ICUB BULLETIN Spring 2017 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! Table of Contents President’s Report 4 Digests of ICUB Board meeting minutes. 5 New Technology at This Year’s Convention. 9 Meet the Board – Donna Seliger 10 Good Times Aplenty at Des Moines Holiday Party. 13 A New Chapter in the Making. 15 Dubuque Chapter Update. 16 Des Moines Chapter Update. 16 Tommy Katzureck Dies at 73. 19 Traveling with Dave. 20 News You Can Use. 21 ICUB Officers and Directors. 22
By Carrie Chapman
I wanted to start off by updating everyone on Cynthia Qloud. Cip is doing well and has been moved into her own apartment. As this Bulletin was going to press, CIP celebrated her birthday on February 8. I encourage you to send cards to CIP which will brighten her day and encourage her! Cards should be mailed to Cynthia Qloud, c/o Heidi Pollock, 17250 – 140th Ave., Indianola, IA 50125. As always, continue to keep Cip in your thoughts and prayers.
Plans are well underway for our 30th Annual State Convention. It’s been extremely busy, but we are excited, and look forward to everything that is planned! The theme this year will be “Building Bridges by Connecting Generations.” Some highlights include: Karen Keninger from the National Library Service (NLS) and Marty Schultz, the creator of Blindfold Games.
The dates for this year’s convention are April 21st through the 23rd. Once again the site for this year’s convention will be the Holiday Inn and Suites, 4800 Merle Hay Road in Des Moines. If you have not reserved your room yet please do so by calling 1-800-HOLIDAY [1-(800) 465-4329] and ask for the ICUB special rate. This year we are offering help with transportation costs throughout the state. Please call me with any questions and look for more information coming soon.
A new at-large chapter has been established. They will meet by phone each month. Please see Teresa Gregg’s article in this issue for further information.
We now have a membership committee. They will be meeting on a regular basis to come up with ways to increase and keep our membership. If you are interested in participating or have ideas to help with this please let us know.
Don’t forget to like our Facebook page. If you have items of interest, or your local chapter would like to have your events posted, please contact Deb Caldbeck at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to seeing everyone at the convention. Take care.
Digests of ICUB Board meeting minutes
By Catherine Witte
August 7, 2016
Carrie Chapman called the meeting to order. Ten of thirteen Board members and all Chapter Presidents were in attendance. Other than the standard motions to approve minutes of a previous meeting and to approve the Treasurer’s report, no motions were made.
There were discussions of the Prairie Meadows grant for $5,000 through which ICUB produced and distributed the pamphlet “Voting is for everyone.” An investment of $1,500 in ICUB’s funds was required and approved by the Board. The grant was revised to accommodate the lower grant award. ICUB members will travel to various sites throughout Iowa to present iPhone training so that individuals can access election information and to inform blind persons and election workers about resources for Iowans who are blind. We will also demonstrate or describe the operation of various voting machines.
Legislation to change the structure of the Commission for the Blind to include five members and to manage the membership so that no particular group controls the Commission did not make it through the funnel. It was referred to a different Committee for a second review late in the process. It is likely that it will be reintroduced and assigned to the State Government Committee in the next session.
ICUB’s digital presence now includes a Facebook page and our website, www.icublind.org .
Board member Tyler Juranek expressed the need for advocacy and ADA training for students and staff at vocational and trade schools. At this time the Council does not have the resources to undertake such an effort.
Correspondence sent by ICUB to Commissioners regarding the Director search was reviewed. A letter from Commissioner Peggy Elliott gave ICUB the opportunity to identify desirable qualities in candidates. This was not a response to our request. It does not give consumers the opportunity to participate in the full process of selection, i.e., reviewing applications, meeting candidates, or participation in the final selection of the successful applicant. So we will not respond to the letter.
The agenda for the Commission’s August 13, 2016 meeting was also reviewed by the board. At this time Commission meetings were not being called in a timely fashion and were in a state of flux. The meeting mentioned here was in fact cancelled.
October 17, 2016
Eleven Board members and three Chapter Presidents were present.
A motion was made and passed to provide up to $2,000 so that ICUB President Carrie Chapman can attend the 2017 ACB Midwinter Legislative Conference. It was noted that $2,000 remains from a grant to the State by the Des Moines Chapter to cover conference scholarships or expenses such as this, and is available to be used.
All other business was discussion of topics.
Under old business, the status of Committees was discussed. We are having difficulty finding Board members and others to work on Committees or to take leadership roles in them. Currently we need members for the Transportation Committee which is exploring issues and solutions for blind Iowans. We especially need members from outside the greater Des Moines area. Members are also needed for an At-Large Committee to help start such a chapter in Iowa for blind Iowans in rural or small towns. Ideally it would be good to have at least one person from each of the four quadrants of the state. Tyler Juranek of Council Bluffs volunteered to serve on the At-Large Committee. Fundraising is another area that needs attention. Social media and website communication would do well to have additional members serving.
The Board reviewed the status of legislation to change the structure of the Commission to a five-member Board. The Department for the Blind has a new director, Emily Wharton. All Commissioners remain the same. Since the bills introduced in the last session did not make it past the funnel, new legislation needs to be drafted. Representative Rob Taylor is willing to continue work on the issue. He will draft legislation. He will also seek a meeting with the Governor, himself, and several blind Iowans. A small group is currently drafting a concise focused summary of the argument for such a change. We hope to build on relationships we have developed over the past 3 years of lobbying for this change.
The Prairie Meadows Grant, “Voting is for Everyone:” Sandy reported that distribution of the guide continues as well as presentations on it. Those have been made in Altoona, Fort Dodge, and Oskaloosa, to name a few.
Under new business, a member of the National Federation of the Blind of Iowa (NFBI) had reached out to an ICUB Board member to seek cooperation on both support of an increase in the Department for the Blind budget and the recommended change in the structure of the Commission. As of this date, we have not been able to reach the appropriate members of NFBI to discuss these issues.
(Please note that since this Board meeting and publication of the Bulletin we have learned that the NFBI has no interest in supporting a change in the Commission structure.)
The 2017 ICUB State Convention was discussed. The site and dates for the Convention have been set. It will again be held at the Holiday Inn on Merle Hay Road in Des Moines. Other hotels were explored, but were too costly. The dates are Friday, April 21 through Sunday, April 23. Board discussion confirmed two very positive aspects of the 2016 Convention that will continue. Streaming of the Convention via ACB radio, thanks to Tyler Juranek and J. R. Swank, will be done again. Many members “attended” by radio who could not travel to Des Moines. Secondly, we would like to continue keynote speeches like Mike Hoenig’s of last year—an inspiring presentation by someone from our membership who can speak of his or her journey to independence and success as a person who just happens to be blind.
Please note: A complete set of minutes is posted on our website, www.icublind.org . If you need a full set by e-mail or in print, please contact Catherine Witte by e-mail at email@example.com or by telephone at 515-987-4490.
New Technology at This Year’s Convention
For those who have difficulty hearing the speakers during presentations at the state convention, help is available. For the first time, ICUB will be offering audio receivers with ear buds to listen to the presenters.
Working with the Holiday Inn, ICUB will be offering an audio stream of the speakers within the convention meeting room. It will help increase the volume while reducing the in room background noise. Tyler Juranek will be mixing the stream of all the presentations.
Anyone interested in obtaining a receiver during the convention should contact Tyler Juranek at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 402-594-5384 (cell) or 402-943-6414 (office) by April 7. Please indicate that you will be attending the convention and would like to use one of the receivers.
Also this year, ICUB has applied to stream the convention over ACB Radio. It will be on either the “Live” or “Special” channel. Watch for more details.
Many folks have recently obtained an Amazon Echo or Google Home system. Did you know you can stream the ACB radio stations on them? For example, on the Echo just say “Alexa, play ACB Radio Live station.” Check out all the ACB stations at ACB.org and let Alexa or Google know which one you want to listen to.
Meet the Board – Donna Seliger
In “A Tale of Two Cities” the character Madame Defarge knits a history of the French Revolution into her knitting projects. I wonder what stories about ICUB and the story of blind advocacy organizations during the past 50 years in Iowa Donna Seliger could incorporate in her knitting.
Donna grew up in Mechanicsville, Iowa, the second of three children. She went to the School for the Blind in Vinton from second through twelfth grades. She then went to business school in Waterloo. She worked for State Auto Insurance and American Republic. With the birth of her son, she cut back to part time and started working for some of the blind vendors. She eventually became a cashier at the cafeteria at the Iowa Department for the Blind and remained there until her retirement in 2003.
Donna attended her first national convention of a blind advocacy group, the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), in Des Moines in 1968. She was active in the NFB, until the break up caused by the loyalty oath request in 1981. A number of members walked out rather than sign the oath. They got together and formed the United Blind of Iowa with Sylvester Nemers as president. They became affiliated with the American Council of the Blind (ACB) and later became the Iowa Council of the United Blind (ICUB). Donna attended the national convention of the ACB in 1985 and has attended every year since.
Donna has been active in ICUB and ACB for all these years, serving in a number of roles at both the state and national levels. Among the offices she has held are President of ICUB, Secretary of ACB, Secretary of the Randolph Sheppard Vendors and Treasurer of ACB Diabetics in Action.
To Donna, ICUB is essential to educating the public that the blind are normal people; we can do anything sighted people can do except drive. We need to get the word out that ICUB is working hard for the blind and will go anywhere and do anything to help.
Over the years Donna has seen a greater acceptance of blind individuals. We are seen less as invalids and more as productive contributors to society.
ICUB work on legislative issues has been important in achieving results. One of the most significant accomplishments was the White Cane Law. This law mandates that tests for a driver’s license include information regarding protections afforded pedestrians using a white cane or guide dog.
A major focus of Donna’s advocacy efforts is to regain greater patron access to the Iowa Department for the Blind building and library. Current guidelines restrict access to some areas that were previously available.
When Donna moved two years ago, she had 32 boxes of knitting supplies. She is constantly knitting and giving away her projects. With this hard work (and some supply replenishment), she has accomplished a net reduction of 1 box. So she has lots of knitting and historical material to give Madame Defarge a run for her money in the story telling through knitting department.
Come to the state convention to meet Donna and other ICUB members. It will be a great opportunity to get to know more people and hear stories about being blind in Iowa. Who knows, maybe you will be immortalized in one of Donna’s projects–knitting or otherwise.
Good Times Aplenty at Des Moines Holiday Party
By Catherine Witte
Recently I heard of a newlywed couple who hosted a euchre tournament at their wedding reception. That makes sense to me—the Ford family always includes after dinner euchre at our family Christmas gathering.
Not to be outdone, for the second year in a row, the Des Moines Chapter has hosted a hotly contested trivia tournament as part of our celebration of Christmas. Attendees donated a non-perishable food item and a $10.00 contribution to the kitty. The food went to our local Food Bank. The money went to charities named by the winning team. In addition everyone ordered and enjoyed a meal at Felix and Oscar’s, where we pursued trivia.
With 54 people in attendance, including folks from Dubuque, Fort Dodge, Altoona and Pleasant Hill, we sorted ourselves into eight teams—you can vote for your favorite moniker among these: The Animals; We Think We’re in the Right Room (name thought up by Jonathan Notch, grandson of Bill Lewis of Altoona, in a bow to the team’s restaurant search); The Leftovers; The Fossils; Donna and the Gang; Hot Topics; Reese’s Pieces; and The Brain Stormers.
Our game workers included Nate Collins, technology and results reader; Rick Collins, scorekeeper; Becky Dunkerson, queen of door prizes; and, of course, the naughty sisters, Carrie Chapman and Lori Trujillo Roush who had the final word on questions to be asked.
The concentration was tremendous, only occasionally broken with a request to pass the pizza. The competition was indeed fierce. The winners were The Animals who, of course, contributed the $540 collected among three local charities: AHeinz57 Pet Rescue and Transport, Animal Lifeline, and the Animal Rescue League of Iowa.