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Making Sense: March 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

Guest Speaker at RP Meet Up
Enhanced Features of JAWS
New and Improved Microsoft Narrator
What is 1Touch™ Self-Defense?
It’s Game Time at Apple Exchange
Intensive Assistive Technology Course
Have Some Fun with Braille
Learning to Live with Vision Loss
Medicare Fact Sheet
Health Library
Chicago Lighthouse Scholarships
Learn Computer Coding
Twilight Bowl at the Goodman
Rewarding Volunteer Opportunity for Family and Friends

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#.

Guest Speaker at RP Meet Up

On Saturday, March 9, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm, we welcome Ben Shaberman, Senior Director of Communications for the Foundation Fighting Blindness. Mr. Shaberman will discuss the latest research for restoring and slowing progression of vision loss from retinal degenerative eye conditions. Everyone is welcome to attend this informative session. Bring your questions, too! Conference call is available. To register, call our front desk or email Polly Abbott.

Enhanced Features of JAWS

The JAWS screen reader has some pretty powerful features that can really improve your productivity. Our new JAWS workshop on Saturday, March 9 from 10:00 to 12:00 pm will help to expand your knowledge and give you a better user experience. You’ll learn about the skim reader, pronunciation dictionary, convenient OCR and more. To register, call our front desk or email David Flament.

New and Improved Microsoft Narrator

Have you ever had your screen reader just stop working? Perhaps there is a message on the screen that your other two screen readers just can’t read. Microsoft’s Narrator screen reader may be able to help. This lightweight screen reader has come a long way since it was first introduced. On Saturday, March 9 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm, David walks you through the improved features of this screen reader. You’ll learn how to turn Narrator off and on, navigate through Windows and use important keyboard commands. To register for this Saturday hands-on workshop, call our front desk or email David Flament.

What is 1Touch™ Self-Defense

Many individuals with vision loss feel vulnerable when traveling in public with a white cane or guide dog. This is an understandable fear and one of the reasons Second Sense offers the 1Touch Self-Defense course. On Friday, March 22 from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm, you can learn all about 1Touch and how it can help you become a more confident and self-assured traveler. During this introductory presentation, you’ll see an actual demonstration of how 1Touch Self-Defense works and learn about the multiple benefits you’ll receive by taking this training. To register, call our front desk or email Polly Abbott.

It’s Game Time at Apple Exchange

Just because your vision isn’t great, doesn’t mean you have to give up playing your favorite games. At our March 7 Apple Exchange, from 1:30 to 3:30 pm, we’re talking about accessible games you can play on your Apple device. Crossword puzzles, trivia, dice and zombies – we’ll talk about it all! Conference call-in available. To register, call our front desk or email David Flament.

Intensive Assistive Technology Course

Here’s a great way to brush up and expand your computer skills! Our Intensive Assistive Technology course is a fast-paced, one-week course covering the Windows 10 environment with either a screen reader or magnification program. The course covers Microsoft Word and Excel, navigating the Internet and using web-based email. Class meets from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. You should be comfortable with your assistive technology to get the most from this class. To inquire if this class is right for you, please contact David Flament at 312-236-8569.

Have some Fun with Braille

Learning braille is a commitment and takes some time to master. Practicing what you have learned is part of the process and can take many forms. Why not have some fun with your practice time and join us on Braille Game Day! On the last Friday of every month from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm, our group of braille learners are playing cards and board games to reinforce their skills and are finding ways to incorporate braille into their daily lives. If you know the braille alphabet, come join us on March 29! Wondering if braille is a skill that can help you? Polly Abbott is happy to help you decide if braille is right for you and explain our training options. To register, call our front desk or email Polly Abbott.

Learning to Live with Vision Loss

If your vision has deteriorated and you think it may be time to learn how to manage in a more productive way, consider our series, Learning to Live with Vision Loss. In this four-part series, you’ll learn about the emotional impact of vision loss and how to make small changes in your daily life that ease frustration. You’ll also learn how technology can be a life saver and about new options for getting around independently. If you or someone you know is struggling with vision loss, we welcome you to join us on Wednesday mornings from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm on April 3, 10, 17 and 24. To learn more and to register, call our front desk or email Polly Abbott.

Medicare Fact Sheet

Did you know that if you are at risk for eye conditions causing vision loss or blindness, and you are a Medicare beneficiary, you are entitled to certain benefits? Prevent Blindness has released a comprehensive fact sheet detailing eye-related services that Medicare beneficiaries are eligible to receive. Benefits include a “Welcome to Medicare” visit with your physician focused on screening and prevention, screening exams for glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, cataract surgery, treatment for age-related macular degeneration and prescription drug coverage. All services have specific criteria for eligibility. To obtain a free copy of this fact sheet by mail, call 800-331-2020 or visit www.preventblindness.org.

Health Library

The Health Library at Vista Center, an affiliate of the Stanford Health Library, is designed to help individuals with vision loss find information on eye conditions and their causes. The library is staffed by volunteers with vision loss who are trained in researching health-related conditions. Health Library volunteers are happy to research your specific health-related questions and will send information to you via large print or email. Monthly research newsletters via email on age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, optic neuropathy and diabetes are also available. The newsletters are compiled from research reports from professional journals such as Medscape, Medline, Nature and Ophthalmology. These free research services are a source of information but are not a substitute for your doctor’s medical advice. To sign up for the newsletters or to submit your request for information, email Dawn Wilcox at call 650-858-0202. To learn more visit the Health Library at Vista Center website.

Chicago Lighthouse College Scholarships

The Chicago Lighthouse is offering college scholarships to those with vision loss who are seeking an accredited certification, associates, bachelors, masters or doctoral degree. Potential recipients must either be an Illinois resident (attending either an in- or out-of-state school) or attend an Illinois school as an out-of-state resident. Applications are due by April 1, 2019. Applications must be accompanied by an essay and financial statement of need, two letters of recommendation, a Chicago Lighthouse eye report and official transcript sent directly to the Lighthouse from the last school attended. Awardees also agree to attend the Lighthouse ceremony to accept the scholarship and meet the donor on Saturday, July 13, 2019. Find the application by visiting www.chicagolighthouse.org/program/Lighthouse-scholarship/. For more information, call Maureen Reid at 312-666-1331, ext. 3655.

Learn Computer Coding

Do you have interest in learning computer code but feel overwhelmed with where to start? Apple has recently revealed the Swift Playground, a free app for the iPad geared at teaching code to new learners in a fun and interactive format. Six tutorials on the nuts and bolts of the Apple Swift Playground have recently been released by Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired. These recent editions to their learning tutorials assist in using Voiceover to get acquainted with the app and even get you coding! To learn more, visit www.hadley.edu. Click on the Instructional Videos link and scroll down to Swift Playgrounds.

Twilight Bowl at the Goodman Theatre

Don’t miss a touch tour and audio-described performance of Twilight Bowl at the Goodman Theatre, Sunday, March 3, touch tour 12:30 pm, curtain 2:00 pm. The play tells the story of six young women from a small Wisconsin town who are approaching adulthood and heading on diverging paths. Their local bowling alley becomes a place to celebrate triumphs, confront challenges and develop new identities. The story questions what defines a successful life and embraces the unknown of a life ahead. For reserved accessible seating, call the box office at 312-443-3800 or email access@goodmantheatre.org.

Rewarding Volunteer Opportunity for Family and Friends

Do you love puppies? Want to belong to a community of others who share your love of dogs and spirit of volunteering? Why not consider raising a Leader Dog puppy! Leader Dog in Rochester Hills, Michigan is looking for volunteers to help train and socialize puppies so they can become a guide for someone with vision loss. Puppy raisers find this to be an extremely rewarding volunteer opportunity that makes a huge impact. To learn how you can get involved, visit the website or call 248-651-9011.