The Consumer Vision

            March/April, 2010

Publisher, Bob Branco

Editor, Janet Marcley

Braille Production: Perkins Braille and Talking Book Library

CD Production: Bob Zeida

Cassette Production: Audible Local Ledger, Sherry Bergeron

E-Mail Production: Bob Branco and Janet Marcley

Print Production: Alpha Graphics

Board of Directors: Clement Beaulieu, Darryl Breffe, Steve Brown, Lauren

Casey, Dan Germano, Ken Sylvia and Gail Teixeira

If you would like to subscribe to The Consumer Vision six times a year, please e-mail

 or call our office at 508-994-4972, and we will discuss which format you want to receive. The Consumer Vision is available in print, Braille, cassette, CD and e-mail.

Even in a Dark Silent World, there is Hope
Make Your Day Available for Technical Support
A Notice of Correction from THE SELECTIVE DOCTOR
Advice column in The Consumer Vision
Spring Days
April Rain
Corporate Ignorance
Something To Think About
From: "Karolyn Phillips"
Consumer Vision Trivia Contest

Even in a Dark Silent World, there is Hope

By Sharon Hooley

What is deafblindness? Deafblindness is a dual sensory impairment of varying degrees of severity. This ranges from mild visual and hearing impairment,

to no visionand total deafness. I was told that deafness plus blindness does not equal deafblindness. They come together to create a whole single disability,

in which the person is somewhat, if not totally, dependent on others or technological devices to communicate with the outside world through various preferred languages. In some cases, they literally need to have someone to be the eyes and ears in order for them to know what is

going on in an activity.

As more and more of the Baby Boomer population become senior citizens, we can expect deafblindness and other disabilities to increase sharply. I can imagine

how lonely it can be during the old age part of life when you can't see or hear, and there's the scarcity of family and friends who would take the extra

amount of time and effort to carry on a conversation with you. Even though I am not yet a senior citizen, I understand what it is like to be totally blind

and hard-of-hearing, and the denial that can come with gradual hearing loss . I remember, when I was younger, walking to church with my sister feelingsorry for myself because she and my mother had insisted that I wear those hearing aids. Canes and hearing aids were for old people, not someone like me! I wanted to be seen as a "normal" schoolgirl.

Yet, if you can reach out and call for help, there is hope! This was brought home to me when I attended deafblind retreats in Oregon and Washington state.When you go to these camps, there are volunteers available during most of the day to help you clearly understand what is being said and what is happening,and give you the chance to respond and interact with others no matter the preferred language! You can even have one-on-one help if you require it. It all takes teamwork to accomplish this experience, which I greatly appreciate. As a deafblind camper with no vision and moderate-to-severe hearing loss, I know the frustrations of using the hearing I did have to struggle to socialize with others. When I realized that those who are totally deafblind can understand maybe 90% of what is being said to him/her, I wished that I either had good hearing, or that I were so deaf thatthe only viable option would be to use a tactile language. But wait, there is even more hope for many young deaf children and those of us who have lost hearing but are still able to understand speech. In the human ear, there are cells and organs that convey sounds to the nerve in the inner part, whichsends these signals to the brain. For many people, hearing impairment or deafness is caused by the malfunctioning or nonexistence of these areas. In this case, you might be the candidate for the cochlear implant, which many of us, including myself, can use with marked success!

I previously had to carry around a transmitter or transceiver so that the speaker's voice would come directly to my hearing aid, but this amazing technology has made it easier for me to interact with others without my having them wear anything, and to more clearly understand speech that comes through a headset. I have considered getting a new f.m. system for meetings in which the room has bad acoustic quality, but so far, I haven't. When there is a lot of background noise, I can simply attach a microphone to the back of the speech processor and have the person speak through that. No bulky devices and batteries to put in my purse!

If you are deaf but have previously been able to understand speech, or have a young child who is deaf, please see an ear, nose and throat doctor and audiologist if you are interested in being able to hear and communicate more easily. They might do some testing, including various aspects of residual hearing (if you have it), a cat scan, and, if you have balance issues, they may also examine your reaction to various challenges. In my case, I had also seen a psychologist during my second attempt to receive the implant.

I would now like to share with you a list of resources that I hope will help any of you deafblind consumers to gain a better quality of life and open doorsof opportunities.

Although this site is based in Britain, you can geta lot of information here:

Here is another organization that deals specifically with deafblind children:


phone: 800.438.9376

TTY: 800.854.7013

fax: 503.838.8150


Here is help for communicating via phone/TTY/internet:

You can get information, help and training to work in your community of choice:

Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults

141 Middle Neck Road

Sands Point, NY 11050

Phone: (516) 944-8900 Ext. 326 (Voice/TTY)


This is the company from which I chose to receive the cochlear implant and equipment. If you are a candidate, you can discuss options with your audiologist who is familiar with this:

Last of all, here is the info for the deafblind retreat I mentioned earlier. It is associated with the Lighthouse for the Blind in Washington state:

The Deaf-Blind Retreat

c/o The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc.

P.O. Box 14959

Seattle, WA 98114

Phone: (206) 436-2120 Voice

FAX: (206) 436-2234


I look forward to our next article. If you have questions or just need support, you can contact me at:

Announcing a free seminar for writers, The Music of Writing, in five sessions of 90 minutes each via telephone conference call. Generally, the calendar

for each five-session seminar is set according to the schedules of the participants. To sign up, call Rebecca Hein at 1-888-921-9595, or send an email

to and put The Music of Writing in the subject line. If you email, please follow up with a phone call because emails can occasionally get lost. Testimonials

from previous Seminar participants are available on request.

Class size is limited to five participants, and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Enrollment for the current section closes on March

15, 2010.

Thank you very much.

Rebecca Hein

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Make Your Day Available for Technical Support

By Bob Branco

At times, I need to call my email provider or my technical support service to ask questions. I think something needs to be done about the way these services

treat the customers who pay them. This week, I called AT&T Worldnet Support because I heard they are modifying their service, which may cause me to change my email address. After going through many menus, I was finally told that I would be connected to a human Customer Service representative. The first time I called the company and was connected to Customer Service, I was told by an automated voice system that the next available representative would speak to me in 60 minutes. I was not about to wait on the phone for one hour until a Customer Service representative came on the line, so I called AT&T again the next day, only to learn that the next available representative would speak to me in 45 minutes.

It's bad enough that they are asking us to wait on the line so long to speak to a live human being, but how does an automated system know right to the minute just how long I have to wait? It doesn't know how many minutes each customer ahead of me will need help. It may be that one customer needs to talk to someone for two minutes while another needs to talk for a half hour. The system doesn't know.

If you have experience with this issue, please let me know your thoughts.

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Kimberly Ferreira, MS, RD, LDN

Coastline Elderly Services, Inc.


Does your appetite and food consumption change when you are feeling down or depressed? Stressed or Angry? There has been much research done to evaluate

the effects our mood can have on how much we eat and also the types of foods we eat. Although many questions remain on the connection between food and mood, experts agree on the following ingredients for a mentally healthy diet:

« Breakfast - Including breakfast and healthy snacks daily will help to keep your blood sugars stabilized and avoid anxiety-producing "sugar drops."

« Complex Carbohydrates - These foods, including whole grains, can increase serotonin levels (hormone that regulates mood, anger and appetite) and help keep your calm. Hence the term, "comfort foods."

« Protein - Foods rich in protein (meat, fish, poultry, dairy, etc) can boost alertness.

« Folate - This important vitamin is crucial to healthy serotonin levels. You can find folate-rich foods in fortified cereals, baked goods, leafy vegetables (spinach, lettuce), asparagus, fruits (bananas, melons, lemons), legumes, mushrooms, orange & tomato juice. The adult RDA for folate is 400 micrograms.

« Caffeine - Although caffeine can perk you up and act as an anti-depressant, over-consuming can cause anxiety in some people.

Source: Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter, January 2010.


February's Winner: Ella Clark

Name 3 ingredients for a mentally healthy diet.

(1) ___________________ (2) ____________________

(3) ___________________

Return your answer via e-mail to:

or mail it to:

Coastline Elderly Services, Inc.

1646 Purchase St.

New Bedford, MA 02740

Please include your name, phone number and/or e-mail address.

The winner will be announced in the next issue of The Consumer Vision.


Did you know?

A scone can have about 400 calories and >15 grams of fat, while an English muffin with 2 tablespoons of sugar-free jelly has about 150 calories and only 1 gram of fat.

Skip the scone and try the English muffin next time and save yourself about 250 calories and at least 14 grams of fat!!

Please contact me with any questions at (508) 999-6400 x194 or email:

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A Notice of Correction from


Hi Bob,

We would like you to update your future magazines with our latest Brailler repair information.

Please eliminate the words IBM typewriters, as we do not repair them any longer.

Our current mailing address is: P.O. Box 571, Manchester, Maryland 21102.

The telephone number has remained the same, (410) 665-9768.

The new physical address is: 3205 Laverne Circle, Hampstead, Maryland 21074, if the customers want to send them via UPS or Federal Express. Also, the present cost of postal insurance is $5.70 for $400 insurance. We have repaired over 5000 Perkins Braillers since 1992.

If anyone has any questions, please feel free to contact us.


Barbara S. Staniewski


Hi, Everyone,

My name is Lauren and I am a reader of the magazine as well as a current board member.

I am interested in having an advice column in The Consumer Vision.

If readers are interested in having this, please let me know.

You can send letters to me through the magazine or I can write on certain topics including blindness issues.

Please let us know.


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Spring Days

By Karen Crowder

An open window brings in the smell of damp earth,

Thawing after a hard winter of ice and snow,

Newly planted grass scents the air,

Early flowering forsythias andtulips perfume the mild spring breeze.

The warming sunshine gently awakens magnolias and daffodils,

Its warmth has people walking in light spring jackets

It is 65 degrees no heavy scarves or sweaters do we wear,

We let the smilingsun shine on our hair,

Sitting in a park on a picnic bench,

Hearing the trill of robins and a flowing stream

Boys put fishing poles in brooks and streams,

Trying to catch spring trout.

Night falls with still mild breezes,

The sun gently sets leaving its welcome shadow.

Peepers begin to sing at brooks saying spring is here,

Chickadees sing doing their mating dance,

Birds sleep in nests until dawn arrives,

After a long winter joyously welcoming spring.

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April Rain

By Karen Crowder

Soft rain beats down on pavement,

Birds huddle in new nests,

Grass greening with every shower,

Flowers drinking in its replenishing waters

Earth soaks in nourishing rain,

It can hold only so much before flooding rivers and streams,

We look out our windows at this gloomy sky

Asking when will the cold rains of early April abate

And the soft warm showers of late April and May come

Which help flowers to blossom and bloom,

Its gentle rhythm reminding us that summer is not far away

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Corporate Ignorance

By Lucille Burkhardt

Does anybody know anything anymore? About a week ago, I received a boom box, Model RCD-175B by RCA. This was purchased through What gets me is, if this is the only product of its kind, then why must you go through the whole preamble of its description with each operator at this nonsensical call center? In fact, my husband put the system through its paces this afternoon of February 13th. Each time he called, he was given a different amount of waiting time and, if he chose to use the call-back service, he had to press the number one to activate it. However, in entering your phone number with area code, you cannot press the number one, because, after pressing the pound key, the system will deem your number invalid.

Paul and I, after at least a day of probing, were informed that the product in question, after being active since October of 2009, was discontinued with no reason given. We were finally given the Corporate Office number to Best Buy in Richfield, Minnesota. Wouldn't it be simpler to fully inform consumers as to the practice, rather than sending them around Robin hood’s barn? After all, what does Corporate know? In this case, they probably don't even use this product. The maddening thing about all of this is, Corporate doesn't even consult the consumer. After all, where would they be without us? It's about time that we consumers band together and changed Corporate's attitude. Why can't these representatives take the time necessary to research answers to these questions, instead of saying, for example, "I don't know."? It really makes you wonder where they receive their training. It really must be great to be paid for being stupid. I'm sure many books could be written on this subject.

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Kimberly Ferreira, MS, RD, LDN

Coastline Elderly Services, Inc.


In addition to National Nutrition Month, March is also designated as Kidney Month. Let's find out what you know about your kidneys!

Why are your Kidneys so important?

Your kidneys perform several functions to keep us alive and healthy. These include:

« Removing Waste from our body

« Removing Drugs from our body

« Balancing our body's Fluids

« Releasing Hormones to regulate Blood Pressure

« Producing the active form of Vitamin D (for strong bones)

« Controlling the production of Red Blood Cells

What are some Causes of Kidney Disease?

« Uncontrolled Diabetes

« High Blood Pressure

« Family History / Genetics

« Kidney Stones

« Drugs & Toxins

** Uncontrolled Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease **

What are some Warning Signs of Kidney Disease?

« High Blood Pressure

« Blood and/or Protein in the Urine

« Puffiness around Eyes; Swelling of Hands, Feet

« More Frequent Urination, particularly at night; Difficult or Painful Urination

If you are experiencing these symptoms, be sure to contact your doctor!

Source: National Kidney Foundation,

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What is the Leading Cause of Kidney Disease?

Return your answer via e-mail to:

or mail it to:

Coastline Elderly Services, Inc.

1646 Purchase St.

New Bedford, MA 02740

Please include your name, phone number and/or e-mail address.

The winner will be announced in the next issue of The Consumer Vision.

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Did you know?

1 cup of V8 Splash Orange Pineapple Juice has 18 grams sugar & 25 mg potassium while 1 medium Orange has 12 grams sugar, 3 grams fiber & 237 mg potassium.

For less sugar and more nutrients, choose Fresh Orange over the juice!

Please contact me with any questions at (508) 999-6400 x194 or email:

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Something To Think About

Hello, I'm Pastor Darryl Breffe.

You can call me Darryl. Thank you for taking the time to read the religious column her at The Consumer Vision. In This Column, I not only present the gospel, I will bring you items that will make you think, give praise and get some laughs too.

If you have any comments or suggestions, feel free to write them to the staff here at The Consumer Vision. My Thanks to Robert Branco, the editor.

And now to this month's column.

From: "drena brown" <>

A little girl went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jelly jar from its hiding place in the closet. She poured the change out on the floor and counted it carefully. Three times, even The total had to be exactly perfect. No chance here for mistakes. Carefully placing the coins back in the jar and twisting on the cap, she slipped out the back door and made her way 6 blocks to Rexall's Drug Store with the big red Indian Chief sign above the door. She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention, but he was too busy at this moment. Tess twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise. Nothing. She cleared her throat with the most disgusting sound she could muster. No good. Finally she took a quarter from her jar and banged it on the glass counter. That did it!' And what do you want?' the pharmacist asked in an annoyed tone of voice. I'm talking to my brother from Chicago whom I haven't seen in ages,' he said without waiting for a reply to his question.

'Well, I want to talk to you about my brother,' Tess answered back in the same annoyed tone. 'He's really, really sick...and I want to buy a miracle. ''I beg your pardon?' said the pharmacist.

'His name is Andrew and he has something bad growing inside his head and my Daddy says only a miracle can save him now. So how much does a miracle cost?' 'We don't sell miracles here, little girl. I'm sorry but I can't help you,' the pharmacist said, softening a little. 'Listen, I have the money to pay for it... If it isn't enough, I will get the rest. Just tell me how much it costs. 'The pharmacist's brother was a well dressed man. He stooped down and asked the little girl, 'What kind of a miracle does your brother need?'' I don't know,' Tess replied with her eyes welling up. I just know he's really sick and Mommy says he needs an operation.

But my Daddy can't pay for it, so I want to use my money. ''How much do you have?' asked the man from Chicago 'One dollar and eleven cents,' Tess answered barely audibly. 'And it's all the money I have, but I can get some more if I need to. ''Well, what a coincidence,' smiled the man.. 'A dollar and eleven cents---the exact price of a miracle for little brothers. 'He took her money in one hand and with the other hand he grasped her mitten and said 'Take me to where you live. I want to see your brother and meet your parents. Let's see if I have the miracle you need. 'That well dressed man was Dr. Carlton Armstrong, a surgeon, specializing in neuro-surgery. The operation was completed free of charge and it wasn't long until Andrew was home again and doing well. Mom and Dad were happily talking about the chain of events that had led them to this place.

'That surgery,' her Mom whispered 'was a real miracle I wonder how much it would have cost? 'Tess smiled. She knew exactly how much a miracle cost dollar and eleven cents ... plus the faith of a little child. In our lives, we never know how many miracles we will need. A miracle is not the suspension of natural law, but the operation of a higher law. I know you'll keep the ball moving! Here it goes Throw it back to someone who means something to you!

A ball is a circle, no beginning, no end. It keeps us together like our Circle of Friends.. But the treasure inside for you to see is the treasure of friendship you've granted to me. Today I pass the friendship ball to you. Pass it on to someone who is a friend to you. MY OATH TO YOU....

When you are sad.....I will dry your tears. When you are scared ... I will comfort your fears ...When you are worried.....I will give you hope. When you are confused ... I will help you cope. And when you are lost ... And can't see the light, I shall be your beacon .... Shining ever so bright. This is my oath ... I pledge till the end. Why? you may ask ... Because you're my friend.

Signed: GOD

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From: "Karolyn Phillips" <>

Her hair was up in a pony tail,

her favorite dress tied with a bow.

Today was Daddy's Day at school,

and she couldn't wait to go.

But her mommy tried to tell her,

that she probably should stay home.

Why the kids might not understand,

if she went to school alone.

But she was not afraid;

she knew just what to say.

What to tell her classmates

of why he wasn't there today.

But still her mother worried,

for her to face this day alone.

And that was why once again,

she tried to keep her daughter home.

But the little girl went to school

eager to tell them all.

About a dad she never sees

a dad who never calls.

There were daddies along the wall in back,

for everyone to meet.

Children squirming impatiently,

anxious in their seats

One by one the teacher called

a student from the class.

To introduce their daddy,

as seconds slowly passed.

At last the teacher called her name,

every child turned to stare..

Each of them was searching,

a man who wasn't there.

'Where's her daddy at?'

She heard a boy call out.

'She probably doesn't have one,'

another student dared to shout..

And from somewhere near the back,

she heard a daddy say,

'Looks like another deadbeat dad,

too busy to waste his day.'

The words did not offend her,

as she smiled up at her Mom.

And looked back at her teacher,

who told her to go on.

And with hands behind her back,

slowly she began to speak.

And out from the mouth of a child,

came words incredibly unique.

'My Daddy couldn't be here,

because he lives so far away.

But I know he wishes he could be,

since this is such a special day.

And though you cannot meet him,

I wanted you to know.

All about my daddy,

and how much he loves me so.

He loved to tell me stories

he taught me to ride my bike.

He surprised me with pink roses,

and taught me to fly a kite.

We used to share fudge sundaes,

and ice cream in a cone.

And though you cannot see him.

I'm not standing here alone.

'Cause my daddy's always with me,

even though we are apart

I know because he told me,

he'll forever be in my heart'

With that, her little hand reached up,

and lay across her chest.

Feeling her own heartbeat,

beneath her favorite dress..

And from somewhere here in the crowd of dads,

her mother stood in tears.

Proudly watching her daughter,

who was wise beyond her years.

For she stood up for the love

of a man not in her life.

Doing what was best for her,

doing what was right.

And when she dropped her hand back down,

staring straight into the crowd.

She finished with a voice so soft,

but its message clear and loud.

'I love my daddy very much,

he's my shining star.

And if he could, he'd be here,

but heaven's just too far.

You see he is a Canadian soldier

And died just this past year

When a roadside bomb hit his convoy

and taught Canadians to fear.

But sometimes when I close my eyes,

it's like he never went away.'

And then she closed her eyes,

and saw him there that day.

And to her mothers amazement,

she witnessed with surprise.

A room full of daddies and children,

all starting to close their eyes.

Who knows what they saw before them,

who knows what they felt inside.

Perhaps for merely a second,

they saw him at her side.

'I know you're with me Daddy,'

to the silence she called out.

And what happened next made believers,

of those once filled with doubt.

Not one in that room could explain it,

for each of their eyes had been closed.

But there on the desk beside her,

was a fragrant long-stemmed rose.

And a child was blessed, if only for a moment,

by the love of her shining star.

And given the gift of believing,

that heaven is never too far.

Send this to the people you'll never forget.

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Consumer Vision Trivia Contest

Here is the answer to the trivia question submitted in the January/February, 2010 Consumer Vision. The pop music band whose members included half of Duran

Duran was Arcadia.There are no winners this time.

And now, here is your trivia question for the March/April The Consumer Vision: Which character on Captain Kangaroo dropped ping pong balls? If you know

the answer, please e-mail

 or call 508-994-4972.

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