PO box 23543
Richfield, MN 55423
The views expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily the position of the American Council of the Blind of Minnesota. They are the views of the article’s author.
Product and service information is provided as a resource only and not as an endorsement of a particular product or service.

Catalina Martinez, Editor
Barb Appleby,
Marian Haslerud,
Michael Lauf: Web Administrator

Phone numbers of note:
SSB main number (651)539-2300
ACBM (612) 223-5543 Leave Message
Apple support for people with disabilities
(877) 204-3930
Microsoft support for people with disabilities
(800) 936-5900
Comcast Support for Persons with Disabilities
(855) 270-0379

Table of Contents
President’s Message by Janet Dickelman
It’s All about People and Relationships by Dan Spoone
ACBM Spring Quarterly Meeting by Janet dickelman
LIBRARY UPDATE By Marian Haslerud
61st annual conference and convention Update by Janet Dickelman
ACBM’s advocacy committee By Michael Malver
Your Vote Matters By Janet Dickelman

The Recipe Corner
Slow cooker Pineapple Pulled Pork By Barb Appleby
Carrot Cake Smoothy By Barb Appleby

The Crafty Corner
easy Knot Lace Shawl From Premiere Yarns
Just a Triangle Shawl By Sharon Mahel

Officers and Board of Directors
ACBM Standing Committee Chairs

Feeling Hopeful
By Janet Dickelman

The other day my guide dog Krissy and I were out for a walk. It was a glorious early March Day and spring was definitely in the air; even though I was wearing my winter coat, gloves and boots! Krissy and I were sloshing through puddles when we came to a street crossing with a large snowbank. I was quite surprised since everything else was melted! It made me think that no matter how smoothly we think things are going there will always be bumps in the road. The key is do you splash through the puddles or stumble on the mountains? Personally, I prefer the water!
I found a quote that I try and live by and wanted to share it with all of you.

“Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. ― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart.

Happy spring!

It’s All about People and Relationships
by Dan Spoone

As we completed the ACB 2022 annual budget, it resonated with me that ACB is all about people. The generosity of our members and partner donors provides us the means to connect people to the mission of ACB.

Our mission statement:
ACB strives to increase the independence, security, equality of
opportunity, and to improve the quality of life for all blind and
visually impaired people.

Our annual budget is 80% an investment in people — our staff,
contractors and members providing important programs and services to improve the lives of the blind and low vision community. People
helping people! It’s all about relationships. The relationships we
have developed with each other and our partners. I would like everyone to take a minute and reflect on all the people you have met because of ACB. It’s amazing. This organization fosters friendships. We truly are a family.

Leslie and I had our first transformative ACB experience in 2009 at
the convention in Orlando. We were at a low point. Leslie had closed
her gym earlier in the summer. We were sad and exhausted. My work was incredibly stressful, and I had been doing lots of international traveling
for a difficult global project. At times it was not easy being
the only visually impaired person on a multinational team with tight
deadlines and little patience for someone with a disability. We needed
a vacation and some time to connect with each other.

Some might call it coincidence, but I call it fate. The ACB convention
came to us at a time we really needed it. Leslie’s sister, Anita, flew
in from California, and the three of us headed for the Orlando
convention at the Rosen Centre Hotel. Leslie had been contacted by
Phyllis Burson, Women’s Concerns co-chair, to conduct an armchair yoga session, and Leslie was so excited to get a chance to instruct a group of her blind peers. My parents also decided to go out for the week. My mom and dad were active local chapter members and dad was partnered with Jay Bader to coordinate the general session door prizes. My mom and nephew, Sam, were volunteers and loved helping escort convention-goers around the hotel.

You all will not be surprised to learn that our favorite event at the
2009 convention was the Wednesday night auction. It lasted until 2
a.m., with three segments of 45 items each. Leslie and Anita called it
a night after the second segment, but I stayed ‘til the end.
Brenda and Dan Dillon were in rare form with answering machine
jingles, along with trips to Nashville and the Olympic training
facilities in Colorado up for bid. I took a plunge and won the trip to
Nashville, and it changed our lives forever.
It was a five-night stay with tickets to the Grand Ole Opry, the Nash
Trash Tour and lunch at Cracker Barrel with Grand Ole Opry announcer Mike Terry. However, the best part of the trip without a doubt was a Halloween chili dinner at the Dillons.’ Dan and Brenda prepared homemade chili and apple pie. We sang songs and played games until two in the morning. This was a theme with the Dillons. We handed out candy and laughed. Of course, there were a few alcoholic drinks for the Dans.

This was the start of a wonderful ACB friendship. The Dillons got us
involved in ACB. We joined the Resource Development Committee and Leslie joined the Auction Committee. The Dillons invited us to
Washington, D.C. to participate in the presidents’ meeting and the
legislative seminar. They welcomed us to Daytona Beach when they came to Florida for a fall vacation. They invited us to Washington for the WCB convention. We got a chance to spend the weekend with Cindy Van Winkle, now Cindy Hollis. We laughed all weekend long. It was so much fun.

I only share these experiences with you all to let you know how an ACB friend has changed our lives. It’s all about the relationships. It’s
the same for advocacy. It’s about telling your stories and connecting
with the other person. My challenge to you: find your ACB friend. It
will make a major difference in your life. It’s all about people and

ACBM Spring Quarterly Meeting
By Janet Dickelman

Our quarterly meeting will be held on Saturday, April 23 at Joseph’s Grill 140 S. Wabasha in Saint Paul. To ensure ample time for our elections, bake sale and business meeting we are changing the meeting time.
Our social hour will begin at 11:00 and last until noon.
Lunch will be served at noon.

The first leg of our bake sale will be held from 12:30 to 1:30 followed by elections and business meeting.
We will then auction the remainder of our bake sale items. We plan to be done by 3:15 PM.

lunch choices:

two Ground Beef Tacos in a Deep-Fried Flour Tortilla served with Tortilla Chips and Salsa, lettuce, Tomato, Cheese and Sour Cream on the Side.

grilled Portabella Mushroom on Focaccia Bread topped with Onion, Tomato, Lettuce, Artichokes, Pesto and Mayo.

3. Cheeseburger
3. Cheeseburger.
We realized how helpful it was at our state convention in January 2021 to have a list of our auction items in advance to send out so attendees could browse and think about their purchases. Although last minute submissions are welcome, we’d like to compile a list of the bake sale items.
Please email Patty Slaby at or call her at (715) 497-9849 by Wednesday, April 20 to let her know what you will be bringing.
for example
6 chocolate chip muffins from the bakery provided by Mary or 2 dozen oatmeal cookies made by John.

Business meeting Agenda items:
Election of officers and board members. The offices of vice-president, treasurer and 3 board members will be up for election.
committee reports
update on the 2022 midyear leadership seminar and the national conference and convention in Omaha
Discussion and selection of delegates to the national convention.
special reports from groups of special interest to ACBM members

additional items will be added to the agenda at the meeting.

you may now select and pay for your lunch from our website, go to
You can even add in $1.00 to cover processing costs.
You can still e-mail Steve Robertson with your meal choices at
or call him at (612) 223-5543.

We would appreciate hearing from you by Sunday, April  17.

payment methods:
you may pay for your meal on our website at
using either PayPal or a credit or debit card.

send your payment to
Box 23543
Richfield, MN 55423
or pay by check or cash at the meeting.

cancellation policy: If you make a reservation and then find you are unable to attend, please call Steve by noon on Friday, April 22. If you cancel after that time, you will be responsible for paying for your meal.

We look forward to seeing you, bidding on your bake sale submissions your participation in our April  fund-raiser and taking the opportunity to vote for ACBM’s future.

Library Update
By Marian Haslerud

The advisory committee of the Minnesota Braille and Talking Book Library met on February 28, 2022. Below is a summary of what was covered at the meeting:

The Minnesota Department of Education is moving to Minneapolis, Minnesota sometime in May. They will be relocating from Roseville to Minneapolis, 400 Stenson, Minneapolis, Minnesota. As a result of that move the braille and talking book library will be determining their next location. They are considering the following four options:
1. Staying in their current location. If they stay in the current location, they will remodel the facility.
2. Moving to another location in Faribault, Minnesota.
3. Moving to a location located between Faribault and the Twin City area.
4. Moving to the new department of education location.
The federal government printing office has a shortage of paper. It was therefore decided that the large print Talking Book Topics will not be printed in 2022. The talking book topics will be available on Bard.

The pilot project for the e-reader will end in March. They will begin sending the readers out as they receive them.

The next meeting will take place in June.

61st annual conference and convention
By Janet Dickelman

What an exciting time to be involved with the American Council of the Blind! Our 61st annual conference and convention is fast approaching! Since Omaha is only an hour flight from the Twin Cities, I’m hoping many of you will join us in Omaha.

In-person convention dates are July 1 through July 8. Join us in person in Omaha Nebraska. During the in-person portion of the conference many of our sessions will be hybrid; they will be available via zoom and broadcast on ACB media.
This year in addition to the eight days of our in-person convention there is so much more! Don’t miss the ACB virtual summer auction on Saturday, June 18th at 6:00 PM central time, proceeded by two days of sneak a peek appetizer auction items. The convention will officially open virtually on ACB Media and the zoom platform on June 22 with the reading of the convention standing rules and the first credentials report. Beginning on June 23 we will offer 3 days of zoom only sessions. These sessions will be part of the convention and will be listed on the convention registration form, in the convention program and announced via telephone and on ACB media.
The zoom only sessions will also be broadcast on ACB Media. Some special-interest affiliates will hold business meetings during this time. We will also host zoom only sessions, (broadcast on ACB MEDIA), the evenings of July 11 through July 13 for discussion and voting on resolutions and bylaws not approved.
At our ACBM quarterly meeting we will be selecting delegates to attend the convention. If interested make certain to attend the meeting or let me know in advance.
during the in-person portion of the convention.
We have many tours for those of you who are interested. Full tour descriptions are in the January edition of the ACB Braille Forum, but here is a quick rundown.
Friday July 1
1. Henry Dorley Zoo

Friday evening ethnic dinner (including 3 to 4 restaurant stops)

Saturday July 2
1. City bus Tour with a twist: Travel by Olly the Trolley on your guided tour of Omaha!
2. Boys Town

Sunday July 3
1. Malcolm X Center and Black History Museum
2. Mormon trail
3. Get up and get moving with a walk across the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian bridge.
Monday, July 4th
1. City bus Tour with a twist: Travel by Olly the Trolley on your guided tour of Omaha!
2. Strategic Air control and Aerospace Museum.
Take me out to the Ball Game! Feast on pulled pork, burgers, and hot dogs and then enjoy watching the “Storm Chasers” the minor league team for the Kansas City royals. After the game we’ll stay for the Fourth of July fireworks extravaganza!

Tuesday July 5
1. Outlook Nebraska

2. Louis and Clark Visitors Center: n and other national parks.
Treerush Adventure: Climb, Zip and Swing Through the Trees. Explore Fontenelle Forest from The Tree Tops.

Wednesday July 6
1. Train Day: visit the Durham Museum and the Union Pacific Railroad Museum.
2. Sweet Tooth Tour: Baker’s Candies
Dinner Cruise: Cruise down the Missouri river with a buffet dinner and cash bar.

Friday, July 8
1. Brewery tour:
2. crime dinner:
We’ll enjoy dinner at a local restaurant and then hear from two amazing speakers who will talk about crimes in Omaha in the 20’s and 30’s and the “Squirrel Jail” where the perpetrators were housed. Why the name? Come to the “Do the Crime, Pay the time” dinner and find out!

Convention email list: Once again, this year, the conference and convention announce list will be filled with information. To subscribe to the list, send a blank e-mail to
If you received updates for the 2021 convention you do not need to subscribe to the list.

Reservation Details:
To make reservations online go to
American Council of the Blind – Start your reservation ( . When asked to select guest type on the main screen, select attendee. For those who wish to call in and make their reservation, call 1-800-HILTONS 800) 445-8667 and reference the name of the group block, American Council of the Blind. The group code if needed for those calling in is ACB.

Room rates at The Hilton are $96.00 (single or double occupancy) with an additional $10.00 per person for up to four people per room. Room tax is currently 18.16%; One night’s stay will be charged to your credit card when you book your reservation.

ACBM’s advocacy committee
By Michael Malver

Be a part of ACBM’s advocacy committee
One of the purposes of the American Council of the Blind of Minnesota is to elevate the social, economic and cultural level of persons who are blind or visually impaired. Members of the advocacy committee perform part of this endeavor. People on this committee make phone calls, write letters, meet with state and national legislators and state the positions members can take on local and national issues. Specific opportunities that exist as a member or chair of this committee include:
• Attending ACB’s Legislative Seminar.
• Meeting with congress members to inform them of ACB’s national imperatives
• Monitoring the Minnesota legislature’s website to keep abreast of current legislation and craft policy statements for ACBM members
• Sit on the Secretary of State’s disability task force to ensure accessible elections in Minnesota
To serve on this committee, please contact Janet Dickelman by sending an email to

Your vote counts
By Janet Dickelman

Our April elections are fast approaching.  The following positions are open for election.

Vice-president:  Barb Appleby is interested in running. Our current vice-president Michael Malver does not plan to run.

Treasurer:  Patty Slaby is eligible to run for her second term in this office and plans to do so.

Board of directors:
There are 3 open board positions. Barb appleby and Nancy Schadegg will have termed out and are unable to run for a board of directors position. The third board position has been held by Dave Tanner. This was a one year term. Dave is eligible to run for a board position and plans to do so.

If you are interested in running for one of the five open positions please contact Colleen Kitagawa at (612) 869-8584. Nominations of course will also be open from the floor during our quarterly meeting on April 23rd.

The Recipe Corner
Slow cooker Pineapple Pulled Pork
By Barb Appleby

1 3lb pork roast
1 can crushed pineapple in its own juice
2 tbs minced garlic
2 tbs ground cumin
Salt and pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes

Put roast in slow cooker and add all ingredients to roast and cook about 8 hours on low.
Take  roast out and pull a part with fork.  Add back to juice and serve with hamburger buns,
Serves 8 people

Carrot Cake Smoothy
By Barb Appleby

1 large carrot cut up
1 frozen ripe banana
Half cup crushed pineapple or chunks
3-4 cup coconut milk  or another type of milk
Quarter cup plane Greek  yogurt
1 tbs pecan or almond butter
Half  tsp vanilla
Forth cup gluten free oats
Half tsp cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg

Put in high power blender and blend until
 smooth. add more milk if needed
Makes 1 meal or  2 snacks

The Crafty Corner
From premier Yarns

If you’re trying to find an easy shawl to knit that has a classic shape with a hint of elegance, this shawl from Premier Yarns is for you.  The Knotted Lace Triangle Shawl from Premier Yarns can be made with just one ball of yarn.

Finished Measurements: 30″ deep x 60″ wide (excluding fringe)
Note: Shawl will relax and stretch approximately 4″ in each direction as it is worn.

• Knitting Needles: US 8 (5mm)
• Yarn: Serene by Premier Yarns – 1 ball desired color (90% acrylic/10% polyamide; 656 yards/600 meters; 10½ ounces/300 grams)
Extras: Yarn needle, crochet hook for attaching fringe

16 sts and 23 rows = 4″ in Knotted Lace Patt.
Use any size needles necessary to obtain the specified gauge.

beg – beginning
k – knit;
p – purl
patt – pattern
p2tog – purl 2 sts together
rep – repeat
sl – slip
st(s) – stitch(es)
tog – together
yo – yarn over
* – repeat instructions after asterisk as specified.

M1 – make a stitch by lifting the strand of yarn between the
stitch on the left needle and the stitch on the right needle and placing it on the left needle, knit into the back of the stitch

Beg at bottom center point, cast on 5 sts.
Beg Knotted Lace Patt as follows.
Row 1 (RS): P1, * yo, p2tog; rep from * across.
Row 2: Knit.
Row 3: K1, M1, knit across to last st, M1, K1 – 2 sts increased.
Rep Rows 1-3 of Knotted Lace Patt until piece measures
approximately 30″ from beg.
Knit 4 rows. Bind off loosely.
Weave in ends.

Cut 13″ lengths of yarn. Hold three pieces of yarn tog as a group; fold in half. Insert fold through center point of shawl and use a crochet hook to pull ends through the fold loop. Tighten to form fringe. Place fringe evenly spaced along two side edges. Trim fringe if necessary.

By Sharon Mahel

You can use any size hook and yarn you desire. I use a size I and 4-ply yarn.


you are starting at the center top of the shawl, and will be working back and forth in rows, turning your work as you go

start with an adjustable ring

row 1 – ch3, 2dc, ch2 (this forms the ‘point’) 3dc… tighten your ring… ch3 and turn

row 2 – 2dc into the first space between the dcs of the previous row, continue to dc into each space until you reach the ‘point’ of the shawl… 2dc, ch2, 2dc… then continue to dc into each space until you reach the end, working 3dc into the final space… ch3 and turn

repeat row 2 until you are happy with the size of your triangle! easy

spring calendar of Events
By Marian Haslerud

The following is a list of events of interest. If you wish to add an event, please feel free to contact me. My information is as follows:

Phone number: 612-206-5883

ACBM board meetings: All meetings start promptly at 6:30 PM. The dates are as follows:
March 21, 2022; April 18, 2022May 16, 2022; and June 21, 2022.
If you wish to attend contact Steve Robertson. His phone number is: 612-819-5222. His email is:

ACBM coffee will be held on April 9, 2022; May 14, 2022; and June 11, 2022, at Day-by-Day Café, located at 477 7th St. W., St. Paul, MN. An email with the exact time will be sent. The social committee will send emails regarding upcoming social events

Bowling is held every Saturday, at Memory Lanes. The address for the bowling alley is 2520 S26th Ave., Minneapolis, MN. Contact Linda Hoeppner for more information. Her number is 952-857-9958

Audio darts begins in September. For more information, contact Chris Peterson. His phone number is 507-271-9250.

The Minnesota Christian Fellowship will hold its banquet on April 9, 2022, at Roseville Lutheran Church, located at1215 West Roselawn Avenue at 12:00 PM. They will hold their quarterly business meeting on May 14,2022, 9850 Lyndale Avenue South, Summerhouse dining room. For more information contact Suzanne Pauluk. Her number is 763-535-7123.

Vision Loss Resources (VLR)has a calendar of events. For more information call the hot line at 612-843-3439.

Have a great spring season of activities.

Officers and Board of Directors
President: Janet Dickelman, Saint Paul, MN
First term ending 2023 | (651) 428-5059
Vice president: Michael Malver
1st term ending 2022 | (612) 673-0664
Secretary: Jennifer Dubbin, Saint Paul, MN
1st term ending 2023 | (651) 334-8895
Treasurer: Patty Slaby, Arcadia, WI
1st term, ending 2022 | (715) 497-9849
Board Of Directors
Barb appleby, Maplewood MN
Final term ending 2022 | (651) 238-0015
Coleen Kitagawa, Richfield, MN
1st term ending in 2022 | (612) 964-2005
Therese Dahlberg, Eagan, MN
1st term ending 2023 | (612) 819-2904
Nancy Schadegg, Richfield, MN
Final term ending 2022 | (612) 798-5178
Dave Tanner, Burnsville, MN
1st term ending in 2023 | (952) 380-8088

ACBM Standing Committee Chairs
To reach any of our standing committees, see chair info below.
Membership: Nancy Schadegg (612) 798-5178
Budget: Patty Slaby (608) 323-3614
Advocacy: Michael Malver (612) 673-0664
Editorial Committee: Catalina Martinez (612) 227-3011
Social Committee: Michael Malver (612) 673-0664