TUCSON SOCIETY OF THE BLIND (TSB) P.O. Box 57655. Tucson, AZ 85732
DECEMBER/JANUARY 2022 NEWSY NOTES
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
7th: Christine Vivona on harp, playing glorious X-Mas Music
10th: TSB Board Meeting, 10:15 AM Biscuit Country Café, 7026 E. Broadway
14th: Christmas Party- Christmas Trivia, Gift Exchange, and Potluck. Plan to get a 12:15 to 12:45 PM Sun Van ride out. See details below.
21st: Vacation - No Meeting
28th: Vacation - No Meeting
4th: Dr. Charles Gerba, microbiologist from University of Arizona, “How to take care of germs and proper cleaning procedures.”
11th: Watching the 90 minute documentary, “ Becoming Helen Keller” We will watch for an hour and have popcorn. At 11:20, we will take a break and eat pizza. At noon, we will continue watching the video. We will have an awesome discussion afterwards. You will be surprised about what you will learn. Plan to get a 12:45 to 1:15 PM Sun Van ride out.
14th: TSB Board Meeting, Biscuit Country Café, 7026 E. Broadway 10:15 AM,
18th: “Managing the Health Care System being Blind,” Barbara Macpherson. iPhone lesson with Manny on Zoom, 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
25th: Murray Everson, “All about Sun Sounds Reading Service on the Echo Dot and computer”
1st: Maria Trujillo “All about AARP and the Tucson Chapter” American Association of Retired Persons, (AARP)
8th: Roxanna Baker plays the accordion. Be ready to clap and dance!
December 14th Christmas Party: To participate in the gift exchange bring a wrapped gift, (limit $10, no alcohol), label it only with “For a lady” or “For a guy”. We will have a baked potato bar with chili. Sign up with Barb on Dec 7th to bring the salads and desserts and plan on getting a 12:15 to 12:45 Sun Van ride out.
Please pay your TSB 2022 dues of $15.00 by January 2022. TSB dues pay for luncheons, entertainment, and the printing of the newsletter. What a deal! Any extra financial donations are also appreciated.
President’s Message by Barbara Macpherson
Well, ready or not the holiday season is here. It will be special to celebrate three Christmas programs at the church.
Thanks to all the members who sold and bought Jim Click raffle tickets. Drum roll please… The grand total taken in was $2,850! This is better than the $2400 which TSB earned last year. Between the two fundraising events, TSB is able to continue to provide its educational, social, and recreational programs. A big thanks go also to all of you who gave donations to TSB. A big thanks also goes to the TSB Board of Directors and all the volunteers who helped TSB provide support to its members and the low vision and blind Tucson community.
Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, iPhone, crafts, gardening, or whatever. Never let the brain be idle as that can be a recipe for depression.
I like using words like TASK to keep me going when I encounter obstacles and get discouraged. TASK stands for Tenacity, Adaptability, Support, and Knowledge. Another quote I like is, “To succeed in life, you need a wishbone, a backbone, and a funny bone!”
Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year! Barb
Eye Talk by Annie Schlesinger - Tips for the Visually Impaired: Marking and labeling and locating objects.
Similar-shaped items may be labeled with a product called “Hi-Marks”, which is a three-dimensional liquid, or with “Puff Paint”, sold at fabric and craft shops. Marks may be applied in Braille or using any coding system of dots or lines. Tactile stickers can be used or you can wrap items with rubber bands.
Record information with the voice-labeling system called “PenFriend.” Self-adhesive labels are applied and can be recorded and re-recorded. You can then scan and instantly play back the recording.
Currency can be folded in different ways to indicate the values, or you can keep different bills in different compartments of your billfold or purse. Try to practice identifying coins by feel. They are each unique.
One of my favorites is using raised dots or bumps to mark microwaves buttons, thermostats, keys, and much more. I put a dot on the top of a polarized electric cord and then easily know which way to plug it in.
Phone numbers are easy to memorize and find by touch. The number 5 usually has a raised bump on it for getting your bearings on the keypad.
Purchase a luggage locator to put in the outside pocket of your airport luggage and put the remote on your keychain. When the bags come out, hit the remote and you will hear your bag beeping. Similar items are available to attach to keys, etc. Use a brass safety pin coding system to identify color of clothing or use iron-on patches in various sizes and shapes. You can place a brass safety pin on one corner of a fitted sheet to identify and match the corner of the bed where that sheet corner goes.
Many banks and credit card companies offer a toll-free number where you can use your phone’s dial pad to access information on your account.
Make your surroundings safer
Keep entry doors fully open or closed and keep all cabinet food drawers closed when not in use.
If in doubt, assume a “defensive posture,” with arm extended and fingers turned toward you.
In all 50 states, the law requires drivers to yield the right of way when they see an extended white cane or guide dog. Only the blind may legally carry white canes.
If I need assistance, and you as a sighted helper don’t mind, I’ll ask to take your arm just above the elbow and keep a half-step behind to anticipate curbs and steps.
When I am in a room, I like to know who else is there. Please speak or introduce yourself when you enter. You can talk to me as you would anyone else – there is no need to raise your voice.
I’ll discuss blindness with you if you’re curious, but feel free to talk to me about anything that interests you. I have as many other interests as you do. There is no need to avoid words like “see” or “look.” Loss of vision or blindness is just the loss of sight. My sense of smell, touch, and/or hearing did not improve when I became visually impaired.
Keep clutter out of walkways. Clutter is not your friend. If you haven’t used something in a year, get rid of it.
Using a long white cane when walking allows locating steps, curbs, doorways, walkers, etc. The cane checks out obstacles about two steps in front of the user. Training in using the cane is important and is available here in Tucson.
NFB Newsline provides the content of magazines, and local and national newspapers to the blind without charge. It is accessible by telephone. If you get talking books, then you can also get Newsline.
Special items available for the blind include talking watches and clocks, (including “atomic” i.e., self-setting) ones, talking calculators, talking thermometers, check-writing guides and more. This is available locally or by catalog.
Tip of the Month: Diabetes and Sight Loss
Diabetes is a common cause of vision loss due to diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and cataracts. In fact, diabetics are 40% more likely to have glaucoma, and 60% are more likely to have cataracts, per the American Diabetes Association. If left unchecked, vision loss due to diabetes is irreversible.
So, what can I do to protect my eyes? To prevent diabetic eye disease, or to keep it from getting worse, manage your A1c (A1c stands for glycated hemoglobin). The A1c percentage measures how much sugar is attached to the blood’s hemoglobin protein. The A1c test result gives a measure of how well your body has controlled the amount of sugar in the blood over the past two to three months. You must also manage your blood pressure and cholesterol by asking your doctor for best practices. Also quit smoking, if you smoke.
Have a dilated eye exam at least once a year - or more often if recommended by your eye care professional. These actions are powerful ways to protect the health of your eyes and can prevent blindness.
Locally you can go to Desert Low Vision 520-881-3439, Janet Dylla, 1645 N. Alvernon Way, Tucson, AZ, www.desertlowvision.com for blind and low vision aids, talking products, white canes and tips. You can also get a low vision evaluation. Desert Low Vision is open from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Thursday.
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, and record your own special message.
Accessible Pharmacy specially for Blind and Visually impaired
They will set up pill boxes and can contact your doctor and pharmacy for prescriptions.
Airline Travel - Call your airline’s 800 number and ask for “Meet and Assist” when you make your reservation. This service will provide a person to help you change planes and to get you to baggage claim. If you mention that you are visually impaired and you find that the reservation website is not accessible, they will waive the $25 service fee when you call for reservations on the phone.
• 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 Cringle
• 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.
Two Holiday Stories
Last year, when our three-year-old great-granddaughter Kylie was taken to see Santa Claus, she made sure to give him her wish list of toys. A week later, she ran into a different Santa in a mall. He stopped to ask what she wanted for Christmas. Kylie was appalled and let him know: "If you can't remember what I told you last week, how are you going to remember on Christmas Eve?! Mary Paul
Years ago, drowning in too many responsibilities, I found myself devoid of any Christmas spirit. One day, I stopped at a red light. As I sorted through my long list of onerous tasks, a beat-up sedan pulled up next to me. Behind the wheel was Santa Claus belting out Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline”. The man did not have a care in the world. Upon realizing he had an audience, he turned, looked me straight in the eye, and shouted, "Merry Christmas!” As he drove off, his enthusiasm lifted my spirits and officially kicked off my holiday season.