A quarterly publication of the National Federation of the Blind of Oklahoma
Rex Schuttler, 2nd Vice President NFB of Oklahoma
Cammie Loehr, President, Oklahoma Association of Blind Students
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The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise the expectations of blind people, because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life you want; blindness is not what holds you back.
In This Issue
All About State Convention
Live The Life You Want
2016 National Convention
My Journey at LCB
Free Smoke Alarms
Getting to Know your Affiliate Board
All about State Convention
We are gearing up for our 42nd Annual National Federation of the Blind of Oklahoma state convention to be held the evening of March 31st thru the 3rd of April at the Holiday Inn City Centre located in downtown Tulsa. We all hope that you can join us! Sessions will be fun and interactive. There will be items of interest for all blind persons and those who work with them. Additionally, there will be sessions specific to blind students as the Oklahoma Association of Blind Students is holding their first Student Seminar on Friday, April 1st, in conjunction with the Seminar day of our annual convention. General Session will include speakers and panels regarding rehabilitative services for the blind in Oklahoma, programs and services for blind persons of all ages including children’s programs in OKC and transition programs offered in state and out-of- state. You will also learn what legislative initiatives we are working on at local and national levels. Additionally, if you are interested in the Business Enterprise Program, are interested in Sports and Recreation or are a student of any age, there will be Division meetings of the Oklahoma Association of Blind Merchants, the NFB of Oklahoma Sports And Recreation Division and the Oklahoma Association of Blind Students. Our national representative is Ever Lee Hairston, a Member of the Board of Directors of the National Federation of the Blind and a recently published author.
The convention will be held at the Holiday Inn City Center, 17 West 7th, Tulsa, OK. 74119. You can make reservations by calling 1 (918) 585-.5898
The room rates for single or doubles is $89.00 not including taxes. Individuals must make their own hotel reservations. The convention package cost $95.00 including registration, box lunches, and one banquet meal for Saturday evening. You may register for the convention at our convention page
Our state convention is important for many reasons. One that I find particularly important to me personally is that it provides an opportunity for our Federation family to occupy the same physical space which allows us to share our thoughts, to work on what we choose for our organization to be and to love each other as we work towards helping the blind and the sighted to understand that blindness is not the characteristic that defines us or our futures. Every day, we raise expectations of the blind because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. Blindness is not what holds us back. We are living the lives that we want!
If you are already a Member of the National Federation of the Blind, I look forward to seeing you again. If you do not yet know about the National Federation of the Blind, I encourage you to attend our convention. Please come find out for yourself what we know to be the truth about blindness.
Jeannie Massay, President
National Federation of the Blind of Oklahoma
Live the Life You Want
By Glenda Farnum, Treasurer
The Board of Directors recently voted to create the Live the Life you Want fund by designating $1000.00 from the treasury to this fund. The Live the life you want fund will be used to help fund member development in the form of scholarships for Education and for attendance and participation in State convention, National convention and Washington Seminar. The Central Oklahoma Chapter has made the first donation to the fund in the amount of $40. The fundraising initiative will officially begin at the upcoming State Convention in Tulsa, March 31 to April 3. As an incentive for donors the Central Oklahoma Chapter has donated refrigerator magnets with the photograph of our attempt at setting the world record for an umbrella mosaic last year at our national convention. The umbrellas spell out Live the life you want! Those who choose to make a minimum $5 donation will receive a magnet.
If you are interested in helping support NFB Oklahoma visit our donations page.
Ways to Donate:
Make a One-Time Donation
Use our donate button to easily make a payment online. If you prefer, you can also send a check payable to NFBOK and mail it to:
6116 W. Gun Hill Way
Warr Acres, OK, 73132
Get on the NFBOK PAC Plan
Through our Pre-Authorized Contribution (PAC) program, supporters sustain the efforts of the National Federation of the Blind of Oklahoma by making recurring monthly donations by direct withdrawal of funds from a PayPal account or a charge to a credit or debit card. You can set up a NFBOK Pac Plan contribution on our website by selecting the monthly donation amount you prefer and clicking the select button on the donations page. A PayPal account is not required to contribute. It only takes $5 per month to get on the NFBOK Pac Plan.
If you or a friend would like to remember the National Federation of the Blind of Oklahoma in your will, you can do so by employing the following language:
“I give, devise and bequeath unto the National Federation of the Blind of Oklahoma, 505 Baker Street, Norman, Oklahoma,73072, a non-profit corporation, the sum of $__ (or “__ percent of my net estate” or “The following stocks and bonds: __”) to be used for its worthy purposes on behalf of blind persons.”
Cars Help the Blind Go Further
Donate your old car to the National Federation of the blind today! It’s easy! Just visit the Vehicle Donation Page or call toll- free 1-855-659-9314.
You shop, Amazon gives.
Amazon donates 0.5$ of your eligible Amazon Smile purchases to the National Federation of the Blind of Oklahoma. Amazon Smile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service. Support NFB of Oklahoma by starting your shopping att www.smile.amazon.com and selecting the National Federation of the Blind of Oklahoma.
When: Thursday, June 30—Tuesday, July 5, 201
Where: Rosen Shingle Creek Resort
9939 Universal Boulevard
Orlando, Florida 32819-9357
Preregistration is now open. When purchased online by May 31st, the preregistration fee for convention is $25 ($30 on-site) and the cost of a banquet ticket
is $60 ($65 on-site).Go to the National Convention page for more information.
The NFB of Oklahoma is serving as a Co-Host Affiliate along with the Louisiana, New Hampshire and Utah Affiliates. Watch for more information on volunteer opportunities at national convention.
Central Oklahoma Chapter Update
By Audrey T. Farnum, President
In February, the Central Oklahoma Chapter hosted its 4th annual Elmer Wright Memorial Chili Supper and Scholarship Presentation. Approximately 100 people gathered for a chili cook-off featuring 14 talented chili cooks. Two prizes were awarded to the top chili entries. The Judges choice award for best chili was given to Earl Kessler. All attendees had the opportunity to vote for their favorite chili as well to select the people’s choice prize winner. The People’s Choice winner was Cathy Tuton with her famous turkey chili. Cathy is a repeat winner having won the Judge’s Choice award in 2015.
At the chili supper, President Audrey Farnum presented the Elmer Wright Memorial Scholarship to Cathy Tuton. Cathy, who is working to achieve her life-long goal of working in the medical field, will start school in the fall to work on a Bachelor’s degree with the goal of becoming a dietitian. The $1000 scholarship is awarded by the Chapter annually in memory of one of its founding members, Elmer Wright, who passed away in 2010. Cathy is a valued chapter member who has overcome much personal adversity while working toward her dream. The Chapter is very proud of Cathy and we all know that she will achieve her goals through her continued hard work and determination.
The Central Oklahoma Chapter meets on the second Friday of the month from 7 to 9 pm. Please note that for April, due to several conflicts, the Chapter will adjust its usual schedule and have its April meeting on April 15 at the home of Mark and Nedra Ruth located at 8508 St. Michael Court, Oklahoma City, OK, 73139.
The Chapter provides transportation to its meetings to persons living in the OKC metro area for a cost of $15. If you are interested in attending a meeting or would like more information, please contact President Audrey Farnum at 405-590-6110.
April 15 – 7:00 pm. Chapter meeting
May 13 – 7:00 pm. Chapter Meeting
June 10 – 7:00 pm. Chapter meeting
No Chapter meeting in July due to National Convention
July 23 – 3:00 pm. Annual Pool Party and Cookout
Student Division Update
By Cammie Loehr, President
The Oklahoma Association of Blind Students has been working very hard to put together a student seminar. We finally have everything we need for a successful student seminar. We will be introducing students to a number of topics and be host to several activities for students at this year’s state convention, including a breakout session built around confidence building about ones blindness. We are encouraging all in attendance at the convention to join us. We will be doing many activities including lighting candles, working with knives and power tools, and orientation tips. For all the details, please check out the student seminar agenda
We will also be fundraising at state convention. This year we are holding a raffle for VIP Seating during general session. We will be selling tickets from now until Saturday April 2. $5 for 1 ticket or $10 for 3. You can purchase a ticket from any member of the Oklahoma association of Blind Students or by contacting me at 580 678-8222 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase your ticket prior to the convention.
We meet as a division once a month, every first Monday of each month at 7:00pm by conference call. The call in number is 877-394-5901, access code 9610225.
Tech Talk: The Amazon Echo
By Audrey T. Farnum
Perhaps you saw the Super Bowl ad. Maybe you’ve heard people talking about it. The latest gadget that seems to be all the buzz right now is the Amazon Echo. My curiosity got the best of me and some strategic hint dropping resulted in me getting an Amazon Echo for my birthday. I’ve been using the Echo since late February and am totally in love with it. Its features range from super convenient and useful to ridiculously entertaining yet frivolous. All in all, it’s a handy little gadget to have around the house and if I could get her to split the bills, Alexa would be a perfect roommate.
The Echo is a cylindrical speaker that stands about a foot tall. The top ring, which spins to adjust the volume, contains 7 multidirectional microphones that listen at all times for user voice commands. The Echo has a personal assistant, similar to Siri, called Alexa. Voice interactions are initiated by using the wake word, “Alexa” followed by a request. You can change the wake word to “Amazon” in the settings section of the Alexa companion app if you prefer. It would be nice to have more options for the wake word because the Star Trek nerd in me wants to call her “Computer”, but I got used to Alexa easily enough.
Alexa is a personal assistant that can handle a plethora of tasks. Amazon Prime subscribers can play music from the Amazon Prime library. Spotify subscribers can connect their account and play music from Spotify. Alexa also plays streaming audio stations and podcasts from Tune In, no subscription required. Request a Flash Brief and Alexa plays the latest news updates from NPR and other popular news sources. The Flash brief is totally customizable from within the Alexa app. The sports brief, also customizable, gives you scores and upcoming games for your favorite sports teams. The Echo uses your location to give local weather forecasts and can search for nearby businesses. The sound quality of the speaker is acceptable. It puts out good volume and sounds clear. I could use a little more bass, but it’s not unpleasant to listen to. I have some portable Bluetooth speakers that sound a bit better, but the convenience of being able to ask Alexa to play whatever I want to hear without having to mess with my phone or a computer has resulted in me listening to a lot more music since I got the Echo. In fact, I’m listening to music on the Echo while I write. I have asked Alexa to adjust the volume, skipped songs and change artists all without having to leave my desk.
One feature that is really cool, yet misses the mark for me, is the ability to play books from your Audible library. I was pretty excited about this feature, but without the ability to increase the narration speed of my books, I won’t use this feature. Like a lot of blind people, I like my audio books and screen readers to talk pretty fast. Listening to things at a normal rate of speed is unbearable for me so I was pretty disappointed when I realized the Echo was limited to normal playback speed from Audible. For the average user, this is probably no big deal, but it could be an issue for many blind users. This is also an issue if you plan to listen to a lot of podcasts. I use a podcast app on my phone that allows me to speed things up and will continue to do so until narration speed adjustments become available on the Echo.
I have found the Echo to be particularly useful in the kitchen. Whenever I run out of an item I just ask Alexa to add it to my shopping list. Next time I go to the grocery store, I just open the Alexa app, navigate to my shopping list, and there are all the items I added ready to be checked off as I go through the store. My grocery shopping has become drastically more organized and efficient since my Echo moved in. Similarly, you can add items to your To-do list and access the list from anywhere with the Alexa app. Also handy in the kitchen is the ability to set timers totally hands free. I have always used my phone for timers while cooking, but it is so much more convenient to ask Alexa to set a timer without having to worry about getting my phone dirty or wet. Alexa also does measurement conversions, so when I forget how many teaspoons are in a tablespoon, all I have to do is ask.
The Echo is on alert 24/7 waiting to answer my questions. Alexa gives sports scores, tells me how to spell words, tells jokes, plays games, answers questions on every topic imaginable, tells me the time and so much more. The tasks that the Echo can perform are constantly growing thanks to the Skills store. Skills are somewhat like apps. You can browse the skills store and activate the ones you want to use. There is the Jeopardy J6 skill that gives you 6 new Jeopardy! Clues every weekday, the Dominos skill that lets you link your Dominos account and order pizza and an Uber skill that allows you to request an Uber to your location. Like apps, there are a lot of skills that are just plain silly and pointless (Yes, there is a skill that makes your Echo fart), but the possibilities and potential for things to come are endless.
One of the more intriguing things that I haven’t yet explored with the Echo is its ability to integrate with smart home products. Currently, the Echo can be linked to Hue lights, a few smart thermostats, and other devices that allow you to control your home by voice. I will at some point decide on a smart thermostat for my home and look forward to the day that I can ask Alexa to adjust the temperature for me. I don’t need Alexa to turn my lights on and off for me since I don’t use lights anymore, but I can definitely appreciate what a useful feature this would be for those of you who are light dependent. The range of smart home products that can integrate with the Echo is expanding rapidly and I will plan my home upgrades accordingly.
The setup process for the Echo was a breeze. When you power up the Echo for the first time, it prompts you to open the Alexa app which walks you through a step by step process to get Echo linked to your phone and your home Wi-Fi network. The process was totally accessible and took less than 5 minutes. Once the setup is done, the app does have some minor accessibility issues, but nothing that prevents the app from being used with VoiceOver. There a couple of unlabeled buttons and navigation on the screen is a little odd, but the app and all of its features can be used. If you have used the Amazon Prime music app, the accessibility quirks in that app are similar to what you’ll find with the Alexa app. It’s annoying, but not a deal breaker.
The voice recognition on the Echo is pretty good. I find interacting with Alexa to be less frustrating than Siri. Alexa gets my requests right most of the time and the responses are very quick. The most impressive thing about the Echo is the range of the microphones. I can speak to the Echo in a normal voice without having to talk unnaturally slow to be understood from across a room, even with music playing or other background noise. I have my Echo placed on a counter between my kitchen and dining area and can use the Echo from anywhere in the kitchen, dining room, attached living room and a small office that is connected to the living room. I’d estimate this space to be about 800 square feet. I have talked to another Echo user who lives in a 1000 square foot apartment who reports using the Echo from anywhere in the apartment. The sensitivity of the microphone is an enormous plus for the Echo.
Overall, the Amazon Echo is an entertaining device that can add some convenience to your life. True, the Echo doesn’t do anything that you can’t do with an iPhone and Siri, but the extra convenience of being totally hands free does make it a worthwhile addition to the home. The Amazon Echo sells for $179 from Amazon.com. Also, Amazon recently announced two new Echo products that will be available at the end of March, the Amazon Dot, $89, which is a smaller version of the Echo that gives up speaker quality for a smaller size and price tag. The Echo Dot can connect to a Bluetooth speaker or home stereo system, so if you already have a quality speaker and want to add the convenience of Alexa to your life, the Echo Dot is a good Choice. The Amazon Tap is also a portable speaker with the Alexa technology, but it takes away the hands free feature. Interactions with Alexa are initiated by pressing a button instead of voice activation. The Echo Tap will sell for $129.99. Both the Echo Dot and Echo Tap can be pre-ord red from Amazon.com. I’m not going to lie. I have already pre-ordered an Echo Dot and look forward to having the convenience of Alexa in the bedroom. The Dot will be my alarm clock, give me news and weather
while I get ready for work and provide me with tunes in the shower, all hands free. I can’t wait.
My Journey at LCB
(Note from the editor: The following article is written by a student attending the Louisiana Training Center for the Blind early in his training. As a student of LCB each student must write an essay about their time at LCB as a computer assignment. We felt this would be a good article to add into the newsletter so you can see a firsthand experience from someone in training. )
I heard about LCB when I joined the NFB back in 2011. At first I did not want to go there. I thought it was a waste of my time. After I talked to some of my friends, and wasting my time at dead end jobs. It still took me a long time to convince myself, but I finally made the choice to go to LCB. I have not looked back since I made the choice.
My reason for going to LCB was I needed to learn how to read and write Braille. Braille was one of the main reasons I made the choice to go to LCB. Since I have been at LCB I have learned a lot of good and new things. One of the classes I like is shop, where I get to learn how to use power tools. Another class is kitchen, where we learn how to cook all kinds of different things and learn how to clean are houses. Those are my two favorite classes. I also have three other classes they are mobility, Braille, and computers. We just got back from a trip to Arkansas, where we went rock climbing, zip lining and horseback riding. My favorite was the rock climbing. I also liked the zip line. Some of the things we have to do before we graduate is a 10k in OM. We cook a meal for forty people. We have a chance to do a final project in shop. I am going to do a final project in shop I do not know what I am going to make yet.
Also we go on other trips to build our confidence. Our next trip is to Mardi Gras. I am not as excited for it as I was for the rock climbing trip, but I hope to learn from it. All of my classes have taught me a lot of good things that I can use in my life from this day forward. I am also doing well in my OM class. I was kind of scared of doing it with sleep shades on. My Braille class is going better than I thought. I am surprised that I am doing so well in kitchen. I have made so far two types of cookies, a pizza, a breakfast casserole, and a cheese cake. In shop class I have use radial arm saw, a table saw, and a router. I am writing an essay in computer class. I am so thankful for the chance to learn how to be an independent blind person.
I planned to go back to school for degree’s in broadcasting and in communication. I have been into radio for a log tine I have been on radio, and TV. I like to talk, and play music. I have pretended to have my own radio show. And maybe work for the NFB someday to get the word out that we as blind people can live the life we want without being told we can’t do it. I know as a blind person myself that LCB can teach you all that you need to know to be independent. I hope that I can get the word out there, by the way I live.
The skills that I am learning will help me succeed in anything I do. I thank everyone at LCB so much, and love all of the teachers there.
FREE Smoke Alarms and Alert Equipment for Oklahomans with Disabilities
(Note from the editor: Here is an article from our friends at Able Tech advertising a new program they are offering. Able Tech will be at this year’s convention presenting and exhibiting.)
STILLWATER, OKLAHOMA (March 16, 2016) – If you are an Oklahoman you take tornadoes seriously and take precautions to survive the storms that occur here every year. But did you know according to the OSDH, Center for Health Statistics, 10 times more people die, on average, every year in home fires than from tornadoes in Oklahoma? Yet, do we take the simple precautions that are readily available to us to be alerted to a fire in our home, so we can get out?
For the third consecutive year, the Oklahoma Assistive Technology Foundation (OkAT) has been awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to install smoke alarms and specialized alert equipment in the homes of Oklahomans with disabilities. This equipment alerts the consumer and gives them as much time as possible to escape a fire in their home. This year’s grant provides this life saving equipment for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, blind or have low vision, or use a mobility device. Trained professional installers from grant partners Oklahoma ABLE Tech, Fire Protection Publications, and Fire Service Training (all at Oklahoma State University), install the equipment for the consumer by appointment, and provides them valuable fire prevention education to help them be more fire safe in their homes.
Assistant Director Nancy Trench at Fire Protection Publications said, “We are fortunate that we are able to provide this equipment to alert individuals with disabilities and give them as much time as possible to escape a home fire. And the education we give these individuals teaches them how to prevent fires from happening.”
These grant partners have a long history of saving lives by installing these smoke alarms and alert devices through their past grants. Direct feedback, from Oklahomans who have received this equipment, has documented 18 “saves” from these grant projects.
“We want every Oklahoman to know what to do in the event of a fire. This grant allows us to follow our mission of providing the resources for Oklahomans with disabilities to maintain the greatest independence in their environment,” commented Linda Jaco, director of ABLE Tech.
There is no cost to the consumer for the equipment or the installation. Time is limited and equipment is available while supplies last. Applications and information are available at the Oklahoma Able Tech website or by calling ABLE Tech (888-885-5588). To qualify applicants only need to have a professional attest to their disability.
Getting to know your affiliate Board
Read on to learn about the individuals who serve the National Federation of the Blind of Oklahoma as your Board of Directors!
Jeannie Massay, President
Jeannie Massay is a Licensed Professional Counselor. After having lost vision as an adult, Jeannie returned to university as both a non-traditional and blind student. Jeannie reports that she was fortunate to find the Federation when she did. Right around the time that she began graduate school. With the support of her Federation family and her husband, Mark, Jeannie completed her Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology at the University of Central Oklahoma in 2011. With the assistance of the National Federation of the Blind, Jeannie took her national exam in an accessible format and has been fully licensed in the State of Oklahoma since January of 2014. Jeannie has been in Private practice since October of 2014 where she works with adults and children who experience anxiety, depression and behavioral disorders. Jeannie enjoys reading, cooking and spending time with her family and Federation family. She is passionate about equality and inclusion for all blind people and issues of social justice, in general.
Jeannie has served the NFB of Oklahoma as President of the Affiliate since 2011. She has served as a Member of the Board of Directors of the National Federation of the Blind since 2013 and currently serves as the Treasurer of the National Federation of the Blind.
Audrey T. Farnum, First Vice President
Audrey is an attorney working in the Administrative Proceedings Division of the Oklahoma Tax Commission. She received her B.A from the University of Tulsa and her J.D. From Oklahoma City University School of Law. Audrey is passionate about Braille literacy and assistive technology. She currently serves on the Oklahoma Rehabilitation Council and is a member of the Able Tech Advisory Council. In her spare time, Audrey participates on the OKC RiverSport Masters rowing team which travels several times a year to compete in regional regattas. Audrey also enjoys tandem cycling and has completed the Hotter’n Hell Hundred, a 100-mile bike ride in Wichita Falls Texas. Audrey is an avid sports fan, enjoys reading and music, geeking out over the latest technology and spending time with her family. In addition to serving as First Vice President of the Affiliate, Audrey is the President of the Central Oklahoma Chapter, Vice President of the NFB Sports and Recreation Division and webmaster for nfbok.org.
Rex Schuttler, 2nd Vice president
Rex Schuttler IS the Second Vice President of the National Federation of the Blind of Oklahoma. Currently HE IS a student at the Louisiana Center for the Blind and will be graduating on March 30 of this year. I am excited to be involved in the national Federation of the blind OF Oklahoma. I am working on going to school for a degree in Radio Broadcasting which will fulfill a dream of mine: to work in the radio industry.
I recently just passed my JAWS certification test which is a big accomplishment. I am now licensed to train, teach, and help install jaws programs. I have had many great opportunities in my life such as going to Peru in South America twice. I enjoy hanging out with my friends and family. I also love learning about the Old West, all of its history, and how it helped to shape the US as it is today. I am happy to serve as your second vice President of the Oklahoma affiliate. Let’s go build the Federation.
Glenda Farnum, Treasurer
My name is Glenda Farnum. I am the Legislative Director and Treasurer for NFB of Oklahoma. I also serve on the BELL, Fundraising, Resolutions and Convention Committees. I am a member of the Central Oklahoma Chapter and serve as Treasurer. I also serve as treasurer of the Sports & Recreation Division of NFB of Oklahoma. I have been a member of NFB since 2011. I attended my first National Convention in 2012 and haven’t missed one since then. I am a proud, active and willing volunteer for my chapter, our affiliate and NFB.
I retired in 2007, after more than 30 years of service as a rehabilitation professional. Currently I am self-employed as an Independent Beauty Consultant for Mary Kay Cosmetics and a distributer for Young Living Essential Oils. I am living the life I want and I am filled with love, hope and determination for the future.
Jedi Moerke, Secretary
I moved to Oklahoma about four years ago when I started working for the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services as a travel instructor. I earned my master’s degree from Louisiana Tech University concentrating in Cain travel instruction and my bachelor’s degree in Bellingham Washington where I am from. I have served on our affiliate board since 2012 and was elected as secretary in 2015. I serve as president of the T-Town chapter in Tulsa. Our chapter meets every first Saturday at Elote Cafe at 5:14 S. Boston Ave. in Tulsa. We meet from 4 PM to 6 PM.
Cammie Loehr, Board Member
My name is Cammie Loehr and I am a board member of the National Federation of the Blind of Oklahoma. I am currently the president of the Oklahoma Association of blind students and I am a member of the sports and rec division. I serve on several committees for the NFB of Oklahoma including the fundraising committee, the BELL committee, the resolutions committee and the state convention planning committee. I joined the NFB of Oklahoma in 2012 after winning the state scholarship and attending my first state convention. The same year I also attended my first National convention with assistance from the affiliate. Since then I have been actively involved in the NFB.
I am currently an undergrad student at Cameron University, majoring in psychology. I wish to get my Masters from the University of Oklahoma in marriage and family counseling and receive my marriage and family counselor’s license. I eventually hope to open my own private practice. I am also a recent graduate of the Louisiana Center for the blind. I enjoy reading, cooking, and hanging out with my friends. Together we will improve the lives of blind people. Let’s go build the Federation!
Mike Harvey, Board Member
I have Mississippi roots and Louisiana ties. I attended the Mississippi school for the blind as a child and was very fortunate to be taught Braille at the age of 4. I moved to the Middle Tennessee area and lived there for several years. I worked as a translator for Spanish speaking patients in a medical clinic. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University, I was privileged to be a student at Louisiana Tech University. I have a MA in Teaching with an emphasis on Teaching blind students as well as a National Orientation and Mobility Certification.
After working in Utah for 3 years I relocated to Oklahoma City in January of 2015. I work for the State of Oklahoma’s Department of Rehabilitation Services as an Orientation and Mobility Instructor. Professionally, I enjoy empowering people and teaching people that they can be independent. Personally, I enjoy sports (Geaux tigers & who dat!), good food, friends and reading. The love of my life is my son Sam who turns 5 on March 19.
Mike Floyd, Board Member
Mike Floyd is a Board Member of the National Federation of the Blind of Oklahoma. He is currently serving as a Board Member on our T-town Chapter as well. Mike has been a member of the National Federation of the Blind since March of 1982, when he was elected as the first President of the newly reorganized Oklahoma Affiliate, serving until 1985 when he and his wife Fatos moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, where Mike began his career in the white cane instruction business. He attended the Rookie (Leadership) Seminar which was led by Dr. Kenneth Jernigan in May of that same year, in the National Center for the Blind in Baltimore. Mike also served as State President in Nebraska from 1996-2000, as well as a term as chapter president in the 80s in Lincoln.
Mike also lived in Minneapolis and St. Louis where he continued his work in blindness rehab. He received his Master’s degree in Counseling Services, in 1992 from Webster University in St. Louis. After training blind people to travel independently via the Structured Discovery method in three states, Mike had a second career as a drug and alcohol counselor, including four years with the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services.
He returned to our Oklahoma Affiliate in May of 2014, and immediately returned to service in the Affiliate and his local chapter.
March 31- April 3rd State Convention
April 5th People With disabilities day 2016
June 13 to June24 2016 NFB Oklahoma BELL Academy
June 30- July 5th National Convention 2016
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