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Making Sense: January 2021

Making Sense is made possible in part from donations by our readers.

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

Navigation tips: Screen reader users can use the quick key letter “H” to navigate article by article. You can also use your screen readers’ headings list keystroke for a list of article topics.

CONTENTS

COVID19 Update
Gearing Up for Winter Travel
Teaming Up with Team Viewer
Mindful Eating Group Continues
How to Get the Assistive Technology You Need
January Apple Exchange
RP Meet Up: It’s the New Year
New Features for Pace Paratransit Riders
National Federation of the Blind of Illinois Scholarships
National Homework Hotline for Students with Vision Loss
Getting in Shape for 2021!

COVID19 Update

The news about the availability of the COVID19 vaccines are promising, however we are still practicing the guidelines set by the CDC and our public health agencies. While we are not seeing people in person at this time, we are still here to provide the training and support you need. We are able to provide individual training over the phone and through remote computer access (see article 3: Teaming up with Team Viewer). Our remote group workshops are another way you can gain the knowledge and support you are looking for. The Product Center is closed at this time, but if you need a product, please call our office and we will help you obtain any items you may need. Please call our office for any questions – our staff is working remotely, so please leave a message if we do not answer. You will receive a return phone call usually the same business day. In the meantime, we hope you all stay safe and healthy. We are looking forward to returning to “normal” as much as you are!

Gearing Up for Winter Travel

Ice and snow, wind and rain all make traveling in the winter with vision loss risky and challenging. Planning ahead and having a plan B can help minimize the risks and anxiety you may feel. Brad Blair, our orientation and mobility intern, who also has vision loss, shares his knowledge and life experience traveling in winter conditions in this timely Winter Travel workshop on Friday, January 8 at 1:00 pm. Brad addresses a wide range of things to consider from how to check the weather before venturing out, to proper clothing and footwear to using your white cane or guide dog in severe conditions. Join us on the conference line at 312-809-1004. To register, call our office at 312-236-8569 or email Kathy Austin.

Teaming Up with Team Viewer

Even though we can’t meet with you in person to provide the assistive technology training you may need, we have found a workaround! TeamViewer is a secure technology that allows us to connect remotely to your computer or mobile device. Using this product, we are able to provide technology instruction, help you out of a sticky computer issue or help you download files like Talking Books. Join us for the Teaming Up with Team Viewer workshop on Thursday, January 14 at 1:00 pm. Cody Froeter, our certified vision rehabilitation therapist, will take you through how TeamViewer works and answers your questions about all the activities we can do together using TeamViewer. To join our remote workshop, call 312-809-1004. To register, call our office at 312-236-8569 or email Cody Froeter.

Mindful Eating Group Continues

It’s the little changes that make the difference! This is Brooke Keeton’s mantra when it comes to achieving a healthy lifestyle. Brooke , our volunteer group leader, is a long-time practitioner of mindful eating and also has a culinary background. This group discusses the challenges we all face to eating mindfully to achieve better health and energy levels. We discuss healthy recipes, cooking methods, exercise routines and lots more! Mindful Eating meets on the second Friday of the month from 10:00 to 11:30 am (next meeting is January 8). Anyone interested in getting the support you need to begin on a path to a healthier lifestyle is welcome to join us! Call our conference line at 312-809-1004. To register, call our office at 312-236-8569 or email Kathy Austin.

How to Get the Assistive Technology You Need

It is no secret that assistive technology is expensive. Finding the funds to purchase the equipment or software to help you maintain your independence can feel impossible. The Illinois Assistive Technology Program (IATP) can be the answer to securing what you need. On Tuesday, January 19 at 10:00 am, we welcome Robin Richard and Jane Teeter from IATP to share with you the resources available to Illinois residents through this program. Device loans, recycled devices and consumer loans are just some of the services they will explain. To join us for this virtual presentation, call our conference line at 312-809-1004. To register, call our office at 312-236-8569 or email Kathy Austin.

January Apple Exchange

Do you sometimes get lost with all the apps on your iPhone or iPad and then get lost again trying to figure out how an app is laid out? At our January Apple Exchange, we’ll be talking about navigating apps on your Apple device. You’ll learn easy ways to quickly find an app you are looking for and how to explore an app once you open it. Join us on Thursday, January 7 at 1:00 pm on our conference call line, 312-809-1004. To register, call our office at 312-236-8569 or email Joseph Lee.

RP Meet Up: It’s the New Year

Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? Are they related to your vision loss? What plans do you have now, or months from now when the pandemic is, hopefully, coming to an end? Let’s talk about what the New Year may have in store for us at the January RP Meet Up! If you have retinitis pigmentosa or related conditions, you’re welcome to join us on Tuesday evening, January 12 at 7:00 pm. Call our conference line at 312-809-1004. To register, call our office at 312-236-8569 or email Kathy Austin.

New Features for Pace Paratransit Riders

Pace has initiated some new changes that can help make paying for, and scheduling, your rides easier. Now, you can use your Ventra card to pay for your ride making your transaction contactless and eliminating the problem of hassling with cash or vouchers when getting on board. Just let the reservationist know you’ll be using your Ventra card when booking your ride. Cash and vouchers are still accepted. You also have new options to check your confirmed rides, cancel rides and receive notifications for your rides arrival via email or text message. To learn more, visit the Pace website.

National Federation of the Blind of Illinois Scholarships

The National Federation of the Blind of Illinois (NFBI) is once again offering scholarships beginning at $2,000 for full-time Illinois students who are legally blind. You must be enrolled in a two-year, four-year or graduate program at an accredited college or university. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic excellence and service to the community. To download the electronic application, visit National Federation of the Blind of Illinois (NFBI) or email Deborah Kent-Stein, co-chair of the scholarship committee.

National Homework Hotline for Students with Vision Loss

This National Homework Hotline provides free homework help for K-12 and college students with vision loss. Experienced TVIs, tutors, mentors, STEM professionals and college students are ready to respond to students needs. Subject areas include screen readers (JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver); braille (literary and Nemeth); refreshable braille displays and braille notetakers; and tutoring in science, math and social studies. To obtain assistance, complete the Google Docs request form and a NHH BVI responder will contact you.

Getting in Shape for 2021!

The holiday treats, plus the extra COVID19 stay-at-home pounds you may have been accumulating, means it’s time to get up off the couch and get some exercise! Here are two opportunities you can do from home – no gym required! The Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing Foundation, in partnership with the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab Fitness Center, offers exercise workouts via Zoom. Judd’s Gym routines are conducted by an exercise physiologist from Shirley Ryan. To participate, email Kerry at Judd Goldman Sailing to have your name added to the list to receive the Zoom link and class schedule. If you’re into a little more relaxation and yoga, Vision Able Wellness may be for you. Natasha and Aly, two certified yoga instructors with vision loss, have started a new venture, VisionAble Wellness, to promote inclusiveness in mainstream teaching of yoga and other similar practices. They offer virtual yoga classes via Zoom for a small fee. To receive their class schedules and to be included on their email list, visit the Vision Able Wellness website or email Aly.