The blind Post classified news
May edition 2020
The Blind Post classified news
From and for the blind and visually impaired.
May edition 2020
Current subscribers to date: 1,204
Contents for this monthís issue:
From the editor, by Lori Motis.
New and used.
Wanted, to trade, or to give away.
Services and training.
Business and employment opportunities.
This monthís articles:
Tech News- Personal Power; The iOS Edition by Lori Motis.
Blind man Walking- Treasure enough for now by Joshua Loya.
Living with low vision- Happy Days by Donna Williams.
Tips and tidbits from the Food Lady- Shopping while having to stay at home.
Driving Miss Donna- ďThe New iPhone 11Ē By Lynn Anderson.
Blind people talking- My Cousin Diane and Me by Donna Kimball.
Yarn, hook and needle- A Different Craft and a Request By Greg Capps.
Other important info:
How to post and pay for an ad or announcement,
2020 word counts and costs.
What can you post to the Blind Post?
Subscriptions to the Blind Post.
From the editor:
I hope you are all staying safe and are well. This difficult time can be hard to navigate through. There are many challenges to overcome and emotions can
sometimes be all over the place. During the storm and the uncertainty, we can rely on the hope that we have in our God. Peace and be still. It is all in
the Fatherís hands. This I believe and count on, but sometimes I get caught up in the emotions of the wind, the rain, and then I remember the Sunshine
and the promised rainbow, and know all is well.
I have been meeting with a wonderful group of women, around my age, once a week on a conference call, for over three years or more. We have been spending
a lot of time supporting each other and praying for each other and for others and sharing many things. It has been the highlight of each week. We are all
blind and we are all Christians. We have read many books together. Our current book is excellent for such a time as this and is available on BARD.
Anxious for nothing: finding calm in a chaotic world DB89684
Lucado, Max. Reading time: 5 hours, 24 minutes.
Read by Jeff Allin. A production of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress.
Minister and author of You'll Get Through This (DB 77761) presents faith-based methods for dealing with anxiety. Sections discuss celebrating God's goodness,
asking God for help, leaving your concerns with Him, and meditating on good things. Bestseller. 2017.
I highly recommend this book. We are only in chapter three, but it has been a great help for me and for the ladies in my group.
Did you know that the BARD website has a section on learning to play an instrument or even for voice? There are many music choices as well. ON the main
BARD webpage after you log in, go down to the heading entitled Music collection. This is a link and it takes you to a section of BARD where you can find
numerous books on music and music scores, and instructional audio books and braille. I am currently learning the piano.
I am keeping busy with my iPad course. I am learning a lot. I will also be taking an online course for my Mac. I have much homework to do and turn in.
During all this life interruption, I experienced a difficult trial with my guide dog Stan. He is nine years old and extremely healthy and very perky. He
is three quarters golden retriever and one quarter yellow lab. I think he is the best guide dog I have ever had, and I have had many. Last Wednesday morning,
he just was not himself. He was eating but terribly slow. Normally he gobbles his food down. He drank a lot of water, which also was not normal for him.
I was not quite sure what to make of it. He seemed a bit upset and not himself. He ate his second meal of the day in the same manner and drank a lot of
water. In the evening, my husband and I noticed he was just laying there and seemed to be breathing funny. His nose was dry and very warm. He was not well.
I did not know how to handle it. The Vetís office was closed and on limited hours and you cannot go inside. I called the number and got the emergency vetís
number and then called them. I have dealt with them before with my past guide dog. I needed to find a ride. I also was quite tired and feeling stressed
due to not having slept well the past four nights. I knew it was the first night of my sisterís golf league, but I texted her to see if maybe my nephew
or my brother-in-law could take me there.
The procedure with Guide Dogs for the blind is to call their number and leave a detailed message in cases of emergency. I was so stressed I could not remember
the number I have had memorized for over 30 years. I had to call my son and he told it to me. My nephew and his wife just happened to be home from work
and were there in five minutes to get us. The procedure at the Animal ER. Was to call them when in the parking lot, then they would come out and get the
dog. They had gloves and a mask on and used their own leash to bring Stan inside. Then they called me to check in and give all symptoms. Then after the
exam the vet called again to tell me what they found and what was needed to be done. I explained the situation with the Guide dog schoolís policy for my
finances and that in a case of an emergency to do what was immediately needed. He had a fever over104.2 and this was indicative of an infection in the
body. They checked blood, urology, x-rayed his chest, and due to the whole situation, he had to stay overnight. In the morning they talked with the Vet
at GDB and he had further testing. He stayed an additional night there and was able to come home in the morning. We are still waiting for the blood work
results, but they seem to think he is suffering from a tick bite infection and is on antibiotics. Today he is noticeably better, but not himself yet. This
was the hardest emotional thing I have had to deal with during the sheltering in place. We were in the parking lot for almost two hours. that night and
when Stan was checked out, my sister and I had to wait a bit as well in the parking lot.
I hope you will enjoy reading this monthís news. There are many great notices and wonderful articles from our writers. Please forward the news to your
friends and family.
Thanks to all of you and I do pray for you as a group, even if I do not know your particular situations.
God bless you,
Lori AKA Food Lady
Publisher & editor of the Blind Post classified news.
A great place to share and sell!
Have you ever wanted to post a time sensitive announcement or several notices before the next monthís Blind Post classified news edition?
Now you can. If you have ads or announcements that are time sensitive, or just have several items, then you can include them in a special Blind Post Extra
Extra edition. The word count costs are the same as the monthly news, but not free notices. This works best when you might have more than one item for
sale, notice for an event, or a special class or training that is of interest to the blind and low vision community.
It will go out to all Blind Post subscribers within one day of approval, and will also be posted to the website.
your submissions and I will let you know if it is suitable and what the cost is.
New and used:
Receive a free album by contributing
I'm a blind multi instrumentalist. Would you help with my accessible
home studio? Every person who contributes $5 or more will receive a
digital copy of my album! Details below!
IF you don't want to use go fund me, you can use Pay Pal via this link:
22 inch bandannas for my No Sew Face Mask Now available.
Choose from red or royal blue paisley. $6.00 each shipped. Pay Pal or check.
Instructions included. Order extra so you can always have a clean one when you go out. Machine wash and dry.
Let Scentsy fill your life with fragrance.
Products include: Signature warmers and wax bars, diffusers and oils, Scentsy Go and PODs, Fan Diffusers, Pets, Body, Clean, Laundry, Kids, Disney and
so much more. Something for everyone. Contact Nini Urschel, Independent Scentsy Consultant,
916-206-1151 (cell), firstname.lastname@example.org
or FB at NV Wickless Scents & More
Wanted, to trade or give away:
Do you like crafts or want to learn a craft?
The Crafters' Division is offering an Early Bird membership. Dues are
$20 a year. By joining now, your membership goes through June 30,
Come check us out at www.krafterskorner.org.
We offer a Monday night chat at 7:40 P.M. EST about a craft topic. You do not need to be a member to join this. For more information contact:
Do you enjoy sharing recipes of all types? If yes,
send a blank e-mail to email@example.com
and join the group. Posts should be just recipes with a minimum of chatter.
The Listen Factor (TLF) consists of 8 internet radio stations that play both described and non described tv programs for the blind community free of charge.
During this difficult time of the Corona Virus, we've been playing some of our listeners favorite tv episodes. We want to make the world seem a little
smaller. Each time we play a request, we send positive thoughts and prayers their way.
For more information, send and email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Tech Juggernaut is offering virtual help and support sessions each week
because Apple Retail Stores, and most other in-person locations are closed to traditional business, The Tech Juggernaut is offering virtual help and support
sessions each week, as a means for people to get the technical advice they desire at no cost. These sessions are open to everyone. Come and ask your questions
about Apple products, media streaming, Wi-Fi networking, home automation and security, ideas for teaching your kids, working from home, getting food delivered,
and much, much more.
Sessions will continue to be held every Tuesday and Thursday, from 1PM to 3PM Eastern time. Sessions will continue through at least the first week of June.
To join, use the Zoom Cloud Meetings app on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, and enter meeting ID:
Alternatively, use the following link to join from any device:
Hope to see you at our sessions.:)
Freedom Scientific is offering their products, JAWS, Zoomtext, and Fusion free of charge for personal computers at home until June 30, 2020.
From the Freedom Scientific website, here is a description of each product:
"JAWS, Job Access With Speech, is the worldís most popular screen reader, developed for computer users whose vision loss prevents them from seeing screen
content or navigating with a mouse. JAWS provides speech and Braille output for the most popular computer applications on your PC. You will be able to
navigate the Internet, write a document, read an email and create presentations from your office, remote desktop, or from home.
ZoomText Magnifier/Reader is a fully integrated magnification and reading program tailored for low-vision users. Magnifier/Reader enlarges and enhances
everything on your computer screen, echoes your typing and essential program activity, and automatically reads documents, web pages, email.
Fusion provides the best of both worlds Ė ZoomTextģ , with its screen magnification and visual enhancements for screen viewing ease, coupled with the power
and speed of JAWSģ for screen reading functionality. A single installer and one license gives you access to both ZoomText and JAWS individually, or together
when run as the combined solution Ė Fusion."
This may be a good time, when most of us are confined to our homes, to try the products out for a longer period of time without a financial commitment.
Here is the website:
Eyes on success shows and podcasts:
2017 NCAR Tactile and Audio Tour (Apr. 22, 2020)
NCAR, or the National Center for Atmospheric Research, is a worldwide resource focused on earth system sciences. They have worked hard to make their public
displays very accessible. Join hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey as they take a tour of a number of interactive exhibits with Becca Hatheway, manager of teaching
and learning at the center.
2016 Braille Displays - Dot Watch and Beyond (Apr. 15, 2020)
Dot Incorp has developed an innovative braille technology for refreshable braille displays that is less costly and bulky than traditional refreshable braille
designs. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Ah-rum Choi, director of Social Impact at Dot Incorp, about their new braille Dot Watch, and what we might
expect from this technology in the future.
Previous episodes and all other content can be found at:
Subscribe to the podcast wherever you get your podcasts or listen on your Amazon or Google smart home device by saying ďplay Eyes On Success podcastĒ.
Services and training.
currently offering anxiety relief
Joshua from Blind Man Walking here. A lot of people are hurting right now. I'm currently offering anxiety relief through my training as a Master NLP Practitioner
and hypnotist. I can help with other issues as well. I charge $180 per session or $490 for a block of 4 bought in advance. I am offering sessions on a
sliding scale for those in need without the ability to pay my normal rates. I am doing this to help others and to cover my martial arts school's expenses
while we need to keep our doors closed. If you are interested, please email me at Joshua@joshuathejedi.com.
Do you need help learning the basics of JAWS and Windows but don't have state resources or help? Do you have an iPhone or iPad but are having trouble using
Maybe Galanos Consulting can be of assistance. Just $25 an hour and your first consultation is free.
PayPal, Cash app, Venmo, Apple Pay, Google Pay and Zell are all accepted.
Want to create podcast content or record yourself singing karaoke? Intimidated by the complexity of a multi-track editor? Need help in digitizing those
old LP's or cassettes into mp3's? Want to create ring tones?
I can teach you the basics using Audacity. Just $25 an hour. Your initial consultation is free!
PayPal, Cash app, Venmo, Apple Pay, Google Pay and Zell are all accepted.
Do you need new station ID's, hooks, drops or commercials done for your radio station?
We can do that too!!! Starting price is $25.
PayPal, Cash app, Venmo, Apple Pay, Google Pay and Zell are all accepted.
Business and employment opportunities:
Looking for persons who are interested in becoming a Mary Kay distributor.
Even if you don't wear makeup, you can make money learning how to do skincare classes. If interested, call (917) 696-8115.
By Lori Motis
Personal Power; The iOS Edition
A very extensive guide to using voice over on iOS devices.
This book is a multi-year labor of love put together by Michael Feir.
You can access it on AppleVis at:
From His blog:
Hello everyone. I'm very happy to announce that after three and a half years of writing, it's finally ready for release. Personal Power; The iOS Edition
is a guide for blind people who either own or are interested in using iOS devices made by Apple. Namely, iPhones, iPads and iPods. No prior experience
is presumed. I've written this guide to be as approachable to absolute beginners as possible. Clocking in at around 250000 words, it has thirty-four major
sections with second and third level subsections to ease navigation. There is also an interactive table of contents. The guide is not a manual so much
as it is a travel guide. I wanted to impart the skills you'll need to thrive in the iOS ecosystem. However, I felt that it was even more important to help
newcomers explore the possibilities of what they might do with an iOS device. As with my prior Personal Power guide, I approach this from the perspective
of personal life enrichment rather than employment. I think that finding ways to enjoy using iOS devices is vital if one seeks to become competent. As
with the prior Personal Power guide, this one too is released free of charge. People may not alter the text other than to make the document more accessible
to those with disabilities. I'd appreciate any such efforts. Making the guide available as a DAISY book or in Braille would doubtless be of help to people.
I encourage people to distribute this guide to whoever they think might find it useful. They are also free to post it in libraries or elsewhere on the
Internet. Below is the ling to a Dropbox folder which contains versions in PDF, Epub, Microsoft Word and Richtext:
Blind man walking
Treasure enough for now
By Joshua Loya
We all have experienced a lot in the last 2 to 3 months. On March 14, I was celebrating with friends at a bonfire following the most significant surf contest
of my career thus far. 24 hours later, I was making the difficult decision to close my dojo doors for who knows how long. At the time, I expected itíd
last a week. Maybe 2. Turns out my dojo doors are still closed. My rent is paid through May, but, at the time of this writing, I donít know how I am going
to pay for Juneís dojo rent. My main solace is that mine and Andreaís basic household expenses are covered. I havenít had to worry about shelter, food,
or even not being able to pay for streaming services and books which are helping me keep some sanity.
Iíll admit that I have definitely had a few beers more nights than normal over the course of the last few months. Thankfully (I think?), the shock has
worn off. We are experiencing something that is completely new to all of us. Even our elders have never experienced anything quite like this. This includes
my father-in-law who is in his late 70s. He has seen some pretty gnarly stuff. He was a combat photographer in Vietnam. The intensity of what he saw while
there was far more graphic and immediately disturbing than any of us will ever have to witness. That being said, even for him, what is happening now is
To be sure, thousands getting sick and dying is awful. Businesses being forced to be closed is tragic. That being said, there is still treasure to be found,
if we look for it.
For my part, I have had a forced break from rolling (jiu jitsu sparring). Jiu jitsu, also known as Brazilian Jiu Jitsuor Gracie Jiu Jitsu, is a grappling
based martial art. Because it doesnít focus on striking, people can train with much more intensity without injuring each other. If you lose consciousness
because you were strangled, you have far fewer concerns than if you got knocked out with a left hook to the side of the head. Concussions and being choked
out are not the same. Even with all of this, there can be some potential for injury, chronicand otherwise, due to over training and just because you rolled
with a guy who was overzealous one too many times.
I have had shoulder issues for a while. I was over training, especially during the brief period when I was pursuing judo competition. I worked 3 guide
dogs over the course of more than 15 years. Iíve had 2 of my dogs lunge forward and jerk my arm, severely pulling my back and shoulder muscles on my left
side. I played in bands for years, and bass guitars are heavier than electric guitars, generally speaking. Every gigging or formerly active rock musician,
understands the pain of a guitar strap digging into your neck and shoulder for hours after it began to hurt, whether youíre playing a show or just into
jamming with your buddies. And of course, I have had more than a couple of guys in jiu jitsu hit me with leg triangles, which can really crank your neck
and shoulder, in addition to having the potential to put you to sleep, if you arenít fast enough with the tap.
Iíve had limited access to the ocean. I have really had to lean heavily into yoga and yoga like movement to get the exercise I need to keep me sane. I
havenít even felt comfortable going for walks by myself in the midst of this because I donít want to get too close to somebody. (6 feet can be difficult
to determine.) Stay with me. Iím getting to the good part.
Iíve really begun to notice that my shoulders hurt so much less. My balance is getting better. (I can stand on one leg for so much longer than I used to
be able to do.) I can kick higher because my flexibility has so dramatically improved. Iíve recently been skateboarding in my apartment complex parking
lot, carefully listening for cars and using my cane to give me a guide on terrain. When I finally got to surf on May 1, I was pleasantly surprised with
how well I did. I noticed that cardio was a bit of an issue, but balance and board awareness hadnít atrophied as much as I expected.
Iím not going to lie. Iíve had some rough nights, even recently. My PTSD has manifested with severe interruptions to my sleeping patterns, so please donítí
think Iím super human or anything because I have found ways to thrive in the midst of an awful situation. All that is different is that I have been treasure
hunting. The situation is trash. People dying is a horrible thing. A further politically divided world is incredibly sad. I have still found moments of
gold because I have sought them out, and Iíve remembered one of the most powerful questions I can ask myself. Where is my win? It hasnít made living through
a global pandemic easy, but it has made it much more bearable, and that is treasure enough for now.
Joshua Loya is a martial artist and professional adventurer living
near San Diego, California.
Learn more about him by visiting his website: www.joshuathejedi.com
Email him at Joshua@joshuathejedi.com
Living with low vision
By Donna Williams
Well, it seems as though this little tiny microbe is still being a pest. The weather in this part of the country hasnít helped either. Itís been rainy
and cold. That can be very depressing. I know Iíd feel much better if the sun came out for several days in a row and the weather would warm up. It is also
hard not seeing family and friends during special occasions. My Birthday and Easter came and went but they werenít what I hoped theyíd be. However all
was not lost. In times like these we need to be creative in order to maintain our quality of life. We also need to find humor when things become totally
Speaking about creativity there came a point when everyone was advised to wear masks in public. They said these would be easy to make with materials most
people had at home. Well, they donít know me. I am the ultimate art klutz. Give me an art project and I guarantee Iíll find a way to totally mess it up.
Luckily for me my sister is handy at making almost anything. So I told her I needed a mask and a few days later I had one. It is blue which is my favorite
color and it has a special spot where your nose is supposed to go. When I first put it on it was comfortable and I was grateful to have it.
true test of its use occurred the next time I had to go outside and retrieve groceries from my momís car. I put the mask on and after a few minutes I found
I hated breathing through the cloth. I chided myself because I know this is not a natural state. I hate putting anything over my face. Even in the wintertime
I wonít put on ear muffs, a hat, or scarf. So getting used to having something over my mouth and nose was challenging. I suffer with claustrophobia at
times and will do anything to avoid situations
that make me feel hemmed in. A far greater challenge though was navigating once I left my apartment. This
requires some explanation. When I look at the world around me I see through a tiny slit at the bottom of my eye. Unfortunately for me part of the mask
was in my line of vision. Every time I attempted to look down then out all I could see was blue material. I mentioned this to my mom and she offered me
a different type of mask. Thankfully this one is more easily adjustable and I can even move it slightly off my nose so that when Iím outside I can breathe
in the fresh air. If I encounter others all I have to do is pull it up and my nose will be covered again. Itís amazing the considerations we as blind or
visually impaired people donít think about when we encounter a challenge due to circumstances beyond our control.
Speaking of which I have a funny story to share and itís related to the happy days I want to tell you about. Everyone who knows me well is aware I love
to read especially if I can get my hands on a large print book. One night while reading I began to see a shadow in my line of vision. I started to worry
since by this time Iíd missed an eye doctor appointment. When I was there in January my pressure was up again and she wanted to see me in 2 months. Then
the pandemic came along. Seeing this shadow caused me to wonder if I was starting to lose more vision. I tried to convince myself that my thoughts were
fiction but the shadow would not go away. Then a few days before my Birthday my mom mentioned that she noticed my hair was getting long and it might be
time to cut it. After we hung up I grabbed my book, turned on my reading lamp and started to read. This time when I saw the shadow that had been plaguing
me I reached up and tried to touch it. I viciously yanked it aside and felt pain on my scalp. I then began to laugh with joy. The mystery was solved. I
had pulled so hard I was left holding one of my bangs in my fingers.
I am pleased to report that the rest of my bangs were cut. This happened on my birthday. Instead of sitting around here on my own my mom came to visit.
She didnít stay long and we didnít get real close but she was able to cut some of my hair. She did this by putting her hand on my forehead, stepping back
an arms length from me, and cutting from that distance. I open my present from her while she was here and once she left I enjoyed a home cooked meal she
made. That was one of my happiest days during this whole pandemic.
The second happy day occurred on Easter. I spent the day alone. Attending a church service via zoom wasnít the same as being in the sanctuary worshipping
with songs of joy and praise but it was better then nothing. We had no plans to gather as a family this year so I was prepared to make the best of what
I had. My mom however still decided to make some of our Easter favorites and she made a special delivery. She didnít stay but despite having to eat alone
I was able to enjoy eating a nice home cooked meal.
Speaking of eating Iíd like to tell you about last Saturday. It was finally warm enough to open up the windows and let in some fresh air. As I was playing
on my computer I began to think about how good a chicken cheese steak would taste. I decided it was time to support my favorite family business so I called
and got a delivery. I ordered 2 sandwiches and some soda and it was so nice to sit near the window and enjoy the fresh air as I ate.
I have had other happy times during this crisis but the ones I shared above are particularly memorable. I hope that as we continue to navigate through
this path of unknown obstacles you will find some special days or times that you can treasure.
I always look forward to hearing from you. Feel free to send email to:
Tips and tidbits from the Food Lady
Shopping while having to stay at home.
I have been finding it hard to not be able to go shopping like I used to. I cannot go to the grocery stores, Walmart, Trader Joes, or even to the pharmacy.
The senior centers are closed, and the senior buses are not running. They are slowly starting to open things here in Idaho. In June, the senior bus trips
and rides to appointments, should be starting up again. I am so looking forward to getting out and visiting with people.
I am very blessed to have a sister that shops for us each week at our local WINCO grocery store. She knows what I like, and I send her a detailed list.
She has my debit card and my grocery bags so she can go and pay for it, and then drop off at our home. She lives just two blocks away, which makes things
Of course, I feel somewhat limited in choices since I am not at the store and able to check out new items and compare and pick out produce or even change
my mind. Also, many items have been out of stock.
I sure do miss going to Trader Joes once a month on the senior bus. Walmart too.
I have used Instant Cart a couple of times, but mostly I have been shopping online. Websites like vitacost.com, Amazon and Walmart too. This has been good
as far as having the freedom to choose the items I want to buy.
I must say the deliveries have been great from all online stores. Especially with the vitacost.com shipment, they were packaged well and no dents in the
cans, and the glass jars were packaged exceptionally well.
I have found that I have not been incredibly wise in my diet. I have bought lots of packaged items and frozen meals. I have babied myself a lot with ice
cream and even Pop-Tarts. This week I am being more health conscious. Time to get back to exercising and eating well again. How are all of you doing?
I have not been very inspired to cook much. I guess I have been lazy. I have enjoyed buying Top Ramen noodles, but not using the flavor packets. I heat
up Vegetable broth or chicken broth and add the noodles. I need to watch my sodium. Sometimes I add vegetables, but mostly I like the broth and noodles
alone. It is a sort of comfort food that is not too awful.
If you have some great shopping experiences or tips, please send them to me to share with everyone. I had a subscriber suggest Meal on Wheels for any of
you where that is available. I have never used that service, but a lot of the seniors around here do. The two local senior centers have been delivering
them to their clients.
There are a lot of frozen dinners that are healthy and taste good. I usually buy Healthy Choice, Lean Cuisine, Eat Well, Amyís and then I have bought breaded
chicken strips and breaded cod and frozen vegetables. If you have an Air Fryer, the breaded items are very quick to cook and taste great.
My creative cooking ideas are not active these days. I hope to have some new recipes for you next month. Please send me your favorites to share.
Stay safe and be well.
Driving Miss Donna
ďThe New iPhone 11Ē
by: Lynn Anderson
Before Donnaís vision loss, we both had what they call Android flip phones. They were simple to use, not too complex and pretty handy. As Donna lost more
vision, it became pretty impossible for her to use the flip phone, so we both transitioned over to iPhones. In this case, the iPhone 6S. We went to our
phone carrier, excited to learn about the new smart phones we were just about to purchase. The young man who demonstrated the smart phone spent close to
30 minutes discussing the various, amazing things that this new phone could do and we both nodded a lot and said, Wow! Then at the end of his talk, he
looked at us and asked if we had any questions? He had a huge smile on his face as though he had just sold us the first ride on the space shuttle. I said,
how do you answer a phone call? I had never heard of swiping, or any of that stuff, it wasnít necessary with the flip phone after all! The poor guy just
stared at me like he couldnít believe what he was hearing. When he came back to himself, he simply moved his finger sideways across the little bar at the
bottom of the phone. He didnít speak. Maybe he thought I was joking? Maybe he thought I wasnít smart enough for a smart phone? Hard to know!
Time passed and Donna was learning a new language called Voiceover, which I learned allows blind and visually impaired individuals to use their iPhone.
I found out it is a pretty ingenious system which uses a series of finger taps and swipes to operate the phone. Donna had set-up her email, was texting,
posting to Facebook, joining in Zoom meetings, storing photos and files, continually adding new contacts, sending group texts, sending group emails, paying
bills using her new phone, maybe even launching the space shuttle, and was becoming a walking storehouse of iPhone knowledge and wisdom. In my case, I
was still pretty happy just being able to answer phone calls with a single swipe.
For sighted people, Voiceover is noisy. The program voice, is well, chatty. At first it really bothered me, but over time, it just became part of the background
noise. Sometimes when Iím visiting Donna at her apartment, she will ask me to go into her bedroom to get her phone off the charger, and I always feel like
Iím stealing the phone. As I pick it up, Voiceover always has to speak loudly the time, she tells me to use two fingers to swipe up or three fingers to
swipe down, or whatever else Voiceover has to say, and it always makes Donna laugh. I feel like Voiceover is ratting me out or something. Even with the
noise, the use of Voiceover has made such a change in Donnaís life. Before we got the new phones, I had to read information texts to Donna, help her find
numbers on her old phone, and other similar items. With the Voiceover, Donna has once again been able to be independent.
Over time, Donnaís iPhone 6S began to fail. Donna is a major battery user and abuser, and the poor phone could no longer hold a charge. We went to Best
Buy to see about replacing the battery, but due to new upgrades coming from Apple, the technician pretty much told us that the iPhone 6S was about to become
a paper weight! Donna was starting to panic, as a large part of her life and business affairs are handled on her iPhone, but I told her that weíd just
have to buy new phones, no problem. So, Donna began to research the best possible iPhone to buy, and hopefully at the best possible price. Donna is a value
shopper, and well, Iím not. So, the phone was selected, the best place to purchase it determined and we set out again to Best Buy to make the purchase.
Problem number 1: Best Buy didnít have the iPhone XR that Donna had selected. They did have that phone, but the memory on it was minimal, and wouldnít
even hope to hold all of the Apps that Donna had on her current phone. OK, well, letís order the phone with the higher memory. The sales rep was very happy
to put in the order.
Problem number 2: Well, they could no longer order the iPhone XR, because the new iPhone 11 had just been launched, and Apple was no longer selling the
XR version. The sales rep was very kind and did call other Best Buyís to see if they had the higher memory XR version still in stock, and we hit a brick
wall. It wasnít going to happen. He did ask if Donna would like to purchase a refurbished phone, but that just wasnít going to happen.
Well, weíre smart, independent women, so we made a decision to head to our phone carrier and see if they had the iPhone XR with the higher memory available.
When we arrived at the store, there was no one in the shop. No one. That in itself is a miracle. Anytime weíve gone there in the past for assistance, we
were usually at the end of a very long waiting list, and it wasnít unusual to spend upwards of an hour waiting for our turn. But no one in line, it had
to be a good sign, they must have had the iPhone XR! The salesperson took our names and asked us to wait for a representative. We took seats and waited,
and waited, and waited, and watched as the shop completely filled up with customers. Well, I thought, no problem, we are first on the list. We waited for
close to 30 minutes, before our representative showed up, the very same salesperson who first checked us in at the door. Where had she been, I wondered?
But nothing was going to bring us down today, because, well, it just wasnít!
Problem number 3: The carrier only had the iPhone XR in the lower memory version, and there wasnít a deal on it at the time. In fact, after trying to get
any information out of our representative, we discovered that the new iPhone 11 was actually $50 cheaper than the older iPhone XR.
Donna and I discussed this and agreed that weíd move on from the XR version and go forward with the iPhone 11. During this time our representative was
tapping her very long, beautifully polished and rhinestone studded fingernails on her tablet. I seem to remember that she sighed quite a lot. Again, we
were not going to be brought down, as we were both so excited to be getting our new phones! We picked out our phones, picked out the new cases and screen
protector, and then I asked our representative to set the phones up for us.
Problem number 4: We no longer do that, the representative said in a bored voice. Donna is blind, I said back to her, she canít set up her own phone. The
representative handed me a paper with a set of instructions and a phone number at the bottom. Itís easy, she said, just follow these instructions and call
the phone number if you have any problems.
We do have a problem, I said, we need you to set-up the phones, canít someone else help? The representative looked around the room and said, you can see
how busy we are, I canít possibly be expected to help! I was ready for a fight. I said, look when we got here, we were the only customers. You checked
us in and let us sit here for 30 minutes before you helped us, so the fact that you have a lot of customers is not our fault! The representative turned
around and left. I was ready to talk with the manager, but Donna was ready to leave, so we went ahead and left. How hard can it be, Donna said with a lot
Problem number 5: I was the person setting up the phone. I am not under the age of 18, and I am not a scientist with NASA, and in setting up the phone,
I made a fatal error. Iím not even sure what the error was, but it was fatal enough that I had to dial the number at the bottom of the paper.
I explained to the technician what I thought had happened, but I wasnít sure, and that the new phone was locked. For some unexplainable reason, I was able
to activate Voiceover during the set-up which at the time I thought was a huge victory, but which nearly turned out to be the demise of the new iPhone
11. When you first open your new iPhone 11, it is a very friendly device which says Hello, or Ola, or a version of Hello in many languages. You pick the
language of your choice, and then the phone is set-up in that language. Whatever I did wrong, it was a doozy. Voiceover was stuck in a loop of saying out
loud (very loud) Hello, Ola, and so on over and over again. It was making both of us crazy, and even Donna with her advanced Voiceover skills could not
get it to stop.
Problem number 6: After being on the phone with our carrier for close to three hours, the phone was finally unlocked, but neither of the technicians that
I spoke with over the course of that time period knew a thing about Voiceover and couldnít get the phone to stop saying Hello in about 20 different languages.
The final technician I spoke with asked me to hold, I said OK, and that is the last I heard from them.
Problem number 7: Donna was hysterical. Nothing I said helped, she was crying, well more like wailing, and was trying to bury herself in her recliner chair.
Just throw the phone away, she kept crying out, just throw the thing away! It is never going to work!!!
Problem number 8: Donna and I do not live far from the Pacific Ocean, and I was just about ready to hang up the phone, get in my car, drive to the beach
and then throw the brand-new iPhone 11 into the beautiful, blue ocean. I could just imagine the phone screaming out Hello, Ola and all of the other languages
as it sank away into oblivion.
But I couldnít do that. I tried to reassure Donna that everything would be fine, that we just needed to be patient. It wasnít helping or working for that
Then, the voice of a very friendly man came on the line, he said, Hello, this is Apple Accessibility, how may I help you? I was shocked. The phone carrier
had transferred my call over to Apple without even saying a word. With the sound of Donna loudly crying in the background, I tried to explain what had
happened. It was hard, because Donna kept interrupting me with important details to the story that I had omitted. Finally, the man asked to speak with
Donna directly so he could get a clear story of what had happened.
I handed Donna the phone. She was still crying, but the manís soothing voice was calming her down. At one point in the conversation, she even giggled.
I thought, this man is a miracle worker! It turned out that he was also blind, had been blind since birth, and knew quite a lot about the iPhone 11. Donna
sounded like her old self. I was holding her new iPhone 11 while she continued her conversation on my old iPhone 6S.
Problem number 9 (and the final problem): Donna screamed out NOOOOOO!!!! And started crying again.
What on earth? I wondered. What could he have possibly said? Donna handed me back the phone and said, he wants me to hit reset!!! I took the phone back
and he explained that the phone needed to be reset because it was stuck in the greeting loop. I explained to the man that the phone was Donnaís life and
was he sure this is what he wanted me to do? The reset seemed logical to me, but Donna wasnít having it. She kept saying that she didnít want to lose all
of her data, and she refused to reset the new phone! The kind man asked to speak with Donna. I handed the phone back to Donna and got prepared to hit reset
on the new iPhone 11. Donna kept telling the man NO, but finally, with tears running down her face, she looked at me and said, OK, go ahead and hit reset.
I was not at all confident of this new direction. After all, I was the one who had messed it up in the beginning! I took a deep breath, prayed, and then
hit reset. I donít think I started breathing until the iPhone 11 reset! Itís done, I said, not knowing what had actually been done. The man asked me to
turn on Donnaís old iPhone 6S, which I did, then set the two phones side-by-side, which I did. Miraculously, the data from the old iPhone 6S transferred
over to the new iPhone 11! It took about 5 minutes. I handed Donna her new iPhone 11, she went through some of the settings with the man from Apple Accessibility,
thanked him profusely and then said goodbye.
Donnaís tears were gone, she had a big smile on her face, and maybe she was back to reprogramming the space shuttle or some such crazy thing. I had a migraine,
but was so grateful for the man at Apple Accessibility! Finally, I asked Donna what the man had said to make her agree to resetting the new phone. She
smiled and said, well, he told me it was a new phone and didnít have any data on it to lose, so I agreed to the reset. That sounds logical, I said, then
took a deep breath myself.
Blind people talking
My Cousin Diane and Me
By: Donna Kimball
My grandparentís house in Alvarado, Texas was built on a pretty significant slope. The front porch and steps were on level ground, but the back porch was
easily ten feet off the ground because their property sloped downhill to a roadside park that was near the highway. My cousin, Diane, who is three years
younger than me, and also an only child, loved to join me on my many summer adventures at our grandparentís house.
One summer visit, Diane and I were back in my grandparentís bedroom playing, and Diane was sitting in the open window. Their bedroom was in the back part
of the house with the ten-foot drop to the ground. As we were talking, I turned away from her for just a minute, and when I turned back, she wasnít there!
What? I ran to the window, and there, ten feet down, was Diane, sitting in a large aluminum washtub that was filled with water, ice and watermelons! Diane,
I called out, are you OK? She didnít make a sound because she was so stunned and finally hopped out of the tub, dripping icy water from her now frozen
backside! Once the shock had passed, she started laughing and laughing and laughing and couldnít seem to stop. I wanted to join in with the laughter but
I was terrified that she would need to go to the hospital! Not so! Her resilient recuperation proved to show that she was a survivor amidst the many summer
adventures that lay ahead of us.
Many summers after we established that there were not witches living on the hill above my grandparentís house, Diane and I began to wonder if there could
be a vampire out in our grandfatherís garden! At the end of the garden was a dug-out dirt tornado shelter with a large wooden door that closed down above
it. It was dark, musty and the ceiling was held up by wooden beams that were supported by heavy wooden posts. On many a moonlit night, we would stare at
the shelter to see if the door would open. This was the summer we became hopelessly addicted to watching the afternoon soap opera, ďDark ShadowsĒ. The
main character was Barnabas Collins, who was a vampire. Our parents must have wondered why their sweet little girls were travelling down the hill and spending
so much time in the spooky old graveyard. The last day we ever spent in that graveyard, was when the ghosts chased us out! After a very animated discussion
telling our grandfather what had happened to us in the graveyard and that we feared a vampire was living in the storm cellar, he took our hands and led
us on a tour of the area. With a big smile on his face, he showed us that because of the tall grass in the graveyard, they had put six goats there to ďmowĒ
the grass. It was the goats that we had heard rustling in the grass that we thought were the ghosts! Then, with garlic in hand, he took us down in the
storm cellar and helped us hang the garlic on all the walls explaining that though he knew there was no such thing as a vampire, our garlic bouquets would
assure us that a vampire would never live out in his garden!
Diane and I being the spoiled, only children to our Mothers who were sisters, we got away with a lot of things that might not have worked with other children.
Dianeís Father, my Uncle Nick, and my Dad, were famous for their fried potatoes. Many summer nights, they would bring out the big old cast iron skillet
and fry up a batch of potatoes fresh picked from Grampaís garden. On one particular summer evening when we were all about to sit down for supper, Diane
and I discovered the worst possible thing that could ever happen! No ketchup? How can you eat fried potatoes without ketchup??? That was our question!
I canít recall how the conversation went, but it ended with our Dadís making a quick trip to the town square to buy us a bottle of Heinze Ketchup. It had
to be Heinze!! Our Daddyís really loved their little girls!
That same summer, our Momís gave us some spending money so that we could walk down to the town square for a shopping spree at the Five and Dime. We were
on a mission to purchase some office supplies for the hospital we were going to set-up in the middle bedroom, as well as some unauthorized make-up. After
finding our office supplies including a file box and index cards for the patient records, we purchased hot pink lipstick and nail polish to match. When
arriving at the checkout the clerk introduced us to a man sitting beside him. It turned out he was the owner of the Five and Dime and also the first blind
person either one of us had ever met. After hearing the clerk say what we had purchased, the owner commented that we had not purchased any candy. When
we explained that we had run out of money, he asked the clerk to put some lollipops and sugar straws in our bag. That summer we made many trips to the
Five and Dime and the store owner would take us aside and read us stories from his braille books, which fascinated us. After each visit, he would also
give us some candy to take home.
Diane and I spent many good times listening to the train whistle as each train would go by; hunting for the seemingly endless supply of marbles that we
would find buried in the garden; eating peaches ripe off the trees in the summertime while fighting off yellow jackets; and leaving many handwritten notes
buried under rocks in the yard for future generations to find. Being first cousins and getting to spend so much time together, Diane and I grew up more
like sisters. May is Dianeís birthday month. Happy Birthday Cousin, this story is for you! Love you!
Yarn, hook and needle
A Different Craft and a Request
By Greg Capps
This is your column. Send me an e-mail telling me what you'd like to see here, send me your favorite pattern to share with others, and send me information
about your online craft groups. All of this will be combined into future articles for Yarn, Hook, and Needle. I don't know what you need. So, help me make
this space helpful to you! And, here is a craft that you may not have thought of before.
Plastic Canvas Sun Catcher
By: Amy Lynn
Make this beautiful plastic canvas sun catcher from Amy Lynn to hang outdoors or by a window. This plastic canvas craft can easily be changed to suit your
needs, and they also look great on your Christmas tree.
1 Sheet clear plastic canvas
12 clear 8mm round plastic beads
6 colored 3mm starburst beads
1 ball of yarn any color you wish
Tapestry needle for Plastic canvas
1. Take the plastic canvas and cut it into 3 squares wide by 24 squares long. Create 6 of these in total to create one sun catcher.
2. Thread your needle with the yarn of your choice.
3. Holding the piece so its height is the 3 squares, working from right to left on the top of the piece, put the needle in the top right hole and pull
the thread toward you, careful to not pull it all the way through. Leave half an inch of yarn in the back side which you will be tucking in instead of
4. Take the needle and wrap it around and pull the needle through the square right next to the square you just pulled the needle through. Be sure to wrap
the yarn around the excess yarn you left behind. Continue working this all the way around the piece until you get to the left hand side.
5. Fold the piece of plastic canvas in half so the ends which haven't been stitched yet meet. Now in the same stitch pattern you been working stitch these
two sides together. It will create a tear drop effect if done properly.
6. Now you continue on stitching the remaining edge of the plastic canvas so each side matches.
7. When you are done take the needle and weave it through the area of the drop where the 2 sides met, securing it without a knot on the underside of the
drop. Trim off excess yarn. You have just finished one of the "tear drops." Repeat these steps until you have six completed "tear drops".
8. Once you have created your 6 "tear drops" you are now ready to start the bead work.
9. Taking your needle and thread, take one of the "tear drops" and count down in the middle of the row of 3 squares, down to the 7th square, insert your
needle directly into the middle of the "tear drop" add 1 8mm round bead, 1 3mm starburst, and then 1 8mm round bead, now insert the needle in the 7th square
on the other side (still inside) of the "tear drop". Once you are on the outside of the "tear drop" repeat this step, taking your needle and thread, take
one of the "tear drops" and count down in the middle of the row of 3 squares, down to the 7th square, insert your needle directly into the middle of the
"tear drop" add 1 8mm round bead, 1 3mm starburst, and then 1 8mm round bead, now insert the needle in the 7th square on the other side (still inside)
of the "tear drop". Keep going until all 6 are linked up, which should be about 6 inches worth of yarn. Tie a knot between the 1st and last "tear drop"
you have linked up. Create a loop about 4 inches long for hanging in a window.
10. Now you can take your just created Sun Catcher and turn it so all the "tear drops" are pointing inward. Leaving the round part of the drops all on
the outside, that is one style. Another style is leaving as is that style and turning every other one so the point is pointing outward. Another style is
taking all the "tear drops" and pointing all the "tear drops" so the points are all facing outward. The last is my favorite style. But the changes are
limitless, and these sell like hotcakes around Christmas time as many use these to decorate their trees.
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This is the end of the April special edition of the Blind Post classified news.
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