ICUB BULLETIN Fall 2016
ICUB BULLETIN Fall 2016 Published by the IOWA COUNCIL OF THE UNITED BLIND Web Site: www.icublind.org An Affiliate of the American Council of the Blind Carrie Chapman, Interim President 200 Parkview Dr. Waukee, IA 50263 (515) 657-1461 E-Mail: email@example.com Norma A. Boge, Co-Editor 2324 Riverwoods Ave. Des Moines, IA 50320-2808 (515) 288-1938 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Don Wirth, Co-Editor 921 – 9th St., #208 Ames, IA 50010 (515) 451-3779 E-Mail: email@example.com SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION: The ICUB Bulletin is available in large print, via email, and on an NLS-compliant digital audio cartridge. To subscribe to the cartridge edition, please contact the Iowa Department for the Blind Library at 515-281-1368 or in Iowa 800-362-2587, ext. 1-1368. Please direct other questions about format and address changes to Co-Editor Norma A. Boge. SELECTING ICUB AS A BENEFICIARY 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. DONATING YOUR VEHICLE TO BENEFIT ICUB 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. SHOPPING TO BENEFIT ICUB! Are you an online shopper? You can help ICUB secure some additional funds when you shop at smile.amazon.com. 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 smile.amazon.com. 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 smile.amazon.com to make your purchases. Happy shopping! Contents President’s Notes. 4 New Iowa Department for the Blind Director Selected. 8 Voting Is for Everyone Project Update. 12 Meet the Board - Carol Flickinger 16 Obituaries. 19 IDB Introduces New Building Access Design. 21 Des Moines Chapter Report 23 Dubuque Chapter Update. 27 Waterloo Chapter Update. 28 News You Can Use. 29 ICUB Officers and Directors. 31
By Carrie Chapman, Interim President
I hope everyone has had a great summer. The leaves have begun to fall and the cooler weather has arrived. I look forward to the season and the upcoming holidays because I really enjoy this time of year.
I wanted to give everyone an update on Cynthia Qloud. Cip is doing well and has made a lot of progress. Please feel free to send cards or stop by and see her.
She loves visitors. Her address is:
5010 Grand Ridge Drive
West Des Moines, IA
Please continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers.
Speaking of seasons, convention is fast approaching and I wanted to provide some brief updates.
Although the primary function of the convention is for the general membership to gather, decisions concerning the organization are made, and policies are set for the following year; we plan to have an exciting and fun convention.
The 2017 State Convention of the Iowa council of the United Blind will be held at the merle Hay Holiday Inn. Convention activities are currently scheduled to begin on Friday, April 21 and conclude at noon on Sunday, April 23. Save the date! Details will follow when they become available.
Your presence at convention is important! I believe that you can and will benefit from the strength and knowledge that you will gain from the many people you will meet at the convention and we need your ideas and your voice.
ICUB sponsored several members to attend the ACB national convention in July held in Minneapolis. Each of them attended the general sessions, banquet, exhibit hall, and several seminars of interest. Sally Ripplinger, Gloria O’Neal, and June Belz attended and enjoyed the Easy Money Seminar, a workshop designed to help affiliates and chapters raise money through sponsorships and partnering with ACB. They also attended several seminars including Unconventional ways of reading, 1 Touch Self-defense, Library Users of America, and President’s Seminars.
Linda Manders tuned into Uber's presentation. Uber wanted to provide transportation that is as easy to use as running water. She also went on the cathedral tour and loved the stained glass windows.
Violet Haverland attended Humanware's Victor Stream presentation and the exhibit hall while reconnecting with old friends.
In the ACB president's report, Kim Charlson mentioned that Microsoft is working with ACB to develop accessible programs for the blind. ACB won the lawsuit against Washington DC cab companies and now 4 DC cab companies
will give blind people with guide dogs full and equal access. They are working to get Medicare coverage of low vision devices.
Kirk Adams is the new president of the American Foundation for the Blind. He said that he plans to have a close working relationship with ACB. He wants to help level the playing field in jobs for the blind. He stated, “In working together we become stronger. If you break a stick in pieces, all you have are a bunch of little pieces. If you put those pieces together, they are stronger and could be more useful.”
The presentation by Martha Harmon Pardee, a reader for NLS for 25 years, was enjoyed by all. The National Library Services for the Blind Director, Karen Keninger,An Iowan, talked about all the services provided by NLS and plans for better engaging patrons.
Each of the convention attendees from Iowa received a wealth of information which should help ICUB with membership and improving the treasury.
I have been attending Transportation Advisory Group meetings as well as a conference dedicated to transportation in Iowa. The focus of the conference is to discuss what advancements have been made in transportation agencies and programs throughout the state. It is also a platform to discuss how transportation can be enhanced by working together to identify unmet needs, understand why those needs have not been met, and develop potential solutions to improve public transportation. I will keep you updated and pass along any information as I receive it.
Great news! Our Facebook page is now up and running. If you would like us to post your chapter’s calendar event or have news you would like to share just let us know. Check us out and tell your friends and family!
We have several committees we’re trying to get started but need your help. If you or someone you know is interested in membership, fundraising, transportation or just interested in helping where you can. Please let me know. Together we can make a difference.
I wish you and your families a wonderful holiday season. As always if you have any thoughts, questions, or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
New Iowa Department for the Blind Director Selected
The Iowa Commission for the Blind has chosen Emily Wharton to serve as Director of the Iowa Department for the Blind. Wharton had been serving as the agency's Technology Director since 2013.
“Emily Wharton brings three key qualities to the position of Iowa Department for the Blind director,” said Peggy Elliott of Grinnell, chair of the three-member Iowa Commission for the Blind, appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Iowa Senate to set policy for the state agency.
“She has personally struggled with the challenge of living successfully as a blind person and has met that challenge, showing others by her life that blindness need not stop a person from living a full and productive life,” Elliott continued. “She successfully used the Department’s services to achieve her goals and, though she at first viewed the services as provided out of pity, came to understand they are provided to empower. And she has made the commitment to provide her positive outlook and can-do attitude to fellow Iowans encountering vision loss.
“We commissioners look forward to the positive results Emily’s energy and experience will bring to the leadership of a state agency serving fellow Iowans who often, as Emily once did, underestimate their own potential,” Elliott concluded.
Born legally blind, Wharton grew up in Aurelia, Iowa. Her parents expected her to help out around the house and at the family's hardware store, get good grades, and go to college just as they did her two sighted sisters. She struggled to read print through thick glasses and deal with bullies.
"Although I wish that I had learned Braille as a child, I am forever grateful that my parents never let me get out of work because of my eyesight,” Wharton observes. “I actually learned some ways of doing things non-visually that I didn't even realize. This was the best thing they could do to prepare me for adult life."
Wharton’s first contact with services from the Department took place when she was a senior in high school. A vocational rehabilitation counselor from the Iowa Department for the Blind contacted her school guidance counselor.
"They offered to help me pay for college. I really wanted to go to Drake but didn't know how I was going to pay for it,” Wharton recalls. “The idea of accepting 'government assistance' didn't really settle well with me, though. I told everyone they were giving me 'pity money.'”
Wharton was academically successful at Drake, but a lack of non-visual skills and low self-esteem due to the internalization of negative beliefs about blindness and herself as a blind person made college life a struggle for her.
"One night I was trying to finish some reading for a paper at 1 a.m. and a bunch of my friends came back from the bar laughing,” Wharton remembers, “and I felt so angry that it was taking me so much longer to get things done than my friends."
Wharton's rehabilitation counselor finally convinced her to take a tour of the Orientation Center in which the Department offers intensive training in non-visual techniques such as travel with a white cane and using computers that voice information through speech synthesizers. This was the first time she had ever met another blind person or considered that she could use power tools safely and competently.
"The director of the orientation center was a former English professor,” Wharton says. “I saw people walking around quickly without staring at the ground. I saw people using table saws. And everyone seemed relaxed and comfortable with themselves. I knew that was what I needed."
Wharton finished college a semester early in order to attend the center before starting graduate school.
"It took a lot of work and a lot of patience from the staff,” Wharton comments. “I was a pretty obnoxious, argumentative student. But eventually I came to realize that being blind was OK and that I was a full, complete person. I wasn't broken or inferior."
The freedom that this realization brought set Wharton on a new career path. She wanted to help others obtain that same freedom. She took a job teaching cane travel at BLIND, Incorporated, a training center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Over the next fifteen years, she taught cane travel, Braille, job seeking skills and assistive technology.
She trained and mentored new staff and set up and managed the organization's computer network and website. She created a new curriculum for teaching Braille to adults -- the Code Master Adult Braille Learning System -- which won two national awards in 2013, the Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award from the National Federation of the Blind and the Touch of Genius Prize for Innovation from the National Braille Press.
"Having learned Braille as an adult and working with others who had as well,” Wharton explains, “I realized that there is a faster way for adults to learn the Braille code that utilizes their strengths and learning styles."
The Code Master system is now being used by the Department in its center and field training. Materials are available to patrons through the Department’s Iowa Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped service.
In 2005 while teaching at BLIND, Wharton completed a Master of Fine Arts degree at Hamline University in St. Paul, MN.
When the opportunity arose to return to her home state in 2013, Wharton was elated.
"I love Iowa and couldn't pass up the opportunity to give back to the agency that empowered me to live a full and happy life,” she sums up. “I am truly honored and excited to be named Director and will put my heart and soul into fulfilling the Department’s mission of empowering blind Iowans."
Wharton lives in Des Moines with her spouse Shawn Mayo.
Voting Is for Everyone Project Update
By Sandy Tigges