The following articles are not an endorsement by Second Sense. Editor, Kathy Austin.
November at Second Sense
Playing it Safe: Self Defense Strategies
Ride Sharing: Tips from a Daily Traveler
November RP Meet Up Open to All
Apple Exchange: What’s New in iOS 17?
The Nose at Chicago Opera Theatre
Blind Health Expo
Local Support Groups
Sensory-Friendly Zoo Lights
News for Guide Dog Handlers
Forward Together at Guiding Eyes Book Club
Calendar of Events
It’s almost turkey time and the year is fast fading away! This November we are offering some exciting new opportunities. Check out the articles below for ways to be safe when traveling, informative discussions and other resources you can take advantage of. Don’t forget our certified staff, Cody, Taurus, Richard and Mandi, are here to provide one-on-one tailored training to help you achieve your individual goals. We are just a phone call away! To inquire about any of our services or information on the following workshops, email Kathy Austin or call 312-236-8569.
Please note: Second Sense will be closed on the following holidays in November:
Friday, November 9 for Veteran’s Day
Thursday, November 23 and Friday, November 24 for Thanksgiving
Have a wonderful holiday!
At times, you may feel vulnerable traveling alone with a white cane or guide dog. The feeling of uneasiness may creep up on you when you are in an environment you are not familiar with. You may run into that overly helpful helper who grabs you when you don’t need the assistance. Or, worse yet, someone may try to take your belongings or physically harm you. Knowing how to respond in these different scenarios and developing the skills to respond will help you avoid many altercations altogether.
As a part of our Advanced Orientation and Mobility program, we are excited to welcome Torriente Toliver from Mind Body Defense for three workshops to develop your mental, physical and de-escalation skills so you can become more comfortable traveling. These workshops focus on:
Situational Awareness: Evaluating the level of safety in any environment
Friday, November 3, 1:00 pm CT
Conflict Communication: De-escalating the dispute
Friday, November 17, 1:00 pm CT
Grab Defense: Responding to a physical confrontation
Friday, December 1, 1:00 pm CT
You can attend one or all three of these interactive workshops that include discussion, role playing and some physical activity. Participation takes place at Second Sense, either in-person or you can listen in over our conference line by calling 312-809-1004. Participants who call in will be muted and in listen-only mode. For more information, visit our event page, call 312-236-8569 or email Kathy Austin.
Ride sharing apps have helped tremendously in getting people with vision loss to destinations not always accessible by public transit. The convenience of calling for a ride, on your terms and at the time you need it, provides a level of independence our community has never had before. But this convenience comes with some annoying, frustrating and sometimes scary situations. Finding your driver in a crowded place, making sure you are at the correct destination and communicating with your driver, especially if there is a language barrier, all present issues you must deal with. Taurus Smith, our certified vision rehabilitation therapist, uses ride sharing apps on a daily basis and has developed useful strategies you can use, too. Learn the best way to hail a ride, especially if you are working with a guide dog, connecting with your driver for pick up and making sure you are at the correct destination are just some of the tips Taurus will share at this presentation. Join us on Thursday, November 16 at 2:00 pm by calling our conference line at 312-809-1004. To learn more, email Kathy Austin.
Our Tuesday, November 14 RP Meet Up is open to anyone with vision loss as we have a special guest – Andrew Leland, author of The Country of the Blind: A Memoir at the End of Sight! Andrew is a journalist, audio producer and teacher who has RP. His recently released book focuses not only on his personal experiences of living with a degenerative eye disease, but a historical look at the culture of blindness. Andrew has been featured on NPR’s Fresh Air and his writings have been featured in numerous publications including the New Yorker, New York Times Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle and others. His book is available on Amazon, the Audible app and on NLS BARD (DB 115575). If you have a question you would like to ask Andrew about his writing, please submit your questions prior to November 14 to Kathy Austin. Our conversation begins at 7:00 pm CT on our conference line, 312-809-1004. For questions, email Kathy Austin.
We all know that when Apple releases a new version of iOS, things get fixed and things get broken. New features may also enhance your iPhone or iPad experience. At our Thursday, November 2 Apple Exchange, Richard Stauder, our assistive technology instructor, gives you the run down on the accessibility features, bugs and work-arounds for iOS 17. Join us on the conference line at 1:00 pm by calling 312-809-1004. For questions, email Richard Stauder.
It’s time to order your 2024 calendars! This year, we’re asking for your help. To prevent over ordering, we are asking you to place your orders for a spiral bound date book or large print wall calendar by Monday, November 13. The spiral bound date book is 8” x 11” and features bold lines and plenty of space to write down your appointments, anniversaries and birthdays. The large print wall calendar provides an easy way to see your entire month’s activities and also has ample space to write down those important dates. The spiral bound date book is $14.50 and the wall calendar is $15. To place your calendar order with us, please email our Product Center or call 312-236-8569. Please leave a message and Jim will get back to you to get your payment info. If you are looking for the free pocket braille calendars, contact the American Action Fund for Blind Children. You can order online or call 410-659-9315.
Love opera? Love smart satire on the political climate? We have an opportunity for you! A generous donor has provided 10 tickets to the Chicago premiere of The Nose at Chicago Opera House located at the Harris Theater, 205 E Randolph (north end of Millennium Park) on Friday, December 8 at 7:30 pm. Dmitri Shostakovich’s absurdist masterpiece tells the story of Kovalyov, a high-ranking government official, who wakes up one morning to discover his nose has taken on a life of its own. He chases his nose around the streets of St. Petersburg and in a hilarious series of events, encounters many quirky characters along the way. Accommodations for people with vision loss are provided. Please email Kathy Austin for more information.
Accessible Pharmacy is hosting its second annual Blind Health Expo on Friday, December 1 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm ET. This is the largest virtual gathering of healthcare information, products and services for people with vision loss. Browse dozens of exhibitors from the comfort of home! To register for this free virtual expo, visit the Blind Health Expo registration page.
We are excited to be hearing new and old low vision support groups are back in the fold. Here are two groups we’d like you to know about!
Low Vision Support Group at the Skokie Public Library
This long-running group meets on the second Tuesday of the month from 1:30 to 2:30 pm at the Skokie Public Library, 5215 Oakton St, Skokie. Guest speakers, resources and emerging trends are shared, plus time for thoughts and experiences of living with vision loss. Family and caregivers are welcome! For more information, email Dawn Wlezien, accessibility specialist, or call 847-324-3185.
Lake County Support Group for Blind and Visually Impaired
This is a brand new group meeting at the Wauconda Public Library, 801 N Main St., Wauconda. Meetings take place on the third Monday of the month from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. To learn more, email Ginger Irwin or call 847-421-4168.
Lincoln Park Zoo is offering a wonderful opportunity for people with disabilities, sensory sensitivities, autism, dementia or chronic illness to enjoy Zoo Lights in a comfortable and inclusive environment. Experience the zoo grounds, animal habitats and holiday lights without the crowds and sensitive environmental elements. Static light displays, muted attractions and low volume music, make this a wonderful way for all ages and abilities to enjoy a holiday outing. Gift shop, food and beverage are open as well as the Endangered Species Carousel and the Lionel Train Adventure. This sensory-friendly Zoo Lights at Lincoln Park Zoo takes place on Wednesday, December 6 from 4:30 to 9:00 pm. To order your free tickets, use promo code SensoryFriendly23. For more information, email Bill Green or call 312-742-2067.
The Windy City alumni chapter of Guide Dogs for the Blind invites all handlers from all schools to a tour of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, 9603 Woods Dr., Skokie, 60077 on Saturday, November 11. The tour includes docent-guided tours of the Karkomi Holocaust Exhibition, the I’ll Have What She’s Having Jewish Deli new exhibition, the 3D hologram, a box lunch and a stop at the gift shop. Tickets are $27, RSVP, and payment due by November 3. To learn more, email Pam Bermen or call 773-671-6624.
The Guiding Eyes for the Blind (GEB) Graduate Council Book Club Team invites all to attend their book discussion of Forward Together: An Inside Look at Guide Dog Training by Christy Bane. Christie is a certified guide dog mobility instructor with over 20 years of experience training dogs for people with vision loss and is currently a training center manager for Southeastern Guide Dogs in Florida. The book is available on Amazon and NLS BARD. One Amazon review states it’s a great book for anyone interested in the guide dog community, handlers, raisers, instructors, family and friends. This discussion takes place on Monday, November 6 at 7:00 pm ET via Zoom. To learn more, email the GEB Graduate Council.
Thursday, November 2
Apple Exchange: What’s New in iOS 17
Friday, November 3
Advanced O&M: Situational Awareness
Friday, November 9
Second Sense closed for Veteran’s Day
Saturday, November 11
10:00 am to 2:00 pm
Illinois Holocaust Museum tour for guide dog handlers
Monday, November 13
Deadline to order your 2024 calendars
Tuesday, November 14
RP Meet Up: Book Discussion with Andrew Leland, author of The Country of the Blind
(Open to all)
Thursday, November 16
Ride Sharing: Tips from a Daily Traveler
Friday, November 17
Advanced O&M: Conflict Communication
Thursday and Friday, November 23 and 24
Second Sense closed for Thanksgiving
Friday, December 1
Advanced O&M: Grab Defense
Friday, December 1
10:00 am to 4:00 pm ET
Accessible Pharmacy’s Blind Health Expo
Wednesday, December 6
4:30 to 9:00 pm
Sensory Friendly Zoo Lights at Lincoln Park Zoo
Friday, December 8
The Nose at Chicago Opera House