January 1, 2013
As Out-Of-Sight approaches the date of our fifth anniversary on January 16th, 2013, we are launching this monthly newsletter to attempt to connect in a greater measure with our membership. We hope that the various sections that will be included in this informative newsletter will give a better understanding to our members just what Out-Of-Sight is all about.
We want to not only make you aware of what is available on our site on a daily basis in the way of fun and challenging games, varied interesting events and presentations, but, to also strive to keep the blind and visually impaired community abreast of the many things that are going on around the world that will either enhance or hinder our lives now and in the future.
We trust that this monthly newsletter will be informative, and will help make it possible for us to become better acquainted with one another. If there is anything else you would like to see included in this format, please contact us with your suggestions at:
To navigate quickly to the different articles in this newsletter using JAWS or Window Eyes, press the letter H to move through the headings.
· Congratulations to Hugh Gillis for becoming a great grandfather, for the 7th time, on November 1st. Little Jackson Arthur is just as cute as can be!
· We hear that Mark Dew purchased an iPhone 5, and loves it! Perhaps, you can teach us a thing or two about it, Mark!
Debi Black will be heading out for a week long cruise in the
· All paws up for our buddy Franklin Johnson, who just got back from guide dog school with his newest best friend, Snyder! Go puppy power!
Mister Fixit and his wife will be travelling to
Got any news for us? We would love to hear what is going on in your world, so please keep us up to date and write to:
We look forward to sharing your news with our extended family, here on Out-Of-Sight!
Help us celebrate our January Birthdays:
January 3, MISS TEE - Teresa Fleenor, from
January 12, Catt - Trina Casada, from
January 13, Shut Up Delete - Mike Edwards, from
January 15, Sunshine Girl - Sharon
January 20, Mister Fixit – Mike, from
January 23, DrummerBoy23 – Rishi, from
Please help us build our birthday list, by sending your Username, first and last name, date of birth, (year optional), and where you live, to: firstname.lastname@example.org
By Karen Santiago
Ronny, also known as, Cobra, from
We would like to extend a special welcome, to our blind brothers and sisters from other lands. Whether you have been a member for a long time, or recently joined, we are glad you are apart of our community, and we look forward to learning more about you and your culture. Welcome to Out-Of-Sight! Here is a sampling of the countries represented outside the United States on our site:
By Charles Rivard
For several years now, Karaoke has swept the nation. Sing along with a recorded tune for all to hear! It does not matter whether you are good or bad at it, it is the feeling of being in the spotlight for a short moment of fame! It is all in good fun for both the performer and the audience.
Unfortunately, unless you already know the lyrics to a particular song, a blind person does not have much of an opportunity to be one of the quote, stars of the show, end quote.
Well, how about the opportunity to share your talents with an online audience? If you do not sing, you can recite poetry, tell an entertaining story, or play the musical instrument of your choice, solo, or along with a file on your computer!
This is exactly what you can do if you join us every Saturday, at 8:00 PM eastern time in the On Stage chat room. Please do not be shy. It is really fun! And, if your talents lie elsewhere, performers do need an audience, so there is your opportunity to be entertained by those who choose to perform!
What you need as a part of the audience, you already have. Your PC, the chat client, and a microphone. As a member of Out-Of-Sight, you already have them. To perform, you need a sound card that will permit others to hear what comes from your PC over The Net, the instrument or whatever you will be using, and, if any, the file you are going to perform along with. That is it. Some people pre-record their performance, while others do it right there, live, on the spot.
We would love to have you participate, either as an audience member or a performer. Depending on the number of performers, the show lasts for roughly 2 hours! Whether you have, or have not previously done so, please join us for some great, and fun entertainment!
Do you love to curl up with a good book? Been meaning to read that best seller? Here are two of our book club selections. They are to be read for our next book club meeting, which will be held, Friday, January 18th at 8:00 PM eastern, in the Library. See you there!
The Cat Dancers
Deutermann, Peter T. Reading time: 16 hours, 1 minute.
Read by Jim Zeiger.
Mystery and Detective Stories
A soccer mom, her
child, and a cashier are killed during a botched minimart hold-up. The two
crooks confess but are freed on a technicality. When the pair is abducted,
Cutting The Stone
Verghese, A, (Abraham). Reading time: 21 hours, 24 minutes.
Read by Mark Ashby.
Click to Download Cutting for stone: a novel
Locking the Key on the Site
By Charles Rivard
This comes up so often, I thought it would be a good idea for the first tech tip. There are a few ways to do this, and I will give three.
Method one is probably the easiest. This works on some machines, but not all. First, make sure the chat room window is in focus. Next, press Alt L. If you hear the bleep sound, you have been successful. Keep in mind, if you do not hear the bleep sound right away you may be in the queue. Your microphone will become active when it is your turn to talk. Remember to make sure the chat room window is in focus and then press Alt L to unlock the key.
Method two is a little more involved, but not too much so. It, as far as I know, works on all machines, so it is really a better option. Here are the steps:
1. When in the chat room window, press your Alt key to get into the menus.
2. Right arrow to the Actions menu.
3. Down arrow to, Lock Talk Key.
4. Press Enter.
5. After the bleep begin talking.
6. When you are finished talking, repeat steps 1 through 4.
Method three, once set up, works from anywhere. Once it has been set up, you can lock and unlock the microphone with one keystroke. Here are the steps:
1. When in the room, press the Alt key to get into the menus.
2. Right arrow to the Options menu.
3. Down arrow to, Configure Talk Key.
4. Press Enter.
5. The radio button for Single Key Mode should be checked. It is the only radio button.
6. Tab once to the combo box. These options, which you can up and down arrow through, are what key will be used to activate your microphone normally.
7. Tab once and you will find two radio buttons. Global should be the one checked, so that you can activate your microphone from places other than in the chat room window.
8. Tab again, and go past the OK button and the Cancel button. You will come to a list of keys that you will want to select to lock and unlock your microphone from windows outside, or inside, the chat room. My choice is the Pause button. Check that one.
9. Now, shift tab to the OK button and press Enter. You will be notified that you have to restart the chat client to have the change take effect. Do so, and you're done.
Now, put this tech tip to good use, and come to our On Stage event and show! Your! Stuff!!
By Karen Santiago
Each month, the On Your Own segment is dedicated to providing tips and techniques to making your daily life easier and safer. I have decided to start with a safety technique that, had I used, would have prevented two serious accidents from occurring.
When bending down to get something, it is best to bend with your knees and not at your waist. This will prevent your head from moving forward. However, if you have sore, or weak knees and must bend at the waist then, put your arm out in front of your face. The best way to do this is with your arm out about six inches from your face, elbow pointing downwards (at a 45 degree angle), your palm should be facing out, and in front of your face. Another tip with regards to bending down, if you like, is to wear a baseball cap. The brim of the cap will hit an object before your face does.
So, please if you do not already use this technique, do so, in order to prevent any accidents from happening to you.
If you have a question about how to do something easier, or in a safer way, please email your query to:
By Kate Dolosa
New Victor Reader Stratus digital players
from HumanWare and AIS!
This is a new desktop model that plays CD and DVD disks, SD cards, and USB thumb drives.
Here are some specifications:
Built in clock
Stream softpak included
Excellent built in speaker with plenty of
You can download a demo from Humanware by clicking this link:
Submitted by Alan Dicey
Vision: Restoring Implants that Fit Inside the Eye:
A coming generation of devices promise clear, high-quality vision for the blind.
By Megan Scudellari, on December 4, 2012.
A coming generation of retinal implants that
fit entirely inside the eye will use nanoscale
electronic components to dramatically improve vision quality for the wearer,
according to two research teams developing such devices.
Current retinal prostheses, such as Second Sights Argus II, restore only limited and fuzzy vision to individuals blinded by degenerative eye disease. Wearers can typically distinguish light from dark and make out shapes and outlines of objects, but not much more.
The Argus II, the first bionic eye to reach
commercial markets, contains an array of 60 electrodes, akin to 60 pixels, that
are implanted behind the retina to stimulate the remaining healthy cells. The
implant is connected to a camera, worn on the side of the head that relays a
A similar implant, made by Bionic Vision
Recognizing this limitation, both Second Sight and Bionic Vision
Smaller materials do have the possibility of giving higher-resolution images, says Shawn Kelly, a bioengineer at
The company has already tested a prototype in pigs, and it worked beautifully, Gefen says. They are now building a human prototype that should improve on both the quality and the number of electrodes, potentially reaching up to 5,000.
Our target is to get to 20-20 [vision], says Gefen. I am sure we can get there. The company hopes to enter clinical trials within two years.
Another team, this one at the
Nanowires are perfect for eyes, says Khraiche. They capture light well and are tiny. He presented details on the device at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in October. The team is currently testing it in rabbits.
Nanotech implants hold a lot of promise for future applications, says Kelly, who is not involved with either group, but they have to be designed carefully. For one thing, he says, there are safety concerns about applying nanomaterials directly to the retina, and there will need to be ongoing studies about how long a nanotech-derived device can safely survive inside the body.
By Charles Rivard
Exercising Your Dog
Dog Guide schools used to say that you should walk at least a mile every day with your dog guide. This was to keep their training at a high level and to keep them in top physical condition. If you had a very energetic guide, it also unleashed, (pardon that pun), pent up energy.
Some people, particularly those who do not use a dog guide, still stick to this philosophy. Even worse, they seem to demand that people walk their dogs more often than they do.
Guide schools, when interviewing a person who is going to apply to get a guide dog, ask you how much traveling you do on a regular basis. They do this for a reason: It is a determining factor as to whether you need an active or a not-so-active guide. The dog you are matched with is to meet your needs, and not the other way around. Therefore, it is not necessary for you to change your daily schedule based on whether you use a dog guide or a cane.
So, while it is a good idea to walk your dog, the key factor is your schedule. If you work 40 hours a week, and your dog just lays around the office all day, you were probably given a dog who is more laid back and who doesn't mind laying for long periods of time. This dog would not need to be walked nearly as much as a more active puppyish dog. If you are a college student who has to get from room to room on a spread out college campus, and do so in a hurry, your dog is probably one of those more active puppies that have a lot of energy. Your dog should match your schedule. It is important to let the interviewer from a dog guide school know enough about your daily routine so that a good match can be found, resulting in a well working team between you and your dog.
By Kate Dolosa
A new release in the iWorld Technology recently is, iTunes version 11, which seems to work well with most adaptive technology, especially the Mac. Below are some useful keyboard shortcuts to help you in navigating the new released version of iTunes. Quick tip:
Mac users use the Command key, and Windows users can use the Alt key in place of the Command key.
Space Bar: plays and stops the selected song
Command + left or right arrow: plays previous and next songs
Command + up or down arrow: Increase or decrease volume
Command + shift + H: go to iTunes store home screen
Command + 1: Displays the Music section
Command + 2: Displays the section Movies
Command + 3: Shows the section of TV Programs
Command + 4: Shows the section of Podcasts
Command + 5: Displays the iTunes U section
Command + 6: Shows the section of Books
Command + 7: Shows the section of Apps
By John Chatfield
Do you have Medicare or Medicaid health insurance? If so, you may be one of the many people who have questions about these programs. Perhaps, you are not sure whether you are taking full advantage of them. Maybe you are not sure about your eligibility and would like to get personalized information. Sometimes problems need to be resolved.
There is an excellent source of help. It is called SHIP, which stands for The State Health Insurance Assistance Program. It is described on the SHIP website as quote, a national program that offers one-on-one counseling and assistance to people with Medicare and their families. Through federal grants directed to states, SHIP programs provide free counseling and assistance via telephone and face-to-face interactive sessions, public education presentations and programs, and media activities, end quote.
I am a volunteer counselor in
Every state has a SHIP program, but they are called by various names. To find a SHIP counselor in your state, use the link:
Or email me at:
email@example.com to assist you to find your SHIP. If you have suggestions or questions regarding Medicare or Medicaid that you would like the newsletter to address, please contact me, John Chatfield at the above email address.
By Kate Dolosa
Audio description in theaters are surely increasing nationwide, and still more and more theaters are trying to install the necessary technology to offer this service to their blind and visually impaired customers. The cost of installing this technology is decreasing, because of new equipment coming along that would handle descriptions for digital cinemas. With digital, everything (movie, multiple sound tracks, captioning), are all delivered in something called the Digital Cinema Package (DCP), which any company can access through common standards, so the competition is increasing and the cost of installation is decreasing.
When you pay for your movie ticket, ask for an AUDIO DESCRIPTION headset; but make sure it is for audio description, not amplified sound for people who are hearing impaired!
Upcoming New Releases with Audio Description in January:
Broken City, from Twentieth Century Fox Films (CC/DVS) January 18 release date
Monsters, INC. 3D from Walt Disney Studios (CC/DVS) January 18 release date
Recent Releases with Audio Description (December Release Date)
Les Miserables, from Universal Pictures (CC/DVS)
Playing for Keeps, from Film District (CC/DVS)
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, from Warner Bros. Pictures (CC/DVS)
Zero Dark Thirty, from Sony Pictures (CC/DVS)
Amour, from Sony Classics (CC/DVS)
Life of Pi, from Twentieth Century Fox Films (CC/DVS)
This is 40, from Universal Pictures (CC/DVS)
Untitled Judd Apatow Comedy, from Universal Pictures (CC/DVS)
The Great Gatsby, (CC/DVS)
By Suzy Barnes
1 package Doritos
4 chicken breasts, cooked and diced, about (4 cups plus)
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 can Rotel Tomatoes
8 ounces sour cream
2 cups shredded cheese
Crush Doritos, and cover bottom of buttered
baking dish. Mix all but cheese, and add
to baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese,
and bake in 350 degree oven for 25 minutes, until bubbly.
You can top with extra crushed chips and return to oven for an additional 3 minutes.
This recipe is easily halved; using only one can of soup.
Enjoy, and best dishes!
By Alan Dicey and Trevor Motion
On Thursday Afternoon, December 13, one of our most dedicated Zilch game Players, a good friend to us all, a wonderful, cordial gentleman, and a delight to be around, known to us simply as Trevor, from that beautiful city of Thames, New Zealand, won his first game of this quarterly Zilch Tournament, winning a spot on the Out Of Sight Zilch Wall of Fame!
I subscribe to the
History Channels website, and receive a daily email called, This Day in
History. Coincidently, I noticed that on
this same date December 13, in 1642, Dutch navigator Abel Tasman, sighted
With this very strange Coincidence in mind, the Out of Sight Zilch Games players were so shocked and stunned, (I mean delighted), at Trevors win, we sent a News Reporter and camera crew (fictional) to interview him and here is the transcript from that interview.
The Reporter and camera Team that came to interview me on Thursdays Zilch Game arrived in Thames early Morning, Saturday 15th, NZ Time and Date, and will be Staying at the Best Western Motel, and are here at my Place just in time for Lunch. I am happy to meet them!
Charles, The Oklahoma
Tornado in the Zilch games, just does not know what he is missing by not coming
We got some Beer here that he has never tried, and He would have just raved over, and wanted not to drink any other Beer. In fact we have two Beers he would have loved. They are, firstly, Coromandel Gold Beer, and Spates. No that is not what my handle Coromandel Gold was named after. I will tell you the story some day.
Then in 1769, Captain James Cook, rediscovered
Then in 1835,
my Ancestors, John and Mary Motion arrived in
Grand Dad and Gran, were married in 1921, after Grand Dad obtained a Divorce from his first Wife, and it was Gran who brought up Grand Dads Four Children by his first Wife. So my Dad grew up around the Coromandel Peninsula, and Met my Mum in Hamilton during World War 2, and they were married in January 1946, and so along came my Sister Muriel in 1947, Colleen in 1950, followed by me, Trevor in 1953, and then Dianne in 57, and Ross in 1961.
And there you have it!
Great Great Grand Dad John was here before the Treaty was
signed and the Motion Family was well established before
There is quite a lot
on my Family history, but it would take a Book of many Pages to
write about it, for originally Part of my Family came from Scotland,
around St Andrews, and during that period of the 1300s Part of the
Family went to Live in France, and on up past the Madam Guillotine
Era, and change Family Name to, Montrose, and later some
returned back to Scotland, reverting the Name to Motion as it was before
the Lot that went to France, changed it to Montrose. The lot still in
And they thought a Kiwi winning Zilch, was just the Icing on the Cake!
Submitted by Debi Black
1. American Council of the Blind (ACB)
Internet Reading Service
4. Future Forms (Braille Paper)
Each month, we will showcase 5 blindness related websites that we hope will be useful to you. If you have any suggestions for this section, please write to:
By Lee Richards
January 16, 2013 will be another milestone for Out-Of-Sight.net. This date will be the fifth birthday celebration for our site.
On January 16, 2008, Out-Of-sight.net was established, providing an internet location where blind and, visually impaired individuals, along with their sighted friends would be warmly welcomed into a caring and loving family setting. Our site has strived for these five years to provide educational experiences, fun and challenging games, technology presentations, and other special events, as well as the opportunity every day to meet and chat with people from around the world.
We want to invite everyone to join us on this very special birthday which will be celebrated on the fourth Saturday, January 26, 2013.
The festivities will start at 12:00 PM eastern, and will continue throughout the remainder of the day. As you read this, our staff and members are in the process of planning a wonderful and memorable day for all of us.
Everyone is welcome so please come and join us for this anticipated event.
1. A sun dial is a timepiece that has the fewest number of moving parts. Which timepiece has the most moving parts?
2. All the information you need to solve this mystery is here.
Fred and Ethel are dead on the floor. There is broken glass and water on the floor. How can this be?
Please submit the answers to these brain teasers to:
We will let you know if you are correct, and if so, we will publish your name in the February newsletter. Have fun trying to solve these puzzles!
Submitted by Katie Chandler and Karen Santiago
Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.
By Mother Teresa
This New Year, give resolutions a break. Take one day at a time. Each day brings new hopes and opportunities. Grab them as they come to make your New Year happening and fulfilling.
Here is your mission, should you choose to accept it.
We sincerely hope you enjoyed this first edition of our monthly Out-Of-Sight newsletter, and need your input in choosing a fitting name that represents the submissions within. Below, are some examples already put forth by our newsletter team. Please choose one of the suggested names, or submit your own newsletter name, and send it to:
We thank you for your submissions!
1. News and Views
2. Blind Info
3. OOS News
4. News and Visions
We would like to thank the dedicated members of the newsletter team, who worked tirelessly to make this newsletter a success! Thank you for your articles. Thank you for your research and thank you for making this really cool idea come to life!
If you would like to receive our daily announcements and schedule of events, please select the following email link.
That is all there is to it! You should receive a daily announcement from us within 24 hours. These announcements not only highlight the schedule of the day, they provide important information about any cancellations, new events, or special messages from our hosts or board members. Stay informed with our daily announcement!
Stay tuned for our monthly newsletter, which will be coming out on the first of every month. We look forward to your input and suggestions for future newsletters. Please submit your questions, comments, or article submissions to
Catch the vision--it is Out of Sight!