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
As you may recall from the Summer ICUB Bulletin, this year the Iowa Council of the United Blind had received a $5,000 Community Betterment Grant from Prairie Meadows to provide tips and techniques about voting to Iowans with vision loss. For the last few months, many of us have been busy carrying out this project by making presentations to groups around the state and by distributing a guide we produced called “Voting Is for Everyone: A Voting Guide for Iowans with Vision Loss.”
The centerpiece of this project is the “Voting Is for Everyone” guide, which helps Iowans with vision loss navigate the voting process. It is available in large print, audio, and electronic formats from ICUB and in Braille from the IDB Library. Copies of this guide have been distributed throughout the state. Electronic copies were emailed to the Secretary of State and to all ninety-nine county auditor offices. They have been sent to everyone on the ICUB mailing list and to every support group in the state. Electronic copies can also be downloaded from the ICUB and IDB websites. They are even available on the websites of Disability Rights Iowa and the Emmet County Auditor’s Office. ICUB treasurer Jeana Mowery decided to share some at the Republican headquarters in Ames. Because of this widespread distribution, it is impossible to know how many people have actually received a copy of this guide.
ICUB members, including our president Carrie Chapman, have been busy making presentations and distributing guides throughout the state. In July, we presented a voting activity for students in the Iowa Department for the Blind’s summer transition program called LEAP. Students explored the issue of accessibility in voting by designing and casting ballots without vision. The evening ended with a pizza party that included beating apart candy-filled Republican and Democratic piñatas with an old-fashioned white wooden cane. Several of these students will be voting for the first time this year and appreciated getting useful information about some ways to do so as a blind person.
Presentations have been made and voting guides distributed throughout the state. In September, Carrie Chapman and her sister Lori shared information at a Clarinda Low Vision Fair sponsored by the IDB. In October, Carrie and Sandy Tigges spoke to a support group in Oskaloosa, where participants also got a chance to try out an accessible voting machine. Information has also been shared at meetings in Davenport, Dubuque, Des Moines, Fort Dodge, and Altoona—just to name a few.
In October, Sandy sent a press release to newspapers and television and radio stations around the state. As a result, she was interviewed by Jodi Whitworth, a WHO-TV reporter on October 23. The interview was also made available on the station’s website. Alpha Media USA, a nationwide radio broadcasting company, picked up the story for their timely series on voting. News of the project also reached many blind Iowans through an announcement sent out by the IDB and through information included in the Department’s social media.
Many thanks to everyone who worked on this valuable project, including Prairie Meadows for its generous grant. Besides providing valuable information about the voting process, this project helped familiarize Iowans with our organization and our dedication to improving the lives of our fellow citizens with vision loss.
Voting Isn’t Just for Iowans Who Can See
Des Moines, Oct. 19, 2016 -- Voting Is For Everyone, including Iowans with vision loss. Through this project funded by a Prairie Meadows Community Betterment Grant, the Iowa Council of the United Blind (ICUB) is sharing tips and techniques with visually impaired citizens that will help them participate fully in this year’s voting process. “People with vision loss,” Project Director Sandy Tigges said, “sometimes hesitate to vote because they don’t know how they are going to register, get to the polls, or read the ballot when they get there.” Even the fully accessible voting machine, available at every polling place, does not always solve the problem. As James Witte, a Waukee poll worker, said, “Blind voters often don’t know the machine is available or have no experience using it.”
The Voting Is for Everyone project is encouraging Iowans with vision loss to vote through presentations at blind organization and support-group meetings and through a clear, concise guide available in large print, audio, and electronic formats. The guide covers such topics as blind-friendly methods for registering to vote, casting a ballot, and remedying any violation of voting rights. It also includes sources of timely information about candidates and issues that can be accessed no matter how much vision the voter has.
ICUB is a nonpartisan consumer organization of Iowans who are blind or visually impaired. For more information about ICUB or this project, please contact Project Director Sandy Tigges at firstname.lastname@example.org or ICUB President Carrie Chapman at email@example.com.
Meet the Board - Carol Flickinger
How connected are you to ICUB? Do you go to the annual convention? Do you live in a community that has a local chapter? Do you live outside areas that don’t have a local chapter?
Carol Flickinger sees her role on the board as a motivator and organizer that would like to help those of us that don’t live in a community that has a local chapter by assisting in the development of an at large chapter to increase communication and connection among ICUB members more than once a year during the annual convention.
Communication and connection among blind Iowans has been a passion for Carol since she lost sight when she was in her 20’s – because when she lost her sight she had no family or friends that were blind to help her. We shouldn’t have to face this alone.
Carol was diagnosed with histoplasmosis and cornea problems. She thought she had time to prepare for the loss of sight and as a fallback; she was assured that she could get a cornea transplant to save some sight. Well, overnight all of that changed when she lost all sight in one eye. That started her trail to learning to live with blindness and helping others to do the same.
Carol was working as a drill-press operator at a manufacturing job when she lost sight in her eye. Carol has a sister who contacted the Iowa Department for the Blind (without Carol’s knowledge) to assist in the transition. But, like a lot of us, Carol decided to try to develop her own coping skills. She took another job as a bakery manager and got along ok for another 5 years. During that time her other eye got worse due to histoplasmosis. Because of this, her lifeline of getting a cornea transplant was lost because no doctor would take the chance of causing her to lose what vision she still had in her second eye. Now, with support from her sister and the rest of her family she took another look at the IDB.
Carol enrolled in the Orientation Center at IDB. An experience on her second day set Carol on her course of communication and connection among the blind community. She was working with an instructor who was called away to another activity while showing Carol around the IDB building.
“Here’s another student who can show you around,” said the instructor.
“How can another blind student show me where to go and what to do?” was Carol’s immediate thought.
Well the other student could and caused a dramatic change in Carol’s thinking. Blind folks can teach and learn from other blind students. They just need to be connected and given the opportunity to share.
Carol spent 7 months at the Orientation Center. She met a number of students and staff. The philosophy of blind helping blind and sharing experiences was ingrained in the IDB. She learned to be more independent and made many great connections.
At a retirement reception for Sandy Tigges and Becky Criswell sponsored by ICUB, Carol saw that many of her connections from the IDB were ICUB members. Carol recognized that ICUB’s philosophy of connection and communication meshed well with her own. She joined ICUB shortly thereafter.
Since her time at the Orientation Center, Carol has been working with her husband at the recycling business. She stays busy with her family of 5 kids, 13 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. And also with her passion to create communication and connections about living blind.
In addition to serving on the ICUB board, Carol has volunteered at the IDB for Senior Orientation, braille institute and the BELL Academy. She works a booth at the Calhoun County Fair with 2 of her grandkids. At the fair, she and her grandchildren distributed brailed bookmarks. Her grandkids were learning about blindness along with their grandmother. The grandkids brailed children’s names using a braille chart. She also distributed information on ICUB, IRIS and the IDB.
Carol also helped Bonnie Kennedy start a support group in Ft. dodge after graduating from the orientation center, EyeShare. She is also a member of Connections. Back to her connection with ICUB. Carol wants to increase that connection. She wants to see the creation of an at large chapter that would allow for monthly meetings. If you would be interested in this opportunity contact Carol or another board member.
Joan Marie Caldbeck, 59, passed away at her home on Saturday, October 8, 2016. She was born on April 29, 1957 in Des Moines to Thomas and Dolores Caldbeck. Joan is survived by her mother, Dolores Caldbeck; brothers, Kenneth (Suzanne) and Garry (Debra) Caldbeck; sister, Deborah Caldbeck; nephews, Brenton (Natalia) and Ryan (Alyssa) Caldbeck, great-niece, Olivia Caldbeck and family friend, Jim Gallaugher of Des Moines. She is preceded in death by her father, Thomas B. Caldbeck and her sister, Anna Caldbeck. Memorial contributions are suggested to the family in memory of Joan.
Francesco Joseph (Frank) Guerra was born on April 22, 1969 in Oceanside, New York, and passed away on the morning of October 1, 2016 in Waukee, Iowa. He was a beloved father to Frankie, Gia, and Marissa, and husband to Tina Guerra.
Frank relocated from Freeport, New York to Waukee, Iowa in 1992.
Frank, while in Iowa, served in many roles with several different civic organizations: The Lion’s Club, Optimist Club and the Waukee Volunteer Fire Department.
Since 2012, Frank, through his love of beep baseball (a sport for those who are blind or low-vision), has been a part of the creation and success of the Iowa Reapers. The Iowa Reapers have been an affiliate team of the National Beep Baseball Association and have taken part in 4 of the last 5 beep baseball World Series tournaments.
Bottom of Form
Robert A. Nesler, of Dubuque, died Tuesday, August 16, 2016, at UnityPoint Health-Finley Hospital.
Robert received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Dubuque and his master’s degree from Drake University. He was a retired counselor and realtor. He was a member of the Dubuque Lions Club, Tri-State Blind Society, Dubuque County Landlords Association, and was a longtime President of the Dubuque Association of the Blind.
He is survived by his wife Gabriela (Perez-Calzada) Nesler; children, Byron and Dhyana Nesler, Michelle Gianni, Emily Lyon and Bob Nesler; grandchildren, Tavie and Ainsley Lyon, and Julia Gianni. He also is survived by his siblings, Tom, Jim, Pam and Sandra Nesler and Cecelia Marty.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and Emily (Jacobsen) Nesler.
The family would like to thank the nurses and staff at Unity Point Health-Finley Hospital for their loving care. They would also like to thank their friends and family for their love and support.
IDB Introduces New Building Access Design
If you have walked into the Iowa Department for the Blind (IDB) building recently you may have noticed that some changes are afoot. An inviting corner for Library users and visitors has been created in a re-purposed portion of the first floor employee break room/cafeteria, just inside the north door/accessible entrance. A comfortable sofa, book shelves that beckon to be explored, and some unique children's activities are available to enjoy. Two helpful staff from the library are stationed nearby at the newly created information desk area, ready to greet visitors and assist Iowa Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped patrons with information and circulation needs. Library patrons are now able to refill cartridges, drop off books, and use other library services more quickly. A convenient accessible iPad mounted on a stand replaces the loose leaf binder sign-in book. The west side of the cafeteria has been rearranged in proximity to the vending machines with enough space for the usual number of people using it during breaks and lunch. It's all part of a "one point of service" concept and design that Library and other IDB staff are presenting on a trial basis.
Born of a desire to bring the Library front desk closer to patrons, the need for more efficient use of staff, and improve building security, this new public interface is being tried out in a no-cost pilot effort.
A significant change to entering the IDB building will begin its trial on Tuesday, November 1, 2016 when the 4th Street doors will no longer be used as a visitor entrance and will remain locked during the day. Though the door will remain available to staff and Orientation Center students using their key card, visitors will be redirected to enter the building through the north door on Watson Powell, Jr. Way. This newly designated main entrance is served by the wheelchair accessible ramp and has proven to be the entrance most visitors currently use. It will be unlocked at 8:00 a.m. as always for public access. Print and braille signage at the east door to redirect visitors to the north door and a temporary doorbell that will ring at the switchboard are designed to help with this transition.
The switchboard desk will remain where it is in the main lobby by the elevators and will allow the person staffing that desk to focus on answering and directing phone inquiries.
"The library and maintenance staff have worked hard to create a welcoming space that will help our entire agency to build community and provide better service to clients and patrons," Department director Emily Wharton commented. "We are hopeful that this will be a stepping stone that will allow us to provide more services in a more cost effective manner. We have already been getting great ideas and suggestions."
These changes are considered implemented on a trial basis to see if the desired results of ease of access to the Iowa Department for the Blind building, improved customer service to the public, and visitor and employee safety may be efficiently realized. Feedback from the public is welcome and you may direct your comments to Rick Dressler at firstname.lastname@example.org or 515-281-1314.
Des Moines Chapter Report
By Jo Ann Slayton
TRICK OR TREAT: Beautiful evening for Halloween with so many leaves turning color and many crunching as little ones are out trick or treating!
I mentioned in the last chapter report that our members were hosting an evening with the transition students through the LEAP Program, July 20. We had a wonderful evening, and our focus was on voting. Our thanks to all who made this project a success, especially Cody and Bettina Dolinsek working with us to make this a fun evening for all. The highlight definitely was the piñatas (a donkey and an elephant) members enjoyed hitting with an old wooden cane; you should have been there to scramble for all the goodies! It was great to mix and mingle with students and challenge their thoughts about accessible voting. Thanks to Julie Aufdenkamp for allowing us this opportunity.
Members on the Iowa Reapers Team participated in the Beep Ball World Series in Ames; and some of us traveled to Ames on a warm July day to lend our support - congratulation Reapers on your success during the games.
The Des Moines Area Regional Transit (DART) system has been holding almost monthly meetings, and members have been attending and following these meetings. January 9, 2017, Alison Walding and her manager will meet with chapter members for some training, as well as having an exchange of ideas with members. Over this past year, our chapter has had concerns about DART stopping directly at the Valley West and Merle Hay malls. We still have some problem solving to do in this regard. We invite anyone interested to meet with us during this meeting.
August 25 found members supporting the IRIS Ice Cream Social, where one of our members, Mavis McVeety, was presented with a much coveted IRIS vase in appreciation of her support. Many of us look forward to this annual event to be able to thank IRIS staff and volunteers.
On September 10 we gathered at Legion Park in West Des Moines - what a wonderful picnic we had; lots of chicken and many delicious side dishes. Besides having an opportunity to play giant jenga, a highlight for many of us was playing "string ball," with two games setup by Emily Wharton - and many members had an opportunity to bat and pitch the ball. What an excellent event and the weather was perfect - thanks Fun Committee and others assisting. We really appreciated people coming from Dubuque and Fort Dodge, as well as Nevada.
By now, members should have received copies of VOTING IS FOR EVERYONE - an accessible voting guide for the blind. At our October meeting, Sandy Tigges, Project Coordinator for ICUB, lead a discussion with members on accessible voting and members shared some of their experiences. We're already signing up to sell coupon books for Younkers Community Days November 9-12, which is a successful fund raiser for our chapter twice a year.
It is with a heavy heart I report in October, we lost Joan Caldbeck, a long-time member and supporter of ICUB. Frank Guerra, a supporter of ICUB, and coach of the Iowa Reapers Beep Ball team passed away. We will miss both Joan and Frank, and will have fond memories of our interaction with them.
Twelve Members traveled to eastern Iowa on October 8 to attend the Dubuque chapter’s awesome annual banquet. A good time was enjoyed by everyone - thanks Dubuque. Please set aside December 3 from noon to around 4:00 p.m. This will be the time of our Christmas party at Felix and Oscar's at Merle Hay - get your trivia teams together, or sharpen your skills as an individual - it promises to be an awesome afternoon. Bring a friend, $10, and an item for the Food Pantry. There will be prizes and fun galore.
Congratulations to Emily Wharton, appointed as Director of the Iowa Department for the Blind. We will be able to welcome Emily at our November 14 chapter meeting - come and meet with Emily that evening. We will also hold our annual election of officers and directors November 14.
It is with some mixed feelings I step down as President of the Des Moines Chapter. Thank you for allowing me to serve as President the last few years, and thanks to the officers and directors serving this past year - we've had a very productive year, and I look forward to 2017 and our new officers and directors, and thank them for stepping up to the plate and providing leadership. We welcome new members at any time; our dues are $15. We meet the second Monday of each month at 5:30 in the Director's Conference Room of the Department. This will be my last chapter report for the Bulletin, thanks to everyone for your support and participation - enjoy the Holiday Season ahead and a very blessed New Year!!
Dubuque Chapter Update
The Dubuque Association of the Blind banquet was held on October 8th at the Eagle's Club. Happy Hour started at 11:30am. Guests were greeted at the door. They received their banquet ticket and had the opportunity to buy 50/50 raffle tickets. Guests put their names on the back of the banquet tickets which put them in the door prize drawings.
Fifty-five guests attended, nine from Des Moines, five from Waterloo, four from Cedar Rapids and the remaining guests were from the Dubuque area. Walt Pregler, President of the John Deere Local 94 Union Retirees was the Master of Ceremonies. He introduced the head table and then had the guests at each table introduce themselves.
The meal was Swiss steak, mashed potatoes, creamed peas, a roll and ice cream and was served by the Dubuque Girl Scout troop. The door prize drawings started with the $50 cash prize. The winner was Deb Weiland. Linda Manders announced the other 23 door prize winners while the meal was served.
Guest speaker for the event was John Gantenbein, President of the Dickeyville/Kieler, Wisconsin Lion's Club. The distinguished service award was given to Cynthia Qloud. Carrie Chapman accepted the award on CIP's behalf. The Leadership award was given to Linda Manders.
As our auctioneer, Rose Stratton tried to get as much as she possibly could for each item. The winner of the 50/50 raffle was Arlo Monthei, who received a prize of $61.00.
We are having a get together. It is Sunday, Dec. 11th at 1:00pm. We are meeting at the Point Café, 2370 Rhomberg Ave. in Dubuque.
Waterloo Chapter Update
By June Belz
This year we've certainly discussed how to enlarge our group. In the Meantime, we've used a Waterloo church for meetings. Larry and June Belz got out of the country, and moved to a condo. Now it's nice to get our group of 5 over there when possible.
Don Franklin, Gloria O'Neal, Sally Ripplinger and June Belz had a good and informative time at the ICUB state Convention in Des Moines.
Gloria, Sally, and June made it to the ACB national convention held in Minneapolis in July. The speakers, award recipients and companies offering hi tech aides were awesome. The way the conventioneers were organized and the meetings conducted, was very good. The hotel had volunteers coming in to help, and the hotel staff did a good job. The place to shop for so many blindness-related products was wonderful, and you could get in on some ice cream treats, etc.! The eight days of convention went fast and included learning sessions, an auction, a dance night and tours.
We were so glad for what we learned at the Dubuque Banquet, but so sad to hear of Robert Nesler’s passing. The Lion's Club speaker certainly did well at making us realize what an effort they put out, and we sure didn't go away hungry. The auction always gets people laughing, too!
We’ve dealt with QUITE the road construction this year. We may tell you sometime how all those roundabouts worked out!
Season’s Greetings to you all!
News You Can Use
Usually articles under this heading involve new products or services. But, sometimes services that we have used for a while become commonplace to us but would be new and interesting to others. Below is an article from Jackie Armstrong of Forest City followed by a few comments from the editor.
I have been a Discover credit card owner for many years and have always been satisfied with their amazing customer service. I use a CC TV to aid me in my bill paying tasks, and they have been sending me an enlarged copy of my monthly statement each month for the last couple of years. Today I received my monthly statement and was pleased to see that they have revised it to be very reader friendly and it can now even be easily read by a scanner too. The letter they sent me also indicated that they will soon have braille monthly statements available upon request! I thought this was very exciting and wanted to share it with ICUB. If anyone is thinking about applying for a credit card or have questions about their services, they can call1-800-347-2683.
From the Editor:
I also use Discover card and want to add a couple of other points about their service.
They will braille your card number upon request. This makes it a lot easier to use when ordering a pizza or sandwich for delivery.
I use Discover’s on-line payment and statements. I find both to be very user friendly and easy to use. I can download a copy of my statement in a number of formats (PDF, Excel, etc.) for later reference.
As with all products mentioned in these articles they should be viewed as sharing information that you may find useful. They should not be viewed as an endorsement by ICUB. If you have new services or old services that you have used for so long that they are second nature to you, why not share with us. We may find that they are the best thing since sliced bread.
ICUB Officers and Directors
Carrie Chapman, Interim President
Robert Spangler, Immediate Past President
Sandy Tigges, First Vice-President