LIHUE — The Kauai Branch of the National Federation for the Blind (NFB) had a special guest in earlier this month.
The Kauai organization, which meets the first Thursday of every month, hosted Madison Makanaokahaku Scott and her family and friends from Cambria, California.
Scott has been blind since birth and taught herself the Hawaiian language.
A vocalist/composer who has made several recordings, Scott treated the group to her own renditions of “Mokihana Lullaby” and “Amazing Grace.”
“We were honored to have some talented, special guests from California choose Kauai’s chapter to be their first NFB meeting ever,” said Doug Moises, Kauai NFB president.
Scott has a strong interest in Hawaiian language, music and culture. For her high school senior project, she produced and performed an album with several of her favorite traditional Hawaiian mele and five of her own compositions.
“My Hawaiian name, Makanaokahaku, was given to me at an aloha festival. My name means ‘gift of God,’” Scott said. “I am so excited to share traditional and original compositions on my first Hawaiian album.”
“Many people who visit Hawaii might experience the beauty of it by sightseeing,” Scott said. “However, my experience on Kauai was full of enjoying the culture of Hawaii through sounds, since I am blind. I not only had the amazing opportunity to speak Hawaiian with Native Hawaiians, but I also had the amazing privilege of hearing them speak Hawaiian to me. I will never forget my trip to Kauai and God’s kindness in providing such experiences to occur.”
Madison serves on the worship team in her local church. Her performance at Kauai’s NFB meeting helped inspire other blind members to be an active part of the community.
Members will attend the NFB Hawaii State Convention on Oahu next weekend. The Kauai branch will also participate in a “White Cane Walk” to celebrate National White Cane Day on Oct. 19.
“We’ll start walking at 10 from the State Building and end up at the Piikoi Building at the Lihue Civic Center,” Moises said. “The Lion’s Club will be joining us, and we invite everyone to join in. It’s all about public awareness.”
The NFB of Hawaii raises the expectations of blind people to help them accomplish their dreams. It has established four chapters statewide and also chartered a Merchants Division and Students Division.
Kauai’s NFB meeting takes place on the first Thursday of each month at the State Building in the second-floor conference room at 10 a.m.
Info: Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, 274-3333.