915 Kellogg Avenue
Ames, Iowa 50010
Dear Valued Donors,
I’m writing today to thank you sincerely for your contributions to Support A Traveler. Your generosity helped raise $1690 of our $1850 goal, and although we didn’t reach our ultimate mark the funding was sufficient for attending the National Federation of the Blind 2013 Annual Convention. In a world that is sometimes cold and indifferent it warms my heart to know there is still faith.
I’ve maintained throughout the Support A Traveler campaign that blind Iowans deserve a representative in this most important gathering of the blind in the world. Some states had dozens, even hundreds, of these delegates, but Iowa sent only 19 this year. This fact punctuates the undeniable need for every delegate Iowa can send, and the absolute success achieved through your contributions.
Let me tell you some of the specific advantages afforded by this Convention. Accessible technology vendors from all over our community take part every year, and I used the chance to engage product managers directly. I was able to speak with Freedom Scientific about the direction of their screen reading products, which allow blind people to access PC computers by speech rather than sight. Optelec also showed interest in my input about their magnification appliances, and I also participated in a user study for the Bureau of Printing and Engraving, who were seeking input about designs of paper money & new ways to differentiate denominations.
My speaking engagement allowed me to present the advantages of Bookshare to the members of the National Association of Blind Veterans. Bookshare intends to provide their library of accessible books to wounded vets, and it was an honor to extend the initiative to them. Most important, however, is the connections I was able to make between Bookshare, N.A.B.V., the 1-Touch program, and the Hadley School for the Blind. Each of these organizations has products, services, and advocacy available for blind veterans, and I was able to connect them all. In this way they will be able to grow membership and awareness in a concerted way. I have the utmost respect for these heroes who have gone to fight in my stead and I believe they deserve the best when they come home.
I want to reiterate that your donations made all this, and far more, possible. I learned and taught. I experienced and imparted my experiences. I led and followed, and was proud yet humbled. The culture of blindness rarely warrants a second thought, but among our own we joined together to spread awareness and understanding in a most powerful way. Your generosity has helped us move forward in a modern civil rights struggle, and on behalf of blind Iowans I thank you.
Support A Traveler has been a success. Your faith and generosity are the reasons. Be proud of the confidence you’ve shown in myself, and all blind Iowans. We’ve had our voice in this most influential gathering of the blind in the world. Blessings to you all.
With warm regards,
Support A Traveler