TUCSON SOCIETY OF THE BLIND (TSB) P.O. Box 57655. Tucson, AZ 85732
AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 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
2nd: Christine Vivona will be at the church making glorious music on the harp.
9th: Back on phone 1-605-468-8020 access code 969009 pound.
12th: TSB Board Meeting, Biscuit Country Café, 7026 E. Broadway Blvd. 10:15 AM
16th: Jean Parker, “How I Became a Blind Instructor”
16th: Lesson with Manny on the iPhone on Zoom 6:30 - 8:30 PM
23rd: Jan Cleere, author, History of AZ Women Pioneer
30th: Teresa Christian, Hull Park Sight Loss Instructor, “How vision loss can motivate you to become a better independent blind person”
6th: Ron Brooks “Using self-driving cars and food robots while being blind.”
9th: TSB Board Meeting, Biscuit Country Café, 7026 E. Broadway Blvd. 10:15 AM
13th: Return to church on Sept 13 at 6565 E. Broadway Blvd. - AZ Banjo Blasters get ready for a fun concert
20th: Pet Peeves by Blind Persons podcast. Barb and Annie will lead a discussion and practice role playing asking for help in an effective way.
20th: Lesson with Manny on the iPhone on Zoom 6:30 - 8:30 PM
27th: Janet Dylla from Desert Low Vision will bring many talking devices and will demonstrate the latest technology to see.
4th: Barb and Annie, “There is a Monster in the Closet” Tips for adjusting to the emotional loss of losing vision issues
President’s Message by Barbara Macpherson
Asking for help is a sign of strength, but it is a skill to learn. Most people are willing to help but they do not know what to do. We as the visually impaired have to educate others on how to help us. We need to teach the sighted guide techniques, have the helpers give specific directions. It is hard to ask for help because we do not want to be perceived as being helpless.
Here are some tips:
• Be assertive, use a strong clear voice, but say your request nicely.
• Use words like “I need ____ because,”
• Get your helper’s name and start with small talk like “Are you going for vacation or business?” etc.
• Explain in simple steps what you need.
• Thank them for their help.
• For a flight out of Tucson, I asked my seat neighbor at the airport to take me over to the gate agent. The agent was not there at that time, but later my seat neighbor let me know when the agent showed up.
Asking for help is a skill takes practice but is a skill that can be learned.
We will be meeting on the phone conference line, 1-605-468-8020, access code 969009 pound from August 9th through September 6th. This phone opportunity will allow us to hear from guest speakers from around the country and encourage other TSB members who we don’t see often to join us on the phone.
Eye Talk by Annie Schlesinger - Tips for the Visually Impaired
Marking and labeling and locating objects
Label similar-shaped items 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 “Pen Friend.” Self-adhesive labels are applied and can be recorded and re-recorded upon with the Pen Friend device. You can instantly play back the recording.
Currency can be folded in different ways to indicate the values or keep different bills in different compartments of your billfold or purse
Practice identifying coins by feel. They are each unique.
One of my favorites is using raised dots or bumps to mark microwaves, thermostats, keys, and much more. I put a dot on the top of a polarized electric cord and then know how 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 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 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 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 use 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 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, you can get Newsline.
Special items available for the blind include talking watches and clocks, (including atomic, ie. self-setting) ones, talking calculators, talking thermometers, check-writing guides and more. These are available locally or by catalog.
Travel Tips by Barbara Macpherson
Summer is here. Here are a few tips on traveling that will help make your next trip easier.
• When you make your airplane reservation ask for meet and assist. This is a free service, though tips are accepted by your helper. When you get to the airport, the airline will call for an attendant. They will help you with a wheelchair to get you through security, change planes, or get your luggage.
• Have your confirmation code recorded where you can get to it. The airlines have kiosks with customer service agents ready to tag your luggage. That person will type in the confirmation code and print out baggage tags and put your luggage on the belt to go to the plane. This will speed up the process
• Ask to go through the walk through metal detector at security. Get out of the wheelchair and walk through the metal detector. Otherwise they will have to pat you down, which is not fun.
• Load the airline app on your iPhone. The text and emails will let you know if they changed the gate or delayed your flight.
• Bring an empty water bottle and fill up after security, which will save you money.
• They will let the gate agent know you are there for preboarding.
• Your companion can come to the gate if they show their picture ID and receive a “gate pass.”
• Pack snacks in travel bag or backpack. Many times there is no affordable food at the gate.
• Always allow at least an hour to change planes, when making reservations.
• Fly on week days rather than week ends.
• Fly as early as you can as there is less chance for delays.
• Flights and prices change all the time. If you get a good price, book it then otherwise the price may not be there when you go back later.
• The breakfast burrito at the Tucson airport was very tasty.
• Book tickets one way instead of round trip. We saved over $50 per ticket and it is easier to use airplane travel miles that way.
• Use Google Flight to find good airplane prices; their site is very accessible.
• The cheapest days to fly are Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday.
• Look for family restrooms; they are much easier to navigate.
Booking a hotel
• Pick a hotel with airport shuttle and free breakfast. Also make sure the hotel has a microwave and refrigerator in the room.
• Find out ahead of arrival where the hotel shuttle pick up location is. This will save time. (We had to call the hotel three times until they told us the right location.)
Covid testing at the airport
• We made an appointment for a free antigen testing by Lab Finders which is sponsored by Pima County. We waited 30 minutes for a negative paper copy. Lab Finder will also send an email copy to your cell phone.
Fun activities at destination
• Guided tours are always fun. Call the museum a week ahead for a docent or to find out if they have audio tours. If the museum has one, they will give you a headset to listen to the narration. The website, Factory Tours USA, is a good place to look for factory tours. When we were at Grand Turk Island, we signed up for a narrated tram tour. When we got to the lighthouse, ten donkeys came to the tram looking for food. I fed them a roll and got to pet them. One donkey grabbed a whole water bottle. We took the cap off and he licked the water out just like a baby bottle. The donkey encounter was one of the highlights of the trip.
How to Stay Young
1. Try everything twice. On one woman's tombstone she said she wanted this epitaph: “Tried everything twice. Loved it both times!"
2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down. (Keep this in mind if you are one of those grouches!)
3. Keep learning: Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain get idle
4. Enjoy the simple things.
5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath. And if you have a friend who makes you laugh, spend lots and lots of time with him/her.
6. The tears happen: Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person who is with us our entire life is ourselves. LIVE while you are alive.
7. Surround yourself with what you love whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.
8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it; if it is unstable, improve it; if it is beyond what you can improve, get help.
9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next
county, to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is.
10. Tell the people you love that you love them at every opportunity. I love you, my special friend!
11. Forgive now those who made you cry. You might not get a second chance. Remember! - lost time can never be found. Be kinder than necessary for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.
• “Whatever you are, be a good one.” –– Abraham Lincoln
• “When it comes to life, we spin our own yarn, and where we end up is really, in fact, where we always intended to be.” ― Julia Glass
• “A great deal of talent is lost to the world for the want of a little courage.” –– Sydney Smith
• “When you make use of your strength, it does not get used up. It grows.”
• “When you give your love to others, it does not diminish the love you have...it deepens and enriches that love.”
• “When you teach what you know, it does not take that knowledge from you. It expands and broadens your knowledge.”
• “When you offer kindness, you end up with even more. When you make use of discipline, your discipline grows even stronger.”
• The more you live with integrity, the more integrity you'll have. The more you speak of truth, the more real truth you'll discover.”
• “The truly valuable things in life are easy to recognize, for they're the things that never get used up. Indeed, the truly valuable things become more plentiful for each and every time they're used.
1. Why is the sun so smart? - Because it has over 5000 degrees!
2. Why did the man on the desert island turn red? - He was marooned!
3. What's the best thing to take to the desert? - A thirst-aid kit!
4. What did the explorer say when he found water in three different places in the desert? - Well, well, well!
5. What did one sand dune say to the other sand dune? - I will never desert you!
6. Why was the castaway delighted when an old window washed up on his desert island? - Because he would have something to open on his birthday!
7. Why are there no kings or queens in the desert? - Because there is no rain!
8. How can you hide in the desert? - Use camelflage!
9. Why did the desert animals get no Christmas presents last year? - Because the lion had sandy claws!
10. Why should you never go hungry in the desert? - Because of all the sand which is there!
11. What Christmas carol is sung in the desert? - O, Camel Ye Faithful!