Kentucky Cardinal Fall 2020


Fall 2020

This is a publication of the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky

    Jayne Seif, President
  • 4805 S. Fourth Street, Louisville, Kentucky 40214
  • Phone:(502) 500-7576

The NFB Kentucky Cardinal proofreading Staff members are: Cathy Jackson and Kelley Scruggs

We invite and encourage your participation in this newsletter. Articles may be edited for length, and the editors reserve the right to judge suitability for this publication. Material may be submitted to any of the editors and must take the form of an attachment to an email in doc, docx, rtf or txt format, or may be submitted directly in the body of the email. No text messages will be accepted.

An Amazing Twenty Years 2
New Horizons for the NFB of Kentucky 7
NFB-NEWSLINE Kentucky Update 9
Technology Assistance Division (TAD) Update 10
Laissez les bon temps rouler (Let the Good Times Roll!) 11
Exciting News for Braille Readers! 16
The Virtual Braille Club 18
Here is the link for the Zoom meeting for the Braille club 19
Have You Heard? 19
BARD Book Corner 21
BARD Book Recommendations (Braille) 22
Cook's Nook 24
NFB Kentucky Board of Directors 25

As we are in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, the editors of the Kentucky Cardinal want to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year! As the year 2020 draws to a close and we look back on our accomplishments of the year, we realize that even through the tough times in the world around us, the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky is alive and well! We celebrate many accomplishments for this year, and we look forward to the new beginnings of the year 2021.

This edition of the Kentucky Cardinal is dedicated to our former state president, Cathy Jackson. Cathy has served the NFB of Kentucky for so many years in so many ways. We congratulate her on her retirement as NFBK state president. Cathy, we know that you have stepped down as state president, but we know that you haven't gone away, you will still be here working beside us for many years to come in the Federation!

An Amazing Twenty Years

By: Cathy Jackson

Cathy reflects on her vast experiences as she has served the National Federation of the Blind for so many years. Here is what she has to say.

I would like to take some time to focus on the past twenty and one half years that I have been president of the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky (NFBK) and just how much being president of this Affiliate has meant to me.

I have been a member of this organization since 1975. I will be the first to admit that I was slow to join. I took the crock pot approach. I didn't understand what the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) was all about. I didn't think those old blind people could tell me anything about blindness that I didn't already know. It turns out they had much to teach me, and I had to be willing to listen. Now I am proud to say I am one of those old blind people spreading the philosophy of the National Federation of the Blind.

I was finally coaxed into attending the spring luncheon of the Louisville Association of the Blind or LAB as it was known back in the day. Now we are the National Federation of the Blind of Greater Louisville (NFBGL). By the way, that spring luncheon is still a tradition. Anyway, as I sat there listening to the work that had been going on in both the Federal and state legislatures, in our local community across the state, and at our national headquarters of the National Federation of the Blind, I suddenly had an epiphany: "Cathy this is exactly the organization you need to be involved with." "You have been advocating for the rights of the blind since you were in 8th grade." "This bunch has it together; they know what they are doing." So, I got involved in a big way! I took ownership in my new federation family by immediately embracing the pronoun, we instead of they.

As we all know, the National Federation of the Blind is one organization working on different levels. The local chapter is usually the first opportunity a person has to get to know the Federation. This is exactly where I found myself. One of the first issues I remember working on was with the Yellow Cab Company. Service was deplorable. Blind passengers were being left because drivers were not coming to the door and identifying themselves; passengers were also being denied service because they had a dog guide. I can hardly keep a straight face in relaying this story since we are still dealing with these same transportation issues...just with the Transit Authority of River City (TARC) on our fixed route bus system and TARC 3 Para Transit service. You know the old saying, "the more things change the more they stay the same."

If one is serious about his or her involvement, they won't stop at the local chapter level, and I didn't. I was suddenly helping plan a state convention and chairing the resolutions committee. I was sent to Washington D. C. to represent Kentucky at what was known in the 70's as the March on Washington, now called our Washington Seminar. Here is where we meet with our state representatives in congress to discuss the timely issues facing the blind and present legislation that will better the lives of blind people of all ages across the country.

I have held many board positions and offices on both the state and local level. I was secretary, vice president, and president of the Greater Louisville Chapter. As a matter of fact, I held the presidency in the Louisville Chapter a couple of times. I was a board member, Treasurer, First Vice President and President of the NFBK. Yes we need officers and board members but we are all members first and foremost.

For those of you who do not know how I became president of the NFBK, let me give you a little background. There were about twenty-five of us on a chartered bus headed to Atlanta, Georgia where we would be attending the 1999 National Convention of the National Federation of the Blind. Betty Niceley, who was president of the affiliate at the time, asked me to stand for election as first vice-president at the upcoming NFBK state convention. Of course she assured me that she wasn't going anywhere anytime soon. Betty just wanted to ensure a smooth transition at the appropriate time. She explained that it was vital that she have her successor in place. I knew what was expected of me as first vice. I simply had no idea how soon I would be asked to step up to the plate. Betty suffered a major stroke four and one half months later. She was experiencing physical limitations as well as some issues with thought processing. I had to shift gears and take over the running of the Affiliate overnight. Kenny Jones was our Treasurer at the time. He would call me up and say, "Hey, Cathy. I need an authorization, there are bills to be paid." It was also time to start making plans to attend our annual Washington Seminar. Things got a little tricky. I tried as best as I could to keep Betty involved, and yet, I knew that ultimately I had to carry out the work within our affiliate. To complicate matters, people were calling her asking if they could go to Washington, DC. Betty was telling everyone yes. I think we ended up with about 15 people that year. It all worked out though. You see, I had a difficult balancing act trying to guarantee Betty that when she was able to maintain her role as president, the job was waiting for her. Yet, all the while, I was wondering if that would ever happen. Hopes were raised when the doctors discovered that a faulty heart valve was the root cause of her stroke, and it could be repaired. They were anticipating a full recovery for Betty.

My hopes were dashed on Sunday morning, February 13, 2000 when I got the call that Betty had suffered a major heart attack and passed away. My greatest fear had become reality. That entire day I walked around my house like a zombie. I know I talked to countless people on the phone but I honestly don't remember anything. All I knew was it was time for me to face the music and assume my position as the sixth president of the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky.

I had a pretty good idea what needed to be done since I had served as a board member, treasurer, and vice president of the NFBK. Also my experience as president of the Greater Louisville Chapter helped me grow into this position. I also had the good fortune of being friends with Betty so this gave me the inside track on how things should operate. There were a few of those "OH NO, what did I get myself into" moments right from the start, like when I got a call from the National Scholarship Chair explaining to me that I had to write a letter of recommendation for each Kentuckian who applied for a national scholarship. Now I had only been president for a matter of two weeks or so; I didn't have a clue what I was supposed to do. Needless to say, I had some quick catching up to do; and the 2000 NFB National Convention, while sitting in the audience at the open board meeting, I was shocked to learn that Kentucky would be hosting the 2002, 2003, and 2005 National Conventions in Louisville, Kentucky at the Galt House Hotel. To be told we were hosting the 2002 convention wasn't really a surprise. I knew the national organization wanted to return to Louisville ever since the convention was held here in 1985. However, the overwhelming thought of three conventions in four years, and two of them back-to-back, was just what a new wet-behind-the-ears president needed, right? Again, my experience in helping plan and host the 1985 convention proved to be most valuable. But you know what? The Kentucky members pulled off all three conventions without a hitch.

By the time the 2005 convention adjourned, we were pros at convention arrangements. I received another vote of confidence when I was elected to serve on the National Board of Directors of the National Federation of the Blind during the 2002 convention. I hold the distinct honor of being the only person in the history of the organization to be elected three consecutive times from the convention floor of his or her own state. I was elected to fill a one-year vacancy in 2002. I was elected to fill a two-year term in 2003 and again in 2005. I served on the National Board of Directors until July of 2019. I can't begin to tell you what an amazing experience that was. I learned so much about the Federation and how my commitment to and love for the organization continues to grow deeper every day.

I am not going to pretend that being president of the NFB of Kentucky was peaches and cream all the time; it certainly wasn't. It's tough when your opinion clashes with your best friend's and you are the one left to make the final decision, or, when someone comes up with what they think is a brilliant idea and you have to be the one to tell them, "That's against the bylaws." Keeping up with all of the local chapter and division banking is an absolute nightmare! It isn't so much the record keeping within the organization; it's the continually changing policies at the banks. For example, when all of a sudden without notice an account is switched from not-for-profit to a business account, and it just about takes an act of congress to get it corrected. Every time signatures need to be changed on an account, or a new account was opened, I would find that the requirements had changed. We learned that it is always best to call ahead to see exactly what documents and verification will be needed and keeping our fingers crossed that there is full disclosure. I was never able to make any bank manager understand the structure of the NFB. I fully expect that in the very near future they will require a couple pints of blood for good measure. They like to blame everything on Homeland Security.

I have looked back at the membership lists over the past twenty years and wondered where some of the people have gone and why they are no longer in the Federation. I can't help but blame myself for not keeping closer tabs on our members. Membership building is a tough thing, but keeping people involved and enthused is even harder.

Being president also means that you sacrifice much of your personal time. There are early mornings and late nights at the computer whether it's writing a letter, a report, or doing research. I can't count the times I had a deadline to meet and had to turn down going out to dinner with friends. It's Thursday night, my favorite night for television, and I remember finding myself talking on the telephone to a mother of a newborn baby who was blind. There was also the time where a concerned daughter was desperately trying to find help and resources for her mother who was quickly losing her vision, and I can't forget the cries for help from the gentleman who believed his life was over because he was blind. The truth of the matter is I wouldn't trade even one of those computer sessions or phone calls for even one more dinner or night of TV. Folks, this is where it is for me, and this is what I was called to do!

The good far outweighs the bad! If it didn't, no one could stay in this position for very long. Some of the greatest joys were the simple ones. For example, I felt such a sense of contentment and pleasure when I saw a student beam with pride when receiving an NFBK scholarship, or when someone attending their first ever state or national convention comes up to me and thanks me for helping make that happen. Knowing that we have successfully hosted another state convention and how much we will all profit from the experience is so rewarding.

I can't possibly begin to put the words to paper or even verbalize how much being president of the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky has meant to me because it is such a deeply-rooted feeling that is all tangled up in pride and emotion. I can honestly tell you it has been a learning and growing experience both personally and in the spirit of the Federation. It has taught me to be more disciplined and more responsible, but most importantly, it has taught me to have love and compassion for people and to accept them for who they are and where they might be in their life at that moment. We all need to remember that by the grace of God and the National Federation of the Blind, we ourselves might be leading much different lives.

However, all good things must come to an end. In my mind, I knew the time had come to step down from the presidency; although, it will take my heart a little longer to catch up to the idea. It was time for me to pass the gavel to a new leader in the federation. Twenty and one half years was long enough. Even though I won't be president, my intentions are to stay involved by mentoring, by being a sounding board, and by providing guidance and advice when asked. Jayne, I don't want to jinx anything, but I planned for a smooth transition. You are ready for this! I know I haven't taught you all you need to know just yet, and that's by no means intentional. It's just very hard to remember everything that I have learned over the past forty-five years.

I have said it more than once, but it bears repeating...If I had to be president in any affiliate in this organization, I am glad it was in Kentucky! I thank you all for your love and support over the past years.

New Horizons for the NFB of Kentucky

By: Jayne Seif

On October 3, 2020, during the 73rd annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky, Jayne Seif was elected as the new president of the Kentucky affiliate. Although this year has pretty much been turned upside down for everyone, this hasn't stopped the NFB of Kentucky. In this article, Jayne reflects on her thoughts about the year 2020 and brings forth hope for a bright future for our Kentucky affiliate. Here is what she has to say.

Two years ago when Cathy Jackson called me to ask if I would be willing to serve as the next President of the Kentucky affiliate, providing that the membership was in agreement, I do not think either of us anticipated the events that would surround the Transition. I know it was hard to not be together as we celebrated Cathy's twenty amazing years as the leader of this affiliate, and I confess that it was hard not being surrounded by all of you when I first addressed the Convention floor as the new President of our close-knit Kentucky affiliate. Who would have thought that the Kentucky Convention of 2020 would take place here in my dining room on Zoom and YouTube? In so many ways, this year really brought us all together, and when we all look back on it many years from now, I think I'll kind of miss the closeness we all gained as we worked so hard to pull off this virtual state convention. This is something none of us had ever done before!

In planning this year's Convention, the committee really wanted to address the ideas of inclusion and diversity. We had no way of knowing at that time how important these ideas are, and talking about them would not only become such an important issue to our organization, but to our state, and our nation as a whole. This is not a one-time deal for us in the leadership of the Kentucky affiliate, but an ongoing promise to promote inclusion and diversity as we go forward.

I could go on about the convention, but much of it truly spoke for itself. If you missed it, it is available on our YouTube Channel, so check it out. As this year of chaos and uncertainty ends, what I want to say is how much love and support I see in this affiliate. I am so impressed with how we have continued the tireless work of the federation, despite less than ideal circumstances. The Students group, led by Taryn Seif and Danielle Burton that was established in the spring during the early stages of the pandemic has created a Facebook group, so the high school and college students can continue to stay connected and grow. There is a new at-large group forming and continuing to grow. The chapters continue to meet with the help of our state Zoom platform. And the TAD Division once again brought a brilliant element to the convention with its symposium, addressing the relevant topics of today, tips and ideas for navigating this new digital world, and of course, a little inspiration for us all.

"Onward and upward," as C.S. Lewis would say. The Board is forming some new committees to ring in the New Year that will address legislation, diversity, and membership. So, don't be surprised if you get a call here soon asking if you are willing to serve. If you do not answer we will form a new committee to address this problem, and you may be appointed to chair.

All joking aside, I firmly believe from the bottom of my heart, that there is a place for everyone to serve in this affiliate. To that end, we will be actively looking for ways to engage members in many capacities in the coming year, whether it be through your local chapter or in a statewide capacity. This is your chance to help build the Federation. Please be sure to join our NFBK list-serve or to find the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky page on Facebook.

We will soon be making plans for the 2021 Washington Seminar that takes place February 8-11, 2021. For the first time ever, this wonderful legislative outreach event will be entirely virtual. This means so many more people from the state will be asked to take an active part in addressing congressional members from their local areas and having an active role in getting our issues brought forth on Capitol Hill. So, stay tuned for further details! In addition, it is our fond hope to once again, address our Parents Rights Bill here in Kentucky. Due to the circumstances befalling our state and nation in the past two Congressional sessions, though we have gained momentum, we have been unable to bring this legislation to a vote. However, in true Federation style, we won't stop until we have a Parent's Rights Bill in the great state of Kentucky.

So, in closing, I say, Bring on 2021. I look forward to the wonderful work I know we will all be doing here in Kentucky and in our National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky Affiliate.

NFB-NEWSLINE Kentucky Update

Todd Stephens, State Coordinator

The NFB-NEWSLINE Kentucky Project is pleased to report that we now have 2,158 total subscribers in the Kentucky Commonwealth. A special thanks goes out to Sandra Williams, who has been integral in providing new subscribers for our service here in Kentucky. One of the greatest objectives of Project NFB-NEWSLINE Kentucky is to expand this service in our state by registering new subscribers; this is paramount. There have been more than a few months where we would have come up with goose eggs had it not been for Sandra Williams' persistence in identifying those individuals in our Kentucky community who would greatly benefit from our valuable reading service, known as NFB-NEWSLINE®. An honorable mention goes out to Cathy Jackson as well who has stepped-up in identifying potential subscribers for the service as well. Please remember that we are always counting on you to spread the news about this world class audio reading service for the print impaired. Take a moment to share with those you come in contact with; those who will absolutely have their lives enriched by accessing up-to-date audio news and community information. NFB-NEWSLINE is a free service that is available 24-7 via touch-tone telephone, iOS App, internet, and Alexa smart speaker. To find out more about specific access methods, please visit us at Access Methods and Demos on the Features and Enhancements page of our website.

There are more than 500 worldwide publications on this world class audio reading service for the print impaired. NFB-NEWSLINE was developed in 1995 by the National Federation of the Blind. Twenty-five years later, this service is still thriving and continues to be managed effectively and efficiently by the blind. The NFB-NEWSLINE audio reading service is designed for the print impaired; those who have certain cognitive issues, fine motor skill impairments and of course, the blind, are potential candidates for this service. Don't keep this gem to yourself; spread the word about NFB-NEWSLINE!

Now, I cannot conclude my report without this reminder to those using the touch tone telephone to help us to minimize the telecom charges incurred at the national level. How can you help? Choose a local number vs. the toll free number. To find out what your local calling number is in your area, or any other area, go to and place the ten digit number in the wizard and press Look It Up to see what that local calling number is. It is as simple as that. Please note that this disclaimer is for those who have free long distance, but may or may not have a local calling number in their area.

Thank you for your time and be sure to visit us on our website at Give us a Like on Facebook at:, or on Facebook Mobile at:

You can also follow us on Twitter at:

Technology Assistance Division (TAD) Update

Todd Stephens, President

The Technology Assistance Division was very pleased to have sixty plus registered for our 2020 NFB Kentucky Tad Symposium brought to you by NFB-NEWSLINE Kentucky via the Zoom platform. Our thanks go out to Phil Seif and Ben Henderson for the work that they did hosting our event. We had a few hiccups, but it was not readily noticeable to most, thanks to Phil and Ben. If you missed the 2020 symposium, you can read about it on our website at NFB Kentucky TAD. You can also check out our audio broadcast at NFB Kentucky-YouTube.

Without further ado, we would like to take this time to congratulate our 2020 TAD Grand Prize winner, Michelle Miller. Michelle was the lucky winner of the Google Chromebook...Way to go, Michelle!

Thank you all for your time and be sure to visit us on our primary website at: and on Facebook at:

Laissez les bon temps rouler(Let the Good Times Roll!)

By: Nickie Pearl

Nickie Pearl, member of the board of directors of the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky, has been working hard these past two years to obtain her National Orientation and Mobility Certification. She is completing her training in Rustin, Louisiana at the Louisiana Center for the Blind. As Nickie draws closer to achieving her goal, she shares her thoughts and reflections on her experiences. Here is what she has to say.

The journey is almost complete and living my dream will begin. I've been back in Ruston Louisiana since September 17th, finishing my O&M apprenticeship. I am working under two outstanding instructors, Roland Allen and Ben Schuller. The amount of knowledge these two have and are sharing with me is priceless. When I first arrived and started working, I was excited to dawn that learning shade andstart the fun! In the beginning I was just observing Roland and Ben instructing their students. They would explain teaching and questioningtechniques or ask me the proper way to teach a technique or concept. After a few weeks, I began taking the lead in the student instruction with Roland or Ben nearby to give me advice, suggestions or simply correct my approach or verbiage.Slowly Roland and Ben stepped back and handed over the instructing reins to me. I still have to check in with them, give them daily updates on a student's progress, go over the lessons for the day with them; and occasionally, they will pop in during a lesson to observe me and the student. I work exclusively with four students and will work with other students on a limited basis when needed.

All of the students I have worked with have been at different stages of training; therefore, I have gotten to instruct techniques for teaching a brand new student the basics of cane grip and technique to going out with a student on a drop route. A drop route is for students who are getting to the end of training. The student is dropped off somewhere here in Ruston and they must utilize all of the abilities and skills they have learned in training to find their way back to the center. The student does not know where they are being dropped off, but they will use traffic clues, environmental clues such as the sun, or perhaps the sound of a train. This is where problem solving and the ability to think spatially and logically is important. Mental mapping is another vital aspect of training and is crucial to a successful drop route.

To assist someone in reaching their independence is a beautiful process to me. I'll call this student Rachel. Rachel has been here at LCB for 6 weeks now. Rachel lost her eyesight about 5 years ago, and for the most part, has coped well with the vision loss. However, her state agency was not equipped to provide her with the amount of O&M training she needed or desired. Rachel attended college for a year or so, but her lack of travel skills and other blindness skills were impeding her learning. After a lengthy fight with her state agency, Rachel won the battle and arrived here at LCB.

I started working one on one with Rachel and I am her primary instructor. Rachel used a short, heavy folding cane, which by the way, she purchased herself because her state agency did not provide her with a cane, even when they provided 10 hours of O&M training on her college campus. As with most new students, the long straight cane we give them is foreign and awkward; however, that feeling is short lived once they reap the benefits.

Rachel and I began with basic cane grip and cane technique. This is performed standing still in the middle of a hallway. Rachel slowly got comfortable with the new cane and the new grip, which is called open palm. Rachel stood in the middle of the hall performing a two-point touch. This technique would be tapping the cane on either side of your body about two inches past shoulder width, while keeping a low ark or keeping the cane tip low to the ground.

I admit, as a previous student, this can get boring; however, it is extremely important that good and consistent cane technique is achieved. So many issues one may have while traveling, such as veering, stepping off curbs, etc. is a direct result of poor cane technique.

Rachel is a determined young lady but does suffer withfear and anxiety due to her blindness. As the process of Rachel learning the basics of cane technique continued and as we progress toward walking in step, introducing and using cardinal directions, moving around the center, shore lining, locating doors, walking up and down stairs, Rachel's confidence in herself and abilities grew tremendously. After a few weeks, Rachel consistently demonstrated good cane technique. Rachel worked very hard to perform the various skills that were introduced to her, and then she graduated to transferring all of her new found confidence and abilities outside.

Even though Rachel was excited to get out of the building, this brought some of her anxiety to the surface. Rachel began using traffic cues as well as the sun and other environmental cues to travel up and down the sidewalk. She quickly moved on to learning about street characteristics, proper placement and alignment for street crossings, and how to use traffic to aid in these processes. Until a student is taught and demonstrates consistent street crossings at Railroad Street, the student must be accompanied by another student or staff member to get to and from the other building for shop class. You can imagine that getting cleared to cross the street independently is a huge success and confidence booster for students. Rachel had to work hard and overcome her fears of traffic to obtain this achievement and with encouragement, patience, and good instruction, Rachel began crossing Railroad Street independently aftera few days of repeated crossings.

One and a half blocks from the center are railroad tracks. These tracks divide Ruston into North and South, and will serve the students well later in training, but in the beginning these tracks are a major hurdle for students to cross. There is no defined sidewalk or barrier from traffic, and like most railroad crossings, it is on an incline. There is also a drop off on either side of the tracks which cause anxiety for students. Not to mention, most students have never traveled by foot over railroad tracks before. Then, you add in the drop off and near parallel traffic. This becomes the next huge achievement in their training. Rachel once again rallied through her emotional distress and added another success to her training. All the while I've gotten to know Rachel, we talk about our families, our pets, our struggles, favorite music or movies and anything else that comes up. Rachel's confidence glows through her smile when she talks about the day's class. Her confidence also is apparent in the way she walks, which is with a good fast pace.

Thanksgiving was coming up and Rachel had fear over traveling through airports by herself for the first time since being blind. She had lots of how-to questions, so we took an entire class and discussed airport travel.

Rachel felt better after our discussion, but still was apprehensive. After returning from Thanksgiving break, we sat down for a bit and she recounted her experiences, good and bad. Rachel may not have always found what she was looking for on her own, but she had the skills to ask for directions and the proper ability to confirm those directions to find her way or the alternative skills to get the task done.

As per CDC guidelines, the center was observing a quarantine period which meant students were doing virtual instruction from their apartments. Travel class could still be done since our classroom is the outdoors. Social distancing is observed and masks are worn. This gave Rachel the opportunity to work on exploring the student apartment complex for a more defined understanding of the layout. This also allowed Rachel to learn the apartment route in reverse starting with the busy 4 way stop at Mississippi and Farmerville Streets. This intersection also has a slow turn lane that students need to learn and understand the concept and purpose of it. Just like with any new concept, the student must analyze on their own what is going on, I am there to prompt them with questions that will promote their problem solving and thinking for themselves. I admit, I am still refining my questioning to be clear and to get the best results from the student.

Again, Rachel had to work through some fear and nerves on this crossing, but her ability to analyze and understand traffic patterns after some discussion made her crossings successful. After the first class on the 4-way intersection, I had Rachel perform a four corners crossing. This is crossing each street at the intersection. This promotes the use of all skills up to this point, builds confidence and refines any placement or alignment issues. I observed Rachel for two complete four corners crossings and left her to work independently. Leaving a student to work independently after they have demonstrated consistent ability in the task is normal. It instills their confidence, holds them accountable for their decisions and actions, and in a subtle way, lets them know I believe and trust in their abilities. Rachel did have a minor issue she reported to me after she finished up, but she was able to problem solve, correct the issue and get back on track. This achievement may seem small to some, but for Rachel to stay calm, use the knowledge she learned about this intersection and problem solve her way out of the issue was a tremendous achievement for her. Rachel also reported that even though she was nervous to be out there alone, she pushed through because she so desperately wants to be a good traveler. She went on to say, that I never thought any of this would be possible for me, but look at me now! Rachel had that glowing smile on her face again, which warms my heart and solidifies my passion for instructing O&M.

This past week Rachel moved on to traveling West down Mississippi Street; learning the characteristics of driveways, i.e., slope, texture, and seams. There are a couple of side streets that Rachel would come to; so, accurately analyzing to determine street versus driveway is important for safety. The terrain on the Mississippi sidewalks is far from idealin some areas and Rachel had to learn how to navigate lots of imperfections. Her first couple of trips were slow; however, as she got more comfortable with the terrain her pace increased as well as her confidence.

Rachel ended the week on another huge success and most telling, there were no anxiety related tears! The next significant intersection is at Bonner and Mississippi streets. To explain the offset, this intersection consists of an uncontrolled, moderately busy street which is Bonner and an offset Mississippi. When crossing Bonner from the Northeast corner, you will cross to the Southwest corner.Just with all streets and intersections, Rachel needed to analyze and tell me her findings. She nailed the majority of information about the intersection but did not pick up on the offset. This is where my questioning comes in to get her thinking, listening and making a determination. After a while, she got it. My next question for her was, "So Rachel, when is the proper time to cross Bonner?" She rattled off some possibilities and I had to explain why those were not correct. Rachel eventually said, "I don't know." This is an acceptable response. I began my questioning and Rachel finally said the correct time to cross Bonneris at the moment when all was quiet. I had Rachel find proper placement and alignment, then without moving, just verbally tell me when she would cross. Rachel performed this very well and gave me five accurate all quiet times that she would cross. I had every confidence in Rachel and told her to cross when it was a good time. Rachel had made some comments regarding the traffic on Bonner and that she was nervous, but more excited than nervous. Rachel heard her time to cross, said crossing, and we embarked on another of Rachel's successes. Once Rachel made it across, she smiled and said, "That was exhilarating!" Rachel made a few more Bonner crossings that day, not all of them perfectly, but that's ok. You see, I nor the other travel instructors expect perfection, sometimes it's all about how the student recovers from a mistake or a veer that is important, because that shows growth in their problem-solving abilities and in their confidence.

Do you see what a beautiful process this is? In 6 weeks, Rachel has grown from a sheltered young lady who traveled mostly sighted guide with her parents and who had to drop out of college due to her poor, or lack of, travel skills. Rachel also suffered from fear and anxiety over every unfamiliar situation. She has progressed into a young lady who is now crossing busy 4 way stop intersections and traveling independently in an unfamiliar city. Rachel exudes confidence and glows over her successes and achievements.

I am proud and honored to be a part of Rachel's journey to independence and that is exactly why I am on my own journey to become, Nickie Pearl, NOMC. Yes, dreams do come true!

Exciting News for Braille Readers!

The following is an article that appeared in the October issue of the newsletter from the Kentucky Talking Book Library.

Braille eReader Pilot

Kentucky Talking Book Library is one of four libraries selected by the
National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled to test a new
braille eReader.This is a refreshable braille device that allows KTBL
to ship braille books to patrons on a USB cartridge, the same as we do with
Talking Books. Users transfer the braille books from a cartridge to their
eReader, or they can use it to download books directly from BARD.The
3x6" eReader can hold nearly the same amount of braille books as we have in
our entire library!

device KTBL is testing is made by Humanware.It has a Perkins-style
keyboard, an 8-dot, 20-cell braille display, and comes with a protective
carrying case and lanyard. KTBL began enrolling braille patrons in the
pilot in early September, and assigned 65 eReaders by month's
end.Librarian Tracey Mania is the project manager; she has called
each patron to explain the eReader pilot, given a registration survey, and
has provided customer support answering questions and problem solving.Because
none of the KTBL staff read braille, any problems Tracey cannot solve will
be passed to NLS for assistance.

purpose of the pilot is not only to test the functionality of this
particular device, but to test braille circulation and how easy or
difficult it is to use for patrons with all technical abilities—from novice
to advanced.NLS will survey each participant after 2, 4, and 6 months
of use to find what works and what needs improvement before determining how
to move forward with national distribution.

has enjoyed speaking with patrons and learning more about them, but has
experienced difficulty reaching others whose contact information is out of
date.If you can read braille, we want your help—especially if you
have never used a refreshable braille device and think it might be too hard
to use. Call KTBL at 800-372-2968 and ask for Tracey, or email her at to enroll.Your assistance now may
benefit braille readers across the country in the future!

Karen Mayne serves as president of the NFB of Frankfort and as 2nd Vice-President of the NFB of Kentucky. She is excited to be one of the participants in the Braille eReader Pilot project. Here is what she has to say about the eReader.

On September 10th I got a package in the mail. I was like a kid at Christmas! It was my new Braille eReader. I had never read a book on a refreshable braille device, so I wasn't quite sure how I would take to it. I have to admit that I took to it like a duck to water. I thought that I would only read magazines on it; however, I was wrong about that. My daughter-in-law is a big Harry Potter fan. I had never been interested in reading Harry Potter before. I think that I assumed that those books were for children or some-such. I was wrong. I read all seven books in a very short amount of time. I joked with my daughter-in-law and other folks that Harry Potter was keeping me up nights.

I am positive that I would not have read Harry Potter on an audio book. I was just never interested before. I have already read, not just all of the Harry Potter books, but two more books that I would not have been able to read on Audible because they are not available from that service. Plus, I have also read several magazines. This little device is amazing! It can hold hundreds of Braille Books, and you can carry it around in your purse! I highly recommend the Harry Potter books if you have an eReader. For some odd reason, they were so fun to read in Braille! Also, I recommend Sabrina Jeffries, who has several books available in Braille that are not available in audio format. Her books are very good as well. For all the braille readers out there, whether you are technologically savvy or not, you should try this device. It is very easy to learn how to use and to learn how to navigate the books. It comes with a giant braille user guide that is helpful in learning how to use the device. That was a lot easier for me to use because actually finding the user guide inside the device is hard for someone who has never used a braille display, like me. The only downfall was that we were going to have to send the eReaders back after the six months pilot project. I was ecstatic when I got an email from the Kentucky Talking Book Library notifying us that we are allowed to keep the devices. I was reading as fast as I could to make sure that I got all the books finished that I could not read in Talking Book format. Now, I can take my time and don't have to stay up till 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning to read! Thank you very much to the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled! I am so happy that Kentucky was one of the four states chosen to test the eReader! I was honored to be one of the individuals who was chosen to participate in the pilot project.

The Virtual Braille Club

Christina Palmer is excited about Braille. She wants to share her enthusiasm with others. Here is what she has to say about herself and her new virtual Braille Club.

I have been losing my vision since I was eight years old. Now, I just have light perception. My vision loss is due to Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP). I sought rehabilitation training for my blindness at the Charles W. McDowell Center in Louisville, KY when I was thirty five years old. When I learned braille for the first time, I grew to love braille so much that you might say that I eat, sleep, and breathe braille! I immediately started to incorporate braille into my daily life skills. To keep my braille skills proficient, I tutor blind individuals to assist them so that they too can achieve their braille literacy.

Now I want to spread the word to everybody about braille by bringing us all together in a virtual setting on the Zoom platform. I will be hosting a weekly braille session. It will be held Saturday afternoons at 3 pm (EST). I hope that you will join me in discussing all things Braille ...reading and writing Braille ...why it's a vital tool for theblind...and so much more.

Thank you for your time and please don't hesitate to contact me with questions. Here is my information: Christina Hope Palmer

If you would like to participate in the Zoom Braille Club, please use the Zoom information below to join in on the fun!

Here is the link for
the Zoom meeting for the Braille club:

NFB of Kentucky is inviting you to a
scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: NFB of Kentucky Braille Club

Time: Jan 9, 2021 03:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 983 9327 2632

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Have You Heard?

As the year 2020 comes to a close, most of us are looking forward to a brighter and more hopeful 2021. With the COVID-19 pandemic this year has been a tough one for many of us; however, when we take a closer look, there are still joyous occasions to celebrate. Here are some things that should make you smile and help remind you that even in the midst of tragedy and hard times, we can find joy.

Tobias Benjamin Henderson was born on January 23, 2020 at 8:57 a.m., weighing 6 lbs.13 oz. to proud parents Angela and Ben Henderson. We are thrilled to welcome little Toby into our NFBK family. Angela says that Toby is becoming quite the little adventurer, climbing and getting into everything, including his Christmas presents. He enjoys participating in NFBK board meetings with his mommy!

Although graduations really didn't look the same in 2020, they are still a wonderful reason to celebrate. We congratulate Riley Seif as she graduated from Louisville Central High School this year. We also congratulate Jonathan Miller, son of Michelle Miller. Jonathan graduated from Ballard High School in Louisville.

In addition to high school graduations, we want to congratulate Angela Henderson who received her Master of Education degree from the University of Cincinnati in Applied Behavioral Analysis this past summer.

In regard to furthering education, this summer Jayne Seif enrolled in the Master of Early Childhood Education degree program at the University of Louisville. Jayne certainly has her hands full as she continues to work full time at the University of Louisville Early Learning Campus preschool, serve as the NFBK president and attend master's level classes on-line.

Bill Deatherage, member of the board of directors of the NFB of Kentucky, celebrated his 10th wedding anniversary with his beautiful wife, Debbie, on June 26th. Congratulations on 10 happy years together!

On July 29th at 2:03 a.m. Bo Mullins and Mikia Ward welcomed their son, Gabriel Scott Mullins into the world. Baby Gabriel weighed 8 lbs 6 oz. Congratulations to the proud parents!

We want to congratulations Sharri Anderson on her new job with the nonprofit, Up for Women and Children. Sharri is serving in the role of Case manager...You go girl!

NFBK wants to extend congratulations to KBE Blind Vendor, Lynn Florence who was elected to serve as the KBE Blind Vendor Committee's Vice-Chairperson. This is Lynn's third term of service on the Blind Vendor Committee; Lynn Florence is the very first female ever to serve in this executive committee position. Lynn has been an outstanding vendor and an outstanding role model accentuating admirable traits of determination, hard work, and professionalism. Way to go Lynn!

Did you know that we have two shining stars in our midst? Our own Mary Harrod and her daughter Makenna, a BELL alumnus, were featured on Spectrum News 1.  Mary and Makenna discuss the challenges of virtual education in our COVID world.  Mary and Makenna made us proud! If you missed their television debut, you can catch it here.


Where has the time gone? Members of our NFBk board of directors are celebrating Christmas wedding anniversaries. Our illustrious president, Jayne Seif and her amazing technologically savvy husband, Phil, just celebrated their 23rd anniversary on December 22. Congratulations to them on their anniversary!

Also, can you believe that NFBK 1st vice-president and NFBK secretary, Todd and Lora Stephens just celebrated their sixth year of marriage? Well, they most certainly did! December 20th marked their sixth year of wedding bliss!

More holiday anniversaries are to come. Steven Miller from the Greater Louisville Chapter and Dakota Colman were married on December 5, 2020. Steven is the son of Michelle Miller and Chris Miller. Congratulations to Steven and Dakota!

BARD Book Corner

Since we have all been staying at home so much this year, many of us have read some wonderful audio books from the NLS BARD service. Below are a few favorites that are sure to entertain. Check them out!

BARD Audio Book Recommendations:

    28 summers DB99851
  • Hilderbrand, Elin. Reading time: 15 hours, 28 minutes.
  • Read by Erin Bennett.
  • Bestsellers
  • Romance
  • When Mallory Blessing is dying, she tells her son to contact Jake McCloud. Jake and Mallory have been keeping a secret for twenty-eight years: since they were both in their twenties, Jake has spent every Labor Day weekend with Mallory at her Nantucket home. Unrated. Commercial audiobook.

  • Bestseller.
  • 2020.
    Stolen DB95423
  • Palmer, Daniel. Reading time: 11 hours, 26 minutes.
  • Read by Peter Berkrot. A production of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress.
  • Suspense Fiction
  • When insurance won't cover the treatment for Ruby's life-changing diagnosis, her husband, John, steals a customer's identity and files a false claim. The plan works perfectly--until that customer contacts John with a startling proposition. If John and Ruby commit crimes for him, hewon't report their fraud.

  • Unrated.
  • Commercial audiobook.
  • 2013.
    The House of Kennedy DB100060
  • Patterson, James; Fagen, Cynthia. Reading time: 10 hours, 27 minutes.
  • Read by David Piitu.
  • Biography
  • Government and Politics
  • Bestsellers
  • Bestselling novelist recountsthestoried history of the Kennedy family and describes the unique place the Kennedys have occupied in the American imagination across decades and generations.

  • Unrated.
  • Commercial audiobook.
  • Bestseller.
  • 2020.

BARD Book Recommendations (Braille)

For those Braille readers who are participating in the eReader pilot project, here are some Braille BARD books that you might want to check out. And, if you are a Braille reader who is not yet participating in the pilot project, these titles might inspire you to contact the Kentucky Talking Book Library to initiate your participation in the project!

    I can't see you, I'm deaf: a memoir BR22938
  • Livingston, Woody. 2 volumes.
  • Religion
  • Biography
  • Unified English Braille
  • The author recounts his experiences going blind while already completely deaf,including attending college, traveling, playing hockey, and piloting an airplane. Describes the discrimination he faced, his struggles with homelessness and unemployment, and his decision to live by faith.

  • 2019.
    Ready Player One BR21347
  • Cline, Ernest. 6 volumes. A production of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress.
  • Science Fiction
  • Unified English Braille
  • Bestsellers
  • 2045. Multi Billionaire James Halliday dies, leaving his last will and testament online for the world to see. His massive multiplayer online game OASIS has a hidden feature--an Easter egg--and the person who finds the egg first wins Halliday's fortune. Some strong language.

  • Bestseller.
  • 2011.
    Survival Tails: the Titanic, book 1 BR23053
  • Charman, Katrina. 2 volumes.
  • Unified English Braille
  • Adventure
  • Animals and Wildlife
  • A stowaway dog and the captain's cat forge an unlikely friendship as they race to protect three kittens, help their humans, and survive the sinking of the Titanic.

  • For grades 3-6.
  • 2018.

For those of you who are interested in a bit of unique Braille and Kentucky history, the following cookbook was produced in 1948 by the Kentucky School for the Blind and the American Printing House for the Blind. The book is in Grade 1 ½ Braille. This was the official Braille Code in the United States for a short period of time. Check it out!

Cook's Nook

There is nothing that tastes like Christmas more than homemade cookies. For our holiday edition of the Kentucky Cardinal, we thought it would be perfect to share some delicious Christmas cookie recipes. The following recipes are from the kitchen of Gena Burton, the mother of Danielle Burton who is a member of the board of directors of the NFB of Kentucky. For any of you who have ever tasted Gena's cooking, you know that she is amazing in the kitchen. We know that you will enjoy both of these holiday favorites!

Gingerbread cookies

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups Crisco shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cups molasses
  • 4tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. ginger
  • 2tsp. cloves
  • 4 cups self-rising flour


Mix eggs, sugar, molasses and shortening until creamy. Then add flour and spices. Mix well. Flour the surface and roll out dough. Use cookie cutters to cut into shapes. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 9-10 minutes. If desired, sprinkle with sugar before baking, or decorate with your favorite frosting when cookies are cooled.


  • ½ cup Crisco
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 T milk
  • ½ tsp. Vanilla
  • ¾ cups sugar


Mix wet ingredients well. Then, gradually add: 2 1/2 cups self-rising flour. Mix well. Roll out dough on a floured surface. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters. Bake for 9-10 minutes in a 350 degree oven.


  • 2 lbs. powdered sugar
  • 2 Tsp. vanilla
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 ¼ cups Crisco shortening
  • ¼ cups water


Mix all ingredients well. Add food coloring as desired to frosting. Spread on cookies and let the frosting set. Decorate with colored sugar if desired. Enjoy with a cup of coffee or a cold glass of milk!

NFB Kentucky Board of Directors

Executive Board:

    Todd E. Stephens, First Vice President
  • 1127 Sharon Ct.
  • Ashland, KY 41101
  • (606) 324-3394
    Karen Mayne, Second Vice President
  • 528 Williamsburg Rd.
  • Frankfort, KY. 40601
  • (502) 545-1062

Board of Directors: