The Consumer Vision

September/October, 2014

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

Telephone, 508-994-4972

Web Site,

Email Address,

Publisher, Bob Branco

Editor, Terri Winaught

Braille Production, Perkins Braille and Talking Book Library


A Notice from the Publisher ### Bob Branco

Letter from the Editor ### Terri Winaught

Special Announcement ### Bea Trinier

Matilda Ziegler Magazine Discontinues Publication. ###

Blind Since Birth: a New Perspective on Achieving Success ### a book review

NFB's Resolution on IOS APPS.

Two Points on How Technology is Being Used Today. ### Bob Branco

Do Blind People Always Look Blind? ### Ernest Jones

Industrious or Foolish? ### Ernie Jones

Special Notices ### When Laughter Can't Survive. ### a Poem by Terri Winaught in memory of Robin Williams.

Trivia. ### Bob Branco and Terri Winaught

Editor's Note: For your convenience, items in this magazine will be followed by three number signs ### as seen in the above Table of Contents.

     A Notice from the Publisher

When sending correspondence, please do not use my Gmail address. I only use this address for sending out Consumer Vision to its readers, because Verizon treats the magazine as spam material. Please continue to send all correspondence to . Thank you for your cooperation.

Bob Branco ###

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     A Letter from the Editor

Dear Readers,

Later this month, the flowers and prolonged daylight of summer will surrender to fall's multi-colored foliage and earlier, brilliant sunsets.

Whether you like the sultriness of summer or the alluring colors of autumn, here's hoping that your summer was filled with fun, friends, safety, and a tapestry of fond memories.

Next, I'd like to address what many or most of you may already know: namely that the Matilda Ziegler Board of Directors has made the definite decision to stop publishing a magazine that has graced many a blind person's home since being founded in 1907. The new direction the Matilda E. Ziegler Foundation will take is that of funding innovative medical research which they hope will do for treating/preventing sight loss what their popular publication once did to inform and give voice worldwide to persons who are blind or vision impaired.

If you have strong feelings about the Ziegler Magazine no longer being published and want to express them to their Board, E-mail

(Since I have already sent a letter, I'll keep you updated on the responses (if any, I receive.)

Last-but not at all least in importance-I want to thank all who have welcomed me as the new Editor, and contributors Bob Branco, Ernest Jones,

John Justice, and Karen Crowder whose writings always enrich the quality of this informative publication.

A final note to all of you who've contacted me: I've enjoyed hearing from you, and would love to hear from even more readers! My contact information

is: 412-263-2022, home; 412-737-8004, cell, to which you can also text; and

Thanks for reading with me, and enjoy the wealth of information on the following pages.


Terri Winaught ###

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     Special Announcement from Bea Trenier

I thought that you and the readers might be interested in this.

The U.S. Department of Treasury's Bureau of Engraving and Printing recentlyannounced that it will launch a program to provide currency readers, free of charge, to eligible blind and visually impaired individuals.

To receive a currency reader, eligible individuals who are currently patrons of NLS (National Library Service) need only call 1-888-NLS-READ; the account will be noted and a currency reader will be delivered to the address on file. Currency readers will be widely available to all U.S. citizens, or persons legally residing in the U.S. who are blind or visually impaired,

starting January 2, 2015. Individuals who are not NLS patrons must submit an application, signed by a competent authority who can certify eligibility. Applications will be available on this website and processed for non-patrons of NLS beginning January 2, 2015. In addition to providing the free currency readers, the U.S. government plans to add a raised tactile feature to its paper currency.

For more information, please visit the website below:


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      Matilda Ziegler Magazine Discontinues Publication

A Letter from Matilda Ziegler Magazine

July 25, 2014

As you are aware the Matilda Ziegler Magazine for the Blind has been suspended for the past several months pending a review by the Board of Directors of The E. Matilda Ziegler Foundation for the Blind. Considerable time was spent evaluating its substance, breadth of distribution, and readers' responses. With heavy heart the directors voted to discontinue the weekly magazine and use the Foundation's resources solely for scientific research through grants to highly innovative medical researchers who are making important advances in vision research.

We've come a long way from when my great grandmother, Electa Matilda Ziegler, founded the magazine in 1907 with the goal of producing reading material for the blind "as much as possible like that published for the seeing." Raised type books of the era were expensive, and the freely circulated magazine helped to fill an information void.

Today's blind and those with visual impairment can obtain books and magazines in Braille, on cassette, and in DVD or CD format from the National Library Service and the American Foundation for the Blind. Radio, television, internet, and commercially produced audio books have all become accessible, and provide resources that could not have been imagined in 1907.

Your emails and letters show that we've touched the lives of thousands of blind and vision impaired people. The Matilda Ziegler Magazine for the Blind was once described by Helen Keller as a "godsend," and Mark Twain described it as "one of the noblest benefactions of his lifetime." We hope to realize a medical breakthrough that will be worthy of the same praise.

On behalf of the E. Matilda Ziegler Foundation Board I sincerely thank you for your loyal readership over our many years. 

Cynthia Ziegler Brighton



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     Blind Since Birth: A new perspective on achieving success

Personal memoir shares trials and triumphs of growing up blind ST. LOUIS - Blind since birth, author Homer Page's new book "It's My World Too: Accepting Challenges, Embracing Life" is a testament to not letting circumstances become limitations.

This personal memoir shares Page's path to a meaningful personal and professional life, while shedding light on what it's like growing up in mainstream America with a disability.

Rather than make excuses for himself, Page was determined to not let blindness hold him back. He earned his doctorate from the University of Chicago and went on to teach at University of Colorado. He also pursued a career in elective office. A leader in the disability rights movement, Page has lectured on rehabilitation of the blind in Sweden and Poland.

"A key to success is caring for others and engaging in life," said Page. "Anger, despair and other negative emotions prevent you from being happy."

Throughout his life, Page has known success and failure, felt hope and heartache and experienced joy and despair. Page hopes to inspire readers with the courage to act and the wisdom to accept what you cannot change.

"It's My World Too: Accepting Challenges, Embracing Life"

By: Homer Page        

ISBN: 978-1-4582-1419-5

Available at Amazon, eBay and Barnes & Noble

About the author

Blind since birth, Homer Page went on to earn his doctorate from the University of Chicago and teach at the University of Colorado. He held political office in Colorado and was active as a civil rights and disability rights advocate. Page and his wife reside in Columbia, Missouri.



EDITORS: For review copies or interview requests, contact:

Muriel Cross

317-602-7137 |

(When requesting review copies, please provide mailing address.)

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     NFB's iOS App Resolution: Some Perspective and Context

by Jonathan Mosen

Being a member of a minority is exhausting at times. Ignorance, discrimination (both inadvertent and deliberate), and barriers preventing us from realizing our full potential are problems we encounter regularly. These issues aren't unique to blind people, or even to disabled people. I'm mindful as I write this of the recent 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act in the United States. It's a significant piece of legislation. It required bravery on the part of the legislators who passed it. Its principles met with considerable resistance, some of it violent.

This post is a long one, because I believe the issues of self-advocacy, collective advocacy, what is worth fighting for and what is not, are all important to our sense of self-perception and our expectations of what constitutes our rightful place in society.

I'd like to illustrate both the challenges and potential of advocacy by recalling a few issues on which I've worked over the years, remind you of the advocacy of other minorities, then take a look at the National Federation of the Blind's resolution on the accessibility of iOS apps in that context.

Maybe before you took time out to read this post, you spent some time today reading a book. Perhaps it came from Bookshare, or a special format library. We now have access to eBooks, and it's worth noting that access to the Kindle app was achieved after considerable collective advocacy efforts. Nevertheless, special format libraries and repositories continue to play an important part in blind people exercising our right to read. It wasn't always this easy for special format organizations to get their material to you.

In 1994, as the Manager of Government Relations for the organization then known as the Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind, I oversaw a campaign of advocacy which took advantage of New Zealand's Copyright Act being rewritten. We believed that if an author published a book, it was being published for all the people to access. The status quo at that time was that if the special format library in New Zealand, and for that matter most other countries, wanted to make a book available in Braille or on talking book, they had to write a letter to the copyright holder asking for their permission. Sometimes, those letters would sit on someone's desk for months and months. Eventually, the library would get a reply. Most of the time the reply said "yes", sometimes the request was declined, meaning blind people were deprived of access to that book.

It seemed wrong to me that the process of making the book available in a special format, which is time-consuming in itself, was delayed by the need to seek permission. It was absolutely abhorrent to me that publishers felt they had the right to say "no".We began an advocacy campaign asking for a clause to be added to the

Copyright Act giving blanket permission for recognized organizations for people with print disabilities to make books available in special formats, without having to seek the permission of the copyright holder first. The response of the publishers was ferocious. They blasted me, and the campaign, for a culture of entitlement. Worse, they called me a thief. One day, I got a call from the representative of publishers who said, "so tell me, do you steal from everyone, or just from publishers"?

There's no doubt we'd got the publishers angry. But we calmly made our case to the people who mattered, legislators. We pointed out that the publishers weren't being required to pay for their material to be made available in special formats, that access to the printed word was just as important as access to the built environment. The legislators agreed, and the law was passed. It was ground-breaking, and in subsequent years I was approached by a number of organizations in multiple countries, including the United States, about how we concluded that advocacy effort successfully and how they might go about doing something similar.

Ultimately, that concept has now been enshrined in an international treaty. Something considered by some to be radical, over-reaching, exhibiting entitlement just 20 years ago is now considered sound public policy, even by the publishers. Not long after that campaign was concluded successfully, I was being asked to front up on a range of current affairs shows over my campaign to repeal the law which arguably prohibited any blind person from serving on any jury.

I debated the issue on radio with our Minister of Justice, who was staunchly opposed to any change in the law. In the most exciting of these appearances, I was debating one of New Zealand's top criminal lawyers, who was both patronizing and adamant on the subject. Sight, he said, was essential to serve on any jury. I put my case politely but forcefully.

Afterwards, the talk shows were full of it. There were a good number of people who talked about political correctness gone mad, asking why the Foundation was paying big money for this clown to alienate people, saying they'd never donate to the Foundation again. No matter how psychologically prepared you are for the onslaught, it's not easy being in the centre of that kind of firestorm.

However, legislators were watching. Enough had been persuaded by the logic of my argument that the law was changed. Now it's totally a non-issue. I could fill screens and screens with examples like this - examples of taking advocacy stances that were right, but unpopular.

All the vitriol I went through is totally insignificant compared with what racial minorities, such as blacks in the US, went through to secure their right to equality. There was no shortage of people who said, "if we don't want to serve blacks, that's our right. If we don't want blacks at our school, that's our right". If brave, great civil rights leaders had listened to those who were worried about how many white people civil rights campaigns were offending, what a much less equal world we'd have. Sometimes, you have to take a stand knowing it will offend. That's not to say you deliberately seek to offend. One is better respected, and furthers one's cause, when one is resolute but courteous.

In the context of the resolution passed by NFB over the weekend asking that Apple require all iOS apps to be accessible, it really saddens me to see the number of young people on social networks, enjoying entitlements very hard fought for, slamming what they perceive to be the culture of entitlement pervasive in the resolution. Ironic, and sad. People seem to forget that in 2008, we only had access to iTunes, at least in Windows, thanks to the diligence of one man, Brian Hartgen. I seem to recall a lot of people complaining extremely vociferously about the cost he was charging to get some recompense for the hours and hours it took to make that dog's breakfast of an app useable. When, as Apple embarked on iTunes U, and educational institutions began adopting it, iTunes became subject to federal law. The NFB of Massachusetts sued Apple, and also put pressure on universities not to use iTunes U until iTunes was fully accessible. NFB won that suit. Now, blind people with a range of screen readers benefit daily from that advocacy, which some people criticized at the time.

Can we express gratitude and request change at the same time? Yes, of course we can. NFB gave Apple an award in 2010 for the remarkable, life-changing introduction of VoiceOver to iOS. But we are customers. The money we pay for an iPhone or iPad is no less of value than the money a sighted person pays. We're perfectly entitled to strive for access to as many apps as we can get.

Since the resolution was published ahead of the debate, a move for which I thank NFB as the debate was interesting, people have asked why Apple is being singled out. I think the reasons for that are twofold. First, more blind smartphone users are using iOS than any other platform, by virtue of how well Apple has done. Apple can and should be proud of that.

Second and most significantly, no other app repository imposes as many criteria on app developers. Apps are rejected from the App Store for a bunch of reasons. Apple can decide the app adds no particular value. They can reject it for security reasons. They can decide the app is in bad taste, or not family-friendly enough. Those of us who've been around a while may remember all the hassles Google had getting the Google Voice app into the App Store.

So then the question is, why shouldn't accessibility be of greater concern?

Some have said that the resolution's scope is totally unrealistic. They say that calling for all apps to be accessible is just a nonsense. It can't be done, and it would be hard to police even if it could. Let me take the first part first. It can't be done? Yes, I agree with that.

It can't. There are some apps so visual in nature and purpose that you're never going to make them accessible. If that's the case, why do I support the resolution? I support it, because it's important to understand how advocacy works. You go into a negotiation with your very best case scenario on display. In an ideal world, we'd like all apps to be accessible. I have no inside information, but I have concluded many successful advocacy campaigns, and I have no doubt that NFB will already be clear about where they'd be prepared to give ground. If Apple comes to the table, their starting position is likely to be that whether a third-party app is accessible or not is a matter for the developer in question, not Apple.

Apple may well also have a compromise position of some kind in mind. It's an absolutely standard negotiating position. Second, how practical is the resolution, given that there are approximately 1.5 million apps in the Store? There are plenty of automated testing tools in use in IT companies. They can certainly test for textual labels on buttons, although I agree it would have to be a clever testing tool to try and ascertain whether the text was helpful. Tricky, but Apple has some of the best software engineers in the world.

I can remember some years ago when web accessibility campaigns were in their infancy. Many people were complaining then about how unnecessary and politically correct web accessibility was because they just knew blind people would never go to their website anyway. Then, DreamWeaver, a popular web authoring tool, added warnings when developers tried to save a page that contained links or graphics without ALT text. A warning would pop up telling the developer that it looked like they were about to create an inaccessible page, and did they really want to do that. Adding a similar warning to Apple's developer tools could make a huge difference.

It's true that automated testing tools and warnings when developers create an app are not a panacea. Perhaps some additional blind people might be employed to further Apple's efforts here. And if a few more of the capable, tech-savvy blind people I know who are struggling to find work could get those jobs, I'm all for that.

Some people have said how sad it is that NFB is showing such ingratitude, that they're alienating developers, the very people we need to have on-side. As you may know, I set up a company earlier this year, Appcessible, where a bunch of blind people help app developers with accessibility. It's rewarding work, and I find it satisfying because if I see a problem, I always try to find a constructive way of being part of the solution. But no matter how hard we at Appcessible try, how hard you try as an individual who contacts a developer, it's a humungous task. You'll have successes, and you'll have set-backs, but there's a wider principle to be defended here.

The status quo is that app developers can say, "If we don't wish to accommodate blind people, that's our right". Sound familiar? It should.

It's a similar argument to that was used against blacks in 1964. Deaf people have been criticized for their efforts to have every single movie captioned on Netflix. Wheelchair users were criticized for getting legislation passed requiring all public buildings to be physically accessible. Building owners objected, saying no disabled people come here anyway so why should I bother? The irony is, disabled people didn't go there because they couldn't.

Many app developers either don't know blind people are using VoiceOver, think we only use special apps, or think that we don't want to use their particular app. We're a low-incidence population, so misconceptions are common. And that's yet another reason why this resolution has been a great move. I've read a number of tech publications this morning, where a story about the resolution is running. I figured it would get out there eventually, which is why those who thought the resolution made no difference were naive and didn't understand the media clout of an organization like NFB.

Of course there are those reacting badly. As I've sought to illustrate, nothing worth winning in this world was ever won without objection, so I'm relaxed about that. But you know what's good? People are talking about app accessibility in the mainstream. Some of the commenters are educating the ignorant about how powerful VoiceOver is, what blind people are doing with iPhones and how relatively easy it is to make an app accessible. Sure, there'll be people who will never be persuaded, but today, more people are a little more informed about accessibility than yesterday. Some have objected strongly to a quote in the Reuters piece on NFB's resolution in which an affiliate board member mentioned the potential of a law suit on this issue. I listened to the debate carefully on Saturday, and the question of a law suit didn't come up. I also know from experience that once a story gets into the wild, news agencies will contact people they have on file, who may not necessarily be an authorized spokesperson for the organization. That's just the nature of the media. Once the story gets out there, you can't control who they talk to. I realize I've written a bit of a novel here, but I really want to try the best I can to illustrate to younger people in particular why many of the accommodations they enjoy today such as the course they're studying, the job they're doing, the vocational choices they have, were achieved over the opposition of some often powerful forces. We need to be far less worried about what others think, and more concerned with a considered position on what we believe the place of blind people in society to be. Do we have sufficient self-worth that we're willing to do what it takes to achieve equality, even when it necessitates ruffling a few feathers, or are we content to languish in our mediocrity and accept being rebuffed?

In this case, I think NFB made the right call. Maybe Apple will come to the table, maybe it won't. But already, more people are aware of accessibility than they were before this resolution. If Apple does engage, the outcome won't be that every single app will be accessible, but with good will on both sides, progress will be made. Then, in 20 years' time, people will be trying to remember why it was ever contentious.


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      Rapid Progress Leads to Budget Concerns

By Bob Branco

Though I love the technology we have today, two things have become quite evident about how it's being regarded in society. First, I think it's taken for granted. It is assumed that everyone has to use it in order to conduct all of life's activities. If you want to apply for a job, you have to go on line. If you want information about how to get in touch with a business, you have to get it on line. To order tickets, you must go on line. I'm surprised we don't have to go on line in order to use the restroom. This morning, I called my local university to apply for a job. The employment specialist suggested that I go on line to find the job listings, and that the university is no longer offering paper applications. I pointed out that there is a big part of our population who aren't as knowledgeable in computers, and that society is taking computers for granted. People without the computer knowledge should still have the traditional conveniences.

Without saying so, it appeared that the employment specialist agreed with me, and used that as one of the reasons for her early retirement in a few months. I asked how the university would accommodate people who wanted to be bus boys or janitors, jobs which have nothing to do with computer technology and internet access. Do we have to go on line to apply for those jobs as well? The second observation I have made about technology is as follows: Due to the rapid changes, people are forced to spend more money keeping up with these changes. If you buy a computer, you can't keep it very long before it becomes outdated. Either the programs aren't supported any more, or a new brand of computer quickly hits the market, forcing you to spend additional money. Smart phones are upgraded at a rapid pace, forcing the public to spend money on a regular basis. Wouldn't these rapid changes drain our budgets? Imagine if you owned a car, and all of a sudden you found out that gas stations are no longer pumping a particular gasoline designed for your car, and that you have to buy a brand new car which accepts the new brand of gasoline that is now being pumped at these gas stations. That's the same type of philosophy that I use in my argument about the fast changes in technology and the money we have to spend in order to keep up.


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      Do Blind People Always Look Blind

By Ernest Jones

Do you know how to greet a blind person when you meet? Following are some examples of how you, the sighted, may interact with the blind. When we meet please don't say, "Hey Ernie, do you know who I am?" Please identify yourself. Often even voices I know don't come clear to me when there are several others talking.

Don't say, "Let me do that, I know it's too hard for you and I don't want you getting hurt. "Though I have never been told these exact words, though a friend has, still how many times have I offered to help do something I knew I really could do, but the person refused my offer saying something about "you can't see." Low expectation is probably the worst thing one person can do to another, and this includes when referring to anybody, regardless of abilities.

If, blind or sighted, you aim for low performance, that's likely what you'll get.

Also being too over-protective will dramatically hinder the blind person's progress toward independence and living a happy, social, productive life. Step back, allow them to fail, get a minor injury, and make their own mistakes. After all, isn't this the way we all learn? Don't forbid them these opportunities. This goes for both blind children and adults.

Occasionally a blind person may be asked, "would you like to feel my face? The person asking this question is sincere, thinking this may help identify him. Do you ask sighted people if they'd like to feel your face? First of all, a blind person is not going to get a lot of information from feeling a face. But if you are not immediate family, asking a blind person to "feel" you is very inappropriate. Their hand needs to stay in a handshake.

Don't assume that a blind person automatically needs help. One day while entering a building with my wife and guide dog, a man grabbed my arm and started pulling me along as he said, "let me help you up these steps." His grabbing me caused me to trip on the first step, one my guide dog had just stopped me to alert me of. Before grabbing a blind person's arm, ask the person if they want some assistance. Then, use the sighted guide technique correctly - offer your arm and let them hold it, usually right above the elbow.

If there are others with the blind person, speak directly to the blind person not to his companion, as if the blind person is not there. Say his name and speak directly to him. This is one thing that will surely frustrate the blind person. One day, when leaving a meeting, my wife and I were stopped by a lady we had known for a long time but not seen for several months. After greeting my wife she said, "I once knew this man whose wife was blind and he would lead her around by holding her hand. It was so cute."  Then she continued by asking my wife, "How is Ernie?". To this my wife replied, "He is right here, ask him."

Remember, you don't need to shout when talking to a blind person. If he does have a hearing problem, he will let you know. Then on the other side, many people feel that going blind makes a person's hearing improve. This is not necessarily true but the fact that we who are blind don't have the visual distractions the sighted folk have does help us to depend more on our hearing. Thus it may appear to others that our hearing has improved with loss of eyesight.

The blind person with good white cane training may appear to be walking as if he or she has good eyesight. This may make it appear to some that we are only faking our blindness. Bill was sure that Rob, a blind man he passed almost every day was just pretending to be blind. Thus one day he decided to prove this. Not making any noise, Bill stood in direct line with Rob. But when Bill was nearly knocked to the ground by Rob crashing into his chest, he realized That Rob really couldn't see.  I will add that at least Bill did apologize to Rob for his behavior. Don't think that just because the one swinging that white cane is walking a straight line that he is faking his blindness.

I hope these suggestions will be of some help when you encounter a blind person.

Have a wonderful day.


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     Industrious or Foolish                               

By Ernie Jones

Growing up I was taught that just because I was very near-sighted and had to wear thick glasses was no excuse to be lazy. I was expected to do my share of house, yard and garden work the same as my other siblings. Thus, I have never been one who likes to ask for help in doing needed work such as simple construction and yard care, regardless to the task. But saying this, I do remember many times when a friendly neighbor offered to do certain jobs and how much I really appreciated his help. Today, I can't let blindness stand in my way.

You may call me industrious or foolish, a dare devil or one who needs to know he can still be useful - I say that I just like to be busy.

Read the medical journals and note how they all stress that a person needs exercise and sometimes strenuous activity to remain in good health. There are also reports of what happens when a person retires and turns into a couch potato, forgetting that work may be the best medicine for him. 

I get bored if required to sit very long, thus my blindness doesn't stop me from doing many activities one may say a blind person should never do.   

Once again, I was made aware of the difference in opinion between how many of the blind view blindness and how many with good eyesight view being blind. The contrast was almost as great as midnight is from bright noon day, or sun bathing on the sandy beach of Hawaii from skiing down a steep slope in 20F degree weather. 

Take a message I sent out last autumn about my trimming tree branches from off our house roof. A recent rain had me up on the step ladder cleaning the house gutters and while doing this I discovered a number of branches from a nearby maple tree actually lying on our house porch roof. By this time the roof was dry so I thought nothing of climbing up the ladder to stand on the porch roof to cut away the troublesome branches. Dorothy stood below watching and making sure I remained clear of the roof's edge as I worked. My shoes had good footing - never once did I slip. 

Later that afternoon I sat at my computer writing about my day's activities and mailed this story to some friends. I was surprised at the contrast in the replies between the blind and those who could see fine. Most of those with good eyesight told me in certain words, that I was not very smart at climbing up on the roof. Several of these with good eyesight said they would not get on their roof but would call for a professional tree trimmer.

But the replies from the blind were far different. "Great," was the reply from one blind person after another. Several told me how people would try to stop them from doing almost any activity that used any type of building or gardening tool. Climbing a ladder would always cause their neighbors to cast their remarks of doom. I also was refreshed to hear of just what other blind folk were actually doing and my activities fit right in with their work - they were also out doing work told to be only work for the sighted folk. They praised me for doing what I could to remain active and useful. 

Why is there this great difference in how the blind see themselves versus how the sighted view we blind? I think it goes back many generations to when a blind person was not allowed to do anything but lived a dull, boring and depressed life being waited on for every need. My feelings are that many of the sighted people still view blindness as the worst thing that could happen to them and in their minds they just know if they were blind they could not do any such activity. I even had one man tell me I had to be able to see for after all, I was able to feed myself. 

People who are blind soon find out that life is so much better and more interesting if they get out of that easy chair and remain active, even if what they do causes their family and neighbors to wonder. 

Yes, there are times we blind, just like everyone else, do need a helping hand. I have often been blessed by a kind neighbor's help and I do appreciate this help. 

I will add that being blind is not easy - for sure no one wishes to be blind. But don't allow your own feelings to restrict a blind person from enjoying life. 

Remember, blindness is not the en - it is just another path to follow.      


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Special Notices


We wish to announce the launch of NFB Live, a voice chat site hosted by the National Federation of the Blind of New York. Our grand opening will be on Saturday August 30. The day's activities as of now include games, door prizes, and a series of special guests and venders. The day will start at 2:00 PM Eastern with Carl Jacobsen, from the NFB of New York introducing two distinguished guest speakers, Mister Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind, and Doctor Marc Maurer, former president. Throughout the day, we will have a series of presentations by several speakers and venders. At present, we are proud to have Art Schreiber who will discuss his experiences as one of two American reporters who travelled with the Beatles during their 1964 American tour, and James Gashel who will discuss the KNFB Reader for iPhones. We are happy to also have Dan Parker, blind motorcycle driver, who will tell us about his adventures driving in the Bonneville Salt Flats. 

We will also have J.J. Meddaugh from the A T Guys and James Boehm from Kustomcane, discussing their products.   

Our most updated schedule will always be found at: 

If you're not signed up to NFB Live yet, go to: 

Fill out the form and within 24 hours you will obtain a username and password and instructions on how to access the NFB Live site. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Carl Jacobsen at: 

or James Gagnier at: 

Thank you,  

Carl Jacobsen 



My name is Chad Grover, host of the party line magazine, cassette correspondence group through the postal mail. I would like to find new members for the party line. Write to Chad Grover, 40 West William Street, Apartment 115, Corning, New York 14830.

Email address,


My name is Adrijana and I am a blind heterosexual lady of 35. I live in Macedonia and work as a teacher of English in a school for blind children. My job gives me a great personal satisfaction and besides this, I also enjoy doing volunteer work, traveling, listening to music, spending time with family and friends and learning new things and helping people.

I would be glad to make friends with a single blind or sighted heterosexual man from an English speaking country from 35 to 45 who would like to get to know me for friendship or more. Some of the qualities I am looking for is good education and great morals, as well as good personality traits. If you are him or if you can help me meet a man like that, you can email me at:



(Blind matters radio show) is a radio program that can be heard from 3 P.M. to 6 P.M. every Saturday throughout the US and the world. It covers topics and issues that blind people deal with and at the same time, helps the sighted audience get more aware of what life is like for a blind person. To find out of the station that the program can be heard on or to listen online, the link is:


WHEN LAUGHTER CAN'T SURVIVE. (A Tribute to Robin Williams.)

by Terri Winaught

Laughter is a medicine:

Some say the very best, But laughter can't always heal a mind that is depressed. When the pain is just too deep, Laughter can only mask years of scars and brokenness, About which some won't ask.

His humor brought such laughter! that made his career thrive, But nothing lives forever:

Laughter couldn't survive!

As many fans said "Farewell," Their laughter briefly ceased.

Then they all said to Robin, "Now may you rest in peace."

Writer's Note: Like cancer and diabetes, depression is also a treatable illness, so don't let stigma stop you from getting the help that's available or seeking care for someone else. If you fear that a family member or friend is thinking about suicide, phone the National Suicide Prevention Hotline toll-free:

1-800-273-TALK (1-800) 273-8255.

Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and Allegheny County residents can also call the Resolve Crisis Line at: 1-888-796-8226. Trained clinicians answer Resolve's number 24 hours a day, every day of the year.


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The Consumer Vision Trivia Contest

Here is the answer to the trivia question submitted in the July/August Consumer Vision. The only President of the United States to serve two nonconsecutive terms in office was Grover Cleveland. Congratulations to the

following winners:

Phyllis Stevens of Johnson City, Tennessee

Jan Colby of Brockton, Massachusetts

David Baharian of Quincy, Massachusetts

Henry Achin of Lowell, Massachusetts

And now, here is your trivia question for the September/October Consumer

Vision. On January 11, 1971, Janis Joplin recorded a cover version of "Cry

Baby" which appeared on her album entitled, "Pearl." Who recorded the

original version which radio stations began playing on August 5th, 1963? If

you know the answer, please email or call


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