The official quarterly publication of the
American Council of the Blind of Oregon.
James Edwards, President, ACB of Oregon
Phone: (541) 404-8214
For more information about the American Council of the Blind of Oregon, go to our web page at:
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** Contents in This issue **
By President James Edwards
I have just returned from the ACB Mid year President’s meeting and Legislative seminar, including our annual visit to Capitol Hill to speak with our legislators.
This four day event starts with attending the national ACB board meeting, from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. on Saturday, President’s meeting, 9 to 5 on Sunday, Legislative Seminar, 9 to 5 on Monday, and the Capitol Hill visit, leaving the hotel at 9:30 A.M. and returning at 5:30 P.M.
This year, I was accompanied by our First Vice President, Leonard Kokel, Second Vice President Art Stevenson, Deb Nickels and Marja Byers, Willamette Chapter President and Director of Blindskills.
I can’t give a full report on all the information we received, but here’s a short summary:
President’s meeting- Eric Bridges, ACB Executive Director, and several others spoke on “The Ongoing Evolution of ACB’s Communication Plan. This plan is to find ways to improve communications with legislators, donors, corporations, members, and the public. Topics included: the redesign of our ACB national logo, continued and improved use of social media, Facebook, Twitter, Websites, using ACB Radio more effectively, using the Board of Publications committee for information, and using our national conventions to promote ACB.
We learned the ACB national team is working on a project to develop Continuing Educational Credits for the ACB Convention, allowing students to receive credits for attending certain programs at our national conventions.
We heard a report from the Remote Voting Task Force, with a discussion and debate on the concept of allowing voting by proxy, with the intent of giving every ACB member the opportunity to vote on national elections and other issues at convention, even though they are not physically present.
Nancy Becker, ACB Senior Accountant, spoke on the do’s and don’ts of 501c3 non profit filing for affiliates and chapters. We also heard information on assistive listening devices, DKM First Timers awards, which Marja gave a talk, as a DKM committee member, Fundraising, Advocating for Voting Access, Descriptive Video Projects, and other issues and topics.
Legislative Seminar - After a talk by ACB President Kim Charlson on Lifting up and Protecting our Priorities, and a welcome by ACB Executive Director, Eric Bridges, we went into a discussion on Strategies for Advancing ACB Legislative Agenda, with, ACB Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs, Anthony Stevens.
This year, we focused on asking Congress to do all they can do to safeguard the services and programs for the blind. These programs are already in place, are bipartisan, and will not require additional funding. The three key programs and services we were addressing are, Independent Living Services for Older Blind Citizens, National Library Services, and the Randolph Sheppard Vending Program.
In addition, we are still trying to get congress to pass a bill that will allow Medicare to pay for the cost of low vision devices, such as CCTV magnifiers that are so vital to people who can no longer read small print.
Prior to attending the Washington meeting, I was in Las Vegas attending the RSVA Sagebrush Conference, the annual conference of blind licensed vendors from across the nation.
This, week long conference, is packed with news and trends from the industry of vending and food service, the latest innovations in equipment, technology, and training, news on the latest state and federal policies, how to communicate and deal effectively with state licensing agencies, writing rules to govern programs, information on customer service, and a myriad of other interesting topics.
What I find most interesting when I attend these conferences are the conversations about the success and failures of the RSA programs from states outside of Oregon. Sometimes I am directly involved in the conversation, and other times I learn just by listening to others talk about their state programs. Many states have very successful programs, others face difficult problems, such as not enough facilities for vendors or inadequate services from their state licensing agencies. But, in the end, everyone agrees the RSVA program is still one of, if not the, most successful employment program for blind individuals.
I would be remiss if I did not thank Randy Hauth and Linda Haseman for the financial support of their non profit organization, Blind Employment Services of Tomorrow (BEST), to make this trip possible for me.
On the Oregon state level, we are continuing to work on ACBO committees that provide opportunities for members to get involved in our organization. We need people to serve on committees such as Fundraising, Bylaws, Public Relations, Advocacy, Legislative, and Natural Hazard Preparedness.
If any of these committees sound interesting to you, please call me and I’ll be happy to appoint you to work on the committee of your choice.
As always, I encourage you to call me if you have any issues or concerns. I enjoy hearing from our members.
James Edwards, President
ACB of Oregon
By your happy Editor, Teresa Christian
Times, they are a changing. As you will read down farther in the newsletter, Sherry Bentley, who has faithfully handled the CD portion of getting the Stylus out, is moving on. At the January ACBO board meeting, the board voted to take the next step into the digital age. Starting in March, this issue, The Stylus audio version will be on NLS style cartriges. They will come in mailers just like the NLS books. Yes, you will need to turn the card over in order to return the cartrige and mailer and get the next issue.
This is a completely new process for me so please be patient as I learn how to manage this new element of producing The Stylus. If you have any problems, please call or email me and I will do my best to get it resolved as soon as possible.
Sherry has been putting the Stylus on CD for us for twelve years. Her husband, Lary, began doing it in 2005. He passed away in 2009, but Sherry was kind enough to continue burning the CDs for us. Her CD duplicater broke and she feels like it is time to step down; she has enjoyed doing it these many years. She wants to spend more time with her children and grand children.
When I first took on the job of coordinating all the bits of the Stylus production, I could always count on Sherry to handle the CD part of things. Steve Armbress records the audio version, then Sherry would burn it onto the CD versions, then mail them out to readers who got the audio version.
. Thanks again Sherry for twelve years of faithfully burning CDs for ACBO!
By Joan Hill
The Braille Forum is no longer available in cassette or computer disk format. It now comes in “digital cartridge” format.
The cartridges are like the ones you get from the National Library. You can play them on your digital player that you received from the library.
The cartridges have a USB connector just like thumb drives do but it is imbedded in the cartridge so you would need a USB extension cable if you wanted to play the cartridge on your computer.
How to Get the Braille Forum by Email
New members and those with email changes need to make their own choice or changes from their own computer. The direct link is:
When you get to this page there is a list of over 60 email lists you can join. One choice is the ACB Braille Forum (listed with the “b” choices). Another choice is our own ACB of Oregon list (listed under “O” choices). Some of these lists require you to set up a password. The Braille Forum is password protected, so you are the only one who can make changes.
The main page of ACB (www.ACB.org) has many choices for reading the Braille Forum. In addition to the Braille Forum link, there is a link on the home page labelled “ACB Email Lists”. This takes you to the same place as the direct link.
The ACB Braille Forum is available in the following formats:
Mail format options are:
Braille, large print and NLS style cartrige. To get started call the national office at
202-467-5081 or 800-424-8666
you can read or download the current issue or back issues by going online at
There are three format options: a Word doc, plain text or a braille-ready file
subscribe to the list by visiting the e-mail lists page at
Or copy this into your browser
subscribe to the podcast versions from your 2nd generation Victor Reader Stream or from .
Trouble accessing computers? There is an alternative just for you. To hear ACB Radio, ACB Braille and E-Forums and ACB Reports by phone, check out these numbers.
ACB Radio on the phone by dialing 605-475-8130.
ACB Braille Forum, E Forum and ACB Reports by dialing
Get Your Applications Filled Out and Turned In!
Submitted by Darian Fleming
Apply to Become a 2018
ACB & JP Morgan Chase Leadership Fellow
by Kenneth Semien, Sr.
Seeking positive change in 2018? Think about it. It’s a great time to personally advance to a higher plain. You, ACB and JP Morgan Chase could be the winning combination you have been searching for. Leadership Fellows are seekers of rewarding opportunities, therefore for the third consecutive year, JP Morgan Chase will provide full access to the ACB Conference and Convention for 5 ACB members who have demonstrated leadership abilities. Get connected with previous classes of Leadership Fellows who have had the experience of a lifetime, while meeting other members and active leaders from around the country. By attending the 57th annual ACB Conference and Convention in Saint Louis, Missouri, as a Leadership Fellow you will be introduced to tools for success through participation in informative workshops, seminars and leadership development sessions that are sure to prepare you to serve well in future leadership roles within ACB, your local chapter, and your state or special interest affiliate.
To be a qualified applicant you are required to meet specific criteria, including but not limited to the following three elements:
• 18 years of age or older
• Blind or visually impaired
• An ACB member in good standing
Eligible applicants must be endorsed by the president of their state or special interest affiliate. The application process for this award also consists of submitting two letters and participating in a telephone interview with a team of DKM committee members. The applicant’s letter will include the objectives in applying for the leadership award; a brief summary of your education and relevant experience; number of years of membership in ACB, as well as, previous conventions attended, if any; description of one’s role as a leader; and examples of what you bring to ACB. Be sure to add your full name, physical address, telephone number where you can be reached, and your primary email address. The affiliate president’s letter of recommendation should address the applicant’s contributions to the affiliate, ACB and community organizations; and describe the applicant’s demonstrated leadership skills and leadership potential. Thirty minute telephone interviews will be scheduled for mid-April.
All recipients receive round-trip transportation; hotel accommodation (double occupancy), per diem stipend for meals and incidentals, convention registration fee and reception and banquet tickets. Recipients are expected to attend the convention from the opening meeting, Saturday evening, June 30, through the Thursday evening banquet, July 5, and to participate actively in all designated convention activities, including the daily general sessions, special-interest presentations, seminars and workshops.
Send application documents to Kelly Gasque in the ACB national office, firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline for receipt is April 3rd. Apply today, don’t be late! Selected awardees will be notified during the latter part of April. Questions regarding the application process and required documentation should be directed to DKM Chair, Kenneth Semien, Sr., email@example.com. Other beneficial information will be shared once your application has been received.
By Marja Byers
It was briefly mentioned at our state convention in North Bend in October and I wanted to give more information about this great opportunity.
James had suggested to me two years ago at the Mid Year Session that I should consider applying for the DKM West Coast First Timer. After looking at the ACB website I got more of the details and it looked like it would be a good opportunity even if I wasn't chosen. The DKM Award is one of the ways that ACB identifies emerging leaders. The DKM committee is looking for
people that are not just engaged with their state and local affiliates but other community activities as well. I knew that I was involved in quite a number of things, Blindskills, transit committees, a city wide church
disabilities team as well as other outreach. I figured it was worth a shot.
I wrote my letter to the committee, James also wrote a letter of
recommendation (a letter from the state or special interest affiliate
president is required).
I was later contacted by Allen Casey, the committee chair at that time,
and I was scheduled for a phone interview. The day of my interview I was on
the phone with three committee members. One of the members of my team
happened to be Steve Fiksdal from Washington state, I'd met Steve when we
were in Washington, D.C.. Steve is also a former 2014 First Timer, it put
me at ease to hear a familiar voice on the phone.
I was chosen as the West Coast First Timer, a young man from Florida, Greg
Lindberg, was the East Coast First Timer.
Our convention expenses were paid,(transportation, hotel, convention cost
and a stipend for meals) by ACB and the DKM Committee, there are also a number of required activities. It was an amazing experience, having a chance to network on a national level was such an extraordinary opportunity.
I was quite honored when Allen Casey asked me to join the DKM Committee the following August. Serving with others from around the country has been a true pleasure and at the last Mid Year I was able to meet and dine with most of the committee members.
Narratives with your qualifications and what you believe you can gain by
being chosen for this award are due by the beginning of April. All
candidates must be at least age 18, blind/sight impaired, an ACB member in
good standing and have never attended an ACB national convention.
To learn more about the DKM Award and who Durward K. McDaniel was. Go to acb.org.
There is a great book written about the history of our organization and the important roll he played in the founding of
ACB. You can get it from the Talking Book library and on the BARD website and of course the BARD Mobile app.
Here is the info
People of vision, a history of the American Council of the Blind DB56115
by Megivern, James J and Megivern, Marjorie. Reading time: 28 hours, 0 minutes.
Read by Mark Ashby.
Disability and Social Sciences
Chronicle of the forty-year-old advocacy organization, American Council of the Blind (ACB), including its split with the National Federation of the Blind in 1961. The work, based on the private papers of founding member Durward McDaniel and conversations with other ACB members, also explores earlier activism on behalf of blind people. 2003.
Submitted by Marja Byers
Spring is almost on us so it is time for the bears to come out of hibernation and lose that winter fat.
Blind Alive now has a free app for your iPhone and there are four free downloads so you can check it out. The free downloads are: a morning stretch, evening stretch, a guided meditation for relaxation and better sleep. Also there are workouts that are for serious beginners up to advanced workouts. Some of the catagories are cardio, yoga, Pilates, boot camp, body sculpting with weights, chair exercises, and ones you do with an exercise ball. Hey, I may have remembered all the catagories, wow!
Also, if you like, you can connect it to your Health app and it will share info with that app and help you track your activity. It is an option and you certainly do not have to agree to that if you don't want to do so.
The apps you buy on the website are separate from the apps you get with in app purchases.
When you go to the app store, search for “Eyes-Free Fitness”
Make this year a good one whether it is trying something new with exercise, or other things like getting wildly wealthy, traveling the world or just learning how to knit.
Take good care,
It appears the government has a new type of attack to worry about: cryptojacking.
And the problem is, it’s a particularly difficult one to defend against because it’s hard to even notice it’s happening.
That gave them access to a back door that led into more than 4,000 websites across the world. People visiting those websites, then, likely found their computers slowing down as the code used their processors to "mine" a cryptocurrency called Monero on behalf of the hacker. The jacking was accomplished through software called Coinhive.
For more information click on this link:
February 2, 2018
The ACB of Oregon Board Meeting was held at the University Place Hotel and Conference Center in Portland; this is where the 2018 state convention will be held.
President Edwards presented the formal oath of office to both the newly elected First and Second Vice-Presidents, Leonard Kokel and Art Stevenson, respectively.
He also gave a formal thank you to Sue Staley for her hard work and dedication during her years on the board.
Expand your experiences, meet new people and help promote blind independence. Step up to the plate, find a committee that you can get behind, call James and get signed up.
He talked about the way for the orgonization to move forward is by working together, encouraging others to get involved and reaching out for support. James said people have complained about how many committees we have. However, he asserts this practice is a good way to get people involved. It also allows us to appoint people to needed tasks and spread out the work, many hands make light work. Just to illustrate, ACB National has about 35 committees and work groups.
To get involved, talk with your chapter president
Or, contact James at (541) 404-8214 or .
• Treasurer’s Report, Sue Schwab. As of December 31, 2017, the checkbook Balance was $ 11,556.47. The restricted Endowment Fund has $340,000.00. The investment income to date is $25,303.13. The vehicle donation program yielded $412.50. Our total Income as of December 31, 2017 was $30,796.76.
The district reports were next.
• District 1: Teresa reported that the Multnomah Chapter and the Metro PDX Chapters are merging. It will take a little time for all the paperwork to get done, but the Multnomah chapter is no longer meeting. Some members have joined Metro PDX and some the Pioneer Chapter.
The merge is going smoothly. Metro PDX has a retreat every January and the Multnomah members who joined came too. There are already a lot more activities in the works. The social committee is planning new activities and the Tech Committee has met and has several projects in the works as well.
Both the Pioneer and the Columbia Chapters are continuing to meet for social purposes only.
• District 2: Jeanne-Marie Moore was unable to be at the board meeting due to a prior engagement so sent her report via email.
Klamath Chapter: Don, the chapter president, broke his ankle and had to have surgery. Joan Hill is faithfully continuing to keep track of membership.
Eugene: I was asked to take over the support group at Olive Plaza and will be working with another blind person, a man who moved here from Illinois. We are considering forming a group here of semi-retired professionals. Yesterday, the Lions Club held a 20% fund-raiser at BJ's for Hull Park. It was extremely successful; there were at least 100 people when I was there. Mary Lee Turner expressed appreciation and is glad so many people supported the cause.
Salem, I talked with folks up there and things seem to be going okay.
• District 3: Carrie Muth. Dunes Park didn’t meet in January. The Southwestern Chapter had a small but enjoyable Christmas party. They are currently doing their candy sales. There was nothing to report about Rogue Valley at this time.
Small Committee Reports:
• Commission for the Blind Report. Jeanne-Marie reported that on April20, there will be an all-day meeting for the Commission to do its Strategic Plan for the next two years. Jeanne-Marie reported that she does not wish to continue her appointment. However, it may be December 2019 before a new appointment is made. The Commission has put together a draft of bylaws for the commissioners, constructed by the agency, not the commissioners.
On February 6 or 7 there will be a hearing on a bill about government not being able to remove children based on parents’ disabilities. She suggested that ACBO support this bill. There is also a national proposal to commercialize rest areas. The Conneli amendment allows blind licensed managers to operate vending machines in rest areas. We are urged to speak out against this legislation.
• membership report was given by the chair, Teresa Christian. She usually attends the national ACB membership calls. Some main points from this discussion were about membership recruitment and support. It included the idea of helping members get to meetings when transportation is challenging. Produce business cards that may be given to potential members when we encounter them out in the public. Plan interesting presentations and activities that invite younger people to join.
•Website report by web-master Pat Schwab. If you have website work experience, he would love some assistance.
• The Stylus report was given by the editor, Teresa Christian. ACB of Oregon will provide a gift card to Sherry Bentley who has been duplicating and mailing the CD version of The Stylus for twelve years. Sherry has asked to step down from this role. In view of losing Sherry, ACB of Oregon will no longer use a CD format and will begin with the March issue, putting the Stylus on cartriges like the Talking Book and Braille Library and Dialogue Magazine. Recipients of the audio version will receive the cartridge in a mailer; this will need to be returned in order to get the next issue.
• The Advocacy Liaison Committee had an audience with Leonard Kokel about how the Commission for the Blind is sending braille writers for repair to vendors out of state. Mr. Kokel has a braille writer repair business and feels the Commission should support in-state businesses. This issue is being investigated.
President James appointed committees. If you are interested in becoming involved with a committee, please contact James, see contact info at the top of this newsletter
Here is the list of committees and members so far:
• Fund-raising: Sue Schwab, Art Stevenson and Darian Slayton Fleming.
• Membership: Teresa Christian, Joan Hill, Art Stevenson and Pat Wallace.
• Bylaws: James Edwards, Leonard Kokel and Joan Hill.
• Convention Committee: James Edwards, Darian Slayton Fleming, Teresa Christian, Art Stevenson, Carrie Muth, Sue Schwab, Sue Staley and Pat Wallace.
•Website: Pat Schwab and Dan Ezell.
• Art asked that a Publicity Committee be appointed; it will consist of Art Stevenson and Pat Wallace. The website is integral.
• Stylus: Teresa Christian.
• Advocacy Liaison: Marja Byers, Pat Wallace and Sue Staley.
• Legislative: Randy Hauth, Art Stevenson, Pat Wallace, Marja Byers and John Hamell.
• Disaster Preparedness: James Edwards and Sue Staley.
• School for the Blind: Darian Slayton Fleming and Pat Schwab.
• Disaster Preparedness
The governor has put together a bill, OSSPAC SB 850 which is a bill about disaster preparedness. James and Sue Staley have attended several meetings about this issue and have been instrumental in getting the committee to include materials in alternative formats to Oregon citizens who are blind.
• 2018 Oregon State Scholarship
Oregon provides an annual scholarship to students. There are $1200 remaining funds from the 2017 scholarship that were not claimed. The board voted to add these funds to the 2018 scholarship making it $2500.
• A New Chapter
Several Oregon licensed blind vendors have organized a special interest group, and the board accepted their application.
President Edwards plans to begin reaching out to interested members, to represent ACB when activities are happening in their local area. He attends events all over the state and believes it makes financial and time sense to better utilize all the talent we have inside our organization. If you think you might be interested contact James at (541) 404-8214 or .
The meeting was adjourned after 6 PM
End of board summary
Congradulations to Darian Slayton Fleming; call me and let me know you saw this notice and your $25 check will be on its way.
Dear readers, please remember your submissions make this newsletter more interesting. Whether or not your submission makes it in the Stylus, for each item you send me, your name will go into the hat and just might get drawn.
So send me what interests you, what you think other VIP folks will find useful and/or entertaining.
E-Mail your submissions to me, by June 1st, Teresa, your happy editor at
Part 2 of 5, Submitted by Sue Staley and Recipes courtesy Food Network Magazine
20. Stewed BLT
Cook chopped bacon in a deep skillet; add pasta sauce and escarole and cook
until greens are tender.
21 Pizza Potato
Make a deep slit in baked potatoes, then stuff with some pasta sauce,
chopped pepperoni and shredded mozzarella; bake at 400 degrees until the
22. Italian Meatloaf
Add 1 cup pasta sauce, 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese and some chopped
rosemary to a basic meatloaf recipe (using 2 pounds ground beef). Bake; top
with more sauce and cheese 15 minutes before it's done.
23. Baked Beans
Simmer 1 cup pasta sauce with 1/4 cup honey mustard, 1/4 cup brown sugar and
1 large can white beans until bubbly.
24. Tomato Mac and Cheese
Mix some pasta sauce with prepared macaroni and cheese in a baking dish;
drizzle with more sauce and bake at 350 degrees until hot and bubbly.
25. Instant Salsa
Mix 1 cup pasta sauce with 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1/2 cup corn kernels,
chopped cilantro, diced red onion and a dash of hot sauce.
26. Sweet-and-Sour Franks
Bring 4 cups thinly sliced onions, 1 cup pasta sauce, 1/2 cup water and 2
tablespoons brown sugar to a boil; cover and simmer 40 minutes. Serve on hot
27. Vodka Penne
Simmer 1/2 cup heavy cream and 3 cups pasta sauce in a skillet for 3 to 5
minutes; remove from heat and stir in 2 to 3 tablespoons vodka. Toss with
28. Saucy Marinade
Combine 1 cup pasta sauce with 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar and 1/4 cup olive
oil; add smashed garlic cloves, salt and pepper. Use as marinade for 1 pound
chicken or pork.
29. Tomato Biscuits
Spread refrigerated biscuits with pasta sauce; top with grated cheddar
cheese and chopped scallions and bake as directed.
By James Edwards
The Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) is conducting a web survey investigating how individuals that are blind or visually impaired perceive the safety of transportation network companies or TNCs (companies like Uber or Lyft, sometimes referred to as ride sharing companies) relative to other travel modes. The research will also seek to identify how this community utilizes TNCs for safe mobility. You may participate by clicking here, or by copying the following URL and pasting into your web browser: https://goo.gl/JSBbtE.
**As you all know by now, every Stylus issue has a contest for submitting items that will potentially go in the Stylus. Your name will be entered once for each item you submit to me for the upcoming issue. For example, if you submit 10 items, your name will be entered 10 times in the drawing. You can send as many items as you like and whether or not it makes it into the next issue, your name will go into the random drawing. One name will be selected and that lucky person will receive $25. The winner must call or email me to let me know they discovered their name as being the winner for this issue. Your $25 check will be released after you contact me. Keep those submissions coming and good luck!!
** To change your address, request alternative formats for ACB publications, or request financial documents, contact our state treasurer, Sue Schwab.
4352 Trapper Drive NE
Salem, Oregon 97305
** Stylus Editor, Teresa Christian
Thanks for reading this issue of the Stylus!
May you always have enough!
In love and light, your happy editor, Teresa Christian