The Consumer Vision

            March/April, 2013

Address: 359 Coggeshall St., New Bedford, MA 02746

Telephone: 508-994-4972

Web Site: www.consumervisionmagazine.com

Email Address: bobbranco93@gmail.com

Publisher: Bob Branco

Editor: Janet Marcley

CD Production: Allen Hensel

CD Reader: Bob Zeida

Email Production: Bob Branco and Janet Marcley

Braille Production: Perkins Braille and Talking Book Library

Print Production: Alpha Graphics

Cassette Production: Robert Pierson

Board of Directors: Clement Beaulieu, Darryl Breffe, Steve Brown, Lauren Casey, Dan Germano, Bob Hachey, Allen Hensel, Alan Soule and Gail Teixeira

Note: For searching purposes, three asterisks (***) have been inserted just before the beginning of each new article or section.

Table of Contents:

A Note from the Publisher

FDA Approves First Retinal Implant for Rare Eye Disease

Is Alzheimer's Type 3 Diabetes?

How Talking Items can Save Lives and Warn of Illnesses

First Bionic Eye Sees Light of Day in U.S.

New Fair Wages Legislation

Don’t Mess with Bell

Coastline Elderly Nutrition News: Get to Know the Meals On Wheels Menu

Bring Tradition Back, Please

Community Notices

Consumer Vision Trivia Contest

***

A Note from the Publisher

Hi, this is Bob Branco, your publisher. Quite recently, I released a new book. It is an account of my eight years at Perkins School for the Blind during a time when the school evolved from an institutional environment to what it is today. The following is an actual press release.

My Home Away from Home; Life at Perkins School for the Blind

by Robert T. Branco

C 2013  

Short summary: 

From the ages of 12 to 19, the author attended a school for the blind. He tells about life in the “cottages,” academics, sports, field trips, vocational training, and more. He had good and bad teachers, followed wise rules and absurd ones, met good friends and bullies, and welcomed administrative changes. Perkins educated him very well; this book will surely educate and entertain many others.    

Introduction to the Book 

This book is about eight of the most important years of my life. Just like anyone else between the ages of 12 and 19, I had a lot to learn about growing up. However, contrary to what most pre-teens and teens experience, I lived those eight years at Perkins School for the Blind, in Watertown, Massachusetts, 65 miles from my home.  

In the book, I talk about our academic classes, our teachers and other adults at the school, the many kids who became my friends and others who made friendship impossible, the several sports we pursued, all the rules we were supposed to follow and how radically they were sometimes broken, some of the fascinating field trips we took and new technology that we explored, the ways in which the school tried to prepare us for independent living, and much more. As you will read, there were plenty of both good and bad times.    

It is also important to note that I was at Perkins during the entire directorship of the only visually impaired chief administrator Perkins ever had, Mr. Ben Smith. My classmates and I watched in almost unanimous approval as he changed many of the school's long-lasting policies. 

I decided to write this book because I continuously tell my friends about my adventures during those years, and I used to kid around that I could write a book, because there was so much information for me to share. Finally, I took the plunge and decided to write my experiences down, so I could share them with the world.  

I hope that my story puts a unique perspective on what it's like for any teenager, blind or sighted, to live away from home for eight years. I certainly hope that the sighted, as well as the blind, will enjoy and appreciate my story. 

I would like to thank my editor, Leonore H. Dvorkin, for working closely with me. I am grateful to her for completely understanding both the nature and the aim of this book. See the end of the book for more about the editing and publishing services that she and her husband offer.  

I would also like to thank Ross Chartoff for his role in helping me to assemble and submit the required components of this book. “My Home Away From Home” is currently on sale in Ebook form through Smash Words and Amazon.com for $4.99, and will be available in print and in audio format for $11.99, though the cost of any audio format, such as MP3, CD, or cassette, may increase if I can’t meet production costs.    

Bob Branco

New Bedford, Massachusetts

| Table of Contents |

***

FDA Approves First Retinal Implant for Rare Eye Disease

            Thu, Feb 14 17:12 PM EST

By Julie Steenhuysen (Reuters) -

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first artificial retina, an implanted device that replicates some of the function of the retina, helping to restore vision to people blinded with a rare genetic disorder, the agency said Thursday.

The device, made by privately held Second Sight Medical Products Inc of Sylmar, California, is intended to replace the function of light-sensing cells in the retina destroyed by retinitis pigmentosa, an inherited degenerative disease that affects about 100,000 people nationwide.

In a healthy eye, the retina, which lines the back of the inner eye, works a bit like film in a camera, converting images that come through the eye's lens into electronic signals that are relayed to the optic nerve in the brain.

To replicate this, the Argus II device consists of special glasses outfitted with a video camera and a video processing unit that sends signals to a wireless receiver implanted in the eye.

Although it does not completely restore vision, the implant helps with daily activities, such as locating objects and recognizing large letters and shapes.

"In the patients that have been implanted to date, the improvement in the quality of life has been invaluable," said Mark Humayun of the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine and USC's Viterbi School of Engineering, who helped develop the device.

The Argus II was approved for use in Europe in 2011 and has been implanted in 30 patients in a clinical trial that began in 2007. In October, advisers to the FDA voted unanimously to approve the device.

Brian Mech, vice president of business development at the company, said the system will cost more than $100,000 when it is launched in the United States, sometime this year.

Mech said the company is working with insurance companies and Medicare to win coverage and ease out of pocket expenses for patients.

The Argus II is intended to replace the function of light-sensing photoreceptor cells, which gradually become degraded in retinitis pigmentosa.

To restore vision, signals from the camera are sent to the retina, where they travel to the optic nerve in the brain. The brain then receives these signals and interprets them as a visual picture.

The FDA approved the system as a humanitarian use device, an approval that is limited to fewer than 4,000 people in the United States each year. For this kind of approval, companies must show the device is safe and the probable benefit outweighs the risks.

In the clinical trial, most of the 30 participants improved in their ability to see and touch a square on a white field, detect the direction of a motion, recognize large letters and sentences, see street curbs and even match socks.

To receive the Argus II device, patients must have had the ability to see forms in the past and must be willing and able to get the recommended follow-up care and training.

The device is limited to adults 25 or older, with severe to profound retinitis pigmentosa who have no light perception or bare light perception, in which they can perceive light but cannot tell where it is coming from.

The team plans to keep improving the treatment, which they hope will ultimately be used to treat age-related macular degeneration.

Mech said while there are many academic centers working on retinal implants, getting the system to market took 14 years, $200 million, and a lot of "intestinal fortitude." (Reporting by Julie Steenhuysen in Chicago and Esha Dey in Bangalore; Editing by Sreejiraj Eluvangal and Cynthia Osterman)

http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE91D1AK20130214?irpc=932

| Table of Contents |

***

Is Alzheimer's Type 3 Diabetes?

by Mark Bittman

Just in case you need another reason to cut back on junk food, it now turns out that Alzheimer's could well be a form of diet-induced diabetes. That's the bad news. The good news is that laying off soda, doughnuts, processed meats and fries could allow you to keep your mind intact until your body fails you.

We used to think there were two types of diabetes: the type you're born with (Type 1) and the type you "get." That's called Type 2, and was called "adult onset" until it started ravaging kids. Type 2 is brought about by a combination of factors, including overeating, American-style.

The idea that Alzheimer's might be Type 3 diabetes has been around since 2005, but the connection between poor diet and Alzheimer's is becoming more convincing, as summarized in a cover story in New Scientist entitled "Food for Thought: What You Eat May Be Killing Your Brain." (The graphic – a chocolate brain with a huge piece missing – is creepy. But for the record: chocolate is not the enemy.)

The studies [1] are increasingly persuasive, and unsurprising when you understand the role of insulin in the body. So, a brief lesson.

We all need insulin: in non-diabetics, it's released to help cells take in the blood sugar (glucose) they need for energy. But the cells can hold only so much; excess sugar is first stored as glycogen, and – when there's enough of that – as fat. (Blood sugar doesn't come only from sugar, but from carbohydrates of all kinds; easily digested carbohydrates flood the bloodstream with sugar.) Insulin not only keeps the blood vessels that supply the brain healthy, it also encourages the brain's neurons to absorb glucose, and allows those neurons to change and become stronger. Low insulin levels in the brain mean reduced brain function.

Type 1 diabetes, in which the immune system destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, accounts for about 10 percent of all cases. Type 2  diabetes is chronic or environmental, and it's especially prevalent in populations  that over-consume hyperprocessed foods, like ours. It's tragically,  increasingly common – about a third of Americans have diabetes or  pre-diabetes – and treatable but incurable. It causes your cells to fail to retrieve glucose from the blood, either because your pancreas isn't producing enough insulin or the body's cells ignore that insulin. (That's "insulin resistance"; stand by.)

Put as simply as possible (in case your eyes glaze over as quickly as mine when it comes to high school biology), insulin "calls" your cells, asking them to take glucose from the bloodstream: "Yoo-hoo. Pick this stuff up!"

When the insulin calls altogether too often – as it does when you drink  sugar-sweetened beverages and repeatedly eat junk food – the cells are  overwhelmed, and say, "Leave me alone." They become resistant. This makes the insulin even more insistent and, to make matters worse, all those elevated insulin levels are bad for your blood vessels.

Diabetes causes complications too numerous to mention, but they include heart disease, which remains our No. 1 killer. And when the cells in your brain become insulin-resistant, you start to lose memory and become disoriented. You even might lose aspects of your personality.

In short, it appears, you develop Alzheimer's.

A neuropathologist named Alois Alzheimer noticed, over a century ago,  that  an odd form of protein was taking the place of normal brain cells. How  those  beta amyloid plaques (as they're called) get there has been a mystery.  What's becoming clear, however, is that a lack of insulin – or insulin resistance – not only impairs cognition but seems to be implicated in the formation of those plaques.

Suzanne de la Monte, a neuropathologist at Brown University, has been working on these phenomena in humans and rats. When she blocked the path of  insulin to rats' brains, their neurons deteriorated, they became  physically disoriented and their brains showed all the signs of Alzheimer's. The fact that Alzheimer's can be associated with low levels of insulin in the brain is the reason why increasing numbers of researchers have taken to calling it Type 3 diabetes, or diabetes of the brain.[2]

Let's connect the dots: We know that the American diet is a fast track not only to obesity but to Type 2 diabetes and other preventable, non-communicable diseases, which now account for more deaths worldwide than all other causes combined.

We also already know that people with diabetes are at least twice as likely  to get Alzheimer's, and that obesity alone increases the risk of impaired brain function.

What's new is the thought that while diabetes doesn't "cause" Alzheimer's, they have the same root: an over consumption of those "foods" that mess with insulin's many roles. (Genetics have an effect on susceptibility, as they appear to with all environmental diseases.) "Sugar is clearly implicated," says Dr. de la Monte, "but there could be other factors as well,  including nitrates in food."

If the rate of Alzheimer's rises in lockstep with Type 2 diabetes, which has nearly tripled in the United States in the last 40 years, we will shortly see a devastatingly high percentage of our population with not only  failing bodies but brains. Even for the lucky ones this is terrible news, because  5.4 million Americans (nearly 2 percent, for those keeping score at home) have the disease, the care for which – along with other dementias – will cost around $200 billion this year.

Gee. That's more than the $150 billion we've been saying we spend  annually on obesity-related illnesses. So the financial cost of the obesity pandemic just more than doubled. More than 115 million new cases of Alzheimer's are projected around the world in the next 40 years, and the cost is expected to rise to more than a trillion of today's dollars. (Why bother to count?  $350 billion is bad enough.)

The link between diet and dementia negates our notion of Alzheimer's as a condition that befalls us by chance. Adopting a sane diet, a diet contrary to the standard American diet (which I like to refer to as SAD), would appear to give you a far better shot at avoiding diabetes in all of its forms, along with its dreaded complications. There are, as usual, arguments to be made for enlisting government help in that struggle, but for now, put down that soda!

1. NIH: “Relative Intake of Macronutrients Impacts Risk of Mild Cognitive Impairment or Dementia” and “The Whitehall II Cohort Study; Rhode Island  Hospital: A Link Between Brain Insulin Resistance and Neuronal Stress in Worsening Alzheimer's Disease”

 2. Here is a fantastic and detailed summary by Dr. de la Monte:  Alzheimer's:  Diabetes of the Brain?

 Copyright 2012 The New York Times CompanyPrivacy PolicyNYTimes.com 620  Eighth Avenue New York, NY 10018

| Table of Contents |

***

How Talking Items can Save Lives and Warn of Illnesses 

by Karen Crowder

We now take talking items such as blood pressure monitors, clinical thermometers and bathroom scales as nice but not necessary items to own. These three medical devices should be necessary items in every blind person's household. I will tell you how these simple devices saved the life of my late husband several times. These three tools helped our doctor and visiting nurses treat my husband.  

Before Marshall's open-heart surgery in July 1999, we did not realize how abruptly our life would change. We never knew how beneficial these devices would be in aiding us to independently monitor his health.     

We were glad when he came home August 2, the thermometer and blood pressure monitor always with in reach near the couch on his end table.   

The next day, Tuesday, the kind, efficient visiting nurse spent an hour and a half instructing us on his medications and his safety in the bathroom. She advised us to get a grab bar; we would buy a sturdy shower chair. She also told us what warning signs to be alert for and when to call them. We had to carefully monitor his pulse, blood pressure and his body temperature each day. The visiting nurse warned us to look for temperature spikes and abnormal fluctuations in pulse or blood pressure. These symptoms meant we had to call, day or night. He recorded the instructions; she would come back another day to review his diet. We were optimistic Marshall would have a smooth transition to recovery and be his energetic self again.   

On Wednesday night, while we were listening to music, he commented, "I do not feel right." His legs and feet were swollen, not a good sign. Thursday morning after the visiting nurse consulted with our physician's assistant they advised us to go to Burbank hospital for a chest x-ray and to see his cardiologist, but he was out for the day. She was concerned about his shortness of breath...  

Thursday night our trusty blood pressure monitor alerted us that his pulse and blood pressure were quite elevated, and he had a low-grade fever. We called the visiting nurse at midnight, and he was admitted to our local hospital in Fitchburg Friday morning.  

Monday he was readmitted again, and after a two-week stay in a nursing home/rehab facility, we were all optimistic that finally Marshall was on his way to true recovery. Everything went smoothly until almost mid September when he got a virus? It was Marshal's idea to keep daily Braille records of his temperature, pulse, blood pressure and weight. This might help the visiting nurses and the physician's assistant at U Mass  see if anything more serious was happening. His temperature remained elevated and, by the weekend of September 18-19, she advised us to go to our local hospital because a continuously elevated fever might signal a serious infection.  Monday he was admitted and they diagnosed a lung infection but he was released that Friday – too soon. He was readmitted that night with a new diagnosis of pneumonia.  After being released that Tuesday in late September, we continued to keep daily records of his weight, pulse, blood pressure and temperature. The nurses were thankful for our continuing diligent records, which alerted them and his doctor of a serious fluctuation in his weight. The doctors were concerned – his weight suddenly plummeting from 182 to 152. He was also exhausted much of the time but we were determined to help him fight and be well again.   

With time, love, courage and patience he started to recover. We stopped taking the daily records by late October, and the visiting nurses felt they didn’t need to continue to come, but we knew they were there if we needed them.

We would face new challenges by the spring of 2000, when his blood pressure monitor would again save his life.

On a mild Sunday night before Patriot's Day, he called me in to the bedroom, saying he had passed out again. This had been happening sporadically since mid March. The doctors were baffled, as to why this was happening. The blood pressure monitor detected very low blood pressure and we called an ambulance; I sat in front as he was rushed to Leominster Hospital. He needed and got permanent pacemaker on Tuesday, Monday being Patriot's day. I will be forever grateful for these devices, which saved his life.

In the late summer of 2001 we would learn from Marshall that the doctors had been fearful that “he would not live much beyond his heart or liver surgery." He died in August of 2002. If it were not for our vigilant use of these trusty talking items, he might have left this world in the late summer of 1999, or the spring of 2000.

For me, my talking thermometer has helped me determine when I should call the doctor. Its vital information has stopped bronchitis from getting worse, or alerted me to a cold or ear infection.  

You might ask, “Where can I buy these items?”     

In looking online, I found three places: Maxi-Aids, The Carroll Center and NFB's Independent Market Place in Baltimore  www.nfb.org

Contact information for Maxi-Aids. sales 1-800-5226294 TTY 1-800-281-3555. Customer Service, 1-631-752-0521 www.maxiaids.com

Contact information for the Carroll Center, 1-800-852-3131 or call 1-617-969-6200 www.carrollcenter.org (go to link about their store)

You will be impressed as I was about there wide range of talking scales, blood pressure monitors and talking thermometers.

Note all three places have an impressive array of talking glucose monitors and Maxi-Aids have medical aids for people with other disabilities.

We are lucky to be living in an age where these and other devices allow us to be more independent and responsible about our health.         

| Table of Contents |

***

            First Bionic Eye Sees Light of Day in U.S.

Feb 6, 2013 12:04 PM ET // by

AFP

http://news.discovery.com/tech/biotechnology/first-bionic-eye-sees-light-130206.htm

After years of research, the first bionic eye has seen the light of day in the United States, giving hope to the blind around the world.

Developed by Second Sight Medical Products, the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System has helped more than 60 people recover partial sight, with some experiencing better results than others.

Consisting of 60 electrodes implanted in the retina and glasses fitted with a special mini camera, Argus II has already won the approval of European regulators. The US Food and Drug Administration is soon expected to follow suit, making this bionic eye the world's first to become widely available.

“It's the first bionic eye to go on the market in the world, the first in Europe and the first one in the U.S.," said Brian Mech, the California-based company's vice president of business development.

Those to benefit from Argus II are people with retinitis pigmentosa, a rare genetic disease, affecting about 100,000 people in the U.S., that results in the degeneration of the retinal photoreceptors.

The photoreceptor cells convert light into electrochemical impulses that are transmitted to the brain via the optic nerve, where they are decoded into images.

"The way the prosthesis works (is) it replaces the function of the photoreceptors," Mech told AFP.

Thirty people aged 28 to 77 took part in the clinical trial for the product, all of whom were completely blind.

Mech said the outcomes varied by participant.

"We had some patients who got just a little bit of benefit and others who could do amazing things like reading newspaper headlines," he said.

In some cases, the subjects could even see in color.

"Mostly they see in black and white, but we have demonstrated more recently we can produce color vision as well," Mech said.

According to Mech, Argus II is already available in several European countries for 73,000 euros ($99,120). A U.S. price has not been set but is likely to be higher, he said.

| Table of Contents |

***

New Fair Wages Legislation

H.R. 831 Fair Wages, Harper sponsored today

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Chris Danielsen Director of Public Relations

National Federation of the Blind

(410) 659-9314, extension 2330

(410) 262-1281 (Cell)

cdanielsen@nfb.org

National Federation of the Blind Applauds Introduction of Fair Wages

Legislation

Urges Passage of Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act

Baltimore, Maryland (February 27, 2013): The National Federation of the Blind, the oldest and largest nationwide organization of blind Americans, today applauded the introduction of the Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act of 2013 (H.R. 831) by Representative Gregg Harper (R-MS). Congressman Harper, along with eleven original co-sponsors, introduced the Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act of 2013 to repeal section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and to phase out the discriminatory practice of paying workers with disabilities pennies per hour.

Congressman Gregg Harper said: ?Section 14(c) of the FLSA, enacted out of ignorance about the true capacity of people with disabilities, currently prevents over 300,000 people with disabilities from gaining access to the work and training environments that have been proven to be more cost effective and to produce more competitive integrated work outcomes. Subminimum-wage work is just an expression of low expectations that instills a false sense of incapacity in individuals, who could become competitively employed with the proper training and support.?

Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: ?The National Federation of the Blind and our partners representing the 55 million Americans with disabilities fight every day to obtain the fundamental freedoms that nondisabled citizens take for granted. We applaud Congressman Harper for having the courage to confront over seventy years of entrenched but false thinking about the capacity of people with disabilities. We strongly urge his colleagues in both houses of the United States Congress to exhibit the same courage by recognizing our right to have the same workforce protections as every other American citizen.?

The National Federation of the Blind needs your support to ensure that blind children get an equal education, to connect blind veterans with the training and services they need, and to help seniors who are losing vision continue to live independent and fulfilling lives. To make a donation, please go to www.nfb.org.

| Table of Contents |

***

            Don’t Mess with Bell

by Bob Branco

During the blizzard of 2013, a few things came to light for me about modern day telephone service which I find a bit disturbing. Before I make my comments, I want to let you know how fortunate I am that my power stayed on during the entire blizzard. If I did lose power, I would still have my heat, yet the question is, would I continue to have telephone service? My heat would last indefinitely, but I couldn't guarantee my phone for very long because my cable company owns my telephone service, and they provide battery-operated modems which only last as long as the battery does.

The same is true with my cordless phone and cell phone. If power stays out for a long time in my apartment, I would end up with no phone service whatsoever. How can cable companies and the FCC justify their product under those circumstances? We heard about numbers of people who were confined to their cold houses during the blizzard, and they were told to call the Red Cross or other supporting agencies for help. However, if their phones ran out of energy, they couldn't call for help at all! It's easy to charge your cell phone by using your car battery, but what if you don't have a car?

We were better off when the cable companies did not control our telephone system. Our landline telephones would have been connected to ordinary phone jacks, which ultimately tap into telephone lines. The phone signal would be sustained indefinitely, despite a power failure.  There would be no battery to recharge. Today, one never knows. When Verizon and Comcast took over phone service and supplied people with modems, they did not consider the repercussions when telephone sources die from lack of electrical power.

I am proud of our governor for making everybody clear the streets of Massachusetts for essential and emergency activity. That's progress. But we need to examine some of our devices at home, because we don't always have access that we need in an emergency.

| Table of Contents |

***

            Coastline Elderly Nutrition News

            From the desk of Kimberly Ferreira, MS, RD, LDN

            March 2013

Get to Know the Meals on Wheels Menu

In this newsletter, I want to take the opportunity to give you a brief explanation of the Meals on Wheels Menu so you can better understand the make-up of our meals. Most of our consumers have a variety of medical conditions so oftentimes, fat, sodium, and carbohydrates need to be limited or monitored closely.

Some basic nutrition facts regarding each meal:

Our Meals contain:

•      700-800 calories

•      No Added Salt (up to 1200 mg/sodium)

•      30-35% Fat

•      1/3 of daily nutrients (Vitamin A, C, Fiber, Calcium, etc.)

A quick guide on the nutrient sources of each item:

1.     Beef Burgundy

2.     Buttered Egg Noodle

3.     Carrots

4.     WW Bread

5.     Mandarin Oranges

Kcal   Na+     CHO    %fat

746    948     84     36

1. The entrée (contains protein and some fat – may contain sodium)

2. The starch (contains carbohydrates)                                 

3. The vegetable (contains very small amounts of protein and carbohydrates)

4. The bread (contains carbohydrate & sodium)

5. The dessert (carbohydrate – baked goods also contain sodium)

All meals also come with margarine (fat & sodium) and milk (protein, carbohydrate & sodium)

On the bottom of each day’s menu, you will find the breakdown of several nutrients. These numbers include the milk and margarine.

Kcal – Calories                                     NA+ - Sodium (mg)

CHO – carbohydrates (grams)% Fat – the percentage of fat

Did you know? Milk has natural sodium! Every 8 ounce glass contains 107 mg sodium and every pat of margarine contains 47 mg sodium.

*#* Remember, you can always call us at (508) 999-6400 if you have any questions regarding your specific meal. *#*

| Table of Contents |

***

            Bring Tradition Back, Please

by Bob Branco

When it comes to recreational, social and community activities where families share quality time, these activities appear to be watered down in today’s society because of a system which allows society to be fearful and intimidated. The idea is for cities and towns to enforce and endorse community involvement in order to keep youth and adults occupied and productive. This forms a united front, where everyone can share and support each other in a community and traditional atmosphere. It brings back the "family" model again; something to be proud of.

Yet it seems like we are faced with obstacles which stand in the way of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, all in the name of fear.  “What if a fly ball damages a boat in a boat yard?" “When I park my car in the parking lot right next to the softball field, I hope it doesn’t get hit by a fly ball.” “Oh, there's too much noise out there, I can't have my down time even if it's only 7:00 in the evening." These phrases are becoming more common as fears and political correctness grow and grow. Every time we try to do something good for our community, we have to watch out for this, watch out for that, we can’t do this, we shouldn’t do that! If people are going to complain about their down time being disturbed, their windows getting broken, their car getting smashed, or a pet dog getting hit, then maybe children shouldn’t play in their own back yards. I do care about these people and their worries, but we all live in an environment where there’s an “Assumption of Risk.” Sometimes property is damaged, and even though it’s a terrible thing, it’s about where the property is in relation to the activity. When Beaver and Wally Cleaver accidentally smashed their own father’s car window while playing ball in the yard, should they have taken out a one-million-dollar insurance policy in case their father sued them? If this was real life, who knows. I guess the Cleavers should have been forbidden from any type of activity.

People who choose to participate in productive activities are met with so many obstacles, yet I heard that my city wants to build a park for dogs. Last I knew, dogs don't form gangs and commit crimes if they're bored. So we can be fearful of a home run accidentally landing in someone's yard, but no one minds using 25 pooper scoopers at a dog park. What is so wrong with walking a dog at any park? Oh, I forgot. A foot ball might accidentally hit the dog, and then that particular league can be sued by the dog’s owner for pain and suffering to his animal!

We have to watch our every little move while we attempt to continue with traditional family togetherness. Let's relax and enjoy our environment while youngsters stick by their elder relatives and cheer when they do a good job, and vice versa. Let's enforce the pop corn atmosphere, bring on the quality time and love it. But instead, we hear, “What if this happens, what if that happens?  Law suits! Liability!  Fear!" For centuries, people participated in the old-school family atmosphere the same way we attempt to do now, but it was easier then.

| Table of Contents |

***

            Community Notices

The technology podcast is a monthly feature that is produced by the NCBI manager of the training center Stuart Lawler. This is an audio podcast that focuses mainly on technology, covering interviews, product demonstrations and other bits and pieces regarding technology for the blind. If you would like to hear previous shows, you can visit: www.ncbi.ie and search for “Technology podcasts”.

If you or anyone else would like to be a part of the show, feel free to send an email to: stuart@stuartlawler.ie

Blindheterosexual_singles is a group intended to help blind heterosexual singles communicate with others and share ideas and experiences as well as discussions on different topics. If you would like to join, feel free to subscribe to:

blind_singles-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Adrijana

Blind café promo 

Visit the hottest, most happening place around on the web where the blind community will be inspired and entertained! It's the BlindCafe.net and it’s a great place to learn, laugh, chat and make long-lasting friendships with people from around the world. There is always someone to greet you with a friendly smile night and day. It’s totally free! Come and try out our awesome music, trivia games, tutorials, and interactive chats, and a whole lot more! It’s totally accessible and easy to use.

For more info, please Visit us at www.BlindCafe.net, that's www.BlindCafe.net

It’s the site where our members matter

JB Heart

Author of Children's Books and Novels

www.jbheart.net

| Table of Contents |

***

            Consumer Vision Trivia Contest

Here is the answer to the trivia question submitted in the January/February Consumer Vision. The first animated television commercial was about Ajax. We had no winners.

And now, here is your trivia question for the March/April Consumer Vision.

What was the name of the winter storm beginning with the letter P, named by the weather channel? If you know the answer, please email bobbranco93@gmail.com or call 508-994-4972.