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Summer 2012 Bulletin



Published by


Web Site:

Affiliate of the American Council of the Blind

Frank Strong, Jr., President

PO Box 93233

Des Moines, IA 50393

(515) 243-1742, Extension 3 - work

(888) 503-2287 – toll-free


Mike Hoenig, Editor

3119 Spring St.

Davenport, IA 52807

(563) 344-8787


Jo Ann Slayton, Secretary

4013 - 30th St.

Des Moines, IA 50310

(515) 279-4284 – home

(515) 710-7875 – cell


Gary Patterson, Treasurer

6311 Franklin

Windsor Heights, IA 50324

(515) 278-2686 - home

(515) 991-2613 - cell



Frank Strong, President – Des Moines, (515) 243-1742, Ext. 3

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

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

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

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

Donna Seliger, Director – Des Moines, (515) 284-0505

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

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

Norma Boge-Conyers, Director –Des Moines, (515) 288-1938

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

Stephanie Hunolt, Director – Vinton, (660) 216-4369

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


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.


From the President’s Desk

Editor's Line

Resolutions Passed at the 2012 Iowa Council of the United Blind

Conference and Convention

ICUB Memorial list for 2011-2012

In Memoriam

Howard A. Current

Anna Marie Caldbeck

David Dean Reimers

Durward A. Hutchinson

Roger Larson

News from the 2012 ACB Conference and Convention

Tyler’s Tech Talk

After 25 Years, Treasure Coast's Only Braille Printer is

Shutting Its Doors

New Website Offers Information and Support for

Adults with Vision Loss

Chapter Reports

Dubuque News

Des Moines Chapter Report

Cedar Rapids Chapter Report

Wal-Mart Pharmacy is now offering ScripTalk Talking Prescription

Labels via home delivery service!

Calorie Counter’s Prayer

My Recipe


By Frank Strong, Jr.

Fellow members of the Iowa Council of the United Blind! As many of you know, I was elected to serve as president of the Iowa Council of the United Blind during the May 2012 annual convention/conference. I am deeply honored to serve as your president and I will do my best to represent you and to advocate on behalf of all blind Iowans. I want to congratulate and thank all of the board members who will be serving with me during the coming year. I also want to thank all of the board members and members of the Council who have been such reliable and steadfast supporters of the organization over the past 25 years.

The new board members and I have scheduled our quarterly board meetings and will be keeping in close contact during the next year.

You will find printed elsewhere in this Bulletin the resolutions adopted by the ICUB during our 2012 Convention/Conference. The four areas addressed by the primary resolutions concerned promotion of better education services for blind children in Iowa, enhancement and expansion of transportation services, a promotion of more employment opportunities for blind Iowans, and a review and investigation of the fund-raising program known as "Heritage for the Blind".

Each resolution speaks for itself but all reflect the wide array of advocacy and interests addressed by the Iowa Council of the United Blind. As ICUB members know, there are many areas that need to be addressed to help blind Iowans achieve the independence, education, employment and inclusion we all seek. We at ICUB are on the go and on the grow!

We have scheduled our 2013 ICUB convention to take place Friday-Sunday, May 17-19 at the Holiday Inn and Suites located at 4800 Merle Hay Road in Des Moines. The hotel has been providing us with excellent service over the past few years and we appreciate their assistance as well as the accommodations they provide us.

Today four ICUB board members met with the new director of the Iowa Department for the Blind, Mr. Richard Sorey. The four board members were Gary Patterson, Creig Slaton, Donna Seliger, and yours truly. We spoke to Mr. Sorey, a man who originally hails from Virginia and Mississippi before moving to Iowa. Mr. Sorey was selected to serve as IDB Director earlier this year by the Iowa Commission for the Blind to replace Karen Keninger.

We welcomed Mr. Sorey to the great state of Iowa. We then provided him with some information about each of us as members of ICUB, a short history of the Council, and copies of the four primary resolutions adopted by ICUB in May.

The meeting with Mr. Sorey went very well. We all agreed that we have much common ground and similar interest in providing better services to blind Iowans. If you want more details about the meeting with Mr. Sorey, please call me.

We once again have our membership drive in affect. We hope to have winners in our membership drive again in 2013 during our annual Convention/ Conference. We want to expand our membership and spread the good news about ICUB.

We also have a pair of projects which can bring in some funds to ICUB. We are selling our fabulous ICUB umbrella for $10.00. We are also selling our 25th Anniversary Commemorative Coffee Mugs for $3.00 each or two for $5.00. See any board member for details.

I want to hear from you. You can call me toll free in Des Moines at 1-888-503-2287. You can also send me an e-mail at Please keep in touch!

Here is a thought for the day. Arthur Ashe stated: "Start where you are, use what you have, and do what you can."

Editor's Line

By Mike Hoenig

Happy summer, everyone! Hope you're enjoying this hot weather as much as I am.

Our 25th anniversary conference and convention was a resounding success. We went "all out" to remind conventioneers that ICUB was turning 25. At Friday night's trivia challenge, your editor asked question after question about the year 1987, much to the chagrin of our contestants who named their teams the Barnstormers and the Hawkeyes. (Barnstormers won, by the way.) Shirley Wiggins, Rose Stratton, Donna Seliger and your editor shared memories of events that led to the formation of the Iowa Council of the Blind (ICB) and later ICUB. Shirley started out by telling us that Ruthie Failor first contacted her about starting ICB back in 1861. That’s 18, not 19. Ruthie, Shirley let the secret out. Rose read a poem (see reprint on page 23) from the last issue of "The Trumpet's Voice" on dieting which is as relevant today as it was 25 years ago. Rose explained that she typed, recorded, and manually brailed each issue. Elsie's masterful decoration of the banquet hall included two colorful centerpieces given in memory of Bobby Palmer who, for so many years, brightened our banquet tables through donations of flowers. Silver 25th anniversary mugs contained nut cups, ably filled again this year by Jo and Rose. And to top it all off, Arlo and Elsie served 25th anniversary cake at hospitality following the banquet. It truly was a grand celebration.

We were inspired by many speakers throughout convention. Carla Ruschival, who served as this year's ACB rep, urged us to advocate for legislation on talking prescription labels and "quiet cars." Her encouragement to participate in the ACB Run-Walk fund-raiser resulted in Robert and Stephanie forming Team Iowa. Patrick Clancy, Statewide Vision Services, told us about the tornado damage which IBSSS experienced last spring. All buildings were damaged. Old Main took the biggest hit, with both the north and south roof being destroyed. Two hundred trees were lost. Restoration will begin this summer. Mr. Clancy also told us that a series of meetings will be held this summer to discuss efficiencies of providing services to Iowa's deaf and blind children. Many options will be discussed, including consolidation of the schools for the blind and deaf. Robert Spangler will represent ICUB at these meetings. Becky Criswell gave another outstanding Independent Living update, taking us through "a day in the life" of a rehab teacher. Highlights of the IDB update included the hiring of Rich Sorey as the new director, digitization of all audio magazines available from the library, and the very successful partnership between the Orientation Center and Des Moines University to educate future doctors about the capabilities of blind persons. In her annual Friends of the Library report, Louise Duvall noted that Friends raised over $10,000 in 2011. Funds were used to donate some of April Enderton's children's books to the library, purchase blank digital cartridges, and underwrite the IDB oral history project.

While we're on the subject of conventions, the ACB 51st Annual Conference and Convention in Louisville was great. I had the pleasure of attending from July 6-12. Since I serve as Bulletin editor, I decided to attend the ACB Board of Publications meeting on Sunday morning. I found the discussion stimulating, particularly the debate on whether to change the name of "The Braille Forum" to the "ACB Braille Forum." Just as we are here in Iowa, the Board is grappling with how to take advantage of electronic communication venues such as social media while including people who do not use computers. I found the futuristic discussion of a driverless car fascinating, if not a little far-fetched, and was proud to listen to new NLS Director and fellow Iowan Karen Keninger share goals for improving library service. At the annual International Reception, I learned about library services and consumer organizations in Norway, England, Canada, Australia and Africa. I took some time out for fun, too, enjoying "The Stephen Foster Story" at an amphitheater, climbing aboard a dinner train, and learning about early forms of braille at APH. A personal highlight was connecting with an IBSSS grade school friend, David Wright, who now serves as a Church of Christ minister in the Louisville area

.I barely had time to pack my bags before heading out on the road again, this time to Patriotic Camp at IBSSS. I had the pleasure, and I truly mean pleasure, of talking with six blind students 7 to 13 years of age about advocacy and voting. Following my presentation, the students gave a rousing program which featured patriotic music and stump speeches on the merits of ice cream and something called pop ice. I was reminded of just how important it is for us to support blind children any way we can when an eighth grader was more interested in talking to me than in getting in line for food. His reason: "It's just really good to be able to hang out with people, especially people who are blind and understand." I look forward to seeing you in Cedar Rapids.


Submitted by Creig Slayton, Resolutions Committee Chair


SUBJECT: The Heritage Foundation for the Blind

WHEREAS, The Heritage Foundation for the Blind is a 501© (3) corporation raising funds in the state of Iowa through a vehicle donation program; and

WHEREAS, radio and TV stations in the state of Iowa have supported this organization through commercials; and

WHEREAS, The Iowa Council of the United Blind is Unaware of any Iowa blind individual who has received services through this organization;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Iowa Council of the United Blind in convention assembled in the city of Des Moines this 20th day of May 2012 , that this organization direct its President and Board of Directors to do everything practical to educate Iowans regarding The Heritage Foundation for the Blind and its practices; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this education process includes radio and TV stations airing commercials for The Heritage Foundation for the Blind



WHEREAS, The Iowa Department for the Blind through its Vocational Rehabilitation Program has long assisted blind Iowans in securing remunerative employment commensurate with their education and skills; and

WHEREAS, for many years employment for blind persons was the number one objective of the Department for the Blind; and

WHEREAS, the number of blind persons going to work reached a peak of 175 in the year 2001; and

WHEREAS, the number of blind persons in Iowa assisted by the Department has steadily declined to a figure substantially under 100;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Iowa Council of the United Blind in convention assembled in the city of Des Moines, this twentieth day of May 2012, that this organization call upon its President and Board of Directors to make contact with the new Director of the Department for the Blind, Mr. Richard Sorey, and the three-member Commission for the Blind Board to focus on this issue during the next fiscal year; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Iowa Council of the United Blind President and Board of Directors be urged to take whatever additional steps they may deem necessary to carry out the intent of this resolution.


SUBJECT: Education of Blind Children

WHEREAS, for many years it was observed that blind children attending their local public school lacked crucial skills and techniques specifically related to functioning as blind persons; and

WHEREAS, the failure to interact with other blind students and adults has served to exacerbate this problem; and

WHEREAS, the closing of the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School has served to increase the number of blind students lacking these all-important skills and techniques, such as the most efficient method for making notes, the technique blind persons use in filing, and the management of a checking account;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Iowa Council of the United Blind in convention assembled in the city of Des Moines, this twentieth day of May 2012, that this organization make contact with the appropriate education officials to apprise them of these lacks and losses; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the President and Board of Directors of this organization take whatever additional steps necessary to rectify this critical situation.


SUBJECT: Accessible Mass Transit

WHEREAS, it has long been recognized that blind individuals have an ongoing need for mass transportation of all kinds; and

WHEREAS, it has come to this organization’s attention that it has become increasingly more difficult for persons who do not drive to access both buses and trains for travel between cities because of the location and business hours of depots and stations, for example, it has become fashionable to locate bus depots adjacent to interstate highways or when they are in the central city, restricting their operational hours to 12 or less, making it difficult for non-drivers to effectively use these modes of transportation; and

WHEREAS, train stations exhibit some of the same problems as they are few in number and can be located in small communities without other transportation;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by The Iowa Council of the United Blind in convention assembled in the city of Des Moines this twentieth day of May 2012, that this organization calls upon transportation carriers and governmental bodies to seriously consider where depots and stations are locate; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that when these facilities are located in remote areas, alternative arrangements are developed to assist non-driving patrons; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the President and Board of Directors of this organization be instructed to actively pursue the purposes of this resolution.


SUBJECT: Thank You.

WHEREAS, The Iowa Council of the United Blind has just held its 25th Annual Conference/convention at the Merle Hay Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites; and

WHEREAS, the accommodations have been most adequate and Troy Thompson and his staff have been most helpful and gracious, including catering and Bennigan’s Restaurant; and

WHEREAS, the staff of the Merle Hay Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites has contributed to the overall success of the 2012 25th Anniversary Conference/Convention;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by The Iowa Council of the United Blind in convention assembled at the Merle Hay Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites Northwest in the city of Des Moines this twentieth day of May 2012, that the President be instructed to convey the thanks and appreciation of all conference/convention attendees to the staff and management of the Merle Hay Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites.


Submitted by Jo Slayton

(Editor's Note: For as long as I can remember, Shirley Wiggins has led a memorial service on Sunday morning at convention to honor those ICUB members, family and friends who have been called home during the previous year. The following individuals were remembered at this year’s service):

Florence Abbott, member of Cedar Rapids Chapter for many years

Mary Elaine Bruce, former teacher at IBSSS

Anna Caldbeck, member of Des Moines Chapter, ICUB

Leon Christiansen, graduate, class of 1961, IBSSS

Randy Criswell, member of Des Moines Chapter, ICUB

Kathryn Mary Davis, mother of Lisa Davis

Randy Davis, student at IBSSS

Jeff Didio, member of ICUB

Ricky Dietrich, worked with IBSSS Reunions in Vinton

Leo Greco, well known radio personality of WMT Radio, Cedar Rapids

Florence Dickinson Hatch, former teacher, IBSSS

Marilyn Hegland, longtime member of ICUB and house parent at IBSSS

Dr. Robert Jensen, member of ICUB and husband of Jeanne Jensen

Irene Mors, member of ICUB

H. Robert (Bobby) Palmer, member of ICUB

Don Stratton, son of Rose and Bob Stratton

Margaret Warren, former IBSSS student and friend


Howard A. Current

Lake Carroll, IL- Howard A. Current, 79 of Lake Carroll passed away peacefully at his home on Saturday April 28, 2012. Howard was born on March 27, 1933 in Urbana, IL. He was the son of James and Louisa (Barber) Current. He was married on February 14, 1954 to R. Sharlene Mock. Howard graduated from Urbana High School in 1951. Howard served his country in the United States Army during the Korean War. He entered Eastern Illinois University and received his bachelor’s degree, then went to the University of Illinois where he received his Master's degree in education. Howard played football and was on a wrestling team while he attended Eastern Illinois University. He began his teaching career in Iowa at the Iowa Residential School for the Blind. He taught physical education and coached Football and Wrestling at Fairfield High School in Fairfield, Iowa, Proviso East High School for 9 years and Proviso West High School in Hillside, Illinois where he retired in 1989. He was a member of the Sigma Tau Gamma Society. He became a member of the Bethel United Methodist Church in Shannon, IL and enjoyed singing in the Church choir and also sang with the Lake Carroll Chorus group. He enjoyed driving in parades and around the area in his 1930 Ford Model A. He was also a member of the Ford Model A Club.

Survivors include his wife, Sharlene of Lake Carroll, IL; son, Gary (Laura) Current of Wheaton, IL; two daughters, Candace Current of Palatine, IL and Julia Huddleston of Lemont, IL; sister, Sharon (Donald) Sommers of Coos Bay, OR; four grandchildren, Hilary Beary of Wheeling, WV; Sam Huddleston of Westmont, IL; Megan Current of Davenport, IA, and Amanda Haws of Schaumberg, IL; two great grandchildren, Colin Beary and Caden Beary.

He was preceded in death by 1 grandson, Christopher Adam Huddleston.

Services will be held on Wednesday, May 2, 2012, at 11:00 am at Bethel United Methodist Church, 217 South Hickory St. in Shannon, IL. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, May 1, 2012, from 3:00 to 8:00 PM at Leamon Funeral Home, 210 West Main St. Lena, IL.

Burial will take place on Thursday, May 3, 2012 at 2:00 PM at Roselawn Cemetery, 611 East Pennsylvania Ave in Champaign, IL.

In lieu of flowers a memorial has been established in his name for Cancer Research and FHN Hospice Care. Friends may send condolences to the family at

Anna Marie Caldbeck

Anna Marie Caldbeck, 50, passed away at home on Wednesday, May 9, 2012, due to respiratory failure.

Anna was born on December 25, 1961, at Mercy Hospital in Des Moines to Thomas B. and Dolores J. Caldbeck. She graduated from Van Meter School in 1984 and worked at Link Workshop and later at Martin Luther Rehab Center in Clive for several years. Anna was a member of the Des Moines chapter of the Iowa Council of the United Blind (ICUB) and Christ the King Catholic Church. She enjoyed weekly horseback riding at Wildwood Ranch in St. Charles. Anna underwent several years of dialysis until her kidney transplant in 1999. She stayed active by exercising at the Iowa Department for the Blind and Iowa Methodist Wellness Center. She loved listening to music and spending time with her special dog, Pierre.

Anna is survived by her mother, Dolores Caldbeck; brothers, Kenneth (Suzanne) and Garry (Debra) Caldbeck; sisters, Joan and Deborah Caldbeck; nephews, Brenton and Ryan Caldbeck, all of the Des Moines area; uncles, Jim (Velma) Caldbeck of Des Moines, Lawrence (Shirley) Evans of Ames, Richard (Norma) Evans of Story City and Gregory (Pam) Evans of Jacksonville, Florida; aunts, Camilla (Richard) Coy of Parkersburg, Iowa, and Carolyn Evans of Kelley, Iowa; and family friend, Jim Gallaugher of Des Moines. She is preceded in death by her father, Thomas B. Caldbeck, uncles, Kenneth D. and Raymond H. Evans, and her little puppy, Pierre.

Funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 12, 2012, at Christ the King Catholic Church, 5711 SW 9th Street. There will be a visitation held Friday evening from 5 to 8 p.m., with a Vigil at 7 p.m., at Hamilton’s Southtown Funeral Home, 5400 SW 9th Street.

Memorial contributions are suggested to the family in memory of Anna.

Online condolences may be made at:

© 2012 Hamilton's Funeral and After Life Services

David Dean Reimers

Dave Reimers, 54, died peacefully surrounded by his family on Thursday, May 31, 2012 at Taylor House Hospice in Des Moines, IA. "I have had a great life."

A celebration of Dave's life will be held on Sunday, June 10, 2012 at 1:30 pm at Hamilton's on Westown Parkway, 3601 Westown Parkway in West Des Moines, IA. Family will greet friends following the service. Dave's cremated remains will be laid to rest at Glenwood Cemetery in Ogden at a later date.

David was born March 31, 1958 to Maurice and Mary Jean Reimers in Pittsburgh, PA but grew up in Des Moines, IA. He graduated from Hoover High School in 1976, Iowa State University in 1980 with a B.S. degree in Science and Humanities, and Drake University in 1987 with his master's degree in Education. Dave was employed at DMACC for over 25 years as a Student Employment Specialist. Previously he worked for Orchard Place where he met Toni. They have been married for over 25 years. Dave was an avid Cyclone and Chicago Cubs fan, and loved jazz music. He enjoyed spending time with his family at Lake Okoboji, Lake Panorama and Cutty's Campground. Dave was a man who loved unconditionally.

His memory will be treasured until they are again reunited, by his wife, Toni; his parents, Maurice and Mary Jean; parents-in-law, Anthony and Patricia Terrones; brothers-in-law, Vincent (Angie), Joe, and Phil Terrones; sisters-in-law, Teresa (Randy) Dale, Rita (Mark) Hines, RaeAnn (Greg) Berg-Karas, Susan (Russ) Kunze; and numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins. Dave was greeted in heaven by his brother, Michael; and his dog, Max.

The following are the charities closest to Dave's heart: Camp Hertko Hollow, Gift of Life Transplant House, Taylor House Hospice and DMACC Foundation.

Online condolences may be expressed at The family wishes to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers.

Durward A. Hutchinson

On June 14, 2012 Durward A. Hutchinson entered into eternal rest. Born August 1, 1919 in Chickasaw County Iowa to Austin and Edith Hutchinson, he was raised by his uncle and aunt, Warren and Iris Hutchinson, after the 1926 death of his mother. He was preceded in death by siblings Dorma Pixler, Wilbur Hutchinson, Iris Mathews and Jeanne Brayton. A WWII U.S. Army Air Corps veteran, he held degrees from Whitewater State Teacher’s College, WI, and Drake University. He was principal at the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School for seven years before moving to Indiana where he was superintendent of the Indiana School for the Blind from 1959 until 1988. His accomplishments reflected his visionary thinking and contagious passion for helping young blind and visually impaired students develop to their fullest capability. His leadership marked significant advances for the school including numerous facility and curriculum improvements. Among the most notables were medical facilities, recreational facilities and facilities and programs for blind children with multiple disabilities. He was named a Sagamore of the Wabash in 1963 by Gov. Matthew Welsh. Among awards he received for his outstanding commitment to a lifetime of service to the visually impaired are the Thomas C. Hasbrook Award in 2000 and the Hofstetter Award in 2007. He kept in contact with former students who said he touched their lives in a profound way and described him as a caring gentleman with a positive outlook. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Colleen; daughter, Linda (Steve) Crane; son, Robert (Terri) Hutchinson; grandchildren, David (Annie) Crane; Shelby (Aaron) Schuh; Ryan (Sarah) Hutchinson; great-grandchildren, Elliot, Dylan, Austyn and Michael. A celebration of life service will be held at 11:00, June 29 at Sunnycrest United Methodist Church, Marion, IN. Memorial contributions may be sent to The Indiana Blind Children’s Foundation, 7725 N College Ave, Indianapolis, IN, 46240.

Roger Larson

Roger Harlan Larson, the son of Palmer M. and Mabel (Erickson) Larson, was born on July 9, 1929, on the Larson family farm in rural Humboldt County, Iowa, Norway Township, east of Thor. Roger tuned and rebuilt pianos and organs for over 35 years for Jones Piano Movers in Fort Dodge, until they closed in 1983. Roger passed away on Tuesday, June 19, 2012, at the age of 82 years. He was preceded in death by his parents; an infant brother and brother, Palmer L. Larson on January 13, 2012.

Visitation Friday, June 22, 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM, Foust Funeral Home, 103 N. Cadwell Ave., Eagle Grove, IA 50533, (515) 448-3674.


By Donna Seliger

Members, friends, families and guide dogs assembled at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky for the 51st annual Conference and Convention beginning on Thursday, July 5. Tours and meetings, workshops and seminars of special interest groups began early on Friday and didn’t conclude until late on Saturday, July 14.

The ACB Conference and Convention got underway Sunday evening with remarks from President Mitch Pomerantz. Tuck Tinsley, Director of the American Printing House spoke to the group. Six Life Membership certificates were handed out and the evening concluded with roll call of the affiliates.

Monday through Wednesday, the first half hour covered ACB business. Thursday and Friday were taken up with the rest of ACB resolutions, amendments to the constitution and by-laws, budget, and elections. You'll be interested to know that after a great deal of debate, conventioneers voted to change the name of The Braille Forum to The ACB Braille Forum.

Tuesday, the scholarship winners were recognized and on Wednesday, we heard from Jack Fox and Jill Fox (father and daughter), narrators from the American Printing House for the Blind.

Berl Colley and Michael Garrett were re-elected to the Board of Directors and three new members were elected: Sara Conrad, John McCann and Dan Spoone. The Board of Publications elected Denise Colley, Marcia Dresser and Judy Jackson. For the first time in ACB history, the secret ballot was used. Each person was given a small piece of paper and was asked to leave it whole for the first person and tear one corner off for the second. The ballots were collected in boxes and counted. The affiliate votes and ballot votes were added together for a final talley.

Wednesday evening members gathered for the annual ACB Auction. ICUB members contributed money to send a basket full of goodies which sold for $75. The annual banquet held on Friday evening was attended by nearly 300 people. In addition to entertainment and awards, the Braille Forum raffle was drawn. There were three prizes: $500, $1000 and $5000. The grand prize winner was Eunice Ketterling from Minot, North Dakota.


By Tyler Juranek

Hello everyone. My name is Tyler Juranek. Many of you will know me from the ICUB conventions, the internet, ACB national conventions, etc. Our editor, Mike Hoenig, asked me if I would be willing to write a section every issue, or at least every other issue, about technology. Without hesitation, I said, "Well of course!" So this is what I am writing right now. Many of you will know that the ACB convention has just concluded. In fact, I am on the MegaBus heading for home as I write this. But that's beside the point. I want to tell you folks about some of the things I looked at, and did, at the convention. Since this section is technology oriented, it will only focus on the technical portions of things I did.

The first booth I went to in the exhibit hall was HIMS. HIMS manufactures and supports the variants of the Braille Sense, Voice Sense, Book Sense, Sense View CCTV's as well as many other products. The guy that I spoke with was named Randy. Interestingly enough, Randy is from Korea, where the HIMS products are manufactured. Randy was very knowledgeable about the Braille Sense U2, and was very good at describing it to me. Instead of telling me about it, he actually would take my hand, and as he was explaining, put it on the part that he was talking about. It was a very neat experience. The Braille Sense U2 is the latest addition to the line of Braille Sense note taker products. There are two models of the Braille Sense U2 available. First, there’s the Braille Sense U2 itself. The Braille Sense U2 offers a 32 cell, high quality refreshable Braille display. The hardware is similar to the Braille Sense Plus as far as the location of the buttons and switches are concerned. The Braille Sense U2 has trashed the compact flash card slot, as well as the serial port on the back of the unit. They have kept the SD card, (Secure digital card), slot, USB ports on the unit, and the Ethernet port to connect the CAT5 cable. A CAT5 cable is a cable that connects from your router to your computer, or in this case, Braille Sense. The Braille Sense U2 also offers a built-in GPS receiver, and a built-in compass. The other model of the product is called the Braille Sense U2 QWERTY. This model includes the same hardware and software features as does the Braille Sense U2, except that it has a QWERTY keyboard. A QWERTY keyboard is like the keyboard on your computer. I'm sure I have missed many features, but you can read more about them at

The other thing which I did I think many of you will enjoy hearing about, is ACB Radio. ACB Radio is an internet audio service of the American Council of the blind - in other words, an internet radio station. We have 5 streams. Mainstream is our talk channel, where we have programs about all types of things including cooking, sports, general discussion, etc. The Cafe is where we have a wide variety of music by blind and visually impaired musicians. The Treasure Trove is our old time radio station. Programs heard on this channel include The Whistler, Amos and Andy, Gun Smoke, etc. Interactive is live unpredictable internet radio, where people, including me, who have a big collection of music, volunteer their time to do live shows from their homes. Finally, World is where affiliates of ACB stream conventions, special conferences, etc. I am working with my boss to learn what is needed, and acquire the knowledge to stream the ICUB convention. I cannot promise that we will do it in 2013, but I will sure work hard, and see what I can do at the convention.

I got to help stream the exhibit hall coverage on ACB Radio Interactive. The ACB Radio Interactive broadcasters who were there worked as a team to bring you the best coverage possible. I sure had fun, and I'm glad that it will be something I can put in my memory for years to come.

Before I close out this article, I want to tell you that this section of the ICUB newsletter is up to you, the loyal reader. If you have comments, questions, concerns, complaints, criticisms, or whatever else, feel free to send me an email. You can do so by writing to

Thank you so much for reading. I look forward to hearing from many of you.

Take Care and God Bless.


By Eve Samples

(Posted July 5, 2012 at 4 A.M.)

Braille is a way of life for David John Fee. He learned to read it when he was 5 years old.

He became a certified Braille proofreader when he was 25. For most of the past 13 years, he has worked full time proofreading pages that roll off the presses at Braille International south of Stuart. But at the end of this month, Fee and his fellow employees will be out of work.

After 25 years of printing Braille books, magazines and other materials, the non-profit is shutting down its plant on Slater Street. Its final day of business will be July 31.

The news came as a shock to Fee and some of the other 32 employees of Braille International.

"You grieve your job, and you want to save it," said Fee, a 47-year-old Stuart resident who has been blind since birth.

Braille International is one of a handful of large Braille printing facilities in the country, and it has been struggling financially for years. Part of the problem was the recession, which eroded the budgets of its clients — many of them government agencies or non-profits. The other part was that Braille's popularity has waned as audio books and other digital options for the visually impaired have proliferated. Only about 10 percent of today's blind children learn to read Braille, according to the National Federation of the Blind.

Not since 2007 has Braille International turned a profit, said President Jamie Redditt, who also will lose his job at the end of the month.

"So the last five years, we've just been chipping away at reserves a little bit every year," Redditt said.

Braille International's board of directors decided they didn't want to let the business deteriorate any further. Its budget was $1.6 million this year, and it's barely staying afloat.

"We're in a position now where we can pay off all our vendors, try to treat our employees the best we could, and not stick anybody with any bills," Redditt said.

That didn't make the news any easier on his staff, six of whom are visually impaired.

"They put their heart and souls in this business for so long, and for it to come to an end like this, it's terrible," Redditt said, adding that the average age of his workers is more than 50 years old.

The employees at Braille International will receive severance packages ranging from two to four weeks' pay depending on their years of service, plus compensation for any time off they have accrued so far this year, Redditt said.

He added that any money left over after bills are paid will be distributed to employees.

Braille International has been unusual in the world of non-profits because its focus is manufacturing — not fundraising or providing services.

It was founded in 1978 as a test plant for Braille printers made by Triformation Systems (now Jensen Beach-based Enabling Technologies), then became a separate company in 1984.

Three years after that, it became a non-profit so it could have a competitive advantage when bidding for government contracts. Its clients have included the Library of Congress and the U.S. National Park Service.

When I visited the plant early last year, I saw stacks of King James Bibles printed in Braille. I watched proofers read through cookbooks and other publications.

Braille International is the only Braille printing plant on the Treasure Coast, and that poses a dilemma for the employees who will be laid off.

Fee wants to continue working as a Braille proofreader, but the closest large-scale Braille printer is American Printing House for the Blind in Louisville, Ky.

I asked Fee about his prospects for finding another job. He's still working 40-hour workweeks, so he hasn't had much time to job-hunt.

"I honestly don't know," Fee said.

Eve Samples is a columnist for Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers. This column reflects her opinion. Contact her at 772-221-4217 or



(Retrieved from the Missouri Council of the Blind listserv, June 12, 2012.)

Are you or a family member having difficulty seeing? Or perhaps been diagnosed with an eye condition such as macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy? If the answer is yes, you’re not alone: vision problems affect 25 million Americans, and are on the rise.

To support this growing community, the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) and Reader’s Digest Partners for Sight Foundation have launched, a free, easy-to-use informational website for adults with vision loss, their families, caregivers, healthcare providers, and social service professionals.

The new VisionAware combines two stand-alone resources from AFB and Partners for Sight (Senior Site and the former VisionAware, respectively) into a single, comprehensive website offering dynamic social networking and customized guidance for adults of all ages with rich content and practical tips on living with vision loss.

“Of the services available today that help people newly diagnosed with vision loss, we anticipate that VisionAware will be a superlative resource for finding help and support on living fully and independently,” said Carl R. Augusto, AFB president and CEO. “By combining our efforts with the Reader’s Digest Partners for Sight Foundation, we can better serve the millions of adults coping with vision loss.”

“This partnership will strengthen our goal of serving adults who are losing their sight,” said Susan Olivo, Executive Director, Reader’s Digest Partners for Sight Foundation. “For this growing community, it’s paramount for them to know that help is available.”

Visitors to the new VisionAware will find:

• Free, practical tips and resources for adults with vision loss, their families, friends, caregivers, and related professionals

• Information on eye diseases and disorders

• Different ways to connect, including message boards and social media channels like Twitter and Facebook

• Breaking news on the latest developments in vision loss treatment via the VisionAware blog

• Directories of helpful services, products, and resources

The new VisionAware complements AFB’s family of websites, which are designed to expand possibilities so that people with vision loss can achieve their full potential. For more information, visit:


Dubuque News

By Bob Nesler

Before getting into other news, we want to make a very early invitation to attend the Dubuque Association of the Blind Banquet on Saturday, September 22, so you can put it on your calendar. Bishops is closed, so we have found a new place which should serve us very well. It is the Europa Haus (European House) located at 1301 Rhomberg, Dubuque. There is a choice of three entrees: roast chicken, Swedish meat balls, or meat loaf. All come with mashed potatoes, coleslaw, a beverage of coffee or soda, and ice cream for dessert. Please let us know what entree you wish and send $10 to reserve your spot by September 1. There are other selections you could make from the menu of a German style cuisine which would cost a few dollars more but it is still necessary for you to send the $10 in advance. You would be billed for the additional cost the day of the banquet. We must have at least 25 attending the banquet if it is to happen. We will have our auction as usual and music. We appreciate your continued support and friendship with our Chapter.

Gaby’s brother, who has a large rehab center for the blind in Durango, Mexico, is making another bus trip to Dubuque with about 10 other blind persons in August. They will stay with us for a few days and then go on to Chicago, where they will be hosted by some other blind folks. We are making plans to show them around Dubuque. We hope you will have a pleasant and cooler rest of the summer.

Des Moines Chapter Report

By Elsie Monthei

Michael Hoenig, editor of the ICUB Bulletin, asked me to interview the recent award winner for the LINDA DIETRICH SPECIAL VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR AWARD. This award is for a blind Iowan who has served Iowa and its blind residents. Gloria Alverson has generously and tirelessly served in the IOWA LIBRARY FOR THE BLIND AND PHYSICALLY HANDICAPPED and the IOWA VETERANS HOSPITAL. During our visit we discussed her time at the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School in Vinton. We discussed her love for swimming, physical education and how she excelled in gymnastics. She is true Gold and a true Olympian, working quietly behind the scenes to do so much for others and especially for Blind Iowans. We THANK YOU Gloria Alverson. You are truly GOLD and a real HERO.

We are trying something different for the Des Moines Chapter Picnic. It has been so hot for an outdoor event. We have a nice air conditioned space with an attached outdoor patio and the house is wheelchair accessible into our family room. We have plenty of seating both inside and out. It will be nice not to pack the beverages to the Department for the Blind. Family and friends are welcome. Meat, beverages and all tableware will be provided. Bring your favorite dish to share.

Where: the home of Arlo and Elsie Monthei, 1304 39th St. Des Moines, Iowa

When: July 28, 2012

Time: 12:30 to 3:00

Phone: 515-277-0442 with any questions.

For our August 10th meeting, our speaker will be Judy Kiger, a Social Security Waiver Specialist, who will provide information on prescription medication choices and other Social Security concerns and issues. If you want to participate, contact Social Security for Braille and large print materials.

Cedar Rapids Chapter Report

At our July meeting, we elected the following officers: Shirley Wiggins, President; Bernadette Parcel, Vice-President; Eldred Gerhold, Secretary, and Judy McCarty, Treasurer. The chapter decided that since they are a small group, all members will serve on the board.

You'll think that all we do is have parties and eat, but what's better than that? Several of us will be going to the Iowa Braille School reunion this weekend. We're looking forward to seeing our friends at the yard party. We just hope it's a little cooler than it has been all summer! If you haven't already done so, mark your calendars for our Cedar Rapids Chapter picnic on August 25. Again this year, we'll be at Shawnee Park. We start at 11:00am and end when the last one goes home. Some of our members will be attending the Dubuque dinner in September. And, before you know it, it'll be time for our Christmas party and auction at the Pizza Ranch in Vinton on November 17. All proceeds from the auction will benefit the Friends of the Library.

The support group is staying very busy. Our June picnic was well-attended as was our July meeting. Our July speaker was Betty Hanson, Iowa Department for the Blind Deaf-Blind Specialist. Betty walked around the room and introduced herself to everyone, responding to many questions along the way. Guests for our upcoming meetings will include Jonathan Ice and someone from the Rider's Club, a low-cost transportation option here in Cedar Rapids for those of us who don't drive. We hope that IDB’s new director, Rich Sorey, will join us at an upcoming meeting.

I'm sorry to have to report the death of Agatha Rindone Boone on June 22, 2012. She graduated with the IBSSS Class of 1942. She was a great friend to many of us. Agatha was married 63 years to her late husband. That's all for this time, see you at the picnic.


(Reprinted from the VIP Conduit Forum Digest of Gadgets, Tools and Technology, April 9, 2012.)

WalMart Mail Order Pharmacy is currently doing a pilot program with En-Vision America to offer ScripTalk Talking Prescriptions. When you start, you'll get a free ScripTalk reader and enjoy the low prices of WalMart Mail Service. Many private insurance companies and state Medicaid services will cover WalMart Mail Order. For more information on how to enroll in this program and to get your free ScripTalk Station reader, please contact En-Vision America at 800-890-1180.


Submitted by Rose Stratton

(Editor's Note: What fun we had celebrating ICUB's 25th anniversary at this year's state conference and convention. As a part of her reflections on the time she served as editor of the Iowa Council of the Blind's quarterly publication, The Trumpet's Voice, Rose Stratton read the following poem reprinted from that publication's final issue published in the spring of 1987. It's as fitting now as it was then!)

The Lord is my Shepherd,

I shall not want.

He maketh me lie down

And do push-ups.

He giveth me Hollywood bread,

He leadeth me past the refrigerator.

For my own sake,

He maketh me partake

Of the green beans instead of the potatoes.

He leadeth me past the pizzeria.

Yes, though I walk through the bakery

I will not falter for Thou art with me.

My Tab and Fresca they comfort me.

Thou preparest a diet for me.

In the presence of mine enemies.

Thou anointest my lettuce

With Low-Cal oil.

My cup will not overflow.

Surely Ryekrisp and Desserta

Will follow me all the days of my life

And I will live with hunger pains forever.



Submitted By Rose Stratton

(Editor's Note: Rose Stratton has served as an Iowa Library for the Blind proofreader for many years. She tells me that "way back when," she ran across this recipe while proofreading a church cookbook. She thought it was worth sharing in the bulletin. I heartily agree.)

I have a recipe for life,

The best one that I know;

I guarantee the end results...

‘twas taught me long ago.

You start by mixing just a dash

Of humor of the day,

And then you add a cheery smile

As you go on your way.

Love's never out of season

So you can add a large amount,

And I never measure sympathy,

You don't with things that count.

Toss in a bit of effort

And a lot of nerve and grit,

And hope makes all the difference,

For a thing improves with it.

You stir a bit of kindness in,

Along with patience, too,

And flavor it with gentleness,

Whatever you may do.

And when the sun is setting,

You'll look back in joy to see,

A worthwhile product of your toil

Within my recipe.

--Grace E. Easley

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