MAKING SENSE: September 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

Learning to Live with Vision Loss
Special Guest at RP Meet Up
Stitch-It-Up
New for Parents with Vision Loss
What’s Up at Apple Exchange?
Saturday Technology Classes
Making the Most of Low Vision
New Job Club
Audio-Described Tour of Oriental Museum
Need a Vacation?
New Exercise Program for Balance
Healthcare Provider Research Study
A View from the Bridge
Beware of Clinical Trials

Learning to Live with Vision Loss

Have you been struggling with the adjustment to vision loss or know someone who is? Our new workshop series, Learning to Live with Vision Loss, can answer the questions that may be lurking in your mind. The workshop provides a place to talk about the uncertainties ahead and gives you practical tools to help you through the adjustment process. We’ll discuss the emotional impact of vision loss, adapting everyday tasks to make life easier, getting around safely and accessing and using technology. If your vision has changed or if you know someone who is new to vision loss, we welcome you, family and friends to join us on Wednesdays, Sept. 6, 13, 20 and 27 from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm. To register, call our front desk or email Polly Abbott.

Special Guest at RP Meet Up

On Saturday, Sept. 9 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm, our RP Meet Up welcomes Ben Shaberman, Foundation Fighting Blindness’ senior science writer. Ben will be joining us via phone with an update on the latest research and science regarding retinitis pigmentosa and related eye conditions. If you have questions for Ben, email them ahead of time to Polly Abbott. Can’t make the meeting in person? Call in via our conference line. To register and for the conference call-in numbers, please contact Polly Abbott.

Stitch-It-Up

It’s a hassle taking a piece of clothing to the dry cleaners just to pop on a button or fix a hem. You can learn to do simple sewing tasks at our Stitch-It-Up classes on Wednesdays from 1:00 to 3:30 pm. Learn new ways to thread a needle, make simple repairs or create a project of your choice. To register, call our front desk or email Polly Abbott.

New Workshop for Parents with Vision Loss

Raising a well-adjusted child is a difficult job, and when you put your vision loss in the mix, it presents some unique challenges. Managing the judgement of others, ensuring your child’s safety and helping your child build a positive self-image are special considerations not always faced by other parents in the same way. Our new workshop, Parenting with Vision Loss, is an opportunity for you to find support and feel confident about your parenting abilities. At our first meeting on Thursday, Oct. 19 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm, we’ll talk about how to navigate as a parent in a sighted world. We’ll discuss the balancing act between needing help and handling your responsibilities, advocating for yourself when others may question your abilities and keeping your child safe. In a later meeting, we will offer the opportunity for your children to join us to weigh in on how vision loss impacts them. To register, call our front desk or email Polly Abbott.

What’s Up at Apple Exchange?

It’s an essential part of our lives – food! If getting to the grocery store or getting take out isn’t always easy, join us at Apple Exchange on Thursday, Sept. 7 from 1:30 to 3:30 pm to discover all the ways you can get food delivered right to your door. Everyone brings something to Apple Exchange – share a new app you have tried, a new way you have accomplished a task, a question that you can’t find the answer too – it’s all welcome at Apple Exchange. To register, call our front desk or email David Flament.

Saturday Technology Classes

Two new workshops at Second Sense! Join us to learn about Vorail, an exciting new social media app for people with vision loss that uses voice instead of text and photos. You’ll learn how to navigate the Vorail interface, post and answer questions and send private messages. Our second workshop focuses on Cortana, Microsoft’s new personal digital assistant built into the Windows 10 operating system. You activate Cortana with your voice or by typing into the search box. You’ll learn how to use Cortana to navigate your computer, search the web and dictate emails and documents. Both workshops are Saturday, Sept. 9, VoRail from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm and Cortana from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. To register, call our front desk or email David Flament.

Making the Most of Low Vision

Join us on Saturday, Oct. 14 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm as we welcome Sloan Morris from Enhanced Vision! Technology advances in magnification devices have had a significant impact for people with low vision. Video magnifiers no longer just magnify, they have speech output, distance cameras and high-definition viewing. Sloan will demonstrate the latest products and will show you what you can do with a video magnifier beyond just reading your mail! To register, call our front desk or email Brian Hollandsworth.

New Job Club

If you are looking for employment and want an opportunity to improve your job-seeking skills, a new job club is now open to you! The job club provides 12 weekly sessions to address job readiness, professional etiquette and networking. Each week a different topic area is covered by Maureen Reid, Job Placement Counselor from the Chicago Lighthouse and guest speakers. The first four sessions, beginning on Sept. 14, take place at the Lighthouse, 1850 W. Roosevelt Rd., Chicago. Locations for future sessions will be announced at a later date. The job club meets on Thursdays from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. To register, email Maureen Reid or call 312-666-1331.

Audio-Described Tour of Oriental Museum

Enjoy a free, audio-described and touch tour of the Oriental Museum at the University of Chicago on Friday, Sept. 15 from 2:00 to 3:00 pm. Envision the art and artifacts of the ancient Near East with the detailed verbal description by a trained guide and feel the rich culture by touching replicas of several pieces housed at the museum. The museum is located at 1155 E. 58th St., Chicago. To register, call 773-702-9507, email the Oriental Museum.

Need a Vacation?

Maybe you would like to travel on a special vacation, but think it will be difficult or the experience isn’t going to live up to your expectations. Check out these travel groups created for people with vision loss! Eye Sea Travel, eyeseatravel.ca, provides small intimate group tours (four to six people) to destinations all over the world. The travel operators are flexible and can plan a tour just for you. Travel Eyes, traveleyes-international.com, is based out of the UK and has trips to loads of exotic destinations – Italy, Indonesia, Bulgaria, Iceland and many more. Group size is a bit larger at 14 to 16 people and you have a one-on-one sighted guide to accompany you. Mind’s Eye travel, mindseyetravel.com, offers two different types of vacations. Their group trips offer sighted guides to places like the Calgary Rockies, Swiss Alps or the Mediterranean. They also plan independent vacations for you to go on your own. These travel groups also incorporate sensory experiences to maximize your enjoyment. Safe travels!

New Balance Exercise Program

Keeping your balance is a big part of preventing falls. BlindAlive, the audio-described exercise program for people with vision loss, is addressing this concern with three new exercise routines you can do right from home. Strengthen for Balance begins with strengthening your hip, leg and ankle muscles – the muscles that hold you up. This first program in the series is ready for you at a discounted price of $9.95. More routines are coming soon to complete the balance series. To learn more, visit the BlindAlive website.

Healthcare Provider Research Study

The Judgement and Decision Making Lab at the University of Texas in El Paso is conducting a research study about experiences people with vision loss have with their healthcare providers — doctors, pharmacy technicians or health insurance agents. Participation in the study requires you to complete a questionnaire. If interested, contact the Decision Making Lab via email or call 915-747-8659.

A View from the Bridge

Don’t miss Arthur Millers’ classic at the Goodman! This 2016 Tony-award-winning play is the story of Eddie Carbone, a Brooklyn longshoreman. Watch the drama unfold as he welcomes his immigrant cousins to America and one of them falls in love with Eddie’s young niece. To purchase your tickets for the audio-described Saturday, Oct. 7 performance, (touch tour at 12:30 pm, curtain at 2:00 pm), call the box office at 312-443-3800.

Beware of Clinical Trials

The scientific advances for restoring vision and preventing further vision loss are advancing quickly and the news is exciting. You may be anxious to be part of these advancements and want to participate in a clinical trial. The government website, clinicaltrials.gov, is a database of hundreds of clinical trials currently in process; however, caution is advised. A recent blog post by Maureen Duffy on the VisionAware website provides some interesting points to consider before going ahead with a trial. First, not all trials on the clinicaltrials.gov website have been approved or authorized by the Food and Drug Administration or the National Institute of Health. Second, if the study asks for a payment, this is a red flag to anyone and raises a multitude of ethical issues. Lastly, some businesses are using this website for marketing purposes to promote unproven treatments that may be harmful. Maureen’s informative article also goes on to describe what happens in each phase of a clinical trial. This is a must read for anyone considering participating in a clinical trial. Find Maureen Duffy’s article, Readers Beware: Are All Clinical Trials Legitimate, dated July 31 by visiting the Vision Aware website and clicking on the blog link.