December 2018 Chronicle

December 2018 Chronicle

President’s Report

By Naomi Soule, President

As I write this article, I am looking forward to beginning my term as MCB President. So far, I am working on filling vacant Committee Chair positions and committee vacancies.  I am looking for rising leaders to fill some positions, so if you know anyone, or are interested in getting more involved in MCB let me know.  I have a lot to learn, and look forward to serving MCB.

Since coming home from the MCB Convention, Chris Gray and I were asked to meet with a group from Hungary with disabilities to discuss issues concerning the blind in America, and to explain what MCB does for the blind in Missouri.  Next week, we will be working with the St.  Louis Art Museum on making one of their exhibits accessible for people who are blind or low vision.  I look forward to MCB's involvement in providing our knowledge and skills wherever we can.

In closing, I want to wish all of you a happy holiday season with your families and friends.  I will have spent Thanksgiving with my brother and sister and our niece and nephews in Texas.  Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you.

Holiday Greetings from Your
Executive Director

By Christopher Gray

As we bring 2018 to a close, we have much for which to be thankful in the Missouri Council of the Blind.  First, the blind pension lawsuit has finally been concluded.  It took many hard years of resolve and effort on the part of MCB but most especially on our attorneys Debbie and John Greider and John Ammann from St. Louis University.  All blind pension recipients from 2001-2010 gained financial benefit from the suit and MCB is very proud to have been able to realign and resolve issues in payment by the State of Missouri to all recipients.  It is indeed a great victory for blind Missourians.

Our 2018 convention was a great success in Jefferson City, Missouri.  Many thanks to Linda Gerkin and the membership of our host committee in helping create that success.  At the convention, we are fortunate to have elected a new Board of Directors and President.  I'm sure they will serve the organization well in 2019 and beyond. 

This past year, many have used and benefited from MCB's many service programs.  Summer camp attendance was good, Adaptive Technology grants were available much of the year, and MCB was able through its special services grants to assist many in serious need around the state.  We can be very proud of the fact that we are able to provide these and other services through the organization.

Each year, I try to include a particularly special recipe as a part of my holiday message to you.  So, I bring you a fantastic recipe I learned while working at our Radio Reading Service in Seattle many years ago while I was attending graduate school.  We had an employee, Alma Wilson, who also did a show as a volunteer called Alma's Country Kitchen.  You can guess what that was all about.  One weekend, she invited staff to come to her home for breakfast and prepared the recipe I'm about to share.  It became a part of my repertoire and every year I make it for New Year's Day or some Sunday during the Christmas season.  I share it with all Alma's tips and tricks and a few of my own as well.  Enjoy!

Scotch Eggs

Many people think of this as pub food, and it can be.  In this recipe though, we use it as a part of a hearty breakfast and the eggs are served hot, not cold as in most pub food.  Serves 4-6 people.


1 dozen eggs + 3, (I use the brown, organic or cage free eggs)

2 rolls of Jimmy Dean's hot bulk sausage, (use one regular and 1 hot if you aren't a spicy food fan)

1 large or 2 medium onions, chopped fine

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup Italian bread crumbs

1 to 2 cans Golden Mushroom soup (Do not accept any other mushroom soup, it just doesn't work!)


  1. Boil 1 dozen eggs, allow to cool, then peel.  Do this the night before to save time and energy before breakfast.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350'. 
  3. Combine sausage, onion, garlic and 1 raw egg.  Mix thoroughly.  (do this the night before as well and store in the refrigerator).
  4. Wrap each boiled egg individually with a coating of the sausage mix.  Do not overuse the sausage mix because it needs to last for all 12 eggs.  Just be sure each egg is fully covered.  Place each egg as you cover it onto a broiler pan. 
  5. Place the Italian bread crumbs into a bowl. 
  6. Place two raw eggs into a second bowl.  Beat with a fork.
  7. Take each coated egg, one at a time, roll in the raw egg, and then roll in the bread crumbs.  Be sure the entire egg is covered with crumbs.  Place back on the broiler pan.
  8. Put the prepared eggs into the oven and cook for 1 hour. 

To serve: 

  1. In a saucepan, bring the Golden Mushroom soup almost to a boil.  Do not dilute.
  2. Cut each egg in half longwise and plate cut side up. 
  3. Pour the desired amount of soup over each half as a sauce. 

Serve with small red potatoes boiled or any other potato works well and asparagus spears (or your favorite vegetable).

Public Relations

By Wilma Chestnut-House

This is my last year as PR for Missouri Council of the Blind.  I have truly had a blast serving our members and MCB.  I have met a lot of people and formed relationships while attending many events.  I wish it could go on forever. 

Just since the state convention, I have attended a few CFC events.  This is where government employees and military agree to donate a portion of their pay to MCB.  I spoke at a Foster Grandparents luncheon.  Since they are seniors, information was given out concerning resources.  This is a list that Denny put together.  A White Cane Safety Day was done by MSB on October 15.  That was done by the student with my assistance.  I still have quite a few things on the table before I leave my post.  For all of those that submitted recipes, I plan to have the cookbook ready before the ACB convention.  I might try the postage stamps again and the t-shirts or sweat shirts again. 

One last thing, I attempted to host MCBs first health fair in September.  It did not get off the ground.  We had some good and informative vendors.  We shared information with each other.  MCB pays money for most of the fairs that I attend.  Not only can we make the public aware of our cause, but we can also raise a little money for our organization.  The vendors said they would be willing to try again and I am going to try again.  Please lets give some support to our own events.  Thank you all.


Affiliates Reporting

Hello to Everyone from Delta Area

By Wanda K. Matlock, President

On October 4th through October 7th, four of our members attended the MCB Convention held in Jefferson City, Missouri.  It was a treat to get to hear Jack and Jill Fox and also Mr. John Henderson speak about their interesting lives.  We also enjoyed the meetings along with the Hospitality, Auction and Banquet.  Blind of Central Missouri did a great job hosting the convention this year. 

On Saturday, October 13th, The members of Delta Area hosted the White Cane Awareness Day and Safety Walk.  Members of SEMO Blind Club along with members of River City Workers of the Blind were also in attendance.  The Walk was held in Sikeston at the Malone Park.  We had several speakers, including Lisa Angle, Executive Director of United Way, Steve McPheeters, Sikeston Lions Club President, Police Chief Mike Williams and City Councilman Gerald Settles.  Even though the temperature was a brisk 54 degrees, we still had a total of 28 people in attendance.

At our meeting on October 23, we discussed many things, such as our upcoming Christmas Party, Adopt a family for Christmas, and our annual shopping day at the Service Club for the Blind in St. Louis.  We also held elections for the coming year.  The officers for Delta Area are as follows:  Wanda K. Matlock, President and MCB Board Alternate, Craig Ancell, Vice President and MCB Board Representative, Denise Reed, Secretary, LaWana Copeland, Treasurer and Jim Taul, Education and Advocacy Representative.

October 23rd was our last business meeting for this year.  We will resume our meetings starting in January 2019.  From our affiliate to yours, we wish everyone a safe, happy and very peaceful holiday season.

Greetings from Rite

By Bunny Maginnis, President

It has been a long time since Rite has sent an article to the Chronicle.  We are still here. Like everyone else, we are endeavoring to attract new members. Saying that, I would like to invite anyone who is a member at large in the St. Louis area to visit our meeting on the third Friday of each month at the MCB building at 5453 Chippewa. We especially need visually impaired people.

Our Christmas party will be December 1 at Onesto Pizza and Trattoria at 5401 Finkman in South St. Louis. If you would like to join us, please call Janet Trapasso at (314)351-4624 and she will give you all the information.

We just held our elections of officers. Our officers are President Bunny Maginnis, Secretary Patrick Moody, Treasurer Rose Ledford, and Vice-President Angelo Trapasso.

We had eight members attend the MCB convention in Jefferson City this year. We thought it was one of the best conventions we have attended. We especially enjoyed the keynote speaker. It was also interesting to become acquainted with Jack and Jill Fox.  That just about does it for this time. Maybe next quarter’s report will be a little more informative.  Warm blessings.

Joplin Service Club of the Blind

By Gail Vaughan

The past three months have seen some moments of excitement and sadness for the Joplin Service Club.

In September our new officers assumed their positions.  Jim Smith is our new President, Billie Swift is Vice President and Gail Vaughan is Secretary.  We are excited to see what the future holds for our club. The club would like to say a big “Thank You!” to our past President Shirley Ritter, Vice-President Robert Goheen and Secretary Mary Coe for the great jobs they did in the years they served.  

Several of our members attended the MCB Convention in October and it is rumored that they had a very enjoyable trip.  Jim Murray, our MCB Board Representative, received the honor of MCB Member of the Year.  We are proud of Jim and appreciate his efforts to keep us informed on the new adaptive technology and current news of the MCB.

On October 15th, our club participated in White Cane Day by walking the North Park Mall.  Mayor Gary Shaw proclaimed October 15th White Cane Day in Joplin and three TV stations came out to cover the walk.  Everyone enjoyed the time of eating at the Food Court and a couple even became TV stars!

Along with the excitement of the months came the sadness of the passing away of six of our past and present club members.  They will be greatly missed!

Best Wishes to all for a very Merry Christmas and wonderful holiday season!


St. Charles County Council of the Blind

By Margy Petrofsky

Our August, social outing was a trip to the St. Louis art museum to explore the Egyptian, Underwater City Display.  Our guide and narrator was Allan Newsham.  The artifacts consisted of statues of gods, and the Serapes bull which was life size among others sculptures. What’s amazing is these items are about 2 to 4000 years old and the damage if any was minimal.  These items were underwater for about 2000 years packed with silt and sediment.  It was amazing how they held up but the staff at the museum would not let us touch them. Allan told us the history about mummies, the Serapes bull was mummified along with the upper class and royalty.  Eventually the process of mummification became less expensive and was affordable for the middle class Egyptian.  Can you imagine the amount of cloth they had to use?  Just for one bull alone would have been a very large amount, and back in those days they couldn't go to their local Walmart and order the material by the yard.  After the museum we went out to eat at a small restaurant that was close by.  The food was great and we all had a great time.

For our September outing we had our annual barbecue and picnic at Quailridge park.  Jamie Newsham picked out that particular spot because the bathrooms were nice and close by.  Everybody over 50 will appreciate that.  The covered pavilion and picnic area was nice too.  Mother nature cooperated with us by giving us a beautiful day.  I don't know what was the best part of the picnic; the company, bathrooms or Denny's barbecued pork steaks.

Our October social event was another trip to the art museum, this time it was for art appreciation.  We had a guide who described the art work to us.  There was some modern art which to me was just paint splotches.  I find it interesting that I can take different colored paint throw it on a canvas and I would be lucky if I could sell it at a garage sale for a dollar.  A well known artist could do the same thing and get close to the same result and the painting would hang in a museum or be sold at an art auction for five million dollars.  Our guide let us feel some artifacts that he brought from home from his own private collection.  He described some of the paintings to us and their history.  It was interesting how many of the past artists were losing their sight, like Claude Monet among others, to the point where some were almost or completely blind, but kept painting.  So I guess we were seeing them like they were painted.  Afterwards we went to the Boathouse, a restaurant in the park to eat dinner.  The food was great and so was the company.  I think the best part of our outings is eating out afterwards. The holidays are fast approaching so I wish everybody a nice Thanksgiving, a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Happy Kwanza and a very generic Happy Holidays.

Agape Council of the Blind

By Wilma Chestnut-House

On October 28, AGAPE Council hosted our annual “Gospelfest” at Greater Faith Church.  We had a wonderful guest speaker and some joyful singing.  June Lenk sang a beautiful song and dedicated it to her mother and Thomas Reece.  As usual, she rocked the “church-house.”  A good time was had by everyone.  We hope that you can join us next year.

On February 22, 2019, we will host our 8th Black History Program.  This one is entitled, “A Salute to African-American Women and Men that served in the United States Military.  Revolutionary War to the Vietnam War”

The program will be held at Missouri School for the Blind at 3815 Magnolia Ave.  The doors will open at 6:00 pm and the program starts at 7:00 pm.  This time the program is in the auditorium.  We will have vendors for that first hour.  There will be door prizes and a raffle of a book concerning all the people mentioned in the program.  One is in braille, one in large print, and one in regular print.  The admission price is $10.  If there are any veterans that are members of MCB, admission is free.  This free admission is not just for African-American veterans, but for all veterans.  This will be one of our best yet, if I say so myself.  Don’t miss out, I am sure you will be well informed!

On March 23, 2019, our “Chili Supper” is coming back.  There will be several types of chili will all the extra fixings.  For the easy price of $10, you can have two helpings of your choice of chili along with soda or water.  You also get dessert with your meal.  Just for fun, we are adding karaoke.  This too, will be held at Missouri School for the Blind.  The address is 3867 Magnolia Ave. (old rehab building).  The doors open at 5:00 pm.  The food will be hot and ready for serving.  Come eat, sing, and be merry!

The “StL Firing Squad” beep baseball team participated in Minds Eye first ever Fall Classic Beep Baseball tournament on October 21.  Eight teams entered the tournament and as usual, The Lighthouse for the Blind and The Firing Squad were the last two teams standing.  In the end, The StL Firing Squad won the championship.  One of our players also got the MVP trophy.  It was a hard played game by both teams.  We now have one second place, two first place, and two MVP trophies.  Go Squad!  I say this after every game, “I love my team!”

The StL Firing Squad and AGAPE are still hosting our camp at Missouri School for the Blind in July.  It was very successful this past summer and we expect even grater things for next year.  Our campers will be quite surprised.  Parents get ready to send your children for an experience that they won’t soon forget.  For more information, contact Wilma at (314) 873-9022.

Committees Reporting

Dual Vision and Hearing Loss

By Mary Hale

Look Around and Listen.  We ALL know someone who has blindness AND is hard of hearing. YOU know it, but sometimes they simply do not recognize it as being hard of hearing themselves.  YOU know it, when they do not answer you.  YOU know it, when they give a response that is not related to the question or conversation.  YOU know it, when you need to repeat what you have said often.  Many times they will sit quietly aside because they do not know what is fully being said. They may avoid going places. They may be depressed.

Look Around and Listen for them, give them a Christmas gift of helping them to realize that they have a hearing loss. We ALL know people who continue to deny this. But if you can help them to realize that others can tell that they have a hearing loss. Also, that some people avoid talking to them because of it. 

Give the gift of Hearing Better for some people you know. There can be so much help available for anyone with both blindness and a hearing loss. You can share my contact info with them or call me yourself. I want to help you, help them. Please contact me at (314)544-3252 or Let’s help them. I am looking forward to HEARING from you.

Sensitivity Training Committee

By Patti Schonlau, Committee Chair

The Sensitivity Training Committee members are Wanda Matlock, Sam Gilliam, James Hollins and Patti Schonlau.  To date, collectively we have spoken with more than 450 people.  We have presented in churches, elementary school classrooms, college classes on the campus of Missouri University in Columbia and to fifth-year Medical students at Washington University in St. Louis, in Independent Living Centers in Owensville and Kenton, Capitol Plaza Hotel staff in Jefferson City, Southwest Airlines flight attendants in St. Louis, doctor offices, and Community Senior Centers.

Our committee’s focus is to empower the Sensitivity Training participants with the knowledge to achieve a heightened positive perception of people living with a visual impairment.

We invite each of you to help us by enlightening your local communities of our services.  We are available to provide Sensitivity Training throughout the state of Missouri at no charge.

Being able to communicate with people on a day-to-day bases does not come naturally for everyone.  It is important in today’s culturally diverse world that we learn how to interact appropriately and respectively with those around us.  Our Sensitivity Training team is made up of a variety of people from various backgrounds, preferences and upbringings.  We are happy to have the opportunity to support and train organizations that want to provide detailed workplace and educational sensitivity standards and expectations.  Our Sensitivity Training Programs are; accessibility respectfulness, respectful work and school environment, workplace and school environment bullying, one-on-one sensitivity, management and leadership sensitivity, cultural sensitivity within the workplace and educational setting.  We customize to meet immediate needs of the audience.

Adaptive Technology Grant Committee

By Darrel Vickers, Chair

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.

2018-2019 Funding: The adaptive technology grant program budget has been approved by the Board for $30,000. We began accepting applications on November 1.

If this program can help you, I would encourage you to apply. We generally run out of money by the summer.

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. 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.

The Committee: The adaptive technology committee is made up of three members: Darrel Vickers, Nancy Lynn and Donna Giger.  If you have any questions about the program please contact me by email at or phone at 636-667-3176.  Until next time, take Care.

Summer Camp Report

Beverly Kaskadden, Chair

The 2018 Summer Camp has come to a close.  Where did the time go?  To me, attending Cobblestone Lodge is like a family reunion.  It is so heart warming to reconnect, but it is also so nice to meet and add new friends to our lives. 

I was so very grateful to Otella Robeson for establishing the grant to make it possible for those who have never attended camp.  Because of her generosity and thoughtfulness, we had several new campers.  There are still funds left in this account, but it will dwindle fast.  I am hoping we can get more donations directed to this area so we can draw new individuals.  It meant so much to me to hear one individual state that coming to camp showed her that she could do more than she thought she could with her limited vision.  I feel like I am the Cobblestone Cheerleader!  I believe that when we are all together we can encourage each other. 

Now, with those funds dwindling, I have an idea.  If anyone wants to contribute to the Otella Robeson Summer Camp Grant, we would keep this opportunity available. 

The staff at Cobblestone and I are always looking for new adventures and ideas while attending Cobblestone.  Camp may be over for this year, but we are looking ahead for 2019.

The dates for 2019 are as follows:  June 2 – 9, July 28 – August 3, and September 5 – 8.

Start saving your nickels and get the applications in as soon as possible.  The cabin assignments must be in place two months in advance, especially for July session. 

I am not a fan of winter, but the sooner winter gets here, the sooner we all meet again on the porch at Cobblestone.

Happy Holidays! Contact me by phone at 636-561-6947 or 636-541-2503 or by email at

Scholarships Available for Blind Students

by Donna Giger, Scholarship Chair

The Missouri Council of the Blind is very pleased to once again offer scholarships to blind students who will be attending college during the school year of 2019-2020.

They must be enrolling in a full course of study and pursuing a degree. 

Guidelines and application may be obtained by calling the MCB office at (800) 342-5632 or (314) 832-7172 or send an email to Find it on our website at  You may also make a request in writing to the Missouri Council of the Blind at 5453 Chippewa, St. Louis, MO 63109.

In order for an applicant to be considered, the application must be fully completed, be accompanied by all required supporting documents and typewritten or computer generated. If the applicant fails to meet these requirements, the application will be denied.

The deadline for submitting an application is May 1, 2019. The Scholarship Committee will review and make decisions on the application during the month of May. Those applicants approved for a scholarship will be sent a letter notifying them that they have been approved for a scholarship and the amount of the scholarship. Checks will be sent to those approved applicants in June 2019. We look forward to receiving many applications.




August 20, 2018

President Huff called the meeting by conference call at 7:00 P.M.

Secretary Noriega called the roll. All officers, the executive director and Public Relations Officer  were present.

Affiliates not represented were:

Act Now! Council of the Blind, Pony Express Association of the Blind, St. Louis Northern Lights, and Springfield Service Club of the Blind.

Guests included listeners online and Susan Sanderson, new Chair of the Credentials Committee.

Joe Morgan led the meeting in a prayer.

The agenda was approved.

The Minutes of the April meeting were approved as corrected.

Treasurer Vaughn gave the Treasurer’s Report.

The Chair of the Scholarship Committee, Wanda Matlock,  presented the appeals of two students who were denied scholarships and explained the reasons they did not receive scholarships. Both students failed to meet the 12 credit, fulltime student requirement.

The Board voted to uphold the guidelines and deny the appeals. Wanda Matlock, will let the students know of the board decision to require students to take 12 credits to receive scholarships.

Susan Sanderson has been appointed Chair of the Credentials Committee. The Board reviewed the changes to the Credentials Committee which places the responsibility of operation of the voting system, and distribution and recovery of voting clickers. The guideline change was approved.

Vice-president Keller moved we convene in closed session during which personnel matters were discussed.

No actions were taken except approval of the personnel committee’s recommendations.

When the Board came out of closed session, Jannel Morris reminded the Board that there will be an organizational conference call on Tuesday to determine if there is sufficient interest to establish a low vision affiliate.

President Huff reminded Board members to fill out registration forms for the state convention.

Naomi Soule inquired if there was a need for the strategic Planning Committee to hold a conference call meeting in September and agreed to schedule one.

President Huff said that we will also need to hold a budget meeting in September.

Wilma Chestnut House reminded the Board that there will be a health fair sponsored by MCB on September 22. It will be held in the multipurpose room located at 3857 Magnolia adjacent to the Missouri School for the Blind, in St. Louis.

She also said that she will need recipes from the chapters to be sent in before the State Convention to give time for arranging them and printing of the books for sale at next year’s ACB Convention.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:42 P.M.

Respectfully submitted by DeAnna Noriega, Secretary

September 17, 2018

President Huff called the meeting to order at 7:00 P.M.  by conference call.

Secretary Noriega called the roll. All officers were in attendance except the Vice president, Michael Keller, who died suddenly, earlier in the month.

Affiliates who were not represented included Ozark Association of the Blind and Southeast Missouri United Blind Club.

Guests included Executive Director, Chris Gray and online listeners.

President Huff asked for a moment of prayer in memory of Michael Keller.

Chip Hailey led the Board in a prayer.

The agenda was approved as amended.

Minutes were approved as corrected.

President Huff began his report by explaining that the Southwest Friendship Council had not sent in their dues or membership list. He made several attempts to reach the president and treasurer to no avail. The Board representative of the affiliate, Chip Hailey had also been unable to reach either officer. He stated that the affiliate had not held a meeting for over a year.

After some discussion, Sabrina Fowler moved that a certified letter be sent with a thirty day time limit for the affiliate to respond, after which they would be dismissed as an affiliate. The Board passed the motion.

President Huff explained that he had thought to leave the vice president’s office unfilled until convention, but that he was persuaded that it would be better to appoint Darrell Vickers to serve the remaining couple of weeks until elections can be held.

He then suggested that the Community Service Award be named the Michael H. Keller Community Service Award to honor Mr. Keller’s many years of dedicated service to MCB. The Board voted unanimously to make the name change.

Treasurer Vaughn gave his report listing the sums held in the different accounts belonging to MCB. He offered the proposed budget beginning November 1 and opened the floor for questions.

Questions were asked about various donation line items and the cost of phone service. All questions were answered to the satisfaction of those asking. The Board voted approval of the budget and it will now be presented to the membership at Convention for final approval.

Public Relations Officer, Wilma Chestnut House reminded those present of the MCB Health Fair to be held September 22. She indicated that the event will open at 8:00 A.M. and she will make the final presentation at 2:30 P.M.

Director Morris informed the Board that the Missouri Council of Citizens with Low Vision will meet at the state convention after the auction.

She also requested that two additional members volunteer to assist mentoring two first time attendees at the convention. If anyone is interested, they should contact her.

President Huff said that St. Charles County Council of the Blind will be selling large print planners for 2019.

Shirley Brokaw moved the Board into closed session for office staff reviews.

Paul Mimms asked questions about the online registration form for convention.

It was suggested that anyone having difficulty with it should call the office for assistance.

Nicole Hanlin asked where she could find the agenda. Bunny Maginnis stated that besides the online version, braille copies can be requested from the office or received at convention.

Darrel Vickers moved adjournment at 8:10 P.M.

Respectfully submitted by Secretary DeAnna Quietwater Noriega.

From the Lower Left-Hand Drawer

By John Weidlich

I wasn’t able to find much new information this time that I thought would interest you, but here are a couple of things that you may find useful or informative.

There is a new email list for people who use the Echo devices. Isn’t that just about everybody these days? Users can ask questions about Alexa skills and apps and learn about new products and skills. To join the list,  send an email to

You will receive an email telling you that you have been subscribed. Be sure to include the plus sign after the word echo.

Researchers have discovered a possible link between three common degenerative eye diseases and Alzheimer’s Disease. This could lead to new ways to identify people at high risk of developing Alzheimer’s. The study involved 3,877 randomly selected patients, age 65 and older with Macular Degeneration, Diabetic Retinopathy or Glaucoma. They were tracked over a five-year period, during which time 792 of them were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. The article from which I got this did not indicate what the link might be but the researchers said that people with these eye conditions could have a 40 to 50 percent greater risk of Alzheimer’s disease than people without these eye conditions. Unfortunately, there was no link to the study, but perhaps we will learn more about this in the future.

VFO and Aira have announced a partnership that will equip all VFO customers with free access to the Aira service if they need visual assistance to a screen while using a VFO product, such as the JAWS screen reader. VFO product users can download and launch the AIRA app to connect to any Aira agent. Go to the iOS App Store or the Google Play Store, search for Aira by Aira Tech Corp, download the app and sign up as a guest at aira. Io/app.

Guide Dog Users Inc. (GDUI) has produced a handbook for prospective guide dog users with information about acquiring and using a guide dog for safe and independent travel. The book is called A Handbook for  Prospective Guide Dog Handlers, 4th Edition. Originally published twenty-five years ago,  this new edition reflects changes in dog training methods, growth in the community of dog users, changes in the number of training schools, and evolving attitudes among the public concerning acceptance of guide dogs. It answers questions that a person who is considering using a guide dog might have as well as family members, blindness rehab professionals, educators and the general public. Topics include: experiences of guide dog users, the process of deciding whether a dog is the right choice for an individual, choosing a training program, and learning to become a guide dog handler. The book also deals with the sometimes stressful challenges of using a dog, such as denial of access to a facility, and dealing with the illness or retirement of a guide dog. It is available from Amazon as an ebook or in print as well as from other ebook publishers. For more information, visit

That’s it for this time.