December / January 2021

Published: December 01, 2020   Views: 392    Share:

TUCSON SOCIETY OF THE BLIND (TSB) P.O. Box 57655. Tucson, AZ 85732

TSB meets every Tuesday - 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Christ Presbyterian Church, 6565 E. Broadway
Come when you can and leave when you must. Bring a sack lunch.
For more information call Barbara, 298-2427 or Tom, 721-1029

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TSB Members are meeting by phone on Tuesday mornings from 10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. The free phone call number is: 605-468-8020 access code 969009 # (pound sign).



1st: Christmas party on church patio, Christine Vivona, Christmas Program on Harp, 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. - Lunch too!

8th: Deb Marinos, Mind Body Workshop, “Managing Stress” (via phone conference 605 468 8020 access code 969009 #)

11th: TSB Board Meeting on phone from 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

15th: Shawn Mangan from Sun Van, will talk about new vans and the new Sun Van app for the iPhone

22nd: Vacation: No phone Call

29th: Vacation: No phone Call



 5th: Denice Brown, President of Philadelphia, PA NFB Chapter will talk about “Being a Blind African-American Elementary Teacher.

8th: TSB Board Meeting on phone from 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

12th: Nancy and Pete Torpey, Host of Eyes on Success Podcast from Colorado, will discuss “Sightseeing Without Sight”

19th: TBA

26th: TBA

February 2nd: TBA



President’s Message by Barbara Macpherson
On November 10, at our Annual Meeting, we celebrated TSB’s 17th birthday. TSB members voted and kept Barbara Macpherson, Gina Cline, and Linda and Ralph Lueders on the board for another two years. On November 13 the Board voted to retain for another year: President, Barbara Macpherson; Vice President, Gina Cline; Secretary, Linda Lueders; and Treasurer, Vicki Postula.

Thanks to all the TSB members who sold and bought Jim Click raffle tickets. We sold $2,400 which is an all-time record. The Jim Click Raffle Drawing will be on Friday December 11, 2020. I hope someone in our group wins a prize.

Our weekly Tuesday programs will resume on the phone conference line on Tuesday, December 8 and start up again on Tuesday, January 5 and continue into February. We are hoping to return to the church’s patio in February or March.

You will find many interesting articles in this issue: All about Glaucoma and all about the American Council of the Blind. If you have a have an iPhone, be sure to fill in the Medical ID update, where Emergency Personnel can unlock your iPhone to retrieve emergency information and contacts.

I like using words like TASK and ENJOY to keep me going when I encounter obstacles and get discouraged. TASK stands for Tenacity, Adaptability, Support, and Knowledge. ENJOY stands for Enthusiasm, Networking, Just do it, Overcome Obstacles and Y Why can’t I do this, and why can’t I help others? Another quote I like is, “To succeed in life, you need a wish bone, a back bone, and a funny bone!”

Merry Christmas and Have a Happy and Healthy New Year!


Eye Talk by Annie Schlesinger
This is the number you can call by phone for an Uber ride, 1-833-873-8237. When I called they texted me a one-time code to make sure we could communicate because I have the Uber app on my cell phone. Now when I request a ride by phone I just have to know the last four numbers on my credit card and we can communicate by voice.

I inquired about ordering a ride if I didn’t have a cell phone. She said it was possible but I would have to give all my information when requesting a ride. This sounds as though it would be a convenience for us but I suggest you check it out before you want to use it. So far this service is only available in Arizona, Florida and NYC. There is no add-on charge for this service.


Accessible Pharmacy Joins Be My Eyes
Be My Eyes welcomes their first partner pharmacy onto the Be My Eyes app. Users in the United States will be able to ask their questions about medicine, drug interactions and,starting in December, even order in-home COVID tests from trained professionals who know how to safely and effectively set up blind individuals for success. Learn more by visiting:


Lively Flip Phone, Newest Jitterbug, voice enabled phone
Great Call 866-275-1644. Ask Alexa to call or text for you. Big buttons, large
screen, long lasting battery, powerful speaker makes speaker loud and clear, has a 8 megapixel camera, urgent services available, will notify emergency contacts, normally $99 for phone, half price for holiday, $35 activation fee, can still use 24 hour operator for free if visually impaired, has GPS so the cell phone knows where you are. Hearing aid compatible, speaker phone, can ask Alexa questions such as the weather or an address of a business. Easy to use. 30 day return policy. Free shipping. Available at Best Buy or Walgreen’s. Plans start at $20-$54 for unlimited calling and texting.


Medical ID Update on iPhone
Set up the Medical ID Update in the Health app for Emergencies. An emergency professional can unlock your iPhone and transmit your medical information to the emergency room and others. Here are step by step instructions to fill in your medical update.
1. Ask Siri to open Medical ID Update.
2. Go to check health list and double tap.
3. Double tap on Medical ID
4. Add Health Info under Medical Notes. I added my Doctor and Phone number. There is also a place to add prescriptions that you are taking as well as drug allergies.
5. Double tap on DONE button when done and practice opening Medical ID app
6. This is the Health app and if enabled it will keep track of how many steps you take in a day.


Last Chance - Donate to the Tucson Society of the Blind and receive a Federal Tax Deduction for 2020

The CARES Act will permit taxpayers to deduct from their adjusted gross income on their 2020 federal income tax up to $300 for singles or $600 per married couple, when contributing to charitable organizations. This deduction can be taken whether they itemize their deductions or simply take the standard deduction. This can be a huge help to nonprofits because it gives people greater opportunities to support charities of their choice.

We hope you will financially support the work of Tucson Society of the Blind via the tax deduction so that TSB can achieve its mission of providing social, recreational, and educational programs to individuals with vision loss. TSB also provides information and resources to the Tucson community. Mail checks payable to TSB, P.O. Box 57655, Tucson AZ 85732, or donate through the website: and use PayPal which will put the donation on your credit card. Thanks ahead of time for your donation.


American Council of the Blind, ACB
TSB members heard Claire Stanley of the ACB Advocacy team. ACB produces a new Advocacy Update every week on different topics. You can hear them by going to or go to I have also included phone numbers below.

ACB will have a virtual National Convention like last year from July 23 – July 30 2021. To join the Tucson ACB chapter which meets on Zoom the second Wednesday of each month from 7:00-8:00 p.m., contact President Chris Desborough at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call him at 520-269-9263. The official publication of ACB is the Braille Forum which can be heard on Newsline. The ACB audio description project contains a comprehensive list of audio described movies, TV Shows, streaming services such as Netflix and Disney Plus, as well as museums and live performances. Go to . ACB has a large number of community events, which you can connect to by Zoom, using your iPhone or land line. Go to to sign up and listen to recordings of podcasts and community events. ACB National Number 800-424-8666. To listen to ACB radio, 518-906-1820. ACB Hotline, Braille Forum, advocacy report 712-775-4808, 605-475-8154, 605-475-8154. There is also an app called ACB Link which can be downloaded for free from the Iphone app store. You can listen to ACB radio on Alexa. Enable skill ACB Radio on Alexa app. Then say, “Alexa open ACB Mainstream Radio” to listen to podcasts and the reading of the Braille Forum.

“All about glaucoma,” was another talk that Dr. Hamilton gave. I was under the impression that when a person’s eye pressure rises and is high, that is the cause of glaucoma. That is not necessarily the case. Glaucoma is caused by damage to the optic nerves which sends visual messages to the brain. Glaucoma causes people to lose peripheral vision, which is diagnosed by a visual field test. About 40% of people have glaucoma with normal eye pressure. Glaucoma rates are higher in African Americans and Hispanics and it shows no symptoms at onset. He said that pressure between 8 and 16 is normal and if pressure gets higher it is time to see a doctor. If pressure rises to above 60 or if a person has eye pain, one should go to the emergency room or to the doctor as soon as possible. Glaucoma is controlled by eye drops to lower eye pressure. After 80 years, one in five people will get glaucoma.

Are you at risk for Glaucoma? Regular eye exams are critical to detection and treatment of glaucoma. Open-Angle Glaucoma is the most common form of this sight-stealing disease and affects approximately 70%-90% of individuals with glaucoma. Initially, there are no symptoms, but at some point peripheral vision is lost and without treatment or surgery, the individual can become totally blind.
• The most significant risk factor for the development and advancement of this form is high eye pressure.
• Other strong risk factors include family history of glaucoma, thin cornea, age of 60 years or older, and change in the optic nerve.
• African Americans and Hispanics over age 40 are at greater risk.

To learn more about Open-Angle Glaucoma and other forms of glaucoma, as well as information about protecting your vision and advances in efforts to treat, prevent, and cure glaucoma, please visit .
National Glaucoma Research (301) 948-3244.

Gerry Piatt was our Sunshine Lady for many years in the past and had many words of wisdom to share. She was a founding member of TSB and wrote a column for the Newsy Notes from about 2012 to 2015. Here is one of her articles:

I’ve never made a fortune, and it’s probably too late now. But I don’t worry about that much; I’m happy anyhow. And as I go along life’s way, I’m reaping better than I sowed. I’m drinking from my saucer, ‘cause my cup has overflowed.

Haven’t got a lot of riches, and sometimes the going’s tough, but I’ve got loving ones all around me, and that makes me rich enough. I thank GOD for his blessings, and the Mercies He’s bestowed. I’m drinking from my saucer, ‘cause my cup has overflowed.

I remember times when things went wrong, my faith wore somewhat thin. But all at once the dark clouds broke, and the sun peeped through again. So Lord help me not to gripe about the tough rows I have hoed. I’m drinking from my saucer, ‘cause my cup has overflowed.

If GOD gives me strength and courage when the way grows steep and rough. I’ll not ask for other blessings; I’m already blessed enough. And may I never be too busy to help others bear their loads; then I’ll keep drinking from my saucer, ‘cause my cup has overflowed.


Places to shop for Accessible Gifts for Blind Individuals. All companies will provide free catalogs

• Independent Living Aids 800-537-2118
• LS&S 800-468-4789
• Maxi Aids 800-522-6294, 631-752-0521
• Speak to Me 800-248-9965

The Speak To Me Catalog specializes in products that talk, sing, play music, or record your own special message. Find a unique practical talking item or a fun and wacky gift idea that adds that personal touch. Choose from their varieties of talking clocks, watches, singing magnets, key chains, teddy bears, greeting cards, music boxes, musical candles, calculators, stuffed animals, novelties, bibles, books on tape, radios, games, toys, talking thermometers, and digital recorders.


Christmas Jokes
How do you know Santa has to be a man?
No woman is going to wear the same outfit year after year.

Why is Christmas just like a day at the office?
You do all the work and the fat guy with the suit gets all the credit.

What do you call a deep fried Santa?
Crispy crinkle

When you consider Christmas, there are four stages in your life:
1) You believe in Santa
2) You don't believe in Santa
3) You are Santa
4) You look like Santa.

He thought their decorations were tacky. The worst decoration, he thought, was the plastic mistletoe hung over the luggage scale. Being in a grumpy mood, he said to the woman at the airport counter,
"You know, even if I weren't married, I wouldn't kiss you."
"That's not what it's there for," said the attendant. "It's so you can kiss your luggage goodbye.

'Twas the Day After Christmas
'Twas the day after Christmas, and all through the house, Every creature was hurting', even the mouse.
The toys were all broken, their batteries dead; Santa passed out, with some ice on his head.
Wrapping and ribbons just covered the floor, while Upstairs the family continued to snore.
And I in my T-shirt, new Reeboks and jeans, I went into the kitchen and started to clean.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from the sink to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the curtains, and threw up the sash.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear, But a little white truck, with an oversized mirror.
The driver was smiling, so lively and grand; The patch on his jacket said "U.S. POSTMAN."
With a handful of bills, he grinned like a fox Then quickly he stuffed them into our mailbox.
Bill after bill, after bill, they still came.
Whistling and shouting he called them by name:
"Now Dillard's, now Macy's, now Best Buy and Kohl, Here's Amazon and Target and Mervyn's.
To the tip of your limit, every store, every mall, Now charge away--charge away--charge away all!"
He whooped and he whistled as he finished his work.
He filled up the box, and then turned with a jerk.
He sprang to his truck and he drove down the road, driving much faster with just half a load.
Then I heard him exclaim with great holiday cheer, "Enjoy what you got. . . . . you'll be paying all year!"

Season’s Greetings from the TSB Board of Directors!


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