September 2006 Issue

Equality, Independence, Opportunity

Founded 1935

(206) 283-4276

Cindy Van Winkle, President

6686 Capricorn Lane NE

Bremerton, WA 98311

(360) 698-0827

Peggy Shoel, Editor

5171 S. Spencer St.

Seattle, WA 98118

(206) 722-8477



From the President's Desk

Editor's Comment

Reprint of Legislative Update

WCB Convention – Are You Prepared?

Trekker Training at the Seeing Eye

WCB Summer Board Meeting

What is Your Special Interest?

WCB Convention Buddy

The Ins and Outs of a Friend’s Day

Washington Talking Book & Braille Library Report

Dept. of Services for the Blind Report - Reasons to Celebrate!

DSB Promotes Early Referral with Eye Care Professionals

Louis Braille School

Thank You, WCB

Washington State School for the Blind Report

Community Services for the Blind and Partially Sighted – Support & Products

The Josephine L. Taylor Leadership Institute

Around the State

Hats Off to You!

Bits & Pieces





From The President’s Desk
by Cindy Van Winkle, WCB President

Well, the first thing you may notice when reading this article is that I’m sporting a new last name. That’s because, on June 23rd, I began a new and wonderful chapter in my life when I married my best friend, and now husband, Tim Van Winkle. Those who have participated in the past two board meeting weekends have already gotten to know this special man, but I look forward to sharing him with all of you at the upcoming convention and other WCB events.

Besides getting married, this summer has been a busy one filled with medical stuff, baseball, picnics, and lots of travel. A long day trip to Spokane for the State Rehab Council meeting, a week long honeymoon in Seaside, Oregon, 9 days in Jacksonville, Florida for the ACB convention, a mini weekend at the Seatac Doubletree for the Summer Board Retreat, and a long drive to the Tri-Cities for a chapter visit are just some of the traveling I’ve done this summer. And whether it’s been being elected as Vice Chair of the Rehab Council, being elected to a second term on the Board of Publications for ACB or listening to what is important to the members in a chapter across the state, I have been reminded of the work that I and all of us have to do. However, the one area that seems to stand out to me is the need for stronger communication; better communication at the chapter level, on a statewide level and beyond.

It is true that we have the WCB website at where folks can access lots of information at their leisure. We have an active email list, WCB-L that anyone is welcome to join (send a blank email to and participate, where besides friendly chat, there often is important information shared. We have an information line, 1-800-255-1147 or 206-283-4276, which anyone can call 9:00-4:00 Monday through Friday to speak with Marilyn in person or after hours to hear important recorded information as well as leave a message of inquiry. We have this Newsline quarterly publication which provides details about upcoming events, special things that have happened around the state with our agencies serving the blind, our chapters, and our members, as well as important dates that members need to know. We have the President’s email list and monthly conference calls that provide a mechanism for ongoing discussion between the leaders of all of our chapters, and those same tools for the WCB board. We have quarterly face-to-face board meetings which allow for representation from every chapter whether it is an elected member of the WCB board or an appointed chapter representative; these representatives are the active liaison between the local chapter and the state organization. In fact, all of these communication programs mentioned here are designed to help facilitate active communication among our membership.

Communication, however, is much more than the act of talking or the act of listening. It is the ongoing action of those two skills volleying back and forth that allow true communication to be successful. Speech is not only done with our mouths, it can also be done through the written word. Listening is not only done with our ears, but it is often done with our hearts and minds.

When I or others write an article which is published in here for you to read, the communication does not end with the final period of the article. Rather, it is your receipt of the information, your sharing the information you read with other members in your chapter, and your utilizing the information that helps to make the communication successful. This also goes for the information shared on the many lists, our website and phone system, our conference calls and in-person meetings.

I challenge each of you. If your chapter is not hearing a WCB board meeting report, or being reminded about upcoming dates and events, start holding your President and designated chapter representative accountable. Show them you care by asking them to share. Bring a copy of the Newsline to your meetings and have an article or the calendar read aloud. Be proactive!

Remember that you have twelve elected officers and board members of WCB who are here to serve and represent you. Each one is listed on our website with contact information. Don’t be shy to come to any one of us with questions or concerns.

You see, each of us has the power to play an active role in the communication of our organization. It is not the job of just one, but of all of us. I am lobbing the communication ball your way. Don’t just catch it and set it down. Keep it moving and help us all stay "in the know."

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Editor’s Comment
by Peggy Shoel

Is anyone truly independent? In private conversations, in larger discussions and support groups, wherever two or more blind or visually impaired individuals are talking, the subject of independence sooner or later will come up. Currently, in my blind exchange voice box system, the following questions have been asked: How independent should we strive to be? When unsolicited assistance is offered to us, or when we request assistance, should we feel diminished? When we accept assistance in a situation that reoccurs, should we then expect the other individual to continue to assist us? What is the best way to decline offers of assistance?

There is no one answer to any of these questions. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. So many things come into play, such as health, terrain, immediacy of need, and even weather conditions. I really applaud individuals who reach and stretch to achieve the highest possible level of independence. I feel sorry for individuals who, when they have to accept or request assistance, feel diminished.

There was a comment in the most recent Matilda Ziegler magazine that I feel is intelligent and common sense food for thought. "There is really no such thing as independence. If there were, we would have to do our own medical care, plumbing, butchering, gardening and so much more. Interdependence is really what we have."

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Reprint of Legislative Update
by Day Al-Mohamed
ACB Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs
Washington Connection
ADA Anniversary

July 26, 2006

Today is the 16th anniversary of the signing of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Happy Birthday ADA! This morning the American Council of the Blind (ACB) participated in a national dialogue on the state of disability in America. Sponsored by the National Council on Disability (NCD), this town hall meeting was attended by several notables from various federal agencies such as the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education; the Department of Justice; the Department of the Interior, Homeland Security, the Federal Communications Commission, Housing and Urban Development and even a representative from the White House.

The discussion centered around three distinct areas: Equality of Opportunity and Full Participation; Independent Living; and Economic Self-Sufficiency.

It was an opportunity to celebrate the successes of the ADA.

Examples given were:

Telephone relay services being used at the highest levels ever

Huge increases in transportation access (of which ACB has been an integral part)

Voting amongst people with disabilities is at the highest level ever

Shrinking education gap between students with disabilities and their non-disabled peers

People generally experiencing less discrimination

The meeting was also a time to look at a number of barriers still ahead:

Examples given were:

Lack of affordable housing

Litigation issues that have been identified as having a negative impact – including class actions that did not protect the class at large

Administrative settlements where the defendant is not followed up on and the settlement enforced

Litigants who sue for their own gain, giving the ADA a negative appearance (drive-by lawsuits)

Most of all, the discussion focused on the fact that the ADA is a roadmap for behavior and tool for change. As commerce shifts more and more to the Internet, as contractual and multi-career paths grow; as interagency problems change and private partners gain a larger and larger role, the ADA will have a larger and more complex role in our society. To date there have been technical updates that point the way; they are consensus building efforts that work towards keeping the ADA alive and vibrant. With the ADA as our roadmap we can reshape the way most Americans live in the most positive and inclusive way. As stated by Lex Frieden, Chair of NCD - It is our choice.

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by Berl Colley, Convention Chair

Preparedness seems to be the theme of this year’s 2006 WCB fall convention.

We are very excited to announce that our keynote speaker this year is Mike Hingson. Mike’s office was on the 78th floor of one of the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001. He will tell of getting out of the building. Secondly, he will tell of how he and his guide dog got away from the building and eventually, home. The wide range of emotions that you will feel during the telling of Mike’s story makes it a must to attend Friday morning’s session, on November 10.

As you are reading this article, you should have received the 2006 WCB convention bulletin and registration form. Remember to mail the form and your registration fees to Eric Hunter, WCB Treasurer, PO. Box 1085, Tracyton, WA 98393, by October 10. If received after October 10, the fee goes up from $60 to $110; no registrations will be accepted after October 20.

If you want to participate in the third annual WCB talent show on Friday night, you should contact Chris Coulter. Her home phone number is (425) 775-1305.

Speaking of talent, one of the Friday night events is going to be a dance band, Sonya Kaye, featuring one of WCB’s South King Council members. This band will play a variety of music for your dancing pleasure. If you want to compete in this year’s Friday night games you should contact Julie Brannon before or at the convention. Another Friday activity will be a round table sponsored by the WCB History Committee. This year the History Committee wants to hear about a memorable blind person from Washington State. a person who may have impacted your life, or someone you have heard about who has impacted the lives of blind people in our state. Of course, there will be the WCB hospitality room where you can socialize to your heart’s content.

Saturday morning, David Trott, President of the Alabama Council of the Blind and board member of ACB, will update convention attendees on what is happening on the national scene. We will be hearing about the new school for blind kids, as well as the state school report. There will be reports from WTBBL and DSB. WCB members should plan to be at the business meeting Saturday afternoon to elect officers and directors, to put in place the WCB budget for 2007 and to conduct any other WCB business that may come to the floor.

Other convention highlights are:

A panel on vision loss; an employment panel; a session on advocating for our rights and services through legislation and as citizens; the WCB scholarship reception; the WCB banquet, with scholarship presentations, awards, and David Trott’s presentation from the deep South.

The positions up for election this year are: Second Vice President; Secretary; and three board positions. To submit a name to the Nominating Committee, contact: Vivian Conger, chair, Phone (509) 526-4967, Email (; Peggy Shoel, Phone (206) 722-8477, Email (; or Berl Colley, Phone (360) 438-0072, Email (

Resolutions should be sent to Denise Colley, Phone (360) 438-0072, Email (

Constitutional amendments should be send to Frank Cuta, Phone (509) 967-2658, Email (

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Trekker Training at The Seeing Eye
by Debby Phillips, Recording Secretary,
United Blind of Spokane

When I listened to the messages left on our answering machine, I heard the familiar voice of Dave Loux, Manager of Field Operations at The Seeing Eye. To my surprise, he was extending an invitation to go to The Seeing Eye for Trekker training in May.

As soon as my Trekker (a Global Positioning Satellite System, or GPS) was delivered, Craig and I excitedly opened the box and took everything out. It seemed there were cords everywhere! Craig helped me get everything plugged in, because the batteries needed to be charged before we could do anything. We experienced some difficulty in getting everything loaded onto the PDA that operates Trekker, but after a couple of calls to Humanware Canada, and with the kind assistance of Andre, we were ready to take our first walk.

I was so thrilled as I walked down Main Street in Colville as I heard intersections being named, and a few points of interest. All too soon, it was time to repack everything and head for New Jersey. For me it was like coming home, since all my dogs have been from there. Cleo seemed to know that this was home, too, because with a tired sigh, she flopped onto her sleeping mat.

Saturday found us with our instructor, Peter Tighe, who does training for Humanware. We spent the morning trying to get familiarized with the keyboard, and the various commands. When the class was planned, it was assumed that there would be more experienced Trekker students there, but my fellow classmate and I were very much novices, so more time had to be spent in basic orientation. A map of Morristown also had to be loaded onto our Trekkers, since at the present time there is only memory for one map at a time. This will change with the fall upgrade.

Sunday afternoon we headed into Morristown and walked around some of the familiar routes that we use in class, listening to Trekker announce streets and other points of interest. We spent Monday working on creating routes, browsing offline, and doing more street work. Tuesday morning we headed into town for a workshop. There are three GPS systems available: Streettalk, which goes with the Packmate, the Braillenote GPS manufactured by Sendero Group, and the Trekker, manufactured by Humanware. Of all the GPS systems, Sendero has the most advanced one--it has more maps, more Points of Interest, and some features that the other systems do not have--a way to enter "breadcrumbs" or wayfinders so that if you are walking somewhere, you can find your way back to the starting point.

I chose the portability of the Trekker over having to carry my Braillenote with me all the time; to be honest, I might have made a different choice had I attended this workshop before purchasing my Trekker. However, Trekker will have an upgrade this fall which will add many more features.

Wednesday was our last day. We created a route to South Street Creamery. There were two Seeing Eye instructors to assist with any dog issues that might occur, so one took my classmate, and one took me. After some stops and starts due to the speaker on my shoulder telling me that I had no HPS coverage, I followed the instructions coming from the small speaker I wore, and arrived at a building just two doors from the South Street Creamery. I felt pretty triumphant. GPS does not have the capability of getting you exactly where you want to go, because the military has not given the information about how to get pinpoint accuracy to the manufacturers of GPS systems.

Wednesday afternoon, we were given a route by the instructors. We were to go to the Post Office in downtown Morristown. We had to walk through some very noisy construction, and I missed a mid-block crossing and ended up crossing a traffic island into the park. I was a bit frustrated, but arrived at the Post Office teary-eyed and with a huffing Cleo. We had done a route that, though short in distance, was difficult.

When the class ended, I was left with two thoughts: this Trekker and other GPS systems will change the way blind folks travel, and once more, Cleo had proven herself to be a wonderful guide, keeping me safe, and handling a couple of unexpected traffic checks. We - Cleo, the Trekker and I - are a team!

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WCB Summer Board Meeting
by Marlaina Lieberg, WCB Recording Secretary

On August 12, the WCB Board held its summer Board meeting at the SeaTac Doubletree Airport Hotel. There were approximately 35 persons in attendance.

After approving the minutes and accepting the Treasurer’s Report, we heard the good news that our investments are doing well, and our vehicle sales are still a viable source of income.

In her President’s Report, Cindy Van Winkle reminded us that at the upcoming State convention in November, there will be five Board positions up for election. Vivian Conger will chair the Nominating Committee. Cindy also spoke briefly about S.2686, a bill being considered by the U.S. Senate which contains provisions for video description. She asked that people contact senators Cantwell and Murray to request their support for S.2686.

The WCB Board approved three grants. These grants will go to The Youth Awareness Disabilities Assemblies (a program that exists to teach school-age children about people with disabilities), the Kaisen Institute (a program that works with blind people learning English as a second language), and The Louis Braille School, which provides an education program for blind children. As a Board member, I was proud to see our grant funds so wisely spent.

Several of our WCB Committees gave reports, including Grant Seeking chaired by Eric Hunter, Families with Blind Children chaired by Vivian Conger, the Web Site chaired by Viola Cruz, Awards by Marlaina Lieberg, Scholarships by Alan Bentson, Advocacy by Sue Ammeter, Membership chaired by Julie Brannon but in her absence Frank Cuta reported, History by Mardel Kendall, Legislation by Denise Colley and Convention by Berl Colley.

And speaking of convention, it seems we’re going to have a great one. Watch for your bulletins for more information, but remember, registration is due by October 10; pay $60 up to that date, and then the cost rises to $110. It’s the best buy in town, you’ll get five great Doubletree Hotel meals plus the opportunity to network with folks and participate in all convention sessions.

The Board, through the involvement of Sue Ammeter, Berl Colley and Denise Colley, is continuing to monitor the status of the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library, as well as the status of the Washington State School for the Blind. These are two agencies near and dear to this organization, and when the time is right, our representatives to these agencies will let us know what action as consumers, if any, need to be taken.

WCB will soon have a new and very cool brochure, so look for that in November, and be prepared to take a few home with you to pass out in your area. I look forward to seeing all of you in November at the WCB State Convention.

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What is Your Special Interest?
by Peggy Shoel

Did you know that the American Council of the Blind (ACB) currently has over 20 special interest affiliates in the areas of aging & blindness, performing arts, amateur radio technology, low vision, accessible books and braille revival, to name just a few. Members of these affiliates share a common interest and engage in activities during the year and at ACB annual conventions.

Beginning with the next Newsline (December 2006), we hope to include mission statement, activity and contact information on at least one of these special interest affiliates, so readers can better know what they are about and how to contact them.

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"Hello, I Will Be Your WCB Convention Buddy"
by Julie Brannon, Membership Retention Chair

"Hello, is this Sally Smith? My name is Jenny Jones, and I have been paired with you as your WCB convention buddy, since you had indicated on the convention registration form that as a first-timer to the convention you'd like to be connected with a buddy. It was suggested I contact you first by phone so we'd have a chance to get to know each other a bit before we meet at the convention."

Phew! There, I did it! I made the call, and really enjoyed talking with Sally. I'm amazed how many things we have in common, and it was surprisingly gratifying hearing from Sally how much she was looking forward to the convention knowing she'd have a person to connect with and ask questions of while there.

My mind went back to the discussion I had with my friend in my local chapter about signing up to be a convention buddy. She kept twisting my arm, or I guess I should be saying that she kept "gently persuading" me to try it. She insisted all of the criteria that had been noted in the Newsline article in the June issue fit me - I had only one other small responsibility at the convention, I'd attended three previous conventions so I had a sense of what to expect, and I had expressed to my friend how lost I felt at that first convention. My friend went on "persuading", saying that the convention buddy organizers would give me specific instructions on how I would get in contact with my first-timer, how we would meet in person at the convention, and what exactly was expected of me at the convention. I told my friend that I needed to think about it. She, in her usual exuberant way, said "Fine, call me back tomorrow and let me know what you think!"

Well, the rest is history. I called the contact person, and said I'd be willing to be a convention buddy this year.

If you are interested in being a buddy, please contact me by October 20th and the membership retention committee will connect you to a first-timer.
My phone: 206-547-7444;
e-mail address is:

In years past, approximately 30 first-timers have requested convention buddies, and this year's convention promises to be a big one, so don't be shy. Make the same decision Jenny did—-to be a WCB convention buddy!

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The Ins and Outs of a Friend’s Day
by Ryan West, President, NCWCB

Much work goes into putting on a Friend’s Day or what you could call a membership recruitment day. The North Central Washington Council of the Blind (NCWCB) would not have been able to have a Friend’s Day if not for all the help we received. A big thank you goes out to Julie Brannon, Randy Tedrow, and Frank Cuta, all members of WCB, for all their help. These three, with the addition of myself and Maria Kelly from the Washington Assistive Technology Act Program (WATAP) made up the panel of speakers at the Friend’s Day. We also had two volunteers who helped us tremendously, Cynthia Moser and April Fox.

Was all the hard work worth it? Yes! Will we have another Friend’s Day? Yes, we are planning on making it a yearly occurrence. Would I suggest other chapters hold a Friend’s Day of their own? Absolutely, but only if you are willing to take the time and energy it takes to make it all happen. I would suggest a timeline of three to six months to develop your chapter’s Friend’s Day. The first thing your chapter needs to do is decide on a date and location. We chose August 5th for the date and our local PUD for our location, which was great. However, I would probably change the date to some time in the spring. I think more people are willing to be out and about when the weather is cooler!

The second thing your chapter will need to do is decide who your key speakers will be and confirm that they will be able to make it to the event on the date chosen.

Third, you will have to work on media. This will include: the creation of a flyer, radio public service announcements, newspaper public service announcements, local aging facilities, vision clinics or eye doctors, and anywhere else you can think of to get your message out to the visually impaired community. You will also want to have a packet for each person who shows up at your event, giving them more information about our national organization, state and local chapters and any other key speaker you are presenting to them.

So, what happens if you do all that is needed to tell people about your event and very few people show up? I guess the old adage is this, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. How do you judge whether or not you were successful? I feel if even five people show up when you had hoped for more, you could call it a success. The number you have reached without even knowing is hard to determine. People sometimes hear about an event once or even twice before they will come to one. Just remember the five who came are five you would never have had a chance to reach out to unless you had taken a chance and put in the hard work. I think NCWCB will end up with a few new chapter members out of the Friend’s Day and more public recognition. Getting the name of your chapter out in the news media is bound to be a positive for your chapter. Continuing to work with the local radio stations and the newspapers to announce chapter meetings and events will improve the odds that someone will remember getting something in the mail or hearing it on the radio and come check out a meeting.

Some may ask is the cost of having a Friend’s Day worth all the money put out? To this I would have to say, yes. How can we measure a value on being able to reach out to people who may think they are all alone in their vision loss? I think reaching even one person is something to feel wonderful about. After all, the over 400 people who make up WCB had to take a leap of faith and become members one at a time.

The most crucial thing to do is to make a call back to everyone who came to your Friend’s Day. Let them know when and where the next meeting is going to be held. Don’t forget to let them know their needs are important to you as a group and you will try to assist them in any way you can.

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WTBBL Report
by Gloria Leonard, Director

Lots of great things are going on at your Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL). Before I share some of those things with you, I want to make you aware of a change that will be occurring within the next 24 months. The City of Seattle (COS)/Seattle Public Library (SPL) have reached an agreement that, effective July 1, 2008, SPL will turn over the administration, management, operation and oversight of WTBBL to the Washington State Library (WSL), a division of the Office of the Secretary of State. For those of you who are WTBBL patrons, you have already received a letter from me on this topic. I apologize for the duplication. For those of you who are non-library users, this may be news.

The idea of transitioning WTBBL to WSL is not new. In the early 1980s the WSL was poised to take over WTBBL; a major issue was salary and benefit costs. At the eleventh hour a decision was made to maintain the status quo. The August 1, 2006 decision is based on the City of Seattle/SPL Board of Trustees’ decision that they are no longer willing to administer WTBBL because WTBBL is a state-wide service and SPL’s primary service area is the City of Seattle. Another reason cited is inadequate state funding. WTBBL operating budgets have remained flat for the past three bienniums. Presently, WTBBL staff are City of Seattle/SPL employees with guaranteed annual health care premiums and cost of living adjustments allowable due to a labor and management contractual obligation. For the past five years, there have been no funding adjustments to cover these increases in operating costs.

OSOS/WSL are committed to assuming the direct administration and operation of WTBBL. In the 99-year history of the NLS reading program, SPL has been the sole provider of state-wide administrative and operational responsibility for library services to the blind and physically disabled. Prior to the WSL formal agreement with SPL that began in 1975, SPL owned 100 braille books and magazines which were available to readers in the early 1900s.

For the WTBBL staff, it is a relief to have a decision. It is reassuring to know that both SPL and WSL are committed to maintaining the excellent service quality that you have come to expect.

I am happy to report that WSL has organized a stakeholder Transition Advisory Board to give advice on service priorities and service delivery issues so that a successful transition is assured. The Board includes key constituency groups from the blind and visually impaired community, as well as advocates and librarians. Members include WTBBL Patron Advisory Council (PAC) representatives Tom Gillespie, Vice-President, and Sue Ammeter (WCB representative to PAC), National Federation of the Blind of Washington President Mike Freeman, Department of Services for the Blind Director Lou Oma Durand, State School for the Blind Superintendent Dr. Dean Stenehjem, Governor’s Committee on Disabilities and Employment Representative Denise Colley, local public library representatives Kristie Kirkpatrick, Whitman County; Geraldine Veenstra, Kelso; and Jodi Reng, Timberland Regional Library; and WTBBL staff Rosemary Adamski and me. WSL staff includes Jan Walsh, State Librarian; Cathy Turk, Transition Coordinator; and Marilyn Lindholm, Jan’s Executive Assistant. To date, TAB has met twice, including August 15 at WTBBL, when members spent time being briefed on the wide range of services offered, and a tour of the facility.

While a change in governance is seen as an opportunity to continue to build on a track record of delivering comprehensive library services for the blind and physically handicapped, there remain several complex issues. These include: 1) continuity of a well-trained and knowledgeable staff, 2) sustainability of a strong volunteer corps, which along with staff is the "backbone" of WTBBL, 3) the likelihood of a physical move of the library to a location closer to Olympia and near WSL, 4) transfer and disposition of key program assets, such as private gift funds, office equipment and current facility. Various stakeholders including staff work groups and volunteers, as well as the Patron Advisory Council and TAB, are expected to be involved throughout the transition process.

Over the next few months, I will provide you with periodic updates as the transition plan progresses.

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Reasons to Celebrate!
by Lou Oma Durand, Executive Director
Department of Services for the Blind

DSB staff and our customers have much to celebrate as we look back on the accomplishments of this past fiscal year (July 1, 2005 through June 30, 2006).

This year 139 customers completed their Vocational Rehabilitation programs and went to work in competitive jobs at an average wage of $15.41 per hour. This means that these 139 folks learned the skills and developed the resources necessary to overcome their vision loss, find good jobs with benefits, support their families, pay taxes, and contribute to their communities.

DSB still has sufficient resources to serve all eligible vocational rehabilitation (VR) customers, with no waiting list, and we have actually increased our capacity to provide direct services in the VR program.

DSB had a very successful supplemental budget request and gained 4 additional full-time employees for VR direct services. We have recently hired two additional, highly qualified vocational rehabilitation counselors (VRCs) for the Tacoma and Yakima offices. An additional VRC and Assistive Technology Specialist will be hired over the course of the next year for the Vancouver office. Two of our most recent hires are also proficient in American Sign Language (ASL).

The Orientation and Training Center (OTC) in Seattle hit a new record by serving 64 students this year, with an increased emphasis on employment readiness and computer training. Students also participated in challenge activities like white water rafting, orientation and mobility, shop, home management, adjustment to blindness and activities of daily living.

DSB now gets transition age kids started in a VR program at age 16. This year 20 new kids began the process of learning about the world of work and the skills they need to develop. Our Youth Employment Solutions (YES) programs both in Seattle and Vancouver offered kids opportunities for work experience, skills training and independent living during the summer. Another group of transition age kids experienced a preview of college campus life and academic studies through our Bridge program on campus at Central Washington University.

The Child and Family program staff continued their important work of early intervention with families and schools, having completed another successful preschool conference and much in-home consultation.

The Independent Living program served 2,345 older blind folks this year, helping them stay independent in their homes, connect with peers in their communities, and take advantage of local resources.

The Business Enterprise vendors continued to offer quality food services in cafeterias and vending stands around the state.

Special thanks also to DSB’s fiscal and administrative staff who worked valiantly and effectively to make sure we could focus on providing the highest quality customer service and accomplish our mission and program goals.

We have an awesome team of staff working at DSB and DSB’s accomplishments are a result of everyone’s hard work.


I continue to realize that listening well is one of the most powerful things any of us can do. In addition to our community meetings around the state, our customer satisfaction survey, our open case reviews and feedback from our State Rehabilitation Council, we at DSB want to listen well to our customers on a daily basis.

Looking at the Future:

Change is certainly with us! Because the Rehabilitation Act is still in the process of reauthorization in Congress (as well as the entire Workforce Investment Act), stakeholders and agencies have a chance to rethink and influence the future of the VR program. Ideas for changes in how we provide services are being discussed around the country. The Randolph Sheppard Act and Javits-Wagner-O’Day (JWOD) programs are also being reconsidered by Congress for the first time in many years. Change can always be an opportunity to make things better.

Here in Washington, there have been a number of changes in the leadership of disability related programs this past year. We need to be sure we are developing young professionals committed to carrying the mission forward. Recruiting, training and succession planning are high priorities at DSB.

We at DSB have the privilege of assisting people to take charge of their lives. We have the opportunity to become part of their journey. We have the satisfaction of working hard together and getting results. I am reminded that public service is full of challenges, but also rewards - even fun.

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Promoting Early Referral with Eye Care Professionals
by Mark Adreon, Communication & Employer Consultant

The Department of Services for the Blind (DSB) believes that earlier referral from eye care professionals increases the chances of healthier adjustment to permanent vision loss. We have noticed over the years that many of our participants sought services long after they were diagnosed with a permanent vision loss. Many of the people who requested services had lost their employment, become dependent on friends and family for everyday activities and had lost a sense of confidence in their own abilities. We want to change this path for people.

DSB had a long standing program of outreach to community, including eye care professionals. We had participated in the state Eye Physicians conventions, provided information on DSB services to eye care professionals through mailings and visits and took advantage of any outreach opportunity to discuss the value of our services for better adjustment to vision loss. We had no way of knowing if these efforts were increasing early referrals to DSB for vocational or other blind services.

When working outreach with eye physicians, there always seemed to be an understanding that the services DSB provides have value. Still there was a reluctance to early referral.

I attended two Eye Physicians statewide conventions, the first providing outreach materials and information as a vender at the convention. The second convention I attended, we still had our display booth with our outreach materials. However, I spent most of my time attending breakout sessions and attending the convention lunch with eye physicians. This is when I had my "ah hah" moment. It became clear to me that the eye care doctors were more than willing to refer their patients to other providers after all their medical treatment options were exhausted. In other words, when the medical treatment had failed and the physician was providing maintenance services, this was the time they felt a referral was of value.

With this information, DSB decided to become pro-active and discuss with the eye care doctors the value of including adjustment services as part of their early medical treatment program. As part of this preventative approach, it made sense to the doctors to provide a balanced and more holistic approach to the health of their patients.

To facilitate and encourage the partnership between DSB and eye care professionals, DSB has developed several strategies to make the referral process easy and painless for the doctors.

We have developed and activated a web-based referral form for eye care professionals and other human service providers. This form is on the DSB web site,, and can be found by going to the "Contact Us" link. On this page you will find the Request for Services (a self-referral form), the Eye Care and Professional referral form, our 800 phone number, our e-mail address and directions to all our field offices.

The Eye Care referral form on our site asks very few questions and is designed to be easy for an eye care professional to refer a patient to us. This gives DSB and others who are interested in early referral for adjustment services a vehicle to offer an eye care provider during outreach visits.

A more comprehensive program has been developed with Group Health Cooperative (GHC) Ophthalmology and Washington State Department of Services for the Blind (DSB). GHC and DSB have developed a public/private partnership to increase early patient referrals to DSB for blind and low vision services. This two-year project covers the state of Washington, where GHC has 20 eye care clinics.

The purpose of this partnership is simple: to provide no-cost services to assist GHC consumers with permanent vision loss to maintain their employment, independence, health and well being. This project provides a holistic approach to health care services and will serve as a national and state model for preventative care.

Early referral means that in cooperation we can provide an holistic approach to patient care. Early adjustment means better adjustment to blindness or low vision. The earlier someone discovers that they can still work, live independently, engage in community activities and, well ……go on and live their lives ….the better adjusted and happier they will be. Seems simple. Therefore, with this partnership with GHC, DSB can start providing valuable services before the person with permanent vision loss has to travel down a road of hopelessness. They can begin the road of healthy adjustment early and meet with personal success in living a full and productive life.

For any questions on the GHC-DSB Referral Project or outreach strategies to eye care professionals, contact:
Mark Adreon (206) 721-6410.

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Louis Braille School Report
by Carolyn Meyer, Director

Louis Braille School Opens September 5

We are pleased and excited to announce the opening of the Louis Braille School. On September 5, 2006, at 8:50 in the morning, the School’s first students began an adventure of learning, sharing, and growing.

Our program is holistic in nature and includes academics, emotional and social growth, and daily living skills that foster independence. We consider each child’s strengths and challenges and develop an individualized program that suits his or her needs.

A small student body allows our excellent staff to provide one-on-one and small group attention throughout the day. Lead teacher Andre Middleton, a graduate of Portland State University Graduate School of Education, holds certification as a Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI). Andre displays a winning combination of warmth, patience, and kind firmness that is hard to resist.

Paraprofessional Beckie Postlewait has many years experience with children who have special challenges. "I really love working with the kiddos and seeing them change and grow," Beckie said.

Available for the students are books, educational toys and games, computers, musical instruments, tactile maps, and most important, a friendly, supportive environment in which to discover the joys of learning.

Braille Camp a Resounding Success

Our 2006 summer Braille Camp was a resounding success! The camp ran for two weeks, from July 10 through July 21. There were many group activities, lots of one-on-ones, and small groups of new-found playmates.

Ten enthusiastic children enjoyed stories, songs, dancing, bowling, doll house dramas, and lots of playing with different sizes of balls. There were impromptu jam sessions with drums, a trombone, harmonica, ukulele, guitar, 22-string harp, rattles and chimes, and at times our big two-manual organ.

Several newspaper reporters and photographers stopped by to gather information for articles. The articles appeared in the Seattle PI, the Seattle Times, the Everett Herald, the Edmonds Enterprise, and the Edmonds Journal annual fall school preview issue.

The reporters caught the campers bowling, creating jewelry, checking out a tactile map of the USA, seeing what a bobcat and raccoon look like up close and personal, and creating a red clay pottery project under the guidance of Becky Bell. Other special events were French songs by a local performer, a steel drum concert and demonstration by two members of the Toucans band, and bowling at Robin Hood Lanes.

On the last day, the grandfather of one of the campers treated everyone to lunch at McDonalds. It was quite a two weeks!

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Thank You, WCB

Dear Washington Council of the Blind,

Thank you so very much for your generous grant to the Louis Braille School. Our new school for children who are visually impaired will open September 5. Your grant made it possible to have a fully accessible computer ready for the children on their very first day.

The computer is equipped with JAWS, ZoomText, Duxbury, and scanning software, and an ink printer. The JAWS and Duxbury software will be upgrades from the full versions WCB purchased for the Louis Braille Center several years ago. Connected to the computer will be a braille embosser in an acoustic sound cabinet that was purchased with a prior WCB grant. We want you to know that the equipment you have provided us over the years continues to be well used and greatly appreciated by people of all ages.

It is a monumental task to launch a new school. Now that the school is about to become a reality, all of us at the Louis Braille School want you to know how much we value your continuing interest, encouragement, and support. We cannot do it alone.

With love and gratitude,
Carolyn Meyer
Director, Louis Braille School

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Schools for the Blind – A Great Statewide Resource
Dr. Dean O. Stenehjem, Superintendent WSSB

I wish every one of you could have the opportunity to visit WSSB, bring a friend and see what is happening on campus and throughout the state due to WSSB’s involvement in helping to improve diverse services to blind and visually impaired children. Throughout the years the Washington State School for the Blind has continued to gather information from all stakeholders on a regular basis in helping to shape the school’s strategic plan, which is designed to meet the needs of students, their families and those working with the blind. Let me provide you with a little information about some of what is going on and the great things that students are doing due to your input in helping the school plan for the future.

Since 1990, the school has increased the number of students served by over 600 percent. Currently WSSB serves about 600 students per month in a variety of ways.

On-campus: (generally 65-75 students) Intensive program where students rotate in and out on a regular basis, dependent upon their individual needs. Services through day and residential programs range from pre-school (day only) to a 5th year program for students who have recently completed high school in their local district, but still need intensive training to be successful. In between these programs a full array of services are provided for all students where often we see growth rates of 2-4 years within a one year period of time in a variety of skill areas. The students, parents and districts are generally the strongest advocates for this intensive on-campus program, which is provided by a very strong staff. Success rate since 1998 for those students graduating from WSSB is between 85 and 87 percent.

Off-campus – Outreach services: WSSB has itinerant teachers of the blind and visually impaired located in numerous areas throughout Washington providing services to students in approximately 20% of the school districts in our state. Satisfaction rating from parents and districts is rated at 4.5 or higher on a 5 point scale.

Digital/distance Learning: A new area for WSSB over the past 3 years. WSSB continues to expand workshop options for those working with the blind and expand course offerings for students. WSSB is part of the Digital Learning Commons in Washington (DLC); as a result of this we have expanded course offerings for high school students to over 300 classes. These options are beginning to expand to blind/visually impaired students throughout our state this fall on a pilot basis. WSSB is also working with partners throughout the country in the development of specialized courses and services that could be offered in a digital environment.

Materials and Resources for students and adults: Through the Instructional Resource Center, WSSB continues to serve over 1,200 students per year with braille, large print material, aids and appliances and just about any other support that we can provide. The Braille Access Center, also located on campus, has produced over 14,000,000 pages of braille since becoming operational over 10 years ago. Many of these transcribed pages are due to the program WSSB helped establish at the women’s prison. Currently 10 inmates work for the Braille Access Center and have saved local districts an average of about $250,000 per year on braille textbooks. The Braille Access Center also contracts with the inmates once they get out of prison with the goal of keeping these folks busy as full time contract braillists.

Workshops: WSSB has been active in providing workshops throughout the year for those working with the blind. Along with summer school programs and training opportunities, the facilities at WSSB are booked very solid throughout the year.

Community Involvement: Over 50,000 people a year use the campus facilities. This includes such things as: week-end YMCA, concerts, meetings, workshops, digital access classrooms for interactive distance learning classes/workshops, partnerships with the Vancouver Police Department (the entire detective division is located on our campus), private non-profit childcare center, summer programs, university connections for training, etc. This list could go on and on!

WSSB’s involvement is throughout the state, part of each district, part of each community and in a lot of ways part of each of you due to your interest and involvement with the school. Of course, the most important thing is student success and independence, which we are privileged to experience on a daily basis as we see young people gain the skills they need to do the things they want to accomplish.

Please stop in for a visit when in Vancouver and learn that WSSB is not just a school in Vancouver, but a facilitator of service delivery and continual program improvement throughout our great state. For more information go to

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Community Services for the Blind & Partially Sighted - Support and Products

Community Services for the Blind and Partially Sighted (CSBPS) is a non-profit founded in 1965. CSBPS works with individuals, families and communities to restore, maintain and enhance the independence and well-being of people with impaired vision. CSBPS specializes in helping people develop skills and strategies designed to promote and enhance safety and independence despite vision loss. The agency focuses on each individual and their particular needs, goals and capabilities.

Low Vision Clinic

CSBPS provides low vision rehabilitation services at three clinics. The main clinic is located at their home office in Seattle. They also have satellite clinics in Sedro Woolley and Bremerton.

Once CSBPS obtains a referral from an eye care physician, their optometrist, low vision therapists and counselors combine their skills to meet the needs of each individual. Medicare and other insurances can be billed; however, no one is turned away for inability to pay. Services are available to anyone who can travel to one of the clinic locations.

Vision Rehabilitation Services

The agency also provides services through their vision rehabilitation program that are designed to help those with vision loss to maintain their independence. Services are provided in the home and community and include: counseling, orientation and mobility training indoors/ outdoors, training in independent living skills, information and referral to community resources, referral to local support groups and instruction in the use of CCTVs and Assistive Technology.

Most services are provided free of charge to individuals residing in King, Snohomish and Skagit counties. Referrals are made for services outside of these areas. Assistive Technology demonstrations at the Seattle office location are free for the first 60 minutes, then $25 for each additional hour.

Volunteer Services

CSBPS matches clients with volunteers for assistance with daily activities such as reading mail, preparing bills, writing correspondence, shopping assistance and friendly visiting. Volunteers are available to work with clients residing in King, Snohomish and Skagit counties. This service is provided free of charge.

SightConnection Specialty Store

CSBPS’ adaptive aids store offers over 400 specially selected products for living with vision loss. Some of the items include: large-print materials, magnifiers, canes, eyewear, household and office aids. You can shop at the Seattle store location, online at, or by catalog.

Location: The SightConnection store is located at our Seattle office just south of Northgate Mall at 9709 Third Ave NE, Suite 100, Seattle, WA 98115

Hours: SightConnection store hours are Monday-Friday 9:00 am – 5:00pm

Catalog requests: Catalogs are available by request in large print, Braille, audio tape or PC disk. Just go to www.Sight, call (206) 525-5556 v/tdd or (800) 458-4888.

CSBPS has over 40 years of experience working with the visually impaired in this community. Please feel free to contact them to see if they can be of service or if they can refer you to an appropriate resource. They do not offer vocational or academic preparation; however, their Information and Referral Specialists are happy to direct you to the appropriate agency for assistance.

Websites: Agency –;
Store –;

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The Josephine L. Taylor Leadership Institute (JLTLI)

Sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind, JLTLI is committed to expanding possibilities for people with vision loss. Its 2006 Spring Seminar took place in Atlanta, Georgia. The 2007 event is scheduled for Dallas, Texas.

The purpose of the Josephine L. Taylor Leadership Institute (JLTLI) is to improve the quality of programming and services to blind and visually impaired children, adults, and their families. The Institute is designed to provide a forum in which leadership personnel and emerging leaders from the blindness field can come together to increase and share their knowledge and expertise. In addition, the JLTLI affords opportunities to network, share common concerns and innovative strategies, as well as learn about what projects AFB personnel and others in the field have undertaken to improve quality of life for people with visual impairments.

Please consider attending JLTLI if you are:

An administrator of a program serving individuals who are blind or have low vision,

A university faculty member or student in preparation to work with individuals who are visually impaired,

A teacher of orientation and mobility specialty working with children or youths with visual impairments and their families,

A rehabilitation teacher or counselor working with adults who are visually impaired and their families,

An individual who is blind or visually impaired and interested in helping others with visual challenges, or

A family member of a person who is blind or visually impaired.

For more information, contact JLTLI at, 800-232-5463, or

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Around the State

Capital City Council of the Blind

Greater Everett Area Council of the Blind

Guide Dog Users of Washington State

Jefferson County Council of the Blind

King County Chapter

South King Council of the Blind

South Kitsap Council of the Blind

United Blind of Spokane

United Blind of Tri-Cities

United Blind of Walla Walla

United Blind of Whatcom County

Capital City Council of the Blind
by Berl Colley, President

It has been pretty quiet for the Capital City Council of the Blind this summer. We met in June and July. Denise and I attended the ACB convention in Jacksonville, Florida. It was a good convention.

Two CCCB members, Gloria Werstein and Tim Walling, were married on June 24. See the Hats Off column.

Three of our members, Gary Ernest, Rich Dirk and I, took an eleven-day guy trip to Bonneville Dam, Pendleton and Baker City in Oregon, Craters of the Moon and the first nuclear facility in Idaho, Yellowstone Park and the Devil's Tower in Wyoming, Deadwood and Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, Hardin, Montana to watch a re-creation of the Battle of the Little Bighorn, Wallace and Coeur D'Alene back in Idaho, Spokane, Grand Coulee Dam and the Methow smoke jumping base in Washington. We returned tired, but refreshed.

On July 29, ten CCCB members went to Cheney Stadium and watched the Tacoma Rainiers play a team from Oklahoma City.

Four of our members, Greg Jack, Viola Cruz, Terry Atwater and Gene Iwanski have moved, or are moving this summer.

So, as you can see, the chapter has been pretty quiet, but its members haven't been.


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

Greater Everett Area Council of the Blind is taking its usual break during the months of July and August so this article will fall into the category of What We Did This Summer. Just sit back and enjoy this chronicle of our fun and adventures.

Our president, Miki Hopper-Estrada, has spent her summer flying high. She attended three different air shows and lots of parties. Yes, if you’re curious, she saw the Blue Angels during Seafair. I don’t know anything about the parties; I wasn’t curious about them.

Dave Mason said that his summer was pretty mellow. In his capacity as vice-president and chapter representative, he attended the Board retreat and learned a lot from that experience.

Nancy Lind attended the super picnic held by the three King County chapters and I’m told that there is a picture on the South King Council of the Blind’s web site of her throwing a water balloon.

John Common has been focusing his attentions on making arrangements for our August 20th Aquasox adventure. We’ve all heard about the Mariners losing every time WCB has had their annual trip to Safeco Field and we‘re just hoping that the Aquasox won’t let us down when we venture into minor league territory.

I worked for two weeks in July at the Louis Braille School at their annual Braille Camp. It was a great experience and I got to know some great kids, their devoted parents and in some cases grandparents and some very dedicated fellow workers.

Jon and I spent a lot of time in the sunshine and took full advantage of every little ray on every beautiful day. It’s been a glorious summer for us.

We will resume our meetings on Monday, September 11 at 10:00 A.M. at IHOP in Everett. For further information about our meetings please call me at 425-775-1305. We look forward to seeing you at one of our meetings.


Guide Dog Users of Washington
by Joleen Ferguson, President

We are looking forward to our convention again this year. Yes, we have a GDUWS convention sandwiched within the WCB convention. We will be sponsoring a Friday afternoon breakout session. We hope to interest non-members with a topic that has a broad enough scope to be of interest to the WCB membership at large. Our Saturday morning breakfast business meeting will be a great place for our members as well as for those who are interested in learning what we are about. We will have election of officers including vice president, secretary and a director position. We plan to have a guest speaker for our lunch on Saturday.

Now that we have our logo, we plan to sell items with it including t-shirts. We also have other items for sale including blinking lights for nighttime visibility. Don’t miss our booth at the display room.

Most of us pay our dues at the convention, as it is one of only two meetings during the year. If you are not yet a member but would like to join our ranks, find Janice Squires, our treasurer, and pay $15.00. We are growing and we look forward to adding new members. We are a statewide chapter and one does not need to be partnered with a guide dog to join. One needs only to have an interest in matters of guide dogs.


Jefferson County Council of the Blind
by Sue Ammeter, President

Greetings from Jefferson County! At our April meeting Lynn Gressley reported on the fourth annual Disability Awareness Day, which was held on April 19th. Chapter members Lynn Gressley, Bonnie Sherrell and Carl and Cathy Jarvis participated in the event. Participants donned sleepshades or used wheelchairs to assess the physical accessibility of businesses in Port Townsend and at Fort Warden State Park. John Allen from Connections was a guest at our meeting and he demonstrated an assistive listening system for our members. As a result we voted to purchase the system from Connections.

Jordan Hartt from Centrum was the guest speaker at our May meeting. Centrum contracts with Fort Warden State Park to manage a wide variety of shows and training workshops at the Fort. Mr. Hartt wanted to hear from us regarding ways that Centrum could make their activities more accessible for people who are blind or visually impaired. Discussion included: ways that volunteers might offer assistance to blind customers; who to call for assistance/accommodations; what barriers exist at Fort Warden; the accessibility of their webpage; and what accommodations are appropriate for persons using guide dogs. Jordan was very appreciative of our input and he said that our suggestions will be incorporated into their training for volunteers.

In June we were saddened to learn of the death of one of our members. June Royston passed away on June 10th just thirteen days shy of her eighty-eighth birthday. Carl and Cathy and John and I attended her celebration of life service, which was held at the Shanghai Restaurant in Port Townsend on July 1st.

Elections were held at our June meeting. The results were as follows: Sue Ammeter president; Lynn Gressley vice president; Carl Jarvis secretary; and Cathy Jarvis treasurer. Chapter members expressed their appreciation and thanks to Helen Everett, who had served as our treasurer for several years. Carl gave an update on the DSB Rehab Council meeting which had been held in Spokane and I reported on the President’s Retreat which had been in Seattle. The chapter voted to purchase a duplicator for the group that records the Port Townsend Leader newspaper on tape. We also finalized plans for our summer picnic on July 21st at our home.

Twelve people attended our summer picnic on July 21st. It was a beautiful hot day and we sat on the deck enjoying barbecued hamburgers and hot dogs, deviled eggs and a variety of salads and desserts. We were pleased to have four guests join in the fun and companionship. They were: Jackie Kinila from Port Townsend; Honey VonGoerken’s daughter, Lisa, who was visiting her from New York; Molly Jacobson, who coordinates the recording and distribution of the Port Townsend Leader on tape; and Sherry Perry who is the Sixth Congressional District representative on the School for the Blind Board of Trustees.

WCB Treasurer Eric Hunter will be the guest speaker at our September meeting. We have changed our meeting day to the fourth Friday of each month at noon at the Fiesta Jalisco Restaurant in Port Hadlock. If you are ever over this way please stop by and pay us a visit!


King County Chapter
by Marilyn Donnelly, Treasurer
Virginia Schneebeck, Member
Tim Schneebeck, President

Happy Birthday to the Washington Council of the Blind and the King County Chapter. It was 35 years ago that a small group of people met in Seattle with plans to form the Washington Council of the Blind and the King County Chapter. It was an exciting and interesting time. More about this in later issues.

Three of our members attended the ACB convention in Jacksonville, Florida this past July. Rhonda Nelson, David Egan and Becky Bell combined their time and energy to enjoy every moment of a very busy week.

Many members enjoyed activities closer to home. They included swimming, boating, hiking, concerts and picnics. Speaking of picnics, the three local chapters combined to meet and eat, at Seward Park, in late June. There were games, and prizes for those who participated.

By the time you read this, the King County Chapter will have enjoyed their annual Bar-B-Q at the home of Tim and Virginia Schneebeck. This is an afternoon of fun, food, and those ever popular ice cream treats.

From our chapter to yours, we hope to see many of you at the WCB convention in November.

By the way, the captain of clutter has been promoted to the major of mess. This is known as a directional malfunction.

Good-bye for now and enjoy the rest of your summer.


South King Council of the Blind
by Maida Pojtinger, Member

From all accounts, the members of SKCB enjoyed the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer starting with the Super Picnic on June 24th. People from the three King County chapters cooperated in planning and organizing a day filled with fun and good food. Thanks to the Rainier Valley Lions who grilled the hamburgers and hot dogs and to the members of Quincy Daniel's church who did a great job of keeping our plates full. Maybe the picnic can be an annual tradition.

Marlaina and Gary Lieberg traveled to Jacksonville, FL to attend the ACB Convention. Marlaina said there were many interesting sessions and speakers, but Michael Mellor and Michael Hingson were at the top of her list. Michael Mellor spoke about the book he recently completed on the life and work of Louis Braille. Those of us who read braille will be forever grateful for his "Touch of Genius." Michael Hingson recalled his courageous walk to safety with his dog guide Rosella after the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9-11.

Gaylen Floy accumulated air miles on a trip to New Jersey to attend a friend's wedding. A few days later, she flew to Los Angeles to the RP Social. It gives those with Retinitis Pigmentosis an opportunity to meet and exchange information in an informal setting and have lots of fun.

Kathe and Mike O'Neal attended the same event, but they drove and did some sightseeing along the way. And last but not least, Gloria Samborn and her husband will go to Reno to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary.

A group of SKCB members have been busy planning to have a car wash on August 26th. We hope there are plenty of dirty cars needing to be washed and adding some money to our bank account.

The winner of the SKCB raffle is Betty Sikkema of Lynden. She gets the $60 registration fee for the State Convention paid for her. We are happy to announce that our first donation as a WCB chapter goes to the Louis Braille School. We donated two beautifully colored maps of the United States. What makes these maps special is the computer chip that speaks the name of each capital. It will be a wonderful learning tool for the children.

We are still looking for door prices for the Convention and will appreciate your help.


South Kitsap Council of the Blind
by Carol Brame, Treasurer

We hope that everyone has had a wonderful time this summer.

I have to tell you this has been a great year so far with a few set backs. One setback was the fund raisers. We sold soda our first year at Retsil and this year they did not have the funding for the Fourth of July so we lost out, but we are getting things together to hopefully be at a bazaar.

In April we had an Easter brunch with surprises in plastic eggs. We had a cake that Valerie Siler made for Kevin's birthday and boy was it wonderful.

We had five birthdays this month. Happy birthday to all our members in August, and coming up in September we have three more.

I have to say it’s fun getting together. We got together for a picnic with Peninsula Council for the Blind and the food was awesome. A few guests showed up. Rocky, my cockatoo, was one of them; he talked, too. He noticed Tim Smith could not hear him say "Hi" so he got on his arm and talked into his hearing device. Tim enjoyed this very much. Thank you, PCB, for letting us join you.

Thank you to Bob Herman for letting us come over to your house for an old-time radio show. Wow, what fun we had and we look forward to being able to do it again in the near future.

Thank you to Jackie for arranging for us to go bowling. Though I did not make it back in time to bowl, it was good seeing those who got to go.

Our speaker this month was Marlaina Lieberg and she came over to tell us about the ACB convention. I hear it went well and I hope a lot of our members go to the WCB convention this year. Thank you, Marlaina, for joining us.

I want you all to know of Adventures of Faith Church in Port Orchard; we have volunteers to bring snacks and food and what good food we have been getting. Thank you to everyone bringing the food. It’s nice not being in a restaurant.

Jackie Cabrera went to the leadership training and our group sent Kevin Jones to the Presidents retreat. They had a wonderful time.

Also, thank you Jack Pigott for coming and speaking on Camp Harobed and your wonderful fish story. What a big fish he got on his trip. No one from our group got to sleep over but Kevin, Chris and I went out and enjoyed a day of visiting. And got to hear how much Tim and John got to fish and how much fun they had.

We have had people share their lives at our meetings and it is wonderful making friends. We have two new members, one this month and one in June. Welcome to Jim Bryant, who has been bringing Dorothy, his mother, and to Katherine Acosta, who brings Jackie Cabrera.

Have a wonderful rest of the summer.


United Blind of Spokane
by Dorothy Carroll, President

United Blind of Spokane has not met since our June Picnic. Our members voted to not meet during July and August. Our first meeting will be September 11, 2006.

Our board of Directors met on August 25, 2006 for lunch and to plan what we want to accomplish for the next year in our chapter: social activities, fund raisers, getting more members, and involving our present members in more activities. We have a good representation on WCB committees already.

We had two members celebrate a milestone anniversary - John and Marlee Naddy celebrated their 60 year anniversary; Roy and Clara Donder celebrated their 40 year anniversary

We are looking forward to attending the 2006 Convention in Seattle. We hope to have a good showing of our members.


United Blind of Tri-Cities
by Janice Squires, Treasurer

First of all, the United Blind of the Tri-Cities would like to welcome their two most recent new members, Wilma James and Marge Potter. The local chapters are the grass roots of our larger organization and each new member adds a new dimension to the local group. We are now at 40 members and have increased our membership this year by 10%.

Our First Vice-President, Margie Kickert, has been honored with the placement of her touching article, "Dealing with Reality" in the July / August edition of the Braille Forum. We were all so proud of her accomplishment and hope that she will continue writing more articles in the future. Margie has become one of our hardest working members, by organizing all of our monthly luncheons. She has now started a new card and game playing party on the second Tuesday of the month at the Edith Bishel Center. We had nine ladies join in the fun and hope to increase our numbers as more people hear about this fun event. Margie has now stepped up to the plate and has taken over the organization of our narrated play committee along with Frank Cuta. Thank you Margie for all of your hard and dedicated work.

The UBTC book group has now met four times at the Kennewick public library and every participant seems to truly be enjoying it. It is a fantastic way to discuss new books and share ideas on selecting titles that they may have never thought of reading before. We would once again like to thank the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library for assisting us in making this new event a huge success.

Evelyn Crouse, UBTC Second Vice-President, is in charge of selling visually impaired magnetic buttons for a fund raiser for our local chapter. Evelyn is a very high partial and she says when she wears this button, it helps others to realize that she has an eye disorder. One of our members will be selling these buttons for the low cost of $10.00 at the WCB convention in November.

At our July meeting, Cindy Miller from the cancer center gave a very informative and educational talk on cancer and the services provided at the Tri-City cancer center. Thanks to Teri Reinkens for bringing this excellent speaker to our chapter meeting.

President Cindy Van Winkle was our WCB representative during our August chapter meeting. We were thrilled to have her come and speak to us about WCB and also it enabled us to ask her individual questions on our concerns and ideas.

We are all looking forward to our summer picnic in the park and the beginning of our narrated play season. We hope to see many of our WCB friends in November at the WCB convention.


United Blind of Walla Walla
by Vivian Conger, President

Since UBWW’s last entry to the Newsline, several things have occurred. In June our speaker was Dr. Clark, a podiatrist here in Walla Walla, who discussed foot care, especially for diabetics.

In July, we had a local police officer come and speak to us about scams and identity theft. Did this ever open our eyes!

On August 1, we held our annual picnic. Because the weather had been so hot, we decided to take the picnic indoors. It was too bad that we disappointed the yellow jackets, bees, and ants; but the rest of us really had a great time.

On September 5, UBWW will be having a demonstration of United Blind of Spokane’s listening device system.

A major undertaking for us is that we are registering with Washington’s Secretary of State’s office and then jumping through the hoops of the IRS to obtain 501(c)3 non-profit status. Stay tuned for more updates in future Newslines.


United Blind of Whatcom County
by Betty Sikkema, President

It’s again time for another chapter report. I don’t know how it is with you all, but time is just slipping away. I almost forgot about writing a chapter report.

UBWC is doing some exciting things. Our June luncheon was held at Izzy’s restaurant, with eight members attending. We celebrated that our 501(c)3 application was mailed in well before the July 1st deadline. It was a relaxing and warm day for good food and fellowship!

In July, our picnic was held at Jo Ellen Barton’s residence. The food was delicious! We invited Lions Club immediate past Governor Richard Eisenbrey to make a presentation. He had spoken about their history and community service work locally, state and nationally as well as internationally. The presentation highlighted many of their activities and was very informative. There was also time for questions.

Currently, we are fund raising by selling 100% Belgian chocolate CD’s from Totally Chocolates. The chocolate CD’s are engraved with UBWC’s name and logo, with a thank you message. Each CD is placed in a regular plastic CD cartridge case to be reused. This item has been a great hit! Nineteen of them were sold at the summer retreat.

You’ve missed a chance to buy? Don’t worry, there will be more at the convention. These goodies are selling for $5. They would make wonderful gifts!

Business meetings were not held in July or August. We plan to resume in September.

See you at Convention!

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Hats Off to You
by Peggy Shoel

Correction –in the last Newsline (June 2006) Cathy & Carl Jarvis were congratulated on the arrival of their first grandchild. Actually, Grace Elizabeth Petersen is their first granddaughter. The Jarvises already have three grandsons.

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

Cindy Burgett and Tim Van Winkle, members, Peninsula Council of the Blind, who were married in June in an outdoor ceremony at Evergreen State Park in Bremerton with 40 friends and family in attendance. Following a picnic reception, the newlyweds traveled to Seaside, Oregon, for a one-week honeymoon. Afterwards they returned home for a few days before leaving for the ACB national convention in Jacksonville, Florida.

Gloria Werstein and Tim Walling, members, Capital City Council of the Blind, who were married June 24th in Olympia. Gloria, who is from New Mexico, and Tim, from Rhode Island, enjoyed a reception with family and friends following the ceremony.

J.R. Kinnison, member, South King Council of the Blind, and his wife Toby on their August marriage. J.R., who is from the Seattle area and Toby, who hails from Florida, celebrated with a honeymoon in Ocean Shores, Washington.

Cheryl Stewart, member, North Central Council of the Blind, on her marriage to Paul Edwards, immediate past president, ACB. The happy couple were married in their home in Miami, Florida.

Sue Ammeter, board member, WCB, and husband John, member, Jefferson County Council of the Blind, on their 35th wedding anniversary. Sue and John were married in West Seattle, and to celebrate the occasion, they drove down the coast where they enjoyed a week of R&R in Astoria, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington.

Marlee and John Naddy, members, United Blind of Spokane, on their 60th (diamond) wedding anniversary. Marlee and John met when seated next to each other in a geography class at Ohio State University and celebrated this momentous occasion with a week-long extended family get-together at Sun River Resort in Oregon.

Clara Donder, Vice President, United Blind of Spokane, and husband Roy on their 40th wedding anniversary. The couple celebrated the occasion with a family dinner at the Shiloh Inn, in conjunction with an annual extended family reunion.

Margie and Ron Kickert, 1st Vice-President and member, respectively, United Blind of Tri-Cities, on their 45th wedding anniversary. The Kickerts, their children, and extended family will be celebrating with a three-week trip to the Chicago area where Margie and Ron were both born and raised.

Janice and Bob Squires, Treasurer and member, respectively, United Blind of Tri-Cities, on their 35th wedding anniversary. Married in Clovis, California on August 7, Janice and Bob will be celebrating with a ten-day trip to Italy in November.

Deng Kong, member, South King Council of the Blind, on being selected by the Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind as its 2005 overall blind employee. In recognition of this honor, Deng, who works as both a receptionist and a customer service representative, will be representing our local Lighthouse at the annual National Industries for the Blind (NIB) in Scottsdale, Arizona the end of September.

Cindy Van Winkle, President, WCB, who at the Jacksonville, Florida American Council of the Blind national convention, was elected to the ACB Board of Publications (BOP). Cindy will serve another two-year term.

Trieva Smith, United Blind of Seattle, on her new job at Community Services for the Blind and Partially Sighted, where she works in the pickup station, which manages the donations process. Trieva was a preschool teacher for many years and this is her first job after her O&T rehab program.

Joan Lord, United Blind of Seattle, on her 80th birthday. Joan, who has been active for over 40 years in the Seattle area blindness community, was wined and dined by friends in celebration of the occasion.

Lucille Terry, member, United Blind of the Tri-Cities, on her 80th birthday. Lucille joined UBTC very recently and is participating in activities and enjoying the support she is receiving from her chapter.

Becky Frankeberger, member, Guide Dog Users of Washington State, on her new dog guide. Marty is a 2½ yr old 60 lb 23-in-high male spice-colored yellow lab from Seeing Eye, Morristown, New Jersey and according to his mistress is a loving little cuddle-bug, but is serious when in harness

Audrey Jolly, member at large, on her new dog guide, Horizon, a 22-month old, 65 lb 22-inch high caramel colored golden retriever/yellow lab cross. Horizon is from Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael, California and is described as having a quiet nature but is playful as a puppy when out of harness.

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Bits and Pieces
by Peggy Shoel

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

Enrichment Audio Research Services (EARS) offers free cassette tapes that teach coping skills and techniques to people who have lost vision as adults and senior citizens. This not-for-profit organization has just added two more audio tapes: adaptive devices and advanced cooking - to their growing collection, which includes managing medication, running a household, remaining actively involved in the community, developing maximum independence and more. For additional information call 800-843-6816

Established more than 50 years ago, the Junior Blind of America provides unique recreational services and programs that help blind and visually impaired children and young people achieve their highest level of independence. This organization has cohosted the Junior Blind Olympics, in which children ages 6 to 19 compete in Olympic-style athletic and sports contests. Located in the Los Angeles, California area, this organization maintains 40 acres of land in the mountains overlooking Malibu, and accepts children from all over the country. For more info call 800-352-2290 or visit

The National Do-Not-Call Registry, sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission, can be contacted by calling 888 382-1222. Instructions are given in Spanish and English. You must be calling from the phone you wish to register, and it is necessary to renew the registration every five years.

The Hadley School for the Blind, based in Winnetka, Illinois, was started as a correspondence school in 1920 to teach blind people how to read braille. Their first student was a Kansas farm wife who wanted to learn braille in order to read to her children after she lost her sight. Today Hadley offers more than 90 courses to blind and visually impaired people, their families and service professionals in over 100 countries and all 50 states. For more info, call 800-323-4238 or visit

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2006 Calendar of Deadlines and Events

Sept 11 – Call-in day for one of the free rooms for the WCB Convention

Oct 10 – Deadline for State Convention Registration and for room reservations

Oct 20 – Last day for acceptance of Late Registrations for WCB Convention

Oct 21 – WTBBL Patron Advisory Council Meeting

Nov 9-11 – WCB 2006 State Convention at the Doubletree Hotel Seattle Airport

December – Production & distribution of Winter Newsline

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Article Deadline: To be considered for inclusion in the next issue, article submissions and other information for publication must be received by November 25, 2006. Articles may be edited for clarity and space considerations.

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



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

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

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

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

To the individuals who contributed articles and materials to this issue

To the NEWSLINE Editorial Committee for their many hours of work

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