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Making Sense: July 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

Changes to Making Sense
RP Meet Up
Braille Game Day
New Visolux Video Magnifier
Living with Vision Loss at Skokie
4th of July Closing
The Music Man at the Goodman
New Blind Travelers Network
Audio Pedestrian Signals in Chicago
Metra Station Guide
New Accessible Cell Phone
Be My Eyes Specialized Help
Free Online UEB Braille Training
Blind Outdoor Leisure Development

Changes to Making Sense

Thank you to all our Making Sense subscribers for your support over these many years! We want to make you aware of some changes that will soon be happening to our Making Sense newsletter. Our large print and braille formats will now be sent to you every other month instead of monthly. Our email format will continue each month with links that take you directly to the information we share. We are making these changes for several reasons–of course, there is a financial savings of paper and copier costs required to produce the newsletter monthly. We are also concerned about our environment and want to decrease the possible paper waste that printing so many copies each month produces. These cost saving measures will help us continue to provide the quality services you receive at Second Sense at no charge. In addition to our Making Sense newsletter, you can receive more information on issues relating to vision loss by following us on Facebook and Twitter. These streams have more content than we can include in our newsletter and you will find the information shared there useful and informative. September is our next large print and braille issue. If you are a large print or braille subscriber, you are welcome to sign up to receive our newsletter via email, just email Kathy Austin with your full name and email address or use the sign-up form. Thanks again for supporting this newsletter!

RP Meet Up and Apple Exchange

Just a reminder that our RP Meet Up and Apple Exchange will not be meeting in July. We are taking the time over this summer to take a closer look at the topics we offer and to make sure they are filling your need for support and training. We’ll be keeping you apprised of the new ideas we are working through and of course, if you have thoughts or suggestions, we would love to hear them! Send your ideas to Polly Abbott at or call the office to talk with her.

Braille Game Day

Build your braille skills at Braille Game Day and have fun too! As with any learned skill, consistent practice is what makes the difference. Why not join us for a rousing game of Uno or double down on your brain power with a game of Scrabble. We meet the last Friday of every month from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. You must be able to read the braille alphabet to participate. This month’s Braille Game Day is July 26. To learn more about this program and our individual braille instruction, call our front desk or email Polly Abbott.

New Visolux Video Magnifier

If you are in the market for a portable video magnifier, you will definitely want to stop by Second Sense and see the new Visolux Digital HD magnifier from Eschenbach. Brian says the Eschenbach quality really stands out with a 7” screen and an HD camera that takes clear and crisp images. The optional base increases the distance from the image to make handwriting underneath a breeze. There are lots of new features, too! Stop by Second Sense and Brian will be happy to show you all it can do for you.

Living with Vision Loss Comes to Skokie

Our Learning to Live with Vision Loss workshop is visiting the Skokie Low Vision group on Tuesday, July 23 from 1:30 to 3:00 pm. This workshop will answer those nagging questions about how to live with vision loss and remain independent and productive at the same time. Discussion centers on issues around transportation and getting where you need to go, technology and how it can help you and the everyday frustrations that can interfere with your daily routine. We will meet at the Skokie Village Hall, 5127 Oakton Ave., Skokie. If you would like to attend, please email Juanita Davis or call 847-933-8208.

4th of July Closing

Second Sense will be closed Thursday and Friday, July 4 and 5 for Independence Day. Please celebrate safely!

The Music Man at the Goodman

Enjoy an audio described performance and touch tour of this classic, The Music Man, at the Goodman Theatre on Saturday, July 27 (curtain 2:00 pm, tour, 12:30 pm). We applaud the Goodman for making their performances inclusive with accessible seating, braille and large print programs, assistive listening devices and complimentary tickets for personal care assistants and professional caregivers. To reserve your seat for The Music Man, call the box office at 312-443-3800 or email access@goodmanthreatre.org.

New Blind Travelers Network

Meet a San Francisco Lighthouse Holman Prize Winner Stacy Cervenka who has started the first ever Blind Travelers Network. This amazing site offers information and resources relating to the non-visual aspects of, and accessibility of, places all over the country. Read the blogs and reviews, participate in the discussion boards and take a look at many event listings to decide where you will get the best travel experience. What a great way to expand your horizons and leave your comfort zone behind! Visit the Blind Travelers Network website and get started on your next adventure.

Audio Pedestrian Signals in Chicago

The Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) and the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) are working to install audio pedestrian signals across the city. Meetings have been held with MOPD, CDOT and stakeholders to help prioritize dangerous intersections where these signals will help individuals with vision loss cross more safely. MOPD and CDOT will be holding a public open house in mid to late July where you can voice your opinions regarding intersections where you feel an APS is needed. When we receive word on the meeting date, we will post to our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Metra Station Guide

Metra is Chicagoland’s commuter rail system serving northeast Illinois. Metra has recently produced a station guide emphasizing directional and wayfinding information for people with vision loss. The guide provides locations of all five major downtown station hubs, entrances, tracks, ticket windows and train lines. The guide is available in braille and will soon be available on the new ADA section of Metra’s website. Second Sense has a small quantity of the braille guides on hand. To request a braille copy, please contact our front desk or email Kathy Austin with your name and full address.

New Accessible Cell Phone

What many have been waiting for – a 100 percent accessible phone for individuals with vision loss! Lucia is simple to use with large, tactile buttons of different shapes and colors. A variety of screen color schemes, speech output, long battery life and a dedicated button for S.O.S., makes this an extremely user friendly device. Contacts can be entered independently and can be read back to the user with ease. Lucia is a high quality Swiss phone and is available at AT&T, T-Mobile, Cricket, Metro and other providers at a very reasonable price.

Be My Eyes Specialized Help

Many of you have been using the free service, Be My Eyes website to get visual help for finding a lost item or sorting through mail. Sometimes, though, you may have a computer problem and need someone to look at your screen to let you know what your screen reader isn’t telling you. Be My Eyes now offers “specialized help” where you can connect directly to a Microsoft or Google representative to help solve your issues more efficiently and quickly. Simply open the app and tap the specialized help button, and then choose the company you need help with. You’ll be connected directly to a representative from that company who can assist you. Be My Eyes is expanding the number of companies that will provide this live video connection. Herbal Essence hair care products has recently been added. To learn more about Be My Eyes, you can check our recent post on our Second Opinions blog or visit the Be My Eyes website.

Free UEB Braille Literacy and Math Training

UEB Online, Administered by the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC), offers free braille literacy and mathematics training using the Unified English Braille (UEB) code. The training is appropriate for those who want to learn braille including teachers, parents, blindness professionals or anyone who promotes the use of braille. The online materials are available in three categories: visual access mode for those who can read standard print, high contrast mode for those with low vision and non-visual access mode for those who use screen readers. UEB Literacy consists of 31 lessons covering contracted and uncontracted braille and the basics of reading and writing. Introduction to mathematics teaches symbols and expressions encountered in the primary years of schooling. Extension Mathematics will be available later in 2019. To learn more, visit the UEB Online website.

Blind Outdoor Leisure Development

BOLD, located in southeast Wisconsin and run by the Southeastern Wisconsin Lions BOLD, Inc., offers over 25 summer and winter activities for people with vision loss. Activities include motorcycle rides, skiing, tours of all kinds: zip lining, canoeing, fishing, snowmobiling and hay rides, just to name a few! The programs are open to anyone with a visual impairment and are free or for a small charge. Chicagoans can take the Metra train to Kenosha, where many of the programs take place. To learn more and to register, visit the BOLD website.