The Voice of the

Washington Council of the Blind



March 2003 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 by Berl Colley

Editor's Comment by Peggy Shoel

Midyear Meandering by Karen Johnson

2003 Fall Convention by Dorothy Carroll

WCB Leadership Training by Cindy Burgett

2003 WCB Committee List

WCB Membership Committee Report by Julie DeGeus

New Dog Guide Users Website Up and Running

Inmates Ideal Work Force (reprint)

Louis Braille Center by Carolyn Meyer

Critical Budget Issues Impacting DSB by Denise Colley

WTBBL Update by Gloria Leonard

Report from WSSB by Dr. Dean O. Stenehjem

WDIM or What Does It Mean? by Cynthia Towers

Around the State

Group Guides Puppies into Guide Dogs (reprint)

eSight Careers Network by Nan Hawthorne

Hats Off to You! by Peggy Shoel

Bits & Pieces by Peggy Shoel

Thank You, WCB

Advocacy Resources by Sue Ammeter

That’s Funny (groaners)



New Feature - Calendar by Peggy Shoel





From the President's Desk
by Berl Colley


Happy birthday to all of the NEWSLINE readers living in Washington State. We just celebrated our 150th (sesquicentennial) birthday as a territory and state. For nearly one-half of that time - 68 years - our organization has existed.

I have to believe that at no time in WCB’s history have we been as active as we have been in the last three months.
- We have been in Olympia testifying on behalf of our agencies.
- We have been looking at a new logo.
- We attended a special meeting the first weekend in January to discuss the severe budget cuts that the Governor recommended in mid-December.
- Four WCB members have been selected to attend the ACB Legislative Training in Washington, D.C. March 23-25.
- We had a busy board get-together and meeting the first weekend in February.
- Some of us attended ACB’s midyear conference in Pittsburgh during President’s weekend.
- WCB committees have been formed for 2003.
- We have had 16 conference call meetings between December 8, 2002 and March 9, 2003.
-Nine WCB members attended the Rehabilitation Council for DSB meeting the first weekend in March.

ACB Legislative Training

I mentioned that four WCB members have been chosen to attend the ACB Legislative Training in late March. The four members are Lyle Burgett, Cheryl Danzel, Glenn McCully and Lynette Romero. Congratulations, and we will look forward to your article(s) about your experience. Sixteen WCB members will have had this opportunity since the program started five years ago.

Budget Cuts

Governor Locke published his budget cutting recommen­dations in mid-December and the three state service agencies for blind and visually impaired people were given some tough numbers to deal with.

The Washington State School for the Blind was asked to cut 5.6 FTE (full time equivalent) positions. The Department of Services for the Blind was asked to eliminate 4.3 FTEs. The Washington Talking Book and Braille Library was asked to take a 28% cut in its operating budget.

This is a time when the blind community needs to actively work in Olympia with a united front. WCB has partnered with the NFB of Washington to see that this year’s supplemental budget keeps our agencies’ funding at current levels. We are still working to get the same level of staffing and dollars for the 03-05 budget. Read more about WCB’s legislative efforts elsewhere in this issue.

Another Leadership Training Opportunity

WCB will be conducting its third Leadership Training the first weekend in May. I want to encourage those WCB members who have not attended before to consider applying for our 2003 training. Thanks to Cindy Burgett, Committee Chair, Sue Ammeter and Glenn McCully for all of your hard work. See the article elsewhere for details on how to apply.

National Convention Assistance

At our Winter board meeting, WCB approved stipends and convention loans for the ACB convention in Pittsburgh. Those who have been a WCB member for 12 consecutive months prior to July may apply for an $800 stipend. Members must make their own request to Shirley Taylor, (206) 362-3118, before May 1, 2003.

Convention loan requests of up to $250 must be made to James Eccles, (360) 699-4927, also by May 1, 2003.

Thank You:

- to Peggy Shoel, for the work that she is doing to develop a new logo for this publication;

- to Cindy Burgett, for establishing a system of phone card use that should save WCB thousands of dollars;

- to Julie DeGeus, for putting together a coordination list for WCB board members and WCB chapters. This will provide even better communication between WCB and its affiliates;

- to Sue Ammeter, who has been appointed Chair of ACB’s Membership Committee;

- to Doug Hildie, the new WCB representative on the Patron Advisory Council of the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library;

- Thanks also to Shirley Taylor, the WCB’s previous representative on the PAC;

- to Denise Colley, who served one year as Vice Chair and four years as Chair of DSB’s Rehabilitation Council.

Is the Department of Services for the Blind the Appropriate Place for a Telephonic Reading Service?

There is a bill under consideration by this year’s legislature, House Bill 1838, which would establish a telephonic reading service for blind and visually handicapped people. This is someone else’s wording, not mine.

The three agencies serving blind and visually impaired Washingtonians have pretty distinct functions. The School for the Blind provides education and brailling services. The Library provides informational opportunities in the form of books, magazines and radio reading services. DSB provides training for employment and independent daily living.

This bill would set up an informational service within DSB. This is wrong. WTBBL is better suited for this kind of program. If the legislature passes this bill and the governor signs it, DSB will probably contract it out to the Library. The thinking is right, but the bureaucracy is not right. I would encourage everyone to contact their representatives and senators and ask them to oppose this bill and the precedent it would establish for our agencies.

Does it mean that the Evergreen Radio Reading Service will be discontinued because DSB is running a competing service? Does it mean that DSB will broadcast, live or from archives, programs from ACB Radio over the telephone? Does it mean that the NFB Newsline, a service which provides some articles from a couple of local and some national newspapers, will be limited to VR and independent living clients?

Why is this new activity being considered, when DSB is being asked to cut staff?


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Editor’s Comment
by Peggy Shoel

What was all that noise? The December cassette version of the NEWSLINE contained background clicking noise and the sound of pages being turned. We discovered the reason for that was that our two readers, Brady Layman and Sherrill Lee, were sharing one microphone, which they had to pass back and forth. The situation was easily remedied by providing a second microphone. Starting with this issue’s cassette, we can expect easy listening.

Some things to think about:

·       Chapter updates can be a viable membership outreach tool. Blind or visually impaired Washingtonians relocate within our state or know of someone considering a move. They would benefit from an awareness of your chapter’s existence. Information on when and where your group meets and its activities and goals can feed into an effective word-of-mouth network. Consider submitting your chapter’s updates for at least two of the four annual NEWSLINEs.

·       Whatever happened to the personality profile articles that used to appear in the NEWSLINE? Well, we did not run out of potential profilees but we did run out of willing profilers. We received good feedback from these articles, which gave readers the opportunity to learn more about the background and activity histories of some of our members. We would be happy to reinstate this feature. If you would like to see someone profiled in a future NEWSLINE and you are willing to write the article, please let me know, using the contact information at the end of this article.

·       Readership enhancement. Do you have to be a WCB member in order to receive the NEWSLINE? No, the NEWSLINE in any of its formats (large print, audio cassette tape, email) is available to anyone - WCB member or not, blind or visually impaired individual or not - and to any agency, organization, or group interested in learning who we are, why we are, and what we do. Lorraine Pozzi in Seattle now maintains our NEWSLINE database and oversees its distribution. If you have knowledge of individuals or groups who are interested in and would benefit from receiving the NEWSLINE, please contact her directly at (206) 282-6107 or, or route the information through me.

·       NEWSLINEs are on the Internet. A NEWSLINE is posted to our Website within two or three weeks of its production, where it joins the three previous issues. Our goal is to have four issues up and available at all times. Share our Website address ( with your neighbors, coworkers, friends and families.

·       Deadlines. Each NEWSLINE gives the deadline for material submissions for the following issue. The information appears at the back of the issue under Announcements.

Until our next edition (June) remember - a New Year’s resolution goes in one year and out the other.

Contact Information: Telephone - (206) 722-8477. (receiving only), or the WCB toll-free number, 1-800 255-1147.


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MidYear Meandering
by Karen Johnson, Treasurer,
United Blind of Seattle

First, the only non-stop flights from Seattle to Pittsburgh are on US Airways. At the airport, get on an electric cart, then transfer at an elevator to another cart to baggage claim. It took me longer to find the “Express Shuttle” counter, which is on the same floor as baggage claim, and is across from Yellow Cab. The shuttle is about $17. Buy your ticket at the counter and the shuttle leaves on the hour only. The Westin Hotel does not run its own shuttle.

At the Westin, I was impressed by the courteous staff, the white comforters on the beds, the double showerhead, and Starbucks coffee in the room. There are two elevator hallways - one to the rooms and one for the parking area. There is a gift shop off the lobby, and there are vending machines in the hotel convention center just outside the lobby. I did not like the revolving front lobby door.

There are not enough restaurants in the hotel for us. The Westin is a nice hotel and the food is priced accordingly. A large hamburger and fries were about $10 with tax and tip. Room service was great.

Cindy Burgett, Rod Chard and I had lunch three blocks from the hotel. The corned beef sandwich is a regional specialty, and ours were $6 each. I’m bringing snacks in July!

Since I was taking minutes for CCLVI on Sunday, I missed the ACB program, including Sue Ammeter’s presentation about membership. I did hear Chris Gray’s welcome and Cindy Burgett’s panel presentation about environmental access.

I hope to see you in July at the ACB Convention in Pittsburgh!


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2003 Fall Convention in the East
by Dorothy Carroll, President
United Blind of Spokane

Welcome to Spokane, Washington, site of the WCB 2003 Convention, November 6, 7, 8, and 9.

Spokane is a city with a new story to tell. A small town comes of age, as of Expo World Fair in 1974. We’re sophis­ticated, dynamic and fun. Spokane is a safe, friendly kind of place - a community on the move. Looking to the future, yet embracing our past, we are rich in spectacular Cutter archi­tecture, art, and Native American culture.

Spokane’s pedestrian-friendly downtown features an eclectic mix of retail, restaurants, and galleries to please everyone. With 250 days of sunshine a year, it’s easy to shop, play and relax. There are 50 golf courses in the area. But even when weather turns chilly, our downtown is connected by the second largest skywalk system in the U.S., so warding off winter’s cold is a breeze. These skywalks connect such stores as The Bon Marche, River Park Square with many fine shops, Nordstrom’s and Crescent Court. A river runs through the center of town, with falls and a dam in the middle of town. These are beautiful waterfalls; you can hear the roar and feel the mist coming up on your face. Very refreshing.

Along the side of the river there is a paved trail, called the Centennial Trail, for walkers, joggers, and skateboarders, and a bike trail that starts downtown and continues for 13 miles to the town of Post Falls.

There are 67 lakes close to Spokane, and very near the Doubletree Hotel where our convention will be held. You are right in the center of activities. Before you leave the hotel for home, make sure you try their World Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies. You can buy them at the hotel in a round tin and have them shipped anywhere.

You are within walking distance of many fine restaurants, such as Shenanigans, Aztec Mexican, Chilies, Olive Garden, Four Mill, and many more. As you walk along Spokane Falls Blvd., you will pass by the Convention Center, Opera House, and then on to Riverfront Park, home of the Big Paul Bunyan wagon, measuring 12 feet high, 12 feet wide, and 27 feet long, with a slide in the wagon tongue. It weighs 260 tons, and can hold 300 people. This is a favorite of children and the young at heart. We climb on a rubber-wheeled train that will take you all through the park.

Next we come to the carousel. All the horses and animals were hand-carved, and the jeweled saddles are a sight to behold. The calliope plays as the merry-go-round goes round. It is housed in its own building. Back of the carousel are steps leading down to the water’s edge, and there are ducks, geese, and swans ready for a free meal.

Next we come to the amusement rides and IMAX Theater, ice arena and sculptures in tribute to Bloomsday Race. The park site is many acres. Across the river is the famous clock tower, standing like a sentinel guarding the whole park.

Try to take in our world-famous Davenport Hotel, which just completed a 30 million dollar restoration.

We’ll be waiting for you to come visit us at convention time.


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WCB Leadership Training Seminar, 2003
by Cindy Burgett,
WCB First Vice President

The 2003 WCB Leadership Training Seminar will be held May 2-4 at the Executive Inn in Seattle. This is the third annual WCB Leadership Training Seminar, and we are accepting applications only from those who have not attended this training in the previous two years.

Attendees will be expected to participate in all sessions of the seminar, beginning at 7:00pm on Friday night (May 2) and culminating with the WCB board meeting on Sunday (May 4).

This leadership training is intended for any member of WCB who is interested in gaining a stronger knowledge of this organization and its structure, developing skills to help them in their local chapter, and building relationships with others in WCB. A three-person committee is currently working on the agenda for the training, but it will be very similar to those in the past two years:

·       providing information about the Washington Council of the Blind, its past, present and future;

·       strategies to assist participants to find their niche in their local chapter and in the state organization;

·       opportunity for questions and answers about organizational structure, membership development, leadership techniques, and more;

·       social time and building of relationships, and overall feeling of camaraderie.

WCB will provide all seminar materials, reasonable travel expenses, lodging based on double occupancy, and coordinated meals for the weekend. There may be one or two meals for which participants will have to provide on their own. However, the specific details will be discussed with participants prior to their arrival.

To apply, applicants must have been a member of WCB for at least six months (charter members of brand new chapters are exempt from this requirement) prior to May 2, and send a letter of application explaining why they would like to attend this Leadership Seminar and how they believe it would benefit them, as well as their chapter.

Applications must be received by April 5 to be considered. Submissions will be accepted in the following formats: braille, print, 3.5 inch disk, or email.

Send applications to:
Cindy Burgett
6686 Capricorn Lane NE
Bremerton, WA 98311
(360) 698-0827


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2003 WCB Committee List

Editor’s Note: In order to acquaint and reacquaint readers with our state committees, we are providing the following list of committees and their chairs. In addition, we intend (beginning with this NEWSLINE) to include at least one committee report with information on respon­sibilities, activities, and goals in each issue.

Sue Ammeter (206) 525-4667

Carl Jarvis (360) 765-4239

Frank Cuta (509) 967-2658

Jim Eccles (360) 699-4927

Cindy Burgett (360) 698-0827

Shirley Taylor (206) 362-3118

Lynette Romero (360) 425-5369

Sharon Allen (253) 639-0659

Cheryl Stewart (509) 886-8535

Glenn McCully (206) 719-1426

Janice Squires (509) 582-4749

Carl Jarvis (360) 765-4239

Gary Burdette (360) 966-0966

Julie DeGeus (206) 547-7444

Peggy Shoel (206) 722-8477

Denise Colley (360) 438-0072

Ann McCay (206) 526-2479


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WCB Membership Committee Report
by Julie DeGeus, Chair

“Hello, chapter president. I am a WCB Membership Committee member, and I would like you to provide me the name of a chapter member who can serve as your membership representative, to be involved both in chapter membership recruitment and retention.”

Chapter presidents will be hearing these words, if they haven’t heard them already, from the Membership Committee. The question is, “Why is it important to have a chapter membership rep focused on the issues of recruitment and retention?

So often we hear from someone who feels that attending local, state, and/or national functions just isn’t worth it any more, or none of their needs are being met, or that someone isn’t coming because they felt disconnected, rejected, and not important to the organization. The loss of membership through these kinds of issues is very very sad and is an area that needs special focus.

Along with the focus on retaining current membership is the necessity to infuse the Council with new people of various ages and from all locales to keep the organization fresh, varying in perspective, with the ability to carry on. Also, because we feel the Council has something to offer, we have a desire for people from all over the state to be a part of this organization. To facilitate this growth takes a lot of focus and work.

It is clear that for our state to attract and retain members, this will need to be done first at the local level. The ACB Membership Forum at the convention last year pin-pointed these two needs for Membership to target.

You may be saying, “Phew, okay, and just how does the Membership Committee hope to accomplish these goals?” To begin the process of major work, this year the committee has outlined goals and functions as follows:

Helping to empower local chapters in membership areas via continual contact and discussion forums, sharing of ideas and chapter membership successes, providing written materials for new members and newly developing chapters, along with spearheading possible locales and procedures for brand-new chapter formation.

This year the board has decided to assign officer/board member liaisons to each local chapter, for the purposes of connection, support and information transmission. The difference with the chapter membership reps is that they work directly with the WCB Membership Committee liaison on membership issues and needs mentioned above.

These ambitious desires for membership and committee goals will need support from all WCB members. Each member has gifts and talents they can contribute to the area of membership recruitment and retention. The committee is here to assist and help the organization in any way we can to accomplish all of the above. Please assist your chapter reps with your support; along with feeling free to contact the Membership Committee with any needs, issues and concerns you have regarding membership.

Now let me introduce you to this year’s ambitious, talented and committed Membership Committee members: Terry Atwater (Capitol City Council of the Blind), Cindy Burgett (Peninsula Council of the Blind), Dorothy Carroll (United Blind of Spokane), Steve Heesen (United Blind of Seattle), Meka White (Peninsula Council of the Blind), and Julie DeGeus (United Blind of Seattle).


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New Dog Guide Users Website Up and Running

On February 12, Joleen Ferguson, Treasurer, United Blind of Walla Walla, and a member of Guide Dog Users of Washington State (GDUWS), completed her creation of a Website for Washington dog guide users and other interested individuals. The Website address is and Joleen’s email address is Posted are the group’s constitution, bylaws, newsletter and information on the White Cane Law and other state laws, policies and regulations as they apply to dog guides and their users.

Links provide additional information in the areas of dog guide schools, relevant medical information, facts about differences in breeds, shopping resources for dog care supplies and products, and much more. Joleen is enthusiastic about the Website and will be updating it frequently with new information. Good job, Webmaster Ferguson!


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Inmates Ideal Work Force for State Braille Project
The following is an excerpt from The Tacoma News Tribune,
Jan 4, 2003

Intensive process finds workers with time on their hands
by Joseph Turner

At first, Kelly Kerr thought she could handle all the work herself - transcribing classroom handouts into Braille so her blind students would have access to all the same materials that seeing students have.

But she was swamped. So were the volunteers she recruited from communities in the Central Kitsap School District near Bremerton.

“The volunteers would come in, and I would train them, and then they’d get a job or lose interest,” said Kerr, whose 21-year-old son lost his sight 14 years ago. “And it’s pretty intensive training. So what we needed was people with a lot of time on their hands, who could do it long-term.”

The answer, in hindsight, was simple: prison inmates.

Such was the birth of the Braille Transcription Project, which began in 1997 as a cooperative venture by four state agencies. The project recently received the Governor’s Award for Quality and Improvement.

Today, six inmates at the women’s prison outside Gig Harbor have learned Braille and use their knowledge to transcribe everything from textbooks to ferry schedules to the state voter’s guide for last month’s general election.

There are about 6,000 people in the state who are blind or visually impaired. About 1,500 of them read Braille.

“These are very skilled ladies,” said Catherine Golding, an instructor for the State School for the Blind. She tutors the inmate workers, as well as students in the Fife, Bethel, Auburn and White River school districts. “This isn’t something you pick up in a few days.”

In fact, it takes about a year for the inmates to learn Braille and get their state and national certifications, she said.

“It’s not tough to learn when you can see,” said Michelle Baechler, 34, a graduate of the prison program. She was released from prison almost two years ago, and now has her own transcription business, called “Absolutely Brailliant in Kennewick.

“If you’re good with numbers, you’ll be good with Braille,” she said. “Everything is made up of a combination of the same six dots.”


Baechler, a single mom whose previous jobs were as a waitress, does contract work for the School for the Blind, National Braille Press and other agencies. Two recent jobs were translating bus schedules and routes for Sound Transit and transit agencies in Olympia and Vancouver into Braille. She also transcribed the medical and dental benefits for the state’s Basic Health Plan, she said.

Still, she can’t read Braille with her fingers. “I’ve tried, but with my fingers, they’re just jumbled bumps,” she said.

The workers at the women’s prison - Shannon Cornelius, 25; Clistie Ferrell, 43; Robin Johnson, 37; Starr Lake, 21; and Leona Minthorn, 35 - type materials and software coding onto a computer disk that is sent to the School for the Blind to be proofread. The school sends back the disks and Braille printouts with the needed corrections.

The final version is sent back to the school for printing on thick 11-by-11.5-inch paper. Because Braille text is embossed, a 650-page textbook of regular type can turn into 40 volumes of Braille, each of which is two inches thick, said Colleen Lines, manager of the school’s Braille Access Center.

The amount of work to be done is overwhelming and expensive - except for what’s done at the prison, she said. Since the inmates are paid only 50 cents to $2 an hour, their work costs only one-tenth of what a private transcriber would charge.

“The amazing thing about this whole partnership is that we have so many people involved and so many agencies that actually cooperate,” Lines said.


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Louis Braille Center
Computers, Handshakes, and Ball Games
by Carolyn Meyer, Director

Thank you again, WCB, for our new computer and braille software that we have enjoyed for the past three months. Life is much easier when the software is compatible and the computer is fast, has lots of memory, and doesn’t talk back or freeze up. The benefits are many: we can produce braille more efficiently, the increased hard drive space allows us to more easily organize and save files for easy retrieval, and the stress reduction puts the joy back into making braille.

Our new braille transcribing software, Braille 2000, the successor to ED-IT, is an amazing and comprehensive program, and the developer is continually working to make it even better. For the first time, I have the complete Microsoft Office Suite on my computer. This means I can open files such as PowerPoint documents that are sent to us for transcribing. Your grant made all of this possible, and I thank you so much.

Handshakes and Ball Games

On the second Saturday of every month, a group of children and their parents gather at the Louis Braille Center. We play card games and ball games. We sing songs and play rhythm instruments. We make Valentines and snowman decorations. We share happy times and challenging situations. We munch on snacks and enjoy playtime. We laugh and sometimes we cry. We call ourselves the Second Saturday Club.

Our Saturday gatherings are unique because our children are blind or visually impaired. Most days they experience the challenge of trying to fit into a sighted world, and often they feel that they fail. We believe children cannot learn and thrive and succeed if they are not happy with themselves and confident in their abilities. We believe all children need to feel good about themselves, have friends, laugh and play, try new things, and learn to give and take.

Our Second Saturday Club activities, therefore, are especially planned to work for these children whose eyes do not see. If they can master skills on a level playing field and feel successful and good about themselves, they will have more confidence when the opportunity comes to adapt those skills to a sighted world.

Sometimes we deal directly with an activity that may be awkward unless one knows how to do it. Shaking hands is an example. At a recent gathering, a young man who is blind and who has mastered the art of handshaking whether with a sighted person or another blind person, gave the children some valuable pointers and lots of “hands on” practice. We will follow through with this every time we meet, encouraging the children to take the initiative and boldly extend his or her hand when greeting another person.

When we sit in a circle and play Hot Potato, we pass a ball with a bell inside. The sound of the bell gives a cue to get ready to receive the ball and pass it quickly. When we play relay games, we use an easy-to-grasp ball with a jingle bell in it to pass over the head to the person behind. An egg-on-the-spoon relay is done by running one hand along a guide rope, then turning around and coming back. (The egg is hard-boiled!) We sit on the floor in a circle, legs spread apart. Using a ball with a bell in it, one person drums on the floor with his hands, and the person with the ball rolls It toward the sound. Even the youngest child quickly becomes amazingly accurate.

The ball games and the other things we do are fun, and the children laugh and participate wholeheartedly. In addition to having fun, they are learning motor skills, cooperation, anticipation, listening, and the give and take of teamwork.

When these experiences take place in a loving, caring atmosphere where no one loses or fails, the children feel exhilarated and good about themselves and their participation. Perhaps these little successes will encourage them to participate in more challenging situations in their day-to-day activities.

I wish to leave you with a little story. The younger brother of one of our children came to the Second Saturday Club with his brother. As the other children arrived, this sighted little brother came to me and said, “Why is everyone here blind?” Ah, the tables were turned. How wise we could be if we would walk in another’s shoes, if only for two hours on a Saturday afternoon.


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Critical Budget Issues Impacting the Washington State Department of Services for the Blind
by Denise Colley, Outgoing Chair
Rehab Council

As we are all aware, the state of Washington is in an economic slump, and this situation is putting serious stress and scrutiny on all state programs. The events of September 11th and impending conflict in the Gulf have resulted in a downward spiral in spending. The sales tax structure used to generate revenues is highly dependent on the economy. Washington State generates 63.6% of its total revenue in sales tax, which is the highest dependence of any state on sales tax.

The 2001-2003 budget was altered with reductions that were adopted during the 2002 legislative session. Additionally, the Senate and House have recently passed further reductions in the form of the supplemental budget for the current fiscal year which ends on June 30th. Both versions of the supplemental budget expedite downsizing of state government, and the target reduction for the Department of Services for the Blind (DSB) of 3.8 FTEs (Full Time Employees). This means they need to get smaller in employee numbers quite soon. The proposed reduction in Governor Locke’s 2003-2005 biennial budget for DSB is 4.3 FTEs.

This budgetary crisis and its impact on direct service delivery was one of the main topics of discussion at the quarterly meeting of the State Rehabilitation Council held on March 1 in Seattle. DSB Director Bill Palmer provided Council members with a thought-provoking analysis of the issues and the impact of reductions in human and financial resources on the work of the Department. Such reductions, coupled with continued growth in staff workload, could end up being what causes the Department to enter an Order of Priority for service delivery. The pressure on state agencies to consolidate and unduplicate services will increase, and the Department will need good economic justification for remaining a separate, independent VR agency.

Director Palmer also provided us with a proposed plan to comply with the reductions in Human Resources. DSB will need to implement a strategic plan that addresses the continuing issues and their future impact, as well as a good faith reorganization that reduces the number of positions. To that end, a list of prioritized goals of importance was provided and reviewed, to include:

1) continuing to provide specialized vocational rehabilitation and independent living services as a separate state agency serving the blind;

2) maintaining sufficient human and financial resources to serve all eligible customers;

3) providing vocational rehabilitation counseling services by qualified professionals employed by the Department;

4) providing rehabilitation teaching services by qualified professionals employed or contracted by the Department;

5) providing assistive technology services by qualified professionals;

6) providing specialized low vision services by qualified professionals;

7) providing quality independent living services through contracted service providers and maintaining adequate financial resources to serve the rapidly growing older blind population;

8) continuing to provide consultation services to families and blind children from birth to age 14.

The Council was also presented with his plan to downsize the human resources of the Department by 4.3 FTEs. The cuts being proposed will be predominantly from administrative positions. Any further cuts would require a more serious change to the way DSB now does business.

DSB has done well over the past few years, and has seen its financial resources increase substantially. The loss of valued human resources hurts at a personal level as well as impairing the ability of the agency to provide quality customer services in a healthy and supportive work environment. It is believed that the Department can withstand this cut and still be a strong agency. But we all need to be prepared for the possibility of further reductions, given our economic and political climate.


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Library Update
by Gloria Leonard, Acting Director

Thank you, Washington Council of the Blind, for this opportunity to share information about four key items: 1) status of the recruitment and selection process for appointing the new director; 2) 2003-2005 biennium budget, proposed cuts and service impacts; 3) 6th quarter accomplishments; and 4) summary of Patron Advisory Council activities.

1) Interim director appointment and process for filling the position permanently. After careful and thoughtful reconsideration, City Librarian Deborah Jacobs decided to reverse an earlier decision and fill the position of WTBBL director through a national search and appoint an acting director to lead WTBBL in the interim. The job posting opened on Monday, November 18, 2002 and closed Friday, January 10, 2003.

Effective December 2, I was appointed acting director to serve until a new director is hired. I have been a librarian for 30 years: 6 years at the University of Washington and 24 years at the Seattle Public Library in progressively responsible positions that include manager of the bookmobile and outreach services department and director of the 22 neighborhood libraries.

Deborah’s change in direction was due to the sensitivity of issues and concerns presented by WTBBL consumers and supporters, including the Washington Council of the Blind and National Federation of the Blind of Washington members, and meetings with staff.

A new director is expected to be on board by the end of April 2003. Four candidates have advanced to the second stage of the selection process: the interview. I am one of the four candidates. For more information about the selection process, contact Lin Schnell, Human Resource Director for the Seattle Public Library at (206) 386-4121 or via email at

2) Budget cuts and anticipated impacts. You already know that the State of Washington is facing a $2.4 billion budget shortfall for the upcoming 2003-2005 biennium. In his budget proposal to the Legislature, Governor Locke proposed a biennium (two-year) budget for WTBBL of $1,966,000, which represents a cumulative reduction of $744,000 from the current level of funding ($2.7 million) or 28%.

In the days and weeks that followed the Governor’s announcement, the staff and I focused our efforts on the budget reduction planning process that included brainstorming sessions and strategy meetings. As a result, we have compiled a preliminary list of potential areas that could be reduced or eliminated if the cuts are sustained by the Legislature, as proposed.

Proposed budget reduction options include a one-day-a-week closure, a two-week closure, elimination of the Evergreen Radio Reading, Braille and Taping Services. Clearly these cuts will adversely impact all aspects of this important statewide service.

Although it is impossible to know how the Governor’s budget will, in all likelihood change, I wanted to brief WCB on the effects the proposed reduction will have on WTBBL’s services and operations so that you can better focus your advocacy efforts on key legislative decision-makers in the House and Senate.

3) 6th Quarter Update. WTBBL had another busy and produc­tive quarter. Statistical high­lights include the following accomplishments, circulating 121,316 items (24% of the annual total), and 6,980 volunteer donated service hours (nearly 22% of the annual total). However, the most important compliment to us is the many stories we hear about how our work is making a difference in people’s lives. It is an honor to be associated with this statewide program, highly committed staff and dedicated corps of volunteers.

4) News from the Patron Advisory Council. On January 11th, PAC welcomed WCB member Doug Hildie as well as six other new members. 2003 Work Plan activities include focusing on legislative advocacy efforts through a subcommittee formed to write letters, give testimony and lobby elected officials at the state level. Another key activity will be to develop a new long-range strategic plan. The last long-range plan was developed in 1997.

In closing, thank you for your ongoing support to WTBBL, our program, staff and volunteers. It is wonderful to be able to count on WCB and NFB for support! Your collective telephone calls and letters to legislators and those of other individual advocates have been effective. And your participation at public hearings, including the Senate Ways and Means Committee and House Appropriations Committee, has made a big difference in restoring 2003 Supplemental Budget funding. Thank you!

Editor’s Note: Sue Ammeter will be serving as WCB’s representative on the Director selection panel.


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“Only the Strong Survive”
by Dr. Dean O. Stenehjem, Superintendent
Washington State School for the Blind (WSSB)

Do we ever feel this way? At this time in the legislative session, WSSB is faced with a 5.2% reduction, which is $246,000 per year, and a loss of 5.6 employees. What can we do? What is “Basic Education for Blind Kids” and what protections does our state’s Basic Education Act provide for some of the children that are most in need of services?

In these troubled times of budget reductions and a faltering economy, I think it is important to look back at the things that have been accomplished, and then ask the question, “Do Only the Strong Survive?” and what does this mean?

WSSB has been providing leadership to local districts throughout the state for years in trying to improve services to blind and visually impaired children. As a public school which is also a state agency whose mission it is to provide services to blind and visually impaired children, we have felt that if we weren’t proactive in our approach, many of the children that are being provided appropriate services would still not be able to access services throughout our state. The partnerships that we have established with over 1/6th of the local districts in our state and numerous Educational Service Districts (ESDs) have gone a long way in improving programs for children.

Since the early 1990s, WSSB has provided direction and leadership in helping to expand services by over 540% to blind and visually impaired children throughout our state. Many of the services that WSSB has put into place over the years have been the result of partnerships with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OPI), other state agencies, university programs, local school districts/ESDs, blind consumer organizations and the private sector. Below are some examples:

Over 1/6th of the local school districts in Washington State partner with WSSB for itinerant vision services, resulting in over 200 blind/visually impaired children receiving services.

Partnerships with universities.

- University of Northern Colorado partnership resulted in the first distance learning Orientation and Mobility (O&M) program in the Pacific Northwest, with practicum on WSSB’s campus during two summers, resulting in 12 additional trained O&M instructors for our area.

- Stephen F. Austin University partnership has resulted in four Pacific Northwest states receiving support from SFAU for five years through a $1.5 million dollar training grant, which will result in Washington gaining 6-7 trained teachers per year for five years. The practicum part of this program occurs on the WSSB campus each summer. This is a great partnership with Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Washington and Texas.

- Portland State University uses WSSB facilities and staff to help train teachers of the blind, resulting in a major trainer of teachers of the blind in the Northwest.

WSSB Statewide Technology Center for the Blind (OSPI provided WSSB a one-year grant of $60,000 to help establish this service). This was very successful, resulting in a complete system change for blind children and itinerant teachers throughout not only Washington, but the Pacific Northwest. This program was so successful that within the first four months, we petitioned the Governor’s office and the legislature to provide the $60,000 funding. This has resulted in the training of over 250 teachers and teacher aides within the Pacific Northwest. This has also resulted in standardization of software for blind children, the school’s ability to negotiate a statewide site license on JAWS (synthetic speech access software), saving districts over $60,000 and making it possible for children to move from district to district on unified systems. We believe Washington is the only state in the country where this type of efficiency has occurred. The school has also (through state and private funds) continued to purchase a tremendous amount of specialized equipment that flows to children in districts throughout our state, resulting in access for children and savings to districts of well over $200,000. We have placed a lot of effort in trying to make sure that software and hardware for blind children is kept current to help level the playing field.

Part 2 of this article dealing with WSSB’s programs will appear in the June NEWSLINE.


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WDIM or What Does it Mean?
by Cynthia Towers, Member, United Blind of Seattle

We live in a world, I sadly fear,
Where everything is an acronym, thus nothing is clear.

A plethora of letters is all that’s seen
But do any of us know what they really mean?

I’ll go through a few for you here and now
They’re associated with ACB, and there’s a ton of them, wow!

Library Users of America or LUA
is the organization’s watchdog of library services from day to day.

Alliance on Aging and Vision Loss or AAVL
Helps those who are getting older and losing their sight as well.

American Blind Lawyers Association is the place to be,
For ABLA members to discuss legal issues from A to Z.

The ACB Listserv or ACB-L
Gives all you computer users a place to dwell.

ACB Radio Amateurs or ACBRA,
Has a huge following from New York to LA.

The Braille Revival League has one mission in mind,
As the BRL they make sure Braille skills don’t get left behind.

Friends in Art of ACB or FIA,
Ensure that the blind and visually impaired experience the arts in their own way.

Independent Visually Impaired Entrepreneurs or IVIE,
Help those who are business minded, so a profit they’ll see.

The National Alliance of Blind Students has a lot on their plate,
Going to school, working, learning the world, the NABS group is great.

The National Association of Blind Teachers or NABT is there,
To confer on educational issues from college to day care.

ACB’s newest affiliate is right for our times in many ways,
Its name is BFLAG or Blind Friends of Lesbians and Gays.

Visually Impaired Veterans of America or VIV have the task,
Of reminding us of the pitfalls and payoffs of wars present and past.

The Randolph-Sheppard Vendors of America or RSVA,
Have food and candy stands to help us make it through our day.

Well, I’m going to stop for now, that’s enough I think,
Oh, how could I not mention GUDI or Guide Dog Users, Inc.


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Chapter Updates


Greater Everett Area Council of the Blind

Jefferson County Council of the Blind

Peninsula Council of the Blind

United Blind of Seattle

United Blind of Spokane

United Blind of Tri-Cities

United Blind of Walla Walla



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

Our chapter is very small, but as you will see from this article, sometimes that can be an advantage.

On February 7th, 2003, we were treated to a very enjoyable presentation by Bob Terwilliger, the Snohomish County Auditor. He was very ably assisted by Carolyn Diepenbrock, County Election Manager. The topic was accessible voting.

Mr. Terwilliger and Ms. Diepenbrock brought a working model of the new computerized Snohomish County voting machine, complete with audio screen reader and headphones. Each of us got a chance to try out the machine and, because there were so few of us present, we had plenty of time to work with the machine and give our county officials lots of feedback to take back to the machine designers.

After the presentation, we had a short business meeting. We are working on ways to develop membership, but we are also working on ways to develop our individual resources. We are discussing plans for each of us to get CPR training. Everyone in the chapter agrees this is important so that we can feel less helpless in the world.

Our meetings are held at 6:30pm on the first Friday of each month, except for July and August. We meet at the Chuckwagon Inn at 6720 Evergreen Way in Everett. Please come prepared to eat a large meal or take home a to-go box.


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Jefferson County Council of the Blind
by Carl Jarvis, President

At our January meeting we voted to move our monthly meetings to the Bay View restaurant in Port Townsend. We are now gathering at noon on the first Wednesday of the month.

In February, with eight of our nine members present, we held elections. I was retained as president, Kay Bohren vice-president, Helen Everett treasurer, and Cathy Jarvis secretary. Our other five members are Bill Bohren, Lynn Gressley, Pat Gould, Bonnie Sherrell, and Zelma Strecker.

Although we have had several visitors and two new members during the past few months, our membership remains about the same. We all agreed that it is time to dust off our flyers and circulate them in the community.

We discussed the idea of organizing a support group at one of the retirement apartments in town. Cathy and I said we would talk with the Activity Directors at two locations and report back at our March meeting.

Lynn Gressley told us that he is involved in setting up a disability awareness day in Port Townsend April 23rd. Several members volunteered to participate. Some of us thought we might try trading blindness for another disability.

Bill and Kay Bohren, along with Kay’s mom Zelma Strecker, recently moved. They traveled all the way across the yard and into the house next door. Seems hardly worth the effort. But maybe the view is better?


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Peninsula Council of the Blind
by Cindy Burgett, Member

Forty-seven members comprise the Peninsula Council of the Blind, and we’re still growing! We would love to publicly welcome our newest members to the PCB, Betty and Jerry Finton.

In February, we were delighted to have Rod Roberts, founder of Access First, as our guest speaker. He told us about his dream of making public places more accessible by providing descriptive maps. He is currently working with major establishments in the Seattle area and intends to have a guide available in multiple formats, free of charge to the visually impaired consumer, as well as on his Website. We encourage you all to check this out at And we wish Rod great success in this venture.

Our meetings are always lots of fun, as well as informative, but we keep active even outside of our meetings. From planned social events to impromptu birthday celebrations, our members are getting together and building friendships and camaraderie.

In December, about 10 of us got together for dinner at Azteca to help Sarah Schweizer celebrate her 21st birthday and in February, seven of us got together for lunch at Lynn’s Teriyaki to help Meka White celebrate her 23rd.

In January, we had a dinner social at the Fiesta Restaurant where 15 of us got to hear the news firsthand that Clair & David Bourgeois are expecting a baby. On February 13, 19 of our members went out to dinner together to celebrate Valentine’s Day. It was a wonderful time of fellowship, fun and good food.

On February 1, many of our members attended the installation of officers for the Silverdale Rainbow Girls, as Michelle Denzer was installed as Worthy Advisor, which is their equivalent of President. Michelle’s theme was “My Heart Will Go On,” her colors were the rainbow, her flower was the red rose, and her service project will be to adopt a needy family and provide Easter baskets. Michelle wore a beautiful blue gown made by her step-mom, and everyone said she looked like a princess. Meka sang her walk-in song, and Jack made her gavel, sound block and carrying box.

Many of our members also make it a monthly event to attend the Rainbow Girls breakfast on the first Sunday of each month. It’s so nice to have our chapter be so supportive of its members, even outside of chapter events.

Our membership is very excited about the fact that there will be a bus for us to the state convention in Spokane, and we are working on ideas to help our members afford to attend. We will be holding a weekend yard sale May 17-18 at the Denzer’s home, with all proceeds going toward this endeavor.

Our 2003 officers are: President, Meka White; Vice President, Kevin Jones; Secretary, Michelle Denzer; Treasurer, Mike Denzer; Board members, Eric Hunter, Jack Pigott and Stuart Russell; I am Past President.

We meet on the second Saturday of each month at JJ’s Diner in east Bremerton. This restaurant is located on a bus route and easy to get to from the ferry terminal. We love to have guests. So, if you’d like to visit us, or if you’d like to know what’s going on over on this side of the water, call our info-line 24/7 at (360) 373-2772.


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United Blind of Seattle
by Sharon Allen

We had our Winter luncheon on Saturday, December 14th. It was held at the Best Western Executive Inn. We had a choice of two entrees for lunch, salmon and Executive Broil, which is similar to London Broil. We had a sing-along of favorite Christmas carols. A good time was had by all.

In January our speaker was Sue Ammeter. She spoke to us about self advocacy and different organizations a person could go to if they needed help with problems such as cab service (getting picked up by cabs if you have a guide dog and the like).

In February we had an open forum at the meeting instead of having a speaker. This gives everyone a chance to bring up things that they may wish to discuss.

We have a new membership chair in our chapter. His name is Ryan Strickland. He is hard at work on our Friends Day, which is in May. He also is working on recruiting new members for the chapter.

We have a new fund raising committee. This committee is meeting soon to discuss fund raising activities for our chapter.

That’s the update for this newsline, Enjoy!


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United Blind of Spokane
by Bea Shinnaberry, Secretary

Winter has not come yet, we did have a snow scare in January, but since then, no snow!

The Christmas party we held in December was a huge success. We had approximately 30 people in attendance.

Bob and Dorothy Carroll have become great-grandparents for the second time! They have also traveled a lot this winter.

Mary and Lester moved from the south side of town to the north side of town to an apartment that they like a lot.

Clara and daughter went traveling to California to visit relatives.

Marlee Naddy and Bill Ulmer won the Lou Hendrex Award last year. This is the award given to persons who talk to different groups about blind people. Marlee has done this for 22 years. Bill has done it for 12 years. Congratulations to both of you for a job well done.

Our newest members for the club are as follows: Alden and Marlys Gerling, and Grace Herbert.

We had elections for officers. Mary Thorpe is Vice President and I am Secretary.

That about covers it for NEWSLINE this month. See you again soon!


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United Blind of Tri-Cities
by Janice Squires

I would like to offer my congratulations to the following newly elected United Blind of the Tri-Cities executive board: I am President; Bill Hoage, First Vice President; Frank Cuta, Second Vice President; Diana Softich, Secretary; Sue Sather, Treasurer; Paul Wilburn, First Board Member; Bill Van Winkle, Second Board Member. We are very proud of Bill Hoage and Diana Softich for taking on the challenge of becoming officers and contributing to WCB in serving on state committees.

Bill Smedley, President of the newly-formed Yakima chapter, and Sally Mayo, Vice-President, attended our January meeting to share and learn new ideas with our members. We were all very impressed with their enthusiasm and true dedication to the WCB and for all that it stands for.

We have once again begun our monthly lunch group outings and thanks again to Mary and Barney Wolverton for always being there to help and organize this fun event. We have such a great turnout and many of these members are not ones who wish to attend meetings, but do enjoy socializing with others. Our narrated play this month was “To Kill a Mockingbird” and it was just excellent. We encourage any chapter to begin a program such as this. All it takes is the initial purchase of a phonic ear system, a little organization, and someone to do the narration.

Our local chapter is always ready to step up to the plate when it comes to advocating for the blind and visually impaired. Frank Cuta and Paul Wilburn are contacting city engineers and setting up meetings in Richland and Kennewick to add more audible and detectable warnings at our local intersections. Bill Hoage and I have attended transit public hearings in order to make sure our voice is heard when it comes to transportation issues pertaining to people with disabilities. Diana Softich has just become an ombudsman (resident advocate) and is assisting a blind woman in our area to assure that her rights are not being violated.

It looks like Spring is just around the corner and we wish you all a happy Easter season.


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United Blind of Walla Walla
by Ernie Jones, Secretary

On Sunday, February 23, 2003, there was a dog show in the Blue Mountain Mall called “Dogs on Parade.” There were many breeds, from small ones like a Boston Terrier to large Afghan hounds, each showing off their good training, with a few doing tricks!

At the end of the regular dog show came the service dogs. First, the puppy raisers came up and told of their work raising puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. Several of these were now on their 9th or more puppy, and only joy was shown for their years of labor.

There was a retired service dog, a career change dog, and one which might just be called a “mutt” – all doing wonders as therapy dogs, bringing love and health to patients in hospitals, nursing homes and for other shut-ins.

Then came our turn, the United Blind of Walla Walla chapter. Walla Walla now has four dog guide teams, representing four different guide dog schools, two on the Pacific side and two from the Atlantic side of our country. Three are Yellow Labs and one a Golden Retriever, one male and three females. There was a lot of interest from the public in seeing the different service dogs, from the puppies to the retired. Fortunately, all our dogs, especially our dog guides, were well behaved, and this was not easy with so many dogs close by and people walking here and there, some trying to pet any dog they passed, including the dog guides!


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Group Guides Puppies Into Guide Dogs
by Sharon Heiber
reprinted from the Phinney Ridge Review,
Winter Edition, 2003

Guide dog sightings will be on the rise in the neighborhood, thanks to the efforts of Phinney resident and PNA member Heidi Hespelt, who started a local puppy rearing class at the Phinney Neighborhood Center in October.

The new group, “Guide Puppies of Seattle,” is a local training group for Guide Dogs for the Blind, a non-profit organization originally formed to provide guide dogs to wounded veterans after World War II. Heidi has been raising guide puppies for a few years, but before the PNA opened its doors and contributed meeting space for the organization, she and other volunteers who were willing to act as “foster parents” for a year had to travel outside of Seattle to attend the puppy training sessions.

Proper puppy training is paramount to creating successful guide dogs. Each year, more than 1,000 volunteer puppy raisers throughout the western United States receive puppies from the Guide Dog for the Blind campuses in San Rafael, California and Boring, Oregon. They spend about one year house training the pups, teaching them basic obedience and good manners, and – above all – socializing them to the world. Once they are old enough – 13-18 months – they are returned to the Guide Dog campus to be matched with future owners.

Even under the best of circumstances, only six in ten of the puppies ultimately “graduate” from the rigorous training to become guide dogs that serve a blind person. The others are either returned to the families that reared them as a puppy or transitioned to a less demanding “career,” perhaps working with a hearing impaired individual, or acting as a bomb sniffing dog.

Heidi says that she first dreamed about raising guide puppies when she was in elementary school, but did not pursue the dream until a few years ago.

“I decided that it was time to do something for other people…not just something to make money, but to be a productive member of society.”

Their first dog, Craig, whom Heidi refers to as a “Stepford puppy” because he was so obedient, left their north Seattle home this July, and is now in stage nine of ten in guide dog training at the Guide Dogs School for the Blind in Boring, Oregon – one step away from graduation. When he does graduate, and is matched with his new owner, Heidi and her family will travel to Oregon to participate in the graduation.

“Giving him away was like sending a child off to college, or having a short-term foster child,” says Heidi. “But, really, you are giving a gift to someone who needs them.”

In August, they received their second puppy, Regis. So far, it looks as though Regis will be another ideal addition to the family – at least temporarily.

“Of course it is difficult to let them go,” says Heidi. “When we were getting ready to send Craig to Oregon, I taped a message on my computer: Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because it happened.”

For more information about guide dogs, email Heidi,, or check the Guide Dogs for the Blind Web site,


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eSight Careers Network
by Nan Hawthorne

“A bridge connecting business leaders to talent in the disability community.” eSight Careers Network is a dynamic online resource designed to address the employment and career management needs of blind and visually impaired individuals. Free and easy to use, eSight has become an invaluable tool for many individuals with disabilities, their families and counselors.

What is eSight Careers Network?

- An exchange for sharing ideas and experiences

- A support group for discussing specific work issues

- An interpretation of what job forecasts mean in terms of specific opportunities

- A step-by-step guide to approaching career management

- A clearinghouse for recommending, assessing and ranking career management resources on the Web.

eSight Careers Network addresses professional, social, legal and technological issues. It has online professional development seminars, job postings, and much more!

Here is what some of our members have said about eSight:
“I appreciate your...individual responsibility approach. Please keep up the excellent work and, yes, everyone join this excellent site right away. If it were a course I was teaching, this would be a requirement.”
- D.S., Long Island, NY

“The issues you address here have...rarely [been] addresses by the career counselors working with the blind. That appears to be changing, fortunately, and your approach is greatly appreciated!”
- B.B., New York, NY

Whether you are a job seeker, a budding entrepreneur, a counselor or an interested employer, you’ll find something of value at eSight Careers Network. Come take advantage of our free membership!
Please join us!

eSight Careers Network is an initiative of:

The Associated Blind, Inc.
110 William Street, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10038
(212) 766-6800


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Hats Off to You
by Peggy Shoel

Congratulations to the following WCB members:

·       Doug Hildie, President, United Blind of Seattle, on his appointment to the Talking Book & Braille Library Patron Advisory Council (PAC). Selected by President Berl Colley to represent our organization, Doug will serve a renewable two-year term.

·       Sue Ammeter, member, WCB board, on her appointment as an American Council of the Blind (ACB) committee chair. Sue will serve under President Chris Gray as the national Membership Chair.

·       Dorothy and Bob Carroll, member, WCB Board and Vice-President, United Blind of Spokane, respectively, on the arrival of their second great-grandchild from their combined pool of 20 grandchildren. Alexander Jay, son of Brandy and Garvin Hess, arrived at a birthweight of 6 lbs. 13 oz.

·       Sharon Keeran, member, Guide Dog Users of Washington State (GDUWS), on her new dog guide, Oralee, a 62-lb. almost two-year-old female black lab from Seeing Eye in New Jersey. Sharon reports that everyone in her household is happy, except Folly, her cat.


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Bits & Pieces
by Peggy Shoel

·       Horizons for the Blind now has available its 2003 catalog for blind and visually impaired people who enjoy cooking, gardening, needlework and crafts such as origami. Catalogs are free and are available in braille, large print and on audio cassette tape. For more information, contact them at (815) 444-8800 (non toll free) or at

·       The National Library Service (NLS) distributes a circular on advocacy organizations for blind and visually impaired individuals. It is available in braille or audio cassette tape. For information on how to obtain a copy, call Washington Talking Book and Braille Library at (206) 615-0400 or 1-800-542-0866

·       America Online (AOL) offers an email service that is operated through a telephone keypad with no computer needed. This is a receive-only service, which allows a 60 second audio response to emails received from individuals but not to emails received from lists. The monthly cost is determined by the plan selected, i.e., 5 hrs. per month, 9 hrs. per month, 12 hrs. per month, or unlimited usage. For more information, and to inquire into their free trial period, call (866) 265-4415. Warning: Hours used in excess of the subscribed plan can be very costly.

·       For parents and teachers of blind children, the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) has just revised and republished its teacher guidebook entitled, “When You Have a Visually Impaired Student in Your Classroom.” It reflects cutting-edge educational practices in dealing with students’ special needs, up-to-date information on special education legislation, how the visually impaired student will participate and travel independently in school, available technology and more. For more information, an interested parent or teacher should call 1-800-232-3044.

·       Schwan’s, a frozen food home delivery service, provides in Braille and on audio cassette tape free of charge their product catalog, food preparation guidelines and nutritional breakdowns. For more information, call 888-SCHWANS (724-9267).

·       The Lighthouse for the Blind has received a one-time only $182,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through its Computer Access Technology (CAT) program. The Lighthouse began in Seattle over eighty years ago to help local blind, deaf/blind and multiply-disabled individuals become self-supporting, productive and independent through employment training and support services. Clients are trained in the use of assistive and adaptive technology, including computers and a myriad of enlargement and enhancement products. The grant money will go toward updating four of its computer training labs.


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Thank You, WCB

From DeAnna Quietwater Noriega
Dear Mr. Colley and
members of WCB,

I was delighted to hear from Kim Charlson, the editor of The Braille Memorandum, of your decision to underwrite the cost of our news magazine. Small, widely scattered affiliates such as ours are often severely taxed to fund programs and projects. We unite because we have a passion for braille literacy, but raising funds to carry our work forward is often hard to achieve. Thank you so much for your generous donation. It will make it possible for us to focus on the work we need to do rather than diverting our attention to just raising money to keep our membership in touch with each other. Thank you for allowing us to concentrate on the important tasks of moving forward projects and programs vital to braille readers. Your generosity means we can free up money to be creative instead of having to work hand to mouth, so to speak.


From Jack Pigott

Dear WCB,

Thank you for your generosity. Because of your gift, many blind adults will be able to enjoy the experience of the woods, nature and a lot more - experiences that before Camp Harobed were almost unheard of for blind adults in this area.

Camp Harobed believes in a safe environment for our campers, independence, and recreation.

Again - thank you so much

Please note: Camp Harobed will be open for blind campers and their families during June, July and August. For information about a group camp-out for your chapter, or to register for an open camp session, call Jack at (360) 372-2735 or send an email to:


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Advocacy Resources
by Sue Ammeter, Chair, WCB Advocacy Committee

In January, I made a presentation about WCB’s Advocacy Committee to the United Blind of Seattle chapter meeting. What follows is a resource list which I prepared, with some later additions.

Resource Information compiled February 25, 2003

Washington Council of the Blind (800) 255-1147
Staffed Mon.-Fri. 8:00am to 5:00pm; after hours, press zero to leave a message or press 2 to hear a WCB update.

Metro complaints (206) 553-3060

Taxicab complaints (206) 296-8191 (296-TAXI)

Seattle Office of Civil Rights (206) 684-4500
Investigates complaints in the areas of housing, public accommodations and employment based upon disability

King County Office of Civil Rights (206) 296-7592
Enforces the fair employment, fair housing, and public accommodations ordinances for King County, and issues of access for persons of disability

Tacoma Human Rights Department (253) 591-5151
Accepts complaints in the areas of employment, public accommodations and housing

Washington State Human Rights Commission (206) 464-6500
or (800) 233-3247 or
(800) 233-FAIR
Investigates complaints in the areas of credit, employment, insurance, places of public accommodations and real estate transactions on the basis of disability

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (800) 669-4000
Receives complaints based upon employment discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act

U.S. Department of Justice
(800) 514-0301
Accepts complaints against places of public accommodation and state and local government programs and services based upon disability

Client Assistance Program
(800) 544-2121
Provides information and advocacy services for individuals accessing rehabilitation and independent living services

Washington Assistive Technology Alliance
(800) 214-8731
Provides information and referral services

Washington Assistive Technology Foundation
(206) 826-1038
Provides low-interest loans for assistive technology

ADA Information Line
(800) 949-4232
Gives technical assistance and information and referral services to employers and consumers

Legislative Hot Line
(800) 562-6000
The hot-line is staffed Mon-Fri 8:00am to 4:30pm. You can leave messages concerning any legislative issues for your Senator and Representatives



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That’s Funny (groaners)

A husband tells his wife, “There are two flies in the kitchen and they are both female.” The wife asks, “How can you tell they’re both female?” To which the husband responds, “They’re both on the phone.”

The man who fell into the upholstery machine is now fully recovered.

Most money is tainted - ‘taint yours and ‘taint mine.



The following are corrections to information that appeared in the December 2002 issue

Julie DeGeus’ phone number is (206) 547-7444

Steve Heesen’s phone number is (425) 562-9949

Glenn McCully’s zip code is 98002

The WTBBL article author was Maryta Racys



Article Deadline:

To be considered for inclusion in the next issue, article submissions, chapter news, and other information for publication must be received by May 31, 2003.

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, regular size type.


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New Feature -
by Peggy Shoel

Starting with this issue, the NEWSLINE will include a calendar of noteworthy state and national events and deadlines for the general information of WCB members and other blind Washingtonians or interested individuals.

Items listed will identify the event and give the date and general location. We can only print things brought to our attention. If you have knowledge of some things you feel should be included, please let me know, using the contact information listed at the end of this issue’s Editor’s Comment. I might or might not be getting the item from another source, but would rather receive it twice than not at all.

Finally, please bear in mind that there are many hands in the pot of NEWSLINE production and distribution in its three formats. We will allow for unexpected delays – however, there is a possibility that the date of a listed event or deadline may have just passed before you receive your copy. We will do our best to prevent that from happening.

Thank you.


April 5

Deadline for receipt of applications for WCB Leadership Training Seminar in Seattle

April 15

Deadline for receipt of first-time scholarship applications for the American Council of the Blind (ACB) Convention in Pittsburgh, PA

May 1

Deadline for National Convention Loan and Stipend Request

May 1

WSSB Board of Trustees Meeting in Vancouver

May 2-3

WCB Leadership Training Seminar in Seattle

May 4

WCB Board meeting following Leadership Training Seminar in Seattle

June 6

DSB Community Meeting in Spokane

June 7

DSB Rehab Council Meeting in Spokane

June 7

WTTBL PAC Meeting in Seattle

June 12

WSSB Open House in Vancouver

June 13

WSSB Board of Trustees Meeting in Vancouver

July 5-12

ACB National Convention in Pittsburgh, PA

Aug 1

WCB Retreat in Olympia

Aug 2

WCB Board Meeting following Retreat in Olympia

Sept 6

DSB Rehab Council Meeting in Wenatchee

Sept 13

WTTBL PAC Meeting in Seattle

Nov 6-8

WCB State Convention in Spokane

Dec 6

DSB Rehab Council Meeting in Tacoma


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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 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.



Washington Council of the Blind

Lorraine Pozzi, Circulation

2813 - 4th Ave. West

Seattle, WA 98119


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