Skip Navigation - The Official Portal for North Dakota State Government
North Dakota: Legendary. Follow the trail of legends
Students using CCTV to magnify the page they are reading. North Dakota Vision Services



blue line
Upcoming Events graphic leading to the Upcoming Events page

Reaching Out Newsletter #80
May 2015

February 6-7, 2015 ND Goal Ball Event Highlights

Fourteen students participated in this event. Friday evening a spaghetti meal was served in the gym. The South Dakota Team arrived at 5:00, with four boys and two SD staff. As they were settling in, a group played Apples to Apples with the house parents. After supper, approximately 20 Delta Gamma Girls came to volunteer and help make posters with the students. The students were assigned to a team so they could work together in choosing a team name and designing posters to hang in the gym. As the poster making was in progress, Julia placed a call to Quincie in Colorado Springs, so she could say “Hi” to the group!

The talent show was quite a hit! There were many entries and lots of variety! Maddie, Lilli, Arizona, Abby (DG) sang solos. DG and Jyoti played guitar and sang. Marcus and Jordan did readings, Katie did a Hula Hoop performance, Ethin told jokes, Lee shared a card trick, Courtney performed sound effects, and Sara and Julia did a standup comedy act. It was concluded by a showing of the music video the NDVS/SB students made during music class with Natasha Thomas.

Saturday morning a pancake and bacon breakfast was served with the help of Tami and Lisa. A concession table was set up in the hallway by the music room, hosted and organized by Amy and our two volunteers – Rachel and Samantha. Community High loaned their popcorn machine to us and Greg donated the oil and popcorn plus moved and cleaned it for us. Nothing better than the aroma of hotdogs and popcorn at a sporting event! Coach Lisa and Coach Tevan had the assistance of house parent Landon, for the morning and he helped referee as well!

Paul organized the event, tournament roster, and refereed the games. Several parents and siblings of the students attended. They enjoyed the concessions, and all concluded by noon. Goal ball medallions were handed out to each player.

The teams were:
Team Dakota: Jyoti, Michael, and Arizona
MGB – Masters of Goal Ball: Ethin, Marcus, Katie, and Lilli
Ducks named Chencho: Sara, Jordan, Lee, and Julia
Goal Ball and the 3 Bears: Maddie, Blaine, and Courtney

The Ducks scored the most points and Team Dakota earned best defense!

Story by Deb Johnson

2015 NDAB State Convention

The North Dakota Association of the Blind has both a great history and a bright future. We believe the key to our future is staying connected to our past. For that reason, the planning committee chose "Back to the Future" as the theme for the 2015 State NDAB Convention as we are returning to Jamestown, the city where the organization began in 1936.

The 79th NDAB State Convention will be held on June 12-14th at the Gladstone Inn and Suites located next to the Civic Center at 111 2nd Street NE, Jamestown, ND 58401.

There will be a public open house "Vendors, Vision Resources and Visitors" from 6-9 PM on Friday. Come and see what you have been missing! You are sure to enjoy the displays and presentations from vendors showing products and services they offer.

The highlight of the evening will be a talk about "Stress Management" presented by psychologist, Dr. Cheryl Godley. Dr. Godley, her husband, and, Diaz, her guide dog are coming from Casper, Wyoming to be our guests for the convention. Her presentation on Friday will be the first of three to be shared over the weekend. On Saturday, hear Dr. Godley speak about "Adapting Emotionally to Sight Loss" and "Considerations for Sighted Partners of Persons who are Visually Impaired.

Learn more about NDAB by attending the business meeting on Saturday morning. Don’t miss your chance to meet and greet the Jamestown area legislators during the noon luncheon. There will be an Awards Reception to welcome and congratulate scholarship and other award recipients prior to the evening banquet.

NDAB member and former NDVS/SB superintendent, Carmen Suminski will be our emcee for the evening banquet. Vince Ulstad as our guest speaker. His message "Living for a Purpose Greater Than Myself" will include his vision loss story and a message of hope for us all.

You are invited to attend all or a part of the weekend events. If you are interested, please call Zelda Gebhard at 701-493-2399 or email at for more information. Preregistration needs to be completed by May 20th in order to assure meals will be available.

Come with us back in time to Jamestown. Let's explore our bright future together!

Convention co-chairs: Paula Anundson and Zelda Gebhard

The ND Dual Sensory Library

I wanted to inform everyone about the changes with the Dual Sensory Library. Last spring all the materials that were housed at the ND School for the Deaf/Resource Center for Deaf Hard of Hearing were moved back home to ND Vision Services/School for the Blind in Grand Forks. If you are interested in checking out books from the Deaf-Blind Library, or are wondering if a certain item is available go to http://odinprimo. primo_library/libweb/action/ to conduct a search for materials. To ensure that you find items that are in the Deaf Blind library, include “Dual Sensory Project” or “Deaf Blind Project” in your keyword search, along with any other specific terms you are looking for information about.

Emily Stenberg is the Librarian at the school. To check out materials call herat 701- 795-2709 or email her at estenber@ Resources will be shipped to your home with postage labels for you to send them back FREE!

There are a variety of new materials now available, including textbooks: How to Talk to Your Baby, Cortical Vision Impairment, Special Education Law, CHARGE Compendium, Wrights Law: All About IEPs, Hearing in Children, Handbook of Pediatric Audiology, Cochlear Implants and other Implant Hearing Devices, Central Auditory Processing Disorders, Blind Rage, Little Bear Sees, The Parenting Journey, Raising & Educating a Deaf Child, Teaching Deaf Learners, How Deaf Children Learn, Creating Learning Opportunities, Learning to Listen/ Listen to Learn, and I Can Hear Your Whisper.

DVDs are also available, including: “Let’s Talk Limbic,” “Assessing Children with Multiple Disabilities,” “You Make The Difference,” “A CoActive Sign System,” “Using Tactile Symbolsand Cues,” “Sensory Perspectives,” “Visual Processing Therapy,” “Learning Media Assessment,” “Independent Living Activities & Routines,” and “DeafBlindness and the Intervener.”

We hope that you will take advantage of the great learning opportunities in our Library! Here is the contact information for the library at ND Vision Services/School for the Blind in Grand Forks.

Phone number: 701-795-2709

Please contact the library with any questions you may have, or if you need assistance looking for a particular resource.

Spring VRC Update

Here are a few recent additions to the library in the VRC – Perfect for summer reading!

For Adults

The Way We See It: A Fresh Look at Vision Loss (available in large print) is a collection of personal stories written by clients and staff members of Vision Loss Resources in Minneapolis (formerly the Minneapolis Society for the Blind). The North Dakota School for the Blind pops up in a few of the stories, too, as some former students and even current clients share their stories in the book.

The UEB Reader and The ABCs of UEB: A Guide to the Transition from EBAE to UEB by Constance Risjord will help anyone who is trying to learn the rules of UEB.

We now have the newest edition of Vaughan & Asbury’s General Ophthalmology (2011), a key reference book for anyone seeking to understand how the eye works.

For Teens & Children

Two recent Newbery Award winners are available in braille – The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate (Newbery Winner 2013) and Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos (Newbery Winner 2012). Dead End in Norvelt is also available in large print. Our Pete the Cat collection is growing! We have Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons and Pete the Cat Saves Christmas in twin vision, and Pete’s Big Lunch and Pete the Cat: Too Cool for School in braille.

Other popular and recently added twin vision books include E-I-E-I-O by Judy Sierra; Hi, Koo!: A Year of Seasons by Jon J. Muth; and Hot Rod Hamster by Cynthia Lord.

The Deaf Blind Sensory Library, which is now housed in the VRC, has a great selection of books for parents and professionals who want to learn more about the best ways to support children with special needs and help them succeed. Here are a few highlights you can find in this collection.

NurtureShock: New Thinking about Children by Po Bronson and Ashley Merriman has been called one of the most influential books about children ever published. The authors delve into topics that range from praising children to race to TV to discipline.

The Joys of Jennifer: Finding Success for Your Child with Charge Syndrome or Other Challenges by Carolyn Siewicki is an inspirational story with real life struggles and real family strength. The author, who is Jennifer’s mother, shares her family’s story, with the hope that other families will learn from her family’s experiences.

Blind Rage: Letters to Helen Keller by Georgina Kleege is an examination of Keller’s amazing life that reveals a much more complex story than the one we usually hear. While it is at times critical of Keller, Blind Rage attempts to give readers a more human and practical view of Keller, who is often seen as an “ideal.”

Sensational Kids: Hope and Help for Children with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) by Lucy Jane Miller examines SPD, a brain disorder that affects at least one in twenty children in the United States. Children with SPD experience the five senses, as well as movement and body awareness, very differently than other children. The author is considered an expert in the field of SPD research, and in this book, she helps the parents of these children navigate some of the questions and unknowns they will encounter.

To check out any of these books, stop into the VRC, call (701-795-2709), or send an email to at the VRC library and they will be sent to you.

Happy Reading! Happy Summer!

Story by Emily Stenberg

2015 Annual APH Meeting

I had the opportunity last fall to attend the annual meeting of the American Printing House for the Blind. It was a wonderful learning experience for me. I was able to tour APH, which was both interesting and informative. I especially enjoyed walking through the Hall of Fame, where the “Rock Stars” of our field are honored. Another favorite was the poster session, where new and upcoming products are highlighted. I don’t know about you, but it would be very difficult for me to do my job without access to the products offered through APH. While walking through the poster session, I felt like a child with a brand new Christmas catalog, I can hardly wait for these products to come out! Of course it was very exciting to have the opportunity to see Carmen Suminski receive the William H. English Award at the COSB banquet. Carmen has spent a good portion of her life working to benefit ND Vision Services/ School for the Blind and individuals in our state experiencing vision loss. Those of you who attended the AER conference in 2013 will be happy to hear that Lou Tutt was awarded APH’s highest honor, the Wings of Freedom Award.

Throughout the various sessions, I had an opportunity to hear many of the most distinguished individuals from our field. There were three comments made that I found unforgettable:

Steve Gettel, COSB president and superintendent of the Iowa School for the Blind made this statement: “When your perspective gets blurred, just picture one student that you have had, and that will make everything you have done worthwhile.”

Chris Wellman, who was the winner of the Outstanding Paraprofessional award made this unforgettable statement: “Every child wants to learn. It is up to us to figure out how to make that happen.” In his speech titled “A Message from the Engine Room: Imagining and Building Full-Steam Ahead Technologies”, Dr. Joshua Miele is director of the Smith-Kettlewell Description Research and Innovation Lab in San Francisco, Ca. made this bold statement: “We are the engine and engineers of change. We need to arm ourselves with the skills we will need not for today, but those we will need in ten years!”

Story by Linda Kraft

Upcoming Events

  • May 21-22 Preschool short term programming
  • May 25 Office Closed: Memorial Day
  • May 26-28 Staff Development Days
  • June 5 Academic year ends
  • June 1-12 Adult Weeks
  • June 14-17 Teen Camp
  • August 3-7 Kids Camp

Reaching Out is published by the ND Vision Services/School for the Blind, an agency funded by the state of North Dakota for the benefit of people with visual impairments. ND Vision Services/School for the Blind is a division of the ND Department of Public Instruction. NDVS/SB does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in employment or provision of services. Reaching Out is available in alternative formats upon request. Please send comments to:

REACHING OUT ND Vision Services/
School for the Blind
500 Stanford Road
Grand Forks, ND 58203-2799

Superintendent of Public Instruction: Kirsten Baesler

Superintendent, ND Vision Services/School for the Blind: Paul Olson -

Reaching Out Editors: Nicole Evenson ( and Leslie Pedersen (

blue line


spacer : spacer

Privacy Policy

spacer spacer spacer XHTML Validation Link spacer CSS Validation Link spacer Priority 2 Accessibility Link
blue line