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
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.

Categories
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.

Categories
General Colorado Center Information Independence Training Program

“No End in Sight”, CCB Student Podcast launches: https://bit.ly/2ORWE0x

No End in SightIt could be called a convergence. A handful of students who want to talk about their blindness, what they are learning at the Colorado Center for the Blind, how they are learning about being blind and proud – and how they’ve learned from their teachers, but especially one another, to laugh at themselves when they make mistakes.

And yes, at one another.

Couple that with the recent arrival of Brett Boyer, a CCB alum and experienced commercial broadcaster, as our newest Technology instructor, and you have a – well, imperfect storm.

What you get is “No End in Sight”, a monthly podcast featuring Boyer and a rotating cast of CCB students which launches this week.

But let’s give kudos to this first cast of characters, the instigators of “No End in Sight”, if you will: Abdi Mumin, Annette Wilson, Cory Williams and Nick Isenberg who range in age from 22 to 77, not to mention others working off-mic. They have a message about blindness they want you to hear.

Take a listen and subscribe if you like it. “No End in Sight” is available through all the usual outlets. It’s worth your time!

Categories
General Colorado Center Information

Everybody Loves the #WesternWelcomeWeek Parade! #ShareLittleton

Kirk marching with CCB in the Western Welcome Week Parade
Students and staff from the Colorado Center for the Blind, along with friends and family, march in the Littleton Western Welcome Week Parade

Staff and students of the Colorado Center for the Blind, as well as members of the NFB of Denver Chapter once again marched in the Littleton Western Welcome Week Parade on August 18. From Eileen, 92, to our favorite toddlers, Mason and Jackson with their parents, and all five of the Batron kids it was a family adventure as always!

Thanks to Kirk for use of his selfie.

“I’d never been in a parade before,” he said later.

Doing something you’d never done before – even before becoming blind – that makes it worthwhile, because pushing beyond what others (and we) expect of us as blind people is the point!

Two Blind Parents pull their son in a stroller as they march in the parade
Blind parents Jen and Dishon Spears each have a hand on 2-year-old Mason’s stroller as they approach the bandstand at Main and Rapp in the 2018 Littleton Welcome Week Parade. Other staff and students of the Colorado Center for the Blind march with them
Blind Senior in a red hat marches in the Parade with a group from the Colorado Center for the Blind
Eileen, 92, is flanked by Senior Services Director Duncan Larsen and Senior Outreach Specialist Chris Kinney during the Littleton Western Welcome Week Parade. In front of them is Ashley and behind them are Martin and Brad.
Categories
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

Categories
Cane Travel General Colorado Center Information Independence Training Program

Cupcakes and Support Drops

Rebecca beams as she holds up a box of her Birthday cupcakes

Rebecca’s birthday was Tuesday and she received a special birthday delivery from her mom. It was surely especially welcome since Rebecca has been at CCB for about a month. But really, what mom could forget her daughter’s birthday? The entire center was excited about Rebecca’s birthday. Naturally we sang “Happy Birthday” at announcements, along with “The Dirge”, which only insiders will recognize, but the delivery included mini-cupcakes enough for almost everyone!

On Tuesday both Melissa and J.D. learned at announcements that they were going on their support drops. And happily they made it back in time to get cupcakes!.

J.D signs in after returning from his drop
Lia signs in after returning from her drop

 

Categories
Cane Travel General Colorado Center Information Independence Training Program

Your White Cane Can Take You Very Far: A Travel Note from Libby at Antelope Canyon Arizona

Editor’s Note: Libby graduated from the Center this fall. She recently sent us this photo following a tour to this beautiful spot in her home state, a Navajo Tribal Park. It’s a great testament to how far a blind person can go with a white cane. Sounds like a great trip Libby!

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I got to mark Antelope Canyon off my bucket list. I traveled up to northern Arizona with my cane and explored the wind- and water-whipped walls. It was absolutely spectacular! So very grateful to have had the training with my cane so that I could still navigate the dark canyon along with the rest of the tour.
Libby with her cane exploring the wind and water whipped canyon walls at Antalope Canyon Arizona

Categories
Cane Travel General Colorado Center Information In the Media Independence Training Program

CCB Alum @vi_poonam Guest on @bbcworldservice “The Conversation” w/ @KimChakanetsa

Smiling Poonam rining her bell
Poonam Vaidya rings her Freedom Bell at her CCB graduatin in 2016.

In this part of the world, the BBC’s World Service can be heard during normal sleeping hours on one of our public radio stations. This week our volunteer photographer/videographer Mike Thompson had the BBC World Service on while falling back to sleep in the wee hours when he heard a familiar voice and a familiar name – Poonam Vaidya.

Poonam is from Bangalore, India and was one of our international students. (We always try to have one international student at any given time.), She graduated in 2016. Poonam was one of two blind women interviewed for the BBC program, “The Conversation.” The 30-minute radio podcast gives interesting insights into how blindness is viewed in other cultures.

And thanks for the great plug Poonam!

https://player.fm/series/the-conversation-1301459/being-blind

Categories
Cane Travel Challenge Recreation General Colorado Center Information Independence Training Program

A Stroll through the Corn Maze

Students and staff took a Friday afternoon to visit the Chatfield Farms Corn Maze. Martin took his GoPro along and brought back this footage. It was “Structured Discovery” at its most fun!