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(c)(3) organization. For other ways to support the Washington Council of the Blind, visit our Fundraising page found at www.wcbinfo.org
Table of Contents
From the President’s Desk
More Power for the ACB
Board of Directors? Editorial
WCB May, 2014 Board Report
WCB Convention in Tacoma Going for a Grand Slam
2014 Awards Sought
Ocean of Opportunity
A Weekend to Remember
First Timers Come One Come All
Exciting News for Students
SPD VS. the Seattle South King County Sluggers
Take Me Out to the Ball Game
Quicken Goes The Extra Mile
Cranberry Goes to Hawaii
From the Senior Side
What’s Happening at WTBBL?
Around the State
Bits and Pieces
From My Kitchen to Yours
2014 Calendar of Deadlines and Events
by Cindy Van Winkle, WCB President
Lots of exciting things are going on in WCB, and so I take this opportunity to give you a glimpse. Our phone system is in the process of getting a bit of a face lift. So I encourage you all to call "The Buzz" from time to time to listen in to the many offerings. Now you'll not only be able to hear details on things like the next WCB board meeting, Convention information, chapter contacts, calendar of events, etc., but you'll also be able to listen to selected articles from the current issue of Newsline and learn of some upcoming activities of chapters around the state. Dial 206-686-3048 or 800-255-1147 (toll-free), 24/7. Although you'll hear many voices throughout your travels of the many menus, the main voice you'll hear who keeps the main menu, calendar, and several other options up-to-date is Rhonda Nelson. If you need to talk with one of our receptionists, they will answer week days from 9am to noon. In fact, we have some new voices. So let me introduce to you the entire team. Holly Turri (UBWC) answers on Mondays, Randy Tedrow (GDUWS) on Tuesdays, Carrol Gray (PCB) on Wednesdays, Stuart Russell (PCB) on Thursdays, and Trena Casada (PCAB) on Fridays.
Our Forum Calls are in full swing and we hope that if you haven't checked them out yet, you will do so soon. There truly is something for everyone. Our employment Forum takes place on the first Tuesday of the month at 8pm and is facilitated by Julie Brannon. Our Technology Forum takes place on the second Tuesday at 7pm and is facilitated by Meka White. Our book Forum takes place on the third Tuesday at 7pm; although it started out as a bi-monthly call, beginning in August it will become monthly thanks to our two facilitators, Shannon Curry and Trena Casada. Our Diabetics Forum takes place on the fourth Monday at 7pm and is facilitated by Sharon Schauer. Our Seniors Forum, sponsored by the Aging and Blindness Committee will take place quarterly on the fourth Tuesday at 7pm. Be sure to watch the calendar for these events, share with your friends and join in on one soon.
Many of us will be heading to Las Vegas to attend the ACB Conference and Convention July 13-18. For those of you who cannot be with us, I encourage you to follow along via ACB Radio as all general sessions and many other activities will be streamed live and replayed through the day. I also plan to provide an update each night beginning on the 13th following the opening session. To hear these updates, call "The Buzz" and press number 6. I will do my best to update by 10 pm each night.
Now, although you'll read lots of good stuff in a separate article concerning this year's convention, I have some exciting news to share about the ones to be held in 2015 and 2016. The board convened for a brief meeting during our May conference call for the sole purpose of discussing future convention sites. I am pleased to report that we have decided to contract with the Seattle Airport Marriott for both years. After long and positive negotiations with this hotel and a tour that proved itself to be an ideal venue for our convention, we will enjoy a $99 room rate both years, service at a level one can expect from an upscale hotel, and amenities to match. We also believe that its location will not only be convenient for those flying in from out-of-state or eastern Washington, but being centrally located on the west side of the state, it is easily accessed by train, bus or car. Of course we'll visit more details around this convention site next year. For now, we'll look forward to the excitement surrounding the 2014 Convention in Tacoma at the Hotel Murano.
In closing, I would like to encourage all of you who are able, to join us for our summer board meeting being held on Saturday, August 16, from 10am to 3pm, at the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library. Lunch will be provided for those who make their reservation by August 10 by or 360-689-0827.
Enjoy your summer and all those upcoming chapter picnics!
By Frank Cuta
(The views expressed in this article do not represent an official position of the WCB, its officers or board of directors.)
Recently an appeal has been made from our ACB national leadership to consider some major changes to our national constitution. Constitutional changes are not usually discussed before they are brought to the convention floor but it was felt that this was a significant enough change to warrant extended consideration by the membership. This is a serious enough issue that you should all look at this proposal and think hard about its consequences. It is too long to print word for word here but it is available on the email list and if you wish a copy sent to you or read to you please call me at (509) 967-2658.
In these proposed constitutional changes we are being asked to grant the ACB Board of Directors the power to expel an affiliate. Unfortunately, most of the people in our leadership that I have discussed this with currently support this change. But I have had several weeks to think about it and I remain a doubting Thomas.
This request for more authority by our board does not come from a grass roots based concern on the part of our membership — it comes directly from our leadership. This alone gives me concern. I am not faulting our leadership. I actually voted for most of them. However it raises the hackles on the back of my neck when my leadership asks for increased power of any kind.
The ACB was founded by people who distrusted strong national leadership. Our current leadership justifies this change by telling me that times have changed since the beginning of the ACB. It is true that times change but leaders longing for more authority to act independently, is something that never changes.
Our leadership says that they need this additional power to assist them to resolve the problems that face our organization. What they are really saying is, “Please give me this power. It will make my job easier.” There is no doubt that having more power does make a leader's job easier. Is that necessarily a good thing?
I urge each of you to read the first six chapters of "People of Vision." Just prior to the creation of our great organization in 1961, others believed that a stronger leadership was the best way to prevent and resolve internal organizational issues. They remained in the other organization when we took a separate path seeking more states rights.
Read your history, lest history repeat itself. Ask yourself, do we really need more powerful leaders or should we just advise them to work more creatively and effectively with the power that they already have? I think that perhaps affiliate expulsion is best left as the prerogative of the national convention.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the death of Durward McDaniel. He was my friend and noble advisor long ago when I served as chair of the ACB Constitution and Bylaws Committee. As I consider how I should vote on this major change in our power structure, I can only wonder what dear Durward would think of it. But his blood still runs through the veins of the ACB and may his reason, wisdom and spirit guide us as we give serious consideration to this questionable proposal.
By Alco Canfield
The WCB Board Meeting convened on Sunday, May 4, 2014 at the Best Western Evergreen Inn and Suites. Fifteen new graduates of the Leadership Seminar were in high spirits and their enthusiasm was infectious.
President, Cindy Van Winkle convened the meeting at 9:10 AM. All board members and chapter representatives were present. Past President, Denise Colley was excused. Others in attendance introduced themselves.
Eric Hunter made a motion which was seconded by Lori Allison to approve the February, 2014 minutes as distributed. The motion was passed by the board.
Eric gave the Treasurer’s Report which was approved.
Cindy said that WCB will have 18 votes at the National Convention this year. Denise is recovering from a staph infection, but will continue to manage the database and will continue to serve as chair of the Board of Publications of ACB.
After the March meeting of the SRC, information about the proposed changes at the OTC was disseminated to consumer organizations in this state. Collaboratively, the WCB board wrote a statement that conveyed WCB’s support for these changes. The industrial arts component of shop has been eliminated, replaced by ESL instruction and volunteer community service projects, though Home maintenance will be retained. The OTC was asked to include information about consumer organizations for its participants.
Cindy gave testimony at a hearing at the University of Washington concerning voting rights. She did so in her capacity as President of WCB and an active member of the Voter Advisory Committee in Kitsap County.
Forum calls continue. There are currently five forums. (see Newsline calendar for details). Cindy encouraged those present to take forum information back to their chapters and encourage their participation.
Revamping the Phone System Newsline menu will change quarterly with the publication of each Newsline. Articles will be chosen which can be read in a timely manner. Chapter Happenings will be another topic. News for this will be due at the end of each month for inclusion the following month. Committee lists will be updated annually.
Our phone line is staffed by receptionists five days a week. Cindy commended those serving in this capacity.
Cindy has been asked to serve on the committee which is working to transition to the Unified English Braille Code which will be implemented by 2016. The first meeting will be May 15th.
$150 has been set aside to purchase items for the auction at National Convention. Those with donations should notify Cindy.
The Walkathon and the MMS program were also discussed.
To receive a $700 loan or a $200 stipend to attend National Convention, applicants need to have been members since 7/13/2013. Recipients need to be in attendance any time voting occurs and must also be present at the caucus breakfast.
Cindy informed us that Steve Fiksdal was chosen to receive the Durward McDaniel First Timer Award from ACB to attend National Convention.
The First Timer Committee had 10 applications to attend National Convention. The name of the winner will be forthcoming.
Julie reported that 15 attended this current leadership seminar. History of the organization, PR, and resolution writing were some of the topics discussed. 218 individuals have attended Leadership Seminar over the past 13 years. Kirk Adams, CEO of the Lighthouse, Inc. was the banquet speaker. T-shirts were distributed with “Ocean of Opportunity” on the front and a logo on the back.
Alco discussed the conversion to digital. 66 cartridges have been sent out, and the return has been very good. The cartridges were $7 a piece costing $462. Their containers cost $.90 costing $59.40. Reading was four hours at $20 per hour costing $80. The grand total was $601.40.
Alco asked people submitting articles with unusual names to put the phonetic spelling in parenthesis to assist the narrator.
The due date for articles for the June Newsline was given, and Alco urged all those who can to receive Newsline via e-mail or on the web.
Sue discussed the activities of the Advocacy Committee. She urged everyone to read documents before signing them. Failure to do so has caused many, tremendous grief.
PR Website Oversight
Gaylen has been reviewing the website to find typos and information which needs to be updated. She has added “About Us”, as well as officer biographies and photos. She has added Google Analytics so she can track how many people visit each page. Information is continually being added to the home page. Hopefully, the scholarship section will be a permanent part of the page. Kean is testing some spam-filtering software, Spam Assassin which is built into the software. Gaylen is developing multiple backups from different sources in case of a catastrophic failure. She is designing a new website next quarter so she will not be the only one who can add information and clean up code. If Word Press is used, others could administer the website.
Tim McCorckle submitted requested changes to Kean to update application form and cover letter pages. The deadline for receipt of scholarship applications is August 15, 2014.
Aging and Blindness Committee:
Rhonda Nelson reported that in March, Deb Lewis gave an excellent presentation about the Independent Living Program. The committee is looking for topics of interest relative to seniors.
On the history page, Berl has updated the article concerning the organized blind movement in Washington State. Frank has sent to the History Committee a compilation of minutes from 1992-2004. He has also been sending articles to the WCB list about earlier organization conventions.
Families with Blind Children:
Meka discussed the Braille Challenge held at WTBBL on March 1, 2014. There were 10 participants. Meka noted the importance of partnering with other agencies holding events. This committee will sponsor a dinner for the YES Program at the end of June. The committee is working out the logistics for a youth conference to be held at our convention in Tacoma this year. The article about the Braille Challenge is on the phone system.
Lori Allison enumerated the many activities and corresponding expenses of the Membership Committee and requested a $1,050 budget increase for the committee. Frank moved that this be done, and the motion was seconded by Alco and Julie. It passed.
Gloria Walling encouraged chapters to be thinking about award nominees. The submission deadline is August 31.
Stuart reported that his committee has served eight individuals this year. One individual was helped with the cost of essential medication. Someone else needed funds for food. Another person was helped with a water bill. The rest have been seeking assistance with power bills. Of the $5,000 budgeted, the committee has spent $2,641.89. The maximum one-time expenditure for an individual is $400.
Cindy discussed our 2014 convention which will be held at the Hotel Murano October 30-November 1, 2014. The cost of registration is the same as last year. Our national representative is ACB President, Kim Charlson. Our keynote speaker will be Representative Cyrus Habib. Noted author J A Jance will be the Friday luncheon speaker. There will be no breakout sessions or tours this year. (See Newsline for further details).
The March meeting of the SRC was held in Vancouver, WA. The committee had a most informative tour of the school. Upon Bronson Goo’s retirement, someone will be hired to teach English as a Second Language and to coordinate volunteer community projects. The job announcement was posted last week. The next meeting will be on June 6, 2014 at the Seattle office from 9:00 A.M.-4:00 P.M. People can participate by phone. The agenda will be sent out several weeks in advance.
Sue encouraged anyone interested in joining the SRC to make application through the governor’s office. She listed some membership categories: business and labor, members of consumer organizations, qualified rehab counselor, and parents of blind children. The governor would like to have a number of applicants from which to choose.
Mike Santi, VRC in Tacoma retired and his replacement is Juanessa Scott. Keiko Namekata will be retiring this year.
This year, the SRC meetings were moved to Fridays in the hope that the public and people representing other agencies would attend. At the December meeting, a decision will be made about when and where meetings will occur next year.
The next WTBBL PAC meeting will take place on June 7, 2014 from 9:00-11:00 AM. It will be a teleconference. Notice of the meeting will be sent out two weeks in advance. The Ten Square Tea, honoring patrons over 100 years old was held on May 10, 2014 from 1:00-3:00 PM.
WSSB report was not available because of Berl’s absence.
Kevin Daniel spoke briefly about the Beep Baseball game between the Seattle Sluggers and the Seattle Police Department which will be held May 31, 2014 at Walt Hundley Park.
No money from VDPC. Cindy will ask for a report from that entity at the August board meeting.
Cindy has received two proposals: one from the Hotel Murano and one from the Seattle Airport Marriott. The Hotel Murano’s bid was $94 a night per room. The Seattle Airport Marriott’s bid is $99 per room. Because time is of the essence, Cindy said she may have to call a special meeting of the board to make a decision about the selection of a hotel.
Acuconference lowered our rate from 5.9 cents per minute to 3.9 cents per minute. Cindy continues to research other teleconferencing options.
The August board meeting will be held at WTBBL on August 16, 2014 from 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM. Cindy needs to be notified by August 10 if you are planning to have lunch there. She will be sending out information about lunch options. Fast Rabbit will be catering it.
The meeting was adjourned by acclamation at 3:00 PM.
By Cindy Van Winkle and Gaylen Floy
We’re bringing out the heavy hitters this fall with J. A. Jance, Cyrus Habib, and ACB President, Kim Charlson! We tackle Emergency Preparedness, the Future of Braille, Parenting as a Blind Person, Staying Safe in our Communities, and Employment. There’s also depth to this lineup as we hear from Microsoft, the Three Agencies, the Lighthouse, Audio Book Ministries, and about our own Tim McCorcle’s Big Adventure in Norway. And that's just our program!
The exhibit hall will be bigger and better than ever before with products and services most of which have those with visual impairments in mind.
The Showcase of Talent will provide great entertainment. Would you like to be part of the action? Audition to emcee the Showcase of Talent by submitting a cover letter and audition recording. Request the criteria by sending an . You need to act fast, though, as the deadline to submit your clip is July 20.
The business meeting will help set the course for the work of WCB in 2015 and every member is encouraged to actively participate.
What issues will WCB confront in 2015? Are there issues that you believe need to be addressed? Then start drafting that powerful resolution or constitutional amendment. Watch for details informing you about where to submit your ideas. This information will be found in the upcoming bulletin which will be available in early August.
Each night, hospitality will provide a place for mingling in a relaxed environment. This is a great opportunity to talk with old friends and to make some new ones.
There will be something at the 2014 WCB Convention for everyone: business, pleasure, social, educational, and opportunities for a great deal of fun. So whether your Grand Slam is served on a plate or batted from one, the WCB Convention is the place to be the weekend of October 30 through November 1.
by Gloria Walling, Chair, Awards Committee
Now is the time to be thinking about worthy recipients for the following WCB Awards to be presented at the 2014 WCB convention. Then, you must take action and write a letter explaining how your nominee meets the spirit of the particular award. Letters must not exceed 350 words, should include contact information for both nominator and nominee, and must be emailed to the Awards Committee in care of Gloria Walling no later than August 31, 2014 to be considered.
The Outstanding Advocacy Award. This award is given to individuals who champion and safeguard the legal rights and entitlements afforded to blind and partially sighted people and who promote and support improvements to the lives of these individuals.
The NEWSLINE Editor's Award. This award is given in acknowledgement of an article that is considered to be outstanding in reporting of a blindness-related event, activity, or program, or for an article of original content that comments on issues, concerns, and realities of daily life for blind and partially sighted people.
The Employer of the Year Award. This award is exclusively intended for those employers who are not involved in the training or rehabilitation of, or direct service provision to people who are blind or partially sighted. It is given to an employer who has taken proactive steps to recruit and hire qualified blind and partially sighted people as well as create a working environment in which these individuals can advance.
The Business of the Year Award. This award is given to a business which has provided outstanding customer service to people who are blind or partially sighted and which has demonstrated its consideration of blind and partially sighted customers by providing appropriate and respectful service to these customers and where appropriate, has made its materials available and accessible via Braille, recordings, large print, or accessible websites. Special mention should be made if this business employs any people who are blind or partially sighted.
The One World Award. This is an award given to an individual or entity whose actions have resulted in minimizing the impact of blindness by creating an opportunity for equal access such as providers or sponsors of described movies, plays, or museums, and describers and narrators of sporting events.
Certificate of Outstanding Service to WCB: This award is given to express appreciation to those members whose consistent donation of their skills, services, and time have contributed to the successful operation of the Washington Council of the Blind.
The Chapter of the Year Award. This award is given to a chapter of WCB which has demonstrated outstanding community interaction and outreach through presentations at schools, community events, and meetings.
We look forward to receiving your nominations.
By Julie Brannon, Chair, Leadership Committee
And where might that ocean of opportunity be found you might ask? I have the answer. Within the many components of the Washington Council of the Blind. And to whom were these ocean currents recently flowing?? I have that answer also-the 15 leadership participants at the 2014 leadership seminar. This is WCB’s 13th leadership seminar, and the leadership committee keeps saying, “They just get better every year!”
Participants represented nine WCB chapters and our one affiliate. The group consisted of some longtime American Council of the Blind members, some returning WCB members and some very very new members to WCB; all of this contributing to the makeup of the group being very diverse and comprehensive in locale, council experience, and personal backgrounds.
This particular group of participants, after hearing about WCB history, leadership principles, personality types and how they relate to conflict and leadership styles, the importance of the local chapter and the reason for and writing of a resolution were ready to immediately embrace that ocean of opportunity found in WCB. Kirk Adams, CEO of the Lighthouse, Inc. was the banquet speaker. He encouraged us to take advantage of leadership opportunities wherever we find them.
This seminar proved that WCB has some great leaders on the horizon, who truly embraced the purpose and passion of WCB this learning weekend. Congratulations to the following 15 members who participated in this informational and fun-filled event: Christina Bowler (CCCB), Jeff Bowler (CCCB), Trena Casada (PCAB), Gale Chappell (GEACB), Young Choi (UBS), Debby Clark (UBSPO), Steve Fiksdal (SKB), Lisa George (YVCB), Reg George (YVCB), Dan Lovell (CCCB), Sheri Richardson (GDUWS), Holly Turri (UBWC), Jim Turri (UBWC), Marcia White (GEACB), and Linda Wickersham (KCC). We look forward to seeing where the ocean current takes these future leaders in their respective chapters and in WCB.
By Holly Turly, Leadership participant
When I heard the theme of the 2014 WCB leadership program was Ocean of Opportunity, I knew I was going to have a great time.
My husband Jim and I are new to Washington State. All my life, the ocean and maritime matters have played an integral part in my being. For me, the best part about living in Bellingham is that we are only five minutes from Puget Sound.
Our train trip down was wonderful. Traveling via rail is the only way to go. There is plenty of room to spread out and my guide dog Sara didn’t have to be squeezed under that seat back in front of me.
The hotel was very nice. The relieving area was easy to find and the staff was extremely kind and helpful to me.
Federal way is just too busy. Although until the past year I’ve always been a city gal, it was quite a shock to be back amid the traffic and hustle. I was glad to get back to the slower pace of our new home.
Not enough positive things can be said about the program and those in charge. Everything was well organized. Each presenter was well prepared, interesting and thought provoking.
It was wonderful to meet 14 diverse and fascinating participants. Knowing folks from across our big state makes me feel a lot more at home.
Lots of humor leavened what could have honestly been some pretty uninteresting topics. Who knew that writing resolutions could be fun? Group participation was encouraged and opinions could be freely expressed.
The topics were current and practical to my life. Learning about differing personality types and conflict resolution has already helped me.
The meals provided by WCB were delicious. It was wonderful to change tables both at mealtimes and in class.
The banquet was delicious and interesting. The keynote speaker gave me lots to think about. Although I am a retired woman, there were lots of take away points I could share with our blind daughter who lives back in Maryland.
In conclusion, I would highly recommend this program. I feel much more prepared to be a leader in the United Blind of Whatcom County. I would like to thank those in charge for giving me such an excellent educational and fun opportunity.
By Malissa Hudson, Chair, WCB First timers Committee
Well, we’ve gotten one thing out of the way and that was deciding who the lucky person was who would go to the National ACB Conference and Convention in Las Vegas. I want to publically congratulate Zandra Brown from Olympia for being our first timer representative from Washington. Now, my committee and I would love to receive your application to go to the WCB state convention taking place from October 30-November 1 in Tacoma, WA. It will be a weekend of fun, education, and perhaps best of all, great fellowship! If you have been a WCB member since April 30, 2014, have no outstanding loans in default, and have never attended a state convention before, we want to hear from you. Please submit a letter of interest to Malissa Hudson, Chair of the WCB First Timers committee via . The deadline date to apply is August 31, 2014. If you need assistance in writing your letter, please ask someone in your chapter, or you can always call me at (206) 327-9207 with any questions or concerns. Happy writing!
By Danette Dixon, member, Scholarship Committee
Hello WCB Family and Friends:
I have exciting news from the WCB Scholarship Committee.
This year our organization is actively awarding scholarships to legally blind residents of Washington State, Attending or planning to attend an accredited college, university, or technical school in the United States during the 2014-2015 academic year. Last year WCB awarded six scholarships ranging in value from $1,500 to $3,500.
The committee invites blind residents of Washington State who are seeking funds for their college education to apply through our scholarship program. Required and necessary documents are specified in an online cover letter and scholarship application, which are available on our web site: www.wcbinfo.org. Click “go directly to announcements”, now activate the 2014 scholarship application link. Here you will find the cover letter with instructions, followed by a link to the application page.
The selection process includes a recorded telephone interview with a scholarship committee member. Scholarship recipients will be invited to join us at our 2014 state convention in November in Tacoma, Washington.
If you or a potential applicant have any questions or need assistance in completing our application, please feel free to contact our Committee Chair, Tim McCorcle:
Phone: 206-522-5850 or .
Thank you for your interest and good luck!
By Kevin Daniel
The sun wasn’t the only thing shining at 1:37 p.m., on Saturday, May 31st, 2014, at Walt Hundley Playfield (field #2) in West Seattle, Seattle’s first baseball team for the blind did shine for one hundred and twenty-five excited, curious, and supportive spectators and fans.
Encouraged and sponsored by the Washington Council of the Blind (WCB), the ten blind players and three sighted support players who make up the Seattle South King Sluggers team took it to the Seattle Police Department (SPD) 7-0. Jacob Kumaunu and Sam Rodriguez led the charge with two early runs each which seemed to take the fight right out of the enthusiastic SPD squad. The day was bathed in sunshine and excited anticipation. The large contingent of blind/visually impaired persons attending knew the event was something special and groundbreaking.
The (SPD) did manage to actually hit the ball. However, the well-seasoned and practiced Sluggers defense managed to make sure a run wasn’t scored. At times, it appeared that the SPD’s vociferous claims that they would be the victors had the Sluggers a bit nervous. If this was the case, the multiple hits and stellar defense played by the Sluggers were the remedy for the nervousness.
The game and event featured a magnificent play-by-play description by Marlaina Lieberg who also described the surrounding activities. Her assistance made the game and event even more accessible to the attending blind spectators. A KIRO news crew filmed and reported it all. Fundraising activities were also held which included: A LIONS Club hot dog feast, Sluggers t-shirts and jerseys for sale, and guest batters attempting to hit the beep baseball under blindfold.
A highlight of the event was a spectacular rendition by Ms. Meka White, of a crowd-pleasing Take Me Out to the Ball Game sing-a-long. A game ball was presented by Coach Kevin Daniel to the outstanding player of the game, Mr. Sam Rodriguez.
There were information tables for the Sluggers, GDUI, and WCB, the sponsor of the event. WCB provided information about the organization’s education and advocacy activities to those attending.
It would be fair to say, “what a day for the blind!” This sentiment was uttered numerous times by the blind and sighted alike throughout the afternoon. You could also hear, “what a cool thing this beep baseball is!”, “it looks really hard”, “I didn’t realize blind people could do this!” There truly seemed to be a realization that, not only are blind people more capable than previously thought, but skilled and ability-rich. Attitudes about blindness were changed.
When the South King Council of the Blind decided to adopt and support beep baseball as a program activity, a day just like this one was envisioned as a goal.
A successful program was the result. Of course, this is a new program and much more growing and developing is clearly needed, but it’s one step closer to being a model example of what a (WCB) chapter program can be. No wonder that the sun wasn’t the only thing shining on a day that had so many bright moments and so much illuminating warmth for the sport of Beep Baseball and its players.
By Cindy Van Winkle
It's hard to believe that it has been eight years since WCB went as an organized group to a Mariner Game. But so it has been. Well, our hiatus is over!
On Sunday, August 10, many of us will be cheering on the Seattle Mariners to victory over the Chicago White Sox. We will enjoy the luxury of being seated in the comfortable Hit It Here Café, where our food and our radios can be placed right in front of us. The cost is $55 per ticket which includes an $18 food voucher for the Café.
To reserve your ticket, contact Cindy no later than June 30, – 360-689-0827. Money must be received by this date to ensure your spot and can be paid via check or credit card through PayPal.
Don't let obstacles such as distance stop you from participating. We've had chapters organize a car load in the past, and so we know it can be done! So, get your game on and join in the fun!
By Kevin Frankeberger, Ph.D.
In November 2011, My Blind Spot’s founder and CEO, Albert Rizzi—who in early 2006 suddenly became completely blind was looking for financial management software for his fledgling nonprofit. He was disappointed to find that QuickBooks (QB), Intuit’s widely used accounting and small business management software did not interface effectively with assistive technologies used by the blind, the visually impaired, and the print disabled. (The print disabled include not only the visually impaired, but also individuals with motor, perceptual, developmental, cognitive, and learning challenges.)
With each new release over the program’s long history, QuickBooks’ coding and programmatic intricacies became increasingly incompatible with screen readers and other adaptive tools. With the release of QB 2013, usability for the disabled consumer became nonexistent.
Albert found this unacceptable. He phoned Intuit Customer Support and connected with Lori Samuels, Accessibility Program Manager. Thus began a series of productive discussions. Lori heard and understood the needs and concerns of the community that now included Albert Rizzi as a blind individual. Albert also came to understand the challenges Intuit faced. With five million consumers reliant on QuickBooks, Intuit was reluctant to make changes to QB’s platform that might disrupt its functionality for that larger consumer base. My Blind Spot (MBS) and Intuit came to agree that it was vital to make QB accessible to the blind, visually impaired, and print disabled. Many had lobbied for decades to make this happen, without success. Intentionally ignoring the failures of the past, My Blind Spot assembled a group of accessibility professionals and beta testers. Intuit contributed the expertise of their engineers. Together, the team took QuickBooks apart and put it back together in a form that people of all abilities can use.
This achievement will be life-changing for many of the estimated 19 million severely visually impaired individuals of working age in the United States.
For the first time, accountants, bookkeepers, and tax preparers transitioning into the print-disabled community will have the choice to stay gainfully employed. Blind and print-disabled people of all ages will be able to consider and pursue finance-related careers previously closed to them, and they will be able to manage their businesses and personal finances independently.
As barriers to accessibility continue to fall, we who are blind and visually impaired will find new doors open to us.
Currently, Intuit is working on improving the accessibility of Quicken for Windows, and My Blind Spot will once again provide beta testers from our community to give feedback to the Quicken product team.
With companies like Quicken working to improve accessibility for blind/visually impaired individuals, there truly is a lot going on to be encouraged about. Our challenge is to embrace it all with open minds and give of our time, talent, and treasure.
By Jeannine Prindle with Sheri Richardson
My yellow lab Guide Dog, Cranberry, and I plus husband, Jack, visited Hawaii for two weeks. Jack and I had a great trip. I think that Cranberry would say that the trip was OK. She had difficulties with the relieving box and the crowds of people. But she made lots of new friends, got lots of pats and hugs and explored some interesting places.
We started to prepare for the trip back in November of 2013 to make arrangements for Cranberry’s rabies titer test, which is required for dogs entering Hawaii. It was helpful to have GDB’s travel agent at Dimensions in Travel taking care of all the paperwork for Cranberry and being the expert informant between Norwegian Cruise Lines and us.
As soon as we landed, airline officials met us. Because of Hawaii’s strict rules on animal importation, I was told that there would be an individual from the Department of Agriculture to do a “terminal inspection” of Cranberry. Unfortunately, that individual wasn’t at the terminal so we had to walk about a mile to the Department of Agriculture office.
Jack and I were celebrating our 40th anniversary. It just so happened, that Jack’s brother and his wife got married a week after we did and they, too, were in Hawaii to celebrate. So the four of us met up and spent the day at the Polynesian Cultural Center. Cranberry rode in the canoes and sat through several native dancing shows with no problems. Following a luau dinner, the final show had lots of dancing and music and a finale with fire dancing. It was a wonderful show and Cranberry missed it all. She slept through the whole thing, even the most noisy parts!
When we boarded our cruise ship, we got a number of comments from crew members saying, “We had two guide dogs on our last trip, just the week before. Both dogs were labra doodles.” I was wondering if the guides belonged to a couple I knew and later, found out that they did!! We left Honolulu and sailed throughout the night, arriving in Kahului, on the island of Maui.
Cranberry did not approve of her relieving box filled with kitty litter. I had brought a paper towel with her urine scent on it in hopes that Cranberry would take to the box as readily as she had done on our last two cruises. Unfortunately, this did not suit Cranberry and she refused to use it. However, the box became her sleeping area! She enjoyed sleeping on the warm litter in the sunshine and if we left the lanai door open, she would head right out for her own private ‘sandy’ beach. Silly dog!! Thank goodness, we were on land every day, so she could relieve on dry land.
Our first day on the Big Island of Hawaii at Hilo was a day both Jack and I had been looking forward to for months. Jack had made arrangements for the ‘Circle of Fire’ helicopter tour. He said it was the best thing he had done on our cruise. Cranberry and I went to the Volcanoes National Park by bus. This was one of my favorite activities. We were originally told that we couldn’t go by ourselves but I told the bus driver that we would be fine and just got on the bus. The bus driver told us many interesting facts and stories. We got out of the bus and did some exploring. Cranberry wore her boots all day without complaint as the hard lava rocks were sharp. In the Visitors’ Center, there was a tactile exhibit that showed three stages of the geological development of the park. It was great!
Before we left home, I ordered some “business cards” for Cranberry. They had her picture on one side, along with her name and the words, “Guide Dogs for the Blind” Inc.’ and GDB’s contact information. The reverse side displayed GDB’s mission and information about the school and how to donate. These cards were really popular!
I really enjoyed having Cranberry with me on the cruise. All our early preparations were well worth the time, trouble and cost. Would I take a guide dog on another vacation trip to Hawaii? Definitely, yes!! Would I take a dog on another cruise? Again, yes. In fact, Cranberry has been on four cruises now and has been a real asset to me on each one. I would wholeheartedly recommend it.
Contributed by Gaylen Floy
Going Blind: Not Without A Chuckle
By Jeffrey Gerhardstein
(Jeffrey Gerhardstein is one of five service coordinators with the Full Life SHA Mental Health program. Jeffrey is a former low-vision counselor with SightConnection. He also taught mobility.)
"Jeffrey, every chance you get, please tell my story. If it helps some other poor soul, then we did good." — Glenn Nickel
On this visit, Glenn had lost a little more vision. And a little was a lot since there wasn't much left.
I exclaimed, "Good to see you, Glenn." But Glenn threw me a curve ball. "Nice to hear you, Jeffrey." Right behind that came a soft chuckle. In his own way, Glenn had long prepared himself for this moment./p>
Going blind is confusing, unpredictable and frightening. Folks worry for their safety and security. Going blind can be abrupt or, as for Glenn, it can be a lifelong ordeal. Makes for an emotional roller coaster with all sorts of ups and downs: meltdowns, bumps and bruises and panic attacks. Many lose sleep when their sight is going, worry what vision may remain in the morning. One thing that was not about to escape Glenn, however, was his droll sense of humor.
I first visited Glenn in rural South King County. He loved to gab on the telephone and listen to cowboy stories with his talking book player. On one such visit, Glenn's face was black and blue and he sported a shiner. "Jeffrey, I had a run-in with the bathroom door in the middle of the night and the door won!" By that time Glenn had become a bit of a shut-in.
Glenn had a Scottish terrier companion named Max. Glenn would pull on his cowboy boots and hat and the two of them went for four daily walks on their country road. Glenn counted and recorded each of his paces like rosary beads and carried the long white cane.
Glenn had the darndest time of it. He suffered vertigo and occasionally got turned around. Glenn would get a bad scare because so few people lived around him. Eventually a neighbor would spot him and pull him to safety.
Glenn never stopped walking that country road no matter how many scares. Where did he get the nerve? He got it from going back to school — "blind school" he would call it. One friend saw him crossing the street at great personal peril and declared, "Glenn, you're scaring the daylights out of me. I am not going out with you ever again until you use the white cane!" That settled it. Glenn was proud and had procrastinated too long. So he shrugged and said, "Okay, you win."
After that showdown, Glenn turned for help. He got the cane training he needed and got enrolled with ACCESS. You could say Glenn got with the vision rehabilitation program! After that he was on fire, a man on a mission. He got involved in South King Council of the Blind. He hosted bowling tournaments to help raise funds for the Council. He kept on bowling without seeing the alley stripes or the pins! He bowled from memory and kibitzed with friends all the while. He formed a support group, attended conferences and gave talks to the sighted community. He contacted the Auburn Lions Club one year and volunteered for their White Cane Days festival booth.
Glenn made some big life decisions and relocated to his old neighborhood in West Seattle. He was now closer to the bowling leagues he loved and his longtime friends. He moved to SHAG, affordable senior housing. Our urban cowboy got to meet a lot of new friends in his new digs, especially lady friends. As Glenn told it, "Jeffrey, we had our dance last night and I was dancing up a storm with one gal in particular. I have no idea who she was and I didn't recognize her voice but it sure was fun!"
Glenn was in his 80's last autumn when he passed away. There was a beautiful memorial service for him. I played the guitar and we all sang "Take Me Home, Country Road." Everyone got real chatty at his service, just the way Glenn was with us on the phone all those years.
If you are losing vision and you haven't told someone, take a page from Glenn's book. Get help. No need to wait and worry and lose more sleep. Don't you dare let going blind keep you from dancing with the ladies.
By Shannon Curry with Danielle Miller
There have been lots of exciting things happening at WTBBL this spring.
In March, WTBBL’s first locally produced audio book, The Alpine Journey by Mary Daheim, was uploaded to BARD. WTBBL was one of eight libraries that participated in a pre-pilot program with NLS to prepare for the inclusion of network library produced books on BARD. We are so thrilled that you and patrons across the United States, will have access to the super books we produce here at WTBBL. Starting in June, watch for more titles from WTBBL on BARD (you can recognize a book produced by a network library because the book number begins DBC).
On April 17, we held our Volunteer Appreciation Day. There were over 50 people in attendance for a fun-filled morning of delicious food and a talk by local author Indu Sundaresan, who writes historical fiction set in India. Her Mehrunnisa trilogy, which begins with The Twentieth Wife, is available in digital format from WTBBL.
On May 11, we held our Ten Squared High Tea, which honors our patrons who are 100 years old or older. The event was well-attended, with three centenarians who were able to participate, as well as several other volunteers, friends of the library, and staff. The speaker for the Tea was local author Kat Richardson, whom you may know from her paranormal mystery series, Greywalker.
Finally, we are excited about the launch of our youth summer reading program, which begins June 14 with a kick-off party at WTBBL. This year our themes are “Fizz Boom Read” and “Spark a Reaction!"
As you can tell, our spring has been very lively. We look forward to an exciting summer, but we are always here with any questions you may have about your service. Feel free to call us at (800) 542-0866 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By: Dr. Dean O. Stenehjem
May 30, 2014
WSSB continues to explore new ways of reaching out and helping meet the needs of blind and visually impaired (BVI) children, families and districts throughout Washington and some of our neighboring states. Over the years the diversification of services and expansion of partnerships has proven to be a great strategy in meeting student’s needs during times of shrinking resources from the state and federal government. Below I will provide a bulleted list of changes that have occurred and other potential changes that are either in process of implementation and/or being explored for implementation over the next few years.
Outreach Services (contracted services provided to local school districts): WSSB began this service in 1990-91 with one person hired half time to help meet student’s needs in Vancouver. Currently we have 18 outreach staff scattered throughout the state and are recruiting to fill two more positions in an attempt to assist districts and students in their local community. [outreach is designed to be a self-supporting service based upon contracts with districts]
Ogden Resource Center (Instructional Resource Center–Regional Library and Braille Access Center–braille production) continues to grow in meeting the needs of over 1,400 students and providing over 600,000 pages of braille on a yearly basis. [This is designed to be supported by funding from: WSSB, OSPI, and fee for services. The center is very close to being self-supporting.] The women’s prison transcriber program currently has 18 women producing braille, most of whom are Nationally Certified Braillists. This program is a partnership with Correctional Industries, WSSB and Corrections, and has served as a model for the country.
Teachers of the Visually Impaired (TVI) Shortage: currently there is a huge shortage of trained TVIs and Orientation and Mobility (O&M) Instructors. Due to this shortage, hundreds of unfilled positions occur each year throughout the U.S. In order to help attract more TVIs and O&M Instructors to WSSB for student teaching, WSSB is moving a modular home onto campus between Clarke (2) and Hall (3) cottage in order to provide housing and hopefully bring TVIs and O&M Instructors to Washington from other states. This will be in place by the first part of September, 2014. This facility is being paid for by private local funds.
Portland State University–TVI training program: Dr. James Bickford, Professor is retiring and Dr. Holly Lawson will take over this important program this coming summer/fall. I have spoken with Dr. Lawson and she is very interested in forming new partnerships to continue to provide excellent services and explore options for expansion.
On-campus intensive programs continue to meet the needs of students throughout Washington and now in the state of Oregon. The on-campus program provides services to students in grades 5+ through grades 12+. Currently 73 students are receiving services. Each year we have a large turn-over with students graduating and new students entering the program for these highly specialized classes designed to expand educational skills, enhance BVI needed skill training, build confidence and help create a spirit of “I can”!
Accessible online learning options continue to grow. Mrs. Sherry Hahn, Digital Research and Development Coordinator is retiring the end of June and Mr. Michael Bicknell will step into this important position. Sherry has done an excellent job during her tenure at WSSB and we wish her the best in retirement. WSSB, with a few other partners, has lead the way in the area of development of accessible usable online learning options and has received very nice recognition from Microsoft for the work that has been done on and off campus. Beginning next fall, WSSB could have 15 students enrolled in online learning classes, mostly in the area of mathematics.
Birth to Three Services: During this past year a task force made up of the Department of Services for the Blind (DSB), Department of Early Learning (DEL), Washington Sensory Disabilities Services (WSDS)/OSPI, Department of Health (DOH), Neo-Intensive Care Unit Staff from the U of WA, and WSSB have been meeting to explore how we could begin to improve services to BVI children and their families. A decision was made to have WSSB hire a Statewide Coordinator of Birth to Three services in an attempt to locate all children in need, coordinate training and work on putting in place solid and sustainable service. Hopefully, by mid to late June WSSB will be able to announce the name of a person to head up this important program. WSSB will fund this position for a couple of years from private local funds while working with the Governor’s office in trying to secure state funding that hopefully will be able to tap into new federal funds. More information will be presented over this next year.
In addition to this, I was asked to co-present with Dr. Eugene McMahon, Executive Director of COSB in conducting an educational briefing to Congress in Washington D.C. this past month. The Council of Schools/Services for the Blind (COSB) wanted me to highlight how many schools for the Blind have built diverse service delivery systems that are having major impact on BVI students throughout their respective states.
Compiled by Joleen Ferguson
Capital City Council of the Blind (CCCB)
by Berl Colley
CCCB averaged 20-25 members and guests at the March through May meetings. We submitted dues for 34 members to WCB.
Our guest speaker in March was from the Tumwater Public Works department. Tumwater is installing audible signals at a number of intersections this year. Congratulations to Zandra Brown for her persistence in trying to obtain these signals for the last five years.
In early May, 20 members and friends attended the CCCB spring pizza party at the Olympia Casamea. We lost our regular location when Apollos closed its doors.
Alan Bentson ran our May chapter meeting, because President Walling had to go to Seattle. Meka White was our guest and she was accompanied by WCB President Cindy Van Winkle and her husband Tim.
Congratulations to Zandra Brown for being selected as WCB's first timer to the National convention in Las Vegas. Also congratulations to Jeff and Christina Bowler and Dan Lovell for being selected to attend WCB's leadership training in early May.
The club was very glad to have Denise Colley back from her hospitalization stay resulting from a staph infection.
Greater Everett Area Council of the Blind (GEACB)
by Chris Coulter
Greater Everett Area Council of the Blind has been very busy since the beginning of this year. Though most of our work has been of the unexciting but necessary kind, our meetings were informative and lively. I’ll tell you about the meetings and about our version of cleaning up our act.
Our President, Danette Dixon, informed us in March that our constitution was in need of some updating. Several of us took the time to look at the language that needed updating and researched how to make that language clearer and how to take care of bringing our constitution into better agreement with WCB’s other chapter constitutions in the area of elections. At the April meeting we adopted two amendments to the constitution. One of the amendments is to eliminate mention of amounts in the section on dues. This keeps us from having to amend the constitution every time state and national dues are raised. We are simply making it clear that the treasurer is responsible for paying state and national dues and members are responsible for paying annual dues by the deadline already stated in the constitution. We also changed the month of our elections from January to October, which coordinates our elections with those of most other chapters. This makes it easier to update the web site when new officers are elected, among other things.
Eric and Joanne Hunter were our guests at the April meeting. They ate lunch with us and observed our business meeting as we finalized the amendment process and passed both amendments. Just before we adjourned, Eric gave us a short presentation about how he became involved with ACB and WCB. He also talked a little bit about fundraising.
The main topic at our May meeting was putting together a fundraising event at the Outback Steak House here in Everett. The event is on Saturday, June 28th from 10:30 AM until noon. We hope many of you will come, but if you can’t, you’ll hear about it in the September Newsline.
So, there you have it. Our constitution got a spring cleaning and we shared in the excitement of putting together a brand-new fundraiser. There really isn’t a dull moment around the Everett Area Council of the Blind.
Guide Dog Users of Washington State (GDUWS)
by Sheri Richardson, President
Tails are wagging vigorously and there's a new spring in our steps as we humans and our guides welcome the coming of warmer weather. Just as I thought Max, my Seeing Eye dog, was ready to retire and spend his days lazing on his couch, he sprang back to work with renewed vigor for trips to Salt Lake City and Atlanta.
Speaking of trips, Cranberry and her person, Janine Prindle, have recently returned from a fun filled trip to Hawaii which included a cruise. You can read all about their adventures in a Newsline article submitted by Janine.
Toby Willis, the founder and director of Independent Guide Dogs, is pleased to report the school has successfully placed its first team and both members are doing well. Toby has also recently retired his own guide and is now working with Dazzle, a German shepherd trained by IGD. For those who may not know, IGD is a Seattle based guide dog school which specializes in training German Shepherds as guides. Toby is currently seeking other blind persons who may be interested in serving on the IGD board. For more information, please , or (206) 427-5522.
Lanae Naugle of Enumclaw is a new GDUWS member this year. Lanae has a yellow lab named Faith from the Seeing Eye. They work at the Social Security Administration call center in Auburn. Lanae loves Nordic skiing and sailing.
Bernie Vinther, a new member from Kennewick, shares this about himself: "I'm on my third guide dog. My first dog was a German Shepherd, the second one was a Lab-Golden cross, and my third dog is a silly lovable Yellow Lab who's going to be retired this year. German Shepherd is my favorite breed, so that's what I'm applying for.
I am totally blind, but once I could drive and get speeding tickets as well as anyone.
For the last 11 years I have been employed as a full service manual machinist, and sometimes I do a little bit of electronics designing and testing too. I love my job because I get to use my hands and my brains to work on just about anything that walks in the door, and so my work never gets dull because almost every day is a new challenge.
Besides work, I am in school again taking a Business Innovations class. I like going to school and finding out if I can still learn and remember things, but this time I'm not going for another degree. I already have two degrees in electronics and one in machine technology.
I only enjoy reading about science and technology, but I also enjoy doing other things with my wife such as square dancing, hiking, camping, swimming, water skiing, exploring easy going caves, and experimenting with real old automobiles. I am also an outspoken person who enjoys telling jokes and speaking my mind without using obscene words. Blindness has taught me to be the way I am, otherwise I wouldn't be enjoying life, and would be sitting on a shelf behind closed doors.
GDUWS is proud to report we have a newly formed Sunshine committee chaired by Danette Dixon. Other committee members include: Hayley Agers, Holly Kaczmarski, Danielle Maher, and Melanee Waite. They have already been busy sending birthday, sympathy and "get well" cards. This is one of the ways GDUWS members stay in touch throughout the year.
There will be a special speaker at the Dayton Lions Club meeting on June 21 who will present information regarding guide dogs trained at Leader Dogs for the Blind. For more information, contact , or 509-520-3521.
GDUWS is proud to support the Seattle Sluggers beep baseball team! By the time you read this publication, human and canine members of GDUWS will have proudly attended the first Sluggers game of the season with more collaboration to report next time. Who knows, maybe one of the lucky guide dogs will catch the ball. Oh yeah, that isn't how the game is played, is it?
I look forward to sharing more news in the coming months. Please contact GDUWS if you have any questions related to living and working with a guide dog. We also accept tax deductible donations as a 501(c3) organization. Until next time, we wish you all happy travels with your dogs, canes or sighted guides.
Jefferson County Council of the Blind (JCCB)
by Carl Jarvis, JCCB Secretary
JCCB is on the move. Really on the move!
President Nancy Kelly-Patnode and husband Pat left their cozy quarters at the SKP Park on Lake Anderson, and bought a home with some elbow room in Sequim. Nancy no longer has to go to her storage shed to use her computer and CCTV. Carl and Cathy Jarvis have already paid Nancy and Pat a visit. Cathy marked appliances so that Nancy can get busy cranking out those yummy pies (hint, hint). Along with the Patnodes, members Richard and Rita Dinger and Bonnie Sherrell reside in Clallam County.
We were all deeply moved by the news of the mud slide at Oso. John and Sue told us of friends who lost family members. We discussed making a contribution from our chapter and Sue offered to match what the chapter gave. Cathy moved to contribute $300. Altogether we sent a check for $650.
Meka White represented WCB at our March meeting. She brought news from around the state, and left a very positive impression among our members.
Vice-President Sue Ammeter took charge of the April meeting while the Patnodes were getting settled into their new home. Guest presenter was Tandra McMillin, Program Coordinator, Department of Emergency Management Services.
Carl and Cathy presented at our May meeting, representing Peninsula Rehabilitation Services and the Independent Living, Older Blind Program. They reported having participated in the Senior Health Fair in Port Angeles and suggested that Port Townsend might consider having a health fair. Lisa Monroe, with Jefferson County Transit, said that there has been a health fair at Fort Warden in past years. She will check to see if another Health Fair is being planned. This is a good example of our need for networking in our community. So from all of us here in JCCB Land, have a grand and glorious summer.
Peninsula Council of the Blind (PCB)
by Kim L. Moberg, President
As always the Peninsula Council of the Blind (PCB) has been a busy chapter. Raising money for things like convention is something that is always an ongoing project. We are either trying to come up with ideas or we are tracking down leads or actually putting the event into motion.
The PCB loves to eat. So, each month our chapter has a social/dinner event. We usually try out some new restaurant in our area or at least one that we have not been to each month. We often try out new places but we also return from time to time to some of our favorites.
One of the highlights since the last Newsline is that we have had our yearly Spring Brunch. It is always a potluck affair. Everyone brought delicious food to share. Thank you Jess Landby, Treasurer of PCB for making it possible for us to have this event at the community center where you live.
Another event that several of our members have taken part in the last several years is the Poggie Club Fishing event here in Kitsap County. Jess Landby caught the biggest fish at 22" and Lisa Norbut, member of PCB coming in with a close second at 21 inches. Others who attended were Cindy Van Winkle WCB President, Tim Van Winkle and Beverly Lewis. PCB members, Michelle Denzer, Board Member of PCB, Meka White, immediate past President of PCB and Stuart Russell, Secretary of PCB were also present. Jess Landby's son Brian was also there.
Our All Ears Book Club meets each month to talk about the book of the month and to share other books that the group might enjoy. Gary Beck, PCB board member heads the book club and is always on the lookout for great books for us to read. Often Gary has members of the chapter select a book for the group to read. This month, for example, Kim Moberg, President PCB is the guest chooser. So for May we are reading The Fifth Vial by Michael Palmer. This is a medical mystery and if you like that sort of thing you will truly like this book. Also, once you have finished the book, the next time your doctor orders lab work for you, you will be asking the person who draws your blood a few questions.
At our May meeting we tried something new. We held a technology event that will happen quarterly directly after our meeting. The topic for this first one was all about iPhones. We discussed things like why we got an iPhone, our favorite apps and so much more. It was fun. Stuart Russell, Secretary of PCB will be in charge of this event.
Pierce County Association of the Blind (PCAB)
by Lori Allison, President
What fantastic weather we have had in Tacoma, and PCAB is hard at work with planning some fun and exciting events. PCAB members have been hard at work planning our annual picnic to be held on August 9th at Spanaway Lake Park. This year our members have decided to have our picnic catered instead of cooking ourselves. It will be a great event with lots of food and games as well as door prizes.
PCAB will also be holding a garage sale at the end of June to help defray the cost of the picnic. This sale will have a dual purpose. Our chapter members will make some money for the picnic and of course, we will have a great time talking and meeting people in our community and letting them know about PCAB/WCB/ACB.
This weekend the chapter will take a van up to the Beep Baseball game and help support the Seattle Sluggers.
This year Pierce County has had four new members and we have had several guests. We are encouraging these visitors to become members. We want to invite everyone, if you are ever in Tacoma around the third Saturday, to come and check us out. Have a great summer.
South Kitsap Council of the Blind (SKCB)
by Carol Brame President
Hello. I hope you are all excited about our upcoming convention this year. We are looking forward to going. Almost all of our chapter wants to come, if only for a day of the convention since it is so close to us this year.
Kevin Jones is on Membership Growth for our club, working from home while taking care of his wife Mary as her life memories fade away. We all enjoyed her joining us in April and we gave her some flowers.
Our guest speaker for April was to be Gloria Walling who became ill and is going to join us at June’s meeting. We are so excited to have her come for a visit.
For Fundraising, we sold some club shirts and made some money.
Other upcoming events: Our annual car wash will be at Novus, 851 Bethel Ave, Port Orchard, July 12th 11-3. Come on by and help out if you like, or have family and friends bring by their vehicles to support us. (Smile)
At our potluck picnic, the chapter provides hamburgers and hotdogs. It will be held on July 26th from 11-3 at Kitsap Regional Park, corner of Jackson and Lund in Port Orchard. The train will be running. We'll have a grand old time. So, mark the date and let me know if you are going to join us.
We did make it to The Coffee Oasis. The food and service were wonderful, not to mention the company of almost all who were there.
Gaylen Floy, Chris Brame and I went to the Low vision Expo and it went extremely well. We were able to give the participants a lot of information about WCB and its committees, as well as other places to go for help. We hyped them up about our local Convention with great speakers, talent show, exhibits and all the new friends they could make. We also promoted the beep baseball game between The Seattle South King County Sluggers and the Seattle Police Department. Till next time we all wish you a wonderful summer.
United Blind of Seattle (UBS)
by Malissa Hudson, Secretary
Well, it’s almost everybody’s favorite time of the year, summertime! I don’t know about all of you, but I’m ready and have waited long enough for the hot sunny weather. United Blind of Seattle has been heating up with all kinds of great things.
I’m happy to announce that we are now meeting in a brand new location! We meet on the third Saturday of each month at a restaurant called Razzi’s, which serves Italian/Greek food. We started meeting there in February and so far, it has been awesome.
In the month of March, we had two representatives come and speak about Audio Pedestrian Signals. In April, we had the distinct honor of welcoming KIXI’s Operations Manager, Program Director and Afternoon Personality Dan Murphy as our guest speaker. Dan is legally blind and has been in the broadcasting industry for over 40 years. He was extremely inspirational, motivational, and humorous as well. In May, Denise Colley was our guest and she talked about legislation and how we can contact our legislators.
The address to Razzi’s, if you decide to come is: 8523 Greenwood Ave North. We meet from 11:30 AM until 1:30 PM, so come join us! Our President, Julie Brannon along with our other officers, board members, and fellow UBS members would be delighted to welcome you! See you next time.
United Blind of Spokane (UBSPO)
by Debby Clark
Greetings from United Blind of Spokane! We have been hard at work. Last convention we arranged for goody bags from Costco, had oversight of three tables at the exhibit hall, and arranged for the Mayor, invocation etc. We also had the Welcome Room and made arrangements for a small army of volunteers. We had fun pulling it all together.
In our February meeting, Dorothy Carroll, a long time member and a past president of UBSPO, had an eye surgery that took her out of a fog and was part of the process that enabled her to use a walker instead of a wheel chair. Congratulations Dorothy! We appreciate you!
March brought Loren Miller, past President of “Day Out for the Blind”, who spoke to us about its history, application process for membership, and the live music and dancing every week. He gave an excellent overview of the organization.
April brought a regional Lions Club representative, talking about grants for free iPhones and cheap data packages, using Spokane as a test area. This was exciting news! Stay tuned for more info.
Frank and Barry Fetterspiel are back from Snow Bird land. We missed you on so many levels. We wish that we could all have been with you in the sun for the winter!
In May, Debby Clark traveled to Federal Way for the leadership training and came back excited and inspired. She had her eyes opened to the good work WCB does. The board meeting was actually her favorite part of the weekend.
Frank Cuta came and shared with us the ways WCB is there for us, and ways we can grow our chapter. Great work Frank!
We also want to welcome our two new members, Jeff Clark and Loren Miller. Jeff brings his expertise in cupcake making, chauffeuring Debby, fundraising and business. Loren plays beep ball, goal ball and is a bowler here in Spokane. Loren has a wood working business as well.
One of our longtime members and a past President, Deborah Jenkins, is working with Riverpoint Academy in Spokane and shares with us her outreach experience as follows.
“Last summer, I visited another Rotary club and had an opportunity to hear the founder of Riverpoint Academy speak. I was not aware that this school existed because it is new and not many people had heard of it yet. Riverpoint Academy (RA) is a STEM school which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. After having a conversation with Mr. Butler, the gentleman who spoke, I was invited to RA to speak to the kids. I was asked to talk about myself and how I do daily things differently. I went up to the school in October and after a few false starts, probably due to shyness, the questions started coming. I brought several things that most people had never seen before such as a color identifier, a talking bible, a thermometer, etc. After lunch, the kids’ Humanities teacher Glenn Williams, came back to talk further with me. His idea was this. He wanted the kids to document my story. Well, right away, I let him know that I didn’t think I had time to write it for them and he informed me that all I had to do was supply the stories, some pictures and do a short video. You can bet your boots I was not excited about the video, but I agreed. Long story short, the stories were told, the video was made and so far everyone who has seen it is enthralled. I am continuing to work with my kids, as I like to call them, on other projects.
As you can see with Danielle Maher's leadership as President, we have been having fun and exciting meetings. Good food, good friends, good speakers, opportunities for service, fundraising ideas and outreach for members. What more could we ask for in a WCB chapter?
United Blind of Walla Walla (UBWW)
by Alco Canfield, President
We have had several guests at our United Blind of Walla Walla meetings.
In March, Sheila Turner from the Edith Bishel Center was our speaker. She discussed the services and activities available from that agency. She brought some devices to show, including a portable electronic magnifier that Shirley was able to use to read the treasurer’s report.
In April, Frank Cuta visited us as a representative of the WCB Board as well as Secretary of the United Blind of Tri-cities. He brought a talking EPI- Pen Trainer that is used to train people in the administration of medication in the event of an alergic reaction. He also brought a Hisonic hs-120 Series portable P.A. system to show us. It is battery-operated and has a cordless headset mic and a hand-held cordless mic.
He spoke briefly about the history of WCB and UBWW.
Our anticipated visit from UBTC members did not happen because of transportation issues and we were without a program.
Jean Dolling came unexpectedly after reading Ernie's May newspaper article "Different Views–Modern appliances hard for the blind to use”. She brought some remotes to show how she has solved the remote accessability issue for herself. Although she is fully sighted, she likes to watch TV in the dark and needed a way to control the remote by touch. She uses pony tail elastic and tape to designate various sections of the button groupings. She brought three remotes to show us. She says sport tape or cloth tape would probably adhere better to the remote. Her spontaneous "program" spawned conversation about various methods of adaptations.
Alco continues to attend the meetings of the Metropolitan Planning Organization. That entity is tasked with writing a funding grant targeting the gaps in public and special needs transportation. She will be volunteering at the MPO table at the Southeast Washington Fair in August, handing out surveys and, with the MPO’s permission, giving out WCB brochures and information about UBWW to those who are interested. Hopefully, the MPO’s efforts will result in greater funding for public and special needs transportation.
Joleen has created a UBWW folder in Dropbox, and it’s a dandy. Subfolders contain minutes for several years, correspondence, membership information, and much more to come.
She continues working to get our UBWW website up and running.
Congratulations to Cliff and Joleen Ferguson who celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary on May 11th. They spent a weekend visiting a good friend in Oregon.
We continue to meet at Clarette’s Restaurant, and the quiet cozy room as well as a gracious professional staff have made this a most positive experience.
If you come to visit on June 24, we will once again be gathering at Clarette’s at 1:30 to socialize, with a meeting to follow from 2:00-3:30.
However, if you are unable to join us, we invite you to read this column again in September for more interesting updates.
United Blind of Whatcom County (UBWC)
by Gloria Riley, President
Stepping Stones to Success
Life does not take a straight line to success. There are many stepping stones full of surprises and sometimes setbacks along the way. We ventured out to complete some of our goals and here are some of the wonderful gifts that recently came our way.
Our need for a P.A. System to bring loud and clear hearing for our members also afflicted with hearing loss was answered in May. The Bellingham Health Support Center wrote a grant and purchased an audio system that not only accommodates our group, but all the other non-profit group members who hold their meetings at 1212 Indian Street in Bellingham. Our own Jim Turri was instrumental in selecting and setting up the new audio system.
The Perkins Organization in Boston, Massachusetts assists people with blind and deaf disabilities. They are discontinuing the use of cassettes. Our President, Gloria Riley, contacted Kim Charlson. We received 294, 60-minute blank tapes. These will be a great help for two of our projects. We will use them to interview our student scholarship applicants. We will also use them to record biographies of our members for the history project. The number of tapes we received was a total surprise! We will have extras. Let us know, if you have a need. We would like to share.
Discount Tire of Bellingham sent a contribution of $500 for our educational scholarship fund.
Show and Tell
Public Relations – Senior Center visitations There are seven senior centers in Whatcom County. Gloria Riley suggested that a great outreach opportunity will be to encourage UBWC members to visit each center and partake in their lunch programs. Three centers have already welcomed us and invited our group to give a short presentation after lunch. Gloria has collected names of those who are eager to make a summer jaunt. We will be able to promote our group and offer information regarding our services and events. Travel will be accommodated by specialized transit.
Scholarship – Media News Release
Information regarding applications for the UBWC Educational Scholarships has been released to county newspapers and KGMI radio. In addition, flyers are being posted on public bulletin boards and are being distributed to all county libraries.
Betty Sikkema and her guide dog Bethers gave a presentation to kindergartners at the Christian Cornerstone School in Lynden.
1/31 Jim and Holly Turri attended a training seminar sponsored by the Washington Secretary of State Office. Over 150 members of non-profits attended. An extensive book was provided for reference. It was much appreciated that documents were forwarded ahead of time. Beth Marsau graciously transcribed the information into braille for Jim and Holly, who are both totally blind.
Gloria Riley attended the New President’s Training Seminar and the WCB Winter Board meeting held in Tacoma. Leadership Training in Federal Way
Jim and Holly Turri also attended the Annual Leadership Training sponsored by WCB in May
David Engebretson attended a government town hall forum on May 8 at St. Luke’s Health Support Center. He was the only blind member of UBWC who attended. The topic focused on employment for the disabled. David stated that our biggest concerns surround communications.
Snow and inclement weather in February brought to our attention that many of our members live alone. Concerned members suggested a phone tree system, whereby members could buddy-up and phone each other for assistance, if needed. We were able to bring prescription medications to members who were snowbound.
We also had several members who took a tumble. Betty Sikkema and Holly Turri had only minor mishaps. But, Barbara Crowley had to wear a leg cast. William Kindy fell and fractured four vertebrae in his spine. He was hospitalized and placed in rehab for some time. Teaming up, we were able to assist William with a working telephone and care packages. Ardith Kling suffered a mild stroke. On-going well wishes go out to these folks.
May 30th – game afternoon hosted by Bruce Radtke. Large print braille cards, dice, Scrabble, Yahtzee and Tripoli games are available
July 9th – field trip to Sight Connection and lunch in Seattle
August 1st – Picnic at Whatcom Falls Park from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bring a dish to share and a musical instrument too.
October 14th – Low Vision Conference from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at St. Luke's Health Education Center in Bellingham.
Next stepping stone on the horizon!
Yakima Valley Council of the Blind (YVCB)
by Bud Kohl, President
YAKITY YAK FROM YAKIMA
It started with an article on bowling in Yakima that was published in the Yakima Herald Republic, our local newspaper. Seeing this as an outreach opportunity, we wrote a letter to the editor proclaiming “Hey!! You missed something”. We then described our weekly “Bowling for the Blind” program and they published it the next week. We received three calls from people who are interested in our activities, and are participating in our Friday bowling. Two have joined from this effort. We were then contacted by Vision Independence Center and our Chapter President was interviewed and a half page article was published in their newsletter on our activities in the Yakima Valley.
On Friday May 23, Alan Sillence, Sports Director of KIMA TV joined us and participated in our weekly Bowling for the Blind. He made a video which will be aired the week of May 26. He interviewed several members on the chapter goals and objectives, followed by his participation in bowling two frames while wearing restricted vision glasses to experience what some of us live with. KIMA TV is the most watched news in Yakima. We look forward to the airing and possible response.
YVCB has appointed a committee to study our Mission Statement and Constitution to revise and update them as needed. They will be submitted to WCB for approval on completion.
Compiled by Meka White, WCB 2nd Vice President
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. . Put "Bits and Pieces" in the subject line.
You can now listen to ACB Radio over the phone. You will have access to ACB Radio Mainstream, the old time radio channel, the ACB Cafe featuring blind artists, ACB Radio Interactive, and the ACB Live Event channel, where you can listen to affiliate conventions and other special programming. Beginning July 13, you will be able to listen to the national convention over the phone as well. To participate, call (231) 460-1047. You can also listen to the ACB Forum and EForum in their entirety by calling (231) 460-1061. U.S. Long distance rates may apply.
Blind Bargains is a service brought to you by the AT Guys. They feature deals on everything from mainstream and assistive technology to foods, cosmetics, and anything else that can be purchased online. They have an active blog featuring deals and technology news. They have a podcast featuring interviews from technology vendors. Check them out at www.blindbargains.com or download the Blind Bargains app on your iPhone or Android.
Apple Vis is your one-stop shop for your iDevice needs. They have tutorials for getting started on the Mac and iPhone, as well as a directory of apps separated by usability and accessibility. If you have an interest in iDevices, join the community at www.applevis.com.
compiled by Cindy Van Winkle, WCB President
We extend our heartfelt congratulations to, and celebrate with, the following WCB members:
Gina Allen (SKB) On her well-deserved retirement from the Seattle Lighthouse after 36 years, 18 days of employment.
Zandra Brown (CCCB) on being selected as this year's WCB first timer to attend the American Council of the Blind (ACB) Conference and Convention in Las Vegas.
Geneva DuBois (UBS) for taking 1st place in the 15-meter backstroke and third place in the 15 and 25-meter freestyle event at the Special Olympics meet in Federal Way on May 31st.
Joleen Ferguson (UBWW) and her husband Cliff on the special occasion of their 40th wedding anniversary.
Steve Fiksdal (SKB) on being selected as one of two first timers through ACB's Durward K. McDaniel program to attend the 2014 ACB Conference and Convention.
James Jablonski (CCCB) on his recent retirement after 31 years of service as a state employee.
Bud and Virginia Kohl YVCB on the celebration of their 60th wedding anniversary.
Cindy Van Winkle (PCB) on being honored as a 2014 Kitsap County Outstanding Government Volunteer.
If you have something to be considered for inclusion for future Hats Off articles, with "Hats Off" in the subject line.
by Alco Canfield
Awesome Potato Salad
6 red potatoes, peeled and boiled
3 bunches green onions
6 hard boiled eggs, sliced
8 sweet pickles, sliced
8 dill pickles, sliced
6 slices cooked bacon
Radishes if desired
Best Foods Mayonnaise
Sweet pickle juice
Dill pickle juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Paprika on top for appearance
Combine the potatoes, bacon, eggs, green onions, radishes, and pickles.
Start with 1 cup mayonnaise and stir in about 1 tbsp sweet pickle juice, 1 tbsp prepared mustard, and 1 tbsp dill pickle juice. Be careful not to add too much or dressing will be too soggy. This is an estimate because I do not measure but just guess until I have the right consistency.
Keep refrigerated until serving.
17: Book Club Forum, 7:00 pm
23: Diabetics Forum, 7:00 pm
24: Aging Forum, 7:00 pm
30: Deadline to purchase tickets for Mariner game.
11-19: ACB Conference and Convention, Las Vegas, NV
28: Diabetics Forum, 7:00 pm
7: Presidents call, 8:00 pm
10: Mariner Game
12: Technology Forum, 7:00 pm
16: WCB Summer Board meeting, WTBBL
10:00 am-3:00 pm
19: Book Club Forum, 7:00 pm
25: Diabetics Forum, 7:00 pm
31: Deadline to apply for WCB Convention First-Timers Scholarship.
2: Job Seekers Forum, 8:00 pm
8: Call in for Convention Free Room opportunity, 9:00 am-12:00 pm.
9: Technology Forum, 7:00 pm
16: Book Club Forum, 7:00 pm
22: Diabetics Forum, 7:00 pm
23: Aging Forum, 7:00 pm
2: Presidents call, 8:00 pm.
7: Job Seekers Forum, 8:00 pm
10: Deadline to register and make hotel reservations for the WCB Convention.
21: Book Club Forum, 7:00 pm
30: WCB convention begins, Tacoma WA.
4: Presidents call, 8:00 pm.
NEWSLINE Article Submissions
The NEWSLINE is available in large print, on cartridge, via email, and on our website at www.wcbinfo.org.
Articles should be no longer than 750 words and may be edited for clarity and space considerations.
Article submissions, address changes, and subscription requests must be sent to the NEWSLINE email address: email: Newsline, or by phone, toll free at 800-255-1147. Article deadline: To be considered for inclusion in the September issue, article submissions and other information for publication must be received by Saturday, August 30, 2014.