The Consumer Vision

       September/October, 2012

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

Telephone: 508-994-4972

Web Site:

Email Address:

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

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:

Employment and Mentoring

Can the Kindle be Made Accessible?

A Dear Rita Column

Coastline Elderly Nutrition News: What’s the Big Deal about Whole Grains

Community Notices

Coastline Elderly Nutrition News: Celiac Disease & Gluten

August Rains

Waiting for Our Van

Consumer Vision Trivia Contest


            Employment and Mentoring

            by Terri Winaught

Relative to employment, mentoring is a process in which someone who is experienced in a particular career provides guidance and support to someone seeking to enter that field. This interactive process can also assist job coaches and placement specialists who work with the vision-impaired.

The above definition suggests a positive correlation in general between gainful employment and mentoring, a relationship I believe can play a particularly crucial role in achieving successful employment outcomes for persons who are blind or vision-impaired. Though advocates, consumers and professionals may cite and view differently unemployment statistics among the vision impaired, there seems to be general agreement that – compared to sighted peers with the same academic achievements and excellence – a disproportionate number of individuals who are blind are either underemployed or unemployed. That said, the purpose of this article is to explore the role of mentoring in helping to increase opportunities for employment-age persons who are blind or vision-impaired. To accomplish this, I will start by outlining the American Foundation for the Blind's (AFB'S) mentoring program through Career Connect (registered). From there, I will document how the seminars the Employment Committee has facilitated at PCB conventions have provided guidance and can continue to do so.

Finally, I will conclude by discussing National Federation of the Blind (NFB) initiatives to enhance employment opportunities for the blind.

Career Connect (registered) is an AFB program which offers a broad array of vocational services including mentoring. As mentors, successfully employed individuals with varying degrees of vision loss volunteer their time and expertise to provide the following services: job interviewing and resume-preparation techniques; social aspects of working; the importance of networking in obtaining employment; job trends in a given field; and future trends. (The above services can benefit not only persons entering the job market for the first time, but also those changing careers and employment professionals who work with the vision-impaired.)

While PCB Employment Committee members do not provide such formalized mentoring, we have shared important career information through the seminars we have facilitated at state conventions.

During the 2010 convention held in Pittsburgh, Penn., for example, committee members and invited guests addressed topics including: job assistance and placement services; federal initiatives under Schedule A to hire persons with disabilities; employer expectations; and earning possibilities presented by self-employment. Experienced committee members/presenters were: Carla Hayes, committee chair and successful owner of Lengua-Learn Communications; and Lynne Malef, whose expertise in employment assistance comes from years of experience helping persons with disabilities. Guest facilitators were: a job coach from Pittsburgh Vision and Rehabilitation Services, and Jim Homme, a nationally renowned speaker from Bender Consulting. To assess the effectiveness of that workshop and to define future needs, interested attendees were given exit surveys. (More information can be found at

The website,, demonstrates clearly just how committed the National Federation of the Blind is to this key issue. By linking to "employment" in the topical index on, you will find topics like:  a positive philosophy for hiring blind employees; negotiation principles for reasonable accommodations; taking the mystery out of the ADA – How to hire a competent blind employee; and, what constitutes a reasonable accommodation. To further facilitate employment possibilities, NFB Newsline (registered), which is updated daily, contains all job listings from

To summarize, whether mentoring is a direct one-on-one process or a more general dissemination of employment information, mentoring can play a valuable role in helping persons who are vision-impaired obtain and maintain employment.

To learn more about Career Connect (registered), visit  Going to the above website will place you in the Vision Loss Program in Dallas, Texas, since that is also the office out of which Career Connect (registered) operates.

The following is the contact information (no contact person is given, however).

Address: 11030 Ables Lane, Dallas, TX 75229

Tel: (214) 352-7222; Fax: (646)478-9260; E-mail:      

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            Can the Kindle be Made Accessible?

            by Terri Winaught

When the Americans with Disabilities Act became law on July 26 1990, it mandated accessibility on many levels. Section III, for example, addressed the need to make print material accessible to persons who are blind and others with print disabilities.

Though this landmark legislation has done much to enhance opportunities for persons with all abilities, there remains more to be done, especially regarding informational accessibility. To make that point, let's examine the controversy that has surrounded the Kindle since 2009.

On February 9th, 2009, Amazon brought the Kindle to market as a device on which to read E-books. The most positive aspect of the Kindle was its text-to-speech capability which made E-books accessible to persons with print disabilities. That accessibility victory was short-lived, however, because the Authors' Guild, which represents writers and some publishers, objected that the device's text-to-speech output would interfere with the sale of audio books. To advance that argument, Roy Blount, Authors' Guild President, wrote an Op Ed piece which appeared in the February 24th, 2009 edition of the New York Times. Three days later, Amazon met the Guild's demands by turning off the Kindle's text-to-speech functionality.

The Reading Rights Coalition, a cross-disability collaborative of national and international organizations, demanded that the Guild reverse their stance. The two concessions which the Guild offered were to have a special registration process for persons with print disabilities or to impose a disability tax. Since the Coalition rejected both options, the Guild has engaged in no further negotiations. A negative consequence of this is that – just as the Kindle II's accessibility was blocked – the current Kindle III is likewise inaccessible.

While I totally agree with the Coalition that imposing a disability tax is discriminatory, I see nothing wrong with being given a registration code to override the text-to-speech block. Being a Library of Congress patron and receiving other blindness services involves a registration process which I have never considered a violation of my civil rights or at all intrusive.

To learn more about the Reading Rights Coalition and to sign their petition to make the Kindle completely accessible, visit

To let me know your feelings on this issue, feel free to E-mail me at

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A Dear Rita Column

Hi fellow readers,

I am very interested in writing an advice column for our magazine. I will accept letters from other readers via Bob Branco. 

I would also like to write articles and a variety of topics that are of interest.

Please submit your ideas for topics to the editor.

I look forward to writing a column that can provide suggestions and possible resources to my fellow readers.



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            Coastline Elderly Nutrition News

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

            September 2012

What’s the Big Deal about Whole Grains? 

In September, we honor Whole Grains Month. Many people ask why Whole Grains are so important. Let’s find out!

Parts of a Whole Grain

Whole grains include wheat, corn, rice, oats, barley, quinoa, sorghum, spelt, and rye – when these foods are eaten in their "whole" form. Whole grains even include popcorn!  

Whole grains are the entire seed of a plant. This seed (or "kernel") is made up of three key parts: the bran, the germ, and the endosperm. 

The Bran - The multi-layered outer skin of the kernel contains important antioxidants, B vitamins, and fiber. 

The Germ - The embryo which, if fertilized by pollen will sprout into a new plant, contains many B vitamins, some protein, minerals, and healthy fats. 

The Endosperm - The germ’s food supply contains starchy carbohydrates, proteins, and small amounts of vitamins and minerals. 

Whole grains contain all three parts of the kernel. The term “refined grains” means the bran and the germ have been removed, leaving only the endosperm. Without the bran and germ, about 25% of a grain’s protein is lost, along with at least 17 key nutrients. Whole grains are healthier because they have more protein, more fiber, and many important vitamins and minerals. 

Health Benefits of Whole Grains

The medical evidence is clear that whole grains reduce risks of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Few foods can offer such diverse benefits.

People who eat whole grains regularly have a lower risk of obesity and lower cholesterol levels.

Because of the phytochemicals and antioxidants, people who eat three daily servings of whole grains have been shown to reduce their risk of heart disease by 25-36%, stroke by 37%, Type II diabetes by 21-27%, digestive system cancers by 21-43%, and hormone-related cancers by 10-40%. 

How to increase your consumption of Whole Grains:

        Choose bulgur or brown rice instead of potatoes with dinner

        Try a breakfast cereal with at least 16 grams of whole grain or 3 grams fiber per serving

        Try whole-wheat pasta instead of white pasta

        Try oatmeal for breakfast

        Make a sandwich using a whole wheat pita

        Use whole wheat flour instead of white when making cookies, cakes, etc.

        Serve hamburgers on whole wheat buns 

Source: Whole Grains Council, 

Coastline Elderly Nutrition News

Contact me with any questions at (508) 999-6400 x194

or email:  

Coastline Elderly Services, Inc.

1646 Purchase Street

New Bedford, MA 02740

Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail.  

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            Community Notices

I am a blind resident of Macedonia trying to find some useful info regarding immigration particularly to the US and Canada. If you work in this field or know anyone who does, feel free to email me at:

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            Coastline Elderly Nutrition News

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

            October 2012

Celiac Disease & Gluten 

In October, we honor Celiac Sprue Awareness Month. Prevalence of celiac disease is estimated at nearly 1 in 100. Celiac disease is the most common genetic disease in the U.S. 

Celiac disease (CD), also known as celiac sprue, is a genetic autoimmune disorder that can affect both children and adults. People with CD who eat certain types of grain-based products set off an immune response that causes damage to the small intestine, interfering with the small intestine’s ability to absorb nutrients found in food, which can lead to malnutrition and a variety of other complications over time. The offending amino acid sequences are collectively called “gluten” and are found in wheat, barley, rye, and to a lesser extent, oats. 

Celiac Disease occurs in:

3.9 -12.3% of people with Type 1 Diabetes

4.5% of first-degree relatives of people with celiac disease

5% of patients with autoimmune thyroid disease   

Signs and Symptoms:

These can vary widely among patients. Some people report no symptoms at all! However, the amount of intestinal damage that has occurred and the length of time nutrient absorption has been abnormal seem to be the factors that determine the type and severity of symptoms experienced.

Common Complaints Include:

Abdominal cramping/bloating




Energy loss or Fatigue or Weakness


Irritable bowel

Joint Pain

Mouth sores or cracks in the corners

Tooth enamel defects

Weight loss

How is Celiac Disease Treated?

1. Confirmed diagnosis

2. Treatment is a lifelong elimination of "gluten”

What is Gluten?

The term "gluten" is a generic term for the storage proteins found in many grains, such as breads, pastas, and cookies. Gluten is also "hidden" in many processed foods such as the coating on frozen French fries, soy sauce and rice cereal as malt. Even many non-food items like cosmetics, and household cleansers may contain gluten. Any product that is made with wheat, barley, rye, or oats or any of their derivatives will contain varying amounts of gluten.

Since the term "gluten" is rarely used on ingredient labels, it is imperative that a person on a gluten-free diet identify the typical places gluten hides.

(See website below for The CSA Gluten-Free Product Listing for more information and a listing of commercial products that are gluten-free.) 

Source: Celiac Sprue Association,

Coastline Elderly Nutrition News

Contact me with any questions at (508) 999-6400 x194

or email:  

Coastline Elderly Services, Inc.

1646 Purchase Street

New Bedford, MA 02740

Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail.

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            August Rains

            by Karen Crowder

Early August thunderstorms interrupt cookouts pool parties,  

startling us on a blissful hot afternoon, ,

Humidity and heat stays making it hard to drive across town,

Steam fogging car windows like cold mist in autumn,

Raindrops revive parched grass and drooping  plants.

When cool air arrives threats of rain  disappear.

In darkness of mid August nights torrential rains awaken us,

Beeping of power strips for computers, air conditioners now silenced,

Alerting sleepy citizens the power is out again,  

Could it be minutes or hours without TV computers or cold food,

Rain drenches gardens and lawns turning brown grass to summer green ,

Hints of autumn's arrival sneaking in to cool August evenings.

Late August nor-Easters reek havoc on New England coast lines,

Soft sandy beaches on Cape cod strewn with  summer debris,

Flash floods sweep in to streets and basements,

A last heat wave arrives, everyone rushing to beaches or pools.

A few days left  to swim catching late August rays of sunshine.,

September's cool days ending sultry serene summer days.      

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            Waiting for Our Van

            by Karen Crowder

I sit waiting on a rustic wooden bench

Early on a beautiful summer morning as I hear the birds feeling breezes and sun,

I patiently wait greeting residents with a smile; I am smart today on time for "the van." Cars pass "where is my nine A.M. Van.”

My polite inquiry is greeted with sympathy laced with a corrective statement.  

"You should have planned more time for an appointment," Call the medical staff

Warning them of my lateness they are kind appreciating my thoughtfulness,

A resident sees a van idling at an adjacent building, not for me,

I ask Why does the government waste gas, ferrying one person to their destination?

The elderly and disabled of our town pay

50 cents to an appointment, are we not important?"

The van arrives we smile being civil and polite,

at 9-48 I, stand in an air-conditioned waiting room,

the receptionist thanks me for calling about my lateness.

In my kitchen I ask, "Isn't there a more efficient way for us to get around in the country?

"Two appointments I have Monday will take three hours when they should take one."

Does the government rate transportation for the elderly and disabled a low priority because we cannot drive? 

We sit or stand in rain, cold wind and sunshine for our necessary vans.

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            Consumer Vision Trivia Contest

Here is the answer to the trivia question submitted in the July/August Consumer Vision: Former Los Angeles Laker Magic Johnson now owns a share of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Congratulations to the following winners:

Mark Benson of Withita, Kansas

Russell Carrick of Denver, Colorado

Chad Grover of Corning, New York

Dennis Holter of San Jose, California

And now, here is your trivia question for the September/October Consumer Vision. Which number-one hit song from 1989 ends with the female singer wondering, “That’s the end?” If you know the answer, please email or call 508-994-4972.

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