December 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, go to our updated web page at:

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



I'll start by saying thank you for voting to give me the privilege of serving another term as President of ACBO at our recent convention. I consider it an honor and will strive to do the best job I can.

I received a lot of positive feedback from several members about our convention in Portland. I feel we accomplished what we had set as a goal for this convention, to get younger members, not only of ACBO, but members of the blind community interested in our organization. There were several young people in attendance, and it was, I hope, a valuable experience for them. I know it was of value to ACBO to have them there because they are potentially the future leaders of our organization. Sara Conrad, our national representative for this year's convention is a good example.  For those of you who didn't attend this year's convention and didn't get the information, next year we will hold our convention in Salem, at the Red Lion hotel. The Willamette chapter will host the convention, and, since their members have a great deal of experience in developing convention programs, I'm sure it will be another good one.
I'm still amazed at the results of Sue Staley and Darian Slayton Fleming's efforts to raise funds for the students to attend our convention. They proved the old saying "Ask and you shall receive" holds true. Good job, Ladies.
I believe ACBO is moving forward in a positive direction, but we need to keep the momentum going. Negativity, competition, jealousy, complacency, are words that don't belong in ACBO. To keep growing, we need to keep a positive attitude, overlook our perceived shortcomings of others, and keep the good, and the future of ACBO first and foremost in our thoughts and actions.
Here's a fun idea for some of you who may have some spare time and need something to do. Learn how to play the ukulele! The Ukulele is a simple instrument to learn and has become quite the fad in the last couple of years.  There are ukulele player groups in just about everyone's area. The ukulele is not just for Hawaiian music. Almost any song you know can be played using just three or four simple, easy to learn chords.  It's a cheap way to have some fun with other people, or by yourself. Try it!
I'm past the deadline to get this report to Deb Nichols, so I have to keep it short.  Happy Thanksgiving to all!
James Edwards.

American Council of the Blind of Oregon


Attention Chapter Presidents and Members at Large


The membership deadline for American Council of the Blind is February 15, 2014.  Please start collecting at your December meetings.  National dues are $5.  Chapters may have additional dues.  Also please notify me of any deceased members.


59th Annual Convention Sponsors and Contributors


A.C.B. of Oregon would like to thank our sponsors and everyone who has made this convention possible.


In Kind Donations:


Central Blueprint

Don and Rhonda Smith

47 W. 5th Ave.

Eugene, OR 97401

(541) 342-3624

Donation: Program in Print Format


Donna Penny

(541) 266-4004

Donation:  Braille Format Program and Menus.

Student Sponsors:


Beaverton Lions Club

Lake Oswego Lions Club

Parkrose Lions Club


Metro PDX Chapter, A.C.B. of Oregon, Darian Slayton Fleming, (503)522-3272


Multnomah Chapter, A.C.B. of Oregon, Sue Staley, (503)255-3401


Individual Student Sponsors:


Edwina Swart

Les and Peg Tyo


The A.C.B. of Oregon would like to recognize all of the volunteers for being extremely helpful in making our convention run smoothly.  We sincerely appreciate every one of you.

Thank You


Thanks to those of you who helped keep the registration table going for incoming members when I was unable to be there.  A very big thanks to those who stepped up and offered assistance for anything I needed during a difficult time for me.  Every hug, smile and/or prayer was appreciated. There are many good people in ACB of Oregon and each one that I encounter enriches my life.  Loretta Spahn


More Convention Anecdotes by Loretta Spahn


Sara Conrad was a helper in many ways at the convention (even running the mike) and I hope members also talked to her individually.  I enjoyed her banquet speech.  Other students also spoke briefly about themselves. 


The ACB Braille Forum, November 2013, has an article about the Scholarship Winners.  The ACB of Oregon Scholarship was won by Leslie Weilbacher who with her roommate and driver Melissa Mitchell attended our convention.  The picture on page 34 of the Forum includes Leslie and Sara. 


If you have questions or suggestions for the ACB of Oregon board, please contact any of us.  It takes every member working together to be successful.




By Darian Slayton Fleming, Secretary


October 18, 2013 Preconvention Board Meeting Summary

ACB of Oregon


President James Edwards called the Preconvention Board Meeting to order shortly after 4:00.  Secretary Slayton Fleming called the roll of officers.  All officers were present.  Guests introduced themselves.


President Edwards called for approval of the July 2013 Board Meeting Minutes.  Ron Whelchel moved to accept the minutes as distributed.  Leonard Kokel seconded the motion; the motion passed.


Next, Loretta gave the Treasurer’s Report.  She presented the profit and loss statement for September, 2013.  Copies of this report may be obtained by writing to Loretta at Treasurer’s Report was accepted as given.


Correspondence:  Loretta Spahn read a letter received from Advocates for the Visually Impaired (AVI).  President Edwards stated that the letter would be discussed under New Business.


Darian read an email from District Representative, Susin Hull, in which she reported that she resigned from the committees she served on.


District Reports followed:


Sue Staley reported on chapter membership in District 1.  She reported the Columbia Chapter held a rummage sale fund-raiser in July.


The Multnomah Chapter has been having very successful fund-raisers at Burgerville, on a quarterly basis, where they receive 10% of proceeds.  They bring in at least $500 each time.  The Multnomah Chapter is also selling cook books they put together.


The Pioneer Chapter only has three members; they get together to socialize.


Jeanne-Marie reported there are 49 members in District 2.  The Klamath Chapter has 8; Emerald Valley has 19 and the rest belong to the Willamette Chapter.  Jeanne-Marie reported that she attended the Willamette Chapter picnic and penny auction.


The Emerald Valley Chapter held a White Cane event at Eugene’s Saturday Market where they shared resources.  All chapter members participated.


The Klamath Chapter is small but lively. 


Susin Hull reported the Southwestern Chapter is restructuring their executive board.  They will be selling Christmas trees to raise funds.


The Rogue Valley Chapter had a picnic and penny auction in June.


Committee Reports:


Patricia Kepler reported on Commission for the Blind plans.  She stated that the Commission for the Blind is moving toward adopting a management model; they have contracted with Northwest best practices. They are looking at Work Source Oregon.  The Governor is looking for improved employment outcomes.  The Governor is not interested in replacing Commission services.  They are hoping to get feedback on the survey; Patricia had sent the link to members on the survey on the Oregon-L List.


Regarding the Oregon Industries for the Blind (OIB), the Governor wants them to operate with competitive wages.  The program has been reassigned to other services.


In response to questions about what the
Governor is doing to bring the membership on the Board to the required number, Patricia referred us to Executive Director, Dacia Johnson.  She reported that the majority of board members are blind.


Bylaws:  Loretta reported that the committee had met.  They discussed the Bylaw regarding Social Media.  In reviewing previous minutes, it was realized that the Bylaw had been approved at the 2009 Convention Business Meeting.  Loretta has added it to the bylaws.  She has also Listed the districts and their chapters as per the October 2012 Business Meeting decision to rezone them.


Web site: Patrick Schwab reported that he is now the webmaster.  He thanked John Fleming for his service of building and maintaining the web site since 2000. Mr. Schwab summarized the background of ACB of Oregon temporarily losing the web name and what was done to recover it.  The buyer of our name agreed to sell it back to us for $400.  This is typical in the world of web sites.  The ACB of Oregon Board held an emergency meeting.  Mr. Schwab moved it to a new hosting site so it could be managed.  The cost of resolving this issue was $319 which paid for five years and reminders about when fees to keep the site current need to be renewed.  We renew the domain name every five years; The Host Site is renewed once yearly.  He will model it after the original site and make it screen-reader-friendly.  Each chapter may use space to post information on the web site.  Contact Pat Schwab,, with the words “Web Master” in the Subject line.


Stylus:  Editor, Deb Nichols, reported that the next deadline for submissions is November 25th.


Membership:  Joan Hill gave the report for John Fleming.  She reported that the total membership is 187. Of these, there are 50 new members, and five members have died. There are 114 legally blind members. The largest chapter is Southwestern.


“The Stylus” goes out by E-mail to 112 members.  Joan and Loretta work hard to keep our information up-to-date on the ACB National Database.  Please give accurate information when sending in membership lists and dues.  She and Loretta need this information by March 1 in order to get it into National by March 15th. 


Convention Committee: Sue thanked everyone who served on the committee.  She reported on the very successful Student Sponsorship Program she implemented.  The total raised to assist students to attend this year’s convention was $2000.  She reminded people they would need their name badges to vote.


Fund-Raising:  Darian reported the committee has been signing chapters up for Applebee’s Restaurant fund-raisers.  There will be at least one per month beginning in January if all goes according to plan.  The chapters will receive 15% of proceeds including alcohol sales.  Chapter treasurers will be asked to deposit the earnings and send a check for 50% of those earnings to Loretta Spahn, Treasurer.  This is based on the motion passed at the July Board Meeting that ACB of Oregon will share proceeds from each chapter 50/50.  They hope to learn more in the coming year about an on line auction fund-raiser opportunity called Bidding for Good.


The Cyber Chapter Group reported that investigation into Internet Chapters resulted in choosing Skype as an Internet-based Voice chat from computer to computer.  Chapters would form by using Skype; up to 25 people can be in a Skype group.  In between meetings, chapters may supplement their work by creating fan pages and groups on other social media sites such as Face Book.  This suggests the possibility of a seamless communication package.  During the next year, we will begin the Implementation Phase.  If you have input or want to be on the committee, contact a member of the committee.


TBABS: Jeanne-Marie reported the success of the new Bard mobile “ap” for Apple products.  The ap can be downloaded to 5 devices.


Scanner for history: 

This discussion was tabled until January with the suggestion that a committee be appointed to explore this idea.


New Business:  We discussed the suggested budget for 2014.  The budget was approved by the Board and will be presented to the membership at Sunday’s Membership Business Meeting. Copies of the budget document may be obtained by writing to Loretta Spahn at


The next item on the agenda was the letter from AVI.  Although AVI has officially disbanded, several members belong to the Willamette Chapter.  They had asked the ACB of Oregon to oversee the funds and consult them before finalizing decisions about dispensing funds to students under age 21.  In their letter, they expressed displeasure with the Board’s handling of these funds and asked that the funds be remanded to the Willamette Chapter.  Loretta explained that the mistake of the bank charge in setting up a separate account for AVI funds was made by the bank.  The error has been corrected.  Pat Schwab said that the group understood the error had been corrected.  However, they were unclear about why funds had been moved.  The ACB of Oregon Board discussed the concept that these funds are still the ultimate responsibility of ACB of Oregon since the Willamette Chapter falls under the ACBO 501C3.  John Fleming made a motion that AVI funds be returned to the Willamette Chapter to be administered by the AVI Committee. The motion was seconded.  There was a great deal of discussion and a tie vote.  A roll-call vote ensued.  The motion ultimately passed.  Loretta Spahn, Treasurer, will return the funds to the Willamette Chapter.


James has asked Pat Schwab to create a “Donate to the ACB of Oregon” option on the web site. When the use of Pay Pal was brought up, Darian and Jeanne-Marie expressed deep concern, as they have experienced, and heard of others experiencing, financial fraud through Pay Pal.  Pat will look into appropriate protection methods when designing a “Donate Here” option.


President James Edwards adjourned the Meeting.


Next ACB of Oregon Board Meeting

Submitted by Loretta Spahn


The next ACB of Oregon Board Meeting is January 18, 2014.  The meeting will be in the Oregon Room from 9 A.M. until 11:30 A.M. with an executive meeting from 11:30 A.M. until 12:00 A.M.  The Red Lion Hotel in Salem is at 3301 Market Street NE.  The telephone number is 503-370-7888.  The hotel has a block of 15 rooms for Friday, January 17, 2014.  Ask for the ACB of Oregon block.  The price of blocked rooms is $85.00 plus tax for a total of $93.50.  This rate is for a single King or Queen bed.  The cut-off date is January 1, 2014.  Each board member makes their own lodging arrangements. 


The Red Lion Hotel in Salem is the site for the 2014 convention.  The Willamette Chapter has done an excellent job, has obtained a proposal and visited the site.  Bob Johnson even took his guide dog into the relief area.  I also have the menu selections for plated lunch and plated dinner entrees from which our meals will be selected.  Unfortunately there is a large convention meeting on January 18, 2014 and we will be unable to visit the Jefferson III, Jefferson II and Jefferson I rooms which our convention will also use.


Start NOW to make transportation arrangements.  Agenda items are to be sent to Darian Slayton Fleming’s email 


Library Corner
Submitted by Jeanne-Marie Moore
This is reprinted from Issue 57 of the Talking Book and Braille Services newsletter. I am very excited about this, and have ordered my copies already to make sure I'm on the list!

Starting in January, the Oregon Library Association (OLA) will be kicking-off their Oregon Reads 2014 program, which will be celebrating what would have been the 100th birthday of William Stafford.  Stafford was named the National Poet Laureate in 1970, and was Oregon's fourth and longest standing Poet Laureate from 1975 to 1990.  Over seventy libraries all over the state of Oregon, including the State Library, will have public events highlighting Stafford's life and work.  Check with your local library about their schedule of events, since some things will be happening as soon as February.

Talking Books will be participating in Oregon Reads 2014 as well.  Four books of Stafford's poetry previously unavailable on digital cartridge will be offered starting in January, including an Oregon-exclusive book of poems created especially for Oregon Reads.

*  A Glass Face in the Rain (DBX 782)
*  Even in Quiet Places (DBX 1266, BR 11313)
*  Stories that Could be True (DBX 757)

*  William Stafford Centennial Celebration Collection: Poems by William Stafford (DBX 1265)

This last book will feature 51 recordings provided by the generous permission of the William Stafford Archives at Lewis & Clark College in Portland.  You can also access these recordings and other information about one of Oregon's most beloved Poet Laureates online at

If you are interested in placing an advanced request for any or all of these books, please call us at 800-452-0292 or email us at  You must be a registered user of Talking Books in order to receive copies of the books.


Do You Like Eating at Applebee’s?

Support Your Chapter and the ACB of Oregon

By Darian Slayton Fleming


In these difficult economic times, and with the downfall of the Vehicle Donation Program, President James Edwards has urged the ACB of Oregon Board to come up with some creative fund-raising plans.  The fund-raising committee, consisting of Darian Slayton Fleming; Sue Staley and Jeanne-Marie Moore, has presented a plan to the Board.  This plan will ultimately be most successful with help from all of you.


The Fund-Raising Committee has been busy applying for dates with Applebee’s Restaurants in areas where ACB of Oregon has chapters.  The Applebee’s Corporation has a profit-sharing fund-raiser called Dining to Donate.  Nonprofit groups receive 15% of sales for the meals during designated dates and times.  Applebee’s provides a flyer template which the group completes that gives information about the organization and the date and time people are invited to eat at Applebee’s to support the cause.  Those wishing to support the group present flyers to the wait staff when placing meal orders.  Following the date of the meal, Applebee’s calculates the earnings and sends a check to the nonprofit organization.


This is how the plan will work.  The ACB of Oregon Fund-Raising Committee will consult with chapter presidents or designees to determine desired dates and times.  The committee applies on line for dates.  Once dates are confirmed, the Fund-Raising Committee will work with chapters to complete the flyer template and advise the chapter on how to publicize the event and distribute the flyers. Flyers must not be distributed in Applebee’s Restaurants or in their parking lots.  On the dates of the events, chapter officers and members are asked to gather and eat at Applebee’s to support the effort.  This will also help by providing a presence and directly or indirectly educate Applebee’s staff and the community about your chapter and about blindness.


Following your event, your designated chapter contact will receive the profit-sharing check.  The check will need to be deposited into the chapter bank account.  Then your Treasurer will be directed to send a check for 50% of the funds received to Loretta Spahn, ACB of Oregon Treasurer.  This plan is based on a written motion at the July 2013 Board Meeting to enable this fund-raising event to be mutually beneficial to ACB of Oregon and its chapters.


So far, dates have been chosen for the Multnomah, Metro PDX, Willamette and Emerald Valley Chapters.  Not all dates have been confirmed.  We’ll be working with the Klamath and Rogue Valley Chapters soon to arrange their events.  In chapter locations where there are no Applebee’s Restaurants, we hope to work out similar arrangements with local restaurants.


If you have questions or want to get involved, feel free to contact members of the Fund-Raising Committee and talk with your chapter presidents and district representatives.  We hope you will be a presence at these events to support your chapters and the ACB of Oregon.


District II Report
By Jeanne-Marie Moore

Starting with the farthest away from me, the Klamath Falls Chapter is experiencing the coldest weather in the district. They are a lively group of people. 

In Eugene, we had a small meeting on November 8th and discussed access issues which we will be working to resolve. One involves a local theater and another involves the need for a barrier to warn cane travelers of an overhead collision risk.

We will also be attending the Salem Christmas Party because they graciously invited us to it last July, 2013. We are looking forward to enjoying getting to know better the folks in that chapter and others who attend.

The Salem Chapter also had their November meeting on the 8th. Some of the things they discussed were their upcoming party on December 13, the potential of having an Applebee's fund-raiser in January, and the fact that the first Board meeting of the year will be on January 18th at 9:00 a.m. at the Red Lion Inn. This is where the State Convention will be held next October, so it will be a good chance for us to become acquainted with the facilities.

I would like to encourage people in each chapter to write about what's going on: either the president or someone else, so we can learn about what is going on and give one another support and have the potential to share ideas about projects, etc.


Metro PDX Chapter News

Winter 2013-2014

By Darian Slayton Fleming


The Metro PDX Chapter has been in existence for almost four years now.  Our membership has grown immensely; in fact, we were pleasantly surprised and excited to receive the award for the chapter that experienced the greatest percentage of growth at the 2013 ACB of Oregon Convention.


Our chapter is working hard and having fun together.  In September we had a guest visitor from Australia, Ashley Hewett.  We compared our experiences as people who experience blindness in our given countries, told our embarrassing stories about things that happen to us because we are blind and laughed a lot.


In October, at the state convention, we performed a parody we wrote on the song “If I had a Million Dollars” by the Bare Naked Ladies.  We had a blast writing and singing the song.


In October several of us participated in a White Cane Day celebration in the Park Blocks at Portland State University (PSU).  We partnered with the PSU Disability Resource Center, the Oregon Commission for the Blind, Independent Living Resources, the Oral Hull Foundation for the Blind, the Blind Ambition Dragon Boat Team, the Oregon Columbia Regional Group of the Blinded Veterans Association and others.  We demonstrated guide techniques, showed off our guide dogs, showed tools and gadgets and provided community education about the White Cane Law and blindness.  Thanks to Tart Berry, Big Town Hero and a food cart at PSU we were able to thank workers and participants by giving out coupons for food discounts.  The weather was beautiful.  A good time was had by all.


After our chapter meetings, those who wish to, have dinner at the Ling Garden Chinese Restaurant where the service is gracious and the food is good.  Once a month we pick a restaurant we have never eaten at and meet for dinner.  We learn a new place and the establishment gets a crash course on serving a group of crazy people who are blind.  In January, we hope to go to the Midnight Roundup, in Gresham, where they have country music and a life-size Jenga game.  John and Darian played Jenga there and want to challenge the group to the game.


On December 8th, Tyanne Coverstone, our Treasurer, and Allan Wilmath, chapter member, are hosting our holiday get-together at the home they purchased in August.  This is an exciting time for this young family.  Tyanne has a young daughter, Tiny, and Tyanne and Allan will be celebrating their first Christmas with their nine-month-old baby daughter, Lois.  We’re looking forward to celebrating the holidays with them family-style.


On December14, we are implementing our first-annual Winter Independence Shopping Experience or the WISE Project.  The Portland Pioneer Place Mall has generously donated a suite in the mall for this event.  Five blind students between the ages of 6 and 15, referred through the Northwest Education Service District and the Columbia Regional Program will be paired with shopping mentors and shop for gifts for friends and/or family and a needy child.  Students will learn life skills like money management, asking for help, navigating the mall, gift-wrapping and more.  We hope to have a Marine present, in his dress blues, to receive the gifts for Toys for Tots.  We’ll finish the day enjoying refreshments and sharing ideas for future networking with the ACB of Oregon. 


Some of our functions require funding.  We will continue to sell coffee from Mt. Hood Roasters.  Contact Pat Wallace at (971) 400-6620 to place orders for whole beans or grounds in Dark Roast or Medium Roast, for $10 per 12 Oz. package. We’ll be putting together another calendar for 2015 which will be for sale beginning in June 2014.  At the state convention, many of us enjoyed meeting and learning from Richard Warner, a coach with The 1 Touch Self Defense Project.  We’re planning to hold a self defense workshop facilitated by Mr. Warner sometime in 2014.  We’re also looking forward to hosting our Applebee’s Fund-Raiser, a joint chapter and state function, in February 2014.


We’ll report back on all of this fun and more in the next issue of “The Stylus”.  In the mean time, Happy Holidays from all of us to all of you.


Rogue Valley Chapter

A few comments:

By: Ron Whelchel


Elections were held at the November Meeting which resulted in the following



President Jan Perkins, Vice-President Allen Warfield, Secretary Sandy Quenzer, Treasurer Ron Whelchel and Directors Eldon Foster and Joan McDowell

Leola Goodrich is Membership Chairmen and Karen Pells is Sunshine Chairmen.


In September we had a great program of some good old "Bluegrass Music" by the daughter and father duo of Jillian and Aaron Johnston. They sang to Jillian’s fiddle and her father’s accompanying guitar.


In October we were entertained by Gordon Schmider who is also known as the "Saw Man". He explained the history of using a Wood Saw as a musical instrument and then demonstrated by playing a variety of music.


At the November Meeting Sunnie Hedden from the Dunes Park Chapter presented an interesting program about what the "Friends of The Hinsdale Garden" near Reedsport are doing to take ownership of this historic garden and the associated house from the Bureau of Land Management and restore it as a future tourist attraction and event center. The American Rhododendron Society is interested in helping because the Garden has 400 varieties of Rhodys and azaleas many of which are seldom seen.  Sunnie explained how she is restoring her family home which is on the Historical Structure List.


It was also a pleasure to have James Edwards in attendance at the November Meeting.


That's all for now from The Valley of The Rogue.


Southwestern Chapter News

By Susin Hull


Southwestern chapter's Blind Knit wits have been very busy this year making hats and scarfs. They have made hundreds to sell and donate. They filled an order for 30 hats in less than a week for Reedsport Safeway’s employees which Safeway paid for from their Safety fund.  The Blind Knit wits meet once a month to create warm hats and warmer friendships. Currently chapter members are planning for their Christmas party, on December 14th. Last year’s was a great success, and this year’s will be even better. So if you are in the area, you should join us. But, most of all I want
 to wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and

of course, a Happy New Year.



Thanks to all who sent items to me; special thanks to the Stylus team; apologies to those whose articles were not included; I will keep them for future publications!

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

Spring, February 25;

Summer, May 25;

Fall, August 25;

Winter, November 25.

I need articles by or before these dates please.


End of Winter 2013 Stylus.

Audio Production Steve Armbrust




PM #138