The Promoter February 2015

Official Publication of the North Dakota Association of the Blind

Available in four formats: large print, e-mail, braille and cartridge

Editor: Kathy Larson    

“Not he who lacks sight, but he who lacks vision is blind.”

“We strive to enhance the way of life for people who are blind or visually impaired,

To encourage employment opportunities, and to educate the public about sight loss.”


Table of Contents

Greetings from the President 2
Note from the Editor 3
Welcome New NDAB Members 4
Members of Our NDAB Family 4
NDAB Membership Renewal Reminder 5
Make a New Year’s Resolution 5
Announcing 2015 NDAB State Convention 6
What Time is It? 6
Member News From Around the State 6
Donations and Memorials 11
Jeans Day Donation 11
Candy’s Corner 12
ScripAbility Prescription System


Looking for Vision 13
ACB 2015 Conference and Convention


Legislative Report Winter 2015


Braille Authority of North America


NDAB 2014 Convention Minutes


August 3 Minutes 23
NDAB Board Minutes 11/23/14 24
2014 ACB National Convention Report 26
Use Your Greatest Power 27
NDAB Roster 29


Greetings from the President

Hello Team,

2015, Wow! Happy New Year everyone! For me it is a time of reflection, new beginnings and maybe like many of you, some New Year’s resolutions. As a child I often thought about this year, so far away, as I watched my grandfather, grandmother, Mom, Dad & friends celebrate as they turned 50 years young, and now remembering my uncle as he would jokingly set off the fire alarm after lighting all the candles. That’s right; it is my turn to set off the fire alarms! Back then, I thought it was such a long time to wait to be like them, I wondered what life would be like, where I would be living, who or if I would be married, and excited about being like my hero’s. Well, here we are in 2015 and I have a few aches and pains, extra pounds to carry, some gray hair, and although I may not be quite as excited about turning 50 as I was when I was a child, I do look forward to this year with a smile and a chuckle. I only hope I have gained the wisdom of my grandparents, parents and dear friends who have touched my life with their stories of life, advice and kindness.


So, what is a Resolution? One definition of “resolution” by the Merriam-Webster dictionary is as “the act of finding an answer or solution to something,” and if you Google the definition of “resolution” you will find one aspect of the definition is described as “a firm decision to do or not do something.”

Millions of people make New Year’s resolutions each year and according to the top five “resolutions” are: 1) Lose weight; 2) Getting organized; 3) Spend less, save more; 4) Enjoy life to the fullest; 5) Staying fit and healthy. According to a article some may want us to think New Year’s resolutions are a waste of time, but research shows the taking action towards a resolution improve one’s odds of success, and that studies from the University of Scranton also “show that people who resolve to change their behaviors do much better than those non-resolvers that have the same habits that need to change.” Interestingly, the University of Scranton also states that statistics show that at the “end of January 64% of those resolvers are still hanging in there and six months later that number drops to 44%.” They also note that ”those who become successful in their resolutions not only take the step in making the resolution but also makes well thought-out plans of action.” Sadly, according to by the end of the year “only 8% of individuals actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions.”

“Make a Firm Decision”

Have you made any New Year’s resolutions? Must it be New Year’s Eve to make a resolution? No, In fact one can “make a firm decision” themselves “to a resolution” at any time, one just needs to take action and make plans. As president, I would like to encourage all of our members to “make a firm decision” or resolution, today, to become more involved in NDAB activities. Just think, if in six months 44% of our membership (179) attended our state convention and summer camp, attendance at these valuable events would increase to around 78 participating members. Wow! That would be awesome! Please, make the decision, take action, plan and participate!

“Simple Truth”

In closing, I recently was listening to a local pastor regarding the New Year, and when I started thinking about writing this article, I felt I really wanted to share his words with you. The message is of few words, but simple truth. He said, “If you want to have a great 2015, pray more!”

Creating our future today, together!

Mark Kueffler, President



Note from the Editor

Can you believe that we are at the beginning of another year? It doesn’t seem so long ago when we were worried about Y2K! We begin the year with a change in one of the formats of our newsletter. Doug Stip will no longer be reading our quarterly issues on tape, dubbing and mailing them out (with the help of Mary). Our Promoter will be read and produced at the North Dakota State Talking Book Library. If you have requested to receive the Promoter on digital cartridge, it will be sent to you from Bismarck. You will need to return the cartridge in a timely manner in order to receive the next issue. Thanks to Doug and Mary for their many volunteer hours, and we say a big thank you to the volunteers at the library in Bismarck!

Please continue to send me your favorite quotes. I like this one:

“Be stronger than your excuses.” -Author Unknown

Loris sent in the following:

“We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential.” -Ellen Goodman

“Flowers don’t worry about how they’re going to bloom. They just open up and turn toward the light and that makes them beautiful.” -Jim Carrey

“When your mind says give up, hope whispers one more try.” -Author Unknown

“Always hold your head up, but be careful to keep your nose at a friendly level.” -Max L. Forman

Helen Baumgartner submitted the following:

Six Ethics of Life

Before you Pray – Believe

Before you Speak – Listen

Before you Spend – Earn

Before you Write – Think

Before you Quit – Try

Before you Die – Live.

I wish each of you a very prosperous and Happy New Year!

Kathy Larson, Promoter Editor

Welcome New members

We welcome Ethin Probst of Minot to NDEAB.


Members of Our NDAB Family


Mark Ketterling did not have the surgical procedure that had been scheduled for November. He says he has gained a couple of pounds and is doing okay.


Dave Sundeen had colon surgery the beginning of December and is very thankful that there was no cancer. He has recovered from that surgery and is doing well. He appreciates your thoughts and prayers.


Dale Hoppe sends his greetings to his NDAB friends. He continues to struggle with several medical issues and would so love to come back to camp. He said the last time he attended was in 2011 and regrets that he’ll probably never be able to attend again.


We extend our sympathy to several of our NDAB friends who have lost loved ones since the time of our last Promoter:

We remember Carol and Jim Scallon for the loss of Jim’s mother, Grace Scallon. She left this world on December 11th at her home near Edgeley. She always referred to her life on the farm as “heaven on earth.”


Kathy Johnson’s mother-in-law Ida Johnson passed away on January 5 in Tioga, ND. Many of you will remember her son Larry Johnson who touched many lives in NDAB.


We extend sympathy to Sherry and Jesse Shirek on the sudden death of her mother. Sherry shares the following:


It is with the greatest sorrow that I inform my NDAB friends that my mom passed away on January 9, 2015 one day before her 71st birthday. Since losing my father in June of 2013, my mom just was not the same. Her mind, body and spirit slowly fell apart while alone in Florida. My mom resided in a 55 and older retirement community in Fort Myers. My parents retired to the Gulf Coast of Florida in 2006. My father got sick from high fever and Parkinsonism and this was very hard on my mom.

Last August she was taken to a hospital in Florida after calling the police to her home. The police officer found her confused and disoriented, so she was brought in and committed for three weeks until Jesse and I could go and get her. We cleaned out her house and packed her belongings. We shipped her items and flew her home with us on September 4th to Fargo/Moorhead where she resided in assisted living memory care.

My mom was brought to Sanford four days following her arrival to Moorhead and diagnosed with pneumonia. Other lung and heart conditions were diagnosed at that time. She had significant brain damage due to loss of oxygen but remained lucid at times and her personality still shined through. She knew me and Jesse and called us daily. She spent two nights with us over Thanksgiving which we will cherish. The staff at Evergreens of Moorhead were very fond of my mom in a short period of time. She will be greatly missed at that facility. My mom believed she worked at the facility and helped the staff set the table and often cared for the other residents. She was up walking around and unfortunately took a hard fall. She then ended up back at Sanford bleeding internally from the fall. She had no broken bones but her blood pressure was not climbing above 50’s/20’s on its own requiring medication. She went into congestive heart failure and I was told by her doctor there was nothing else that could be done for her.

Mom was on comfort care from approximately 7am until she passed peacefully at 6:40pm on January 9th. Jesse and I were with her the entire day and she knew how much she was loved. Many relatives called and I was able to place the phone by her ear. Millie was with us and I believe that all of the love and support my mom received gave her peace. Jesse and I feel so blessed that we had her with us and we could be by her side during her passing.

Father James Gross, the priest from St. Anthony’s church in Fargo came to the hospital to anoint my mom. Since her passing, Jesse and I have found great comfort visiting the church and praying with Father Gross. This June, we will bring my mother and father’s remains back to Massachusetts to their final resting place. My family is very very supportive and we have begun to make plans for a memorial/celebration of life for both of my parents.



NDAB Membership Renewal Reminder


If you haven’t yet sent in your 2015 NDAB Membership Renewal form and dues payment of $15.00, please do so. The deadline for dues payment was February 1st.

If you need a form, please contact me.  Thank you.

Zelda Gebhard, Membership Chair at 701-493-2399 or


Make a New Year’s Resolution to be more fit and Walk for NDAB!

By Allan Peterson

Although it’s cold outside, it’s a good time to begin to think and make plans for the 2015 Walk for NDAB!! If tradition holds true, the suggested date for our NDAB Walk would be Saturday, April 25th. This year we would again like to hold a Walk in as many North Dakota communities as is possible.

If you have an interest and want to participate in this year’s Walk, I urge you to call or Email me. My phone numbers are (701) 282-4644 at home and my cell number is (701) 429-7209. Or send me a message via Email – my address is

Our annual Walk for NDAB serves as our major fund raiser for the year so I truly hope that we can recruit as many of you to help and participate as is possible. It’s a perennial goal to make every year’s walk better than the last one! Like the NDSU Bison “Let’s Go Go Team NDAB!”


Announcing the 2015 NDAB State Convention

Submitted by Michelle Zentz

The change in rotation of host cities this year has provided us with the unique opportunity to return back to the Buffalo City, Jamestown, where NDAB held its first convention in 1936 with eleven founding members in attendance. The upcoming 79th State convention   will be held June 12th, 13th and 14th at the Gladstone Inn Suites and Conference Center located in Jamestown at 111 2nd St. NE. The hotel is centrally located just two miles from the World’s Largest Buffalo statue and home of the famous albino buffalo, White Cloud and her calf, Dakota Miracle.


Paula Anundson and Zelda Gebhard are sharing the role of chairperson this year and primarily the planning committee has been the board. It is our strategic goal to fill all of the Gladstone’s 100 rooms and the sixteen themed suites. Shady’s Restaurant is located onsite and there is also a separate bar and lounge area near the front desk of the hotel. You can slide into the pool, soak in the hot tub, or play free ping pong and air hockey in the remodeled game room.

Need an additional incentive besides free air hockey? Then, make sure you indicate on the registration form if it is your first time attending an NDAB convention and you will be included in a $250 drawing or mark the option to be included in the second drawing for $100 to help defray convention costs for ten members, excluding the board.

*Disclaimer: Zelda made me write this. No, the above listed strategic goal to fill all Gladstone rooms is not real or realistic. Yes, this goal needs to be re-evaluated to something more specific like to fill the themed suites or a specific number of members to be in attendance. But, if someone has already booked that Disney Princess Suite for June 12th and 13th, someone might start to cry and that someone just might be me! Seriously, I know we are all definitely excited to have as many as possible in attendance. Plan now to attend. More details to come in the next issue of the Promoter and Call to Convention Letter.


What Time is It?

Submitted by Loris Van Berkom and Rick Feldman

In just a little more than six months, it will be time to head to Camp Grassick for the 45th annual NDAB Summer Camp. The way time seems to fly, it will be August before we know it! The camp dates are August 9-16 so mark your calendar and plan to attend. Milissa Miller and Paula Anundson are planning a “50’s” themed banquet so start planning your attire now.

If you have any suggestions for new classes or know of anyone in the state with a vision loss who might be a prospective camper, contact either Rick at (701) 235-3293 or Loris at (701) 774-3399.


Member News From Around the State

Bismarck News

Happy New Year NDAB! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.


Bev Austin is busy sending out letters for NDAB’s fundraiser. She is sending out to Lions and other organizations in the western part of ND.


Bobby Westermeyer said the V.I.P. Group met at the McKenzie River in November and at the Elks in December. He also reported that he has donated 193 units of blood, plasma and platelets. Congratulations Bobby.

When I called Richard Veal, he had just come in from outside. He was out cleaning his walks and drive. Dick extends his greetings to everyone. He continues to do well after his accident. He has parked his walker.


Mavis Anderson said she had three very nice Christmases. Lutefisk was served at one, prime rib at the second and sandwiches at the third.


My daughter has relocated to Portland where she will intern for seven months. She already likes it.


This will be my last newsletter. My wife and I will not be renewing our membership. I met a lot of wonderful people. We will miss all of you. I wish all of you the very best.


Thanks to all of you,

Bob and Vangie Vandal



Fargo News from Shereen Faber

Happy New Year to all! The frigid cold has finally hit, maybe we will be lucky enough to only have one week of this cold, ha-ha. Here in Fargo we had a brown Christmas, and at the time of this writing, we got an inch and a half at the most, although, I should not jinx this snowfall report.

I am now residing at my parents’ home as our bathroom remodel began January 6th. So far it sounds like everything is going smoothly, so the job from start to finish could be as little as ten days. Elton says it is quite the mess and everything down to the pens in the house is covered in sheet rock dust. I will miss my cozy little bathroom, but after everything is said and done, our new bathroom will make life a bit easier. I am still going to physical therapy for my prosthetic who I have named “Rod-knee.” Things are moving along slower than I anticipated, but with an above the knee amputation and no vision it throws a monkey wrench into things. Hopefully practice will make perfect.

The holidays here were nice, a little quieter than most others. The only out of town traveler we had was my niece Acacia, who came from UND. We had seven people for Christmas Eve and sixteen people for Christmas Day. Nice family time!

Allan and Judy Peterson had all of their kids in their family home for the holidays. Allan said that it was very nice to have everyone there. Speaking of Allan, he and his two sons attended a Vikings vs. Lions game in October. He said that the day couldn’t have been more perfect for an outdoor game. Although we lost of course, it was a fun time.

We had our annual Christmas potluck get together December 14th. We had eighteen plus people that came along with three Lions members to help our group dish up with a lot of fabulous varieties of food. Gifts were exchanged along with a lot of good conversation. Geri Smith was able to come; it was great seeing her back with us.

The only play I can report on is “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” My mom and I took my 9-year-old granddaughter Aubree, and it was the first time for the three of us seeing this story. We all enjoyed it immensely. We have one now coming in February, “Into the Woods,” which we are also planning on taking Aubree to.

Missy and Clint Miller have a new addition to the family. They are now the proud parents of a Chesapeake Bay retriever puppy. Her name is Star, and yes, will be trained for hunting. Missy reports that it’s been a challenge but as puppies go she’s been pretty good. Blondie, their yellow lab, at times gets a little jealous but as time goes on they are getting to be good buddies.

Everyone else is doing well here in Fargo. Keep warm and safe, and we’ll talk to you next time.

Grand Forks Area News

By Ruth Phalen

Happy New Year from the frozen north! I hope all of you had a joyous Christmas and busy holiday season with family and friends. There was plenty of activity at my house and while I enjoyed seeing everyone (and overeating) I was ready for the time to “put Christmas away.” I’m still not thinking 2015 but January is about one/third gone.

One of the really nice things to do for Christmas came from Janice Sowokinos. She and her husband worked at “Christmas in the Park” here in Grand Forks for the local Lions. Besides seeing and hearing the happy people, they helped to raise money to be used for local projects. They will be going on a two week cruise through the Panama Canal (west to east) later this month. Other than that, she spends time quilting, some at home and some at her Church.

Angie Marciniak had a good Christmas since she was able to go home to Drayton and be with her family and to visit her grandmother who is in a nursing home here in Grand Forks. She now had a dog, new to her, but a seven year old dog a relative gave her. The dog’s name is Skittles and has been easy to care for and is lots of company. She also has a boyfriend that she sees often so things are going okay now. She would like more work and is hoping to be able to come to camp this summer and see you all again.

It was so good to talk to Olga Neal and hear her strong voice. We visited for quite some time. Her daughter Sherry was able to be home for a few days around Christmas but the holiday season time was lonely. She has many friends who see she gets out for church and other things. She sounded like a social butterfly – out for both lunch and dinner and company in the afternoon. One of the ladies she had been to lunch with recently was Renae Huseby so the Husebys are in town. Olga loves her home and will keep living there as long as possible and has done well this far.

The November and December meetings of our Senior Vision Loss Support Group: November was turkey bingo and of course, I didn’t win a turkey but I came home with a box of dressing mix and had fun. In December we did our gift exchange by playing a dice game. Cliff and Pat Phelps have been so good to see that I get to and from the meeting, and several of us eat lunch together at the Senior Center before the meeting. Florence and Roger Severson and Avis Mullin are usually with us. Dick Ramsay is a regular at our meetings and is a lot of fun. We have several others who come to the meetings but not always the same ones. Tracy Wicken does a good job of keeping track of us.

This is getting long. I made a few more phone calls but no response and expect to see several at Ski for Light. My daughter from Houston is coming and will go with me. I have spent quite a bit of time in Deadwood and the Black Hills and I enjoy being there even if I don’t ski. Now I need to stay well until then.

Again, Happy New Year – May 2015 be a good year for you.

News from the Lake Region Vision Support Group

Submitted by Carol Schmitt

Happy New Year everyone from the Lake Region NDABers. We have now had two Lake Region Vision Support Group meetings. Our first meeting was held on November 10th. We had twenty people attending. Our presenter for this meeting was Kathy Brice, the Vision Specialist at Lake Region VR Office/Older Blind program. She brought with her several different magnification devices to show to us. This was of particular interest to many of those attending and was much appreciated by all. She also talked with us about other accommodations for the visually impaired/blind. We invited all to attend our next meeting on December 8th. Our presenter for the December meeting was Brenda Langerud from the County Extension Office. She spoke to us about the dangers of fraud and abuse of the elderly and low vision people. She told us about situations that should raise a red flag for us. It was very interesting and informative. We had nine people present at this meeting. She provided us with handouts for further reference. Our next meeting was scheduled for January 12th, 2015 having Pam House and Nichol Evenson from the NDVS/SB in Grand Forks as our presenters.

Grace spent Christmas at her son’s home in the country. Her daughter Beth and her son Wade, and her grandchildren were there. Grace said she got up at 5 in the morning on Christmas Day to watch her grandchildren open their gifts from Santa Claus. A great time was had by all!

Carol got together with family members for Christmas, spending Christmas Eve at Jason and Elaine’s place, along with Josie, Brian, and Jon. Debbie, Ron, and Rachel joined them all at her house on Christmas Day. There were ten family members around her table. After dinner, many headed for the basement to play matches of table tennis. They about raised the rafters with hoots of laughter. We ended the day with a resounding game of Yahtzee with one person getting two Yahtzees while three others settled for just one Yahtzee. The winner had a score of 330!

We want to wish you all a winter filled with warmth, if not in body, then in Spirit! Happy New Year!


Minot Area News

By Mary and Doug Stip

Dianne Giessinger had family from New York in town over the holidays and she said everyone had a nice time.

Mary Jo Hamilton has been following her grandsons’ hockey activities and she reports having a nice holiday too.

Deloris Stenvold said there were 36 relatives over at her granddaughter’s house for Christmas. She’s going to be 88 on February 24th and is still on her feet.

Lenny and Wanda reported spending a quiet holiday with friends.

For us, we don’t have much to report. We spent both Thanksgiving and Christmas at my brother-in-law’s farm. While our Thanksgiving dinner featured the usual turkey and ham, Christmas featured deep-fried steak and shrimp! Yum!

My cousin Julene from Fergus Falls came up to help celebrate my birthday. Despite blustery weather and ice we still had a good turnout at Paradiso. I am planning on a trip to Fergus Falls to help celebrate Julene’s birthday on January 17th. Meanwhile Doug spent the holidays putting in quite a few hours at KCJB. The work seems to be going very well for him even though the hours get a little weird between the overnights and the late evenings. Soon it’ll be time for him to pack for Ski for Light! My son’s family is very busy with work and hockey.

Adios until next time!


Williston Wanderings Winter 2015

By Loris Van Berkom

Happy New Year! I hope that you had a Blessed Christmas and that your 2015 started out on a positive note.

Carol Scallon’s class size of 27 will soon be split in half with the hiring of a second kindergarten teacher. We extend our sympathy to Carol and Jim on the loss of his mother Grace Scallon from the Edgeley area who died December 11 at the age of 88.

Brenda Bruins enjoyed three days during Christmas at her childhood home near Arnegard with all of her siblings, four nephews and five great nieces and nephews. Only one niece was missing from their Christmas reunion.

Luella Asleson spent Christmas at her granddaughter’s home here in Williston. She recently took a tumble in her room but luckily didn’t break anything.

Susan Jorgenson vacationed a week in December with her sister and husband at Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. It is a foot shaped island on the Atlantic Ocean. They went bike riding daily and did some sightseeing.

Jean Cote spent Christmas Day with one of her daughters here in Williston. Her son moved to the Deadwood, SD, area and she visited him earlier last fall. He is an excellent woodworker; he made a couple of stool frames for us a few years ago.

Janelle and Jeff Olson flew to Chicago to spend Thanksgiving with their son Matt. They made lefse together for the first time and shared some of it on Christmas Day. Matt and his partner Dan were home for a week during Christmas. When not at work, Janelle and Jeff both spend a lot of time with Jeff’s mother at the nursing home.

Dan and Sheryl Gerhardt send greetings to all of their NDAB friends. Their building plans are still on hold. They are experiencing cold, damp weather in Kentucky minus the snow. They are looking forward to being in North Dakota this summer.

Kathy and Stan Larson enjoyed fifteen magical days along the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers from Holland’s windmills, to Germany’s fairytale castles, to the picturesque vineyards of Austria. The Mozart and Straus Concert in Vienna was fabulous as was the organ concert in Bratislava, Budapest! They extended their journey and spent three fun-filled days in Prague, Czech Republic, with friends from England. Kathy and Stan celebrated the twelve days of Christmas, both at their home with many family members present and in the eastern part of the state with Stan’s siblings.

Susan and I attended Viola Lillehaugen’s funeral October 25 in Whitman, ND. We met and visited with many of her family members. Her children were just as pleasant and cozy as Viola. During all of the years that I knew her, I never knew that she had a passion for Hersheys chocolate bars. I am very curious to find out if any of her camp roommates knew that about her.

I was thrilled to have both of my children and their families home during the holidays. My son from Florida hadn’t been home during Christmas since 1998, so of course his kids had never been in North Dakota during winter. They had a great time sledding, ice fishing, playing with their Minnesota cousins and even shoveling my sidewalks during the eight days that they were here. I was under the weather part of that time with a nasty cough but am so thankful that I am now fully recovered. My biggest challenge during the holidays was cooking for ten people. I guess I’ve lived alone too long!

Our vision support group continues to meet the second Saturday of the month at Gramma Sharon’s Family Restaurant. At our November meeting, Stan Mosser demonstrated the OrCam, a device worn on a pair of glasses that is able to read print. Sometime in the near future, the restaurant will undergo a complete remodeling which will eliminate the current meeting room so then we will have to find another place to meet.

We wish all of our friends across the state a great 2015, filled with new adventures and increased involvement in NDAB!


Donations and Memorials

NDAB has received the following Donations and Memorials since the last edition of the Promoter. We are very grateful to all those who so thoughtfully and generously contribute to our organization.


Thrivent, Dakota Eye Institute, Janice Sowokinos and Cassel Everson.

Total Donations: $950


All of these people sent memorials to NDAB in memory of Viola Lillehaugen:

Celeste Lily, Bert Kosobud, Bruce and Lori Anderson, Ruth Phalen, Loris Van Berkom, Kathy and Stan Larson, Rebecca Vakco, Janice Erickson, Renae Huseby, Lyle and Irene Nelson, JoAnn Ryba, Mylah Olson, Doug Jerabek and Maynard Lillehaugen.

We also received a memorial from Ruth Geske in memory of “Dusty” Faber.

Total Memorials: $420

Total Donations and Memorials: $1,370


Jeans Day Donation

It was with great surprise and humble gratitude that I received a call recently from Bill Marion, Practice Administrator, with Dakota Eye Institute in Bismarck. He called to inform me that the employees of Dakota Eye Institute hold a monthly Jeans Day. Employees are asked to suggest charities where the money donated can be contributed. One of the employees suggested the donation be given to NDAB. I received a check in the mail for $460 from Dakota Eye Institute as a result of the contributions from their employees. As treasurer of NDAB, Bill was directed to me. I felt very honored to receive the personal phone call from him alerting me to the check he was sending and very grateful to all the employees of this great Eye Clinic for their thoughtful and generous donation.

With sincere gratitude,

Helen Baumgartner, Treasurer


Candy’s Corner

It goes without saying that, as people with a vision impairment, we face many challenges each day. In addition to the “biggies,” such as transportation, accessing printed material, not being able to see the faces of loved ones, etc. there are those daily challenges which, though perhaps not as earth-shattering, are still nagging and irritating. One of the most frustrating issues I face on a daily basis is determining when I have accidentally spilled something, usually food, onto my clothes so that I can treat the area before it becomes permanently stained. This topic recently came up on the Vision Rehab Therapists’ list serve, and I thought I’d share with you the thoughts of Ms. Terrie Terlau as posted on this list serve. Terrie works for the American Printing House for the Blind and is herself visually impaired. Ms. Terlau writes:

“I have started tucking the corner of a napkin in my blouse/shirt when I am eating something that I think is likely to drop. I also notice when I drop food on my shirt, touch the area to remember where it is, and spray a great deal of stain remover on the area and rub it in with my hands after I get home. I sometimes don’t take off the garment when I treat it with stain remover because it is easier to locate the stain by remembering where it is on my body instead of trying to find it when the garment is removed. I rub the stain remover in and use more than is required on the directions. I also wash in cold for my work clothes. And, if you think you have a stain, do not put the garment in the dryer because that will set the stain permanently. I hang up things to dry that I think are stained.

“I also ask friends or trusted coworkers to help me remove a stain when it happens. I put a safety pin on the garment after treating the stain so that I will know to have someone with functional eyeballs check it before I wear it after washing.”

I would add that asking someone with good vision to look over my clothing for me is invaluable. I also use a stick-type stain treatment product (there are various brands) on soiled areas before placing the garment into the laundry. These products can be used several days before the garment is washed without harming it. (Please check the directions for the product you select before using, since some of them may need to be used immediately before laundering.) One thing I’ve noticed, too, is that some foods can splatter, so even if I haven’t actually dripped something onto my shirt, it can still become stained without my realizing it. Aargh! It is a never-ending battle to stay neat and presentable-looking! If any of you have any other helpful tips, please share them with us. Happy New Year to all! Let’s hope that 2015 is the best year ever!



The ScripAbility Prescription Accessibility System

CVS announced on January 5 that it now offers the ScripAbility prescription accessibility system through its mail service pharmacy to CVS/caremark members who are blind or visually impaired. The system includes ScripTalk talking prescription labels as well as braille and large print labels. The ScripTalk talking labels provide a safe and convenient way to access information on prescription labels for individuals who cannot read standard print.  The ScripTalk labels are free to CVS/caremark members who are blind or visually impaired. Members can also obtain a free ScripTalk reader from Envision America that will enable them to listen to the information on the ScripTalk label.

“We are pleased to further demonstrate our commitment to providing our visually impaired members and patients with enhanced support, by offering them the ScripTalk service through our mail service pharmacy,” said Jon Roberts, President of CVS/caremark, the pharmacy benefit management business of CVS Health. “Ensuring all of our members have access to important information about their prescriptions is in keeping with our purpose of helping people on their path to better health.”

This announcement is the result of collaboration between CVS Health, the American Council of the Blind (ACB), and several CVS/caremark members. ACB President Kim Charlson praised the new initiative: “Access to prescription label information through audio, large print or braille is essential for the safety and independence of customers who are blind or visually impaired. We commend CVS Health on its efforts in this important area, and for their leadership role within the industry to more effectively serve their customers with visual impairments.”

The Customer Service number for Caremark is 800-552-8151.


Looking for Vision

By Alexandra Engraf and Paul Griffin


The North Dakota Association of the Blind (NDAB) wants to hear from you … about your vision. Specifically, NDAB would like you to share your ideas on a vision statement for the organization.


In the last edition of the Promoter, we provided you with a rather extensive amount of information regarding the purpose and construction of organizational vision statements. In this edition we are asking for your ideas, input and active participation in the process for the identification and adoption of the NDAB’s Vision Statement. Not only will your assistance and involvement be appreciated and valuable to the organization’s future, but also, if your vision statement is chosen (or you come in second or third) you will be rewarded with a cash prize.


Judging Criteria

The judges will be looking for:

  • A concise statement (no more than one or two sentences). Can it be easily communicated and understood?
  • A clear and understandable description of the purpose of the organization – reflecting the groups’ core values and beliefs. What does the organization ultimately wish to achieve or accomplish?
  • A realistic and inspiring view of the future. Does it tell everyone what the future will look like if NDAB is successful?

Rules and Guidelines

  • This contest is open to ALL NDAB members.
  • Any and all ideas are welcome.
  • The contest will be judged, and a winner will be determined.
  • Cash Prizes will be awarded:

o   A $100 prize will be given to the first place winner;

o   A $75 prize to the second place winner; and

o   A $50 prize to the third place winner.

  • The deadline for the contest is May 15, 2015.


This is a very real opportunity for you, as a member of NDAB, to help clarify and set the focus and efforts of the organization for the future. The board is looking forward to viewing all of the prospective vision statements.


Please submit your statements to:


Michelle Zentz

1025 7th Ave S.

Apt #5

Fargo, ND 58103


Paul Griffin

3130 Nevada St.

Bismarck, ND 58503


Alexandra Engraf

1303 8th St. NW

Hettinger, ND 58639


Please assure that your submissions via E-mail or mail specifically indicate “NDAB Vision Statement Contest”, either in the subject line or in the contents of the letter.


We cannot wait to see what your ideas have in store for the future of the NDAB’s vision!



ACB 2015 Conference and Convention

Plans for the 54th annual American Council of the Blind conference and convention are under way! Convention dates are July 3-11, 2015. The home of the convention is the Sheraton Dallas in Dallas, Texas. The hotel has three towers; we will be in the central and north towers.

Room rates at the Sheraton Dallas are $89 (single, double, triple or quad) plus applicable state and local taxes (currently 13%) and tourism district fees (2%). For reservations by telephone, call 1-888-627-8191 and mention that you are attending the ACB convention in order to obtain our room rate. To make reservations online, visit and follow the 2015 convention link.

Stay in touch regarding our plans by reading upcoming articles in the ACB Braille Forum or joining the ACB convention e-mail list. Send a blank e-mail to

For convention-related questions, contact Janet Dickelman, convention chair, at (651) 428-5059 or via e-mail,

*Special Notice

Please send a letter of request, e-mail message or telephone our NDAB treasurer, Helen Baumgartner (402 12th Ave NW, Mandan, ND  58554,, #701-663-8878) prior to the first day of the state convention (June 12) to possibly receive one of the  ten stipends available for members attending this year’s ACB Conference and Convention in Dallas, Texas. The board will make final decisions during the post-convention board meeting. Requests made after the close of the state convention will not be considered.


Legislative Report Winter 2015

By Allan Peterson

If you spend any time listening to the news media, you know that politics never really takes a vacation and always seems to be a part of our lives! However , it’s now going to be shifting into a much higher gear because another session of the North Dakota Legislature just began its work; in addition, in Washington DC the U.S. Congress has just opened its 114th session of that most august body!

As I’m writing this article, the North Dakota Legislature has just convened its 64th session on Tuesday, January 6th. After the official swearing in ceremonies, Governor Jack Dalrymple gave his “state of the state” message at one o’clock in the House Chambers at the State Capitol and his proposed biennial budget has been officially submitted to the Legislature. The Governor’s budget will now serve as the template that the Legislature will use to accept and modify to determine how state spending will be allocated during the upcoming 2015 – 2017 biennium.

In terms of Partisan politics, as you know, this past election was very good to Republican office seekers, both here in North Dakota as well as nationally. In North Dakota they continue to hold every statewide office and have super majorities in both the State Senate and House of Representatives which means these elected officials, at least for the next two years, will have absolute control over any decision that state government may make. And, as a consequence of last fall’s general election, Republicans have increased the majority they hold in our nation’s House of Representatives and have now taken a majority control in the U.S. Senate.

With that preface, even though partisan politics are interesting to a political junkie like me, I well appreciate that we, as advocates, need to be strictly nonpartisan in our approach to promote legislation that can benefit people who are blind and visually impaired. And, advocating for appropriations are a big part of our advocacy work; as anyone will tell you, the committees on appropriations are always the busiest during any legislative session.

During this summer’s NDAB Convention in Fargo, we adopted 3 resolutions that deal with appropriations that will be addressed by this 64th session of the Legislature, the first of these dealt with the Older Blind Program which is included as a part of the Vocational Rehabilitation’s budget, and VR is administratively, included as a part of the Department of Human Service’s budget. Because the Department of Human Services budget includes so many service sections, it takes a lot of time  to study and consequently, the hearing process is always so lengthy  and arduous – it really comes down to a study in persistence and patience when attempting to make your voice heard!

After last summer’s NDAB Convention, our NDAB resolution to urge an increase in the state appropriation for the Older Blind program was sent to the Governor’s office and the administrative head of the Department of Human Services. I’m pleased to share with you that the Governor’s 2015-2017 budget does indeed contain the additional state appropriation of $100,000 that was included by the past 2013 Legislative Assembly for the Older Blind program.

It’s important that, although the Governor’s budget does contain the increased appropriation for the Older Blind Program, that we, as consumers, remind our legislative representatives in our home districts how important this program is to so many people who experience sight loss as our population continues to become older.

The second resolution we adopted at our 2014 NDAB Convention dealt with the state appropriation request from North Dakota Vision Services / School for the Blind (NDVS/SB). After our Convention, This resolution was sent to the Governor’s office, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the State Office of Management and Budget and legislative leaders. I’m pleased to say that the Governors proposed budget that has been submitted to the Legislature is in line with the appropriation request that NDVS/SB is seeking for the next biennium and does contain suggested funding for most of what we had proposed in our resolution that seeks to strengthen and maintain the services that NDVS/SB offers to children and adults in North Dakota.

The resolution we adopted to advocate for an increased appropriation for public transit services that operate in North Dakota was sent to the Director of the North Dakota Department of Transportation and the Governor’s Office After our Convention last summer in Fargo. As is the case with our other resolutions, we will use these resolutions as tools during the session to let our legislators know that these are issues that we as an organization support and that the needs they address be considered when decisions are being made on the 2015-2017 state budget.

It’s fortunate that a strong coalition of transit providers has been established in North Dakota; and, this coalition is united in advocating for a state appropriation of $12 million plus $20 million for capital expenditures from the State legislature for the 2015-2017 bienniums. FYI: Capital expenditures are to be spent for fixed assets such as vehicles and communications equipment.

On the federal political level, the 114th session of the U.S. Congress has also just convened. Our state’s congressional delegation didn’t change as Kevin Kramer was successful in his bid to be reelected to the U.S. House of Representatives and the seats that Senator Heidi Heitkamp and Senator John Hoeven hold weren’t up for election in the general election last fall. Zelda and I will be visiting each of them and their staff people when we make our trip to visit them as a part of the American Council of the Blind’s Legislative Seminar on February 23 & 24th. More to come about that next time.

As you can tell, the next few months will again be particularly active ones on the legislative policy scene and I will be trying to keep abreast of happenings both at the Capitol in Bismarck and Washington D.C. The need for advocacy never really goes away! I challenge each of you to get to know who your legislators are because you could very well be in a position to help us with our advocacy work and that would be a very good thing! If you have any questions or wish to help PLEASE let me know!

Oh by the way, I just have to say this, “Way to Go Bison!!!” Truly they are the cardiac kids!


Braille Authority of North America

FYI: At the Dakota Chapters AER conference to be held in Grand forks, ND, May 13-15, 2015, Ms. Julie Anderson will be presenting on UEB. Also, the Hadley School for the Blind will be offering a course on transitioning from EBAE to UEB beginning in January of 2015. Here is the latest announcement from the Braille Authority of North America (BANA):

Implementation of Unified English Braille (UEB)

The following statement was approved by the BANA Board on November 9, 2014.

On November 2, 2012, the United States members of the Braille Authority of North America (BANA) voted to adopt Unified English Braille (UEB) to replace English Braille American Edition in the U.S. Based on extensive dialog and planning that involved more than 30 organizations as well as individual consumers, teachers, and transcribers, BANA established January 4, 2016, as the date by which the United States will implement UEB.

BANA is working toward implementation of UEB in four phases:

2013: Information year—BANA developed and disseminated information about UEB and gathered input from constituents.

2014: Infrastructure year—BANA and other organizations planned for procurement and production of braille materials in UEB and developed training materials.

2015: Instructional year—Readers, producers, and educators will become proficient in UEB.

2016: Implementation year—All new transcriptions will be produced in UEB; educators will teach the code. Devices and software will fully and accurately incorporate UEB.

As of the implementation date in 2016, UEB, Nemeth, Music, and the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) will be the official codes for use in the United States. BANA is providing guidance on how to incorporate the Nemeth Code into UEB context with the intent that the Nemeth Code will continue to be integral to braille in the United States. The document Provisional Guidance for Transcription Using the Nemeth Code within UEB Contexts is available as PDF and BRF files on the BANA website at

BANA recognizes that in order to make an effective transition to UEB, states and organizations will need to develop customized implementation plans. To maximize efficiency and impact, BANA encourages widespread collaboration and sharing of expertise, resources, and training. BANA continues to post and update information and materials about UEB


JUNE 14-15



8:20 Opening Ceremony: A color guard of the Am. vets post 7 presented the flags. Everyone stood, and the pledge of allegiance was recited.

8:26 Welcome from City Hall:  (Missy) the mayor, Dennis Wallicker was introduced. Mayor addressed the convention. He gave a short synopsis of his current political work.

8:36 Response by Conference Chair Missy Miller: the Mayor was thanked for being at the convention. The guest were welcomed and thanked for their attendance at the convention this year. The convention planning committee has been at work for a long time. If anyone needs anything, please contact Missy during the convention. Use your senses to become aware during the convention. There will be door prizes. Enjoy the convention.

8:40 President Response: (Mark) Thanks was expressed to the convention planning committee and chair,

8:46 Call to order: President Mark called the 78th Annual NDAB Convention to order at 8:46 AM.

8:47 Respect & Communication: This should be a safe environment where we can express ourselves freely. The Sargent at Arms are Jesse Shirek and Larry Anderson. Members were reminded that the By-laws also state that members shall be respectful.


8:49 Allan Peterson made a motion to approve the agenda. The motion was seconded and carries.


8:50 The Standing Rules: (Jan Stone) The standing rules were read. Paula Anundson made a motion to approve the standing rules as presented. The motion was seconded and carries.

8:55 Roll call of membership: (Ali and Helen) the roll call of the membership was taken. There were 38 voting members in attendance.


Officer Reports


9:00 Executive Report: (Mark) we have had a really good year. The board worked very diligently on the strategic plan. The organization has developed financially. Camp is always a great success. There have been difficulties getting people to the Family Adjustment Seminar. We have grown in membership. Seven first time convention members were present. Appreciation was expressed for past present, and future members.

9:10 Secretary’s Report: (Ali): The April and pre-convention board meeting minutes were presented to the convention body by Susan Jorgenson. Carol Schmidt made a motion to approve the pre-convention board meeting minutes as written. The motion was seconded and carries. Ali was thanked for all her work.

9:20 Treasurer’s Report: (Helen) the treasurer’s report was given and is placed on file. Allan made a motion to approve the treasurer’s report as given. The motion was seconded and carries. Helen was thanked for all her work.

9:30 Editors Report: (Kathy) The editor’s report was given and is placed on file. It was noted that the reasoning for the variation in price of the print issues of the Promoter is due to the different number of pages of each issue.


Standing Committee Reports

9:35 Camp Report: (Loris) the camp report was given and is placed on file. Camp packets will be sent and due at the usual times. An ACB submission award notification was read.

9:45 Family Adjustment Seminar: (Mark on behalf of Janelle) Janelle has worked extremely hard to invite people to the Family Adjustment Seminar. As stated in the previous minutes, there will be a committee formed. If interested, contact Janelle Olson. Janelle was thanked for her work.

9:50  Financial Chair Report (Alan) The financial chair report was given and is placed on file. Individuals were thanked for their support for the walk in all the areas that hosted walks. An expense report is also available. Allan was thanked for all his work.

10:01 Legislative Liaison Report: (Alan & Zelda) The legislative report was given. It is a really exciting time for legislative issues regarding our organization’s mission. A question was asked regarding the magnification component. This would be a primary step in a longer process. Allan and Zelda were thanked for all of their hard work.

10:10 Coffee Break

Door prizes were drawn. A fifty dollar Visa gift card was given to Roxanne Hepper. A fleece blanket with a cell phone case went to Michelle Zentz. A wine basket was given to Katherine Loe. The 31 company bag was given to Doug Stip. Stan Larson was given a flower decorative vase.

10:40         Membership Report (Zelda) The membership report was given and is placed on file. We have a total of 187 members. A question was stated regarding the membership reporting to ACB. We report the membership as it stands on the day the ACB membership fee is due. A question was posed regarding lifetime membership. Lifetime members have full privileges. In order to be a lifetime member, you need to have membership paid for fifty years. This is not stated in the by-laws and should be changed. The first new member orientation was held last night. It was very successful. There is a manual available to all members. Zelda will send these manuals to members.

10:54 Nominating Committee: (Paula) This report has been published. Candidates were restated. Encouragement was expressed for nominations from the floor. Gratitude was expressed for these individuals’ desire to run for office. Paula was thanked for her work.

11:00 Presentation: (William Hawkins) William gave a presentation about his life and the importance of the organizations such as NDAB, ACB, etc. He also explained what a Not For Profit organization means. He suggested we urge board of directors to have initiatives and get membership on board. The money we have in our organization does not technically belong to us. It belongs to the public and we are its stewards. Spending vs. keeping money was also discussed. Thirty-three percent should be committed to any perspective office staff, thirty-three percent should be committed to programs, and thirty-three percent should be committed to fundraisers. Fundraising was discussed. Corporate mailing was also mentioned. This could solicit money for helping with educational costs for youth (scholarships). Senior mailing was suggested to support senior citizens. This type of mailing could be sent to state organizations. Target the top 50 companies in the state, and put corporations on the website for recognition. Call banks and ask if they have an affinity program. If anyone opens up a NDAB bank account, every time someone swipes their card associated with that account, the account will earn the organization money. Questions were taken.

11:55         Public Relations Report: (Sherry) the publicity report was given and is placed on file. We have three public relations committee members: Mary Stip, Jesse Shirek, and missy Miller. Sherry was thanked for her work.

12:05 Lunch & 2 Presentations

Door prizes were given. A travel set went to Brenda Bruins. A bath set was given to Sherry Shirek. A kitchen basket was given to Dean Peterson. A fifty dollar visa gift card was given to Donna Hepper. Dark chocolate truffles and candle were given to Marvin Heaton.

1:50 Delegate Report: (Doug) The delegate report was given and placed on file.

2:05 Sports & Recreation Report: (Dave) the sports and recreation report was given. Dave sets up the buddy system on camp. Appreciation was given for low costs for transportation to SFL. Skiing went well though there was little snow.

2:10 North Dakota Vision Services (Paul) Appreciation was expressed for NDAB’s legislative support. If you have any questions about the school for the blind, contact Paul.


Old Business


2:15 Adopt-a-Student program: (Zelda) This program was canceled due to no interest by other affiliates.

2:17 Strategic Plan: The goals of the strategic plan were presented and discussed. If you have questions/comments/concerns, contact the head of the committee of the area of the strategic plan you would like to address. If you are interested in working on one of these committees, also contact the committee leader of your interest.


New Business


2:20 NDAB Resolution 2014: Board Reimbursement: The resolution was read. Resolved, that board members shall be reimbursed lodgings for up to two (2) nights, mileage at the set rate, registration, and banquet meal. Board members are responsible to make hotel arrangements, retain receipts for reimbursement by the treasurer and any board member wishing to reduce the organization’s expenses may countersign the reimbursement check.  A point was made that we have the common practice of voting on resolutions the next day. The constitution and by-laws do not say anything about this practice and we are to rely on Robert’s Rules. The parliamentarian looked up the matter and found if the organization’s laws do not address this matter, it is at the discretion of the body. It was clarified that there is no current reimbursement. The motion carries.                                                     The motion carries.


2:30 Coffee Break

Popcorn was brought in from popcorn central.

Door prizes were drawn. A $25 gift card for West Acres was given to Mary Stip. A wine basket was given to Ruth Phalen. A wells Fargo cookie jar was given to Char Feldman. A porcelain angel was given to Kathy Larson. A margarita glass set was given to Jesse Shirek.

2:55 NDAB Resolution 2014: Convention Attendance: The resolution was read. The motion was seconded. A question was posed about stipends for ACB. The resolution was read again, broken down by resolve claus.

The first resolve was read. This was reallocating money already appropriated to allow financial assistance at state convention. A clarification was made that there will be 2 $250 drawings and up to 10 who may receive 100 dollars. Discussion occurred. A point was made that it is not going to be any less to attend a convention in the future years to come. The first resolve was read again. A standing vote was called. The records show 25 yes, 5 no, and 9 abstain. The first resolve carries.

The second resolve was read. A comment was made about national stipends and state stipends. Opposition was expressed for the reduction of stipends. The state stipend would give individuals a financial opportunity to attend state convention.

Rick made a friendly amendment that we keep ACB stipends as is with ten.

The amendment was seconded and carries.

It was noted that not everyone reads all of the call to convention letter.

A suggestion was to place a separate paper to the packet with information about ACB stipends into the call to convention packet. This would make the treasurer’s job a lot easier. This resolve was stricken from the resolution.

The third resolve was read. Loris made a friendly amendment to include this information in the convention packet rather than the letter”.

Voting was held on this resolve as amended. The resolve as amended carries.

The fourth resolve was read. The resolve passes.

The fifth resolve was read. Michelle made a friendly amendment to strike the phrase “reduction of ACB stipends” component of the resolve. The resolve was re-read. The resolve passes.

3:38 Kevin made a presentation about a new program for the Lion’s club. Doug Stip won a door prize drawing.

3:50 Announcements

The social will start at 6:30.

Rick Feldman made a motion to adjourn the meeting. The motion was seconded and carries. Meeting adjourned at 3:55 PM.



8:00 Memorial Service

8:30 Coffee Break

Door prizes were drawn. A stuffed dog guide was given to Rom. Invitation was given for member manuals. There are also taped copies of the manual. All members have access to them. Zelda will E-mail a version to everyone who indicated an E-mail preference on their membership forms.

Some members were going through troubled times. Connie Osowski has a prayer ministry. An invitation was given to tie a knot on the prayer quilts for dick and bob.


President Mark called the meeting to order at 8:54 AM.

Roll Call was taken. We have 36 voting members present.


New Business Continued


9:00  NDAB Resolution 2014-01: Biennial Appropriation for the Older Blind Independent Living Program The resolution was read. The board recommended a “do pass” on this resolution. Loris made a motion to approve the resolution as written. The motion was seconded and carries.

9:05  NDAB Resolution 2014-02: Biennial Appropriation for North Dakota Vision Services / School for the Blind (NDVS/SB) The resolution was read. Loris made a motion to approve the resolution. The motion was seconded and carries.

9:10 NDAB Resolution 2014-03: State Public Transit Appropriation for the 2013 – 2015 biennium The resolution was read. The board recommended a “do pass” on this resolution. Genie Lang made a motion to approve the resolution as written. The motion was seconded and carries. Much excitement was expressed about this resolution. We want to maintain and increase these services.

9:18 Door prizes were drawn. A planter was given to Judy Peterson. A wicker basket and Candle was given to Kathy Johnson. A quilt donated by St. Andrew’s Lutheran church was given to Diane Giessinger. A new car was given to Paula Anundson. Thirty-five dollars was given to Shereen Faber. Thirty-five dollars was given to Paula Anundson.

9:25 NDAB Resolution2014: Delinquent members. Zelda made a motion to consider this resolution. The motion was seconded. Discussion occurred. We need to align our policies to the constitution. The section of the constitution regarding delinquent membership was read. The interpretation and restatement of current practice was discussed. The policy would go into effect next year. We need to define our interpretation. Section eight on delinquent members was read. Differing interpretations were stated. Section seven was read. Allan made a motion to refer this resolution to the executive committee to be reviewed at the next convention. The motion was seconded and carries.


10:00 Other New business

A question was presented about time limits on discussion. Twenty minutes is the limit.

A question was asked regarding the website and Facebook. Mark has been working with two web designers to receive bids. A question was posed regarding who the webmaster would be given there will be someone else developing it. There will be a person from NDAB responsible for content management.

An invitation was read for the 2015 Convention to be held in Jamestown.

A call to convention tape was suggested. It is in the Promoter. Therefore it is offered on tape.

10:25 Treasurers Proposed Budget: (Helen) the budget was read and is placed on file. A question was posed about the ACB national convention. 3,000 is allocated toward stipends, $1,000 toward the President’s expenses and $1,000 goes toward the delegate’s expenses. Clarification was stated that this year’s budget is lower due to the cutting out of the Family Adjustment Seminar. Allan made a motion to pass the budget as written. The motion was seconded and carries.

10:31 Selection of Convention Site for 2016: Williston was presented as a possible location. Rick Feldman made a motion to accept Williston’s invitation. The motion was seconded and carries.

10:35 Elections

Editor: Kathy Larson was presented by the nominating committee. Loris made a motion to cast a unanimous ballot for Kathy Larson. This motion was seconded and carries. Kathy Larson is editor.

Delegate: Missy Miller was presented by the nominating committee. Genie Lang was nominated from the floor. A written ballot was completed by the membership. The delegate for 2015 is Missy. Genie is the alternate delegate.

Board Director: Katherine Schmidt was presented by the nominating committee. Genie Lang, Sherry Shirek, and Mary Stip were nominated from the floor. Members participated in a written ballot. There was not a clear majority. Another written ballot was cast. Sherry Shirek is the new board member.

Treasurer: Helen Baumgartner was presented by the nominating committee. There were no other nominations from the floor. Ruth Phalen cast a unanimous ballot for Helen as treasurer. The motion was seconded and carries. Helen is the treasurer.

Secretary: Dianne Giessinger was presented by the nominating committee. Katherine Schmidt was nominated from the floor but respectfully declined.

Allan made a motion to cast a unanimous ballot for Dianne Giessinger for secretary. The motion was seconded and carries. Dianne Giessinger is the secretary.

Vice President: Zelda Gebhard was presented by the nominating committee.

Michelle made a motion to cease nominations and cast a unanimous ballot for Zelda for Vice President. The motion was seconded and carries. Zelda is the vice president.

President: Mark Kueffler was presented by the nominating committee. Rick Feldman nominated Loris. Loris respectfully declined. Loris made a motion to cease nominations and cast a unanimous ballot for Mark for president. The motion was seconded and carries. Mark is the president.

11:00 Announcements

Thanks was expressed for the convention planning committee and those leaving the board.


Stan Larson made a motion to adjourn the meeting. The motion was seconded and carries. The convention meeting was adjourned at 11:06 AM.


Respectfully Submitted

Alexandra Engraf

NDAB former Secretary

July 7, 2014



August 3 minutes:


Present: Mark, Michelle, Zelda, Allan, Donna, Janelle, and Sherry.

Absent: Helen and Dianne.


2014 Convention minutes submitted by Ali was approved with two additional corrections. Motion made to approve minutes by Michelle, seconded and passed with one abstention.


Donna left meeting due to poor conferencing connection.


Reviewed resolution submitted by executive committee regarding delinquent membership.  Discussion occurred and three amendments to document were suggested.  Allan made motion to approve board policy regarding delinquent membership with amendments, motion seconded and passed.  Board policy is to be shared with applicable committee chairpersons and officers and added to manuals.


Resolution submitted June 13th regarding Youth Participation is to be tabled until September 14th meeting due to time restraints.


Amazon Smiles – Discussion was held and tabled until 09-14-14


Membership application of Todd Fahlstrom was approved by consensus.







NDAB Board Minutes- November 23, 2014


The Board met on November 23, 2014 at 6:30 PM via phone conference.

Members present were: Mark Kueffler, Zelda Gebhard, Donna Hepper, Helen Baumgartner, Allan Peterson, Sherry Shirek, Janelle Olson, Michelle Zentz and Dianne Giessinger.

There were no additions to the agenda; Michelle moved to approve the agenda. Motion passed.

Secretary’s Report: Dianne Giessinger

  • Allan moved that the 9-14-14 minutes be approved. Motion passed.
  • Dianne requested a copy of the Aug.3, 2014 minutes, as she was not able to attend; also a copy of the June 2014 convention minutes.Mark will forward both to her.

Treasure’s Report: Helen Baumgartner

  • Balance of $71,105.79 with one outstanding check to be deposited.
  • $169,821.78 in the investment account- Helen noted that this is the first time there has been a decrease- a decrease of approximately $400.

Financial- Allan Peterson

Allan has sent out letters to the Lions clubs and Gaming Sites with some responses already- approximately $1,000.

Family Adjustment Seminar- Janelle Olson

Janelle made contact with Paul Olson Superintendent of North Dakota Vision Services/School for the Blind (NDVS/SB) to inquire if there would be a possibility to hold event concurrent with NDVS/SB Spring Family Weekend.  Paul replied it would not work running both at the same time, but did suggest that perhaps NDAB Family Adjustment Seminar would be better in the spring rather than the fall.  Perhaps the excitement created would encourage attendance at NDAB’s convention.  NDVS/SB is willing to promote NDAB Family Adjustment Seminar.

Legislative- Allan Peterson

Allan, Michelle and Zelda attended the Legislative Training Institute (LTI) held in Bismarck.  Allan felt that it was a good overall exercise and training of how a legislative session runs in North Dakota. Jan. 6, 2015 will be the opening of the next legislative session.  The Governor’s budget will be out on Dec. 3, 2014 so we will be able to see what the appropriations will be for the Older Blind program as well as NDVS/SB that runs the Adult week’s trainings.  Zelda felt that the LTI experience gave her a better understanding of other types of disabilities as she worked with them on committees and writing bills. Michelle commented that 90 were in attendance at the LTI and it was discussed that if the training is repeated it will be every 2 years.

Sherry asked for a recording during September meeting. Zelda recorded LTI lectures on her Victor Stream and will share them with her.

Membership- Zelda

We have approved membership for our first junior member, Ethin Probst.  Sadly Viola Lillehaugen died so our membership number remains the same.

Zelda recommended lifetime memberships to be given to Elaine Kelm-Haugen and Richard Veal.  Both have demonstrated outstanding work with NDAB and represent years of long time commitment to the organization. Discussion occurred.   Allan made a motion to approve the lifetime memberships to NDAB for Elaine Kelm-Haugen and Richard Veal.  The motion was seconded and passed. Letters will be sent to each with a prior courtesy call announcing the forth coming letter.

Zelda also suggested that an Honorary Member be bestowed on Terry Nelson.  Terry has worked toward the best interest of individuals with vision impairment for many years in our region.  He was instrumental in getting the Lions Video Magnifier Program started in North Dakota.  He supplies the video magnifiers for the ND video magnifier program at cost from his Low Vision Store. Discussion occurred.  The board agreed that Terry is a worthy recipient but wanted to make sure that the process is in compliance with NDAB’s constitution. In checking constitution, it states that honorary member maybe conferred at convention and by a majority vote so this recommendation will be voted upon by the membership at our 2015 convention in Jamestown.

Allan moved that the Board recommend a due pass to present Terry Nelson with an Honorary Membership at the 2015 convention and Michelle seconded the motion.  Motion passed. Zelda is to bring forth the recommendation during the 2015 convention.

Participation incentive Program- Zelda Gebhard

  • Zelda wrote an article for the November issue of the Promoter regarding continuing and encouraging members’ participation within the program.

Publicity Report- Sherry Shirek

She looked into getting a second display case but was unable to find where it was purchased so she did research other options. She found a sign type that goes behind the display table off to the side that may be another way to go. She will develop estimated costs and present to board at next meeting.

  • On October 7, 2014 Mary Lou and Doug Stip, Wanda Wigness and Dianne Giessinger participated in the Minot and surrounding communities Lions Fair.An NDAB table was set up with the display case, brochures, and information regarding the Video Magnifier Program.
  • Loris Van Berkom participated in an Independence Fair in Williston with a NDAB table.
  • Mary Lou and Doug Stip also participated in the Independence Fair in Minot with a NDAB table display.

Strategic Plan

Mark has been working on obtaining bids to have the website updated with the accessibility that the membership needs. He has made contacts with three different companies and was concerned that the prices that are being quoted would be more than the Board would approve. Discussion followed and it was decided that in order for the organization to get the specifications needed for accessibility and ease of navigation, it is going to be more than originally thought- in the range of $10,000 to $15,000.  It was discussed and concluded that Mark and a few select members will get the specifications needed and research web designers and their bids to present to the board.

  • Next strategic Plan Meeting is Jan. 11, 2015 at 6:30PM.


Old Business-

  • Amazon Smiles- Helen has sent a voided check to them so we should be able to be one of their non-profit recipients. Helen will let the Board know when we receive funds from them.
  • Convention 2015 update- Zelda has made contact with Cheryl Godley and she is willing to come to our Jamestown convention.
  • Preschool Screening Machine- the Lions Clubs throughout the country are engaged in Sight for Kids program.This involves a specialized machine that screens preschoolers and recommends them to see an eye care professional when needed. NDAB had not received a letter asking for donations for this project at previous Board meeting.  Kevin sent out a second letter and Mark forwarded the letter onto the Board members.

Helen was able to update board that Lions now have funding for both the goal of 13 machines and computers to print out each of the machine’s reports. Board suggested that Mark ask Kevin if there is anything further at this point a NDAB donation can do to help with this project.


  • Promoter- all members getting cassettes will be receiving the issues digitally starting with the February issue.
  • Vision Statement- Michelle Zentz
  • Alli Engraph and Paul Griffin had an article regarding vision statement published in the November Promoter.
  • Resolutions passed during 2014 convention, August and September board meetings were sent out September 16 to appropriate officers and chairpersons with follow up calls made in November and noted in Group II progress notes.


Comments for Convention Planning: Discussion resulting in suggestion that someone who has done a convention could be the liaison between the convention planning committee and the Board. This would allow for communications to flow between each as needed. Suggestions will be included in Goal II of Strategic Planning for further consideration.

Next Board meeting is set for Jan. 18, 2015 at 6:30PM to discuss the 2015 convention in              Jamestown. .

Next regular Board meeting will be at 6:30 PM February 8th, 2015.

Allan moved to adjourn the meeting and Janelle seconded the motion.  Motion passed and the meeting concluded at 8:45 PM.

Respectfully submitted, Dianne Giessinger, Secretary



2014 ACB National Convention Report

By Michael Hoeppner

As the NDAB delegate, I am happy to report that I and the other representatives from NDAB arrived in Las Vegas with no complications or massive layovers at the airport.

After our arrival to the hotel and check in, we met delegates from other states and went to a “meet and greet” the first night. My brother was able to come and spend some time with me and be my Vegas guide.

It was my responsibility and pleasure to stand up and answer roll call for NDAB. This was difficult for me to do but I got the job done! I thought it was impressive that there was a group of fifteen attending from Hawaii. Wow! Other state and special interest affiliates gave their reports. One of the things that made it hard for me to understand all that was shared was that they used a lot of acronyms. That made it difficult to follow when you don’t know what they stand for. What I did understand was quite interesting and worth listening to.

The weather was real nice – 110 degrees with no humidity. I was glad to be at the convention in rooms with wonderful AC.

There was a vendor room where companies and groups had booths and exhibits with things to sell or give away. For example the Bureau of Printing and Engraving had a booth and they were giving out money denomination talking readers called iBill. It works very well. There were many exhibits of things that would be helpful in day to day life like measuring cups, phones, cookbooks and sunglasses. I really liked the headsets that can be used with the digital players for reading audio books. There were also a lot of odds and ends that weren’t real useful that people were trying to sell.

During the convention sessions all of the speakers had great support from the attendees. Comments from the floor were quite helpful to understand the overall conversation.

Beyond the convention itself, I enjoyed Vegas and spending time with my brother. We went to Cirque du Soleil and also walked down the “Strip” and checked out the lights. “Very Cool!” It was fun just to people watch. Elvis was everywhere.

Another highlight of the convention that I am happy to report is that NDAB member, Allan Peterson, ran for his second term on the ACB board and was re-elected. Way to go Allan!

Thank you for selecting me to represent NDAB at the convention. It was an interesting and enjoyable experience.


Use Your Greatest Power
Reprinted with permission by Steve Goodier

It’s said that your greatest power is your power to choose. Do you use that power?

Benjamin Franklin, one of the great Founding Fathers of the United States, did something quite remarkable early in his adult life. At age 20 he was keenly aware of so-called character defects that hindered him. Franklin noticed that he had difficulty getting along with people. He tended to argue too much. He had trouble making and keeping friends. The list continued.

Franklin wanted to do something about it. So he made a choice. He chose to examine his own personality and make a list of what he considered undesirable personality traits. Then he chose 13 virtues he wanted to enhance in his life, each one designed to help him become a better person. They were:

To be temperate, especially in the consumption of food and alcohol.

To practice silence and to speak only words that benefit others.

To live an orderly life.

To resolutely do what ought to be done.

To practice frugality.

To work diligently and manage time well.

To be sincere and honest.

To do what is right and just.

To be moderate in all things.

To practice cleanliness.

To remain tranquil and calm, particularly in situations that cannot be avoided.

To practice sexual constraint.

To learn humility by imitating the figures of Jesus and Socrates.
(He added that last one at the suggestion of a friend who noted that he might be too conceited.)

It was New Year’s Day. Franklin finished his list and determined to work on each virtue for a week. He did this for an entire year, spending four weeks total on each, until he developed new habits.

Benjamin Franklin was known for one of the finest personalities in America. People looked up to him and admired him. Later in his life, when the colonies needed help from France, they sent Franklin. The French liked him and gave him what he wanted. And it all began with his deciding to use his greatest power – his power to choose. When he chose to make needed life changes, everything was different.

Suppose Franklin had chosen to go through life without using his greatest power? Suppose he reasoned that there was really nothing he could do about himself. Would France have supported the colonies? The history of his new-born country may have been significantly different.

One good wish changes nothing. But one good decision changes everything. Your power to choose, to make a good decision, spells the difference between wishing and making real life changes.

Are you using your greatest power? Your power to choose can never be taken from you. It can be neglected and it can be ignored. But if used, it can make all the difference.

Poet Susan Polis Schutz puts it this way:

“This life is yours.
Take the power to choose what you want to do and do it well.
Take the power to love what you want in life and love it honestly.
Take the power to walk in the forest and be a part of nature.
Take the power to control your own life. No one else can do it for you.
Take the power to make your life happy.”
Use your greatest power and, whether or not you change history, you will certainly change your future.

NDAB Leadership Roster



Mark Kueffler, 1406 14 ½ Ave E, West Fargo ND  58078-3428, #866-9908

Vice President:

Zelda Gebhard, 8169 66th St SE, Edgeley ND  58433 #493-2399


Dianne Giessinger, 807 12th St NW, Minot ND  58703 #720-4866


Helen Baumgartner, 402 12th Ave NW, Mandan ND  58554 #663-8878

Past President:

Michelle Zentz, 1025 7th Ave S #5, Fargo ND  58103 #298-9105

Board of Directors: 

Donna Hepper, 1420 83rd St, Ft. Yates ND  58538 #854-7395

Sherry Shirek, 2307 10th St S, Fargo ND  58103 #540-6356

Janelle Olson, 915 2nd Ave W, Williston ND  58801 #570-0801
Financial Chairperson:

Allan Peterson, 7009 Horseshoe Bend, Horace ND  58047 #282-4644

Legislative Liaison Chairpersons:

Allan Peterson, 7009 Horseshoe Bend, Horace ND  58047 #282-4644

Zelda Gebhard, 8169 66th St SE, Edgeley ND  58433 #493-2399
Co-Camp Directors: 

Loris Van Berkom, 604 8th Ave W, Williston ND  58801 #774-3399

Rick Feldman, 3301 Bohnet Blvd, Fargo ND  58102 #235-3293
Family Adjustment Seminar Chairperson:

Janelle Olson, 915 2nd Ave W, Williston ND  58801 #570-0801
Sports and Recreation Chairperson:

Dave Sundeen, 310 Dunsmoore Ave #1, Buxton ND  58218 #847-3139

Scholarship Committee Chairperson:

Tracy Wicken, 733 Dawn Circle, Grand Forks ND  58203 #772-7669


Denise Kirsch, 1934 N 16th St Unit 3, Bismarck ND  58501 #223-8774

Publicity Chairperson:

Sherry Shirek, 2307 10th St S, Fargo ND  58103 #540-6356

Local News Reporters:

Bismarck: Bob Vandal, 1311 N 3rd St, Bismarck ND  58501 #400-0109

Fargo: Shereen Faber, 3001 Madison Ave, Fargo ND  58102 #237-4589

Grand Forks: Ruth Phalen, 725 40th Ave S #114, Grand Forks ND 58201 #772-4546

Minot: Doug and Mary Stip, 813 Park St, Minot ND  58701-4551 #839-4128

Williston: Loris Van Berkom, 604 8th Ave W, Williston ND  58801 #774-3399

Promoter Editor:

Kathy Larson, 15225 59th St NW, Williston ND  58801-9560 #875-4291

All members are encouraged to submit items of interest to the editor by mail, phone or e-mail for publication. Deadline is the 10th of the month prior to quarterly publications of February, May, August and November.


NDAB is a nonprofit organization which promotes the interest of ND residents who are blind and visually impaired. As a nonprofit organization, we welcome donations to help in advancing the cause of persons who are blind and visually impaired.

To learn more about NDAB visit us online at

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