American
Council
of the
Blind
of
Minnesota


October 2001

THE MINNESOTA MEMO

A QUARTERLY PUBLICATION OF THE AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND OF MINNESOTA
P O BOX 7341
MINNEAPOLIS MN 55407

 

The articles and comments stated in this newsletter are not necessarily the position of the American Council of the Blind of Minnesota, but rather are the position and opinion of the article's author.

 

EDITORIAL COMMITTEE

Bert Morlock, Editor
4815 28th Ave. South, #217
Minneapolis, MN. 55417
Phone: (612) 721-9970
E-Mail: morlock@visi.com

Bob Lockwood
3625 Cardinal Road
Minnetonka, MN 55345
Phone: (952) 932-7269
E-Mail: Peggy_Bob@email.msn.com

Dennis Bartlett
3338 38th Ave. S
Minneapolis, MN 55406
Phone: (612) 722-8686

Shirley Bartlett
3338 38th Ave. S
Minneapolis, MN 55406
Phone: (612) 722-8686

 

 

Table of contents

• PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE
• American Council of the Blind of Minnesota Brochure
• October Quarterly Meeting
• It's Time to Get Active!
• Letter from Shelli Nelson
• The Eye-Link Foundation
• Where Were You When
• ACBM Fall Convention
• News Notes
• Tech Talk
• Fundraising
• Proposed ACBM By-Law Changes
• Why Are We So Negative And Argumentative?
• ACBM BOARD OF DIRECTORS

 

 

PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

Another three months of 2001 have come and gone and so much has happened it is difficult to consolidate it into a short message. First of all, I want to thank all the committee members spending their time to arrange all the details in getting our fall statewide convention planned and happening. If by chance you should get this Newsletter before Saturday, October 20th and Sunday, the 21st, you are still welcome to attend. Contact me or any board member for the details. Our contact numbers are at the end of this Newsletter. Remember, also, the Sunday, October 21st meeting is also the quarterly business meeting with By-Laws changes being voted on.

I can't forget to thank Peggy and Bob Lockwood for the fine picnic they hosted for our members. The bees and bugs were few, but the picnickers were plentiful. The auction did well, but, ah, I will let the treasurer divulge that number.

A lot of my personal time has been spent in meetings, telephone calls and reading memos and letters relating to the inclusion of The State Services for the Blind into another department. The following is the product of my time and the time of many other blind and interested people on this project. I hope that, you, the ACBM member will be pleased and support our recommendations.

The American Council of the Blind of Minnesota (ACBM) believes that SSB should be a Division under some Department in State Government. The legislation creating this Division should give SSB as much autonomy as possible, incorporate the principles of informed choice, make it clear that SSB should be philosophically neutral as it relates to advocacy organizations, and provide the blind community with the best services for "ALL" blind consumers.

The above statement summarizes What ACBM suggested at the meeting with the transition team in August 2001. Below are notes from the transition team that also do a good job of summarizing what ACBM is recommending.

The recommendations were as follows:

1. SSB should be a division within the Department of Administration or the new department, utilizing agency administrative resources, with their own Assistant Commissioner. They strongly suggested that Bonnie Elsey remain in this capacity.

2. SSB should not be a stand-alone agency or commission.

3. SSB should remain and be transferred as an intact unit and connected to needed services.

4. Major emphasis should be on jobs as is required by the Federal Government (especially since Minnesota is last in the area of job placement for the blind).

Follow-up questions needing response:

1. How is the federal allocation of disability dollars currently determined?

2. Is it possible to incorporate ACBM principles into legislation creating the new agency?

In closing, the Department of Administration shows the best fit right now, but the new department is a viable option but with still too many questions unanswered due to the many unknowns in the creation of said department. No matter where SSB is moved to, we strongly want the items listed in the first paragraph of this letter to be incorporated.

Walter Waranka, President

 

American Council of the Blind of Minnesota Brochure

ACB-M
PO Box 7341
Minneapolis, MN 55407

What is ACB-M?

• The only democratic consumer organization of the blind and visually impaired of Minnesota.

• An organization where members work together as advocates for improved services for all blind and visually impaired in Minnesota.

• An organization that encourages its members to participate actively in all aspects of community life.

• An organization that educates both members and non-members about issues pertinent to the blind community.

• An organization that provides a forum for both new ideas and social interaction.

In the past few years, ACB-M has

• Sponsored legislation that requires eye care professionals to inform newly blinded clients of available services.

• Worked closely with the Governor's Office to increase consumer access to needed services.

• Lobbied strenuously for more effective transportation services.

Future concerns are

• Helping to establish policy for the installation of audible street-crossing signals.

• Continue working toward making accessible transportation available to all parts of Minnesota.

• Continue to work toward better services for all blind and visually impaired Minnesotans.

ACB-M History

ACB-M began in the early 1970's as the Gofer State blind Association with approximately 60 members. A constitution and bylaws were written at that time. In the early 1980's a formal affiliation was made with the American Council of the Blind, and we became the American Council of the Blind of Minnesota (ACB-M). Our organization is tax exempt and registered with the Office of the Minnesota Attorney General.

We are an organization that looks to the future while recognizing the lessons that the past has taught us. Please join us in making a better future for all the blind in Minnesota.

Do you have questions about ACB-M?

Then call (612) 332-3242.

Go to www.acb.org, under "affiliates" click on "send E-mail to ACB of Minnesota."

Contact us at our P.O. box.

ACB-M
PO Box 7341
Minneapolis, MN 55407

Membership Form

ACB-M dues are $8 a year, which entitles you to receive our quarterly newsletter and the ACB national publication the Braille Forum.

Name
Street
City
Zip code
Phone (home)
Phone (work)
Email address
Check one of the following publication formats

ACB-M Memo  tape  large print  E-mail
Braille Forum  tape  large print  Braille  disk  E-mail

 

October Quarterly Meeting

The quarterly meeting will be held as part of our statewide convention on Sunday, 21 October 2001. Please refer to the convention information given elsewhere in this Memo for details.

 

It's Time to Get Active!
by Rebecca Kragnes

On the evening of Thursday, September 27, 2001, a recommendation was made by the Rehabilitation Council for State Services for the Blind regarding where SSB will reside in state government beginning July first of next year. Two ACB members made it to two out of the three of these meetings, and I attended all of them. We also had help by a fourth member who sat on the Taskforce researching a freestanding agency. Altogether, this is only four people! The National Federation of the blind of Minnesota, on the other hand, had from ten to fifteen people representing their organization at each meeting. The three of us who attended these meetings didn't say a lot. I was probably the most vocal asking two questions during one meeting and one question at another. We need more people to become active in things affecting blind people as a whole and which are outside of our organizational structure. If we don't, here are things which will happen.

NFB will continue to be the only consumer organization in Minnesota who seems to care for and speak for blind citizens. Because of this, Minnesota's blind will be treated as NFB chooses for us to be treated.

Internally, we have the potential to lose members. NFB says that we are a social organization. I'm sad to say that right now, they are 95% right about this claim. As your membership chair, I have worked hard to get new, energetic members for this organization. Unfortunately, I know of several people recruited last year who plan not to join again, because they do not see us making a difference in our communities. I can work hard to get the members, but all of us have to keep the momentum of the organization running in order to encourage them to stay.

I know the excuses.

1. We've been told that public officials hate blind people because of the way NFB has conducted themselves. Why do we want to alienate them even more? My response is that although I don't care for the way they act, ACB-M is too quiet and has little voice or backbone. We need to develop them both. We need to be assertive and calm in asking for what we want (rather than either bashing the other organization or not saying anything at all). Perhaps if we conduct ourselves differently, legislators will come not to dread visits with the blind constituents who show up at their doors.

2. We work and have other activities outside of ACB. Our lives and identity are not tied up in ACB the way that many Federationists' lives seem to be in NFB. Besides, we don't want to be as dogmatic as they are. I am not saying that we have to put everything else aside, but if we truly care about representing ourselves and helping other blind Minnesotans, each of us must take an active part in this process. We don't have to become like them in order to become more active.

3. NFB is so intimidating! I don't want to call attention to myself and be ridiculed by them as I have seen others ridiculed. This is my favorite excuse not to do something. I remember feeling self conscious about finding someone to help me find a place to relieve my dog. I've had my dog called "live stock" by NFB sympathizers, and I didn't want it to happen again. All I can say is that I'm trying to get more brave. I must note here that at one of the three recent SSB meetings, I was chastised by Federation members who said that one particular question about consumer choice in a freestanding agency was "inappropriate". It was hard to be embarrassed in front of an entire room, but I got through it. I had to remind myself over and over again that what they say means absolutely nothing and is just their opinion. Besides, if more people did things, we could support each other and make it through the ridiculing together.

4. We are an organization full of older people who have worked hard all of their lives and who have health problems. Now it's the younger people's turn. My response to this is that if you have time for church activities, bowling and or the community center at VLR (very worthy things), you can make time to attend meetings as well. Although I have been working very hard to get younger members, it's not going to happen right away.

5. These things don't affect us, so we don't care. We would rather keep things the way they are. If you think some of this doesn't affect you or won't in the future, your head is in the sand. If this is a prevalent excuse, then I can tell you we will definitely lose members.

6. Let the leadership do it, because that's why a board is elected. I agree that our board could be doing more outside of attending monthly board meetings, but we can't do it all! One of our most vigilant activists (who is not on the board) is getting burned out, and I can see signs that others are soon to follow.

Here is how I can see improving things. I think we need to have names and numbers the legislative committee can call and count on to write or call their legislators, see them in person, and/or attend important meetings involving blindness issues. If we get enough people, the burden will not be so heavy. Like these special SSB meetings, things come up quickly and many times can't wait until the next quarterly meeting or Memo. Perhaps a phone CHAIN could be set up especially for this purpose. Public officials need to know that not all of us are like Federationists in how we feel, act and think. The only way to get the message across is to get more people involved in the process.

As we move to a new Department, SSB is entering a critical time. I have a couple of suggestions for ways we can help mold State Services for the blind in directions we find favorable. I encourage people to volunteer to sit on a committee or a taskforce for State Services for the blind. This gives ACB a voice and people on these committees can be a source of information for our organization. Consider applying for the rehabilitation council. Right now we have no ACB representation at all, and there are five or six NFB members on the council. Speaking of the Council, how did that vote turn out anyway? I hope you will find out and get involved.

 

Letter from Shelli Nelson

I write this note to you not only as a blind person in the state of Minnesota but also a state rehab council member in her 2nd term and the Vice President of VLR in my 2nd term. Why do I think it is important to mention these credentials? Because I want people to know that I am involved with issues surrounding blind people in a number of different levels. While I am happy to serve, feel that I make a difference and am motivated by recent changes in the administration at SSB, it does become harder and harder for me to fight the fight. Why? Because for years and years I've been told that the masses of people who are blind in Minnesota do not think like the NFB. That most people are unhappy with the way SSB was run during the Davis administration. I've heard over and over again that we, the non-NFB compassionates, wanted more choice, less fear, more freedom to do, think, be whomever we felt right for us. So, I threw my hat into the arena to fight for what I knew was the truth. But ever since the rally began to really, really alter SSB and the choice issue and all of the points we knew were not right over there, I've seen less then a handful of people in the blind community come forward to help.

The people who put their heads out and stood there and took what the NFB could dish out were, in total, about 4 or 5 people including myself. Since the changes were made, that is, Dick Davis was forced to resign his post as a result of our commitment to truth and exposing his evil ways, this core group of about 4 or 5 people have been saying, "okay, we need more support and help". But no one comes. No one comes.

Now, I look at the fact that there are over 70 thousand blind folks in the state. Of these 300 or so are NFB. So, I wonder, where the hell are all the rest of you? All of the people who have fretted and bitched about the unfairness at SSB, who wanted real changes, where are you? We keep saying to the legislatures, "No, the NFB is not the biggest voice of blind people". But guess who shows up in masses at council meetings and legislative sessions? The NFB. And speaking of the legislature, Tom Lijewski and I went door-to-door last spring meeting with key people at the state office building. If you are wondering what your welcome would be from these legislatures, give it a try. We were welcomed with open arms and consistently the message too the two of us was, "well, it is great to see that there are some normal blind people around".

Again, I am speaking as a councilperson, as well as someone deeply involved with VLR. I see the same few people at every single important meeting. Please, if you really give a damn, then do something.

Do you need to do every single thing like the few of us who started this ball rolling are doing? No. But every ounce of help towards our side is more power on our side. I will say this, unless more people are involved with being seen, speaking up, denouncing policies that the NFB supports (if we do disagree), then the tide will turn back to the NFB. Why? Because they are right? No, because they are the only show in town.

I cannot continuously go to the legislature and say, "well, I know you've heard from 300 blind people of the NFB, but the masses really want something different" unless I have voices and faces to support that notion. So, thanks for listening to me. I wanted to stand in support of Becky Kragnes and her comments in her recent E-mail. If you want to know what to do, call me, write me, call Becky, call Tom Lijewski, talk with Walter Waranka. The time to be involved is now because the NFB is so out of favor with the state.

Peace,
Shelli Nelson

 

The Eye-Link Foundation

J. H. Justesen
6800 Willow Lane
Minneapolis, MN 55430

The Eye-Link Foundation provides Grants to Blind and Visually impaired residents of Minnesota for assistive technology and/or associated training.

The Eye-Link Board reviews and makes decisions on Grant applications on a quarterly basis. Their decisions are final. Applicants will be notified of their status within two business days following Board review. Grants will be sent to authorized vendors after being invoiced.

Applications are available in Braille by calling the Foundation, 763-561-6967, or by visiting our WEB site at www.eyelink.org. You must be on file, either as active or inactive, with State Services for the Blind (SSB). You must have been turned down by SSB for the technology or training for which you are applying.

 

Where Were You When
By Mike Vining

I am writing this on Friday Sept. 14th the year of our Lord is 2001. After the terrible tragedy of the bombing of the Pentagon and World Trade Center, that befell us, in the last few days, I ask this question. "Where were you when you heard about-----?" I was at work. I walked past the lounge area, on my way to the bathroom/men's room, when I saw a group of coworkers gathered around the big screen TV. I heard someone on the TV mention that someone was coming out of the building. I came back, asked what's happening, and I was told.

All through the next two to three days, I kept hearing that this was one of the times that people would ask this question. This brought me to a thought that for many of us the where were you when question would mean something different than to someone else. Many of you older folks will probably remember hearing about the great depression or, more than likely, Pearl Harbor. My mother could tell us where she was when she heard the news that started WWII.

For me and all of us baby boomers, the first time I dealt with this question was probably in October of 1962, when President Kennedy announced the blockade of Cuba. It was a frightening time. We were not sure if we would be going to war/nuclear war, or what. The next time was in November 22nd, 1963, when Kennedy was assassinated. A very sad time. Our parents and grandparents were able to equate this event with FDR's passing in 1945.

With the Kennedy assassination, I heard about that, while in study hall at St. Paul Central High School. We went to our next class, World History. It was a class taught in an auditorium. The teacher M. L. Johnson was speaking on the Roman Empire and how it fell. It could have been an interesting speech, however, the news came over the PA system that Kennedy had died. The instructor could not continue. Students just talked among themselves. In another class, the teacher asked the students about Presidential succession.

I could put you all to sleep mentioning all the supposed "where were you when" events in history that I have seen. The interesting thing about this is that many other events happen at the same time. When Martin Luther King was gunned down, in 1968, it happened a week before Spring/Easter break. I was attending The College of St. Thomas. We did not know what a leader he was, and what an impression King's life would make on us. A few months later, when Bobby Kennedy was tragically killed while running for the Presidency, I remembered that it was a hot spring week in the Twin Cities. There seemed to be nothing much to do but watch TV. That was a waste of time. It was all news.

There were some happy times with this same question. The various space launches, from the first Allen Shepherd space ride to the landing of men on the moon, in July of 1969. That was a summer family trip out west. We were staying in Rapid City SD that night. I was kind of awake, watching, and listening to what was going on. My family, being NBC TV loyalists, were watching Huntley and Brinkley reporting. So, I did not hear the famous reporting of Walter Cronkeit, excuse spelling of Walter's last name. Remember, I cannot see the print very well. The next day, we heard the lift off from the moon, as we were driving across Wyoming. We were on our way to Yellowstone Park, and then up to Montana to visit relatives and an impromptu family reunion. I believe, we even heard the splashdown while driving from Billings to White Fish MT near Glacier Park. To me, the scary thing about that lift off, was, what if the rocket did not work. The astronauts would be stranded on the moon. In reality, everything worked fine the one giant step phrase became part of American Lore.

There were many other events that would bring this same question of where were you when, in the next 30 some years, up to now. Who knows what our children, or grand children will remember, or have to look back on. Will they be happy enjoyable, or frightening events? Only time will tell.

 

ACBM Fall Convention
By The Convention Committee

ACBM will hold a State Convention on Saturday and Sunday, October 20 and 21, 2001. The Convention will be held at the Millennium Hotel, 1313 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN. The theme for the Convention is: Advocacy, Commitment, and Betterment. Our guest speaker will be Paul Edwards, of ACB National. The program includes the following:

• Saturday morning trip to Closing the Gap.
• Saturday afternoon panel discussions.
• Saturday evening cash bar and entertainment.
• Sunday morning quarterly business meeting.
• Sunday morning topical discussion.
• Sunday noon luncheon and awards presentation.

The cost for the convention is $50 per person. If you want to attend only the Saturday events, the cost is $25 per person. If you want to attend only the Sunday events, the cost is $35 per person. For those who wish to attend but are limited financially, please contact any board member, since some scholarship money is available.

 

News Notes
By Mike Vining

Well this is a very short news notes. I am writing this article on Friday evening Sept. 14th, just three days after the shameful attack against our nation by terrorists against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Even though New York City and Washington DC are very far away from us in distance, we all know and are familiar with these buildings. These attacks will affect us in Minnesota. From air travel, to moneys used to fight for our freedom, to friends and relatives who may have to fight for those freedoms, that we hold dear. By the time you read this, we may know more of what will be expected of us, with heightened security etc.

Bowling

The Minneapolis Blind Bowling league is always looking for new members. If you would like to bowl, or know someone who does, have them get in touch with me. My phone number is in the memo.

Audio Dart league

On Tuesday Evenings, we play Audio Darts. If you are interested, here too, we are looking for more people. Check out the Twin City Blind Audio Dart league's web site.

Bowling winnings

ACBM was represented in winnings at the American Blind Bowling Tournament in St. Louis over the Memorial Day weekend. Michael Vining won money in the doubles event for partial sighted bowlers. Gar Giddings won in singles for the totally blind classification. Gar and Nancy Giddings won money in the team event. Elaine Vining won a trophy and medal in singles scratch with a 557. Congratulations to all winners. Elaine has been in four tournaments this year and has won something in each of them. Should we stick her as a pro?

 

Tech Talk
By Dennis Bartlett

Once again it's time for Closing the Gap, the annual conference held in Bloomington. As usual all the major manufacturers will be here to show us all their latest developments in software and hardware. There is a little bit of a new twist this year in the fact that at least one of the manufacturers isn't going to be here which gives me the chance to run their booth for them. I am looking forward to it.

As far as new developments go, probably the most exciting is the fact that Michael May of Sendero group, the makers of GPS-Talk has joined forces with HumanWare as the director of business development. One of the first products of this new relationship will be GPS-Talk for the BrailleNote family of products. I see this as a great step for us because it will give us the ability to have a GPS system on a small note taker. Those of us who have used the system in its current form know how awkward it can be to carry a laptop computer with all of the wiring and receiver needed for GPS-talk.

Freedom Scientific has released their next version of JAWS. This version has some great new added features. The most notable of these features is the new frame viewer and the prompt creator. Without getting too technical and boring you with that kind of stuff these new features add the flexibility to make some applications more speech friendly without having to write complex scripts.

Ferguson Enterprises is about to release the professional version of ScanACan for Windows. This version is geared toward the Business Enterprise vendors and has some exciting new features. Stay tuned for more on this outstanding product.

If you would like a product featured in this section please let me Know and I'll do the research and put it together. You may contact me at (612) 722-8686 or send email to info@speechbraille.com. I am looking forward to your suggestions.

 

Fundraising

We have had another great success at our annual picnic and auction. As Wally mentioned earlier, we managed to keep the bugs and the rain away while getting wonderful prices for everything on our auction table. The auction (and member donations) netted us a tidy sum of $800. Since our members donated all of the material for the picnic, we gained an additional $455.50. That totals to a profit of $1255.50 for a fun afternoon.

Many thanks to our auctioneer Karl Kuhl for providing the entertainment and getting us such a nice profit!

 

Proposed ACBM By-Law Changes

The ACBM Board of Directors has identified the following proposed changes to the ACBM By-Laws. These proposed changes will be voted on at the ACBM State Convention in October.

ARTICLE 3: MEMBERS

SECTION 2

Current wording:
Membership shall be open to all visually handicapped persons and to their sighted friends who are interested in the purposes and programs of this Council.

Proposed Wording:
Membership shall be open to all visually impaired persons and to their sighted friends who are interested in the purposes and programs of this Council.

ARTICLE 4: MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS

SECTION 2

Current Wording:
Officers and Directors shall be elected during the second quarterly meeting of each calendar year. The Board of Directors shall, between May 1 and June 30 of each calendar year, designate a date for the annual convention of the membership, if applicable.

Proposed Wording:
Officers and Directors shall be elected during the second quarterly meeting (April) of each calendar year. The Board of Directors shall, between May 1 and June 30 of each calendar year, designate a date for the annual convention of the membership, if applicable.

ARTICLE 5: OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS

SECTION 1

Current Wording:
The American Council of the Blind of Minnesota shall have the following officers: President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer and shall have five (5) directors, the nine (9) of whom shall constitute the Board of Directors. These Officers and Directors shall be elected at the quarterly meeting in April for terms of two (2) years. The President, Treasurer and three (3) Directors shall be elected in odd number years, and the Vice-President, Secretary and two (2) Directors shall be elected in even number years.

Election shall be by a simple majority vote of those present and voting, and no Officer or Director shall serve more than two (2) consecutive two (2) year terms in the same office. The outgoing President may remain on the Board of Directors for one (1) year with the right to participate in discussion but without the right to vote. The membership may also elect one or more special advisors with designated duties. Any advisor so elected shall serve for a one (1) year term and shall be an ex officio member of the Board of Directors with the right to participate in discussion but without the right to vote.

Proposed Wording:
The American Council of the Blind of Minnesota shall have the following officers: President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer and shall have five (5) directors, the nine (9) of whom shall constitute the Board of Directors. These Officers and Directors shall be elected at the quarterly meeting per ARTICLE 4, SECTION 2, for terms of two (2) years. The President, Treasurer and three (3) Directors shall be elected in odd number years, and the Vice-President, Secretary and two (2) Directors shall be elected in even number years.

Election shall be by a simple majority vote of those present and voting, and no Officer or Director shall serve more than two (2) consecutive two (2) year terms in the same office. The outgoing President may remain on the Board of Directors for one (1) year with the right to participate in discussion but without the right to vote.

The membership may also elect one or more special advisors with designated duties. Any advisor so elected shall serve for a one (1) year term and shall be an ex officio member of the Board of Directors with the right to participate in discussion but without the right to vote.

ARTICLE 5: OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS

SECTION 2

Current Wording:
Prior to each election, the Board of Directors shall appoint a nominating committee of three (3) members, not more than one (1) of whom shall be a member of the Board of Directors. This nominating committee shall submit a list of nominees for each office and directorship to the Secretary in time to send a list of such nominees to each member with the notice of the quarterly meeting in April.

Proposed Wording:
Prior to each election, the Board of Directors shall appoint a nominating committee of three (3) members, not more than one (1) of whom shall be a member of the Board of Directors. This nominating committee shall submit a list of nominees for each office and directorship to the Secretary in time to send a list of such nominees to each member with the notice of the quarterly meeting during which elections will be held (reference ARTICLE 4, SECTION 2).

ARTICLE 5: OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS

SECTION 4

Current Wording:
The Board of Directors shall be charged with the responsibility to:

A. Carrying out the policies and programs adopted by the membership in meetings assembled.
B. Formulating policies and programs as needed in order to conduct business that may arise between meetings.
C. Facilitate The efficient functioning of all Officers and committee chair persons.
D. The planning of all regular meetings and all special meetings which may be called.
E. Managing all business affairs of the Council.

Proposed Wording:
The Board of Directors shall be charged with the responsibility to:

A. Carry out the policies and programs adopted by the membership in meetings assembled.
B. Formulate policies and programs as needed in order to conduct business that may arise between meetings.
C. Facilitate the efficient functioning of all Officers and committee chair persons.
D. Plan all regular meetings and all special meetings which may be called.
E. Manage all business affairs of the Council.

ARTICLE 5: OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS

SECTION 12

Current Wording:
At the end of each year, and before the quarterly meeting in January, the Board of Directors shall provide for auditing of the Treasurer's books by a disinterested person or persons.

Proposed Wording:
At the end of each calendar year, and before the first quarterly meeting in the next calendar year, the Board of Directors shall provide for auditing of the Treasurer's books by a disinterested person or persons.

ARTICLE 5: OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS

SECTION 14

Current Wording:
The American Council of the Blind of Minnesota shall have the following standing committees: Membership Committee, Legislative Committee and Projects Committee. Other committees may be appointed when and as the need arises. The chair person of a committee shall be appointed by the President for one (1) two (2) year term and shall select at least two (2) persons from the members to serve on the committee, and one (1) of them shall be a member of the Board of Directors.

Proposed Wording:
The American Council of the Blind of Minnesota shall have the following standing committees: Membership Committee, Legislative Committee, Appropriations Committee, and Projects Committee. Other committees may be appointed when and as the need arises. The chair person of a committee shall be appointed by the President for one (1) two (2) year term and shall select at least two (2) persons from the members to serve on the committee, and one (1) of them shall be a member of the Board of Directors.

 

Why Are We So Negative And Argumentative?
By Wally Waranka

I have seen so many examples of individuals out there today that have anger as their main characteristic! They are so negative about everything. They have a great fear that someone or some group is trying to take over everything — the great conspiracy theory.

We are the only ones who know about what is good for our group and if you haven't been a part of it you have no knowledge about it. Do things get tough for us? Of course they do! Is it easy? At times, no! But, does this mean we need to be so negative to other people including ourselves?

I do get tired at times having to always answer questions and feeling that I have to continue to prove myself, but it all has to do with the fact that not many people know about the world of being blind. So why do we spend so much time polarizing ourselves with each other? Why don't we work on educating the rest of the world? That is what I believe will better things.

No one person knows what is best for the blind. We are all individuals and do things differently and learn things differently and should be able to decide what we need and want and how we can achieve it. We just need to know all that is out there and available for us.

I am a person who happens to be blind. It is who I am. I want to see the day when I can go out and not be stared at or dealt with like I have some kind of disease that you can catch. But, while we work towards this goal can we please just lighten up and a laugh a little? The animosity and bickering only works to divide and slow down the progress of us all. We do have different ways to look at issues and concerns but it is all up to the individual to decide what they feel and believe.

I do look forward to the day when people won't say to me, "It must be frightening to be blind!"

These are just my personal thoughts and they do not reflect on anyone else or the philosophy of ACB.

 

ACBM BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Walter Waranka, President
26 10th Street West #1003
St. Paul, MN 55102
Phone: (651) 293-1299

Michael Vining, Vice-President
5257 Logan Ave. N
Minneapolis, MN 55430
Phone: (612) 522-7678

Marion Haslerud, Secretary
232 W. Franklin #205
Minneapolis, MN. 55404
Phone: (612) 870-8761

Bob Lockwood, Treasurer
3625 Cardinal Rd
Minnetonka, MN 55345
Phone: (952) 932-7269

Stephanie Hall, Director
433 7th St. S. #2227
Minneapolis, MN 55415-1645
Phone: (612) 332-7837

Becky Kragnes, Director
3515 Pleasant Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55408
Phone: (612) 827-2132

Juliet Silvers, Director
3244 Colfax Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN. 55408
Phone: (612) 824-2131

Nicole MykKanen, Director
732 NE Polk St. #10
Minneapolis, MN 55413
Phone: (612) 623-0594

Barbara Bangsund, Director
24 105th Lane NW
Coon Rapids, MN 55448
Phone: (763) 757-8951


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