MAKING SENSE – July 2018

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

Making Sense Large Print Newsletter
Advanced Microsoft Word and Excel
How’s That White Cane Holding Up?
New Format for Computer Training
What is the Dock?
Learn About Electronic Braille
Yoga is Back Beginning August 1
Your Eyesight Matters
Transitioning to a Screen Reader
Free Typing Tutorial
Computers for the Blind
Access Chicago 2018
Comcast Accessible TV

Your Making Sense Large Print Newsletter

Are you reading your large print copy of Making Sense? We are always looking to save costs where possible so we can continue to provide the training you need to remain independent at no charge. Paper and production costs for our large print newsletter are high, so if you can make the change to email, we could save on this expense. The email version has benefits – links directly to more information referenced in our articles and updates that don’t always make our deadline for the print issue. Remember too, Making Sense is also available in an audio format on NFB Newsline and on our website. If you absolutely cannot live without your large print format, we want to hear from you! You can let us know your feelings by giving us a call during business hours or leaving a message in our general mailbox after hours. Also, feel free to email Kathy Austin your comments or change to email. We truly want to know your thoughts and feelings about your use of our large print format.

Advanced Microsoft Word and Excel

Don’t miss this opportunity to push your Microsoft Office skills up to the next level with our Advanced Word and Excel workshop on Saturday, July 14. Our morning session, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm, covers mail merge, styles and tables in MS Word. The afternoon session from 1:00 to 3:00 pm shows you ways to organize, sort and filter your data in Excel. This is a perfect workshop for those who are working and can’t take advantage of our weekday programs. To register for either or both of these advanced workshops, call our front desk or email David Flament.

How’s That White Cane Holding Up?

Let’s face it, white canes take a beating, literally! Checking for your landmark of a lamppost or garbage can put wear and tear on your cane. Folding and unfolding your cane time and time again wears out the elastic cord. Perhaps yours is getting a little worse for wear? Spruce up your wardrobe with a new cane! We carry Revolution aluminum and graphite canes from 44″ to 60″ and can special order canes up to 68″. We also carry a wide variety of cane tips – pencil, roller and teardrop from Revolution and slip-on and hook-style rolling tips from Ambutech. Whatever your personal preference, travel style or terrain, we can help you choose the right tip for the job. And, of course, if you need training to go with that new white cane and tip, Rachael, our certified orientation and mobility specialist, can help with that, too! Call Brian to place your cane order or to talk to Rachael about your specific mobility training needs.

New Format for Comprehensive Screen Reader/Magnifier Training

At Second Sense we are always exploring new ideas and ways to provide programs that meet your needs. Beginning in August, we are testing a one-on-one training approach for our screen reader and magnification computer class. This new approach takes into consideration the skill level of each student, from beginner to advanced. Your training is customized to meet your individual needs and allows you to learn at your own pace. When you are ready, you have the option of taking our one-week Intensive Computer class. Taking the Intensive Class at the end of your individual training will help reinforce everything you have learned over the past weeks. It is our hope that our test program will also offer flexibility to those who are working or who may not be able to commit to our traditional computer training schedule. Limited space is available. To inquire about our test program, contact David Flament.

What is the Dock?

You may have heard VoiceOver on your iPhone say “dock” when scrolling across the bottom of your iPhone or noticed the choices at the bottom of your screen. Those choices, like phone, Safari or mail, are in the Dock. The Dock can be configured to meet your individual needs. At the July 5 Apple Exchange, from 1:30 to 3:30 pm, we’ll talk about using the Dock and changing the choices so you can make the things you use most often easier to access. Bring along your phone and let’s have a great conversation! Our conference call-in line is available if you cannot make the workshop in person. Call 312-582-2994, conference bridge 301 and pin 1111. To register, call our front desk or email David Flament.

Learn About Electronic Braille

If you have only experienced braille on paper, come feel the dots that move and connect to a computer, phone or tablet! As a part of our Year of Braille in 2018, we’ll be looking at how braille and technology can work together to increase access to the printed word. We’ll be demonstrating a braille notetaker and a refreshable braille display paired with an iPhone and talk about the types of situations you would use either of these devices. To register for our electronic braille workshop on Friday, July 27, call our front desk or email Polly Abbott.

Yoga is Back Beginning August 1

Our next eight-week session of yoga is back with instructor and certified yoga teacher, Marilyn Green. Yoga can relieve stress, improve strength and balance and give you a sense of well-being. Our class meets on Wednesday mornings from 8:45 to 9:45 am. Bring a yoga mat or large towel for floor exercise and wear comfortable clothing. Please check with your doctor before taking this class as some yoga poses may be harmful to some eye conditions. To register, call our front desk or email Kathy Austin.

Your Eyesight Matters

The Macular Degeneration Association is holding a free awareness program on Saturday, July 28 at the Doubletree Chicago—North Shore Conference Center at 9599 Skokie Blvd in Skokie from 8:30 am to 12:00 pm. This informative program provides expert information on age-related macular degeneration, diabetic macular edema and genetics. A prominent retina specialist, Dr. Rajiv Rathod, M.D. from Orange County Retina in California, will talk about the latest research, new treatments, therapies and clinical trials. Breakfast is included. This free symposium has limited seating, so register early by calling 855-962-2852.

Making the Transition to a Screen Reader

If you are making the transition from a screen magnifier to a screen reader, getting used to all the audio can be overwhelming. It takes time to pick out the information you need to navigate your computer and it takes good listening skills, too. If you want to hone your listening skills, Hadley Institute for the Blind has two courses that can help you. Effective Listening is a five-lesson course providing techniques for practicing mental processes, becoming aware of internal and external obstacles and note-taking strategies. Listening Skills for Screen Readers will help you increase your ability to comprehend synthetic and human speech at the same time and at increasingly faster speeds. To learn more about these free course offerings visit the Hadley website and enter “effective listening skills” in the search box.

Free Typing Tutorial

Rocky’s Audio Typing Tutor is a free download to help anyone with vision loss learn to touch type. The program includes finger, word and whole sentence exercises. As you advance, you receive feedback on accuracy and speed. Audio speed, voice, volume and fonts can also be adjusted. You can even choose what music to listen to as you type. The program comes with a self-installer, and full instructions are located within the program. To learn more and to download the program visit Rocky’s Audio Typing Tutor website.

Computers for the Blind

You may already be aware of Computers for the Blind, the Texas organization providing refurbished computers with assistive technology installed at an extremely affordable price. Recently, Computers for the Blind has partnered with VFO, whose brands include Freedom Scientific and Ai Squared, developers of JAWS and ZoomText. These affordable, refurbished computers are now equipped with a full home-use license for ZoomText Fusion – the combination of JAWS and ZoomText — for one year. Desktop computers with monitors and laptops are available and include Windows 10, dual-core processor with a minimum of 2GHz, four GB of RAM and 125 GB hard drive. Extra hardware and upgrades are also available for purchase. Please read the “What We Provide” page on their website for some limitations on software licensing.

Access Chicago 2018 at Navy Pier

Thursday, July 19 is the day for Access Chicago 2018 at Navy Pier and there are lots of fun things to do. The Chicago Park District is on hand with adaptive fishing, bowling, golf and bean bag toss. Health screenings, art therapy and a performance from I See Music are only some of the festivities for this event for people with disabilities. Discover new products and services you may not be aware of and take a chance at a raffle! To learn more, call 312-746-5773.

Comcast Accessible TV

Comcast is helping to make TV accessible to everyone and has made good strides towards that goal. They offer a talking guide, descriptive video, accessible app and talking remote. The Comcast accessibility webpage has several short, easy-to-understand videos that show you how to use these features. A specially trained support team is also available via phone between 8:00 am and 12:00 am (Eastern Time), seven days a week. The support team can help you with special features, bills or user guides in braille or a large-button XFINITY remote control. Reach the support team via phone at 855-270-0379. Videos can be accessed by visiting the website.