ICUB BULLETIN Summer 2022

ICUB BULLETIN Summer 2022 Published by the IOWA COUNCIL OF THE UNITED BLIND An American Council of the Blind Affiliate Website: www.icublind.org Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Iowa-Council-of-the-United-Blind-183367918760610/ Carrie Chapman, President 304 W. Cedar St. Goldfield, IA 50542 866-436-0141 E-mail: president@icublind.org Don Wirth, Co-Editor 921 9th St., #208 Ames, IA 50010 515-451-3779 E-mail: don.wirth@gmail.com Sandy Tigges, Co-Editor 2904 34th St. Des Moines, IA 50310 515-277-1256 E-mail: tigges@dwx.com


Table of Contents


President’s Report 3 Serving as a Blind Juror 5 New and Exciting Fundraiser to Launch at ACB Omaha Convention 10 Shopping to Benefit ICUB 11 Self-Week Social Discovery Experience 12 Meet the Board: Liz Soenen 14 ACB Awards 16 Donating Your Vehicle to Benefit ICUB 17 Those We Have Lost: James Omvig 18 News You Can Use 20 Air Fryer Pork Chops 23 Selecting ICUB as a Beneficiary 24 Iowa Department for the Blind Report 24 At-Large Chapter Report 26 Des Moines Chapter Report 27


President’s Report


Dear ICUB Members & Friends, The American Council of the Blind National Conference and Convention is right around the corner. Norma Boge has agreed to represent ICUB as our delegate, and Don Wirth has agreed to be both our alternate and our representative on the ACB Nominating Committee. We have been hosting conference calls to provide our members with information about the convention. ACB Convention Coordinator, Janet Dickelman, joined us on our first call to talk about speakers, breakout sessions, and tours. Our second call was regarding transportation. We plan on having one more call at the end of June. I have also created an email group for those attending the convention so they can stay connected. If you plan on attending and would like to be added to this email group, please let me know. Since our last Bulletin, we have participated in a Spring Family Conference, new Staff Training at the Iowa Department for the Blind (IDB), a dinner for IDB clients 55 and older, and a low vision support group. Member Carol Flickinger and I also taught some iPhone basics to independent living clients through the Department’s community-based training program. In May, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Iowa and the Disability Rights Section, Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice, invited ICUB, along with other organizations, to discuss The Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rights of Iowa Voters with Disabilities. Also on the Department of Justice call were Timothy T. Duax, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa; Matthew Gillespie, Assistant U.S. Attorney; Brandon Gray, Assistant U.S. Attorney; Elizabeth Johnson, Trial Attorney, Disability Rights Section, Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice; and Jean Conner, Paralegal Specialist. It was a great opportunity for discussion among a broad array of stakeholders regarding the barriers faced by individuals with disabilities in the voting process. Don’t forget the dates for our ICUB Conference and Convention are August 26th and August 27th! Have you reserved your room yet at the Ankeny Courtyard Marriott? You still have time to do so by calling 515-422-5555. A big thank you to the Greater Iowa Credit Union (GICU) for sponsoring our 2022 convention and to FuseBox One for providing all our printing needs. I hope you all have a wonderful summer, and we will see you in August! Sincerely, Carrie Chapman, President Iowa Council of the United Blind


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Serving as a Blind Juror

Don Wirth and Sandy Tigges Editor’s Note: The following article describes experiences dealing with an uncommon but not unusual activity. As you read it, think about a similar situation you have encountered and then consider contacting Don or Sandy about an article for a future issue of the Bulletin. As blind folks, we want to participate in activities as much as possible. There are certain areas that all Americans are called to do as part of their civic duties—we want to contribute there as well. One of those duties is to serve on juries when called upon. Recently, I was notified that I was selected for a jury panel, which meant was that I was included on a list of registered voters who might be called upon to serve on a jury for a trial during a two-week period. The notice presented some opportunities and some challenges. I wanted to serve to demonstrate a blind person active in a setting and role sighted people might not expect. For myself, I simply looked forward to a new experience. The challenges included ensuring that I had access to all information that might be presented during the trial, such as written materials, charts or videos. How was I going to do this? Well, court systems are working under legal requirements to permit inclusion of blind people on juries. To assist in handling print or visual materials as well as other issues, they have accessibility officers. The jury duty process begins in the same way for all potential jurors. You receive a postcard notice of your selection which includes a website address to be used to create a profile including information that determines whether you are eligible to serve. The profile contains questions such as whether you or your family members have been involved in law suits. You can also enter telephone and email information for updates about your status for any upcoming trials. The profile also asks if you might need special accommodations. I said yes to that query. Within a few days, I received a call from the court’s accessibility officer. In our conversation, I listed some of my concerns. I told him that I had an OCR (optical character recognition) app on my iPhone that would allow me to read printed material while using earbuds so it would not distract others. Would I be allowed to bring my phone into the court and use it? I also had concerns about getting descriptions of charts and actions in videos. The accessibility officer said “Let me check on these and I‘ll get back to you.” The dates for my jury duty were still several weeks away so we had time to work on it. Within a few weeks, the officer called me back with the results of his research. He told me I could use my OCR app on my phone. He also said he had contacted IRIS (Iowa Radio Reading Information Service for the Blind and Print Handicapped), who would be available in the courtroom to provide audio description of any videos and charts. The officer and I agreed that, regardless of whether or not I was called to serve on a jury, we both had learned a lot. The officer would have information that he could use in the future with any potential jurors who were blind. Knowing accessibility concerns would be addressed, I was feeling more comfortable about the potential of serving. Transportation might still be an issue, but I had options to address that. So, after all the preparation, there were no trials during the two weeks I was on the panel! Still, laying the groundwork and investigating options for serving on a jury was an interesting experience, and I am glad I participated. I didn’t serve on a jury, but I made myself and the court ready for doing so. I helped court system personnel learn about accessibility options for including blind folks in the jury process. I was able to educate others and demonstrate a blind person effectively participating in society. Such is my recent experience with the jury process. What follows is Sandy Tigges recounting her experience of several years ago. In the early 1990’s, I was working in Davenport as a Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Counsellor for the Iowa Department for the Blind when I received a letter from the Scott County Clerk of Court summoning me for jury duty. In the letter was a phone number I was to call on a Friday night to see if the number assigned to me was up. Unfortunately, it was, and I reported to the Scott County Courthouse early the next Monday morning. As often happens when we confront a new experience, I was a little nervous. First, we all had to watch an informational film on jury duty. We were then assigned in groups to go to various courtrooms. I followed my group to my assigned courtroom and was directed to the jury box. Once I learned what the trial was about, I knew that I would be selected because of the nature of my job. On a rainy fall morning, a local attorney who specialized in researching property abstracts was driving in a Davenport shopping area when he was rear ended by a woman driving another car. Her insurance company would not pay him any damages, claiming that his back pain was caused by a rheumatic condition he had called ankylosing spondylitis. The plaintiff decided to sue the insurance company, saying the accident had aggravated the condition, preventing him from doing his legal work and pursuing his hobbies. Who better to put on the jury than a VR Counselor whose job it is to put people with disabilities to work and who also seemed to have dealt well with her own disability? After each juror went through the process known as voir dire —an interview with the opposing attorneys to determine the competence of potential jurors—the names of those who have been selected were called and they were asked to stand. I stood when my name was called. One gentleman who moaned and groaned the whole time was openly relieved that his name was not called. Certain he was done for the day, I had to smile when he was sent to another courtroom where they still needed jurors. He was not happy. Interestingly enough, I was never asked about my blindness during voir dire. I knew that they could not legally dismiss me based on my disability alone, but unlike Don, I was not asked about making accommodations for my blindness. I could not have improved on the ones they did make, however. The attorneys read the charts aloud, and the lawyer for the insurance company would often use the phrase, “For the benefit of the entire jury…” when something needed to be described. It got a giggle from the other jurors when the plaintiff was asked to describe himself physically—he was not in the best shape! When the testimony was done, we went to the jury room to deliberate. The juror we elected as our “captain” read the paperwork to me. After discussing the trial for a few hours, we decided that the accident had some effect on the plaintiff’s medical condition but was not totally the cause of his back pain. We awarded him $25,000. We did not have to return to the courtroom, but the judge did come in to answer any questions we had. Serving on a jury was a great experience. Years later, my daughter was a law student at Drake and asked me to serve as a volunteer juror on one of their mock trials. The two student lawyers ignored my blindness and never read the charts and graphs aloud or asked me how they should make accommodations. When the judge asked the volunteer jurors to comment on their performance after the trial ended, I chided them for their omission and shared with them my earlier experience as a juror. The judge thanked me for my remarks afterwards. I must be honest, though. When I got a letter from Polk County summoning me for jury duty a few years later, I was relieved when the number assigned to me was not called.


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New and Exciting Fundraiser to Launch at ACB Omaha Convention

Norma A. Boge The Merchandise Committee—comprised of myself and two other ICUB State Board members, Carol Flickinger, and Jeana Mowery—has been working hard preparing to sell ICUB-branded items at the ACB National Conference and Convention next month. ICUB will have a table at the Conference marketplace located near the main exhibit hall at the Hilton in Omaha. We’ll be at our table from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 5, and Wednesday, July 6. In addition to selling our ICUB items, we’ll be selling 50/50 raffle tickets. Not going to Omaha? No problem. Some items will also be available at our own ICUB Annual Statewide Convention in August. We’re also looking for volunteers to help at our booth. If you’re friendly and like to chat people up and enjoy selling, we need you! Please call Jeana Mowery at 712-310-7140 to assist us. This is a new fundraising effort for our organization. We think it can be a winner for us. In the future, we hope to expand our selection of items and offer additional ways to purchase items on an ongoing basis. Stay tuned, and please support ICUB’s new and exciting venture!


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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 then be the charity of choice each time you shop at https://www.smile.amazon.com . ICUB will get 0.5% of the value of eligible purchases. You can also 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.


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Self-Week Social Discovery Experience

Moe Carpenter Hello, my name is Moe, and I participated in the Iowa Department for the Blind’s Self-Week training this past May. Being the housekeeper for a family of 6—I have four children and four fur babies—I don’t get much time away from the family. In fact, since I started my family around 16 years ago, my focus has basically been on keeping things afloat for all of us. I cannot think of any time during those past 16 years when I have been away from the household for more than an overnight, and then it’s pretty much been for family occasions. Never have I been truly on my own, let alone for a week! The Self-Week Program was started just in the last couple of years. It is basically a week of Iowa Department for the Blind (IDB) training sessions on travel/O and M (orientation and mobility), Braille, technology, and home management each weekday. There is also some time for after hour outings, and meals with the full group of Self-Week participants. The weekend days are basically for arrival and departure--moving in and back out again! All of this was fine. I am not a fan of the forced sleep shade experience, or as IDB calls it, structured discovery, but I survived. In fact, as much as they tried, I am probably even more firm on my stance that I will never be able to learn fully what I need to learn while wearing sleep shades because I already do so much with nonvisual techniques. Adding sleep shades takes so much of that away for me. However, I did learn something about myself during this experience. I rediscovered my social abilities while attending Self-Week. This is not something I had anticipated, and it really surprised me that it stood out for me during the training, or rather around the structured training. During meal times and after hours, I spent a lot of time getting to know our small group members better. I found out that I am much more than just a mom to four boys trying to make it day-to-day, but rather I am a pretty social person who enjoys watching others progress in their blindness skills. I am also a person who really does not like being alone—ever. Staying alone in a room with minimal necessities to get by is not something I will be looking forward to when going back for more training. However, the late night outings we had with just this group, a group of strangers to me for the most part, was truly the highlight of my entire time. I really excel in an environment away from home where I am forced to not stand behind or alongside someone else, but rather stand on my own. So in that roundabout way, I did get the confidence boost the Self-Week is designed for, but probably not in “classes,” but in the alternative way, as it was the afterhours where I really felt I excelled. As far as sleep-shaded structured discovery, yes, I understand it is probably needed for some if not most blind people. I think, however, for those of us who have been blind all our lives, where we have learned to adapt during all that time without really relying on that non-existing vision, we should have another option for skills training in Iowa. However, I am so glad I had that week away from my family, the stresses of running it, and finding out they could all survive without me for a bit. Perhaps Guide Dog school is in my future?


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Meet the Board: Liz Soenen

Don Wirth Editor’s Note: This is the latest in a series of articles to provide readers with more information about the people who are leading ICUB through their service as Directors on our State Board. You know how you sometimes see that wonderful item, vacation, or experience that you would love to have, but it just isn’t in the cards right now? So, you wait and keep checking on it and hope you are in the right place at the right time when it all fits together. Well, that is somewhat the story behind Liz Soenen’s work on the ICUB board. Liz worked at the Iowa Department for the Blind for about 18 years. For several of those years, she was a member of ICUB but couldn’t be as active on the Board or in ICUB as she might have liked. During her time at IDB, Liz got to know a number of ICUB members. She grew to respect their dedication to educating blind folks and helping them live fuller and more accomplished lives. And the ICUB folks were watching Liz. When Liz retired a few years ago, she had more time available to give back to projects that interested her. Continuing to work with blind folks was one of them. Liz first came in contact with IDB when her mother lost her vision as an adult. Liz assisted her mother in working with IDB in transitioning to blindness. Through those interactions, Liz developed an interest in working with other blind individuals. She started her career with IDB as an Independent Living instructor. During her time at IDB, she worked mostly in north central Iowa. One of her closest clients/friends/compatriots is Carol Flickinger. They performed a lot of outreach, sometimes using puppets to educate. And they learned a great deal from each other. At the end of a dedicated career, Liz retired. The ICUB Board was looking for new officers. ICUB knew a lot about Liz from our members who had worked with her. They were in the right place and the right time to capture this coveted leader’s interest. Liz was recruited for the Board. Luckily for ICUB, she agreed to join us. Liz is currently serving as Secretary. When asked what she hopes to accomplish on the Board, Liz says community service. She wants to expand the reach of ICUB and expand the goal of enhancing the opportunities for blind individuals which she has watched ICUB doing for several years. She sees that there is so much to learn in the area of living as a person who is blind, including continuing to grow and expand as new technologies and methods develop. Liz wants to learn and then teach others. Her work with ICUB blends with her other service activities in her church and the Iowa River Players Community Theater in Rowan. Biding our time and acting at the right time to get Liz on ICUB’s State Board will be rewarding for current and future ICUB members.

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ACB Awards

Don Wirth Each year, the American Council of the Blind (ACB) presents a number of awards. Any ACB member can nominate an individual or organization that they feel qualifies for and meets the requirements of any award. Awards are presented during the National ACB Conference and Convention. These presentations are among the most exciting events during the Convention as we get to hear not only about who won but also about the work they are doing to assist blind individuals to live more fulfilling and productive lives. Word has it that an ICUB member nominated a local individual and organization for one of the more prestigious awards. The winner of the award will be announced on Monday, July 4, 2022, during a plenary session at the American Council of the Blind's virtual Conference and Convention. Plan to attend this session either in person or virtually via Zoom or ACB Media. Hopefully, blind Iowans will have something to celebrate in addition to the nation’s birthday. The recipient’s name will also be announced in the next Bulletin.


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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 can claim a tax deduction equal to the dollar value of the vehicle. Call 800-899-4925 for more information.

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Those We Have Lost: James Omvig

Don Wirth Editor’s Note: A true icon in the blindness movement, Jim was a friend, colleague, and mentor to many of us and will be greatly missed. Thousands of blind people have benefitted both directly and indirectly from his writings, advocacy, and legislative and other efforts to better the lives of those with vision loss. Jim died April 27. James (Jim) Harlan Omvig of Altoona, Iowa was born on February 12, 1935 in Roland, Iowa to Herrma and Jens Omvig and was raised in Slater, Iowa. Jim graduated from the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School in Vinton, Iowa and later attended the training center at the Iowa Commission for the Blind, Drake University and completed his higher education at Loyola University of Chicago School of Law--from which he holds a Juris Doctor degree. Jim worked in the legal profession for a number of years then moved to his passion-working with and for the blind community. He worked first as the Director of the Training and Orientation Center at the Iowa Commission for the Blind. Later he held positions at Social Security Headquarters in Baltimore and served as Director of the Alaska Training Center for the Blind. He also authored three books relating to blindness training and rehabilitation and he was appointed to a committee position by President Bush. Jim devoted his life and talents to fighting on behalf of the blind for civil rights, training and equality. As a leader in the National Federation of the Blind, he was instrumental in improving the lives of blind people throughout the country by helping legislate legal and policy changes and more importantly, by inspiring and training blind children and adults to be independent, contributing equals in our society. Jim was always a pleasure to be with. His cheerful, positive attitude and personality was evident in his work and personal life and anyone who knew him can attest to it! In his work he taught that it is “OK to be blind”. In his personal life he inspired and warmed his family and friends with his love and kindness. His adored and loving wife Sharon was by his side for 48 years of adventures, and they accomplished so much together. He was a very talented musician--played piano, trombone and was a wonderful singer. He funded his law school costs in part by playing and singing in local piano clubs. He also wrote several songs-devotions of love to his wife primarily. He loved to train dogs and had a passion for old cars--he was particularly fond of his 1968 Ford XL convertible. His love of music was constant and very traditional. The Big Band era was his favorite and Frank Sinatra was always a staple. There was rarely a phone call he didn’t take or a message he didn’t return. His family, friends and colleagues were the recipients of his kindness and generosity throughout his life.


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News You Can Use

Norma A. Boge Laufware.com is a new website that provides links to over 200 accessible Windows programs. Software is divided into 25 categories with descriptions for each program. Specialty pages include keyboard shortcuts, top forty accessible programs, fifty portable programs with no installation required, and podcasts created by and for the blind and low vision community. Michael Lauf, the website creator, hopes you will visit, bookmark and share the website with those who may benefit. Check out: https://www.laufware.com . You can now use Amazon Alexa devices to talk with a doctor. If you have an Amazon Echo, Echo Dot or Echo Show device, you can now summon medical care with a simple voice command. Teladoc Health, one of the largest telemedicine companies in the U.S., announced its partnership with Amazon to launch a "virtual care" service that will allow Amazon users to connect with health care providers via Echo devices. Just say, "Alexa, I want to talk to a doctor." See the full description at: https://tinyurl.com/3ztfrbck . A new book, The Windows Screen Reader Primer: All the Basics and More, is now available. Author David Kingsbury, an Assistive Technology Instructor, wrote this comprehensive resource to help JAWS, NVDA, and Windows Narrator users work more effectively with the most important PC applications—like Microsoft Office, email clients, and web browsers. Download your own free copy at: https://tinyurl.com/yemwedje . Microsoft Edge can now auto-generate image descriptions. These automatically generated labels mean that screen readers can now describe the contents of a picture even if the image's uploader didn't provide any alt text. To enable these auto-generated labels, go to edge://settings/accessibility and find the setting, "get image descriptions from Microsoft for screen readers." Be sure screen reader support is enabled. If you need help, the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk is available. Call 1-800-936-5900 or visit: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/accessibility/disability-answer-desk . Structured Discovery Incorporated is selling UEB pocket reference books in interpoint Braille and print with simulated Braille. These books are 3 by 5 inches and easily fit in a pocket, purse, or backpack. Each copy is $10 with all profits benefiting blind children’s literacy programs. To place an order, visit: https://www.structureddiscovery.org . If you want help identifying the birds you hear singing out there, download the Merlyn Bird ID app. Developed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the app is free, fully accessible, and available for both Android and iPhone users. For more information, go to your app store or to “Merlin Bird ID – Free, instant bird identification help and guide ...” As part of the new bipartisan infrastructure law, The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) provides eligible households $30 off their internet bills. Commitments have been secured from twenty leading internet providers to provide high-speed internet service to those who are eligible for no more than $30 a month. Eligible families who pair their ACP benefit with one of these plans can receive high-speed internet at no cost. To see if you qualify, go to www.getinternet.gov . The Patron Engagement Section (PES) at the National Library Service (NLS) for the Blind and Print Disabled at the Library of Congress is holding quarterly events as part of their Patron Corner programming. Each program will provide an opportunity for patrons to learn more about various services directly from NLS staff. The programs will be interactive, last for one hour, and have a designated topic of discussion. The topic for the June 13 session had been “Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Collection Selection, but Did Not Have the Vehicle to Ask.” Patrons are asked to bring questions and comments for the guests, who are members of the Collections Division at NLS responsible for selecting the books in the NLS collection. The next meetings will be held at 6:30 PM CST on September 12 and December 12, 2022, and March 13, 2023. Join the discussion at: https://loc.zoomgov.com/j/1600983343?pwd=VW9tRWtwY3BsdHRac0s2MmJkN0RCZz09 . For more information contact Tamara Rorie at tror@loc.gov .

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Air Fryer Pork Chops

Carrie Chapman Editor’s Note: This quick and delicious recipe uses items most people have in their pantries. Enjoy! Ingredients: • 4 boneless pork chops • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil • 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan • 1 tsp. kosher salt • 1 tsp. paprika • 1 tsp. garlic powder • 1 tsp. onion powder • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper Instructions: Pat pork chops dry with paper towels. Then coat both sides with oil. In a medium bowl, combine Parmesan and spices. Coat both sides of pork chops with Parmesan spice mixture. Place pork chops in basket of air fryer and cook at 375° for 9 minutes, flipping halfway through. Notes: Preheat air fryer for approximately five minutes. Do not overcook. Pork chops are done when they reach 145 degrees. Cooking time varies slightly depending on thickness. This recipe is from www.delish.com .


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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 you have questions or your wishes are more complex, you or your attorney can contact ICUB by calling 866-436-0141 or through the webpage at: www.icublind.org .

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Iowa Department for the Blind Report

Director Emily Wharton This time of year is always full of activity at IDB. The Library is preparing for summer reading, STEM programming with the LEAP students, story times at libraries across the state, another round of para-educator training and a program for teaching accessibility 101 to Iowa Works staff to improve the accessibility of Iowa Works Centers. We completed another SELF Week intensive training for VR clients and the Young Adult Transition Program completed a second successful school year. I was honored to attend their end-of-year banquet to hear about what they had accomplished and to sample the tasty desserts they had made. As is becoming a tradition, the students toilet-papered my office after the banquet! So often, blind kids don’t get to do those kinds of things in high school and they had a lot of fun. They did an excellent job, thoroughly covering my office, and I was continuing to finds more bits of toilet paper in various places for a week! This is the first week of training and preparation for our summer LEAP counselors. I really enjoy getting to speak with them during the training. I always ask the same question to begin the discussion. I always get many great answers and I explain to them that there isn’t really one right answer. The question is, “If you had a magic wand and were able to give the students you will be working with one thing, what would that be?” Some folks answer, “self-confidence;” some say, “self-advocacy;” some say, “the ability to gain and retain skills quickly.” I tell them that these are all great answers, but I would choose to give them the knowledge that they are not less because they are blind. They are not less capable than; they are not less worthy than; they are not less anything than their sighted peers. I then share my story of how I grew up as a partially-sighted kid in a small town feeling, “less than,” and it almost killed me. But coming to the Blindness Empowerment and Independence Center completely changed my world view and saved my life. Unfortunately I don’t have a magic wand. So we discuss ways they can help their students come to know deep down inside that they are not, “less than.” Every year I am impressed with the thoughtful discussion, but this year they challenged me to think in some new ways, and I left the room really energized. We are excited to meet all 16 LEAP participants and see all that they accomplish over the course of the summer.

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At-Large Chapter Report

Don Wirth The Across Iowa Chapter meets the first Thursday of the month via the ICUB Zoom link. At our June meeting, we changed the start time to 7:00 p.m. rather than the 7:15pm time that had been set previously. In preparation for National and State Conventions, we authorized a $25 Walmart gift card to be used as a door prize at the State convention. We also authorized the purchase of a $50 ACB Board of Publications raffle ticket. When we win the $5,000 first prize, we will give great support to various ICUB projects. At the June meeting, Teresa Gregg spoke on her eye condition, visual snow syndrome. It was recently named as a rare eye disease by the medical community. Some of the symptoms include a kaleidoscope-type distorted visual field, fatigue, tinnitus, nausea, equilibrium issues, and a slight hand tremor. This syndrome is similar to Charles Benet Syndrome but can include different symptoms. So it has been classed as a separate disease. There is no definite treatment as of yet. Teresa is going through trial medication to treat the symptoms. She is the only person in the world with two prosthetic eyes that has this syndrome.

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Des Moines Chapter Report

Lori Trujillo Roush

I hope this issue of the Bulletin finds everyone well! We have had some good speakers at our last few meetings who have shared much valuable information. In April, our speaker was Norma Boge. Norma discussed accessible prescription labels available through companies like Envision America and Accessible Pharmacy. Envision America offers consumers the opportunity to independently read their prescription labels through a mobile app or device. Accessible Pharmacy is a home delivery provider that offers Braille, talking, large print, pill packs, and disposable pill organizer options. You can contact Envision America by calling 800-890-1180 or going to their website at envisionamerica.com . You can contact Accessible Pharmacy by calling 215-799-9000 or going to their website, accessiblepharmacy.com . In May, our speaker was YMCA Community Engagement Director Brook Heldt. She discussed volunteer opportunities for the Chapter, such as preparing a meal for YMCA residents, donating household items, and organizing and sponsoring a game night. In May, the Chapter also approved supporting as many as ten $750.00 scholarships to the ACB National Conference and Convention taking place in Omaha, July 1 - July 8, 2022. In June, we will be catching up on Chapter business, such as preparing for our State Convention and planning our annual picnic. We will also discuss planning to volunteer with the YMCA. There will be no Chapter meeting in July due to the ACB Conference and Convention.

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To get a current list of State Board members and Chapter Presidents, including their contact information, go to our website, icublind.org , and click on the “Who We Are” link. You can also e-mail us through a form at the bottom of the page.

The ICUB Bulletin is available in large print, via e-mail, 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 800-362-2587, Option 2. Please direct other questions about format and address changes to Co-Editor Don Wirth.

ICUB offers a BIG thank you to FuseBox One for so graciously donating the printing and mailing of the print copies of each issue of the Bulletin. We also wish to thank Catherine Witte for so meticulously proofreading each issue as well. Copyright 2022 Iowa Council of the United Blind, Inc.


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