MArCH 2014


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 call 541.591.4110 or mail request to Loretta Spahn, treasurer, P.O. Box 121, Klamath Falls, OR 97601.



In my community, I'm involved in, or a member of, the Lakeside Lions club, the Chamber of Commerce, the City Council, and the City Planning Commission. Since this is the start of a new year, the first meeting of the year for each of these organizations focused on setting goals for 2014, and I think it would be a good topic of discussion for ACBO.


The purpose of setting goals is to establish a specific objective that you as a group or as an individual can work on during a certain time frame. Goals are a form of motivation, they help to bond a group together, such as a chapter of ACBO, to work on a common goal. Or, to bring a sense of accomplishment to an individual if they choose a personal goal.


So, what are some goals you may set as a chapter of ACBO? You could set a goal to increase membership by a certain percentage. Set a goal to raise funds for your chapter. To do more in your community to improve visibility and awareness of your chapter. To find more activities for your chapter to do together, or find ways to make your chapter meetings more interesting to increase attendance.


As an individual, you may want to set a goal to become more involved in your chapter or on the state level. Set a goal to attend every meeting or function your chapter has this year, or to be an example or inspiration to others. You could set a goal to mend broken relationships with other members you may have had in the past. There are many ideas you can use to set goals. Set a goal, put forth a dedicated effort to achieve it, and you will undoubtedly see a positive change.


The convention committee will soon begin planning next October's state convention, so if you as a member of ACBO have any suggestions on programs, activities, or speakers you would like, contact one of the state board members or convention committee members.


We have several committees within ACBO. If you feel you can contribute, have a special skill, or just want to be involved, call me or state secretary Darian Slayton Fleming for a list of these committees.


Did you know, Richard Turner, the man who has the distinction of being the greatest playing card magician, or card shark, of his time is blind? Turner became blind at the age of nine, and later discovered he has a unique sense of touch that enables him to perform certain card tricks that no one else can perform.  A documentary film on his life is in production and scheduled to be released in the near future. He is an amazing performer, and the film is one I'm looking forward to seeing.


Thank you to all of you for being members of ACBO and for all you do!


James Edwards, President



January 18, 2014 ACB of Oregon Board Meeting Summary

By Secretary, Darian Slayton Fleming


President James Edwards called the meeting to order shortly after 9 A.M.  All officers were present.  Guests attending were Bob and Bev Rushing, Pat and Sue Schwab, Daniel Ezell, Ron Staley, Pat Wallace, Teresa Christian, Samantha and Sharon Orchard, Bob Johnson and Geri Hallisy. 


Next the board appointed representatives for Districts 1 and 3.  There were two candidates for District 1, Daniel Ezell and Teresa Christian.  Each candidate presented the board with their qualifications and reasons for wishing to be on the board.  A secret vote was taken.  Teresa Christian was chosen as District 1 Representative.


Samantha Orchard told us about her qualifications and interest in serving on the Board.  She was unopposed and will serve as District 1 Representative.


Next, President James Edwards asked the board to consider the appointment of Immediate Past President.  John Fleming stepped down.  Robert Johnson was appointed to this position.


This all was followed by swearing in of the new officers.  Welcome to the Board to all of you.


President Edwards called for approval of the agenda.  The October 2013 Preconvention Board Meeting Minutes were approved as distributed.


Treasurer report:  In the reporting period of January 1-January 31, 2014:  In the Chase Account, a balance of $10,851.36.  Total Expenses: $1,094.64.

Ending Balance: $9,756.81. 

Reporting Period:  December 1 – December 31, 2013 Chase Bank --- Salem, OR:  ACB of Oregon brought Forward a balance of $12,729.38; available Cash: $12,729.49.  Total Expense: $1,878.13; ending balance: $10,851.36; balance 2014 carry over, $832.54.


The Board voted to accept the treasurer’s report as presented.


Correspondence followed.  Darian read an email from Susin Hull announcing her resignation as District 3 Representative.  Darian had also received a note from Jeanie Daggett from the Northwest Blind Bowlers Association thanking us for our grant to them for attending the upcoming bowling tournament in Nashville, Tennessee.


Sue Staley gave the District 1 Report.  Multnomah Chapter is still selling their cookbook.  They are continuing their Burgerville Fund-raisers.  They have changed their meeting time to 4 to 6 P.M. on the fourth Saturday of the month.  They have moved to the Golden Crown Restaurant for their meetings.


Metro PDX is still selling coffee for $10 per 12 OZ. package.  You may contact Darian if you want grounds or beans in dark roast or medium roast.  Decaf may be ordered upon request.  The Metro PDX Winter Independence Shopping Experience was a great success.  The chapter served six students using holiday shopping as a vehicle for teaching life skills such as money management, organization and asking for help.  Tristen Breitenfeldt submitted an article about the project to “The Braille Forum” which will be published in the March issue.  Tristen has also nominated the project to ACB’s PR Committee for an award that will be presented to the lucky winner in Las Vegas this year.


The Pioneer Chapter is very small.  They gather for dinner and socialization once a month.


Jeanne-Marie gave the District 2 report.  The chapter is small and getting ready to have elections of officers again.  They hope to be having their Applebee’s fund-raiser in May.


Samantha Orchard reported on District 3. The Southwestern Chapter is gearing up to sell candy.


Committee reports:


Patricia Kepler did not attend due to a prior commitment.  Loretta Spahn read the written report Patricia submitted.  Patricia also submits these reports to the Oregon-L List.  Contact Patricia or a board member for more information.

If a committee is not mentioned herein it is because there was nothing noteworthy to report.


The Fund-Raising Committee has organized fund-raisers with Applebee’s that will yield 15% of sales for the designated days and hours.  The Metro PDX Chapter will implement the first of these fund-raisers on February 4, 2014.  The Willamette Chapter will do their fund-raiser on February 10th, Multnomah Chapter on March 10, and the Emerald Valley Chapter’s event will be on May 12.  (Please note, since the meeting, these plans have changed for various reasons. The Fund-Raising Committee will meet again to reevaluate prior to the April 2014 Board Meeting.)


Membership Committee:  Please be sure your chapter submits dues and membership information to Joan Hill and Loretta Spahn by February 15 so we can meet our March 15 deadline with ACB National.


Web Site:  Pat Schwab is continuing to look into creating a “donate here” option for the Web site.  In addition, Pat has worked hard to update the content of the web site and to make it more user friendly. With the current format, chapters may work with Pat to have space for their chapter information on the state web site.  Contact Pat with questions and information if you want to participate.


“The Stylus”:  The deadline for Spring Issue submissions is February 25th.  Please consider sharing articles of interest in addition to chapter news.  Thanks to Deb Nichols for all of her hard work.


Old Business:

Grant Application:  Darian and Loretta reviewed the application following the AVI piece reverting to the Willamette Chapter.  They determined that no revisions are needed since AVI was not specifically mentioned on the form.


Jeanne-Marie reported on Talking Book and Braille Services.  The big news is the BARD ap for I Phones.  Jeanne-Marie reported that hers is a four-year term.  She will continue to serve if this is the pleasure of the Board.  We all agreed this is a great arrangement. 


New Business: 

Committee Appointments:


Legislative Committee:  James will talk with Randy Hauth about continuing as chair of this committee.  Darian mentioned that Randy would keep us apprised of pending bills via the Oregon-L List.


Finance Committee:  Loretta Spahn, Leonard Kokel, Joan Hill and Jeanne-Marie Moore.


Fund-Raising Committee:  Chair, Darian Slayton Fleming; members, Sue Staley and Jeanne-Marie Moore.


Membership Committee:  Joan Hill, Loretta Spahn and John Fleming.


Bylaws Committee:  Loretta Spahn to chair and be joined by James Edwards.


Convention Committee:  James Edwards, Sue Staley and Loretta Spahn along with the Willamette Chapter.


TBABS: Jeanne-Marie Moore

Oral Hull Representative: Tyanne Coverstone has agreed to be our representative.  The board agreed to this plan; Darian has written a letter to the Oral Hull Board confirming this appointment.


Sue Staley discussed scheduling regular communications for chapter presidents to share ideas and stay connected.  She will contact chapter presidents as developments materialize.


KBZY Publicity Opportunity:  The Willamette Chapter/ACBO was contacted and asked to participate in a No Drugs for Children Campaign.  This would involve contributing $350 for a week of exposure on the air.  The Board agreed not to participate in this opportunity.


Discussion about Howard Hall: The Willamette Chapter spoke to the Board about their concern that Howard Hall will lose its Historic Status.  Since the hospital owns the property now, they have applied for a permit to tear down the building and remove signage about its historic status.  Bob Johnson reported that Howard Hall is over 140 years old.  There is a rich history that we all wish to preserve.  They asked the Board to write a letter opposing this action.  Darian agreed to work with Bob Johnson on this project and write the letter.  Any individuals who wish to send letters supporting maintaining Howard Hall’s Historic Status are encouraged to write letters and address them to: Mayor Anna Peterson and All City Counselors, 555 Liberty St. SE, Salem, OR 97301.


Guest Comments:  Pat Wallace thanked the Board for the privilege of observing.


The meeting was adjourned; the Board met to consider one grant request.



Treasurer’s 2013 Profit and Loss


January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013 for ACB of Oregon the total income was $29,349.28.  The total expenses were $22,610.04.  Wedbush investments had been adjusted for the current market and the result was more income than we had budgeted for 2013.  Good news!


Expenses have several categories.  For 2013 all categories were within budget except for the state convention.   Here are a few of the reasons.  The convention was for three days which resulted in higher board lodging costs.  Many sessions had panels and outside speakers which meant more paid lunches by us.  The cost of the wireless microphone was very expensive.  Overall, I believe that the change of pace for the convention was interesting for me.  Hope it also was for the members who attended.



Obituary for Vivian K. Dignan

May 29, 1912 - February 18, 2014


Vivian Dignan died February 18, 2014, of natural causes at the Martha & Mary Home.


Vivian Katherine Dignan was born May 29, 1912 to Louis and Catherine Krall in Tyndall, South Dakota. After her high school graduation she began a career lasting over 60+ years working as an executive secretary for Northern States Power Company; the National Marine Fisheries; The Portland Town Club; St. Ignatius Parish; and the National Association of Manufactures. 


Vivian met her future husband, James Dignan in South Dakota, and they married in 1940. With the onset of WWII they moved to Portland.  Jim served overseas and while he was away, Vivian bought the home where they raised their family in Southeast Portland.

Vivian served the community working for Loaves & Fishes and Meals on Wheels, teaching ESL at Portland Community College, assisting wheelchair patients at Providence Hospital, and volunteering for SMART.  She was a life member of Multnomah Chapter of the Blind; and was recognized by both the Oregon Council and Multnomah Chapter of the Blind. Vivian's hobby was music and she was very active in The Portland Organ Guild.  In 2011, she was presented the Lifetime Volunteer Achievement Award from Governor Kitzhaber.


Vivian was preceded in death by her husband, Jim, and son, Dennis. Surviving are her daughter, Diane West; daughter-in-law, Sue Dignan; grandsons, Matt Trachsel, Mike Dignan, and Casey Dignan, and one great-grandson, Brady Dignan.


A Mass of Christian Burial was held on February 27, 2014, at St. Ignatius Catholic Church (3400 SE 43rd Ave. Portland) at 10 A.M. with recitation of the Rosary at 9:30 A.M. A reception followed in the Parish Hall.


It was Vivian's wish in lieu of flowers all remembrances be made in her memory to Impact NW to ensure others receive the support and companionship she enjoyed and provided to others through Impact NW. Impact NW Senior Program, 4610 SE Belmont St., Portland, OR 97215.


Vivian will be remembered by her family and friends, her community of adopted families, and her favorite Boggle and Bunco companions.



District 2 Report

By Jeanne-Marie Moore


Things are pretty quiet in Klamath Falls and our hearts are with people facing struggles there and any weather related issues.


In Salem, I've been invited to the March 14th meeting to hear about an organization which is working to protect and preserve Howard Hall, the one remaining building from the Oregon School for the Blind. I'll be there!


Library Corner

By Jeanne-Marie Moore


As I told you in the last issue of the Stylus, William Stafford's books are available from TBABS because of the celebration of his one hundredth birthday.  I ordered everything I could: three books on audio, one in Braille. I have not read the Braille one yet, and I will be curious what that media will be like compared to listening. Centennial collection is overseen by our own library staff person, Joel Henderson, who labels where each of

Mr. Stafford's poems are read. The author reads them himself and the quality of the recordings varies. What was amazing to me, having read this book first, is how well the other two readers did with the rest of his poems. I highly recommend taking the time to listen to these books.


Community Outreach Challenge

By Tristen Breitenfeldt

Metro PDX Chapter Member ACB of Oregon


As members of an ever-changing minority group, many people who experience blindness seek that important sense of community and fellowship which defines us as humans.  We also believe in our right to advocate for inclusion and accessibility in society.  It was on these fundamental building blocks that the American Council of the Blind was founded.  Throughout the years since its inception, the ACB has grown and changed to accommodate its members, while always remembering the fundamental principles of its mission. The importance of community outreach, however, is frequently under addressed.


Community outreach is an essential component of any service-based organization.  It is through community outreach that member recruiting occurs. Through outreach we are able to serve and assist the people we represent.  This generally does not happen within our membership meeting halls; it is out amongst the people where we can do the most good.  To this end, the Metro PDX Chapter of the American Council of the Blind (ACB) of Oregon implemented a shopping experience designed to introduce and teach important life skills to youth who are blind in the Portland area.


Christmas is a time for giving and sharing, but most people get so wrapped up in the commercialism of the holiday, they forget the true meaning of the season.  To celebrate Christmas this year, the Metro PDX chapter of the ACB of Oregon hosted our first annual Winter Independence Shopping Experience (WISE) on  Saturday December14, 2013 at the Pioneer Place mall in downtown Portland.


The WISE Project was an overwhelming success!  We served six blind/low vision children between the ages of six and fifteen, with their holiday shopping by giving each participant the opportunity to experience the joy of giving this holiday season.  The kids were each given $75 and a blind mentor from our chapter to shop with.  The goal of the project was for each child to independently find and purchase one or two gifts for their family as well as a gift they could donate to Toys for Tots.  It was the responsibility of each shopping mentor to ensure the safety of the child they assisted.  Mentors assisted the children with creating shopping list, locating stores in the mall, learning how to ask for help, and offering suggestions for money management strategies.  Additionally, we were fortunate to have enough sighted volunteers that every shopping team, consisting of a blind mentor and child were able to be accompanied by a sighted assistant.


Every participant said that they were very happy to have this opportunity to learn how to shop, manage money, and make new friends!  Some of the kids even said that this was their first time doing things such as riding the escalator, making purchases in a store, making a shopping list, and yes, even meeting Santa.  That’s right, we were very fortunate that Santa Clause made a surprise visit to the suite where the kids were learning to wrap the Christmas gifts they had purchased.  So, they gave their unwrapped Toys for Tots donation to Santa.  One girl even suggested giving Santa Clause a chocolate chip cookie, which he said was delicious!


The Pioneer Place mall was very generous in donating a suite for gathering and gift wrapping supplies as well as making sure Santa visited us.  We also greatly appreciated the Bridge City Cafe’s donation of delicious cookies, which everyone, including Santa enjoyed.


One shopping mentor shared her experience afterward, "I adored my little Mentee. We had such a great time picking out his gifts.  He had those sales people wrapped around his little finger. In the last store we visited he was $5 short for the gift he wanted to buy his mother.  I asked the sales clerk if there might be another store with a similar product that he might be able to afford.  Her response was to tell me that she thought they had an extra $10 coupon laying around somewhere.  She left us and came back a few minutes later with one all taped together. It was nice to see such Christmas spirit."


After the event, one participant said “being able to buy presents for people for the first time” was the best part of the experience.


Whether organizing a shopping trip for blind youth or hosting a self-defense class for blind adults, the idea is the same… reaching out to others in the community is fun and beneficial for everybody.  Community outreach and educational projects teach important skills as well as provide valuable exposure for the hosting organization.  These experiences often result in increased membership and provide information for planning further projects.  So, I ask, what can your organization do to help the community you serve?



Braille Forum Electronic Versions

By Joan Hill


Do you want to get the Braille Forum by email?  The link on the home page ( of ACB called “ACB Email Lists” allows you to get the Braille Forum delivered to your home computer as a regular email.  You will find all the available lists you can join.  One of the links is for the Braille Forum and another one is for our own Oregon lists.

You have to do this yourself because you have to decide on a password.


Another choice you have is to listen on the telephone.  The Newsline program is carrying the Braille forum under the magazine option #1 blind related magazines.  Oregon participates in the News line program through the Talking Book and Braille library. 


There are many ways to stay informed and get the Braille Forum.  If you decide to change how you want it, please let Loretta Spahn know.  Her email address is “” or mail to ACB of Oregon, PO Box 121, Klamath Falls, OR 97601.



Emerald Valley Chapter Report

By Jeanne-Marie Moore, president


From the last meeting of the Emerald Valley chapter, we are working on several activities. One is bird listening, where we walk and learn bird calls. We are deciding which art museums we can visit as a group too. We will also probably get together after our meeting at a restaurant for some social time: "all work and no play make dull people."  We are holding our fund-raiser at Track Town Pizza on Monday, April 28th. Track Town Pizza will give us 50% of what we bring in, excluding the lunch buffet, any drinks, or home deliveries. They will give us the check the next day.


We'll keep you posted, I'm sure.



Metro PDX Chapter News

By Cherranne Verduin


The Metro PDX Chapter meets at the Devers Eye Institute, in the second floor conference room, part of the Good Samaritan Hospital Campus, on the second Friday
of each month, from 6 to 7:30 P.M.  If you live in the Portland area, we encourage you to join us.


We are all thrilled that our first annual WISE, Winter Independence Shopping Experience Project was such a success.  We were graciously hosted by the Pioneer Place Mall in downtown Portland. Blind youth, referred by the education service districts, worked with shopping mentors, who are also blind, and learned skills such as how to ask for help, identify money and experience what it feels like to give back to their community. We are proposing to repeat the experience again next year and considering making it a regular, annual event.  To this end, Tristen Breitenfeldt wrote an article and submitted it to “The Braille Forum”.  The article will be printed in the March issue.  And, Tristen was encouraged to nominate our project for an ACB Public Relations Award that will be presented to a lucky recipient by the PR Committee at the 2014 National Convention in Las Vegas.


We had a very enjoyable holiday party at Chapter Treasurer Tyanne Coverstone’s home. Good food and fellowship abounded. We all appreciated Tyanne and her partner Allan’s older daughter Tiny’s hospitality.  It was also amusing to see their baby daughter Lois playing with the guide dogs.  A fun time was had by all!

Also at Tyanne’s home, we had an afternoon long retreat. We discussed communication issues, and how to partner with other chapters and community groups.  Pizza during the gathering made it the perfect marriage of food and business.  We look forward to making positive strides after our discussions at this event.


We are saddened to report that John Fleming’s second guide dog, Tia, died on January 18.  She had been in poor health for some time.  Tia was a wonderful guide and a sweet dog.  Our deepest sympathies are with John and his wife, Chapter President Darian Slayton Fleming.  Our chapter hated to lose that precious wagging tail, but it was great to gain another! Tristen Breitenfeldt has received her new guide dog.  He is a small yellow
lab named Turlock!  He is a complete puppy.  Very playful! And Sherrie Woods has a new guide dog as well.  He is a very dignified Standard Poodle named Blake.


Metro PDX was the first chapter to participate in the state Applebee’s fundraiser.  It was well publicized and we had a nice turn-out. Other restaurants at which we are considering doing similar fundraisers in the future include Burgerville and Ed’s Pizza.


Tristen Breitenfeldt is setting up a work group that is focused on legislation regarding guide dogs.  They hope to draft bills that, if passed, would improve and clarify current legislation which is somewhat unclear and is not being enforced.  Contact Tristen for information about joining this work group at


Chapter Secretary Cherranne Verduin has invested funds and time into an on line gift shopping business she is working to build. Chapter President Darian Slayton Fleming bought a gift for a baby shower from Cherranne’s on line store; it was adorably wrapped and artfully packaged.  It received lots of compliments from sighted people at the shower.  Check out what Cherranne has to offer at:


Teresa Christian is a Life Coach and writes a blog about empowerment issues.
Check out her blog at  Here is an
inspiring quote Teresa shares in her emails: “Challenge is a dragon with a gift in its mouth. Tame the dragon and the
gift is yours.”


Multnomah Chapter

American Council of the Blind

Burgerville events schedule 2014


Burgerville is located at 1122 SE Hawthorne Blvd.

Portland, OR


For event information, contact Sue Staley

503-255-3401 or by e-mail at:


Saturday, March 1, 2014; 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.


Saturday, April 5, 2014 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.


Saturday, June 7, 2014 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.


Saturday August 9, 2014 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.


Friday, October 3, 2014 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.


Saturday, December 6, 2014 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.



A few comments from the Rogue Valley Chapter:

By Ron Whelchel


The December Program was a presentation by Constance Bates of Bates Writing and Editing who, together with singer/performer K C Frankland, entertained the group with a variety of music, songs and stories relating to the Christmas Season.  Also, after the Program instead of a gift exchange, donations were collected and were used to purchase two Gift Cards from the Fred Meyer Store which were later presented to two needy families with a blind child.


During the January Meeting one of our members, Mickey Quenzer of Assistive Technology Training and Consulting Services, presented information regarding the BARD program.  Mickey provides training on computers, I-Phones and I-Pads both through the Oregon Commission for The Blind and as a private business.  He described the system and explained how it can be used to download books from the National Library Services System to the Humanware Companion System, an I-Phone or an I-Pad.  He encouraged our Members to take advantage of this new method of using the Talking Books Program.


In February Dave Toler, Director of Senior and Disability Services through the Rogue Valley Council of Governments, provided information regarding a new Program called Aging and Disability Resource Connections.  He described in detail the great number of services that are available and how to access them.  He encouraged our Members to become involved through the Senior and Disability Services Advocacy Council, the Aging and Disability Resource Connections Operations Council or through part of an at-large advocacy group.  Written materials were provided for all in attendance.

That’s all for now from the Valley of The Rogue.



Contributors, I truly appreciate you!  My special thanks to the Stylus team.


I’ll need your help with the next issue by May 25.  Let me know what kinds of articles interest you.


Deb Nichols


End of the Spring 2014 Stylus.

Audio Production Steve Armbrust





PM #138