The UCB Flier

A publication of

Utah Council of the Blind

October 2017

For the latest news updates call the Utah Connection 801-299-0670 or 1‑800-273-4569. (You may also leave a message at the end of the announcement.)

Mail correspondence to: UCB, PO Box 1415, Bountiful, UT 84011-1415. E-mail us at ucb.board@gmail.com.

In This Issue

Executive Director's Message.................................................................... 2

Technology Highlights from the ACB 2017 Convention.............................. 3

THE ACB COMMUNICATIONS CENTER.................................................. 4

Our Adventures at the American Council of the Blind Convention.............. 6

Computer & Technology Training Opportunity............................................ 7

October Temple Trip.................................................................................. 7

November Activity...................................................................................... 7

UCB Annual Christmas Party..................................................................... 8

Latest Calendar with Updates.................................................................... 9

Recipes for Vita-Mix................................................................................... 9

Narrated Videos......................................................................................... 9

Ceramics Class.......................................................................................... 9

Important: To Members of the CUBVIU Credit Union............................... 10

HealthWell Foundation Launches Fund to Provide Financial Assistance to People Living with Macular Degeneration................................................ 10

Co-payment and Premium Assistance Now Available.......................... 10

About the HealthWell Foundation......................................................... 11

About the Macular Degeneration Association....................................... 12

Seeking to Purchase a Used Braille Note Apex........................................ 12

Miracle of Forgiveness in Braille............................................................... 12

Annual Membership Drive........................................................................ 13

NOTICE TO OUR LIFETIME MEMBERS............................................. 13

FOR ALL OTHER MEMBERS.............................................................. 13

General UCB Information......................................................................... 13

Upcoming Board Meetings.................................................................... 14

Disclaimer............................................................................................. 14

UTAH COUNCIL OF THE BLIND Membership Application...................... 15

Executive Director's Message

Many of you have taken advantage of the UCB's Teacher/Trainer Team Program. If you are not aware, this program provides a team consisting of a blind and a sighted person who come to your home and help you learn blindness skills. They can mark appliances, help you organize food or clothing, and even help you find helpful resources in your community. It is also possible for you to learn more about using other UCB programs, like the driver/guide program or the reader program, to help make your life easier. Your family is welcome to join in during the visit. This gives them the opportunity to learn some skills as well.

It was my great pleasure to visit the UCB team serving much of the southern part of the state. Sam Jackson and Allen Huntington work to provide training to those living in Kanab to Escalante. they also visit some parts of the state west of the mountains. The team spends a great deal of time traveling to visit clients, but they are available to work with a person for up to two hours each time. Sam has diminishing sight and Allen has lost some hearing. Because of this, they truly understand what you are experiencing. I was so impressed with their knowledge of the country and the number of people they know in the community. I was introduced to most of Kanab as though everyone was part of a big family.

It was great to hear them talk about the clever ideas they used to identify people who might need their help. My favorite was Sam's idea to enlist the Schwan frozen foods man to distribute his business cards and refer people who have trouble signing checks because of sight loss. It was a real pleasure to see this team in action. The difference they are making in people's lives is remarkable. The team is widely recognized for their many kind deeds and the information they are able to share. They have a great network of contacts who keep them informed about people who might need their specialized assistance. Their dear wives support them in their work and often make referrals as well. On a personal note, Sam is an exceptional Cowboy Poet and Allen reminds me of one of the old-time mountain men because of his extensive and detailed knowledge of the country. Between the two, I came away a much wiser Utahan, but I still can't make a decent rhyme.

If any of you in the southern part of the state need the team's help or know of someone who does, please leave your number on the Utah Connection and someone will get in contact with you.

The UCB has teams spread over most of the state. They are waiting to hear from you so that they can share their expertise with you or someone you know. Teams also teach iPhone, iPad, computer, the Victor Stream, cane travel, Braille, and more. Once again, leave your contact information on the Utah Connection and someone will call you and learn about your needs.

Technology Highlights from the ACB 2017 Convention

by Sandy Ruconich

Because I love technology and because I went to every technology session I could at the convention, I'd like to report on just a few of the things I learned.

The Orbit 20 Reader, the braille notetaker that should sell for less than $500, is gradually becoming available. A variety of problems have meant that Orbit Research, the company producing the device, is far behind schedule. However, the company is getting a few units per month to the American Printing House for the Blind. The battery is user-replaceable and is supposed to run for three days of "normal use"--whatever that means. It can connect to a computer or an iPhone. Updates will be posted on the www.orbitresearch.com website.

Amazon announced two exciting developments at the convention. First of all, the company's newest Kindle Fire tablet includes support for braille for the first time. Only audio Kindle support has been available on Amazon devices until now. Since the Kindle Fire only costs about $50, you can now read Kindle books in braille on an Amazon device as long as you have a braille display. The second announcement by Amazon was that several movies and Amazon-produced TV shows will now be audio-described. Information on how to access Amazon audio description is available on the "Details" page of its website, which, I believe, comes up after you choose the show for which you want audio description.

AT&T has partnered with a small company called Aira to produce an intriguing device that gives users independent access to travel, printed material, and other visual information via a human interface. How does it work? The user wears a pair of glasses that includes a camera; the glasses are connected via headphones and a small wi-fi device to a smartphone; and at the other end of that smartphone is a human agent who can see the user, Google StreetView, and assorted other mapping information. Using all this equipment, the agent can then help the user get where he or she needs to go. Or, if the user has something he or she needs to read, the agent can read it aloud. Convention attendees could sign up for 20-minute trials with the device, and it was pretty exciting to be directed around the convention exhibit hall in Sparks, Nevada by an agent seeing you from San Diego, California!

My thanks to the Utah Council of the Blind for providing funding that helped me and so many other UCB members to attend. It was a wonderful experience!

THE ACB COMMUNICATIONS CENTER

By Tom Mitchell

This year, while at the American Council of the Blind convention in Reno, we did not do most of the things one normally does at a convention. We did go to the Exhibit Hall--which is economically always a mistake--and we did go to a couple of other activities, but we spent the bulk of our time in the Marcia Nigro Dresser Communications Room.

What I'm going to relate from here on is based on mostly observations, and I'll tell you frankly right up front, that I have not checked some of these facts, so it's possible that some things I may say are incorrect. But until you've spent a lot of time there, you don't realize how busy that room is during the convention.

Firstly, we had intended to spend most of our time there before we even went, so we left early for the convention, arriving there on Friday morning. After a long hour at registration, we went to the communications center.

The communications center produces all of the Braille and large print documents used at the convention except the convention program. Each morning a convention newspaper, this year called the Reno Roundup, was available to convention attendees, either at the Information Desk, or delivered to their rooms by ACB Students the night before. Depending on how early it is in the convention, the newspaper this year ranged anywhere from 18 to 11 Braille pages. And an average run was about 150 copies. I don't know how many large print copies were produced. This year 14 boxes of Braille paper were donated for convention use by the American Printing House for the Blind and the American Thermoform Company. I don't know if all of the boxes were used, but I do know that we used well over half of them, and I suspect that not much was left. This year, it took 4 Braille embossers to do the job.

But, not only does the Communications center produce the morning newspaper, it produces the daily menu for the ACB Cafe in Braille and large print, and any extra materials which an affiliate may need.

In addition, individuals who may have products to sell or services to advertise may announce them in the newspaper. A slight fee is charged for such ads. However, the ads are limited to 80 words, and so oftentimes consultation with the advertiser is required so that the ad can be paired down to its essentials.

So, what did we do there? We spent much of our time removing the tracking holes from the edges of the Braille paper, bursting the copies, which means pulling the pages apart, and stapling them together. We weren't the only ones there, sometimes there would be three or four, or even more, other people helping. In addition, I proofread most of the issues of the Roundup, and some of the other material that needed Brailling.

And do you know what? We had fun! We really did. I really think that the next convention we go to, we want to do that again, because though we weren't involved in big items like running for office and more visible things, we really felt that we were making a contribution. And isn't that what life's about?

Our Adventures at the American Council of the Blind Convention

Tina and Rick Terry

We were able to go to the American Council of the Blind Convention in Sparks, Nevada this year. This was the first time we have attended a convention. We left Salt Lake City on Saturday, July 1, 2017, and left Sparks on Thursday, July 6, 2017, thanks to a stipend from the Utah Council of the Blind.

We spent a lot of time at the vendor booths and were able to check out a variety of assistive technology. A few of the devices that we are excited about are Victor Reader Trek, the Buzz Clip, the Ira Glasses and the various note takers.

We also attended several classes that the ACB offered. Some of the classes were Victor Reader users group, iPhone app swap. We also attended the general sessions where we were able to enjoy several speakers, and we listened to a debate on self-driving cars.

We feel that our experience at the convention gave us a lot of information to bring home to benefit the people that we work with.

We want to thank the Utah Council of the Blind for giving us the opportunity to attend.

Computer & Technology Training Opportunity

The UCB Team Teaching Program is sponsoring computer and technology training opportunities each Wednesday in October from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Tina Terry and Vicki Flake will each present a short lesson, Tina's on the latest adaptive technology and apps, Vicki's on using JAWS for Windows with Microsoft Office (with a focus on Excel in October). Following the lessons there will be an hour of open forum to discuss any computer or technology questions you may have.

There is no cost for this training, but you do need to bring your own computer and/or any other technology with which you desire help. Please check in with Donni in the UCB office when you arrive, and she will direct you to the class location.

October Temple Trip

On Saturday, October 21, we will be taking a trip to Cedar City to see the new LDS temple. The tour is at 1 p.m., which should give out-of-towners as much time as possible to reach the tour on time and then get home again before the day is completely over. If you need a ride from the Wasatch front, the cost will be $10. Let us know as soon as possible to help us plan transportation.

We have made reservations at a Cedar City hotel for anyone who wants to go down a day early. The cost for the rooms is $50. Please let us know if you want a room. Otherwise, we will be cancelling these reservations.

November Activity

We have purchased a limited number of tickets to attend the Utah Symphony's singalong of The Messiah. The program is on the evening of Saturday, November 25, the Saturday right after Thanksgiving. Tickets are only $12 per person. Braille and large print lyrics will be available for anyone purchasing a ticket.

UCB Annual Christmas Party

Come to the UCB Annual Christmas party on December 2, 2017 at the Division of Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired, 250 N 1950 W, Salt Lake City.

This is a family affair. The cost for each person will be $6.00 for those who are from 12 years to adult; those who are from 3 years to 11 years old will be $3.00 dollars each, and those who are under the age of 3 will be free.

We will have a bake sale, which will begin at 11:30, and we are asking for everyone who loves to bake to bring your baked goods and help us raise some much needed funds. We will eat our meal at 12:00 noon. You will be pleased to hear that the meal will be turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, rolls and butter, and pie for dessert. We will have children's activities as well as that special person who children love to see at Christmas time. The meal will be followed by Jordan High School's choir, who will entertain us with beautiful Christmas carols.

In order to make your reservation, you may call the Utah Connection at 801-299-0670 or 1-800-273-4569 and leave your information. Make sure you tell us how many are in your party and the ages of the children as well as if they are male or female for Santa's visit. It is important that you send your check to: UCB, PO Box 1415, Bountiful, UT, 84011-1415.

Your reservation and money must be received no later than November 20, 2017 in order to have the appropriate count for the food. We are sending this announcement out early so you can plan. We will not be able to accept any who call to ask to pay later. So, please get your reservation and money in before the deadline.

We want you all to come and join us in the celebration. The party will run from 11:30 a.m. to about 2:00 p.m.

Latest Calendar with Updates

Mail checks or money orders for any activities to UCB, PO Box 1415, Bountiful, UT 84011-1415. They need to reach us by dates given. Unless otherwise noted, classes and activities listed below are held at the Division of Services for the Blind, 250 N 1950 W, Salt Lake City.

       Wednesday, October 11: deadline for payments for transportation to Cedar City temple

       Saturday, October 14: deadline for hotel reservations for Cedar City

       Saturday, October 21: visit Cedar City and tour the new LDS temple

       Saturday, November 25: The Messiah sing-along with the Utah Symphony

       Saturday, December 2: UCB Christmas party

Recipes for Vita-Mix

Braille readers, the UCB has put into braille recipes from several Vita Mix books so you can access these wonderful nutritious drinks. There are also recipes for meals and desserts. If you read braille you can order this book in a brf file or in hard copy braille. To order your copy call the Utah Connection and leave your contact information.

Narrated Videos

The UCB has a large number of narrated movies on VHS. There are also a number of recorded books. If you would like to borrow a copy of these, a list of the choices can be sent to you so that you can make a selection. These will be mailed to you free matter and can be returned the same way. If you are interested in obtaining a list, leave your contact information on the Utah Connection, and we will get it to you.

Ceramics Class

Many of you may not know that you are invited to attend the UCB's ceramics class for people with sight loss at the Division of Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired, 250 N 1950 W, Salt Lake City. This class is held on Wednesdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. You must be willing to pay for your own project. There are volunteers there to help you and a teacher who has a great deal of experience completing ceramics projects. Many of the students enter their finished projects in the state fair and often receive ribbons. Some students use their artistic skills to make items to be donated to the Festival of the Trees. Come and try out the class. You will find the company fun and the artistic accomplishments rewarding.

Important: To Members of the CUBVIU Credit Union

The CUBVIU Credit Union, formerly the UCB Credit Union, is going to merge with another Credit Union. The advantage of this move will benefit the members by making checking, credit cards and ATM banking available. All of these services have not been possible under the current organization. Members are asked to check their accounts to be certain everything is exactly as it should be. This will make the merger much more simple for the members. Please take this responsibility seriously. It is for your own benefit. Call the Credit Union office at 801-220-0800 if you have concerns.

HealthWell Foundation Launches Fund to Provide Financial Assistance to People Living with Macular Degeneration

Co-payment and Premium Assistance Now Available

News provided by HealthWell Foundation
Aug 09, 2017, 08:00 ET

GERMANTOWN, Md., Aug. 9, 2017/PRNewswire--The HealthWell Foundation, an independent non-profit that provides a financial lifeline for inadequately insured Americans, has launched a Macular Degeneration Fund to provide copayment and premium assistance to eligible patients living with macular degeneration. Under the fund, HealthWell will provide up to $4,000 to individuals who have annual household incomes up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level to assist with out-of-pocket costs for treatment of their disease.

Macular degeneration is caused by the deterioration of the central portion of the retina, the inside back layer of the eye that records the images we see and sends them via the optic nerve from the eye to the brain. The retina's central portion, known as the macula, is responsible for focusing central vision in the eye, and it controls our ability to read, drive a car, recognize faces or colors, and see objects in fine detail. According to the Macular Degeneration Association (MDA), macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss, affecting more than 12 million Americans more than cataracts and glaucoma combined. At present, there are no cures for macular degeneration and the disease is reaching epidemic portions.

"The Macular Degeneration Association (MDA) is delighted the HealthWell fund will be able to help those in need with out-of-pocket costs for treatment. Because of this fund, more people living with macular degeneration will be able to access the treatment they need that previously may have been cost prohibitive," said Lawrence Hoffheimer, Chairman of the Board.

"Patients living with macular degeneration can be faced with many challenges resulting from vision impairment," said Krista Zodet, HealthWell Foundation President. "Life-style changes and treatment costs can be a daily source of frustration and anxiety for many MD patients. We are honored that our dedicated donors recognize the importance of easing the financial burden these patients endure so they can access treatment and concentrate on managing their disease."

To determine eligibility and apply for financial assistance, visit HealthWell's Macular Degeneration Fund page. To learn how you can support this or other HealthWell programs, visit HealthWellFoundation.org.

About the HealthWell Foundation

A nationally recognized, independent non-profit organization founded in 2003, the HealthWell Foundation has served as a safety net for more than 250,000 underinsured patients in more than 50 disease areas by providing access to life-changing medical treatments they otherwise would not be able to afford. HealthWell provides financial assistance to adults and children facing medical hardship resulting from gaps in their insurance that cause out-of-pocket medical expenses to escalate rapidly. HealthWell assists with the treatment-related cost-sharing obligations of these patients. For more information, visit www.HealthWellFoundation.org.

About the Macular Degeneration Association

The Macular Degeneration Association (MDA) is a non-profit health organization providing the latest research information and advocacy for patients with all visual diseases. We are dedicated to providing the latest information about research being conducted, educating and empowering age-related macular degeneration, diabetic macular edema, glaucoma and cataract patients all across the world. All visual diseases are increasingly prevalent degenerative eye diseases, affecting millions of aging seniors and younger adults. The MDA's mission is to find a cure for all sight robbing diseases through disseminating research information, while providing education that will improve the quality of life today, tomorrow and in the future for patients and their caregivers. To learn more, visit: macularhope.org.

CONTACT: Ginny Dunn 240-632-5309
Ginny.Dunn@HealthWellFoundation.org

Source: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/healthwell-foundation-launches-fund-to-provide-financial-assistance-to-people-living-with-macular-degeneration-300501354.html

Seeking to Purchase a Used Braille Note Apex

A person is seeking to purchase a used, in good shape, Braille Note Apex. If you have one to sell please call The Utah Connection and leave your contact information.

Miracle of Forgiveness in Braille

The Utah State Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled has two copies of the Miracle of Forgiveness by LDS President Spencer W. Kimball. If you are interested ask for Lisa Nelson. She will gladly ship them to you.

Annual Membership Drive

NOTICE TO OUR LIFETIME MEMBERS

It is that time of year, again, when we are doing our membership drive. Because we use an agency mailing list, you may receive one of these membership drive packets. Be assured that we have your membership recorded, and you do not have to pay dues for the upcoming year. However, we ask that you verify that we have your correct contact information and preferred newsletter format. If any of the information that we have is incorrect, simply call our office at 801-292-1156 or return the form with any corrections noted.

FOR ALL OTHER MEMBERS

It Is Membership Renewal Time

As the year comes to a close, we would like to remind you that it is time to renew your annual membership with the Utah Council of the Blind. We have included a membership form at the end of this newsletter. Please also be aware that we are sending out membership packets via an agency mailing list, therefore, you may receive more than one membership drive packet. In the event that you receive duplicate packets, fill free to share the extra with a friend.

The annual dues are $10 per person, and the lifetime membership dues are $250 per person. You may pay your dues by sending a check to UCB, PO Box 1415, Bountiful, UT 84010-1415 or by calling us at 801-292-1156 to make other arrangements.

General UCB Information

We are always looking for articles, book reviews, or interesting tidbits of information from our readers or other interested persons. The deadline for submitting items for publication is the 1st of the month, e.g. the deadline for the December newsletter is November 1st. You may e-mail any articles you wish to submit for our newsletter to our editor, TerriLynne Pomeroy, at tl1@ml1.net, or send Braille or print to UCB Newsletter, PO Box 1415, Bountiful, UT 84011-1415; please allow extra time for processing Braille or print.

Members are invited and encouraged to attend meetings of the Board of Directors. These are typically held the fourth Monday of each month at 3:15 p.m. in the DSBVI Board Room (in the southeast corner of the building), except as noted.

Upcoming Board Meetings

       Monday, September 25, 2017

       Monday, October 23, 2017 (Annual Budget and Training Meeting, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Reservations required by Monday, October 16, 2017)

       Monday, November 27, 2017

       Monday, December 18, 2017

The UCB Flier is available in large print, Braille, audio CD, as a Microsoft Word and a plain text file on CD, and by e-mail. If you would prefer to receive your newsletter in a different format, please call the Utah Connection or send an e-mail to ucb.board@gmail.com and let us know. If you are currently receiving your newsletter on cassette tape, please call and let us know another format you can use.

Disclaimer

Articles and announcements included in this publication are presented for your information and interest. They reflect the opinions of the respective authors and are not necessarily endorsed by the UCB.


 

UTAH COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
Membership Application

To help further the work of the Utah Council of the Blind and enjoy the privileges of membership, please complete the following application and return it with your membership dues to: UCB,
PO Box 1415, Bountiful, Utah 84011-1415.

Name:_______________________________________________________

Address:_____________________________________________________

City, State, Zip:________________________________________________

Phones: Home: _____________________ Cell:______________________

Date of Birth:____________________________

E-mail:_______________________________________________________

 

I am (Please check one):

____Totally Blind

____Legally Blind (Visual acuity no more than 20/200 or visual field subtends an angle no more than 20̊ in best eye with best correction)

____Visually Impaired (Visual acuity no more than 20/70 or visual field subtends an angle no more than 20̊ in best eye with best correction)

____Sighted

 

I prefer to receive UCB correspondence in:

Large Print______ Braille _____ Print Document on CD_____

Audio CD_____ E-mail______

I prefer to receive the Braille Forum (ACB national publication) in:

Print______ Braille_____ Cassette _____ CD_____ None_____

 

Enclosed is my check or money order for:

_____$10.00 Adult Membership _____$5.00 Jr. Membership (Under 18)

_____$250.00 Lifetime Membership $____________Additional Donation

Total Enclosed: $___________________

If you would like to pay by credit card, please call 801-292-1156 for more information.

 

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