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Making Sense: November 2019

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

Welcome Eleni Gaves
Your Health, Vision and Diabetes
Working with DHS
Traveling with a Human Guide
Technology Training at Second Sense
Upcoming Apple Exchanges
Get Your 2020 Calendars
Making Sense is on NFB Newsline
November Holiday Closings
The Taxi Access Program
Ski for Light goes to Wyoming
Theatre School at DePaul University
Talking Thermostat

Please note: You can join some of our workshops (where noted) by calling in on our conference line. Dial 312-582-2994, conference bridge 301 and pin 1111#.

Welcome Eleni Gaves

Eleni Gaves, certified orientation and mobility specialist, has joined Second Sense as a full-time staff member effective Sept. 1. Eleni is a graduate of Western Michigan University’s Orientation and Mobility program and has been working with children in the Ft. Wayne school district for the past year. Some of you may have already met Eleni as she has been with us part-time since Rachael Eschbach went on maternity leave. Rachael has decided to take time to take care of her family and new baby boy. If you are interested in getting started with mobility training, or just need a little refresher, give Eleni a call. Please join us in welcoming Eleni to our team!
https://wmich.edu/visionstudies/academics/orientation

Your Health, Vision and Diabetes

Staying healthy with diabetes when vision loss complicates the condition is frustrating and stressful. Sometimes, feelings of fear and guilt get in the way of managing your condition. November is Diabetes Awareness month and we are inviting anyone with diabetes and vision loss to join us for conversation and support. We’ll talk about the challenges associated with diabetic care, feelings that may have a negative impact on your health and the positive things you are doing to stay healthy. Join us in person or by conference call on Friday, Nov. 15 from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm. For questions, call our front desk or email Polly Abbott.

Working with the Department of Human Services

If you have vision loss and employment is your goal, the Illinois Department of Human Services’ Division of Rehabilitation Services (IDHS/DRS) can be of help. On Friday, Nov. 8 from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm, Adnana Saric, job readiness and intake counselor from the Chicago Lighthouse, provides information about working with IDHS/DRS. She will discuss the benefits and procedures for opening a case with this government organization. Adnana will also share information on the Lighthouse’s employment services. To register for this informative workshop, please call our front desk or email Kathy Austin.

Traveling with a Human Guide

What do you do when someone wants to help you and grabs your arm or clothing to escort you where they think you want to go? Learning to use the human guide technique is not only useful for the people who escort you most often, but to show others how best to provide this valuable assistance. In our More than Just an Elbow workshop on Wednesday, Nov. 6 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm, you’ll discover how holding on to someone’s arm can give you a wealth of information. You’ll also learn how to travel through narrow passageways, change directions and communicate with your guide about the assistance you need. Bring along your favorite human guide or work with one of our volunteers. To register call our front desk or email Polly Abbott.

Technology Training at Second Sense

Having trouble with swipes, flicks and double-taps on your iPhone? Don’t know how to work the rotor? Maybe you want to use your laptop to surf the Internet or access your email? No matter what device you are using – iPhone, iPad, PC or Victor Reader Stream – we can help! Our computer instructor, Joe Lee, and our knowledgeable technology tutors can teach you the technology that can increase your independence and bring enjoyment into your life. Come in any morning and practice your keyboarding skills, check your email or surf the web in our open classroom and get a helping hand from our lab assistants if you need it. Make an appointment for a one-on-one lesson to learn exactly what you want to learn. Give our front desk a call, and we’ll get the right technology person to match your need. All of our technology training is free-of-charge!

Upcoming Apple Exchanges

We’re talking magnification options for the low vision Apple user at our Thursday, Nov. 7 Apple Exchange. Learn how to change your color schemes and fonts to make text easier on your eyes, reverse contrast to make text pop and adjust magnification levels to what you are reading. We are excited to welcome Rita Howells, author of Rita’s iDevice Advice email, to lead the December Apple Exchange. Rita’s advice email is posted weekly to our Tech Exchange list serve. Rita has a vast knowledge of Apple devices and the iOS operating system. She’ll be talking about the new iOS 13 update – what to watch out for and new features and options you can use! Call-in option is available. We meet from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm central time. To register, call our front desk or email Kathy Austin.

Get Your 2020 Calendars!

The 2020 wall calendars and large print date books are in stock in the Second Sense Product Center. These calendars feature great contrast, large numbers with lots of room for writing down those can’t miss appointments and special days. Unfortunately, the free braille calendars we have been distributing for many years must now be ordered directly from American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults. To order your braille calendars, call 410-659-9315, option 2 or email actionfund@actionfund.org. Brian is happy to take your orders for date books and wall calendars while quantities last – just give us a call at Second Sense or email Brian Hollandsworth.

Making Sense is on NFB Newsline

Do you know about NFB Newsline? NFB Newsline is an electronic news service that is free to subscribers with vision loss. You can read newspapers from all across the country, magazines from a wide variety of genres, TV listings, job postings and weather information. The service also provides important content pertinent to our community, including our monthly newsletter, Making Sense. Originally available only on your telephone, Newsline has grown with the times and is now available on your computer, Victor Reader Stream, iPhone and Amazon Echo! The service is easy to use simply by following the prompts. If you are already a Newsline subscriber, find Making Sense by choosing option 2 and following the prompts. To sign up for this free, accessible service, call David Meyer at 708-209-1767 or the Illinois State Library at 800-426-0709.

November Holiday Closings

Second Sense is closed on Monday, Nov. 11 in honor of Veteran’s Day and Thursday and Friday, Nov. 28 and 29 for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The Taxi Access Program in Chicago

At the Quarterly Guide Dog meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 12 from 5:30 to 7:00 pm, all are welcome to come and learn about the Taxi Access Program (TAP) in Chicago. Representatives from PACE Paratransit Service are providing an overview of the program and giving a demonstration of how to use the speech assistance feature in taxicabs. You’ll also have an opportunity to test and practice on the equipment. The Quarterly Guide Dog meeting takes place at Access Living, 115 W. Chicago Ave., second floor conference room. To RSVP, email Pam Berman or call 773-671-6624.

Ski for Light Goes to Wyoming

The 2020 Ski for Light International Week takes place Feb. 9 to 16 in Casper, Wyoming. Enjoy a week of cross-country skiing at the Casper Mountain Outdoor Center at McMurry Mountain Park, just 13 miles from the Ramkota Hotel, where you’ll be staying. You’ll be paired with an experienced, sighted guide who is also your ski instructor as you ski over 42 kilometers of wide cross-country trails. Lodging and all meals are included in your package. Prices vary from $890 to $1230 depending on your lodging preferences. It is recommended to check with your doctor if you have any concerns about the physicality of this activity. Ski for Light also recommends that you begin some basic conditioning so that you can receive the most enjoyment from this event. To learn more and for an application, visit the Ski for Light website.

Theatre School at DePaul University

Enjoy an audio-described and touch-tour performance of Our Lady of Kibeho by Katori Hall. The play is based on a true story of a young woman in an all-girls Catholic school who claims to have seen visions of the Virgin Mary. Her fellow classmates ostracize her until they too, see the vision that predicts the genocide in Rwanda. The performance is Sunday, Nov. 10, touch tour at 12:30 pm and curtain at 2:00 pm. A limited number of tickets have been donated to Second Sense and can be obtained by email Jessie Krust, audience manager at the Theatre School of DePaul or call 773-325-7965. The Theatre School is located at 2350 N. Racine Ave., Chicago.

Talking Thermostat

At this time of year, temps can go from 90 degrees to 40 in the matter of a day or two requiring lots of temperature control in your home. Turning off the air conditioning, kicking on the furnace and adjusting the temperature using standard thermostats is difficult, if not impossible to do independently. Fortunately, you can purchase the popular VIP 3000 Talking Thermostat from Blind Mice Mega Mall! This accessible thermostat, designed specifically for people with vision loss, can control most gas, electric and oil heating and air conditioning systems. Every display on the LCD screen is spoken aloud. The large arrow-shaped buttons make it easy to hear the current room temperature, set a desired temperature and program the unit. Audio instructions are included in WAV, text and MP3 formats. This thermostat is available with free U.S. shipping. Three convenient ways to order: call 713-893-7277, via email or online at Blind Mice Mega Mall.