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Making Sense: November 2022

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

CONTENTS

Yes, we are open!
November Holiday Closings
Building on Your Orientation and Mobility Skills
Reduce Your Stress – Take a Yoga Class
Everything New from Apple
RP Meet Up
Swing State at the Goodman
Applications Now Being Accepted for the ASPECT Program
New BARD Mobile Update for iOS
Can’t Find That Photo on Your iPhone?
Disclosing Disability in the Workplace
Second Sense COVID19 Policy
Calendar of Events

Yes, we are open!

Many callers to Second Sense have been asking if we are open and the answer is yes!  We are providing individual, one-on-one training here at the office and in people’s homes.  We are providing services a bit differently than we have in the past to ensure you get the personalized training and support you need.  Here’s a rundown of the services we offer and how you can obtain assistance:

Technology Training

We offer computer training using JAWS, NVDA, Fusion or ZoomText with Microsoft applications.  This training can be conducted in-person or remote.  iPhone training using VoiceOver and Zoom is also available from our instructors or with our technology tutors.  Our technology tutors can also provide help with Victor Reader Streams, downloading books from BARD and basic computer trouble shooting.  If your typing skills need a refresher, you can join our Wednesday keyboarding clinic.

Adaptations for Daily Living

Whatever trouble you encounter during your daily routine, we can help you find an adaptation to meet the challenge.  Cooking, cleaning, laundry or other household chores are all areas where we can assist.  Daily living also includes labeling and organizing, using lighting and magnification, dining at restaurants or at home, and keeping track of important information.  We can also show you how to travel using a human guide and protective techniques to prevent injury.

White Cane Training

Our orientation and mobility specialists will teach you the proper techniques for using a white cane so you can travel independently.  You can learn to cross streets safely and find any destinations.  If you want to travel far and wide, we can teach you how to use public transit and the best ways to ask for assistance from the public.  Check out our newest orientation and mobility workshop series we are offering, details below!

Product Center

Our Product Center carries basic supplies including white canes and tips, braille supplies, magnifiers, writing guides and bump dots.  Orders are taken via phone or email only, no walk-ins, please.  You can call to schedule an appointment if you need to come in, but appointment times are very limited. To place an order, email productcenter@second-sense.org or call 312-236-8569, press 2, then 5 for the Product Center voicemail.

Scheduling your training

For any of the above services, please call our office at 312-236-8569 or email Kathy Austin.  We will talk with you about your specific needs and goals and put you in contact with our staff member best suited to help you.

November Holiday Closings

  • Second Sense will be closed on the following holidays in November:
  • Veteran’s Day, Friday, November  11
  • Thanksgiving, Thursday and Friday, November 24 and 25

Building on Your Orientation and Mobility Skills

Do you feel you have pretty solid mobility skills but are still a bit tentative when traveling to a new destination?  If so, Second Sense has a new and exciting workshop series for you!  Beginning in late January, you can have an opportunity to participate in our first advanced mobility workshop. We’ll help you enhance your travel skills so you can confidently arrive at your destination.  Through a combination of virtual and in-person instruction, you will learn about the Five Point Travel System and how to use it to create a successful travel plan.  Our orientation and mobility specialists will assist you with your travel plan with the goal to put your plan into action with a trip to our first group outing, attending a movie at a local theatre.  Other possible group destinations include a trip to Lincoln Park Zoo, tandem bike rides and the Art Institute.  These workshops and group outings are for people with good travel skills who want to increase their confidence traveling to new destinations.  To participate, your mobility skills will be assessed by our orientation and mobility specialists.  If you would like to be considered, please call our office or email Kathy Austin.

Reduce Your Stress – Take a Yoga Class

Along with all the fun of the holiday season, comes the stress of keeping up.  Meals to plan and prepare, holiday shopping to do and gatherings to attend all compete for our time and energy.  To help enjoy this wonderful time of year, it’s best to take some time for yourself.  An excellent way to do this is to take a yoga class.  If you haven’t ever participated in yoga, you may feel a bit intimidated.  To help you feel more comfortable, we invited Aly Slaughter, experienced yoga teacher who also has vision loss, to help us understand the practice of yoga.  Aly will provide some yoga basics and share advice on how you can get the most from your yoga practice.  There will be time for questions and a short relaxation practice at the end of our workshop.  We’ll meet on the conference line, 312-809-1004 on Tuesday, November 15 at 1:00 pm.  For questions, email Kathy Austin.

Everything New from Apple

At our November Apple Exchange, we’re talking about all the new hardware and software announced at the big Apple event held earlier this fall.  Richard Stauder, our assistive technology instructor, is covering the new iPhone 14 series, the new iPad Pro, new MacBook Pro and Apple TV 4K.  He will also highlight some of the new features in iOS 16 for the iPhone and the operating systems for the iPad, Mac and TV.  If you missed the big event online, this is your chance to get caught up with everything new at Apple!  Join us on the conference line, 312-809-1004 on Thursday, November 3 at 1:00 pm.  For questions, email Richard Stauder.

RP Meet Up

If you want to do the things you want to do, it is necessary to advocate for yourself.  Speaking up takes courage and practice.  It also involves educating others who don’t have experience interacting with people with vision loss.  Trying to tell someone to let go of your arm or explaining to someone why you need help reading a menu, may bring a wide range of uncomfortable feelings.  At our November RP Meet Up, we’ll talk about those uncomfortable feelings, share productive ways you can advocate for yourself and effective ways to educate those who don’t quite understand vision loss.  If you have retinitis pigmentosa or related inherited retinal conditions, you’re welcome to join us on Tuesday, November 8 at 7:00 pm on our conference line, 312-809-1004.  For questions, email Kathy Austin.

Swing State at the Goodman

The audio-described performance of Swing State at the Goodman Theatre may give you better insight into today’s political divisiveness.  The play revolves around a recently widowed Wisconsin woman who tends mostly to her prairie garden. Her only visitor is a family friend with a sketchy past.  When the authorities are alerted to a mysterious theft, events unfold that change their lives forever.  Caution, this play contains a gunshot, police violence and suicide.  Recommended for 14 years and up.  Touch tour begins at 12:30 pm and curtain at 2:00 pm on Saturday, November 5.  To purchase your discounted $20 tickets, call the box office at 312-443-3800.

Applications Now Being Accepted for the ASPECT Program

The ASPECT program (advocacy, support, perspective, empowerment, communication and training), offered by Prevent Blindness is now accepting applications for their November to March course.  ASPECT is a way for individuals with vision loss, and other allies, to build knowledge, skills and confidence to be advocates for eye health.  Loved ones, nonprofit representatives, multi-disciplinary clinicians and researchers are also welcome to apply.  Eight sessions are held virtually every other week where you will learn the components of storytelling, eye conditions and their disease process. You will learn how these components can help you become an advocate to improve outcomes for individuals with vision loss and the quality of your own self-care.  To learn more about this empowering program and to apply, visit the ASPECT Engagement program webpage.  Deadline to apply is Friday, November 11.

New BARD Mobile Update for iOS

BARD, the Braille Audio Reading and Download program from the National Library Service, has recently released BARD Mobile 2.0.  This new release offers some great new search features.  When you enter author or narrator, title, or multiple types of information such as part of an author’s name and part of a title without quotation marks you receive reliable results!  More options are available for your Wish List and the ability to download books directly from your search results.  You can also find music appreciation materials, scores and instructional materials.  Other bug fixes including fixing a rewind problem are part of this new release.  Happy searching!

Can’t Find That Photo on Your iPhone?

You want to find a photo you took on your vacation last year. But, with all those photos in your photo library it seems like a daunting task, right?  Now there’s an easy way to search for particular photos and get some truly great results.  In Rita’s IDevice Advice, she shares how easy it is to find all sorts of photos.  Here’s all you need to do:

  • Open the photos app.
  • Perform a One Finger Double Tap on the Search button at the bottom left of the screen.
  • Perform a One Finger Double Tap in the Search edit field at the top of the page.
  • Enter the name of what you are searching for such as dog, beach, or town.

In many instances, VoiceOver will read a description of the photo, but you can also perform a Three Finger Single Tap to have it read for you.  You can label your photo using the VoiceOver labeler by performing a Two Finger Double Tap and Hold. Then type or dictate a name for your photo.  You’ll find lots of other helpful notes about your photos there too, especially if you are a photographer.

Disclosing Disability in the Workplace

Many of our clients ask about when, and if, they should disclose their vision loss to an employer or in an interview setting.  Every situation is unique and there are pros and cons for each situation.  The National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Vision Impairment at Mississippi State University has published a document, “Who Needs to Know: When and How to Disclose Vision Impairment” to help guide you in making your decision.  Visit the National Research and Training Center to download a PDF copy.

Second Sense COVID19 Policy

All clients receiving in-person services at home or at our office, must be fully vaccinated.  We also request that masks be worn when interacting with our staff during lessons.

Calendar of Events

Thursday, November 3, 1:00 pm – Apple Exchange: Everything New at Apple

Saturday, November 5 – 12:30 pm touch tour, 2:00 pm curtain – Swing State at the Goodman Theatre

Tuesday, November 8, 7:00 pm – RP Meet Up

Friday, November 11 – Second Sense closed for Veteran’s Day

Friday, November 11 – Deadline for applications for the ASPECT program

Tuesday, November 15, 1:00 pm – Reduce Your Stress, Take a Yoga Class