The Newsletter of the Arizona council of the blind. inc
From the President’s Desk
By Dan Martinez, AzCB President
Adjustment to blindness can be a difficult time for people and some do not adjust in a wholesome way. That is to say, some people never emotionally accept their blindness and are angry and bitter. They are not all right with themselves or their situation and often have low expectations. It becomes a self-fulfilling prediction. They believe they can’t, so they can’t. Because they can’t, they have poor self-image and feelings of worthlessness. Low expectation is the greatest disability one can have. It is literally more immobilizing than any physical challenge a person may encounter.
If you are trapped in a cycle of filling of worthlessness with low expectations, I want to offer you some suggestions from my own experiences.
First, blindness is a simple fact of my life. The eye mechanism does not work. I still have to do all those things I have to do. I have to find and learn ways to do those things using what I have available to me. I am not diminished by blindness. It is just part of who I am.
Next, I have found using professional adjustment services and counseling can be extremely helpful. Professionals can help lead an individual through the process of self-discovery. With guidance, I was able to gain a better understanding of my fellings and behaviors and take corrective actions.
Support groups have also been a great benefit. Through interactions with my blind peers I have found that I am not alone. By helping and being helped by others I have learned to think outside my own skin. I have gained a perspective I could not achieve alone.
Another helpful practice is to surround yourself with people who demand a lot from you. People who will not accept excuses from you and require you to do your best are of greater service to you than a thousand people who will just do things for you. My wife, my children, my community and my employer constantly have me outside of my comfort zone and constantly have me doing things I did not believe I could do.
One last suggestion, just do it. Do something even if you’re not good at it. I have found that I tend to avoid things that I am not good at. If I do them I do get better simply from the practice of doing them.
It is ok to be blind. You have every right to be who you are.
Please enjoy life to its fullest and take joy in being who you are.
There is no one else in the universe who is you. You are unique
*Editor’s note: VIP (Visually Impaired Persons) groups are available around the state. AzCB would like to hear from folks associated with those groups so that we may make referrals. Notify the Editor. Address is on this newsletter.
BOBBING ALONG WITH BOB
Bob Williams, AzCB V President
Three members of the current governing board of the Arizona council of The Blind be up for reelection to full four-year terms as Directors at the upcoming annual state convention of AZCB in May. They include Dick Bailey and Vicky Petit of the Phoenix area and Dr. Frank Kells of Tucson. Nominations for either of three positions will be in order from the floor during the annual election process. Interested members who would like to be considered for either of the three positions may also contact President Dan Martinez by E-mail at email@example.com or by calling me at 602-938-7776.
The door of the AZCB Federal Credit Union at 3124 East Roosevelt was officially closed for the final time by Credit Union Manager Stan Hanshaw on Thursday, March 30. After almost 34 full years the credit union was out of business and its merger with Chandler-based First Credit Union to become effective on April 3. The final vote was by a lopsided margin of more than 30 to 4. The AZCB/FCU governing board held its final monthly board meeting on March 21 at the credit union office.
The final shareholders dinner meeting was a scene of many mixed emotions. Council President Dan Martinez presented certificates of appreciation to board members for their service over the years. Dr. Frank Kells was cited for 27 years of continuous service including a number of years as board President. Close behind Frank in longevity on the board was longtime board secretary and First CU President and CEO Fred Kent. Fred is also a former President of the Arizona Credit Union System. Other board members receiving certificates included Supervisory Committee chairman and Canyon State Credit Union CEO Steve Dunham, AZCB/FCU President Dick Bailey, Vice President Board member and newest board member and First Credit Union Marketing Director Carolyn Cameron. Stan Hanshaw and wife Nancy were given special recognition with a plaque and restaurant gift card respectively for Stan's outstanding record as credit union manager since 1990 and Nancy's technical assistance and door prize coordinator for our annual shareholder dinner meetings. Members of the loan committee including Jill and Clarence Schramm, Betty wheadon, Pearl Bailey and Rita Peralta were also recognized with certificates of appreciation.
The dinner meeting was presided over by AZCB/FCU President Dick Bailey. Frank Kells had everyone laughing with several zingers from his always-full humor bag. Fred Kent reminded shareholders who choose to continue with First CU that things won't be the same after the merger because Stan Hanshaw won't be around after the transition. "Nothing is going to be able to replace Stan and his ability to help you guys and listen to your problems and so forth," said Fred. "My pledge to you is that we'll do our darndest to meet your needs." Fred stated that First Credit Union is pushing $500,000,000 in assets with about 250 employees and 14 branches including two in Tucson and one in Flagstaff.
As I See It
by Dr. Frank Kells, AzCB Board Member
Please allow me to share with you a paper I wrote for a Creative Writing class. (Yes, Frank, even doctors have to go back to school!)
“BLIND JUSTICE” by Floyd Matson, (a book review).
“BLIND JUSTICE” is a biography of Dr. Jacobus “Chic” TenBroek (1911-1968) written by his lifelong friend, Floyd Matson.
Accidentally blinded by an arrow at the age of 7 TenBroek went on to become one of the brilliant and accomplished blind men I have ever known. I say “known” although I met him casually only a couple times, on which occasions I felt duly dismissed. Perhaps it was because I introduced myself as the Director of the Sacramento Society for the Blind, and he definitely had no use for anyone who worked FOR the blind. In fact he was the founder of the National Federation OF the Blind in 1940. For 26 of the next 28 years until his death in 1968, he served as President and chief spokesman for that organization, always emphasizing “OF the blind as super to “FOR the blind”. Thereby hangs a tale, which I will deal with a bit later.
After graduating from the California State School for the Blind in Berkley, Chick went on to earn doctorates in Jurisprudence and Political Science at Harvard and the University of California at Berkley. When I knew him, he cut an impressive figure, about six feet tall, with a well trimmed red beard and meticulously tailored clothes. The author makes this very clear, portraying Dr. TenBroek as almost a demigod, yet somehow overlooking the inevitable flaw in most demigods. Yes, the Chic I knew had a colossal ego as huge as all outdoors! While conceding his extraordinary brilliance and many accomplishments, let me tell you about one personal experience of mine which illustrates my point.
In Sacramento I had become friends with a blind lawyer named Russell Kletzing, Chief Counsel of the California State Water Resources Department and President of the local NFB Chapter. It was in 1964 that he told me in strictest confidence, that Chic had terminal cancer and that he had asked him (Russ) if he would consider taking over as NFB President. Despite serious misgivings about succeeding such a giant as Dr. TenBroek, Russ felt that he might accept the offer. After all, Chic could easily “anoint” his successor, having been NFB’s one and only guru for all 24 years since he founded the organization in 1940!
To make a long story short, Russ was elected by acclamation to a 2-year term as NFB President (as requested by Chic) at the annual convention in July of 1964. As an ironic twist of fate, that year’s Convention was in Phoenix, where I had just moved and thus could personally congratulate my old friend, Russ. During the next months I began to hear disturbing rumors of a rapidly growing rift between TenBroek and Kletzing. It seems that Russ had the audacity to institute some new ideas instead of taking his cues from his predecessor, who was a full Professor of Political Science at U.C. Berkley. Although increasingly restricted by the cancer, there was nothing that Chic could do, as he saw it, but to replace Russ as President. But wo could he possibly “anoint”? There was only one choice, so, not withstanding the malignancy, TenBroek, himself ran against Russ and won. So what else is new! Before the next Convention (1968), Dr. TenBroek succomed, and the mad scramble was on in earnest. How unfortunate it was that he had not, to our knowledge, named another successor. However, out of the ensuing melee emerged Dr. Kenneth Jernigan, Director of the Iowa Commission for theBlind, one of the few “establishment” agencies acceptable to NFB. Ken took over the presidency for the next 25 years or so, in the proud tradition of Dr. Jacobus TenBroek. But Matson completely ignores the Kletzing debacle and glosses over the dynastic pattern of “President for life”, as set by TenBroek and Jernigan. The author also ignores the expulsion and/or secession of over half of the NFB members in 1961, when they finally had enough of Chic’s dictatorial style. These disenchanted blind members regrouped as the American Council of the Blind (ACB), which today outnumbers NFB membership by several thousand. They tried a risky form of organization called democracy –what a novel idea!
How, have I strayed from the purpose of a book review? I think not. I have faithfully represented the author’s uninterrupted 272 page tribute to his friend, Chic TenBroek, characterized as an unbelievably accomplished blind man. And I have filled in a few overlooked facts and some honest criticism, based on personal experience. Perhaps the only thing I might add is Chic’s motto for the group he founded: “The National Federation OF the Blind is not an organization speaking for the blind – it is the blind speaking for themselves”! Well, there might be some question about that, Chic. I think you and Ken may have saved the rest of us a lot of trouble. It’s so time-consuming to speak for oneself, isn’t it?
More “Seeing It”
by Lion Frank Kells, Ed.D (Life Member, LFA Board)
HAPPY 45TH BIRTHDAY, LFA!
When I read in the Canyon State Lion that the Lions Foundation of Arizona will celebrate its 45th anniversary later this year, I could hardly believe it. At the risk of sounding trite, it seemed like only yesterday that I came to Arizona in 1964 as Director of Phoenix Center for the Blind. PBC was the first tenant and beneficiary of LFA, or as it was known then as the Marvin Jones Lions Center for the Blind, Inc. (MJL)
They had just completed construction of a beautiful 9200 square ft building in response to an urgent appeal from Lion Art Kidd (who happened to be blind), John Foglton and Jerry Paysnoe, members of the West Phoenix Lions and the PBC board. In 1961 they informed the District 21-A Presidents’ Council that PBC faced imminent eviction from their temporary quarters in a city housing project. That was all they needed to hear. Under the leadership of Judge Wally Pensinger, Chairman of the District 21-A Presidents’ Council they went right to work. Lion Ames Thompson volunteered as overall Project Chairman securing substantial donations of materials and skilled labor and about $20,000.00 IN CASH! But the key ingredient came when Lion Keith Taylor and his wife Gladys donated 2-1/2 acres of prime land at 31st Street and Roosevelt. In January 1964 the impressive new facility was dedicated by Lions International President, Aubrey Green and PBC moved into its magnificent new home. Amazingly, the whole project had been accomplished for a NET mortgage of only $85,000 which was paid off by 1968. There followed a series of ceremonial “mortgage burnings” culminating at the Lions State Convention.
Since then I have had the privilege of serving in three different capacities with LFA: first, as tenant (Director of PBC); next as employee, conducting three separate long range studies known as “Project Sight Raising”; and since 1973 as Board member. During these 42 years I have seen MJL change its name to Lions Foundation of Arizona and grow by leaps and bounds to meet the rapidly increasing needs throughout Arizona. Most important it has been provision of low-cost facilities to more than 35 non-profit organizations serving people with disabilities and a wide variety of other community needs. Among these programs are:
Arizona Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired (formerly PCB)
Zenith Club of the Blind
Maricopa Club of the Blind
Arizona Council of the Blind and its affiliated Credit Union
Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic
Arizona Braille and Talking Book Library
Arizona Association of Workers with the Blind
Sun Sounds Radio Reading Service (Phoenix and Tucson)
Lions Information Service
Valley Center for the Deaf
Phoenix Association of the Deaf
Hearing Education and Rehabilitation Society (HEARS)
Arizona Bridge to Independent Living (ABIL)
Lions Vision Center
Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation
Lions Camp Tatiyee office
Rehabilitative Swimming Pool Facility
La Casa de los Leones (Tucson)
Paralized Veterans of Arizona
Arizona Low Vision Services.
Some of these programs have “graduated” to facilities of their own, but in each case LFA played a significant role in their survival and growth. In addition, LFA has provided a variety of services to Lions and other organizations around Arizona such as managing the Lions Information Service. Publishing the Lions State Directory and the Canyon State Lion, providing accounting services to the Lions Vision Center and other Lions programs, professional consultation and grants to Centers for the Blind in Prescott, Yuma and Nogales for example. Perhaps the most unique role has been what I call the “Resource of last resorts” for the Lions of Arizona as when LFA came to the aid of Camp Tatiyee by mortgaging almost all of its real property to raise the up-front funds needed to save the camp from eviction by the Federal Forest Service.
From all of your countless beneficiaries, congratulations and thanks for a job well done. Keep up the good work. Happy 45th Anniversary!
+ The Chaplain’s Corner +
by Richard Bailey
We have all had days when nothing we do seems to come out right, when we can’t say or do the right thing at the right time. Sometimes all it takes to dispose of this gloomy atmosphere is for someone to come along with one kind word or one kind deed. The ripple effect can change your whole outlook.
This poem by an unknown author may say it better than I can.
One song can spark a moment
One flower can make a dream
One tree can make a forest
One bird can herald spring
One vote can change a notion
One sunbeam lights a room
One candle wipes out darkness
One laugh will conquer gloom
One step will start a journey
One word will start a prayer
One hope will raise our spirits
One tough will show you care.
One voice can speak with wisdom
One heart can know what’s true.
One life can make a difference.
That difference starts with you.
May each of our lives be filled with that “ripple effect” of love and kindness as we remember the last line of that poem. My special wishes to each of you for this season of Holy Easter and a Beloved Passover. Chaplain Bailey
Editor’s note: Once I was so sad and lonely and I heard a voice say, “Look up. Things could be worse!” So I looked up, and sure enough things did get worse. I hate pigeons!
By Ruth Druding, Convention Coordinator
The 35th Annual Convention of the Arizona Council of the Blind is just around the corner, Friday, May 26th to be exact. We are having basically a one day program this year. However, folks arriving from out of town and vendors will be entertained on Thursday evening, May 25th. Snacks and a drink will also be provided. Embassy Suites Hotel at I-17 and Greenway in Phoenix will host the convention. Rates of $99.00 per night have been secured for our group. However, the AzCB Board is subsidizing our folks $45.00 per room per night. Just contact the treasurer, Hal Newsom with your room receipt. The registration this year is $35.00 which includes the Continental breakfast, lunch and the banquet.
Transportation has always been a problem. A van will be available for folks from Sun City.
There are also folks in Cottonwood interested in attending. If we can get a few folks from there interested we will also provide transportation. The Council also is willing to subsidize drivers who are willing to bring folks from out of town. Your attendance is important to us. I guarantee that you will enjoy the program that we have put together.
It has been a trial of frustration with the original hotel canceling because it was sold; confirmed speakers canceling due to unforeseen events and trying to please everyone.
Our banquet speaker will be David Reukert, a totally blind martial arts champion. He will also entertain you on Thursday with Tom Hicks with his skills in self- protection.
If you have any problems concerning transportation then you must meet the panel of presenters from most of the Dial-A-Ride municipalities in the valley. They need to know your problems.
Macular Degeneration and retinal diseases will be discussed by a retinal surgeon, Anthony LeBeus, M.D. If you have concerns about diabetes, then Ruth Penno, RN can answer your questions. Dr. Lynn Noon will discuss the new bioptic lenses which have been approved for a drivers license in Arizona.
A panel of RSA folks, Audrey Young, Karla Rivas and Amy Murillo will discuss the new roles of rehab. Following this panel, Ed House and Tom Hicks will share some DES success stories.
If computers scare you then you need to hear Gabe Vega, a totally blind computer guru who will introduce you to the Mac, a new generation of the Apple family. He will also be in the exhibit hall with other exhibitors including Tammy Patrick from the Maricopa Election Board with the new accessible voting unit. She will also be available to register you.
Complete details of the program are included in this news letter with a registration form. If you are planning to stay at the Embassy Suites, I would encourage you to make those reservations ASAP because the hotel will not hold our block of rooms beyond May 8th at the rate offered to us. The Embassy Suites phone number is 602.375.1777. It is also on the registration form. Please send your check for pre-registration to AzCB Convention and mail it to 3124 E. Roosevelt, Phoenix AZ 85008. DO NOT SEND YOUR REGISTRATION TO THE HOTEL.
You may register and pay at the door but it is best to pre-register. The hotel needs to know the count for the food ASAP.
Questions about transportation may be addressed to Dr. Edwin Druding at 623.937.1211
GOOD NEWS AND GOODER NEWS
BY Dr. Edwin Druding
As your editor for going on 22 years, I am proud to announce that the first issue of the Fore-Sight was sent out in Braille with the last issue. In the past, we had the Foundation for Blind Children Braill copies when they had time. It was infrequent. Now, we have our own Juliet Pro embosser and Duxbury translator. Our programs and other information will be available in Large Print, Cassette and Braille.
I apologize for the inverted order of the pages for some of you. Also, live and learn, I did not realize that the “squiggly thingy” called a “tittle” in the title of the news letter would be spelled out in the Duxbury translator. If you prefer the Braille edition, it is now available. Contact me at 623.937.1211 to make that request and I will pass it on to Tom Belsan.
MARICOPA CLUB OF THE BLIND NEWS
The Maricopa Club of the Blind will be celebrating the traditional Mexican Fiesta, Cinqo de Mayo. Although the cinqo falls on Friday, we will be celebrating it on Saturday, May 6th. There will be a Mexican dinner at the Druding’s home, 7628 N 49 Ave, Glendale from 12 till 3pm. Entertainment by Ernie, a blind musician, will play his Spanish harp and sing. The cost is $5.50 and can be paid when you arrive. Phoenix Dial-A-Ride does come into this address. Make your arrangements for transportation. Everyone is invited, member or not; however advanced reservations are requested so we can know how much water to add to the beans! Call Bob Shelley 602.353.6689 or Ruth Druding 623.937.1211. Come Mexican that day. INS will not deport you.
ASK THE DOCTOR
BY Dr. Ikan C. Kleerly
“How does a blind person know what pills he is taking when all the bottles are the same?” The true answer is, “He doesn’t!” It requires some organization, cooperation and memorization. When folks get a prescription from the pharmacy, the pharmacist generally tells the person what it is, how and when to take it and why it is being taken. OK, that is fine if there is only one medication. What happens when there are two or even more medications?
Did you know that research indicates that an estimated 100,000
Persons are killed by errors and/or adverse drug reactions each year. This is cited as the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. These shocking statistics has prompted a pharmacist in the VA hospital in Washington to do something about it. What would you think of a pill bottle that actually TALKS to you in a human voice and gives you all the information written on the label? Wouldn’t that be great? It is possible, in fact it is available. REX, the Talking Pill Bottle will be one of the exhibitors at the Convention on May 26th.
The bottle has a groove on one side. At the base of that groove is a button which is pressed and held for the voice to be heard regarding that specific bottle. The bottles are disposable, and should be replaced with a new one with the refill. FDA recommends this to prevent cross contamination of residue in the empty bottle.
The equipment needed for this process is very affordable. The pharmacist merely needs to have the recorder which hold the bottle to be recorded in the base and speak into it what he prints on the label. If the patient is Spanish speaking or Swahili speaking, the information can be recorded by someone knowledgeable in that language. The Rex starter kit sells for $55.00 and consists of the recorder base, a mike, a charger and three bottles. A refill kit of three bottles is $18.00 or $132.00 for twenty four bottles.
As of this writing, these are only available in a few pharmacies in the Washington D.C area. However, if any of our readers are interested, you may contact Dr. Edwin Druding at 623.937.1211 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org . There is a small charge for shipping from the factory.
Note: Dr Ikan C. Kleerly will be moderating a panel at the American Council of the Blind in Jacksonville July 9-16 with the Council of Citizens with Low Vision. The topic of the panel is “It ain’t easy being Green”.
Next issue of Fore-Sight will be in July following the National Convention. Please submit materials by July 15th, 2006. E-mail is the preferred format since your editor is not a typist and hunting and pecking takes significantly longer than down-loading from e-mail. Address to email@example.com. Or if you still insist on the old typewriter, send to Dr Edwin Druding, 7628 N 49th Ave, Glendale, AZ 85301-1512. Phone 623.937.1211.