Thank you to the American Council of the Blind -



Fall 2003

  • President's Message
  • Vision Rehabilitation and Technology Expo
  • Modern Day Fairy Tale
  • SRP Offers Large-Print Bill
  • Arizona Council contact information.

    From the President's Desk
    by Kevin Chinn

    With fall here and the knowledge that cooler weather is approaching, we can gear up to look at some things that will happen in this next quarter. For instance, our state legislators will soon be flocking back from their daily jobs and daily routines to begin another session of the Arizona legislation.

    Again this year, Arizona will be joining states with large deficits. Last year we heard estimates of our fine state being around one billion in the red. Once again in this legislative session we will need to watch the senate and house in the way they will handle the budget. Last year there was a request to revise funding for certain programs. Some programs that help the disabled population of Arizona were reduced and some cut. One item they looked into changing last year was the independent living funding. This, thank goodness, was not changed partly due to a 1 to 9 ratio for input, meaning each single dollar Arizona puts in, the federal government and community partners match with nine dollars. It was mostly due to advocating efforts of people just like you. This could be only one area that may be affected again by cutbacks in budget items this year. We realize as a community of blind and visually impaired individuals that our representatives have a job to do, but historically have a tendency to want to cut funding for programs that directly affect the disabled communities, including the blind and visually impaired.

    The Arizona Council of the Blind is requesting that our members get ready to contact their legislators to assist in advocating for the blind and visually impaired people that may be affected by any upcoming budget cuts. We can do this in many ways, such as; knowing who our state senators and representatives are, be ready when asked to write, E mail or call them. If that is not something you prefer, possibly you could help to recruit friends or family to assist us in that task. We believe it is always beneficial to contact your government officials either by a visit, a letter or phone call just to introduce yourself and let them know of any concerns you have in your community.

    Another way you can participate is to recruit friends, family members and other blind and visually impaired acquaintances to join the Arizona Council of the Blind. AzCB membership applications can be found online at the AzCB web site or by calling our voice mail at 602-273-1510. Please leave a message requesting a membership application with a phone number so we can return your call. This helps support our programs and when advocacy is necessary we have a larger and more powerful voice.

    Vision Rehabilitation and Technology Expo

    VRATE Conference will be November 7th which is a Friday. This has no admission charge for the public, which makes it even more enjoyable. This has been an annual event where services, information & technology that is of interest to the blind and visually impaired community is highlighted. There will be everything from Guide Dogs to computers and computer products available for inspection. The venders are always happy to answer questions on their services and products. The AzCB will be present at VRATE. It is from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Friday, November 7, 2003 at the Phoenix Civic Plaza, Exhibit Hall E, 111 N. 3rd Street. For more information call Leisa Friedman at 480.924.8755. This would be a very enjoyable way to spend a morning and/or afternoon. So, we'll be expecting to see you there. Stop by the council table and say Hi.

    Modern Day Fairy Tale

    Long, long ago in a village far, far away (well Brooklyn in 1954) lived two beautiful maidens, Lady Ann and Lady Janet. There also was a dashing young knight, Sir Frank. They were all a part of the staff of the Castle known then as Industrial Home for the Blind. Later the word "Industrial" was replaced with "Helen Keller." Although dragon slaying was banned because of the animal rights folks, blind folks were still expected to live out their life in a separate place. Sir Frank was the protector of the castle, including the fair maidens. As time passed, Sir Frank took Lady Ann.

    as his wife and headed out into the wilderness called Arizona with her. He joined the State Services for the Blind Castle and helped build the Center for the Blind Castle.

    As time went on, Sir Frank and Lady Ann had a baby, Lady Robin. Also, a wicked sorcerer gradually took away Sir Frank's eyesight and Lady Ann and Lady Robin became his eyes. Lady Robin at a very early age read material to Sir Frank including the preparation for his Doctorate. Lady Ann continued to drive his iron horse wherever he needed; to work, to meetings with the Lions. Yes, he befriended the Lions and they are still his devoted allies.

    The wicked sorcerer was not satisfied with taking Sir Frank's eyes, he then struck Lady Ann with a horrible plague that rendered her helpless. This meant that Sir Frank would have to be the caregiver for Lady Ann.

    Later, the gods intervened and took Lady Ann to the Heavens, leaving Sir Frank to survive on his own. He did for several years, drawing from his pouch of tricks he had used with other blind folks through the years.

    Meanwhile, back at the Castle in Brooklyn, Lady Janet became the Head of the Castle occasionally calling Sir Frank and Lady Ann to report happenings in her village. Then, after 33 years, she decided to ride her iron horse to the wilderness of Tucson to live out her days.

    Sir Frank and Lady Janet are to be wed on November 1. He will spirit her off to their new castle in Tucson where they will live happily ever after. They again will join in with their Lions and establish contacts with blind folks thus completing the cycle that started in that village far, far away.

    (The characters in this story are real. Lady Ann is the late Mrs. Frank Kells. Lady Janet is Janet Knebel. The hero, Sir Frank is our resident historian and board member, Dr. Frank Kells.)

    By Dr. Frank Kells

    You are not going to believe this, but I swear that it is true. The first time that I learned that I was "blind" was when I read it for myself in a newspaper! I laughed out loud-How could I be blind when I was reading the printed page? Well, you all know about the initial confusion with the term "legally blind" so I won't go into that.

    The way it happened was this: AS a high school music director in Floral Park, NY in the early '50's, I was having some visual difficulties. I went for help at the large agency serving my area known as Helen Keller Services for the Blind in Brooklyn. They gave me a complete eye exam, and then learning I was a music teacher, asked if I could set to music a poem written by Robert Smithdas, who was then famous as only the second totally deaf-blind person to earn a Master's Degree. To make a long story short, I wrote the music and shortly thereafter was reading the latest issue of Helen Keller Services for the Blind newsletter called "The Reporter". There was a big article about a new anthem, with words by a deaf-blind poet, Robert Smithdas and music by blind composer Frank Kells.

    I kid you not-that's exactly how it happened.

    And if you think that's weird, my next column will tell how I went "blind" twice before arriving at my present stage of complete optical deprivation! (Or would you prefer "ultimate ocular disadvantage"?)


    If someone steals your purse, you call 911. But who do you call if someone steals your PERSON?

    A corporate attorney sent the following out to the employees. You might use them also. * The next time you order checks, have only your initials (instead of your first name) and last name put on them. If someone takes you checkbook they will not know how you sign your checks.

    When you write a check to pay on a credit card account on the "For" line put ONLY the last 4 numbers of the account. The card company knows all the rest of the numbers. Anyone who is handling the processing of the will not have access.

    Put your work phone number on the check instead of your home. You can add it if asked.

    NEVER put you SS# on the check. You can add it if necessary, but anyone can have a world of information if it is printed.

    Place the contents of your wallet on a copy machine and copy both sides of each card. You will know the phone numbers of companies to call to cancel the cards.

    Keep the photocopy in a safe place. I also keep a copy of my passport when I travel

    We've all heard horror stories about fraud that is committed on us in stealing our name, address, social security number, credit cards etc. Unfortunately, I as an attorney have firsthand knowledge because my wallet was stolen last month. Within a week, the thief ordered an expensive monthly cell phone package, applied for a Visa credit card, had a credit line approved to buy a Gateway computer, received a pin number from DMV to change my driving record information on line and more.

    But here is some critical information to limit the damage in case this happens to you or someone you know:
    * We have been told to cancel our credit cards immediately. But having that toll free number handy so you know whom to call.
    * File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where it was stolen. This proves that you were diligent and aids in the investigation.
    * Call the 3 credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and social security number.

    My bank advised me of this because an application for credit was made on the internet in my name. The alert means that any company that checks your credit knows that your information was stolen and they have to contact you by phone. By the time I was advised of this alert, 2 weeks after the theft, all the damage had been done and it was too late. Since then, the wallet was thrown away snd someone turned it in.

    Here are the important numbers:
    Equifax=3D 1-800-525-6285
    Experian (formerly TRW)=3D
    TransUnion=3D 1-800-680-7389=20
    Social Security Administration


    JMF Computer Giveaway Application

    Do you have a disability? Are you in need of a free computer? The Jim Mullen Foundation is proud to provide free computers for people who have a disability.

    We specialize in providing computers for anybody especially for those indiv-iduals who think that they are unable to use one.

    Just click on the link below and print our official Computer Give-a-way Application. Tell us who you are. Tell us the nature of your disability (along with verification from your doctor), and we will provide you with a free computer, and we will attempt to provide you with the necessary adap-tive hardware and software so that you will be most productive with your new computer.

    The Application:

    The Jim Mullen Foundation
    350 West Ontario Suite 4E
    Chicago, IL 60610-4040
    (312) 440-4251
    (312) 440-4253 Fax

    If you wish to take advantage of this please let me know what you find out. A0 Any action you take is at your own risk.

    by Bob Williams

    Thanks to the generous spirit of our hard-working editor Dr. Edwin Druding, a couple of worthy news bits left over from the summer edition of our newsletter are included this time around. First, the week of April 15 through 19, 2003, was proclaimed by Governor Janet Napolitano as "Arizona chapter of PVA was founded in 1966 with the mission to provide a variety of programs and opportunities to meet the needs of its members. During Recognition Week outgoing ACB President Dan Martinez and I were privileged to attend the Arizona chapter's 26th annual recognition banquet held at the Crescent Hotel in Phoenix.

    The banquet was a moving experience of fellowship and fun tempered with a very serious message by Arizona State Representative Wally Straughen. His closing comments were quite similar to comments by Susan Garrard representing Governor Napolitano at our own ACB state convention a few weeks later in May. Representative Straughen challenged all in attendance to "..Get involved. Let the Governor and the legislature know just what it is that you need. The only way they are going to understand that is by you calling, you sending cards, you sending E-mails and you letting us know what real life experiences are like." Included among the paralyzed veterans at our table was a Viet Nam era veteran all the way from the Navajo reservation accompanied by his devoted wife. I was pleasantly surprised to run into a former member of our own governing board at the banquet in the person of Leona Cree. Leona is now doing volunteer work with

    Arizona PVA since her relocation to the valley from several years of living in Las Vegas.

    Thanks, Dan, for inviting me to go along with you and share in a most refreshing experience in fellowshipping and inter-organizational networking.

    Finally, best wishes and goodby to Conrad Chipman. For more years than I can recall, Conrad has served some 300 or so blind and visually impaired Arizona as Christian Record Service 's Arizona representative. The Lincoln, Nebraska based

    organization publishes two magazines on cassette monthly plus a variety of books through its lending library. I was somewhat surprised to learn recently that my own membership with CRS dates back to 1979. I suspect that many members of AZCB can also make a similar claim. We all will miss Conrad's periodic phone calls and home visits. The new CRS representatives is Mr. Kevin Congo of Tempe. Kevin can be reached at 480-664-0848.

    SRP Offers Large-Print Bill

    As a service to low vision customers, SRP offers a large-print electric bill. SRP customers may request their bills in the large-print format by calling (602) 236-8888, or (602) 236-1111 for assistance in Spanish. You also may request a large-print bill by sending an e-mail to or by writing to:
    SRP Research & Communication Services
    PAB 363
    PO Box 52025
    Phoenix AZ 85072-2025.

    Fore~Sight Newsletter
    Mail articles to Fore~Sight Editor,
    7628 N 49 Av, Glendale, AZ 85301-1512 or

    Arizona Council of the Blind, Inc.
    3124 E. Roosevelt
    Phoenix, AZ 85008
    Phone: (602) 273-1510
    Web Site:

    Send mail to Web Master
    >Return to AzCB Page.