Welcome to the NFB of SC!

Positive Note 1588

January 18, 2017Memo To: Executive Officers, Board Members, Chapter & Division Presidents & Others

From: Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1588

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

              There are approximately two weeks remaining until the Statewide Seminar is held at the Federation Center on February 4, 2017. If you have not notified the Federation Center as to whether you are planning to attend the Statewide Seminar please do so as soon as possible. This will help us to determine the amount of food to purchase for lunch. The seminar will begin promptly at 10:00 a.m. and adjourn at 4:00 p.m. The agenda will feature presentations from the three agencies serving the blind, SC Commission for the Blind, The SC School for the Deaf and Blind, and The SC Talking Book Services, as well as other Federationists. Remember we will be conducting an auction throughout the day to raise money for the Federation Center. Be sure to bring items for the auction such as, cakes, pies, cookies, gift baskets, and electronics. We will also be selling NFB of SC t-shirts and coffee thermoses during the seminar. Also, please continue to sell your Orlando National Convention bus tickets. It is imperative we sell as many tickets as possible to help cover the expense of the chartered bus to Orlando. Remember, tickets this year are selling for $2 for one ticket or $5 for three tickets. You can either mail your ticket stubs and money to the Federation Center or bring them with you to the Seminar on Saturday, February 4. The drawing will take place at the conclusion of the Seminar. The buyer of the winning ticket will receive $300, the seller of the winning ticket will receive $100 and the chapter selling the most tickets will receive $300. 

              Please continue to submit your state dues of $10 for 2017 to the state office (Federation Center). State dues must be received by the Federation Center by January 31, 2017. When you submit your dues, please provide current contact information such as, name, address, phone number and email address if you have one. These things do change and if we do not have updated information, we cannot keep you up to date on what’s going on. 

              Do not forget to purchase your tickets to attend the second annual Sweetheart dance sponsored by the NFB of SC which will be held on Saturday, February 18, 2017 at the Federation Center from 5:00 p.m. to 9 p.m. The evening promises to be a fun and enjoyable experience with a professionally catered dinner, door prizes, music and dancing. Tickets to this event will only be $25 for an individual and $45 per couple. You can purchase these tickets by mailing a check or money order to the Federation Center, 119 S. Kilbourne Rd., Columbia, SC. 29205. Please include an address so that tickets can be mailed once payment has been received. Deadline to purchase tickets is Saturday, February 4 at the statewide seminar. We are asking all chapter presidents to contribute a door prize for this special event including: gift cards, cash or assembled gift baskets. Please contact Jennifer Bazer at 803-661-6622 or jhipp25@sc.rr.com if you would like to contribute a door prize or Debra Canty at 803-775-5792 or via email at debra.canty@frontier.com if you have further questions about this fund-raiser for the NFB of SC.

              The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day, we raise the expectations of blind people because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life you want: blindness is not what holds you back. Joining me for comments in this Positive Note is the President Emeritus of the NFB of SC. Here is Dr. Capps. 

              I feel sure that we’ll all be glad when the Inauguration of the 45th President on Friday, January 20 will be history. Some 30 years ago I attended the Inauguration of President Bill Clinton. Dr. Kenneth Jernigan gave me two tickets to this extravaganza. Because of the crowds of thousands involved, it was recommended that we stay at the Holiday Inn located some 15 miles north of Washington and catch a cab coming in. As fate would have it, a prominent South Carolinian at the site of one of the Inauguration events was there to greet Betty and me. It was Governor Richard Riley who we got to know when he was a member of the SC General Assembly and Governor. He showed us about and was very friendly. Also, at this location I met a South Carolinian who was from Pickens and knew all about the Rocky Bottom program. His name was familiar to me although I had not gotten acquainted with him before. As I noted, it was not possible for the President to stop in at each and every site and I regret he did not stop by where we were located. At that time Governor Riley was the Secretary of the Department of Education. Shortly after the Inauguration, Jim Gashel who was the NFB Director of Governmental Affairs and I requested an appointment with Gov. Riley who graciously accommodated us. Our mission was to gain his cooperation in declining to accredit NAC (National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind) which the NFB was opposing. In a friendly sort of way he asked me how many votes he would lose if he voted this action, and in a friendly gesture I replied that he would lose more votes if he didn’t honor our request. He took the action we requested and we regard Gov. Riley as one of our best friends. 

              There was an experience in our taking a cab from downtown Washington later that evening to go back to the hotel as the cab driver seemingly went out of his way and we were concerned as to what he had in mind for us. Finally, we were dropped off at our hotel. At this time it was very late and we were given what appeared to be the smallest room in the Holiday Inn but needless to say we were ready to go to bed. 

              I was delighted to read President Coppel’s remarks in last week’s Positive Note in his account of the successful mattress delivery. Perseverance is so important and I shall not forget some two or three years ago that in one of the senior citizens programs the first mattress funds were given and later the Belvedere Chapter chipped in and the end result was covered very nicely in President Coppel’s remarks.

 

Final Thought: Raising Expectations: “It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.” – Dick Giacin

The Midnight Golfer

Blind golfer gets ‘level playing field’ in night fundraiser

 

Peter Smith among big field for night golf at Wescott Peter Smith, also known as the Midnight Golfer because he is blind, usually faces a clear disadvantage when he gets out on a golf course. That was not the case, however, during at least one recent outing. Smith joined a large field of golfers participating in a night golf fundraiser for junior golf on November 19 at Wescott Golf Club. Smith joked that he finally had a “level playing field” with the competition. The night golf event is hosted by Wescott General Manager and Director of Instruction Perry Green to raise funds that help purchase equipment for junior golfers. “We do this twice a year when the time changes, in the fall and spring, so we can take advantage of it being dark earlier. But Pete, it doesn’t matter to you what time we tee off does it?” said Green, explaining to the group that Peter is blind. Smith was able to join the event thanks to the help of Tom Radar, his volunteer sight guide for the night. Tom performed the sight guide duties of helping Peter get from shot to shot and giving him guidance on direction and distance. Smith said he had not played night golf before, but it is no different for him. He was paired with autistic golfer Ricky Martin, who played for the Fort Dorchester High School boys team. Smith and Martin took turns coming through with good shots in the Captain’s Choice event. After getting information from his sight guide, Smith was often able to put a pitch or putt close to the hole. That was, at times, a little more challenging than usual for many others in the field, who had to adjust to the darkness. The players used glowing golf balls, and glow sticks were placed on the ground to outline the greens, but it was still difficult to see targets and judge distance. Eight holes were set up on with distances ranging from 55 to 110 yards. Green said this latest night golf fundraiser drew the biggest field yet. He said he put out a call to golf clubs in the area, and many of their golfers stepped up to support the cause. “This is our largest night golf field ever and what that means is more money raised for junior golf,” said Green. “In the last two years, I have given away 64 sets of clubs, irons, woods, bags, for free to kids. Any time one comes to our program who doesn’t have clubs, we can provide them.” Green says he just asks that golfers return clubs when they’re done or when they’ve outgrown them, so he’s become kind of a “clearinghouse” for junior clubs. Green will be looking forward to another big turnout for night golf in the spring, giving golfers another chance to support junior golf, and Smith another shot at a “level playing field.” Note: Look for more on the Midnight Golfer and sight guides in an upcoming issue..

Palmetto Blind – Fall 2016

The Palmetto Blind

The voice of the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina

 

60th Annual NFB of SC Convention, First in Myrtle Beach

 

 

Left to Right: President Frank Coppel and Shelley Coppel with NFB Treasurer Jeanie Massey as Ellen Taylor looks on.

 

 

Raising Expectations

 

FALL 2016

The PALMETTO BLIND, published twice a year in large print, in digital format, email and Braille by the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina. David Houck, Editor. The National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina is chartered under the laws of the state of South Carolina to promote the spiritual, social and economic well-being of all blind South Carolinians. The state organization is an affiliate of the nation’s oldest and largest organization of the blind—the National Federation of the Blind.

The PALMETTO BLIND is the voice of the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina and is available free of charge to any blind individual or member in large print, Braille online or in a digital format from the SC Talking Book Services. Other subscribers are encouraged. If readers desire to do so, donations to cover the annual subscription cost of $10.00 per year may be made payable to the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina and sent to: Valerie Warrington, Treasurer, National Federation of the Blind of SC, 119 S. Kilbourne Rd., Columbia, SC 29205

Braille or large print copies may be retained for personal libraries.

Giving A Dream

One of the great satisfactions in life is having the opportunity to assist others. Consider making a gift to the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina to continue turning our dreams into reality. A gift to the NFB of SC is not merely a donation to an organization; it provides resources that will directly ensure a brighter future for all blind people.

Seize the Future

The National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina has special giving opportunities that will benefit the giver as well as the NFB of SC. Of course the largest benefit to the donor is the satisfaction of knowing that your gift is leaving a legacy of opportunity. However, gifts may be structured to provide more.

chrHelping the NFB of SC fulfill its mission

chrRealizing income tax savings through a charitable donation

chrMaking capital gain tax savings on contributions of appreciated assets

chrProviding retained payments for the life of a donor or beneficiary

chrEliminating or lowering federal estate tax in certain situations

chrReducing estate settlement costs

NFB of SC programs are dynamic:

chrMaking the study of literacy and technology a real possibility for blind children and adults

chrProviding hope and training for seniors losing vision

chrPromoting state and local programs to help blind people become first class citizens

chrEducating the public about blind people’s true potential

chrAdvancing technology helpful to the blind

chrCreating a state and national library on the progress of blindness

chrTraining and inspiring professionals working with the blind

chrProviding critical information to parents of blind children

 

chrMentoring blind job seekers. Your gift makes you a partner in the NFB of SC dream. For further information or assistance, contact the NFB of SC, 119 S. Kilbourne Rd., Columbia, SC 29205. 803-254-3777 nfbsc@sc.rr.com or nfbofsc.org.Spread the Holiday Cheer! To make your tax deductible donation, go to www.nfbofsc.org and click on the donation link.

 

For more information regarding these organizations of the blind contact:

wwwddnfbofsc.org or email nfbsc@sc.rr.com or call 803-254-3777 for brochures.

 

Table of Contents

 

Celebrating Valentine’s With the NFB Family & Friends By Debra Canty

Commission for the Blind Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Conway Chapter Receives $500 to Assist with NFB of SC Convention Attendees

Upstate Annual Seminar

National Federation of the Blind 2016 Convention A Huge Success! By Frank Coppel

Rocky Bottom Labor Day Weekend Fun Day Festival Successful By Donald C. Capps

Salem Lions Publicize New Laundry Facilities at Rocky Bottom

NFB of SC 60th Annual Convention First Ever Held in Myrtle Beach

Governor Nikki Haley Issues White Cane Safety Day Proclamation

From the President’s Desk by Frank Coppel

2016 Children’s Camp ‑‑ DARE to Succeed By Jennifer Bazer

From the Desk of the NFB of SC President Emeritus & RBRCCB Chairman Emeritus By Dr. Donald C. Capps

From the Editor’s Desk by David Houck

Final Thought

 

 

One MINUTE MESSAGE:

“The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day, we raise the expectations of blind people because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life you want: blindness is not what holds you back.”

 

Celebrating Valentine’s With the NFB Family & Friends

 

By Debra Canty

It was Mid-February on a brisk cool Friday evening with temperatures in the low forties. The National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina (NFB of SC), Fundraising Committee hosted our “First Sweetheart’s Dance” on Friday, February 12, 2016 at the Federation Center. There were almost sixty in attendance with chapter members from Belvedere, Columbia, Greenville, Lee, Spartanburg and Sumter Chapters. The committee engaged in several conference calls to discuss and plan the event to help secure funds for operating the Center.

Kudos to Clifton Reaves a former (NFB) scholarship recipient who gave of his time and talent to provide the music for the evening.

The atmosphere was warm and the room was adorned with eight tables covered with red and pink tablecloths with a dozen Mylar balloons bunched together, ascending as centerpieces with two-heart shaped weights. The welcome table was surrounded with a huge red and white Mylar floating balloon with a gorgeous vase on the table with lots of goodies for Valentine’s Day.

We dressed to impress and red was the dominant color worn for the evening to show LOVE for the season of Cupid. The dinner was catered and we dined, danced and some even won a door prize to add to the fun filled evening of conversation and laughter. We received a donation from a local business and it was presented from Tanisha Woodson at the event.

We appreciate the chapters and supporters for coming together and raising funds to help improve the quality of life for the blind and sight impaired.

So, live the life you want, blindness is not what holds us back!

We look forward to your participation for the Second Annual Sweetheart’s Dance next year.

Sweetheart Dance comments:

Melanie Torrance writes: “It was lovely and Debra did a great job. Everyone also looked wonderful. Dancing per a great DJ selection was so much fun. I’m so glad I went. Thanks to everyone who spent the extra time to pull this together!”

Steve and Shannon Cook wrote: “The Sweetheart Dance, held at the Federation Center last night was a great event. Steve and I enjoyed ourselves. We got to visit with members from Greenville, Sumter, Spartanburg, Lee and Columbia. The menu was awesome. The Center was decorated so nicely. Thanks to Debra Canty’s future daughter-in-law Ms. Wilson for her beautiful job with the decorations. It was a very well put together event. For those who did not get to attend, we hope you will make plans to do so the next time we have a similar event. Thanks too to Cliffton Reeves, a former scholarship recipient, who was our DJ. There were many door prizes given out too. The event itself is a testament to Debra Canty’s ability to excel at event planning. She is the perfect person to head up the Fundraising Committee for the NFB of SC. Several of us serve on that committee and are proud to see how well the evening turned out.”

 

Picture Captions:

Clifton Reeves, Blind DJ, Banquet and Dance participants

 

Commission for the Blind Celebrates 50th Anniversary

(Editor’s Note: This article includes excerpts from the May11 Positive Note by NFB of SC President Frank Coppel and President Emeritus Dr. Donald C. Capps)

NFB of SC President Coppel’s comments:

“This past Friday evening, Shelley and I along with a few other Federationists attended the Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration dinner for the South Carolina Commission for the Blind. Approximately 100 individuals were in attendance for this special occasion. Two former Commissioners were in attendance, Dr. Fred Crawford, the first Commissioner of the Commission for the Blind and Donald Gist, who was Commissioner of the agency during the 1990`so. Ed Bible did an outstanding job as the Master of Ceremonies for the evening and all those individuals who participated on the program made excellent presentations. Dr. Capps and Marshall Tucker did an excellent job providing the audience with a historical overview and why it was imperative to establish a separate agency for the blind in 1966. I spoke to the audience of the importance of partnerships between the NFB of SC and the Commission for the Blind during the past fifty years. I spoke of the numerous times in the 1990’s and 2000’s we as an organization partnered together to maintain the agency’s autonomy. I also spoke of the important partnership we have with the agency regarding Senior Camp at Rocky Bottom and the computer classes offered a the Federation Center. I pointed out to the audience there was no doubt the blind have benefited a great deal from the services offered by the Commission for the Blind. I concluded my remarks by stating this agency will be embarking on its next fifty years of service to the blind of this state. It is imperative that all of us work together to ensure the South Carolina Commission for the Blind is an agency that will develop innovative programs designed to enable the blind to compete on terms of equality with their sighted counterparts. It also imperative that this agency raises the expectations of the blind and that it empowers the blind with the philosophy: you can live the life you want.”

NFB of SC President Emeritus Capps comments:

“The 50th anniversary celebration of the Commission for the Blind was held last Friday evening May 6. A Banquet was held at the Embassy Suites in Columbia and was a huge success. It was well attended with over 100 present to participate in this historic event. Understandably there was a large turnout of Commission staff members. However, there were several blind persons present including Frank and Shelley Coppel, Marshall and Lois Tucker, Dr. Fred L. Crawford, Lenora Robertson, Lynn Hornsby, Ed Bible, Steve and Shannon Cook, David Bundy, Steve and Wanda Sheck, David and Darlene Houck and no doubt others. It was good seeing our Rock Hill Chapter Associate member Winnie Spears whose late husband served as the chapter’s President many years ago. Frank Coppel did a good job representing the NFB of SC. Ed Bible was the Master of Ceremonies and he performed well. As we entered the Banquet Hall we were warmly greeted by Commissioner Jim Kirby. As we were leaving the Banquet Hall Mr. Kirby and I again exchanged best wishes and agreed that the 50th anniversary celebration was good for the Commission and the Federation. The keynote speaker was former state Senator Maggie Glover who was a longtime friend of the Commission and the blind. She urged the Commission to build upon its 50th anniversary with the goal of serving as many blind persons as possible. Frank Coppel introduced both Marshall Tucker and myself as we were speakers. Marshall talked about the 1964 NFB of SC convention where action was taken to authorize the Legislature to study the necessity of the blind in having their own agency. I talked about my attending the 1956 NFB convention in San Francisco which included attending a seminar for state leaders following the convention. I was disturbed to learn of the woeful inadequacies of programs for the blind in South Carolina. Lois Boltin Tucker also attended the 1956 NFB convention where she saw a braille PBX switchboard that was on exhibit. This experience resulted in Lois wanting to receive switchboard training. We asked the Division for the Blind to assist Lois in receiving this training but was denied on the basis that she was already employed albeit inadequately. Thus, it became the responsibility of the NFB of SC to assist Lois in receiving the training available only in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In October 1958 the NFB of SC with personal support for Lois, she traveled to Minneapolis and successfully completed her training. Once again the NFB of SC requested the Division for the Bl/SC Department of Public Welfare to assist Lois in seeking switchboard employment. Their rigid position had not changed as they declined to assist Lois. It was once again the responsibility of the NFB of SC to work with Lois in finding employment as a braille switchboard operator, which incidentally was the first employment of this kind in the state. In June 1959 Lois secured a job as a PBX switchboard operator. She enjoyed a long career with the Seibels Bruce Company in Columbia performing admirably as not only the company’s switchboard operator but also as the receptionist. The failure of the Division of the Blind to give any assistance whatsoever to Lois would be one of the reasons the NFB of SC undertook a major step in securing the introduction of legislation that would create a separate state agency for the state’s blind. I congratulated the Commission in their work in placing numerous blind people over the years in gainful employment with assistance to such superstars as Parnell Diggs and Chris Danielsen. Parnell was hired by the NFB in its national office in Baltimore as Director of Governmental Affairs with Chris Danielsen being employed by our national office as Director of Public Information.”

 

Conway Chapter Receives $500 to Assist with NFB of SC Convention Attendees

Picture Caption:

Levern Wilson receives check

When the following opportunity was noticed by the Conway Chapter, an effort was made to fill out the application as one of Horry Electric Cooperative’s 75 acts of kindness in assisting with the blind attending the October 28-30, 2016 NFB of SC Myrtle Beach Convention. Here is a little about the application process:

Horry Electric Cooperative’s 75 Acts of Kindness

To celebrate our history and our tradition of giving to the community during our 75th Anniversary celebration in 2016, we’re doing 75 Acts of Kindness with a value of up to $500 per act.

Commitment to community is a core value and part of our mission and purpose as a Cooperative. Our plan is to, on an application basis, give back to the communities we serve by performing 75 Act of Kindness using the following criteria:

As of April 1, 2016, the 75 Acts of Kindness have been completed.

We have an application review committee made up of employees who each represent the primary communities in which we serve. Throughout the year, as they review these applications and approve an individual Act of Kindness, we’ll keep you updated. The information will be published in the monthly magazine and/or through our social media outlets.

Sure enough, Levern Wilson received a call from Horry Electric stating that their application not only won but received the maximum amount of $500. Levern Wilson went by Horry Electric the next day and picked up the check. The funds are to be used in Horry County with regard to the NFB of SC Convention in October. Truly, you can’t receive if you don’t apply. We salute Horry Electric and the Conway Chapter under the leadership of President Wilson in being awarded the $500 as one of 75 acts of kindness in assisting the blind to attend this important convention.

 

UPSTATE ANNUAL SEMINAR

 

 

Picture Caption:

Left to right: David Bundy, President Frank & Shelley Coppel & Dean Marchbanks

This is the first year for the Upstate Seminar which was held by the Anderson Chapter and hosted by President Dean Marchbanks. The seminar was a great success thanks to Cherokee, Greenville, Greenwood Chapters for attending. The seminar started off with President Frank Coppell giving us a look at the history of the National Federation of the Blind and what the organization’s purpose for the bl/ Visually Impaired are in the NFB. Followed by Technology Assistant at the Commission for the Blind David Bundy give us a demonstration of talking audio devices and apps and he also talked about computer software that will help the blind and visually impaired.

We will host an annual seminar each year in the Upstate the first Saturday in March. Greeenville will host it next year. The members of the Anderson Chapter were honored to be the very first chapter to host an Upstate seminar. President Dean Marchbanks and Vice President Krystal Reece asked all upstate chapters to participate in the next upstate seminar.

 

National Federation of the Blind 2016 Convention A Huge Success!

 

By Frank Coppel

(Editor’s Note: The following remarks are reprinted from Positive Notes by NFB of SC President Frank Coppel following the convention. These remarks are being reprinted for the benefit of all Palmetto Blind readers. For greater detail concerning the 2016 NFB Convention, please refer to the August/September edition of The Braille Monitor.)

Hello from Orlando, Florida where Shelley and I had a wonderful time attending the 2016 NFB national convention. This was my 34th convention and no doubt this convention ranked high on my list of best of the best conventions. We had 2,368 federationists attend this year’s convention. South Carolina was proud to have 73 delegates which I feel was a pretty good turnout. Hopefully next year we can increase the number to 100. The convention had many outstanding presentations and throughout the ballroom it was filled with a great deal of enthusiasm and energy. Of course, President Riccobono’s Presidential Report and Banquet address were outstanding.

The highlight of the convention as always is the Banquet. The NFB gave out thirty scholarships and these young men and women were extremely impressive. The highlight for me came toward the end of the Banquet when Dr. Maurer presented Jerry and Marilyn Whittle with the Jacobus tenBroek Award. Most of us know Jerry got his start in South Carolina and he made mention of that by saying, “I want to thank Mr. Capps for being my federation father,” and he had many fond wishes for Betty Capps as well. During his speech to the audience he stated, “The NFB gave my life back to me.”

I am pleased to announce that our fundraiser at our Exhibit Hall table was very successful. Debra Canty, Second Vice President of the NFB of SC and our Fundraising Chairperson reported to me that they raised $800 for the state organization. Kudos to Debra and her volunteers for doing a great job! It was also good to see Parnell Diggs who sat with us in our delegation on several occasions.

The NFB national convention at times reminds me of a large family reunion and for Shelley and me it was wonderful to reconnect and visit with friends we have not seen for a long period of time. Although I was proud of the seventy plus South Carolinians who registered for this year’s convention, it was very disappointing to me to see the extremely poor attendance from our delegation at many of the general sessions. One of the purposes of the national convention is to become more familiar with issues facing the blind on a national level and this is very difficult to do if you are not attending the meetings. On a positive note, I want to commend our bus captain, Dorothy Barksdale, and her assistants, Tiffany Mitchell and Catherine Williams for doing an outstanding job in getting our members who rode the vans to the convention. I would like to thank those individuals who rode the vans for their patience and cooperation during the trip. I plan to discuss with the State Board at the August 20, meeting ways to increase ticket sales for the 2017 national convention bus fund raiser. I believe if all of us work harder and do our fair share of selling bus tickets this Fall I truly believe we can raise the necessary funds to charter a bus rather than utilizing vans to the convention next summer.

 

Rocky Bottom Labor Day Weekend Fun Day Festival Successful

 

By Donald C. Capps

(Editor’s Note: This is being reprinted from the September 7 Positive Note for the benefit of our Palmetto Blind readers.)

The 2016 Labor Day Fun Day Festival was a good success. Our profits this year were more than $1,238 greater than in 2015. This year’s profit was $7,549 as the 2015 profit was $6,310.40. I’m grateful to all of you who helped to make this year’s Fun Day a good success. While there were a few members who cancelled during the last week, there were some 45 members present. The participation was statewide with Alma Lee Doyle and Pat and Donnie Mincey from Loris and Loretta and Henry Green from Upper Dorchester who drove a great distance even in a tropical storm to be part of our annual Fun Day. The following is a breakdown of the proceeds which also involves proceeds of 2015 which gives us information as to the more than $1,200 profit this year: Fun Day tickets $3,560 and $1,920 in 2015; Auction $1,350 and $877 in 2015; Weekend Food $1,180 and $1,120 in 2015; Labor Day Food sales $390 and $371 in 2015; T-shirt sales, etc. $242 and $130 in 2015; Yard Sale $159 and $43 in 2015; Old Country Store $37 and $89.40 in 2015; BINGO $93 and $60 in 2015; Food Donations $320 and $500 in 2015; Neal McJunkin Benefit Concert $130; and Other Donations $88 in 2016 and $1,200 in 2015. Our thanks to our granddaughter Laura Setters and her family for making an $88 contribution to RBRCCB in honor of my 88th birthday. You will note there was an increase in just about every category. Throughout the years Blue Ridge Electric has been good about providing a TV for the auction. About the middle of last week we were informed that once again Blue Ridge Electric would contribute a 42 inch flat screen TV and it would be delivered on Friday, September 2 but this did not happen. However, I got a telephone call this Tuesday morning from a Blue Ridge Electric official who profusely apologized for failure to deliver the TV. He stated he had the TV to be delivered on Friday but explained that he got very busy and simply forgot to make the delivery. He could not have been more gracious and stated he would make the delivery this Tuesday. It was decided by the gathering that the TV would be auctioned off during the state convention in Myrtle Beach. Incidentally, the 42inch flat screen TV has been delivered to us at Rocky Bottom. Our thanks to state President Frank Coppel for his assistance. This will add to the auction proceeds as well as to the total profits. We cannot recognize each and every member who helped, however, here is some information you will enjoy reading. The following are the Fun Day ticket winners: Oueeny Smith is the 8 year old granddaughter of Roy and Josephine Smith, President of our Charleston Chapter. Queeny won the $500 as the purchaser and Roy Smith won $50 as the seller of the winning ticket. The Columbia Chapter sold 174 Fun Day tickets and won the $300 for their chapter’s treasury. The Loris Chapter placed second, selling 100 tickets and the Rock Hill Chapter placed third, selling 65 tickets. Our appreciation to Jeff Bazer of our Columbia Chapter who did an excellent job as our auctioneer. The black and silver signed Carolina Panthers football was auctioned off for $250. Valerie Warrington secured the Panthers football. Our appreciation to Lenora Robertson and her kitchen crew once again for handling the food service and preparing the meals. I’m pleased that this year’s $5 Fun Day ticket sales exceeded last year’s sales by $3,730. Our members worked harder than last year. David Houck worked very closely with those selling tickets and deserves credit for much of its success. The first benefit concert was a marginal success. The band headed up by Neal McJunkin was excellent. The annual Labor Day Fun Day Festival was a success because of our members’ participation. There was a lot of fun and fellowship with a great deal of congeniality.

Picture Captions:

Auction

Neil McJunkin Concert

Yard Sale, Old Country Store & T-shirts, etc.

 

Salem Lions Publicize New Laundry Facilities at Rocky Bottom

Picture Caption:

Pictured here are Brooke Rivers, President Ted Brewer, Treasurer Carl Halvorsen, and Vice President Jack Ackerman.

(Editor’s Note: This article is appearing in the Lions National Newsletter. We are sharing it with Palmetto Blind readers, recognizing their hard work on behalf of the blind of South Carolina)

SALEM, SC CENTENNIAL PROJECT

Our ongoing support of the Rocky Bottom Retreat and Conference Center of the Blind extended to upgrading their laundry facilities during July and August. It had become difficult for Resident Manager Brooke Rivers to clean 52 sets of sheets and towels needed to prepare for full occupancy. The washers and dryers in three of their buildings were old and inadequate to handle that volume in a short period of time and the laundry needs of guests, so it was Salem Lions to the rescue.

A small but determined group led by Ed Nichols included Jack Ackerman, Don

Gallian and Ted Brewer, along with laundry advice when choosing machines from Lynne Gallian and Bekah Brewer. We found a valuable ally in Seneca Sears Owner/Operator Jason Graham who gave the Lions a generous discount on three new washer/dryer sets. He also delivered and installed the new machines with some help from the Lions on August 3rd. In addition Jason donated enough detergent for 1200 loads of washing. Awesome!!!

These new machines will be a huge help on laundry days for Brooke and also will be used by guests who need fresh clothes during their stay. Thanks to the Salem Lions Board of Directors for approving this project to serve the blind citizens of South Carolina.

 

NFB of SC 60th Annual Convention First Ever Held in Myrtle Beach

It was a great weekend for the 60th annual convention of the NFB of SC during October 28-30 at the Ocean Dunes Hotel in Myrtle Beach. Many began arriving on Thursday the 27th and there were a grand total of 175 delegates in attendance. By Friday, October 28 at 1:00 p.m. events began to transpire as convention registration and the exhibit hall with several exhibitors representing state agencies, technology vendors, chapters and divisions of the NFB of SC and others displayed their services and wares. Of particular note was the sale of NFB of SC blue T-shirts bearing the new NFB logo on a beach scene on the front with “Raising Expectations” in print and braille on back. Darlene Houck did a great job handling important Registration duties.

Picture Captions:

James Nelson

Charlis Borodin

LeVern Wilson

JW Smith

Several divisional meetings, a BELL-X Workshop a White Cane Walk A Thon Committee and a Resolutions Committee met throughout the afternoon leading up to the Reception. The evening Reception featured refreshments and a live band for shagging on the beach and the room was decorated beautifully.

Picture Captions:

Convention delegation

President Frank Coppel

NFB Rep. Jeanie Massey

President Frank Coppel gaveled the convention to order promptly at 9:00 a.m. and the Saturday morning session featured a $100 door prize which was won by Dorcas Campbell, President of the Chesterfield County Chapter. Lenora Robertson and Ellen Taylor did a fantastic job collecting and calling out door prizes throughout the convention. James Nelson, Georgetown Chapter President, opened the session in prayer which was followed by announcements and greetings from host chapter presidents Charlis Borodin of the Grand Strand Chapter and Levern Wilson of the Conway Chapter. A warm response was given by JW Smith, President of our Greenville Chapter. Our National NFB Representative, Jeanie Massey, NFB Treasurer, presented her National Report. She spoke concerning her adjustment to blindness and how NFB President Mark Riccobono gave her challenging leadership roles which provided her with confidence and further opportunities to serve. The change in the Whozit logo to the current one we use today was to point to our future and to provide a sense of community. Our One Minute Message and slogan, “Live the life you want,” is designed to let those outside the federation know how we view ourselves as an organized movement. Next year’s Orlando NFB convention is scheduled for July 10-15, 2017. National legislative issues were discussed on minimum wages for the blind, accessibility to international books, accessible instructional materials for higher education, and military space availablity transport for blinded veterans. The myriad services of the Jernigan Institute were also addressed.

Picture Captions:

Kyle Walker

Dr. Page McCraw

Christine Marbalot

Kyle Walker, Division Director, Consumer Services for the Commission for the Blind spoke on behalf of the Commissioner, Jim Kirby, discussed the statewide assessment survey, the 2017 Science, Engineering, Technology and Math (STEM) Program, the BOOST Program contract with the NFB of SC to assist blind students transitioning from school to work, all of which are also designed to raise expectations among the blind. SC School for the Deaf and the Blind President Dr. Page McCraw stated that the School served 555 students last year and 1,511 students statewide. The Braille production center is producing braille textbooks by inmates in the prison system, the School’s Museum has been reopened, Technology Olympics for students, and the NFB of SC BELL Academy hosted at the School by Jennifer Duffell-Hoffman and Jami Allison. The next program item featured a panel on Raising Expectations in the Workplace. Christine Mabalot reported on her work with Verizon Wireless as a Customer Service Specialist and she recommended that in order to stand out in your work, find one thing you can improve on your job and master it well, then take on another.

Picture captions:

Christopher Breece

Peter Smith

Ed Bible

The second panelist, Christopher Breece the Director of Information Technology at the Commission for the Blind, stated that technology access brings the world to the blind through computer training. The third panelist was Peter Smith, a Harvard graduate who works with John Hancock Financial Services and currently serves as board Chairman on the Commission for the Blind’s Board of Commissioners expounded that he has learned to raise expectations on both a physical level as well as in technology access. He has participated in Boston Marathons and tandem bicycling, etc. Punctuality and networking breed success and success breeds success. He recently underwent additional computer JAWS training at the Federation Center to hone his technical skills. The final Saturday morning session program item was President Coppel’s Presidential Report. You can imagine upon receiving the news in June 2015 that President Diggs was taking a position as Director of Governmental Affairs at the NFB and that Mr. Diggs wanted Mr. Coppel to succeed him as NFB of SC President, this was full of life changing challenges. After all, Shelly “would have to accept this potential position as well as I. After being elected to the presidency at the 2015 state convention, both Shelley and I were all in. It was soon learned that the NFB of SC must meet some pressing goals which included meeting finances through fundraising, membership growth (especially in younger blind members), keep down complacency through raising expectations, developing the Career BOOST contract with the Commission and the Federation. “Many of these objectives have already been put into place as we move forward in raising our expectations. We have our work cut out for us but we are up to the task. By working together, we will continue to grow stronger as a movement.”

Picture Captions:

Jennifer Bazer

Sandy Knowles

Debra Canty

The Luncheon was packed. David Houck gave the invocation and the head table was introduced. Building new relationships was the theme during the luncheon as Ed Bible, Director of Training and Employment at the Commission for the Blind explained the development of the Career BOOST Program for the transition of high school blind students into work. Kyle Walker expounded on the career path to success which included job consulting, work based learning experiences, education consultation, workplace readiness and training and self-advocacy. Jennifer Bazer, leading the Career BOOST project between the NFB of SC and the Commission, emphasized the blind students need the means by which to make money through their career. She requested the convention delegates to assist in making blind student referrals to the Career BOOST Program.

Picture Captions:

Denise Pensmith

David H. Zoellner

David Bundy

The afternoon session began with Sandy Knowles, Director of Talking Book Services giving her report. There has been an increase in accessibility to talking books, digital access has expanded, TBS patronage has grown to over 5,000 South Carolinians. Building renovations are continuing and there is a digital technology “petting zoo” for hands on access. This was followed by Vice Chairman Frank Coppel giving a Rocky Bottom Report. He explained to the delegates that due to health concerns and age, the Capps were not able to be present as this was the first state convention they have ever missed. Both the success of Senior Camps and the Fun Day Festival (which raised $9,700) was discussed. The need and means to raise funding was also extolled. Jennifer Bazer, Director of Children’s Camp, described in detail the success of this year’s camp with its activities and reported that the 2017 Children’s Camp is scheduled for June 25 to July 1. Since the Fun Day auction missed bidding on a flat screen TV which was received after Fun Day, it was auctioned off during the Rocky Bottom report with the highest bid coming from Cheryl Mott-Sims of the Lee County Chapter who bid $200. Fun Day proceeds now total $9,900! Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Federation Center of the Blind, Debra Canty addressed the convention, stressing that we all need to pitch in to assist the operation of the Center. David Houck, Executive Director of the Federation Center of the Blind reported that computer training continues with Courtney Rone and Peter Smith receiving training this year in addition to some virtual training utilizing other blind instructors. He thanked the membership for their financial assistance during the “summer slump” and explained the restoration of the Administrative Assistant’s office is underway after an intoxicated driver struck the Center in September. The Center is glad to host the Career BOOST Program and the Palmetto Blind will be put together shortly following the state convention. A panel discussion on knowing your rights was presented including Denise Pensmith Director of the Client Assistance Program requesting that you call when there exists an issue between you and your Commission counselor. David H. Zoellner, Managing Attorney with Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities, Inc. stated they can help with issues concerning SSI issues, ADA violations and with accessible voting issues. The final panelist was our NFB national representative Jeanie Massey who expounded on the resources that the NFB has regarding your rights as a blind person, legislative issues, legal representation, etc. With a vast history of standing up for the rights of blind people, the NFB is one of the premier resources available regarding these civil rights issues. David Bundy presented the 2016 NFB of SC Scholarship Class which included Justin Preston, a Criminal Justice Major at USC Upstate, Anna Price, a Psychology Major at Erskine College who wants to work with Veterans with PTSAID, and Jay Thompkins, a Music Education Major at USC Upstate. Following this presentation, the remainder of the afternoon session was taken up with chapter and division reports, an important means by which chapters and divisions can learn from each other.

Picture Captions:

Justin Preston

Anna Price

Jay Thompkins- left

The Saturday evening Banquet is the highlight of the convention. Following Dorothy Barksdale’s fine invocation, Michael Fusco and David Monk with Carolinas Wealth Management spoke for a few minutes on how wills, life insurance and estate planning can assist the NFB of SC in its future funding. Our NFB national representative, Jeanie Massey, also President of the NFB of Oklahoma, gave an inspiring Banquet speech. Losing sight as an adult, adjusting to blindness was not easy. However, it was a blind federNiast who gave her a white cane and also taught her how to apply makeup, although she used to work for Este Lauder. She went on to receive a Masters in Counseling Psychology and became a licensed professional counselor and clinical supervisor. Blindness was not an issue in achieving these goals. The NFB taught her to “stand up, step up and rise together.” We must have the will to prepare to win and to go the extra mile. The Associate Member of the Year Award was presented by NFB of SC Treasurer Valerie Warrington to Columbia Chapter member Jonathan Nelson for his service in providing transportation and in many other ways to the Federation. David Houck presented the Donald C. Capps Award along with a crisp $100 bill to Chesterfield County Chapter President Dorcas Campbell who is very active in the Federation and is only 94 years young. Scholarships were presented as follows: Justin Preston $1,250, Anna Price $1,600 and Jay Thompkins $2,500 which included the Federation Center Kline Scholarship. Following these program items, a Banquet fundraiser for the NFB of SC and the Federation Center of the Blind was held and in a short time raised $7,410 in cash and pledges from convention delegates. Pledges should be paid by December 31. The day ended with much excitement and enthusiasm.

Picture Captions:

Johnathan Nelson & Valerie Warrington

Dorcas Campbell

Sunday morning’s session got off to a start as we remember all the federation members who passed since last year. Doug and Patsy Roberts did a fine job with the memorial and devotional service. NFB of SC and RBRCCB Treasurer, Valerie Warrington read the respective financial reports which were approved as read. The remainder of chapter and division reports were heard at this time. Our stewardship to the NFB nationally was discussed with the tenBroek Fund, PAC Plan and SUN Shares. A collection of 36 SUN Shares for $360 was made on the spot. Elections were held and the following were elected to the NFB of SC Board of Directors: President Frank Coppel, First Vice President Lenora Robertson, Second Vice President Debra Canty, Secretary Dorothy Barksdale, Treasurer Valerie Warrington, Second District Shannon Cook of Columbia, Fourth District JW Smith of Greenville, Sixth District Ronald Benjamin of Florence and At-Large members Jami Allison of Cherokee and Loretta Green of Upper Dorchester. Our thanks go to Marty McKenzie for his service on the Board of Directors. Also, thanks goes out to Larry Warrington for live streaming the convention which you can listen to at nfbofsc.org. Following the convention, the Rocky Bottom Board of Directors met and elected the following officers and directors: Chairman Frank Coppel, Vice Chairman Ed Bible, Secretary Dorothy Barksdale, Treasurer Valerie Warrington, Chairman Emeritus Donald C. Capps; board members David Houck, Lenora Robertson, Dr. Tom Bowen, Jennifer Bazer and Debra Canty. The following are resolutions passed unanimously by the convention on Sunday morning:

 

Resolution 2016-01

Whereas, Lexington Medical Center is one of the largest and busiest hospitals in the midlands area; and

Whereas, Lexington Medical Center as do other hospitals in the state, has policies which allow and encourage family members of a patient to stay with a patient and assist them as needed; and

Whereas, as recently as October 15, 2016, a blind spouse was informed by hospital staff “she could not stay alone with her husband of forty eight years of marriage simply because she was blind; and

Whereas, she was further informed by hospital staff she could not stay with her husband unless she was accompanied by a sighted attendant, and

Whereas, when staff was questioned regarding this policy, the staff stated “this was written policy designed to maintain the safety of a person with a disability”; and

Whereas, this was a humiliating experience because the spouse has been a homemaker taking care of all of the responsibilities of cleaning a home, cooking meals every day, shopping, etc.; was employed; raised a son, and has helped in raising two grandchildren; and

Whereas the National Federation of the Blind knows that agencies, hospitals, airlines, etc. hide behind the phrase “for safety reasons”, when in reality, this action is discriminatory against people with disabilities;

Now therefore, Be it Resolved by the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina in Convention assembled in the city of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on October 30, 2016, that this organization condemn and deplore the attitudes and demeaning policy directed toward blind individuals; and

Be it Further Resolved that hospital officials meet with members of the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina to participate in Sensitivity Training for all staff regarding how to interact with blind patients and visitors of the Lexington Medical Center; and

Be it Further Resolved that a copy of this resolution be submitted to the South Carolina Hospital Association for distribution to hospitals statewide and to each member of the Lexington Medical Center’s Board of Directors.

 

Resolution 2016 ‑‑ 02

Whereas, in 1996 a Proviso, strongly supported by the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina, was passed in the General Appropriations Bill to provide $50,000 to the University of South Carolina to retain the Chair for the Vision Teacher Program; and

Whereas, in 2000 a proviso was passed through the General Assembly moving the Vision Teacher Program from the University of South Carolina ‑‑Columbia campus to the University of South Carolina comSpartanburg campus; and

Whereas, the $50,000 annual provision has not increased since the inception of the Vision Teacher Program in 1996; and

Whereas, orientation, mobility, and continuing braille education is not currently part of the Vision Teacher Program in South Carolina; and

Whereas, it is estimated that an additional $50,000 annually will be needed to the expand the Vision Teacher Program to include orientation, mobility, and continuing braille education; and

Whereas, the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina understands the value of these skills and know they are essential components of the Vision Teacher Program.

Now therefore, be it Resolved by the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina in convention assembled in the city of Myrtle Beach South Carolina, on this 30th day of October 2016, that this organization work with the General Assembly to increase the annual proviso from $50,000 to $100,000; and

Be it further Resolved that the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina work with the University of South Carolina ‑‑Spartanburg campus to expand the Vision Teacher program to include orientation, mobility, and continuing braille training and certification.

 

Governor Nikki Haley Issues White Cane Safety Day Proclamation

State of South Carolina

Governor’s Proclamation

WHEREAS, the white cane is a simple yet effective tool of independence that contributes to the self-sufficiency of the blind and visually impaired by allowing them to navigate through their environment safely, avoiding physical barriers and hazards; and

WHEREAS, the white cane is a symbol of dignity and determination as well as a tangible reminder that individuals with impaired eyesight are able to go, to move, to be, and to compete with all others in society and to lead full, independent, and productive lives; and

WHEREAS, established by the National Federation of the Blind, the annual observance of “White Cane Safety Day” emphasizes the need for all Americans to be aware of the presence of disabled persons in our communities and to work together to keep the streets, highways, sidewalks, walkways, public buildings and facilities, and places of public accommodation, amusement, and resort safe and functional for the disabled; and

WHEREAS, the 2016 observance of “White Cane Safety Day” provides an opportunity for people across the Palmetto State and the nation to renew their dedication to eliminating barriers for the blind and visually impaired.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Nikki R. Haley, Governor of the great State of South Carolina, do hereby proclaim October 15, 2016, as WHITE CANE SAFETY DAY throughout the state and encourage all South Carolinians to show respect for those who carry the white cane, to honor their many achievements, and to reaffirm our commitment to improving access to basic services for blind and visually impaired persons.

NIKKI R. HALEY, GOVERNOR, STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

 

From the President’s Desk

 

By Frank Coppel

As we approach the end of 2016, let’s quickly review what has occurred during the past nine months in the NFB of SC. In the area of fund raising, we were able to raise $8,300. This consisted of $500 (NFB of SC coffee thermoses) $1,100 (the first annual Sweet heart dance) $3000 (sponsorships for state convention) $800 (items sold at National Convention) $300 (NFB of SC t-shirts) $2,600 (NFB of SC’s portion thus far of the banquet fund raiser). In the area of membership growth, we reorganized the Cedar Springs Chapter of the NFB of SC and created a Youth Recruitment committee, Chaired by Jamie Allison, whose primary purpose is to attract and encourage young people to participate in our organization. On October 28-30 the NFB of SC for the first time ever held its sixtieth annual State Convention in Myrtle Beach. Approximately 175 individuals were in attendance and a majority of the feedback has been positive.

On September 15, 2016 the NFB of SC signed a contract in the amount of $180,000 for each of the next two years with the South Carolina Commission for the Blind. This grant would enable the NFB of SC to provide services for blind youth ages thirteen to twenty-one to transition from school to the world of work. I have asked Jennifer Bazer to serve as Director of this project and she has already assembled an outstanding team of Federationists who are doing an excellent job throughout the state. I am very excited about this grant as it can greatly benefit the blind youth of this state as well as the NFB of SC.

As we head into 2017, I would like to remind everyone of the State-wide Seminar which will be held at the Federation Center of the Blind on February 4, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Also, I would like to remind all of you to continue to sell your 2017 National Convention bus tickets. The convention again will be held in Orlando Florida. Remember, bus tickets this year are $2 for one ticket and $5 for three tickets. The drawing will occur at the conclusion of the Statewide Seminar on February 4. The winner of the ticket selected will receive $300, the seller of the winning ticket will receive $100, and the Chapter selling the most tickets will receive $300. Also, this is a great time to go ahead and submit your 2017 state dues of $10 to the State Office. When you submit your state dues, please provide current contact information such as, address, phone number and email address if you have one. These things do change and if we do not have updated information, we cannot keep you up to date on what’s going on. The deadline for dues is January 31 2017,

2017 promises to be very busy but an exciting year as we continue to strengthen our Federation Family and improve the quality of life of blind people. By all of us working hard and working together, we can continue to change what it means to be blind in South Carolina!

 

2016 Children’s Camp ‑‑

DARE to Succeed

 

By Jennifer Bazer

Picture Captions:

Children’s Art Project

Atop Sassafras Mt. at 3,550 feet

Kayaking

Children’s Camp at Rocky Bottom was held July 17-23 2016 with 18 campers and 25 volunteers. The week of fun started on Sunday with a slip-n-slide along with a cook-out and homemade churned ice cream. Other exciting activities included the annual climb up Sassafras Mountain, kayaking at Table Rock state park and roasting marshmallows and sores. During the week, campers participated in various classes of orientation and mobility, home management, art, music, outdoor recreation and swimming. The week ended with the annual talent show on Friday night where campers delighted the audience with singing, dancing, comedy, drama skits, and poetry and prose readings.

The 2016 theme for Children’s camp was DARE to Succeed—determination, attitude, ready and energized. Each day, the focus was on one of the four motivational words and how that word helped them be successful. Each word was spotlighted through skits, music, personal stories, and group discussions. On arrival, campers were given logo ware items reflective of the theme including: a tote bag, water bottle, stress ball, and rubber bracelet. The highlight was the t-shirts with DARE to Suceed written in print and Braille on the back of the shirts.

The director, Jennifer Bazer, is excited to announce camp dates for 2017 will be June 25-July 1 which will not conflict with the Teen program at the Commission for the Blind, the Bell Academy, or Camp Leo! Look for camp applications in February to secure your spot for 2017. If you are passionate about children and youth who are blind, hard-working, driven, energetic, and a self-starter, Jennifer is seeking volunteers and junior counselors for 2017.

The camp is free of charge to children and youth who are blind between the ages of 6-16. All counselors and junior counselors are blind and all team members are volunteers. If you have questions about the camp or wish to make an in-kind or monetary donation to Children’s camp, please contact Jennifer Bazer at jhipp25@sc.rr.com or 803-661-6622.

 

From the Desk of the NFB of SC President Emeritus

 

& RBRCCB Chairman Emeritus

 

By Dr. Donald C. Capps

(Editor’s Note: I requested Dr. Capps to write the following article demonstrating his decades of service, experience and devotion to the blind for our Palmetto Blind readers)

Webster defines “Chairman” as follows, “the presiding officer of a meeting, committee, board, or the administrative head.” “Emeritus” is defined as follows, “retired or honorably discharged from active professional duty, but retaining the title of one’s office or position:”

I first met Dr. Kenneth Jernigan in 1955. He had come to South Carolina for the purpose of establishing an affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind. An educator, Dr. Jernigan taught at the School for the Blind in Nashville, Tennessee for some four or five years before traveling to South Carolina in 1955.

The Aurora Club of the Blind then consisted of chapters in Spartanburg and Columbia which were organized in 1944 under the leadership of its Founder, Dr. Samuel Miller Lawton. My introduction with the organized blind commenced in August of 1953. My brother Earl who was also blind obviously felt that if he could get me to a chapter meeting, he would be successful in my joining the Columbia Aurora Club. His strategy worked. My brother invited me to speak at the August meeting, and while I did not realize it at that time since I had resisted for some time, the invitation to speak was actually due to earlier pride in staying away from my fellow blind. In 1954 I became President of the Columbia Club and agreed to serve after only five months of chapter participation.

Dr. Jernigan used this earlier involvement to convince me that I should head up a state organization. In April of 1956 there was a statewide gathering of the blind with three chapters, Spartanburg, Columbia and Charleston. Once again I answered the call to serve as the President of the SC Aurora Club of the Blind which ultimately changed its name to the NFB of SC.

In July 1956, I traveled to the NFB National Convention held in San Francisco where I met many prominent leaders including Dr. Jacobus tenBroek, the Founder of the NFB. The prominent convention agenda was replete with presentations based on the purpose of the Federation including its philosophy and goals. The convention Banquet address was presented by Dr. tenBroek and was entitled, “Within the Grace of God,” which left an indelible impression upon me. Following the convention I decided to attend a week long seminar which dealt with various programs including laws, rehabilitation and welfare.

Perhaps more than anything else I had become wholly committed and devoted in my service to the blind. It didn’t take me too long to learn that as the leader of the state organization it would not be just “peaches and cream” as there were those, having been in work professionally with the blind for many years, who inflicted their wrath upon me. I recall the Chief of the Division of the Blind told my friends that, “I had better watch my step.” This threat had the effect of increasing my involvement in work with the blind. Ten years later in 1966, we would be heading up a campaign to eliminate the Division for the Blind and to create a separate agency, the Commission for the Blind. We would celebrate the 50th anniversary in May of 2016 of the SC Commission for the Blind. I was at the May 6, 2016 Commission Banquet as I was called upon for some comments. Thus, my brother’s invitation to speak to the Columbia Chapter 63 years ago proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that my involvement with my many wonderful friends in work with the blind in South Carolina was worthwhile throughout the decades.

At the August 2000 state convention I stepped down as state President but I did not step away from my service to the state’s blind. The 2000 state convention adopted a motion to confer upon me the title of President Emeritus.

Sixteen years later at the state convention of the NFB of SC, the RBRCCB Board of Directors made a motion resulting in my being made Chairman Emeritus of Rocky Bottom. As Chairman of the Board of Directors of RBRCCB for some 33 years, I was also its Founder, as RBRCCB was established in 1978. As in the case of being President Emeritus of the NFB of SC, I stepped down as RBRCCB Chairman but did not step away. As Chairman Emeritus it provided me the capacity to serve in a limited role.

Let me express to my friends on a local, state and national level my genuine appreciation for the opportunity of serving the blind during these past 63 years.

 

From the Editor’s Desk

 

By David Houck

2016 has been quite a year as evidenced by the articles contained in this issue of the Palmetto Blind. The NFB of SC’s 60th annual convention slogan of “Raising Expectations” sets the tone for 2017. Everyone did a great job in raising over $7,000 at the convention Banquet fundraiser for the NFB of SC and the Federation Center of the Blind. At this writing we are looking forward to the December 2-4, 2016 Christmas Board Retreat at RBRCCB. Although Dr. Donald Capps has stepped down as Chairman of the RBRCCB Board of Directors, he is not stepping away as he assumes the position of Chairman Emeritus of RBRCCB. His decades of experience are helpful in the transition of Frank Coppel taking over as Chairman. Ed Bible was elected as RBRCCB Vice Chairman and he will also benefit both Chairman Coppel and the Board in the smooth function of day to day operations.

After the auto accident on September 24 in which the Center’s offices were damaged, restoration is underway and should be complete by the time you receive this issue. We are also looking to erect a barrier to keep further damage to our facilities from occurring in the future.

It is vital that 2017 Orlando Bus Fund tickets be sold in greater quantities than before as we really want to charter a bus to Orlando for the July 10-15, 2017 national NFB convention. The drawing will take place on Saturday, February 4 during the Statewide Seminar. Also by the time of the February 4, 2017 Seminar, be certain to have your chapter officers, voting and associate members information as well as state dues of $10 per dues paid member turned in. Bring auction items for the Federation Center auction ‑‑ gift baskets, gift cards and baked items are always a hit! It is also a good idea to mark your 2017 calendar for Saturday, February 18 for the second annual Sweetheart Dance at the Federation Center in Columbia. Federation Center Board Chairman Debra Canty does a great job with this event. Watch your weekly Positive Note for more details!

Finally, consider how you can be of greater assistance in raising your expectations in work with the blind locally, statewide and nationally. Set some obtainable goals and even a goal which seems harder to reach. It will amaze you what you can accomplish, even more that you ever dreamed possible! See you at the January 28 Statewide Seminar.

 

 

 

FINAL THOUGHT:

“My parents helped me to understand that being different from everyone else could be tremendously positive, provided the differences were based on excellence and achievement. I came to believe that, if I were only good enough at everything I tried, people would forget I was blind and treat me like everyone else.”

‑‑‑‑ Kenneth Jernigan, __Like Cats & _Dogs

 

The National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina gratefully accepts gifts, living memorials, grants, bequests, stocks and wills. As a 501(cgggg3) tax exempt organization, your gift is tax deductible.

Positive Note 1582

December 7, 2016Memo To: Executive Officers, Board Members, Chapter & Division Presidents & Others

From: Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1582

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

              The 36th annual Christmas Board Retreat held at Rocky Bottom this past weekend was extremely busy as many of us participated in two board meetings (RBRCCB Board of Directors which was held 9:30 a.m. and the Board of Directors of the NFB of SC which was held at 2:00 p.m.) throughout the day on Saturday. During the RBRCCB Board meeting, Donald Capps expressed his thoughts to the board regarding his new role as Chairman Emeritus. Jennifer Bazer, Director of Children’s camp, stated the 2017 edition of Children’s camp will be held June 25 to July 1. The dates for the 2017 Senior Camps will be May 21-25 and September 17-21. Ed Bible, Vice Chairman of the RBRCCB Board of Directors, discussed with the board his thoughts regarding the importance of utilizing social media as a tool to market Rocky Bottom. To this end, Mr. Bible informed the board he has arranged to have an intern, Anita Harris, who has received her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing and Communications from Winthrop College in Rock Hill to work with RBRCCB on a part time basis beginning January 1, 2017. Miss Harris’s primary responsibility will be to update and expand our content on all of our social media outlets. The Board also discussed the need to start planning for the annual Fun Day Festival in January of 2017. To accomplish this Fund Raising committee was appointed consisting of Jennifer Bazer Chairperson, Ed Bible, Valerie Warrington, and Debra Canty. During the NFB of SC State Board meeting, a variety of topics were discussed. The Board heard reports from Debra Canty, chairperson of the Fund Raising Committee who reported the second annual Sweetheart Dance will be held February 18, 2017 at the Federation Center of the Blind. Tickets for the dance will cost $25 per person and $45 for a couple. Jamie Allison, Chairperson of the Youth Recruitment Committee discussed with the board the various strategies her committee was considering to attract families of blind children and younger individuals to the NFB of SC. Jennifer Bazer, Director of the Career Boost Program, reported to the board considering the fact the NFB of SC began this program at “ground zero” her team has made tremendous strides and she is looking forward to 2017 with a great deal of anticipation. The Board also discussed the need to expand and update our content on social media as a tool to market the NFB of SC. Anita Harris will also be assisting the NFB of SC in this area as well. The Washington Seminar was discussed and will begin on Sunday, January 29, 2017 with the “great gathering in” meeting being held on Monday, January 30, at 5:00 p.m. Room rates for the Washington Seminar are $188 per night plus a 14.5 percent room tax. Please call the Holiday Inn Capitol at (877) 572-6951 to make your reservation. All reservations must be made by December 28. If you wish to attend or have questions regarding the Washington Seminar, please call me at (803) 796-8662. Due to the fact I will be attending a State Affiliate Presidents meeting in Baltimore the weekend of January 28, and January 29, the Board discussed and voted to move the Statewide Seminar to Saturday, February 4, 2017. A letter will be sent to members during the next few days with further details regarding the Statewide Seminar. The Board also had an extensive discussion regarding the 2016 State Convention in Myrtle Beach. Many members agreed the staff at the Ocean Dunes Hotel were very accommodating and that the meeting space was adequate. However, many concerns were expressed regarding the inaccessibility for wheel chairs and the condition of the room accommodations at the hotel. For these reasons, it was the consensus of the Board to investigate other possible sites for the 2017 state convention. I want to take this opportunity to especially thank Lenora Robertson and her “food crew” for all of their hard work preparing the delicious meals throughout the weekend. I also would like to thank each of you who attended Rocky Bottom this weekend for making the Christmas Board Retreat an extremely enjoyable and pleasant experience for myself and Shelley. 

              Billy Eubanks, who is a member of our Columbia Chapter, would like to thank everyone in the Federation family that called, sent cards and other items, and especially kept him, Loretta, and their family in their prayers during the last couple of months. He was in the hospital and rehab for 6 weeks, and fittingly, around Thanksgiving was able to come home. He says that they have felt all of the love sent their way and words just cannot adequately express their gratitude to all. 

              The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day, we raise the expectations of blind people because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life you want: blindness is not what holds you back. Joining me for comments in this Positive Note is the President Emeritus of the NFB of SC. Here is Dr. Capps. 

              The 35th annual Christmas Board Retreat was a huge success. President Coppel presided over both the RBRCCB Board of Directors meeting and the NFB of SC Board of Directors meeting flawlessly. He also handled the Saturday evening Christmas party which was enjoyed by all. As always, Lenora Robertson, First Vice President of the NFB of SC, handled the food service. She included a variety of wonderful desserts. David Huck presented the Biblical account of the birth of Jesus. We were pleased to have some three Advisory Board members who spent some time with activities including Advisory Board Chairman John Sarpy and his lovely wife Linda, long time member Barry Chavis, and Mr. Billy Singleton who attended the RBRCCB board meeting. Our resident Rocky Bottom board member Dr. Tom Bowen attended the RBRCCB board meeting as well. I enjoyed all of the activities. 

              This Wednesday, December 7, 2016 is the 75rh anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. I was 13 years old attending the School for the Blind when this happened. I recall it was Sunday and I was playing football when someone dashed from the building stating that the Japanese had just bombed Pearl Harbor. He also stated President Franklin D. Roosevelt was on the radio covering the attack. I immediately stopped what I was doing to listen to President Roosevelt’s unforgettable report which included the attack as “A day which will live in infamy.” The bombing referred to the USS Arizona being sunk resulting in some 1,102 of the military personnel losing their lives, entombed in the sunken ship. Little did I realize I would be standing on the Arizona Memorial some 50 years later. About 1995, I was a member of the Board of Directors of the NFB and would be attending the convention of the NFB of Hawaii. The late Dr. Floyd Matson who taught Dr. Jacobus tenBroek was my primary host for the week I was in Hawaii. There is a brief documentary of the Pearl Harbor attack before proceeding to the deck where the ship lies. The names of the military personnel who lost their lives are inscribed on the Memorial wall. In standing on the deck of the Arizona it gently rocked from side to side and it was a solemn experience which I shall never forget. Dr. Matson who was the author of the publication, “Walking Alone and Marching Together” which covered the 50th anniversary of the NFB, was my sightseeing guide during my stay in Hawaii. David Houck tells me he lived about two miles from the Arizona Memorial in Hawaii between 1965 and 1967. 

              I want to extend sincere sympathy to Isaiah “Ike” Nelson, as well as to his brother Jonathan and sister Magdalene and his other siblings who lost their father Mr. Skyler Nelson at age 97 who passed away last Wednesday, November 30. It was my honor to know Mr. Nelson who was an outstanding gentleman. We will certainly keep the Nelson family in our thoughts and prayers.

     Final Thought: History of NFB of SC Legislative Victories: #44: June 2, 2014 – S.687 – Blind Persons Right to Parent Act – Blind parents retain right to child custody whereby blindness alone cannot be a reason for discrimination against the blind parent.

Positive Note 1581

November 28, 2016Memo To: Executive Officers, Board Members, Chapter & Division Presidents & Others

From: Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1581

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

              We are writing this edition of the Positive Note earlier than usual in order that you may receive it prior to the Christmas Board Retreat which will be held this weekend, December 2, 3, and 4, at Rocky Bottom. Saturday, December 3, promises to be a very busy day. We will kick things off Saturday morning with the Rocky Bottom Retreat and Conference Center of the Blind Board of Directors meeting at 9:30 a.m., followed by the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina Board of Directors meeting which will begin at 2:00 p.m. We will have our holiday dinner at 6:30 Saturday evening and immediately afterwards we will gather around the Christmas tree and celebrate the Christmas season as we sing carols, exchange gifts, fellowship, and sample a variety of delicious desserts which I am certain many of you are planning to bring. If you wish to participate in the Christmas gift exchange Saturday evening, ladies will need to bring a ladies’ gift and men will need to bring a men’s gift. The schedule for meals throughout the weekend is as follows; Saturday morning breakfast will be served at 8:30 a.m., lunch at 1:00 p.m., and dinner at 6:30 p.m. And Sunday morning we will have a continental breakfast at 8:30 a.m. 

              The month of December is a busy time in the NFB of SC as many chapters hold parties to celebrate the Christmas season. If you would like for me to attend your Christmas party please contact me at (803) 796-8662 and I will try to attend. At this time, Shelley and I have been invited to the Chesterfield County Christmas luncheon on December 8 and the Sumter Christmas Banquet on December 13. 

              As we approach the end of 2016, I would like to remind everyone that this is a great time to pay your 2017 state dues of $10. Article XII of the NFB of SC state Constitution states “The dues of this organization shall be $10 per year, payable during the month of January. No person may vote who is delinquent in the payment of his/her dues.” The dead line for submitting dues is January 31, 2017. 

              Finally, I hope all of you had a blessed Thanksgiving. We currently are expecting over forty people to attend the Board Retreat and I look forward to celebrating the Christmas season with you at Rocky Bottom this weekend. 

              The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day, we raise the expectations of blind people because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life you want: blindness is not what holds you back. Joining me for comments in this Positive Note is the President Emeritus of the NFB of SC. Here is Dr. Capps. 

              I am also glad to be able to participate in the Christmas Board Retreat this weekend. I’m sure that many of you will be cries-crossing the state to make the trip to Rocky Bottom which is one of the most pristine sites in the state. The annual Christmas Board Retreat is very important as it brings together chapter and state leaders annually to discuss important NFB of SC and RBRCCB issues and it also sets the goals and objectives for 2017. The two board meetings will be presided over by the state President Frank Coppel. Frank is very busy these days. This is the 25th anniversary of holding the Christmas Board Retreat in the Conference Center which was dedicated in July 1991. Prior to that time housing was made in Osterneck Cottage and Oglesby Cottage as the Ellenburg Lodge was not completed until 1999, some eight years after the Conference Center. Christmas Board Retreats date back to the early 1980’s when they were held in Osterneck. The Conference Center dedication attracted people in all walks of life including county and state public officials. The keynote speaker was the late Gov. Carroll Campbell. In acknowledging the growth and development of RBRCCB, he stated that, “a large oak tree begins as an acorn.” Some 500 people attended the dedication. It’s a good thing the Fire Marshall did not show up for the occasion as he would have had to remove some of us from the building. There was a Reception held after the dedication with guests being served light refreshments. Betty was in charge of the Reception. 

              

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT REVISES REGULATIONS TO REQUIRE CLOSED MOVIE CAPTIONING AND AUDIO DESCRIPTION FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT REVISES REGULATIONS TO REQUIRE CLOSED MOVIE CAPTIONING AND AUDIO DESCRIPTION FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

 WASHINGTON – The Justice Department today announced an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Title III regulation to further clarify a public accommodation’s obligation to provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services for people with disabilities. The final rule provides that public accommodations that own, operate or lease movie theaters are required to provide closed movie captioning and audio description whenever showing a digital movie that is produced, distributed or otherwise made available with these features.  

 Title III of the ADA requires public accommodations to furnish appropriate auxiliary aids and services, where necessary, to ensure effective communication with people with disabilities, and the department has long held the position that captioning and audio description are auxiliary aids required by the ADA. Despite this obligation and the widespread availability of movies with these features, the department received numerous reports from the disability community indicating that neither closed movie captioning nor audio description is universally available at movie theaters across the United States.  

 The department initiated this rulemaking on June 10, 2010, with the publication of its Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) and then published its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on Aug. 1, 2014. In total, the department received over 1,500 comments on the ANPRM and the NPRM, including a comment on the NPRM that was jointly submitted by advocacy groups representing individuals with hearing disabilities and the movie theater industry. The department intends to publish the final rule in the Federal Register in the near future, and the rule will take effect 45 days after publication.  

 “The disability community and movie theater industry provided comprehensive insight on this important regulation,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department’s regulation establishes a nationally consistent standard and ensures that, in theaters across the country, people with hearing and vision disabilities can fully enjoy watching movies with their families and friends.” 

 The final rule requires movie theaters to have available and maintain the equipment necessary to provide closed movie captioning and audio description so that it is delivered to a movie patron’s seat and available only to that patron. Movie theaters are also required to notify the public about the availability of these features and have staff available to assist movie patrons with the equipment.  

The requirements of this rule do not apply to any movie theater that shows analog movies exclusively. Additionally, the compliance limitations under Title III of the ADA apply to this rulemaking, and thus, the rule makes clear that movie theaters do not have to comply with the rule’s requirements if compliance would result in an undue burden or a fundamental alteration.
 For more information about this rule or the ADA, please visit the department’s ADA website or call the ADA Information Line (1-800-514-0301, 1-800-514-3083, TTY). Once the final rule is published in the Federal Register, a copy will be available on the Federal Register’s website.

Positive Note 1580

Memo To:  Executive Officers, Board Members, Chapter & Division Presidents & Others

From:  Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1580

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

With the start of the holiday season just around the corner, there is no better time to make a contribution in honor or in memory of a loved one to the NFB of SC, Rocky Bottom or the Federation Center.  We are enclosing a letter you can share with family members, friends and business associates to help raise funds for one of these extremely important programs during this holiday season.

Now that the State Convention is behind us, I am beginning to formulate committees for 2016/2017.   If you wish to serve on a committee, please let me know by calling me at (803) 796-8662 or emailing me at; frankcoppel@att.net

And I will place you on that committee.  NFB of SC committees are extremely important as they carry out the business of the Federation between Conventions and Board meetings.  The list of committees are as follows; Legislative Committee, Resolutions Committee, Membership Committee, Youth Recruitment Committee, Organizing Committee, Scholarship Committee, Public Relations Committee, Finance Committee, Braille Literacy Committee, Fund Raising Committee, Grants Committee, White Cane Walk-a-thon Committee, Donald C. Capps Award Committee, Associate Member of the Year Award Committee, Employer of the Year Award Committee, Educator of the Year Award Committee, PAC Plan (pre-authorized contribution plan) Committee, and Sun Shares (Shares unlimited NFB) Committee.

This is a friendly reminder to continue to sell your Orlando National Convention bus tickets.  It is imperative we sell as many tickets as possible to help cover the expense of the chartered bus to Orlando.

Finally, I want to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a very blessed and Happy Thanksgiving.  Let’s take a few minutes Thursday to reflect and give thanks for our families, our country, and to our organization, the National Federation of the Blind, who provides us with the belief and philosophy that through love, hope and determination we can change our dreams into reality.

The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future.  Every day, we raise the expectations of blind people because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams.  You can live the life you want:  blindness is not what holds you back.  Joining me for comments in this Positive Note is the President Emeritus of the NFB of SC.  Here is Dr. Capps.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you across the state.  We have been blessed throughout the year.  I would like to give you some personal history related to the NFB occurring over several decades.  I was elected to the national board in 1959 and attended my first board meeting the following year – 1960.  Until then I had never flown and as it developed, it was a harrowing experience.  We boarded a plane in Columbia and traveled to St. Louis.  As we arrived in the St. Louis area we ran into a snowstorm.  The pilot alerted the passengers that there were some 12 planes trying to land at the St. Louis airport and that we were working our way down to land.  The plane circled the airport for what seemed to be an interminable period of time.  It seemed that I was getting increasingly uneasy and sick from the experience.  This was during the Thanksgiving season and Betty and I had to leave our two children back home in the care of two wonderful ladies named Aunt Mattie and Aunt Lelia.  For several years, Dr. tenBroek, the Founder and President of the NFB, held annual board meetings in the St. Louis and Chicago areas.  Dr. tenBroek passed away in 1968 and that year’s national convention involved a change in leadership with Dr. Jernigan being elected President and I was elected First Vice President of the NFB.  For ten years beginning 1968 to 1978, board meetings were held in Des Moines as Dr. Jernigan was Executive Director of the Iowa Commission for the Blind.  By now we had established a tradition of NFB board meetings being held during the Thanksgiving season.  Almost invariably, it snowed in Des Moines during Thanksgiving and we had to deal with that situation.  In 1978 the NFB purchased land and buildings in Baltimore and since that time, meetings have occurred at the National Center.  The Thanksgiving weather is better in Baltimore and for some 30 years I attended the Baltimore meetings, retiring from the board at the 2011 Orlando Convention.

I remember changing planes in Atlanta during a return trip from Des Moines and about ten minutes into the flight, a spark flew through the cabin whereupon the pilot tried to reassure all of us that everything was all right. I turned to Betty and said, “Don’t believe it!”    We then returned to the airport.  Upon landing it was noted the runway was prepared with all the usual emergency equipment including the fire department, etc.  Upon checking in with the desk clerk we were told we could board a plane to Columbia within a half hour but I declined and asked the location of the nearest hotel.  The following day we rented an auto and proceeded to Columbia.  To this day I still dislike flying but during my long career I have had many flying experiences.  My air travel has taken me to different places such as Alaska, Hawaii, Melbourne, Australia, London, Paris, Madrid, Cairo, Israel and several cities in the Untied States.  I hope all of you have safe travels throughout the Christmas season.

 

Final Thought:  History of NFB of SC Legislative Victories:  #.39:  2003 – Laylah’s Law S.36 passed to protect guide dogs from abuse and neglect from the general public

Positive Note 1579

Memo To:  Executive Officers, Board Members, Chapter & Division Presidents & Others

From:  Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1579

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

David Houck received a call from Ken Spears of our Rock Hill Chapter Thursday morning, November 10 stating that he had been trying to get his Homestead Exemption activated for his home for three years without success.  He submitted all the proper paperwork about his legal blindness but had no success with the county auditor (This law began to apply to the blind beginning in 1974, #S846).   As Mr. Houck began to research the matter, Ken decided to call his local TV station and within the hour not only did the county auditor approve his homestead exemption but they will also refund the property taxes he paid over the last three years – Raising Expectations!

We still have not heard from some of you as to whether you are planning to attend the 2016 Christmas Board Retreat which will be held at Rocky Bottom December 2, 3, and 4.  This will be a busy time since we will be holding two Board meetings beginning with the RBRCCB Board of Directors meeting Saturday morning, December 3, at 9:30 a.m. which will be followed by the NFB of SC Board of Directors meeting on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 p.m.  Saturday evening will be a time for observing the Christmas season, as we sing Christmas carols, fellowship, and sample delicious desserts.  If you wish to participate in the Christmas gift exchange Saturday evening, ladies will need to bring a ladies’ gift and men will need to bring a men’s gift.  I have asked Julie Bible to be in charge of the distribution of gifts at our Christmas get-together Saturday evening.  I hope we will have a large turnout for the weekend.  Make plans to be there!

Now that you have exercised your fundamental right to vote, please complete the NFB’s 2016 Blind and Low-Vision Voter Experience Survey by Friday, November 18. If you cast your ballot at an early voting center, your local polling place on Election Day, or by absentee ballot that you received by regular mail, please complete the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JJ5N38X. If you used a personal computer or tablet to mark your ballot, please complete the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JM9CMY6.

The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future.  Every day, we raise the expectations of blind people because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams.  You can live the life you want:  blindness is not what holds you back.  Joining me for comments in this Positive Note is the President Emeritus of the NFB of SC.  Here is Dr. Capps.

When the Church of the Harvest located in Lexington serves the Thanksgiving dinner at our monthly November meeting, I always feel like this event kicks off the Thanksgiving and Christmas season.  Last Thursday, November 10 at the monthly meeting of the Columbia Chapter the Church of the Harvest served a magnificent Thanksgiving dinner.  This outstanding church has served the Thanksgiving meal for the Columbia Chapter for more than a decade.  This year it seems to me that this wonderful church went out of its way to be sure we had the finest Thanksgiving dinner.  Some of the dinner items included of course ham and turkey, cranberries, dressing, sweet potatoes, string beans and a host of other delicious items.  There were at least a half dozen different desserts which you could choose from including pecan pie (which I chose) and sweet potato pie, just to name a few.  I understand the ladies of the church pitched in and contributed the food.  Rev. Ken Jumper, who was married to his late wife Connie who was blind and a member of the Columbia Chapter, is especially supportive of the chapter.  The Associate Pastor, Rev. Aaron Bell, substituted for Pastor Jumper.  Levon Stack is a prominent member of the church and is an outstanding singer.  He sang several hymns and patriotic songs.  Always Mr. Stack includes the singing of, “His Eye is on the Sparrow,” which he knows is my favorite song.  This year Mr. Stack sang this song at the beginning of the program and as a favor to me and the some 100 members present, sang the song a second time at the close of the program.

About 25 years ago I began selling barbecue tickets to the Keenan/Suggs Insurance Agency.  A lovely lady always handled this for me and was always able to sell 25 to 35 barbecue tickets.  This lady’s name was Susan Madden.  A couple of years ago Ms. Madden retired.  Two or three months ago at our monthly Columbia Chapter meeting, a lady came to see me at the speaker’s table and introduced herself as Susan Madden, the same lady who sold the tickets.  She also brought a blind niece and they are now both members of the Columbia Chapter.  We never know who we will meet down the road, a second chance.  Last week at the chapter meeting Ms. Madden once again came up to the speaker’s table and shook my hand.

Over the weekend I went to RBRCCB for the first time in strictly a non-business role.  It was good visiting with our Resident Manager Brooke Rivers and her husband Jami.  Also our NFB of SC First Vice President Lenora Robertson was at RBRCCB and I enjoyed a visit from her and others.  Rock Hill chapter member, Ellen Taylor’s fiancé, Jon, began volunteering his time on landscaping throughout the grounds.  He spent much time trimming hedges, pruning trees, weed eating, and lawn mowing. He has singlehandedly made the grounds look pristine and manicured, we really owe him allot of gratitude for volunteering his time over the entire week.  The Rock Hill chapter left Osterneck Cottage in good condition. Lenora had even taken the time to wash the windows and they did a few other cleaning projects over the week.

 

Final Thought:  History of NFB of SC Legislative Victories:  #37:  2002 –  H.3423, A bill mandating that Department of Public Safety Issued identification cards, which are similar to a driver’s license but to be used only for identification purposes by the blind and other non-drivers, must be accepted wherever a driver’s license is accepted as identification.

Palmetto Blind – Spring 2016

The Palmetto Blind

The voice of the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina

New NFB of SC President Frank Coppel Addresses

2015 NFB of SC Convention Delegates

SPRING 2016
The PALMETTO BLIND, published quarterly in large print, cassette tape and Braille by the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina. David Houck, Editor.

The National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina is chartered under the laws of the state of South Carolina to promote the spiritual, social and economic well-being of all blind South Carolinians. The state organization is an affiliate of the nation’s oldest and largest organization of the blind–the National Federation of the Blind.

The PALMETTO BLIND is the voice of the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina and is available free of charge to any blind individual or member in large print, Braille online or in a digital format from the SC Talking Book Services. Other subscribers are encouraged. If readers desire to do so, donations to cover the annual subscription cost of $10.00 per year may be made payable to the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina and sent to: Valerie Warrington, Treasurer, National Federation of the Blind of SC, 119 S. Kilbourne Rd., Columbia, SC 29205

Braille or large print copies may be retained for personal libraries.

Giving A Dream

One of the great satisfactions in life is having the opportunity to assist others. Consider making a gift to the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina to continue turning our dreams into reality. A gift to the NFB of SC is not merely a donation to an organization; it provides resources that will directly ensure a brighter future for all blind people.

Seize the Future

The National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina has special giving opportunities that will benefit the giver as well as the NFB of SC. Of course the largest benefit to the donor is the satisfaction of knowing that your gift is leaving a legacy of opportunity. However, gifts may be structured to provide more.

  • Helping the NFB of SC fulfill its mission
  • Realizing income tax savings through a charitable donation
  • Making capital gain tax savings on contributions of appreciated assets
  • Providing retained payments for the life of a donor or beneficiary
  • Eliminating or lowering federal estate tax in certain situations
  • Reducing estate settlement costs

NFB of SC programs are dynamic:

  • Making the study of literacy and technology a real possibility for blind children and adults
  • Providing hope and training for seniors losing vision
  • Promoting state and local programs to help blind people become first class citizens
  • Educating the public about blind people’s true potential
  • Advancing technology helpful to the blind
  • Creating a state and national library on the progress of blindness
  • Training and inspiring professionals working with the blind
  • Providing critical information to parents of blind children
  • Mentoring blind job seekers Your gift makes you a partner in the NFB of SC dream. For further information or assistance, contact the NFB of SC, 119 S. Kilbourne Rd., Columbia, SC 29205. 803-254-3777 nfbsc@sc.rr.com or nfbofsc.org.

Table of Contents

  1. 2015 NFB of SC Convention Elects New President
  2. 2015 NFB of SC Columbia Convention Inspires New Leadership
  3. 2015 Convention Resolution
  4. Seventy-fifth Annual NFB National Convention Breaks World Record   By Frank Coppel
  5. Upcoming 2016 NFB of SC Convention & the Need for Convention Sponsors Sponsors
  6. 2016 Statewide Seminar A Resounding Success! By Frank Coppel
  7. Commission for the Blind Celebrates 50th Anniversary Made Possible by NFB of SC
  8. From the President’s Desk by Frank Coppel
  9. 2016 Senior Camps by Frank Coppel
  10. 2016 Children’s Camp by Jennifer Bazer
  11. News from the Rocky Bottom Board Chairman By Dr. Donald C. Capps
  12. Mission Team Gives Rocky Bottom Face Lift By David Bundy
  13. Investing in Our Federation Future: Changes in the 2016 Scholarship Program By Shannon Cook
  14. From the Desk of the NFB of SC President Emeritus By Dr. Donald C. Capps
  15. From the Editor’s Desk by David Houck
  16. FINAL THOUGHT

2015 NFB of SC Convention Elects New President

The 2015 NFB of SC 59th Annual Convention held at the Marriott Hotel in Columbia elected longtime Federationist Frank Coppel as President unanimously on Sunday morning, August 23, 2015.

Immediate past NFB of SC President and National NFB board member Parnell Diggs, who served as state President for 15 years since 2000, was offered and accepted the prestigious position as Director of Governmental Affairs at the National Center in Baltimore, Maryland. Mr. Diggs, who also ran for public office in South Carolina’s 7th Congressional District and for the position of Attorney General was indeed the right man for this national position.

However, this left the NFB of SC Presidential position open. Mr. Diggs attended and spoke at the convention as did his former law partner Chris Danielsen, Director of Public Relations at the National Center. It was obvious that Frank Coppel had the credentials for the NFB of SC Presidency. He was the First Vice President of the NFB of SC, a position he held for many years. He is Vice Chairman of the Rocky Bottom Retreat and Conference Center of the Blind. He has served several terms as Columbia Chapter President. He has been active at NFB and NFB of SC Conventions, Washington Seminars and other events on a national level over the years. In every respect Mr. Coppel is very knowledgeable of federation affairs on every level. The whole convention gladly elected him to take over the mantle of leadership of the NFB of SC.

2015 NFB of SC Columbia Convention Inspires New Leadership

The August 21-25, 2015 NFB of SC’s 59th Annual Convention at the Columbia Marriott Hotel was one of both unity and diversity of leadership. Delegates from every part of the state of South Carolina gathered together and registered for the convention beginning on Friday, August 21. Registration was headed up by Darlene Houck and David Houck coordinated the exhibits. Exhibitors at the convention included the NFB of SC, Rocky Bottom Retreat and Conference Center of the Blind, the Laurens Chapter and the Parents Division, the Commission for the Blind, SC School for the Deaf and the Blind and Talking Book Services as well as the Christian Ministry Teachers. Friday afternoon featured divisional meetings of blind seniors, computer users, students, merchants and parents of blind children. The Federation Center’s Board of Directors and the White Cane Walk-A-Thon Committee met as did the Resolutions Committee. It seems there was a meeting to suit the interests of just about any blind person. Many leaders stepped up to the plate to host these informative meetings.

The Friday evening Reception was the highlight of the evening. The Reception featured catered food, a 1970’s theme, live entertainment and dancing. A big thank you goes out to Columbia Chapter President Tiffiny Mitchell, Columbia Chapter members and to all those who made the event a huge success!

On Saturday, August 22 early in the morning, the Rocky Bottom Retreat and Conference Center of the Blind Board of Directors met. On Saturday and Sunday mornings the Marriott provided a continental breakfast before sessions began in the meeting room enjoyed by the convention delegates.

Lenora Robertson and Ellen Taylor were loaded down with door prizes collected for distribution throughout the convention. Leadership was demonstrated by all those who collected these door prizes and brought them to the convention as well as to Lenora and Ellen for coordinating this important service.

NFB of SC President Parnell Diggs presided over the convention and performed superbly. However, he had just accepted a prestigious position as the Director of Governmental Affairs for the NFB nationally. President Diggs’ leadership has been well documented over the years both within and outside of the federation. After all the opening ceremonies and convention arrangements, Chris Danielsen, Public Relations Director of the National Federation of the Blind gave the National Report. Mr. Danielsen, a former law partner with Parnell Diggs and close friend, recounted the success of the NFB in fighting for the blind in legislation, at the Jernigan Institute and in supporting the blind which experienced discrimination. The “one minute message” which is published elsewhere in this edition was reviewed. Kyle Walker, Director of the Commission for the Blind’s VR Services, addressed the delegates concerning the Commissions’ changing focus, establishing partnerships and how the blind can have input into the process. Mr. Walker is new to the Commission and has a good philosophy concerning blindness services. The SC School for the Deaf and Blind Director of Outreach Services Scott Falcone, addressed the audience concerning the varied programs of service to blind students, not just within the School, but through statewide outreach as well. We are glad to announce that SCSDB President, Paige McCraw was recently confirmed as the School’s President just before the convention and we wish her well as she continues to lead the School into the future. Jennifer Bazer then gave tips regarding proper appearance by the blind so that you can look your best in public. Jennifer Bazer will be conducting the 2016 Children’s camp and her enthusiasm and leadership is much appreciated. President Parnell Diggs gave his final Presidential Report to conclude the Saturday morning session. His eloquence will be missed and his leadership in the NFB of SC is highly regarded by everyone.

The noontime Luncheon featured a meeting of the NFB of SC Board of Directors. Convention delegates observed the meeting and had input as to things which were discussed.

The Saturday afternoon session began with a presentation from Talking Book Services Director Sandy Knowles. Her discussion of talking books, library services and electronic access was of much interest to the convention as most all utilize this important literary service. Dr. Donald C. Capps, Chairman of the Board of Directors of RBRCCB addressed the convention concerning progress at Rocky Bottom, our new Resident Manager Brooke West and the upcoming Fun Day Festival on Labor Day weekend. Frank Coppel spoke on Senior Blind week and Jennifer Bazer spoke on the 2016 Children’s Camp. These are fully addressed elsewhere in this edition of the Palmetto Blind. David Houck gave the report on the Federation Center of the Blind, reviewing our progress over the past year and looking forward to 2016. Then there was a review of the 75 years of Donald and Betty Capps service to the federation as a tribute to them. Their leadership is an example to all of us. To end the session there were chapter and division reports made by their presidents. This was followed by Shannon Cook introducing the 2015 scholarship class. Please reference her article in this issue regarding the 2016 scholarship program. The Saturday evening Banquet is the highlight of the convention as NFB Director of Public Relations Chris Danielsen gave the keynote address. His eloquence was both informative and inspiring. Awards were presented to those who demonstrated outstanding leadership in work with the blind. Barry Chavis received the Associate Member of the Year Award for his decades of service to the blind. , Shelley Coppel received the Donald C. Capps Award for her efforts on behalf of the blind in and outside South Carolina. Lori Finnerty received the Educator of the Year Award for her outstanding service to blind students. SC Talking Book Services received the Employer of the Year Award for their record of employing the blind as well as for having blind representation on their board. These award recipients represent the current generation of leaders in the blindness field.
The 2015 NFB of SC Scholarship Class

The 2015 Scholarship Class was presented with the following scholarships: Alexus Blanding received the $500 Hornsby Scholarship, Ghita Chadery received the $250 Metro Scholarship, Willie Wester received the $250 Metro Scholarship, Kayana Ladson-Ellis received the $250 Metro Scholarship, Kaitlyn Hodges received the $500 Columbia Chapter John Fling Memorial Scholarship and the $500 Federation Center Bernard H. Kline Memorial Scholarship, Amal Momani received the $500 Anderson Chapter Jimmie Smith Memorial Scholarship, the $250 Rock Hill Chapter Don Robertson Memorial Scholarship and the $250 Belvedere Chapter Scholarship, and Orenthia Tompkins received the $500 Greenville Chapter Ruth Jordan Scholarship, the Conway Chapter $250 Andrew Johnson Memorial Scholarship and the $250 Sheila Breitweiser Scholarship. These scholarship winners represent our future in the blindness movement.

The Sunday morning session got underway with a Devotional and Memorial Service by Doug and Patsy Roberts. This was followed by remaining reports from chapter and division presidents. Since the membership is not required to pay dues, it is important for us to support the national organization through our stewardship. The Imagination Fund, PAC Plan and SUN Funds are ways to accomplish this important service. Resolution 2015-01 was passed by the convention calling for the NFB of SC and the Commission to work together on the Commission’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2016. This resolution is printed in this issue of the Palmetto Blind. The last order of business was the election of officers. Since President Diggs was stepping down at this convention, he was presented with a specially made gavel in honor of his 15 years of service as NFB of SC President (2000-2015). The election results are as follows: President – Frank Coppel, First Vice President – Lenora Robertson, Second Vice President – Debra Canty, 5th District – Linda Dizzley (all of whom are serving one year terms) and for two year terms elected were 1st District – Levern Wilson, 3rd District – Frank Loza, and members-sat-large, Isaiah Nelson and Ed Bible. We appreciate the service of outgoing leaders who will continue to serve in many ways as well as those who were re-elected and new board members. The convention adjourned with great enthusiasm and an eagerness to continue on in changing what it means to be blind so that you can “live the life you want.”

2015 Convention Resolution

Resolution 15-01

Whereas the Commission for the Blind of South Carolina will be celebrating its Fiftieth anniversary in 2016; and,

Whereas the NFB of SC was responsible for the creation of the Commission for the Blind of South Carolina, having worked two years with the General Assembly to pass necessary legislation; and.

Whereas the Commission for the Blind of South Carolina offers vital programs designed to promote independence, enhance opportunity, and improve the quality of life for blind South Carolinians; and.

Whereas the blind and low vision South Carolinians of all ages benefit significantly from these programs and find such programs to be a helpful in developing and improving skills that will assist them throughout life;

Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved by the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina in convention assembled this 23rd day of August, 2015 in the City of Columbia that the organized blind movement in South Carolina congratulate the Commission for the Blind of South Carolina for its fifty years of continued service to the blind of this state, and

Be It Further Resolved that this organization partner with the Commission for the Blind of South Carolina in celebrating its Fiftieth Anniversary.

Seventy-fifth Annual NFB National Convention Breaks World Record

By Frank Coppel

The 75th annual National Federation of the Blind National Convention was held at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Florida from July 5, to July 10, 2015. Approximately 2800 Federationists attended the National Convention. As usual South Carolina finished in the top ten in attendance. Since this was the 75th anniversary of the National Federation of the Blind, many special activities were held to acknowledge this accomplishment. One of the displays available for all to see, was a tactual and audio time line which described the history of the NFB from its beginnings in 1940 to the present. The display had excerpts of speeches from Dr. TenBroek, Dr. Jernigan, Dr. Maurer, and President Riccabono. On Wednesday, July 8, just prior to the opening general session of the convention, 2480 Federationists broke a Guinness World record by forming the world’s largest umbrella mosaic In the parking lot of the Rosen Centre Hotel. By using white and blue umbrellas, 2480 Federationists spelled out our NFB tagline “Live the life you want” which could be seen for miles around from the sky.

As usual, the agenda items were excellent. I especially enjoyed President Riccabono’s Presidential Report and an agenda item Friday morning entitled, “THE 75TH ANNIVERSARY IN SONG“           presented by James Brown, President, NFB of Tennessee and Richie Flores, NFB of Texas. Of course, the highlight of the convention was the Banquet which was held Friday evening. The address was excellent as President Riccabono delivered a thought provoking and spirited message.

As you can see, the 2015 NFB National convention was a tremendous success, and I hope many of you are making plans to attend the 2016 NFB National Convention which will be held at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel, Thursday, June 30, to Tuesday, July 5. The 2016 room rates at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel are singles and doubles, $83; and triples and quads, $89. In addition to the room rates there will be a tax, which at present is 12.5 percent. No charge will be made for children under seventeen in the room with parents as long as no extra bed is requested. Please note that the hotel is a no-smoking facility.

For 2016 convention room reservations you can call the hotel at (866) 996-6338 after January 1. You may also write directly to the Rosen Shingle Creek, 9939 Universal Boulevard, Orlando, Florida 32819-9357. The hotel will want a deposit of $95 for each room and will want a credit card number or a personal check. If you use a credit card, the deposit will be charged against your card immediately, just as would be the case with a $95 check. If a reservation is cancelled before Friday May, 27, 2016, half of the deposit will be returned. Otherwise refunds will not be made.

The charter bus will leave to go to the National Convention from Columbia 8:00 a.m. Thursday, June 30, and will depart from Orlando to return to Columbia Wednesday, July 6, at 8:00 a.m. We are now accepting your reservation fee of $100 to ride the charter bus to Orlando. Remember, this reservation fee is non-refundable and non-transferable.
Upcoming 2016 NFB of SC Convention and the Need for Convention Sponsors

As we look forward to a new venue for the NFB of SC Convention which is slated to be held in October in Myrtle Beach, it is important to raise funding to reduce the cost to the blind who attend. These annual conventions provide exhibits, a Friday evening Reception, Saturday and Sunday morning continental breakfasts, and a Saturday Luncheon and evening Banquet. With five divisional meetings for blind students, seniors, merchants, computer users and parents of blind children, not to mention the convention sessions, it is no wonder that hosting a convention today requires many arrangements and expenses.

Despite arranging the right hotel and the best contract possible, the costs of these conventions go up each year and this affects the cost to the blind for room reservations, convention related travel arrangements, and convention registration which can run up to hundreds of dollars to each person attending.

We need to find just 20 NFB of SC Convention sponsors who will contribute $1,000 each (tax deductible as we are a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization) to assist in defraying these expenses. Even a group of people can get together to raise $1,000 and be recognized! If successful, we can lower registration costs and better cover other convention related expenses. This applies to individuals, businesses, civic groups, churches, etc. Make check payable to NFB of SC and mark as “convention sponsor.” We will list your name or ad in a full page of the convention agenda and we will be glad to provide exhibit hall space if desired. You can make the difference in defraying these ever increasing costs and at the same time make it possible for many more blind South Carolinians to attend these very informative state conventions.

2016 Statewide Seminar A Resounding Success!

By Frank Coppel

I want to thank all of you who attended the 46th annual Statewide Seminar this past Saturday. When Shelley and I walked into the Federation Center at 9:15 a.m. Saturday morning, the meeting hall was already half full. Almost every seat in the room was filled when the Seminar was called to order at 10:00 a.m.

All three heads of agencies who provide services to the blind, Jim Kirby and along with Kyle Walker, from the SC Commission for the Blind, Paige McCraw, from the SC School for the Deaf and Blind, and Sandy Knowles, from Talking Book Services gave presentations at the Seminar.

Erica Powell, who recently was hired as an Employment Consultant with the Commission for the Blind, spoke about her experiences as a blind cheerleader for Clemson University.

Ed Bible was recognized for being responsible for having a state map of South Carolina donated by 3d Photo Works to the Federation Center. Thom Spittle did an excellent job as auctioneer as we raised $617 for the Federation Center. Dr. Capps gave an excellent RBRCCB report. The two Senior Camps will be held May 22-26, and September 18-22. Children’s Camp will be held the third week in July. At the State Board meeting, which was held during the two hour lunch break, the Board voted unanimously to charge $100 for a seat on the charter bus going to the National Convention in Orlando, Florida. Congratulations to Trent Tedder as he was the winner of the Orlando National Convention bus fund raffle. Trent won $600 as he was the buyer and seller of the winning ticket. Also, congratulations to the Columbia Chapter for selling 1,594 bus tickets and finishing in first place. The Sumter Chapter finished second selling 600 bus tickets and the Rock hill Chapter finished third selling 237 tickets. I want to take this opportunity to thank Isaiah Nelson and his group of volunteers for preparing and serving a delicious lunch. I also want to especially thank David Houck for all of his hard work prior to the Seminar and all day Saturday to ensure the meeting was a success.

Remember, the NFB of SC is planning a Sweetheart dance which will be held February 12, 2016 at the Federation Center from 6:00 p.m. to 9 p.m. The evening promises to be a fun and enjoyable experience with a professionally catered dinner, music, door prizes and dancing. Tickets to this event will only be $25 per person. If you wish to purchase a ticket you can contact Linda Dizzley at (803) 428-4273. All tickets must be purchased by February 4. We are also planning to reserve a block of rooms at a nearby hotel for those of you who live outside of Columbia and would like to attend the dance.

The date of this year’s national convention will be June 30, to July 5, 2016 and will be held at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort. The 2016 room rates are singles and doubles, $83; and triples and quads, $89. In addition to the room rates there will be a tax, which at present is 12.5 percent. No charge will be made for children under seventeen in the room with their parents as long as no extra bed is requested. Please note that the hotel is a no-smoking facility.

For 2016 convention room reservations you can call the hotel at (866) 996-6338 after January 1. You may also write directly to the Rosen Shingle Creek, 9939 Universal Boulevard, Orlando, Florida 32819-9357. The hotel will want a deposit of $95 for each room and will want a credit card number or a personal check. If you use a credit card, the deposit will be charged against your card immediately, just as would be the case with a $95 check. If a reservation is cancelled before Friday May, 27, 2016, half of the deposit will be returned. Otherwise refunds will not be made. The charter bus will leave Columbia at 8:00 a.m. Thursday, June 30. The bus will leave Orlando at 8:00 a.m. and return to Columbia Wednesday, July 6. We are now accepting your reservation fee of $100 to ride the charter bus to Orlando. Remember, this reservation fee is non-refundable and non-transferable.

One MINUTE MESSAGE:

The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day, we raise the expectations of blind people because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life you want: blindness is not what holds you back.

Commission for the Blind Celebrates 50th Anniversary Made Possible by NFB of SC

Editor’s Note: The following resolution was unanimously adopted by the NFB of SC Board of Directors during the Statewide Seminar luncheon to demonstrate the effectiveness of the NFB of SC 50 years ago in removing blindness VR services from the old Department of Public Welfare and establishing the Commission for the Blind so that the blind of South Carolina would be better served. Readers of the Palmetto Blind need only to refer to articles in previous issues to see the struggle that ensued at that time.

A RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, prior to 1966 Vocational Rehabilitation services for the blind were administered by the SC Department of Public Welfare; and,

WHEREAS, these services were extremely inadequate and deplorable which severely

limited the blind’s ability to reach their fullest potential; and,

WHEREAS, in 1964, the blind strongly believed VR services desperately needed to improve if the blind were going to compete on terms of equality with their sighted counterparts; and,

WHEREAS, at the 1964 National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina’s State Convention in Charleston a resolution was unanimously adopted which called for legislation which would establish a separate state agency responsible for providing VR services to the blind; and,

WHEREAS, this legislation met with a great deal of opposition from the leaders of the Department of Public Welfare as well as government officials who did not believe it was in the state’s best interest to create another state agency; and,

WHEREAS, during the next two years the blind spent countless hours at the State House working tirelessly to convince legislators of the great need to create such an agency; and,

WHEREAS, after much hard work and persistence by the blind, legislation to create the South Carolina Commission for the Blind was signed into law by Governor Robert E. McNair on May 6, 1966; and,

WHEREAS, at the 2015 NFB of SC State Convention in Columbia a resolution was unanimously adopted congratulating the South Carolina Commission for the Blind for fifty years of service which has greatly benefited the blind; and,

WHEREAS, the resolution also addressed the need to have both organizations work together as equal partners to plan a meaningful program for the fiftieth anniversary celebration,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Directors of the NFB of SC on Saturday, January 9, 2016 in the City of Columbia passed this resolution that the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina take an instrumental role in planning a program for the fiftieth anniversary celebration; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be sent to each member of the board of Commissioners of the SC Commission for the Blind.

From the President’s Desk

By Frank Coppel

Happy New Year! The beginning of 2016 has been a busy time in the NFB of SC. We started the new year with an excellent State-wide Seminar which was held on January 9. Approximately 150 people were in attendance and their energy and enthusiasm was at a high level throughout the day. In the Fall, I established a state-wide fundraising committee for the purpose of raising much needed money for the general fund of the NFB of SC. At the time of this writing, we are currently in the midst of conducting two state-wide fundraisers. We are selling an insulated sixteen ounce NFB of SC coffee thermos for the price of $15. These coffee thermoses are very attractive and should be very easy to sell to federation members as well as the general public. We will also be having a Sweetheart dance on Friday evening, February 12, at the Federation Center of the Blind from 6:00to 9:00 p.m.

At the December NFB of SC State Board meeting, I recommended to the board we hold our 2016 State Convention in October at a hotel in Myrtle Beach. To my knowledge, the NFB of SC has never held a State Convention in Myrtle Beach and I strongly believe by doing so, we would be able to increase attendance at our State Convention significantly. I also believe by holding the State Convention in October, our members should have sufficient time to recover financially from attending the NFB National Convention in July, and The Fun Day Festival at Rocky Bottom in September. For the past month, I have been working very closely with the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce and they have been very helpful in locating hotels that meet our needs and specifications. I have been reviewing various hotel proposals and in the very near future, Shelley and I will be traveling to the coast for the purpose of selecting an appropriate hotel site for this year’s convention.

As many of you know, Dr. Capps decided to step down as Editor of the Palmetto Blind in 2015 after serving in this position for sixty years. Dr. Capps has done an excellent job as editor of this magazine and all of us need to thank him for his many years of dedicated and outstanding service in this position. I have appointed David Houck as the new Editor of the Palmetto Blind. David Houck has worked very closely with Dr. Capps during the past twenty years and I feel certain David will do well in his new role as Editor.

The past six months of being your State President has been extremely busy and educational, but it has also been a very enjoyable and rewarding experience as well. During this time, I have had the opportunity to work closely with many talented and wonderful people in the NFB of SC, and I have enjoyed working with these individuals a great deal. The past six months has also been a learning process for me. I am learning the office of the President of the NFB of SC can be quite demanding at times. Since becoming President, I have gained a greater appreciation for my predecessors who have held the office of State President before me. I believe 2016 can be a very special year in the NFB of SC, and with all of us working together we can change what it means to be blind in South Carolina!

2016 Senior Camps

By Frank Coppel

Of all the activities I am involved with in the NFB of SC, the one activity I enjoy the most is directing the two weeks of Senior Camp at Rocky Bottom. Not only do I have a wonderful volunteer staff who assists me with this activity, but also I get a great deal of satisfaction interacting and assisting many of our blind seniors throughout the state.

The 2016 Spring session of Senior Camp will begin on Sunday, May 22 and conclude on Thursday, May 26. The 2016 Fall session of Senior Camp will begin Sunday, September 18 and conclude on Thursday, September 22, 2016.

Applications will be mailed out mid-March for the Spring session of Senior Camp and mid-July for the Fall session of Senior camp. To be eligible for Senior Camp, an individual must be 55 years of age or older and must be legally blind. The camp is free of charge and we accept a maximum of 25 campers for each session. Eligible campers who have never participated will be given first priority. Those eligible campers who have not attended the most recent camp, will be given second priority, and any other available spaces will be filled on a first-come, first-accepted basis. Applications will not be processed without a current physician’s statement.

Good luck and we look forward to seeing you in May at Senior Camp!

Mollie Scatena’s Senior Camp Experience

I feel very fortunate to have attended, Rocky Bottom Senior Camp. It was such an extraordinary experience! I met some very inspirational people; who greeted me with open arms.

We enjoyed many activities; walks in the beautiful surroundings, a variation of classes. We also played bingo, because a little fun rivalry is always good for the spirit!

Our delicious meals were always led by prayer with wonderful fellowship, which felt like family dinner time. The talent show was a great highlight! We were entertained by talented vocalist an extraordinary pianist, poems, and skits. The peaceful deck where we spent some relaxing downtime and much laughter was definitely a favorite.

Since my visual impairment began ten months ago, there have been many days where I have felt as though I’m needy, or a burden to others. While I was at camp, I was with others who have shared my experiences, my frustrations and joys of accomplishments. There wasn’t a need to explain my visual challenges, they understood! For months others have been helping, or assisting me. While I was there, I realized something amazing about myself! As I extended my hand to help others, and when a sweet lady held onto my arm, I too, was needed and could help others! There is no greater, or rewarding gift, than to give of one’s self.

I left Rocky Bottom with many valuables, which I had not arrived with. My suitcase was packed with a sense of belonging, of new purpose, understanding and acceptance. As I walked out the door, my heart was full with compassion, and love of new friendships. It was a wonderful journey that I will carry with me always!

2016 Children’s Camp

By Jennifer Bazer

Rocky Bottom Retreat and Conference Center, in scenic Sunset, SC, just down from the Peak of Sassafras Mountain, the highest point in South Carolina, is the setting for one of the most anticipated events on the NFB of SC calendar. That’s right, Children’s Camp at Rocky Bottom will be held the week of July 17-23, 2016. This action-packed week for kids aged 6-16 who are blind or visually impaired will feature swimming, hiking, cooking, arts and crafts, games and much, much more! …And the best part: It’s FREE!

Children’s Camp Director, Jennifer Bazer is looking to round out her blue ribbon team of camp counselors with primarily blind/Visually impaired role-models. Applicants should be highly motivated, responsible, have good blindness skills and be able to keep up with an active group of kids. If this sounds like you, then maybe you can fill one of the coveted positions as one of the Rocky Bottom team! She will be interviewing applicants until she has chosen the best possible team. “Remember,” says Jennifer, “There’s no I in Team,” so if you’re not a team player, you need not apply.   The number of counselors chosen will be driven by how many children will be attending camp, but the pool of applicants will not be complete without you!

If you have children who wish to attend camp, contact the Federation Center or your SCCB Counselor for an application. If you have questions about Children’s Camp, or wish to volunteer, Contact Jennifer at (803)661-6622 or jhipp25@sc.rr.com.

News from the Rocky Bottom Board Chairman

By Dr. Donald C. Capps

(Editor’s Note: Dr. Capps, longtime Chairman of the RBRCCB Board of Directors, has been asked to catch Palmetto Blind readers up on happenings at Rocky Bottom in 2015)

The year 2015 was one of many challenges as well as a number of successes at RBRCCB. Beginning in January 2015 there was a management change. During the interim period we were fortunate enough to have the benefit of Janice Taylor’s assistance in the management of RBRCCB as she has served as Resident Manager some years ago who was familiar with the management requirements. She resides a short distance from RBRCCB. We also served as the Interim Manager for several weeks at RBRCCB in January and February. During this time we interviewed several candidates for the Resident Manager’s position. When Brooke West applied for this position we noted her employment which was positive. In the past Brooke had worked in the hotel industry including registering guests, serving as receptionist and even tending to kitchen duties. She has been on the job for nearly a year and we have been pleased with her performance. There are not many guests during January and February but this enabled Brooke to attend to other chores. The large kitchen in the Conference Center especially needed attention and Brooke spent time “scrubbing” where it was needed. We also worked with Brooke in renewing rentals of RBRCCB’s facilities by different groups. It was discovered that there had apparently been no follow up with contacts to pervious clients resulting in our losing important rentals. As a matter of fact, it appears inaccurate information to one lucrative account resulted in substantial loss of rental income. In the meantime Brooke was utilizing her time to contact churches throughout the area, mailing many letters and making numerous telephone calls. We were successful in renewing a $5,000 rental to a church. It had been several years since this particular church had utilized our facilities because of complaints which had not been addressed. There were other churches which renewed their usage of RBRCCB’s facilities. Two rentals were in the Spartanburg area including a church and Spartanburg High School.

We were particularly grateful that our NFB of SC board member Ed Bible secured the needed assistance from his church, Mt. Hebron United Methodist Church, to make much needed repairs at RBRCCB. Our Resident Manager Brooke West secured a contribution from Rock Springs Baptist Church in Easley in the amount of $1,000 which assisted the Mt. Hebron Church in making the repairs.   There was use by our NFB of SC President Frank Coppel, heading up Senior Camp with much success. Another Senior Week was used a few months later in September. This is a popular program as we unfortunately are not able to accommodate every senior who wants to participate in this program. Frank always gathers together an excellent staff which handles details and implementation of the program. Jennifer Bazer who is Second Vice President of the Columbia Chapter will head up Children’s Camp the week of July 17, 2016. No doubt Jennifer, who is eminently qualified to be Children’s Camp Director will put together a highly successful program for our blind children. During 2015 there were several chapters which utilized RBRCCB’s facilities. There were many individuals and families who also enjoyed RBRCCB.

In early 2015 we initiated a campaign to generate funds needed to cover much needed repairs to Lawton Hall. We had to raise approximately $8,000 to cover the cost of these repairs. We are especially indebted to the Salem Lions Club which at their August meeting presented us with a $3,000 check to cover the remaining funds needed for repairs on Lawton Hall. We would be remiss if we did not express appreciation to Mrs. Carolyn Lawton of Hendersonville, NC who made contributions to the Lawton Hall project including a $500 gift needed to finalize this project. Additionally, we want to thank the J. Marion Sims Foundation of Lancaster for their generous support to Lawton Hall. There were other contributions but it is not feasible to list all of them. Each and every contribution has our heartfelt appreciation.

Two successful Advisory Board meetings were held at RBRCCB in 2015. The annual Labor Day Fun Day Festival was once again a success which was very helpful in the operation of RBRCCB. The annual Christmas Board Retreat was once again a significant success. Some 45 state and chapter leaders attended this annual event. Some who attended their first retreat indicated it was a success and that it was very informative. We also extend gratitude to David Houck, Executive Director of the Federation Center of the Blind for their invaluable service to RBRCCB throughout 2015. We appreciate everyone who has pitched in to make 2015 highly successful. We are optimistic about 2016 and believe it will be our best year ever.

Mission Team Gives Rocky Bottom Face Lift

By David Bundy

A mission team from Mt. Hebron United Methodist Church in West Columbia descended upon Rocky Bottom Retreat and Conference Center September 9 -13 to perform some much needed repairs.   The project was the brain child of State Board Member Ed Bible who noticed the condition of the facilities when he attended the 2014 Fun Day Festival. He shared his concerns with his Sunday School Class and a group visited Rocky Bottom last Fall to assess the needs and determine what they might do to help.

Once the project was confirmed, Resident Manager Brooke West was assigned the task of securing funding to help defray the cost of materials for the project. She went to work approaching local churches and businesses and was able to obtain a $1,000 donation from Rock Springs Baptist Church for the project.

More than thirty members of Mt. Hebron, including Columbia Chapter members Ed and Julie Bible, Jennifer Bazer, and David Bundy, participated in the mission project. Gary Lain, who was a part of the advance team arrived on Wednesday and coordinated the work of the mission team, said “This is a great facility, it just needs some work.” He and his team made good use of their time at the camp.

Numerous repairs, including replacement of light bulbs, patching of holes in walls, repair of smoke alarms and exit signs, replacement of several ceiling fans and light fixtures, and several minor plumbing repairs were made.

The playground was refurbished. The see-saws were replaced and basketball goals repaired, swings and the wooden play set were moved to a more shady area and a porch swing was rebuilt and positioned to allow parents to supervise their children in the playground, and the old, unused climbing tower was dismantled. Another group had already taken up the old carpet from the miniature golf course in preparation for replacement, but the Mt. Hebron team replaced the scoring posts. “We wanted to replace the swings for the kids…” said Bill Youngblood, “…but there weren’t any to be found in the area.” A group from the church plans to order swings and bring them back up later.

The restroom floors in the Conference Center were reinforced and the deck was sealed. The railings around the deck were also painted.

Finally, all of the buildings and grounds received a good cleaning and power to the gazebo was restored.

When the team gathered in the Conference Center Dining Hall for their nightly recap and devotional, on Saturday evening, they were joined by Brooke West, who was moved to tears as Lain summarized the work that had taken place. “I’ve been trying to get groups to come help since I’ve been here,” she said. “When I heard you guys were coming, I thought you would come spend a couple of days and do some cleaning…. This is just so far beyond anything I could have hoped for.   You guys are an answer to prayers!” She added “I never imagined so many things could be fixed in such a short amount of time.”

“This place could be so beautiful,” observed Susan Renfroe, “You guys deserve to have a nice place to come.”

“This is a wonderful program,” commented I. D. Hook,   “But there’s still a lot left to do, and I know we’re going to want to come back to do more.” Another trip, planned for early November, was put on hold by the floods in Columbia and the Pee Dee region, but it is expected to occur in the Spring.

Rocky Bottom Retreat and Conference Center and the NFB of SC salute the Mt. Hebron Missions Team. We look forward to a continuing relationship with this outstanding church.

Investing in Our Federation Future: Changes in the 2016 Scholarship Program

By Shannon Cook

The 2016 NFB of SC Scholarship Program will see new changes to our much-beloved awards. In recent years, there has evolved a need for more clarity in the process of rewarding scholarships. The Scholarship Committee recently met by teleconference and made some changes to the process of deciding scholarship recipients. This will make the decision-making procedures much clearer for those of us on the committee, and for the applicants.

The most notable change is that there will no longer be a scholarship given just because someone has applied. We want these scholarships to mean something to both those who apply and for those who are gracious enough to provide donations toward this program. The committee will select the top three applicants and award them a more substantial scholarship amount, combining several scholarships to constitute the larger total. The ever-increasing cost of getting a post-secondary education caused us to look at the amounts being awarded. The committee felt that by providing those top applicants with a greater prize, it would go farther in assisting them with their educational goals. The state board of the NFB of SC decided during the January 9th meeting to pay the way for the top three candidates for the state convention. This includes paying for their convention registration and room. The students will cover any incidental expenses themselves. They are also responsible for their own transportation. This is a perfect chance for them to partner with their local chapters to make plans to attend the convention.

Since this is a scholarship program after all, the operative word being scholar, we are raising our expectations of the students who apply. We do expect that they be among the top academically, with high GPA’s. We also would like to see a high level of involvement in community service projects and programs. A new question on the application will ask if they participate in their local NFB of SC chapters, and if not why. We want to show that our organization wants to see an effort being made toward encouraging participation in local chapter activity. This not only benefits the state as a whole, but the student individually. Plus, their chapter has the added benefit of a young person’s viewpoint on the programs of the chapter.

This year, the scholarship deadline will be later than it has been, July 18, 2016, due to having the state convention later in the fall. This will allow for the scholarship committee to meet on August 15, 2016 to determine the top three winners, and to be able to notify the students prior to their semester’s start. We know that often, plans for attending the state convention will need to be made early, since other events may arise.

We will also be implementing a mentoring program at this year’s convention. This will make the students accountable to the mentors for their whereabouts during the convention. We require students to be present for all events of the convention. This will assure that takes place.

The scholarship committee asks that the chapters and divisions who are contributing to the scholarship program get in their donations by August, the usual time for the prior convention dates. By doing so, the scholarship committee will have full knowledge of what scholarships are available to award during the meeting on August 15. We appreciate any amount, regardless of how much or how small. We know they all come from the heart and are given in love to the scholarship program. Though I say it during the awards ceremony at the banquet, all of us from committee members to students to family, are so thankful to those chapters, divisions, and individuals who have ever made scholarship donations. Please remember that the Metro Fund is still open for donations that can be split or given as a whole to someone deserving. No amount is too small. We’ll take it from $1 and up!!!

For anyone who may have questions, please feel free to call me (Shannon Cook) at my home number (803) 254-0222 or email me at cookcafe@sc.rr.com. Shannon Cook, MSW, Chair, NFB of SC Scholarship Committee.

From the Desk of the NFB of SC President Emeritus

By Dr. Donald C. Capps

Editor’s Note: While Dr. Capps has stepped down as Editor of the Palmetto Blind, he is not stepping away. I have requested Dr. Capps to contribute his remarks in this new President Emeritus’ Desk article as I believe you will agree that he still has much to contribute to this publication.

When Dr. Kenneth Jernigan stepped down as President of the National Federation of the Blind in 1986, he had no intention of rest and relaxing on the sidelines. Instead he continued to be in his office each morning at the National Center for the Blind in Baltimore, serving until his death in 1998. For more than a decade he would continue his busy schedule including subsequent NFB Convention Banquet speaker. Even so he discovered that since giving up the presidency, he felt he needed a title. After some thought he decided that he would assume the title of Executive Director and this title served him well. I recall Dr. Jernigan bringing this matter to the attention of the NFB board which gave unanimous approval to this title.

At the 2000 Convention of the NFB of SC I stepped down as President of the NFB of SC. After all I was 72 years old and the overwhelming majority of leaders retired before this advanced age. Both Dr. Jernigan and Dr. Maurer resigned as President of the NFB when they were in their 60’s. Nevertheless, I think the Convention did not expect my decision to step down as President. This was emotional for me as after all, I had served as NFB of SC President for 30 one-year terms. It was the right time for me to step down but not away. I recall Dr. Maurer was seated next to me and obviously detected my emotions as he patted me on the shoulder to console me. Having experienced Dr. Jernigan’s need to have a title, I felt that I was similarly situated and I chose the title of President Emeritus which was unanimously approved by the Convention. It was my feeling that the title of President Emeritus simply was an expression of   my capacity. The 2000 NFB of SC Convention featured many outstanding speakers and presentations and it was my responsibility to preside over the Convention which was stressful and demanding.

Throughout the years Betty and I always enjoyed taking a couple of days off to rest and relax. With the exception of Rocky Bottom, my favorite place to visit was Gatlinburg. At the conclusion of the state convention we first spent the night in Cherokee and traveled on to Gatlinburg the day after. Shortly after the Convention was over I noted I was experiencing some chest pain but I gave it little thought as it didn’t seem serious. I was determined to spend a couple of nights in Gatlinburg but the chest pain did not subside and became a source of concern. It was decided that it would be better to cut short our trip and return to Columbia. Arriving back in Columbia I contacted a Cardiologist who was related to me by family connections and he told me to immediately come to his office in an effort to diagnose the cause of my continuing chest pain. The Cardiologist gave me a thorough examination in his office but failed to diagnose the exact cause of my difficulty. He suggested that I check into the hospital for more examinations which I did. They performed a heart catheterization. After getting the results of the procedure, the Cardiologist told me that I should leap with joy as my heart looked like someone in their teens. Shortly after this hospital stay and the positive result of my examinations I no longer had the chest pain. Perhaps it was psychological but I attributed my chest pain to my stepping down as state President due to a very torrid Convention schedule.

I have retained my different responsibilities to the Federation and Rocky Bottom. I would continue serving on the national board for another decade, not stepping down from this position as senior board member until 2011. After all, I had served on the national board since 1959, and with the exception of one year, it had become necessary for me to relinquish this high national position. My Federation family has continued to extend me every courtesy and I shall always be appreciative. Throughout the years since 1956 when we joined the NFB of SC, I have seen the NFB of SC grow tremendously. My dream to have our own Center in the late 1950’s became a reality in 1961. We have accomplished numerable successful developments in Rocky Bottom Retreat and Conference Center of the Blind which is also a dream come true. The NFB of SC has passed 44 pieces of legislation which has improved the quality of life for blind South Carolinians. The NFB of SC will participate in the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Commission for the Blind in May of 2016. The future is bright.

From the Editor’s Desk

By David Houck

First of all, I would like to thank Dr. Donald C. Capps (and his lovely wife Betty of course) for his 60 years of editing the Palmetto Blind. Beginning in 1957, Dr. Capps began to document the progress and growth of the then South Carolina Aurora Club of the Blind, its 46 successful legislative battles on behalf of all blind South Carolinians which began in 1958, and the founding of the Federation Center of the Blind in 1961. As the Aurora Club became known as the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina in the mid 1970’s, the Center experienced two expansions, there was rapid chapter and division growth, the establishment of the Bell Federation Center of the Blind in Laurens in 1981, and then realizing a two decade dream of establishing and developing the Rocky Bottom Retreat and Conference Center of the Blind in 1978 was well documented. The progress of state agencies such as the Commission for the Blind, its creation, program development, abolishment of set-aside fees on blind vendors and its 50th anniversary celebration on May 6, 2016 were all documented in the Palmetto Blind. The progress of the 150 plus year old SC School for the Deaf and the Blind, its program expansion and various Presidents who served during Dr. Capps’ decades of service on its Board of Commissioners, and the various moves of SC Talking Book Services, their expansion of services as well as going from books on records, to reel to reel tapes, to cassette tapes and now to a digital format plus other electronic access to books is also well documented. The Palmetto Blind was produced from a mimeograph copier for print and a thermoform machine for braille and reel to reel tape for recordings in the early days to modern printers, digital email, web site listing, NFB Newsline, and brailling through an electronic interpoint brailler. Things have changed over 60 years of editing the Palmetto Blind but if you want to know the number one source in documenting work with the blind in South Carolina, just consult our Federation Center library of back issues of the Palmetto Blind. It is hoped that as I take on this immense responsibility, I can continue to produce the quality of work that Palmetto Blind readers have come to expect.

FINAL THOUGHT:

Dale, Gail and the Braille Tale

By the NFB BELL Coordinators

(In celebration of Dr. Suess’ birthday)

I am Dale and I read Braille.

I am Gail, what is Braille?

Braille is dots, lots and lots,

Each dot has its special spot.

Why read Braille inquires Gail?

I’d rather climb a mountain trail!

Dale, these dots are hard to see,

Large print is fine, so let me be.

I do not have vision Gail,

That’s why I must read Braille.

Would you read Braille here or there?

I could read Braille anywhere.

O, dear Gail, I love my Braille!

Would you read it in a house,

Would you read it to a mouse?

I do read it in my house,

I do read it to my mouse.

I do read Braille here oand there,

I do read Braille anywhere.

O, dear Gail, I love my Braille!

How about that silly print?

Could you read it in a tent,

Could you read it in the night,

Could you read it without light?

I could read Braille at the park,

I could read Braille in the dark.

I do read Braille here and there,

I do read Braille anywhere.

O, dear Gail, I love my Braille!

Would you read Braille in a box,

Would you teach Braille to a fox?

I could read Braille in a box,

I could not teach Braille to a fox.

Why can’t you teach it to a fox?

He couldn’t read it through his socks!

I could teach Braille to a girl,

Hey, look at that, there goes a squirrel!

We could read it here and there.

You could read Braille don’t you see?

I do read Braille here or there,

I do read Braille anywhere.

O, dear Gail, I love my Braille!

My darling Dale, I think I see,

Won’t you teach Braille to me?

They tried to teach me in a school,

I told them it wasn’t cool.

But I was wrong, I don’t want to fail,

I think it’s time I learned my Braille.

We do read Braille here or there,

We do read Braille anywhere.

Bumps and dots are cool to read,

With this Braille we will succeed!

16 ounce NFB of SC Coffee Thermos

$15 each

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NFB of SC

119 S. Kilbourne Rd.

Columbia, SC 29205

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