Skip to main content
Second Sense - Beyond Vision Loss


Staffer at a baseball game wearing a shirt with "May I Help You?" on the back.

Why is Asking for Help so Difficult?

July 31, 2023 | Leave a Comment

by Kathy Austin

  Asking for Help is Hard No one wants to be a burden. You may feel ashamed, embarrassed or have any number of other uncomfortable feelings when asking for help. But, could your feelings be misguided? Our western society puts a large value on “independence.”  We may feel inadequate or incompetent when help is required. […] Read More »

Birding by ear is easy with house finches and their distinctive song

Birding by Ear: Who’s Singing that Song?

May 3, 2023 | Leave a Comment

by Kathy Austin

My first bird house was a well-crafted, sturdy red barn that hung empty for about seven years with no visitors. It came with us when we moved to a new house and amazingly, we had our first tenants, a family of sparrows. That bird house lasted for 20 years until the bottom finally rotted out.  […] Read More »


Accessible Technology: John’s Story

March 15, 2023 | Leave a Comment

by John

  When we requested favorite tech tips and tools for our last blog, John sent along this photo of his tech set-up and the explanation below. We felt this detailed answer deserved its own blog!   John’s Accessible Technology Set-Up For people with visual impairments, we are undoubtedly living in a “golden age” of accessibility.  […] Read More »

Assistive technology Four Square Swamp app on an iPhone

How Do You Use Assistive Technology?

February 22, 2023 | Leave a Comment

by Kathy Austin

  When I was going to college back in the 90s and early 2000s, a textbook consisted of a cardboard box with dozens of four-track cassette tapes.  I played them on a special tape recorder that I now cannot remember the name of. It was about the size of a textbook, but heavy in my […] Read More »

Tags: ,
Journal open to page showing a resolution: "and so the adventure begins"

Ditch Resolutions and Embrace Themes

January 17, 2023 | Leave a Comment

by Cheryl Megurdichian, CFRE

  Ditching Resolutions My New Year’s resolutions were always bright and shiny, full of hope on New Year’s Day. But, by the end of the month they morphed into failures. When I set specific goals – I will walk 10,000 steps every day – one miss started a downward spiral. And just a few days […] Read More »

Tags: , ,
Rowan, a yellow lab, and Weller, a black lab, are two of Kathy's guide dogs

Finding, Exploring and Labeling Your Photos

December 21, 2022 | Leave a Comment

by Kathy Austin

Rowan, a yellow lab, and Weller, a black lab, are two of Kathy’s guide dogs   Around the holidays, I like to send a letter to my guide dogs puppy raisers. Included in the letter are photos of the dogs I have taken throughout the year. Finding those photos in the photo library has always […] Read More »

Tags: ,

It’s National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day!

November 14, 2022 | Leave a Comment

by Kathy Austin

Yikes, it’s a science experiment! Do you have one of these growing in your fridge? It’s so easy to miss a food item we think we’ll eat later only to have it hiding on the bottom shelf, Way in the back. Possibly dripping into your crisper drawer. Yuk! When you throw vision loss into the […] Read More »

Tags: , ,
Screen on a Coke Freestyle Machine showing the QR code in the upper left-hand corner

How Do QR Codes Work for People with Vision Loss?

September 23, 2022 | 1 Comment

by Richard Stauder, CVRT CATIS

    QR Codes in the Community QR codes are becoming more prevalent in the community. You will find them at restaurants to order your meal, get games on your phone, and obtain information about a community event. QR Codes, or Quick Response codes,  have been described as a “modern three-dimensional” form of the traditional […] Read More »

Tags: ,
Piping Plover on the shore

What Makes a Vacation Special?

August 15, 2022 | Leave a Comment

by Kathy Austin

Since we’re learning to live with COVID19, people are venturing out and many want to travel again.  Browsing the Internet, I found dozens of practical tips for blind and visually impaired travelers, but what I felt was missing was ways to make a vacation special, enjoyable and, of course, fun. Some people with vision loss […] Read More »

A street scene under an overcast sky, with snow swirling and slick sidewalks.

Redefining Independence

July 14, 2022 | 1 Comment

by Siobhan Midgley, CVRT, COMS, TVI

It’s a blizzardy Saturday in Chicago; sidewalks slick, visibility low, fingers and toes frozen. I get a text from my client, and he has a conundrum. His usual route to his book club is just one stop away on the L. He knows the route well and normally has no difficulties traveling it. But he […] Read More »

Tags: , ,