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Spring 2005 Bulletin


MARCH 2005

Published by


Web Site:

Affiliate of the American Council of the Blind


3119 Spring

Davenport, IA 52807

PHONE: (563) 344-8787

1-888-401-5562 (Toll Free)



3210 Aurora Avenue

Des Moines, IA 50310

(515) 274-8993



817 – 6th Street

West Des Moines, IA 50265

(515) 277-1167



4013 - 30th Street

Des Moines, IA 50310

(515) 279-4284



President, Michael Hoenig - Davenport, 563/344-8787

1st V.P., Gary Patterson – Windsor Heights, 515/278-2686

2nd V.P., Gloria O’Neal – Waterloo, 319/ 235-5687

Secretary, Jo Ann Slayton - Des Moines, IA 515/279-4284

Treasurer, Dick Natale - W. Des Moines, 515/277-1167

1 Year Directors

Muhammad Jihad - Des Moines, 515/ 778-6159

Elsie Monthei – Des Moines, 515/ 277-0442

Rose Stratton - Maquoketa, 563/652-2546

Robert Nesler - Dubuque, 563/557-0987

2 Year Directors

Dee Clayton - Des Moines, 515/282-1275

Dorothy Janvrin - Fort Dodge, 515/573-6043

Donna Seliger – Des Moines, 515/ 284-0505

Shirley Wiggins - Cedar Rapids, 319/362-7138


FOR THE NEXT ISSUE - ****July 13, 2005 ****


Anyone who cannot read this print bulletin or finds it difficult to have it read may receive an email or cassette copy at no charge. Please contact the editor, Linda Slayton at 515/274-8993 to request an alternative format. Cassette readers are always invited to keep their copy of the Bulletin. However, if you would like to return cassettes when you are finished with them, please place in a NEW standard mailing envelope, write “Free Matter For the Blind” in the upper right hand corner, and return to the editor using the address on the front of this bulletin (Note: Please send all correspondence to: Linda Slayton, 2800 48th Place, Des Moines, IA 50310 after April 30, 2005).


If you or a friend would like to remember the Iowa Council of the United Blind in your will, you may do so by using the following language: “I grant, devise, or bequeath unto the Iowa Council of the United Blind, a non-profit charitable organization, the sum of ______ dollars, ____ percent of my net estate, or the following stocks and bonds (please list them) to be used for its worthy purposes on behalf of blind persons.” If your wishes are more complex, you may have your attorney call (515) 279-4284, or write Iowa Council of the United Blind, 4013 30TH Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50310.


There are so many changes that occur throughout our lives – unexpected, planned, happy sad. In my own life I am planning one of those changes. Beginning in 2006, I will no longer continue as editor of the bulletin. This decision has been well contemplated and, though I see the importance of the bulletin, I feel I must turn it over to someone who can give it the attention it deserves.

I notified our president, Mike Hoenig, in early February of my intentions and we both hope to find a replacement as soon as possible. I will continue in the capacity of editor throughout 2005 in order to help the new editor with the transition process. Ideally, I would like the next editor to be in place by July and assist with the Summer Bulletin. Then, the new person will do the November edition and I will help in whatever capacity is needed.

The bulletin is a tradition that serves us all and something that is important for unifying the various chapters throughout Iowa. It is necessary for someone to step up as editor or we may not have a bulletin any longer. Kevin and I recently purchased a new home and I will be devoting more time to that endeavor along with some other activities I’d like to pursue. I ask that anyone who is interested contact Mike or myself with any questions you may have. I know there is someone out there that will do a great job.

I thank all of you for your enthusiastic support during my time as editor. It has been my pleasure to serve ICUB.


By Mike Hoenig

Convention is almost here! I hope that you are planning to join us at the Hotel Fort Des Moines the weekend of April 22-24. We are planning two new and exciting activities on Friday evening. A youth pizza party and social is scheduled from 5 to 7 PM. This is an excellent opportunity to share the ICUB and ACB message with young people. Please, please help us spread the word! I will be happy to send you invitations to distribute. Just let me know how many. Immediately following the pizza party, we will host a talent show complete with fabulous (well sort of) prizes. Ed (Doc) Bradley, an ACB board member from Texas and all-around good guy, will join us for the weekend and provide our Saturday night banquet address. Ken Rogers, ACB of Minnesota president, also plans to attend and hopes to bring several ACBM members with him. You’ll enjoy getting to know these great folks while catching up with old friends and learning what’s new with the Braille School Task Force and at the Iowa Department for the Blind. Additional information concerning lodging and convention registration can be found elsewhere in this bulletin. I would like to thank the Des Moines Chapter for once again generously subsidizing hotel rooms. Thanks, too, to Chair Donna Seliger and the program committee for organizing a convention that you won’t want to miss.

Congratulations to Joel Ray, this year’s winner of the Marie Hoenig Memorial Perkins Brailler Award. He is a seventh grader from Greenfield who loves Braille and has a talent for creating tactile graphics. Please take a moment to greet Joel and his family at convention. I wish to thank Kathy Davis and Loren Wakefield for their dedicated service to the Brailler Award Selection Committee. Though their terms as voting members have ended, they have promised to continue to assist us with their valuable input.

ICUB members continue to be active on the policy front. In December, I testified on behalf of ICUB at the Iowa Braille School Task Force meeting. I stressed the importance of high student expectation and the need for a broad range of service options to meet the needs of Iowa’s diverse blind student population. In January, Jo Slayton shared personal experiences using alternative techniques of blindness with young persons in the Iowa Department for the Blind’s Pathfinders program. In February, Elsie Monthei and dick Natale represented ICUB at the Iowa Department for the Blind’s legislative open house held at the state capitol. To maintain services at their present levels, the Department must receive an increased appropriation from the state legislature. This will be an extremely tall order, given the state’s tight budget situation. There is still time to ask your legislator to support the Department’s budget request.

Dee Clayton, Dick Natale and Donna Seliger joined me in Washington, D.C. for this year’s ACB Presidents’ Meeting and Legislative Seminar. There was a sense of enthusiasm throughout the proceedings that I hadn’t experienced in ACB for several years. Attendance at the seminar reached 140, the highest mark since 2000. Excitement was fueled by ACB’s recent successful advocacy, which resulted in the DVD “Ray” being released with Descriptive Video Service (DVS). The mood was tempered by concerns over proposed Social Security reform and threats to Vocational Rehabilitation. We discussed these issues with staffers in the offices of Iowa’s five representatives and two senators, stressing the importance of preserving separate funding for agencies serving blind persons. Staffers seemed particularly interested in DVS, and without fail enjoyed the ICUB talking clocks and key chain thermometers! Please contact me if you would like more detail about the seminar and ACB’s legislative agenda.

trust that 2005 is treating you well. See you at convention!

Dubuque Association Report

By Bob Nesler

We had a couple of very nice events during the Christmas holiday. First we went to Eichman's Restaurant in Dubuque for a wonderful dinner. Next, we all had a very good time in Vinton for a delicious meal and wonderful auction. Hats off to Shirley Wiggins and those who planned it. We held our election of officers and the results are as follows: Bob Nesler, President; Shirley Conrad, Vice President; Gaby Nesler, Treasurer; and Inez Schultz, Secretary. We certainly miss our former treasurer for so many years, Thelma Kerth, who passed away late last year. There is an empty spot we cannot fill and we surely miss her.

We are looking forward to beginning our new year in March with our meetings continuing at Finley Hospital. Please contact me for more information if anyone is interested in attending.


By Dee Clayton

Hi All, Hope everyone is getting a good start to 2005. The Des Moines Chapter had its Holiday Party on December 11th at Judge Roy Bean's. We had 46 people in attendance. Many door prizes were given and then we had an auction. I believe everyone had a good time.

Since we have our holiday party in December, we changed our yearly election to the November meeting. Officers elected for 2005 are as follows: Dee Clayton, President; Jo Slayton, Vice-President; Sandy Feldman, Corresponding Secretary; Donna Seliger, Recording Secretary and Dick Natale, Treasurer. Our Board members are as follows: Elsie Monthei, Mohamad Jihad, Bob Seliger, Bob Palmer, Kim Lawson, and Sherran Keir.

We are sending two people and the stat4e is sending two to the President's Meeting and Legislative Seminar in Washington D.C. It will be held the weekend of Feb. 19th through Feb. 22nd. This is always a good meeting.

Of course, we are looking forward to the state convention in April and hope to see many of you there. It is looking like a great convention so start making your plans and get your reservations made. Signing off for now and will talk with you are after the ACB National Convention in Las Vegas in July.


By Linda Sorenson

Hi, you may have noticed that the Fort Dodge chapter has a different writer. Because of health problems, Thelma decided to give up her job as secretary, and concentrate on taking care of herself. We wish her the best and thank her for her dedication. She did a great job. She will still continue as a member. Also, Gary Michael, our president has also had health problems. Donna McBurney has taken over as our president and I will serve as secretary. We thank Gary for his service also.

In October, we had a dinner for our readers of IRIS to show our appreciation and thank them. We held it at Friendship Haven where the new studio is located. Everyone got to tour it and see where our readers read. It is a very nice facility for them.

In November we didn’t have a meeting, as it was Election Day. In December we held our regular meeting and had our change of officers. Terry Poldberg visited us and told us about Liz Soener, project specialist. January’s meeting was cancelled because of weather. In February we finally got to meet again. Liz was there and told about having mini workshops. She also informed us of the new aids available and tips for help in our homes.

Hopefully by the time you read this winter will be a fading memory and spring will be here. I think that about covers all that has been happening with our chapter. Happy Easter!


By Jeanne Jensen

On March 2 2004 a support group was formed for blind or visually impaired person in the North Iowa area. They meet the first Tuesday of each month with ten to eighteen persons present.