All posts by Nancy Irwin

NFB of SC 2017 State Convention

We are less than a month away from our annual state convention, it’s not too late to join us! Here’s the info below.

Rates: $99 per night for up to four in a room, plus a 12% tax
Reservations: Hyatt Regency Reservations – 402-592-6434
Inform the reservationist you are reserving a room for the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina state convention.

Pre-Registration: $80 – Deadline is August 9, after that Registration Fee goes up to $100.
Registration Fee for children under 18 is $20.
Pay to the Federation Center of the Blind, 119 S. Kilbourne Rd. Columbia, SC 29205.
All pre-registration fees are nonrefundable and nontransferable.
Pre-registration fee will cover the reception on Friday evening, continental breakfast Saturday morning, the luncheon, banquet, and a continental breakfast Sunday morning.

Live Streaming Info

Click Here for Live Stream

Let us know you’re coming by clicking here to join our Facebook Event!
Hope to see you there!

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

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.