Events General Colorado Center Information In the Media Youth Services

Here’s news about the 2 high school students who submitted successful essays to attend #NFBinDC with @nfbco:

Drawing of the US Capitol with the NFB Logo and Whosits in front of the steps

Editor’s Note: In the fall we invited blind Colorado high school students to apply for our first-ever scholarship to attend the National Federation of the Blind‘s annual Washington Seminar. Students were asked to submit an essay telling us why they wanted to go, and we selected two students to come with us. In fact, that’s where some of us are right now, including three staff members and three ITP students along with the high school students. Tomorrow we’ll be on the Hill going to appointments at all nine offices of the Colorado Congressional delegation. Here’s a press release issued today by the National federation of the Blind of Colorado.

Littleton, Colorado (January 28, 2019) -Deyannira Villa Cazares, 16, of Denver, and Ian Lee, 18, of Aurora, join other Coloradans participating in the National Federation of the Blind’s Washington Seminar, January 28-31. Villa Cazares and Lee were chosen in a statewide essay contest.

Two Colorado High School students will travel with more than a dozen blind Coloradans to Washington, DC to advocate for legislation to improve the lives of the blind throughout the country.  The group will join more than 500 blind Americans at the 2019 Washington Seminar Jan. 28-31, held each year by the National Federation of the Blind (NFB).

Deyannira Villa Cazares, a 16-year-old sophomore at DSST: Conservatory Green High School, and Ian Lee, an 18-year-old senior at Aurora West College Prep, were the winners of an essay contest sponsored by the Colorado Center for the Blind in cooperation with the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado for blind high school students to attend the annual event. Deyannira of Denver and Ian of Aurora will each receive an all-expenses paid trip to the seminar, where they will meet with Colorado’s congressional delegation and learn from leaders in the National Federation of the Blind.

“One of the biggest reasons visiting Washington would enrich my life is that I want to be able to advocate for people like me, blind or visually impaired, to have the same rights or opportunities as sighted people,” Deyannira wrote in her essay.

“I need to know what laws impact my life and what I can do to help influence changes in the future,” Ian wrote.

According to Julie Deden, Executive Director, Colorado Center for the Blind, “Beyond the legislative issues, these two bright, engaged students will be traveling the halls of our nation’s capital with blind adult role models. Our nation’s capital is big and complicated for anyone. But, they will learn that blind can go anywhere and engage members of congress just like everyone else.”

While in Washington, the students will join others in educating representatives and senators about three legislative priorities:

The Access Technology Affordability Act (ATAA), which would provide a refundable tax credit for qualifying purchases of critically needed access technology. With this bill, Congress would stimulate individual procurement of this technology and promote affordability of these tools.

The Greater Accessibility and Independence through Nonvisual Access Technology (GAIN) Act. The legislation would have Congress set minimum accessibility requirements for advanced digital interfaces which create barriers that prevent blind individuals from independently operating essential devices that enhance quality of life.

The Disability Employment Act (DEA) is intended to spur innovation that will increase and enhance modern employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

The Washington Seminar is an annual event of the National Federation of the Blind to introduce Congress to priority issues for blind Americans that require congressional attention over the coming year.

Youth Services

Announcing Our 2019 Summer Youth Programs

For 2019, we’ll offer our long-standing summer youth programs, including Confidence Camp/BELL and our 8-week residential program for high school and college-aged youth. But we’ll also offer shorter-term and more focused “modules”, describe below. For more information on our 2019 Summer Youth Programs, contact Martin Becerra-Miranda at 303-778-1130, ext. 2223, or [email protected].

Summer Students work with the LabQuest
Izzy and Vanessa L. take measurements with the LabQuest

Confidence Camp/BELL Academy

Dates: June 10 through June 21
Ages: 5 to 10
Location: Colorado Center for the Blind

Program Description

This two-week day program will be filled with learning, challenge and fun. Your child will meet competent blind role models who will work with the kids on cooking, cleaning, Braille, independent travel and technology. The kids will learn how to take the bus and use the light rail. They’ll have fun swimming, rock climbing, making a tactile art piece and going on exciting field trips.

No Limits to Learning

Dates: June 7 to August 2
Ages: 14 to 21
Location: Colorado Center for the Blind

Program Description

This eight-week residential program will change your life. You will live in an apartment with other students and a staff member. Learn about the world of work and meet blind people who work in all kinds of jobs. Challenge yourself through our program by participating in rock climbing, goalball, white water rafting and much more. Build your core skills in Braille, technology, home management and cane travel. Attend the convention of the National Federation of the Blind in Las Vegas, Nevada. Expand your skill set in STEM fields with hands-on experiments using accessible, nonvisual tools and strategies. College coming up soon? Learn what it takes to be successful, including how to navigate the unfamiliar new landscape of higher education. You will learn that being blind will not limit you from pursuing your dreams.

Module Madness

Want a shorter training program? We offer three different modules throughout the summer that may fit your schedule and your interests. In all three modules, you will live in one of our apartments with other students and a counselor, and you will build your core skills in Braille, Technology, Home Management and Cane Travel classes.

The World of Work

Dates: June 7 to June 21
Ages: 11 to 21
Location: Colorado Center for the Blind

Program Description

Challenge yourself with new experiences! You will travel the Denver Metro area via bus and light rail to meet with blind people who work in a variety of professions. Develop confidence and your own style for networking. Practice your interviewing skills and put together a resume and cover letter.

Challenge and Adventure

Dates: June 21 to June 30
Ages: 11 to 21
Location: Colorado Center for the Blind

Program Description

Run in a 5K race, play goalball and hockey, learn self-defense, go canoeing, whitewater rafting and much more. Prepare delicious foods and learn about maintaining a nutritious diet. On the slower side try yoga, gymnastics and develop an exercise routine.

Cracking the College Code

Dates: July 18 to August 2
Ages: 16 to 21
Location: Colorado Center for the Blind

Program Description

Develop the skills you need to be successful in college as a blind student. Expand your skill set with accessible tools and strategies for chemistry, biology, statistics, robotics and more. Practice self-advocacy and learn how to navigate the unfamiliar new landscape of higher education.

Braille Events General Colorado Center Information Youth Services

The #Braille Blizzard Challenge in Littleton!

Ty in the meeting room
During the lunch break, Ty Gillespie talked about his experience going to the National Braille Challenge last summer, held at the Braille Institute in Los Angeles. Were you nervous? “I was really nervous.” Would you go again? “Oh yeah, I’d go again!” Ty took 2nd Place in his age group in 2018.

We hosted the Braille Challenge today, referred to as the “Braille Blizzard Challenge” by the seven Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind (CSDB) staff members who drove north  in the storm, sometimes at 25 MPH or slower.  It was also slow going for participants, teachers and parents who came from as far away as Dillon and Fairplay.  It even took as long as 90 minutes to get to Littleton from Aurora as wind and snow swirled across the Metro area this morning, beginning about 8 a.m.

There were 14  participants in the Braille Challenge hosted here today, and there were 25 in Colorado Springs last Thursday at CSDB.  No doubt, Braille Rules!

Based on the last couple of posts, readers might get the impression that it’s doing nothing but snow in Colorado this month. The truth is that, between storms, skies have been sunny and teperatures as high as 55 degrees. Not so rough. And since this is Colorado, this morning’s wind had died and the sun was trying to burn through the clouds by early afternoon.

A deep snow covers the grounds of the Colorado Center for the Blind
By early afternoon, the view of the front of the Center showed only the fresh snow from the blizzard, and the sun was burning through.
Cane Travel General Colorado Center Information Independence Training Program

It’s snowing in Littleton Today, & all our students, including our 5 new ones, made the trek to CCB! #ShareLittleton

Fox Image
A snow covered fox serves as a goose deterrent

We expect no less. But it just goes to show that blind people are not afraid to travel in the snow, not even the new ones who come from such warmer states as South Carolina, Georgia and Arizona. Independence doesn’t depend on the weather!

Pictured above is one of our hopeful goose-deterrants. We’re still holding out for a group shot of snow angels. No takers, especially after warnings about goose poop in the snow.

General Colorado Center Information Independence Training Program Senior Programs

Happy New Year from the Colorado Center for the Blind!

Looking across a snow covered landscape at the Colorado Center for the Blind

Yes, we got a little snow for the New Year, and a lot more cold! Temps dropped below zero in some places, but have been rising steadily since the ball dropped at midnight to start the New Year! Things are looking great for 2019, and we look forward to our students’ return on Friday, January 4!

Seniors groups start up again next week.