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Our Special

by Dana Nichols, Editor


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Item: OS
Since 1927, this has been our most popular magazine, written and edited especially for blind women. Published six times a year, OS covers career issues, fashion, parenting, cooking, maternity, dating, health, and a panoply of other women's issues. Each issue of the magazine includes articles written by and for blind women: "Hobbies and Such," "Susie on Style," "Handicrafts," "Have Cane, Will Travel," "Julia's Jottings," "Kendrick Insight," "From Kim with Love," editor Dana Nichols's "A Note from the Annex," and of course the slim and convenient pull-out recipe section, "Kitchen Corner."
One year's subscription is $15.00.

"I have been reading Our Special for many years. I was just so delighted to receive this month's issue. It is all so interesting. I want to say, too, that I love the stories."

Contributors' Biographies

Dana Nichols is a native of Huntsville, Alabama, and lost her sight immediately after high school graduation. She then earned a BS in English education from Auburn University and an MA in teaching English as a second language (ESL) from Florida State University. For twenty years she taught English and ESL at Auburn University at Montgomery. After retiring in 2000, she became editor of Our Special magazine.

Marjorie Arnott originates from Scotland and moved to America in 1978. She first discovered the Our Special magazine in 1985 and joined as a contributor in 1997 when Ann Porter, who was the Kitchen Corner and Crafts editor, suggested she join her as an assistant. The two had a wonderful rapport and when Ann retired, Marjorie was asked to continue where Ann left off. After more than twenty years in this role, she still tries to make the Kitchen Corner section as varied as possible.

Phyllis Staton Campbell graduated from The Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind and did further study at Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, VA. She studied creative writing at the Hadley Institute in Illinois, Creative Writing Institute in Indiana, and the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She has been writing professionally since the 1960s, and recently released her seventh book. In addition to writing, she has worked as teacher, peer counselor, and youth transition coordinator. She currently holds the position of organist at Faith Lutheran Church in historic downtown Staunton, VA.

Deborah Kendrick is an award-winning writer, editor, columnist, and poet. She has written extensively on technology, parenting, health, and disability rights. Her work has appeared in newspapers, magazines, textbooks, and anthologies. She has been recognized by numerous organizations for both journalism and advocacy. Passions and pursuits have included cycling, hiking, cross-country skiing, reading, music, knitting, cooking, and reading aloud, especially to children. She divides her time between Ohio and Florida.

Julia Kimbell is married with three grown kids. Her main interest is animals: she breeds and shows guinea pigs, keeps a couple of rabbits, and is a guide dog handler. She loves reading, listening to the radio (mostly music from the 1950s through 1970s), and walking in the countryside. She especially enjoys time with friends and having a really good laugh. She has taken up various crafts, including pompom-making, basic knitting, and wool rug making. What matters most to her is being with family.

Kim Loftis is a certified spiritual and life coach dedicated to supporting women in living lives that make their hearts sing. She loves helping others conquer struggle and overwhelm and unearthing the joy and fulfillment they desire and deserve. Kim is also Director of Product Development for Mystic Access, where she assists clients in gaining confidence and having fun using their assistive technology. When she isn't working, you'll probably find her avidly reading, writing, or absorbed in music.

Sylvia W. Reid has been a loyal reader of the Our Special magazine and other NBP publications for decades. Often, she travels with her husband, George. Together they enjoy different cultures, museums, scenic adventures, and innocent fun. Her careers have included teaching high-school French and psychology, programming mainframe computers, instructing blind adults in communications skills, and parenting a son and daughter who are now in their late twenties. Her passions include but are not limited to writing, literature, music, and people of all sorts. She's blessed to have five grandchildren.

Susie Stageberg has been writing the fashion column "Susie on Style" for the Our Special magazine since 2008. She retired from her job as Reader Advisor at the Iowa Library for the Blind in 2013. Retirement has allowed her to spend more time on her hobbies: reading, knitting, and choral singing, as well as giving her more time with her granddaughter. She is the mother of four grown children and lives in suburban Des Moines, Iowa, with her husband Paul, four cats, one Cocker spaniel, and her Seeing Eye dog, Levi.