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Summer 2016

Published by the


Web Site:

An Affiliate of the American Council of the Blind

Cynthia Qloud, President

1918 E. 12th St.

Des Moines, IA 50316

(515) 266-5110


Norma A. Boge, Co-Editor

2324 Riverwoods Ave.

Des Moines, IA 50320-2808

(515) 288-1938


Don Wirth, Co-Editor

921 – 9th St., #208

Ames, IA 50010

(515) 451-3779



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.


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.


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.


Are you an online shopper? You can help ICUB secure some additional funds when you shop at 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 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 to make your purchases. Happy shopping!


President’s Message. 4

State Convention Highlights. 5

Summary of State Convention Elections and Business Meeting. 6

It’s All About the Living. 8

Thank You, Outgoing Board Members. 9

In Memorium.. 10

Summary of May ICUB State Board Meeting. 11

Student Succeeds in Braille at Southeast Polk. 12

Prairie Meadows Grant Awarded to ICUB.. 13

Stepping Outside My Comfort Zone. 16

Meet the Board – Sandy Tigges. 18

Letters to the Editor 20

Des Moines Chapter Report 22

Dubuque Chapter Report 24

Bookshelf Instructions for Talking Book Cartridges. 24

News You Can Use. 25

ICUB Officers and Directors. 25

President’s Message

by Carrie Chapman, Acting President

Hi Everyone,

As many of you know, this last April our President, Cynthia “Cip” Qloud, suffered a stroke. Cip is currently at Mercy Hospital in Des Moines. Please continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

To give you a quick update, in April we had our state convention. Approximately 50 people registered. Members and their guests enjoyed topics such as voting, transportation and fitness. In the evening, friends gathered for food and fellowship in the banquet hall. Attendees finished off the night by participating in the annual auction.

The ACB national convention was held July 1st through the 9th in Minneapolis. This year ICUB was able to award five scholarships to its members. We look forward to hearing all about their experiences.

Moving forward, we are looking into updating our website and getting us more involved in social media.

We are also in the beginning stages of starting an at-large group. This will be another great way for our members to stay connected and be involved!

If you have an idea or would like to participate in any way please let me or a board member know.

Over the next few months, I hope to do my best to represent & serve the organization. To let you know a little about me, I play beep baseball for the Iowa Reapers. Off the field, I’m an active member in my community. I serve on the board of the Friends of the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. I am the co-founder of The White Cane Community, a Facebook resource page, and I was instrumental in the startup of two support groups in my area. I helped in the formation of Connections, a mentoring program through the Iowa Department for the Blind, and most recently, in my spare time, I have taken up ballroom dancing.

I look forward to working with all of you. If you have any thoughts, questions or concerns please feel free to contact me at 515-657-1461 or

I wish all of you a safe and happy summer!

State Convention Highlights

by Catherine Witte, Secretary

Convention chatter—that’s one of the great things about the Iowa Council of the United Blind Annual State Conference and Convention. The presentations, the presence of so many members, and the enthusiasm lead to much good conversation.

Yes, the traditions of the Convention were part of the 2016 version. Reports from the Department for the Blind (IDB), the Iowa School for the Blind, the Friends of the Library and the Iowa Radio Reading Information Service brought us up to date.

Starting a new tradition, Tyler Juranek and J.R. Swank oversaw the streaming of convention proceedings through the American Council of the Blind (ACB) radio. We hope this afforded armchair attendance via listening to some members. We intend to continue streaming of events in the future.

Other content this year was unique. We learned about the latest television entertainment options such as Apple TV and Netflix from IDB staff member Marci Duty. Jeremy Johnson-Miller, Mobility Manager from the Iowa Department of Transportation, and Arlo Monthei oversaw a lively discussion of the needs of blind Iowans in this area. Dawn Williams, State Elections Director, Office of the Secretary of State, made an accessible voting machine available throughout Friday and Saturday. She, together with Cynthia Qloud and Sandy Tigges, presented information on the options that should be available to all voters, including those of us who happen to be blind. Jeff Bishop, who represented ACB this year, updated us on national concerns and his area of expertise, technology.

And toward the end of a day of sitting and listening, Bettina Dolinsek shared with us her story of changing from couch potato to a certified CrossFit Trainer! We were inspired!!

Our banquet was well-attended and rewarding. Earlier in the day, Mike Hoenig announced that the Marie Hoenig Memorial Perkins Brailler Award had been presented to second-grader Kayla Bartholomew of Dexter, Iowa. (See feature article later in this issue.) At the banquet itself, several persons who had served blind Iowans well throughout their careers at IDB were given distinguished service awards in appreciation. Honorees included Dave Coulson, David Lenz, Larry Sidwell, Gail Stricker, Rosie Thierer, Vivian Ver Huel, and Barb Weigel. Ed Sheppard, a long-tenured member of the Council, as well as a former IDB counselor and supervisor, was recognized with the Linda Dietrich Award. Both Jeff Bishop of ACB and our own Mike Hoenig spoke to those gathered. Mike’s keynote speech was stirring and is summarized elsewhere in the Bulletin. The results of elections, the actions at the business meeting, and the resolutions passed at that meeting are summarized in this issue as well.

Each year, Council members work to plan a Convention that informs, educates, entertains, and inspires. ICUB’s 2016 State Convention met all of those expectations. And right away, we begin to work on elements of 2017’s gathering. If you have comments, ideas or suggestions that would contribute to an energizing Convention next year, please share them with any one of the Board members or a Chapter President.

Summary of State Convention Elections and Business Meeting

by Catherine Witte, Secretary