Nevada Council of the Blind: President's Message

(Since May, 2010, a “President's Message” with an informational insert has been sent to members. We still call our official newsletter the “Silver Banner” and someday the newsletter format may again be used.)

President's Message

April 3, 2018

Hello fellow NCB members,

An important project NCB has been working on with other groups is the establishment of a bus system within Pahrump. With a geographical area of some 364 square miles this bedroom community to Las Vegas has an estimated population of some 36,400 residents. Being a retirement community it has a high percentage of elderly and disabled who can live cheaper than in Las Vergas yet have the benefits of Las Vegas services.

Pahrump is a township within Nye County and is one of eighteen inhabited areas of the County, none of which are incorporated cities. There are also fourteen ghost towns in Nye County, according to Wikpedia. So why is this important to establishing a bus system? It is because the Nye County residents are independent, privacy loving and adamantly opposed to increasing any taxes and when you want to set up a bus system everyone automatically thinks taxes are going up.

This was the biggest hurdle to overcome. When the current Nye County Transportation Committee again began to plan to establish a bus system in Pahrump about five years ago the opposition that had killed past efforts rose up again. However this time the Committee took a different path towards success. It did not try to increase taxes. It got together with the Regional Transportation Committee in Clark County and other established bus systems to see where they received their funding from.

The Committee found the funding would come from grants and partnered with the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) as it is the licensing agency and regulator. Thanks to dedicated and inspired Committee members researching sources of funding and patiently working up proposed budgets they repeatedly submitted to NDOT and collaborating with others so things began to happen. Like Salt Lake City donated four shuttle busses. They are smaller than the huge city busses that we are accustomed to and more maneuverable.

The donation of the busses led to a key event happening in the effort to start a bus system. The opposition was adamant in their belief there was no need for the bus system. Well a deal was worked out where one bus was donated to the Veterans Administration (VA) to transport veterans to and from the VA Clinic in Pahrump and Las Vegas. The opposition to the bus system was surprised to see the immediate positive response to the VA bus, which they also thought was un-necessary. The need for public transportation could not have been more graphically demonstrated. This caused major opponents of the bus system, especially county commissioners, to change their minds and change sides in the debate.

With the establishment of the facts grants would pay for the system so no new taxes would be needed and by establishing there was a real demand for public transportation the opposition melted away.

The Senior Center became a partner early in the effort and stepped forward to be the primary agency to run the system. A proposed budget was finally accepted by NDOT and the dream was coming true. The system was set up as an “On Demand” system where people would call to make an appointment to be picked up at their homes and transported. This is just like the Paratransit system we have in Clark County.

On Monday, February 26, 2018, the “Pahrump Valley Public Transportation” (PVPT) was officially launched. This was a major event in the history of Pahrump. There was a ribbon cutting ceremony with speeches and news coverage. The three busses dedicated to the system were shown off briefly as they had to get back on the road to carry passengers. Demand is so high more busses are already being sought. Ten drivers have been hired and trained.

This project took five years and is well worth every bit of the effort. We thank Kathy Welsh, our NCB representative and everyone else involved. But how do you thank someone who puts five years into resolving an issue? Perhaps by our picking up the next issue and making the same commitment… What a commitment and how great the reward.

Our next meeting of the Las Vegas members will take place Wednesday, April 18, 2018, from 1:00 to 3:00 pm in the East Las Vegas Senior/Community Center, 250 N. Eastern Avenue, Las Vegas NV 89101.

Our next Pahrump meeting will be Wednesday, April 25, 2018, from 12:30 to 1:30 pm in the Senior Center, 370 West Basin Avenue, Pahrump, 89060.

Thank you for being a member of NCB. You are why NCB exists.

Rick Kuhlmey, President “To be successful one needs to do something”

The National Gallery of Prague Is Using VR to Introduce the Blind to Iconic Sculptures

Article Link:

“No touching!”

The phrase is the bane of many children who find themselves in museums meant to teach them how to appreciate art … but instead teach them they’re bulls in china shops.

This must be all the more frustrating for the blind, who mostly can’t conceive of the art at all if they can’t use their other senses. With this in mind, the National Gallery of Prague launched “Touching Masterpieces,” a campaign that lets them touch iconic sculptures in virtual space.

Created with help from Geometry Prague and NeuroDigital, in collaboration with the Leontinka Foundation for the blind and visually impaired, the virtual reality experience features haptic Avatar VR gloves, specially adapted for this campaign, that let the blind “touch” work like Michelangelo’s David, Venus de Milo and the bust of Nefertiti.

Think of it as the anatomy lesson you never had.

“Blind children are usually taught in school with relief aids and tactile pictures that far from accurately reflect reality,” explains Barbara Hucková, executive director of the Leontinka Foundation. “This new technology is an incredible breakthrough allowing pupils to touch what was absolutely unattainable before.”

Like the world imagined in Ready Player One, haptic gloves enable you to touch 3-D objects in virtual space. When you reach out to touch something, your sense of depth and texture passes through the unit as vibrating feedback. Multi-frequency technology can stimulate different types of skin cells’ tactile responses, giving the blind a detailed “sense” of the object they’re touching.

“Through curiosity, pursuit of innovation and a passion for creativity, we realized that specially-adapted haptic technology could open doors to a unique art experience for the blind,” says Geometry Prague creative director Julia Dovlatova. “Our collaboration with NeuroDigital helped us fine tune haptic gloves to ‘see’ art through virtual reality touch.”

“Touching Masterpieces” went live at the National Gallery of Prague between March 23-24.

NOTE: Due to the constant [pressure of NCB members and friends requesting the prescription readers more and more pharmacies are using them. Please continue to ask your Pharmacist to provide the service if they do not already. Prescription readers save lives so we need to continue to respectfully request them. In the meantime many users are turning to online or phone order pharmacies who do when their favorite drugstore does not. Here again is the list of pharmacies using ScripTalk sent out last month. Please don’t take any chances.
Thank you.

President's Message

March 3, 2017

Dear fellow NCB members,

The Nevada Legislature, which meets once every two years, opened its 79th session February 6th. The Bill Draft Request (BDR) asking for Prescription Readers be given to the print impaired in Nevada has been introduced. It is Senate Bill 131, or as abbreviated, SB 131. It was introduced by Senator Denis on Monday, February 13. The language is clear and succinct, covering all the bases wonderfully. Our compliments to the Bill Writer.

SB 131 has been sent to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Labor and Energy for its first hearing. Once it clears the Committee it will go to the Senate floor for a vote. When it passes it will be sent to the Assembly for another hearing and floor vote. It must pass through both Committees and both floor votes. After it does it will be sent to the Governor for his signature and it will then become Law on the designated date.

Information with the Committee member’s names and contact information has been sent out to all members for you to participate in educating the Legislators. First we will contact the Senate Committee, then the Senators and then repeat it all again in the Assembly. Please ask family, friends and other organizations you may be a member of to join with us to pass SB 131 so we can have the digital prescription Readers to know which medications we are taking. It is vital to our health.

The ADA has been a Law for some 30 years now. It simply states the Disabled will have equal access to…. Yet the Law as it is has been ignored to a large extent. It is time for that to change to where we can at least figure out which prescriptions we are taking by ourselves. All too often there is no one around when it is time to take those pills we depend on that may harm us as well if taken improperly.

If you so desire to learn more please go to the Nevada Legislature’s website at It is a treasure trove of information on current events.

Please at least call the Legislators on the numbers provided and help pass SB 131. Many have and found it quick and simple to do.

Please come join us for a “Meet & Greet” on Saturday, March 18 from 11 to 2 pm. Where? At the “Habit Burger Grill”, 365 Hughes Center Drive, Las Vegas, 89169. That is one block West of Paradise on E. Flamingo. We are just going to have fun, eat and go home for a nap. See you there!

Please remember to renew your membership if you have not already done so. We must report our membership by March 15th to the American Council of the Blind to determine how many delegates NCB will have at the national convention. At $10.00 a year, our dues are very inexpensive and very worthwhile. Call 702-383-0600 if you are not sure of your membership status. We are so close to a 100% of possible renewals.

Our Pahrump members put on a Blind Awareness Day event Saturday, February 25th in the Nugget Hotel/Casino in Pahrump. It was a wonderful event with so much information one attendee later said: “I had all but given up and was resigned to doing nothing the rest of my life. This has changed my mind”. A great big thank you to everyone who participated and worked to make it happen. So many members turned out it is great!

The ACB convention is happening this coming June 30 to July 8 in Sparks Nevada. We want to have several delegate positions available so more members can vote at the convention. Please plan to attend the national convention. Call for information about expenses and how to lower them 702-383-0600. You can also do a fundraiser to cover your expenses.

Included with this message is a way to access Uber and Lyft without a smart phone. Yes, this service has been available for about a year now.

Our next meeting of the Las Vegas members will take place Wednesday March 15 from 1 to 3 pm in the East Las Vegas Senior/Community Center, 250 N. Eastern Avenue, Las Vegas NV 89101.

Our next Pahrump meeting will be Wednesday, March 29 from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm in the Senior Center, 370 West Basin Avenue, Pahrump, NV, 89060. If we have as much fun as we did at the February meeting we will have to lengthen the meetings.

Thank you for being a member of NCB. You are important.
Proud to be with you in NCB, Rick kuhlmey, President
Tell a friend about NCB – send them to
or have them call 702-383-0600

President's Message

September 3, 2015

Hello fellow NCB members,

"It is impressions about blindness that are far more threatening to blind people than blindness itself." - Daniel Kish

Every once in a while we find inspiring people who can put words together in ways that not only make us think but cause us to be aware of our lives in ways we never thought of before. It seems we are limited by our life experiences – our knowledge - to think only in certain ways until we are awakened by an experience or a set of words that breaks through our mindset.

Most of us lose our eyesight and know nothing of the new world we entered when that occurred. We are surprised, shocked, angry, scared, bewildered. Often a devastating loss of independence compounds the problems. Our habit patterns we have carefully acquired are shattered. We are faced with the challenge of learning all over again how to cope and have a rewarding life.

So how do some people become blind and then a Triathete? Or a cross country runner? Or hold a significant position? Find a new career to work in earning their own income? Be a great musician or singer? The list of accomplishments of the blind is as varied as the backgrounds of the blind. What is it that some people have that enables them to overcome the loss of sight and adapt so successfully that they are independent and have full, rich lives?

There are many people who are blind who think of themselves as a service project. Their needs are great and seem so overwhelming. Everyone who is disabled, and many who are not, have great needs and must be helped. Yet we all meet those who are different and are successful. What is it that makes the difference? All of us think about this occasionally as we do our best to overcome the problems we face every day. In an effort to find the answer to this question; we looked at what it is that successful people have in common. What was found was very interesting. The characteristics are actually common to all of us. Please go to the list accompanying this message.

Why is this being presented to you? Hopefully the information will be useful to the great many wonderful people we speak with who want to have a better life. Common sense says there is not a magic cure. Yet each of us possesses the ability to think and ponder and try different ways to enhance our own lives. We need ideas and new ways of thinking about our problems to feed our creative minds to make positive changes so we can be happier with our lives. Think hard about what Daniel Kish said. Our preconceived ideas might be holding us back.

NCB and other organizations or agencies can only do so much to help everyone adapt. We basically all give information to do this, right? The information presented today takes you a step beyond the basics into that realm of bringing back your self-confidence by doing for yourself. Where this information takes you is up to you for no one can do more than present the information. It is up to each of us to use it the best we can. Whether we are blind or not we all have to work at having that good life we want.

The NCB state convention begins the evening of Friday, October 9 and Saturday, October 10. There will be business sessions followed by a social with a DJ on Friday evening and good fun on Saturday afternoon. You will be receiving more information soon. Please plan to be there.

The next monthly meeting of Las Vegas members will take place Wednesday, September 16 from 1 pm to 3 pm in the East Las Vegas Community/Senior Center, 250 North Eastern Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89101. All members from the Las Vegas area and any visitors from other cities are invited to attend. Our speaker will be Barbara Duckett, Public Affairs Specialist, Social Security Administration. Ms. Duckett is an amazing source of information. Please be there and find the answers to your Social Security questions.

The next NCB Pahrump meeting will be Wednesday, September 30, from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm in the Senior Center, 370 West Basin Avenue, Pahrump, NV 89060. Our speaker will be Barbara Duckett, Public Affairs Specialist, Social Security Administration. Yes, Ms. Duckett will be speaking at both our September meetings. You do not want to miss these meetings.

Thank you for being an NCB member.
Yours in NCB, Rick Kuhlmey, President

President's Message

February 3, 2015

Hello fellow NCB members,
Happy Valentine's Day everyone! Do you know there are many fully sighted individuals who wonder if the blind find love? We had a conversation about that at our last Las Vegas meeting. How crazy it is for us to imagine anyone would ever think that. Of course we do. Those of us who have lost our eyesight still have the ability to love even as anyone else. We have the ability to do anything with proper training and adaptive aids. We are full of talents and abilities and great minds to use to create whole new lives for ourselves. So if you are feeling down and lonesome this month, thinking you have nothing to cheer about, love yourself and put a smile on your face to show you are worth loving. You certainly are so do not hide it.

Many of us have a dual challenge with hearing loss on top of sight loss. The deaf/blind are attracting more attention mow and more resources are being created.

We received an interesting call recently from an organization offering a service many of us do or will need soon. Our ability to communicate is challenging enough when our sight goes so when our hearing fades away also we need to adapt. The iCanConnect answer offers a way to stay connected.

iCanConnect, the National DeafBlind Equipment Distribution Program, provides equipment and training to people with significant combined hearing and vision loss so they can stay connected to friends and family, near and far. Sending email or chatting on the phone can be difficult without access to the right equipment. iCanConnect puts that technology into the hands of these individuals to enhance their independence.

For those who qualify, technology equipment used for distance communication is provided free. Training and technical support are also available at no charge. To learn more go to or call 1-800-825-4595/TTY 1-888-320-2656

Many of you desire to use the talking label feature for your prescriptions. Here is an update on the availability at three drugstore chains.

Walmart has made ScripTalk available to its mail order pharmacy customers for the past 2 years and will now implement ScripTalk at any of their local pharmacies when a customer requests it. All the customer has to do is ask their local pharmacist for audible prescription labels. If the pharmacist is not familiar with the program, the customer should tell the pharmacist to "Search for ScripTalk on The WIRE." The pharmacist will know that The WIRE is Walmart's internal communication system for its pharmacists and that they just need to search for the term "ScripTalk" to find instructions on how to get it implemented locally.

Walgreens is now offering a Talking Pill Reminder via its mail order pharmacy and at its local pharmacies. Customers make a request for the Talking Pill Reminder directly to their local pharmacist or by calling Walgreens' national customer service number, 1-800-925-4733.

CVS has been offering audible prescriptions via its mail order pharmacy for the past year. Nothing is currently being offered for locally-filled CVS prescriptions, but this may change with increased demand by customers.

The above update was provided on the ACB Leadership List by John Little, MSPH, Attorney at Law. If anyone desires more information please call 702-383-0600.

The monthly meeting of Las Vegas members will take place Wednesday, February 18, from 1 pm to 3 pm in the East Las Vegas Community/Senior Center at 250 North Eastern Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89101. All members from the Las Vegas area and any visitors from other cities are invited to attend. Thanks to those who came last month. We had a great time and learned much.

The next Pahrump meeting will be February 25, from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm in in the Senior Center media room. The address is 370 West Basin Avenue, Pahrump, NV 89060. After being dark over the holidays the group was sure full of energy and so happy to see one another at our January meeting.

If anyone has not renewed their dues please do so soon. Another reminder will be sent out soon. Thank you for being a member of the Nevada Council of the Blind. Don't shut the door on your future by being alone.

Yours in NCB,
Rick Kuhlmey, President