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Summer 2009 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



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

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

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

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

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

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

Robert Nesler, Director – Dubuque, (563) 557-0987

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

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


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 4

Resolutions Passed at the 2009 Iowa Council of the

United Blind State Convention 6

President's Message 8

Iowa Department for the Blind Unveils

"Opportunities for Independence" 9

IRIS Volunteers: Reading Radio 12

In Memoriam

W. R. (Skeet) Powers 13 Beulah (Bea) Mae Maddalozzo 15

Tarecia Ann Hilmer 15

Martin B. Failor 16

Services for Blind Children Move into Homes 17

Chapter Reports

Des Moines Chapter Update 20

Cedar Rapids Chapter Update 22

Dubuque Association of the Blind Update 23

Tell Me Service 24

Free directory Assistance 25

Gardening Tip 25

Editor's Line

By Mike Hoenig

The 22nd annual ICUB State Convention, held May 1-3 at the Holiday Inn in Des Moines, was a big success! On Friday night, Rose Stratton and her trivia buffs were once again crowned trivia champions, but it was a close match. Whether the topic was history, sports, or the music of the 30's and 40's, players were up to the challenge. The mood stayed upbeat as speaker Marlaina Lieberg updated us on ACB's many accomplishments over the past year.

Jo and Creig Slayton got us off to a good start on Saturday with a demonstration of some fun and useful gizmos and gadgets. Thanks to their enthusiasm, my wallet is now a bit lighter as I strolled right out to the exhibit area and purchased a Victor Reader Stream. The exhibit area was quite impressive this year, and I commend the committee for its hard work. Speaking of hard work, we certainly heard examples of it from members of the Iowa Department for the Blind staff in their annual update and from IRIS Director Rob Davis in his luncheon speech. The Department continues to seek solutions for the particularly high unemployment rate among young blind adults, and IRIS continues to keep pace with technological advancements through provision of more and more of its programming through digital and online formats.

Saturday afternoon began with elections. ICUB members elected the following officers: Creig Slayton, First Vice-President; Mike Hoenig, Second Vice-President, and Barb Richmond, Treasurer. Ruth Hamdorf, Elsie Monthei, Gary Patterson, and Rose Stratton were elected to two-year board positions. Robert Spangler was elected to serve as delegate to the ACB convention, with Donna Seliger being elected to serve as alternate. With Mike Hoenig's election to the position of Second Vice-President, Donna also assumed the position of Immediate Past President. Congratulations all. As Nominating Committee Chair, I would like to thank all members for your hard work.

Since this year's convention theme was "Celebrating Braille," it seemed only fitting to invite Braille Challenge participants Annabelle Costanzo and Lauren Thomson to tell us about their experiences at the national competition in Los Angeles. Annabelle and Lauren explained that the Braille Challenge tests skills in reading comprehension, writing speed and accuracy, and spelling. Both girls, who consistently place at the top of their age group in the national competition, told us that they enjoyed swimming in the hotel pool and meeting new friends. Listening to these two young ladies, I'm confident that the future is bright for blind Iowans.

Friends of the Library president Louise Duvall closed the Saturday business session with a rousing presentation. The Friends group has been extremely busy this year raising funds which they've put to very good use for the library. Louise is always up for talking about Friends, and she's willing to travel. If you'd like to schedule a presentation, call Louise at 515-276-0807 or email her at Membership, which includes an informative newsletter and provides an opportunity to support a very worthy cause, costs $20 per year. All memberships, renewals and donations may be sent to: Friends of the Iowa Library, PO Box 93046, Des Moines, IA 50393-3046.

The banquet returned our focus to Braille, as fifth grader Emily Brown was presented with the Marie Hoenig Memorial Perkins Brailler Award. Extremely outgoing and appreciative, Emily won the hearts of many ICUB members. Jo and Creig Slayton, who have worked on behalf of ICUB and the blind of this country for decades, were deserving recipients of the Linda Dietrich Volunteer Award.

Another stellar contributor to our organization, Shirley Wiggins, won the 50-50 raffle. Marlaina Lieberg's address, which encouraged us to reach for our potential, brought a fitting conclusion to an uplifting banquet.

I hope that you will all join me in thanking Shirley Wiggins for once again conducting the Sunday morning Memorial Service. I was unable to attend this year, and feel that I missed an extremely important part of Convention. This year's list of names, lengthier than any of us would have liked, included several of my friends and acquaintances. Shirley, your taking the time to help us remember our departed friends and family during such a busy weekend is much appreciated.

The rest of Sunday morning was taken up with convention business, including the passage of several resolutions reprinted below. This year's $100 door prize went to Stephanie Hunolt. Congratulations, Stephanie.

Plans are already underway for the 2010 state convention. It will be held April 30, May 1 and 2 at the Des Moines Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites, 4800 Merle Hay Road, Des Moines. ACB President Mitch Pomerantz will be our National Representative, so you won't want to miss it.

Resolutions Passed at the 2009 Iowa Council of the United Blind State Convention

Resolution 2009-01