top of page

Summer 2001 Bullletin


Published Quarterly by


Affiliate of




3912 SE 5th St.

Des Moines, Iowa 50315

(515) 284-0505

1-888-404-5562 (Toll Free)



2012 - 40th Place

Des Moines, Iowa 50310

(515) 279-2817



1437 Guthrie

Des Moines, Iowa 50316

(515) 263-1441



4013 - 30th Street

Des Moines, Iowa 50310

(515) 279-4284



ICUB Officers and Directors 2

Notice to Readers 3

From the President’s Desk 4

Convention Thoughts 6

Creig Slayton, Director of Iowa Department for the Blind

Announces Retirement 10

Retirement - Reprinted from Des Moines Register 11

Blind Want Equal Access, Chances 12

“Cars R Us” 15

Kids Ask the ‘Darndest’ Things 16

Cedar Rapids Chapter Report 16

Des Moines Chapter Report 18

Dubuque Association of the Blind 19

North Central Chapter of the United Blind of Iowa 20


President, Donna Seliger

Des Moines, 515/284-0505

1st V.P., Michael Hoenig

Davenport, 319/344-8787

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

2-Year Directors

1-Year Directors

Dick Natale

West Des Moines, 515/277-1167

Julie Bedard

Des Moines, 515/243-8593

Sylvester Nemmers

Des Moines, 515/276-2729

Sue Hergert

Coralville, 319/337-7691

Robert Nesler

Dubuque, 563/557-0987

Dorothy Janvrin

Fort Dodge, 515/573-6043

Gloria O’Neal

Waterloo, 319/235-1789

Shirley Wiggins

Cedar Rapids, 319/362-7138


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.



****October 1, 2001 ****

NOTICE: Michael D. Barber, Treasurer

You may now receive your personal issue of the ICUB Bulletin electronically. That's right! Your issue of the ICUB Bulletin can be e-mailed to you personally. To start receiving your copy of the Bulletin electronically, send a message to the following e-mail address:

In the subject line, type the words ICUB Bulletin. Leave the body blank. Your name will then be added to the list of those receiving the Bulletin.


By Donna Seliger

I sit here at the computer wondering just where to start. For the past year we have been planning for the 40th annual American Council of the Blind convention. From June 30 through July 7, more than 1,400 people converged on Des Moines for this event. The above figure includes convention attendees, exhibitors and volunteers. Before I venture further with my report, I want to pause and thank all of you who helped make this convention a gigantic success. Without all of the Iowans who spent days before and hours during the convention, it would not have been possible. Please, please accept my heartfelt thanks for all you have done. There are too many wonderful people to name and besides, I wouldn’t want to overlook anyone.

The convention week was filled with meetings, workshops, seminars, socials, breakfasts, lunches and much more. This year was a big one for elections since all the ACB officers’ terms expired except one and that person decided not to run again. Nearly every state and special interest affiliate held caucuses to decide who to vote for since each position had two declared candidates. In the end the following slate of officers was elected: president, Christ Gray from California; 1st vice president, Steve Speicher from Nebraska; 2nd vice president, M. J. Schmitt from Illinois; and Donna Seliger from Iowa as secretary. Since M. J. Schmitt moved from a board position to officer, that slot was filled by Brian Charlson of Massachusetts.

The Welcome to Iowa party held on June 30 was attended by many ACB members and friends.

On Sunday afternoon several ICUB members gathered at the Department for the Blind to hold a mini state convention. Our own elections were held to fill four outgoing board positions. Shirley Conrad and Monty Habben chose not to run for another term. At this time, I would like to thank both of these people for their involvement and support of ICUB during the past two years. Gloria O’Neal of Waterloo and Bob Nesler from Dubuque replaced Shirley and Monty. The remaining two positions were Dick Natale and Sylvester Nemmers who were reelected for another two years. Congratulations to everyone!

A fall board meeting of the ICUB officers and directors will be held September 15, 2001 at the Iowa Department for the Blind. As always, this meeting is open to all members. Since there is a Domino’s Pizza just down the block, I thought we might take our lunch break there or perhaps order in.

From every indication I have had, we can count the ACB convention in Des Moines a huge success! Hats off to ICUB for a job well done. There were door prizes donated from every chapter as well as individuals and they were much appreciated. The Welcome to Iowa party and Iowa Suite enjoyed donated snacks as well.

Enjoy your summer and we’ll see you in Cedar Rapids or Dubuque later on.


By ACB Members

(The following are excerpts taken from messages sent on the ACB Listserv. Judging from the comments, all ICUB members are to be commended for a great job.)

While I do enjoy attending conventions (when I can) I have to say that the coverage of the opening session was really great and provided a truly exciting experience! There I was, sitting on my couch, in the comfort of my own living room listening to the opening session ... LIVE! I didn't have to deal with folks talking around me, people getting in and out of the rows, canes, dogs, bags, or anything else. Furthermore, I was able to get up and get a drink whenever I wanted, use the men’s room, eat a bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, etc.

Technically speaking, the sound is outstanding! Keep up the great work, folks!

I too am enjoying the convention coverage and especially loved last night's session. My husband and I were in our pajamas listening to it, and it was just fabulous! The content was to! I've only heard Paul Edwards' last two addresses as President, but I've got to say that Tom Harkin was right. He is a hell of a speaker, and I am really going to miss him though I have never spoken to him. He's real, and he's natural, and he's unapologetic for those characteristics. I was also pleased that tom Harkin spoke as well. I caught this morning's session live too, but it doesn't appear that I'll get to hear the rest of the week's live. I'll have to catch up when they are replayed.

Donna. Have been enjoying your convention. It would be too costly for Canadians to attend, but hearing it on ACB Radio is almost as good, although being there would be more fun.

Hello All: Well, we arrived home this afternoon from Des Moines, tired, and frankly, a little sad that we had to come home. The people of Des Moines are so warm and friendly and made us feel so welcome, it was very hard to leave and come back to the big city of Chicago.

Overall, it was a wonderful convention. The Iowa Council of the United Blind and all who helped them need to give themselves a collective pat on the back for the work they did. They made things so easy for all of us to enjoy the convention.

We have got to find a way to get more of our business done when more people are in attendance. Then again, people know when the convention is scheduled to end and if at all possible, should plan to stay through Saturday if they want to take part in all of the convention business.

The banquet entertainment was top notch. Jonathan Mosen and the rest of you who put it together, our hats are off to you for a job well done. Especially Allan Beatty for his rendition of "The Mississippi Squirrel Revival."

The setup with the skywalks and the convention center and four hotels worked out great in our opi