2014 Convention Newsletter


Come Join Us!

Oklahoma Council of the Blind

2014 Annual Conference and Convention

September 12-14, 2014

Crowne Plaza Southern Hills Hotel

7902 S. Lewis Avenue

Tulsa, Ok



President’s Message:  Elaine Boykin


You have in your hands, or in your ear, the exciting OCB convention newsletter which will provide you with all the current information of our upcoming convention to be held in Tulsa, September 12, 13 & 14, 2014.  As always, the convention committee has been hard at work to provide you with some outstanding activities that will touch all aspects of your life, such as, career, technology and lifestyle.  The OCB Board has approved 10 first-time scholarships and I encourage you to find an individual who has never attended and have them take advantage of this scholarship and also be their mentor for the weekend.  We all remember what it is like to be the new kid on the block and what a relief it is to have someone show us the ropes, so step forward and assist.  The Heartland and Tulsa chapters also are providing scholarships so they can be taken advantage of as well.

        Thank you for the opportunity to serve you as president for the past two years.  Now I will be stepping back to afford this opportunity to someone else, but I will not be far away as I will continue to work for such a fine organization as OCB. So now, I will turn the newsletter over to the real meat of the matter and that is all the information on our convention from our convention co-chairs Jesse Martinez and Julie Bailey. 

2014 Convention Highlights:: 

Julie Bailey & Jesse Martinez, Convention Co-Chairs


Meet Our Feature Speaker

Deborah Keefer Kendrick is an award-winning journalist, poet, and technologist.  Her newspaper column on disability rights has appeared in numerous newspapers since 1986, including the Cincinnati Enquirer, Columbus Dispatch, San Francisco Chronicle, and others.  She founded and edited TACTIC in 1986, a magazine which covered access technology for blind people and was read worldwide from 1985-1999, when it was acquired by the American Foundation for the Blind in order to launch AccessWorld.  Since that shift in 2000, she has served as senior features editor for AccessWorld, writing product reviews and profiles of leaders in the access technology industry. 

Deborah has written the Jobs That Matter series of books for AFB Press, a series profiling a wide variety of blind and visually impaired individuals and the jobs they do.  Her features, editorials, and reviews have also appeared in numerous regional and national publications including Woman’s Day, Parenting, Marriage and Family, St. Anthony Messenger, and many others.  Her poetry appears in two anthologies. 

Her teaching experiences have included a variety of settings for blind children and adults, college English at a major university, skills ranging from crochet to poetry writing to children in public and private schools and, most recently, working as a trainer in the iCanConnect program, teaching deaf-blind individuals to use technology for communication.  She serves on a number of boards and councils, has three grown children, and lives in Cincinnati. 


"ACT" Now And Plan To Be With Us


A-C-T-- Advocating for Change Together

The 2014 Oklahoma Council of the Blind State Convention

will take place September 12-14, 2014 at the Crowne Plaza Southern Hills Hotel, 7902 S. Lewis Avenue, Tulsa, Ok, and have we got a weekend of activities planned for you:

·       Friday there will be a dynamic seminar on Employment  & Assistive Technology:  How can we prepare ourselves for work, how do we network, how can technology benefit us in our work careers.  How we help those employers see a person who might be blind - not a blind person. 

·       Friday night you will be welcomed by the OCB officers and Conference Committee Chairs Jesse Martinez & Julie Bailey, which will lead into the chance to add your input to important OCB resolutions and Constitution and Bylaws changes.  If you are new to our group, this is the time to be introduced and be paired with a mentor.

·       A carnival game night on Friday night, with all the wonderful carnie food we love.  This will give you the time to build new friendships and re-new old ones;

·       Exhibits Saturday from 8 am to 5 pm.  Exhibits include:  high-tech computers and CCTVs, low-tech independent living aids, arts and crafts, home decorating aids and some new vendors you have not seen before.

·       It doesn’t end on Friday, no, we are just getting started.  On Saturday you will have special updates by Department of Rehabilitation Services Director Dr. Joe Cordova as well as Visual Services Administrator, Doug Boone;

·       You will have the opportunity to hear Dr. John Sassin of Langston University, Tulsa, speak about social justice.  It is concerned with equal justice, not just in the courts, but in all aspects of society. This concept demands that people have equal rights and opportunities; everyone, from the poorest person on the margins of society to the wealthiest deserves an even playing field.

·       Much, much more will take place on Saturday with additional speakers, our awards luncheon, banquet and evening activities.

·       An oral and silent auction.  Don’t miss auctioneer Pat Kelly, who adds humor and challenge to his auctioneering pizzazz and assist us in raising funds to keep OCB going during its mission of advocacy for Oklahomans’ with blindness and low vision.

·       A non-denominational church service on Sunday morning is where we can give praise to our Lord for all that he has created and for our lives.

·       Then we have the most important part of OCB, our Annual Business Meeting where we take care of very important OCB business. We discuss and pass resolutions to make this world accessible to all. We decide on our leaders of OCB to lead us into the future. This is a time to advocate the future of the Oklahoma Council of the Blind. 


Please register as soon as possible so the Conference and Convention Committee has time to prepare your name tags and registration packets in advance.


Please complete the form below and mail, along with your payment, to Jeanne Meyer, 814 North F Street, Muskogee, OK  74403.  Make checks payable to "The Oklahoma Council of the Blind."

You can also find the registration form on the OCB website okcb.org.


The $80.00 registration fee is an excellent deal.  Please remember that the Oklahoma Council of the Blind must cover the expense of meeting rooms, printing the convention program, paying for incidentals such as meals and lodging for speakers, etc. Also the cost of our meeting rooms is impacted by how many people reserve sleeping rooms at the hotel.  We appreciate your support.


Make Those Reservations NOW!!!!

        Hotel rooms run $80 a night plus tax for up to 4 people. Guaranteed room rate if reservation made by September 8, 2014.  Crowne Plaza Southern Hills 918-492-5000 for reservations or 1-877-227-6963. Reservation block code: OCB

        The Crowne Plaza Southern Hills has an indoor outdoor swimming pool on the second floor. There is a Starbucks and lounge on first floor next to the lobby.

        The hotel is next to a Sonic and Super Wal-Mart. The Oklahoma Aquarium is only 3 miles away from the hotel and the River Spirit Casino is only 1 mile away.


Convention Scholarships

Is this your first time to go to an OCB Convention?  Do you need a little help with the financial burden of attending the convention? If you are blind and would like to apply for one of 10 scholarships for convention, please email or write a letter telling us why you would like to attend.  The scholarship will only cover the $80 registration fee for Saturday and Sunday or $100 registration fee if you plan on attending the Friday as well as the weekend meetings. Scholarships will be first awarded to individuals who are first-timers depending on the date applications are received. Contact Vicky Golightly, 425 N.W. 27th, Oklahoma City, OK 73103 or e-mail her at vgolight@yahoo.com. You can also contact her at (405) 740-6227. Applications must be received by September 1.      


Convention Sponsorship Opportunity

Sponsorships support the OCB and help us with our convention weekend expenses. Your name will appear in the program as a sponsor and you will also be recognized at the convention during one of the general sessions. Convention sponsorship levels are:  Patron, $5; Silver, $10; Gold, $20; and Platinum, $30.  Send your check to our treasurer, Jeanne Meyer (address listed above) and be sure to tell us of your wish to become a sponsor and at what level. The OCB sincerely appreciates your generosity.


Convention Advertising

Do you have a business you’d like to advertise? What about those arts and crafts you’d like to sell? Do our OCB chapters feel this urgent need to tout their outstanding programs? Place an advertisement in the convention program at the following rates:  quarter page, $25; half page, $50; and full page, $100. Please make checks payable to the Oklahoma Council of the Blind and send them to Treasurer Jeanne Meyer, indicating the money is to be used for an advertisement.


Time for Awards Nominations!!!

It is almost time for the 2014 Conference and Convention of the Oklahoma Council of the Blind and once again, we have the chance to say “thank you” to the people that help us all year long.

OCB has two awards when we honor individuals we feel have been helpful above and beyond each year. So, let us get busy and think about who you would like to nominate for each of these awards.

Below are the guidelines for the two awards.  Letters of recommendation should be sent to me at: Robertmoore1@me.com.




Gordon P. Stevens Award

The Gordon P. Stephens Award has been established by the Oklahoma Federation of the Blind (now the Oklahoma Council of the Blind) to honor and memorialize a long time member of this organization. His kind, generous, unassuming manner graced the lives of many blind people within and outside of the organization. The following guidelines have been established for selection of the recipient of this award:


(1)    This award shall be conferred only at such time as a fully qualified and deserving candidate is selected. (Not on a regular basis).


(2)    The recipient of the award shall be an individual, or

individuals, whose voluntary services to blind persons and/or organizations of and for the blind have been  meritorious, unselfish, and without personal remuneration.


(3)    The President of the Oklahoma Council of the Blind shall appoint an Awards Committee consisting of a chairman and two additional members of the Oklahoma Council of the Blind; and


(4)    The Committee shall select a recipient of this award not less than thirty days prior to the Oklahoma Council of the Blind Annual Convention at which the award is to be conferred. The committee may use its discretion in notifying the recipient in advance of the presentation. A plaque or some other appropriate item shall be selected by the committee as a tangible recognition of the award.


An award nomination form will be accompanied by a letter enumerating the qualifications of the candidate. The nomination shall further be supported by two additional letters of recommendation.




Gordon P. Stephens Award Nomination Form






City, State, Zip:






(use more space if necessary):









City, State, Zip:





All nominations must be submitted either by mail or e-mail to the Chair of the Awards Committee no later than 30 days prior to the OCB State Convention.


LeRoy F. Saunders Award

The Oklahoma Council of the Blind instituted the LeRoy Saunders award in 2002. This award is in honor of Mr. Leroy Saunders who contributed a lifetime of dedicated effort in promoting the abilities of individuals who are blind and to improve their quality of life. His professional endeavors expanded employment opportunities for Oklahomans who are blind. His national advocacy role through active participation in the American Council of the Blind and the President's Committee For Purchase From People Who are Blind or Severely Disabled exemplifies his lifelong achievements in the field of blindness.


The guidelines for nominations are as follows:


Nominees for this prestigious award should demonstrate extraordinary effort in promoting employment and advocacy activities, which promotes the abilities of Oklahomans who are blind.


1.   Any person employed and/or residing within the State of Oklahoma is eligible. The award may be made posthumously provided that death has not taken place more than twelve months prior to the nomination.


2.   Persons nominated for the award should be considered carefully. The person must have made some outstanding contribution to services in the field of work for the blind. The nominee should be selected solely on merit and performance. Any member of OCB in the state is eligible to submit the name of a nominee.


3.   Nominations shall be submitted on a form provided by the awards committee (also found on the OCB website) and supporting statements should adequately justify the person's nomination.


4.   A person who has retired or resigned from his employment or volunteer services may be nominated provided that they have left within five years of nomination.


LeRoy F. Saunders Award Nomination Form






City, State, Zip:






(use more space if necessary):









City, State, Zip:





All nominations must be submitted either by mail or e-mail to the Chair of the Awards Committee no later than 30 days prior to the OCB State Convention.



Nominations can be sent to me at Robertmoore1@me.com

Or by U.S. mail at 1141 S.W. 46th, Oklahoma City, Ok  73109.



       It is very difficult for organizations to keep up with current information on all of our members so please provide us with any changes you might have.  We are making every attempt we can to reduce mailing costs, so please, if we can send our newsletter to you by e-mail, provide us with your e-mail address.  You can do this by sending it to me at elaine18@cox.net or call me at 405 942-3413.  I always enjoy talking with members and I attempt to keep our ACB list as current as possible.  Thank you in advance. 



2014 Candidates Forum


I do want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who attended the 2014 Candidates Forum on August 9 at the History Center in OKC. This was a time for many organizations to participate with members and meet candidates running for various state positions.  Each candidate had the opportunity to speak for 4 minutes and address many topics of interest to those of us with a disability, such as transportation and cuts to current services, to name a few.  Candidates attending were:


Sarah Baker, Yukon

Hiawatha Bouldin, Midwest City

Scott Brockman, Norman

Michael Brooks-Jimenez, OKC

Duane Crumbacher, Midwest City

David Dank, OKC

Mark DeShazo, Midwest City

John Edwards, OKC

Constance Fawcett, OKC

Joan Farr, Broken Arrow

Claudia Griffith, Norman

Ed Holzberger, OKC

Connie Johnson, OKC

Steve Kern, OKC

Willard Linzy, OKC

Al McAffrey, OKC

Cyndi Munson, OKC

Steve Russell, OKC

Mark Thomas, Yukon

Eleanor Thompson, OKC

Collin Walke, OKC

George Young, OKC







2014 Oklahoma Council of the Blind Conference and Convention Registration


Please complete the form below and mail, with your payment, to Jeanne Meyer, 814 North F Street, Muskogee, OK 74403.  Make check payable to "The Oklahoma Council of the Blind."


Name ____________________________________________


City_______________ State__________ Zip____________

Work Phone (      )___________________________________

Home Phone __)___________________________________

E-Mail ____________________________________________

____ Friday Employment Registration Only                $60.00

____ OCB Registration Only                                         $80.00       

____ Registration For Both                                           $100.00

____ Extra Lunch Ticket

 (applies to people with friends and family

   already registered at the convention)               $25.00

____ Extra Banquet Ticket

        (applies to people with friends and family

           already registered at the convention)               $30.00 


Sat Lunch ___Chicken Fried Steak ___Chicken____Vegetarian

Sat Banquet ___Pot Roast___Chicken___Vegetarian

I need my program in __ Large Print  __ Braille  __ Disk

_____ I need an assistive listening device

Other Special Needs________________________________


Hotel is $80 a night plus tax for up to 4 people. Guaranteed room rate if reservation made by September 8, 2014.

Crowne Plaza Southern Hills 918-492-5000 for reservations or 1-877-227-6963. Reservation block code: OCB

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