Dedicated to Improving the Lives of Blind and Visually Impaired People

Resources for Partners May 22, 2020

Thanks to all of you who answered our questions over the past weeks. We’ve shared some gleanings with you and are planning a full presentation to the board at our June meeting. As Reader’s Digest Partners for Sight enters FY2021, your input will truly inform our grantmaking for the next year.

We expect you are making plans for re-opening as states meet their goals regarding COVID-19. While you have continued to provide many services successfully via phone or online meeting platforms like Zoom, most aspects of Orientation & Mobility and Rehabilitation Teaching appear, from the information we’ve begun to gather, to be services that will always require in-person service delivery. How does your organization see it?

Accessibility help

The Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities in NYC has published an Accessible Virtual Meetings Guide. Find it here. There is a link to an Accessible Documents Guide that talks Font, Size, Color Contrast and Screen Readability.

Her home page states:

“I’m Veronica Lewis, also known as Veronica with four eyes, and I’m here to teach you everything you need to know about life with low vision and assistive technology through positive and practical blog posts.” One of these is “Creating Inclusive and Accessible Video Lectures For Visually Impaired Audiences”
Then head to her home page, where she has written “My Proposed Outline for a Website that Supports Students with Vision Impairments in Pursuing Higher Education.” Not to be missed.

Raising Funds Remotely

Future in Sight, in New Hampshire, is holding a virtual walk through the state to replace its annual June fundraiser, Walk for Sight, with a 20-day long event in August. All the details explained here.

Hour Children, a New York program offering prison-based family services and community based programs for formerly incarcerated women, hosted a Mother’s Day online fundraising event. Featured were: board members, the executive director, a documentary tour of the agency’s locations with success stories, and donation opportunities. A 45-minute recording is available here.

Although it isn’t a fundraiser, the Kentucky Deafblind Derby Dash could certainly provide inspiration. Going on through May 30.

and not so remotely

A domestic violence charity is raising money in wacky stages with a goal of 100 donors. Upon reaching the 25 donor milestone, staff did a virtual karaoke and dance performance; celebrated 50 donors with a “weird walk” by two staff wearing huge animal heads; at milestone 75, one of the program’s champions played cymbals for the first time in her life – in public; and when they reach 100 donors, the executive director will have her hair dyed purple and wackily styled by colleagues. Fun!

For the young – and maybe a little something for the young at heart

Write quickly – Deadline is June 1! National Federation of the Blind’s Texas chapter (NFBTX) has a national essay contest so children may explore what they are going through and process their feelings. Please contact Emily Gibbs or 281-968-7347 with questions. Full info here.

INSTRUCTIONS: Please answer the following question:

How have you dealt with the coronavirus, social distancing or another life challenge?
Upload answers using the following form.
Answers should be no less than 500 words for grades 7-12 and no less than 2 paragraphs for grades k-6. Answers will be uploaded to NFB-NEWSLINE® for everyone to read.
A $50 gift card will be awarded to 1 essay in each of the following grade brackets:
K-3, 4-6, 7-8, 9-12

Dice Games II is another online event from Future in Sight. Download the Dice World games app on iOS or Android and join in the fun. No previous experience is necessary. Learn how to play Pig and Yahtzee with friendly tournaments. For more information about this Youth Adventures event and Zoom meeting, please email Stephanie Hurd.

In the Hudson Valley, Volunteer New York has just launched a volunteer opportunities app for young people between 12 and 18 years of age and their families. One of the opportunities is making and mailing cards or art to nursing homes. The Youth Volunteer Guidebook can be downloaded to IOS and Android devices. Information and the full list of opportunities can also be viewed on the organization’s website.

There are keyboard directions for playing each of the six instruments at Bongos are easy, just keep using combinations of the number keys 1 and 2.

At this website. There is a music video and lyrics for other songs about braille literacy. American Printing House’s website offers copious information on the subject.

Perkins’ Paths to Literacy Newsletter this week was full of information on Literacy Extension Activities like Object Books, Baggie Books, and Experience Stories. These are activities that will work for all children and that can are easily created with items that are meaningful to the child.
I’ll be sharing this with my family.

Taste a raisin

A major toy company is providing ways to create mindfulness in children. Three suggestions – Draw letters on the child’s back and see if they can guess what they are; to help getting to sleep, have the child tighten individual groups of muscles throughout the body, starting with the feet, then relax them; with a raisin or other food that dissolves in the mouth, see what the food tastes like as it dissolves and touches different parts of your child’s tongue. No chewing allowed!

“What Can We Learn from Lion Poop” is a video on the Smithsonian Science Education Center’s Distance Learning Page. Learn how they identify which poop belongs to which lion and what poop tells us about the lion’s health. No lions appear in the video.


The Kessler Foundation has released “nTIDE May 2020 Special Report: Workers with Disabilities in the COVID Economy”. “As more jobs shift to work at home options, some people with disabilities are gaining advantage in the workplace,” states the report, while noting, “technology is now a priority, as workers adapt to working remotely, interviews and training become virtual, and more services must be accessed online. This creates ongoing challenges for both service providers and clients, with immediate needs for computer hardware and software and home internet access.” A recording of a Q&A webinar will be available on Kessler’s website.

Check out college websites for alumni presentations on employment. On May 28, human resources professionals, alumni of Lesley College, will speak about the hiring outlook in their organization, job and internship search strategies, and job search for recent grads during COVID-19. Registration is online. Registrants will receive a Zoom link 24 hours prior to the event.

A shout-out for seniors

Over a lifetime, seniors become very practiced at acceptance, which is helpful in the current climate. The loss of loved ones, a change in circumstances or lifestyle, a move, retirement… In many ways, they are more prepared than anyone to look this situation head on and roll with it.

Trust them when they tell you they are all right and don’t need a jigsaw puzzle or crossword to make it through the day. Believe in their ability to make good choices for themselves. Be curious about their thoughts, ideas, and concerns regarding this virus. Ask for their perspective from their historical view. Look to them for wisdom and guidance. – Allison Gould, clinical social worker

Coming Up

Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week from June 21st to June 27th.
The theme this year is DEAF-BLIND. AND THRIVING. Read more about it and other deaf-blind resources here.

Help a partner

Polus Center has found employment for a deaf blind trainee in Springfield, Massachusetts. They are seeking a job coach with tactile signing skills. Coach will be needed for about two months. Contact Theresa Kane.

Thanks to all who continue to send information to be shared. You expand our world every day.
Have a safe and restful Memorial Day Weekend.
RDPFS Board and Staff