About Us

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.

Max Robinson at his tablesaw
Max Robinson, SCKCB’s first webmaster, cutting plywood on a table saw in his wood shop

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 members.

Ron and Palma holding ACB Walk trophy
Ron (Former SCKCB President) and Palma Milliman holding the ACB Walk trophy

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.

Ron at the table with council
Ron Milliman at a State Rehabilitation Council meeting

About Our Officers

Our President

Meet our president, Teresa Escue. Teresa lost all her useful vision between March and June of 2019. Her vision loss was caused by Retinitis Pigmentosa, a genetic disorder affecting approximately 1 in 4,000 people worldwide. As an active member of the workforce for over 40 years, Teresa refused to let her vision loss slow her down. She knew she needed to learn the skills necessary to confidently take care of herself and her family, so she enrolled in the McDowell Center for the Blind. Through the center’s programs, she has learned JAWS, Braille, iPhone apps and many other independent living skills.

Teresa is a current member of Kentucky Council of the Blind, American Council of the Blind, ACB families and a board member of SILC (Kentucky Statewide Independent Living Council).

In addition to advocating for herself and others, Teresa is also a member of the Relentless Club, a local classic car club. Teresa and Her husband have restored several classic cars over the past 20 years. She loves to cook for family and friends and spoil her five grandchildren.

Teresa has been a member of SCKCB for many years, having joined when she could still drive to Bowling Green for meetings. The group has been an invaluable resource to Teresa as her vision declined. Speaking with others who have gone through vision loss has been extremely helpful. The group has always been there to support our members in any way we can. Teresa hopes the group continues to grow and support those facing blindness or low vision.

Teresa can be contacted here.

Our Vice President

Our Vice President, Lisa McKinley, lives in Bowling Green Kentucky with her husband Patrick and their two teenage sons. She has been a member of the South Central Kentucky Council of the Blind since 2021. Lisa was born with Congenital Glaucoma, and gradually lost her vision over a period of 15 years. Lisa is a disability rights advocate who strives to ensure that disabled individuals know their worth and are able to participate and enjoy the same opportunities afforded to non-disabled people. She co-hosts the Demand and Disrupt podcast, an advocacy podcast created as a platform to discuss issues relevant to the disability community. Lisa Enjoys spending time with her friends and family, serving in the local church and providing comfort and understanding to those experiencing vision loss.

Lisa can be contacted here.

Our Treasurer

Our treasurer 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! he says.

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 anywhere.

JT can be contacted here

Our Webmaster

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.

Mike can be contacted here.

Our Constitution

For purposes of this document, the term “blind” shall refer to all persons who are legally blind or visually impaired.

  1. NAME: The name of this organization is the South Central Kentucky Council of the Blind, otherwise referred to herein as the SCKCB.
  2. PURPOSE: The purpose of this organization shall be:
    1. To work for a better public understanding of the multiplicity of capabilities and aspirations of people who are blind;
    2. To work for a better quality of education for all blind Kentuckians;
    3. To support broad employment opportunities for persons who are blind, and to actively address issues related to the unemployment and underemployment of blind people;
    4. To represent persons who are blind on legislative, administrative, and regulatory issues affecting their interests;
    5. To act as an advocate for the rights of blind people;
    6. To provide programs and activities designed to increase socialization between persons who are blind, their sighted peers and family members;
    7. To work for the expansion and improvement of rehabilitation programs for people who are blind;
    8. To distribute information on resources and opportunities available to blind people;
  3. AFFILIATION: The South Central Kentucky Council of the Blind is an independent entity, which is philosophically aligned with the American Council of the Blind (ACB), headquartered in Arlington, Virginia.
    1. The membership of the South Central Kentucky Council of the Blind shall be of two (2) types, Regular Members and Honorary Members:
      1. Regular Member: Anyone who is at least 16 years of age may become a Regular Member of the South Central Kentucky Council of the Blind. Regular Members are required to pay annual membership dues of an amount and at such time as determined by a recommendation from the Executive Board of the SCKCB and ratified by a two-thirds majority vote of the membership present and voting, providing a quorum has been established. Regular Members may participate in all activities of the organization, and shall have the right to vote and to hold office.
      2. Honorary Members: The Executive Board of the SCKCB may establish, as it deems appropriate, Honorary Memberships. Honorary Members may participate in all activities of the organization and may pay dues as established by a recommendation from the Executive Board of the SCKCB and ratified by a two-thirds supporting vote of the SCKCB’s membership present and voting, providing there is a quorum. Honorary members shall not have the right to vote or hold office.
      3. Blind individuals shall at all times constitute a majority of the voting membership of the SCKCB.
      4. Expulsion of any member may be accomplished by a two-thirds majority vote of the voting members present, providing a quorum is established. Voting will be conducted by secret ballot after a proper hearing, first before the Executive Board of the SCKCB and then before a quorum of the voting membership.
  5. Offices and the Executive Board
    1. The offices of the South Central Kentucky Council of the Blind shall be:
      1. President
      2. Vice President
      3. Secretary
      4. Treasurer
    2. The President and Vice President must be legally blind or visually impaired.
    3. Terms of office shall be for two years, and all officers must be members in good standing of the organization throughout their terms of office.
    4. Removal of an officer from office. An officer may be removed from his/her office for inactivity, failure to perform his/her duties, engaging in unethical, illegal, or disreputable behavior that might risk damaging the image of the SCKCB.
      1. Inactivity shall be defined as missing three or more consecutive regularly scheduled meetings without giving just cause to at least one other member of the Executive Board by phone, e-mail, in person, or regular U.S. postal mail. If found guilty of inactivity by a majority of the Executive Board, the charges must then be reported to the SCKCB membership, along with substantiating documentation and/or testimony. A motion to remove the inactive officer must be made and seconded by the membership and passed by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote, providing a quorum is present at the time of the vote.
      2. Illegal behavior shall be defined as any behavior of which he/she is found guilty in violation of city, county, state, or federal law. Any officer charged with such an unlawful act will be immediately suspended from his/her office until the officer being charged with such illegal act, or acts, is found to be guilty or not guilty by a court of law. If not guilty, he/she may resume his/her office with the SCKCB. If found guilty by a court of law, the offending officer shall be removed immediately from his/her office without need of any other action by the SCKCB’s Executive Board or the SCKCB’s membership.
      3. Failure to perform his/her duties, unethical or disreputable behavior shall be defined on a case-by-case bases by either majority of the remaining SCKCB Executive Board or no less than any two SCKCB members who are not members of the Executive Board. The charges must then be reported to the SCKCB’s membership, along with substantiating documentation and/or testimony. A motion to remove the officer in question must be made and seconded by the membership and passed by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote, providing a quorum is present at the time of the vote.
      4. The removal of any officer shall be considered as a vacancy, and such vacancies shall be filled in accordance with Section E that follows in these bylaws.
    5. If a vacancy occurs in any officer position, except for the office of President or Vice President, the Executive Board may elect an individual to serve in the position for The remainder of that officer’s term. If a vacancy occurs in the office of President, the Vice President shall serve as the President for the remaining term and until the next regular election of officers. The vacated position of Vice President shall be filled by a special election at the next regular meeting of the membership. Such an election shall be conducted as provided for elsewhere in this document.
    6. The Executive Board of the organization shall be made up of the organization’s officers: the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Program Director.
    7. The Executive Board is the governing body of this organization between regular meetings of the organization. The Executive Board may adopt resolutions and take action on behalf of the organization. The Board may take no action that is contrary to the decided policy of the organization’s Regular membership. A report of all actions taken by the Board must be recorded in writing and read at the next regular meeting of the membership.
    8. No member of the Executive Board shall receive compensation for services to the SCKCB. Board members may be reimbursed for expenses incurred in the exercise of the duties of their offices.
  6. Regular, Special Meetings and Quorums
    1. Regular meetings shall be held at a time and place designated by the SCKCB’s President. Regular meetings shall be no more frequent than once per month, but at least once per quarter or every three months.
    2. Special meetings shall be call from time to time as deemed necessary by either the SCKCB’s President, the Executive Board, or a majority of the voting members.
    3. Notice of all regular and special meetings shall be communicated to the membership not less than five (5) days prior to the meeting. Communications may be accomplished either by or any combination of: telephone, postal mail, or e-mail. It shall be the Secretary’s responsibility to notify the organization’s members of such meetings.
    4. Quorums:
      1. One-third of the total voting membership shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of business at a regular or special meeting of the organization
      2. A majority of the Executive Board shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of business at a meeting of the Board.
    5. Elections:
      1. Elections of the Organization’s officers shall be held annually, or as needed, on or about the anniversary date of the organization’s inception, September 4.
      2. The election for the President and Treasurer shall be held on even numbered years, and the Vice President and Secretary on odd numbered years.
      3. All elections are open for nomination of candidates from the floor. Candidates must either be present at the time of the election, or must otherwise indicate their willingness to serve in the office to which they are being nominated.
      4. Election for any office for which two or more candidates are nominated must be conducted by secret ballot.
  7. Procedures:
    1. All matters of business shall be conducted according to the most recent revision of Robert’s Rules of Order, except here otherwise provided for in these bylaws or unless suspension of which is accepted by a majority vote of the members attending the meeting.
  8. Committees:
    1. The President or the Executive Board may create committees as deemed necessary to accomplish the tasks of the organization.
  9. Dissolution of Organization:
    1. If the South Central Kentucky Council of the Blind is dissolved for any reason, the assets of the organization shall become the property of the American Council of the Blind, 2200 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 650, Arlington, VA 22201, which is a 501C(3) tax exempt organization. If the American Council of the Blind, for whatever reason, no longer exists or loses its 501C(3) exemption, the assets of the South Central Kentucky Council of the Blind, upon its disolution, shall then become the property of The American Foundation for the Blind, Inc., 2 Penn Plaza, Suite 1102, New York, NY 10121, which is a not-for-profit corporation, and is exempt from federal taxes under Sections 501(c)(3) and 509(a)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code.
  10. Amendments:
    1. These bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds majority vote of the Regular Members present, providing a quorum is established, and at any two consecutive regular meetings of the organization’s membership, provided that both the original and amending language, together with the name of the submitter and the recommendation of the Executive Board has been published to the membership in writing not less than five (5) days prior to the initial meeting in which such changes are to be considered, and further provided that both the original and amending language is read in its entirety on the floor of each of the Regular meetings at the time of its consideration