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Fall 2015

Published by the


Web Site:

An Affiliate of the American Council of the Blind

Cynthia Qloud, President

1918 E. 12th

Des Moines, IA 50316

(515) 266-5110


Norma A. Boge, Co-Editor

2324 Riverwoods Ave.

Des Moines, IA 50320-2808

(515) 288-1938


Don Wirth, Co-Editor

921 – 9th St., #208

Ames, IA 50010

(515) 451-3379



Anyone who cannot read this print Bulletin, finds it difficult to have it read or wishes an e-mail or cassette version may receive a copy at no charge. Please contact Jo Slayton at (515) 279-4284 to request an alternative format. Cassette readers may keep their copy of the Bulletin. However, to return cassettes when you are finished with them, please place them in a NEW standard mailing envelope, write “Free Matter for the Blind” in the upper right hand corner, and return them to the editor at the address on the front of this Bulletin. Please remember to contact the editor if your address changes. 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, IA 50310.


Do you need to dispose of a used vehicle? ICUB's Used Vehicle Donation Program offers a perfect solution. Your vehicle will be picked up from your home and sold at auction. A portion of the proceeds go directly to ICUB. You claim a tax deduction equal to the dollar value of the vehicle. Call 800-899-4925 for more information.


Are you an online shopper? You can help ICUB secure some additional funds when you shop at There, enter your e-mail address and password. You will be prompted to shop for the charity Amazon is promoting that day or to select your own. In the dialog box for selecting your own, type our name, Iowa Council of the United Blind. We will be the charity of choice each time you shop at ICUB will receive 0.5% of the value of purchases. If you do not yet have an account at Amazon, go to their website, establish an account, and then go to to make your purchases. Happy shopping!


Editor’s Notes. 4

President’s Report: ACB Conference and Convention. 4

Sioux City Vision Loss Resource Fair 8

White Cane Safety Day 2015 to be celebrated in Des Moines. 9

The KNFB App for Mobile Devices. 10

Des Moines Chapter Update. 12

Local Lobbying That Gets Results. 14

Netflix Now Offers Streaming Movies with Audio Description. 15

Outstanding in Her Field. 16

Hearing is Believing at Audio Described Movie. 18

Smartphone Technology Enables Blind to 'See' 19


News You Can Use. 23

ICUB Officers and Directors. 23

Editor’s Notes

As was hinted at in our previous issue, the ICUB has a new and exciting way of getting the Bulletin to you. Thanks to the cooperation of the staff at the Iowa Department for the Blind library, you can now subscribe to the audio version of the ICUB Bulletin and receive it on a digital cartridge. This is the same cartridge on which many books and magazines are currently distributed and which can be played on the NLS digital talking book player. You will need to return the cartridge to the library when you are finished so you will receive the next issue. Once you subscribe, and as long as you return the cartridges, you will automatically receive the next issue when it is available. To subscribe, please contact the IDB library at 515-281-1368 or in Iowa 800-362-2587, ext. 1-1368. After you have subscribed, please let Norma Boge know so we can update our records. And, as usual, large print and email editions are also available.

Thanks to our guest contributors for their submissions, we think you will enjoy their articles. Deadline for the next issue is February 1, 2016, please put this on your calendars and get your chapter reports and other articles to us. Thank you!

President’s Report: ACB Conference and Convention

By Cynthia Qloud

Editor’s Note: Due to space limitations, following is an abridged version of Cynthia’s report.

Dear Members, I want to sincerely thank you for the opportunity to attend this convention. I suggest you go to the web site,, and check out archives of the convention. There you can find many resources related to technology, and information about some of what I am presenting in this document.

In addition to thanking all of you for helping me attend the convention, I would like to sincerely thank Donna and Bob Seliger, who helped me feel at home, Elsie and Arlo Monthei for being partners in crime at the ACB banquet, and I would like to thank Norma Boge and Eldon Conyers for their pat on the back when we were voting. Finally thanks go to the two ladies who shared my room with me, Lori Trujillo Roush and Carrie Chapman. These two ladies presented One-Touch training at the convention in four different sessions, and they made us proud.

Feel free to call me to discuss this convention report.

The 2015 National conference and Convention of the American Council of the Blind was held in Dallas between July 3 and July 11. I served as the ICUB delegate and the Alternate delegate was Arlo Monthei. There were 9 members representing Iowa in our delegation.

I will present in this article an overview of my activities at the conference and convention.

In addition to the daily general sessions, other meetings I attended included the American Association of blind teacher’s breakfast, the Affiliate President’s meeting, ACB membership seminar and a Conventional training vs. structured discovery workshop. And I did take advantage of some of the computer-related trainings which addressed, in part, using the Apple Mac and IOS devices, Windows 10 and cloud-based computing.

A pleasant surprise at this year’s convention was hearing that an Iowan was among the ACB scholarship winners. Her name is Christiane Steele from Burlington and she is a junior majoring in special education. She is taking classes through Western Governor's University in Utah and is a 4.0 student.

The Lone Star Loot auction was a very popular event at this year’s convention. One of ACB’s biggest fundraisers, it featured vacation packages, sports memorabilia, assistive technology and more. The ICUB donated a $100 gift card to the Amana Meat Shop and Smokehouse, which sold for $120.

The main subject of discussion at the affiliate presidents meeting was membership development. The idea of having an ACB board member act as liaison to state affiliates was also discussed. I believe this would be very helpful to the ICUB as we need help in this area. Such a liaison would also help us in bringing matters which are more local in nature to the attention of ACB’s national leaders.

The membership seminar began with a panel discussion on using state conventions as a

Tool for recruiting members. ICUB director Donna Seliger was among the panel’s speakers. I learned that North Dakota uses the Lions Clubs to help transport members to conventions. Using social media and web pages were also discussed. We have a nice web site, and we are working on Facebook, but I believe we need an even bigger presence in these areas. Facebook seems to be the way for connecting people and providing the most up-to-date information as to what is happening around the state. So look for this at our next convention.

The exhibit hall was the place for hands-on shopping for everything from jewelry to watches to assistive technology. The ACB Mini Mall sold all the ACB branded items, including official t-shirts, pins, mugs, canes and much, much more. New this year was a Durward K. McDaniel commemorative coin which says “Father of ACB” in braille.

All the major vendors of technology were present, including Freedom scientific, HIMS, Humanware and 4-Square which is G.W. Micro. Enabling Technologies exhibited their braille embossers and Baum USA displayed a new, and cute, little notetaker.

There were many guide dog schools, and even the Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind was there recruiting employees. What I did not see were a lot of vendors of just the stuff we all need and use on a regular basis. I recall seeing only Maxi Aids and the American Printing House for the Blind.

Conventional Training VS Structured Discovery Training

The majority of centers for the blind in this country use conventional training as the method for teaching cane travel, home economics, etc. Conventional training involves an instructor telling you how to perform a task step-by-step. Structured discovery does, however, incorporate some aspects of conventional training. One example would be teaching the basics of using the white cane. But after a person has learned the basics and the instructor is satisfied the student can travel safely, the student is then given routes which they travel independently.

The moderators of this seminar suggested that in places where Structured Discovery was the method taught for blindness training, it would be more beneficial if in addition they also offered a conventional training option. My notion is if this is the case, then perhaps those rehab centers for the blind who only offer a conventional training session should offer a structured discovery option as well.

There were concerns from audience participants about the kind of center to attend. I suggested a focus on structured discovery is more comprehensive and takes longer for the participant, but often those who participate in such centers get better paying jobs. Structured discovery may seem more frightening to a newly blind person, but in the long run it is of more benefit to them.

Joe Wilson of Talking Book Publishers in Denver, Colorado is a NLS narrator who spoke about the work he does. He has a background in radio and theatre and has been at Talking Book Publishers for 7 years. After reading an excerpt from a book he provided some background as to how a talking book is produced. Preparing for the actual recording includes assignment to a narrator, highlighting difficult words, compiling a pronunciation list and much more. This prep work often takes twice as long as the reading time of the recorded book.

Lastly, ACB convention Coordinator Janet Dickelman of St. Paul, Minnesota reported on the next two upcoming conventions. Next year we’ll convene in Minneapolis at the Hyatt Regency from July 1-9. 2017 will find the ACB returning to John Ascuaga’s Nugget in Sparks (Reno) Nevada, with the conference and convention beginning June 30.

Sioux City Vision Loss Resource Fair