September 2010 Issue

Opportunity, Equality, Independence

Founded 1935



Denise Colley, President


Lacey, WA


Randy Tedrow, Senior Editor


Renton, WA


Those much-needed contributions, which are TAX-deductible, can be sent to the Washington Council of the Blind treasurer, Glenn McCully, at PO Box 30009, Seattle, WA 98113-0009.


To remember the Washington Council of the Blind in your Last Will and Testament, you may include a special paragraph for that purpose in your Will or Trust. If your wishes are complex, please contact the WCB at 800-255-1147.


The WCB is a 501(c)(3) organization.


For other ways to support the Washington Council of the Blind, visit our Fundraising page found at

Table of Contents


Editorial: You, Me, Together, Let’s Go!

From the President’s Desk

Summer 2010 Board Meeting

A Great WCB Celebration

Tools to Help You Select Assistive Technology

Adventures in Phoenix

From the Senior Side: What Are You Smokin’?

WSSB Alumni Gathering

Member Profile: How Scotch Can You Get?

Department of Services for the Blind

Washington State School for the Blind

Washington Talking Book and Braille Library

The 2010 WCB Exciting Fundraising Committee

Around the State

GDUWS Spring Fling

Bits and Pieces

Hats Off to You

From My Kitchen to Yours

2010 Calendar


You, Me, Together, Let’s Go!

Editorial by Randy Tedrow


Earlier in the year, the governor of Washington State tried to dismantle the third-ranked Department of Services for the Blind in the country and place the disbanded services under the Department of Social and Health Services which has no discernable experience with blindness concerns. It didn’t happen. At the same time, the same governor tried to take one of the top-rated schools for the blind in the country, the very school used as a model for other schools for the blind, and place it under the auspices of the State Department of Education which has little if any experience (duties are contracted out) teaching blind children. It didn’t happen.


For years, blind and visually impaired people have sought accessible currency and this year a judge agreed that the U.S. Department of the Treasury was required to provide accessible money for the blind and visually impaired. It’s happening. Also, for decades the blind and visually impaired have sought equal access to media such as television. So, instead of listening to a quiet minute in a program it will be described and the person can know what’s happening. Laws are currently in process to finally make this come about. It’s happening. Plus, with the advent of quiet cars blind and visually impaired people have sought to make them audible to help prevent deadly accidents. It’s happening.


In each of these instances (not fully described), one vital factor made a difference. That difference was the people who decided to stand up for what is right. It may have taken a couple of months, or a couple of decades, but a difference was made because people sacrificed time, energy, and even money to make a difference for what is right.


This last year was a tough legislative session for the blind and visually impaired in Washington. Even though it’s September the next year appears to be another tough one. Begin thinking of how you will respond when the call goes out for help to protect the rights of the blind and visually impaired in Washington State. Get ready for action so a difference will be made. You, me, together, let’s go!


From the President’s Desk

by Denise Colley, President


As August slides into September, summer has seemed briefer than usual and we’re already beginning to feel the signs of fall. September has always represented new beginnings to me. It is the beginning of a new school year for students of all ages. It is the start-up of a new season for a lot of community, civic, and church organizations that we are all a part of. What’s happened in WCB over the past three months and where are we headed this fall?


Twenty-six WCB members traveled to the 49th Annual Convention of the American Council of the Blind (ACB), held in Phoenix, Arizona, from July 3–10. Carrol Gray, Peninsula Council of the Blind member, was our first-timer to convention and it was fun watching her enthusiasm. Members spent a busy week attending general sessions, committee meetings, and special interest affiliate activities, and once in awhile found time to sleep. Instead of a caucus breakfast this year, we held a combined afternoon caucus with California, Oregon, Montana, and any other western region states who wished to join us.


The second ACB Walk and Run fundraiser was held on July 3. Cindy and Tim Van Winkle participated in the Walk and won first place for the couple who brought in the most money, which in turn, won WCB a first-place trophy for being the affiliate who brought in the most money. Way to go Cindy and Tim!


Our summer board meeting was held on July 31, at the Kitsap Conference Center in Bremerton. There were about 30 WCB members in attendance and we heard updates from committee chairs and participated in discussions about WCB business. (See the board meeting report later in this issue.)


Our 2010 State Convention is coming up on November 11–13, at the Hilton Vancouver, Washington, and Conference Center. I am pleased that Eric Bridges, Director of Advocacy and Legislative Affairs, American Council of the Blind, is going to be our national representative and banquet speaker. Eric Hunter is chairing this year’s nominating committee and he is joined by Joleen Ferguson and Barbara Crowley. Positions up for election are second vice president, secretary, and the three board positions currently held by Julie Brannon, Stuart Russell, and Randy Tedrow. Also up for election is the alternate delegate to the 2011 ACB Convention in Reno, Nevada. Please contact one of the nominating committee members if you would like to place your name for consideration for one of these positions. Eric Hunter:

 or 360-377-9917; Joleen Ferguson: or 509-529-3415; Barbara Crowley: or 360-734-2798.

Carl Jarvis has agreed to be this year’s Resolutions Committee chair. If you have a resolution that you would like to write and submit, please email him at


Resolutions must be submitted in writing, preferably electronically, in a workable state. Frank Cuta will again, be chairing the Constitution and Bylaws Committee. If you have an idea or issue you wish this committee to look at for purposes of the Constitution, you can contact Frank at or 509-967-2658. You should have received your registration bulletin by the time you read this article. (See the state convention article in the following pages for more information about convention activities and deadline dates.)


With the continuing decline in our state’s economic forecast, and the governor’s most recent mandate to state agencies to be prepared to cut another four to seven percent in their 2011 budgets, there is not much doubt that the upcoming legislative session is going to be another difficult one.


I want to remind everyone that the legislature we work with each year is made up of individuals who we vote into office. Therefore, it is very important that we all make it a priority to vote in each election. Thinking about this got me wondering how many of us are registered voters. For those who haven’t taken that step yet, here’s a little information to get you started.


If you register online, or by using a paper registration form, you can register up to 29 days prior to the election you want to vote in. If you are going to register in person, you can register as late as eight days prior to the election. To register in person you can go to your local county auditor’s office, at motor vehicle licensing offices, and most libraries and schools. To register online or download a paper registration form, or get more information about the registration process, go to You must have valid Washington State identification to be able to register. And don’t forget about using your county’s accessible voting machines to vote in the upcoming general election.


I look forward to seeing all of you in Vancouver in November.


Washington Council of the Blind (WCB)

Summer 2010 Board Meeting

by Randy Tedrow, board member


The Washington Council of the Blind Summer 2010 Board Meeting was held July 31, 2010, in Bremerton, Washington, at the Kitsap Conference Center. The meeting was called to order by President Denise Colley at 9:05 am. Attendance was taken; all officers, board members, and chapter representatives were present.


The minutes of the April board meeting were approved. The treasurer’s report was given by Glenn McCully. The quarter end had a negative balance, but that is not unexpected for the time of year. Year-to-date the WCB is in healthy financial shape with an increase in investments and the negative flow is expected to be overcome by the end of the year.


President Colley gave the president’s update: The American Council of the Blind (ACB) Convention was attended by 25 members of the WCB, and it was a great convention. The 2013 convention will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Columbus, Ohio. Other ACB board business of note: people who receive a lifetime membership will not be awarded their plaque until the membership is paid in full.


The ACB auction was great with WCB’s Cindy Van Winkle as one of the auctioneers. The WCB received a trophy for the ACB Walk-a-Thon fundraiser for the affiliate with the most donations. Tim and Cindy Van Winkle won an award for the couple with the most money raised. Meka White won a PACMate at the convention banquet.


This year’s WCB Nominating Committee will be Eric Hunter, Joleen Ferguson, and Barbara Crowley. The positions up for election will be second vice president, secretary, and three board positions. President Colley ended the report with a note of thanks for Arnold Kammeyer, Joanne Hunter, and Holly Kaczmarski’s work as volunteers during the weekend.


The Vehicle Donation Processing Center report was delivered by Berl Colley. Negotiations with the company will change the language in our contract to read that the WCB will be notified anytime a change in advertising takes place. The amount received to date from this fundraiser exceeds the budgeted amount from last year; there are five months remaining in the year.


The Scholarship Committee report was delivered by Julie Brannon. The application process has been updated and streamlined on the WCB website. Applicants are down from the previous year and the committee is taking steps to make more blind people aware of the scholarships.


The Convention Committee report was given by Cindy Van Winkle. The convention is November 11–13, at the Vancouver Hilton, Vancouver, Washington. Room rates are $92 plus tax. A bus was approved at the April 2010 board meeting; the bus will travel from Seattle to Vancouver with stops in Federal Way and Tacoma. Arrangements may be available for other pickup points along the I-5 corridor upon request. Travel stipends of $75 for people living east of the mountains and $40 for people living west of the mountains who do not live in King, Pierce, or Snohomish Counties are available. There are numerous breakout sessions planned along with tours of the Washington State School for the Blind.


The First-Timer Committee report was delivered by Meka White. The first-time national convention recipient was Carrol Gray, whose experience can be read about elsewhere in this issue.


The Crisis Committee report was given by Stuart Russell. He thanked the WCB for a nice Braille condolence card he received for the passing of his brother. The year was under budget until July when numerous requests for help were received. Stuart gave an overview of the request process. The current funds are projected to run out by the middle of the fall 2010 quarter.


A motion was made and seconded to allocate an additional $1000 to the Crisis Committee for the duration of 2010. The motion was approved.


The Families With Blind Children Committee report was given by Ursula McCully.

The Advocacy and Legislative Committee reports were given by Sue Ammetter. Some ongoing advocacy issues were discussed. One individual received a permanent position through the efforts of the WCB and the individual’s self-advocacy. WCB’s attorney, Mr. Watkins, continues to help pro bono with many advocacy matters.


The efforts of the Legislative Committee have been detailed in earlier issues of the Newsline. However, with continuing budget reductions in the State of Washington a close eye will need to be kept on the legislature. Sue strongly urged the budget committee to greatly increase the budget for the Legislative Committee for the 2011 year.


The Newsline Committee report was delivered by Randy Tedrow. An internal document was presented to the board detailing processes and procedures for the Newsline Committee. A motion was made then withdrawn to adopt the report as board policy because it was felt this was more of an internal policy for the committee itself.


The Fundraising Committee report was given by John Common. A Fundraising Committee article is elsewhere in this issue.


The Aging and Blindness Committee report was given by Holly Kaczmarski. A resolution was read and asked for comment by the board. Normally this is handled at the state convention where the whole body of the WCB will either adopt or not adopt the resolution. Some discussion took place with no action by the board.


After a delicious lunch the meeting resumed at 1:00 pm. One of the items of interest at lunch was the I-Bill Reader, a newer device that is easily portable and accurate in bill designation.


Earlier in the year two chapters in the WCB had been identified for additional support from the board. The committee helping the Riverside Chapter gave a report of a planned Fun Day in September. Some discussion was held on best ways to use media to advertise the event to the general populace of Vancouver.


Agency updates were given by various members and are included in this issue. A call for members present and at the chapter level to become involved in various advisory committees and councils for the agencies was given by more than one presenter.


New business included re-establishing the grant availability within the WCB. This had been set to zero, but kept as a budget line item so it might be reinstituted once the economic health of the WCB improved. A motion was passed to authorize a maximum of $25,000 to be put into this line item in the 2011 budget. The grants generally go to blindness related organizations.


Discussion was held on a previous motion that had been passed to include another leadership training for new presidents and board members prior to the first board meeting in 2011. This will probably be held on the last weekend of January/first weekend of February, 2011. A motion was made to hold two leadership training seminars in 2011: one targeted to the WCB board and chapter presidents, and one to be held later in the spring for the members of the WCB. The motion was passed and will be included in the 2011 budget.


The meeting was adjourned at 2:50 pm.


A Great WCB Celebration

by Lori Allison


This year the Washington Council of the Blind Convention is to be held in Vancouver, Washington. Thursday, November 11, through Saturday, November 13, 2010, is to be very exciting and full of surprises. We are celebrating the 20th Anniversary since our merger. This exciting convention will be hosted by both the Riverside Association of the Blind and the Capitol City Council of the Blind. This event will be so big and full of surprises that it has two affiliate chapters to co-host.


We are pleased to announce that Eric Bridges, Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs, American Council of the Blind (ACB), will be our ACB representative this year, and you will be hearing a lot from him during the convention weekend.


Friday morning’s agenda will include a little business, presentations on the Health Information and Privacy Act, organizations providing specialized training to blind people with employment as their goal, and a panel on becoming legislatively involved. At the Friday luncheon our WCB Awards Committee will be presenting this year’s awards, internal to WCB, and we may even have a special surprise speaker. That afternoon will be filled with six breakout sessions, including topics on technology, social networking, cooking (offered both sessions), and self-defense (with a $5 charge to cover supplies). On Friday, we will be offering two tours of the Washington State School for the Blind (with a $5 charge), returning approximately two hours from the departure time, which conventioneers may choose to sign up for on the registration form.


This tour will give the conventioneers a chance to see the many fantastic changes that have been made to the school including the gymnasium. Friday evening we will present the seventh annual WCB talent show. This is an event that you do not want to miss! You will be AMAZED at the many different types and levels of talent WCB conventioneers have. The performers will have you laughing, crying, and everything else in-between.


On Saturday morning we will hear a report on the activities of ACB, be inspired by those on the ever-popular employment panel, enjoy a personal account from one of our members on a recent mission trip she took, and hear from the directors of our three agencies serving the blind.


And of course, a most important part of convention takes place Saturday afternoon when we hold our annual WCB business meeting with elections, resolutions, amendments to the constitution and bylaws, adoption of our annual budget, and other decisions to be considered by the membership assembled. During our business meeting elections will be held for second vice president, secretary, and the director positions currently held by Julie Brannon, Stuart Russell, and Randy Tedrow. The Nominating Committee will also be bringing forward the name of a candidate to serve as alternate delegate to the 2011 ACB National Convention. If you are interested in being considered for any of these positions, please contact the WCB Nominating Committee by October 15, 2010. They include Eric Hunter:

 or 360-377-9917; Joleen Ferguson: or 509-529-3415; Barbara Crowley: or 360-734-2798.


This business meeting will be the chance for all WCB members to let their voices be heard and their votes count.

For our seventh year, WCB is pleased to co-sponsor, along with the Department of Services for the Blind’s Child and Family Program, the Washington State Conference for Blind Youth. The focus this year for these high schoolers will not only be networking with blind adult members of WCB and socializing with their peers, but they will participate in presentations and activities that will promote independence and peer support.


Then of course, what would a WCB convention be without our great vendor’s room with the many opportunities to check out the newest and greatest ideas in products and services to come along and assist those of us with vision loss and other disabilities.

The convention will culminate on Saturday evening with our banquet which will include the awarding of scholarships and WCB external awards, an address by our ACB representative, and a special celebratory surprise.


So, let’s all show your spirit and register for a great convention by any of the following: Electronically by going to; or by emailing it to; or by mailing the printed form to:

WCB, PO Box 30009, Seattle, WA, 98113-0009. Or with assistance over the phone by calling 360-689-0827.




For up-to-date information about the upcoming WCB convention, call the WCB info-line at 1-800-255-1147, then press number 6.


We look forward to you joining us for this year’s exciting WCB convention!


Tools to Help You Select Assistive Technology

by Debbie Cook Lewis


Do you wish you could learn about the features and benefits of various assistive technology devices without the pressure of working with a vendor or the crowds of an exhibit hall? Do you wish you could take some of the technology home to try for awhile before making that expensive decision? Do you wish you could take out a low interest loan to pay for the device or maybe, just maybe, find a used one that wouldn’t cost so much?


Well, all of this and more is possible at the Washington Assistive Technology Program (WATAP). And thanks to some of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars, we now have even more blindness and low vision technology than ever before.


We have a variety of GPS devices, note takers, PDAs, Closed Circuit TVs, little Braille displays and screen readers for cell phones, cell phones and ipods, daisy book players, screen reading and screen magnification for the PC and Mac, reading technologies, bar code readers and more.


To see all of this technology you can visit us by appointment or we can bring items to your chapter meeting. Also, we’ll be at the WCB Convention in Vancouver.


We can even make other arrangements to demonstrate devices to you. And here’s the good news, you can borrow many of the devices for up to six weeks. If you are age 55 or older, there is no charge to borrow them. If you’re a young whippersnapper, you’ll probably have to pay a small fee that covers shipping.


When you’ve determined what technology meets your needs, we’ll help you figure out ways to pay for it including a loan from the Washington Access Fund and our new Assistive Technology Exchange website for used equipment.


Yes, WATAP is alive and well and ready for you. Oh, and we have lots of technology for people with disabilities other than vision loss. You can visit our website at: to learn more and to subscribe to our social networking sites: blog, Facebook, and Twitter. Or call us at: 1-800-214-8731.


Adventures in Phoenix

My Trip as a First-Timer to the ACB Convention

by Carrol Gray


First of all, I would like to thank the First-Timer’s Committee for choosing me as a recipient to go to the National American Council of the Blind (ACB) Conference and Convention in Phoenix, Arizona. I gained so much from having had the privilege to attend. It is difficult for me to try to encapsulate this entire experience in one article, but I am going to do my very best.


One of the reasons why I wanted to attend the convention was because I believed that it would be a great learning experience. I was not disappointed. The general sessions were filled with information and many speakers. It was a treat to learn more about the national organization’s structure and hear the great strides that ACB is making as an organization on issues that are of utmost importance to blind people in our country, particularly accessible currency.


Another highlight for me was listening to David Hartley-Margolin speak about his experiences as a narrator of Talking Books. I have been a patron of The National Library Service for many years and have read many books through that program, so the opportunity to listen to someone who is deeply involved in the process and finding out just how those talking books are produced was quite an experience.


There were many different topics every day. I attended a seminar held by the Council of Citizens With Low Vision International (CCLVI) on travel destinations that work for those with low-vision. There were many choices that were offered at the convention. I hope to learn more and get involved with CCLVI and the Alliance of Aging and Vision Loss.


I spent quite a bit of time in the exhibit hall. Although it was overwhelming, I was pleasantly surprised at the number of vendors present. I was shocked at all the technology, gadgets, low-vision aids, and other products on display. I purchased the I-Bill Reader, a pocket-sized machine that identifies denominations of money, something that will be very useful to me.


Although this convention was a national one, my greatest joy came from interacting with the people who attended from my local WCB chapter and from the state delegation. From listening to Michelle’s stories about rock climbing, to hearing Cindy do an excellent job as auctioneer, I was thrilled to see people that I know be so involved and thoroughly enjoying convention. We took trips to local restaurants, had a fantastic time at karaoke, and I felt like I was right at home. When Meka won the PACMate, I was very pleased. Even though I still don’t have a clear idea of what the PACMate is, I knew that she really wanted it and it was easy to be excited for her. Everyone made me feel welcome and I am very thankful for that.


The banquet was absolutely wonderful and I am glad that I chose to go. I found Mike Armstrong to be an inspirational man. While I have been to Africa several times, I have not had the opportunity to visit Kilimanjaro. He had a way of speaking that I found very engaging. He painted a living picture in my mind that touched all of the senses. I felt as though I could relate to what he talked about and some of his experiences.


Once again, I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to the First-Timer’s Committee for choosing me and to WCB for making me feel very welcome. It is an experience that I will never forget and I look forward to doing it all again next year.



What Are You Smokin’?

by Alco Canfield


(Alco Canfield is a member of the Aging and Blindness Committee and a retired rehabilitation teacher at the Department of Services for the Blind (DSB). She also served as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor at DSB and taught Braille in the Orientation and Training Center. She also worked as a case worker/case resource manager for the Washington State Division of Developmental Disabilities.)


The 82-year-old lady (we will call her Gladys), was full of energy but frustrated. An aneurism had taken her vision and now she was struggling to adjust to a new reality.


Smoking gave her much consolation. However, she was constantly annoyed by her inability to light her own cigarettes. She was forced to wait for her husband to do it for her, which tried her patience and ruined her day. She had no desire to quit smoking, and would have continued to do so even though her husband had to assist her.


As a rehabilitation teacher, I knew that the road back to independence is often one of small steps. If Gladys could light her cigarettes independently, her view of blindness as being synonymous with helplessness would be up for review. We agreed that the next time I visited, I would teach her how to use a lighter.


I am not a smoker and lighters are difficult for me to use. With a mixture of trepidation and exhilaration, I headed to the store and got the mildest cigarettes I could find, along with a lighter. I would have to teach myself first before I could teach her.


I had told her that everyone who is blind or visually impaired often has to figure out ways to do that which seems impossible.


I headed to our next meeting hoping that I would be able to help Gladys solve this problem. “You’re going to have to learn this quickly. I’m starting to like these Vantage cigarettes,” I joked.


It was then that I discovered she had long hair which surrounded her face. I prayed she wouldn’t set her hair on fire.


With my new expert instructions and some practice she managed to light her cigarette with shaking hands and a good deal of apprehension.


Gladys is gone now. She did not catch herself or the house on fire. She overcame her fear and in learning to use the lighter she became just a bit more self-sufficient. And she gained a more realistic view of what blindness is and what it is not. In addition, her husband got a break from the constant call to light her cigarettes.


Gladys could have benefited greatly from contact with other blind individuals. My bi-weekly visits were not nearly enough. I understand how important consumer organizations are, especially to those who are first beginning to experience vision loss. It is helpful to talk with people about how things really are without the pressure of needing to be “brave” or “inspiring.” Besides, others can offer “tips and tricks” to make life easier.


Often those who are newly blind do not know that they too, can continue to contribute their knowledge and skills to others. When that happens, it is more transformative than any lecture, workshop, or mentoring can be. While I am not disparaging these things in any way, the act of serving others is still the best antidote for a negative view of sight loss.


In these challenging times of budget cutbacks, it is more important than ever to be vigilant in our efforts to advocate for services and funding to the senior population. It is also critical that we in the Washington Council of the Blind continue to reach out to seniors in our community and to continue to brainstorm about additional ways we can be of assistance to this most important and growing segment of the population.


Washington State School for the Blind Alumni Gathering

by Jim Eccles, President Former Students’ Association 

Hello, Alumns! The long, long wait is over: The next Washington State School for the Blind (WSSB) alumni gathering will be held next year in July: from Friday, July 15, through Sunday, July 17, 2011, on the campus of the WSSB.


Stay tuned for next April’s alumni invitation letter and registration form, which will be your ticket to participate in all the excitement of our upcoming 125th Anniversary of the forerunner institution that eventually became our old school in 1913.


I look forward to finally getting together with all of you again next summer in mid-July. Please read the following information from the WSSB Commemorative Book editor.


Dear friend of WSSB:


A team of former and current students and staffers is being put together to publish a history of the Washington State School for the Blind on the occasion of the school’s 125th Anniversary next year.


We envision an oversized “coffee-table” book, in large print, packed with pictures, a chronological narrative, and remembrances from as many former and present students and staffers as possible. Some of these contributions will be incorporated into the main story; the rest will be printed in a separate chapter. We’re also looking at Braille and audio editions of this book.


Your remembrance, up to 300 words, can focus on your lives after leaving the school and what effect—positive or otherwise—WSSB had on you.


Or you could describe a particular experience or character at WSSB you’ll always remember. The more names and dates, the better. Please send your submission with your name, hometown, and the years you attended WSSB.


We’ll be combing WSSB’s archives for pictures of former students and we’d like to have current pictures of you to run with the old when possible. We’re also interested in any memorabilia you might be interested in donating to the WSSB museum, which is taking shape where the old gym used to be in the basement of the Main Building.


Please send print or Braille submissions with photos for the WSSB book to: Dan Tolva, 10407 NE 25th Place,Vancouver, WA, 98686.



How Scotch Can You Get?

by Berl Colley


You can be fully Scotch if you are born in Scotland. What is this leading to? It is leading to an article about Eric Hunter, former WCB treasurer and current board member from Bremerton.


Eric was born in Scotland in 1938, and lived there until 1954.  At the age of 15, in spite of the fact that Eric was doing very well academically, he quit school and worked in a Scottish shipyard to sustain his family while his father sought jobs abroad.


Finally, his father, who left home seeking work in Canada and then the United States, sent for the family. Sixteen-year-old Eric left the lads and lassies of his homeland and sailed from England to New York. The thing that impressed him the most wasn’t seeing the Statue of Liberty, but the tops of the Manhattan skyscrapers poking out of the fog as their ship docked.


The family flew from New York to Los Angeles on May 30, 1954. Eric fell in love with the Southern California weather. He lived in the Los Angeles area until 1973, when he moved to Washington State.


Eric’s working life was spent in the fields of real estate and banking. In 1997, he became aware that there were things that he didn’t seem to see very well until he got fairly close to them. After visiting a doctor, he learned that he was on the border of legal blindness.


Eric was given the telephone number of Cindy Van Winkle, who was then the President of the Peninsula Council of the Blind (PCB). Cindy convinced Eric to attend a few meetings of the chapter. The rest, as they say, is history.


Eric has served as the president of PCB, WCB’s treasurer, and is now serving as a member of WCB’s board of directors.


Eric Hunter, a shot of Scotch that we all can appreciate.


Department of Services for the Blind (DSB)

Director’s Update

by Lou Oma Durand


It’s been a rocky yet productive year. We are already several months into the current fiscal year of 2011, which ends next June 30. Due to the slower than expected recovery of the state economy, Governor Gregoire has directed us to take a 6% cut in state general funds (or about $144,000 state-only dollars) from our supplemental budget for this fiscal year. She has also made it clear that further cuts may be necessary after we learn the results of the September 16, revenue forecast. Implementation of the cuts are on a short timeline because we’re already several months into 2011, and we won’t know the final outcome of the supplemental budget until the legislature finishes its session in April.


By the end of September, DSB must submit a decision package for a 10% state-fund reduction for the next biennium (2012–2013). This means cutting close to $250,000 in state-only dollars. This reduction decision package is just the first step in a process which also involves the governor and the legislature. There will be opportunities throughout the budget process for stakeholders to impact the final outcome.


Despite the economic uncertainty and the difficult decisions that we will have to make within the next couple weeks, it is important to pause and reflect on what we have accomplished together, as an agency and as a community of individuals committed to the future of services for Washingtonians who are blind or have low vision. Here are a few highlights from this past fiscal year (2010):


Despite the high (over 10%) unemployment rate in Washington, 130 customers went to work in, or retained competitive jobs. (A list of these jobs and employers will be posted soon on our website.)

·      The average wage was $16/hour, despite the current downward pressure on wages.

·      59% of these employment outcomes included benefits.

·      20 high school age students participated in our Youth Employment Solutions program and benefited from paid summer work experiences.


Internally, we served 176 Independent Living customers under the age of 55. Eight of them became vocational rehabilitation customers.


We served 1,192 Independent Living Older Blind Persons, more than we had anticipated, by creatively leveraging funds.


Our Business Enterprise Program (BEP) generated results that benefit the state as a whole:

·      $20,086,924 in gross sales.

·      $1,827,910 return in tax dollars to the state.

·      382 people were employed by BEP vendors.


Projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act have enhanced our programs and increased successful outcomes for our customers.


Thank you, WCB, for your strong commitment to our work, for your creativity, and collaboration with each other and with community partners.


You make a real difference in our communities and in individual lives. The numbers above only begin to reflect that difference.


The current budget news is daunting and we have some difficult choices to make on a short timeline. But please keep in mind that our reduction decision package proposal is only the first step in a larger political process. As always, we continue to rely on your involvement and dedication and the passion of your expertise to guide us and serve as a foundation for our future.


Washington State School for the Blind (WSSB)

by Dr. Dean O. Stenehjem, Superintendent


As we approach the end of summer and prepare for a new school year, it is easy to see why the summer flew by so fast! Below is a listing of some of the summer activities.


·      On June 10, WSSB’s annual Rod Rally took place with 44 Hot Rods and 72 students, siblings, staff, and volunteers participating. Students directed drivers on a one-hour route by utilizing their Braille/large print reading skills. An Elvis impersonator made a surprise visit and joined the students, which fit in nicely with the vintage cars. The ride concluded with the drivers and students attending WSSB’s annual barbecue/picnic.

·      On June 14, 22 students and 20 staff from the Kansas School for the Blind visited WSSB for dinner and a tactile museum tour while on their way to the coast during their annual two-week long wagon trail trip.

·      WSSB’s graduation ceremony was held on June 11. Ten students graduated. The commencement speaker was WSSB former student (1960 graduate) Berl Colley. Berl is WSSB’s Board of Trustees/Ex-Officio member for the Washington Council of the Blind. Gary Myrene, also a 1960 WSSB graduate, attended the ceremony. For parents and relatives who were unable to attend, WSSB provided a link to a live stream on the internet. The commencement ceremony was also available on the American Council of the Blind internet radio station.

·      On June 18–19, WSSB hosted a workshop regarding the administration and scoring of the Woodcock-Johnson III tests of achievement (Braille adaptation). Dr. Lynne Jaffe provided the training. Participants were provided one free copy of the test through the Ogden Resource Center/WSSB.

·      WSSB hosted its summer school programs which include sports camp, summer school, and Youth Employment Solutions I programs. This was made possible after budget reductions due to partnerships with other states.

·      In July, WSSB, in partnership with Southern Illinois University and Washington State University, hosted a Computer Programming Camp for 12 students. This pilot event enabled students to learn the basics of a new audio computer programming system designed for the blind. This is sponsored through a National Science Foundation Grant. This is a three year grant and will include the following states next summer: Indiana, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Texas.

·      Summer Institute was a huge success this year with 34 regular education teachers and teacher aides attending who will have a blind/visually impaired student in their classroom next fall.

·      Portland State University Assistive Technology Class taught by Mr. Bruce McClanahan, WSSB Assistive Technical Instructor, provided a two-week class which was an overview and understanding of assistive technology and blind/visually impaired students.

·      In addition, Bruce taught an intensive course titled “Assistive Technology Summit,” in August. This course was full with a waiting list.


Washington State’s economic situation continues to create a difficult scenario for WSSB. WSSB anticipates having to reduce their budget for the 2010–2011 year, 6% or $362,000. At this time, WSSB plans to meet this requirement by eliminating summer school programs (unless $70,000 of private funds can be obtained) and Camp Magruder/Northwest Environmental Science Camp (we are hoping to obtain private funds for this camp). WSSB also will utilize anticipated revenue from Oregon and one-time use of some carry-forward funds in the area of Outreach. There is also some discussion in Olympia regarding the submission of a 10% budget reduction plan to cover the 2011–2013 biennium (over $1 million). This would result in reduction of programs and services. At this time, we are looking at retirements to help with this situation as well as how we could possibly restructure services in an even more efficient manner.


Our goal once again, is to try and limit the negative impact to students. However, these types of reductions will impact programs and services. We will need to think about how we do business, what services remain in place, what services may have to go away, and what services can expand. Your input is greatly appreciated. Send your comments or suggestions to me at or contact me at 360-696-6321, extension 130. We value your ideas.


On a brighter note, WSSB plans to start the new school year with 70 on-campus students. As the need for Teachers of the Visually Impaired and Orientation and Mobility instructors continue to rise, we anticipate our on-campus enrollment number to increase. We look forward to the return of students and another great and successful school year. WSSB is currently serving over 1,500 students per year through the full array of services we provide.


Washington Talking Book and Braille Library (WTBBL)

by Danielle Miller


I hope many of you have already heard the good news and maybe even had a chance to celebrate with us at the library. If you haven’t heard, your very own Washington Talking Book and Braille Library was selected as the 2009 Network Library of the Year. The award is presented by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, one of our parent organizations. I went to the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, to accept the award along with State Librarian Jan Walsh and Sue Ammeter, the Chair of the Patron Advisory Council. The award consists of a framed certificate, a plaque that we keep for one year, and $1,000. It was a wonderful ceremony and we followed it up with a celebration at WTBBL where Secretary of State Sam Reed did the honors and pounded in the nails to hang the awards on the wall.


Speaking of decorations, I’m pleased to announce that we will be doing a Patron Art Show again this fall. This year we have opened up the show to include any form of artistic expression by any patron of the library. This means you can submit tactile art like last year, of course, but maybe you sing, or you write and could do a reading from a Braille version of a poem, or you paint, or draw, or do photography. The sky is the limit. We will be sending out a call to artists soon, so watch for that and have fun being creative!


As we start to look toward the end of the year, the Patron Advisory Council (PAC) will once again be recruiting for new members. The PAC is a very important group for the library and for the patrons across the state they represent. Members advocate for excellent library service, new and innovative ideas, and are invaluable in brainstorming and sharing the WTBBL message during difficult economic times. We are looking for a veteran of the armed forces who has a physical disability that prevents the person from using standard print materials. The physical disability can be in addition to blindness or on its own. We will also be seeking some general patron representation as well. You’ll be hearing from me soon encouraging you to apply if you are committed, motivated, and would like to serve the WTBBL community.


With fall approaching, I’m very excited for convention time! I look forward to the WCB convention every year and am excited to see you all. I thank you for all your support and making us the best library in the country!!! We will continue to do everything we can to deserve that title. I hope to hear from you and please let me know how we can enhance and improve your library service. Feel free to contact me at or 206-615-1588.


The 2010 WCB Exciting Fundraising Committee

by Lori Allison


The Washington Council of the Blind 2010 State Convention is going to be a great fun and action-filled time for all who attend this year. The Fundraising Committee has been hard at work planning and coordinating things in order to reach the goal of raising $2,000 or more this year. These funds will assist WCB in implementing its programs and activities, but your help is needed in order to meet this goal. The Fundraising Committee is asking each chapter of WCB to make a donation for the silent auction. We are asking that each group make your donation creative, useful, imaginative, and fun. Let’s see what some of our affiliates can come up with. Please contact one of the committee members listed below before October 15, 2010, with the details of your contributions.


So far the Silent Auction Committee has donations of three nights at the Hilton in Vancouver for the 2012 convention, three nights at the Red Lion Inn at Pasco for 2011, a one-night stay at the Hampton Inn in Bremerton plus a bottle of very nice wine, a two-night stay at the Holiday Inn in Everett, a $50 gift certificate for Ivar’s, as well as other great surprises donated by affiliates.


Throughout the convention there will be an opportunity for members to buy a chance to win a 50/50 raffle. If everyone participates then one lucky person will win a bundle of money. To buy a chance for the 50/50 raffle look for any member of the Fundraising Committee. If you are not into the 50/50 raffle and you have a sweet tooth than you can buy a chance to guess the amount of M & Ms in a mystery jar. Each try is a dollar. If you feel lucky and want to try for both the 50/50 and the mystery jar, you could go home with a jar full of wonderful candy and a pocketful of money. Just remember everyone has the same chance no matter what.


The Fundraising Committee is making available for purchase, only via the registration form, a WCB t-shirt in long or short sleeves, in royal blue with white lettering. The cost is $15 and pick-up will be at the convention. So be sure to mark the appropriate style and size on your registration form and go home wearing your WCB spirit! If you cannot attend the WCB convention and wish to buy a t- shirt you must make arrangements with a friend who is attending the convention and who can order the shirt for you on their registration form as well as pick up the shirt at convention for you. We’ll see each of you in Vancouver!


Your 2010 Fundraising Committee is:

Chair: John Common 425-335-4031; Lori Allison; Jim Eccles; Bill Hoage




Compiled by Meka White


Capitol City Council of the Blind (CCCB)

by Berl Colley


Mr. Kevin Hoffer, the program manager of Olympia’s KGY radio station was CCCB’s guest speaker at our June meeting. He told us about major changes in KGY’s broadcasting in the near future. They are one of the first local stations to go to HD radio. This will give them four radio streams to transmit. The three FM transmissions will cover Pierce, South King, Lewis, Mason, and Grays Harbor Counties.


Mr. Mike Harbour, our local transit system’s general manager, was the guest speaker at our July meeting. He was primarily talking about a levy measure that Thurston County residents would be voting on in the August primary election. It was for a .02 percent sales tax increase to cover future service needs. The measure passed. We should have good transit service for the next three to five years.


CCCB’s annual summer picnic was at LBA Park in southeast Olympia on August 21. There were twenty members and friends who attended. That is somewhat smaller than in previous years, but we had a very enjoyable time. Kathy and Dan Matsen were the hosts again this year. The majority of the great food was supplied by Kathy and Jackie Cabrera, plus dishes that others brought. After lunch, there were three rounds of Trivial Pursuit. Terry Atwater, Viola Bentson, and Denise Colley were our winners. Other prizes were given through a drawing to those attending. Good job Kathy and Dan. David and Hayley Edick from Tacoma, were visiting guests.


Berl and Denise were our only members that attended the National Conference and Convention in Phoenix. John Guydish spent two weeks with family on the east coast. The rest of our members have taken short one to four day trips this summer.


Congratulations to CCCB president, Denise Colley, on her retirement on July 30. She said she is going to sleep in every day for the first month.


Greater Everett Area Counsel of the Blind

by Cindy Stormo, secretary


Well, our June meeting ended the season with prospects of selling coffee as a summer fundraiser. We had a great response.


July, we had our annual summer picnic. The weather was sunny and warm which brought lots to the lake where the picnic was held. There was plenty of good food and fellowship.


We received one new member which brings us to a total of fourteen members.


In September, we are planning another fundraiser selling entertainment books.


Guide Dog Users of Washington State (GDUWS)

by Holly Kaczmarski


News from Walla Walla:


Blaze and Vivian Conger: Blaze has officially retired. Before she left, she had a party at the community college with all of her friends where Vivian works. Then there was a party at Walla Walla Dog Park. After the dog park, Blaze and her people joined others having breakfast at her local favorite restaurant, Tommy’s. After a brief rest, Blaze accompanied folks to dinner at Sterling’s in Walla Walla.  Blaze then enjoyed being outside at Fast Eddy’s during Vivian’s lunch.


On Monday, Blaze and Vivian and her puppy raisers visited her veterinary clinic to retrieve her records to be transferred to them. After this, Blaze and her raisers all headed for Junction City, Oregon, and then started south to Ontario, California, where Blaze will spend her retirement with David and Donna. David and Donna were Blaze’s puppy raisers. They have a career-change dog, Paloma, so Blaze will have a nice time. David and Donna travel on the road in their motorhome and Blaze will enjoy that, too. What fun!


Needless to say, Vivian and Holly and all of Blaze’s closest friends are sad to see her go but we are all glad that she is going to be happy, retired, and leading a life of leisure and fun. Blaze is blessed to have such good friends as David and Donna. We were blessed to have Blaze in our lives. Vivian will be seeking a successor dog from Guide Dogs of the Desert and will be enrolled in a class sometime in the future. In the meantime, Vivian is using her trusty cane.


Trinity and Joleen Ferguson: Trinity is a new guide dog for Joleen. Trinity went to the last WCB board meeting in Bremerton, with Joleen and Holly who was the driver on that trip. Frank Cuta went along as the secretary of WCB with Joleen as chapter representative. Her trip went well and Trinity was a great traveler.


News from Kennewick:


Tully and Bill Hoage: Bill and Tully go to the fitness center several times a week. Tully is also a very good guide and is doing well. He is also very smart. Bill goes to the fitness center with friends and one day a week he climbs the rock wall but Tully has not tried to accomplish that feat. Other members of GDUWS use the fitness center and also climb the wall each week. The dogs do not climb the wall and merely observe. We are blessed to be able to be friends with these smart, loyal dog guides that we have around us.


We all have fun doing our GDUWS events and attending the Spring Fling that happened recently in July. We are ordering new items with the GDUWS logo and these items will be for sale at the fall WCB convention. We have t-shirts, baseball hats, dog beds, and other items that every dog owner needs. Stop by our exhibit table in the Exhibits Room when you are at the 2010 WCB Convention in Vancouver, Washington. A GDUWS representative will be there to help you find just the right gift for your dog or for friends who have dogs. You might even find something for your cat.


We look forward to seeing you all at the convention in November. If you would like information on guide dogs, please ask one of our members who would be glad to answer your questions. This year we have a special treat for you: make sure to register for a “guide dog test drive.” Please sign up for this event on your convention registration form. You may make an appointment to try using a trained guide dog by visiting the GDUWS exhibit table. It is a real experience to see what it is like to be guided by a trained dog, trusting the dog to keep you from harm, and learning more about the use of a dog guide. Trainers and visiting dogs from a local school will be there to help. Don’t miss the chance of a lifetime.


Jefferson County Council of the Blind (JCCB)

by Carl Jarvis


Did you know that Jefferson County has only one incorporated town? Port Townsend, founded in 1851, has fewer than 10,000 people, about one third of the entire county’s population. And yet, earlier this year JCCB numbered 23 members. That is, until Lois Brasfield moved to Huntsville, Alabama, in June, to be near her son and daughter-in-law.


As our numbers keep growing we find it harder and harder to locate meeting places that are satisfactory to the majority of our folks. We have outgrown most of the small meeting rooms in the local restaurants. The Road House, where we’ve been meeting in more recent times, has the only private room large enough to hold us. So we are on the prowl looking for other options. Two of our most recent members, Nancy and Pat Patnode, offered us the use of their clubhouse at the SKP Park at Anderson Lake. We met there for our May gathering and liked it so much we decided to return for our July picnic. We also voted to meet there again for our Christmas luncheon.


Our two newest members, Peg Humphrey and Jody Shaw, also reside at the SKP Park.


As chair of the Patron’s Advisory Council, our president, Sue Ammeter, was included in a trip to Washington DC. Along with Washington State Librarian Jan Walsh and Washington Talking Book and Braille Librarian (WTBBL) Danielle Miller, Sue invited her mother, Dolores Anderson, to accompany her. The award (see WTBBL article), along with a check for $1,000, was presented during a luncheon in the Jefferson Building at the Library of Congress. Sue said they also toured the FDR Memorial, the White House, and the Kennedy Center.


Our September 24, meeting will be at the Valley Tavern. This may be challenging. If the weather is nice we will meet under the awning outside. But . . . it could be really cozy if the weather is, well, normal for the Northwest. So keep your fingers crossed for us.


King County Chapter

by Marilyn Donnelly, treasurer


On June 14, 1920, a baby girl was born in Carrington, North Dakota. She was named Shirley. Fast forward to June 14, 2010, when Shirley Gray celebrated her 90th birthday. It was a special day for a very special lady.


Our guest speaker for June was Danielle Miller, Director of the Library for the Blind. She recently returned from Washington, DC, where she accepted the 2009 National Network Library of the Year award from the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.


We enjoyed hearing about this trip and then the discussion about the different ways to download books.


I read a lot of mysteries and just found out that one of my favorite authors died two years ago. It was Margaret Truman.


It’s been a summer of places to go and things to do. Frank Johnson spent six weeks attending the Blind Rehabilitation Program at American Lake Veteran’s Hospital. Frank is learning a lot about computers.


Five of our members attended the American Council of the Blind Convention in Phoenix, Arizona, in July. The days were filled with informative programs, special events, exhibits, tours, socializing with old and new friends, and maybe even a little sleep.


The Oral Hull Camp in Sandy, Oregon, was the destination place for some of our folks, too.


And let’s not forget the picnics. A super picnic was held at Seward Park in early July, with fun, food, and entertainment. Our chapter picnic was held on July 25, at the home of Tim and Virginia Schneebeck. We were served restaurant-style from a large menu of wonderful food. I wish I had a hot dog with extra mustard and potato and macaroni salad right now. And it’s always a special occasion when the ice cream treats arrive later in the day.


I’m hoping to see many of you at the state convention in Vancouver.


Peninsula Council of the Blind (PCB)

by Cindy Van Winkle, president


Where did the summer go? It seems as though it was just yesterday we were making plans in early June for our upcoming picnic, and the picnic is now but a flash of memory in time. Over 60 people enjoyed delicious food, train rides, sunshine, and fellowship as our two Kitsap chapters spent the day together. It was such a success that we may need to make this joint venture an annual event.


Five PCB members, including the WCB first-timer Carrol Gray, headed to Phoenix in the heat of July for the American Council of the Blind (ACB) convention. Tim and Cindy took part in the ACB Walk-a-Thon and were the top team fundraisers which also helped WCB be the top affiliate fundraiser with over $2,000 raised between the two of them. Then Meka sang “Last Dance” at the Friends in Art Showcase. She brought the house down so it was a good thing she was the final performance of the night.


Michelle went rock climbing and scaled three 30 foot walls; a little sore the next day, but oh how she had fun! Cindy and Tim helped set up for the ACB auction, which Cindy auctioneered again this year. Oh yes, and both of them baked for the event, thanks to Tim’s sister living close by. Carrol seemed to be everywhere that week, even though she was feeling under the weather she didn’t let it slow her down. Oh my, we almost forgot our number six person in Phoenix. Little Molly went with Nanna and Papa, and although she spent much of the week with her cousins, she was a trooper while in sessions and drew lots of attention while Papa strolled her through the Exhibit Hall.


August was a full month for our chapter. On August 1, Tim, Cindy, and Michelle attended the 75th Anniversary picnic celebration of the Pierce County Association of the Blind. A live band, good food, and visiting with some very nice people made it worth the journey to Spanaway. Then, on the 19th, about ten of our members went to Cora’s Diner for lunch, a local restaurant which we’ve patroned as a chapter a few times over the passed couple of years. Anyway, they were closing up at the end of the month and we wanted to have the opportunity to say good-bye and let them know how much we appreciated them. Although our All Ears Book Club and Support Group did not meet in the month of July, both started right back up in August, the book club on the first Thursday and the support group on the last Saturday.


So much more took place in the lives of our members over the summer including family vacations, illnesses, celebrations, and more. The PCB is truly more of an extended family that shares in the everyday lives of our members.


Our chapter continues to meet on the second Saturday of each month in the sunroom of the restaurant at Allstar Lanes in Silverdale. We meet from noon to 2:00 and always welcome guests.


Pierce Count Association of the Blind (PCAB)

by Lori Allison, president


PCAB has become a very diversified and popular group throughout Pierce County. Each and every member of PCAB has worked very hard and has made great efforts to tell everyone what we are about. In June, PCAB learned of a program that was starting to gain interest in Tacoma school districts. The Good Guides Program was being taught by the Goodwill here in Tacoma and they were looking for mentors for high school students to help prepare them for the work force or for college. Several of our members were very interested in training for the mentoring program.


At the July meeting, PCAB had four new members join our group: Charles Fox, Larry Fox, Nancie Robertson, and Roger Robertson. We welcome them warmly. PCAB had Hon Zeiger come speak to us about how our state legislature works. PCAB also took the opportunity to tell him what our thoughts and concerns were as blind citizens. Mr. Zeiger listened closely to what we had to say and he seemed to be interested in learning more about the concerns that the visually-impaired are dealing with.


This summer has been very eventful for our group. We celebrated the 75th Anniversary as an organized blind group in Washington. PCAB rented a pavilion at Spanaway Lake Park and put on a great picnic with lots of food and great entertainment. Pierce County Community Big Band came and played for over an hour and kept everyone’s feet tapping and our heads swaying as we ate. PCAB also had several raffle prizes with the big one being the I-Bill Reader which was won by Jimmy Jacks. I do believe that all had a great time.       


South King Council News

by John D. McConnell


We are growing! We now have a new member, Glenn Nickel. He is 90 years of age. He joined our chapter last month and has a wealth of experience that will be helpful for us in the future. Glenn is going to be one of our members who will participate in a college outreach that will happen in October.


Our Constitution Committee, composed of: Marlaina and Gary Lieberg, Gaylen Floy, Carol McConnell, and John McConnell, is progressing on updating our Constitution. We started in June and had to take a recess due to the National Convention of the American Council of the Blind in July.


Our Chairperson, Marlaina, is recovering from a medical procedure so we will finish our work when she is better.


On August 28, we are having a fundraiser. The event is called “Night of Shining Stars.” Our very own Quincy Daniels will be in one of the bands. Joy Iverson, another member, has a son in another band.


The event will take place at the Club Corridor located at: 2819 So. 208th Street, SeaTac, Washington, which is behind Napa Auto Parts.


We hope to raise awareness that our chapter is in this area and wishes to let people know our mission of helping blind and visually impaired persons have opportunity, equality, and independence. We will let you know what the outcome of this fundraiser was in the next issue of the Newsline.


In October, Jan White is heading up a group to do a college outreach at Highline Community College. As mentioned before, the members will be: Glenn Nickel, Jan White, Carol McConnell, and Gaylen Floy. This just happens to fall during the week of Disability Awareness, which is October 11–15.


As mentioned before, please keep Marlaina Lieberg in your thoughts and prayers as she recovers.


We are exploring new ways to reach out into the community of the South Sound and will keep you updated on what South King Council of the Blind is doing.


United Blind of Seattle (UBS)

by Ursula McCully, member


As they say, UBS welcomed summer with gusto and with a membership banner with flashing neon lights!


Let me start by telling you about UBS Friends’ Day, which happened last June 19, 2010, at the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library (WTBBL). There is no place like the WTBBL to see the membership congregate with enthusiasm. As far as I know, UBS membership has volunteered at the WTBBL and most became members of UBS after attending Friends’ Day. Memories were made during Friends’ Day. June 19, 2010, was not far from the last Friends’ Day and yet different from the others. Julie Brannon, our president, did the opening remarks and welcome to the membership and guests.


Pat Copeland gave a spoken tribute to Marilyn Schultz Otoupal who was a member of the UBS chapter who passed away. She was full of life and very excited to see members enjoy life. She and her husband donated money or stocks to Earmark Entertainment events that members could go and enjoy.


Kay Hallaway introduced the speakers. Glenn McCully spoke about the national affiliate, American Council of the Blind, Julie Brannon spoke about the state affiliate, WCB, and Becky Bell and yours truly spoke about our local affiliate, UBS. The speakers also engaged the audience in a dialogue. Between Becky and myself, we filled in for each other when the other was starting to run out of things to say and soon we had audience participation.


The Membership Committee out did themselves! There was food and drinks, tables were covered with summer-colored tablecloths, decorations, and party favors given out. There was even a raffle drawing and a gift certificate was given to the member who invited the most guests. Quincy Daniels was that winner.


As a result of our Friends’ Day, six guests joined our chapter. What a success that was!


As summer rolled on, the super picnic was held at Seward Park last July 3, 2010. 130 people attended the picnic. The food was plentiful, games were played, and there were guitars playing music and, of course, plenty of singing. While all this was going on, raffle tickets were drawn.


The highlight of that picnic was having Sue Park, the 12-year-old student who won second place in the National Braille Challenge. She joined in all the activities at the picnic. Camaraderie of the three King County chapters’ membership was very evident at the super picnic and of course, the volunteers that come every year helped unconditionally. The super picnic was another success!


UBS membership went back to their regular monthly meeting at the Virginia Mason on August 21, 2010. The chapter is working hard via Maria McCully on fundraising for our chapter first-timer to WCB convention scholarships. Again, we hope to send two people. The fundraising for this event consists of candy sales and a beer tasting event at the Rock Bottom on September 25, 2010.


Our chapter agreed to provide a Seattle-type basket (with Seattle items in it), for the WCB convention’s silent auction. Kathryn O’Neil and yours truly were selected to work on getting items for the basket.


The Activity Committee reported on a play at the 5th Avenue in October and a tour of the Museum of Flight on November 6.


An ad hoc committee for the Outreach Committee was formed to work on the cooking classes endeavor. Teacher Donna Lawrence was at the meeting to introduce herself, share her love and passion for teaching people to cook, and her philosophy regarding training and cooking skill development.


Our advocacy speaker (since that is our speaker theme this year), was Felicia Yearwood, staff member from the Seattle Commission for Disabilities. She shared about the new Seattle Commission for Disabilities and talked about issues they’re currently working on, along with getting chapter members’ input.


UBS will have brochures made by Steven and Nelly Barnett available at the WCB table at the upcoming Mariner’s game on August 31. Also, we will have brochures available at the WCB table at the Puyallup Fair.


Lastly, we discussed our upcoming Christmas lunch, which will be at Marie Calendar’s. And as usual, UBS members went to lunch after a hearty meeting. UBS members still had that summer gusto with them as we went our separate ways that Saturday.


United Blind of Spokane

by Deborah Jenkins, president


First, I would like to apologize to my chapter for neglecting to submit a Newsline article for June. I was out of town attending funeral services for my mother and just totally forgot about it. I would like to also thank them for donating $50 to the Center for Asbestos Related Diseases in Libby, Montana.


In June, we had our annual picnic. This year we chose to have it at Lilac Services for the Blind. We had approximately 18 people there, good food, and lots of wonderful socializing. A good time was had by all.


One of our members, George Davis, had shoulder surgery and is still healing. There will be lots of physical therapy for him. Get well soon, George.


In July, I was elected president of Manito Lion’s Club. I am enjoying my new adventure.


In August, Dorothy Carroll and Mariann Federspiel-Nelson attended a motivational leadership seminar. Some of the speakers included Colin Powell, Robert Schuler, Mark Few (Gonzaga’s basketball coach), and the CEO of Microsoft, just to name a few.


In September, we hope to have a speaker from the Red Cross talking about disaster preparedness and what should be put in a disaster kit.


As for myself, I am glad summer is over and maybe I can settle back into somewhat of a routine.


United Blind of the Tri-Cities (UBTC)

by Janice Squires, UBTC member


Once again the United Blind of the Tri-Cities will be ending a hot and busy summer with our annual fun-filled picnic. It will be held on September 2, and as always, UBTC members Dixie and Shannon McDaniel’s have cordially opened their lovely backyard for our enjoyable and entertaining outing. We cannot thank them enough for their hospitality and, because of the time of year, we always celebrate Shannon’s birthday with a delicious cake.


Our hungry lunch group continues to meet all summer with tasty home-cooked meals at Magill’s and Country Gentleman, set up by Margie Kickert. New member Karyn Turya organized the August lunch at the Double Dragon featuring delicious Chinese food. We are all getting ready for the start of the Richland Players 2010–2011 theater season. The first play of the year will be “Steel Magnolias.” The book group members are immensely enjoying our new digital players. We have read the following three books throughout the summer: Shang Hai Girl, Half Broke Horses, and The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. The card game was just a little bit louder in June with the return of our favorite lady, Carmen Walker. Myra Wood does not play cards; she says she is just there to referee!


All summer, we have had our chapter breakfast meetings at the Old Country Buffet. Catharine Ostrum, director of our dial-a-ride system, was our July guest speaker. We have had many changes to our Para transit, some for the good and others not so good. Also at our July meeting, Frank Cuta shared his American Council of the Blind Convention experiences with us and of course, brought back many show and tell toys.


Many of our members enjoyed the Edith Bishel Center’s summer bus trips. In June, we took a day trip to the Mary Hill Museum and Winery, while in July we went to the Ohme Gardens in Wenatchee. In August, the group went to view the natural beauty and wonder of the Snoqualmie Falls and took in the historic Railroad Museum.


Ever so sadly, our members have been left with a very heavy heart with the passing of long-time member Fran Rodgers. Our deepest sympathy goes to her husband, Harvey, and all of her family. Fran was such a beautiful lady, with such a precious smile and gentle nature.


Congratulations to Bernie Vinther on bringing home his new yellow lab guide dog, Grif. Bernie went for the first time to Guide Dogs of America in Southern California and we are all awaiting the chance to meet Bernie’s loyal and faithful partner.


United Blind of Walla Walla

by Joleen Ferguson


We have had a rather quiet summer as a chapter, but our members have been busy.


Joleen completed training at Seeing Eye June 19 through July 8. She returned home with a small yellow lab named Trinity.


Vivian Conger retired Blaze on August 23, and is waiting for a class date at Guide Dogs of the Desert. The earliest possible start date for her to obtain a new dog will be in January, 2011.


Zach Lattin has moved to Vancouver to accept a job at the Washington State School for the Blind. We are sorry to see him leave but we send our best wishes along with him as he begins a new chapter of his life.


We have one new member, a 2010 high school graduate. During our June meeting we had a cake to celebrate her graduation following our regular business meeting. Big thanks goes to Vice President Carla Brinkley for chairing that meeting in Joleen’s absence.


The decision was made to skip the July meeting and to have a lunch out together in August.  Some members could not make it but others brought guests. In all there were ten of us at El Sombrero.


We are making plans to participate in a Whitman College one-hour Experience Expo (job, internship, and volunteer fair) on August 31. We will be sharing a table with Guide Dog Users of Washington State.


United Blind of Whatcom County (UBWC)

by Betty Sikkema


Time sure whizzes by. Summer is almost over and it’s time to write another chapter report.


Before we had our business meeting in June, some of us participated in a fundraiser for the Human Race Walk. It was sponsored by Whatcom Volunteer Center. UBWC members raised $1000 of which we get 75 percent or $750, and the Volunteer Center gets 25 percent or $250.


After the walk, we enjoyed music as we were eating lunch.


The book club got together on June 23, and discussed the novel Camel Bookmobile.


The social lunch was held on June 30, at the Koloon Inn, where delicious Chinese food was enjoyed.


In July, a potluck was held at Betty Sikkema’s house and the food was delicious. After lunch we played cards.


Bruce Radtke went to the American Council of the Blind Convention and volunteered. He will probably tell us about it at our next meeting in September.


Then came August. The annual picnic was held at Whatcom Falls Park, and again, we enjoyed good fellowship and good food.


On August 27, Eric Erickson celebrated his 88th birthday! His daughter had a party for him. We enjoyed getting together with him and having ice cream cake.


Eric is not able to come to our meetings anymore due to his failing health. He is no longer able to walk. We were glad to see him again.


The Guide Dog Users of Washington State (GDUWS) Spring Fling and Guide Dog Users of Oregon (GDUO) Romp

by Kae Seth, president, GDUO


The GDUWS Spring Fling and GDUO Romp happened July 2–4, 2010, and by all accounts, everything turned out pretty well. We had six first-time guide dog users, ranging from a lady who had received her dog four months ago; to our keynote speaker who had come all the way from China to tell us what having a guide dog was like in her country. We held the event at Portland State University in the Ondine dorm.


On Friday, folks arrived from points north and south and most of us went to a pub across the street called The Cheerful Tortoise. Unfortunately, this year, Lukas Franck from The Seeing Eye, our impromptu producer and show director from last year, wasn’t here to lead us in a rousing “Who Let the Dogs Out,” but we had a great time eating and getting acquainted anyhow. Bob Wendler, director of training from Guide Dogs of the Desert, escorted LiAnne Quin, our special guest from China, to the pub and we all had an opportunity to meet her and her yellow Labrador named Candy. She is a petite Lab and as sweet as her name.


Downtown Portland has an active nightlife and if you were from a small town, the sirens, bells on the streetcar, and fireworks could keep you awake for a bit. However, being downtown offered guide dog users many opportunities to work in a city environment: the Blues Festival was going strong on the waterfront and people could walk down there to listen at the Three Degrees (where the Dragon Boat team meets occasionally).


Saturday started with a delicious breakfast in the Ondine cafeteria, where we received great help from the staff. We had our choices of scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns, muffins, fruit, cereal, and juice, soda, coffee, or water.


The program was slated to begin at 9:00 am. We converged on our meeting room, were handed programs, and a merchandise table was set up by Guide Dog Users of Washington State. We had no PA system this year so folks had to be quiet to listen to our speakers. When we introduced ourselves, we found we had thirty-two persons in attendance, including representatives from three guide dog schools. There were door prizes too, which always makes an event like this exciting and entertaining.


Kae Seth was the Master of Ceremonies and Vivian Conger was the Door Prize queen. Our first speakers were Keith Labor and Dan Rawlings from Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB). Keith and Dan introduced to us a program that GDB has been heavily involved with which was created because both guide dogs in training at the school and graduates of their program had experienced attacks by dogs in the downtown area. GDB partnered with the Portland Police Department and an organization called Clean and Safe, which is a part of a private patrol service that keeps the downtown area safe from people loitering and also can subdue an individual who’s causing trouble.


Portland is a very dog-friendly city. It is tolerant (liberal in its allowance of the transient population to visit for long periods of time), therefore, many times we discover dogs that aren’t always under strict control. Because of this, there were at least three incidents where a blind dog handler and her dog were attacked and where guide dogs in training with their instructors were attacked by uncontrolled dogs.


Officer Susan Billard of the Portland Police Bureau was introduced and she spent a great deal of time describing her role as a police officer who enforces dog ordinances in downtown Portland. If a dog attacks a person, or another dog, Clean and Safe, the security organization, can be called as well as the police; you can call 911 or a specific phone number and they will be at your location within five minutes. If your dog was bitten and injured, the attack dog can be apprehended and taken to the Multnomah County animal shelter; and if the dog’s master is apprehended for a different offense sometimes the police have to put the dog in their kennels and watch it until someone else can get the dog and take care of it—someone whom the owner designates for such a purpose.


Next, we drew door prizes and had a short break. After we returned, Keith Labor and Dan Rawlings gave a GDB update. They spoke at length about a revolutionary program of training dogs to be ready in a shorter period of time. Instead of having the dog trained in sixteen weeks, they are ready for class in eight weeks. Students, including first-time applicants, are trained with their dogs for two weeks. They also mix retrains with first-time students. They have had great success with this innovation. They spent over an hour outlining this new program and say that the numbers indicate just how popular this program is.


We broke for lunch and reconvened at 1:00 pm. Guide Dog Users of Washington State and Guide Dogs of Oregon held business meetings from 1:00 to 2:00 pm. Unfortunately Oregon was unable to hold meetings because many of its members went out for lunch instead.


Bob Wendler, Director of Training for Guide Dogs of the Desert (GDD), spoke about what has been happening at GDD. Last year, they were on the verge of preparing to move their facilities to a larger and cooler location. However, at literally the last moment, the people who were going to buy the existing property backed out of their deal and so GDD is still in its present location. As Bob put it, the walls needed painting anyhow, so it was a good time to get that done.


There were several graduates of Guide Dogs of the Desert present, including our own Kevin Crawley with the Quincy doodle—a Labrador-poodle cross. We asked Bob to introduce our guest speaker.


LiAnne Quin is a wonderful speaker. She is a businesswoman who has a furniture business in her native country of China and also has a business in Seattle. She told us how difficult it was to get a guide dog into China and how she and Bob Wendler had to find just the right dog to meet her needs. When she was in Seattle, she heard of Guide Dogs of the Desert and came to California to see the school. She came to class and met Candy, a very small yellow Labrador, who met her needs exactly.


LiAnne transferred her skills to her native country and is a pioneer who has gained notoriety by being on TV and frequently in the papers with Candy. She told us that there is only one other person in China who has a guide dog. He is not allowed to leave his town and if he does the dog will be taken away from him and destroyed. Because LiAnne has to travel for business in the United States, she is allowed more freedom to travel in her home country.


She inspired and entertained us with stories of traveling with Candy in China. She also gave each of us a little wooden statue of Candy that she sells in China and has carved by disabled individuals who are excellent at their craft.


After a few more door prizes Kae Seth gave a presentation on the history of the Service Dog industry. She was delighted that Chuck Jordan, director of training for Guide Dogs of America, was present to pinch hit when questions arose that he was able to answer because of his work with Canine Companions for Independence.


Chuck also gave an update from Guide Dogs of America (GDA). GDA uses a more traditional approach to training their dogs; they train Labradors, Golden Retrievers, and they have a few German Shepherds. Mr. Jordan has been training guide dogs for 42 years. His knowledge and wide experience in the field offers a wealth of experience to Guide Dogs of America.


At approximately 4:00 pm we concluded our Saturday session, although a Blessing of the Animals was held at 7:00 pm.


After dinner we met in an informal setting on couches and chairs near our meeting room in the upper lounge of Ondine. Pastor Kreg Seise from Mountainview Christian Church conducted a service. This service is always moving; we honored retired dogs of 2009 and those dogs that passed away. Pastor Kreg then prayed with those who requested prayer for themselves and their dogs. After the service many of us went to the Cheerful Tortoise where many participated in karaoke. Kevin Crawley and Ayla, his wife, were a great duo. Another star was Jenny Baker, a first-timer from Vancouver, Washington.


Sunday morning began with breakfast at 7:00 to 8:30 am. We had pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, and assorted fruits and beverages.


We met at 9:00 am for our Sunday conference session. We started out the morning by giving out door prizes to lucky individuals. From approximately 9:10 to 10:30 we had a discussion titled, “The Good, Bad, and the Ugly of Dog Handling as a Blind Person: all you ever wanted to ask as a first-timer of guide dog handlers.” A lively discussion followed with first-timers asking questions ranging from “How do I keep my dog from jumping on the couch when I have to leave her at home?” to “When should we allow folks to pet our dogs?”


We had a short break then a wrap-up of the convention and were adjourned by 11:30. Submitted by a tired Bailey dog and his person, Kae Seth, President of Guide Dog Users of Oregon.


Bits and Pieces


This column is presented for your information and enjoyment. Inclusion of information, products, and/or services does not constitute endorsement by the Washington Council of the Blind. If you have some Bits and Pieces for the Newsline, send them to Randy Tedrow at: Remember to have fun!


A good source for accessible games can be found at Spoonbill Software. Check out the new additions:


Check out the talk show each Wednesday evening on Evergreen Radio Reading Service. Go to: for more details.


From Top Tech Tidbits Volume 272: the Usable Consumer Electronics list has been updated.


Speaking of radio, for some fun music head to:


Hats Off to You!

Compiled by Marlaina Lieberg


Here’s some great news about five of our members. We join in your celebration!


Eric Erickson, a member of United Blind of Whatcom County, celebrated his 88th birthday on August 27, 2010. Happy birthday, Eric, from your WCB family. Keep on keeping on!


Denise Colley retired from her employment with Washington State. We wish you well, President Colley, and hope you are finding time to relax and enjoy the good things in life.


Jim Hollis celebrated his 70th birthday. Happy Birthday, Jim, from your WCB family!


Congratulations to Meka White on winning first place at the Western Regional Karaoke World Championship competition in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and making it to the Top Ten at the Nationals in Houston, Texas. We’re proud of you Meka!


Gaylen Floy has made it official and completed the UW Certificate in Editing Course! She says now the job hunt begins in earnest and she’d really love to find a media internship. Good job Gaylen!


From My Kitchen to Yours

By Marlaina Lieberg


The autumn leaves have not yet begun to fall but they are in discussion about doing so. That means our weather is beginning to chill down and we are all starting to think about snuggling down in our warm and cozy kitchens for some good food, cooked from the heart. Mac ‘N Cheese is a favorite of many. Try this tasty slow-cooker version.


Crockpot Macaroni and Cheese

1 16 oz. box elbow macaroni; cooked, drained

3 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 12 oz. can evaporated milk

1 1/2 cups milk

3 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup butter, softened


Spread butter liberally on the inside of Crockpot to prevent food from sticking. You may also cut down significantly on calories by using a butter nonstick spray.


Combine all ingredients, including cooked pasta, in Crockpot. Mix well. Cover the pot and cook on HIGH for 30 minutes. Turn pot to low and cook another 2 hours.


Invite those you love to share this great, though not low calorie, pot of mac ‘n cheese and enjoy those autumn leaves as they come slowly drifting by your kitchen window.


2010 Calendar of Deadlines and Events


September 4: Office hours conference call at 12 pm with President Colley


September 11: SRC meeting, Seattle DSB Office


September 13: Call-in day to apply for free rooms at WCB convention


September 17–18: WSSB Board of Trustees Meeting, Vancouver


October 15: Deadline for WCB convention pre-registration, requesting a travel stipend, reserving a seat on the convention bus, and making hotel reservations


November 5–7: ACB Fall Board Meeting, Reno, Nevada


November 11–13: WCB State Convention, Vancouver


November 27: Deadline for submission of articles for the December issue of Newsline


December 3–4: WSSB Board of Trustees Meeting, Vancouver


December 4: SRC meeting, Seattle DSB Office


December 11: Office hours conference call at 12 pm with President Colley




The Newsline is available in large print, half-speed four-track cassette tape, via email, and on our website at


Subscription requests and address changes should be sent to or by phone, toll free, at 800-255-1147.


Special thanks goes to the Newsline Committee and production volunteers.


Article deadline: To be considered for inclusion in the next issue, article submissions and other information for publication must be received by November 27, 2010. Articles may be edited for clarity and space considerations.


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