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Second Sense - Beyond Vision Loss

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Staffer at a baseball game wearing a shirt with "May I Help You?" on the back.

Why is Asking for Help so Difficult?

July 31, 2023 | 1 Comment

by Kathy Austin

  Asking for Help is Hard No one wants to be a burden. You may feel ashamed, embarrassed or have any number of other uncomfortable feelings when asking for help. But, could your feelings be misguided? Our western society puts a large value on “independence.”  We may feel inadequate or incompetent when help is required. […] Read More »

Birding by ear is easy with house finches and their distinctive song

Birding by Ear: Who’s Singing that Song?

May 3, 2023 | Leave a Comment

by Kathy Austin

My first bird house was a well-crafted, sturdy red barn that hung empty for about seven years with no visitors. It came with us when we moved to a new house and amazingly, we had our first tenants, a family of sparrows. That bird house lasted for 20 years until the bottom finally rotted out.  […] Read More »

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Assistive technology Four Square Swamp app on an iPhone

How Do You Use Assistive Technology?

February 22, 2023 | Leave a Comment

by Kathy Austin

  When I was going to college back in the 90s and early 2000s, a textbook consisted of a cardboard box with dozens of four-track cassette tapes.  I played them on a special tape recorder that I now cannot remember the name of. It was about the size of a textbook, but heavy in my […] Read More »

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Journal open to page showing a resolution: "and so the adventure begins"

Ditch Resolutions and Embrace Themes

January 17, 2023 | Leave a Comment

by Cheryl Megurdichian, CFRE

  Ditching Resolutions My New Year’s resolutions were always bright and shiny, full of hope on New Year’s Day. But, by the end of the month they morphed into failures. When I set specific goals – I will walk 10,000 steps every day – one miss started a downward spiral. And just a few days […] Read More »

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A pool cue is abour to strike a cue ball.

Last Pocket

March 15, 2022 | Leave a Comment

by Brian Marchetti

As a random disruption in my genetic code has replaced my vision with a constant series of swirling lines and exploding dots, I miss two things the most. I haven’t seen a human face in a decade. I have no idea what my wife looks like though I sleep next to her every night and […] Read More »

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a grid of faces_face blindness

Face Blindness: A Brain Blindness Disorder

February 18, 2022 | 1 Comment

by Siobhan Midgley, CVRT, COMS, TVI

This post is the first in a series by Siobhan Midgley, CVRT, COMS, TVI, on blindness disorders occurring in the brain. In 2019, I was completing my teaching clinicals in a classroom with blind and visually impaired kindergartners. The classroom was set up with a desk in each corner for each teacher and paraprofessional. Each […] Read More »

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Sheet of paper with "Holiday Traditions" written on it surrounded by evergreen sprigs, glass ornaments and golden snowflakes

Holiday Traditions

December 15, 2021 | Leave a Comment

by Kathy Austin

Second Sense staff shares their holiday traditions

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Bat using echolocation to find a flower for its sap

Echolocation: It’s Not Just for Bats

November 15, 2021 | 2 Comments

by Siobhan Midgley, CVRT, COMS, TVI

  Bats, whales and other animals create sounds that bounce off objects to learn information about their environments. This strategy, called echolocation, helps them find prey and navigate under deep ocean depths and dark nighttime skies. Echolocation is now currently being researched as a tool for people with vision loss to also learn about the […] Read More »

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Aly does the plank pose on a bench looking across the pond to the Taj Majal on her travels to India

Travel to India? Why Not?

July 20, 2021 | 2 Comments

by Aly Slaughter

“Is there anything in your life that your vision prevents you from doing?” This was the question I was asked by the resident ophthalmologist in November 2017. I was at the University of Iowa where I go every 2 years for a full day of tests and eye exams. This was a question I had […] Read More »

Audio Book Month: National Library Service Player and Audible app on a smart phone

Audio Book Month: Narrators Brings Stories to Life

June 22, 2021 | Leave a Comment

by Kathy Austin

  The last book I read in print was The Osterman Weekend by Robert Ludlum, a CIA spy thriller. It was the second time I had read it and I struggled seeing the print under the dim light of a table lamp. Months later, I took my daughter to the library. I had to ask […] Read More »

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