews and times

Siri pulls in data from the Rotten Tomatoes review site, so you can ask it "how good is Finding Dory?" and get a response based on hundreds of reviews. You might have to pick from a shortlist of potential options if Siri finds several matches, but the process is still pretty painless. You can also ask "how long is The Lego Movie?" just before you sit down in your seat, and get a quick response.

5. food and drink

Not only can you search for restaurants and bars nearby, you can also look for specific types of food or beverages, whether that's sandwiches, steaks, coffee or beer. Ask Siri to "find a whiskey" and you'll get back the nearest bars and restaurants where "whiskey" is mentioned in the description or reviews. It's a handy feature to have if you've got a hankering for a particular dish or drink.

New Free Alexa App for iOS

The free Amazon Alexa App is a companion to your Alexa device for setup, remote control, and enhanced features. Alexa is always ready to play your favorite music, provide weather and news updates, answer questions, create lists, and much more. Alexa's brain is in the cloud, so she continually learns and adds more functionality over time. The more you use Alexa, the more she adapts to your speech patterns, vocabulary, and personal preferences.

How It Works:

Interactions with Alexa are automatically mirrored visually on your Amazon Alexa App, providing more information as you want it. The Amazon Alexa App lets you easily manage your alarms, music, shopping lists, and more, wherever you are.

Current Version: 1.12.75 (June 13, 2016)

The Recipe Box, Chex Mix

By Rich Kelly


1 Stick, butter

1 Tablespoon, Worcestershire sauce

1 Teaspoon, seasoning salt

1 Cup, mixed nuts

3 Cups, Corn Chex

2 Cups, Wheat Chex

3 Cups, Rice Chex

1 Cup, Honey Nut Chex

1 Cup, Honey Nut Cheerios

1 Cup, Kix

1 Cup, Gardetto mustard pretzels


Place the dry ingredients in a four quart microwaveable bowl. In a separate microwavable dish, melt butter and add Worcestershire sauce, and season salt. Stir together, then Pour over other dry ingredients and microwave for two and a half minutes. Remove and stir, (I use a flat silicone spatula to mix the ingredients.) Microwave for another two and a half minutes. Remove and stir. Microwave an additional two and a half minutes. Remove from microwave, and pour onto paper towels on a cookie sheet. Depending on the power of your microwave, you may need to vary the cooking time.

Special Note:

If you just cannot use butter, be sure to use Blue Bonnet or Parkay Margarine. Some of the other brands are far to watery for this. I'd urge you to use the butter since it really does enhance the flavor!

Debi’s List

No, this is not Craigs List, but it is the next best thing! If you have something to sell, or announce, send us your ad, and we will post it, as long as there is space available in the newsletter. Send your ads to:

1. Would you like to stay safe at home, school, work, online, and everywhere in your daily life? I may be able to help you. I can come to your location and give a presentation on multiple areas of security and safety concerns.

Presentation topics range from situational awareness, home security, workplace/school violence prevention, and holiday shopping safety. I can offer helpful tips for our Arizona community. Being blind myself, I have adapted these valuable techniques for our specific needs. Contact me at, 480 251 5197, or

with Blindness Security Workshop in the subject line. My fee is variable depending on travel distance. I look forward to assisting all of you with your security needs. Have A Safe Day!

2. With Spring on its way, now is a good time to be thinking about the upcoming cycling season! There is an email list, specifically focused on empowering the blind into the arena of bicycling. We are a friendly community, dedicated to helping you to reach the next level, in your fitness goals.

Even if you do not own a tandem, there may be local opportunities that we can uncover, together. So, click on the below link and come join us. Introduce yourself and enjoy the ride! Federationists greatly encouraged!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
Ron Burzese, NOMC
916 716 5400

3. Welcome to Leblond Tech Services, where we put our 20 years of experience to work for you.

Whether your needs are personal or business related, we have the solution that is right for you and easy on your pocketbook.

We offer Instruction in the latest mainstream and specialized technologies, such as Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, Power Point, Access, Dragon Naturally Speaking, JAWS for windows and much more.

We also set up and configure all forms of hardware, from single computers to business networks

For more information go to,

4. Join a Free Voice Chat Site Community on the Web!

Would you like to meet other blind or visually impaired individuals from across the country and around the world? Do you like challenging interactive games, old time radio, learning about adapted cooking techniques, a monthly book club, product presentations, chess instruction, computer tech help, Bible Study, a blindness support group, a weekly talent show, iPhone discussions, and much more? Join our free chat community at:

A Round of Applause

Thanks go out to you, our extended family here in the National Federation of the Blind! You participate and spend time attending monthly meetings, raise necessary funds to support our valuable programs, reach out to others needing the information and resources we offer, and get to know and give support to one another, so that we may continue to learn and grow. Our goal is to be independent, productive members of society, and through your efforts and working together, we are truly changing what it means to be blind! So, a big thank you to you all, and keep up the good work! Lets go live the lives we want!

Stay Connected

Sending this newsletter to friends? Tell them they can receive this monthly newsletter by subscribing to:

If you have any changes in your contact info for the state roster, chapters, or divisions, please write to:

and we will send your info to the appropriate people and make the necessary corrections.

Contact our President, Bob Kresmer at:

888 899 6322, or write to:

If you would like to submit an announcement or article for publication in this monthly newsletter, please send your submission to:

Grins and Groans - The Usual Endings

Submitted by Bob Kresmer

Why can’t the leopard hide?

Because he is always spotted!

What state has the smallest soft drink?


Latest stock report:

Elevators are up!

Subways are down.

Envelopes are always stationary.

Debi Chatfield


Access Security: 
Back to top