Youth Services

Come join us for our Elementary Summer Program: 2018 CONFIDENCE CAMP FOR KIDS!

Confidence Camp kids in Downtown Denver2-week program dates: June 11 – 15 & 18 – 22, 2018; (Monday – Friday) day camp
Times: 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
For ages 5-11
Contact: Brent Batron, Director of Youth Programs, 303-778-1130 ext 222, [email protected].

Call early to reserve a spot or email/ fax your application soon. Applications will be reviewed in the order they are received.

The Colorado Center for the Blind is sponsoring an interactive, two-week program for blind and visually impaired children ages five through eleven.

The highly qualified staff, including two certified TVIs, will work with students in a variety of age appropriate areas such as cane skills, daily living skills, Braille and beginning technology. Students will prepare lunch each day and focus on household activities like making beds, vacuuming, washing dishes, sweeping, etc.

Ty and Peyton take the Escalator at Union Station
Seamus learns how to use the knife to slice tomatoes for lunch


Several experienced and energetic blind role models will be paired with students as we believe that positive blind role modeling teaches success.

Not only will the students work on building their skills but, even more importantly, they will gain confidence in themselves by participating in a wide range of activities. Some of these activities will include a science fair, riding the light rail to parks and recreation centers, swimming, eating lunch at a restaurant and many more.

Confidence Camp kids explore machines that transform motion at the Science Museum
Ty and Chloe ride the Light Rail


The students will cap off this experience by participating in a unique and fun performance that friends and families can attend. The skills and confidence they gain from this experience will be exciting.

The fee for this program is $100 which covers all 3 weeks and all activities.

As many of you know, we normally use sleepshades in our programs, but we do not require them in the elementary program. However, we will require that all students use a cane.

Careers General Colorado Center Information

Hard Work & Passion for What You Do Are Key to Making Connections

Dianne Primavera and Judy Mares-Dixon at the podium

More than 130 were in attendance on April 17 for our second annual “Making Connections That Work for You: A Career and College Seminar”. From the beginning in the morning with two phenomenal keynote speakers untl the last breakout ended at 3 p.m., it was a day to learn about the world of work and to feel inspired that blind people can and do any kind of job they wish.

Former State Representative Dianne Primavera told her story with humility, but undoubtedly her story as a single mom and cancer survivor who became one of Colorado’s most effective legislators and now the CEO of Susan B. Komen Colorado revealed the secret to her success – hard work and a singular passion for what she does. Judy Mares-Dixon’s rise to become an internationally-respected mediator – work that she loves – ended with a clear message. Blind people need other blind people along their way to help them fulfill their dreams.

A blind self-employed wordworker, a blind tech company manager, and a blind attorney who defends the rights of blind people spoke on a panel that showed the diversity of occupations that blind people pursue.

Students, teachers, parents and rehabilitation professionals learned about the process of applying to college from recruitment professionals from three local colleges. Following that session was a discussion with three college access professionals about the differences between receiving accommodations in high school and college.

There were half a dozen more breakouts covering the Business Enterprise Program in Colorado for blind entrepreneurs, the basics of the Vocational Rehabilitation program and Federal employment.

Attendees who took part in the mock interviews met with four different interviewers who gave them feedback before they moved on to the next round. Said one student: “In the first interview I didn’t even know what to say. But by the last one I didn’t have any difficulty answering the interview questions.”

And what better outcome could anyone wish for?

Marcus Sands at the podium
Petr Kucheryavyy at the podium
Scott LaBarre at the podium

An audience of over 120 people at Making Connections 2018
Job Seekers participate in Mock Interviews

Careers Events


2nd Annual Career and College Seminar

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Lunch is provided.

Don’t miss these keynote addresses:

Dianne Primavera

Dianne Primavera is Chief Executive Officer for Susan G. Komen Colorado. She served in the state legislature for eight years as representative for Broomfield. During her tenure in the Colorado General Assembly, Dianne held terms as Chair and Vice Chair on several key committees. She was appointed to the Vocational Rehabilitation Services for the Blind Interim Study Committee. A cancer survivor, she founded and co-chaired the Cancer Caucus. The Statesman, the newspaper which covered the state capitol, named her the most effective member of the House for her final term.

Born in Denver, Dianne’s working life began at age 12 when she started a dog grooming business which she maintained for three decades while pursuing educational and career goals. She holds a Master of Arts in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Northern Colorado, and an Executive Education Certificate in Senior Executives in State and Local Government from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Among her many jobs, Dianne worked as a Rehabilitation Counselor for Colorado’s Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), rising to Supervisor. She served as Education and Training Coordinator for the Rocky Mountain Regional Brain Injury Center, served as Manager of Customer Services for a number of state agencies, and as Colorado White House Conference on Aging Coordinator.

In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her two daughters, granddaughter and Airedale Terriers.

Judy Mares-Dixon

Judy Mares-Dixon, M.A., is the owner of Mares-Dixon & Associates and a former Partner with CDR Associates. She has worked in the conflict resolution field since 1986 as a trainer, mediator, coach, facilitator, consultant, and dispute resolution systems designer.

Judy mediates healthcare, business, employment, domestic, cross-cultural, community, and public policy disputes. In addition, she offers negotiation and mediation training programs for a wide range of professionals in both the public and private sectors.

Her clients include the U.S. Department of Justice, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of the Interior, the U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers, Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, New Zealand Employment Tribunal, Fletcher Building of New Zealand, Western Area Power Administration, Ohio Supreme Court, United Airlines, Levi Straus and Co., and Denver Public Schools.

Judy holds a Master’s Degree in Social and Multicultural Education from the University of Colorado. She lives in Boulder.


9:00 am


10:00 am

Welcome and Opening Remarks, Julie Deden, Director, Colorado Center for the Blind; Monique Melton, Employment Specialist, Colorado Center for the Blind; Diane McGeorge, Chair of the Board of Directors, Colorado Center for the Blind

10:10 am

Keynote Addresses: Dianne Primavera; Judy Mares-Dixon

11:00 am

Lunch/Panel Discussion (Half of us will eat lunch and the other half will attend our panel discussion)

12:00 pm

Lunch/Panel Discussion (We’ll swap places, half of us will eat lunch and the other half will attend our panel discussion)

Panel Discussion:

Who Built the Desk and Who’s Working Behind It; hear from a blind woodworker, a blind lawyer, and a blind manager of one of the nation’s leading telecommunications companies. Marcus Sands, wood worker, owner of Blind Insight; Scott LaBarre, attorney; Petr Kucheryavyy, manager, Charter Communications

1:00 pm

Breakout Sessions (1:00-2:00)

  1. Using Workforce Centers to Find a Job and More. Helen Meadows, Arapahoe-Douglas Works. Small Conference Room upstairs.
  2. DVR 101. Julia Zanon and others from the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Senior Resource Room upstairs.
  3. The Business Enterprise Program: What Does it Take to be Successful? Ellie Karre, Program Manager. Large Conference Room upstairs.
  4. Mock Interviews. Practice your interviewing skills with managers from various local companies. Gym downstairs.
  5. College: The Process of Applying. Howard Fukaye, Arapahoe Community College; Shanna Pomager, Denver University; Kathryn Kenyon, Metropolitan State University of Denver. Braille Room downstairs.

2:00 pm

Breakout Sessions (2:00-3:00)

  1. What Does it Take to Hold on to Success While Self-Employed? Kevan Worley, CEO, Worley Enterprises. Small Conference Room upstairs.
  2. DVR 101. Julia Zanon and others from the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Senior Resource Room upstairs.
  3. Working for the Federal Government: How to Apply and Land the Job. Patricia McMahon, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Large Conference Room upstairs.
  4. Mock Interviews. Practice your interviewing skills with managers from various local companies. Gym downstairs.
  5. You Mean I Have to Ask for Accommodations: Getting Access in College. Melissa Cermak, Ph.D., Metropolitan State University of Denver; Michele McCandless, MSW, Denver University; Anna Berger, M.A., Arapahoe Community College. Braille Room downstairs.

Our thanks to the following for assisting with mock interviews: Charter Communications, Comcast, Worley Enterprises, 20-30 Foundation, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Ralph Schomp Automotive Group

Our thanks to the Gibney Family Foundation and the Verizon Foundation for sponsoring this seminar.

General Colorado Center Information

#Accessible #TactileArt with @ArtACunningham at @DenverArtMuseum on “@_EyesOnSuccess

Ann explores tactile art with a group of blind students at the Denver Art MuseumOur long-time art instructor and national leader in tactile access to art and science Ann Cunningham was in the artists’ make-a-space at the Denver Art Museum (DAM) in February. A group from the Colorado Center for the Blind visited DAM and Ann’s exhibit and art-making on February 9. The collaboration between DAM and Ann caught the attention of others, resulting in this episode of the popular podcast, “Eyes on Success” – and interview by podcasters Peter Torpey and Nancy Goodman Torpey of Ann and folks at DAM.

Cane Travel Challenge Recreation General Colorado Center Information Independence Training Program

Belding Travels with Hockey Stick All the Way to the First U.S. #BlindHockey team #LivetheLifeYouWant @USAHockey

Daniel works the puck across the ice
Daniel in full Hockey gear in action on the ice


Since January, fans attending Colorado Avalanche games have been treated to between-periods video of the Try Blind Hockey Day on January 17. Over 50 blind Coloradans went out on the ice that day, some for the first time, others with a stick in their hand for the first time. Fans are impressed by the video, but it is little more than an historical artifact now.

In just three short months, blind hockey has gone from being nonexistent in Colorado to a sport avidly pursued by dozens of players. And it’s produced a member of the newly-formed U.S. National Blind Hockey Team under the auspices of USA Hockey.

Daniel Belding, Cane Travel Instructor at CCB, was invited to be a member of the first U.S. team. The only other team right now is Canada, but other countries are anxious to get their blind athletes out on the ice soon, spurred on perhaps by the first-ever international blind hockey games planned for October. That’s when the new U.S. team will meet Canada in Pittsburgh for a best-of-three series.

Since January, about a dozen and a half Metro-area skaters, men and women and some as young as six years old, met weekely for practice. Craig Fitzpatrick, a member of the Washington Wheelers was temporarily located here for his day job and certainly helped inspire young blind hockey players. Fitzpatric visited CCB in March to talk about blind hockey, though a number of students were already going to practices. Fitzpatrick was also picked for the U.S. team.

As a result of all that ice time, Belding and fellow Cane Travel Instructor Steve Patten were invited to attend the 14th annual Toyota-USA Hockey Disabled Hockey Festival in Chicago last weekend. It was from among the 80-plus blind skaters that Belding, Fitzpatrick and others were invited to try out for the national team.

It’s never been a secret that Daniel loves hockey. So much so that he played on sighted teams in high school leagues in the Denver area. Though he didn’t think of himself as blind at the time despite limited central vision and even more limited peripheral vision. He nonetheless developed a number of alternative techniques to stay on the ice.

“You can hear the (standard) puck a lot better as the game goes on,” Daniel said of one of those alternate techniques, noting that the ice gets rougher with prolonged play.

But his experience with blind hockey dates to January 17 and the Try Blind Hockey Day at the Pepsi Center. He couldn’t be having more fun!

Blind hockey is a relatively new sport in the U.S. Though it started in Canada in the 1970s it wasn’t played below the 49th Parallel until three years ago. Along with teams in Canada, there were at least seven teams active in the U.S. at the start of this year, including the Wheelers. There will soon be more than a dozen. So the rapid rise in popularity of blind hockey in the Denver area really isn’t anything new, but parallels the rapid expansion of blind hockey in the U.S. since 2014. And maybe it prefigures a worldwide trend to come!

What’s up next for the national team is a skills camp in July and then a final cut-down to 14 from 30 in August. Those will be the players that face off against Canada in the fall.

For Belding, there’s no chance he’ll be slowing down. The chance to play the game he loves so much has energized him. He and Patten have been on the ice three mornings a week at Denver University for months already – at 5:30 a.m. If anything, he’ll be looking for more ice time now!

Craig Fitzpatrick holds up an adapted hockey puck while he gives a talk about Blind Hockey at the Colorado Center for the Blind

Careers Events General Colorado Center Information

Just what is a “mock interview?

Three smartly-dressed women chat in a large, busy gym
Employment Specialist Monique Melton talks with Courtney and Libby at Making Connections 2017.

The rule of thumb is that a good resume gets you an interview, but it’s in the interview that you get the job. How can you be successful at interviewing? With coaching and practice!

If you have never interviewed for a job before, if you haven’t interviewed for a job since becoming blind, if you haven’t interviewed in a long time, then a mock interview is just for you! It’s a low-pressure chance to get some coaching and practice.

During our April 17 career and college seminar at CCB, Making Connections that Work for You, you can sign up for a series of three mock interviews as one of the afternoon breakout sessions. Yes, you’ll do three short mock interviews in a one-hour period!

Mock interviews are simulations of a job interview, but not a real job interview. We’ll have professionals from the public and private sectors on hand to run you through a short interview much like the interviews they conduct in their professional capacities. Then you’ll get constructive feedback about the things you did well and things that you might improve. After that, you’ll go on to another mock interview with that feedback and practice what your coaches suggest.

Mock interviews will be offered Tuesday afternoon from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sign up with Monique Melton at 303-778-1130, x221 or [email protected]. Obviously, space is limited, so sign up in advance. Dress for a job interview and if you have a resume, go ahead and bring it. But the real emphasis will be on practicing and improving your interview skills

Our thanks to representatives from these organizations who will assist in the mock interviews:

  • Charter Communications
  • Comcast
  • Worley Enterprises
  • 2030 Foundation
  • The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
  • Ralph Schomp Automotive Group

Register for Making Connections That Work for You

Tuesday April 17, 2018

10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Events General Colorado Center Information Youth Services

#FAST Friday to Explore the Stars with @AstronomyatACC

Astronomy Event - Telescope and tactile graphics in front of a star filled night sky
Whirling overhead at all times are stars, planets – whole galaxies. Humans have always wondered at them and about them. Blindness is no impediment to curiosity, including in the area of astronomy, nor is their any reason blind people can’t learn much in this field, often thought to be too visual. Some have even become astronomers themselves.

So, with the help of Arapahoe Community College Astronomy Coordinator and Instructor Jennifer Jones this month’s FAST (Fun Activities and Skills Training) Friday program for blind youth will teach about the stars with tactile graphics of constellations, 3D printings of telescopes and, finally, a trip outside to see what is in Friday night’s sky. Members of ACC’s Astronomy Club will be helping out too. We’ll also learn a little about the science of sonification as it applies to studying various astronomical phenomena.

With luck, we can inspire anew generation of blind astronomers!

Oh, and we’ll bring snacks. That’s inspiring … right?

Please note

There’s a change of time (later so as to use the telescope after dark), and change of venue for our April FAST Friday.

Friday, April 13
7 p.m.
Arapahoe Community College
5900 S. Santa Fe Drive, Littleton
Main Building, Room 1040
It’s best to enter the Main Building from the north side. The entrance is on College avenue right at the pedestrian crosswalk. Parking is across the street. For bus riders, this is the western end point of Route 66.

Blind Astronomers

Doing a Google search for blind astronomers will turn up some interesting results, though a couple of the links below were already known to this blogger. When you learn just a little about how these blind astronomers do their research, it quickly becomes apparent that astronomy isn’t limited to the visual, but rather that it’s been taught that way, often exclusively that way. Until recently that is. My Google results showed that not all curious blind would-be scientists felt constrained by those teaching limitations.

The 1997 sci-fi movie, Contact featured a blind astronomer, Kent Clark, who was based on the true-life blind astronomer, Kent Cullers, who worked for NASA’s Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). One of SETI’s projects was to process radio signals from space using the computing power of PCs around the world. if you wanted to help, you invited SETI to use your PC while you weren’t, and early application of crowd-sourcing.

Cullers was blind from birth and is now retired. Wanda Diaz Merced was already an astronomer when she became blind, and her TED Talk, How a Blind Astronomer Found a Way to Hear the Stars won’t be a wasted 11 minutes and 16 seconds out of your life.

There is in fact a Blind Astronomy Guild, with members across this tiny, spinning globe.

Careers Events General Colorado Center Information

Making Connections that Work for You 2018 #Careers #College

2nd Annual Career and College Seminar


sponsored by

Colorado Center for the Blind,
2233 W. Shepperd Avenue
Littleton, Colorado 80120

Tuesday April 17, 2018

9:00 am registration 10:00 am program begins
Lunch will be provided

To reserve your spot, register at the link below or call Monique Melton, Employment Specialist, at 303-778-1130 extension 221.

Morning Sessions:

Keynote Speakers:
Dianne Primavera, CEO of Susan G. Komen, former state legislator, Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation supervisor/counselor and much more.

Judy Mares-Dixon, owner of Mares-Dixon & Associates, has worked in the conflict resolution field since 1986.

Employment Panel:
Scott Labarre, attorney
Petr Kucheryavyy, manager, Charter Communications
Marcus Sands, wood worker and furniture builder

Afternoon Breakout Sessions:

Each participant will choose two sessions to attend from these options:

• Rehabilitation 101 – getting started
• Working in the federal government – what to expect
• The Business Enterprise Program – an exciting opportunity
• Get set up with a Workforce Center to find a job!
• What types of accessibility does a blind person need in college
• Practice interviews with several employers
• Developing your own business and making it a success
• Careers in the technology field
• Applying for college – what do you need?

We Need Your Registration

Please take the following link to register so we’ll have a good count for lunch! You can also e-mail Monique Melton at [email protected]

Register Here for Making Connections