The South Central Kentucky Council of the Blind (SCKCB)
The South Central Kentucky Council of the Blind was
founded on September 4, 2003. We are a membership
organization formed by blind people to promote the
independence, dignity and advancement of blind and
visually impaired individuals. Our members are blind,
visually impaired and fully sighted people, from all
walks of life, and ranging in age from teens to elders.
People who are blind or visually impaired constitute the
majority of the membership and are responsible for
setting and administering SCKCB and ACB policy. We seek
to encourage blind people to make significant
contributions within their communities, to live and work
independently, and to advocate for themselves.
The American Council of the Blind (ACB) is our national,
parent organization. The ACB is a nation-wide
organization whose headquarters are located in
Arlington, Virginia and has more than seventy state and
special interest affiliates and an extensive national
network of local chapters and thousands of individual
Our governmental staff in Arlington constantly monitors
laws and regulations crucial to the lives of blind
people. Issues which receive our attention include civil
rights, education, employment, Social Security benefits,
rehabilitation services, guide dog access, pedestrian
safety, expanded public transportation, travel and
recreation, adaptive technology, Braille literacy and
more. Frequently, ACB works in coalition with other
disability groups worldwide to create a range of
effective programs for people who are visually impaired.
As just one example, our organization was the leading
consumer organization of blind people actively seeking
passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Through our efforts with our parent organization, we
address the unique concerns of various professions and
special populations with our many national special
interest affiliates and committees. These groups focus
on issues of particular concern to women, minority
groups, people who are deaf-blind, students, library
users, teachers, lawyers, guide dog users, Braille
readers and families of people who are blind or have
low vision. Each state affiliate hosts at least one
annual statewide convention. Special interest affiliates
and groups sponsor programs, workshops and business
meetings during our annual national convention. In
addition, our many state and special interest affiliates
publish newsletters, and undertake public awareness
campaigns, advocacy, and specific projects to make a
difference in the lives of blind and low-vision people
across the entire country and even around the world.
About Our Officers
Our president is Jim Thoune (JT) who says he is
not a blind man, but a man who happens to be blind as well as five
feet 8 inches tall, with gray, curly hair and a medium build.
Totally blind since age 5 due to Retinoblastoma, he is a 67-year-old
retired Government employee, where he divided his time almost equally
between programming computers for the Office of Naval Intelligence
and trying to help people with tax issues as a Customer Service rep
for the IRS. But his background also includes a Master's degree in
Sociology, which he applied to the Social Services field for ten
years. He's been a baseball nut and Chicago Cubs fan since age 10
as well as a tournament chess player since 1973, and he now has three
National Blind Chess Champion titles to his credit. Also in 1973,
he became the first totally blind person to be certified in the US
as a SCUBA diver. These days, he is an adjunct instructor for the
Hadley Institute where he teaches two chess courses to blind patrons.
For fun, he divides his time between reading, chess, travel, some
fitness, a little writing, (A couple small publications), some
building, and working in his yard. Finally, just a word or two about
those chess titles. He says he is not the best blind chess player in the
country. Far from it, but got his chess titles, his
diving certification, and some of his writing published,
because he showed up and tried. His Mother forced him to accept
that blindness wasn't going to take away his ability to learn or to
do things. It was just going to make him find different ways to go
about it. He's learned firsthand she was right. Thanks Mom!
As blind people, I believe we need to pay particular attention to the
reality that if we don't put ourselves out there and try, we won't get
Our Vice President is Richard Lindsey. Richard is a 51
year old man, born and raised in Warren County. Born with
R.P. (Retinitis Pigmentosa) and with that he also has Usher
"hearing loss". He still has some vision, central mostly, but
it's getting blurred to where glasses are not helping. He is
just now starting to use assistive devices and learning new
Richard is a retired Heating, Venting and A/C Tech. who worked
at the Bowling Green Medical Center for 12 years before his vision
got too unreliable to continue working in that field. So, he
became a stay at home Dad and enjoyed the time he got to spend
with his daughter. Now he cares for his grandson so his daughter
can go to college and get her degree.
Having joined the SCKCB around two and a half years ago, he enjoys
the time spent with the group. Richard says:
I learn something every time we get together. I hope we can
keep learning and caring about Blind and low vision impaired
people in our area, so lives can be better.
Our Webmaster is Michael Milliman. Born in Michigan, he has lived in
Arizona and Texas where he joined the Army. During his four years in
the military, he was stationed in Massachusetts, Maryland, and Turkey.
He currently lives in Eddyville, Kentucky.
Mike has always had an interest in technology and electronics in all its
forms became his hobby. At the age of 13, he was licensed as an Amateur
Radio operator, and he maintains his license to this day. He spent his
time in the military as an electronics technician and continued in electronics
as a broadcast engineer when he left the military. He also worked as an
electrician and troubleshooter for the government.
Currently, Mike continues his interest in electronics as a hobby, as well as
a side-line. He also enjoys cooking and works at Patti's
1880s Settlement in Grand Rivers as a baker, fry cook,and just about anything
else needed in the kitchen. He says that he gets the best of both worlds,
spending his work hours cooking and his spare time experimenting with electronics
and computer programming.
Mike thoroughly enjoys the challenge of maintaining the SCKCB's web site and
keeping it up to date with the latest technology while ensuring that it is
completely accessible to the blind and low-vision population. Mike says:
Accessibility is one of the major issues on the internet today, and I enjoy
doing my part in ensuring the accessibility of our little part of the web.