Braille Monitor                  August/September 2021

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News from the Federation Family

The NFB in Communities of Faith Annual Meeting:

The NFB in Communities of Faith held its annual meeting virtually on July 8, 2021. The theme for our meeting this year was Prevailing Faith.

First of all, we had a panel discussion of producers and libraries which make faith-based literature available to the blind.

Craig Leeds, executive director of Braille Bibles International spoke about the work of this organization. Since 1957, this organization has made Braille Bibles and other literature available to blind people. It provides free the King James Bible, the New King James Bible, and has a book of scripture promises on varying topics. It also has versions of the Bible on NLS cartridges and has a Bible player available as well. Malachy Fallan from the Xavier Society for the Blind described in detail the excellent work that this organization is doing to make Catholic literature available to blind people. Diane Thurber, president of Christian Record Services described in detail the work of this organization. Yvonne Pilot, executive director of the Lutheran Braille Evangelism Association described its work. This organization was founded by John Erickson in 1952. It produces a Braille magazine entitled The Tract Messenger and another entitled The Christian Magnifier. It has a Bible Courier available in numerous translations for $99 each. Darrel Templeton, the president of MegaVoice spoke about the excellent work of this organization.

Following this panel, Marilyn Baldwin, cochair of the NFB of Florida in Communities of Faith Committee, spoke about the work that it is doing. Marilyn is also a leader in the Diversity and Inclusion Committee in the state.

Faith-based divisions educate the public about the capabilities of blind people and work to persuade leaders of places of worship and other faith-based organizations that blind people can participate fully in their respective endeavors. Rehnee Aikens, vice president of the division, spoke about the history of the National Church Conference for the Blind and its Texas affiliate.

We next had a panel discussion on the subject of prevailing faith, overcoming adversity. Luke Seibert, a seminary student at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, spoke about his faith and his learning to adjust to blindness as a result of an auto accident. Mr. Seibert came to realize that there was an eternal purpose in his losing his vision. Lillyia Asudilina, a graduate of the Colorado Center for the Blind, spoke about her struggles in overcoming cancer when she was a little child and about when it came back again when she was a teenager. The Lord showed her that life is well worth the living.

At our business meeting, the following officers were elected by acclamation: Tom Anderson, president, Kansas; Rehnee Aikens, vice president, Texas; Linda Mentink, secretary, Nebraska; and Rev. Dr. Carolyn Peters, treasurer, Ohio. We wish to reach out to members of the NFB who speak primarily in Spanish and also wish to have more youth in our division. This division welcomes people of all faiths.

Seniors Division Elects New Officers:

Congratulations to our new slate of officers who were elected at the NFB Seniors Division meeting at convention. President, Ruth Sager, MD; first vice president, Judy Sanders, MN; second vice president, Diane McGeorge, CO; secretary, Shelley Koppel, SC; treasurer, Duncan Larsen, CO; board position one, Jane Degenshein, NJ; board position two, Glenn Crosby, TX.

In Brief

Notices and information in this section may be of interest to Monitor readers. We are not responsible for the accuracy of the information; we have edited only for space and clarity.

Ski For Light Returns To The Snow:

The 47th annual Ski for Light International Week will be held Sunday, January 30, through February 6, 2022 in Granby, Colorado. After a very successful virtual Ski for Light event in 2021 enjoyed by more than 400 registered participants, Ski for Light is looking forward to again gliding on the snow at Snow Mountain Ranch.

Ski for Light is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization that hosts an annual, weeklong event where blind and mobility-impaired adults are taught the basics of cross-country skiing. The event attracts more than 250 skiers, guides, and volunteers from throughout the United States and the world. During the Ski for Light International Week, each skier with a disability is paired with an experienced, sighted cross-country skier who acts as ski instructor and on-snow guide. New participants will learn the thrill of gliding on the snow while veteran skiers hone their skills, and both will experience a new level of inner confidence and make new friends that could last a lifetime.

Instructor/guides should be intermediate level classic cross-country skiers capable of safely managing their own speed and direction while, at the same time, communicating skiing basics and describing the beauty of the area around the trails to their skiing partner. Ski for Light provides a training session for first-time guides taught by experienced skiers and guides prior to the start of the week.

If you have never attended what many have called “the experience of a lifetime,” please consider participating in the Ski for Light 2022 International Week as a skier, a guide, or a volunteer. View a brief narrated video introduction to Ski for Light at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjC96E7cyzg. If you have specific questions, contact Melinda Hollands at [email protected] or call at 231-590-0986. Applications for skiers, guides, and volunteers will be available in August at www.sfl.org.

Hope to ski with you in Colorado!

NFB Pledge

I pledge to participate actively in the efforts of the National Federation of the Blind to achieve equality, opportunity, and security for the blind; to support the policies and programs of the Federation; and to abide by its constitution.

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