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Winter 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

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

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

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

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


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

Fans With Visual Impairments 5

Gain Enhanced Access To

Free Credit Reports in Accessible Formats 7

A Deaf-Blind Person's Experience at the Rose Parade 8

Blind violinist trapped in Haiti's rubble retreats to 10

musical memories

Visually Impaired Skier Gains Attention at Olympics 15

Commission for the Blind Training Director 16

Is Fired Over Safety Regulations

In Memoriam 18

Mary Hockenberg

Patricia Beattie

Jeff DeVilder

Chapter Reports 20

Dubuque News

Des Moines Update


By Mike Hoenig

March, 2010

It's time once again to pack your bags for convention! April 30, May1 and May 2 are the dates. The Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites, 4800 Merle Hay Road, Des Moines is the place.

This year's convention promises a little something for everyone. Trivia night, back by popular demand for a third year, will kick things off on Friday evening. The opening session, featuring remarks from ACB President Mitch Pomerantz, will follow. Hospitality, hosted again this year by the gracious Arlo and Elsie Monthei, will round out the evening.

A sampling of Saturday's programming includes a panel on emergency preparedness, remarks by a staffer from Senator Harkin's office, and updates from Friends of the Library, the Statewide System of Vision Services, and the Iowa Department for the Blind. Frank Strong has assembled an excellent group of exhibitors, and arranged a luncheon speech by Iowa's Poet Laureate, Mary Swander. With all officer positions and four board seats up for election, you'll want to be present on Saturday afternoon to cast your votes. Saturday evening will mark a first for ICUB, as we will have two emcees: Catherine and Jim Witte. You won't want to miss it!

You will also not want to miss the Sunday morning memorial service, led again this year by Shirley Wiggins. I did miss it last year because of a commitment in Davenport, and felt quite a void. Shirley does such an excellent job of inspiring us while honoring our friends and family members who have gone before us. The remainder of Sunday morning will include a board update, chapter reports, and of course the $100 door prize.

We are again offering a $5 discount for those of you who pre-register. Costs are as follows: convention registration: $15; Saturday luncheon: $17; Saturday evening banquet: $23. By pre-registering for all events, you pay $50, while those who register on-site pay $55. The luncheon will feature turkey and chicken wraps plus coleslaw, chips and a drink. The banquet fair sounds terrific: a six-ounce whisky sirloin with green beans, au gratin potatoes, salad, rolls and beverages. There will be a vegetarian option for both the luncheon and banquet. Please complete and return your registration packets to Ruth Hamdorf by April 15. You may now make your hotel reservations by calling the Holiday Inn at 515-278-4755. Rates are $79 per night plus tax. When booking your room, please indicate that you are with the Iowa Council of the United Blind. You must reserve your room by April 8 to qualify for the special ICUB rate.

Secretary Jo Slayton, Treasurer Ruth Hamdorf and I will be updating mailing lists during 2010. An increasing number of Bulletins and other ICUB mailings are being returned by the post office as undeliverable. If your address changes, or if you no longer wish to receive the Bulletin and other ICUB mailings, please call Jo Slayton at 515-279-4284 or write her at 4013 30th Street, Des Moines, IA 50310.

I had the pleasure of visiting the Cedar Rapids Support Group on March 3 to present information on a new emergency preparedness training program. I felt right at home, greeting old friends and making new ones. When Shirley commented on the noise level in the room, a member quipped, "We're a support group, and we're supporting each other!" Shirley, you do a terrific job with that group. Keep it up!

Congratulations to Kadyn Haggard, the 2010 winner of the Marie Hoenig Memorial Perkins Brailler Award. Kadyn is a second grader at Taft Elementary School in Humboldt. He will receive his braillewriter on Saturday, May 1 at the ICUB convention luncheon. Please make a point of greeting this future ICUB member! Thank you, ICUB members, for your ongoing support of this award. A special thanks to Rose Stratton for continuing to carry out Bob's wishes by making posthumous contributions to the fund in his name.

For those who cannot make it to this year's convention, Happy Spring. Hope you can join us next year. To the rest of you--start studying your trivia! See you in Des Moines.



(Editor's Note: We open this issue with a tribute to the start of the baseball season and to Major League baseball for making its website accessible. I've visited the site and am amazed by the improvements made during the off-season. Go Cardinals!)

NEW YORK, February 11, 2010 - Baseball fans with visual impairments will benefit from the implementation of functional improvements to, the official Web site of Major League Baseball, and all 30 individual Club sites as a result of a joint collaboration between MLB Advanced Media, LP (MLBAM), the American Council of the Blind, Bay State Council of the Blind and