The Voice of the Washington Council of the Blind

March 2002 Issue

Equality, Independence, Opportunity

Founded 1935


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

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


From the President's Desk
Edward S. Foscue Student Center by Berl Colley
The Florida Council of the Blind by Bobbie Probst
Midyear by Berl Colley
Getting Around the Houston Hotel by Cynthia Towers
National Alliance of Blind Students (NABS) by Erin Lauridsen
It's Not Too Early by Cindy Burgett
WCB February Board Meeting by Kay Bohren
OTC Task Force Update by Carl Jarvis
Know Your NEWSLINE by Peggy Shoel
Accessible Voting by Cliff Schulman
KAIZEN: E.S.L. Program by Doug Hildie
Don't Duck and Cover by Dr. Dean O. Stenehjem
Library Notes by Jan Ames
Reading to Your Child by Carolyn Meyer & Elizabeth Able
The Deaf-Blind Service Center by Marie Massena
Around the State
A Thank You Letter from Robert Taylor
Hats Off to You! by Peggy Shoel
Bits & Pieces by Peggy Shoel
Recipe from the Kitchen of Dorothy Anderson-Carroll
That's Funny
Committees and Contacts for 2002


From the President's Desk

by Berl Colley

Hi again, WCB members. As I start this article, I am riding in a cab, going from WCB's Second Vice-President Shirley Taylor's house in Shoreline to the Red Lion Hotel in Seattle's Southcenter. I now have some inkling of how it was 125 years ago while riding in a stagecoach. Shirley and I attended the March meeting of the Greater Everett Area Council of the Blind. Thank you, President Chris Coulter and GEACB members for your warm inclusion of Shirley and me in your ch

At this point I am back on the train heading back to Olympia after attending the Department of Services for the Blind Rehabilitation Council meeting at the agency's South Seattle offices. One of the agenda items during Director Palmer's report was an unveiling of a nice plaque, which will be placed in the new Edward S. Foscue Student Center, part of the Orientation and Training Center. See the article about this presentation elsewhere in this NEWSLINE. The Rehabilitation Council meets four times a year. Its chair, Denise Colley, and Vice-Chair, Margaret Willson, were both re-elected to serve another one-year term.

Now that I am home in Lacey, let me talk about the WCB committee list which was produced in February. We have 26 committees. Two committees, Long Range Planning and Publicity, are suspended until the WCB board chooses to take further action on them. Three committees, Constitution, Resolutions and Nominating, will be appointed as we get closer to this fall's state convention. One ad hoc committee, which is to investigate the possibility of setting up a WCB office, has not yet been appointed. The rest of the committees and their chairs are listed elsewhere in this issue. I encourage all WCB members to look at the committee list and contact me if you want to be included.

It has taken longer than anticipated to get all of the Treasurers' transitioning completed. Most of this delay was caused by your President, who couldn't seem to get the appropriate signatures on the appropriate documents. I finally figured it out, and Sue Sather has now taken over the duties of Treasurer. All correspondence for the WCB Treasurer should be sent to Sue Sather, PO Box 6996, Kennewick, WA 99336.

WCB's Web page is coming back on line. Web Page Committee Chair Ann McCay and her committee have settled on a new Web address and have contracted to get the WCB Website re-established. The new Web address is We will be working to have a link to our new Website from ACB's Web page.

By the time you read this article, the long-awaited WCB brochure should be available in print and Braille. The Brochure Review Committee, Cindy Burgett, Carl Jarvis and Karen Johnson, are putting the finishing touches on the brochure and Susan Alexander, WCB's publisher, hopes to produce it by the end of March.

Our organization's representatives at the ACB Legislative Training in Washington, D.C. are Gary Burdette, President of the United Blind of Whatcom County and Becky Bell, board member of the United Blind of Seattle. Thank you to last year's WCB representatives, Kay Bohren, Frank Cuta, Joleen Ferguson and Kevin LaRose for serving on this year's selection committee.

April 15, 2002 is the cutoff date for applications to attend this year's Leadership training in Seattle, May 17-18, at the Best Western Executive Inn. Members wishing to attend must send their letter of request, along with a letter of recommendation, to Cindy Burgett: e-mail;
home phone (360) 698-0827; address 6686 Capricorn Lane NE, Bremerton, WA 98311.

Cindy and Sue Ammeter are putting together another great training program.

April 15, 2002 is also the final date to submit requests for the First Timer award to attend our national convention in Houston, Texas, June 29 through July 6, 2002. To qualify, you must have been a WCB member for more than 12 consecutive months before the convention. It has to be your first national convention. A letter of recommendation must be included. WCB will pay for travel, room and per diem.

Requests should be sent to Janice Squires, chair of the First-Timers Committee:
Home phone (509) 582-4749
Address 502 West 20th,
Kennewick, WA 99337-4905

The next important date to remember is May 15, 2002. Requests for national convention stipends and convention loans must be made by that date. WCB will be offering a stipend of $550, and making convention loans up to $800. WCB members in good standing for at least 12 months prior to the start of the national convention will be eligible for these WCB programs. Convention loans must be paid back by May 1, 2003. Requests for stipends must be made to Shirley Taylor, by each member, by phone (206) 362-3118. Requests for convention loan applications can be obtained by contacting James Eccles:
Home Phone (360) 699-4927
Address 3300 NE 57th Ave.
Number 48
Vancouver, WA 98661.

In closing, I want to encourage WCB members to consider positions on the various boards, advisory committees and foundations that affect our lives as blind and partially sighted people in this state. If you want to consider filling a vacant position, find out when they meet and attend that meeting. Consumer input is the way that these groups get feedback to set their future directions. If you would like to know what boards, advisory committees and foundations meet your interests, please call me and I will help find one for you.

Edward S. Foscue
Student Center
by Berl Colley, President

If you have the opportunity to tour the newly remodeled Department of Services for the Blind facility at 3411 South Alaska Street in Seattle, you will find an all-purpose room where the Orientation and Training students can meet, have lunch, and participate in other OTC classes and activities. This room is now known as the Edward S. Foscue Student Center. The late Ed Foscue had a 25-year history of working for blind and partially sighted people in Washington State.

At the August 2001 WCB board meeting and retreat in Kelso, a motion was passed to recommend to the agency that they name the new student center after Ed. Last fall, DSB Director Bill Palmer accepted our recommendation.

On March 2, 2002, at the DSB Rehabilitation Council meeting, a large and beautifully designed plaque was unveiled to members of the Foscue family, Rehab Council members, DSB staff and guests. This plaque tells about some of Ed's work in both large print and Braille.

Foscue family members in attendance were Ed's wife Phyllis, son Judge David Foscue and his wife Ellen, and Ed's daughter, Janet Cotton. Four family friends were privileged to attend the unveiling: Sue Ammeter, Shirley Taylor, Denise Colley and I.

Ed was a tireless worker for all blind and partially sighted people and the Edward S. Foscue Student Center, like the Robert Irving Building at the Washington State School for the Blind, says that blind and partially sighted people who get involved can and do contribute and can make a difference for all of us.

The Florida Council of the Blind, Inc. - Overview
by Bobbie Probst, Coordinator

Editor's Comment: The following article has been provided by a guest editor, who tells us about her ACB state affiliate.

The Florida Council of the Blind, Inc. (FCB) was chartered in 1953 in response to a need to organize the efforts of people who were blind to encourage their inclusion into the mainstream of community life through education, training and involvement. Over the years, membership has grown and the organization is at the forefront of efforts, both political and social, to accomplish needed changes for the betterment of this population.

FCB is composed of 24 chapters located throughout the state and three special interest groups, which include those involved in the vendor's program, college students, and individuals with low vision. There is also an at-large category of members. Total membership at this time is more than 1,000 and this number represents members located in large and small communities in Florida.

Our funding is primarily accomplished through gifts and grants, the vehicle donation program and the Driver's License Bureau, where applicants for driver's licenses can make a $1.00 voluntary donation to FCB and/or other similar organizations by checking a box. Other fundraising projects are launched when needed.

Our board of directors, composed of representatives from each of the 27 chapters and special interest groups along with the current seven officers and the Immediate Past President, meet twice a year at a hotel located in an easily-accessible city. One board meeting is held mid-year and the second in conjunction with the annual state convention, which is held in late spring in different cities around the state, with the chapter from that city serving as host chapter. There are many workshops of interest to attendees; local, state and national speakers; and an exhibit hall where products and innovations are shown. Tours of local attractions are offered, usually the day before the convention begins. For example, this year our convention is to be held at the Doubletree Hotel in Tampa from May 31 through June 2 and a tour of the world-famous Busch Gardens will be offered. We are socially oriented and many parties are ongoing from the Friday night "host party" and dance to other get-togethers where friends who only meet a couple of times a year see one another. At an award luncheon, several plaques and ACB life memberships are given for outstanding service. The banquet usually features a national speaker of interest to the group.

One of FCB's most important functions is Project Insight, designed for people in the process of vision loss, but available to anyone who is blind or visually impaired, their friends and families. A toll-free telephone number (1-800-26 SIGHT) is provided to the public. A coordinator answers and the caller states their needs, whether it be a list of available services, location of peer groups, or any other matter of importance to this individual. The caller's name and phone number is transmitted to a peer counselor in his/her own community and requested information is given to the caller. This is an invaluable service and unique in the nation, although the American Council of the Blind has recently established a similar service on a nationwide basis. There are around 30 peer counselors, all of whom have experienced vision loss and know first-hand how to cope in a sighted world and what is available to enhance this accomplishment.

Politically, FCB has a strong influence and many active members who monitor legislation and proposed legislation and whenever we feel it is appropriate, we get involved to protect our interests. For example, we are deeply involved in the current election reform. Florida has been ordered to replace the antiquated voting machines, so we have been trying to have them replaced with machines accessible to people who are visually impaired and handicapped. President Robert Miller and several other members have met with Secretary of State Kathrine Harris and others, and many members are on election reform task forces around the state. Several FCB members have spent countless hours on this project.

We are also very involved with disadvantaged transportation legislation, which is a universal problem for blind people. These are only a few of the issues in which we are concerned. New ones come along every day and we have to be vigilant to keep up with what's going on and to be sure the blind community is included in reform.

Local chapters participate in statewide projects and also engage in local activities. On White Cane Safety Day in the month of October, many chapters hold white cane walks or other events to focus public awareness on the issue at hand. In Jacksonville, the local council held a fishing tournament and fish fry, which not only proved that blind people can do anything, but they can also make a profit doing it! Each chapter is unique and each member has ideas that can be pursued. The Tallahassee chapter sponsors an annual auction where members and guests can bid on items accumulated over the past year. Each year it is bigger and better.

Other chapters sponsor their own fundraising projects with equal zeal.

At each year's convention, a popular event is the annual raffle drawing. Tickets are sold throughout the year for a $1.00 donation, which entitles the winners to receive prizes of $1,000 (grand prize), $500 (first prize), $400 (second prize) etc. down to $100. Many other prizes donated by chapters are also drawn for. These include gift certificates from major chain stores and restaurants. One year, members of the Gainesville Chapter knit afghans and presented several beautiful hand-knit ones to the event.

FCB is involved in a number of national projects each year. Several members participate in the ACB Legislative Seminar in late winter in Washington, D.C. A number of our members are involved in ACB issues and are committee chairmen or members. ACB's Immediate Past President, Paul Edwards, resides in Miami and is very active in FCB.

For more information, call me at (904) 641-0709 or visit our Website,

by Berl Colley, President

I had the opportunity to attend the ACB Midyear Conference in Houston, Texas from February 16-18. 2002. Other WCB members who attended were: Cindy Burgett, in charge of the ACB Kids Center at this summer's convention; Cynthia Towers, National Convention Coordinator; and Erin Lauridsen, Treasurer of the National Alliance of Blind Students (NABS).

ACB President Chris Gray opened the Saturday morning session of the Presidents meeting with introductions and remarks from Convention Coordinator Cynthia Towers. After Midyear attendees introduced themselves, we were given a big Texas welcome to Houston from the ACB of Texas.

The keynote presentation was entitled, "You Get It If You Ask For It." Mark Silvers, small business coach and fundraising consultant, hosted this interactive seminar. He offered us philosophical perspectives about fundraising, as well as some successful fundraising ideas.

After lunch, we heard from three presenters: Pam Shaw, ACB's Membership Committee chair; Paul Edwards, Immediate Past President of ACB; and Debbie Grubb, member of ACB's board of directors, who talked to us about membership, recruitment, retention and support. This was followed by an update on a couple of possible changes to the national constitution that will be proposed at this summer's convention.

President Gray and a representative of a company from England gave demonstrations of some new technology. The company has developed a full-sound-spectrum indicator, which can provide a relatively soft, but easily heard locater sound for things like building exits, stairways, bathroom doors, etc. Chris told us about a stand-alone Internet radio that doesn't need to go through a computer. Using an Internet hookup, it can provide the listener with radio from all over the world.

The day concluded with two breakout sessions. One session was Mark Silver's demonstration of a home fund-raiser. The other was an open dialog of state affiliate achievements, activities and problems, moderated by ACB's First Vice President Steve Speicher. Cindy and I attended the affiliate discussion and shamelessly bragged about WCB. She and I ended the day by having supper in the Deco Restaurant of the Adams Mark Hotel.

Sunday's half-day session started with the ACB President's report from Chris. Cindy had to leave at this point. Sandy Sanderson, Ralph Sanders and Jim Olson talked about the new Resource Development Committee activities. One ACB fundraising resource that you will be hearing more about is the automatic contribution form. We will be telling you more about it at WCB's May 19 board meeting. The national office report was given by Executive Director Charlie Crawford. He and staff gave a synopsis of their activities and involvements.

There was an enlightening presentation from Paul Edwards, Debbie Grubb and Melanie Brunson about voting access, the machines and the legislation. The Presidents meeting concluded with very positive feedback from those of us who were in attendance.

On Sunday afternoon and the following Monday morning, ACB held its Midyear board meeting. The ACB budget was the biggest item on the board's agenda.

I didn't mention Cynthia or Erin much. Cynthia and I crossed paths enough to exchange hugs and for me to let her know about the great job she was doing. Erin and I spent a couple of days playing phone tag.

Thoughts: The Adams Mark Hotel hasn't changed much since the 1997 ACB convention. Allow lots of time to travel to and from the airports. It took me an hour each way. Cindy got caught in rush-hour traffic and it took her two and a half hours to go from the Intercontinental Airport to the Adams Mark.

The food is good at the Adams Mark, but the Deco is the only restaurant. Houston has a number of good eating places within a reasonable cab ride from the two convention hotels. There is a strip mall next to the Adams Mark, with a variety of places to eat. One of the best steak houses in Texas is in the Hilton, the convention overflow hotel. It is across the street and down the block from the Adams Mark.

Cynthia and the ACB Convention Committee are putting together a busy, educational eight days for ACB members. Let's have a large delegation from Washington State.

Getting Around the Houston Hotel
by Cynthia Towers,
ACB Convention Coordinator

Many of you attended the ACB National Convention in 1997, which was located at the same site as this year's convention. The Adams Mark is planning on once again rolling out the red carpet for our return. Several of the housekeeping, restaurant, and administrative staff were present in 1997 and look forward to our return. As I meet with hotel personnel, I continually hear: "Oh, yes, I remember when you all (or y'all) were here last time," or "Yes, we can do that because we've done it before." It has been a pleasure and a privilege to serve ACB in this manner and to work with such a dedicated hotel staff.

Ed Bradley, who is the Chair of the Host Committee, distributed a tape that has an extensive description of the hotel, meeting rooms, floor layout, surrounding restaurants and the like. President Colley has a copy of the tape and I have some additional copies, as well as a large print version. It is extremely detailed, but I will highlight a few points here.

The Adams Mark is a ten-story hotel with a large central atrium that extends from the ground floor to the roof. The lobby, restaurant, lounge, both bars, gift shop and front desk are all located on the ground floor of the atrium. The elevator bank is at the rear of this area. The meeting rooms are located in two large corridors extending away from the atrium, one to the rear and one to the right. Sleeping rooms are from the third to tenth floor. The second floor is for hotel offices only.

The entrance to the hotel consists of a large three-section revolving door that senses your approach and begins to turn counterclockwise. The sections are spacious. On either side of the revolving door is a conventional glass door with a pull handle. The front desk is located to the left of the entrance and the gift shop is adjacent to the front desk. To reach the elevators, keep the front desk on your left and go straight past the gift shop. There is a glass wall that will be on your left. This area houses the two glass elevators. Going straight for another ten feet, you will enter the elevator bank. There are three enclosed elevators on one side and two glass ones facing the enclosed ones. You can tell which one you are in because the glass ones are rounded in the back.

The restaurant is in the process of changing its menus and so all I can tell you about the food is that it was very good and reasonably priced. There will be quick meal service for both breakfast and lunch, and we are looking into the possibility of getting refrigerators. There is a large Kroger's grocery store approximately three blocks away from the Adams Mark, and the Convention Committee is also working on establishing a delivery system.

Some events will be at the Hilton, located across the street. There will be a shuttle running during peak times so that you will not experience heat stroke going between the two buildings. The exhibits will also be in the Adams Mark as well, so you can buy, buy, buy and just take all your purchases directly back to your room. The Adams Mark is currently at 80% capacity, so if you want a spot there, make your reservations now. I look forward to seeing as many of you in Houston that can get there. Even so, I still may not be able to make contact with you. Midyear was an excellent precursor to what the summer convention will be like for me as the Convention Coordinator. I may be calling upon some of you to go get me a sandwich, as I barely had time to eat even then.

Here's a news flash. ACB has a new logo. The old one was an outline of an eyeball with the letters ACB on top of it. The new one will be unveiled soon. It was approved by the Board at Midyear. It looks great and you will be proud to display it. One plan is to have ACB luggage tags to help facilitate getting our luggage at airports.

Stay tuned for more details. Happy Spring!

by Erin Lauridsen
Treasurer and WCB Member

The National Alliance of Blind Students, NABS, was founded as an ACB affiliate in 1974. As anyone who has pursued an education as a visually impaired person knows, we can face some unique challenges. NABS provides a way for blind students to share information and advocate for improvements that will benefit all blind students.

NABS currently has an active email list for exchanging information and discussing a variety of student issues. Recent topics included: scanning textbooks, methods for effectively using readers, and how students went about choosing their colleges. To subscribe to nabs-l, send a message to

NABS also maintains a website at http://www.nabs. In addition to current information on NABS activities, the Website includes current and back issues of the NABS newsletter, the Student Advocate. The Student Advocate includes updates about NABS activities, and articles and announcements of interest to blind students.

Our membership is made up of students at all levels, from high school to graduate school, as well as sustaining members, and former students who still hold an interest in student issues.

The current NABS officers are: Jonathan Simeone, President; Enjie Wu, Vice President; Sam Joehl, Secretary; and Erin Lauridsen, Treasurer. Also on our board as governors are Steve Speicher, Richard Rueda, and April Shinholster.

NABS has several advocacy projects this year. We are investigating the level of accessibility in standardized testing, communicating with Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic to ensure efficient service, and working toward the goal of textbooks being available in electronic formats from their publishers.

NABS business meetings are held at the ACB Midyear meeting, and at the National Convention in July. We are planning several seminars and activities for convention, including a panel discussion on advocating for blindness issues in a cross-disability movement, and a seminar on transitioning from college to the work world. We are also preparing once again to be morning paper carriers for the convention newspaper.

My involvement with NABS thus far has been immensely rewarding, and I would encourage anyone who is a student, or is interested in student issues, to explore all NABS has to offer. To join NABS, call the ACB national office, or feel free to contact me at (206) 286-7161.

NABS has created a "Tell Me" information resource for non-Internet users. The menu provides an introduction to NABS, information on how to become a member, and updated timely information. Call "Tell Me" at 1-800-555-8355 (TELL). At the prompt, dial 126227.

It's Not Too Early
by Cindy Burgett,
First Vice President, WCB

Mark your calendars! Make your plans! It's not too early!

October 24-26 2002 will be the next annual convention of the Washington Council of the Blind. This year it will be held in Longview/Kelso at the Red Lion hotel. With room rates of $55 plus tax, and our attendance at conventions growing each year, you'll want to make your reservation quickly.

Your Convention Committee will be working hard over the next few months to plan a weekend that will be educational, informative, and fun for all! But, for it to be a true success, we need you there.

If you have never attended a WCB convention before, you just don't know what you've been missing! But WCB wants you to try us out. So, we make available some First-Timer scholarships to help those members who may not be able to go otherwise. All those who have been members for at least six months prior to October 24, 2002 are eligible to apply. Janice Squires is Chair of the First-Timers Committee and can be reached at, (509) 582-4749, or 502 W. 20th Ave., Kennewick, WA 99337.

WCB will be providing a bus from Seattle, making a couple of stops along the way. But for those members outside Snohomish, King, Pierce, Thurston, Lewis & Cowlitz counties, a $50 stipend will be available to help offset transportation costs. So start planning for this exciting event.

WCB February Board Meeting
by Kay Bohren,
Member, WCB Board

The Washington Council of the Blind held its winter quarterly meeting February 2, 2002 at the Executive Inn in Seattle. The minutes of the last board meeting and the membership meeting at the convention were approved. The board approved the adoption of the ACB travel voucher for reimbursement of all expenses incurred. Sue Sather will distribute copies of the form and no reimbursements will be given without the use of this form and accompanying receipts to document these expenses. The report of our IRS audit was presented.

Cindy Burgett reported on the informational meeting of the board held on Friday evening, February 1, 2002. The board feels it is necessary to communicate information about the business of our organization on a more frequent basis. The board will be holding monthly telephone conference calls. Items needing decisions will be dealt with at the quarterly meetings. The board identified the need for an orientation meeting of newly elected board members.

Susan Alexander presented the final draft of our brochure. A larger font will be needed to meet the needs of partially sighted individuals. Berl will appoint a three-member committee to work with Susan on these final decisions. An additional $5000 was budgeted to increase the first printing to 5000 brochures.

The First-Timers Committee asked for clarification on several items. The following decisions were made: All expenses for the First-Timer will be paid. Registration and mileage (if due) will be paid during the convention. The First-Timer award will be announced before free room or stipends are awarded, to avoid duplications.

The Membership Committee reported that there are three areas in the state with interest in forming chapters. These are Yakima, Grays Harbor, and South King County.

The ACB National Convention will be held in Houston, Texas this July. Loans up to $800 are available to eligible members. Apply to James Eccles at (360) 699-4927. Stipends of $550 are available. Apply by May 15 by contacting Shirley Taylor at (206) 362-3118. The deadline for the First-Timer award is April 15 and these applications go to Janice Squires at (509) 582-4149. As adopted at the convention, to qualify for any state event, membership of at least six months prior to the event is required. For a national event, membership qualification is 12 months, and attendance of at least one of the past two year's state conventions.

Our state convention will be held October 24-26 at the Red Lion Inn in Kelso. The Convention Committee is hard at work to assure that we have a great convention this year. Room rates will be either $55 or $60 per night. A bus will again be provided from Seattle for all those residing on the I-5 corridor south of Snohomish County. A $50 travel stipend will be available for all others. More state convention details will be available at the May board meeting.

Gary Burdette and Becky Bell were chosen to attend the Legislative Training in Washington, D.C. in March. The board approved an additional night's stay to ensure that they could visit all of our legislators.

The second annual Leadership Training Seminar is scheduled for May 17-18 at the Executive Inn in Seattle. All expenses for this training are paid. Criteria for attending this seminar includes: membership of at least six months prior to the event, that you did not attend last year's training, and are willing to attend the board meeting on Sunday, May 19. A letter expressing your desire to attend this seminar and a letter of recommendation from an ACB member must be received by Cindy Burgett at by April 15. For further information, she can be reached at (360) 698-0827.

The board approved a $500 sponsorship of the Washington School for the Blind Foundation's annual "Run for Sight." Gary Burdette has been appointed WCB's ex-officio representative to the board for the State School for the Blind.

Additional committee reports were given by the Crisis, Legislative, NEWSLINE, and Advocacy Committees, and also the Washington State Talking Book and Braille Library. The board approved of paying the expenses of any committee chair to attend a board meeting when a request from that committee requires board approval.

Editor's Note: Listed in the December 2001 Directory as Kay Valdez, the above author's name is now Kay Bohren.

OTC Task Force Update
by Carl Jarvis, Member

For those of you just arriving from outer space, and those whose memory goes "blip" from time to time, I have been representing the Washington Council of the Blind (WCB) for the past three years on the Department of Services for the Blind (DSB) Orientation and Training Center (OTC) Task Force. I volunteered for this honor because I believe there is no other program as central to the future of blind people in Washington State. This is the only comprehensive training program for blind people in our state. It was through the efforts of our organization, members whose names are long forgotten, that Services for the Blind came into being. Over the years we have considered it our responsibility to serve as "Watch Dog" to the Department, working to ensure high quality services for future blind men and women.

In recognition of the importance of the OTC to the blind community, WCB President Berl Colley recently appointed an OTC Oversight Committee. At this writing, members are: Julie DeGeus, Kay Bohren and Dan Tonge. The committee will serve in an advisory role, reviewing with me the OTC Task Force meeting minutes and activities, suggesting items for discussion, and, when necessary, determining WCB's position on specific issues. Also, the committee will explore ways of informing and involving WCB members in order to develop a broader base of support for the OTC.

Denise Colley, Chair of the DSB State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) appointed Dan Frye as Chair of the OTC Task Force Committee, replacing Mark Noble. In our February 9 meeting, Dan agreed to9 develop a draft of the committee's goals and role. This mission statement will be reviewed by the committee before being sent to the SRC for approval.

The makeup of the committee has changed some since our last meeting and much of our time was spent in review. However, there have been a number of interesting changes to report.

According to Keiko Namekata, all prospective students now attend a two week evaluation to determine eligibility. Once accepted into the OTC, students must complete the full curriculum. They are encouraged and expected to wear sleep shades between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm

Julie DeGeus said that during lunch hour, staff and students gather to eat under sleep shades. And Letha Howard, who retired and has returned to teach part time, now conducts class in the new Home Ec room in total darkness.

Besides teaching Braille, Julie finds time to lead a two-hour seminar each week, develop a mentoring program, and organize an alumni group.

Ken Praul resigned and Dan Tonge is filling in as the computer instructor until a replacement is hired.

Finally, Haley Agers, a former OTC student, is teaching Home Ec part time and organizing evening activities at the student apartments.

Besides class work, students involve themselves in a wide variety of challenging activities. Some of these are: horseback riding, rock climbing, canoeing, hiking, snow shoeing, and attending audio-described movies and youth symphonies.

by Peggy Shoel

WCB is fortunate in that the last few years we have added many new names to our membership roster. This article is intended to familiarize our new members and to refamiliarize our veteran members with our publication - to answer questions and to explain its operation and function.

What is the Newsline?

It is the official quarterly WCB publication. It is available at no charge to members and to other interested individuals, groups and agencies. It is published and circulated in March, June, September and December. and is available in large print, 4-track audio cassette tape and email.

What kind of articles and other material does it contain?

Each Newsline has standard articles and columns which appear in every issue, plus special features.

Standard material includes:

From the President's desk, which provides information about the core function of our organization and keeps us abreast of relevant blindness and visual impairment issues and events, i.e., national and state conventions, conferences, workshops, seminars and other activities.
The Editor's Comment column provides information and perceptions I believe relevant.
Report from the Big 3. The Department of Services for the Blind, by Bill Palmer, Director; the Washington State School for the Blind, by Dr. Dean Stenehjem, Superintendent; and the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library, by Jan Ames, Director. We have added to that a fourth entity, the Louis Braille Center, by Carolyn Meyer, Director.
Chapter Updates from Around the State: these articles let us know what is going on in each chapter, and who their officers are.
Our "Hats Off to You " column gives us an opportunity to congratulate WCB members for significant events and accomplishments, i.e., a new job, retirement, the addition of a new baby or grandbaby to the family, a community award or recognition, election or appointment to a board or council, a marriage, a momentous wedding anniversary or birthday, or the acquisition of a new dog guide.
The Bits & Pieces column is for blurbs on resources and services, new blind user-friendly technology and other useful information with accompanying toll-free numbers for individual inquiries.
A favorite recipe submitted by a WCB member and "That's Funny" - a joke or two to put a smile on your face.

Special features cover material appearing only in that issue and may include:

Reports on WCB board meetings, state and national conventions, training and legislative workshops and state committee activities;
Articles from members on personal experiences and comments on matters of access, education, recreation and entertainment;
Material from other state affiliates or national special interest groups describing their activities;
Resource lists for handy reference, i.e., contact information for WCB officers and board members, committee chairs, and chapter presidents.
How do I get the Newsline?

If you have been getting the Newsline and it has suddenly stopped arriving, please contact me (see contact information at end of article). If you are a new member, speak to your chapter treasurer, whose responsibility it is to provide the needed information to our State Secretary, Ann McCay, so that she may add you to her mailing list database If you have received your Newsline but have lost it, or if you would like an extra copy or wish to change the way

How do I submit an article or other material for publication?

We are always looking for articles, ideas, or leads and would like to expand our writer pool. I emphasize - please check with me before forwarding material. That will ensure space in the upcoming issue, and will avoid possible duplication of subject treatment. Caveat: your editorial committee, Sharon Keeran, Cynthia Towers and I, will consider submissions that comply with the historical NEWSLINE policy of not more than 2 typed or print pages, double spaced, s

In closing, please forward to us any thoughts, ideas, requests, comments and constructive criticism. We want your feedback. We welcome your feedback. And please help us expand our readership by letting us know of any individuals, groups, or agencies - whether in your geographic area or not - who would find the Newsline interesting and useful. Check the last page of the Newsline for the deadline date for submissions for the subsequent issue.

You will also find there a thank you to those individuals who volunteer their time and effort to produce our publication. If you have an opportunity to thank them personally, please do so.

My contact information:
Home phone in Seattle (206) 722-8477.

Toll free number: 1-800-255-1147. Email address (receives only)

Accessible Voting
by Cliff Schulman, President
Pierce County Association
of the Blind

Let's talk about voting.

I recently went to the Pierce County Annex to see the new voting machines being tested. Hart Intercivic makes the particular machines that are being tested. The company is from Austin, Texas. I spoke to the company sales consultant from the Election Solutions Group. He worked really hard to make my test pleasant. He was also very open to suggestions.

Cathy Pearsall-Stipic, CPO Auditor (elected official) came over to say hello to me, because I am of course a voter. Note: I recently hired an intern for a project I am working on for the city of Tacoma. Cathy, the County Auditor, still offers cards and information to pass to blind people or to their hired assistants.

OK, now the meat.

The procedure for voting is as follows: you walk into the voting area. When you find the voting desk, you will be told that you need a PIN to vote. They run your Social Security number or your address through their computer and print out a piece of paper with a PIN on it for you. They will either go with you to the voting booth, tell you the number, or hand you a piece of paper with a printed PIN on it. Mind you, I was told that the people at the voting stations have not been trained on how to interact with disabled people. They have been given only a brief summary as to the workings of the machines. Once you get to the machine, supposedly the attendant will assist you in getting to know it. The equipment is rectangular, similar to a legal size sheet of paper, with the short sides being on top and bottom. There is a viewing screen and directly below, some buttons and dials. The dials and buttons are all differently shaped. From the left side, you have a button that is your "cast ballot" button. Right of that button are three buttons; the top capsule-shaped one is a "help" button. Below are two buttons, an arrowhead to the right and another arrowhead to the left. They are "forward" and "back." To the right of that is a huge button that is square on the left with a half circle cut out of the right. This is your "enter" key. Now, all the way on the right is a large dial with several bumps and then one finger indentation. This is your "select" button. If you move the select button clockwise, you will be able to advance through the program. If you move it counterclockwise, you will reverse through the program.

OK, now you want to vote. First you have a set of earphones to place on your head. Go ahead and put them on. Then you will want to put your PIN into the system. This is done by moving your selector button. You will hear the numbers being read through the headphones. You choose your numbers by hitting "enter." Once you finish, you will listen to the entire number automatically. If it is correct, you may hit "enter" and move to the vote by using the selector button/dial.

The best function of this machine is here. The machine will read the first item on the ballot to you. Once it is read, you may move the select button clockwise and it will give you a choice to approve or disapprove the item. If approve comes up first and you don't approve, then simply move the dial forward another click. Mind you that the dial/button clicks by sound and by feel with each increase. You then proceed through the entire ballot in this manner. When you are finished voting, you simply hit "enter." Then a screen comes up with your Ballot Summary.

This part can be confusing. It only gives you information on one of the items you voted on at a time. You need to move the "select" dial back or forward to pick up the rest of what you voted on. This is one fault of the machine - that they forgot to put in the information needed to tell you about the use of this screen.

If you are happy with your vote, you can push the "cast ballot" button on the far left and you are finished. They left the above direction out of the verbal text also. If you want to change something, you may scroll back in the vote by turning the selector dial and re-entering your vote.

I believe that they are doing a good job in trying to organize these machines. However, if the staff of the voting places are not trained to work with people with disabilities, there may be some frustration and confusion during the voting process. The obvious things about what we need are in place. The things that are not obvious, such as explanation information, are still missing.

I urge as many of you as possible to go out and vote using this equipment. It is one super step for our personal rights as Americans to have our own private vote in this country. It is our RIGHT!

If you have any questions regarding the above information, please email me at

KAIZEN: E.S.L. Program for People with Visual Impairments
by Doug Hildie, Board Member
United Blind of Seattle

About a half dozen years ago, as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor at the Dept. of Services for the Blind in Seattle, I managed a caseload of clients with severe visual impairments. At this time, I began receiving a number of referrals for services to individuals who had emigrated to the United States from various countries. Some of them spoke a little English, but none of them could read, write, or speak English well enough to communicate effectively with others. This was a barrier to achieving an employment goal. Moreover, it was a major impediment to acquiring the "adaptive skills" needed to function independently and successfully in the myriad activities of daily life.

The community resources available for teaching ESL (English as a Second Language) were designed for people without visual impairments. ESL classroom instructors show pictures to students, who learn by repetition of the English words that describe the elements of each picture. For people with severe visual impairments, it was necessary to have a tutor working with them in the classroom. For those who were, or would become, Braille users, it was necessary for the person assisting them in the classroom to make detailed notes in Braille so that visually impaired person could study and practice the words and phrases that described each picture. Of course, if the student did not yet know Braille, that also had to be learned while learning English.

Disabled Student Services (DSS) at the local community college made valiant efforts to provide accommodations by transposing text into accessible format. To some extent, those who could use large print did benefit. For those with no functional vision, however, adapting materials designed to be taught visually was more complex and not very successful because the teaching materials and methods were not amenable to adaptation to make them accessible to blind persons.

It was intended that these clients would eventually become students in the Orientation and Training Center (OTC) at Services for the Blind. To benefit from the OTC, it is necessary to have a sufficient command of English to learn the skills and the concepts being taught in the OTC. Trying to expedite the client's learning of English, to prepare them quickly for the OTC was difficult. We did bring students into the OTC and facilitated their learning by using ESL tutors in tandem with the regular class instructor. The ESL tutor acted as a "bridge" between the classroom teacher and the OTC student. This worked fairly well, but was arduous and costly. A better way was needed. A means by which the ESL student could learn English language skills and acquire language concepts fairly quickly that related to functions one engages in when learning to use adaptive techniques for daily activities.

From the work that went into finding ways to teach ESL to visually impaired clients of Services for the Blind, KAIZEN: E.S.L. Program for People with Visual Impairments evolved. KAIZEN (which means "continuous progress" in Japanese) was formed to provide ESL instruction to individuals who cannot benefit from the traditional methods of ESL instruction because of visual impairment. This service is provided without charge to the student. Robert Barnes and Sylvie Kashdan, the skilled and creative people who are KAIZEN's instructors, have developed teaching methods and materials that are effective for visually impaired students, maximizing learning and literacy. Emphasis is placed on teaching language concepts related to the individual's immediate needs, such as Orientation & Mobility training. As students progress, they become fluent and proficient in the use of the English language, which increases their ability to participate in, and benefit, from, society as a whole.

Don't Duck and Cover
by Dr. Dean O. Stenehjem, Superintendent, Washington State School for the Blind

Washington, like the rest of the country, is currently experiencing tough financial times, with a $1.6 billion dollar deficit looming over the state. The Governor, legislature, and state agencies have some very difficult decisions to make in stabilizing our economic base, which may mean cuts in services throughout the state, elimination of some services, and maybe even the improvement and expansion of services and the way we do business. The last part of this statement may sound a little strange at this time, but I want to emphasize that difficult times also breed opportunities for us to think smarter, develop new partnerships, and be extremely creative. Usually it is in these types of times when people's willingness to work together as a team strengthens. I have always been an optimist and believe that some good can come out of almost any crisis. The School for the Blind, being a small school and small state agency, has always been placed in a situation where we are constantly examining how we do business and how we continue to provide services statewide to growing numbers in need without a pool of resources that even begin to come close to the demand. We have never let a lack of resources keep us from attempting to deliver quality service to children in a variety of ways, and some of the creative partnerships have been born out of the need to work together as effective teams.

Over the past 10 years, WSSB has increased the number of children served by over 500 percent. While the increase has been minimal on campus, the growth throughout the state has been huge. Just a few examples:

Contracted itinerant vision services being provided to approximately 1/5th of the local public schools through WSSB's Outreach Program.
Partnerships with the Office of the State Printer and the Washington Correctional Center for Women have resulted in a solid-state system for Braille production with more than 7 million pages of Braille produced since 1993. Most recently the co-location of the Braille Access Center with the Instructional Material Center for Blind and Visually Impaired Children resulting in improved services for children and more efficient use of both financial and human resources.
Continued program improvements both on campus and throughout the state with a rating of 4.5+ on service out of a possible 5.0 from parents, and local school districts.
Development of a Statewide Technology Center for children that has provided local districts quality service, training and cost savings through creative purchasing options, and provided children with loan equipment through WSSB.
Partnerships developed with University teacher training programs that have resulted in more trained personnel in our state. The most recent partnership with Stephen F. Austin State University and the states of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, which has resulted in a 5-year grant providing Washington with 6 slots per year for teacher training.
Development of a strong partnership with Dept. of Services for the Blind that resulted in Youth Employment Solution Y.E.S.I, and Y.E.S. II and most recently the development of a strong interagency agreement that will bring new federal dollars to Washington. Bill Palmer, Executive Director, should be given strong accolades for this partnership.
These are just a few of the creative things that have occurred because people and agencies have come together for the benefit of kids to make a difference.

Where will we go from here? We will continue to examine new partnerships, new ways of getting services to children and families in need, and continue to examine our organizational structure to see if it is designed to provide the most efficient support service so we can accomplish our goals. At the time of this writing, the School for the Blind has been very fortunate and has not experienced any recent budget cuts; however, we need to continue to monitor the situation and figure out what new partnerships can be developed to help pick up the slack left by statewide reductions that may affect blind and visually impaired children. This is not the time to "Duck and Cover," instead we need to be more creative and let strong partnerships for children be the bridge in the quest for the improvement in services and continue to look for the opportunities in each situation.

A Happy Note: The Vocal Jazz Ensemble "In Harmony" at WSSB has recently won first place at the Clark College Jazz Festival and has almost raised all their private funding for their East Coast tour. They will be performing in six cities on the East Coast, performing at the Kennedy Center on April 9th and in New York City for the Firefighters and Police Officers. What a great opportunity for the kids! Thank you for your continued support.

Library Notes
by Jan Ames

The National Library Service (NLS) and libraries like ours throughout the network are wrestling with the challenge of determining what the future of the talking book program will be.

A Digital Long-Term Planning Group is now exploring opportunities to advance the service in the future. The committee is made up of a representative from ACB (Chris Gray, former Washingtonian and one-time WTBBL staff member), a representative from the NFB, library staff from around the country, and several NLS staff. Since some of the changes in the digital world could inevitably lead to significant changes in the service, NLS is looking to this group for ideas and suggestions.

Topics discussed at the group's fall meeting included staffing, the current legislative mandate, demographics, service ease of use, technological opportunities, mainstream sources for NLS materials, and accessibility of new technologies. The group met again in early March to continue discussions. Also, the NLS national conference in May will include presentations by members of the long-term planning group.

One of the major issues facing NLS is the selection of a medium for the distribution of digital talking books. What will replace cassettes? The group discussed both positive and negative aspects of using such formats as CD-ROMs, Internet delivery, flash memory, and voice recognition systems.

Here in Washington, the Colligo Corporation and Voice Web Services have developed VoiceBooks, a system that uses the telephone to access any digital information. Voice commands allow the user to have complete control within a document.

If you are interested in a demonstration of VoiceBooks, call 1-416-736-9731. When you are asked for the extension, simply say 24580. Three books are featured, using AT&T's Natural Voice. At any time, you can say "Tutorial," and the help menu will be spoken.

Of course, the Library is interested in exploring any new system that will improve services to our patrons. We are looking at this voice recognition program, including the possibility of using it for our radio reading service. As you may know, reception on our receivers is very problematic, and at the moment our programming is not available on any television second audio program channel.

One word of caution: don't get rid of your cassette machines. Cassettes will be around for many years. No change in the format NLS is currently providing is expected for several years. We'll keep you informed as decisions and changes are made.

On another note, we're pleased that Laura Giannarelli, a book narrator for NLS, was here March 14 to give two workshops for taping service and radio volunteers. The purpose of the workshops was to assist book narrators and radio volunteers in their work.

The days are getting longer, and the flowers and trees are beginning to bloom and blossom. Happy Spring!

Louis Braille Center:
Reading to Your Child
by Carolyn Meyer, Director

In honor of the birthday of Dr. Seuss, the National Education Association celebrated the fifth annual "Read Across America Day" on March 1. Most of us agree that there is no substitute for the written word. Whether the words be in Braille or print makes no difference; the process of reading, interpreting, assimilating, and of being transported to another time and place is the same.

At the Louis Braille Center, we encourage parents to read to their children from the very beginning of their young lives, to share with them the music of the voice as it unfolds the magic of the story, to instill in them a lifelong love of reading. The article that follows, which my daughter wrote for our very first Second Saturday Club newsletter, says it much better than I.

Reading to Your Child
by Elizabeth Able
Reprinted from Second Saturday Club newsletter, January 2000

When I was very young, my mother read to me every day. I didn't understand many of the words, but I knew she was committed to giving me something that was very important to her, and I was honored. I knew that reading to me was a beautiful thing. I clearly remember sitting with her on our old couch under a big blanket, leaning against her right side, listening to her delicate voice as she read to me from Robert Louis Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses.

I knew there was a magic in that book because of the love in my mother's voice. I tried to follow along as she passed from stanza to stanza. When I got older, I leaned in next to my mom when she was reading for her own enjoyment and tried to follow along by reading over her shoulder. I did everything I could to feel as if I was reading like she was; I knew she was brilliant and I wanted to be like her.

When she was reading Thor Heyerdahl's Kon-Tiki, I lay in wait until I could get her book to myself. Sounding out most of a paragraph of exotic, grownup-style writing was a supreme and heady treat.

I started reading to my own daughter almost before she was born. I dreamed of passing on the golden wonder of hearing my mother read A Child's Garden of Verses. However, there was no spontaneous magic when I snuggled up to read it aloud with my little girl. Sadly, the magic was with my mom and her love and dedication to lifelong learning, something no book could do on its own. Though my daughter and I found our own path to sharing the broad vista of books, I've always been a little sad that Robert Louis Stevenson hadn't rung our bell.

Recently my mom wrote to me of her mom, who enjoyed reading to her from A Child's Garden of Verses. My grandmother had asked my then-small mother if she understood the words. The little girl replied, "No, but I like the way it sounds."

Ah, there it was - wisdom from the mouth of a babe. Understanding it all is not important for beginning - or pre-readers. Their magic is within the independent reaching of their own minds, as they learn to rely on your comfort, as you share with them your own love of reading.

Greetings from the Deaf-Blind Service Center
by Marie Massena
Executive Assistant

DBSC is an agency that addresses the needs of Deaf-Blind people 16 and older, and their families. Our mission is to assist Deaf-Blind individuals in reaching and maintaining their highest possible quality of life and degree of autonomy.

DBSC coordinates case management for issues requiring the services of more than one agency. We provide technical assistance and consultation to employers and service providers. We also educate the general public about Deaf-Blindness. This includes, but is not limited to, Deaf-Blind people's abilities, needs and rights. In addition, we encourage Deaf-Blind individuals to be active on boards, committees, and task forces whose activities impact the lives of Deaf-Blind people

DBSC has a Support Service Provider (SSP) Program. This program provides SSPs to Deaf-Blind individuals. An SSP is a hearing, Deaf or hard-of-hearing person who provides guiding and visual information to the Deaf-Blind individual. SSPs are not interpreters, although they communicate in sign language. We have a full-time SSP Coordinator. She is responsible for training, recruiting and matching SSPs with Deaf-Blind people; she also monitors the program.

Four activities are covered: grocery shopping, mail reading and writing, simple banking, and errands. Until this year, each Deaf-Blind individual received ten paid SSP hours a month. However, due to the increase of Deaf-Blind people qualifying for SSP services, this year the time has decreased to six hours per month. Our needs have increased, but our funding hasn't kept up with the demand for services.

DBSC provides a Deaf-Blind Interpreter Mentorship Project. This project is co-sponsored by the Federal Region X Interpreter Education Center at Western Oregon University and DBSC. This project matches experienced American Sign Language interpreters for Deaf-Blind people with working interpreters who want guided and supported skill development. The project focuses on the needs of Deaf-Blind individuals, such as close vision/tunnel signing, tactile signing, providing visual information, sighted guiding, cultural etiquette, various types of team interpreting for large groups of Deaf-Blind people, adapted "copy-signing" for Deaf-Blind consumers, and more.

The Deaf-Blind Service Center is growing. We are excited about future opportunities and providing more SSP hours to Deaf-Blind people. We hope our funding increases at both the State and Federal levels.

We also rely on personal donations to the agency. We are non-profit and your donations are tax deductible.

You can contact us at (206) 323-9178 V/TTY or e-mail to


Jefferson County Council of the Blind by Kay Bohren 37

King County Chapter by Marilyn Donnelly &
Virginia Schneebeck 38

Peninsula Council of the Blind by Cindy Burgett 39
United Blind of Seattle by Becky Bell & Karen Johnson 40
United Blind of Spokane by Marlee Naddy 41
United Blind of Tri-Cities by Janice Squires 42

Jefferson County Council
of the Blind
by Kay Bohren

The Jefferson County Council of the Blind continues to meet the first Thursday of the month


at the Shanghai Restaurant in Port Townsend. As we seem to be a well-traveled group, our last few meetings have been small in number, but as our

President, Carl Jarvis, says, "mighty in spirit."

Jim and Helen have been visiting relatives in California. Carl and Cathie Jarvis have gone to Peoria, Arizona to catch some of the Mariners spring training. Bonnie Sherrill is going to England in April and Kay and Bill Bohren are heading for California to visit their families.

We gained a new member, Jo McCrackin, and are trying to recruit others through a flyer put together by Cathie Jarvis to distribute to doctors' offices, retirement communities, senior centers, and anywhere else that people who are experiencing vision loss may gather. We will include our local information flyer with the WCB brochure when It is finished.

By the time I report for the next NEWSLINE, I hope to be able to say that our small group has gown even more.

King County Chapter
by Marilyn Donnelly , President
& Virginia Schneebeck, Member

There is an old song titled "Pennies From Heaven" and the King County Chapter has been collecting these coins on a monthly basis for many years. Pennies multiply in pockets and purses and people are more than willing to part with them. The goal of our ongoing penny drive is to help send a disabled child to camp, and that's exactly what we are going to do this year. While the pen was still poised over the checkbook, we also voted to purchase a white cane for a gentleman in another county.

Our congratulations to Joan Ladeburg, who won Worker of the Year in her department at The Lighthouse for the Blind. Her award from the Lighthouse was a very generous check, and her reward from the King County Chapter will be a complimentary lunch. Way to go, Joan!

A recent guest speaker was a representative from the Metropolitan Improvement District (MID). This non-profit organization provides sighted guides to escort a person from one location to another in downtown Seattle. This service excludes the area known as Belltown. For more information and reservations, please call (206) 441-3303. Inquiring minds want to know if any of you have taken advantage of this service. If so, please call Marilyn at (206) 285-3211 or 1-800-255-1147.

Rhonda Nelson, our representative to the WCB board, gave us a very informative report about the last board meeting. Some of the topics discussed were membership, money, outreach, committees, and information about upcoming seminars and the national convention in Houston.

Virginia and Tim Schneebeck also told us about their trip to Disneyland, Universal Studios, Sea World and the San Diego Zoo in California, as well as the increased airline security.

Peninsula Council of the Blind
by Cindy Burgett, President

Our chapter has gotten off to an exciting start with 41 members. We would like to give a formal PCB welcome to the following, our newest members: Grace Anne & Steve Henry, Ignacio Ordonez, and Jeff & Sarah Schweizer. And let us not forget Janine, Sarah's Seeing Eye Golden.

In January, 23 of our members got together for pizza and a rap session to share ideas for the year 2002. Wow, do we have some exciting things going on!

Some of the exciting things we have planned for this year are: an Under 30's Group, a Couples Group, a Seniors Group and a Men's and Women's Group. These smaller groups will get together throughout the year for mutual sharing, caring, fun and hopefully building friendships.

So far, the Under 30's got together for a DVS video and snacks. Eight young people joined Meka in her home while they watched a movie, munched on junk food and planned for more activities for the year. Good going, gang!

Then, the Couples Group met on none other than Valentine's Day for maybe a not overly romantic dinner, but most certainly a yummy and very social time. Six couples were there, and out of the six, three were celebrating their first Valentine's Day together as husband and wife. What fun it was!

In February, our group had a dinner social at the City Thai restaurant, where 21 lively PCB members invaded this small, quaint establishment, and enjoyed delicious Thai cuisine and wonderful piano music from Linda, who also shared her beautiful voice.

At our February meeting, we had a very interesting presentation from Robert Taylor on his trip to China. What a real treat!

Our 2002 officers are: President, Cindy Burgett; Vice President, Kevin Jones; Secretary, Meka White; Treasurer, Mike Denzer; Board Members, Clair Bourgeois, Jennifer Gerstel, Eric Hunter and Immediate Past President Stuart Russell.

We love having guests. So please consider joining us sometime. If you want to know what's happening on this side of the water, either give our 24/7 info-line a call at (360) 373-2772, or check out our Website,

United Blind of Seattle
by Becky Bell, Board Member &
Karen Johnson, Treasurer

At our November meeting, the following officers were elected: Julie DeGeus, President; Sharon Allen, Secretary; and Karen Johnson, Treasurer. Glenn McCully and Ron Frederickson were elected as board members.

Our guest speakers were Rob and Silvie of KAIZEN, who teach English to blind or visually impaired people.

Our annual holiday party was a luncheon held at the Best Western Executive Inn, where 33 of us dined on salmon or London broil, followed by chocolate mousse for dessert. The rousing carol singing was accompanied by Janie Kimber on flute, Dan Tonge on clarinet, and Don Swaney on guitar. We had a merry time!

In January, we began with our annual board meeting and discussed several issues relating to local, state and national events. Committee chairs were appointed. At our chapter meeting, Doug Hildie was elected as Vice President and Becky Bell is our new board member.

Shirley Taylor reported on the annual Entertainment Book sales. We discussed the upcoming Leadership Conference in May and our Friend Day, which will be May 11th. The guest speakers for February were Barry, Heidi, and Jose from METRO, and we had a rousing and effective discussion about their "calling out stops" policy.

We acquired 13 new members in 2001: Ursula Culala, David Edick, Janie Kimber, Erin Lauridsen, Mia Lipner, Harold & Jodene Martinson, Glenn McCully, Ron & Susanne Parker, Ryan Strickland, and Don & Nancy Swaney.

United Blind of Spokane
by Marlee Naddy, Member

Our meetings are celebrations! We don't like to miss any because they are organized, productive and motivating. It's like Mary Getz says, "It's a matter of attitude." Mary has a chemo treatment every week - with one week a month "off" - a loving happy heart that beats only fairly well even with medication, but she grabs her white cane and out the door she goes!

Loretta Tyler, who lives in an assisted living facility, schedules her transportation several days ahead so she can bring her ideas of how to make life easier and more fun. Loretta usually has some free samples of helpful products to pass out, too.

Real living has ups and downs, as Mary and Lester Thorpe know well. Both have been in the hospital - Lester with five bypasses. They have help seven days a week for eight hours, and are now able to get out and around.

Our president, Dorothy Anderson-Carroll, brought back lots of news and enthusiasm from the WCB Board meeting.

Bob is collecting all the information he can about audio traffic signals. He's hoping also to be chosen for the WCB Leadership training Seminar.

Bea Shinnaberry makes the coffee and makes sure we each get copies of all needed information.

Mobility is an important activity for us, and Clara Donder is our chief traveler. She manages to collect our dues, pay the bills, and send in her reports no matter where she and Roy are. She will bring back more "cane stories" on this trip to Reno.

An example of community education is the "What It's Like to Be Blind" presentation that I made to two fourth grade classes. John and Bob are very gracious chauffeurs.

Each of our members is unique, but willing to work together and share what we do best to make a positive difference.

We are winners!

United Blind of Tri-Cities
by Janice Squires, Secretary

Congratulations and Sympathies

Our deepest sympathy goes to the family of long-time UBTC member Francis Davis on her recent death.

Congratulations to Mary and Barney Wolverton on the celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary this month.

Congratulations to Florabell and Cleo Booth on the celebration of their 73rd wedding anniversary.

Congratulations to Bill Hoage on receiving his first guide dog, Dondi, from Guide Dogs for the Blind in Boring, Oregon.

The United Blind of the Tri-Cities held their annual elections in December and congratulations to the following newly-elected board: I was elected President; Frank Cuta, First Vice President; Pam Padilla, Second Vice President; Mardel Kendall, Secretary; Sue Sather, Treasurer; Bill Hoage, First Board member and Bill Van Winkle, Second Board member. Also, congratulations to Bill Van Winkle on his selection to the Edith Bishel for the Blind and Visually Impaired Board in Kennewick. It is terrific to have Mardel Kendall serving as our new secretary. she is an excellent Braille reader and can read her own minutes and also do the roll call.

Mary Wolverton, our lunch group chair, has just undergone open heart surgery and we wish her a very speedy recovery. Mardel Kendall has taken over the lunch bunch duties and has come up with some great new ideas. We ate at Round Table Pizza and the IHOP for the very first times. In March, we are going to try having our lunch at Target and then allowing our members to do some shopping. We would like to show them how easy it is to shop at one of these local stores independently.

Pam Padilla and Frank Cuta coordinate the narrated plays and we just enjoyed the recent performance of "Art". "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" will be our next narrated play, to be held sometime in April.

We have enjoyed so many excellent speakers at our local chapter meetings, including Sheila Turner, our new local DSB Independent Living instructor and Tricia Irely, DSB Vocational Rehab instructor from our Yakima office. Ed Frost, Ben Franklin Manager of Transit Development, and Chris Marsh, chair of the Citizens for Public Transportation, spoke to us on the importance of passing the sales tax increase to restore our transit to pre-
I-695 days. We as a group are working extremely hard to make sure this tax increase passes. As individuals, we have given monetary donations, written letters to the editor, and passed out buttons, literature and signs. We are attending the citizens group meetings and are contacting friends with phone calls and by sending out postcards. Our transit system means so very much to us all, so wish us luck with this endeavor.

We would like to welcome our newest member, Bill Hoage, to our group. He has just been elected to the UBTC Board, and I know he will be a true asset to it. We also would like to congratulate him on receiving his first guide dog, a 93 pound yellow lab, Dondi. Bill graduated from Guide Dogs for the Blind on February 10 from the Boring, Oregon campus.
Happy Easter and here's wishing for a lovely Spring.

from Robert Taylor

Dear members of WCB,

Nee-hao in Chinese, or Hello. I want to thank the WCB, the individual chapters of the council, and members for making it possible for me to experience China. The trip was led by the Washington Cultural Exchange and USA Track and Field during the winter break.

My first stop in China was the Sha Tin district of Hong Kong. At the Hong Kong Sports Institute, I raced with the four other members of my cross-country team alongside 15 Hong Kong high school runners. The race was about 2.7 miles, done in three laps going around the school complex, starting and finishing on the track. At the start, I was in front; by the end of the first lap, I pulled back to the fourth position. Coming onto the track, I sprinted the remaining 300 meters, passing two teammates and a Hong Kong runner at the front.

I won my first cross-country race ever! My time was 16.03 minutes. After the race, I exchanged gifts with the Chinese runners. I also traveled up to Victoria Peak, waded in the South China Sea, and visited the Aberdeen Floating Fishing Village.

In Guangzhou, China, I learned how to eat rice, the staple food of China, with chopsticks, visited Dr. Sun Yatsen Memorial Hall, and interacted with 100-plus kindergartners in their New Year's presentation to their parents.

The Seven Star Lake New Year's Day 8-kilometer race was north of Guangzhou, in Zhaoqing, China. The race was set for 7:30 am but for whatever reason, it took 20 minutes of jogging in place before the race started. My cross-country team, the five supervising adults - including my dad - and I ran the whole 8 kilometers, or 6 miles. There were high school students, college students, young men and soccer teams, about 70 in all. For about the first mile, all the Chinese runners were passing me up, not to be outdone by an American. The course is a paved path on an isthmus connecting a few small islands in the lake to both sides. After the crowd thinned out, a Chinese college student and I were running the same pace and we tried to converse. He knew English somewhat and I couldn't respond in Chinese, so it was small talk. He told me we had 1,000 meters left and I didn't realize that meant just over a half mile, so I didn't pick up my pace and he raced ahead.

A huge crowd was forming as one of my teammates passed me up and just disappeared into the crowd - just vanished! When I got to that point, I had no more than a few inches between me and the crowd on both sides shouting, "Go, American! Go, American," and "Hello, Hello," in their best English. I crossed the finish line, but I didn't realize it until someone told me to stop. I don't know how I did in the overall race, but I was third in our WCE group.

After that, I was pictureized by everybody, signed my name on hats, shirts, and jackets; and gave out American running shirts, flags and buttons. I found the Chinese runner afterwards and gave him my USA hat. A local TV station interviewed my Dad and me.

Our last stop was in Beijing, the nation's capital. There in the freezing cold, I walked around Tiananmen Square, climbed the Great Wall, traveled along the Sacred Way of animal and human sculptures, visited the Ming Tombs, entered the Forbidden City or Imperial Palace, and mistakenly checked out the Summer Palace in the winter. We flew back home on January 7th.

The trip was amazing. The Chinese people were so welcoming, the competition was challenging and it was exciting to race internationally; most of all, I am glad I had the chance to make new friends.

Thanks, or should I say shee-eh shee-eh.

by Peggy Shoel

Congratulations to the following WCB members.

Cathy & Carl Jarvis, member and president respectively, Jefferson County Council of the Blind, on their 20th wedding anniversary. The Jarvises were married in Renton, honeymooned in Hawaii and celebrated this event with dinner at the Oyster House, a bottle of wine in front of the fireplace and a couple of good movies.
Paul Sather, member, United Blind of Tri-Cities, on his retirement after 35 years of employment with the IBP Beef Company. Paul is looking forward to spending time restoring his 1932 Ford sedan.
Becky Bell, board member, United Blind of Seattle, who in January won 1st place in her age category at Ski for Light International held in Grandby, Colorado in a 10K (6 mi) race. Additionally, in February, she won 1st place in the Ski for Light Canada race held in Red Deer, Alberta in the 5k (3mi) category.
Gary Burdette, United Blind of Whatcom County, who was appointed WCB's ex officio representative to the Board of Trustees of the Washington State School for the Blind in Vancouver.
Denise Colley, member, Capital City Council of the Blind, on being re-elected chair of the DSB Rehab Council. This is Denise's fourth year serving in this capacity.
Becky Bell, board member, United Blind of Seattle, and Gary Burdette, President, United Blind of Whatcom County, for being selected to attend the ACB legislative training seminar in Washington, D.C. Watch for their report in the June Newsline.
Dan Tonge, member, King County Council of the Blind, on the acquisition of his very first dog guide, Amigo, from Leader Dogs in Michigan. Amigo is a 50 lb. Australian Shepherd/Border Collie mix, black with gray specks, and according to Dan, has a mind of his own.
Ann McCay, Secretary, WCB, on her new dog guide, Marcina, a playful 65 lb. Yellow Lab/Golden Retriever cross, from San Rafael, California. Gita is very happy in her retirement with a loving family from Ann's church.
Susan Kamrass, Treasurer, Guide Dog Users of Washington State, on her new dog guide Captain, a 78 lb. Golden Retriever from Leader Dogs. Max has taken very well to his retirement and is still used by Susan for school presentations and walks around her property.

Sharon Keeran, member, Guide Dog Users of Washington State, on her new dog guide, Falla, from Seeing Eye in New Jersey. Falla is a 58 lb Golden Retriever who is very playful, enjoys long walks and the household cat, Folly.
Kevin Jones, Vice President, Peninsula Council of the Blind, on his new dog guide, Dickens, a 75 lb. Labrador cross from Guide Dogs for the Blind in Oregon. Kevin says Dickens is just a big lovable dog and he is working out very well.

Bits and Pieces
by Peggy Shoel

Home readers located in Kansas distribute 30 company mail order catalogs on cassette tape at no charge. These include clothing, housewares, and gift catalogs such as Chadwicks of Boston, LL Bean, and Lands End, specialty foods such as Vermont Country Store, Sugar-free Marketplace and Spices, etc. Avon and Tupperware. You can receive a free 4-track cassette tape of all their recorded catalogs by calling toll-free 1-877-814-7323.
Brailled Ale on Sale. According to the London Daily Record, Britain's first blind user/drinker friendly beer is now available. New bottle labels have been brailled and can be identified on the shelf.
Design Tech International produces audible alert devices that signal when your mail box has been opened, when a vehicle has pulled into your driveway, and other motion alerts. For more information, call their toll free number: 1-800-337-4468.
Pharmaceutical companies offer senior drug discounts. According to the Associated Press, Pfizer is offering some of its most widely used prescriptions at $15 each, per month. Included are drugs for lowering cholesterol and blood pressure and treating depression.
To qualify, seniors must be enrolled in Medicare and have an annual gross income below $18,000, or less than $24,000 for couples, with no other prescription drug coverage. There is no enrollment fee and no limit to the number of drugs a person can receive. The program begins March 1.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and CVS have agreed to participate. For information, call 1-800-717-6005.

Wal-Mart is also cooperating with Glaxo Smithkline in its Orange Card program. This company produces a wide range of products for controlling diabetes, heart and respiratory conditions. For further infomation, call

Recipe - No-mix Dump Cake

From the kitchen of Dorothy Anderson-Carroll
Director, WCB Board

Dorothy offers the following recipe as one that is easy to prepare, delicious to eat, and one that always brings forth compliments.

You will need:

1 large can crushed pineapple, undrained

1 large can cherry pie filling

1 white or yellow cake mix, dry

1 cube butter or equivalent

1/2 cup chopped nuts - walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.

Empty undrained can of crushed pineapple and level out in pan. Add the can of cherry pie filling and spread it on top of the pineapple.

Next, sprinkle the dry cake mix evenly on the top. Scatter the chopped nuts on top of that. Finish by dotting the top of the mix with small pieces of the cube of butter.

Bake for one hour. Let cool slightly before serving.

That's Funny

A man walks into the kitchen where his wife is seated at the table, reading the newspaper. He has a look of wonderment on his face and says to her, "I just got through talking to Timmy about the birds and the bees. Wait'll I tell you what I learned."


(ad hoc)

Chair - Kay Bohren

phone (360) 379-9070



Chair - Sue Ammeter

Phone (206) 525-4667



Chair - Peggy Shoel

Phone (206) 722-8477



Chair - Cindy Burgett

Phone (360) 698-0827



Chair - Rhonda Nelson

Phone (253) 735-6290



Chair - Frank Cuta

Phone (509) 967-2658


Members have not been appointed


Chair - James Eccles

Phone (360) 699-4927



Chair - Cindy Burgett

Phone (206) 698-0827



Chair - Shirley Taylor

Phone (206) 362-3118

E-mail - none


Chair - Lynette Romero

Phone (360) 425-5369



Chair - Mardel Kendall

Phone (509) 946-7507



Chair - Cindy Burgett

Phone (360) 698-0827


(ad hoc)

Chair - Janice Squires

Phone (509) 582-4749


(ad hoc)

Chair - Dan Tonge

Phone (206) 985-4160



Chair - Gary Burdette

Phone (360) 966-0966


(ad hoc)

In suspension


Chair - Julie DeGeus

Phone (206) 547-7444


NEWSLINE (standing)

Chair - Peggy Shoel

Phone (206) 722-8477


(ad hoc)

Not appointed yet


Chair - Carl Jarvis

Phone (360) 765-4239

E-mail - none


In suspension


Not appointed yet


Chair - Denise Colley

Phone (360) 438-0072



Not appointed yet


Chair - Ann McCay

Phone (206) 526-2479

E-mail annmccay@mind-


Article Deadline:

To be considered for inclusion in the next issue, article submissions, chapter news, and other information for publication must be received by June 1, 2002.

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.


To Brady Layman of the Tri-Cities, for reading this issue onto tape.
To Sue Sather, for duplicating the tape version of this issue.
To Ann McCay for providing mailing labels.
To Tim Schneebeck for providing the NEWSLINE on disk and 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.
Deadline for next issue: June 1, 2002

Washington Council of the Blind
Peggy Shoel, Editor
5171 S. Spencer Street
Seattle, WA 98118

Copyright © 2002-2004 by Washington Council of the Blind -- All rights reserved.

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