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Winter 2020

Published by the


An American Council of the Blind Affiliate


Facebook: › 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

ACB Community Calling Events 5

ACB Core Values 6

Shopping to Benefit ICUB 7

Are You Ready for Some Good News? 8

Friends of the Iowa Library Celebrate Fifteen Years of Service 10

And What Library Services Were There Before 1961? 12

Selecting ICUB as a Beneficiary 16

A Romp in the Straw 17

Coaching Corner 19

Those We Have Lost 20

News You Can Use 22

Donating Your Vehicle to Benefit ICUB 23

Wintertime Taco Pasta 24

Des Moines Chapter Report 25

Across Iowa At-Large Chapter Report 28

Digest of ICUB Board Activity July Through September, 2020 29

Calendar of Events 31

ICUB Board Members 34

President’s Message

Carrie Chapman

Hi, everyone,

I hope this Bulletin finds you, your family, and friends healthy. It has been a challenging year for everyone, and I think it is safe to say we are all looking forward to the end of 2020 and a new start with 2021.

First, I want to thank everyone for making phone calls and writing letters in support of accessible absentee ballots. Your efforts did not go unnoticed. Aside from our letter-writing campaign, we also were interviewed by WHO TV, KCCI TV, Iowa Public Radio, The Des Moines Register, and The Ames Tribune. In October, I was invited to speak at the Wells Fargo’s Accessibility Ambassador Program. I also joined with Jane Hudson, Executive Director of Disability Rights Iowa, in An AMOS--Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy--conference call at which Secretary of State Paul Pate was the guest speaker. Finally, Jane Hudson and I presented on a voter panel at the Polk County Bar Association Seminar. The need for accessible absentee ballots was discussed at all these events. In total, we reached over 400 people, not including all those we reached through the news coverage and your calls and letters.

Although we did not get the outcome we were hoping for in this election year, we made huge progress in raising awareness. We are not done! ICUB, NFBI, and Disability Rights Iowa have worked way too hard to give up now. The next legislative session is just around the corner, and we will be asking for your help again. Stay tuned for more information.

On December 1st, our State Board met for our regular board meeting. It was decided to move our 2021 ICUB Annual Conference and Convention to a virtual format. This was not an easy decision to make, but we believe it is the right one. It will allow our members, including those who are at high risk and those who typically may not be able to attend, the opportunity to do so. This format is all new to everyone, so we will keep you updated as we figure everything out. Thank you for your understanding. We look forward to making the 2021 Conference and Convention a safe and memorable one.

In addition, the American Council of the Blind National Conference and Convention will be virtual again this year. The ACB Board of Directors has also voted to change the dates of the Convention to July 16 through July 23, 2021, to enable convention attendees to enjoy the primetime Olympics broadcasts in audio description. Details will follow.

Last year, we rolled out Tips and Tricks with ICUB on a conference line we had been using for some meetings. When the pandemic hit, we also began to use this line for weekly conference calls and for our Across Iowa and Des Moines Chapter meetings. I want to give you some related figures we should all be proud of. We have held 276 calls, used 8,507 minutes, and averaged 6 to 26 participants on each call. If we just take the lowest number of participants and multiply that by the number of calls, individuals have accessed our information 1,656 times. Keep in mind that most of these numbers are from this year. That’s a lot of calls, a lot of fellowship, 11 new members, and a lot of ICUB! Thanks to everyone for working together to make our efforts a success, and a big welcome to our new members! We look forward to getting to know you and having you be a part of this wonderful organization.

Happy holidays!

Carrie Chapman, President

ACB Community Calling Events

As President Carrie Chapman mentions in her message above, ICUB conference calls have been a great success. Did you know, however, that the American Council of the Blind also hosts a wide variety of community calls open to both members and nonmembers? A sampling of topics includes Coffee Chat, The Blessing Table, Crafty Chat, A Whole New World, Apps We Like, and so many, many more.

You can access these calls through Zoom or your phone. Some are even streamed live on ACB Radio. When you participate, you are asked to abide by community events expectations, including the ACB Core Values and Code of Conduct.

To receive the daily and weekly schedules, send a blank email to:

Those without email can access this information by phone by dialing 1-800-424-8666 and listening to the prompts. Schedules are also available through Alexa devices. Give it a try. You’ll be sure to find a topic you like.

ACB Core Values

Editor’s Note: These core values compose the guiding belief system that serves as the foundation of the American Council of the Blind. They were adopted by the Board of Directors at the 2019 pre-convention board meeting. They can also be found on the ACB website,

Integrity and honesty. Our word is our bond serving as a foundational element demonstrating our strong democratic principles and values.

Respect. We treat others as we expect to be treated. We welcome each individual's unique talents and honor diverse work and lifestyles.

Collaboration. We believe success comes from working together to create solutions that advance the organization's mission through partnerships and teamwork.

Flexibility. We adapt to ever-changing circumstances and situations. We are receptive to multiple points of view and ideas.

Initiative. We can and do make a difference in all of our efforts. We embrace continuous learning, hard work, personal accountability, motivation, and individual responsibility.

Shopping to Benefit ICUB

Are you an online shopper? You can help ICUB secure some additional funds when you shop at 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 ICUB will receive 0.5% of the value of eligible purchases.

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:

Are You Ready for Some Good News?

Tim West

Editor’s Note: Tim is the Digital Recording Specialist at the Iowa Library for the Blind and Print Disabled.

How can your response to this question be anything but a resounding “YES!?” Sometimes, you know, GOOD NEWS is right in our backyard, but we miss it because its presence is a common thread of our lives. Perhaps the services you receive from Iowa’s Library for the Blind and Print Disabled are like that. In this pandemic era, the Library has developed some innovative and informative options for each of us to try. Check these out!!

IDB Read Program. Join us for IDB Read. Participants can call in and listen to one of our wonderful volunteer narrators read LIVE on the phone, followed by a short chat about the book. This is also a great opportunity for readers to get to know volunteer narrators, some of whom have read for us for decades, and give them kudos and feedback on their efforts. On Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:00pm-5:00pm, you can call in and listen to our narrator, Christine Mach, read a cozy mystery. On Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00am – 11:00 am, you can call in and listen to our narrator, Bob White, read a western from the Sacketts Series by Louis L’Amour. Please call the library at 515.281.1323 to get the conference call number for IDB Read. We look forward to reading with you!

Adult Winter Reading Challenge. The library is introducing a new program this winter, the Adult Winter Reading Challenge! Who doesn't like to curl up with a blanket and a good book while the snow swirls outside? Join the Iowa in a winter reading challenge and get rewarded for your cold-weather reading! If you read 7500 minutes between January 4 and February 28, 2021, you will be entered to win a Winter Reading Themed Gift Basket. The library is partnering with READsquared, an interactive online program, where you can log and track your minutes. Go to to register now! Please call Leslie at 515.452.1329 with any questions.

Library Podcasts. The library offers three great podcasts. Library Chat is a monthly podcast discussing books and podcasts on all sorts of topics. Library News is a monthly podcast highlighting library events, programs, services, books and more. Braille Bits is a podcast that corresponds with the lessons from our Braille Bits program. Each episode walks the listener through a braille lesson and includes an interview with a special guest.

For more information about these and other library services, programs, and events, go to

Friends of the Iowa Library

Celebrate 15 Years of Service

Don Wirth

Fifteen years ago, the Friends of the Iowa Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped—known as the Friends--was created by a group of individuals who wanted to enhance the services the library provides to its patrons. They included Library Director Karen Keninger, Louise Duvall, John Billingsley, Pat Smith, Peggy Chong, Jo Slayton, Corey Keninger, and Rosemary Higley. During the past fifteen years, the Friends have raised and donated tens of thousands of dollars to the library, providing such things as sacred texts and individual digital cartridges to patrons, financial support of the annual Braille Challenge to encourage Braille reading by children, and a 3D printer to produce tactile aids.

At its annual meeting on November 12, the Friends held a zoom meeting that included the usual business items of electing board members and presenting annual reports. But they also invited back the founders of the Friends to share memories of what their plans and hopes had been for the organization. Joining the call were Karen Keninger, now Director of the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) at the Library of Congress; Peggy Chong, popularly known as the Blind History Lady; Jo Slayton, long-time and well-known ICUB member and Library borrower; and John Billingsley, who prepared and filed the incorporating legal documents.

Jo Slayton and John Billingsley offered comments about the Friends’ early days and the many fundraising projects they worked on, including lucrative annual garage sales. Peggy Chong presented on “Before There Was the Iowa for the Blind, There Was What?” She detailed the difficulties and challenges blind Iowans encountered in obtaining reading materials. This included “the Braille wars” that revolved around a debate over which of the more than four competing tactile reading systems