NOVEMBER/DECEMBER/JANUARY 2023/24 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.
or more information call Barbara at 520-298-2427 or Annie at 520-461-1677
It is the Mission of the Tucson Society of the Blind to enhance the quality of lives of the visually impaired through social, educational, and recreational programs.
7th: Learning how to Advocate: Airline Travel Using Uber and Lyft, Tips on Sun Van. Barbara will lead the discussion. Let Barb know if you are coming to the Annual Meeting on Nov. 14th.
7th: Manny’s iPhone class 6:30-8:30 PM on Zoom
14th: Annual Meeting. TSB members will elect board of directors and hear the President’s and Treasurer’s reports. We are celebrating the 20th anniversary of TSB. Lunch will be a choice of either American or Italian submarine sandwiches, potato salad, coleslaw and birthday cake. Get a 12:15-12:45 PM out on Sun Van. Please let Barb know if you are coming by November 7th on Sun Van.
17th: Board Meeting at 10:15 AM at Biscuit Country Café 7026 E. Broadway
21st: Vacation – There is no meeting at the church.
21st: Manny’s iPhone class 6:30-8:30 PM on Zoom
28th: Craig Plotner will be performing Christmas songs and some fun oldies on his guitar.
3rd: Disability Pride Day 11:00-7:00 PM at Tucson Convention Center, 2060 S. Church Ave. TSB will have a resource table. There will be 60 non-profit exhibitors, music, food trucks, and family activities. Admission and parking are free.
5th: Singer group “Seneca Drive Duo” will perform songs from the 50’s and 60’s as well as Christmas songs.
12th: TSB Annual Christmas Party. We will have a chili potluck with all the extra side dishes. There will be a gift exchange. Wrapped gifts need to be marked “man” or “women” and not cost more than $15.00. No alcoholic beverages please. Get a 12:15-12:45 PM out on Sun Van.
19th: TSB Members will enjoy a lunch at Olive Garden, 5410 E. Broadway. Meet at 11:15 AM. Lunch on your own. Get a 1:00-1:30 PM out on Sun Van.
26th: Vacation – There is no meeting at the church
2nd: Vacation – There is no meeting at the church.
9th: Nancy, an occupational therapist, will be talking about Low Vision and Safety” and “How to Avoid Falls,”
10th: Lovin’ Life After 50 Expo, 9:00-1:00 PM, Reid Park Doubletree Hotel, 445 S. Alvernon Way. This free, fun event will have vendors, entertainment, and a raffle drawing every hour. We will go to the Olive Garden restaurant at 5410 E Broadway for lunch afterwards.
12th: Board Meeting at 10:15 AM at Biscuit Country Café, 7026 E. Broadway
15th: Meet at the Gaslight Theater, 7010 E. Broadway at 4:00 PM at Little Anthony’s diner for supper before the show. Be there at 5:30 PM for the show “Salute to Burt Bacharach.” Tickets are $22.00 and must be purchased by Dec 19. We have seats in rows A, B, and D. Please contact Barbara if you would like to go.
16th: JJ Rico. an ADA lawyer, will talk about court cases involving accessibility for the blind and disabled people in Arizona.
16th: Manny ‘s iPhone class 6:30-8:30 PM on Zoom.
23rd: Jeff Babson, a biologist, will be talking about Arizona animals.
30th: Bob Kresmer will be talking about his life’s vision journey and the proposed legislation from the National Federation of the Blind.
6th: Dr. Jennifer Caywood, low vision optometrist, will talk about the latest magnifiers and the importance of good lighting and contrast.
President’s Message by Barbara Macpherson
The holiday season is time to enjoy the fun activities and give thanks.
Thanks to all the members and friends who bought Jim Click Raffle Tickets and made donations to support TSB. These funds will help TSB to continue providing programs to help visually impaired individuals.
Thanks to all the volunteers and members who pitch in to make the weekly programs and field trips a success.
Thanks to the TSB Board of Directors for all the work they do to keep TSB running successfully.
In November and December, we will enjoy musical performances by Craig Plotner and musical group Seneca Drive.
Have a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New year!
News you can Use by Barbara Macpherson
Uber will now return packages for you to the post office, etc. for $5.00 each. Uber will send a driver to pick up the package.
If you wish to call Uber on the phone for a ride, the number is 1-833-873-8327. You will need to tip the driver in cash and the ride will cost $5 extra for using the telephone service.
To order large print calendars that have date boxes that are large enough to write in, go to Independent Living Aids. You can call 1-800 537-2118 or go to https://independentliving.com and order two calendars for $26. Independent Living Aids only charges shipping one time regardless of how many calendars you order.
To learn VoiceOver on the iPhone:
Download the free app VO Starter. The lessons are brief and very informative. Another option is to go to www.hadley.edu and click on Technology. There are several workshops on VoiceOver and SiriusXM and how to answer the iPhone and send email. Another option is to call Hadley and have them put it all on a All IOS workshops cartridge which can be played on the NLS Talking Book Player. You can reach Hadley at 1-800-323-4238
Annie’s Eye Talk by Annie Schlesinger
Keep it Simple.
Although I am a technology user, I find it very helpful to try to use non-tech whenever possible. For example, stick-on Bump Dots can mark many things so that I can use sense of touch for identification purposes. I have used some on my microwave, thermostat, keys, wall plugs that can be only be plugged in one way, as well as other items.
3-D paint, which comes in a bottle, can be found in craft departments and can be used to make small dots. Other materials, such as Velcro and stick-on felt, can be found in fabric and hardware stores. These can be cut into shapes and also used for tactile markings.
Brass safety pins don’t rust and serve well to identify corners of fitted sheets and other bedding. Pins can be used to identify clothing. I use a pin going along with the seam for black clothing and one going across the seam to identify white. Once I made a wonderful code of pins to identify many colors. Brass safety pins come in many sizes. By marking items with them, you can then find items by touch and be more independent.
Command Hooks by Annie Schlesinger.
Command Hooks are a wonderful way to get organized. These hooks stick to the wall and are easily removed. You can hang up clothes on the hooks. The command hooks hold different weights and are available at Walmart.
Some Suggestions for Gifts Ideas for the Visually Impaired Individuals
For expensive items, family members and friends could each donate a specific dollar amount to combine toward the gift.
Different sized trays can be purchased from Maxi Aids. Trays are good for taking pills or lining up cooking items.
Bump dots can be used for marking items and can be purchased from Amazon, HearMore, and Independent Living Aids.
Special 20/20 pens are available from HearMore. These dark, bold pens do not bleed through the paper and are easy to read. They come in a box of 12.
A Color Remo talking color reader will identify colors of clothing for you. New ones cost $200.00 plus shipping. On eBay we got one for $60.00.
A Soft Men’s Leather Wallet from Independent Living Aids has three sections for bills and six pockets for credit cards and cost $22.95.
You can get an iPhone SE 2 model for around $150.00. Although there is a learning curve to learn how to use Siri and VoiceOver on the iPhone, there are really so many things you can do with it.
A Talking Watch or a Key Chain Watch can be purchased from Amazon. As an example, one watch model is the Cirbic English Talking Watch for Visually Impaired. It has large numbers, a North American male voice, an expandable strap, is self-setting, silver in color, and costs $29.98 (with $2.00 discount coupon).
Large-print playing cards, Uno, Scrabble, tactile dice, and other tactile board games can be purchased from Independent Living Aids and are a lot of fun.
A Portable Ott Light with rechargeable batteries can be used to light up your dinner plate and can be purchased from Amazon.
A tape recorder such as Micro Speak can be used to record notes.
Labeling systems such as PenFriend and Reizen Talking Wand Labels can be purchased for clothes to mark colors and are able to be washed in the laundry. Recordable audio labels can be used to mark anything such as pills tops, freezer bags, important papers, etc. Look for these on eBay.
Amazon Smart Plugs controlled by voice through an Alexa Echo Dot can be used to turn on lights, fans, or coffee pots, and are a good choice. And among many other features, the Amazon Echo Dot itself can also be used to make phone calls.
A Talking Alexa Microwave Oven and Amazon Basic Air Fryer can be purchased from Amazon.
Audiobooks accessed through a subscription to Audible can be a wonderful gift so that friends or family members can listen to the latest best sellers. Audiobooks are about $15 each and can be listened to on an Amazon Echo device.
A talking, no contact, infrared thermometer can be purchased from independent Living Aids for $49.95. Just aim this thermometer at your forehead and it will read aloud your temperature.
An example of an affordable, hand-held electronic magnifier is the Eyoyo Electronic Magnifier found on Amazon for a total of $206.00 with tax. This 5-inch screen electronic magnifier has two distance settings on it with one being for close reading and the other for reading things further away. You can change the font color to make it easier to see and you can also even freeze an image. (That feature would be handy, say, for reading a price tag found up high.) Most electronic magnifiers start at $800.00, so this electronic magnifier for $206.00 is a bargain.
Free catalogs for low vision aids are available from
· HearMore 800-881-4327
· 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
· How do you know Santa has to be a man? No woman is going to wear the same outfit year after year
· What is every parent’s favorite Christmas song? Silent Night!
· Why did Rudolph have to attend summer school? Because he went down in history
· Why did the scarecrow get a big Christmas bonus? Because he was outstanding in his field.
· What kind of money do elves use? Jingle bills
· What do you call Santa when he stops moving? Santa Pause
· What do snowmen eat for dessert? Ice Krispies
· What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire? Frostbite
· What do you get when a snowman has a temper tantrum? A meltdown
· What do you call a deep-fried Santa? Crispy Cringle
When you consider Christmas, there are four stages in your life:
1) You believe in Santa, 2) You don’t believe in Santa, 3) You are Santa, 4) You look like Santa.
Here Comes Santa Claus
Years ago, I was drowning in too many responsibilities, I found myself devoid of any Christmas spirit. One day, I stopped at a red light. As I sorted through my long list of onerous tasks, a beat-up sedan pulled up next to me. Behind the wheel was Santa Claus belting out Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline”. The man did not have a care in the world. Upon realizing he had an audience, he turned, looked me straight in the eye, and shouted, “Merry Christmas!” As he drove off, his enthusiasm lifted my spirits and officially kicked off my holiday season.