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South Dakota Association of the Blind

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South Dakota Association of the Blind


Jackie Shepherd

I was born in Portland, Oregon. Being three months premature, I developed retinopathy.

I was primarily raised in the Portland area, though we lived on the Oregon coast for a while when I was small. I, however, was luckier than my siblings, as I was a resident of the Oregon School for The Blind during the week and came home on weekends.

As a child, I loved reading, music, and bowling. I even got involved in drama playing Calamity Jane in our school theatre.

After attending the Oregon School for The Blind, I transferred to Madison High School. I went from a school with 107 students to a high school with 2500 students; what a difference!

I met my husband, Bill Shepherd, at the Oregon School for The Blind. When I went to Olympia Vocational Technical Institute to learn medical transcription, he would come up to see me from time to time. We now have been married over 48 years.

In 1996, a job at the Oregon State Library - Talking Books became available. To my surprise, I was hired and worked there until my retirement in 2011.

We continued to live in Portland until 2016 until our move to South Dakota. Our current home is in De Smet.

I still love bowling, music and reading; but now have added amateur radio to my list of hobbies. I got my novice license in July, 1986 while living in the Bend area, then progressed to my extra license in 1990. I still hope to get my amateur station up and running. It’s something to look forward to.

I got involved with SDAB when Chelle Hart told us about the organization. We thought it would be a great way to get acquainted and make new friends. I’m glad I did!!!

Pictured is Jackie at home.