We welcome all with visual impairment
Serving Tucson and Pima County
Welcome to the Tucson Society of the Blind, TSB, website. TSB provides social and educational programs for those individuals with low or no vision. TSB provides valuable resources on coping with blindness and vision impairment. It is wonderful to meet other visually impaired seniors who can act as mentors and provide emotional support.
Join Us at our Weekly Meetings
Tuesday mornings from 9:30am- 1:00pm.
Christ Presbyterian Church
6565 E. Broadway Blvd., Tucson, AZ
Includes topic as noted on our calendar, followed by games.
5th: Maurice Peret, National Federation of the Blind, will talk about the philosophy of NFB and how he has adapted his lifestyle to his blindness
8th: Board Meeting, 7026 E. Broadway, Biscuit Country Café 10:15
The following will be held back at the church.
12th: Janet Dylla, Desert Low Vision, will bring many talking products
19th: Jeff Babson, "Arizona Mammals and Birds"
19th: Lesson with Manny about the iPhone on Zoom from 6:30 to 8:30 PM
20th: TSB goes to the Gaslight Theater, 7010 E. Broadway, to see the show, "Frankenstein." We meet at little Anthony’s Diner at 4:30 PM. If you are not eating with us, please be at the theater by 6:30 PM. We have reserved seats in the front rows of the theater.
26th: Bill Martin will play the guitar and sing the Oldies and Halloween tunes
2nd: Laura, Volunteer Coordinator of Sister Jose Women Shelter, will talk about how they help the women. TSB will be doing a drive and bringing in helpful items for the women.
9th: Annual Meeting, Election, and Thanksgiving Luncheon. Let Barb know by November 2 If you are attending, so she can order enough food. See details below.
12th: Board Meeting 10:15 AM Biscuit Country Cafe, 7026 E. Broadway
16th: "Navigating the Health Care System, being visually Impaired," Barbara Macpherson
16th: Lesson with Manny on the iPhone, 6:30 PM-8:30 PM
19th: From 7:30 AM - 5:00 PM 1 VRATE (Vision Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology Expo) on Zoom. This is an annual event which showcases the many resources available to those who are blind or visually impaired, their families, and those who work with them so they might accomplish their career and life goals.
23rd: No Meeting: Holiday
30th: Janice Deardoff will perform Western Music and Christmas tunes on her guitar.
Be sure to put the following on your calendar:
November 9th: TSB Annual Meeting: Board of Directors Election, Presidential Report, Treasurer’s Report, Proposed Budget, Thanksgiving luncheon with turkey and all the trimmings with two choices of pie. All members are encouraged to come and vote.
December 7th: Christine Vivona will play glorious Christmas Music on her harp.
December 14th: Holiday party, Christmas trivia, exchanging of gifts; enjoy a delicious lunch.
December 21st: No Meeting, Holiday
December 28th: No meeting, Holiday
Eye Talk by Annie Schlesinger
By the time I was diagnosed with my eye disease, I was in my forties and legally blind. I had some classes at Braille Institute in Los Angeles and Orientation and Mobility training (O&M). Most of my O&M has been done wearing a blindfold. It was SCARY! My first instructor let me walk in to a wall; he said, “You need to learn!”
For years I didn’t use the cane; I could get around fairly well and only occasionally bumped into people or objects. Luckily I never fell. Like many others I didn’t want to be identified as a blind person; some perceive a stigma about using a cane.
I started using the cane when I was bumping into more people. One woman didn’t accept my apology and shouted at me. She walked away but came back and shouted at me again. I was about in tears. After that I started at least carrying the cane to identify myself. People were nicer and often helpful. I was safer.
The long white cane helps me to scan my surroundings for obstacles and orientation landmarks. The basic technique is to swing the cane side to side no wider than the shoulders, the cane is two steps ahead as one walks. This can be done by tapping the cane in an arc or sliding the cane from side to side, keeping contact with the surface. in close quarters a pencil grip keeps the cane close to the body while still checking ahead. Shore lining is hitting the edge of the sidewalk with each swing.
No matter how skillful I am situations develop. So far I deal with them and go on. In my complex walkways can have obstacles: walkers, carts, baskets and sometimes doors are left ajar. My cane encounters them and I pass safety.
I search for landmarks such as potted plants, changes from carpet to tile and other changes in surfaces. I am alert for ramps, curbs and stairs. Sometimes sounds echo off a surface or a low ceiling; skillful travelers can often detect differences in these sounds.
When do you start to use a cane?
-When you are not effective in getting around,
-When you are relying more and more on help,
-When you become dangerous to yourself and others,
-When you want to be more effective and competent,
-When you want to walk as a blind person with confidence, it’s time to use a long white cane!
NFB.org has instructions for using the cane, “Care and feeding of the long white cane”. It is instructive but I recommend training with an instructor.
Eye Talk by Annie Schlesinger
It wasn’t until I was in my forties that I was diagnosed with my heredity eye disease Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP). I was told I would likely become totally blind. Although I knew I couldn’t see well, it was a shock! Not knowing how long I had, I begin to prepare.
I took some classes at Braille Institute in Los Angeles. I was given lessons in using the long white cane. Next I took correspondence courses from Hadley Institute including Independent Living and Braille. After I started getting talking books I read stories by and about blind people. I wanted to know how to live.
Although I was legally blind I could function fairly well for a lengthy period of time. BUT as the loss of vision started to impact more of my daily functioning I begin to take vision loss seriously. Unlike me many people won’t become totally blind, I read 85% will retain some vision but may have trouble reading and with activities of daily living. Everyone can benefit from these suggestions.
Here are some things I suggest:
My number one is to get organized! Don’t waste your time and get frustrated by not being organized.
Learn to do things in a non-visual way. This is easier to do while you still have vision as you can check on yourself. Use other senses, there are four more besides vision. Touch does lots for us. Mark items with bump dots or 3D paint so you can locate places such as numbers on a microwave.
If you expect to change residences, do it while you still have vision and can arrange it to your satisfaction.
Work with your environment. Get used to pushing in chairs, close cabinet doors. Plan contrast in dishes, towels, rugs. Plan lighting, avoid glare.
Sign up for talking books if you like to read; this gives you telephone access to NFBNewsline which has over 500 publications available. Bard allows downloading books to a tablet or other device.
When you can’t read your own handwriting there are several digital recorders available for under $100 you can use to make notes and lists.
If you can, get into technology. There’s much available, and although harder to learn for older folks, it opens up another dimension for us. We older folks, and younger ones too, resist change and it may take more repetition for us to learn something. But I did it when all I really wanted in technology was to use the ATM.
“With tools, techniques and a dose of imagination blended with persistence there have always been solutions to performing ordinary tasks without the benefit of 20/20 vision.” Deborah Kendrick
References: Eyes on Success, MDSupport, Access World