Affiliate News

Raisin' Cane in Colorado

On Oct. 15, ACB of Colorado members, friends, downtown employees and city/state officials challenged each other for a seven-block walk down the 16th Street Mall in Denver to support and increase awareness about eye health, accessibility and blindness issues.  Walkers included Debra Johnson (Denver clerk & recorder), Scott Gessler (Colorado's Secretary of State), Dennis Gallagher (city auditor), Mitch Morrisey (district attorney), Chris Nevitt (city council president), and Mary Beth Sussman (councilwoman).  The walk began at Skyline Park at 8 a.m. and ended at the Alliance Center parking lot.  Walkers received canes designed by a local artist, and had the option to walk blindfolded with a sighted guide.  Food was available at the finish line.  The canes were later redistributed to those in need.

Sweet Nothings

ACB Diabetics in Action (ACBDA or DA) is still growing and expanding! Our affiliate is open for new people to join. All that needs to be done is to mail $10 dues to: ACBDA, 139 Altama Connector #188, Brunswick, GA 31525. This will allow you to join our listserv, receive our quarterly magazine, and participate in other events.
The DA is having a contest! We need a logo for our letterhead. Everyone is eligible to participate, including friends and relatives who have drawing talents. It needs to be done in black and white on an 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of paper and sent by e-mail to both Barbara LeMoine at and Sharon Lovering at These lovely ladies from the ACB office have agreed to be our sighted judges. The logo needs to be in the office by Feb. 28, 2013. The winner will be awarded $100, and will be notified by March 15, 2013. Be sure to send your name, address, phone number and e-mail with your drawing. If you have any questions, please call either Pat Wolf at (626) 622-8244 or Dee Clayton at (515) 848-5007.
ACBDA has a monthly board meeting the first Monday of every month, except December. We also have a call that is open to all diabetics. We discuss a variety of diabetic issues. The number to call is (218) 862-1300 and the access code is 744429.  The call starts at 5:30 p.m. PST/8:30 p.m. Eastern. All are welcome.

New Chapter Starting in Illinois

Do you live in southern Illinois?  Do you want to make your voice heard, and have someone to stand up for you in the community?  Come help us form the new southern Illinois chapter of the Illinois Council of the Blind.
On Sept. 29, we had a meeting to see if there would be any interest in getting an Illinois Council of the Blind (ICB) chapter started in this area. The meeting was held at the Haven, located on Crab Orchard Lake. We had a really good time; we ate a great lunch and listened to Tom Jones, a member of the ICB board, tell us just what ICB is all about. We learned that ICB and its parent organization, the American Council of the Blind (ACB), are actively working on a number of issues, including access to prescription drug information for people with visual impairments, pedestrian safety, access to banking services and others.  We would really like to get an ICB chapter up and running here in southern Illinois.  I believe that ICB is just the voice that the blind and visually impaired community of southern Illinois needs.
For more information, contact Jonathan Brayfield by phone at (618) 833-0447, send e-mail to, or write to him at 206 E. Vermont St., Carterville, IL 62918.

Marlaina Lieberg Challenges North Carolina Council

Members of the North Carolina Council of the Blind welcomed ACB secretary Marlaina Lieberg to the 2012 state convention in Greensboro Sept. 28-30.  As the keynote speaker at the Saturday evening banquet, Marlaina discussed "The Power of One" and reminded members of the unique character and talents of each individual.  She challenged them to make a difference in their respective communities.
The convention opened Friday afternoon with a session on low vision followed by a panel discussion, Communication and Advocacy:  Talking to Your Legislator.  Panel participants included a member of the North Carolina legislature, two congressional staff members and a professional lobbyist.  Friday evening featured presentations by staffers from the Governor Morehead School for the Blind, the state's Division of Services for the Blind, the state library for the blind and Industries of the Blind-Greensboro.
Saturday's general session speakers represented North Carolina Radio Reading Services, Greensboro Historical Museum, the North Carolina Lions Foundation, Summit Credit Union, ACB, the Client Assistance Program and the Guilford County Board of Elections.  Members had the opportunity to interact with a touch-screen voting machine used in a number of counties throughout the state.  Scholarships were awarded to four students - Bradley Hinson, UNC Charlotte; Preston Davis III, UNC Pembroke; Shawn Dittmar, Elon University; and Derek Dittmar, Randolph-Macon College.  In keeping with longstanding tradition, two NCCB members were recognized for their service to the council with ACB life memberships - Tamika Polk of Greensboro and Anne Brewer of Graham.

South Dakota Casts New Vision

The South Dakota Association of the Blind (SDAB) held its annual convention at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel in Sioux Falls Sept. 22-23. The theme was "Casting a New Vision." Ardis Bazyn was our keynote and banquet speaker. During the Saturday program, we took a look at our history, what we are doing today, and shared thoughts of the future. Other presentations included a session from a police officer on identity theft, and information from a probation officer who showed us some of the things he works with such as handcuffs, the vest that he wears, and pepper spray. The banquet was followed by our auction. We brought in over $1,000 between the auction and our "jingle jar."
On Sunday morning, Keith Bundy shared some of his experiences from his mission trip to Nicaragua, taking assistive technology to people with disabilities in that country. And during the business meeting, we elected new officers: president, Lerae Olesen; first vice president, Chelle Hart; second vice president, Casey Trowbridge; secretary, Dawn Brush; treasurer, Steve Hart; and two board positions, Dave Miller and Mary Sjerven.