December 2020 Chronicle

December 2020 Chronicle

Editor’s note

By Wilma Chestnut-House

A salute to the MCB office staff, as usual they were great!  Congratulations to Naomi on her second term as President of Missouri Council of the Blind and Kay Malmquist as Vice President!  Thanks to all of those that voted for me.  I would also like to send a big shout out to the convention chair, Jesuita and her committee, Mind’s Eye, and Deb Cook Lewis.  They did a wonderful job in pulling off our first virtual convention. 

Thanks to Elizabeth Brown, AGAPE’s president, for nominating me for the Nathaniel Johnson award and Naomi for selecting me.  The plaque is gorgeous!

For those who do not know what the award is given for, here it is! 

The recipient of the Nathaniel Johnson Award may be either legally blind or sighted but shall be a member of MCB.  The honoree shall be someone who has done outstanding work in his/her community, for his/her Affiliate, or for MCB.

I am now the chairperson for membership.  This will be another exciting venture and pleasure for me.  My committee members are Sarah Calhoun, Sarah Casen, Elizabeth Brown, and Gregg Hollins.  We are already on our job to increase membership.  Look for advertisement on Facebook, radio, and other avenues.  I will be speaking with Chris Judd to add us on the information line so that people that are interested can call in and connect with us.

Presidents’ report

By Naomi Soule

October has been a busy month.  I first want to thank Virginia and Eleanor for all of their hard work to make our virtual convention a big success.  Thank you to Mind’s Eye for recording our committee reports ahead of time, which contributed to the convention running so smoothly.  Last but not least, I thank Deb Cook Lewis and her team at ACB Radio for all their help before and during our convention.  Thank you to Chris Dickey for working with me during the convention, and for taking on the responsibility of handling the election.  Thank you MCB members for your compliments and patience too.  Thank you all for such a successful convention.

Many of you have participated in a lot of Zoom meetings and conference calls during this pandemic, me included.  I attended the fall Centene National Disability Advisory Committee meeting over Zoom the last week of October.  There was much discussion about accessible doctor’s offices and clinics.  We also heard from the Emergency Preparedness group.

Metro ADA Coordinator Amy Parker held a Zoom meeting with area agencies and transportation organizations.  Metro is going to be retiring their fleet of vans, and gradually replacing them with smaller vans.  Those who use lifts will be happy to know lifts will be replaced with ramps to enter the new vans.  You will be seeing the new vans in the next few months.

We are looking for committee members to fill vacant positions.  I met with Affiliate Presidents via conference call on October 27 to ask for their help in finding new people to serve on committees.

In closing, I want to welcome my new Vice President, Kay Malmquist.  Kay will do a great job, and I look forward to working with her.

Hope all of you had a yummy Thanksgiving, and were able to spend time with family and friends.

 

Affiliates Reporting

AGAPE Council of the Blind Report

By Wilma Chestnut-House

At this time, we are still having virtual meetings.  Hopefully by January we can start to meet in person again.  We will be celebrating our Christmas together at the Overland Lions Banquet Hall. 

Not only did I receive the Nathaniel Johnson award, but Patrick Patton, who was one of last year’s members of the month recipients received the Darrell Lauer award!

The Darrell Lauer “Outstanding Leadership Award” will be given out from time to time, when deemed appropriate, to an outstanding member of the Missouri Council of the Blind who has shown qualities of exemplary leadership in the organization and in the community.

By the time we receive our first 2021 Chronicle, Peggy Hurt will be Mrs. Peggy Franks.  She is starting the year off right by marrying on December 31, 2020.  Congratulations to Peggy and Steve, who is one of our new members!

Delta Area Blind

By Wanda Matlock

Hello to everyone from Delta Area!  At our September meeting, we had as our special guest, Jennifer Lyman.  Jennifer is a RN, Nurse Educator and a representative for Vanda Pharmaceuticals.  Jennifer spoke on the topic of Non-24.  She said this was a condition that not only affects people who are blind, but can also affect people who are sighted.  She also talked about symptoms to look for and testing that could be done to see if someone could possibly have Non-24.

On October 8th through the 10th, Delta Area had five members register and participate in the first annual virtual MCB Convention.  We thought the convention went fairly smooth for the first time ever participating in the convention this way.  We would like to congratulate Naomi Soule for being re-elected as our MCB President, Kay Malmquist for her position as Vice-President and Joe Morgan for the position of Secretary.

On October 23rd, several Delta Area members went on an outing to Dexter, Missouri.  We chose to have lunch at the American Steak House.  We enjoyed the food and socialization very much.  After lunch, we shopped at a few of the antique stores in the area.  We all enjoyed the day very much.

       Our October monthly meeting was held on October 27th.  We had as our special guest, Mr. Lee Bowman.  Mr. Bowman is a member of Modern Woodman and is a board member for United Way of Sikeston.  Mr. Bowman came to our meeting to present our affiliate with a check for participating in the matching grants program. We are very grateful to have been chosen to receive these funds.

Elections were also held and the results were as follows:

Wanda Matlock, President and MCB By-Laws and Resolutions Representative; Darrel Vickers, Vice-President; Craig Ancell, MCB Board Representative; Belinda Turner, Secretary, Denise Reed, Alternate Secretary; LaWana Copeland, Treasurer; and Jim Taul, Education & Advocacy Representative.

Our members also decided to adopt a family for Christmas again this year and set a date for our Christmas party with only our members and close family members in attendance.  We will have a short business meeting and then the party will begin.  We will not be having a meeting in December.  Our next meeting will be held on the 4th Tuesday in January, 2021.  It is our wish that everyone have a very healthy Holiday Season.

Hello To One And All From UWB!

By Bob Jaco

The time of our MCB convention has come and gone; I personally felt the conference went well, but hope we will have more attendees next fall.  I hope we will be able to meet in Branson next year, but for those who might not be able to attend, I would hope it would be available through Zoom and ACB.

As I mentioned in my last article, all of our Game Days, and now our Christmas party are now on hold until next year.

I am also pleased to announce I was the recipient of $50 from ATI at its annual meeting of the convention.  I was offered the choice of having the money used for future dues, but offered to take the money!  Did I also happen to mention that I am a prodigal son, not being a member for quite a few years, but now am back.  My how technology has changed; I believe, if memory serves me right, there were no iPhones.

I am sorry to have to report the sad news that one of our long-time members, Roger Dinwiddie has passed away.  I had just spoken to his wife the evening before.  He was a mentor in the BEP program and he and I had many laughs.  I am also saddened over those who passed this last year and their gifts to this great organization, which were given to help make it what it is and planting the seeds to help it thrive.

       Well, I guess that’s a wrap!  Stay warm, stay safe and try to be kind to one another.

St. Charles County Council of the Blind (SCCCB)

By Marjorie Petrofsky

Hello, I hope everybody is safe and staying healthy, we had all our meetings and social events by telephone.

We did have our annual picnic the last Monday in September.  About ten of us came so a nice number to socialize and social distance.  The weather was cool that day and very pleasant; a nice switch from the heat from last year’s picnic.

Denny mentioned that it was his guide dog Sounder’s, birthday the next day so we all sang happy birthday to Sounder but he wasn't very impressed.  Denny mentioned that he got him a special dog cookie, personally I think he would have preferred one of the barbecued pork steaks.  Lindsey and her guide dog Jan were also there. I hope Jan didn't feel left out because Sounder was getting all the attention.  Denny’s pork steaks and ribs to me were the highlight of the picnic.  It was really fun seeing each other again and socializing in person.  There was a wide variety of food to choose from and drinks, including a jug of coffee, a great way to end a picnic on a cool fall afternoon.  We realized how much we missed each other and had a great time. 

I hope everybody enjoys the Holidays coming up safely.  The best holiday gift you can give your family is staying healthy.

Committees Reporting

Adaptive Technology Grant Committee

By Darrel Vickers, Chair

Hi Everyone, I hope all of you are doing well. This has been a difficult year for many reasons. I wish all of you a great holiday season and hope for a better 2021.

Now, I want to take a minute to give you an update on our technology grants and provide an overview of this great program for those of you who might not be aware of it and how it works.

Missouri Council knows how life changing, certain types of technology can be to a blind person. We are also aware the cost of this type of technology can be expensive and may be out of reach for some people.

Therefore, MCB provides the adaptive technology grant.

Each year MCB sets aside moneys for technology that blind persons of Missouri can apply for, to help offset the cost of adaptive technology.

How it Works:

For MCB members, MCB will match dollar for dollar for most types of adaptive technology with a $3000 limit over any five (5) year period. Any blind resident of Missouri who is not a member of MCB can also receive a grant, but we will match 25% of the total cost with the same $3000 limit.

2020-2021 Funding:

Some great news. In September I was contacted by John from the St. Louis Lighthouse. He read in the chronical about us running out of money for the Adaptive Technology grant program. The Lighthouse generously gave us a grant for $10,000 for this coming year. The Board approved $30,000. So, with the additional grant we have $40,000 for this fiscal year.

This will allow us to help many more people. My sincere thanks to John Thompson and the lighthouse for this grant.

We began accepting applications on November 1st.

If this program can help you, I would encourage you to apply.

Purpose

The MCB technology grant is a matching grant to help Missouri blind and low vision persons obtain all types of adaptive technology. The Missouri Council of the Blind (MCB) created this Adaptive Technology Grants Program to help fulfill its mission of enriching the lives of legally blind Missourians. Adaptive technology can be awfully expensive so MCB understands why many legally blind Missourians are not benefiting from its use. For the purpose of this grant program, adaptive technology is considered hardware, software, electronics, equipment, etc. that is standalone or works in conjunction with a computer that makes it possible for blind people to do things that sighted people can already do without using adaptive technology.

Coverage:

The Adaptive Technology Grants Program widely covers both hardware and software based adaptive technology, including upgrades and maintenance agreements, and narrowly covers computer systems as required by or used in conjunction with accompanying adaptive technology, such as screen magnification software, screen reader software, or a scanning system. Purchase of a computer along with or for use with accompanying adaptive technology is only eligible for up to a $400 matching funds grant. Only new adaptive technology and computers are covered, including adaptive technology upgrades to newer versions; used or previously owned adaptive technology and computers are not covered.

A full copy of the grant guidelines as well as an application can be found on our website at: http://moblind.org/programs/ or by contacting the MCB office at (314) 832-7172. You can also contact me anytime.

This is a wonderful program and I encourage you to take advantage of it if you need to.

The Committee:

The Adaptive Technology Committee is made up of four members:  Darrel Vickers, Kim Vaughn, Brian Hallows and Belinda Turner.

If you have any questions about the program, please contact me by email at darrel@ww4b.org or by phone at 636-667-3176.  Until next time, take Care.

 

News from Missouri Guide Dog Users (MGDU)

By Judy Burch

We at MGDU hope you all are getting along well this fall, despite the fact that Covid is still hanging on.  Hopefully Covid will not be around too much longer and life can begin to resume something more normal.

We had our annual meeting via Zoom on October 7.  There was an election for several board positions, with the following results:  Erika Wolf is vice-president; Sarah Calhoun remains our treasurer and Kenny Norton is our new director-at-large.

We had big plans for an upcoming Top Dog 2021 conference in May, but have opted to postpone it until May, 2022 due to Covid.  In the meantime, we are continuing to conduct fundraisers to offset some of the cost of Top Dog and other MGDU projects.  Below is information about our new fundraiser.  Many of you will remember buying candy and nuts at the annual MCB conventions.  This is the same company, but due to good old Covid we’re having to approach things a little differently.

Missouri Guide Dog Users has launched another fundraising campaign with Farmstead Nuts and Treats.  Given the restrictions of Covid19, the delivery model needed to change.  We continue our fundraising efforts in order to offset the costs associated with Top Dog and other projects.

We now have 4 ways for you to order, and all can be accessed by going to the mgdu.org website.  Below information about Chewy, one will find information about the Farmstead campaign.

On mgdu.org there is an order form that can be downloaded.  This form is in Word format and can be used in two ways.  Orders placed using this form will ship for a flat rate of approximately $10.75 if less than $70.00 and will ship free if over that amount.  The form is also attached to this e-mail.

The first way is to obtain and fill out the form, total your purchase, and mail it to Farmstead at Farmstead Nuts and Treats, 882 N Jan-Mar Court, Olathe, KS 66061.

The second way to order is to select your items on the form, fill in the other info, and email your form to farmstead@farmsteadnutsantreats.com.  The shipping and order total will be determined, and you will be contacted for card information.

The third way is to use the form to select your choices, and call Farmstead with your order at 913-432-3638.  Be sure to let them know the order is for MGDU.

The fourth way to order is to go directly to farmsteadnutsandtreats.com to place your order.  Ordering with this method will not qualify your order for flat rate shipping, although orders over $70.00 will ship free.  When ordering this way, insert ‘Missouri Guide Dogs’ or ‘MGDU’ in the comments section under shipping.

Remember these treats make great Christmas gifts, and that shipping is free for orders over $70.00.  Combine orders with friends or neighbors to get in on the free shipping.

Well, that’s about all the news from MGDU for now.  Everyone stay safe and we’ll see you again in the spring.

MINUTES

August 18, 2020

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by president Naomi Soule.

Joe Morgan said a prayer.

Recording Secretary Joe Morgan called the roll.

All officers were present.

Affiliate not represented was Southeast Missouri United Blind Club.

Guest Parliamentarian Chris Dicey 

The agenda was approved.

Minutes for July 16, 2020 were approved with one correction, emergency bylaw instead of bylaw.

Chris Dickey was on the call to discuss an emergency bylaw. There was some discussion about MCB charging a fee for registration for the virtual convention. Naomi read the emergency bylaw regarding registration. Registration fee for the 2020 MCB convention is $10 if paid by September 15th and $25 if paid after the 15th. Registration will close on October 1, 2020.  The convention registration will allow members to participate in all convention activities. Members and guests may listen to conversations on ACB Radio without convention registration.

Jack Lenk moved that the registration fee be $10 and on September 15th it goes to $25 with registration closing at the end of business on October 1st. The emergency bylaw was adopted.

Naomi took more questions from the board concerning registration and voting.

A Zoom practice session will be held on September 27th at 2:00 p.m.

Jack Lenk reported that MCB received the census money in December and the Velma Henley memorial fund was received in November for $25,000.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:42 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Joe Morgan Recording Secretary

September 22, 2020

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by president Naomi Soule.

Joe Morgan said a prayer.

Recording Secretary Joe Morgan called the roll. All officers were present.  Affiliates not represented were Lake Stockton Area Council, Southeast Missouri United Blind Club, St. Louis Northern Lights and Tiger Council

The Minutes for August 18, 2020 were approved.

Naomi welcomed online listeners.

Kay Malmquist, Personnel Chair was on the call.

The agenda was approved.

Proposed 2020-2021 Budget:

Treasurer Jack Lenk read the proposed 2020-2021 Budget.  Most line items had very small amounts spent because of events being canceled due to the Corona Virus.  Board members asked questions concerning line items. A blind pension committee line item will be inserted.  The Education an advocacy line item was increased to $12,000. The Advocacy Legislation line item was reduced by $2500 and the remaining $2500 will be for the Blind Pension Committee line item. A line item for employee health insurance for $8000 will be added under the Employee Expenses section. 

Chip Hailey made a motion to increase the Membership Committee budget line item to $2000.  The motion was adopted.  Denny Huff made a motion to approve the budget with the recommended changes. The motion was adopted. 

After a short break the Board went into executive session to discuss personnel matters.

The meeting adjourned at 9:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Joe Morgan, Secretary.

October 8, 2020

The meeting was called to order by President Naomi Soule at 7:15 p.m.

Joe Morgan said a prayer.

Recording Secretary Joe Morgan called the roll.

All officers and directors were present. Lake Stockton Area Council was not represented.

The agenda was approved.

The Minutes for September 22, 2020 were approved.

Darrel Vickers moved that the Board go into executive session to discuss personnel matters. Virginia and Eleanor will receive pay raises retroactive to their hire dates.

       After the Board came out of executive session Jack Lenk asked the Board for a donation of $1000 for the St. Louis Blind Bowlers this would help fund someone’s transportation to the bowling tournaments. Linda Gerken made a motion to give Jack $1000. After considerable discussion, the amount was reduced to $250. Linda agreed to this and the $250 amount was adopted.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:23 p.m.

       Respectfully submitted, Joe Morgan Recording Secretary