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Making Sense: January 2020

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

Celebrating Braille
Getting to Know Windows 10
RP Meet Up
Keeping Yourself Safe
Podcasts at Apple Exchange
Cast On!
Last Chance to Order 2020 Calendars
Upcoming February Programs
Stem Cell Therapies
Peer-to-Peer Support Line
Teachers Health Education Guide
Chicago Guide Dog Group
Where to Access Making Sense

Celebrating Braille

Come join us to celebrate Louis Braille’s birthday! We’ve planned a day that’s all about braille on Thursday, January 9. First, from 10:00 to 11:30 am, get reacquainted with the change to UEB as Polly reviews common punctuation symbols, new contractions and other rule changes. Bring your slate and stylus or braille notetaker to get in some practice time. Perkins Braillers are also available for this mini workshop. Next, at 11:30 am, it’s Cool Braille Tech Show and Tell. From antiques to the latest tech, you’re welcome to bring in anything interesting related to braille you’d like to share. Last, Woodlake Technologies is here at 12:00 to 3:00 pm showing off the latest in braille technologies. You can try out the latest notetakers and get your questions answered by their friendly staff. Registration is requested for the UEB review by calling our front desk or emailing Polly Abbott. Just drop by for Cool Braille Tech Show and Tell and Woodlake Technologies.

Getting to Know Windows 10

On January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer support the Windows 7 operating system. This means your Windows 7 computer will still work, but won’t be protected against viruses and malware that can cause innumerable problems. On Tuesday, January 14 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm, Joseph Lee and Cody Froeter will help you get comfortable navigating Windows 10. Learn the whys of upgrading, the similarities and differences between the two programs and the most useful keystrokes you will want to have in your toolbox. To register for this informative workshop, call our front desk or email Joseph Lee.

RP Meet Up

Many of our clients ask if they should learn braille. The answer to this question is: it depends. At our meet up on Saturday, January 11 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm, we’ll dispose of some of the myths about braille, gain some helpful knowledge about the process of learning braille and discover the ways braille can increase your independence. Call-in option is available. To register, call our front desk or email Polly Abbott.

Keeping Yourself Safe

Have you thought about how what you say can make a situation better or worse? You may be able to de-escalate a threatening situation by evaluating it and choosing an action or words that best meet the need at the time. We are excited to welcome back Torriente Toliver, instructor and Martial Arts expert from Mind Body Defense, to help you learn how to use language and awareness to keep safe. Learn how to de-escalate a situation and avoid tactics that potential offenders use to get closer to their targets. Call-in option is available! To register for Keeping Yourself Safe on Wednesday, Jan. 29 from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm, call our front desk or email Polly Abbott.

Podcasts at Apple Exchange

It seems that everybody has a podcast. Podcast allow you to consume content in a way that is more convenient. They may also provide material that is more in-depth than you would otherwise find from traditional sources. While it can be overwhelming to choose from the millions of podcasts out there, we’ll try to make it all a little easier to swallow at our Thursday, Jan. 2 Apple Exchange. We’ll talk about the best ways to search, subscribe and listen to podcasts. You can take the knowledge you learn and join us for our new Podcast Club beginning on the second Friday in February. We’ll be meeting each month to listen to a 30- to 40-minute podcast and then discuss the piece. More about our Podcast Club is coming next month. To register for Apple Exchange, call our front desk or email Kathy Austin.

Cast On!

The repetitive nature of knitting and crochet can be soothing while leaving you able to socialize with others, watch TV or listen to the radio. Don’t know the first thing about knitting or crochet? Perhaps you have given up this fun craft because of your vision? No worries! We can teach you how to get started and put you on a path to create a project you can be proud of. Join us every Tuesday morning from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm for Cast On Knitting and Crochet group! To register, call our front desk or email Polly Abbott.

Last Chance to Order 2020 Calendars

Our supply of large print wall calendars and spiral-bound date books are extremely low. If you haven’t already, give Brian a call to get your 2020 calendar sent to you before all those important dates get forgotten! As a reminder, the free braille calendars can be ordered by calling the American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults at 410-659-9315 or email American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults. Call Second Sense or email Brian Hollandsworth to order date books and wall calendars.

Upcoming February Programs

February is packed with something for everyone! On Tuesday, Feb. 4, support group leaders are invited to join us for our quarterly Vision Exchange lunchtime conference call. On Wednesday, Feb. 12, Ed Haines from Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired joins us to talk about your personal safety and ways you can minimize your exposure to dangerous situations. The new Podcast Club begins meeting on the second Friday of the month, Feb. 14, where we’ll be listening and discussing new and interesting podcasts. We’ll also be looking at Internet browsers on Feb. 27 with information about what browsers are most secure and accessible. You can find more information about our upcoming programs by following the links on our website calendar page.

Stem Cell Therapies

A recent study was presented at the Association of Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) conference concerning the direct to consumer advertising of United States clinics providing stem cell therapies for a number of eye conditions. The study reviewed 40 clinic websites to determine the types of stem cells being offered, method of administering the therapy and costs to consumers. The researchers conclude that caution must be taken by patients and physicians if considering this type of treatment. The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) warns that these therapies have not been approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and could be unsafe, ineffective and even carry a risk for tumor development. Further, health insurance will not cover unapproved treatments. The AAO has asked the FDA to investigate unlicensed clinics offering stem cell therapies outside of clinical trials and has asked for tightened regulations for these clinics. To date, the FDA has approved no stem cell treatments for eye diseases. If you are interested in stem cell therapy, the best advice is to check with your doctor about a clinical trial.

Peer-to-Peer Support Line

Rutgers University Behavioral Healthcare has launched the first peer-to-peer tele-support line for people with vision loss and their families. Eye2Eye is staffed 24/7 with peer counselors who have lost vision from different conditions and at different times in their lives. Their own life situations provide empathy and understanding of what the caller may be experiencing. Eye2Eye is new and can offer emotional support and practical advice for living with vision loss. At this time, resources can be provided to those living in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania with the hope to expand referral services nationwide in the future. To access the tele-support line, call 833-932-3931. Rutgers Behavioral Healthcare has two decades of success with peer-to-peer support lines offering help for police officers, veterans and mothers.

New Health Education Guide Book for Teachers

The American Printing House for the Blind has just released a guidebook for teachers to develop curriculum for health education. Health Education for Students with Visual Impairments covers diet and nutrition, personal health, sex education, disease and injury prevention. This educational tool is a guide that includes background information, teaching tips and activities using the latest National Health Education and National Sexual Education Standards. The book is recommended for teachers only, and not meant for student reading. To learn more and to order, visit the American Printing House for the Blind website and choose the educational resources link or call 800-223-1839.

Chicago Guide Dog Group

We are excited to welcome the Chicago Guide Dog group at Second Sense on Saturday, Feb. 8 from 10:00 to 11:30 am. Toni Eames, one of the original founders of the nonprofit, International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP), and an experienced guide dog handler, is the guest speaker. Toni brings a wealth of knowledge about advocacy for people who use all types of assistance dogs. She has been instrumental in educating hospitality and airline personnel, as well as law enforcement officers, about issues related to assistance dogs. IAADP is dedicated to providing a voice for handlers who use assistance dogs, to work together on issues of mutual concern and to foster the partnership between handlers and assistance dogs. To register, email Pam Berman or call 773-671-6624.

Where Can You Access Making Sense?

As you know, our large print and braille formats of Making Sense newsletter are being produced only on the odd numbered months, e.g., January, March, May, etc. Email subscribers will continue to receive Making Sense monthly. You can always find our newsletter on our website – just choose the Making Sense link from our home page at www.second-sense.org. Making Sense is also available in an audio format on NFB Newsline. We thank you for your continued support of this newsletter!