Opportunity, Equality, Independence
Cindy Van Winkle, President
Alco Canfield, Editor
Walla Walla, WA
Those much-needed contributions, which are TAX-deductible, can be sent to the Washington Council of the Blind treasurer, Eric Hunter, at PO Box 3127, Bremerton, WA 98310.
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)(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 President’s Desk
Notes from the Editor
Editorial: A Star is Born
Marching with WCB
2013 Board of Directors
Bylaws Changes 2012
Resolution Regarding Independent Living Older Blind Program
2012 WCB Awards
2012 Scholarship Recap
Introducing Two Specialized Topic Forums
From the Senior Side: Independent or Interdependent
Report from the Washington State School for the Blind
Visually Impaired Student Gets Chance to Attend Space Camp
Around the State
Radio Reading Service is Live and Local in the Tri-Cities
WCB History Part two 2004
Bits and Pieces
From My Kitchen to Yours
2013 Calendar of Deadlines and Events
Newsline Article Submissions
by Cindy Van Winkle, WCB President
At our recent state convention, I spoke about the importance of building community in WCB and within our individual chapters. Although I will not repeat that entire speech here, I do want to recap a few of the thoughts within it.
To build community, it is not enough to just gather at a meeting; we need to connect. Connections will be made as chapters provide opportunities for relationship building through book, game or computer clubs, support groups, community service or fundraising activities, socials before or after a meeting or on a completely different day; any reason to bring two or more together to share with one another in an activity, event, or themselves is an opportunity to connect, and in doing so, we’re building community.
We need to build commitment with higher expectations of personal contributions. It’s not enough to educate our membership on important issues facing our blind community or the needs of our chapter. We need to challenge every member to play a part in making a difference in creating positive change. Whether you are a letter writer, a Facebook user, a phone caller, an upfront in-the-face presenter, you can help us convey a message to legislators. Whether it’s serving on a committee in your chapter or for WCB, you can play an active role to ensure our important work is being done. Nothing happens without the actions of real people, and we need you for WCB and each of our affiliated chapters to remain vibrant, engaging, meaningful and focused. It is through the sense of community that we may attract new members, and it’s that connection that will keep members coming back.
Committees are a real way to show your commitment to WCB. By contributing your time and talent to the work of WCB you will also connect with other members from around the state. WCB committees for 2013 are being formed now. Whether you’ve been serving on a committee in 2012 or not, I need to hear from you no later than January 10, 2013, with a list of your committee interests. If you’re not sure what might be a good fit for you, let me know and we can chat about it. Send your committee requests to or call me at 360-689-0827.
In the spring, WCB will provide another opportunity for WCB members to take part in our annual Leadership Seminar, a weekend of learning about WCB, leadership styles, and ways members can become active contributors, and so much more. If you have never attended this previously, I hope you’ll give strong consideration of applying. Just send a letter of application to expressing why you’d like to attend and what you hope to gain from such an experience. Be sure to toot your horn a bit and let the Leadership Committee know about you. Letters must be received by Friday, April 5, 2013, and applicants must be a current member as of February 3, 2013.
As each of us celebrates the holiday season in our own way with family traditions, seasonal stories, movies, music, recipes and treats, and special memories, I challenge each of you to take the time to call up a member or two you haven’t spoken with in a while, find a way to give to your community whether it be through a donation of a gift, food or money, and take time for some personal reflection as you count your blessings big and small and consider ways in which each of you can become active contributors to our WCB community!
And now for a tall glass of eggnog…
by Alco Canfield
- The Newsline Committee would like to take this opportunity to thank Terry Nelson for her three years of service facilitating the publication of the Newsline. We wish her all the best.
- Please join us in welcoming Andrea Park, the Newsline Committee Assistant. Andrea has experience with the Newsline, and we look forward to working with her.
- Due to an editing error, the meaning of the second paragraph of Gaylen Floy’s Article SNAPSHOTS FROM ACB 2012 was completely changed. Please see the corrected version of this article in the web edition of the September, 2012 Newsline.
By Carl Jarvis
Saturday morning at 8:00 A.M. found Cathy and me pulling down the alley behind radio station KONP, Port Angeles. Each week, Mark Harvey hosts an hour-long program on a variety of health topics. Mark’s day job is as a social worker for the Senior I&A (Information and Assistance) on the North Olympic Peninsula. We had made this commitment some weeks back, and as the day drew close I began to twitter. No, not tweet, just twitter.
So, trembling just a wee bit, with a mouth full of cotton, I was seated before a microphone and outfitted with a set of headphones.
The first thing I discovered was that in an hour on the air I only get 39 minutes of actual talk. Whew! That was good news, because even as nervous as I get, I can always babble for 39 minutes.
The second discovery was that it really helps to have a professional interviewer feeding you questions. Mark Harvey is about as good as they come.
We chatted about the independent living, older blind program (ILOB), and the Washington Council of the Blind (WCB), and the American Council of the Blind (ACB) and the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library (WTBBL). and finally we even talked about my most favorite subject. Me!
Cathy and I drove away wondering if anyone listens to KONP at that early hour. This morning the Fed X driver brought a delivery and when I opened the door he said, “That was a really good program Saturday morning, thanks”.
Wow! A star is born!
But the point of this ramble is to remind WCB members that these kinds of opportunities are all around us, like ripe plums waiting to be plucked. If we wonder why WCB is almost an invisible organization, maybe it’s because we’ve not picked up the phone and called into a local talk show. Or, even scarier, we might gather up the nerve to go on the air and talk about what our local chapter is doing for blind people. That just might shake a few forgotten folks out of the trees.
By Girmay Micael, member, South King Council of the Blind
I have come to the United States from Eritrea, Africa 27 years ago. I became blind about 30 years ago at Asmara, the capital city of my origin country. Since my stay in the United States, I lived and went to school in Los Angeles, California. In September 2011, I came to Seattle, Washington. I have a BS degree in Information Technology (IT); and, Master degree equivalent certificate in Assistive Technology (AT). I was unable to find a job in California; therefore, I moved from Los Angeles, the city I lived for a long time and love most in the world and moved to Seattle to look for a job.
However, in Seattle, things did not work out as I planned them for me. I could not find a job for long. Imagine how far you would go on social security money! Governmental institutions and humanitarian organizations were unable to help me. I could not get assistance in paying my rent, utilities, and monthly food. My social security money and food stamp was snatched by my previous landlord. Finally, I was at the point where I could not pay my utility bills; and, I could not buy my food. I felt like a man in a journey of the Sahara desert without water. At last, I found and called the telephone number of the WCB office; I spoke to Stuart, who understood my situation and, through the Crisis Committee, helped me financially and immediately. That was such effective help; it was a life saver help for me like a drop of water in a Sahara desert!
Now since February 2012, I have been working at the Lighthouse for the Blind as a non-skilled person. Thanks to God and thanks to the Lighthouse for the Blind for offering me the job; at last, I am able to pay my rent and utility bills.
I just have begun my journey with WCB. I joined the South King Counsel of the Blind (SKB) chapter. I have met many blind folks, men and ladies; who care about me, and likewise. We share ideas; we involve in educating the public about blindness, training blind kids, fund raising activities, etc. in order to make a difference in others’ lives. I am a proud and active member of the SKB.
I have continued to walk side by side with WCB. I attended the WCB leadership seminar of 2012. It was a superior seminar. The leadership seminar theme was, “Dare to Make a Difference!” The history of the WCB was presented; how the local chapters, the state, and American Council of the Blind work together were described. Furthermore, personality types, how to resolve personality conflict, personality drivers, the WCB governing structure, and leadership role, etc … were taught. It was a very exciting experience. Thanks, thanks, thanks very much to the leadership committee and to the people who made this leadership seminar training a success.
I attended the WCB convention 2012 as a first-timer. In the convention, there were special speakers, technology venders, educators, agencies for the blind, and many others. They came with their own perspective relative to blind people. It was so informative and so enjoyable a convention. There were many amazing handmade crafts by blind individuals. Talented blind individuals were singing. Furthermore, the WCB convention attendees voted for new board members, amendments to the constitution, bylaws, and many other resolutions. In addition, annual scholarships were awarded during the banquet time. The convention was beyond what I could write in this piece of paper.
In short, the WCB convention 2012 was so exciting and fabulous. I felt that it was miraculous, out of the sight, it was phenomenal. I was very excited that I attended the WCB convention; and, I cannot wait for next year’s WCB convention to come! Thanks so much to the WCB President, to the WCB convention committee, to the volunteers who helped us in Vancouver, and to all people who had worked hard, devoted their time and energy to make the convention a success and it really was a big hit.
Moreover, the convention exhibited opportunity, dignity, respect, equality, and independence of blind Americans. These are due to the fact that we blind Americans are within the civilized society and due to the rights we have. Blind people in other parts of the world are considered like talking tools, like beggars with no rights at all; thus, let’s pray for their freedom. In a similar way, lets pray and be thankful for America for giving us the opportunity for such a convention; America is the land of opportunity where people come from all corners of the world to gain something!
God bless America.
by Gaylen Floy
The WCB Board Meeting convened at the Hilton Vancouver Hotel in Vancouver, Washington, on November 1, 2012, at 7 p.m. All board members were present.
President Cindy Van Winkle noted that we now have 451 members, the highest in WCB history. “Our sense of community begins in the chapter. It is not enough for us to gather together; we need to engage.” Cindy urged members to create a connection in their chapters and to encourage volunteerism in our standing committees. “Find a way to contribute to WCB. Do not just be a taker or observer.”
ACB Students challenged affiliates to create a first timer scholarship for students to attend the national convention. The $800 required is not in our budget, so donations can be sent to Eric Hunter.
Bill Hoage reported that the First-Timers Committee selected seven first timers to the WCB convention: Antonette Reisenauer, Zandra Brown, Girmay Micael, Danette Dixon, Carolyn Dunlap, Sue Yates and Buddy Yates.
Tim McCorcle said the Scholarship Committee received 18 applications, which is 20 percent more than last year. The WCB awarded a total of $17,500 to seven recipients: Shawn Berg, Lily Clifton, Vaughn Brown, Jake Koch, Gwynn Murfey, Natalya Budnik, and Randall Nozawa.
On the legislative scene, Denise said a cross-disability coalition is forming for the upcoming legislative session and may be a good partnership for WCB.
Gaylen Floy reported that the PR Committee sent news releases and made calls to Vancouver and Portland media outlets. An interview was arranged on KBOO. Unfortunately, the presidential and gubernatorial races, along with Super storm Sandy bumped our coverage.
The Newsline committee is reviewing its database because cassette technology is going away. This year 82 people received Newsline by cassette and 61 have not specified how they would like to receive Newsline. Alco Canfield urges all who can to receive by email or web.
Sue Ammeter reported that this year, the Advocacy Committee has handled 38 cases.
Joleen Ferguson, Website Chair, said there is now a link on wcbinfo.org to email our webmaster and Joleen with questions and corrections.
Barb Crowley reported that the Aging and Blindness Committee is creating a resource list and library for chapters.
In Julie Brannon’s Award Committee report, a motion was made and passed to change the measurement period for chapter growth to a one-year period (from Feb. 10 to Feb. 10).
Meka White said the Families with Blind Children Committee will strengthen WCB’s working relationship with DSB, innovating to get kids and parents involved.
Membership chair, Andrea Damitio reported that through outreach efforts at SightConnection’s Low Vision Expo and the Puyallup State Fair, we gave out literature, referring people to DSB and area chapters. Andrea provided a white paper about specialized topic forums. The board approved two forum topics and will review the other forums and the need for accompanying email lists at the winter board meeting.
Listserv chair, Vivian Conger said, “If you need to contact the committee, send an .”
Berl Colley noted that there are two vacancies on the Washington School for the Blind board of trustees in legislative districts 7 and 9.
Sue Ammeter reported that the State Rehab Council seeks to fill three openings in Business and Labor, and a position for a parent or guardian of a participant who cannot speak for themselves.
WCB received no income from the Vehicle Donation Processing Center (VDPC). The Washington Access Fund Equipment loan gave three new loans in 2012, with over $26,000 left to donate. We’ve given twenty-three loans altogether totaling $75,628.62.
The 2013 WCB convention will be Nov. 7-9 at Spokane’s Red Lion at the Park. Rates will be $89 plus tax per night. The 2014 convention will be Oct.30 – Nov. 1 at Tacoma’s Hotel Murano. Rates will be $92 plus tax per night.
The Saturday business meeting began with In Memoriam.
The proposed 2013 budget went through seven drafts. Every committee experienced trimming. To balance next year’s budget, chapter stipends will be cut from $500 to $300. The budget was approved with less than a $500 deficit.
Meka White was reelected as Second Vice President, Alco Canfield was elected Secretary, and Alternate Delegate to the ACB convention is Joleen Ferguson. Two new members were elected to the WCB Board of Directors: Gaylen Floy, and Tim McCorcle. Bill Hoage was reelected to the board.
The rest of the afternoon was spent voting on resolutions and the constitution and bylaws.
President: Cindy Van Winkle
First Vice President: Julie Brannon
Second Vice President: Meka White
Secretary: Alco Canfield
Walla Walla, WA
Treasurer: Eric Hunter
Immediate Past President: Denise Colley
Port Hadlock, WA
Lake Stevens, WA
Federal Way, WA
Here are your WCB Committees. You have until January 10, 2013 to request placement on a committee. They are: Advocacy, Aging and Blindness, Awards, Constitution and Bylaws, Convention, Crisis, Environmental Access, Families with Blind Children, Finance, First Timers, History, Investment, Leadership, Legislative, Listserv, Membership, Newsline, PR, Scholarship, and Website Oversight.
For details concerning the function of each committee, please see the December, 2011 issue of Newsline.
by Frank Cuta, Constitution & Bylaws Committee Chair
Each year members bring to us changes they think need to be made in our constitution and bylaws. Our committee takes them, performs minor or major editing on them and submits them for your consideration on the convention floor Saturday afternoon. Here is what you decided this year.
Our first proposed change was to modify Article 8 to reduce the required quorum at our business meeting from 20% to 15% of the total membership. This change was defeated.
The second proposed change was to clarify the provision in Article 5 for our life time membership so that instead of calling it the lifetime membership it would be called the WCB Lifetime Membership. This makes it absolutely clear that it is only a state lifetime membership. This change was adopted.
The third proposed change was to modified bylaw 3 to change some of the listed requirements associated with accepting a WCB travel stipend to the ACB convention to instead make them expectations. This change was defeated.
The fourth proposed change was to modified bylaw 2 so that only our delegate’s national convention travel and lodging expenses would be covered by WCB and not those for our alternate delegate. Discussion on this change made it clear that the current wording was awkward and this change was referred back to the committee for rewriting and reconsideration next year.
The fifth proposed change was to add language to bylaw 1 which would make it clear that the president has the authority to combine the duties of any WCB standing committees as the need arises. This change was adopted.
The sixth proposed change was to add a public relations committee and a resolutions committee to the list of committees listed in bylaw 1. This change was adopted.
The seventh proposed change was to modify bylaw 4 so that the provision to send a first timer to the national convention would be optional instead of an annual requirement. This change was adopted.
The eighth proposed change was to modify bylaw 6 to remove the last remnant of an old double occupancy lodging requirement from bylaw 6 that deals with sending members to the ACB Legislative Seminar. This change was adopted.
The updated WCB constitution is available from me now as an email text document and it should soon be out on the wcbinfo.org website. Hard copy large print and Braille copies should be available at the February board meeting.
Thanks again to my hard working committee Eric Hunter, Stuart Russell and Rhonda Nelson.
REGARDING INDEPENDENT LIVING OLDER BLIND PROGRAM
Whereas: The Washington Council of the Blind is dedicated to promoting opportunity, equality and independence in the blind community through education, public awareness and advocacy, and,
Whereas: The majority of our blind population are older people who are newly experiencing vision loss and can benefit from the opportunity to learn new ways to accomplish routine daily tasks which can enable them to live independent and productive lives, minimizing the need for more costly in-home or nursing home care, and,
Whereas: In Washington State, The Independent Living for Older Blind Program (ILOB), which serves 1100 individuals each year, is the only statewide program providing training, counseling, adaptive devices, and information to enable older people with vision loss to maintain or increase independence in their homes and community, and,
Whereas: The Department of Services for the Blind’s (DSB’s) budget for this program has not increased over the past 5 years which means that DSB is likely, over the long term, to reduce the number of individuals served in ILOB and reduce the types of services available through the program unless there is immediate action by the Department or by the State Legislature.
Now, therefore, let it be resolved, by the Washington Council of the Blind assembled in convention on this 3rd day of November, 2012, in the City of Vancouver, Washington, that we, the members of the Washington Council of the Blind reaffirm our commitment to promote and defend the opportunities, equality and independence of the older BLIND and VISUALLY IMPAIRED, and,
Be it further resolved that WCB communicate with DSB, the Governor elect and the Washington State Legislature regarding the importance of services for older people with vision loss and the need to increase and stabilize funding for these unique and vital services.
by Julie Brannon, Awards Committee Chair
“And the winner is!”
What an exciting year for the awards committee this year, consisting of members Joanne Hunter, Bill Hoage and myself. This year, there were three awards given which brought emotional excitement and tears to both the givers and the receivers. They were: The Business of the Year award was given to Al Yardley, owner of Access Technology. This was Al’s first year attending the WCB convention. How phenomenal that this is the year he was nominated by three different persons for his excellent and consistent work training persons who are blind to use various components of assistive technology.
The Outstanding Advocacy Award this year was given to our own Marlaina Lieberg for her advocacy work and awareness of the needs of the blind in our state and around the country. Marlaina was so over taken with emotion, she could hardly speak!
The Outstanding Service to WCB Award was awarded this year to our own Janice Squires for her many years of dedication to several aspects of WCB functioning, including the maintenance of the WCB database. Janice, like Marlaina, was touched and also had a hard time speaking!
The Chapter of the Year award was given to the South King Council of the Blind for their many and various outreach activities as a chapter.
The One World award was given to a Delta Gamma chapter in Walla Walla which has assisted with the financing of accessible pedestrian signals in that city.
The Newsline Editor’s Award was given to Ernie Jones for his excellent article on Charles Bonnet syndrome.
Certificates of Appreciation were given to people who were ending their terms of service to WCB this year, they included: Frank Cuta as Secretary, Bill Hoage, Stewart Russell, and Alco Canfield as Directors, and Meka White as 2nd Vice-President.
Certificates for Chapter Growth were given to South King Council, Whatcom County and Pierce County Association of the Blind.
As you can see, 2012 was a very special awards year, and we plan for 2013 to have more nominations and award recipients than ever!
by Tim McCorcle, Scholarship Committee Chair
The Washington Council of the Blind recognized its seven 2012 scholarship recipients at a reception and during the banquet at the WCB convention in Vancouver on November 3, 2012. Four of the scholarship winners attended the WCB convention. All winners were selected from an outstanding pool of eighteen candidates. The WCB awarded a total of $17,500 to the following scholarship winners.
Shawn Berg Shawn lives in Arlington and graduated last spring from Arlington High School with a 3.80 GPA. He is attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, AZ, where he is pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering. Shawn received a scholarship of $3,500.
Lily Clifton Lily lives in Seattle and is currently a senior at Boston College, where she is carrying a 3.475 GPA in her major of political science with a minor in environmental studies. Lily is a two-time WCB scholarship winner and received a $3,500 scholarship this year.
Vaughn Brown Vaughn lives in Vancouver and is a junior the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, where he is carrying a 3.458 GPA while studying for a Bachelor of Arts degree in professional music. Vaughn received a scholarship award of $2,500.
Jake Koch Jake also lives in Vancouver and is completing prerequisite courses at Clark community College. He intends to pursue a degree in business management and leadership at Portland State University in 2013. Jake works for the Washington State School for the Blind and interned this summer at Guide Dogs for the Blind in Oregon. Jake received a scholarship award of $2,500.
Gwynn Murfey Gwynn resides in Roy and is attending South Puget Sound Community College where she has a 3.69 GPA. Gwynn is pursuing a degree in social work and received a $2,500 scholarship award.
Natalya Budnik Natalya lives in Everett and attends Everett Community College where she has a 3.40 GPA. Natalya is working towards a physical therapy degree and was awarded a $1,500 scholarship.
Randall Nozawa Randall lives in gig Harbor and is enrolled in an online graduate program at Grand Canyon University, where he is pursuing a Master of Arts degree in addiction counseling. Randall is a two-tine WCB scholarship winner and received a $1,500 award this year.
by Beth Manning
The WCB Membership Committee is proud to announce two Specialized Topic Forums. The forums are peer-to-peer conference calls. These forums are for all persons that are legally blind, that would like to participate, all are welcome! WCB membership is not required to participate.
The topics of the two forums are Assistive Technology, and Employment Resources. Forum calls will typically be either an open discussion, or have a guest speaker.
Assistive Technology Forum – This forum will cover all forms of assistive technology, from hardware to software, and all types of devices to a variety of accessible apps from the vantage point of the end user. Come join us on the second Tuesday of every month, at 7:00 pm.
Employment Resources Forum – Items of interest in this forum will include a variety of resources, discussions, tools, and even some guest speakers, on the issues that are paramount to job seekers today! Come join us on the 1st Monday of every month, at 7:00 pm.
The call-in information for the forums is as follows:
Toll-Free Access Number: 1-800-977-8002
Participant Code: 5419226#
Dial the toll-free number listed above approximately 5 minutes before the scheduled start time, and then enter the participant code when prompted.
We look forward to having you join us for our next forum call.
For additional information, please contact: Andrea Damitio, Committee Chair at 360-791-3164 or .
by Carl Jarvis
As we blind men and women age, we become more aware of our need to depend upon other people and age related services.
Maybe it’s time we quit selling the idea that any of us humans are truly independent. It’s pretty apparent that we’re all interdependent to one degree or another. Take something as simple as the recent presidential election, To say that I just voted independently is silly talk. Even though many blind people now say that they do. And I say it, too. But what I really did was to vote privately, not independently. I used an AutoMark voting machine which allowed me to mark my own ballot. But to use this machine I needed to have Cathy independently drive me the 24 miles to Port Townsend to the courthouse. We made our independent way to the elevator and to the auditor’s office where I independently requested the headphones to the AutoMark. Then, following my independent vote, we drove to the nearest restaurant and independently ordered dinner.
I know that it is good PR for me to say that I work for the Independent Living Program for the Older Blind. It sends a much needed message to the folks who believe that the absence of eyesight deprives people of their brains. But we need to remind ourselves that it is just that, a PR tool. In fact, accommodating my needs as a blind man in an effort to live independently, actually does make me interdependent.
For example, I want to believe that marking all paper money in such a way as to allow any blind person with normal sense of touch, the ability to tell one bill from the next, will make me more independent. But then, the person using any one of the gadgets that are now on the market, making identification of paper money possible, must be considered just as “independent”. Both methods require some accommodations, making us interdependent.
For me, rather than quibbling over which method makes us more independent, we need to accept our interdependency and look for the method that makes it possible for the greatest number of blind people to individually identify their paper money. Recently Cathy and I worked with a totally blind man who is losing his hearing. He told me, “Don’t try to teach me any new skills. As soon as you stop talking, I have already forgotten what you just said.” Our challenge was to assist this man to travel from his bed room to the kitchen to fix a cup of coffee and take his lunch out of the refrigerator when his care givers were not present. He could not retain the directions no matter how often he traveled back and forth. He could make the short trip from bed room to bath room. So we tied a rope from the bath room, around through the dining room and into the kitchen. We fastened the end of the rope to the freezer door. Did using the rope make this man more dependent, or did finding his way to the kitchen make him more independent? We look at it as having solved a need.
Solving one problem at a time does give people a sense of accomplishment. If they see that as being more independent, more power to them. Frankly, I think that there are two words that cause blind people great grief, independent and normal. I am neither independent nor am I normal.
As a member of the human race, I am interdependent in all sorts of ways, both with my fellow human beings as well as with Mother Earth. And as far as normal goes, I have no idea what that means.
“Providing Statewide and Regional Services to Blind/Visually Impaired Students”
by Dr. Dean O. Stenehjem, Superintendent
Since I haven’t had an article in the Newsline recently, I thought I would provide you an update regarding WSSB programs and services.
The demand for services continues to grow without new revenue so it becomes increasingly difficult to figure out how we can do more with less while maintaining quality services for children. In these times one can reduce services, explore new ways of providing services, diversify service delivery and/or form new partnerships allowing for continuation and expansion. I guess at WSSB we have some of each of the above with probably the largest initiative being placed on expansion of partnerships, diversification of service delivery and continually looking for additional revenue sources.
On-campus programs continue to expand, but in different ways. This year the decision was made to no longer operate an elementary program (K-5) since these students were from the local area and they were all scheduled to return to their local districts. To assist with this transition, WSSB implemented a weekly Elementary Visual Enhancement (EVE) program for children and parents. This program has received very nice complements from districts and parents. On campus programs have expanded in the area of 5th year program (transition service delivery), middle school, high school and distance learning programs. We currently serve 79 students in a variety of settings based from on-campus, including service delivery to Washington, Oregon, Montana and Idaho through distance learning, and some direct service to students from Oregon.
Outreach services also continue to expand. These are direct and consultative contracted services provided to local school districts by WSSB staff. WSSB added three additional Teachers of the Visually Impaired (TVI) this year in the outreach program.
The Ogden Resource Center is expanding with more contracts for Braille production not only from within our state, but throughout the U.S. This has only been possible due to the expansion of the Braille Prison Program at the women’s prison in the Gig Harbor area, the partnership with Correctional Industries, and continued demand for quality Braille.
Distance Learning is a way of the future which will continue to shrink our world and give all students access to expanded curriculum, expertise and knowledge if we do things the right way. WSSB has been working on accessible/usable distance learning for years in partnership with many organizations and agencies throughout the U.S. and Canada. This past year has been a great year with WSSB receiving a “Microsoft’s Partner in Learning Award for Cutting Edge Use of Technology.” WSSB was the first school worldwide to receive this type of award not only in working with the blind, but in the area of special education. A big thanks to Sherry Hahn, Robin Lowell and Ed Lukowski. At the end of November, Sherry and Robin are off to Prague to present at Microsoft’s International Forum on Learning; perhaps they can submit an article for the next issue of the Newsline.
Best wishes to all you WCB members in the up-coming holiday seasons. Please continue to check out what is going on at WSSB by going to www.wssb.wa.gov.
Heidi Jackson became interested in space kind of by accident during the third grade.
“I have always been interested in dogs, but the library ran out of dog books,” said the 11-year-old from Richland. “So I looked at space books.”
The Chief Joseph Middle School sixth-grader is fascinated by zero gravity and has models of the solar system dangling in her bedroom and sitting on her dresser. She has devoted hours and hours to reading about space and enjoys gazing at the planets through telescopes.
In September, Heidi earned the chance to indulge her interest in the final frontier when donors helped pay for her and a student from the Dixie School District northeast of Walla Walla to attend U.S. Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala. And, while she was there, no one asked Heidi why she can’t see very well.
“I didn’t have to worry about people saying, ‘What’s that?’” Heidi said, referring to the walking cane leaning against the wall in the corner of her home.
While Heidi’s parents and older sister, Maggie, 15, don’t have vision problems, Heidi and 7-year-old brother Alex suffer from Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis. The disease is rare and caused by her parents carrying the recessive gene.
Heidi has no peripheral vision and struggles with Nystagmus — involuntary eye movement. She’s able to read large type, but even with corrective lenses, her vision is 20/80, leaving her extremely farsighted. She has difficulty seeing colors in low contrast and relies on a cane because she can’t see below her nose.
It was Jean MacConnachie, a specialist with Educational Service District 123 who works with Heidi on travel skills, who recommended she apply to Space Camp.
The camp is operated by the Alabama Space Science Exhibit Commission with a goal to inspire children to become scientists. MacConnachie specifically suggested that Heidi apply for the portion of their program that caters to visually-impaired youth. It’s called Space Camp for Interested Visually Impaired Students, or SCIVIS.
The opportunity thrilled Heidi, inspiring her to write a song about space. She first performed it during a talent show when she a fifth-grader at Jefferson Elementary School. She still enjoys singing it.
“Far across the universe, beyond what all our eyes could see, there could be anything,” Heidi sang as she played an acoustic guitar Monday at Chief Joseph. “There could be anything.”
But there were hurdles to overcome before attending the camp. Tuition for the nearly week-long program runs about $650, which doesn’t include travel costs. In total, LeAnne Jackson, Heidi’s mother, said the cost approached $1,300.
That’s where donors came in. MacConnachie contacted and worked with a number of groups to put together the money for Heidi and Devon Adams — the Dixie fifth-grader — to attend Space Camp. The Build a Dream Foundation of ESD 123 and the Red Mountain and Kennewick Lions clubs worked to cover all costs. The Delta Gamma Foundation helped buy flight suits for the students after a member heard about the trip.
“People just blow you away with their generosity sometimes,” MacConnachie said.
The camp provided many experiences for Heidi and Devon, who were chaperoned by Jana Leonard from the Dixie School District. The two students built model rockets and climbed a rock wall. They also participated in simulations, including running a model space mission or experiencing what it would be like to walk on the moon in low gravity.
But MacConnachie and Heidi’s mother said the girl also talked about the unspoken camaraderie among the other children who struggle to see. The Space Camp also included students from Australia, Ireland and Israel, and a blind chemist was among the speakers.
“It’s very reinforcing for kids to be other visually-impaired kids but not be talking about it,” MacConnachie said.
Space Camp has steered Heidi’s interest in space in a new direction. She’s fascinated by black holes — “I like to call it a cosmic shredder” — and the U.S. space program. Her collection now includes models of the space shuttle.
“She’s become more focused on the technology of space exploration,” her mother said.
And that walking cane isn’t the only thing kids ask Heidi about she gave a Space Camp presentation to her science class.
“They thought it was pretty cool,” she said. — Ty Beaver: 582-1402;
CAPITAL CITY COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
by Berl Colley, Immediate Past President
CCCB Vice President Alan Bentson got the privilege of running our September meeting, because President Denise Colley was at a Board of Trustees meeting for the school for the blind.
In October, treasurer John Guydish ran the meeting, because Denise was at the hospital with Berl and Alan was sick.
Denise ran the November meeting and we had elections and one constitutional amendment. It was to increase chapter dues from $2.00 to $5.00.
Berl spent a week in the hospital with pancreatitis. This followed member Dan Matsen who had pancreatitis one week earlier. Last year Dan had heart issues, and not long after, Berl had heart issues. Berl says that the next time Dan has some health problems; he doesn’t want to know about it.
There were 9 CCCB members that used the Auto Mark voting machine at our October meeting. Four more voted outside of the meeting.
Thanks to the work of Zandra Brown, we are making some in-roads to get audible signals in Tumwater. Rich Dirk, Greg Jack and Zandra Brown attended a planning meeting for the city of Tumwater.
Fourteen CCCB members attended the WCB convention at the Hilton in Vancouver. Half of them won a door prize.
Officers for 2013 are:
President, Gloria Walling
Vice President, Alan Bentson.
Secretary, John Damitio
Treasurer, Berl Colley
Guide Dog Users of Washington State
by Holly Kaczmarski, Treasurer
It is that time again for news of Guide Dog Users of Washington State, GDUWS. As with past updates, we have several items of interest to you and hope you enjoy reading our update.
As always, I include the purpose of GDUWS for those of you who are new to our Newsline Updates. GDUWS is a special affiliate of Washington Council of the Blind; strives to promote civil rights and enhance the quality of life of working guide dog teams; provides peer support, advocacy, and information to guide dog users in Washington State.
Many events have happened in the recent months, from new dogs to various surgeries of members, outings, trips and other planned and not so planned events. Most of our members are doing well and had a good summer. Our Website is being updated as this is being written. You can still pay dues, join as a new member, make donations, or purchase products by using PayPal which has a link on the site. Please check out our GDUWS Website for further information on our organization at www.gduws.net. We have some products for sale from two different styles of foldable travel water bowls to T-shirts. We are always looking for new products so if you have any suggestions, please let us know.
We do have special news about our banking in that we have changed our bank to one that does not charge us monthly fees and a bank that is totally accessible. When the officers change, especially our Treasurer, the newly elected officers will be able to access the bank accounts and do the banking with ease. Our current Treasurer, Holly Kaczmarski, is an advocate of total accessibility in all things and she found a bank that believes in accessibility for its blind and visually impaired customers. Our President and our Treasurer can now access the accounts with no difficulty. This is a major event in the life of GDUWS.
Concerning recent news, we had our annual Business Meeting at the recent Washington Council of the Blind Fall Convention in Vancouver, WA. At our Business Meeting we had elections to fill officer positions that were coming to the end of their terms at the end of this year. As a result of these elections we have a new President, a new Vice-President, a new secretary, and a new Director which all start their offices on January 1 and will all be two-year terms. Our President will be Marlaina Lieberg; our Vice-President will be Julie Miller; elected as our new Secretary is Vivian Conger; Michelle Denzer who was filling a one year term as Director was elected as Director again and our other new Director is Sherri Richardson.
Congratulations to our new officers who will lead GDUWS into the future. Many thanks go out to our officers whose terms will be up; Stuart Russell, President and John McConnell, Secretary. Our current Treasurer, Holly Kaczmarski, will be Treasurer for another year of her two-year term.
Marlaina Lieberg did have this to say about the recent election: “I am honored to have been elected President of GDUWS. I look forward to working with our members and friends to raise the bar and make GDUWS one of the most vital and active affiliates of WCB.” Thank you, Marlaina, for your willingness to serve GDUWS as President.
Our luncheon speaker this year was Qin Lian. She is a lady who lives in China half the year and in Seattle the other half a year. She is the first person allowed to have a dog guide in China. She spoke of what was involved in her getting her guide, Candy from Guide Dogs of the Desert, how life is in China, and a bit about her business she has in Seattle – Dragon Traders.
Please feel free to communicate with any and all of your GDUWS Board members as we are all here to work for you. Also, please be thinking of how you can serve GDUWS and consider throwing your hat into the ring and getting involved. As always, your input is desired. Without you, GDUWS will become just an empty organization.
Well, that’s it for now. Stay tuned next time for more news from Guide Dog Users of Washington State – GDUWS.
Greater Everett Area Council of the Blind
by Cindy Stormo, Secretary
Hello. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the Greater Everett Area Council. Nine of our GEACB members attended the WCB convention in November and they all had a great time. John Common was thrilled to have won a WCB lifetime membership as a door prize. Jana Goebel has recently become a lifetime member of our local chapter. We are busy getting ready for our Annual Christmas dinner party to be held on December 8 at Denny’s restaurant. It is hard to believe that 2012 is almost over and we the members of the Greater Everett Chapter are looking forward to a whole new year.
Jefferson County Council of the Blind
by Carl Jarvis, Secretary
Things are hopping out here on the Great Olympic Peninsula. We kicked September off with a special meeting at the Kala Point club house. Sue Ammeter is the Chair of the Patrons Advisory Council(PAC) and at our last June meeting she had suggested inviting Danielle Miller, program manager for the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library(WTBBL) So we did. And Danielle accepted. Then the work began. Sue and Carl contacted all of the area’s school districts, all of the libraries, Senior Centers, eye physicians’ offices and any other place where there might be people who could use the library’s services.
Sue contacted the Port Townsend Leader with a notice, and the Senior Information and Assistance (Senior I&A) sent out two notices to all of their members. Nancy Kelly-Patnode took over the refreshments department, producing piles of home baked cookies and platters of fruit and beverages. Cathy Jarvis, Pat Patnode and John Ammeter handled the setting up of chairs, and following the meeting they put it all back and left the hall as neat as a pin.
The program was a smashing success. We overheard comments like, “We should invite Danielle every year”, and, “I never knew they did so much at the library”.
Among our special guests were Allison Arthur, Reporter for the Leader Judith Lucia, outreach services manager for Jefferson County Library, and Theresa Percy, Port Townsend Public Library Director.
The very next day found Cathy and Carl Jarvis at radio station KONP, in Port Angeles. Each Saturday at 8:00 A.M., Mark Harvey interviews local folks, sharing information about the many services and programs on the Olympic Peninsula.
At our October meeting we had a special visit from our former member, Edith Kapka and her daughter Marga Kapka. Edith left us ten years ago to live with another daughter in Oregon. She is just visiting, but assured us that she will return to Port Townsend in time for us to help her celebrate her 100th birthday next June. Edith has almost completed a novel set in her homeland of Hungary prior to and during the Second World War.
And of course November began with our WCB convention in Vancouver. Our Big Four, Sue and John Ammeter, and Cathy and Carl Jarvis represented Jefferson County Council.
We close on a bitter sweet note, saying farewell to Bob Garing and Gloria Grant. You will be missed, dear friends.
King County Chapter
by Marilyn Donnelly, Treasurer
Seasons greetings from our chapter to one and all.
It has been a busy fall for us this year. In September our guest speaker was a representative from the League of Women Voters discussing the many important issues on the November 6 ballot. At this meeting Heidi Campbell presented the treasurer with a canister of loose pennies for our ongoing penny drive. This gift was in memory of her good friend Bill Manke. The treasurer had a good time rolling the 1,050 pennies for a total of 21 rolls. Thank you Heidi.
In October the topic of discussion was the driverless car. It is still in the testing process and may be quite a few years before any are available at a local car dealership. But one can dream about that royal blue Chevy Volt complete with hood ornament. Election of officers was also on the agenda. The results are as follows: President Tim Schneebeck, Vice-President John Drane, Secretary Maria Fabian, and Treasurer Marilyn Donnelly.
In early November fourteen of our members attended the annual WCB convention held this year in Vancouver, Washington. There was something for everybody to do and experience. The regular agenda and breakout sessions were interesting and informative. Frank Johnson took part in the blinded veterans presentation. The talent show included our Nancy Lind who played her maracas and Al and Connie Gil who sang a duet. I’m already looking forward to Spokane next year.
Can any of you other chapters out there top this? We have two members who have reached the age of 92 years young. Shirley Gray celebrated this very special event on Flag Day, June 14, and Ken Nelson did the same on his special day, November 10.
It is now time to wish you a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.
Peninsula Council of the Blind
by Meka White, President
The past few months have been busy for our chapter as fall went in to full swing.
Instead of having our normal support group during the month of October, Cindy and Tim opened their home to us for a fun-filled taco voting party. We had margaritas, tacos, and all of the fixings, while taking that opportunity to use a computer to fill out our ballots independently. It was wonderful to be able to cast our votes in such a manner, and in such a fun and empowering environment as well. Our number one rule was that no one was allowed to talk about politics. Overall, we had a fantastic time and I hope we do the same thing for the next election.
Convention was a fun time for our chapter. It was great to see so many participating in many different ways. Some of the highlights include: Kim Moberg busily working as exhibits coordinator, Sarah Schweizer and Joanne Hunter with Scentsy and Mary Kay exhibit tables respectively, Alan Bentson playing an absolutely fabulous accompaniment for the song that I sang at the talent show, Michelle Denzer being re-elected to the board of GDUWS, my re-election to the position of second vice-president for WCB, Stuart Russel and Bob Brezler becoming life members, our chapter surprising Eric Hunter with a life membership, and Cindy Van Winkle running such a top-notch meeting.
A huge thank you goes to Tim Van Winkle for selling so many Braille beans in between sessions and to Jack Pigott for providing transportation so that many of us would be able to go to convention.
We gained three new members to our chapter. We are glad to have Shannon Curry, Chelsea Armstrong, and Jolynn Turpin to the PCB family and all three attended convention with us.
The books that have been read by the All Ears Bookclub have been: ‘Lamentations’ by Ken scholes, ‘Unbroken’ by Laura Hillenbrand, and ‘The Egg and I’ by Betty Macdonald.
We hope that you have a very Merry Christmas, and we will see you all in the New Year.
South King Council of the Blind
by Gina Allen, Secretary
At our September meeting, Julie Brannon, First Vice President of the WCB Board spoke to us about everything from the WCB convention to the importance of joining a WCB committee. We enjoyed her and Nathan’s visit.
In November South King Council of the Blind had a very strong presence at the WCB convention. Seven of our members attended the convention. John and Carol McConnell and Marlaina Lieberg won door prizes. Marlaina won the Advocacy award for her work with the FCC with regard to the 21st Century Video and Communications Act and also for her work getting Braille labels on Starbucks gift cards. Congratulations, Marlaina, and thank you for all your advocacy work! Gaylen Floy was elected to the WCB Board. She received a WCB lifetime membership! Congratulations, Gaylen! Kevin Daniel attended the convention representing the Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind. Kelsi Wattson, one of our members, attended the convention for the first time. At our November meeting she told us she loved the convention and she plans to go every year! She represented SKB at the first-timers’ breakfast. Gaylen Floy represented SKB at the Presidents’ breakfast, as she is a chapter officer.
At our November meeting we talked about the WCB convention and also things we would like to accomplish next year. We formed three new chapter committees—speakers, outreach, and sunshine. More details about these committees will be coming in future chapter updates.
In December we will be having our annual Christmas luncheon. It will take place Saturday, December 8, at our usual meeting location, from 12 noon to 3 p.m. we will be eating (of course), singing carols, and putting together monetary and gift card donations for visually impaired families in South King County who are facing financial challenges.
South King Council of the Blind holds their meetings the second Saturday of every month from 10:30am to 12:30pm at Denny’s restaurant, 2132 South 320th Street in Federal Way. If you’re in the area on one of our meeting days please feel free to come visit us.
I want to end this article by extending warm wishes for a safe, happy holiday season from South King Council of the Blind to each and every one of you!
UNITED BLIND OF SEATTLE
by Malissa Hudson, Secretary
Hello from all of us from the United Blind of Seattle! We have been very busy since my last update. I mentioned in the last issue that we had planned to have our first ever UBS picnic as a social gathering, but due to location conflicts, it just did not work out. At our September meeting, Julie Brannon led a round-table discussion on Iphones and other devices and some of their new features. In October, our guest speaker was Loren Mikola, who is an IT at the Seattle Lighthouse and former Microsoft employee. He spoke to us about new and upcoming trends in technology and the discussion was lively! In November, we elected the officers for President, Secretary, and one Board position. They are as follows:
President: Julie Brannon
Secretary: Malissa Hudson (reelected)
Board Member: Darel Roberts.
Congratulations to all of them! We will be having our Christmas lunch at the Spaghetti Factory in downtown Seattle on Saturday, December 15 from 12:30 to 3:00 PM. We are looking forward to a time of fellowship and of course the ever popular gift exchange! All of us here in the United Blind of Seattle wish the WCB a Merry and blessed Christmas and blessings in the New Year! Love you all!
United Blind of the Tri-Cities
by Janice Squires, Member
The crisp fresh days of fall are definitely in the air and the UBTC is looking forward to the beginning of a brand new year. Our chapter had 15 of its members representing us at this year’s WCB state convention and a great time was had by all. Antoinette Reisenauer was awarded a first timer trip to the convention and we were all so proud of her. Our membership wants to thank Frank Cuta for all of his many years of service on the WCB board and know in our hearts he will still be there working behind the scenes for the Council. We too want to thank Holly Kaczmarski for all of the hours she spent working with the many volunteers to make the convention an enjoyable time for everyone. I also want to warmly thank my WCB family for awarding me the 2012 WCB Outstanding Service Award at the banquet. It was such a surprise and so much appreciated.
At our November chapter meeting, we were graced with a presentation by Heidi Jackson, a young visually impaired girl, whose dream came true as she was able to attend Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. What a fascinating story she told us and we were all so pleased that our chapter was able to help in her financial support of this trip. Also at the meeting we elected our 2013 executive board. They are as follows: Steve Vandecar, President; Cheryl Stone, First Vice-President; Sherry Dubbin, Second Vice-President; Frank Cuta, Secretary; Brenda Vinther, Treasurer; Ruth Shook, First Board member; and Diana Turley, Second Board member. We want to thank each and every one of them for their dedication and service to our local chapter.
The narrated play season has begun with the production of a “View from the Bridge” in September and our November play, “The Fox on the Fairway”. Thanks to all for making this one of our most popular and successful programs in the community. The card group ladies always manage to have such a good time socializing and laughing as we play a very fun and very simple card game. The book group has become re-energized and has read “Calico Joe” and A Walk to Grace”. The lunch group enjoyed meals at Magill’s and Azteca and are now getting ready for our Christmas party to be held at the Red Lion Inn in Richland on December 1. A sincere thank you goes to Karyn Vandecar for setting up all of these lovely outings.
Sherry Dubbin, our outreach coordinator chairman, reported that our first outreach presentation was held on October 15 at the Canyon Lakes Manor. Many people were in attendance, including many staff members and a great deal of education was shared and much appreciated.
Our President, Steve Vandecar is setting up a new gathering for our local chapter members, the technology group. Steve is offering his time and talents to assist our members, who may need assistance with any computer or new technology issues, such as IPhones, IPads, and the like. Thank you Steve for giving us of your time and knowledge.
Our deepest sympathies go to Kathie Zaloudek and her family on the loss of her husband Frank. Kathie and Frank have been long time members of the UBTC and we feel such sadness that he will not be with us anymore.
Wishing each and every one of you a very blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!
United Blind of Walla Walla
by Joleen Ferguson, President
Our chapter members have been busy since last we wrote. Vivian Conger, Alco Canfield and Joleen Ferguson attended the WCB convention in Vancouver, WA. While there, Alco received recognition of two years of service as a WCB board member and she was elected to a two-year term as WCB Secretary. Joleen was elected to be the WCB Alternate delegate to the ACB national convention in July 2013. She will be following Vivian Conger who won the election last year.
We plan to present the WCB Newsline Editor’s award to Ernie Jones as he was not able to attend the WCB convention. We are also excited to present the WCB One World Award to Peggy Curtis. She will be receiving it on behalf of the local Delta Gamma chapter.
We have been looking for ways to raise UBWW funds. Alco has headed this effort and has sold twenty gift cards obtained from our local candy store, Bright’s. Dodie has been checking into the possible sale of some spill-proof bowls that she found. A CCTV was donated to us and we decided to offer it to someone who could use it. Shirley Musick of our own chapter now has it and has made a donation to our treasury for it.
Gina Mooney has been our brochure contact. She takes Aging and Blindness brochures to designated businesses, doctor’s offices, and other service providers and places where seniors might find them.
Dodie Brueggeman received a beautiful bronze medal and framed award certificate in August for Living with Type I Diabetes for more than 50 years. She was subsequently invited to travel, expenses paid, to Boston in September to participate in their research program. Joslin is looking for common factors contributing to the longevity of Type I Diabetics. So far, it appears that the only consistent factor among the 3,500 medalist studies is that every research participant has a positive, up-beat nature and eager willingness to help others. Dodie was honored to be counted among the members of this group!
We will be having elections for Vice President and Secretary at our November meeting and we will share the results and more at our next chapter update. Until then…
by Frank Cuta
Many of us derive a great deal of enjoyment from listening to the Library’s Evergreen Radio Reading Service. In our internet connected world where persons who are blind actually have many choices as to what and how they will read I still often prefer to just flip a switch on my radio receiver and enjoy favorites such as Consumer Reports, sports clips, People Magazine, Scientific American, The New Yorker and various computer magazines. However, because I am lucky enough to live in the Tri-Cities, I can also use this same receiver to listen to the reading of our local newspaper the Tri City Herald. This broadcast is made possible by a local group of dedicated volunteers known as the Fine Arts Radio Reading Service (FARRS). If you have the resources and local interest in your affiliate you may want to consider promoting local newspaper broadcasts in your community using a similar service.
FARRS has no corporate structure, no board meetings, no budget and no bureaucracy and I think it’s absolutely amazing that it has survived for over twenty-five years based mainly on the commitment of individual contributors. Of course in the beginning there had to be an initial advocate with a dream and some startup funding. The first coordinator of the service was Eileen Gruen. Eileen was part of a fledgling NPR station that was coming together in Richland in the early eighties. The leaders of this group in cooperation with Northwest Public Radio in Pullman and with a grant from Battelle purchased the initial equipment. In addition they set aside separate studio space at the radio station for our daily morning broadcasts.
Some of us are still around from those early days when we broadcast out of a small office in an unheated trailer. I still have a photo of my wife Judy reading in this studio wearing a heavy winter parka. Today our readers use a modern indoor prefabricated studio but they still read into those same great Electro Voice microphones.
Other people who took over to replace Eileen as coordinator when she moved to Seattle were Emily Haddad and then Brady Layman. Of course Brady is known to most of you as the immediate past reader of the Newsline. A position he held for most of the last 15 years.
At FARRS each morning a different team of three dedicated people, an engineer and two readers, troop down to the studio at about 6:15 A. M. They start up the equipment, switchover the feed signal from Evergreen, read the newspaper for a half an hour and then sign off and transfer the line back to the Seattle feed leaving the system ready to go for the next day’s team. When a piece of equipment dies we pass the hat or ask the Lions or a local business for a small donation. When an individual reader can’t make it the team usually manages to get someone else to fill in or the coordinator helps out. The coordinator is really just another dedicated volunteer who supports the group by logging hours, dealing with minor emergencies, filling vacancies and acting as a spokesperson to the public.
What do we read? Mostly front page articles that are of local interest. We avoid articles that are covered by other services. I listen every morning and it’s amazing how often I hear an article of great personal interest to me that I would never hear about on the radio or TV. There is just no substitute for the news you find in your local newspaper.
One question you might have is “who hires and fires the coordinator?” The answer is nobody. They just grow out of the woodwork. A few short years ago our current coordinator, John Yegge, was just another committed bump on a log like the rest of us. When Brady had to retire due to health concerns the bump developed into a strong branch. Actually, I’m just kidding about the development. John came to us with many years of strong leadership experience in Kiwanis and he contributes his energies to more local service groups and causes than you can shake a stick at (And only a few of us know about the PhD from Harvard.)
If you think you would like to start a similar service in your community, consider the following requirements. You will need a close working relationship with a local FM radio station and with the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library. You will need initial equipment including microphones, a mixer and some internet hardware. You will need basic furniture and a space in the radio station that you can broadcast from. You will need a dedicated team of volunteers. And you will need a way of purchasing and distributing the special receivers to your listeners. You will not need to completely understand how it works. I can tell you that the signal from Evergreen comes to you free on the internet and that each FM broadcast station has the hidden capability, often unused, to piggyback another signal like this on its carrier. If this concept grabs you and you think that the above resources are within your reach please contact me. I can also put you in contact with John or Brady.
As I sit here with my first cup of coffee and a cat listening to John and the crew reading on Thursday morning I am thankful for this great service and urge you to dream. That is where it starts.
by Berl Colley
WCB’s work on obtaining accessible voting for blind and visually impaired people in our state received a boost when it was learned that an accessible voting bill would be introduced in the 2002-2003 state Legislature. An ad hoc committee was appointed to help write this bill. Committee members were Gary Burdette, Cindy Burgett, Sue Sather and Berl Colley.
At the summer board meeting: Pierce County Association of the Blind requested help to reorganize.
The board awarded a grant to Jack Pigott of $3,200 to purchase games and to build restrooms at his Camp Harobed.
The Board voted to give ACB $10,000 to help produce an issue of The Braille Forum.
The Legislative committee asked the board to allow it to return to a larger committee with one representative from each affiliate.
In Melanie Brunson’s National Office Update, she informed us that the controversial Airport Security will now be combined in to one federal agency, the Transit Service Administration.
It was reported that the Department of Services for the Blind Director, Bill Palmer had assigned a review committee to look at the Existing Orientation task force to see if its work was completed. The review committee was made up of Berl Colley of WCB, Dan Frye of NFBW and Noel Nightingale from the DSB staff. Upon review, the committee recommended that the Task Force be disband.
There was some confusion by WCB chapters about the use of the state organization’s 501C3 IRS designation. The board was told, by WCB’s attorney Lisa Johnson, that chapters cannot use it unless they allowed their chapter accounting to run through WCB’s books. Otherwise, each chapter must obtain its own 501(C)(3).
On September 23 Jan Ames, after 30 years working at the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library, formally retired as Director. At our convention in Longview, WCB recognized Jan at our banquet, as a true friend to blind and visually impaired people in Washington, and honored her with a Life-Time membership in the American Council of the Blind, along with Resolution 2002-1 commending her for her work at the Library. This was met with a rousing standing ovation.
After Shirley Taylor, WCB’s representative on the Patron Advisory committee stepped down, WCB submitted three names. They were Sharon Keeran, Cindy Burgett and Sue Ammeter.
Claudia McCain, the Seattle Public Libraries Director for outreach, met with WCB and NFBW on November 4 to discuss recruiting for the WTBBL Director position.
At the pre-convention board meeting on October 24, the board approved a grant request of $2,646, to Carolyn Meyer, at the Lewis Braille Center, to purchase a new computer, a scanner, and to upgrade some translation software.
Another grant of $7,500 was awarded to AVIA, to support audio description activities in King County.
The pre-convention board voted to accept a 2003 budget of $273,000 and refer it to the convention business meeting for review and approval by the membership.
At the business meeting the grants expenditure line was increased from $51,868 to $56,212.
It was approved by the membership.
The Crisis committee assisted 11 people in 2002 and spent $2,418. The board limited Crisis committee assistance in 2003 to $300 per request, for food, medical bills, utility bills and Guide Dog needs.
The board also approved $1,800 to sponsor two additions of the Braille Revival League’s newsletter.
The 2002 WCB convention was held at the Longview Red Lion Inn on October 25 and 26. The Banquet MC was Rhonda Nelson and Kim Charlson was the national representative.
Other resolutions passed by the membership, 2002-2 called on Seattle Public Library Director to continue recruiting to fill the WTBBL director position. 2002-3 directed WCB to establish accessible guidelines for hotels hoping to have WCB board meetings and conventions at their facility.
The convention approved a dues increase of $2 to $8. This was in response to ACB raising its dues from $3 to $5.
WCB member Joan Laddaberg was recognized for being Employee of the Year at the Seattle Lighthouse.
Denise Colley was re-elected as chair of the Rehabilitation Council for DSB.
A group of students from the Washington State School for the Blind took a trip to Washington D.C., Maryland and New York where they performed for various groups.
WCB Officers and Board members for 2003:
President, Berl Colley;
First Vice President, Cindy Burgett;
Second Vice President, Julie DeGeus;
Secretary, Frank Cuta;
Treasurer, Sue Sather;
Immediate Past President, Sue Ammeter;
Compiled by Joleen Ferguson
This column is presented for your information and enjoyment. Inclusion of information, products, and/or services does not constitute endorsement by the Washington Council of the Blind. If you have some Bits and Pieces for the NEWSLINE send them to with “Bits and Pieces” in the subject line.
The Hadley course is out. It’s called Braille Music Reading (Visually Impaired Students), as opposed to Braille Music Basics, which is for sighted teachers and parents. There is a number of Braille music learning books from the NLS Music Section.
Dancing Dots publishes a series of courses by Richard Taesch that teach basic music theory and how to read Braille music. There are multiple volumes in print and in Braille. There are lessons, assignments, lesson exercises and supplemental exercises. Read more at:
Patrons of the National Library Service may borrow this series.
Voting Accessibility Questionnaire
The National Council on Disability, in collaboration with the National Disability Rights Network and EIN SOF Communications, Inc., wants to hear from you about your voting experiences during the 2012 General Election! Go to http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/1053447/Voting.
If you have any questions, please contact NDRN at 202.408.9514, ext 130.
Robyn M. Powell
National Council on Disability
1331 F Street NW, Suite 850
Washington, DC 20004
Compiled by Cindy Van Winkle, WCB President
We extend our heartfelt congratulations to the following WCB members:
Hongda Sao (PCAB) on being hired full time as a Case Manager for Pierce County Community Connections.
Carolyn Harrison (GEACB) on the birth of her first great grandchild, Solarlissa Faith May Hiatt Smith, born September 16, 2012.
Ernie Jones (UBWW) on the birth of his granddaughter, Alina Grace Tidwell weighing a strong 8 pounds, 14 ounces and born September 9, 2012 in New Delhi, India.
Carl and Cathy Jarvis (JCCB) on the birth of their tenth grandchild. Weighing 6 pounds, 6 ounces. Elizabeth Rose Petersen was born October 19, 2012.
Ken Nelson (KCC) who has reached the fine age of 92 years young.
Myra Wood (UBTC) on the special occasion of her 91st birthday.
Al Gil (UBS) on the joyous celebration of his 80th birthday.
Joanne Riccobuono (UBTC) on celebrating her milestone 80th birthday.
Nathan Brannon (UBS) on receiving his first guide dog, Mozart, a male Yellow Lab from Guide Dogs for the Blind.
Josette Kernaghan (GDUWS) on her new partnership with Seeing Eye Dog, Dee, a sweet, female German Shepherd.
Dan Tonge (UBWC) on the successful training of his new guide dog Sires, a Black Lab from Guide Dogs of the Desert.
Dodie Brueggeman (UBWW) on being recognized by the Joslin Diabetes Research Center in Boston, Massachusetts, where she received a bronze medal, framed award and paid trip to Boston to participate in a research project looking for common factors in the longevity of Type I diabetics.
John Ammeter (JCCB) on his appointment to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Foundation, supporting the Sheriff’s Department.
Kevin Frankeberger (GDUWS) on his appointment to the Game Management Advisory Council for the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife.
If you have something for inclusion in future Hats Off articles, please send to with “Hats Off” in the subject line.
Compiled by Cindy Van Winkle, WCB President
We take the time to remember the following special members who have passed away since Convention 2011.
Ethlynn Baugh (UBTC)
Tina Corey (RAB)
Virginia Frodel (UBTC)
Kitty Hoage (UBTC)
Bob Garing (JCCB)
Gloria Grant (JCCB)
Kay Holdaway (UBS)
Newton Jones (UBS)
Margit Kingston (UBWC)
Carol Lachata (PCB)
Alan Patchett (GEACB)
Nancy Smedley (YVCB)
Mary Thorpe (UBSPO)
Ray Watson (UBSWW)
Jan White (UBS)
Bill Wippel (SKB)
Frances Spolski (UBSPO)
Frank Zaloudek (UBTC)
By Dodie Brueggeman, Member, UBWW
Black Bean Brownies
1 15.5 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
3 T. vegetable oil
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1 pinch salt
1 t. vanilla extract
3/4 c. white sugar
1/2 c. milk chocolate chips (I used Hershey Special Dark)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8X8 square baking dish.
2. Combine the black beans, eggs, oil, cocoa powder, salt vanilla extract, & sugar in a blender; blend until smooth; pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top of the mixture.
3. Bake in the preheated oven until the top is dry & the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 30 min.
Servings: 16 @ about 14 g. carb per serving. That’s including the 1/2 c. chocolate chips.
January 7, 2013 Employment Resources Forum, 7:00 pm
January 8, 2013 Assistive Technology Forum, 7:00 pm
January 10, 2013 Deadline for committee requests
January 28, 2013 Diabetes Support Group call, 7:00 pm
February 2, 2013 WCB Winter Board meeting, Red Lion Bellevue, 9:00 am-3:00 pm
February 4, 2013 Employment Resources Forum, 7:00 pm
February 12, 2013 Assistive Technology Forum, 7:00 pm
February 25, 2013 Diabetes Support Group call, 7:00 pm
March 4, 2013 Employment Resources Forum, 7:00 pm
March 12, 2013 Assistive Technology Forum, 7:00 pm
March 25, 2013 Diabetes Support Group call, 7:00 pm
April 5, 2013 Deadline to apply for the 2013 WCB Leadership Seminar,
May 3-5, 2013 WCB Leadership Seminar, Red Lion Bellevue
May 5, 2013 WCB Spring Board meeting, Red Lion Bellevue, 9:00 am-3:00 pm
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