February / March 2021

Published: February 01, 2021   Views: 474    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).



2nd: Dale Campbell, Host of podcast, Cooking in the Dark, and owner of Blind Mice mega Mall, where visually impaired individuals maintain businesses to serve the visually impaired

9th: Cecilia Mendoza, “All about Fire Safety”

12th: TSB Board Meeting on phone from 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

16th: Steve Welker, Blind author, “The World According to my fingertips”

16th: TSB Training with Manny, “Using Voice Over on the iPhone,” 6:30-8:30 p.m.

18th: Evening Podcast Discussion Group on phone 6:30-8:00 p.m.



2nd: TBA

9th: TBA

12th: TSB Board Meeting on phone from 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

16th: TBA

18th: TSB Training with Manny Celis, “Using Voice Over on the iPhone” on Zoom 6:30-8:30 p.m.

23rd: TBA

30th: TBA

April 6th: TBA



President’s Message by Barbara Macpherson

• Happy New Beginnings for 2021.The TSB phone calls on Tuesdays have been outstanding. We are starting two programs in the evenings. On the third Tuesday is TSB Training by Manny Celis on ”Using Voice Over on the iPhone,” Zoom, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. And, on the third Thursday, we will hold “An Evening Podcast Discussion Group” from 6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

• You will notice that the programs in March are all marked TBA. The TSB Board of directors is hoping it may be safe to return to the church patio in March or April. It will depend on the number of Covid-19 cases in Pima County and the Covid-19 vaccine rollout.

• It’s the time of year to set resolutions. So, what new skill can you learn to help in adapting to vision loss? Be it whether it is learning to use the Pen Friend, Newsline, or a new app on the computer or iPhone? Remember, when learning a new task there is a learning curve so don’t get discouraged. Keep practicing! If you missed the first lesson on opening websites and Safari, click on the link below: https://youtu.be/oGTdn6d5PeY.

• Please pay your TSB 2021 dues of $15. TSB Dues are due in January. The dues pay for luncheons, entertainment, and printing of the newsletter. What a deal! Any extra financial donations are also appreciated. Make checks payable to TSB and send them to Treasurer, Vicki Postula, 1284 W. Hopush Way, Tucson, AZ 85704.



Eye Talk by Annie Schlesinger

 Maintaining handwriting skills will help your signature and notetaking abilities. You need to have good light without shadows. A lamp below eye level will help focus. Yellow paper reduces glare. Use a pen with a bold tip. A favorite is Bold Writer 20 pen. Bold line paper will be helpful. Print in capital letters instead of cursive writing as it is easier to read.

When trying to sign, place your non-writing finger on the beginning of the line with the pen immediately following the finger. A card can be held below the signature line as a guide. Have someone crease the paper or make the line bold.

Commercial signature guides are available or can be made from cardboard or heavy paper. I carry one in my wallet. Checks, envelopes, and list guides can be purchased as can bold line paper and yellow paper. A paper clip can be used to mark your place when making a list.

You may want to consider ordering large print checks. They are provided for free at most banks and they make it much easier to write and sign checks.
Reference: Hadley, Visionaware.org


Super Sense AI app for iPhone
This new app is free from the app store and reads cans and documents very quickly. The app tells you how to hold the camera with directions as you move the camera to the right, etc. It is a super tool to have on your iPhone.


News You Can Use by Barbara Macpherson
If you have internet service at home it is a good idea to occasionally unplug your router and then plug it back in. This will help all devices connected to your router work better, - especially your Echo Dot.

My husband Hunter and I have been enjoying our new air fryer. There are many models out there but we chose the Amazon Basic 3.2 quart Compact Air Food Fryer as it has a very simple manual timer and temperature controls instead of push buttons and digital readouts. It cost around $66. Hey, nothing smells better than French fries or Tator Tots for breakfast!

Ricky Enger of Hadley reminded us that you can ask for a Hadley series such as “Every Day Tasks” or “Adjustment to Vision Loss” to be recorded on a National Library cartridge which can be inserted into a NLS Talking Book player for free. Also you can call Hadley for tech support on simple problems on the computer. The website is www.hadley.edu . Hadley is a wonderful resource filled with practical tips and tricks for dealing with vision loss. There are discussion groups such as “Tech it out” and “Travel Times”. You meet once a month and it can be fun to listen to. See the phone numbers below.

Here are some important phone numbers:
Covid-19 vaccine appointments: 520-222-0119
Tax stimulus check status: 800-919-9835
Hadley: 800-323-4328
Hadley Tech Support: 847-784-2815
Ricky Enger: 847-784-2783


Pete and Nancy Torpey, Hosts of Eyes on Success Podcast
Pete and Nancy Torpey, Hosts of Eyes on Success Podcast presented On Tuesday Jan 12, 2021. To listen: Ask Alexa to “play” (or “open”) “Eyes on Success” podcast.” Website is www.eyesonsuccess.net. When you go to their website, look for the search button where you can put in keywords to search past episodes. The site has podcasts listed by year with current episodes on the bottom. Look at the show notes which give the website’s speaker mentioned in the podcast and the contact information for the guest.

Nancy and Pete mentioned that they like going on factory tours – check them out www.factorytoursusa.com. The website list tours by state. In Tucson the site’s suggested tours include a tour to the mirror lab at the University of Arizona and a tour of the Davis Monthan airplane boneyard.

Pete and Nancy have gone to the site to see how Steinway pianos and guitars are made and mentioned a candy factory tour.

You can find many interests at the website https://www.Meetup.com Pete mentioned that they met new people by going to the site and found some hiking groups to join. Pete and Nancy have been to Tucson many times and hiked here. They use nonverbal signals when hiking. They also mentioned the vegetarian restaurant “Lovin’ Spoonful” located at 2990 N Campbell.

And lastly, if you have not heard Marge Barnhart’s interview on “Inspirational Stories of the Visually Challenged,” check it out on December 30th.


Aira Plans for ACB Members
Aira is a service that connects blind and low vision people to highly trained, remotely-located agents. Through an app on your smartphone, Aira delivers instant access to visual information at the touch of a button – enhancing everyday efficiency, engagement, and independence. Aira offers two special pricing plans for ACB members. The Intro Power Plan includes 30 minutes per month for $20.00, and the Standard Power Plan includes 140 minutes per month for $99.00. These plans are available for ACB members in good standing who sign up through December 31, 2021. Please contact Customer Care at (800) 835-1934 for more information and to confirm your status to purchase a plan. Contact John McCann, 571-212-33100 to join ACB for $10. You can still use Aira for free if used for under five minutes.


Fire Safety Tips by Barbara Macpherson

• 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.
• Check your smoke alarm to see if it is 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. They will last 10 years. Schedule an appointment with Cecilia at 837-7092.
• Smoke detectors should be installed in hallways and each bedroom
• Smoke detectors for the hearing impaired should include strobe lights, be extra loud, and include a bed shaker.
• Most fires occur at night and you typically have three minutes to get out.
• Do not look for personal items; just get out and call for help. Personal things can be replaced. You cannot be replaced.
• Keep a clear space of 3 feet around portable electric heaters.
• Turn off all electrical appliances when not in use.
• Be careful of overloading electrical outlets. Use 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 safety bars installed in bathroom to prevent falling; check shower mat before turning on shower to see if it is sticking to the floor. Periodically rinse off mat to prevent mold build up.
• 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.
• Kidde has a combination of battery-operated smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors for $22.95 at Home Depot. Also available is Kidde Code One” Dual Smoke Alarm Smoke Detectors with a 10 year battery for $29.95. Each product comes with an 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.


A few tips for interacting with people who are blind and visually impaired
Give these tips to your family and friends.

1) Treat people who are blind or visually impaired as you would anyone else. They do the same things you do, but sometimes use different techniques.

2) Be a good sighted guide. Ask if the visually impaired person needs assistance. Offer your arm and let the visually impaired person take your arm above the elbow. Watch out for physical obstacles such as stairs, uneven surfaces, other people, and curbs.

3) Give specific directions, “Step to the left or right, go forward straight two steps.” Comments like it is “over there or right in front of you, across the street” is not helpful.

4) When entering or leaving a room, identify yourself and be sure to mention when you are leaving. Address the person by name so they will know you are speaking to them.

If they are about to encounter a dangerous situation, voice your concerns in a calm and clear manner.

5) Pulling or steering a person is awkward and confusing. Avoid grabbing their arms or hands. Say instead, "You need to move left or right."

7) If you leave them alone in an unfamiliar area, make sure it is near something they can touch, such as a wall, table, rail, etc. Being left out in empty space can be very uncomfortable.

8) In a restaurant, give clear directions to available seats. Your offer to read the menu aloud may be appreciated, but you shouldn't assume that they would not want to order their own food.

9) When the food arrives, ask if they would like to know what is on their plate. You can describe the location of food items by using clock positions such as “Your coffee is at 3 o'clock” or “The sugar is at 1 o'clock.

10) Leave doors all the way open or all the way closed; half-open doors or cupboards are dangerous.

11) Don't rearrange furniture or personal belongings without letting them know. This includes ladies' purses.

12) Put things back in the same place. A visually-impaired person is organized and puts things in a certain spot.

13) Please don't shout or raise your voice; we can hear you just fine.

14) If you are not sure if we, the visually impaired person needs help, just ask.


Funny Bumper Stickers

• Give me coffee and no one gets hurt.
• Don't wash this vehicle - Undergoing scientific dirt test
• Cover me. I'm changing lanes
• Keep honking. I'm reloading
• He who laughs last thinks slowest
• Is reading in the bathroom considered Multi-Tasking?
• You must be from the shallow end of the gene pool.
• I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.
• The boss is coming; everyone look busy
• Listen to your Momma
• The Earth Is Full - Go Home
• The buck stops here!
• Teachers never lose class.
• I is a college student
• I souport publik edekasion
• If you think education is expensive, Try ignorance
• Laugh alone and the world thinks you're an idiot.


Irish Jokes

• Shamus O'Reilly was on trial for burglary. After the jury deliberated, the jury foreman stood and said, "We find O’Reilly “not guilty”. “Well, isn't that grand!” spouted O’Reilly, “Does that mean I get to keep the money?”
• What do you get when you cross poison ivy and a shamrock? A rash of good luck.
• Never iron a four leaf clover, you don't want to press your luck.
• What do you get when you cross a pillowcase and a stone? A shamrock
• What do you call an Irish man sitting on the couch? paddy o’ furniture
• Why can't you borrow money from a leprechaun? Because they’re always a little bit short.
• I went out drinking on St Patrick’s Day, so I took a bus home. That may not be a big deal to you, but I've never driven a bus before.
• How is a best friend like a 4-leaf clover? They are both hard to find and lucky to have.


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