Published Quarterly by
IOWA COUNCIL OF THE UNITED BLIND
THE AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
SPRING EDITION 2001
DONNA SELIGER, PRESIDENT
3912 SE 5th St.
Des Moines, Iowa 50315
1-888-404-5562 (Toll Free)
JOHN TAYLOR, EDITOR
2012 - 40th Place
Des Moines, Iowa 50310
MICHAEL BARBER, TREASURER
Des Moines, Iowa 50316
JO ANN SLAYTON, SECRETARY
4013 - 30th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50310
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Iowa Officers and Directors 2
Notice to Readers 3
President’s Report 3
Iowa Host Committee Chairs 5
Editor’s Note 7
American Council of the Blind Condemns Entertainment Industry’s Greed, Denounces Federation’s Failure to Support Access to Information for People Who are Blind 7
Vision-Impaired Doctor Restricted by Hospital Sues 10
Special Schools face Budget Losses 12
Cedar Valley Council of the Blind, Waterloo 16
Des Moines Chapter Report 16
Dubuque Association of the Blind 17
Iowa Council of the United Blind - Fort Dodge Chapter 18
Cedar Rapids Chapter Report 19
Beatitudes for Friends of the Aged 20
Farmer Joe 21
ICUB OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS
President, Donna Seliger
Des Moines, 515/284-0505
1st V.P., Michael Hoenig
2nd V.P., John Taylor
Des Moines, 515/279-2817
Secretary, JoAnn Slayton
Des Moines, 515/279-4284
Treasurer, Michael Barber
Des Moines, 515/263-1441
Des Moines, 515/243-8593
Sioux City, 712/258-6160
Fort Dodge, 515/2\573-6043
West Des Moines, 515/277-1167
Cedar Rapids, 319/362-7138
Des Moines, 515/276-2729
NOTICE TO READERS
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) 279-2817, or write Iowa Council of the United Blind, 2012 - 40th Place, Des Moines, Iowa 50310.
Anyone who cannot read this print bulletin or finds it difficult to have it read may receive a cassette copy at no charge. Cassette readers are invited to return this Bulletin for re-use. Please help us keep you better informed.
DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTING MATERIAL
FOR THE NEXT ISSUE
JULY 1, 2001
by Donna Seliger
Spring has finally arrived, which means summer is just around the corner. And that means we are in the final stages of planning the 40th annual American Council of the Blind convention to be held in Des Moines from June 30 through July 7.
In mid February, John Taylor (Bulletin editor) underwent heart bypass surgery. I’m sure he would welcome notes or phone calls from ICUB members and friends.
A joint meeting of the ICUB board and the Iowa Host committee has been scheduled for April 21 at the Department for the Blind. It will be held in the Director’s Conference Room at 10:00am. Lunch will be served in the 4th Street Café at noon. A list of the Host Committee chairpersons will follow this article for your review.
This meeting is open to all ICUB members who are interested in helping with the planning of the national convention. This is our one opportunity to host a national convention.
The Des Moines Chapter has generously allocated funds so that at least 75 ICUB members can receive a sum of $150 to help with ACB convention expenses. Following is the policy:
In order for an individual interested in attending the American Council of the Blind National Convention which will be held in Des Moines June 30 through July 7, 2001, the following policy for reimbursement will apply.
The Des Moines Chapter, ICUB wishes to contribute toward the expenses of this convention to lessen the burden of hotel, meals and transportation costs.
The Des Moines Chapter, ICUB will allocate $11,250 to allow at least 75 members the opportunity to attend the ACB national convention.
Each individual who applies and meets the following criteria will receive one hundred fifty dollars ($150) approximately two weeks following the close of the 2001 convention.
1. The individual must be a current member of the Iowa Council of the United Blind as of March 15, 2001, and residing in the state of Iowa.
2. The individual must contact Dick Natale, treasurer of the Des Moines Chapter, ICUB no later than June 15, 2001, to register for this subsidy.
3. The individual is strongly urged to attend at least three (3) general sessions of the American Council of the Blind convention.
4. The individual is strongly urged to attend at least one (1) special interest affiliate program, workshop or business meeting.
We will have an abbreviated ICUB convention at the Department for the Blind on Sunday, July 1 at 2:30pm to conduct elections and other ICUB business according to the constitution.
There are four director positions up for election this year. If you are interested in running for one of these positions, contact me and I will forward your request to the nominating committee.
This will be the last Bulletin before the national convention. I want to invite everyone to attend, as the experience will be memorable.
IOWA HOST COMMITTEE CHAIRS
Religious Services & Invocations
Entertainment before Sessions
Arlo & Elsie Monthei
IOWA HOST COMMITTEE CHAIRS (Continued)
Entertainment at ACB Hospitality Nights
Volunteers & Information Desk(s)
Registration Packet Coordinator
Registration Packet Inserts
Welcome to Iowa Party
Ads for Program
Donna & Bob Seliger
List of Restaurants
Convention Packet Inserts
Iowa Suite Food & Beverages
Iowa Suite Hostess
Vending Machine Braillists
by John Taylor
A decade and a half ago, after the Iowa Council of the Blind and the United Blind of Iowa combined to form the Iowa Council of the United Blind, John Taylor agreed to serve as Editor of the ICUB Bulletin. Until that time, the Bulletin had been edited by Andy Norr of Iowa City. The Bulletin, which is now available on audio cassette and in large print is growing steadily and now reaches some 800 families, who are members and friends of the Iowa Council of the United Blind (ICUB).
The Bulletin is edited in John Taylor’s home with a great deal of assistance from Teri Taylor and others.
On February 13, 2001, John Taylor was admitted to the Cardiac Unit at Iowa Mercy Medical Center for Quadruple bypass hearty surgery. He was discharged on February 22 and has been recovering at home. On April 13, John completed a two-month program of Cardiac Rehabilitation.
This has been a complicated and difficult time for the Taylor Family and we want to express our deep appreciation for the sympathy and support received from Bulletin readers.
AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND CONDEMNS ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY’S GREED, DENOUNCES FEDERATION’S FAILURE TO SUPPORT ACCESS TO INFORMATION FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND
for immediate release April 4, 2001
Reaction was swift from the American Council of the Blind upon learning that the National Association of Broadcasters, The Cable Television Association, and the Motion Picture Association of America had initiated litigation to overturn a government requirement that the television industry make a portion of their programming accessible to visually impaired and blind people, through a secondary channel that can be turned on by viewers. “After 15 years of struggle simply to gain access to the same programming that all other Americans enjoy, we can only conclude that this assault on the rights of people who are blind and visually impaired by corporate entertainment has everything to do with their own greed and nothing to do with any principles of decency,” said Paul Edwards, president of the council. “As a group we have few financial resources, but our tens of thousands of members have the conviction that we matter enough as people to defend our rights to information from an industry engaged in selling its entertainment to the general public. We will fight this at every turn.”
ACB Executive Director Charlie Crawford angrily added, “To add insult to injury, we understand that the industry has enlisted the aid of the National Federation of the Blind as a related plaintiff in their suit. We can only view the Federation as a traitor to our community. We urge their members to exercise their rights as thinking citizens and people who wish to participate fully in their communities by refusing to acquiesce to the will of their leadership, which appears to be more co-opted by industry than motivated to serve the needs of people who are blind.”
Crawford urged members of the NFB to contact their leaders to express their disapproval to the organization’s unwillingness to support the access to information which video descriptive services represent.
The battles began last year when the Federal Communications Commission considered the request of a coalition of groups, including people who are blind and visually impaired and their advocates, to require that programming on television be made accessible to people who cannot see what’s happening on their television screens, through an inexpensive technology called video description. The technology allows for the creation of a secondary soundtrack, where a narrator describes visual elements of a program during the natural pauses that occur in dialogue. In this way, a person who cannot perceive the visual elements of a program or performance can gain a genuine under-standing of what is happening and fully enjoy the event. All this comes through the secondary audio channel that is already available on stereo television sets. Making the secondary soundtrack available will be even easier as digital television comes onto the scene.
Both the industry and the National Federation of the Blind have argued that the television industry should not be compelled by the federal government to provide accessibility through video description. Others, including the American Council of the Blind, point out that the technology has been available since the early 1980s, but the industry has done next to nothing to make their programming accessible to people who are blind. “Blind people are tired of waiting for access to entertainment and information that others in our society, including people who are deaf and hard of hearing, can take for granted,” Crawford said.
ACB President Edwards vowed to vigorously defend the rights of the blind and appealed to other people who are blind and visually impaired and people who care about doing what is right to join in efforts to preserve the FCC requirement that network television make its programming accessible to everyone who wants to watch it.
VISION-IMPAIRED DOCTOR RESTRICTED BY HOSPITAL SUES
By Clark Kauffman - Reprinted from D.M. Register 12-7-00
Broadlawns in Des Moines refused to provide a physician’s assistant to be Dr. Sara Scott’s ‘eyes’.
A Des Moines physician with deteriorating vision is suing Broadlawns Medical Center for restricting her practice.
Sara Scott, a 53-year-old staff physician at Broadlawns, has worked for the hospital since 1993. Her vision is impaired because of diabetes, and she requires assistance or special equipment to read and conduct physical examinations of patients.
Her lawsuit alleges that Broadlawns has unfairly and illegally restricted her ability to perform the “essential functions” of her job as a doctor. Scott is suing Broadlawns in federal court, claiming the hospital has violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.
In its response to the lawsuit, Broadlawns says it has tried, but failed, to come up with “reasonable accommodations” that would allow Scott to continue seeing patients as she did in the past. The hospital says Scott can no longer conduct effective physical examinations even with special equipment.
Scott underwent laser treatments in September and October of 1999 because of deteriorating vision, according to documents filed with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission. Her supervisor at Broadlawns then requested an independent medical evaluation of her vision.
The Civil Rights Commission filings indicate that the hospital provided Scott with camera equipment that would project an enlarged picture patient’s body parts onto a video screen. The hospital determined that even with the special equipment, Scott couldn’t see well enough to do her job. For example, she allegedly described mucus in the nasal canal when the camera wasn’t in the nasal canal and commented on the appearance of the uvula in the throat when the uvula was not in the picture.
The hospital says Scott refused to acknowledge the problem and requested a physician’s assistant to serve as her “eyes” in examining patients. The hospital refused, arguing that the Americans with Disabilities Act does not require employers to hire additional workers to compensate for another worker’s disability.
During her years at Broadlawns, Scott has served as the director of the hospital’s International Clinic, worked in the Family Practice Clinic, and worked in the Homeless Outreach Project. The Iowa Board of Medical Examiners says Scott’s license, issued in 1991, is in good standing.
An attorney for Broadlawns declined to answer questions about Scott’s status at the hospital.
At least a dozen practicing physicians in the United States are blind.
SPECIALISTS HELP: Brenda Premo of California’s Western University of Health Sciences says most physicians, including those who are sighted, rely on specialists to read X-rays, examine blood samples and do other visually oriented tasks.
EXAMINATIONS: Many patients’ problems can be diagnosed by questioning the patients or feeling the affected area, Premo says. “When a visual examination is necessary, that’s where the physician’s assistants or nurse practitioners come in.”
EXAMPLES: Dr. Iliff C. Jeffery of Utah has been blind since age 6 but has run a successful primary care practice for 56 years. Another blind physician, Dr, Stanley Yarnell, works as the medical director of rehabilitation services at St. Mary’s Medical Center in San Francisco, California. Earlier this year, Dr. Kristianna Matthew, blind since birth, began working as a physician at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, Michigan.
SPECIAL SCHOOLS FACE BUDGET LOSSES
by Kate Kompas - Reprinted from D.M. Register 4/3/2001
The Board of Regents says some equipment, services, or jobs may have to be eliminated.
Karla Vansice thought the fight was over. She led opposition last year to a plan that eventually reshaped Iowa’s state-run school for the blind in Vinton, where her 16-year-old son, Joey, and about 35 other children attend classes.
Despite the objections of Vansice and other parents, the state Board of Regents decided to spend more money on helping children in their local schools around the state and less on the teachers and students in Vinton. Three teachers were laid off.
“They didn’t listen,” said Vansice, of Ira. “And they probably won’t listen this time, either.”
More layoffs are possible at the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School under proposed across-the-board budget cuts for the regents system, which includes the three state-run universities and the Iowa School for the Deaf in Council Bluffs.
Vansice complains that the special schools are unwitting victims of budget cuts that should be aimed at the universities. The schools for the blind and deaf have been lumped in with the universities since the early 1900s, said the regents’ executive director, Frank Stork.
Dennis Thurman, superintendent of the Vinton school, said the talked-about 6 percent cut “cannot be accomplished without probably some drastic things to our staff members.”
Gov. Tom Vilsack and state lawmakers were sent back to the budget drawing board after they learned that tax collections lagged this year. The governor proposed cutting $144 million from the estate’s nearly $5 billion budget, and tapping the state’s emergency fund for $120 million.
Thurman and William Johnson, superintendent of the state-run school for the deaf, are preparing for the worst.
“Six percent goes pretty deep,” said state Rep. Cecil Dolecheck, R-Mount Ayr and chairman of the House Education Appropriations Committee.
The special schools “don’t have the ability to spread the overhead to tuition,” Dolecheck said.
Thurman said his school, which serves 609 students throughout the state, will probably lose $270,000 from an original budget proposed of $4.5 million.
“We’re very concerned about that because education of a blind child is based on having good ratios to work with and having skilled, competent people in service so that they’re providing the right kind of programming,” he said.
Vansice said job uts have already hurt her son’s education. She thinks lawmakers need to realize that cutting the budget means cutting Joey Vansice, who has multiple handicaps.
Storm said it is to the special schools’ advantage to stay part of the regents system, even when the cuts come. “We think, traditionally, the system has worked very well,” he said. “In this state, there has been real support for the schools, even though they’re more similar to a K-12 system.”
Stork said the special schools have agreements with the regent universities -- the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa. Many students use the universities’ services, he said, especially the U of I’s hospital.
The special schools will have to adjust to the cuts, Stork said, either by eliminating some equipment, services or jobs. Johnson said his school will receive about $482,000 less than the expected $8.1 million budget request.
The deaf school has 165 employees and 155 students in grades kindergarten through 12. “Probably like many other people, we’re kind of holding our breath, wishing it would go away,” Johnson said. “But I’m sure that it’s not.”
Parochial school parents and administrators flooded Gov. Tom Vilsack’s office with about 500 e-mail messages over the weekend, opposing a proposed 70 percent cut in transportation money for private schools.
Background: Vilsack proposed $285 million in cuts and revenue transfers to the 2002 budget last week, including $5.7 million in the state’s reimbursement to private schools for transportation. If approved, schools would get money only for children who qualify for free or reduced lunches.
Possible Plan: Private school officials said they rely on state money to pay for busing children who live at least two miles from school. Cuts could force the closing of some parochial schools in rural areas.
Today: Bishop Joseph L. Charron of the Diocese of Des Moines has scheduled a new conference on the issue today.
CEDAR VALLEY COUNCIL OF THE BLIND, WATERLOO
by Louise Ceglar
Our first meeting of the year was held February 11. We discussed the ACB Convention and decided to donate $100 to ICUB to be used for the National Convention.
We had three birthdays in December. They were Helen Cunningham, Ray O’Brien, Steve Ceglar.
We know that two members will be attending the ACB Convention. We hope that more can go.
Ray and Judy O’Brien served for our meeting. Our next meeting will be April 8.
It will be wonderful to see spring. Tulips are coming up on the south side of our house. On the north side we have snow and ice. We told our great granddaughters to bring their sleds when they come for Easter.
The members of the Cedar Valley Council of the Blind wish everyone a very happy Easter.
DES MOINES CHAPTER REPORT
by Mike Barber
It’s the start of the new millennium and the Des Moines Chapter will be as active as ever as we advocate for Iowa’s blind. One of our major activities has been to assist in preparations for the upcoming 40th annual ACB convention which will be held in Des Moines from June 30-July 7. Several of our members have been working hard to make this the best convention possible. (See the President’s article in this issue for all the details.)
We are happy to report that our own John Taylor is recovering satisfactorily from quadruple by-pass surgery earlier this year. Our heart-felt thanks go out to his wife, Terri, for all her hard work in assuming John’s responsibilities during this time.
In February, members of the Des Moines Chapter attended the ACB Legislative Seminar in Washington, D.C. Issues discussed included accessible voting, more funding for older blind programs, Social Security’s study regarding the definition of blindness, and more. We hope to have an article regarding the seminar in a later issue.
DUBUQUE ASSOCIATION OF THE BLIND
by Inez Schultz
The Dubuque Association of the Blind met for the first time this year in March. Meetings will be at 5:30 in the dining hall and 6:30 in the Committee room at Finley Hospital. Bob Nesler presided as president.
Shirley Conrad shared a letter from Gloria O’Neal. Door prizes for the ACB Convention were discussed. Labeling of the prizes in Braille and large print is recommended. The drop-off site is at the Irish Suite, Marriott Hotel or the Convention office. Dick Natale’s telephone number was given for individuals to discuss assistance.
Annual report forms were signed, new officers listed and returned to our lawyer. Mary Thelma Kerth takes care of these legalities for the club. She also has reserved the date September 22, 2001 for the DAB Banquet. Arrangements for the van for the Cedar Rapids Picnic will be made as soon as a date is set.
At the April meeting, a new system for arranging drivers and pickups were made. At the meeting it was decided the DAB would purchase caramels from the Mississippi Abbey to be given by the club as ACB Convention prizes. Inez Schultz plans to pick up the candy at the Abbey, Braille, label and deliver it to the Convention. Arrangements for transportation were finalized.
The DAB plans to display a Braille flag at the Convention. It was made by Sharon Wagner. Original writings for the flag comments were too long, so they will be edited to a shorter length for Braille and large print.
A group of DAB members plan to take a Branson vacation. Sounds like great fun.
IOWA COUNCIL OF THE UNITED BLIND - FORT DODGE CHAPTER
by Thelma Hoover
Hallelujah! We are back after an absent spell. We trust we will be forgiven, since there were circumstances beyond our control.
What a winter we have had. I’m sure everyone else is recovering from winter and now looking forward to Spring. I know Fort Dodge is.
Throughout November, December and January, the weather was the topic of conversation, and also our nemesis.
The Chapter held a meeting in November and prepared to sell raffle tickets. We also were making plans for our annual Holiday festivities.
Our Nomads, who leave this area for warmer climates, have done so, but we have the promise of their return by Spring.
December brought a Holiday Luncheon with many of our friends and co-members as our special guests. The attendance was great, and the luncheon superb. The fellowship, as always, was heart-warming and most welcomed.
January’s weather made having a meeting next to impossible, followed by February which was also impossible. However, March saw all of us together again and “none-the-worse-for-wear.”
Our attendance has been eighteen to twenty members at the meetings. Now we are looking forward to spring and the promise of good things to come.
We are glad to be back in the News Bulletin and sharing our experiences with you. We send our best wishes to John Taylor and trust he is recovered from his surgery and doing the things he enjoys.
That’s all for now, but you can bet there will be more in the months to come. Take care.
CEDAR RAPIDS CHAPTER REPORT
by Shirley Wiggins
Once again our Chapter had to find a new meeting place. We are now meeting the second Saturday of every month at Village Inn, 229 Collins Road N.E. The time is 1:15 P.M. We had no meetings in January, February or March, but were happy to get together in April.
The winter was not good to Dove Tanner, he had five heart by-passes. We learned that Rolland Saeugling had a kidney removed in November, four heart by-passes in January, and still has one more surgery to go.
It might be a little early to talk about a picnic, but keep the 25th of August open. The Linn County Support Group met all winter - nothing stops us. We are well over 40 members. now. We usually have a guest speaker who brings topics of interest. Julie Scurr was with us in February, and April brought us a speaker from our L.I.F.T.S. Bus Transportation. Some of our members have been showing their talent. Perle Feurhelm sings her own songs and plays the auto harp, Ruth Ferdig brought her guitar and we all joined her in singing some of the gold old songs.
Our Support Group lost one of our treasured members April 14th. Marj Nutt has been a faithful member from the very first. We will miss her more than I can say.
Have a nice Spring. Anything will be better than this past Winter.
BEATITUDES FOR FRIENDS OF THE AGED
by Esther Mary Walker
Blessed are they who understand
My faltering steps and palsied hands.
Blessed are they who know that my ears today
Must strain to catch the things they say.
Blessed are they who seem to know
That my eyes are dim and my wits are slow.
Blessed are they who look away
When coffee spilled at the table today.
Blessed are they with a cheery smile
Who stop to chat for a little while.
Blessed are they who never say
You’ve told that story twice today.
Blessed are they who know the ways
To bring back memories of yesterdays.
Blessed are they who make it known
That I’m loved, respected and not alone.
Blessed are they who know I’m at a loss
To find the strength to carry the cross.
Blessed are they who ease the days
On my journey home in loving ways.
(Send in by a reader of the Senior Circuit - Mrs. Melvin G. Frederick, Durango, Iowa)
Farmer Joe decided his injuries from his recent accident were serious enough to take the trucking company (responsible for the accident) to court.
In court the trucking company’s fancy lawyer was questioning Farmer Joe.
“Didn’t you say, at the scene of the accident, ‘I’m fine,?” said the lawyer.
Farmer Joe responded, “Well, I’ll tell you what happened. Ihad just loaded my favorite mule Bessie into the…”
“I didn’t ask for any details,” the lawyer interrupted, “Just answer the questions.”
“Did you not say, at the scene of the accident, ‘I’m fine!?’”
Farmer Joe said, “Well I had just got Bessie into the trailer and I was driving down the road…”
The lawyer interrupted again and said, “Judge, I am trying to establish the fact that, at the scene of the accident, this man told the Highway Patrolman on the scene that he was fine. Now several weeks after the accident he is trying to sue my client. I believe he is a fraud. Please tell him to simply answer the question.”
By this time the Judge was fairly interested in Farmer Joe’s answer and said to the lawyer, “I’d like to hear what he has to say about his favorite mule Bessie."
Joe thanked the Judge and proceeded. “Well, as I was saying, I ahd loaded Bessie, my faorite mule into the trailer and was driving down the highway when this huge semi-truck and trailer ran the stop sign and smacked my truck right in the side. I was thrown into one ditch and Bessie was thrown into the other. I was hurting real bad and didn’t want to move.”
“However, I could hear ole Bessie moaning and groaning. I knew she was in terrible shape just by her groans. Shortly after the accident a Highway Patrolman came on the scene. He could hear Bessie moaning and groaning so he went over to her. After he looked at her he took out his gun and shot her between the eyes. Then he came across the road with his gun in his hand and looked at me.”
He said, “Your mule was in such a bad shape I had to shoot her. How are you feeling?”
“Now,” the farmer asked, “What would you say?”