Braille Monitor                                     June 2017

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Show-Me Earth Day

The National Federation of the Blind Columbia Chapter’s booth, situated between an organization dedicated to cleaning trash from the Missouri River and a woman selling tie-dye clothing.

In April the Monitor ran a lead playing off April’s Earth Day. But in all seriousness, Earth Day festivals are a great opportunity for chapters to get out and spread the message of the National Federation of the Blind. The Columbia Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Missouri has been attending Earth Day for more than a decade, and this year was no different.

Chapter members Bruce Stockler, Cheryl Meister, and Debbie Wunder have the table set up and ready for business Sunday morning.

Dottie is wearing her comic book dress and has her white cane in hand as she enjoys Earth Day. She is here because she knows that blindness doesn’t mean she can’t be a superhero.The chapter puts out literature for passersby to pick up, including Kernel Books. They bring a Braillewriter and write children’s names and eco-friendly messages or names of flowers and trees on index cards and challenge people to pick up one of the Braille alphabet cards and translate the messages. They put up a posterboard with the national legislative agenda because Earth Day is one of the few times that members of the public will ask about the legislation that the Federation is working on, and chapter members have had great discussions about why the TIME Act [Transitioning to Integrated and Meaningful Employment] or AIM HIGH Act [Accessible Instructional Materials in Higher Education] are necessary.

This year a new chapter member appeared at Earth Day. In sunglasses, a dress printed in panels of DC comic book characters, and her own to-scale aluminum cane, Dottie was ready to enjoy the festival to the fullest. Chapter member Grace Warn and her stepfather worked to create the cane for the eighteen-inch doll, making sure that it was sized correctly for her and would be collapsible just like a real cane.


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