Making Sense: December 2016

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

Welcome Cody Froeter!
What About Me?
The Calendar App at Apple Exchange
Order 2017 Calendars
The Absolute Beginning Braille Course
Understanding the Adjustment to Life Without Sight
Building a Network of Support and Connections
Holiday Closing
Second Sense on AmazonSmile
Audio Book Club
Gifts for Children with Vision Loss
A Christmas Carol at the Goodman
Grants for Athletes
Considering a Guide Dog
Your iPhone as a Magnifier

Welcome Cody Froeter!

We are very excited to announce a new addition to our Second Sense staff! Cody Froeter, certified vision rehabilitation therapist, joined us on November 1.  Cody is a recent graduate from Northern Illinois University’s master’s program in vision rehabilitation.  Cody will be working with Polly to provide individual independent living services, focusing on working with people who are 55 years and older. Cody will also be visiting and working with area low vision support groups with informative presentations and training programs.  Support group leaders, watch our Vision Exchange email discussion group for additional information on ways you can incorporate Cody’s expertise into your programs.  If you are 55 years and older and in need of training to help you maintain your independence, please contact Cody at 312-236-8569.

What About Me?

When you are caring for children or aging parents, you face many stresses and emotions. Coping with vision loss adds one more challenge.  We realize it may be too difficult to get away to get the support you need.  If this sounds like you, please join us for a special telephone conference call from your home on Thursday, Dec. 1 from 10:00 to 11:30 am.  Our discussion addresses how to manage feelings and responsibilities so your close family relationships can thrive and all can feel cared for.  Attendees are also welcome to join us in person.  Conference call numbers will be given when you register.  To register, call our front desk or email Polly Abbott.

The Calendar App at Apple Exchange

Get organized for the New Year!  Our topic for our December Apple Exchange is using the calendar app on your iPhone or iPad.  As always, the second hour will be a group discussion all about apps – latest releases, accessibility questions and experiences and anything else about Apple.  Remember, Apple Exchange is your group and a place to share your knowledge and pick up tips from others.  If you have a topic you’d like to talk about, please let us know!  Apple Exchange is Thursday, Dec. 1 from 1:30 to 3:30 pm.  To register, please call our front desk or email David Flament.

Order 2017 Calendars!

Don’t forget to order your 2017 calendars while quantities last!  Our large print wall calendar and spiral bound datebook are perfect for the low vision user, with bold lines and lots of space to record all your 2017 important dates.  For our braille readers, our pocket braille calendar fits easily into a purse or backpack.  Call Brian Hollandsworth to place your order and watch our Facebook page for special promotional offers!

The Absolute Beginning Braille Course

Our innovative approach to learning braille is designed especially for the beginner. In your first few lessons, you’ll work one-on-one with our braille instructor to learn the hand positioning and movements that will increase your braille reading speed and accuracy later down the road.  Call now to schedule your lessons throughout January.  Then, beginning in February, the class will meet on Tuesdays 1:00 to 3:00 pm to learn the alphabet, numbering system and basic punctuation.  If you have never thought of learning braille, our unique approach is for you!  To register, call our front desk or email Polly Abbott.

Understanding the Adjustment to Life Without Sight

When it becomes apparent that vision loss is a reality you must come to terms with, you will have many questions.  “How can I move forward and live a productive life?”  “How can I remain independent and not be a burden to my family and friends?”  “How am I going to live my life?”  Our discussion on Monday, Jan. 23 from 1:00 to 2:30 pm will help you answer these questions as we work to better understand the emotional path you and your loved ones are traveling.  We will talk about the stages of adjustment you have already moved through and those that are ahead.  Together, we will gain insight on ways to move forward with life.  To register for this special discussion, call our front desk or email Polly Abbott.

Building a Network of Support and Connections

Are you a working age adult looking for others who can relate to the challenges you are facing as a person with vision loss?  Our VIP Meet Up provides an opportunity to build social connections, gain inspiration from others’ successes and learn ways to thrive in life.  We offer a combination of educational discussion topics, guest speakers and learning opportunities to help you meet the challenges of vision loss.  Our next meeting is Saturday, Jan. 14 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm.  To register, call our front desk or email Polly Abbott.

Holiday Closing

Second Sense will be closed Friday, Dec. 23 through Monday, Jan. 2 for the Christmas and New Year holidays.  From all of us at Second Sense, we wish you the very best the season has to offer.

Choose Second Sense on AmazonSmile

You can help support people with vision loss and the essential programs they participate in at Second Sense by shopping on smile.amazon.com.  Amazon has developed a special page where part of your purchase goes to the charity of your choice – at no extra cost to you!  The webpage is the same Amazon website with the same great prices and selection you have come to know, but by using smile.amazon you can make sure your contribution comes to Second Sense.  It’s simple to do – just go to www.smile.amazon.com and select Second Sense as your charity, then continue shopping with Amazon.  We sincerely appreciate your generosity and thank you for keeping Second Sense in your thoughts this holiday season.

Audio Book Club

Want to experience the invigoration of a lively book discussion from the comfort of home?  Speaking Volumes is a book club for people with vision loss where you can participate via phone or listen online.  Six volunteers gather at the radio studio in Worcester, Massachusetts the first Tuesday of every month (except January) from 8:00 to 9:00 pm EST, (7:00 pm CST) for a live discussion.  The books are chosen four to five months in advance and are always available from the National Library Service Talking Book libraries.  The club chooses a wide variety of genres including fiction, history and biographies.  Sometimes the authors call in to join the discussion!  The call in number to participate or for more information is 508-752-0557.  To listen on your computer and for a list of the selected titles, visit www.audiojournal.net.

Gifts for Children with Vision Loss

Looking for new and accessible toys a toddler or child you know can rip open this holiday and turn to again and again? Wonderbaby.org has a great list of toys for a variety of occasions and ages.  Check out the Lamaze Octotunes, an octopus whose legs, when squeezed, play a different note and give off a nice vanilla scent.  The Rhyme and Discover Book giggles and plays a nursery rhyme when the page is turned.  The book has fun knobs and buttons and braille can be added with a braille labeler for a literacy lesson.  For their holiday gift suggestions, visit www.wonderbaby.org and enter “Christmas Gifts” in the search box.

A Christmas Carol at the Goodman

Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with an audio-described performance of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” at the Goodman Theatre.  Performance is Saturday, Dec. 10 at 2:00 pm (touch tour at 12:30 pm).  Critics love this timeless performance! Tickets are $35.  Call the box office at 312-443-3800 and mention the audio-described performance.

Grants for Athletes

Access for Athletes offers grants for equipment, training, coaching and competition costs for athletes with disabilities.  Application period is September 2 through December 2. Awards are announced in April of 2017.  This grant can be used toward the cost of 1Touch Self-Defense coaching certification training. To learn more, call 858-866-0959 or visit www.challengedathletes.org and click on the “Programs” link.

Considering a Guide Dog

Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired has updated their course, “Considering a Guide Dog.” This five-lesson course walks potential guide dog handlers and their families through the decision-making process and explains what to expect when choosing a canine companion as a mobility option.  This course helps individuals feel confident they have made the right decision. Please note, this is not intended as a training course for guide dog use. Course materials are available online and in braille, large print, and audio. To learn more, call 800-323-4238 or visit www.hadley.edu.

Your iPhone as a Magnifier

Did you know your iPhone can become a magnifier? It’s easy to set up – go to settings, then general and choose accessibility. Find the magnifier button and tap to enable it. Now, when you click the home button three times quickly, your iPhone turns into a magnifier. A slider button on the screen lets you zoom in and out. Other controls on the screen can freeze the frame to reduce hand motion. You can also improve the contrast, brightness and color scheme with the filter button. To turn the magnifier off, simply triple click the home button again. For more tips on using your iPhone, call us at Second Sense to talk with one of our technology tutors.