The Voice of the

Washington Council of the Blind

 June 2004 Issue

Equality, Independence, Opportunity

Founded 1935

(206) 283-4276


Cindy Burgett, President

6686 Capricorn Lane NE

Bremerton, WA  98311

(360) 698-0827


Peggy Shoel, Editor

5171 S. Spencer St.

Seattle, WA  98118

(206) 722-8477


Table of Contents

From the President’s Desk by Cindy Burgett

Editor’s Comment by Peggy Shoel

Spring Board Meeting by Berl Colley

WCB Leadership Seminar by Alan Bentson

2004 WCB Convention by Rhonda Nelson

Constitution and Bylaws Committee

Guide Dog Users of Washington State Spring Fling
by Vivian Conger

Legislative Seminar 2004 by Shari Burns

A Legislative Adventure by Sally Mayo

Aging & Blindness Committee by Carl Jarvis

Awards Committee Report by Marlaina Lieberg

Recreation Opportunities by Becky Bell
& Doug Hildie

Report from Washington State School for the Blind
by Dr. Dean O. Stenehjem

Braille Camp 2004 by Carolyn Meyer

Thank You from the Louis Braille Center

Library Notes by Gloria Leonard

Did You Know This about Our Library?
by Peggy Shoel

New Insight in Old Port Townsend by Carl Jarvis

ACB Store


Capital City Council of the Blind

Greater Everett Area Council of the Blind

Guide Dog Users of Washington State

King County Chapter

Lower Columbia Council of the Blind

Pierce County Council of the Blind

United Blind of Seattle

United Blind of Spokane

United Blind of Tri-Cities

United Blind of Walla Walla

United Blind of Whatcom County

What and Where is The Hadley School for the Blind?
by Peggy Shoel

Hats Off to You by Peggy Shoel

Bits & Pieces by Peggy Shoel

Recipe by Cheryl Danzl





From the President’s Desk
by Cindy Burgett

We all know that the one thing very predictable about Washington weather is how unpredictable it really can be. As I write this column, I have enjoyed a relaxing weekend of rain and sun, wind and rain, wind and sun, husband and daughters… How did they get thrown in there? Well, sometimes the climate in this house can be very much like the weather outside. Between work, school, Rainbow Girls activities, WCB and local chapter stuff, household chores, dogs, community events, an occasional dinner out with hubby, things are seldom boring around here. Fortunately, we all fare well in the rain and the sun, and the wind doesn’t even blow us off our feet too often.

This being my second article as President for the Newsline, and with two state board meetings behind me, things seem to be settling down for me as President. Now I’d like to bring you all up to speed on the first half of 2004.

Our two Legislative participants, Shari Burns and Sally Mayo, successfully made it back from the Legislative Seminar in DC. I’ve heard wonderful things about their participation while at the seminar and have a feeling we will be hearing from both of them on their experiences as well as on future legislative issues.

April turned into May with a lot of busyness from WCB. April 30 began our 4th annual Leadership Seminar, "Keys to Communication" with 16 WCB members in attendance. The weekend was facilitated by Patricia Beattie (American Council of the Blind), and eight WCB leaders helped with presentations.

While the 16 participants were learning all they need to know about WCB and more, the members of our special interest affiliate, Guide Dog Users of Washington State, were holding their first annual Spring Fling. If the wags and pants were any indication of the event’s success, I’d say they all had a bow-wow of a time.

On May 2, we held the WCB board meeting. I’m sure much of what was discussed will be revisited elsewhere in this issue. However, I would like to mention one specific action of the board. We heard a report from Marlaina Lieberg, chair of the newly established Awards Committee, with the criteria, cost and process for WCB to be able to honor its own members as well as those in the public sector who deserve recognition for their individual roles in benefiting WCB and the blindness community. The board passed a motion to carry out the recommendation of the committee as a one-time activity for this convention. The decision to retain the Awards Committee as a permanent program will be up to all of you in Bellingham, but I feel confident you will be as impressed with this as we were.

Now it’s time to talk about ham. No, I’m not referring to a holiday dinner. I’m talking about Bellingham and Birmingham. Bellingham is the place for this year’s WCB state convention, but Birmingham is where many of us will be traveling for the ACB national convention in early July. Over thirty of us will be extending the WCB spirit to Alabamans and all of ACB. With all of the recent changes going on nationally, I think they’ll be able to use a bit of our WCB positive energy. One thing I know for sure, we’ll all have some wonderful experiences to share when we come back, and if you have a computer, I strongly encourage you to consider joining us in Birmingham via, where all general sessions and other selected programming will be broadcast live.

Oh yes, and then there’s the exciting news from our First-Timer committee. Not one, but two members will be attending their first ACB convention this year. Congratulations to Cheryl Stewart, President of the North Central Washington Council of the Blind who was selected as the first-timer out of committee, and to Carol Brame, member of the Peninsula Council of the Blind who was selected as the surprise first-timer, thanks to a Memorial fund set up in memory of Barbara Nelson, Rhonda Nelson’s mom, who passed away last year. I know both of these ladies are going to have an incredible week, overflowing with sleepless and fun-filled memories that only a national convention can provide.

July is more than ACB convention time. It’s also time to be preparing for the next WCB board meeting. This year’s Summer Board Retreat/Meeting will be held in Silverdale, August 6-7 with our afternoon program beginning at 1:30pm on Friday and the board meeting beginning at 9:00am on Saturday. I’m especially excited about this meeting as it will be held in my home area, the Red Lion Silverdale, 3073 N.W. Bucklin Hill Rd. with a sleeping room rate of $81. To make your reservations, please contact the hotel at 1-800-544-9799, no later than July 15 to be guaranteed this group rate. Board members and chapter reps will have their reservations made by me. WCB will be hosting a dinner on Friday night and the lunch on Saturday. You must get your name to me by July 31 to be placed on the list for either of these meals. Please call me at 360-698-0827 or email me at

In closing, I would like to go back to the weather for a moment. When I was a young girl, a friend gave me a beautiful mirror with a special poem etched in it. Unfortunately, I do not know who the poet is, but I do remember the words and I’d like to share them with you.

If all were rain and never sun

No bow could span the Hill.

If all were sun and never rain

There’d be no rainbow still.

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Editor’s Comment
by Peggy Shoel

A Shot in the Arm

I attended the recent annual WCB Leadership Training & Development seminar held in Olympia. (See separate article covering this event in this issue.) I went into it thinking there would not be much I would learn, since I have been a member for 20 years and have been actively involved in one way or another for the last 15 or 16 of those years. I was mistaken.

I also thought that this event was geared only to new members or for those who have been around for awhile, but have not really been actively involved. I was mistaken.

The energy and enthusiasm generated were palpable and contagious. Interaction with the other participants was enlightening, because this is a growing and changing WCB, in its membership, in its programs, in its community participation, and in the point of view and perceptions of members.

The presentations and interchanges renewed my excitement. I urge those who are not new members, and who have been active, to watch for the announcement of the 2005 session so that you, too, can submit an application, participate in the process, and have your WCB battery recharged.

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WCB Spring Board Meeting for 2004

by Berl Colley,
Immediate Past President

The meeting was called to order by President Cindy Burgett shortly after 9:00am on Sunday, May 2, at Olympia's Red Lion hotel. All of the officers and directors were present. All of the chapters that are not represented on the board were represented. Other guests were there after attending the WCB Leadership Training and the Guide Dog Users of Washington Spring Fling.

After the minutes and treasurer's reports, Cindy gave her President's report. She congratulated Sally Mayo and Shari Burns for representing WCB in March, at the ACB Legislative seminar. She congratulated the 16 participants in the WCB Leadership Training class and talked about the First Timers award cut-off date for the Birmingham convention. There will be around 74 people attending the Mariners game on August 14. Cindy also announced that this year's state convention in Bellingham may be streamed (broadcast) over the Internet.

Marlaina Lieberg gave a presentation as chair of the Awards Committee. This committee was formed as a result of a motion at the Winter board meeting. She talked about a number of potential awards that WCB could give. After some discussion, the board voted to have an awards presentation as part of this year's convention banquet. Addressing some of the expressed concerns, it was decided to leave it to the WCB membership, as to whether Awards would become an on-going program for WCB.

Glenn McCully, Chair of the Finance committee, presented several grant proposals to the board. The board voted to purchase a new Braille embosser and some music translation software for the Louis Braille Center. It also voted to provide the Capital City Council of the Blind and the City of Lacey seed money to obtain other grant dollars to install audible pedestrian signals in its downtown core. CCCB had already voted $1,000 for this project.

Twelve American Printing House for the Blind 4 track recorders will be purchased by WCB for the College Texts on Tape (CTOT) taping program at the women's prison at Purdy. Later the board voted to provide 10 camp memberships through the Washington State School for the Blind Foundation, to blind kids attending their summer sports camp. Finally, WCB will be contributing $15,000 to ACB at this year’s convention in Birmingham.

Denise Colley told the board the Scholarship applications have been sent out and that this year's scholarship application can, for the first time, be filled out on-line. Supporting documents will still have to be mailed in to Alan Bentson. There will be some changes in the 2004 scholarship program in Bellingham. The banquet presentation will be shorter, and more emphasis will be placed on the scholarship winners presentation at the scholarship reception.

Rhonda Nelson, chair of the state convention committee, reviewed the 2004 state convention information. There will be three buses taking WCB members and their families and friends to the Bellingham convention. They will leave from the Tri-cities, Bremerton and Seattle. The convention dates are November 11-13, 2004.

Viola Cruz, Chair of the Telephone Reading Service committee, said that the committee is conducting a survey to see what programming is of interest. The committee has been talking with consultants from Kansas and Kentucky.

Peggy Shoel, editor of the Newsline, reported that those receiving the Newsline via e-mail will have their names removed after their Newsline is returned twice. She announced that Doug Hildie is developing a list of recreation destinations around the Pacific Northwest that are specifically for, or very accessible for blind people.

After lunch, I reported that the vehicle donations seem to be following the same pattern this year as they did in 2003. If so, we will see an increase through the summer and early fall. They will drop down in October and November and December will be the largest month for donations in the year.

Jolene Ferguson, President of GDUWS talked about their Spring Fling and Cindy said that Doug Hildie's Loan Committee is looking at expanding some of the loan criteria. She announced that the Summer Retreat and WCB board meeting will be at the Red Lion In Silverdale, August 6-7, 2004.

Under the topic of other business, the board established a committee to look into the possibility of getting apparel and products with the WCB logo.

The History Committee is conducting oral history interviews with WCB members and others from the state of Washington. These oral history interviews will be used in preparing state historical documents about blind people and blindness activities in Washington, and will be archived as an on-going oral history project.

After some announcements from Pat Shreck, Marlaina Lieberg, Sue Ammeter and Bill Hoage, Cindy adjourned the meeting at 1:45pm.

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WCB Leadership Seminar

by Alan Bentson,
United Blind of Seattle

The Washington Council of the Blind held its fourth annual Leadership Seminar on Friday April 30 and Saturday May 1 at the Red Lion Inn in Olympia. Seminar participants were asked to attend the WCB Board Meeting on May 2 at the same location. This is a retreat-style meeting at which selected members of WCB have a chance to step out of their ordinary lives for a day or two and gain from the knowledge and experience of current board members and officers of the organization. This year’s participants included Carol and Chris Brame (Port Orchard); Barb Crowley (Bellingham); Bill Hoage (Kennewick); Gary and Marlaina Lieberg (Burien); Bob and Dianne Osier (Tacoma); Bonnie Sherrell (Sequim); Peggy Shoel (Seattle); Patti Shreck (Vancouver); Jim Smith (Seattle); Ryan Strickland (Kent); Dan Tonge (Seattle); Lewis Wilson (Everett) and me (Seattle). As you can see from this list, attendees were an interesting mix of brand new members and those with many years of experience with WCB. The discussion facilitator was Pat Beattie, former ACB Treasurer and current Chair of the ACB Environmental Access Committee and President, Council of Citizens with Low Vision International.

This year’s theme was "Keys to Communicate." To reinforce this idea, participants received, on arrival, a tote bag decorated with symbols of communication including a cell phone, a regular phone, a computer, and a letter and stamp. After a welcome from WCB President Cindy Burgett, and an introduction and icebreaker with Pat Beattie, the keynote address was delivered by Julie DeGeus, Second Vice President of WCB. Her speech was entitled "The Key to Confidence: Empowerment." It dealt with how to empower oneself and others by an understanding of four basic human temperaments and how they influence human interactions. The talk’s success is proven by the fact that all weekend one could hear people using vocabulary and concepts Julie had taught us in casual discussion and in questions to other speakers.

Saturday morning’s presentations mostly dealt with learning about WCB and how to expand one’s role in it. Sue Ammeter (Board member, WCB) and Terry Atwater (President, Capital City Council of the Blind) discussed the history of WCB. Denise Colley (WCB First Vice-President) talked about the importance of committees. Cindy Burgett addressed the duties of officers and committee chairs. Frank Cuta (WCB Secretary) spoke on parliamentary procedure. Julie DeGeus completed the morning’s agenda with a talk entitled "The Key to Understanding: Conflict Resolution."

In the afternoon, we turned to exercising WCB’s influence in the world. Cindy Burgett repeated her successful presentation from ACB Midyear on publicizing a local chapter within the community. Glenn McCully (Board member, WCB) explained how the state legislature works. Berl Colley (Immediate Past President, WCB) described the process of proposing resolutions and changing the constitution and bylaws of the organization. Sue Ammeter discussed WCB’s current fundraising activities. Denise Colley talked about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Pat Beattie spoke about the national organization. That evening, at the concluding banquet, participants shared our feelings about the program. We were awarded a certificate for completing the seminar and were given a t-shirt with a design that mirrored the images on the totebag. Pat Beattie gave an inspiring final address.

This was an informative and efficiently organized training course. As a blind person, I was extremely gratified to attend a seminar with no PowerPoint presentations, flipcharts, or person endlessly writing on a blackboard. Instead of a pile of meaningless print, I took home braille handouts from every presenter and a computer disk containing files of all the materials. Presentations were relatively brief and focused, with plenty of time left over for questions and discussion. Jim Smith told me, "I think this seminar will help me in my work at the Lighthouse for the Blind as well as in WCB." Marlaina Lieberg said, "This is an innovative project. I think the national organization ought to know about it; the whole world ought to know what we’re doing." She made good on her opinion and recorded the program, portions of which will be broadcast on ACB Radio.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Leadership Seminar. It was evident that a great deal of work and attention went into planning and presenting it. I hope many more of us have the opportunity to gather with and learn from our officers and Board in the years to come.

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Bellingham Getting Closer:
2004 WCB Convention

by Rhonda Nelson
Convention Committee Chair

Do you look forward to visiting with old friends and meeting new ones? Do you enjoy honing your advocacy skills? Are you curious about the latest adaptive technology? Would you like to taste crab chowder? If your answer to any of the above questions is yes, I hope you’re making plans to join us for the Washington Council of the Blind’s most exciting event of the year, our annual convention.

When? November 11 through 13, 2004. Where? Best Western Lakeway Inn, 714 Lakeway Drive, Bellingham, WA. You may make hotel reservations by calling (360) 671-1011 or toll free (888) 671-1011. To obtain the WCB hotel rates, please let the reservationist know that you are with our convention, or use group number 101509. Our room rates are $74 per night for singles and doubles, $89 for triples and quads, plus 10.2 percent tax, which brings the actual cost for singles and doubles to $81.55. We have previously held very successful conventions at the Lakeway Inn and anticipate another fantastic WCB gathering there this November. Please note that the hotel is now a totally nonsmoking facility.

The WCB Convention Committee and our host chapter, the United Blind of Whatcom County, are working hard to bring you a weekend that’s interesting, informative, and fun. Details are not finalized, but here are the tentative plans. Thursday evening there will be the traditional Board and Resolutions Committee meetings. Plenary sessions will be held Friday and Saturday mornings. Friday afternoon will be devoted to break-out groups, where you will have a choice of various smaller seminars and meetings focusing on specific topics, such as the arts and technology. The exhibit room will be open Friday from 10:00am to 6:00pm. Friday evening possibilities include an outing to a local casino and/or a WCB talent show, to go along with the ever-popular Bop-It tournament. The business meeting will once again be held Saturday afternoon and will be followed by a reception for scholarship winners, and the usual social hour and banquet. For your relaxation, facials will be available by appointment Friday and Saturday, and possibly massages as well. And for a different form of stress release, hospitality will be open all three evenings.

If you have been a WCB member since at least May 11, 2004 and have never attended a WCB convention, we may be able to assist you with transportation, hotel and registration expenses, with grants available through the First Timers Committee. If interested, please send an application briefly outlining how the grant would benefit you to Janice Squires, First Timer Committee Chair. Her e-mail, which is the preferred application format, is, and her mailing address is 502 W. 20th Avenue, Kennewick, WA 99337. Applications must be received no later than August 31, 2004.

Once again this year, one free hotel room will be available for two women and another for two men. First priority will go to individuals who have never utilized this benefit. If interested, please contact Marilyn Donnelly on the WCB phone line, (206) 283-4276 or (800) 255-1147 during the week of September 13 through 17 between 9:00am and 4:00pm.

WCB will provide three buses to transport convention attendees to and from the hotel. They will leave from Seattle, Bremerton, and the Tri-Cities and will be picking up passengers at other locations along their routes. Travel stipends are available for qualifying WCB members coming from areas not serviced by any of the buses. Details as to how to reserve a seat on one of the buses or to apply for a travel stipend will be available in the next Newsline and in your convention bulletin.

The convention pre-registration cost is $40. This includes up to five meals: Friday breakfast and lunch, and Saturday breakfast, box lunch and banquet. If you are able to attend for only one day, the pre-registration fee is $25. But don’t be late! Those registering after the cutoff date of October 10, 2004 will need to pay $75. October 10 is also the date by which hotel reservations and transportation assistance requests need to be made.

You should expect to receive your convention bulletin in early September. The registration form will be included, or you will be able to register online at But for now, please just make sure to register those all-important convention dates, November 11 through 13, 2004 on your calendar and in your mind, in anticipation of an outstanding WCB weekend.

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Constitution and Bylaws Committee

This committee works with the membership throughout the year in areas pertaining to our Constitution and works out the wording to make sure that proposed amendments or changes are in compliance with ACB regulations before they are brought to the floor of the convention. It reviews the proposed constitutions that groups wishing to affiliate with WCB submit, to make sure that they are in compliance with the WCB constitution.

If you are interested in knowing more about this committee, if you would like a copy of our constitution, or if you would like to propose a change and need to know the process, please contact Terry Atwater, Chair, at (360) 754-8193 or e-mail

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Guide Dog Users of Washington State
May 2004 Spring Fling

by Vivian Conger, Secretary

If you missed our first annual Spring Fling this year, you missed a great day with lots of informative and fun events.

We had our own Sally Mayo speak about dog attacks, advocacy, and Layla’s Law and her experiences.

We then had Dr. Pennie Cooley, DVM Ophthalmologist, give a terrific program on prevalent eye conditions and diseases in dogs, especially the breeds used for guides.

Our next speaker was Sharon Majewski, puppy raiser for Guide Dogs of America. She kept us all laughing with puppy antics.

After lunch we had two different sessions in which we broke into two groups. One group participated in a hands-on-demonstration of a Global Positioning System (GPS) using a Braille Note. This demonstration was done in vans and partly on foot. The other breakout group watched a couple of videos on access and then discussed them. Then in the second session, the groups flip-flopped. Many thanks to Debbie Cook and Ann McCay for bringing their Braille Notes and GPS systems and for their excellent talk before the demonstrations.

We had lots of cool door prizes donated by GDUWS board members and a puppy raiser. A few of our volunteers who helped out with the vans and general stuff at the Fling were Nick Terrones, from Guide Dogs for the Blind; Janice Wood, former GDB puppy raiser; Sherri McQuilken, owner of the Shipwreck Café in the Olympia area; and Lynn Hobbs, GDB puppy raiser. We gained two new members at this event.

Hopefully you will be able to join us next year for our second annual Spring Fling. The time, date, and place will be announced in future Newsline issues.

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Legislative Seminar 2004

by Shari Burns,
Peninsula Council of the Blind

Sally Mayo and I arrived at the Washington Terrace Hotel late on March 20th. I was tired and also very excited. In fact, I had been packed and ready to go since Tuesday, March 16.

I was ready for what was to me a new experience. The seminar and the hotel in which we stayed lived up to all my expectations. It was wonderful to meet, make friends, and learn from ACB members from various states.

The seminar officially started at 1:00pm on March 21. Between then and 4:45pm on March 22nd I was given a great opportunity to learn how to be effective through advocacy. I learned that it is important to understand how lawmakers work. That understanding "the rules of the legislative game" is an important part of successful advocacy.

Prior to my attendance at this seminar, lobbying conjured up an image in my mind of smoke-filled rooms, special interests, and back room deals. I now know that lobbying (advocacy) plays a very important role in our democracy. In fact, it is the foundation of the American political system. Through lobbying, lawmakers learn about issues and understand the real life impact of policies under consideration, and the manner in which the lawmakers respond is the basis on which they are held accountable.

I have learned that through lobbying we can make a special impact on legislators who I found to be willing to listen and learn. I learned that through legislative visits we have the opportunity to persuade those who can be persuaded and educate those who are willing to learn. For legislators who have been our allies we can thank them and give them the courage to do more.

Through advocacy we can help insure important accomplishments. For example, Sally and I were able to represent the ACB in presenting to our lawmakers legislation that has the potential to vastly improve our lives: Proposed legislation concerning the Transportation Equity Act, Video Description Restoration, reauthorization (with revisions) of IDEA, Accessible Ballots, and Civil Rights Restoration.*

While a personal meeting with legislators or their staff is a very effective advocacy tool, I found that arranging an appointment, if unfamiliar with the process, can be somewhat frustrating. I was under the impression that an appointment could be arranged by a simple phone call. Most of the time, that is no longer the case. Usually a request must be made in writing and faxed. After which the waiting for a reply begins. Although it took about two weeks to receive all of our replies, I found that our representatives' offices were willing to accommodate our schedule and eager to meet with us. Since our legislators were otherwise occupied, Sally and I met with the legislative staff. Although initially disappointed at not being able to meet with the legislators themselves, I soon realized that the legislative staff serve as the eyes and ears of the members and are the ones elected officials rely upon to learn how an issue affects their district.

Following the interesting, but sometimes long hours of sitting and learning on March 21st, 35 of us were able to attend a dinner theater. It was the 1991 remake of a 1926 George and Ira Gershwin musical titled "Crazy For You". The play was based on a show that was later made into a movie starring Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland. "Crazy For You" contained love songs, comic songs that were really funny, and a compelling plot. I would like to thank Terry Pacheco, from the ACB office, for all the time and effort she put into making this wonderful evening of fellowship, great food, and entertainment possible.

Chris Gray (ACB president); Melanie Brunson (ACB Executive Director); Terry Pacheco (ACB Membership & Affiliate Services Coordinator); guest speaker Pam Gregory (Special Advisor- Disability Rights Office - Consumer and Government Affairs Bureau - Federal Communications Commission); Mark Richert (Executive Director AER); Jim Dickson (Vice President of Government Affairs - American Association Of People With Disabilities); and many people behind the scenes put forth a lot of time and effort to make possible a wonderful weekend consisting of excellent information concerning legislative issues, education concerning the strategies for effective advocacy, and fun and fellowship.

I left this seminar on the evening of March 23rd with the knowledge that while my one voice can make a difference, the many voices of the ACB can create a movement.


* For more information concerning legislative issues see the ACB web site ( ) and click on Washington connections.

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A Legislative Adventure

by Sally Mayo,
Yakima Valley Council of the Blind

Wow! It is hard to believe that we have been home from Washington DC for 2 months now. Shari & I had an adventure traveling to DC to meet with our representatives. The training was very interesting and informative; we met a lot of new people. It appeared that the other delegations have veterans who had been coming to the legislative seminar for years.

We arrived in DC on Saturday night. The flight was great, but the taxis were horrendous. One refused to take us because of my guide dog. The second taxi overcharged us and lectured me on how he did not have to take us because of the guide dog. This kind of blew me away. I was told later that others had been having trouble with the taxis, so I was not the only one to run into this situation. The hotel staff was great. They took very good care of us. The dog relieving area was across the street. They would stop traffic for us and watch to make sure we were OK.

Shari & I attended an early morning meeting, which was very uplifting. Later that evening we went to the dinner theater. This was fantastic. I used the FM system to listen to the narrative of the play. The Kennedy Center brought their system and narrator to demonstrate how well this setup can work. I am hoping to bring this technology to Yakima with the Warehouse Theater, a local theater group that puts on several plays a year. It was amazing to me how much this added to the enjoyment of the play.

On Monday we attended seminars all day long. We were free for dinner and went out with another delegate from Missouri. She also was new. The one lesson I learned is not to go to Chinatown after dark. The food was good but the shops were closed.

Tuesday we met with four assistants to our representatives. The challenges that we faced were more in the logistics of getting around in a timely manner. The distances were a little different than I expected, however we made all of our appointments and made it to the airport on time.

In retrospect, I believe that at least one of the delegates we send should be a veteran. This would have helped significantly with the logistics. It would have helped to know what to expect from the legislative offices.

One of the things that I did was to bring gifts for the aides we met. Unfortunately, my briefcase was left in the taxi. Things I took with me were braille playing cards and a descriptive video to show them what we were asking for as an accommodation. I have found that most people don’t know what a descriptive video is, and why it would be helpful for those who are blind. A little education goes a long way when telling others about the accommodations that we are asking for. All in all, I feel this trip went very well. We were well received by almost everyone we met. Shari & I made friends from across the country and became friends ourselves.

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WCB Aging and Blindness Committee

by Carl Jarvis, Chair

The Aging and Blindness Committee has prepared the following brochure. It targets those older folks who are just now experiencing vision loss. After Board approval the brochure will be distributed to all WCB Chapters to be placed in Senior Centers, Churches, Retirement Apartments, Offices of Eye Physicians and anywhere else older folks gather.


Is your change in vision interfering with your normal activities?

How will you get around, if you can't drive or read bus or street signs?

Are you having trouble recognizing the faces of family and friends?

Is chasing green peas across a dinner plate irritating?

You're not alone, there are over 11.5 million Americans whose vision is partially or totally impaired. Many of them resign themselves to a limited lifestyle, by giving up their independence, to rely increasingly on family, friends, and caregivers.

But poor vision does not have to result in withdrawal or dependency. We, the members of the Aging and Blindness Committee, know what it's like. We've been there; we've done that; and we have learned to adapt so that we can continue living full, satisfying lives.

What do we mean when we say adapt?

We mean learning different techniques to accomplish the things you like to do. We mean learning how to ask for assistance, seeking out people who can help you find new resources and invent alternative ways of doing the things you used to do with sight.

Adapting means accepting what you can't change and developing new ways to enjoy everyday life. For instance, if you can't read regular print, you can receive books and magazines in large print, or on cassette tapes, through your local talking book library. You can listen to newspapers by telephone, read printed materials with print scanning computers, and magnify print on a closed circuit TV screen. You can read and write with illumination from high intensity lights, or from hand-held magnifying devices. You can use a signature guide for signing checks and important papers, write on bold lined paper with dark pens, and obtain large print checkbooks, address books, and calendars. You can compose, store, and print materials with a computer that speaks or enlarges the text on a monitor's screen, and learn braille for handy labeling and note-taking.

You can travel the streets in the company of a friend, or you may choose to travel independently using a white cane or a guide dog.

You can do household repairs or woodworking projects with specially marked tools, program a talking VCR, cook, do handicrafts, keep house, and place tactile markings on your appliance controls. You might use a shoebox, into which you toss small items (like keys, pocket change, wallet, watch, etc), and purchase talking clocks, watches, and other devices.

We know it will take a while to get used to a new way of life, but the choice is yours. The sooner you begin, the sooner you will be back to doing the things you want to do. You can adapt to your new situation more quickly by finding new activities. Get active in your religion. Join clubs, or maybe organizations of people, who are visually impaired, such as the Washington Council of the Blind, or your local city or state organizations of the visually impaired. Being active and taking advantage of life's opportunities are good ways to enjoy yourself, make new acquaintances, and accomplish worthwhile goals.

Because of your vision loss, there are things you can no longer do; but you can find alternatives. You can work in hundreds of job settings, bowl, dance, exercise, play board games, read, ski, swim, walk--the list is endless! You can no longer drive, but the money saved on car upkeep can cover the costs of buses, paratransit vans, taxis, hired drivers, trains, and planes.

At first, it's only natural for you to need time to deal with the emotions that accompany dramatic visual changes. Old habits are not easily replaced with new ones. New habits and new activities will require time to be accepted; because the brain resists change and creates temporary depression, irritability, and apathy. After a few months, though, you should start seeking out things you can still do and enjoy. That's where professionals can help. The eye doctors can define the medical problems. A low vision clinic can show you all kinds of aids and appliances to try out. Rehabilitation teachers can help you adapt your apartment or house to your own ways of doing things. Organizations of people who are visually impaired can confirm that you are not alone; and when you get to know other visually impaired people, you will notice the various ways they adapt to their visual impairments.

We, who have traveled the road before you, have identified five attitudes to help us adjust to vision loss and find the kind of life we want to lead. These five attitudes are:

  1. Treat your situation as a "challenge", and see what you can do with it. Try everything new that you can. Looking at challenges as solvable problems increases courage. "Go for it; you have nothing to lose."
  2. Take "control" of your life. Realize that you can make your situation better or worse, by what you do or don't do. Sitting around the house doing nothing is guaranteed depression. Seek out information, new things to try, new people to meet, and evaluate the outcomes, so you can decide what to continue or drop. Trying new things increases hope, optimism, and determination. It’s time you started building new memories.

  3. Use "resources". Look over the wide assortment of aids, adaptive appliances and information available from companies and organizations throughout the country.

  4. "Affiliation with people" is important. Join a church, club, organization, or volunteer group. Doing something with others and for others helps most people. But remember, all groups and organizations (even churches) have personalities, based on the particular people who belong. Keep looking until you find the one that is right for you.

  5. Cultivate your "sense of humor". Read funny stuff. Try seeing the humor in daily events, even in your own foibles. You can't worry and laugh at the same time. A sense of humor is one of the world's oldest and best medicines. (If you are a committed grumbler, however, go ahead and grumble, but not in public. After all, you don't have to like the new wrinkle in your life; but you do have to live with it.) If asking for help bothers you, it's okay. Relying on others is not easy. But remember how good you have felt, when you helped someone else, so allow someone else, for a change, to feel good by helping you. In time you too, will be able to tell others, "I've been there; I've done that; and I can show you how it's done."

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Awards Committee Report

by Marlaina Lieberg, Chair

As Chair of an ad hoc committee established by President Burgett to investigate the feasibility of an awards program for WCB, I would like to share with you a brief overview of the Committee recommendations, and hope that you will feel free to give me or other Committee members your feedback. This proposed program will be discussed in greater length at our State Convention, so I thought it might be helpful to provide some history and background prior to the convention.

At the March Board Meeting in Seattle, Cindy Burgett expressed her interest in researching the idea of WCB offering an awards program, both to celebrate accomplishments of our members, and to express appreciation to those in the mainstream community whose excellent work impacts the lives of people with vision loss. Cindy approached me with a request to chair this ad hoc committee, and I agreed.

My Committee members were Peggy Shoel of Seattle and Clair Bourgeois of Bremerton. They worked tirelessly with me and kept me on track with our mission, which was to develop the defining characteristics of this new potential WCB program. Using the WCB conference calling facilities, we met two to three times a month, and established guidelines for this potential program.

We will be looking forward to any submissions you may have for people whom you consider appropriate for any of the awards categories below. Please contact any member of the Committee with your nominations. The closing date for receipt of nominations is August 31, 2004. Contact information for Committee members will be found at the conclusion of this article.


The purpose is to provide a mechanism through which deserving individuals and/or entities may be publicly recognized for outstanding contributions and support of blind individuals in their pursuit of equality, independence and opportunity; and to provide a mechanism through which public expressions of appreciation may be made to chapters and members of The Washington Council of the Blind.

We propose that there be two categories of awards/certificates: internal (those applicable to WCB members only such as certificates of appreciation for outstanding service); and external (those awards for which members of the public may qualify, such as the Business of the Year Award.)

Presentation and Categories

All awards given will be presented at the convention banquet. WCB may make awards in as many or as few of the following categories as are applicable:

1. The Outstanding Advocacy Award: given to individuals who champion and safeguard the legal rights and entitlements afforded to blind and partially sighted people and who promote and support improvements to the lives of these individuals.

2. The Newsline Editor's award: given in acknowledgement of an article considered outstanding in reporting of a blindness related event, activity or program or for an article of original content commenting on issues, concerns and realities of daily life for blind and partially sighted people. And, individual chapters submitting chapter updates to every quarterly Newsline issue between state conventions will be verbally recognized at the award ceremony, so get those articles rolling because if you do, you'll have a chance to hoot and holler in celebration altogether!

3. The Employer of the Year Award: given to an employer who has taken proactive steps to recruit and hire qualified blind and partially sighted people as well as create a working environment in which these individuals can advance. This award is intended exclusively for those employers who are not involved in the training or rehabilitation of or direct service provision to people who are blind or partially sighted.

4. The Business of the Year award: given to a business which has provided outstanding service to blind and partially sighted customers through such means as top notch customer service, providing access to printed publicly available materials in accessible formats, or through the use of accessible web sites.

5. The One World Award: given to any individual or entity whose actions have a direct result of minimizing the impact of blindness by creating an opportunity of equal access such as providers or sponsors of described movies, plays, or museums and describers and narrators of sporting events.

6. The WCB Chapter of the Year Award: given to the chapter of WCB which has demonstrated outstanding community interaction and outreach through presentations at schools, community events and meetings. Chapters which have achieved a minimum of a ten percent membership increase from the date of the last WCB annual convention will receive a certificate of recognition at the ceremony, so start recruiting now and we'll all hoot and holler with you when your Chapter gets its certificate!

7. Certificate of Outstanding Service to the WCB: given to express appreciation to those members whose consistent donation of their skills, services and time have contributed to the successful operation of the Washington Council of the Blind. Without these dedicated and talented members, we could not continue to grow; this will be our chance to celebrate and say thank you to very special members of WCB.

8. Certificate of Appreciation for Official Service: designed to express appreciation to WCB Officers and Board members, this certificate will be presented to officers and board members upon completion of each term.

As stated above, this is an overview of the Committee's recommendations. The WCB Board has agreed that this should come before you the membership at our next WCB business meeting. We will try the program this year, and if you approve, it will be carried on in the future.

If you have any award nominations, please contact me or any one of the Committee members before August 31, 2004. Nominations must be submitted in accessible format: Braille, cassette, or email.

Marlaina Lieberg

Awards Committee Chair

206 243-1716


Peggy Shoel

206 722-8477

(Writer’s Note: Due to other personal commitments, Clair Bourgeois has resigned from the Awards Ad Hoc Committee. Both Peggy and I will miss her. We are, however, delighted to announce that Stuart Russell has been appointed to this Committee. Stuart can be reached by email at  or by phone at (360) 377-2437). Additionally, Berl Colley has been added as a WCB Board Representative.

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Recreation Opportunities

by Becky Bell & Doug Hildie
United Blind of Seattle

The subject of recreation is important to many blind and visually impaired people. Sharing knowledge, experiences, and resources with others in Washington is our common goal. We hope this article will encourage sharing of information with one another through the Newsline and in other ways. We hope it will generate inquiries and discussion.

Sometimes the recreation activities in which we have participated have been intended to serve only individuals without disabling conditions, and sometimes not. Companies providing recreational activities and services are legally obligated to make their services available to individuals who are blind or otherwise disabled. Nevertheless, there are factors that can be daunting and challenging for all parties. The availability of a variety of recreational resources that are designed for individuals who have visual impairments may be preferred, but such programs are neither common nor conspicuous. Following is a short list of recreational resources that are known to accommodate individuals with visual impairments. Please feel free to contact either of us for conversation or further information at: (206) 526-0649 (Becky); or (206) 529-8247 (Doug).

Ski for Light – Puget Sound
(206) 631-7904. Multiple outings in winter and a warm lodge for relaxation.
Ski for Light – Canada (604) 463-8777. Cross country skiing in the "wilds" of Canada.

Footloose Sailing (206) 382-2680
Zipping across the water with sails unfurled.

Ski for All (425) 462-0978
Downhill and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, bicycling, hiking, and more

Oral Hull Foundation for the Blind
(503) 668-6195. A variety of summertime activities in Oregon

TrailBlazers NorthWest (206) 529-8247 Horseback riding camps, mountain wilderness treks on horseback and more (currently reorganizing)

This is a very short list of a few recreational opportunities with successful histories. We hope it elicits interest in participation and collaboration to develop additional resources that will be shared.

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Update from WSSB

by Dr. Dean O. Stenehjem, Superintendent

This past year has been very busy, with the completion of a self-study process and onsite review for national accreditation, implementation of a new distance learning program, and the beginning of another phase of capital construction work.

WSSB has successfully completed its accreditation process and retains national accreditation through the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges. This process includes a comprehensive review of all programs and validation of this self-study by a team of experts that come from throughout the country and spend three days on campus reviewing all programs. The process of self-study has been used very effectively over the years to guarantee that WSSB stays current with its practices and programs in providing quality services to children both on and off campus. During this time the school has also been gearing up for a continuation of major capital construction projects on campus. Some of the capital construction projects that will occur between now and July of 2005 are: remodeling of the school’s boiler system and boiler building, remodeling of the Ahlsten Building, lighting improvements, fencing replacement, completion work on the Irwin Education Building, temporary fix with some seismic work on the Kennedy Building (Physical Education Building), electrical upgrades in various locations on campus and other smaller projects. All of these projects have been part of the ten-year plan that has been developed through the self-study process completed as part of previous national accreditation studies.

The Ahlsten Building remodel will result in a new partnership with the Vancouver Police Department (VPD), whereby the detective division of VPD will be located on campus. This will not only enhance police presence in our neighborhood on a 24/7 basis, but will increase career opportunities for blind children and provide us the opportunity to provide education and training to the VPD about the capabilities of people who are blind. The VPD is scheduled to move onto campus this fall. Already this partnership has resulted in an underwater rescue and recovery training program by the police and fire department in our pool, which has resulted in scuba-diving lessons for blind children and staff at WSSB. Aren’t partnerships wonderful for kids!

The temporary seismic work on the Kennedy Building is being done to allow us to continue to use the building during the next two-plus years, while we work on replacement of this facility. WSSB was getting ready for major remodel of this facility when it was discovered that the building had major design and seismic issues. After careful analysis, it was determined that it was less costly to replace the facility than try and remodel the building. Our goal is to have a new Kennedy Building in place by December of 2006 if everything moves through the process in Olympia in a timely manner. The new facility will be located where the current track is at this time, and the track will be moved to the center of the campus this summer in preparation for anticipated new construction. This will allow us to continue to use the old facility while a replacement building is constructed. This replacement facility will house a fitness center, recreation center, arts and crafts program, community room, gym, and swimming pool, and will be a tremendous asset for us and the community. Currently about 40,000 people use the facility when not in use by WSSB. We see these continued partnerships to occur with the replacement facility, that will be better designed and allow for improved security within the building and on campus.

I’m running out of space for this issue of Newsline, so will need to cover other topics in the next issue. Until then, if you get a chance to visit WSSB, please stop by and see all the wonderful things that are happening for blind children in our state.

Don’t forget the all school reunion at WSSB this summer – June 25-27, 2004. We anticipate a great turnout and look forward to seeing many of you at this wonderful gathering.

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Braille Camp 2004

by Carolyn Meyer, Director
Louis Braille Center

The Louis Braille Center is pleased to offer a unique summer school experience for children who are blind or visually impaired. The three-week program will be at St. Peter by the Sea Lutheran Church in Edmonds, Washington. We will have use of a kitchen, spacious classroom and activity area, and outside play space.

Braille Camp 2004 is for children kindergarten through grade 12.

Program: Braille Camp 2004 will offer instruction in Braille Reading and Writing, Remedial Math, Crafts, Music, and Daily Living and Social Skills. Lunch will be prepared by the students.

Instructors: Our enthusiastic and talented staff will bring a rich variety of expertise and practical experience to Braille Camp 2004.

Tuition: $250. Includes supplies and lunch. Full and partial tuition assistance is available. Please ask.

Date: July 12 through 29, Monday through Thursday.

Time: 10:00am to 2:00pm

Location: St. Peter by the Sea Lutheran Church, 1212 9th Avenue North, Edmonds, WA

For more information or to reserve a place for your child, contact:

Carolyn Meyer

Louis Braille Center

320 Dayton Street, Suite 125

Edmonds, WA 98020

Phone: (425) 776-4042


Our Philosophy

The purpose of education for our children is the same as it is for all children. It is to learn to live and love, to lead full and joyful lives, and ultimately to use one’s education and talents in the service of others.

We recognize that innovative educational approaches and special tools are needed to provide a positive learning environment for children who are blind or visually impaired.

We believe that with opportunity and with acquisition of appropriate skills, children who are blind or visually impaired can be successful learners and happy, well-rounded citizens.

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Thank You from LBC

The following was received by President Cindy Burgett from Carolyn Meyer, Director, Louis Braille Center.

It is with hearts full of gratitude that we at the Louis Braille Center express our thanks to the Washington Council of the Blind for providing funds to purchase Goodfeel braille music transcribing software and a new braille embosser.

The braille music software will make it possible to expand our transcribing services to those who wish direct contact with written music and all of its nuances. We are excited to begin the great adventure of learning the program and applying it to music of various types and complexities. Braille music is in danger of becoming a dying art. We are happy to join those who are determined to keep it alive.

The new embosser replaces an aging machine that has become unreliable. It will happily emboss thousands of pages of braille in the acoustic sound enclosure that you provided earlier. We are breathing easier now that we know we can meet our deadlines.

Thank you for keeping us up and running.

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Library Notes

by Gloria Leonard, Director

Below are highlights of issues addressed, activities performed and progress made on current projects at the Library. In addition, we want to let you know about our participation in a new pilot project for print-impaired Internet users that began in early June.

Progress Made

Budget Update. The Library continues to track critical cost-cutting strategies developed to address a 4.5% shortfall in the 2003-2004 operating budget due to cost increases, including a contractually mandated cost-of-living adjustment and higher health care premiums. Salary savings from position vacancies and the elimination of non-essential non-personnel items, including telephone lines, equipment and display features are among the short-term cost-cutting options recently implemented. A review of recent financial data indicates that the Library’s operating costs have been reduced. However, longer-term strategies may be required, including service reductions, if the state’s financial shortfall continues.

Selected Accomplishments

Evergreen Braille Service. During a recent quarter, 27 items (totaling 3,935 pages plus 4,165 duplicated pages) were provided to readers. Eighteen new titles were added to the collection, including three for the Northwest Collection. Of special interest were two titles used in the Seattle Reads Isabel Allende program. In addition, the Seattle Mariners schedule is available in braille via our web site at

Selected Ongoing and New Items

Summer Reading Club. "Celebrate Summer Reading" is this year’s theme. Don’t let your child’s reading skills get rusty over the summer advises Children’s Librarian Beth Eisenhood. Instead, encourage your child between the ages of 6 and 12 to participate in the Summer Reading Club, which begins in late June and ends around Labor Day.

Whether your child reads books from a school assigned list, selection from WTBBL’s collection or local public library – all reading counts. To find books to read from the WTBBL collection of books in braille, on cassette, or in large print: 1) Call the Library and ask to speak to one of the Reader’s Advisers; 2) Use the Library catalog on-line; or 3) Use the order sheet found in the monthly catalogs that come to your home (either in Talking Book Topics or Braille Book Review); 4) Watch your mail for further information about the Summer Reading Club program, including Internet activities and how to earn prizes for reading. Or email Beth at

 InfoEyes = Great news! WTBBL is one of 12 libraries in 10 states to test the use of OCLC Question Point, iVocalize ( ) and talking communities ( ) software products and services by a network of librarians to answer reference questions from visually impaired consumers via a computer, a microphone and an Internet connection. Visually impaired and low vision InfoEyes users are able to submit a question to a librarian in three ways: email, text chat, and voice over IP (audio).

Beginning June 7, patrons can enter the online InfoEyes reference room and interact with a librarian live or via audio by going to:   When activating the Ask a Question via InfoEyes Live Reference Session link, the patron will be prompted to download and install a plug-in feature that will allow you to participate. The librarian can then take the virtual library patron to a web site on the Internet through the ivocalize co-browsing feature. Feedback about this project is encouraged. The pilot ends in August 2004. For more information on the project, contact me at ,
Lori Bell at or Tom Peters at

For tips on how to use the revised online catalog, contact Alan Bentson or Wes Derby at (206) 615-0400 or 1-800-542-0866 or email

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Did You Know This About Our
Washington Talking Book & Braille Library?

by Peggy Shoel

History, fiction, or how-to books - whatever it is we need... Braille, large print, or audio cassette - however it is we read. For many of us, our WTBBL plays an important role in our daily lives and we prize it. Here is some information compiled by the library this last April that I found interesting.

Question: How many books are distributed annually?

Answer: Between 450,000 and 500,000.

Q: How many individual titles are available?

A: 73,161. With multiple copies of each title. There are approximately 350,000 shelved books.

Q: What are the three most popular fiction categories?

A: Westerns, mysteries and romance.

Q: What is the most frequently requested non-fiction book?

A: Consistently, the Bible.

Q: How many registered volunteers does the library have?

A: 400-plus

Here are some interesting pieces of historical information obtained from the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Reference Section.

In 1931, Projects, books for the adult blind, under the Librarian of Congress, became operational with 157 books approved for braille embossing. The first book processed was Woodrow Wilson’s George Washington, in honor of the bicentennial anniversary of Washington’s birth. Included in that first group of 157 were Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Sandburg’s Abraham Lincoln, the Prairie Years, Pearl Buck’s Good Earth, Hugo’s Les Miserables, and Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter.

The first talking book selections included the Four Gospels, the Psalms, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States of America, George Washington’s Farewell Address and Valley Forge Letter, and Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. The first talking book produced was Coleridge’s Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner.

In 1937, Talking Book Topics was first produced in typeset for approximately 4,000 users. In 1939, the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) produced the first recorded version of Talking Book Topics, which sold for a $1.00 per year subscription.

Some authors narrated part or all of their work. For example, Eleanor Roosevelt narrated the first chapter of her book, This is My Story, in 1938, while she was still the First Lady.

Terry Hayes Sales began narrating in 1937 and has recorded over 300 titles. Alexander Scourby recorded over 400 titles between 1937 and 1982. In 1934, Braille Book Review, listing available braille embossed books, was first produced and distributed.

To all of you, staff and volunteers, for whom your work is a labor of love, please know that you are appreciated. Thank you!

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New Insight in Old Port Townsend

by Carl Jarvis

The Second Annual Disability Awareness Day in Port Townsend did exactly what it set out to do. Twelve participants headed off to learn whether or not their town is accessible to the disabled. The group included the mayor, two city council members, the school superintendent, the city attorney and folks from the city planning and engineering departments. Eight were in wheelchairs and four, including the mayor, were under sleep shades.

Once again Jefferson County Council of the Blind was well represented, with Lynn Gressley, Bonnie Sherrell, my wife Cathy and I escorting the "blind" participants, and Kay Bohren working behind the scenes. The project is put on by DASH (Disability Accessibility Surveillance and Health) of Port Townsend. Fanning out over the city, the hearty crew left no corner unexplored. And when they gathered that late afternoon they all had a very different view of their town.

Once again the Jefferson County Transit was given high praise for their ability to quickly adjust to the increase of special needs. But the high marks pretty much ended there. Beautification efforts by the city created problems for disabled travelers. Large planter boxes placed at street corners became roadblocks in the middle of sidewalks. Decorative trees had branches that slapped folks in the face. Sandwich board signs jutted out to trip up unsuspecting passersby. Some sidewalks were made from cobblestones and others were crushed rock, making tough work for those in wheel chairs. Many stores were not accessible to wheelchairs; inside others, maneuvering through aisles and into bathrooms was out of the question.

The day ended with a strong commitment from city officials that changes will begin immediately and future planning will include accommodating needs of the disabled.

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ACB Store

The following products have recently been added to the list of products and services available through the American Council of the Blind Store ( ).

Golf shirts with embroidered ACB logo (variety of colors & sizes)

Cotton-lined jacket with embroidered ACB logo (variety of sizes)

Baseball cap with embroidered ACB logo
(one size fits all)

Tote bags with ACB logo and motto in braille
and puff print

Additional inventory items include:

Luggage tags

Glow-in-the-dark canes (rigid, slimline and heavy duty)

ACB sew-on patches and lapel pins

Braille and large print desk calendars

For more information or to place an order, contact Pat Shreck, Store Manager, at 877-367-2224 or e-mail

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Capital City Council of the Blind

Greater Everett Area Council of the Blind

Guide Dog Users of Washington State

King County Chapter

Lower Columbia Council of the Blind

Pierce County Council of the Blind

United Blind of Seattle

United Blind of Spokane

United Blind of Tri-Cities

United Blind of Walla Walla

United Blind of Whatcom County


Capital City Council of the Blind
by Berl Colley, Member

It has been an active 3 months for the folks in Thurston County. On the third of April the CCCB had its pizza party provided by the WCB's scholarship contest in 2003. There were 18 people including six guests who helped with our fundraising candy sale last fall that provided the $715 that we gave to last year’s scholarships.

The WCB Spring Leadership training and board meeting was held at Olympia's Red Lion and our chapter provided a volunteer for Friday afternoon arrivals and two volunteers to help at the Saturday and Sunday morning breakfast buffet. Thanks to Shirley Atwater and Dottie Simonsen for volunteering. I also helped out. Terry Atwater, Denise Colley and I gave presentations at the Leadership training.

Congratulations to Angela Dirk, a CCCB member and daughter of members Richard and Anna Dirk. She made it through Saint Martin’s College in three years, obtaining a degree in Business. She also graduated summa cum laude.

Mr. John Allen, from Bremerton, spoke at our May meeting, about assistive listening devices. He brought a system with him so that members could experience what it is like using an assistive listening system during a meeting. Some members with different hearing losses said that they gained more from the meeting through John's assistance.

On May 29, the chapter provided 10 members to man a rest-stop at Allis's restaurant for the Pacific Northwest Tandem bicycle rally. The group served bagels, fruit and a special punch to those participating in the race. It is hoped some of our group will be riding in the rally next year.


Greater Everett Area Council of the Blind

by Chris Coulter, President

It has been a very long time since Greater Everett Area Council of the Blind has submitted a chapter update, but that doesn't mean we've been asleep at the switch.

Vicki Reesnes and Louis Wilson represented us as first-timers at the WCB convention in Spokane. They both enjoyed themselves tremendously.

Louis joined the membership committee as a result of his convention experience. He also attended the Leadership Training Seminar in May. He said he has never been so excited about a bunch of lectures in his life.

We also have three new members. They are: Than Bates, Nancy Lind and Miki Hopper-Estrada. Than was awarded a scholarship at the convention. She approached me during one of the breaks between sessions and asked me for information about joining our chapter. I invited her to a meeting, which she attended, and joined us practically on the spot.

Nancy is a member of King County Chapter and decided she would like to join us as well. She is proving to be a very enthusiastic member.

Our third new member, Miki Hopper-Estrada has just become legally blind. We are the first blind people she has ever come in contact with and she says she is thrilled to be a member.

We are all excited about our past accomplishments and we are looking forward to our future, which hopefully includes a very creative summer break in July and August. If you would like to know more about GEACB you can E-mail us at . Or contact us by phone at (425) 259-4655, or (425) 231-3801 if no response.


Guide Dog Users of
Washington State (GDUWS)

By Joleen Ferguson, President

Now that our first Spring Fling is behind us, we are busy making preparations for our meetings at the WCB Fall convention. We have already contacted some possible speakers. Instead of having Simon Says this year, we are considering having something else take its place. We are also looking at possible locations and thinking about programs for our Spring Fling 2005.

By the time this article goes to press, we should have already had a GDUWS board conference call and possibly some committee meetings.

Our membership has grown by two additional members during the past few weeks as a direct result of our Spring Fling. We are pleased to welcome Becky Mazary and Kevin Frankeberger into our ranks. Now we are 27.


King County Chapter Update

by Rhonda Nelson, Secretary

King County Chapter members have recently received some very sad news. We mourn the passing of Bethel Schneebeck on May 16 and Michelle Ebbighausen on May 18. Bethel was the mother of our current chapter president, Tim Schneebeck, and Michelle was our chapter’s immediate past president. Michelle had fought a courageous battle against complications from diabetes, and even while in failing health her commitment to WCB remained strong. We send our condolences to the Schneebeck and Ebbighausen families and friends.

On a much happier note, our last four meetings have offered a variety of interesting and informative discussions. In February, Nancy Lind inspired us with her story. She reminded each of us to never let anyone else define who we are. In March, a transit representative gave us useful information regarding certification and eligibility for paratransit. April brought presentations from four chapter members who had recently enjoyed interesting educational and leisure experiences: Frank Johnson at the Veterans Administration Blind Rehabilitation Program in Tacoma; Tim and Virginia Schneebeck on an excursion to the Arctic; and I on a tour to baseball spring training in Arizona. In May, a sergeant from the Port of Seattle Police Department gave us helpful recommendations for getting through Sea-Tac Airport. While there are definite security procedures and requirements, assistance is available, and we were encouraged to ask for it when needed. We were also very pleased to have Denise Colley, our Board liaison, attend our meeting and update us regarding WCB activities.

Despite the rain as I write this, summer is on the way. That means it’s almost time for the American Council of the Blind national convention. Several chapter members plan to go to Birmingham, and we look forward to visiting with many of you there.


Lower Columbia Council of the Blind

by Cheryl Danzl, President

It was a long hard winter for some of our members here at LCCB this year, what with that nasty flu that hit almost everyone. Then our VP, Ginger McCallum, had a heart attack the day after Christmas. She had a triple bypass on January 20. She had it done at Overlake Hospital in Bellevue to be near her daughter Kibby, who lives in Kenmore. God answered our prayers, she did very well and was home on February 27. She has several more weeks of daily cardiovascular therapy, which she's really having fun with, and is getting stronger every day.

Erla Coleman has recovered nicely from a knee surgery in December.

Gloria Viall spent a month this winter in Arizona getting a suntan with her youngest son, Heath, but she has been having some health issues since her return.

I fell and sprained my ankle in February and was finally able to walk without pain this month.
Ya hoo!!

Good things have happened as well. We have three new members, Amy Waldren, Johanna Neeley and Kathy Elf. Welcome to LCCB, girls!

Audrey Jolley finished her classes at LCC this past winter and will be formally receiving her Associate Degree on June 20. Congratulations Audrey. You go girl!!! Audrey is currently studying Human Development at WSU.

Pam Dickey is a working woman now and has her own car since getting her eyesight back. We're all very happy for her.

Pam, Ginger, Audrey and I have recently become members/board members of various organizations in the Kelso/Longview area. The Lions, VFW, Lower Columbia Organization on Disabilities and the Transit Disabilities Advisory Council. We're also very busy at the present time selling raffle tickets for various prizes (mostly local). The drawing will be held at our annual picnic on July 10 at 2:00pm. Everyone is welcome to join us.

Last but certainly not least, I'd like to thank our new WCB Board liaison, Rhonda Nelson, for taking the time out of her busy schedule to attend our May meeting. Rhonda brought us up to date on the most recent board meeting as well as all the deadlines and dates for upcoming events, conventions, etc. We had a Mexican potluck after the meeting and got to know her a little better. Thank you Rhonda, and please come back again. Maybe we'll have Italian next time.

Our meetings are held the second Saturday of each month from 10:00am to noon at Twin City Bakery and Grill in Kelso, unless we plan a potluck, in which case we have it in Ginger’s rec room from noon until 2:00pm. However, this year we decided to take June and August off . Everyone is welcome.


Pierce County Association of the Blind

by Mildred Johnson, Secretary

April was our election month and Ron Fredrickson is again our President, Bob Mahoney is Vice-President, I am again Secretary, Gladys Emery (one of our new members) is Treasurer, Laura Pendell is Sunshine, Virginia Seymour is Telephone Chair, and Bob Osier (another new member) is Scholarship Chair.

We now have 15 active members and one associate member. We also have a new meeting place. After meeting for many many years on South "M" we are now at 2303 6th Avenue in a large community room of an apartment house.

We are a group that likes to eat and needless to say, our so-called "snacks" sometimes turn out to be potluck. Real yummy, but doesn’t help the waistline. We have had some very interesting speakers from the Department of Services for the Blind, telling us how to get help in order to remain in our homes. Our new members are not always aware of what is available. One of our members will be 93 this summer, and recently had to move into assisted living. However, she still hops the shuttle and goes her merry way. Way to go, Betty!

Believe it or not, this month it will be 20 years that I have been holding our scholarship fundraisers. I have met so many great people and if you could see what they have donated, you would be amazed. People just drop it off either on my front porch or back by the garage, which is all under cover. I just concluded a week-long sale on June 6th. Come on down!


United Blind of Seattle

by Doug Hildie

The past few months have been "routine" for United Blind of Seattle (UBS). We continued to have presenters for each monthly meeting, alternating with "open forum" discussion, which gives the membership the opportunity to consider topics of interest and concern to the operation of UBS. Some of our members participated in winter recreation activities, which took them away from UBS temporarily. However, they are back, and were all ready to participate in "Friends Day", an annual UBS event. "Friends Day" was held at our May meeting. It included presenters who spoke about UBS, WCB and ACB programs and membership, and there was an opportunity for guests and UBS members to interact socially while enjoying delicious food. UBS members welcomed seven guests to "Friends Day." So far, three guests have become members. In addition to these seven guests, UBS was pleased to have Lynette Romero, Board Member, WCB, participate in "Friends Day." Lynette made the presentation about state activities. She will return in June in her role as chapter liaison from the WCB Board.

United Blind of Seattle continues to grow, prosper, and spread its optimistic philosophy to others.


United Blind of Spokane

by Dorothy Carroll, President

We have changed the date of our meeting to the second Saturday of the month. We also have changed the meeting place to Cooper George Retirement Center, 707 W. Fifth Avenue. It is centrally located on a bus route. Mary and Lester Thorpe are residents there, so we can use the meeting room. It is working well and our membership is growing. We are getting the members who work and those who are in school. We have added six new members in the past three months: Russ Richardson, Marilyn Westerman, Clair Warren, Laura Beigh, Sam Sampson, and LaReta Davis and our mascot, baby Masquet Wolfgang Federspiel Nelson. This brings our membership up to 25 members, with three more visitors coming to the June Potluck Picnic Chapter meeting. We are excited about our growth, and hope we can continue to grow more.

Julie DeGeus is coming to our June Chapter meeting as a Board representative and Membership Chair for WCB. Julie is originally from Spokane and still has family here.

We are very pleased that we have nine of our members working on WCB committees. There has been a problem with the paratransit system and we were in danger of losing more transportation due to budget cuts. Marlys and Alden Gerling went to a meeting to help keep our much-needed transportation. They were interviewed and written up in the newspaper. We had a representative from paratransit come speak to our chapter. We better understood the problems that were involved and urged everyone to vote to support a resolution to this problem. It was voted by the public to support paratransit with a raise in sales tax.

I completed my second year as Chair for the Manito Lions Club of Spokane with a very successful campaign. They are hoping to keep the banner that was awarded to them by Northwest Lions Clubs as the most inspirational club.

Marlys and Alden Gerling are all settled into their retirement apartment. Lester and Mary Thorpe have a new apartment at the Cooper George. Marlee and John have been traveling. Clara and Roy have been traveling, also. Laura Beigh is working at the Veterans Hospital in Spokane.

Russ Richardson is our official photographer. We are starting a scrapbook of all our activities, some of which are plans to attend the Civic Theater, look into our pasts with genealogy, and enjoying each other.


United Blind of Tri-Cities

by Janice Squires, 1st Vice President

What an incredible past three months the United Blind of the Tri-Cities has had! In moving our monthly chapter meetings to a Saturday morning breakfast meeting, we have increased our attendance by at least one/third. What a positive change this has been for us as a local chapter. We have added six new members to our membership list and we have Diana Softich, Rosemary Estes and President Bill Hoage to thank for it. Welcome to our chapter the following six new members: Stan and Leslie Clark, Margie and Ronald Kickert, and Fran and Harvey Rodgers.

Congratulations to our UBTC President, Bill Hoage, on his selection as our representative to the WCB leadership seminar in Olympia. The program enables so many of us to learn and experience first hand, what it is not only to be a member of WCB, but a true leader of this great organization.

Once again, the United Blind of the Tri-Cities sponsored a narrated play entitled The Rainmaker. Paul Wilburn and Frank Cuta put together a grant proposal to a local Rotary group to ask for funds to continue support of this worthwhile program. Many of our new members are attending the plays for the first time and are extremely enthusiastic about it.

The biggest and most special event we had this year, was the celebration on May 15 of the 25th anniversary of the formation of the United Blind of the Tri-Cities. We do have four charter members still remaining with us and they are: Frank Cuta, Don Simmonson, Bill Van Winkle and myself. We had a huge celebration with almost 50 people in attendance. Our special guest of honor was WCB President and UBTC liaison, Cindy Burgett. We took a trip down memory lane and from the past to the present we shared stories which brought smiles and tears to many faces. The quote of the day came from our most Senior charter member, Don Simmonson. He said, "It is hard to be nostalgic, when you cannot remember anything!"

A fantastic potluck luncheon was served with food in great abundance. A very special and sincere thank you goes to Diana Softich and her helpers for decorating, preparing and serving all of us. A remembrance of this kind brings to mind how important it is to keep track of your local history, in order to be able to share with others all the events and happenings of the past years. We also want to thank the members of the Yakima Valley Council of the Blind for making the trip to the Tri-Cities to join in our celebration.

Have a good summer.


United Blind of Walla Walla

by Ernie Jones

Lee Coleman, retired from Whitman College’s Athletic Department, was the guest speaker at our March meeting. She talked about her volunteering for the Ski for Light program. She had a few of us ready to get out there and participate in it. She told of the fun she had as she and others assisted blind skiers.

Our own member Tina Leighton has done downhill racing in Colorado and talked to us about her experience and how much fun she had. These two ladies made skiing sound so easy and exciting, even for the blind!

Our April meeting was devoted to dog issues here in Walla Walla. Our speaker was Sallie McCullough, Animal Control Officer for the City of Walla Walla. She was very receptive to our needs and had lots of suggestions as to how to deal with loose dogs. This is a problem in most places for guide dog handlers. In the past we have found very few city/county officers of the law who know there is a state law concerning guide dog harassment, and Sallie is working to make sure all know this law. She also gave us a phone number to call when we encounter a loose dog.

At our May meeting, we had a couple of people from different banks speak to us about what their banks do to accommodate the visually impaired. There were a lot of good ideas tossed back and forth, such as writing out the checks for the blind person.

For our June meeting, a member of the Eastgate Lions Club will speak to us about that organization. We all remember the great Thanksgiving meals this club gives every year for all the blind and their families in this area. Later in the summer, usually for our August meeting, we will have a picnic.

Two of our members participated in Guide Dog Users of Washington State’s first annual Spring Fling in Olympia.


United Blind of Whatcom County

by Yvonne Miller, President

Greetings WCB members. United Blind of Whatcom County has been keeping busy in the last few months. We continue to collect door prizes for the fall convention. Hoping to have lots and lots of goodies collected.

In April, Rhonda Nelson accepted our invitation to be our guest speaker at our meeting. It was a very informative and helpful presentation. As UBWC Chapter liaison and Convention Committee Chair, she was able to answer many of our questions. Everyone enjoyed meeting her.

The month of May, our Secretary, Bruce Radtke left on a one-month vacation in Europe. We will have to rough it without him. Fortunately, Jenny Wilke stepped in to take minutes for our May meeting.

Jesse Minkert and Joan Rabinowitz came up from Seattle to give us a presentation about AVIA, Arts and Visually Impaired Audiences. Many of us have taken in an audio described play in Seattle. Each year a small group of us venture to Seattle on an outing to enjoy this service. We hope to have this type of service available in Bellingham. It was great to have Jesse and Joan come to work with us. This is exciting, so thank you AVIA!

Our chapter is participating in the Tenth Annual Human Race held in The Maritime Heritage Center. The event is coordinated by the Whatcom Volunteer Center. The non-profit groups of Whatcom County generate funds from this annual fun run. So we are currently collecting pledges for this walk or run. The three-mile course is filled with a lot of dedicated and caring people.

Barbra Crowley attended the Leadership Seminar on April 30, May 1 & 2. She gave a report to our members about her experience. It was great to have her take part in this valuable session. She was impressed with the WCB organization and its leaders. It was well coordinated and planned. I attended the May 2nd Board meeting. There will be no June meeting; chapter members were at the Human Race on June 12th. A day of music and fun, we enjoyed the festivities.

All this wonderful weather has seen a drop off in attendance at chapter meetings. We’ll have to plan an outdoor picnic!

On June 11th, we met at Jo Ellen Barton’s home to meet a volunteer who would like to work with our group using his artistic skills to share his knowledge of alternative techniques and approach to art. He has experience working with blind people and is open to explore most mediums such as sculpture and painting. Jose Ponae has studied in Italy for three years, learning to sculpt marble and other disciplines of art. We look forward to experimenting and having fun!

A big HELLO to Arnie Schrock! Sending our best wishes and hope you can breathe new life back into your computer (smiles).

Take care. Have a good time in Birmingham, you all!

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What and Where is the Hadley School for the Blind
by Peggy Shoel

The Hadley School for the Blind is a distance-learning institution located in Winnetka, Illinois. It was founded in 1920 and offers almost 100 tuition-free courses covering a large area of educational, recreational and support subjects, and annually serves 8500 students around the world.

Here are two of their more recently added courses:

1) Finding Your Way, for parents and teachers of elementary school age blind or partially sighted children, suggests games and activities that help the children to explore their surroundings independently. The material is available in large print and on cassette.

2) Foods is a series for those interested in planning and preparing healthy and satisfying meals. It offers adaptive techniques and tips on handling food-related tasks. Material is offered in large print, braille, and cassette.

If you have not already checked out the Hadley School, I urge you to do so. Their scope of courses is very wide and I believe you will find something of interest to you. For more information or to request a catalog of classes, call 800-526-9909 or visit their website at

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Hats Off to You
by Peggy Shoel

We are happy to extend our congratulations to the following members:

  • Sarah and Jeff Schweizer, Peninsula Council of the Blind, on the arrival of their new baby daughter, Natalie Alyssa, who weighed in at 7 lbs. 11 and 3/4 oz. Her big brother Kyle just celebrated his first birthday in April.
  • Cheryl Stewart, President, North Central Washington Council of the Blind, who has been selected as our WCB First Timer National Convention Scholarship recipient. Cheryl will be attending the upcoming ACB Convention in Birmingham, Alabama, along with Carol Brame, member, Peninsula Council of the Blind, who has received her 1st Timer Scholarship through the WCB Barbara Nelson Memorial fund.
  • Angela Dirk, member, Capital City Council of the Blind, on her graduation from St. Martin’s College with a bachelor’s degree in Business. Angela completed the work in three years and graduated summa cum laude.

  • John Moberg, member, Peninsula Council of the Blind, on his graduation from Olympic High School in Bremerton. John, who plans on participating in this summer’s YES Program, will be escorting Amelia Wearstler, daughter of Cindy Burgett, to his senior prom.

  • United Blind of Tri-Cities on its 25th Anniversary as a WCB Chapter. Members and friends celebrated this momentous occasion with an afternoon of food and festivities. 

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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 the WCB.

  • Panasonic has created an office of accessibility and business development and is seeking ideas and comments on how to make their products (i.e., DVD players, recorders, radios, telephones and other devices scheduled for production) more user-friendly for blind and partially sighted customers. Contact information: email  or phone (201) 392-6115.

  • The Lions Roar is a newsletter produced by the Washington State School for the Blind. It is available at their Website, . If you would like to be added to their conventional mailing list, call Janet Mertz at (360) 696- 6321.

  • Would you like to stop receiving pre-approved credit cards in your mail? You can remove your name from that mailing list by calling 888-567-8688. The three major credit bureaus will be instructed not to release your information.

  • The National Library of Congress (NLS) has created a talking book narrators website  Narrators who wish to participate provide some personal/biographical information, as well as audio samples of non-copyrighted material.

  • People of Vision, a history of the American Council of the Blind, is now available through our Talking Book and Braille Library. RC56115 has five cassettes and is narrated by Mark Ashby.

  • Soundings, a British magazine, offers news, support, advice and interviews exploring all aspects of blindness and visual impairment in a mostly sighted world. CDs and cassettes are not available free for those living outside the United Kingdom, but there is free access over the Internet,

  • Net Echo, based in San Jose, California, is a service set up to allow Internet access using a touch-tone telephone keypad. This is not a free service, but it does offer more than one subscription program. For more information, call 877-312-4638

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Bacon and Sour Cream Potato Salad

by Cheryl Danzl

4 large red potatoes, sliced with peels on

5 strips crisp fried bacon, crumbled

4 green onions, finely chopped

2 ribs celery, finely diced

1 cup sour cream (approximate)

1 rounded tablespoon mayonnaise

Salt and pepper to taste

Boil potato slices until just tender, drain and let cool. Add rest of ingredients and mix well. If too dry, add a touch more sour cream. Sometimes I add cheddar cheese chunks and sometimes black olives.

With picnics and outdoor barbeques on the horizon, this is an easy and delicious addition to your summer menu.

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Article Deadline: To be considered for inclusion in the next issue, article submissions, chapter news, and other information for publication must be received by August 21, 2004.

Articles may be edited for purposes of clarity and space considerations.

Publication Policy: To ensure accuracy, we require typed, double-spaced submissions. Articles should be no longer than two pages.

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Calendar of Deadlines & Events

June 25-27 WSSB Former Student Association get-together, Vancouver
June 30 Deadline for receipt of WCB Education Scholarship applications
July 3-10 ACB National Convention in Birmingham
July 17 Patron Advisory Council Meeting, Seattle
Aug 6 WCB Retreat in Silverdale
Aug 7 WCB Board Meeting in Silverdale
Aug 31 Deadline for receipt of nominations for WCB awards
Aug 31 Deadline for 1st timer Convention Scholarship applications
Sept 13-17 Period for requesting free rooms for State Convention
Sept 15 DSB Vendor Day, to be held in Eastern Washington, location to be determined
Oct 10 Deadline for receipt of Convention pre-registration
Oct 10 Deadline for requests for travel stipends
Oct 10 Cutoff date to receive Convention hotel room rates
Nov 11-13 WCB State Convention in Bellingham

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

To Sue Sather, for duplicating the tape version of this issue.

To Tim Schneebeck for providing the NEWSLINE via e-mail.

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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