Fall 2018

Published by the


Web Site:

An Affiliate of the American Council of the Blind

Carrie Chapman, President

200 Parkview Dr.

Waukee, IA 50263

(515) 657-1461


Don Wirth, Co-Editor

921 – 9th St., #208

Ames, IA 50010

(515) 451-3779


Sandy Tigges, Co-Editor

2904 34th St.

Des Moines, IA 50310

(515) 277-1256


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 515-281-1323 or in Iowa 800-362-2587, option 3. Please direct other questions about format and address changes to Co-Editor Don Wirth.


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!

Table of Contents

President’s Message …………………………………………………………4

Editor’s Greeting ……………………………………………………………...5

Taking the Long View ………………………………………………………..5

Riding into Sight: Changing the Future for the Visually Impaired ….8

A Tribute to Ed Sheppard ………………………………………………….10

Jabber Jackie ………………………………………………………………...12

Chances ……………………………………………………………………….13

Life Coach Corner …………………………………………………………...15

News You Can Use…………………………………………………………...16

Taking Advantage of Courses from the Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired ……………………………………………………….17

Hawaii Comes to Dubuque for the Annual Dubuque Chapter Banquet ……………………………………………………………………………………18

Memories of My First ACB National Convention ……………………….19

Across Iowa At-Large Chapter Report ……………………………………21

Des Moines Chapter Report ……………………………………………..…21

ICUB Officers and Directors ………………………………………………..23

President’s Message

Dear ICUB members and friends,

I hope this bulletin finds you well. I am the proud grandma to a new grandson. Easton Eric was born on July 16, 2018. He is doing very well and catching up quickly weight-wise to his brother, Aydin. They have brought a lot of joy and happiness to our family and there’s nothing better than being a grandma.

The 2019 ICUB Conference and Convention will be held April 12 - 14, 2019. The convention will once again be held at the Holiday Inn located at 4800 Merle Hay Road in Des Moines. We have many great things planned. Mark your calendars and watch for more details coming soon!

Among the many things I did July’s ACB national convention, a favorite was the Amazon session. Using various accessibility features they demoed some of their products, including their smart TV, tablets, and fire TV stick. The gestures you use in a lot of cases are similar--if not the same--as the VoiceOver you use on your iPhone and iPad. Amazon also offers over 400 movies and TV shows with audio description, which they are increasing all the time. I purchased one of their TV’s and was able to set it up without assistance using The Voice view accessibility option. This feature allows me to interact completely with my TV. Hats off to Amazon!

In the coming months, we will be busy planning the convention, making organizational duties more efficient and easier to access, and discussing our goals for 2019. If you’re interested in helping or being on a committee, please let me or another Board member know. We would love to have you join us.

Have a wonderful holiday season!

Carrie Chapman, President

Editor’s Greeting

Don Wirth

This issue of the Bulletin begins a new era. As mentioned in the last issue, Norma Boge has stepped down as co-editor after several years. Taking her place is Sandy Tigges. Many of you know Sandy for her years of service at the Iowa Department for the Blind as well as through ICUB. Sandy has volunteered to help edit the Bulletin. She has the editing, educational, and patience skills to pick up Norma’s duties (which as I mentioned in the last issue are the lion’s share of the duties), so I can take a lot of the credit while Norma did most of the work.

Welcome aboard, Sandy. This has been a great first issue, and I look forward to working with you on many more. Now, if you can just remember my name!

Taking the Long View

Don Wirth

Editor’s Note: This is the next in a set of articles intended to help you get to know better the members of the ICUB Board of Directors. Let us know what you think of this series.

If you’ve attended an ICUB State Convention, you know one of the things you can count on is the Hospitality Suite on Friday and Saturday nights. And that Arlo and Elsie Monthei will be behind the counter passing out beverages and helping fill your plate. They have been doing that “forever,” but that “forever” may pale when compared to the 42 years that Arlo worked as an occupational therapist at the Younkers Rehabilitation Center in Des Moines. Clearly, once Arlo finds a task he is good at, he sticks with it. That includes serving on the ICUB Board of Directors.

The third of eight children, Arlo grew up in Jefferson and Altoona, Iowa. His father was an electrical engineer and his mother a school teacher. He and his 2 brothers were born with x-linked chromosome deficiency that prevents seeing the color red, a genetic condition male children inherit from their mothers.

After high school, Arlo attended Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa. During the summers he worked at Camp Sunnyside, where he got interested in vocational rehabilitation. After 2 and a half years at Cornell, he spent six months attending the Orientation Center at the Iowa Department for the Blind. He married Elsie and they moved to St. Louis, MO, where he attended Washington University. He completed his B.S. in occupational therapy and then moved back to Altoona to work at the Younkers Rehabilitation Center in Des Moines.

Arlo joined ICUB when he moved to Des Moines from Altoona. His father had also lived in Altoona so they had been able to car pool together to work. When his father retired, Arlo and his family moved to Des Moines to take advantage of the bus system to commute to work. Two of Arlo’s and Elsie’s daughters were born with cataracts. The daughters wanted to be involved in a consumer organization of the blind and joined ICUB. Arlo and Elsie decided to join also.

Arlo’s current stint on the ICUB Board is not his first. In a previous term, he served as President. He has also served as Treasurer of the Friends in Art at the national level in the American Council of the Blind (ACB). Arlo believes participating in ICUB and being on the Board provides service to all blind people.

Arlo and Elsie have hosted numerous international students in their home over the years. Those students included a visually impaired Russian teen who was referred to them by the Iowa Department for the Blind. That student has since returned home and is working in service to blind individuals in Russia.

Arlo and Elsie have travelled internationally to places such as Hong Kong, Rome, Venice and Germany. They always travel with their white canes. They see it as a way to promote the interaction with and education of sighted people, especially when the sighted person starts the conversation with, “What are you doing with that fishing pole?”

Arlo exhibits living a well-rounded life. He works with others to show that loss of vision can be accommodated to get things done. And he also explains that it’s all right to ask for assistance at times.

He has demonstrated through his work with ICUB, his professional career, and his travels that blindness may be an inconvenience at times, but it doesn’t need to be a prohibitive factor in living a productive life. He often worked with blind people in his job, and he was able to bring a presence that gave hope to them not only through his skill at his work but also by his example of living fully as a blind man.

So at the next Convention, stop by the hospitality suite, and be sure to thank Arlo for the food and drink and for his many years of service on the Board.

Ride Into Sight: Changing the Future for the Visually Impaired

Through Tractor Rides

Tyler Juranek

Hey there, ICUB members! This is Tyler Juranek from Council Bluffs. Most of you know me as the radio personality and sound person at the ICUB convention. I could write an article about that as well. But I want to tell you about Ride Into Sight, a tractor ride I organized this August, to raise money for retinal research and to educate people about the capabilities of those who are visually impaired.

The day began with everyone meeting at Old Highway 6 Tractor and Equipment. There were thirty tractors—30% International, 20% Oliver, 20% John Deere, 20% Ford, and 10% Allis Chalmers. After paying the $25 registration fee, participants enjoyed coffee and sweet rolls and had a chance to get to know each other. I shared with them my interest in tractors and the eye research being done at University of Iowa Clinics. After they learned the route and said the Pledge of Allegiance led by our friend, Mel Hursey, we were on our way.

We took a short break at the Kmart in Council Bluffs for refreshments and socializing. I had the pleasure of being interviewed and filmed by KETV, one of the local news stations. After the interview, I had fun hollering out, “Load’em up!” and we were on our way again.

We stopped for a lunch of burgers and baked beans at the Dew Drop Inn in McClelland. While we ate, I shared with the crowd the latest and greatest being done in eye research at the University of Iowa. I observed that everyone seemed to be having a good time and asked the group if I should make this an annual event. My answer came when the room roared with approval. So my plan now is to hold this event on the first Saturday of each August. Plan to join us on a future tractor ride then.

Before returning to Old Highway 6 Tractor and Equipment, we stopped briefly at Mount Hope Church for some cookies. By 3:45 P.M., the riders were loading up their tractors and heading for home. The event was a success—we raised $3,994 towards retinal research at the University of Iowa Clinics!

One of the great things that made the ride even more special to me was having so many great people from ICUB present that day. Dean Herdst, from Shelby, drove the party bus so that our ICUB members could ride along. Jessica, a niece of one of the ladies helping with the ride, audio described the cornfields and other attractions along the way. When I asked Dean at the end of the day what we owed him for his time and expenses, he almost knocked me over with his reply.

“Tyler, I am not sending anybody a bill. I had more fun and laughed more driving around your visually impaired group than I ever have hauling around a bunch of drunks. So count me in for next year and I am donating it to you again!”

What a great compliment for ICUB!

Thank you to all who took some time to come to the ride or who participated as virtual riders by sending a donation. It was truly a fantastic event. See you all next year! Until then, ride on!

A Tribute to Ed Sheppard

Sandy Tigges

As you know from reading his obituary in the Summer ICUB Bulletin, long-time ICUB member Ed Sheppard passed away this June. An obituary can convey the facts of a person’s life, but it often cannot encapsulate who that person really was. As his friend and former colleague, I would like you to know a little more about the amazing person Ed really was.

When I began working as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor at the Iowa Department for the Blind in 1988, I was fortunate to have Ed assigned to me as my supervisor. A firm believer in the Department’s positive philosophy of blindness, he taught me how to apply that approach as I began to perform my job duties. He mentored me with both thoughtfulness and humor as I dealt with new and sometimes difficult situations. Gradually, we became friends. He helped us pick cars for our two kids when they turned sixteen and suggested what neighborhoods to focus on when we moved to Des Moines in 1996. After we moved, Ed and my husband Dan were biking buddies for years, riding on area bike trails and checking out nearby coffee shops.

It is telling how well-liked and respected Ed was that, when he died, many former colleagues and clients sent numerous positive condolences to his wife Muriel and their family. Here are just a few of them:

“I just wanted to send you a letter to express my condolences at the recent passing of Ed Sheppard. I went through the Iowa Department for the Blind's Adult Orientation Center back in 1991 and was lucky enough to get to talk to Ed on numerous occasions. His sense of humor and supportive demeanor were always appreciated. Making those adjustments to blindness was difficult, and it was always nice to have people like Ed in my corner. I'm sorry for your loss–Ed was a great man....”

“...I have many fond memories of Ed and me biking around on weekends. It has been many years since I rode with him, but it was fun to get some good old rest and relaxation and get away from the hassles and stress of work for a while. Ed was my supervisor while we spent time biking around Polk County. Our work relationship never interfered with our love of biking. Ed was a great guy, and I have an undying respect for him and his commitment to helping others.”

“Ed will be missed in this world. I was lucky to know him through his work at the Dept. For the Blind. He was such a vital part of the mission to break down barriers and provide opportunity for blind people. I knew him to be dedicated and committed to improving life.”

“...1979 seems so long ago now. Even with the passage of all those years, I have never forgotten what an important mentor he was. I am forever grateful for his wise counsel, his encouragement and his confidence in me and my work skills. Every person should be as fortunate to have Ed Sheppard in his corner.”

“...he was my first counselor who directed me in the right direction in order to ensure independence in my life...I always appreciated his sense of humor and sharp mind...with much gratitude for his role in my life.”

And finally:

“The following are some of the characteristics we think about him when we saw or said his name (each first letter spells out his name): Enlightened, Determined, Scholarly, Humorous, Especial, Political, Pleasant, Articulate, Respectful, Dignified. “

Jabber Jackie

Jackie Armstrong

Hello fellow ICUB members. I hope everyone had a great summer. I was disappointed to miss the Des Moines Chapter’s October Picnic. It sounded like it was a great time. I want to share two things with you: one about fundraising and the other about outreach.

This November we will again be starting up our second fundraising campaign with Schwan’s. It is so easy to participate! If you are not a Schwan’s Shopper, maybe you know someone who is or you will become one yourself. ICUB can earn easy money and you can get tasty food by simply calling in an order to 1-855-870-7208, submitting our name “Iowa Council of the United Blind” and our new campaign number “42833”, and placing your order. Our new campaign will start on Thursday, November 15. We earn 20% of all sales until December 30, and we get 40% from the purchase of a $25.00 online gift card! I will gladly mail you flyers that you can distribute to your friends, family or neighbors. Just give me a call at 641-590-6755 or email me at

I also want to share with you my experience speaking on behalf of ICUB to the local Christian Women’s Club in Forest City.

On Monday, October 1st, I was privileged to share the ICUB mission with a variety of people. Two women who attended have connections with young blind grade-school-age children, one who is receiving Braille instruction in the school system and one who is not. It sparked a great discussion, and I encouraged the woman to pass our ICUB flyer and information on to the parents of the child who is not being taught Braille. One guest who attended has recently lost her sight to macular degeneration and has begun receiving services from the Department for the Blind. It was nice to meet her and I hope to become a source of support and encouragement for her.

Many of the people who attended this event picked up our ICUB brochure, which tells me that they probably know someone experiencing vision loss. I encourage anyone who is interested in being an ICUB speaker to let your local organizations (Church, Lion’s Club, Rotary Club, etc.) know that ICUB is available to offer support in a multitude of ways. I would gladly assist or join you in doing a presentation. Please don’t hesitate to call me. Also, Carrie Chapman and I have flyers for distribution if you need them.

Editor’s Note: A long-time member of ICUB, Linda Slayton, passed away unexpectedly on October 31. Linda was a talented writer with an outgoing, sparkling personality who made everyone immediately comfortable. Those of us fortunate enough to know her will miss her greatly. Copies of Cobblestones, her recently published book of poetry, can be purchased from Amazon for $12.00.


Wish on stars and dandelions

Toss the coins and make a dream

The world is changing by the moment

And not as sure as it may seem

Do the things that always scared you

Try your best to catch the wind

Lift your vision to the moment

Make your destiny a friend

Time disappears upon a whisper

Once it’s gone it won’t be back

Find a stage to perform on

Live until the final act

Have no regrets left to haunt you

Go all in no matter how

Live each day in fast forward

But stop and smell the roses now

It’s too easy to be cautious

To let our purpose wane and die

Soar beyond your wildest pleasures

The view is best when seen on high

There is no time like the present

Looking back we too soon learn

That all we are lies before us

We wait too long and miss our turn

So go beyond what you imagine

Step upon the new-found path

Hold tomorrow as a treasure

And learn to love the aftermath

There’s nothing better than believing

Always strive to take the chance

Life’s a tango for the taking

Take a step and live the dance

~ Linda Slayton, September 1, 2018

Life Coach Corner

Teresa Gregg

In the previous issues of the ICUB Bulletin, we helped you transform yourself by showing you how to re-evaluate your legacy, values, and temperament. This fall, we will help you strengthen your self-esteem by responding to the following exercise. Self-esteem is an emotional evaluation of your self-worth. Complete the following statements and ponder your answers:

· Sometimes I wish I could…

· The thing I fear most is…

· I gain strength from…

· I was really happy when…

· I struggle when…

· Today is going to be…