April / May 2018

Published: March 22, 2018   Views: 533    Share:

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3 - Suzi Gunn, Orientation and Mobility Specialist
10 - Jan Cleere, author of “Levi and Lace” Stories of Courageous AZ Women,
TSB Potluck stay until 12:30, sign up with Barb on what to bring for potluck
13 - Board Meeting, 10AM-1PM, Biscuit Country Cafe, 7026 East Broadway Blvd.
17 - AZ Banjo Blasters with a “Hot Mama,” our favorite band
24 - Dr Nick Clement, “Legendary Teachers.” Please bring items to support Youth On Their Own, supporting homeless teens. See article below.


1 - Christine Vivona, Harpist. Mexican Lunch, stay until 12:30 PM, sign up with Barb on what to bring for potluck
8 - CPR Training, “Save a Life”
11 - Board Meeting, 10 AM-1 PM, Biscuit Country Cafe, 7026 East Broadway Blvd.
15 - Jenny Ginn, Living History, “Nellie Cashman, Miner's Angel”
18 - McCann Pool Party, 9am to 1:00pm, details below.
22 - Star Spangled Seniors Summer Show
29 - Dr. Tom Muller, University of Arizona Speech and Hearing Clinic, “Resources and Tips for the Hearing impaired”
June 6 - TBA alternate location, church on vacation

  Upcoming Programs

April 24 - Bring items to the church to support Youth on Their Own
Help homeless youth to stay in school, We will be collecting non-perishable food, personal grooming items, household items and gift cards from Fry's Grocery Store, Target or Walmart. Youth on Their Own (YOTO) helps 1600 homeless teens each year to stay in school and finish high school by providing financial assistance, personal counseling and basic guidance. TSB members can make a difference by investing in Arizona’s future, helping YOTO break the cycle of poverty and preventing teens from dropping out of school. YOTO has been helping middle and high school students in Pima County for 30 years and has helped over 16,000 homeless young people.

From the executive director Hartmann of YOTO, " I am just continually shocked by the numbers of kids that we see. They have so many challenges ... and we have to try to help them through each immediate crisis." YOTO dropout-prevention efforts include monthly stipends based on grades and regular school attendance; YOTO also provides emotional support and assistance with housing, transportation and other resources for youth who find themselves forced from their homes due to reasons ranging from physical, sexual or substance abuse and violence to issues such as parental incarceration, poverty, abandonment or neglect.

TSB members can help by bringing the following items:

  • Non-perishable Food: Macaroni and cheese mix, Canned soup and fruit, Canned pasta, etc., Spaghetti sauce and pasta, Ramen Noodles.
  • New, Regular Personal Grooming Items: Shaving cream, razors, deodorant, body wash/soap, shampoo & conditioner
  • Household Items: paper towels, toilet paper, laundry detergent pods, dryer sheets. Gift Cards from Wal-Mart and Target for clothing and from Grocery stores for food.

Let's see how much TSB members can contribute to this worthy cause. Many of these items can be purchased at the dollar store. It is great to help our local teens. For more information call Kristan 293-1136 or go to www.yoto.org. Also you can shop at the YOTO Resale Home Store, 1642 N. Alvernon way, 520-545-0602. Thanks for all your help.

May 18 - McCan BBQ Pool Party, Friday May 18, 9:00am-1:00pm. TSB will provide hot dogs and hamburgers cooked on the grill. Please bring a side dish to share with others. The McCann’s have a fantastic pool, so wear your swimming suit. There also is plenty of shade under the large back porch and there will be live music too. So, come join the fun, and please let Barbara know what food you are bringing. Address: 8761 E Placita Bolivar, Tucson, AZ 85715


Tucson Society of the Blind
Policy approved by the TSB Board on 2/9/2018.

Tucson Society of the Blind does not allow any discrimination of members because of race, gender, religion, or disabilities.
At Tucson Society of the Blind, it is not acceptable for any sexual harassment or inappropriate sexual remarks during TSB activities.

Buy 2018 Jim Click Tickets & Support TSB!
The grand prize this year is a fully loaded Grand Cherokee Summitt Jeep and If you win, you can take the Jeep or 75% of the jeep's cash value. Second prize: two first class tickets to anywhere in the world. Third Prize: $5000 in cash. WOW!

Raffle tickets are $25 each or 5 for $100. 100% of the funds raised by us go directly to fund the outstanding programs TSB provides. To sell tickets, contact Tom Young, 721-1029. TSB placed in the top 90% of the sellers and our goal is to do that again in 2018. The Raffle drawing will be December 13, 2018 and TSB will turn in tickets by Dec 1. Thanks ahead of time for your generous support.
History of Jim Click's Millions for Tucson Raffle
Since 2003 Jim Click has donated nine vehicles helping Tucson Charities raise $6 million. Last year the campaign raised over one million dollars for 394 charities. Tucson Society of the Blind and other charities owe Jim Click a big thank you.

The winning ticket was sold by the charity Friends of Madera Canyon to Green Valley resident John MacTaggart. As the grand prize winner, MacTaggart was eligible to take home a 2017 Ford Explorer donated by Click, but opted to take home a cash prize instead. TSB has raised over $5,000 through its participation over the last three years in the Jim Click Raffle.

Audio description available on Amazon videos
Amazon Video began supporting audio description, providing customers who are blind or visually impaired access to professional narration describing what is taking place during stretches where there is no dialog. More than 133 movies from studios such as Disney, Lionsgate, NBC, Paramount, and Warner Brothers are now available with English audio descriptions, including such titles as The Hunger Games, Inception, Captain America: Civil War, and The Big Short. Also, ten of the most popular Amazon Original TV shows such as Bosch, The Man in the High Castle, Mozart in the Jungle, Transparent, Creative Galaxy, and Gortimer Gibbons are also now available with audio description for select seasons. Audio descriptions are available on popular titles included with an Amazon Prime Video subscription, as well as those for purchase or rent. The feature is available on Fire TV, Fire Tablets, Android, iOS and AppleTV devices. Customers can view and browse through titles with audio descriptions by going to www.amazon.com/video/audiodescription External . The selection of titles available on the page will be updated continuously. To play a title with audio descriptions, customers just need to select the "English-audio description" option from the "Subtitles and Audio" menu during playback.

Interesting Free Classes Offered by Hadley for the visually impaired
TSB members looking to brush up on basic Internet skills may be interested in Internet Essentials, a new offering from the Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired. The online course includes four lessons and is open to both adult continuing education and high school students. Topics covered include accessible technology, desktop computers and mobile devices, searching for information, and making online purchases. Also, Hadley offers a series of audio recordings that share practical tips to address daily living tasks made difficult by vision loss. Designed specifically for older adults with visual impairments, these recordings are free of charge and available on CD or on a Digital Talking Book (DTB) cartridge that is compatible with your NLS digital talking-book machine.
Has vision loss impacted your sense of self-esteem? Many of us, whether blind or sighted, can struggle with self-esteem from time to time. Hadley's course, "Self-Esteem and Adjusting with Blindness," explores a number of blindness-specific issues on intellectual and emotional levels in order to help you reach a place of greater self-awareness and self-acceptance. Free of charge, this course is available in braille, large print, or in Digital Talking Book (DTB) cartridge. Call Hadley at 1 (855) 830-5355 to enroll or visit www.hadley.edu.

Script Talk
Script Talk is an accessible talking Prescription reader that is free for the visually impaired to identify and safely take medication. The Pharmacist puts a label on the prescription bottle containing all the information contained on the label. Just use the Script Talk player station by putting the pill bottle in the slot and the player starts talking. Script Talk has been adopted by the Veteran Association, Walmart and CVS Pharmacy. For more information call Envision America 800-890-1180 or visit www.envisionamerica.com

Tucson Walmart with Script Talk
Walmart #1291 520-722-8669 7150 E Speedway Blvd Tucson AZ 85710
Walmart #3357 520-327-9555 3925 East Grant Road Tucson AZ 85712
Walmart #4603 520-745-4527 5500 East 22nd Street Tucson AZ 85711

Other Pharmacies
-- CVS.com mail order (ScripTalk, ScripView, Braille) 888-861-4363
-- Walmart mail order (ScripTalk only) 888-227-3403
Insurance Benefit Mail Orders
-- Caremark (ScripTalk, ScripView, Braille) Phone: 800-552-8159
- -OptumRx (ScripTalk, ScripView, Braille) Public: 855-475-5088
Employer/Private: 855-505-8107
-- Aetna (ScripTalk, ScripView, Braille) Phone: 800-262-2226
-- Humana (ScripTalk & Braille) Phone: 800-379-0092 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
- -Express Scripts (ScripTalk & Braille) (still in pilot stage) Contact En-Vision America to participate: 1-800-890-1180
En-Vision America is happy to work with any pharmacy who would like to provide accessible prescription labels. For more information contact them at: En-Vision America, Inc, 825 4th Street, West Palmetto FL 34221. If your pharmacy does not use Script Talk, please give En-Vision America a call to schedule a demo.

  Erma’s Eye Opener

5 Little Known Ways to Reduce Arthritis Pain
If you have arthritis, you've probably tried painkillers and heating-pads. You may have even tried drugs like Celebrex® or Supplements like glucosamine. But here are 5 little-known remedies that you probably haven't tried. They are safe... they are inexpensive ... and they can dramatically curb your symptoms.

1. Yes, tea. Research shows that green tea is rich in polyphenols-compounds that suppress the expression of a key gene involved in arthritis inflammation. Black tea is made from the same leaves and may be as beneficial, even though it is processed differently. Drink one or 2 cups of hot or cold tea daily.

2. Vitamin C is believed to slow the loss of cartilage due to osteoarthritis, while a diet low in vitamin D has been shown to actually speed the progression of osteoarthritis. In a recent high-profile study, doctors discovered that patients who ate a diet high in vitamin D (or who took vitamin supplements) reduced their risk for worsening their arthritis by 75%. Another study of over 25,000 people concluded that a low intake of vitamin C may increase the risk of developing arthritis. Take daily supplements that provide 500 to 1,000 mg of vitamin C, and 400 IUs of vitamin D.

3. Willow bark is where aspirin comes from. And boswellia has been used for centuries to reduce inflammation and maintain healthy joints. A study showed that taking these 2 herbs is just as effective as taking a drug like Motrin®. Take 240 mg of willow bark and 1,000 mg of boswellia per day.

4. Grape skin contains resveratrol, a natural compound known to act as a COX-2 inhibitor. Resveratrol both suppresses the COX-2 gene and deactivates the COX-2 enzyme, which produces inflammation at the site of injury or pain. A study published in the Journal ofBiological Chemistry confirmed that resveratrol acts as an antioxidant and a COX-2 inhibitor. Eat one cup of white or red grapes daily. Good news: purple grape juice and wine also contain resveratrol.

5. Wrapping tape around a joint to realign, support, and take pressure off it has great benefits for arthritis sufferers. In an Australian study, 73% of patients with osteoarthritis experienced substantially reduced symptoms after just 3 weeks of therapeutic taping. The benefits were comparable with those achieved by standard drug treatments and lasted even after taping was stopped! Important: Taping must be done properly to be effective. Consult a physician or physical therapist who can show you or a family member the proper technique.

Presidio Field Trip
Our trip to the Presidio on Thursday March 15, was a historic journey through the earliest days of Tucson where a small town of soldiers and their families held ground in a 17 acre fort, in 1770, parts of which have only recently been uncovered. The fort was built to protect the settlers from the Apaches. There was a roaring river and their crops extended to the foot of A mountain. Our personal tour guide Jean Baxter made that time come to life. We got to feel the adobe bricks and walk on the original fort. The first stop was to see the 2000 year old pit house, a round dome circle pit where an entire Native American family would live in a small space. As we passed the large beehive ovens, Jean mentioned that the women had to feed 400 people every day. In the soldier"s barrack and small quarters, soldiers wore wool uniforms with about 20-30 pounds of leather to protect against bows and arrows. The soldiers had to be hot in our Tucson climate. Women wore a night shirt, and it became a day shirt tucked into a skirt and covered with a vest. Women wore a rebozo a long scarf around their head to keep their hair clean and which could be used to gather vegetables. The group did not believe in baths and had one other set of clothes for special events. For special events the residents had hot chocolate with cinnamon or chilie powder. Touching the cannon and holding the 20 pounds musket was also fun. We went to lunch at La Cocina, appreciating our modern conveniences and awe struck at how hardy and courageous our Tucson ancestors were.

To everyone: Have a wonderful, healthy and joyous spring.
- Lovingly, Erma Seal, President

  News You Can Use by Barbara Macpherson

Thanks to TSB members, volunteers, and Fellowship Square staff and residents, who supported the TSB Rodeo Concert. TSB made over $2,500, Tom Chambers was wonderful and a good time was had by all. A special thank you to Nancy Lacock who won the Grand Prize of $100 in the Raffle Drawing. She took $50 for her birthday and donated $50 back to TSB.
Four days before the Rodeo Concert, the frame of my glasses broke. Hunter and I could not find a frame to fit the lenses. Luckily Hunter took the frame to Frame Fixer who welded them back together for $50 and by Wednesday I had my glasses back.

Getting Around: You may consider another transportation option, such as Uber or Lyft where a driver comes to your door typically within 10 minutes to pick you up. However, one has to have an I phone or smart phone to use the app.
Plus, now there are three ways to get the service. If you have a Jitterbug phone from Great Call, the operator can get you a ride from Lyft and the charge will appear on your next phone bill. Many doctors and medical services will pay for Uber rides to an appointment. For seniors with regular cell phones, there is Go Go Grandparent. You sign up with Go Go Grandparent with your credit card. This service has 24 hour operators. You dial the number with the address you want to go to and the operator will tell you how much the ride is and who your driver is. You can hit 3 to talk to your driver. The service adds twenty cents per minute, about $1-2 per ride for the 24 hour operator. No cash ever changes hands, and now you can go anywhere.

And now available anywhere Uber goes, Uber Health is a service that is booked by your healthcare provider and billed at standard Uber rates. Ask your provider if they participate in this new program.

The Big Screen: Annie and I went to see the movie, the Darkest Hour, about Winston Churchill during World War II. We got the headsets with descriptive narration, which describes what is happening in the movie between the dialogue. The narrator was outstanding and very clear. However, when we picked up the headsets at the box office, the staff said they were turned on. That was false. We had to turn on our own headset. The on-off switch is above the volume control. Also there is a port on the bottom of the headset to plug your own head phones in. You can find out if a movie has descriptive narration by going to www.cinemark.com or calling the box office. See box office numbers below. Remember that Monday is senior discount day $6.50, $7 other days and Tuesday is $5 all day. Movies at Century Gateway at Speedway and Kolb are $4 any time and $2 on Tuesdays.

Visit our website and Facebook page:
The TSB website is updated regularly with new photos of members at our activities, upcoming calendar, current and past newsletters, among other information. Check the website out at www.tucsonsocietyoftheblind.org.  Also, TSB is on Facebook. Share our page with your friends and let them know all of the amazing programs and activities we provide to our members. Visit: https://www.facebook.com/tucsonsocietyoftheblind/

If you would like to let your elected federal and state officials know your opinion, here is a handy phone number. First it will ask for your zip code. Then press 1 to contact your federal officials and 2 for state. After recording your message, hit pound to go to the next official. US & State Capital telephone line 844-872-0234.

Important phone numbers:
AZ Vocational Rehab& independent Living 888-282-9857
Century El Con 202-3358
Century Gateway 886-1000
Century Park Place 745-2321
Frame Fixers, 4331 E. Broadway 327-4888
Go Go Grandparent 855-464-6872 for uber rides
Great Call ( Jitterbug cell phone) 800-733-6632
Hadley Institute for Blind & Visually Impaired 855-830-5355
Script Talk talking prescription reader
Envision America 800-890-1180 www.envisionamerica.com
Walmart 7150 E. Speedway 722-8689
Walmart 3926 E. Grant 327-9555
Walmart 5500 E 22nd St 745-4527

  Tech Bytes by Wesley Derbyshire

Television viewing has come along way from its introduction over a half century ago. Most recently major advances have been made which provide audio description of many prime time and popular TV series. But, it is the Apple TV streaming device that connects via HDMI to your television that has taken this to an even more powerful level for blind and vision impaired users through its integration of Voice Over and Siri.

For those who are not familiar, Voice Over is Apples text to speech engine that enables a spoken readout of whatever has focus on the screen. On the Apple TV this is best used for navigating the home screen to select the various apps, which include streaming channels such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, CBS All Access, and many more. While the Apple TV also has the ability to play iTunes, podcasts, streaming radio stations, video games, and the like, it is the TV streaming channels that are at focus briefly here.

Selecting a channel such as Netflix, displays a navigation screen that covers recently watched shows, recommendations, and selections in your personal que. Swiping up and down moves the focus vertically on the screen, while swiping left or right will move across the current row. At each point when focus is set for a moment Voice Over will start chattering out the name of the program. Clicking on a program will display options to play the next episode or display all of the available episodes, plus the ability to remove or add the series to your list, and even rate the series. Voice Over will also provide a summary of the show when focus remains on the next available episode. Optionally, pressing the Play button will start playing the next show in a series.

Searching for programs or even launching an ap is even easier when using Siri by pushing and holding the Siri button on the remote. No wake up word is required, merely state your command, such as “Open Netflix” or “Play the next episode of Survivor.” You can even search by actor, year, genre, or studio, along with many other commands common to IOS devices such as weather and home automation.

But that is not all the Apple TV can do for you. Now you’ll know what is happening in the scene, both Amazon and Netflix have added audio description to many TV series and some movies. The Apple TV will automatically enable audio description on any program where it is available, provided Audio Description is set to on in the Settings > General > Accessibility option. An additional tip that you may find handy is setting the Accessibility Shortcut to Voice Over which quickly allows users to triple click the Menu button to toggle Voice Over on and off.

You’ll need either a wired or wireless internet connection, and most likely subscriptions to one or more streaming channels to fully enjoy the benefits of the Apple TV. Starting at just under $180, this device will need to be first setup by a sighted person, as it lacks Voice Over on the initial setup screens. Once you are going, it is a breeze to use, and you may never want to leave home again given the wealth of programming available at your fingertips.


In our issues you'll find:

   Upcoming Events
   Special Stories
   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