Categories
Youth Services

FAST November: Kicking off the Holiday Season with CCB!

FAST - (Fun Activities & Skills Training) logo

The date of our annual FAST Thanksgiving activity has been changed from earlier dates you may have seen.

Who?
Blind students of all ages, families and teachers
Where?
Colorado Center for the Blind, 2233 W. Shepperd Ave. Littleton CO, 80120
When?
Saturday, November 23, 2019 from 10:00AM – 2:00PM

If we are expected to eat the meal, we should be expected to help cook it as well.

It’s becoming a bit of a tradition around here. November’s FAST Program is all about the meal we eat, the games we play, and most importantly, the people we share this time with. This year, on November 23, we will hold our own Thanksgiving get together, FAST style that is. Join us for an afternoon full of cooking, eating, sharing each other’s company, and games! We promise to keep the competition to a minimum during dinnertime.

For many of our students this will be the first time they’ve been expected to help prepare such a meal; this is the type of teaching/learning we love to implement at the Colorado Center for the Blind. We will have plenty of volunteers to work with students as well as other participants. Although our focus is working with students, we love working with parents, siblings, and teachers to encourage them to have expectations that their blind child/sibling/student actively participate in all aspects of life.

We will:

  • Prepare/bake chicken and ham
  • Make mashed potatoes, gravy, creamed corn, stuffing, dinner rolls, and pie
  • Play games, such as Pin the Feather on the Turkey, Pumpkin Roll, and Thankful Alphabet Game

Deadline to RSVP is Wednesday, November 20th.

For questions or to RSVP, please contact Martin Becerra-Miranda at
[email protected] or (303)778-1130 Ext: 223.

Categories
General Colorado Center Information Youth Services

CCB Seeks Blind Colorado Youth to Go to DC in February

Early each year, more than 500 blind Americans tap their canes across Capitol Hill in the District of Columbia to keep appointments at the offices of every member of Congress. It is the Washington Seminar of the National Federation of the Blind, and it is how we make our legislative concerns and priorities known to those who have been elected to serve us. It is how we, the blind, make our voices heard, and doing so is the foundation of our democracy.

For the 2020 Washington Seminar, The Colorado Center for the Blind will assist up to 3 blind Colorado high school students to travel with the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado to the annual Washington Seminar February 10-13, 2019. The scholarships will include the costs of air travel, lodging at the Holiday Inn Capitol and a food allowance. We typically fly on the Sunday before the Washington Seminar begins, returning late on Wednesday. So, our travel plans will likely run from Sunday, February 9 to Wednesday, February 12, 2020. In that time, students will attend the National Association of Blind Students (NABS) meeting, learn about this year’s legislative priorities, attend meetings at the offices of members of the Colorado Congressional Delegation, and possibly get to visit some important sites in our nation’s Capital.

How to qualify

Blind and low vision students will submit an essay, 350 word minimum, that details how their experiences leading up to this point have shaped their goals and how attending the Washington seminar will help in their transition into college or the workforce.

Applicants are encouraged to read more about the Washington Seminar, and be able to identify who represents them in the United States House of Representatives. Here’s the link to the House Find Your Representative search page.

Essays should be sent to Martin Becerra-Miranda, Director of Youth Services,by December 1, 2019. Electronic copies are preferred, but Braille will also be accepted. Send essays to [email protected] or Braille to Colorado Center for the Blind, 2233W.Shepperd Ave., Littleton, CO 80120, ATTN: Martin Becerra-Miranda.

For more information, call Martin at 303-778-1130, ext. 223.Drawing of the US Capitol with the NFB Logo and Whosits in front of the steps

Categories
Braille Cane Travel Computer and Adaptive Technology General Colorado Center Information Independence Training Program

Meet Adama, a Disability-rights Champion from Sierra Leone

Adama sitting at the table in the travel lobby with her phone and her slate and stylus.
After a lesson with her new iPhone, Adama reviews her Braille notes.

For the past three weeks, we’ve been delighted to have Adama Conteh as a special student at the Colorado Center for the Blind. Adama is from Sierra Leone, a country of about 6 million in West Africa. She has been in the U.S. under the sponsorship of Hope International, which has provided Adama with training at their headquarters in Tennessee, and transportation to Colorado to attend the Center for these three weeks.

You don’t have to talk to Adama more than a couple of minutes to understand that she is a disability rights and women’s rights advocate at her core. Blind since she was a very small child, she nonetheless went to college, worked as a teacher and was recently elected to city council in her home town of Makeni.

Not surprisingly, in a country where almost all daily cooking occurs outdoors over a wood fire or coal pot, and where only 12 percent of the population had access to electricity in 2016 (and that sporadic, she tells us), Adama had not learned to use accessible technology or even a Braille typewriter. She is, however, a marvel using a slate and stylus. Just think of the sound of a popcorn popper. Okay, a little slower than that, but just a little.

While at cCB,Adama has followed a very abbreviated schedule typical for our Independence Training Program (ITP). Thus, she worked on cane travel, home management and lots of Tech. Already Braille literate, her efforts there were to learn to use a Braille typewriter with its unique keyboard. In her work as an advocate and on the city council, she could effectively use her iPhone with a bluetooth Braille display, both for reading and writing e-mail, text messages and other documents.

At first, she didn’t see much use in a white cane, though. Streets in Sierra Leone are not regulated in the same way as they are in the U.S., and there are definitely no pedestrian sidewalks.

“If you (as a blind person) want to go somewhere,” she told us, “you take a scooter and they drop you right in front of the door.”

After a couple of weeks with a cane, however, she says she is excited about the increased independence it provides to her. She not only plans to use a cane when she returns home, but she plans to introduce it to other blind Sierra Leonians as well.

And calls home to her family?

“They can’t believe it,” she laughs. “”All those blind people are cooking? All the teachers and the director are blind?”

Adama gets it, though.

So, our thanks to Hope International for sending Adama to us, if only for three weeks. But also our congratulations. With a goal of empowering women with disabilities in Sierra Leone, you have found a champion, and we are proud to welcome Adama into our CCB family as well.

Categories
In the Media Woodshop and Home Maintenance

Learning from Blind/VI Role Models: Martin Featured in @CSDBBulldogs Video Series

The Colorado Schoool for the Deaf and the Blind (CSDB) recently launched a great video series focusing on role models for their blind and deaf students. Our own Martin Becerra-Miranda, Director of Youth Services, is featured in this one:

Categories
Youth Services

FAST Scavenger Hunt: It’ll be a spooky good time… Or will it? Bwahahaha, come and find out for yourselves Oct. 10

FAST - (Fun Activities & Skills Training) logo

2019 – 2020 FAST Program

(Fun Activities & Skills Training)

A Haunted Scavenger Hunt

Can’t wait for Halloween to get here? Want something to do on a Friday night? Never been on a scavenger hunt? Well, come and join CCB for a Friday night of fun! We’ll have plenty of activities to test your problem solving skills, mental mapping techniques, spatial awareness, and most of all, your Cane Travel abilities.

We hear tails of what lies beneath the poolroom, or where that screeching down the north hallway comes from, but don’t let those minor obstacles stand in your way. After all, you have goals to achieve, places to be and treats to find.

We’ll have:

  • A fun and spooky scavenger hunt.
  • Bobbing for apples, a fun twist on a good old classic.
  • Pumpkin decorating
  • Mummy Wrapping, not a rapping mummy.
  • A presentation for parents on the ins and outs of independent travel techniques.

And we’ll have pizza, too!

For questions or to RSVP please contact Martin Becerra-Miranda at [email protected] or at (303)778-1130 Ext: 223

Who?
Blind students of all ages and their families.
What?
CCB’s FAST Program.
Where?
Colorado Center for the Blind
2233 W. Shepperd Ave
Littleton CO, 80120<
When?
Friday October 11, 2019
from 5:30 to 8:00 PM.
Categories
General Colorado Center Information Independence Training Program

Peaches, Chiles and Chives – Our Post-Labor Day Harvest

Octavia picks Peaches from the CCB Garden

During the latter part of August in Colorado, and into the first week or so of September, we are all going crazy about Western Slope peaches. They are big, they are juicy, and they are to die for. They are in the supermarkets, the farmers’ markets and many from the Front Range make the trip across the Divide to get a case or two, and maybe even attend the Palisades Peach Festival. They end up in cobblers, pies, crisps, freezers, and we have heard at least one reported instance of homemade peach ice cream. Some folks never get around to any of that, but eat as many as two to four fresh peaches a day during this period.

Well, they aren’t Palisades peaches, but they are from our very own peach tree. The day after labor Day students in Jen and Eliza’s morning Braille classes harvested peaches from the tree in our Legacy Garden. There were some other things to harvest, too, so we thought we’d share a few of the photos from that morning with all of you.

Thanks as always to our Colorado Master Gardeners!

Categories
Youth Services

Kicking Off the 2019-2020 FAST Program This Friday!

“FAST” stands for Fun Activities & Skills Training, which is our monthly school-year program directed at blind youth and their families. FAST activities wil occur on either the second Friday evening or second Saturday of each month.

Back to School: Setting goals, seeing progress, and finding success!

Who?
Blind students of all ages and their families.
What?
CCB’s FAST Program.
Where?
Colorado Center for the Blind
2233 W. Shepperd Ave.
Littleton CO, 80120
When?
Friday September 13, 2019 from 5- 7:30 PM.

Join us for a fun and informative Friday night of pizza and an array of talking points that will focus on your success both inside and outside of the classroom. We will share tips and tricks for navigating the challenges that come with being a student in today’s academic landscape. We will also discuss resources and programs that are available to you as a Blind student. All ages are welcome. We will have age-focused breakout sessions. Here are some of the topics we can cover on Friday:

  • Getting the most out of your I E P
  • Self-advocacy in the classroom
  • Socializing at school
  • Braille, it’s never too early to start learning
  • Tips & tricks for staying organized
  • Outdated or underutilized? Learn about the abacus and its many uses
  • Smartphone Apps & other resources
  • Scholarships
  • Our schedule for the year

To RSVP or for more information, please contact Martin Becerra-Miranda at [email protected] or at (303)778-1130 Ext: 223

Categories
Careers General Colorado Center Information In the Media Independence Training Program Senior Programs

CCB Senior & Alum Launches “the Tactile Traveler” Radio Program & Podcast @kdnkradio

Nick crossing Shepperd Ave

You can’t keep Nicky out of the news. Glenwood Springs’s Nick Isenberg, who first attended our Seniors in Charge program and then came back to complete the Independence Training Program at age 73, is back in the news where he spent his professional career. This time it’s as “The Tactile Traveler”, the monthly radio program and podcast he launched on KDNK in Carbondale July 30.

KDNK is a ppublic access radio station which, according to its web site, reaches over 100,000 listeners from Rifle to Leadville to Marble, as well as streaming on the web. Here’s what the web site says:

Nicky News Premiers “The Tactile Traveler” on KDNK
Journalist Nick Isenberg applies his skills and experience to a new show that seeks to “empower blind and low vision people to explore the world and help the sighted to see the world in a new way.”

“The Tactile Traveler” is available from the Apple Store and other podcast distributors. Just search for “Tactile Traveler”.

Clicking this link will open the podcast and begin playing it.

Categories
In the Media Senior Programs

#NextFiftyInitiative Grant Helps Us Take Seniors in Charge to Grand Junction This Week @50initiative

Editor’s Note: We were excited to receive a one-year grant from Colorado’s Next Fifty Initiative in June to provide skills training and employment services to seniors losing vision. The grant allows us to serve “seniors” from age 50 and up. So, this week Duncan, Julie and Dan are all in Grand Junction for our first-ever Seniors in Charge road trip! Here’s the press release we sent out.

For Immediate Release

Contact: Dan Burke
(406) 546-8546

Date: Sunday, August 25, 2019

Training Comes to Grand Junction for Blind Seniors

NextFifty Grant Helps Littleton-based Center Bring “Seniors in Charge” to Western Slope

Littleton – The Colorado center for the Blind (CCB), a world-renowned training center for blind adults, youth and seniors, will conduct its 4-day Seniors in Charge program for nine seniors this week at Grand Junction’s Center for Independence, 740 Gunnison Ave.

The intensive training covers mobility with the white cane, nonvisual cooking techniques, accessible gadgets, and Braille instruction, and is offered twice each year to seniors losing vision across Colorado. The Grand Junction training is funded through a grant from NextFifty Initiative, a Colorado-based private foundation dedicated to funding innovative, mission-driven initiatives that improve the lives of older adults and their caregivers.

“Our goal is to teach seniors that losing vision doesn’t have to be the end of their independence,” says Duncan Larsen, Director of Senior Services at CCB. “We teach skills, but we also teach a positive philosophy about blindness.”

The Seniors in Charge program is offered by CCB twice a year at its Littleton facility, and attracts seniors from across Colorado and even other states. Thanks to the NextFifty funding, CCB is taking the program on the road for the first time. The Center for Independence has made its kitchen and auditorium available for the training.

“We’ve had many students from the western slope come to Littleton for the program in the past,” says Executive Director Julie Deden, “so it’s especially exciting to be coming to Grad Junction this time and to have so many seniors sign up.”

One of the Seniors in Charge alumni from Grand Junction is Margaret Williams, 92, who currently serves as President of the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado’s Grand Valley Chapter. Williams will be on hand for the opening introductions on Monday morning.

Classes will be held on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and seniors will prepare their lunch all three days. On Thursday, the program will run from 9 a.m. to noon. From 10 a.m. to noon, a Family and Friends session will be held. Seniors will share what they’ve learned, and certificates will be awarded to participants.

In addition, a training session on serving seniors experiencing vision loss will be held for about 20 area professionals from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Categories
Youth Services

Chloe’s Party Nets $3000 for CCB

Sixth-grader Chloe stands between Julie and Brent with the tactile CCB logo behind them.
Chloe started as a Confidence Camp participant, then started giving back a Jr. Counselor and found another way of helping out with her party. She presents Julie and Brent with the $3000 she raised.

Chloe and her dad Scott stopped by the Center on Monday. Some might remember that Chloe was having a big party at Denver’s Washington Park on Sunday, August 4. The idea – Chloe’s idea – was to raise funds for the Colorado Center for the Blind.

Chloe knows a little about CCB. She has been a student in our Confidence/BELL Camp going back a number of years. Going into 6th grade this year, she helped out as a Junior Counselor at the camp in June, which works with 5 to 10-year-olds. So, she was helping out the younger kids with Braille, lunch, traveling on adventures (there were a lot of trips to the swimming pool), and more.

And then Chloe joined our Challenge and Adventure group, which involved plenty of sports, fitness and yes, adventure.

That’s the backdrop for her stop by the Center on Monday. This party, which invited friends and family to come, get a grilled burger or hot dog, and just hang in the park and have some fun, was a big success. She presented $3,000 to Director Julie Deden!

Wow! What can you say?

“Thank you so much,” is what Julie said, with an assurance that we’d be spending this money for more youth programs.

Look out, 6th grade, Chloe is coming!