Skip to main content

Making Sense Newsletter

Sign up for Making Sense

Making Sense: October 2020

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

Second Sense Services
What is a Mental Map
Mindful Eating
RP Meet Up
Medication Safety
Apple Exchange
Upcoming November Programs
New Conference Call in Number
Accessibility Research
A Path to a Guide Dog
2021 Braille Calendars
Understanding Your Employment Rights
Disability Voting Rights Webinar
Accessible Voting by Mail

Please note: Screen reader users can use the quick key letter “H” to navigate article by article.  You can also use your screen readers’ headings list keystroke   for a list of article topics.

Second Sense Services

Our staff is offering support remotely by phone, and in some cases, in-person.  Our instructors, Cody, Joe and Eleni, are available by appointment only for one-on-one assistance.  How services are provided – in-person, remote or in-home–will be determined on an individual basis between our instructors and clients.  Protocols for in-person visits are in place to protect everyone including temperature checks, mandatory masks at all times and social distancing.  Our volunteer technology tutor, Marv, is also available remotely, by appointment, for assistance with iPhones, Victor Reader Stream and screen readers.  We are offering remote group workshops on various topics on our new conference call line, 312-809-1004.  Check our website calendar for upcoming events.  To make an appointment with an instructor or tutor, please call our office.  Our Product Center is closed for walk-ins, but we are accepting phone orders.  We hope these accommodations provide you with the support you need until we can get back to a full complement of services.  Be safe!

What is a Mental Map

When you travel to a new destination, how do you know how to get there?  One might think of using a map, but if you can’t see a physical map, what then?  Creating a mental map is a skill that goes along with your other travel skills like analyzing traffic patterns, using your other senses to determine your location and asking for directions.  On White Cane Day, Thursday, Oct. 15 from 1:00 to 2:30 pm, Eleni Gaves, our orientation and mobility instructor, shares the techniques that are used in creating your mental map and how you can use it to travel with less worry and risk of getting lost.  Join us remotely on our new conference call number, 312-809-1004, no pin required.  To register, call 312-236-8569 or email Eleni Gaves.

Mindful Eating

Since we have all been social distancing and staying at home more often, boredom has set in.  Maybe you have put on a few extra pounds from a lack of your normal activities or eating more just to pass the time.  Thinking about what you eat and how you eat, along with some exercise thrown in, can have a significant impact on your health.  In our Mindful Eating introductory presentation, Brooke Keeton, a Second Sense client who has been involved with mindful eating for a number of years, shares her journey and explains the concept of mindful eating and how it can help you become healthier and feel more energetic.  You’ll also learn about the six-week group Brooke is leading on mindful eating beginning in November.  Join us remotely on Wednesday, Oct. 14 from 10:00 to 11:30 am to learn how making small changes can improve your health and well-being.  Call in on our new conference call number, 312-809-1004, no pin required.  To register, call 312-236-8569 or email Kathy Austin.

RP Meet Up

We are excited to welcome Ben Shaberman, senior director, science outreach and community engagement from the Foundation Fighting Blindness at our next RP Meet Up.  Mr.  Shaberman will fill us in on the latest research and advances in the treatment for retinitis pigmentosa and related conditions.  Don’t miss this informative talk on Tuesday evening, Oct. 13 at 7:00 pm.  Call our new conference call number, 312-809-1004, no pin required.  Please call 312-236-8569 or email Kathy Austin to register.

Medication Safety

October is Medication Safety Awareness for the Blind Month.  Join us for an informative presentation on  medication safety and accessibility with a representative from En-Vision America, maker of ScriptTalk.  You’ll learn about their accessible prescription label service   options to ensure you take your medications correctly and safely.  You’ll also learn about the laws pertaining to accessible prescription drug information, how to talk with your pharmacist   to receive your drug information and the various label formats.  Cody Froeter and Siobhan Midgley will join in to provide practical solutions to medication management to insure your health and well-being.  This remote presentation is Thursday, Oct. 29 from 10:30 to 11:30 am.  Call in on our new conference call line, 312-809-1004.  To register, email Kathy Austin or call 312-236-8569.

Apple Exchange

Walking a little less?  Putting on a couple of extra pounds?  Perhaps coping with COVID19 has gotten you off your healthy living track.  Get back on track with the knowledge you’ll gain using the native health app on your Apple Watch.  Cody is leading our Thursday, Oct. 1 Apple Exchange to fill you in on how you can use the Apple Watch as a fitness tracker and vital stats monitor.  Call in at 1:00 pm on our new conference call line at 312-809-1004 to participate.  To register, call 312-236-8569 or email Cody Froeter.

Upcoming November Programs

As we continue to stay connected and informed, you’ll want to check in with us in November for a conversation with Dr. Parres Wright, O.D. FAAO, assistant  professor at the School of Optometry at Midwestern University and a virtual trip to Lincoln Park Zoo.  We’ll also have technology tips and training to help ease your online shopping experience this holiday season.  Check our Second Sense calendar in the coming weeks for more information or call us at 312-236-8569.

New Conference Call in Number

To join us for any of our remote programs, you can call our new conference call number.  We made this change to make it easier for everyone to participate without the struggle of putting in pins and bridge numbers.  Just call in at the time of the workshop and you’ll be connected as soon as our group leader is on the line.  The new number to call is 312-809-1004.

Accessibility Research

The graduate students at DePaul University who are enrolled in an accessibility course in the College of Computing and Digital Media, are looking for individuals who use technology to participate in a research study.  The students are interested in learning about the technology you use and how helpful, or not, it is.  Students will also ask how COVID19 has impacted you, and your plans or experience with voting in the general election. Audio or video interviews take place between Oct. 25 and Nov. 15.  You will receive a$15 Amazon gift card for your time and trouble.  If interested, contact Cynthia Putnam, PhD.

A Path to a Guide Dog

Interested in learning about what it takes to be a guide dog handler?  Join the staff at Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael, CA for a three-part online series that explains the many components and requirements for using a guide dog as a mobility option.  You’ll learn the difference between white cane and guide dog travel and whether or not you are ready for a guide dog.  You’ll also learn about GDB’s application process, training options and follow up services for graduates of Guide Dogs for the Blind.  This Zoom call takes place on Tuesday through Thursday, Oct 13 to 15 from 10:00 to 11:30 am Pacific Time.  Register no later than Monday, Oct. 12 to Jane Flower, youth outreach specialist.

2021 Braille Calendars

For many years, Second Sense distributed the free, pocket braille calendars.  Now, the American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults is providing these free braille calendars.  To receive your 2021 calendar, complete the online form with the number of calendars you would like to receive.  To learn more and to access the form, visit the American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults website.

Understanding Your Employment Rights

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month and in commemoration , the Great Lakes ADA Center and the ADA National Network are holding  an audio call, Accommodations for Hiring and Work on Tuesday Oct. 20 from 1:00 to 2:30 pm Central Time.  This presentation discusses the ADA requirements pertaining to the application and interview process and requesting accommodations.  A Q&A session follows the presentation.  Register no later than 24 hours prior to the presentation at www.ada-audio.org.  For more information, call 877-232-1990.

Disability Voting Rights Webinar

Equip for Equality is holding a lunchtime webinar on Tuesday, Oct. 6 from 12:00 to 1:00 pm regarding recent changes in Illinois law and information on the accessible vote by mail system established by the Illinois Board of Elections.  This informative webinar covers your right to accessible voting at polling places and from home, requirements for registration and voting and new laws and state initiatives that affect accessible voting.  To register for this Zoom call, visit www.bit.ly/disability-votes.  For more information, contact Equip for Equality at 312-895-7262.

Accessible Voting by Mail

Casting your vote on a paper ballot leads to accessibility issues.  If you do not have a trusted person to complete your ballot the way you want it completed, what do you do?  The National Federation of the Blind, American Council of the Blind and disability rights organizations have sued citing the inability for people with vision loss to cast a ballot privately as a violation of the ADA.  These lawsuits have forced states to make available an electronic ballot that is screen reader friendly.  In Illinois, these ballots are available as of September 24, 2020.

Here is what you need to know about electronic, accessible vote by mail:

  • Electronic vote by mail is NOT available everywhere.  You must check with your local election office to ask for this accommodation.
  • You must have completed an application to request a mail-in-ballot.
  • In Illinois, after verifying you have completed an application to vote by mail, your election authority will ask you for your name, date of birth and the email address where you would like to receive the link to your electronic ballot.
  • Within 5 business days of the request, you will receive an email from noreply@access.vote with an Access PIN and a link to a website where you can access your electronic ballot.
  • After you complete your ballot electronically, you must sign and print your ballot.
  • Completed ballots may be mailed via the USPS, dropped off at a designated ballot receptacle or submitted at your polling place on Election Day.
  • If you receive a ballot by mail, please reach out to your local election authority for further instructions on substituting it with an electronic, accessible vote by mail ballot.
  • Election officials suggest requesting your accommodation of accessible vote by mail as soon as possible.
  • This YouTube video demonstrates how the electronic vote by mail system works.

Please note: If you change your mind after completing a vote by mail ballot and decide to vote in-person, you must surrender your mail in ballot to your polling place.

Contact information for the Chicago Illinois area:
Cook County Clerk
https://www.cookcountyclerk.com/
clerk.yarbrough@cookcountyil.gov
312-603-0906

DuPage County Clerk
https://dupageco.org/election/
elections@dupageco.org
630-407-5600

Lake County Clerk
https://www.lakecountyil.gov/163/Elections
CountyClerk@lakecountyil.gov
847-377-2400
 or
voterregistration@lakecountyil.gov
847-377-2400

Will County Clerk
https://www.thewillcountyclerk.com/
coclrk@willcountyillinois.com
815-740-4615