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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 California Council of the Blind. All three organizations applaud this fan initiative taken by MLBAM.

"MLBAM has undertaken groundbreaking work to make its web sites accessible and has assumed a strong leadership position among sports, media and entertainment properties in doing so," said Mitch Pomerantz, President of the American Council of the Blind. "We certainly urge similar sites to make this level of commitment in following MLBAM's lead."

As part of its initiative, launched an accessible media center for its Gameday Audio(tm) subscribers, offering features such as volume control, ability to choose the home or away feed and access to archived games. Additionally, has ensured that fans with visual impairments can continue to participate in the annual online voting programs associated with the All-Star Game and will be providing an accessibility page on its site detailing information on accessibility, usability tips and customer service resources. As it continues to deliver technological innovations for following baseball games, will make additional accessibility enhancements available to fans with visual impairments.

Brian Charlson, a Boston baseball fan and Director of Computer Training Services at the Carroll Center for the Blind in Newton, Massachusetts, described how's accessibility efforts have improved his enjoyment of the game: "As a member of the blind community, the kind of changes was willing to make on its web sites keeps me coming back for more. It shows how much can be done when people with disabilities find willing partners. For example, with the changes in Gameday Audio, I find myself enjoying switching back and forth between the home and away broadcasters the same way my sighted friends do. And knowing my votes were counted in this year's All-Star balloting made listening to the game much more meaningful. I'm excited about what has done and about its commitment to further improvements." utilized guidelines issued by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The web content accessibility guidelines are of particular benefit to blind baseball fans who use a screen reader, through which information on a page is read aloud, or magnification technology on their computers and who rely on a keyboard instead of a mouse.


(Reprinted from the ACB Leadership listserv, November 8, 2009.)

Dear ACB Members and Friends,

As part of the historic agreement negotiated by ACB, The California Council of the Blind (CCB) and several blind individuals, free annual credit reports available through are now designed to be accessible to blind consumers. Each person is entitled to one free report each year from each of three different companies. By the end of this coming December, these companies will also be providing the free reports in Braille, Large Print, and Audio formats. ACB and CCB used Structured Negotiations to reach the landmark agreement with the Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. To access your free on-line credit report, go to . After selecting your state and requesting your report, you will be taken to a form that must be filled out. At the end of the form there is a security feature (known as a Captcha) as well as an alternative request page for blind and visually impaired consumers who cannot see the characters that need to be entered into the box. Unlike some on-line audio Captchas that are difficult to understand, the security feature on the credit report site includes a phone number to call that will clearly provide you with the code you need to enter into the site. These security features are designed to help companies make sure that you are a real person, and not a computer. The credit reporting companies have worked hard over the past several months to make the Captcha on this site an accessible one. When you have completed the form and the security feature, you will be asked to select which of the three companies you want to receive your report from.

There will be a small number of people who will be unable to obtain their report on-line because of the need for additional authentication. This happens with sighted people also and has nothing to do with visual impairment. If this happens to you, and you are unable to get your report, please contact our lawyers using the information below. If you have any difficulties obtaining your report, please contact them as well. The companies are working closely with ACB and its lawyers to make sure the reports are accessible and the process is as usable as possible. If problems occur we will try to resolve them as soon as possible. Feedback can be sent to our lawyers, Lainey Feingold and Linda Dardarian, by emailing, or calling (510) 548-5062.

Please keep this information for future reference and share it with other blind or visually impaired people you know.

Melanie Brunson, Executive Director

American Council of the Blind


(Retrieved from the ACB Leadership Listserv, January 1, 2010.)

I thought some of you might be interested to read about my experience at the Rose Parade this morning. I live three blocks from the parade route, so I had no excuse to miss it! My description is from a DB (deaf-blind) perspective, with extra information provided by my sighted-hearing friend.

First, the Ohio State School for the Blind marching band was great! They were the first marching band, and people cheered them enthusiastically. Imagine marching for 5.5 miles while walking with a guide and playing an instrument! Many people gave them standing ovations.

The parade began with police on motorcycles who make sure that the street is clear for the performers to come through safely. They wore their regular police uniforms, but their motorcycles were decorated with bouquets of flowers on the back. My friend said the flowers looked a lot like centerpieces you would find on a table. I asked if they looked a little like fluffy rabbit tails on the motorcycles, and he said yes.

The Rose Parade has three types of participants: floats, marching bands, and equestrian (horse) teams. I will describe each type.

The floats are completely covered in flowers and other natural materials like leaves, bark, and seeds. They all have different themes. For instance, one was a tall ship with cannons and big sails. One had a ski slope with real pine trees on it, and a house at the top with a chimney blowing smoke. One had a model of the Rose Bowl stadium, and another one had a big model of the Hollywood Bowl, which is a famous outdoor concert hall. Several floats were sponsored by cities near Pasadena. The float for South Pasadena had a model of their city hall and their water tower, and a children's orchestra rode on it and played music. It was like the whole town was squeezed onto a float! Near the parade route, there are huge tow trucks waiting just in case a float breaks down. At one point, the parade stopped, and Bob's Towing, a tow truck big enough to pull a semi-truck, drove along the side of the parade to help a stranded float and pulled it along for the rest of the parade.

The marching bands are the most fun part for a deaf-blind person--or at least for me. They have big drum sections, and I could feel the beat in my chest. Many of the drumbeats were complicated and interesting. There were many excellent high school bands, and one from the Kansai region of Japan.

The equestrian teams had a lot of variety. There were Victorian ladies dressed in big skirts, riding side-saddle, which means that they sit sideways with their legs together on one side of the horse. There were Los Angeles mounted police. There was a military unit from Ft. Hood, Texas, with soldiers in uniform riding horses, and they had huge pack mules riding with them. Behind each equestrian group, there were three people wearing

white Rose Parade uniforms who cleaned up what the horses left on the street. One person has a broom, another has a shovel, and the third person has a trash can with a Rose Parade logo on it. The audience enjoyed cheering for the horse clean-up crews.

Now here is a little behind-the-scenes description of the audience. Every year, people camp out overnight on New Year's Eve so that they can get a good view of the parade the next morning. Every parking lot in Pasadena is filled with campers and RVs. People bring grills and chairs and tents, and they sleep in sleeping bags on the sidewalks and in the streets. It is much more orderly than you might imagine. By the time the parade starts, people's chairs are lined up in neat rows like any other audience. Families sit together in chairs or on blankets, and some even bring old sofas to sit on, even though they're not supposed to. During the parade, I could smell the onions and hamburgers people were cooking on the grills they brought from home. After the parade, it only takes a few hours before everything is cleaned up and the city returns to normal again.

I hope you enjoyed this description. I was surprised how much I could enjoy the parade, even without being able to see or hear much. Especially the marching bands. And especially the Ohio State School for the Blind!


By Michael Sallah

(Reprinted from The Miami Herald, January 20, 2010.)

Romel Joseph, a blind violinist, was pulled from the rubble of his conservatory in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, after 18 hours. His pregnant wife, who was also in the school, was not found. Romel is not sure if he will ever play violin again because his left hand was crushed in the rubble. Romel spoke about his ordeal from the side of his hospital bed at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida, Wednesday, January 20, 2010.

MIAMI -- Somewhere in the dust and blood of his own grave, blind violinist Romel Joseph began to play the strains of Tchaikovsky's violin concerto.

Even with his left leg pinned in the rubble of his collapsed music school, he moved onto Brahms and then Mozart.

By the time he was pulled from the ruins of the New Victorian School 18 hours later, he had recited every concerto in his mind that he had ever performed during his renowned career.

"I never thought I would get out," said Joseph, who has already undergone two surgeries at Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital to repair his shattered legs.

"The earth just opened up."

Despite his remarkable rescue after last week's earthquake, the 50-year-old violinist -- like so much of his homeland -- must now confront wrenching losses.

His pregnant wife, Myslie, 26, perished in the disaster two floors below him. The school where he taught classical music to impoverished Haitians, in the Port-au-Prince neighborhood of Turgeau near the National Palace, is destroyed.

Yet even in the heartache, Joseph said he came to a stark conclusion while lying in the rubble: He needs to rebuild his school and continue teaching children the beauty of classical music.

"As long as Haiti has children, you have a purpose of being there," said the divorced father of two children who reside in Miami. "As long as there are kids there, they have to have a reasonable level of health, and they have to have an education."

He may not be able to join them. With two severe fractures in his left hand, the Juilliard graduate may not be able to play the violin again.

"Two of my fingers are fractured," he said from his hospital bed on Wednesday. "At this time, the doctors don't know."

Remarkably, the school he founded burned to the ground precisely 10 years to the day of the earthquake -- Jan. 12, 2000 -- after a short-circuit. Within 12 days, Joseph was teaching classes again.

Born in poverty in a northern village in Haiti, the middle of five children, Joseph -- blind in one eye and barely able to see shadows in the other -- was raised by nuns in a boarding school in Port-au-Prince. There, he was first exposed to the string instrument that would become his life's passion.

With the help of scholarships and a Fulbright grant, he went on to the University of Cincinnati and The Juilliard School, where he earned degrees in violin performance. By the time he trained with the Boston Symphony, he was married with two children to come.

Instead of launching his own musical career in the United States, he turned to help the poorest of the poor in Haiti.

"He could have recorded. He could have done so many things. But he wanted to go back," said his daughter, Victoria, 22, a senior music major at the University of Miami. "He would say, 'I came from nothing. One pair of socks. Holes in my shoes. You have to do what you can for others.' "

After opening his private, nonprofit school in 1991, partly as a way to safely teach his children during a violent period in Haiti, he began providing music and general education to grade school children. Students are able to attend through scholarships and private funding.

It was while he was trapped in the twisted metal and concrete blocks -- cramped, trembling and alone -- that he said his life's arc passed through his mind.

He thought of his daughter and son, Bradley, 17. He thought of his pregnant wife, whom he married in October. He thought of his students, who were out of the building when the quake struck. "That would have been a true disaster," he said.

Joseph just as easily could have been with his wife when the concrete, five-story school was ripped into pieces. He had just left their apartment on the first floor when he walked to the third floor of the school to deliver a phone message to a friend. "I was on the balcony," he said.

Suddenly, he was thrust over the side -- the floors crashing on top of him and pinning him into what he now calls "a grave."

"I didn't know what happened," he said. "I'm way down. I keep calling: 'Can anyone hear me?' I spent my first two hours trying to look for ways to get out. It was a war zone."

His bed was the metal railing from the balcony, and he grabbed two rocks to make a pillow. At some point, he began to calm his breathing and decided to whisper a prayer.

"I've never been someone you would call religious," he said. "I'm not a pastor, and I'm not a church person. But I just said, "Either I survive this, and if I do, I want you to tell me what to do.' "

He said he began to reflect on "all the things that Jesus has done for me," and in the passing hours, he said he was struck by what he called two commands: Rebuild the school, and teach the children of Haiti.

He said he began to hear voices of people outside the rubble searching for him, including his friend from the third floor.

Joseph managed to stick one of his hands through an opening in the bricks and metal, and his friend held it. "He told me not to fall asleep," he recalled. "They were chopping through the bricks and they wanted to be able to hear me."

While he waited, he began to play the concertos in his mind -- musical works in which a solo instrument, such as a violin, is accompanied by an orchestra.

Wearing a watch for the blind, he was able to gauge the hours.

"I would pray and then I envisioned having an orchestra with me and I was playing Mozart violin concerto. That's 40 minutes. Then Brahms concerto. That's about 40 minutes. I was totally immersing myself in my thoughts."

Bleeding and battered, he was pulled out Wednesday, his legs fractured with deep cuts. Nails took chunks from his flesh.

A dual citizen of Haiti and the United States, he managed to get a hospital flight to Homestead, Fla., on Friday and was whisked to the hospital.

For days, dozens of friends and family members have been visiting.

Daughter Victoria, the music major, said her father is driven to rebuild, partly as a way to deal with the pain of his wife's death.

"So far, he has had so many people in and out of his room, visiting him, and I don't think he has really had time to grieve," she said. "That's something that's going to happen later."

He's now putting all his energies into Haiti, pressing his daughter to bring a computer to the hospital so he can start planning.

"He always told me that the secret of living in Haiti is that you can't save the whole country. You have to do it one person, one child, one situation at a time and hope that that one person will help another," Victoria said.

So far, more than 100 of his students at his private, nonprofit school have gone on to receive degrees from American universities, he said. His Miami-based Walenstein Musical Organization has been putting on youth chamber and symphony concerts since its founding in the 1990s.

"He not only understands what music can do for young people, he does something about it," said Daniel Andai, a violinist and concertmaster of the Miami Symphony Orchestra who participated in one of Joseph's competitions in Miami.

Fellow musicians have been calling from around the country offering their support to the rebuilding of the New Victorian School.

"He sees the beauty of his own people," said violinist Cecilia Johnson, who trained with Joseph in Ohio and helped lead a fundraiser after the school burned in 2000.

"For him, music provides something more than survival. Something that brings a quality of life that can't be taken from them. He wants them to know that they are not just here to survive."


(Reprinted from the Matilda Ziegler Weekly Edition, February 22, 2010.)

Brian McKeever, a cross country skier for Canada, has received a massive amount of attention once the news media realized his condition. With less than ten percent vision, Brian is almost entirely blind. He is also the first person to compete in both the Paralympics as well as the Olympics. Brian's event is the 50 kilometer cross country event that will take place at Whistler during the final day of the Olympics at that location.

Brian McKeever was diagnosed with Stargardt's Disease, a form of macular degeneration, when he was a teenager. He now describes his vision as a donut without the hole, or "flashbulb eye" with a fuzzy blob in the middle of his field of view. In order to get to training, Brian often walked or rode his bike, since the closest he ever got to driving a car was earning his learner's permit before losing his sight. When racing, Brian relies on the path of leading skiers to make his way through the course. He initially gained attention after he qualified for the team back in January during trials. But when it was announced that the team had picked him up for the Olympics, international news outlets were stumbling over each other to get an interview with him.

Perhaps the most interested was a Japanese news reporter who learned that McKeever's grandparents had been held in Canadian internment camps during World War Two. Many Japanese people are very aware of the United States' internment camps, but have no idea that they existed in Canada as well. In a way, the Japanese are cheering him on as well.

While Brian does not expect to win any medals in the Olympic games, he and many others are proud of his achievements and his drive to succeed despite his disability. When McKeever competes in the next Paralympics he is expected to do very well, as he has already won seven medals in the Paralympics with his brother Robin, a 1998 Olympian himself, serving as a guide throughout the races.

Brian's story is inspiring as is his dedication to the sport that he so loves. Now, he has the opportunity to prove to the world that the athletes who compete in the Paralympics are limited only by their ambition and not their disability. I have a feeling that no matter what the result of his race is, his cheering section will be one of the largest waiting at the finish line.


By Jonathan Kleyer

(Reprinted from the ACB Leadership Listserv, February 27, 2010.)

The Director of the Michigan Commission for the Blind Training Center in Kalamazoo was fired February 4th for violating safety regulations.

Patrick Cannon, the director for the commission, announced on January 28th that Christine Boone’s employment was to be terminated because of a marksmanship program Boone established at the training center. Boone was placed on paid administrative leave until a disciplinary conference could be held, at the end of which she was officially fired.

According to Mario Morrow, the director of communications for the Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth (DELEG), the disciplinary conference was an investigation into her actions on the marksmanship class. Boone was charged with violating civil service rule 2-20 and regulation 2.05, both of which deal with firearms and workplace safety.

“Basically she implemented and developed a class, she had firearms brought onto the grounds and there was a conference. First there were disciplinary charges brought and at the conclusion of the conference she was terminated,” Morrow said. “There was a wide range of options that could have been taken. After carefully reviewing the options that were available, the confidence level in her ability to work within the parameters of department rules was not there anymore.”

The training center is meant to provide training and services to blind and visually impaired residents of the state. According to the commission’s website, MCBTC staff believe in the capabilities of individuals who are blind to participate in every activity of daily living.” Boone’s marksmanship program fit with this belief, but the program was canceled because of what Morrow called “serious, serious safety issues.”

The National Federation of the Blind of Michigan held a rally in Lansing January 29th protesting the firing. Its president, Larry Posont, claimed that the firing was an abuse of Cannon’s power, saying that the marksmanship program was to use a pellet gun and that under Michigan law, it is not considered a firearm so long as it is under .177 caliber.

Posont stated, “Christine Boone has been doing an exemplary job of creating a quality training program for blind individuals that sets high expectations for students, instills in them a positive philosophy of blindness, and helps them to compete for quality jobs in the labor market. Mr. Cannon is using trumped-up charges about a single aspect of the training program in order to discredit Ms. Boone.”

The organization’s rally ultimately had no effect on the outcome of the disciplinary conference. When asked about it, Morrow commented, “We have the utmost respect for freedom of speech and right to demonstration, but we have a diligent duty to make sure all our employees and constituents are safe. You’ve got rules, you’ve got regulations. You can’t take a firearm to work. We have to take safety seriously.”

Until a new director can be found for the training center, Bruce Shultz will be the acting director. Morrow said that DELEG’s personnel department is handling a posting for the position. He also commented that the department has confidence in Shultz’s ability as the acting director, so there has been no press to get a permanent director back in. According to him, they intend to allow time for the search to yield the best results.


Mary Hockenberg

Mary Hockenberg, 101, of Des Moines, died on December 5, 2009. Mary was born in Racine, Wisconsin, the youngest of four daughters of Morris and Sophie Gottlieb. In 1947 she married Ira Hockenberg who predeceased her in 1996.

Mary was known for her no-nonsense approach to life, her keen dry sense of humor, and her own special ways of helping others; among which were the countless hours she spent as a Braille transcriber.

She will truly be missed by her nieces, grandnieces, grandnephews and by Ira's niece, nephews and cousins.

The family thanks Janet Freel of Legs on Lease for her invaluable help and devotion.

Memorial contributions may be made to Tifereth Israel Synagogue or IRIS (Iowa Radio Reading Information Service), 100 E Euclid Ave, Des Moines, Iowa 50313.

Private graveside services were held Tuesday, December 8, 2009 in Jewish Glendale Cemetery.

Patricia M. Beattie

(Reprinted from The Washington Post, February 4, 2010.)

(Editor's Note: I had the pleasure of visiting with Pat at many a national convention and legislative seminar. She was a tireless advocate for many causes, including low vision rehabilitation. I learned a great deal from her and will certainly miss her.)

PATRICIA MASON BEATTIE On February 2, 2010, peacefully at INOVA Alexandria Hospital, originally of Elyria, OH. Nationally recognized advocate for the blind. Mother of Kirsten B. (Glenn) Weeks; grandmother of Isaac R. and Phyllis G. Weeks; sister of Judith Bell, Janice Stanko, Mary Lee Pankoff and Valerie Mason. Friends may visit at Advent Funeral Services, 7211 Lee Hwy., Falls Church, VA 22046 on Thursday, February 4 from 2 to 4

and 6 to 8 p.m. Graveside services will be held on Friday, February 5, 12:30 p.m. at Columbia Gardens, Arlington, VA. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Patricia Mason Beattie Memorial Fund.

Jeff DeVilder

(Editor's Note: Jeff attended IBSSS during the 1960's.)

DAVENPORT — Memorial visitation for Jeff DeVilder, 57, of Davenport, will be 4-7 p.m. Thursday, March 4, 2010, at Weerts Funeral Home, Kimberly at Jersey Ridge Road. Burial is private at Davenport Memorial Park Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Greyhound Rescue Kennel, Maysville, or the University of Iowa Foundation-Cornea Research Fund.

Mr. DeVilder passed away on Friday, February 26, 2010, at ManorCare Health Care, Bettendorf. Born in 1953, he was the son of Eugene D. and Mary D. DeVilder. He graduated from Bettendorf High School class of 1971; Wartburg College, Waverly, Iowa; then received his Masters in Business Administration from St. Ambrose University. Jeff worked for 30 years as a contract specialist at the Rock Island Arsenal, retiring this year.

He loved dogs and all animals. He also had many achievements in athletics and music.

Survivors include his mother, Mary DeVilder, Davenport; father, Eugene and stepmother Nancy DeVilder, East Moline; sisters, Kathy (Mike) Mabeus, Coal Valley, Ill., and Jill (Lana) DeVilder, Beaverton, Ore.; stepsister, Joan (Bob) Pfeiffer, Punta Gorda, Fla.; stepbrothers, Bill (Delores) Graham, Silvis, Ill., and Brad Allen, Phoenix, Ariz.; along with several cousins, nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by a stepbrother, William Allen.

The family would also like to thank the staff of Genesis West Rehabilitation and Bettendorf ManorCare. Online condolences may be expressed to Jeff’s family by visiting his obituary at


Dubuque News

In November, we had our annual election for Officers and Board. Recently, we were very happy to have two new members join us, Kathy Sauser and Violet Haverland. Now that we are meeting at the Tri-State Independent Blind Society, we Hope to get a few more members interested in our group. The officers are as follows: Bob Nesler, President; Don Gagne, Vice President; Gaby Nesler, Treasurer, and Inez Schultz, Secretary. The Board members are: Shirley Conrad, Sister Agnes Marie Lynch, Marty Schultz, Kathy Sauser, Pam Gagne, and Violet Haverland.

In December we joined the Tri-State members at their Christmas party. We enjoyed a wonderful program there with such good food and entertainment with an Elvis Presley impersonator. Some of us were even out there dancing to the music. It was so well done and a lot of fun.

As you may recall in the last Bulletin, we entertained a group of blind persons from Mexico for a week taking them around various points of interest in Dubuque and sharing our culture and hospitality with them. Now the Cecapi Center of the Blind is extending an invitation to any blind person to go to Mexico to experience their culture and points of interest. All you need to do is pay for the transportation as all other expenses are covered for housing, food, and travel in Durango. An Invitation and itinerary follows given by the Director of the Center, Jaime Perez Calzada. Anyone interested should contact Bob or Gaby Nesler in Dubuque at 563-557-0987.

An Invitation from Durango, Mexico

Durango, Mexico. Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Sr. Robert Nesler

Dubuque, Iowa, USA

In order to further the Dubuque-Durango (hoping someday it would become USA-Mexico) exchange program, we’d like to invite you and the people willing to participate on this cultural Exchange to come visit and enjoy our town, Durango, Mexico, which has a colonial background, hospitable people and a wide cultural tradition with a lot of artistic, culinary and outdoorsy activities, such as camping, hiking, biking, thermal spring, among others.

On Sunday, June 13th and according to your travel arrangements, you will be picked up from the airport or the bus station on your arrival and then be taken to have a meal. Afterwards, we will take you to the place where you’ll be lodged.

There are several accommodation possibilities to choose from:

- Sports Villa at the Instituto Estatal del Deporte.

- Pamar Inn at the DIF.

- CECAPI (Centro de Capacitación para Invidentes, Training Center for the Blind).

- Houses of our association’s members.

Just let us know where you would prefer to stay.

Once you’re settled in, we propose that you join us on this plan of activities:

* Walking around Downtown Durango, taking a tour through very important historical places, such as: Juárez University head office building, Zambrano’s Palace (settlement for the state’s government offices), Escárcega’s Palace (former City Hall), Governor’s Official Residence, Cerro del Mercado (iron deposit, which gave rise to the city), Plaza de la Discapacidad (Handicap Place), Guadiana Park and Las Alamedas walk.

* Getting a little away from the city and visiting: El Pueblito (by the Tunal river, the best place to go for a picnic), Guadalupe Victoria reservoir, Chupaderos (former film sets), Peña del Águila reservoir, Canatlán de las Manzanas, El Edén (hydrothermal springs) and La Joya (water park).

* We will eat enormous country style tacos at “Los Farolitos”, tacos al pastor, gorditas and also taste the traditional menudo at “La Pavita”.

* You will discover all these things, among many other activities and surprises, once you are here.

The mayor will welcome you to the city, and the governor will greet you. You will also get the chance to say hi to the legislators during our visit to the house of deputies.

This program is proposed to run from June 13 to June 20, but if you require it to be modified, just let us know. Also, if you think any of the proposed activities is not of interest, we could omit it and look for another one to fill in. And, if you consider or think of any activity we could add to the list, please tell it to us and we will try our best to include it.

We also want to let you know that all the lodging, eating, transportation and entrance cost will be covered by us from the moment you arrive until you leave our city.

Since you are VIP guests to our city, we will try to give you the best treatment, our most sincere friendship and the very best from us while you are here. We are just waiting for you to arrive to express it.


Jaime Pérez Calzada

President of CECAPI


Greetings from the Des Moines Chapter

We have been busy getting our Committees established. I want to thank everyone who said “yes” to work on a committee, so that we do not have to have so many board meetings.

We participated in the Younker’s Department Stores Community Days Sale. This is a good activity and we have a chance to raise some awareness with the public about blindness.

Bruce Snethen, Deputy Director from the Department for the Blind was our speaker in February. He brought us up-to-date with the Iowa State reorganization bill. He talked about some ways in which we could be impacted with this new legislation bill. He assured us that he was keeping aware of how our independence as a separate agency for the blind could be damaged. He reassured us that Karen Keninger is aware of all the ways that this can impact the state agency. Each blind person in Iowa needs to be involved with the ways that our state and federal laws can affect services, and how it impacts us as blind persons.

Congratulations for the new magazine: The White Cane. Good job! This is a good way for us to reach out to other blind people in Iowa for services and to persons who have blind family members. I hope our teachers and counselors take this on their initial contacts.

April 9th we are having a bake and craft sale at the Department for the Blind in the Directors conference room from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. I am sending out a call for these items for us to raise some funds.

Frank Strong is our representative to the Legislative Open House. We have authorized some funding for the legislative breakfast. The students do a good job. Thank you.

In March on the 12th Louise Duvall from Friends of the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped will be our speaker. It will be good to hear about new things and how they are promoting our Library. This will be at 7:00p.m. in the Director’s conference room.

We have been planning for the state convention. We hope to have a van available for transportation and the Des Moines Chapter will be hosting the hospitality again this year. We look for some good times and the chance to get reacquainted.

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