October / November 2021

Published: October 01, 2021   Views: 349    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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5th: Maurice Peret, National Federation of the Blind, will talk about the philosophy of NFB and how he has adapted his lifestyle to his blindness

8th: Board Meeting, 7026 E. Broadway, Biscuit Country Café 10:15

The following will be held back at the church.

12th: Janet Dylla, Desert Low Vision, will bring many talking products

19th: Jeff Babson, "Arizona Mammals and Birds"

19th: Lesson with Manny about the iPhone on Zoom from 6:30 to 8:30 PM

20th: TSB goes to the Gaslight Theater, 7010 E. Broadway, to see the show, "Frankenstein." We meet at little Anthony’s Diner at 4:30 PM. If you are not eating with us, please be at the theater by 6:30 PM. We have reserved seats in the front rows of the theater.

26th: Bill Martin will play the guitar and sing the Oldies and Halloween tunes


2nd: Laura, Volunteer Coordinator of Sister Jose Women Shelter, will talk about how they help the women. TSB will be doing a drive and bringing in helpful items for the women.

9th: Annual Meeting, Election, and Thanksgiving Luncheon. Let Barb know by November 2 If you are attending, so she can order enough food. See details below.

12th: Board Meeting 10:15 AM Biscuit Country Cafe, 7026 E. Broadway

16th: "Navigating the Health Care System, being visually Impaired," Barbara Macpherson

16th: Lesson with Manny on the iPhone, 6:30 PM-8:30 PM

19th: From 7:30 AM - 5:00 PM 1 VRATE (Vision Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology Expo) on Zoom. This is an annual event which showcases the many resources available to those who are blind or visually impaired, their families, and those who work with them so they might accomplish their career and life goals.

23rd: No Meeting: Holiday

30th: Janice Deardoff will perform Western Music and Christmas tunes on her guitar.

Be sure to put the following on your calendar:

November 9th: TSB Annual Meeting: Board of Directors Election, Presidential Report, Treasurer’s Report, Proposed Budget, Thanksgiving luncheon with turkey and all the trimmings with two choices of pie. All members are encouraged to come and vote.
December 7th: Christine Vivona will play glorious Christmas Music on her harp.
December 14th: Holiday party, Christmas trivia, exchanging of gifts; enjoy a delicious lunch.
December 21st: No Meeting, Holiday
December 28th: No meeting, Holiday



President’s Message by Barbara Macpherson

October and November are my favorite months. TSB’s Annual Meeting, Tuesday, November 9, is just around the corner. I hope all of you will attend and celebrate TSB’s 18th birthday.

If you want to purchase Jim Click tickets, please do so soon. It is our major fundraiser and all money raised goes into the TSB treasury. Tickets are $25 each or 5 for $100. Contact Barb 298-2427 or Tom at 721-1029. A big thank you goes to members and friends who have already purchased tickets.

Let your voice be heard. I want to encourage all members to phone in to our Federal Officials and let them know about legislation that will help blind folks. It takes only five minutes to call in and it makes a difference. Support of HR 48-53 Medical Devices and Non-Visual Accessibility Act would ensure that medical devices such as glucose meters, blood pressure cups, and all medical devices would have talking instructions or audible beeps. The Exercise and Fitness Act for ALL (S. 2504/H.R. 4756) would make physical exercise equipment accessible and require all classes at gyms be accessible as well as having an instructor at each facility to run the accessible equipment and teach classes. It’s easy to leave a message on the Congress or State official phone line. Keep advocating and make it easier for blind and visually impaired individuals to function independently in society. You can read more details in Annie’s article in this newsletter. The phone number is 844-872-0234.


Eye Talk by Annie Schlesinger - "Talking to Governmental Officials"

When I wanted to write to the President, I searched the web and found whitehouse.gov. On the site there is a line, "Contact us," which brings up a form to enter your information and write what you want to say. Hit "Send" at the bottom and the form is submitted.

U.S Capital Telephone number 844-872-0234. Press 1 for Federal officials and 2 for state officials. Then put your zip code in. You will be connected to your federal official and press * to go to the next official to leave a message.

Talk to Governor Doug Ducey, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., office 602-542-4331.

U.S. Capital Switchboard 202-224-3121.

Soon you will need to dial 520 in front of all local numbers. Beginning October 24, 2021, all consumers with numbers in the 480, 520, and 928 area codes must dial all 10-digits (area code + phone number) for all local calls. From that date and beyond, local calls dialed with only seven-digits may not be completed and a recording may inform you that your call cannot be completed as dialed. If you get this recording, you must hang up and dial again being sure to include the area code with the seven-digit telephone number.


Gadget of the Month: Magnifying Floor Lamp

This floor lamp provides a large print view of reading material. It also gives a close-up view of what you are working on while leaving your hands free. This can make your jigsaw puzzles, crafts and sewing much easier to work with. The lamps have strong lighting and flexible necks to allow you to place at multiple angles. If you are interested in purchasing a magnifying floor lamp, they are available at Amazon, Maxi Aids, and a dozen more stores for $99 and up.


Tips for Sun Van Riders

Continuing until December 31st, rides are free on Sun Van. The reservation desk number is 798-1000 and their hours are 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM daily.

Making Reservations for Sun Van Rides
Do not wait until the day before the ride. Be sure to make rides as soon as possible up to one week before the ride is needed. It is much easier to cancel a ride at the last minute then it is trying to book a ride at the last minute.

Strangely, it makes a difference which reservationist you get when you call. Keep track of those who make good rides. Those reservationists who give you a hard time, hang up and call back to get a different reservationist.

Always give an appointment time, this cuts down the time on a ride.

Always be ready to ride when your appointment time comes.

Bring a headset so you can listen to music on your phone, Victor Stream, or a small radio. It makes the time go faster.

Ask the reservationist the estimated time of arrival.

Make sure important information is in your profile. (Mine says to ring the doorbell and walk me to the van door.)

Add others to your profile so they can schedule rides for you, or try scheduling a ride together if you are going with a friend to the same place. Most of the time both of you will be on the same van, but not always.

At a busy place such as Park Place, know where Sun Van has their prescribed places of pickup and drop-off.

You can put two addresses on your drop-off places with specific instructions. This is handy if the place is difficult to find.

Give the reservationist as much information as you can. For instance, you can give the doctor’s name, suite number, department store, or restaurant.

If you have time, do not place the reservation until you get the particular time you want. Just call back the next day as times of availability changes daily.

You can say things like "Can you find something else?." And if they do give you the time you want, always thank the reservationist. If all else fails, ask to speak to the supervisor.

Make sure to tell the reservationist when the place you are going to opens, so you don’t get there too early; it often is too cold to wait outside.

Double check destination addresses because if they have a wrong address they will return you back home.

Make sure to listen carefully when they tell you the pickup location address and the drop-off location address.

Suggestions for when you are on a Sun Van ride.

When riding on Sun Van ask for the name of the driver. This helps to get the service you want and easier to report if something goes wrong.

At a busy place, make sure the driver says your name. I have been on the wrong van before.

Find out from the driver, where they want you to sit.

Do not hesitate to ask the driver for help exiting the van or walking you to the door.

Find out from the driver if they are picking up more riders or how long before you reach the destination.

If driver is late and you have a doctor’s appointment, ask them to call dispatch, so you can be dropped off first.

Be courteous to all drivers, even if you do not agree with them. You can report them later if you are so inclined.

Always call dispatch if your driver is late and ask them to find out where your driver is and how long it will be before they come to pick you up.

A driver cannot come early unless you call dispatch first. Actually, sometimes the driver is waiting just around the corner.

Thank the driver for his or her service.

Usually, a driver will come into the doctor’s office, but not always.

Take your white cane with you, so the driver can identify you.

Ask your driver if they need directions to your home. This can save time.

We have all had the "scenic tour" when it seems to take forever to get home or to your destination. Fortunately, Sun Van is generally on time and everything works very smoothly.


Free Catalogs
• Independent Living Aids 800-537-2118
• LS&S 800-468-4789
• Maxi Aids 800-522-6294, 631-752-0521



When you receive a cartridge with multiple books on it, you can access the books in one of two ways: The Easy Way and the Bookshelf Mode.

Method One - The Easy Way
1. When you reach the very end of the book or initial instructions, press the green, rectangular Play button.
2. The machine will then prompt the patron to, "Press the Play button again to go on to the next book." Go ahead and press the play button again and the machine will start playing the next book.

Method Two - Bookshelf Mode (Skipping over books, etc.)
1. Insert the cartridge in the player and turn the power on by pressing the red, circular Power Button.
2. Press and hold the green, rectangular Play button for about 3 seconds until the player beeps and says "Bookshelf" and announces the number of books on the cartridge.
3. Tap the Rewind or Fast Forward button, located on each side of the green, rectangular Play button, to select the next book. The book title will be announced. To advance to the next title, just press the Fast Forward button again, or tap the rewind again to go to the previous book.
4. Once you get to the title you want to read, press the green, rectangular Play button. The player will exit Bookshelf Mode and start playing the selection.

To look up a title on BARD
Put the title in quotes and then you will get an exact match.
For right now, the Arizona Talking Book library is putting about 7 books on a cartridge.

If you have a basic talking book player, call up the library to request an advanced talking book player. Also, ask for a box and put your old player in it for return purposes. The Arizona Talking Book Library will send you a new advance player in the box using "Free Matter for the Blind". The number for the Arizona Talking Book Library is: 602-255-5578


Social Media Podcast
"Mosen at Large" All you need to know about Clubhouse from a blindness perspective


• Using Social Media with a Visual Impairment or Blindness from AFB
• Fun with Facebook - Basics of using Facebook with a screen reader (YouTube Video)


Using Alexa on the Echo Dot

Simply ask Alexa to add an item to the shopping list. To take an item off the list, say "remove [item]" from the shopping list. If in a hurry, you can add telephone numbers or anything else you want to remember into the shopping list and remove them later. To hear your shopping list, simply say "Alexa, what s on my shopping list?" For more information on Alexa for visually impaired seniors go to https://seniorsafetyadvice.com/alexa-for-blind-seniors/


Audio Description and Streaming Services

My friend and I watched the movie, CODA (Children of Deaf Adults) with audio description. The movie was funny and beautifully done with its three leading deaf actors. The story is about Ruby, age 17, who has normal hearing and must sign and communicate for her deaf family. Ruby decides to join the choir with her awesome singing voice and trouble soon ensues.

To watch the movie, go to your Apple account and then download the ApplePlus app. You can use the app for free for seven days. If you don’t cancel by then then you will be charged $4.99 a month. (You can cancel your subscription at any time.) Lastly, every program on ApplePlus has audio description. (In that regard, Amazon Prime Video has the most movies with audio description.)

The newest streaming service is Peacock (NBC and Universal) which you can stream for free. However, Peacock is $4.99 a month if you don’t want commercials, but the content is the same on both the free and pay options.


Utah toddler befriends a Halloween skeleton amid COVID-19 pandemic.

It's hard being an only child - especially during a pandemic - which may explain why 2-year-old Theo Brady of Salt Lake City, Utah, recently felt a strange attraction to a Halloween decoration. "I think he got kind of lonely, and he found this skeleton and was like, 'Oh, this can be my friend,'" said Theo's mother, Abigail Brady.

So, to placate her son, Brady agreed to something utterly ridiculous. "Like, I just swallowed all my pride and was like, 'You know, if this makes my son happy, I'm going to do it,'" she said.

Do what, you ask? Take them on a play date - to the beach. Brady was secretly hoping that would be the end of it. But the pair hit it off famously and for the last month, Theo and the skeleton (who they named Benny) have been joined at the hip bone - dining together, dressing up as ghosts, and winding down at the end of a hauntingly long day. Theo Brady even goes shopping with his skeleton friend Benny at the supermarket.

CBS News said Theo has never rested more at peace. "Yeah, some weird way it's comforting," she said. "He likes to read Benny books, which is creepy, but cute. Creepy but cute is not exactly what most parents want for a baby's first "bromance". But the bond is undeniable - no bones about it. Whether they're at the market, or on the playground - if not for lack of an epidermis, you'd swear this skeleton was Theo's brother from another mummy.

In fact, at times Benny almost seemed… happy as his humorous was clearly showing. And who wouldn't want this kind of friend for their child? "He just sees this skeleton as someone that needs love," said Brady. "Yeah, I think it's fine, unless he starts walking around with a casket," I said. "Yeah, then that's like, oh my gosh, too far," Brady replied. But for now, it's nothing to be scared of. In fact, for this October especially, I think we could all benefit from a little less fright and a lot more friendly.

Halloween Jokes

What did one Jack-o’-lantern say to another? Cut it out.
Who was the most famous French skeleton? Napoleon bone-a-part
Who won the skeleton beauty contest? No body
Why do Jack-o’-lanterns have stupid smiles on their faces? You’d have a stupid face too, if you just had your brains scooped out.
What is the pumpkin's favorite sport? Squash
What do you get when you cross a vampire and snowman? frostbite
What is black, white, and orange and waddles? a penguin carrying a Jack o’ lantern
Have a Happy Halloween and Happy Thanksgiving!

- Barbara Macpherson, President


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