summer Issue

June 2015

 

The official quarterly publication of the

American Council of the Blind of Oregon.

 

James Edwards, President, ACB of O

Phone: (541) 404-8214

Email: jamese.acbo@gmail.com

 

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

http://www.acboforegon.org

 

 

 

For email readers you may skip to a new article at any time by using your browser or word processor's Find or Search function to locate a new section. *** indicates a new section.

 

 

 

***Contents in This issue

 

*A Note from the President

*Consumers on SSI can receive a CFTB computer for $40

*Need Assistive Technology and Not Sure Where to Turn?

*College Scholarships for Blind Students

*What happens when a Board of Directors fails to direct?

*Healthy Living

*Library Corner

*Metro PDX Chapter News

*ACB of Oregon Board Meeting Minutes 

*Stylus Submission Contest

 

***A Note from the President

By President James Edwards

 

Here we are in the middle of summer, and before we know it, October will be here, so I'll tell you all some of the things we have been working on for our state convention.

   First of all, we have as our National representative, Mr. Jeff Thom. Jeff is ACB 1st vice president. He is an attorney, graduated from University of Oregon, and lives in the Sacramento California area. Jeff has been involved in ACB for many years, is very active in the organization, and he is a dynamic speaker. I believe we will all enjoy his presence at our convention.

    Of course we have our regulars coming to update us on their respective issues, the Oregon Commission for the Blind, the Oregon state library, and Scott McCallum, Northwest Regional ESD coordinator.

   I am in communication with a local ophthalmologist to come as a speaker on advancement of technology and research on eye diseases. Dr. Haines goes to third world countries to treat people with vision problems who are not blessed with the resources we have in America. I'm sure he will have some very interesting stories and experiences to relate to us.

   As many of you know, this year we have become involved in advocacy work in a way we haven't done in the past, at least in the 20 or so years I have been involved. We also have members who are involved in legislative issues, diligently monitoring legislative bills and actions. So, with that in mind, we are dedicating most of the afternoon with programs on advocacy and legislative topics. It should be a very informative and educational convention day on Saturday.

    On Friday evening, we will be having our social hour with wine tasting, food, and live music. So, please make your reservations as soon as you get your forms and plan on having a good time!

    The location for this year is the Village Green Resort in Cottage Grove. Some of you may remember we held it there in 2012. It is a nice hotel with good accommodations, good facilities, and a friendly staff. You will be receiving your registration forms very soon with the number to call for reservations, meal choices, and other pertinent information we need. It is very important to complete your form as soon as possible to help us with our planning.

    Since this is the year we elect officers for the Board of Directors for ACBO, it is important you have your name submitted to the Nomination Committee if you desire to be elected as a state officer. Having said that, we, the Board, are seeking members to volunteer to serve as this year's nomination committee. We usually try to have one person from each geographic district. Please call or email Darian Fleming if you are interested. And, as always, I encourage you to run for an office, get involved in your organization! Be an active member and be a part of ACBO as we move forward in a positive manner into the future.

   Looking forward to the convention and hoping to see you all there!

 

 

 

*Did you hear who won the submission contest this time?*

 

 

  

***Consumers on SSI can receive a CFTB computer for $40

through a grant   from the Delta Gamma Foundation

  

Computers for the Blind (CFTB) a non profit 501 (c) (3) organization located in Richardson, Texas  is pleased to announce the receipt of a   generous grant from the Delta Gamma Foundation to provide 75 accessible desktop computers and monitors for $40 to persons who are on SSI due to their blindness. The regular fee for a desktop is $110. Laptops are $160.

  

These refurbished computers come installed with the following   accessibility software:

 

NVDA Screen Reader

www.nvda-project.org

  

            JAWS Screen Reader, (FS) trial version

www.freedomscientific.com  

 

            Licensed copy of MAGic w/out speech Screen Magnification software valued at $395 by FS

  

   TypeAbility Typing Tutorial, trial version

www.yesaccessible.com

  

            Larger monitors for those with low vision

  

   For questions or to request a computer contact Computers for the Blind at

214-340-6328 or

info@computersfortheblind.net.

 

  for details on computer specs and additional free software go to

   www.computersfortheblind.net

  

   Shipping is free and computers are generally mailed within one week of receipt of $40 check and award letter from the Social Security Administration (SSA) showing proof of SSI based on blindness.

  

   CFTB also received a grant from the Delta Gamma Foundation to provide 25 TypeAbility Typing Tutorial licenses for $25.00 each for CFTB consumers. These retail for $150 and are normally available to CFTB consumers for $50.00. The consumer will need to send them a check for $25, a copy of their award letter from the SSA showing proof of SSI based on blindness, and their CFTB ID number found in my documents  on their CFTB computer.

 

To obtain a license, contact YesAccessible

www.yesaccessible.com,

626-358-5750

info@yesaccessible.com.

  

   Please note that consumers must choose between the computer grant and the TypeAbility Grant. 

Finally, only SSI recipients are eligible for the grants, not SSDI recipients.

  

   David Jeppson - Executive Director

   Computers for the Blind -

www.computersfortheblind.net

   djeppson@computersfortheblind.net

 

 

 

***Need Assistive Technology and Not Sure Where to Turn?

 

Need some assistive technology, but not a client of the Commission and not sure where to turn? There may be a solution for you.

 

Access Technologies Inc. (ATI)

Serves the entire state of Oregon by coming to your home to do an assessment or you can go to their office in Salem.

They serve visually impaired folks as well as people with other disabilities such as cognitive and physical disabilities. They also do work station assessments to prevent or correct work related injuries.

 

ATI has a lending library that allows you to explore equipment before committing to purchasing.

They Can assist with locating financial solutions including assistance from service organizations and they have a lay away program. They can help locate potential grant funding in some cases.

ATI can assist with obtaining new or used technology or durable medical equipment.

 

iCanConnect - Oregon is a federal grant administered by ATI. It provides equipment and training to people with significant combined hearing and vision loss so they can stay connected to friends and family. Sending email or chatting on the phone can be difficult without access to the right equipment. iCanConnect puts that technology into the hands of these individuals to enhance their independence.

 

Visit them on the web or go to their Salem store to view the Assistive Technology MarketPlace for savings on quality solutions for vision, hearing, cognitive, daily living and mobility accommodations.

Access Technologies, Inc.
www.accesstechnologiesinc.org

Voice/TTY: 1-800-677-7512
Voice/TTY: (503) 361-1201
2225 Lancaster Drive NE
Salem, OR 97305

 

 

 

*** College Scholarships for Blind Students

By Jeanne-Marie Moore

 

The California Council of the Blind is offering scholarships to college, university, and vocational school students who are legally blind and are either residents of California, regardless of where they attend school, or non-residents of California attending school in this state. Scholarships are for entering freshman, undergraduates, and graduate students. Applications must be submitted by July 1, 2015. The application can be found online at

www.ccbnet.org/scholar2015-2016.htm

 

 

 

*I wonder who won the submission contest this time?*

 

 

 

***What happens when a Board of Directors fails to direct?

By President James Edwards

 

   If you are so inclined, you can probably find a board, committee, or council to serve on. Sometimes these positions require public election, sometimes appointed by the Governor, or sometimes just by applying for the position. It's easy to get involved in your local community, either on a small committee such as the garden club, library board, Lions club, or numerous other community oriented organizations or, you can get involved in local government such as city council or water district. Our state government has over 200 commissions and boards overseeing particular entities and agencies.

    Volunteer service is a rewarding experience. But, sometimes people who serve are not prepared or knowledgeable about the position they find themselves in after they are appointed. They attend meetings without doing research and being well informed about the issues they are required to vote on. They are, in essence, spaceholders, For that reason, it is easy for a person in the position of authority to manipulate the board members to accomplish what they want, not, sometimes what is right.

    I found this to be true last week in my community Fire Protection District. I was asked to serve on the District's local budget committee, and appointed the role of chairman. During my questioning of last year's expenditures, I came across a line item budgeting $50,000.00 for the fire chief's retirement that was not in the budget for this year, I asked why it wasn't in this year's budget and received a vague reply, and a denial that he had received it. However, the district's accountant told me he did receive the money, but she couldn't explain why since he didn't retire. As you may guess, the Oregon Ethics Commission is now investigating this action.

    The point is, if the board of directors he has to answer to were doing their duty, he would never have received the money. They were not doing their job, and were manipulated into doing something illegal. 

    Remember, if you decide to serve on a board, council, or commission, do your due diligence. Your job is to oversee the governing body you are serving. By doing things right, you are protecting yourself, and the public your entity is serving.

 

 

 

***Healthy Living

By Hugh Can

Reprinted from The Blind Perspective, Feb. 2015

 

Hello everybody, this month I would like to share some ideas about exercise, but first let me tell you a little about myself. I attended a school for the blind at an early age where their gym program was excellent. There were lots of activities to choose from and I did them all.

 

When I joined the work force, I continued to be active, running, weight training, karate, track and field, goal ball, power lifting and whatever else I could do to stay in shape. I was fortunate enough to have good guiding vision but as some of you know, having RP, then you know that the vision you enjoy is temporary. This caused me to change what I do to keep healthy and in good shape. Working full time also made it more challenging. For nearly 30 years I have been working full time, working from my home. My wife and I also raised 3 children and my work involves 40 to 50 hours a week. The reason I am telling you all this is because I still manage to workout 4 days a week and part of my work is to motivate people to make positive changes in their lives.

 

Here are a few things that I hear when people tell me that they do not exercise. I have no time. I have no energy. I do not know what to do. I cannot afford a membership at a gym. I have no motivation. I have no room in my home to exercise. I cannot afford exercise equipment for my home. I am too embarrassed to ask for help. As you can see, there are lots of reasons why people do not exercise. There is so much information about health and exercise and it can get very confusing. It seems that everybody is an expert and some of the information is very extreme. The only thing that you can do is to check your results after 3 or 4 weeks of exercise and I can only offer you what has worked for me as a blind person. Most of us cannot play tennis or squash and going to a gym by yourself can be very stressful, not to mention dangerous.

 

The following are some tips that may help you to get started or if you are already exercising, the following may motivate you to step up your exercise program.

 

1-make time. Pick 3 or 4 times a week that you are going to exercise. Think of it as a part time job With a job, you have to show up and make sure that the times are set in stone. Know the night before that you have to exercise. If someone wants you to do something else at that time, tell them you are booked up, that you have an appointment. That appointment is with yourself.

 

2- Ask for help. If you do not know what to do then ask someone that can help you. YouTube is a great source of information and motivation. Have someone check out videos and help you with a program. Tap in to people who know how to work out and find something that works for you. It is okay to ask, it is not some kind of weakness or failure.

 

3- Keep track of your exercise program and your progress. Use a talking timer to keep you honest. A timer will make sure that you do not cheat. It is very easy to say “ that is good enough” and quit early. You may want to weigh yourself and take a few measurements and each week you can check how you are doing. Seeing results will encourage you to stay with it.

 

4- Start out slow. Remember you are not training for the Olympics and you want to still be able to exercise when you are in your seventies and eighties, or even longer. A good rule is to stop knowing that you could do more but that can wait until tomorrow. Make it easy at first and watch the results. It is not what you start out with, it is what you are able to do after 6 months and what you can do when you are in your later years, remember that the turtle won the race.

 

5- Check your belief system. What limitations have you set on yourself. You only need a little floor space, maybe a free wall to use, a chair, a counter top and if you are real lucky, a set of stairs. You can also find exercise equipment for free. There are lots of people who have exercise gear that would love to get rid of. They may even deliver it to your home. Keep your options open, do not say, “ I cannot do it”, say” I am working on it”.

 

6- Build your gym. If you are working out in a gym, it is a good idea to have a friend to workout with. If you are working out at home, look at what space you have and what are your options? Bungee cables take up no room and they are not very expensive. Dumb bells and an adjustable bench take little room and can be a big part of your exercise program. Build your exercise space, adding new things each month. Give it time to build up and that way you will have a better idea of what you need.

 

7- Cover all the basses. Make sure that your workout involves flexibility, resistance and cardio. In other words, stretching, working your muscles and getting your heart rate up. Learn about working out and keeping your heart rate in a safe zone. Use a talking heart rate monitor if you have any concerns. Pay attention to how you are feeling and play it safe. Do not continue if you are not feeling well, remember , stop knowing that you could do more and that you have the rest of your life to exercise.

 

8- Chat with others. Keep in touch with other likeminded people. Chatting with others about exercising and staying healthy will really help to keep you motivated. Learn from each other, share what works and what does not. Challenge each other and set goals. The blind community is well connected now that we are able to use a computer. Chat sites, Skype, and email are just a few ways that we can stay connected and to motivate each other.

 

9- Complement your exercise program. To really be successful with exercise, it is very important to drink lots of water, eat healthy food, get enough sleep and keep a positive attitude. Be consistent and do not set your goals too high. Make it easy, enjoyable and give yourself a pat on the back.

 

10- Be smart. If you have any medical condition that may make it difficult or dangerous, please check with your doctor or someone who can help you. Even a little activity can make a big difference. Stay within your limits and for others that can challenge themselves more, go slow and increase your activity gradually.

 

I hope that this may be of some help to someone. I would like to close with the following quote. “Being healthy and fit is not a fad or a trend. Instead it is a lifestyle” .

 

 

 

*I heard several rumors as to who it might be this time.*

 

 

 

*********Library Corner

By Jeanne-Marie Moore

 

Library Fact

There was a question about how to find books according to topic, and here is the answer from the Talking Book and Braille Library. Our catalog does have links that allow you to download books from BARD (the link’s text will say “Downloadable Talking Book”; it’s in the far-right column on the results page).  If you search for a type of book (i.e. Mysteries or Science Fiction), then use the Recently Added filters on the results page, you can find just the books that were added within the last 1, 3, or 6 months. When you find a book you want to download, just click the link.  If you are already logged into BARD, the download will start.  If you are not, you will be prompted to enter your login information, and then the download will start. This way you can use the more advanced filter options from our catalog combined with the convenience of downloading books from BARD!

 

For questions, call:

(800) 452-0292.

 

 

 

***Metro PDX Chapter News

By President, Darian Slayton Fleming 

 

The Metro PDX Chapter began the year with our second-annual chapter retreat. Tyanne and Allan Wilmath hosted us, and we were joined by Courtney Woodward, a trained group facilitator, who guided us through a discussion about group communication, group dynamics and positive strategies for group cohesiveness. This aspect of the retreat was welcomed and appreciated by all. During that meeting we also set strategic goals for the year.

 

In December, we hosted our second-annual Winter Independence Shopping Experience (WISE). This year Desiree Christian co-coordinated the experience with Darian Slayton Fleming. Thanks to a generous donation from a parent, we were able to serve nine youth between the ages of 6 and 12.

 

We have created a Youth Engagement Committee to organize activities for children in the Portland area who experience low vision or blindness and their families. Tyanne Wilmath and Desiree Christian coordinate this committee. We hope to use these activities to educate families about the American Council of the Blind of Oregon and mentor future members/leaders for our organization.

 

We had a new guest at our May Chapter meeting, and she joined that evening! We welcome new member, welcome Samrawit Biyazin. She goes by Sam. Sam is originally from Ethiopia and has been in Portland for two years. She plans to start school at Portland State University this summer majoring in Human Resources Management. Sam is passionate about advocacy and eager to be part of our work. She wishes to attend the ACB of Oregon state convention this year. I know you will enjoy getting to know this poised and enthusiastic new member.

 

On May 18th we held another Burgerville fund-raiser at the location on Southeast 92nd and Powell. We were very impressed by our young volunteers, Tyanne (Pepper) Wilmath, Tyanne’s daughter, and Steven, Bobi Earp’s grandson. Their approach to their duties was very grownup and professional. A special thanks also goes to Linda Haseman and Randy Hauth who were extremely gracious and great mentors to Steven and Pepper. Thanks to attendees we received generous donations and hope to report our earnings in the next issue of “The Stylus”.

 

The Sightless Self-Defense workshop that was scheduled for May 30, had to be canceled due to lack of sign ups. Many people who would have otherwise been interested were already commited to Dragon Boat races. We will reschedule when it is off season.

 

In August, we hope to hold a larger fund-raiser, assisted by Eddie’s Flat Iron Pizza, at Overlook Park in Portland. We hope you will join us. Details will be posted on our Metro PDX Announcements List, posted on our space on the ACB of Oregon website and sent to chapter presidents

 

We continue to gather socially after meetings at the Ling Garden Chinese Restaurant, in Northwest Portland, where the wait staff treat us very well. We try new restaurants from time to time. In April we gathered at the Vegie Grill in Downtown Portland and found the food to be delicious.  In May we were extremely fortunate to enjoy wonderful weather and food at McMenamins Market Street Pub where we ate outdoors.

 

This year we are updating our Constitution and Bylaws, We have a very able committee consisting of Bobi Earp, Cheree Heppe, Alexa Golden and Darian and John Fleming. We have found a new passion for Bobi Earp who has provided excellent guidance and support to us with our work.

 

We wish you all a wonderful summer and look forward to seeing you in October at our state convention in Cottage Grove.

 

 

 

***ACB of Oregon Board Meeting Minutes 

 

April 18, 2015

 

President Edwards called the meeting to order at 10 AM. Officers Present included  James Edwards, Sue Staley, Leonard Kokel, Darian Slayton Fleming, and Sue Schwab. Teresa Christian, Jeanne-Marie Moore and Samantha Orchard were absent. Guests in attendance included Ron Staley, Art Stevenson, Dick Kohl, John Fleming, Bob and Bev Rushing, Pat Schwab, Randy Hauth and Joan Hill.

 

James called for approval of the agenda. Darian reminded the board of the need to appoint a new chair for the Bylaws Committee in lieu of Loretta Miller’s resignation. The agenda was approved. 

 

Next, President Edwards performed a verbal swearing in of Sue Schwab as new treasurer on the ACB of Oregon Board. 

 

President Edwards called for approval of the January 31st board meeting minutes. He also called for approval of the March 31st special board meeting minutes that was called to appoint a treasurer to replace Loretta Miller. Both were approved with motions that were made and seconded. 

 

Treasurers report: as of the end of February:

Checkbook balance $9,129.21

 

Chase Money Market balance $70,840.90

 

Wells Fargo Savings balance $50,040.02

 

Wedbush Morgan Accounts $386,061.33

 

Total Cabo Oregon Assets $516,071.46 

 

Endowment Fund $360,000.00 

 

Temporarily Restricted Student Convention Donations $2,641.89

 

Net Income through Feb 2015 $11,114.07 

 

Some Income Items of Interest to report:

 

Investment Interest/Dividends $5,913.50

 

Vehicle Donation Income $219.99

 

ACB of O Membership $780.00 

 

Total Income $6,976.49 

 

Some Expense Items of Interest to report:

 

Board Meeting & Travel $1,809.50    Budgeted $2,000.00

 

Total Expenses $2,440.04

 

Unrealized Gains on Investments $6,577.62 

 

Actual checkbook balance as of board meeting date 4/18/15 $3,889.53 

 

President Edwards had two items of correspondence. One was an invitation from Scott McCallum, director of the Blind and Visually Impaired Students Funds asking whether ACB of Oregon wished to have a table at a Northwest Blind Athletes Association event in Canby, Oregon in May. Darian agreed to coordinate putting together a table and coverage for this event. President Edwards will send Darian the E-mail containing the needed details. 

 

President Edwards also received correspondence from a Brian Douglas from Bend. Mr. Douglas was asking whether ACB of Oregon wished to join in supporting a law suit of the city of Bend to get them to get into compliance of the ADA regarding street and sidewalk safety/curb cuts, etc. Darian asked James to include Mr. Douglas in an advocacy Liaison Committee. She reminded James that he might want to revive the Advocacy Liaison Committee. President Edwards informed the board that he would address the issue during the Committee Reports section of the meeting. President Edwards also stated he would invite Mr. Douglas to an Advocacy Liaison committee meeting. James would like to send a letter agreeing that ACB of Oregon would join in the proceedings. 

 

Darian gave the District 1 report that Teresa had provided. The Columbia and Pioneer chapters are still meeting only for social purposes. 

The Multnomah chapter has had 2 Burgerville fund-raisers so far this year and that is going well. They have 4 more scheduled throughout the rest of the year. 

The Metro PDX chapter is in the midst of putting together the self-defense workshop to be held on May 16th. They are working on some changes to the bylaws. They are also working on several fund-raisers. 

 

There was no District 2 report. 

 

Samantha Orchard is home from hospital. Leonard reported that not much is going on currently with the Southwestern Chapter. 

 

President Edwards reported that the Dunes Park Chapter is hanging in there. They still meet on the second Friday of each month. After one more meeting they will recess for the summer. 

 

Committee reports followed. President Edwards was complimented on his testimony at the April Commission Board Meeting. Darian reported that Jeanne-Marie has applied to serve on the board; her application was acknowledged. She also reported that Randy has urged people to continue to apply for other positions that are coming open. The NFB tells the legislature that no one applies; this may be one of the reasons they are pushing extended terms. Darian pointed out that people have applied in the past, but their applications were not acknowledged by the Governor’s office. So telling the legislature that no one is applying is incorrect information. In addition, the application is not accessible. People need sighted assistance to complete the application. This is a barrier which may be attributed to low application rates. President Edwards stated that the advocacy committee may be able to address this issue. 

 

James asked the board to approve Art Stevenson to co-chair the Legislative efforts with Randy Hauth; approval was given.

 

The Legislative Report for the 2015 Session was sent via E-mail by Randy Hauth. He also presented it over the phone during the board meeting. 

 

Please find below, the Senate or House bills introduced relevant to persons who are blind and services for persons who are blind or that may be applicable

in some manner.  As legislative session proceeds I will keep you apprised, to the best of my ability, relevant to the movement and/or changes to these

bills and other pertinent bills, if any, that may be introduced, and will also be working with ACBO President, James Edwards, to coordinate a legislative

meet and greet at the State Capital.  

 

The first bill is Senate Bill 449 – Relating to services for individuals with disabilities.  Specifically, this bill creates Office for Deaf, Deaf-Blind and Hard of Hearing Services in Department of Human Services.  The introduction and first reading on this bill occurred on January 12, 2015. 

 

The second bill is Senate Bill 5503, which relates to the financial administration of the Commission for the Blind; declaring an emergency, effective July 1, 2015.  Specifically, this bill appropriates moneys from General Fund to Commission for the Blind for biennial expenses.  It also limits biennial expenditures from fees, moneys, or other revenues, including Miscellaneous Receipts, but excluding lottery funds and federal funds, collected or received by commission. Additionally, it limits biennial expenditures by commission from federal funds.  Declares emergency, effective July 1, 2015.  This bill was introduced and first read on January 12, 2015 at the request of Department of Administrative Services and is similar to HB 5003 that was introduced in 2013 and implemented for the 2013-15 biennium budget. 

 

Thirdly, there is proposed legislation relevant to the Business Enterprise Program that is presently working its way through legislative council and which may or may not be introduced this session.  If introduced, the goal of this legislation is to revise the language in the Oregon Revised Statutes to closely align with the federal Randolph-Sheppard Act, in an attempt to end the historical challenges, including legal that this program has endured. 

 

Fourth, is Senate Bill 289 which relates to monitoring the efficacy of state government entities that was introduced at the request of Governor Kitzhaber. In sum, this bill establishes legislative policy of conducting periodic review of state boards, commissions and other small entities within executive branch of state government to enhance budget and government efficiency minimize duplication of effort and enhance efforts of such entities in meeting current needs of Oregonians. Contained within this bill is an elimination schedule established over a period of time to end these state boards, commissions, and other small entities.   In the proposed bill, the Oregon Commission for the Blind is slated to end as of June 30, 2020.  It is important to note that each state board, commission, or small entity identified in the bill has the ability to save themselves by proving they are efficient and have measurable outcomes worthy of saving. 

 

Fifth is House Bill 2217 which relates to the assessed value of property; prescribing an effective date.  In sum, it freezes assessed value of homestead of certain seniors and individuals with disabilities at assessed value on date claim is filed.  Applies to property tax years beginning July 1, 2016. Takes effect only if constitutional revision proposed by Joint Resolution (2015) (LC 335) is approved by people at next primary election. Takes effect on effective date of constitutional revision proposed by Joint Resolution (2015) (LC 335).  This bill was introduced at the request of House Interim Committee on Revenue and the first reading occurred on January 12, 2015. 

 

Sixth are Senate Bill 40 and House Bill 2122, respectively, which both relate to a tax credit for child with a disability.  Specifically, these bills extend sunset for tax credit for child with disability.  Senate Bill 40 was introduced at the request of Senate Interim Committee on Finance and Revenue and first reading occurred on January 12, 2015.  House Bill 2122 was introduced at the request of House Interim Committee on Revenue and was first read on January 12, 2015. 

 

Additionally, the Governor’s proposed budget for the 2015-17 biennium includes an increase in staffing to the Commission for the Blind. Specifically, 3.0 fulltime equivalent (FTE) in the older blind program and 1.5 FTE in the Business Enterprise Program.  There will also be legislative proposed budgets that come forth through the legislative process, which a final adopted 2015-17 biennium budget at the conclusion of the legislative session.  Therefore, careful monitoring on this throughout this legislative session is warranted. 

 

To review the text and track the progress of each bill identified above or any other legislative bill, interested individuals are encouraged to go to the Oregon Bill Tracker website at

 

http://gov.oregonlive.com/bill/

 

select either House or Senate (dependent on which legislative body the bill was introduced by), select 2015 Session, and then enter the bill number.  This website also has a search function, by words, phrases, etc., that I would encourage anyone interested in other legislative bills to utilize. 

 

In closing, three (3) Commissioner terms through the Oregon Commission for the Blind are due to expire on June 30, 2015.  The position terms expiring are held by Sara Hirsi, Patricia Kepler and Carla McQuillan.   The Executive Appointments Interest Form is contained in the following link: 

 

http://www.oregon.gov/OAC/docs/Form2011.pdf 

 

I would request your assistance on April 20th, as we visit Salem, where we will be addressing several bills HB 3187 which extends the terms of the OCB Commissioners, and as well SB 934, which could take away vending opportunities from the blind. 

 

As such, I could sure use your help with providing Public Testimony, so please let me know if you can go along to help.  Of course we would make sure to get you there and back so let me know.  

 

In addition to "going in person you can also write a statement of non-support which we can post on the Oregon Legislative Information Server, as such I can help give you a couple talking points if you would like. 

 

SB5503: Proposing additional funding for OCB targeted bep and older blind. Public testimony given. FYI:  House Bill 3077 may be of interest to ACB of Oregon as it deals with adding a required certification for assistance animals to be allowed into food establishments. 

 

Also a note on the bill regarding boards and commissions. This one is extremely concerning.  It is no secret that  the Governor felt the  state had too many boards and commissions and  felt that filling the appointments a waste of his time. As far as I know OCB  is the only true service Commission, heading an actually funded agency, so  I don't think there is a lot of concern there, but one never knows. 

 

One other item on that note   a proposal to extend OCB Commissioner appointments.  This proposal was made by the NFB in response to the Governors decision that  all board and commissioner appointment should be limited to 2 terms. Currently the OCB bylaws state a Commissioner is limited to three two year terms. It is my understanding that OCB is the only commission that  still has two year terms. Most other commission have two, three year terms and some have four. So that is something to consider when applying for the commissioner position 

 

There is also legislation regarding the Fairview trust. I point this out because of its similarity to the Blind Students trust.   Similarly, the  Fairview trust was established upon the sale of  the institution and established to fund the housing for  people with intellectual disabilities. This trust, just like the blind trust has been neglected and not maintained and there is legislation to remedy this. Although this is not a blindness issue, other than this appears to be an established pattern of our state Government  creating promises for people with disabilities and not following through. It has been directed to ways and means for a hearing later in the session. There is a $12 Million shortfall in Human Services so it may be a battle to get those funds. 

 

Regarding SB 449-Deaf-Blind and Hard of Hearing Funding: There will be an awareness day at the Capitol on April 27. There is talk about creating a separate office for those services. (Note From Your Secretary: I attended the Commission for the Blind Board Meeting in April. Angel Hale reported that Commission for the Blind staff will be receiving special training on working with deaf-blind and hard of hearing clients.) Sue Schwab reported that she had received notice about a rule-making session regarding Bills HB 4081 and HB 2060 dealing with charities relevant to civil penalties. The correct numbers may be HB2060 and HB4041. Randy asked for assistance finding these with the Bill Tracking System. There is a hearing date scheduled for May 8th. 

 

Legislative Day: Randy suggested providing training to members regarding how to advocate with the legislature and in other situations. The advocacy Liaison Committee was to schedule a legislative day, but the committee has not been meeting. Sue Schwab suggested organizing an event before the May primary. It was decided that the time for planning was too short this year. Plans will be made ahead in time for the next legislative session. We need to ascertain primary voting dates. Art stated that this coming Tuesday is the deadline for any active legislation to be considered during the last part of the legislative session. As an organization we need to be active in current issues.  

 

Sue Staley had no fund-raising report. She stated she would work on appointing a committee and report at the next meeting. Darian offered to work with her. 

 

John Fleming reported that Joan Hill was doing an excellent job with the database and everything had been turned into national on time. Joan Hill reported

that our total membership is 154.  

 

Due to Loretta’s resignation, this committee needs a new chair. Sue Staley agreed to fill this position. Leonard and Darian will work with her.  

 

James mentioned the board had another convention planning meeting on Tuesday April 14th and that plans are Moving forward; the next meeting is scheduled

for Tuesday May 5th at 7:30. Darian asked for a reminder about whether we were told that Food would be allowed in the hospitality room. Darian and Jeanne-Marie

have had a preliminary discussion about Friday night hospitality. However, they need an answer to this question before they will be able to continue. They

hope to include wine tasting and food if permitted. James Edwards and Sue Schwab will report back on this at the next convention planning meeting. 

 

Darian shared Teresa’s report saying that 20 CD’s went out this time along with 40 large print copies and 77 by E-mail. President James Edwards was the

contest winner this time. She cut a lot of material out of the last issue, and it was still 40 pages long. Consequently, she had to mail the print copies

in manila envelopes. She thought she had the E-mail problem fixed. She tested that process before she sent it out. None bounced back and she got it when

she sent it to herself. After a couple of people let her know they did not get it, she tried sending it a different way, and that worked. She has had some

major family medical crises which have interfered somewhat with getting things done in a timely manner. Please except her apologies for the lateness of

the March issue. The deadline for the next Stylus is May 25 for the June issue. The contest winner will get a prepaid MasterCard for $20.  

 

James recognized Art Stevenson to make a comment. He encouraged us to post “The Stylus” on the Newsline. He has the information about how to post this and

other items we may wish to publicize. Darian will pass this information along to Teresa. 

 

Pat Schwab reported that he has Updated contact information including contact information. He reminded us that the website is always a work in progress.

It was suggested that committee chair names and contact information be posted on the website to give people more information about how to get involved.

If chapters wish to make use of space allocated for them, send information to Pat Schwab with “Web Master” in the subject line. Pat’s E-mail address is

 

Pschwab51@gmail.com 

 

James reported that two members have resigned. James was disappointed in this development since forming the committee was a good idea. The purpose of the

committee is to listen to all sides of issues related to blindness-related concerns. The committee wants to hear all sides of stories. They will provide

audiences on Wednesday afternoons at 4:00 by appointment; other times may be arranged upon request. Contact James Edwards if you have a concern. James

wishes to revive this committee. If you wish to be appointed to it, call or E-mail James at (541) 404-8214 or

jamese.acbo@gmail.com.

(Note: Since he board meeting, Sue Staley has been appointed, and Marja Byers has rejoined the committee.) 

 

Joan Hill asked about whether the date of the July board meeting would conflict with the national ACB convention. The ACB convention ends on July 11th.

The next board meeting will be on July 18th. However, James reported that he may have a work conflict and therefore be unable to attend the ACB convention.

A motion was made and seconded to appoint Michael Alvarez from the Multnomah Chapter to serve as alternate delegate to attend the ACB convention if James

is unavailable. James will discuss this with Michael Alvarez. He will also discuss with him the additional duties that must be performed by the delegate

including attending the nominating committee. 

 

There were no further guest comments. The meeting was adjourned at 11:31 AM. The board met in executive session to consider a grant request.

 

***Stylus Submission Contest

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. 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 a gift card. As was stated in the March issue, the gift card this time is a pre-paid Mastercard for $20.

 

Now it is time to announce the winner for this issue.

Drum roll please. I promise not to drop anything this time.

The submission contest winner this time is Jeanne-Marie Moore.

 

 

Stay on the lookout for fun and interesting items you’d like to see in the Stylus next time. Let me know what would strike your fancey: technology topics, recipes, articles about successful blind people, dog guide related items etc.

 

The deadline for the fall issue is August 25. The winner in September will get a $20 pre-paid MasterCard.

 

Keep them coming and good luck!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for reading this issue of the Stylus!

 

May you always have enough!

 

In love and light, your happy editor, Teresa Christian

 

 


To change your address, request alternative formats for ACB publications, or request financial documents, contact our state treasurer, Sue Schwab.

eMail: sueschwab00@hotmail.com

Cell: 503-871-6175

4352 Trapper Drive NE

Salem, Oregon 97305

 

Stylus Editor, Teresa Christian acbo.stylus@gmail.com

Phone: 971-322-8462