December 2019 Chronicle

December 2019 Chronicle


By DeAnna Quietwater Noriega

An unplanned combination medical issue and family demands meant that I was unable to join you at the state convention. My apologies for not being able to be in three places at once.

I did attend the first Wolfner advisory meeting to be held in over a year on your behalf. The meeting was primarily a time to meet new staff members and review where the library is at present and discuss ideas for where the organization plans to move in future.

Again, we seem to be short on material and the lines of communication are still a bit shaky. My email address was incorrect in the insert. It should be  You can also send your articles to  A few people are sending in material through the office. This is your news magazine, so please let us know what you would like to see in it and send us articles and reports.

Warm Regards and a joyful holiday season.

President’s Report

By Naomi Soule, President


Happy Holiday season everyone. 

By the time you read this you have celebrated Thanksgiving with friends and family, and are getting ready for Christmas or Hanukkah.  Terry and I spent Thanksgiving in Texas with my brother and sister.

Since the convention, Chris and I have met with the those who administer paratransit in St.  Louis.  We are seeking advice from other sources regarding the problems that many of you are having with Call-A-Ride.  If any of you are having problems with your paratransit provider, please let me or Chris know.  I will be attending a Regional Disability Transportation Resource meeting in Columbia on November 15.

I visited the Northern Lights affiliate on October 12.  It was great to meet everyone, share information and learn about each of you.

Terry and I will be sharing holiday celebrations with Allied Workers for the Blind and St. Louis Council of the Blind.

I wish all of you a happy holiday season.

christmas greetings

By Christopher Gray, Executive Director

Is it possible that another year has come and nearly gone?  I guess it must be! 

2019 was a good year for the blind of Missouri.  It saw many receive their underpayment from blind pension for which they waited over 12 years to get. This would never have happened without the significant advocacy efforts of the Missouri Council of the Blind.  We can all be proud to be a part of this great organization!

We can be thankful, too, for an excellent convention in Kansas City, from October 3-6.  Speakers, exhibitors and fellowship were the hallmarks of the time we spent together there.  I am happy to welcome our new Treasurer, Jack Lenk, and three new directors; Chip Hailey; Linda Gerkin; and Wilma Chestnut-House. MCB services have continued to provide many types of assistance in 2019.  We have helped people with emergencies to get past them, and we have assisted people in keeping their living situations as owners and renters in the state.  MCB sponsored more kids to summer youth camps than ever before.  We have provided $14,000 in scholarships in 2019 as well. 

For every Christmas issue of the Chronicle, I like to conclude with a recipe that, for Marvelena and me, signifies something about and reminds us of this season.  This year, I'm picking pumpkin as the theme since I love it and it crosses over Thanksgiving to Christmas so well.  This recipe is not really hard to make, and it is worth every bit of time and effort it does take.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we have this year.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Brown Butter
Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes 16 Whoopie Pies

Whoopie Pies

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup white whole wheat flour or AP flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp cinnamon

1/ 2 tsp ginger

1 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cloves

½ cup vegetable oil

¼ cup VF pumpkin seed oil

4 tbsp. melted butter

2 cups brown sugar, packed

3 tbsp. granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 and 3/4 cups canned pumpkin

2 tsp vanilla

Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

1 stick butter I prefer salted

6 oz. cream cheese, softened

3 cups powdered sugar sifted

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp. maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla

1 tbsp. milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the oil, melted butter, and sugars together with an electric mixer. Add eggs, pumpkin, and vanilla and mix until combined. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour through the cloves). Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in two additions, mixing between. Scrape the bowl with a spatula to make sure all the ingredients are well incorporated.

Use 2 tbsp. of batter for each whoopie pie - drop onto the prepared baking sheet and don't spread out - you want sort of a raised pile of batter. Bake for 12-13 minutes. If you gently poke the top of the whoopie pie and your finger leaves a dent, they need 1-2 more minutes. They should spring back when lightly poked.

Let cool on baking sheet for a few minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.

In a nonstick pot or pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Turn the heat to medium-low and continue cooking the butter, stirring constantly. The butter will get foamy, then turn golden, then start to turn brown and develop a nutty/caramel sort of aroma. Once it reaches a deep golden color, remove from the heat and let cool in the fridge for 10 minutes.

Once the butter has cooled, beat it together with the softened cream cheese in a medium mixing bowl. Mix until smooth. Add half the powdered sugar and mix. Add the maple syrup, milk, and cinnamon and mix. Add remaining powdered sugar and mix until well combined. Cover and chill in the fridge for a few minutes while the whoopie pies finish cooling - it will make them easier to frost

Frost one whoopie pie piece and add a second one on top to assemble your whoopie pies! Dust with a little powdered sugar before serving, if desired.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Affiliates Reporting

Blind of Central Missouri

By Marilyn Harding

We have had a busy, busy end of summer, early fall. A few of our crew attended the last session at camp. Linda Gerkin and Susan Sanderson have been busy attending meetings, informational fairs and just getting our name out in the community.

We had 18 members attend the MCB 2019 conference. It was fun and informative. Some of us got lots of exercise, walking to and from our rooms.

We held election office in September with no change in our leadership. We welcomed two new members to our club in September; Maryland and Kenny Fangman from Sweet Springs. In October, several of us attended the workshop held by Denny and Rita from MCB concerning the iOS 13.1.2 for iPhone and iPad. I want to say most of it sailed right over my head but most of us found it very helpful.

Have a safe and blessed holiday season and don’t eat too much turkey!

Delta Area Chronicle Report

By Wanda Matlock

Hello to everyone from Delta Area.

On October 3rd, five members of Delta Area made the long trip from Southeast Missouri to Kansas City, Missouri to attend the MCB Annual Convention.  We would like to congratulate the three new Directors, the new Public Relations Chair and the new MCB Treasurer.  Our affiliate meeting scheduled for October 22 was cancelled due to several of our members not being available to attend.  On October 29th, Delta Area hosted the IOS Training presented by Rita Howells and Denny Huff.  We had members from Delta Area and also members from River City Workers for the Blind in attendance.  Rita and Denny did a great job explaining how to operate the IPhone from a beginner’s standpoint all the way to a more experienced IPhone user.  We appreciate Rita and Denny coming to Sikeston to provide this training for us and hope that we can have more training sessions, if possible, in the future.

By the time this issue of the chronicle is published, we would already have attended our Christmas party on November 19th at the China Buffet Restaurant in Sikeston, and also, our annual trip to the Service Club for the Blind on December 5th, in St. Louis, Missouri. 

After all the Partying and shopping, we will resume our business meetings starting in January, 2020.

From our affiliate to yours, we hope that everyone has a very Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year!


Hello from SEMO United Blind

Well it finally got winter time. It is 28° in Poplar Bluff this morning, as I am writing this. However, we had our annual picnic on August 10th and it was extremely hot. There were about 25 in attendance, and we had a lot of fun and lots of good food in spite of the heat.

We also held our election of officers for the coming year.

In September we had two new members join. They are Sandy Hannah and Lora Davis, who are both legally blind. 

We were saddened to learn of the passing of one of our members, Etta Marie Buttrey.

In October our president, Lee Young had back and bladder surgery.  It didn't seem to hamper him too much as he attended the Missouri Council Convention in October.

Our condolences go out to Doris Carpenter who lost her husband of 53 years on October 7th. May God give her comfort in the days to come.

Well that's all for this time.  Maybe it won't be too cold by the time you read this.

Committees Reporting

Sensitivity Training Report

Patti Schonlau, Sensitivity Training Committee Chair

Collectively, the Sensitivity Training Committee members, Wanda Matlock, Sam Gilliam and I, during 2019, provided Sensitivity Training Services to more than 1,500 people in a wide variety of settings throughout the state of Missouri.  We always strive to motivate our audience to form positive beliefs and truths regarding people who are visually impaired by conducting each session in an honest and sincere presentation.  Through our training sessions, we empower our audience by sharing personal experiences to prepare their individual abilities to have a personal investment in people who are visually impaired.  We always take the time to focus on addressing questions generated by members of the audience. 

During 2019, we provided Sensitivity Training Services in churches, nursing facilities, elementary school classrooms, high school classrooms and on university campuses in St. Louis and at the University of Missouri Campus in Columbia, Lions clubs, Scouts of America troops, Independent Living Centers in Owensville and Kennett, women’s’ shelters, restaurants, and to the Holiday Inn Country Club Plaza in Kansas City.

The following is a brief overview of the program outline when providing Sensitivity Training Services. Sensitivity Training unfolds by sharing personal experiences we encounter in our day-to-day journey of life as a person living with a severe vision loss.  A video creates the opportunity to share experiences of persons living with a visual impairment including persons experiencing living with a high functioning visual impairment-to low vision-to no vision.  Under sleep shades, a variety of techniques that are utilized to cope affectively include money identification, color identification organization of clothing, telling time, raised line checks, letter writing guides to provide the opportunity to experience writing a short narrative without vision, thread and utilize a self-threading needle to sew a simple seam and secure a button on a shirt, utilize pinking shears to cut a circle and a triangle from an index card, put a simple wooden eight-piece puzzle together, and explore zoo animals, a variety of snakes and crawly insects  housed in deep cups. Introduce the Braille alphabet and utilize the slate and stylus, sighted guide techniques and simple cane-travel practices. 

A variety of literature is given to the audience to promote appropriate social interaction.  MCB literature is provided to inform the audience of our programs.  Each Sensitivity Training Session is tailored-made for each audience to create a comfortable and informative environment.  Our committee members are personally dedicated to share their successful life styles with self-confidence in a relaxed, competent manner.

If you have an interest in having our committee provide Sensitivity Training in your community, please contact me by phone at (314) 882-0330.  

Adaptive Technology Grant Committee

By Darrel Vickers, Chairman

Hi Everyone, 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.

2019 – 2020 funding approved: The Missouri Council of the Blind board of directors approved $30,000 for this fiscal year. We started excepting new grant applications on November first. This past year, we ran out of money for the program in June. Keep this in mind if you think this grant might help you this year.

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 very 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.

Smart phones such as the Apple iPhone or Android based phones and tablets are considered adaptive technology. 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.

Note: A full copy of the grant guidelines as well as an application can be found on our web site at: 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.

Did you know: Because a Smart phone can talk, provide magnification or both it is one of the most useful pieces of technology we have today. In conjunction with the right application, (APP) the smart phone can help you; read your mail, find items in the pantry by reading bar codes, identify colors, find your way around town, read NLS books and other material and even contact a trained sighted person to help you by phone and using the built -in camera, and so many more things.

In October, En-vision America, the maker of Script Talk introduced an app for the iPhone and iPad. ScripTalk Mobile by En-Vision America, Inc., allows iOS devices with Near Field Communication (NFC) capability to read ScripTalk Talking Labels. These special labels are adhesive RFID tags attached to medication containers by pharmacies participating in the ScriptAbility accessibility program. The patented ScripTalk system uses text-to-speech technology to provide the visually and reading-impaired with audible prescription information. Currently, there are many people that have difficulty reading or understanding the contents and instructions of their prescription medications. The small print and look-alike packaging of medicine vials can lead to confusion, non-compliance, and mistakes. En-Vision America has created a solution to this serious issue with ScripTalk Mobile.  This app is fully accessible with voice over.

The Committee: In keeping with MCB’s goal of trying to get new people involved, I made some changes to the committee. Nancy Lynn and Donna Giger did a great job and I want to thank them for all their help. I asked Kim Vaughn and Brian Hallows to join me, and they graciously agreed to help.

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


From the Lower Left-Hand Drawer

LUCIA Cell Phone:  Big-button cell phone for people who are blind, visually impaired or hard of hearing.  There is nothing else like it in the world!  Easy-to-use talking cell phone that allows people with vision loss to take full advantage of mobile communication. Tactile big buttons with different colors and shapes, premium Swiss quality, a unique design that prevents the Lucia cell phone from slipping out of the hand and audio amplification, make this talking cell phone the perfect phone for users who are blind, visually impaired or hard of hearing.

Thanks to Lucia’s talking voice guide, someone who is completely blind can use every feature of the phone.

Unlocked for AT&T, T-Mobile, and other GSM providers such as Cricket Wireless, Red Pocket Mobile, Straight Talk and Metro by T-Mobile.

Lucia has a powerful battery that has a standby time of up to seven (7) days.

Lucia allows people who are blind to add contacts independently. As the user moves through their contacts, the contact name is read out loud.

Extra-large characters and seven different color schemes, including, but not limited to, white on black, black on white and yellow on black.

There is a dedicated SOS button on the back of the phone. If pressed during an emergency, it will call up to five numbers in sequence.

Number keys are large (1/2” x 3/8”), concave and well-spaced. The buttons to navigate the menu system, are large with different colors and shapes.

Lucia talks while the phone is being used. It speaks whatever is on the display, speaks the name of the key that is pressed and guides the user to perform certain functions. Lucia speaks everything: Caller ID, battery level, contacts, missed calls, text messages and more. The Voice Guide is available in English and Spanish with more than 10 different voices.

Anything that can be accomplished by someone with their sight can be accomplished by someone who is completely blind or visually impaired.

To help people with hearing loss, the Lucia phone has a dedicated “Sound Boost” button that, when pressed, provides additional volume during phone calls. Lucia has premium speakers to maximize clarity and sound experience.

User can call the desired phone number or contact with a single press of a button by using Speed Dial.


Tactile Big Buttons

Amplified Audio

SOS Button

Talking Watch – Lucia Speaks

Time and Date

Talking Voice Guide

Crystal-Clear Sound

Long-Lasting Battery

Speaks Multiple Languages – English, Spanish, And More

The Lucia phone is perfect for government programs that wish to provide a basic phone to individuals who are low vision, blind, hard of hearing or seniors

The Lucia cell phone is offered for free to eligible consumers by various federal and state government programs. These programs offer specialized telecommunications equipment such as the Lucia phone to consumers with disabilities. Program requirements vary and can include an income requirement as well. The Department of Veterans Affairs supports exclusively veterans.

I Can Connect, Missouri, Missouri Assistive Technology 1-800-647-8557.

Send and receive text messages

•      Large and tactile buttons in different colors and shapes

•      Physical keypad with large high-quality buttons

•      Voice Guide

•      Ergonomic design for a perfect fit

•      Large display

•      Customizable color schemes

•      Amplified sound – SoundBoost

•      Speed Dial – dial by pressing a single button

•      Contacts

•      Alarm Calendar

•      SOS button

•      Talking watch

•      Status button

•      Super large characters

•      Intuitive easy-to-navigate menu

•      Call log

•      Long-lasting battery

•      Fast-charging battery

•      Multiple languages available – English, Spanish, French

•      Unlocked for GSM networks

•      Swiss quality

Dear GDUI Members and Friends

We are worrying about all our members and friends who may be coping with wild fires in California, as well as the extraordinary measures implemented by California energy companies in an effort to prevent fires. We want to remind you about our Disaster Assistance and Preparedness Program (DAPP), which can help with any guide-dog-care-related expenses arising from a catastrophe, such as a wild fire. Remember to visit this page on our web site for information and instructions for reaching out to GDUI for assistance:

You may also call GDUI’s toll free number to request disaster-related assistance: 866.799.8436. Thank you to Dixie Sanderson, Chair of our DAPP Committee, and her committee members for always being available to help and for all that you do to assist our members and our guide dogs. Please stay safe and know that we care about all of you who may be enduring an over-abundance of smoke, who may need to evacuate, who are overwhelmed or simply concerned about the safety of friends and relatives and members of the community and planet that we all share.

Exciting news: The GDUI Juno Report is back!

The GDUI Juno Report airs on ACB Radio Mainstream on Thursdays at 4:00 AM, 7:00 AM, 4:00 PM, and 7:00 PM (eastern).  It also plays on Sunday at 9:00 PM and Monday at 12:00 AM, 9:00 AM, and 12:00 PM.

You can listen to the GDUI Juno Report as a podcast, and to podcasts of subsequent monthly programs if you subscribe.

A direct link to the podcast feed is:

To subscribe in iTunes:

We are excited about the return of our well-received GDUI Juno Report.

We encourage everyone to listen, subscribe, and share this good news with friends and family members who are interested in the guide dog life style! Thank you so much to our Second Vice President and all-things-ACB-Radio guru, Deb Lewis for bringing our Juno Report back, and to Jeff Bishop and the ACB Radio team for helping our program to return.

If you would like to help with production of our GDUI Juno Report, by making suggestions, providing content, or simply adding feedback or commentary, we know that Deb would love to hear from you. Contact Deb Lewis

En-Vision America Announcement: ScripTalk Mobile Launches on iOS

Announcement Link:

We're excited to announce the long awaited arrival of the ScripTalk mobile app for iPhone. The ScripTalk Mobile app was designed with mobility and convenience in mind.  We think you will love both the "scan" and "quick scan" buttons.  Scan tells you all of your drug information and Quick Scan is a convenient way to hear only the drug name announced.  You can also use the History feature to review your medications without having to scan them. Fill out the form below to request a sample bottle to test out the app and/or assistance finding a participating pharmacy.

To successfully install and run the app, you need:

•      iPhone 7 or Higher

•      iOS 13

•      Visit the Help Section inside the app to find Directions on How to Use

•      Support for iPhone 11 is still in beta

Please Note: This app is used to read special RFID Tags placed on your prescription by a participating pharmacy. If you don't have these special labels, go immediately to the find pharmacy button (in the app), call us at 1-800-890-1180 or fill out the form on this page.