[NFBOH-Cleveland] Fwd: [theblindperspective] May 2018 Newsletter

Cheryl Fields cherylelaine1957 at gmail.com
Tue May 1 19:45:24 UTC 2018

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Blind Perspective <theblindperspective at gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2018 15:44:13 -0700
Subject: [theblindperspective] May 2018 Newsletter
To: theblindperspective at groups.io

Welcome to The Blind Perspective

May 2018
Volume 4 Issue 5

Table of Contents
Greetings from the Editor
Movers and Shakers
International Perspective
Exercise, Does A Body Good
Have I Got A Story For You
The Braille Highway
Kaleidoscope of Krafts
Spencer's Spotlight
APPetizers: Byte Size Tidbits to Help Master Your iDevice
A Time to Plant
the Alternating Duo: Here's To Your Health
the Rotating Trio: Potpourri
Readers Perspective
Cooking Concoctions
Riddle and Brain Buster

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If you have any trouble reading this copy you can go to Click Here it
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Greetings from the Editor
By Karen Santiago
Welcome to the May issue!
I would first like to take this opportunity to wish all the moms a
very Happy Mother's Day. Here is a poem I thought to share with you:
A Mother.
When you're a child she walks before you,
To set an example.
When you're a teenager she walks behind you
To be there should you need her.
When you're an adult she walks beside you
So that as two friends you can enjoy life together.
Author Unknown

Thanks go out to the RNIB! To our friends in the United Kingdom, Carla
Jo is now able to give you the book information from RNIB (if
available) so you too can check out the books she reviews.

Needed: Blind individuals to interview for my International
Perspective segment. If you, or if you know of someone please send me
an email at: Karen at TheBlindPerspective.com

At A Glance: Be My Eyes, Stevenage, Upper Body Resistance, RNIB &
books, Author Interview, Plant Hanger, Let There Be Light, Another
Update, Seeds & Transplants, Proteins, In the Kitchen, Educate &
Partners, Vegetables, Riddle & Brain Buster!

Movers & Shakers
Be My Eyes
By Karen Santiago
Karen at TheBlindPerspective.com

Early last month I had an eye-opening interview with Alexander
Hauerslev Jensen. Alexander is the Community Director for Be My Eyes.
Please read on to learn about this fascinating app and its newest

Hans Jørgen Wiberg is the creator of Be My Eyes. As a visually
impaired person himself, he was interested in creating a platform to
link sighted volunteers with blind/ visually impaired individuals in
order to assist them with a variety of tasks. After two and a half
years in development, the Be My Eyes app was launched in Denmark on
January 15, 2015.

Be My eyes had no formal marketing prior to its launch, just word of
mouth. Apparently, that worked quite well since after just 24 hours,
Be My Eyes had 10,000 volunteers, 1,000 subscribers, and was available
in 30 countries! Be My Eyes continued to grow by word of mouth by both
the volunteers and the subscribers. Be My Eyes became a global
phenomenon, breaking down barriers among sighted and blind
individuals. As well as different languages, cultures, and time zones.

The Be My eyes app is free and available on iOS and Android devices.
You do not need to have wifi, the app will run off your data usage.
The volunteers are available 24 / 7, around the world! Check out these
impressive numbers, as of the writing of this article:
Volunteers: 955,000
Blind/ Visually Impaired Subscribers: 70,000
Languages: over 180
Countries: 180

The app is very simple and easy to navigate. Once downloaded, tap onto
the "Call first available volunteer" button. Then, usually within 30
seconds you will be connected with a volunteer. Next, point the camera
on your phone in the direction of what you want the volunteer to help
you with. Users ask for assistance with such things as reading an
expiration date, stating the color of a piece of clothing, reading
mail, finding something that fell on the floor, sorting a CD or record
collection (which I did do recently), and many other tasks.

According to the volunteers, most calls tend to run 2 to 7 minutes
long. Although there is no limit to the length of the call, it would
be considerate to inform the volunteer at the onset of the call that
your task may take a considerable amount of time to complete. If the
volunteer is able to devote the time to help with the task, then
great, if not, then you can always call again for another volunteer
that is able to assist you.

Be My Eyes recently launched a new feature called Specialized Help.
Microsoft is the first company to be highlighted here. Once on the
app, blind/ low vision users can tap on the Specialized Help button,
and then the Microsoft button. Users will then be connected with a
member of the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk to get support on
questions about their Microsoft product or service.

Be my Eyes has received over 600 suggestions for other company's
support lines to add to this platform. They are currently working with
several other organizations in hopes of adding them soon. There will
be different categories within the Specialized Help. These may include
assistive technology, banking, and transportation, just to name a few.

B My Eyes latest feature is Community Stories. On the main page of the
app, in the lower left-hand corner tap onto the Stories tab. Once in
there, you can flick through the different story titles. If you want
to listen to one, just tap on the title, then the play button. These
are inspirational, funny, and educational stories from both volunteers
and users from around the world.

Alexander concluded the interview with these words: "there are
different solutions for different demands & needs. We at Be My Eyes,
have a philosophy that our accessible product should always remain
free for our blind and low vision users."

Contact information:
Website: BeMyEyes.com

Facebook: Facebook.com/BeMyEyesapp

Twitter: twitter.com/bemyeyes

International Perspective
Stevenage, England
By Karen Santiago
Karen at TheBlindPerspective.com

I had the pleasure of speaking with, and interviewing Danny Miles of Stevenage.

A bit about Stevenage:
In 1947 Stevenage became the location for the first New Town in
England. Stevenage is in southeast England, and about 35 miles north
of the capital city of London. Stevenage is an urban town situated
near countryside's and picturesque villages. The population here is
roughly 90,000 people.

Blind Schools:
There are blind schools, most of them are residential. Primary schools
are for students between the ages of 4 and 11. Students then continue
onto secondary schools till they are 18. These schools follow the
same, or very similar curriculum as in the "regular" schools. Blind
students learn braille and receive orientation and mobility training.

Since 1990 there has been the approach to try to mainstream blind
individuals into the public schools. This is currently the more
popular option for blind students. Danny was mainstreamed throughout
his primary and secondary education. The schools have one or more
learning support assistance (LSA), acting as the base for the
individual's education. Danny had time set aside while in the primary
grades to learn braille. As he attended secondary school, time was
also set aside to work and study with the LSA on subjects that were
more important than others. The school he attended was very
accommodating to his needs. Danny was able to recite, braille, or use
his laptop to type his answers depending on the situation. He was
allowed extra time to complete exams.
The summer before Danny began secondary school, he was given mobility
and orientation lessons. With these instructions, Danny was able to
navigate the school quite well, and without a white cane. It wasn't
until his second year at school that he received formal white cane
training. However, he was able to travel throughout the school
already, so he did not use the cane.

Residential Blind Colleges:
More common these days is for individuals 16 and older including
adults, to attend these residential colleges. Those who have just lost
their sight, especially later in life, can stay at the college for 6
months to a year. During their stay, they will learn rehabilitation
skills. The program is based on individual needs and interests. For
example, one can have part time studies and part time rehabilitation.
Adult learning courses are taught here.

Danny attended Middlesex University. Some textbooks were in braille,
many were not. He had to rely on his assistant who took notes during
lectures, and read other course materials to him.

Blind in Business: helps people who are blind or have partial sight
into work. In addition, they offer help and support with finding work,
the interview process, and obtaining equipment to help you succeed.
However, Danny did not have such a positive experience with this

Assistive Technology:
In order for individuals to get the assistive technology they need,
they need to reach out to various charities and ask for funding.

Access to Work: provide financial assistance for people who are
guaranteed a position or already employed. They will pay for
equipment, human support, and transportation within the job.

Personal Independence Payment: monthly payment regardless of other
income. Payment is determined based on individual's level of care and
mobility. This is to assist with things that you need because of your
Employment & Support Allowance: for those deemed unable to work. The
amount for this benefit is dependent upon one's income.

75% of visually impaired people are unemployed
Roughly two million people in the United Kingdom are visually
impaired, with 5% being totally blind
Relatively speaking, only a small percentage of people use braille

Equality act: gives all disabled people rights to access the same
opportunities, services, and products as an abled body person.

Only 4% of literature is available (books, newspapers, magazines, etc)
are made accessible in any alternative format, be that audio,
electronic, braille, or large print.

Government documents and bank statements are available in braille upon request.
Most restaurants do not have braille menus. however, the servers are
very accommodating and will read the menu.

Walking around:
Some sidewalks have curb cuts and tactile strips. There are also
places where cars drive in the pedestrian areas, making it quite
There are some audible signals, which they refer to as Pelican
Crossing. They also have crossings with the audible signals and a
moving wheel underneath. The wheel turns when the light changes, and
stops turning when the light turns back and the cars go. Danny says
that where these signals are, it's fantastic, but it's not consistent.
He also added it is always best to know your surroundings and use your
orientation and mobility skills to travel safely.

Dial A Ride: charitable organization not widespread as it used to be.
Hospital Community Volunteer Service: volunteer drivers give rides
predominantly for medical appointments; users pay just for the cost of
the gas.
Buses: If you meet the criteria then you receive a bus permit which
enables you and a companion to ride for free.
Train: If you qualify you receive a Disability Rail Card, which
enables you and a companion one third off the fare.

Guide Dog Schools:
There are three guide dog schools, Guide Dogs for the Blind
Association being the most popular one. Guide dogs have the right to
access public places. However, there are numerous stories of users
being denied entrance to shops, restaurants, taxis, etc., due to the
dogs. The theory is good, but the practice is not.

Reading services:
RNIB provides talking books through the post at no charge. Braille
books are also available although limited, due to the increase demand
for electronic copies.

British Blind Sports: is a charity that helps blind and partially
sighted people get active and play sports. Although acting as the
umbrella organization, most localized sports clubs are set up by

RNIB: Royal National institute of blind people the UK's leading
charity supporting blind and partially sighted people. They provide a
variety of services such as a helpline, reading services, courses,
resource centers, E learning, and more.

Final thoughts:
Danny is truly appreciative of what he has, but would like things to
be more consistent. There seems to be a growing lack of empathy and
assistance for people with all disabilities from the government and
the power to be. Danny would like to see as most of us, no matter
where we live, more funding to support the services blind individuals
need. Danny says that we are all meant to be equal, yet some
disabilities need more to reach that level of equality.

Exercise, Does A Body Good
By Dan Kiely
Dan at TheBlindPerspective.com

Welcome back to another edition of Exercise Does A Body Good.
Last month I introduced you to resistance band training using your
lower body. This issue focuses on exercising your upper body with the
resistance band. The colors of the resistance bands are yellow, green,
red, blue, and black.

Yellow bands are the lightest and stretchiest. Use this color to work
the shoulders and shins.
Green bands are stronger than the yellow, and less stretchy. Work the
triceps and calves with this color.
Red bands are stronger and less stretchy than both the yellow and
green ones. The muscles you would concentrate on with this color are
the larger muscles such as the biceps, chest, back, and legs.
Blue bands are stronger and less stretchy than the previously
mentioned colors. This color is good for working the larger muscle
groups, and you can work with a partner.
Black bands are the strongest and work best with the largest muscles
and like the blue bands you can work with a partner.

The following exercises will work on the chest, back, shoulders, and biceps.

For the Chest: Depending on your strength, use either the red, blue,
or black resistance band.
The resistance band can either be wrapped around a pole or inserted
into a closed door.
Starting position: Stand up facing away from the door or pole, feet
hip width apart, and knees slightly bent. Arms at chest level, elbows
bent at 90 degrees, and forearms parallel to the floor. With bands in
hands, make sure there is no slack in the resistance band in this
starting position.

Movement: Push your arms out forward till there is no bent in your
elbows. Return your arms to the starting position and repeat.

Note: Remember to exhale when pushing forward, and inhale when
returning to the starting position.
Repetitions: Based on your resistance band experience, strength, and
fitness level you can determine how many reps you would like to

For the back: Depending on your strength, use either the red, blue, or
black resistance band.
The resistance band can either be wrapped around a pole or inserted
into a closed door.
Starting position: Stand up facing either the door or the pole, feet
hip width apart, and knees slightly bent. Arms straight out in front
of you at chest level. With bands in hands, make sure there is no
slack in the resistance band in this starting position.

Movement: Pull your arms back until arms and elbows are at 90 degrees,
and return to the starting position and repeat. Think of trying to
squeeze a quarter between your scapula's (shoulder blades), and

Note: This exercise is the reverse of the chest exercise mentioned
above. And, remember to breathe.
Repetitions: Based on your resistance band experience, strength, and
fitness level you can determine how many reps you would like to

For the shoulders: Use the yellow band.
Starting position: Stand with feet hip width apart and knees slightly
bent. This time, stand with feet on top of the band. Grab hold of the
band at shoulder height, hands facing outwards, and elbows at 90
degrees. Again, there should be no slack in the resistance band.

Movement: Push your arms straight up above your head and scream
Touchdown, and return to starting position and repeat.

Note: Exhale when pushing up over your head and inhale when lowering
your elbows.
Repetitions: Based on your resistance band experience, strength, and
fitness level you can determine how many reps you would like to

For the biceps: Depending on your strength, choose between the red,
blue, or the black band.
Starting position: Stand on the band with feet hip width apart and
knees slightly bent. Grab hold of the band, arms should be at your
sides, palms facing forward, and elbows straight.

Movement: Pull up with your upper arms and elbows bending, and your
palms moving to your shoulders. Return to starting position, and

Note: Remember to exhale when pulling up and inhale when lowering back
to starting position. Also remember in all starting positions, there
should be no slack in the band.

Health Tip:
Whether the temperature is rising or falling it's time to get walking.
Think about doing 10,000 steps a day, which averages out to 5 miles.
How you do your steps is up to you. For example march in place, walk
around in circles in your driveway, walk up and down your street, or
walk around an indoor mall. Get creative and get stepping, and burn
those calories! Happy trails!

Have I Got A Story For You
By Carla Jo Bratton
CarlaJo at TheBlindPerspective.com

Spring Salutations perspective book lovers!
I am thrilled to bring you some book recommendations of books that
have finally hit the BARD website and has long been on the RNIB site.
I am also pleased to announce that I have been allowed to research
books on the RNIB site for the U K. So, let's get on with the good
stuff, the books!

The Chronicles of St. Mary's, books 1, 2 and 3
written by Jodi Taylor
Book 1 from RNIB call number is; TB23851
The first 3 books in The Chronicles of St. Mary's series are book1;
Just One Damn Thing After Another, book 2; A Symphony of Echoes and
book 3; A Second Chance. These 3 books combined have a reading time of
28 hours and 54 minutes. I read these one at a time and I purchased
mine from Audible. I was thrilled when they landed on BARD and I knew
I could write about them. Here is a bit more about the writer and the

"History is just one damned thing after another."
Behind the seemingly innocuous façade of St Mary's, a different kind
of historical research is taking place. They don't do 'time travel',
they 'investigate major historical events in contemporary time'.
Maintaining the appearance of harmless eccentrics is not always within
their power, especially given their propensity for causing loud
explosions when things get too quiet.

Meet the disaster magnets of St Mary's Institute of Historical
Research as they ricochet around History. Their aim is to observe and
document, to try and find the answers to many of History's unanswered
questions, and not to die in the process. But one wrong move and
History will fight back, to the death. And, as they soon discover,
it's not just History they're fighting.

Follow the catastrophe curve from 11th-century, London to World War I,
and from the Cretaceous Period to the destruction of the Great Library
at Alexandria. For wherever Historians go, chaos is sure to follow in
their wake.

Jodi Taylor was Born in Bristol and educated in Gloucester (facts both
cities vigorously deny). She spent many years with her head somewhere
else, much to the dismay of family, teachers and employers, before
finally deciding to put all that daydreaming to good use and pick up a
pen. She still has no idea what she wants to do when she grows up.

My comments: Please don't let the words, fantasy or time travel put
you off. These are funny, delightful, often times very serious books.
Jodi Taylor is a meticulous historical researcher, her characters are
believable and engaging. BARD has the first 3 books and the RNIB has
several. Canada, write your library and ask for these titles.

Here is a book I just happened to have on my to be read list and then
I got a note from the writer. I haven't read this one yet, but didn't
want to wait to give it a mention.

Writing out loud: what a blind teacher learned from leading a memoir
class for seniors
written by Beth Finke
Reading time: 9 hours and 55 minutes
Journalist who chronicled her loss of sight from diabetic retinopathy
in Long Time, No See (DB 56482) reflects on teaching a memoir-writing
class to older adults in Chicago. Discusses living in a new city,
describes challenges she faces as a teacher, and shares excerpts from
her students' work.

The CNIB has Beth's first book, Long Time, No See and the call number
is DZ29972.

Radio Free Vermont; A Fable of Resistance
written by; Bill McKibben
reading time;5 hours and 18 minutes
A book that's also the beginning of a movement, Bill McKibben's debut
novel Radio Free Vermont follows a band of Vermont patriots who decide
that their state might be better off as its own republic.

As the host of Radio Free Vermont, "underground, underpowered, and
underfoot", 72-year-old Vern Barclay is currently broadcasting from an
"undisclosed and double-secret location". With the help of a young
computer prodigy named Perry Alterson, Vern uses his radio show to
advocate for a simple yet radical idea: an independent Vermont, one
where the state secedes from the United States and operates under a
free local economy. But for now, he and his radio show must remain
untraceable, because in addition to being a lifelong Vermonter and
concerned citizen, Vern Barclay is also a fugitive from the law.

In Radio Free Vermont, Bill McKibben entertains and expands upon an
idea that's become more popular than ever - seceding from the United
States. Along with Vern and Perry, McKibben imagines an eccentric
group of activists who carry out their own version of guerilla
warfare, which includes dismissing local middle school children early
in honor of Ethan Allen Day and hijacking a Coors Light truck and
replacing the stock with local brew. Witty, biting, and terrifyingly
timely, Radio Free Vermont is Bill McKibben's fictional response to
the burgeoning resistance movement.

My comments; Pay attention! This is political satire, nothing more,
nothing less. I am not discussing politics, just recommending a tongue
in cheek book. A fun read. We need more fun in our lives. So
perspective readers, go get a book and have some fun! Until next time,
Happy reading, Carla jo

The Braille Highway
By Nat Armeni
Nat at TheBlindPerspective.com

Hello and happy May to all! In this month's article you will read a
Q&A exchange I held with our very own Blow Hard, who writes the
Rotating Trio: Windbag segment. As always, I invite your emails good,
bad, or constructive criticism. Just use the email at the top of this

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born blind due to retrolental fibroplasia. I was 3 months
premature, weighing less than 1 pound. Pure oxygen in the incubator
burned the link between the eye and the brain.
Since 2006, I reside in Lawton, Oklahoma. Prior to that, I lived in
Phoenix, Arizona. I will be turning 64 later this month.

Q: when did you learn braille?
I probably learned braille when I started kindergarten at age 5,
through the use of a resource teacher.

Q: Have you learned UEB?
N! O!, and I have no desire to do so. I think that the only good thing
about it is that users of braille in the UK are now using the dot 6 to

Q: When you produce braille, which methods do you use?
I use a braille writer an and electronic braille device.

Q: When you read braille which methods do you use?
I use a braille display and hard copies whenever possible.

Q: Do you use braille at home and/ or work?
I did use it at work until the budget crunch crunched me out of a job.
I also do use it at home.

Q: Give a detailed description of how braille impacts your life?
How could I physically read without something to read? I learn stuff
far better if I can actually read a book rather than listening to an
audio recording.
I take notes on the home computer, then edit them using braille.
I keep track of the material yet to cover while giving a group guitar
lesson each Saturday. I can be reading stuff and the students don't
even know I'm doing it. Sneaky, eh? And, they thought that I had a
memory! Ha ha ha.
I put braille on dymo tape to label my microwave.

Q: In your city do you have access to braille?
We do have brailled elevator buttons and some brailled menus. We can
always use more, but, then again, who couldn't?

Q: Do you have any braille games?
I have Scrabble, Monopoly, and some decks of brailled cards somewhere.
I do have a triple Yahtzee game, and have some braille paper and a
slate and stylus in the box, so that I can keep my own score, just as
those who are sighted do.

Q: As a braille user, what would you say to a blind person who does
not know braille to encourage them to learn it?
Braille is the best and most accurate way to get good feedback from
books or a computer. Over 70 percent of the blind population are not
working, and the vast majority that are working are braille readers.
Regardless of the amount of noise where you are, and whether the
electricity is working or not, regardless of how much battery life you
have remaining in your audio devices, you can still read braille.
Batteries not needed!
Braille gives you independence. You don't get a reader's impressions,
you form your own.
To the professionals in the field of education and rehabilitation who
feel that braille is no longer necessary because we now have speech
output, I ask, "Kids who can see must learn to read. Why shouldn't the

Q: Do you have any cute or novel story to relay that either you or
someone else has done with braille?
I fell in love with a woman that I met online in 2004. Neither of us
were looking, but we met, and, well, there you go. I moved to Oklahoma
in 2006 to be with her. Four months later, I used a Perkins brailler
to create a picture of a frosted birthday cake with lit candles on it.
Above the candle flames, written in all caps it said, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY
TO MY WEE1!!!"
It blew her away, because she had never seen a picture like that. It
was my first attempt at making one too. So, I was thrilled that she
could tell me what it was.

I want to take this opportunity to thank Blow Hard for agreeing to
participate with me in this Q&A exchange! Surprisingly, it was not a
whole bunch of wind!!
Remember folks, braille users do it with feeling! Why should we
complicate life with gadgets when we can compliment it with braille.
Finally, remember to stay on the dotted line of life! Until we meet
again in June stay safe!

Kaleidoscope of Krafts
By Lindy van der Merwe
Lindy at TheBlindPerspective.com

One of the first craft projects I can remember making while still at
primary school was a macrame plant hanger. Macrame was quite popular
in the seventies and went out of style at some point, but as with a
lot of things, it has made a comeback within the past few years.
I remember we used thick rope and large wooden beads for our hangers.
We were taught the larkshead knot as well as the square knot to start
off with.
I often wonder what happened to the plant hanger I made. I started
thinking that it would be nice to be able to make a hanger now that I
actually had a patio where it could be hung.
Though I am able to still do some macrame knots, I found I simply
could not remember how it was all put together. I went in search of a
tutorial or pattern, so, for this month I am sharing a very basic
plant hanger from liagriffith.com that is quick and easy to make (see
sources at the end of article).
For this hanger 6 x 180-inch lengths of 7/16 inch cotton cord was
used, which made a plant holder large enough to hold a 10-inch copper
plant pot.
Once you understand the basic technique of creating this hanger, you
will be able to create other hangers as well, by using different
types, lengths and thicknesses of cords and by varying the types and
placement of your knots. You also don't only have to use a plant in
your hanger. Think of other things like a plate or shallow bowl as a
bird bath or place some type of bird feeder inside your hanger.
As Lia Griffithstates in the introduction to the macrame plant holder
tutorial: "Our DIY macrame plant holder is simple to make even if you
have never tried macrame before. And the great thing about macrame is
that if you do make a mistake or don't like your design, you can
simply undo the knots and start again."

Any kind of cord like cotton, nylon, sisal, jute hemp or wool or fabric yarn
wooden or metal ring, large enough for all 6 cords to fit through
tape measure
Clear glue (optional)

Step 1: Measure and cut 6 cords of 180 inches long and 2 pieces of 20
inches long.

Step 2: Thread all 6 180 inch cords through the metal or wooden ring
to half-way, then wrap securely with a 20-inch length of cord. Pull
tight and push the knot to the inside so it is hidden among the cords.
Secure with a drop of clear glue if preferred.

Step 3: Any macrame project is best created when your cord is secured
at the top before you start. If you prefer to stand while you make
your macrame project, then try securing the ring to a hook on the back
of a door. Or you can secure it to a table leg if you're more of a
"sit on the floor" crafter. Either way, setting yourself up
comfortably before you begin will make the process much easier.

Step 4: Gather the strands into 3 sets of 4 and start to tie the cords
using a simple square knot.
For those not familiar with this type of knot, here are the directions:
Remember that you are using a set of 4 cords: the two strands at the
center are called the filler cords while the left and right strands
are known as the working cords.
To make a square knot, do the following two steps:
First step: take the left cord and bring it over the filler cords and
then under the right cord. Then, take the right cord, bring it under
the filler cords and pull it through the loop on the left. Pull on
both sides to tighten your knot. This forms a half knot and completes
the first part of your square knot.
Second step: take the right cord and bring it over the filler cords
and then under the left cord. Then, take the left cord, bring it under
the filler cords and pull it through the loop on the right. Pull on
both sides to tighten your knot. You have now completed one square
Remember to always start with the left cord to make your half knot and
then to make the second half knot by starting with the cord on your

Step 5: Once each set has 6 square knots tied, split the cords again
into 3 sets of 4, by pairing 2 cords with the 2 just next to them.
Step 6: Continue to tie square knots about 7 inches below the end of
the last row of knots.

Step 7: nce each new set has 6 square knots tied, split the cords
again into 3 sets of 4 and tie 4 square knots.

Step 8: Repeat this last step once more and then secure all 12 cords
at the end with another 20-inch length of cord. Pull tight and push
the knot to the inside so it is hidden among the cords. Secure with a
drop of clear glue if preferred.

Step 9: Trim the ends to the length desired and your DIY macrame plant
holder is ready!

As always, happy crafting and feel free to write with any kind of
craft projects, ideas, questions or suggestions.




Spencer's Spotlight
By Cheryl Spencer
Cheryl at TheBlindPerspective.com

I work as a reservationist in a Paratransit call center. We get calls
from clients checking on their rides, which requires us to put the
client on hold while we check on their rides. While on the phone with
the dispatcher, which can take several minutes, the ride shows up and
the client disconnects the call. Because I cannot see the indicator
light on the phone go out, I have no idea the client is no longer on
the line.

I have heard of a light detector that would emit tones in a low or
high pitch to indicate if the light was on or off, which could be a
tremendous help to me. My husband had actually made one for me and it
stopped working, and I missed having one at work.

A few months ago, I received an e-mail from BlindMice Mega Mall and
called to order something that caught my interest. During my
conversation with Mr. Campbell, I asked him if he knew where I could
get a good light detector that would work on electronics and
telephones. He said he had just discovered a company from Austria that
could do what I wanted. Well, you know me, I ordered 2 of them. Right,
one for work, and one for home. It is called the LumiTest.

It comes with 2 triple A batteries, and in the battery compartment,
there is a tip that can be attached to the end of the LumiTest over
the artificial eye for detecting indicator lights on electronics. This
tip is very small so when you open the LumiTest, make sure the buttons
are facing up so the extra tip does not fall out of its slot. Yep,
happened to me, just saying. This little baby can detect contrast
which is pretty cool.

If you want to know if a surface has colors, or is solid, by placing
the LumiTes artificial eye flat on a surface, you can tell by the
tones emitted. High tones for bright, low tones for dark, whether
there are dark or light patterns. If the tones are solid, there is
just one color. This can also work on paper to indicate print.

There are three buttons, one for contrast, the middle one for general
lighting situations, and the low sensitivity one for detecting low
light situations. It is 6.5 inches long by 1 by 0.75 inches. It weighs
0.13 lbs.

The cost is 79.99, a little steep but I found it worth the price. The
LumiTest is made by Caretec. To order one or read more about this
product, visit: www.BlindMiceMegamall

APPetizers: Byte Size Tidbits to Help Master Your iDevice
By Darrin Cheney
Darrin at TheBlindPerspective.com

Rafting the Rapids of iOS Updates!

I got a notification that iOS 11.3 was ready to download and install.
I've learned by experience an update may cause a favorite app to stop
working or settings and tones to change. "Change is hard!" Getting
older and losing your sight makes it more challenging. Let's face it,
we don't like running the iOS technology river all the time with its
twists and turns of updates, white water app changes, and rocks and
rapids. But, sometimes, the update may be worth the trouble by giving
you better app stability and new features.

Getting Started
Apple usually releases a major update each year like iOS 11 to take
advantage of new hardware like 3D Touch. Beta testers use the software
before it's released to help find and report issues. Then, incremental
updates like iOS 11.3 are released to provide new features like
battery monitor, to fix known bugs, and to enhance stability. Apple
will release specific updates like iOS 11.3.1 to enhance security or
to fix something that was not included in a previous update.

Resources to Explore When Updating iOS
I try to learn as much as I can about an update before I download and
install it. So, I did a little bit of research on iOS 11.3 in the
Apple News app and Google to learn more about it. Next, I checked the
Apple support site for update issues and questions from users.
Finally, I looked for other resources to help me learn about new
features. I've included a resource list at the end of this article.

Apple Support
Apple Accessibility website provides articles on using VO on your
iDevice including gestures, the Rotor, VO keyboard commands and
braille commands. You can download a free updated iOS 11.3 User Guide
in iBooks, download a braille file, or request an embossed copy. You
can also search the support site for specific issues like setting up
mail on an iPhone.

iOS and Technology News
iOS comes with "News," an app where you can read current articles on
topics from various newspapers, magazines, or news agencies. You can
search for topics like "iOS" and then "love" the article or topic.
News will compile these articles into a channel where you read them
with VoiceOver. You can also Google for iOS updates.

Apple Disability Line
Nobody wants a major surprise after they perform an update. Talk about
rocks and rapids. I bought a new iPad and I couldn't get my Alva BC640
to pair or connect. I searched the Apple Braille Support site and
found my display was listed, but the bottom of the page posted,
December 2016, says my Alva BC640 Perkins keys are not supported. This
means I could pair and read braille on the display, but not type. I
contacted the Apple Disability Line, the group who knows accessibility
and VoiceOver. The Apple Support Specialist was wonderful. He
understood my problem and contacted the engineering team. The Apple
Support Specialist worked with me over the phone and he was able to
control my iPad and perform technology magic. My Alva BC640 and iPad
are now happy together and I can read and write braille. I also sent a
message to Optelec in the Netherlands, who made the Alva BC640, about
the pairing issue and I heard back from an engineer who said it should

Other Resources
Invest in yourself and stay current with iOS. A good resource is the
Mosen Consulting (Mosen.org). They offer books, classes, and training
to help you learn iOS and other technology. I would recommend, "iOS 11
Without the Eye." They also have a podcast called "The Blind Side"
where they discuss assistive technology.

Remember, The Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired
produces the "iFocus Video" series with tutorials on new features in

Cool Blind Tech also has articles and podcasts about iOS and other
technology. One nugget I found is an article with a list of iOS 11
braille commands and how you can customize your braille display.

Final Thoughts
We don't like running the technology river all the time, but sometimes
we need to just do it. Get a group of friends together and find a good
technology outfitter to help you down your iOS whitewater adventure
and to avoid the rocks and rapids. Take advice from an experienced
river guide: "Get your head up, hang on tight, and look ahead!" Yes,
the technology river is running high and fast, but the journey is
worth it. You may get wet, but it just may be fun!

Apple iOS News app

Apple Support Website

Apple VoiceOver Website
Apple.com/Vision Accessibility

iOS 11 User Guide Comprehensive list of updates
Support.Apple.User Updates

Apple Disability Support Team

Mosen Consulting

Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired "iFocus"
Instructional Videos

iOS Braille Commands and How to Customize Them
CoolBlindTech.Braille Commands

A Time To Plant
By Sue Brasel
Sue at TheBlindPerspective.com

Plant sales! Which plants to buy?

Each area of the world has a planting guide indicating the frost date.
In the spring, you should be aware that your area (planting zone) has
a date of when the last frost could happen in a normal year. In the
fall, there is a zone of when the first frost is likely to happen.
Because some plants are not cold hardy, they are the ones you should
not have outdoors between the first fall frost date and the last
spring frost date. An example would be tropical plants that thrive in
warm areas, but would not be able to tolerate cold temperatures.

We here in the Northern hemisphere are experiencing the spring time
according to the calendar. If you want to purchase seeds, there is
usually a chart indicating when to plant according to the area you
live in. If you get seeds from a friend, they may be able to tell you
when you can set your plants outside. Any plant that can be
transplanted into soil should follow the same guidelines.

There are thermometers that show soil temperatures, so a gardener can
plant when the ground temperature is good for a particular variety of
plant. Most of us just need to follow the recommendations of planting
within our zone.

One consideration of plants concerns invasive species. These are
plants that look nice in one area, but rapidly grow out of bounds in
other climates. If you choose to grow this kind of plant, container
gardening allows you to have the growing plant, but the roots don't
spread beyond the confines of the pot. Make sure that the holes at the
bottom of the pot are not root escape hatches!

When choosing plants, select varieties that have green, not brown,
wilted leaves. Bigger is not necessarily better. You may want a more
developed leaf structure. If you select a plant which is fruiting,
such as the tomato plant with tiny tomatoes, the fruit might not be
able to withstand transplanting. Transplant shock happens when the
environment of the plant is changed.

For successful transplanting, water the hole you will put your plant
in. Turn the plant upside-down while holding the stem between your
fingers, ensuring that the root system emerges from its' confined
space. Turn right side up, and place it in the soil. Try to keep the
top of the root system in the same area of the stem when
transplanting. Tamp or lightly pack the soil into the space between
the root ball and the soil you have dug out. Water again. For the
first week or so, check to see the condition of your plants. Make sure
they remain upright; they may need to be staked in that position.
Loosely tie a plant to a stake with a cord that can be repositioned,
if needed. Make sure there is enough water for the type of plant.

If transplanting in full sun, you may need some shade cover for the
first week, more shade at the beginning of the week, less late in the
week. Plants grown from seed, kept in the same location, don't
experience transplant shock.

This information is for plants no matter what time of year you are
growing them or whether they are outside or indoor plants.
It is now thyme for me to get back in my garden!

TheAlternating Duo: Here's To Your Health
By Catherine Hall
Catherin at TheBlindPerspective.com

Nutrition Basics: Protein

Over the last few weeks, I've been thinking a lot about the basics of
a healthy diet. Many people have asked me what they should eat to have
a healthy diet. In order to answer this, I find it helpful to start
with the basics and to flesh them out from there. The best place to
start is with the three macronutrients - protein, carbohydrates, and
fat. I could talk about all three macronutrients in this article, but
then it would be several pages long, and I don't want to overwhelm you
with too much information at once! With that in mind, I'm starting off
with a conversation about protein.

What is protein?
A protein is a chain of amino acids that has been folded into a
distinct shape, depending on which amino acids make up its structure.
When you eat protein, your digestive system breaks the protein down
into its individual amino acids and uses them to repair muscle and
skin, grow hair and nails, make fluid to lubricate joints, and act as
messengers between different cells and organs, to name a few tasks.
According to britanica.com, the human body is roughly 16% protein,
which is a pretty significant amount when you consider that we are
made up of more than 60% water.

Which foods contain protein?
Protein is found in many different foods, in widely varying amounts.
For the omnivores among us, protein is abundant. Meat, fish, poultry,
eggs, milk, yogurt, and cheese are rich sources of protein. The
vegetarians and vegans among us have a slightly harder job of finding
protein, but even then, it isn't too hard, as long as they eat a
varied and balanced diet. Plant-based sources of protein include nuts,
seeds, soy, legumes (such as black beans or lentils), and whole
grains. Often, vegetarians will have to combine foods to get enough of
the essential amino acids that make up a complete protein. For
example, the traditional combination of beans, squash, and corn
provides all nine of the essential amino acids, making a complete
protein without including any animal products.

How much protein do I need?
This question is a little more difficult to sort out because this
number will vary slightly from person to person. Most people need
approximately 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight (a
kilogram is approximately 2 pounds for our US-based friends). So, if I
weigh 180 pounds, then all I have to do is divide 180 pounds by 2
pounds, which gives me 90 kilograms. Then, I multiply 90 kilograms by
0.8 grams to get 72 grams of protein. If I decide to start lifting
heavy weights, the amount of protein I need each day could go as high
as 90 grams per day, and I could probably get by on as little as 60
grams per day if I needed to, but to stay where I am now, that number
really shouldn't drop below 70 grams per day.

Ok, so what does that mean in English?
I know, I just threw a bunch of numbers at you. To simplify the
matter, most people will get enough protein if they include a
palm-sized portion of a protein-rich food with each meal, and choose
protein-rich snacks, such as nuts, seeds, or hard-boiled eggs. That's
approximately 6 to 8 ounces of meat or tofu, or approximately 2 large

And there you have it; protein in a nut-shell. Pun absolutely
intended! Next time, we'll dive into carbohydrates. If you have any
questions or would like me to address a particular topic in a future
article, please don't hesitate to contact me at my email address

The Rotating Trio: Potpourri
BySuzy B
Suzy at TheBlindPerspective.com

Little things can get big results

Microwaves and garbage disposals can often present some of our most
annoying kitchen dilemmas. This is especially the case if you never
bake and the original instructions are still safely tucked in the

Microwave messes, such as the splattered cheese or tomato sauce from
the uncovered container can be easily removed. Rather than the
scrubbing and complaining, place a damp dishcloth with or without a
bit of dish detergent in the microwave. Set it for 1 minute and start.

Use a protective oven mit when grasping the steaming cloth. Wipe out
microwave. Rinse rag and rinse inside. The steam from the damp cloth
melts the mess, making it easy to remove. Don't forget to wipe the
sides, top and underneath the turn table.

Now, for removing the burnt popcorn smell inside, or reheated fish,)
Pew). Place a cup of water and lemon juice inside. Let heat for two
minutes, and this should eliminate the smell.

Garbage disposals have some unrequired system of accumulating gunk
under the protective rubber flap. Buy a toilet bowl brush for the
kitchen. Not only can you brush out the bottom, but bring the brush up
under the flap and give as you do the rim of the toilet bowl. The
brush can get places that your cloth and hand find difficult. Try it.

Cleaning glass top stove preparation:
Start by making sure the stove is off and is in no danger of being
accidently switched on while you are cleaning it. If it has recently
been used, it is also beneficial to wait until the stove has
completely cooled down before you start any work. In addition, to
prevent the problem worsening, it is best to avoid using the stove
until the burnt food has been cleaned away.

Cleaning the glass top surface of your stove:
Bar Keeper's Friend is a product recommended to me by a good Italian
cook. Buy the Stove Top Cleaner variety available online from
Wall-Mart, Target, and yes, Amazon. Apply to wet sponge, rub surface,
and after standing one minute, rinse and dry thoroughly. For more info
for Bar Keeper's Friend, Google it.

Happy Results!

Reader's Perspective
ReadersPerspective at TheBlindPerspective.com

The question for this month was; How do you educate the sighted about
blindness and/or related issues? Below are the responses we received
from our readers.

Heidi shares this:
I have blind folded all the members of my immediate family. One night
my family was blind folded during dinner. Another time they were blind
folded while performing a simple chore. Well, needless to say, they
had an eye-opening experience, pun intended!

Gregory responded with this:
When I am out and about, especially on the bus or train, I get many
questions from other travelers. The questions are usually initiated
because of my white cane. So, I feel the best way to educate others is
simply by truthfully answering their questions.

Brian has the following suggestion:
When dining out, I think we should not only teach the server what to
do, but tell the manager too. Usually when the server first comes to
the table I let him/her know that I am blind. Then I will offer some
suggestions to make it easier for the both of us. I feel if you bring
up your blindness right away, it will put the server at ease, and they
are more willing to assist you.

And finally, here is Bethany's reply:
I volunteer some of my time at the elementary school in my city to
educate young children about blindness. I teach them about how I
navigate around with the use of my white cane. I read a story from a
print/braille book. I bring in other devices I use and have a show and
tell with them. If I can get a list of the children's names
beforehand, then I braille them all out. And, just before I leave all
the kids get their name in braille with a card that has the alphabet
in braille.

Our question for next month is; Do you prefer a sighted or blind
partner, and why?

Cooking Concoctions
By Maxine
Maxine at TheBlindPerspective.com

I am sure most of us have heard the following three words from our
parents while growing up; eat your vegetables. Kids tend to favor just
a few vegetables, such as potatoes, mainly French fries, corn, which
has little to no nutritional value, and may be one or two others.
Fortunately, as children grow up into adults, many of them tend to add
a greater variety of vegetables to their meals.
I remember my siblings and me sitting at the table as kids and having
to try brussel sprouts. We couldn't leave the table until we at least
tried it. It took one of my brothers almost twenty minutes before he
tried it. None of us liked them. Well, out of the six kids, four of us
like them now, including me!
I think it is important to introduce a variety of vegetables to
children. Having kids help with shopping and preparing foods could
make them more likely to, at least try something new.
There are many ways to cook vegetables, and even more of a variety of
spices and herbs to add to them to make them taste great! Check out
these different cooking methods.

Boiling Vegetables:
Asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots,
cauliflower, greens, and potatoes.

Wash vegetables and cut into evenly sized chunks
Bring a pot of water to a boil
For green vegetables use as much water as possible, because you do not
cover the pot once the vegetables are in the pot. For all other
vegetables use just enough to cover them because you can cover the pot
once these vegetables are added.
Add ½ tsp of salt to the water, this will raise the boiling point of
the water and enhance the flavor of your vegetables
Add vegetables to the boiling salted water
Boiling time will depend on the vegetable, check by tasting a piece
every so often. If they taste done to you, they are done!
Drain and add butter, lemon, and /or seasonings
Note: the less time in the water, the less nutrients and flavor they lose.

Steam Vegetables:
Good for most vegetables. Put into a steamer with a tightly fitting
lid over a little rapidly boiling water.
Allow 3-5 minutes longer cooking time than for boiling.
Add salt and or seasoning after draining.

Stir frying Vegetables:
Asparagus, green beans, cabbage, broccoli, kale, carrots, mushrooms,
onions, garlic, tomatoes, peppers, and celery are commonly used for
this method of cooking.

Wash and thinly slice vegetables or cut into small pieces
In a wide heavy-based pan, heat about 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
When oil is hot, add vegetables and constantly stir until tender and crisp
Remove and add seasonings if desired

Baking Vegetables:
Baking really shines with eggplant, zucchini, squash, beets, potatoes,
tomatoes, and peppers.

Prick potatoes before baking to prevent them from exploding.
Vegetables, which can be brushed with a little oil, are oven-cooked
uncovered. Individual vegetables may be foil-wrapped and/or stuffed.
Cooking temperatures and times range from 350F -400F degrees (175C -
200C). For example:
Beets: 350F for 60 minutes
Eggplant (whole): 400F for 30 minutes
Potato's (whole): 400F for 40 - 60 minutes
Tomato's (halved): 400F 8 - 15 minutes

Roasting Vegetables:
Good for a wide range of vegetables, including artichokes, asparagus,
broccoli, squashes, and peppers, all of which retained their
antioxidant values. While roasting onions and garlic taste good, it
loses some of its antioxidants.

Vegetables are brushed with olive oil and cooked alone or placed
around a piece of meat.

When in doubt, microwave your veggies for maximum antioxidant
preservation. Exception: Keep cauliflower out of the microwave; it
loses more than 50 percent of its antioxidants if nuked.

Wash and cut vegetables into chunks or bite sized pieces
Place in a microwavable safe container
Add about 3 to 4 tablespoons of water
Microwave on high:
Firm vegetables: approximately 8 minutes (potato pieces)
Soft moist veggies: 4 minutes (broccoli florets)
Leafy vegetables: 3 minutes per pound (spinach)

There are so many spices and everyone has their likes and dislikes.
Here are a few suggestions to spice up your veggies!

Basil: beets, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini
Chives: asparagus, cauliflower, potatoes
Marjoram: eggplant, mushrooms
Nutmeg: spinach, sweet potatoes
Oregano: tomatoes, zucchini
Parsley: mushrooms, peas, potatoes
Rosemary: fennel, peas, peppers, fennel
Thyme: artichokes, fennel, tomatoes

Well I hope you will take some time to try out these different cooking
methods. Not only that, experiment with different spices for different
vegetables. Enjoy!

Riddle & brain Buster
By Alex Smart
Alex at TheBlindPerspective.com

I am a word of six; my first three letters refer to an automobile; my
last three letters refer to a household animal; my first four letters
is a fish; my whole is found in your room. What am I?

Answer to April's riddle:
How do you make a baby poisonous snake cry?
You take away its rattle.

Brain Buster
End to End
Every answer is a 5 letter word or phrase in which the first two
letters are the same as the last two letters, in the same order.
Example: taste or touch: sense.

*The Lone Ranger's faithful friend.
*Car from Sweden.
*Molten rock under the earth's surface.
*Popular Florida city.
*It can bring a tear to your eye.
*Place of worship.
*Lively Latin American music.

Answers to April's brain buster:
B and B
*Spill the beans: blab
*Lobster eater's protection: bib
*Police officer's stick: billy club
*Criticize in an underhanded way: backstab
*Start for a tulip: bulb
*Tiniest bit leftover from a sandwich: bread crumb
*Promotional statement: blurb

The Blind Perspective
Where we aim to keep you informed and entertained
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Thank you for reading the Blind Perspective!
© 2015-2018 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be
reproduced in any way without the prior expressed written permission
of The Blind Perspective.
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Administrative Team
Remember it Pays to be Plugged in to The Blind Perspective Where we
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Email Us At: info at theblindperspective.com

Wishing You All the Best,

Cheryl E. Fields

A man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human
life when he plants shade trees under which he knows full well he will
never sit.
--D. Elton Trueblood

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