Welcome to The Blind Perspective

Audio: Welcome to The Blind Perspective

September 2021

Volume 7 Issue 9

Table of Contents

Navigation
The Blind Perspective in hardcopy braille!
Sponsors of the Month
We are looking for Sponsors!
The Blind Perspective Archives
Greetings from the Editors
A Thyme to Plant
Alexa Reads Poetry
Beyond the Book Jacket
Change for TTJTech.net e-mail list serv at Groups.io
Connecting the Dots
Guide Dog Corner
Let our Fingers do the Reading
Letters to the Editors
Ski For Light Returns To The Snow
Technology Verses an Old Brain

Navigation

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

The Blind Perspective in hardcopy braille!

Interested in a braille copy of The Blind Perspective? We now have that covered as yet another avenue for your reading enjoyment! The cost is 75 US Dollars for a 12 month subscription. Get a subscription for yourself or perhaps as a gift. It’s as easy as 1-2-3!

  1. Contact us at theblindperspective@gmail.com and we will send an invoice.
  2. Pay the 75 US Dollar invoice via PayPal.
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Sponsored by: Essentially Braille Custom Braille Your Way

http://www.essentiallybraille.com/

essentiallybraille@gmail.com

We are looking for Sponsors!

Do you own a business, website, or app? If you have such a business, website, or app that will benefit the blind and visually impaired, we are looking for YOU! A sponsorship is only 35 USD per month.

The Blind Perspective has over 1300 hundred subscribers, and your ad will be on the website, the emailed issue and the audio issue!

If you’re interested, please contact us at theblindperspective@gmail.com

The Blind Perspective Archives

For your convenience, we now have in the menu section above and links below to the written and audio archived issues of the blind perspective for newcomers and those who may not know of or how to get to the archived issues.

Please note: The audio archives are from January 2021 and forward.

https://wordpress.com/page/theblindperspective.net/637

https://groups.io/g/theblindperspective/topics

Greetings from the Editors’

Audio: Greetings from the Editors’ Tonya

Welcome readers to another issue of the Blind Perspective! We are so glad you decided to read with us, no matter what format you prefer.

We are welcoming a new column this month. Like print magazines, we often receive letters to the editors. We read every single one. We do not always respond, but we do read them and take into consideration what our readers have said. While the final decisions are up to Ben and I, we like to at least consider what our readers are saying and discuss it to make these the best online magazine out there for those who are blind or visually impaired. So, like print magazines, we will publish Letters to the Editors. You, the readers, will not be able to respond, but we thought it might be good for readers to not only see their own letters to us shared, but it is a good way to share what others are writing that we may not feel there is a good place to publish. We truly hope you enjoy it.

As always, the e-mail and web version of this magazine is free to anyone who would like to read it. Only the hard copy braille has a cost. We appreciate our readers and writers!

Tonya J. Drew, CBT

theblindperspective@gmail.com

A Thyme to Plant

Audio: A Thyme to Plant

By Sue Brasel

Old time wisdom worked for many generations. Let’s find out about some myths.

Fact or myth? Vegetables need to grow in the sun every day from morning until night.

For optimum growth, plants need daylight, but not all plants need the same amount. Most vegetables are fine with 8 hours of sun. Nightshade crops (potatoes, tomatoes and eggplant) do well with 6-8 hours of sun per day. Root crops like carrots, beets, and radishes can grow with only 3-4 hours of sun a day. Leafy greens like spinach, kale and lettuce can get by with just a few hours of sun per day.

Fact or myth? Perennials (plants that come back every growing season) should be divided in the Spring or Fall.

If plants are divided in the Spring, they have time to adjust to conditions before the summer’s heat affects their growth. By dividing in the Fall, just before plants go dormant for the winter, you don’t have to give much attention to shade and watering needs. Plants can be divided in the summer, but to ensure that plants stay healthy, check transplants for watering needs and be prepared to provide shade for stressed plants.

Fact or myth? Potting soil must be changed yearly.

Most potting mixes have enough nutrients to supply your plants for a year, possibly two. If you add a small amount of compost to your containers every year before planting, your plants will strong. Be gentle when adding compost near the roots of plants that stay in containers over a period of years. Unless you have a soil-based disease problem, you should not have to completely change out your potting mix.

Fact or myth? Before transplanting, pinch buds and/or blooms off annuals.

Transplant shock is caused when root disturbance takes place. Plants need to put energy into developing and maintaining a strong root system for later foliage and flowers. If, when taking plants out of containers before transplanting, you can tell that a plant has a good root system, then the buds and/or blooms can stay on. If you pinched them back, you will just have to wait longer to see or feel your flowers.

Fact or myth? Slugs are attracted to beer.

Fill a dish half way with beer, place in hole in the soil. Snails and slugs should drown in their stupor. Some gardeners have seen them move through the garden after imbibing! Best advice: leave the beer there for several days because slugs and snails are attracted to the bloated bodies of their own kind.

Fact or myth? Plants geared for extreme hardiness zones can thrive anywhere.

Plants have a variety of needs, including soil, sunlight, moisture conditions, and humidity. Some plants need ground temperatures in a specific temperature range, other plants require chill time. Within a frost zone, some plants that thrive in one area don’t even survive in another area. It is now “thyme” for me to ask: Do you know any “old wives’ tales” garden tips that you’d like to share? Please send them to me in care of The Blind Perspective.

Sue is a master gardener in Alabama and can be reached at southernsuetwo@gmail.com

Alexa Reads Poetry

audio: Alexa Reads Poetry

Alexa Reads Poetry, and So Can You!

By Alice Jane-Marie Massa

                Have you thought of adding to your reading repertoire?  Besides your selections from your regional talking book and braille library, BARD, National Braille Press, Bookshare, and more–you may choose to purchase a Kindle book which you may read via your smart speaker.  You may be amazed by the quality of Alexa’s reading of poetry.  When I absolutely cannot wait for a book to be available through the National Library Service (NLS), I do enjoy the relatively new option of listening to a Kindle book read aptly by Alexa.

                Through reading quite a number of Kindle books during the past few years, my best advice to you is to have the precise title in mind when asking your smart speaker to initiate the reading of the e-book.  For example, the book which I most recently read in this way was a book of poetry entitled Leaf Memories.  Thus, when I first began to read this book, I told my smart speaker, “Alexa, read my Kindle book Leaf Memories.”  Alexa starts with the reading of the preliminary pages of the book.  After stopping the reading of a selected book, later say, “Alexa, resume reading my Kindle book Leaf Memories”; and Alexa will resume reading slightly before the passage you previously heard.

                Leaf Memories is the first book by Carol Farnsworth, a regular contributor to THE BLIND PERSPECTIVE.  Carol’s chapbook is the typical size of KDP books–six-by-nine inches.  The paper of the inner pages is of high quality, and the book cover is glossy, sturdy paperback.  On the delightful cover of Leaf Memories is a photo of the author’s daughter when both mother and daughter were much younger.  Peeking through a pile of autumn leaves smiles the sweet toddler Ruth.  While Carol took the cover photo, Carol’s husband, John Farnsworth, was the photographer of the four photos inside the 44-page book.  One of John’s photos appears in each of the four sections of the chapbook: summer, fall, winter, and spring. 

                Are you thinking “What exactly is a chapbook?”  Do not be deceived:  a chapbook has nothing to do with chapters.  The term “chapbook” comes from the word “chapman”–a peddler or person who sold such small books or pamphlets which included poems, ballads, or short stories.  While chapbooks may have originated in the 16th century, an English version is affirmed in 1824.  From “chapman” or “chapmen” also is derived the word “cheap.”  Due to the size of chapbooks, these lovely, little gift books are usually cheaper than other books.  Besides being available in both print and e-book from Amazon, Leaf Memories may be purchased and downloaded from SmashWords.  The author hopes that her chapbook will soon be in braille and in audio. 

                Released on August 1, 2021, Carol’s chapbook opens to a wonderful introduction which creatively explains the type of poetry which Carol writes and why she has become a poet.  Then, each of the four seasonal sections welcomes the reader with a few short poems to share the poetic delights of each season.  As the section progresses, the poems are longer.  In the summer portion of the chapbook, I was especially pleased to find two of my favorite Farnsworth poems:  “fairies” and “Benediction.”  With “Fairies,” the poet shows the readers her most delicate, imaginative touches that one will long remember.  If you read “Benediction,” you will think of this poem whenever you drink another cup of morning coffee. 

                The Michigan poet shares with her readers some beautiful descriptions of her home state in “Beauty in the Field,” wherein she weaves analogy midst the blueberry field.  “With the Wind” gives a poetic glimpse of a tandem bike ride  through dramatic weather changes in this captivating story poem.    

                In the autumn section, you will certainly smile when you read the title poem of this enjoyable chapbook.  Among the many poetic delights to relish in the winter section is “Sugar Snow,” which paints a lovely wintry scene with words.  Amidst the encouraging poems of the spring section is one poem which reveals a hint of the poet’s sense of humor:  “People Are Nuts” gives us the poetic-point-of-view of a squirrel.

                While poems of other poets sometimes challenge us to solve a poetic puzzle or to think on another poetic plane, Carol’s poems embrace the beauty and wonder that appeals clearly and easily to all readers, most especially those who love and appreciate nature.

                As you experience this chapbook, you will realize that since 2018, the author has accumulated an impressive number of publications in nature and blindness-related online and print magazines.  Carol’s superbly written bio at the conclusion of the book blossoms with all that this poet has accomplished in her life.  I am grateful that after her being a speech pathologist, dancer, and actress–she has turned to art and poetry.  The joy of her poetry is that each poem can be read and read again–just as one would enjoy singing a popular song many times. 

                If you try reading an e-book of poetry via your smart speaker for the first time, please let me know your impressions of the experience.  Also, please keep in mind that especially for those who are relatively new to braille reading, reading a short volume of poetry in braille is an excellent way to practice and improve your fluency in braille reading.  A final suggestion is to request from your cooperating library a book of poetry in both braille and audio to improve your braille reading.  I do hope that soon you will have an opportunity to read the chapbook for all seasons–Leaf Memories–in one of these fashions.

For additional information about Leaf Memories, please visit:

https://www.dldbooks.com/carolfarnsworth/ Alice Jane-Marie Massa Milwaukee, Wisconsin e-mail:  alicejmassa@gmail.com Weekly blog:  http://alice13wordwalk.wordpress.com Author’s web page:  http://www.dldbooks.com/alicemassa/

Beyond the Book Jacket

Audio: Beyond the Book Jacket

By Bonnie Blose

Truths I Never Told You is a title designed to grab interest. It proclaims its value and worth and captivates your mind and heart so you will want to read it right now.

Kelly Rimmer has been writing for a number of years but is one of the newer authors I expect I will enjoy when I choose one of her books.

Truths I Never Told you is a page turner. It will keep your interest, rouse your empathy, and you will love the struggling family it portrays.

Life is built on what parents and grandparents tell us about ourselves.  We trust all we are told about our birthday, age, name, background without question.  In moments of anger and misunderstanding, we wonder if the hospital made a mistake and imagine a friend’s parents or the perfect family on Tv our real parents. Nice fantasies are just that and the imaginary control we exercise where life would be perfect.

Bethany Walsh seems to have it all, but of course she doesn’t. Married to the man she loves and mother to a five month old son Noah, she has a close relationship with her sister and brothers. This is a family who truly loves and looks out for one another.

Clouds are on the horizon. Her father says “everything changes.” How much and when those changes begin are the factors which upset our lives and fill life with questions.

Beth suffers from postpartum depression and has little knowledge of her birth mother. For years, she has no reason to question what she was told. Her mother died in an accident when Beth was too young to remember her. As she struggles, she doesn’t understand why she isn’t thrilled to be Noah’s mother or why she wants to spend time away from him as much as she can.

When Beth’s father develops dementia and heart disease, a decision is made to place him in a facility where he will get the care he needs during his last days. Beth grabs the opportunity to clean out his house so it can be sold and finds notes detailing the unhappiness and depression of her mother. Did she die in an accident as her father claims? Who was the woman she remembers who loved and cared for her and her siblings when they were little? Is there a relationship between her mother’s unhappiness and her own in being a parent? Where is the final note which might explain everything? Was her father the loving caring one she knows or are there secrets in his past which would reveal him as an altogether different man and husband?

Close families work through problems and the Walsh family has much to learn.

I remember reading books in which pioneer women were isolated by geography. Without schools, neighbors, or churches, they led a lonely existence driven mad by too much time alone and worry over all they could not control.

Postpartum depression isolated some in our more modern time. Every little girl wants to be a mother. Is that really true? If she wants a career instead or a life without children, no one understands. Truths I never told you are about three women who struggle to live with beliefs far different than the norm. With no one to talk to about how they really feel, they don’t know other women suffer with the sadness of being a parent. Motherhood remains foreign and strange. Depression covers what they know about themselves and cancels their ability to evaluate their success or failure as a parent. They long to end the pain. Doctors and husbands don’t understand the profound unhappiness which fills all their days. They are told they are worrying too much and the feelings of sadness will pass but have no reason to believe it will. They know having another child is not the answer.

When Beth’s mother discovers she is pregnant again, she knows she can’t go on living with a fifth child. She has nothing more to give. The well of motherhood in which she dwells is shallow and growing ever more so. Her sister helps her by giving her money and arranging an abortion. This is where the mystery and truth of this beautiful novel lie. As you read, you will ask yourself as I did how we can help those desperately depressed who start each day without hope. It is truly a sad journey and one each person travels alone.

There are drugs and therapy for postpartum depression now. We listen, understand, and accept far more than even just a few years ago.

It is knowledge which gives light. It is love which triumphs and holds a troubled person together. Love can truly do all things. It repairs the broken as much as that is possible and finds hope where there was none.

Truths I never told you has beautifully wrought characters and plot twists you won’t soon forget. It will fascinate and enlighten and make you glad you live now. Maybe it will make you aware someone somewhere is struggling as the women in this fine novel did. Maybe it will help you to reach out even if you don’t fully comprehend the position of another person. Pain and the truths we find are often found alone and are the beginning of resolution and strength we need to live and to love.

Although I prefer older novels, writers of the caliber of Kelly Rimmer and Sally Hepworth give me hope literary riches are ours out there to discover.

Here is the download information from the Bard site for a truly spectacular novel you won’t soon forget.

 Truths I never told you DB102014 Rimmer, Kelly Reading time: 11 hours, 44 minutes. Read by Jean Ann Douglass Historical Fiction

Elliot and Win

Carolyn Meyer writes some very good young adult fiction. Elliott and Winn is an example.

In the 1980s, books for teens underwent great change. Like romance writers who learned readers wanted real life stories with believable problems, novels for teens underwent similar change. As a result, broken families were everywhere. Sometimes fathers left, but mothers did too. This left teens beginning to find their own identity with complicated romantic relationships with questions of how and when love can be lost and what, if anything, can be done to make it stay.

Win lives with his mother and younger brother in Santa Fe, New Mexico where his mother hopes to make a new start. His father lives in San Francisco. Worried about the lack of a male role model in a new town of strangers, Win’s mother contacts an organization who pairs “amigos” with children in this situation.

Elliott Deerfield is a geologist who loves cooking, chess, classical music, opera, and proper use of the English language. He hopes to become a writer when his work as a geologist is over.

Win is a typical teenager hating all the things Elliott loves. From this mismatch a friendship grows in which both learn to value what is important to the other. Elliott introduces Win to Kung Fu and kayaking and is rather a snob about bowling and baseball disliking both.

As they get to know each other, Win hears the story of Elliott’s life and discovers they both have a desire to become writers.

Teenagers and adults often make quick judgments about others. Often, it is to hide something they wish not to face or to feel better about themselves.

Win’s friend Paul makes fun of his growing friendship with Elliott and tries to convince Win he is a homosexual. Unsure of so much, Win wonders whether his growing regard for Elliott means he has tendencies in that direction. 

At a yard sale his mother holds, Win meets Heather Key who is made fun of for being very well endowed. She is looking forward to breast reduction surgery but is scared too. She knows classmates think she has sex on her mind all the time, because that is what a person with large breasts is supposed to want.

 As Win grows closer to Elliott, he decides to take on some of his interests, in particular cooking healthy meals.  He invites Heather to what is a dangerous place to share a picnic? That time together changes the future for both. Knowing he can confide in Elliott when he can no longer hide his tears and sadness, he tells him the terrible truth and what happened on that awful night. How difficult it is for anyone and perhaps most of all a teen to discover no firm ground underfoot. Win’s mother is dating a new guy. He worries whether this will be another in a series of bad choices she has made in the pursuit of romance.

His friend Paul, another teen from a one parent home goes to visit his father in Dallas and discovers there is no line between grownups and their relationships and his own.

As I read this wonderful but short novel, I imagined the fragility of teenage years and remembered uncertainty and doubts  face during that time.

Carolyn Meyer illustrates the stark reality of the pain caused by what we believe. Imagine you are a teen finding your way in a world which seems to change constantly. What we believe at any age comes from experience and what friends believe. How easy it is to plant doubt! This book is about trust. It’s about what to believe while trying to figure out with whom we can share doubts and fears.

Elliott and Win was published in 1986 during the Aids crisis. My brother died of Aids. As I read and thought about him, I wondered how much he longed to share but could not. This is a sensitive portrayal of the importance of both adults and children and the need they have for each other. It is short, but

It is so worth reading. Here is the bard information for Elliott and Win. You will love them both. The only thing I questioned at the end was the decision Heather’s mother makes to protect her daughter. In all circumstances that hurt us, we must decide what is best. I am not sure I would have done what she did, but it is probably something which must be decided on an individual basis.

Elliott and Win DB25341 Meyer, Carolyn. Reading time: 4 hours, 46 minutes. Read by David Palmer. National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress. Young Adult. Some descriptions of violence and sex.

Bonnie can be reached at bookmaven1@frontier.com

Change for TTJTech.net e-mail list serv at Groups.io

Audio: Change for TTJTech.net e-mail list serv at Groups.io

In order to subscribe, please send a blank email to:
TTJTech+subscribe@groups.io Changes for TTJTech.net

Many of you who are subscribed to this e-mail listserv, also subscribe to the TTJ Blog, to get information about upcoming free training courses like Voiceover In and Out, iPad For All Computing, and so on. The Tech Juggernaut is in the process of making a number of behind-the-scenes changes to improve our services, contact and response times.

There are actions required:  steps that must be taken by the students and customers, so they can keep accessing all the services and Free classes that we provide. The look of the TTJ website is changing. The web address is the same, TTJTech.net, but we are using an entirely new design on an entirely new hosting platform. Please be patient with us, as the site is still very much under construction, , and for now it is a single page site until we complete the build.

Along with this, we are making changes to the blog systems and much more, service pricing, package options, and much more.
The following is an important step we need you to all take right away, if you wish to continue receiving information from The Tech Juggernaut:

Please subscribe to our new email list. This list replaces the TTJ Blog. Those who are interested in TTJ classes, free training, promotions, and so on, subscribe for yourselves. This new list will completely replace the TTJ Blog effective immediately, so failure to subscribe may mean you will no longer receive TTJ information.

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Please note that this is a one-way group, meaning that you cannot post to it like you do with Only Apple Talk and Support. It will be used solely for myself and the other TTJ Team members to make announcements, share free course info, discuss promotions, release tech tips, and more.

Other important info on receiving support, our free training courses for 2021-22 training season, help sessions, our YouTube channel, and much more will be coming in late August.

Connecting the Dots

Audio: Connecting the Dots

By Tonya J. Drew

Welcome to the September Connecting the Dots.

Many students around the world are going back to school right now and this month we are talking about Braille in the classroom.

Anyone who has had sight knows that most classrooms are brightly colored with lots of pictures for younger students, posters with words for older students, and textbooks and workbooks for all. But what about students that don’t have good sight or no sight at all?

As a child with limited vision in a small rural school, my visual needs were greatly misunderstood. I needed Braille, but it was not taught to me. I was given the same books and worksheets as my peers and they were difficult to see and use. I had to have longer to do the work and it was more challenging. I eventually kicked into gear and studied harder to get my grades up so I could go to college. Then I went through the same in college because I didn’t know where or how to get the help I needed.

So how can teachers help students with vision impairments or vision loss? First, take the time to care for the student as an individual. Not every person with low or no vision is the same. They are not all good at braille. They are not all good at Orientation and Mobility. But each individual will have their strengths and weaknesses, and having a caring teacher to recognize the strengths and build on them will go a long way for that student.

Teachers go through so much to make the classroom look good, but don’t forget other senses, especially tactile and sound. Add braille labels to pictures or use puff paints to make them tactile. Use bells, rattles, shakers, musical instruments, or special claps, even windchimes work to indicate time changes, classroom changes, or for quieting students. It can also help low vision students to find items or locations for activities in the classroom.

Teachers should make sure that the other students, those who are not low vision or blind, are aware that this is a unique opportunity to make friends from which one can learn. As a person who grew up being the only one in my class, this was not supported as it should have been. Education about blindness and low vision is beneficial and the children grow up to run businesses who might hire a person with low vision or who is blind because they will not be afraid of it.

By no means should the child with low vision or blindness be put in one place and left there all day to learn braille. They can participate in most activities with a few adaptations. For example, if doing flashcards in vocabulary, an assistant can hand those with low vision or blindness a braille vocabulary card so they can participate. Drawing and coloring can also be adapted for participation. Physical education, recess, plays, outings, these can all be done with a few adaptations. Even the class garden, an opportunity to get hands dirty and learn can be a great experience with a little help. Encourage taste, smell, texture, sound, anything that will get the point across.

What about those of us that learned or are learning braille as an adult because we didn’t know we would need it? There are many opportunities available for those that want to learn. Many states have a Lighthouse for the Blind with caring teachers for adults to learn. There are also several businesses out there that have tutors. Contact me if you need information.

Regardless of age, teachers have to do whatever they can do for students with vision impairments. With a little creativity and trying to put themselves in the proverbial shoes of the student, they can be the one to make the difference. Teachers with questions are also welcome to contact me if they need more information. It is this connection of the dots that makes the difference for these unique students.

Tonya is a certified braille transcriptionist and can be reached at essentiallybraille@gmail.com

Guide Dog Corner

Audio: Guide Dog Corner

By Sharon Howerton

Welcome to September or, as one of our local weathermen calls it, “meteorological fall.” Well, I can assure you that it does not feel like fall in Chicago or in many other parts of the country whether due to heat, flood, hurricane or fire. If you are thinking about training with a guide, you may wonder how to deal with these weather extremes. This will be dealt with during training especially if you are confronted with such weather extremes during class. My opinion is that the dog always comes first—the dog’s safety, comfort, etc.

When I trained with Mary Jane in 2003, the weather was extremely hot. ON a lengthy excursion that was part of our training—to Manhattan, actually—I had a bottle of cold water for Mary Jane and periodically stopped to put some water in my hand in the hope that she would lick it out. Fortunately, she did. Not only do our dogs wear fur coats year-round, some of us have dogs who are black which reflects the sun. When my dog pants a lot when we are working, I figure she is uncomfortable.

There may be other things you can put on your dog like a cooling collar or something to help cool your dog, but if you have concerns or live in a place that is hot most of the year, check with your school as to how best to keep your dog safe. There are other considerations for extreme cold, but we will deal with that another time.

Wind is another consideration. I remember I was scheduled to do something one evening when it was extremely windy. Mary Jane was new with me; we had been home just a few weeks. I find it very hard to hear in high winds and didn’t want debris flying into her face. That was my choice and it was a voluntary activity so in such cases, do what is best for you or your dog. I did not attend that activity.

Then there is rain. Mary Jane was a Lab but hated getting wet! I may have mentioned the story of going to a local grocery store with her soon after we came home. Someone was watering grass a little north of where we live. She physically turned around so as to avoid the sprinkler. I told her she was going to go through it right then and on our way back. She did it but wasn’t happy. Cameo, on the other hand, loves the water, doesn’t really care much about rain and doesn’t like outerwear like raincoats!

Stay well and safe and as I said before, go “Forward.”

Sharon is a former braille instructor and can be reached at shrnhow@gmail.com

Let our Fingers do the Reading

Audio: Let our Fingers do the Reading

By Cynthia Groopman

   Welcome to Let our Fingers Do the Reading. My name is Cynthia I am a retired teacher and have been volunteering calling homebound people for telephone reassurance and reporting to their social workers. I lost my eyesight at age 39 due to a medical accident. I live in senior living in Little Neck which is on the border of Queens and Long Island. I enjoy writing and was a contributor to Our special magazine the Braille mirror magazine Good Cheer magazine write letter to the editor for local newspapers, write poems and stories and write for the newsletter for my Synagogue and for the senior living residence where I live. I am an advocate for disability and senior citizens’ rights. I enjoy humor telling jokes and cheering people up. It is now my pleasure to be a part of The Blind Perspective.

   I am a passionate advocate for all visually impaired children to
learn braille before it is too late. It seems that braille is not promoted as it used to be. Even NLS have fewer magazines in braille.
Newsline from NFB Bookshare and Bard and audio books replace braille. There is nothing than to read braille to read independently, to feel the pages of a braille magazine and to curl up with a braille book or magazine whenever one desires. Literacy is important and if spelling, grammar, and sentence structure are to be learned, braille reading is the key to learning proper literacy skills. Without Braille, the visually impaired are illiterate.
    

Everything now is online audio and braille is expensive to produce and many of the magazines that were enjoyable such as the Braille Mirror were discontinued.
    

So let our fingers do the reading again and let us promote braille use it cherish it and it is a gift for all. I learned braille as a 39-year-old adult after losing my eyesight completely and not only has it helped me in reading but also can pray in services in Hebrew braille and that to me is a God-send. How many of us would benefit from braille in every area of our lives? 

  Cynthia can be reached at cynthiagroopman@gmail.com

Letters to the Editors

Audio: Letters to the Editors

Memoirs of a One-man Band

By J.L.P.

Hello friends! I am J.L, who enjoyed a nationwide reputation as a one-man band digital keyboardist and composer and am not only a musician but also a CEO Coffee Consultant and a blind therapist. Losing my vision and relying on hearing aids at an early age was not the end for me.  I am now connected with an e-Commerce program owned and operated by Dialogue in the dark at the Weld shopping mall, Kuala Lumpur. With a cup of refreshing coffee to start me off, let me introduce to you to myself and the CEO coffee.

I am 57 years old, low vision and have a severe hearing loss which I manage by using hearing aids.  During my childhood days after I was born on October the 5th of 1963, I lived at my grandfather’s home which is where the Malaysian Association for the Blind stands today.  My grandparents, uncles and aunties loved me very much as I was the first new born grandchild on both my father and mother’s sides respectively. All those sweet memories of my childhood

days were the loveliest times of my life as I walked, ran and played with other able-bodied children in Brickfields.

My early birthdays were enlightened with candle lights and my father who kept moving me around for the best position to stand in front of the cameraman to snap a picture. I was able to see light, the beauty for the world, recognize sounds of birds, bees, animals, people and lived a joyful life. The glorious mornings and evenings passed by when I lived in a place that was surrounded by rivers, streams, grass, trees, flowers, singing birds and ancient buildings. 

At the age of 6, I was enrolled in a kindergarten which was next to the Saint Anthony’s church, Jalan Robertson, off Jalan Pudu.  The children and I always waved at the train which passed just across our kindergarten. One of the games which we often played was to blind-fold each other with a handkerchief and make us to search our friends with joy and laughter. 

During the morning tea break, we were served with biscuits and milk at the priest’s office.

One afternoon after classes, I followed another child climbing up little slopes, crossing drains to reach home.  My father was not happy of this idea and warned me that there was a snake in the grassy fields which I crossed. 

At the age of 7, misfortune struck me that felt like a view of wild whirl-winds tossing me and dumped me into a dark and silent world. I found things getting dim at home and school.

Editors: Thank you JLP for sharing your experience.

Hadley

This is regarding the August 2021 edition of The Blind Perspective.
While I typically enjoy reading this publication, I am appalled by The
Blind Perspective’s editors to allow Professor (omitted) a forum for
her personal account of her employment termination.

The Blind Perspective has never been a bulletin board for blind
individuals to share negative experiences with public and private
enterprises. The Hadley programs have successfully trained blind
learners for too many years to be burdened by a personal grievance.
Shame on the editors for selecting this alleged letter of farewell by
Professor to her students.

I’m very disappointed to see this publication endorse a letter
addressed to all Hadley students. I am a former Hadley student and
understand the necessity to explore alternative instructional methods.
I implore the editors to maintain the dignity of The Blind Perspective
and not fall victim to self-serving individuals.

Editors: We thank you so much for your thoughts. Many readers enjoyed the letter to the students. We are sorry you did not.

Ski For Light Returns To The Snow

Audio: Ski For Light Returns To The Snow

The 47th annual Ski for Light International Week will be held Sunday January 30 through February 6, 2022 in Granby, Colorado. After a very successful virtual Ski for Light event in 2021 enjoyed by more than 400 registered participants, Ski for Light is looking forward to again gliding on the snow at Snow Mountain Ranch.

Ski for Light is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization that hosts an annual, week-long event where blind and mobility-impaired adults are taught the basics of cross-country skiing. The event attracts more than 250 skiers, guides and volunteers from throughout the United States and the world.  During the Ski for Light International Week, each skier with a disability is paired with an experienced, sighted cross-country skier who acts as ski instructor and on-snow guide. New participants will learn the thrill of gliding on the snow while veteran skiers hone their skills, and both will experience a new level of inner confidence and make new friends that could last a lifetime.

Instructor/guides should be intermediate level classic cross-country skiers capable of safely managing their own speed and direction while, at the same time, communicating skiing basics and describing the beauty of the area around the trails to their skiing partner. Ski for Light provides a training session for first-time guides taught by experienced skiers and guides prior to the start of the week.

If you have never attended what many have called “the experience of a lifetime,” please consider participating in the Ski for Light 2022 International week as a skier, a guide or a volunteer. View a brief narrated video introduction to Ski for Light at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjC96E7cyzg. If you have specific questions, contact  Melinda Hollands at mlhollandstc@gmail.com or call at 231-590-0986. Applications for skiers, guides and volunteers are now available at www.sfl.org.

Hope to ski with you in Colorado!

Technology Verses an Old Brain

Audio: Technology Verses an Old Brain

By Carol Farnsworth

We live in a wonderful time when there are many assistive devises to help blind people with mobility, identification, labeling, using computers and smart phones. All this technology can be confusing to an old brain.

The other day I was using my smart phone to participate in a blind teleconference. My phone lost the phone page just as I was asked a question. I had to hang up and redial. This took several minutes. When I finally returned to the conference, I told them that I had technical difficulties. The whole group understood. We all have had difficulties with assistive devices, one of my friends says, “Technology, can’t live with it, can’t live without it.” Like my friend, I have a love/hate relationship with my devices.

I have a blue tooth that talks directly into my hearing aids. But I have found that if I am too close to my husband who is also using a blue tooth listening devise, I will get an echo of his book. It sounds like gibberish because he plays his books very fast.

I have used my I-pad to look up recipes and information. Usually, I ask the assistive helper Siri to find the information. Many times, Siri misunderstands and can’t locate the information quickly. When I finally locate the correct web page, I find that I first must sign up for access to a website.

I have not learned my limits. I have recently signed up for a virtual eyes program, digital tags to use in the kitchen and a recording devise that will help me with locating and storing my patterns for knitting.  I can just imagine this happening; I go to find a yarn color that has been tagged with the information on the label. The tag tells me the yardage, weight and material but not the color, it is a number rather that a color. I get the recorder to find a pattern and find I must listen to several hours because I forgot to insert titles and bookmarks for each pattern.  I go to get the phone to find the printed pattern in the book. The apps read part of the pattern but starts over when its position is changed. When it finally reads the pattern, it makes little sense because the knitting abbreviations make no sense to the program.

I find that it would be easier to get my husband to help me. But I am determined to be independent. Each time I master a piece of technology, I keep notes to remind me how to operate it. I continue to put more technology in my mental tool box. I just hope this old brain can handle it!

Carol writes for Newsreel audio magazine and other publications. Her blog is http://blindontheliteside.com/ Her email is carolaspot@aol.com.

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Audio: The Blind Perspective September 2021 Issue

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Audio: The End