TN Voice Volume 2, Spring 2015


Note from the President

News from around the State

Riccobono Visits Tennessee State Convention

First Scott Young and Kenneth Jernigan Scholarships Awarded

Social Media Initiative

TAGDU Seminar at State Convention

Educator of the Year Ceremony Honors Dr. Stuart Bernstein

Tech Watch

Netflix Adopts Descriptive Movies

Comcast X1 Makes Cable Accessible

NFB Distributes Freedom Scientific JAWS Training

Eye on Entertainment

Audio Described Films from the Formerly Sighted Perspective

She’s No Angelina Jolie​

Blind Perspectives

Game of Chicken Part 1: Where Low Vision and Blindness Meet Head On

Redefining Sexy

Reflecting on My PPM sessions

Final Reflections of PPM

Creative Corner:

Dream Palate

 Online Digital Poetry

The Best Medicine

Old 90’s  Returns

Recipes and Nutrition

Jimmy’s Ultimate Belly Bustin’ Cheeseburger

Something Old, Something New, Something Revamped, Something Chewed

Calendar events



Note from the President


Dear Affiliate Members and Friends:

Our state convention has just had a very successful conclusion.  Along with National Federation of the Blind President Mark Riccobono being one of the best national representatives I’ve ever seen, we also celebrated our very first Scholarship class here in Tennessee.  Congratulations to the winners Tracy Bettincourt, Stephanie Zundel, and Josh Harper.  We are proud of you and everyone who helped make this possible.

In addition, our growing Stones River Chapter will host their first state convention in 2016, and speaking of Stones River, I just returned from Murfreesboro where the chapter handed out an educator of the year award to DR. Stuart Bernstein. It was wonderful to see a professor who views accessibility as innovation and not simply a barrier to innovation.

I hope to see many of you at our 75th anniversary convention in Orlando, July 5 through the 10th.  Rumor has it that we will be setting a Guinness Book of World Record during the convention, and some Tennesseans may also be performing their NFB song smash hit Live the Life You Want during general Session on Friday.  It may be the best convention of all time and I hope that we can all make it to sunny Florida.  Let’s book our hotel reservations for July and go build the Federation!

Your NFBTN President,

James Brown

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News From Around the State

from the left to the right you have Jimmy, Windy, Crystal, James, Mark, Terry, Carry, Melisa, Stacy, and John


Mark Riccobono President of the National Federation of the Blind Visits State Convention

By, Steve Norman

Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind, was the National Representative for the Tennessee state convention this year in Chattanooga. His address was well received. He ameliorated excuses pertaining to blindness as he proclaimed that “Every day we raise the expectations of blind people. “Blindness is not what holds you back. We believe in the full capacity of blind people.”  Riccobono’s message encouraged collective action. He praised and called forth the traits of courage and determination in the face of challenges.“ Changing society takes courage,” remarked Riccobono.”

Riccobono summarized a few of the injustices the NFB is confronting head-on. Some of the injustices he mentioned were the discrimination of wages paid to disabled workers, the stripping of blind parents of custody of their children, and the lack of internet accessibility regulations. Each of these injustices and many others, Riccobono, as well as many of us, have fought vehemently against and are calling for continued collective action to change.

Riccobono spoke at length about education and blind people having all avenues of learning and reading accessible to them. Several entities that the NFB legal team has been compelled to press legal suits against have realized that they must make their products, educational and otherwise, accessible to blind individuals.    Riccobono advertised the NFB centers for the Blind in Louisiana and Colorado. He talked about what excellent programs they offer for blind adults and even made mention of what to tell VR Counselors if they refuse to send an applicant to one of these centers.

Often VR counselors will not send individuals to these programs because it is more feasible for the individual to matriculate through a local state program such as the TRC. Riccobono’s description of the transformations that take place at the NFB centers for the blind was an impetus to encourage everyone who is in need of blind independence training to check out the law and find out how to talk to their VR counselors.

We, the state of Tennessee, appreciate Mark Riccobono for his visit with us and for his excellent address to our affiliate members.

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First Scott Young and Kenneth Jernigan Scholarships Awarded

Scott Young SCHOLARSHIP: A scholarship in the amount of $1,000 was established by the NFBTN as a memorial to Scott Young, whose work with the Tennessee legislature helped to change what it means to be blind in Tennessee.

The Scott Young Scholarship was awarded to Joshua Harper, who is majoring in Special Education at MTSU.

I am deeply honored to be the First Winner of this Scholarship. I knew Scott Young, he was a great person. I would like to thank mom who has been there to support me through the years, all of my teachers, and all of my mentors through the years, Joshua Harper

KENNETH JERNIGAN SCHOLARSHIPS: Two scholarships in the amount of $500 were established in tribute to Tennessean Dr. Kenneth Jernigan, former President of the Federation, whose extraordinary leadership has improved the quality of life for blind people both here and abroad.

These two scholarships were awarded to Tracy Bettincourt, an Education major at Austin Peay University, and Stephanie Zundel, a Graduate student studying speech pathology at Vanderbilt University. No statements are available from them at this time.

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TAGDU Seminar at State Convention

TAGDU had its second annual seminar in Chattanooga TN  at the Tennessee state convention. The room was filled with young and old alike. Guest speakers included Marion IGzdala, president of the National Association of Guide Dog users, Southeastern guide dogs, and officer Meek, a police officer of the Chattanooga canine unit. The seminar was very informative and interactive. Great questions were presented from the audience to officer Meek and Southeastern Guide Dogs. Numerous door prizes were awarded, including subscriptions donated by Blind Square GPS! We thank all who supported our seminar and look forward to an even bigger and better program in 2016!

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Social media initiative!

The membership committee recently met. James Boehm , the committee’s chair, is excited about what the committee will bring to the affiliate in 2015! One initiative that was discussed was to tap into the various social media outlets, including Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, to name a few. We are certain that this will be one way in which we can spread awareness about our Tennessee NFB affiliate! Keep on the lookout for further details and on how you can join the various social media pages!


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Educator of the Year Ceremony at MTSU Honored Dr. Stuart Bernstein

Steve Norman

On April 16, 2015, The Stones River Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) hosted  its first annual Educator of the Year Ceremony. The chapter honored Dr. Stuart Bernstein, Psychology Professor at Middle Tennessee State University, for excellence in providing equal access and for the strides  he has taken to make his statistics class accessible to students who are blind. Bernstein was presented with a certificate signed by James Boehm, the stones River chapter president, and James Brown, NFB of Tennessee Affiliate President. Dr. Bernstein was also presented with  a cane, personalized with the MTSU colors of blue and white, and text that read, “Educator of the Year 2015, Dr. Stuart Bernstein.”

Mark Riccobono, National President of the National Federation of the Blind joined the ceremony via phone and congratulated Dr. Bernstein for his accomplishments and his receipt of the Educator of the Year award. He encouraged the attendees of the ceremony to continue to push for equal access to education until it is universally achieved. Also, NFB of TN President, James Brown, offered remarks  at the ceremony and later commented, “It was wonderful to see a professor who views accessibility as innovation and not simply a barrier to innovation.

When asked about his philosophy of educating with an equal access principle, Bernstein replied, “My job as a faculty member is to open doors, provide opportunities, and remove barriers. Students accept new challenges and do the hard work.  I just step back and let it all happen; it is a beautiful thing to watch.”


With its home in Murfreesboro TN, the stones River chapter is made up largely of students who attend,  Middle Tennessee State University.  In 2014, the chapter voted to become affiliated   with MTSU by adding an NFB student organization. The chapter has reaped many benefits from this affiliation, including funds that are available to student organizations which have been utilized for transportation to and from state convention. Also the student organization is a platform to spread awareness about the mission of the NFB and further change what it means to be blind. Furthermore, the affiliation with the campus of MTSU gives the chapter more access to host programs such as the Educator of the Year Ceremony.

The idea for the Educator of the Year Ceremony was birthed  by several Stones  River chapter members who had the  desire to honor faculty members who met certain qualifications pertaining to equal access. A process was developed in which each student from the chapter would submit a nomination for a professor who they felt was eligible to receive the award. A committee reviewed the nominations and selected one that stood out above the rest and determined that this professor would be the recipient of the award

The underlying benefit of having programs such as this  is that professors feel honored and appreciated by this gesture and are able to see the   importance and necessity  of providing equal access to students. The professors place their certificates on the walls in their offices and other faculty members take note of this and inquire about the awards. They want to know how they can receive  one as well.

The Stones River chapter will continue to host this ceremony annually. It is a great opportunity to spread awareness that” accessibility is not an option – it is a requirement of all educators,” (James Boehm, from his nomination of Dr. Stuart Bernstein for Educator of the Year). – Steve Norman

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Tech Watch


Netflix Adopts Audio Descriptive Movies

By Josh Harper

The following announcement was taken from . I end with some thoughts about the audio description service.

Netflix Begins Audio Description for Visually Impaired

At Netflix, we work hard to continually improve the experience for our members when viewing movies and shows on our service, including providing accessibility across devices. Now we’re expanding our accessibility options by adding audio description on select titles, beginning today with our new critically acclaimed series, Marvel’s Daredevil.

Audio description is a narration track that describes what is happening on-screen, including physical actions, facial expressions, costumes, settings and scene changes. Customers can choose audio narration just like choosing the soundtrack in a different language.

In coming weeks, we’ll add more titles, including current and previous seasons of the Golden Globe and Emmy award-winning political thriller House of Cards, Emmy award-winning comedy-drama series Orange is the New Black, as well as Tina Fey’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and the epic adventure series Marco Polo.

Netflix is actively committed to increasing the number of audio-visual translations for movies and shows in our English-language catalogues. We are also exploring adding audio description into other languages in the future.

Over time, we expect audio description to be available for major Netflix original series, as well as select other shows and movies. We are working with studios and other content owners to increase the amount of audio description across a range of devices including smart TVs, tablets and smartphones.

Stay tuned.


Tracy Wright is the director of content operations at Netflix.

Posted by Tracy Wright


Joshua’s thoughts about Netflix and audio description shows. 

I am really happy that Netflix has decided to offer this service. It is really cool that they chose daredevil to be the first show available with audio description. I like where they placed the option to turn on the service.

Some of the other online providers separate new movies and shows with all your descriptions. Netflix chose not to separate them, but to make the audio description an option. To turn on the service you just choose the icon for the audio language options, and choose English with audio description, it is that easy to turn on and off this option.

I am really glad they did this. I wish, however, that they would have waited until all of the episodes were available with audio description before making the announcement. When I first read the announcement, I decided to watch the first episode. The audio description was done very well. I tried to watch the second episode but the audio description was not available yet. A couple of times throughout the first season, I had to wait a day before I can continue this series with audio description.

I have also read that Netflix has decided to do another season of daredevil. It probably will not come out until 2016. I cannot wait.

Josh Harper

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Comcast X1Makes Cable TV Accessible

Steve Norman

Comcast released the X1 system sometime in late 2014. The system makes cable TV accessible to the blind and visually impaired according to the articles I have read. I do not have the system, and cannot vouch for it personally, but wanted to spread awareness of this tool to anyone who is interested. I welcome any feedback on the system if anyone knows more about it.

Here’s what I have read about X1:

X1 acts like a search engine for your entertainment system. You can look up various shows, hear descriptions of shows and movies, and so forth. With the voice remote, it is possible to say different commands like “Change the channel,” or “watch HBO,” or “search for Jennifer Lopez,” and a whole lot more. From what I understand about the voice remote, it is similar to SIRI on iOS. It also has a HD-DVR so you can record up to 4 shows at once and watch them later. While recording, you can watch live tv separate from the 4 channels you are recording. Pretty cool.

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NFB Distributes Freedom Scientific JAWS Training

Below is a link to learn more about the free training distributed by the NFB:’s-jaws®-training-bundle

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Eye on Entertainment

Audio Described Films from the Formerly Sighted Perspective

-April Meredith

First things first. For the record, I never will give a synopsis or detailed review of the films themselves because not much irritates me more than when someone spoils the content of a movie I have not yet watched. The readers who have not yet watched the featured movie can safely peruse my critiques and get an idea of whether or not the film would be worth their while. The readers who have already seen it will ideally gain a deeper understanding from or even associate with my double-sided perspective. What I do hope to give to everyone is some insight into the audio described movie quality based on the fact that I used to have sight but now enjoy life on the other side of the proverbial fence as a blind individual. Sometimes I will address my different approach to watching movies now that I have seen before with vision and thus without audio description. However, for this issue I am discussing my viewing experience of a movie I had never seen before – Birdman.


When I saw Birdman get nominated for so many Academy Awards and then win the Oscar for Best Picture, I knew I just had to watch it. The fact that it stars Michael Keaton who, I must admit, is one of my favorite actors of all time, sealed the deal. It did not take me long, though, to realize how incredibly thankful I am for audio description. Without it, this movie would quite literally be inaccessible. I relied on it heavily from beginning to end. In fact, I think people who have low vision or are fully sighted could even benefit from the thorough explanations of the actions and characters. There are apparently a few subtle details that I have heard some non-audio description users miss but that I caught. Moreover, many of the scenes are visually intensive and yet pertinent to the comprehension of the story. Honestly, though, one aspect of the audio description that is a little negative is that some of the colors, items, or concepts mentioned would have been difficult to grasp if I had not understood them from my sighted years. Still, that observation should not deter you from giving the movie a try. Besides, I am not sure that all viewers would share my conclusion on that issue.


This is definitely not a movie for the light-hearted nor light-thinker. If you are interested in a film with deep undertones, artistic emotional interpretations, and dark but realistic intensity, then I recommend Birdman. This movie not only left me processing its creative ending, it left me feeling appropriately uneasy. I think this would be an intriguing movie to watch and analyze with sighted and non-sighted people alike.

She Is No Angelina Jolie

By April Meredith

When I first heard this week that Roseanne Bar was speaking out about her double diagnosis Glaucoma and Macular Degeneration, I thought she would make a great example on how all people within the vision impaired community need to tackle blindness or vision loss with a healthy dose of humor. Furthermore, I thought Roseanne would become an advocate for the training, support, and technology available to help individuals like her transition into the world of total blindness, just as Angelina Jolie has become the celebrity face for preventative breast cancer measures. However, after reading her April 21 interview with The Daily Beast I was left feeling disappointed. Bar stated, “My vision is closing in now. It’s something weird. But there are other weird things. That one’s harsh ‘cause I read a lot and then I thought, ‘Well, I guess I could hire somebody to read for me and read to me.’ But I like words and I like looking.” I expected Roseanne to take her iconic satirical humor that made her famous as a stand-up comedian and star of her self-named sitcom and apply it to this situation. What disappointed me was that her tone was not sarcastic but flat out negative and obviously uninformed. Angelina Jolie is handling the reality of her medical status by being proactive, educating herself, and encouraging awareness whereas Roseanne appears to be merely reacting emotionally and making flawed assumptions about her future. I fear she is making the same mistake that I made when I first learned of my uncorrectable and progressive vision loss due to Retinitis Pigmentosa. Like I unfortunately did, I am afraid that she has started marking hobbies and interests off her list of activities because she cannot imagine how anyone would perform these tasks without sight. I hope this is a temporary reaction and eventually she will come to understand that blindness never limits. Meanwhile, instead of Roseanne being a shining example for the blind community, I believe the blind community needs to reach out to her just like my fellow Federationists have done for me.- April Meredith

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Blind Perspectives


Game of Chicken Part I:  Where Low Vision and Blindness Meet Head On

James Aaron Brown

I started attending Middle Tennessee State University back in the mid-90s and became aware from the beginning that I would have to make a choice.  Would I continue to classify myself as low vision, or would I make the decision to be blind.  You see; I could either walk around my new campus without a Cane, tripping over steps, occasionally running into innocent people minding their own business, and in general just appearing to the average person like I’m some drunken fraternity brother who started drinking a little too early that day, or I could use a cane and identify myself as blind.  I tell you that because in most cases, for people with vision disabilities, being blind is more a decision than anything else.


You see blindness, pardon the pun, isn’t so black and white.  Only 18% of people with a visual impairment are totally blind or strictly have the ability to differentiate between light and darkness. This means that the other 82% classify themselves as Legally Blind, low vision, vision impaired or a number of other different titles.  So what does it matter what a partially sighted person calls themselves?


One problem is having a technical definition that tries to coherently exist alongside a functional definition, which is usually much more true and real than the technical definition, that often does not work out well in real life situations.


Let me give you a comparable example from my teenage years.  I had a friend named Mike Reagan, and Mike used a wheel chair to get to most places he was going.  In fact, that was the Summer Mike taught me how to ride a wheelie and do 360’s in his wheelchair.  Twenty years later, I still like to pop a wheelie and strike a pose every time I get a chance.


Mike used a wheelchair to get around, but he could also stand up and take a few steps to transport himself to the couch.  Technically, Mike could walk, but nobody ever said, Mike why are you in that chair? I just saw you walk from your wheel chair to the couch.  The fact is nobody would ever insinuate that Mike was some kind of Fraud because they would observe how difficult it was for him to walk just even across the room.  Technically Mike could walk, but functionally my friend had to use his wheelchair to get around.  If he had depended on his legs to get him places, he would have rarely left the house.


Unfortunately, this very thing often happens with people who classify themselves as low vision who do not use a cane or guide dog to get around.  My friend, who is legally Blind and has quite a bit of usable vision, came to Nashville to play in a Goalball tournament a couple of years ago, and to celebrate our victory, we decided to go out and  check out downtown Nashville on a Saturday Night.  There was one problem; however, it was dark outside.  This meant I, the blind person, was leading the low vision person around from place to place.  You can probably imagine how this looked?


Of course I did not care to help one bit.  In the situation my friend was functionally blind, and because he did not consider himself at the time to be truly blind, he did not need a cane because in his mind only blind people use canes.  This can be a big problem.  People who are partially sighted often limit their lives because they make the choice not to be blind and not to use non visual methods.  I have witnessed many visually impaired people not go out and live their lives because they are afraid that they will embarrass themselves.  They don’t go out on dates and meet fresh and interesting people because the environment would be new and there may be steps they could fall down; they never go to the sporting events they love because the arena is just too difficult to navigate and they might make a mistake and feel inept.


The truth is the person with low vision may not learn Braille because the belief is that Braille is only for blind people, even when that visually impaired person can only read fifty words a minute, which on most reading scales is on the low end of 1st grade level.  Again, we are talking about functionability here, and often reading on a first grade level will not help a person function in real life activities.


With Braille, However, a person with low vision could learn to read 100, 200, to 300 words per minute, but first we have to get past the misconception that using vision is always the best way to perform a task and realize that Non-visual methods can often be more effective than visual ones.  If people with low vision would question if their eyesight was in fact the best way to do everything, and figure out that there are other, perhaps more effective ways to do things, then, the world for all blind people may in fact become a better place.  Be sure to check in the next issue of Tennessee Voice for part II of the game of Chicken between blindness and low vision.

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Redefining Sexy

April Meredith

I just read an article about Viktoria Modesta, a quickly rising European alternative pop artist. The article informs us that Modesta became a voluntary leg amputee in her early twenties to improve her mobility. At first, she worried that her prosthetic leg would hinder her career goals, but made a conscious effort to never let it keep her from pursuing her dreams. Having already performed before billions at the Paralympics, she is well on her way to stardom. More notably, Modesta is changing what society views as sexy by presenting her body with confidence and without shame.

Although her story is uplifting, I found the article to serve more as a mirror on my own journey into the perspective of an individual with a disability. While reading, I often drifted into reflective thoughts about my own relatively new life as a blind person and cane traveler. When my cane was first placed in my hand, I completely failed tocomprehend how this foldable stick was going to take me out of my depression and back into self-sufficiency. Quite literally one step at a time, my cane is becoming part of my body. Eventually, I know my cane will move as rhythmically, smoothly, and naturally as my blood corses through my veins. Consequencially, I have come to a momentousresolution: my cane is not just an accessory; it is an extension of my beauty. I embrace this new form of mobility! I know I have room to grow in regards to my confidenceand cane skills, but I am well on my way down the path of redefining what society traditionally has viewed as sexy. Indeed, some of the sexiest people I have ever met are quadriplegic, are bald cancer fighters, have a developmental disability, or yes…travel with a white cane. Thinking about these people reminds me that it is not having nor not having some kind of condition that defines who we are; it is our character. So, if I demonstrate bravery and risk-taking, I will be perceived as confident. If I speak  honestly yet respectfully,I will be perceived as trustworthy. If I show sensitivity and compassion to others, I will be perceived as kind. Therefore, as long as I continue to work on my confidence, character, and cane skills, I do not see any reason why I will not be perceived as sexy. So watch out world…here comes the new, improved me, redefining sexy with every tap and step!


To read the whole article, go to“She Calls Her Rarely Seen Body Type ‘The Model Of The Future,’ And It’s Redefining What’s Sexy”

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Reflecting on My Next PPM Sessions

April Meredith

Partners in Policy Making has continued to be a challenging yet rewarding experience! Since my last update I have had 3 more sessions. Workshop topics have covered everything from assistive technology to quality employment, and from inclusive education to independent living. Though my fellow partners and I tend to end each PPM weekend with information overload, every presentation, discussion, and assignment gets us one step closer to becoming effective disability rights and policy change agents. I personally am also noticeably getting more comfortable with my cane skills and navigating independently as well as improving on my public speaking. Furthermore, as an individual with a disability and current PPM participant, I was invited to submit a composition to be published in the Breaking Ground magazine. I am thrilled and honored to tell you that I did indeed have a poem selected and featured in the January special arts edition! There are 3 more PPM sessions for the 2-14-15 class. I look forward to all I have left to learn, contribute, and then report back to my fellow federationists. As my time in Partners winds down, I want to remind you all that applications are now available for the 2015-16 class and I want to encourage any of you who have not yet participated to please seriously consider taking advantage of this free but priceless opportunity.

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Final Reflections of PPM

April Meredith

It is official! I am now an effective policy and disability rights change agent. I had my last Partners in Policy Making Leadership Institute weekend session on April 10-11. This included workshops on conducting effective meetings, final homework presentations, a tour of the Tennessee state capitol, and a concluding graduation ceremony. This month’s session left my fellow Partners and I feeling quite melancholy. We all have exchanged intimate moments and will miss officially meeting with each other regularly; but, we also look forward to being more proactive, supportive, and effective in our respective local communities. I am pleased with the content of each of the 7 sessions, honored to have shared in so much learning and personal growth, and am excited about applying my recently enhanced leadership and advocacy skills. I highly recommend that those of you who have not had the privilege of going through the Partners training to take advantage of this unique yet free opportunity. The application deadline for the 2015-2016 class is April 30. For more info or the application, you may contact Partners Director Ned Andrew Solomon at 615.532.6556, or by e-mail at

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Creative Corner

Note about the poem: As a person with RP, one of the greatest challenges I have had to face is rectifying the fact that I still vividly experience colors in my dreams at night but wake up every morning to a virtually colorless world.

Dream Palate

The soothing shades of blue

Ocean, sky, and royal too

Vibrant pops of orange and yellow

For happiness, health, and feeling mellow

Hunter green, teal, and lime

White and grey which reveal time

Blood red, dark brown, and pitch black

You can put them down, but not take them back

Peachy pink, soft and sweet

Add vanilla cream to top the treat

Purple notes, trimmed in gold

Fits kings and queens, both young and old

Mix two or three to make another

Color cousins from primary mothers

What beautiful discoveries I can find

But trapped within my sleeping mind

April Meredith

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Online Digital Poetry


In celebration of National Poetry Month, on April 15 the Library of Congress launched its first ever online archive by selecting 50 recordings from its poetry and literature collection and making them available as streamed audio. This archive includes almost 2000 readings, interviews, and lectures from many renowned prose writers as well as poets such as Robert Frost. Over the next several years, 5 recordings per month will be added. Check out the archive at


The Best Medicine

Old 90’s Favorite Returns

David Meredith

Recently, Netflix announced that it would finally be offering audio described options for the first time on its original show, Daredevil. This was a major victory for the vision impaired as the company had long been resistant to the prospect, but come on! If any show should be audio described then it should be one about a blind super hero!

Now that Pandora’s proverbial audio box has been opened however it has also opened up the possibility for other popular Netflix shows like Orange is the New Black and American Horror Story to soon receive the same treatment. However all of that pales in comparison to the bonanza of family entertainment that may soon be within accessible reach. It was announced this week that the paramount epitome of saccharine family goodness and formulaic comedy is going to be back! That’s right! If you’ve been feeling a Mr. Moose/”Mercy!”/”That’s so rude!” deficit since the late nineties, fear no more!

This week John Stamos himself announced the triumphant return of Full House. Rebooted as Fuller House! What it’s fuller of, I’m not exactly sure, but in 2016 Stephanie, DJ, Michele, Uncle Jessie and Kimmie Gibbler will all be back on Netflix for a 13 episode season run. Will it be audio described as well? It’s too soon to tell, but we can only hope.

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Recipes and Nutrition


Jimmy’s Ultimate Belly Bustin’ Bacon Cheeseburger

James Boehm


Items needed:

Kroger brand hamburger patties with bacon and cheese in patty

1 onion to slice


Tomato to slice


American cheese slices

1 egg to fry

4 Slices of bread



For marinade and baste:

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup pineapple juice

1/4 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce

1/4 cup of either Dr. Pepper or Cherry Coke

3 Tablespoons of brown sugar

3 Tablespoons of your favorite seasoning – Recommended Dales Butt Rub or Longhorn’s Prairie Dust


Marinade 3-4 hamburger patties in the marinade for 1-2 days

Make 2 grilled cheese sandwiches on the griddle or George Forman

You need two sandwiches for each burger prepared

Cook burger on grille or Foreman, basting with the remainder of the marinade

Once cooked, create your masterpiece with the burger patty between the two grilled cheese sandwiches; add bacon, fried egg, tomato, onion, lettuce, pickle, and other condiments.



Other variations:

You can sauté the onions in Smart Balance butter until golden brown.

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Something Old, Something New, Something Revamped, Something Chewed

April Meredith

Every time I attend or host parties involving un-catered food, I am reminded of the one somewhat annoying side effect of these gatherings…leftovers. Whether the event is an intimate dinner with a few friends or a large family reunion, I am oftentimes still given the task of taking home the remaining uneaten delicacies. I love food and have plenty of mouths to feed within my own household, so I welcome the free treats. However, none of my fabulous five enjoy munching on the exact same dish over and over again. This is why I have come up with some creative ways to revamp tasty favorites which are commonly leftover. Here are my recommended suggestions on how to take those boring leftovers and transform them into a fresh, fun indulgence! With my tips, you will no longer have any excuse for wasting and throwing out those old food items because now you will be able to enjoy them like new.


Tired of a basic bowl with crackers or topping it on corn chips? Try making a chili pot pie by adding a drained can of sweet kernel corn and baking it with cornbread as the pie. Or, simply make a chili burrito or crispy chili tostada.

Potato Skins

My family never has a problem of getting through these party favorites, but for smaller families, these can be quite dry and boring as leftovers. Try topping them with a fresh batch of your favorite BBQ pulled pork, beef, or chicken to take them from dry to delicious.


Worried about how to get through that giant bowl of dip? Try using it as a spread on a sandwich or piece of toast. Additionally, instead of dipping your veggies into it, put some raw or sautéed ones with some hummus on a tortilla shell to make a healthy wrap.

Macaroni and Cheese

America’s #1 comfort food quickly becomes a gloopy glob of grossness when not eaten fresh. Gag no more! Roll the leftovers into half inch to one inch balls, coat them in your crumbs of choice, and deep fry those babies! No, this is not for the overly health conscious soul, but it sure is fun and yummy.


Stuffing or Dressing

You can substitute the breading or topping of virtually any casserole with your leftover stuffing or dressing. I love it on baked squash casserole. Alternatively, you could scoop it into a pot of soup which will give the dish extra seasoning and texture. Vegetable soup is always a good option.


The enormous bowl of sweet corn is a staple at many holiday gatherings. It never fails that a still large bowl of corn has to get taken home by someone and you get sick at the idea of trying to eat it all. No more tears! Corn is one of the most versatile foods out there! Japanese people like to top salads and even pizzas with it. If that sounds too weird, then just think creatively about how you can add it to dishes to avoid eating it as is or wasting it. For example, add it to a fresh pot of chili, bowl of soup, or black bean salsa. Also, you can easily sauté some chopped green, orange, and red peppers with chopped onion and then mix them into the sweet corn to make one of my favorite sides called southwestern corn.


Don’t forget these leftover nuisances when making your breakfast or lunch! Take a break from your go to bread of choice and save on your grocery bill for the week. Use the leftover rolls, cornbread, and croissants to make breakfast style toast or sandwiches as well as pack it and take them with you for lunch. You can even break them up, set them out till stale, and use them the same way you would store bought, prepackaged bread crumbs to bake on a fish filet, batter aside of veggies, or top on a dinner casserole. If all else fails, please just give the old bread to the birds instead of placing it in the trash.


No matter what meat it is, it almost always can be simply transformed by cutting it up and making sandwiches, quesadillas, tacos, soups, or casseroles with it. Do a sandwich one night, a quesadilla the next meal, and so on to keep it from becoming mundane and to avoid the temptation of throwing it out.


Remember that chips can also be crumbled up and used as breading on dishes. It is becoming more and more popular to use chips as a hot dog topping, too.


Could you possibly do anything other than the same ol’ same ol’ with leftover patties? Yes! Cut out some carbs by leaving off the bun and make a open-face pizza burger by simply topping the leftover patty with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. Keep the carbs but change the bread and stuff a patty in your grilled cheese sandwich. Take a note from Wendy’s and cut up the burgers to make chili. Add a hearty element to your favorite soup or bake some in a casserole. No matter if you eat beef, turkey, or veggie burgers, these transformation ideas can be easily tweaked to fit your dietary needs!

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Calendar of Events


  • June 8th -19th 2015- NFB of Tennessee Bell Program for Memphis & Nashville, register at , or  contact Christina Clift at 901-877-4549 or
  • May 13, 2015- Affiliate Board
  • July 5-10, 2015- National Convention

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The Tennessee Voice Volume 2, Spring2015, Edited by Steve Norman and April Meredith,

Distributed by email and Braille by the National Federation of the Blined of Tennessee. James

Brown, President

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