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
Don Wirth, Co-Editor
921 – 9th St., #208
Ames, IA 50010
Sandy Tigges, Co-Editor
2904 34th St.
Des Moines, IA 50310
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, at 800-362-2587, option 3. Please direct other questions about format and address changes to Co-Editor Don Wirth.
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 eligible purchases. Keep in mind, if you checkout using the Amazon app on your smart phone, ICUB will not receive a donation. Use the app to put items in your cart and then complete your purchase at smile.amazon.com. 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
What Has ICUB Done for You Lately? 6
What Does ACB Do for You? 8
Sometimes It’s Just Not in the Cards 11
News You Can Use 13
Fund-raising and Outreach 15
We Need Donations! 17
Life Coaching Corner 17
Diabetics in Action 18
Across Iowa At-Large Chapter Report 20
Des Moines Chapter Report 20
Digest of ICUB State Board Meeting Minutes 22
Policies enacted by the ICUB State Board 25
ICUB Officers and Directors 28
I hope 2019 is off to a great start for all of you. I’m personally counting down the days until spring.
Don’t forget the 32nd Annual ICUB Conference and Convention is just around the corner. It begins Friday afternoon, April 12, 2019and will end by noon on Sunday, April 14, 2019. We already have some exciting events planned. There will be two breakout sessions on Friday afternoon. One will cover resources and apps for shopping electronically, and the other will focus on eating healthfully without breaking the bank. A highlight of Saturday morning’s session will be a presentation by Jack Fox, a Talking Book narrator for the American Printing House for the Blind. Besides his audio-book recordings, you have probably heard Jack’s voice on radio and television and at airports warning you to not leave your bags unattended and to face forward on moving sidewalks! Watch for more details to come.
Again this year the convention will be held at the Holiday Inn in Urbandale. Have you reserved your room yet? If not, I encourage you to do so by calling the Holiday Inn at 515-278-4755 or 800-465-4329. You must reserve your room by March 22, 2019 to get the discounted convention rate of $89.00 plus tax for a room with two twin beds or one king bed. Rooms are going fast so get yours reserved!
On Sunday, January 27, 2019, ICUB rolled out “Tips and Tricks with ICUB,” a platform on which members can share their experiences and knowledge on a variety of topics. Our first effort was an hour-long conference call where long-time ICUB member, Creig Slayton, talked and answered questions about ways to contact and share your concerns with your State Representative and State Senator. We were pleased to have approximately 20 people join the call. We are planning to have another conference call sometime in March on the topic of iPhone basics. I will be sending out more information as it becomes available. We would love to have you join us at our next meeting. If you have any topics you would like to see us cover, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I want to share with you a handy resource called the Washington Connection, a legislative and information service provided by the American Council of the Blind. You can access it by going to the ACB website at www.acb.org and then clicking on the Washington Connection quickLink, or by calling 1-800-424-8666. The service is updated frequently whenever there is new information to be shared. It is a great way to stay informed on what’s happening at the national level. The ACB website is also a good source for a lot of valuable information. Check it out.
Finally, remember to like us on Facebook and to check out our website for links to other valuable resources at www.icublind.org .
Stay warm and we will see you in April!
Carrie Chapman, President
Editor’s Note: Many people are involved in writing, editing, proofreading, printing, and mailing out the ICUB Bulletin. We especially want to thank Catherine Witte for the hours she spends carefully copy-editing and proofreading each issue. As the following article illustrates, Catherine is also a very talented writer who is committed to the goals of ICUB.
What Has ICUB Done for You Lately?
What have you done for me lately?
Let me rephrase that.
What has ICUB done for you lately?
We have sponsored increasingly diverse conventions offering a broad array of presenters on such topics as technology, transportation, legislative issues, and adaptive sports. We have arranged breakout sessions on subjects ranging from self-defense to iPhone use to exercise techniques to petting zoos. We have brought in an increasing number of exhibitors on products and services of interest to blind Iowans, panel presentations by blind college students and employees in various fields, and nationally and internationally known speakers on the latest services technology can provide to blind individuals.
In recent years, in collaboration with the American Council of the Blind radio services, we have streamed our annual State Conference and Convention for the benefit of members who cannot personally attend.
We have established a statewide chapter that meets telephonically each month. Now those who are not residing in large urban areas have a forum for meeting other blind Iowans and discussing common concerns.
We have introduced “Tips and Tricks with ICUB,” a teleconference call series focusing on a different topic on each occasion to give blind Iowans an opportunity to share basic information and expertise about a variety of issues. Our first call offered information on communicating with state legislators. Our second call, not yet scheduled, will provide basic instruction on use of the iPhone.
We are actively fundraising through Schwan’s Cares, Amazon Smile, Facebook, and employee-match programs to support ICUB initiatives.
We have represented the concerns of blind Iowans at meetings with individual legislators and legislative subcommittees.
Now, what have you done for ICUB lately?
--Have you maintained payment of your annual membership dues?
--Are you regularly attending and participating in Chapter meetings?
--Have you invited a friend who is blind to a Chapter meeting or to join ICUB?
--Have you shared information about consumer organizations of blind persons in other groups in which you participate, i.e., Lions’ Clubs, the Rotary, church groups, or the local Chamber of Commerce?
--Do you regularly check the Council’s website, www.icublind.org , or Facebook for ICUB updates?
--Have you supported social or fundraising efforts by contributing time, talent or treasure to the event?
--Have you actively served on a Chapter or statewide Council Committee?
--At ICUB social events, do you seek out persons you do not know in order to make them feel welcome and to expand your network of knowledgeable blind Iowans?
--Do you know your local, state and Congressional legislators and have you made yourself known to them?
--Have you contacted a state or Congressional legislator regarding any issue of concern to blind persons within the past year?
You are receiving this Bulletin because you are a current or past member of the Council or a friend to us. ICUB does want to serve all blind Iowans. The quality of what we provide to you will only be as valuable and worthwhile as the energy and input we receive from you. Please consider “upgrading” your participation in ICUB today via any of the options we have presented or via an avenue of your choice. We value you! And we want to grow in value to and with you! We look forward to your active presence in ICUB offerings in 2019!!
What Does ACB Do for You?
Recently, I put out a request for answers to the question, “What does ACB do for you?” My hope was to obtain information about ACB resources many of you use but others may not be aware of. In that way, we could all get to know more about ACB and perhaps find resources, services, and information we didn’t know or had forgotten about. In response I received input about ACB Diabetics in Action that appears later in this newsletter. I also received responses from Frank Strong and Donna Seliger that appear below. Thank you all for sharing your insights.
I hope that, after reading these items, you will share thoughts for future issues. We know about the monthly Braille Forum, ACB radio, the ACB website, and the many discussion groups available, don’t we? Even when we do, I am sure there are many of you who have information about what lies below these headlines. By sharing, you can open the doors to these resources to many others so they can make use of them, too. After all, isn’t that what ICUB and ACB are all about? We seek to help others in the blind community as well as ourselves to learn and expand our horizons?
Frank Strong sent the following thoughts:
I value the American Council of the Blind because ACB is inclusive and supportive of a wide array of people. ACB has changed and grown over the years to support individuals from all walks of life. ACB is also supportive of the democratic process in decision making, leadership, and advocacy.
The ACB and its affiliates promote inclusion, employment, and self-sufficiency for all individuals regardless of disability, economic status, and cultural background. I also appreciate that ACB and its affiliates sponsor information on technology and services that help blind and visually impaired people live more independent, meaningful, and fulfilling lives.
Donna Seliger learned about a blind architect, Chris Downey, from an ACB discussion group to which she subscribes. She shares with us this excerpt from an interview Chris recently had on Sixty Minutes:
At age 45, Chris Downey had pretty much constructed the life he'd always wanted. An architect with a good job at a small housing firm outside San Francisco, he was happily married, with a 10-year-old son. He was an assistant little league coach and avid cyclist. And then, doctors discovered a tumor in his brain. He had surgery, and the tumor was safely gone, but Downey was left completely blind.
What he has done in the 10 years since losing his sight, as a person, and as an architect, can only be described as a different kind of vision.
Several mornings a week, as the sun rises over the Oakland estuary in California, an amateur rowing team works the water. It's hard to tell which one of them is blind. And Chris Downey thinks that's just fine.
Chris Downey: It's really exciting to be in a sport where nobody looks in the direction they're going. You face this way in the boat and you're going that way. (LAUGH) So, okay even-steven. (LAUGH)….
You can read and view the entire interview at
Sometimes It’s Just Not in the Cards
Hello again, everybody! This is Tyler Juranek from Council Bluffs. I have had a good start to 2019 and hope you have as well. While I write, though, a lot of emotions are traveling through my brain, but as my English composition teacher once said, to be a great writer, one must be constantly thinking.
Now, I want you to picture yourself at a blackjack table in a casino. You place your bet, and the cards are dealt. This is how life works as well. We may not always place a bet, but cards are dealt out to us. We may hope for a perfect hand every time, but we don’t always get it. The tough hand I have been dealt is hearing loss.
I was born with normal hearing, but in kindergarten, they noticed a small drop in my hearing. Things remained stable, though, until sixth grade when, every now and again, it seemed as if part of my ear closed up and took a vacation for a few days. People sounded to me as if they were talking with food in their mouths.
Until 2016, everything seemed to be going great despite occasional fluctuations in my hearing. I finished massage therapy school and graduated in September. But two weeks later, I was dealt a bad hand of cards. I awakened one morning to find myself almost deaf in my left ear. I thought I had just slept on it wrong until I got into the shower. As the hot water ran over my head, my ear felt bigger and bigger. I thought to myself, “If this ear doesn’t explode and blow apart before I am out of here, it will be a miracle.” My mother Kim rushed me to an ENT doctor in Omaha. The doctor said I had lost eighty percent of the hearing in my left ear and diagnosed me with Meniere's disease. It was a year before I could again understand speech on that side. Since then, although dietary changes have helped, I have lived with fluctuating hearing loss.
Just before this Christmas I had a horrible flare-up. With a constant high-pitched ringing in my right ear, my hearing would go up and down nonstop. Each day, I kept telling myself, “Oh, it will get better.” It didn’t. The doctor said I had lost more hearing, and a wave of sadness washed over me like water on a log ride. I began to think about what matters most to me in life: my internet radio program, streaming the ICUB and, perhaps, the Nebraska conventions, and being close to broadcasting almost one decade on the air. But I knew I had to give up something.
Just as happens sometimes when playing blackjack, I was dealt a card I didn’t want. Do I hit, double down, stand, or walk away from the table? After weighing the consequences, I decided not to bet at all. I tell you with a heavy heart that I have decided, to protect my hearing, I must step away from streaming this year’s convention. The complexities of wearing a headset and an earbud and monitoring sound levels are just too much of a risk. Since I won’t get the opportunity to chat on the radio with a final convention signoff this year, I thought I would just turn my microphone off and write about my feelings instead.
It has been an honor to bring the ICUB convention to people all over the world, get the word out about ICUB, and make listeners feel as if they were there in the room. Streaming the convention has evolved over the past three years from a basic broadcast to one with more and more ads, announcements, and listeners. I hope that, this year, someone else will be able to take it over—perhaps a young person—because ICUB won’t grow without more young people getting involved. Although a winning card hasn’t been dealt to me this year, it has opened an opportunity for another person to get involved.
God bless all of you.
News You Can Use
It’s not too late to order a 2019 EZ2See calendar! These desk calendars, designed by a person with low vision for those with low vision, are now being sold at a discount. For more information, visit https://ez2seeproducts.com.
Thinking about starting your own business? This site has information on government incentives, franchising, start-ups, financing and much more. Check it all out at https://tinyurl.com/ybfuyvoh .
Thanks go to the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) outreach campaign on radio, TV and the Internet. Calls to the NLS information line (1-888-NLS-READ) have increased dramatically. In 2017, the line received 8,142 calls. As of December 31, 2018, the NLS was on track to receive 96,000 calls to the toll-free line, an increase of over 1000%!
Would shopping at Amazon be easier for you with a little help? Give the Disability Customer Support line,
1-888-283-1678, a call! The friendly and helpful representatives can do most anything for you, such as locating and describing products and placing an item in your shopping cart. Although they are not able to check you out and submit your payment, the service has proven to be extremely helpful to those who are blind or have low vision. So give it a try!
If you have become the proud owner of an Instant Pot, consider subscribing to a listserve for blind Instant Pot users. Just email a blank message with the word “subscribe” in the subject field to: email@example.com.
If you have a HumanWare device, Such as the BrailleNote Touch or the Victor Reader Stream, you might want to take advantage of the free HumanWare Training Center. Just call 1-800-722-3393 and use your telephone keypad to navigate through the menus to select the product and topic you want to learn about. A list of the available products and topics is also available on the HumanWare website.
Fund-Raising and Outreach
Hello, fellow ICUB-ers. I hope everybody had a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s Day. And I also hope everyone is staying warm and comfortable during these miserably cold days.
I am happy to announce that the fundraising committee is taking shape. Linda, Thandra and Teresa are on board, but we need more shipmates, so consider joining us by contacting Carrie Chapman.
The Schwan’s Cares Campaign is about 60 days into the event. Our campaign continues until March 30. We are sad, though, to announce that Schwan’s will no longer be offering this community service program. So please be sure to participate now. Call 855-870-7208 to place your order and tell them you would like to support Campaign #42833. If you are unsure what to order, I recommend the Schwan’s premium ice cream bars!
On January 23rd, I had the opportunity to visit with the second graders at our local elementary school. They have been reading the story of Helen Keller. It was a wonderful experience. The children were very excited to hear and see how a blind person overcomes challenges. They asked wonderful questions, such as…
How do you eat?
How do you go grocery shopping?
How did you get here?
How do you get dressed?
How do you cook?
I took several visual aids for the children to pass around. Thank you to Don Wirth for distributing the Braille books from the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School in Vinton. I left a book in each classroom so the kids could have plenty of time to explore Braille. I also found a short story and video about Louis Braille on the Internet which I shared with the teachers so they could show it to their students. It is really quite a nice, short and simple story that is geared to all ages. Check it out on YouTube. Here is the link: https://youtu.be/OFyY7u95nxw. I’m hoping this speaking engagement will become an annual event for me.
I also had an eye appointment recently in Forest City. Our one and only eye doctor retired a couple years ago, and we now have a new person in town. I had a conversation with her about ICUB, and she was very, very receptive to recommending patients to our organization if they need support or help. She and her partner work in three offices: Forest City, Britt, and Garner. I will be dropping off our ICUB brochures to her so that they will be available in those locations. This will hopefully introduce ICUB to potential new members.
I am looking forward to seeing everyone at our convention in April! Let’s give a big thank you to the planning committee. It sounds like this year‘s convention is going to be great.
We Need Donations!
Please consider donating any low vision, talking, or Braille adaptive aids and devices you are no longer using to the ICUB Ambassador Program. They will be used to demonstrate alternative techniques of accomplishing tasks to our program participants. Some of the donated items may even find new homes. For more information, please contact Teresa Gregg at 402-980-9980 or at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Life Coaching Corner
In 2018, we concentrated on creating your legacy while exploring your values, temperament and self-esteem. In 2019, our focus will be on setting up your environment for success. For the next month, I challenge you to keep a journal of how each room in your house makes you feel as you walk into it. Ask yourself some of the following questions as you enter each room:
How does this room make me feel emotionally?
What do I see, smell and sense energetically and physically as I walk into this room?
What are three things I can do to this room to make it successful so I can thrive in it each day?
You can change a room in a number of ways. Maybe you need to declutter, incorporate a refreshing smell with an essential oil diffuser, create more light by changing the color or texture, detox your electronic room with a Himalayan salt lamp, or just set a new intention for that room. This all might sound a bit hokey—but try it! Let me know how it is working by emailing me at email@example.com .