THE STYLUS

*** * ***

Fall Issue September 2009
The official publication of the American Council of the Blind of Oregon.
Published Quarterly
Edited by John A. Fleming

*** * ***

James Edwards
Phone: (541)404-8214
Email: jamese.acbo@yahoo.com

For more information about the American Council of the Blind of Oregon, you can go to our web page at: www.acboforegon.org

Presidents Message

Dear Members, There are several issues our organization is currently dealing with, some good, some not so good.

We are still reeling from the closure of the school for the blind, and the effects it will have on the blind community. The Vehicle Donation Program is not producing a very reliable income for us at this time. And, the blind community is not out of danger of losing the Oregon Commission for the Blind. Our Governor has a list of state agencies he has slated for the chopping block if he has his way, and the Commission is definitely on it. For these reasons, and several others, I cannot stress the importance of our organization being in the forefront of advocating for the blind citizens of Oregon. It is my feeling that we could do more as an organization to make sure we are recognized for who we are, people with blindness and low vision who are capable of living productive, wholesome lives, who contribute to the welfare of the State of Oregon, and the society in which we live.

On a more positive note however, our state convention is coming up very soon, and we will all have a chance to get together and have a great time at Oral Hull Park. As of this writing, we are still working hard on finalizing all the little details. I hope to see you all there in October.

I have been getting some positive reports from some of the chapters on their activities, including fun things like summer picnics, and community activities, which are a great way to promote public awareness of your chapter and A.C.B. of O. It is very important for us to be in the public eye so they can be reminded we are there for them when they need us. It really helps!

I was recently contacted by a staff member of the Oregon State University regarding a very exciting proposition. The University has a "Community Conversations Panel" program, choosing each year to target a specific aspect of society to explore and learn about. This year, they have chosen the blind community, and have invited the American Council of the Blind to participate. This panel will allow students to foster a dialog with the blind community locally, regionally, and nationally. Students are particularly interested in questions of education, research, technology, community identity and culture, as well as a critical assessment of dominant culture norms of identifying and perceiving the blind community.

I regard this as the most exciting public education opportunity for the A.C.B of O. to present itself since I have been associated with our organization. It is a real honor for the University to choose our organization.

I hope everyone had a great summer, and I look forward to seeing you in October.

James Edwards, President
A.C.B. of O.

Governor’s appointment
JULY 3, 2009

The Board of Directors of the American Council of the Blind of Oregon is very please to Announce the Governor’s appointment of James Edwards to the Board of the Oregon Commission for the Blind.

James will take Office in July of 2009.<;p> Congratulations James

Commissioner's report-O.C.B.
By James Edwards

I attended my first meeting of the board for the Oregon Commission for the Blind as a newly appointed commissioner in July. Deb Marinos, our past A.C.B of O. representative as commissioner, did such a great job she will be a hard act to follow. As President of A.C.B. of O., I thank you, Deb, and want you to know we all appreciate the work you did for us as a commissioner for the O.C.B.

We elected as our board chairman a past commissioner who has returned to serve again on the board, Frank Armstrong, from Newport. Frank is a very knowledgeable man and very dedicated to his responsibilities as a commissioner.

We were presented with several testimonials from students of the summer work program relating their experiences in the work force. After listening to these kids, it made me realize how beneficial and rewarding this work program is to them. We may have difficulties continuing the program because of the school closure, but I hope somehow we find a solution.

I am very impressed with the staff at the commission and with the professional and serious attitude with which they approach their jobs.

I believe one of the most important things we can do in the upcoming months is to educate the legislative body in Salem about the Commission. They need to know who we are, what we do, the benefits people gain from the Commission, and the impact it has on the lives of those who take advantage of this service presented by the State. They need to know the State of Oregon is actually gaining value for the dollars they are spending, and this will be one aspect I will try to focus on as a commissioner. By doing so, perhaps we can take the Oregon Commission for the Blind off the list of state agencies the Governor wants to close.

James Edwards, Commissioner O.C.B.

Candidates Corner

My name is Kae Seth and I am running for president of the American Council of the Blind of Oregon. I have been a member of the Council for over thirty years and have served in a variety of capacities, as a local chapter officer, district representative, and member of the state both as President and immediate past president.

Most recently I served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Oregon School for the Blind until our dissolution September 1, 2009. I have also served as Commissioner for eight years and have been active as president of Guide Dog Users of Oregon.

I certainly don't need to tell you that Oregon is undergoing a most difficult time within the blind community. We have seen the Oregon School for the Blind close its doors for the last time, and have heard the rumblings of other possible budget cuts which might affect services to blind Oregonians. It is time that we work together to stand up for what is right for blind Oregonians. We can do this by uniting under the banner of independence which our forefathers worked so hard to put forth. We have monumental challenges ahead of us, the least of which is fundraising.

As President of Acbo, I would like to encourage all of us to work together as a uniting force to ensure that blind Oregonians, whether they be children or seniors, unemployed or working to receive what is needed, and can move forward with their lives.

We need everyone's participation from the chapter level and from the state and national level. What can you do? You can spread the word about our organization. You can visit your friends in care centers, schools, churches and universities and tell them about us. The organization won't grow unless your chapter grows.

I encourage new ideas, and I will always listen to what you have to say.

Although we are in what I consider to be a very dark period in Oregon, I believe that we can bring a positive force forward to educate, and provide hope to folks who don't know, where to look. Please join me in this, and vote for me as your presidential candidate.

Sincerely: Kae L. Seth

Chapter Reports

Dunes Park chapter
By James Edwards

Dunes Park chapter has been in recess for the summer and will resume their meetings the second Friday of September.

James Edwards, President

Washington County Chapter

Contact Person:Bill Mlynarski (President)
Phone: (503) 590-3286 or E Mail:big_bad_bill @comcast.net

Washington County meets every third Saturday of the month.
Meeting Time:1:00PM - 3:00P.M.

Meeting Place: Peppermill Restaurant 17455 SW Farmington Rd. Aloha, Or.

Convention Report
By Gregg welch

Your Convention is on the horizon

Hello members. Are you ready for a fun convention? Our Convention Planning Committee is really putting their heart into making the convention go off without a hitch. We are really trying to plan for those of you that have had challenges at past conventions and those of you who haven’t been to a convention before. We have run into a few snags along the way and are hard at work trying to sort them out.

Oral Hull Park did some remodeling of the Lodge and upgrading of the grounds adding a Service Dog play area and two Bocce ball (pronounced; Botchy ball) courts and we will offer volunteers to help orient you to the changes and familiarize everyone with the building and grounds layout.

I had a great telephone discussion with OUR ENTERTAINER Elton John’s alter ego and what a great guy. This gentleman will be shipping his $34,000 Grand piano to the park as usual and plans on putting on a show for us, as if we were sighted and paying the usual costs of tickets for top notch entertainers. He puts out a great deal of money to pay for the expenses of putting on a show that would cost more than most entertainers. He not only sounds and performs just like Elton John, he attempts to look like him. He makes sure that the piano is finely tuned to put out the quality sound that is expected in a high class performance. He puts a great deal of effort into how the show will unfold moment by moment, to assure the show will be spectacular and near perfect. Who is this generous, kind hearted and giving person, you ask? His name is Marc Arciano’s. He is truly a giver and puts on many free concerts at Oral Hull, when his health allows. When he does a show like the one he will do for us, it could drain him of energy for up to two weeks. He has complications with his health on a daily basis and tries to do a lot of such free concerts for various good causes. Mark is nice enough to provide us top notch entertainment, that is very costly, at no charge to us. You will be truly impressed with his show and now you know a little about the entertainer behind the scenes. We hope when Mark and the band are introduced, you will give Mark and his band a very warm welcome.

If you haven’t made your hotel reservations, please do so. Since we are offering two reasonably priced hotels to run the bus to and from, we are not recommending one over the other. We do ask that you investigate before you reserve your choice of a hotel as we want everyone to enjoy their stay here.

Bring your swimming suit for the hot tub, alcohol if you wish, and an attitude for fun and adventure. I haven’t heard any requests for bus transportation from South of Portland, so I assume you all have obtained driver’s licenses. Our speaker lineup is a good one and the environment is beautiful at Oral Hull and fun is on the horizon. We are trying to get plenty of vendors to show you the latest technology and various services available today. We are asking some vendors to supply catalogs or materials in accessible formats from the vendors who can’t attend.

Don’t forget, if you play an instrument and have some talent, we want to hear you play around the campfire.

Here’s a shocker, apparently one of my convention articles has attracted travelers to come to our convention from Florida, Colorado, Washington and California. Go figure!

Wait until you see the great door prizes and all of the contents of the “Goodie bags” this year, wow! We have some real exciting announcements to let you In on and they cost nothing. I’d like to say more, but I’m running out of space. Last but not least, I would really appreciate it if you invite members on the fence, thinking about joining us and non-members to join in the fun. I would like to do some radio and television convention announcements in your area to get the word out, but need phone numbers of radio and television stations popular in your area. I’ll even give you my e-mail address; welch1525@comcast.net and phone number; 503-408-1419. Ask for Gregg. See you soon, maybe?

By request of President James Edwards Kae Seth has been appointed Chairperson of the convention committee. You can reach Kae by phone: 503-282-0804 (home) or 971-221-8260 (cell). You can reach President James Edwards at 541-404-8214 (cell)

THE VISION LOST
by Kae L. Seth

We are in tough times, there is no doubt of that. The blind community in Oregon knows this better than most. During the past year, we have lost a valuable resource. Portland State University has closed its doors to the only training program for teachers of the visually impaired in the Pacific Northwest. The Oregon Commission for the Blind, a state agency which serves the adult blind population, has been threatened with closure and is being scrutinized carefully by the Oregon Ways and Means Human Services Committee. Most sadly, the Oregon School for the Blind will close its doors on Sept. 1, 2009, after serving blind Oregonians for over 136 years.

I could spend a lot of time and space telling you of the great accomplishments of this school, but I want to tell you the story of how this travesty occurred. I want to talk about unsung heroes who attempted to stand on the front lines fighting for this worthy educational endeavor, and I want to urge the American Council of the Blind to stand fast in the fight for education of blind children in our nation.

The Oregon School for the Blind has been on shaky ground for a very long time. When I joined the American Council of the Blind of Oregon in the late 1970s, we began even then to hear of great changes in the education of blind children throughout the United States. These changes affected all blind children, and the schools which were created to provide the best possible education for them had to either move forward in the vast wave of federal and state legislation or get swallowed up and become lost. We as an organization worked hard to ensure that the students served in our state school received the best possible education, but as time marched on, the legislature and the Oregon Department of Education found ways through lack of funding, and lack of leadership, to scale down services and move toward the eventual closure of this fine educational institution.

For more than 20 years, as our legislature met to consider budgets and other weighty matters, we fought to keep the school for the blind open. Such stalwarts as Kim and Brian Charlson, along with Mildred Gibbens, testified unceasingly for the school. Parents, teachers, staff, and friends joined forces time and time again to fight for this school. However, this time, although we joined forces with the NFB of Oregon, and although former legislator Kevin Mannix spoke strongly in our favor, the legislature crafted a bill which brought death to this school and forced those students who were there to move back into school districts already overburdened.

Oregon has approximately 800 blind and visually impaired children within its borders; many of these children do go to public school, but O.S.B. provided a place for students who could not function well under the programs presented in their school districts. Most of these students had multiple disabilities, and the school districts could not cope with them. They found that the Oregon School for the Blind could provide an education for them, and it often helped a student who was lacking in all the things which make us confident and independent to become a self-sufficient, happy person.

So, then, why would the state wish for its closure? Because of the cost of educating a blind child, and maintaining an archaic set of historic buildings. Many times it was suggested that blind children co-locate (or move) to the Oregon School for the Deaf. Both the blind and deaf communities resisted this, although the Department of Education made it apparent that this was its strong desire. Even after the board of directors of the Oregon School for the Blind opposed this desire and appealed the decision to do so by the education department, it was apparent that there would soon be a showdown regarding the school for the blind.

House Bill 2834 was introduced in February. It would close the school for the blind effective Sept. 1 and abolish the legislatively mandated board of directors. Staff would be displaced, and students would return to their school districts to finish out their education. A program would be developed to ensure a smooth transition, and the school and its buildings would be put into mothballs awaiting sale of this $10 million or more property.

Despite strong outcries from consumer organizations of and for the blind, in spite of hundreds of phone calls, e-mails and newspaper articles - even with resounding testimony from over 40 people in opposition, the legislature moved forward to "do what was best" for blind students.

There was constant communication with legislators, both on the House and Senate sides, but those of us who were on the front lines of thisfight were told repeatedly that this bill was on a fast track, that there was nothing we could do to stop this wildfire.

We tried, with countless trips to Salem, numerous phone calls, and hearings attended by many; but, to no avail. The House and Senate passed this bill and the governor signed it, which set forth the closure of the Oregon School for the Blind.

Parents, children and friends of the school were shocked, for Oregon in its past was known for its strong support of the blind. Now, what would happen to these students, who must adapt to another change and try to learn how to cope in a pretty unfriendly world? Teachers of the visually impaired who work in our regional programs for the blind are hard-working, dedicated individuals; they have a heavy load to carry; adding to it is a grave concern to many. Districts are scrambling to cope with tight budgets, and now they are mandated to work with a population which has spoken out when they haven't done a great job in the past. Who will really suffer? The kids, and their parents. This will not be cost-effective; equipment and education of a blind child is expensive.

So, what would be done?

The board of directors developed a master plan which we hoped would provide resources for all workers of the blind to use to provide a continuum of service to blind children. We had hoped that the campus of the school would provide a site for such a program. This won't happen, but those of us who are concerned about the blind of this state will demand answers from the Oregon Department of Education and we will remind our legislators in years to come who they've forgotten. We will remind them by not voting for them, and by putting before their faces children whose lives have been affected by this step backward in time.

Our blind children will have a strong voice, and I believe that ACB will join with us, making certain that our blind won't stand alone.

Oregon school for the blind's closure prompts calls

Vancouver campus has no process to accept transfers, official says

Monday, June 15 | 10:22 p.m.
BY HOWARD BUCK
COLUMBIAN STAFF WRITER

The leader of Vancouver's Washington State School for the Blind doesn't expect an enrollment rush after Oregon legislators agreed to close that state's 135-year-old school for the blind.

Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski is expected to sign the bill, which passed the Legislature just last week.

The WSSB phones are already ringing with calls from Oregon families. But there's no process in place for the Vancouver campus to accept Oregon transfers, Superintendent Dean Stenehjem said Monday.

Neither is there any guarantee of speedy placement for families willing to relocate across the Columbia River, he said. "This is just so much speculation," Stenehjem said.

First, Oregon must determine where its 24 displaced students, many of whom have multiple disabilities, can best be served, he said. Many ar elikely to return to Oregon public schools, where outreach services continue.

Oregon lawmakers blanched at spending $3 million per year - that's $125,000 per pupil - to house and instruct students at the aging Salem facility. Meantime, the Vancouver school's "first obligation has to be to Washington," Stenehjem said. He expects 65 to 70 Washington students will be enrolled by September at WSSB, an accredited kindergarten through 12th-grade school. About 14 incoming pupils are expected in place of 11 seniors who graduated Friday. That doesn't leave much extra room for Oregonians. With no out-of-state agreements in place, Stenehjem can't offer a smooth transfer option for Oregon families. A comprehensive assessment is required for each potential student, adding more delay. And the Oregon school was no longer accredited, which brings more complications. That said, Stenehjem has contacted Oregon with an offer to discuss cooperative efforts, he said. WSSB is a familiar presence in Oregon, having long provided training for teachers there. "We are open to conversations, whether anything can be done on a regional basis," Stenehjem said. "We're interested in working with anybody. We've planted a seed out there." Any serious talks would come at the legislative and top state levels, he added. As in Washington, Oregon's school for the blind saw enrollment peak by the early 1960s, when the state boarding school was many students' only viable option. Federal laws that emphasize mainstream education in local schools have since sharply reduced those numbers. Currently, WSSB serves about 600 students in Washington, most through local school districts and outreach specialists, Stenehjem said.

Howard Buck: 360-735-4515;
howard.buck@columbian.com.

Advocates for blind concerned as school year nears

08/26/2009 Associated Press

In less than a week, the Oregon School for the Blind will close its 136-year-old campus, and educators are scrambling to prepare parents and students for the move elsewhere. The school's 28 students are being scattered to districts throughout the state and some advocates worry that students will suffer as a result.

We're very concerned that they're only going to be getting a small part of what they were getting from the School for the Blind," said B.T. Kimbrough, vice chairman of the school's board of directors.

James Spoon is nervous, too. Spoon was one of the students at the school. The legally blind and developmentally disabled 19-year-old will be transitioning to the Salem-Keizer district and does not handle change well.

"I'm hoping that the first day will go pretty smooth," he said. "I want it to, anyway."

State lawmakers voted in June to close the school. Supporters of the move said students will get a better education for less money in their home districts.

But with the school year drawing near, about a quarter of the 28 students haven't settled with their home districts on which services they will receive.

Two students have filed legal complaints and others haven't decided what they'll do.

Many of the families affected by the closure sought the school out specifically because the services at home weren't adequate. "They're doing their absolute best to accommodate, but the regional programs don't have the staff or the knowledge to even begin to come close to offer what the school for the blind was offering these children," said Jeni Canaday, the mother of a 13-year-old blind and autistic child who is transitioning to Bethel School District in Eugene.

The transition already has hit a few snags. District staffers say the summer timeline has moved too fast and there is still confusion about funding, equipment and services.

Legislators put $3 million into a trust, which is administered through the Northwest Regional Education Service District. The district is supposed to provide services and disburse the money, but the process for that hasn't been worked out.

"Our number-one priority is to make sure there's a smoothtransition," said Joan Steiner, director of special education for Northwest Regional. "We're just beginning the conversations with the districts to identify what they need."

Advocates are watching the transition closely and these sorts of holdups have them worried.

"We don't think they have enough time to reallocate any services if they were not already in the local district," Kimbrough said. "We think the transition time is very, very short."

Other benefits will be lost in the transition. Students who lived at the School for the Blind got both night and day instruction. They learned how to make their bed, match their clothes. Educators from local districts and regional programs say they're working hard to accommodate the students. Salem-Keizer, for example, bought $10,000 worth of specialized equipment and is hiring five staffers to work one-on-one with some of the students. "It seemed like there was nothing happening, but now it's all started to move," said Linda Felber, a coordinator of Salem-Keizer student services. "Everyone seems to be working really hard right now." This article's from the statesman Journal.

Today is August 31, 2009. At the close of business today, Oregon School for the Blind (OSB) will cease operation after 136 years. Next week, school will start with former OSB students in their home school districts around the state. Since late last school year, OSB staff have assisted students, parents, and school districts to prepare for new placements. OSB staff have worked with the Northwest Regional Vision Program to assemble necessary materials and equipment to be moved from OSB to the students' school districts, so programs can be ready to go on the first day of school. Over 100 years of files have been boxed and sent to ODE and State Archives.

The tasks of the last several months have been difficult and emotionally wrenching. The OSB community has focused efforts on getting the tasks completed so students can be as successful as possible in their new schools. The selflessness demonstrated by this staff is testimony to the level of caring they have for the students of OSB. I am very proud of the professionalism of this staff and the quality of the program they have provided.

As I look forward, I have no specific challenge awaiting me other than a list of rooms that need to be painted at home. For those of you who wish to remain in touch with me, my new e-mail address is DonO1022@yahoo.com . My cell phone and work e-mail address will cease to be active at 5:00 p.m. today. If you need to speak to someone about the school, please contact Eric Richards at the Oregon Department of Education. Eric can be reached at 503-947-5786 or Eric.richards@state.or.us.

I have enjoyed my interaction with all of you. In one way or another, each and every one of you has had a hand in the work of Oregon School for the Blind. For that, you have my gratitude and my respect.

I wish you all well.

Don

Donald A. Ouimet
Director Oregon School for the Blind

The 21st Century Communications & Video Accessibility Act

Rep. Markey Introduces, “The 21st Century Communications & Video Accessibility Act of 2009,” H.R. 3101. Ask Your Representatives to Co-Sponsor H.R. 3101!

Ask Your Senators to Sponsor a Similar Bill in the Senate!Thank Representative Markey! On Friday afternoon, June 26, 2009 Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) introduced comprehensive legislation to ensure that people with disabilities have access to Internet-based telecommunications and video programming technologies. The bill, the Twenty-first Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2009 (H.R. 3101), would: •require that mobile and other Internet-based telecommunications devices and equipment be fully hearing aid compatible, have accessible user interfaces, and offer people with disabilities use of a full range of text messaging and other popular services that are currently largely inaccessible; • provide people who are deaf-blind with vital but costly technologies they need to communicate electronically; • establish a process and time table for the provision of real-time text capability; • clarify existing relay-to-relay, Lifeline and Linkup service requirements to ensure their relevance to the real world communications needs of people with disabilities; • restore the Federal Communications Commission's modest video description rules and unambiguously establish the FCC's current and ongoing authority to expand such regulations; • require emergency announcements and similar information to be accessible to people with disabilities through audible presentation of on-screen alerts; • ensure that video programming offered via the Internet will be both captioned and described; • call for all devices that receive and playback video programming to employ accessible user interfaces and allow ready access to captioning and description; • strengthen consumers' ability to enforce their rights to communications and video accessibility through the establishment of a clearinghouse of information about service and equipment accessibility and usability, a meaningful FCC complaint process that holds industry accountable for their accessibility obligations, and judicial review of FCC action to ensure FCC accountability.

ACTION STEPS
1. Contact your Member of the United States House of Representatives. Ask him or her to cosponsor H.R. 3101. Be sure to telephone, send E-mail, and a letter.
2. Write your two U.S. Senators and ask them to sponsor and introduce a similar bill to H.R. 3101.
3. Use the bullet points above as appropriate and include any personal stories about lack of access.
4. Thank Rep. Ed Markey for his leadership
5. You can find a copy of this legislation on http://www.Thomas.gov soon by typing in the bill number -- H.R. 3101.
6. Pass this Action Alert along to others and encourage them to send letters & E-mails, make phone calls and to complete online contact forms. Be sure to mention "H.R. 3101" in any text or calls made.
7. If possible, please send a copy to AAPD of any letters sent: AAPD, 1629 K Street NW, Suite 950, Washington, DC 20006. Attn. J. Simpson

These Action Steps should continue until there is a new COAT alert!

AAPD is a founding and steering committee member of the Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology (COAT). COAT is the broad-based cross-disability coalition of more than 240 national, regional, and community-based groups working together for information age equity for people with disabilities and is the leading entity supporting H.R. 3101. You can find additional information about the technology policy initiative at AAPD on our website at http://www.aapd.com/TTPI/TTPI.html . Also, information about COAT at http://www.coataccess.org.

Editors note:

You can find the phone numbers, FAX numbers and postal address’s for Oregon United States Senators and Oregon United States House of Representatives at the end of this newsletter. If you can send Email you can go to the following web address’s and Email them from their web page’s.

Senators.
http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

and for the house
http://www.house.gov/house/MemberWWW_by_State.shtml

Be sure to copy and paste the whole address.

Blind sailor designs wireless navigation system
Jim Doyle, Chronicle Staff Writer
Saturday, August 29, 2009 (SF Chronicle)

Shielded from the sun by his baseball cap and dark shades, Ed Gallagher seems like any other middle-aged sailor headed for a carefree getaway on San Francisco Bay. But he's blind, and these days, Gallagher is busy planning for an October race, one that would include some of his own technological advances.

He may not be the first blind man to race sailboats, but he's quite possibly the most creative. The artist and former building contractor is developing and testing wireless technologies so that he and others who have lost their sight can enjoy sailing and other high-risk activities such as shooting firearms, archery and skiing. He's also hoping that his technical advances will help blind children and adults live productive, satisfying lives. Gallagher's passion is sailing. Aided by a miniature video camera embedded in the bridge of his sunglasses, he's preparing to single-hand a 12-foot Liberty dinghy in a national regatta in October. The camera captures what Gallagher would see if he were not blind, and the images are relayed simultaneously to shore via the Skype computer-based communications network. A sailing buddy, watching the video in real time, offers guidance to the skipper.

Gallagher, who lives in San Francisco's Twin Peaks neighborhood, calls his custom-designed system the Genoa Connection. Genoa is the name of his guide dog. Refining the technology His project began two years ago with a video camera mounted to a bicycle helmet. He has since refined and used this technology to fire a handgun on a shooting range, shoot arrows at targets, and ski downhill slopes and cross-country terrain in Aspen, Colo. His camera is now the size of adime.

"There's a gazillion applications for this stuff," said Gallagher, 58, who lost his sight to cytomegalovirus retinitis about 10 years ago, forcing him to retire. He's totally blind in his right eye, and sees only light and shadow with his left eye. History of innovation This isn't Gallagher's first innovative foray. He serves on the board of directors of the Zero Gravity Arts Consortium, a nonprofit organization whose intention is to help artists explore space travel as a venue for artistic activity. He dressed as a pirate during a "parabolic flight" inwhich he experienced weightlessness in the fuselage of a Boeing 747. Andhe has created numerous artworks including performance art. Gallagher's Web site, Genoaconnections.org, traces the history of his current project. His sponsors include Logitech, a computer hardware developer in Switzerland.

"It's a work in progress," he said, sorting out some computer glitches. Gallagher, who serves as commodore of the Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors, sails from Pier 40 near the Giants' baseball stadium

. For the time being, his intention is to stay close to shore until his sailing system is thoroughly tested.

It all seems simple, but occasionally onof the two laptop computers needed for his system crashes or a battery wears down, leaving the sailor without shoreside assistance. During testing and training sessions, he is accompanied on board by another sailor who sits behind him as an observer; he is also followed by a chase boat.

Genoa, his dog, yelps and barks when her master leaves the dock without her.

On board, the Army veteran still relies on his senses and experience. He wets and raises his index finger to test wind direction and velocity.

"The wind's coming up," Gallagher tells his shoreside guide through a headset microphone as he enters McCovey Cove.

He also uses his ears. "You listen to the wind and the sails and the rigging," he said. "The heel of the boat tells you how fast you're going. ... I grew up on sailboats, so it's second nature to me." A natural sailor Gallagher grew up in Michigan, where he sailed on Lake Fenton, the nearby Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway. In his lifetime, he has also sailed in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America - and raced on San Francisco Bay. When asked what sparks him to conquer all the technological challenges to sail without sight, Gallagher said: "I love it. You're one with nature - out there with the water, the wind and the sun. I'm very healthy, except for my eye problems. I just never quit."

vehicle donation program.

You may be aware that the American Council of the Blind of Oregon's donations dropped 65% from 2004-2008.

Background: You may be aware that since 2004 there has been a large decline in charitable vehicle donation. At that time, Congress enacted changes to federal tax codes governing charitable giving. Those well meant changes have had a disastrous effect on vehicle donation impacting non-profit organizations dependent on these funds. Two recent government reports have concluded that charitable donations of vehicles have plummeted since federal tax law changed four years ago. In short, House Resolution 571 will fix this mistake by restoring balance to the tax laws and encouraging donors to step forward by again rewarding them with a reasonable and timely tax deduction at fair market value for their vehicle donation.

We Need Your Congressional Rep's to Co-Sponsor HR 571: We're requesting that you write to them to ask them to co-sponsor this important bill. The Vehicle Donation Processing Center has joined a registered coalition and hired excellent lobbyists to support HR 571 and we all are hoping you will join our effort. We have growing support now with 50 co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle representing 23 states across the country.

Any questions? Don't hesitate to call, we're on Pacific Time and if I'm not in the office, please ask for Pete Palmer, and/or tell us a good time to reach you. Thanks!

Thank you,
Kerith Pickett
Governmental Liaison Officer
Vehicle Donation Processing Center, Inc.

510-530-2525 phn
510-530-2323 fax
kp@petepalmer.com

Editors note:
You can find the names, address’s, and phone numbers of Oregon’s United States Senators and Oregon United States Representatives BELOW. Please take the time to write or call them and voice your request that they support this issue. It’s very important to our organization as well as all other non-profits. If you use a computer and do Email, you can go to the following Web pages and Email our congress people. Here is the web address for our Senators.
http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
and for the house
http://www.house.gov/house/MemberWWW_by_State.shtml

Be sure to copy the whole address.

Oregon United States Senators
Senator Ron Wyden
Washington, DC
223 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-3703
Phone: (202) 224-5244
Fax: (202) 228-2717

Senator Jeff Merkley :
Washington D.C.
Jeff Merkley Washington D.C. Office 107 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, D.C., 20510
Phone: (202) 224-3753
Fax: (202) 228-3997

Oregon United States House of Representatives

• Blumenauer, Earl
, Oregon 3rd
WASHINGTON D.C.:
2267 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-4811
FAX: (202) 225-8941

• DeFazio, Peter
, Oregon, 4th
Washington DC Office
2134 Rayburn H.O.B.
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-6416
Oregon office toll-free 1-800-944-9603

• Schrader, Kurt
, Oregon, 5th
Washington DC Office
1419 Longworth HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-5711
Fax: (202) 225-5699

• Walden, Greg
, Oregon, 2nd
Washington, DC Office:
2352 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-6730
Fax: 202-225-5774

• Wu, David
, Oregon, 1st
Washington, D.C. Office
2338 Rayburn HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-0855
Fax: (202) 225-9497

Editors note: Due to heighten security, postal mail to Washington DC may take weeks to get there so sending a FAX or making a phone call or sending an Email is best.

The Sheriff

An Iowa Sheriff stops at a farm in rural Scott County and talks with an old farmer.

He tells the farmer, 'I need to inspect your ranch for illegal grown drugs...'

The old farmer says, 'Okay, but don't go in that field over there.'

The Sheriff verbally explodes saying, 'Mister, I have the authority of the Sheriffs Department with me.' Reaching into his rear pant pocket and removing his badge. The officer proudly displays it to the farmer. 'See this badge? This badge means I am allowed to go wherever I wish..on any land. No questions asked or answers given. Have I made myself clear? Do you understand?'

The old farmer nods politely and goes about his chores.

Later, the old farmer hears loud screams and spies the Sheriff running for his life and close behind is the farmer's bull. With every step the bull is gaining ground on the officer. The Sheriff is clearly terrified.

The old farmer immediately throws down his tools, runs to the fence and yells at the top of his lungs...... 'Your badge! Show him your badge.

Editors Note

In order to produce an interesting, informative and creative newsletter; articles of interest, chapter reports and dates of meetings, and other items of interest need to be submitted in a timely manor.

The Stylus will come to you quarterly in March, June, September and December. Please submit Materials by the first of February, May, August and November.

Materials may be submitted in Brail, on cassette, in print, on computer disk or by E-mail. Email is preferred.

Please submit materials to: John A. Fleming, 12 NE Prescott Dr., Portland, Or 97230. You can phone: 503-253-9543. You can Email your material to blueskies.acb@gmail.com.

End of the Fall 2009 Stylus

John A. Fleming
Editor




This page was posted on April17, 2012



Copyright © 2001 by The ACB of Oregon/Oregon Council Of The Blind