Wednesday, December 28, 2022 at 11:00 pm

Categories: All News Items, Adult Programming News, Instruction

by Amy Osvold
Vision Rehabilitation Specialist

NDVS/SB is now offering Individual Adjustment to Vision Loss, services are a one-on-one session with a Social Worker. This may be done in-person during an Adult Week at NDVS/SB or by telephone.

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Monday, December 26, 2022 at 11:00 pm

Categories: All News Items, Superintendent

by Paul Olson, NDVS/SB Superintendent

Gratitude is talked about a lot these days. It has been a thing for a few years to talk about it during particularly hard times, and I think that makes a lot of sense. When people start to think about what they are grateful for, they at least temporarily get their minds off of things that are difficult. That does not change the fact that many people are going through stressful times. Every person’s struggles are unique to them and some situations can truly threaten health and well-being. 

Recently many of the staff at NDVS/SB shared their gratitudes, and I found them so thoughtful and inspiring. It made me think about some of the challenges that some are going through, and they very much reinforced to me how beneficial it is to intentionally think about gratitudes. 

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Tuesday, December 13, 2022 at 11:00 pm

Categories: All News Items, Employee Spotlight, Spotlight

NDVS/SB Assistive Technology Specialist
Smart Phone Enthusiast, Gardener, Vikings Fan

Laurie, her husband Lee and son Eli wear Vikings gear and stand smiling in the stands of the Vikings stadium. The football field can be seen behind them.One of the many perks of working for NDVS/SB is that staff are encouraged to cross-train, continue learning, and even move into new roles if opportunities arise. “One of our best sources for filling key roles has been from within,” explains Superintendent Paul Olson. Assistive Technology Specialist Laurie Westling is one employee whose job looks very different today than it did when she was hired 17 years ago. 

Laurie was originally hired as an administrative assistant. “I primarily worked with the database, entering services and stats reported by instructional staff and assisting our network administrator who was blind,” she explains. “Over the years I learned a lot about assistive technology and how it helps so many people every day. When our network administrator retired, I knew my role would change because I wouldn’t need to be a visual assistant any longer. I was then given the opportunity to work alongside our other assistive technology staff to learn about many types of assistive technology and start working with students and adults.”  

It’s been a perfect fit for Laurie and for NDVS/SB. Paul Olson isn’t surprised. “When there are talented people that are eager to grow and take on new responsibilities, we encourage them to build new skills and fill new roles. Who better to take on the important work that we do than someone who already is dedicated and knows our mission? More often than not, this has been a huge benefit to our agency and the people we serve,” he says. Read on to learn more about Laurie.

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Sunday, November 27, 2022 at 11:00 pm

Categories: All News Items, Assistive Technology

by David Olson
NDVS/SB Information Technology

With the upcoming holidays, there is an increase in email and mobile phone scams. Scammers and hackers are calling or sending fake messages to gain information on things like passwords, account numbers, and social security numbers.  If scammers gain that information, the effects can be devastating and damaging to your accounts and credit.

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Sunday, November 13, 2022 at 11:00 pm

Categories: All News Items, Employee Spotlight, Spotlight

NDVS/SB APH Coordinator/ Administrative Assistant
Bride-to-be, Barrel Racer, Braille Buzz Enthusiast

Lilly (right) stands next to colleague Lanna Slaby at the APH Annual Meeting in October 2022.Lilly Mankie’s job description at NDVS/SB keeps getting longer. “Since starting at NDVS/SB, I have taken on more and more tasks and am always staying busy,” Lilly says. “Busy” is an understatement. Since starting at NDVS/SB in December of 2018, Lilly’s role has grown as she has helped NDVS/SB grow. She has helped implement a new database system and an app that records providers’ statistics, and she has simplified the ordering process for American Printing House for the Blind (APH) products, all of which has made her colleagues’ lives easier, and her work a bit more complicated. Lilly doesn’t seem to mind, however. “I know that my administrative jobs are very important and keep this place running smoothly,” she says. “I also like my coworkers, so that helps!” 

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Tuesday, November 8, 2022 at 11:00 pm

Categories: All News Items

NDVS/SB is once again partnering with the ND Space Grant Consortium to offer a scholarship for college students who are eligible for NDVS/SB services. Up to five scholarships from a collective total of $2,500 will be awarded to students pursuing STEM with at least a 3.0 GPA.

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Monday, November 7, 2022 at 11:00 pm

Categories: All News Items, Student Programming

by Cindy Williams
Student Programming Coordinator

NDVS/SB has collaborated with the North Dakota Space Grant Consortium and their STEM Ambassadors for the last five years. NDSGC has provided hands-on and virtual activities for our students along with providing us with tours of their facilities and equipment on UND’s campus. They have been instrumental in bringing STEM activities to those we serve.

In July, Ken Dockter and I took part in a professional development opportunity hosted by the North Dakota Space Grant Consortium at UND’s Aerospace location on campus. It was presented by the Innovative Differentiated Exploration Activities in Space Science (IDEAS) which includes a team from South Carolina, North Carolina, and the North Dakota Space Grant Consortia. The NASA-in-the-Classroom Educator PD Workshop had a goal of encouraging collaboration between special education educators and a national network of STEM educators and NASA researchers, and our experiences during this workshop will be used to improve inclusive and accessible STEM pedagogy.

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Thursday, September 22, 2022

Categories: All News Items, Adult Programming News, News Event

When are the Adult Instruction Weeks coming up in 2022 – 2023 school year?  September 11-16, December 4-9, March 19-24, May 14-19, June 4-9. What happens during these weeks?  An adult who has lost vision recently, losing vision, or lost vision decades ago, can come to the school for training in the area of Orientation and Mobility, Technology, Daily Living Skills, Braille, Adjustment, Smartphone instruction, and other classes such as Recreation and Leisure, and Vocational.    

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Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Categories: All News Items, Assistive Technology, Instruction, News Event, Student Programming

Seven Students and two teachers that went on a hike at Camp Metigoshe Areaby Cindy Williams  - Coordinator of Student Programs

Welcome back to the 2022-2023 school year and welcome to Student Short-Term Programs at NDVS/SB! I am honored to be the Coordinator of Student Programs and am looking forward to this school year and working with you and your child/student. Our Short-Term Programs (STP) are designed to offer individual and small class instruction through collaboration with families and local schools. While attending our STP's, students share similar experiences unique to the world of visual impairment and take away self-awareness and confidence through this shared experience.

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Friday, September 9, 2022

Categories: All News Items, Adult Programming News, Instruction, News Event, Spotlight, Student Programming, Superintendent

By Paul OlsonImage of Paul Olson a middle aged man with short hear, glasses, goatee, with a white shirt and red tie standing by a brick wall.

Ready Set Go! Ready or not it’s the beginning of a new school year. With this new beginning comes a great deal of anticipation I hope all of which is good. There is an energy in the air with the excitement of students being with friends again and for the love of learning. 

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