Out-Of-Sight News and Views
March 1, 2013
With this third issue in this new endeavor for Out-Of-Sight, I hope that you will again thoroughly enjoy the varied articles and tidbits that are contained within this present issue. The Newsletter staff is working very diligently each month to provide all of us a newsletter that will hopefully have something for everyone to enjoy
On behalf of the management of Out-Of-Sight, I want to extend the warmest welcome to the many new members that have been frequenting the site recently. Along with our veteran members, I want to encourage new members to take advantage of the weekly Meet and Greet events where you will have the opportunity to meet several of Out-Of-Sights friendly family and be able to have some of your questions concerning our site Answered.
Our desire is that this monthly newsletter will continue to 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.
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 March birthdays:
March 3, Tenderly – Tracey
March 20, JFKTN – Jerry Kidd, from
March 24, Tina – Tina Combs,
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: email@example.com
By Karen Santiago
I had the pleasure of interviewing Lee, that is Lee from WV recently. Lee is one of the original group of individuals who helped establish Out-Of-Sight and has been an active member since its beginning over five years ago. He served as a member of the Board of Directors for the first 21 months, and was asked by the board to finish out the three months remaining in the term of the presidency following the untimely death of Bruce Riddle, Out-Of-Sights first president. He has served in that capacity for a little over three years now, being reappointed yearly by the Board of Directors. His responsibility is to oversee the daily running of the site, governed by the guidelines set forth by the board. He enjoys meeting and getting to know the diverse members from all over the world and has forged friendships, which he has no doubt will last a lifetime.
Lee attended college with the aspiration of being an elementary school teacher, but, ended up becoming an Evangelist and Pastor for the past 39 years. He has served in his present position as Pastor for almost 15 years. His philosophy of life is best summed up in the words of a song that says, quote, If I can help somebody as I am passing by, then my living will not be in vain. End quote.
By Charles Rivard
This is not a lot different than the very popular TV show. This version of Jeopardy can sometimes be hard to play, and easy at other times. It all depends on the categories. Here is how its done. Two teams try to outscore each other, rather than individuals. Choose a category and an amount, the higher the amount, the more difficult the question. Here is the difference, though: Instead of giving the answer, you supply the question that would fit the answer you are given. For example, the category is “fun for the Blind. The amount you have chosen is $200. the answer is, quote, The best chatting and gaming sight we are all familiar with, which features a Front Porch and a Game Zone. End quote. You would supply the question, which we all know would be, quote What is www.Out-Of-Sight.net? End quote. The game consists of 2 rounds, Jeopardy, and Double Jeopardy. Due to time constraints, there are 3 categories in each round, instead of 6. There are 5 amounts in each category, 200, 400, 600, 800, and 1000. Somewhere among these is a, quote Daily Double. End quote. When picked, that team can wager any or all of the score they have accumulated. They cannot pass. In the second round, Double Jeopardy, the amounts are doubled, and there are 2, quote Daily Doubles end quote, to find. On each question, the team choosing from those remaining has 1 minute to discuss what they think the answer is, and the team captain either gives the final answer or delegates the duty to a teammate who gives the final answer, or they pass to the other team. If passed, no penalty is incurred by the passing team. If they guess wrong, the point value is deducted from their score. If a question is passed, the other team has 30 seconds to discuss, the answer is given by either the team captain or another team member if the captain decides, or they pass with no penalty incurred. The point value is deducted from their score if the answer is wrong. Very Important!” Remember the twist! The response must be given in the form of a question! After Jeopardy and Double Jeopardy comes the Final Jeopardy round. There are 2 categories with 1 question in each. The team with the lowest score gets to choose which category they want to try. The team with the highest total then must make their bet on the other category, ranging from $1 to all they have. Then the other team wagers. Kathy gives them each their answer, and they have 2 minutes to come up with the appropriate question. They cannot pass. Then, she tells them the results and the scores are tabulated to see which team wins. This is a great trivia game, and it is loads of fun! So, come and join us every Wednesday at 9:15 PM eastern, in the Game Zone, to play this challenging game!
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, March 15th, at 8:00 PM eastern, in the Library. See you there!
Gone Girl: A Novel
Author Gillian Flynn.
Reading time 17 hours, 55 minutes.
Read by Erik Sanvold.
Suspense Fiction. Best Sellers.
and Amy alternate telling the story of their troubled marriage, their move from
Author Noah Boyd.
Reading time 9 hours, 55 minutes.
Read by Ray Foushee.
Steve Vail has worked as a bricklayer since being ousted from the FBI for insubordination. Now, deputy assistant dicotr, Kate Bannon needs Vails particular skills to stop a group called the Pentad, which is hell-bent on disgracing the bureau. Violence and some strong language. 2010.
Why Blind Friends are Important
By Debi Chatfield
Please feel free to write in with your comments and experiences about the article below. We would also appreciate other articles for this section, and will publish them on a space available basis. Please keep the article length to under 800 words. Send your articles to:
Plain and simple, my life would be so drastically different if I had not had the benefit of having other blind people in my life. I grew up as a sighted person and did not begin losing my vision until I was around the age of 18 and enlisted in the Air Force. Over the years, my vision has steadily decreased, and now I am just about totally blind at the age of 53. Having blind friends and acquaintances has been invaluable in my life and growth as a blind person. I met the majority of my blind friends through my affiliation with the National Federation of the Blind back in 1989. I have to admit, though, that at that time, I really wanted nothing to do with blind people. I felt that I was not, quote one of them end quote. But, after a while, I began to realize that they seemed to do certain tasks with ease, and even though I had a lot of vision at that time, I was having difficulty with the methods I chose to accomplish the same tasks. The difference was that I was depending on my vision, but they had discovered alternative techniques, which were more efficient.
Throughout the years, these friends and I have shared so many experiences together, and they have become an extended family. We have laughed together, shared tears, participated in fund raising events together, worked on making our lives better through our advocacy at the local and state level, and have had fun together at many social events along the way. Through all of these activities, we bond together. We exchange information, and we grow.
I also am a part of 2 other groups of blind
people that have forever changed the course of my life through the friendships
and bonds that we share. On October 10,
2010, myself and 12 other blind people hiked rim to
rim in the
I also am very active on a free voice chat site for the blind called, www.Out-Of-Sight.net. Myself and 26 other blind friends began this site over 5 years ago. Each day, we meet and either play interactive games, discuss books in our book club, receive computer help, sing or play an instrument in our, quote On Stage, end quote, event, learn about the iPhone and other I Devices, play chess, get cooking tips, discuss the pros and cons of using a guidedog, or choose a host of other events that occur on the site on a weekly basis. The members on this site have really become an integral part of my life, because I talk to at least some of them on a daily basis. The site has grown so much over the 5 years, and the more members that join, the more opportunity there is to learn and grow.
In each of these 3 groups of blind people that I associate with, there is no pressure to quote fit in, end quote. We speak the same lingo. We all immediately share a common bond, and have an understanding and a camaraderie with each other right away. I find that when I am with my sighted friends, there is always a sense of being, quote excluded, end quote, to some degree. This happens in many forms. Sometimes subtle, and occasionally blatant. I know my sighted friends have good intentions, and don’t mean to hurt my feelings, but their words, insinuations, and actions can definitely be hurtful at times. Please don’t misunderstand, I love my sighted friends, but I must say, I am more, quote comfortable, end quote, when interacting with my friends who are blind.
Especially now, since I have experienced such a significant loss of vision, I find myself leaning on my blind friends for support even more. Many of them have been through the same path of loss, and it is comforting to seek their guidance. In the same way, I also help others who are just new to blindness or who are new to the organizations, in which I belong. I cannot imagine how my life would have been not having the support of other blind people in my life. Many have been role models. Many have been good friends. Some have been a resource for information, and others have just been individuals I have read about. But, they all have contributed to my life, and helped me grow and deal with my vision loss
When I think back on what I knew about blindness 24 years ago when I first joined the NFB and compare it with what I know today, my whole perspective would be entirely different had I not had the influence of others who are blind in my life. I know my perception of what blindness is would have been very negative. I would have mirrored the societal expectations of what blind people are, and can do. I would not have had the fortitude to stand up for myself or to advocate for others. I would have believed the misconceptions of how others viewed me. I would not have had any positive role models to guide me in dealing with my vision loss. Basically, I would not have had the benefit of knowing what the real truth about blindness is, and conversely, what it is not. My life would have been limited, and my opportunities bleak.
Thank goodness for the National Federation of
the Blind for positively shaping my views on blindness. Thank goodness for my blind teammates who
encouraged me to keep striving for the top of the
Safety Tips for the Kitchen
By Karen Santiago
Here are some safety tips and techniques to use when working in the kitchen:
If you have some great tips and techniques to share, please send them to:
firstname.lastname@example.org so we can share with others.
By Kate Dolosa
The next generation of this amazing Daisy and
Audio player has finally arrived. With
its new sleek and smaller design, combine with many new features of the new
Smaller and Better! The new
One of the new coolest features of the
Here are some of its new features:
· Supports up to 32GB removable SD cards and external USB flash drives.
· Read books from DAISY libraries: NLS, Bookshare, and Learning Ally.
· Enjoy books and music from iTunes.
· Play text documents with built-in text-to-speech from Acapela.
· Replaceable battery recharges via your computer USB or USB AC adapter
· Built-in speaker and headphone jack
· Self-voicing controls
· Read at your pace by controlling playback speed
· Key describer announces the functions of each key
· Free software updates over wireless network
So, do not let this wonderful new addition to Humanware products slip by. Visit their website now, and grab one at:
Submitted by Alan Dicey
President Obama and the First Lady have long been committed to ensuring that the White House is truly the People’s House, and that Americans with disabilities are fully integrated into our society. Today, continuing on that commitment, the White House Visitor’s Office is pleased to announce the availability of an audio description for those taking a White House tour. This will give blind and visually impaired Americans and persons with other print disabilities the opportunity to listen to an audio described tour as they visit the historic, public rooms of the White House. The audio tour features welcoming remarks from Mrs. Obama followed by a room-by-room audio description of the highlights and features of the White House. This is just the latest step in the Obamas’ work to make the White House more open and accessible - from surprising visitors on public tours , to welcoming nearly 3 million visitors to the White House for Residence tours, the annual White House Easter Egg Roll , Fall and Spring Garden Tours, State and Official Arrival Ceremonies and White House Kitchen Garden school group tours, to partnering with the Google Art Project so millions more can take a 360-degree tour of the White House from their computer .
The audio tours are only available on MP3 players that will be provided by the White House to those requesting the audio tour. The players must be requested at the time the request for a tour is made through a Member of Congress, and will be available on a first come, first serve basis. Individuals must return the MP3 players at the conclusion of their tour.
Information about White House Tours:
Public tours of the White House are currently available and requests must be submitted through your Member of Congress. These self-guided tours are available from 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Fridays, and 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Saturdays (excluding federal holidays or unless otherwise noted). Tour hours will be extended when possible based on the official White House schedule. Tours are scheduled on a first come, first served basis. Requests can be submitted up to six months in advance and no less than 21 days in advance. You are encouraged to submit your request as early as possible as a limited number of spaces are available. All White House tours are free of charge. (Please note that White House tours may be subject to last minute cancellation.)
If you wish to visit the White House and are a citizen of a foreign country, please contact your embassy in
For more information on tours, please go to:
Kareem Dale is Special Assistant to the President for Disability Policy, and Ellie
Schafer is Special Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Visitors Office
Raising the Woof!
By Charles Rivard
There has been a debate for years about whether or not dog guides should bark. I will present both sides of the issue, and you can make your own decision.
In general, dog guide schools train their dogs from puppyhood not to bark. They feel that the dogs should be guides, not guards. Lots of people do not like to have barkers, because they live in apartments where the noise of a dog barking might bother the neighbors. The schools also feel that once a dog knows it is okay to bark, they bark all of the time, and this can occasionally get out of hand.
The other side of the coin is that if a person lives alone, or not in a good neighborhood, they will feel safer with a dog that will bark at potential intruders. A dog that barks also alerts a person that someone is at the door. It is also a dog’s nature to bark when it feels in danger, or wants to go outside. Barking is their main form of communication. Not allowing a dog to bark is like not allowing a child to speak. As for a guide not being controllable when it comes to barking, I have had four German Sheperds, and I currently have a yellow Lab. Three of my sheperds would bark on command, but the other two dogs would not. But, all of my dogs would bark if necessary, and would quit when instructed to do so. I have never felt that this issue is a problem. This is due to good training when they were puppies, and continued reinforcement while they were my guides.
Facetime and its Possibilities for Blind Users
By Kate Dolosa
Have you ever seen this feature on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch and did not have any clue about what it is, and how to use it? Facetime is a built-in video calling feature that comes with your iDevices. You have the ability to video call anybody in the world who has an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch with just a double tap. Facetime does not use your cellular minutes if you are using an iPhone. It uses your WiFi connection and data if WiFi is not available.
Now, you are probably asking why should you be interested in video calling when you cannot see the people on the other end? I have asked that question myself too, but I saw the potential of Facetime when I heard some awesome stories from other facetime users.
Here are some of the possibilities with this amazing app:
These are only a few of the possibilities on how you can use the Facetime app on your iDevices. Let us all take the adventure in discovering other useful ways we can utilize this app. If you would like to share some stories about your Facetime adventures, or hear others relive theirs, join us every 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month, at 6:00 PM eastern, in the Learning Center for our iPhone Discussions. We look forward to hearing those stories from you, and sharing ours with you as well.
American Council of the Blind Conference and Convention
When: Thursday, July 4 through Friday, July 12, 2013
Hyatt Regency Hotel
Room rates for singles and doubles: $89 plus tax
For more information, go to:
National Federation of the Blind National Convention
When: Monday, July 1 through Saturday, July 6, 2013
Rosen Centre Hotel
Room rates for singles and doubles: $79 plus tax
For more information, go to:
When: Thursday, July 4 through Sunday, July 7, 2013
500 Leisure Lane
Room rates for singles and doubles: $69 plus tax
For more information, go to:
Creating a Signature Block
By Debi Chatfield
Join me at:
A free voice chat site for the blind
“Catch the vision! It’s Out of Sight!”
The above Signature is an example of how we can spread the word about our site to all of our family and friends through our email! Any time you compose an email, forward and email, or reply to an email, a message like the one above can be seen by the people receiving your emails.
Why not send a message about the events and resources we offer through your email Signature to promote our site? I personally went through my entire
Outlook Express address book, and sent emails to everyone I could to spread
the word. It is also helpful to put information about our site onto
any listservs or announcement lists you might have access to as well.
Creating a Signature is very easy, so why not give it a try, and let's do
all we can to continue to help our site grow and make it an Out Of Sight place to be!
Here are the instructions for creating a signature block at the end of an
email using Windows XP and Outlook Express. If you are not using Windows XP
or Outlook Express, look around in your email program, and you will most
likely have a similar capability for the look of your emails.
1. Open up your Outlook Express email program
2. Press the alt key
3. Right arrow to Tools
4. Press enter on Tools.
5. Arrow up to Options.
6. Press enter on Options.
7. Control Tab to the Signatures Page.
8. Tab to the New button.
9. Press enter.
10. Type the message that you would like, in order to promote the cruise.
An example is the one I created above.
11. Tab to the Apply button
12. Press the space bar to check the box to add Signatures to all outgoing
13. Tab once and Press the space bar if you would like to have your message
included with forwards and replies. This is optional.
14. Tab to apply., and press enter.
15. Tab to okay, and press enter.
16. Double check you have correctly done this process by sending yourself a
test email message.
Upcoming Releases with Audio Description
By Kate Dolosa
Jack the Giant Slayer, March 01 release.
Stoker, March 01 release.
Dead Man Down, March 08 release.
Oz: The Great and Powerful, March 08 release.
Arthur and Lancelot, March 15 release.
Croods, The March 22 release.
Now Playing with Audio Description:
Identity Thief, from Universal Pictures/
A Good Day to Die Hard, from Fox Searchlight Pictures.
Beautiful Creatures, from Warner Bros. Pictures.
Seventh Son, from Warner Bros. Pictures.
DVD Releases with Audio Description:
Monsters Inc., (Ultimate Collectors Edition).
The man with the iron fist.
Paranormal Activity 4.
Mexican Chicken Casserole
Contributed in memory of November – Jo Wilson
4 Boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, (3
- 4 cups, cooked)
1 can, 10.75 ounces, Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 can, 10.75 ounces, Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
1 can, 10 ounces, Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies, mild or hot
1 package, 10 count, Flour Tortillas
2 cups, Shredded Cheddar cheese
Boil chicken until cooked through. Drain and cool. When cool enough to handle, shred apart. In large bowl, combine chicken, both soups, and tomatoes. Mix well. Tear, or cut tortillas into fourths. In large baking pan layer tortillas, then chicken mixture and cheese. Repeat until chicken mixture and cheese are gone (best if top layer is cheese). Bake at 375° until cheese is melted and hot.
This submission is not to be taken seriously. It is just for fun! If you would like to submit a question for Miss Betty Blunt to answer, please write to:
She may or may not answer your question seriously, and she may or may not give you the answer you were hoping for, but one thing is for sure, you will get a good laugh out of her witty, bold, and blunt advice. She will often make comments that we all wish we could say, but are just too afraid to make. So, send in your questions, and let us see if she can help you with your relationship issues. Only your initials and city and state will be used.
Dear Betty Blunt,
Any advice on how to start an online dating profile?
Dear Curiously Optomistic,
Yes! It’s so easy these days. There are many free and low cost sites out there, narrowing one down is the only hard part. But. once you do, the next step is simple. BE HONEST. If you are looking for something casual and not serious, just say that on your profile. Others will appreciate that! Then, create a mini bio that includes your hobbies, your interests, and a description of yourself. Can’t think of how to brag about yourself? That’s easy too! How would your peers describe you and your personality? Add that to your profile and you’re almost done. Last step, check back every couple of days and see who’s interested in you. You’ll know this when you receive an email, a wink, a flirt, or a nudge from someone. Each site is different. Be sure to reply back to the one’s that interest you and get to know them. Review their profile, get a sense for what they’re looking for and see if your personalities gel. Take it slow, no need to meet, IRL, (meet in real life), the minute you join. In no time, you’ll be a pro at online dating!
Submitted by Debi Chatfield
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 Mike R. and Charles Rivard
Thank you to everyone who submitted answers to last months brain teasers. Many of you were very close, but close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades! So, for those of you who are curious, here are the February brain teasers and their answers:
1. I am a protector. I sit on a bridge. One person can see right through me, while others wonder what I hide. What am I?
2. A man is sitting in a pub feeling rather poor. He sees the man next to him pull a wad of $50 bills out of his wallet. He turns to the rich man and says to him, quote, I have an amazing talent. I know almost every song that has ever existed. end quote. The rich man laughs. The poor man says, quote, I am willing to bet you all the money you have in your wallet, that I can sing a genuine song with a ladies name of your choice in it. End quote. The rich man laughs again, and says, quote, Okay, how about my daughters name, Joanna Armstrong-Miller? End quote. The rich man goes home poor. The poor man goes home rich. What song did he sing?
Answer: Happy Birthday Joanna Armstrong-Miller
Now, for our super duper March brain teasers! Can you solve these? Lets see who has their thinking cap on! Will it be you?
2. In our house, we have a clock that chimes the number of hours. For example, 8 times at 8 o clock, 10 times at 10 o clock, and so on. It chimes once every quarter hour. The other day, I came into the house. A few minutes later, the clock chimed once. 15 minutes later, it chimed once. 15 minutes later, it chimed once. It chimed once 15 minutes later, once again, 15 minutes later, once 15 minutes later, once 15 minutes later. What time was it when I first heard the clock chime?
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 April newsletter. Have fun trying to solve these puzzles!
Submitted by Katie Chandler and Karen Santiago
Quote. Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending. End Quote.
Quote. I have never hated a man enough to give his diamonds back. End Quote.
Zsa Zsa Gabor
Thank you! Thank you! We cant say it enough! We appreciate the time and effort it takes for our hosts to create the fun, challenging, and informative events and games we enjoy each and every day! Thanks for providing us with hours and hours of entertainment, and a way to fellowship with each other!
And, of course, thanks goes out to you, our extended family on Out-Of-Sight! You participate and spend your time getting to know one another on the site. Without you, there would be no need for programming, no need for special activities, and no need to even have a site. So, thank you very much! Thanks for making this community an Out of Sight place to be!
No, this is not Craig’s List, but it is the next best thing! If you have something to sell, or important information to share, send us your ad, and we will post it, as long as there is space available in the newsletter. Send your ads to:
If you would like to receive our daily announcements and schedule of events, please select the following email link.
Or, send a blank email to:
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 distributed 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!”