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
Editorial: Each One Reach One
Board Meeting Report: July, 2011
ACB Convention From a First-Timer
Come and Join the Fun and Excitement
Get Your Act Together for Pasco
Pick Up a 6-Pack . . . of Bylaws
A Few Good People Wanted
From the Senior Side
Washington State Department of Services for the Blind
Washington State School for the Blind
Washington Talking Book and Braille Library
A Very Special Sanctuary
Another Spin on Accessible Voting
Fun, Fun, Fun to Be Had by All
Have You Checked Out ìThe Buzzî?
Around the State
History 2001, Part 2
Hats Off to You
Bits and Pieces
From My Kitchen to Yours
2011 Calendar of Deadlines and Events
As I sit at my desk writing this article, itís already the end of August and I canít figure out where summer went. If the weather has been any indication, we havenít had much of one until just recently. We are coming upon Labor Day which marks the end of summer and the transition into fall.
The summer has been a busy one, beginning with the trip Berl and I made to Daytona Beach, Florida, in June to present at the Florida Council of the Blind State Convention. We spent nine days in Reno, Nevada, attending the American Council of the Blind (ACB) National Convention. Then we traveled to the Everett, Washington, Holiday Inn for the WCB Board Meeting on July 30.
Thirty-five WCB members traveled to the 50th Annual Convention of ACB, held in Reno, Nevada, July 9ñ16. President Bill Hoage, United Blind of the Tri-Cities and WCB board member was our First-Timer to convention, and it was fun watching his enthusiasm. (See Billís First-Timer article elsewhere in this issue.)
Members spent a busy week attending general sessions, committee meetings, and special interest affiliate activities. Once in a while, we found time to sleep. Fifty-seven people attended our caucus breakfast, which included WCB members from Oregon, California, and Florida. Guests Dan Frye from Baltimore, Maryland, and Darrin Cheney, president of the newly chartered Idaho Council of the Blind, were also present. WCB member Marlaina Lieberg was elected to her third term as ACB secretary. Congratulations Marlaina!
One of the greatest highlights of convention week for WCB was our being awarded the Hollis K. Liggett Braille Free Press Award for our WCB publication of the NEWSLINE. This award is given by the ACB Board of Publications to an ACB affiliate for newsletter excellence. We will have the plaque at the state convention for all to see.
Our summer board meeting was held on July 30, at the Holiday Inn in downtown Everett. There were about forty WCB members in attendance and we heard updates from committee chairs and participated in discussions about WCB business. (See the board meeting report later in this issue.)
Our 2011 State Convention is coming up on November 3ñ5, at the Red Lion in Pasco. I am pleased that ACB Second Vice President Brenda Dillon is going to be our national representative and banquet speaker. Bill Hoage is chairing this yearís Nominating Committee and he is joined by Alco Canfield and Al Gil. Positions up for election are president, first vice president, treasurer, and the three board positions currently held by John Common, Eric Hunter, and Meka White. Also up for election is the alternate delegate to the 2012 ACB Convention in Louisville, Kentucky. Please contact one of the members of this committee if you would like to submit your name for consideration for one of these positions.
Bill Hoage: or 509-586-8901.
Alco Canfield: or 206-783-7036.
Al Gil: or 206-542-4902.
Marlaina Lieberg has agreed to be this yearís Resolutions Committee chair. If you have a resolution that you would like to write and submit, please email it to her at . Resolutions must be submitted in writing, preferably electronically, in a workable state.
Frank Cuta will once again chair the Constitution and Bylaws Committee. If you have an idea or issue you wish this committee to look at for purposes of the constitution, you can contact Frank at or 509-967-2658. You should have received your convention bulletin by the time you read this article. (See the state convention article later in this issue for more information about exciting convention activities and deadline dates.)
For a one-time fee of $1,000, you can become a Lifetime Member of ACB, if you have been a member for awhile, have attended an ACB national convention, and are familiar with becoming lifetime members. But, what I want to remind you about is that WCB also has a Lifetime Membership Program. The fee for becoming a Lifetime Member in WCB is only $100, and you would never again have to pay the state dues. A Lifetime Membership would also be a way for a local chapter or special interest affiliate to surprise and honor dedicated individuals within their membership for their service and contributions to that chapter or affiliate. Look for the box to check on your convention registration form if you would be interested in becoming a WCB lifetime member. Just think!!! If even ten people would take the step and purchase a Lifetime Membership, we could raise $1,000. While that doesnít seem like a lot of money, every $1,000 helps. It is only when each one of us does our small part that WCB remains the strong organization that it has become.
While we donít yet know what surprises the 2012 Legislative Session will hold, there is not much doubt that it is going to be another difficult one. As I have done previously, I want to remind everyone that the legislature we work with each year is made up of individuals that we vote into office. Therefore, it is very important that we all make it a priority to vote in each election. And donít forget about using your countyís accessible voting machines to vote in the upcoming general election.
I look forward to seeing all of you in Pasco in November.
After our May chapter meeting, I stood waiting for the bus, annoyed that I had just missed one and would have a thirty-minute or more wait. However, my irritation changed focus when a woman began to ask me about my blindness. I could feel my impatience rising, but it quickly evaporated when she began to talk about her deteriorating vision and the problems she was having. For once, I didnít bristle inwardly when she said I was ìamazing.î
I directed the conversation back to her and told her about the Washington Council of the Blind and about our monthly chapter meetings. She was most interested, so I wrote down her phone number and said I would call.
The word ìoutreachî can sound very intimidating, but it can be done as simply as my conversation at the bus stop. It can happen either in a group setting or on a one-to-one basis. When I met the lady described above, I was really irritated with myself for not having an informational brochure with me. We should all carry them with us. They are small and fit into a pocket or purse.
There are scores of opportunities and places to spread the message of our organization! Do you belong to a gym? Do you have a favorite restaurant? Do you have a hair dresser who might be willing to display brochures? It usually develops that someone has a friend or relative who needs our help.
These next years will be extremely challenging for blind/visually impaired Americans. It is no longer good enough to leave outreach to the same people who always step up. We must join with them or the future of our organization will be in jeopardy. Who will advocate for the rights of blind/visually impaired children and adults? We do not want to abdicate our responsibility to the mercy of those who are benevolent, but may not have our best interests at heart.
If each one can reach one, WCB will continue to be a viable organization promoting opportunity, equality, and independence.
The WCB Summer Board Meeting convened at the Holiday Inn in downtown Everett, on July 30, 2011. After roll call and introductions, the minutes of the May 1, 2011, Spring Board Meeting were approved and the Treasurerís Report, Investment Committee, and Vehicle Donation Reports were given.
There was much enthusiasm and discussion about the recent American Council of the Blind (ACB) Convention in Reno, Nevada. Twenty-seven stipends for National Convention were given and forty chairs requested. Fifty-eight people attended our Washington breakfast, due to the number of people from other states who are also WCB members.
Many of our members moderated or participated in various panel discussions. Dr. Dean Stenehjem, Superintendent of the Washington State School for the Blind, gave an excellent presentation at the School for the Blind Taskforce workshop on Tuesday afternoon.
WCB received the Holliss K. Liggett Braille Free Press Award for newsletter excellence. Two of our 2010 NEWSLINE issues were submitted for nomination and review.
Marlaina Lieberg was re-elected ACB secretary. All incumbents to the ACB Board were re-elected and Carla Ruschival was newly elected as ACB treasurer.
The online ACB database is now a reality and Denise Colley is beginning to verify all of the membership data entered into it by the national office. We will still need to continue maintaining our WCB membership database since there is information we collect that is not collected on the national level.
The Convention Committee discussed the upcoming state convention. (See article elsewhere in this issue.)
Members of the Nominating Committee were appointed. They are: Bill Hoage, Chair, Al Gil, and Alco Canfield. Offices for election are: president, first vice president, treasurer, alternate delegate, and three board positions. Those interested in being considered need to contact the committee by October 4, 2011. Marlaina Lieberg was also appointed to serve as chair of this yearís Resolutions Committee.
After Julie Brannon discussed the activities of the Scholarship Committee and some of the recent changes to the application and interview process, a motion was adopted to move the scholarship application deadline date to August 31, of each year.
Sue Ammeter discussed the activities of the Advocacy Committee.
Stuart Russell brought us up-to-date on the work of the Crisis Committee.
The Families With Blind Children Committee reported that they sent Braille Scrabble, Monopoly, and Chess games to the Washington State School for the Blindís Career Field Day. The committee also provided refreshments for the graduation ceremony at the Louis Braille School and presented Carolyn Meyer with a plant.
Berl Colley, chair of the Awards Committee, reminded us of the deadline for submission of award nominations, which is August 31, 2011.
Alco Canfield, NEWSLINE editor, once again encouraged people to submit articles on or before August 27, 2011.
Barbara Crowley, chair of the Aging and Blindness Committee, talked about the survey sent out to chapter presidents by that committee. The purpose of this survey was to determine the needs of seniors experiencing vision loss and to learn the interest of chapters in participating in outreach activities to this group.
Marlaina Lieberg discussed the activities of the Membership Committee and the outreach opportunity available through our participation at the WCB booth at the Puyallup Fair. Those interested should contact Lori Allison for the booth number and available dates and shifts.
John Common reminded us that the list of auction items for this yearís silent auction needs to be submitted to the committee by the Thursday before convention.
Chris Coulter updated us on the activities of the History Committee. The committee continues to look for stories about blind Washingtonians in newspaper archives. Five oral histories have been posted on the history page on our website. The committee voicemail will be updated on the phone system.
Reports concerning the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library, the Washington State School for the Blind (WSSB), and the Department of Services for the Blind were given. WSSB celebrates its 125th Anniversary this year. Funding cuts are a continual concern for all agencies.
The meeting was adjourned at 3:00 PM.
I want to thank Frank Cuta and Cindy Van Winkle for all of their help before and at the American Council of the Blind (ACB) convention.
For me, winning the WCB First-Timer was a real accomplishment. Frank called me the evening that Julie Brannon informed the WCB list that I had been chosen. Frank and I traveled together to Reno. We flew out of Pasco to Salt Lake City then on to Reno, arriving at 11:00 on Friday night.
Someone from the hotel staff escorted Tully and me to our room. I then went to get a midnight snack before going to bed.
Saturday was a very busy day learning the hotel, calling Frank and asking him to show me where to find Starbucks, and the relieving area for Tully. I found registration and picked up my packet.
After lunch, I went to the exhibit hall. Who would I find there? Joleen. I was one of those early enough to get one of Hadleyís ice cream scoops. I managed to get into the exhibit hall each day for a few minutes. It is a place I found to be very loud and very busy. But you can find what you want if you ask other exhibitors.
Sunday was the beginning of the convention, although most of the ACB members actually began arriving on Saturday. The hotel began filling up fast.
Opening ceremonies began on Sunday evening. As a first-timer it was very exciting. I really enjoyed listening to all of the past presidents, even though I had not met any of them.
The rest of the week was go, go, go from 6:00 in the morning until late at night. I went rock climbing and also to the live auction. Our own Cindy did a really great job as one of the auctioneers. Attending the WCB breakfast and listening to the candidates who were running for ACB offices was very informative.
The business meeting and banquet on Friday were the end of the convention for Tully, my guide, and me. It was a little sad knowing I was leaving Saturday morning. The flight home was very uneventful.
I know I will not be able to attend all upcoming ACB conventions, but I am planning on being in Las Vegas, in 2014.
Most especially I want to thank WCB for the First-Timer Program and for selecting me to attend my first ACB convention.
This year the WCB Convention Committee has really outdone themselves. The United Blind of Tri-Cities will be hosting the state convention on November 3ñ5, 2011, at the Red Lion Inn, 2525 North 20th Avenue, Pasco, WA 99301. The convention this year will have many new and special surprises happening!
Just a few of the highlights of this yearís convention are:
Brenda Dillon, the Second Vice President of the American Council of the Blind (ACB) will be visiting our convention as the ACB representative. On Friday, the convention will have over twenty exhibitors who will be showing their blindness related products and services as well as other items of interest.
Friday morning, we will host a little business: presentations from a local legislator, rehabilitation teachers from the Independent Living Program vacationing as blind people, and what is the Washington Assistive Technology Program?
At the Friday lunch, the WCB Awards Committee will be presenting the WCB internal awards. Everyone will want to be sure to attend to congratulate the winners; you may even be one.
On Friday afternoon, there will be a large variety of things for conventioneers to do. There will be six breakout sessions including topics on: airport security, aging and vision loss, diabetic concerns, Pilates, a special activity for guide dog handlers, and everything about iPhones, iPads, and more. If none of these topics are interesting or exciting to you, there will be two tours offered: rock climbing and visiting a local winery.
On Friday evening, the fantastic Ninth Annual WCB Talent Show will be happening and a sing-a-long afterwards. So loosen up those vocal cords and join in.
On Saturday morning, we will hear a report on the activities of ACB, be inspired by those on the ever-popular employment panel, learn about starting your own personal garden, and hear from the directors of the three agencies serving the blind in our state.
The most important part of convention takes place Saturday afternoon when we hold our annual WCB business meeting with elections, resolutions, amendments to the constitution and bylaws, our annual budget, and other decisions to be considered. This is your chance to be heard. The convention will culminate on Saturday evening with our celebration banquet which will include the awarding of scholarships and WCB external awards, not to mention other surprises.
This is truly a weekend that will offer something for everyone!
To attend you must do the following by October 4:
* Reserve a seat on one of the buses going to convention or request a $40.00 travel stipend.
* Make room reservations at the Red Lion Inn.
For more information refer to the convention bulletin and registration form at www.wcbinfo.org. Or call the WCB information line at 206-686-3048 or 800-255-1147 and press number 6.
WE HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!!
Friday night at the WCB State Convention in Pasco, is Show Time. We will start off with our annual talent show at 7:30 PM and wind down with a good old-fashioned sing-a-long. I am coordinating the talent show and, as usual, we are accepting a total of thirteen acts. If you want to be on stage, remember the guidelines. Your choice needs to be family-friendly and under four minutes.
You can call me, email me, or check the choice on the conference registration form. I will call you back. You are not locked-in as a talent show participant until I learn from you what you are going to do and confirm with you that I have you down. The sooner you contact me, the better. This reserves a place on the program for you. After that you can change your mind about what song you are going to use by just calling me and getting it changed on my list.
To have the sound equipment in order, I need to know how many are in your act and what kinds of special equipment needs you have. There will already be a piano, guitar, and CD player available at the venue.
If you drag your feet getting on the talent show list and the program fills up without you, consider leading a sing-a-long number. A few minutes after the talent show closes the singing will start. There is no formal sign-up or program for the sing a-long but we hope to facilitate it by getting all participants to come to the front. We will move the sound equipment aside and try to get some chairs in a large circle. Come prepared with some old song titles in mind that everyone knows and that have lots of great choruses and we will sing our hearts out.
Contact Frank Cuta: 509-967-2658, or email: .
The WCB Constitution and Bylaws Committee has been working hard during the summer and on Saturday afternoon of the convention in Pasco, you will get a chance to vote the fruits of our labors either up or down.
In this article I will summarize the six changes as they now stand. Of course, these are just the ones currently proposed by the committee. Until we meet face to face at the convention Thursday night and formally vote them out of committee, they are subject to change; and we are also still accepting proposed amendments from other WCB members.
It may actually be an exaggeration to say that we have six bylaw changes since the first two deal only with correcting terminology. But briefly, this is what we have thus far.
* Amendment 2011-1 will replace the out-dated mid-year meeting terminology in bylaw 5 with presidentís meeting terminology.
* Amendment 2011-2 straightens out an inconsistency in bylaw 13 by replacing most occurrences of the term ìchapterî with the term ìaffiliate.î
* Amendment 2011-3 simplifies 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. It also substitutes the term ìbusiness meetingî for the term ìregular meeting.î
* Amendment 2011-4 simplifies 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 stipulates that the Nominating Committee shall report its slate of proposed candidates to the membership via the WCB email list and the WCB telephone service twenty days before the convention.
* Amendment 2011-6 raises the Crisis Award limit for most things from $300 to $400.
After being voted out of committee these amendments will be read on the floor Friday morning and they will be debated and voted on Saturday afternoon. So bring your comments, criticisms, and bylaws to our committee meeting Thursday night after the board meeting. You bring your spirits and we will be there with our 6-pack.
The Nominating Committee is looking for a few good people who are interested in running for the following WCB offices:
president, first vice president, treasurer, and three board positions, currently held by John Common, Eric Hunter and
The alternate delegate position for the 2012 American Council of the Blind (ACB) Convention is also available for election. Anyone wishing to run for this position must have attended one ACB national convention and not have served as alternate delegate the previous year.
The candidate must not have outstanding WCB loan payments in default.
The alternate delegate must be seated with the WCB delegation during the conducting of all ACB business and is to assist the delegate with convention duties. The alternate delegate is responsible for providing guidance to WCB members who are attending their first ACB convention.
Anyone interested in running for any of these offices must contact one of the nominating committee members by October 4.
Bill Hoage, Chair
We look forward to your submissions.
For the first time since its inception in 1935, Social Security is under serious attack. One aspect in the crusade against Social Security is the inference by its opponents that the present and future recipients of those monthly checks were somehow fattening themselves at the expense of future generations.
First, remember that Social Security actually provides support at a very modest level. Last year, the average retirement benefit was $1,170 a month, or about $14,000 a year, with the average disabled worker or widow receiving slightly less.
Remember, too, that despite our status as the largest and most productive economy in the world, Social Security is among the least generous retirement programs among all the developed nations. As a percentage of the average workerís pre-retirement wages, the benefit has been declining for years and will continue to fall, even without any further cutbacks.
The check that used to replace 39% of a workerís income will replace only 31% by 2031. Compare that with last yearís 61% average wage replacement in the nations belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
The great majority of Social Security beneficiaries have no other cushion for their retirement, not because they were lazy or improvident, but because their wages were simply too low to permit much savings, let alone investment.
Opponents of Social Security insist that they have no desire to force the elderly to eat cat food or go homelessóas they did in the years before the program existed. ìBut we must cut drastically,î they cry, ìbecause we can simply no longer afford the ëentitlementsí that we have bestowed so lavishly upon the old and the poor.î
Whenever someone starts to talk about ìentitlements,î keep in mind that they are either trying to misdirect you or theyíve been misdirected themselves. Many commentators mix up Medicaid and Medicare, two programs that are indeed endangered by rising healthcare costs, with Social Security, which will be solvent until at least 2037 and can easily be made solvent for decades to come with minor changes. This is a rhetorical deception perpetrated countless times every day in nearly every media outlet.
The actuarial experts, whose job is to monitor Social Securityís fortunes, have long assured us that small and gradual rises in the tax revenues that support Social Security, accompanied by small and gradual shifts in benefits over the coming years, will solve whatever fiscal challenges the program may eventually confront. There is no reason to panic and there is certainly no reason to consider wholesale changes in benefits, unless the real aim is to destroy the system and replace it with something less useful but more profitable.
Wall Street and its partners on Capitol Hill have eyed Social Securityís revenues for many years. Now they regard the current uproar over the budget as a fresh opportunity to get their hands on a trillion-dollar bonanza through privatization of the system. Given their record in recent years, it is all too easy to imagine how badly that would work out for everybody, except them, of course.
Americans have been put on the defensive. Sitting by and waiting for someone else to rescue us is not an option. We must reach out to other senior organizations and plan together our defense of Social Security. And remember, the best defense is a good offense.
In spite of the economy and the multitude of uncertainties this past year, we have much to celebrate. In State Fiscal Year 2011, 147 customers went to work in competitive jobs at an average wage of nearly $20 per hour! Every year I love to share the new list of jobs and employers, vividly demonstrating the limitless variety in how our customers contribute to our workforce. These 147 DSB customers have taken charge of their lives and are now taxpayers and contributing members of their communities. Bravo!
In addition, our programs for youth, including the Summer Camp for Independent Living Skills (SCILS), the Baby Jamboree, and the Youth Employment Solutions (YES) Program, have made tremendous contributions to the lives of children who are blind or have low vision, fostering independence, creativity, and confidence early on.
SCILS, a day camp designed for children ages nine to thirteen, had eleven participants this year, who, along with daily living skills activities, took part in recreational and volunteer opportunities.
The Baby Jamboree, an event focused on birth to age three and co-sponsored by DSB, Washington State School for the Blind, and other agencies and organizations, gave families the opportunity to learn about their childrenís vision loss and how to advocate for their individual childís needs. This year there were nineteen families in attendance from all over Washington.
The YES Program, which provides housing and paid employment opportunities for transition-age youth, had twenty students this year who interned with seventeen employers throughout the City of Seattle. This program takes an enormous amount of effort and work from staff, volunteers, and families alike, and we are so grateful to all the people who have made this wonderful, life-changing summer program possible for our youth.
To add to the good news, after an extensive five-year search, our Orientation and Training Center (OTC) has secured a new apartment community for our residential students. Located in Seattle at the southeast corner of Martin Luther King and Othello Street, the Station at Othello Park is part of an expanding commercial and residential community including banks, supermarkets, retail businesses, non-profits and, of course, Othello Park, itself. In addition, two bus lines and the Central Link Light Rail (Othello Station) serve the area, providing and promoting public transportation among the residents and local businesses. The OTC has done a tremendous job securing a safe, lively, and community-oriented residential experience for our customers. Kudos to the OTC staff for all their hard work based on their tremendous commitment to our customers.
This fiscal year, the challenges and potential cuts continue. But I hope we can use last year as an example of how we can creatively and collaboratively come up with solutions that improve the lives of our customers and help to ensure the economic vitality of people who are blind or have low vision. Thank you so much to the WCB community for your active involvement. We celebrate our accomplishments in full gratitude for all those who are committed to our missionóìInclusion, Independence, and Economic Vitality for People With Visual Disabilities.î
Washington State School for the Blind (WSSB)
Residential Schools Vital for All Blind/Visually
by Superintendent Dr. Dean O. Stenehjem
I want to thank the WCB and the American Council of the Blind for asking me to present at the national convention in Reno this past July. It was a privilege to share some of what is happening at the WSSB as part of the programs facilitated by the Residential School for the Blind Task Force. I was well received, the room was packed, and those in attendance were very interested in gathering information that can be helpful in combating the attack on residential school programs and/or learning how people can work in partnership with residential school personnel to continue to help make the services provided recognized as something of value. The latter is always the preferred way and we must continue to be proactive in order to avoid being placed into reactive situations.
What I shared with people at the convention is that schools for the blind need to continue to evolve and change, be viewed as part of every school districtís continuum of service delivery system, and probably most importantly, collect the right data that helps tell the story of success in a way that uses empirical data to demonstrate efficacy, not just feel good stories. We all have great stories to tell, but we have to remember to back these stories up with solid data and not shy away from discussions on issues such as cost. We need to get beyond this and have the data that will allow people to compare real costs for students both at the school for the blind and the local school district. I think people will be surprised that costs are not that different. All too often, residential schools donít effectively cost out all the services they provide and therefore costs are often tied back to just on-campus students, when in fact most schools for the blind have either become statewide resource centers (along with providing the residential intensive programs) and/or they are moving in this direction.
Schools for the blind also need to become experts in gathering solid data on performance in a way that makes sense to the general public. At WSSB students are pre-tested upon arrival and we post-test students at the end of the school year to tie the studentís academic and blindness related skills to grade equivalency based upon normal development. In this way parents, local districts, and policy makers have a chance to learn that when intensive programs are provided, we often see gains of 1.5 to 5 years growth within 7ñ9 months. These short-term programs are vital to the success of many students in local school districts in helping reduce the national high unemployment rate in the blindness community.
We must also conduct comprehensive follow up studies on graduates. These studies canít just follow students for 1ñ2 years, but more realistically for a minimum of six years and preferably eight years in order to gather valuable information that can help shape future programs based upon solid outcome data. We need this type of feedback if we are going to implement effective changes in the future and provide the type of data that is needed by policy makers to assist them in making wise decisions.
It is also important to inform the public that diversified services that are provided by the residential schools not only help students succeed on campus, but also provide the vital tools teachers/orientation and mobility specialists and others need in keeping their skills current at the local district level. Teachers with current/solid skills increase the odds of better success for all students.
Some keys to success are based upon the partnerships that have been developed, the willingness to eliminate turf issues, and realize that schools for the blind continue to be a vital part of each blind/visually impaired childís success. When programs continue to evolve and everyone works together for the betterment of children, statewide services improve and so do the outcomes.
The school, as a statewide resource center, with options for intensive on-campus programs is really not much different than what occurs at Magnet Schools in large school districts where students attend and/or tap into resources in order to gain a higher level of skills in a designated area. Isnít this what we do? How do we get this message out to parents, students, school districts, and policy makers? We have great stories and many great successes; letís share these stories and results with the world.
I hope all the members, friends, and family of WCB have been enjoying a wonderful (if not very sunny) summer. For the staff at WTBBL, summer has been a time to breathe and refocus. Until quite recently, almost all of our time has been spent going through some sort of transition or change: Change from the city library system to the Washington State Library; change from cassette books to digital books and the evolving world of downloading; change from one State Librarian to an Acting State Librarian; and a change of Secretary of State on the horizon. But for now things are calm . . .
As we look toward the fall, I am very excited over upcoming activities: Attending the Washington Council of the Blind Annual Convention in Pasco, visiting chapter meetings (yes, please call or email), and working to increase our outreach efforts so that all those that qualify for WTBBL service get books from us. We have been revising and updating our publications and will tackle our website in the near future. My goal is to make the information more accessible, concise, and appealing.
We did weather the budget session fairly well, all things considered, but as you may have heard, the governor is preparing agencies to cut as much as ten percent beginning in January. As I always say, we wouldnít be in half as good of shape without your support year after year. Nothing is final with the budget or with what the economy may bring us. I am constantly looking for ways to save money without losing staff or programs. As part of that effort, this year will be the last year we produce a large print calendar, the calendar for 2012. We will be switching to a more traditional and informative annual report format that I believe will serve us better in outreach to members of the community, as well as being more cost effective. This was a difficult decision, but many organizations in the area either give away or sell large print calendars. We will be sure to have a list of places to get a calendar for 2013 available to you.
Since I started attending WCB conventions, I know I have always talked about our local book production and how WTBBL was the first library in the county to have our books available for download and much more. Well, Theresa Connolly, our Audio Book Production supervisor, was recently honored as the Washington State Library Employee of the Year. Congratulations Theresa, and congratulations to all the staff and volunteers at WTBBL who put so much care and effort into their work. Your support and feedback make what we do very worthwhile.
I wish you a fun and happy rest of your summer and remind you to include reading in your days if you can. There are over 25,000 digital books available for download and the number grows quickly. If you would like information or instruction about downloading books, please call the library. Donít forget the WTBBL quarterly bookclub; if you donít live in Seattle, or even if you do, you can call in and participate in the bookclub live on the Evergreen Radio Reading Service Talk Show.
Finally, I would like to give a big congratulations to our 44 summer reading kids for participating in the ìOne World, Many Storiesî program. We had lots of fun traveling around the globe and exploring the diversity of our world. As always, feel free to contact me at 206-615-1588 or .
Editorís Note: I saw a story about this ranch on a television program called Animal Rescue. I was able to get in touch with this couple through email and this is their story. The ranch is located in Watsonville, California.
My husband, Steve, and I started our horse retirement ranch in 2000. Our goal was to provide a safe environment for horses to retire in a pasture setting. We knew there was a need for places where blind horses could retire safely without having to be cooped up in a stall. Horses need to be moving around to keep their complex digestive system going. They are prone to stomach problems and boredom if left in a stall 24/7.
We built a pasture that was all three-tier wood fencing and we removed all the low-lying branches that they could possibly bump into or injure themselves on. Within the first year we had four blind horses living in the pasture.
The thing that is so amazing about blind horses is how adaptable they are. We would introduce them to the pasture by walking them slowly along and around the fence line, making sure we pointed out the water trough and where the hay is. During the first couple of weeks they moved slowly and did some bumping into each other and the fence and trees. After that initial period they were so well adapted that you could not tell that they were blind unless you looked closely. They now follow the hay truck along the fence line. They are able to trot next to the fence without ever bumping into it. They know exactly where it starts and finishes.
The only difference that we have noticed in blind horses as opposed to sighted horses is that they tend to get along better with less squabbling. They rely on each other and tend to stay grouped together a bit more closely. They are also amazingly trusting and easy to handle for vet or furrier visits.
Aimee, the horse you saw in the animal rescue segment, was one of our first blind horses and she is still here and doing well. She is almost 30 years old now which is very old for a horse!
Recently, when visiting the Verizon store for unrelated issues, I asked how iPhones were selling. The sales associate quickly discovered a discount already available from our current contract. My sensible plan to learn about the phone in advance of my anticipated September purchase date did not occur to me on that Tuesday, March 15.
This sales person was knowledgeable about the Voiceover feature of the iPhone. He had foresight to transfer my 70 contacts from my old phone and set up my App Store password before I left. He worked with me as I practiced making a call and hanging up.
My new-found wisdom, however, stayed in the store as the door closed behind me. ìI donít even remember how to answer it!î I said as I got into the car. ìWhat if someone calls?î
Once home, I set about trying to call Alco, my iPhone mentor. She and I had played with her phone at the January board meeting. Thankfully, that gave me a slight edge. After our conversation, I spent the rest of the evening trying unsuccessfully to buy the Sendero GPS app. My fingers were so clumsy at first that I could not enter my password. It was an exercise in frustration, later resolved to the benefit of the app store. There are many free apps and most are only a few dollars, but it is these applications that individualize a phone to meet the needs/desires of the owner.
Tenacious when conquering new gadgets, I soon learned I would be well served to purchase the iPhone Book by Anna Dresner and Dean Martineauóa decision that has been a wise one. I chose the download option and found immediate help. I have listened to related podcasts about my phone and have chosen some applications based on this information.
There have been some horrific experiences such as the time I inadvertently called a friend at midnight twice in succession. Worse yet, I could not hang up and it rang on and on each time. I was only trying to delete my voice mail. The following morning she graciously called to say that she was glad to be part of my learning curve.
Why spend so much time on this when a year and a half ago I wanted only a phone that was accessible enough to manage the calendar and contacts? I now appreciate having access to daily news from many sources.
My first app, Sendero Look Around, has set me straight quickly when I have become disoriented on a walk. The money identifier is the best I have seen. I check earthquakes around the world and amazingly, there are many each day. Digit-Eyes, with some practice, reads bar codes and gives the name of most items. It is more doable for me than any labeling method I have devised. There is a color identifier.
The free Bible software program gives access to many translations and also gives an option for listening to a human voice read while the text scrolls on the screen.
There is a plethora of books and music to be downloaded. Dragon dictate is free, converts spoken language into text and is pretty accurate, even for me. I even downloaded an app called Eyeglasses that works like a closed circuit TV. Of no benefit to me, I hope this will solve frequent comments from those helping me that the print is too smallódifficult to read. I bought a flashlight app with the same needs-of-others in mind. Occasionally I make or receive calls. All this fits into a pocket leaving room for other items.
Suggestions for new iPhone users.
Get the National Braille Press iPhone book by Anna and Dean and work through each part, iPhone in hand.
Choose an Apple password that has letters and numbers that are easy to locate. Put numbers at the beginning or end creating less need to change screens.
iBlink Radio is freeóa must for finding podcasts and other blindness-related information.
Much can be done with such a small device and Apple must be commended for thinking of accessibility from the ground up. If the above information intrigues you, but the monthly data plan puts you off, consider the iPod. It has many of the same functions without the phone or monthly data charges. There is a feature called Face Time whereby users can do video calling with other iPhone, iPad, or iPod users with access to wifi much like Skype, but it is very seamless.
Another Spin on Accessible Voting
Online Voter Guide Improves Accessibility
for Kitsap County Voters
PORT ORCHARD, WashingtonóAll voters are entitled to cast their ballots independently and in private. With accessible voting systems and innovative online tools, the technology exists today to provide citizens the independence they deserve.
In 2009, the Kitsap County Auditor, Elections Division, became one of the first counties in the nation to implement an accessible online ballot delivery system. Kitsapís Online Voter Guide allows voters to access their specific ballot from the comfort of home using the internet by simply entering their name and date of birth.
ìWe truly are committed to making elections accessible to everyone,î Kitsap County Auditor Walt Washington said. ìThe Online Voter Guide is one of the most empowering resources we provide to voters.î
The guide is fully compatible with accessibility software such as screen magnifiers that enlarge content, and screen readers that convert text to speech and Braille. It allows for navigation without the use of a mouse and without having to see the cursor on the screen. And all candidate video statements are close captioned, allowing voters to read what candidates are saying.
Voters can use the guide to review ballot measures and candidate statements. The guide allows voters to mark and review or change selections before printing. And voters can use the envelope they received in the mail to return their ballots.
Kitsap County partnered with Redmond-based Democracy Live to develop the Online Voter Guide. Kitsap served as the test county, providing guidance and technical support during software development. To ensure this new software met the needs of the disability community, Kitsap sought feedback from its Voter Access Advisory Committee. The committee is comprised of a diverse group of Kitsap County residents representing numerous advocacy groups, Kitsap County employees, and Auditor Washington.
Committee member and former Washington Council of the Blind president, Cindy Van Winkle, used the Online Voter Guide to cast her ballot in 2010.
ìI loved the Online Voter Guide and found it to be easy to use,î Van Winkle said. ìI read candidate statements and if I needed to, I could click on audio.î
Prior to launching the Online Voter Guide, Van Winkle used an Accessible Voting Unit (AVU) to cast her ballot. AVUs provide high-contrast text and audio options, and are compatible with lap equipment. AVUs have allowed many voters with disabilities to vote independently, however, they require travel to election offices or voting centers to use them.
ìFor people who have access to a computer, you no longer have to worry about transportation somewhere to vote privately,î she said.
According to Van Winkle, the Online Voter Guide has eliminated many of the challenges associated with the vote-by-mail system used in Washington counties since 2006.
ìIf someone receives a ballot in the mail, they may not even know itís there,î she said. ìFor those who are blind that have a reader come to their homes every few weeks, they may not read their ballots in time to vote and they are not able to vote privately.
ìIn the past I would bypass reading some of the material. Being able to review the material from home results in more informed voters,î she said.
The Online Voter Guide logged nearly 1,800 page views during the 2009 primary and general election. A 2010 survey of users revealed that 50 percent of respondents wouldnít have voted without this option, 88 percent felt it made voting easier, and nearly 98 percent would use this option again.
There are ten other Washington counties using Democracy Liveís software to make voter guides available online. These counties primarily use the software to deliver election information and ballots to military and overseas voters. However, the software provides the same accessibility as Kitsapís Online Voter Guide.
The Online Voter Guide is available to Kitsap County voters participating in the general election at: http://wa.liveballot.com/kitsap.
If you would like to test a demonstration of the Online Voter Guide, call 360-337-7280 for more information.
Do you want to have fun while helping the Washington Council of the Blind (WCB)? Here is your chance while attending the WCB convention in November, at the Red Lion Inn in Pasco.
This year the Fundraising Committee has some great things going on at convention. WCB will have a table in the exhibitorsí hall on Friday, where you will get a chance to look at some great WCB apparel and other fantastic surprises. You will be able to order most things to be delivered at the January board meeting, so come and check us out.
This year you can see just how lucky you are by taking guesses at a large jar of nuts. Only two people will know the exact count. This jar will be on display at the WCB table in the exhibit hall. It will also be at the pre-banquet party. The winner will be announced just before the banquet begins.
The Fundraising Committee will also be selling 50-50 tickets. Just look for John Common, Bill Hoage, Lori Allison, Carol McConnell, or Bea Shinnaberry if you want a great opportunity to win big money!
Again the hottest and biggest thing going on will be the fantastic silent auction that is held each year. This year Bill Hoage will be the chair of the auction. In order for the auction to be successful we will take any items that you would care to donate for this cause. The committee is also asking the WCB affiliates to each put together a great gift to donate for the auction. We do ask all those who donate to keep in mind that the items will have to be transported, so watch the sizes. If you have any questions contact Bill Hoage at , or by phone 509-586-8901.
Just remember that all proceeds from the sale of WCB products, or money raised buying chances at the nuts, 50-50 tickets, and the silent auction will go to help WCB keep providing the many great programs that benefit all of us.
If you want to know more or have any questions, contact John Common, Chair, Fundraising Committee:
. Phone 425-335-4031.
WE HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!!!
Over the last several months, Rhonda Nelson, Meka White, and I have been planning, brainstorming, spending long hours on the phone, writing scripts, and recording interviews. The result is ìthe Buzz,î our newly launched telephone information service.
We may be prejudiced in the matter, but we feel that ìthe Buzzî is unlike anything that you have ever heard. Itís like radio, but you listen on the phone.
I am especially excited about our Community Resources menu, where you can hear timely updates from the directors of the three leading agencies serving the blind and visually impaired of Washington State.
As part of the launch celebration, we are running a contest. Just answer one question correctly and you will be entered in a drawing to win an exquisite tower of treats from the Harry and David Company.
The drawing will take place on October 10, and the winner will be notified that evening.
Here are the phone numbers that you will need.
* If you can make a call to Seattle without incurring long distance charges, please use the Seattle number: 206-686-3048.
* If you donít have long distance service, or the call would result in toll charges, please use the 800 number. 800-255-1147.
* To enter our contest celebrating the launch of ìthe Buzz,î call the Buzz comment line: 206-309-1917.
Capital City Council of the Blind (CCCB)
by Berl Colley
CCCB started out the month of June with graduations. Jasmyn Johnson, the granddaughter of Berl and Denise Colley, graduated from Black Hills High School in Tumwater. She has joined the National Guard. Allie Damitio, daughter of CCCB members, John and Andrea Damitio, graduated from Washington State University. She will be living in Ephrata, Washington.
Berl and Denise Colley went to Daytona Beach, Florida, to present a workshop and speak at the banquet of the Florida Council of the Blind. Berl also participated in a history panel.
On June 18, Berl visited the United Blind of Seattleís Friendsí Day to talk about the American Council of the Blind.
Eight CCCB members attended the National American Council of the Blindís (ACB) Fiftieth Anniversary Convention in Sparks, Nevada. All said that it was one of ACBís better conferences.
At our July meeting, Emily Bergkamp from Intercity Transit spoke to the chapter about the activity of the systems Dial-a-Lift for the year 2010. The service continues to grow each year.
Twenty-seven CCCB family and friends attended our annual CCCB picnic which was held on August 20, 2011. There was lots of good food and interesting games. Terry Atwater won the ìDo You Know Your Fellow Membersî questions. The Washington Trivia games were won by John Damitio and Viola Bentson.
Congratulations to Kathy Matsen for putting on another great event.
Guide Dog Users of Washington State (GDUWS)
Highlights of Spring Fling 2011
by Debby Phillips
The weekend of June 3 and 4, 2011, was a busy fun-filled weekend for the people who attended the 2011 Spring Fling, held at the Inland Northwest Lighthouse and sponsored by Guide Dog Users of Washington State.
Many of us gathered at a local restaurant near the Quality Inn, where we were staying, for dinner. After dinner we gathered in the lobby of the hotel where coffee, tea, and cookies were available for hotel guests. It was a wonderful time of getting to know each other in an informal setting.
Saturday morning, we gathered at the Inland Northwest Lighthouse where Kevin Daniel, the director, was there to greet everyone with coffee. Pastries and fruit were provided by GDUWS so no one went hungry that morning.
Our first speakers were Don and Kelli Reiter and Richard Schultz, puppy raisers for Guide Dogs for the Blind. The commitment of puppy raisers to create a firm foundation for the pups who later become guides to blind people is marvelous. Puppy raisers are an integral part of the training of dogs who guide blind people. Although the puppy raisers do not train the dogs to guide, they do teach the dogs basic obedience and house manners. The pups are exposed to a variety of experiences so that they will be accustomed to being in all kinds of situations which will help them as future guides.
One of the innovations of Spring Fling this year was the use of teleconferencing for speakers from other parts of the country. They used the Inland Northwest Lighthouse number. With tightening budgets everywhere, this was a real asset.
Blane A. Workie from the U.S. Department of Transportation, spoke to us about the rights and responsibilities of people flying with guide dogs, as well as the responsibilities of airline personnel. Ms. Workie provided good information and answered one of the questions that seems to plague us from time to time: the supposed requirement that we obtain health certificates for our dogs before flying. Our speaker indicated that this is not a requirement for domestic flights. There may be some requirement for health certificates for overseas flights.
We next heard from Becky Barnes, president of Guide Dog Users, Inc. (GDUI). She discussed the new website for GDUI: www.gdui.org.
After a break, we heard from representatives from other guide dog schools who updated us on current developments.
Joleen Ferguson brought her PediPaws, which is used to shorten those long pesky nails that our dogs seem to grow. It looks a bit like an electric toothbrush, but fatter and longer. At one end is a grinding wheel enclosed in a plastic, protective case that only allows for the nail to go in. There is a plastic case to hold all the nail trimmings. It is not a nail clipper. It wonít and canít cut the quick, and it wonít apply too much pressure on the nail.
That officially ended the Spring Fling portion of our weekend. We then had our semiannual business meeting. One of our main focuses was attracting and retaining new members, a challenge for all organizations. Many ideas were expressed so it will be interesting to see what we will be able to do in the coming years.
Our next event will be our convention which is held in conjunction with the WCB Convention. Plans are being made now and there will be more information as time draws closer to November. We look forward to meeting many new friends, as well as our current members, so be watching our website, the WCB NEWSLINE, and the WCB email list for further announcements. The GDUWS website is www.gduws.net.
I would be remiss if I did not thank Kevin Daniel and Kirk Adams from the Lighthouse. Wherever Spring Fling is held next year, theirs will be a hard act to follow. They were warm and caring, and made sure that we had everything we needed to make the day informative and successful.
Jefferson County Council of the Blind (JCCB)
by Carl Jarvis
Itís hard to believe that another summer is winding down, especially out here on the Olympic Peninsula where we are still waiting for summer to show up. Oh well, like the Seattle Mariners, weíll just have to wait until next year.
We received the following message from Della Walker on behalf of her husband David:
ìThis is a message David left for us to send to you all after his passing, which was Sunday, July 31.î
ìTo my beloved friends and family,
I am very grateful for your compassion and love and good will and for the happiness you have bestowed on me. I am eternally grateful.î
A memorial service is scheduled for September 25, from 3:00 to 6:00 at the Unitarian Church in Port Townsend.
June found us gathered at Tís Restaurant for the second month in a row. A few folks really liked the food but most felt something was missingólike food. But besides the small portions, the small cramped room, and the very slow service, it was . . . a learning experience. The final decision was to return to the Road House for our September meeting, at which time weíll begin a heated discussion on other meeting options. I know, itís beginning to sound as if all we talk about is food. But we are an Eat, Greet, and Meet bunch of folks.
President Lynn Gressley asked Cathy Jarvis if she would read the current draft of our new bylaws. After making a couple of changes we voted them in. Anyone wanting to see a copy may contact: Carl Jarvis at:
Just to be certain she didnít have too much free time, Sue Ammeter ran for and was elected to the Chair of the State Rehabilitation Council. The Department of Services for the Blind will certainly benefit from Sueís years of advocacy experience.
Viola Garing has returned from her sonís and is now living at Discovery View Apartments in Port Townsend, while her husband, Bob, was moved to the San Juan Assisted Living Center because of his health.
John and Sue Ammeter represented JCCB at the American Council of the Blindís National Convention. July was so busy that we moved our annual picnic to August 12, at the SKP Community Center. The ladies at SKP put on a grand lunch and Nancy Kelly-Patnode created some marvelous homemade pies. But there we go again, talking about food.
Carl and Cathy Jarvis reported to the group that Peninsula Rehabilitation Services is now serving only Jefferson and Clallam counties.
Weíre looking forward to a productive Fallóand more good food.
King County Chapter
by Chris Coulter
Hello from the King County Chapter. Weíve had quite a summer and most of it has been fun.
Before I get to the fun part, however, I want to talk about an unexpected event. A couple of weeks before we were scheduled to have our June meeting, Marie Callenderís closed several of their restaurants without notice, including ours. Our president, Tim Schneebeck, had to scramble madly to find a place for us to meet at the end of June. We held our June meeting at the Blue Star Cafe in Seattle. The food was good, the service was also good, and the prices were reasonable. We will hold our August meeting there as well and then make our decision as to whether or not it will be our regular meeting place.
At our June meeting we were treated to a presentation by Steve and Nellie Barnett. They talked about their recent trip to Peru, where Nellie was born and grew up. They brought some items of interest to show us and told us some amazing stories.
In July, we had our annual chapter picnic at Tim Schneebeckís house. The barbecues ran overtime and everything was delicious. Thanks to Tim, Virginia, and their family for putting on the picnic and being so gracious and helpful to all of us.
Many of us have stepped back a bit from our usual routines in order to attend the American Council of the Blindís Conference and Convention in Reno, as well as vacations, retreats, and just plain regrouping after a long, cold winter, spring, and half the summer. Weíre all looking forward to August.
If youíve never been to a King County Chapter meeting or if itís been a long time since youíve attended one, youíre welcome to join us on Saturday, August 27, at the Blue Star Cafe. The address is 4512 Stone Way North in Seattle. Weíll be gathering for lunch at 1:00 PM and the meeting starts at 2:00. Until next time, this is the King County Chapter wishing you a great late summer.
Peninsula Council of the Blind (PCB)
by President Meka White
The dog days of summer may have been few and far between at times, but that has not kept us from enjoying various activities.
The Blind Blend coffee sales were such a success that we have decided to make it an ongoing fundraiser for us. We are continuing to look into other ideas as we iron out the logistics of this particular activity. It takes a lot of team work, but it is going well.
Five of our members attended the American Council of the Blindís National Convention in Reno this year and truly enjoyed themselves. They came back with great stories and experiences as they reconnected with old friends and made new ones.
Once again, the PCB and South Kitsap Council of the Blind partnered for a picnic that was held in Jackson Park. We enjoyed hamburgers, hot dogs, pasta salad, lots of fruits, desserts, and beverages. The sun was shining and the day was filled with fellowship and fun. Many of us rode the train that runs through the park. It is manned by volunteers and is based on donations. It was a perfect day.
Some of us have been going to Seattle for audio-described plays. It has been fun to meet with other blind and visually impaired people in the Puget Sound area for a fun-filled day. In June, we attended ìGuys and Dolls,î and in July we went to see ìAladdin.î We also celebrated Cindy Van Winkleís birthday afterwards at the Cheesecake Factory.
There are some new additions to our PCB family. Sarah Schweizer returned with her new German Shepherd guide named Babs. Meka White received a black Lab male named Lester. Both are very excited about working these dogs and integrating them into their daily lives.
The PCB was represented at a low vision expo at Christa Shores in Silverdale. We were well represented. It went extremely well and it was wonderful to be able to reach out to blind and visually impaired seniors.
Several of our members went to the Kitsap County Fair for food, fellowship, fun, concerts, vendors, and the petting zoo. A good time was certainly had by all.
A few of our members also attended the Super Picnic. While I was not at the event, I hear that everyone truly enjoyed themselves.
The books read by the All Ears Book Club this quarter are Papillon by Henri CharriËre, The Hornetís Nest by Jimmy Carter, and Iíll Mature When Iím Dead by Dave Barry.
We meet the second Saturday of the month at All Star Lanes in Silverdale from 12:00 to 2:00 PM. We cordially invite you to join us.
Pierce County Association of the Blind (PCAB)
by Lori Allison
How time does fly. PCAB has been very busy preparing for our annual picnic and trying to get a local Goal Ball team going. Hongda has been working with Tacoma Metro Parks Adaptive Sports and Recreation on setting up many sports functions in which visually impaired and blind people can participate. Many of our members have been putting in time as volunteers at the Tacoma Area Coalition of Individuals With Disabilities Center helping to work with the Independent Living Program and the Blind Peer Support Group.
During our June meeting, Elizabeth Scott, a Braille instructor, joined the PCAB family. At the end of June and the beginning of July, PCAB had the opportunity to work at the I-5 Safety Stop and Rest Area serving coffee, tea, and baked goods. This is one of our greatest outreach fundraisers of the year.
The first weekend in August, PCAB had a picnic at Spanaway Lake Park. We had over seventy-five members attend, as well as friends and family. Pierce County Community Big Band played a great selection of music. David Edick also played some great music.
In August, we had Larry Fox and Glennis Williams join our family. Welcome, Larry and Glennis.
The final printing of the PCAB brochure was completed. Thank you Kitty, Sabrina, and David. The brochure is very informative and looks great.
PCAB meets on the third Saturday of each month and we hope that each of you get a chance to come and check us out.
South King Council of the Blind (SKB)
by Marlaina Lieberg
It has been a fun and interesting time at SKB since our last update. We have gained five new members and are delighted to see our family growing.
In early July, a group of us met for lunch in the sun at Kent Station. We were delighted to say hello to Stuart Russell, who traveled all the way from Bremerton to be with us. There were about ten folks present and we had a whale of a good time.
We are planning a bowling party soon, thanks to Glenn Nickell, a member who spent many decades as a bowling coach. Glenn is a driving force and we appreciate his work.
Our new meeting location, Dennyís in Federal Way, on 2132 South 320th Street, is working out really well. We have a private room and a great wait staff. We meet there on the second Saturday of each month from 10:30 to noon. Wonít you join us and participate in this growing and vibrant chapter of WCB?
United Blind of Seattle
by Secretary Malissa Hudson
Well, Seattleís finally having summertime weather and Iím sure happy about that! The United Blind of Seattle is heating up with lots of great things.
At our May meeting, we didnít have a guest speaker, so President Clint Reiding led a round-table discussion on what each of us were going to be doing this summer.
On June 18, we held our annual Friendís Day at Washington Talking Book and Braille Library and it turned out to be a major success! We had twenty-two attendees, six guests, and we welcomed two new members to our family!
We didnít have a meeting in July, due to folks coming back from the American Council of the Blindís convention and the Washington State School for the Blind reunion.
The annual Super Picnic will be held August 27, at Seward Park in Seattle. This is an event we look forward to all year long because all three Seattle chapters get together for food and fellowship along with their friends and family. Thatís all for now! Have a blessed summer!
United Blind of the Tri-Cities (UBTC)
by Janice Squires
Oh, the sun is shining brightly and we are all enjoying the magic of summertime fun! The UBTC would like to welcome its two newest members, Ruth Burtsfield and Casey Kowrach. So good to have them both in the UBTC family.
The narrated play program is just about ready to begin for the 2011ñ2012 season and it is still one of our most popular events. The first play will be, ìOf Mice and Men.î Thanks again to John Yegge for his excellent narration; Frank Cuta, Brenda Vinther, and Karyn Vandecar for organizing the tickets and equipment; and to the Kiwanis for providing the transportation.
The card and book groups are rolling right along, providing fun times for our enthusiastic members. The books we read were Unbroken and Safe Haven.
The Bishel Center is still offering Bingo once a month and many various day trips and special picnics and lunches for all of us to enjoy.
We all want to congratulate UBTC President Bill Hoage on being selected as the 2011 WCB First-Timer to the American Council of the Blindís convention in Reno, this year. We are all so proud of Bill and all believe he is so deserving of this award. Frank and Bill will be sharing all of their wild Reno experiences with us at the September chapter meeting. Of course, Frank will bring many of his interesting gizmos and gadgets for all of us to be able to touch and feel.
Steve and Karyn Vandecar were selected to attend this yearís WCB Leadership Seminar. We are very proud of both of them for their efforts in learning more about the organization and for bringing back to our local chapter all of their newly acquired knowledge. Karyn has become such an active member of our chapter, organizing our once a month support group lunches and always stepping up to help in any way that she can. Karyn is attempting to spread the lunches throughout all three cities and offering many different types of cuisine to tantalize our taste buds.
We will be holding our annual UBTC picnic on September 1, in the lovely backyard of Dixie McDaniels. With the passing of long time member Shannon McDaniels last December, the celebration will not quite be the same. We always celebrated Shannonís birthday at this time and it certainly will be sad that he will not be with us to enjoy this special day.
Looking forward to seeing all of you in Pasco, at this yearís WCB State Convention. All of our members are working so hard to make it a great celebration. Frank gave us a sneak preview of his container garden at the August meeting. Frank will be presenting this as a general session topic and you will not want to miss it!
United Blind of Whatcom County (UBWC)
by Treasurer Yvonne Miller
Hi Everyone! I hope you are enjoying the remaining days of summer! It seems to be a rather short and unusual climatic season for everything under the sun.
The United Blind of Whatcom County held its business meeting at the Health Support Center in June.
The greeting cards have been in consignment in three gift stores since May. The funds are starting to trickle back to UBWC.
We have new business cards. The cards are bold font with yellow background.
We have new UBWC brochures. They have been printed on bond paper in three different colors. The new brochures will hold up better than the old ones and will be available for upcoming events.
David Engebretson gave an update about the Website Committee. He has been looking for people to help. Basically, itís going to take several months to get up and running. Beth Marsau had volunteered, but has had some health problems. We are looking forward to working with her in the future. We all wish her a speedy recovery.
David Egan and David Engebretson are working with the Environmental Access Committee to get some public service announcements (PSA) on the radio. A surprise demonstration was given. An audio clip of the two PSAs were played. They were produced by David Engebretson with Drew Grahamís excellent broadcast voice and dealt with pedestrian safety. We hope to hear these informative PSA announcements soon.
On July 27, we gathered for the annual picnic at Whatcom Falls Park. We had a very good turnout of UBWC members. With the Low Vision Support Group and guests, we had approximately fifteen people.
Chapter business was discussed before the social. Barb Crowley brought the membership to order. David briefed us on the fact that we are attending the Bellingham Food Co-op party at Boulevard Park on July 31. Members are needed to volunteer at the information booth.
Bruce Radtke passed around a safety arm band that has a light built in it to allow those traveling at night to be seen more easily. It is adjustable with a Velcro band which wraps around the arm. He purchased a limited number to bring to the Co-Op booth to sell.
Bruce gave highlights of his trip to Reno at the American Council of the Blindís convention. He passed around miscellaneous items while he talked about the exhibition room, various workshops, and activities he attended. For the new people, he explained that his purpose in attending is to volunteer his time and services, assisting wherever needed.
We adjourned for the picnic. We enjoyed a potluck picnic of savory fried chicken, tasty pink potato salad, fresh pea pods and garden salad, and sweet baked treats. There was no excuse for being hungry with all these delicious foods and beverages.
William Kindley, an invited guest, lightened up the day with lively music he played on his concertina. I checked his instrument out and was shown how to play it. My attempt was lame but fun. It reminded me of pirates out on the open sea, dancing, drinking, clapping, and laughing to the sound of the concertina. Although we did not party like pirates, we had a good time visiting over delicious food!
Another summer quickly passes by. We look forward to the Bellingham Food Co-Op party on July 31, and the fundraising event on October 15. You will learn more in the next issue!
United Blind of Walla Walla
by Joleen Ferguson
We were saddened to learn that Dodie Brueggeman lost her father recently, but we know that he had been ill and suffering for some time. We send our condolences to Dodie and her family, including her mother and siblings.
Look out WCB Board Liaisons! You just donít know what might happen as a result of visiting other places. In our case, our membership will reflect a growth of one for the coming year. Alco Canfield, our liaison from the WCB board has made her decision to move to Walla Walla on October 1, and we are all excited for the wealth of experience and enthusiasm she will bring to our chapter.
We have been looking to our own membership for programs during the past few months. Each of us, in the opinion of this writer, has things happening in our lives that we seldom have a chance to share with others. Such has been the case with Dodie. We have known for years that she has been teaching piano, but we knew little of the details until she shared her experience with us at our June program.
Not only did Joleen share from her experience at the American Council of the Blindís convention at our July meeting, but Vivian Conger also brought to us a new style back-T-pack she got when she attended the Oregon Guide Dog Romp in Portland. We all enjoyed checking it outóeven the five guests that were with us that meeting. One of our visitors was from the College Place Lionís Club. He wanted to see what we were about in hopes of partnering with us in some way. Check back as this concept develops.
Because of the several visitors at the July meeting, we decided to have one of our ìShow and Tellî programs in August. One person came in August as a guest of Carla Brinkley. It was her first visit. A second August guest had come in July and we were glad to see her back. A third guest was Alco who had spent a week here deciding if Walla Walla would be a good fit for her. We were all glad to hear that she is coming. As a result of the August meeting, Carla has begun learning Braille with help from Joleen. Alco provided the book they will be using.
On February 28, those members who lived on the Western side of Washington were pretty shaken up when about 11:00 AM, the Nisqually earthquake hit. There was some structural damage in the Thurston County area from a Richter Scale shaker measuring over 6.
During the March 10, WCB board meeting, the board approved a stipend of $550 to attend the American Council of the Blind (ACB) National Convention in Des Moines, Iowa, to eligible members requesting a stipend. At the June 3, board meeting the amount was raised to $575. The loan amount that members could request was $800.
President Colley announced that Jim Eccles was the convention coordinator for our fall convention. The board voted to provide a free bus from Seattle to the convention hotel in Wenatchee. It also voted to give a $40 stipend to members attending the convention from outside of Pierce, King, and Snohomish counties.
The June 1ñ3 WCB Leadership Training and Board Meeting were held at the Best Western Executive Inn in Seattle.
On June 1ñ2, WCB held its first annual activity to train future leaders in the organization. Michael Byington, from ACBís Kansas affiliate served as the leadership training facilitator. There were twenty-five members who signed up for this training.
It was announced at the June 3, board meeting that Governor Gary Locke had appointed Carl Jarvis to the Department of Services for the Blind Rehab Advisory Council.
The board approved a motion to establish an E-Voice account so that chapters could give their reports to the state. Immediately thereafter, E-Voice went out of business.
The board allocated $2,500 to produce an information booklet about WCB. Additionally, the purchase of a clip-on microphone was approved. Thus, WCB had a total of four microphones: two cordless, a headset, and the new clip-on.
That spring, the organization received a letter from the Internal Revenue Service informing us that an audit of the 1998 and 1999 vehicle donation records would occur. Sue Ammeter worked with WCB treasurer, Debbie Cook, during the audit sessions, which were conducted on June 7 and June 29. WCB obtained the services of Lisa Johnson, from the Law Firm of Preston, Gates, and Ellis, to assist in the audit process. We learned later that an internal memo had been circulated within the IRS instructing employees to target organizations that were using vehicle donations as fundraisers.
The City of Seattle asked WCB and the National Federation of the Blind of Washington (NFBW) to meet with them on June 14, to start the process of developing a policy regarding installing audible pedestrian signals in Seattle. Sue Ammeter from WCB and Dan Frye from NFBW were two of the people at this meeting.
The National ACB Convention was held in Des Moines, Iowa, on June 30 through July 7. Debbie Cook could not go as the alternate delegate because she had some medical problems, so, Sue Sather went as the alternate delegate. Gary Burdette was the First-Timer in Des Moines.
While attending the convention, Gary broke his leg and had to be hospitalized. Later, due to complications from his diabetes, the leg had to be amputated.
Long-time WCB member and president from 1977 through 1979, Chris Gray, was elected ACB president. Chris was living in California at the time.
WCB was active with youth in 2001. Steve Heesen spoke to the Orientation and Training Center students about the organization. On July 13, Steve, Meka White, and Cindy Burgette helped sponsor and conduct a youth activity in Seattle.
The August 10ñ11 summer retreat and board meeting was held in Longview, at the Red Lion Inn. The retreat topics were self-advocacy and pedestrian safety. Mitch Pomerantz, ACBís Second Vice President, conducted the retreat workshop.
At the Saturday board meeting, Cheryl Stewart, from Wenatchee, requested an affiliation with WCB for her newly formed group. The board voted to accept the North Central Washington Council of the Blind into the organization. It then voted to grant them $500 to get started.
Robert Taylor, a student from the Bremerton area who planned to compete in an athletic event in China, was granted $1,000 to defray some of the cost of that trip.
The Department of Services for the Blind began developing a plan to establish an Order of Selection. Carl Jarvis was WCBís representative and spokesman in this process. The department held two meetings, one in Spokane on September 17 and in Seattle on September 19. Fortunately, the department did not have to implement its plan.
* Congratulations to WCBís second vice president, Julie Brannon! Julie has accepted a position at the Seattle Lighthouse as Employee and Community Services Support Manager. She will be developing training packages, along with providing informational support for employees such as referrals to housing and other services. She will continue Braille training classes at the Lighthouse two days per week.
* Wedding Bells Are Ringing! The United Blind of SouthWest Washington happily announces that their president, Brooke Strand, was married on June 26, to Josh Richardson. The ceremony was held at Vancouver Lake Park. Berl and Denise Colley, Tim and Cindy Van Winkle, and many members of the United Blind of Southwest Washington attended the joyful event.
* Happy Anniversary! John and Sue Ammeter, Jefferson County Council of the Blind, celebrated their 40th Wedding Anniversary by taking a long road trip which included their attendance at the 50th Annual Convention of the American Council of the Blind. This was Johnís first national convention.
* John and Carol McConnell, South King Council of the Blind, celebrated their 28th Wedding Anniversary. They shared the evening after the actual date with good friends over dinner at the Golden Steer Restaurant in Kent.
* Ron and Margie Kickert, United Blind of the Tri-Cities, celebrated their 50th Anniversary together with their family.
* Bob and Janice Squires, United Blind of the Tri-Cities, renewed their wedding vows on their 40th Wedding Anniversary. The ceremony took place at St. Josephís Church and all their children and grandchildren were at their side to help them celebrate their special day.
* Welcome new guide dogs! The Peninsula Council of the Blind is home to three new guides! Lester, a male black Lab from Guiding Eyes is now happily guiding Meka White. A German Shepherd female named Babs from the Seeing Eye is keeping Sarah Schweizer on the straight and narrow. And finally Pica, a black Lab female has been guiding Sharon Maalis since June, and we are sure they are making great music together.
* The Tri-Cities welcomes Jethro, black Lab from Pilot Dogs, who is beautifully guiding Diana Turley as they go about their daily lives.
* Happy Birthday! Jack Piggot, member of the Peninsula Council of the Blind, celebrated his 75th birthday.
* Back to School! Holly Kaczmarski has been accepted, by Salus University in Pennsylvania, into the Rehabilitation for the Blind Orientation and Mobility Program. She will spend next summer in Pennsylvania and do her coursework starting September 1, 2011.
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.
Attention computer users. If you have not already completed the survey jointly sponsored by American Council of the Blind (ACB) and Google, please do so before the end of September 2011. ACB and Google are conducting this survey to better understand computer usage and assistive technology patterns in the blind community. There are two ways to participate, online at www.acb.org/googlesurvey or by phone by calling Ms. Kellie Hartmann at 347-772-8355. Ms Hartmann will be available between 11:00 AM and 9:00 PM eastern standard time from Monday through Saturday. If you call outside those hours, leave a message for a follow-up call. The survey will be open until the end of September. At the end of the survey you also have the opportunity to submit an entry to win one of seven amazon.com gift certificates.
Do you have an iPhone? Do you get a little lost on the touch screen now and again? The ATGuys have just what you need. More information about their tactile screen protectors for iPhone 3GS and 4 is available at www.atguys.com.
The Daily Deals email list, generated by Blind Bargains, will keep you up-to-date on hot deals and great buys. More information is available about this free service at www.blindbargains.com.
1 c. raisins
2 c. water
1 cube butter or margarine
1-3/4 c. flour
1 tsp. soda
Ω tsp. salt
1 c. sugar
Ω tsp. cinnamon
Ω tsp. nutmeg
Boil raisins in water for 10 minutes. Add 1 cube of butter or margarine.
In same pan, add flour, soda, salt, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Pour into a greased 13x9x2 pan and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20ñ25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
September 6: Office hours conference call at 7 PM with President Colley
September 12: Call-in date to request a free room for state convention
September 16ñ17: WSSB Board of Trustees meeting, Vancouver
September 24: SRC meeting, Seattle DSB office
September 26: Monthly teleconference call of the WCB Diabetes Support Group, 7 PM
October 4: Deadline for state convention registration and hotel registration
October 4: Deadline for requesting a travel stipend to state convention
October 24: Monthly teleconference call of the WCB Diabetes Support Group, 7 PM
November 3ñ5: WCB State Convention, Pasco
November 18ñ19: WSSB Board of Trustees meeting, Vancouver
November 26: Deadline for submission of articles for the December issue of NEWSLINE
November 28: Monthly teleconference call of the WCB Diabetes Support Group, 7 PM
December 3: SRC meeting, Seattle DSB office
NOTE: For more information on the Diabetes Support Group contact: Peggy Shoel at 206-722-8477 or .
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 or by phone, toll free at 800-255-1147.
Special thanks goes 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 November 26, 2011. Articles may be edited for clarity and space considerations.
Publication policy: To ensure accuracy, we require submissions be emailed to our NEWSLINE address at . Articles should be no longer than 750 words.