NEWSLINE Fall 2017 Edition

Washington Council of the Blind
Opportunity, Equality, Independence

Founded 1935

P.O. Box 1354
, Puyallup, WA 98371

WCB’s Newsline is a 2011 winner of the Hollis K. Liggett Braille Free Press award presented by the Board of Publications of the American Council of the Blind promoting best journalistic practices and excellence in writing in publications of ACB’s state and special interest affiliates.

Steve Fiksdal, President
(206) 669-8001

Federal Way, WA

Much-needed contributions, which are tax deductible, can be sent to the Washington Council of the Blind treasurer, Deb Lewis, at or P.O. Box 834, Twisp, WA 98856.

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 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

Table of Contents

President’s Report
Our Newsletter is Hungry
Summer WCB Board Meeting
A Sparkling Good Time for a First Timer
WCB 2018 Officers and Board of Directors
A Visionary Leader and Special Friend Remembered
Reflections on then and now
Families with Blind Children
Washington Talking Book & Braille Library
Services for the Blind-25 Years, Still Going Strong
Beep Ball Clubs of Washington State
United Blind of Spokane
Yakima Valley Council of the Blind
Hats Off
WCB Standing Committees

President’s Report

By Steve Fiksdal

Well, as we wind down another year, and my term as President of WCB concludes, it is time to reflect on what was and what could be. My first months as President came with great ambition. I was forging ahead at breakneck speed, a speed the organization was not prepared nor willing to match. My confession is that I failed to recognize that WCB moved at a different pace…one that is cautiously moving forward.

If you were in attendance at our business meeting at convention you more than likely heard my sermon from the podium. This organization has so much potential. I see greatness on the horizon. But to achieve this greatness will require the efforts of many more of us.

We are a grassroots organization. I define grassroots as being of the people by the people. Across WCB we have a Board of Directors, 15 committees and a number of other groups. Approximately 10% of our members serve on a committee, not all actively though. If we look at the Pareto Principle we could assume that 80% of the work is done through the efforts of 20% of the people. We are only half way there. WCB needs you.

Now some of you may say “but I like things the way they are”. That may be OK for a while but at some point you need to move, change your position. What happens to water when it doesn’t move? It becomes stagnant, unhealthy. Living things need to grow and change. WCB is a living organization. WCB needs to grow or one day we will wither away. I don’t think any of you are willing to see that occur.

There are a number of ways we can serve. One way is certainly as a member of one of our committees. If you have a particular passion, serve on a committee that matched that passion. If you have particular skill and don’t know where you can serve tell us. We’ll help you find a place. A list of committees follows at the conclusion of this newsletter. Send your requests no later than January 10, 2018 to Denise Colley at WCB needs you!

I am a forward thinker and I may have tried to look too far too soon. But I can see a community of blind and visually impaired people leading an organization that is alive with hope and service to others. The foundation has been laid. It’s up to us now to begin building the framework of a thriving, enduring family of blind and visually impaired people. A family, an organization that lives on.

Thank you for allowing me to serve as your President these last two years. It has truly been an honor. I look forward to working with Denise Colley, and you, as we continue to build and grow the Washington Council of the Blind.

Our Newsletter is Hungry

By Steve Fiksdal

As you will find this issue of the WCB Newsline is skinnier than previous issues. Our award winning newsletter is ailing. It is not being fed. What makes the Newsline so valuable to our members comes from the fact that you, the members, are the contributors. We don’t have a staff of reporters to cover the news of WCB. We have you. And I would take you over a staff of reporters any day.

You are the news. You live the news every day. Your experiences, triumphs and challenges, are what matter. You are the Newsline.

So here is another challenge to you. Let us together restore our Newsline to the quality it once was. Your part is to write and submit articles that tell our story…your story. You ask, should I submit an article for inclusion? Well if you are a:

  • Committee chair you could update the membership of your activities;
  • Chapter president/representative you can contribute to Around the State, a special section reserved for chapter news;
  • Partners or agencies serving the blind you can author articles touting the invaluable work you are doing;
  • Vendors may have an opportunity in the future to advertise in upcoming newsletters;
  • Educators might tell stories of successes in the classroom (the world is our classroom);
  • And you! Tell us how someone has made a difference in your life. How a certain event changed a perspective. How you overcame a particular challenge.

Let’s work together to restore the Newsline to the healthy state it once was. This is not the time to put it on a diet. The Newsline is hungry for your contributions. We need to feed it.

If you have an idea for a story, write and submit it. Don’t concern yourself with deadlines. If it’s of general interest when it appears shouldn’t be a concern. Time sensitive articles will need to pay close attention to submission deadlines. The December 10th deadline for the Winter 2018 issue is fast approaching. Don’t put it off, write it and send it to Further Newsline information and submission dates are forthcoming. We want to hear from you. The Newsline is hungry!

Summer WCB Board Meeting

By Colette Arvidson,
Treasurer, Skagit and Island Counties Council of the Blind

The Summer Quarterly Board meeting was held this year on Saturday August 19th at the Clarion Hotel in Federal Way.

Since my husband Andy Arvidson is on the Board, and is president of the Skagit and Island Counties Council of the Blind, and since our board meetings are open to the membership, I have been attending them since we joined WCB last year. It is a great opportunity to learn more about what we are doing on a statewide basis.
As usual, Officer, board members and chapter representative role was taken. The previous meeting Minutes were passed out and accepted as read.

The Treasurer’s Report was presented by Treasurer Deb Lewis, giving full and clear explanation of our financials. She noted that there is an easy and effective way for WCB to increase funds without costing members anything! Members (or friends) making purchases from Amazon simply log in to and designate Washington Council of the Blind as the charity to support. Then whenever shopping Amazon, through, instead of, Amazon will donate a small portion of each purchase to WCB. The price of purchases is the same as it is on She encouraged us to spread the word to members and friends.
It was also mentioned that the 990 annual submission to the IRS is an effective tool for telling our story to the public, and letting the public know of our mission and accomplishments, assisting us in our fundraising efforts.

Captured below are just a few of the activities that our committee chair reported on.

  • Aging and Blindness Committee
    One of the major activities that this committee is working on is developing a state-wide mapping of accessible transit that they hope to have ready by the fall.
  • Advocacy Committee
    This committee is continuing work on a grievance regarding filling out forms at doctors’ offices; prescription labeling, and working with guide dogs to provide brochures about public accommodations.
  • Awards Committee
    Danette reminded all that anyone wishing to apply for the WCB Convention first-timers award send a letter to her no later than 8/31/17. Since you won’t see this until after the deadline date, it may be a good time to remind members who have never attended a WCB convention to be thinking about starting on their letter for next year, explaining what they are doing for their Chapter and WCB, and why they should be considered for this award next year. It would cover their registration, lodging and transportation.
  • Convention Committee
    The 2017 convention theme is “Dream Big.” Online Registration for the convention, as well as for the bus that will leave the Executive Inn in downtown Seattle, should be available by mid-August. As I am writing this report, all the information on the Convention can be found on the web-site. A reminder was made that a $300 loan can be applied for, with monthly re-payments of $30/month.
  • Families with Blind Children Committee
    The committee’s major activity this quarter included participation in the DSHS Yes 2 Program, where blind students age 16-21, participated in a 6 week program to help them transition to high school, college or the work force. The committee’s participation included delivery of pizza and lunch bags by Hayley Agers, to kick-off the program. Hayley Edick and Annee Hartzell were primaries on the Conflict Resolution program for the students, which was presented in an engaging and entertaining manner which was a hit with both students and staff. Andy Arvidson and Colette Arvidson joined in during the last week of the program with a hands-on introduction to self-defense, which was greeted with enthusiasm. Due to the APRIL Conference in Spokane this Fall (Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living), along with finals requirements at this time of year, it was decided that there would be no fall Student Summit at the same time a WCB convention in Pasco. We are planning Youth Summit for ages 9-15 in the Vancouver, WA, area. There are plans for the Braille Challenge to expand to E WA in 2018. ACB Families is increasing their group dial-in calls, to allow more opportunity for members of Blind families to learn from and support each other.
  • Crisis Committee
    Jim Turri reported that they had been able to help 5 people with utility bills, and one family with help for a house fire.
  • History Committee
    The committee is continuing interviewing retired agency workers, as part of its work on the Oral History Project.
  • Newsline Committee
    The Summer Newsline is completed; the deadline for the next Newsline articles will be September 10th. Meka acknowledged the Newsline Committee for their writing, editing, and formatting. She noted that fewer chapters have been submitting articles, and encouraged more to submit reports, and include photos, so that the Newsline can be more attractive to the public, for outreach. Chapter articles are limited to 350 words, with articles at 750 words. Remember this is OUR Newsletter, and submit. Don’t forget about the one-minute videos to post as well.
  • Scholarship Committee
    The committee has received only 8 scholarship application for college thus far.
  • WCB Cares Committee
    The committee continues to reach out, but need members to let them know what is happening in their chapters, or they do not know who needs to be reached out to.

I know I had another page of notes, including announcement of the nominating committee who will recommend a slate of officers for the October elections, but you should have received that information by email before this Newsline is distributed.
With all the activities of the individual chapters and committees, it is hard to keep track of all that we are working toward. However, the more we communicate with each other, the better opportunity we have to succeed. For your own opportunity to hear what’s new first, come to a Board meeting. 😊

“A Sparkling Good Time for a First Timer”

By Sherry Dubbin UBTC President

The best way to describe my observations as your first timer to the ACB National convention is, “what an eye opener it was for me”! It was truly an overwhelming experience to be among so many independent blind and visually impaired people. They were so full of wisdom and understanding of the needs and goals of blind and visually impaired folks.

What an adventure it was to be able to have this first-hand experience, with others who share the same disability as me. From the exhibit room to general sessions, it was totally all for me! Every morning, I learned something new at general sessions, from Amazon to Microsoft uber to Ski for Light, I loved it all.  How lovely it was to actually see and hear a Talking book narrator and participate in the business and elections of ACB.  I even took part in my first ACB affiliate, Council of Citizens with Low vision, attending their business meeting and other interesting activities.

The learning curve was over the top and at times completely mind boggling for me to entirely take it all in! I thoroughly enjoyed the seminars, especially   the ones on leadership, online shopping and diabetes.  And last but not least, the best part of all was making brand new acquaintances and spending quality time with my good old and new friends.

My heartfelt thanks to WCB and the first timer committee for selecting me for this awesome opportunity.  From tears to laughter, I will never forget my unbelievable good fortune to have found and now to be fully and completely a part of this amazing organization. In conclusion, all I can say is, thank you and now it makes my heart sing to be able to say I am not alone in this blindness journey.  Every day I can make a difference in the lives of others struggling to make the transition from the sighted world into the blindness world!  God bless each and every one of you.

WCB 2018 Officers and Board of Directors

President Denise Colley
First Vice President Andy Arvidson
Second Vice President Sue Ammeter
Treasurer Deb Lewis
Secretary Frank Cuta
Immediate Past President Steve Fiksdal
Lori Allison, Carol Brame, Annee Hartzell, Holly Kaczmarski, J.R. Kinnison, Jim Turri

A Visionary Leader and Special Friend Remembered

By Sue Ammeter, Second Vice President

On August 9, 2017 the blind community lost a very special friend, a leader and a visionary in every sense of the word, Jan Ames. Jan died peacefully in her sleep at her home in Seattle after a long battle with lung cancer.

Janice Louise Fundy was born in Steamboat Springs, Colorado on October 31, 1928. After graduating from high school she attended South Dakota State College where she met and married Bill Ames on December 23, 1949. In 1954 the couple moved to Seattle where Bill became a professor in the School of Communications at the University of Washington. They had two children Laurie (1955) and Tim (1956). Marriage and her children was the central focus of Jan’s life until Bill had a heart attack in 1964. She returned to school and received a graduate degree in librarianship in 1969.

That same year she began her career at the Washington Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, now the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library (WTBBL), where she served as a Braille librarian, head of Reader Services and Director until her retirement in 2002.

In 1979 Jan was appointed as the Director of WTBBL and WCB member Chris Gray and I both remember serving on the oral panel that interviewed her. Jan loved the library and she was deeply committed to modernizing and improving the programs and services that were provided to its patrons. Her crowning achievement was the purchase and renovation of the facility that now houses WTBBL. Under her leadership the Patron Advisory Council was created, the Braille program was revitalized and she championed the hiring of blind employees which included receptionists and Reader Advisers.

Jan was known as a leader who asked for and listened to the voices of blind consumers. She always attended our conventions and she often rode on our WCB convention bus. I can remember hearing that Jan would visit someone who was ill or she would attend a celebration event for one of WTBBL’s patrons because that was the kind of friend and person that she was. She attended our national convention and WCB was honored to purchase an ACB Life Membership for her.

On August 19 a Memorial service was held for Jan at Kane Hall on the University of Washington campus. Family and friends gathered together to celebrate the life and contributions of this most remarkable and caring woman.

I was very honored to be asked by the family to be one of the speakers at the service. What do you say about someone who was your friend for almost forty years? It wasn’t easy I can tell you. I focused on her friendship and what it had meant to me and so many. Jan never forgot your wedding anniversary or a birthday with a card and she always called “just to catch up” and make sure that things were okay.

Jan’s four grandsons each spoke about their Grandma and their love and devotion to her. When the boys were growing up Jan had treated each of them to a week-long trip to Washington, DC and they fondly remember this and other stories about her. From long walks along the beach on Whidbey Island to riding the amusement rides at the annual Whidbey Island fair each grandson regaled us with anecdotes and memories about their Grandma.

Finally, Jan’s son, Tim, gave an eloquent and moving tribute to his mom and he spoke of her leaving us with a legacy of a long and purposeful life dedicated to helping others. Following each speaker one of Jan’s favorite musical selections was played and they ranged from a Broadway tune from Hamilton to an Irish folk song and a composition by Scott Joplin.

Following the service the family hosted a lovely reception for everyone. As we sipped a glass of wine in Jan’s memory we fondly remembered different stories about her and what she had personally meant to each of us. It was truly a wonderful celebration in her honor.

Jan, we will miss you but we will always treasure and cherish your imaginative and visionary leadership along with your caring and gentle spirit.

Reflections on then and now

By Chris Coulter

As individuals and as an organization of the blind, our lives are shaped by three things. Those three things are the past, the present and the future. We live in the present and these days we are encouraged to think mostly in the present. The past, according to popular belief, is gone and we have no way of knowing what the future is so we end up living moment by moment. This thinking causes us to lose two-thirds of the basic shape of our lives.

If we live in the moment we end up having to repeat every experience anyone who has gone before us ever had. That is not only unnecessary; it’s a waste of our time, our strength and our brain power. If we live mostly in the future we invent wonderful technologies and have great ideas about how life will be tomorrow, but are unable to inform ourselves about the story arc of ideas that came up in the past. We don’t know what has succeeded in the past and what has failed.

How do we connect the three different parts of our organizational life together and use all three influences in our lives—past, present and future—to make a complete picture of our plans and goals?

The connecting link is history. We need to know what happened in the past, how the past has had an effect on the present, and how we can sort through the past and let go of what we don’t need anymore, while still keeping what is good and taking it with us into the future.

Carl Jarvis, one of our organization’s historians, has said “If we don’t know where we’ve been we don’t know where we’re going”. I encourage everyone to take some time to think about our history as an organization and about the people who have gone before us. I encourage everyone to look at the many ways in which attitudes about blindness have changed over time and are continuing to change.

Finally, if you think about our history and come up with ideas, conclusions or reflections of your own about it please write about those ideas, conclusions and reflections on the WCB list or as articles in this publication. History doesn’t have to be boring and irrelevant. It’s part of the shape of each of our lives and of our organization.

Families with Blind Children

By Lori Allison, Chair

What a busy year it has been for the WCB Families with Blind Children (FBC) Committee. The FBC family started off at a full run cohosting the 2017 Braille Challenge, in February, at the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library (WTBBL). This was a great experience; it was wonderful getting to know the parents and the kids taking part in the challenge and working with the staff of WTBBL.

For the first time the FBC committee was invited to participate in the DSB Youth YES 2 program; providing information about Self Advocacy and Conflict and Resolutions. Hayley and Annee presented the Yes 2 Conflict Resolution Program on Behalf of the FBC Committee:  Annee did role playing and dramatized asking for directions from an “annoying” sighted person played by Hayley.  Their dramatization was well received as evidenced by the laughter and engagement of the students. The Telephone game was also played to emphasize how messages can get distorted, and the importance of clear and direct communication.

The next week, August 2nd, Andy Arvidson, assisted by Colette, provided a Self-Defense program giving a chance for hands-on experience on how to deal with releasing themselves from someone grabbing them by the hand, the neck, or the hair, as well as other techniques to use in a more aggressive situation.  Andy also shared his experience in training as a blind 5th degree Master Instructor.  Class was wrapped up with an emphasis on awareness, use of voice, posture, and demeanor to discourage attack or bullying. Both of these programs were well accepted and very informative for the students.

Due to several factors the FBC committee has moved the “Student Summit” to take place in May during the WCB Leadership Program and the Spring Board meeting. The focus for this program will be for the parents and students ages 9 to 15 years-old.

The FBC committee is still working on gathering information for project “Operation Blind Child”. If you would like to be a part of this very active committee contact Denise Colley, WCB incoming president at or (360) 280-0077.

Washington Talking Book & Braille Library

By Danielle Miller

There are few things you can count on more than change. And changes have been underway at your Talking Book & Braille Library, especially in terms of staffing. You may hear a new voice when you call, our new receptionist, Madeleine Criglow. Madeleine replaces Amy Spengler who moved into our Shipping Department to help process talking book machines, get books out in the mail, and work with volunteers. We have a new assistant manager, Alycia Ensminger, who comes to us from the library and archives of the NBBJ Architecture firm. Coincidentally, William Bain and NBBJ (he was the first “B”) was the architecture firm that designed the building that houses WTBBL. The assistant manager position was open because I was able to create a position largely dedicated to statewide outreach for Amy Ravenholt, who many of you know, and know what a great work she has done in her outreach to adult family home and care facilities throughout the state. And finally, Marian Mays, our youth services librarian left to pursue a graduate degree in special education with a focus on deaf studies. We are currently in the process of hiring a new youth services librarian and are committed to continuing the high quality and creativity of our youth program. I hope you get the opportunity to meet our new staff members soon and I look forward to seeing you all at convention. Happy Fall!

Services for the Blind-25 Years, Still Going Strong

by Carl Jarvis (Reprinted from the June 2002 WCB Newsline.)

Note: This is the fortieth anniversary of the establishment of the separate agency for the blind in Washington State. Five years as a Commission (1977-1982), and 35 years as a State Department (1982-2017). These forty years span a period of time that saw many states lose their separate blind agencies status. It is a tribute to the strength and commitment of WCB that our Department of Services for the Blind survived similar efforts by the legislature.

May 11, 2002 marked the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Commission for the Blind Bill, by Governor Dixie Lee Ray. With the stroke of a pen, actually a handful of pens, Governor Ray proclaimed the establishment of the Washington State Commission for the Blind, bringing an end to seven years of tireless labor by blind Washingtonians.

The call for a separate agency first went out in 1970. In part, it was a response to the establishment of the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) the previous year. According to Sid Smith, first Secretary of DSHS, the new agency would be a “one stop shopping center.” There would be no more running from agency to agency, no more confusion, no question as to who provided what to whom. Simply come in, sit down and be served.

However, as DSHS began to take shape, the Office of Services for the Blind was buried deep within layers of bureaucracy. If blind consumers felt they had been under-served or ignored in the past, they soon found this new Office of Services for the Blind was even more removed and better insulated from public influence than it had been when under Public Assistance. The head administrator, called Chief of the Office of Services for the Blind, had limited authority over Office programs, and even less influence within DSHS. The Washington State Association of the Blind (WSAB), at that time the only state-wide consumer organization of blind people, began to voice concerns. Services already considered to be inadequate could deteriorate or even be eliminated with no recourse for blind consumers using those services. Even as WSAB protested, DSHS was formulating a plan that would completely disband the Office of Services for the Blind. With the exception of the Orientation and Training Center, and the Business Enterprises Program, blind consumers would receive services from integrated programs serving all disabilities.

At the WSAB 1970 State Convention, held in Hoquiam, we met with three members of the Office of Services for the Blind: Dr. Dunham, Chief; Ike Meyers, and Lloyd Smart. They proposed that we join together in recommending to the state legislature that the Office be preserved within DSHS. While we were in agreement that we must do all within our power to keep services for the blind intact, we did not believe that consumers would have a voice in determining programs and services as long as the Office continued under DSHS. After a long debate, the members voted for a resolution calling for a separate agency, a Commission for the Blind.

Not all blind people in Washington agreed with the resolution. The establishment of the Washington Council of the Blind (WCB) in 1971, provided a strong voice for those in support of maintaining Services for the Blind within DSHS.

For nearly six years, WSAB and WCB held firmly to their positions. As a result, neither the House nor the Senate voted the Commission Bill out of committee.

By the 1977 legislative session, the two organizations had worked through their differences and presented a united front in support of a Commission for the Blind. At long last the years of experience in the political arena, coupled with the newfound solidarity, paid off. The Bill passed out of committee, through both House and Senate, and on to the Governor.

Under the newly formed Commission, the Governor appointed a five-member Board of Commissioners. In turn, these Commissioners hired the Director of the Commission. Ed Foscue, Irving Smith, Frank Cuta, Laurie Shwager and Luddie Martinson were the original Commissioners. Ed served as the Board’s first Chair.

Ken Hopkins, at the time Chief of the Office of Services for the Blind, was employed as the Commission’s first Director.

The Commission Board had broad powers, including setting policies and regulations, and establishing programs. The public Commission meetings were lively and well attended. They became a forum where consumers brought concerns, discussed recommendations and debated issues – at times into the wee hours of the night.
For the next five years, the Commission oversaw Programs for the Blind.

From Around the State

Beep Ball Clubs of Washington State (BBCWS)

By Lori Allison, Secretary

Oh My!! Beep Ball Clubs of Washington State (BBCWS) the newest affiliate of the Washington Council of the Blind, hosted a day of fun sports and excitement. On August 26th the Tacoma Tide home team, hosted a day of Beep Ball Games at the Puyallup Elks Ball Field. In conjunction with the Tacoma Tide the Lions Pride of Spokane came over to participate in the fun. The purpose of this day was to allow anyone who wanted to learn about or just get a chance to play Beep Ball to join in. Teams were chosen by participants numbering off; it did not matter whether they were a member of a current team or not. There were quite a few new people who joined the experienced players and learned about the game by actually playing. We had 2 guests who joined all the fun that day Kenny Mayne an ESPN announcer and Dave Krieg, a Hall of Fame Seahawk Quarterback; both who had participated playing the games.
 After the first game, everyone was invited to participate in a boxed lunch provided by Tacoma Tide from Rick Stevenson. Manpower in Tacoma had donated bottled water and chips to round out the day. After a leisurely break sitting under the trees and getting to know everybody a second game was played.

When the games were finished, the group went out to Round Table Pizza to eat and play some table games; again everyone had a marvelous time.
 Beep Ball Clubs of Washington State (BBCWS) is currently taking nominations for board members. If you are interested simply go to to get the details.

United Blind of Spokane

By Debby Clark

How many mirrors do you have? I have different human mirrors for many different parts of my life. My daughter and sister are my wonderful shopping mirrors. My husband checks me out to make sure I match. My color analyzer helps like a mirror as do my friends. Checking for spots and stains is a challenge and my willing husband is great for this! My hairdresser makes sure my eyebrows and hair are really well groomed. These are some of my mirrors but not all. So you have probably heard that it takes about a dozen people to take the place of one Mom-that is about it for human mirrors and helpers when you are blind. You might not agree but this is my story!

Forest Fire Smoke Force United Blind Spokane Picnickers to celebrate Indoors. All throughout August, wildfires surrounded Spokane, burning out of control in Western Washington, Idaho, British Columbia, and Oregon.   Summer breezes, usually welcome at this time of year, only brought in thick unending smoke.  Air quality conditions got so bad that we could smell the smoke on our clothes, and couldn’t even feel the sun at times.  That put a wrench in United Blind of Spokane’s plans for our August picnic at Manito Park. We painfully decided it would be healthier for us to have our picnic indoors. Lilac Services for the Blind offered the space.  Smoke kept us in, but we still had a good time eating and visiting. The menu contained pea salad, radish-potato salad, baked beans, ham, barbecued meat balls, fried chicken, trifle, and cake pops.  Tracy Fedjeran brought three attractive, ecofriendly totes to give away as door prizes.  I was fortunate to win one, and it sure has come in handy.  Loren Miller brought a couple of games. We had a great time in spite of the conditions outside.

Join us at Lilac Blind from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. the third Monday of the month.

Yakima Valley Council of the Blind

By Lisa George, Secretary

The days are shorter, the nights are colder, and we’re ready to have a fantastic convention in Pasco! We’re hoping to have at least 30% of our chapter at convention.

Our chapter added a new member this quarter. Harold Quantrille is a life-long Yakima resident and has been steadily improving his bowling game.

As always, we’d love to welcome you to our weekly bowling outing anytime you’re in Yakima. Can’t wait to visit with everyone at the Red Lion!

Hats Off

Chris Coulter has been named Chair of the 2018 Patron Advisory Council (PAC) of the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library (WTBBL). Congratulations Chris.

WCB Standing Committees

Members of this committee address issues of discrimination and accessibility by investigating concerns raised by blind individuals and communicating with employers, businesses, other organizations, and individuals in order to promote advocacy and accessibility.
Aging and Blindness
Members of this committee work to improve the lives of senior citizens experiencing vision loss.
Members of this committee administer the WCB annual awards program and the first-timers awards to both the ACB and WCB annual conventions.
Members of this committee are tasked with producing a unified, consistent message across all media channels, including these areas: WCB’s website, social media, public relations, WCB’s phone system, and the WCB list-serve. The committee shall seek guidance from the board and obtain concurrence from the president for all contracting decisions.
Constitution and Bylaws
Members of this committee review and consider any and all amendments to the WCB constitution and bylaws, presenting the proposed slate at the annual convention.
Members of this committee make all arrangements for the annual WCB state convention.
Members of this committee administer WCB’s crisis program.
Families with Blind Children
Members of this committee address issues specific to children who are blind, as well as concerns of family members. They also administer all programs associated with students.
Members of this committee are responsible for developing the annual budget, analyzing all grant requests received, monitoring WCB’s financial investments, and recommending changes in investment strategy when appropriate.
Government Affairs
Members of this committee track and report legislative and policy issues significant to the board and members of WCB. In addition, they work with legislative bodies to advocate for laws and regulations affecting citizens who are blind or visually impaired.
Members of this committee preserve the history of WCB and that of the organizations which preceded it.
Members of this committee plan and conduct leadership programs which identify and foster potential future leaders, including but not limited to the WCB Leadership Seminar and the Leadership Institute.
Members of this committee work to increase WCB membership by assisting new affiliates in getting started and providing support and consultation to existing ones.
Members of this committee are the editorial body of the WCB newsletter, the Newsline. All submitted articles are reviewed, processed, and may be edited if appropriate prior to publication and distribution to readers. With board concurrence, the committee may also establish policy surrounding the Newsline.
Members of this committee will recruit nominees, consider applications, and recommend nominees for election to the membership at the annual convention.
The president shall appoint a 3 person nominating committee no less than 60 days before the annual convention. No person who is seeking election shall serve on the nominating committee.
This committee shall meet immediately following the preconvention board meeting. It will be the responsibility of this committee to draft new resolutions and to review resolutions submitted by members.
Members of this committee administer the WCB scholarship program by processing applications, interviewing applicants, selecting the scholarship winners, and presenting these awards at the WCB state convention.
WCB Cares
Members of this committee let WCB members know that we, as an organization, are thinking of them, sharing in their joy and sorrow. Through telephone communication, personalized notes, or floral arrangements, we are never alone because WCB cares.


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Newsline Article Submissions
Articles should be sent as a Word document and should not exceed 750 words, while chapter updates should be no more than 350 words. Contributions may be edited for clarity and space considerations. Email to

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