Sunday, April 22, 2018

The TrEE Committee. Long Live the Tree Committee, as well as the Mobility Committee.

True confession: RantWoman is EXACTLY the sort of nerd who happily spends the occasional Saturday night poking around government websites and looking at records, calendars, that sort of workflow. RantWoman considers it a GIANT step in governmental accessibility and open government that the website is basically accessible or at least that RantWoman can find plenty of material to keep her busy.

Tonight RantWoman took it into her head to check out in particular committees of the King County Council. What used to be the Transportation Economy and Environment or TrEE committee has recently been reorganized with part of the old committee's work now assigned to the new Mobility Committee. RantWoman wanted to know whether Committees page and  the calendar of committee meetings had been updated to reflect this change.

Yes !


Did we mention that RantWoman is a serious civic nerd who sometimes wants to look at the past as well as the present? Suppose RantWoman just wanted to see herself on video.  For instance, in connection with volunteer roles, RantWoman has a couple times been invited to offer testimony to the TrEE Committee. But with the committee reorganization, the TrEE committee disappears from the calendar view.

At first RantWoman was glum about the possible disappearance of archives. However, RantWoman is happy to report that TrEE Committee archives can still be found in

Having now noted this important civic information, theoretically RantWoman will sleep better at night and nerd out again another day. Theoretically.

Friday, April 20, 2018

On the way to a newsletter article

RantWoman just wants to put together a SHORT newsletter article about the U district Mobility Project workshop series about transportation options right near the soon to open University link station.

A Short Newsletter Item alerting readers to matters of buses, bikes, pedestrians, sidewalk networks, what parts of the area transportation network the project does or does not address.

Off we go to

There is a new survey. RanttWoman can see the questions enough to know that is not what her screen reader is reading. About the third screen into the survey, RantWoman's screen reader tries to read all the individual items in a list. However the list items all have a long string at the beginning and the screen reader never gets to the individual items RantWoman is supposed to be choosing among. Sigh.

It is late at night so off RantWoman goes to Twitter to whine about said #a11y issue.

As long as RantWoman is griping anyway though, RantWoman thinks the same thing she thought at the most recent workshop: It would be nice if the survey were more interactive. Build a model of traffic, bus, people bike flows. Don't forget to tag the graphics. Allow people to send different percentages of the flows different ways. See what results.


Never mind that pedestrian data in transportation models is a pretty rare thing.

Never mind that idea is easy to specify, harder to code.

Nenver mind how one renders the results of one's experiments in ways accessible to the likes of RantWoman.

As long as RantWoman cannot have what she wants on #a11y grounds anyway, which is just to complete the darned survey, RantWoman is too happy to ask the impossible as well, along with a quote from Albert Einstein:

"Only those who attempt the absurd can achieve the impossible."
Albert Einstein

Share Link Via!

RantWoman sometimes offers cheerleading for people new to the world of tablets and Smartphones. RantWoman confesses, when she first got her Smartphone, it took her three weeks to master dialing. This is partly because RantWoman HATES talking to her device and actually uses fingers for most tasks on her Smartphone. But the point is, RantWoman took a good while to be able reliably to dial!

RantWoman today celebrates a similar milestone for RantMom. The Rant family is in a position never expected. Research on several topics is needed. RantMom suddenly has options she never predicted. RantMom and Little Sister spend a lot of time together often in medical waiting rooms or at Little Sister's house waiting on something or other.  Little Sister took a guess and got herself and RantMom matching tablets to facilitate research. RantWoman is not sure how long ago that was.

During Sunday Supper with RantMom, first RantWoman gets reminded that RantMom finds even the pieces RantWoman starts with too much and needs her research broken down into smaller chunks. RantMom also has mostly been too tired to even show RantWoman anything on the tablet. Little Sister says she has been earning her patience stripes with tablet lessons.

But Little Sister and RantMom were both interacting with a resource RantWoman sent. Little Sister sent back an item on the same topic. Not a big surprise. The surprise and celebration: RantMOM discovered the Share link via option in her browser and ALSO sent RantWoman a link! Hallelujah! Now RantWoman just has to find time to read the link RantMom sent!

Friday, April 13, 2018

Sue Ammeter 1948 - 2018

Sue Ammeter, one of the pillars of the WA Council of the Blind passed away peacefully in her sleep early this past Saturday morning. Apparently she had just recently learned that cancer had recurred and metastasized extensively throughout her body.

Sue will be deeply missed by many. Here are several remembrances.


Sue A. Ammeter

Nov, 1948 – April 7, 2018


Sue was born to Don and Delores Anderson in Bremerton, WA in November, 1948. Born blind, Sue made it known from square one that this disability would not slow her down in life. In fact, Sue chose the opposite direction and became a nationally known advocate for the blind and all disabled individuals.

Sue attended the University of Washington and met and married her husband John of 46 years in Seattle. He was her companion at many of Sue's events, her driver, personal champion and "the wind beneath Sue's feet." Sue and John enjoyed many activities in life, including motorcycling, riding in John's airplane, and much more. While Sue and John had no children, being dog lovers, they were the proud parents of many dogs during their lives together. They retired in Port Hadlock, WA near John's family roots. Even retirement did not slow Sue down; as John says, she spent countless hours on the phone in conference calls every single month helping others, and continued to travel and participate in Conventions around the country.

Sue served on the President's Committee which wrote the American Disabilities Act. Sue's husband John takes great pride and pleasure in relaying a story of Sue testifying at a Disability trial. With Sue at the witness stand the opposing attorney asked Sue what qualified her to testify at this trial. Sue calmly stated that she had served on the President's Committee and helped author the American Disabilities Act. The attorney's next words were, "No further questions for this witness."

Sue chaired, served on, and advocated for countless disabled organizations and individuals throughout the United States. Though there were too many to list comprehensively, a few notable organizations include: The National Braille Press, State Rehabilitative Council, Library Patron's Advisory Council, Washington Council of the Blind, Jefferson County Council of the Blind, Office of Women's Rights, and Washington State Commission of the Blind. In addition, Sue traveled throughout the nation and extensively in Washington State conducting seminars, educating our government in Olympia, businesses and others, on how to provide for disabled individuals in our society.

While undergoing breast cancer treatment herself, Sue single-handedly convinced the American Cancer Society to provide their printed materials on breast cancer, its treatments, and coping skills in Braille.

There was never a challenge when it came to disabilities that Sue would not tackle and overcome. Sue was also a gifted listener, a candid mentor, compassionate friend, and strong champion of disability rights.

A collection of Sue's friends wrote: “Sue’s devotion to the blind and handicapped is the thing legends are made of” and “it will be a much darker world without her.” Sue Ammeter definitely lived her life to the fullest and gave everything she had to advocating for the rights of blind people. The blind community will miss you Sue, but your legacy will live on in the lives you touched. Sue's absence will be felt long and far by all whose lives she touched.

Sue had been hospitalized locally prior to being transferred to Seattle’s Virginia Mason Medical Center for further testing. Sadly, Sue passed away in the early hours of Saturday, April 7, due to complications from prior medical issues.

Sue is survived by her husband John, dog Fraggie, parents Don and Delores Anderson of Anchorage, sister Judy (Bill), brother Jeff, many extended family and countless friends.

Charitable donations in Sue’s name can be made to the Pacific Foundation for Blind Children, 2214 East 13th St., Vancouver, WA 98661 or to the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library, 2021 9th Ave., Seattle, WA 98121.

All are welcome to attend a Celebration of Life on April 29 at the Best Western Silverdale Beach Hotel from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.


From: Durand, LouOma (DSB)

Sent: Sunday, April 08, 2018 5:58 PM

Subject: Sue Ammeter


This is to let you all know that our dear friend, colleague and leader, Sue Ammeter, passed away on Saturday.  For over 40 years, Sue has been a force in the civil rights movement both in our state and nationally, a huge advocate for our agency, for our community, and personally for those

who sought her wise counsel and support.  Sue most recently served as Chair of the State Rehabilitation Council for DSB.  I so valued her critical and strategic thinking.

Any of you who have had the privilege of Sue's company know what a vibrant, engaged, and provocative spirit she has been in our lives. We will miss Sue enormously!






“We have lost a WCB icon and our primary historian.  She will be greatly missed.”

 Denise Colley, President, WA Council of the Blind.



Yes, very much a loss for the blind community, particularly to those of us in Washington State. Thank you Sue for your tireless support, advocacy and absolute passion that persons who are blind received equal rights and equal access to every aspect of society.  Sue, may you rest in peace

 Julie Brannon, Seattle




From: Cindy Van Winkle


Life is so short! We never know when, we just never know. But Sue Ammeter definitely lived life to the fullest and gave herself, everything she had, to advocating for the rights of people who are blind. She made an impact on many, whether were friends or not, in Washington and throughout the United States. The blind community Will miss you Sue but your legacy will live on in the lives you touched . I know because I am one of them.


Cindy Van Winkle




From: Carl Jarvis

Dear Friends,

How are we supposed to tuck a lifetime(nearly 50 years)of steadfast commitment to raising the standard of life for blind people, into one short, tear stained message.


Already such messages are flooding the WCB List, expressing shock, sorrow and the personal notes of our memories of the last time we spoke with Sue. But as much as we need to tell our own stories, and to read those of our friends, Sue Ammeter's death will impact our entire Blind Movement. from her current JCCB presidency, to her years of service on the SRC(State Rehabilitation Council), and the PAC(Patron's Advisory Council); to her major role in bringing together, and providing leadership in the merger of the WCB and the UBWS, into our current, strong Washington Council of the Blind., the name of Sue Ammeter has become woven into the very fabric of this Organization. and it will be some while before we realize just what an important loss we have suffered.


For me, it is a 50 year long memory.  From that day when a brash young 18 year old blind student brushed past me and took her seat in our Criminology Class, to the many years of standing beside her in one struggle after another, while watching her grow tough as a Blind Advocate, to her many contributions as a wise states person.  And of course those were just her activities as a volunteer.  Her "real job" took her to positions with the Office of Women's Rights, to the Human

Rights Commission, and the Washington State Commission for the Blind, and to the Seattle Office of Human Rights.


But mostly I will spend the next bit of time wrapped in my own personal memories of Sue.  And when I am done, it will be quite evident to me that while Sue is physically no longer among us, Sue

will be part of our lives forever.Thank you Sue, for all you have done, and for having given of yourself

so unselfishly.


I do love you, and I do already miss your counsel.


Carl Jarvis

Jefferson County




I would like to add my voice to the things that Carl and Cindy have said about Sue. 

I first met her in a classroom at the UofW in the fall of 1969.  It was at a meeting of the newly formed youth group for WSAB Sue was just a visitor that Day and didn't get elected to any office, but she made her presents known to all of us there.  The next summer the WSAB had it's 1970 convention in Greys Harbor.  She was elected First Vice President of WSAB at that time.  I think

she was still Sue Anderson at that time.  Her accomplishments and

recognition in the fields of advocacy and civil rights for blind people are

well chronicled throughout WCB's history. 


As a long time close friend and admirer of what she accomplished, I say thank you Sue and sip that heavenly scotch real slow. 


Berl Colley, Olympia





I'd like to add, also.

Sue taught me how difficult things can get, when advocating for the blind. Despite the challenges, I remember how the Advocacy committee worked their/our tails off, when I was a member.

When I'd call after my time in the committee, she'd tell me: "You know what to do, so do it!"

Yeah, she was tough on us, but, it made me a better advocate. Sue, I will really miss you!  You made the best Rum and Diet Cokes, ever!

Debbie, my friend who comes with me sometimes, also said she really appreciated Sue, and the work she saw.  Debbie only saw a tiny bit of what sue did.  However, she was quite impressed.

Sue, you are missed!

Sarah Edick, Tacoma


(Darryl Roberts) wants you all to know, in case you might not be on the WCB list, that WCB has lost an icon and stalwart force in the blind community.  Sue Ammeter died early yesterday morning unexpectedly. Her knowledge, passion for advocacy and lifetime of giving of herself to blind persons will be a tremendous loss.

Darryl Roberts

President, United Blind of Seattle.








Monday, April 9, 2018

New headphones one of these days

POSSIBLY RantWoman should start her day scouring the internet for new headphones. In particular headphones that have no foam on the earpieces, that have a usb jack, AND that fine a large head without making RantWoman feel like her brain is going to be squeezed out while trying to work.

One earpiece falls off, mic dangles but they work!
Headphones, technically broken
but they work ine

RantWoman has in fact made limited forays into such a search effort. Someone else has also done so on RantWoman's behalf.

So far, nada, or at least nada that will meet all the criteria.

So in the meantime, RantWoman celebrates making it work.

The headphones here hold together fine on RantWoman's head.

They have a usb jack, not shown.

RantWoman never uses the mic.

And one of these days RantWoman WILL get new headphones!

In the meantimes readers are also invited to file this under "Reasonable accommodation stories."

Sunday, April 8, 2018


This post is dedicated to one of RantWoman's favorite angelic troublemakers who passed away in her sleep yesterday. It is going to take a lot of people to fill her advocacy shoes. RantWoman is humble about any pretension of trying.

RantWoman is just going to register data for awhile. Warning: lots of transit jargon. Cope.

Whenever ACCESS #paratransit comes up in conversation, there are some recurring themes:

1. How early compared to the pickup time created at the time the appointment was scheduled does ACCESS want to try to pick the passenger up the day of the appointment?

2. What are the odds that instead of a reasonably direct routing from A to B, say from the Rainier valley to South Lake Union will the passenger get from A to B via Federal Way, West Seattle?

3. extremely long trips when the delays are blamed on weather, traffic...

4. Why oh why if people want to get to work the same time every day is it not possible for ACCESS to schedule the same pickup window each day? People have lots of reasons not to be able to book a standing ride. Why is it so hard to maintain a consistent schedule?

Today's data points:

Item 1: 2 of the 3 people arriving by ACCESS for an event RantWoman organizes reported that ACCESS wanted to deliver them an hour before the event was due to start and they had to push back. RantWoman is annoyed. RantWoman is the one who unlocks the space. Rantwoman is not available when ACCESS wants to deliver the passengers. Enough said?

Item 2 above: happily no unplanned paratransit tourism to report today but everyone who came by ACCESS resonated with the concept based on past experience

Item 3: same as #2 above.

Item 4: complaint voiced today.

RantWoman would not mind the thought of less data to collect.