Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Logo for Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, part of Allina Health

Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, November 29, 2017

This is a free weekly news & information update from the Courage Kenny Handiham Program, serving people with disabilities in Amateur Radio since 1967. 

Our contact information is at the end.

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Welcome to Handiham World.

In this edition: 

  • A note from the coordinator

  • Smart Homes Are Game Changer for People with Disabilities

  • Win Some Handiham History Loot

  • Early Handiham Program History, Part 7

  • Down memory lane…

  • Check into our nets!

  • ...And more!

A note from the coordinator...

It is hard to believe that December is just around the corner. 2018 will be here before we know it! This is a great time to check out your station, as many are still enjoying nice weather that makes outside work quite comfortable. Checking all your connections, grounds, and equipment will go a long way toward ensuring lots of great contacts during the colder months. Antenna work is simply not a good idea during the winter, although one ham I know says falling off the roof onto a snow pile is not too uncomfortable! Hopefully you will be able to get your station in order and ready for action on days when getting out is rather unpleasant!

In the Handiham Program office, we are catching up after being closed for the holiday last week. Nancy has attempted to contact many members who are not on the list to receive Handiham World. As a result, we have several new subscribers. Don’t forget, if you need to update anything like your contact information, call sign, license class, membership, or members only log-in information, you can email her at Nancy.Meydell@allina.com. I have been working on the website, building the updated version of Handiham.org, in addition to keeping up with the regular responsibilities here in the Handiham Program headquarters.

This is a good week to read on in the E-Letter. Answer the Handiham History trivia question correctly to be eligible to win this week’s loot! Winners will need to respond, confirming their contact information before we send out your prize. Please note: only current Handiham Members are eligible to win.

In the E-Letter this week there is a link to a video about the life-changing impacts of smart technology for persons with disabilities. Sister Alverna’s early history of the Handiham Program is back with Part 7. Finally, there is an article from the Spring 1983 issue of Handiham World in Down Memory Lane.

Do you have a story to share about assistive technology or ham radio related activities? Please send your articles and stories via email to Lucinda.Moody@allina.com or by calling me at 612-775-2290.

Smart Homes Are Game Changer for People with Disabilities

A convenience for some, new technology connecting a range of devices and appliances in smart homes is changing the lives of people who have disabilities. Todd Stabelfeldt is a complete quadriplegic who uses tech like Apple's HomeKit and Switch Control to run a business, help around the house - and perhaps most importantly to him - care for his family. https://youtu.be/4s9vCFkmabs

Win Some Handiham History Loot

Here is your chance to own a piece of Handiham Program history! This week, we are offering a Handiham mug. This isn’t just any mug, this mug is old enough to say Handiham System rather than Handiham Program! If you want a chance to win this mug, make sure your membership is current and answer the following question:

Mug with Handiham System, Handihams, Since 1967

Who was the first Handiham Member to get a call sign?

(Hint, think YL.)

You can send your answer via email to Nancy.Meydell@allina.com or call 612-775-2291. Make sure to include your name, call sign, license class, and current contact information. We will pick the winner on Tuesday, December 5.

Early Handiham Program History, Part 7

by Sr. Alverna O’Laughlin

Sr. Alverna O’Laughlin

Handiham History: The Loss of Ned Carman

(Editor’s note: This is the seventh in a series of articles on the early history of the Handiham Program.)

Memories have a way of sorting out only good things about those who have touched us in a special way before leaving this life. This rings true as I now recall the life of Ned Carman, W0ZSW, founder of the Handiham Program. Ned was a strong man, great in stature, yet gentle in his care for others. He had a need to reach out and to help, particularly those with physical limitations. It was his belief that every person had the right to enjoy life as he enjoyed life.

Perhaps his charisma was the art of allowing his friends to feel they were special. At times, when persons would speak of their relationship with him, they would end by saying, “Ned and I had a special relationship.” What a unique gift!

At 6 a.m. June 1, 1972, Sister Pauline awoke me with a phone message of Ned’s death from Erdene Carman, Ned’s XYL. Sister was reluctant to deliver the news because of her own disbelief and prefaced it with, “I must have misunderstood this message.”

Rev. Thomas Ploof, K0SAZ, a long-time friend of Ned’s, delivered the homily at the interdenominational funeral service at Assisi Heights, Motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Francis, in Rochester, Minnesota. He said, “It is not necessary for me to tell you in the Handiham Program what one man who loved and cared meant to your lives. Life is better for you because of the gentle, persistent, soft-spoken encouragement of this good man who dared to care for others.”

And then again, “The relationship to a formal religion was not as important to Ned as it is to most of us. Yet, on this occasion, I should be permitted to say that he was in the process of becoming a man of intense prayer, with a very real relationship to God.”

On the night before Ned’s death, several of us had gathered at the Rochester Radio Club station to assemble our monthly club paper and ready it for mailing. Ned, with other club members, worked hard to meet the deadline. Before the meeting, he stopped at my office to pick up materials for assembling. I was particularly tired and jokingly said, “I’m going to spend my first 100 years in heaven just resting.” His response was, “Sister, what do you think heaven is like?” Then he answered his own question by saying, “I think it will be an opportunity to finish the work that we did not complete here on earth.” I was quick to disagree with this theory. Now in retrospect, I wonder—he may have been right. The Handiham Program has been achieving tremendous growth and success during these ten years since 1972. It just might be he is doing exactly what he said he hoped to do.

Several times during Ned’s life, he was honored for his outstanding achievements. In 1967, he received the WCCO Radio Good Neighbor Award and the Rochester Chamber of Commerce Courtesy Award; in 1968, the Exchange Club Book of Golden Deeds; in 1970, the Forest Bryant Award—Minnesota Amateur of the Year; In 1971, Rochester Amateur Radio Club Commendation Award; and last and most treasured, the Founders Day Award of the Handiham Program, May 6, 1972.

Perhaps the person in the Handiham Program who felt the loss most keenly was Ward Jensen, W0TLE, who was forced to carry a much heavier load. He wrote, “Ours is not to question that our Handiham founder should be called to his eternal home. Let us rather rejoice that his sojourn among us could unite us in the common cause of brotherhood. In passing to his final reward, our Ned has attained his greatest achievement—to unite us in a crusade no matter our creed.”

(Sr. Alverna’s account of the early years of the Handiham Program will continue in the next issue of Handiham World.)

Down memory lane...

In honor of the celebration of 50 years of the Handiham Program, here is an article from the Spring 1983 issue of Handiham World.

I’m a ham radio elmer button

“Elmer” Helps Person with Disability Reach Out to the World

(Reprinted from November 28, 1982, Cincinnati Enquirer)

Clif Brown, ham license KA8HNE, is an “Elmer.” In ham radio jargon, an Elmer is a radio amateur who helps someone become a ham. Elmers also help newly licensed amateurs get their stations set up and into operation. Elmers are special people.

Brown, of Hartwell, Ohio, is special even among Elmers, though. His prime interest is in helping persons with disabilities. Teaching ham radio to persons who have disabilities is rewarding for Brown, but he finds elusive the specific reasons for this feeling. “The only thing I get is the satisfaction of helping someone else,” he said. “I would much rather give my time and effort to get something to happen than simply to give my money and sit back and watch it happen.”

His work also involves costs of supplies and travel expenses, as well as his time. He readily acknowledges that his wife, Louise, may have influenced his feelings about the need for personal involvement in charitable activities. She has been a volunteer at Hamilton County’s Drake Memorial Hospital for several years.

“Through her work there, I can see how ham radio could help many of the patients,” Brown said. He is not alone in his efforts to help people with disabilities get into amateur radio. In addition to other Elmers who are already active in Greater Cincinnati, Brown has the support of a National organization.

The Handiham Program is a non-profit organization, headquartered in Golden Valley, Minnesota. The organization provides special study guides, loans of equipment, special training sessions, and a newsletter to help persons with disabilities obtain ham licenses.

Brown has begun a drive to make persons with disabilities in the Tri-state aware of amateur radio and what they can do through it. However, his efforts in this regard are less gratifying than he would hope. The reason for this, he believes, is that many persons with severe disabilities believe they will not be able to overcome their disabilities to get their amateur radio license.

“We want any persons with a disability who is curious about ham radio to check it out. No matter what the disability involves, they may be able to get a ham license and operate. This is true of nearly anyone no matter what their disability.”

Editor’s Note: What was true in 1983 remains true today. Ham radio is a great hobby for persons with a wide variety of disabilities. It challenges people to develop their skills in science, technology, engineering, and math while also improving their social opportunities.

Check into our Handiham nets... Everyone is welcome! 

How to find the Handiham Net: 

  • The Handiham EchoLink conference is 494492.  Connect via your iPhone, Android phone, PC, or on a connected simplex node or repeater system in your area.

  • The Handiham Net will be on the air daily. If there is no net control station on any scheduled net day, we will have a roundtable on the air get-together.  

    Cartoon multicolored stickman family holding hands, one wheelchair user among them.

Our daily Echolink net continues to operate for anyone and everyone who wishes to participate at 11:00 hours CDT (Noon Eastern and 09:00 Pacific), as well as Wednesday evenings at 19:00 hours CDT (7 PM).  If you calculate GMT, the time difference is that GMT is six hours ahead of Minnesota time during the winter.

Doug, N6NFF, poses a trivia question in the first half of the Wednesday evening session, so check in early if you want to take a guess. The answer to the trivia question is generally given shortly after the half-hour mark. A big THANK YOU to all of our net control stations and to Michael, VE7KI, the Handiham Radio Club Net Manager.


  • You can pay your Handiham dues and certain other program fees on line. Simply follow the link to our secure payment site, then enter your information and submit the payment. 

    • Handiham annual membership dues are $12.00.  The lifetime membership rate is $120.00.

    • If you want to donate to the Handiham Program, please use our donation website.  The instructions are at the following link:

How to contact us

There are several ways to contact us.

Postal Mail:

Courage Kenny Handiham Program
3915 Golden Valley Road MR#78446
Golden Valley, MN 55422


Preferred telephone: 1-612-775-2291
Toll-Free telephone: 1-866-HANDIHAM (1-866-426-3442)

Note: Mondays through Thursdays between 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM United States Central Time are the best times to contact us.

You may also call Handiham Program Coordinator Lucinda Moody, AB8WF, at: 612-775-2290.

73, and I hope to hear you on the air soon! 

For Handiham World, this is Lucinda Moody, AB8WF

The weekly e-letter is a compilation of software tips, operating information, and Handiham news. It is published on Wednesdays, and is available to everyone free of charge. Please email Nancy.Meydell@allina.com  for changes of address, unsubscribes, etc. Include your old email address and your new address.

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