A QUARTERLY PUBLICATION OF:
THE AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND OF MINNESOTA
PO box 19091
MINNEAPOLIS MN 55419
The views expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily the position of the American Council of the Blind of Minnesota. They are the views of the article's author.
Catalina Martinez, Editor
Jason Santana-White, Webmaster
SSB main number (651)-539-2300
ACBM (612)-223-5543 for quick calendar updates and to leave message
Apple support for people with disabilities (877)-204-3930
Microsoft support for people with disabilities (800)-936-5900
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I hope you have had an enjoyable summer filled with lots of activities. If you are looking for something to do, consider volunteering. You will have the opportunity to make new friends and to give back to the community.
United Way offers many opportunities; one of our members volunteers for Little Brothers of the Elderly.
Vision Loss Resources (VLR) provides another opportunity. Some of our members serve as peer counselors or telephone pals, working with newly blinded individuals.
If you knit or crochet, many agencies appreciate handmade hats, scarves, shawls and dishcloths. Food shelves also appreciate dishcloths.
I hope you will consider making a difference through volunteerism.
As I sit in my air conditioned apartment and writing this article, it is currently 89 degrees with a dew point of 73. Yes, it is definitely summer!
I would like to hear from you, the readers of the Minnesota Memo, what you would like to see more of or less of in the Memo. It is your newsletter and I want to make it enjoyable. Please submit articles to me and they don't have to be your own writings. The deadline for the next Memo is October 10, 2018.
Anyone who attended an ACBM event knew Carolyn Coby. Her upbeat personality, her infectious laugh, her willingness to help and her kindness; Carolyn exemplified volunteerism. Weather it was making out a check, helping someone find a seat or lending a hand to find a restroom she was always there to help with a smile in her voice. She served as ACBM board member, treasurer, memo editor and webmaster. For years she tallied up our auction items and was at all the state and national conventions lending her assistance anywhere she was needed. Carolyn was the beloved wife of Jim, wonderful mom to Helena and Nickie and friend to many.
In May 2016 she was diagnosed with cancer and endured many treatments and tests. She remained positive and worried about others until her death on April 9, 2018.
Carolyn was an excellent listener, a tireless advocate and lots of fun to be with.
In memory of Carolyn ACBM will make a donation to the Angels memorial, a plaque will be presented in Rochester NY at the 2019 ACB Conference and Convention and added to the Angels Memorial Wall.
On a personal note I was privileged to work with Carolyn on many projects and we became close friends. Carolyn I'll miss our talks, you saving a seat for me at meetings, and sharing meal and a drink with you. I know you are busy in Heaven seeing friends, family and dogs; you are shining down on all of us sending your love and joy!
I have been involved in several blind sporting activities since 1971. I bowled in leagues which were located in St. Paul, MN from 1971 until 1994, and in Minneapolis, MN from 1994 until the present. Our Minneapolis Blind Bowling League will start on Saturday, September 8th at 9:30 AM at Memory Lanes located at 2520 26th Avenue So. Minneapolis, MN. We will bowl for 28 weeks.
We ask that you just come and bowl and enjoy the sport. You do not need to be experienced at bowling. When I started in 1971, I probably carried a very low average. With handicaps that range from very few numbers to a large number for a low average, the playing field is level. You can always ask people how to bowl and get bowling tips as you go along. You also get to socialize with others, sighted, visually impaired, and totally blind.
Also you can meet people of all ages. Some people bring their spouses and children. In the future, they might become bowlers themselves.
There are at least two tournaments that members of the league can take part in. The Midwest Blind Bowling tournament is held in March. This tournament is held in a different city each year. It has been held every year since the 1950s. This past year the tournament was held in Milwaukee, WI. Next year it will be held in Chicago, IL.
There is a national tournament held usually over the Memorial Day weekend.
This year it was held in Las Vegas, NV, and next year it will be held in Pittsburgh, PA. Both of these tournaments give participants the opportunity to visit other cities and meet new people and make new friends.
As I said earlier, I have bowled for 47 years. It builds confidence in your bowling abilities. Because of this and the fact that I did not use a rail for bowling, I was able to bowl in sighted leagues for a period of time.
Another activity that we in the Twin Cities take part in is Blind Audio Darts, which I have been playing on since 1991. . This simply is throwing darts at the dart board while wearing blindfolds. This started in the late 1980s. We play at different bar/restaurants in the South Minneapolis area.
We have three places where we play. This takes place on Tuesday nights from 6:30 PM until 8:30/9:00 PM. This season starts in mid September and usually lasts until April.
Teams consist of four people: one should be a sighted spotter to tell the others what they hit. The other three can be sighted, partially, and or totally blind. Six games are played, so each person will play three games.
The game we play is called 301.
This sport is played in other cities throughout the country at different levels. There is a tournament played in February in the Twin Cities. Other people come from other parts of the country and enjoy themselves.
The blind recreational beep ball group is in its 15th year and is looking for more players. Beep ball is essentially a modified base ball game with a beeping ball and bases , a sighted pitcher and spotters. We practice at Cretin high school field in St Paul on Friday evenings. It’s a nice way to be outdoors get some exercise and socialize with friends, meet new ones too.
contact coach Dennis Stern for more info. 651-452-5324.
At the end of the year, my service on the Minnesota Braille and Talking Book Library's Advisory Committee will come to 2an end. I have served 2 terms plus finished a term for someone who had to leave the Committee. I will miss going to these meetings and hope this article will motivate someone else in ACBM to apply by contacting Catherine Durivage, the Library's Director, for a direct link to the application. Catherine can be contacted through the normal 800 number which is 800-722-0550.
There are four meetings a year usually held in February, May, August, and November. Each meeting runs from 1 to 2:30 PM, and options for attending by phone are available if a member needs to skip the trip to Roseville and the State Department of Education. A 55 dollar stipend is available whether one attends in person or by phone or Skype. If one turns in receipts or mileage for travel, those expenses can also be reimbursed. The conference room is comfortable, and Catherine provides bottled water.
After approving the minutes for the last meeting, Catherine gives us updates on the Minnesota Talking Book Library and what's happening at the National Library Service or NLS. Staffing is a challenge at the library with a few staff trying to serve the whole state of blind, visually impaired, and others would disabilities preventing them from reading the printed word.
Some years during Library Day in March, Catherine asks whether committee members will talk to their state representatives about funding for staffing, when the environment is right for such advocacy.
After Catherine's updates, lately there has been a topic open for discussion. Examples are the recording program recently restarted inat the MBTBL and the collection. Sometimes a library staff person who covers the topic in detail will accompany Catherine to these meetings. There is also time for bringing concerns and other business to Catherine's attention. As a heavy user of the library, I usually have some feedback and have listened to what the community is saying about services. Probably the thing I've done the least well is reporting back to the community about what's happening at the library in a formal way.
One of the questions often raised by new members is whether there are outreach opportunities. We on the committee have wondered whether there are ways to help other patrons who may struggle with BARD, using their players, etc. There is the rare public event where Catherine asks for volunteers to represent the MBTBL along with her or other staff. But because of confidentiality, it's been difficult to put committee members in touch with other patrons.
I find being on the MBTBL Advisory Committee to be a rewarding experience, because it gives me lots of opportunities to influence what happens at the library through my feedback. It's also nice to learn about upcoming developments and programs both locally and nationally. If you care about the Minnesota Braille and Talking Book Library, this is a great way to get involved in its operations and development.
Our quarterly meeting will be held on Saturday, July 28th at Joseph's Grill 140 S Wabasha in Saint Paul. Social hour is from 11:30 until 12:30 followed by lunch and the ACBM quarterly business meeting. The meeting will conclude by 4:00 PM.
1. Grilled Chicken Sandwich
Grilled Chicken Breast, Swiss Cheese, Bacon and Red Pepper Aioli.
2. Taco Salad
An Edible Tortilla Bowl Packed with Shredded Ice Berg Lettuce, Tomatoes, Red Onions, Shredded Cheddar Cheese, Seasoned Ground Beef, Guacamole, Sour Cream and our Spicy House Salsa.
Agenda items will include:
A presentation by members of the MSP Airport Disabilities Advisory Committee
2018 ACB National Conference and Convention reports
ACBM picnic update
additional items will be added to the agenda at the meeting.
Please e-mail Steve Robertson with your meal choices at
or call him at (612) 223-5543.
We would appreciate hearing from you by Sunday, July 15th.
you can pay for your meal via PayPal at
send your payment to
ACBM Box 19091, Minneapolis, MN 55419
or pay by check or cash at the meeting.
cancellation policy: If you make a reservation and then find you are unable to attend please call Steve by noon on Friday, July 26th. If you cancel after that time you will be responsible for paying for your meal.
We look forward to seeing you.
ACBM calling committee
The American Council of the Blind of Minnesota invites you to their 2018 annual picnic. Come and join us for delicious food, a wonderful auction, stimulating conversation and some great fun!
Where: At the home of Mike and Elaine Vining, 5257 Logan Ave N, Minneapolis, MN
When: Saturday, August 18, 2018
Time: From 11:30 am to 3:30 pm
The meal will be catered by TST Caterers. The meal will consist of hamburgers, hotdogs, potato salad, Cole slaw, baked beans, potato chips, watermelon. Assorted cookies and beverages. Cost for the picnic event is $15. You can pay via PayPal at www.acb.org/minnesota, you can mail a check to ACBM PO Box 19091, Minneapolis, MN 55419 or you can pay at the event. After the wonderful meal, we will have our auction which is always a lot of fun! Please bring items for the auction. They can be baked goods, gift cards, wine, etc. Auction items should be new. Please RSVP to Catalina at 612-227-3011 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than August 10, 2018.
Cancellations: if you need to cancel, please do so by Noon, August 15, 2018 or you will be charged for the meal.
Are you new to Adaptive Cycling or TCAC?
Please follow the steps below:
1. Call for an initial fitting
• Please indicate if you will need a riding partner or sighted “tandem pilot”
• Please let us know at least 1 day in advance if you need a “tandem pilot” or riding partner
2. Attend initial fitting & instruction setting
• Complete paperwork and waiver
• Expect to spend 15 - 45 minutes with an adaptive cycling instructor to select a bike and equipment, and learn about safe bike operation
3. Hit the trails on your adaptive bike!
SUMMER RIDING SCHEDULE
May 1 - October 15
Tuesdays: 1 pm - 7 pm
Thursdays: 1 pm - 7 pm
Saturdays: 10 am - 2 pm
Please contact us to be sure we have a cycle for you.
Adaptive Cycling is located at:
2840 5th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(Intersection of 5th Avenue South and the Greenway.)
This month I want to talk about the Instant Pot. What is it, why I like it, and some ways to use it.
I bought my Instant Pot last September. I purchased the Smart Instant Pot because it is Bluetooth enabled and can be operated from an app on a smart phone.
This makes it totally accessible for me and anyone else that is blind and owns a smart phone.
What is it? Instant Pot Smart is a revolutionary Smart cooker designed by Canadians with the objectives of being Safe, Convenient and Dependable. It is Bluetooth® enabled allowing programming and monitoring from smartphones or tablets. It speeds up cooking by 2~6 times using up to 70% less energy, and, above all, produces nutritious healthy food in a convenient and consistent fashion.
The Instant Pot is mainly an electric pressure cooker and much more. The model I bought, Smart BT 6qt, has seven different functions: Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Porridge Maker, Steamer, Sauté pan, Yogurt Maker, Food Warmer and more. (a newer Bluetooth model is in the making and may already be out now).
It is built with a patent-pending technology which lets you program complex cooking steps in recipe scripts on your smartphone/tablet and execute on the cooker wirelessly. A free iOS and android app can be downloaded from iTunes App Store and Google play. Search for either Instant Pot or Smart Cooker.
I find the Smart Cooker app for iOS to be very easy to use, once I figured out the steps. You don’t have to use any of the preprogrammed scripts. I mostly use the function button called manual, where I can set my own time from recipes I have gathered from YouTube and other places.
Instant Pot generates almost no noise, leaks no steam, traps food aromas, and cooks without heating up the surroundings. The durable 3-ply bottom stainless steel inner pot eliminates the health concerns of non-stick coating.
Why I like it. I love, love, love it! It has made cooking fun again. I used to cook with stovetop pressure cookers and mostly just for dry beans. I did well, but that was on a propane gas stove. When I used them on an electric stovetop, it was harder for me to gage the time after they came to pressure.
The Instant Pot is very easy for me to use and very safe. It has many safety features, so you cannot blow it up or burn yourself. The pressure knob on top has two positions, venting and sealing. You just turn the knob towards the rear of the appliance and this closes the vent so what is inside can come to pressure. When it does a little pin pops up and the lid is locked and cannot be removed while under pressure of any kind. The lid has only one way to go on and it makes a musical sound when you close it and a slightly different one when you open it. The only thing you would have to be aware of is when you do a quick release, instead of a natural one on its own, the steam coming out of the top vent will be hot steam, so you don’t want your hand in the way of that steam stream.
I have used mine for many things: hard boiling eggs in 7 minutes, and they are easy to peel even after being refrigerated, made soups, pasta with the sauce and noodles together, steam the best vegetables, made the best pulled pork, chicken and so much more. Below are a few easy foods I have made in my Instant Pot.
Very important: You always need at least one half to a cup of liquid in your inner pot for it to come to pressure. If you forget, it will let you know on the app and it will start beeping until you take care of it.
Hard Boiled eggs
The stainless steel inner pot, also called an insert or liner, can be removed for easy cleaning. Never put any liquid or food in the pot when you take the insert out. I keep mine in unless I am washing it or cooling off eggs. Sometimes I have taken the insert closer to my filtered water when adding water to it and then putting it back in the main unit.
The Instant Pot comes with a trivet rack which you place in the bottom of the insert. I use this for my eggs when I am cooking them.
Step one, place your trivet in the bottom of the insert pot. Place how many eggs you would like to hard boil. I usually use six, but I have heard of some folks putting many more.
Step two, add one cup of water.
Step three, place the lid on and make sure the pressure knob is set to sealing.
Step four, using your Smart Cooker app you go to the dashboard, then select manual, and then flicking to the duration time double tap and then you will have a picker to select 7 minutes, then flick to done. Then you can review it and it will already be set to high pressure, and then double tap on start.
The countdown, which will be towards the top of your screen, won’t begin until the pot has come to pressure. When it is done, it will beep, and the pot will automatically switch to warm mode, but with eggs you will do a quick release. This is where you carefully turn the pressure knob to venting. You can either do this with a spoon, or a towel over your hand, or just use your index finger on the back-left side of the knob, as you face the front of the appliance. I move my unit out from underneath my wooden cabinets so the steam that comes out, won’t get them wet.
Once the steam is all released, you can take off the lid. I usually have some ice in a bowl or pitcher, and I use the little silicone mits that come with the Instant Pot and take the inner pot out and set it in my sink. I run very cold water in the pot and add the ice. Once the eggs are cold, I take them out and they are perfect. They are easy to peel, even if they are farm fresh. Tip tap the rounded end of the egg first, on a paper towel on the counter, and then gently press and roll, before peeling. This helps the eggs to peel even easier. I put them in my fridge and they can keep up to about six days.
Here is another wonderful meal I made just the other night. I had made some shake ’n bake chicken breast nuggets in my oven the night before. I had some left over, so I made some chicken noodle soup. I love the function sauté. I can set the Instant Pot to sauté, through the app, and add my olive oil to the inner pot after it is hot. I had chopped up three garlic cloves, a medium size shallot, two stocks celery, about five carrots and sautéed them for about three or so minutes stirring them every few seconds or so. I chopped up the left-over chicken and added it to the pot and continued to sauté. I added about two quarts of boxed low sodium chicken broth to the pot. Then I added a bag of egg noodles dry. Yes, you can add the pasta noodles uncooked. I made sure the liquid was over the noodles. I cancelled the sauté mode, put on the lid, and set the pressure knob to sealing. I set the cooking time for six minutes using the manual button and picking the time, and it was already set to high pressure. I selected start and once the soup came to pressure it counted down from six minutes. I let it stay on warm for just a few minutes and then turned the knob to venting. After the steam and pressure were released, I opened it and oh my, it smelled so good.
I gave it a bit of a stir with a spoon. I served it up into bowls and we individually added our salt and pepper. My husband also added a little butter to his. With the little bit of shake ‘n bake spices and the noodles, chicken and vegetables, it was delicious. The next day I added about a cup of water to the left overs and used the Instant Pot to reheat it for about three minutes at high pressure, and it was great. The noodles did not get mushy either.
16 ounces plain yogurt
2 packages vanilla instant pudding
1 20 ounce can crushed pineapple (don’t drain juice)
1 8 ounce Cool Whip
1 pint strawberries (cut - place some in mix and some on top for decoration)
Mix together dry pudding mix and pineapple first. Then fold all the rest of ingredients in. Chill before serving.
I added a cup of blueberries. You can add bananas or any fruit you like.
First of all, I would like to thank Bonny Robertson and Colleen Kitagawa for serving on the ACBM board of directors.
Now, I would like to introduce you to our 2 new ACBM board of directors.
Nancy Schadegg was born in Springfield, OH and currently lives in Richfield, MN. Nancy enjoys singing, water aerobics and walking. Nancy's favorite food is lasagna and likes to eat at Culver's restaurant. She also enjoys a variety of music. Easter is Nancy's favorite holiday because it is the rising of Christ and getting the chance to get together with friends and it's an easy holiday. Nancy wants to serve on the board Basically to be involved, to serve and help with blind issues.
Barb Appleby was born in New Ulm, MN and currently lives in Maplewood, MN with her husband Bill and guide dog Kasa. Barb worked for Xcel Energy for over 30 years and is now happily retired and is more able to enjoy her hobbies of reading, fishing, baseball and traveling. Barb's favorite food is ham and German potato salad. She also enjoys a variety of music except for country music. When I asked Barb if she has a favorite restaurant, she said "no, I just like to eat". Barb's favorite holiday is Christmas because everyone gets together and you get to see family. Barb wishes to serve on the board because she feels she can contribute to things and issues pertaining to the visually impaired.
It was a busy time at the 2018 convention and I learned quite a bit. The hotel was quite large and it took time to get to different events. I attended The election committee and it was a great experience and pretty straight forward. That was one of the most well organized committees I've ever seen.
One of the seminars I went to was about advocacy called boot camp. One important thing I learned was to keep your message clear, straight forward and to the point. Also to have the people or person relate to you so they can get a better understanding of your message.
Over all, it was a fun and informative convention. Thank you to ACBM for allowing me to be a delegate and go to the convention.
I attended general sessions where I learned about many topics. I also attended the membership seminar and the president's meeting. In the membership seminar they had a panel on purpose, mission, and vision. This includes transportation and delivery services.
At the presidents meeting I learned about the new web site, social media and communications.
Many sponsors spoke daily. one of the many sponsors I enjoyed was Amazon.
They spoke about many new products of technology for visually impaired and hearing impaired. One of their new features is you can have packages shipped to lockers.
This year's talking book narrator was Laura Giannarelli. She works for National Library Service for the Blind. She learned to have a passion for narrating by interpreting for her grandmother. Her first play was Sleeping Beauty.
Laura helps train new narrator's..Laura has a passion for narrating because the voice synthesizer does not provide the human touch.
Eric bridges, executive director of ACB, spoke on the redesign of ACB.org.
ACB is now being recognized by news papers, magazines, TV stations, and radio stations.
ACB is working with apple to improve images for the visually impaired.
Sponsorship is up 18 per cent from last year. This was my first time hearing Eric speak.
audio description project aims to bring more meaning and enjoyment to entertainment ,cultural and education experiences. The key is audio description live or narrated. This is to enhance live performances, meeting, events, museums, movies, and educational programs and national parks.
Karen Keninger from NLS states the goal is to bring readers into the NLS program. There has been much progress in the last 6 years. We have partnered with Perkins. Perkins bought the adobe readers for NLS. Only about 10 to 15 percent use the bard web site. The goal for nls will be to go to interface voice commands using digital delivery.
Comcast is committed to up grading there services to the blind and visually impaired. Accessibility has improved, navigation has been made easier and the audio description has improved as well.
Comcast has partner with ACB and NBC to audio describe the Olympics.
ACB awarded 17 scholarships for 2018. The students were also awarded AIRA for 9 months for their outstanding accomplishments.
I toured the Gate Way Arch. The tram lifted us to the top of the arch which was 630 feet.. it was an amazing ride. When we were finished at the arch museum, we boarded a river boat down the Mississippi river.
I also took an amazing tour to the blues museum. we were able to feel instruments and hear about blues artists. We then had a fabulous bbq dinner. We enjoyed a 2hour concert with blues and rock-n-roll music.
I feel very blessed and honored to be a delegate at this convention. I was proud to represent ACB Minnesota.
WOW! What a convention! Over 1,000 people attended this year's convention and it was exciting! There were around 77 vendors in the exhibit hall selling items from coasters to high end electronics.
The Union Station hotel was beautiful and large! Just imagine, the first floor once housed 43 railroad tracks. The hotel staff was very helpful and always there when we would lose our way.
I partook in a mentorship program with the Audio Description Program and I learned quite a bit. The way the program worked is, I was pared, the mentor, with a sighted describer, the mentee, and we discussed how each side worked.
The mentee talked about how they describe and I, the mentor, talked about what was important to me in a audio describe show or movie. It was a great experience and hope to do it again next year.
The elections were held on the last day of convention and the same board of directors and the board of publications were voted in. Now the next year should be interesting. The 5 officers are up and a couple of them can not run again. By the way, the 2019 convention is going to be in Rochester, New York and I'm so looking forward to it.
ACBM events are open to all
The ACBM board will meet on July 16, August 20th, and September 17th. All meetings are held at Currans Restaurant, 4201 Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis, from 6:30 to 8:30.
ACB coffee will be held on August 11th and September 8th. These social gatherings are at the Currans Restaurant, 4201 Nicollet Ave in Minneapolis, from 10:00 to Noon.
The next quarterly meeting of ACBM will be held on Saturday, July 28th, at Joseph's Grill, 140 South Wabasha Street, in St. Paul, from 12:00 Noon to 4:00 P. M.
ACBM Annual Picnic and auction will be held on Saturday, August 18, 2018 at the home of Mike and Elaine Vining, 5257 Logan Ave N, Minneapolis, MN from 11:30 to 3:30 pm
Events of interest
The Minneapolis Blind Bowlers will continue their season on Saturday, September 8th, at Memory Lanes, 2520 26th Avenue South, in Minneapolis. Call Linda at (952)-888-6783 for more information.
The Twin Cities Blind Audio Dart League will continue their season on Tuesday, September 11th. Email Phil Sporer at email@example.com for more information.
The Blind Computer Users meet on the third Saturday of the month from 1:00 to 3:00 P. M. at the Minneapolis Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis. Call Bill Herzog at (612) 408-9415 for more information.
Fellowship of the Blind meets for a meal and religious discussion on the second Saturday of the month from 12:00 to 2:00 P. M. at Faith Lutheran Church, 3430 51st Street East, in Minneapolis. Call Joyce at (612-729-5463 for more information.
The United Blind will next meet on Saturday, October 5, 2018 at Elsie's Restaurant, 720 Marshall St NE, Minneapolis, MN from 10:45am to 2:45pm.
President: Marian Haslerud
(First term ending in 2019) Phone: (612) 206-5883
Vice president: Steve Robertson Minneapolis, MN (Final term ending in 2020) Phone: (612) 819-5222
Secretary: David Tanner Burnsville, MN (First term ending in 2019) Phone: (952) 890-5841
Treasurer: Catalina Martinez Minneapolis, MN (Final term ending in 2020) Phone: (612)-227-3011
Gary Boetcher St. Paul, MN (Final term ending in 2020) Phone: (651)-200-7020
Janet Dickelman Saint Paul, MN (First term ending in 2019) Phone: (651)-428-5059
Barb Appleby Maplewood, MN (First term ending in 2020) Phone: 651-328-0015
Nancy Schadegg, Richfield, MN First term ending in 2020) Phone: (612) 803-0694
Nichoel Schlender Richfield, MN (Final term ending in 2019) Phone: (612) 869-0647
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