News You Can Actually Use
Brought to you by
The American Council of the Blind
of Oregon (ACBO)
2nd Quarter Newsletter
• • • Presidential Ponderings
By: Carrie Muth
A few announcements:
- July 8th at 6:00 pm (PST) will be the July Board meeting held on the ACBO Zoom line; all are welcome to attend. This change is due to a conflict with the ACB national convention.
- ACB National Convention dates are July 16-23; be sure to sign up for the virtual convention. There are a lot of great sessions.
- Mark your calendar for the Oregon convention October 22-24 at the Village Green in Cottage Grove, Oregon. The Fun Squad has been busy creating a wonderful line up of speakers.
I would like to thank Theresa Christian & James Edwards for their hard work in organizing the legislative meetings in February & March. We had fourteen Oregon members attend the national legislative training & participate in the advocacy work. Thanks to all of you; it was amazing to see you all work together & present valuable information to our Oregon legislators in small group Zoom meetings.
Have you thought of serving on the ACB of Oregon Board? Several Board positions will be up for election in October; President, 1st Vice President, 2nd Vice President, Secretary, & Treasurer will be elected this fall. If you are interested in running for an office, or would like to nominate someone, please reach out to James Edwards at 541-272-8214 or [email protected]
What an exciting year 2021 is being in my personal life. Guide Dogs for the Blind matched me with an adorable female black lab, Kaelyn; she is blending well in my life. She is fun & has already stolen the hearts of my grandkids. On June 11th, Leonard Kokel & my son, Erik graduates from high school. I am immensely proud of his determination to earn his diploma. He is working full-time building boats & enjoying the challenges of fatherhood. In July, I will welcome grandbaby #4 into my life; we are looking forward to his arrival. So much fun & exciting things to keep me busy.
I look forward to hearing you at the national convention & hopefully seeing you in-person in October.
Enjoy your summer,
======= Part 1
Teresa turns her head towards her open back door, hearing little wings flap in the morning’s cool air.
“Good morning leaf.”
“Morning” a hovering rumbly baritone replies.
“Little Leaf?” Teresa asks.
“Hmmm?” the little color changing chinchilla shaped dragon perches on Teresa’s desk hutch.
“When I play my piano your voice range sounds more like a bass, yet the teller of our adventures always writes that you are a baritone.”
“True, I think I will fly by Desirée’s and ask for a correction.”
“What part of the state am I flying too today?” Leaf drops down to her desk just beside Teresa’s keyboard.
• • • July Board Meeting Change
ACBO will hold the July Board meeting over Zoom on Thursday, July 8th, 2021 at 6:00 pm PST. This change is due to a conflict with the ACB National Convention (July 16-23). The national convention will be held over Zoom again this year. Registration opened May 20th. I encourage you to sign up; it is a great opportunity to learn & be involved.
The Zoom info for our July 8th Board Meeting is:
Zoom ACBO Call in Info
Zoom Web Meeting link:
One Tap for IOS/Android:
Touch-tone Dial in:
673 466 2226#
It will ask for your participant ID, just hit pound again.
• • • Join us for a Seacret fundraiser for
The American Council of the Blind of Oregon
Have fun, get some fabulous products, and help raise money for ACB of Oregon.
Please join us for one or both Zoom sessions.
Wednesday Aug. 4 at 7PM
Sunday Aug. 15 at 3PM
Seacret is a lifestyle company: look better, feel better, travel better.
100% of the profits will go to ACB of Oregon.
Discover the luxurious feel of Seacret.
Seacret skin care products are formulated with the beautifying minerals from the Dead Sea.
There are many other products, but my personal favorites are the salt and oil scrub and the body butter.
They leave the very rough skin on my elbows and feet soft and supple like nothing else I’ve tried before. I sold skin care in the past and this is far superior.
Life by Seacret is a nutrition line that is certified, by Inform, to be clean enough that they are taken by professional and Olympian athletes alike.
They were formulated by Dr. Howard Coen who is a well respected doctor and has a thriving practice in California. He was not happy with the supplements out on the market so designed his own that meet extremely high standards and he even takes them himself as well as his patients.
Club Seacret Offers trips and tours to some amazing places at ridiculously low prices, plus extremely competitive rates on airfare, hotels and more.
Please join us for one or both Zoom sessions.
Wednesday Aug. 4 at 7PM
Sunday Aug. 15 at 3PM
All are welcome two either or both sessions.
Please share this with anyone who uses soap, shampoo, lotion, supplements or who looks for good travel deals.
The fundraiser will open Aug. 3 and go through Aug. 16. All profits during that two-week period will go to The American Council of the Blind of Oregon.
For any questions call, text or email me, Teresa, at
To go to my Seacret website and check things out
If you’d like to bypass getting any of these awesome products and just simply donate to ACB of Oregon
You have two options
1. The Paypal button at the bottom of the page on our state website
Paypal works even if you don’t have an account; you can use a debit or credit card.
Indicate what the donation is for by writing Seacret fundraiser in the
“Add special instructions to the seller”
2. Send a check to our treasurer Sue Schwab
Make the check out to
ACB of Oregon
And put “Seacret” in the memo
4352 Trapper Drive NE
Salem, OR 97305
Join either of the Seacret ACB of Oregon fundraiser sessions with the Zoom info below
One Tap for IOS/Android:
673 466 2226#
It will ask for your participant ID, just hit pound again.
• • • Legally Blind and have Hearing Issues?
You might Fall into the Deaf Blind Category
some information on our peer learning group for individuals who are hard of hearing and have vision loss. The Helen Keller National Center, Comprehensive Service Center and Hawaii and Pacific Deaf-Blind Project are pleased to offer peer collaborative virtual learning for individuals who are hard of hearing and vision impaired. This will be an open-ended group dialogue where participants can lead discussions based on their experiences of living in a “hearing world” and learn effective strategies from their peers.
These sessions take place weekly.
Time: Thursdays, 3:00 PST 12:00 PM HST
For more info contact
Leah Neumann <[email protected]>
•*•*• Convention Update
• • • ACB National Convention 2021
Convention Sneak Preview
by Janet Dickelman
We’re getting set for the 2021 virtual conference and convention of the American Council of the Blind. Our first ever virtual convention last year was amazing, and this year looks to be even better. All sessions, with the exception of affiliate mixers and business meetings, will be streamed live on ACB Radio. This means we will have 8 consecutive streams, including audio- described tours, exhibitor channel and up to 6 sessions for our special-interest affiliates, committees and business partners.
Teresa here, I left a lot out in the middle but let me just say there is an amazing array of things happening so it is really worth it to go check it out. It is too long for me to include it all here.
Skip to the banquet info…
Thursday, July 22: ACB Banquet
Will feature presentations of ACB awards and keynote speaker Peter Sagal, host of NPR’s “Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me!”
Friday, July 23: Audio Description and Olympic Opening Ceremony Extravaganza
Pre-show Olympic coverage spotlighting the process of providing audio description for the Olympics through interviews with NBC personnel responsible for delivering television coverage of the event, profiles of the audio describers, interviews with present and past Paralympians, the members of the U.S. Goalball team, and much more. Then join ACB at 8 p.m. for the Olympic Opening Ceremony with audio description, carried on all ACB media outlets, making for one huge audio-described watch party.
*** ACB National Virtual Convention Registration
Our 2021 Virtual Conference and Convention will be held from July 16 through July 23, 2021. For details on how to register, visit: https://acb.org/2021-convention-registration. To make sure you receive the most up to date convention information, subscribe to our convention announce list by sending a blank email to [email protected].
To see what other exciting and interesting things are happening at the national convention this year, (and it is amazing) read the rest of this article in the June issue of the Braille Forum.
• • • ACB of Oregon State Convention Update
By Desiree Christian, Fun Squad Chair
The Fun Squad, (convention planning committee) has been hard at work planning a great convention. It looks like some interesting breakout rooms are happening and something different for the Friday night entertainment. As of right now, we are planning for both an in person and Zoom accessible convention. We will know more definitively what we’re doing after the July state board meeting, so stay tuned.
Convention registration will open in August so look for an email. If you don’t have an email address you can look for one in your snail mail.
You can book your hotel room now and be sure to let the reservationist know you are with the American Council of the Blind of Oregon to get the convention rates.
To make your reservations, call the Village Green at
======= Part 2
Teresa leans forward, whispering into the cute round ear of the odd little creature that is the shape of a chinchilla but the scales and wings of a dragon.
Leaf leans back on his haunches, grinning “I bet she will be so excited!” A multitude of colors eb and flow over Leaf’s little body in excitement. Leaf leaps into the air twirling than flipping once on his way out of Teresa’s balcony door into the beginnings of a summer’s day.
•*•*• The Bigger Picture
• • • A Way to Have Money that
Social Security Can’t Mess With
Submitted by Teresa Christian
Check out an Oregon ABLE Savings Plan
This information was taken from their website.
The Oregon ABLE Savings Plan was established by a group of self-advocates, nonprofit organizations and government agencies. This unique program provides eligible residents and their families the resources, support and holistic services to reach their financial goals.
Our mission is to help everyone with an eligible disability be empowered to make decisions with their money that impacts their health, independence and quality of life so that they can be ready for whatever tomorrow may bring.
To be eligible for an ABLE account, you or the beneficiary must:
- Have a disability or blindness that developed before the age of 26 that will last, or has lasted at least a year;
- Live in the state of Oregon; and
- Confirm one of the following:
- Are eligible for SSI or SSDI because of a disability;
- Experience blindness as determined by the Social Security Act; or
- Can produce a signed diagnosis form by a licensed physician if requested.
You can set up an ABLE account in as little as 10 minutes.
• • • Social Security and Working
Presentation to Participants with Blindness or Low Vision June 10, 2021
Submitted by Carrie Muth, ACBO President
Teresa here, this is packed with a lot of great info so this is an excerpt and you can find the full article on the ACB of Oregon website.
What happens to your benefits when you go to work?
Which benefit do you currently receive? Are you sure?
Actually, many of us used to receive monthly paper checks from the Social Security Administration, SSA for short, but now most of your monthly checks are deposited directly into your bank accounts. You go to bed with a certain amount of money in your account, and you wake up the next day, check how much money is in your account, and there is more than yesterday! You relax because you know this will happen every month, and you can count on it. Some of you spend the money on rent, food, and other necessary things, and then sometimes there is a tiny bit left that you can use to buy something fun! Some of you don’t ever see that money because your parents have it in their account, and they use it to help with the cost of rent, food, and other things for your family.
Don’t you ever wish you could get a job that you enjoy, so you could earn some money to spend on things you want or even to help other people get what they want or need? Let’s talk about what would happen to your monthly cash payments if you become employed.
What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?
For people who are disabled, over age 65, or blind
Resource Limit: $2,000 for an individual, $3,000 for a couple
Always have more money when working than when receiving only SSI
Let’s talk about SSI first since that’s the one that many of you probably receive. SSI stands for Supplemental Security Income. It is for people who don’t have a lot of money and who are disabled, blind, or over age 65. As many of you know, when you’re on SSI you can’t save money. If you do save too much money in your account, you may not get your monthly SSI payments. That’s scary; right? You and your family depend on that SSI monthly payment!
Let me tell you a couple of secrets, but these are the kinds of secrets you can share with anyone you want. First, there really is a way to save money, and Social Security will ignore it. You can open an ABLE account, and the money won’t count as a resource. I’ll tell you more about this later, so don’t wander away. The second secret is that, if you are on SSI, and you find a job, you will always have more money than when you only had SSI! Pretty amazing! Want a quick example? Those of you who like math can help those of us who don’t! Ready?
Robin is 31 years old
Robin’s job: grooming dogs and cats
Working 10 hours per week
Earning $15 per hour
What will happen to her SSI?
To read the rest of this article go to the ACBO website acboforegon.org
======= Part 3
Passing over Salem Leaf unexpectedly hears someone playing an accordion. He circles round homing in on the music.
Both faces wear a look of surprised recognition as Leaf hovers a few feet away from Sue. “Hi Leaf, how are you?”
“Enjoying the delightfully pleasant flying weather. I didn’t know you played the accordion.”
“I have been playing since I was a young girl.”
Slightly shocked Leaf replies, “Wow that’s longer than 1/3 of ACBO’s membership has been alive!”
Laughing warmly, “Yes that’s true.” Sue agrees. “Visiting someone in Salem?”
Leaf grins, “Yes. You.” He winks. “I was flying south, not for the winter, when I heard you playing and thought I would satiate my curiosity. Living in Portland, I’m more likely to hear bagpipes than I am an accordion.”
“Ah!” replies Sue, a small lightbulb of understanding brightening above her head.
“It was nice to see you again, I should get flying before the day gets to warm.”
Leaf shoots skyward as Sue calls her goodbye.
• • • Employment Corner
Employment Corner – Let’s Get To Work
By Carrie Muth
Did you know that ACB National has an Employment Committee who has been creating “Let’s Get to Work” podcasts? I am honored to serve with a great group of people on the ACB Employment Committee. In addition to hosting Committee Calls focused on employment & gearing up to offer sessions at the ACB National Convention in July, we interview people who are visually impaired in interesting careers to offer hope & inspiration to others.
Two of ACB of Oregon members are featured in podcasts. Both were interviewed by myself, Carrie Muth, President of ACBO: Susin Hull from the Southwestern Chapter shared about her home-based daycare, Little Miracles & Michael Alvarez was interviewed about his interpreting work (his podcast will be uploaded soon).
The Podcasts can be accessed at:
We recently partnered with APH (American Printing House) to include these podcasts on their website to increase our listenership. Below is the post that introduces them:
In 1928, a young blind man named Morris Frank made his way across the Atlantic Ocean to work with Dorothy Harrison Eustis at her school in Switzerland where she was training dogs to help soldiers blinded in the war. The owners of the ship were not comfortable with a blind person traveling alone, so they made him travel as cargo. Staff on the ship escorted him around the dock once per day for exercise, and other than that, he remained in isolation.
This is not a promotional blog about guide dogs, nor is it a patriotic political statement about our guide dog school of choice. As members of the American Council of the Blind’s Employment Committee, we start this write-up with this anecdote because as we introduce a podcast that celebrates success, it is humbling to recognize the current of stigma that has pulled against us for centuries.
We visually-impaired people feel this stigma when people avoid us, talk about us in hushed voices, call us inspirational simply for breathing, or when we are overqualified for jobs we can’t seem to reach. This is the stigma, and it is real.
But fortunately, and resoundingly, the stigma is not the end of the story! In 1929, Mr. Frank partnered with Ms. Eustis to co-found the Seeing Eye. Like Morris Frank, we find unique solutions, we overcome challenges, and we succeed. We are bankers. We are healthcare workers. We are scientists and chefs, coaches and athletes, childcare workers and lawyers. We are creative, determined, and resilient, and we find strength in numbers. We serve as role models and mentors. , and We share our stories to motivate, inspire, and support each other to create these solutions.
This journey continues. As our committee moves forward, we have observed a critical missing link available to many in other underrepresented groups but largely missing in the visually-impaired community: stories of blind people who have carved out successful paths in careers ranging from forensic psychology and financial analyst to daycare provider and 911 operator. Our podcast Let’s Get to Work features two interviews per month of people who are employed in careers that many find it hard to believe that blind people can navigate successfully. We believe that these podcasts augment our mission: to increase access to work opportunities through providing resources and skillbuilding sessions for visually-impaired people, professionals serving us, and employers.
Please enjoy these interviews of blind and visually impaired men and women from all walks of life as they share their journeys, offer advice, and walk alongside us as we carve a path against the stigma that makes it harder for us to get to work. We encourage you to share these stories widely, and welcome reactions and suggestions, which can be emailed to
Let’s get to work!
• • • I May Be Blind, But I’m Not Deaf!
By: Cassie Trosper, Secretary, ACBO Southwestern Chapter
I find it amusing some days as a parent of a child who has no vision loss. They say when you lose one of your 5 senses other senses are heightened. Well, I was blessed with a heightened sense of hearing and smell. My daughter takes this or granted. I may be visually impaired but I am not deaf. She goes into her room and tests me. First she bounces on her bed. I tell her to stop. I can hear her whispering in confusion, “How did she know that?” I reply, “I may be visually impaired, but I am not deaf.” As I smile. Sometimes she tries to sneak a snack. This is where the smell comes into play. “What are you eating?” Her reply, “Uh, nothing mom!” I give it a minute. She walks into the kitchen to throw her garbage away. “How was your orange?” She giggles and says “It was good.” I have also caught her bouncing on the couch. She even had a friend over one day and said, “Watch this.” As she showed her friend show I could hear her from the other room and know what she was doing. So parenting as a visually impaired, or blind, parent still has some funny moments. It doesn’t have to be left in the kitchen, when you dump a can of baked beans into your homemade chicken noodle soup because someone else put your groceries up for you. And usually I would smell the beans before I poured them in but I was making the soup because I was sick and couldn’t smell anything. HaHa! Anyways, if you have little sweet munchkins running around your house…..give them a test and see if they are surprised by your superpowers.
======= Part 4
As Leaf wings his way further south, he spies a familiar feathered friend message, as always, tied to his leg. Leaf banks to fly parallel with the ever-stoic homing pigeon.
“Homer, enjoying the mornings weather?” Leaf inquires.
Stiff upper lip British accent ever present, “The air currents are calm in in my favor. I should land earlier than expected.”
“How are the chess mates fairing these days?“ inquires Leaf
“I dare say, her ladyship lightly blushes when she reads his lordships missives.”
“Really? Last I heard the lady was rather upset with the gent.”
“The Lord and Lady maybe fickle but time marches on. What What.”
I still think it’s great to see people choosing to communicate in such a slow manner rather than instantly with technology.” Leaf muses.
Homer “Continues my family’s long tradition, don’t you know.”
Leaf salutes as he twists lazily onto his back, then flips into a loop de loop heading south into what is becoming a surprisingly pleasant afternoon.
• • • Living Healthier
Quick Health Tips.
Submitted by Mona Huntly
Water & Breathing
Water/hydration and deeper breathing both boost one’s immune system and clean the blood, but breathing cleans your blood more quickly, and, we’ll summarize info about both briefly…
Your kidneys can process up to three cups of water per hour maximum.
Other fluids do not count toward one’s daily water needs, and they all slow down water intake by displacement of your time, especially things you sip more slowly, like coffee or tea. The best way to moderate this is to begin a new, healthy and quite easy habit of just grabbing your mug and lift it to your other mug (your face), and enjoy! Personally, I like to think about two things each time I drink water: 1) All l the places the water came from, like through quartz rock into your well, or children and pets playing in the rain, or local to on site springs, or giant waves evaporating into clouds and coming back to your faucet; and 2), to literally feel that precious fluid as it moves down the esophagus, and try to mentally track – so you CAN PHYSICALLY FEEL IT!!! – as it enters your stomach. It’s like feeling a movie clip on water vs. watching the movie clip, and as you get better at this, your appreciation for how things travel inside you will coincide with and peak your interest and memory in your newer, stronger hydration habit into that complex animal we all are, which is mostly what – ? – yep, water. And remember to wake up your insides s-l-o-w-l-y with one small sip first — just like for those of us who are sighted or see light, you don’t flip on a bright light, you go slow to ease the new blood flow your body triggers into your eyes. Same with water, and maybe most things in life are best started slowly or at least with cautious thought, to avoid shocking your many miraculous body systems.
According to H.H. Mitchell, Journal of Biological Chemistry 158, up to 60% of the human adult body is water. the brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even your bones are goin’ surfing at 31% aguacate, oops, that’s avocado, I mean agua-no-cate.
Now let’s go where we all go, pun intended – urination. Getting up to pee all night is for me and perhaps a majority the primary obstacle in a plan so simple as just drinking a cup of beautiful water when you’re in the kitchen. Maybe it’s close to bedtime and you’re thinking about this, but here’s some info that might make it worth drinking up.
Think about a roll of coins stacked horizontally. On a solid steel surface, you could put five tons on top of a vertical stack of quarters; but put them horizontal they could not withstand much if any weight. Your spinal discs are similar, and that’s why we know lifting at the knees helps keep our discs “stacked” in a more vertical, safer way for lifting. So, if you sleep flat on a mattress or reclined fairly well, getting up an extra time or two at night might be worth it to you, because the discs in your back are in the more relaxed horizontal position to absorb water, and so this is the best way and time to hydrate your spinal area and discs.
Not to worry, though, you can do fine without overfilling the pool, too. Hydrating during the DAY is also fine and our spines are always flexing one way or another, even when prone and sleeping (especially us heavy dreamers!).
Now onto BREATHING:
I finally came up with the breathing trick and tip of all time — all you need to do is one simple thing and not too much else at all. It’s this — BREATHE OUT. We’ll get to that in a sec……
First, a medical study, which means it got published in medical journals, proved that holding-pausing-hesitating one’s breath for four seconds or more at the top, inflated side will slow down your heart rate a little extra when you breathe back out.
Now, inhaling always speeds the heart a little bit anyway, and exhaling always slows the heart down a little. This is normal and natural in everyone. But being able to control this a little bit extra by your own choosing is very helpful for calming, for plain relaxation, or for health reasons. Here’s why that extra four-second pause at the top works…
During times of big threats and or stress, all animals (and that’s us, too, of course) tend to slow or stop their breathing, while thinking about how quiet we’d want to be in the jungle if you heard a lion roaring 100′ away, right?! So, as soon as we’re sure we’re safe from that lion or other threat, we let our breath out — WHICH WE’VE BEEN HOLDING FOR FOUR SECONDS OR MORE! And with the threat gone, our heartbeat slows down. So we have evolved to where our heart automatically takes a slightly extra break for itself after the threat or stress goes away or eases up. And that pause you do by choice helps trigger that autonomous response a little bit extra. How cool is that?! .
These are notes from a guest speaker the Rogue Valley chapter recently had, Hal Anthony
• • • From Our Kitchen to Yours
Abi’s Strawberry Cheesecake Cobbler
By: Abigail Trosper
Junior member, ACBO Southwestern Chapter
Prep time: 15 Min.
Cook Time: 30 Min.
- 2lbs Fresh Strawberries
- 1 box cream cheese
- ½ stick melted butter
- 1c. Milk
- 1c. All-purpose Flour
- 1c. white sugar
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Cube up your cream cheese and put in fridge until you are ready.
- Put your melted butter into the bottom of a 9 x 13 cake pan and spread it around evenly.
- Cut the tops off your strawberries and place into your pan flat side down. Evenly distribute the strawberries around the pan.
- Sprinkle your cream cheese cubes over your strawberries in an even layer.
- In a bowl mix together flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar.
- Add your 1c. milk into the dry mixture and stir until smooth.
- Pour your mixture over your strawberries and cream cheese.
- Place your pan into the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Let stand 5-10 minutes after baking.
- Serve while warm.
Note: I like to enjoy my strawberry cheesecake cobbler with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
======= Part 5
Since Leaf is in the general vicinity, he figures he will visit his technology inclined friend, so he flies a little further south than his destination. Grinning he narrows in on his friend’s house. Winging lazily downwards, he pauses as he investigates various windows around the perimeter of the home before he spies the particular person of interest who seems to be preoccupied, large headphones on his head and mic before him.
With a dragon’s mythical hearing Leaf easily listens through the pane of glass while hovering several feet away.
When Michael seems to be finished with podcast creation and engaged in casual conversation, Leaf knocks on the window with his colorfully scaled knuckles. “I’ll be right back.” Michael says to Damashe. Opening the window, “How’s it going Leaf?”
“Grand, and yourself?”
“I’m about to supervise the 11-year old’s dinner preparations.”
“Sounds potentially exciting.”
Michael smiles, “I expect it will be. We are trying a new recipe in the air fryer”
“You will have to tell me how it goes. I’m off to a nearby local to bring a surprise to the person who won the submission contest.”
“That should be fun.”
“I’m looking forward to seeing the excitement on her face. Ta Ta for now.” The metallically shiny rainbow scaled chinchilla shaped dragon calls as he loop de loops into the sky heading north and meandering towards the coast.
• • • Hull Foundation Learning Center for Adults with Blindness and Sight Loss
By Jeanne Marie Moore, Board President
At the last Board meeting at the Hull Foundation, I was elected President of the Board. Tony Louis was elected as Vice President. We are both blind, though
our sight levels are different. I maintainthat everyone, no matter what level of sight that we all have “vision” and that is where the Hull Foundation’s
tag line of “Keeping Hope and Dreams Alive” comes from. Inside you. From your heart’s guidance. And so, we proceed as best we can along many different
paths to get what we need and get where we are going.
Hull Park has changed the name, it is now
“The Hull Foundation and Learning Center
for Adults with Blindness and Sight Loss”.
With “Keeping Hope and Dreams Alive” as the ever-present mission.
The Hull Foundation has made a few creative changes throughout this pandemic. “Hull Foundation Presents” virtual Zoom classes have been put in place to
help fill the gaps of “living with sight loss” seminars which used to be done in person and at our park facility in Sandy, Oregon, and other convenient
locations around the State.
Most of our virtual classes are about daily living skills, technology, safety at home and while out and about, and a Thursday chat group about sight loss
and how it’s going for you. I learned that the Foundation has lost about $250,000 in revenue based on rentals to the general public, cancelled fundraisers
and other events as a result of the pandemic. Without the dedicated volunteers and Payroll Protection Plan loans from the federal government, there would
be very little happening and our doors would have closed and our services unavailable.
Kaiser eye care professionals are referring a lot of people to us and that is so wonderful. That means the word is getting out. Maybe someone knows a Kaiser
person who could assist in contacting the Kaiser Foundation for additional support.
Another change is Sharon Elder, who has been beyond ultimate in her work, has retired and officially left April 30, 2021.
She has held on for two extra years and has been the leader throughout this pandemic. It’s been an inspiration for me to experience her leadership.
To find out about live events and Zoom class topics and links, which are sent out by e-mail on Monday afternoons, please call the office: (503) 668-6195.
• • • Southwestern Chapter News
By: Cassie Trosper, Secretary
Happy Spring from the Southern Oregon Coast! Here we are again! It has been beautiful so far here along the coast. Lots of things blooming and allergies! Haha! Our Southwestern chapter has had a great time so far this spring! Back in April we held our 1st Annual Spring Fling! This has been our first in-person get together since around this time last year I believe. We had 22 people attend that included members, and guests! There were lots of fun raffle, and dor prize, drawings, along with some great music led by two of our members, Leonard and Deb Kokel. To round out our spring we had an amazing guest speaker who shared with us a different way to open up our minds to exploration. Dr. Aaron Coyner, professor of Physics and Engineering at Southwestern Oregon Community College and also a Junior Ambassador for the NASA Solar Jet Propelled program, shared some great information related to space and how we can still enjoy astronomy even without vision. Also, our Chapter Secretary, Cassie Trosper, Found out that she has been awarded the ACB National College Scholarship for Oregon. She will be presented her award during the Virtual ACB Convention in July. And she will also be flown out to Nebraska next July to participate in the convention. So, things have been going great here for our chapter! I hope this message finds everyone happy and healthy! Please stay safe and have a great summer!
======= Part 6
As Leaf draws closer to the Pacific, the wind picks up and that particular briny smell of a bay grows stronger, nearly to the point of tasting it.
Grinning from ear-to-ear Leaf gains altitude as he nears his destination.
In the blink of an eye leaf flashes his normal rainbow colors to gold as he streaks in an arch towards a giggling little girl’s home. He even breathes a little fire and smoke for added affect
“Mom!”, she points up. “It’s a little falling sun!”
• • • ACBO Board meeting Summary
April 17, 2021
National: July 16-24
Will have info on National Convention online
• • • District 1:Teresa Christian
The Willamette Chapter
They are continuing to meet via phone and are hoping they can go back to in person meetings before too long.
They are looking into some interesting activities such as taking a narated historic tour on a boat that goes up the Willamet river from Portland to Oregon City. That sounds like a lot of fun.
They have met several times on the phone and are alternating having their meetings on the phone and in person at a restaurant.
They lost one of their long time members, Wes Smith passed away in January and they used the ACBO Zoom line to have a memorial service for him; it was well attended by over 35 people.
Metro PDX Chapter
We are continuing to meet on the ACBO Zoom line. The chapter decided to continue having the social dinner hour before the chapter meetings.
We have started having socials again but are getting creative and doing them on the Zoom line. The next one is going to be Name that Tune on April 25.
Leonard made motion to accept, Darian 2nd motion carried
• • • District 2 Michael Babcock
The southwestern chapter is currently meeting on the second Tuesday of the month using the zoom account.
Last Saturday, we had a Spring Fling at First Baptist Church North Bend that was well attended with15 members and 4 guests in total .
Cassie put this together.
The Southwestern chapter will be having our annual summer picknick on August 28th.
• • • District 3: Mona Huntley
The Klamath Chapter has not been able to meet by phone but they were planning to meet in the new Klamath park last week. I have not been able to find out how that went.
Rogue Valley Chapter, Grants Pass
We have been having telephone conference line meetings. This month Desiree joined us to talk about the convention. In May we plan to meet in person at Elmers. We have decided that we will not break for summer as usual but continue to have meetings because we have missed so much together time. We have also decided to have weekly telephone conference line meetings just to get together to talk.
OAAVL have a very productive meeting on the Zoome line. They now have a full slate of officers and Lenard is getting the bank account set up.
•*•*• Commissioner Reports
• • • Talking Books They hope to meet on May 20 or June 3
• • • Oregon Commission
commissioner’s report: Michael Babcock
The latest Commission meeting was on the 2nd of April.
At this meeting, we were introduced to the latest commissioner to join us.
She is a former client of the commission and now an online tutor for English and Spanish
Peet was the only guest at this meeting, and is contractor for inside Vision, who now sells the very ultra-devices.
The Commission is currently 9.8% under budget for the current biennium, with a slowdown and clients there has been a slowdown in expenditures. The Commission will be requesting the legislator to move expenditures to the next biennium.
related to the new case management system BEP is now using the system as of 3-29-21.
The plan is for remaining staff to start using the new system in the fall of this year.
As of the 12th of April, the Commission is moving email services to Office 365.
If you have reached out to Commission staff over the last week and there has been a delay in replying, this could potentially have been one of the reasons.
SWEP is expecting 20 students this year, and the entire program will be remote.
The good news is the expectation of some remote but paid work experience opportunities, the program is communicating with OMSI for potential options and a few other employers.
part of the program involves daily living skills, and employment readiness skills, so the SWEP program is working with those in the home to help provide these skills including compensating those assisting the blind student.
There are 15 active vending managers, and one waiting to be placed.
Currently in talks with the silver falls state park for a potential opportunity.
We hope to have more information at our next meeting.
• • • Hull Foundation: Jean Marie Moore
There is a lot of Zooming going on at Hull Foundation And Learning Center! We MIGHT be able to have activities before the year is over but none of us knows when for sure.
Our raffle is still going on with great prizes. $10 for one ticket, three for $25, and eight for $50. The drawing will happen on April 30th and you need not be present to win (of course!).
The website is:
There are some eye disease support groups which happen on Thursday mornings and the dates for those can be found there. One is for Macular degeneration and I think there is one for R.P. as well.
The site is where you can sign up to receive the newsletter and that contains the schedule of Zoom calls, including “group chats” which happen on Thursday afternoons. We share about different topics such as “your favorite memory as a child” or “your dream vacation” which are designed to be a fun time of sharing.
Please call the office: (503) 668-6195 if you have other questions.
•*•*• Committee Reports:
• • • Fund Raising Report: Darian Slayton Fleming
The fund-raising committee believes ACBO can utilize the vehicle donation program to an even greater extent if we educate ourselves about how it works, its benefits to us and how to refer prospective donors to our program. To this end, earlier this week I sent you the list of questions we prepared for Kars r Us and the answers provided by company president, Michael Irwin. To begin this education process, M r. Irwin will attend our April board meeting to help us understand the program better. Please be prepared to ask any other questions you might have. The questions and answers follow these notes. Our plan is to have time on the convention program to talk about how membership can be more active in our fund-raising and how to be effective.
The fund-raising committee is also looking at promoting birthday fund—raisers through Facebook and shopping though Amazon Smiles. We’re still ferriting out the details about how these fund-raisers work. We will report about these at the July board meeting.
Finally, Teresa Christian came to us with a fund-raising idea. She is affiliated with Seacret, an online product sales platform. Please see the notes that follow. We will discuss this at our board meeting and entertain a m otion to move forward with the fund-raiser. Please note, we have 30 days from the day I met with Teresa and Mr. Smith to take action to move forward. We must make this decision today.
Additional info under New Business
• • • Pedestrian Safety Report: Mary Lee Turnerand Darian Slayton Fleming
The Pedestrian Action Committee, Co-chaired by Darian Slaten Fleming and Mary Lee Turner, has been meeting under the umbrella of the Pedestrian Safety Action Coalition at meetings held monthly since January 2021. Representatives from ACBO, Portland Bureau of Transportation, Oregon Bureau of Transportation, Lions Clubs district representatives, Oregon commission for the Blind and Sharlene Wills have been in attendance. We are actively recruiting a representative from NFB. Also Jeanne Marie Moore and Luther Greulich are active members of this ad hoc committee that has gathered to promote PEDESTRIAN SAFETY for persons with blindness, low vision and others.
• • • The Stylus: Teresa Christian
The Stylus Report
The Braille embosser needed to get repaired so it was a good thing we have the maintenence agreement. Tyanne got it back in time to get the March issue out to people.
Eight people are receiving Braille copies.
We had several members pass away so now there are only three people who are actively getting the audio version on cartridge.
Tyanne’s husband, Allan Wilmath is now doing the large print version of the Stylus and saving us about $85 each issue.
The printing costs went up dramatically after COVID started so it was costing like I said, $85 each issue for only twenty-six copies.
There are 77 people getting their Stylus issues via email.
In the past couple of years, there have been one or two people who missed out on the $25 they would have won in the submission contest because I never heard from them. So if you’ve submitted anything you might want to read your Stylus so you don’t miss out.
•*•*• Unfinished Business:
• • • legislature Training: James and Teresa stepped up while Carrie was at Guide Dog School
James: Talked to 5 of the 7 in Washington Talked mostly to the staff. Mona added that she felt most did listen to our input. Everything went very smoothly. James recognized by Teresa for all the footwork involved in setting up the meetings.
•*•*• New Business: Fundraising
• • • Seacret: Supplements, skin care products and travel
Proposal to have their products on our website, and our affiliate market/sell their products and have the profits be a fund raiser.
hoping to be first affiliate to do this. We receive 20-40% of sales depending on amount sold. We have 30 days to respond to offer.
Brian Smith: He explained their product lines and Teresa and Desiree use these products as does Mona.
We would essentially be a sales rep, as they do not current have the ability to allow us to have a one-time fund raiser, with proceeds going to our affiliate.
Leonard does not feel that our affiliate should be involved with a for-profit business. Sue indicated it would be challenging to keep records separate. Not certain this would be allowed Its called UBID )unrelated Business)under non-profit structure.
James made motion to not get involved with this company at this time, Mona 2nd.
Motion carried with Teresa dissenting
• • • Mike Erwin: from Kars are Us vehicle donation:
He explained their program a bit, and indicated that we do not have a non-exclusivity agreement with them. But he shared that the leading way to increase revenue is to utilize a mailing list to all members, and others in our support system. He said that monthly is best, but quarterly would also work.
Those donating from a support systemare usually worth double or triple the normal donation.
Kars are Us will provide banners or business cards, flyers etc free to us. He will try to put together a google ad.
Mike will send us the emails of previous donors
One of the best places to put ads is car repair shop.
Providing a business card is often helpful.
Vehicle donation info is not on the website at this time. Will invite Mike to State Convention.
Darian thanked Mike Erwin, and said they would be in touch.
Website committee was charged with getting info up on website.
• • • Website: Grants: will put email addresses onto form.
Carrie expects some additional interest for grants.
• • • Convention AV Equipment: Having ability to do Zoom meetings from Village Green.Will cost us about $1000 to have someone come in and provide equipment and knowledge. Carrie notifying Board that we will have this as an expense going forward. Darian will ask a Timber company for a sponsorship of $1000 for this AV Equipment.
Mona made motion for AV Equipment of $1000 Darian and Bobi 2nd Motion passed
• • • Donation for Auction: Cassie was recognized as being awesome with Auction items in SW. Cranberry Sweets is one location that will put together a basket and ship it. Winners of auction items usually pays for shipping.
Darian made a motion for $150 cash donation to ACB Leonard 2nd Motion carried
Darian made motion to spend $50 for an auction items from Cranberry Sweets or other store that may give a donation
Approve up to $50 for an auction items—Leonard 2nd
James felt that this amount is not adequate
• • • Desiree and Tyanne Fun Squad: Planning for a hybrid convention about what they want to see at the convention.
Tyanne gave Covid update
Fun Squad would like us to make a decision now regarding virtual or in person for planning purposes. They indicated in their report that Covid numbers are still high, and that not all members will feel comfortable in attending in person. Deb and Leonard indicated that we should be brave and attend in-person. Hoped that those not comfortable attending in person would not prevent having an in-person Convention. Board has already allocated funds to allow for a hybrid Convention.
•*•*• Guest Comments:
• • • Deb Kockel: Wants to have in-person gathering and take precautions
• • • Mary Lee: Pedestrian Safety addition Goal to have participation of all Oregonians particularily on Oct. 15. Hope to have additional events.
• • • OAVL Speaker has invited Julie Write about things to consider when traveling. On ACBO Zoom line Monday May 3 on Zoom
Adjourned at 11:42
In the executive session a grant was approved for Tyanne Wilmath to get an Orbit 40 Braille Notetaker.
Adjourned at 11:54
======= Part 7
“Are you sure it’s not a meteor?” Asks Cassie.
“No Mom, it’s too bright.” Abby exclaims in curiosity.
“How about a helium balloon?”
“No Mom” Abby giggles as Leaf descends from the sky swirling and whirling as he sky writes Abby’s name in rainbow smoke.
Alighting in front of the little girl, “Hi I’m Leaf.” He grins changing back from the golden color scales into his normal rainbow-colored scales.
“Hi!” squeals Abby bouncing on her toes.
“Do you know what? You have won this Stylus’ submission prize. Do you know how to get it?”
“I won! Mom I won!” exclaims a very excited Abby.
Leaf waits as an exceptionally excited Abby bounces around the yard.
“Abby would you like to know how you claim your prize?” asks Leaf.
“Oh yeah, how do I do that?”
“By contacting the Stylus’ editor Teresa by June 30th and she will send you a $25 dollar gift card.”
After sharing a glass of lemonade, talking about the stars, planets and the next solar eclipse, the little chinchilla shaped dragon set of north back to Portland along the Pacific Coast shoreline as the sun set on a glorious early summer’s day.
The submission contest now has a deadline.
You will have till the end of the month of which the current issue is published, to contact me to let me know you discovered your name as the winner of this quarters contest.
As you all know by now, every Stylus issue has a contest for submitting items that will potentially go in the Stylus.
One name will be selected, and that lucky person will receive a check for $25. The winner must call or email me by the end of the month this newsletter came out 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!!
Thanks for reading this issue of the Stylus!
May you always have enough!
In love and light
Your Happy Editor
Email: [email protected]
The Stylus is the official quarterly publication of the American Council of the Blind of Oregon.
To change your address, request alternative formats for ACB publications, or request financial documents, contact our State Treasurer Sue Schwab.
Email: [email protected]
For more information about the American Council of the Blind of Oregon, go to our web page at:
President ACB of O Carrie Muth,
Phone: (541) 297-8309
Email: [email protected]