August / September 2018

Published: July 20, 2018   Views: 632    Share:

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  3 - Mexican Consolate Tactile Art Exhibit followed by lunch at Guillin's, please see details below.
  7 - Jim Williams, “Life of Raul Castro: the first Hispanic Governor”
10 - Board Meeting, 10am-1pm, Biscuit Country Cafe, 7026 East Broadway Blvd.
14 - Kirsten Engel District 10 AZ House Legislator. A talk about education, transportation and what it is like to be a legislator.
16 - Field Trip to Tucson Police Crime Lab 1306 W. Miracle Mile. Meet at 9:45am Lunch at Olive Garden 300 W. Wetmore, arrange for a 2:30pm pickup
21 - Oran Cochran, singer and guitar player of favorite tunes
28 - Barbara Macpherson, “Amy Purdy, an inspiration, how to advocate and stay safe as a blind patient in a hospital situation. Mexican Lunch by Chef Luis, chicken enchiladas, beans, rice, green salad, dessert, stay until 12:15pm.


 4 - Interfaith Community Services (please see article below). Followed by TSB Family Feud Game, Host Annie Schlesinger. Guess what the top survey answer is and help your team win.
11 - TMC Services for Seniors, please see article. Also, Bob Kresmer, “What's New in the National Federation of the Blind.”
14 - Board Meeting, 10am-1pm, Biscuit Country Cafe, 7026 East Broadway Blvd.
18 - Old Brass Arizona Band, plus Pizza Part.: Stay until 12:15pm
25 - Betsy Bolding, League of Women Voters: “Information on ballot initiatives”
28 - Pool Party and BBQ at John McCan’s, 9:00am to 1:30pm

  Upcoming Programs

Field trip on August 3rd Just Added
Join TSB at the Mexican Consulate on Friday, Aug 3rd where a visual-plastic artist presents his artwork known as Resquicios inclusive-art. Through the firm use of color, he integrates the use of textures and materials, like clay and concrete, that support these composition, taking advantage of the natural metamorphosis of these elements. Through this, guests will be able to discover different interpretations of the same theme, all depending on the surroundings, the mood and the way their senses are provoked. Thus the artists generates the possibility of appreciating art through touch via this inclusive display which has been designed for the visually impaired community, while also raising consciousness among the general public.

Meet at 3915 E. Broadway Blvd on Friday, August 3 at 10:15am at the Gallery just inside the entrance on the main floor to the right. We will tour the single room exhibit and then catch rides to Guilin Chinese Restaurant less than a mile to the east at 4445 E. Broadway Blvd. You are responsible for all costs associated with your meal. Arrange for your pickup after 1:15pm. Please confirm your attendance with Wesley by calling or texting 520-751-3992 by Wednesday, Aug 1.

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 confirm your attendance to Barb by Aug 7

.Interfaith Community Services (ICS). A volunteer from ICS will come to TSB on Sept 4 to sign up members who may be interested in free ICS services. ICS has volunteer drivers who take seniors home from the hospital or to and from medical appointments along with taking them to pick up prescriptions. Also, ICS has volunteers who will read the mail of seniors with age-related Macular degeneration and other eye problems. Once signed up, a volunteer will do an assessment and fill out the application. Interfaith Community Services

TMC Tucson Medical Center Services for Seniors. On Sept 11 Christina from TMC Services for Seniors will read and hand out calendars of free classes related to health and wellness which are held at the TMC campus at 1400 N. Wilmot Road. Seniors need to pre-register for classes. TMC Services for Seniors offer daily activities including exercise, playing dominos, lunch and crafts.

McCan BBQ Pool Party, Fri, Sep 28 from 9:00am-1:30pm. 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. Come join the fun, and please let Barbara know what food you are bringing. Address: 8761 E Placita Bolivar, Tucson, AZ 85715

Macular Degeneration Association Workshop. Sat, Oct 6, presenting the latest research on Macular Degeneration at the Reid Park Doubletree Hotel, 445 S. Alvernon Way. 8:30am to 12:00pm. Breakfast will be provided. They will be hosting a FREE awareness program covering the following subjects: age-related macular degeneration, diabetic macular edema, genetics and macular degeneration including the latest research. All talks are given by experts in their fields. To sign up contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call donna Auger 855-962-2852. TSB will have a table with information.

Positive Aging Women Conference, Thu, Oct 11, $15 per person. This programs includes breakfast and lunch plus a choice of fun workshops from 8:30am to 1:30pm at Saint Paul’s Methodist Church, 8051 E. Broadway. For more information or to sign up call Christina at TMC Services For Seniors, 324-1960.


TSB Annual member Meeting. Nov 13 at 10:00am. Election of TSB Board of Directors, followed by Thanksgiving Lunch plus TSB 15th Anniversary celebration

Interested in running for the TSB Board of Directors? Deadline for candidates is Oct 11. There will be 4 open positions for the TSB board. TSB has board meetings on the second Friday every month from 10 AM-1 PM at Biscuit Country Café, 7026 E. Broadway. It is suggested that all candidates come to a TSB Board Meeting first. Elections are held at the annual member meeting on Nov 13. All candidates must be approved by the board. According to our bylaws: A candidate must pay their dues, be in good standing and attend the Tuesday meetings regularly and have knowledge and skills to contribute to the board. The board works to put on fundraisers, prepare budgets and policies and settles disputes. It is great to have your active service on the board. Each term on the board is for two years. If interested in running for the board and making a difference in TSB, let Erma Seal, our president, know by October 11.

Help sell 2018 Jim Click Tickets and Support TSB! We have raised $550 of the $2000 goal. Tickets are $25 each or five for $100, every dollar raised goes directly to support TSB. Please contact Tom Young for ticket ats 520-721-1029. 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!

AZ NFB 2018 Annual Statewide Convention, Thu evening, Aug 30 to Sun, Sep 2. Hyatt Regency, Phoenix, 122 N. 2nd Street, Phoenix, AZ. or call Donald Porterfield at 520-850-2185. Affordable bus service leaving from Denny’s, 555 N Freeway Tucson and arriving in downtown Phoenix at a parking lot at the corner of Buchanan Street and Central Avenue, just over a half mile from the hotel. Travelers must book online or via their app. Visit to learn about their schedules and flex pricing from as low as $7.50 each way.

AZ Vocational rehab. Independent Blind Skills, 888-282-9857. Nancy Lacock from SAAVI spoke to TSB members on July 17. She came to encourage those who haven't had training for a while or would like training to sign up with the state. After filling out the application, someone will call to do a telephone assessment. Those of us who have lost more vision likely still wish to be more independent at home. Services you can ask for: orientation and mobility, independent living skills including classes at SAAVI, including devices such as col identifier, Pen Friend for labeling, Ruby electronic magnifier and talking bar code reader, plus learn Braille, along with training in assistive technology. Be persistent and advocate for yourself, but also recognize that there is a3 to 6 month waiting list.

Eyes on Success: Weekly Podcast. A podcast is a recorded radio show. There was a show recently called “Tips and Tricks” which was very helpful. Hosted by Peter and Nancy Torpe, each episode comes with show notes which includes telephone numbers and links to the guest speaker. The podcast are inspirational, many of the guest are legally blind or totally blind and do amazing things. You can listen to podcast on your computer, smart phones and Victor Reader Stream. Also on your Amazon Echo device say, “Alexa play Eyes on Success podcast.” Other podcast to check out include Cooking in the Dark and Cool Blind Tech. For more information via the web, search for Eyes on Success and visit their website.

  Erma’s Eye Opener

Spotlight on Ethan Rossi, PhD: Dr. Ethan Rossi's interest in vision science was sparked as an undergraduate when he took his first course that covered the senses and how we interpret them. In the years since, he has devoted his efforts to developing and refining advanced optical technologies to the study of human diseases. He's hopeful that these new tools will play a key role in vision restoration and early detection to prevent vision loss from occurring at all.

Dr. Rossi's team recently devised a way to see a type of nerve cell in the eye that is nearly transparent and that has proven very difficult to see with existing imaging. Thanks to support from a National Glaucoma Research grant, his team has been able to continue improving an imaging tool and is developing a new one that can look at these cells for the first time in people with glaucoma. This will allow doctors to see the earliest changes to these cells, track how they change over time, and monitor their response to treatments. By detecting these first changes, a long window of opportunity for treatments may be created and could prevent vision loss for countless patients in the future.

Risk Factors for Open- Angle Glaucoma: Strong factors for open-angle glaucoma include, high eye pressure, family history of glaucoma, age 40 and older for African Americans, age 60 and older for the general population (especially Mexican Americans), a thin cornea, and suspicious optic nerve appearance with increased cupping (size of cup, the space at the center of optic nerve, is larger than normal).

Include these foods on your grocery list to be sure you're getting the vitamins and nutrients that are especially important for eye health: Produce: beans, bell peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cantaloupe, carrots, citrus fruits, collard greens, corn, green beans, leafy greens, mangoes, okra, potatoes, spinach, squash, strawberries, and tomatoes Seafood and Meat: wild salmon, oysters, poultry, red meat and liver Dairy: eggs and milk Pantry: fortified cereals, nuts & nut oils, sardines, and whole grains

Wishing everyone a delightful end of summer.
- Lovingly, Erma Seal, President

  News You Can Use by Barbara Macpherson

On your next airplane trip, ask to be screened on the walk through metal detector, not the total body image. I let them know I am visually impaired and someone will put their hand out to guide me through. My white cane became loose and husband Hunter fixed it by tieing the knot on the top tighter. Wow, an easy fix. Another tip is to rub candle wax on the joints to make it easier to fold up. I was lucky enough to hear Amy Purdy on the cruise ship. Her story is inspiring and amazing. TSB members will hear a talk by her on Aug 28. Meanwhile you can read her book on BARD or the AZ Talking Book Library called Walking on my own two feet, losing my legs and dancing through life.

I take a pill once a month called Boniva, there is a generic, for osteoporosis, thinning of the bones. The insurance wanted to charge $40 for one pill. I complained and appealed to get the price lowered. The appeal was denied by the insurance. I faxed the prescription to Mark Marine Pharmacy ( Canadian Pharmacy) and got it for $6.50 for a pill. What a difference in price! The disadvantage of Mark is that it takes two-three weeks for the prescription to come and there is a shipping charge.

Apple iPhone users, free Apple Tech support is available to blind users and is a wonderful resource when you get stuck. Have a list of questions handy and call 877-204-3930 or 408-996-1010.

Additional useful numbers:
Batteries Plus, phone repair, 1031 N. Wilmot, 520-747-7545. They sell and will change batteries in talking watch.
Interfaith Community Services, 520-297-6049
Manny Celis 261-3980 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Assistive technology instructor on devices for visually impaired users.
Mark Marine Pharmacy (Canadian Pharmacy) 877-888-9265, fax 877-888-9805
Tucson SAAVI main campus 3767 E. Grant, 520-795-1331. Anyone with a visual impairment can use wellness and fitness equipment. Talk to Scott for details.
Tucson SAAVI Annex, Diana 520-829-7376, 4002 E. Grant, SAAVI Alumni meets on Thursday, Art classes, such as copper tooling and ceramics, anyone with a vision impairment can join.
TMC Services for Seniors, 520-324-1960, Christina .

  Tech Bytes by Wesley Derbyshire

Now that sales of smartphones and other mobile devices have surpassed sales of traditional desktop computers for the past few years, we are overdue for a look at the popular mobile operating systems that work well for the blind and vision impaired.

It was the Apple iOS that lead the implementation of accessibility features when VoiceOver was introduced in 2009. Google’s Android OS caught up a bit later with their own version called TalkBack. Because Apple iPhone led the pack while providing consistent hardware, compared with the multitude of devices that are manufactured for the open source Android OS, Apple’s iOS became an early leader in mobile accessibility for the blind.

I was not an early adopter, and like many blind users, I didn’t fancy the idea of using a glass screen that didn’t have tactile feedback. But, I was very wrong, and have found both the iPad and iPhone to be invaluable devices.

When I first started to use VoiceOver text-to-speech technology on IOS, it was somewhat arduous. I would fumble my way through the various gestures, often with unpredictable results. But mastering the swipes, flicks, taps and twists, I became a devotee pretty fast. Actually, the actions one takes feels very analogous to how we interface with the world.

Now let us consider the subtle differences between TalkBack which focuses on single-finger gestures, making it easier to use than VoiceOver by those who are using a single hand to hold and operate the phone, as well as by people with reduced manual mobility or dexterity. Comparatively, VoiceOver makes extensive use of multi-touch and multi-fingered flicks, taps, and twists, allowing for a wider variety of quickly accessed commands.

Both VoiceOver and TalkBack allow users to open menus that offer shortcuts to various settings and controls. TalkBack has two: the local context menu and the global context menu. Instead VoiceOver uses only one called the rotor, a circular single context-sensitive menu of commands. By far the rotor was the most difficult gesture to master on iOS devices. TalkBack has created two viewing options for their context menus; a circular display similar to the VoiceOver rotor, or an easier to navigate list display.

Both Android and iOS offer a special feature that allows a user to blank out the screen for privacy and security. Both TalkBack’s Dark Screen and VoiceOver’s Screen Curtain option are only available when these accessibility options are enabled without impacting the user’s interaction at all.

So which mobile operating system is better for assistive technology? The both have their merits, but iOS devices have the same basic layout, while Android devices are much more varied, depending on the manufacturer. However, because of this, Android devices do have greater potential for expansion and upgrade options, and frankly their cost of entry is a lot lower. Additionally, one may need to consider what applications are available on each platform and whether or not they sufficiently support accessibility features. I still lean toward iOS given their market lead and an overall wider availability of assistive apps, but your use case needs must be weighed.

  Eye Talk by Annie Schlesinger

Recently I discovered the web site: They sent me two booklets which I found to be outstanding and are free. You can order online or call 800-331-2020. The two booklets I received are: “Visual Skills Workbook for People with Age-Related Macular Degeneration” and “A Self-Help Guide to Nonvisual Skills.” There also is, and free: “Through Our Eyes,” essays and poetry by people from the low vision community.

Tip: You can make a template from heavy paper or cardboard to help fill out checks, address envelopes and as a signature guide. Such templates can also be purchased. Practice to maintain your writing skills especially your signature.


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