Making Sense: September 2015

Making Sense is made possible in part from donations by our readers. Second Sense thanks Horizons for the Blind for the braille transcriptions of Making Sense.

These articles are not an endorsement by Second Sense. Editor: Kathy Austin

CONTENTS

RP Day at Second Sense
The Other Side of the Desk
Taking the First Step
September Apple Classes
Emotions of Visiting the Eye Doctor
Friends and Family Exchange
Starting and Maintaining a Vibrant Low Vision Support Group
Words Wide Open
Meet the Maker at Innovation Lab
My Retina Tracker
Vision Matters
Putting the “Grand” Back in Grandparenting
Vision Connect App


RP Day at Second Sense

Spend the morning with us on Saturday, Sept. 12 from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm to explore ways to live better with retinitis pigmentosa! We are excited to bring you three informative presentations including Facing Life’s Demands When You Also Have RP, Making Transitions: More Results with Less Effort, and the Latest Experimental Treatments for RP presented by Dr. Tracy Matchinski, OD, FAAO from the Illinois College of Optometry. Also on hand are exhibitors demonstrating low vision products and other technologies that can make living and working with RP manageable. Connect with others who are living, working and coping with RP, take home valuable resources and gain the confidence to live better with RP! To register, call our front desk or email Polly Abbott.

The Other Side of the Desk

Gain a better understanding of what goes through the mind of an employer when faced with interviewing someone with vision loss. In this professional development workshop geared to those who are pursuing employment, you’ll gain a new perspective and learn what questions to be prepared to answer in an interview. Our guest panel has extensive interviewing experience from both sides of the desk and will answer your questions about the interview process. To register for The Other Side of the Desk on Thursday, Sept. 24 from 10:00 to 11:30 am, call our front desk or email Polly Abbott.

Taking the First Step

Has your vision changed lately? Are you feeling anxious at the thought of going out on your own without a guide? If the thought of traveling on your own is getting in the way of living your life the way you want to, orientation and mobility training may be the thing that gets your life back on track. Our Taking the First Step workshop introduces you to a panel of individuals who have felt the same way and have moved forward by learning this skill. Learn what prompted them to make the decision to acquire training and how it has changed their lives. This workshop is designed for people who are new to vision loss, contemplating training or just beginning their training. To register for Taking the First Step on Friday, Sept. 18 from 1:30 to 3:30 pm, call our front desk or email Polly Abbott.

September Apple Classes

For our intermediate level Apple users, we are offering two classes during September to help you become more efficient at using your iDevice. On Saturday, Sept. 19 from 10:00 am to 1:30 pm, we are offering My Notetaker to teach you to use your device to take notes, create calendar items, use the calculator and lots more. On Thursday, Sept. 24 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm, our Managing Apps class helps you corral and organize all those must-have apps by learning how to delete, move and switch apps. You must be able to use standard VoiceOver gestures and be comfortable navigating both in and out of applications. To register for these workshops, call our front desk or email David Flament.

The Chair:  The Emotional Toll of Visits to the Eye Doctor

Does the thought of another visit to the eye doctor put you on a roller coaster of feelings from hope to despair? Join us on Sept. 28 for our Monday Afternoon Discussion group as we take time to share our experiences and feelings about visiting the eye doctor. Our group meets the fourth Monday of every month from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm. Everyone is welcome, just stop by. To learn more, call Polly Abbott or email Polly Abbott.

Friends and Family Exchange

When a person experiences vision loss, family and friends are impacted, too. Sometimes there are triumphs, sometimes there are problems and sometimes we just don’t know what to do. Our Friends and Family Exchange email group is a place for you to ask questions, find resources and share experiences. Our staff will be there for you as well as others who are living and working through similar issues. Together, we will all move beyond vision loss! To sign up, visit our Friends and Family Exchange page, provide your email address and check the subscribe box. For more information, call Polly Abbott or email Polly Abbott.

Starting and Maintaining a Vibrant Low Vision Support Group

Numerous studies have found that providing a strong support system for someone experiencing vision loss has a significant positive impact on the person’s ability to adjust to this new lifestyle. Support groups are a key element to providing this support. Polly Abbott, CVRT and our director of rehabilitation services at Second Sense, has compiled a comprehensive guide to starting and maintaining a low vision support group. This manual is packed with tips and suggestions including how to market your group to attract members, speaker and discussion ideas, a library of definitions and explanations of vision-related terms, large print handouts and much more. Our manual benefits anyone interested in starting, revitalizing or maintaining a low vision support group. To get your copy of “Starting and Maintaining a Vibrant Low Vision Support Group,” provide your email address and you’ll be sent a link to download the free manual.
For questions, call Polly Abbott or email Polly Abbott.

Words Wide Open

We are very excited to once again offer our popular Words Wide Open creative writing workshop on Thursdays, Oct. 8, 15 and 22 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. Tap into your inner thoughts about living with vision loss and get great inspiration and feedback from our experienced writers, Jeff Flodin and Stella De Genova. Also joining us is Al De Genova, poet and After Hours magazine editor who provides thought-provoking readings and writing exercises to jump start your creative juices! To participate, you must be able to use a computer with little or no assistance. To register, call our front desk or email Polly Abbott.

Meet the Maker at Chicago Talking Book Center

You’re invited! Join the Chicago Talking Book Center staff and noted artist and technologist, Justus Harris in the Innovation Lab at Harold Washington Library, 400 S. State Street, Chicago, on Thursday, Sept. 10 from 3:00 to 4:00 pm. Artist Justus creatively transforms the massive amounts of data he collects managing his type 1 diabetes into 3D printed, tangible sculptures and sensory experiences. He has been selected as a featured artist for the Chicago Artist month and his work will be on display locally at the Beyond Biology exhibit. For more information and to register, call the Talking Book Center at 800-757-4654.

My Retina Tracker

Hundreds of different ailments can cause a person to lose their vision and only a few can be treated. Retinal diseases are one of the complex ailments that doctors are still working to understand and cure. A new online database is working to compile anonymous data from patients with retina diseases to provide important information for researchers. MyRetinaTracker.org has a goal to help the 200,000 Americans that have retinal diseases by enrolling up to 80,000 people in their registry. Incentives for involvement can range from providing doctors with detailed information of how a disease progresses to the potential chance of gaining the attention of doctors doing a clinical trial.

Vision Matters

The Macular Degeneration Association is hosting Vision Matters on Saturday, Sept. 12 from 8:30 am to 12:00 pm at the Holiday Inn, 1000 Busse Road, Elk Grove Village. The day features a presentation from Dr. Hamilton Practices from the Center for Retina and Macular Diseases, Winter Haven, FL regarding the latest research, treatments and clinical trials for macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. A patient ambassador will also talk about the journey of living with vision loss. Vendors and other resources will also be available. Breakfast is provided. To make your required reservation, call 941-893-4387 or email Donna.

Putting the “Grand” Back in Grandparenting

On Thursday, Sept. 10 at 2:00 pm CDT, Seminars at Hadley is presenting a webinar for grandparents experiencing age-related vision loss. Just in time for Grandparents Day, three Hadley instructors with extensive experience working with grandparents, share resources and suggestions that address valid concerns of grandparents. Questions concerning playing and caring for a grandchild, talking about your vision loss with your grandchild and staying connected and bonded will be discussed. Check the Seminars at Hadley webpage to register.

Vision Connect App

The American Foundation of the Blind (AFB) has released a free accessible iOS app enabling anyone to search through a directory of services throughout the US and Canada for children and adults with vision loss. You can find resources such as computer training, daily living skills training, braille and reading instruction, guide dog training plus much more. In addition, you’ll find personal stories of people living with vision loss, tips for living independently and suggestions for maintaining employment. This app is also helpful for healthcare providers and enables an email to be sent to the patient with resources they have chosen. To learn more, visit www.visionaware.org.