Opportunity, Equality, Independence
Denise Colley, President
Alco Canfield, Senior Editor
Terry Nelson, Assistant Editor
Those much-needed contributions, which are TAX-deductible, can be sent to the Washington Council of the Blind treasurer, Glenn McCully, at PO Box 30009, Seattle, WA 98113-0009.
To remember the Washington Council of the Blind in your Last Will and Testament, you may include a special paragraph for that purpose in your Will or Trust. If your wishes are complex, please contact the WCB at 800-255-1147.
The WCB is a 501(c)(3) organization.
For other ways to support the Washington Council of the Blind, visit our Fundraising page found at www.wcbinfo.org.
Table of Contents
From the Presidentís Desk
Pre-Convention Board Meeting and Business Meeting
Resolutions Passed at the 2011 WCB Convention
2012 Officers and Board Members
A Wonderful Convention
A Friendly Reminder
My First WCB Convention
From the Senior Side: Victors or Victims?
Washington State Department of Services for the Blind
Washington State School for the Blind
Washington Talking Book and Braille Library
Making the Case for Social Media
Around the State
A Letter to the WCB Membership
WCB History 2001 Part 3
Hats Off to You
From My Kitchen to Yours
2012 Calendar of Deadlines and Events
As the end of my term as president nears, I would like to take this opportunity to let each and every one of you know how grateful I am, and have been, for your support and friendship throughout these many miles weíve walked together. As a team we have worked together and encouraged each other through advocacy struggles, job pursuits, guide dog events, illnesses, deaths, and more. I also want to publicly acknowledge the time and energy given by all of the hard working men and women who served as officers and board members during my four years in office. Without exception, when Iíve needed someone to assist me with a task, Iíve been able to count on every one of you to pitch in.
I have served this organization for four years and am proud of our many successes and accomplishments. To mention just a few:
* At one point our state membership reached an all-time high of 462 members.
* We advocated for and witnessed the successful transfer of the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library (WTBBL) from the City of Seattle to the Washington State Library.
* We made some significant changes to the NEWSLINE production process which made it more efficient, while reducing production costs.
* We enlisted the services of a professional website developer and established a website oversight committee to maintain a website that is informative, secure, and accessible.
* We held a very successful outreach event and established a brand new chapter, the United Blind of Southwest Washington, in the Vancouver area.
When our three state agencies for the blind were forced to make some major budget cuts due to the significant economic downturn, we all came together and advocated to get the Department of Services for the Blind (DSB) to reverse their decision and keep the residential apartments of the Orientation and Training Center open, keep DSB and its functions from being transferred to the Department of Social and Health Services and the Washington State School for the Blind from being transferred to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, get two of the six positions WTBBL initially had to cut reinstated, and rallied around WTBBL and the Washington State Library to oppose a bill that would move them into a mega agency and cut them by 22 percent. On three separate occasions WCB members got up at the crack of dawn and came to Olympia by charter bus to attend hearings and testify on these various pieces of legislation. Never underestimate the power of your advocacy. Through our hotline calls, emails, and personal visits to legislators we have definitely been a ìpresenceî in Olympia and we have made a difference!
But none of these accomplishments ends here. The story will continue under the leadership of our president-elect, Cindy Van Winkle, who is returning to once again take the reins of WCB and move us forward even more. We see her leadership abilities every day, and as I step down, but not away, I can do so with the knowledge that this organization remains in capable hands.
Now, for a final reminder and plea to each of you who have served on a WCB committee in the past or have given it some thought and just havenít been ready to make the commitment. We need you! Cindy has set the deadline date of January 10, to hear from you, so please bombard her with tons of messages. To make her work easier, please donít limit yourself to one committee, but give her a few that are of interest to you, allowing her to create the best committees possible for WCB. Send your email message to firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 360-689-0827.
Finally, the first board meeting of 2012 is scheduled for February 5, at the Best Western Plus Evergreen Inn and Suites in Federal Way. The hotel is located at 32124 25th Avenue South. Room rates are $75 per night plus applicable taxes and fees. The board will be holding their annual board dinner on Friday evening, February 3, and leadership training for WCB officers, board members, and chapter presidents will be held on Saturday, February 4.
In closing, thank you for allowing me to serve as the president of the Washington Council of the Blind. Now letís go forth with a shared vision and renewed sense of purpose in building, through chapter and membership growth, and by strengthening our collective commitment to the activities of our organization, an even more vibrant WCB in 2012.
The WCB Board Meeting was convened at the Red Lion Inn in Pasco, Washington, on November 3, 2011, at 7:00 PM. After roll call and introductions, several First-Timers were welcomed. Cindy described the hotel and thanked the volunteers and staff.
She reported that the 2012 WCB Convention will be held at the Hilton Hotel in Vancouver, WA. Sites for the 2013 and 2014 conventions are being explored.
Cindy discussed the new location for our upcoming board meetings which will be held the first weekend of February, May, and August at the Best Western Evergreen Inn located in Federal Way. Room rates will be $75 per night in February, and $82 per night for May and August.
Other committee reports were given. Highlights included: assistance to twenty-one individuals by the Advocacy Committee; the WCB silent auction; the awarding of six scholarships; WCB presence at the Puyallup Fair, and service to twenty-eight individuals by the Crisis Committee.
Sue Ammeter, Chair of the Legislative Committee, discussed the severe economic crisis in Washington State and the cuts in services which will result. (See agency reports elsewhere in this issue.)
The legislature will convene on November 28, to explore ways to address the severe economic shortfall which will have devastating consequences for service delivery in this state.
A motion was then made and adopted to refer the amended budget to the general convention. The board meeting was then adjourned.
Denise Colley convened the business meeting on Saturday, November 5, at 1:30 PM.
Elections were held. (See results later in this issue.)
All six constitutional amendments and bylaw changes were passed. Updated constitutions will be available in the next few weeks and the email version will include notes on all changes made over the last few years.
The first two changes this year corrected outdated terminology.
* Amendment 2011-3 simplified bylaw 13 by reducing the number of monthly meetings required to qualify for the affiliate stipend from 10 to 8 and removing the requirement that each affiliate report all meeting dates to the state president.
* Amendment 2011-4 simplified bylaw 13 by stipulating that affiliates only need to submit their entire constitution to the state if it has been changed and if it has not been changed they simply need to notify the state that it is unchanged.
* Amendment 2011-5 added the provision that the nominating committee shall report its slate of proposed candidates to the membership via the WCB email list and the WCB telephone service 20 days before the convention.
* Amendment 2011-6 raised the crisis award limit for most things from $300 to $400.
Glenn McCulley presented the WCB budget; after discussion and several amendments, it was adopted.
Two major resolutions were passed at this yearís WCB State Convention, held in Pasco, Washington. The following is a summary of those resolutions and the action to be taken by the WCB.
RESOLUTION 2011-01 addresses the importance of the Evergreen Radio Reading Service which has provided an unparalleled and irreplaceable service to the blind of Washington State by providing, through real-time broadcasting, topical and current content gleaned from hundreds of sources otherwise available in print only, and the decision to eliminate this program due to drastic budget cuts currently being proposed by the governor of Washington State. Such dismantling of this unique service will mean the loss of all staff, volunteers, specialized equipment, and subcontract administration. The resolution directs the Washington Council of the Blind to go on record as expressing our profound disappointment over the elimination of this vital service and directs the officers and directors of this organization to work with other interested organizations to explore other service delivery alternatives.
RESOLUTION 2011-02 addresses the Assistive Technology Program and the fact that the Federal House of Representatives draft Fiscal Year 2012 Labor, Health, and Human Services funding bill proposes a new 25 percent mandatory set-aside from State Assistive Technology (AT) Act Programs such as the Washington Assistive Technology Act Program (WATAP) in order to fund alternative financing programs. Such a mandatory funding distribution of AT act funds is in violation of statutory language, and will be most felt in rural communities and by low income and underserved populations, and will directly impact WATAPís ability to maintain and expand AT lending programs in rural libraries, support the deaf-blind equipment distribution program, provide demonstrations and consultation to individuals making AT decisions, and provide consultation to government and industry regarding accessibility of information technology. The resolution directs the Washington Council of the Blind to go on record to state that the Assistive Technology Act programs should continue to receive their full funding in order to provide a balanced array of services based on the individual needs identified in each state which include device demonstrations, device lending, device reuse, and alternative financing along with technical consultation, professional training, information and referral, and other services; and that the Board of Directors specifically convey our views on this matter, without delay, to Representative Norm Dicks who is a member of the House Appropriations Committee, and communicate with all other members of the Washington Congressional delegation as appropriate.
Cindy Van Winkle, President, 360-689-0827, Bremerton
Julie Brannon, 1st Vice President, 206-547-7444, Seattle
Meka White, 2nd Vice President, 360-689-1678, Bremerton
Frank Cuta, Secretary, 509-967-2658, Benton City
Eric Hunter, Treasurer, 360-377-9917, Bremerton
Denise Colley, Immediate Past President, 360-438-0072, Lacey
Lori Allison, 253-537-4428, Tacoma
Sue Ammeter, 360-437-7916, Port Hadlock
Alco Canfield, 509-525-7136, Walla Walla
John Common, 425-335-4031, Lake Stevens
Bill Hoage, 509-586-8901, Kennewick
Stuart Russell, 360-377-2437, Bremerton
Here are your WCB Committees. You have until January 10, 2012, to request placement on a committee.
Advocacy Committee: Works on individual and general issues of discrimination that come to the attention of WCB throughout the year. Its members are called upon to do research and communicate on behalf of the organization with employers, businesses and other organizations, and individuals in order to promote advocacy.
Aging and Blindness Committee: Focuses on the senior blind. It works throughout the year on ideas to improve the lives of senior citizens experiencing vision loss as well as tracks and reports on issues of concern to the board and members of WCB.
Awards Committee: Administers the WCB Awards Program by processing nominations for specific awards, making the selections for awards as they deem appropriate, and presenting the awards at the annual banquet of WCB.
Constitution and Bylaws Committee: This committee is charged with working on proposed amendments to the WCB Constitution and Bylaws. It is appointed by the president no less than 60 days before the opening of the annual convention. Unless other arrangements are made by the president, this committee meets immediately following the pre-convention board meeting to report the slate of proposed amendments.
Convention Committee: The planning group for the WCB State Convention.
Crisis Committee: Administers the WCB Crisis Program.
Environmental Access Committee: Addresses environmental access issues specific to blindness. It tracks and reports such concerns to the board and members of WCB.
Families With Blind Children Committee: Addresses issues specific to children who are blind and addresses the associated concerns of family members.
Finance Committee: 1. Develops the WCB annual budget which is presented at the pre-convention board meeting and voted on at the general membership business meeting. Budget line items approved by the convention may be adjusted by the board of directors between conventions. 2. Processes all grant requests received by WCB and reports them to the board for action with a ìdo pass,î ìdo not pass,î or no recommendation.
First-Timerís Committee: Administers the WCB First-Timerís Awards Programs for both the state and national conventions by processing applications and selecting the award winners.
History Committee: This committee is responsible for preserving the history of the WCB and that of the organizations which preceded it.
Investment Committee: Tracks the financial investments of the WCB and recommends changes in our investment strategy to the board.
Leadership Committee: Plans the WCB State Leadership and Training Seminars.
Legislative Committee: Tracks and reports legislative issues to the board and members of WCB.
Listserv Committee: Works as moderator of the WCB email list, oversees list activity, ensuring that the Listserv runs smoothly and keeps list rules up-to-date and relevant.
Membership Committee: Works to increase membership in the WCB, assists new chapters in getting started, and provides support and consultation to existing chapters.
NEWSLINE Committee: The editorial body for the state newsletter, the NEWSLINE. It reviews and processes all submitted articles and makes other editorial decisions regarding the next issue. With board concurrence it may also establish policy surrounding this publication.
Scholarship Committee: Administers the WCB Scholarship Program by processing applications, interviewing applicants, selecting the scholarship winners, and presenting these awards at the WCB State Convention.
Website Oversight Committee: This committee acts as the WCBís principle agent for maintaining a website that is informative, secure, and accessible. Responsibilities shall include but not be limited to supervising our domain name registration, selecting the web hosting service, directing a website developer, reviewing all website content, and maintaining frequent independently stored backup copies of the site.
Fundraising Committee: This committee explores and identifies fundraising activities and brings recommendations to the board and convention.
The following WCB members were remembered by a moment of silence at the annual business meeting at the WCB State Convention:
David walker, Jefferson County Council of the Blind
Raul Torres, Yakima Valley Council of the Blind
The WCB convention is a culmination of all of the hard work that the convention committee has put in all year. It would be very difficult to put into words every single thing that happened this year, but I will touch on a few of the highlights.
There were 170 people that were registered for this yearís convention that took place in Pasco, at the Red Lion Hotel. The United Blind of the Tri-Cities did an amazing job hosting the convention and making certain that people and dogs alike had plenty of goodies in the goody bags. A huge thank you goes out to that chapter for all of the hard work that they did to make the convention a wonderful one.
Friday was a very busy day with many activities to do. The general session included such topics as vacationing as a blind person, container gardening, how the Independent Living Program can help the older blind in our state, what is happening with the Washington Assistive Technology Act Program, and how to effectively communicate with our legislators, a topic that was presented by Senator Jerome Delvin.
There were plenty of exhibits for people to peruse, from reading machines to backpacks, magnifiers to coffee, and everything in-between. The exhibit area was open all day and was quite busy.
There were many choices that people could make for Friday afternoon. There were tours to a local winery as well as rock climbing at a gym. The break-out sessions included getting older with vision loss, the latest on airport security and guide dogs, Yogalates, the various I-products such as the iPhone and iPad, Diabetes management, and a time for other guide dog handlers to chat with one another.
The eleventh annual WCB Talent Show was a success. The room was packed and there were acts that ranged from singing to comedy and playing various musical instruments. A sing-along took place after the talent show. This was a new event, but it was wonderful. Many people stayed to sing tunes while Alan Bentson played the piano. An enjoyable time was had by all who attended.
On Saturday morning, Secretary of State Sam Reed spoke to the assembly about our Washington Talking Book and Braille Library (WTBBL) and the state library. It was a real treat to have someone who has been such an advocate for WTBBL speak to us.
The employment panel was a success, bringing together blind and visually-impaired people who work in various jobs to speak to us. There were plenty of questions and it was very informative. We also heard from our three agencies serving the blind and how they are fairing during these difficult economic times and what is taking place within their individual programs. Brenda Dillon, our national representative, spoke to us about what is happening with the American Council of the Blind (ACB) and all that is taking place in the national office.
The business meeting gave everyone the opportunity to have input on the direction of the organization for the year to come.
The banquet was a huge success. Scholarships were given to very deserving blind students and it was a pleasure to hear them speak. The Business of the Year award went to the Northgate QFC store. The One World award was given to Pat Copeland of Vision Loss Connections. The Outstanding Service award was presented to Lori Allison, President of the Pierce County Association of the Blind. Brenda Dillon gave a lively and inspirational speech about how we each have our part to play within WCB so that the organization can flourish.
Between informative sessions, door prizes, exhibits, hospitality, and all of the activities that were available, this was a jam packed convention. A huge thank you goes to Rick and Deb Lewis for streaming the convention on ACB radio and putting the archives up on the WCB website. If you would like an audio slice of just what took place, you can find the archives on our website at www.wcbinfo.org/convention.html.
I hope that if you werenít able to join us this year, you will make it a point to be a part of this wonderful time of connection, information, and fellowship by joining us next year in Vancouver.
Hello to all WCB affiliates and members. Dues are due and so too, is your Membership Contact Information.
I am extending a friendly reminder to all WCB affiliates that membership dues are due by February 10, 2012. I also am asking each WCB member to be sure your membership person has your correct personal contact and format information. It would definitely help with WCB and the American Council of the Blind (ACB) costs, if you would consider receiving your WCB and ACB publications via email or on the website.
As your membership data chair I need to ask that you please follow the subsequent rules. All membership contact information must be sent to me only in an electronic format. Also, a complete and accurate list of your newly elected 2011 officers must accompany your membership list. If any changes have been made to your constitution, a copy must be sent to WCB President, Cindy Van Winkle, at
All of the following contact information is required to make our database complete:
Name, address, city, state, zip, phone (including area code), cell phone if any, and email address if any.
The following questions must all be answered:
Are you a lifetime member of ACB? Yes or no
Are you a lifetime member of WCB? Yes or no
Are you fully sighted? Yes or no
How would you like to receive the following publications?
WCB Newsline: large print, cassette, email, website, or none
The Braille Forum: Braille, cassette, large print, IBM-compatible CD-ROM, email, website, or none
WCB Mailings: email, large print, or Braille
To receive the WCB NEWSLINE via email, send a blank message to:
To receive the Braille Forum via email, please send a blank message to:
All of the above contact information must be received by
Denise Colley since Janice Squires is in the process of moving, at:
Dues money must be received by Eric Hunter at our new WCB address:
PO Box 3127
Bremerton, WA 98310
No later than February 10, 2012, in order for your affiliate to receive the $500 WCB stipend.
Then, throughout the year, please contact us with any additions, corrections, or deletions to your membership list so the changes can be made immediately. After the initial lists have been sent, please include the date of which a new member has joined in order for them to be considered for WCB and ACB stipends and guideline requirements.
Thank you for your support and letís try to exceed our grand total of 433 members from last year.
As Told to Alco Canfield
(Editorís Note: Carla is a member of the
United Blind of Walla Walla Chapter)
I was really nervous about going to convention because I didnít know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that my anxiety was unfounded. Getting around the hotel was a real challenge because I am in a wheelchair; however, joking about getting lost lessened the frustration. I had a lot of help and made many new friends. The convention atmosphere was very welcoming.
The board meeting was interesting and informative. The activities of the various committees showed me how concerned WCB is about people who are blind. I didnít realize that WCB did so much.
I liked the breakout session concerning aging and blindness. Although I am not electronically inclined, I sneaked into the iPhone session and enjoyed it immensely.
I am delighted that the convention was streamed so that people who could not attend were included.
The WCB Convention was a source of empowerment and inspiration for me. Hopefully, I will be able to attend convention next year so that I can catch up with old friends and make new ones.
The Washington State Legislature has been called into special session. By the time this edition of NEWSLINE is published we will have a clearer picture of what lies ahead for blind Washingtonians. But one thing is certain, conditions will not be improving soon. Tax dollars are shrinking, and with them, valuable social services.
In other words, we are about to return to those good old days. You know, the days of the Rugged Individual, where we pulled ourselves up by our own boot straps. But of course that wonderland never was real. Which is why these government programs were established in the first place. Charities were woefully under funded and could not begin to meet the needs of those lining up at their doors. Older people turned to family members for help only to find that they were just as poor.
In pretending that the world of Andy Hardy was the life enjoyed by most Americans, we forget the poor houses, tenement buildings, the slums, ghettos, and barren orphanages that once were all the poor could turn to.
Too many Americans have had their memory washed clean and in its place, a ìLetís Pretendî world where even the Tiny Timís are finally taken care of by the kindly, repentant Master.
Hereís another dream, a dream many of us bought into. We actually believed if we worked hard and were responsible citizens, raised up responsible children, paid our taxes, and helped others in our community, we believed that if we did all those things we could expect to have a secure old age. We believed we could expect decent medical care, adequate diet, affordable housing, and when we needed it, assistance from the government we had helped to defend and nurture.
But according to a revised formula by The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) (see newspaper article that follows), such a secure world may be turning into smoke rings and fading into dark storm clouds.
We, in the Washington Council of the Blind, may find that our struggles of the past several years were warm ups for what faces us in 2012. What we do together will determine whether we are to be Victims or Victors.
From The Huffington Post
November 14, 2011
The poverty rate among older Americans could be nearly twice as high as the traditional 10 percent level, according to a revision of a half-century-old formula for calculating medical costs and geographic variations in the cost of living.
The National Academy of Sciencesí formula, which is gaining credibility with public officials, including some in the Obama administration, would put the poverty rate for Americans 65 and over at 18.6 percent, or 6.8 million people, compared with 9.7 percent, or 3.6 million people, under the existing measure. The original government formula, created in 1955, doesnít take into account rising costs of medical care and other factors.
ìItís a hidden problem,î said Robin Talbert, president of the AARP Foundation, which provides job training and support to low-income seniors and is backing legislation that would adopt the NAS formula. ìThere are still many millions of older people on the edge who donít have what they need to get by.î
If the academyís formula is adopted, a more refined picture of American poverty could emerge that would capture everyday costs of necessities besides just food. The result could upend long-standing notions of those in greatest need and lead eventually to shifts in how billions of federal dollars for the poor are distributed for health, housing, nutrition, and child-care benefits.
The overall official poverty rate would increase from 12.5 percent to 15.3 percent, for a total of 45.7 million people, according to rough calculations by the Census Bureau. Data on all segments, not only the elderly, would be affected:
* The rate for children under 18 in poverty would decline slightly, to 17.9 percent.
* Single mothers and their children, who disproportionately receive food stamps, would see declines in the rates of poverty because noncash aid would be taken into account.
* Low-income people who are working could see increases in poverty rates, a reflection of transportation and child-care costs.
* Cities with higher costs of living, such as New York, Chicago, and San Francisco, would see higher poverty rates, while more rural areas in the Midwest and South might see declines.
* The rate for extreme poverty, defined as income falling below 50 percent of the poverty line, would decrease due to housing and other noncash benefits.
Washington State Department of
Services for the Blind (DSB)
by New Assistant Director of Customer Services,
Hello, WCB NEWSLINE readers! Instead of the traditional DSB update, Director Lou Oma Durand asked me to shake things up a bit and let you know who I amóas the new Assistant Director of Customer Services for DSB, and as a person within the field of blindness and visual impairment.
I have been involved in the Blind and Deaf-Blind communities since the 1990s. Before I started work at DSB ten years ago, I worked at the Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind as a Computer Skills Trainer. Having studied American Sign Language, I also worked directly with Deaf-Blind employees. I have volunteered in the past at the Seabeck Deaf-Blind Camp. I enjoy connecting directly with all customers that come through the DSB halls (although I admit my signing skills have gotten a little rustyóI need more practice!).
I started working at DSB in 2001, as an Adaptive Technology Specialist. I loved being able to introduce DSB customers to new technologies and tools that would allow them to access print and electronic materials. I became a supervisor in 2004, to focus on another passion, the building and improvement of DSB service provisions. In my role as supervisor, I have been proud to hire some amazingly skilled and responsive staff. I am also proud of my work in helping guide staff through the rough weather of political and economic change by keeping us focused on the reason why we work here at DSB: to provide quality services to our Blind, Low Vision, and Deaf-Blind customers. I have worked as supervisor in every DSB office statewide at some point in my career, and so am familiar with the subtle regional issues, differences, and personalities around the state. I also know some really good places to eat in Yakima, Spokane, Lacey, and Vancouver, so hit me up if you need a restaurant recommendation!
Personally, I am a West Coast guy: my parents met in Southern California, I grew up in Oregon, and I have lived in Seattle for 20 years now. Despite my strong West Coast roots, I am vividly aware of my Scottish, Canadian, and Cape Breton heritage. My dadís mother played the fiddle at ceilidh [pronounced kay’ lay] gatherings and my grandparents spoke Scots Gaelic when they didnít want their kids in on a conversation. In my dadís honor, I like to wear my MacKillop clan tartan tie, a blazingly bright red modern tartan weave.
Growing up in Salem, Oregon, left me with a passion for world travel. In high school, I was an exchange student to (what used to be) Yugoslavia, and in college I lived for a year as a student and English instructor in southern China. I am happy spinning a globe and landing in some new unexplored spot. I am at a stage in my life where I like to linger in one new city for a whileósitting at cafes, reading local papers, eating local foods, learning some basic greetings, and experiencing local life for a week or two at a time. If there is sun and humid warmth, I am all the more happy.
I am also a current graduate student in the California State University, Northridgeís Assistive Technology program, where I have made great use of WCB NEWSLINE archives in my research for regional perspectives on issues of disability. The student in me thanks you for keeping a great archive!
I value feedback and ideas on how to improve our processes and services, so please feel free to connect with me in my new role as Assistant Director and share your thoughts and ideas. My email is email@example.com.
I wish all of WCB a wonderful upcoming holiday season and a great 2012!
Washington State School for the Blind (WSSB)
ìReaching Out to Those Hard to Reach Placesî
Superintendent Dr. Dean O. Stenehjem
Isnít technology wonderful? I guess it is all in the eye of the beholder, but changes in technology are beginning to make things possible that we had only wished for years ago. However, now we have to embrace the technologies, figure out how to use what is available, and/or modify the software to make the systems work for blind/visually impaired (BVI) students. This is an on-going issue, but I do want to tell you that WSSB staff, in partnership with some of the brightest folks throughout the country, are making gains that will open the doors of opportunities not only for students in our state, but throughout our country and the world.
Below is a little idea of what we have been trying to accomplish.
Synchronous Online Learning: Did you know that WSSB has been providing direct online learning to students on our campus for a number of years through the internet? Currently one of our math teachers, Robin Lowell, lives in Seattle and is teaching a number of math classes to students on our campus through direct television/internet connection and is able to see the students, listen to them, control the studentsí computers, take over their desktops individually or as a group, share work, check problems, and do most everything that she could if she were in the classroom with the students. The students call Ms. Robin, ìthe Teacher in the Box.î We are using a product called Microsoft Lync to help make all this happen and it has been fun to have folks from Microsoft on campus to see how we are using this product. Hopefully we will be able to help Microsoft make their product even better with the next update. Our goal is to have students be part of the Microsoft team to continue to improve access and usability.
Asynchronous Online Learning: Meaning students working on their own time, off our Moodle server by utilizing curriculum designed and supported by WSSB staff. WSSB began working in this important area years ago with the idea that we had better figure out how to make online learning accessible and usable if BVI students are going to develop the skills needed to help them if they decide to go onto college and/or are expected to take online classes as part of future employment. At this time and in the future, BVI individuals will have to continue to be great problem solvers with solid experiences in this area if they are to succeed. Therefore, the investment in time and dollars is a must for people who happen to be visually impaired if we are going to help guarantee some degree of equal access, which means access to training, employment, and a solid future. We just need to develop more curriculum options to enhance opportunities for students.
An example of this is: A number of years ago we offered an Online Poetry Class designed at WSSB and taught by a WSSB instructor, but hosted on the ìVirtual High School System.î We had five students at WSSB taking the class, eighteen throughout the United States, one in Venezuela, and one in the Dominican Republic. While the class was going on, one of our board members asked how many of the students were blind. To which I had to reply, ìI really donít know because unless the person tells us, we really donít know.î To this the board member replied, ìThis is really great, for once blind students will be judged on their ability, not their disability.î By the way, the class was highly successful and once again, showed us the possibilities that exist if we just look at doing business a little differently.
Miscellaneous: If I had more time and space for this article, I could go on and on to tell you about additional research we are conducting thanks to many partners from Dr. Andi Stefikís work with a new computer programming language to improve access for blind students; to the computer programming camp on our campus that has been occurring through a National Science Foundation Grant; to the work being done with Purdue University, GH Inc., CANnect, and WSSB on an accessible online Algebra class; to the experimental work being done on the use of iPads with remote Braille instruction; to remote Orientation and Mobility Lessons, etc., but these will have to wait for another issue of NEWSLINE. I will try and highlight some of this in the future to keep you posted on what works, what doesnít, and how we are trying to figure out better ways to reach out to those students in hard to reach places and at the same time making sure that students have the skills now and in the future to be successful.
If you would like more information regarding any of the above work, check out our website at: www.wssb.wa.gov and/or contact Mrs. Sherry Hahn, WSSBís Digital Learning Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fall in Washington used to represent the beginning of the holiday season and an increase in grey, rainy days. Now, the most looming aspect of fall is budget and legislation. But, since we donít know precisely what the cards hold until they are dealt, Iím simply going to focus on the positive. I would like to thank the Washington Council of the Blind for the outstanding annual convention. I am deeply grateful to know you all and to be invited to participate each year. Convention is always a reaffirming time for me and I appreciate the spirit and dedication of WCB members.
If you were at convention, you may have heard me talk about why I became a librarian. I realized that though Iíve been at WTBBL almost four years, I havenít really talked about my passion for library services. I believe in libraries and what I, and all the others in my field, do to ensure open and equal access for anyone and everyone seeking information, community, self-improvement, enjoyment, and more, regardless of ability, disability, social status, race, creed, and all our wonderful differences that make the world so interesting. I started out focused on cataloging, describing, and organizing information, so it might not come as a surprise that one of my heroes is Melvil Dewey (yes, the Dewey of the Dewey Decimal System). Iíd like to share a quote:
ìA libraryís function is to give the public, in the quickest and cheapest way, information, inspiration, and recreation. If a better way than the book can be found, we should use it.î Melvil Dewey (1851ñ1931), American Librarian and Educator.
This resonates for me in many ways. For you, and Talking Book and Braille Library users worldwide, the better way of the moment may be digital access to audio books and Braille. Something new is always on the horizon and I look forward to sharing access to the newest, best way while ensuring those without access to technology donít get left behind.
In the last couple of months, some exciting things have been going on at your library. We started another session of our Braille transcription course and have eighteen students learning the art and science of turning print into Braille. Hopefully when the students finish the nine-month course, they will volunteer with us to produce Braille for our collection, or use their transcription skills in a way to benefit the community of Braille readers and help keep Braille available for children and adults eager to learn.
Another format for accessing information, the digital talking books, is fast replacing the cassettes as our workhorse. As of September, more digital books circulate physically by mail than cassette books. If you also count the digital downloads from BARD and our WTBBL download website, digital circulation is well over half of all our circulation.
While we do face challenges ahead, please know that I, and all of us at WTBBL and the Washington State Library, are doing the best we can to keep the most used and most needed services thriving. Creativity and persistence are highly valued in times like these. I hope we will continue to be an important organization for you and that we can continue to grow stronger and more nimble. I wish you all a happy and healthy holiday season and will close with another of my favorite quotes:
ìThere is not such a cradle of democracy on earth as the Free Public Library, this republic of letters, where neither rank, office, nor wealth receives the slightest consideration.î Andrew Carnegie (1835ñ1919), Industrialist, Businessman, Entrepreneur, and Philanthropist.
As always, I greatly appreciate your comments and questions. Danielle, email@example.com or 206-615-1588.
When Amy Jantzen, a nurse in Wenatchee, lost most of her vision overnight, she logged onto Facebook and asked her friends if they knew who to contact for help. Online searches did not bring up relevant information. Amyís comment at the 2011 convention was, ìWCB seems to be Washingtonís best kept secret.î
What can we do? The WCB website hosts a fabulous array of information, resources, and contacts, but we all need to promote it. Look over our content at www.wcbinfo.org sometime. Analytics for the past year show that traffic to our website spikes around the time of board meetings and a big spike at convention time. Otherwise, traffic to our site is dead. That means weíre doing a good job of getting information to members, but not beyond. We should also be promoting our accomplishments. Our committees and chapters do great things that similar organizations and the public need to know about.
How many people do we need to be reaching?
According to the 2008 Census Bureauís American Community Survey:
The number of Washingtonians with a vision difficulty: 131,231
People under 18 years old with a vision difficulty: 9,785
People 18 to 64 years old with a vision difficulty: 68,415
People over 65 years old with a vision difficulty: 53,031
WCB has several ìsilosî of information that come together nicely in our quarterly publication NEWSLINE. What if we could push vital information from chapters and committees in real-time to a broader audience? What if we only had to come up with 140 characters rather than 750 words? It doesnít matter which platform, writing for the web has to be very concise or it isnít read: short sentences and at the most, only two to three sentences to a paragraph.
Social media is growing and changing by leaps and bounds. It is estimated that one out of eight online transactions is now through social media. Facebook alone has over 800 million users. Done right over time, social media can create buzz and drive traffic to our website. More traffic could mean more and more people being helped, more members and donors.
Social Media is not about hard-sell advertising. It is simple conversation: listening, joining in, and sharing. You might hear reports saying social media is making people more isolated. Actually, the reverse is true. The more online interaction, the more likely a person will meet others in real life. Loose connections are very important: They bring in associations, ideas, and opportunities because they donít overlap in your circle. This has played out in my own life. I was welcomed into the online Retinitis Pigmentosa community in 1998, and attended my first social in 2000. What a life-changing experience that turned out to be.
What can you do to help if you donít have a smart phone or tablet? Only four chapters are listed as having a website. Find someone trustworthy to set up a Google site for your chapter. Itís free. Even if your website is only a page with ìAbout Usî information, a contact, and links to the WCB and American Council of the Blindís websites, youíve just helped our rankings. Ranking is how high WCB pops up in online search results. Then publicize your website in your community. Include the web address (URL) in your news releases. Get brochures to your churches. Offer to do sighted guide or bus travel training in your community. Meet for coffee and invite your friends to pass out brochures. You have the power to chat it up for change.
Capital City Council of the Blind
by Alan Bentson
In October, we completed our annual candy sale fundraiser with great promptness. We sold all our candy in three weekends at three stores. Thanks to John Guydish for his first year of coordinating the sale. Great job!
Our winemaking project was a great success. We created a batch of wine in conjunction with a wine shop in Lacey and sold it to our members under the Braille Mountain label. Some of you received this wine as door prizes at the state convention. Thanks to Kathy and Dan Matsen for spearheading this project. And, speaking of the Matsens, they were on stage during the entire state convention giving out door prizes!
Congratulations to Andrea Damitio, winner of the state First-Timer award to the WCB Convention in Pasco. Thanks to Denise Colley for her two terms as WCB president, we are proud to have her as our chapter president.
Our prayers and best wishes go to Berl Colley and Isabel Ernest. Isabel has successfully completed major shoulder surgery, and Berl is making a good recovery from quintuple bypass surgery.
We held elections at our November meeting. Alan Bentson was elected vice president and John Damitio agreed to serve as secretary.
Our holiday party and gift exchange will be held on December 17, at Chambers House in Panorama City.
Greater Everett Area Council of the Blind (GEACB)
by Cindy Stormo
The GEACB has been busy. In July, we held a candy sale at the Everett Walmart store. We also sold the bars individually. The candy is all gone and it was a big success!
We had a great time at our picnic in August. There were games, door prizes, yummy food, and good fellowship.
We were honored to have Denise Russell from ìSpeak to Meî present at our September meeting. At that meeting, we sadly bid a fond farewell to Vicky Reesnes, who is moving to another state to be with her family. We treated her to lunch and gave her many cards with warm thoughts and wishes. We will miss her.
Our meeting location has changed. Join us on the second Saturday of each month at Dennyís Restaurant in Everett from 12:30 PM to 3:00 PM.
And speaking of joining us, we now have seventeen members! We are going and growing.
Merry Christmas and happy New Year from the Greater Everett Area Council of the Blind.
Guide Dog Users of Washington State (GDUWS)
by Holly Kaczmarski
Guide Dog Users of Washington State is a special interest affiliate of Washington Council of the Blind. GDUWS strives to promote civil rights and enhance the quality of life of working guide dog teams. GDUWS provides peer support, advocacy, and information to guide dog users in Washington State.
We held our Board meeting at the recent WCB convention. On the agenda were the usual business meeting items and we offered door prizes again this year.
We are creating a GDUWS Facebook page and Holly has volunteered to do this for our group.
We held elections for the positions of president, secretary (one-year term), treasurer, and one board position. Current officers and newly elected officers are as follows:
President: Debby Phillips
Vice-President: Stuart Russell
Secretary: John McConnell
Treasurer: Holly Kaczmarski
Board Position: Julie Miller
Board Position (vacated when Debby was elected president): Michelle Denzer
News of our members and their guides:
Shirley Taylor has retired Velma who is now blind. Shirley will keep Velma at home with her.
Julie Miller has retired Gypsy due to Gypsyís recent medical issues.
Vivian Conger and Barbee celebrated their first anniversary together.
Bill Hoage is working through the grief process resulting from the death of his first guide, Dondi. Bill and his current guide, Tully, are working well together, but the loss of a retired guide is like the loss of a family member. Bill said ìDondi loved to work. One of my fondest memories was the first time we went Christmas shopping at the mall. It was such a thrill to go through the crowd and never bump into people. I will love Dondi forever and miss him until we are reunited at the rainbow bridge.î
Well, thatís it for now. Stay tuned next time for more news from Guide Dog Users of Washington State.
Jefferson County Council of the Blind
by Carl Jarvis
At this time of year, itís often fun to look back at things weíve done. It was sixteen years ago in November, when a group of ten gathered in Port Townsend and came away as the Jefferson County Council of the Blind. We accepted our charter at the 1996 WCB Convention. Fifteen years and going strong. Here is a reprint of our first meeting minutes from 1995.
Jefferson County Council of the Blind
Minutes for Tuesday, November 14, 1995
The meeting came to order at 12 noon in the Pizza Factory in Port Townsend. Attending the meeting were:
Tony and Bonnie Sherrel, Lonnie and Pat Gould, Jackie Gallaway, Carol Gallaway, Kay Valdez, Mel Dunivin, Carl and Cathy Jarvis.
Carl asked the group if they were still interested in organizing a chapter of the Washington Council of the Blind. Everyone agreed. Along with Carl and Cathy, Tony and Bonnie, Kay, Jackie, and Mel had attended the WCB convention in Olympia. They said they were even more eager to establish a chapter.
Bonnie read a set of draft bylaws prepared by Carl. Several suggestions were made. Carl said he would make the corrections and the corrected bylaws were approved unanimously.
Since Mel had a doctorís appointment, it was decided to hold election of officers at our next meeting. Carol offered her home and we agreed to meet there at 1:00 PM on Wednesday, December 13.
The meeting was adjourned.
Minutes submitted by Carl Jarvis
King County Chapter
by Treasurer Marilyn Donnelly
Itís been a great fall season especially if you like to rake leaves or rate politicians.
In September, we had two guest speakers from the Access Van program. They gave us an overall review of the program and did not mention those two words: budget cuts. The vans mean so much to so many.
In October, we heard from a representative from the League of Women Voters, discussing the many issues that will be on the November 8, ballot. My one vote and your one vote are just as important as the person who poured millions into this election.
We had our own chapter elections in October and the results are as follows:
President: Tim Schneebeck
Vice President: Shirley Taylor
Secretary: Darlene Hilling
Treasurer: Marilyn Donnelly
Three of our members recently moved and they will be missed. Alco Canfield moved to Walla Walla and Jon and Chris Coulter moved to Everett.
And now itís November and fifteen of our members attended the WCB Convention in Pasco, Washington. We all had a great time. Julie Miller was elected to the board of the Guide Dog Users affiliate. Several of our members took part in different events. Frank Johnson spoke on a panel discussing vision loss as a person gets older. There were many interesting stories by persons who have gone through the transition and lead active and productive lives today.
The Exhibit Room was very busy and very noisy but there was plenty of time to make a purchase or bid on the many silent auction items. Nancy Lind took part in the talent show and was great, as usual. Becky Bell and Al Gil outbid all others for several silent auction gifts.
Last but not least, Marilyn finally won a door prize after several years of grumbling out loud. Shirley Taylor also won a door prize and we were happy campers.
Tim Schneebeck recently returned from Pilot Dogs in Columbus, Ohio, with his new dog guide. Her name is Jill, and of course she is a Doberman.
It is time to go but not before we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
Peninsula Council of the Blind (PCB)
by Meka White
Fall is in full swing with winter trying to make an early appearance, but the PCB is a warm place to be with our meetings and other activities.
Rick Tally, one of the founders of our chapter twenty-five years ago, has come back to Bremerton and joined our chapter once again. It has been fun getting to know him and hearing some of our other founders talk about the way things used to be and how they are now. Weíre glad to have him back!
The beginning of November saw us all being swept up by the whirlwind that is convention. Over twenty of our members rode the chartered bus that left from Bremerton. Kim Moberg of Moberg Productions graciously provided bottled water, while Carrol Gray (affectionately known as Mama Carrol), brought homemade snack packs filled with chips and candy to give all of us some much needed energy. Thank you both for contributing to what made our trip to convention so wonderful.
There were three exhibit tables with PCB members manning them and selling wares. Joann Hunter sold Mary Kay products once again this year. Sarah Schweizer sold Scentsy wickless products and had warmers and samples for people to touch and smell. For the first time this year, the PCB had an exhibit table to sell the Blind Blend, whole bean and ground coffee specifically roasted for our group by a local roaster. We also sold chocolate covered coffee beans in little Ziploc bags and called them Braille Beans. It was great to have such a presence in the exhibit room; and thank you to all who purchased from us!
Congratulations to Cindy Van Winkle for being elected president, Meka White for second vice president, and Eric Hunter for being elected as treasurer. Also, congratulations to Michelle Denzer for being elected to a board position for Guide Dog Users of Washington State and to Barbara Evans for being awarded a WCB scholarship.
Whether we were working exhibits, participating on panels, or simply being a part of seminars and sessions, we all had a wonderful time at convention.
We are not without our own sad news, however. Earlier this month, Carol Lachata, one of our newer PCB members passed away. We are going to miss her dearly, and we send condolences to her husband Don. We are grateful for the time that we had with Carol and wish much peace to her husband and family.
We wish you all good health, peace, and joy over the holiday season. Have a Merry Christmas, and weíll be writing again next year!
South King Council of the Blind (SKB)
by Marlaina Lieberg
Here in South King, the magic continues to happen! We are seeing so many folks at our meetings lately; we are packing the private room at Dennyís in Federal Way on the second Saturday of each month from 10:30 AM to noon. What are we doing? Well, read on!
Early in the fall, SKB sponsored a bowling party at Skyway Bowl. Everybody had a fabulous time and for some, it was the first time they had ever bowled, while for others, the party represented a return to a recreational activity not widely available for blind folks in this area.
In October, we elected almost a completely new board with familiar faces and new leadership styles. Sharon Schauer is President, Glenn Nickell is Vice President, Gina Allen is Secretary, and Gaylen Floy is Treasurer. Congratulations to the newly elected folks and heartfelt thanks to those vacating their positions.
SKB was very proud to supply two large gift baskets filled with goodies, and one fabulous Kahlua cake baked by Carol McConnell, to the WCB Silent Auction. We value our WCB family and were glad we could contribute.
So whatís up for the new year? We are investigating the feasibility of learning Brailler repair, we are thinking about providing first-level technical assistance to persons with questions about technology, we plan to schedule an old-time radio special meeting, another bowling party, and so much more!
Finally, with all our spirit and enthusiasm, we welcome the WCB Board to Federal Way for its meetings in 2012. We canít wait to show you all a little South King Hospitality!
Join us every second Saturday of each month from 10:30 AM to noon at Dennyís, 2132 South 320th Street, in Federal Way. We wish each of you a joyful holiday and canít wait to see you in 2012.
United Blind of Seattle
by Secretary Malissa Hudson
I canít believe that itís already time to write another update! Itís also hard to believe that the Holiday Season is upon us and itís a special time of the year for family and friends.
On August 27, all three Seattle chapters, including United Blind of Seattle, held our annual Super Picnic at Seward Park and a great time was had by all.
At our September meeting, President Clint Reiding led a panel discussion of those who have attended American Council of the Blind National Conventions and we each got to share our stories and memorable moments.
In October, we had the privilege of welcoming Janet George as our guest speaker. Sheís a guide dog handler and she spoke about the training process of getting a dog, what itís like to work with one, and retiring a guide.
In November, we held elections for vice president and two board positions. Quincy Daniels was elected vice president and the individuals who were elected to our board were Maria McCully and Becky Bell. Congratulations to each of them! They will be a great asset to our chapter for the next two years! We also welcomed Debbie Goetz from the Seattle Office of Emergency Management to talk about disaster preparedness.
Our annual Christmas lunch will be on December 17, at the Macaroni Grill at Northgate Mall from 12 to 3 PM. I hope everyone has a joyous and blessed Christmas and a wonderful New Year. Thank you all so much for allowing me to serve WCB in this way! From the United Blind of Seattle, we send our blessings and a wish for a very Happy Holiday!
United Blind of the Tri-Cities (UBTC)
by Janice Squires
The UBTC is such a busy chapter, so where do I begin? Letís start with the 2012 election results and congratulate the following newly elected UBTC officers: President: Steve Vandecar; First Vice President: Cheryl Stone; Second Vice President: Sherry Dubbin; Secretary: Frank Cuta; Treasurer: Brenda Vinther; First Board Member: Ruth Shook; Second Board Member: Diana Turley; and Immediate Past President: Bill Hoage. Thank you to each and every one of you for stepping up to the plate to serve your local chapter.
We extend our congratulations to our three selected First-Timers to the WCB convention this year. They are: Sherry Dubbin, Ruth Shook, and Karyn Vandecar; we are all so proud of you! We have so many thanks for the team work of our chapter for putting on such a great convention. Goody bags and hospitality: Sherry and Mel Dubbin, Karyn and Steve Vandecar, Brenda and Bernie Vinther, Ruth Shook, Diane Turley, and Cheryl Stone. Also a big thank you to Cheryl for getting so many wonderful door prizes. Bill Hoage did an excellent job on the silent auction and so too, did Holly Kaczmarski in the exhibit room. Frank Cuta is always there as the man with the sound and the talent show coordinator. A special thank you to all of the volunteers who took the time to assist us in so many ways, we could not have done it without you. It was a fantastic convention and so many people were such a vital part of its success.
The monthly lunch group is still eating its way around the Tri-Cities and thanks to Karyn for setting up the arrangements. The card group is still so much fun and we are all awaiting the Christmas pizza party we fund with the nickels we lose! The narrated play was performed on November 13, and was titled, ìThree Little Angels.î Sincere gratitude goes to Jerica Fowler for not only providing transportation, but for also stepping in John Yeggeís shoes to do the narration. The book group is reading right along with books such as, ìThunder Dog,î ìStill Alice,î and ìMiles to Go.î
We have so many of our members who do above and beyond the call of duty and in this article I would like to give a big pat on the back to Cheryl Stone. She is a member who is always there to assist in any way she can and always does it with a big smile. Thank you Cheryl for just being you and for bringing so much to our table!
The UBTC Christmas party will be held at the Red Lion Hanford House in Richland on December 3. It is always such a joyful event with Christmas cheer and joy all around. Have a beautiful Holiday season.
United Blind of Walla Walla
by Joleen Ferguson
Wow! The holidays are upon us now. How quickly the seasons change. This year, though, we are not buried in snow and ice as we were last November.
In September, we voted to help fund a custom built ìLittle Roomî for a pre-school age child with multiple disabilities, including blindness. This is a small Plexiglas playhouse which fits over the child. It has toys suspended from the ceiling and walls within easy reach that can be discovered and explored. All reports are that the child is using arms and hands more now to explore the space nearby.
Carla reported about her progress learning Braille. Dodie suggested a possible fundraiser and she will be looking into it.
Ernie Jones provided the program for the October meeting. He gave an interesting report on the invitation he accepted to be on an internet radio program, called ìThe Accessible World,î and be interviewed with regard to his writings, coping with blindness, and aiding other blind people.
Libby and Ferd Swenson reported at the October meeting that they have had five sets of visitors pass through Walla Walla.
News of our members:
Vivian Conger experienced the loss of her mom who had been in hospice for several months; and Shirley Musick lost her sister. We extend our condolences to Vivian and Shirley.
Joleen Ferguson will be retiring her dog, Trinity, due to health reasons. Trinity will be returning to Seeing Eye on December 2, with the expectation of finding a family eager to adopt her. Joleen has applied for a new dog and is waiting for assignment to a class.
Joleen Ferguson, Vivian Conger, Alco Canfield, Dodie Brueggeman, and Carla Brinkley were all in attendance at the WCB convention in Pasco in November. See the article in this issue submitted by Carla on her experience as a WCB First-Timer.
Next time from this corner, you will know who our new officers will be for the coming year because elections are on the November meeting docket. We are expecting at least one guest. Libby has agreed to provide our program for that meeting. She will be telling about her experience as an author. Currently she is preparing a book for publication.
Check back to learn about the results of her efforts and to learn what is happening with the rest of us.
United Blind of Whatcom County (UBWC)
by Betty Sikkema
As I write this article, itís really starting to feel like winter. However, UBWC folks have been busy these last three months. We participated in Disability Awareness Month in October, by putting together a display which was showcased at the Bellingham library. And, as if that wasnít enough, we also had a table at two food stores in October, where we distributed pamphlets and business cards to those who were interested. The purpose for this project was that UBWC would get a certain percentage of sales made that day. UBWC made $1,603. Thanks to everyone who volunteered to be at the tables.
Barb Crowley, Bruce Radke, Ron Bradchaw, and Laural Reposa attended the WCB State Convention. They shared good information with the chapter, not the least of which was their having an opportunity to meet and talk with Jackie Patching, a Western University student and WCB Scholarship winner this year.
We are proud that Bruce Radke won the NEWSLINE Editorís Award this year; congratulations, Bruce!
We welcome William Kindy, who became a new member in October.
Elections were held in November and the results are as follows: Barb Crowley, President; Betty Sikkema, Vice President; Bruce Radke, Secretary. Congratulations!
Our Christmas party will be December 9, at Ankar Park Drive. Stay tuned for a report of the fun we had.
We wish you all blessed holidays. Until next time!
I want to thank WCB for the good wishes that I have received from the membership during the last seven weeks. I am also humbled and really appreciate the interest that was expressed in the motion at the WCB convention in Pasco.
I enjoyed the group communication that I received from United Blind of Southwest Washington, United Blind of Whatcom County, Capital City Council of the Blind, and the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library. It was fun reading the thoughts of each individual who signed.
Again, thank you and best wishes for each one of you.
During 2001, the Advocacy Committee, chaired by Sue Ammeter, had two ongoing actions. One advocacy case was for a student at Western Washington University. The school was denying her student teaching which she had to do to graduate. Another case was WCB member Joleen Fergusonís work place, Saint Maryís Hospital in Walla Walla, Washington. They were giving her a low evaluation and suggesting that they would have to let her go, even though she had good evaluations previously and had worked there for more than twenty years. That action was resolved and Joleen didnít lose her job.
At the Summer Board Meeting, WCB voted to spend up to $1,000 to send the Environmental Access Committee chair, Marlaina Lieberg, to San Francisco to attend a Pedestrian Safety Conference on August 16ñ18. Other grants by the board were $1,000 to Trails Northwest to help with their fall horseback riding camp for the visually impaired, a $5,000 grant to Arts and Visually Impaired Audiences to help cover the cost of blind and visually impaired people in King County to attend plays and other cultural events, and a grant to Ski for Light to purchase five walkie talkies to assist in training blind skiers. The board also thanked Steve Heesen for representing WCB by speaking to the Youth Employment Solutions program.
There was some discussion about changing the Board of Trustees at the School for the Blind, from an advisory board to a policy making board. There was a meeting in August between National Federation of the Blind of Washington members, Noel Nightengale, Mike Freeman, WCB members Berl and Denise Colley, Superintendent Dean Stenehjem, and a few others to talk about this possible change. Everyone went away agreeing that retaining the board as an advisory board was the preferred way to go. The meeting was held at the Red Lion Hotel in Longview.
The state convention was on November 8ñ10, at the Wenatchee West Coast Hotel, with the meetings at the Wenatchee Convention Center. The national representative was newly elected American Council of the Blind President Chris Gray, and he was also the banquet speaker. Linda Braithwaite was the Friday luncheon speaker. She talked about her experiences during her twenty years as a qualified soloist with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Another guest was Patricia Beatty, who was a last minute replacement for Julie Carroll. She gave a presentation on audible signals and pedestrian safety. A new feature in 2001 was a second hospitality room. This one was without alcohol. Kay Bohren was the banquet MC.
At the Saturday afternoon business meeting, a group from Everett, headed up by Chris Coulter, requested affiliation. They were accepted as the newest WCB affiliate and given a $500 startup grant. A $1,000 grant was given to Robert Taylor of Bremerton to help with his sportís trip to China.
There was one main resolution passed by the convention. It was to oppose moving the Department of Services for the Blind into the Department of Social and Health Services. Debbie Cook was again elected as the alternate delegate to the 2002 National Convention in Houston, Texas. Gary Burdette was elected to replace Debbie if needed.
The WCB Board of Directors for 2002, as elected:
President Berl Colley, CCCB
First Vice President Cindy Hollis, PCB
Second Vice President Shirley Taylor, UBS KCC GDUWS
Secretary Ann McCay, UBSE GDUWS
Treasurer Sue Sather, UBTC
Immediate Passed President Sue Ammeter, JCCB
Kay Bohren, JCCB
Gary Burdette, UBWC
Dorothy Carroll, UBSPO
James Eccles, RAB
Rhonda Nelson, KCC
Lynette Romero, LCCB
We are pleased to extend our congratulations to the following WCB members:
* Elwood and Virginia Mabley, members, United Blind of Walla Walla, celebrated their 65th Wedding Anniversary on September 3, 2011. Their church honored them with a special bouquet of flowers up at the pulpit. They spent time with their son who lives in the area.
* Steve Vandecar, newly elected President of the United Blind of the Tri-Cities, on receiving his second guide dog, a black male lab named Alfresco, from Guide Dogs for the Blind in Boring, Oregon. Fresco is what you would call a very energetic young dog and an excellent guide.
* Bob and Janice Squires, members, United Blind of the Tri-Cities, on the arrival of their fourth grandchild. Jackson Robert was born on September 21, weighing in at 8 lbs. and 3 ounces with a full head of soft brown hair.
* Tim Schneebeck, President, King County Chapter, on receiving his new guide dog, Jill, from Pilot Dogs in Columbus, Ohio. His guide, Jill, is a black and tan Doberman who stands about 24 inches tall. Jill and Tim first met each other on November 7. WCB welcomes a new guide team.
* Sue Ammeter, WCB First Vice President, on being elected as chair of the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library Patron Advisory Committee. Sue will begin her new position in January.
* Sharon Schauer, the newly-elected President in October of the South King Council of the Blind. We also congratulate Sharon on her new job as a Customer Service Associate 2 with Amazon. Sharon began her new position on September 19, and works part-time from her home.
* Vivian Conger, United Blind of Walla Walla, and dog guide Barbee celebrated their one-year anniversary on November 14.
WCB takes its hats off to these great members and to all WCB members who, by virtue of who they are and what they do, are achieving great things for blind folks in Washington State and beyond.
At this time of the year, itís always fun to think of making something outrageously sweet, easy to make, and fun to eat! My friend, Paul, made this cheesecake for my husband, Gary, at his birthday. While I only had a bite, I knew it was a recipe I had to add to my collection. This cake is moist and rich and would go fabulously well with a medium to dark roast coffee, or a red wine like Merlot or Pinot Noir. Happy Holidays from my kitchen to yours!
12ñ14 graham crackers
hand full of sliced almonds
1 stick melted butter
Whirl graham crackers and almonds in food processor until reduced to coarse crumbs. Pour in melted butter and pulse 2 or 3 times until the butter is evenly mixed in. Dump into 9 inch springform pan, and press up sides approximately one and a half inches.
16 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp flavoring (I prefer Amaretto)
Blend in food processor until well blended, adding eggs one at a time. Donít worry about a few cracker crumbs getting into the mix. Pour into pan and bake 15 minutes at 375 degrees. Remove from oven and rest on cooling rack.
16 ounces sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp flavoring
Blend in food processor until well mixed, about 45 seconds.
Gently pour over first layer and return to oven for 10 more minutes. Remove, cool, and refrigerate overnight for best flavor.
January 10: Deadline date for submitting WCB committee assignment requests to President Van Winkle
January 17: WSSB Board of Trustees conference call
February 4: Leadership training for WCB Board and Chapter presidents, Best Western Plus Evergreen Inn and Suites, Federal Way
February 5: WCB Winter Board Meeting, Best Western Plus Evergreen Inn and Suites, Federal Way
February 10: Deadline date for submitting 2012 chapter dues and membership lists
February 25: Deadline for submission of articles for the March issue of NEWSLINE
February 25ñ26: ACB Mid-year Presidentsí Meeting, Holiday Inn National Airport, Arlington, Virginia
February 26ñ28: ACB Legislative Seminar, Holiday Inn National Airport, Arlington, Virginia
March 3: SRC Meeting, Seattle Office (tentative)
March 9ñ10: WSSB Board of Trustees meeting, Vancouver
May 1: Deadline to apply for the First-Timerís Scholarship to the ACB National Convention
May 4ñ5: WCB Leadership Seminar, Best Western Plus Evergreen Inn and Suites, Federal Way
May 6: WCB Spring Board Meeting, Best Western Plus Evergreen Inn and Suites, Federal Way
May 15: Deadline to apply for stipend or loan to attend ACB National Convention
May 26: Deadline for submission of articles for the June issue of NEWSLINE
June 2: SRC Meeting, Seattle DSB Office (tentative)
June 8: WSSB Board of Trustees meeting and commencement
July 7ñ14: ACB National Convention, Louisville, Kentucky
July 31: Deadline for submission of WCB scholarship applications
August 4: WCB Summer Board Meeting, Best Western Plus Evergreen Inn and Suites, Federal Way
August 25: Deadline for submission of articles for the September issue of NEWSLINE
The NEWSLINE is available in large print, half-speed four-track cassette tape, via email, and on our website at www.wcbinfo.org. Subscription requests and address changes should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone, toll free at 800-255-1147.
Special thanks go to the NEWSLINE Committee and production volunteers.
Article deadline: To be considered for inclusion in the next issue, article submissions and other information for publication must be received by February 25, 2012. Articles may be edited for clarity and space considerations.
Publication policy: To ensure accuracy, we require submissions be emailed to our new NEWSLINE address at email@example.com. Articles should be no longer than 750 words.
From the Washington Council of the Blind, we all wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!