Greetings from Our president
Word on the Street
Guess Who Just Took another Trip around the Sun
Our Out-Of-Sight Superstar
Using the Victor Reader as an Audible Teleprompter
The Book Shelf – 2 selections
North - Interesting Facts about
From Our Kitchen to Yours – Our Very Own Cookbook
Geek Gossip – iDevice Firmware Update Findings
By Tricking the Brain, Disney is Bringing Digital Sight to the Blind
Healthy Choice, Healthy Living – How to Sleep Better
Access to Prescriptions – The Digital Audio Label
Rethinking Equality on Disabilities and Employment
The Latest Research – Implanting a Tooth into the Eye
A Puzzling Puzzle – Hi Q
And Survey Says
Dear Betty Blunt
The Recipe Box – Pork Chops and Citrus Rice
Did You Know? – Random Facts
Words to Live By
A Round of Applause
What is happening on Out-Of-Sight?
Summer is gone and fall is quickly passing. I can hardly believe that it is already November.
Thanksgiving and even Christmas are right around the corner. Again our news letter editor, using the contributions of Our Out-Of-Sight family, has put together another excellent edition of News and Views that will, as usual, have something for everyone.
Take the time to read this informative and entertaining issue and feel free to pass it along to all of your friends. Be sure to invite them to come and join our Out-Of-Sight Community family and be a part of all the games and activities that all of us enjoy. As always, if you know of anything else you would like to see included in this type of format, send your suggestions or contributions to:
To navigate quickly to the different articles in this newsletter using JAWS, System Access, or Window Eyes, press the letter H to move through the headings. For MAC users, press Control Option Command plus the letter H.
Get well soon! Franklin Johnson has been in the hospital recovering from knee surgery. He is now in a nice rehab unit. We wish you a speedy recovery!
plans! Kaye Zimpher will be travelling
Brenda S. created a You Tube video asking viewers the question if iOS7 is Making You Sick? This video was featured on NBC. Way to go Brenda!
Roger landed a role in a play called, You Cannot Take it with You. The play begins in late January, and Roger plays a Government Man! Break a leg Roger!
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:
Help us celebrate our November birthdays:
By Karen Santiago
Thanks to everyone who wrote in with your suggestions about who should be our Member of the Month for November! There were several names put forth, and it was a difficult decision as all of the candidates are members who deserve this recognition! Unfortunately, only one member each month can be the recipient of this honor. Keep those submissions coming, because we recognize a member for each month. So, without further ado:
Congratulations to Roger Khouri for becoming our November Member of the Month! Now, here is a bit more about our friend, Roger.
Yes, Roger, also known as Rodent is Our Shining Superstar this month. When asked how he got the name Rodent he said that there was no particular reason. He just said he liked it, and that is what it is. However, after interviewing and learning so much more about him, I think there are many more words I could use to describe Roger, but Rodent, it will remain!
Roger grew up in
In 2003, Roger became a member of the City of
In 2010 Roger had decided to run for city
council again. However, he heard of a medical research program that was being
It was in 2011 that his love for drama was rekindled. Throughout high school, Roger had enjoyed performing in the school plays. He had been seeing many of his friends on stage, acting in different roles, and he wanted a piece of the action. So being the go getter, he started researching where the plays were, and setting up auditions. In 2012 he landed a role in A Christmas for Carole. It was a suspense comedy, in which he played a banker. Recently he auditioned for a part in a movie. Well he got a small part as a defense attorney. This movie, Daughter of the King will be released on DVD in January. Also in January, Roger is acting as a government man (G-man), in the comedy play You Cannot Take it with You. Roger also has experience behind the scenes, as an assistant sound technician in the play Belles. When asked if he prefers behind the scenes or on stage, he said that he enjoys both.
If work and acting roles is not enough, Roger also volunteers. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus and he volunteers at a local hospital. Since 2001, Roger has donated blood just about every two months for the Canadian Blood Services (CBS). He has also been serving as the President of the Canadian Council of the Blind for the past 2 ½ years.
Believe it or not, Roger still has time for fun. Some of the things he likes to do are to hang out with his friends, engage in good discussions, go for walks, and work on his yard. Roger is also into woodworking, and he built his own shed! He just started the sport of curling, and will be taking up swimming lessons again.
It was through word of mouth that Roger heard of, Out-Of-Sight three years ago. Roger is the one who is credited with bringing Zilch to Out-Of-Sight. If you remember, Roger was a highly motivated and engaging host with his disco music playing in the background! Although Roger told me that he never thought of himself as a game host. It moved, excited, and motivated him to be the best host he could be. It was Roger who taught me the game, and eventually interested me in becoming a Zilch host as well. He never expected the game to be as popular as it is now. So, Zilch warriors be sure to thank Roger for the game of Zilch on OOS!
Roger does a lot for Out-Of-Sight, but you may not know that because it is behind the scenes stuff. He helps other hosts with research and questions for their games. If a fill in host is needed, Roger will help if available. Roger also writes articles for the monthly newsletter, and for the OOS announcements. For the past two years, Roger co-hosted the Out of Sight auction, and did a fine job.
Roger sees himself as a server of the blind community, both near and far. It is evident that Roger is very compassionate about helping all people. He says that there are both pros and cons to this. He has great leadership skills and knowledge, and people recognize this which is quite humbling. However, people want him to serve on their committee or board. If he served on all the committees and boards he would be spread too thin. When asked what he likes on OOS, Roger first said picking on his fellow London Ontarian, Ron. But seriously, Roger likes word games, and engaging in good conversation with the fined group of people that can be found on the site.
Note --Stay tuned for a Veterans Day - Remembrance Day program that Roger is planning for Monday, November 11th at 8:00 PM eastern in the Out-Of-Sight Presents room.
If you would like to send Roger a message of congratulations, or recommend someone for our December Member of the Month, please write to:
We look forward to your suggestions in selecting our next Out-Of-Sight Superstar!
By Bruce Gardner
Reprinted from www.BlindHow.com
This audio file below is a 40 minute
presentation by Bruce Gardner titled Public Speaking and
As a brief background, in several division meetings at the 2013 NFB National Convention, I demonstrated using the Victor Reader Stream as an audible teleprompter for public speaking and reading fluently aloud. Later in the week, I conducted a workshop containing a complete explanation, and tips for success, on how to use the Victor Reader Stream as an audible teleprompter.
That workshop was recorded, and the recording was posted here on blindhow.
As a result of positive feedback and questions received, I have prepared an enhanced presentation. The enhanced presentation explains just how easy it is to use the Victor Reader Stream as an audible teleprompter for 1) public speaking, 2) reading fluently aloud to others, and 3) reading to oneself for personal comprehension. The enhanced presentation has now been posted here in place of the original workshop.
I strongly encourage everyone to listen to the enhanced presentation, and learn just how easy it is for anyone (including those who did not learn Braille as a child, and therefore cannot read Braille fluently aloud) to develop the ability to give public speeches, read fluently aloud, and read to oneself for personal comprehension, using the Victor Reader Stream as an audible teleprompter.
I believe that countless blind and visually impaired individuals could greatly benefit from this alternative technique for reading aloud. Please share information regarding this presentation to anyone you think might benefit.
If you have any questions or comments, you can reach me at:
Click below to listen to the 40 minute presentation and demonstration.
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, November 15, at 8:00 PM eastern, in the Library. See you there!
Dead Run: The Murder of a Lawman and the Greatest Manhunt of the Modern American West
Author: Dan Schultz
Reading Time: 10 hours, 38 minutes
Read by Arthur Morey
the 9 year hunt for 3 cop killers, after
Author: Michael Crichton
Reading Time: 11 hours, 31 minutes
Supernatural and horror fiction
Unemployed computer programmer, Jack Forman, stays home with the children while wife Julia works at a firm developing “molecular manufacturing” or nanotechnology. Hired as a consultant, Jack discovers that an experiment has gone horribly astray and that escaped swarms of tiny robots are feeding off flesh. Strong language and some violence. Bestseller 2002.
By Roger Khouri
The two official languages of
Nearly one-fourth of the worlds fresh water is in
There are approximately 2 million
The longest river in
Almost half of
Ships sail inland on the St. Lawrence
River from the Atlantic Ocean to the
The most northern highway is located
longest border between two nations is the one between
The most northern permanent
settlement in the world is Alert,
By Karen Santiago
I am pleased to be putting together an Out-Of-Sight cookbook. In order to make this cookbook a success I need your recipes. I am looking for all sorts of recipes such as, appetizers, soups, main/side dishes, and desserts. It would be great if you could include a short story about the origin of the recipe, or what makes this recipe special to you. If you could follow the below format, that would be much appreciated:
Origin, why is it special to you:
Please email your favorite recipes by November 30th to:
By Charles Rivard
The following article deals with the recent update to the firmware of iDevices. For information on what you must do before getting this firmware update, see the article in the October News and Views newsletter.
An update to iTunes must be done before downloading and installing the firmware upgrade. Beware that if you do not like the firmware upgrade, once you get it, there is no reverting back to iOS6.
A PIN must be created during initial setup. PIN is used when turning the phone on and when unlocking it. A security feature, through the use of iCloud, has been added. A password must be entered or the phone is useless, even if all data has been erased by a would-be thief. Also, after the firmware has been updated, when you connect your iPhone to your computer using a USB port, and you boot the PC, you will get a message on the iPhone that asks you whether you want to trust this computer. If you select the trust button, the data can be accessed using the PC. If you select not to trust this computer, the data will not be shared. Although the use of a PIN is a good feature, you can avoid it by skipping this step during the setup process.
One major drawback to this firmware is that the touch screen is too touchy. You can repeat the last gesture by approaching to within a few millimeters of the touch screen. For a blind person, although frustrating, it can be handled, and will hopefully be addressed in future tweaks to the firmware. As of version 7.0.3, released on October 22, this has been completely fixed.
App switcher is better. Now, to close, running apps, all you have to do is to do a 3 finger swipe up. The running apps disappear from a vertical listing as you do this, so you can quickly repeat the gesture until all apps are closed. Then hit home to close the app switcher.
Things have been moved around and relabeled, mostly for the better.
SIRI has been expanded and tones improved. There is now a female and a male voice for SIRI, selected from within the settings.
Premium voices can now be downloaded and chosen.
The most frequently changed settings can quickly and easily be changed such as airplane mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, do not disturb, lock orientation, brightness.
Media controls: track control when playing music.
Applications can be manipulated in the lower section of the control center.
iTunes Radio: A new free feature of iOS7. Located in the music app as a tab. Featured Stations (selected by Apple). In the settings for this feature, you can globally select whether to filter explicit tracks. You can buy the currently playing tune from the iStore. You can add the song to your wish list. You can rate the song and select whether to never play the song or play similar songs. You can search for and add stations to your list of favorites based on genre or artist. When choosing a new station, it gives an audio sample by playing short clips of what is played on that station.
Block feature is also new. You can block or unblock people from calling, messaging or face time. From the recent area, in the more section, in any of the 3 apps, or from within the settings for either, this can be done.
When working with folders, you can only have 9 apps per page; however, you can have 14 pages within 1 folder. So, you can have up to 126 apps, arranged on pages of 9 apps each, arranged in a 3 by 3 grid.
When using the phone, note that the delete button is now near the top rather than down in the bottom right corner. Also, as you delete digits, when all have been deleted, the delete button disappears. This is a nice feature.
Overall, I think this is a great update, and suggest that you go ahead and get it.
Submitted by Dean Pedersen
By Jennifer Booton
The iconic media company that brought you Fantasia and the aspiring magician Mickey Mouse now has a nifty trick of its own: bringing digital sight to the blind.
New technologies being developed and studied by Walt Disney Company are expected to add new dimensions, literally, to touchscreens. Think screens that not only look, but actually feel 3D.
Disney researchers in
Quote, The brain will be fooled into thinking an actual physical bump is on a touch screen even though the touch surface is completely smooth, end quote, said Ivan Pouprev, director of Disney Research, Pittsburgh Interaction group.
The digital gears turning on a digital clock might feel rigid to a user, a piece of digital paper might not only feel but write like normal on a glass screen, while the dips and valleys of a topographical map would come to life.
For the visually impaired, new developments in haptics could improve the way they interact with the digital world, enabling them, for example, to feel, not just listen to navigation on a map.
Think what this could offer to a blind child watching a cartoon movie in the theater for the first time. They would be able to connect new characters to their silly voices instantaneously, an ability people with sight might take for granted.
Seeing by Feeling
Teasing the brain into feeling the edges and textures of flat digital objects could open the door to a range of new apps that enhance e-commerce, video and education.
This would also add to the slew of technologies already available, like VoiceOver for Apples iOS, that help the blind better navigate todays complex digital world. Technological advancements from Apple and Android have allowed blind people to partake in new developments in ways originally not thought possible.
Quote, iOS and Android really did change tech in a fundamental way so we were able to use these technologies at the same time as the new versions were being developed and coming out, end quote, says Paul Schroeder, vice president of programs and policy at the American Foundation for the Blind.
Now, he says, many blind people can use touchscreen devices just as well as people with sight.
Adding new tactile features such as those being explored by Disney and other companies, including startup Tactus, would only add to that, allowing them to use touchscreens even more efficiently and enhancing everything from the way they learn and consume media to how they navigate in real time.
How it Works
Using an electrovibration to change friction, Disney can artificially stretch the users skin as their finger glides laterally across the touchscreen surface, giving the sensation of “rich, immediate and dynamic” touch on complex digital items in real time. The technology would attract and release the finger from the touch surface, producing friction-like rubbery sensations that allow the user to physically interact with virtual objects, Disney explains.
Haptics is nothing new, but the media conglomerate says its algorithm-based discovery, unveiled through a white paper this week, offers an innovative, inexpensive and lightweight technology that could be quote, easily integrated, end quote into popular touchscreens.
How these haptics are developed into real world applications will depend on the creativity of app developers and programmers, notes Roger Kay, president of Endpoint Technologies. However, Schroeder says groups all around the world are already trying to figure out ways to use haptics to benefit the blind. Being blind himself, he has some great ideas of his own, including the cartoon movie and navigation examples above. Of course, Disney is confident the rich palette of tactile sensations brought to life by this, will inspire enhancements to existing apps while triggering entirely new ones.
For the media giant, haptics could be intertwined with its treasure trove of content, adding new layers to its 3D experiences and augmenting its educational games and theme parks.
Secrets to Getting Good Sleep Every Night
Well planned strategies are essential to deep, restorative sleep you can count on, night after night. By learning to avoid common enemies of sleep and trying out a variety of healthy sleep promoting techniques, you can discover your personal prescription to a good nights rest.
The key, or secret, is to experiment. What works for some might not work as well for others. It is important to find the sleep strategies that work best for you.
The first step to improving the quality of your rest is finding out how much sleep you need. How much sleep is enough? While sleep requirements vary slightly from person to person, most healthy adults need at least eight hours of sleep each night to function at their best.
How to Sleep Better: Tip #1: Keep a Regular Sleep Schedule
Getting in sync with your bodys natural sleep-wake cycle, your circadian rhythm, is one of the most important strategies for achieving good sleep. If you keep a regular sleep schedule, going to bed and getting up at the same time each day, you will feel much more refreshed and energized than if you sleep the same number of hours at different times. This holds true even if you alter your sleep schedule by only an hour or two. Consistency is vitally important.
Discovering Your Optimal Sleep Schedule
Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone controlled by light exposure that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin production is controlled by light exposure. Your brain should secrete more in the evening, when it is dark, to make you sleepy, and less during the day when it is light and you want to stay awake and alert. However, many aspects of modern life can disrupt your bodys natural production of melatonin and with it, your sleep-wake cycle.
Spending long days in an office away from natural light, for example, can impact your daytime wakefulness and make your brain sleepy. Then bright lights at night, especially from hours spent in front of the TV or computer screen can suppress your bodys production of melatonin and make it harder to sleep. However, there are ways for you to naturally regulate your sleep-wake cycle, boost your bodys production of melatonin, and keep your brain on a healthy schedule.
Increase Light Exposure during the Day
Boost Melatonin Production at Night
How to Go Back to Sleep
How to Sleep Better: Tip #3: Create a Relaxing Bedtime Routine
If you make a consistent effort to relax and unwind before bed, you will sleep easier and more deeply. A peaceful bedtime routine sends a powerful signal to your brain that it is time to wind down and let go of the days stresses.
Make Your Bedroom More Sleep Friendly
Reserve Your Bed for Sleeping and Sex
If you associate your bed with events like work or errands, it will be harder to wind down at night. Use your bed only for sleep and sex. That way, when you go to bed, your body gets a powerful cue: it is time to either nod off or be romantic.
Relaxing Bedtime Rituals to Try
How to Sleep Better: Tip #4: Eat Right and Get Regular Exercise
Your daytime eating and exercise habits play a role in how well you sleep. It is particularly important to watch what you put in your body in the hours leading up to your bedtime.
If You Are Hungry at Bedtime
For some people, a light snack before bed can help promote sleep. When you pair tryptophan-containing foods with carbohydrates, it may help calm the brain and allow you to sleep better. For others, eating before bed can lead to indigestion and make sleeping more difficult. Experiment with your food habits to determine your optimum evening meals and snacks.
If you need a bedtime snack, try:
You will also sleep more deeply if you exercise regularly. You do not have to be a star athlete to reap the benefits, as little as 20 to 30 minutes of daily activity helps. And you do not need to do all 30 minutes in one session. You can break it up into five minutes here, 10 minutes there, and still get the benefits. Try a brisk walk, a bicycle ride, or even gardening or housework.
Some people prefer to schedule exercise in the morning or early afternoon as exercising too late in the day can stimulate the body, raising its temperature. Even if you prefer not to exercise vigorously at night, do not feel glued to the couch, though. Relaxing exercises such as yoga or gentle stretching can help promote sleep.
How to Sleep Better: Tip #5: Get Anxiety and Stress in Check
Do you find yourself unable to sleep or waking up night after night? Residual stress, worry, and anger from your day can make it very difficult to sleep well. When you wake up or cannot get to sleep, take note of what seems to be the recurring theme. That will help you figure out what you need to do to get your stress and anger under control during the day.
If you cannot stop yourself from worrying, especially about things outside your control, you need to learn how to manage your thoughts. For example, you can learn to evaluate your worries to see if they are truly realistic and replace irrational fears with more productive thoughts. Even counting sheep is more productive than worrying at bedtime.
If the stress of managing work, family, or school is keeping you awake, you may need help with stress management. By learning how to manage your time effectively, handle stress in a productive way, and maintain a calm, positive outlook, you will be able to sleep better at night.
Relaxation Techniques for Better Sleep
Relaxation is beneficial for everyone, but especially for those struggling with sleep. Practicing relaxation techniques before bed is a great way to wind down, calm the mind, and prepare for sleep. Some simple relaxation techniques include:
How to Sleep Better: Tip #6: Ways to Get Back to Sleep
It is normal to wake briefly during the night. In fact, a good sleeper will not even remember it. But if you are waking up during the night and having trouble falling back asleep, the following tips may help.
How to Sleep Better: Tip #7: Cope with Shift Work Sleep Disorder
A disrupted sleep schedule caused by working nights or irregular shifts can lead to sleepiness in the work place, affect your mood, energy, and concentration, and increase your risk of accidents, injuries, and work-related mistakes. Shift workers tend to suffer from two problems: sleeping at home during the day and staying awake at work during the night. To avoid or limit these problems:
How to Sleep Better: Tip #8: Know When to See a Sleep Doctor
If you have tried the tips above and are still struggling with sleep problems, you may have a sleep disorder that requires professional treatment. Consider scheduling a visit with a sleep doctor if, despite your best efforts at self–help, you are still troubled by any of the following symptoms:
· Falling asleep at inappropriate times
As always, please remember to make one healthy choice at a time.
If you have any
Submitted by Debi Chatfield
you ever needed someone to tell you what your prescription is? Have you ever
been confused about what medication it is that you need to take? Have you ever
improperly taken the wrong medication? Have you ever needed to know the
prescription number? Have you ever forgotten a refill date? Have you ever
wanted to know what warnings are on your prescription? If you answered yes to
any one of the previous questions, and if you want to have complete
independence with taking your medications, and want to be completely safe with
taking your medication, then the Digital Audio Label by AccessaMed inc. is the
With one of the founders of AccessaMed inc. being totally blind, the need to be able to safely and independently take prescribed medications has been the driving force behind the invention of the Digital Audio Label. This one inch wide by two inch tall device permanently attaches to any prescription container and at the push of a button, a blind/low vision person can now hear all the information that is contained on a print label. Yes, all the information that is contained on a print label is now fully accessible. The name of the patient, the name of the medication, the dosing instructions, pharmacists phone number, rx number, name of the dr., color, shape size (if required), and all warnings, if any, are now at the push of a button.
The Digital Audio Label is in full compliance with the U.S. Access-Boards recommendations for best practices for accessible prescription labeling, along with being in compliance with the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act of 2012, the FDA Cosmetic Act, HIPAA, and most importantly, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The Digital Audio Label by AccessaMed does not require any additional equipment in order to read a bar code, QR code, or RFID tag, does not require the launching of an app to access the information, but is a solution that gives the blind or low vision person immediate access to knowing exactly what medication it is that is being taken. When a prescription is refilled, a new Digital Audio Label will be permanently attached to the prescription container or packaging in order to easily accommodate any possible changes from month to month, or any other doctor ordered changes.
Finally, the Digital Audio Label will now give complete independence with regard to taking prescribed medication. As we like to say at AccessaMed, quote, be safe, be independent. End quote.
For more information you can go to our website at:
Start asking your pharmacist to carry the Digital Audio Label by AccessaMed for your accessible prescription labeling. Again, the Safety and Innovation Act now requires that pharmacies provide an accessible prescription drug label for those who are blind, low vision, and elderly.
By Allison Hilliker,
Benetech/Bookshare Operations Associate - Global Literacy
The summer when I was 14, I got fired from my first volunteer job. I worked at a local vet/pet groomer, helping bathe and care for the animals. I worked hard, got along well with my coworkers and conducted myself as professionally as any middle schooler could. Why, then, did I get fired? It was because over time, the company managers learned that I was blind. Without knowing me or seeing how I performed, they decided that it was not safe for a blind person to work at their company and asked me not to come back.
Of course, I was devastated. Nevertheless, there was not much that a 14-year-old volunteer could do in that situation. The only thing I could do was to be more determined than ever to compete in the world of future employment alongside workers without disabilities.
Today that is exactly what I am doing. I am proud to say that I have worked for Benetech Global Literacy Program for 6 years and that other Benetech staff member have full confidence in my abilities. I wear many hats in my job. I primarily focus my time on Bookshare customer support, which means that I am on the phone much of the day, answering peoples questions about how to sign up for Bookshare or download their books. When I am not on the phone, I beta test new Benetech software and web features to ensure they are accessible to everyone. I also proofread new books before they are added to the Bookshare collection and made available to our members. Lastly, I do Bookshare member outreach by representing Benetech at various state and national conferences.
While I love my job, I know that nothing about how I work is particularly amazing. We have other individuals on our team who do Bookshare support, proofreading, or conference travel. What people find fascinating about my work is that I do it effectively, even though I have been legally blind since birth due to several eye conditions, including congenital glaucoma.
Since October was National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), I was asked to write a blog post about my experiences working for Benetech. Before I began writing, I considered the official theme for this years NDEAM, quote, Because We Are Equal to the Task. End quote. To me, this statement implies that we are not expected to be equal to the task and, therefore, that if we are doing equal work, then we are special and must share our inspiring stories with the world. But, frankly, while I like to think I am phenomenal for many reasons, I am sure that accomplishing the same tasks that sighted people accomplish is not one of those reasons.
not wish to be anyones inspiring story just because I happen to be blind and
successfully perform regular life tasks. If I do so, I would feel I negate the
message of equality that I try to send out to the world. If I am equal--which I
know I am--then why do I need to highlight my everyday work as a shining example
of just how equal I am? And if I highlight my work as remarkably equal, will
not I perpetuate misconceptions about how hard it is to do equal work as a
disabled person? Moreover, will I be promoting the type of mind set that caused
an uninformed manager in
It is true that the techniques I use to perform tasks as a blind worker are different from those that my sighted colleagues use, but they are not better or worse techniques. I have software on my computer called JAWS for Windows that reads the computer screen to me. I have a regular iPhone 4S that has a built in screen reader called Voiceover that enables me to do my email and web browsing when I am on the go. I also use an electronic Braille display called a Refreshabraille to take notes on my iPhone during meetings or to review notes when I am giving presentations. I travel around offices, hotels and airports independently, using a long white cane.
Although my techniques are different, they alone do not make my work miraculous. To me, what makes my work at Benetech great is that I genuinely care about Bookshare, our members and the Benetech commitment to global literacy and to using technology for social good. Yet, this level of passion and commitment is not unique to me, for many of my nondisabled coworkers share it as well.
I believe I am good at my job and I would imagine that my sighted coworkers would agree with my self-assessment. But, as I have already said, that fact alone is not what makes my job amazing. The thing that makes my employment experience at Benetech so fulfilling is that I am part of a vibrant, dedicated, and brilliant team consisting of both disabled and nondisabled folks who truly believe in the work we do and who strive each day to make the world a little better than it was the day before. And, in the end, I think that is what all of us--disabled or not--want from our jobs
Reprinted from News Limited, October 4, 2013
A BLIND British man has had his sight restored after pioneering surgery that involved implanting one of his teeth into his eye. Ian Tibbetts, 43, who first damaged his eye in an industrial accident when scrap metal ripped his cornea in six places, had his sight restored by the radical operation, chronicled in the new BBC documentary entitled, The Day I Got My Sight Back.
surgery allowed Mr. Tibbetts to see his four-year-old twin sons, Callum and
Ryan, for the first time, a moment he describes as Quote, ecstasy. End Quote.
The procedure, called osteo-odonto-keratoprothesis, or OOKP, was conducted by
ophthalmic surgeon Christopher Liu at the
The complex surgery is a two-part procedure. First, the tooth and part of the jaw are removed, and a lens is inserted into the tooth using a drill. The tooth and lens are then implanted under the eye socket. After a few months, once the tooth has grown tissues and developed a blood supply, comes the second step: part of the cornea is sliced open and removed and the tooth is stitched into the eye socket. Since the tooth is the patients own tissue, the body does not reject it.
Quote, The tooth is like a picture frame which holds this tiny plastic lens, End Quote, documentary maker Sally George told the BBC. After the bandages came off, Mr. Tibbetts sight gradually returned, and he saw his sons faces for the first time.
Quote, I could tell whichever one it was by the way they spoke and sometimes by how quickly they moved. I had a picture in my head of what they looked like but they were better. I am a bit biased there. End Quote.
Now, Mr. Tibbetts vision is now about 40 per cent, and although at first strangers stared at his new eye - which is pink, with a black pupil, he no longer is bothered by the attention.
By Charles Rivard
This game is totally playable by a blind puzzle solver who wants to test their ability to think logically. It can be found in numerous puzzle stores, online, and can even be made you, as I will discuss later on. It is a good game for when you are on a trip, waiting for a meeting or just killing time wherever you are.
You begin with a game piece on each square on the board except the centrally located square. The object of the game is to jump over game pieces (as in checkers) and removing the jumped piece. You win the game if you finish with only 1 piece remaining on the board. If you really want to test your logic, one of the pieces is generally a different color than all of the others. Try to place this odd colored piece so that, if you play right, this odd colored piece is the only one remaining, and it is in the center hole on the board.
The board arrangement.
The grid consists of 7 rows of pieces. From top to bottom, they are arranged as follows:
First and second rows: 3 pieces.
Third, fourth and fifth rows: 7 pieces.
Sixth and seventh rows: 3 pieces.
All rows are centered across the board. So, the leftmost piece of the first, second, sixth, and seventh rows are lined up with the third piece of the other rows.
In most of the games I have ever seen, the board has holes drilled through it. Golf tees, or pegs, are the game pieces. So, all a blind player has to do is to tactually mark the odd colored peg or golf tee, and then begin the play. Place the 32 pieces into the holes, leaving the fourth hole of the fourth row empty. Of course, your first move would be to jump a piece into this central blank square, removing the piece you jumped over, and play from there. Remember to always leave yourself a move, because when no more jumps can be made, the game is over.
Getting the game.
You can do a search with your favorite search engine for hi q, or for a store that specializes in puzzles. Some stores where you can buy souvenirs may also carry them. If there is a Cracker Barrel restaurant in your area, they might sell them, as I have seen them on the tables where you dine, so you can mess with them while waiting for your food. The boards can come in other shapes as well. One of the other fun variations is one that has 15 holes, arranged like a rack of billiard balls or a rack of bowling pins with an extra row of 5 behind the other 10. It is an equilateral triangle. You begin this game with one of the points removed and try to finish with only one piece remaining, in the hole that was originally vacant.
What if you cannot find one to buy? They are easy and inexpensive to make. Just take a board and drill the holes into it in the right configuration. I would think you would want it to be about half an inch thick, and about 8 inches square if you want the holes to be an inch apart. Use a brailed ruler or some other means of measuring the distances to determine where you want the holes to be. Remember to center them along the horizontal line. Place a piece of tape where you want each hole to be. When they feel right, use a drill press, electric drill, or brace and bit to drill the holes. Make them large enough to accept whatever you are going to use as game pieces. I would make them too small on purpose on your first drilling. Then, gradually increase the size of the bit until the pieces fit snugly, but are not too loose. Golf tees are easily found at a sporting goods store where golf equipment is sold, and they make good pieces.
If this is too involved, here is another idea if you are not going to be moving around very much. Use a piece of Braille paper and a Braille writer. Make the borders of the 33 squares on the paper. Use dots 1 and 4 of each cell for horizontal lines and dots 1, 2, and 3 for vertical lines. Make them large enough to accommodate coins. Use quarters for all but 1 piece, and a dime for the odd one.
Give this game a try, and see if you have a high IQ. If you do not solve it right away, keep working at it. It can be solved. If you do not think so after a load of fun, read the next issue of Audyssey at, Audyssey.org. Or maybe the one after that. The determining factor of when the solution will be given depends on the orneriness of the editor of the magazine. Before you bug him to death for the solution, though, consider this: I have not sent it to him yet, so, maybe, he is still puzzling over the game, too. I sure hope so. I like to be ornery, too. In any case, the answer will be published here, in the December issue of News and Views as well.
By Roger Khouri
begin by thanking all of you who sent in your vote. This section will offer a
survey question and the results will be published in the December News and
Views newsletter. I will try to select interesting topics and issues for
you to vote on. Who knows, we may end up having a pleasant discussion in one of
the chat rooms with one another about the survey and learn how and why folks
voted the way they voted. I always like hearing other points of view. Yet, do
not forget that your responses to this section are kept confidential.
Last month, I offered you the following topic to vote on:
survey says ... 78 % of you agree and only 22 % of you disagree with this
decision. Hmmm, I did not know that we have a lot of card carrying NRA members
on our site, hmmm. LOL! In all seriousness, thanks for
all who sent in their vote.
Now, for the December survey question. I have always wondered whether blind people would like their vision restored, or for some, be able to see for the very first time. Over the years, many people have offered me a mixed bag of opinions on this topic, so, now it is your turn to let us know. If you could have 20/20 vision, would you take it? It would not cost you anything, it would be instant and permanent, and there would not be any health risks to you.
Please e-mail your vote to:
With either a Yes or No reply. There is no need to justify your answer, but, if you feel like sharing your thoughts feel free, but it is not necessary. You may feel that your answer is obvious, but, do not assume anything because we all come from a variety of backgrounds and opinions. Many thanks, and look for the results in the December newsletter.
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. If you wish, your initials, city, and state will be altered to conceal your identity.
Dear Betty Blunt,
I have been with my husband for 20 years and there is one thing that is starting to eat at me. He constantly goes back to the glory days of when he played high school football and was the star player. He had more hair on his head, and he did not have a belly. I know all his stories by heart, because I have heard them so many times. If it was not for him, the team would not have won the city finals four years in a row, blah, blah, blah. I sort of cringe when he starts up again about them. It is not polite if I ignore him, and I do not want to tell him to grow up and move on, even though I feel like saying it to him. Can you help?
Okay, so your husband had more hair and no belly 20 years ago? I think we all could take a trip to the hair dressors a bit more frequently to get that gray out. And, I think it would behoove all of us to try doing some Yoga to get rid of some of that junk in our trunks. We are all getting older, and there is no way to get around it, believe me, I have certainly racked my brain cells about this subject many times. As a matter of fact, I was just remembering back to the day when I was the Disco Diva for my high school! Oh, how the crowds cheered! Ya see, it was this hot summer day, and the dance floor was full with. . . Oh, and there was that time when I was on the track team and came in 1st place at the state finals. Did I ever tell you about the time when I baked the best Rice Krispy Treats and won the dessert competition?
Oh, ah hem. Your husband is fine. Let him relive the glory days. Some people just need to do that ya know. Ah hem.
By Suzy Barnes
Pork Chops and Citrus Rice
1 1/3 cup, Minute Rice
1 cup, orange juice
6 pork chops, browned and seasoned
1 can, chicken with rice soup.
In a hot skillet, or George Forman grill, brown pork chops seasoned with salt and pepper. Just cook till texture of chops changes, not cooked. In a greased, 7 by 11, or square baking dish, layer as listed:
Rice, orange juice, chops, and soup. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes. The rice will cook as you bake. Enjoy!
By Rich De Steno and Roger Khouri
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! Just kidding! It is apparent that this month, many of you had your thinking caps on! So, congratulations go out to Buddy Callum, Charlie Richardson, Karen Santiago, Lawrence MacLellan, Nancy Martin, Roann Clarke, Roger Khouri, suzy Barnes, and Thom Spittle for answering both brain teasers correctly!
Applause also goes out to Lee Smiley for figuring out one of the brain teasers! Way to go!
Here are the October brain teasers and their answers:
1. What is in seasons, seconds, centuries and minutes but not in decades, years or days?
Answer: The letter N.
2. A farmer has seventeen sheep. All but nine of them die. How many sheep does he have left?
Answer: He has 9 left.
Now, for our super duper brain teasers for November! Can you solve these? Lets see who thinks they are smarter than a fifth grader!
1. The person who makes it sells it. The person who buys it never uses it and the person who uses it does not know they are. What is it?
2. If 3 peacocks lay 5 eggs in 8 days, how many peacocks will lay 29 eggs in 76 days?
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 December newsletter. Have fun trying to solve these puzzles!
By Katie Chandler
Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.
The worlds youngest
parents were 8 and 9 and lived in
Our eyes remain the same size from birth onward, but our noses and ears never stop growing.
You burn more calories sleeping than you do watching TV.
A person will die from total lack of sleep sooner
than from starvation.
Death will occur about 10 days without sleep, while starvation takes a few weeks.
Chewing gum while peeling onions will keep you from crying.
The Mona Lisa has no eyebrows.
When the moon is directly overhead, you weigh slightly less.
Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, never telephoned his wife or mother because they were both deaf.
A psychology student in
Submitted by Pam Scott and Karen Santiago
1. The Reality of Fear:
We are not afraid of the dark.
We fear what is in it.
We are not afraid of heights.
We fear falling.
We are not afraid of the people around us.
We fear rejection.
We are not afraid to love.
We fear not being loved back.
We are not afraid to let go.
We fear accepting the reality that they are gone.
We are not afraid to try again.
We fear getting hurt for the same reason.
We are not afraid of the future.
We fear the past will repeat itself.
2. I feel
a very unusual sensation. If it is not indigestion, I think it must be
3. Make it a habit to tell people thank you in
order to express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of
anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you will soon find
many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you will find that you have
more of it.
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 announce, send us your ad, and we will post it, as long as there is space available in the newsletter. Send your ads to: Newsletter@out-of-sight.net
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