Published by the
IOWA COUNCIL OF THE UNITED BLIND
An Affiliate of the American Council of the Blind
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com › Pages › Businesses › nonprofit organization
Carrie Chapman, President
200 Parkview Dr.
Waukee, IA 50263
Don Wirth, Co-Editor
921 – 9th St., #208
Ames, IA 50010
Sandy Tigges, Co-Editor
2904 - 34th St.
Des Moines, IA 50310
Table of Contents
President’s Message 3
Make a Voting Experience Declaration 6
Meet the Authors: An ICUB Original 8
Shopping to Benefit ICUB 12
Those We Have Lost 13
News We Can Use 15
Awards and Congratulations 18
Water Pie 19
Coaching Corner 20
Donating Your Vehicle to Benefit ICUB 21
Are You Breaking the Law? 22
Across Iowa Chapter Report 23
Des Moines Chapter Report 23
Digest of ICUB Board Activities From May 2018 Through May 2020 25
Marie Hoenig Memorial Perkins Brailler Award Account Policy 29
Selecting ICUB as a Beneficiary 34
Calendar of Events 35
ICUB Board Members 41
This summer, ICUB has been focusing its efforts on making absentee ballots accessible for Iowans with disabilities. In August, I participated in the ACB’s Advocacy Update Podcast with Commissioner Donald Palmer, Vice Chair of the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), and Barbara Salisbury, President of the ACB of Indiana. This podcast is hosted by Claire Stanley, ACB Advocacy and Outreach Specialist, and Clarke Rachal, ACB Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs. We discussed advocacy work and government initiatives to ensure in-person and remote absentee voting options are accessible to disabled voters. If you would like to listen to this podcast, go to
Recently, ICUB, Disability Rights Iowa, and the National Federation of the Blind of Iowa (NFBI) have been working together to come up with a plan of action. We decided to implement a public awareness campaign, which includes an electronic billboard with pictures of me, Michael Barber from NFBI, and other individuals with disabilities with the caption, “Did you know that absentee ballots are not accessible in Iowa?” We will also be using newspapers and social media to educate the public. In addition, a joint coalition letter is being sent to Secretary of State Paul pate urging him to request the Legislative Council to approve the use of an accessible ballot-marking tool.
A group effort is required to achieve our goal, and we need your help! Please contact your legislators by letter, email, or phone and let them know you support our efforts. Also please consider submitting a voter experience declaration that The American Council of the Blind (ACB) can use in our advocacy activities. You can read more about making a declaration in the article below. The need for all voters to vote privately, independently, and safely is now more important than ever. Thank you in advance for your help. More information on this subject will soon follow.
Our conference calls are still going strong. Both ICUB members and nonmembers are enjoying the variety of subjects and sharing with each other. In fact, as a result of these calls, the Across-Iowa Chapter has gained several new members. We are just adding a conference call on the topic of Braille for both beginners and those who have been using Braille for years. On Monday, October 5 at 7:15 PM, we will be exploring ways to come together, learn, and find resources related to Braille. You can join us by calling 605-472-5428, access code 837272. A big welcome to our new members, and a big thank you
to all the wonderful hosts and participants who make these calls possible!
Stay safe and take care,
Carrie Chapman, President
Make a Voting Experience Declaration
The American Council of the Blind (ACB) is eager to collect as much information as possible concerning your voting experience surrounding the 2020 General Election. We need more information than just what happens to you if you decide to vote in person on November 3. Rather, we want to know your entire experience from when you registered to vote to when you received an absentee ballot in the mail to when you went to the polling site. In other words, please share any voting-related facts with us.
Because there are numerous steps to the voting process, you are welcome to submit more than one declaration. Ideally, we hope that your experience is positive and seamless, and you can vote easily and accessibly. Unfortunately, though, we have heard many stories surrounding accessibility challenges for blind and visually impaired voters this year. As a result, we want to collect as many stories as we can to develop a kind of repository of declarations we can go to in the future when doing further advocacy work.
When writing down your voting experiences, please include the information listed below. Feel free to omit any details you are uncomfortable sharing. If possible, include the following:
Your city, state, and zip code
The date(s) on which the incident occurred
The name(s) of any Board of Election employees or poll workers involved in the problem
A detailed summary of what took place
Send your declarations to Claire Stanley, ACB Advocacy and Outreach Specialist, by email to email@example.com or by U.S. mail to American Council of the Blind, 1703 N. Beauregard Street, Suite 420, Alexandria, VA 22311. You can also share your experiences with her by phone by calling 202-467-5081.
Meet the Authors: An ICUB Original
By Kristen Steele
As many of you know, I host an ICUB book club, a conference call series that started as a response to the isolation of members caused by the quarantine. The book club has helped us all to bloom where we are planted! Though I typically lead with some discussion questions and a friendly debate, I wanted to make things even more exciting, to add a twist that you won't find in most other book clubs. As a lifelong reader and aspiring writer, I've always dreamed of meeting and talking with an author. I once wrote a letter to Gordon Korman, a beloved school-aged author, but the response was a scripted template. In other words, my hopes weren't high.
The idea of having an author participate in our club came to me while reading The Ultimate Gift by Jim Stovall, a blind author, who wrote of the realization that one's true ultimate gifts are the life lessons that come from within. A simple Google search revealed his e-mail. A half hour later, he replied that he was eager to speak on our conference line. I was thrilled that Jim had made time for us. He spoke about his love of football, his journey through vision loss, and his desire to pursue writing as he began to feel a loss of control and an overall lack of self-esteem. I wholeheartedly believe that his "gifts" are some of the most valuable lessons for all of us, no matter our age.
I came away with an even more significant lesson, however. Jim is now totally blind. He does not read Braille, nor has he learned proper cane travel. He has never had technology training and uses only a flip phone on which he can dial into a recording system where his ideas and notes are later transcribed by his staff. Jim exemplifies the individuality of the blind — that not one piece of tech, skill set, or popular method can make us "a good blind person." We are not cookie-cutter molds that fit into a category. We are humans, and our individuality — our uniqueness — should be embraced.
Our experience with Jim Stovall was so uplifting, our book club decided to read another book by a blind author, Abbie Johnson Taylor. The Red Dress, a newly released work, was recommended on the DB-Review Listserv. So the day before our discussion, I figured why not? Abbie's personal, down-to-earth nature made her blend right in with our bookworms. Not only do we have many of her works to look forward to, but she also recommends reading authors Debbie Macomber and Susan Wiggs, who have offered her the most inspiration.
Abbie closed her talk with some invaluable resources for aspiring authors, including a virtual group she moderates called Behind Our Eyes. Anyone wishing to join this group can visit http://www.behindoureyes.org and complete a membership form. Her experience working in a nursing home, as well as her role as a family caregiver for her late husband, resonated with me, having worked in elder care for the past three years myself. If you are looking for your next memorable read, check out her collection on Bookshare.
We send our deepest appreciation to Jim and Abbie for the time and wisdom they shared with us. If you missed either of these talks, feel free to contact Carrie Chapman or me so we can share the recording with you.
Another of my quarantine hobbies led to a third speaker. This hobby revolves around the now-popular iPhones Without the Eye, a biweekly conference call where I share tips and tricks for VoiceOver users. Last Tuesday, we were fortunate enough to have Judy Dixon, blind technology writer for National Braille Press, join us for a special edition featuring Braille Screen Input. This is a topic I hesitated to teach, as I've had varying degrees of success as a totally blind iPhone user Brailling on a touchscreen. On a whim, I called NBP in hopes of making contact with Judy, while knowing that they may not be able to give me her number. As luck would have it, the receptionist just rattled it off to me. Judy made Braille input on an iPhone appear simple and efficient in a way only she can. If you've ever struggled with Braille screen input, (BSI), her book, Writing Your Way: Composing and Editing on an iPhone or iPad, is a must. She is more than willing to join us again in the future, and I may just take her up on it. Judy has a vast array of knowledge on all things related to the iPhone operating system, (iOS), and has honestly been a role model for me as a Braille and assistive tech advocate.
And I won't stop there! I have another plan in the works for a writers' workshop to be presented by a blind storyteller that you won't want to miss. ICUB is truly making the crisis of 2020 less about that 19 thing and all about establishing friendships, crafting new skills, and having fun while we're at it. If you haven't joined us yet, there's no better time than now ... because you never know who you'll wind up meeting.
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 email 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 then be the charity of choice each time you shop at https://smile.amazon.com/ . ICUB will receive 0.5% of the value of eligible purchases.
You can also now support ICUB using the Amazon shopping app on your mobile phone. Download or update the app and then open it. Go to “Settings” in the main menu. Tap on “AmazonSmile” and follow the on-screen instructions to turn on AmazonSmile. You can also find the instructions by going to: https://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node=15576745011
Those We Have Lost
Editor’s Note: This spring and summer, we lost two long-time Iowans and ACB members. Through their lives, they demonstrated that blindness need not prevent one from living a full and happy life.
Delia “Dee” Clayton
Delia “Dee” Ann Clayton was born February 11, 1936 in Cherokee, Iowa to Philip Jacob and Luella Dorothea (Witter) Wilmot. She was a high school graduate and attended the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School. Dee worked as a switchboard operator for the Iowa Department for the Blind, Job Services for the State of Iowa, and Sears. She married Frank Edwin Youngblut, Charles Clayton, and Richard "Dick" Clark who all preceded her in death.
Dee enjoyed her involvement with ACB and ACBDA where she spent many hours talking with and educating numerous wonderful people about these programs. Her CHAT rooms were her favorite places to be, to keep connected with the world and all the wonderful friends she had there. She also enjoyed time with all her grandkids and great-grandkids.
Dee passed away Wednesday, March 18, 2020, at Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro, NC, at the age of 84.
Ronald Joseph Ocken, son of Lawrence and Mary (Baumhover) Ocken, was born April 28, 1943, at Templeton, Iowa. He attended Sacred Heart School through the third grade. Ronald then attended Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School in Vinton, Iowa, graduating in 1961. He then went on to get a Bachelor’s degree from University of Iowa in 1969 and a Master’s degree from the University of Minnesota in 1972.
Ron worked as a programmer analyst for the State of Iowa in Des Moines, 3M Company in St. Paul, Minnesota, Thermo King in Bloomington, Minnesota, and then for First Data Resources in Omaha, Nebraska, retiring in 2001.
Ron was a member of St. Leo’s Catholic Church in Omaha and a fan of the Iowa Hawkeyes. Throughout the years, he enjoyed ballroom dancing, downhill skiing, travelling, and playing bridge and Sudoku. Family was very important to Ron. He loved following his great nieces and nephews in their activities. Ron simply carried on and didn’t let his disabilities get in his way.
On Tuesday, August 4, 2020, Ron died at Risen Son Christian Village in Council Bluffs, Iowa. He was 77 years, 3 months and 7 days of age.
News You Can Use
Norma A. Boge
Access World. An online magazine produced by the American Foundation for the Blind, Access World features product reviews, smart and objective commentary and cutting-edge news of assistive technology for the blind and low vision. Published monthly, Access World, including back issues, is located at: https://www.afb.org/aw
Bar code reading tips. Frustrated when trying to locate a package bar code? Here are some tips. Bar codes are usually placed on the backs or sides of boxes. Chips, bread, bacon, and other bagged items commonly have their bar codes located on the back toward the bottom. Slowly turn the container to find the bar code on the side of a bottle, jar, or can. If a glass jar has a sticker in addition to the product label, it is most likely a bar code. Shrink-wrapped packages, like meat, have the bar code sticker on the front. Use these tips and you'll be scanning like a pro in no time!
Turning the Pages. At this site you can listen to, download and subscribe to podcasts produced by the Iowa Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. Library News and Braille Bits are just a couple of the offerings you can access at: https://iowalibrary.blog .
AppleVis 2.0: The Second Decade Edition. A major upgrade and redesign to the AppleVis website was recently launched. A very popular site, AppleVis is your go-to site for all things iOS. Content includes guides, reviews and all the current news about iOS accessibility. You can find it at: https://applevis.com .
Visual descriptions of Apple iOS icons. Having a basic understanding of these visual concepts can help blind users explain and teach iOS to those who can see, as well as provide an easier means for Voiceover users and sighted users to communicate with one another with regard to the iOS interface. Find information at: https://rb.gy/e1i16k .
Courses from the Hartgen Consultancy. Brian Hartgen has been teaching blind persons how to use assistive technology for 24 years. He is certified in advance scripting for JAWS and his company provides a wide array of training offerings, both live and recorded, for software like Zoom, Microsoft Edge, PowerPoint, Gold Wave and many more. Check out: https://www.hartgen.org .
Accessible COVID-19 statistics trackers. Much of the data pertaining to the Coronavirus pandemic is in graphical form inaccessible to screen-reader users. Web developer Tyler Littlefield has designed and built a website which makes critical data available in a text format that is easy to read and understand. Find it at: https://cvstats.net .
An accessible COVID-19 data source for the state of Iowa can be found at: https://coronavirus.iowa.gov/pages/access .
Definitive Guide to Windows 10 Keyboard Shortcuts. Whether you are new to Windows 10 or an experienced user, these shortcuts will help you save time and increase your productivity. The Guide can be found at: https://rb.gy/2okiip .
Accessible Medicare information. You can get Medicare information in large print, Braille, and data/audio files at no cost by calling 1-800-633-4227 or sending an email with your format preference to: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Awards and Congratulations
The ACB, during its 59th annual conference and convention, presented Karen Keninger with the prestigious Robert S. Bray Award. It is named in honor of the first
Director of what is now the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS). This award is given to an individual or an organization that has made a significant contribution to improving library services, information technology or communication access. Now NLS Director, Karen is an Iowan who has served in the past as Director of both the Iowa Department for the Blind (IDB) and the IDB Library. Congratulations, Karen, on this well-deserved award.
We are thrilled to announce that ICUB member Thandra Ritchie has received the ACB John Hebner Scholarship. This award will help defray the cost of her graduate school tuition and expenses. Thandra is pursuing a master’s degree in organizational business. Way to go, Thandra!
Editor’s Note: This Depression-era recipe was shared by Carrie in the Cooking in Quarantine discussion group. It comes from her great aunt, who called it sweetheart pie. The recipe looks wacky, but it actually works. It’s also delicious!
1 9-inch deep dish pie crust
1-1/2 cups water
4 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
5 tbsp. butter, cut in pieces
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Set pie crust on a foil lined cookie sheet. Pour water into pie crust. In a small bowl, combine flour and sugar. Sprinkle evenly over pie crust. Drizzle vanilla over water and flour-sugar mixture. Dot with pats of butter. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake an additional 30 minutes. If necessary, cover edges of pie with foil to prevent burning.
Pie will still be watery when you pull it out of the oven but will gel as it cools. Allow it to cool completely and then cover and place it in the refrigerator. Chill before cutting.
I remember this with cinnamon, so we added some to the recipe. My mother remembers adding little pieces of butter to the pie instead of putting them on top. She also remembers taking just a few fingers to mix it up just a few times.
Today we are going to talk about how to be a dynamic communicator. Now that you know your body’s emotional pulse, we are ready to put these emotions into an effective way of communicating.
List seven of the qualities you believe describe YOUR ideal image of the communicator you want to be. Include attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, and any other characteristics you can think of. Pick three of the seven traits and turn them into an affirmative statement like “I am speaking with my core values at all times.” Then ponder the following questions:
• How powerful and impactful does this statement make me feel?
• How do I feel my energy shifting when I read it?
• What changes am I noticing in my thoughts, beliefs, behaviors, and messages?
• How am I going to communicate effectively with others today?
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 can claim a tax deduction equal to the dollar value of the vehicle. Call 800-899-4925 for more information.
Are You Breaking the Law?
In this time of isolation and schedule disruption, do you find yourself taking longer to finish tasks that you used to get done more quickly? Well, you are following “Parkinson’s Law.” This was a law of human nature facetiously identified by Cyril Northcote Parkinson in 1955 in an article in The Economist to describe why so little work seems to be accomplished in bureaucracies. Basically, it states that the time needed to complete a task expands to fill the amount of time available to do it in. The term became ingrained in the language of organizational literature, like Murphy’s Law and the Peter Principle. (If you don’t recognize those laws, maybe we’ll explain them in a later issue.) In any case, if you have more time available and it takes longer to complete a task than it used to, you may actually be adhering to Parkinson’s Law rather than breaking it.
Across Iowa Chapter Report
We are proud to say that the ICUB Across Iowa Chapter is now 28 members strong! Our Chapter is open, honest, humorous, and determined to get things done that will benefit our membership.
Please join our conference call meetings on the first Thursday of each month. Use our new call-in number of 605-472-5428, access code 837272. In October, we will be discussing travel agencies that cater to the blind. In November, the topic will be aids and devices as Christmas holiday shopping ideas. We’ll end the year with an open forum in December. Please come and join our lively group.
Des Moines Chapter Report
Lori Trujillo Roush
Since April, the Des Moines Chapter of ICUB has been meeting by conference call due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At its August meeting, the board voted to suspend all in-person activities and hold chapter meetings by phone through the end of the year. Please feel free to join our meetings whether or not you are a Chapter member.
Our guest speaker for our Chapter meeting in August was IDB Commissioner Geneva Jacobson. Geneva is filling out the term of Joe Van Lent who had resigned his position earlier this year. Geneva shared her personal and employment history, including her training in the Orientation Center. She discussed the IDB Gifts and Bequests Fund, saying there is a new emphasis on using funds to give blind Iowans access to the internet. The Fund can also be used to pay for first-time attendance at the conventions of state and national blind consumer organizations. In addition, she talked about the new 4-Plus Program starting at the Department this fall. Running parallel to the Orientation Center, the program will begin with five students and eight staff.
At this meeting, the Chapter also discussed hosting a virtual dinner in September for Senior Orientation students, but their training has now been postponed until April, 2021. With other virtual gatherings in mind, we are looking for volunteers, to help plan a virtual holiday party in December.
At our September meeting, our topic will be about being prepared to vote in the upcoming election. We will also begin sending out and collecting membership dues forms for the 2021 calendar year. If you have any questions about the Des Moines Chapter or would like more information on how to get involved, please call me at 515-402-3508.
Digest of ICUB Board Activities
from May 2018 through May 2020
Note: We are resuming the practice of publishing summaries of the approved minutes from ICUB board meetings starting with the May 2018 meeting. Below, you will find the meeting date and whether any actions (motions) were made and voted upon by the Board. Please note that, in addition to those motions listed, the first actions of most meetings had been the approval of the Secretary’s minutes and the Treasurer’s report.
At the end of the meetings for each year, there is a list of topics considered by the Board other than those addressed by motions, as well as a list of Committees which reported to the Board during that time. Committees are always in need of your support and assistance. If you wish to participate with any group, please contact me or Carrie Chapman. Our contact information appears at the end of the Bulletin.
ICUB board meetings are currently held on the fourth Tuesday of each odd-numbered month beginning at 7:15 p.m. The remaining sessions for 2020 are set for September 22 and November 24. If you would like to join us, call the toll-free number 605-472-5428, access code 837272. Chapter Presidents are regularly advised of meetings, are able to contribute agenda items and participate in discussions, and give Chapter reports as well.
2018: May 24: Motion approving a policy to cover the use of PayPal by members and friends passed. The policy was published in an earlier edition of the Bulletin.
July 26: Policy to cover refunds to Convention attendees was approved.
September 27: Motion to obtain bonding of the Treasurer approved.
Topics discussed by B