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Cane Travel General Colorado Center Information Independence Training Program Senior Programs

A Littleton Slugger, Independent Travel, Fear and Progress

a miniature baseball bat with the CCB logo as trademark
Warren turned his Littleton Slugger on the Center’s mini-lathe. He plans to have his teachers sign it when he graduates.

Warren completed his woodshop project this week. We’ll call it a “Littleton Slugger”, which he turned on the mini-lathe. He plans to have all his instructors sign it when he graduates and returns home to Philadelphia.

Wednesday Brigid successfully completed her support drop and Marlene went on her solo drop. Oh yeah, Marlene made it back too.

Today, Brigid is doing her Monster Route – four places she’s never been to in four Metro cities – all in one day! These big travel requirements are coming up this week because Marlene and Brigid will both graduate nextweek.

At the other end of the spectrum, two of our newest students, John and Ethan went on their very first independent routes this morning and came back to the Center to cheers. Whenever someone gets back from their first independent – or from their drop, for that matter – Robert announces over the PA:

“When you see John, congratulate him on completing his first indeppendent route!”

It’s the first milestone on the path to traveling independently anywhere ablind person needs or wants to go!

Meanwhile this afternoon the Thursday Senior group is meeting. They’re listening to NFB President Mark Riccobono’s Banquet Speech from the 2016 Convention. You can hear the strains of the speech in the north hallway. The title is “The Understanding of Fear and the Power of Progress”>

Good choice!

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Independence Training Program Youth Services

A Send-off for Two Colleagues and Friends

Not only did we say good-bye to our 24 summer students in the past week, we also saw the departure of two friends and colleagues who’ve been with us for much of July.

a man and a woman wearing sleepshades analyze traffic patterns at an intersection
Kimie Beverly works with Cane Travel Instructor Steve Patten at the corner of S. Prince and Alamo in Littleton. She joins the NFB’s Governmental Affairs team this week.

We’ve been excited to host Kimie Beverly as a student for the past three weeks. Kimie is President of the National Federation of the Blind of Nevada and a past NFB Scholarship recipient. Sunday she flies to Baltimore where she starts on Monday working at our National Center for the Blind on legislative initiatives such as the Transitioning to Integrated and Meaningful Employment , or TIME Act. Americans with disabilities relegated to the injustice and indignity of subminimum wages have a new champion in Kimie Beverly! It’s been great to have you with us Kimie!

a young man and a teenager with cane and sleepshades cross a suburban intersection
Will Reynolds works with summer student Keaton. Will completed part of his practicum for a Master’s degree with CCB this summer.

Will Reynolds also spent a couple of weeks with us at the Center completing practicum hours for his Master’s from the University of Northern Colorado. He plans to become an Orientation & Mobility Specialist working in K-12 schools. Will was particularly interested to work in a setting such as the Colorado Center for the Blind which uses sleepshades as a learning tool. He worked with our summer students for two

weeks before joining the Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning (BELL) Academy in Westminister this week. At this writing, Will has a job offer for the upcoming school year. We wish Will the best and look forward to a long collaboration.

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Braille Cane Travel Careers Challenge Recreation Computer and Adaptive Technology From The Director Home Management Independence Training Program

Our Independence Training Program Video Updated for 2016

We’ve updated our Independence Training Program in time for the National Federation of the Blind’s 2016 convention June 30 to July 5 in Orlando. There are new voices as well as well-known ones, new insights and time-tested gems as well about how the Center’s program can help blind students take charge of their lives with confidence and self-reliance. It’s live, so take a peek on our YouTube channell now!

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General Colorado Center Information Independence Training Program

Warren’s First Month at CCB

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Cane Travel Independence Training Program

Vika’s Monster Route: It’ll Turn Your Hair Blue!

As students near the end of their program, they must plan and execute a “Monster Route.” Listen to Vika talk about hers. She graduates in a week!

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General Colorado Center Information

The Last Week of July 2015

It’s the last week of July, and at the Colorado Center for the Blind we’re fighting the feeling that summer is almost over. We know that there are still weeks of hot weather, lovely warm Colorado evenings to enjoy.

But that vague anxiety is fueled as the last week of July saw our 22 summer students graduating on Wednesday, cleaning and packing on Thursday and leaving on Friday. Many of them are starting school in the first week of August. For them, summer truly is about over.

It was a big week, and a big summer. Eighteen students flew out from DIA Friday, and these Face Book posts give a sense of the momentousness of the last week of July – and the last two months:

From Shay: Here at the airport, waiting to go home. Thinking about this summer, and how great it was. I met a lot of really amazing people this summer that have really help me and challenge me to do the best that I could. I am leaving here with so much. New friendships, amazing memories, and The ability to do more than I ever thought I could. I will never forget the memories or the people I met this summer. hope to come back next summer and to see all of you sometime again.

From Sami: So I got on that plane and had to say a temporary goodbye to some of the greatest individuals I’ve ever met. It was the hardest thing i could’ve done. You guys have changed my life and taught me so much. Thank you for everything.

More Summer Highlights

In their last week, the 17 Earn & Learn students picked up their last paychecks. For many of these students, these were their first paychecks ever!

Three students worked at The Right Step, feeding horses,hauling sand to level the riding arena, and lots more. Sure they got paid, and then on Tuesday they also got a riding lesson!

The students finished up by cooking a meal Wednesday for the entire Center and guests, which included family members and employers for some of the kids in the Earn & Learn Program. They cooked a delicious baked ziti for more than 100 and then many performed in the talent show.

Their departure left a void, and the Center was pretty quiet without them on Friday. One of our nine awesome summer counselors posted on Face Book, tagging the two students she lived with, taught and came to love this summer:

“I don’t know what to do with myself!” she posted Friday evening.

As you can tell, more than just skills happen, even more than just the confidence and self-reliance of our tag line.

And yet, …

The Center wasn’t quiet this week for our other programs either. On Friday the Seniors made a trip to Golden and the Coors Brewery for a tour. RTD’s W and C Lines provided the designated drivers.

There were three dinner parties given at the apartments by Independence Training Program students – Marcus, Gwendolyn and J.J. all cooked and served great meals to five or more guests.

On Friday Curtis had his mini-meal – a meal for 15 guests, and served a delicious and abundant meal of homemade macaroni and cheese with barbecued chicken and green beans from our garden.

There were two Monster Routes on Friday – Carolyn and Sarah both completed the requirement of visiting four places they had never been before in four different cities in the Denver Metro area – all in one day. The real challenge of this grad requirement in cane travel is in the planning it takes to pull it off. Both are scheduled to graduate next week.

And another of our “summer” students finished up on Friday. Robin House came with the summer youth and left about the same time. She is a past NFB Scholarship winner and a school counselor in the St. Louis area, and spent her summer vacation under sleepshades during the week. On her own time, she hiked and biked and even climbed a 14er!

On Friday night a dozen of her classmates and six staff members sent her off with a dinner of Thai food… and a lot of love.

“I planned for the skills, but this …” Robin told the group, meaning the connections, friendships and support that grow between students and staff, “this was something I simply could not have anticipated.”

Now at the start of August, we have two graduations this week, and another student, J.J. finishes another “summer” ITP program before heading back to CSU for her junior year.

Then comes Littleton’s Western Welcome Week. The Center is offering interactive tours to the community, we’ll walk in the parade on Saturday, August 15 and many of us will help out with the Denver Chapter’s booth that day in the arts and craft fair.

There’s so much yet to do before Labor Day!

Categories
General Colorado Center Information Youth Services

Reblog: Have a cane in Your hand instead of a pole on your face

A Summer 2014 Student Reflects

(Editor’s Note: What follows is excerpted from an August 6, 2014 blog post of The Blind Coloradan, the official blog of the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado. An Arizona high school student, Christian Able was a student this summer and worked 40 hours for the Chris AbleNFBCO staff. Here’s his reflection on the summer program at the Center and his work with the NFB of Colorado.)

Stepping on that plane a month ago I thought everything would be easy and I wouldn’t learn anything this summer. That’s not the case at all. I would say the sleep shades helped me see. At my school I learn a lot about living successfully as a blind individual, but coming here has been a whole other experience.

I think myself to be a good traveler, but traveling with graduates of the Center has shown me I have a lot to learn. The skills the Center Staff teach are those used in everyday life. I really expected work to be simple and that my employer wouldn’t know how to work with me because I’m blind. Nevertheless as soon as I stepped through the door the first day she had a day’s work planned out. As soon as I finished something I always had more to do and that’s how I like it. I don’t like sitting around. I love that I’m never bored.

The most important thing I learned this summer though, would have to be, that the NFB straight canes are the best! Before I came here I hated them because they were too light, but after being able to move around so easily and finding some interesting places to put my cane, I love them. Even though they don’t fold they still are the best choice for a cane user and by cane user I mean everyone. I say if you have some vision loss, even a little, you should always have a cane in hand instead of a pole on your face.

The best part about the summer had to be wearing sleep shades. Although they were itchy and dark, they were my greatest tool. Wearing sleep shades forced me to use skills I never knew I had and I loved every moment of it. After a while sleep shades were a second life to me. Some days I would forget I had them on and walk from the Center to the bus stop and back to my apartment and not know I still had them on.

That’s why I say my sleep shades helped me see, because they did. They helped me to see my skills exceed what I thought were their limits.

After seeing so many people who have graduated from the Center being so confident and successful it has really made me want to attend ITP when I graduate from high school. Just from these eight weeks this summer I have gained confidence that I never knew was there. I know that even if I lose the rest of my vision at some point, with the confidence I bring back with me from Colorado, I can still be the Best I can.