Published by the
IOWA COUNCIL OF THE UNITED BLIND
An American Council of the Blind Affiliate
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
Accessible Absentee Voting Update 4
Ankeny Student Receives 2020 Marie Hoenig Memorial Perkins Brailler Award 5
Shopping to Benefit ICUB 7
The Peter Principle in Action? 8
COVID Vaccine Websites Violate Disability Laws, Create Inequity for the Blind 10
What’s New at the Iowa Department for the Blind? 17
Donating Your Vehicle to Benefit ICUB 21
Those We Have Lost 21
News You Can Use 23
Across Iowa At-Large Chapter Report 25
Des Moines Chapter Report 26
Selecting ICUB as a Beneficiary 27
Calendar of Events 28
ICUB Board Members 34
Dear Members and Friends,
The last few months have been busy. We have been working very hard on our new website. It is really coming together nicely. It should be completed soon, and I am looking forward to sharing it with you. I think this will be a great place to find resources, upcoming events, check out the latest in our new blog, and learn about ICUB.
In January, we updated our existing database. Our previous database was outdated and needed to be moved to a different platform. Thank you to Nate Collins for updating the database and to Carol Flickinger and Elizabeth Soenen for making phone calls to update contact information. A big thank you as well to Jo Ann Slayton for keeping our database up to date for so many years.
In February I spoke to new staff at the Iowa Department for the Blind and to the Linn County Support Group. I was also invited to participate in “ACB In Action, Your Night to Shine!” This was an opportunity for affiliates of ACB to share something new or different they have been doing since COVID. It was a lot of fun and a great way to share ideas.
I have asked the Director of the Iowa Department for the Blind, Emily Wharton, to submit articles on a regular basis to our Bulletin. Beginning with this issue, Director Wharton will be giving us the latest happenings at the Department.
The dates for our 2021 Iowa Council of the United Blind Conference and Convention have been changed. The new dates are August 20th through August 22nd. As I have mentioned previously, this year’s Convention will be held virtually. We have already received some sponsorship support. I especially want to thank Democracy Live for its generous donation of $500.00 for our Convention. Watch for more information in the coming months.
Stay safe and we hope to see everyone soon!
Carrie Chapman, President
Accessible Absentee Voting Update
Voting issues have and continue to be highly controversial this legislative session. As we’ve just seen, the omnibus elections bill signed into law by Governor Reynolds has already been challenged in court. The decision by ICUB to not attempt to add absentee ballot marking provisions to that bill is proving to be a wise one.
Now is the time for lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to hear from us that there is a true need for simple and effective ballot marking technology for Iowans with disabilities. Contact your State Representative and Senator and tell them the following:
• Iowans who have vision loss or another disability are currently not able to cast an absentee vote privately and independently.
• A small change in current law will allow for the use of assistive technology by disabled Iowans to cast absentee votes privately and independently.
• Helping Iowans with disabilities to cast absentee votes is not a partisan issue, but a simple issue of fairness.
• Please support legislation requiring the Secretary of State to implement an absentee ballot marking program.
• Please feel free to contact ICUB if you have any questions.
To get a list of State Senators and their email addresses, go to https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislators/senate . To get a list of State Representatives and their email addresses, go to https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislators/house .
Ankeny Student Receives 2020 Marie Hoenig Memorial Perkins Brailler Award
On February 1, ICUB President Carrie Chapman, Treasurer Jeana Mowery, and members Rose Stratton and Jo Slayton joined me over Zoom to present the 2020 Marie Hoenig Memorial Perkins Brailler Award to Jordyn Robbins, a third grader from Ankeny. Jordyn was joined by her parents, siblings, nominating teacher Shelley Smith, and teacher associate Kim Ling.
I knew we were going to have fun as soon as I signed on! Everyone else had already joined in, and laughter was everywhere. I introduced myself to Jordyn and asked, “Are you eight now?” Without missing a beat, she said, “Eight and a half!”
Although the Brailler had arrived at the Robbins’ household two weeks earlier, the family decided to wait until the award ceremony to open the box. That gave us the chance to experience Jordyn’s excitement as she first found the Braille eraser and then pulled the Brailler from the box. As she prepared to test it out, she proudly said, “I have my OWN Brailler!”
In presenting the award, I was proud to celebrate some of Jordyn’s accomplishments with the group. As a second grader, she developed and carried out a school-wide blindness awareness campaign. That same year, she mentored a visually impaired student new to her school. Brailler in hand, she plans to start teaching her siblings to read and write Braille. She impressed all of us as a young leader who sooner rather than later could have an impact as an ICUB and ACB member!
For the benefit of our newer members and readers, here is a little background on the Brailler award. My sisters (Joyce and Jan) and I established the award in 1998 following our mother Marie’s passing to recognize her commitment to Braille literacy. We chose the Perkins Brailler as an award because Mom decided at the end of my fourth grade year that I should have a Brailler of my own and purchased one from Perkins. Our family established a partnership with ICUB to administer the award in the early 2000’s and formed the Brailler Award Selection Committee. With one exception, we have awarded at least one Brailler every year.
Until last year, I managed all of the Award’s logistics and finances. In early 2020, President Chapman and Treasurer Mowery contacted me to explain ICUB’s desire to play a more active role in Award administration and fund distribution. I’m very pleased to say that we worked through the details to make that happen! I would like to give a special “shout out” to Jeana for her patience in working through the minutiae. My sisters and I feel confident that the Brailler award is in extremely capable hands, and I’m personally grateful to be a part of it!
If you would like to learn more about the Award or to join the Selection Committee, please contact President Chapman or get in touch with me directly at 563-349-3922 or at email@example.com.
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://www.amazon.com . ICUB will get 0.5% of the value of eligible purchases. As of March 2021, ICUB has received $312.46 through this program.
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
The Peter Principle in Action?
A few issues back, I asked if we are practicing Parkinson’s Law during this time of less freedom of interaction by taking more time doing ordinary activities because we had more time to do them in. At that time, I suggested we may visit some other principles of life in organizations. Today let’s talk about the Peter Principle, which was developed by Lawrence Peter in his 1969 book of the same name (BARD #25213).
The premise is that a member of an organization is so good at their job that they are promoted. This process goes on until the employee is promoted to a job that they are not as competent at. There they sit, not feeling as productive or enjoying the new job as much as they had when they worked at a lower level. Also, the organization suffers because it does not receive as much benefit from the employee’s work as it had.
At this point, you may well ask, “What’s that got to do with ICUB?” Well, read on and I will tell you. In all books about organizational theories, the author provides anecdotes to illustrate their theory in action. I will do the same here.
In advocacy organizations such as ICUB, there are many opportunities to offer your services. A blind guy joins ICUB. He speaks up at meetings. The President hears him and thinks, “Ah, a smart guy. We have an opening for the editor of our newsletter. I’ll ask him to do the job.”
The blind guy says, “OK, as long as I get some help.” So, the president enlists a second member as co-editor who is really very good at organizing and making things run on time--not to mention at writing, too.
As two co-editors now, they get along well and produce many good newsletters together. Unfortunately, the co-editor decides the time has come to move on to other challenges. The president has to find a new co-editor. A superb replacement is found within the membership who is great at editing, writing, and organizing. The newsletters continue to be very well done.
So, you ask, “How does the Peter Principle apply to this scenario?” Well, what did you see the first blind guy doing in all of this? In both cases, the co-editors were the primary impetus for getting out very fine newsletters. The first blind guy was able to provide a little nudging here and there but did little or no work. He also got recognition as co-editor. Perhaps he might have served best by staying in his original role of newsletter reader. However, he did perform one important function: he was there providing some support regardless of how competent he was. So, here comes the punch line as to how and why the Peter Principle is important to ICUB.
ICUB offers many opportunities for our members to participate in promoting our organization and to help blind folks live more fulfilling lives. You should consider how you can offer your services. Work at that effort. Then continue until you reach beyond the pinnacle of your competency and it isn’t fun anymore. Then step back. Identify what was fun and pitch in again where you are competent and like what you are doing. ICUB and the blind community will applaud you and be glad for your efforts.
COVID Vaccine Websites Violate Disability Laws,
Create Inequity for the Blind
By Lauren Weber and Hannah Recht
(Reprinted by permission of the publisher, Kaiser Health News, February 25, 2021.)
Many COVID vaccination registration and information websites at the Federal, State and local levels violate disability rights laws, hindering the ability of blind people to sign up for a potentially lifesaving vaccine, a KHN, [Kaiser Health News], investigation has found.
Across the country, people who use special software to make the web accessible have been unable to sign up for the vaccines or obtain vital information about COVID-19 because many government websites lack required accessibility features. At least 7.6 million people in the U.S. over age 16 have a visual disability.