Opportunity, Equality, Independence
Cindy Van Winkle, President
Alco Canfield, Senior Editor
Walla Walla, WA
Terry Nelson, Assistant Editor
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 Presidents Desk
Editorial: Thoughts About the American Flag
Board Report: August, 2012
Snapshots From ACB 2012
November Is the Month of Convention
Bylaws Jazz Band Jam
From the Senior Side: Strife on the Street
Old Attitudes Die Hard
A Lifetime Memory
WCB History for 2002, Part 3
Where Did Our O&M Techniques Come From? Part 3
Washington State Department of Services for the Blind
Washington Talking Book and Braille Library
Around the State
Hats Off to You
Bits and Pieces
From My Kitchen to Yours
2012 Calendar of Deadlines and Events
NEWSLINE Article Submissions
From the President’s Desk
by WCB President Cindy Van Winkle
Instead of writing this from my desk, I actually should be sitting out on my porch writing from my swing. The sun is shining, birds are singing, flowers are blooming, there’s a slight breeze, and it feels calm and peaceful outside. It’s one of those days that make you feel as though all is right with the world and somehow you don’t have to do anything to make it so.
The truth is though, we do have to do something if we want good things to happen. We can’t just sit around and expect others to take care of it for us, whatever "it" may happen to be. In that vein, I want to encourage all of us to prepare ourselves for the upcoming election. Important races and measures will be on the ballot, including the election of President and Vice President of the United States of America. So if you’re not already registered to vote, it’s not too late to do so. There’s lots of material about candidates and issues available to read on the web; we need to do our part to vote wisely and to take advantage afforded us to vote privately as well.
An important race in our state which should concern blind people is for the office of Secretary of State, since this office oversees the State Library which means also the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library (WTBBL). The Patron Advisory Council for WTBBL sponsored a candidate’s forum in June which I attended and listened intently to the two main candidates, Kim Wyman www.KimWyman.com and Kathleen Drew www.KathleenDrew2012.com. I encourage all of you to learn about these ladies and to cast your vote for the one whom you believe will be the best fit for our library.
The American Council of the Blind (ACB) Conference and Convention in Louisville was absolutely a highlight of my summer and I believe that of twenty-seven other Washington travelers as well. We were reminded that the work of ACB never stops and how we are being represented by passionate and caring leaders. The week began with WCB Past President Berl Colley being presented with an ACB Life Membership gift by WCB. Then I was honored to accept the Ned E. Freeman Award for excellence in writing on behalf of Carl Jarvis for his article, "Old Attitudes Die Hard," reprinted from the Braille Forum in this issue.
I met a bright young man from Washington, Shawn Berg, who received one of the ACB Scholarships while he pursues a degree in Aeronautical Engineering; he and his mom, Tammy, joined us one night in our hospitality room and also attended our caucus breakfast.
The Colleys were extra busy throughout the week campaigning. Berl was re-elected to the ACB Board of Directors and Denise was elected for her first term on the ACB Board of Publications. Then, at the annual banquet, I had the distinct privilege of presenting Sue Ammeter with the George Card Award for her many years of advocacy on behalf of blind people. And somehow Tim and I even had the opportunity to go to the Frazier Museum of History and the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory. It was a jam-packed and fun week, and I hope many of you will plan to attend next year’s event in Columbus, Ohio.
It’s true, summer is a time for vacations, chapter picnics, long walks, gardening, barbecues, kite flying, swimming, parades, and county fairs. I know I’ve done many of these things myself. But in the midst of all the activities of summer, we often put aside many of our other commitments. For some the routine of chapter meetings have given way to picnics and vacations. For others like me, we take a long break from our jobs. However, like the sunshine that beckons me to my swing to relax on a peaceful summer afternoon with birds singing, September has school beckoning me back to work and I hope many of you back to your chapters ready to roll up your sleeves to play an active part.
WCB is a vibrant and active organization not by happen-stance, but rather due to its growing membership, now surpassing 450, and the hard work and genuine love and commitment of that membership! Thank you for being a part of WCB!
Thoughts About the American Flag
by Alco Canfield
Recently, at a Rebecca Lodge Meeting, I was asked to talk about what the American flag means to me. This is what I said.
When I think about the American flag, I know that if I had been born in another country, my opportunities would have been much more limited because of my blindness.
When I think about the red in the flag, I remember those who sacrificed their lives so that I don’t have to shout, "Sieg heil!" or live with the possibility of being euthanized because of the state’s perception of me as "imperfect."
When I think about the white in the flag, to me it symbolizes our Better Nature, one that welcomes and includes people of different beliefs and cultures who only want better lives for themselves and their children. I remember that we are an immigrant nation and that my ancestors shared similar dreams and aspirations.
When I think about the blue in the flag, I think of the sky. The flag beckons. It stands for the hope of freedom and the possibility of limitless opportunities.
I am privileged and proud to salute the flag which waves over a nation where I have received so much. Even with its imperfections, for me, The United States of America is still the best place to be.
August 2012 Board Meeting Report
by Alco Canfield
Editor’s Note: These are not the actual minutes of the board meeting. This is a summation.
The August 2012 WCB Board Meeting was convened by President Cindy Van Winkle at 9:25 AM. Roll call was taken. All board members were present and chapters represented.
A motion to approve the May 2012 Board Minutes was passed.
The Treasurer’s report was given. There is a shortfall of $30,000 because there were no donations from the Vehicle Donation Program. Each committee is taking steps to reduce expenditures in light of this development.
Cindy and others attended the Candidates’ Forum at the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library on June 23, 2012. Two individuals running for Secretary of State were present.
Andrea Damitio represented WCB at the American Council of the Blind (ACB) Leadership Seminar at the ACB Convention. WCB’s $1,000 contribution earned a cosponsor-ship plaque.
Berl Colley received a Life Membership Award at the National Convention. Sue Ammeter received the George Card Award for her advocacy activities, and Carl received his second Ned E. Freeman Award for an article submitted to the Braille Forum which will be featured in the September NEWSLINE.
Denise was elected to the Board of Publications and Berl was re-elected to the ACB Board of Directors.
Advocacy: Sue described some of the activities of the Advocacy Committee. Noteworthy was the success of two individuals who requested reassignment by their company because their jobs were inaccessible. The committee informed them about the law. Their employer granted their request and found them both other jobs in the company.
Awards Committee: All were encouraged to submit nominations to the Awards Committee and were referred to the article in the June NEWSLINE detailing the criteria for nominating perspective candidates.
Convention Committee: The Convention Committee outlined registration costs, room rates, stipends, transportation, and all matters concerning the upcoming State Convention. Convention information will be found in the bulletin on the WCB website, in NEWSLINE articles, and on the phone system.
Crisis Committee: Sixteen people have been served so far this year. The committee has $500 left and will soon run out of money. A motion was adopted giving the committee $2,000 additional funding.
Families of Blind Children: There will be a youth conference at this year’s convention. Invitations will be sent out in time for the start of the school year as a follow-up to those sent out in June to educators of blind students. The Department of Services for the Blind will assist with the mailings and may provide financial assistance to students with a transitional plan.
First-Timer’s Committee: This committee is accepting applications through August 31. Chapter presidents were urged to share information about this opportunity with their membership.
History Committee: This committee will make a presentation at the state convention discussing the ways the educational needs of blind children born in the fifties and sixties were met. The committee also plans to put more profiles on the website.
Membership Committee: The committee is looking for volunteers to host conference calls dealing with employment and technology issues. Three facilitators per topic would be ideal for this monthly call. Outreach activities will continue at the Puyallup Fair from September 13ñ15, 2012. More volunteers are needed. The committee is researching the cost of Braille alphabet cards containing the WCB logo.
NEWSLINE: Members were reminded of the August 25, article submission deadline for the September NEWSLINE. Several proposals to deal with necessary reduction in committee expenditures were outlined. These will be submitted to the Finance Committee by Cindy Van Winkle for the 2013 budget.
PR Committee: Gaylen Floy will provide short guidelines to those interested in creating a chapter website. She can be contacted at 253-217-9586 or by
Scholarship Committee: This committee is accepting applications through August 31. Letters were provided to Bridge participants and to vocational rehabilitation counselors.
Gaylen created a flyer in Word and PDF formats which Holly distributed at the Association of Education and Rehabilitation Convention in July. For the first time, we were forwarded contact information of ACB scholarship applicants and we will make sure they know of our scholarships. Applicant interviews will take place through the first week in September.
Sue outlined the activities of the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library and the State Rehabilitation Council.
Berl discussed news from the Washington State School for the Blind.
Old Business: Cindy continues to seek sites for next year’s board meetings. They are tentatively scheduled for the first weekend in February, May, and August. She has signed two contracts for the 2013 and 2014 State Conventions, the first to be held at the Red Lion on the Park in Spokane, November 6-8, and the second to be held at the Murano Hotel in Tacoma, October 30 November 1.
Denise Colley will chair the Resolutions Committee and Glenn McCulley will chair the Nominating Committee. Kevin Jones and Vivian Conger will serve with Glenn.
New Business: WCB has spent $7,500 of the $15,000 authorized for grants. A motion was adopted to give $4800 to Tape Ministries Northwest for its digital conversion of cassette materials. We may be able to partner with them to facilitate or transition from cassettes to a digital format.
Stuart Russell is now president of Guide Dog Users of Washington State because of the resignation of Debby Philips who has left the organization.
The meeting was adjourned at 3:00 PM.
Snapshots From ACB 2012
by First-Timer Recipient Gaylen Floy
Thank you to WCB and the First-Timer Committee for the opportunity to attend the National Convention in Louisville. Now I understand better what the buzz is all about.
No need to zipline through caves: sleeping on the floor with strangers at the Dallas airport, dodging canes and guide dogs by the score, ducking the snout of a horse sculpture, helping people photograph goldfish at the bar, New Yorkers hounding me to the ladies room, and witnessing a giant, winged bat mascot chase kids around a baseball diamond proved to be enough adventure for one week. Yowzah! I’m still having wild dreams.
My Top Ten Takeaways From Louisville
I was able to:
10. Connect with people of similar interests, such as the Low Vision Affiliate, Assistive Technology Specialists, and Social Media buffs.
9. Glean valuable information right from an Apple instructor; such as how to get started with Voiceover on an iPod Touch and see a demonstration of the Zoom Text Portable Closed Circuit TV in the Exhibit Hall.
8. Share ideas to energize chapters.
7. Meet scholarship recipients from across the country and get their perspectives.
6. Hear from influencers in industry and government, nationally and internationally.
5. Hear debates first hand.
4. Question people in the know.
3. Learn about candidates for the Board of Directors and Board of Publications.
2. Vote on what the American Council of the Blind (ACB) should tackle.
1. See that we can all influence the national discussion starting right now in our chapters and on the WCB listserv.
My Favorite Quotes of the Week
The National Library Service Director, Karen Keninger, said that an iPhone app is in the works. She closed by saying, "All politics are local. Keep library services on your representatives’ radar." Sara Conrad, new ACB Board Member, said, "Students need fun. This isn’t a shallow request. You might consider creating a student position on your board." Caleb Olin, Senior User Interface Engineer at Major League Baseball Advanced Media, said, "The accessibility changes we made were not retro. These changes made our products cutting edge."
Carl Jarvis, Berl and Denise Colley, Marlaina Lieberg, and Sue Ammeter certainly are held in high regard across our country for the tremendous work they do. WCB makes a difference at the national level.
When two resolutions didn’t pass, I was surprised, but maybe I need more information regarding both issues: sub-minimum wages and a resolution allowing ACB leadership to contact chapters directly.
Creating an advisory board for ACB is a huge step forward. The connections made and sponsorship garnered will take our legislative and public relations efforts to a level appropriate for the issues we confront.
After serving on the Public Relations Committee for a few years, it was a real pleasure to finally meet Chair Dr. Ron Milliman. Since evaluating the website is the first step in a social media marketing campaign, this year four people on our committee evaluated seventeen affiliate websites based on content and design. Dr. Milliman added up the scores and I designed certificates of recognition.
Our combined Membership and Public Relations workshop was packed. The topic: How to use websites to promote membership and events. Ardis Bazyn facilitated the first panel on using a website to grow membership. Dr. Milliman facilitated the second panel on using a website to promote your organization and events. I served on the second panel with representatives from the affiliates whose websites scored highly.
Guide Dog Users, Inc., received first place overall and Missouri Council of the Blind received second place. I particularly liked the Missouri homepage. News blurbs and action items give members and non-members a reason to connect and visit the site frequently. Next year the PR Committee will focus on ways to drive traffic to affiliate sites and how to measure the effectiveness of content.
The LinkedIn and Facebook workshop gave me new ideas on how to use Facebook while job hunting. Ray Campbell, a techie from Chicago, shared tips on navigating LinkedIn with JAWS and helping people get their profile completed.
If you have to stay in a hotel for an entire week, Galt House (the official hotel of the Kentucky Derby) is hard to beat. Service was fabulous. The swimming pool overlooked the Ohio River. Going for a swim felt great after an afternoon of workshops.?
Next time I attend convention, Iíll take a digital recorder to interview people waiting at the elevators: sound-bite heaven.
November Is the Month of Convention
by Brooke Richardson
The end of the year is drawing near and it is the time of year all WCB people love the most. Nope, it isn’t Christmas, but WCB State Convention!!! And this year proves to be the best yet! And the best part is, you’re invited!
When? Thursday, November 1ñSaturday, November 3, 2012.
Where? Hilton Vancouver Washington and Conference Center. 301 West 6th Street, Vancouver, WA 98660, 360-993-4500.
Only $92 per night plus applicable taxes and fees if you register before October 4, and mention the WCB Convention.
Want to know how to get there? One bus will be leaving Seattle going through the I-5 corridor on Thursday, November 1, and leaving convention on Sunday, November 4. There will be various stops along the way. If you are not using the free bus and are not a resident of King, Pierce, Thurston, Lewis, Cowlitz, or Clark Counties and you have been a member since at least May 1 of this year, you are eligible for a stipend but need to apply before October 4. Please contact Shirley Taylor at 206-362-3118 for reservations and stipend.
Here is just a bit of the great things awaiting you at convention besides just updating yourself on WCB business. Our guest speakers prove not to disappoint. We have Ken Scholes, author of the Isaac Trilogy and Michael Belington, past president of the Kansas Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired. There will be presentations on everything from voting accessibility, I-technology, health and wellness, some craft and hobby exhibits, only to mention a few. Plus two great tours involving the Washington State School for the Blind. One will explore the school’s popular coffee shop and the other will explore the school’s fantastic sensory safari. Register early so you won’t miss out on these tours because space is limited.
But wait, there is even more! Want to show us your talent? Acts must be family appropriate and under five minutes in length.
or 360-943-9778. What about door prizes?
or 360-249-3248, or
or 206-706-0434 to let them know if you or your chapter wants to contribute to the pool.
Also, don’t forget those exhibits, one of my favorites. If you have suggestions or even questions
Donít forget our Youth Conference, too! This is for high school students focusing on promoting independence and peer support.
or 360-689-1678 for more information.
This year we will have one-on-one computer training with Access Technology Specialist Al Yardley.
or 253-223-2069. What a great treat!!
So what are you waiting for? Complete the official registration form online at www.wcbinfo.org or with assistance over the phone by calling Lori at 253-537-4428. You must do this before October 4, to get the registration rates:
$85óregistration plus meal package (including up to five meals: breakfast and lunch on Friday, breakfast, lunch, and the banquet on Saturday).
$45 registration plus Friday meals.
$45 registration plus Saturday meals (excluding the banquet).
$45 registration plus banquet only.
$25 registration only.
Call 1-800-255-1147 and press number 6 for up-to-date information or go to www.wcbinfo.org.
It is going to be a blast; we look forward to seeing you there!!
Bylaws Jazz Band Jam
by Frank Cuta
We have a number of constitution and bylaws transpositions to perform at this year’s WCB convention and the band is in the groove! We have already worked up an act you will not want to miss.
There is Rhonda steady on the drums, Eric holding down the baseline, Stuart wailing away on the sax and me just lightly tinkling the keys of the piano. I am alluding to, of course, the work of our WCB Constitution and Bylaws Committee. You can join our little jam session after the WCB board meeting Thursday night, November 1, as we make final decisions on the following list of proposed amendments.
We have an amendment to Article 8 that will reduce the business meeting quorum from 20% to 15% of the total membership. There is an amendment to Article 5 that clarifies that the lifetime membership that is available for $100 is specifically a State Lifetime Membership.
Next there is an amendment to Bylaw 3 to change the requirement terminology on stipend and loan attendees to attend business sessions at the national convention to expectation terminology. We have an amendment to Bylaw 2 that will reduce the amount of travel and lodging compensation that we give our alternate delegate to the American Council of the Blind (ACB) Convention. We have an amendment to Bylaw 1 which makes it clear that the president has the authority to combine the duties of any WCB standing committees as the need arises. Next we have an amendment that will add a public relations committee and resolutions committee to the list of committees listed in Bylaw 1. Finally, we have an amendment that will remove the last remnant of an old double occupancy lodging requirement from Bylaw 6 that deals with sending members to the ACB Legislative Seminar.
We will publish the formal draft language of these amendments on our WCB listserv a week or so prior to the convention. But at our meeting after the board meeting Thursday night, changes and corrections to this list are still possible.
These proposed amendments will be read for the first time on the floor Friday morning of the convention. The final performance of the Constitution and Bylaws Committee will be at our business meeting Saturday afternoon, where you will vote them up or down. You can hold your applause till then.
From the Senior Side
by Carl Jarvis
We are pleased to present another article by Ernest Jones.
Strife on the Street
by Ernie Jones
The attack caught me completely off guard and in mid stride I was jerked around to face the direction I had just come from. I found my guide dog lying on the pavement with the attack dog just out of my reach, growling menacingly at us. What had started as a relaxing walk had turned into a nightmare.
Our attention had been fastened on the dog in the middle of the road just a few feet ahead of us as he bounced around, barking wildly. This was nothing unusual so we didn’t reduce our fast stride, yet this distraction was not wanted and was a continual cause for concern.
I heard the second dog give one sharp bark but nothing more and was wondering why he wasn’t out in the road harassing us also. I only wondered a moment about where the other dog was before his swift attack told me where he was. My guide, Melita, had realized the rush of the attack dog just in time and as the attacker’s jaws tried to close around Melita’s left flank, she had dropped to the pavement so only the dog’s slobbers got on her fur.
Though the dogs’ owner was aware of what her dogs were doing, she nonetheless continued to allow them to run free. Nor was this the attack dog’s first time for in the past month he had attacked two other dogs. Only those who have suffered an attack, usually from a "very friendly" dog, will understand the fear this causes.
As for me, the sudden stop and being swung around so swiftly, caused me to have sharp chest pain that mimicked heart pain. Only after several medical tests and scans were taken was the cause of the chest pain discovered. "The sudden stop, probably while you were taking a deep breath," the doctor said, "actually tore some muscle over your left rib cage allowing bleeding that caused the severe pain."
This chest pain, worse with any movement, was to remain for several weeks and greatly limited my walking. Though the body may heal in time, the mind never forgets those few fearful moments. My feeling of freedom to walk when I liked was robbed from me and this freedom was replaced with a nagging fear of what could happen on our next walk.
For my guide dog it meant weeks of retraining and reassuring her every time we passed a dog, regardless whether this dog was on a leash, in a pen, or loose. There was a time I feared my guide’s wonderful work was over because of the shock she had suffered, but after several weeks she was again able to guide me around the neighborhood.
Today I often hear remarks like, "Oh, he is such a little thing and won’t hurt you," or "He is very friendly and won’t hurt you," or "He is only a puppy." Another statement I heard recently is, "I am training him to stay off the road; how can I do this if he is not allowed to run free in the yard?" Still this same person was inside the house with the dog loose out in the yard. I ask, "How does one train a dog that way?" But for one who has been attacked, these words really don’t bring any comfort. My remark to them is, "Put a blindfold on and see what you think as a dog comes rushing out towards you."
Even today, around eight years after the attack, I feel the fear as some loose, and of course always, "a so-called friendly dog," comes rushing out into the road as my guide and I pass by. And though my present guide has not been
attacked, still I feel his attention taken from his work of guiding me and placed on the unleashed dog coming towards us. My direction can easily be mixed up as my guide turns around to face the other dog. You may find it easy to walk blindfolded in a straight line but try this after being turned around and see if you know what direction you are now facing.
Too many county homeowners (this is also true in College Place and Walla Walla), think the leash law does not include them; after all, their dogs are "friendly" so why can’t they run free?
My thought concerning this is to respect your neighbors and consider how your loose dog may be affecting them.
Have a great day as you walk our roads with no fear of a dog attack.
The following article won the American Council of the Blind Ned E. Freeman Award for 2012. It appeared in the July/August 2011 edition of the Braille Forum.
Old Attitudes Die Hard
by Carl Jarvis
Remember the old adage, "Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water"? Which makes me wonder, how many of you have ever given or been given a bath in a free-standing tub, one from which the water could be thrown out?
Think of how many of our expressions come out of the past and are based on a way of life that no longer exists, or is fast disappearing.
"A stitch in time saves nine." How few people now pick up a needle and thread to do more than put a button back on a blouse or shirt? "A quarter past the hour," makes no sense to our grandchildren when clocks no longer have hands. And how many horses are there in a 250-horsepower engine?
Little things like dialing the phone. Really? What do we do to a modern phone? Punch it? We can’t dial something that has no dial. And what in the world do we mean when we say, "Just in the nick of time," or "It’s down the road a piece"?
Well, before it sounds like I’m just babbling, my point is that we hang onto old expressions long past the day when we knew why we used them. We say things out of habit because we have established general agreement on what they represent.
My grandma used to say, "He’s so poor he doesn’t have a pot to pee in or a window to toss it out." Now we understand that this fellow is really poor even though none of us have ever peed in a pot or looked for a window, have we?
But here is my point. We as a society hold onto outdated ideas just as we hold onto old expressions. Our attitudes about blindness are based on thousands of years of beliefs that have been passed from generation to generation without folks ever giving much thought to them. "Blind as a
bat," conveys a particular mental image when applied to a particular situation. "He flew into a blind rage," tells us something about the antics of someone who is out of control. "She groped blindly for the door," gives us a beautiful picture of how lost this poor soul is.
"Down a blind alley." "He turned a blind eye." All are expressions that all of us understand. All are based on attitudes about folks who lived and died thousands of years ago and who lived in a very different world. While we blind people live in a much different world today and are very different from those lost souls on whom such expressions were based, we are nonetheless stuck with them because they are broadly understood and make a general picture of the point being made. They have nothing to do with how blind people function today and yet they have everything to do with how society sees us.
Try and think of ways the word "blind" is used in expressing a positive point. We say, "He had a keen eye for the task." We know that this fellow is on top of the situation. But there is no positive way of letting folks know that the blind person has just as keen an eye. The word "blind" trumps all else.
We blind people are up against something much bigger and deeper ingrained than merely proving that we are capable human beings. Even as the waitress says to me, "My, you people do so wonderfully well." She is responding to our collective understanding of blindness, not to me.
Ten years after I had been totally blind, my dad said, "By golly, I believe that blind people really can do anything they set their minds to!" I was taken aback. "Dad," I said, "I don’t understand. You have always agreed with me that blind people can live normal lives just as sighted people do."
"Well," Dad said, "I understood what you were saying and
intellectually it made sense. But now I really believe it." Today I understand that at that point Dad had stepped past all of the accumulation of ingrained attitudes about blindness. And this is where rehabilitation must come to: more than just proving that we are as good as our sighted neighbors. Even with us proving that we can do some things better than they can, that will not change that underlying, unspoken accumulation of belief. It could be said that along with rehabilitating the blind person, we must rehabilitate our entire society.
A Lifetime Memory
by Berl Colley
It was Sunday, July 8, 2012, and Denise and I were in Louisville, Kentucky, for the American Council of the Blind’s (ACB) Fifty-First Annual Convention. It was our fifth day of Louisville’s heat and the Galt House Hotel’s chill. We had made it through the July 6, Leadership Institute, the July 7, Pre-convention board meeting, a wonderful Saturday night retirement party for ACB’s Past President Paul Edwards at a local restaurant, and now it was the first night of the conference. Earlier in the evening on Sunday, we were joined by Marlaina Lieberg at the hotel’s coffee shop for dinner. We also were joined by David and Rhonda Trott of Alabama, and Michael and Allison Smitherman from Mississippi.
Since the Sunday night session is "sit where you want," I told Denise that we might sit with the Trotts. Unfortunately, David was not feeling too well, so we went to the session uncommitted. Going into the hall, we saw John Damitio, who told us where most of the Washington people were sitting. When we arrived President Cindy suggested that Denise and I sit with her. Cindy was on my right and Denise was on my left. A little strange since usually Denise would be sitting in the middle. Then there was Cindy’s husband, Tim Van Winkle. He was standing over against the wall. I must have said to Cindy three or four times, "Why don’t I move so Tim will have a place to sit?" She kept saying, "Oh, don’t worry about him."
After the opening ceremony, President Pomerantz’s report to the organization, and a presentation from Major League Baseball, the Life Memberships were awarded. I sort of half listened as Mitch named off the first three and they received their recognition. Then Mitch announced that he thought the next award was a surprise. That woke me up! I am always up for a surprise. He said that the next recipient is a member of ACB’s Board of Directors and from one of our more prominent affiliates. I said to Cindy and Denise, "That’s Jeff Thom." I was completely caught off guard when Mitch called Berl Colley.
I got up from my seat to where Lane Waters was standing, I am not sure how, and Lane took my cane and handed me a plaque and the microphone. Those of you who know me know that I always have something to say. Not this time. Words were not coming and I stood there and giggled like a sixteen-year-old girl. I finally said that I loved everybody and thanked them all. That was when I learned that my ACB Life Membership had been purchased by the Washington Council of the Blind. Oh! That’s what was up with the seating arrangement. Cindy had set it up for Tim to stand in front of me and John to stand in the isle and take pictures when the announcement was made. Denise was in on it, but her job was to get me to where most of Washington was sitting.
The rest of the week flew by with Denise and me attending caucuses and other convention activities. Both of us were elected to national offices.
When all was said and done, the awarding of the ACB Life Membership Plaque from WCB will give me a memory for my lifetime.
WCB History for 2002, Part 3
by Berl Colley
During the May 19, Spring Board Meeting at the Executive Inn in Seattle, the board voted to donate $500 to the Washington School for the Blind’s Walk and Run for Sight fundraiser. Several WCB members attended this event in late May.
Berl Colley announced that WCB would be receiving an award from the National Braille Press for sponsoring the Humpty Dumpty children’s book and the spelling book.
The board voted not to send a member to receive the award, deciding to request someone from the Bay State Council of the Blind to accept it on behalf of WCB.
A memorial service for Disability Rights leader Justin Dart, was held in Washington, D.C., in late May. The Dart family requested that Sue Ammeter attend and be one of those recognized as a national advocate. The WCB board voted to reimburse Sue’s expenses.
The 5,000 WCB booklets were also delivered in late May. They were distributed to WCB’s chapters. The 1,000 alphabet cards were received from National Braille Press in June. Most of them went to Shirley Taylor to hand out when she gave talks at Seattle schools.
Also in June, American Council of the Blind’s (ACB) Executive Director Charley Crawford asked WCB to sponsor the development of a Lynx-based screen reader. A committee consisting of Frank Cuta, Richard Dirk, Debbie Cook, and Berl Colley was appointed to study Charley’s request. After several conference calls the committee recommended not to sponsor the project.
The Washington delegation to the National ACB Convention in Houston, Texas, was the largest that Washington had had since the San Francisco convention in 1993. There were forty WCB members in attendance.
Glenn McCully and Julie De Geus represented WCB at the Youth Employment Solutions meeting for consumer groups. In addition, Julie and Steve Heesen spoke to the students at the Orientation and Training Center about WCB.
The Summer Board Meeting and Retreat was held on August 9ñ10, at the Bellevue Inn. Featured guests Melanie Brunson, an attorney from ACB’s national office, and WCB’s attorney Lisa Johnson spoke at the retreat. They provided information on what affiliates should do in order to receive 501(c)(3) certification from the Internal Revenue Service. Lisa suggested that applying for a 501(c)(4) status might be a better and less expensive way to go.
The board appointed a committee charged with drafting language allowing accessible voting, which would be presented to the 2002ñ2003 Legislative Session. Gary Burdette, Cindy Burgett, Sue Sather, and Berl Colley made up the committee.
The board approved a partial grant to Jack Pigott, from the Peninsula chapter, of $3,200, to help develop Camp Harobed. This camp was named after Jack’s wife and WCB member Deborah Pigott who passed away the previous year.
The board also decided to make a donation of $10,000 to help support the publishing of ACB’s newsletter, The Braille Forum.
Denise Colley announced that WCB had received eleven scholarship applications that year. She also said that John Learned, CEO of the Vehicle Donation Program Center (VDPC) had notified WCB that VDPC would like to give two scholarships through WCB for the next three years. The amount each year would be $2,500 and would be given to one male and one female. This offer was readily accepted by the board.
Berl announced that the Sanderson Group, WCB’s other fundraiser, would now be accepting donations via credit card.
Becky Bell announced that in the fall the History Committee would be starting to conduct Oral History interviews.
Gary Burdette reported that Governor Locke had signed a bill allowing Segway scooters on the state’s sidewalks. Gary and Melanie talked to the board about the dangers of these devices when being used on pedestrian walkways.
Melanie gave a National Office report to the board. She said that ACB was working to make sure that blind people were considered when the nation’s airport security would be turned over to the Transportation Security Administration. In addition, she reported that the National Access Board would be having meetings in the fall regarding Audible Signals. One of the hearings was scheduled for Portland, Oregon, on October 8. The board voted to obtain a small bus to take WCB members to that hearing. Twenty people attended. Berl Colley, Glenn McCully, and ACB First Vice President Mitch Pomerantz spoke to the members of the access board. On the return trip, the WCB bus stopped in Woodland, Washington, at the Oak Tree Restaurant for a very tasty lunch.
Orientation and Mobility Living History
Where Did Our O&M Techniques Come From? Part 3
by COMS Dona Sauerburger
(Reprinted from the May 1996 newsletter, "Metropolitan Washington Orientation and Mobility Association." Reprinted with permission.)
Williams wasn’t surprised by what the veterans could achieve because he had done it himself, but the instructors, Bledsoe, and Hoover continued to be pleased and surprised with what the blinded veterans were accomplishing.
One day, Hoover, who visited Hines occasionally, watched a lesson in which the veteran crossed several streets and went to a train platform. Hoover was exceedingly impressed. Williams also reports that at one visit, Hoover was astounded at the new procedure he witnessed: the "drop-off" lesson. This is a lesson in which the blind
learner is dropped off without being informed of his location, orients himself, and meets the instructor at a destination.
Hoover’s first reaction was that this lesson was cruel to the blinded veterans, but he later said that he approved of the practice.
The techniques and the cane itself also changed in those early years of O&M. For example, the canes that Hoover had taught the soldiers to use were less than 44 inches long; the Hines instructors began to use longer canes and also individualized the length of the cane to suit the height of the user.
In another example of evolving training techniques, Hoover introduced Williams and the other soldiers to the cane only after they had learned to travel indoors and were starting outdoor travel. Williams taught the Hines instructors to introduce the cane and its use at the very beginning of their
instruction. They were to use the touch cane technique indoors as well as outdoors.
Other techniques and strategies also evolved, primarily through the discussions that the instructors had at the end of each day when writing their progress notes. Some of these strategies were developed by the blind veterans themselves as they applied what they’d learned to travel
Each year around December, the instructors also blindfolded themselves and tried things that hadn’t seemed to work with the veterans and adapted or came up with new techniques and strategies.
Whenever the instructors had different ideas or preferences for techniques, they all agreed to use the technique that the majority chose. They felt it was imperative that they all be consistent because, even though each veteran had one instructor assigned to him, other instructors often filled in and also reinforced techniques when they were in charge of the ward overnight. Students were told that after they had left the program they could adapt the techniques as appropriate for their needs.
Thus these early instructors, because of their sensitivity, creativity, increasingly high expectations of the blind veterans, and willingness to learn from them also contributed significantly to the development of O&M
The population that was at Valley Forge and Hines were different from the blind civilian population, most of whom had functional vision. Williams feels that one factor which may have influenced the development of O&M is the fact that the vast majority of men who had been blinded in the war were totally blind and had no hope of recovering their vision. Many of them were young and energetic and they wanted to be independent. The circumstances of having so many totally blind, determined young men in one program may have inspired efforts to find and develop alternative techniques for orientation and mobility, and to establish a program to present those techniques to the blinded veterans in a sequential, orderly manner.
Williams felt that another factor which may have fostered improvement of the techniques and program is the fact that each person at Hines felt comfortable sharing ideas with the others. The staff members felt close to each other and there was no hierarchy of status to inhibit their interaction and communication.
Leaders in the rehabilitation of blind people were convinced of the effectiveness of O&M training only after persistent efforts on the part of the originators and their converts. Without people like Williams, Bledsoe, Hoover, Blaha, Corbett, Mees, Thuis, Suterko, and the blinded veterans who were determined to gain their independence, O&M programs may never have developed to the point where they eventually proved their value and were accepted by the blindness field.
Washington State Department of
Services for the Blind (DSB)
by Executive Director Lou Oma Durand
After the roller coaster of the most recent legislative session, DSB ended the State Fiscal Year on June 30, 2012, in excellent shape. We preserved core services for people of all ages who are blind or have low vision while continuing to work toward solutions in new and exciting ways.
The highlights of this past year are the results of your work. Kudos to our dedicated and talented staff and to the communities who support us through advocacy and dialogue. I am proud to share some of the highlights with you.
Children and Youth
This summer, the Youth Employment Solutions (YES) Program set up eighteen high school students (soon-to-be juniors and seniors) who are blind or have low vision with paid work experiences in a variety of job settings including customer service at Value Village and Alexis Hotel, food service at NOAA CafÈ and First Floor CafÈ, and public education at the Pacific Science Center. In addition, as residents of our YES house in Seattle’s University District, many students for the first time lived away from homeóshopping, cooking, cleaning for themselves, and earning and managing money in checking accounts. The exposure to work culture and expectations, the emphasis on both independence and community, as well as the program’s opportunities for recreation (such as camping, hiking, and rafting) help prepare students for the decisions they will make about their futures and careers.
Our BRIDGE program enrolled eight high-school graduates in summer courses at Eastern Washington University, where they learned how to advocate and put into place accommodations in higher education programs, experienced dorm life, and developed systems for navigating the college campus.
In July, DSB sponsored a week-long day camp for ten students, ages 9 through 13, from the King, Skagit, and Pierce Counties. The focus of this day camp was on the expanded core curriculum: independent living skills, recreation, technology, and orientation and mobility. In addition to working on their skills, the kids had opportunities for sailing, visiting the DSB Adaptive Technology lab, as well as working with a speech and language pathologist on social thinking and etiquette. They traveled on the Metro bus and visited the Seattle Art Museum where they had the opportunity to receive a hands-on tour of the Australian Aboriginal Art exhibit and later got to make their own tactile artworks.
In addition to these three programs, our agency sponsored two youths with visual impairments to the Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues and Employment Youth Leadership Forum, which covered essential topics related to leadership and transition with an emphasis on empowerment, self-advocacy, teamwork, careers, and exploring choices. The participating youths developed and worked on a Personal Leadership Plan to carry with them beyond the Leadership Forum.
The Orientation and Training Center (OTC)
During State Fiscal Year 2012 the OTC served fifty-four students (thirty-four residential and twenty commuting), with twenty-seven customers on their waitlist. The OTC has been at maximum capacity and we are exploring ways to serve more people who want our services in an efficient and timely way.
Twenty-one customers, who either could not or chose not to attend the OTC, participated in the OTCís Intensive Workshops, receiving a full-week of training.
The OTCís new Student Training and Experience Program provided two students the opportunity to gain valuable work experience in real-life settings. One student worked as an assistant at the Business Enterprise Programís NOAA cafÈ while the other student interned at the Northwest Foundation, performing data entry and research.
Challenge Activities continued with opportunities for yoga on Fridays, snowshoeing/cross-country skiing, rock climbing, and kayaking.
Conferences and Staff Development
Two years ago, the agency participated in basic training in Motivational Interviewingóan approach that emphasizes non-judgmental, non-confrontational, and non-adversarial counseling in order to encourage clientsí awareness and articulation of themselves. Last year, a handful of counselors participated in Advanced Motivational Training and the results were fantastic! As a result, DSB offered a new session of advanced training for staff interested in increasing their basic Motivational Interviewing skills.
On a national and even international level, representatives of DSB attended three conferences: the National Federation of the Blind in Texas, the American Council of the Blind in Kentucky, and the International Association of Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired in Bellevue, Washington.
Our strategies for developing the next biennial budget (State Fiscal Years 2014ñ2015) include a request for increased funding for children and families as well as the growing older population. We will also be making the case for more direct service staff and more authority in capturing federal dollars that could come to us through state and local matches.
Thank you to the WCB community for your active involvement. We look forward to your ideas on ensuring the future of our services. And we look forward to another exciting year providing ìone front doorî of services for people of all ages who are blind or have low vision in Washington State.
Washington Talking Book and Braille Library (WTBBL)
by Danielle Miller
I hope you have all enjoyed a wonderful summer and had a chance to escape into a great summer read. WTBBL was busy with our annual Summer Reading Program and welcoming our new Youth Services Librarian, Mandy Gonnsen. We were able to bring Mandy on thanks to the support from our Patron Advisory Council and their leadership in recommending the filling of this position to the State Library and Secretary of State administration. The summer reading theme is "Dream Big," which has gotten us all excited and dreaming about the growth of our children and teen program. You can help us by spreading the word to kids, families, and teachers (and don’t forget, children with reading disabilities are also eligible for WTBBL services).
The last two and a half years or so, our newsletter, Reading Matters, has only been available in electronic format via email or our website due to budget constraints. We recognize that we are likely not reaching all the patrons we would like to in a strictly electronic format. Beginning this winter, we will reintroduce Reading Matters in large print to be sent to all patrons. The print version will be slimmed down and will have a redesigned layout and will continue to be available in text, audio, and web-Braille at www.wtbbl.org. Reading Matters will frequently reference our website so you can get more information on a particular topic in the issue. Our goal is to reach everyone using our service and to get important service information and updates straight to your door.
Finally, as fall approaches, so does the November election. The position of Secretary of State oversees the Washington State Library and WTBBL so we’ll be watching closely. If you need assistance with voting information, you can contact the State Elections Office at 800-448-4881 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am looking forward to seeing many of you at your convention and welcome your questions or comments about WTBBL and library service. If you don’t catch me in person somewhere around the state, you can reach me at 206-615-1588 or Danielle.email@example.com.
Around the State
Capitol City Council of the Blind (CCCB)
by Berl Colley
Hello from CCCB.
Our summer agenda has included two chapter meetings, a game day, and our annual summer picnic.
The July meeting saw a fundraiser guest who talked to us about his firm’s possibilities for raising funds for our chapter. No decision about his offer has been made at the time of this writing.
There were eleven members from our chapter who traveled to the American Council of the Blind’s (ACB) National Convention in Louisville, Kentucky. We comprised nearly half of the Washington delegation. In Louisville, Denise Colley was elected for her first term on ACB’s Board of Publications. Berl Colley was elected to his second term on the National Board of Directors. Several of our members won door prizes. Gary Ernest participated in the ACB Walk, and members of CCCB spent more money than they should have at the ACB auction. John Damitio went to the national for the first time.
Berl was caught speechless when he received a surprise Life Membership to ACB from the Washington Council of the Blind. Dottie Simenson and Shirley Atwater extended their trip by going on to Washington, D.C.
We had five members, John and Andrea Damitio, Denise and Berl Colley, and Zack Hurtz go to Bremerton on July 28, to attend WCB President Cindy Van Winkle’s 50th birthday celebration.
The Damitios and Colleys also attended the WCB Summer Board Meeting in Federal Way, on August 4. Denise was named as chair of the 2012 WCB Resolutions Committee at that meeting.
On August 11, Jackie Cabrera held another game day party at Dee and Jackie’s house. Some watched descriptive movies while others sat in their backyard and visited while soaking up the warm Lacey sunshine.
The annual CCCB picnic was held in Olympia’s LBA Park on August 18. Along with the fried chicken and beverages that the club purchased, there was Kathy Matsen’s potato salad, meatballs, and bean salad. Others brought cookies, fruit, veggies, chips, etc. We always enjoy the trivia games that Dan Matsen brings. Everybody went home with some kind of a prize. Zack won the folding picnic chair and Terry Atwater won a toilet seat. The club president, Denise Colley, was noticeably absent. On Wednesday, August 15, she broke a rib while at the gym.
Zack Hurtz spent a little time in the hospital this summer.
Greater Everett Area Council of the Blind
by Cindy Stormo
Hello all from the Greater Everett Area Council of the Blind. Summer is winding down and we are getting ready for our next season coming this September. We all had a great time at our annual picnic, held on July 14. Lots of people were in attendance and enjoyed the good food and fellowship. At the end of the picnic, names were drawn for door prizes. It was a fun time for all.
Our candy sales are going well and we sold all but one box. Danette Dixon enjoyed being at the leadership training in May.
We gained a few new potential members who are coming to join us at our September meeting. We currently have about fourteen members in our group.
Jefferson County Council of the Blind
by Carl Jarvis
During our June meeting we began a discussion on developing membership. In general we agreed that raising public awareness would be a place to start. In other words, letting Jefferson County’s citizens know weíre here.
Vice President Nancy Kelly-Patnode, filling in for President Lynn Gressley, called for suggestions. Sue Ammeter said that Danielle Miller, Program Manager and Regional Librarian for the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library was available for community presentations. This seemed to us to be an opportunity to inform our county citizens about the many services provided through this valuable program.
Sue agreed to talk with Danielle to see if she could join us at our September meeting. Sue said she would report back at our July picnic. Nancy said she was just about to give us the bad news regarding July. The first Friday the Kitchen Angels have at the SKP Club House is August 10. Even so, our August 10th July Picnic had a good turnout, including three guests.
President Lynn Gressley is still having health issues, so Nancy took up the brief business of our plans for September. Sue had spoken to Danielle and she will join us on September 28. Sue and Carl will work together to organize the event.
Later we secured the club house at Kala Point for the gathering. We are planning to invite librarians, school officials, eye physicians, program directors from the many retirement and assisted living facilities, and visually impaired residents. The program will be from 2:00 PM until 4:00 PM. This is a public meeting and all are welcome. If you live outside Jefferson and Clallam counties it would help us to know that you’re coming. Just drop a note to:
King County Chapter
by Treasurer Marilyn Donnelly
Oh boy, when last we met I was looking forward to a very special picnic. That happened one Sunday afternoon at the home and picnic grounds of Tim and Virginia Schneebeck. We enjoyed an unbelievable variety of wonderful food. Thanks to the Schneebecks and their family and friends who prepared and served this delicious meal.
A recent speaker at our chapter meeting included a presentation titled "Bits and Pieces." It was a potluck assortment of subjects, from having a will and a power of attorney to riding the new giant Ferris Wheel on Seattle’s waterfront; from checking out your local community centers to attending a fair in your area. Then we were encouraged to clean the filter in our dryer after each use. Last but not least: don’t eat crackers in bed.
In June, we were privileged to have the director of YADA at our meeting. YADA stands for Youth Awareness Disability Assemblies. Different elementary schools invite the YADA program to come into their school for a day. Representatives from five different disability groups encourage the children to ask questions and to handle the aids and appliances on display. The blind community is represented by our very own Shirley Taylor.
Nancy Lind was part of a panel discussion about disability issues before an audience at the Federal Building in Seattle recently. Good for you, Nancy.
Congratulations to Becky Bell, whose pottery creation won first prize in the Friends in Art competition held at the American Council of the Blind Convention in Louisville, Kentucky.
Birthday wishes are going out to any and all who will be celebrating that special day in September, October, November, and December. See you in Vancouver.
Peninsula Council of the Blind (PCB)
by Meka White
The PCB has been relatively quiet this summer due to vacations and soaking up the sun, but the activities that we have participated in have been fun and festive, just like us!
In June, we decided to be sneaky and plan a surprise party to celebrate Nicole Torcolini and Barbara Evans for graduating from college. We were in a particular time crunch because we wanted to have this celebration before Nicole headed to Mountain View, California, to begin her job at Google. Many of us met at Silver City Brewery and had a fantastic time. We were so sneaky, in fact, that one of our graduates wasn’t even in town for the party, but we made certain that she knew just how much she was appreciated. These wonderful ladies were presented with $50 gift cards to Macy’s and plenty of congratulations. We know that Nicole and Barbara are going to do wonderful things and we wish them the very best.
Our annual PCB picnic was held in July, at Evergreen Park. This chapter could not have ordered up a better day if we tried. The sun was shining, children were playing on the playground, and we had wonderful food. We also had an invisible grill, but fortunately the PCB Grill Crisis Unit came through for us. If you want to know the rest of that story, seek me out in hospitality at our convention and I’ll tell you all about it. We had hamburgers, hot dogs, salads, and all kinds of other food, so we celebrated in style.
The books that the All Ears Book Club has read this summer are as follows: The Color Purple by Alice Walker, The Fortunate Ones by Frederick Noesner, The Sinner by Tess Gerritsen, and A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. All of these books are available through the National Library Service BARD.
We hope that you all have a fabulous rest of the summer, and the PCB will be seeing all of you at convention!
United Blind of Seattle (UBS)
by Secretary Malissa Hudson
Well, I have some happy and some sad news to report in this issue, which one would you like? Well, I’ll just give it all to you! In June, United Blind of Seattle held our annual Friends’ Day at the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library and it was a huge success! We had thirty-four people in attendance and we welcomed three new members to our family. They were Karen Fredricks, Don Swaney, and John Worlette. Welcome. We are honored and privileged to have you!
There were three people who spoke about each component of the organization. Glen McCully spoke about the American Council of the Blind, Julie Brannon spoke about WCB, and Vice President Quincy Daniels spoke about the local chapter. Thank you to all of you, you did a marvelous job!
We did not have a meeting in July. In August, we did our usual business and we welcomed Erin Hancock as our speaker from the Act Theatre. She spoke about two audio described plays coming up later this year and about how the blind community can get discounted tickets.
On a very sad note, we lost two very special members of UBS. Janet White died on June 27, and Nute Jones, who was a long time member in his 90s, passed away. There was a graveside service held for Jan in Renton and a memorial service was held for her at Center Park Apartments on the afternoon of August 10. She will truly be missed for her energy and enthusiasm and of course, for her laugh. But now, she’s in paradise with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and looking down on all of us.
We will be having our first ever UBS picnic on September 9, and our Christmas gathering will be on December 15, at the Spaghetti Factory. Well, Iíll talk to you all on the next update. Please feel free to come to a meeting on the third Saturday of every month at Virginia Mason Hospital, 925 Seneca. Love you all and God Bless!
Hope to see everyone in Vancouver at this year’s WCB convention. We are hoping to have a big representation from our chapter this year.
South King County Chapter of the Blind
by President Sharon Schauer
Here’s the NEWSLINE update for the South King County Chapter of the Washington Council of the Blind.
On Saturday, August 18, we had a bowling party at Roxbury Lanes in Seattle. We had three lanes of bowling, pizza, and soda for $9 which was a pretty good bargain. A good time was had by all. Gina Allen went bowling for the first time since 1981 and got a 67. Gail Allen, Gina’s husband, got a 103. So, there was some good competition in that household.
On Saturday, August 11, we had a social get-together in lieu of our monthly meeting at the Ram Restaurant at Kent Station, in Kent, Washington. We had a wonderful time and lots of good food. It was such a nice day we all ate outside.
At last count our chapter is now up to twenty-eight members. We are growing fast and our room at Denny’s, where we have our regular monthly meetings, is getting smaller as time goes on.
More to come next NEWSLINE.
South Kitsap County Council of the Blind
by Treasurer Carol Brame
We have been very busy this year and since I missed the last submission article for the NEWSLINE, here we go.
After some of our chapter meetings, a few of our members have gone out for lunch at the Coffee Oasis in Port Orchard and China West. We will be going to Coffee Oasis again in September to celebrate all of the birthdays. One of the special days will be mine, Carol Brame, and I am turning the big 50 this year. Big happy birthday wishes also go to Shirley, Dorothy, and Pat.
In October, Kevin and Mary Jones will be celebrating their 30th Wedding Anniversary. Chris and I made it to twenty years on May 23.
For fundraising, we had candy sales, car washes, and will also be doing a raffle starting in September. The winner will be drawn at our November meeting.
Chris and I helped with the Low Vision Expo in Lynwood with Gaylen. We really enjoyed ourselves and had a really good turn out with hopes for the growth of WCB.
I am enjoying being on the WCB Membership Committee and cannot wait to see friends this year at the WCB convention.
This last meeting Bob Herman talked about some great phone numbers that are free. So I will pass them on to all of you.
Conversation Station at 616-883-2999.
Audio Connection at 616-883-2957.
This works great if you do not have a computer. You can get everything from old-time radio, to classic TV, and described movies, books, Daily Bread, and more.
Our chapter has a few new members this year and welcome to our new friends. Hope to see you at convention. Enjoy the rest of the year. Hope everyone is doing well.
United Blind of the Tri-Cities (UBTC)
by Member Janice Squires
Summer time is fun time for the United Blind of the Tri-Cities. This year we are blessed to have not one, but two fun-filled picnics! Our first one was held in the beautiful backyard of Mel and Sherry Dubbin. They graciously allowed us the use of their home and also provided all of the delicious food and musical entertainment.
Next on the list will be our annual backyard party at the home of our dear member Dixie McDaniel. For many years, we have enjoyed Kentucky Fried Chicken dinners and a wonderful birthday cake honoring Dixie’s late husband, Shannon. Even the dogs get to romp and play and that always adds a little joy to each and every one of us. A big thank you also goes to our members Kathie and Frank Zaloudek, for always being there to assist with the chicken pick up and for their love and support over many years.
The lunch group did venture out to Applebee’s and the Double Dragon in June and July. It is so obvious that this group just loves to eat!
Frank Cuta was our one and only member to attend the national convention in Louisville, Kentucky. Frank always brings back such a wide array of information and the latest and greatest of gizmos and gadgets. Thanks for sharing Frank!
The card and bingo groups still meet once a month at the Bishel Center. What a lovely way to spend time with friends and share and laugh together. The book group has read: Hope Unseen and The Best of Me.
Second Vice President Sherry Dubbin reported from the new Outreach Committee about their plans for the future. Her committee members include: Ruth Shook, Holly Kaczmarski, and Karyn Vandecar. They are putting together a collection of flyers that will be used by the committee at hospitals, doctor’s offices, and retirement centers. Also they have purchased Braille alphabet cards with our contact information stamped on the back of them. They will start with visits to six facilities. Sherry spoke with Larry from the Edith Bishel Center and she has his total supportóeven going so far as to loaning us equipment for show and tell. Several members are volunteering to be speakers for this outreach project.
All of the UBTC members want to wish a very special Lady, Dorothy Stone, a very happy 90th Birthday. She is one of our most precious members, so full of love and wit. Dorothy has such an infectious laugh; it brings a smile to everyone. We love you Dorothy and wish you many more special days.
Hope to see everyone in Vancouver at this year’s WCB convention. We are hoping to have a big representation from our chapter this year.
United Blind of Walla Walla (UBWW)
by Member Libby Swenson
Our chapter did not meet in July and our August meeting is scheduled after the deadline for NEWSLINE submissions, but we were busy nevertheless.
Ernie Jones received such an unprecedented response to his July "Different Views" article in the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin concerning the problem of free-running dogs in our local area that he shared that response with his readers in August.
Ernie and his guide dog, Melita, were attacked by another dog eight years ago. "But the shock remains glued in my mind." He pointed out that not only low-vision individuals can be victimized. The problem is many faceted: the large number of unconfined dogs, the lack of enforcement of the leash law, the reluctance of victims to report any incidents, and the often tardy response to these reports.
"I expected some response from the blind community, but I was not prepared for the volume I received from sighted folk."
Ernie further wrote ". . . I have heard from many blind and sighted people locally and across this vast land. Everyone spoke of better control concerning loose dogs."
Ernie concluded his August article by saying that the present animal control officer ". . . has been both supportive and, I feel, doing what he can to rectify the problem. He told me he is enforcing the law and the fact that I am blind makes no difference."
Stepping Stones, the small book of meditations by Libby Swenson, is into its second printing. The bookstore, ABC, in College Place, Washington, invited her for a book signing on July 4, and the sales went well.
The installation of the newest accessible signal has recently been completed in Walla Walla at the intersection of Ninth and Poplar. These are main thoroughfares north and south and east and west, leading south to Milton-Freewater, Oregon, and west to College Place, Washington, and, from some sections of town, west to the Tri-Cities.
Delta Gamma Sorority contributed $6,000 and United Blind of Walla Walla, $500, toward the expense of the installation. This brings to nine the number of such intersections now available in the city. We were pleased that city workers invited us to be present once it was installed so that we could all agree on the settings best to be used. Dodie Brueggeman, Vivian Conger, and Joleen Ferguson participated.
Craig and Debby Phillips were visiting in Walla Walla at the time of our June meeting and we seized the opportunity. Debby gave an interesting account of her mission trip to Alaska in 2008. Her pastor was taking a group of children on this trip and he invited her to go along.
The agenda for our August 27, 2012, meeting includes a report by Vivian on her attendance at the American Council of the Blind’s National Convention in July in Louisville, Kentucky.
There will also be a discussion on possible fundraisers for UBWW.
United Blind of Whatcom County (UBWC)
by Treasurer Yvonne Miller
As we are in a heat wave and wild fires burn around the state and country, I’m grateful for milder summer climates here in the Northwest. The kind of weather our chapter can enjoy. We take the summer months of July and August off from business meetings.
A few of our members are on the move, literally, as August comes to a close. Hope Nightingale will be moving from Ferndale to downtown Bellingham into a new apartment where she might be spotted at a coffee shop, strolling through the Farmer’s Market, or exploring any of the merchants nearby.
Betty Sikkema has a new condo in Lynden close to a Dutch Pastry Shop. So if she gets a craving, she knows where to get her fix. Her new place is located near the newly built Judson’s Community Arts Center where she plans to take advantage of classes. She went to the grand opening. She got hands-on experience on the pottery wheel. She also tried weaving. Way to go Betty!
Gloria Riley went to the summer WCB Board Meeting to fill in for President Barb Crowley. She accepted this trip gladly and has proved to be a valuable member. We will get her report at our next chapter meeting.
Book Club report by Bruce Radtke: Thanks to Diane Haggith’s hospitality, we discussed Crouch’s The Bishop’s Boys, at her home on August 20. We’ve increased our appreciation of the Wright Brothers’ flight accomplishments with Hope as our discussion leader. Welcome especially to Gloria, Chris White, and Judy Van Woudenberg! Please set aside Monday, October 1, 2012, for our next discussion of an historical novel by Stephanie Whitson, called Sarah’s Patchwork.
UBWC held its annual picnic at Whatcom Falls Park on July 25. Members and guests came together for a pleasant sunny afternoon over a potluck lunch. What a variety of dishes to be enjoyed that exhibited culinary creativity and offered gluten free choices as well.?
Gloria introduced her daughter, Trina Wyldeman, who came along with her to the picnic. She decided to join our chapter. Trina moved from Canada. She is in her second year of schooling to become a Holistic Nutritionist. Trina is now registered with Washington State Health Registry to do home healthcare. So she is gradually changing her career from working with the Canadian Ministry of Education. Welcome Trina!
Bruce briefed us about his volunteer experience while at the American Council of the Blind’s (ACB) convention held in Louisville, Kentucky. He noted that there were two fundraisers that included the annual Walk and Run, as well as the annual Auction, both raising money for ACB’s budget. They were both fun, too! Look at the ACB website for more news about resolutions and other concerns handled in Louisville. Thanks Bruce!
As reported in the last issue, on June 9, UBWC participated in the annual Human Race Fundraiser Walk and 5K Run along Bellingham Bay. I can gladly report that our chapter was successful in collecting $700 in donated funds. Awesome effort!
Social Welfare Committee: Bellingham Food CoOp and the Personal Assistant Kit Project assisted ten blind/low vision individuals with the Tech Grant Project. The main goal was to provide partial funding to help offset the expense of the new technology. Miriam Freshley handled most of the orders. Only one item had to be exchanged. It was Christmas before the meeting. People came to pick up their new assistive devices and try them out. The room was buzzing with excitement and audio noises as the equipment was tested or examined. Hats off to the Social Welfare Committee and Bruce for applying for the CoOp funding. Good job to everyone for their volunteer work to help make this happen!
Until next time, for those planning to go to the upcoming WCB convention, have fun!
Yakima Valley Council of the Blind
by President Sally Mayo
Last week, August 18, we had our annual picnic at Howard Underwood’s house. There was lots of food and a pool for anyone who wanted to swim. It was a lot of fun.
Our little chapter has a low vision support group that meets once a month at Orchard Park. It is a senior apartment facility. There is a good turn out and hopefully we will have people who come and will eventually join our chapter.
Another activity is bowling. Every Friday at Nob Hill Lanes in Yakima, a group gets together to bowl. This is sponsored by the Yakima Lion’s Club so there is no cost to the blind bowlers. We have a great time and usually enjoy lunch there as well.
We have a lending library for described videos for our members. Laura Beigh at the Tacoma Area Coalition for Individuals With Disabilities in Tacoma (who is one of our members), uses it for her movie group. We also have a book club which meets the last Saturday of the month at Bill Smedley’s house. Sometimes we learn to weave baskets at the same time. Our monthly board meeting is held at the Cornerstone Apartments Community Room on the second Saturday of each month at 11:00 AM. Brown bag lunch.
Hats Off to You
Compiled by WCB President Cindy Van Winkle
We extend our heartfelt congratulations to the following WCB members:
Sue Ammeter (JCCB), on receiving the prestigious George Card Award from the American Council of the Blind in recognition of her many years of advocacy.
Carl Jarvis (JCCB), on being awarded the Ned E. Freeman Award for excellence in writing for the article "Old Attitudes Die Hard," reprinted in this issue of NEWSLINE. This is the second time Carl has been recognized with this award.
Becky Bell (KCC) on winning first place in the art competition for Friends in Art at the ACB convention for one of her pottery creations.
Berl Colley (CCCB), on his reelection to the ACB Board of Directors, and being awarded an ACB Life Membership by WCB.
Denise Colley (CCCB), on her election to the ACB Board of Publications.
Jessica Wrigley (UBSWW), on the birth of her daughter, Aleta Renee Wrigley; born on June 5, 2012.
Lorea Pilon and James Ryan (PCB), who were married in June on the grounds of Camp Harobed.
Shirley Gray (KCC), on the special occasion of her 92nd Birthday. Your WCB family wishes you many more to come, Shirley.
Dorothy Stone (UBTC), on turning 90 years young. A very happy Birthday Dorothy!
Michael Higley (UBSWW), on beginning his job as an L.P.N. for Care Center East.
Bernie Vinther (UBTC), on receiving his Associate Degree in Machine Technology from Columbia Basin College.
Frank Cuta (UBTC), on passing the Apple Certification Exam for OS X Support Essentials 10.7 (that’s MacIntosh Lion operating system in English).
Holly Kaczmarski (UBTC), on being selected to participate in a week-long session for Travel Training by Project ACTION.
Diana Turley (UBTC), on receiving her new guide from Pilot Dogs, a big and beautiful black lab named Carson.
If you have something for inclusion in future Hats Off articles, please send to
with "Hats Off" in the subject line.
Bits and Pieces
Compiled by Joleen Ferguson
Accessible formats of the State Voters’ Pamphlet are available upon request. Audio CD or USB drive versions may be obtained by subscription by calling the voter hotline at 800-448-4881 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Provide your preferred format, name, telephone number, and mailing address. For additional information about voter accessibility, go to our WCB website and find the link in the "Announcements" area of our homepage.
There is a wealth of information about our state by going to www.wa.gov. You may more quickly locate legislative information for our state by going to www.leg.wa.gov. The website for the Washington Secretary of State is www.sos.wa.gov.
There is a White House monthly disability conference call. Learn about this and more at
www.whitehouse.gov. There is a link to disability issues.
www.usa.gov is the U.S. Government’s Official Web Portal.
New CCTV Magnifiers Available
New Closed Circuit TV Magnifiers are available for rental through the Washington Access Fund! Thanks to a generous grant from the Washington Department of Services for the Blind’s Older Independent Living Program, the Access Fund has brand new CCTVs available for long term, low cost rental to low income individuals over the age of 55! CCTVs are powerful desktop magnifiers that individuals with low vision use to read, write, manage their finances, health (review medications), cook (read recipes), and perform many other activities of daily living (including hobbies such as knitting and sewing!). We have several new model types available. The Access Fund’s CCTV rental program is designed to provide long term, low cost access to this technology for individuals with limited income and assets. Individuals under the age of 55 are also eligible to participateóalthough our CCTV selections for this age group are more limited. We are working hard to raise the additional funds needed to add new units for these clients as well.
To download a CCTV Rental Application form in either Microsoft Word or PDF format, go to
Not sure what to do with your old CCTV? Washington Access Fund accepts donations of newer, gently used Closed Circuit TVs.
Questions or Feedback?
Please call or email Frances Pennell at 206-328-5116 or email@example.com.
Samantha Murphy, Program Specialist
Washington Assistive Technology Act Program
UW Center for Technology and Disability Studies
Direct Line: 206-685-8513
From My Kitchen to Yours
by Alco Canfield
This is easy to make and OH SO GOOD FOR YOU!
2 cups lentils boiled in 5 cups water for 45 minutes.
1-28 oz. can tomatoes
4 stocks celery
2ñ3 small onions
1 handful of parsley
1ñ2 green peppers
4 small white potatoes
Ω teaspoon thyme
Ω teaspoon basil
Salt and pepper to taste
After lentils are cooked, add the ingredients listed above. Add about 3/4 cups water, bring to a boil, and then simmer for one hour or until vegetables are tender.
2012 Calendar of Deadlines and Events
September 30, 2012: Deadline for submitting award nominations.
October 4, 2012: Deadline to register, request travel stipends, and make hotel reservations for the upcoming WCB Convention
November 1ñ3, 2012: WCB Convention
November 24, 2012: Deadline for article submissions to the NEWSLINE
December 1, 2012: State Rehabilitation Council Meeting. (Open) 9:00 AMñ4:00 PM
NEWSLINE Article Submissions
The NEWSLINE is available in large print, half-speed four-track cassette tape, 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 must be sent to the NEWSLINE email address below. Subscription requests and address changes should be sent to
or by phone, toll free at 800-255-1147.
Article deadline: To be considered for inclusion in the December issue, article submissions and other information for publication must be received by November 24, 2012.