Opportunity, Equality, Independence
Cindy Van Winkle, President
Alco Canfield, Editor
Walla Walla, WA
Those much-needed contributions, which are TAX-deductible, can be sent to the Washington Council of the Blind treasurer, Eric Hunter, at PO Box 3127, Bremerton, WA 98310.
To remember the Washington Council of the Blind in your Last Will and Testament, you may include a special paragraph for that purpose in your Will or Trust. If your wishes are complex, please contact the WCB at 800-255-1147.
The WCB is a 501(c)(3) organization.
For other ways to support the Washington Council of the Blind, visit our Fundraising page found at www.wcbinfo.org
Table of Contents
From the President’s Desk
WCB Mourns Our Loss But Celebrates A Life!
August 2013 Board Report
Are You Ready for Convention?
Let Bylaws Be Bylaws
You Should Have Been There
Participating in the Braille Summit
From the Senior Side
Around the State
Bits and Pieces
From My Kitchen to Yours
Calendar of Deadlines and Events
by Cindy Van Winkle
I had the good fortune this summer to spend a month in New York with my daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren directly following the ACB convention. Although this was a time I will always cherish, I missed our chapter’s picnic, and the chance to crash picnics of other chapters which I enjoy doing. Yes it’s true, I do love barbecues and picnics, but I especially love my WCB family and opportunities to spend time with our members, and picnics are a great way to do that.
Bottom line is I engage myself in my chapter, and because of my role as WCB President, I take advantage of reaching out to other chapters when possible. I’m also fortunate to have a chapter that loves getting together, And when visiting other chapters, I always am made to feel welcome. I am ever so grateful for this. The truth is though, I’ve been engaging myself in my chapter since I joined. I’ve involved myself in WCB long before I became President. Are you involved? All of this got me to thinking about other members in WCB. I mean, are you feeling a part of your chapter? When there’s a need to serve, do you volunteer? Does your chapter get together outside of a monthly meeting? If so, do you usually participate? If not, why not? If your chapter hasn’t begun doing extra activities such as a book club, meal social, support group, game night, going on a tour, etc., it’s not too late to start. Any member can arrange something and bring the idea to the membership. It takes just one to get the ball rolling, and that one could be you!
I do believe that every chapter needs to constantly be thinking about how it’s reaching out to its members, Just as I as your President need to be thinking about how I can reach out to each one of you, over 450 members. I rely on chapter Presidents to share with their membership on my behalf. I rely on WCB board members and chapter representatives to communicate what’s happening from our quarterly board meetings with their local members. If this isn’t happening, I am challenging you to ask your chapter leadership the tough question, "why not?" If you’re a member at large, whether by choice or because there isn’t a chapter near you, are you feeling connected to WCB? Are you able to make it to state board meetings and/or the convention? Do you participate in our forum calls or on the WCB email list? Is this enough for you? Could we be doing more to reach out to you? Could you be doing more to participate with us?
I also recognize that many of our WCB members aren’t able to attend their chapter’s meetings and activities due to health, work, transportation, financial challenges, and sadly for some, it may be because of conflict within the chapter. Is this you? If so, how can WCB assist you to feel a part of this organization to which you belong?
So here’s what I know. WCB does try to stay connected with you. We have Forums, conference calls where technology, employment and diabetes concerns are discussed via conference call. We have an email list that shares information and welcomes discussion on topics related to blindness. We have Newsline, this quarterly newsletter you’re reading, that provides a vehicle to share with our membership about our chapters, state agencies and other topics we hope you all find of interest. We have our toll-free number that tries to provide needed resources 24/7. We have our annual convention coming up, which is so much more than just presentations and exhibits. It’s three days to mingle, rekindle friendships and make new ones; yes, a time to connect.
I do know we can do more though, And I’m asking you, the member who is not currently active in a local chapter, would you be interested in a quarterly conference call meeting just for you? Would you be interested in connecting with others around our state to talk about legislative concerns, learn about WCB activities, and establish relationships with others? If the answer is yes, we can do this. I just need to hear from some of you and we can get something started.
If your chapter is struggling, we want to help you too. Our President’s calls and email list are there to assist chapter leadership through peer support. The WCB officers and board are here to mentor, share ideas, collaborate in problem-solving and to visit chapters.
If you have an idea or need, please contact me. I’m here for each and every member and affiliated chapter. I truly am just a call or email away.
Let’s all do our part to make others feel welcome in WCB and to let someone know when we’re not being made to feel welcome ourselves. Let’s each take responsibility at our upcoming convention to reach out to first time attendees or even second time ones. Together, we can share in the growth and strength of WCB!
by Cindy Van Winkle
On September 1, 2013, John Common, member of the WCB Board of Directors and President of the Greater Everett Area Council of the Blind ended his journey on earth. But anyone who had the great fortune of knowing John knows that he believed with everything in him that this life was just temporary and that he is now singing with the choirs of angels, walking on streets of gold and staring into the face of His Lord and Savior. And whether you are a believer to this or not, just knowing the character of this man could cause you to consider his faith.
John was an unassuming man who gave all he had at all times. Witnessing him at work, the thing you noticed first and foremost about him was his servant heart. He served our country in the United States Army and for the past seven years, he served the Washington Council of the Blind. He was passionate about leadership and his role as a member of the WCB family. He genuinely cared about each member as proven by the many testimonies shared of his thoughtful emails and phone calls sent to individuals, sometimes to check on someone going through an illness or rough time, sometimes for a holiday or just because. Whether you believed, he believed, and he would let you know he was praying for you and your situation.
A legacy of unconditional kindness and a sincere love for others is the precious gift John shared with us, and one we should all strive to emulate as we interact with one another in our day to day lives.
We will miss you John Common, but we will not forget you. Rest in peace our precious friend.
by Alco Canfield
The WCB board meeting was convened by President Cindy Van Winkle August 17, 2013 at 10:15 AM. The meeting was held at the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library, and Danielle Miller, WTBBL director was commended for opening the library to us on Saturday.
Board members in attendance were: Cindy Van Winkle, Meka White, Eric Hunter, Sue Ammeter, John Common, Gaylen Floy, Tim McCorcle, Denise Colley and Alco Canfield. Lori Allison, Bill Hoage, and Julie Brannon were absent and excused. All chapters except Yakima and Spokane were represented.
A motion was made by Denise Colley, seconded by John Common, and passed by the board to approve the May board meeting minutes as distributed.
The treasurer’s report was discussed. Issues regarding the Vehicle Donation Program still need resolution. The treasurer’s report was approved.
Cindy thanked David Edick for providing and managing the sound system. She said we saved $4,000 by not holding the board meeting at a hotel. A motion was made by Alco Canfield, seconded by John Common, and approved by the board to give WTBBL a $150 donation as a gesture of appreciation for opening the library to us on Saturday.
The ACB Convention was the highlight of last quarter with over 20 individuals from Washington State attending. Kim Charlson was elected ACB president, the first woman of a national blind consumer organization to hold that position.
Marlaina Lieberg was elected second vice-president, and Denise Colley was appointed chair of the Board of Publications.
On Wednesday, the Public Relations Committee presented awards for the best informational brochures. WCB received second place. William Freeman from the United Blind of Whatcom County is the newest lifetime member of ACB. WCB received $227 from the ACB Students’ fundraiser, coming in first place and receiving 25% of the contributions. The second and third place winners received 15% and 10% respectively. ACB students received 50%.
The convention bulletin and the convention partnership letter are both on the phone system. To access them, press 6 and follow the prompts.
Cindy hopes to have a teleconference with Jim Straussberg re VDPC this coming week. Eric and Berl will be participating in the call. The person he designates who could be the most help re VDPC will be on the September board call.
Someone in Massachusetts sought services in his state from the VR agency because of deteriorating vision, a hostile work environment, and failure of his employer to provide reasonable accommodation. However, he is not eligible for services in that state because he is not legally blind.
Another individual sought assistance with completion of necessary forms for court. The court agreed to assist him, but he did not have a working telephone number.
The committee was contacted by a WCB member who was referred to a specialist by her doctor. The authorization didn’t get processed and she was charged for the medical testing. The committee is working to resolve this issue between the primary care physician and the specialist.
Another individual needed to complete a test for licensure. She sent in her application to the testing service, and they decided that she had not provided sufficient information to indicate that she is legally blind. The delay caused her to miss the examination. She is attempting to get a makeup exam scheduled. If this doesn’t happen, she will have to file a complaint with the Department of Justice.
The university she attended put together a test which she passed as a temporary solution so she can start doing the job for which she was hired.
Sue would like to see ACB form an advocacy committee.
Cindy encouraged chapter representatives to discuss with their chapters the activities of the Advocacy Committee.
Julie Brannon met with the Yes students in July, and Tim met with the manager of the Bridge Program. He has contacted 90 teachers of the visually impaired. One teacher took his e-mail and posted it to the TVI list.
The convention bulletin and registration form are on the WCB website. Registration will be electronic only, and help is available for anyone having difficulty completing the form. Call (800) 255-1147 and press 6. The bulletin is broken up into six sections. Press zero if you have questions.
Jeff Thom, First Vice-President will be our national representative this year. There will be a tour of the Inland Northwest Lighthouse on Friday afternoon. General sessions will be in the morning, with breakout sessions in the afternoon. Exhibits will be available from 10:00 AM-4:00 PM on Friday. For additional information, refer to the convention bulletin and Newsline.
Offices up for election are: president, first vice-president, treasurer, and board positions held by Lori Allison, Sue Ammeter, and John Common.
Cindy and Lori will be traveling to Spokane to make final arrangements with the hotel.
Alco reviewed Newsline stats and thanked her committee. She also acknowledged Meka for her work with the text-to-speech version of Newsline as well as Gaylen Floy who put it up on the website. Cindy reiterated that people using cassettes would not be forgotten, and a way will be found to cover them when cassettes are no longer available.
PR and Website
The resource page and the site map on the website have been revamped. Gaylen is hoping to work with the legislative committee to put together a legislative action center so people needing to call Olympia about pending legislation are able to do so. She is also working with the history committee to put personal stories on that page. Gaylen would also like stories about scholarship winners on the scholarship page.
There are 112 “likes” on our Facebook page. Tim McCorckle won the drawing for the $20 Amazon gift card. When there are 250 “likes”, there will be a drawing for a $30 Amazon gift card. Information is posted twice a day to keep content current. Gaylen encouraged chapters to send information to post on the page. The post receiving the most views was the one concerning sending letters to the FCC re accessibility.
Gaylen gave information to Kean on Google Analytics, a program which would track visitors to our website: their geographic location, actions taken by them on the site, time spent on the site, etc.
The Crisis Committee is well within budget at this time. Six people have been served since January.
Families with Blind Children
Meka said that in June, the members of her committee hosted a dinner for students in the Yes program. They provided pizza and ice cream for them, and gave them lunch bags containing the WCB logo. Cindy gave a presentation about WCB, and e-mail addresses were gathered so that information about the youth conference could be sent to them. A youth conference page has been established on Facebook.
The conference has been postponed until next year so that a contract with DSB can be put in place subcontracting for student chaperones.
Plans for the Western Regional Braille Challenge for 2014 are underway. Meka will be contacting chapter presidents to get a liaison from each chapter in the Puget Sound area to participate in this activity. Students of all ages up to seniors in high school are encouraged to attend. The date and location have yet to be determined. Procters and other volunteers are needed.
Chris interviewed Nancy Lind and it will be posted on the history page of the WCB website.
Sue reported that LouOma Durand has been appointed as director of the agency. She also discussed SB 1356 and its implications for rehabilitation services if passed.
The state library budget was cut which had implications for NLS. One Adult Services librarian position was eliminated.
Sue Ammeter, Denise Colley, and Danielle Miller attended the Braille summit in Boston in June. Danielle was a panel presenter. Topics discussed included: Braille production, Braille literacy, and technology. Breakout groups prioritized what they considered the most important issues, and these were tallied. They will be disseminated by NLS in the future.
There are vacancies on the WSSB board for legislative districts 6, 7, and 9. An online instructional mathematics program has been developed, and teachers from other school districts and several countries attended a presentation held at WSSB concerning this. Recruitment for a principal is underway.
There being no further business, a motion was made by Alco Canfield, seconded by several, and passed by the board to adjourn the meeting which ended at 3:15 PM.
by Malissa Hudson, Member of the WCB Convention Committee
It’s that time of the year again, and no, it’s not Christmas! It’s time for the annual state convention of the Washington Council of the Blind! This is one of our absolute favorite times of the year because of all the fun and excitement that takes place and this is also the time for us to show that wonderful WCB hospitality and enthusiasm.
The 2013 WCB convention will be held in Spokane, WA November 7-9.
This event will take place at the Red Lion at the Park. Room rates are $89 per night plus applicable taxes and fees. You must register by October 15, 2013 in order to get this special $89 convention rate.
The registration form is now available on the WCB website. There will be two buses that will be leaving on Thursday, November 7 and returning on Sunday, November 10. The Seattle bus will depart from the Hotel Max, 620 Stewart Street and if you are leaving out of Bremerton, you will be picked up at The Baymont Inn and Suites, 5640 Kitsap Way and it also leaves at 9:30 AM, making a stop in Tacoma to pick folks up at Love’s Travel Stop, 1501 33rd Avenue East. On Sunday, the Bremerton bus will depart from the hotel at 9:30 AM and the Seattle bus will leave Spokane at 10 AM. To make your bus reservation, or to request a $40 stipend, please call Shirley Taylor at (206) 362-3118. The Convention Committee has been hard at work and we sincerely hope you have as much fun as we did putting this together.
Jeff Thom, First Vice-President of the American Council of the Blind will be our national representative this year. On Friday, there will be lots of great speakers talking on various topics including transportation concerns, accessible proscription labeling, sports for the blind, and hosting a foreign exchange student. Friday afternoon will be filled with break-out sessions which will include topics such as in person shopping, show and tell technology, independent living tips, job interviewing techniques, and the ever-popular, that’s right, ever-popular yoga and meditation session! The Exhibit Hall will also be open on Friday all day if you decide to shop till you drop. A tour of the Inland Northwest Lighthouse for the Blind is planned. On Friday evening, we will have our annual Showcase of Talent and Good Old Fashion Sing-along. On Friday, Al Yardley of Access Technologies will be conducting free one-on-one computer training.
Be sure to sign up on the registration form if you are interested, and let Al know in advance by calling him at (253) 223-2069 or via email at .
Saturday is a great day too because we will hear several reports including what’s going on with ACB, the activities at Inland Northwest Lighthouse for the Blind, the work of the Lilac Foundation, and of course, reports from our three state agencies serving the blind in Washington State. We will also have an employment panel and we will hold our annual business meeting. The convention will end with our WCB annual banquet which will include award and scholarship presentations, and an address from our national representative. Oh, and did I mention that door prizes will be given out during the general sessions, Friday’s luncheon, business meeting, and banquet. For more information and to begin filling out your registration form and to also read the convention bulletin, please visit the council’s website at www.wcbinfo.org or you can call toll-free at 1-800-255-1147 and press 6.
by Frank Cuta
When will we ever let bylaws be bylaws? In other words just leave them alone! Alas, they were created by us, imperfect and messed up as we are, and they reflect the condition of the makers. But, hey, we keep struggling to push the rock up the hill and here is this year’s stone soup.
Seriously the committee works hard to bring these questions to the membership and we look forward to hearing comments and even criticism.
We do wish that more members would come to our committee meeting following the board meeting Thursday night and discuss any misgivings about these proposed changes with us at that time.
So far this year we have three proposed changes.
The first proposed change is to Bylaw 1. It changes the language regarding the membership of the awards committee so like other committees the number of members is determined by the president. The current existing language fixes the size of the committee at three persons.
The second proposed change is a rewrite of a change that was proposed last year. The change is to Bylaw 2 and its purpose is to remove the requirement that the alternate delegates way be paid to the national convention. It leaves open the possibility that if funds are provided in some future annual budget. These travel expenses could still be covered. This is the change that was remanded back to the committee after coming to the floor last year.
The third proposed change is to bylaw 7. It is actually a correction to a mistake that we made in 2008. We intended to reduce the six month membership requirement to three months for leadership seminar attendees and because this bylaw also covered the attendance of designated affiliate representatives to board meetings we inadvertently also decreased the membership requirement for them as well. This change will reinstate the six month membership requirement for affiliate representatives that have their way paid to board meetings.
The complete formal wording of these changes will be available prior to the convention and will be available in alternative formats at the board meeting. You can request electronic copies by writing . Other members of the Constitution and Bylaws committee are: Rhonda Nelson, Danielle Maher and Eric Hunter.
by Alco Canfield
The 2013 ACB Convention held in Columbus, Ohio was a truly historic event. I wish you all could have been there to witness the election of Kim Charlson to the presidency of ACB. ACB is the first consumer organization of the blind to elect a woman president! It was wonderful to be a part of this monumental event.
To say that the scene was overwhelming is a huge understatement! The hotel was huge, the agenda action-packed, and every day presented new challenges. Although the hotel staff were extremely helpful, I found that I needed to start out at least 30 minutes before a meeting just to get there on time.
There were many tours to choose from, but I limited myself to the Zip Line. It was a thrilling experience, but the wait for a 35-second ride made the day very long. However, everyone on that tour enjoyed it immensely.
Many groups do studies at conventions because so many blind people congregate there. I participated in the map study and the currency study. I was paid $100 for the former which involved counting shapes on a page. In the currency study, I had to identify the number of shapes on the back of a bill, and tell the experimenter which bill of two presented was the most worn. Some of these tests were timed which made me extremely nervous.
There are many special interest affiliates: The Braille Revival League and Friends in Art are two of the many groups which meet during convention. There is something for everybody.
Friends in Art sponsored the audio-described version of Argo which was really excellent. It would have been hard to follow the movie without the description.
National convention give you a broader perspective. I found the seminar entitled Is Rehab Working to be most interesting. The Independent Living Program continues to be underfunded, and this is a serious problem throughout the country.
The AFB breakfast was most informative, and the speakers were very interesting and knowledgeable.
I urge everyone to go to the American Foundation for the Blind’s website at: afb.org. There is a wealth of information posted, and AFB is doing wonderful advocacy in the areas of audio description and services to older blind/visually impaired individuals.
If you enjoy meeting new people from all over the world, eating ice cream while checking out the scores of interesting items in the exhibit hall, and being a part of something much bigger than you, attending the ACB Convention in 2014 is something you should consider.
I want to thank WCB once again for allowing me the privilege of attending the ACB Convention as your First Timer. It was truly worthwhile. I want to thank those experienced attendees from Washington State who answered my many questions and were always available to help if needed.
by Denise Colley
WCB Immediate Past President
Last October Karen Keninger, the new director of the National Library Service (NLS) spoke to the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library Patron Advisory Council about the importance of NLS and Network Libraries providing quality services and her commitment to advocate for the use of braille. At that time she shared with us her idea to convene a Braille Summit in June 2013.
As a result of much hard work and planning the Braille Summit became a reality, and was held June 19- 21 at the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Massachusetts. The focus of the Summit was to help determine the best ways for regional libraries to promote and support braille literacy. The conference brought together librarians, braille transcribers, braille readers, and other stakeholders. Sue Ammeter, Daniele Miller and I had the opportunity to attend, and Danielle was a panel presenter on the subject of Collection Development. The conference gave participants the opportunity to assess the present state of braille literacy, technology, and access, and make recommendations that will shape braille programs and priorities for the future. There was also the opportunity to network with other participants from across the country, and share experiences and lessons learned.
In her introduction Karen Keninger said “it’s time to take a look at the NLS braille program, in view of the current trends, needs, and opportunities, and see where to go for the next decade”. She said, “as we all know, the literacy rate and the use of braille have declined over the years for a variety of reasons.” The purpose of this three day discussion was to answer the questions: do we need braille in today’s world, and if so, how can we address those issues that have caused it to decline over the past fifty years in the United States? Can braille be inexpensive, compact, fast to produce, fast and efficient to read, easier to teach and to learn, more responsive to the needs of braille readers and braille learners? What should braille be and look like in the 21st century?
The conference covered five major themes: Braille Readers, book selection and development, Braille literacy, and production and technology. Each topic area began with a presentation by a panel of experts, followed by breakout sessions where participants had the opportunity to engage in facilitated discussions to identify strategic concerns/issues and prioritized recommendations and solutions. On the afternoon of the final day breakout groups were presented with lists of the most frequently identified solutions/recommendations for each of the five topic areas, and we were charged with identifying our top three priorities. During the final plenary session all conference participants were brought back together to see and hear the final results. Some of the final priorities included:
- Make available a low cost, good quality refreshable braille display to braille users.
- Develop an infrastructure to support on-demand braille production.
- Production of more books with pictures, picture descriptions and tactile graphics
- Develop software that can take any electronically published material and put it into properly formatted and encoded braille.
- Launch a “braille is cool” marketing campaign, partnering with celebrities and young adult authors to promote braille, and demonstrating the importance of braille literacy in daily life.
- Work with government agencies to have braille added to all consumer packaging.
Karen wrapped up the conference with next steps. They include:
- NLS will compile all of the information collected into a formal report that can be shared with anyone interested.
- NLS will develop a strategic plan incorporating the priorities that are relevant to NLS and network libraries. This strategic plan will be made public when completed.
Attending this braille summit was an amazing, energizing and learning experience, and one I’m sure the three of us will always cherish
by Carl Jarvis
When we began this column we had anticipated that we would have a place for folks to sound off on issues specific to our senior members.
While we have had several contributors, far too many times the column is filled with my personal opinions.
Although I really enjoy creative writing, that is not what this feature is about.
The older blind and low vision population is fast becoming the majority.
Many of our members have come to the WCB in later life, due to age related eye conditions. But some of us have been in the trenches for years, battling for improvements in services to all blind Washingtonians.
Beginning with our first state-wide organization, the Washington State Association of the Blind(WSAB), our collective efforts have steadily moved us toward equal partnership with our sighted neighbors.
While we have been successful in securing funding and services for those seeking equal educational opportunities and full employment, we are falling behind in our struggle to focus attention on the needs of our older citizens. Currently the Independent Living Older Blind Program (ILOB) is our only state program attempting to meet the needs of this growing population.
Woefully underfunded and under staffed, even this program could become diluted or eliminated.
The fact is that the wellbeing of the next generation of blind and low vision seniors depends upon what you and I do today.
Doing nothing will bring exactly that. Nothing. Is that what we received from those blind men and women who came before us?
Just to make certain you guess the right answer, take a look around at your chapter meetings or our upcoming convention and talk to some of the older members. The ones wearing battle scars.
WCB needs to hear from you, Mister and Missus Senior. Sound off here in this column. Attend your local chapter and speak up. WCB has a state-wide Aging and Blindness Committee. You and other seniors can organize an aging and blindness committee within your local chapter. Begin identifying your needs and bringing them to the general meetings for full discussion.
Remember, our past successes have begun at the ground level. No one on top ever looked down and said, "Gee, those poor blind folk could use better services". It was always our collective action that forced them to pay attention to us.
So let’s get busy. Shake out those old wrinkles and stretch those arthritic bones. We got work to do!
by Lou Oma Durand
With the dedication of our outstanding staff, customers who love sharing their success stories, and advocacy groups such as WCB, we continue to grow our services in order to reach as many people as possible in Washington State who are blind or have low vision. In addition to our many ongoing outreach activities, we have also been developing and expanding several exciting statewide-outreach initiatives. Some of the outreach highlights in the past few months include: Outreach Plan Michael MacKillop, Assistant Director-Customer Services, and Nancy Kim, Communications Consultant, have been working on the creation of the agency’s first strategic, three-year outreach plan. The plan will centralize our efforts to increase, track, and organize outreach activities in a measurable and meaningful way. The plan not only addresses outreach toward the general public and employers, but also to underserved communities (Latino/Hispanic and Asian). To move forward, the agency has developed a focus group consisting of representatives from each of our regions to serve as a "steering committee" in the creation of the plan. In addition, target-specific teams have been formed to address the particular needs and interests of different audiences: Business (Employer), Asian, and Latino/Hispanic Outreach. In addition to performing their regular duties, the focus group and the outreach teams will be working on defining and developing liaisons with outside organizations, crafting audience-specific brochures in several languages, and creating better tracking systems to measure our progress and results.
Eye Physician Connection
Mark Adreon, Program Specialist, has been working with our counselors to expand our Physician Connection project and has been providing guidance on outreach strategies to this DSB customer base. The Physician Connection helps eye physicians and their offices connect our services with their patients who are blind or have low vision, while also offering to physicians’ information on the latest technologies and services for people who are blind or have low vision. For more information on the Physician Connection, visit www.dsb.wa.gov/physician-connection.
Presentations to Businesses (Employers)
Mark Adreon and Counselor Jonathan Utrera presented to over 225 Alaska Airlines employees and contracted vendors that provide guest assistance at SeaTac International Airport. Mark and Jonathan conducted four one-hour workshops and included the use of our revised "Blind Sided" video with discussion questions. They networked among supervisors as well as with the "Station Manager" for Alaska’s operations at SeaTac. They expect to do similar trainings in the future for Alaska Airlines’ HR (Human Resources), administration staff, ticket agents and customer service personnel. For more information on our awareness programs, visit www.dsb.wa.gov/blindawareness.
Amongst these exciting developments in outreach, we continue to provide high-quality and individualized services to our customers, people of all ages who are blind or have low vision in Washington State. However, we still have the challenge 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 our services to evolve yet remain focused on the task at hand-"Inclusion, Independence and Economic Vitality for People with Visual Disabilities." As this federal fiscal year comes to an end, we look forward to a future of improving and expanding services, sharing customer successes, and telling our stories to the public.
Thank you to the WCB community for your active involvement and your ideas on ensuring the future of our services. As always, we look forward to providing "one front door" of services to even more people of all ages who are blind or have low vision in Washington State
CAPITAL CITY COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
by Berl Colley
This year’s summer months of June, July and August were, again very active for the CCCB.
After the June chapter meeting about 13 members walked over to Classic Wines for a 5 round wine tasting party. This was our fourth year with them, but our first year in their new down town location.
Member, Denise Colley joined Danielle Miller and Sue Ammeter in Boston, at the first Braille summit, sponsored by the National Library Service. Denise said it was one of the most successful conferences that she has attended.
We also had several members work at the June Walk for Cancer event.
There was not a speaker at the July meeting, but members were very busy. Three of our chapter members went to the ACB conference/convention in Columbus, Ohio, where Denise Colley was appointed by new ACB President, Kim Charlson, to chair the Board of Publications committee. This committee oversees the production of the ACB Braille Forum, ACB’s radio programming, its social media, the ACB website, the various
ACB list serves and any publications produced by the organization.
In addition to the national gathering, CCCB members were on the go. Dottie Simonsen and Shirley Atwater took a two week motor home trip. Gary Ernest took two trips to the Oregon coast. Isabel joined him on the first trip.
Denise and Berl Colley moved from their home of thirty years to their new retirement home in Panorama City, in Lacey. They moved on July 22, and they both love the new place. Now they would like to get their house sold.
August started out with some very sad news. Wayne Garrity, father of Denise Colley, passed away in Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane. He was 85 years old. He had just spent 10 days with the Colley’s, helping them move. Gifts in memory of Denise’s dad should be made to the Lilac Services for the Blind.
Three CCCB members went to the WCB summer board meeting on August 17th, in Seattle.
The annual CCCB summer picnic was held on August 24, at LBA park in Olympia. 30 members and friends enjoyed a variety of salads, chips, burgers, dogs and chicken, along with several desserts. We were privileged to have the Eclectics, a father/son musical group entertain us. Several people purchased their CD. They played 70’s through current rock. Thanks to CCCB President, Gloria Walling for providing the entertainment.
On August 30, six CCCB members went out to the Medicine Creek winery to see the Eclectics, Ron Bates Sr., & Ron Bates Jr., play again. Of course, all six had to sample the products of this award-winning business.
GREATER EVERETT AREA COUNSEL OF THE BLIND
by Cindy Stormo, Secretary
Well, summer is winding down and we are looking forward to starting another year in September. We have our meetings the second Saturday of each month at 12:30 to 3:00 in the afternoon. They are held at Denny’s from September to June.
We had a great time at our annual picnic held in July. The weather was perfect and there was plenty of good food and fellowship. At the end of the picnic, Cindy Stormo drew names for door prizes.
Jana Goebel, is now a lifetime member of WCB. Elections will be held this January for new officers. We are hoping that four to six members from GEACB will be planning to attend the convention in November.
We are expecting two or three new people to come join us in September. There will be a guest speaker coming all so and she will be showing the products her business sells. We now have a total of 17 members.
JEFFERSON COUNTY COUNCIL
by Carl Jarvis, Secretary
We might as well face it. Our new year begins with our September meeting. So this is actually our wrap up report for the 2012-13 year.
Of course the really, really big event was our annual picnic on August 16. Once again the SKP club house welcomed us, and opened up their facility to our 21members and guests.
The day was warm, so we gathered outside around the picnic tables, while John Ammeter grilled burgers and franks. Cathy Jarvis put together a scrumptious potato salad, and Nancy Kelly-Patnode topped off the feast with a heavenly cake, prepared just outside the Pearly Gates.
Since our last report, President Nancy has joined Dash (Disability Awareness Starts Here). She also organized an informational meeting at the SKP club house, held between 2:00 and 4:00 PM, on July 22.
Speakers were on hand to explain the various activities of the following organizations: DASH (Disability Awareness Starts Hear), PRS (Peninsula Rehabilitation Services), ECCHO (Ecumenical Christian Helping Hands Organization), and Jefferson County Transit. There was a large turnout and many questions.
Our final big event is one we’ll try to sneak in at the end, so Sue Ammeter won’t notice.
As she was preparing to head off to our ACB National Conference and Convention, Sue decided to see if she could save some money and fly on her own. Her test flight took place at the top of her basement stairs and ended in a crash landing about halfway down. Sue found that her travel plans had been changed from a lovely hotel room in Columbus, Ohio to a not so lovely hospital room in Seattle, Washington.
After several trips and surgery to repair her broken shoulder Sue was off to the WCB board meeting, by bus, arm in sling, and towing her little suitcase behind her.
Perhaps WCB could make up one more award for Courage Above and Beyond the Call of Duty.
KING COUNTY CHAPTER
by Linda L Wickersham
In July, Tim Schneebeck and family held their annual barbecue for the King County Chapter. Virginia was missed by all. The food was excellent. We did a great job of stuffing ourselves. Everyone I spoke with, including Tim, felt the highlight of the barbecue was Marilyn Donnelly being there. She looked and sounded wonderful. She said she is feeling good. She was at the Chapter meeting and is Treasurer extraordinary again.
Al and Connie Gil announced at the barbecue that they are moving to California. Their daughter wants them to live near them. I have enjoyed the opportunity this last year to get to know them. We will miss them and wish them the best.
On three occasions we have scheduled a member of Metro staff to speak at our Chapter meeting about the proposed changes to Metro service. The first time the member arrived after our meeting ended. The second time the member forgot our meeting! Today was the third time and proved the charm. Deanna Martin of public relations came.
Unfortunately Melony Joyce was unable to join her as originally planned. Perhaps in the future, David Hull, replacing Bob Sahm will be able to come and be welcomed by us.
Fred Chapman, a longtime member of the Chapter had heart surgery on the 22nd. They placed two stents. I spoke with him today, the 24th and he sounded good; has some pain but he feels fine. Best wishes for a speedy recovery for Fred.
We continue to collect food and money for the local food banks, supporting our community.
PENINSULA COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
by Kim L. Moberg
Our chapter has been rather busy this summer. Many of our members have been traveling. We have had a chapter picnic and we have been in the planning stages of a very special outreach event. We also have in the plans a fundraising project.
Cindy Van Winkle, President of WCB and member of PCB and her husband Tim went to the ACB convention. Then Cindy went on to New York to visit her daughter and those adorable grand babies of hers. At the time that I am writing this I have not talked to Cindy but I know from her Facebook page that she had a grand time.
Jess Landby, Treasurer of PCB and her young son Brian took a train ride to Minnesota to visit family. They had an awesome trip. Jess said that the train ride was a little long but it was a great experience for the both of them.
Sarah Schweizer, Vice President of PCB, her guide dog Babs and her four young children traveled to South Carolina to visit family. This is something that they have done for the last several years. The flight is about five plus hours and they all seem to take it in stride.
Michelle Denzer, Secretary of PCB is currently on vacation in Wisconsin. She is visiting family and having a wonderful time.
Our chapter had its summer picnic at the home of Joanne and Eric Hunter, WCB Treasurer and members of PCB. They have a lovely back yard. Many beautiful flowers were in bloom and the fragrance was awesome! My wonderful husband Donny Moberg did the grilling for us. He did an awesome job. The hamburgers and hot dogs were fantastic. We also had tons of food brought by each person attending the picnic. Stuart Russel brought an awesome dessert. It was delicious ice cream. It was perfect for such a warm day.
On September 7 we are going to do an outreach project. We have many young children in our chapter who either have a mom or dad who is blind or visually impaired. Some of the children do not know each other. This will give these young people a chance to get to know and to learn a bit more about blindness in the process. We have fun activities planned for this event. It will be held at Blueberry Park in Bremerton, WA.
We have a fundraising activity planned for October 19. It should be fun and I am really looking forward to seeing how it goes. It will be an event held at Outback Steakhouse. The monies raised will be used to aid persons in going to convention.
On a sad note, one of our members passed away in July. Bob Brezler was a member of both the Peninsula Council of the Blind and also a member of the South Kitsap Council of the Blind. He was active in both chapters. In the Peninsula Council of the Blind he was a Board Member. Bob had a snack-bar stand in the Jackson Federal Building in Seattle. It was called "Second Chance Snacks". Bob had quite a difficult struggle with cancer. His life journey is complete. We will miss Bob greatly. Please keep Virginia, his wife and their daughter in your prayers as they deal with the passing of Bob. He was a very loving and caring husband and father. WE all will miss him.
SOUTH KING COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
by Sharon Schauer, President
In June Jackie Cabrera came to our meeting and told us her story. What an interesting story that was too. She gave us samples of little snacks she had made. They were wonderful. We were all wrapped up in her story. She is a very nice person. In July our beep baseball team the Seattle South King Sluggers played the Spokane Pride and won both games 2 to 1.
In August we had our South King Council summer picnic. The Burien Lions Club grilled burgers and dogs. There was a lot of food there and a good time was had by all.
Also, this past Monday night, August 26th there was a fund raiser for the Seattle South King Sluggers Beep Baseball team. $1440 was spent and the team got $440 from that fund raiser. We will be having a fund raiser once a month. And to top everything off, the Seattle South King Sluggers were featured in the Seattle Times yesterday. I would say the team is well on its way.
I hope everyone has had a nice relaxing summer. Now it’s time to get our heads into the fall rush.
See you next time.
UNITED BLIND OF SEATTLE
by Malissa Hudson, Secretary
Hello to all WCB family and friends from United Blind of Seattle!
First of all, I want to apologize to all of you for not sending an update for the last couple of issues, but I’ve had some email problems. Luckily, I’ve gotten those resolved and I’m ready! I looked at the website and I realized that I’ve not written an article since the March issue. How time flies!
At our April meeting, we had Bob Guyette as our speaker. Bob is a volunteer tour guide at the Museum of Flight in Seattle. He gives accessible tours that are specifically designed for the blind and visually impaired so it’s quite special that he takes the time to do that. Our very own Glen McCully, UBS Treasurer, was our speaker in May. He talked about new trends regarding Social Security and answered member’s questions. Our President Julie Brannon decided not to have meetings in June, July, or August due to vacations and the WCB Board meeting, but we will have our next meeting in September. I look forward to seeing many of you at the WCB convention in Spokane November 7-9. You will see my article that I wrote about it in this issue. Thank you for your time and attention. See you all in Spokane or if not, in the December issue of Newsline! Take care and God bless!
UNITED BLIND OF THE TRI-CITIES
by Janice Squires, member
Well, September is upon us and the early days of fall are giving us a little relief from the hot weather. The UBTC never stops moving forward and it has so much to do with the great chapter we are blessed with and our excellent leadership.
Every month, we enjoy a support group lunch, dining in restaurants throughout the Tri-Cities. Karyn Vandecar is our lunch group organizer and we so much appreciate her dedicated work. Our lunches went from Mexican food at the Inca, to good old American food at Magill’s and the Sandstone.
Our annual picnic is held in September at the home of one of our dearest members, Dixie McDaniels. She has been ever so hospitable in opening her lovely back yard for our party enjoyment. We have good food and fellowship and always celebrate Dixie’s husband, Shannon’s birthday with a delicious cake. We are hoping this year to be entertained once more with the sensational voice and guitar playing by our own Frank Cuta. Sometimes we dance, sometimes we sing, and sometimes we let the dogs run free!
Myra Wood has been designated our monthly card group referee! She always reports on how lively this group of ladies can really be! We only lose nickels and there are really no winners. The money we collect is used for a Christmas pizza party in December.
Our newly revived book group is truly soaring right along. We now meet at member, Evelyn Crouse’s retirement center and we could not be treated better. Lots of home baked cookies, fruit and coffee for all of us to munch on while we actually discuss the book! We have read, “A Turn in the Road”, “Until the End of Time” and The One-Hundred Year Old Man who climbed out the Window and disappeared.
After attending the ACB convention, Frank Cuta was our guest speaker in July, sharing his experiences, knowledge, gizmos and gadgets. Our guest speaker in August was Josh Chittenden from Petersen & Hastings. Josh is a Gonzaga graduate and a financial advisor. He informed us of the importance of having an Estate Plan in place in case of death. He asked, “Do you want to drive your own assets or do you want the state to determine where your assets go?” It is important to have a will, power of attorney, list of assets, living will, and medical directives. He also said it would be a good idea to have a list of passwords, so loved ones can access your information from the computer. He answered members’ questions and we were all delighted with the information he shared with us.
President Steve Vandecar has set some new goals for our local chapter. He wants to do more for the community and others rather than always doing for ourselves. We as a chapter donated money to sponsor a youth group picnic that was held at Howard Amon Park. It was very well attended by many blind and visually impaired kids and their families. Our UBTC chapter was also very well represented at the picnic. Brenda and Bernie Vinther, Steve and Karyn Vandecar, Linda McFall, and Frank Cuta were all in attendance to show our support for these fine young people.
Our President Steve Vandecar has become quite the community speaker and we are all so very proud of him. He spoke at an Edith Bishel Center for the Blind Workshop on Advocacy and also gave a speech on trusting your guide dog to a group of summer camp children. Good job Steve.
Our narrated play season will soon be underway with the first play of the season, “The 39 Steps”. This will be our 20th year of play narrations and wow has it ever been a popular program.
Hope that everyone enjoys this year’s WCB State convention.
UNITED BLIND OF WALLA WALLA
by Joleen Ferguson
This has been a hot summer in the land of the double Walla’s. Signs of fall are in the air now, though, and the days, already getting shorter, should soon be cooling off.
Jackie Cabrera joined us by conference call in June to discuss her experience attending culinary school in Portland, as well as her work now as a caterer. We would like to have her come to our area at some point to help us spread the news that blind people can excel, and the onset of vision loss need not signal the end of independence in the kitchen. We are thinking about an outreach to our community with this as one of several offerings.
Our program at our July meeting was informal with Joleen and Alco sharing their experiences at the ACB National Conference and Convention in Columbus, OH.
Our June conference call had gone so well, that we decided to repeat the concept at our August meeting. This time it was Julie Brannon, chairperson of the membership committee who joined us by means of modern technology. This time our topic was membership recruitment. We have a faithful core group, but we are aging and we will need younger blood to keep us viable. Younger would include folks in their 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. Much younger would also be welcome but not necessarily expected.
Now, with the iPhone and a Bluetooth speaker, the sound quality can be quite clear for teleconferencing. Many of our members have been celebrating this summer: Dodie Brueggeman married in May and has moved to Reno. Elwood Mabley celebrated his 90th birthday in July and he and his bride will be celebrating 67 years together on September 3. Shirley and Geri Musick celebrated 55 years together in August. Ernie Jones, Alco Canfield, Gina Mooney, and Joleen Ferguson all celebrated summer birthdays.
Our fledging web site is now out there. It needs lots of work, but we are progressing slowly along those lines. Check us out at www.ubww.org.
UNITED BLIND OF WHATCOM COUNTY
by Diane Haggith
The United Blind of Whatcom County joined in the fun at the 18th annual human race in Bellingham on June 1st. This is usually our biggest fund raiser of the year. The group raised a total of $1,664.00 (25% of which goes to the Whatcom Volunteer Center, and 75% to the UBWC). Participating in the race were: Betty Sikkema, Chris White, Bruce Radtke, Mimi Freshly and Diane Haggith. Ron Bradshaw and Diane Kirscheman were available to provide rides to those who could not finish the walk. Betty raised $1,460.00, which put her in third place for most funds raised by an individual!
On July 31, UBWC held its annual picnic at Whatcom Falls Park. Fourteen people were in attendance, and seemed to enjoy the food and friendship. William Kindy played some of his banjo and concertina music, and Bruce shared about his experiences at the ACB Convention. Cindy Vanwinkle acknowledged him for the good work he did at the convention helping others where help was needed! Thanks Bruce!
On August 21, nine members of our group headed down to Seattle for a tour of the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library. It was very interesting learning about all the different services the library offers. Thanks to Gloria Riley for arranging such a nice trip!
Our current project is a fund raiser of which we are selling bulbs through a company called Flower Power. This is one of our small steps to make the world a better place.
YAKIMA VALLEY COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
by Bud Kohl
Our big news for this period is that the Yakima Valley Council of the Blind has received a donation of $10,000 from the Yakima Lions Club. It has been placed in our general fund, and will be used for our many plans and projects.
YVCB held a cooking demonstration and we called it, Cooking for the Blind. We were instructed by a local chef. We each prepared our own chicken quesadillas, using our notes to determine the point when the chicken caramelized. We then added the cheese and spices according to our taste. We used a timer when frying the tortillas. The chicken and spices were added, the tortilla was folded, and a scrumptious meal was enjoyed by all.
YVCB continues with the Friday bowling, followed by lunch and some great fellowship.
July 27 was the date of the annual YVCB picnic. Following seven days of 100+ degrees, we were blessed with a nice breeze and 80 degrees. We enjoyed swimming, great food, and a sing-along with two guitars, a ukulele, and a keyboard. We completed the evening with a karaoke session.
Until next time, have a great rest of the summer.
Compiled by Cindy Van Winkle, WCB President
We extend our heartfelt congratulations to, and celebrate with, the following WCB members:
- Sue Burdyshaw (PCAB) on the birth of her 9th grandchild. Alea Rose was born on May 7, weighing 4 pounds 4 ounces and just 17 inches long. Although she had a rough start, Alea is now almost 10 pounds and is doing well.
- Christie Zack and Arnold Kammeyer (PCAB) on the birth of their first grandchild and great grandchild respectively. Tucker Arron Zack was born on June 27, weighing in at a strong 9 pounds 10 ounces and 21 inches long. Tucker and his family are all doing great!
- Dodie Brueggeman (UBWW) on her recent marriage and move to Reno.
- Don and Sally Mayo (YVCB) on 35 years of marriage. Happy anniversary to this special couple!
- Lori Fink (at large) on receiving her four-legged partner Hero, a one-and-a-half-year-old male Labrador-Golden Cross from Guide Dogs for the Blind.
- Eric Hunter (PCB) on the special occasion of his 75th birthday, celebrated with a barbecue with family and close friends.
- Grecia Luke (SKB) on the celebration of her 92nd birthday. Her chapter was glad to be able to sing "Happy Birthday" to her at their meeting.
- Sally Mayo (YVCB) on being hired as a School Psychologist with the Toppenish School District. Here is a true success story from WCB’s scholarship program, and we are delighted for you Sally!
- Kevin Frankeberger (GDUWS) on his appointment to the Shelton County Board of Equalization, a three person quasi-judicial board who hears appeals from timber companies and property owners concerning tax assessments.
- Elwood Mabley (UBWW) who celebrated his 90th birthday in July. He and his bride will be celebrating 67 years together on September 3.
- Shirley and Geri Musick (UBWW) on the occasion of their 55th wedding anniversary.
If you have something to be considered for inclusion in future Hats Off articles, please send to with "Hats Off" in the subject line.
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. Send submissions to . Put "Bits and Pieces" in the subject line.
The NuWave Oven Pro is a countertop oven that heats with conduction, convection, and infrared. It has buttons that beep when pressed making it very accessible. It does have a screen that shows the time remaining, but not having access to this feature is of no real significance. A separate timer will easily offset this to check time remaining. There are ten temperature settings that are also easy to access. The 10-button, standard keypad allows the user to set the time and choose from the 10 temperature settings. Additionally there are 5 buttons: The power button, the pause-clear button, the cook time setting button, the power setting button, and a reheat button.
It is easily cleaned and dishwasher safe except for the heating element. Any regular oven utensils may be used in it, but there are additional accessories available for purchase as well. The official website is: http://www.nuwaveoven.com/. There is a separate website: www.nuwavecookingclub.com that has recipes and videos that are very informative. Join this cooking club by providing the serial number of your unit and creating a logon. Order By Phone: 1-800-809-4035 (24/7).
Weightwatchers has a new, very accessible site. It is: www.m.weightwatchers.com. The points calculator as well as food points for what you put in to search both work very, very well.
Small Biz Class
Washington Access Fund
Free Business Planning Webinar
Access Fund Webinar
Are you an entrepreneur with a disability who needs a business loan for your small business? Need help writing your business plan?
Then sign up for Washington Access Fund’s free accessible web-based meetings! The next series begins Tuesday, October 1st from 12:00pm-1:30pm and runs weekly (on Tuesdays for 7 weeks) until November 12th.
Please give 14 days notice of accommodations needed. Space is limited; sign up soon to reserve your spot!
"My experience attending the Webinars and networking with staff have proved to be very useful and I view the end results as a huge personal success." — Webinar participant.
Access Fund Logo
Our mission is to promote access to technology and economic opportunity for individuals with disabilities in Washington State. The Washington Access Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Washington Access Fund provides: Assistive Technology Loans, Business Equipment Loans, CCTV Rentals, and other assistance ideas to discuss with applicants.
by Alco Canfield
Chicken Broccoli Casserole
2 cups cooked chicken, cubed
1 8 oz. package frozen broccoli
1 can cream of broccoli soup
1 6 oz. package turkey or chicken dressing mix
2 cups cheddar cheese
Layer chicken, thawed broccoli, and soup in an 8×8 casserole. Follow dressing package directions: 1-1/2 cups water boiling to which you add dressing mixed and covered for five minutes. Add to the layered items and top with the cheese. Cook at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until the casserole is heated through.
Compiled by Cindy Van Winkle
September 23, 2013 Diabetics Forum, 7:00 pm
October 3, 2013 President’s call, 8:00 pm
October 8, 2013 Technology Forum, 8:00 pm
October 15, 2013 Deadline to make room reservations, request a travel stipend and register for the WCB Convention
October 28, 2013 Diabetics Forum, 7:00 pm
November 7-9, 2013 WCB Convention, Spokane WA
December 5, 2013 President’s call, 8:00 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, address changes, and subscription requests must be sent to the NEWSLINE email address: . 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 Saturday, November 30, 2013.