The Voice of the
Washington Council of the Blind

March 2004 Issue

Equality, Independence, Opportunity

Founded 1935

(206) 283-4276

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

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


Table of Contents

From the President’s Desk by Cindy Burgett

Editor’s Comment by Peggy Shoel 

A Look at Midyear in Birmingham by Cynthia Towers

Reaching Out to Your Community by Cindy Burgett

WCB Board Meets in Seattle by Sue Ammeter

Guide Dog Users of Washington State Spring Fling by Vivian Conger

Bellingham Here We Come: 2004 WCB Convention by Rhonda Nelson

The WTBBL PAC: Is it Viable? by Doug Hildie

The Rehabilitation Council Needs You by Denise Colley

Louis Braille Center News by Carolyn Meyer

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

Washington Talking Book & Braille Library by Gloria Leonard

Department of Services for the Blind - Assistive Technology Events Calendar by Ellen Drumheller


Ski for Light (excerpt from the Seattle Times)

Hats Off to You by Peggy Shoel

Bits & Pieces by Peggy Shoel



That’s Funny


Useful Catalogs



WCB Committee List



  From the President’s Desk
by Cindy Burgett

Once just a big bulky piece of furniture in the family room, the President’s desk sits ready to be of service to WCB. The old Compaq desktop I used for typing will soon be replaced by a Dell laptop computer, a gift from my husband Lyle. The printer is stocked with paper and has been refilled with ink, and I have already put the phone which sits upon its top to hours of use.

The first two months of my presidency have kept me very busy. It seems as though we make it through one board meeting and I have to start working on the next one. Speaking of the next one. The 4th annual Leadership Seminar is on its way to becoming another exciting event. This year’s Leadership Seminar will take place April 30-May 1, culminating with the board meeting on May 2, and will be held at the Red Lion Hotel in Olympia, 2300 Evergreen Park Drive. Room rates are $79 plus tax, and those not attending as a leadership participant, WCB board member or chapter rep, should make their reservations by calling the hotel directly, no later than April 12 (360) 943-4000. For those planning to be at the board lunch, please let Sue Ammeter know no later than April 23 to be included in the count (206) 525-4667 or

At the time of this writing, we have received dues for 304 members, a membership high for WCB, which will give us 12 delegate votes at national. Fifteen of our chapters earned and received their $500 stipend for getting membership information and dues in on time. It takes many hands working together to make this all happen, but a special thank you goes to Janice Squires, who has our database updated and our membership list ready to be sent out to the ACB national office.

After our first board meeting of the year, our WCB committee list has grown to 18 committees with 66 WCB members serving. The newest committee is the Awards Committee chaired by Marlaina Lieberg. This committee is working to establish an awards program for WCB to acknowledge those who have made a difference in the blindness community. They will be making a presentation at our May 2 board meeting and hopefully we will have our first award presentation taking place at this year’s convention banquet. Stay tuned.

One of the privileges afforded to me as President is the numerous opportunities to represent WCB. The weekend of February 14-15, I was fortunate to attend the ACB Presidents meetings held at Mid-Year in Birmingham, Alabama, the site for this year’s ACB national convention. Besides getting a feel for the hotel and convention center, which I believe folks will like very much, I attended a facilitated discussion session giving individuals the opportunity to ask questions and share their concerns about ACB. I listened to many presentations and was even one of the presenters; I spoke on educating about blindness through community outreach. A full article on this topic appears later in this Newsline.

Another privilege, or perk, was making the phone calls to Sally Mayo of Yakima and Shari Burns of Bremerton informing them of their selection to attend this year’s ACB Legislative Seminar March 21-23 in Washington, D.C. Together we must wait for their upcoming article about their experiences in the next issue of the Newsline.

One of the things you should know about me is that I take my work very seriously. However, I believe that there can’t be all work and no play. So, once again, I have arranged an outing for WCB members and friends to go to Safeco Field for a Mariners game. This is taking place on August 14 with a 1:30pm start time.

It’s not just any ordinary baseball game; this is champion-like play in the heat of summer. The Mariners taking on the New York Yankees. And we have 74 seats reserved in the Hit It Here Café, located on the second level, in right field. Tickets cost $42 each and include $18 worth of food and drink in the Café.

Tickets are going fast! To reserve yours, please send a check for the amount of tickets you would like to purchase, made out to Cindy Burgett and mail to:
   Cindy Burgett
   6686 Capricorn Ln NE
   Bremerton, WA 98311

If you have any questions about the baseball game, or anything else for that matter, do not hesitate to contact me. I am always here for each of you and will try to make myself available as needed. I can be reached by email at and by phone at (360) 698-0827.

In closing, I want to formally thank you, the WCB membership, for electing me as your President. I vow to each of you that I will do my best to nurture this affiliate, working continuously to maintain an atmosphere of unity, purpose and growth. Together we can make a difference!


Editor’s Comment
by Peggy Shoel


Why hasn’t she learned Braille?  I did.

Why can’t she travel independently?  I can.

Why can’t he manage more on his own?  I do.

Why doesn’t he maintain a more positive attitude toward his vision loss as I do?

From time to time, I hear these kinds of comments and wonder if we sometimes lose sight of the fact that we each come to different degrees of vision loss at different times in our lives and from different causes. We each have our own life circumstances, including age, health, emotional and physical environment conditions as well as varying support systems. There should not be a one-size-fits-all expectation as far as accomplishments and use of blindness skills is concerned.  Since there is no accurate ruler with which to measure, we can help by offering resource information, support and encouragement. Above all, we can offer respect.


A Look at Midyear in Birmingham
by Cynthia Towers

As this year’s Presidents and Board of Directors meeting was about to convene, there was much anticipation as to just what the atmosphere would be in the wake of recent resignations of Executive Director Charles Crawford, Braille Forum Editor Penny Reeder, and Board Member Dawn Christensen. To be sure, there was an unexplained heaviness in the air, but most of the proceedings were business as usual.

President Gray’s opening remarks on Saturday morning, February 14th, set the tone for a positive and productive weekend. Following the introduction of attendees and an official welcome from Alabama Council of the Blind President David Trott, the meetings were underway. One presentation, moderated by Carla Ruschival from Kentucky, discussed the importance of affiliate newsletters. Many ideas were exchanged, and our own WCB Newsline was mentioned by Winifred Downing from California as an example of how such a newsletter should be done. It was suggested that newsletters from around the country be placed on ACB’s website to give others ideas and inspiration.

Mitch Pomerantz, Board Member from California, discussed how to best prepare members to be active participants at the National Convention, especially when it comes to voting. Next came a panel on “Making the Rehabilitation System Accountable to Consumers.” Again, this was a timely and necessary topic for the leadership in attendance to take back to their home states.

Barry Levine moderated the most poignant and productive session the Midyear meetings have seen in quite some time. This was an opportunity for people to air any questions, comments and concerns over the events that have plagued ACB internally over the past several months. Expertly facilitated, this session gave many the voice they have sought for months. There were still some unanswered questions, but the overarching sentiment with regard to the session was that it was one that needed to occur.

Man, can that Alabama Council throw a party! There was food of all kinds – they really know how to put on a spread. No one went away hungry – in fact, the party spilled over into a second hospitality room.

Updates from the National Office by acting Executive Director Melanie Brunson, a report on ACB’s Thrift Store activities and a panel on fund raising rounded off the Sunday morning session. But the best of the best was a talk given by WCB’s own. President Cindy Burgett gave a powerful presentation on “Reaching Out to Your Community.” I was so proud to hear her speak with confidence and self-assuredness as she discussed the six P’s of community involvement. Every affiliate representative asked that her speech be placed on the ACB website so it could be used as a standard for how we do business with the community. Way to go, Cindy!

As many of you know, there were some Board vacancies that needed to be filled. Mitch Pomerantz moved to the position of Second Vice President and David Trott was elected to fill Mitch’s spot. Additionally, I was elected to fill the seat vacated by Dawn Christensen, and will have to run again this summer for the full term.

Well, there you have it. It was a packed, productive, positive, pensive, problematic yet palpable weekend – just about what the summer convention will be like. See you in July in Birmingham.


Reaching Out to Your Community to Educate
and Inform People About Blindness
by Cindy Burgett, President

When we look at the opportunities for educating and informing our community about blindness, let’s consider the six P’s: participating, presenting, publicizing, promoting, providing and projecting.

One: PARTICIPATING! Chapter participation in community events: fairs, parades and service projects. Many community fairs and events will allow you to set up an informational table for your chapter or affiliate for free or at a minimal cost. My local chapter has a table each year at Kid’s Day, an event sponsored by our local Fire Department and held at the county fairgrounds. The cost is $20 and our main targets are children and their parents. We bring children’s Braille books, have a couple of guide dog handlers with dogs at the booth, bring a Braille writer and some stickers to Braille kids’ names, and we have a stamp to put on their passport proving they came by our booth.

Your display should depend on your audience. If you go out in the community promoting blindness issues, you need to be equipped with a list of resources: library services, rehab agency information, Guide Dog schools, local eye specialists, local transportation services, Lions Clubs, and of course your local chapter and state affiliate information.

Parades require a little coordinating, but what an awesome sight it is for people to see a group of blind people walking independently in a parade. One year that I can remember my chapter doing this, we had a Volkswagen convertible leading us with a couple of members riding in it holding up a banner. We followed with our canes and dogs, and some of us were even pulling along a stroller.

How about your chapter taking part in a community event such as making phone calls for a particular initiative, wrapping presents for Toys For Tots, stuffing envelopes for the local Humane Society, standing with your local Lions handing out their little canes? The options are endless.

Two:  PRESENTING! Members making presentations to: schools, clubs, churches and business organizations. Individual members who are comfortable with public speaking will often find themselves sharing their personal experiences with blindness. Explaining Braille to young children or accessibility issues to business people are great ways to educate. Give the name of a contact person in your chapter to your local school districts and Chamber of Commerce, letting them know of the willingness of your members to do this, and you will be surprised!

Three: PUBLICIZING! Publicize your organization through: a website, brochures, business cards, phone line/voice mail, newspaper coverage of an event and word of mouth. Most of these cost very little, but what a way to reach out to the community at hand.

There is free web hosting out there. Our local chapter uses By utilizing your own members to keep your website updated, you will save some money. However, if you decide to seek assistance elsewhere, you may be able to find a volunteer or hire a webmaster at a nominal fee. Brochures can be done professionally or from a member’s computer, as long as you get the information out that you want to share, and make sure your material is in large print. Business cards are another easy way to spread the name of your chapter or affiliate. WCB provides business cards with Braille on them for our members to take and share at their leisure. My local chapter has cards as well, but they do not have Braille; however, they do advertise our local information.

A phone line may be too costly for some affiliates, but having someone answer a phone in person, ready to answer questions, is a real asset. I know many affiliates already have a toll-free number for this.

The next best thing to a phone line is having voice mail. Our chapter has a designated phone number that just provides an outgoing message and the ability to take messages. We pay about $13 a month for this service that is under one of our member’s names. The bill actually comes to our chapter, in care of that member.

Free advertising is a great thing to take advantage of. When you know an event is coming up where one of your members or your chapter affiliate is playing a specific role, let the media know. Prepare your members to give contact info for your chapter or affiliate when being interviewed.

Then there’s word of mouth. When you meet someone on the bus, at the doctor’s office, at the grocery store, in the workplace, you are given a unique opportunity. Use it to your advantage. Engage them in small talk, if appropriate. Offer a business card or give them your phone number. Better yet, offer to take their phone number so that you can call them back with the answer to a question they may have, or to give them details about an upcoming meeting or event with your local chapter.

Four:  PROMOTING! Promote blindness through a chapter/affiliate program. Working with your city on Accessible Pedestrian Signals and seeing through such a project from beginning to end will give your chapter numerous opportunities for education. Sharing an awareness day for a company such as your local transit system is another opportunity.

One of the chapters in our state affiliate did this last year. Their members provided canes for employees who rode the buses while under blindfold to simulate being blind. These members were also present to answer questions and make sure the participant’s experience was as realistic as possible.

Participating in a job fair by allowing attendees and vendors to see what assistive technology is available for potential employees to use, and to answer questions they may have. You may even partner with another vendor in such a project.

Paying a visit to your legislators. Let them know how a given initiative or bill will benefit blind people, or how it would harm us.

Putting on a program such as a convention or outreach day. These are not only opportunities to reach out to other blind and visually impaired people in your community, but they are great opportunities for awareness of blindness issues and education to the general population as well.

Five:  PROVIDING!  Provide support. This can be as easy as making a phone call or directing an individual to services they didn’t know about, or a lot more of a commitment by your chapter to sponsor a support group for a Senior Center or living facility.

We all have special gifts or talents. So, whether yours is being a good listener, knowing how to fill out the different forms one needs to deal with to receive services, a natural gift of encouraging people, the time and know-how to teach computers or cooking, great organizational skills to help coordinate a program or service, the ability to facilitate a group, or something else altogether, working with your fellow members to determine each of your individual strengths will assist you as a cohesive group to move forward in supporting one another and reaching out to your community to support others.

Six:  PROJECTING: Project a positive image about blindness! Each blind or visually impaired individual is a walking advertisement for what it means to be blind. Whether we like it or not, the image someone else paints of a blind person by their actions, appearance and attitude will make an impression on every person with whom he/she comes into contact. This also means that you are often that very person giving an education to someone who is creating an image of what it means to be blind.

Maybe it isn’t fair that we, as blind people, should all be lumped into the experience of one person. But we all learn from experiences in every aspect of our lives. So why should this be any different? How we talk to others, how we present ourselves (our personal

hygiene and what we wear), how we handle body language (looking at others when we speak to them, eye contact, and our awareness of personal space), how we solicit assistance and how we respond to offers of help, and how we travel from Point A to Point B, are just some of what others are using to establish their image of what it means to be blind.

It is true that most of us do not hold a degree in Blindness Education. But our own personal experiences as blind individuals place us in the position of educating the public about blindness, whether we want to or not. Each of us is a personal ambassador of blindness. Let’s join together in recognition of our power as a collective body and individually, embracing the opportunities we have, educating the many sighted people we encounter on our daily journey.


WCB Board Meets in Seattle
by Sue Ammeter, United Blind of Seattle

The WCB winter board meeting was held at the Best Western Executive Inn in Seattle on January 31, 2004. Fifty-one persons were in attendance, with all board members and chapter representatives being present.

On Friday evening, the board met to review our goals and priorities for the upcoming year and to hear a presentation by Rob Turner from the Sanderson Group. For nearly 20 years, the Sanderson Group has conducted an annual fundraising event for WCB. Rob Turner gave the board a history of the fundraising activity and described the Christmas show which was held in late December. The presentation was very informative and board members had a number of questions for Rob.

The next morning the board meeting convened bright and early as those present enjoyed muffins and coffee provided by WCB. Following the approval of the minutes and a treasurer’s report, a number of committee reports were given.

Rhonda Nelson provided an update from the Convention Committee. Plans are already shaping up for our annual convention to be held November 11th, 12th, and 13th in Bellingham (see article elsewhere in this issue).

Scholarship Co-chair Alan Bentson gave an update from the committee. The committee proposed and the board approved a change in the eligibility language for scholarship applicants. This change would allow blind Washington residents to attend schools outside of our state. The new language states: “the applicant must be enrolled or planning to enroll in an accredited Washington state vocational school, college or university or one located in the United States Pacific Northwest; a college or university with a branch campus in Washington State; or a Distance Learning Program. The United States Pacific Northwest is defined as including the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska and Montana.”

Cindy reported that the WCB Leadership Training and the spring board meeting will be held at the Red Lion Hotel in Olympia. The Leadership Training will occur on April 30th and May 1st and the board meeting will be held on Sunday, May 2nd.

Cindy reviewed the bids that she has received for the 2005 WCB convention. Bids were from Olympia, Spokane, the Tri-Cities and Wenatchee. The board authorized Cindy to explore the bid that was sent to us by the Red Lion Hotel in the Tri-Cities.

The board voted to grant $500 travel stipends for those planning to attend the ACB national convention in Birmingham. Those wishing stipends must contact Shirley Taylor at (206) 362-3118 or by email at by May 20, 2004. The board also voted to grant convention loans up to $500 and those wishing such loans must contact Doug Hildie by May 20, 2004. You can contact Doug at (206)529-8247 or by e-mail at

The board also passed a motion to establish an Awards Committee. Marlaina Lieberg will serve as chair, with Claire Bourgeois and Peggy Shoel as committee members. The committee will bring their recommendations for these awards and the criteria to be used for granting them to our spring board meeting in Olympia.

As the board meeting adjourned, a group went to the Cheesecake Factory and others gathered for an impromptu History Committee discussion. Both activities were a great way to end a very successful board meeting. See you in Olympia!



By Vivian Conger, United Blind of Walla Walla

"What is a Spring Fling," you ask? This one is a daylong event held on Saturday, May 1, 9:00am to 5:00pm at the Red Lion Hotel in Olympia; the same weekend as WCB's Leadership Training Seminar and board meeting. We will be able to order lunch from the restaurant menu.

O.K. Let me get back to what a Spring Fling is. This is a chance for guide dog users, puppy raisers and interested people to get together to have fun and enjoy some presentations. Most of the focus will be on advocacy and access but we will be keeping it on the lighter side so we can have lots of fun. Some of the topics we are planning are: a presentation from Pennie Cooley, veterinarian ophthalmologist; a puppy raiser's talk; and a talk by Sally Mayo speaking on Layla's Law and what she has done in Yakima.

We have two videos for preview: one on taxi issues and one on hotel and restaurant access. We are planning to also have items from the GDUI catalog for sale and brochures and other handouts. Ann McCay and Debbie Cook are planning a hands-on demonstration of a GPS system. We plan to also include experience with a tactile and a talking compass.

Of course, we are planning to have door prizes. We may even have some trivia questions related to guide dogs.  Space may be limited to twenty participants, so register early. We are not limiting attendance to GDUWS members. Details will be posted to the WCB list, the GDUWS web page and list, and the GDUWS membership via e-mail.

For further information contact me at (509) 526-4967 or at


Bellingham, Here We Come: 2004 WCB Convention
by Rhonda Nelson, Convention Committee Chair

Bellingham already, you may be thinking; what are you talking about, Rhonda? We just got back from Spokane. While it seems that way, the 2004 annual convention of the Washington Council of the Blind is, as I write this, less than nine months away. The dates to remember are November 11 through 13, 2004; the place is the Lakeway Inn in Bellingham. Our host chapter, the United Blind of Whatcom County, and the WCB Convention Committee have already begun planning what we anticipate will be another fantastic WCB convention, filled with information and camaraderie.

Room rates this year are $74 for singles and doubles, $89 for triples and quads, plus tax. The cost for pre-registration, which includes up to five meals (Friday breakfast and lunch, and Saturday breakfast, box lunch and banquet) is $40. For those attending for only one day, either Friday or Saturday, pre-registration will be $25. As always, timely registration will be very important – those who miss the pre-registration cutoff date of October 10, 2004 will need to pay $75 to register for the convention.

WCB will provide bus transportation to and from our convention hotel from three locations: Seattle, Bremerton and the Tri-Cities, with those buses able to pick up passengers from other locations along their routes. We will once again have travel stipends available upon request for those people coming from areas not traversed by one of our buses.

As in past years, WCB will be offering scholarships for first-time convention attendees, and there will be one free room available for men and one for women.

In future articles, I will give you information as to how to apply for first-timer, free room or travel assistance, and the cutoff dates and qualifications to receive same. Room reservation and pre-registration specifics will be outlined. There will also be details about our information-packed agenda and some fun leisure activity opportunities. The important thing now is to save the dates, November 11 through 13, so that you are able to attend our annual convention, the biggest WCB event of the year.


by Doug Hildie

Is the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL) Patron Advisory Council (PAC) working, and for what purpose? These are questions which have been discussed and debated, and yet, the answers are uncertain.  During my brief exposure to the operation of the PAC as a member representing the Washington Council of the Blind (WCB), it has been my observation that the PAC has an ill-defined purpose and function, except to hear from the WTBBL Director and program staff what decisions have essentially been made already, and to make comments which have no direct bearing on service delivery to library patrons. In other words, the PAC is not a "working group" as that label is normally applied.

I don't mean to be overly critical of the PAC. It should exist. But, it needs to undergo structural, and thereby, functional changes to be a viable advocate for WTBBL patrons. This is the desire of those serving on the PAC, and action has commenced to develop a plan of transition. A committee was formed to develop recommendations, which were available for presentation at the last meeting of the PAC on February 7. I was unable to attend that meeting, and Sue Ammeter took my place. The recommendations would have created a Chair and Vice-Chair position, and given specific direction to the PAC. However, the recommendations have not been formally adopted. The next meeting of the PAC is July 17, 2004. 

It seems likely to me that the changes needed to make the PAC a viable entity will evolve eventually. The purpose and function of the PAC will be, I believe, primarily in the area of public outreach. Other functions may be added, but a structure that encourages and facilitates actions will lead to more effective communication between WTBBL patrons, the community, and prospective patrons. That is the appropriate, if unfulfilled, purpose of the PAC.


Food for Thought

Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong even if everyone is for it.
- William Penn


The Rehabilitation Council Needs You!
by Denise Colley, Member
State Rehabilitation Council for the Department of Services for the Blind

In the December 2002 edition of the Newsline, in an article entitled “The Rehabilitation Council – Whose Information Highway Will It Be?” readers were given a glimpse into the world and work of the State Rehabilitation Council for the Department of Services for the Blind. Under the Rehabilitation Act, all State Vocational Rehabilitation programs are required to have a Rehabilitation Council, whose purpose is to ensure that people who are disabled receive the most efficient and effective vocational rehabilitation services possible. The Rehabilitation Council also exists to provide public and consumer guidance to the director of the Vocational Rehabilitation agency/program.

The Department of Services for the Blind is such a Vocational Rehabilitation agency, and as such, has an active Rehabilitation Council, concerned about efficient and effective service delivery to the blind citizens of Washington State.

When Do We Meet? The Council meets four times a year; in March, June, September, and December. One meeting is held in Seattle, one in Spokane, one in Tacoma, and the fourth meeting of the year rotates to various locations around the state. This is usually the September meeting which, this year, is being held in Bellingham. Meetings are held on a Saturday, beginning at 9:00am and usually ending around 4:00pm.

What Does the Rehabilitation Council Do?  The Rehabilitation Council provides input and direction into the development of the Department’s state goals, strategic plan, state plan, budget requests, and other major state policies and activities which impact the quality or quantity of services for the blind in Washington State. Through the dissemination of a participant satisfaction survey, the Council also conducts annual reviews of consumer satisfaction with the Department’s performance, including employment outcomes achieved by blind persons receiving services.

Who Are the Members on the Rehabilitation Council?  To ensure the broadest level of public representation on the Rehabilitation Council, the Rehabilitation Act federal requirements identify specific constituent groups who need to have representation. Thus, the membership on the Council has grown from 10 to 16. To comply with Section 105 of the federal Rehabilitation Act as amended, the composition of the membership on the Rehabilitation Council must be composed of the following:

A. One representative of the Statewide Independent Living Council;

B. One representative of a parent training and information center established under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (PAVE);

C. One representative of the client assistance program (CAP);

D. One qualified vocational rehabilitation counselor, with knowledge of and experience with vocational rehabilitation programs, who shall serve as an ex officio nonvoting member of the Council if the counselor is an employee of the Department.

E. One representative of community rehabilitation program service providers (e.g., Independent Living Service Providers);

F. Four representatives of business, industry, and labor;

G. One representative of a disability advocacy group representing individuals who are blind;

H. One representative of an individual who is blind and has multiple disabilities and has difficulty representing himself or herself or is unable due to disabilities to represent himself or herself.

I.  Two current or former applicants for, or recipients of, vocational rehabilitation services;

J. One representative of the Director of a Section 121 Native American vocational rehabilitation project;

K. One representative of the State educational agency responsible for the public education of students with disabilities (Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction);

L. One representative of the State workforce investment board;

M. The Director of the Department, who is an ex- officio, nonvoting member of the Council.

Rehabilitation Council members must be Washington State residents and cannot be employees of the Department of Services for the Blind. Members are appointed by the Governor for three-year terms and may not serve in excess of two terms in succession. The two-term limit does not apply, however, to the Client Assistance Program (CAP) or the American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Representative. In most instances, not all membership slots are filled at any given time. Thus, we are always looking for new members.

How Do I Apply for Membership? If you are interested in learning more about the Rehabilitation Council, you may contact the Department of Services for the Blind toll free at 1-800-552-7103, or go to their website:

If you are interested in applying for membership, you need to do the following:

1.    Complete the Governor’s Boards and Commissions application found on the Governor’s Boards and Commissions website.

2.    Mail the original application and a resume or biography to:
Office of the Governor,
P.O. Box 40002,
Olympia, WA 98504-0002

3.    Mail a copy of the application and resume or biography to:
Marla Oughton,
Department of Services
  for the Blind,
3411 S Alaska St,
Seattle, WA 98118.

All Rehabilitation Council meetings are open to the public. If you haven’t done so already, come join us at one of our meetings to learn more about us.


Louis Braille Center News
by Carolyn Meyer, Director

Louis Braille School Reports: We are always pleased when children choose Louis Braille as the subject for their school reports, because he is one of our heroes. Often students and their parents contact us for assistance in finding information. A new display at the Louis Braille Center will help answer many of their questions.

The display includes a current Perkins brailler and an old Hall brailler, slates and styli, a braille wrist watch, a tactile ruler, braille books, braille games, and other items.

Visitors can try writing braille with a slate and stylus and a Perkins brailler, read a braille calendar, try out a white cane, and experiment with our talking computer. We will demonstrate how we make braille with computers and special braille printers. Everyone may take home an alphabet card.

Please call the Louis Braille Center at (425) 776-4042 to make an appointment to visit the display.

Historic Braille Signs:  Twenty-eight years ago, in honor of our nation’s 200th birthday, the Edmonds Lions Club planned and constructed a nature path for the blind in Edmonds’ Sierra Park. The trail winds through a woodland area and features braille signs strategically placed to describe nearby plants.

The original braille signs, hand cast and mounted on wooden posts, deteriorated over the years. In 2001, the Edmonds Lions, working with the Edmonds Parks Department, replaced the old signs with new state-of-the-art tactile braille plaques mounted on metal posts.

The old handmade signs are not forgotten. They live on at the Edmonds Historical Museum and at the Louis Braille Center. Zora Rockney, Louis Braille Center volunteer, spotted the Center’s three signs and took them home to show her husband, Arlo, a master woodworker. Arlo cleaned up the plates, mounted each on a hand-crafted wooden plaque, and added a smaller wooden plaque on which is placed a print translation of the braille.

The new braille signs can be seen at Sierra Park, 80th Avenue West and 191st Street SW, Edmonds, WA. The historic signs are on display at the Louis Braille Center, 320 Dayton Street, #125, Edmonds, Washington.


Program Options, a Key to Success
by Dr. Dean O. Stenehjem, Superintendent, Washington State School for the Blind (WSSB)

Over the years, I have had the opportunity to examine many different service delivery models for blind and visually impaired children. I have also had the opportunity to examine closely why some children succeed and why some children don’t seem to take that next step toward independence, self advocacy and fulfilling a role toward realistic dreams and the completion of future endeavors. There are many different variables that can come into play when discussing this important issue, such as supportive parents who set expectations for their children, experiential opportunities to succeed and fail; the ability of a blind or visually impaired child to network with others with similar disabilities, the child’s cognitive abilities and finding the correct match with cognition and employment, and the issue I want to deal with today, “Program Options and the Development of Competencies for Success!”

In the state of Washington, the School for the Blind has continued to work with local school districts, educational service districts, other state agencies, universities, blind consumer organizations, Lions Clubs, and many other organizations in trying to pull together program options that will help blind and visually impaired children have options for success. The school has worked hard at developing a reputation as an educational facility of “Best Practices” that encourage children to come to the school for intensive programs and then return to the local district in order to get the best of both worlds. This revolving door concept does offer some of the best options for children and it seems that the numbers collected from those students that have been receiving services in both environments has proven to be successful. Since 1998, 87.5% of students that have graduated from WSSB have been successful. This accounts for students who are severely and profoundly disabled and blind to those students who are in the category of gifted blind. This number looks very good when you hear that there is 70% unemployment in the blind community.

We at WSSB are always interested in gaining new insight from each stakeholder throughout our state in a continued effort in improving services. Please check out our website and encourage parents of blind and visually impaired children to get involved with the school through either employment opportunities, outreach services, summer school programs, distance learning options, intensive remediation skills training, social skills development, recreation and leisure programs, self advocacy programs and a cadre of programs designed to boost self confidence and self esteem. Spread the word to those in need of services and continue to provide feedback so that the School can continue to grow and meet the needs of our state’s blind and visually impaired children. For more information, please check out the WSSB website at:



Washington Talking Book & Braille Library
by Gloria Leonard, Director

Facts at a Glance: It was a productive year for the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library. In 2003, the Library circulated 470,848 items to 9,978 patrons. This was accomplished by 22 full-time staff with the assistance of 427 volunteers, who contributed 28,781 service hours. It is interesting to note that 51% of patrons served were in the 70-99 years age group, 28% in the 28-69 range, and 4% were over 100 years old.

PAC Hard at Work: Our 15-member Patron Advisory Council continues to focus on two critical issues. First, a subcommittee is working on outreach plans to double the Library’s current patronage. It is estimated that two out of every thousand Washington residents are eligible to use the services of this Library. We will share our progress on this project with WCB.

Second, PAC, staff, the City Librarian, and the State Librarian are exploring the possible alteration of the PAC bylaws. Recommendations have been made by an ad hoc subcommittee, and primary stakeholders are considering the impact of the suggested changes. The next PAC meeting is scheduled for Saturday, July 17th

Installation and Training on New Circulation System: WTBBL staff spent the better part of the month learning how to use the new Keystone Library Automation System (KLAS). Every day staff is gaining more knowledge and experience with the system, which has many user-friendly features.

Budget Alert: WTBBL is currently addressing a $60,000 deficit caused by the lack of an increase in the 2003-2005 biennium budget, and a 4.5% increase in employee benefits, including cost-of-living and health care premium adjustments. In addition, Seattle Public Library has exercised the right to start charging for administrative overhead costs. Several cost-cutting measures have been implemented, including a delay in filling vacancies, to balance the 2003-2004 budget that ends on June 30th. However, service reductions are anticipated in 2004-2005.



DSB 2004 Assistive Technology Events Calendar
by Ellen Drumheller, Executive Assistant

Tour Days are open to the public – call ahead for a tour appointment.

March 31, 2004
8:00am to 4:00pm
DSB Seattle Office
3411 S. Alaska St.
Seattle, WA 98118, and

October 20, 2004
8:00am to 4:00pm
Location to be announced

Vendor Days (open to public)
May 19, 2004
9:00am to 3:00pm
DSB Seattle Office
3411 S. Alaska St.
Seattle, WA 98118 and

September 15, 2004
10:00am to 2:00pm
Location to be determined

Individual tours on Tour Day are designed to expose the general public (those not in the VR program) to assistive technology equipment and low vision aids. Assessment reports will not be provided to the individual or others at DSB.

Tours will be conducted from 8:00am to 5:00pm and scheduled on the hour. The last tour of the day will be scheduled at 4:00pm.

Vendor Days are designed to give an opportunity for assistive technology vendors to exhibit and demonstrate the latest and greatest equipment, and professionals, the general public and others to experience a broad scope of assistive technology.

For information and scheduling, contact Maria Oughton at (206) 721-6430, toll-free at 1-800-552-7103 or by e-mail at  DSB is committed to providing a barrier-free environment for everyone who attends the events. If you need a reasonable accommodation to attend the events, please make those requests at least three weeks in advance. We do not provide transportation to or from the events.




Capital City Council of the Blind
GDUWS Report 
King County Chapter

Peninsula Council of the Blind

United Blind of Seattle
United Blind of Tri-Cities 

Thank You Letter to Tri-Cities Chapter

United Blind of Walla Walla


Capital City Council of the Blind
by Howard Ferguson, Member

Our annual Christmas party was held on December 13th at the Chamber House Restaurant at Panorama City. Twenty-five members and guests enjoyed a good turkey dinner and our exciting gift exchange. Each person who brings a gift draws a number which determines when they get to select a gift. All the gifts are placed on a table, and when the person’s number comes up, they get to choose from the gifts remaining on the table or any opened unfrozen gift. An open gift is frozen after it changes hands twice. So what gift you select may not be what you end up with.

Many of us had one or more gifts taken from us. Of course we got to select from the table or unfrozen gifts except the one taken from us.

For over an hour the action was hot and heavy with scheming, shaking unopened gifts, etc. Around a third of the gifts were frozen by the end, and many others were held by the second person. We all had a great time.

CCCB is working with the City of Lacey about installing audible pedestrian signals at five intersections we recommended. At this time, we are trying to raise $5,000 in seed money, which the City of Lacey will use to apply for grants. The grants require matching local money, which the city does not have available this year. We have also created a priority list of intersections we wish upgraded in our other two local cities, Olympia and Tumwater. We hope to start discussions with them in the near future.

For the latest on CCCB activities, check our website at


By Joleen Ferguson, President

We are very excited about our upcoming Spring Fling, our first, May 1, 2004.  See a separate article in this issue of Newsline for details.  Plans are ongoing. 

Spurred by a recent incident in Seattle where a WCB member was denied access to taxi service, we are working to develop a means to have ongoing education with the taxi companies.  We have recently obtained a video from GDB with verbal permission to make as many copies as we need.  Our Seattle-based Taxi Access Committee will be receiving copies soon and will be working with the WCB Advocacy Committee to bring the project to reality. 

One of our members, Viola Cruz, recently and narrowly missed being hit by a speeding motorist who ran a red light.  We are very relieved and grateful that she was not struck or killed. We wish all travelers everywhere and specifically those of WCB and GDUWS safe travels. 

We now have 24 members, and a new member is currently being processed.  If you would like to join us, send your $15.00 dues and contact information to Janice Squires, Treasurer, 502 W. 20th Ave., Kennewick, WA 99337,

If you want to know what we are doing, send a message to me at and request to be added to our one-way, informational, weekly update list, or check us out at


King County Chapter Update
by Rhonda Nelson, Secretary

The December meeting of the King County Chapter was actually not a meeting at all. We started out, as usual, by eating lunch at the teriyaki restaurant where we gather. But then, instead of our customary business proceedings, we enjoyed Christmas festivities. Our tradition is that everyone who wishes to do so brings a gift, this year the maximum value was supposed to be ten dollars. The gifts are put out on a table, all participants draw a number, and then the fun begins.

Many of you have probably taken part in this kind of gift exchange, but for the uninitiated, the person with Number One picks and opens the first gift. Those with subsequent numbers can either take a gift from a previous participant or an unopened package from the table. Of course, if someone takes your already opened item, you then have the chance to return to the table or take someone else’s tantalizing if temporary possession. For those of us with a sweet tooth, this year’s exchange was a bonanza. The gargantuan tin of almond roca temporarily in my possession made brief stops with several people, as did Frango mints and a Whitman’s Sampler, before all was said and done. I actually ended up with a fun music CD, and wasn’t even deprived of sweets, as some of us had brought treats.

In January we returned to a more normal meeting, and used the time to do some planning for this year. Our new president, Tim Schneebeck, asked for and received many suggestions for speakers for future meetings. He also announced upcoming chapter activities, including revising books at the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library, and the possibility of a CPR class.

I am writing this before our February meeting, so look for details about that in our next Newsline submission. In the meantime, best wishes to all of you for a happy spring.


Peninsula Council of the Blind
by Meka White, President

The past few months have been very exciting for the PCB. Upon coming home from convention, we embarked upon our fourth annual fund-raising campaign of selling the Kitsap Card. This is a discount card the size of a credit card, which comes packaged in a catalog hosting advertisements for all of the businesses that honor the card. The card sells for $20 and we keep $8 from each sale. This year we made over $1000. Thanks to every member who helped in these sales, but a special thanks to Eric Hunter, our Fund-raising Chair and Clair Bourgeois, who originally suggested this project, which has earned about $3000 for the PCB thus far.

We ended 2003 with an incredible catered Christmas party. Not only was the food excellent and the companionship memorable, but we were able to support The Rainbow Girls in the process; they catered and served the delicious meal. Many gifts were exchanged, and what would a Christmas party be without Santa Claus paying us a visit and giving out gifts to the children?

As we entered the new year, it was time for elections. The offices of secretary, treasurer, and one board position were open for two-year terms. The results were as follows: Michelle Denzer as secretary, Mike Denzer as treasurer, and the board position filled by long-time member Wayne Tysver.

Congratulations to PCB’s own Cindy Burgett, who has taken on the role of WCB President. The PCB is very proud of you and wishes you the best of luck as you continue to move forward in this new opportunity.

On February 7, members of the PCB gathered together with Ignacio Ordonez and his family at the Fresh and Foody Buffet to celebrate his 80th birthday. It was a memorable experience, full of laughter, camaraderie, food, and fellowship. We look forward to celebrating many more birthdays with you, Ignacio.

A week and a half later, five couples from our chapter met at the Black Angus for a Valentine’s Day dinner. The service was wonderful, and those in attendance enjoyed a delicious dinner and one another’s company. It was certainly a night to remember.

The PCB has been busy and the pace will only increase as the year continues. I look forward to keeping you updated. See you in the next edition of the Newsline!


United Blind of Seattle
by Doug Hildie, President

United Blind of Seattle (UBS) has 2004 under control! Actually, that’s a little boastful, but optimistic. And that’s the attitude that we will display throughout the year.

Optimistically, UBS just concluded the February meeting with presentations addressing the subject of pedestrian rights, advocacy, and accessibility for visually impaired pedestrians in Seattle. Presenters were from the Seattle City Council, “Feet First of Puget Sound” and “Blind Signs, Inc.” of Oregon (an exhibitor at the last WCB Convention). The information presented was encouraging, and the response of UBS members was enthusiastic. We hope to forge a strong alliance with the City of Seattle, and these advocates for the rights of all pedestrians, including those with visual impairments.

Next, at our meeting in March, we will have a presentation from Jim Martin, who teaches the class all new taxi drivers in King County are required to complete before being licensed as a taxi driver. Rebecca Bell, the Chair of the Community Outreach Task Force and I observed the class and viewed the portion of a video that is shown which addresses how to work with disabled passengers effectively and appropriately. Becky and I were favorably impressed with the quality of the video material. Soon, the UBS membership, including members who are guide dog users, will have the opportunity to critique the video presentation, how it is scripted, and to provide feedback to Jim Martin to incorporate into his presentation. There have been problems for visually impaired individuals caused by taxi drivers, especially those who use guide dogs. The good news is we seem to have sincere allies in Jim Martin and Frank Dougwilla, owner of Puget Sound Dispatch (Yellow/Gray Top Cabs). Hopefully, with the support and involvement of these two individuals in conjunction with the work of UBS, results will be produced, and the discrimination that has often befallen blind persons and those with guide dogs, particularly, will be eliminated.

Finally, on the lighter side, during the winter months some of our members have been enjoying the snow and cross-country (Nordic) skiing. Several UBS members returned recently from a week with “Ski for Light Canada” in Kamloops, British Columbia. We haven’t learned yet if they won medals in the traditional race. They have won previously in races at this event. Now, of course, expect it!

Note: See Seattle Times article about Becky Bell, medal winner, in this issue.


United Blind of Tri-Cities
by Janice Squires,  First Vice-President

December was election month for the United Blind of the Tri-Cities, and the Presidency has been handed over to one of our newer members, Bill Hoage. We would like to congratulate him and also the following newly elected executive board members. I am First Vice-President; Frank Cuta, Second Vice-President; Diana Softich, Secretary; Sue Sather, Treasurer; Bea Shinnaberry, First Board Member, and Mary Wolverton, Second Board Member. We would like to thank all of our members who serve in these positions for the betterment of our organization.

We want to welcome into our chapter three new members: Bea Shinnaberry, Evelyn Crouse, and Carmen Walker. It is great to have these three new ladies as members of our group and we know they will all be assets to our local chapter.

Our social events are once again the monthly lunch bunch and our narrated plays. I would like to thank Bill Hoage and Rosemary Estes for serving on our phone calling committee, because without their contacts, our socials would not be as successful as they are. Mary and Barney Wolverton have organized two lunches since the beginning of the year and we are working on our third one. We had delicious lunches and shared fun times at the local Toshi Teriyaki restaurant and Casa Mia, a local Italian place. Next we are off for pizza; we always seem to have such a wide variety of food to choose from. We are planning to move our monthly chapter meetings from a Tuesday afternoon to a Saturday morning, and include breakfast for those who want it. Can you see how much our group enjoys eating!

Diana Softich and Frank Cuta arranged another narrated play entitled “Barbecuing Hamlet.” The plays are in the evening and it definitely makes a nice night out for our play-going members.

Many of our members have worked hard on letting the local transit authority know about the wants and needs of blind and visually impaired in this area. We are happy to announce that we are having Sunday transit service for the first time ever in Benton and Franklin Counties. Also, our night service program has extended their nightly service by three additional hours. It just goes to show, voices are heard and we must take the initiative to speak out on the things that mean so much to us.

Sue Sather did some investigating and found a bus service in the Tri-Cities that would be willing to transport the Eastside WCB members to the 2004 WCB convention in Bellingham. This idea was proposed to the WCB board at the January board meeting and it was overwhelmingly approved.

We all want to thank the WCB; because of your positive action, many more members will be able to attend the convention.


A Thank You from the City of Kennewick

Dear Mrs. Squires:

Thank you for attending the December 2nd 2003 City of Kennewick Council meeting to award the Washington Council of the Blind (WCB) Grant for $21,000 to the Mayor and City Council. It was a pleasure working with you and the members of your organizations throughout the process of applying for and successfully receiving $35,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds and $21,000 in WCB funds. I know first-hand that the Mayor was surprised and quite pleased with the WCB monetary award toward this project.

As a result of United Blind Tri-Cities members approaching the City of Kennewick this last year, a long-time community partnership that was formed back in 1995 has been reestablished. We are excited to work as a team with Kennewick citizens in solving community issues. Of the twelve intersections designated by United Blind Tri-Cities (UBTC) as high-priority intersections for the placement of audible signal locator devices, it is expected that approximately eight intersections will be completed in 2004 after successfully receiving WCB and CDBG grant funding.

I’d like to thank you, UBTC and WCB, for being such a positive, driving force in creating and leveraging community pride and support in updating signal locator buttons at high priority locations to encourage safe crossings of all Kennewick citizens.

Again, I want to personally thank you for stepping up and being a leader in Building a Better Community for Kennewick, and I look forward to working with you and UBTC members in the near future.


Alan Kowalski, Community Development Coordinator


United Blind of Walla Walla
by Ernie Jones

United Blind of Walla Walla had its holiday potluck in December. But this year we did not exchange gifts. Instead, our unit decided to buy gifts for blind children living in our area. For this, we turned to the local rehabilitation teacher, who knew the needs of these children and could assist us in buying gifts for the most needy ones, those who would have little at Christmas time.

Some of the gifts we gave would help stimulate concepts of shapes and relationships between various objects. Some were toys to stimulate physical activity, such as soccer balls with bells, or for building better coordination, such as Simon, while some were just for fun, such as tactile checkers and braille Uno cards. Dodie Brueggeman and Vivian Conger took on the task of wrapping these gifts, as they hadn’t arrived by the time of our potluck.

We are also working on getting used computers for some of these kids. Most children learn how to use the computer in the early grades and unless these children who happen to be blind get help, they will soon be left behind. I have so far donated two computers for this use, one complete and one missing only the monitor.

Due to one of the coldest and snowiest months for many years, we did not have our January meeting, but most members showed up at our February meeting.

Sunday, February 22nd, was the annual dog show in our mall! Many breeds of dogs were shown, some doing tricks while others showed off their obedience skills, following either verbal or hand movement commands. The end was for the service dogs, with retired guide dogs or career change dogs. There were two puppies in training, both from Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Among our unit’s membership are four with dog guides, and we were all there to let the public learn more about service dogs. This also helped to alert the people that there are a good number of schools for training dog guides, since each of our dogs came from different schools. The speaker also invited the public to help by donating to the guide dog school of their choice!

I have started a column which comes out on the second Tuesday of every month in our local paper. Titled “Different Views”, this column hopefully will help bridge the gap between the sighted and the blind. In this column, I hope to show that blind people can still do almost anything they want to do with few exceptions, while at the same time helping the sighted know how they can be of assistance. Like when a motorist sees a blind person standing along the curb – is he to stop or what? or when, if ever, to assist a blind person across the street.

People have asked, what is the best way to greet a person who is blind? and hopefully this newspaper column will help answer this. It is also hoped that this column will encourage and bring hope to those who might be losing their eyesight.


Blind Skiers Shed Fears, Find Freedom on the Slopes
by Nancy Bartley, Seattle Times Reporter
(excerpted from the March 8th issue)

Editor’s Note: Becky Bell is the Vice-President of the King County Chapter and a Director on the board of the United Blind of Seattle.

To Seattle artist Becky Bell, skiing is an exercise not just of the arms and legs but of sound and touch — the chatter of her skis against the ice, the contour of the slope beneath each foot, the voices that drift her way in the snow-muffled world or vanish in the trees.

On the cross-country ski trail, Bell is not so much a 53-year-old blind woman as she is an athlete who is acutely aware of her potential and her senses.

"I can feel if the snow is wet or crunchy" and can hear it fall — in muted thumps when branches shed their load, in sprinkling crystals when it's icy, said Bell, a former tree-climbing tomboy who has been cross-country skiing for about 20 years.

"I hear the wind, and I can feel it on my face."

For Bell and others who lost their vision or were born without it, skiing provides an opportunity to move past the restrictive labels that belie who they are and all they do. In the Northwest, the sport has been opened up to them through an internationally known organization named Ski for Light that started in Norway about 40 years ago.

During the races, some are so determined to win that they strike out on their own in the home stretch. At a downhill race three weeks ago in Kamloops, British Columbia, Bell did just that, ditching her amazed guide, finishing first and winning a medal.

Bell, born prematurely, has only about 5 percent of her vision and sees light and shadow out of one eye but has no depth perception.

The daughter of an Army colonel, she was educated with sighted students in classrooms around the world, from France to San Francisco.

For her, cross-country skiing is a natural extension of a lifestyle she has pursued since her tree-climbing days, scaling the branches, smoothing her hands over the bas-relief map of bark, drinking in the scent of leaves and blossoms.

An artist who lives on Social Security, she makes and glazes clay pots at her University District home and creates charcoal drawings of trees from a hazy recollection she has from childhood, when her sight was slightly better.

Trees have always provided a source of comfort for her, a steady presence along ski trails and in the many cities she has lived.

"They have fat trunks and branches, and they come right out of the ground and they shelter animals — birds live in them. And they have leaves that blow in the wind."

And in the icy woods around Trollhaugen Lodge, she listens to the squeaking of her boots and the zzzz-zzzz-zzzz of her skis gliding over snow.

"Skiing brings me in touch with nature," she said. "In everything you do, you feel that beautiful contour of the land."

After lunch, Bell was eager to return to the trails, to a world that's uniquely hers, and to the trees.

Nancy Bartley: 206-464-8522 or

Copyright © 2004 The Seattle Times Company


Hats Off to You
by Peggy Shoel, Editor

We are delighted to say congratulations to the following WCB members:

·          Virginia and Tim Schneebeck, member & president, respectively, King County Chapter, on the arrival of their third grandchild, Audrey Anne Givens. Audrey arrived at a birthweight of 8 lbs, 10 oz and is a delight to her family, including older sisters Emilee, 7, and Olivia, almost 4.

·          John Ammeter, member United Blind of Seattle, on his retirement after 30 years with Seattle City Light, the last part as a meter electrician crew chief.  John now spends his time overseeing the construction of the Ammeter retirement home in Port Hadlock.

·          Sally Mayo, Yakima Valley Council of the Blind, and Shari Burns, Peninsula Council of the Blind, on being selected as WCB representatives to the annual Washington, D.C. American Council of the Blind Legislative Seminar held in late March.  Sally and Shari will spend their time being educated about current legislative issues of importance to blind people, and will learn something about the general legislative process.

·          Sally Mayo, Yakima Valley Council of the Blind, on being appointed to the Graduate Advisory Council for Guide Dogs for the Blind. The school will fly Sally directly from her first Advisory Council meeting in Boring, Oregon to Washington, D.C. in time for her to attend the WCB Legislative Seminar.

·          Ignacio Ordonez, member, Peninsula Council of the Blind, on the event of his 80th birthday. The entire Bremerton chapter was invited by Ignacio’s family to join their celebration at a local Chinese restaurant.

·          Mary Ann Federspiel Nelson and Joel Nelson, treasurer and member, respectively, United Blind of Spokane, and Frank Federspiel, member, United Blind of Spokane, on the arrival of Mary Ann and Joel’s first child and Frank’s first grandchild.  Mary Ann, a previous two-time recipient of WCB education scholarships, reports that Basquiat Wolfgang arrived at a birthweight of 8 lbs, 1 oz, with a headfull of black hair.

·          Cynthia Towers, member, United Blind of Seattle, on her recent re-election to the American Council of the Blind as a director. This fills a vacated position and Cynthia will run for a complete term this summer.

·          Cheryl Danzl, president, Lower Columbia Council of the Blind, on acquiring her first dog guide, a 53 lb, two and a half year old female black lab named Bally. Cheryl, who got Bally from the Boring Oregon campus of Guide Dogs for the Blind, describes her as hardworking, devoted to her mistress, and a social butterfly when not in harness.


Bits & Pieces
by Peggy Shoel, Editor

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

·          The Federal Department of Transportation is interested in hearing from consumers who have experienced disability-related air travel problems.  For more information, or to register a complaint, call their toll-free hotline, 1-800-778-4838.

·          Blindskills, Inc., a not for profit organization based in Salem,  Oregon, produces an audio-cassette tape for people losing their vision entitled “Where do I go from here?”  It comes with a companion print pamphlet for family and friends.  It is free to individuals losing their sight.  For more information and to find out about other Blindskills publications, call 800-860-4224.

·          The Federal National No-Call Registry blocks most solicitation calls to private phones. The service is free.  For more information or to register your phone, call 888-382-1222.

·          Choice Magazine, published every two months, is an anthology of the best literature, articles and essays, reprinted from 100 leading magazines and periodicals.  For your free audio cassette tape subscription, call 888-724-6423

·          The U.S. Department of Education has just produced an updated audio-cassette tape and CD with information on federal student aids for students who are blind or visually impaired.  It offers information about federal grants, loans, and work-study programs as well as non-federal sources of aid. To request your free copy of this guideline, contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243

·          American Foundation for the Blind Technology Group is a free, Web-only publication.  Features include reviews of new and experimental technology, text-to-speech software, current areas of possible job opportunities, a calendar of events, and more.



The phone number listed for Julie deGeuss in the 2004 directory of WCB officers and board members, which appeared in the December issue, was wrong.  The correct number is (206) 547-7444



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 25, 2004.

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

Publication Policy:

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

That’s Funny

A woman answered a knock at her door and looked down at a very small boy.  He told her something of his had found its way into her garage and he wanted it back.

She opened her garage door and discovered a baseball and a broken window with a baseball-sized hole. 

“How do you suppose this baseball got in here?” she asked the little boy.

He looked at the ball, he looked at the window, he looked at the woman, and exclaimed, “Wow! I must have thrown it right through that hole.”

* * * * *

Harry Adams, owner of a movie theatre chain, passed away at age 65. The newspaper obituary read, “The funeral will be held on Thursday at 2:10, 4:20, 6:30, 8:30 and 10:50.”


Food for Thought - 2

The best things in life... are not things.

Borrow money from pessimists.  They don’t expect it back.

The more flexible you are, the less likely you are to be bent out of shape.

Sometimes you are the bug, sometimes you are the windshield.



Washington Council of the Blind

Whereas, the current economic slump and subsequent reduction in state revenues have directly impacted the Department of Services for the Blind, causing the Department to closely review all of its programs and activities for possible future cuts; and

whereas, the possible elimination of the Orientation and Training Center (hereinafter referred to as the OTC) has been a major topic of discussion at recent Rehabilitation Council and Community meetings; and

whereas, the structure of the OTC has been dramatically modified in an effort to increase the number of clients served; and

whereas, these modifications have not met with the approval of the entire blind community, leading some clients to request costly skills training from private out-of-state centers; and

whereas, the Washington Council of the Blind has advocated and continues to advocate for an in-state, publicly funded training center as being the most effective and least costly method of providing intensive skills training to the greatest number of individuals.

Now, therefore, be it resolved in convention assembled this 8th day of November, at the City Center Double-Tree Hotel in the City of Spokane, State of Washington, that the membership remind the Department of Services for the Blind of our strong support of the OTC as it has traditionally existed; and

be it further resolved, that we call upon the Department of Services for the Blind to cease any further discussion or planning that would eliminate or privatize this vital program now and in the future.


Useful Catalogs

There are many catalogs available which provide innovative vision-enhancing and daily living aids for people with vision loss.  Here are six of them, with toll free telephone contact numbers.  They all provide a free catalog upon request.

Community Services for the Blind, 800-472-2244 or (206) 525-5556

Independent Living Aids, 800-537-2118

Jett Enterprises, 800-275-5553

L.S. & S. Group, 800-468-4789

Maxi Aid, 800-522-6294

Speak to Me, 800-248-9965



Banana and Apple Peanut Salad

This fresh fruit salad is high in nutrition and easy to prepare.


1 lb bananas, cut into 1/2 inch slices

1 lb apples, cut into 1/2 inch chunks

2/3 cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped

1/3 cup honey

3 tbs fresh lemon juice

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ginger

1/8 tsp nutmeg

In a large bowl mix together the honey, lemon juice, salt, ginger, and nutmeg.

Add apples, bananas and nuts.

Toss well.  May be chilled before serving



Calendar of Deadlines & Events

April 30-May 1

WCB Leadership Training, Olympia

May 1

GDUWS Spring Fling, Olympia

May 2

WCB Board Meeting, Olympia

May 10

Deadline for receipt of 1st timer scholarship applications

May 19

DSB Vendor Day, Seattle

May 20

Deadline for receipt of National Convention loan requests

May 20

Deadline for receipt of request for National Convention travel stipend

June 30

Deadline for receipt of WCB Education Scholarship applications

June 25-27

WSSB Former Student Association get-together, Vancouver

July 3-10

ACB National Convention in Alabama

July 17

Patron Advisory Council Meeting, Seattle

Aug 6

WCB Retreat in Silverdale

Aug 7

WCB Board Meeting in Silverdale

Aug 31

Deadline for 1st timer Convention Scholarship applications

Sept 13-17

Period for requesting free rooms for State Convention

Sept 15

DSB Vendor Day, location TBA


Deadline for receipt of State Convention pre-registration


Deadline for requests for travel stipends


Cutoff date to receive State Convention hotel room rates

Nov 11-13

WCB State Convention in Bellingham






Advocacy and Legislative Committee
Chair: Sue Ammeter (206) 525-4667

Aging and Blindness Committee
Chair: Carl Jarvis (360) 765-4239

Awards Committee
Marlaina Lieberg (206) 243-1716

Constitution Committee
Chair: Terry Atwater (360) 754-8193

Convention Committee
Chair: Rhonda Nelson (253) 735-6290

Crisis Committee
Chair: Shirley Taylor (206) 362-3118

Environmental Access Committee
Chair: Lynette Romero (360) 425-5369

Families With Blind Children Committee
Chair: Cheryl Stewart (509) 886-3863

Finance Committee
Chair: Glenn McCully (253) 804-4246

First-Timers Committee
Chair: Janice Squires (509) 582-4749

Fund-Raising Committee (ad hoc)
Chair: Berl Colley (360) 438-0072

History Committee
Chair: Berl Colley (360) 438-0072

Investment Committee
Chair: Cindy Burgett (360) 698-0827

Loan Committee
Chair: Doug Hildie (206) 529-8247

Membership Committee
Chair: Julie De Geus (206) 547-7444

Newsline Committee
Chair: Peggy Shoel (206) 722-8477

Scholarship Committee
Co-Chair: Alan Bentson (206) 527-4527
Co-Chair: Denise Colley (360) 438-0072

Telephone Reading Service Committee
Chair: Viola Cruz (360) 754-8193



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

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

·        To Tim Schneebeck for providing the Newsline via e-mail.

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

·        To the Newsline Editorial Committee for their many hours of work.


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