ICUB BULLETIN Summer 2017

ICUB BULLETIN Summer 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, President 200 Parkview Dr. Waukee, IA 50263 (515) 657-1461 E-Mail: c.chapman657@yahoo.com Norma A. Boge, Co-Editor 2324 Riverwoods Ave. Des Moines, IA 50320-2808 (515) 288-1938 E-Mail: naboge@mchsi.com Don Wirth, Co-Editor 921 – 9th St., #208 Ames, IA 50010 (515) 451-3779 E-Mail: don.wirth@gmail.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! Contents President’s Message. 4 Convention Presentations in Brief 6 Cynthia Qloud Receives Dietrich Volunteer Award. 9 A Tribute to Bob Stratton. 11 In Memorium 2017. 12 Verdell Schmalle Obituary. 14 State Election and Business Meeting Notes. 16 How the Hadley Institute “Kickstarted” My Business. 18 New Membership Committee Off and Running. 20 Des Moines Chapter Update. 21 ICUB Across Iowa Chapter Report 24 Announcing Monthly IDB Director's Forums. 25 News You Can Use. 26 ICUB Officers and Directors. 27


President’s Message

By Carrie Chapman

Hi Everyone,

I hope you all have been staying cool and enjoying your summer. It’s hard to believe that over half the year has already gone by.

The 30th annual state conference and convention was a success! Thank you once again to the planning committee Becky Dunkerson, Tyler Juranek, Jeana Mowery, Lori Trujillo Roush, Carol Flickinger, Sandy Tigges, and Eddie Culp for all the time and work they put into this. We could not have done this without you.

Mark your calendars; next year’s convention is tentatively scheduled for April 13 – 15, 2018. Watch for more details in the months to follow.

This year I would like to work on audio description throughout the state. I want to make sure that all the theaters that need to comply with audio description, are doing so. In the end I would like to have a list of all the theaters where AD is available. This is where we need your help. We need you to go to your local theater and watch a movie using the audio description headset. After that please let me know how it went, good or bad. That’s it. How easy is that!

We are still in need of people to participate in different committees. Fundraising, transportation, and membership. Teresa Gregg has agreed to chair the membership committee; however, we could still use more people in each of these. Please contact me if you would be willing to help on any level. It is sometimes as easy as helping make some phone calls.

Don’t forget to like our Facebook page. If you have items of interest or if your local chapter would like to have your events posted, please contact Deb Caldbeck at dacaldbeck@yahoo.com.

Lastly, I want to start informing you of some apps that you may or may not be aware of. And, if you have one you would like to share, please email me at c.chapman657@yahoo.com.

Blind Abilities: Blind Abilities produces podcasts and blogs dealing with accessibility, technology and devices and enhancing the opportunities in the job market for the blind, visually impaired and deaf-blind.

Uber and Lyft are apps that you can use to request rides if the service is available in your area. You can usually get a ride in a short amount of time and the rates are typically pretty reasonable.

As always if you have any thoughts, questions, or concerns feel free to contact me. Enjoy the rest of your summer!


Convention Presentations in Brief

The 2017 Annual Conference and Convention of the Iowa Council of the United Blind is history. Much of it honored traditions of past conventions. We partner with many entities to work toward a positive philosophy of blindness and improvement in the lives of all who are blind, especially blind Iowans. And many of those entities reported to us. Notes from some of the major presentations follow.

On Friday evening, in the company of Past President Cynthia (CIP) Qloud, Carrie Chapman gave her president’s report. A major accomplishment for us is that an At-Large Chapter is now formed composed of seven active members. An initiative toward such a group had been promoted by CIP and pursued and implemented through Carrie’s leadership. If you wish to join the At-Large chapter, please contact Teresa Gregg via e-mail, tmgchjld@gmail.com , or by phone: 402-980-9980.

We heard from the Iowa Department for the Blind (IDB) Library Director Sarah Willeford. The library has changed its automated circulation and record systems. It is issuing cartridges with multiple books on each. If you are having difficulty reading these, please contact the library. Please note that various segments of the library have been relocated. The information desk is on the first floor off the North entrance. Library staff can assist or direct you from there.

The new director of the agency, Emily Wharton, also spoke to us. Both the agency and library reports were presented in a positive light against a backdrop of great change and challenges: a new director and accountant; loss of yet more positions within the agency, especially the Library and Independent Living; curtailed State funding for the Department and many state agencies which means, for the Department, a limited ability to draw down Federal funds; and the implementation of a Federal requirement to focus a given percentage of all Federal dollars on high school students and young adults who are blind, and an upcoming retooling of performance measures per Federal requirements. The program manager of the Orientation Center and the Business Enterprise Program, Alan Bickell, introduced himself as well.

Our keynote speaker, Karen Keninger, a former director of IDB, and now the head of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, (NLS), first updated us on NLS’s plans for the future. Chief among them is a continued effort through international cooperation and cooperation with commercial publishers to widen the scope of reading materials available to blind persons in alternative media. NLS had been providing 2,000 books per year and is now moving toward a goal of 3,000 annually. Knowing that readers of standard print have a choice of 500,000 items demonstrates how much work is needed. Another goal is to be able to provide, in one unit, both a digital audio reader with customized cartridges and one that provides digital Braille.

Tony Stephens, American Council of the Blind’s (ACB’s) Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs, shared his story with us which includes a history of commitment to social justice causes as well as lobbying for improvement in services with and for blind persons. Watch the BRAILLE FORUM for updates on ACB’s work on a variety of Federal programs, including protecting the Rehabilitation Services Administration’ work on programs for the blind and the Veterans’ Administration’s programs for blinded veterans. In addition, the ACB is partnering with others to improve Medicare’s support for our elder population. Internationally, the ACB is, as is NLS, working on support for the Marrakesh Treaty to broaden our access to print materials. ACB is also working with UBER, and with developers of technology to pinpoint one’s location within 3 feet, and on issues related to audio description’s availability in more venues. Mr. Stephens put Iowa’s issues in perspective and gave us a national and international view to compliment them.



Cynthia Qloud Receives Dietrich Volunteer Award

THE LINDA DIETRICH SPECIAL VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR AWARD

Presented to

Cynthia “CIP” Qloud

With deep appreciation for her

many years of dedicated service

To improving the lives of all blind Iowans

With special thanks for her commitment to

and countless hours of work in our organization

Presented by the

Iowa Council of the United Blind (ICUB)

Thirtieth Conference/Convention

April 22, 2017

I have fought the good fight,

I have finished the race,

I have kept the faith.

2 Timothy 4:7

These are the words emblazoned on the Award presented to Cynthia “CIP” Qloud at the banquet of our 2017 ICUB State Convention. The Award is bestowed on someone who has made a significant contribution of time and talent to the ICUB and to blind Iowans. CIP certainly more than met these qualifications. Sandy Tigges addressed the audience before the presentation numbering all the ways in which CIP has been sharing her energy and enthusiasm with other blind Iowans for decades, first as an Orientation Center staff member at the Iowa Department for the Blind, and then as a leader of ICUB. Following the presentation, CIP, affirmed her acceptance and honor by raising her hand in salute to the crowd who was giving her a standing ovation. It was a great moment for us and for CIP who so richly deserves recognition.

The plaque’s message speaks for itself. The Council is a stronger, more vibrant organization thanks to CIP’s efforts from recruitment of new members to inclusion of new people on committees to pursuit of an at-large chapter to a focus on fun to bring us together more often. We owe much to her. The most valued repayment would be for ICUB and we, its members, to continue to grow, thrive, educate and advocate to better the lives of blind persons.

For your information, the plaque itself is in the shape of the State of Iowa. The text is printed in gold on the front of the plaque. The same text in Braille is affixed to the back of the Award.

Cip continues to stay positive and works hard, as Cip always has. If you would like to express your gratitude or congratulations to CIP by sending her a note, please mail it to her care of Heidi Pollock, 17250 – 140th Ave., Indianola, Iowa 50125. If you are in the Des Moines area and wish to visit CIP, she is currently living at Ramsey Village, 1611 – 27th Street, Des Moines, Iowa, 50310.

A Tribute to Bob Stratton

By Linda Slayton


Bob was a man well known in these parts

Some for his looks but most for his heart

Working on engines and fixing up bikes

Adding his best to Maquoketa life

He stood tall and proud, full to his height

He could fix anything and fix it up right

He saw more than some though he was blind

Few people these days are so good and kind

Ten years he's been gone, ten years he's been missed

But since Bob's up in heaven nothing needs fixed



In Memorium 2017

Joan Caldbeck - Member of Des Moines Chapter ICUB

Ken Cellman - Member of Des Moines Chapter ICUB

Chris Cox - friend

Donna and Gerald Davis - friends and members of ICUB and Gerald IBSSS student

Serenity Dille - beloved granddaughter of IDB staff member Karen Cunningham

Frank Guerra - friend and coach of Iowa Reapers Beepball Team

Marilyn Guerrero - IBSSS student and friend

Jack Harmon - IBSSS student and friend

Bill Hunerdosse - IBSSS student and Member of ICUB

Tom Katzureck - member of Des Moines Chapter ICUB

Janice Kemp, wife of ICUB Member Bill Kemp

Robert (Bob) Nesler - friend and IBSSS student, Past President of Dubuque Chapter of ICUB

Duane McClain - IBSSS student and friend

Dale Lukens - husband of IBSSS student and friend, Laurel (Michaels)

Warren Ray - husband of Elizabeth (Theilen), IBSSS student and friend

Josephine Riley - IBSSS student and friend

Dorothy Perez, sister of ICUB Member Arlo Monthei

Verdell Schmalle - friend; former counselor at IDB

Cletus Sharp - brother of ICUB Member Rose Stratton

James Valiant - friend; former administrative assistant at IDB

Bob Williams, nephew of ICUB Member Gail Adams

Verdell Schmalle Obituary

Verdell C. Schmalle, 80, of Fayette, died Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016, at Palmer Lutheran Health Center in West Union.

Verdell Clare, son of Samuel and Nellie (Merchant) Schmalle, was born Dec. 16, 1935, in Thornton, Iowa. He received his education in Thornton, graduating from Thornton High School in 1953. On June 2, 1957, he was united in marriage with Bonnie Aamodt in Joice, Iowa. Verdell went on to receive his Bachelor of Science degree from Morningside College in Sioux City in 1958. He would later complete his master's degree from the University of Iowa in 1964.

Verdell spent his working career as an educator. He taught and coached in Dayton (1959-60), Martelle (1961), and Ventura (1962-68) before moving to Fayette in 1968 and serving as principal of Fayette Community Schools until 1984. In 1984, he began working for the Iowa Commission for the Blind as a counselor and did so until retiring in 1998.

Verdell was recognized by the Governor's Committee as the state's Handicapped Employee of the Year in 1985. Verdell's work as an educator, coach and counselor was an example and inspiration to his students and earned the respect of all who knew Mr. Schmalle.

Verdell was a member of the local Lions Club International and was recently honored as a 50-year member. He was a longtime member of the United Methodist Church in Fayette, where he served on the Church Council. He also was a member of the Iowa Retired School Personnel Association and Big Rock Country Club, where he enjoyed playing cards with his friends.

Verdell learned how to sail at the age of 55 and following retirement enjoyed traveling. He never missed an opportunity to listen to his favorite sports teams, the Chicago Cubs and Iowa Hawkeyes.

In addition to his wife, Bonnie of Fayette, he is survived by his three children, Verlynn (Anne) Schmalle of Wausau, Wis., Margaret Schmalle (Pat McArtor) of Iowa City and Marlys (Steven) Franzen of Hawkeye; seven grandchildren, Angela (Jesse) Craycraft, Greta (Dan) Backman, Andie (Curtis) Davis, Kayla Schmalle, Kimberly Kallis and Max and Gabriel Caballero; special friend and companion, Bonnie Lindquist of Fayette; sisters-in-law, Beulah Schmalle of Belmond and Myrna Langerud of Des Moines; and several nieces and nephews.

Memorials may be made in his name to the Dollars for Scholars program at North Fayette Valley Schools in West Union.

State Election and Business Meeting Notes

Elections were held during the third session of the convention. A slate of proposed officers and board members was presented by the nominating committee and accepted. Officers and board members elected include: President Carrie Chapman (Altoona); board members Jackie Armstrong (Forest City), Arlo Monthei (re-elected; Des Moines), Donna Seliger (re-elected; West Des Moines), Rose Stratton (re-elected; Maquoketa), and Don Wirth (Ames). Many thanks go to outgoing board member Lisa Davis of Urbandale for her time and service to the ICUB board.

President Carrie Chapman presided over the meeting which was conducted on Sunday, April 23, 2016. Twenty-four members and four observers were in attendance.

Motions accepted:

1. To suspend reading of the minutes of the 2015 state convention business meeting.

2. To accept the treasurer’s report as presented: the report showed total assets, as of April 19, 2017, of $82,464.80.

3. To accept the report of the audit committee, presented by Jim Witte, which stated that the organizations books and financial records were in good order.

4. Resolutions for consideration:

a. Approved in 2016: that the president and executive board be instructed to continue to pursue actively a change in the makeup of the Iowa Commission for the Blind through legislation which will assure a broader representation of blind Iowans. No further action was taken in 2017 other than state the organization will continue to work on the issue.

b. Calls for compliance in Iowa’s local movie theaters to requirements for provision of audio description technology, training for theater staff in the equipment’s use and maintenance, and education of the public about the availability and use of audio description. Discussion following presentation of the resolution touched on many details including number of screens in a theater complex, nature of digital technology, ability of theaters in smaller communities to comply, etc. It was thought that the resolution required more specifics. Drafters will rework the resolution to include those elements. With that understanding, the resolution was moved, seconded and passed.

5. Revision of the constitution: it was proposed that in every place where the word “conference” occurred within the current constitution, it be changed to the phrase “conference and convention.” The changes would be made in articles iv and vi through x. The change was approved. It was proposed that the final sentence of article iv, section a, which concerns membership, be stricken. The portion to be removed reads, “any person who is not affiliated with a local chapter may become an active member of this organization by a majority vote of the members present at any conference and convention…” an at-large chapter has been formed. An earlier statement in the article on membership reads, “hereafter, the term ‘local chapter’ shall refer to any at-large or local chapter of the organization. All active members of local chapters shall automatically become members of this organization…” the earlier statement applies rendering the earlier statement moot. The change was approved.

Following these votes, it was noted that the constitution may need to be reviewed and updated. It was moved and seconded that a committee be formed and charged with reviewing the constitution and bringing recommendations on changes to the membership.

6. It was moved, seconded and approved to spend up to $2,000.00 in support of ICUB’s president, Carrie Chapman, attending the 2017 American Council of the Blind national conference.

The meeting adjourned at approximately 12:00 p.m.

Please note: a complete set of minutes will be 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 cathandjimw@gmail.com or by telephone at 515-987-4490. Thank you.

How the Hadley Institute “Kickstarted” My Business

By Teresa Gregg

I had my first experience with Hadley when I applied for their New Venture Entrepreneurial Grant. This grant was for blind persons creating their own business. To qualify I had to complete at least one of Hadley’s Self Employment classes and write an extensive business plan. In 2016 Hadley awarded three grants. This year there was 12 applicants and two were chosen to receive $10,000. I was one of those recipients along with a gentleman from Denver who is establishing his own coffee shop. My business “Lumine your Way” is a life coaching and reflexology practice based in Neola. It was an exciting journey and I learned so much through their self-employment and business classes. Being able to have the funds to create my dream job is truly a blessing that Hadley bestowed to me.

Hadley.edu provides free classes, seminars and audio recordings on a wide variety of topics. These programs are geared towards the blind, low vision, their family members, teachers and community support. One can learn anything from braille, business classes, container gardening, technology, knitting and so much more. It truly is an invaluable opportunity. Classes are self-paced and instructors give constructive feedback on submitted assignments. Professional classes and CEUs are offered for a nominal fee. Hadley is an accredited distance learning program so the content is current and top notch in its field of study. I challenge each member to try a new hobby, learn a new technology tool or application, or try a whole new subject to explore and share with ICUB. Just go to www.hadley.edu and enroll today.



New Membership Committee Off and Running

The ICUB Membership Committee had its first meeting of 2017 on May 22 with a follow-up meeting on June 19th. Teresa Gregg is its Chair. Each Chapter President and a few extra members were in attendance. Implementing a membership loyalty program was discussed, for those members who attend meetings regularly. One incentive item might be an Uber gift card. Recruiting and retaining younger members was also discussed. Some ideas were to promote braille literacy for younger members through a braille poetry or short story contest. These poems and short stories can then be bound and sold as a fundraiser. Creating a contest where students developed their own braille/large print board game to be entered at the 2018 ICUB State Convention was another idea to recruit younger members to the state convention. The committee thought it would be a nice gesture to create a Teacher of the Visually Impaired grant. Blind students throughout Iowa would write a letter explaining why their teacher of the visually impaired should be nominated and awarded this grant. This letter and grant would be given out during the state convention. It is the goal of the ICUB Membership Committee to compile a membership toolbox of sorts to be given out to each chapter president. This toolbox will contain brochures, cover letters, braille alphabet cards and a few novelty items to be given away to help promote ICUB. The next membership committee meeting will be August 21st. Please email Teresa Gregg with any membership ideas at tmgchjld@gmail.com.

Des Moines Chapter Update

By Lori Trujillo Roush

I hope this update finds everyone well and enjoying their summer!

First, I would like to thank the chapter for sending me to the 56th ACB Conference and Convention last week in Reno. It was a great experience, and I look forward to updating members at our next meeting in August.

In addition to providing me with the means to attend the event, the chapter awarded three $400 scholarships to members statewide.

I can't believe we are through half the year already. It has been a busy time for us.

In regards to membership, I not only have wanted us to grow as a chapter, but I have also wanted for us to provide opportunities for members to connect with one another outside of chapter meetings. I am happy to say that since April, we have had six new members join, and we have hosted two dinner and game nights and one movie day at Flix Brewhouse.

This last legislative session brought about big changes in Iowa election laws. In May, we updated members on HF 516. This law requires some form of identification when voting, and allows for a poll worker to challenge your identity if your signature does not match. It also shortens early voting from 40 days to 29 days.

Earlier this year, members participated in a voting machine accessibility study. In June, researchers from Iowa State shared their results. If you are a member and you missed the monthly meeting, you can request a copy of the results by sending me an email or contacting me at the number below.

This last spring, the board decided to backup chapter documents to an external storage site. These documents include monthly minutes and our constitution and membership lists. The board also decided to create a permanent business email address.

In addition to securing and maintaining chapter data, it is hoped that the external storage site and permanent business email will create consistency, allow officers to have convenient access to information and will make for a smoother transition during times of leadership changes.

During my last update, I mentioned that an ad hoc expenditure/finance committee had been formed. The role of this committee was to evaluate our finances and to suggest effective ways to utilize our resources for our members, group and community.

It was determined through the committee's evaluation and chapter discussion that a steering committee would be formed and a pilot ambassador program would be developed.

The focus of the ambassador program is to offer peer support as a primary function of ICUB. Ambassadors will present to groups across Iowa. During their presentations, they will share their personal story, information about ICUB and ACB, demonstrate adaptive assistive devices and provide additional resources.

The chapter voted to set aside funds to compensate ambassadors and drivers for their time.

Our fundraising committee is putting together two main events over the next coming months. On September 16th at 1:00 p.m. the chapter will be hosting a wine tasting event at Jasper Winery in Des Moines. In addition to sharing a great experience with other members, we’ll be sampling some of Jasper's reds and whites paired with cheese and Stam's chocolate. This is an informal event, and the cost is $25.00 per person. Tours of the winery are available for an additional fee of $5.00.

Beginning in September and running until mid-November, the chapter will be participating in Younkers Community Days. This is a great fundraiser as 100% of the proceeds go straight back to the chapter! We are asking all members to please consider helping out with this fundraiser. There are two ways to participate. You can volunteer a couple hours of your time selling books at the store. Or you can purchase books and resell them to family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, et cetera.

The fun committee is putting together our annual picnic. This year's event will take place at Legion Park in West Des Moines on August 19th from noon to 4:00 p.m. Please look for our flyer and chapter calendar for further information.

If you would like to be more involved, we would love to have you share your time, talent and ideas. There is no minimum time commitment: it could be something as simple as making a couple of phone calls or folding a few mailers. Please feel free to contact me with any questions, requests for more information or on ways to become involved. I can be reached at 515-402-3508 or ltrujilloroush@yahoo.com.


ICUB Across Iowa Chapter Report

By Teresa Gregg

It is my pleasure to give an update of the ICUB across Iowa at large chapter. We average between 5-10 members on each monthly call. Several of our at large members congregated at the ICUB state convention in April. During our last few calls we have discussed our places of employment/volunteering, our hobbies and interests, technology and general operating items of interest. We are excited to draft our constitution and have it ready for the 2018 ICUB state convention. Some happenings with a few of our at large members:

· Tyler Juranek rode his family’s antique tractor in a 50-mile tractor ride in June. He and his father maintain the tractor and show it off whenever possible.

· Teresa Gregg was a recipient of the Hadley New Venture Grant for blind entrepreneurs. There were 12 applicants and only two received the grant. With this grant, Teresa Gregg is starting her own life coaching practice.

· Sally Ripplinger is learning to use Pages and Digit Eyes on her iPhone and learning to knit. She is always exploring and trying to learn a new tool/skill which she shares with us.

Our monthly meetings are the first Thursday of the month from 7:00-8:00 PM. Call:

712-432-5610 access code 782.

Announcing Monthly IDB Director's Forums

In order to increase transparency and improve communications, Iowa Department for the Blind Director Emily Wharton will be hosting a regular discussion on the third Monday evening of every month. The next meeting will be held Monday, August 21, from 5:15 to 6:15 pm in the Director’s Conference Room at the IDB building. There will be a conference line for those unable to attend in person. The call-in number is 1–866–685–1580 and the conference code is 5152811299.

“I really appreciate how much Iowans care about IDB and the services we provide. We have a lot going on in all our programs and consumers have a lot of good questions for me every time I attend a consumer group or advisory council meeting,” Wharton said. “I think this will be a great way to answer questions and get information out to consumers.”

Another piece of IDB’s plan to improve communication with consumers was also rolled out this week. Wharton and the management team are amending the employee manual to include a requirement that all direct service staff and supervisors attend a meeting of each consumer group as well as at least one area support group each year. “We want to make sure that our staff get to know and are known by consumers. We want to make sure that we are all listening, learning, and expanding our networks. This is an important part of our continuing education efforts,” Wharton explained.

While the concept will be piloted in Des Moines for the time being, Wharton would like to hold the forums in other parts of the state if there is public interest and support.


News You Can Use

VFO, parent company of Freedom Scientific, has announced that tech support for all VFO brands is now available through their main 800 number: 800-444-4443.

The VFO line of products includes JAWS, ZoomText, MAGic, OpenBook, Window-Eyes and WYNN.


Amazon recently announced the availability of movies and TV shows with audio description through its streaming video service. Currently there are 133 titles available but the collection will be expanded. To see a list of currently available titles, visit

https://www.amazon.com/l/16958790011


In other Amazon news, the retailer has announced that it’s making its Prime membership program more affordable to customers on government assistance programs, including food stamps. The program, which requires that customers have a valid Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card to qualify, will bring the cost of Prime down from $10.99 per month to just half that, at $5.99 per month instead.