General Colorado Center Information

Birding by Ear at CCB

Group shot - The class listens to bird sounds while CG looks at a mount of a Great Horned Owl
It was feathers and bird calls Tuesday morning in our first Birding by Ear class with Alie Mayes, Outreach Coordinator at Bird Conservancy of the Rockies in Brighton. Alie brought casts of bird skulls as well as mounts, giving everyone a sense of various differences in bird anatomy, size and aerodynamics. Then we got down to identifying a couple of dozen bird calls we might hear in the Littleton area this time of year, such as canada geese, crows and chickadees, as well as others that come and go around the calendar.

Suzi looks at a mount of a Great Horned Owl
Lynn looks at the skull of a flicker
Mike looks at an Owl wing

Next time, we’ll take our newly practiced ears outside to find some of our neighbors. Class parcicipants may have a hard time waiting, but we’ll have MP3 files to study up with and, naturally, there’s nothing to stop us from going outside to listen!

And when someone wonders out loud, “I wonder what bird makes that beautiful song,” they might have the answer!..” they

Ethan looks at a mount of a flicker on a log

Home Management Independence Training Program

The Excited Hostess: Hindley’s Mini-meal

Hindley didn’t really cook when she first arrived at the Center. She’d never used a hot oven. That’s all changed, as her mini-meal clearly demonstrated:

Events General Colorado Center Information Independence Training Program Senior Programs

Tactile Art Exhibits Coming to @ArapahoeCC & UCAR @ArtACunningham

ACC and CCB staff and students around the Mandala

Tactile art and art shows are in the works this fall, with collaboration and coordination from the Colorado Center for the Blind’s Ann Cunningham as the common medium.

First, Arapahoe Community College’s now-annual “Shared Visions” tactile art show will open with a reception on November 10 at the Colorado Gallery of the Arts from 5 to 8 p.m. The show , which will be open to the public until November 18, will feature tactile and sensory art from ACC Painting and Ceramics students, as well as works from CCB students and staff in several media. CCB’s Ann Cunningham teaches classes each week to Independence Training Students and to Seniors.

It’s the third year the show has been held at ACC, starting with Nathan Abels’ painting classes in 2014, and last year adding ceramics classes taught by Katie Caron, The collaborations are not only between the teaching artists, but also students. Shared class meetings at both CCB and ACC’s ceramics studio are a key component. This year, three classes of CCB art students will contribute works in both hand-built and wheel-thrown ceramics, as well as thermaform representations of haiku poems.

Open now at Boulders University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR, but commonly referred to as NCAR for one of it’s best-known projects), is another tactile art show as part of UCAR’s Community Art Program . Featuring the work of Colorado stone sculptor Ann Cunningham, along with ACC’s Nathan Abels and ACC students. The UCAR show, under discussion for nearly two years, features Cunningham’s bas reliefs in stone as well as three-dimensional sculptures, and includes haiku representations from both painting and ceramics students at ACC.

The exhibit space is in the expansive cafeteria within the laboratory building and is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekdays and from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Cunningham and CCB students will be present on Saturday, November 5 for UCAR’s Super Science Saturday and again on November 12 for the show’s reception.

Cunningham has been teaching art to students at the Colorado Center for the Blind since the 1990s. All students take part in a 4-week class involving learnign to experience and to make art. Ann’s pieces in the UCAR gallery will include a fairy tale, a murder of crows, and a relief of a bird skeleton, among other pieces.

Nathan Abels is a painter and photographer featured in Denver galleries.

General Colorado Center Information Independence Training Program

High Fives at Mile High Academy #MeettheBlind #HowEyeSeeIt

Ryan High-Fives with the students after shooting some hoops
Ryan at the Mic at Mile High Academy
Ryan shoots some hoops with a group of students from Mile High Academy

We are always excited to be invited to talk at schools in the area about what it really means to be blind. It’s a great chance to dispel myths and stereotypes and to teach kids that blind people are just folks, too. So, we were delighted when we received a call from Diane Harris, a parent and administrator at nearby Mile High Academy. It turned out that the 7th grade English students were reading Michael Hingson‘s book, Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust, Mike’s story of his escape from the World Trade Center on 9/11 with his guide dog, Roselle. We were especially excited because Mike’s book talks about the truth of being blind and because he is a member of our Board of Directors. It was a great connection for all of us.

I took one of our students, Ryan along, as well as our photographer Mike Thompson. With the school’s permission, Mike Thompson shot some still photos and video of the presentation. Ryan’s response to a question about how blind people play sports was one of the highlights of the visit. The morning was all net! Thanks again to the students, teachers and Diane Harris for inviting us to come!

Challenge Recreation General Colorado Center Information Independence Training Program

Body Pads and Karate Punches: Tuesday’s Orange Belts

Rachael flies through the air as Steve flips her to the ground
Another round of testing for the Martial Arts class on Tuesday was followed by an awards ceremony. The entire Center turned out in the gym as five students and Travel Instructor Steve Patten all received orange belts from Karate Denver instructors Rachel and Travis. Steve is a bit of a ringer, of course, since he already has a black belt in Judo and competed internationally.

Brittany throws Travis flat on his back on the mats
Warren holds on to his cane while throwing elbow jabbs at the pads
Jimmi throws Rachael to the ground while keeping hold of his cane

Each class meets for eight sessions in our gym, learning any number of defensive strategies and moves, punches, kicks and holds. This class included Jay, Jimmy, Warren, Brittany, warren and Courtney C along with Steve.

“I feel a lot more confidence in myself,” said Brittany after the class. Wearing a warrior’s face during her belt testing, she giggles when asked about it. “It was fun too!”
Group shot with instructors standing with the students who are wearing their orange belts and holding their certificates

General Colorado Center Information Independence Training Program

Green Tomatoes and Ripe Pumpkins: Last Days in the Garden

Looking through the garden arches at a group of CCB students and staff working in the garden against a wall of Fall colors
The mornings are cool and the colors turning. There were still loads of tomoatoes, green to read, not to mention the ripe pumpkins on wat may be one of the last weeks our sudents work in our Legacy Garden with the Arapahoe Master Gardeners.

Master Gardener shows new student (David) around the garden
A row of pumpkins on the garden wall
Chris Parsons enjoys a large ripe tomato

This week it was the first-hour Tech Classes who got to work in the garden. From veterans like Tech Instructor Chris Parsons (who breakfasted on tomatoes directly off the vine, to brand-new students like David in his first day at the Center, it was a festive mood bringing in so much produce before the first frost hits. For those who’ve been around since the first plantings last June, it’s satisfying, yet bittersweet. Like every year, though, the garden is a big part of our summer months at the Center!