MAKING SENSE: September 2016

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

1Touch Self-Defense Course
Getting Around with Ride Sharing
Facing Your Fears of Traveling Alone
Apple Mac — the Basics
Cast On
PowerPoint and Outlook Classes
Do You Have Retinitis Pigmentosa?
Technology Tutoring Appointments
New Bold Tip Pens
Honors for Our Staff Member
iPads in the Classroom
A Wonderful Town at the Goodman
Exploring Transportation Options
New Braille Measuring Tool
More on Windows 10 Upgrade

1Touch Self-Defense Course

Do you feel vulnerable going about your daily routine when traveling outside of your home?  The 1Touch Self-Defense course is designed specifically for people with vision loss and will help you develop skills like spacial orientation, tactile sensitivity, mobility and more.  No prior Martial Arts experience is required.  Beginning this September, Second Sense is offering two options for you to participate: a monthly Saturday class and a weekly Thursday class.  Both classes meet for six sessions from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm.  Pre-registration is required and space is limited.  To learn more and to register, call our front desk or email Polly Abbott.

Getting Around with Ride Sharing

Sometimes public or para transit doesn’t work to get you where you want to go.  What’s the solution? Ride Sharing!  On Thursday, Sept. 8 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm, David Flament explains the concept of ride sharing and walks you through the Uber and Lyft apps.  He’ll also share important tips for using these apps as a person with vision loss.  To participate, please bring your iPhone with the Uber and/or Lyft app loaded on your phone.  If you need help downloading the app, please contact one of our tech tutors or stop by our open lab on Tuesday or Thursday mornings for assistance.  To register, call our front desk or email David Flament.

Facing Your Fears of Traveling Alone

Can a guide dog help you feel safer and more confident when traveling?  Find out at our Second Sense discussion series on Monday, Sept. 26 from 1:00 to 2:30 pm when Pam Berman, outreach coordinator for Guide Dogs for the Blind, explains the difference between traveling with a white cane and a guide dog.  Pam shares her personal experience of each mode of travel and the responsibilities of working with a guide dog.  Information on the application and training process is also provided.  To register, call our front desk or email polly.abbott@second-sense.org.

Apple Mac — the Basics

If you are wondering if an Apple Mac is the right computer for you, you won’t want to miss our Apple Mac — the Basics educational class on Thursday, Sept. 15 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm.  You’ll learn the differences between a Mac and a Windows PC and basics like navigating the system, managing files and using the App Store.  First time Apple Mac users can benefit from this class.  If you have a MacBook, feel free to bring it along.  To register, call our front desk or email David Flament.

Cast On – Knit and Crochet Class

Would you like to learn to knit or crochet?  It’s a great thing to do while watching TV or listening to a book or radio program.  Come join our group of knitters and crocheters and get expert instruction from Polly Abbott on getting started at our Cast On classes.  You’ll learn how to cast on and off, the basic knit and purl stitch and single and double crochet stitches.  In the end, you’ll create a simple project like a scarf, potholder or afghan.  Classes meet on Wednesday mornings from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm beginning Sept. 21.  To register, call our front desk or email Polly Abbott.

PowerPoint and Outlook Classes

Get your message across clearly by learning two Microsoft programs: PowerPoint and Outlook.  On Saturday, Oct. 8 we are offering classes on both of these essential programs.  The MS Outlook class, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm, covers using email, contacts and the calendar.  The MS PowerPoint class, from 1:00 to 3:00 pm, covers creating and navigating a presentation and using themes, transitions and animation.  To register for one or both classes, call our front desk or email david.flament@second-sense.org.

Do You Have Retinitis Pigmentosa?

Looking over the last year’s topics at our RP Meet Up, we have covered a lot of ground!  We have shared the time when we first reached out for help, the challenges of traveling alone at night, finally admitting you can’t fake it anymore and the things sighted people say that make you shake your head.  If you have RP and would like to share your experiences, pick up some very helpful tips or just have some laughs and meet some great people, join us on Friday, Sept. 30 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm.  To learn more and to register, call our front desk or email Polly Abbott.

Technology Tutoring Appointments

In an effort to ensure everyone has access to our volunteer technology tutors, we ask you to call as far in advance as possible if you cannot keep your scheduled appointment.  In addition, we will be making reminder calls to all individuals the week prior to their scheduled appointments.  At that time, please let us know if you won’t be able to make your appointment.  If you would like to make an appointment, you can call our front desk on Fridays to see if any appointment times have opened for the following week.  We are happy that so many are taking advantage of our knowledgeable technology tutors, but please respect their time and let others take advantage by canceling your appointment in a timely fashion.  Thanks to everyone for your understanding!

New Bold Tip Pens

Many people have been disappointed the popular 20/20 pen has been discontinued by the manufacturer.  Second Sense’s Brian Hollandsworth has been combing suppliers all over the world to find a suitable replacement and we think we have found it!  The new Bold Tip 20 Pen is very similar to the 20/20 pen: it does not bleed through paper and has a bold tip.  We are now stocking the Bold Tip 20 pen in our Product Center.  Contact Brian to place your order today!

Honors for Our Staff Member

We are very proud of our own Polly Abbott, CVRT, OMS.  She was honored to receive the Elizabeth Lennon Meritorious Achievement award for exceptional leadership in the profession of vision rehabilitation and dedicated service to all individuals with blindness or visual impairment.  This award was presented at the International Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired conference in Jacksonville, FL in July.  We are so fortunate at Second Sense to have such a highly qualified and dedicated staff member.  Congratulations, Polly!

iPads in the Classroom

Apple’s in-house education team has published six guide books to help teachers integrate iPads into their curriculum.  These new starter guides were designed for teachers who may not be familiar with the iPad and in-class use.  The interactive collection includes photos and videos and covers apps such as Pages, Numbers, Keynote and more.  Each starter guide can be downloaded for free from the education section at the iBooks store.  If you are a TVI who needs some training on Apple devices to keep up with your students, give us a call!

A Wonderful Town at the Goodman

The Goodman Theatre presents Leonard Bernstein’s musical, Wonderful Town, audio described and enhanced by a touch tour of the stage on Oct. 8, 2016.  This show highlights two sisters’ journey to New York City to follow their dreams on stage.  Performance begins at 2 pm, touch tour at 12:30 pm. Reserved and discounted seats are only $30.  For tickets, contact the box office at 312-443-3800.

Exploring Transportation Options

Need to explore transportation services in your area?  The Independent Transportation Network (ITN) has developed a nationwide hotline and database that provides information about transportation services for seniors and people with visual impairments.  Rides in Sight offers trained operators from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm EST to answer questions about what is available in specific areas.  Contact 1-855-607-4337 or visit www.ridesinsight.org.

New Braille Measuring Tool

If you are looking for a low tech, easy-to-use measuring tool with braille, the National Braille Press has found it!  The Tactile Caliper measures with accuracy up to 1/16 of an inch and is great for people of all ages with vision loss.  No batteries needed!  The simple tool was developed by Squirrel Devices, a past winner of the Louis Braille Touch of Genius Award.  You can purchase the Tactile Caliper for $18.00 through National Braille Press.  Call 888-965-8965 or visit www.nbp.org.

More on Windows 10 Upgrade

As you may know, Microsoft has extended the deadline for the free upgrade to Windows 10 for people who use adaptive technology.  At this writing, we are not sure when this grace period will end, but we will keep you posted through Facebook, Twitter and our Tech Exchange list serve.  David recommends waiting to upgrade until the new versions of adaptive software products like JAWS, NVDA or ZoomText are released this fall.  You will want to contact your software manufacturer to make sure your product is compatible with Windows 10.  In the meantime, if you are interested in upgrading now, David has some tips for you.  While you may be able to upgrade using your screen reader on your own, the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk at 800-936-5900 can do the upgrade for you.  David also suggests using the custom setup at the end of the upgrade process.  The custom setup allows you to opt out of sharing personal information such as contacts with Microsoft.  You may also want to choose other programs that are not the default in Windows 10 such as Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player and iTunes.  If you have more questions about upgrading to Windows 10, please give us a call!