By Nancy Scott
The Keystone Council of the Blind is a statewide telephone chapter within the Pennsylvania Council of the Blind. We normally call in to meet on the first Saturday of each month at 11 a.m. We’ve done serious chapter work and we’ve had helpful presentations including: exercise strategies from Blind Alive, a non-24 discussion with Vanda Pharmaceuticals, a talk-off between Google Home and Alexa, and information concerning special bank accounts for people with disabilities.
But who are we you may ask. Well, some of us have been blind our whole lives, while others of us have had full sight and lost it. We have two technology trainers, one of whom is famous in the podcast world. Several of us have artistic leanings with a creator of note cards and a freelance writer in our midst. Our NASCAR fan says that, without Jeff Gordon and Dale Jr., the thrill might be “gone.” One of our members sings in choirs and reads Braille music. (Take it from me that’s not easy to do.) There is a pre-law student back in school after many years. We have fans of NASA, gardeners, community volunteers and members who run rooms and boards on telephone systems. Some of us are employed. One member was born in Scotland and she still has the cool accent. She is “passionate about Braille.”
My favorite moment of our recent Meet-And-Greet session came near the end of our chat. A member mentioned that he’d been a gospel singer and then he added, “We have thirteen chickens and one turkey and I feed the chickens.” Now who would have expected that?
We have much in common but much that is individual. (I’m afraid of chickens unless they are already cooked.) We are younger and older and eager to contribute and to learn about helpful resources. And we seem to have a lot of birthdays in March. I’m sure I missed a few comments and skills even though I was Brailling notes as fast as I could.
As I am editing this article, I am listening to a Soyuz crew open their hatches to the International Space Station. I’m using a pair of walkie-talkies to listen in my living room to the television in my bedroom. I don’t need the picture; just the sound. So, yes, I’m one of the NASA Nerds.
If you’re at our next Meet-And-Greet, you can hear new accomplishments and more mysteries. And we’ll ask you about your life— the important facts and the fun stuff. Neither snow nor sniffles nor dress codes nor lack of transportation can stop us. For more information about KCB, contact President Mary Ann Cowfer at 814-215-0853 or firstname.lastname@example.org.