Categories
General Colorado Center Information

Breaking Blind’s Virtual Tour of the Center

We’re off for the holiday break, so it seems like a good time to share Breaking Bad’s virtual tour of the Center from YouTube. It’s not really as quiet at the Center right now as the day the video was shot — a remodeling project started on Monday, December 22.

It’s also a lot colder!

Categories
Events

Our Colorado Gives Day 2014 Results

Thanks to 67 generous donors we raised $12,901 online on December 9, and received another $520 in checks and cash, bringing our total to $13,421!

In addition, the online figure makes us eligible for a small portion of the $1 million incentive fund put up by FirstBank and Community First Foundation. A total of $26.2 million was donated to more than 1600 Colorado nonprofits on Colorado Gives Day 2014

We are grateful to all of our friends who continue to support us with donations ranging from $10 to $3000, but it’s also exciting to be part of the largest giving day of the year in Colorado!

And of course, we were given the opportunity to be featured on 9News with Gregg Moss during the Where in the Town segments on the morning of November 24!

Thanks to our students and staff who passed out flyers, to all of our social media friends who shared our posts, thanks to Gregg Moss and 9News for having our great Center staff members on Denver’s morning TV, and thanks most to FirstBank and Community First for making all of it happen!

Categories
Independence Training Program

Blindness Won’t Hold Us Back

(Editor’s Note: Colorado Gives Day seems like a great time to share this. Sam Barasso graduated from the Center in February of 2014. She’s working at a part-time job and getting ready to return to college. This Face Book post reminded us all that blindness isn’t what holds us back – what holds us back is sometimes a lack of skills, and always a lack of confidence in ourselves as blind people. It’s why we do what we do at the Center and in the National Federation of the Blind.)

Sam with the candlestick she turned on the latheDay 21 of the 30 people I’m thankful for in 30 days goes to the amazing staff at the Colorado Center for the Blind. You guys have become like family. You’ve seen me through many lows and many highs and you never gave up on me. I appreciate that more than I can tell you. You do so much for everyone who steps through those doors and learns from you and you never stop teaching us, even after we’re students.

You teach us so much more than just the subjects you’re required to, you teach us valuable life lessons and you help us all out in so many ways.

Thanks to Julie, Dan, and Brent for not giving up the fight to get me to come to CCB and to be an NFB member, to Mo for understanding my fear of travel and pushing my limits and helping me to overcome it, to Kimberly for being like a mom to me and giving me some of the best advice and listening to me vent. Thanks to Shon for pushing me so hard in the kitchen and having faith in me and my abilities, Maureen and Delfina for being amazing advice givers and keeping me on top of things when I’d get distracted, to stevey P
for also pushing my limits in travel and making me laugh, to Chip for talking Broncos football and putting up with my sometimes ineptitude with technology.
Thanks to Petr for being an amazing residential manager and making cleaning my apartment fun with our laughter and deep conversations, to Jen for being
an amazing friend to me and laughing so much with me while quoting random movies and musicals, and to those not on Facebook, Robert for putting up with me bothering him at the desk, Kinney for creating one of the coolest shop projects ever with me, and of course Tom, for everything.

Thank you all for helping me gain the confidence I needed to succeed in life. I don’t know where I’d be without all of your help and support and I’m forever grateful for all of you.

November 24 at 12:19pmPublic

Categories
In the Media

Getting a Feel for Science

Students at @cocenter4blind got a chance to experience science in all its disgusting glory.

By Ramsey Scott
November 18, 2014
Columbine Courier

“Yucks!” blended with yucks as the students probed the stomach contents of the dogfish sharks they were dissecting

“I found a claw,” said one student, as he waved miniature pincers in the air.

“I found a fish,” another student said as she held high a half-digested fish body.

A biology class cutting open a formaldehyde-soaked animal isn’t necessarily a unique event. Yet for most of the class at the Colorado Center for the Blind
in Littleton on Nov. 14, it was their first chance to experience what most students take for granted.

“This is my first time doing anything like this. It’s really interesting and a little nasty,” said Nick Crowell, 17, a student at the Colorado Springs-based
Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind who came to Littleton for the class. “It’s interesting because we get to see how similar humans are to some animals.
And they’re letting us use sharp instruments, and we don’t really get to do that.”

Arapahoe Community College biology professor Terry Harrison has led the dissection class for the school since 2005. He said teaching students with varying
levels of vision impairment has improved his teaching methods at ACC.

“It’s very rewarding to watch the experience they get from doing this dissection. For most of them, they’ve haven’t done anything like this before, so
they get really excited about it,” Harrison said. “They don’t have any disability other than limited sight. So they have the ability to use scissors, scalpels
just like everyone else.”

The students also had the chance to get grossed out. Several students squealed as they felt the shark’s brain or liver in their hands.

“The stomach was the grossest thing to feel. We got to feel what food was in it,” said Johnnie Jean Duran, 14, a student at Alameda International High
School. “This has been great, being able to feel and see an animal like this. I never thought I’d know what it looked and felt like.”

Ana Martinez, a 17-year-old student at Verizon High School, shared her fellow classmates’ amazement at the experience. Martinez recently moved here from
Mexico and said that in her home country, such opportunities aren’t available.

“I never thought I’d be able to do some something like this. In my country, the expectations of blind people are low,” Martinez said. “To be able to do
something like this — this is so interesting and new. Being able to see and feel a brain; it feels like a sponge.”

Julie Deden, executive director of the Colorado Center for the Blind, said that, growing up with a vision impairment, she never had an opportunity to experience
science like other students.

“I grew up in the Littleton Public School system as a blind student, and they worked to integrate me into classes. But there were particular classes where
they didn’t know how to integrate a blind person. It’s not anyone’s fault,” Deden said. “I can’t put into words what being here means to me. They get to
experience this. They get back from this, and they’re excited. They realize that they can do it. They can have a career in science or whatever else they
want to pursue.”

(This story originated with the Columbine Courier’s web page at Getting a Feel for Science where there are photos as well.)

Categories
General Colorado Center Information Youth Services

Reblog: Have a cane in Your hand instead of a pole on your face

A Summer 2014 Student Reflects

(Editor’s Note: What follows is excerpted from an August 6, 2014 blog post of The Blind Coloradan, the official blog of the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado. An Arizona high school student, Christian Able was a student this summer and worked 40 hours for the Chris AbleNFBCO staff. Here’s his reflection on the summer program at the Center and his work with the NFB of Colorado.)

Stepping on that plane a month ago I thought everything would be easy and I wouldn’t learn anything this summer. That’s not the case at all. I would say the sleep shades helped me see. At my school I learn a lot about living successfully as a blind individual, but coming here has been a whole other experience.

I think myself to be a good traveler, but traveling with graduates of the Center has shown me I have a lot to learn. The skills the Center Staff teach are those used in everyday life. I really expected work to be simple and that my employer wouldn’t know how to work with me because I’m blind. Nevertheless as soon as I stepped through the door the first day she had a day’s work planned out. As soon as I finished something I always had more to do and that’s how I like it. I don’t like sitting around. I love that I’m never bored.

The most important thing I learned this summer though, would have to be, that the NFB straight canes are the best! Before I came here I hated them because they were too light, but after being able to move around so easily and finding some interesting places to put my cane, I love them. Even though they don’t fold they still are the best choice for a cane user and by cane user I mean everyone. I say if you have some vision loss, even a little, you should always have a cane in hand instead of a pole on your face.

The best part about the summer had to be wearing sleep shades. Although they were itchy and dark, they were my greatest tool. Wearing sleep shades forced me to use skills I never knew I had and I loved every moment of it. After a while sleep shades were a second life to me. Some days I would forget I had them on and walk from the Center to the bus stop and back to my apartment and not know I still had them on.

That’s why I say my sleep shades helped me see, because they did. They helped me to see my skills exceed what I thought were their limits.

After seeing so many people who have graduated from the Center being so confident and successful it has really made me want to attend ITP when I graduate from high school. Just from these eight weeks this summer I have gained confidence that I never knew was there. I know that even if I lose the rest of my vision at some point, with the confidence I bring back with me from Colorado, I can still be the Best I can.

Categories
General Colorado Center Information

Breaking Blind on Indoor Skydiving & #CoGivesDay

The Center’s own “Breaking Bad” YouTube star, Maureen, talks about the Center and Colorado Gives Day in her latest video … you wish you were there!

Categories
General Colorado Center Information

Support the CCB on Colorado Gives Day December 9

… or just do it now and schedule it for Tuesday!

#CoGivesDay 2014December 9 is just two days away, and it’s Colorado Gives Day!  Once a year Coloradoans support their favorite nonprofits with an annual gift … or a recurring gift. We are thankful to you for all your previous support, and as the holidays approach we ask that you think of us one more time on Colorado’s largest one-day online giving event.

You don’t have to wait till Tuesday though. You can go to our Center’s giving page and schedule your donation to post on December 9th. 

Maybe after church this morning and before the Broncos game this afternoon?

By clicking on the Give on December 9 button, you still add to our one-day total that qualifies us for a portion of this year’s $1 million incentive fund! 

Presented by Community First Foundation and FirstBank

On Tuesday, December 9, 2014, thousands of donors will come together to support Colorado nonprofits like ours.  Last year, a record-breaking $20.9 million was distributed to Colorado nonprofits.  Not only did we receive the contributions our supporters gave, but also a percentage of the incentive fund as well.

$1 Million Incentive Fund

Why this day?  Thanks to Community First Foundation and FirstBank, Colorado Gives Day features a $1 Million Incentive Fund, one of the largest gives-day incentive funds in the country.  Every nonprofit receiving a donation on Colorado Gives Day receives a portion of the Incentive Fund, which increases the value of every dollar donated.

Give where you live to the Colorado Center for the Blind on Colorado Gives Day and help our blind students live the lives they want!

Categories
In the Media

Sharing Monday’s 9News Video and Our Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Gregg Moss & Mo Melton in coats on a chilly morning hold NFB canes as they laugh togetherWe want to thank our friends, family, neighbors and graduates – because the Colorado Center for the Blind wouldn’t be the success that it is without you!

On Monday, November 24 we had a tremendous opportunity to share our message and our purpose on Denver’s 9News during five very short, but absolutely live, segments of “Where in the Town” with morning news anchor Gregg Moss.

Gregg got what we at the Center are about. He and our five featured instructors made it clear that we teach not just skills, but confidence, with the goal being independence and self-sufficiency.

It’s one more thing that the Colorado Center for the Blind has to be thankful for this year, and we want to share the link. Maureen, Chip, Tom, Chris & Mo were awesome! So was Gregg on the chop saw!

9News Video: Helping the Blind Lead Independent Lives

Thanks to Colorado Gives Day!

How did we get on 9News in the morning? It’s all thanks to Community First Foundation and Colorado Gives Day on December 9. We’ve been part of Colorado Gives Day for a number of years, and have benefitted both from the online fund-raising mechanism they developed and make available to us, but also from the incentive fund that Community First and FirstBank offer. This year’s is $1 Million, and we’re definitely excited about that, but it was Community First that created the opportunity for four Colorado nonprofits to be featured on “Where in the Town.” Priceless! (Hope that’s not trademarked.)

Naturally, the Colorado Center for the Blind jumped at the chance to submit a proposal to have Gregg Moss visit us and show us off on live Denver television. And we were very fortunate that Gregg chose us as one of the four nonprofits to be featured from among 30 submissions.

Schedule Your Gift for December 9!

#CoGivesDay 2014December 9 is the day this year. All gifts posted during that 24-hour period qualify for a portion of the $1 million Incentive Fund!

But you don’t need to wait. You can schedule your gift! Go to our giving page any time in advance and schedule your donation for the 9th to help us qualify for a portion of the $1 million incentive fund-

Isn’t the Internet great?

Visit our Colorado Gives Site & Give Where You Live Now!

Once again, Happy Thanksgiving!

Categories
General Colorado Center Information Youth Services

Fall FAST Saturday Update

Our FAST Saturdays program for youth will meet the second Saturday of each month and involve a variety of activities. FAST stands for FUN ACTIVITIES and SKILLS TRAINING

We at the Center are excited about new or strengthened collaborations with Rocky Mountain Goal Ball, the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR in Boulder is sometimes referred to as NCAR), and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

Sports, STEM, and the arts it’s just the balance we’re seeking with our FAST Saturdays!

RSVP to Brent Batron 303-778-1130 x 222 or [email protected]

Saturday September 13 – Rocky Mountain Goal ball

2 – 6 pm

Come and learn the sport of Goal ball with Matt Simpson, para-Olympic goal ball star

Goal ball will be played Saturdays at the Colorado Center for the Blind nearly every week this fall!! A complete schedule will follow shortly.

Saturday October 11 – FAST Saturday Science

10 am – 2 pm

We will get a chance to see the sky in action in this astronomy workshop. Instructors will be John Ristvey from UCAR and Ben Wentworth, retired from the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind (CSDB). They’ll use atmospheric tents to show us how to understand comets and different aspects of our sky.

Lunch is provided!

Sunday October 26 – Audio Described play

“Lord of the Flies” at DCPA

We have reserved seats for this audio described play located on the DCPA campus. Tickets are only $20 for this amazing theatrical performance. Tickets will be available on a first come first re-served basis.

We will also have tickets available to upcoming performances such as “A Christmas Carol”, “One Night in Miami” and some Broadway shows such as “Cinderella”, “Annie” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”.

Saturday November 8 – FAST Saturday Meets Super Saturday

UCAR in Boulder

We will be joining John Ristvey at UCAR to participate in their Super Saturday Program

Find out how “measuring weather happens! There will be a wind tunnel, the “Little Shop of Physics” and launching of weather balloons, just for starters.

Stay tuned to this web site for more FAST Saturday news!

Categories
Events General Colorado Center Information

A Little More About Cafe Americana

(Mosaic, our 2014 fund-raising event, will be held from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, September 5 here at the Center. We’re especially excited out our main musical guests, Café Americana, and we want you to be excited too! Here’s a bit more about them, and don’t forget to buy your tickets using the link on this page!)

* * *

We’ve captured a few strays from the Denver area acoustic roots band Stray Dog: Eric Woods, Zac Cottrell & Anne and Joe Rigley. From numerous original songs, acoustic interpretations of classic rock tunes, 1940’s jazz standards, all the way to bluegrass and blues, they put their own mark on a broad, eclectic mix of music. Eric’s unique touch on the guitar over Joe’s classy bass backs Anne’s remarkably sweet, pure and honest voice, all while riding Zac’s magical percussion on the Cajón.

Audiences consistently remark that the unique hallmark of this group is their ability to make you feel as if you are sitting around the coffee table with them in the basement making music, with as much focus on enjoying the music as playing it.

So on September 5 come to the Center for art and cuisine, then have a seat and enjoy!

Purchase your Mosaic tickets now!