Posted by Liz Nichols on Oct 07, 2018
The speaker was Michael Hoenig, Program Coordinator for the University of Iowa Council for Disability Awareness.
Visiting Rotarians and Guests
Trine Geniak and Peter Jorensen, Danish guests of Jack Cameron
Mark Pries-- IC Noon RC
Michael Hoenig-- Speaker
Nenu Piragine has returned from Argentina.  She received her 7 year perfect attendance award (and, yes, she does turn in make-ups from clubs and district Rotary events in Argentina).
Amy Nicholson reported that Casey Cook would be an in-patient at St. Lukes for a period of time to start therapy following a stroke.  She will put up a page on Caringbridge for him so Kate can keep everyone posted on his progress.
The Polio Awareness social for the area clubs will be on Wednesday, Oct 24 from 6 to 7:30 at the Midwestone building penthouse (across from the old post office).  A donation of at least $25 per person is requested.  All proceeds will go to the end polio campaign.  BYOB to this event.  Sign up by Oct 19.  Deb Ockenfels also announced that Saturday, Nov 3 would be the Foundation Dinner in West Des Moines.  The cost is $50 per person.  See Deb for a sign up form if you are interested in attending.
Jack Cameron introduced the two Danish teachers who accompanied students who have been participating in an exchange at Kirkwood.  Thanks to those who came out Saturday morning to go to the Farmers' Market with the students.
John Ockenfels mentioned that he had been in Pennsylvania for the Zone meeting.  Our zone includes 28 districts in northern and eastern US used as a training ground for all district leaders.  Rotary continues to evolve and continues to become less restrictive and more responsive to younger members.
Deadline for applying to the next Xicotepec work week in March is November 18.
The next RLI training is in Des Moines on Saturday, Nov 3.  This would be a good opportunity to do that and then attend the Foundation Dinner.
Tom Novak mentioned attending the JingleCross cyclo-cross event at the Johnson County Fairgrounds over last weekend.  It is part of the World Cup Tour for bike racers, the only one in North America this year.
Michael J Hoenig, from the Council on Disability Awareness (CDA) at UI, related memories from his time growing up in Iowa as a blind person and also talked about the role of the CDA. At the CDA Michael is responsible for advocacy training, state and community projects relating to disability awareness, advocacy, and education.
Michael was born in Ft Madison and has been blind since birth.  His parents were sited.  He was sent to the School for the Blind in Vinton in 1969 before the days when kids who were blind were mainstreamed into regular classrooms.  He credits the volunteer from Big Brothers/Big Sisters for getting him involved in sports.  Michael especially loves baseball and roots particularly for the Cardinals.  In school he played adaptive baseball and other adaptive sports.  He was also involved in music programs at the Braille school.  He attended college at Central College in Pella.  He went on tour with the school band, joined a fraternity, and went to Mexico his junior year.  This experience made him interested in travel and later caused him to get involved in the Iowa-Yucatan Partners, a sister-state program.
In graduate school he attended the University of Iowa to get an MS in Rehabilitative Counseling.  He interned at the Iowa Department of the Blind where he worked with senior populations who developed blindness later in life.  In 1993 he joined the staff of the CDA as a program coordinator and heads a number of projects including the  twice monthly PATV/Youtube program "Hello, It's Us: Perspectives on Inclusion."
To find out more go to the Council on Disability Awareness at the UI website.