top of page

Fall 2012 Bulletin


FALL 2012

Published by


Web Site:

Affiliate of the American Council of the Blind

Frank Strong, Jr., President

PO Box 93233

Des Moines, IA 50393

(515) 243-1742, Extension 3 - work

(888) 503-2287 – toll-free


Mike Hoenig, Editor

3119 Spring St.

Davenport, IA 52807

(563) 344-8787


Jo Ann Slayton, Secretary

4013 - 30th St.

Des Moines, IA 50310

(515) 279-4284 – home

(515) 710-7875 – cell


Gary Patterson, Treasurer

6311 Franklin

Windsor Heights, IA 50324

(515) 278-2686 - home

(515) 991-2613 - cell



Frank Strong, President – Des Moines, (515) 243-1742, Ext. 3

Robert Spangler, Immediate Past President -Vinton,

(319) 472-4843

Creig Slayton, First Vice President – Des Moines, (515) 279-4284

Mike Hoenig, Second Vice-President - Davenport, (563) 344-8787

Jo Ann Slayton, Secretary - Des Moines, (515) 279-4284

Gary Patterson, Treasurer – Des Moines, (515) 278-2686

Joyce Davis, Director - Fort Dodge, (515) 955-1634

Donna Seliger, Director – Des Moines, (515) 284-0505

Elsie Monthei, Director –Des Moines, (515) 277-0442

Arlo Monthei, Director –Des Moines, (515) 277-0442

Norma Boge-Conyers, Director –Des Moines, (515) 288-1938

Rose Stratton, Director - Maquoketa, (563) 652-2546

Stephanie Hunolt, Director – Vinton, (660) 216-4369

Shirley Wiggins, Director - Cedar Rapids, (319) 362-7138


Anyone who cannot read this print bulletin finds it difficult to have it read or wishes an e-mail or cassette may receive a copy at no charge. Please contact Jo Slayton at (515) 279-4284 to request an alternative format. Cassette readers are always invited to keep their copy of the Bulletin. However, if you would like to return cassettes when you are finished with them, please place in a NEW standard mailing envelope, write “Free Matter for the Blind” in the upper right hand corner, and return to the editor using the address on the front of this Bulletin. Also, please remember to contact the editor if your address changes. The Post Office rarely provides us with a new address when someone moves. We want to make sure that anyone who wants to receive a Bulletin gets one!


If you or a friend would like to remember the Iowa Council of the United Blind in your will, you may do so by using the following language: “I grant, devise, or bequeath unto the Iowa Council of the United Blind, a non-profit charitable organization, the sum of ______ dollars, ____ percent of my net estate, or the following stocks and bonds (please list them) to be used for its worthy purposes on behalf of blind persons.” If your wishes are more complex, you may have your attorney call (515) 279-4284, or write Iowa Council of the United Blind, 4013 30TH Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50310.


Are you trying to decide how to dispose of a used vehicle? ICUB's Used Vehicle Donation Program offers the perfect solution. Your vehicle will be picked up from your home and sold at auction, with a portion of the proceeds going directly to ICUB. You claim a tax deduction equal to the dollar value of the vehicle. To donate or to learn more, call 800-899-4925.


From the ICUB President 4

Editor's Line 6

Inspirational Athlete Faces Her Biggest Challenge Yet 7

100 Years of Service: IDB Celebrates the Rich 11

Century-Long History of Its Building

BANA Adopts Unified English Braille (UEB) 14

for the United States

Blind Contestant Wins "MasterChef" Season 3 16

In Memoriam 17

Dorothy Leonard Hieb Nemmers 17

LeRoy Saunders 18

Rosemary Higley 18

Chapter News 20

Des Moines Chapter Report 20

Des Moines Chapter ICUB Visits 22

DART Central Station

Cedar Rapids Chapter Report 23

News You Can Use from ACB Radio 24

Recipe Corner 24

New Wine for Seniors 24


By Frank Strong

Greetings ICUB members and friends! I hope this article finds you well and getting ready for the holiday season. We are quickly approaching the end of this year's daylight savings time and we will be returning to Central Standard Time in the next couple of weeks. We also are getting closer to the holiday season. I hope you all are planning great holiday celebrations for your friends, family and loved ones.

I have some great news! The Iowa Council of the United Blind has received some unexpected financial support. Within the last couple of months, ICUB received a considerable financial bequest from the estate of Roger Larson of Eagle Grove. Although I never met Mr. Larson, he remembered ICUB and donated a significant amount of money to help us continue our much-needed work to help blind people in Iowa. We are pleased that folks like Roger Larson are out there supporting us both in life and afterwards.

As ICUB President, I have been asked to visit Mason City on Tuesday, October 30. The purpose of this visit is to meet with a group of blind folks who have regular meetings in Mason City. I will be providing the Mason City folks with information about ICUB and the American Council of the Blind. I look forward to providing you with a report following this meeting.

I am excited about the new service provided by the Iowa Department for the Blind Library. As many of you may know, the library now distributes a large number of books on digital cartridges. The transition from cassettes and other recorded media is taking place and quickly. The new cartridges are quite convenient, small and easy to use. The new digital talking book machine even has a built-in instructional training program. This training manual will explain how users can independently operate the digital talking book in the comfort of their home or business.

Another exciting development is that users can now download books and magazines through the Internet and read them on the digital talking book machine at home. These book titles are available through the BARD (Braille and Recorded Downloads) site and, with a little practice and patience, you can download books that were published in 2012. It's fantastic to be able to have access to currently published materials that are still on the New York Times Best Seller list. These downloadable books allow you to create a library of titles which you can read once and discard if you wish. Alternatively, you can keep these downloaded book titles in your collection for future reference and enjoyment. If you have questions about the digital talking book machines and access to downloadable books, you may wish to contact your reader advisor at the Iowa Department for the Blind Library.

For those of us who have been making use of recorded media for a long time, we can recall the days when we had slow playing vinyl records which were followed by open-faced reel tape machines. These open-faced reel machines were followed by the cassette which many of us have been using for years. I am pleased to see that through digital technology, access to information is becoming easier for those of us who can't read standard print. These are exciting times for those of us who love to read.

Here's to you and your festive holiday season. I hope to see you or talk to you soon.


By Mike Hoenig

Season's Greetings, Bulletin Readers.

I'm writing this on Monday, November 19, just three days before Thanksgiving. I'm thankful for many things this year--a supportive family, a job which I enjoy, good friends with whom to share a Thanksgiving meal, and you, the Bulletin readership. I appreciate the time you take to read this publication and to let me know that you're enjoying it.

I have something extra to be thankful for this year. On November 17, I joined a group of blind adults to host Fun Time Saturday, an event for blind children and their families in Iowa City. Nearly 20 blind and sighted children and their families joined us for three hours of games and discussions. Through their stories of what it's like to raise a blind child in a "sighted world," parents let us know that events like this are sorely needed. One mom, for example, told us that her 13-year-old son felt accepted for the first time last summer while attending camps at the Braille School. Through their laughter, participation, and stories of how difficult it is to be accepted, the kids also made a strong case for programs like Fun Time Saturday. An eighth grader, quite comfortable around us blind adults, told us he had no friends at school. We're planning a follow-up event after the Holidays.

In September, I joined the St. Charles County (Missouri) Council of the Blind monthly peer support conference call. Following a lively discussion on the topic "Blindness, Burden or Blessing," SCCCB members invited me to attend their first annual White Cane Walk in October. I took them up on their offer. Enthusiastic SCCCB members teamed up with a local Lions Club to host this event, designed to heighten public awareness about the white cane while offering fun and fellowship. What a treat it was to walk through the streets of St. Charles alongside fellow cane travelers, demonstrating independence and self-sufficiency as we went. As a die-hard Cardinal fan, I was thrilled to meet Jack Clark, the outfielder who sent us to the 1985 World Series with a dramatic home run. Clark, who lives in the St. Charles area, attended the event at the request of a Lions Club member. Though Iowa doesn't have a professional baseball team, our members know how to have fun. My challenge to each affiliate is to host a public awareness event in 2013!

I wish all of you a Blessed Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.


By Kyle Munson

(Reprinted from The Des Moines Register, September 8, 2012.)

Thirty-one years ago it was “Sheila Holzworth vs. the mountain.”

The headline was published in the Aug. 2, 1981, edition of the Des Moines Sunday Register after the 19-year-old Holzworth had become the first blind woman to scale the 14,410-foot summit of Mount Rainier in Washington State. She was part of a team of nine physically challenged climbers.

She lost her eyesight at age 10 in what truly can be called a freak accident: The Des Moines girl was blinded by the bulky, teeth-straightening orthodontic device clamped around her head. Holzworth was bending over to kiss her grandmother goodnight when the rubber band on one side of her head broke, which caused the rubber band on the other side to rip the sharp wires out of her mouth and fling them directly into her eyes.

The horrific piercing of the wires didn’t blind her — it was the infection they carried from the saliva in her mouth.

Holzworth grew up an active, athletic kid in a Catholic family with five siblings and a physician father, Paul, who still runs his own family practice at age 79. She didn’t let blindness slow her down.

“What else was I going to do?” she said. “All of our family vacations were water skiing and field trials (with hunting dogs).”

Holzworth grew into an international athlete who helped defy stereotypes of a blind person’s limits. She became an inspiration to people around the globe during her heyday of competitive sports in the late 1970s and early ’80s.

Last week, Holzworth pulled her custom-molded, hand-painted eyeballs out of their sockets. Her left eye includes a tiny American flag painted in the area beneath her eyelid in honor of her nephew who was a deployed Marine in 2009 when the eyes were crafted. Her right eye bears the word “dad.”

It’s not her eyes that trouble Holzworth now. And her challenge is more daunting than a mountain climb.

Today’s foe is cancer.

She’s approaching the end of an initial six-month life expectancy handed down in March with her diagnosis of adenocarcinoma that had metastasized.

The growing tumors by her spleen and beneath her ribs increasingly ache, but so far she’s treated the pain primarily with Extra Strength Tylenol; she’s allergic to most painkillers. She purchased an above-ground swimming pool where she floats to ease the pressure.

The cancer drug Xeloda slowed the tumor early on, and Holzworth told her doctor she was looking forward to at least one side effect.

Really? Her doctor said. But why? Blurred vision would be better than what I have, she remarked.

The doctor shook his head and told Holzworth that she was going to be either a nightmare or a miracle as a patient.

Probably a little of both, she shot back.

In a phone call last weekend during halftime of the University of Iowa Hawkeyes football game that both were watching, doctor and patient decided to fight the cancer more aggressively. Monday she begins a week of daily intravenous chemotherapy.

“I do not want to quit, and I hate to lose,” Holzworth said.

News audiences began to learn about Holzworth’s stubbornness in the late 1970s. The young, blind high school runner at Dowling was featured for finishing the 100-meter dash in 14.03 seconds with help from directions relayed by an electronic pager held in place by a headband. She later ran a 10K race in Phoenix, Ariz.

Holzworth was a student at Central College in Pella when she climbed Mount Rainier in 1981 and was buried up to her waist in an ice avalanche.

“We ran out of the tents not knowing which way to run as the thunderous sound came closer,” she wrote at the time. “I couldn’t see it, but I could feel it, and I thought I was going to die. … Miraculously, the wall of ice stopped … 100 feet away from where I was standing. I was weak from fear.”

The climbers survived to be honored at a White House reception with President Ronald Reagan and greeted at the airport in Des Moines by a crowd of about 100 people that included then-Gov. Robert Ray.

Holzworth went on to win gold medals and set records for slalom and downhill skiing at the U.S. Association for Blind Athletes national competition in Michigan, World Challenge of Winter Sports for the Disabled in Switzerland and the 1984 Blind Olympics in Austria.

As her competitive sports career wound down, Holzworth worked more than 20 years as a corporate trainer for Principal and became a motivational speaker.

But Holzworth doesn’t cast herself as a blind superhero. She has coped with severe breakdowns and depression.

Recent years have been marked by loss.

Her mother, Martha, a nonsmoker, died two years ago from lung cancer.

Her beloved 40-year-old horse, Fargo, died in February. She described him as the oldest horse in the Midwest. Fargo had been an iconic presence standing vigil in his pasture at the northwest corner of Beaver Avenue and Meredith Drive.

It was Fargo who kept nudging her left shoulder in a strange manner, which led her to discover a cluster of three tumors as the first sign of her cancer.

Holzworth lives on two acres on the northern outskirts of Des Moines that border her father’s property, where she still rides a horse.

“The sheriffs know me pretty well,” she admitted, because she also occasionally weaves her Harley-Davidson motorcycle through nearby streets.

It’s hard enough for Holzworth’s friends and family to control her as a blind woman; they can’t imagine if she regained her eyesight.

“Amen!” Bev Boyd shouted from the next room. Boyd was Holzworth’s co-worker at Principal 24 years ago when she agreed to serve as her temporary assistant — a role that became permanent as it grew into a friendship. “It takes an army to keep up with her,” Boyd said.

Holzworth has prepared her obituary, but doesn’t sound ready for it to be published. She persuaded her nurse to push back the start time of the Wednesday chemo session so she could fit in her weekly fishing trip with her father.

Rosary beads comforted Holzworth on the frozen face of Mount Rainier; during chemotherapy she plans to grip a small cross carved from olive wood that was given to her recently by her college roommate’s daughter.

When Holzworth contemplates death, she tends to imagine the view.

“If I go to heaven I’ll be able to see,” she said, “so look out!”



(Reprinted from The White Cane Magazine, Fall 2012)

On the afternoon of Thursday, September 13, 2012, the Iowa Department for the Blind hosted a celebration in honor of the 100th anniversary of the building that is its headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa. The event featured photos related to the building’s early history, reminiscences by IDB veterans from the days when it was still known as the Iowa Commission for the Blind, dedication of a new plaque on the front of the building indicating its placement on the National Register of Historic Places, and the display of some Depression-era murals that were discovered in the Rec Room during a remodeling in 1988.

IDB staff, joined by students from the Orientation Center, and interested members of the public enjoyed the presentations. A surprise presence in the audience was Dorothy Kirsner, a seminal figure in early IDB history and former Iowa Commission for the Blind board member.

The IDB building first officially opened on June 13, 1912. A street parade of 1500 people walked from the original YMCA on the northwest corner of 4th and Grand to the new location up the street. Designed by renowned Des Moines architectural firm Proudfoot, Bird, and Rawson, the 6-story concrete, brick, and terra cotta “short skyscraper” was built for approximately $250,000. It was an important social focal point and part of the lively downtown scene of the day. It served its purpose until the mid-1950’s, when YMCA officials began plans to build and expand again nearby.

As the decade closed, the building was adapted to be the new headquarters for the Iowa Commission for the Blind (the name of the Iowa Department for the Blind until 1988). Director Kenneth Jernigan, his staff, and students began moving in on February 1, 1960. Despite a damaging fire in the building a month later, it became the site of what was then known as “The Iowa Experiment.” This was an innovative and groundbreaking training model that advanced the goal of better assisting and empowering blind people to lead independent lives. The approach continues today and has become the most successful model for rehabilitation programs for the blind nationally and internationally. This significant activity was the reason for acquiring National Register status for the building in recent years.

The three hour anniversary event featured speakers and guests of honor. Jack Lufkin, curator at the State of Iowa Historical Museum, elaborated on what it means for a property to be placed on the National Register. Early department veterans Jim Omvig, Jim Witte, and Creig Slayton (via taped interview) looked back on their involvement with the building, the early days of the program it housed, and its prominent role in the betterment of blind Americans.

Dorothy Kirsner, speaking from the audience, responded to a photo showing world-renowned blind jazz pianist George Shearing playing for Dr. Jernigan and two women in the IDB building in 1974. She identified herself and Elizabeth Perowsky, a long-time volunteer Braillist for the library, as the women standing next to Jernigan in the picture. The photo underscores how far word of the Iowa Experiment had spread and the interest it was generating among both blind and sighted persons around the world. With Mrs. Kirsner there in the audience, it seemed as if the idea and the photo had truly come full circle.

Another unique feature of the event was the opportunity for visitors to examine the 1930’s murals that have presented a bit of a mystery. Investigations to identify the unknown artist continue. Plans to better store and conserve the fragile pieces are underway.

After hearing the speakers, many audience members joined IDB staff outside the main entrance to dedicate the new National Register plaque. Director Richard Sorey praised Shan Sasser, recognizing her important role in securing the designation before she unveiled the bronze plaque.

The day concluded with some guests taking a tour of the building led by former IDB staff member Mike Hicklin, a man most knowledgeable about the building’s changes through the years. With the blowing out of 100 candles and the enjoyment of a cake decorated with images of the building, a feeling of satisfaction remained that this milestone has been marked.


November 2012

For Immediate Release

CONTACT: Frances Mary D’Andrea, Chair

Braille Authority of North America

Phone: 412-521-5797


BANA Adopts Unified English Braille (UEB) for United States

On November 2, 2012, the Braille Authority of North America (BANA) set a new course for the future of braille in the United States (U.S.) when it adopted Unified English Braille (UEB). The motion, which passed decisively, specifies that UEB will eventually replace the current English Braille American Edition and that the U.S. will retain the Nemeth Code for Mathematics and Science Notation.

The transition to UEB will not be immediate and will follow a carefully crafted timeline. Implementation plans will be formulated with the input and participation of stakeholders from the consumer, education, rehabilitation, transcription, and production communities. Plans will take into consideration the various aspects of creating, teaching, learning, and using braille in a wide variety of settings. The plans will be designed to provide workable transitions for all involved in braille use and production and to minimize disruption for current braille readers.

UEB is based on the current literary braille code and was developed with input from many people, primarily braille readers, who worked to achieve an optimal balance among many key factors. Those factors include keeping the general-purpose literary code as its base, allowing the addition of new symbols, providing flexibility for change as print changes, reducing the complexity of rules, and allowing greater accuracy in back translation.

Letters and numbers will stay the same as they are in the current literary code. There will be some changes to punctuation, but most will remain the same. Some rules for the use of contractions will change. Nine contractions will be eliminated, and some contractions will be used more often. An FAQ providing more detail about changes is available on the BANA website.

After implementation, the official braille codes for the United States will be Unified English Braille; Nemeth Code for Mathematics and Science Notation, 1972 Revision and published updates; Music Braille Code, 1997; and The IPA Braille Code, 2008.

More detailed information about UEB and the motion that BANA passed can be found on the BANA website at

The Board of BANA consists of appointed representatives from fifteen member organizations of braille producers, transcribers, teachers, and consumers.

The mission and purpose of the Braille Authority of North America are to assure literacy for tactile readers through the standardization of braille and/or tactile graphics. BANA promotes and facilitates the use, teaching, and production of braille. It publishes rules, interprets, and renders opinions pertaining to braille in all existing codes. It deals with codes now in existence or to be developed in the future, in collaboration with other countries using English braille. In exercising its function and authority, BANA considers the effects of its decisions on other existing braille codes and formats; the ease of production by various methods; and acceptability to readers.


(Retrieved from news,

September 11, 2012.)

Christine Ha was crowned the winner of "MasterChef" season 3. Despite her blindness which was caused by a rare autoimmune disease, she battled against the odds to defeat Josh Marks in the finale which aired Monday, September 10.

For the last task, the two finalists had to cook three courses: an appetizer, an entree and a dessert. Christine served Thai papaya salad with crab, braised pork belly with rice, maitake mushrooms and crispy kale, and coconut lime sorbet with ginger tuile. The judges complimented her for the balance of her menu.

Meanwhile, Josh presented butter-poached lobster with grits and sweet potato puree, a rack of lamb with green curry sauce, spring peas and carrots and bacon-crusted pecan pie with vanilla cinnamon ice cream. The judges praised his effort to make such difficult dishes, but noted that his undercooked lobster might ruin everything.

After some deliberations, judges Gordon Ramsay, Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot came out to declare Christine as the winner. The first blind contestant in the show's history took home $250,000 cash and a cook book deal.

"I'm living proof that dreams come true against all odds," the graduate student from Houston, Texas said upon her win. To TV Guide, she further shared about her feelings, "My first reaction when I won was just utter shock. I just could not believe it. I was shocked for probably 48 hours. I didn't realize how much I wanted it and how much it was attainable."

She went on confessing that not long ago, she "didn't even know how to steam rice in a rice cooker." She added, "I was a disgrace to many Vietnamese mothers I'm sure... I only knew how to make scrambled eggs and toast and instant ramen," before she started learning to cook once she got an apartment and a kitchen.

Explaining her consideration to serve the dishes that led her to win the competition, she said, "I wanted to go with three dishes that would make sense going together. The entree was a much richer, deeper and heavier dish, so that's why I wanted the appetizer to be refreshing. By dessert, I wanted to move it back to something light and refreshing."


Dorothy Leonard Hieb Nemmers

Clive - Dorothy Leonard Hieb Nemmers, age 89, passed away on September 23, 2012 at Mercy Hospice, Johnston. A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Wednesday, September 26, 2012 at Caldwell Raddatz Funeral Chapel, 8201 Hickman Road, Urbandale, IA. Interment will be in Memorial Park Cemetery, Sioux City, IA with a graveside service on Saturday, September 29 at 1 p.m.

She was born on June 5, 1923 in Sioux City to Lillian (Rea) and Clarence R. Leonard. She received an associate degree in music from Morningside College. She was a homemaker and a member of the Catholic Church. She is survived by six step-children. She was preceded in death by her parents, and husbands, Werner Hieb and Sylvester Nemmers.

Memorials may be directed to the Iowa Radio Reading Information Service. Condolences may be directed to

LeRoy Franklin Saunders

May 9, 1931 – Sept. 14, 2012

LeRoy was born and raised in Virginia where he began his career in 1951 with Virginia Industries for the Blind. In 1973 he moved to Oklahoma City where he was the Assistant Director for the Oklahoma League for the Blind, later becoming Executive Director, and remained there until 1992. LeRoy had many passions in life and dedicated himself to finding ways to improve employment opportunities for the visually impaired. He had several affiliations including serving for 23 years with the American Council of the Blind (ACB) in many capacities including President for 6 years. He was appointed to the President’s committee that supported these same goals by President Clinton, and served for 10 years. He was honored to later receive two awards that are highly regarded in work for the visually impaired: the RB Irwin Award, and the M.C. Migel Medal.

LeRoy is survived by his wife of 30 years, Patricia, son Franklin and his wife Lynn, and daughter Becky. In lieu of flowers the family has requested donations be made to ACB, 2200 Wilson Blvd, Suite 650, Arlington, VA 22201. A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, September 18th at 2:00 p.m. at Buchanan Funeral Service Chapel.

Rosemary Higley

Rosemary Arlene (Potee) Higley, age 69, of Emmetsburg passed away at the Spencer Hospital on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012 at 3:55 p.m. after valiantly fighting cancer.

She was born June 21, 1943 in the Spencer Hospital to Donald LaVerne and Arlene Phyllis (Crone) Potee. They lived in Sioux City and at a young age moved to Ayrshire where she graduated from Ayrshire Consolidated School in May of 1961. She graduated from the Personnel Training Institute in Omaha, NE in August of 1961. She was offered a position with the CIA in Washington, DC, but chose to work for Western Union in New York City since they paid better! After a couple of years, Rosemary returned to Palo Alto County where she was the Deputy County Auditor. She then moved to San Francisco to work for a life insurance company. In September 1967, she moved to Omaha where she was the office manager for a vending company.

On May 4, 1968, she married Patrick Joseph Higley in St. Peter's Catholic Church in Omaha, NE. In August of 1969 when Sherre was born, she decided to be a stay-at-home mom. In June 1971, Troy was born, then Vin in March of 1974. Patrick and Rosemary were also foster parents for nine children. In July 1976, they moved to Emmetsburg, where they farmed and managed their rental property. After retiring from farming, they moved to town in 2002. Rosemary loved to swim, sew, crochet, bake, garden, and hold grandbabies.

She was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa at the age of 28 which caused her blindness. She belonged to two Iowa state boards for the blind: the Independent Living Advisory Committee and Friends of the Iowa Library for the Blind. Rosemary's first diagnosis of cancer was in 2008 which she overcame and was cancer free for four years. Rosemary was a very caring person. After her death, even though she was blind, she was actually able to donate her eyes to give others the gift of sight!

She is survived by Patrick, her loving, dedicated husband of 44 years; her children: Sherre Johnson CPA (Brian) of Pocahontas, Dr. Troy Higley (Josephine CPA) of Zumbrota, MN, and Dr. Vincent Higley (Dr. Tracy) of Nebraska City, NE; grandchildren: Bailey, Chenney, Hattie, Kinzie, Asher and Lincoln Johnson and Sydney and William Higley; siblings: Dallas H. Crone (Irene) of Laurens, Lois I. Moody (John, deceased) of Carlsbad, CA, John L. Potee (Charlene) of Thayne, WY, Jean A. Alexander (James, deceased) of Des Moines, and Joan A. Baldwin of Fort Madison. She is also survived by many nieces, nephews and wonderful friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents and brother, Donald R. "Rick" Potee. Visitation will be Saturday, Oct. 13, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. with the Memorial Service starting at 2 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Emmetsburg, Louie Gallo officiating.

Inurnment at Evergreen Cemetery in Emmetsburg will follow the service. Martin-Mattice Funeral Home is handling all the arrangements. Condolences can be left at


Des Moines Chapter Report

By Elsie Monthei

In June we had John Patterson as our guest speaker from the Reapers beep baseball team. Some of us were able to attend the beep baseball demonstration. The Des Moines Chapter voted to help the team by purchasing new equipment.

During the summer Mike Manahl and John Gonzales had a fire in their apartment building. The Des Moines chapter was able to help with some financial assistance for them.

In July we had the chapter picnic at the Monthei home. A garden tour for the blind was provided. This was a learning experience for some of us. It was a relaxing time and a change from either the IDB building or a park. It is always nice to try something new.

We had a good turn out for the August meeting. Jo Slayton, our vice president, conducted the meeting. Mr. Richard Sorey, Director of the Iowa Department for the Blind, attended the chapter meeting. John Patterson related his experiences with the Beep Baseball World Series in Ames.

In September, Judy Kier was our guest speaker. The topic was Choosing a MediGap option for prescription drugs. She had information in Braille and large print. Open enrollment is in October so this was a timely subject.

On September 13, 2012, chapter members joined to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Iowa Department for the Blind building. Meredith Ferguson, the Iowa State Historic Preservation Officer, explained how the building qualifies to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the important role that Shan Sasser played in achieving this designation for IDB. The focus was on old friends and new. I was most impressed with Jim Witte who talked about the beginnings. He can really tell a good story. Jim Omvig focused on his personal relationship with Kenneth Jernigan and how rehabilitation has changed. Creig Slayton was featured on a video which will be in the Iowa Department for the Blind archives. It was certainly fitting for Dorothy Kirsner to speak from the audience concerning one of the featured photos. It was an exciting time for the blind of Iowa. I would recommend reading the current issue of The White Cane Update, found at

White-cane for more information about this event.

In October, Creig Slayton spoke to us concerning several items related to the IDB budget. We may be learning more about this in the future. Becky Criswell updated us on Senior Orientation and the Older Blind Program. It was so good to have her as a speaker. Independent Living has always been near and dear to us.

We attended the DART transportation ribbon cutting ceremony and open house. This state-of-the-art facility is a major addition to the structure of transportation and the environment. It is safe and functional.

Our Christmas party will be a combined party with the Lions in Windsor Heights and will be held on Tuesday, December 11. We are working out the details.

The nominating committee made its recommendations at the October meeting. The election will be held during the November meeting.

Rick Dressler, IDB's Public Information Specialist, will be our November speaker. We will be participating in the Younkers Community Days Fund Raiser at Valley West Mall on November 9 and 10.



By Frank Strong

What a terrific day November 13, 2012 was! On that date, a delegation of nine blind people visited the new grand Central Station to talk to DART staff about accommodations needed for those of us who will be using the buses. In attendance were Elsie Monthei, Bob and Donna Seliger, John Patterson, Roger Christiansen, JR Swank, Debbie Caldbeck, and Kyle Neddo.

The Des Moines Regional Area Transit Authority (DART) will be opening its new central station on Friday, November 23, 2012. The new central station will be the place where buses are lined up in various "bays" for entry and exit. In addition to the changes being presented because of the new DART central station, a number of bus routes will also be changed and some of them eliminated. There are a number of changes which will affect all of us who use the transit system here in Des Moines.

Ms. PJ Sass, the customer service manager for DART took down notes of the recommendations we made during the visit. We discussed such things as bus routes, bus schedules, and accessibility to the "bays" and questions about bus transfers. Our suggestions will be presented to the DART management staff for further consideration and action.

Change does not come easily. We are pleased, however, to have a voice in the transit many of us depend upon every day.

It is exciting to be a part of the Iowa Council of the United Blind's Des Moines chapter, in cooperation with the Central Iowa Center for Independent Living, to advocate for better, more accessible transportation for those of us who do not drive automobiles. Only time will tell whether our input will result in change. I hope that any changes made will help us make better use of the transit system.

One of the reasons I am a member of the Iowa Council of the United Blind is that I see the clear results of our unified action to have a voice and services which affect us and other blind and visually impaired citizens. Advocacy doesn't just happen. We, the united blind of Iowa are making advocacy a reality.

DART management staff told us that they will allow nonprofits like the Des Moines chapter to meet in their meeting area at the new DART Central Station for free. Wow, that is advocacy and success for our organization!

Please send me your thoughts and views of this visit. See you on the bus!

Cedar Rapids Chapter Report

By Shirley Wiggins

Hello to all. I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving.

On to our chapter. There are 11 of us, so we voted to once again keep Shirley Wiggins president, Ruth Failor vice-president, Eldred Gerhold secretary, and Judy McCarty treasurer. It was agreed that the others make up the board; it works well. The food at our Holiday party was good as usual; one can't go wrong at The Pizza Ranch. The auction brought in $291.50 and thanks to the generosity of Ruth Failor's gift to Friends of the Library we were able to write out a check for $500. We feel very happy to be able to help the Friends that much and we are very grateful to Ruthie for her thoughtful contribution. Each of our members will receive a copy of the ICUB Constitution so they will now have some time to review it. And, of course there will again be the Cedar Rapids picnic in August by request. We were thinking of discontinuing it, but have had many requests to keep it going, so we will.

Now for the support group. I thought it would be fun and interesting to have our members tell us a little about their life before the eye problems set in. We have heard from four of them, and are happy to report there has been no big show of discouragement. We know it can't all be good, but so far I am proud of them. We will be having our Christmas party at our December meeting. We'll have a small gift exchange and carol singing. As we answer roll call, we will tell of our most remembered Christmas. With that, I have nothing else to report for this time. Have a good Christmas and Happy New Year from all 11 of us.


By Marlaina Lieberg

(Retrieved from the ACB Leadership Listserv, October 10, 2012)

ACB Radio Mainstream has blindness-related news you can use at

ACB Radio brings old-time radio drama to you 24/7 at

The ACB Radio Cafe features the work of blind artists 24/7 at

Keep up with the haps when affiliates stream conventions at

Blind show hosts offer a plethora of musical genres at

ACB Radio, the place to be with people in the know!

Got talent? Tell us about you:

Have a great day, all!


By Donna Seliger

Christmas Salad

1 can cherry pie filling

1 8 oz. can crushed pineapple

1 can Eagle Brand Milk (not evaporated)

2 cups miniature marshmallows

½ cup pecan pieces

1 8 oz. container Cool Whip thawed

Mix all ingredients, chill and enjoy!

New Wine for Seniors

California vintners in the Napa Valley area, which primarily produce Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Grigio wines, have developed a new hybrid grape that acts as an anti-diuretic. It is expected to reduce the number of trips older people have to make to the bathroom during the night.

The new wine will be marketed as…



Recent Posts

See All


ICUB BULLETIN Winter 2022 Published by the IOWA COUNCIL OF THE UNITED BLIND An American Council of the Blind Affiliate Website: Facebook: › Pages › Businesses


ICUB BULLETIN Fall 2022 Published by the IOWA COUNCIL OF THE UNITED BLIND An American Council of the Blind Affiliate Website: Facebook:


ICUB BULLETIN Summer 2022 Published by the IOWA COUNCIL OF THE UNITED BLIND An American Council of the Blind Affiliate Website: Facebook:


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page