Minnesota Memo – Summer 2019

PO box 7171

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
E-mail: catalina229@gmail.com
Phone numbers of note:
SSB main number (651)539-2300
ACBM (612) 223-5543 for quick calendar updates and to leave message
Apple support for people with disabilities
(877) 204-3930
Microsoft support for people with disabilities
(800) 936-5900

Please Note: You can use a search for three asterisks to move from article to article.

Table of Contents

President’s Message By Marian Haslerud
Angel Memorial Speech By Nicky Coby
Library News By Catalina Martinez
From The Editor’ By Catalina Martinez
ACB Convention By Nancy Schadegg
My Perspective From Rochester By Jane Lund
Busy Times At Convention By Patti Slaby
Transportation Workshop by Colleen Kitagawa
My First Time As An ACBM Member By Al Kitagawa
Fundraising Seminar By Bonnie Robertson
National Convention By Stephen Robertson
Looking Ahead to 2020 By Janet Dickelman
Board of Directors

President’s Message By Marian Haslerud

ACBM has four standing committees. The committees are membership, fundraising, advocacy and budget. If you are interested in serving on one of these committees, you can contact one of the individuals listed below.

Jane Lund is chairperson of the membership committee. You can contact her by phone, (952) 888-4397. Her email address is: jvlund@sero.email

Abby winters is chairperson of the fundraising committee. She can be reached by phone at (320) 266-0233. Her email address is: Abby.wints@gmail.com

Catalina Martinez is chairperson of the advocacy committee. Her phone number is (612) 227-3011. Her email address is: Catalina229@gmail.com

Catalina is also the chairperson of the budget committee. Her contact information is listed above.
Thank you for taking an interest in the committees of ACBM.

Angel Memorial Speech By Nicky Coby

I’d like to thank ACB of Minnesota for their donation for an angel memorial in memory of my mother Carolyn Coby.

I’ll start by describing who she was to ACBM, and ACB then move on to who she was to me.
Mom was most known as a guide and volunteer during conventions and our quarterly meetings. I often found myself part of a chain of people going sighted guide with Mom to the rest room, relief area or exhibit hall. She was always cheerful, even early in the morning. As Janet said in our written tribute, she always had a smile in her voice.

Mom also served on the ACBM board of directors and as our web master. As a web developer herself, she was a great advocate for accessibility. When she saw an inaccessible site, she suggested effective solutions to the problem.

For me, she was an advocate, caregiver, rock and friend. Those of us who were blind from an early age know how much our parents advocated for us. Mom was definitely an advocate with teachers and others, encouraging them to treat me equally, calming their fears about having a blind student and reminding them to turn worksheets and readings in to the braillists far before they were needed. Before technology became a part of my life, Mom learned Braille by sight and interlined my assignments. When I was in college, if Disability Services was backed up, she scanned books for me. Then, she added them to Bookshare so others could benefit.

When I developed chronic illnesses, Mom became my caregiver, helping me cope with challenges we never expected. At home, she drove me to countless appointments and her constant empathy made a huge difference for me. At one point, she spent 6 weeks with me while I was critically ill away from home. She was the calm voice, reading caringbridge comments and calming me when I was upset, the woman sitting quietly in an ncomfortable chair providing quiet companionship, the lady with a playful sense of humor and the friend smuggling in food I’d actually eat. The relationship we had became both mother-daughter and friend to friend.

To me, my family and the entire blindness community, Mom was a great ally be it advocate, volunteer, parent, spouse or friend, Mom brought great love, joy and care into our lives. Thanks Mom, for who you were, and what you gave us all! —

Library News By Catalina Martinez

I am currently serving on the Minnesota Braille and Talking Book Library Advisory Committee and here are several updates from our last meeting in June 2019.

Two new volunteer narrators have been hired for the Talking Book library. Faribault is no longer shipping Braille books to readers. Utah is now shipping all braille books except for persons ordering books once in a while. These books will be first shipped to the library in Faribault and then mailed to the reader. Utah is contracted and the cost is $85 per person. Six thousand volumes of braille are being downloaded via BARD per month.

The library leases space from the Faribault school and is currently negotiating additional space and Katherine would like to see an additional recording booth and conference room. There will be no loss in staff, just reassigning.

The Faribault library is no longer housing prerecorded cartridges. They are now doing what is called duplication on demand. The library will be able to unlock prerecorded cartridges for their use. They purchased nine thousand cartridges for the duplication on demand program.

Since too many cartridges are not being returned do to readers holding on to them or just getting lost in the mail, the library is Thinking about limiting 3 cartridges per person at a time. They are also looking into putting More than 1 book per cartridge.

Readers have Downloaded twenty-six thousand books via Bard per 5 weeks, which includes Braille books.

NLS Update
The following magazines are no longer duplicated: 17 Magazine and Vanidades Magazine. Back issues will still be available. Cooking Light is now changed to Eating Well

Catster is being picked up in braille magazine for cat lovers.
On October 1, 2019, NLS is changing its name to National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled because person’s with dyslexia are now eligible for library services.
Due to the Marrakesh Treaty, persons No longer need a doctor’s signature to receive library services.
The contract for the e- reader was awarded to two companies and 2,000 e-readers should be available in spring of 2020 and This is going to be a pilot program. The Orbit 20 is not going to be used but a different e-reader isgoing to be designed. NLS is considering hard copy braille on demand.

From the Editor By Catalina Martinez

I would like to thank those persons whom submitted an article to the Memo about their experience during the 2019 ACB Conference and convention in Rochester, NY. Each person had a unique view of what the convention was to them and what they got out of it; and now they are going to share with you.

ACB Convention By Nancy Schadegg

At the 2019 ACB national convention I helped a number of times sell items in the mini mall in the exhibit hall. These items have the ACB logo on them Such as polo shirts, lined jackets, mugs, tumblers, security wallets, luggage tags etc. I believe they sold about $5000 worth of merchandise. I saw the angel wall where Carolyn Cobys name is. it’s something to see. Nickie gave a nice speech about her Mon at the Wednesday session.

I also went on several tours. The boat ride on the Erie canal launched under a beautiful evening and we went under several low bridges and through some locks.

On a different tour, We learned that the most popular Jell-O is strawberry at The Jell-O transportation historical tour in Leroy. We got to try a piece. We learned about and touched many old carriages and visited the house which had a very old music box. We learned a lot of history there. We also ate at a wonderful restaurant with a delicious cream puff for dessert.

Another tour on Wednesday was the George Eastman mansion. It is one hundred thirty-five thousand square feet with fifteen bedrooms and thirteen bathrooms. There was an elephant hanging from the ceiling in a room, we got to touch old camera’s, feel beautiful furniture and some of us went into the Disney area where there were pencil drawings of cartoons that were put on motion picture screens. He also has many gardens
On Friday we went to Niagara Falls for the day. We went on a boat ride up close to the falls, stood and were sprayed from them. We walked up several steps to the hurricane deck and there was water at our feet, lots of wind and spray. It was beautiful.

My Perspective From Rochester By Jane Lund

Each convention has its unique atmosphere. This one did not disappoint. The city reminded me a lot of Duluth, but this time the Eerie Canal offered a high priority in the city tour along with the architecture of buildings and homes featured in the city tour.

I came to Rochester with two goals in mind – update my Hims product
(Actilino) and attend their update meeting, as well as look for a new phone from the display. Those goals were accomplished. I purchased a Stylo phone made by LG and changed my provider to Sprint, and so far finding it a pleasant experience. My monthly phone rate dropped $25 and I am enjoying my new phone.

I attended the general sessions as an alternate delegate. I was pleased to see the Guthrie theater be recognized for offfering audio description for all of their plays last year. A local audio describer was also recognized for his efforts in describing multiple plays. My favorite session is the presentation of college scholarships. There were also 18 people memorialized with their names being added to the angel wall. One of them was Carolyn Coby.

Many resolutions were passed and will be summarized in the Braille Forum. We also elected new officers.

Since I am now considered a senior citizen, I attended the AAVL (Alliance on Aging and Vision Loss) luncheon. Their focus was on newly blind adults and the lack of services available to them. They are only given 20 hours of rehab services which hardly makes a dent in what they are needing. The importance of involvement for assistance to these individuals was highly recommended. Also there is the complication that many of these newly blind people are not ready for the blind label. More subtle ways have to be found to help these people. Eye professionals are not referring patients to agencies for the blind so we really do not know how many people are out there who are the unrecognized blind needing our help.

That theme was also evident at the meeting for help in recruiting new members. A group in Kentucky invites senior adults to social meetings to have a meal and play games, encouraging people who have trouble playing games to come. They find that as time goes on, they are able to accept their blindness better and will come to the local ACB chapter meetings.

I would like to conclude my report by thanking ACBM for subsidizing my trip to Rochester and I hope others will attend when the next one comes up in 2020 in Chicago.

Busy Times At Convention By Patti Slaby

My time at the 2019 convention kept busy and helpful. I assisted with numerous tasks in the communications Center, filling our convention bags, and spending time in the Exhibit Hall at my favorite booths as well as looking at the newest technologys. I attended the BRL Breakfast and Fred Schroder spoke on behalf of the World Blind Union. He expressed concern about braille availability worldwide. A number of us use braille devices but many people across the globe cannot afford this opportunity. I also attended the NIB breakfast and we heard about the successes and challenges facing the agency. There is concern about the loss of some of their contracts but they have support from both consumer groups. I always enjoy the rollcall at the first general session as well as gaining information from the technology presents. I am proud to represent ACBM.

Transportation Workshop by Colleen Kitagawa

there were 5 people on the panel for the transportation work shop. the names were Becky, Charlie, Patrick, Heidi, and Michael.

They all had different viewpoints and concerns on transportation. some of the concerns were bus stops in the middle of the road. There were also talk about unmarked cross walks. There were also talks about scooters being on the sidewalks and left in the middle of sidewalks.

They will be creating a u tube video for both drivers and pedestrians crossing at intersections.some people also had concerns about roundabouts. They do not all have audible lights to press for you to cross them.
These are some of the concerns we need to bring to our chapters.

My First Time As An ACBM Member By Al Kitagawa

The trip started on July 4th at the MSP airport with Colleen and Mackie and I along with Nancy Schadegg. Soon we found out our flight to Baltimore was canceled do to weather. We all decided to go home and watch the Richfield fire works. The next day we all boarded the first flight to Baltimore and then on to Rochester New York. While we where at the Rochester airport we where privileged to meet Paul from Aira. After we arrived at the hotel we checked in and got ready to go on the Colonial Belle river boat tour. While on the boat tour we met Ted from Bloomington Indiana. Ted works with Tech sciences for the blind and visually impaired. The next day the conference started with opening of the first general session. The session opened with bringing out of the American flag. The flag bearers were from the VFW 10th Calvary Regiment. They represented the Buffalo soldiers who were the first African American soldiers.Than a member of the clergy came to the pulpit and shared a moment of Grace with a prayer. Every morning Margarine recognized many businesses and individuals who supported the ACB conference. The general sessions shared many concerns and many break throughs for the blind and visually impaired.

The next day I went on the baseball’s hall of fame tour. We got to handle many artifacts and hear about the history of baseballs hall of fame. While on the tour I met a lady named Betty from Winnipeg Canada. She and her husband were big base ball fan’s and huge Toronto Blue Jay fan’s. I read the plaques with the names of all the hall of famers to her. One of the names we found was pitcher Jack Morris. I mentioned back in 1991 Jack Morris beat the Blue Jay’s to go to the World Series. Than Betty reminded me a year later in 1992 he came to the Blue Jay’s and he beat the Twins to go to the World Series again. We both got a good laugh about it. The next day I went on the tour to the Strong Museum of play, which is a toy museum. While at the toy museum we learned some neat stuff about toy’s. Did anyone know that Play Dough was originally meant to clean wall paper or Silly Putty was suppose to replace rubber for tires ? Or did anyone know Slinky was suppose to be an instrument controller for the Navy. Than there was Barbie who was suppose to be a German men’s fantasy doll. I guess that must be the reason why Barbie is always structured like a super model.

Every morning Colleen and I crossed at the cross walk at Main and St Paul. This crossing had a good audible cross walk. Every morning the Rochester Police were there to help make sure everyone made it across safely and found the convention hall. The ROCK police were very helpful even helped a dog handler pick up there dog’s dropping’s after their dog pooped on the city side walk. Than there was the Adult beverage tour. We started out at the Genesse brewery for lunch with beer. We than learned about the history of the brewery and sampled different beers. Than we were on the bus to a winery and sampled six different wines. By this time people where getting a bit social. Than we were off to a distillery where we sampled Gin, Bourbon , Something they called moon shine, which tasted like apple pie and some Irish creme. Then we went next door to another brewery and tasted four more beer’s. By this time everyone was quite bubbly. we had our banquet on Thursday night and the steak was great along with our entertainment. Ginny Owens is a wonderful and well known Blind talented Christian music artist.

On the next day we went on the Niagara fall’s tour. We got pretty splashed on the boat ride called the mist and became soaked under the falls at Thunder canyon . This was the experience that no one can ever forget. The next day the conference was over and time to go home. This was a great conference and good time with life time of memory’s.

Fundraising Seminar by Bonnie Robertson

I attended the fund raising seminar at the A C B national convention. The first item discussed was the MMS (Monthly Monitary Support) program. The average donation is around $10.00 per month. Half of the money goes to national and the other half goes to your local affiliate. It was suggested that your chapter have an MMS table at their state convention. Itg was stated that a prize drawing be given for those who signed up for the MMS Program or those who increased their donation.

The next item mentioned was getting your sponsors involved. Have your sponsors be at a quarterly meeting or at your state convention. Give your sponsors a gift for participating. Also, have a brochure to send to sponsors. Keep in contact with your sponsors by e-mail, phone, or talk to them in person. Seek sponsorship donations once a year.

Another way to obtain funds for your organization is to find neighborhood businesses who might be willing to donate money for your cause. Form relationships with people you know who might have money, your vet, dentist, doctor, or other business people in your neighborhood. Send out a card or letter once a year asking for donations. Include in your letter your affiliate’s 501c3 number and your organization’s website.

Final suggestions for fundraising include having a walkathon, get your chapter to wrap books for Christmas at a book store, have a trivia contest getting the community involved or sponsor some kind of dinner getting the community involved.

I would like to thank A C B M for the financial contribution for attending this national convention.

National Convention by Stephen Robertson

I would like to thank A C B M for financially contributing to my attendance at National Convention this year.

While I attended most general sessions and went on a number of tours, I’d like to write about 2 of the break-out meetings I attended.

First was the Legislative Bootcamp. This session dealt with how to choose a specific goal such as a civil rights issue to work on. An example would be the issue of shared rife services such as Uber or Lift denying service to someone with a service animal.

Next one would consider how to proceed to call for changes. Consider, first of all, which of the 3 branches of government to advocate to in seeking change, the executive branch, legislative branch, or judicial branch. Each has their advantages and disadvantages. For example, in working with the courts, a law suit is usually involved and this process generally is long, drawn out, and expensive.

The legislative approach involves talking to your senators and representatives and working to get a bill written and passed. This to can take some time, in some cases, several years.

A group could also make an apeal to the executive branch, but in doing so, would want to be sure that the current President and administration would be supportive of their cause.

IN all these cases there is one theme, a great need for time and patience.

I also had the privelege to attend the Presidents Affiliates meeting. At this meeting everyone introduced themselves and stated where they were from. Kim Charleston spoke a message of encouragement and we also heard from one of our sponsors, Aira.

In closing, I would like to encourage anyone who can find the means and time to attend National Convention. It is, indeed, a unique experience.

Looking Ahead to 2020 By Janet Dickelman

The Rochester Conference and Convention is now behind us; we consider it a great success and hope that those of you who attended had a wonderful time.

Planning for the 2020 ACB Conference and Convention is already well underway. The convention will be held in Schaumburg, IL, at the Renaissance Hotel, from Friday July 3rd through Friday July 10th.

Opening general session will be Saturday evening, July 4th. Daily general sessions will be held Sunday through Wednesday mornings, and our final general session will be Thursday July 9th.

The exhibit hall will be open Saturday July 4th through Wednesday July 8th. We will have all-day tours on Friday July 3rd and Friday July 10th, with many other tours throughout the convention(specific tours have not yet been determined). Special interest affiliates, ACB committees and our business partners will hold sessions Saturday July 4th through Wednesday July 8th. Our banquet will be the evening of Thursday July 9th.
If you have any questions, please contact Janet Dickelman at janet.dickelman@gmail.com.
Hope to see you in Schaumburg!

Board of Directors

President: Marian Haslerud, Minneapolis, MN
(Final term ending in 2021), Phone: (612) 206-5883
Email: marianhaslerud642@gmail.com
Vice president: Steve Robertson, Minneapolis, MN (Final term ending in 2020), Phone: (612) 819-5222
Email: stevetrobertson4@gmail.com
Secretary: Janet Dickelman, Saint Paul, MN (First term ending in 2021), Phone: (651) 428-5059
Email: janet.dickelman@gmail.com
Treasurer: Catalina Martinez, Minneapolis, MN (Final term ending in 2020), Phone: (612) 227-3011
Email: catalina229@gmail.com


Gary Boettcher, St. Paul, MN (Final term ending in 2020), Phone: (651) 200-7020
Email: zorrogates@yahoo.com
Abby Winters, Minneapolis, MN (First term ending in 2021), Phone: (320)266-0233
Email: abby.wints@gmail.com
Barb Appleby, Maplewood, MN (First Term Ending In 2020), Phone: (651) 238-0015, E-mail: barbaraaappleby@gmail.com
Nancy Schadegg, Richfield, MN, (First Term Ending In 2020), Phone: (612) 798-5178, E-mail: nancy.schadegg@comcast.net
Jane Lund, Bloomington, MN, (first term ending in 2021), Phone: (952)888-4397
Email: jvlund@samobile.net