Dedicated to Improving the Lives of Blind and Visually Impaired People

RDPFS Resources for Partners June 12, 2020

Let’s begin the week by putting a celebration on our calendars. We need one.

Join ‘The Fil’ for a culminating performance, highlighting our time spent with our teachers this semester! Be sure to watch for an email on June 17th with a link for a special viewing! And if after viewing you are inspired to sign up for a class, go to their website for an overview of their summer classes. Remember, all classes are being offered virtually, so geography isn’t a barrier to enrolling.

Speaking of performing arts, Our Space, Our Place in the Boston area is currently offering an online dance class, taught by a teacher in New York with a student from Delaware in addition to the local kids. They’re all loving it. Opportunity is everywhere.

Embracing Community

The Uptown Arts Association in Minneapolis created Uptown Art Heals and gave local artists $100 each to create murals on the boarded up storefronts that were damaged during the protests following the death of George Floyd. Anton Horishnyk, a self-taught artist who lives with narcolepsy, created his mural at the Minneapolis store of Penzey’s Spices, a small national and mail order chain. Horishnyk used the company’s “Embrace Hope” slogan as his theme for the mural. The storefront mural can be viewed here. The scent of spices is a sensory experience like no other, and a great tool for refining sensory skills.

At home in the online world

Speaking of spices – and cooking – a blind friend texted that she had recently made a Sunday dinner of couscous with chicken sausage, sweet potatoes, raisins, pine nuts, scallions and lots of Middle Eastern spices. Certainly a feast for the senses. Move over, Christine Ha.

Christine is a blind chef and winner of the third season of Master Chef. Her book Recipes from My Kitchen: Asian and American Comfort Food is available in e-Braille from National Braille Press. And if you’re a fan of eating contests, or not, a very strange eating contest featuring Christine is on YouTube.

National Braille Press is also offering free downloadable versions of three adult and two children’s books. Titles include Navigating Healthcare: When All They Can See is that You Can’t, and The Abominable Snowman. The books can be downloaded using Daisy, E-Braille or Word.

The Mighty describes itself as a safe, supportive online community where people facing health challenges and the people who care for them post individual stories. Nancy Scott, a 60-something year old woman who is blind, writes upbeat personal accounts about her COVID-19 experiences that are optimistic and informative. Her latest post is“The Enjoyable Ways I Get Through COVID-19: Social Distancing as a Blind Person. Also on The Mighty “A Therapist’s Guide to Making Virtual Therapy Work for You” about how the writer modified her style to fit working remotely and how patients should approach their therapy sessions in a virtual environment.

Off to college

This week Dianna attended a webinar hosted by Learning Ally’s College Success Program titled “Where’s the Cafeteria? Orientation & Mobility on Your College Campus (Even if it is Virtual)!” A recording of the webinar is available here. A link shared by one of the speakers, Chris Tabb, has lots of information on one of the topics in last week’s bulletin, virtual O&M services. Learning Ally’s home page is here.

It’s A Sporting World

Eyes Free Sports is a podcast hosted by Greg Lindberg that features interviews with blind athletes from various sports. Greg, who has the perfect broadcaster’s voice and delivery, is an enthusiastic beep baseball player. He discusses his own sports enthusiasms and adventures here. The 12 podcasts currently available include interviews with athletes who are mixed martial artists, cyclers and triathletes. Of course the BIG interview is with Steve Guerra of the National Beep Baseball Association. Steve, who is originally from Long Island but now lives in Minnesota with his family and is a huge advocate of braille training, discusses his life, career and love of beep baseball. Definitely worth a listen.