Friday, June 14, 2024 at 01:00 am

Categories: All News Items, Spotlight

Wearing an apron that says "Alfred" at the top and the masterchef logo below, Alfred smiles at the camera. He has shaggy red hair and wears black-rimmed glasses.Recently, Alfred Eggermont from Binford, ND, fulfilled a lifelong dream: he starred in a cooking competition show. Alfred has had this dream since he was just a little boy. He started helping his mom cook at only 3 years old. At 5, he began watching cooking shows, and at 6, he was cooking full meals for his family. This past spring, at the ripe old age of 12, he starred on MasterChef Junior, a cooking competition show hosted by British chef and restauranter Gordon Ramsay, that airs on FOX. Twelve young chefs began the competition, and Alfred made into the top six before being eliminated. People all over the country fell in love with Alfred and his fellow competitors. But what the audience didn’t know is that Alfred has a visual impairment and receives services from North Dakota Vision Services/School for the Blind (NDVS/SB). 


Wednesday, May 1, 2024 at 01:00 am

Categories: All News Items

by Cindy Williams
NDVS/SB Coordinator of Student Programs

Summer is right around the corner and the nice weather teases us with excitement for the long, hot summer days enjoying the sunshine. Before we get too excited about the summer fun to come, I want to share some of the wonderful experiences our students have had during our short-term programs occurring on and off-site. These programs have brought growth and educational experiences incorporating the Expanded Core Curriculum. Our students have connected with others living with vision loss, have grown personally, learned skills along the way, gone out of their comfort zone and have had some fun!

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Wednesday, May 1, 2024 at 01:00 am

Categories: All News Items, Superintendent

by Paul Olson
NDVS/SB Superintendent

headshot of Paul, who has graying hair and wears glasses.NDVS/SB provides services to children and adults across the state. We are always trying to get the word out about all we do. It’s ironic then that one of the locations in the state that may know the least about our awesome program is right here in Grand Forks. So many times, when we talk to many Grand Forks residents they ask: “How many students do you have at the school?” We answer that it depends on the week which really tends to make people look very confused. We will tell them we have not had regular students living at our school since 1995, and they look even more confused. These awkward conversations prove that we need to do a better job of getting the word out about the cool things we do right here in good ol’ Grand Forks. Therefore, we will be holding our biggest, best open house we have had in years on May 21st. There will be food, tours, fun games, vision loss simulations, and a special speaker from the Seeing Eye dog guide school. Everyone is invited. Our theme is Open House, Open Doors, Open Eyes: Come "See" at NDVS/SB!

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Friday, April 12, 2024 at 01:00 am

Categories: All News Items

Abby Wilhelmi is in her second year of optometry school at the Illinois College of Optometry (ICO) in Chicago. While attending the University of North Dakota for her undergrad, Abby volunteered at North Dakota Vision Services/School forAbby stands by a sign that reads Illinois College of Optometry while wearing a white coat representing her work towards her doctorate degree. She smiles at the camera. the Blind (NDVS/SB), helping digitize records and doing a wide variety of other tasks. Through her volunteering, Abby saw “how a school for the blind can make such a positive impact in people’s lives.” Now, as she makes her way through optometry school, the relationship between eye care professionals and vision rehabilitation services has become even more apparent. NDVS/SB Superintendent Paul Olson explains, “Optometrists often provide the first essential care in most cases but serve their patients best when they are aware of educational programs and rehabilitation services designed to provide solutions for people dealing with significant vision deficits.” In a sense, NDVS/SB relies on eye care professionals to tell their patients about our services and what we have to offer. Making eye professionals in North Dakota aware of the services NDVS/SB provides is a way to ensure that those who need our services will receive them. “The more we know about each other’s disciplines, the better, and this leads to teamwork that does really improves lives,” Paul explains.   

Abby keeps in touch with staff at NDVS/SB and took time out of her very busy schedule to share a bit about her life as an optometric student. Find out what a typical day is like for her now, some of the biggest lessons she’s learned in her first two years at ICO, and where she sees herself in five years by reading the Q&A below. 

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Monday, March 25, 2024 at 01:00 pm

Categories: All News Items, Student Programming

Kaylyn, a 19-year-old freshman at Minot State University, and Ryder, a 15-year-old 9th grader from Carrington, have never met in person, but over the last nine months, they have shared their hopes and dreams with each other, as well as their struggles and frustrations. Once a week since last June, these two girls have talked to each other about friendship, their families, goals, self-esteem, and what it’s like to be a teenager. They’ve given each other advice, made each other laugh, and become good friends. What brought these two teenagers together? Their disabilities – both girls have a visual impairment and are deaf/hard of hearing – and the suggestion from NDVS/SB Vision Rehabilitation Specialist Amy Osvold that the two would find a lot to talk about.

Amy, who also has a master’s in social work, had the idea to start a mentorship program after middle school students asked her to sign a petition during their week-long program at NDVS/SB. Their petition, it turned out, was that they wanted to have more program weeks with the high school students. “They liked that example,” Amy explains. There is always one program week in the spring that both middle and high school students attend, but when Amy learned how much the students themselves appreciated that time together, she decided that she could connect students even when they’re not at NDVS/SB, in a safe place, and on their own schedule. “I think it’s really important that students with vision loss know someone else with vision loss who is in that next life stage so that they can talk about what to expect, kind of the good, the bad, and the ugly,” Amy explains.

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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