Summer Issue

June 2017

 

The official quarterly publication of the

American Council of the Blind of Oregon.

 

James Edwards, President, ACB of Oregon

Phone: (541) 404-8214

Email: jamese.acbo@gmail.com

 

For more information about the American Council of the Blind of Oregon, go to our updated web page at:

http://www.acboforegon.org

 

 


 

 

Locating Articles

For email readers you may skip to a new article at any time by inputting ** in your browser or word processor's Find or Search function to locate a new article.

For JAWS users hold down insert+control+F, type in your ** and then hit enter. After that you can hit F3 and it will continue finding the **.

 

 

 

Contents in This issue

** A Word from Our President

**Remembering Bob Rushing

** Thank You from Bev Rushing

** Convention Registration and Reservations

** Note from the Editor Concerning Convention Rooms and Reservations

** Perkins Corner, 3 Care Tips

** OCTOBER CONVENTION!

** Cool iPhone Tip about Gestures

** Mill Casino Restaurant Info

** Window-Eyes - JAWS Migration

** Goal Train poem

** The UEB Code Maintenance Committee is seeking opinions on a possible change

** Two EZ Craft Projects

** Amazon launches a low-cost version of Prime for

** How Narrator Reduces The Necessity

Of The Windows 10 S To Pro Offer For The Blind

** Now you can save for the future

** What is The Oregon-L Email List and How It Benefits You

** ACBO State Board Meetings

** How to Access Your ACB Braille and E-Forums

 


 

 

 

** A Word from Our President

 

     Sadly, this month we have to say goodbye to Bob Rushing, who passed away a few weeks ago. Bob was instrumental in helping to establish the American Council of the Blind of Oregon, originally known as the Oregon Council of the Blind. He spent many years as treasurer of ACBO, helping us set up a fund that will help sustain our  activities indefinitely. Bob will be missed by all who knew him, for sure.

 

     At this time, I’m making plans to attend the National convention in Reno/Sparks, Nevada, the first week of July. It should be an exciting convention, and I wish we could all be there. Aside from the usual and important advocacy and legislative work carried on by our national leaders, I have noticed a definite common thread of thought our leaders seem to be focusing on, leadership training, strategic planning for the organization’s future, and actively seeking ways to ensure our financial future. For the good of our state organization, these are the same goals we should be focused on, Advocacy, Leadership training and retention, Strategic Planning, and our Financial stability for the future of ACBO.

 

    Our state convention is still in the final planning process. The Planning Convention chair, Carrie Muth is giving us information on our convention. Look for her article.

 

      On the legislative scene, bills affecting the health, safety, and welfare of the blind community have been passed, or are still in the process. HB 3160, Blind and Deaf Blind white cane bill, several transportation bills, affordable housing bills, protection of guide dogs, and HB 3253, a bill addressing issues of the Oregon Licensed Blind Venders, are all laws or potential laws, that affect the blind community.

 

     In the state of Nevada, SB 131, passed into law a bill requiring pharmacies to provide talking prescriptions. Perhaps we should look at proposing a similar bill next year for Oregon.

 

     In the city of Lakeside, where I reside, I serve on several public boards and committees. As such, I am required to read numerous documents to learn the issues and prepare for meetings, most of which are written in small, and sometimes very small, print, making it very difficult, or impossible to read. However, I can now easily read these documents with the aid of an amazing reader/magnifier machine purchased by the Oregon Commission for the Blind. The machine has made a huge difference in my life. The Commission also purchased a pair of glasses with special glare blocking lenses to eliminate the pain of bright sunlight that affects my eyes. For these things, I truly thank Kathleen and her staff at the Eugene office of the Oregon Commission for the Blind.

 

    Cars versus canes, brought to light with a television news article by a Eugene resident, Peggy Minier, and her mobility instructor, Jackie Macy, from the Eugene Commission office, last week. Jackie and Peggy were interviewed by newscasters on local T.V., giving them an opportunity to talk about the challenges of using white canes. Peggy said she has almost been hit by cars several times, and Jackie challenged the news interviewer to try using a cane. It was a great opportunity to educate the public on white canes.

 

     June 20th will be our Legislative Day at the capitol building. Thanks to Randy Hauth and Art Stevenson for coordinating this event. We’ll be promoting ACBO by handing out information, talking to people who come through the lobby, and settting up meetings with our Representatives. It is very important to foster good relationships with our lawmakers to help ensure our rights and quality of life are protected.

 

    I hope you all have a great summer!

 

James Edwards, President

 

 

 

**Remembering Bob Rushing

Submitted by his daughter, Sue Schwab

 

Robert (Bob) Rushing was born on July 10, 1928 which was actually three months premature. Several of Bob's friends would call him Mr. Hurry Up which was fitting since he started life early and never slowed down from then on.

Growing up on a small ranch in Coos Bay was hard work. From there he worked for a saw mill. a logging company, and heavy construction. When Bob lost an eye in an accident during his adolescent years he was sent to the Oregon School for the Blind in anticipation of eventually going blind. It was here that he met Beverly whom he later married.  It took a cataract in his one good eye in the 1960's to change his career to food service. When the cataract was finally removed, he went from being a blind owner/manager of a Business Enterprise Cafeteria to becoming a sighted BE Representative for the Oregon Commission for the Blind, overseeing the BE managers. Bob got up early/stayed up late and traveled all over the state of Oregon as a BE Representative to help the BE managers.

He put his heart into everything he did. This not only included starting a blind bowling league in Portland, but working diligently for the Oregon Council of the Blind. He became treasurer for OCB in 1994 and held this position for 18 years. During this time the OCB (later called American Council of the Blind of Oregon) received several endowment donations totaling up to $340,000. He was very proud of the level of support that he managed for ACB of Oregon.

During the last few years of Bob's life, he was battling emphysema and macular degeneration. The emphysema finally took it's toll. Bob passed away on May 5th, 2017. He was a wonderful husband, father, and good friend of the blind community. Thank you Bob, thank you Dad.

Sue Schwab 

 

 

 

** Thank You from Bev Rushing

 

Sue and I wish to thank our ACB of Oregon friends for attending the Celebration of Life for Bob Rushing. We appreciate your support and enjoyed hearing from those who shared memories. The cards and notes were also a comfort to read. We feel Bob had a very special celebration and it created a wonderful memory for us. Thank you everyone!

 

Bev Rushing

 

 

 

** Convention Registration and Reservations

Submitted by Sue Schwab

The 63rd annual ACB of Oregon convention will be held this year on October 20-22, 2017 in Coos Bay, Oregon at The Mill Casino-Hotel & RV Park. The convention registration cost will remain at $50 for ACB of Oregon members. This fee includes Saturday lunch and Saturday night Banquet dinner.

Registration packets are expected to be mailed out around the first of August and the preregistration deadline is September 28th. Be sure to complete your registration packets and mail back (or email back) as soon as possible.

Also please make your room reservations as soon as you receive the packets, as rooms will fill up quickly. The Mill Casino and Hotel has stated that the hotel is sold out for our convention weekend therefore no additional rooms will be available at the $95/night convention rate or at the full rate. Those unable to get room reservations may have to stay at other nearby facilities.

If you do not receive a convention packet by mid-August please call me at 503-871-6175 or email me at sueschwab00@hotmail.com, or ask your chapter president for a copy of the registration form.

See you in Coos Bay!

Sue Schwab

ACB of Oregon Treasurer

 

 

 

** Note from the Editor Concerning Convention Rooms and Reservations

Just before this went to the printers, I heard the hotel rooms are running out fast so you need to get on it about making your room reservations.

 

For reservations, please call (800)953-4800.

To receive the convention rate, you need to call before Thursday, September 28, 2017 and inform the Reservation Agents you are attending the American Council of the Blind of Oregon Convention.

Remember the hotel is already sold out the weekend of our convention, so once our block of rooms fill up, you will be out of luck and will have to get a room at another place or won't be able to come to this convention that looks to be a ton of fun.

After this date the hotel will release all unreserved rooms for general sale. All reservations must be guaranteed with a major credit card. No-shows will be charged the first night's room charges.

Check-in time at The Mill Hotel is 4pm; check-out time is 12pm.

 

 

 

** Perkins Corner, 3 Care Tips

Submitted by Leonard Kokel

 

It is important to take proper care of your Perkins Brailler; this saves time, hassel and money. These are basic care tips, however, doing just these three things will prevent many problems.

1. Always place the dust cover on your machine when not in use. 

2. When not in use, move the carriage to the right end of travel. 

3. Be careful not to drop foreign objects into the Brailler. 

That's it for this time, happy Brailling.

For more information about caring for your Braille Writer you can contact Leonard at

leonardkokel@gmail.com

 

 

 

^^ Portland-

Seasal Seagull and our happy editor, Teresa, were on the balcony of Teresa’s apartment discussing who won the submission contest this time.

Teresa, “Seasal I’m doing things a little differently for this issue. I am giving you the name of the winner and I want you to deliver the news to the person for me. You must treat this like classified information. Do not and I repeat, do not reveal this to anyone!”

 

 

 

** OCTOBER CONVENTION!

Submitted by Carrie Muth

Here’s what’s happening in October. Our state convention will be at the Mill Casino Hotel this year, in Coos Bay. We are planning a special event this year on Saturday afternoon, for those who are interested, which we believe will be very exciting, but first, let me tell you about Friday evening and Saturday morning.

Friday evening will be the state board meeting, at 4:P.M., followed by a social evening of karaoke and beverages. Everyone seemed to have such a good time at last year’s karaoke event, we decided to repeat it. So, bring your favorite song book and join the fun.

Saturday morning, general session starts at 9:00. Over the years, we have developed certain protocols, I’m sure you’re familiar with, that we will adhere to. We begin with opening ceremonies, flag salute, invocation, welcome from a local dignitary, reports from national representatives, the president’s report, and first readings of bylaws and nominations.

Next, we’ll hear from the Commission, State Library, and perhaps one other agency, as yet to be determined.

Because Dr. Robin Glotzbach, an ophthalmologist with a practice in Salem, has been so well received as a speaker for our last two conventions, we have invited her back again this year.

In the afternoon, on Saturday, because we will be on the coast, the convention committee thought it might be fun to allow people to experience the coastal area as we who live here permanently do. We have arranged to take all who are interested to the Oregon Marine and Biology Center for an afternoon of learning about the ocean environment and sea life. And, as an added attraction,  Leonard Kokel, President of the Southwestern chapter,  is working on providing a boat ride to the Marine Center on a large charter boat. It is a beautiful ride down the Coos river, under the huge bridge that crosses the river, with beautiful scenery on both sides of the river. So bring your warm clothes and enjoy the boat ride.

Of course, there will be a bus to the Marine Center for those who don’t want to experience the boat ride. There may be a small charge for the Marine Center, but we are working on eliminating that. We will have details in the September Stylus.

We wil also have a breakout session on Saturday afternoon with a lady from Casey Eye Institute, Tasha Zabach, featuring round table discussions on blindess and how to prevent it from happening. We had Tasha as a guest speaker at the Southwestern chapter in May, and she expressed an interest in attending our convention and talking with as many people as she can for her research project. 

Saturday evening will be our annual banquet, with Ardis Bayzin, our national representative as our keynote speaker, and Sunday morning our annual membership business meeting.

This year, we elect officers of the board, so you are encouraged to step up, and take on the challenge of being a leader of your organization!

Make your hotel reservations soon! We will keep everyone busy with the usual, and the unusual at this year’s convention. See you there!

Carrie Muth, Convention Chair

 

 

 

** Cool iPhone Tip about Gestures

Submited by Teresa Christian

Do iPhone gestures have you confounded and a little nervus that you’re going to go places you didn’t even know existed and even worse, can’t return from? It seems like, very often, I discover a cool thing, only to discover I am the last person to find out and then boy oh boy, do I feel dumb. So at the risk of it being one of those times, here is a little thing that I think is a cool and very handy thing for learning about iPhone gestures. My granddaughter who is fourteen, blind and of course a genius with the iPhone showed this to me.

Enough already, right, so what is it? Try a four-finger double tap in the center of your iPhone. It puts the phone into help mode. Then try a gesture, any gesture will do. It will tell you what gesture you are doing and then what it does. I learned some new ones I didn’t previously know. Give it a try, it is very helpful and kind of fun. Oh yeah, to get back out of it do another four-fingered double tap or a scrub gesture and you’re golden.

 

 

 

^^ Seasal stands straight and salutes, “Your safe is secret with me. I will deliver the information exactly as you have given it to me. I will allow nothing to cause me to falter or faint until my mission is completed!”

He relaxes and says, “Umm, but, before I go, I am just a little hungry though, ya got any leftovers you need to get rid of? I’d love to help you out with that 

Teresa, “Oh Seasal, you’re always hungry. Yes I have some leftovers for you.”

After his snack, Seasal Seagull purches on the balconey rail, leaps into the air, flaps his wings and is off to cary out his mission.

 

 

 

** Mill Casino Restaurant Info

As far as The Mill Casino Hotel & RV Park - the restaurants are as follows:

The Plank House - Sit Down Relaxed Dining with Servers :

Breakfast $11-$16 

Lunch $10-$16 

Dinner $18-$30

 

The Saw Blade Buffet - Buffet selection of many entrees, hand-carved meats, sides and house-made desserts. Table servers to assist diners.

$9.99 per person.

c

Warehouse 101 - Sports Bar atmosphere with night club entertainment.

Appetizers served $6.95 - $10

 

Whitecaps - Bayside Lounge for a quiet drink conversation in an elegant surrounding.

 

Timbers Cafe - Casual cafe style - front counter ordering and limited seating just off the casino floor. Serves breakfast all day, burgers, soups, salads and more. 

Breakfast $6.50-$10.95, 

Lunch $7.50-$10.25  

Dinner $7.95-$18.99

 

Our treasurer, Sue Schwab, tells me that although ACB of Oregon has a block of 50 rooms reserved, the hotel is sold out for the weekend of our convention. So, if you delay, waiting to see if you really want to go, there are no extra rooms at the convention rate.

For reservations, please call (800)953-4800.

To receive the convention rate, you need to call before Thursday, September 28th.

 

 

 

** Window-Eyes - JAWS Migration

Submitted by Teresa Christian

The information below was taken from the AI Squared website.

Thank you for being a valued member of the GW Micro and Window-Eyes family. We regret to announce that sales of Window-Eyes have ended in the United States and Canada. Users outside of the United States and Canada should contact their local distributor for options. We are committed to our customers and will honor existing product purchases and software maintenance agreements for end users, and will continue to provide technical support to end users that have purchased Window-Eyes or a support package.  All users who are currently using Window-Eyes can continue to use the software indefinitely; however, as the Windows® operating system and/or applications change over time, Window-Eyes may not function adequately for your needs.

We understand how important a screen reader is to you and are offering JAWS® 18 as a replacement to end users who have purchased Window-Eyes. For corporations, schools, or agencies that have purchased Window-Eyes, please contact us to discuss JAWS purchase options.

•End users that paid for and are current with Window-Eyes 9.x will be converted to JAWS 18 at no charge.

•End users that are using an earlier version of Window-Eyes, you can purchase an upgrade to JAWS 18.

•If you are using the free version of Window-Eyes you can continue to use it. While there is not an upgrade path from the free version, if you are interested in purchasing JAWS, please contact our sales team at 800-444-4443.

•Existing Window-Eyes SMAs will be rolled into the JAWS SMA program for end users that migrate to JAWS.

Detailed upgrade and SMA pricing information is provided at the link below.

http://www.gwmicro.com/window-eyes/migrate/

 

 

 

^^ Salem-

When we next see Seasal Seagull, he has stopped briefly, in Salem, at the home of Bob Johnson to take a little breather and scout for snacks. Bob comes out his front door and finds Seasal standing on the porch rail resting and looking hopeful.

Bob, “Hey Seasal, what on earth are you doing here?”

Seasal, “I am on a mission and must not reveal any details, but have ya got anything to eat.”

Bob, “Oh Seasal, you’re always hungry. Yes, I have some leftover fish from last nights dinner. Will that do?”

Seasal, “yep, that’ll do just fine.”

Bob disappears inside and returns in a minute with the fish he promised, Seasal happily gulps it down.

Bob then asks, Now, back to business. Where are you headed? What are you up to?”

Seasal, “I must not tell, I am not at liberty to tell, the safe is secret with me, no, the secret is smart with me, no, umm, never mind. I shall be on my way, but thanks for the fish.”

And with that, Seasal smartly salutes Bob and flies off. He is headed south to Eugene to find Jeanne-Marie and Luther to snag a snack.

 

 

 

** Goal Train poem

By Don Arsenault

What was now is, and what is once was.

Why we are the way we are, well it's just because

Hap-hazard happenstances brought on by a certain set of circumstances

Along with our proclivity for seruptitious serendipity

And Vola, there you are

A super star

On the stage of life for all to see

But are we to be merely not to be?

No! We have a nobler mission

Inspired by an inner vision

Like a conductor on a train rolling down the track

Always going forward while constantly looking back

My goal is to find a word that rhymes with orange.

I've been told that my quest is an impossibility

With no chance of success or tranquility

However, I vow to persue my dream

Through valleys low or pastures green

Come what may I shall persevere

For I feel I am very near

I am confident in my ability

Though at times I question my stability

Sometimes I feel like I'm walking a tightrope

But through it all I refuse to lose hope

As I sway from Side-to-side as if I'm on an invisible door hinge.

Hmmm: (orange door hinge)

It is time for celebration

I have reached my destination

When on my face you see a smerk

It's because I got close enough for government work

And now before I head off to the stockyard

I'll find something else that's equally as hard

Dare I ask the same of you?

Chugga chugga chugga chugga chu,,chu,,chu.

Reprinted from The Blind Perspective March 2017.

Spencer's SpotlightBy Cheryl Spencer

 


 

 

** The UEB Code Maintenance Committee is seeking opinions on a possible change

The UEB Code Maintenance Committee is seeking opinions on a possible change to the representation of single quotation marks and apostrophes in UEB.

 An explanatory document (in print and braille) and survey link are located on the ICEB home page at www.iceb.org.

 Please spread the word of the survey through your local listservs, social media, newsletters, meetings and word-of-mouth.

 It is important that we reach as many people as possible. Adults who read a lot of electronic braille, adults who read mainly hard copy braille, teachers of children learning braille and braille transcribers are all likely to hold different opinions and their voices need to be heard. Moreover, there is a big difference in the predominance of single quotation marks in print across countries.

 The survey will be open for the month of June.

 The Code Maintenance Committee (CMC) of the International Council on English Braille (ICEB) would like your input on possible changes to the braille representation of single quotation marks and the apostrophe to facilitate translation and reading on electronic braille devices. The explanatory document gives an explanation of the problem and the options under consideration. (Thanks to James Bowden, UK, and Leona Holloway, Australia, for their work on this.)

 After reading the information, please complete the survey at

www.surveymonkey.com/r/UEB-apostrophe [1]

 to indicate your preference. The CMC will use the results of the survey to guide their decision on this issue.

 The survey will be available until the end of June. If necessary, this time frame may be extended.

 

 

 

^^ Eugene-

Seasal Seagull found Jeanne-Marie and Luther at a park having a picknick. He landed on the end of their table. They said hi and asked what he was up to. Seasal told them he was on a special mission given to him by Teresa, the happy editor.

Jeane-Marie, “Oh what is your mission?”

Seasal, “I am not at liberty to tell. The mission is smart with me, no, safe is secret with me or was it safe with Teresa. Well, anyway, I can’t tell.”

Luther, “We are trustworthy, you know that Seasal.”

Jeane-Marie, “If he said he isn’t supposed to tel, then he shouldn’t tell.”

Seasal, “So, your food looks good. Could a poor, famished seagull have just a morcil for a long trip ahead?”

Luther, “Oh Seasal, you’re always hungry.”

Jeane-Marie, “We’re done and you can have the leftovers.”

Seasal, “Thanks and then I’ll be on my way to Coos Bay and wrap this mission up.”

 

 

 

** Two EZ Craft Projects

 

If you are hanging out with kids this summer, whether they are your own, grands, nieces and nephews or kids of friends of yours, these two projects are easy and fun and will provide some constructive activities to keep them busy.

 

Reprinted from The Blind Perspective March 2017

Kaleidoscope of KraftsBy Lindy van der Merwe

lindy@theblindperspective.com

It would seem that those of us who like to craft are always looking for new ideas and inspiration. Access to computers, smart phones and the Internet have helped a lot to put us in touch with others who are eager to share their ideas, and knowledge to inspire us and help us along our crafting journey. However, the Internet is such a large space with so much information, it is often hard to sift through it all and find the useful things you are looking for.

So, for this month I thought I'd share a specific craft site with you all, explaining some of its features and how I use it, for those who might like to browse for new craft projects and ideas on their own. I also include two easy projects from the site as examples at the end of this article.

Keep in mind that you might have to do some things a little differently, depending on the device, platform and screen-reader you are using to access the Internet. I am just explaining the very basics of the site itself from the point of view of someone using a Windows operating system and an Internet browser on a PC or laptop.

Favecrafts, at: www.favecrafts.com

, is a site with a large amount of step by step tutorials, craft articles and ideas, free craft ebooks and more.

After typing in the above address, either type a word into the search box, or you could choose a category and find all the tutorials listed under e.g. knitting or green crafts.

The site is set up so that, on each page there are different sections, all defined by their own headings. The most important ones are the projects, or posts, listed under heading level 4. When you enter on a specific post, a new page will open. To go to the contents of the post, just press the shortcut key for heading level 1.

To read another post, just return to the list of projects. Below the list of posts on each page, you will also find some page numbers which will allow you to navigate to the next or previous pages using the tab key.

Some of the projects have step-by-step instructions right on the site itself, while, for others, you are directed to another blog or site.

You may register with the site for free, which will enable you to save all your favorite crafts in one place, add personal notes to crafts, comment on others' crafts and more. You could also sign up for e-mail newsletters from the site.

I end with two small projects from the abovementioned site, just to give you an idea of what to expect (see sources at the end of this article).

The first is a No Sew Tea Cup Pin Cushion by Olivia from Hopeful Honey. If you are making this gift for someone that rather drinks coffee, I am sure a special mug will be just as cute as a teacup.

Materials:

Teacup or coffee mug [use a cup left over from a set or look for interesting mugs at thrift stores]

10 inch x 10 inch [25cm x 25cm] piece of fabric Stuffing Rubber band or hair band

Instructions:

1. Gather all your supplies together before starting.

2. Lay your piece of fabric on a flat surface with the pretty side down.

3. Take a good handful of stuffing and place it in the center of the fabric.

4. Slowly and carefully take each corner of the fabric and bring it together, making sure that the stuffing is in the middle.

5. Taking the rubber/hair band in your hand, wrap it tightly around the top of the ball of stuffing. Check to make sure that no stuffing is showing before placing the rubber/hair band side down into your cup.

Secondly, I thought to share another simple yarn craft, described as a traditional craft from the Huichol Indians of Mexico.

God's Eyes are fun crafts and fairly easy for kids to make. You will only need two craft or popsicle sticks, glue, scissors and yarn in several colors.

Glue the craft sticks together at the center to make a cross or plus sign.

Take your first color of yarn and wrap it over and around one stick, then over and around the next stick and so on. Keep going around in a circle, adding layers of your yarn color. When you are satisfied with the size of your woven "eye," switch colors.

Simply cut the yarn off from the skein and tie a new color onto the old yarn with a tight knot. Keep wrapping.

Change colors once or twice more and tie a knot to finish.

Sources:

www.favecrafts.com

www.favecrafts.com/Craft-Designers/Hopeful-Honey

www.favecrafts.com/tea cup pin cushion

www.favecrafts.com/yarn crafts

 

 

 

^^ Coos Bay- Seasal Seagull decides to stop at the Mills Cascino to rest for just a sec and see what juicey tid bits he might find. He thinks, “I’ll just be only a minute and noone even needs to know I stopped back here.”

He knows just the right place to go to find the best leftovers. He cruises around the top of the casino and gradually descends; he glides in and alights on top of his favorite garbage can that is located directly behind the main kitchen. He does a little happy dance, “Woohoo! Fine dining tonight! Yeah!”

 

 

 

** Amazon launches a low-cost version of Prime for customers on government assistance

Amazon announced today it’s making its Prime membership program more affordable to customers on government assistance programs, including food stamps. The program, which requires that customers have a valid Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card to qualify, will bring the cost of Prime down from

$10.99 per month to just half that, at $5.99 per month instead.

The program will be available to any U.S. customer with a valid EBT card – the card that’s commonly used to disburse funds for a number of government assistance programs, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Women, Infants, and Children Nutrition Program (WIC).

The card will only discount the cost of using Prime – it cannot be used to make purchases on Amazon.com, nor can it be used to pay for membership.

The discounted membership will have all the perks associated with Prime, including free streaming video and music, free photo storage, access to the Kindle lending library, ability to shop from Amazon’s Essentials – the retailer’s low-cost line of everyday products, access to Prime Now (where available), and more.

The move will make Amazon Prime more accessible to lower-income households and families, and could help Amazon shake the reputation that shopping its site and paying for its membership program are luxuries instead of more essential services.

That’s different from the Amazon that exists today, where Prime’s growth has been fueled by upper-income shoppers.

A study from Piper Jaffray in 2016 found that Prime membership’s penetration is highest and growing the quickest among those households with more than $112,000 per year in annual income. More than 70 percent of those households have a Prime subscription, the study found.

However, there are benefits to bringing in the lower-income families online, too.

Though they may be on assistance, that doesn’t mean they don’t still need to shop for everyday items – clothing, school supplies, household goods, personal care items, etc. And in many cases, Amazon Prime may be offering the better price on a given item, compared with competitors like Walmart and others. Over time, those savings could add up making the cost of the $6 per month membership worthwhile.

This is especially true when you work other factors into the equation.

For example, by shopping online, customers won’t have to spend the additional gas money going to the store and back. And, in some cases, customers don’t even have a vehicle at their disposal or are elderly, and require help with their shopping. Online shopping helps with these concerns as well.

Plus, for families with babies, a Prime membership includes a 20 percent discount on diapers and wipes subscriptions, which would also positively impact the household’s budget.

Finally, there’s the fact that Amazon, along with a number of online retailers, are working with the government on a program that will allow customers for the first time to use their food stamps (SNAP) via e-commerce websites.

Announced earlier this year the USDA-led program is working with Amazon, Walmart, Thrive Market, FreshDirect, and other grocers to test how SNAP benefits could be used to pay for qualifying items – largely fresh goods, like those from Amazon’s Fresh grocery delivery service, as well as some packaged goods, like cereals, which are also available through Amazon Pantry. The pilot begins in early 2018.

Bringing SNAP members to Amazon Prime would be a first step in being able to attract those shoppers, who today receive the bulk (69 percent) of Federal food and nutrition assistance.

Last year, 44.2 million people per month participated in SNAP. Combined, spending for all of the USDA’s food and nutrition programs – including WIC, School Breakfast/Lunch, etc. – totaled $101.9 billion, with SNAP’s portion at $70.8 billion. That’s no small market – and worth certainly targeting, it could be argued.

But until SNAP is accepted online, Amazon has been going after lower-income households in other ways. For example, earlier this year it launched Amazon Cash a way to shop its site with a debit or credit card. Instead, customers can add cash to their Amazon account at participating brick-and-mortar retailers.

“The ability to shop online has been limited – it’s an underserved audience,” explains an Amazon spokesperson. “E-commerce companies haven’t figured out how to help customers who may be uncomfortable paying with credit cards. The thinking at Amazon is that there’s so much value [with Amazon Prime] – there’s so much time, convenience, and savings…we felt like this was one small way to help a customer that’s temporarily in need.”

Customers can learn more about the program and sign up for a 30-day free trial at amazon.com/qualify.

 

 

 

^^ The next morning, Seasal wakes up to find himself laying in the allie behind the cascino kitchen. His back is up against a brick wall and he is watching the garbage truck drive away. His head hurts like the truck ran over it, but he’s still alive so he knows it didn’t. His belly is still bulging from his feast last night and the sun is just peeking out from behind the clouds and that hurts too. He moans, “Oh my aching head, belly and back! Oh, woe is me!”

He cracks his eyes just the most smallest, tiniest, little bit and sees, none other than, Squirrelly Squirrel crouching a few feet away, staring at him.

Seasal crokes, “Oh no, what are you doing here Squirrel?”

Squirrelly Squirrel says in his most accusatory chitter, “You did it again didn’t you, didn’t you, didn’t you? You pigged out, then passed out and now look at you. You’re just laying here in the allie with a massive hangover and I bet you forgot what you were supposed to do. Teresa gave you a mission didn’t she? Huh? Well, didn’t she, didn’t she, didn’t she? Well… huh, she did, didn’t she, what do you have to say for yourself now Mr. smarty pants, Seasal?”

Seasal groans, “Oh yeah, the mission, my mission.”

He staggers to his feet, flaps his wings half heartedly and falls over again.

 

 

 

** How Narrator Reduces The Necessity

Of The Windows 10 S To Pro Offer For The Blind

by Timothy Hornik

Microsoft announced on Global Accessibility Awareness Day some awesome news. The first involved a brief taste of upcoming Narrator updates that should scare VFO’s JAWS’ future. The second piece, which garnered more attention than warranted, stated users of assistive tech solutions will be able to update from Windows 10 S to Pro for free. Personally, the upcoming Narrator features grabbed my attention, while the free upgrade failed to captivate my interest. In the fall update of Windows 10, Narrator will receive some awesome updates, placing Scan Mode up front, general screen reading enhancements, and recognizing images and text through some nifty behind the scenes stuff. Microsoft’s Window 10 S systems target the budget, education, and similar markets, and individuals who receive their computers through services like the VA or VR programs will not have to worry about these changes. If we peel back the layers regarding the free upgrading from S to Pro for AT users, Microsoft simply is offering individuals of assistive tech solutions some time to gain some comfort with Windows’ integrated accessibility options, while acknowledging the third-party AT options are not in the Windows Store. Personally, end users should take the time to learn the integrated accessibility options, and third-party venters need to consider packaging their software to be distributed by the Windows Store.

I do champion the thought that JAWS, NVDA, former Window Eyes, and System Access users need to seriously need to try learning the basics of Narrator. The third-party accessibility software will remain viable for the near future, but I have to wonder about the longterm health of the industry. The blindness world seen its major players all merged together under VFO. This move reduced the platforms to just ZoomText and its variations, JAWS, and NVDA. Of these, NVDA and Narrator steadily increases its market hold, thanks to their non-existent costs and similar features to JAWS. ZoomText remains the best and really only plater in the screen magnification world, something that will only change if VFO opted to increase its cash by selling or renting out ZoomText magnification patents.

Narrator is a very viable accessibility solution for the blind.

Let me write that again, Microsoft Narrator is a viable screen reading solution for visually impaired computer users. I have no problems writing this, especially if your computing needs requires accessing the world wide web, email, productivity or office solutions, streaming media, and other rather regular and mundane tasks. A user with these requirements may enjoy the experiences offered by Windows 10 S, thanks to limited options. Yes, I can back this claim up, through my experiences on a cheap Best Buy Insignia brand tablet PC that costs less than $200. The PC lacks many of the hardware specifications found in traditional laptops and desktops, and I have not found any lag, refresh issues, or other performance concerns when using Narrator with Edge, Mail, People, Calendar, Adobe Acrobat DC, Netflix, Skype, One Drive, One Note, Word, and other standard apps. Of these, Adobe Acrobat DC is the only one not located in the Windows Store, but Windows offers its own document reader, and I am holding off installing iTunes until it reaches the Windows Store.

To summarize, the Windows 10 S to Pro free conversion for those requiring accessible assistive software will not be a big deal for most blind individuals who adopt Narrator. If you want to stick with JAWS and ZoomText, you would not be purchasing a Windows 10 S system anyways, but rather a Home or Pro version. Regardless, everyone who relies on a screen reader or screen magnification third-party solution should take a honest stab at Windows’ integrated options. Those who live in the world of Voice Over an Zoom through iOS and MacOS can attest to the benefits related to stability when accessibility is not bolted onto the operating system but is apart of the operating system’s core.

Timothy has two other blogs that are equally interesting and informative. Vet Tech for blinded veterans to help learn various kinds of technology and veterans of the heartland also for blinded vets.

Timothy has many degrees and awards and has some very interesting and informative info on his blog sites.

Posted on May 22, 2017

https://blindnotalone.com

 

 

 

** Now you can save for the future

Submitted by Teresa Christian

I think this is a well kept secret. I just discovered what an Able Account is and I think a lot of blind people might be able to take advantage of this, so I decided to put it in this issue. Here is some of the info from the website. If this sounds interesting go to the website or call the number and get more info.

Our goal is to provide the tools you need to achieve financial empowerment, and help prepare for a more independent and secure future through a simple, intuitive online platform.

Who can open an account? 

Whether the account is for you or you’re an Authorized Legal Representative opening an account for someone else, make sure these statements are true.

•The beneficiary developed a disability or blindness before the age of 26;

•The disability will last, or has lasted, at least a year; 

•The beneficiary lives in the state of Oregon; and

•One of the following is true:◦Is eligible for SSI or SSDI because of a disability;

◦Experiences blindness as determined by the Social Security Act; or

◦Can produce a signed diagnosis form by a licensed physician if requested.

When you open an account, you won’t lose your state or federal benefits.

An ABLE account is meant to help supplement your current benefits with a way to save for eligible expenses. If you’re receiving SSI (Supplemental Security Income), you can have up to $100,000 in the account without it counting towards the $2,000 asset limit. If you choose to go over the $100,000 limit, your SSI benefits will be suspended, but you’ll still be eligible for all other benefits (such as Medicaid). Once your balance drops below the limit, your SSI benefits will resume as normal.

Get more of the things you need

The money in the account can be used for a lot of everyday expenses, even housing and rent.

Save and invest tax free

Both the earnings from your ABLE account and the money withdrawn for eligible expenses are tax free. Any money added to the account could qualify for a state income tax deduction if the beneficiary is under 21 years old, which means you’ll have even more saved for the future.

You can load an Oregon ABLE prepaid card with money withdrawn from the account and use it for eligible expenses whenever and wherever you want.

Still have questions?

Stop wondering and come find the answers you’re looking for. You can give us a call Monday through Friday, at 1-844-999-ABLE, 9-5pm PT or 1-844-888-ABLE for TTY, 6-5pm PT.

Web: http://oregonablesavings.com/

 

 

 

^^ Squirrelly Squirrel sighs a large, expansive and resentful sigh, “It’s a rough job, but someone has to do it. Tell me who it is, who the winner is, who it is, is, is, and I’ll finish your mission for you. Let somebody competant get the job done, done, done,  get the job done anyway.”

Seasal, “Oh no you don’t Squirrel. No no no, no you don’t. I said I would do this and I will! I’ll be fine, just give me a minute.”

His eyes droop closed again.

Squirrelly Squirrel sits there with his front paws crossed and fumes while he waits for Seasal to pull himself together.

A couple minutes later Seasal sits up and gets to his feet and manages to remain upright this time.

“I’m going to get a bath, take a little dip in the bay and get clean. I’ll see you later Squirrel.”

He flies off leaving Squirrelly Squirrel to have his snit and sputter.

 

** What is The Oregon-L Email List and How It Benefits You Submitted by Dan Ezell

The Oregon-L list is a state wide email list for members of ACBO, their family and friends. The list is intended to share information on topics related to ACBO, and other items of interest as it relates to blindness. It is a great way to network about how to do everyday tasks as well as to stay on top of advocacy events and technology news.

General information about the mailing list and an online form to get signed up is at:

   http://www.acblists.org/mailman/listinfo/oregon-l

For more information or another way to join the list email me, Dan Ezell, the list administrator at

danezell@frontier.com

with Oregon-L in the subject line.

And I will add you to the list.

I can also be reached by phone at 503-439-0808

 

 

 

^^ When we next see Seasal Seagull he is clean and sober, all the remnants of his over indulgance from the previous night are gone. He is at last on his way to the submission contest winners house. When he arrives, he knocks on the door, stands up straight, puffs his chest out and waits for the door to open. The door opens and Leonard is surprised, but he knows Seasal so with no preliminaries he asks,

“You’re hungry right? I have some left overs in the fridge for you Seasal.”

Seasal, “Yes, but first I have a mission. I will fulfil my mission to the best of my ability with no faultering or fainting. My mission is to inform you that you Leonard are the submission contest winner for the June Stylus. You must call Teresa and let her know you have been informed. Now my mission has been performed, fulfilled, completed, finished, done even.”

Seasal draws a deep breath, relaxes and says, “Now Leonard, how about those left overs you mentioned?”

 

 

 

** ACBO State Board Meetings

ACBO holds quarterly board meetings, two are in person and two by conference call. The next one is July 15th and this one is a conference call. You are welcome, and encouraged, to attend by phone. We hold our meetings at 10: A.M., on the third Saturday of the month. Check your calendar, mark it, and join us.

Dial: 712-432-0490

Access code number: 468043#.

See you on the phone

 

 

 

** How to Access Your ACB Braille and E-Forums

The ACB Braille Forum is available in the following formats:

by mail in the following formats: Braille, large print, cassette tape and CD.

To get started call the national office at

202-467-5081 or 800-424-8666

Online- you can read or download the current issue or back issues by going online at http://acb.org/bf

There are three format options: a Word doc, plain text or a braille-ready file

E-mail- to get the e-mail version subscribe to the list by visiting the e-mail lists page at www.acb.org

Or copy this into your browser

http://www.acblists.org/mailman/listinfo

Podcasts- You can subscribe to the podcast versions from your 2nd generation Victor Reader Stream or from http://www.acb.org/bf/.

How to Access ACB Info via Phone

Trouble accessing computers? There is an alternative. To hear ACB Radio, ACB Braille and E-Forums and ACB Reports by phone, check out these numbers.

You can hear ACB Radio on the phone by dialing

605-475-8130.

You can listen to the ACB Braille Forum, E Forum and ACB Reports by dialing

605-475-8154.

 

 

**Stylus Submissions Contest

As you all know by now, every Stylus issue has a contest for submitting items that will potentially go in the Stylus. Your name will be entered once for each item you submit to me for the upcoming issue. For example, if you submit 10 items, your name will be entered 10 times in the drawing. You can send as many items as you like and whether or not it makes it into the next issue, your name will go into the random drawing. One name will be selected and that lucky person will receive $25. The winner must call or email me to let me know they discovered their name as being the winner for this issue. Your $25 check will be released after you contact me. Keep those submissions coming and good luck!!

eMail: acbo.stylus@gmail.com

Phone: 971-322-8462

 

 

 

** To change your address, request alternative formats for ACB publications, or request financial documents, contact our state treasurer, Sue Schwab.

eMail: sueschwab00@hotmail.com

Cell: 503-871-6175

4352 Trapper Drive NE

Salem, Oregon 97305

 

 

** Stylus Editor, Teresa Christian acbo.stylus@gmail.com

Phone: 971-322-8462

 

 

Thanks for reading this issue of the Stylus!

 

May you always have enough!

 

In love and light, your happy editor, Teresa Christian