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