Reaching Out Newsletter #77
Clippings from Carmen
As I prepare to write my last article for the “Reaching Out,” I am thankful for a rewarding career and I look forward to not only my own future in retirement, but also to your future in serving persons who are blind and visually impaired. Who would have thought when I first started working at NDSB in 1969 that I would return 22 years later. What a journey it has been! I am so thankful for each person that has committed time, talent and energy to serving people who are blind and visually impaired! Together, we have strengthened our services and outreach, and our school is nationally known. Because of your collaboration and passion, I have been enriched as a teacher, administrator, and person.
In my 45 years of professional work, I have taught in North Dakota, Colorado, Phoenix, and then returned to North Dakota in 1991 as the Director of Education. Since then, I have served on national boards including AER, COSB and APH and attended conferences that have enabled me to connect with colleagues and mentors from around the country. As a long-time member of the Lions Club, I have enjoyed serving the community and maintaining a commitment to people who are blind and visually impaired and their families. However, even more than the leadership opportunities in these professional organizations and service clubs, what I am most thankful for is the friends that I have made. Each person that I have worked with and served with has enriched my life, and to you, I say THANK YOU!
People often ask me (and even if you don't say it out loud, I am pretty sure it is what you are thinking), what will I do without NDVS/SB and NDSD/ RCDHH? My "home base" will be Adams, ND. I look forward to returning home and spending time with family. I will become familiar with the MN and WI highways as I travel to Cashton, WI to spend time with my daughter, Amanda, son-in-law, Steve and my soon-to-arrive grandson. In the winter, I will migrate South and will enjoy "leisuring" at Leisure World in Mesa, AZ. I look forward to entertaining family and friends (whether in Mesa or Adams) and visiting people as well. I plan to put a lot of miles on my car!
I can't stress enough that my satisfaction and pride in my work is not mine alone but is shared with the teachers and staff, students and their families, colleagues and mentors, and legislators and fellow superintendents. Thank you for the role you have played in my professional career and for sharing in this milestone and celebration! And thank you for your commitment to the education of all people in the state of North Dakota! Here's to the future!
Please keep in touch!
PO Box 40; Adams, ND 58210
Home Phone: 701-944-2425
It is an honor to be given the opportunity to serve as the next Superintendent of NDVS/SB. I would like to thank Carmen Grove Suminski for her encouragement and wish her the best in her retirement.
I have witnessed many changes at NDVS/SB over the years and anticipate many new and exciting challenges in the future. There are numerous efforts underway to help maintain and strengthen services to children and adults statewide. For instance, a small task force of vision professionals representing public schools, the University of North Dakota and NDVS/SB have begun working on several common goals to improve services. Recruitment and retention of qualified teachers of the visually impaired is one of several very important goals that have been identified. It is crucial that our students have access to qualified and dedicated teachers in order to be successful. I am very pleased with this collaboration and will hope to make real progress in meeting these goals.
I would also like to mention a significant renovation to our building in Grand Forks. This will include major work on our west wing and the addition of an elevator in our south wing. These improvements are an important investment that will ensure that our building will support our essential short-term programming for many years to come.
In future editions of Reaching Out, I hope to share more information and progress toward meeting our goals. I would also like to extend an invitation to anyone who would like to visit and learn more about the services we provide. I can be reached by calling 795-2717 or by e-mail at email@example.com
Paul H. Olson
North Dakota Vision Services/School for the Blind created a Facebook page at the end of summer 2012. Recently our page hit 100 likes! The page was created to help share pictures and information with friends and families along with NDVS/SB activities, programming events, and other information that might be useful. If you would like to “like” us on Facebook click the icon and visit our page. Thank you!
Nicole Evenson was recently hired in April as the new manager of The Store at NDVS/SB. She grew up on a farm near Java, SD located about an hour and a half west of Aberdeen, SD. She went to school in Wahpeton, ND at North Dakota State College of Science where she met her husband, Brady to whom she has been married for 3 years. They reside in Minto, ND.
In her spare time, Nicole enjoys working out, reading, and anything that involves being outdoors. She enjoys country music, being around the water and loves to travel to new places. One of her favorite places so far to note has been Alaska. One thing she would like to learn how to do in the near future is water ski. While she’s tried before, she hasn’t quite been able to stand all the way up.
Nicole is not a fan of spiders and fears balloons since she doesn’t like it when they pop. She believes the secret to a good life is finding your own happiness in whatever that may be. In five years, she sees herself working hard at her career and hopefully adding some travel in her future.
Come meet Nicole and check out The Store! Everything from magnifiers to kitchen aids to labeling needs and so much more. Some new items include a cane belt pack, a talking kitchen thermometer, and labels for a PenFriend device. Nicole can help you with any of your Store needs.
Feel free to call her at 701-795-2714 or 1-800-421-1181, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or feel free to stop on in.
Does anyone remember walkietalkies? The application HeyTell is similar to the function of the walkietalkies just higher tech than the old fashion version! HeyTell is the ultimate cross between walkie-talkies and texting. It connects to people in your contacts list and sends an email or text asking them if they want to communicate with you. Once they accept, all that you need to do is press a button and speak.
After you release the button your voice message is sent. The interface is clean and works perfectly with VoiceOver. HeyTell is a great way to send a quick message and communicate with one another on the run. It is a fun and free app by Voxilate and fairly simple to use!
Focus on Vision
NDVS/SB professionals work with children and adults with a variety of visual conditions. One of the conditions that affects a number of our students is Retinopathy of Prematurity.
Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) is a condition associated with premature birth, in which the growth of normal blood vessels in the retina stops, and abnormal blood vessels develop. As a result, the infant has an increased risk of detachment of the retina. Retinopathy of prematurity can lead to reduced vision or blindness. Laser therapy can help this condition if diagnosis and treatment occur early. Children who experience minor effects may benefit from the use of devices for low vision as they get older. Retinopathy of prematurity was formerly called retrolental fibroplasia.
Thank you Jakob!
Eagle Scout candidate Jakob Volcheck raised the funds and built this informational sign at the NDVS/SB playground. Visitors to the playground will learn a little about people with visual impairment and the history of NDVS/SB. Greg Roufs, maintenance supervisor, coordinated with Jakob as he planned the project.
Sept. 3-9 - Adult Short Term Programming
Sept. 22-27 - Student Short Term Programming
Oct. 6-11 - Student Short Term Programming
Oct. 20-25 - Student Short Term Programming
Nov. 3-8 - Student Short Term Programming
Nov. 11 - Office Closed, Veterans Day
Nov. 28 - Office Closed, Thanksgiving Day
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:
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 - email@example.com
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