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!