ICUB BULLETIN Spring 2018 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, 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 Message. 4 Schwann’s Fund Raiser 5 Life Coach Corner 7 The Last Roundup. 8 A New Grant for ICUB.. 9 Board Spotlight 10 Oh, No, They Changed the Website…Again! 13 BlindAlive Eyes Free Fitness. 15 Obituary: Gregory Eugene Phelps. 16 Remembering Greg. 18 Across Iowa At Large Chapter 20 Des Moines Chapter Update. 21 News you can Use. 23 ICUB Officers and Directors. 24
By Carrie Chapman
Happy New Year! We have hit the ground running for 2018. Our members and board have been busy working on our legislative agenda. We appreciate you taking time to write letters and make phone calls. I will also be attending the Mid-year Legislative Conference in Washington DC in February and will keep you updated as we know more. Plans are well under way for the 31st annual Iowa Council of the United Blind state Convention April 13th through the 15th. Some of this year’s highlights include: Peggy R. Garrett First Vice President - Membership Chair of the American Council of the Blind of Texas and Joel Schneider, Founding Director of the American Council of the Blind Audio Description Project. Some other highlights include: Blank Park Zoo, Hadley School for the Blind and a breakout session on fitness by our own member Teresa Gregg, just to name a few. Once again the site for this year’s convention will be the Holiday Inn and Suites, 4800 Merle Hay Road in Des Moines. The deadline to receive the special group rate is March 22, 2018 so if you have not made your reservation please do so. To reserve your room call 515-278-4755 or
800-465-4329 and ask for the ICUB special rate. Our group name is ICUB Iowa Council of the United Blind. Keep in mind cancellations are accepted until 6:00 p.m. the day of the reservation. Look for our registration packet coming out soon. Hope to see you there!
Registration is now open for the 2018 Passenger Transportation Summit. The 2018 Passenger Transportation Summit is scheduled for Thursday, May 24 from approximately 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The Summit will be held at the FFA Enrichment Center on the DMACC Campus, 1055 SW Prairie Trail Parkway, Ankeny. For more information and to register go to https://tikly.co/events/2545 or call Kristin Haar at 515-233-7875. We can’t make a difference if we don’t speak up.
Lastly, I wanted to tell you about the app “Be My Eyes.” Be My Eyes is an app that connects blind and visually impaired persons with sighted volunteers from around the world via live video call. The app is extremely easy to use and allows you to connect anytime to a live volunteer to help with your visual needs.
Take care and we will see you in April!
Schwann’s Fund Raiser
By Carrie Chapman and Jackie Armstrong
We are launching a fundraising activity through Schwan’s Cares and are asking for your support and involvement.
All you have to do is go on-line at www.schwans-cares.com from March 5 through July 19. Search for our campaign “Iowa Council of the United Blind” and order your favorite foods! You, your friends and your family can order delicious foods from Schwan's Home Service online using our
ICUB ID number, 36462, at
www.schwans-cares.com/c/36462 or by phone at
With over 300 high-quality, delicious foods to choose from, and simple one-click ordering options, it’s easy to give back. ICUB will receive 20% of the sales during the first 45 days (March 5 – April 19) and 5% of the sales during the next 90 days (April 20 – July 19). This campaign will run for a total of 135 days.
Also, Schwan's eGift Cards are available for a 40% contribution to our organization during the 45 day campaign. An eGift Card is an electronic gift card available exclusively online through a campaign page. Limit one per customer, per campaign. eGift Cards do not expire and can be redeemed online, over the phone, or in person. A $25 eGift Card purchase will give a $10 contribution to our organization.
Both new and existing Schwan's customers must tie their orders to the ICUB campaign to get credit. Products are home delivered at a convenient time specified at checkout.
Existing Schwan’s customers on a designated delivery route must also order either online or over the phone to contribute to the campaign.
A credit card will be required for all fundraising orders because a contribution is being made to a non-profit organization on the customer’s behalf. You can change your payment type at the door if you are home at the time of delivery. This applies to new customers as well.
A Schwan's Home Service Route Sales Representative will personally deliver your order on the date and time you choose as part of the checkout process. If for some reason you are not home at the time of the scheduled delivery, your order will be placed in a free weather-resistant freezer bag that keeps your food frozen for up to 8 hours. If you are already an existing Schwan's Home Service customer, your order will be delivered as part of your regularly scheduled delivery. There is a customer service number to call if you have a problem or question: 1‐855‐870‐7208.
ICUB will receive a check for all funds raised upon conclusion of the first 45 days (ending on April 19th) and another check for all additional funds raised during the next 90 days (ending on July 19th.) Checks will be mailed to Jeana Mowery, treasurer, within 30 days after each profit making period.
Again, campaigns run for a total of 135 days. We will earn 20% on food purchases and 40% on eGift Cards for the first 45 days and 5% on food orders for the next 90 days.
We will invite each ICUB officer to be group members to help spread the word. The research shows that each group member that joins will raise approximately $100. We will have access to customized marketing tools to let friends and family know they can easily support ICUB and enjoy quality foods that will be delivered to them at their convenience.
We are excited to launch this new opportunity and we feel confident that you will be as excited as we are!
Life Coach Corner
My name is Teresa Gregg and I am a certified Life Coach. As a life coach I believe you have all the answers and I consider it my privilege to guide you through a journey of growth and expansion. Whether you are pursuing personal growth, leadership skills, becoming a dynamic communicator and active listener, turning your trauma into triumph, or rediscovering your passion and purpose in life…a life coach can be the key to assist you in unlocking all these hidden but accessible doors.
Here are three questions to begin to expand your thought process:
· What type of legacy do you want to pass onto your family and friends?
· What values will it take for you to begin the course of this legacy?
· How do you want to begin to lay the foundation for this legacy?
Exercise to complete:
· Answer the first question in a complete sentence.
· Make a list of 10 values that mean the most to you
· Create a first step action plan of a specific action you can incorporate to your day to begin your legacy with purpose
Teresa Gregg, CPC, is a certified life coach and owner of Lumine Your Way LLC. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Last Roundup
By Robert Spangler
As many of you know the Iowa Board of Regents has offered the campus of the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School to the City of Vinton. Once possession of the property is transferred there will be no more reunions held at that location. Since the offer was announced many alumni have suggested one last reunion with no political connections to any organization. Plans have been in the works for several months to do just that.
The reunion will be held June 1st through June 3rd on the campus of the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School in Vinton. The cost per person is $60, which includes on campus rooming for two nights and all meals, $30 for meals only and $25 for the banquet only.
Join us Friday evening for a welcome party and hayrack rides. The snack bar will also be open with lots of goodies available.
For registration information please visit http://ibssshistory.com,
Send your payments to: 2018 All School Reunion, P.O. Box 148, Vinton, Iowa 52349. Make your checks payable to Jeff Young.
Bring your talents and musical instruments to have some fun!
For more information contact the committee at email@example.com.
A New Grant for ICUB
By Sandy Tigges
In January, ICUB applied for and received a $500.00 grant from the Greater Iowa Credit Union (GICU) in Ames. These funds will be used to cover some of the costs connected with membership development, transportation, and outreach. We send a grateful thank you to GICU for its generous gift, and we hope this is just the beginning of a long-term partnership.
GICU also has offices in East Des Moines (near the fairgrounds), West Des Moines, Waukee and Dennison. GICU has a crowd funding program to help different non-profit organizations each month. Visitors to the website can contribute to the current organization by visiting giveiowa.org.
By Don Worth
In past issues of this column, I have presented board members who have had a lengthy history with ICUB and advocacy for the blind. In this issue, I thought I would present a relative new-comer to the organization and living blind – me.
When talking to the other board members, I usually start with how long have you been blind; how long have you been a member of ICUB and length on the board; what is your background. So, let’s do the same here.
I was diagnosed as being legally blind in the early 1990s when I was in my 40s. I have a career in accounting, management and fund raising in broadcasting (WOI-AM/FM/TV in Ames.) I was doing okay. Being officially blind took some getting used to.
I contacted the Iowa Department for the Blind (IDB) to see if they could help me. They provided some equipment, some counselling and some training. But, I decided to fool myself by doing as little as I could to identify myself as being blind. It took falling off curbs and ripping out the knee of my dress pants – twice – for me to decide maybe that white cane might be helpful.
I also discovered that walking down hallways not talking to people branded me as stand-offish rather than unable to see them. Using that cane opened a whole different level of conversation.
Gradually, I used my CCTV magnifier and JAWS more and more. I learned how to adapt my work space to fit my limitations. I was able to work for another 20 years. But, I never got to know any other blind people.
After I retired, I signed up for Orientation on the Road through the IDB. We spent a week at the state resort at Lake Rathbun. There were a dozen of us who were beginning to come to grips with our blindness. We did the usual activities taught at the Orientation Center but for only a week. I became more comfortable with cane travel and technology. I had my first experience with braille, which was rather traumatic since the instructor couldn’t remember my name and always called me by my brother’s name. Soon she had everyone there doing it even though they didn’t know my brother. I liked braille and decided I wanted to learn more.
But after the orientation, I didn’t encounter any more blind people. Then I got an announcement from IDB that some organization called ICUB was holding a conference in Des Moines. Surely there were going to be more blind people there. I signed up and attended the conference. That was 5 years ago. I haven’t missed a state conference since.
Two and a half years ago, I agreed to co-edit the Bulletin with Norma Boge. Last year I was elected to the board of Directors.
So why did I get involved? Well, the people. Not just the ICUB people, but the blind of Iowa. I enjoyed meeting them. Sharing their stories. Learning how far the blind community has come. How much farther we have to go. To me, the conventions are a must every year; almost like Christmas. I get to catch up with friends and learn new skills to cope with life. Because I enjoy the conventions and the people, I expanded my horizons. I have attended NFBI conventions. I participate in a low vision support group where I am considered a guru because I have been where they are and offer a positive role model to help them deal with the loss of vision.
Through ICUB and these groups, I have become more comfortable with myself and my vision. I have learned that some of the people with the greatest vision can’t see anything with their eyes. They can see a broader and better world. I hope I am assisting in that vision.
P.S. In past issues I have noted sports affiliation of some of my interviewees. We’ve heard about Cardinals, Cubs and Hawkeyes. I have duly reported without editorial comment. However, they really should wake up and join the forces of Yankee and Cyclone fans.
PP.S. Remember that IDB instructor who couldn’t remember my name? She can still be found at ICUB conventions. Hopefully, she is better at remembering your name.
Oh, No, They Changed the Website…Again!
By Sandy Tigges
For almost three years, I have been using the Hy-Vee Aisles Online Grocery Shopping website to get groceries. This site allows customers to order groceries online for pickup or delivery, and I access it using my desktop computer equipped with my JAWS screen-reading program. Up until now, I have been able to work around the changes programmers have thrown at me. Newly designed combo boxes to select my store and delivery options? No problem. Added edit boxes and buttons to tell them how many bananas I want? Got it. But the final straw came when I started to place the first order of the New Year.
I had used the method of choosing the groceries I wanted by opening lists of categories and subcategories, starting with the home page. By clicking on the general category of “fresh,” for example, I could open the subcategories of produce, meats and seafood, and dairy. If I needed to order some cheesy items, I could click on “dairy” and continue to open subcategories until I got to all cheese-related products—cream cheese, cottage cheese, brick cheese, and so forth. Clicking on “brick cheese” would bring up a list of the forty kinds of brick cheese Hy-Vee offers for sale in the dairy case. I could then add the cheese I wanted to my cart and simply press alt-left-arrow to get back to the lists of subcategories I had previously opened. From there, I could easily get to cottage cheese, sliced cheese, or any other kind of cheese I wanted.
Except, this time, all of the categories I had so smoothly opened in the past were gone! Where did they go? What had I done wrong? The closest I could get to retracing my steps was to open the entire list of 1000+ dairy items
Hy-Vee sold. Not very helpful. Or I could go back to the home page to start all over again. Time consuming and frustrating. I could use the search box, but it didn’t always bring up the item I wanted and didn’t give me a chance to browse through the store’s many offerings.
After finally submitting my order, which contained fewer groceries and took more time than usual, I wrote an email to Hy-Vee expressing my frustration and my concerns about the diminishing accessibility of their website. Next morning, to my surprise, I got an email from Britt, a Hy-Vee website developer. Later that afternoon, we talked on the phone for about forty minutes, going step-by-step through the problems I was having and how to fix them. We discovered that JAWS could not read a button that took the user back to the previous page. He also thought that the listings of subcategories might have been dropped inadvertently when the newest site revision was made. He said he would submit these changes to the team and let me know when modifications had been made. I thanked him profusely and explained to him that many web developers were not interested in or even aware of the degree of accessibility of their sites.
I learned from this experience that, if I have difficulty with using a website, I need to speak up. I may not always be successful in bringing about change, but sometimes I will. A complaint I had made a few years ago about the inaccessibility of the J.C. Penney site, for example, did not have such a happy ending. A good place to start, though, is the contact link that is usually located on a site’s home page. I haven’t heard from Britt yet, but I’m expecting an email from him any day now.
BlindAlive Eyes Free Fitness
If your New Year’s resolution was to exercise and become more fit, but you are struggling due to your blindness, then this article is for you. BlindAlive has developed an Eyes Free Fitness program and app specifically for the blind. The exercises are energizing and fun. Each exercise movement is audio described and very easy to follow. You can choose from the following categories: cardio, yoga, weight lifting with hand weights, Pilates, balance and stretch, strength endurance and whole body workouts. Each category has a beginner level to more advanced levels. There are even podcasts and guided meditations you can download for free.
Each exercise program costs anywhere from about $8-$40 depending on whether you are purchasing one specific workout or a bundle package. Visit www.blindalive.com for more details. You can also download the Eyes Free Fitness app from ITunes for free so your workouts can travel with you no matter where you are going.
Obituary: Gregory Eugene Phelps
January 2, 1944-November 10, 2017
Gregory Eugene Phelps was born on January 2, 1944, in Spencer, Iowa to Donald Phelps and Carol (Woods) Phelps. Greg’s childhood was spent in Milford, Iowa where he attended elementary school, followed by Boyden, Iowa, before concluding school and graduating from Fulda, MN High School in 1962. Greg graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a B.A. in 1966. Greg was united in marriage to Sarah Dekoster in 1965. They were later divorced in 1972. He then taught Social Science and History in Durant, IL during 1966 and 1967. At that time, Greg went through several surgeries in order to qualify for the Marine Corps officer Candidate School. Greg was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in January of 1968 and served with the 3rd Marine Division in Vietnam in 1968-69. After his active duty, Greg remained in the Marine Corps Reserve until 1990, serving as Commanding Officer of the Des Moines unit from 1975-77, and on the staff of the 24th Marine Regiment in Kansas City from 1980-84. He retired as a Major in 1990. Greg married Dana H. Phelps in 1973. They were divorced in 1985. In 1989 Greg married Keiko Trey. Greg and Keiko resided for much of their working careers in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
The love of Greg’s work life was as a vocational rehabilitation counselor with the Iowa Department for the Blind from 1971-1991. He excelled as a job placement counselor as well as an advocate for his clients in his southeast Iowa territory.
Upon retiring from state employment, Greg and his wife, Keiko moved to Oceanside, California where he enjoyed daily long walks on the beach, swimming and sailing. Greg died on the Marine Corps birthday, November 10, 2017, after a brief illness at Scripps Hospital, Encinitas.
Greg was a member of the Marine Corps Reserve Officers Association, The National Federation of the Blind and the Iowa Council of the United Blind. He was a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church and served as a liturgist at First Presbyterian Church in Oceanside.
Greg is survived by his wife, Keiko, of Oceanside, brother Dennis (Anita) of Westbrook, MN, sister Pam (Merlynd) Metcalf of Des Moines, sister Brenda (Rod) Erickson of Des Moines, brother Bart (Ann) Phelps of Elk Point, SD, sisters-in-law Chieko Kikue and Michiyo Sakihara of Japan, and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Donald Phelps; mother Carol (Woods) Phelps and brother-in-law Mohaki Sakihara.
Memorial services will be held on January 13, 2018 at First Presbyterian Church, Oceanside. Interment of cremains was at Rosecrans/MiraMar National Cemetery.
By Creig and Jo Ann Slayton
When Pam, Greg's sister, asked if my husband and I might write something to be shared at Greg's upcoming Memorial Service, we thought of a lot of "Greg stories." Greg was a unique individual, which makes it difficult to choose from the many stories that could be best shared with his many family members and friends.
First and foremost, Greg was a close personal friend of ours for many years. He sometimes spent holidays with our family. We knew him since he joined the staff of the Iowa Department for the Blind in the sixties. He worked there as a vocational rehabilitation counselor, and you could find no better advocate for his blind clients than Greg. He found jobs for the most difficult clients to place, and if they lost that job one day, he was out there with them looking for a new one on the next. He always worked above and beyond his job description, and as a result, he was one of the counselors who achieved the highest number of clients placed in jobs each year. Greg was greatly respected by his colleagues, who were spurred on by his competitiveness to serve their clients as well as he did.
And another brief word about Greg’s competitiveness…. Those of you who knew Greg well will remember how keenly competitive he was. We recall playing some pretty high-powered games of Trivial Pursuit with him at our house. Need I say more?
And then there was Greg’s “get there as fast as you can” driving style. Since my husband and I are both blind, when our daughter Kamela became of an age to begin learning to drive, we needed someone to work with her in addition to her driver's education classes at school. Greg was very generous in sharing his time and his car to teach her. Needless to say, there were some very close calls! We even purchased Greg's diesel Audi for Kam to drive. So there is someone here in Iowa still driving as aggressively as Greg did- smile!!
We stayed in close contact with Greg and Keiko after they moved to California. When they came back to Iowa, they always stopped to visit us in our home. We miss his phone calls. Avid Hawkeye fans, Greg and my husband Creig would call one another prior to, during, and following Hawkeye football games. Sometimes, Greg would call when he was walking on the beach or following a swim around the pier, which he did for the last time shortly before his untimely death.
We are grateful to Greg for his Military Service, including the time he spent in the reserves. Greg was a very proud Marine, and his military experience had a lifelong impact on him. He talked about it often and thought about it daily. He was truly semper fi.
We wish it were possible for us to be with those of you attending Greg's service, but we are not able to do that at this time. Our thoughts will be with you this day, and our hearts are very heavy. We were so blessed to have Greg as a friend, and we will greatly miss his calls and visits with us.
Across Iowa At Large Chapter
By Teresa Gregg
The Across Iowa At Large Chapter is holding a consistent attendance of between 7 and 12 members on its monthly calls. Kristin Steele is our newest member, joining in December of 2017. She is a massage therapist.
An open discussion of shopping experiences, favorite stores, apps and techniques was on the agenda for December. In January the chapter was energized by discovering alternative programs and techniques in relation to exercise for the blind. February will bring a live audio demonstration of the Amazon Echo. The following were some highlights:
· Roger Eggers was selected for jury duty
· PayPal is very accessible and has a new accessible card reader
· Square Reader is a card reader which is accessible when paired with an IPhone
· Audible, Amazon, Schwan’s, Craig’s List, Hy-Vee and Wal-Mart are shopping sites popular with our members
· Blind Yoga is a yoga CD program developed for the blind and available at www.blindyoga.net
· Amazon Dot/Echo has 5 and 7 minute exercise skills
· Carrie Chapman runs with a sighted partner using a tether attached to her wrist and her running partner’s wrist
Please join our call every first Thursday of the month at 7PM. The number is 712-432-5610, access code 782.
Des Moines Chapter Update
By Lori Trujillo Roush
I am excited about our plans for the upcoming year and we are off to a great start!
Your chapter board for the current term is as follows: Lori Trujillo Roush as president, Dan Tigges as vice president, Donna Seliger as secretary, Jim Witte as treasurer and board members Vivian Verhuel, Cody Dolinsek, Becky Dunkerson and Elsie Monthei.
In January, the chapter board met and discussed our goals for 2018. Our primary focus is membership. Not just what we can do as an organization to bring public awareness about our chapter but also what we can do to increase member engagement. We discussed ideas for sending out a survey, creating membership packets and being more active in community events.
Another focus for the chapter is our legislative agenda. Many of our members have been working hard to contact our representatives and let them know we are in support of HF149, a bill which would expand the Iowa Commission for the Blind to a five-member board.
In January members of the Des Moines Chapter represented ICUB at the Braille Challenge. The theme for this year's Challenge was "With Braille You Can Build Anything"!
Cody Dolinsek and I participated on a panel discussion for parents. We spoke about the importance of braille, our organization and how we would like to learn more about what we can do for parents, children and families.
After lunch Matt Verhuel, Carrie Chapman and I set up and ran an ICUB table in the exhibit hall. We tried to make our table informative, fun and engaging. We handed out parent packets that contained information about our organization, upcoming state convention, the Marie Hoenig Memorial Perkins Brailler Award and ACB resource guide for families.
In addition to the packets, we handed out silicone bracelets that had multiple designs and colors. The bracelets had the alphabet in braille wrapped around with ICUB embossed on the back.
Our Wikki Stix display was a big hit. Visitors to the table were invited to make their own creations, and one child left us with a very life-like snail. Kids were given their own Wikki Stix to take home.
We gave away a $100 gift card to Seedlings Books and the remaining raffle participants received a braille letter block keychain. The keychain works like a Rubik’s cube. When you turn the blocks, it will make different braille letters. The event was a great success, and I would like to thank the chapter for providing us with the funding to create our table and provide a raffle. Thank you to those who volunteered their time and talents. It was a fun day!
The chapter is planning a dinner and game night to raise money for the state convention. One of the breakout s