Winter, 2001













Affiliated with the American Council of the Blind Available in large print, via e-mail and on cassette

Edited by Darian Hartman

Contributions by Members of the Oregon Council of the Blind


Courage is grace under pressure--Ernest Hemingway




Editor’s Note


To all readers:  Please do not skip over this notice while you are listening or reading as there are some changes to make note of.  First of all, if you receive this newsletter in recorded format, it is no longer necessary to return the cassettes.  Additionally, if you communicate with the editor, Darian Hartman, via e-mail, you may want to double check the e-mail address you have for her as this has changed.  It may also have been given out incorrectly at the recent convention in October.  Darian Hartman’s new e-mail address is  We apologize for any inconvenience this change, or incorrect information, may have caused any of our readers.


In order to produce an interesting, informative and creative newsletter, articles of interest; chapter reports; etc., need to be submitted in a timely manner.  The Stylus will come to you quarterly in March, June, September and December, so please submit materials by the 1st of February, May, August and November.


Materials may be submitted in Braille, on cassette, in print, on computer disk or via e-mail to:

Darian Hartman  4335 NE 112th  Portland, Or   97220

(503) 253-9543




Those wishing to receive “The Stylus” via e-mail should contact Darian Hartman, by e-mail.  Please include the words “Stylus via e-mail” in the subject line.


Please submit any address changes or requests to receive “The Stylus” in a different format to Bob Rushing: 4705 Auburn Rd. NE, Space 52, Salem, OR 97301; (503) 362-4151; E-mail:


Thanks for your cooperation.








President’s Report

By John Fleming


This year I attended the fortieth anniversary for the American Council Of The Blind in Des Moines Iowa.


I was very proud when it was mentioned several times how Oregon was among the first states to join with the ACB.  The ACB is the greatest consumer group of visually impaired and blind people in our great nation.  ACB of Oregon is the greatest consumer organization of visually impaired and blind consumers in Oregon.  In fact ACB of Oregon is the only real consumer organization of visually impaired and blind people in the state.  We have been making a difference for 47 years.  That’s seven years longer than the American Council Of The Blind has been in existence.  Together we can make a difference.



During my two-year tenure, four new chapters have joined the ACB of Oregon, the most recent being the Guide Dog Users of Oregon.  There are Guide Dog User’s in all most every chapter.  Klamath Falls was added to our ranks at the board meeting in Bend this past April.  With the South Coast chapter, in Brookings and the Spilyay chapter, in Bend, we are virtually all over the state.  In fact, during the past two years, our membership has grown by about 20%.



We continue to support the Oregon School for the Blind.  Through grants we helped them enjoy their first Prom.  We also helped to get a new state of the art chalkboard.  This is a computer type board that is big and really helps with their schoolwork.  Their online radio station is up and running.  With time it will really make a difference.  It’s just another example of how working together can make a difference.



Of course we continue to support our state talking book and Braille library (TBABS).  Talking books are something we all use and there is nothing I can say that you all don’t already know about how wonderful there service is.  I know I can’t go through a day when they don’t affect my life in some way.



OMNI has become a reality due in part to the help of ACB of Oregon.  Along with Jerry DeLaunay and others we have helped to get the word out over the internet.  This is only the beginning for this kind of thing and we are getting in on the ground floor.  The Internet is the wave of the Future and OMNI is a step in the right direction.



We also continue to work closely with the Oregon Commission for the Blind.  Several of our members have been to the Legislature testifying for budget concerns.  Besides putting people to work we have to be concerned about our ever-growing older blind population.  Funding is a never-ending battle and we can make a difference.



The commission also has a new Internet radio station that we indirectly helped with through OMNI.  This will help in the battle to educate our population of visually impaired and blind people.



Through the hard work of several of our chapters and their members we have seen lots of new accessible street crossings pop up in the state.  One is on the corner of Hawthorn and Market street in Salem.  I hope most of you who attended the convention had the chance to use it for yourselves. I would  like to thank all who worked so hard to make the streets in Oregon safer for all of us.  The job is not done, not by any stretch of the imagination. There are lots of street crossings that need accessible crossings and it’s going to take lots of hard work to get them all fixed. 



Our web page, www.ACBOFOREGON.ORG is up and running.  It is yet another link to the future for our council.  ACB-L is the ACB of Oregon’s list serve.  If you would like to get on the list send me your Email address and I will start the process.  Email John Fleming at and put something about acb-l in the subject line.  The Internet is there to use and if we use it.  Together we can make a difference!


I would like to thank all of you for your support during the two years I was your President.    I enjoyed the job, learned a lot and we did some great work together.  I plan to continue to work hard for the ACB of Oregon in the coming years.  I look forward to seeing all of you at our next convention in Bend.  Lets keep up the good work that has been going on and continue to make a difference!


Together we have made a difference in the past.  Together we are making a difference today.  Together we will make a difference in the future.





By Glenn Keep


Greetings good friends.  As the Klamath Falls Chapter, we are definitely the new kids on the block.  While we may be lacking in experience, our group has no shortage of enthusiasm.  The chapter was started in March of this year and we now have twenty-four members.  Our officers are: Joan Hill, president, Jan Chance, vice-president, Loretta Spahn, secretary and Debra Thurston, treasurer.


Since the group's inception, we have been working to enrich the lives of our members, inform the public concerning white cane and guide dog awareness and advocating to improve services to the blind and visually impaired in our area.



We have had several social and educational events.  In May, Patty Johnson, leader of the Klamath Guiding Eyes club, gave a presentation, which included cuddly puppies in training to be Guide Dogs.  There are currently six puppies being trained in the Klamath Basin.


During June, members attended the Keno Lion's Club barbecue, a fundraiser for the Klamath Guiding Eyes club.  The chapter also had a picnic at a local park, which gave members an opportunity to socialize and meet new members.


In July, Vicky Jack, with Guide Dogs for the Blind, gave a presentation and answered questions.  That month the group discussed access problems with the local bus company’s Dial-a-Ride service as well as audible pedestrian signals and an accessible workstation in Klamath Falls.


Several of our members joined the Rogue Valley chapter to attend two Shakespearean plays during the summer.  Description audio enabled all present to enjoy the plays to the fullest.


The chapter had the privilege of being entertained in August by a group of retired teachers who are members of the Kitchen Band.  This unique group of musicians used everything from modified kazoos to washboards for instruments.


In September, approximately twenty of us walked in the Tutelage Butte Valley Fair Parade (in Tulelake, California) to promote white cane and guide dog awareness.  After the parade, the group grabbed  snacks at the fair.  Everyone had a great time.



Recently, seven members of our chapter attended the 47th Annual ACB Convention in Salem.  All reported having a great time and met many new friends and exchanged ideas with other members throughout the state.


Our agenda for the near future includes special, fun Braille classes and playing with Braille cards and Braille bingo.


In November we will be starting our own social group to learn and brush up on our Braille skills.  The class will be taught by Marie Siljan and Joan Hill.  We are also in the early stages of planning a fundraiser for this winter.




Multnomah Chapter News

By Patty Bessant


Our most recent activity was White Cane Safety Day on October 15.  This was a collaborative effort by the City of Portland Department of Transportation, the Commission for the Blind the National Federation of the Blind, Independent Living Resources, the American Council of the Blind of Oregon (ACBO) and others.  The setting was  Pioneer Square, and the weather was balmy and bright.  An audible signal was available for demonstration.  Those passing by enjoyed refreshments and speeches.  Workers from surrounding offices sat on steps and ate their lunches.  We all agreed that guide dogs and white canes received wonderful publicity.



Several chapter members attended the convention in Salem.  Informational talks, food and Dashney entertainment were superb.  All of the fellowship was a delightful plus.


We have two new members, Kay Scott and Glenys Becker.  Multnomah Chapter happily welcomes them.




Pioneer Chapter News

By Gloria Libby


We in the Pioneer Chapter are emotional today.  At the beginning of October, we restarted our Young Braille Readers Program to give blind students all over Oregon, who come to our attention, their first personally owned Braille books.  At the end of October, as I write this, we have discovered that we are not, by any means, the only ones giving students Braille books.


When most of us, in our chapter, were growing up, it was rare for a child to own a Braille book.  Magazines were easier to come by, but even they were scarce until many of us reached our late teens or early twenties.  In the nineties, dedicated people, including Deanna Noriega and Carol Whitney, started the Young Braille Readers Program.  Letters to supervisors of Braille teachers brought very satisfying results.  We could do something for a new generation of children, from pre=schoolers through about age 14, giving them a gift that we, ourselves, had not received.  This year we contacted the supervisors, as we had done in past years, and looked forward to that “needed” feeling, and to thank you letters from some of the children, letters we would always treasure.  What



a shock, to discover that free Braille books are now available all over the place!  Because of the abundance of low cost Braille books from sources such as Seedlings and the National Braille Press, parents, teachers and others are consistently buying Braille books for students.


Now, we are ambivalent.  Our strongest reaction is, “Wow!  How wonderful!  This is just what we wanted to achieve!”  Underneath, though, other thoughts lurk.  “What we’ve been doing isn’t necessary anymore.”  “Now what?”  We are continuing the project this year.


We’ll see how much need there is, and when the year is over, we will evaluate how well our work succeeded.  Chances are we will find that people are providing books for children so well that our chapter will have to find some other community service project.


The Pioneer Chapter is small, and not very affluent.  We have asked a couple of Lions clubs to help us fund this project.


Even if, in the near future, there’s a hole in our hearts where the Young Braille Readers Program used to be, we can feel the quiet joy, when we think about Braille literacy, and know that we helped along the way.


Rogue Valley Chapter News

By Sue L’Esperance


The September 8th  meeting included guest speaker Ralph Sherman from Vision Aids in Portland.  He introduced the “Jordi”, which is similar to a pair of goggles and can project the magnified image in the goggles or on a monitor.  At the September 18th workshop,




members completed the wooden toys for the local Christmas basket program.



October has been a very busy month, beginning with the luncheon/business meeting on the 6th, 2002-membership drive, and selection of person to handle nominations for new officers and board members.  Mike Smith won the 50-50-jackpot raffle.



Our second-annual White Cane Awareness March was held on the 13th through downtown Grants Pass.  Approximately sixty persons participated, including Rogue Valley Chapter members, Guide Dog puppy raisers from Medford and Grants Pass and Cave Junction Lions Club members.  The walk was led and followed by members of Josephine-Jackson Counties Rescue and Search Unit.  A big thanks to television channel 12 for covering the event and airing it on the evening news.  We greatly appreciate and compliment Dianne Byrd for the excellent organization of the event!



Five chapter members attended the ACB of Oregon State Convention.  chapter president Bob Matti and guide dog Eldon managed to get their picture in the Salem newspaper on Sunday along with the convention coverage.  Hope you enjoyed your spot in the limelight, Bob!



Election of officers and board members will be a primary focus of the November business meeting and plans are being completed for the annual Christmas luncheon and party.




Highlights of the 47th-Annual Convention

By John Fleming


Hosted by the Willamette chapter, the Forty Seventh annual convention of the ACB of Oregon, was a big success.  Convention Committee chair, Flo Dugan, and her committee members along with the entire Willamette chapter did a Great job under uncertain conditions.  They are to be congratulated for a job very well done.  Congratulations to Flo and all her help. Thank You Flo and others.


Considering the fact that we had less than favorable hotel conditions this was another convention to remember.  The new accessible street crossing at Hawthorn and Market Street is a great reminder of what took place on Friday afternoon at 1:30.   A large group attended the dedication of the crossing at Hawthorn and Market Street. The Mayor and several other big names were there. They even tried the crossing under blindfold.


Thanks to Marie Anderson for all her hard work getting everything arranged for this event. Your long hours and persistence paid off. Thank you Marie.


Bob Johnson's Convention Attendees Transit System (CATS) seemed to be working smoothly.  Thanks Bob for another great job handling the unique transportation problems our affiliate has. It's a challenge getting everyone to a convention and Bob handled it with real professionalism.


Apologies are due for the conditions the Exhibitors had to endure. It was no fault of the convention committee or the exhibitors but rather a communication breakdown at the top. Among other things



this was one example of the Hotel's lack of concern. They had the Exhibits on the third floor while all the rest of the events were on the first floor. It was a lesson well learned.


Guide Dog Users of Oregon had a very good Convention on Friday afternoon. It was well attended and besides some very good speakers they had a great Banquet on Friday night.  Congratulations to all who worked very hard to make it a hit.


Saturday and Sunday's sessions featured very interesting speakers and lively election of Officers.  Bev Rushing was elected President; Bob Johnson is now first Vice-President and Ed Ripplinger was elected to the position of Second Vice-President.


Geri Hallisy will continue as Secretary and Bob Rushing as Treasurer.  Lets all work hard with our new officers and make ACB of Oregon the best it can be.


Saturday night's Banquet was well attended and enjoyed by all.  We had a good meal after which our very own John Dashney hosted the evening. Not only were we blessed with one of his great stories we heard two.


Sunday morning started with an inspirational Memorial service conducted by Glenys Becker. It was followed by a business meeting and lunch.


One of the last things we did was select the Spilyay Chapter to host our 2002 convention in Bend.  We are looking forward to joining the Spilyay Chapter for what should be a real fun convention.  I hope to see all of you there in October 2002.



Speaking of Conventions


It’s time again to begin thinking about attending the ACB National Convention.  This year it will be held in Houston, Texas, June 29 through July 6, 2002.  You can see your “Braille Forum” for details as they are printed.


However, for the past two or three years, ACB of Oregon members have been fortunate to be able to receive a financial subsidy to attend the national conventions.  You must be a member for a year in order to receive this subsidy, and you may be asked to supply proof of membership.  Simply fill out the application inserted in this newsletter if you wish to request this $400 financial subsidy.  Complete the enclosed form and mail it to Bob Rushing, ACB of Oregon Treasurer.  The form must be in Bob’s hands no later than March 1, 2002.  If you receive this newsletter via cassette or e-mail, you may contact Bob to request a copy of this application.  Cassette users, if it is convenient, may type answers to the questions and mail them to Bob.  Be sure to fill out the application completely.


Bob’s contact information is at the end of this newsletter under “State Officers”.  Don’t delay. Fun is bigger and better in Texas!



Oral Hull Park News

By Patty Bessant


Join with us for a Holiday Weekender on December 1st and 2nd.  A delicious seasonal dinner will be served mid-day on December 1st.  A blind person who is invited by a foundation member is a



guest.  Bring nonperishable food that will be taken into Sandy for distribution.  There will be an optional gift exchange.  For further information, call (503) 668-6195.


Traditionally, there is no scheduled activity in January due to the uncertainty of weather.  Therefore, the next scheduled weekend will be February 3rd and 4th, 2002.


If you are unacquainted with Oral Hull, feel free to make a visit.  You may find it to be just what you are looking for to broaden your horizons.


Product Information


California Canes reports that they are accepting reasonable offers for the remainder of their old, but very good stock!

Contact CALIFORNIA CANES, 25611 Quail Run #125

Dana Point, Ca 92629,

Toll Free # (866) 489-1973, Fax# (949) 489-0996



Free Large Print and Braille Cook Books:


Blindskills, Inc. has been sent several large print and braille copies of cookbooks and other manuals. They are available, at no cost to you, by calling Blindskills, Inc. toll-free number (800)-860-4224.


Titles include:

Available in large print or braille: A Leaf From Our Table, Breads, Your Green Scene; and How to Care for Plants; manual of macrame knots and patterns



Books in large print only:

So What About Sewing; and Row Upon Row, A Manual of Latch Hooking Techniques and Patterns;


Books in Braille only:

Plain and Not So Plain Meals; and Meatless Meals.





Comments From a Member

By Robert R. Matti


The below are strictly the opinions of Bob Matti, however, they were spawned from research of methods used by various Service Clubs and Organizations.  These thoughts pertain to various sections of the By-Laws and methods of doing business by The ACB of Oregon.


Nominating Committee


I firmly think the nominating committee should be required to notify all chapters of the slate of suggested candidates in advance of the convention so that members prior to the convention can make comparisons and decisions.  Also some prospective candidates could do some campaigning.  Chapter Presidents should receive this notification well in advance of the chapters final meeting before the annual convention or election.



Term Limits


I was told the By-Laws say something about Officers not being able to serve more than 2 consecutive terms.  I have recently read/listened to the By-Laws quite thoroughly several times, and I do not see where anything is ever mentioned about term limits.  If somewhere documentation exists with the wording, “two consecutive terms”, I think “consecutive” should be stricken and the words “three terms” be inserted instead of “two”, in other words limit terms to 6 years whether consecutive or intermittent.  I believe only the Secretary and Treasurer should be exempt from term limits.




I strongly believe all members in good standing should be allowed to vote whether or not they attend the conventions.  Some loyal, active chapter members have never been able to attend a convention and many of them will never be able to attend.  Some means of voting by mail or through the chapters needs to be figured out.  At present I don’t have any suggestions on how to accomplish this, but I am still hoping to come up with some feasible method.


When a method is chosen that enables all members to vote, I believe we will not have any more instances where all officers elected are from the same chapter.


When the convention host chapter is one of the largest they will naturally have more voters present at the convention than other chapters, so a change is a must.  How about some ideas and or suggestions!



Also, I firmly believe that only members from the district they are part of should be allowed to vote for the representative of that district.  I believe at present I can vote for representatives for either district, which definitely is not right!


Board Members


I am strongly opposed to any one Chapter having a majority of the votes on the board, however, I think if a chapter has the quality of people to get elected to every office they should be allowed to do so.


My suggestion to eliminate the possibility of a single chapter having a majority of board votes is to increase the number of members on the board.  I suggest having at least one member from every chapter represented on the board.


As things now stand, the 8-member board will consist of 1 from Dunes, 1 from Pioneer, 1 from Rogue Valley and 5 from Willamette.  If my suggestion of at least one board member from every chapter were adopted, it would increase the next board size to at least 15 and eliminate Willamette’s majority.


The number of board members will vary from election to election.  I suggest that chapters not having an elected member on the board be responsible for selecting one of their members to serve on the board.  It is extremely important that chapters select a member that will attend all board meetings because without good attendance one chapter could still have the majority of members present.  Chapters should have an alternate or back up delegate in case of something unforeseen happening to their principal delegate.



I think changing the VOTING procedure is the most important issue I have mentioned, so hopefully a plan can be formulated and adopted.


Hopefully some members will be in complete agreement with my ideas.  Some may partially agree, and for sure, some will strongly disagree!


I hope enough of you agree with me so some action can be taken on some, if not all of the items I have mentioned.


I am not the least bit difficult to contact so comments pro and con will be appreciated!


Robert R. (Bob) Matti, Phone: (541) 846-6385, E-mail:





President:       John Fleming

106 NW "F"

PMB #258

Grants Pass, OR   97526

(541) 846-6981

E-mail: bj2kiowa@cdsnet. net



President:     Bev Rushing

4730 Auburn Rd. N.E., Space #52

Salem, OR   97301

(503) 362-4151


1st Vice

President:       Leonard Kokel

1845 W. Anderson Ave.

Coos Bay, OR     97420

(541) 269-7255


2nd Vice

President:     Bob Johnson

4074 Market St. NE, #11

Salem, OR     97301

(503) 361-8693


STATE OFFICERS - continued


Secretary:       Gery Hallisy

746 Browning Ave., SE

Salem, Oregon 97302

(503) 364-5561


Treasurer:     Bob Rushing

4730 Auburn Rd. NE, Space #52

Salem, OR    97301

(503) 362-4151




Rep. #1:        Jerry DeLaunay

Golden Hours Radio

7140 SW Macadam Ave.

Portland, OR 97219

(503) 293-1902



Rep. #2:        James Edwards

1075 Laurel Ave.

Reedsport, OR 97467

(541) 271-1023

Copyright © 2000 by The ACB of Oregon/Oregon Council Of The Blind