August / September 2017

Published: July 02, 2017   Views: 435    Share:

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1 - Annie Schlesinger, “Shared Insights on Vision Loss”
8 - Janice Deardorff, “Singing your favorite Western Tunes on her guitar,”
11 - TSB Board Meeting, 10-1 PM, Biscuit Country Cafe, 7026 E. Broadway Blvd.
15 - Bob Kresmer, “All about the National Federation of the Blind,”
18 - Field Trip to AZ State Museum and Gentle Ben 10:30-2:00 PM 1 AZ State Museum: 1013 E. University Blvd, Gentle Ben: 865 E. University Blvd
22 - Susie Gunn, “Orientation and Mobility,” Sign up with Barb potluck item.
29 - Leslie McNeil, “Non 24 Sleep Wake Disorder of the Blind,” followed by Potluck, stay until to noon See details


5 - Christina Vivona, glorious music on the harp
8 - TSB Board Meeting 10-1 PM, Biscuit Country Cafe, 7026 E. Broadway Blvd.
12 - Van Fowers, “Living History Doc Holliday, Gunfighter, Dentist, and Marshall from Tombstone”
19 - Wesley & Barbara "What can Alexa do for you?"
22 - Field Trip to AZ Transportation Museum and Maynard Kitchen, 414 N. Toole Ave 10:30 AM -2:00 PM
26 - Old AZ Brass Military Band, “Learn about the Civil War, and hear old time foot stomping tunes”

Oct 3 - Tender Loving Care will bring a miniature horse and a Clydesdale horse called JJ to visit us at TSB
Mark the date:

Nov 14 will be our Annual Meeting, Election to Board of Directors and Thanksgiving Lunch

  Upcoming Programs

Aug 18 - Field Trip to AZ State Museum: 1013 E. University Blvd and Gentle Ben 865 E. University Blvd 10:30 AM - 2:00 PM Cost $7 plus lunch. Take a Sun Van to Museum and get picked up at Gentle Ben 2 Pm out. The AZ State Museum is known for Native American artifacts. We will have an informative " Hands On" presentation where we will touch pottery and baskets. Then we will have a guided docent led tour. Afterwards we will walk across the street to Gentle Ben, a favorite by college students for hamburgers and sandwiches, and salads $9-10. It is called Gentle Ben because of a 9 ft stuffed bear called Gentle Ben. Please pay Barb $7 for reservation by Aug 15. Scholarships are available.

Aug 29 - Learn about Non 24 Sleep Wake Disorder: Leslie McNeil is a licensed RN who will be talking about Non-24-Hour Sleep Wake Disorder. It is estimated that 30%-50% of blind with no or little light perception are affected. Leslie will talk about symptoms and not treatments according to FDA rules. She will take your name and her coworkers will contact your primary care physician to inform them about the disorder. Barbara will have more information on treatments. Treatments are aimed at resynchronizing the patient's internal body clock to the 24-hour day-night cycle. While appropriately timed light exposure that resets the phase (i.e., timing) of the internal body clock to the 24-hour day-night cycle which is important to people. The drug Tasimelteon, has been shown to be effective in FDA trials in 2014 with blind people, but again you have to check with your physician to see if it is right for you. This will be an informative talk making us aware of this disorder.

Sep 22 - Field Trip to AZ Transportation Museum and Maynards: 10:30 AM – 2:00 PM, Cost $2 plus lunch. Today we learn about the history of Trains and get to touch and ring the bell of a restored engine. The restored train depot has model trains and other exhibits to explore. We will have a docent led tour and go to Maynard next door for lunch. Cost about $9-10 for hamburgers, sandwiches and salads. Maynard is a restored railroad dining car. Take Sun Van to Museum with a 2 PM out. Pay your $2 for reservation to Barb by Sept 18. Scholarships available. Don't miss this fun field trip.


Interested in Running for TSB Board of Directors? If you are interested in running for the TSB Board of Directors, you must let Erma Seal, our President know before the October 13th Board meeting, and we ask the you submit your interest by Tuesday, Oct 3. According to our bylaws you must be a member in good standing, paid your dues and participate regularly in TSB weekly meetings. The board must approve of your nomination, and we ask that you submit a Biography. The TSB Board of Directors welcomes new members who are hard working and have great ideas. The election for Board of Directors will be at our annual meeting Tuesday Nov 14.

Buy 2017 Jim Click Tickets & Support TSB: The grand prize this year is a cherry red SUV Van which holds seven passengers and is loaded with many options and worth $54,000. If you win, you can take the SUV Van or the money. 2nd prize: two tickets to anywhere in the world. 3rd Prize: $5000 in cash. WOW!

Raffle tickets are $25 each or 5 for $100. All the funds go to TSB to fund our outstanding programs. To purchase tickets, contact Tom Young, 721-1029. TSB placed in the top 90% of the sellers last year and our goal is to do that again in 2017. The Raffle drawing will be December 14, 2017 and TSB will turn in tickets on Dec 1 So far TSB is a third of the way to our goal having raised $650, so we need all TSB members to get out there and sell tickets.

Check out our TSB website: TSB is proud of our website. Wesley has posted the biographies of the current Board Members. You may find it fun and interesting to learn about our board members.   We also post the TSB Newsletter, this is a great way to share about TSB with your friends or read it online if you misplace your copy, plus go to the website to check the calendar.   Also don't miss looking at the latest photos of TSB members under photo albums Our web address is:

Jitterbug Cell Phones from Great Call and Medical Alert Device
The advantages of Jitterbug phones is that there are big buttons, easy to use and a 24 hour operator, no contracts or cancellation fees and plans start as low as $14.99 plus tax. If you are legally blind, you can have the24 hour operator place unlimited calls for free. If you have a Jitterbug cell phone you may consider upgrading to a new Jitterbug flip phone for $79.99 for old customers and $99 for new customers plus $35 activation fee. The feature of 5 star emergency for $19.99 a month lets you set up an emergency profile on who would be called in an emergency. You can try out the new phones at Walmart and Best Buy and keep them for 30 days or return for refund. Another advantage is the ability to use Life a car sharing ride service by calling the opearator.The Medical Alert Device can be worn on wrist or neck for $49.99 one time and $34.99 monthly. The device works outside of the house in front or back yards and would be good for singles living alone. The Medical Alert can detect if you fall down and there is a big button to push if you need help.

Great Call out of Carlsbad, California sells phones aimed at the older crowd, including the $149.99 Jitterbug Smart, which features built-in health and safety apps tied to service plans and incldes a talking voice. For example, under a $24.99 health and safety package, seniors can get 24/7 access to doctors and nurses and get medication refill reminders.. "We're really a company that is focused on helping the older consumer stay independent longer in their homes," CEO David Inns said.   Call 800-733- 6632 or my for more information.

Free amplified telephone for land lines for hearing impaired from AZTEDP. You can download the application package at

AZTEDP Arizona Telecommunication Equipment Distribution Program Free hearing amplified telephone for land line, corded or cordless, no income restrictions. Need audiologist to sign form confirming hearing loss. Also must show proof of US citizenship. Recommend Clarity telephones, and you must return phone if you move out of the state of Arizona. Try out telephones at ALOHA, Arizona Loss of Hearing Association in Tucson, 4001 E. Fort Lowell Road, 795-9887, open Tuesdays to Thursdays, call for appointment. For more information call 602-542-1124, Toll free 1-866-223-3412.

NFB Newsline: One of the best resources for the visually impaired. If you have not signed up for NFB Newsline, you are missing a wonderful resource. Newsline is a free resource where you can listen to a human sounding electronic voice to many newspapers such as AZ Daily Star and the USA Today and over 50 magazines such as AARP Bulletin or AARP Magazine by telephone or email. You pick a Newspaper such as USA Today and hit 1 for the current issue. The newspaper is divided in sections 10 Life,11 money and 12 news. By using the 3 and * star key, you can navigate through the whole newspaper. You can also set up your Favorites with favorite magazines.

To sign up for Newsline, call your Reader Advisor at the AZ Braille &Talking Book Library. They will enroll you in Newsline. They will send you a code. Once you put the code in the telephone, Newsline will recognize you and welcome you. Newsline helps me to stay current in US events and provides many hours of interesting and enjoyable listening of many favorite magazines.

  Erma’s Eye Opener
A friendly and Caring Concern for Good Eye Care

Tips to Help Maintain Eye Health: Key Vitamins, Minerals, & Trace Elements help to protect the body’s cells from damage from oxidative stress. Resveratrol: emerging research reveals Resveratrol helps protect the body’s cells from oxidative damage. Omega 3 & Essential Fatty Acids: Help maintain healthy vision, brain function, and normal blood pressure. Lutein & Zeaxanthin: Enrich the macular pigment in the eye. Studies have shown that they help to promote healthy eye function by protecting against harmful effects of light exposure.

Eat right to protect your sight: Research shows, a diet rich in these food groups gives your eyes the best support to help maintain eye health as we age. But it can often be hard to get enough eye friendly nutrients through diet alone.

Nutrition Made Easy: The New Rule of Breakfast – What to eat for the most-skipped meal of the day – and why you should start if you haven’t already

by Sidney Fry, MS, RD

Breakfast needs not be elaborate, but you should eat it every day. Quality, however, is essential; many of us look to overly sugared, refined carbohydrate-based items (think donuts, pastries, and muffins) that may actually have a huge negative impact on our health.

Obesity researcher Louis Aronne, MD, from Weill Cornell Medicine, found a drastic surge in insulin when refined carbs are eaten at the beginning of a meal; (such surges are a known contributor to fat gain and fatigue).

Some studies show that skipping breakfast doesn’t necessarily help or harm weight-loss efforts, but is it really all about the scale? We advocate eating breakfast because it leads to improved memory and may affect your energy levels, blood sugar, and mood for the entire day. Think of it as a way to jump-start your engines for better health.

Cooking breakfast is a hassle that most of us don’t like to face on weekday mornings, and that’s OK. It can be as simple as a little nut butter on whole-grain bread or protein-packed whole-milk Greek yogurt (a far more satiating option than the 100-calorie, artificially sweetened stuff). A little planning and label reading go a long way.

To everyone: Have a wonderful, healthy and safe summer. Be happy!

-        Lovingly, Erma Seal, President

  News You Can Use by Barbara Macpherson

On a hot summer day, there is a cool place to be, in an air conditioned movie theater listening to descriptive narration on a movie. Descriptive Narration or Audio Description is where an narrator tells you what is happening in a movie between the dialogue. Recently I saw Hidden Figures, A Dog's Purpose, and Born in China. A visually impaired individual can ask for descriptive narration at the box office and get a headset and receiver. You can also call the box office to see if there is descriptive narration for a particular movie, (Not all movies have it) see phone numbers below or check at Tuesday is discount day and Monday is Senior Day.

Another way to get audio described movies is to order the DVDs for free from the AZ Braille and Talking book Library. You will need sighted help to set up AD in the set up menu.

For those of you with streaming players such as the Roku or Apple TV, a smart phone or iPad, etc, you can stream AD movies from Netflix for $8-$10 a month. Also DVDS on the latest movies are available by mail to play on your DVD player. If you are an Amazon Prime Member there are over 115 AD movies and TV series to watch for free. All Cox Cable customers who are blind can get a free talking TV remote branded as “Contour.” A Cox representative will come to your house to set it up and teach you how to use it. There is also a you tube video you can watch. You just say the name of the TV station and it goes to it. Once set up for AD, the descriptive audio will automatically start. Other features include a talking tv guide, the ability to record six programs at once, and the ability to ask for free comedy movies and use the up and down arrow to select one; see phone number below. For a list of all movies with AD, google Audio Description Project by ACB and a list by alphabetical order is on the page. The FCC increased the number of hours for AD known as Video description by 75% on ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, History and TBS cable channels. This AD is usually found on the SAP menu.   Audio described movies make movie watching fun and enjoyable. Happy Listening!

Useful phone numbers

AZTDP: 602-542-1124 or 866-223-3412,
AZ Braille & Talking Book Library: 800-255-5578 or 602-255-5578
AZ State Rehab, Ask for Blind& Independent Living Services: 888-282-9857
Century Gateway Movie Theater: 520-886-1000, ask for description narration
Century El Con Movie Theater: 520-202-3358
Century Park Place Movie Theater: 520-745-2321
Cox Cable Specialized Support: 855-512-8876
Desert Low Vision: 520-881-3439,
     the only place in Tucson to buy visually impaired products
Great Call: 800-733-6632
Netflix: 866-579-7172


  Tech Bytes by Wesley Derbyshire

Where do you want to go? OverThere! IOS users now can simply point their phone and an audio description of nearby points of interest are spoken out loud. As you rotate around the 360 degrees, you’ll hear exactly what is in front of you, along with how many feet forward you need to move.

When I first used the app, I had hopped off a bus near a major intersection. Holding the iPhone horizontally and pointing the phone at the corner chattered out the cross streets, while pointing slightly off the street I discovered a bank, burger joints, grocery store, and numerous other places of business.   I found that in dense business areas, the chatter became overwhelming, and to only focus on nearby locations, I decreased the distance from 1,000 feet to 300 feet by modifying the distance setting in the help menu.

Moving the iPhone up from a horizontal position stops the immediate speak out of nearby locations, and using Voice Over, I scrolled the list, which dictated locations in a clockwise order.   However, although the list visually displays a hand pointing in the approximate direction, there was no spoken description to orient a blind user. Furthermore the list didn’t reorder as I rotated around the 360 degree field.

Another shortcoming is the lack of integration with mapping technology, wherein the user could click for directions to a location where navigating roadways to arrive at the destination would be required.   I also noticed that while searching in horizontal mode, several color blocks were displayed alongside the point of interest on the list. However, this color distinction only benefited sighted users, and I heard no audible characteristics other than a white noise fade out as I moved the phone slightly off the destination.

All in all, overThere is a useful tool for users who wish to explore their surroundings. The no cost download makes the price right to try it for yourself.



In our issues you'll find:

   Upcoming Events
   Special Stories
   Ermas Eye Opener
   News You Can Use
   Thoughts from our Sunshine Lady
   ... and more

Timothy: Cactus walking with a white cane, dark sun glasses, and white cowboy hat.

Volunteers Needed


TSB needs sighted volunteers to:

  • drive
  • assist with activities
  • help with luncheons, field trips, and fund raising events

IRS #  84-1636485
TSB is a 501c3 Organization

Green Check Mark in square box with Black border.

Or mail your donations, which is 100% tax-deductible to:

Tucson Society of the Blind
P.O. Box 57655
Tucson, AZ  85732

Thank you for your support

For membership and general information contact:

Barbara Macpherson, President
  (520) 298-2427

Tom Young, Director
  (520) 721-1029

Email TSB