The Stylus,4th Quarter, December 2020 Issue


Are You The Winner This Time?

The Stylus

The American Council of the Blind




4th Quarter Newsletter

December 2020

———— Presidential Ponderings

By: President Carrie Muth

What an amazing 2020 Virtual Convention. I am very thankful for the Fun Squad & ACB Radio for all the work to make our 1st virtual convention such a success.

It was wonderful having new people from around our country attend our convention & even someone from Dubai. It was especially fun listening to Abby’s enthusiasm helping her Mom with the door prizes; as Leonard Kokel mentioned, our Junior Members are especially important to ACBO. People especially liked the goody bags organized by Desiree Christian & Tyann Wilmath (& helpers). The 2020 ACBO Virtual Convention was a great success.

As I ponder 2020, I am impressed with the positive changes in ACBO. The incredible sense of community stemming from ACB Community calls provides us all with a greater sense of connection; it is not just us in our chapter, but Oregon & our nation. Thanks to a great Techy Trio, ACBO has a new website & people working to make it better. ACBO has a new chapter, OAAVL (Oregon Alliance on Aging and Vision Loss), dedicated to older Oregonians with vision loss. ACBO also has a group of younger members forming a chapter to address things specific to people 50 & under. 2020 has been filled with a lot of hard work by many of us in ACBO; we are really making ACBO better for the future.

The biggest challenge during this 1st year of my presidency has been the Covid-19 pandemic. It has profoundly changed our lives. I prefer to focus on the positives that have come out of our craziness like the new sense of the ACB Community. Also, personally, 2020 has given me an adorable grandson (born 2-22-20) & 2 amazing daughters-in-law (my older boys were married; Tele’a, 4/11/20, & Adrian, 10/17/20). I have heard many people wish they could skip 2020, but what blessings we all would have missed.

What does 2021 have in store for us? It would be easier to plan if we knew the answer; however, telling the future illudes me. I do know that by working together, ACB of Oregon can continue to grow & improve the lives of Oregonians with vision loss.

Enjoy the Holiday Season **

******* Bob and Bob

Teresa had just hung up with her daughter Desiree. They had been finalizing some of the details of this December Stylus. As she hung up, Desiree had mentioned that it was snowing outside.

After putting on a warm snuggly cloak, Teresa opened her balcony door. She heard the muffled sounds of a snow-covered city, but she also heard the faint whispers of two male voices singing.

———— Mark Your Calendars for the 2021 ACBO Convention

By: President Carrie Muth

The 2021 ACB of Oregon convention is scheduled for October 22-24, 2021 at the Village Green in Cottage Grove, Oregon. The Fun Squad will begin planning in January. We hope to meet in person; however, plans will be made as versatile as possible. Watch for updates in future issues of The Stylus.

———— Dues are Due

Susan Schwab

ACB of Oregon Treasurer

It is that time of year again that ACB of Oregon dues should be paid to your chapter treasurer. This is also the time to update your contact information, address, email, etc. or make any changes to your Stylus or Braille Forum format if desired.

With the COVID-19 pandemic restricting our ability to gather as chapters in our traditional meeting rooms and spaces, please keep in mind that our chapters and treasuries still depend on your dues to fund operations. We continue to incur ongoing operations such as chapter support, website maintenance, office and postage expenses, insurance, etc.

ACB of Oregon membership dues are $5.00. Most chapters also collect an additional $5.00 for their chapter treasury. At Large member’s dues are $10.00.

Your dues should be paid to your chapter treasurer, along with any changes to your information, by January 31st.  Your chapter keeps its portion of dues (if charged) for your chapter treasury and forwards the remaining $5.00 to the ACB of Oregon treasurer by February 15th.  At Large members pay their $10.00 directly to the ACB of Oregon treasurer.

The entire $5.00 portion of the dues paid to ACB of Oregon is forwarded to ACB national. These deadlines are firm since the ACB national organization is using this time to update its national database. Total membership of each state affiliate reported to ACB national determines how many votes are assigned to your state at the next ACB national convention. 

Since the Braille Forum is available on-line, you do not need to be a member of ACB to access it, however your membership helps support advocacy, education and enrichment for the blind and low-vision community across the United States.  

Please also remember that request for the Braille Forum by email must be done from your own email account.

———— How to Access Your ACB Braille and E-Forums

The ACB Braille Forum is available in the following formats:

Mail format options are:

Braille, large print and NLS style cartrige. To get started call the national office at

202-467-5081 or 800-424-8666


you can read or download the current issue or back issues by going online at

There are three format options: a Word doc, plain text or a braille-ready file

E-mail version

subscribe to the list by visiting the e-mail lists page at

Or copy this into your browser


subscribe to the podcast versions from your 2nd generation Victor Reader Stream or from

******* Bob and Bob

“I’m Bob. He’s Bob. We’re Bob and Bob

A one of a kind two of a kind freak of nature”

She was a little surprised, “It’s really a song by Trout Fishing in America isn’t it?” (You can find the song on Alexa, YouTube, and Apple Music. “Bob and Bob”)

The two male voices singing became louder as a wintery breeze blew past the alcove of her balcony.

———— Social Security

Cost of Living Raise

Press Release Tuesday, October 13, 2020

For Immediate Release

Mark Hinkle, Press Officer,

Social Security Announces 1.3 Percent Benefit Increase for 2021

Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for approximately 70 million Americans will increase 1.3 percent in 2021, the Social Security

Administration announced today.

The 1.3 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 64 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2021.

Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 31, 2020. (Note: some people receive both Social Security and SSI benefits).

The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Some other adjustments that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages. Based on that increase, the maximum amount

of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $142,800 from $137,700.

Social Security and SSI beneficiaries are normally notified by mail starting in early December about their new benefit amount. Most people who receive

Social Security payments will be able to view their COLA notice online through their personal my Social Security account. People may create or access their my Social

Security account online at

Information about Medicare changes for 2021, when announced, will be available at

For Social Security beneficiaries receiving Medicare, Social Security will not be able to compute their new benefit amount until after the Medicare premium

amounts for 2021 are announced. Final 2021 benefit amounts will be communicated to beneficiaries in December through the mailed COLA notice and my Social

Security’s Message Center.

The Social Security Act provides for how the COLA is calculated. To read more, please visit


fact sheet

 showing the effect of the various automatic adjustments.

To get more Social Security news, follow the Press Office on Twitter 


———— Healthy Living

By Lawrence MacLellan


December is a month where there is lots of celebration and gift exchange, not to mention lots of calories. I would like to focus on the celebration and gifts that we indulge in, and oh by the way, good luck with the calories.

We may have more to celebrate than you think; we may have more gifts than you think. Let me explain. Recently I was chatting with a neighbor who has always taking an interest in me. She is 16 years old and over the years she would ask me lots of questions about how I do things like shoveling snow, cleaning my house and the thousand other things that blind people do.

She recently asked me if there was anything that could be done to fix or improve my vision and so I in turn asked her if she thought that my life would be a lot better if I was born with normal sight. She said, “Well of course it would”. I responded with “Maybe I would have been a drug addict or an alcoholic. Maybe I would be in prison, maybe I would have turned out a real nasty person”. She said that I would never turn out like that and I said there is no guarantee how I would have turned out.

How much has our blindness shaped our lives? Has it made us into the people that we are today? Let me give you a few examples in my life. I met my wife through a blind sport event. She volunteered to help at the event and that is how I met her. We have 3 wonderful children and I received a book from the library for the blind on reflexology and that led me into a full-time career that I don’t think I would have found if I didn’t receive that book over 22 years ago. Would my life have been better? I do not think so. There are many other examples in my life, and so I invite you to take a look at how your blindness has shaped your life.

Yes, maybe your life would have been easier, but there is no guarantee how your life would have ended up. It is extremely easy to think that it would be better but look at who is in your life. Do you have a partner that you love? Do you have children, friends, and any number of other blessings in your life that your blindness brought you? It is so easy to focus on our blindness and not see the gifts we have.

I invite you this season to look at all the blessings and all the gifts that you have. Celebrate this season – you have more to celebrate than you know.

Have a wonderful time this December with all those wonderful things that your blindness gave to you.

******* Bob and Bob

“They said they knew it couldn’t be true

But here we are a scientific breakthrough

We’re different just because we are the same

We’re flaky little snowflakes with ordinary names

Being just alike makes us different and strange

Identical six-sided siblings, silly scatterbrains”

———— Spreading Holiday Cheer

By President Carrie Muth

Here are some fun ideas to spread Holiday Cheer

• Reindeer Food – Put some birdseed in baggies & label them “Reindeer Food”. Kids sprinkle the “Reindeer Food” in the yard on Christmas Eve so Santa’s Reindeer can have a yummy treat. Have the kiddos check in the morning to see if the reindeer ate their snack. For those extra energetic Santa’s, the reindeer may have left some

• Reindeer Poop (Cocoa Puffs Cereal) all over the yard.

• Snowman Poop – Put mini marshmallows, white tic-tac’s, or cotton balls in a baggy. Put a fun label on it that states “Snowman Poop”. Share them with friends.

** You can use a tag that says:

Heard you’ve been naughty, so here’s the scoop

All you get for Christmas is Snowman Poop


You’ve been bad, so here’s the scoop

This year you get Snowman Poop

Reindeer Poop – Put Whoppers or chocolate covered raisins in a baggy. Put a fun label on it that states “Reindeer Poop”. Share them with friends. **

You can also include the following poem:

• Reindeer Poop Poem

I woke up with such a scare when I heard Santa call

“Now, dash away, dash away, dash away all,

I ran to the lawn and in the snowy white drifts,

Those nasty reindeer had left little gifts

I got an old shovel & started to scoop

Neat little piles of reindeer poop

But to throw them away seemed such a waste,

So, I saved them, thinking you might like a taste

As I finished my task, which took quite a while

Old Santa passed by & he sheepishly smiled

And I heard him exclaim as he rose to the sky

Well, they’re not potty trained, but at least they can fly

• Snowman Soup – This is a fun thing to give to family or friends.

Place 1 packet of hot chocolate mix, 3 Hershey’s Kisses (any kind), a snack baggie with 12-15 mini marshmallows, & a candy cane in either a small holiday

bag or coffee cup (I have bought holiday coffee mugs for this).

Include the following poem with the treat:

• Snowman Soup

Was told you’ve been good this year.

Always glad to hear it!

With freezing weather drawing near,

You’ll need to warm the spirit.

So, here’s a little Snowman Soup

Complete with stirring stick.

Add hot water, sip it slow.

It is sure to do the trick!

Enjoy the Holiday Season & spread a little cheer **

———— Feeling Isolated

and at Loose Ends? Here is a Solution

By Yours Truly

ACB Community Calls

As COVID numbers continue to rise exponentially, isolating has gotten incredibly old. We are missing our friends and family; many people are reporting sleep issues, depression, more alcohol, and drug use etc. The lack of structure is difficult even for the most disciplined among us.

When the pandemic started, ACB responded by starting the Community calls. During the first month, in April there were about eighty calls for the entire month. As time has passed things have progressed and now there are about eighty calls each week. There are calls seven days a week.

In the beginning of the COVID crisis, there were only a few calls available during the week, but as the months passed, the number of calls and topics have grown tremendously! There is an amazing array of topics available in these community calls. There are topics such as cooking related calls, technology, sports, yoga and several other types of exercise sessions, a travel show, karaoke, open mic, making friends and dating, one for widows and widowers, get the idea? There are tons more I could not possibly get them all in here. There is even one call every Friday that is sponsored by ACBO. It is the Together call, sheltering in place together. Our very own Teresa Christian and Pat Wallace are the facilitators and would love to have more Oregonians join the call on Friday mornings at 10AM.

Participating in these Community Calls are a great way to learn new and interesting information as well as meet new folks and make new friends that you otherwise would not get to know.

Go to the website and check out the schedule. To ensure the integrity of the calls, link, meeting ID, and password for each meeting will not be available there, you have to sign up for the daily email with all the calls listed and the Zoom info to join the call.

If you would like to ensure you receive up-to-date info on all the events, please

subscribe to the ACB Community Events email list in one of two ways:


Fill out the subscription form by visiting:


Send an email to:

You will receive an email asking you to confirm your subscription by replying to that email.

This is an announce only list. Each morning, an email will be sent out with that day’s schedule. they will only post additionally email if there’s time sensitive

information to convey.


For those without email, or who need to receive the phone, meeting ID, and password for a given call over the phone, please reach out to ACB at


or 612-345-9036.

And follow the prompts.

4. You can access many of these calls via your Alexa or Google Home. Just say Alexa open ACB Radio Community.

There is no need to sit home being depressed and lonely; reach out and get on some of these calls. Find old friends, make some new ones, and learn something new.

Look forward to seeing you out there.

———— How to Access ACB Radio

By Yours truly

You can access ACB radio in many ways via computer, Alexa, Victor Stream, the ACB Link app or the phone.

What is it Exactly?

Here is what they say on the website.

ACB Radio, a project of the American Council of the Blind, streams via the internet, up-to-date and relevant information worldwide for persons who are

blind or who have low vision, provides programming produced by blind programmers, and a platform on which blind musicians and artists express their talents.

What is on there?

There are six different streams as they call them, channels would be another way to describe it.

• ACB Radio Mainstream.

This stream is known as the Talk of the Blind Community.

Mainstream brings you content from the International Association of Audio Information Services (iaais) as well as many other talk shows ranging from cooking

shows such as Cooking in the Dark to technology shows such as ACB Radio’s number one technology show Main Menu.

• ACB Radio Café –

with an interactive experience!

This stream brings you music 24 hours a day, seven days a week from blind musicians or artists from around the world. In addition, you will hear from our

blind or visually-impaired broadcasters. ACB Radio Interactive an The Café have merged to bring you the best from both streams!

The music includes but is not limited to comedy, country, easy listening, jazz, pop and rock.

• ACB Radio Community

ACB Radio Community Channel, home to both live and prerecorded content from ACB sponsored community events. Our community is growing and

we want everyone to find their place in it. From technology to the kitchen, from hobbies and sports to exercise and meditation, and timely discussions

to formal presentations, we now have a place to share, learn, and grow. Although most social events will not be shared on this stream, all topic driven

content will be, and we invite everyone to take part in this ACB community.

To receive a list of the day’s live events sent to your inbox each morning,

• ACB Radio Treasure Trove

Welcome to ACB Radio Treasure Trove.

This stream brings you old time radio from the 1920s through the 1950s.

Do you remember those great old radio shows such as The Shadow?

Or how about The Green Hornet?

Or maybe you remember The Jack Benny Show which brought laughs to every living room across the country!

Well those shows can be heard and remembered again right here on ACB Radio Treasure Trove.

• ACB Radio Live Event

This stream brings you live coverage of ACB affiliate conventions as well as other special events that serve interests in the blind community.

If no event is being streamed you will hear music to let you know you are connected to the stream.

• ACB Radio Special Event

If more than one affiliate is scheduled to stream their convention on the same set of dates, this stream will be used to carry one of the


Remember that

ACB Radio Live Event will be the primary stream for streaming affiliate conventions.

ACB Radio Special Event is the secondary stream that will be used when Live event is already scheduled for another event.

How to access the content:

• Computer,

• Alexa, say, “Open ACB Radio (name of stream you want) I.E.

“Open ACB Radio Mainstream”

• Victor Reader Stream

Press the top middle button till it says “internet bookshelf”

Press one till it says, “internet radio”

Then press six till it says, “Humanware…”

You can go channel to channel by pressing the four or the six to find which stream you wish to hear.

• ACB app, download the app from the Apple App store, search for ACB Link. After you have the app installed, look for the radio tab at the bottom of your screen.

• Phone

ACB Radio is Just a Phone Call Away

If you are away from your computer or if you are in a place where cell phone coverage is sparse, you can still listen to ACB Radio and other ACB publications!

Yes, we have consolidated content from the previous numbers into one number and you can listen with an ordinary telephone by calling: 518-906-1820.

Once you connect you can choose which stream or publication you wish to listen to.

ACB Radio is packed with rich content and gives you five different ways to listen and that is kind of awesome all within itself! There is something there for everyone and ways to connect for everyone.

******* Bob and Bob

As they land in front of her on the balcony railing,

“Well, Hi there.” Bob on the right says.

“Hello there.” The other Bob says.

Teresa, shock on her face, “Hi.”

“Father Time asked us to assist you this fine evening.” comments Bob on the left.

Bob on the right pipes up, “We maybe flaky little snowflakes but that doesn’t me we are not reliable.”

———— Getting Involved in 2021

By President Carrie Muth

I was recently going through files on my computer & saw an article I wrote in 2010 that encouraged chapters to set goals for 2011. It also reminded me

of the training on setting SMART goals that Sasha Severson went through during the 2020 Leadership training last January. Setting goals helps us move forward

as an organization.

It is easy to fall into a routine with our chapters; however, we must remember our purpose – “to provide opportunities for enrichment to blind and visually

impaired individuals and their families” (Article II of our Bylaws).  By keeping this in mind, chapters can develop some goals to work on during 2021.

One idea is to come up with a theme for the year. Cassie Trosper of the Southwestern Chapter asked about programs during our meetings recently; she plans

to have speakers focusing on “Visions for a Healthier Future”. Cassie plans to organize programs on various topics from healthy eating to exercise to gardening.

Another idea is to spend time learning about chapter members. Ask them about their experiences & challenges as visually impaired people. look for common

issues & brainstorm ideas on how to reach Out – Think about how the chapter might educate and/or advocate in your community to alleviate issues around

the problem.  An example might be that restaurant waitstaff appears to be totally ignorant regarding blindness.  A solution could be that chapter members

go on a friendly, educational visit to the restaurant (of course, this depends on comfort levels & available dine-in options considering COVID-19).  Another

example might be lack of a support group for people losing their vision – solution – a chapter could consider starting a support group to help mentor newly

blinded individuals (a virtual support group can help people feel connected during these crazy COVID-19 times).  Many of us are more comfortable advocating

then those who have recently lost their vision.

What goals is your chapter working on? An active chapter attracts new people, so set some chapter goals in 2021.

******* Bob and Bob

Teresa ponders a moment. “Actually, I could. It is time to let the last winner of 2020 know they won the $25 dollar check from the Stylus. Would you be


“How timely of Father Time.” Says Bob on the right.

“Yup.” Says Bob on the left, “He saw this coming a couple hundred miles away.”

Teresa leans down to whisper who it is, the breeze picks up just then only to carry the answer and the bobs away.

———— News from the Southwestern Chapter News – December 2020

By Carrie Muth, Chapter President

The Southwestern Chapter had election of officers during our November meeting. The 4 officers were elected by acclamation. Installation will occur during

our January meeting. Officers are: President, Carrie Muth; Vice President, Michael Babcock; Treasurer, Leonard Kokel; & Secretary, Cassie Trosper. We also

have 2 member representatives; elections of these 2 position will be next year. Steven Branda is one & the 2nd will need to be appointed as Michael Babcock

is currently holding that position.

A huge thanks to Samantha Orchard & Deb Kokel. Samantha Orchard has served as a very dedicated vice-president for many years. Our bylaws have a 3 term

limit: consequently, she was not eligible to run for that position. Deb Kokel is our current Secretary; she has kept thorough notes. I personally thank

these 2 ladies for their hard work & dedication.

I am writing this shortly before Thanksgiving (or Turkey Day as I like to call it **). Our chapter hopes to have an in-person Christmas party, but that

will depend on the Governor’s restrictions I hope you all stay safe in these crazy times.

————News from the Metro PDX Chapter

By Teresa Christian, chapter President

All of us have had quite a challenge readjusting to life with COVID and have had to learn to do a lot of out of the box thinking. I am tremendously proud of Metro PDX for seriously stepping up to the plate and doing an extraordinary job at this. We are continuing to have all our chapter meetings in the ACBO zoom room.

We shifted the start time of our meetings from 5:30 to 7 because we are experimenting with having a dinner social hour before the chapter meetings so people can eat dinner together and hang out and chat if they feel like it. It is certainly not required though.

We check in with chapter members to see how their doing and if they need anything we can help with. Because of doing that one of our board members discovered a chapter member was moving and needed a little help. We were able to provide that by sending an Uber for a little transportation and ordering dinner delivered on move day.

We were able to have a small retirement party for another member by utilizing outdoor patio seating at a restaurant and social distancing.

When COVID started ACB national recognized a need and filled it with gusto by creating community calls every week. When they started in April there were 80 calls for the entire month and now there are almost 80 calls each week. The topics covered are way too numerous to list here but you can check out what is happening by going to the ACB website at and signing up for a daily email. Pat Wallace and I host one of these calls on Friday mornings called the Sheltering in place Together or simply, the Together call. Come check it out it is a fun time.

Tyanne Wilmath and I host a game night on Monday evenings on RSGames. This is not on the national listings, but is more for Oregon members; if you’re interested get a hold of me and I can put you on the email list,

Desiree Christian is hosting a virtual roll playing game once a week and if you’re interested in that email her at

It is also listed on our state website.

Because of the national convention being virtual last summer, a couple of our members, Tyanne Wilmath and Desiree Christian, have since gotten incredibly involved at both the state and national level. They are both on committees and Desiree is leading a by-weekly workshop. They both were instrumental in putting together the goodie bags you all received as part of convention registration.

, that was a tremendous organizational project those girls made look easy.

Desiree interviewed each of our state board members and you will hear snippets of those throughout this convention so keep an ear out for them, you will learn some new and surprising things about your board members.

Also due to their new involvement with national, Tyanne is chairing a new state affiliate for young adults called the Mischievous Misfits. The misfits did the entertainment Friday evening at the virtual fall convention.

Another member, Sue Staley, is now the president of another new Oregon affiliate, The Oregon Alliance on Aging and Vision Loss, OAAVL. This is part of the national affiliate whose focus is to advocate for seniors and educate people who are new to living with vision loss and their doctors and caregivers about visual impairment.

Another one of our members, Marylee Turner, is chair of the Pedestrian Safety Action Coalition. Normally they would have several live events, but of course due to COVID that is impossible. So, they are doing it virtually. One of the events was held on October 15, White Cane Safety Day. They had two sessions that a reporter from channel 6 attended. There were speakers from PDOT Portland Department of Transportation, Vision 0 whose mission is to reduce pedestrian vehicle collisions in Portland to 0, NFB and ACBO. One of the Portland city commissioners read a proclamation about White Cane Safety Day that Darian Slayton Fleming was instrumental in making happen plus she gave a history of ACB of Oregon that was excellent.. Michael Babcock who is a member of the Southwestern chapter and is a professional broadcaster, read a PSA about the White Cane law and he was impressive. Each of the ACBO members who helped with this event made me immensely proud of ACB of Oregon.

******* Bob and Bob

More singing ensues as the Bobs f

loat and drift over Mt. Tabor. If you had happened to be playing in the falling snow on Mt. Tabor, just then, you would

have heard tiny hooves galloping above you. And if you had happened to look up you would have seen a moving glowing red nose.

“Rudolph!” Bob and Bob exclaim.

“Give me some nose!” enthuses Rudolph.

Rudolph and the Bob’s appeared to do some sort of ritualized male greeting that denotes a strong and familiar bond between one another.

———— Mischievous Misfits.

By Tyanne Wilmath, Committee Chair

We are a group of the ‘younger generation of ACB of Oregon who strives to encourage younger ACB members to help bring about an inclusive environment in

everyday life of those affected by visual impairment or blindness. We are here to bridge the gap between generations and between those in the sighted and

visually impaired world.

We are the future of ACB of Oregon.

We are currently working on becoming an official chapter.

We meet every Monday at 1:00 pm on the ACBO zoom room.

For more information, please contact Tyanne Wilmath.

Phone: 971-266-9906

———— Employment Corner –

Your Skills & Abilities

By Carrie Muth

Do you want to work, but have no idea how to proceed? Does the thought of working scare you? Do you believe you have nothing to offer to a potential employer?

—- Well, think again; we all have skills, talents, enthusiasm, & assets to bring to the workplace.

According to a Forbes article (,

there are 12 skills that are the most important to succeed at work.

list of 12 items

• 1. Learnability; the ability to learn, grow, & adapt your skills to the ever-changing workplace

• 2. Resiliency; the ability to bounce back in times of difficulty

• 3. Agility; the ability to change gears when needed

• 4. Collaboration; the ability to work as part of a team

• 5. Verbal Communication; the ability to clearly share information

• 6. Written Communication; the ability to write effectively

• 7. Empathy; the ability to understand others & let them feel as if they are heard

• 8. Creativity; the ability to think outside the box & come up with new ideas

• 9. Problem-Solving; the ability to think through problems & come up with effective solutions.

• 10. Leadership; the ability to motivate & encourage those around you to perform to the best of their ability

• 11. Negotiation; the ability to find an acceptable middle-ground

• 12. Technology; the ability to keep up with the ever-changing technology. This is not just the ability to use current technology effectively, but the ability

to learn & grow with advancing technology.

list end

How many of the above skills are you confident in? Do you need to embrace learnability & improve some skills?

We are often our worst enemy when it comes to accurately assessing our skills. Talk to those around you, ask them what your skills are. Also, ask them

what skills you can improve on. Be willing to accept constructive criticism.

ACB is a great place to put these skills to work. Volunteer to work on committees. Join in on training opportunities. Take advantage of the ACB Community

Calls. Let 2021 be a year of growth & discover the awesomeness of you.

******* Bob and Bob

“Up for any reindeer games?” Asks Bob.

“I just teased a Pediatric Life Flight on its way back from Sandford Children’s Hospital, the pediatric patient was awake and doing well. Everyone on board

believes in Santa Clause again, including the adults.”

Bob grins, “Superb!”

“Most excellent.” The other Bob swirls around.

“Something smells divine!” the red nosed reindeer points his nose to lead the way in the near blizzard conditions.

———— New InstaCart Senior Help Line

The Senior Support Line is available in the U.S. and Canada at 1–844–981–3433, daily from 8 a.m. — 11 p.m. ET. For more information, you can visit

The Instacart team is committed to increasing accessibility and serving its entire community safely and effectively

New Senior Support Service helps seniors build confidence with online grocery delivery and stay safer ahead of the upcoming cold and flu season

In the wake of COVID-19, Instacart has become an essential service for anyone looking to limit trips to the store and have their groceries, household goods,

and much-needed medications delivered safely. To better support senior customers, Instacart has developed a new Senior Support Service, a high-touch support

offering for customers over age 60. The Senior Support Service is designed to help seniors adopt online grocery delivery and stay safer ahead of the upcoming

cold and flu season, when they may face increased health risks in light of the ongoing pandemic. In the past month alone, Instacart has brought more than

60,000 seniors online with the Senior Support Service.

The Senior Support Service has proven to be a valuable tool for seniors who want to limit in-person visits to grocery stores during the pandemic, but who

may benefit from extra assistance with adopting online grocery delivery. When a customer uses Instacart’s Senior Support Service, a dedicated specialist

is ready to assist with a range of high-touch services — from setting up an account, to filling a virtual cart and placing a first order, to providing

tutorials on key Instacart features like setting preferred replacements and chatting with their shopper, to troubleshooting problems or questions about

an existing order.

“At Instacart, our goal is to make online grocery delivery as seamless and accessible as possible, no matter your age or comfort level with technology,”

said Mark Killick, Vice President of Instacart’s Care customer support team.

“Online grocery delivery is one of the safest ways for seniors to get their groceries, household essentials and medications, especially heading into the

higher-risk cold and flu season. Many seniors are less accustomed to using an app for ingrained household tasks like grocery shopping, so Instacart’s Senior

Support Service is designed to help them build confidence to use online grocery delivery more often and more independently.”

With a team of more than 150 dedicated specialists, Instacart’s Senior Support Service currently assists an average of 2,000 seniors a day with a menu

of high-touch services. The Senior Support Service is designed to accommodate more robust assistance and longer, more in-depth conversations, with Senior

Support Service contacts lasting on average 20% longer than traditional contacts. With more than 60,000 senior customers brought online in just the past

month, the Senior Support Service will continue to scale as necessary to help at-risk seniors more easily adopt online grocery delivery ahead of this year’s

cold and flu season.

The Senior Support Line is available in the U.S. and Canada at 1–844–981–3433, daily from 8 a.m. — 11 p.m. ET. For more information, you can visit

The Instacart team is committed to increasing accessibility and serving its entire community safely and effectively.

———— Kellogg’s and Co-op trial

Coco Pops boxes designed for the blind

Kellogg’s has launched Coco Pops boxes for blind and partially sighted people as a trial in almost 60 Co-op stores across the UK.

Working with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to mark World Sight Day yesterday, the new boxes feature UK-first technology that allows

a smartphone to detect a unique on-pack code and playback labelling and allergen information to the user.

The trial comes after research from RNIB revealed that nine in 10 blind and partially sighted people feel that information on food packaging is difficult

or impossible to read.

The new technology, called NaviLens, can be used both in-store and in the home. It allows smartphones to pick up an on-pack code from up to three meters

distance when a blind or partially sighted shopper points their device in the direction of the cereal box.

This then alerts the phone and the shopper can choose to have the ingredients, allergen and recycling information read aloud to them – as well as reading

it on their device using accessibility tools.

If successful, the business hopes to adapt more of its cereal boxes to include this technology.

Chris Silcock, Kellogg’s managing director, said: “Over two million people in the UK live with sight loss and are unable to simply read the information

on our cereal boxes. That’s why we partnered with RNIB to trial special boxes of Coco Pops with NaviLens technology – a first for food packaging. If the

trial is a success; we would hope that it could appear on more of our cereal boxes for visually impaired shoppers to access.”

Marc Powell, strategic accessibility lead at RNIB, added: “Important information on packaging can often be in very small print, making it difficult for

blind and partially sighted people to read. This can make shopping a real challenge, especially for those with specific dietary requirements – as they

cannot see the all-important nutritional information.

“This trial with Kellogg’s using NaviLens technology has raised the bar in inclusive and accessible packaging design – allowing people with low or no vision

to locate a product on the shelf and access all information about it completely independently for the very first time.”


******* Bob and Bob

Bob and Bob dance about Rudolph’s head as they peek in a window. “Julia, what are you cooking?” They call through the ajar kitchen window.

Julia dances over to the window, Christmas music playing quietly in the background.

“I’m testing one of the recipes for cinnamon rolls that is printed in the Stylus.”

“We could all smell it from up in the sky.” They all proclaim in unison.

Bob asks, “Can we try a bite?”

———— Xmas Morning cinnamon Rolls

From the kitchen of Desiree Christian

Here are two recipes first the one-hour version and second is the overnight version, either one will be yummy!

Note: Savory Substitutions at the bottom of the recipes.

One Hour Cinnamon Rolls

Buy Puff pastry, put it in the freezer until about 30 min before you need to work with it. I highly recommend buying this ingredient well in advance. It

will keep in the freezer just fine for months. Stores tend not to carry puff pastry consistently so buy early. It will keep nicely in your freezer for a month

or so.

For the Dough:

1 package frozen puff pastry (17.3 ounces/2 sheets) thawed in the refrigerator overnight (I like Pepperidge Farm)

For the Filling:

• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted

• 1/3 cup light or dark brown sugar

• 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

• 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

• Optional Filling add ins: ½ cup raw pecans, ½ cup raisins or ½ chocolate chips

For the Glaze:

• 1 cup powdered sugar

• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

• 1 tablespoon milk plus 1 to 3 teaspoons as needed

Note: Feel free to use the below filling and icing recopies from the overnight cinnamon rolls.

The Directions

• Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the pecans on an ungreased baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake until the pecans are lightly smelling

of toasted nuts, about 8 to 12 minutes. Stir the pan once halfway through, set a timer, and do not walk away during the last few minutes (nuts love to burn

at the last moment). Take one off of the pan, wait until it’s cool enough to taste. If you feel you want your nuts toastier than put them back in the oven

for 2 or 3 min more. DO NOT WALK AWAY until the nuts are out of the oven. Transfer to a cutting board, then finely chop. Set aside.

• Step: 2Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.

• Step 3: In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt.

• Step 4: On a lightly floured work surface, unfold 1 sheet of puff pastry so that the folds open left to right and the seams run vertical.

• Step 5: Roll it to a 10-inch square (if it is not already). Lightly brush the sheet all the way to its edges with half of the melted butter. Leaving a

1-inch border on all sides of the puff pastry, sprinkle each sheet with half of the sugar mixture.

• Step 6: Starting with the end closest to you (the “bottom” of the square), tightly roll the pastry up and away from you like a sleeping bag around the

filling. The roll will expand sideways somewhat, and a bit of the sugar will fall out, which is fine. End seam-side down. Trim off about ½ inch from each

end of the roll and discard. With a serrated knife, slice the roll in 8 equal pieces.

• Step 7: Each will be about 1 1/3 inches wide. Arrange each piece, spiral side facing up, on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the second sheet

of puff pastry and remaining filling, spacing the rolls evenly and allowing them plenty of room to spread.

• Step 8: Bake the rolls for 18 to 22 minutes until they are golden brown on top and firm to the touch. Place the pan on a wire rack and let cool.

• Step 9: While the rolls cool, prepare the glaze. In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon milk. The glaze should

be a little thick, but still pour easily. If you’d like it thicker, add more powdered sugar; for a thinner glaze, add more milk 1 teaspoon at a time. For

easy frosting scoot the rolls on the parchment paper so that they are touching at the edges. Drizzle the glaze over the top of the rolls then immediately

sprinkle with pecans. Let the glaze set for a few minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

———— Overnight Cinnamon Rolls


• 4 large egg yolks, room temperature

• 1 large whole egg, room temperature

• 2 ounces sugar, approximately 1/4 cup

• 3 ounces unsalted butter, melted, approximately 6 tablespoons

• 6 ounces buttermilk, room temperature

• 20 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 cups, plus additional for dusting

• 1 package instant dry yeast, approximately 2 1/4 teaspoons

• 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt

Vegetable oil or cooking spray


• 8 ounces light brown sugar, approximately 1 cup packed

• 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

• Pinch salt

• 3/4-ounce unsalted butter, melted, approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons


• 2 1/2 ounces cream cheese, softened, approximately 1/4 cup

• 3 tablespoons milk

• 5 1/2 ounces powdered sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups


• Step 1: For the dough: in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter, and buttermilk. Add approximately

2 cups of the flour along with the yeast and salt; whisk until moistened and combined. Remove the whisk attachment and replace with a dough hook. Add all

but 3/4 cup of the remaining flour and knead on low speed for 5 minutes. Check the consistency of the dough, add more flour if necessary; the dough should

feel soft and moist but not sticky. Knead on low speed 5 minutes more or until the dough clears the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a lightly

floured work surface; knead by hand about 30 seconds. Lightly oil a large bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl, lightly oil the top of the dough, cover

and let double in volume, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

• Step 2: For the Filling: Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Mix until well incorporated. Set aside until ready to use.

• Step 3: Butter a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently shape the dough into a rectangle with the

long side nearest you. Roll into an 18 by 12-inch rectangle. Brush the dough with the 3/4-ounce of melted butter, leaving 1/2-inch border along the top

edge. Sprinkle the filling mixture over the dough, leaving a 3/4-inch border along the top edge; gently press the filling into the dough. Beginning with

the long edge nearest you, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Firmly pinch the seam to seal and roll the cylinder seam side down. Very gently squeeze

the cylinder to create even thickness. Using a serrated knife, slice the cylinder into 1 1/2-inch rolls, yielding 12 rolls. Arrange rolls cut side down

in the baking dish; cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight or up to 16 hours.

Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and place in an oven that is turned off. Fill a shallow pan 2/3-full of boiling water and set on the rack below

the rolls. Close the oven door and let the rolls rise until they look slightly puffy; approximately 30 minutes. Remove the rolls and the shallow pan of

water from the oven.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

• Step 4: When the oven is ready, place the rolls on the middle rack and bake until golden brown, or until the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees F

on an instant-read thermometer, approximately 30 minutes.

• Step 5: For the Icing: While the rolls are cooling slightly, make the icing by whisking the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy. Add

the milk and whisk until combined. Sift in the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth. Spread over the rolls and serve immediately.

Savory Filling Substitutions:

• ½ cup grated cheddar and 1 to 1 ½ teaspoon dill or thyme

• 1/3 cup cooked sausage, 1/3 cup drained and squeezed frozen spinach

• ½ cup cooked bacon and maple syrup either brush in the middle like melted butter or drizzled on top.

Storing, Reheating, and Freezing Notes:

TO STORE: Store leftover cinnamon rolls in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

TO REHEAT: Rewarm leftover cinnamon rolls on a baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees F until heated through.

TO FREEZE BEFORE BAKING: After you roll your dough into a log, you can freeze it unbaked. Wrap the dough very tightly with plastic wrap and place it in

the freezer for up to 2 months. When you’re ready to bake the cinnamon rolls, thaw the dough overnight in the refrigerator, and slice and bake as directed.

Then, add the glaze and pecans.

TO FREEZE AFTER BAKING: Bake the cinnamon rolls as directed and let cool completely. Then, arrange them in a flat layer on a baking sheet and place in

the freezer. Once fully frozen, place the rolls in an airtight freezer-safe storage container and store for up to 1 month. Reheat pre-made cinnamon rolls

directly from frozen on a parchment lined baking sheet at 375 degrees F until warmed through.

TO MAKE AHEAD: To prepare your cinnamon rolls ahead of time, you can toast the pecans up to 3 days in advance and make the glaze 1 day in advance and store

in the refrigerator. Drizzle the glaze and top with pecans just before serving.

******* Bob and Bob

“Yeah, can we?” asks Rudolph.

“it’s still in the oven.” Replies Julia.

As if life were some kind of movie, the Waltz of the Sugar Plum Fairies starts to play all around them.

“Well got to fly.” Smiles the other Bob.

———— Adventures with Hull Park

By JeanneMarie Moore

ACBO Representative

From all reports, the Monster Mash event that happened on October 30, 2020 was a huge success.

Hull Park has lost over $250,000 from a lack of rentals. However, we are still open and have many Zoom classes which you can attend by computer, landline phone or smart phone.

Some of the offerings are Hull Park Presents (twice a month,) a book club (every other Thursday,) and Living with Sight Loss once a month. There are also Braille classes and some information about orientation and mobility.

We’ve had one Walk Across America and currently, are doing a Walk-a-Thon through the British Aisles.

These have a two-fold purpose: the first is to keep us moving (20 minutes of activity equals one mile. However, many people participate and turn in their miles, that is how many we go in a day.

Doing laundry, exercising, putting things in order, dancing as you prepare dinner, any of that counts.

Any donations people can make would be extremely helpful and are greatly appreciated. I am the proofreader for the walk-a-thon. I sponsored myself

and have asked others in my familiar circle to sponsor me too.

It’s a combination of education and fantasy, including interacting with ghost, imps, and dragons. It’s fascinating. I’ve learned a lot from this project.

I encourage people who are interested to sign up and to tell your friends. The Hull Park Foundation has had participants from all around the country

We hope next summer’s Adventure Camps will return, but if not, we’ll have the seminars which are both interesting and educational!

To get more info about how to join the British Isles walk-a-thon, sign up for one of the classes and to get the newsletter,

Call the office at 503 668-6195.

******* Bob and Bob

Off Bob and Bob dash, into the last of the day’s light fading into a good winter’s night. The sugar plum fairies dust magic and possibility as both they and the Bob’s dance their way towards two little girls in front of a certain house, at the end of a certain street Where the two bundled up black haired beauties are making snow angels.

Bob and Bob tickle their respective noses on their way inside to see the girl’s mom.

———— Talking Book & Braille Library Update. Taken from the library newsletter

Over the past few months, the email address and web address (URL) for the Talking Book & Braille Library have changed.  The old email address and URL will forward you to the new ones for the next several months, but they encourage you to update any contact profiles or browser bookmarks you may have for our library to the new information before the forwarding expires.

The new information is as follows:

• Email address:

• Web address (URL):

You may use our new email address and URL starting immediately.


As you may have noticed, the books you have been receiving since we were able to reopen are a little bit different (though a lot better) than before. 

Instead of being limited to one book per cartridge, we now can put up to eight books on each cartridge.  The books on a cartridge are customized

to your requests and preferences, meaning everyone can now get what they want when they want it!

Just take the card out, recycle it, and mail your book container back: it’s automatically addressed. And please do not put anything in writing on the cartridges:

they need to stay the way they are.


BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) is an awesome optional extra for users of our library.  It allows you to download any book you want whenever

you want it, making the entire collection available for immediate listening.

In an effort to make sure the BARD system remains secure; the National Library Service is requiring that each BARD user log into BARD at least once every

six months.  If a BARD account remains inactive for more than six months the system will automatically suspend the account.  The suspension would only

apply to your BARD account; books through the mail are totally separate from downloaded books.  A suspended BARD account can be reactivated by contacting

staff at the library: 800-452-0292.

Even if you do not intend to download a book, just logging into BARD every month or two will ensure your BARD account is active whenever you need it. 

If you are interested in setting up a BARD account so you can start downloading books, please visit our website for more information.


In the Connections Newsletter, issued once a quarter, new DVDs are announced, and they are all audio-described, of course!


Now we would like to introduce you to Alexandria Gutenberg, or Alex for short, the fun name they have given to the behind-the-scenes system that makes it all work.

two computers with arrows between them

Alex is two computer systems working together.  One system manages your user profiles and book preferences (subjects and authors, requests, and

hashes), and it’s where we catalog the collection.  The second system builds and circulates the customized cartridges, and it houses the digital copies

of every book in the collection.  The two systems share data automatically.  Book queue data goes to the building program, and circulation data goes back

to the user database.

The result is a mostly automated process, allowing a single circulation tech (our fantastic human colleague Maddy) to easily manage Alex.  Returned cartridges

are scanned in, which tells Alex those specific cartridges can be cleared and reused.  Cartridges are reformatted and filled with books when they are plugged

into Alex.  When outgoing cartridges are done being customized, Alex “dings” to let Maddy know she can unplug the cartridges and scan them out.

graph of daily circulation showing 4 hours for the old method and 1 hour for the new method

Alex can handle batches of twenty cartridges at about three minutes per batch.  At present Maddy is averaging 154 cartridges per day, or around 1,200 titles. 

That’s the same average number of daily circulations as before, but now Maddy has everything shipped out in an hour or less by herself.  To put that in

perspective, the circulation process used to be a four-hour process at minimum with two people.  How cool is that!

LAUGHS OUT LOUD! man with headphones giving thumbs up

Do you have a short, entertaining story to share, especially one related to your use of the library?  Do you have a favorite joke or humorous quip that

makes everyone laugh?  Well, we’re all ears!

We are going to start devoting a portion of every newsletter to content we receive from you, our users.  Normally we will be looking for things that make

us laugh, be they witty, ironic, or just plain funny.  But if that is not your style, that is OK; throughout the year we will be requesting other types of

content with different themes.

To give you an idea of what we’re looking for, here’s an example of a brief story one of our users wanted to share with us recently:

I had to call 911 last week, and when I was being loaded into the ambulance I said, “Wait, I need my talking book player.”  I sent the ambulance attendant

back into my house for my player because I was not going to the hospital without it!  And do not worry, I made it back home safe and sound.  

We love to hear stories like this one, and we are quite sure other users will enjoy hearing them too.

It has been an honor to serve as your ACBO Library representative for the past several years.

The very capable Deb Kokel is stepping in to replace me and I am positive she will do a great job and wish her the best.

******* Bob and Bob

The sugar Plum fairies swirl pink magical dust and diamond glitter all around the girls. They laugh and giggle excited that this legend of myth and fantasy is real.

The Bob’s float in through the cracked door on strains of “I got a cheese log”

“Hey, isn’t that us singing?” inquires Bob.

“I do believe you know your music.” Replies Allen.

———— Cindy Hollis Receives Award for ACB Community Calls

Recently, ACB Membership Services Coordinator Cindy Hollis, received the

Roxann Mayros Organizational Champion Award

 from VisionServe Alliance for her work with the ACB Community. This award was established to honor senior leadership members of member-driven organizations

that have demonstrated extraordinary service to the field. View Cindy’s acceptance of the award and her nomination from ACB President Dan Spoone by visiting:

Read below to learn more about the progress and growth that has taken place within our community this year.

When the pandemic hit in March and stay at home orders were implemented across the country, ACB staff began working from home, but work did not slow down.

Instead, it intensified.

What began with two conference calls in one week, now has us scheduling well over 300 events each month since September. Conference calls are now community

events held over Zoom, and the variety of events continue to expand as new planners come to the table with new ideas. And many more volunteers are hosting

calls each week. In fact, hundreds of hours are being served to our community by hosts, facilitators, and presenters. And to say hundreds of people are

attending these events each week is not an exaggeration.

Some of the highlights:

Who remembers the many Gaming Labs held throughout the month of May? If you missed them, you can still find them as podcasts by going to:

This was the first of many examples when we reached out to our community looking for people to help put these on and several people stepped up. In fact,

one of them was Matt Vollbrecht from the Tech Juggernaut who has been providing us 90 minutes of Apple training every Friday since May 1.

ACB President Dan Spoone and Executive Director Eric Bridges stepped up to the plate in late April with “Let’s Talk Sports” and have been back many times

since with their crazy antics and amazing knowledge and memories. And the Spoones, Bridges, and Charlsons were genuinely good sports when they played the Newly

Wed Game in late July. I never laughed so hard, and with real tears. Worth the listen!

We’ve had ACB committees, Special Interest Affiliates, and staff bring topics of interests from guide dogs to voting, transportation to employment, nutrition

to exercise, and so much more. And corporate support has been amazing as well with presentations from Vispero, Spectrum, LinkedIn, Achilles International,

Comcast, AT&T, Orcam, and Verizon Media, just to name a few.

Peer support takes place in many forms throughout each week, but several have been established for ongoing support for widows and widowers, divorcees,

caregivers, those with blindness and other disabilities, newly blind, and those dealing with grief, cancer, or sobriety. We also hold events for guide

dog handlers, parents, and differing spiritual beliefs.

We know this has been a tough time for many of us in our community. To that end, we have also had many events around health and wellness. In April we offered

one yoga class and now it is two, one from the chair and one more advanced, and two classes using resistance bands. Meditation, a healthy accountability

check-in, and varying topics each week to nurture our mental health are just more of what are community can take in each week to try and stay well physically

and mentally.

Technology calls are always popular and cover everything from Windows to Mac, from apps to screen readers, from iPhones to Alexa. Some are formal presentations,

others are discussion based. All have members of our community learning and growing in their technology experience.

Speaking of learning, there is a lot going on around crafts. Whether crocheting or knitting, needle or loom, beginner or advanced, there’s

room for you. Crafts have also included creating braille pictures, beadwork, card making, and more.

Other event topics covered: food and recipes, music and radio, fashion, the home and kitchen gadgets, travel, books, and the list goes on. We began with

coffee socials and now have social events daily and at all hours. Our community loves to get together and learn about one another and just share. Oh yes,

and we also love to have fun with game nights and open mic night or karaoke.

They say, “it takes a village,” but we know “it takes a community.” In a little over eight months, the ACB Community has become the place to go for information

and friendship, education, and fun. Why? Because it is a constant in a time of uncertainty, and it is safe and warm and welcoming and available for everyone!

To listen to our ACB Community podcast, visit:

To subscribe to our Community podcast feed, visit:

Listen to many of our events streamed live on ACB Radio Community:

 or ask Alexa to, “Open ACB Community.”

******* Bob and Bob

The Bob’s land near a nut covered cheese log. They both stare morosely up at Allen. “Didn’t get much for Christmas?” asks Bob on the right. Bob on the

left sings, “The happiness of Christmas Eve!”

Bob on the right sings, “Remember when it comes to cheese logs”

Bob on the left sings, “It’s better to give than to receive.”

(I got a cheese log by Trout Fishing in America can be found on Alexa, YouTube and Apple Music.)

———— Celebration of Life

By Yours Truly

We lost a long-time member of ACB of Oregon, Bill Mlynarski. He passed on November 30, 2020 during heart surgery.

He was a member of the San Fernando Valley chapter in California for many years before moving to Portland to take a job with the IRS.

Bill was involved with several affiliates: Guide Dog Users, Government employees and was ACB of Oregon; if there was a fundraiser or party or other type of event, he was there. He was an avid dragon boat paddler and would loudly lead the cheers. He was one of the founding members of the Metro PDX chapter.

Bill was known for his top 10 lists of things. Whenever there would be an event of some kind, a birthday, a party, a fundraiser, he would always come out with Bill’s top 10 list about the event.

Bill was a quiet, unassuming man and he helped many people behind the scenes who were struggling in some way. When we all went out, we could count on Bill ordering steak and a Cadillac Margarita. His current guide dog was a big, black lab, teddy bear named Bruno. When Bill first returned with Bruno, we started teasing Bill and his new nick name became Guido, he loved that.

Rest in peace Bill, you will be deeply missed.

There will be a celebration of life for Bill on December 12 at 4 pm in the ACBO Zoom room

Join Zoom Meeting

One tap mobile



1-253-215-8782 US (Tacoma)

Meeting ID: 848 0927 0091#

Passcode: 112233#

Participant code: #

******* Bob and Bob

Allen proceeds to pontificate on the merits of cheese logs and whether or not they are appropriate gifts.

“Well Anyway…” exclaims Tyanne loudly, “Why are there two male voices singing at table level?”

“I’m Bob. He’s Bob. We’re Bob and Bob

A one of a kind two of a kind freak of nature” they sing in harmony.

———— ACB of Oregon

Convention Membership Meeting

By Bobi Earp, ACBO Secretary

October 25, 2020

9:07, Leonard Kokel led the Flag Salute

The passing of Ron Staley and Charlotte Noddin was announced. 

Chapter Roll Call

Sue Schwab gave the report of registrants54 registered and 19 in audience

Agenda was read by Sue Schwab, Leonard Kokel moved, and Teresa Christian 2nd and it was approved.

Approval of the 2019 minutes was moved by Sue Schwab and 2nd by Leonard Kokel.

Treasurer’s Report was read by Sue Schwab: moved by Leonard Kokel, 2nd by James Edwards and was approved.

Budget: Sue Schwab read the proposed budget. 

Darian Slayton Fleming asked about the mid-year meeting.  As it will be virtual, do we need that amount. $7000 total was budgeted for travel.

James Edwards moved, and Darian Slayton Fleming 2nd and it was approved

Bylaws:  Leonard played a recording of the Bylaw change under consideration.

Sue Schwab moved, Teresa Christian 2nd and it was approved.

The Bylaw changes the wording for Introduction of Executive Board, and introduction of guests, and adds guest comments to the end of the Agenda.

Website:  Marty: Revamped the website, took it down and did a complete restart.  Site works on all devices and platforms. Cleared up hosting and domain name issues.  This year they were able to register and pay registration for Convention through the website. 

What it will look like in the future:  They are working toward having each Chapter represented on the State website and he will be working on that this next year.

Luther suggested that there be someone who can answer questions .  Marty said they will work on getting more help for folk’s not quite so tech savvy.

Deb Marino: Place to ask questions or sign up for newsletters.    Do you need to be a member of ACB to get the Stylus?  Need to establish a policy regarding

the Newsletter.

Wes Brown reported a possible missing link on the website.

Jean Marie Moore: Need to improve the publicity of getting the Newsletter.

Joan Hill: suggests having a phone number for technical assistance.

John Hammill indicated that we were Straying from agenda

Darian Slayton Fleming: Misfits are coming onto ACB, and thinks it would be good to direct folks to them. 

Wes Brown suggested that Registration should have been a different button from the Donate button.

Sue Schwab explained some of the tech issues of not having a guest listed when you register.

Construction Site Accessibility

Luther Gruel ich’s Talk:

The letter written by Jean Marie was read by Sue.  Luther gave his talk, and was asking for any members who have encountered difficulty navigating around

construction sites to notify him.  It is the law that all construction sites provide a safe and accessible route around it, but many sites use only the

yellow tape, which is not adequate for folks with low vision.

ADA has been around long enough that there is no excuse for not adhering to the rules.

Construction sites need to make sure that there are no obstructions, tripping hazards,

When you file for permits, the inspectors come to insure you have a clear passage.  Then work can begin.

ACB has an Environmental Access Committee, also has some attorney’s that can guide the complaint.  Can help get the appropriate legal assistance. 

Contact Luther


Midyear Leadership Training:

Selecting members to go to mid-year meeting A poll was taken on just who would be willing to travel, and the results indicated that no one in the Portland

Metro area were willing to travel, while all those in other areas of Oregon felt it would be something they would do.

Teresa Christian is interested in joining virtually.  Will send out an email to see who might be interested. Deb Kokel, Marty Sobo, Darian Slayton Fleming, Marylee Turner all indicated an interest in participating. Please contact Carrie Muth or their chapter presidents if interested.

Pat Wallace presented on Accessible Prescription Labels and then introduced Charlotte Glass from Script Talk.

Pat said that not all pharmacies are adhering to the new law.  The providers are not doing the accessible labels.

Contact Pat Wallace if you are still having problems.

Charlotte Glass from Script Talk said that the Board of Pharmacy did not finalize the rule/law until June 2020. She thinks it could be another year or year and a half before the pharmacies become compliant. COVID-19 is also a factor.  All pharmacies are aware of the duel languages piece, and it may cause a further delay.

Fred Meyer is up, CVS has their own platform, and many are using the mobile app.  Devices just arrived from China, so will be distributing the new devices. 

Will be able to store the 2nd language on the device.

Envision ScriptTalk has a link to pages links to the social awareness pages

Election of District Reps:

District 1, Teresa Christian

District 2, Michael Babcock

District 3, Mona Huntley

Nomination were sought from the floor, but none were forthcoming.

All were voted into office by acclamation.

Where are we going for Convention for next year?

2021 will tentatively be held at the Cottage Grove Village Inn as we would lose the $250 deposit if we changed locations.

John Hammill made the motion to hold 2021 in Cottage Grove, Leonard Kokel 2nd and it was approved.

James Edwards made the motion to authorize the Board to change location (including going to virtual) if necessary.  Darian Slayton Fleming 2nd and it was approved.

Deb Cook Lewis from ACB Radio was thanked for all their help doing this virtual convention.

Leonard Kokel made the motion to donate $200 to ACB Radio. Darian Slayton Fleming 2nd it, and it was approved.

Jean Marie Moore thanked the group for such a great Convention.  She has promised to help members gain access to the Village Green when we go for the convention next year.

Leonard Kokel complimented Carrie Muth for doing such a great job.

Desiree Christian wants to move towards a 2 year planning time for the Convention.  The bylaws may need to be changed to accomplish this. It will be investigated.

Meeting was adjourned at 11:35.

******* Bob and Bob

“We are here to let you know Tyanne that you are the winner of the Stylus writer submission

contest. You have until December 31st to contact Teresa to receive your $25 dollar check.”

Bob and Bob leap into the air, “Have a happy holiday!” they sing as they fly out to join the sugar plum fairies in entertaining Lois and Aria, the Wilmath girls.


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. Your name will be entered once for each item you submit for the upcoming issue. For example, if you submit 10 items, your name will be entered 10 times in the drawing. You can send as many items as you like and whether it makes it into the next issue, your name will still go into the drawing.

One name will be selected, and that lucky person will receive a check for $25.

The winner must call or email me to let me know they discovered their name as being the winner for this issue. Your $25 check will be released after you contact me.

Keep those submissions coming and good luck!!

To change your address, request alternative formats for ACB publications, or request financial documents,

contact our

State Treasurer

Sue Schwab.


Cell: 503-871-6175

Stylus Editor, Teresa Christian

Phone: 971-322-8462

Thanks for reading this issue of the Stylus!

May you always have enough!

In love and light

Your Happy Editor

Teresa Christian