Tuesday, January 2, 2024 at 02:00 pm

Categories: All News Items, Superintendent

by Paul Olson, NDVS/SB Superintendent

The past year was very impactful with so many memorable activities and events that it is challenging to list them all. I do understand, however, that most everyone just wants the “Reader’s Digest” version. When it’s all said and done, our hope is that every small thing we do adds up to helping people achieve and meet their goals. While recognizing we can always do more and do it better, I am confident that we did just that. 

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Tuesday, December 26, 2023 at 03:00 pm

Categories: All News Items, Adult Programming News, Instruction

by Ken Dockter, Adult Program Coordinator

How can a person sweep a floor if they are low vision or blind? This is a great question and a task that needs to be completed when cleaning the house. A technique that works quite well is the clock method, also known as the rainbow pattern. When a person uses this technique, they should use an upright boom, not a push broom. First, take the broom and sweep around the edges of the room, pulling the dirt out from the corners. Once this is completed, stand a few feet away from the walls in front of you and on the side of you, making sure that you can reach all the way to the wall in front of you and to your left side, with the broom.

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Monday, December 25, 2023 at 11:00 pm

Categories: All News Items, Student Programming

by Cindy Williams, Coordinator of Student Programs

This semester we’ve had a full house for our numerous student programs. While students attend our programs, we instruct in the areas of the Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC). The ECC goes beyond academic skills and bridges the gap between academics and life skills, giving our students the opportunity to learn skills to lead independent and productive lives.

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Monday, November 13, 2023 at 11:00 pm

Categories: All News Items, Employee Spotlight, Spotlight

NDVS/SB Business Manager
Grandma, Listener, Our Newest Employee!

Change is hard. Whenever someone retires, there is worry about who will be hired to replace the retiring employee and how the new person will measure up. Luckily, Paula Solheim, who was hired last month to replace NDVS/SB’s retiring business manager Tami Purcell, is an expert in change. Having grown up in a military family, she got used to moving around in her childhood. New home, new school, new community, changes galore. Now, as the business manager at NDVS/SB, Paula is getting used to more change – new job, new tasks, new staff. But with her experience, knowledge, and flexibility, she is excited for her new role and the challenges – and change – it will bring. “I like change! But only if it is for the better,” she says. “I feel we can all still learn, so if the change is a good one, I am all for it!” Read on to learn more about NDVS/SB’s newest employee, Paula.

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Monday, September 11, 2023

Categories: All News Items, Instruction, News Event, Spotlight

M&M Movement and Mobility October 11-13 Grand Forks, ND

Join us in October at the Dakotas AER Conference! Register here today! Registration Link 

2023 Dakotas AER Conference

Speakers Include Rod Kossick, Chuck Huss, Dr. Cindy Rolas, Nicola McDowel

Hotel Room Block Hampton Inn State Rate Discount until September 10 701-757-2255 Promo Code DAC

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Categories: All News Items, The Store

The Store at NDVS/SB has a new look! In order to give customers more privacy when trying out and purchasing products, the Store moved into the Vision Resource3 shelving units stand next to each other full of Store products. The bottom portion has drawers and the top portion are open shelves. There are a variety of products, including magnifiers, talking clocks, large print books, tactile glue, writing guides, and many other assistive tech devices shown. Center area. A corner of the VRC is now cordoned off with portable walls, and Store products are featured there. Now, when you come into NDVS/SB to visit the Store, you will have more privacy when trying out products and when visiting with Ryan, the Store Manager, or someone else who may be helping you. Come in soon to see the new look for yourself!

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Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Categories: All News Items, Superintendent

by Paul Olson
NDVS/SB Superintendent

I would like to enthusiastically welcome everyone back to school for the 2023-2024 school year. The beginning of a school year can come with lots of emotions. My favorite emotions this time of year are hope and enthusiasm. I will admit my enthusiasm can ebb and flow from day to day, but I get very energized when I witness good work being done on behalf of students of all ages. Right now, we are getting lots of reminders from parents and schools getting geared up for the new year. School supplies, school safety, and school sports are all being talked about on the news. At NDVS/SB, our teachers both in Grand Forks and in our regional offices are already visiting schools, sending out special materials and attending meetings. These are all activities that we normally would talk about each Fall but perhaps we don’t always tell how NDVS/SB helps with students in college. We do serve people of all ages and we have a long tradition of being a resource and more for students with visual impairment in college. There are two recent examples of some great work our staff have done on behalf of a couple of hard-working college students to help them on their journey.

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Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Categories: All News Items, Employee Spotlight, Spotlight

Vision Resource Center Specialist
Former Intern & Mom-to-be

Karli stands next to her husband. He is holding a blue bib and wearing a shirt that says "the baker." Karli's shirt says "bun in the oven."Three years ago, in August 2020, Karli Talley first stepped foot into North Dakota Vision Services/School for the Blind in Grand Forks. She was just about to start her senior year at UND and needed to do an internship for her degree in Rehabilitation and Human Services. “I applied for a few different places, but after an interview with Mr. Olson and Mr. Dockter, NDVS/SB seemed like a great place for my internship experience,” Karli says. As an intern, Karli, who grew up in Mora, MN, was able to observe all that NDVS/SB does across the state and help the agency out in a variety of ways. “Throughout that semester, I realized that it was in fact a great fit, so I extended my practical experience another semester,” Karli explains. But as graduation approached, it seemed NDVS/SB wasn’t done with Karli yet. “During that second semester, it was mentioned to me that there would likely be a job opportunity opening up shortly after my graduation,” Karli says. “I enjoyed my internship at NDVS/SB, so I was eager to apply for my current position as the Vision Resource Center Specialist and delighted to accept the job offer!” Read on to find out what Karli does in her role as Vision Resource Center Specialist, why you will find her at the Farmer’s Market on Saturdays, and when her family will be growing by one!

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Friday, August 18, 2023

Categories: All News Items, Adult Programming News, Instruction, Spotlight

Amy Osvold, MSW, has worked at NDVS/SB for 15 years as a Vision Rehabilitation Specialist. She has worked primarily with adults but has done some work with middle and high school students, mostly focusing on Daily Living Skills. Amy recently received her Master of Social Work degree from Florida State University. With a new degree, Amy will be providing new services to adults and students. Learn more about how she can help you or your loved one with vision loss by reading on.

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Thursday, August 3, 2023

Categories: All News Items, Spotlight

Carmen Grove Suminski died Wednesday, July 5, 2023, at her daughter’s home in Cashton, WI, of congestive heart failure. Carmen was a long-time employee of the School for the Blind, from 1969-1973 and then again from 1991 until she retired as superintendent in 2013. Carmen’s impact on the School is still felt today. She was at the helm during its transition from a residential school to one serving students and clients through outreach and short-term programming, when its name changed to North Dakota Vision Services/School for the Blind, and during its centennial celebration in 2008 when she compiled a book, Recollections of 100 Years of Excellence. She is fondly remembered by current staff and former employees, former students and clients, fellow Lions, and the many other vision professionals she worked with around the nation. We are so grateful for her leadership and her caring professionalism.

A close-up of Carmen and Amanda. Carmen is seated and Amanda, to her right, hugs her with her left arm.At her mother’s funeral, Amanda Schultz Garcia eulogized, “To know my mom was to know me, and to know me was to know my mom.” Even though she held many titles throughout her life – teacher, Director of Education, Superintendent, President of COSB – Amanda’s mom, Carmen Suminski, was, first and foremost, mom. While growing up in Arizona and then North Dakota, Amanda remembers her mom taking “an extreme interest in me,” Amanda laughs. “If I was a part of it, she volunteered, whether it was soccer, theater, music, or school.” 

Carmen is remembered as someone who was extremely dedicated to her job and “always working,” Amanda remembers. “Even before you could check your email on your phone, she would be writing letters and notes in the evening.” But family always came first. “She was very family-oriented,” remembers Ken Dockter, a longtime employee of the School for the Blind. “She loved her parents, loved Amanda and her grandson Carter. She always talked about her cousins.” Amanda concurs, “There was always someone she was taking care of.” 

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