The Consumer Vision

          November/December, 2013

Address: 359 Coggeshall St., New Bedford, MA02746

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

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

101 Mobility Honored at 2013 Disability Employment Awareness Month Awards

Do the Blind Try Harder?

Press Release: Sprint Launches Kyocera Kona

Disruptions: Visually Impaired Turn to Smartphones to See Their World

Coastline Elderly Nutrition News: Holiday Eating Survival Guide

3D printing

Are Blind Employees Affected by a System?

Your View

Special Notices

How to Call the Police when You're Old and Don't Move Fast Anymore

Consumer Vision Trivia Contest

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     101 Mobility Honored at 2013 Disability Employment Awareness Month Awards 

Wilmington, NC, October 21, 2013 - 101 Mobility, a national franchisor leading the accessibility equipment market, received Special Employer Recognition at the 2013 Disability Employment Awareness Month Awards. Kelly Mercer, a hearing-impaired web developer/graphic designer at 101 Mobility, received an Outstanding Employee plaque at the same event.

Joel Brenner, Senior Vice President of Franchise Operations and Marketing, hired Kelly back in November 2012. "Because of Kelly, we are able to put out almost three websites a week," he said. "She's an important asset to our team. I can't think of anyone more deserving."

Started by Congress, the Disability Employment Awareness Month raises the public's awareness of the contributions and skills of American workers with disabilities. The theme for 2013 is "Because We Are EQUAL to the Task" in order to reflect the reality that people with disabilities have the same education, training, experience, and desire to be successful in the workplace.

Held at the New Hanover County Government Center, the 2013 Disability Employment Awareness Month Awards was sponsored by the North Carolina State Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Cape Fear Disability Commission. The event honors employers and employees who have contributed to the employment of individuals with disabilities in the Wilmington community. City and county government officials also attended to show their support.

Kelly was humbled by the large turnout. "Being a hearing-impaired employee has shown me that anything is possible - especially in the workplace environment," she explained. "I used to think that I was limited by my hearing loss and didn't have enough work options. But it wasn't my disability that held me back - it was my way of thinking."

###

101 Mobility is a full-service sales, service, and installation provider of a complete line of mobility and accessibility products and equipment, including stair lifts, auto lifts, ramps, porch lifts, patient lifts, power wheelchairs, scooters and more. Short- and long-term rentals are also available for home, office, and institution. By working with patients to identify which home health-care devices best suit each individual's needs, 101 Mobility provides an alternative to group homes and rehabilitation centers by increasing accessibility and allowing clients to live self-sufficiently in their homes. 

101 Mobility, 5221 Oleander Drive, Wilmington, NC 28403 United States

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     Do the Blind Try Harder?

     by Bob Branco

Since I graduated from college, I found myself having to use more of my inner energy throughout my life, especially while competing with the sighted for gainful and productive employment. For every job I applied for, I had to spend many more hours researching accommodations, meeting with my supporting agency about adaptive technology, explaining this technology to my potential boss, arranging rides to and from interviews, etc. In addition, with the constant rejection that we blind people face on a regular basis, we often find ourselves sending out more resumes and making more phone calls than a sighted job seeker.

Even in other aspects of our lives, such as independent living, housing, education and transportation, we feel the need to work twice as hard and spend much more time just to prove that we are entitled to these living situations. The sighted aren't faced with these types of challenges, and they are not questioned about why they are entitled to life's practicalities. They just go about their lives doing what they can,  hoping for the best. I wish it was that simple for the blind.

While the sighted give 100 percent, the blind often have to give 200 percent.

I have also made an observation in an area where many sighted people take life for granted while we, the blind, continue to depend on our own resources to sustain ourselves. While we try our best to keep our doctors' appointments and do everything in our power to see to it that we get there on time, I know sighted people who won't hesitate to cancel their medical appointments the minute their cars break down. I've never driven, yet I learned the alternatives at a very young age. We grew accustomed to public transportation, door-to-door service, and the ability to accept all the challenges that go with this. I am not saying that the sighted do not, but many of the sighted are used to a certain life style, and never needed to go into the trenches the way the blind do.

So, are the blind forced to make more of an effort in life in order to compete for first class status? This is a question for the readers of Consumer Vision.

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     Press Release

     Sent by Cliff Fry

September 6, 2013, 9:05 a.m. ET

Sprint Launches Kyocera Kona - Industry First Feature Phone with Verbal Translation of Internet Browsing

Available for free, Kona makes it easy for the visually impaired to stay connected.

OVERLAND PARK, Kan.– (BUSINESS WIRE) - September 06, 2013 – For the visually impaired, using a mobile device hasn't always been easy. Kyocera Kona from Sprint (NYSE: S) helps to solve that problem by providing an easy-to-use compact flip phone that is the first feature phone in the industry to offer verbal translation enabling Internet browsing.

Kyocera Kona is available in direct-ship sales channels Web (www.sprint.com) and Telesales (1-800-SPRINT1) for free after a $50 mail-in rebate via reward card(1) and with a new two-year service agreement or eligible upgrade. It will be available in all remaining Sprint retail channels beginning Friday, Sept. 13. Kyocera Kona is the latest enhancement to Sprint's product portfolio designed to ensure accessibility for all.

According to the National Federation of the Blind, more than 6.5 million people reported a visual disability in 2011(2) Kona is also the first feature phone to offer a user interface with verbal descriptions of navigation, with which the device describes what is highlighted on the screen and works with menus, messaging, contacts, missed calls, notifications, and many other functions.

Other accessibility features include variable-speed text-to-speech service, which reads texts to users, high-contrast user interface options to accommodate a variety of vision ranges, dedicated In Case of Emergency (ICE) and 911 shortcuts, and a tactile keyboard with well-defined buttons. "Sprint has always been dedicated to ensuring accessibility – whether it's our award-winning accessibility Sprint ID application bundles or a device like Kona providing first-of-its-kind features for the visually impaired," said David Owens, vice president, Product Development, Sprint. "We are providing this product free of charge because we want anyone who has a unique need to be able to take advantage of this great new offering."

The new Unlimited, My Way(SM) rate plans for basic phones feature unlimited talk, text and data while on the Sprint network for only $60 per month (excluding taxes and fees). Sprint Kyocera Kona customers can benefit from The Sprint Unlimited Guarantee that promises customers unlimited talk (calls to any wireline or mobile phone), text and data while on the Sprint network, for the life of the line of service. This guarantee is available to new and existing customers who sign up for Sprint's new Unlimited, My Way(SM) plan and will apply to customers as long as they remain on the plan, meet the terms and conditions of the plan and pay their bill in full and on-time.

"Almost half of American cell-phone users have not made the jump to smartphones, so there is clearly a significant demand and need in the market for easy-to-use feature phones that don't require additional data plans," said Eric Anderson, senior vice president and general manager of global sales and marketing at Kyocera Communications. "We addressed that need and went one step further in adding incredible accessibility features that make Kona a reliable communication tool for the visually impaired."

Kyocera Kona is a CDMA2000(R) 1X-Advanced flip phone featuring a 2.4-inch QVGA TFT LCD internal color display as well as a 1.44-inch TFT LCD color external display. Capturing quick snapshots is easy with Kona's 2-megapixel camera with 2x zoom and dedicated function key. Calls can be safely taken over Bluetooth(R) wireless technology (2.1 with Enhanced Data Rate), via the 3.5mm headset jack or through the speakerphone with dedicated function key. With a strong 870mAh Li-Ion battery, Kona is a compact 3.94 x 2.05 x 0.68 inches and weighs only 3.7 ounces.

As part of its all-new network buildout, Sprint is bringing an enhanced 3G experience with better wireless signal strength, in-building coverage, and fewer dropped/blocked calls. These 3G improvements are already available to customers in several cities across the country, such as Baltimore, Boston, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. Sprint 3G customers in these areas, including the company's prepaid customers on Assurance Wireless, Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile, can expect to see better coverage and improved network reliability and voice quality once the improvements come to their areas. For more information about the Sprint network, visit www.sprint.com/network.

Sprint's corporate responsibility program, Sprint Good Works(SM), is guided by the principle that doing the right thing is good business. More than a statement, it's also a belief: Good does indeed work(SM). That's why Sprint is committed to anticipating the needs of customers and making award-winning services accessible to all. By empowering seniors and people with disabilities through accessible technology, Sprint is demonstrating how good technology works as a positive force in society.

Contacts:

Sprint

Natalie Papaj, 703-592-8412; natalie.lariviere@sprint.com

or

Kyocera Communications Inc.

John Chier, 858-882-3543; john.chier@kyocera.com

Source: Sprint and Kyocera 

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     Disruptions: Visually Impaired Turn to Smartphones to See Their World

     by Nick Bilton

Luis Perez loves taking photographs. He shoots mostly on an iPhone, snapping gorgeous pictures of sunsets, vintage cars, old buildings and cute puppies. But when he arrives at a photo shoot, people are often startled when he pulls out a long white cane.

In addition to being a professional photographer, Mr. Perez is almost blind. "With the iPhone I am able to use the same technology as everyone else, and having a product that doesn't have a stigma that other technologies do has been really important to me," said Mr. Perez, who is also an advocate for blind people and speaks regularly at conferences about the benefits of technology for people who cannot see. "Now, even if you're blind, you can still take a photo."

Smartphones and tablets, with their flat glass touch screens and nary a texture anywhere, may not seem like the best technological innovation for people who cannot see. But advocates for the blind say the devices could be the biggest assistive aid to come along since Braille was invented in the 1820s.

Counterintuitive? You bet. People with vision problems can use a smartphone's voice commands to read or write. They can determine denominations of money using a camera app, figure out where they are using GPS and compass applications, and, like Mr. Perez, take photos.

Google's latest releases of its Android operating systems have increased its assistive technologies, specifically with updates to TalkBack, a Google-made application that adds spoken, audible and vibration feedback to a smartphone. Windows phones also offer some voice commands, but they are fewer than either Google's or Apple's.

Among Apple's features are ones that help people with vision problems take pictures. In assistive mode, for example, the phone can say how many heads are in a picture and where they are in the frame, so someone who is blind knows if the family photo she is about to take includes everyone.

All this has come as a delightful shock to most people with vision problems. "We were sort of conditioned to believe that you can't use a touch screen because you can't see it," said Dorrie Rush, the marketing director of accessible technology at Lighthouse International, a nonprofit vision education and rehabilitation center. "The belief was the tools for the visually impaired must have a tactile screen, which, it turns out, is completely untrue."

Ms. Rush, who has a retinal disorder, said that before the smartphone, people who were visually impaired could use a flip-phone to make calls, but they could not read the tiny two-inch screens. While the first version of the iPhone allowed people who were losing their vision to enlarge text, it wasn't until 2009, when the company introduced accessibility features, that the device became a benefit to blind people.

While some companies might have altruistic goals in building products and services for people who have lost their sight, the number of people who need these products is growing. About 10 million people in the United States are blind or partly blind, according to statistics from the American Foundation for the Blind. And some estimates predict that over the next 30 years, as the vast baby-boomer generation ages, the number of adults with vision impairments could double.

Apple's assistive technologies also include VoiceOver, which the company says is the world's first "gesture-based screen reader" and lets blind people interact with their devices using multitouch gestures on the screen. For example, if you slide a finger around the phone's surface, the iPhone will read aloud the name of each application. In a reading app, like one for a newspaper, swiping two fingers down the screen will prompt the phone to read the text aloud. Taking two fingers and holding them an inch apart, then turning them in a circle like opening a padlock calls a slew of menus, including ones with the ability to change VoiceOver's rate of speech or language.

The iPhone also supports over 40 different Braille Bluetooth keyboards. On all the mobile platforms, people with vision loss say, the real magic lies in the hundreds of apps that are designed specifically to help people who are blind. There are apps that can help people see colors, so pointing their phones at an object will yield a detailed audio description of the color, like "pale yellow green" or "fresh apricot." People who are blind say these apps open up an entirely new way of seeing the world. Light-detection apps can emit a sound that intensifies when someone approaches a light source. This can be used to help people find a room's exit, locate a window or turn off a light. There are apps that read aloud e-mails, the weather, stock prices, as well as Twitter and Facebook feeds.

In the United States, one of the biggest challenges for blind people is figuring out a bill's denomination. While coins are different sizes, there is no such differentiation between a $1 bill and a $100 bill. In the past, people with impairments had someone who could see help them fold notes differently to know which was which, or they carried an expensive third-party device, but now apps that use the camera can identify the denomination aloud.

"Before a smartphone was accessible we had to carry six different things, and now all of those things are in one of those devices," Ms. Rush said. "A $150 money reader is now a $1.99 app."

She added: "These devices are a game-changer. They have created the era of inclusion."

While some app makers have made great efforts to build products that help people with impairments, other developers overlook the importance of creating assistive components.

Mr. Perez said what he could do now with his smartphone was inconceivable just a few years ago. But even well-known apps like Instagram, which he uses to share some of his photos, do not mark all of their features.

"When some developers design their apps, they don't label all of their buttons and controls, so the screen reader just says, "This is a button," but it doesn't say what the button actually does," Mr. Perez said. "That's an area where we need a lot of improvement."

E-mail: bilton@nytimes.com

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     Coastline Elderly Nutrition News

     From the desk of Jamie Buccheri, RD, LDN

Holiday Eating Survival Guide

The holidays are here, and food is a big and beautiful part of the holiday tradition. How do you plan to handle the abundance of rich and delicious foods that are bound to show up at every event? First and foremost remember that you have control over the amount of food you eat.  Indulging in a tasty treat is okay, but try taking a sliver of the pie rather than half the cake!

You can also take a little bit of all the foods at the party, and savor every bite. Other tips for sparing your waistline during the holidays include leaving the butter off your bread or using margarine instead, taking the skin off of turkey or chicken, and putting sauces on the side. If you're the one doing the cooking, swap in lower calorie options for the full fat versions. Lastly, don't go hungry! Plan to eat something small be before going to the party, eliminating the urge to stuff yourself once you arrive. Follow these tips and you'll have no regrets when the holiday season is over!

Healthy Eggnog: a lightened-up, egg-free version of an all-time holiday favorite. You won't be disappointed!

Serves 2

Ingredients:
1 cup soy, almond or regular milk
4 ice cubes
1 banana
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond or peanut butter
2 cinnamon sticks

Directions:
Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Sprinkle with extra
cinnamon, sugar and nutmeg if desired. Add cinnamon sticks and serve.
Enjoy!

Source: http://www.stepintomygreenworld.com/healthyliving/healthy-eggnog/

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     3D printing

     

Additive manufacturing or 3D printing is a process of making a three-dimensional solid object of virtually any shape from a digital model. 3D printing is achieved using an additive process, where successive layers of material are laid down in different shapes. 3D printing is also considered distinct from traditional machining techniques, which mostly rely on the removal of material by methods such as cutting or drilling

(subtractive processes).

A materials printer usually performs 3D printing using digital technology. The first working 3D printer was created in 1984 by Chuck Hull of 3D Systems Corp. Since the start of the 21st century there has been a large growth in the sales of these machines, and their price has dropped substantially. According to Wohlers Associates, a consultancy, the market for 3D printers and services was worth $2.2 billion worldwide in 2012, up 29% from 2011.

The 3D printing technology is used for both prototyping and distributed manufacturing with applications in architecture, engineering, construction (AEC), industrial design, automotive, aerospace, military, engineering, civil engineering, dental and medical industries, biotech (human tissue replacement), fashion, footwear, jewelry, eyewear, education, geographic information systems, food, and many other fields. It has been speculated that 3D printing may become a mass market item because open-source 3D printing can easily offset their capital costs by enabling consumers to avoid costs associated with purchasing common household objects.

Research into new applications

Future applications for 3D printing might include creating open-source scientific equipment or other science-based applications like reconstructing fossils in paleontology, replicating ancient and priceless artifacts in archaeology, reconstructing bones and body parts in forensic pathology, and reconstructing heavily damaged evidence acquired from crime-scene investigations. The technology is even being explored for building construction.

In 2005, academic journals had begun to report on the possible artistic applications of 3D printing technology. By 2007 the mass media followed with an article in The Wall Street Journal and Time magazine, listing a 3D-printed design among their 100 most influential designs of the year. During the 2011 London Design Festival, an installation, curated by Murray Moss and focused on 3D Printing, was held in the Victoria and Albert Museum (the V&A). The installation was called Industrial Revolution 2.0: How the Material World will Newly Materialize.

As of 2012, 3D printing technology has been studied by biotechnology firms and academia for possible use in tissue-engineering applications in which organs and body parts are built using inkjet techniques. In this process, layers of living cells are deposited onto a gel medium or sugar matrix and slowly built up to form three-dimensional structures including vascular systems. Several terms have been used to refer to this field of research: organ printing, bio-printing, body part printing, and computer-aided tissue

engineering, among others.

A proof-of-principle project at the University of Glasgow, UK, in 2012, showed that it is possible to use 3D printing techniques to create chemical compounds, including new ones. They first printed chemical reaction vessels then used the printer to squirt reactants into them as "chemical inks" which would then react. They have produced new compounds to verify the validity of the process, but have not pursued anything with a particular application.

Cornell Creative Machines Lab has confirmed that it is possible to produce customized food with 3D Hydrocolloid Printing.

The use of 3D scanning technologies allows the replication of real objects without the use of molding techniques that in many cases can be more expensive, more difficult, or too invasive to be performed, particularly for precious or delicate cultural heritage artifacts where direct contact with the molding substances could harm the original object's surface.

An additional use being developed is building printing, or using 3D printing to build buildings. This could allow faster construction for lower costs, and has been investigated for construction of off-Earth habitats. For example, the Sinterhab project is researching a lunar base constructed by 3D printing using lunar regolith as a base material. Instead of adding a binding agent to the regolith, researchers are experimenting with microwave

sintering to create solid blocks from the raw material.

Employing additive layer technology offered by 3D printing, Terahertz devices which act as waveguides, couplers and bends have been created. The complex shape of these devices could not be achieved using conventional fabrication techniques. Commercially available professional-grade printer EDEN 260V was used to create structures with minimum feature size of 100 µm. The printed structures were later DC sputter coated with gold (or any other metal) to create a Terahertz Plasmonic Device.

China has committed almost $500 million towards the establishment of 10 national 3-D printing development institutes. In 2013, Chinese scientists began printing ears, livers and kidneys, with living tissue. Researchers in China have been able to successfully print human organs using specialized 3D bio printers that use living cells instead of plastic. Researchers at Hangzhou Dianzi University actually went as far as inventing their own 3D printer for the complex task, dubbed the "Regenovo" which is a "3D bio printer." Xu Mingen, Regenovo's developer, said that it takes the printer under an hour to produce either a mini liver sample or a four-to-five-inch ear cartilage sample. Xu also predicted that fully functional printed organs may be possible within the next ten to twenty years.

In the same year, researchers at the University of Hasselt in Belgium had successfully

printed a new jawbone for an 83-year-old Belgian woman. The woman is now able to chew, speak and breathe normally again after a machine printed her a new jawbone.

In Bahrain, large-scale 3D printing using a sandstone-like material has been used to create unique coral-shaped structures which encourage coral polyps to colonize and regenerate damaged reefs. These structures have a much more natural shape than other structures used to create artificial reefs, and have a neutral pH which concrete does not.

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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     Are Blind Employees Affected by a System?

     by Bob Branco

If a blind individual receives SSI or SSDI, and suddenly he applies for a job, how much stock should he take in what he already has for financial subsidy? I will try to find a solution to this question by looking at both sides.

Several days ago, a blind person applied for a job in the field of customer service. He would be working 20 hours a week, receiving $12 to $15 an hour, with no benefits. Though the job has no benefits, the individual is hoping he gets the job because he wants to be productive and useful. At the same time, he knows that if he exceeds a certain monthly income, he will run the risk of having his SSDI reduced. With that in mind, someone advised the blind guy to go to his potential boss and ask him to reduce his hours for fear that he will lose his subsidy. Is this the way we want to be treated? Do we submit to a system in order to jeopardize our dignity in the work force?

There are many people, blind and sighted, who feel we, as blind people, should be careful when finding work because our government subsidy will be in jeopardy. The reason is because the government subsidy is secure, and jobs are not.  However, if the job ends, there is financial danger while waiting to have our government subsidy restored.  On the other hand, many of us take pride in our jobs, and want every opportunity to work for exactly the same number of hours as the sighted.  We shouldn't be told to reduce our

hours, or not take the job at all.

This individual called the Social Security office about his situation, and complained that the maximum earned income he was allowed per month was below the poverty level. The case worker justified the system by reminding the blind guy that he has a disability, thus he's unable to work.  The man took offense at this, and reminded the case worker that he worked three full-time jobs in the past, yet he was able to receive SSDI because of his work history, and he happened to be laid off at the time.

Whether we accept it or not, the system that Social Security puts in front of us is extremely intimidating, and may have something to do with the unemployment rate of the blind. Let's face it - if there are any blind people who are refusing work because they are afraid to be taken off of government subsidy, then this is true.

Your thoughts are welcome in the Readers' Forum.

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     Your View

1. In response to Bob Branco's column, Dennis Polselli wrote:

In the previous article, which also appeared in the Matilda Ziegler Magazine, Bob Branco challenged us to think about why younger blind persons aren't joining any of our consumer organizations of the blind. I attempted to offer a theory in the Readers' Forum but I thought I would go into more detail in Consumer Vision.

As you know, there are two consumer organizations of the Blind, The National Federation of the Blind, (NFB), and The American Council of the Blind, (ACB). Bob's Op-Ed column has empowered me to express out loud in writing what I have often thought for a long time, so stick with me.

First, let's get one thing straight. In my own personal opinion, the National Federation of the Blind is no longer a consumer organization. It has become a service provider.It receives hoards of taxpaying dollars in order to provide services in orientation and rehabilitation through such centers from Louisiana to Colorado.It provides job opportunities for the blind, funded by the U.S. Department of Labor.  The orientation and Rehabilitation Centers are also funded through vocational rehabilitation, and let's not forget Newsline for the blind.  I'm not being critical here, but let's not continue to notion that this is some consumer organization when it is really a corporation that provides services that happen to be operated by Blind people. That's okay.The Federation is

a testimony that blind persons can run corporations and provide programs and services. Furthermore, the leadership is very much on a corporate model.Board members are really not elected, they are recruited and invited to run, and their "election" to board positions are carefully orchestrated by the leadership. Again, that's what corporations do.Why should the blind be different? When I attended national conventions, a bone was thrown to the membership.One board position was allowed to be nominated from the floor and was contested, but even that no longer happens.

The American Council of the Blind, on the other hand, can still consider itself a consumer organization. Their officers and board positions have term limits (three two-year terms). In addition, their leadership and board positions have been contested. This year, ACB became the first national organization of the blind to elect a woman president, Kim Charlson. 

Other offices were contested on the convention floor, but even in ACB, turn-over is hard to come by and young people aren't exactly flocking to them, even though ACB is less authoritarian. ACB, in my opinion, is less corporate than NFB. In NFB, state affiliates might be called branch offices instead of affiliates, and local chapters might be better referred to as satellite offices.As independent as Massachusetts tried to be, you knew who was calling the shots. I will never forget the incident that resulted in the expulsion of a member in 1991 because this individual felt that we should be focusing on jobs and not sitting in emergency-exit-row seats on airplanes. I personally was summoned to a meeting at 3:00 in the morning with the national president, and was told to go along or get off the state board. I left shortly after that. Talk about openness and transparency.

I suspect that the reason why young people don't join either organization is that they sense that it would require years and years just to move up to any leadership position, and young people today are impatient and don't want to wait years and years. Both organizations require a great deal of commitment and self sacrifice.  One requires total loyalty, with leadership seminars occurring during such holidays as Thanksgiving weekend. With mainstreaming, young blind persons want to do a variety of activities and join a variety of clubs and organizations in their high schools and colleges.

Even when residential schools for the blind were strong, most of the schools would not let either ACB or NFB onto their campuses.If they had, it would have been a good time to recruit young people out of high school. But those days are gone.

Finally, and most importantly, at this year's NFB Convention, a speaker from the United Kingdom stated that there were no differences between consumer organizations of the blind and service providers; they advocate and work together. This is or has become the case in the United States since the creation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Blindness is such a low-incident disability, and with other disability organizations and groups gaining political power, it has become necessary for the blind to grow up, stop viewing each other as enemies and fight for a piece of the equal-access pie for accessible websites, alternate formats in providing services, audible pedestrian signals, etc. We need to get that message to our youth.With their background in social networking and computer literacy, and we need to press them into services, into the effort to make our disability included in the fight for equal access.The blindness community, service providers and consumer organizations, as they do in Britain, must band together. 

2. David Baharian wrote: 

I liked Alan Dalton's article in the September/October Consumer Vision.It is up to the individual to get himself from and to work.  I think many people think that it is up to someone else to get them to and from work. His point about looking better than everyone else is sure a good rule to follow. Good job.

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     Special Notices

TSA Cares is a help line to assist travelers with disabilities and medical conditions. TSA recommends that passengers call 72 hours ahead of travel for information about what to expect during screening.

Travelers can call TSA Cares toll free at 1/855-787-2227 prior to traveling with questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint. TSA Cares will serve as an additional, dedicated resource specifically for passengers with

disabilities, medical conditions or other circumstances, or to help their loved ones who want to prepare for the screening process prior to flying.

The hours of operation for the TSA Cares help line are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST, and weekends and holidays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST. Travelers who

are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to contact TSA Cares or can e-mail

TSA-ContactCenter@www.dhs.gov.

When a passenger with a disability or medical condition calls TSA Cares, a representative will provide assistance, either with information about screening that is relevant to the passenger's specific disability or medical condition, or by referring the passenger to disability experts at TSA.

TSA recommends that passengers call approximately 72 hours ahead of travel so that TSA Cares has the opportunity to coordinate checkpoint support with a TSA Customer Service Manager located at the airport when necessary.

One of the primary goals of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is to provide the highest level of security and customer service to all who pass through our screening checkpoints.

Our current policies and procedures focus on ensuring that all passengers, regardless of their personal situations and needs, are treated equally and with the dignity, respect, and courtesy they deserve. Although every person and item must be screened before entering each secure boarding area, all disability-related equipment, aids, and devices are allowed through security checkpoints once cleared through screening.

Sunshine and Ivanna, my cute little Labradorable, the mischief-maker in a group of dogs.

Google Talk: Halogirl817

"Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn."

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     How to Call the Police when You're Old and Don't Move Fast Anymore

George Phillips, an elderly man from Meridian, Mississippi, was going up to bed when his wife told him that he'd left the light on in the garden shed, which she could see from the bedroom window. George opened the back door to go turn off the light, but saw that there were people in the shed stealing things.

He phoned the police, who asked "Is someone in your house?"

He said "No, but some people are breaking into my garden shed and stealing from me. "

Then the police dispatcher said,"All patrols are busy. You should lock your doors and an officer will be along when one is available"

George said, "Okay."

He hung up the phone and counted to 30. Then he phoned the police again.

"Hello, I just called you a few seconds ago because there were people stealing things rom my shed. Well, you don't have to worry about them now because I just shot and killed them both. The dogs are eating them right now," and he hung up.

Within five minutes, six Police Cars, a SWAT Team, a helicopter, two fire trucks, a paramedic and an ambulance showed up at the Phillips' residence, and caught the burglars red-handed.

One of the policemen said to George, "I thought you said that you'd shot them!"

George said, "I thought you said there was nobody available!"

(True Story) I love it! Don't mess with elderly people.

Remember: Growing older is mandatory. Growing up is optional

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     Consumer Vision Trivia Contest

Here is the answer to the trivia question submitted in the September/October Consumer Vision.

The common thread between Leave it to Beaver's Fred Ruthaford and Dick Vandyke's Mel was that they were both played by Richard Deacon.

Congratulations to the following winners:

Jan Colby of Brockton, Massachusetts

Don Hanson of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Mark Benson of Wichita, Kansas

And now, here is your trivia question for the November/December Consumer Vision.What is meant when someone says "Deep Six It"?

If you know the answer, please email bobbranco93@gmail.com or call 508-994-4972.