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Making Sense: June 2021

Making Sense is made possible in part by donations from our readers.

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

CONTENTS

COVID19 Update
Choosing the Right White Cane
What are You Missing in Your Kitchen Tool Kit?
What about Windows Narrator?
The Reminders App at Apple Exchange
Get Involved with Dare2Tri
RP Meet Up
Have You Thought About Fire Safety?
Airport Travel with a Guide Dog
Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing is Sailing This Summer!
Accessible Healthcare Information
Old Format Braille Book Sale
Feel the Freedom of Running
Telephone Topics from the Mather
June is National Audio Book Month
Calendar of Events

COVID19 Update

We are optimistic and continue to expand the services we are offering. We are still being cautious, as protecting the health of our clients and staff is our highest priority. As we have been doing for much of the pandemic, we can support you in your efforts to remain independent. At this time, we are providing outdoor orientation and mobility training with our certified O&M specialists, Eleni Gaves and Siobhan Midgley. Since the weather is warming, we can also provide some daily living skills and smartphone/tablet training outdoors with our certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapists, Siobhan Midgley and Cody Froeter. Masks are required for in-person services. Technology training with JAWS, NVDA or Fusion with Microsoft Office or Internet basics is available remotely by phone with Joseph Lee. Daily living skills training is also available remotely. We continue to offer virtual programs you can access from the comfort of home using just your telephone. Don’t hesitate to call our office at 312-236-8569 with any requests for training, questions or needed words of encouragement!

Choosing the Right White Cane

There’s more than meets the eye when choosing a white cane. The material the cane is made from, its construction, length and tip all play a role in your safety and comfort when traveling. How fast you walk, the terrain you usually travel and your height are also factors a trained, certified orientation and mobility specialist can assess to help you choose the cane that’s right for you. On Tuesday, June 22 at 1:00 pm, Eleni Gaves, COMS, will share what to look for when choosing a white cane and answer your questions about mobility training. Call our conference line at 312-809-1004 to join the discussion. For questions, email Eleni Gaves.

What are You Missing in Your Kitchen Tool Kit?

When you are cooking with vision loss, there are some essential tools you’ll want to have on hand. These tools not only prevent injury, but help reduce the frustration you may feel when preparing a meal. On Thursday, June 17 at 2:00 pm, join Tomasina Perry from LS&S Products, along with our Second Sense staff, Cody, Siobhan and Brian, as they take you through the principles of good kitchen organization, helpful products and alternative cooking methods. From simple measuring cups you can see or feel to essential talking meat and oven thermometers to pressure cookers and air fryers, you will find the answer to your most difficult cooking dilemmas. Workshop participants can be entered to win a tactile low vision timer, courtesy of LS&S Products! To join this informative workshop, call our conference line at 312-809-1004. For questions, email Brian Hollandsworth.

What about Windows Narrator?

Windows Narrator is a screen reading software that has been included with every copy of Microsoft Windows since the year 2000. While not as intricate as other screen readers, such as JAWS or NVDA, Windows Narrator offers a low-cost option that can serve as an introduction to screen reading. It can also be a viable option for individuals looking to transition from screen magnification to screen reading. Join Cody Froeter on Thursday, June 24 at 1:00 pm as we explore the features, usability and pros and cons of Windows Narrator. To participate, call our conference line at 312-809-1004. For questions, email Cody Froeter.

The Reminders App at Apple Exchange

We all forget, but there’s always the Reminder app to help out! Join Siobhan Midgley, CVRT, COMS, at our Thursday, June 3 Apple Exchange to learn all the ways you can work with this easy-to-use app. You’ll learn about the layout of the app and its functionality. Creating and sharing lists, using Siri and setting different types of reminders — like a location-based reminder that are triggered when you arrive or leave a specific location — will be discussed.

Apple Exchange meets at 1:00 pm on the first Thursday of the month to talk about Apple products, apps, VoiceOver and Zoom. Bring your questions, experiences and share with the group. To join the discussion, call the conference line at 312-809-1004. For questions, email Siobhan Midgley.

Get Involved with Dare2Tri

Dare2Tri is a nonprofit organization that works with athletes of all abilities and levels to enhance confidence, health and well-being. With COVID19 restrictions beginning to ease, Dare2Tri is now providing in-person programs in biking, swimming and running. On Tuesday, June 15 at 1:00 pm, Dan Turn and Ryan Quilty from Dare2Tri shares their story of starting the organization and how you can participate in the many activities they offer. This is a great opportunity to discover some new friendships while getting much needed exercise after a year of quarantine. To join this informative presentation, call our conference line at 312-809-1004. For questions, email Kathy Austin.

RP Meet Up

How are you feeling about all the recent research and medical advances for RP? These are exciting times for research into restoring sight and preventing or postponing vision loss. Sometimes, though, hope fades when you hear they are still a long way from finding a cure. Let’s talk about ways we can put this exciting research news into perspective at our June RP Meet Up.

Anyone with RP or related inherited retinal conditions are welcome to join us on Tuesday, June 8 at 7:00 pm. We will not meet in July. Call the conference line at 312-809-1004. For questions, email Kathy Austin.

Have You Thought About Fire Safety?

Recently one of our clients had a frightening experience in a fire emergency. While he was familiar with his building’s layout and had practiced an escape route in case of a fire evacuation, when it came to the actual event, situations arose that he wasn’t prepared for. It’s likely most of us have had fire safety lessons growing up, but vision loss creates new challenges and things to consider. Do you have concerns about a fire in your home or in an unfamiliar environment? If you have experienced a situation like our client, what went right? What was it that you wished you would have known? You can help us and our clients by sharing your questions, comments and concerns on this topic! Please email Siobhan Midgley, CVRT and COMS, or call her at 773-340-2059, to share your concerns and what you would like to know about fire safety. Thank you!

Airport Travel with a Guide Dog

Guide Dogs for the Blind and The Seeing Eye, along with United Airlines and Alaska Air, have created a new video to educate airport personnel about the appropriate ways to assist a guide dog handler and their guide from check in to boarding the aircraft. While this video is targeted at airport personnel, it can also be especially helpful to review these tips for your own travel purposes. The video can also help you know what to expect from airport personnel when you are navigating through the air travel process with your guide. Emphasis has been placed on social distancing protocols and descriptive language when giving directions. Play the video by following this link.

Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing is Sailing This Summer!

With some precautions and COVID19 guidelines in place for safety, Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing is back on Lake Michigan this summer. If you are interested in signing up for sailing lessons, you can contact the Sailing Center at 312-747-7684 on Friday, June 4 or Saturday, June 5. Bring your questions and have them answered at this virtual open house. Check out JGASF’s calendar or for more information, email Kerry.

Accessible Healthcare Information

Have you ever left your doctor’s office, or been released from the hospital, with a pile of papers you cannot read that contain the critical information you need for your care? The Americans with Disabilities Act and other laws require healthcare providers to communicate effectively with individuals and their companions with vision loss. The Great Lakes ADA Center and the ADA National Center are offering a free webinar on how to advocate with your healthcare professionals to obtain critical information about your care in a format that is accessible to you. The webinar takes place on the Zoom Conferencing platform, Tuesday, June 15 at 1:00 to 2:30 pm central time. Registration is required by Monday, June 15. For questions, email webinars@adaconferences.org.

Old Format Braille Book Sale

The National Braille Press (NBP) has braille books in the old English Braille American Edition (EBAE) format available at a steep discount. The books are in electronic braille format (.brf) and are available for purchase for $5.00 until August 31. You can download cookbooks, kid’s books including the Harry Potter series, literature and self-help titles! It is suggested you save your purchased downloads as after August 31, NBP will be removing these books from their database. To choose from the available titles, check the NBP bookstore.

Feel the Freedom of Running

The Chicago chapter of Achilles International provides athletic programs and social connection for people with all types of disabilities. Volunteer guides can help you get in shape by walk and run opportunities here in Chicago and put you on a path to run a 5K or even a marathon! Achilles Chicago is making changes to their meeting schedule, so if there’s a time and place where you’d like to meet up with an Achilles Chicago volunteer guide, email Ashley. Watch for our virtual presentation in July as we welcome an Achilles volunteer to talk more about this program.

Telephone Topics from the Mather

If you’re just not quite ready to get out yet, check out Mather’s Telephone Topics! You can connect with others and participate in a wide variety of engaging activities and discussions right from home. Yoga and meditation, history and architecture, opera and rock and roll are just a few of the topics to choose from. It’s easy to join via Zoom or by calling a toll-free number on your phone. Not all programs have a visual component. To discover more about Mather Telephone Topics, browse offerings and register, visit Mather’s Aging Well Discussions and Programs page.

June is National Audio Book Month

While many of us have had the pleasure of reading books from the National Library Service Talking Books program, a lot has changed in the audio book world since its beginnings in 1934. Hundreds of sources now exist to hear a book narrated by a professional actor or even the author of the book. Some audio book libraries are free, some are on a subscription plan and some are purchase to keep, so there’s an option for everyone. Here are some sources for audio books. The list may contain some familiar names and some new ones that may be worth checking out if you’re looking for something a little different.

  • Chirp Books highlights newer authors with deep discounts of up to 95% off.
  • Scribed’s subscription plan of $9.95 a month gets you unlimited books each month with many Pulitzer Prize winning authors.
  • Apple Books offers titles to purchase and some for free including Oprah’s Book Club and a Getting to Know Your Narrator section.
  • Hoopla offers free access to more titles than what may be available at your local public library with a valid library card.
  • Project Gutenberg Offers free access to many human narrated books, all in the public domain dating back 95 years and older. Great for the classics!

Calendar of Events:

Visit the Second Sense Calendar for a full listing of our scheduled workshops and programs.