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Spring 2010 Bulletin



Published by


Web Site:

Affiliate of the American Council of the Blind

Robert Spangler, President

1505 W. 4th St.

Vinton, IA 52349

(319) 472-4843


Mike Hoenig, Editor

3119 Spring St.

Davenport, IA 52807



Jo Ann Slayton, Secretary

4013 30th St.

Des Moines, IA 50310

(515) 279-4284 – home

(515) 710-7875 – cell


Ruth E. Hamdorf, Treasurer

439 Lindale Drive, #218

Marion, IA 52302

(319) 373-8608 – Home

E- Mail:


Robert Spangler, President - Vinton, (319) 472-4843

Donna Seliger, Immediate Past President - Des Moines,

(515) 284-0505

Creig Slayton, First Vice President – Des Moines, (515) 279-4284

Mike Hoenig, Second Vice-President - Davenport, (563) 344-8787

Jo Ann Slayton, Secretary - Des Moines, (515) 279-4284

Ruth Hamdorf, Treasurer - Marion, (319) 373-8608

Joyce Davis, Director - Fort Dodge, (515) 955-1634

Rose Stratton, Director - Maquoketa, (563) 652-2546

Shirley Wiggins, Director - Cedar Rapids, (319) 550-6096

Stephanie Hunolt, Director – Kirksville, (660) 665-2404

Elsie Monthei, Director –Des Moines, (515) 277-0442

Gary Patterson, Director –Des Moines, (515) 278-2686

Dove Tanner, Director – Cedar Rapids, (319) 364-7128

Frank Strong, Director –Des Moines, (515) 285-7254


Anyone who cannot read this print bulletin, finds it difficult to have it read or wishes an e-mail or cassette may receive a copy at no charge. Please contact Jo Slayton at (515) 279-4284 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. Also, please remember to contact the editor if your address changes. The Post Office rarely provides us with a new address when someone moves. We want to make sure that anyone who wants to receive a Bulletin gets one!


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.


Are you trying to decide how to dispose of a used vehicle? ICUB's Used Vehicle Donation Program offers the perfect solution. Your vehicle will be picked up from your home and sold at auction, with a portion of the proceeds going directly to ICUB. You claim a tax deduction equal to the dollar value of the vehicle. To donate or to learn more, call 800-899-4925.


Editor's Line

ICUB 2010 Convention in Retrospect

Resolutions Passed at the 2010 ICUB State Convention

Iowa Braille School Marched Its Way into History Books

Is Our Education Important?

Strong Selected for International Arts Fest

Digital Talking Books – Year One

Braille Challenge Update

In Memoriam

Margaret Meyer

Kathleen "Kay" Valen

Chapter Reports

Des Moines Update

Cedar Rapids Update

How Do You Spell It?

Recipe Corner

Editor's Line

By Mike Hoenig

Another convention is in the books! A big thank-you to the convention planning and arrangements committees for all the up-front and behind-the-scenes work. Each task, whether signing the contract with the hotel or providing transportation across town to pick up a last-minute item, is essential to a smooth, successful convention. A special thank-you to Donna Seliger for her convention summary which serves as this issue's lead article. Donna, you did a terrific job of summing it all up while saving the Bulletin editor a lot of time!

At our business meeting on Sunday morning, conventioneers offered two suggestions for the Bulletin which I am happy to implement. "How Do You Spell It" will give the correct spelling of words, names or phrases which we may frequently hear but not have occasion to read. "Recipe Corner" is self-explanatory. I welcome and encourage your submissions for both columns. If "Recipe Corner" generates sufficient interest, we'll add a "Recipe Review" section in which you can tell the readership what you thought about a recipe you tried.

Thanks to those of you who submitted your chapter reports. I implore those of you who did not to set aside some time each quarter to write an update on your activities. It doesn't have to be long, and if you'd prefer to do it by phone as Elsie Monthei did this time, that's great! I recently subscribed to the "Missouri Chronicle," quarterly publication of the Missouri Council of the Blind (MCB). It’s through those chapter reports that I really learn what makes MCB tick!

I'm anxiously awaiting the ACB convention in Phoenix to be held July 11-17. I'll be going out early in order to realize my dream of visiting the Grand Canyon. Tell you all about it in the next issue.


By Donna Seliger

The lobby of the Holiday Inn and Suites in Des Moines was a busy place on Friday, April 30. As members checked in at the front desk, they chatted with old friends and met new ones.

Down the hall ICUB’s treasurer, Ruth Hamdorf was handing out agendas, meal tickets and information. Ruth was assisted by a number of people throughout the convention with registration.

The convention got off to a fun start with Mike Hoenig throwing out trivia questions to two teams. Everyone had a great time again this year.

The first meeting of the 23rd annual convention began at 8:00pm with Robert Spangler, President, presiding. A five-member nominating committee was chosen with Donna Seliger as Chair. President Spangler appointed a three-member Audit Committee and our special guest, Mitch Pomerantz, President of the American Council of the Blind, gave a national update. Pomerantz began by explaining that thanks to the hard work of many advocates and ACB's attorneys, the Social Security Administration must now provide statements and other pertinent information in accessible formats to beneficiaries. As one might expect in this digital era, access to communication (websites, audio book readers, and on-screen menus) is demanding a great deal of attention. ACB continues to work with other advocacy groups, including NFB, to reach a solution to the pedestrian safety issues surrounding "quiet cars."

Of course, Hospitality followed with lots of conversation and singing accompanied by Frank Strong on the guitar. Several members donated a variety of delicious snacks.

On Saturday we began by listening to a panel of Karin Ford, a Disability Consultant from the Department of Public Health, Robert Spangler, Emergency Manager in Benton County and Shirley Wiggins, a 2008 Cedar Rapids Flood Victim. Following the presentations, many questions were asked of the panelists. For many of us, Shirley’s re-play of her experience was overwhelming.

As this is the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Mitch Pomerantz was asked to speak on the subject. Mitch is now retired from a 34-year job as ADA Consultant with the City of Los Angeles. He gave an overview of the history of the ADA, explaining how it has impacted blind and visually impaired people and improvements which could be made.

Senator Harkin (D) sent a personal video in lieu of a spokesperson from his office.

The morning rounded out with the annual report from the Iowa Department for the Blind's Independent Living Program's Becky Criswell. She replayed some stories about clients she had encountered and helped to keep their independence. Becky has been a welcome guest on our agenda for the past several years.