Making Sense Newsletter

Sign up for Making Sense

Making Sense: December 2017

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

Intensive Screen Reading Course
Parenting with Vision Loss—plus Kids
Are You Using Your Braille Skills?
Comprehensive Computer Training
Apple Exchange
Saturday RP Meet Up and 1Touch
One-on-One Braille Instruction
2018 Calendars Going Fast!
Holiday Closing
Free Windows 10 Upgrade Ending
Hosting for the Holidays
NASA and Hadley Team Up
Are You a Blind Adventurer or Creator?
ACB Scholarships
A Twist on an Old Favorite

Intensive Screen-Reading Course

The free upgrade to Windows 10 will end on December 31, 2017 (see article below). To help you make the transition, Second Sense is offering our Intensive Screen-Reading course on the Windows 10 operating system and Microsoft Office 2016. This course will help you brush up on your screen-reading skills while working in the Microsoft Office 2016 program. This fast-paced course covers the Windows 10 environment, Microsoft Word and Excel, Internet browsing and web-based email. Prerequisites for this course include the ability to type at a steady pace, familiarity with your screen reader and good computer skills. Course meets Monday through Friday, Dec. 4-8 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. To enroll, email David Flament or call 312-236-8569.

Parenting with Vision Loss — Plus Kids

Families are a team and everyone has to play their part! For this second workshop in our series, we invite your kids who are old enough to join the discussion to come along on Saturday, Dec. 2 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. We’ll talk about how both you and your children deal with the challenges and the feelings that make your family different from others you know. To learn more and register, call our front desk or email Polly Abbott.

Are You Using Your Braille Skills?

Braille is an important skill and can be very useful in your daily life, but are you putting your knowledge to good use? We can help you master practical uses for braille in our new program, A Year of Braille in Your Life. Beginning in January of 2018, we’ll meet twice a month to work on a specific way you can use braille. The first session of the month teaches you the symbols and rules needed for the task with reading and writing activities. The second session that month focuses on putting that knowledge into real, practical use. Our first topic is creating and keeping track of appointments. In the first session on Friday, Jan. 12, you’ll be reading and writing dates and times. In the second session on Friday, Jan. 26, we’ll be making a braille appointment book and reading a commercially produced braille calendar. A couple of notes about this new program – this course is for anyone who is in the process of learning braille or has braille knowledge and wants to incorporate this skill in a practical way. You can choose to attend any of the sessions, but registering prior to each class is a must. Future topics include Cooking with Braille, Having Fun with Card Games, and Banking and Budgeting with Braille. You can read about all the monthly topics on our website by following the calendar link. To learn more about this course, email Polly Abbott or call 312-236-8569.

Comprehensive Computer Training

Our comprehensive computer training helps you learn to use a computer with the assistive technology that best meets your individual needs. Using either a screen-reading or screen-magnification program, you’ll learn how to navigate the Windows 10 environment, use Microsoft Word and Excel, surf the Internet and communicate with a web-based email. Our next 16-week course begins Monday, Dec. 11. You must be able to type at a steady pace to enroll in this course. We offer an opportunity to develop your typing skills with a self-paced typing program on Tuesday and Thursday mornings with our Second Sense lab assistants on hand to help you get started. No appointment needed for typing practice, just drop in. To enroll in class and for more information, email David Flament or call Second Sense at 312-236-8569.

Apple Exchange

It’s the holiday season and you don’t want to shop ‘til you drop! Join us at Apple Exchange on Thursday, Dec. 7 from 1:30 to 3:30 pm to pick up tips on shopping apps that will help you get your shopping done in a flash! We’ll talk about InstaCart, Peapod and Groupon. Tell us about your favorite shopping and coupon apps or other tips you have discovered! To register, call our front desk at 312-236-8569 or email David Flament.

Saturday RP Meet Up and 1Touch

Our RP Meet Up is Saturday, Dec. 9 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. Come for some lively discussion or call in if you can’t make it in person. Call in number is 312-582-2994, conference bridge #301, pin #1111. Our 1Touch Saturday practice is from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. All levels of students are welcome! To register, call our front desk at 312-236-8569 or email Polly Abbott.

One-on-One Braille Instruction

Thinking about learning braille? We can help you decide if braille is the right tool for you! We start with a conversation to make sure you will succeed. Our individualized instruction includes learning to read and write the alphabet, numbering and punctuation, plus the proper finger and hand movements to make you an efficient braille reader. To learn more about our individualized braille instruction, call our front desk at 312-236-8569 or email Polly Abbott.

2018 Calendars Going Fast!

If you haven’t ordered your 2018 calendar yet, better hurry while quantities last! We offer a spiral bound date book with large space and bold lines for writing appointments, a wall calendar with easy to see blocks with bold numbering and a braille calendar that fits into a pocket or purse. To place your order, call 312-236-8569 or email Brian Hollandsworth. Please note, only the braille calendars are free of charge.

Holiday Closing

Second Sense will be closed for the holidays from 12:00 pm on Friday, Dec. 22 and reopen on Tuesday, Jan. 2. Our staff at Second Sense wishes you all a wonderful and safe holiday season!

Free Windows 10 Upgrade Ending

Microsoft has been working on making its Windows 10 operating system accessible for those who use assistive technology like screen readers and magnifiers. The opportunity to upgrade for free will be ending on December 31, 2017. If you would like to upgrade to Windows 10, David Flament suggests calling the Microsoft Disability Help line at 800-936-5900 to check your system’s compatibility and help in getting started with the process.

Hosting for the Holidays

If you’re planning a holiday get together, you won’t want to miss Polly’s Hosting for the Holidays workshop at the Park Ridge Public Library on Friday, Dec. 8 from 10:30 to 11:30 am! You’ll learn ways to prepare your home so you can function safely and independently. Discover tips for managing your mobility during party time, handling well-meaning friends and family who want to help and getting everything cleaned up afterwards. To register, email Cathy Thompson or call 847-825-3123.

NASA and Hadley Team Up

Space and science fans will delight in listening to three new, recorded presentations on interesting science topics! The Birth and Eventual Death of Our Solar System reviews current knowledge of how the solar system was formed and what will happen to it and humanity when its life comes to an end. Extreme Weather, Studying the Impact of Water discusses NASA’s special satellite that predicts weather patterns and informs us on impending storms. Exploring the Solar Eclipse helps you better understand how the movements of the sun and moon create solar eclipses. These new, free, on-demand recorded presentations are available as a download at the Hadley website.

Are You a Blind Adventurer or Creator?

The San Francisco LightHouse is once again offering an opportunity for adventurers and creators to apply for the 2nd annual Holman Prize. This $25,000 prize is awarded to an individual who wants to realize their dreams and show the world that where there is accessibility, people with vision loss are capable of doing what their sighted peers can do. Kayaking solo through Turkey’s Bosphorus Strait, a YouTube baking show and a beekeeping venture were last year’s winners. Applications are not being taken until Jan. 16, but you’ll want to get started preparing your 90-second video on how you’ll put the prize money to use. To learn more, visit the Holman Prize website.

ACB Scholarships

The American Council of the Blind (ACB) awards over $45,000 in scholarships each year to students attending technical college or entering as a college freshman, undergraduate or graduate student. Students must be legally blind in both eyes, carry a 3.0 GPA and be active in their schools or communities. Deadline for applications is Feb. 15, 2018. To learn more and access the online application, visit the ACB website or call Dee Theien at the national office at 800-866-3242.

A Twist on an Old Favorite

Enjoy a hip-hop adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre! This engaging performance mixes reggae, dancehall, dubstep and rock ballads to tell this traditional classic with a twist. The audio-described performance is Sunday, Dec. 10 at 3:00 pm. To purchase your $30 Access tickets, call the box office at 312-595-5600.