Updated: Mar 30
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
304 W. Cedar St.
Goldfield, IA 50542
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
Iowa Pre-Legislative Session Update 5
Meet the Board—Bettina Dolinsek 6
Shopping to Benefit ICUB 8
What’s New at the Iowa Department for the Blind 9
News You Can Use 12
Donating Your Vehicle to Benefit ICUB 13
How to Reach People Who Are without or Are Uncomfortable with Technology 14
Across Iowa At-Large Chapter Report 17
Des Moines Chapter Report 18
Selecting ICUB as a Beneficiary 20
Something to Warm You Up: Creamy Taco Soup 21
Calendar of Events 22
ACB Community Calls 24
Join the Braille Revival League 25
ICUB Board Members 26
Dear members and friends,
We are excited to announce that our 2022 Iowa Council of the United Blind Conference and Convention is tentatively scheduled for August 29-30th. It will be held at the Courtyard by Marriot, 2405 SE Creekview Drive, Ankeny, Iowa, 50021.
The planning is just beginning. We are working on making this a hybrid event which will allow everyone who wants to attend the ability to do so, whether in person or virtually. Once we have more details regarding the Conference or related activities, we will let you know. In the meantime, mark your calendars!
Recently you should have received your 2022 ICUB Membership Packet. We value your membership and your voice and hope you will recommit to our mission for another year. We also encourage you to invite your family, friends, neighbors, church family or, maybe, coworkers to join. The Iowa Council of the United Blind has and will continue to work hard to improve the lives of blind Iowans, but we need all of you to help the us move forward on our mission now and for years to come. If you are not currently a member and would like to find out more, feel free to contact me at 1-866-436-0141. We would love to have you join us.
Happy holidays to you all. Stay safe and have a Happy New Year!
Carrie Chapman, President
Iowa Council of the United Blind
As noted in the Des Moines Chapter report, a Trivia Bowl was held in October to raise money for charity. For those of you who missed it—or who were there but want a second chance at some questions to see if you remember the correct answers—we are sprinkling some of the questions throughout the newsletter and adding a few new ones. Also, look for an opportunity to win a prize for answering the questions correctly. (Cory and Bettina, you are also eligible for the prizes, and here is a big thank you for your work on the Trivia Bowl and providing me the questions). Let the game begin!
Name the band that recorded the song, “Witchy Woman,” in 1972.
Which President is famous for saying, “…the only thing we have to fear is fear itself…”
Iowa Pre-Legislative Session Update
It is just a little over a month until the 2022 Iowa Legislative Session begins. The Iowa Legislature will convene the new session on Monday, January 10, 2022. Here are the key dates for the Session:
• First day, January 10
• First Funnel, February 18 - This is the date by which a bill must be approved by a standing committee of its house of origin to remain eligible for further consideration in the current year.
Appropriations, Ways and Means and Government Oversight committee bills are the exceptions to the “funnel” rules, as they are exempt from procedural deadlines.
• Second Funnel, March 18 - This is the date by which a bill has to be approved by a committee in the opposite Chamber—meaning a House File must be approved by a Senate committee and a Senate File by a House committee—to remain eligible for further consideration in the current year.
Appropriations, Ways and Means and Government Oversight committee bills are the exceptions to the “funnel” rules, as they are exempt from procedural deadlines.
• Final day for lawmaker per diem, April 19
Meet the Board—Bettina Dolinsek
(Editor’s Note: This article is the latest in a series to help our membership become better acquainted with ICUB’s Board of Directors.)
Bettina Dolinsek and her husband Cody live in Ankeny with their cat, Stella. Bettina has been on the ICUB State Board since 2019.
Over the past few years, Bettina has had a varied career. ICUB first met her at a State Convention where she discussed and demonstrated Cross Fit exercises. Bettina was the first blind person (and may still be the only one) certified to teach the Cross Fit exercise program. While she no longer instructs classes, she has converted her garage into a workout room. After all, most blind folks don’t need to worry about parking a car in the garage, and having a workout room also reduces the chances of the garage devolving to its other main purpose—collecting clutter that may or may not be seen again until it is time to move and you are forced to deal with because you cannot donate it to the next owner!
These days, Bettina works for Nationwide and for lululemon. At Nationwide, she is a Digital Accessibility Analyst, which means she spends her time reviewing Nationwide’s and their vendors’ websites to ensure they are accessible to clients and staff. Lululemon is a fitness clothing company with its home base in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The retailer started by selling yoga clothing and then expanded to other clothing lines. Bettina works as an idea accommodations coordinator. She looks at issues and works with internal staff to develop solutions. These are not just blindness related issues. She also reviews digital content for accessibility for customers and staff.
Bettina grew up in Sioux City. She has been blind since birth and came to the Orientation Center at the Iowa Department for the Blind in 1995. There she became re-acquainted with Cody. They have been married for 24 years and have lived most of the time in Des Moines.
Bettina is a history buff who would like to go to college to study history. She is a cat person. I’m not sure what her favorite beverage is, but she mentioned that a previous cat was named Guinness and the current feline resident of the Dolinsek household is name Stella. I doubt Stella is named after that famous character in the Tennessee Williams play! Another clue is that prior to purchase, she investigated whether her work backpack would hold a case of beer.
Bettina wants the public to recognize blind people for what they can do. She lives her life as a personal demonstration of the high expectations society should have of persons who are blind. Through her role on the Board, she has modelled high expectations for others who are blind as well. She is working with the Iowa History Museum to expand the audio tour that was first presented at our State Convention so that it can be available for any visitors to the museum. The goal is to have the project completed by March, 2022, Iowa History Month. They also hope to have most of the exhibits tactilely accessible so blind folks can get a better understanding of what a Civil War uniform, sword, and other artifacts look like.
Bettina’s goals as a Board member include expanding the number of members and the roles they play in ICUB. “We have a rich history of intelligent activist founders and members,” she said. “We need to continue and expand on that history to lead ICUB into the future.”
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.smile.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
What’s New at the Iowa Department for the Blind
Greetings, ICUB! Thank you again for the opportunity to contribute an article to your publication.
Our north ramp construction has been quite the process. They are working outside my office as I type this. I am keeping fingers crossed that the project will be completed for our youth retreat and both consumer group holiday parties.
On October 19th, we held a very special surprise event at IDB. During the event, we unveiled our new training center symbol. Here is the text from the signs that hang below the triangle:
This triangle is rung to celebrate important milestones achieved by students in our adjustment-to-blindness training program. It celebrates the important milestones that our students achieve! These milestones include but are not limited to: learning the braille code, completing a drop off, finishing an industrial arts project, serving a small or large meal, and earning the Graduation Certificate.
The three sides of the triangle represent the three components of our comprehensive training: non-visual skills, self-confidence, and a positive attitude toward blindness.
We want to thank former Industrial Arts Instructor and Center Assistant Director, Dave Hauge, for creating this triangle and adding to his legacy of making a difference in the lives of countless blind Iowans.
When a student rings the triangle, we invite everyone in our IDB family to share in their congratulations and appreciation of the student's hard work. In the words of Nelson Mandela: "Remember to celebrate milestones as you prepare for the road ahead.”
We were very excited that the triangle’s creator, Dave Hauge, and Commission Board Chair and Center graduate, Sandi Ryan, were able to attend.
The Library is introducing the Great Reading Challenge! The Great Reading Challenge (GRC) is a six-month long event open to adults 18 years of age or older who are patrons of the Iowa Library for the Blind and Print Disabled. This challenge will begin on January 15, but you can get signed up now! Go to www.iowablindreads.readsquared.com to create an account or log in and find out more information. Please contact Leslie at 515.452.1329 with any questions!
To learn more about IDB and ask questions, please join my monthly Director's Forum on the third Friday of every month from noon to 1:00 p.m. through Zoom at: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/109673957?pwd=bStha0U3WFdhdFhCS0wzcThnOVBZdz09
Meeting ID: 109 673 957
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago), Meeting ID: 109 673 957
You can also sign up for our e-mail lists at https://blind.iowa.gov and choosing the "Sign Up" link.
Which comedian is famous for imitating several Presidential voices? (Hint: The answer is NOT Cody Dolinsek.)
Saul Bellow won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1976 for which novel?
News You Can Use
Norma A. Boge
The VisionAware Peer Advisors have compiled their holiday gift idea list for 2021. From homemade gifts to high tech gadgets, the list includes some creative, fun, free, low-cost, and helpful gift ideas. Go to: https://tinyurl.com/y97ym82s .
Also check out this website for what the authors call “The Hottest Low Vision Gifts of 2021.” Note: there are a number of items which don’t require any eyesight to use. https://tinyurl.com/2p8ky78u .
The Iowa legislature will soon begin its 2022 session. Now is a perfect time to join Iowans with Disabilities in Action, a non-partisan network of Iowans who want to get more involved civically and politically in State policymaking and decisions. ID Action will keep you updated on legislation, calls for action, voter and candidate information, and much more. Your voice is important, so let it be heard! Call 866-432-2846 or visit: https://idaction.org/registration/ .
It’s hard to believe, but 2022 is almost here! The National library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) has information on where to get 2022 calendars in Braille or large print. Go to: https://tinyurl.com/2p896thc , or call the Iowa Department for the Blind Library at 515-281-1323 or 800-362-2587.
Apple has introduced a new feature in iOS 15 that allows users to add image descriptions to their photos that can be read by VoiceOver. Details can be found at: https://tinyurl.com/2ez7mc3d .
Baldphone is a free app that turns any android smartphone into a simple phone. Designed for those who may struggle with the complexity of a smartphone, it provides a simple user experience. You can find it at: https://tinyurl.com/2p93jj2z .
Lastly, Lifetech Iowa in Des Moines has closed. Thank you for your support.
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.
C. S. Lewis is famous for which chronicles?
What is the name of Betty White’s character in the TV series, “Golden Girls?”
How are you doing? Got them all right so far? Don’t stop here--there are more to come.
How to Reach People without Technology or Who Are Uncomfortable with It
ACB Membership Committee
(Editor’s Note: Those of us with vision loss have been using a lot more technology to stay in contact over the last nearly 2 years. The following article provides both new information and reminders of some of the techniques we can use to ensure we are bringing everyone along with us).
Offer to hold classes on how to use newer technologies.
A class teaching Zoom commands for those using a land line or smart phone might encouraging members to join calls.
A class on using the iPhone would give new users the easiest gestures for certain functions.
Many enjoy the ACB community calls where members and friends can subscribe to receive the daily schedule by sending a blank e-mail to:
Those without email can access this information by phone by dialing 1-800-424-8666 and following the prompts.
Offer three-way connections for people uncomfortable with conference call systems. Three-way calls would work for those without long-distance calling plans.
Offer to have a member call someone using Zoom on the computer so both can listen and participate on the phone.
Phone trees, whether electronic or using member volunteers, can share meeting, event, and other important information. Electronic phone trees are one call now with a call multiplier.
Conference call systems are sometimes easier for seniors with limited memory. There are several features to consider.
Note that some may ask for a donation so you won’t lose the capability of using the access number.
Be aware that some phone carriers don’t allow the use of free conference call systems.
Use a free conference system where all can be muted while speakers are presenting.
Tell participants not to use the speaker function unless they are muted.
Two people on the same call cannot participate on separate phones in the same room.
The number of callers allowed may differ depending on the system used.
Offer to reimburse members who cannot afford to pay charges if they don’t have an unlimited calling plan.
Consider having an 800 number for members to call for information.
Many 800 lines have numerous boxes for different types of messages. Find out from members what information they’d like to receive when they call.
Braille and large print information can be sent out in addition to e-mail.
Postcards could be sent for important events.
An affiliate or chapter newsletter can be sent in the member’s preferred format.
Philmore Productions (773-572-3000) offers a low-cost phone method with different lines so you can add a weekly announcement of Chapter activities and podcasts. Price of a box allows posting of information and announcements. They have an email by phone option but it’s not particularly easy to use.
Offer to assist someone who has difficulty with adding a contact on their phone for making recurring calls (this could be done on a land line with that capacity as well).
This document was created by the ACB Membership Committee. For questions, please contact Ardis Bazyn, ACB Membership Committee Chair, at 818-238-9321 or email@example.com .
Across Iowa At-Large Chapter Report
Our Chapter meets the first Thursday of each month. In December, we held a social session to talk about everything holiday. In the upcoming months, we will be discussing the Hadley Institute and gardening, among other topics.
(to make sure you are reading this report)
Many of the Saturday Night Live stars got their start at a comedy club in Chicago. What was the name of that club?
Who was the President 175 years ago and what did he do on December 28 of that year?
I could give you the answers to these trivia questions, but I want an interactive newsletter. E-mail me your answers at firstname.lastname@example.org by January 15, 2022. If you get the print or cartridge version of the Bulletin, call me at 515-451-3779 by January 31, 2022. I will e-mail you the answers or give them to you over the telephone. When you e-mail me, be sure to provide the answers to all questions as well as your telephone number. Telephone callers, have your answers ready for me. I will check all answers. Names of the responders who have the greatest number of correct answers will be entered into a drawing for a $25.00 gift card, the type to be determined in discussion between the winner and me. A drawing of the winner’s name will be held the first week in February by me. No questions or protests will be entertained. Trust me.
There are a dozen questions, and you must answer all of them to be eligible to win. Not all were presented at the Trivia Bowl. Answers to the trivia questions will be printed in the Spring 2022 Bulletin. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.
Des Moines Chapter Report
Lori Trujillo Roush
Here is a quick update about the Des Moines Chapter. In October, we held our annual Charity Trivia Bowl. Norma Boge and the “Here for the Beer Gang” went home with the first place ranking. Proceeds of the Bowl went to Heinz 57, a rescue shelter for homeless animals, and The Heart Connection.
In October, the Chapter also promoted “Canes in the Community.” The event was intended to bring recognition to White Cane Safety Day and its importance in regard to our independence. Members were encouraged to share their experiences using their white canes in daily life by submitting a story or picture to ICUB’s Facebook page or our website.
In November, we voted upon proposed changes to our Chapter Constitution. As a result, the Board membership has been decreased to seven. Board terms have been rotated so that no more than 50% of the Board is up for election at one time. And wording about giving written notice to the membership at least 10 days prior to any vote that would amend the Constitution was added.
We also held elections in November for positions on the 2022 Chapter Board. Elected members include: Past President, Jo Slayton, President Lori Trujillo Roush, Vice-President Cody Dolinsek, Secretary LaDonna Seliger, Treasurer Linda Gonzalez and Board members Rick Collins and Steve Hagemoser. We would like to thank departing members Sandy Tigges, Elsie Monthei, and Matt Ver Huel for their hard work and service on the Board over the last few years.
We would like to invite everyone to attend the Chapter’s Annual Holiday Party. It will take place on December 17, 2021, beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the Assembly Room of the Iowa Department for the Blind. Food will be provided by Olive Garden. There will be a 50/50 raffle and door prizes.
Wear your best ugly Christmas sweater, brush up on those holiday songs, and join us for food and fellowship! Questions? Please e-mail me at email@example.com .
As a reminder, the Chapter has adopted the following requirement and policy for all in-person events:
“In light of COVID-19 and all variants thereof, the Iowa Council of the United Blind, Des Moines Chapter, requires the following: At all indoor gatherings, masks should be worn by all participants for the duration of the gathering except when actively consuming food and/or beverage. This will ensure the safety of all participants, vaccinated or unvaccinated, and will minimize the risk of spreading the virus. At all outdoor gatherings, until further notice, we also require that masks be worn to protect ourselves and those at higher risk for contracting the virus. Agreeing to gather together means that we have thereby agreed to protect each other’s health and sense of well-being as best we can. Agreeing to gather together also means that since
all of our gatherings together are by choice, that the Iowa Council of the United Blind shall not be held liable for any contraction by any person of the COVID-19 virus or for any consequences pertaining thereto.”
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 can have your attorney call 515-279-4284, or write to the Iowa Council of the United Blind, 4013 – 30th Street, Des Moines, IA 50310.
“Bat out of Hell” was a famous album by what singer?
In what year was the bicentennial of the United States celebrated?
Something to Warm You Up—
Creamy Taco Soup
2 pounds hamburger or turkey, browned and drained. (I used 1 pound hamburger and added a can of drained navy beans).
1 can black beans, drained
1 can green enchilada sauce
1 can corn, drained
1 block cream cheese, softened (I put this on the counter a couple of hours before making the soup).
1 can chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies (I used Ro-Tel).
1 packet taco seasoning
Put cream cheese on the bottom of your crock pot. You can break it up if you want. Add all the other ingredients and give it a stir. (I left the cream cheese on the bottom for an hour or so, and then used a whisk a few times during cooking to combine it with the rest of the soup).
Cook on high for two or three hours. Everything is already cooked, so you are just heating it up and melting the cream cheese.
Serve with shredded cheese, cilantro, and tortilla chips. Enjoy!
Calendar of Events
In the last issue of the Bulletin, we requested feedback on the usefulness of the calendar of events to help us determine whether to continue including it. Well, the results are in. We will no longer include the calendar.
The calendar of ICUB events are sent out monthly via email. Additionally, they are available at our website, icublind.org, and on the ICUB Facebook page. For those who do not have access to a computer, you can get the information through NFBNewsline via the usual telephone, ap and Echo device methods you use for your newspaper and magazines. If you are unfamiliar with or not registered for Newsline, you can get more information about how to register and use the service by contacting the Iowa Library for the Blind and Print Disabled at 515-281-1323 or 800-362-2587.
Finally, the editors would like to thank Norma Boge for all the work she has put in to gather the information and write it up in a calendar format for the Bulletin. It was Norma’s idea and her work; she is responsible for the success we had.
End of Trivia
Did you find all 12 questions?
Who is the only major league baseball player to be elected unanimously to the Hall of Fame?
What television actor’s most famous 2 roles involved a raccoon skin cap and what were the roles?
ACB Community Calls
Have you heard of the ACB Community Calls? Have you participated in any of them? For some 20+ months, ACB Communications has been presenting a plethora of daily virtual meetings on a wide variety of topics. All sessions are available via Zoom on your computer, smart phone, smart speaker, tablet, telephone, or Victor Reader Stream.
An e-mail is sent out daily with information about the day’s sessions, including topics, connection information, and the call-in times in multiple time zones. To join the mailing list, send an email to:
Below is one day’s list to give you the flavor of some of the topics which are covered.
Wednesday Wake Up: 11 a.m. ET, 8 a.m. PT, 6 a.m. HT
Piano and musical keyboard basics: 1 p.m. ET, 10 a.m. PT, 8 a.m.HT
Widows and Widowers: 2 p.m. ET, 11 a.m. PT, 9 a.m. HT
Community Connect: 3 p.m. ET, 12 p.m. PT, 10 a.m. HT
Full Flexibility Yoga with Resistance Ball: 4 p.m. ET, 1 p.m. PT, 11 a.m. HT
Taking care of our Mental Health—Finding Mental Health Help: 5 p.m. ET, 2 p.m. PT, 12 p.m. HT
ACB Women—You are your Own Best Gift: 7 p.m. ET, 4 p.m. PT, 2 p.m. HT
It’s Electric: 7 p.m. ET, 4 p.m. PT, 2 p.m. HT
Healthy Living Encouragement: 7:30 p.m. ET, 4:30 p.m. PT, 2:30 p.m. HT
ACB Diabetics—Recipes and Holiday Memories: 8 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. PT, 3 p.m. HT
Meditation Celebration: 9 p.m. ET, 6 p.m. PT, 4 p.m. HT
Hospitality—Bytes with Bits: 9:30 p.m. ET, 6:30 p.m. PT, 4:30 p.m. HT
Join the Braille Revival League
(Editor’s Note: The Braille Revival League, (BRL), is a special interest group of the ACB. Below you will find a special membership offer from the BRL).
Braille Revival League Membership
If you believe that Braille is a vital link to literacy and provides greater productivity for people who are blind or visually impaired, then we want you as a member of the Braille Revival League to help support this vital cause.
Join the Braille Revival League (BRL) as a new member before February 15, 2022, and receive a special gift. You can also give a gift membership to a friend, co-worker, or family member, and you will both receive this special gift. You don’t need to know Braille to become a member of the Braille Revival League. Help spread the word and grow BRL.
For more information, contact BRL Treasurer Jane Carona at 301-598-2131 or via e-mail at Jane.firstname.lastname@example.org .
ICUB Board Members
To get a current list of State Board members, Chapter Presidents and their contact information, go to our website, icubblind.org and click on the “Who We Are” link. You can also e-mail us through a form at the bottom of that 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 edition of this Bulletin.
Copyright 2021 Iowa Council of the United Blind, Inc.