NEWSLINE March, 2013 Edition

Opportunity, Equality, Independence
Founded 1935

Cindy Van Winkle, President

Bremerton, WA

Alco Canfield, Editor

Walla Walla, WA

Those much-needed contributions, which are TAX-deductible, can be sent to the Washington Council of the Blind treasurer, Eric Hunter, at PO Box 3127, Bremerton, WA 98310.

To remember the Washington Council of the Blind in your Last Will and Testament, you may include a special paragraph for that purpose in your Will or Trust. If your wishes are complex, please contact the WCB at 800-255-1147.

The WCB is a 501)(3) organization.

For other ways to support the Washington Council of the Blind, visit our fundraising page found at

Table of Contents

From the President’s Desk
Editorial: You Can Too
Board Meeting Report
Committee List Condensed
Climbing Capitol Mountain
From the Senior Side
We Want You!
From the First Timers Committee
WCB Equipment Loan Fund
Around the State
Update from the Washington State Department of Services for the Blind
Updates from the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library
True Story of a Rehab Counselor Getting It Right
Find A Way To Be Active
Bits and Pieces
Hats Off To You
From My Kitchen To Yours
Calendar of Deadlines and Events

From the President’s Desk

by Cindy Van Winkle, WCB President

Life is filled with changes and sometimes those changes aren’t what we want or what is necessarily comfortable for us. February brought that for me. I knew it was going to happen, but just before Christmas I learned when, and then, it still wasn’t real as the days crept up to the change.

Now anyone who knows me, knows my family is very important to me. I raised my kids pretty much on my own and my daughters and I are extremely close; what a true blessing it is to have two young adult daughters that I can say that about. But then I was blessed with grandchildren. We have two right now, Molly (who just turned 5) and George (who is almost 2). Being their Nana is the most rewarding role I’ve ever had in this life, and my days since Molly’s birth, no matter where I am or what I’m doing, have somehow revolved around being Nana! But on Friday, February 7, 2013, I stood outside the school where I work and held tightly to my precious ones, hugged on my beautiful daughter Amelia, thanked my son-in-law David for being the husband and father he is, and sent them on their way to their new life and their new home where David will continue to serve our country in the United States Navy. Their travels were shared by me with many of my Facebook friends who joined me in praying for their continued safety until they reached their destination in Saratoga Springs, New York.

I know that I am a fortunate Nana because today, although too many miles separate us, we will be able to share special moments of singing, reading, talking and just being together thanks to Skype or Facetime. No, this won’t be the same as having Molly sit on my lap while I read her a book, or having either she or George cuddle with me while I sing and rock them to sleep. But I can’t help but think about how my Grandma felt when we moved to Washington from California and only phone calls and letters kept us connected. Oh yes, of course we had visits then, and I’ll have visits with my precious ones in the future, but I now know the emptiness she must have experienced then; the loneliness that exists even though you have loved ones and a busy life around you. I have hope though that we’ll be ok because I know how much I loved my Grandma and how no matter the miles between us, I always felt her near to me.

I know this writing is not the typical article you might expect from your President. But the fact is, I have the great fortune of being a part of the finest organization of people who are blind or partially sighted anywhere. I count you all as part of my extended family, and as such, I just felt compelled to share this personal chapter in my life with all of you. Thank you for allowing me to do so. And yes, Tim and I are already planning a trip to New York!

You Can Too

by Alco Canfield, Newsline Editor

What do you think of when you hear the word “advocacy”? Do sign-waving pickets come to mind? Do scenes full of shouting and confrontation capture your imagination?

The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines advocacy as: the act or process of advocating or supporting a cause or proposal.”

Often, people see advocacy as totally beyond them.
In WCB, people tend to believe that advocacy is the purview of the Advocacy Committee. “Oh,” you may be thinking, “Sue and those people know all about that stuff. Call them!”

As someone who has experienced both the confrontational aspect of advocacy as well as its “soft side”, I have come to believe that to be an effective organization, it is not only the right but the responsibility of each of us in our own individual way to learn how to advocate for ourselves and others. Let me share with you an example of advocacy from my own recent experience.

I recently attended our WCB board meeting in Bellevue at the Red Lion Hotel. Since I arrived very early, (the plane left Walla Walla at 6:40 A.M.), I had plenty of time to wait for our 3:00 meeting.

I sat in the restaurant and attempted to log on to the hotel site with my Pac Mate. Joleen had her Braille Note and tried unsuccessfully to enter on the “accept” button to get past the agreement of terms and conditions. This “accept” button was totally invisible to me.

One of the managers came by to talk with us. In the course of the conversation, I told her about our technological difficulty. Surprisingly, she was quite concerned. IN the past, those with whom I have discussed this problem were unable to address it. However, she marched right out and called the IT Department. The “accept” was removed for the weekend, giving us access. The manager promised that the site would be revamped.

I made sure I wrote a commendatory note to her supervisor. Although it remains to be seen if the website is fixed, I was gratified to experience this enthusiastic good will. It reminded me once again that most people have good intentions. They often just need to be made aware of the situation. I know that too often in the past, I found it easier to complain to everyone BUT the person who, in fact, could make a difference.

When we advocate, we are calling those with whom we interact as well as ourselves to a different level of understanding. We may learn in the process that our view of the situation is not complete. Those with whom we are communicating often have no idea what we are dealing with. It doesn’t make them evil, just unaware.

To learn effective ways to advocate for yourself or others, enlist the assistance of those who have done this a great deal. Don’t just dump the matter on them because they appear to know more. The only way to learn is to practice, practice, practice. Sometimes you may win, and sometimes the result is less than inspiring. However, not trying is not an option.

One of the advantages of being in an organization such as WCB is the opportunity to observe the methods people use to advocate for themselves or others. Our equality, opportunity, and independence depend on it. These can only improve when we work together to call ourselves and others to see a situation in a different way, hopefully with a positive result.

Good luck and happy advocating!

February Board Report

by Alco Canfield

The WCB Board Meeting was convened by Cindy Van Winkle on February 2, 2013 at the Bellevue Red Lion Hotel at 9:15 A.M. All board members were present except Tim McCorckle who was excused. All chapters except the Yakima Valley Council of the Blind were represented.

John Common made a motion seconded by Julie Brannon to approve the November, 2012 board minutes.

The treasurer’s report was given. Detailed information may be obtained upon request.

Berl reported on VDPC. We made zero dollars for 2012. Our representative, Jim Strasberg is from Sacramento, CA. Berl hopes to have a conference call with Cindy, Eric, and him to discuss bolstering our donations and sales. Questions to be discussed with Jim will concern advertising costs and other possible advertising venues besides newspapers.

President’s Report
Cindy sent a letter to Amazon written for her by Meka White concerning the accessibility issues of the Kindle reader. Cindy
thanked Meka for doing this. Even though our letter was positive, it is believed that our correspondence was seen as part of the negative publicity being generated by other entities at the same time. We look forward to an opportunity to dialog with Amazon at a more auspicious time.

The Finance and Investment Committees were combined, and the chair is Eric Hunter. PR and Website Oversight have also been combined, and this committee is chaired by Gaylen Floy. The Board of Directors, committee chairs, and chapter presidents have been updated on the WCB website. Over eighty people are serving on committees this year.

New chapter presidents were listed (See WCB website).

Committee Reports
Advocacy Committee: Six cases were discussed. Sue reminded everyone that the purpose of the Advocacy Committee is to handle discrimination cases.

The WCB 2013 convention will be held at the Red Lion Inn at the Park November 7-9, 2013. (See convention article in later issues of Newsline for details).

Crisis Committee
In 2012, The Crisis Committee provided assistance to twenty-one individuals. Beginning in August, a cap of $250 was placed on individual expenditures. One individual has been helped in 2013.

Families with Blind Children
WCB was present at an open house sponsored by the Seattle School District at Lowell Elementary School. Newsline, WCB
brochures, and a WCB Families with Blind Children flyer were distributed. It was a good opportunity to promote WCB and to make referrals to other relevant agencies.

The Leadership Committee report was given by Cindy Van Winkle. (See article later in this issue).

Legislative Committee
Denise gave the legislative report.

The following is the list of legislative bills the WCB legislative committee is currently following during the 2013 legislative session.

SHB 1024 – Addressing Service Animals. Amends Washington’s Law Against Discrimination in order to align state law with federal law with respect to discrimination in real estate transactions and the use of animals that are necessary as a reasonable accommodation to assist or support persons with disabilities. Unlike the WLAD (Washington Law Against Discrimination), the Fair Housing Act does not use or define “service animal.” Species other than dogs, with or without training, as well as animals that provide emotional support, have been recognized under the Fair Housing Act as necessary assistance animals under the “reasonable accommodation” provisions of the Fair Housing Act.

Companion Bill – SB 5645
HB 1321 – Establishing food and beverage provision and service policies. Requires all state agencies and other interested organizations to adopt and begin implementation of a food and beverage service policy.

This policy must apply to food and beverages directly provided by state agencies for their employees and guests at meetings, and those made available in vending machines or through on-site vendors in all buildings, facilities and properties owned or leased by the state, and food and beverages that are prepared on site by private operators and state-operated cafeterias that are sold to state employees and the public.

SB 5180 – Improving access to higher education for students with disabilities. Requires the creation of a legislative taskforce which must collaborate to carry out multiple goals and make recommendations to the Legislature regarding students’ transition from K-12 to higher education.

Newsline Committee
Alco reminded everyone that the submission deadline for March Newsline articles is February 23, 2013. The conversion to digital format was briefly discussed. At Cindy’s request, a task force sub-committee of Newsline will be established to expedite the transition. Chapters were urged to convert to e-mail format if possible.

PR/Website Committee
Gaylen said that the first project of the committee will be to develop a news release for chapters advertising an upcoming event.

Social Media–The site is: We need a cover photo for our Face book page and additional photos as well. was recommended for those utilizing screen readers.

First Timers Committee
Ursula McCulley has an article concerning first timers for the March Newsline.

Agency Reports

Patron Advisory Council
Sue said that there were 65 applicants for the Reader Adviser position. Eight of these were blind. Ten people were interviewed. Four of the ten were blind. Shannon Curry who is blind will be the new reader adviser.

The PAC meets three times a year. The next in-person meeting will be in June. The new secretary of state may be invited then. There is now one new member representing a child with a disability.

State Rehabilitation Council
The next SRC meeting will be on March 2 in Seattle. In June, it will meet at the Inland Northwest Lighthouse.

In the annual report submitted to the governor, DSB had 147 closures. In December, 2012, the SRC wrote a letter to the governor recommending that Lou Oma Durand be retained as director of the agency.

Dean Stenehjem has reapplied as superintendent of WSSB. The board did not write a letter because it fills out an evaluation of him every year.

The school’s population is the largest it has ever been, 78 students. The capacity is 80. Several years ago, 98% came from Washington. This has been reduced to 55%, with many students coming from Oregon and elsewhere.
WSSB’s outreach program has received international recognition.

The Braille Access Center has published more books than the American Printing House for the Blind.

The Forums
Since Andrea had to step down from her role as chair. Lori Allison and Beth Manning stepped in to help. Lori facilitated the employment forum in December, and Zandra Brown facilitated it in January. Meka White facilitated the technology forum in December and January. People have joined the WCB list as a result of the technology forum and have asked about membership.

The phone system was discussed. Cindy commended Marilyn Donnelly for her thirty years of service. She still takes the calls on Mondays. Each person on the committee works one day a week from 9:00-noon. Meka White and Alco Canfield are backups. Viola Cruz has replaced Alco on Fridays.

Stipends and loans for the ACB Conference and Convention are as follows: the stipend amount is $300 and the loan amount is up to $700. Those requesting either must have been a WCB member since July 6, 2012 and not have a WCB loan in default. Stipend requests should be made by contacting Shirley at (206) 362-3118, and loan requests (360) 689-0827; the deadline for both the stipend and loan is May 15, 2013.

The spring board meeting will be May 5, 2013 at the Bellevue Red Lion Hotel.

The summer Board Meeting will be held August 17, 2013 at the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library. The meeting will begin at 10:00 A.M.

2013 WCB Committee List


Chair: Sue Ammeter

(360) 437-7916

Aging and Blindness

Chair: Barb Crowley

(360) 734-2798


Chair: Bill Hoage

(509) 586-8901

Constitution and Bylaws

Chair: Frank Cuta

(509) 967-2658


Chair: Lori Allison

(253) 537-4428


Chair: Stuart Russell

(360) 377-2437

Environmental Access

Chair: Doug Hildie

(206) 632-6160

Families with Blind Children

Chair: Meka White

(360) 689-1678


Chair: Eric Hunter

(360) 377-9917

First Timers

Chair: Ursula McCully

(206) 706-0434


Chair: Chris Coulter

(206) 617-8579


Chair: Cindy Van Winkle

(360) 689-0827


Chair: Denise Colley

(360) 438-0072

List Serve

Chair: Vivian Conger

(509) 200-0599


Chair: Julie Brannon

(206) 547-7444


Chair: Alco Canfield

(509) 525-7136

Public Relations and Website Oversight

Chair: Gaylen Floy

(253) 217-9586


Chair: Tim McCorcle

(206) 522-5850

Climbing Capitol Mountain

by Meka White, WCB 2nd Vice President

As I sat on my floor packing my suitcase for this year’s presidents’ meeting and Legislative Seminar for the American Council of the Blind, I realized that I had to pack a great deal more than clothing. A friend taught me the method of rolling your items so that they don’t overwhelm your traveling bag and you have plenty of room to pack other things. I found myself scrunching down a great deal of anxiety, not about the trip itself, but about going to Capitol Hill. I also rolled up courage, anticipation, excitement, and fear. I knew that I would represent the Washington Council of the Blind well within ACB. I enjoy making friends and meeting new people. My biggest fear was having to go to ‘The Hill’ alone. Surely there were other members of WCB who knew a lot more about the legislative process than I did, and who could articulate it better to ‘the Big wigs’ in Washington. Capital Hill felt less like a hill and more like a mountain, but I refused to let intimidation and fear keep me frozen.

I learned so much from the Presidents’ meetings. Some of the topics that really stood out were the interactive discussions: the future of ACB, how to engage students, a call to all advocates, the in-person office hours where people had the opportunity to bring concerns and suggestions to the officers, fundraising and corporate sponsorship, and the Braille Forum which will be coming out every other month. Other topics covered were: the new database, credentialing, and affiliate insurance.

The Legislative seminar was full of information about the imperatives that we would be addressing with our representatives and senators. The Medicare imperative deals with funding for low-vision devices so that people who are going blind can continue to remain in their homes and be independent by having tools to help them. The Ann Sullivan Macy act deals with the education of blind children and the Expansion of Core Curricula. The seminar also covered the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, updates on the efforts of accessibly labeling prescriptions, ACB’s advocacy efforts and successes, vehicle donation legislation, audio-described content on television, knowing our rights, and much more.

By the time the seminar ended, I was feeling empowered and even more worried. How would I translate any of what I learned to our legislators? How did I make it more personal? All of these and many other questions flitted through my mind on “Climbing Capitol Mountain Day”. I’d met up with someone who offered to let me tag along with her as she met with her own representatives. I listened attentively. After a few visits, we went to Representative Kilmer’s office so that I could drop off paperwork. I’d been unable to schedule an appointment with him or his aides, but I was given the opportunity to communicate the imperatives with his assistant. Then I was told that our representative was in between meetings and might be able to meet with me for a minute. I was totally shocked! He was so cordial, so personable. I congratulated him on his election and spoke a little about why I was there. Then I thanked him for his time.

Unfortunately, my new Capitol Mountain climbing partner had appointments that clashed with mine and I forgot where the room with volunteers was located, so off I went to the Senate side to navigate on my own. I met with Senator Cantwell’s aide, and then off I went to Senator Murray’s Office. I realized in between appointments that I’d forgotten to give the previous two an option to ask questions, so as I sat down with Jake Cornett and Megan Foster, I said ‘this is my first time ever doing something like this, and you are the third set of people I have talked to, so hopefully I’ve worked out the kinks in my delivery.’ We all laughed, I told them why I was there, and I gave them an opportunity to ask whatever they wanted.

I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to go to the meetings and meet new people while reconnecting with WCB family. I learned that legislators are people too, and that it is part of our process, part of the system set up in this country to express concerns and discuss issues with them. Capitol Hill is not an insurmountable mountain.

From the Senior Side

by Carl Jarvis

Are we Clark Kent, or are we Superblind?

Whether we are fully sighted, born blind, or lose our vision in later life, all of us are impacted by the Universal Blind Stereotype. Blindness brings to mind negative words such as, “helpless,” “lost,” “groping,” “fumbling,” and many more. But just try to think of any positive words associated with Blindness. It’s easy to understand why older people losing their eyesight stubbornly refuse to think of themselves as blind. But once enough vision has been lost that they can no longer deny their blindness, many older adults simply assume the role they have unconsciously been conditioned to believe is their new lot in life. They hunker down and become part of the Universal Blind Stereotype. They have entered the world of the invisible blind minority, helpless victims, no longer in control of their lives. In fact, looking around our Blind Community, we can see that we probably have more than our fair share of victims. Haven’t most of us at least been tempted to assume the cloak of victim from time to time, pointing our quivering finger and proclaiming, “They, the sighted are the cause of our troubles.”

How often do we blind people find ourselves in this role of the invisible minority? We could be in a packed room and still feel that we are totally ignored, not just because everyone in this modern age is texting, although that can be quite annoying. However, we think that the real barrier is because we are unable to interact with those all important visual cues being passed among the folks around us. A nod of recognition, a smile, someone waggling fingers from across the room, and the all important eye contact.

We are in the room, filling up space, but we are in another dimension…one step beyond.

A hopeless situation? Not at all! It is at this very moment that we can take control. We can come out of our invisible closets and make ourselves known. Rather than becoming the victim, curling up in the fetal position and reciting our “poor me” chant, we can mentally step around the corner into our imaginary telephone booth, rip off our Clark Kent glasses and emerge as, Superblind, our cape fluttering in the breeze and with a big red B on our chest. Superblind does not leap over tall buildings, or fly faster than a speeding bullet, because Superblind does not want to smack his Supernose on a brick wall. But Superblind has the super power to take control of any situation. Upon entering a meeting room filling up with folks hurrying to find the seats closest to the exits, Superblind announces, “Hi there, I’m Superblind and I’d like to know who is here.” Turning to the fellow pushing past, Superblind says, “Hello, what is your name? Would you be so kind as to show me a seat?”

Being Superblind does not mean that you are rude or overbearing. It means that you are in control of yourself, and you will politely make your needs known.

“Pardon me, but I do not know the name of the person speaking.” “Excuse me, but would you direct me to the coffee and those amazing doughnuts?” Superblind will never simply sit in a room and be ignored. “Forgive me, I am feeling excluded here. Is my participation important enough to include me or would you all excuse me so I may go where I’m able to contribute?” “Excuse me, I would appreciate it if you would speak directly to me, rather than to my companion.” “Telling me, ‘over there’, is not helpful. I am blind and I need specific directions.” Does that sound too bold? Is this too pushy for us blind folk who’ve been conditioned to sit quietly and accept what is handed down to us? Not if we’re Superblind. Then we understand that it is we who must take command of any situation we find ourselves in. We do not need to sit passively any longer. By tossing aside our meek Clark Kent clothing, we now know that the key to success has always been right here inside our own heads and we can take our places as First Class Americans, stepping forward and taking charge of our lives.

We Want You!

by Cindy Van Winkle, Chair, WCB Leadership Committee

Are you new to WCB? Do you wonder what we’re really all about, what the relationship is between you as a member to the local chapter, to WCB as the state affiliate and even to our national organization, ACB? Have you been a member for a while but just haven’t been as active as you’d like to be? Are you unsure how you might be able to become more involved? If you answered yes to any of these questions, wow, do we have a deal for you!

WCB holds a Leadership Seminar each year in conjunction with our Spring Board meeting. This year will be no different. The Red Lion in Bellevue will be the place to be the weekend of May 3-5, 2013. This is where up to 16 chosen members will gather to learn, share and grow as WCB members through a jam packed, fun- filled and camaraderie-building weekend.

Those wishing to be a part of this energizing and exciting weekend must send a letter of application no later than 11:59 pm on Friday, April 5, 2013 to be considered. Applicants must have joined WCB on or before February 3, 2013, have never attended the Leadership Seminar previously, and have no WCB loans in default. Your letter should tell the Leadership Committee about you, why you’d like to be selected to attend, your involvement in your community and local chapter, and anything else you would like to share with us. Space is limited, so don’t delay! Toot your horn and tell us why we should pick you as one of the selected few.

From the First Timers Committee

by Ursula McCully, Chair, First Timers Committee

WANTED: First Timer to go to the ACB Convention
When? July 5 to July 12, 2013
Where? Columbus, Ohio
How? email letter of application to by May 1, 2013

Yes, this posting is real! All WCB members who have not previously attended can apply for this generous opportunity of an all expenses paid trip to the national conference and convention of the American Council of the Blind.


  • Has been a WCB member since July 6, 2012;
  • Has no outstanding loan in default;
  • Has attended at least one WCB State Convention.

Yes, only three requirements to apply for this wonderful experience and so, WCB members rear up and apply.


  • Get to see in person ACB membership in action during the General Session throughout the Convention;
  • Express your democratic vote in the Election of Officers;
  • Be part of the exciting and sometimes heart shaking discussion of various issues that come up during the General Session;
  • Listen and learn from invited Speakers;
  • Roam around the Exhibit Hall and check out the different Vendors of Assistive Technology, latest gadgets for living independently, Blind jewelry, check the goods in the ACB Store and many more;
  • Sign up with the different Tours planned and the many break-out sessions organized, and of course, participate in the different social events organized by the Special Interest Affiliates.
  • Last but not least, WCB pays your flight ticket, seven night lodging and daily per diem

We, the 2013 First Timers Committee (Denise C., Michelle D., David E., Carol G., Bill H. and Ursula M.) welcome all WCB members to experience the adventure, education and involvement in the upcoming ACB National Convention. Let those Letters of Application come our way!

WCB Equipment Loan Fund

by Frances Pennell

Dreaming about a new computer, CCTV, iPhone, iPad or Braille Note taker? The WCB Equipment Loan Fund Has Money to Lend!

The WCB’s Zero Interest Equipment Loan Fund is one of the best “deals in town” and a wonderful perk of being a WCB member. The Equipment Loan Fund offers zero interest loans up to $8000 for any type of assistive technology needed to deal with the commonly understood effects of vision and/or hearing loss? Assistive technology is broadly defined to include any device used to maintain or improve the functional capabilities of a person with a disability. This includes specialized technologies such as CCTVs magnifiers and Braille Displays and also a growing number of mainstream devices – such as iPhones, iPads and computers with screen enlargement and/or text to speech. So – if you are thinking about purchasing new technology and would like to spread out the cost into affordable monthly payments, the Equipment Loan Fund is just the ticket!

To apply for a loan, contact the Washington Access Fund at 1-877-428-5116 or . You also can apply on the Access Fund website or make an appointment to have your application taken over the phone. To be eligible for the zero interest rate, you must have been a WCB member in good standing for at least six months. Once the loan is approved, the Access Fund verifies eligibility with the WCB President. All other information provided on your application is completely confidential. And by the way – there is no minimum loan amount. Right now, the WCB Equipment Loan Fund is looking for borrowers so call today!

Other Services offered by the Washington Access Fund:
Low Interest Loans for Assistive Technology: The Access Fund offers low interest (5%) assistive technology loans (up to $10,000) so if you need other types of assistive technology (e.g., mobility equipment) and/or do not qualify for the WCB’s zero interest loans, this might be a great option!

Low Interest Loans for Business Equipment:
For entrepreneurs and employees, the Fund offers low interest
(5%) Business Equipment Loans. These loans can be used for any type of business equipment including (but not limited to) office equipment, accessibility modifications and tools of the trade. For well-established businesses, loans of up to $25,000 can be considered.

Matched Savings Accounts for Assistive Technology and Business Equipment:
If you don’t need your equipment right away, a matched saving account is a great way to double your money. Through this program you can save up to $4000 and receive an equal amount in match for assistive technology needed for any purpose or for business equipment needed for employment or self-employment! Participants save for at least six months and also participate in financial education and assistive technology or small business training. There are only a limited number of “slots” available for this program so if you are interested, call right away!

CCTV Magnifier Rentals?:
The Access Fund also offers long-term, low-cost rentals of desktop CCTVs Magnifiers. Thanks to a generous grant from the Washington Department of Services for the Blind, the Access Fund has brand new CCTVs available for individuals who are 55 years of age and older! We also have some older models available to anyone regardless of age!

Training & TA:
If you are thinking about starting a business but aren’t sure where to start, the Access Fund offers a seven week webinar series on putting a business plan together. This training is offered 2 – 3 times a year along with ongoing one-on-one mentoring. For many folks, just finding the right technology can be a challenge. To help with that process, the Access Fund provides information about and referrals to various service providers and vendors, as well as tips and advice on how to select and pay for your assistive technology.

To get in touch or for more information, visit the Access Fund website and while you are there, sign up for our email list! or keep up to date through our Facebook page where you will find lots of wonderful resources.

Around the State


by Berl Colley, Member

The CCCB held its 23rd annual Christmas party on December 1, 2012 at Chamber’s restaurant in Panorama City in Lacey. There were about 25 people who attended and Alan Bentson handled the master of ceremonies job admirably.

On January 26, 2013 new President Gloria Walling conducted her first CCCB meeting. She has lots of plans for our chapter and hit the ground running by filling several committees and talking at the meeting about her hopes for the next two years.

The chapter has 30 members to start off the new year and hopes to have several more by the February 10 cutoff date.

Finally, Berl and Denise Colley are moving from their house on Maxine street, where they have lived for nearly 30 years, to a new home in the retirement community of Panorama City in Lacey.


by Holly Kaczmarski, Treasurer

It is that time again for news of Guide Dog Users of Washington State, GDUWS. As with past updates, we have several items of interest to you and hope you enjoy reading our update.

As always, I include the purpose of GDUWS for those of you who are new to our Newsline Updates. GDUWS is a special affiliate of the Washington Council of the Blind that strives to promote civil rights and enhance the quality of life of working guide dog teams. GDUWS provides peer support, advocacy, and information to guide dog users in Washington State.

First of all I have sad news to report. I received this message from Dodie Brueggeman about her retired guide dog Jet, who was a friend of mine, a very close dog friend. I used to trim his toe nails and we went many places together with his person Dodie.
Message to me from Dodie Brueggeman:
“I know how much you thought of Jet so this is kind of hard. I got a call from his adoptive family on Monday, letting me know that Jet has gone to his rest. He started Guide work when he was 15 months old and worked until a month before his 9th birthday. He was a marvelous worker and had a wonderful 5-and-a-half year retirement. It was with many tears that I told him goodbye in my heart and sent him to his doggy dreams with my love.”
We are all sorry to see Jet leave us. He was the wonderful and loving dog who served Dodie for so many years. I personally bonded with Jet and I will miss him. GDUWS will send Dodie a nice musical card to comfort her and to wish her well and send Jet best wishes from all of us on his way to the Rainbow Bridge to be with the other guide dogs and family pets who have left us and who are all on the Rainbow Bridge having happy lives.

In other recent news of GDUWS at this time, the members of GDUWS have voted to disaffiliate from GDUI. For further information on our actions, please contact one of our GDUWS Board members for further details.

This year we are planning our usual Spring Fling but this year it may be a Summer Fling. We are open to suggestions from members as to the best places to have our Summer Fling. We are open to all opinions and ideas. Please tell the GDUWS Board members what you think would be a good venue for our meeting for sometime this summer. Your ideas will be welcome so please share.

Good news! We have several new members who have joined GDUWS. On the list of new members we have the following: Buddy and Sue Yates, Qin Lian, Kevin Daniel and Kevin Jones who all joined this year.

We also have three people from out-of-state who joined GDUWS: Ken and Pam Metz who live in Chatsworth, California and Margie Donovan who lives in Folsom, California. Welcome to our new members!

GDUWS is going and growing. As its new President, Marlaina Lieberg looks forward to meeting your needs as handlers or folks interested in helping out. Please feel free to communicate with any and all of your GDUWS Board members as we are all here to work for you.

Also, please be thinking of how you can serve GDUWS and consider throwing your hat into the ring and getting involved. As always, your input is desired. Without you, GDUWS will become just an empty organization.
For further information, please call the following number: 206-426-6042 or contact one of our GDUWS Board members or Officers.

Well, that’s it for now. Stay tuned next time for more news from Guide Dog Users of Washington State – GDUWS.


by Carl Jarvis, Secretary

Please meet our new president, Nancy Kelly-Patnode. Some of you will recall Nancy from her letter in the December, 2010 Newsline, describing how she used her new white cane skills on a rather unfriendly dog.

Nancy has been serving as our Vice President under the steady hand of Lynn Gressley. Lynn has returned to the role of active member. Sue Ammeter has been elected as our new Vice President and the old regulars, Carl and Cathy Jarvis continue to serve as Secretary and Treasurer.

Not being a shrinking violet, Nancy jumped right in, gathering together all of our brochures and stamping them with local contact phone numbers and, along with husband Pat, began distributing them in all the right places.

Following her election in January, Nancy put together a program aimed at involving members in active participation at the meetings. If February’s energy- packed meeting is any example, we are in for a fun- filled and informative year.
We welcomed two new members, Dudley Merk and Reinhold Bergstrom.

While we were busy at our January meeting, member Bob Lehnert spent the day having bypass surgery. He followed successful surgery with a stroke that put him in rehab for most of the month. Bob says he thinks he will have a full recovery and he and Lois plan to make the March gathering.

We are down several members, but if the number of visitors indicates a growing interest in our Chapter, we’ll soon be scooting our chairs closer together to make room.


by Rhonda Nelson, Member

An informative presentation, a lively party and some annual planning; those words briefly summarize activities of the King County Chapter in the past few months. In November our guest speaker was Qin Lain who talked about her experience as a guide dog user in China. Many of you may remember hearing from her at the GDUWS luncheon at our recent state convention. In December, instead of having a meeting, we held our Christmas party. Again this year it included our goofy and fun gift exchange. During January’s meeting we provided suggestions for potential speakers for this year. There was also discussion about a variety of topics, including transit concerns. In February we look forward to hearing Al Gil tell us about Radio Enthusiasts of Puget Sound.

Happy spring to you all.


by Kim Moberg, President

We had a great Christmas party this year. It was held at the
community center of the apartment where Secretary Michelle Denzer lives. Jackie and crew from “C What’s Cookin” catered our Christmas dinner. The food was delicious as always! We even had a visit from Santa. Kids both young and old got to visit with him. Santa gave each child a special gift and a candy cane. Pictures were also taken with Santa. The adults did a gift exchange. The Christmas spirit was definitely with all of us that day.

We have had many exciting things going on in our chapter. First, I would like to congratulate Shannon Curry. She has been hired to work at the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library. She will be working alongside Alan Benson. So when you call the library don’t be surprised when you get a female voice.

Another of our members, John Moberg, has completed five years of work at the Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind. Each day he commutes from Silverdale to Seattle and back home. This is quite an accomplishment for this young man.

In January we had our election of officers. It was quite a lively election. For once we had more than one person running for several of the offices. All of those persons who ran for office were good choices! Much change came about through the elections. Kim Moberg is our new President with Sarah Schweizer as Vice President. Our newly elected Treasurer is Jess Landby. We elected two board members, Bob Brezler and Gary beck. Michelle Denzer will continue to be our Secretary and Carol Gray will remain on the board. Meka White is the immediate past President.


by Girmay Micael, Member

The South King Council of the Blind annual Christmas luncheon took place Saturday, December 8, at Denny’s restaurant from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM. All attendees ate from the regular menu and sang carols with Linda, Jeffrey Garehardstein and others. All participants had a very good time. Kevin Daniel, a member of SKB chapter and Senior Director of Strategic Recruiting at The Lighthouse for the Blind proposed the creation of the SKB Beep Baseball team. The SKB chapter happily accepted the idea of Beep Baseball. At the January 2013 chapter meeting, the members voted to establish the “Seattle South King Sluggers” as an official team in the NBBA under the umbrella of the SKB Chapter. The Beep Baseball Committee was elected. The committee has started to look for ways to obtain public/private support for the team and assistance, guiding all aspects of the Sluggers beep baseball program. The committee is looking for volunteers who have expertise in fundraising, event planning, etc. Anyone who is interested in supporting the SKB Beep Baseball team, please .

Glenn Nickel has resigned from his position as vice-president of
SKB chapter. Consequently, the SKB chapter members have voted for Maida Potjinger as their Vice President until the end of the term. Additionally, Maida reported that the Board meeting and President’s training were a wonderful learning experience.

The Brailler Repair Workshop for members took place in Burien. Participants have learned how to clean and repair Braillers.

In the February chapter meeting, we conducted our regular business meeting and hosted Mr. Joseph Raineri as guest speaker. Raineri’s account exemplifies the belief that blindness need not be a major obstacle to personal success. Raineri was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa at the age of 13 and became totally blind at age 20. According to Raineri, his doctor told him not to give up on life because he still could work at the broom factory. Furthermore, the doctor told him not to get married and not to have children due to his Retinitis Pigmentosa. Conversely, now Raineri is a 59 year old man, who is married and a father of three healthy and fully sighted adults. Raineri loves sports and fitness as a result, he has run 19 marathons and he is a member of the disabled cross country ski team.?

The 50/50 raffle was drawn at the SKB meeting. The lucky winner was Bernardo Bastiva Gonzalez and, he paid chapter membership dues right away. The Sunshine Committee has sent two get well cards to two sick blind folks. Moreover, in this chapter meeting there were several braggers for a buck.

The South King Council of the Blind chapter conducts its meeting every second Saturday of the month from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM at 2132 S. 320th St. at Denny’s restaurant in Federal Way. The chapter conducts its business in conformity with the Washington Council of the Blind’s mission and philosophy. Please join or visit to learn more about the active SKB chapter on its regular meeting day.

Wishing opportunity, equality, and independence to all blind folks.


by Malissa Hudson, Secretary

Hello from the United Blind of Seattle (UBS)! By the time this is written, I’ll be 30 years young. I turned 30 on February 25 and am loving every minute of it!

We held our annual Christmas celebration at the Old Spaghetti
Factory in December and it was a blast. We had good food, fellowship, and 37 people in attendance. We even had several guests join us. We had a gift exchange, and Quincy Daniels, our Vice-President led us all in the singing of Christmas carols.

Every year in January, we hold our annual face-to-face board meeting where officers and board members get to vote and members are welcome to join us and listen in. We took a look at our current Constitution for any changes and we’ll be voting on those changes at our March meeting. We also discussed how we want our chapter to be successful and grow in 2013. Our meeting in February was canceled.

We’d love to have you join us at a monthly meeting! Currently, we meet on the third Saturday from 10:30 to 12:30 at Virginia Mason Hospital, 925 Seneca. We are thinking about changing our meeting location to try to bring in more members and attract new members as well. I hope you all have a blessed day and I’ll look forward to writing the next article! I love doing this and I thank you WCB for allowing me to serve! See ya then!


by Janice Squires, Member

Well, the hubbub of the holidays is over and all of the UBTC members are definitely getting ready for an early Spring. All I know is that Evelyn Crouse and I are thrilled that Spring Training has begun and Mariner baseball will be starting up very soon.
Once again our chapter meetings have been very well attended and the guest speakers have been great. In December, we had Jean MacConnachie speaking to us on her challenging job with ESD 123. She provides services for profoundly handicapped students, as well as visually impaired children of various ages. In January, Larry Weiss spoke on his retirement from his position as Director of the Edith Bishel Center. Larry has been in this position for over 14 years and he had a lot of good stories to tell. Larry spoke to us about the early days of the center and now the major changes that are unfortunately occurring because of its financial difficulties. We gave Larry a plaque, a gift certificate for golf and a bottle of wine, and bid him farewell.

Ketra Stumpf, Junior Chamber of Commerce past President, explained to us at our February meeting the history of the JC’s and how much they do for their local communities. The Junior Chamber donated $100.00 to our chapter from the proceeds from its haunted forest project. Also, Ketra and her husband donated $100.00 to our candy fund raiser, without taking any candy!

Many of our members enjoyed the January narrated play, “Duck Hunter Shoots Angel”. We will be attending the play, “Proof” in March and our final play of the season, “On Golden Pond” will be in May. The lunch group has been once again eating its way around the Tri-Cities with pizza at Hubby’s, American food at Sterling’s and then Chinese at the Double Dragon. All of our lady members love to laugh and giggle as they enjoy playing bingo and cards. The book group read “The Lucky Child” and “The Kent Chronicles”.

Thanks again to Cheryl Stone for taking on the candy sale fund raising project. The candy has arrived and Cheryl has set up a selling day at Fred Meyer for the first of March. Holly has our local flyer ready and the outreach committee is setting up dates to make presentations at local retirement centers. They will also place the flyers at hospitals and eye doctor offices.

Happy Spring!


by Joleen Ferguson, President

We had elections at our November meeting, too late for inclusion in the December chapter update. Joleen Ferguson has one year left of her second two-year term, Carla Brinkley was elected Vice President, Alco Canfield was elected Secretary, and Shirley Musick continues her position as Treasurer. Let us thank our outgoing officers: Ernie Jones, Vice President and Ferd and Libby Swenson, Co-Secretaries. After dues were paid and the membership list for our chapter was submitted, we now have twelve members.

There was no December meeting. We have had some injury and illness among our ranks and our January meeting attendance was low. We did have a new member. Michelle Zitek joined us in January.

We are looking forward to a special guest speaker at our February 25th meeting. He is a grade school student from Dixie, WA. He is excited to share his experience attending Space Camp last September. His dad plans to bring him to our meeting.

Carla, Michelle, and Gina have expressed an interest in learning Braille and Joleen is meeting with them once a week. We are having lots of fun in addition to learning some Braille.

We were invited to represent United Blind of Walla Walla at a health fair at Wheatland Village, a retirement facility. In turn, we asked someone from the Edith Bishel Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired to come as well. Several people came by our table where we had some Braille cards and small items on display. Shirley, Gina and Joleen manned our table.

Joleen and Alco attended the February Board Meeting in Seattle


by Betty Sikkema, President

It has been quite a while since I have written a chapter report. First of all, I hope everyone is doing well.

In November new officers were voted in: Betty Sikkema, President, Yvonne Miller, Vice President and Gloria Riley, Treasurer. Diane Kirscheman continues to serve as our second-Vice President and Bruce Radke as our Secretary. Welcome to our newest officer Gloria Riley!

In December UBWC had a Christmas party at the Club House on Ankar Park Drive. Members of the Low Vision group were invited, and some of them attended. Everyone brought good food, and while eating, socializing was going on. Members also brought food items or money for the food bank. We were also surprised with door prizes. Everyone got one. It was a great party!

In future months we will have guest speakers planned by our planning committee. At our next meeting March 9, 2013, Dr. Eric Sabong, a retinal specialist will be our guest speaker. We look forward to hearing from him.

Till next time.


by Lou Oma Durand, Executive Director

This past December, four DSB employees attended the National Employment Conference in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the National Technical Assistance Partnership (NTAP). The question there: “In this new economy, where and how can the VR profession add true and targeted value to achieve our goal of meaningful careers, self-sufficiency, and independence for persons with disabilities?” As we move further into the 21st century and through what has been a slow economic recovery, DSB will have to continue to find new and innovative ways to grow our services and meet the demands of this “new economy” while maintaining our services for people of all ages who are blind or have low vision in Washington state.

The highlights of this past Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) are the results of our work in this challenging and exciting environment. Congratulations to our dedicated and talented staff and to the communities who support us through advocacy and dialogue.

  • 147 customers achieved successful employment outcomes with an average hourly wage of $17.02.
  • 75 of those individuals (or 52%) received insurance benefits through their job.
  • 92 of those individuals (or 63%) received job retention assistance.
  • The average hourly wage of job retention cases was $19.35.
  • Our Orientation and Training Center (OTC), which provides comprehensive training in the skills of blindness, Careers courses, and recreational and community-building activities for our customers, served a total of 52 students during FFY 2012, which included 34 full-time residential, six full-time commuting, and 12 part-time commuting students.
  • The OTC’s Student Training and Experience Program (STEP) provided two students with volunteer work experiences: Food Service Assistant at Café NOAA and Database Intern at the Northwest Foundation.
  • Our Business Enterprise Program (BEP), which provides opportunities for our customers to operate successful food service businesses in government buildings, generated results that benefit the state and our economy as a whole.
  • All 25 facilities combined had total sales of $9,600,000.
  • $440,000 had been collected as sales tax from all facilities.
  • $188,000 had been collected as payroll tax from all facilities.
  • BEP facilities employed 172 people and 36 (21%) of those employees had a disability.
  • With state funding cuts restored in April 2012, DSB staff was able to serve the independent living needs of 127 customers age Birth through 13, and 141 customers ages 14 through 55.
  • Our Independent Living Older Blind (ILOB) program (contracted through the University of Washington and local providers) served 1,341 individuals.
  • We collaborated with the Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ODHH) to provide services for the Deaf Blind Equipment Distribution Program.
  • We expanded services in the WA Access Fund’s CCTV leasing program.

After a successful FFY 2012, we still have the challenges of
growing our employment services while establishing a solid future for how we work with children and youth, their families, and the older blind. We want to reach as many people in Washington State as we can. At the same time, we want our services to evolve, yet remain focused on the task at hand—“Inclusion, Independence and Economic Vitality for People with Visual Disabilities.”

Thank you to the WCB community for your active involvement. We look forward to your ideas on ensuring the future of our services. As always, we look forward to providing “one front door” of services for people of all ages who are blind or have low vision in Washington State.

Updates from the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library

by Danielle Miller, Program Manager & Regional Librarian

Great news from WTBBL! First, we hired one of WCB’s very own as our new Readers Adviser. We are delighted to have Shannon Curry join the Talking Book & Braille Library team and I’m sure you’ll enjoy working with her and the many skills and talents she brings to the library. Of course, we will still have our skilled and talented Alan Bentson so when you call or email, you’ll be in great hands no matter who you speak with.

Second, our new Secretary of State, Kim Wyman, is in office and is very supportive of WTBBL, our mission, our goals, and our patrons. We will be inviting her to attend our summer Patron Advisory Council meeting. PAC meetings are open meetings and I’m sure a member of the PAC will keep you informed about the logistics of this meeting and whether or not Kim will be able to join us.

Third, magazines are finally being mailed out on digital cartridge, and by the time you read this, you may have already received one if you are a subscriber. A couple things to keep in mind, you do need to return the cartridge after you have read your magazine; if you subscribe to more than one magazine, they will all (or most) be on one cartridge; and for the first few months you will get digital and cassette magazines of the same titles – you can discard the cassette and this should stop once the whole country has been switched to digital. As always, call the library if you have any questions or comments.

Many people have contacted us requesting brochures, bookmarks, and posters to share in the community. I encourage you to do the same, or request more so you can get the word out and be part of our stealth outreach team. I wish you all well and look forward to hearing from you.

True Story of a Rehab Counselor Getting It Right

by Kevin Frankeberger

A couple years ago DSB Rehabilitation Counselor Harry Whiting was sitting in our living room chatting with spouse Becky about her case. For all the usual reasons, Becky wanted to do something to support the household budget. As we are both blind and live rather rural, transportation would always be an obstacle.

Plus, due to my own issues (chronic pain) Becky truly needed to be around me in her role as a PCA (personal care attendant). An obvious answer then was an “at-home” business but doing what? That was Harry and Becky’s conversation. As it was Becky’s total decision, I stayed in the background but could hear the conversation. They chatted about Becky’s already obtained four-year degree in social work. Becky’s computer
literacy level was discussed. Then, Harry asked Becky what she was making. As they were talking, Becky was simply crocheting as it came automatically – she could do that while watching television, conversing with me or on the bus – anywhere her hands were free. Becky told him what she was making. He then asked if she enjoined making things and what she had made in the past. Harry then asked what additional tools or training she would like to have that would assist her with her “hobby.” I’m sure the smile on my face went from ear to ear. Dear counselor Whiting was “doing his thing.” He found something his client enjoyed and was good at, which she had simply taken for granted. Thus, “Butterfly Knitting” was born. The “butterfly” came from yours truly as I call Becky my “most beautiful butterfly.”

Over the next couple of years Becky found herself traveling to Des Moines, WA to learn machine knitting from one of the best, her mentor and friend Morgan Hicks. Next, our spare bedroom became Becky’s studio with a computer station, two knitting machines, adjustable tables for them, inventory of knitting and crocheting goods, etc.

The website, Butterfly Knitting then came to be as well. At the website, statements about Becky can be read but more importantly, pictures and descriptions of her products are presented as well as a contact form. It was a picture perfect vocational rehabilitation plan coming to fruition. But then…Like so many of us who are blind, Becky has other health issues that most of the time get in the way more than the blindness. Born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta (O.I. or, brittle bone disease), she has had more than 60 known broken bones over her lifetime. And, she has a significant hearing loss. Those “other issues” raised their ugly head. It became difficult for Becky to hear her clients and her mentor Morgan. Again, Harry Whiting listened. Her decades old hearing aid got replaced! Then came a smashed ankle. The surgeon who put it back together said after the surgery, “it was like dealing with a bag of mush.” Becky was of course no longer ambulatory – now in a wheelchair but those hands of hers still wanted to knit and crochet. Yes, Harry came and listened yet again.

As Becky is short of stature, her wheelchair was low. With my neck issues I couldn’t bend down to push her and she didn’t have the strength to propel herself. An engineer constructed an “up bar” to her wheelchair so I could push it. A hardwood floor was installed in her studio so she could get from work station to work station. And, the tables that hold the knitting machines are motorized so that with a push of a button, Becky can lower them or raise them to her need.

Becky’s then five year old computer crashed and burned, figuratively. Yes, Mr. Whiting helped once again so that Becky could monitor her website and communicate with customers and future customers.

There is not yet an “end” to this story. The latest bone break for Becky was her wrist. That stopped Butterfly Knitting for some time. But, now back up and in business, that sage rehab. counselor is still involved. That is, Becky’s case was not rushed to “closure” at all. Harry “gets” that time is not of the essence when it comes to us very special people with very special additional needs. But like all people, Becky too has that simple need – to be productive.

From cell phone holders to shawls to afghans, Becky of Butterfly Knitting can do your project. Every item is custom made.

Find a Way to be Active

by Gaylen Floy

Back in January, Maida Pojtinger took up the challenge to line up guest speakers for South King Council of the Blind. A few days later an email slid into my inbox: Maida invited a former Paralympian to speak at our February chapter meeting.

There are certain things you notice right away about Joseph Raineri: a formidable sense of humor, a strong handshake, and he is wearing a tie on a Saturday morning. Not just any tie. This tie sports an eye chart that gets blurrier the smaller the letters become. Bazinga.

Joseph runs his own private practice in Bellevue as a licensed mental health care counselor. He is also a proud grandfather planning for his 20th marathon.

Growing up in Santa Clara, California, he lived for sports and was surrounded by young athletes the caliber of Mark Spitz. At age 13, Joseph woke up one morning and noticed a change in his vision. His parents took him to the eye doctor who diagnosed him with Retinitis Pigmentosa (gradual and permanent vision loss). The doctor told him not to have kids and to plan on a good job at a broom factory. Being 13, Joseph blew off this dismal news and headed straight to basketball practice.

Rather than pursuing the enticing broom factory career, Joseph earned a Bachelor’s in Spanish at San Diego State and a Master’s in Counseling at Seattle University.

One day in early adulthood, his vision took a significant nosedive. “Remember how Corelle® was advertised to be unbreakable? Well, if you throw hard enough it shatters.” Joseph broke every plate, dish, and cup in the apartment. He even busted the bathroom mirror. That felt great for the moment, but clean up was a pain. He and his roommate had to replace everything.

That is when he took up long-distance running to deal with the pent-up energy and frustration. “There is such a feeling of freedom when swimming and running,” he said. His first marathon was in 1976.

In 1982, he and a friend signed up for the Iron Man Triathlons in Hawaii. His dad went along and kidded, “You do realize these competitors are highly-conditioned athletes: you two sit around and drink beer at night.”

All went well until his friend’s bike had two flat tires. Joseph had to run on his own after sunset. Spectators ran with him for short stretches along the way to guide. Finally his dad showed up with the rental car and he was able to follow the tail lights to the finish line.

Joseph began cross-country skiing with the U.S. Association of Blind Athletes (USABA). Then he skied ten years on the U.S. Disabled Ski Team (part of the U.S. Ski Team).

Joseph competed and medaled in the 1984, 1988, and 1992 Paralympics doing 10k and 30k cross-country ski events, but has participated in all kinds of sports. He recounted one misadventure while preparing for a race that involved horses.

“Most people take precautions before running in the great outdoors, right?” He and his teammate did not figure on the horse getting worn out in the middle of a day trek. Joseph offered to run back to the truck to get food, water, and something to keep warm. He got very lost in the Southern California canyons. The temperature dropped as the sun went down. Exhausted and feeling hypothermia setting in, he dug a hole, covered himself with dirt, and waited. Finally he heard a helicopter. He jumped out of the hole waving his arms, and was rescued.

Now Joseph runs a fitness boot camp on Mercer Island three days a week beginning at 6 a.m. “I firmly believe in giving back to the community through volunteer work and speaking.” He encourages people with vision loss to find a way to be active. He recommends conditioning using a treadmill or stationary bike. “Especially with balance issues on the treadmill, you may need to hold onto the bars.”

One of our chapter members asked, “How do you stay in the lane when swimming in a race?” A piece of surgical tubing keeps him connected to a sighted swimmer. This works well as long as both people swim the same pace.

Joseph was pleased to learn Ski for Light is active in Western Washington. Joy Iverson plans to have him as a guest speaker at the Orientation and Training Center in Seattle. Wouldn’t it be cool to have a fitness workshop at our state convention?


Compiled by Joleen Ferguson

This column is presented for your information and enjoyment. Inclusion of information, products, and/or services does not constitute endorsement by the Washington Council of the Blind. . Put “Bits and Pieces” in the subject line.

Shiri, a PhD student in computer science at the University of Washington is in a research group developing tools to improve the accessibility of public transit. They are looking for participants for an interview study. The interview will take about 45 minutes and can be conducted by phone. We will ask questions about your use of public transit and the challenges experienced.

Participants must be blind or have low-vision. Participants will receive a $15 gift card to Amazon. Gift cards will be emailed several weeks after the interview is completed.

If you have questions or would like to participate, please .

Shiri Azenkot
PhD Candidate
DUB Group coordinator
Computer Science & Engineering
University of Washington

Kinect® Eyes-Free Yoga Study

Have you wanted to participate more fully in video games? Have you been afraid to attend an exercise class because you cannot see well enough to understand the exercises? At the University of Washington, researchers are designing a video game to help people learn to participate in exercises without needing to see the screen.

Video games that concentrate on exercising are called exergames. We have developed a yoga exergame for the Kinect®. We are looking for participants who are at least 18 years old and who are blind or visually impaired to play this yoga exergame to give feedback on the accessibility of the game. We also request that you are willing and able to perform the yoga poses without risk to your overall health. You do not have to be an expert. We are looking for beginners.

The study takes approximately one hour and will be held on the University of Washington campus or at a preferred location. You will take a survey before and after the exergame. During the exergame, you will be oriented to all of the yoga equipment, and you will have opportunity to perform six yoga poses. This study is confidential. All answers to the survey questions will be confidential–only the researchers will see you while you play the exergame. There will be a video and audio recording. Throughout the study you can tell us if you want something deleted from our records.

If you are unable to perform any of the yoga poses, you should not continue the pose. Participation is entirely voluntary; you may choose to stop the study or to not participate in any part of the study at any time. You will receive $20 for participation.

Contact Kyle Rector at (503) 449-1736 or Cynthia Bennett at (206) 221-3147 .

Are you an entrepreneur with a disability who needs a business loan for your small business? Need help writing your business plan?
Sign up for Washington Access Fund’s FREE accessible web-based meetings!

The next series begins Tuesday, April 9th from 12:00-1:30pm and runs weekly (on Tuesdays for seven weeks) until May 21st.

To Register:

  • Call: 206-328-5116
  • TTY: 1-888-494-4775

Please give 14 days notice of accommodations needed. Space is limited, sign up soon to reserve your spot!

Melissa Helquistis, a PhD Candidate from the Department of
English at Texas Tech University recruiting participants for a dissertation study about how individuals with low vision or blindness read, write, listen to texts, and use the Internet.

Participants will be asked to share their experiences in a voluntary one-hour interview by phone or in person. They may be invited to participate in additional interviews and observations.

Participants should be 18 or older and either blind or low vision.

Participation will be confidential. Participants will receive detailed information about the study and information about protection for participants.

Find out more by visiting

Dr. Sean Zdenek (806-392-6696; or Melissa Helquist (801-875-1281; can answer questions, or you may ask the IRB Coordinator of the Texas Tech University Institutional Review Board. Call (806) 742 3905 or contact the Texas Tech University Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects, Office of the Vice President for Research, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas 79409.

If interested in participating, contact:
Melissa Helquist, PhD Candidate,
Dr. Sean Zdenek, Associate Professor,

Hats Off

Compiled by Cindy Van Winkle

We extend our heartfelt congratulations to the following WCB members:

Lori Allison (PCAB) on being hired as the new Outreach Coordinator for TACID (Tacoma Area Coalition of Individuals with Disabilities).

Shannon Curry (PCB) on her new job as a Reader Advisor at the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library.

Dorothy Lacey (UBTC) on the special occasion of her 97th birthday.

Gina Mooney (UBWW) on completing the Administrative Office Professional coursework through Walla Walla Community College.

Brooke and Josh Richardson (UBSWW) on the birth of their first child, a son! Zachary Eldon Richardson entered this world on February 27 at 11:34 am, weighing in a wee 5 pounds 2 ounces and 17 inches long.

Diana Turley (UBTC) on receiving her new guide Greyson, a sweet and gentle, male, Yellow Lab from Guide Dogs of America.

If you have something for inclusion in future Hats Off articles, please send to with “Hats Off” in the subject line.

From My Kitchen to Yours

by Alco Canfield

Great Granola!

4C old fashioned oats, 1/2C sesame seeds, 1/2C sunflower seeds, 1C butter, 1C honey, 1C untoasted wheat germ, 1/2C any kind of raw nut, (almonds, cashews, etc.)

Combine dry ingredients. Melt butter with honey and stir into dry mixture. Put in a 13x9x2 greased pan and cook at 300 degrees F, stirring about every 10 minutes.

Texture will feel like cookies that are done.

Remove from oven and add dates or raisins or both.


2013 Calendar of Deadlines and Events

Compiled by Cindy Van Winkle

April 2, 2013 Employment Resources Forum, 7:00 pm

April 4, 2013 President’s call, 8:00 pm

April 5, 2013 Deadline to apply for the 2013 WCB Leadership Seminar,

April 9, 2013 Assistive Technology Forum, 7:00 pm

April 22, 2013 Diabetes Support Group call, 7:00 pm

May 1, 2013 Deadline to apply for the First Timer Scholarship to the 2013 ACB Conference and Convention

May 3-5, 2013 WCB Leadership Seminar (by invitation only)

May 5, 2013 WCB Spring Board meeting, Red Lion Bellevue, 9:00 am-3:00 pm

May 7, 2013 Employment Resources Forum, 7:00 pm

May 14, 2013 Assistive Technology Forum, 7:00 pm

May 15, 2013 Deadline to apply for stipend or loan to 2013 ACB Conference and Convention

May 27, 2013 Diabetes Support Group call, 7:00 pm

June 4, 2013 Employment Resources Forum, 7:00 pm

June 6, 2013 President’s call, 8:00 pm

June 8, 2013 Low Vision Expo, sponsored by Sight Connections

June 11, 2013 Assistive Technology Forum, 7:00 pm

June 24, 2013 Diabetes Support Group call, 7:00 pm

July 6-12, 2013 ACB Conference and Convention, Columbus, OH

August 1, 2013 President’s call, 8:00 pm

August 17, 2013 WCB Summer Board meeting, WTBBL, 10:00 am-3:00 pm

August 31, 2013 Deadline to apply for First Timer Scholarship to attend the WCB Convention.

August 31, 2013 Deadline to submit WCB scholarship applications.

August 31, 2013 Deadline to submit nominations for WCB awards.

September 9, 2013 Call in for free room between 9:00 am and 12:00 pm

October 3, 2013 President’s call, 8:00 pm

November 7-9, 2013 WCB Convention, Spokane WA

December 5, 2013 President’s call, 8:00 pm


by Alco Canfield

NEWSLINE Article Submissions

The NEWSLINE is available in large print, half-speed four-track cassette tape, via email, and on our website at

Articles should be no longer than 750 words and may be edited for clarity and space considerations.

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Article deadline: To be considered for inclusion in the June issue, article submissions and other information for publication must be received by Saturday, May 26, 2013.