December 2007 Issue

Opportunity, Equality, Independence

Founded 1935


Cindy Van Winkle, President
6686 Capricorn Lane NE
Bremerton, WA 98311
(360) 698-0827

Peggy Shoel, Editor
5171 S Spencer Street
Seattle, WA 98118
(206) 722-8477


From the President's Desk

WCB Committees

Editor’s Comment 

A New Support Group 

The Business of Convention 

Resolution 2007-01 

First-Timer’s Report 

2007 WCB Scholarships Awarded 

WCB Award Recipients for 2007 

2007 Conference for Blind Youth

“Do Drop In” – Membership Committee

Voters Pamphlets 

Lost in Space – Part I 

WCB History – Part II 

Around the State 

Greetings from Department of Services for the Blind  

Washington State School for the Blind Report 

Washington Talking Book & Braille Library Report 

Louis Braille School Report 

Hats Off to You!  

Bits & Pieces

In Memoriam 

Officers & Board Members 




From The President's Desk
by Cindy Van Winkle, President

As the end of my term as President nears, I would like to take this opportunity to let each and every one of you know how grateful I am, and have been, for your support and friendship throughout these many miles we've walked together. Shoulder to shoulder, elbow to elbow, hand in hand, and at times, hands to back or just good old fashioned words of encouragement have seen us through advocacy struggles, job pursuits, guide dog events, illnesses, deaths, parenting, and the list goes on and on.

And in fact, none of it ends here.  The story will continue under the leadership of our President-elect, Denise Colley, who I'm certain will receive the same love and support from this WCB family as I have.

I have served this organization for four years and am proud of the two new chapters which continue to flourish, the networking that is happening amongst our Presidents as a result of monthly conference calls, conventions that boast registrants in numbers half of our entire membership, a growth in membership over the last four years of 50 percent, growing participation from young people at our annual youth conference, strong membership representation on boards and councils representing the blindness agencies in our state, and so much more. And yet, through it all, I can't help but look back and think of all those things I'd hoped to accomplish during my tenure as President but just haven't had the time.

But wait, my term isn't over yet. So here are a few more accomplishments to mark off my wish list for WCB.

Under the leadership of Peggy Shoel, a diabetics support group has been formed via phone conferencing, and a students support group will begin in January using phone conferencing as well.

Finally, with the help of Viola Cruz, a new page has been added to our website called the WCB In House Shopper. This is a place where anyone can go to support WCB members through their business ventures. Those individuals listed on this page must be WCB members in good standing. If interested in checking this page out, go to and click on the "WCB In House Shopper" link.

Those interested in having their information included on this page should send an email to  with the following information:
  Name of WCB member;
  Business name;
  Description of products or services (in 15 words or less);
  Contact information including: Phone, FAX, email address & website.

Now, here's my final reminder and plea to each of you who have served on a WCB committee in the past or have given it some thought and just haven't been ready to make the commitment.  We need you!   Denise has set the deadline date of January 11 to hear from you, so please bombard her with tons of messages. To make her work easier, please don't limit yourself to one committee, but give her a few that are of interest to you, allowing her to create the best committees for WCB possible. Send your email message to or call her at (360) 438-0072.

The ACB Legislative Seminar has been scheduled for February 10-12, 2008 in Washington, DC.  So if you are a member who has a burning desire to get more involved in the legislative process, letters of application must be received by Denise no later than January 11 to be considered for this scholarship.

The Eligibility and Expectations requirements taken from our Bylaws are:
Applicants must have been a WCB member for at least one year prior to the date of the seminar and must have no outstanding WCB loan payments in default.

Each applicant must submit a personal letter to the president requesting this appointment. The following eligibility criteria will be evaluated in this selection process:

1.     Either current or past service on the WCB legislative committee

2.     Personal experience directly contacting Congress or our state legislature regarding issues affecting the lives of persons who are blind.

3.     Participation in congressional or legislative hearings on such issues

4.     A history of writing letters to their congressional and legislative representatives regarding such issues

5.     A personal strong and convincing commitment to engage in one or more of activities 1-4 after they return from the seminar.

As soon as possible after their return, attendees must submit an article to the Newsline on their seminar experience.

In closing, thank you for allowing me to serve as the President of the Washington Council of the Blind.  Now let's go forth with a shared vision and renewed sense of purpose in building, through chapter & membership growth and by strengthening our collective commitment to the activities of our organization, an even more vibrant WCB in 2008. 

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WCB Committees

Here are your WCB Committees:

ADVOCACY COMMITTEE - works on individual and general issues of discrimination that come to the attention of WCB throughout the year. Its members are called upon to do research and communicate on behalf of the organization with employers, businesses, other organizations and individuals in order to promote advocacy.

AGING AND BLINDNESS – focuses on the senior blind.  It works throughout the year on ideas to improve the lives of senior citizens experiencing vision loss as well as tracks and reports on issues of concern to the board and members of WCB.

AWARDS COMMITTEE - administers the WCB Awards Program by processing nominations for specific awards, making the selections for awards as they deem appropriate, and presenting the awards at the annual banquet of WCB. 

CONSTITUTION & BYLAWS COMMITTEE - is appointed by the President no less than 60 days before the opening of the annual convention.  This committee is charged with working on proposed amendments to the WCB Constitution and By-Laws.  Unless other arrangements are made by the President, this committee meets immediately following the preconvention board meeting to report the slate of proposed amendments.

CONVENTION COMMITTEE - is the planning group for the WCB state convention.

CRISIS COMMITTEE - administers the WCB Crisis program.

EMPLOYMENT (ad hoc) - works to enhance employment opportunities, to market blind people and to assist in bringing together agencies and services for blind people who are seeking employment.

ENVIRONMENTAL ACCESS COMMITTEE - addresses environmental access issues specific to blindness. It tracks and reports such concerns to the board and members of WCB.

FAMILIES WITH BLIND CHILDREN COMMITTEE - addresses issues specific to children who are blind and addresses the associated concerns of family members.


1. develops the WCB annual budget which is presented at the preconvention board meeting and voted on at the general membership business meeting.  Budget line items approved by the convention may be adjusted by the board of directors between conventions.

2. processes all grant requests received by WCB and reports them to the board for action with a do pass, do not pass or no recommendation.

FIRST TIMERS COMMITTEE - administers the WCB First-Timer Awards Programs for both the state and national conventions by processing applications and selecting the award winners.

HISTORY COMMITTEE - is responsible for preserving the history of the WCB and that of the organizations which preceded it.

INVESTMENT COMMITTEE – tracks the financial investments of the WCB and recommends changes in our investment strategy to the board.

LEADERSHIP COMMITTEE - plans the WCB state Leadership and training seminars.

LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE - tracks and reports legislative issues to the board and members of WCB.

LISTSERV - works as moderator of the WCB email list, overseeing the list activity, ensuring that the list runs smoothly and keeping list rules up to date and relevant.

MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE -  works to increase membership in the WCB, assists new chapters to get started and provides support and consultation to existing chapters.

NEWSLINE COMMITTEE - is the editorial body for the state newsletter, the Newsline. It reviews and processes all submitted articles and makes other editorial decisions regarding the next issue.  With board concurrence it may also establish policy surrounding this publication.

SCHOLARSHIP COMMITTEE - administers the WCB Scholarship Program by processing applications, interviewing applicants, selecting the scholarship winners and presenting these awards at the WCB State Convention. 

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Editor’s Comment
by Peggy Shoel

It’s free and easy to use.  WCB maintains an extensive information resource called the WCB Information Line.  You can access this by dialing 1-800 255-1147.  You will hear the mellifluous voice of Rhonda Nelson welcoming you, and offering a brief explanation of the goals, purpose and commitment of our state organization.  Rhonda will then walk you through the menu, where you may access information about our ongoing programs and activities supporting our members and the general blindness community, learn about our many state-wide chapters with locations and contact information, hear updates about WCB and ACB annual conventions, and learn about current legislation and issues.

You can also listen to a message from our State President and access our WCB calendar of important deadlines and events.  Contact information is given as well as an opportunity to leave a message with comments or questions.

This is a wonderful resource for members and non-members and I urge you to use it and become better informed about the Washington Council of the Blind.

At this time, I would like to wish every one of you a very happy Holiday season and a healthy and prosperous New Year.

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 A New Support Group
by Peggy Shoel

A support group for WCB members who have diabetes has just been formed.  This was a long-time dream of former WCB member Ron Frederickson (PCAB).  We meet monthly via a telephone conference call to discuss the importance of good diabetes management and self-care, equipment and techniques for regular blood sugar testing, complications associated with diabetes, and other topics, especially the additional challenges of good diabetes management when blindness and low vision are involved.

If you are a WCB member and have diabetes and would like to participate or receive more information about the support group, please contact me at (206) 722-8477 or

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The Business of Convention
by Rhonda Nelson, Member, King County Chapter

While perhaps not as eagerly anticipated as socializing, listening to informative presentations, or touring exhibits, one of the benefits of convention attendance is the opportunity to observe and participate in the business of WCB.  Have you ever wondered why we have so many committees?  What do they do?  Who determines how WCB spends its resources?  How do we set organizational policy?  Insight into these and other issues can be gained by attending the Thursday evening Board of Directors, Resolutions, and Constitution and Bylaws meetings and the Saturday afternoon business session.

Let’s begin this summary with some numbers.  Among the 221 convention registrants were 24 youth conference participants, many first time convention attendees, six of whom were sponsored by WCB, and nine recipients of WCB scholarships.  These were some of the activities discussed by WCB committee chairs during the pre-convention Board meeting.  We received updates concerning WCB’s finances, budget, and history, and our advocacy, environmental access and membership efforts.  There were also reports from WCB members serving on statewide boards of the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library, Department of Services for the Blind, and Washington State School for the Blind.

Business meeting highlights included elections, budget approval, and consideration of resolutions and amendments to WCB’s Constitution and Bylaws.  Congratulations to the following elected members:  president Denise Colley, first vice-president Sue Ammeter, treasurer Eric Hunter, directors Alan Bentson, Vivian Conger, Chris Coulter and Carl Jarvis, and alternate delegate to the ACB convention Terry Atwater.  A directory of WCB’s officers and Board members is available elsewhere in this issue of Newsline.  WCB’s 2008 budget reflects anticipated receipts of $165,400  and expenditures of $165,262.  Resolutions were adopted thanking the hotel staff, Convention Committee, local host chapter, and volunteers, and requesting Board action concerning the design and construction of roundabouts.  Please refer to the text of the latter resolution elsewhere in this Newsline.  Amendments to WCB’s Constitution and Bylaws were adopted changing the approval process for affiliation with WCB, adding an indemnification clause protecting the Board from unreasonable liability, removing the requirement that scholarship applicants be enrolled in schools only in the Pacific Northwest, and changing the language regarding participation in the ACB legislative seminar.  The membership was reminded that WCB will be writing to the governor to request support for the supplemental budget for the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library.  A motion was passed recommending that more of next year’s WCB convention be broadcast on ACB radio.  WCB members thanked Cindy Van Winkle for her hard work and excellent leadership as WCB president these past four years.

To end this summary, let me add that the business of WCB is of course very important, but can be fun as well. 

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Washington Council of the Blind
Resolution 2007-01

Whereas, the Washington Council of the Blind is committed to improving safety for all pedestrians, especially those who are blind and visually impaired; and

Whereas, roundabouts are structural hazards making independent travel perilous and life threatening by removing auditory cues such as parallel traffic flow and signalization; and

Whereas, WCB’s Environmental Access Committee has created a position paper outlining this opinion, which parallels that of the U.S. Access Board;

Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved, by the Washington Council of the Blind in convention assembled this 3rd day of November, 2007 at the Doubletree Hotel Spokane City Center, that the membership of this organization direct the Washington Council of the Blind Board of Directors to engage the appropriate state and local government authorities in dialogue concerning the design and construction of roundabouts in compliance with recommendations set forth by the U.S. Access Board. 

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First-Timer’s Report
by Tom Barackman, Treasurer, Lower Columbia Council of the Blind

I was a first timer to the Spokane convention and I want to say thank you, WCB, for letting me be able to attend.

I would like to thank the Double Tree for the fantastic job they did.  They went beyond the call of duty and all the volunteers did such a good job. I have never been so relaxed and able to enjoy myself so much.

I think the Spokane chapter did such a good job and did so much to make every thing work smoothly and worked so hard. I thought the goody bags at registration were very nice. The work that went into making them was awesome.

The meetings, I thought, were a little long and they need to have questions answered last to help things go a bit smoother. The vendors were there for only one day and I would like to have seen them there for one more day so we could have more time to look and ask them more questions. Over all, everyone who attended had fun. I liked the scholarship program for students. They were so talented and gifted, thanks to WCB.  I learned a lot and look forward to Vancouver in 2008. 

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2007 WCB Scholarships Awarded!
by Alan Bentson, Committee Chair

The Washington Council of the Blind awarded its 2007 Scholarships on Saturday November 3, at the banquet which concluded the annual convention in Spokane. Twenty-two thousand dollars in scholarships were given.  For the first time since I began serving on the Scholarship Committee seven years ago, all applicants were so highly qualified that all were deemed worthy to receive a scholarship. The nine winners were as follows:

Trevor Nix, $2,000.  He is a junior at Central Washington University, majoring in Special Education. 

Lori Allison, $2,000.  She is in her senior year at Pierce College in Puyallup, majoring in Medical Administration.  Lori is vice president of Pierce County Association of the Blind.

Ryan Honick, $2,000.  He is a junior at University of Puget Sound, majoring in English.  He hopes to go to Law School. 

Laurette Santos, $2,000.  Laurette is studying for her Master’s in Social Work at the University of Washington in Tacoma. 

Yelena Davidenko, $2,500.  She is finishing her A.A. degree at Everett Community College and plans to get her B.A. in Elementary Education at Western Washington University.

Sonja Steinbach, $2,500.  She is a sophomore at Portland State University who plans to get a PH.D. in Math.

Sati Wullabbs, $3,000. Sati is a senior at Heritage University in Toppenish Washington with a double major in English and American Studies.

Natalie McCarthy, $3,000.  Natalie is a junior at Pacific Lutheran University, studying for a double major in Biology and Environmental Studies, with a minor in Spanish.

Garrett Swanburg, $3,000.  He is a junior at Gonzaga University, majoring in Accounting and Finance with a concentration on Entrepreneurship.

I would like to thank my Committee for all their hard work, and WCB for continuing to support this program.  Congratulations to our 2007 scholarship winners!  

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2007 WCB Award Recipients
by Julie Brannon, Committee Chair

“And the person selected for this award is,”

The room at the Double Tree Hotel in Spokane where the WCB banquet was held was quiet as the audience anticipated the announcement of the recipients.  It was an exciting time, with all but one person not having a clue ahead of time that they'd been nominated/selected to receive a WCB award!  Each e-mail nominating a person or group had very carefully been evaluated by the WCB awards committee, which consisted of Vivian Conger, Bill Hoage and Julie Brannon.

At the awards luncheon, the day preceding the banquet, certificates were given for the following:

Certificates for official service to WCB:

Outgoing Officers:  Cindy Van Winkle, President; Denise Colley: Vice President; Eric Hunter, Treasurer;

Directors: Alan Bentson, Vivian Conger, Viola Cruz

Certificates to chapters with  a minimum of 10 percent membership growth in 2007: Capital City Council of the Blind; Guide Dog Users of Washington State; Pierce County Association of the Blind; Riverside Council of the Blind; United Blind of Seattle

Awards presented during the convention banquet:

Outstanding Service, a person who has given above and beyond the norm in service and commitment to WCB:  Shirley Taylor: long-time member, who has filled many capacities; and Cindy Van Winkle: Outgoing President

Chapter of the Year Award - a chapter that has demonstrated exemplary service in outreach to the community:  South King Council of the Blind

Outstanding Advocacy Award - someone who safeguards the legal rights and entitlements of blind persons:  Russ Richardson, from the United Blind of Spokane

Newsline Editor's Award - aknowledgement of article which is outstanding in reporting a blindness-related situation: Gaylen Floy, “A Rally in Olympia”.  (Just before this award was presented to Gaylen, 12 chapters were recognized for submitting chapter update articles for every issue of the Newsline for 2007)

One World Award, given to a person whose actions have minimized the effects of blindness by creating an opportunity for equal access:  Jim Dugan, from Seeing Eye

So, as you can see, this was a very full award docket with many deserving persons and groups being recognized for their commitment to WCB and blind persons in general.

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The 2007 Washington Conference for Blind Youth
by Alan Garrels, DSB Child & Family Services Program
and Vivian Conger, Chair, Families with Blind Children

Walk seven hundred feet, Rocky Rococo’s Pizza.  “You have arrived.”  With those final words of instruction, 24 students realized that the combined power of GPS technology and good mobility skills could deliver them to a destination far greater than a pizza parlor.

What, you may ask, could be of greater importance to a sixteen year old student than a pizza parlor?  Independence!  When you can offer students independence with pepperoni and extra cheese you really have their attention.

Thanks to the generous support of many individuals and organizations, 22 high school students and two post-high school students spent two days at the Fifth Annual Conference for Blind Youth.  First and foremost was the support provided by the Washington Council of the Blind and the Council’s Families with Blind Children Committee.  For the fifth consecutive year, the Washington Council of the Blind worked with the Department of Services for the Blind to host the Conference for Blind Youth as an adjunct to the WCB state convention. The WCB’s Families with Blind Children Committee provided free lodging for all the students as well as a meeting room at the conference hotel.  Additionally the Committee generously donated a pizza party for the students at the aforementioned restaurant and travel objective.

The goal of the 2007 Conference for Blind Youth was for students to participate in a two-day event designed to expose them to a variety of travel aids and to encourage them to think about their mobility as an avenue to independence. To achieve this goal students learned about some of the latest travel aids and accessible global positioning system technology; conferred with peers to discuss blindness and independence; met blind adults to share their thoughts about independence, mobility and careers; learned about non-verbal communication and personal safety.

Conferees participated in a variety of presentations and training activities.  Notable were the discussions, led by Field Representatives from the Seeing Eye, which addressed the need for blind travelers to exercise good orientation skills, social skills and personal safety skills.  

DSB Child and Family Consultant Kevin Nathan facilitated a panel discussion on accessible GPS technologies.  Panelists included Yang-su Cho, David Tseng and former ACB President Chris Gray.  To demonstrate the GPS technology the panelists also took the students out of their seats and onto the streets of downtown Spokane.  Of particular interest to the students was a discussion comparing independent travel using a dog guide versus independent travel using a long cane.  To culminate the discussion each student had an opportunity to travel with a Seeing Eye Trainer and a dog guide simulator for a Juno walk.

To practice their skills students were assigned to four teams for a scavenger hunt that required travel in downtown Spokane and to the North Town Mall via Spokane Area Transit.

Throughout the conference the students had opportunities to dine and socialize with over 200 Council Conventioneers.  Attending the Council’s banquet was an event that the students will long remember for it was at the banquet that the Council awarded over $20,000 worth of scholarships to nine college students.  The Council’s generosity and support of blind students was duly noted by the high school students.

Sponsors of the conference included: WCB, The Seeing Eye, Inc., and the Washington Department of Services for the Blind.  Individuals who donated their time and talents were: Cheri Delyria and Douglas Trimble -Washington State School for the Blind; Janet Carlson - Spokane School District; and Beth Jurco & Meg Johnson - Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind.  

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“Do Drop In!”
by Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary

As chair of the WCB Membership Committee, it was a privilege to participate in the Drop-In Lounge this year at Convention as Lounge Hosts.  My Committee, consisting of Chris Coulter, Margie Kickert, Shirley Musick, Rhonda Nelson, Debby Phillips and Randy Tedrow, was delighted to participate in this effort, and we look forward to doing it again next year.

But, we’ve been doing more than socializing this year, though this committee is so much fun we always feel jolly good after each meeting.  Our accomplishments to date include developing some guidelines chapters can use to conduct outreach days, sharing suggestions such as developing fliers that uniquely and personally describe your own wonderful chapter, and sharing issues via the WCB List dealing with recruitment and retention of members.  In addition, we have a public service announcement, written by Chris Coulter, which we are sending to various radio stations throughout the state.  So if you hear “Did you know that blind and visually impaired people live full, meaningful and independent lives? Did you know that there's a wealth of information and resources about blindness and low vision right at your fingertips?  To learn more call the Washington Council of the Blind at 800-255-1147 or visit us on the web at” - you’ll know that comes straight from our Committee.

We can’t do all this work alone.  I encourage each chapter of WCB to appoint a representative to work with us.  No, you won’t have to attend monthly meetings, but you will need e-mail so that you can be subscribed to the membership rep mailing list.  There, we solicit a more global view from all reps.  And, most certainly, if you want to serve on this fabulous Committee, do let our President-Elect, Denise Colley, know as soon as possible.

Let’s all keep working together to make the finest consumer organization of blind folks even better!  New members equals new energy; re-involvement of existing members means sharing of valued experience! What a fabulous combination, let’s make it work together! 

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Voters Pamphlets
by Sue Ammeter, Chair, Advocacy Committee

On February 19, 2008 we will be voting in the Presidential primary. It is critical that we go to the polls as informed and knowledgeable voters. To that end the Office of the Secretary of State makes available the voters pamphlet in Braille, large print cassette or CD versions. To receive your voters pamphlet in alternate format you MUST contact Sherry Gayton, Voter Outreach Coordinator at (360) 902-4174 or by email at In Washington State we are fortunate to have our voters pamphlet available in an accessible format so please take advantage of this accommodation.  

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Lost In Space – Part I
by Carl Jarvis

Have you ever wondered how it is that one blind person can be dropped off in the middle of a strange city and find their way home, while another blind person can't find their way out of a broom closet if they have both hands on the door knob?

For more than 32 years I have been working with blind people of all ages, shapes, sizes and abilities.  During those years I have compiled a pile of mostly unscientific, useless information. But one most puzzling question keeps reoccurring. “Why is it that some blind people get lost in their own shoes, while others seem to have a built-in sonar system?”

It appears to have nothing to do with when they became blind, their age or education or whether they are left-brain, right-brain or no-brain. So, for many years I concluded that it was a matter of developing the correct teaching technique.

My early indoctrination was straightforward. The average blind person, with proper training and attitudes, could do just about anything.

So, when I applied my magic to my students and nothing happened, I considered that it was my failure, not theirs. I had just not found the right combination of teaching tools to successfully complete the training.

Remember the old saying, "A doctor buries his/her mistakes". Not so for the rehab teacher. Our mistakes/failures keep bumping into us at meetings, conventions, and knocking at our door requesting more training.

Since many of us rehab teachers are rescuers by nature, we roll up our sleeves and try, try again, invariably ending up with the same results.

People were coming to us, lost in space and seeking help. And our inability to resolve this problem began to impact all phases of their rehabilitation training.

Instead of aiming them toward success, we were pointing them to the door marked, "Destination Failure".

In Part II (Newsline March 08 issue) we will learn what it is like to have a light bulb go on in a blind man's head.  

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March-June, 1990
by Berl Colley, Chair, WCB History Committee

In the last issue of the Newsline we talked about the March 3rd merger of the Washington Council of the Blind and the United Blind of Washington State and many of the events that led up to the merger convention.

After voting to accept the merger, establishing a constitution and electing a slate of officers and directors, the 86 voting attendees of the new organization passed a motion to pay the expenses of a representative from each chapter that was not represented on the board, to attend each board meeting. 

The convention then voted to offer a $100 grant to each member of the new organization, in good standing, who would be attending the ACB national convention in Denver, Colorado, June 30 through July 7, 1990.  The convention also elected Sue Ammeter as its delegate and Cynthia Towers as the alternate delegate to the Denver convention. 

When the new WCB started it had 11 chapters, four in Eastern Washington and seven in Western Washington.

The affiliates were:

King County Council of the Blind;

Peninsula Council of the Blind;

Pierce County Association of the Blind;

Riverside Association of the Blind;

United Blind of Seattle;

United Blind of Snohomish County;

United Blind of Spokane;

United Blind of Tri Cities;

United Blind of Walla Walla;

United Blind of Whatcom County;

Yakima Association of the Blind.

 The first board meeting was held on April 8, at the Regency Motel in Seattle. 

Cynthia Towers and Jolene Ferguson reported that they had closed the old organization’s accounts.  The new WCB would start with a balance of $57,668.62 in its treasury.  Braille membership cards were given to chapter reps to hand out to their members. 

The board decided to set up a separate loan account of $25,000.  This was to be used for loans to attend national conventions and loans for equipment.  The maximum loan to go to Denver was $600.  President Ammeter appointed herself, Rhonda Nelson, Peggy Shoel and Shirley Taylor to review convention loan requests.  She appointed Jolene Ferguson, Frank Cuta, Linda Wickersham and Peggy Shoel to handle the equipment loans.  Sue signed a new agreement with the Vantage group to operate the clown show fundraiser for 1990. 

The board adopted the following indemnification language.

(All members of the board of the Washington Council of the Blind shall be held free from liability from legal actions brought against the board because of decisions, made in good faith, for the good of the organization.)

Incorporation procedures were initiated to tie the new WCB back to the founding date of the Washington State Association of the Blind in 1935 and subsequent incorporation in 1953.  October 5-7 was set for the 1990 state convention.  The sites that the board considered were Marysville and Issaquah.  The board moved to send Sharon Keeran to the California Spring convention in Fresno. 

Sue announced the WCB representatives to other organizations.  They were Judi Sorter, ex-official to the Washington State School for the Blind Board of Trustees, Jim Eccles to the Library’s Patron Advisory Committee, Linda Wickersham to the Washington Assembly of Citizens with Disabilities and Marlee Naddy to the Independent Living Council.

Sue appointed the Newsline Editorial and Production committee.  Members were herself, Cynthia Towers, Sharon Keeran, Rhonda Nelson and Peggy Shoel.

There was a motion to contribute $3,000 from WCB’s treasury for the 1990 scholarships.  Ed Foscue was appointed to chair the Scholarship committee.

A written report on WSSB from Terry Atwater was read. 

The Washington State School for the Blind was conducting a search for a new superintendent in 1990.  A task force, headed up by Larry Watkinson. conducted a nation-wide search.  When all was said and done, the selection committee looked to their staff and selected the principal of WSSB, Dr. Dean Stenehjem, who had been at the school since coming from Iowa in 1986.

There was a major loss in the blind community when Arnold Sadler passed away on June 27.  Sadler was one of the blind movers and shakers in and out of the consumer organizations.  He attended WSSB in the 1920s and became a lawyer in Seattle.  He was president of the WSAB in 1959 and was prominent in starting the old WCB in 1972.  The board sent $100 to the Northwest Foundation, another Sadler creation, in his memory.

Look for Part III in the March 08 Newsline.  

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Around the State
Chapter Updates

Capital City Council of the Blind

Greater Everett Area Council of the Blind


King County Chapter

Peninsula Council of the Blind 

South King Council of the Blind 

United Blind of Seattle 

United Blind of the Tri-Cities

United Blind of Walla Walla 

United Blind of Whatcom County


 Capital City Council of the Blind
by Berl Colley, President

After an event-filled summer, fall seems like a slow time for CCCB members, but it really hasn’t been. 

In September, while I was cruising to Alaska, Vice President Gloria Walling ran the meeting and the chapter finished up writing its new constitution.  Also Alan Bentson started a CCCB Book club.  They are now reading their second book. 

At our October meeting we had guests from the Thurston County Auditor’s office.  They brought with them two Audomark voting machines.  After their presentation about the Audomark, the machines were placed outside of our meeting area and nine members voted and two more registered to vote. 

Rich Dirk reported that the CCCB website is getting between 763 and 979 hits per month.  On the Monday before our October meeting, one of our newer members, Bob Lewis, passed away.  Bob and his wife Suzan joined the chapter last January.  Seven CCCB members attended his funeral. 

Our guest speaker at the November meeting was Dorothy O’Laughlin.  She has served as the outreach person for Timberland Libraries for 28 years.  This was after she retired from her regular job of 34 years.  Dorothy will be 97 next spring.  Also, at the November meeting we had our 2007 elections.  Gloria Walling was re-elected to the position of Vice President and Alan Bentson was elected to the position of Secretary, replacing Denise Colley.  Our officers for 2008 are, Berl Colley, President; Gloria Walling, Vice President; Alan Bentson, Secretary; Howard Ferguson, Treasurer; and Terry Atwater, Immediate Past President.

Anna Dirk and her Braille menu committee are looking at formats to produce Braille menus in Thurston County. 

We had eight members attend the WCB convention in Spokane.  Our congratulations go to Denise Colley, who was elected to be WCB’s President for 2008/09.  Also to Alan Bentson, who was re-elected to the WCB board of directors for the same period.  Finally, to Terry Atwater, who was elected as the Alternate Delegate to the Louisville, Kentucky, ACB convention next July.

Three of CCCB’s members, Howard Ferguson and Gary and Isabel Ernest, have moved to the retirement community of Panorama City in Lacey.

Tuesday, November 20, six CCCB members met with three City of Olympia Public Works administrators, to look at the Campbell audible signals that Olympia wants to install in 2008.  We identified three intersections where audible signals are to be installed, and two more that will be done if the money is available.

We want to wish all of WCB members and friends the most joyous of holiday seasons.

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Greater Everett Area Council of the Blind
by Chris Coulter, Member

It’s been very exciting here in Everett since the last issue of this magazine arrived in our in-boxes, mail boxes and a web site near us. Some of us have won elections; some of us have won awards, and all of us are getting ready for the holidays.

Six of us attended the WCB convention in Spokane. It was a great convention and all of us appreciated the services of the hotel and the volunteers. We all got where we needed to be at the time we needed to be there and everything ran smoothly.

I decided to take a risk and run for one of the open board positions. I was elected to fill the position vacated by Sue Ammeter when she was elected First Vice-president. I’m looking forward to this next year and I’m sure I’ll learn a lot while I’m on the job.

We held our chapter elections on November 12th. John Common remains president. Dave Mason, who has recently rejoined us, has been elected vice-president. Donna Patchett is our secretary and Jon Coulter is our treasurer. Congratulations to our new officers.

John Common received quite a surprise when he returned home from convention. He received the Volunteer of the Year award from Eagle Wings Ministries. This is an organization that serves physically and mentally disabled people in Snohomish County.

In December we will be holding a Christmas party at IHOP, which has been our meeting place for several years. We will also be celebrating and preparing for some changes in our chapter that we hope will foster membership growth. Check the WCB web site in December to learn more.

We here in Everett wish you all a wonderful holiday season and we’ll be enjoying our turkey, presents and this latest issue of Newsline right along with you.

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Guide Dog Users of Washington State
by Vivian Conger, President

We met during the WCB Annual convention with two Saturday meetings: a breakfast business meeting and a luncheon program.  A special thanks goes to Frank Cuta for recording both meetings, as he does each year.  We had a table in the exhibit room with a wide assortment of items for sale including two raffles. 

During our business meeting, we elected the following officers: President, Vivian Conger; Vice President, Bill Hoage; Treasurer, Byron Kaczmarski; and Director, Don Reiter.  We also adopted changes to our constitution among other business. 

A big thanks goes to Randy Tedrow for locating luncheon speakers, two members of a Spokane search and rescue club.  They shared stories about their work with their dogs in various types of search and rescue efforts.  It was informative and educational.  This year there were representatives from Seeing Eye, Guide Dogs for the Blind, and Guide Dogs of America.  A representative from each school gave a brief update at our luncheon as well. 

Julie Miller was the lucky winner of our basket and Holly Kaczmarski won our ever-popular 50/50 raffle.  Tina Leighton and Vivian Conger coordinated the sale items with many others helping at the display table on Friday. 

We collected dues from several people at convention and we are happy to welcome two new members who joined us then.  It is not too late to pay dues for 2008.  One need not be a guide dog handler to join; one just needs to have interest in matters of guide dogs.  Over 50 percent of our membership must be guide dog handlers.  Some of us are puppy raisers and some are friends or relatives.  Some are considering partnership with a guide at some time in the future. 

Send dues, $15.00, to Janice Squires, 502 W. 20th Street, Kennewick, WA 99337-4905. Make checks payable to Guide Dog Users of Washington State or GDUWS. 

Plans are already underway for our best ever Spring Fling this year.  Mark your calendar for April 26, 2008 at The Holiday Inn, Downtown Everett

In closing let me thank those who have completed their terms of office on our board: Marlaina Lieberg as Immediate Past President, Vivian Conger as Vice President, Janice Squires as Treasurer, and Bill Hoage as Director.

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King County Chapter
by Marilyn Donnelly, Treasurer

They’re back!  Jingle bells, silver bells, church bells, all ringing their merry sounds of the season.  From bells to barbeque, as we remember that wonderful indoor picnic we had at the home of Tim and Virginia Schneebeck in late August.  The weather did not dampen the enjoyment of all that good food, good company, and all those ice cream treats. 

At our September meeting, Member Jim McIntosh gave a detailed talk about the very controversial transportation package called Proposition 1.  Prop 1 lost at the ballot box and now it’s back to the drawing board.

In October, our guest speaker was from the League of Women Voters.  She gave us a very good description of all the other issues that were on the ballot.  As usual, we win some and we lose some.

We held our own election of officers at this meeting.  Elected for the coming year are as follows:  President, Tim Schneebeck; Vice-president, Shirley Taylor; Secretary, Jeannie Jacobs; and Treasurer, Marilyn Donnelly.

In early November 18 of our members attended the WCB Convention in Spokane.  I, for one, had a great time. The speakers were interesting and the special events were fun.  I especially enjoyed the skit with Marlaina Lieberg, Gaylen Floy, and Denise Colley, entitled “Mr. Bill Goes to Washington.”  It almost seems like a miracle that any bill is passed in Congress with all the procedures in place and poor Mr. Bill running from the House to the Senate and back to the House again.

The young people’s panel with Nicole, Lily and Brandon was outstanding.  I am now a believer that our future is in good hands.  It was a special award for a special person, when Shirley Taylor received a beautiful framed plaque in recognition for all her work through the years for the WCB local chapters and all those community projects.  Shirley is quite a woman and we are lucky to have her as a member.  Other winners from this chapter were Becky Bell, a door prize, and Shirley Gray, a raffle prize.

We also want to give the warmest and best wishes to Nancy Lind, who won an inspirational award for her leadership in the disabled community.  Nancy is another special person we call a member.

I hope this message reaches you before Christmas so I can wish you a merry one and before the New Year, so I can wish you a happy one.  May this be a season of joy for all of us.

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Peninsula Council of the Blind
by Eric Hunter, President

PCB had 20 of our members attend the WCB convention in Spokane, and the unanimous opinion was that it was a great convention, and that our Spokane members should be proud of what they accomplished.

We have been having regular socials each month.  The last one was at the Mandarin Restaurant in Silverdale, where 14 of us enjoyed wonderful Chinese food.

We are still having our support group meetings.  These meetings fulfill an important function.  At our regular meetings, of course, we are concerned with chapter business, etc., and at our socials, we are at dining tables and only have access to those around us, but at the support meetings, there is a much greater exchange of ideas and impressions, all of it done in a quite unstructured environment allowing great interchange of ideas.

A few months ago many of us went to help Dorothy Hull celebrate her 90th birthday.  She was happy to see so many of her PCB friends there.

We’re all getting ready for Santa, and will be holding our Xmas party at Angels Restaurant on December 8.  I have it on great authority (Cindy) that the jolly old fellow himself will be there.

The brisk weather tells us that the year of 2007 is drawing to a close, and we are looking forward to an exciting and adventurous 2008, and wish the same to you all.

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South King Council of the Blind
by Gaylen Floy, President

Marketing and real estate people love to tout, “Location, location, location.”  In January our chapter meetings will move to Kent Commons, next to Kent Station and all the restaurants. We’re hoping this will make attendance and socializing easier for those using Access. We’ll let you know if location translates into “outreach, outreach, outreach”. Also in January, we’ll be holding elections and bringing in new leadership.

I am very excited to see how South King and others will rally behind a new chapter president. When Julie Brannon and Telea Noriega talked me into being president of a new chapter three years ago, I had no clue what to do or expect. We started with five people and the WCB stipend in the bank. That was quite a leap of faith by the Council. We were just a few OTC grads who wanted to stay in touch and do some serious outreach.

One thing that has helped me immensely as president is the brainstorming between meetings. There’s been a pretty constant stream of feedback, either by phone or email. Maybe that’s why our meetings are so short. I’ve also been blessed with people who just step up. For instance, after the Spokane convention, Katharine Richardson and Nhi Duong wrote about the weekend and shared with the South King list. I can’t tell you how many times Maida Pojtinger, Joan Schambron and Gloria Sanborn have helped make things happen. And if this group isn’t bouncing ideas, they resort to goal balls.

And, yes, 15 people turned out for the first goal ball practice. We regretted yelling, “Open season on Yung Su!” It quickly became open season on us. I seem to remember the ball slamming off Telea, whizzing past my head and nailing the back wall. This is a pretty cool sport that I think will catch on in our area. Patt and Tony, of UBS, brought a group down by bus and even provided lunch. A few from the Lighthouse played, too. More have expressed interest. The next practice will be sometime in January. As soon as we finalize a time and place, everyone is welcome to come watch.

This is the only competitive sport designed specifically for people who are blind. It was developed in Austria by veterans blinded in World War II. It’s played indoors in a gym. There are three people on each team, wearing elbow, hip and knee pads. Sighted people can play too, but they must wear sleep shades or ski goggles that are blacked out. Boundaries are set with painter’s tape and rope. The goal ball is a little heavier than a basketball and has a bell inside. The object is to roll the ball past defenders and hit the back wall. Everyone has to remain quiet, so players can tell where the ball is headed. Initially, keeping people quiet may prove to be the biggest challenge.

Goal ball is part of our outreach plan. In the short run, we’ll get to know people that are not involved with the Council. In the long run, we’d like to demonstrate this sport with Seattle area schools.

Another outreach event coming up in February will be the Valentine’s weekend Wine Tasting at the E. B. Foote Winery in Burien.  Tickets are only $20.00. You’ll get to taste six different wines and snack on cheese.  For details, check our website at . This would be a great opportunity to invite friends outside the Council. 

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United Blind of Seattle
by Ursula Culala, Member

9/1/07 Saturday - Approximately 33 went to see the musical debut of “Young Frankenstein”.

9/15/07 monthly meeting - entertainment books sale , 200 books had been out, Karen Johnson sold 22 books; two guests came & joined us for lunch; Round table discussion topic “Being a volunteer” facilitated by Julie Brannon: presenters were Nathan Brannon, Stacie Thurston & Malissa Hudson

10/06/07 Saturday - members from King County, South King Council & United Blind of Seattle & Low Vision Support Group went walking down the boardwalk of Alki, had lunch and took the water taxi to go back to Seattle

10/20/07 Saturday, monthly meeting - 50/50 raffle, Sharon Schauer won $23.00; Katy Lynch was our guest speaker & talked to us about “organizing our closets” and how to deal with clutter; Katy and another guest joined us for lunch & Katy joined our Chapter.

10/27/07 Saturday-  the Activity Committee organized a Harvest Party. Members from King County, South King Council, United Blind of Seattle, Low Vision Support Group and puppy raisers attended (about 60 attendees).

11/01 to 11/03/07 WCB state convention in Spokane - an estimate of 17 UBS members attended; 3 attendees joined our chapter; $100.00 from the chapter’s treasury donated for door prizes and a few members solicited door prizes such as gift cards from Barnes & Noble and Starbucks. UBS received an award for 10 percent membership growth; We were congratulated for submitting an article for every Newsline issue this past year; Shirley Taylor received an award for her outstanding commitment to our chapter, council and community.

New members of UBS include Malissa Hudson, Jonathan Simeone, Mark Adreon, Katy Lynch and Ann Yzkanin.

11/17/07 Saturday, monthly meeting - 50/50 raffle, $24.00 was won by Glenn McCully; to date, we have sold 167 entertainment books;  30 members attended;  Membership committee, Kathy O’Neil, chair, presented the menu selection for our Holiday gathering on 12/08/07 at the Best Western Executive Inn; approximately 60 members paid their annual dues; Bev announced the November birthdays. Before the meeting, Julie requested that we say a prayer for a member at Harborview Hospital and for a previous member who is not doing well because of cancer. Julie overviewed an outreach possibility for our chapter to provide housing for blind/visually impaired Korean highschool students this summer; Glenn read the treasurer’s report; Pat gave her Activity Committee’s report - two plays are planned, Quincy presented to the group the upcoming MLK celebration event that will take place at the Seattle Public Library; deadline for committee assignment is 12/31/07; the guest speakers that Julie invited cancelled, yours truly was requested to do an impromptu topic “How do I shop for clothes”; we elected four new officers; Clint Reiding, Vice-President, Glenn McCully, Treasurer, Jonathan Simeone, Board Director and Steve Barnett, Board Director.  Congratulations!!  We are looking into having our monthly meeting in another location as our chapter is growing; we are waiting for Bayview Manor to let us know if we could use their auditorium; finally, Julie presented the sale of Almond Roca as another fund raising idea to the membership to think about.  This concludes our UBS calendar of happenings for this last quarter, I will see you next year, 2008!

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United Blind of the Tri-Cities‏
by Janice Squires, Treasurer

Thanksgiving is now behind us and we are all so very blessed to be involved in such a fine organization as the United Blind of the Tri-cities.  We are now looking forward to a very joyous Christmas season and we will begin by celebrating at our annual Holiday party at Tony Roma’s on December 1.  Thanks to Diana Softich for arranging this year’s party and for all of her hard work as luncheon coordinator for the 2007 calendar year.

We have recently elected a new slate of officers for 2008 and they are as follows:  President, Bill Hoage; First Vice-President, Evelyn Crouse; Second Vice-President, Bernie Vinther; Treasurer, Brenda Vinther; Secretary, Frank Cuta; First Board, Steve Vandecar; and Second Board, Ida Isley.  A huge thank you goes to Margie Kickert for serving as our 2007 President and for all of her efforts to bring some new and innovating ideas to the chapter.

Senator Jerome Delvin was our October guest speaker and what a delight it was for our chapter to have him talk to us on a variety of issues.  He serves on our Senate Transportation Committee and offered to share our position paper on roundabouts with the other members of his committee.

The UBTC is mourning the loss of member Paul Wilburn.  He delighted in teaching blind and visually impaired people to learn to do pottery.  He loved the arts and enjoyed our narrated plays ever so much. He will be missed by all of us.

The new narrated play season began on October 17 with an excellent performance of “A Raisin in the Sun”.  The card group will be celebrating their success with a December pizza party.  The latest books which have been read by our book group are, “My Path Leads to Tibet”, “Welcome to the World Baby Girl” and “The Innocent Man”.

Merry Christmas to all of our WCB family.

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United Blind of Walla Walla
by Vivian Conger

Well, it is time again for another chapter update so here goes.

In September, we participated in the Macy’s Shop for a Cause fund raiser and earned $155.00.  Our guest speaker was Gloria Statts, Opplec rep from Redmond, Oregon.  She demonstrated some low-vision equipment called Vision Again.  After her demonstration and talk, she had folks come up and try all of the different items.

In September we also held a dedication/ribbon-cutting ceremony for Walla Walla’s newly installed accessible pedestrian signal on Second and Main.  This system is state-of-the-art; has two stub poles on each corner with locator tones for the pedestrian buttons.  Currently this system speaks when you activate the button but soon we will be trying a different sound (the Australian sound) that hits the whole range of tones, which is supposed to be better at getting one’s attention and for different levels of hearing.  This sound is such that it doesn’t need to be as loud as the spoken messages so it won’t be obtrusive to others.

Our program in October was a talk and monologue from Brandon Biggs, a 15-year-old, visually impaired young man who lives in Dixie, Washington.  Those of you who attended the talent show and youth panel at this year’s WCB convention were able to see him sing and participate in the youth panel.  A few of us from our chapter will be seeing Brandon perform as the prince in Beauty and the Beast on November 25.

We will be holding elections at our November meeting for president and treasurer. 

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United Blind of Whatcom County
by Yvonne Miller, Secretary

Fall has blown in like a roaring lion during the second week of November. This year we had Barbra Crowley and Bruce Radtke, who attended the Spokane convention. They came back with good information and stories to share.  They visited a nearby park and discovered an old fashioned merry-go-round.  Barb had strapped herself onto a giraffe. She was unable to coax Bruce to join her to ride any of the other animals for nostalgic fun!

Our guest speaker for November was Denise CoStanten from Brigadoon. They train service dogs to assist people with sensory disabilities such as hearing, arthritis and sight impairments.  Denise was accompanied by Janie, a Labradoodle in training. Everyone enjoyed her informative overall presentation and got to meet Janie.

We had our elections on November 10th. The results are as follows, reelected for President, Betty Sikkema; for First Vice President, Yvonne Miller; Secretary, Mimi Freshley.  Congratulations!

In October, we had three members in the hospital.  Ron Bradshaw totaled his car going home after work when it left the road. He is currently in Lynden Christian Care undergoing therapy. Rosalie Radonski had surgery for a rotator cuff and broken shoulder. She has been doing therapy.  Bruce Radtke donated a kidney to an unknown recipient.  He recovered enough to attend the state convention. Our best wishes and prayers are with these valued members and volunteers.

JoEllen Barton and guide Suki moved to Auburn to be closer to the family. She has joined her son Jeff’s household and has become active in the community, taking exercise and Spanish classes.  Despite missing her home in Bellingham, she has been reportedly doing well.

In September, we voted in new member Erick Erickson to our chapter. Erick has expressed his interest in volunteer work. We gladly welcome him to the group!

Our outings included: Betty and Bruce attending an organ concert at the Mount Baker Theater. Bruce had volunteered to drive Betty, Shirley and Yvonne to the Sight Connection in Seattle. We also enjoyed lunch at Marie Calendars Restaurant. Unfortunately, Bruce was unable to join us. He had an appointment to keep and made a delivery to the “Books For Prisoners” program.

Betty and Yvonne met at the County Courthouse to vote by using the accessible voting machines.

The PAK committee members Mimi Freshley and Meagan Heinz  met and worked on policies and procedures.  The Health Support Center has invited UBWC to apply for office space to store PAK kit products and info items. Once we acquire the space, there are no charges or fees.

Our group has decided to meet at Dutch Mothers Restaurant in Lynden on November 29th for its luncheon social. We have planned to visit Ron that morning.

Our Holiday Party and Potluck has been scheduled on December 8th at Ankar Drive at 12 noon with main course provided by the chapter.

The remaining food, music, fun and gift exchange by members & guests! Our best wishes for an awesome Christmas and New Year go out to all!  Bless those who cannot join their families, especially the young men and women serving overseas. 

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New Year’s Greetings from DSB
by Mark Adreon, Communication & Employer Consultant

Well, the year 2007 is now ending and we begin a New Year.  On behalf of  the Department of Services for the Blind (DSB), I want to wish all the family and friends of WCB a great year in 2008.

It was great to see a lot of you at the WCB State Convention in Spokane and what a great convention it was!  The WCB is doing an outstanding job of reaching out to communities throughout the State of Washington, and your organization is getting close to 450 members.  WOW!

The Youth Conference held in conjunction with your convention brought 24 high energy youth together to learn from each other and to connect to blind and low vision mentors and role models from your membership.  What a great partnership this is.

When I reported on some of the activities at DSB, I mentioned several areas where WCB could partner with us for either outreach or public education.  I want to revisit three of these areas and outline some of the next steps to engage in these partnerships.

DSB Community Calendar:

I mentioned that we finally have an active and easy to use calendar on our agency web site.  We want the community to use this calendar for any public events that would be of interest to the blind and low vision community.  For example, this would be a great place for you to post a public outreach event you are hosting. 

We have hundreds of thousands of hits to our web site every month and this should provide a great outreach vehicle for your chapters.  We are unable to list chapter meetings; it is designed for outreach or educational opportunities open to the public.

To post events to the DSB web/Community Calendar, send the following information to:; the event name; dates and times; location (with any directions); purpose of event; and any additional information such as other web sites as a link.

DSB Outreach DVD:

I mentioned that we are developing an agency outreach DVD that has three main segments. 

1.  A video brochure, focused on programs and services

2.  An employer focused segment on "what blind people can do and how they do it," 

3.  A blind awareness segment.

We are beginning the production of this DVD and I really want your help for the employer outreach segment.  We want this segment to be full of real blind people doing real work in the real communities in which they live.

If you or someone you know who is blind, is working, and has an interest in being filmed, could you send me an e-mail. We envision this segment to be full of lots of people saying their name and job titles.  We would like a variety of job titles represented.  It's important for the employer community to see the face of the blind community and this is one way to accomplish it.  We also want to answer the question; "What kind of work can a blind person do?"  The answer will be in the variety of job titles presented during this segment.  Send your interest and contact information to: 

Washington State Eye Care Physician Referral Network:

Many of you have heard me speak on the Group Health Cooperative and DSB referral initiative, and a number of your chapters see this project as a wonderful outreach opportunity for your community.

I have presented the Referral Network partnership to three chapters.  Each chapter is developing an outreach project to eye doctors in their area.  The great thing about this partnership is that the WCB chapters are going to doctors’ offices and offering them a service, as opposed to asking them to display brochures.  The projects are designed to develop an automatic referral system for any eye doctor’s patient who has a permanent eye condition that interferes with their daily life.  By referring to DSB services and programs and WCB chapters, people who are experiencing vision loss do not need to hit the depths of despair before finding what they need.  I think this is a goal we can all share and strive for.

If you want more information on how your chapter can develop the Referral Network partnership in conjunction with DSB, contact me at or call (206) 721-6410 to discuss a presentation for your chapter.

There are great opportunities for WCB and DSB in the New Year and I look forward to making a difference in people's lives when they need it most.

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Washington State School for the Blind Report
Future Program Development – Consumer Input Vital
by Dr. Dean O. Stenehjem, Superintendent

Once again the Washington State School for the Blind (WSSB) will be reviewing its Strategic Plan to determine customer needs (students, parents, school districts, consumers, and those working with the blind and visually impaired), to help set the course of direction for years to come.  Every two years WSSB brings in stakeholders for an intensive one day future direction session to help make adjustments to the Strategic Plan. This document serves as a road map for the school, and a two year snapshot of this important document becomes the building block for the 2009-2011 biennium budget; which will be developed over the next eight months with submission to Olympia in August, 2008.  WSSB has been using this process in development of future direction for years, which has helped the school thrive.  As with everything in our society, the needs of those accessing our services changes and therefore the school needs to remain flexible in meeting the needs of its customers to strive to anticipate future needs and establish the infrastructure and hire the right people with the right skills to make all of this happen.  As consumers of services and those interested in guaranteeing that blind and visually impaired students have the best educational services, your input in this process is imperative. 

Some areas that WSSB will be discussing in the future planning session (this list is not inclusive of all ideas, but a sample) are: 

·        Development of short-course programs; one to two week specific intensive classes both on campus and online that students could access.

·        Increase development work in on-line learning options for students, parents, and those working with the blind/visually impaired.

·        Regional Program Development:  WSSB is piloting a regional program with Educational Services Districts in the Tri-City and Yakima (replication of this pilot).

·        Summer School Programs:  What changes should we be making to reach more students?

·        Intensive On-Campus programs:  Are we providing all that is needed?

·        Birth-3 Services:  Are the services that are needed being provided statewide, if not, what additional partnerships need to be developed in getting direct services to parents?

·        In-service needs for those working with the blind/visually impaired--services needed and the best way of helping meet these needs.

On the front page of WSSB’s website ( there are two copies of the Strategic Plan for you to review:  one is the Strategic Plan 2007-2017 and the second is the more in depth 2007-2009 Implementation Plan. There is also a link whereby you can provide WSSB with your ideas regarding services the school should be offering, what has worked well for you in the past, what you would like to see changed, and any other general comments you would like to share. 

If you do not have access to the Internet, please contact Janet Merz, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent, and she can send you a copy of the Strategic Plan (360-696-6321 ext. 120#).  Your comments can also be mailed to Janet Merz at:  WSSB, 2214 E. 13th Street, Vancouver, WA 98661. 

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Washington Talking Book & Braille Library
by Gloria Leonard, Director

Dear Friends, Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Here are some of the recent activities aimed at preserving our present services while planning for the future under the administration of the Washington State Library.

PAC at Work.  The Patron Advisory Council (PAC) Chair, Tom Gillespie, wrote to Governor Gregoire requesting (1) that she support the Secretary of State’s Office request of $341,433 in general-fund state dollars to maintain the current level of WTBBL services by 21.3 full-time equivalent staff (FTE), and over 400 volunteers who contribute over 28,000 service hours annually; (2) that she meet with PAC representatives to discuss the value of the Library’s services and the need to preserve and maintain adequate funding levels to provide these services, and (3) that the meeting occur before she finalizes her FY’09 Supplemental Budget.  We will share the response he receives with you.  Those who composed the letter included the PAC Executive Board (Tom Gillespie, PAC Chair, Maria Edelen, Sandra Driscoll, Margaret Blomberg) and the PAC Advocacy Committee (Signe Rose, Chair, Terry Atwater, and Sue Ammeter).

ERRS Now Improved.  We're happy to report that access to the web streaming broadcasts of the Evergreen Radio Reading Service has been improved! A new web-streaming log-in system has been installed. The enhancement allows listeners with differing computers and operating systems, including Macs, as well as assistive technology devices such as JAWS and WindowEyes.  To listen to the ERRS, go to and click on the link "Listen to the Live Web Stream of the Evergreen Radio Reading Service" and then follow the instructions.

If you have any problems accessing the web stream, please e-mail or call 206-615-0414 (1-800-542-0866 outside the Seattle area) for assistance.

For current web streaming listeners, your username and password has not changed.  If you do not remember your username and password, e-mail and we will send it to you.

This solution was made possible through problem-solving discussions by a Task Force that included WTBBL staff Wes Derby, Robin Rousu, Ann Hay, Anne Cisney, Rosemary Adamski, broadcasters John Pai and Craig Johnson, Gloria Leonard, Director, as well as WCB members Marlaina Lieberg, Sue Ammeter (WCB representative to PAC) and Cindy Van Winkle, President, and a host of patrons who served as web streaming testers. Thank you, everyone!

Locally Produced Book Digital Conversion a Big Success.  Anne Cisney, the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library’s (WTBBL) Evergreen Taping Service Coordinator, successfully converted a set of locally-produced audio books into a format that enables searching by chapter.  The book successfully played in the new NLS digital player.  NLS networked agencies have discussed the issue of “compatibility” with NLS representatives overseeing the digital talking book program but it was previously untested.  This achievement helps pave the way for other NLS network libraries that produce books locally to convert these books to compatibility with the new NLS digital talking book equipment.  Recently, representatives from several NLS libraries met in an online conference room to discuss future online distribution possibilities for locally-produced digital books.

OSOS/WSL Transition Activities Update.  Phase One Activities included: renewal of the FY08 interagency agreement between the Seattle Public Library and the Office of the Secretary of State (OSOS)/Washington State Library (WSL); implementation of a legislatively mandated accounting of city and state financing and expenditures on the facility that houses WTBBL; preparation and development of State Department of Human Resources job classifications, position descriptions and salary levels.

During September, the Washington State Library (WSL) and WTBBL moved ahead on scheduling and conducting special mini-staff meetings of these work groups: 1) Shipping; 2) US Postal Services; 3) Information Technology/Assistive Technology Devices; 4) Braille Services, 5) Volunteer Services; 6) Evergreen Radio Reading Service, 7) Taping Services, 8) Collection Acquisition and Processing, and 9) Communications.  The primary purpose of these small group sessions is to insure that WTBBL staff identify for the Transition Coordinator and other appropriate State staff the resources and materials required to carry out day-to-day functions.  The goal is to minimize the possibility that a critical operating component is overlooked at the time of transition of WTBBL to OSOS/WSL.

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Louis Braille School Report
Destination: Louis Braille School

by Carolyn Meyer, Director

As we continue through our second academic year, the Louis Braille School is becoming a destination school for unique learning opportunities. Organizations such as the Woodland Park Zoo, the Pacific NW Blues in the Schools program, the Seattle Area Delta Gamma Alumnae Group, and the Shoreline YMCA are collaborating with us on workshops and activities for the students. We are also welcoming home-schooled children to our classes for socialization opportunities and shared learning.

Especially noteworthy is an eleven-session music series presented by Curley Cooke and AnnetteTaborn of Blues in the Schools. Students are learning to play and improvise simple rhythms using percussion instruments, harmonicas, and guitars. There is a lot of enthusiastic singing, hand-clapping, and foot-stomping involved as well as the joy of playing with a "band" led by professional musicians.

We welcome Janie Kimber to our school. Janie has been helping out part-time this fall as a volunteer. In January of the New Year she will become a full-time member of the staff.

Our second annual benefit auction is set for Saturday, May 17, from 1:00 to 4:00 in the afternoon. This unique event will include live and silent auctions and educational information tables on the subject of vision impairment as well as guide dog puppies in training. We look forward to raising funds to support our special school where small classes, individualized teaching methods, and much praise and encouragement create a positive learning environment in which students build self-esteem, confidence, and independence. If you would like to be on the auction planning committee, donate an item to be auctioned, or help out during the auction, please email Janie Kimber at or call her at 425-778-2384.

We invite you to visit our website at Our newest feature is a blog that will keep you up to date on the latest news. To read the blog, from our home page go to "Blog." If any of you screen reader and braille display users have experience with blogs and RSS feeds, we would like to hear from you.

Another addition to the site is a series of pages that summarize our curriculum for basic learning areas. To reach this section, from the home page go to "Programs" then "Curriculum."

To learn about the spring 2008 auction, from the home page go to "Giving" then "Spring Auction." We are pleased to announce that Doug Hildie will return as auctioneer.

To read the latest school newsletter, go to "Newsletter" then "Fall 2007." 

We would appreciate your comments about our ever-evolving website. In addition to offering interesting content, we are especially concerned that the site be compatible with screen readers and braille displays. If you run into any glitches or have suggestions of any sort about the site, please email Carolyn Meyer at or call her at 425-776-4042. 

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Hats Off to You
by Peggy Shoel

We are pleased to extend our congratulations to the following WCB members:

·        Each individual re-elected or newly elected to the 2008 WCB board (see separate directory with names and contact info in this issue).

·        Terry Atwater, Immediate Past President, Capital City Council of the Blind (CCCB), on being voted alternate delegate to the 2008 American Council of the Blind (ACB) convention.  Terry will be traveling to Louisville, Kentucky to participate in this event.

·        Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary, WCB, and Laura Beigh, Member, Pierce County Association of the Blind, on being appointed by the Governor to renewable three-year terms on the Department of Services for the Blind (DSB) State Rehabilitation Council.  Marlaina will represent disability advocacy groups and Laura will represent community rehabilitation program service providers. 

·        John Common, President, Greater Everett Area Council of the Blind (GEACB), on being named outstanding volunteer for 2007 by the Eagle Wing Disability Ministry.  John was presented with a plaque honoring him for his time and effort in developing and supporting the 13th annual event provided by that organization to community disabled adults.

·        Nicole Torcolini, member, Peninsula Council of the Blind (PCB), for being honored by the National Center for Women in Informational Technology (NCWIT) for inspiration in computing.  Nicole, along with seven other recipients, was recognized at a University of Washington presentation

·        Gaylen Floy, President, South King Council of the Blind, on her appointment by Federal Way District representative Skip Priest to the Federal Way Advancing Leadership Training Program.  Appointees will participate in community programs and develop community projects.

·        Nancy Lind, member, Greater Everett Area Council of the Blind (GEACB), on being recognized by PROVAIL, a non-profit disability organization previously known as United Cerebral Palsy.  At a luncheon and awards ceremony, Nancy was presented with the Wycoff Award for inspiration.

·        Recipients of 2007 WCB awards:
Cindy Van Winkle – outstanding service
Shirley Taylor – outstanding service
Russ Richardson – advocacy accomplishment
Gaylen Floy,
Newsline Editor’s award (please see Award Presentation article in this issue).

·        Sarah and Jeff Schweizer, Director and Member, respectively, Peninsula Council of the Blind (PCB), on their new baby daughter, Kaitlyn Francis Louise, who arrived at a birthweight of 7.4 lbs, with blue eyes and strawberry blonde hair.  The proud parents report that Kaitlyn is a happy baby and a complete joy to them and to her older brother and sister.

·        Bill Wipple, a member of South King Council of the Blind, was given the 2007 Susan Hutchison Bosch Award in recognition of his charitable work over the years. Bill has been active in radio journalism since 1950 and is currently Executive Director of Tape Ministries Northwest (  

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Bits & Pieces
by Peggy Shoel

The goods and services listed here are offered for the interest and benefit of our readers and should not be considered as endorsed by WCB.

·        Education Beyond High School Audio Highlights is a recording on compact disk that helps students decide what to study, what school is right for them, what to look for and look out for in financing an education, what career choices to make and much more.  Audio Highlights refers students and parents to resources such as Websites, and brailled and print publications, as well as non-Federal sources of aid.  It is also available online at  Students can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243 to ask general questions about Federal student aid or to order publications.

·        Voice Internet Service, Net by Phone is back in operation after upgrading its hardware and software.  This voice internet service allows callers to send and receive email and browse Web pages using only a touch-tone telephone.  The price has been lowered to $14.95 per month for unlimited system time.  For more information, call Philmore Productions in Chicago at 1-773-572-3000.  

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In Memoriam

The following WCB members were remembered by a moment of silence at the annual business meeting of the WCB convention:

Liz Ammeter, JCCB

Haryette Friesen, UBWW

Bob Lewis, CCCB

Marlee Naddy, UBSPO

Ignacio Ordonez, PCB

Maryanne Ring, UBWW

Sam Sampson, UBSPO

Paul Wilburn, UBTC

Ruth Wren, At Large

Barney Wolverton, UBTC 

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Officers and Board Members - 2008


Denise Colley, President  .......................................................   (360) 438-0072
2305 Maxine St SE, Lacey, WA  98503

Sue Ammeter, First Vice-President .........................................   (360) 437-7916
P.O. Box 118, Port Hadlock, WA  98339

Glenn McCully, Second Vice-President   ................................   (253) 804-4246
635  7th St NE, Apt 218, Auburn, WA  98002

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary  ..................................................    (206) 243-1716
632  S 189th St, Burien, WA  98148

Eric Hunter, Treasurer  ..........................................................   (360) 377-9917
373 NW Brookwood Ln, Bremerton, WA  98311

Board Members

Cindy Van Winkle, Immediate Past President............................... (360) 698-0827
6686 Capricorn Lane NE, Bremerton, WA 98311

Alan Bentson  .......................................................................   (206) 819-9283
300 Kenyon St NW, Apt R4, Olympia, WA  98502

Vivian Conger  ......................................................................   (509) 526-4967
1519 Whitman St, Walla Walla, WA  99362

Chris Coulter  .......................................................................   (425) 775-1305
7924 236th St SW, Apt 204, Edmonds, WA 98026

Frank Cuta  ...........................................................................   (509) 967-2658
58903 Sweetwater PR NE, Benton City, WA  99320

Carl Jarvis   ...........................................................................   (360) 765-4239
2510 Snow Creek Rd, Quilcene, WA  98376

Debbie Phillips  .....................................................................   (509) 684-1266
1375 Aladdin Road, Colville, WA  99114

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Calendar – 2008 Calendar of deadlines and events

Jan 11              Deadline for application to attend ACB Legislative Seminar, Washington, D.C.

Jan 11              Deadline for request for placement on WCB committees

Feb 2              WCB Winter Board Meeting, Everett

Feb 10-12        ACB Legislative Seminar, Washington, DC

Mar 1              DSB State Rehabilitation Council meeting, Seattle

Mar 14-15        WSSB Board of Trustees meeting, Tacoma

Mar 21            Deadline for request to attend WCB leadership training

Apr 25-26        WCB Leadership training, GDUWS Spring Fling

Apr 27             WCB Spring Board Meeting, Everett

May 1              Deadline to apply for the First Timers Scholarship to the ACB convention

May 15            Deadline to request travel stipend or loan for the ACB convention

May 17            Louis Braille School Auction

June 7              DSB State Rehabilitation Council meeting, Spokane

June 12            WSSB Picnic/Awards/Open House, Vancouver

June 13            WSSB Commencement

June 13           WSSB Board of Trustees meeting, Vancouver

June 30            Deadline for WCB scholarship applications

July 5-12          ACB National Convention, Louisville, Kentucky

Aug 1              WCB Summer Retreat and Seminar, Vancouver

Aug 2              WCB Summer Board Meeting, Vancouver

Aug 31            Deadline for Award nominations

Sep 6              DSB State Rehabilitation Council meeting, Seattle

Oct 23-25        WCB Annual Convention, Vancouver

Dec 6              DSB State Rehabilitation Council meeting, Seattle

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Deadline:  To be considered for inclusion in the March issue, article submissions and other information for publication must be received by February 23, 2008.  Articles may be edited for clarity and space considerations.

Publication Policy:  To ensure accuracy, we require typed, double-spaced submissions or preferably e-mailed articles to  Articles should be no longer than 750 words (approx. 2-2½ double-spaced pages, standard print).



·        To Brady Layman and Sherrill Lee of the Tri-Cities, for reading this issue onto tape

·        To Tim Schneebeck for providing the NEWSLINE via e-mail and disk

·        To Bill Hoage for duplicating and mailing the cassette version of the NEWSLINE

·        To Viola Cruz for transforming the print issue into a Web version on the website

·        To the individuals who contributed articles and materials to this issue

·        To the NEWSLINE Editorial Committee for their many hours of work

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