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National Federation of the Blind of Kansas

Newsletter October, 2007

From the Desk of the President

It has been an exciting year so far for the National Federation of the Blind of Kansas. We have had some changes in our organization at the State Convention in October 2006. Susan L. Stanzel stepped down from the Presidency and I, Donna Wood, was nominated and elected as the new State President of the NFB of Kansas. Susie Stanzel and Richard Edlund before her, has left me some pretty big shoes to fill. I am going to do my best to continue to lead this organization into being a strong advocate and resource for all blind Kansans.

We hope that you will join us in fighting the good fight to bring equality, opportunity and security to all blind people. We welcome you to participate in the NFB of Kansas, please join us at a monthly chapter meeting. Please call (913) 339-9341 to find out if the NFBK has a chapter in your area and when and where the chapter meets.

The National Federation of the Blind of Kansas will be holding its annual State Convention November 2, 3 and 4, 2007, at the Grand Prairie Hotel 1400 N. Lorraine, Hutchinson, KS 67501. The phone number is (620) 669-9311 and room rates will be $69 a night. We have an interesting and exciting convention planned from learning about the NFB Newsline. We will also be demonstrating the upgraded Kurzweil-NFB reader. This is a hand held scanner that will scan text and a synthesized voice reads it back to you. We are having presenters speak on topics such as the talking books changing over to digital, the accessible voting machines, Structured Discovery Learning (SDL) and so much more! The Students association will be having special events and interesting speakers also. There should be something at the State Convention to interest each and everyone so please join us this year!

Come out and join us and see what we are all about. We are the blind speaking for ourselves, advocating and supporting one another. We CAN make a difference in our world when we look to make changes--not just for ourselves--but for the next generations as well.

Donna Wood, President NFBK

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The National Federation of the Blind of Kansas
Calendar of Upcoming Events for 2007

Welcome to what’s happening in the National Federation of the Blind of Kansas for 2007. The chapter meetings for the NFBK have resumed in the month of August 2007 after taking July 2007 off so that many members could attend the National Convention in Atlanta, Georgia. We would like to invite you to come and participate in one of our chapter meetings. In the chapter meetings local, state and national issues that impact the blind are discussed and taken action upon. If you think we are all business, come and check us out--we will surprise you with events we have planned in our individual chapters. The following is our chapter locations and meeting times:

The Douglas County Chapter
Windham Place Dining Room
2551 Crossgate Drive
Lawrence, KS 66044
Meets the 3rd Saturday of the month from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.
President: Lynda Canaday

Johnson County Chapter
Bethany Lutherin Church
9101 Lamar Ave.
Overland Park, KS 66207
Meets the 2nd Friday of the month from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
President: Susan L. Stanzel

KAW Valley Chapter
Naomi Bowens house
3417 Oakland Ave.
Kansas City, KS 66102
Meets the 3rd Thursday of the month from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
President: Raymond Pede

The South Central Chapter
Wichita Public Library
223 S. Main
Wichita, KS 67202
Meets the 2nd Saturday of the month from 1:00 pm. to 3:00 pm.
President: Scott Erickson

For further information about the local chapters or contact information please call (913) 339-9341.

Also happening in the month of August 2007 was the NFBK had a board meeting on August 25, 2007. The board meeting was held from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Kansas State School for the Blind, in Kansas City, Kansas.

October is the National Federation of the Blind “Meet the Blind Month” campaign. This is where all the chapters plan a special event in the community to meet and greet and educate the public about blindness.

November will bring our State Convention and last board meeting of the year. Our state convention will be held November 2, 3, and 4, 2007 at the Grand Prairie Hotel in Hutchinson. Special events are planned for the students at this years convention. Please call (913) 339-9341 for further information on the convention. Our board meeting will be held at the same location from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Friday November 2, 2007.

So come to any and all of these events and learn about the National Federation of the Blind of Kansas and it's goal to “Change what it means to be blind”. The NFB is the “voice of the blind” and we are striving for equality, opportunity and security for all blind people.

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Chapter reports

Kaw Valley

The Kaw valley Chapter meets regularly ---at the home of Naomi Bowan -- recently they presented awards to two students at the Kansas State School for the Blind. The winner for Math achievement was presented with a talking calculator and the winner for writing and reading was presented with a Braille Writer.

The Douglas County Chapter

The Douglas County Chapter has been busy. The chapter backed a slate of candidates for election to the local school board and several of those candidates won seats. The chapter has also been involved with several outreach events. The Douglas County Chapter will be celebrating its first year on September 15th at… The chapter meets on ----

Johnson County

The Johnson County Chapter is sad to report the loss of long time member and supporter Dean Stanzel. The chapter has been busy participating in a variety of outreach activities including diabetes fairs and health fairs.

South Central Chapter

The South Central Chapter has kept itself very active over the last year. The chapter had an enjoyable and well attended Christmas party. Chapter meetings have been very interesting and varied this year with presentations and discussions on matters from pre-paid legal service, to general health, work at home jobs, and computer software, to name a few. In May and June the chapter handed out brochures and sold hot dogs and do-dads at a booth at Sam’s Club.

In July members got an opportunity to work a booth at the Health and Wellness Expo at Century II.

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Legislative Update

This has been an exciting year for NFB of KS. The efforts of our various chapters have led to the funding of NFB Newsline by the State Legislature. The Newsline program is now available and provides the blind of Kansas with access to over 250 national newspapers and magazines. Here in Kansas the Kansas City Star, Wichita Eagle, and Hutchinson Daily News are available. The Hays paper is expected to be added soon. Please encourage any blind or physically handicapped persons you know to sign up and try Newsline. Call KS Talking Books at: (316) 261-8500 to sign up.

The NFB Washington seminar will take place in Washington DC in January 2008. This year the NFB of KS will be offering one full ($800) scholarship to a member who has not previously attended the seminar. If you would like to attend and wish to apply for the scholarship, pleas contact Donna Wood by e-mail at donnajwood@sbcglobal.net And send a letter requesting that you be considered for this scholarship.

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Free Newspapers and TV Listings

font size="+4">Accessible to Blind and Visually Impaired Kansas Residents

Talking Book Service, State Library of Kansas
Begins Offering NFB-NEWSLINE®

Emporia, Kansas (September 13, 2007): Today blind and visually impaired Kansas residents will be able to enjoy over 255 newspapers, including two local Kansas newspapers and the Kansas City Star, through a service called NFB-NEWSLINE®. The service makes content from participating newspapers and magazines accessible on-demand by touch-tone phone and electronic delivery twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Personalized TV listings and both national and state hourly updates from Associated Press and United Press International are also included.

Offered in forty-one other states and the District of Columbia, NFB-NEWSLINE® is now available in Kansas through the Talking Book Service, State Library of Kansas. State Librarian Christie Brandau said, "The focus of the Talking Books program at the State Library of Kansas is providing outstanding service to our customers. We are pleased that NFB-NEWSLINE® is the newest service available statewide to visually impaired Kansans."

The NFB-NEWSLINE® system reformats the digital transmissions of participating newspapers and converts them to synthetic speech. The available newspapers include the Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, USA Today, Christian Science Monitor, and the New York Times among many others, including five Spanish-language newspapers and varied magazines. The Wichita Eagle and the Hutchinson News are currently on the service and another Kansas newspaper will be added in the near future.

“The daily newspaper remains unparalleled as an information source for all individuals, enhancing their lives as professionals, students, parents, and community members,” said Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind. Subscribers are given an access code and then call a toll-free or local number to enter the NFB-NEWSLINE® system. They can browse the papers, choosing or skipping articles as they wish. The system reads each article aloud. The menu allows the user to change the speed and voice and to search for a particular word or subject.

“I have recently gotten to try NFB-NEWSLINE® and have appreciated very much the ability to access national newspapers! For many Kansans this will be the first chance they have had to access any newspaper without a human reader,"

said Tom Page, second vice-president of the National Federation of the Blind of Kansas.

All individuals who are physically unable to read print are eligible to subscribe free of charge to NFB-NEWSLINE®. To subscribe or to request more information to NFB-NEWSLINE®, contact the Talking Book Service at (800) 362-0699. For further information, call the National Federation of the Blind at (866) 504-7300, or visit them online at http://www.nfbnewsline.org/.

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