ICUB BULLETIN Spring 2016
Published by the
IOWA COUNCIL OF THE UNITED BLIND
Web Site: www.icublind.org
An Affiliate of the American Council of the Blind
Cynthia Qloud, President
1918 E. 12th St.
Des Moines, IA 50316
Norma A. Boge, Co-Editor
2324 Riverwoods Ave.
Des Moines, IA 50320-2808
Don Wirth, Co-Editor
921 – 9th St., #208
Ames, IA 50010
SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION: The ICUB Bulletin is available in large print, via email, and on a 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!
CORRECTION The author of “Hearing is believing at Audio Described Movie” (Fall 2015) was incorrectly identified. The author of the article is Becky Dunkerson.
A Sneak Peek at our 2016 Convention. 6
Why Attend the ICUB Annual Convention. 8
Giving Back This Holiday Season. 12
Banquet Return Marks Dubuque Chapter Rejuvenation. 13
A Hawkeye Cruising with the Cardinals. 15
Medicaid Transition Information Available. 18
ICUB Officers and Directors. 19
From the President’s Desk
By Cynthia Qloud
Since publication of our October Bulletin, ICUB members have been involved in several events. We have attended two Commission meetings at the Iowa Department for the Blind (IDB), a Vision Loss Resource Fair in Sioux City, a White Cane Safety Day program in Des Moines, a banquet in Dubuque, the presentation of the Iowa Department for the Blind budget to the Governor, the Des Moines chapter Christmas party, and the Annual Braille Challenge. We have been busy!!
We are committed to having a presence at all Commission meetings. At the two most recent sessions, we learned that the Iowa Department for the Blind is $305,000 over budget for the current fiscal year. The shortfall required action, and the IDB Commission authorized withdrawal of that amount from the agency’s Gifts and Bequests Fund to cover agency operating costs.
Richard Sorey, IDB Director, formally presented the budget for 2017 to the Governor in December. As many of you have heard or read, the Governor did not include IDB’s request for an additional $405,000 in his proposed budget. Director Sorey presented his case for the request to the Des Moines Chapter at a fall meeting. Mr. Sorey cited increased travel costs, provision of more technology, and greater demand for services for multiply handicapped Iowans as reasons for the need for more state dollars. Further detail was not provided. The Director’s request for additional monies may well be justified. To effectively advocate for the increase, it would be helpful to those of us contacting legislators or the Governor if we had more facts, and a comparison of that data with past years that would demonstrate the need.
Currently there are an estimated 75 employees at the Department, down 20% from the 93 staff members present when Mr. Sorey took over in 2012. Also, in the last budget IDB received the biggest increase in state funding in many a year. I recall that, at that time, Mr. Sorey stated that the Governor and the Iowa legislature were more than generous to the Department for the Blind. It was enough and he would not be asking for more. We do need to be watchful about the ongoing use of the Gifts and Bequests Fund to cover large shortfalls in the agency’s operating costs. I and others are concerned that if something is not done there could be another withdrawal from Gifts and Bequests in the amount of $405,000. So much for Gifts and bequests.
If you have questions concerning the budget or information to support the request, contact me, Director Sorey, or one of the three IDB Commission members.
Beyond Department concerns, we have been rolling right along with our outreach programs. In October we took our ICUB booth to Sioux City for a Vision Loss Resource Fair sponsored by IDB. For that program, we borrowed an accessible voting machine from the Woodbury County auditor’s office for demonstration to attendees. The response was great! It was a wonderful opportunity for educating others about an option in the voting process. Very few visitors knew about the accessible voting machine, or that these machines should be available in each precinct.
At the White Cane Safety Day program, also sponsored by IDB, we staffed the ICUB booth, and participated with others on the mile-long walk to celebrate the day.
On October 24, sixty-one ICUB members, friends and family attended the revived annual Dubuque chapter banquet in Dubuque. I was honored to speak at the banquet. In my remarks, I focused on how important it is that we connect with one another to teach, listen, and empower each other to go further than each one of us might have thought. Thanks goes to the Dubuque chapter for including Des Moines, Waterloo, Cedar Rapids, and at large chapter members in the guest list. The gathering was great fun!
ICUB, invited by IDB to participate, once again set up our booth at the Annual Braille Challenge. Thanks to the Des Moines chapter for donating $100 to be used as cash prizes for participants. The prizes certainly attracted participants and their parents to our booth. Many of them provided information for contact in the future. They also received information about ICUB and our upcoming State convention.
Note, too, that the Des Moines chapter donated an additional $200 to IDB to underwrite the Braille Challenge, and the ICUB State treasury provided $100 as well.
On February 26, six ICUB members will be going to the American Council of the Blind midwinter conference in Washington D.C. We are eager to learn about national legislation. We have already been making appointments with Iowa’s Congressional delegation to speak with them about blind Iowans’ concerns. We will provide news and views of the Conference in the next issue of the ICUB Bulletin.
Mark another date on your calendar. ICUB will participate in a Vision Loss Resource Fair in Oskaloosa on March 8. We are working to obtain an accessible voting machine for that event as well. ‘Tis the voting season, and we want all of our members to be knowledgeable and prepared. If you are interested in attending or participating in the Oskaloosa Fair or any other outreach activity, please contact me. The experience will energize you--It is a good way to meet people who need our help.
A Sneak Peek at our 2016 Convention
By Cynthia Qloud
The 2016 ICUB convention is right around the corner. The dates are April 22 through 24. This year we are in Des Moines once again at the Holiday Inn on Merle Hay Road. As many of you know their food and service are great and they have been very accommodating to