Volume 43 Fall, 2000 No. 3

Click here for Table of Contents
Click here to learn more about the K A B V I Newsletter

Published Quarterly by

The Kansas Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Inc.
P.O. Box 292
Topeka, Kansas 66601

An Affiliate of The American Council of the Blind

Volume 43 Fall, 2000 No. 3

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Kansas Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Inc.
P.O. Box 292
Topeka KS 66601

Corporate Office, 924 S. Kansas Avenue, Topeka, Kansas 66612
Telephone: 785-235-8990 or in Kansas only 1-800-799-1499
Website: www.kabvi.org

The purpose of the K.A.B.V.I. NEWS, the Kansas Association
for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Inc., is to promote the
general welfare of the blind in Kansas.

K.A.B.V.I. news shall reflect the philosophy and policies of
the Association, report the activities of its members and include
pertinent articles regarding visual impairment.

Any articles for publication should be forwarded to the
editor by January 15, April 15, July 15 and October 15 of each
year. Editorial staff reserves the right to edit submitted

EDITOR, Nancy Johnson
714 SW Wayne Avenue
Topeka KS 66606-1753

1205 SW 29th Street #14G
Topeka KS 66611-1200

5321 Plaza Lane
Wichita KS 67208

Barbara Alexander, Membership Secretary
5321 Plaza Lane
Wichita KS 67208

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President's Perspective By Sanford Alexander
Notions By Nancy Johnson
ACB Quilt Comes to Visit Kansas By Sanford Alexander
Services for the Blind Advisory Committee Meeting By Sanford Alexander
Landmark Video Description Final Rules Published Today! By Krista Dubroff, Policy Analyst Dept. of Advocacy & Governmental Affairs, ACB
Schroeder and RSA Interactions at Region VII Blindness Summit
By Michael Byington, Director of Governmental Affairs, Envision
U.S. Bancorp Plugs In ATMs for the Blind Byline: BY AMANDA FUNG
Calendar of Events
In Memoriam
2001 K.A.B.V.I. Application Form

By Sanford J. Alexander, III

Maybe it's just the way of summer but it sure seems like
things have dragged slowly over the past few months.
In our last issue of KABVI News we reported the filing of a
suit against the SRS to stop them from implementing plans we
believe harmful to blind and visually impaired Kansans. In terms
of the suit, there is little new to report. The SRS attorneys,
as anticipated, filed motions for dismissal on a variety of
technical grounds. We are waiting for the judge's ruling on this
Events, however, have proven our concerns justified. The
SRS has essentially abolished the Division of Services for the
Blind, now calling Services for the Blind a program within
Integrated Service Delivery. The newly hired head of this
program, Dianne Hemphill, is the Administrator of Services for
the Blind, not the Director of the Division of Services for the
Blind. We believe this move is in direct violation of Kansas law
as the DSB is legislatively established and SRS has stepped
beyond its bounds in abolishing it without legislative action.
The Rehabilitation Center for the Blind plans also continue
to move along as feared. The property upon which they are now
located has been put under option and at last report the RCB will
be moving to an approximately 12,000 square foot building not far
from its present location. This new facility may be adequate but
we don't know for sure because the Advisory Committee for the
Blind was not afforded the opportunity to walk through it prior
to the lease being signed. We remember how excited SRS officials
were last year at the prospects of a location on the Topeka State
Hospital grounds and how quickly these false hopes were dashed
when the Advisory Committee, under the astute leadership of Don
cox, took a walking tour to and through the site. One wonders
how such a walking tour would have affected the thinking on this
now definite location.
Besides these concerns, it should be noted that the location
does not include any residential facilities. It seems clear to
us that SRS is trying to downsize the program, force under use to
justify capacity reduction and then explain how reduced capacity
makes it impossible to provide Blind Rehabilitation services in
an economic fashion.
Another aspect of the concerns presented in the KAPS/KABVI
lawsuit revolve around the seemingly accomplished closure of
Kansas Industries for the Blind. Not all of the KIB workers have
been, to this day, placed in positions equal to or better than
those they left; they are, instead, in a training program being
falsely presented as a work situation. KIB cost the tax payer
virtually nothing to operate and provided jobs for blind workers,
many of whom, for a variety of reasons, found it difficult to
secure employment elsewhere. The new scenario is costing the
Kansas tax payer 100% of expenses, is not real employment for
many of the workers, and holds no promise for the future for them
or for the many other blind people who would have benefited from
the KIB program. We trust this travesty will be rectified by our
A few other thoughts. First of all, the goals of the SRS
plan are so clear to us in terms of their being aimed at
destroying services for blind Kansans that we marvel they are not
obvious to those who can see! Next, we note that we were told
the long, arduous RFP process was necessary since they were
prohibited from negotiating for suitable property without
employing it. Yet, when it was convenient, the third RFP was
canceled (after the second was withdrawn following strong
consumer opposition) and an agreement for a lease was arrived at
without the benefit of the fourth RFP. It is also astounding
that over four years ago the blind community protested that no
move should be made until all of the elements were in place.
After repeated deadlines to move off the property that would have
violated this admonishment, SRS finally says there is no definite
date and the move won't be made until all the pieces are in
place! We are also told it will be by December 1, 2000 which is
slightly past the absolute date of December 1, 1999 we previously
faced. Lastly, it is amazing how many of the things we have
urged be kept or added to the plans for RCB have found their way
into current thinking without any acknowledgement of the
importance consumer input has represented. We hear that the
manual arts program is being explored, that the braille library
will be reopened, that the general location (conducive for the
training) has been retained. It truly is an interesting mixed
bag of things where SRS has, on the one hand, listened and
where, on the other hand, they have maintained their resolute
course toward destruction of services for blind Kansans.
From my perspective, we have truly entered some of the
darkest days in the history of the blind of Kansas and it will
take steadfast resistance to the efforts of those possessing
little knowledge in such things to prevent them from achieving
their harmful goals.

By Nancy Johnson

Mom always said, "A poor excuse is better than none." My
poor excuse is that I've jinxed every piece of technology I've
touched since about the middle of May. My personal laptop
computer suffered fatal collapse of the disk drive as did the PC
my desk at home. I created havoc at RCB þ nothing fatal to a
computer, thank goodness! The computer in my office went
berserk. And the Braille þn Speak I used at work became totally
non-cooperative. (I'm told it worked when they contacted the
repair folks þ but it refuses to talk to me.) So I have been
þtechnology-lessþ for the better part of three months on my desk
at home. It has not been conducive to putting together a
newsletter. As have most folks, we have had major family events
as well.
KABVI chapters have been active. As soon as I can work at
home again, I'll summarize and submit activities.
Events at the Division of Services for the Blind have moved.
Read more about that later in the Newsletter.
I apologize for being so late getting anything out! I hope
to do better next time.
Would anyone like to tackle the editorþs job? I'll be glad
to give it to someone. I'll help however I can. Lately, life is
moving so fast in so many directions, I feel the need to make
some changes. I wonþt quit þ but I'll gladly move over and let
someone else have the honor of being editor of the newsletter. I
sincerely believe itþs an honor to be KABVIþs editor þ I simply
feel Iþm not handling the job as well as someone else could now.

ACB Quilt Comes to Visit Kansas
By Sanford Alexander

One of the most surprising and exciting events at the ACB
convention was the drawing for the ACB quilt. The winning ticket
bore the name of Michael Byington; but, more importantly, it
also designated Kansas as the state affiliate for whom the ticket
had been purchased.
This means the Kansas Association for the Blind and Visually
Impaired will have the honor and privilege of having the ACB
quilt in its possession until the ACB convention next July in Des
Moines. During this time we will be able to display it around
the state and to use it as the anchor for a fund raising effort
that will benefit KABVI, the ACB and the Tennessee Council of the
Blind. Raffle tickets will be sold for the right to try to keep
possession of the quilt next year and the proceeds of this raffle
will be equally divided among the TCB (that made the quilt), the
The quilt signifies the individuality of each ACB affiliate,
with a square representing each state affiliate and special
interest group. It also represents the unity and strength of the
ACB when all of these individual pieces are stitched together
into one larger masterpiece.
It is anticipated that the quilt will be able to visit each
local affiliate and be displayed at a number of major events
throughout the year.

Services for the Blind Advisory Committee meeting
September 9, 2000, A Summary
By Sanford Alexander

One benefit of the problems Nancy Johnson shared with us was
the ability to get very current information into this issue. As
you will see from the following summary of Saturday's meeting,
several things have, indeed, moved to different places than they
seemed to occupy when I wrote my column which appeared earlier in
this newsletter.
The meeting was called to order at 9:30 AM by the Chair,
Dick Edlund. Present: KABVI: Sanford Alexander and Beulah
Carrington voting, Tom Roth and Georgia Layton alternate; NFBK:
Dick Edlund and JD White voting; BEP: Paula Hittle voting;
KSSB: Bill Daugherty voting; KIB Dave Schwinn voting, Don
Johnson alternate. Services for the Blind staff: Dianne
Hemphill, Jean Williamson, Denise Oliver, Frank Wuenstel, Bill
Loebel, David Wright, Tim Lyons recording secretary.
After introductions it was announced that Sanford had
suggested we take a tour of the new buildings. A van was
available to transport people. I suggested we might find it more
instructive, as we did last Fall when Don Cox was Chair, for
those who chose to, to walk. The group split up into the walkers
and riders.
The walk from the existing bus stop in front of KIB is north
on McVicar to East Circle where the sidewalk ends. From there,
walking across grass, it is a considerable distance to the Awl
Building which sits at least 100 feet back from McVicar.
Altogether, it is easily a half mile walk, the last part up an
incline. The architect said there are no plans to put in a
sidewalk parallel to McVicar as it would be taken out when
McVicar is widened and the city ordinance will require new
sidewalk installed with that project.
The Awl Building is totally gutted and concrete had been
poured only the night before. The interior is open except for
the support pillars along the east-west stem of the "T". We
walked through with the architect who explain what will be placed
in each space.
The main entrance will be on the northeast corner of the
building facing McVicar. This is the furthest point to start to
walk to the Kirkbride Building. It was said this was done
because the public area worked best there. It should also be
noted that when this decision was made, the Kirkbride Building
was not in the mix at all. In addition, structurally, the
entrance already existed at that location and moving it to the
other end would have required more structural work.
The conference room, public rest rooms, computer lab and
braille library are in the public area at the north end with the
receptionist's area completing the area. There will be
controlled access from this point to the rest of the building.
The computer lab and library look to be relatively small rooms.
Not a problem for the lab which is seen as a place people can
practice in the evening or look at demonstration equipment. The
library, however, could only be seen as a minimal size and not be
what we have hoped for but what NFBK might find adequate for
their expectations.
Along the balance of the top of the "t" are offices and
training space. The most notable remark was made by David Wright
who said the BEP area would essentially be used for office work
and vending machine storage as they didn't have the room for a
training area like they had hoped. This is, I believe, because
the Office Experience Program (OEP) needed to be fit somewhere
and was put into what would otherwise have been the BEP training
area. There will be an area where trucks can back up and unload
vending machines into the building.
Along the stem of the "T" the balance of the training rooms
will be set on either side of the central hall. This space is
probably adequate for existing program needs but certainly leaves
no room for expansion. The door at the west end of the stem is
to a mechanical/electrical room for the Woodward Building.
Woodward covers most of the distance of the "T" and the
architect said it was physically possible to build an elevator
shaft to Woodward but this was not in the plans. I explained, to
address everyone's surprise, that we felt better access to
Kirkbride was necessary and that an elevator to Woodward would
provide the means of gaining level access to Kirkbride through
Woodward and that we were working on seeing that this happened.
In addition, it would provide additional program space for
programs such as the industrial arts which is still not in the
mix and the BEP training area Dave said there was no room for.
The architect said the building was extremely sturdy and
that the interior hall of the stem with the Woodward building
above would serve as an adequate storm shelter area, the other
choice being to move to another building that had a basement. He
also said that walls would be a combination of structurally
complete floor to ceiling walls in some places and moveable floor
to ceiling partitions that would close the space to the ceiling
but not be permanent.
We then hiked up the hill to Kirkbride. Dianne assured us
that anyone who could not make this trek would have
transportation provided. It was also pointed out that the plan
is to have lunch served at the Awl building so the walk was one
seen as only being done once a day for the most part.
Kirkbride has a great deal of potential. The architect was
apologetic about the plans not being very far along but Michael
Byington and I assured him this was understandable since the
dormitory was not in the mix until after our July 26, 2000
meeting with Senator Kerr in Hutchinson and the insertion of this
on-site dormitory space was a direct result of his intervention.
Presently, the portion of Kirkbride contemplated for
dormitory use will include the common area and two 4-bedroom
apartment units on each side. The living, kitchen area is
adequate for three or four people and does need some remodeling
especially the stove/sink unit. The bathroom is large enough to
be renovated to accommodate a person using a wheelchair but this
may result in the apartments being able to accommodate three
rather than four people. The load bearing walls are in good
places and the other walls can be moved if necessary. If all of
the building, and the purpose for it is not yet known to anyone
there, was given over to DSB dorm and program purposes, there is
potential room for up to 24 residents. The architect told me,
Barbara, Dianne Hemphill and bill Daugherty that he understands
that certain portions of the TSH ground will now be reserved for
State use, a good deal of it around this area, and that several
State departments will be moving into different locations but he
had no idea of who would go where. Dianne was a little evasive
about my quip that perhaps we had done such a good job of
convincing SRS that White Lakes Mall was a bad location that they
would move up to this area, perhaps the Kirkbride Building.
The tour done, we walk and rode back to the RCB and had
Discussions followed regarding the dissolution of the DSB
field services. Dianne cannot give a clear answer to many of the
questions and is unwilling to say that her authority has been
stripped down to being only the administrator of the Rehab
Center. She says she does not have control of the funding for
field staff, will not do their evaluations, does not have a
definitive say regarding hiring, firing or disciplining them and
can only provide requested advice. She says the reason for the
change is that the area directors felt they had to work through
too many people to get decisions made. This led to a discussion
as to what our advisory committee advised. I suggested that
given what Dianne said and if, as Edlund and Daugherty suggested
we were still a statewide DSB advisory body, we would need to
require the eleven area directors to attend our meetings. We
also passed a motion requesting Dianne to produce and distribute
to the committee a chart outlining the eleven area offices and
how each DSB service would be covered or uncovered since the new
structure will prohibit staff from providing services outside of
their area. A motion was passed stating the committee's strong
opposition to this proposed plan.
Several times throughout the meeting Dick Edlund said it was
clear the only solution to the problems we were facing was the
passage of a Commission for the Blind bill. It was moved that we
state our support for a Commission. Michael Byington pointed out
we had previously done so. I suggested the record reflect that
we continued to support this previously stated position. I also
pointed out that SRS officials had not given us information every
step of the way as they promised they would and that they were
not following the blueprint outlined in the Future Design Team
Report like they said they would do.
A motion was made regarding the naming of the new facility.
I pointed out that Susie Stanzel and I had talked several times
about naming the new facility the Edlund/Adams Rehabilitation
Center for the Blind. It seemed to me that now, since we had two
buildings to work with, we could name the Awl Building after Mr.
Edlund and the residence after Mary T. Adams. After some
humorous discussion the motion passed.
The Business Enterprise Program (BEP) vendors had a problem
with State purchase rules and wanted Advisory Committee support
for seeking legislation to remedy the problem. Michael Byington
pointed out this was the same issue we had dealt with two years
ago at which time Joyce Cussimanio had sabotaged the bill by
prohibiting Dennis rogers, then her assistant, from providing a
requested clarification by Senator Kerr during a hearing. The
motion, with some historical perspective built into it, was
The Advisory Committee bylaws revisions were reviewed. The
final draft will be sent to committee members in time for
consideration at the December 16, 2000 meeting which might take
place in the new building or at White Lakes Mall SRS

acb-l Message from "Krista Dubroff" <kdubroff@acb.org
TO: ACB membership
DATE: September 11, 2000

Landmark Video Description Final Rules Published Today!

The Final Rule on the implementation of Video Description of
television programming has just been published in today's Federal
Register by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). This is
Federal Register document, 65 FR 54805.
Stay tuned for more info!

American Council of the Blind
Krista Dubroff, Policy Analyst
Dept. of Advocacy & Governmental Affairs
Tel: #202-467-5081 / # 800-424-8666 (2:00pm - 5:00pm)
Fax: #202-467-5085
Web Site: www.acb.org

* ACB-L is maintained and brought to you as a service of the American Council of the Blind.

Schroeder and RSA Interactions at Region VII Blindness Summit
By Michael Byington, Director of Governmental Affairs, Envision

The Region VII Blindness Summit took place in
Kansas City, Missouri on August 29-31, 2000.
Fred Schroeder, Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services
Administration (RSA) spoke on the 29th. Somewhere between a
third and half of his speech was focused on the Notice of
Proposed Rule Making (NPRM).
He said that when all are counted, they expect to have
received around 1500 comments. Envision submitted about 50 of
these, so we are pleased to have provided 1/30th of the input
submitted but I wish it could have been even more.
Schroeder did not say how the comments are running in the
for/against category. He provided in fact little input
concerning comment content although he did quote from one
negative comment, and then refuted it.
He used the same strategy he used at ACB. He spoke about
five minutes longer than his allotted time to insure that there
would not be time for publicly asked questions.
I did, however, have an opportunity to discuss the NPRM with
Schroeder one on one for about ten minutes. It was without an
audience, however, and before his scheduled speech.
Schroeder and I held a spirited discussion concerning the
NPRM. I am a pretty good debater and am known as being pretty
tough, but maybe I am glad I did not get to take Schroeder on in
a public forum.
He is also impressively tough! I held my own, but I do not think
I convinced him concerning my point of view (also National
Industries for the Blind's (NIB) and Envision's point of view for
the most part.)
What follows are some insights I gleaned from both my one on
one conversation with Schroeder and his speech.
Schroeder said that he expects there will be changes in the
regulations, but he does not foresee them being completely
withdrawn no matter how the percentages of comments run. He said
he is very committed to the overall principles of the proposed
He seems to honestly believe that the regulations will not
hurt NIB/JWOD manufacturing facilities. His points on this issue
No NIB facility operating today requires someone to have an
open VR case to apply to work in sheltered employment. Therefore
NIB facilities will hire blind people off the street no matter
what VR does. He claims that if the
programs and jobs are really good enough, blind workers will seek
them out no matter what VR says or what kind of advice they give
about integrated employment.
Schroeder lumps a number of rather diverse groups, County DD
centers, NISH facilities, nursing home programs, NIB programs,
etc. all together to arrive at the statistic that the average
sheltered employment placement, as he defines this term, has
wages starting at $2.15 per hour. The average national wages
garnered for VR clients who do not receive the federal minimum
wage start at an average of $8.12 per hour. He uses this
statistic to justify the intent of the regulations. At ACB he
admitted that blind employment opportunities were lumped in with
the other diverse employment opportunities which he has chosen to
consider to be non-integrated. He did not mention this little
statistical manipulation at Region VII.
He therefore rides on the old adage that integrated
employment jobs should in all regards be considered better. The
comments from which he quoted were some from a person who had a
job paying $8.15 per hour in a segregated setting and who said
that this was preferable over an integrated job at minimum wage
at McDonalds with no benefits. Schroeder agreed, but said that
the person would continue to have the right to make this decision
He just was not going to let VR count it as a placement. He does
not seem to think or at least admit, that his regulatory
proposals would have any impact on the creation of new JWOD jobs
or cause it to be more likely that Congress re-opens JWOD. He
said that he does not accept that the only choices should be that
the person can take a minimum wage job with no benefits or a
segregated job at higher wages with benefits. His mantra was A
level services for all VR clients.
I suggested that VR staff will be reluctant to refer
potential workers to JWOD facilities because of a lack of credit
for the placement. Schroeder countered that if the individual is
not placed anywhere else either, then the Counselor certainly
does not get credit for that, so he might as well go ahead and
make the referral into segregated, extended employment.
The one think he did not explain, and that I do not believe
he could explain, was why he would address the issue of the wage
disparity by going into this elaborate linkage between
competitiveness and integration instead of simply hitching a
measurement of competitiveness to wages received for the work
In summary, there are most certainly agendas which are
behind the scenes here and undisclosed, but Schroeder does a good
job of presenting a very compelling set of reasons justifying
his proposed regulations. He is of course a very eloquent
speaker, and when he does not allow himself to be challenged
publicly in debate, he impresses a lot of people with the face
presentation of his arguments.
I believe with others, the argument to hit hard is the one
suggesting that the logical approach for Schroeder to use in
addressing his concerns about wage disparity is to base
competitiveness directly on wages, or perhaps wages and benefits.
This is the one argument he can not handle.
Doug Burleigh spoke on the second day of the conference, the
30th, and he did make a point to end his remarks early and ask
for comments or other viewpoints. His presentation echoed
Schroeder's in many ways. Burleigh obviously admires Schroeder a
great deal and he essentially supported Schroeder's justification
of the NPRM. I took the opportunity to discuss the high
unemployment rate among blind citizens who are of working age.
Burleigh had said that there would be a need for categorical
services as long as the unemployment rate was higher for people
who are blind or disabled than it is for the general public using the one stops.
I used the same logic to suggest that there were good reasons to
target the creation of certain jobs specifically for people who
are blind or have other disabilities, and I suggested that this
also would be the case as long as unemployment is higher among
these groups than it is in the general public.
Burleigh and i tossed it back and forth several times. He
kept inviting me to react to the points he was making. For
whatever reasons, he seems to have always enjoyed exchanges with me.
I am not sure that there was any point to the
Burleigh/Byington repartee except that it allowed us to gage the
views of a cross section of other blind professionals on the NPRM
issues. Not too many people made comments publicly about our
exchange, but one gentleman from Nebraska said that he supported
everything I was saying as being worth maintaining, but that he
continued to agree with Dr. Schroeder that VR personnel should
not receive placement credit for it. In other words, he politely
supported Schroeder and the NPRM. My gut impression from talking
with conference delegates at the breaks, however, is that there
was a large modicum of opposition to the NPRM from blind services
personnel in Missouri and Kansas. They seemed to agree with a
lot of the points I had made, but then of course, these two
states have fairly well functioning NIB affiliates within their
borders. I think most of the Nebraska folks support the
Schroeder NPRM and are aligned with his philosophies. Of course,
Nebraska does not have NIB affiliates.
The Iowa folks may lean slightly toward supporting Schroeder's
views, but the real impression I got from them was that they do
not care how this comes out one way or the other. Of course Iowa
has not had NIB affiliates for many years either.
Alphapoint had three or four of their Rehab staff at the
conference. They were the only other NIB affiliate which seemed
to be represented. St. Louis Lighthouse was not there.

acb-l Message from "Krista Dubroff" <kdubroff@acb.org
Taken From The American Banker, Inc.
The American Banker
September 6, 2000, Wednesday

U.S. Bancorp Plugs In ATMs for the Blind


U.S. Bancorp has become the latest bank to install
voice-guided automated teller machines for blind people.
The Minneapolis company on Aug. 21 started operating two of
the ATMs at a new 24-hour banking center at Nicollet Mall in
downtown Minneapolis. Fourteen more are to be installed in the
West and Midwest by yearend.
A few other banks -- most notably Wells Fargo & Co. and
Citigroup Inc. -- put in this technology in some locations this
year in response to lawsuits and other pressure from advocacy
groups for the blind. In March, Bank of America Corp. promised a
national rollout of the retrofitted machines, known as talking
In April, Wells Fargo and the California Council of the
Blind unveiled 20 talking ATMs in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and
San Diego.
The technology is no longer exorbitantly expensive -- U.S.
Bank said it is spending about $3,000 per machine -- and there is
increasing pressure on all banks to make it available. Last year
the Access Board, an independent federal agency responsible for
accessibility guidelines under the Americans with Disabilities
Act and the Architectural Barriers Act, proposed revisions that
would require banks and other ATM deployers to have voice-guided
ATMs. These machines let users plug in headsets and receive oral
"This is not a project that will be bringing in additional
revenue," said Carol Rossman, the group product manager for U.S.
Bank network services. "It's just amazing to see so many of our
customers so excited about it."
U.S. Bank and the National Federation of the Blind of
Minnesota have been working together for more than 10 years to
make ATMs more accessible to the vision-impaired, said Joyce
Scanlan, president of the National Federation of the Blind of
Minnesota. Ms. Scanlan, who is legally blind, said that a decade
ago she translated the instruction prompts on ATM screens into
braille, and the bank posted them on its machines.
U.S. Bank selected equipment manufactured by Diebold Inc. of
Canton, Ohio, which is also supplying ATM voice technology to
Wells Fargo and Bank of America.
Roy Shirah, vice president of global planning and management
at Diebold, said the technology was developed in the late 1970s
but at first was limited: The voice could relay instructions on
how to use an ATM but could not give customers information about
transactions they had just made.
In 1997, PC technology was incorporated and sound files were
linked with actual, real-time transactions. This enhancement
meant users could ascertain their new balance on the spot, for
The modern talking ATMs also have a feature that let
customers cut off the lengthy audio instructions if they know
what to do next.
"Everyone likes the interruption feature," Mr. Shirah said.
"Once visually impaired customers become familiar with the
transaction process and voice prompts, they don't have to listen
to the entire list of cues to proceed."
Carrie Klanderman, a product manager for U.S. Bank network
services, said the extra $3,000 the bank is spending is small
compared with the price of an ATM without the voice-guided
feature, which she put at $20,000 to $30,000.
All customers can use the adapted machines, which are
distinguishable only by a standard headphone jack. Even if the
voice feature malfunctions, the ATM can still perform
transactions, Ms. Klanderman said.
Plugging in a set of headphones activates the voice
commands, which are read by a digitized, recorded audio voice.
"It's great to have this kind of equality and privacy," Ms.
Scanlan said. "Before, I had to have a security guard or someone
else alongside me at the ATM to read what was on the screen to
Ms. Scanlan said most people who are visually impaired carry
headphones around with them. But just in case, U.S. Bank branches
with voice-guided ATMs are keeping a small supply of headphones
on hand.
Minnesota has about 12,000 legally blind people and 8,000
classified as visually impaired. Most in both categories live in
Minneapolis or St. Paul.
U.S. Bank plans to install voice-guided ATMs in Santa
Monica, Calif., and Las Vegas this month; Culver City, Calif.;
Bend, Ore.; Chicago, and St. Paul next month; the Minnesota
cities of Roseville, Lakeville, and Maplewood in November;
and Thornton, Colo., in December.
Diebold and other companies are experimenting to improve the
technology. "In the future, the need to push a button will go
away," Mr. Shirah said. "All the customer will have to do is say
commands and talk to the ATM. Commands would be
limited to yes or no responses for customer security purposes."
He said this enhancement may be introduced by December 2001.

Copyright c 2000 American Banker, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

LOAD-DATE: September 6, 2000
American Council of the Blind
Krista Dubroff, Policy Analyst
Dept. of Advocacy & Governmental Affairs
Tel: #202-467-5081 / # 800-424-8666 (2:00pm - 5:00pm)
Fax: #202-467-5085
Web Site: www.acb.org


Mark your calendars for the following events of importance
to blind and visually impaired Kansans. For more information,
contact the relevant organization directly.

* September 14-15, 2000 State Rehabilitation Council (SRC)
meeting and Public Forum, Hays Contact Peg Spencer, 785-267-5301.

* September 18-20, 2000 Assistive Technology conference:
Topeka Expo Center. Contact: Assistive Technology for Kansans
Project, Sheila Simmons, 2601 Gabriel, Parsons KS 67357, 316-
421-8367 or 1-800-526-3648, e-mail:

* September 22, 2000 SILCK Board meeting, Topeka.
Contact: SILCK, 700 SW Jackson, Suite 212, Topeka, KS 66603,
785-234-6990 (V/TDD).

* October 19, 2000 Inaugural Mary T. Adams Seminar, Holiday
Inn, Great Bend, KS. Contact Dr. Kendall Krug, 785-625-3937

* October 20-22, 2000 KABVI convention: Great Bend Holiday
Inn. Contact: Regina Henderson, Convention Coordinator, 1010
Inverness, Wichita KS 67218, 316-687-0113.

* November 30-December 1, 2000 State Rehabilitation Council
(SRC) meeting, Chanute. Contact: Peg Spencer, 785-267-5301.

* December 8, 2000 SILCK Board meeting, Topeka. Contact:
SILCK, 700 SW Jackson, Suite 212, Topeka, KS 66603, 785-234-6990

* December 16, 2000 Services for the Blind Advisory
Committee meeting, Topeka. Contact Tim Lyons, 785-296-3311.

*. January 13-14, 2001 ACB mid-year meetings Des Moines
Marriott. Contact: American Council of the Blind, 1155 15th
St., N.W., Suite 1004, Washington, DC 20005; (202) 467-5081.

* April 27-28, 2001 KABVI Focus Day III, KSDS, Washington
KS. Contact: Mike Renner, KSDS 785-325-2256.

* June 30-July 7, 2001 ACB Convention, Des Moines, IA.
Contact: American Council of the Blind, 1155 15th St., N.W.,
Suite 1004, Washington, DC 20005; (202) 467-5081.



Ted Neises, Junior, 71, Cargill employee, died Tuesday, June
27, 2000. Survivors: wife, Phyllis, son, Joe, daughter, Jennifer
Funke both of Garden Plain, stepsons, Steve Bauer of Wichita,
Gregory Bauer of Tullahoma, Tennessee, stepdaughter, Gail Bauer
of Wichita, brothers, Bob of Salina, David of Sedgwick, sisters,
Catherine Bell of Wichita, Edna Stuhlsatz of Conway Springs,
Dorothy O'Neill of Wichita, Ann Ferguson of Castle Rock,
Colorado, five grandchildren, two stepgrandchildren. Memorials
have been established with St. Anthony Catholic Church and Via
Christi Foundation Cancer Center

Drago, Suzanne (Alexander), 32, Wichita State University
Inter-Library lending specialist and Butler County and Cowley
County Community College history professor, died Saturday, Aug.19, 2000.
Suzanne received her undergraduate degree in History
and received her masters degree in medieval English History both
from Wichita State University.
She was a member of KABVI for many years and served it in
several capacities including as coordinator of the KABVI News for
over two and a half years from 1995 to 1998.
Survivors: husband, Jason; parents, Sanford and
Barbara Alexander III of Wichita; grandmothers, Bertha Adams of
Wichita, Carmela Alexander of Brooklyn, N.Y.



I am enclosing $5.00 for my 2001 K.A.B.V.I. dues ____.

NAME: __________________________________________

ADDRESS: ________________________________________

CITY: ______________________________, STATE: ____ ZIP: _______

PHONE: (AREA CODE) ______ NUMBER: ______________

e-mail address: ______

Are you:

Legally Blind ____ Visually Impaired ____

Deafblind ____ Sighted ____

I would like the K.A.B.V.I. News and the Braille Forum in:

Braille ____ Large Print ____ Disk ____ Cassette ____   Email ____

I do not want these publications ____


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© Copyright 2000, All rights Reserved
Kansas Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Inc.
924 S. Kansas Ave.  •  Topeka, KS  66612
phone: 785-235-8990  •  toll free in KS: (800)-799-1499

email: mail@kabvi.org