JUNE 2013


The official quarterly publication of the

American Council of the Blind of Oregon.


James Edwards, President, ACB of O

Phone: (541) 404-8214



For more information about the American Council of the Blind of Oregon, please go to our web page at:


To change your address, or request alternative formats for ACB publications, contact Loretta Spahn at” or send mail to ACB of Oregon, PO Box 121, Klamath Falls, OR 97601



Greetings ACBO Members,


Hope all are enjoying the nice weather spring and summer brings. Along with the nice weather, though, is the growing season, when grass grows an inch an hour, it seems. It's pretty, but when you have six acres of grass to maintain, like I do, it's not so pretty. It looks nice when it's all mowed, but by the time I get the job done, it's time to start over at the top again. It's the price I pay for living in Paradise here on the lake.


I have been busy this last winter on our behalf. I made four trips to Salem, and one recently to Portland. The Salem trips were for legislative issues, talking about the Commission for the Blind, and attending the tactile flag dedication. Last week, I went to Portland and met with the convention hotel staff, and had a very productive meeting with Darian Slayton Fleming and Ron and Sue Staley, the convention committee, and Loretta Spahn. This year, we're building our convention theme on reaching out to younger folks who are out there but do not belong to an organization. As we know, for those of us who are in our "golden years", the future belongs to the younger generation, and without them, the future of ACBO may be in peril. In that vein of thought, we are reaching out to younger people, such as students, and, we have invited as our National representative, Sara Conrad, from Michigan, a member of ACB's Board of Directors.


Sara is a young lady who has been involved in ACB for many years as a student leader, President of ACB Students, and has volunteered on many levels of National convention activities. Sara is a student at a college in Michigan with a major in special education, with a goal of becoming a middle school teacher for cognitively impaired students. She is an honor student with many awards for leadership, academics, and faith. She is very active in her community. She is an outgoing and outspoken young lady with her goals in life clearly established.


One of Sara's passions is working to close the age gap within ACB by getting younger people involved in the organization and in leadership. I think she will bring a welcome and refreshing complement to our state convention this year.


We are asking all who can to get to our hotel as early as you can on Friday, October 18, as we have some activities planned for that afternoon.


It was brought to my attention recently that one thing ACBO is lacking is leadership training, and after thinking about it, that is certainly true. I have been involved in several organizations and on several committees in the last several years, other than ACBO, and I have observed on many occasions, new members with really no experience or idea of what is expected of them, being elected or appointed to a position of leadership or decision making. While I wholeheartedly commend all people who step up and serve in a leadership role, without training by a mentor, a meeting can be turned into an unpleasant experience for the members of an organization. As President of an ACBO chapter, we want to strive not only to encourage new people to get involved, but when new people do step forward, we need to be sure they have the proper training to do a good job. It will be more rewarding to the individual as well as to your members.


Also, we, on the state level need to remember when new chapters are formed, in most instances they are formed by people who have had no previous experience in running a meeting, setting an agenda, or making sure their meetings are interesting and productive. So, while there's a lot to be said for getting the youth involved in our organization to preserve it for the future, the older ones of us can take heart knowing we have the experience that only comes with age, and we are needed to train the younger ones to take over for us.


James Edwards, President




ByDarian Slayton Fleming, Secretary


President James Edwards called the meeting to order.  District Three Representative, Susin Hull, had a conflict and was not present; all other officers were in attendance.  Guests present included: Dick Kohl, Joan Hill,

John Fleming, and Randy Hauth.


The minutes for January 2013 and the treasurer’s Report were accepted as presented.


District Reports followed.  Several chapters are conducting fund-raisers:

The Multnomah Chapter plans a night at Burgerville on SE 11th and Hawthorne, at a date to be arranged in May.  The chapter will benefit from a percentage of the restaurant’s sales. Metro PDX is planning a2014 calendar fund-raiser.  They also plan to sell coffee from Mt. Hood Roasters, both ground and beans, in 12 ounce packages.  Contact Darian at or Pat Wallace at (971) 400-6620.  The Multnomah Chapter is producing a cookbook to sell.  The Metro PDX and Multnomah Chapters plan to share the space and cost of a table at the ACB National Convention Market Place  to promote their fund-raisers.   Other chapters or individuals may chip into the cost of the Market Place tables if they have items they wish to sell or showcase.  Contact Darian at or Sue Staley at


District Two:  Jeanne-Marie Moore reported that the Willamette Chapter has been in existence for seventy-five  years.  The chapter has a program through which they give $20 to students who have excelled each month.  John Dashney has invited TV experts to talk about how to get more publicity for their chapter.  For example, they have learned that  there is a List of civic meetings that runs on a cable channel; they are planning to get listed on that.  They will host their usual  Penny Auction-Dutch Auction on July 26 and their Christmas Party on December 13 at Salem Green.  The Willamette Chapter extends an invitation to all who wish to attend these events.


District Three:  Leonard reported that candy sales are low this year; they have seven cases yet to sell.   They will host their summer picnic on August 17, 2013.

The Rogue Valley Chapter has four new members.  They will attend a showing of “My Fair Lady” at the Shakespeare Theater in Ashland on May 26. They will host a picnic on Saturday June 29, at Riverside Park.

As far as Committee Action was concerned: 

Randy Hauth gave the Legislative Report.  Look for Legislative Updates on the Oregon-L E-mail List.


Randy Hauth described the ACB of Oregon Legislative Event held on March 20 at the State Capital.  Blind Employment Services of Tomorrow (BEST) invited their lobbyist, Lana Butterfield, to speak with the group.  Emergency funding for the commission for the Blind is on hold. Participants kept at least twenty appointments with Senators and Representatives.  Constructive advocacy took place.


The Governor does not plan to overturn the decision to hire Dacia Johnson as the Executive Director of the Commission for the Blind.  James asked that ACB of Oregon Members support Ms. Johnson and give her opportunities to do her job.


James reminds us that if Bylaw changes are to be considered at convention, they must be submitted to James ASAP; Bylaw changes must be reviewed by the Board in July and published in “The Stylus”.


Website:  John continues to update it. If you don’t see your information listed correctly contact john at


Stylus:  Production of “The Stylus” is now a team effort with Editor, Deb Nichols and Coordinator, Metro PDX Chapter Member, Teresa Christian.  Joan Hill and

Loretta Spahn are also involved as membership Committee Members and for funding. Deb Nichols needs articles and other submissions by May 1st.


Membership:  Joan Hill reported that we have 180 members.  There are 112 email addresses.  The breakdown includes  District 1 and 2 each having 46 and district 3, 80.


Fund-raising:  The committee proposed a state-wide profit-sharing night with a restaurant.  They are investigating restaurant chains to try to find one that has establishments in each area where there are ACB of Oregon Chapters.  They will report more at the July Board Meeting.


Convention: Sue Staley and Darian are working on door prizes and sponsors. James asked us to send him names and addresses of suggested speakers.  We determined to invite Sarah Conrad to be keynote Speaker.  Since the Board Meeting, we have learned that Ms. Conrad has accepted our invitation.  We hope to do outreach to younger folks and hope current members will make a point of attending the convention in October. James Plans to hold a convention planning meeting in Portland in June; time and date to be announced.


Cyber Chapters:  The committee has been experimenting with Skype to determine whether it is a viable option.  They are encountering technical challenges and hope to have more to report in July.


Nominations:  James is looking for members to serve on the Nominating committee.


Loretta and Darian have updated the ACB of Oregon Grant Application.  It will be available on the website soon.


Under New Business, the Board discussed the ACB of Oregon listing on 211 info.  James mentioned the Vision Walk, organized by the Foundation Fighting Blindness.  It takes place this June.  James extended an invitation to everyone to walk with him.


There was a vacancy on the Board due to Kae Seth’s resignation.  We voted to appoint John Fleming to fill the position.


National Convention Delegate: James informed us that he may be unable to attend the ACB National Convention this year.  The motion was made that in the event that President Edwards is unable to attend the convention,

Sue Staley would assume this position and that designated travel expenses be transferred to her.  The motion carried.  If President Edwards does attend the convention,

Sue Staley will serve as Alternate Delegate.


The meeting was adjourned to Executive Session to consider a grant request which was approved.



By Darian Slaten Flemming


The American Council of the Blind of Oregon announces that a Nominating Committee for the 2013 elections has been appointed.  Ron Staley of the Multnomah Chapter will chair the committee.  He will be joined by

Susin Hull, our District Three Representative.  Please send nomination suggestions to Ron Staley at or call him at

(503) 255-3401.


The next ACB of Oregon Board Meeting will be on Saturday July 20, 2013, at

9 A.M.  The meeting will be held by conference call.  The call in phone number is:  1-610-214-0000.


The access Code is: 468043#.


Stay tuned to the Oregon-L E-mail list or with your Chapter President or District Representative for convention updates.

After thirteen years as ACB of Oregon's web master I am turning over the job to Pat Schwab.

So, if you have anything for the Web page; up-dates, new events, chapter news, new chapter officers or meeting dates, meeting times, or meeting address changes please send them to Pat Schwab. Pat's Email address:

Pat's Phone number is: (805) 550-6333.


Blue Skies

John A. Fleming




I attended my first meeting as the ACBO representative of the TBABS Advisory Board meeting on May30, 2013. This is a four year commitment and it will be a wonderful educational opportunity for me. We meet quarterly, and I'll send you the highlights from those meetings. This was my first meeting so I may have a learning curve.


One thing I did not understand before is how important monitary donations are for the operation of TBABS. One staff member position, as well as "enhancements," like the large print calendar, and paying for books by Oregon authors to be read. There something called the "Irene Price Society" which consists of people who have stated their intention to remember TBABS in their wills. That is the planned giving part of the program.


The TBABS library moved into space half its size to reduce rent.


Here are the announcements I wrote down from the meeting.

1. As of February, 2013, there is a Braille Flag now at the State Library building in Salem. The Governor attended the installation ceremony and TBABS got ten minutes of his time to discuss services and needs.

2. This last April, there was a survey done and there is 97.7% satisfaction with the services provided by TBABS. Readers want more wildlife and classics, as well as more Westerns, mysteries, and books with less swearing.  

3. There are now magazines on cartridges  that arrive at patrons' homes and must be returned before receiving the next issue. A weekly magazine has a total “keep it” of one week and a monthly magazine has a total “keep time of three weeks. Magazines can also be downloaded from BARD.

4. Talking Book Topics is digital and the request forms are mailed separately.

5. The late-breaking and most exciting news is that eligibility (application for services) forms can be faxed or scanned in and sent by e-mail. This is a huge change from the requirement that forms had to be mailed to be accepted. Next (but not for awhile) will come electronic signatures.

6. Contracts have been signed with publishers to add new audio sellections to NLS available books and will be available on BARD before they reach local libraries. Back audio collections will be added to the NLS inventory and they will all be available on BARD.      


There was a lot of discussion about the budget and it is pretty extensive so I'll just focus on one thing today: The Newsline Service provided through the National Federation of the Blind (NFB). Currently, there are three newspapers read: the Statesman Journal, the Eugene Register Guard, and the Oregonian. The cost to TBABS is$11,000 per year. The Commission for the Blind pays $11,000 a year, and the NFB of Oregon pays $6,000 a year. To add a new newspaper, it costs $10,000 for the first year and $5,000 for each additional year. There are 850 people signed up for NFB newsline through the TBABS process, and only 200-250 "hits" (people calling into the phoneline)  a month right now. There are also many magazines and papers from other places available on Newsline. Currently, there is not enough money to add any new papers.




Target dates to submit Stylus articles, reports, Bills in the State Legislature and news items are:

Spring, March 1;

Summer, June 1;

Fall, September 1;

Winter, December 1.

I would like to get articles by or before these dates please.


I regret mistakenly asking for submissions for the summer edition by May 1; that was strictly my error.

Deb Nichols, Editor



ACB of Oregon Treasurer Loretta Spahn

Any current paid member of ACB of Oregon may obtain copies of the treasurer’s report of our organization.


You can email a request to  I will email reports to your email address.


You may contact me at ACB of Oregon, PO Box 121, Klamath Falls, OR  97601.  If you do not have a computer, please indicate what size font is needed and I will mail you a printed copy.  I will need your mailing address on the request. 


My home telephone number is 541-882-0854.  There is an answering machine.  Eventually I answer all messages.


This is your organization and I appreciate your input.


End of Summer 2013 Stylus

Audio Production Steve Armbrust





PM #138









The Stylus

Official publication of

The American Council of the Blind

Of Oregon

Summer 2013