[Nfbmo] Blind Missourian for April 2013, attached in the body of this message

Gary Wunder gwunder at earthlink.net
Thu Apr 11 14:54:28 UTC 2013


Description: Missouri Blank Outline MapThe Blind Missourian


April 2013






















National Federation of the Blind

   Of Missouri


   "Striving to achieve Equality, Opportunity, and Security for the Blind"










Table of Contents


BELL by Dacia Luck

Jefferson City Seminar by Dacia Luck

2013 Washington Seminar by Dan Flasar

Golfing With the Angels by Gene Coulter
8    Bryan Schulz by Carol Coulter

Barbershopping as a Blind Guy by Jim Moynihan                        11

Springfield by Erin Magoon












By Dacia Luck

This article is about the Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning
(BELL) program that will be held in St. Louis this summer from June 17-28.
The program is for children ages 4-12 and will be held daily for two weeks.

What is the BELL program?  The NFB BELL Program is designed to provide
intensive Braille instruction to blind and low vision children during the
summer months. This program is meant to serve students who are not currently
receiving enough Braille instruction in school or who could benefit from
Braille enrichment over the summer.

Why should your child attend the BELL program?  During these two weeks your
child will not only learn about Braille, they will also learn various
blindness skills and how we use alternative techniques to complete everyday
tasks.  Your child will also be interacting with successful and productive
blind adults who will be helping them realize that there is more to life
than they might otherwise think.  If you have any questions or are
interested in the program, contact Debbie Wunder, 573-268-6989 or
debbiewunder at centurytel.net. The website www.nfb.org/bell has lots of
excellent information as well.

How can NFB members help? There are a number of opportunities to help with
the BELL program. We need people to be in St. Louis for the two weeks to
help with driving and supervising on field trips, making food for the
students, helping teach the students and so on.  We also need people to
braille things and a number of other things.  Just because you can't go to
St. Louis doesn't mean there isn't a volunteer opportunity for you.  Please
contact Debbie Wunder by April 1st if you are able to volunteer. Her phone
number is 573-268-6989 and her email is debbiewunder at centurytel.net.




Jefferson City Seminar

      By Dacia Luck


Members of the NFB of Missouri went to Jefferson City February 19-20 to talk
to our legislators about a number of blindness related issues. There were
three main issues we discussed. The issues we discussed were funding for
Rehabilitation Services for the Blind (RSB), accessible voting machines
being used in all elections, and employment discrimination.

In the past decade, funding for RSB has come primarily from the surplus in
the Blind Pension Fund. However, this year (FY14), that fund is not
available so we're asking for funding from the general revenue.  HB11
initially began at approximately 2.9 million based on FY13 appropriations.
Governor Nixon has recommended funding at 2.5 million for RSB with funding
coming from general revenue in FY14. This is only 87% of RSB's budget. RSB
must receive the full amount from the state in order to take advantage of
the full federal match available. The services RSB provides are instrumental
in blind people's lives.  RSB gives blind people the ability to go to school
or other training programs, live independent lives and get and hold jobs.
Those jobs will allow blind people to pay taxes and be a productive member
of society.

The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) recognizes the right of the blind to vote
privately and independently by requiring non-visual access for the blind
through the use of accessible voting systems in all federal elections.
Electronic voting machines were purchased and every polling place has one.
However, the polling places aren't required to have the electronic voting
machines available for state and local elections.  On behalf of the blind
and disabled, the National Federation of the Blind asks state officials to
pass legislation that would require that accessible voting machines, which
are already available, be used in all state and local elections in Missouri.

Our third issue was regarding employment discrimination. This bill endangers
the economic advancement and independence of Missouri's disabled citizens.
This bill would require disabled citizens who believed they were being
discriminated against, to do a number of things to prove it.  

1.        Requiring individuals with disabilities to prove that their
disability was the motivating factor in an adverse job action even if such
disability was a contributing factor.

2.        Capping damages due claimants of successful suits against an
employer, enabling an employer to know the exact cost of discriminating
against a person with a disability.

3.        Eliminating individual liability for an employee who performs
discriminatory actions on behalf of an employer, making it easier for such
actions to occur.

4.        Causing the possible loss of as much as $1.6 million in federal
funding to the Missouri Human Rights Commission - about 70% of the MHRC
budget. This would occur because the proposed changes to the Missouri Human
Rights Act would vary in significant ways from federal civil rights law,
causing the EOC and HUD to restrict eligibility of the MHRC to apply for
federal funding. The consequent reduced MHRC budget would severely restrict
redress options available to disabled persons affected by discriminatory job

5.        The loss of federal funding would also endanger the ability of the
MHRC to perform its statutory duties.


Passage of this bill would significantly erode the confidence disabled
citizens have that Missouri is dedicated to the principle of fair play in
the workplace. Please vote against this bill and verify that that confidence
is well-placed.

The Jefferson City Seminar was a great success. A number of people who
hadn't been before came and the legislators seemed interested in what we had
to say regarding our issues.



2013 Washington Seminar

By Dan Flasar


The 2013 Washington Seminar was formally called to order at 5:00 pm, Monday
evening February 4th, 2013 in the Columbia Ball Room of the Capital Holiday
Inn.  This opening event, traditionally called the Great Gathering, calls
together all the seminar participants from across the nation to review the
components of this year's NFB national legislative agenda with the national
Governmental Affairs Committee. Each item was summarized by a separate
presenter who detailed the origin, need, rationale and both short and long
term strategies for that particular legislative goal.

This year the NFB of Missouri's team consisted of Shelia Wright (our
Governmental Affairs chair), President Gary Wunder, Bethany Bennington,
Debbie Wunder and Dan Flasar.

As a background note, each year the NFB Governmental Affairs Committee
establishes three or four national goals to pursue in DC. The Washington
Seminar always takes place as early in the year as possible which offers us
the best chance to get our issues on the legislative calendar. It might be
more comfortable to be in DC say in April, with its balmy temperatures
rather than in windy, freezing late January, but it would severely limit our
chances on getting our bills into committee, much less to the House or
Senate floor. The fact sheets for each legislative issue are sent out as
early as possible to all Washington Seminar attendees.

It's important to set up meetings with our Senators and Representatives as
far in advance as possible. Just as it's important to get to DC early in the
new session, it's equally important to get on each legislator's meeting
calendar, making it more likely to get some actual face time with the
lawmakers themselves. In addition to getting an appointment, the fact that
there are four different (and not always close!) office buildings for the
House of Representatives and three for the Senate, means that each meeting
needs to be spaced out as evenly as possible over two and a half days. Since
our affiliate usually has a team of about five people, it's advantageous for
all of us to attend each meeting rather than split up, safety and
effectiveness in numbers. As exhilarating as it is to go over the details of
our last meeting as we walk down the busy sidewalks to our next appointment
in the customary wind chills along the Potomac (where IS that hot air that's
always supposed to be in DC?), it's always best to have some time to relax
in the House or Senate Cafeteria to prepare for our next meeting.

Aside from distance between office buildings, there is the unpredictability
of how long the lines for the metal detectors will be at each building,
whether our meeting is delayed because of a previous meeting, or a vote is
called. Having meetings spaced out over the course of each day provides
leeway for the inevitable slow-moving chaos of DC. I refer to the process of
setting up appointments spaced out equally in terms of time and building
proximity "Washington Seminar Sudoku", and all this well before we go to DC!


Now, with the backstory out of the way, back to the Great Gathering.


If you haven't had the experience of attending an NFB Washington Seminar,
it's hard to describe the feeling of being immersed in a crowd of more than
500 rowdy, boisterous,  highly motivated, high-energy, well-informed NFB
members chomping at the bit to bring to our elected representatives  the
message we had been studying and practicing for months.  




Finally, at 5 pm sharp, the electric buzz of the crowd was interrupted by
the booming voice of our president, Dr. Marc Mauer, calling the 2013 Great
Gathering to order. The answering roar rising from the crowd is so powerful
that, though I may not "actually" have been levitated physically, my
enthusiasm like everyone else's, was lifted even higher and it stayed at
that level each day -what a rush!

Once the opening remarks by Dr. Maurer were completed, Governmental Affairs
Chair John Pare' described the specifics of the seminar. The next three days
would be spent visiting our elected officials with a summary session at the
end of each day to report on our experiences.  Contact with our legislators
is only the first step; it's also necessary to report our findings from each
meeting to help the NFB to gauge overall support for each issue. Each day I
reported to the hard-working NFB volunteers in the Mercury Room who spent
hours each day receiving and entering the results of our contacts. 

At each meeting with a legislator, we gather the name, email and phone
information for each staff member present. Once we return home, it's up to
us to keep the legislator and their aides up to date on the progress of our
legislation.   Even with a favorable reception to our goals, legislators see
a lot of people, each with their own agenda. It's our job to reinforce how
important these issues are to us.

After Mr. Pare's framing notes, each issue was comprehensively reviewed by a
separate presenter.

Anil Lewis described the background and goals of the 2013 Fair Wages for
Workers with Disabilities Act. We are asking Congress to rescind section
14(c) of the Fair Labor Practices Act of 1938 that allows some businesses,
agencies or non-profits to pay less than the minimum wage to disabled
workers. (Earlier in 2012 there was a national boycott of Goodwill for their
widespread use of this practice.)

Lauren McLarney presented the second of our issues: The Technology,
Education Accessibility in College and Higher Education Act and I quote from
the fact sheet:

"Electronic instructional materials and related technology have replaced
traditional methods of learning in postsecondary settings. Although it would
be inexpensive to create e-books, courseware, applications, and other
educational devices and materials in accessible formats, the overwhelming
majority of these materials are inaccessible to disabled students. This bill
calls for minimum accessibility standards for instructional materials,
ending the "separate but equal" approach to learning."   

A study was approved and conducted several years ago to identify the
specific problems with educational technology (think Kindle). The report,
several hundred pages long, interesting and important as it is, comes in
very handy when you have a really hard time getting to sleep. However, it
was our effort that got the study approved and funded by the Congress, and
it provides a powerful defense of our claim 


Jesse Hartle described the last of our issues for this year: "Equal Access
to Air Travel for Service Disabled Veterans".  Again from the fact sheet:

"The Space Available Program allows active-duty military, Red Cross
employees, and retired members of the armed services to travel on military
aircraft if there is space available. HR 164 reverses the exclusion of 100
percent service-disabled veterans who were discharged before retirement and
entitles them to the program's privileges."


With the issues clarified and our adrenaline still pumping, this first
meeting came to a close.  It was now time to say hello to old friends, meet
new ones, and make our schedules for the next day, because each state has
differing populations, some affiliates had many more representatives than
Missouri. Recall that due to the declining population of our state, we lost
one of our members of Congress. Our current US House of Representatives are
Lacy Clay, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Emanuel Cleaver, Sam Graves, Vicky Hartzler,
Billy Long, and Ann Wagner. Jo Ann Emerson was re-elected to a new term, but
she resigned to take a position in the private sector. A special election
will be held in June to replace her. Adding in our two Senators, Roy Blunt
and Claire McCaskill, we have a total of 11 in our Missouri delegation. Ten
appointments over 2 and a half days isn't bad - think of states like Texas
or California whose affiliates sent 3 or more teams!

There's a lot more to describe about the experience of attending a
Washington Seminar, but this article is getting a bit lengthy. Hopefully
this gives you an idea of the work that goes into the event - before, during
and after. And I hope that this brief description inspires you to take the
plunge and join the Missouri delegation in advancing the cause of the blind
next year in DC. It's way better than yelling at the TV set - and much more



Golfing with the Angels

By Eugene Coulter


On March 11, 2013 the Columbia Chapter lost a long-time member and friend in
Gary Owens. He was only 53 years old when he died leaving us far too soon. A
memorial service was held on April 6 and was filled with stories and singing
as we said our farewells. It was made clear that Gary loved to cook and was
a very generous person. He was especially good with children. Gary would
stop and listen to what they had to say and teach them new skills like

Those of us who knew him well knew that he would have given anyone the shirt
off of his back if he thought it would help them even if it meant he was
left without a shirt of his own. Gary loved to fish and to spend time
outdoors. In recent years golf became a deep passion of his. He would hit
the links every chance he got. I can picture him in heaven golfing with the



Bryan Schulz

By Carol Coulter


Bryan Schulz was born in July of 1971. He was born in St. Louis, Mo and is
an only child. His mother was an office manager of an energy legal firm for
35 years and his father was a carpenter for 15 years, self- employed for 20
years and built their small weekend cabin located in Farmington in 1995.

Bryan attended school in the Lindbergh school district and graduated from
Lindbergh High School which was named for the pilot Charles Lindbergh in
1989. He participated in water polo and swimming and in 1988 obtained Eagle
Scout which is the highest rank in the Boy Scouts. 

Two things that Bryan enjoys doing are drag racing and hunting. Bryan said
he enjoys hunting even after having to adjust to his loss of vision. "The
window of opportunity of having a buck or gobbler about 50 yards away is
much narrower now that I have to use a red dot laser, hope for a cloudy day,
and depend on directional advice, but it is fun to see if I can get the dot
on the front shoulder of the deer and let it walk away or see how close a
turkey will come in before spotting any movement" said Bryan. He also
attends professional drag races at Gateway Motorsports Park located about
fifteen minutes across the Mississippi river every year and knows some of
the top drivers and specs about the cars.

While it isn't a car you would drag race in, Bryan is very proud of a 1937
Ford Deluxe two-door Coupe he inherited. He sent me an article about it a
few months back and I would like to share it with you here. 

"I have a 1937 Ford two-door coupe that I have been working on and was able
to get it ready to show with one week to spare before an annual car show
that took place in mid- September. It won the trophy for best original
non-restored car.

When some of the days last summer were below 90 degrees, we rebuilt the
carburetor, installed a factory replacement distributor, new spark plug
wires, voltage regulator and new white wall tires in order to attend future
car shows and occasionally drive the car without needing to use the AAA
membership.  The car is difficult to drive without power steering or brakes,
but I was finally able to drive the car in mid-October at a shopping mall
that is scheduled for revitalization with directional advice from my

A history of the car on poster board placed on a tripod stand, near the
front left tire read:


1937 Ford

Deluxe 2-Door Coupe

"My Great Grandfather Potterfield bought this brand new 2-door coupe in
1937.  He worked as a butler and his wife was a maid for the Kerckhoff
family that owned Pevely Dairy Company.  Most of the 127,500 actual miles
were accumulated from many years of trips to Florida where the Kerckhoff's
enjoyed warmer weather during the winter months.

They had one child named Eleanor who married Clarence Schulz (my grandmother
and grandfather). She inherited the car in the 1960's, but never learned how
to drive. Their only son James was my father. The car was stored in a garage
where they lived in Webster Groves. She signed the car over to me in 1986.
I developed early onset retina degeneration in the early 90's and never had
the chance to drive the car since the motor was seized after being stored
for fifteen years."

"The pistons were seized in the cylinders and the only solution to save the
motor was to pour a can of Coca-Cola into each spark plug hole and let it
soak for two weeks and the corrosion disappeared from the chemical reaction.
The drive train is still all original and the car runs really smooth without
backfiring. My friend and neighbor, John Budd, helps keep the car running
and advises me on mechanical issues," Bryan said.


Bryan attended a professional drag race the first weekend of October every
year from 1989 until 1999 in Topeka, Kansas. He quit driving in 1994 so the
last few years he got there by Greyhound bus. "Even without thinking, I
could go anywhere after receiving mobility training from the Colorado
Center," Bryan said. "It was difficult to find my tent at night after the
racing was finished and one guy thought his steak was ruined when I bumped
his small round grille, but it didn't fall over and luckily, no punches were
thrown" he said.  A track opened about fifteen minutes by metro link across
the Mississippi river in 2000 so he hasn't been back to Topeka.  During the
race in 2001, he was the only non-crew member allowed to be on the other
side of the rope that keeps fans a safe distance from where the team
rebuilds the motor and was allowed to grab onto the frame when the Yankees
Top Fuel dragster was started to make sure it was ready to run down the
quarter mile in 4.5 seconds.

Bryan started a small business in 2003 called BEST Solution with the promise
of agency staff and enjoyed providing computer software training for agency
clients. Bryan said, due to the unfavorable political environment, the
service is no longer enjoyable and he is seeking employment in a help desk
situation or may pursue courses to operate CNC (computer numeric controlled)

Barbershopping as a Blind Guy

By James Moynihan


For over 36 years I have been singing barbershop as a member of the
Barbershop Harmony Society. When my wife Jana and I sold our house in Kansas
City and moved to Saint Louis, I wanted to continue to sing barbershop. Gail
Bryant told me that her Uncle Bill Warren was a member of the Gentlemen of
Sound Chorus and provided me with Bill's telephone number. Bill said he
would be glad to give me rides to chorus rehearsals.

Barbershoppers sing four-part harmony. I am a lead and the lead usually
sings the melody line. The basses sing the low notes. The baritones sing
between the leads and the basses and are called the brains of the chorus
because they sing the most difficult part. The tenors sing the high part and
are very scarce.

The members of the chorus watch the director's hands so they know when to
sing. Since I am blind I can't see the Director's hands so I listen to the
other chorus members take in a breath which means that we are about to sing.
I listen to the chorus members around me so I know that I am not singing too
loud or too soft.

A barbershopper should sing the correct words and the right notes at the
same time and on pitch. This is easier said than done. I am what they call
an ear singer. Since I do not read braille music I learn the chorus
repertoire by memorizing the CD's which contain the words and notes to each
song until I have learned them cold.

               Chorus members also learn choreography which is moves or
gestures to enhance the songs. This means that chorus members don't just
stand still. Chorus members might sway left and right or make hand gestures
at the appropriate times. You should not move too early because you are
tipping off the move. You should not make the move late either. If you miss
the move you should just skip it and pretend you were not supposed to make
that move.

To become a member of the Gentlemen of Sound, I had to pass my audition. The
song was Down Mobile. I told myself that if I could not pass Down Mobile I
did not deserve to be a barbershopper. The audition song should not be too
difficult; the purpose is to find out if the prospective member can "carry a
tune." I am very happy to say that I passed my audition. 

The barbershop hobby is for amateur singers who love to sing and have the
discipline to learn the chorus repertoire. The barbershop saying is, "Men
join for the music and stay for the fellowship".

One day I told a chorus member that I appreciated him giving me a ride to
and from rehearsal. He said that it was his pleasure to take me because I
was one of the better singers in the chorus. I am certainly not the best,
but I think he was telling the truth that I am one of the better singers. I
say this because each month the chorus gives a performance at a retirement
home and the lead section leader had to miss a performance so he put me in
charge of the leads. The money we raise from performances goes to charities
such as the Saint Joseph Institute for the Deaf, The Christmas Caroling
Association, and Children's Mercy Hospital.

To me, barbershopping is a tremendously enjoyable hobby. My method of
competing is different from my fellow sighted barbershoppers, but I am a
participating member of the Gentlemen of Sound. The NFB philosophy is
correct; the blind can compete on terms of equality and it is respectable to
be blind. 




By Erin Magoon


Springfield has had a very busy couple of months. We had an election in
January.  The following officers were elected: Gary Horchem, President;
Robin Sweitzer, Vice President; Laura Rios, Secretary; and Larry Arnold,
Treasurer. Phil Rios and Angel Turner are our board members. We also had a
new committee formed by our president.  This committee is
Fundraising/Outreach and is chaired by Erin Magoon.

Our new committee has been in touch with elementary schools, Headstart
programs and the library in hopes that the chapter can go speak to the
children about blindness.  We intend to focus on the different aids blind
people use, how we accomplish everyday tasks, what it's like to be blind,
how you can help a blind person, how you should approach a blind person, and
how to use a cane and a guide dog. In addition, we have obtained the Braille
cards from the National office to pass out to the children. We also hope to
receive a list of the student's names which we will Braille before going to
the schools so they may keep them.

We have heard back from three of the elementary schools. One of them would
like us to come over a several day period and talk to all their students.
Another one wants us to talk to their second and fourth grade classes. The
third one we have made arrangements to talk to the Guidance and Counseling
classes about blindness. The woman we have been in touch with said that she
has one thirty minute class each on many disabilities and she would like us
to do the class on blindness. We had set this up for Thursday, February 21,
and Tuesday, February 26, but the weather made it necessary to postpone it a
week. Therefore, we will be going both Tuesday and Thursday of the same

We have also been very busy asking places for donations; coming up with fund
raisers and deciding on what we are going to sell at the State Convention.
We will be selling handmade hats, scarves, dish towels, blankets, coasters
and a few other things at our table at the convention. We also have two very
nice door prizes that were donated by an anonymous donor. One is a Donna
Karan perfume set for women and the other is Kiton cologne set for men. We
also have several gift cards to restaurants for which we will be having
drawings. Finally, we will be having a drawing for The Victor Reader Stream
New Generation. 

The committee has been thinking of several different fund raising
opportunities.  We are looking into getting a booth at the Empire Regional
Fair and having a "Precious Pet Charming Child" contest.  Our other idea is
selling chocolate and nuts.

The fund raiser we will be doing next month is a small and fun challenge
between our members. Everyone will receive a jar that they will put their
lose change into.  Only change, no paper currency. Whoever collects the most
change over the next two months will either receive a Dillon's gift card or
have their beverage paid for at our May meeting. As we have said we have
been very busy here in Springfield and we thank you for the opportunity to
share it with you.













Board of Directors

National Federation of the Blind of Missouri




Gary Wunder, President
Julie McGinnity, Recording Secretary

Shelia Wright, First Vice President                          Dacia Luck,
Corresponding Secretary 

Ruby Polk, Second Vice President                           Carol Coulter,


Board Members:


Eugene Coulter
Cory McMahon

Gary Horchem
Jeremiah Wells 

Chris Tisdal
Bob Williams 

Gene Fleeman


Chapter Presidents


Dacia Luck, Columbia                                        Helen Parker,
South Central

Rita Lynch, Jefferson City
Gary Horchem, Springfield

Ruby Polk, Kansas City
Chris Tisdal, Lewis and Clark            Bryan Schulz, St. Louis


Blind Missourian Editor Carol Coulter


Proof Readers   Helen Stevens   

Shelia Wright  

                                                Gary Wunder

























NFB of Missouri

1504 Furlong Dr.

Columbia, MO  65202













Gary Wunder, President

National Federation of the Blind of Missouri

gwunder at earthlink.net


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