Content warning: the content on this page addresses sensitive topics regarding sexual misconduct or violence. If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence, you are not alone. The National Sexual Assault Hotline offers free, confidential support, 24/7, at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or at online.rainn.org
Keeping you posted
The Colorado Center for the Blind is committed to ensuring the safety and support of all of our staff and students. This necessitates continuous attention and progress. Thus, we will use this page to post important steps taken by the Colorado Center for the Blind as an NFB-affiliated training center.
October 27, 2021
separate Men’s and Women’s Philosophy classes were held simultaneously prior to leaving the next day for our annual NFB of Colorado convention. Each group covered issues involving safe and appropriate boundaries, and we covered the Fries acronym of elements of consent (Freely given, Reversible, Informed, Enthusiastic and Specific).
October 25, 2021
Three-hour staff retreat focusing on staff support, facilitated by Bill Lundgren, LPC.
Wellness Hour with Colorado Spirit
Our bi-monthly Wellness Hour with Colorado Spirit at All Health will resume this month. Sessions will be held via Zoom and will start with an ice breaker, then focus on wellness education, followed by practice of wellness activities and discussion. Topics will include coping with burn-out, managing stress and mindfulness.
August 13, 2021
William Lundgren, LPC presented to students on “The Stages of Your Training Program: How to Get the Most out of Your Time at CCB.” Bill is a licensed counselor practicing in Denver, and attended the Colorado Center for the Blind in 2000-2001.
Safety and Support Sessions During #NFB21
The NFB’s Survivor-led Task Force had four sessions on the National Federation of the Blind’s 2021 convention agenda held virtually between July 6 and 10, 2021. CCB staff members attended various of these sessions, which included “Inclusion and Safety” and “Allyship and Bystander Intervention.”
Philosophy class divided up into men’s and women’s groups on Thursday, July 1 for discussions on appropriate behavior, what constitutes sexual misconduct, boundaries and what consent is and is not. We hold such meetings each year just prior to attending the national Federation of the Blind convention, and we saw no reason not to hold these sessions now, even though the convention is again virtual this year.
William Lundgren, LPC, presented and discussed the five stages of developing positive identity as a blind person to CCB staff on Monday, June 21, 2021 via Zoom. Bill, a CCB graduate, has more than 30 years of experience as a licensed counselor. He practices in Denver.
Reading of the NFB Code of Conduct
May 28, 2021
As we prepared to register staff and students for the 2021 National Federation of the Blind Virtual Convention, we took time to read the NFB Code of Conduct. Actually, we listened to the audio recording of Duncan and Chris reading it to Seniors in March.
Wellness Hour Topics and Activities
These sessions were conducted for students, though staff were also welcome, by our partners at Colorado Spirit at All Health Network. Self-awareness and self-care are the goals of this series.
- Topic: Overview of stress management and stress in our bodies
- Mindfulness activity: breathing meditation
- Topic: Stress and resilience
- Mindfulness activity: progressive muscle relaxation
- 5/19 Topic: Focusing on what you can control
- Mindfulness activity: hand/finger mindfulness/ breathing
- Topic: Benefits of morning routines
- Mindfulness activity: grounding exercise (4,3,2,1 (hear, feel, smell, taste)
Psychological First Aid
Provided by Colorado Spirit at All Health Network
April 21 for staff
All Health Network is a nonprofit mental health organization providing counseling, psychiatry, crisis services, substance use treatment, and more.
Colorado Spirit at All Health provides free psychological support to people of all ages during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This training from our local partner provided staff with tools to initially address psychological distress and trauma,, whether presented by friends, family, students or colleagues. This two-hour session reinforced discussions of trauma-informed responses in our March 23 training with RAINN
Mark Riccobono’s Open Letter on Safety and Support Progress
On April 15 – National Federation of the Blind President Mark A. Riccobono published his Open Letter on Safety and Support Progress. We urge all to read it.
Registration for this year’s NFB Virtual Convention requires you to check a box saying that you have read and agree to follow the NFB’s Code of Conduct. Because our Senior Services staff assist many seniors in registering and, indeed, in getting onto the meetings and general sessions, they decided to read the code to one of the senior groups. That way, everyone would have a chance to hear the code and all could honestly say they had read it. The code was read and recorded on Tuesday, March 28 and played at the other senior meetings.
Men’s and Women’s Philosophy Discussions Following RAINN Training
On March 29, immediately after our students completed the RAINN training on sexual misconduct, our daily Philosophy Class was dedicated to follow-up and processing of what we had all learned from the training. We divided students and staff into men’s and women’s groups to ensure that everyone would feel comfortable sharing their responses and to ask questions.
RAINN and NFB Community-Wide Member Training
As part of the National Federation of the Blind’s contract with the Rape, assault and Incest National Network (RAINN),
CCB staff, board members and students have all completed the initial training with RAINN, which discussed the complexities of sexual misconduct and its impact, strategies for creating safer communities, and trauma-informed ways to support survivors.
CCB staff, along with staff from the other two NFB-affiliated training centers, were part of the first group to receive the RAINN training on March 23, 2021. Our students [received the training on March 29, and CCB Board members participated in those and other RAINN trainings held in April. Plans for follow-up training are in the works.
All Staff and Students Men’s and Women’s meetings
Thursday, January 21, 2021
Separate men’s and women’s meetings were held at Philosophy to discuss appropriate conduct between individuals, respect and boundaries, keeping oneself safe, recognizing and reporting misconduct, and more. These meetings were very much like the meetings we typically hold with staff and students prior to attending the annual National Federation of the Blind convention each summer.
Reading and Discussion of Open Letters
During our Philosophy class on Thursday, January 7, Executive Director Julie Deden read both the “Open Letter of Apology from Mark Riccobono” of December 16, 2020, as well as the statement from Julie and the Colorado Center for the Blind’s Board of Directors endorsing it, posted December 24, 2020. Discussion followed, including the updates announced on January 4’s Presidential Release Live by President Riccobono.
Workshop on Reinforcing Professional Boundaries
January 4, 2021
As part of our annual Staff Retreat to kick off each new year, we had a 90-minute workshop on “Reinforcing Professional Boundaries,” conducted by Eric Wahler, LCPC of Helena Montana. Eric has more than 30 years’ experience as a mental health therapist and has presented at numerous professional conferences and conducted many workshops.
NFB Announces Survivor-led Task Force & Partnership with RAINN
Posted: January 8, 2021
In his December 16 Open Letter of Apology National Federation of the Blind President Mark Riccobono promised that the National Federation of the Blind would take meaningful, concrete steps to address the issues raised by survivors of sexual assault or misconduct in the organization. During a nation-wide Zoom webinar Monday night, January 4, President Riccobono announced two major steps forward to begin that process – the NFB will work with the Raipe, Assault and Incest national network (RAINN), the nation’s leading advocacy and prevention organization, as well as a survivor-led task force to advise the President and the Board. We invite you to follow the links below to learn more about these important steps, which the Colorado Center for the Blind embraces and from which our staff, students and programs will benefit.
Please direct any media inquiries to Chris Danielsen, Director of Public Relations for the National Federation of the Blind, (410) 659-9314, extension 2330, or firstname.lastname@example.org.