The Blind Perspective

Hi again CAMPBELLSWORLD VISITORS!!! Here’s yet another awesome edition of the Blind Perspective. I hope all will take a look. I promise, sighted or blind you’ll find something interesting  among these most awesome articles.

Interested in great books to read? This magazine features a great book reviewer.

Want to learn how to strengthen and keep your body in great physical shape? Read here and find some great descriptions of easy and fun to do work outs.

Ever wondered what it was like for blind folks in other parts of the world? Read on and find out. Karen has a great international blind person series going and I tell you sometimes I’m amazed, but most times I’m reminded that we’re pretty lucky here in the Fantastic USA

Thanks to the Blind Perspective for giving their permission to post.

If you should decide to subscribe directly to the magazine, please tell’em Campbell and Patty Fletcher sent you.

Thanks for reading, and blessed be.

___

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

From: Blind Perspective
Sent: Tuesday, January 31, 2017 8:08 PM
To: theblindperspective@groups.io
Subject: [theblindperspective] February Newsletter

Welcome to The Blind Perspective

February 2017
Volume 3 Issue 2

Table of Contents

Greetings from the Editor
Sponsor of the Month
Movers & Shakers
International Perspective
Feel, Look, and be Better
Have I Got A Story For You
The Braille Highway
Make Your Money Work
Kaleidoscope of Krafts
Spencer’s Spotlight
Computer Tech 101
Making your house a home
Cooking Concoctions
Riddle & Brain Buster

Navigation

The Blind Perspective Newsletter has been produced in such a manner that makes it easier to stroll through the articles. If you are using JAWS, System Access, NVDA, or Window Eyes, press the letter H to move through the headings. If you are wanting to skip back simply press the shift key + the letter H. For MAC users, press Control Option Command plus the letter H and to go backwards through the articles press Control Option Command shift plus the letter H. If one of the links do not work for you just copy and paste it in to your browser and it should work.

If you have any trouble reading this copy you can go to Click Here it will take You to the read the current newsletter

Greetings from the Editor

By Karen Santiago
Happy Valentine’s Day to all! May you take some time to show and tell those that you love how much they really mean to you. And, I would once again like to let the readers of The Blind Perspective know how much I appreciate them tuning in every month to be informed and entertained by all of our wonderful writers. Thank you.

A few reminders:
*I am always looking for blind individuals from different countries to interview for the International Perspective segment. If you are interested please email me at karen@theblindperspective.com

*If you know of someone or an organization that has a blindness connection and would like to recommend them for the Movers & Shakers email me at karen@theblindperspective.com

*As always our writers love hearing from you. So if you have ideas, suggestions, or comments email them at their address at the beginning of their article
Read on and enjoy the February issue!

At a Glance: LoganTech, A T Guys, Spain, do it again and again, Books & Feedback, Braille Contest & Betty Nobel, High Risk Investments, Macramé, Dot, MP3, Home Modification, Chocolate Pound Cake, Riddle & Brain Buster!

Sponsor of the Month

LoganTech
Our sponsor this month is LoganTech, makers of the 6dot Braille Label Maker and BrailleCoach Talking Braille Learning System. Our readers can save 10% on either of these products by using the promo code BPNEWS10 when placing an order on or offline. We encourage you to learn more about these products by visiting their website: www.LoganTech.com

Movers & Shakers

A T Guys
by Karen Santiago
karen@theblindperspective.com

I had the pleasure of conducting a Q &A with the president of A T Guys, J.J. Meddaugh. Please read on to learn more about A T Guys!

How and when did A T Guys come about?
A T Guys has been around since 2008. We started out as dealers for Mobile Speak, which was software to make early smartphones talk (this was before the iPhone was a thing). Our first major hardware product was the iBill, which was revolutionary for its time. Of course those are now available for free.

You call yourselves “Your assistive technology experts”, please explain.
We like to position ourselves as people who know about the latest in technology, whether it is products we sell or those of our competitors. We share much of this knowledge through our podcasts over at BlindBargains.com.

Speaking of Blind Bargains, what is your relationship with them?
We run both sites, and often will offer promotions that tie them to each other.

Are you and others affiliated with the site blind/visually impaired?
Yes, all of the people who currently work with us are blind/VI, and we aim to support employment for the blind wherever possible.

What products/services do you provide?
We specialize in affordable gadgets and tech, especially for mobile phones including iPhones and Android devices. Currently, we sell Bluetooth headsets, speakers, and keyboards, tactile screen overlays for the iPhone, computer software and games including high quality voices for screen readers, and other gadgets such as an iOS connected outlet switch and a vibrating pocketwatch.

What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept all major credit cards and PayPal, including PayPal credit. We also accept purchase orders from government organizations.

With regards to usability’s for websites, is that helping organizations/ individuals to make their website accessible for the blind community? If so, are many organizations/ individuals seeking your assistance?
The web is changing fast, and there is a huge need to make sure that websites keep up with the latest accessibility standards and guidelines. We have consulted on a variety of web and mobile projects with an emphasis on Android testing and consulting.

Do you attend any national blind related events/ conferences?
We often attend national blindness conventions as well as some state conventions and smaller events.

Do you have any upcoming events that you will be making an appearance at?
We’re still working on our 2017 schedule but I anticipate we’ll be announcing some events on our Twitter @atguys in the near future.

A T Guys links:
Website: www.atguys.com

Email: support@atguys.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/atguys

Facebook: www.facebook.com/atguys

YouTube: www.youtube.com/atguys

Address and phone number:
A T Guys
321 S Kalamazoo Mall, Ste 211
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
(269) 216-4798

J.J. closed the interview with these words, “Thanks for the opportunity to share a little about our company and website. We aim to be an active part of the community and love hearing from our customers with feedback and ideas.”

International Perspective

Spain
By Antonio M. Fdez Zaldívar
karen@theblindperspective.com

A bit about Spain:
Spain is a Mediterranean country located in the south of Europe, between France and Portugal. We have excellent weather, and extremely good food. In addition to this, Spain has wonderful beaches, snowy mountains, a lot of museums, and beautiful places to visit. These are the reasons why tourism is so important for us.

However, almost 20% of its 47 million people living here are unemployed. And, the worst of all, we have an enormous amount of corrupted politicians.

School:
In Spain, the schooling of blind and visually impaired pupils has followed along similar lines to that of other children with disabilities. Up until the 1980’s, the majority of blind or visually impaired students received schooling in the education centers that the Spanish National Organization for the Blind, Organización Nacional de Ciegos de España, (ONCE) had in different parts of the country. These centers provided Primary, Secondary and Vocational Training education either on a day school or boarding school basis, depending on where the family home was located. In later years, this style of education in specific centers has had the added option of educational integration into mainstream centers.

The ONCE offers a wide range of materials and financial assistance which enables the pupils who study in mainstream centers to take advantage of any special requirements their education may demand.

Basically speaking, the primary aim of the activity of different resource agencies and or teams is to attend to the educational needs of visually impaired students, through assessment of the different community agents involved in the educational process and provision of the specific aids which visual impairment entails. Although educational care implies the need for a wide range of qualified Team personnel, depending on the period of evolution of pupil requirements, it operates around the function performed by the visiting support teacher on each of his periodic visits to the education center. In general terms, the function of the support teacher not only means individual academic care of student, but also involves assessment of the educational community and its members (all teachers, the parents, etc.) within which the visually impaired pupil moves. In short, the schooling of pupils with serious sight difficulties has adapted over recent years and come into line with the aims for integration and inclusion being carried out in Spain regarding the schooling of pupils with disabilities.

The Spanish National Organization for the Blind has participated in this process by means of investment in a variety of wide-ranging resources at a human and material level, so that visually impaired pupils might be able to study in the most normal way possible in mainstream education centers close to their homes.

Braille and Mobility:
Braille is taught by ONCE teachers even when you are studying in the integrated education system.
Mobility is taught by specific technicians from our association for the blind.

University:
It seems as though there are more and more people with disabilities attending Universities. Although technology is very useful for us, it has some inconveniences since not all materials or devices are easy to adapt for the disabled. However, ONCE can assist students by providing a reader, recording textbooks, transcribing books into braille, and scanning and correcting documents.

Sports & Recreation:
In order to participate in the different sports at a young age, a blind individual must attend a ONCE facility.

As a result of the increase in participation and interest in sport for people with physical disabilities, the creation of Spanish Sports Federation for the Physically Disabled (FEDDF was formed in the late sixties. In 1990, the General Law of Sports was passed, which led to changes in how sport was organized inside Spain. Therefore, resulting in the creation of several national Spanish disability sport organizations including FEDC, International Blind Sports Association.

FEDC is one of five disability sport organizations that belongs to the Spanish Paralympic Committee. Their goal is to host and govern disability sport on the local level around the country. The organization is composed of regional sport federations including the Catalan Federation for the Blind.

FEDC has historically supported athletics, equestrian, cycling, winter sports, swimming, goalball, sport shooting, sailing, judo, chess and mountaineering. In 2013, the organization had 1,500 licensed vision impaired sportspeople competing in a variety of the previously mentioned sports.

Job Training:
In Spain, disabled people are entitled to the same rehabilitation and training options that are generally available at national level, regardless of whether their disability occurred from birth or later on in their lives. ONCE employs over 1.500 professionals, including educators, teachers and trainers, psychologists, rehabilitation experts, technology instructors and coaches.

Training and rehabilitation take place within a network of over 300 centers nationwide, including several Educational Resource Centers, a University School of Physiotherapy and a Guide Dog School.

Another option is that of the occupational centers, which are day centers attended by disabled people who have not been able to join a sheltered work center. Activities are typically manual and craft oriented. While some severely disabled people will remain in these day centers, others who successfully develop work skills will go on to join sheltered work centers.

Accessibility
Transportation:
There is no separate transportation system for blind individuals. In fact, we have some difficulties with getting a ride from taxi cabs because we are being accompanied by our guide dog.
Blind individuals, along with their companion receive a reduced transportation rate for traveling by train. If you give advanced notice when traveling by train, they will help organize assistance for you.
There is no reduced fare when traveling by bus. In addition, only in some cities are the bus stops announced. You need to either ask someone for help, or make sure you know your route. However, most bus stations have audible announcements.

Getting around:
Curb cuts and tactile strips on sidewalks are more prevalent in the larger cities. They need to improve these adaptations within the small towns and villages.
There are no audible signals or braille identifications at any intersections.

Braille:
Currently braille is only mandatory for elevators and medicine packages. Braille documents are not available; we can only receive digital files via email.

Guide Dogs:
Spain has only one guide school in Madrid; Fundacion Once deL Perro Guia. In Spain guide dogs are accepted by law everywhere.

Benefits:
Blind people can only receive governmental benefits as an adult, and when they are unable to do any type of work. This is a monthly benefit, which quite honestly is not very much.
From time to time, one can get a grant to purchase some technology type equipment. However, for blind people who are studying or working outside the association, ONCE can adapt their computer or lend them a Braille Line (similar to a braille display).

Reading service:
We are able to get audio and braille books. They are free to students. We can get them online or directly through an app on our smart phone. In addition, if you want to purchase a braille book, it will only cost you a few cents per volume.

Blind Organizations:
the Spanish National Organization for the Blind is Organización Nacional de Ciegos de España, (ONCE). This organization receives support from the Spanish government offices for Finance, Labor and Social Affairs, and Internal Affairs. ONCE offers tailored advice and guidance in career orientation, management and accounting. Financial support programmers such as low interest credits and non-refundable subsidies are also available to encourage self-employment projects.

The smaller organizations are a little different, as they provide specific training for such things as guide dog users, technology users and so on.

Final Thoughts:
I feel that public institutions do not like being ask to make things accessible and/ or equal for blind people, especially because of the strength of our association. public institutions try to avoid their obligations as much as possible. And, since the blind community needs to ask for things and equality, it is difficult. Equality only seems to exists in the papers, the weeks leading up to the elections.

If we were only all treated equal and had access to things that make our lives “equal” to the sighted, life would be much easier for the blind community.

Feel, Look, and be Better

By Ken Roche RMT
kenrochermt@theblindperspective.com

Start a progressively positive habit and keep doing it

Setting goals isn’t just for the new year and it’s never too late to go back to working on previous or long standing goals, especially if you’ve acquired more ability to push them forward. If you are one to set new year resolutions … how is it going? far to often goals/resolutions are only topics that come up at the end and the very beginning of the year, but this does not offer opportunity for guidance in action and may lead to thoughtless abandonment for yet another year. We are already 1 12th through the year and a questionable percentage through your life so the end or beginning of every month or season can be good times to review larger goals like gardening, increased balance and stability while walking or competing in the para-olympics. This way it’s possible to adjust focus on the actions necessary to improve or maintain phisical ability to achieve them.

Inside of these larger goals you will find smaller stepping goals that when broken down and worked on independently will maintain ability in off seasons. Such as, slowly bending at the hips with contracted muscles on the back of the thighs (hamstrings) to do dishes or load laundry etc., rolling knees out putting weight towards the baby toes as you sit down or squat and excessively squeeze hip extensor muscles like Gluteus maxim us (bum) as you stand again in both previous examples. Getting down and crawling on the ground, just a little here and there all winter can help maintain range of motion and conditioning for gardening.

Additionally, improved component abilities can take you towards accomplishing larger seemingly elusive goals as you and your body develop more ability in specific directions. An example of one biomechanical concept being applied differently for different purposes is strengthening shoulder and hip stabilising muscles that can help one person improve bench press or squats in the gym can help another improved stability while using a walker. You may choose to use elastic bands, house hold items like water bottles, free weights, resisted pulley systems or even just gravity as you go through internal (inward) and external (outward) motions at various angles, ideally with upper arm or thigh bone stabilised (not moving accept rotation). Since we are dealing with stabilising muscles you can also just do simple isometric (no movement) contractions by grabbing solid objects, that don’t move like chair arms while seated, hand rails etc. You can even use your own body by placing hands in pockets or waist band or on the outside, and later inside of the knees when sitting or even hands interlocked together in front of you while standing. Push or pull as it may be against whatever resistance you are using for 6-8 second contractions with anywhere from 20% to 80% of your maximum contraction, as long as pain levels stay between 4 and 7. Now do it again … and again.

Next, find reason in your daily activities to do it every waking hour of the day. It doesn’t matter what physical goal we are talking about: injury rehabilitation, pain management, losing weight or gaining flexibility, strength, stability, coordination or balance we should get actively involved in a sustainable positive influence. We should consistently apply the influence and evaluate our actions considering the body’s eventual reaction/s much more consciously to insure our body is growing in the direction we want over time. It’s easy to see that an activity positive or negative in nature done once a year or every couple of months is transient and not likely to cause an accumulative physiological change inside the body. conversely, activities done regularly and postures used to do them over the majority of time as in more days per week, throughout each day, even how we breath and fight gravity and of course what, how much and even when we eat day to day will have powerful influence over our mind and body’s growth and development. Changes to lifestyle don’t have to be drastic to be beneficial and are actually better if they can start as “small changes you can live with”, even better actually be enjoyed or be done for deeper personal reasons. this tends to lead us to doing whatever activity it is more often. Increasing accumulative influence creates potential for even bigger changes in the future as we gain confidence, positive feedback from people around us and even better from the body itself as it becomes more efficient.

Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to start and continue negative habits whether postural, sedentary life style or poor diet. Alternatively, almost cruelly it takes significant mental discipline to adopt new healthier habits. There seems to be quite a discrepancy regarding how long it may take to adopt a new habit. According to Google, it has been commonly accepted to be 21 days. Although a Recent mail in study of 96 people suggests the average is closer to 66 days. It’s worth noting the activities being adopted in this study varied considerably and the self reported habit adoption ranged from as low as 12 days to as high as 264 days.

the “SAID” principal (Specific Adaption to Imposed Demand) simply states: the key to any influence creating change in the body, positive or negative is how often and how consistently it’s imposed over time. We should appreciate. like your finger nails and hair, the body is constantly growing in reaction to the work load and the environment it is intelligently adapting to.

we need to continuously impose positive influences with consistent effort before we can honestly expect to receive any meaningful positive change. This means:
1. learning simple biomechanical appropriate joint movements that promote regeneration rather than degeneration
2. acquiring strategies for stimulating positive growth through various forms of contractions against resistance, which cause aposing stretch and lines of use/force for development
3. guiding healing through gentle movement, 6-8 second contractions and 30 second stretching at pain levels of 4-5-6 and maybe 7 out of 10 designed to create tension and direction for intentional scar formation (healing)

These are the principals behind the A.B.C.s; Applied Biomechanical Concepts for Self Care and Repair.

However, more important than learning principals is to apply them. They need to be implemented on a regular basis to stimulate growth and guide healing along specific lines of use/force. At bear minimum we should take all our joints through full range of motion more often than not through any given day.

This can be done weight bearing if joints work reasonably well or not if injured or damaged. Joint surface lubrication, which provides oxygen and nutrition delivery get achieved in both situations, but tissue density will start eroding if not challenged for prolonged periods. However, gross degeneration will occur without any challenging movement at all, so a little is always better than none.

it’s easy to blame gravity or not having time, but the reality is, either you take control of your physical habits to control your body’s growth to look, feel and be better or your habits take control of the body, and you become a victim to it’s adoptions.

Considering February is heart and stroke awareness month it’s a good time to start increasing your cardiovascular activity. This can be anything from starting a walk run program to increasing distance, time or intensity for the activities you already participate in. Newer research supporting High Intensity Interval Training suggests that just 2 repetitions of maximum effort for just 20-30 mixed into a 10 minute warm up and cool down session can significantly improve cardiovascular health. However, be very careful, as we’ve discussed we can’t start with high intensity exercise without an increased risk of injury. Better to go through the range of motion necessary for any given exercise/activity to get the body used to new lines of use/force. Give it time to adapt as you increase speed and shock resistance.

whether you are physically fit and looking to get better with speed and shock resistant training, or are incredibly stiff requiring heat and stretch, loose requiring joint tightening or have physical pain that requires stabilisation mixed with slow relative pain free movements and moist cold as an anti inflammatory; learn what’s necessary to fix or manage the issue and do it again and again.

I recommend rereading previous articles for more specific explanations of A.rom, stretch and contraction, reaching with shoulder flexion and abduction, push ups and squats, bent knee walking and knee circles and my favourite, crawling etc. Start creating an active list of biomechanically better joint movements; learn them as you do them and as we continue discussing how to feel, look and be better!

Have I Got A Story For You

By Carla Jo Bratton
carlajo@theblindperspective.com

Salutations book lovers,

I am thrilled at the response I have received so far for my requests for feedback on short story collections and biographies/autobiographies. I will feature one in this article. Please write me with any comments or suggestions at my address above.

This month I bring you a couple of books from the past and a reader’s recommendation.

Life of Pi
Written by Yann Martel
DB54950
Reading time: 9 hours and 58 minutes
Man Booker Prize, Fiction, 2002
Pi Patel has been raised in a zoo in India. When his father decides to move the family to Canada and sell the animals to American zoos, everyone boards a Japanese cargo ship. The ship sinks, and 16-year-old Pi finds himself alone on a lifeboat with a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra with a broken leg, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger.

Soon it’s just Pi, the tiger, and the vast Pacific Ocean – for 227 days. Pi’s fear, knowledge, and cunning keep him alive until they reach the coast of Mexico, where the tiger disappears into the jungle. The Japanese authorities who interrogate Pi refuse to believe his story, so he tells a second one – more conventional, less fantastic. But is it more true?

A realistic, rousing adventure and meta-tale of survival, Life of Pi explores the redemptive power of storytelling and the transformative nature of fiction. It’s a story, as one character claims, to “make you believe in God”.

My comments: I challenge you to read this. Read it and write me with your original gut reaction. Everyone has a different interpretation of the story; all are correct in their own way. Mine was so different from my husband’s, but like my friend Jackie’s, with a slight twist. This is truly a reader’s book.

My short story collection for this month is All Creatures Great and Small. Yes, these stories can be stand alone or can be linked together. I love Herriot’s writings and have reread all of his books. They are comfort books for me. Any of his works are wonderful, heartwarming stories.

All Creatures Great and Small
Written by James Herriot
DB53926
Reading time: 16 hours and 53 minutes
James Herriot has now become firmly established and accepted as one of Darrowby’s veterinarians. He’s also married, and lives with his wife Helen on the top floor of Skeldale House. His former boss, now partner, Siegfried, lives downstairs with Siegfried’s brother Tristan.

Herriot continues the rich and rewarding day-to-day life of a small-town veterinarian, and we journey with him across the dales, meeting a whole new cast of unforgettable characters – humans, dogs, horses, lambs, parakeets – all of them drawn with the same infinite fascination, affection and insight that made James Herriot one of the most beloved authors of our time. And all the stories are warmly, evocatively told by the world-renowned “voice” of Dr. Herriot.

David F. wrote me with the following book suggestion and very well said too David. Thank you so much. I’ve downloaded this one and have started it. Truly a winner of a book!

In Such Good Company: Eleven years of laughter, mayhem, and fun in the sandbox
Written and read by Carol Burnett
DB85597
Reading time: 8 hours and 3 minutes
Comedy legend Carol Burnett tells the hilarious behind-the-scenes story of her iconic weekly variety series, The Carol Burnett Show.

Who but Carol Burnett herself has the timing, talent, and wit to pull back the curtain on the Emmy Award-winning show that made television history for 11 glorious seasons? In Such Good Company delves into little-known stories of the guests, sketches, and antics that made the show legendary as well as some favorite tales too good not to relive again. Carol lays it all out for us, from the show’s original conception to its evolution into one of the most beloved primetime programs of its generation.

Written with all the charm and humor fans expect from a masterful entertainer like Carol Burnett, In Such Good Company skillfully highlights the elements that made the show so successful in a competitive period when TV variety shows ruled the airwaves. Putting the spotlight on everyone from her talented co-stars to her amazing guest stars – the most celebrated and popular entertainers of their day – Carol crafts a lively portrait of the talent and creativity that went into every episode.

Here are some of the topics listeners want to know more about:
• How the show almost didn’t air due to the misgivings of certain CBS vice presidents
• How she discovered and hired Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, Lyle Waggoner, and Tim Conway
• Anecdotes about guest stars and her close friendships with many of them, including Lucille Ball, Roddy McDowall, Jim Nabors, Bernadette Peters, Betty Grable, Steve Lawrence, Eydie Gormé, Gloria Swanson, Rita Hayworth, and Betty White
• The people behind the scenes, from Bob Mackie, her costume designer and partner in crime, to the wickedly funny cameraman who became a fixture during the show’s opening Q&A
• Carol’s takes on her favorite sketches and the unpredictable moments that took both the cast and viewers by surprise

  • This audiobook is Carol’s love letter to a golden era in television history through the lens of her brilliant show, which won no less than 25 Emmy Awards! Get the best seat in the house as she reminisces about the outrageous tales that made working on the show as much fun as watching it.

David’s comments: I stayed up much too late Saturday evening listening to it. Why, you may well ask. Well, I have fond memories of Carol Burnett and her zany cast of characters. I’d sleep over at my grandmother’s on Saturday night, and sit near the large color TV and try to watch the goings-on. I could see a little back then and I do recall the animated bit that opened the show, an old lady with a mop. The book explained that this was the famous Burnett Char Lady. I remember Carol opening the show, usually wearing a glamorous Bob Mackie-designed evening gown, with auburn hair, taking questions from her audience, and often giving back as good as she got.

Famous for her Tarzan yell, how crazy, she described her love of musical comedy and even physical prat-fall comedy. Her story is rather amazing in that she seems to have quickly gotten a role in a popular musical of the 1950s; Once upon a Mattress, and appeared on “The Gary Moore Show” as a regular, and then because of a five-year rider in her contract with CBS that said if she wanted to do a show they would have to allow her a full season, she got started with her iconic show. She, Harvey Korman, and Vicki Lawrence were originals, Tim Conway started by making guest appearances, and later became a regular.

Carol reads the book herself and includes recorded bits with Tim Conway, Vicki, Harvey Korman, and even Bob Mackie. There is an interview with Carol on “The Dick Cavett Show”.

It’s interesting to hear her voice from that time. interview bits make the book personal in a way that a printed text simply is not.

To conclude, I think what I most took away from this book was that Carol was pleased she was in the right place at the right time. She insists that no way could one do today a show like hers the way they did it then. They practiced each show during one week’s time. They worked from about 10:00 a.m. to noon, and from 1:00 to 3:00 with additional time for other bits. She explained the show had twelve dancers, the regulars of her, Tim, Harvey, and Vicki, and their announcer, guest stars, many many costumes, a 28-piece orchestra, and elaborate dance routines. She said it was mostly filmed live before a studio audience, with a dress rehearsal, too. She thought just getting the copyright clearances today for the musical tributes and parodies would be impossible. I loved hearing about the famous sketches such as “The Family” which featured Carol as the forever cross Eunice and Vicki as the annoying mother, Thelma. The movie parodies were amusing. Who has not heard of the parody “Went with the Wind” with Carol, as Starlet O’Hara, descending the staircase wearing a curtain dress with the actual curtain rod down the back.

I hope Carol is as nice in person as she appears to be reading her book. To steal her famous sign-off: I’m so glad we had this time together.

I write this article, but I feel it belongs to all of us, so please let me know your thoughts. Until March! Read on!
Carla jo

The Braille Highway

By Nat Armeni
nat@theblindperspective.com

Hello and welcome to my February article. Valentine’s day is coming up; remember you cannot expect someone to love you if you do not first love yourself!

I want to thank everyone who submitted an email for my contest, what braille means to you. I received lots of replies, and quite honestly had a very difficult time choosing just one. I would had loved to be able to give everyone a prize. The nature of the beast is that only one prize is given. Congratulations to Chet for submitting the winning email. At the end of this article you will find Chet’s winning submission.

Below you will find this month’s article submitted by a lady whom I have admired over the years. I am sure we have all known someone who does no wrong. Well Betty Nobel was always a great role model and a wonderful braille advocate. Here is a bit of what Betty has to say regarding braille.

Braille or No Braille

I have been using braille for almost 60 years. I can’t imagine my daily life without it. I use it for labels. I use it when I have to read elevator buttons. I use it when I check the washroom door at work to make sure I am entering the Women’s. I read a book on my way to work. I check messages on my phone.

If you look at that list carefully, you will see that a sighted person uses print for all of that. And yet, there are people who think that braille is being replaced by audio. If there is no audio in the elevator, that would be of no use to me without braille. I often will read audio books, but if I need to pay attention to detail, I have to read the information in braille. If I want to chair a meeting, the agenda has to be in braille. When I write an email, if I want the spelling to be perfect and the punctuation to be correct, I have to check it in braille. It is a very tedious process to do this in audio format, but it can be done.

Because of the new digital braille displays coming on to the market, and because of the research being done on displaying more lines of braille on a display and even graphics, braille will be easier to use and there may be a resurgence in its availability. I for one, won’t give up braille until sighted people give up print. I love to play card games with my grandchildren, and I couldn’t play scrabble or monopoly with them without the braille games. If we want to fully participate without requiring assistance it is hard to do it without using braille. There are people with low vision who have the ability to read print, but they have learned braille and they use it because it is faster and more efficient. I just can’t understand people who think that braille is on the way out. Louis Braille invented a system so that people who are blind can read and write. I will not give up my literacy for anyone.

All of my life I have advocated for the use of braille. I have served on the executive of the International Council on English Braille, and on the board of what used to be called the Canadian Braille Authority but is now called Braille Literacy Canada. I will soon be passing the torch for this work to others, but I will never abandon braille. It is the essence of literacy, the foundation of my education and the education of the children and adults I have taught. I believe in using all of the tools we as blind people have available to us, but braille is the most important tool in my tool box. I hope that your tool box contains braille, too.

Here is Chet’s email:
On the surface Braille means that I, a blind person, can be what most sighted people would assume I am not: literate! And in my particular case it means a lot more.
In 1961 when I was in first grade the educators of that era wanted me to read large print, exclusively because I still had some sight, sight to which our state referred as residual, residue from what? But I digress.
My totally blind mother, armed with her high school education and a German will of iron, went toe-to-toe with the “experts” insisting that I learn Braille and print, simultaneously. My mother, as she usually does, won.
Today I can:
read in the dark; read error messages to the “techies” of the world; serve as a secretary to my sighted wife and read and upload books to my grandchildren.
What does Braille mean to me? Everything!

I enjoy receiving emails, from you the readers, so if you are so inclined to send me one do so at the email noted at the top of this article. Until March’s article, remember to stay on the dotted line of life!!

Make Your Money Work

By Munawar Bijani
munawar@theblindperspective.com

Last month, we discussed liquid assets. Recall that a liquid asset is anything that’s immediately accessible. Examples of liquid assets are hard cash, and immediately available funds in any of your bank accounts. In other words, it’s money that has a fixed value and is there whenever you want it.

This month we’ll talk about high-risk investments. Next month, we’ll complete our investment overview by talking about moderate-risk investment accounts. For these accounts, you’ll see that generally, the money you put into them will be “blocked,” meaning that when you deposit the money, you will agree to keep it in the accounts for some finite time. If you pull the money out before this time elapses, you might be charged a penalty on the withdrawal, meaning that the bank holding your account will take some of the money you withdrew and then give you the rest. And, yes, the penalties can get very, very expensive.

Moderate and high-risk investment accounts (at least the ones we’ll be talking about) are considered illiquid assets. This is because the value of money will change over time. And it will change fast.

So far, we’ve agreed that you should save $300 a month for three years and four months. But we can do better. This is where high-risk investing comes in.

So, let’s talk about growing your money by investing it. For this portion, I’m going to focus on two countries: The U.S. and the U.K. There are similarities between the two, but there are many, many different ways to invest depending on which country you live in, and writing about all of them is beyond the scope of this series. That’s a fancy way of saying “I’m too lazy and feel like the U.S. and U.K. methods will suffice for most of us.”

The most obvious way to invest your money is to put it directly in the stock market. The stock market is a collection of “shares” in a company. For example, if you buy one “share” of Google (Alphabet Inc.,) you own a portion of the company. You gain or lose money according to the per-share price of the company. So, let’s say you buy one share of Alphabet Inc. At the time of this writing, one share would cost you $809.84. On the end of the next trading day, Alphabet closes at $815.84. This means your money is now worth $815.84.

Similarly, let’s say you buy two shares of Apple at $115.97 each. That costs you $231.94. The next trading day, Apple goes up to $120.97, which means you’ve made $10.

The stock market is considered high-risk investing. Let’s say Apple instead fell to $110.97. Your $231.94 you invested is now only worth $221.94. Ouch! But the advantage to the stock market is that you have total control over where your money goes, as opposed to other funds where brokerage firms decide how to invest your money. So, while investing directly in the stock market is the option with the most risk, it is also the option that leaves you in control of how your money is invested. Also, your money will generally grow the quickest if invested directly in the stock market. On the flip side, it will also lose value the quickest if the market drops.

In the U.S., you can use a mobile app called Robinhood to trade on the stock market. The app is fairly new, and it really is worth a looksy. Robinhood let’s you trade on the market with no commission fees (meaning that they don’t take a per-trade fee from you.) I have found the app to be mostly accessible on the iPhone. They also have no minimum deposit to open an account. The only downside is that unless you’re a part of “Robinhood Instant,” Your funds transfer will take time. This means that if the market drops and you want to buy in immediately and don’t have the funds available in your Robinhood account, chances are you’ll miss the low point in the market because your transfer won’t complete for at least a week.

In the U.K., while you wait for Robinhood to expand, you can use Interactive Brokers. They charge a commission fee based on the value of your monthly trades, so they’re not like the Robinhood no-cost alternative to market trading. But fear not! Robinhood is looking to expand to the U.K., and once they do, you’ll be in business.

Here are some tips for investing. These are not definite rules, since investing in the market wisely comes with experience and sometimes talking to a financial advisor, but following these guidelines should keep your money relatively safe. Be aware that investing always comes with risk, and there is a potential for loss.
You should always research a company before investing in it. For example, if the 52-week high for a company is $90.00 and right now the per-share cost is $89.00, you might want to wait for the share price to drop a little bit before investing. If you’d like to see a table of prices over time for a particular company, go to finance.yahoo.com and enter the symbol name of the company in the “Quote Lookup” box. The table that you will get is completely accessible, and should give you a general idea of the company’s performance over time. You will also see statistics about the stock, such as current share price and today’s low and high range. If you’re using JAWS for Windows, you can pull up summary statistics for a stock by using the ResearchIt feature.
Next, look at the P/E ratio. This is the ratio of the per-share value of the company to its earnings per share, or EPS value. Effectively using the P/E ratio requires us to take many things into account, such as the amount of time the company has been around, and its size. But what you should generally pay attention to is a negative P/E ratio, a P/E ratio of zero, or a P/E ratio that is undefined or one that “does not exist.” All these situations indicate that the company isn’t earning any money, and is probably not a good investment opportunity.
Finally, take note of the dividend yield. This number indicates how much you get paid for holding shares in a company, and is the ratio of the dividend to the current share price. So, if we have the dividend yield and the share price, we can see how much we will get every year from the company by multiplying the dividend yield by the current share price, aside from any positive gain we’ll get by the stock price going up.
For example, let’s say you invest in Apple, whose stock symbol is AAPL. At the time of this writing, Apple has a per-share price of $117.16, and its dividend yield is 1.95%. This means you get 1.95% return every year. To translate this into dollars and cents, let’s do the numbers:
x / $117.16 = 1.95% per year. Therefore…
x = 1.95% per year * $117.16 per share is equal to…
x = 0.0195 * $117.16 = $2.28 per share per year
So for every share of Apple that we own, we will get $2.28 in dividends every year.
Some companies, like Google, don’t offer dividends, so you will see N/A for the dividend yield ratio.

There are also stocks that are meant for investors to collect dividends. These stocks don’t fluctuate much, but pay high dividends and are relatively secure. Low and high dividend stocks have implications of their own. Just because a company is offering a high dividend doesn’t mean we should definitely invest in it. Some companies will offer high dividends simply to attract investors and drive up the value of their stock.

If you’re using the JAWS ResearchIt feature, your screen reader will pull data from Google Stocks. Instead of giving you the divident yield ratio, Google will show you a “Div/yield” field. In the listing for Apple, Google shows this: Div/yield 0.57/1.95.
The first number is the annual dividend divided by how many times a year you get paid. Apple pays $2.28 per share every year, and they do this by paying $0.57 per share every quarter (2.28 / 0.57 = 4).
The second number is the dividend yield–the percentage we talked about earlier.

What’s next for us? If you’re like me and can’t really stomach direct trading because of the risk involved, next month I’ll show you some less risky investment opportunities. The downside to many of those opportunities is that they will require minimum deposits, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. We’ll talk about IRAS and ISAs (don’t worry–I will explain what these mysterious abbreviations mean,) and soon enough you’ll have the tools to secure your financial future. The advantage to what we’ll be covering next month is that your money will essentially be auto-invested for you. So, unlike direct trading, a brokerage firm will handle most of the numbers for you. There are two types of funds we will cover: exchange-traded funds and mutual funds. These funds abstract away many of the details of the stock market and are generally considered safer than direct trading.

Once we’re done talking about investment opportunities, we’ll discuss things like loans and credit cards (per reader request); and when to borrow and when not to borrow. And, as always, we’ll do the numbers!

Are you bored yet? That’s ok if you are. I consider this article (and the next one) optional. If you’ve met your savings goal (and chances are that if you’re a new saver, you haven’t met your savings goal,) only then should you consider further investment opportunities. So don’t be discouraged if I lost you 19% of the way through the article. High level investing is where the majority of us drop off, because it takes years to get to this point. What you should do is save this article and next month’s article. When you’re ready to go beyond a savings account, these two articles will help you get started.

We discussed the difference between liquid and illiquid assets. With respect to stocks, we discussed some guidelines for investing, and we learned about the P/E ratio and dividend yield. Next month, we’ll look at lower-risk investment opportunities such as mutual funds.

If you have any comments on this article, you can Email me at my address above.

Kaleidoscope of Krafts

By Lindy van der Merwe
lindy@theblindperspective.com

I recently came across some macramé patterns I had compiled some time ago. I will be sharing two of them with you for this month’s article and hope to share some more later in the year.

For some background information on macramé and another project similar to those below, you can go to the April 2015 article where I shared the pattern for “the Twist and Turn Knotted Bracelet” at: April 2015 Craft Article
Editor’s note: Press the letter H (for headings) until you come upon April, and you will find this information.

As a quick reminder, you can use almost any type of material for your cords, including yarn, rope, leather, satin, twine, embroidery thread, and the list goes on. One material that has recently become quite popular to use is called t-shirt yarn. Basically, it is fabric that has been cut into long, thin strips that are rolled up into balls. I find fabric or t-shirt yarn quite pleasant to work with. It is fairly soft and stretchy, though it will stay in shape once knotted or braided into a bracelet or necklace. It can be washed and is normally available in many bright colors from craft or fabric stores.

You might think that the square knot is the only knot used in macramé. Although it is used a lot, there are, in fact, many different types of knots and countless variations in how they are used. Apart from different knots, there are also many different ways to use braiding to create interesting designs.

For the two projects below, you will need any type of cord, scissors, a clipboard or alternatively, some kind of tape or a safety pin to anchor your work to a stable surface. A tape measure is handy, but you could also just estimate the length of your cords. And Beads or buttons are optional.

Tip: When trying to find cord to use, feel the texture of the cord, taking care to check its thickness, elasticity, its coarseness and pliability. We all have our personal preferences, but keep in mind that if you are a beginner, it might be best to work with cord that is not too thin or soft, but that will still hold the knots well. On the other hand, cord that feels stiff and rough to the touch might not be easy to work with.

If you would like to use beads or buttons, make sure that they have holes large enough to fit over one or two of the cords you will be using. The texture of the cord is especially important if you will be wearing it as a bracelet or necklace. It should not scratch or irritate your skin in any way.

Keep in mind that the directions below are simply guidelines to follow. You could vary the length and amount of cords used as well as change or mix different patterns and types of materials or knots to make bracelets, necklaces, belts, straps and more.

1 INTERLACED Braided BRACELET WITH 4 STRANDS

You will need two cords, each at least 1 and a half m or 60 inches in length. Alternatively, spread your arms open and point each hand to the side. Cut two cords that will stretch from the fingertips of one hand to the other.

Step 1: Take the cords and fold them in half. Slide a bead or button onto the cords until it is at the top center of your folded cords, or make an overhand knot at this point if not using a button or bead. Mentally number your cords from left to right as 1 to 4.

Step 2: Take cord 4 and bring it to the left, over cord 3, then under cord 2 and over cord 1. Cord 4 will have moved from the very right to the very left of your work. Pull cord 4 a little upwards and push it out of the way or secure it on the left side of your work in some way.

Step 3: Starting at the right again, repeat Step 2. Each time, your cord on the right will move over, under, over and then remain on the left-hand side of your work.

Step 4: Repeat this pattern 8 times, or more from the right side only. Add some beads at regular intervals if preferred.

Step 5: End with an overhand knot, then leave a space just large enough for your bead, button or starting knot to fit through, and end with a final overhand knot.

Step 6: Add a bit of clear glue to the last knot and cut the ends off if necessary so they look neat and let them dangle.

Tip: Keep your hands as near as possible to where your braid is forming. You will have much more control over what you are doing and it will be easier to keep track of your braiding.

2 Lovely Loopy Necklace

This pattern uses the simple overhand knot we all know to create a delicate lace-like design. The overhand knot is made by forming a loop with one or more of your cords and then simply pulling the end of the cord through this loop. This design will let you add a charm or centerpiece since it is worked from the center towards the two ends of the project.

You will need four cords, each at least 1 and a half m or 60 inches in length. Alternatively, spread your arms open and point each hand to the side. Cut two cords that will stretch from the fingertips of one hand to the other.

Step 1: Take the cords and fold them in half. Slide a bead, charm or any type of centerpiece onto the cords until it is at the top center of your folded cords, or make an overhand knot at this point if not using charms or beads. Separate your cords into two groups with 4 cords on the left and 4 on the right.

Step 2: Working with all 4 left-hand cords first, make an overhand knot an inch or so from the center bead, charm or knot. Pull the knot tight only once you feel its position is correct. Make sure to pull on all 4 cords to make your overhand knot neat and tight.

Step 3: Next, make another overhand knot, but only using 2 cords this time, another inch or so from the previous overhand knot.

Step 4: Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the left half of your project, spacing your knots as evenly as possible, alternating between tying all four cords and then only two cords.

Step 5: Starting from the center again, now working with the 4 cords on the right-hand side, repeat steps 2 and 3 with the four cords on the right.

Step 6: Check the length of the bracelet or necklace and also that you have the same amount of knots on the left and right side of the center of the project.

Step 7: Add some beads at regular intervals if preferred, attaching them to at least two cords at a time.

Step 8: End with overhand knots on both sides. Holding them together, wrap a piece of cord around all 8 cords to cover both knots and secure with some clear glue. Alternatively, simply tie all the cords together, cutting the ends to look neat and let them dangle.

Tip: Remember that using different colors can add a lot of interest to your knotted or braided articles. To help you keep track of colors, try making small knots or placing some elastic bands or sticky tape, at the bottom of your cords or wrap some of them with pipe cleaners before starting the project. Another idea would be to use different textures in the same project. For instance, you could use a white leather cord together with a blue satin cord.

If you would like to learn more about macramé, go to: www.freemacramepatterns.com
This site has a wealth of information with fairly good descriptions and directions for making all kinds of objects using macramé techniques.

If you have any questions, ideas or crafting tips to share, you are always welcome to contact me at my address above. Until next time, happy crafting.

Spencer’s Spotlight

By Cheryl Spencer
cheryl@theblindperspective.com

Do you have Echo fever or are you like me and just have a slight temperature elevation and long for the Dot? Well, the Amazon Echo is not new, it has Benn around for a couple of years now but up until recently, I haven’t heard much about it or shown much interest in pursuing one. The high price tag was one reason I never considered looking into the Echo. Well, Amazon solved that problem by releasing a much smaller, but still powerful version of the larger Echo called the Dot.

a friend of mine told me, “you don’t know it yet, but you are going to get one.” I thought to myself, sure I will.. Well, it was during the Christmas season and Amazon being one of my favorite shopping sites, and the app is pretty amazing and almost too easy to use according to my wallet, I tapped on the icon. The first thing I saw, was the deals of the day. Guess what, the Dot was on sale for$39.99. I Thought to myself, well, hmmm, I have been known to pay more than that for dinner out on occasion. So, I ordered two, one for me and one as a gift for a friend.

The set up was a bit tricky and because I am a button pusher, I had unknowingly muted the voice. so when I called Alexa, she ignored me. I chased my tail for a while about that, until I pushed yet another button. Then low and behold, yeah! She responded. Set up was successful.

If you are not familiar with the Echo or the Dot, the Echo is about the size of a Pringles can, and has, I believe, about 7 microphones on it so it can pick up your voice from anywhere in the room. The sound from it is mind boggling. however, having said that, there is no way to hook it up to an external speaker if you wanted to expand the sound. the Dot is about the size of a hockey Puck, and the sound is pretty darn good considering its size. It does have an auxiliary jack to connect to an external speaker to boost the sound.

The Echo and Dot connect to Alexa, a cloud-based voice service, to provide information, answer questions, play music, read the news, check sports scores or the weather, and more. All you need to do is ask. It would be a shorter list to tell you what she does not do than to list all that the Dot does. the list of skills is impressive and there is something to make just about anyone happy.

The Echo & Dot can even control smart home devices so you can open or close the garage door, switch off the lamp before going to sleep, or turn on the fan or space heater while relaxing in your favorite chair, without lifting a finger or raising your voice.

For those learning braille or just wanting to have a quick refresher, there is the braille challenge. Enable the skill, ask Alexa to open the braille challenge, and answer five related braille questions.

You can stay up to date by asking Alexa “Alexa, do you have any new features?”

When the Dot went on sale the second time, I decided to get members of my family one so they could share in the fun.

It would not surprise me if in future versions of the Dot or Echo, a cloud of smoke will rise from it and the face that appears will look amazingly like Barbara Eden.

Computer Tech 101

By Jim Morgan
jim@theblindperspective.com

I’ve heard that, as one gets older, the memory is the first thing to go; I forget what the others are. I was recently asked a question by the benevolent dictator we fondly call “The Editor” and I simply can’t remember whether or not I’ve talked about this before or not. Since I don’t keep my past articles and don’t have the patience to go looking through the archives, I’m going to talk about it anyway. My apologies if I’m retreading on old ground.

Madam Editor wanted to know about playing MP3 files on her Digital Player. This, believe it or not, works somewhat well due to the quality of the speaker components in the Players. Granted it’s not as good for going from title to title, but it does work. I first need to stress a caveat. It is to make sure your Player firmware is up to date. For those that don’t know, the firmware is the operating system of the Player. You’re looking for Version 2.1.7 with a date of October 24, 2011. If you’ve received/replaced your Player since then, don’t worry, it’s up to date. To check the firmware version, with no cartridge or Flash Drive in the Player, turn on the Player and hit the sleep key, it feels like a crescent moon, about 10 times very quickly. It will then announce the player serial number and other things, including the Firmware version. You can stop it by hitting any key.

Now then, there are two schools of thought here. One way is to only have MP3 files on the cartridge or flash drive. The same conventions for using folders with books apply here. As an example, I have a flash drive with a described version of the movie “jaws” as well as the first season of the Outlander TV series on Starz and two books ripped from CD’s. The movie is just a file by itself, the series is in a folder called Outlander, and the books are in two folders in a folder with the Author’s name (just like all my other books). Of course, the movie is first since it is first alphabetically and the same folder conventions used for books work with MP3 files. Since that’s all there is on the drive, I need not do anything special to get them to play.

The other method is to combine DAISY books and audio. If you’re going to do this, you need to create a folder called “Audio+Podcasts” and put all the mp3 files, folders too, into this folder and have the books in their various folders as normal. The reason for this seems to be that the Player has a “one track mind” when it comes to file formats. The folder in question “forces” the Player to realize that there’s something other than DAISY books here.

Just so we’re clear here, Any MP3 file, be it a Podcast, Music file, TV/Movie audio, etc., is fair game for playing on the Digital Player. I’ve only used the Advanced Player but believe that it will work on a Standard Player too; you just don’t have the navigation features that an Advanced Player does.

As a further example, a few years ago, I took a trip to Yellowstone. This necessitated long car rides. I’d taken my various flash drives of books but used the blank cartridge I have for Music files. I was, therefore, able to listen to music as well as my books while in the car.

If you’d like to know how to check the Firmware version/date of your Player, please let me know and I’ll see about getting the procedure for you. It’s just a matter of holding down certain keys while you turn the Player on. If you need to update the Firmware, the current Firmware, as well as instructions for updating, is available for download from BARD. It’s on the main page near the bottom.

In addition to that, if you have any other questions about this or any other topic, please send me a message and I’ll try to respond ASAP. I know this one was short, but it’s a “short” topic. Happy Computing!

Making Your House a Home

By Jackie Waters

Vision impairment can happen suddenly or gradually over time. When a loved one begins to suffer from loss of sight – whether from injury, medical complications, or age advancement – it can seem like an insurmountable challenge. While vision loss is certainly a serious issue, there’s no reason for it to create an undue burden on those suffering and those who care for them.

One of the first steps you can take is to make sure your loved one’s living space is both safe and comfortable. By making some simple home modifications, you can make the house feel like a home again.

One of the easiest ways to make a home friendlier for someone with visual impairment is to make sure things are well-lit. It may sound obvious, but providing better lighting in rooms, hallways, and staircases is the first thing you should do to accommodate your loved one. The American Foundation for the Blind also recommends that light should not only be abundant, but focused on the work they are doing – not directly at their eyes.

The AFB also points out that it’s not just about lighting. Contrast within the home is also important. Examples of this include color contrast between doors and doorknobs, doorframes and walls, and even tables and other furniture with its immediate surroundings. But contrast is not always good for those with visual impairment. Some things to avoid in your home include bold or bizarre patterns, which can be disorienting. Mirrors that catch light and cause glare can also be a problem.

Safety is the number one concern when it comes to modifying your home for a visually-impaired loved one. It’s paramount that you make sure that all pathways in the home are clean and clear. Anything that could possibly impede them is a safety hazard. The average home is full of bumps and trips waiting to happen. Some major things to think about include uneven flooring – whether it’s thick rugs or small ledges between rooms. Low hanging lights can prove to be a hassle, as can tables and chairs that jut out into pathways.

Another good tip for safety in mobility involves the outdoors. Don’t forget about the yard or garden! Plants, shrubs, trees, and grasses must be properly maintained in order to avoid trips and scrapes.

Of course, all modified houses should include handrails and grips wherever necessary – especially in potentially slick rooms like the bathroom and kitchen.

Speaking of the kitchen, it could be the room of the house that needs the most attention. Not only is kitchen accessibility vital for living with independence, it also contains some of the greatest hazards in the home – sharp objects and high heat. Devices like fill level indicators, chopping devices which lessen the need for delicate knife work, and talking timers can all make life easier for the visually impaired. There are a handful of sites that specialize in such products.

Labeling is also important – in medicine cabinets, bathroom, and wardrobes – but especially in kitchens. Depending on your loved one’s level of impairment, various methods can be used to label containers and ingredients. Try colored stickers or even textured surfaces.

Think about your home. How easy is it to navigate in dim light? How about in the dark? Understanding how you move around your home on an everyday basis is a good first step to figuring out how you can improve it for a visually-impaired family member. Many of these improvements are inexpensive, so a little thought can go a long way. With the right modifications, you can assure that your home is safe and comfortable.

Resources:
http://www.afb.org/info/low-vision/living-with-low-vision/creating-a-comfortable-environment-for-people-with-low-vision/235
https://www.redfin.com/blog/2016/04/the-ultimate-guide-to-home-accommodations-for-persons-with-disabilities.html
http://www.homecrux.com/2014/03/03/12431/quick-tips-remodel-home-visually-impaired.html
https://www.magnifyingaids.com/Kitchen_Aids
http://www.lowvisionchef.com/

Cooking Concoctions

By Maxine
maxine@theblindperspective.com

Here is a slightly sweet treat to have after your Valentine’s Day dinner. And for those counting calories, one slice is about 300 calories. So indulge and put on some toppings too!

Chocolate Pound Cake

Ingredients:
1 cup butter
5 eggs
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy
add eggs, mix well
Sift together dry ingredients and add alternately with milk, mixing well
Add vanilla and blend together
Pour into 10-inch tube pan
Bake for 1 hour and 25 minutes

Top with strawberries, raspberries, whipped cream, or ice cream if desired

Riddle & Brain Buster

Riddle

By Alex Smart
alex@theblindperspective.com

What belongs to you, but is used more by others?

Answer to January’s riddle
Why are televisions attracted to people?
Because people turn them on.

Brain Buster

Sam Swiftly
Fill in each blank with an adverb ending in L Y, to complete the sentence in a punny way. The first letter of the answer has been provided.
Example: A’s, e’s, I’s, o’s and u’s aren’t the only vowels, said Sam (wisely.)

*You woke me up to serve the navy men rum, said Sam G.
*I’ll make you Folger’s coffee right away, said Sam I
*Let’s get this no good model T started, said Sam C
*Let every lady now touch her partner, said Sam G
*I hereby give everyone one thousand dollars, said Sam G

Answer to January’s brain buster
*Dragon, fruit, sacrifice; fly
*grab, hand, tea; bag
*pill, soap, suggestion; box
*alley, pole, copy; cat
*watch, corn, bull; dog
*snake, cock, arm; pit
*home, bull, test; run
*pea, dough, chest; nut
*broad, drive, fair; way
*tight, bitter, dead; end

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