TUCSON SOCIETY OF THE BLIND (TSB) P.O. Box 57655. Tucson, AZ 85732
JUNE/JULY 2021 NEWSY NOTES
TSB meets every Tuesday – 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Christ Presbyterian Church, 6565 E. Broadway
Come when you can and leave when you must. Bring a sack lunch.
For more information call Barbara, 298-2427 or Tom, 721-1029
TSB Members are meeting by phone on Tuesday mornings from 10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. The free phone call number is: 605-468-8020 access code 969009 # (pound sign).
1st: Joanne Gabias – Orientation& Mobility Instructor from SAAVI, Bill Martin awesome performer, sings and plays the guitar
11th: TSB Board Meeting 10:15 a.m., Biscuit Country Café, 7026 E. Broadway
15th: State Senator Kirsten Engel, “What happened in the AZ Senate” (on the phone, 605-468-8020, access code 969009# pound sign)
15th: Manny’s lesson on using VoiceOver on the iPhone on Zoom, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
22nd: TBA on phone
29th: Jan Cleere, “Stories of Western Women” on phone
6th: No meeting (Start of NFB Convention)
9th: TSB Board Meeting 10:15 a.m., Biscuit Country Café, 7026 E. Broadway
13th: Christy Morrison – Orientation & Mobility Instructor, “All about Canes and Cane Travel” (back at the church)
20th: Rep Stephanie Stahl Hamilton, “My goals for the next session and Lunch will perspectives from the Newbie Representative”, lunch will be served Leave at noon.
20th: TSB Training with Manny Celis, “Using Voice Over on the iPhone” on Zoom, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
27th: Pam Sands, “ Chair Exercises, Meditation and Yoga,”
August 3rd: Our own TSB member, Mike King, will sing and perform the oldies on his guitar.
President’s Message by Barbara Macpherson
It was awesome to return to the church for our last meeting. Kendall Kroesen did a good job of telling us about Tucson’s history and the Mission Gardens. TSB members hope to go on a field trip in the fall to see the amazing Mission Gardens.
Annie has challenged us to get organized again. I challenge you to learn something new. We got a good start selling Jim Click tickets. Remember to ask your doctors and friends to support TSB. Tickets are $25 each or five for $100. Call Tom Young at 520-721-1029 to purchase or get raffle tickets.
TSB members are going to see the play Frankenstein at the Gaslight Theater on Wednesday, October 20, 2021. Tickets are $20 each, so let Barb know if you are interested. We have reserved seats in the front of the theater.
See you soon at the church at 6565 E. Broadway.
Tucson Society of the Blind Board Policies
Dues Payment Policy – TSB memberships are based on a calendar year. Dues paid from January 1 through September 30 confer membership for the year. With TSB’s annual meeting occurring in November, dues paid October 1 through December 31 confer membership for the following calendar year.
If a volunteer event driver requests it, TSB will pay $10 for mileage/wear and tear on the car per field trip.
TSB does not discriminate against any individual because of race, disability, gender orientation, sex, or religion.
Eye Talk – Being Organized, Part 2, by Annie Schlesinger
“A place for everything and everything in its place.” This is organization! But it must be done at all times – even compulsively. I will give you some of my ideas which I hope will inspire you to adopt or develop your own systems.
My mail gets sorted immediately and I immediately discard anything possible. I used to save interesting items and articles but life changes and I can’t manage piles of paper. I have autopay for most of my bills. Receipts, such as store receipts I might need later, go into a basket to save for a time. The basket is periodically cleared out but it keeps the receipts available for a time and mostly I don’t have to sort through them.
My bank has an app where I can check my account online. I also can call a phone number and hear my recent transactions. Phone calls also work for transactions on my credit card.
As well as having medical names and numbers in my phone contact list, I have a printed copy. I keep a list of current medications on the refrigerator and one ready to go with me for appointments. In the hospital we kept a chart for each patient. When my husband and I were traveling in our RV, I started a narrative (chart) or history of medications and medical problems with dates. I still do “my chart” as I feel it is important to know my history and dates when things occurred.
I have a daily routine. I try to live as stress-free as possible. I don’t find routine boring; I believe routine gives me time for interesting activities. You may have a different or better way of doing things. Let me know; I’m eager to learn.
Eye Talk by Annie Schlesinger
If you have no interest in technology you can still benefit from receiving information from others who are blind or low vision by using the telephone. Our world changes and keeping up is important. Newly introduced items such as laundry, bleach, and dishwasher PODS can really help us. I love these pre-measured cleaning products!
Hadley offers many classes for blind and visually impaired adults and high school students as well. Topics include braille, access technology, independent living and recreational activities. They schedule discussion groups on cooking, crafts, travel, gardening and more.
Hadley has ways to stay in touch via telephone, braille, large print and NLC cartridges. You can ask for information from the website on a variety of topics to be put on NLC cartridges which can be inserted into the talking book player. You can also join discussion groups by phone. And if you have trouble dialing in, Hadley is working on a system to automate the process to assure you get in. Call Hadley to start to get set up at 1 800 323 4238.
Another way to get involved with others is with the Well Connected Program. This program provides support for older adults over 60 and Well Connected believes having people to talk to and engage with in social activities, improves our health. Group discussions are offered and there are a wide range of more than 20 pages of options listed in their catalogue. Some topics available include advocacy, religion, books, health and wellness. Phone calls are free of charge and sessions last 30 minutes to an hour. Their contact number is 1-877-797-7299.
MDSupport has a monthly telephone meeting on the third Thursday of the month. MD stands for macular degeneration but their programs are relevant to everyone with vision loss. Presenters are motivational speakers who are leading experts in fields of low vision care, research, products, and rehabilitation. You can connect with Dan Roberts at 1 888 866 6148. Meetings are held the third Thursday of the month and you will receive a monthly newsletter.
When my eye disease was diagnosed and I started receiving Talking Books, I read all the books that the library had by and about blind people. I learned lots!
Arizona Talking Book Library 1-800-255-5578.
NFB Newsline is a free service where you can listen to many newspapers and magazines by phone. I like to listen to the AZ Daily Star, USA Today, and opinion pieces by the Washington Post. Magazines I listen to are: AARP Bulletin, AARP Magazine, The Braille Monitor, The Braille Forum, Parade, and the Reader’s Digest. It is easy to learn how to use NFB Newsline and there is a tutorial also. To receive NFB Newsline call the AZ Talking Book Library and ask them to sign you up for Newsline. You will receive a code in the mail and once you put it in, the service will recognize you when you dial in.
The American Council of the Blind, (ACB) has many phone numbers to access their information on advocacy, legislation, and radio. The ACB Radio 518-906-1820 will connect you to all the ACB Radio Channels. Number 1 and Number 2 will connect you to the Mainstream Radio, the main information line. Number 5 will connect you to ACB Community Calls. The Washington Connection is 800 424 8666 Number 9 and it will inform you on all the latest ACB legislation.
P.S. Don’t forget theTucson Society of the Blind weekly Tuesday morning meeting.
News You Can Use by Barbara Macpherson
When the ice cream began melting, my husband Hunter and I knew that our refrigerator/freezer was in trouble. Luckily, we had bought the 5-year extended warranty in 2017. And as it turned out, the repairs would cost more than the refrigerator, so the extended warranty insurance company wrote us a check for what we paid for the refrigerator in 2017. It surely worked out for us that we bought the extended warranty on our original purchase.
Maggie likes to use the Nite Pen, which is a fountain pen with a light on the end. It is sold by Independent Living Aids. She can see much better what she is writing when using it. The battery-operated pen comes with two ink cartridges, $11.95 plus shipping.
Amazon SMILE Program – If you shop on the Amazon site, you can select a charity and they will donate 0.5% of every purchase you make on Amazon to that charity. All of this is at no cost to you whatsoever. The National Federation of the Blind is a charity that is part of the SMILE program.
If you watch Amazon Prime Video you can see some of the latest movie releases for $6.99 and up at home on your own smart TV. Amazon Prime members can order Amazon Pantry which fills a big box of dry goods with a single delivery fee of $5.99. The box may contain up to up to 4 cubic feet weigh no more than 45 pounds This service is very handy for heavy items such as cat food or dog food.
Amazon Wardrobe is a service where you can order clothing in different sizes and not be charged at first. You try your items on and only get charged for what you decide to keep. The catch is you can only order one item in each size. This is very handy if you are not sure which size fit you are.
Another helpful website is www.amdcentral.org. On this site you will find the latest research, news, and resources for dealing with age-related macular degeneration.
Using Amazon’s Echo Dot smart speaker, you can listen to various news podcasts without commercials. Shows such as CBS’ 60 Minutes, NBC’s Meet the Press, and ABC’s News are available. As an example, you can ask Alexa to “play”, “open”, or “enable” 60 Minutes Podcast”.
Over on the technology side, there are a number of brand-new books available. They include “Getting Started with Windows 10: Using Windows 10 with Screen Readers,” by Chris Grabowski and Kim Loftis. It is available in braille (3 slim volumes) as well as BRF, DAISY and Word. Those of us who are new to Windows 10 will find that this book helps demystify the operating system and shows how to use your PC in the ways that best suit your preferences.
Another available book is “What’s New in iOS 14: A Guide for Blind Users” by Anna Dresner. It is available in braille (one volume) as well as BRF, DAISY and Word. For more information, call toll-free 1 800 548 7323 or on their website at www.nbp.org.
On BARD the book “My Heart is not Blind: On Blindness and Perception” by Michael Nye, NLS (DB92924) is available for download. The book took seven years to write and includes in-depth interviews of how blind individuals cope.
Free catalogs for low vision aids:
• Independent Living Aids 800-537-2118
• LS&S 800-468-4789
• Maxi Aids 800-522-6294, 631-752-0521
• Speak to Me 800-248-9965
There are a couple of conventions coming up this summer. For example, the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) Virtual Convention is July 6-10, 2021. There is no registration fee for this convention and it will be held via Zoom. Be sure not to miss Rookie Roundup and the banquet speech by President Mark Riccobono. Also, by signing up at www.nfb.org you will be eligible for door prizes!
You can also sign up for the American Council of the Blind (ACB), virtual Convention which takes place July 16 through July 23. The registration is now open. The cost of registration is $25 for ACB members. Non-ACB members will be charged $40. If you are not a member, you can join as a member-at-large for $10. Also, if you wait to register in July the registration fees will be an additional $10.
If you would like assistance registering by phone, please call Janet Dickelman at 651-428-5059. One of their telephone registration assistants will call you back to complete your form. By registering for the convention, you may attend any session. Go to www.acb.org. You can listen to convention on Radio ACB by phone or on Alexa Radio for free including listening to audio described tours. The advantage of early registering is that you are eligible for door prizes.
Lighting is critical for the low vision individual. At age 50 the human eye needs six times the light needed at age 10 to perform daily task. At age 60, the individual needs 15 times the light to perform the same daily task. Proper lighting can make a difference between being able to read something, or not being able to read at all.
In my own life lighting has made all the difference in enabling me to function safely and easily. I have fluorescent lights under the kitchen cabinets and fluorescent lights in the closets. In other closets I have battery powered motion sensor lights which come on when I wave. In the hallway I was misjudging the width of the hallway, slamming my left shoulder in the wall because of having no peripheral vision. The old light fixture was replaced with a new brighter one and now I can navigate the hall safely.
Over my Lazy Boy recliner, I have my OttLite floor lamp. Natural daylight lamps such as OttLites deliver clearer colors and reduce eye strain by imitating natural daylight. And with low heat output and little glare, these lights provide sharp visibility for close tasks. The best prices I have found for OttLites are on Amazon. If you do not have computer access, get a relative or friend to order these products for you. All products over $35 get free shipping. A regular desk lamp OttLite is $30, floor lamp $60, rechargeable desk lamp $60, magnified desk lamp $32, and floor lamp with magnifier $75.
Here are some lighting tips:
Generally speaking, the better quality of light used with the magnifying lens the less magnification you will need. When reading, try to put the sun on your back. General lighting will help you move through the house, but position small task lamps wherever you might find yourself working on a different activity. For example, put a small task lamp on top of a dresser for matching socks, or taking medicines. You might need a battery powered lamp on the counter for writing your grocery list. Try to let as much sunlight as possible into your house. Sunlight is the best light there is. Torchiere floor lights do a good job of lighting an area by reflecting light from the ceiling. I use one to light up the area in the dining room where I store my backpack and purse. You can get one at Amazon for $97.
So, think about where you may need more lighting whether it is in a hallway or closet or whether a task lamp would make doing a task easier, or even by your computer keyboard. Good lighting is critical and a good investment for the low vision individual.
Compact fluorescents are being phased out because of their mercury content. Fluorescent lights can be replaced by LED lights which are brighter, cooler, last longer, and emit no harmful ultraviolet rays. We have replaced many compact fluorescent bulbs with LED light bulbs. So, look around your own home and see how you can make the lighting work better for you.
Bob Hope (1904-2004) was a famous comedian who entertained US troops during war times. Here are some of his quotes.
1. “A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don’t need it.”
2. “My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?”
3. “You know you’re getting old when the candles cost more than the cake.”
4. “You never get tired unless you stop and take time for it.”
5. “I have seen what a laugh can do. It can transform almost unbearable tears into something bearable, even hopeful.”
6. “I like a President who tells jokes instead of appointing them.”
7. “Middle age is when you still believe you’ll feel better in the morning.”
8. “If you haven’t got any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble.”
9. “Don’t people know that they don’t have to heckle the president of the United States? That’s what Congress is for.”
10. “Failure is the only thing I’ve ever been a success at.”
11. I love flying. I’ve been to almost as many places as my luggage.”
12. “Middle age is when your age starts to show around your middle.”
13. “When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things – not the great occasions – give off the greatest glow of happiness.”
14. I don’t feel old. I don’t feel anything till noon. That’s when it’s time for my nap.”
15. “She said she was approaching forty, and I couldn’t help wondering from what direction.”
16. “If I have to lay an egg for my country, I’ll do it.”
17. “I have the perfect simplified tax form for government. Why don’t they just print our money with a return address on it?”
18. “Television. That’s where movies go when they die.”
19. “I love to go to Washington – if only to be near my money.”
20. “My secret for staying young is good food, plenty of rest, and a makeup man with a spray gun.”
Some Trivia – The Statue of Liberty in New York City
If you have ever visited the Statue of Liberty in person, you already know she’s an imposing figure, but consider the following fun facts:
• Official dedication ceremonies held on Thursday, October 28, 1886.
• Total overall height from the base of the pedestal foundation to the tip of the torch is 305 feet, 6 inches.
• Height of the Statue from her heel to the top of her head is 111 feet, 6 inches.
• The face on the Statue of Liberty measures more than 8 feet tall.
• There are 154 steps from the pedestal to the head of the Statue of Liberty.
• A tablet held in her left hand measures 23′ 7″ tall and 13′ 7″ wide inscribed with the date JULY IV MDCCLXXVI (July 4, 1776).
• The Statue has a 35-foot waistline.
• There are seven rays on her crown, one for each of the seven continents, each measuring up to 9 feet in length and weighing as much as 150 pounds.
• Total weight of the Statue of Liberty is 225 tons (or 450,000 pounds).
• At the feet of the Statue lie broken shackles of oppression and tyranny.
• During the restoration completed in 1986, the new torch was carefully covered with thin sheets of 24 carat gold.
• The exterior copper covering of the Statue of Liberty is 3/32 of an inch thick (less than the thickness of two pennies) and the light green color (called a patina) is the result of natural weathering of the copper.
Have a Happy July 4!