June / July 2018

Published: April 20, 2018   Views: 662    Share:

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5 - TSB will meet at 11:00am at Village Inn, located at 4245 E Speedway Blvd, request a 1:00pm pickup from SunVan. Church is closed for educational retreat.
8 - Board Meeting, 10am-1pm, Biscuit Country Cafe, 7026 East Broadway Blvd.
12 - Amy Spear, Free Technology for Deaf & Blind, Jim Looten, ALOHA, Adult Loss of Hearing Association. Please see article below
19 - Ginger Carter Nutritionist, “Your Choice, Your Health.” Spaghetti & Meatballs by Chef Luis Party, stay until 12:30pm.
26 - Sue, volunteer from Pima County Sheriff Dept. “Scam Proof Yourself”


3 - TSB Close in observance of Independence Day
10 - Janne Irvine incredible Classical Pianist & Blind Author. Additionally Murrey Shorts from the Star Spangled Seniors is providing a lovely lunch for TSB members. You’ll probably get hungry just reading this scrumptious menu that he will prepare: Pulled Pork on a Bun, Baked Beans, Watergate salad, Coleslaw, Veggie Tray, plus your choice of Cherry or Chocolate cheesecake for dessert.
13 - Board Meeting, 10am-1pm, Biscuit Country Cafe, 7026 East Broadway Blvd.
17 - Howard Tennis, “Art & Artifacts of Native Americans”
20 - Field Trip to KGUN 9 Studio, 9:30am, 7280 E Rosewood Street, then we’ll enjoy lunch at Guadalajara Mexican Grill , 750 N Kolb Road, Request a 2:30pm pickup from SunVan, Please see details in article below.
24 - Lindsey McHugh and John McCann will perform. Lindsey has an awesome voice and plays the piano, John performs on the guitar. Submarine Sandwich Party, stay until 12:30pm.
31 - Thomas Muller, University of Arizona, Speech & Hearing Clinic, “Resources and Tips for the Hearing Impaired”
Aug 7 - Jim Williams, " The e Life and Times of Raul Castro, the first Hispanic Governor,"
Aug 16 - Field Trip to Tucson Police Crime Lab, See article

  Upcoming Programs

June 12 Guest Speaker Amy Spears, COPD, Community Outreach Program For Deaf 520-792-1906, cell 520-468-2957, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. She will provide applications to apply for free technology and 20 hours of training to qualified applicants who are visually impaired and have a hearing loss. You can get a free computer with Jaws, ipad, smart cell phone braille keyboard and display and A teacher will come to your home and teach you how to use the technology. Qualified applicants can make not more than $48,000 if single or $65,000 if a couple. This is part of the Federal Program called "I Can Connect." For more information go to www.icanconnect.org.
Field trip on Friday July 20 to KGUN 9 On Your Side. TV Studio Tour, 7280 E Rosewood Street. Please arrive promptly at 9:30am, we aren’t able to wait. TSB members will tour the newsroom and the radio station Mix FM 94.9. We will also watch a live taping either the Morning Mix. Rides provided to Guadalajara Mexican Grill for lunch, located at 750 N Kolb Road. You are responsible for all costs of your lunch. We will use the entrance to restaurant on the East side. Request a 2:30pm pickup from Sun Van. Please let Barb know by July 10 if you want to attend this fun behind the scenes tour and enjoy a delicious Mexican Lunch.

Field Trip to Tucson Police Crime Lab Thurs August 16. Meet at 9:45am at 1306 W. Miracle Mile. TSB will enjoy a Hands on Presentation by three crime deputies covering DNA Evidence, Drugs & Toxicology Lab, along with Fire Arms Specialist. We will get to touch bullets and hear about the guns that killed famous Americans such at Martin Luther King. At 11:45am drivers will transport members to the Olive Garden for lunch located at 300 W Wetmore Road. You are responsible for all costs associated with your lunch. Request a 2:30pm pickup from Sun Van. Please let Barb know by Aug 7 if you want to go on this informative field trip.


  In Loving Memory of Carol Bender

Carol Bender passed away from brain cancer on March 20 at age 82. Carol was an active member of TSB. She was a home economic and elementary school teacher. She loved to cook and made enough potato salad at our potluck to serve over 30 people. She enjoyed the holidays very much. At Christmas time she decorated the inside and outside of her apartment at Fellowship Square with a lavish light display. Carol had an holiday outfit with hat to match the decorations. Carol is survived by her son Loni from Wisconsin. Carol was warm, loving, and fun to talk to. She will be greatly missed by TSB members.

  In Loving Memory of Joe Latta

Joe Latta passed away on April 17 at the age of 78 due to a heart attack. He loved cats and had two at his apartment in Broadway Proper. Joe also loved country music and traveled to Phoenix to participate in music festivals. Joe had a dry sense of humor and enjoyed attending TSB field trips. Joe will be greatly missed by TSB members.


New Medicare Card is coming
If you are over 65 or on Social Security Disability, you likely carry your Medicare card with you at all times - even though that card prominently displays your Social Security number (SSN). Your SSN is like gold for thieves, especially cyberthieves.

Now, after years of debate and planning, the government (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS) has started mailing out replacement Medicare cards with a new identification number called the MBI (Medicare Beneficiary Identifier). It is unique to you and has no relation to your SSN.
Most people affected don't know a new card is coming, according to a recent AARP-sponsored survey. Three out of four adults ages 65 and older indicate "they have not (or are not sure they have) seen, read, or heard much or anything at all about the new Medicare cards. That's a problem. As US Rep. Jim Himes told me, those who prey on seniors can intervene. A fraudster may call or write to a senior who is not aware of the process in order to exact funds or information.

As it turns out, you don't have to take action to get the new card. "The card will come to you in the mail without any effort on your part," explained Himes. No one in an official capacity will contact you to ask for information or money. However, over half (56 percent) of those surveyed by AARP are "not sure or are wrong in thinking that Medicare will call them to verify their Social Security number before they can receive their new card. That's not the case. Further, "nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of Medicare beneficiaries are unsure or are incorrect in believing that Medicare will charge new beneficiaries a $25 processing fee for the new card. The card is free. This lack of knowledge is a big issue. If someone calls or contacts you by mail or email claiming to be from Medicare, it's not legitimate, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Moreover, no one from Medicare will contact you to ask you for your SSN or bank information, or to pay for the new Medicare card. Likewise, if someone tells you that your Medicare benefits will be canceled if you don't comply with a request, that's a scam. If you get such a call, email or letter, report this info to the FTC at www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/#crnt&panel1-1. Also call Medicare at 800-633-4227.

If you don't get your new card by April 2019, call Medicare at 800-633-4227. Arizona residents are at the end of the list and will receive their cards in Feb or March of 2019.

CVS Pharmacies now support talking prescription labels
As part of its ongoing efforts to enhance accessibility and usability of prescription medications, CVS’s local pharmacies now have the ability to dispense controlled substance medications with the Access-A-Med talking prescription labels. Patients seeking Access-A-Med labels for controlled substances should contact their local CVS pharmacist. The CVS pharmacist will work to obtain the Access-A-Med device and dispense the device to the patient. This may take a day or more, depending on availability of the requested medication and an Access-A-Med label. In addition, CVS will continue to dispense non-controlled prescription medications with ScripTalk talking labels through cvs.com. CVS patients can sign up for ScripTalk labels for non-controlled substances by contacting cvs.com at 888-861-4363. Patients who prefer to have non-controlled prescription medications with the ScripTalk labels sent to their local CVS stores for pick up can make that request with cvs.com.

Books by Jan Cleere, Historical Author, a recent guest speaker at TSB.
On cartridge only from AZ Talking Library: Levi & Lace, Amazing Girls of Arizona, Outlaw Tales of Arizona, and More than Petticoats History of Remarkable Nevada Women
On Bard only: Never Don't Pay Attention Life story of Rodeo Photographer Louise Serpa

Fire Safety Tips by Barbara Macpherson

Here are several helpful tips.

  • Talk to family members and come up with a fire safety plan Including where all members will meet. Have family fire drills twice a year.
  • Periodically check your smoke alarm to see if working properly.
  • Smoke alarms older than 10 years should be replaced. The City of Tucson has a grant to install new battery alarm smoke detectors for free, these will last for 10 years. Schedule an appointment with Cecilia 520-837-7092.
  • Smoke detectors should be installed in hallway and each bedroom
  • Smoke detectors for the hearing impaired include strobe lights, are extra loud and include a bed shaker
  • Most fires occur at night and you have three minutes to get out.
  • Do not look for personal items, just get out and call for help. Personal thins can be replaced. You cannot be replaced.
  • Keep three feet a clear space around portable electric heaters.
  • Turn off all electrical appliances when not in use.
  • Be careful of overloading electrical outlets. Use a surge protectors.
  • Make sure your path is clear to fire exits, use night lights to light your path at night.
  • Consider getting a lockbox so fire officers do not have to break down the front door. Key lock boxes and combination lock boxes are available at ACE Hardware for around $35.
  • Have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen to put out cooking fires. Smother grease fires with pot lids. Adding water can make a grease fire burn hotter.
  • Be careful of lighted candles. Battery powered candles are a good alternative.
  • Have safety bars installed in bathroom to prevent falling, check shower mat before turning on shower to see if sticking to floor. Periodically rinse off mat to prevent mold build up.

Kidde has a combination of Battery Operated Smoke Detector and carbon monoxide detector for $22.95 at Home Depot. Also you could get Kidde Code one Dual Smoke Alarm Smoke Detectors with 10 year battery for 29.95. Each product comes with a 85 decibel noise gun which is really loud. The products have test buttons to see if the smoke detector is working properly. So think about fire safety in your home and be safe.

  Erma’s Eye Opener

Dry Eyes
‘Dry eye’, known medically as keratoconjunctivitis sicca or keratitis sicca, is a condition where there is a problem with the production of tears. Usually eyes feel irritated, scratchy, dry and uncomfortable. Eyes may be red and there may be a burning sensation, or it may feel as if there is something in the eye like grit or an eyelash.

Dry eye has a number of causes. It happens mostly as a part of the natural ageing process but can also be caused by problems with blinking or problems with the glands which produce the tears. Desert environments, like Tucson, also will cause dry eyes. Some drugs can cause dry eye, like antihistamines and oral contraceptives.
Sometimes dry eye is also a symptom of other conditions affecting other parts of the body, particularly arthritis or a condition called Sjogrens syndrome. Sjogrens syndrome is a condition where, as well as dry eyes, people can also have a dry mouth. This condition can also involve a type of arthritis.

Treatment: You can preserve the existing tears by lowering the temperature in rooms, since high temperatures make the tears evaporate more quickly. Central heating can make the air quite dry and sitting directly in front of a heating source like the fire can also be a problem. especially for older people. Sometimes humidifiers can help by moistening the air.
Artificial tears in the form of eye drops are usually the mainstay of treatment for people with dry eye. The aim of the treatment is to supplement the tears and therefore make the eye more comfortable. They also stop any damage to the front of the eye from prolonged dryness.

Artificial tears are only meant to help lubricate the eye, which means that they can be used very regularly. Your doctor may suggest that you start using eye drops once every hour, and then less frequently as you start to gauge how well you are responding to them. There is no problem using the eye drops this frequently all the time, but using them very regularly may mean that you become sensitive to the preservative in the drops more quickly than you would otherwise. If it feels necessary to use your drops very frequently then your doctor may well want to review your treatment and prescribe preservative free drops or possibly look at other ways of helping you in reducing the draining away of the tears
There has been a lot of debate about the role of diet in dry eye. Some people say that fresh fruit and certain oils – omega 3 and 6 – can be of benefit. However, there are currently no large-scale scientific studies which prove this.

Wishing everyone a happy and wonderful safe summer vacation.
- Lovingly, Erma Seal, President

  News You Can Use by Barbara Macpherson

The latest device that I am going to acquire is a Talking Atomic Keychain watch, $22.95 plus shipping at Independent Living Aids. You set the time zone and the talking keychain watch is always accurate.

If you need a white cane and cane tip about $32, go to Desert Low Vision, where Tom or Janet will measure to see how long the cane should be. They have a choice of cane tips. Also it might be time to have a low vision evaluation to see what adaptive devices may help. As Janet has said, " that it takes desire, determination and a willingness to learn new ways to see." It is also fun to see talking products and other special items available for thee visually impaired. in the store. Desert Low Vision is open from Monday-Thursday and it is best to make an appointment ahead of time. See contact information below.

Another place to get used devices and items for the blind is Ebay. I got my talking reading machine for $245 worth $2000 new. Experiment with different words in the search window and you will find many bargains.
An online magazine called Access World is put out by the American Foundation of the Blind, AFB. Access World is filled with useful information on assistive technology and the articles are easy to understand. Just google Access World, April 2018 by AFB. You will be able to see all of the back issues too.

Important Note: I appreciate TSB members calling me, but I'm not an early riser. Please call after 8:00am.
Care More Medicare Advantage Plan now pays for hearing aids

If you are on Care More ask your Primary Care Physician for a referral to an audiologist. Hearing aids can run $4000 and up for a pair. This is a great benefit. Be sure to check on the co-pay.

Important numbers:
Desert Low Vision 1575 N Alvernon, Suite 2, 520-881-3439
Independent Living Aids: 800-537-2118

  Tech Bytes by Wesley Derbyshire

You’ve got to move, move, move, and one of the best smart phone apps for both sighted and blind users is called Moovit. Let’s get the spelling right, that is m o o v i t. This app works around the world in over 2,200 cities allowing travelers to easily navigate public transit systems with integrated routes and schedules. It is available for IOS, Android, and on the Web at www.moovit.com, described below is the IOS App.

When Moovit is launched, users can search for directions to a specific location by entering landmarks or addresses into the search field. A list of previously searched addresses is located just below the entry field, which makes it easy to select frequently used destinations. Users can also predefine a home and work address among other destinations in their favorite list.
When using VoiceOver, double click the “Search for Directions” field. Type or dictate the address into the field, and a list of matches will appear below. Double click on your preferred destination and verify your current location and destination.

A list of possible routes, which identify the bus numbers including transfers, plus walking times will be listed. Double click on your preferred route, and a summary of your route will be displayed. Swiped down the page to listen to the read out which provides a summary of your trip plan.

Moovit has a feature which makes it the best buddy for vision impaired and blind riders. Provided notifications are turned on, users will hear three distinct cues that alert them to when they are arriving at their destination. The first cue is 2 stop away, and announces “Get Ready”, the next cue occurs 1 stop away which is perfect for ringing the bell. And finally the last cue announces to “Get off.”

To actually activate the arrival feature each time, press the green button at the bottom of the screen that is labeled “Start Live Directions.” This will track your progress for walking to the bus stop, anticipated arrival of the bus, and riding the route to your destination, giving notification when you should get off.

Moovit is just one of several free transit apps which are available. I like it due to its ease of access and functionality. However, the it doesn’t include actual timetables for routes, and while it Directions tab works well, both the Stations and Lines tabs are not fully accessible. In Tucson this works for all public buses and the light rail, however a word of caution. They promote ride sharing services, be careful not to select this option, unless you would like to use these paid services. Got to run, I have a bus to catch.

  Around Town

Audio Description, AD at Arizona Theater Company (ATC)
The new season of plays for ATC for 2018-2019 season is out. The plays with AD is always on a Thursday at 2:00 PM at the AZ Temple of Music & Art 330 S. Scott Ave Box Office 520-622-2823, www.arizonatheatre.org

  • 9/27/18 Thursday 2:00 p.m. NATIVE GARDENS by Karen Zacarías, a comedy
  • 11/08/18 Thursday 2:00 p.m. ERMA BOMBECK: AT WIT'S END by Margaret and Allison Engel
  • 12/20/18 Thursday 2:00 p.m. THE MUSIC MAN by Meredith Willson
  • 2/07/19 Thursday 2:00 p.m. TWO TRAINS RUNNING by August Wilson
  • 3/28/19 Thursday 2:00 p.m. AMERICAN MARIACHI by José Cruz González
  • 5/09/19 Thursday 2:00 p.m. THINGS I KNOW TO BE TRUE by Andrew Bovell

AD is a free service provided by a theater where the narrator reads the program to you ahead of the performance. During the performance the narrator will tell you what is happening in the play between the play. The visually impaired individual will wear head sets to hear the AD. If hearing impaired special equipment is available. You need to call the box office ahead of time, the equipment is properly charged. Barbara and Annie listened to the narrator for Ring of Fire and it worked well. The narrator had a loud and clear voice. On the day of the performance tickets are half price around $20-35 depending on where you sit. They had of good choice of seats and arrived early at 12:30 PM to pay for the seats and try out the AD equipment. Barbara says she plans to attend Erma Bombeck and the Music Man.

You know you're an Arizona Native when…

  • You no longer associate bridges (or rivers) with water.
  • You can say 110 degrees without fainting.
  • You eat hot chilies to cool your mouth off.
  • You know that Valley Fever is not a disco dance
  • The temperature drops below 95, you feel a bit chilly.
  • You discover that you can get a sunburn through your car window.
  • Hot water now comes out of both taps.
  • It's noon in July, kids are on summer vacation, and not one person is out on the streets.
  • You see more water flowing down the street than is in the Salt River
  • You know that a "swamp cooler" is not a happy hour drink.


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