[Nfbaz-news] {Spam?} February NFBA News and Views Newsletter

Debi Chatfield debichatfield at gmail.com
Thu Feb 16 05:40:44 UTC 2017


National Federation of the Blind of Arizona


News and Views


February, 2017


 


In This Issue


Navigation

Greetings from our President

Word on the Street

Guess Who Just Took Another Trip Around the Sun

Washington Seminar Recap

NFB 2017 Scholarship Program

2017 Kenneth Jernigan Convention Scholarship Fund 

Community Service Division Projects

News in the BEP Program

Guidedog Users Mobile App

Verizon Offers Text to Speech Functionality on Fios

New Blind Lieutenant Governor in Washington State

Save the Date for the Phoenix Seminar

How Do We Change the Numbers

Business and Being Blind: One Man’s Winning Combination

Book Shelf, 2 Selections

Explore the World with Aira

How Secure are Your Passwords

The East Valley Chapter is on Twitter

Facebook is Getting Better Recognizing Photos

10 Amazon Echo Commands to Try

Flick, Swipe, and Tap, To Lock, or Not to Lock Your iPhone

Blockbuster Buzz

The Recipe Box, Easy Pepper Steak

Debi’s List

A Round of Applause

Stay Connected

Grins and Groans, the Usual Endings

 


Navigation


To navigate quickly to the different sections in this newsletter, using
JAWS, System Access, NVDA, or Window Eyes, press the letter H to move
through the headings.                         

 


Greetings from our President


 

Greetings Federationists:

 

Let me begin by congratulating Megan Homrighausen. At the February board
meeting she was appointed to the NFBA state board of directors. Megan is
president of the East Valley Chapter and works tirelessly to promote the
issues and philosophy of the National Federation. She serves on the
Membership Engagement and Recruitment, Transportation, and Convention
Planning committees. She is a leader in the federation and deserving of this
appointment.

 

At the board meeting the board voted to change the way it conducts its board
meeting. A couple of years ago the board voted to begin holding three of its
quarterly meeting by teleconference. The only live and in person board
meeting has been at the state convention. The board voted to hold the
majority of its future meetings in person. Going forward, only one of the
quarterly meetings will be held by teleconference. The next meeting, which
will be on the second Saturday in May, will be held at the Arizona Public
service building in Phoenix. Additional information regarding the meeting
location for the 

May meeting will be forthcoming.

 

Washington Seminar:

As most of you know, the National Federation of the Blind recently completed
its annual Washington Seminar. There were approximately 500 blind people
from across the country meeting with senators and representatives to present
the 2017 legislative agenda for the NFB. Arizona was represented by 10
members, and I would like to thank Amy Porterfield, Sharonda Greenlaw, Megan
Homrighausen, Debra Smith, Sami Hamed, Bryan Duarte, Jordan Moon, Tanner
Gers and Katelyn McIntyre for attending and representing our affiliate.

 

There were four Issues presented, which are:

 

·        The Accessible Instructional Materials in Higher Education (AIM HE)
Act

·        The Access Technology Affordability Act

·        Appropriation to the National Library Service for Blind and
Physical Handicapped (NLS)  for the Purchase of Refreshable Braille Devices

·        The Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for
Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled

The talking points for these issues can be found at
<https://nfb.org/washington-seminar> https://nfb.org/washington-seminar.

 

Next up on our state agenda is the Phoenix Seminar. This event is where we
present the legislative agenda for our state affiliate to the Arizona
Legislature. It will be held on Monday, February 27, 2017 at the state
capitol. The issues we are presenting this year are:

 

·        Accessible Instructional Materials in Higher Education

·        Blind Parents Right to Parent

·        Support Service Provider Funding the Deaf/Blind

 

Additional Information regarding this event is forthcoming and will be sent
out on the listserv. If you are interested in participating, please contact
your chapter or division president.

 

NFB Scholarships:

This is scholarship season in the NFB and deadlines to apply for a
scholarship are approaching fast.  The deadline for the national scholarship
program is March 30th, and the deadline for the state scholarship is May
31st. Applicants may fill out one scholarship application to be considered
for both. If you have any question about the scholarship program, please
contact our Scholarship Chairperson, Marcus Schmidt, at
<mailto:nfbazwest at gmail.com> nfbazwest at gmail.com. If you know any graduating
high school senior or college student, please make sure you tell them about
NFB scholarship opportunities.  

 

State Convention:

This year’s state convention is being hosted by the West Valley Chapter. We
are still in the process of selecting a conference hotel and hope to make a
final decision soon. 

 

Donald Porterfield

 <mailto:donaldpfield at gmail.com> donaldpfield at gmail.com 

 


Word on the Street


 

Congratulations to John and Debi Chatfield on their fourth wedding
anniversary, Valentine’s Day!

 

Got any news to share with us?  Please send it in to,

 <mailto:debichatfield at gmail.com> debichatfield at gmail.com 

 


Guess Who Just Took Another Trip Around the Sun


 

Happy Birthday to our following NFBA members!

 

February 5, Bruce Tunell, from Phoenix.

February 6, Fred Rockwell, from Phoenix.

February 8, James Woods, from Phoenix.

February 14, Debbie Feliz, from Mesa.

February 14, Patrick Hamblin, from Mesa.

February 16, Erma Seals, from Tucson.

February 18, Tanner Gers, from Phoenix.

February 19, Eric Scharlat, from Mesa.

February 19, Kathy Hilliker, from Glendale.

February 19, Roy Stinson, from Avondale.

February 21, Ruth Swenson, from Chandler.

February 22, Mark Feliz, from Mesa.

February 22, Mia Correa, from Phoenix.

February 24, James Blossep, from Phoenix.

February 28, Ned Sgroi, from Mesa.

Please help us build our birthday list, by sending your first and last name,
date of birth, (year optional), and the city you live in to: 

 <mailto:DebiChatfield at gmail.com> DebiChatfield at gmail.com 

 


Washington Seminar Recap


By Chris Danielsen

 

Dear Fellow Federationists:
 
With a new administration in Washington promising sweeping change, many
wonder what the prospects for legislative success are in the rapidly
evolving political environment. Throughout our history, the National
Federation of the Blind has worked with political leaders of both parties to
craft public policy that helps blind Americans live the lives we want, and
our goal is to continue to do so. Judging by the outstanding success last
week of our 2017 Washington Seminar, there are plenty of partners willing to
work with us and champion our issues, presenting ample and exciting
opportunities to make positive change. Read a recap of some of the
highlights on the Voice of the Nation’s Blind, the blog of the National
Federation of the Blind. The full post is here:
 
<https://nfb.org/blog/vonb-blog/national-federation-blind-celebrates-success
ful-washington-seminar>
https://nfb.org/blog/vonb-blog/national-federation-blind-celebrates-successf
ul-washington-seminar 

 


NFB 2017 Scholarship Program


 

For blind high school seniors through grad school students

 

Program Begins: November 1, 2016

Deadline: Midnight, EST, March 31, 2017

 

$12,000 Scholarship

    “The Kenneth Jernigan Scholarship”

                                    and

1 scholarship for $10,000 

2 scholarships for $8,000 each

                                    4 scholarships for $5,000 each 

                             22 scholarships for $3,000 each

   

PLUS other gifts to our thirty scholarship finalists!

ARE YOU A LEGALLY BLIND HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR OR COLLEGE STUDENT?

Go to:   <http://www.nfb.org/scholarships> www.nfb.org/scholarships

 

To apply:  During the five-month open period, read the rules and the
Submission Checklist, complete the official 2017 Scholarship Application
Form (online or in print), supply all required documents, and request and
complete one interview by an NFB affiliate president. Read the Frequently
Asked Questions (FAQ) page for more information.

 

Questions? Contact the NFB Scholarship Program; Chairperson Patti Chang,
Esq.

E-mail:  <mailto:Scholarships at nfb.org> Scholarships at nfb.org

Office: (410) 659 -9314, ext. 2415, (8 a.m. - 5 p.m. EST)

 


2017 Kenneth Jernigan Convention Scholarship Fund


By Allen Harris

 

Have you always wanted to attend an NFB annual convention but have not done
so because of the lack of funds? The Kenneth Jernigan Convention Scholarship
Fund invites you to make an application for a scholarship grant. Perhaps
this July you too can be in the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando,
Florida, enjoying the many pleasures and learning opportunities at the
largest and most important yearly convention of blind people in the world.

The three biggest ticket items you need to cover when attending an NFB
national convention are the roundtrip transportation, the hotel room for a
week, and the food (which tends to be higher priced than at home). We
attempt to award additional funds to families, but, whether a family or an
individual is granted a scholarship, this fund can only help; it won't pay
all the costs. Last year most of the sixty grants were in the range of $400
to $500 per individual. 

We recommend that you find an NFB member as your personal convention mentor,
someone who has been to many national conventions and is able to share
money-saving tips with you and tips on navigating the extensive agenda in
the big hotel. Your mentor will help you get the most out of the amazing
experience that is convention week.

Who is eligible? 

Active NFB members, blind or sighted, who have not yet attended an NFB
national convention because of lack of funding, are eligible to apply.

How do I apply for funding assistance?

1. You write a letter giving your contact information, and your local NFB
information, your specific amount requested, and then explain why this is a
good investment for the NFB. The points to cover are listed below.

2. You contact your state president in person or by phone to request his or
her help in obtaining funding. Be sure to tell the president when to expect
your request letter by email, and mention the deadline.

3. You (or a friend) send your letter by email to your state president. He
or she must add a president’s recommendation and then email both letters
directly to the Kenneth Jernigan Convention Scholarship Fund Committee. Your
president must forward the two letters no later than April 15.

Your letter to Chairperson Allen Harris must cover these points: 

*	Your full name, and all your telephone numbers and label them­cell
phone, home, office, other person (if any). 
*	Your mailing address and, if you have one, your email address. 
*	Your state affiliate and state president; your chapter and chapter
president, if you attend a chapter. 
*	Your personal convention mentor, and provide that person’s phone
number. 
*	Your specific request: 


Explain how much money you need from this fund to make this trip possible
for you. We suggest you consult with other members to make a rough budget
for yourself.

The body of your letter should answer these questions: 

How do you currently participate in the Federation? Why do you want to
attend a national convention? What would you receive; what can you share or
give? You can include in your letter to the committee any special
circumstances you hope they will take into consideration.

When will I be notified that I am a winner? 

If you are chosen to receive this scholarship, you will receive a letter
with convention details that should answer most of your questions. The
committee makes every effort to notify scholarship winners by May 15, but
you must do several things before that to be prepared to attend if you are
chosen.

1. Make your own hotel reservation. If something prevents you from
attending, you can cancel the reservation. (Yes, you may arrange for
roommates of your own to reduce the cost.)

2. Register online for the entire convention, including the banquet, by May
31. 

3. Find someone in your chapter or affiliate who has been to many
conventions and can answer your questions as a friend and advisor.

4. If you do not hear from the committee by May 15, then you did not win a
grant this year.

How will I receive my convention scholarship?

At convention you will be given a debit card or credit card loaded with the
amount of your award. The times and locations to pick up your card will be
listed in the letter we sent you. The committee is not able to provide funds
before the convention, so work with your chapter and state affiliate to
assist you by obtaining an agreement to advance funds if you win a
scholarship and to pay your treasury back after you receive your debit or
credit card.

What if I have more questions? For additional information email the
chairman, Allen Harris, at < <mailto:kjscholarships at nfb.org>
kjscholarships at nfb.org > or call his Baltimore, Maryland, office at, 410 659
9314, extension 2415.

Above all, please use this opportunity to attend your first convention on
the national level and join several thousand active Federationists in the
most important meeting of the blind in the world. We hope to see you in
Orlando. 

 


Community Service Division Projects


By Darian Smith

 

Fellow Federationists,

 

The Community Service Division is excited to start 2017 off strong with our
federation family!

 We are excited to let you know what  we’ve been up to over the past few
months, keep you up to speed on what we are  doing now, and give you a quick
look at some of what is in the works  in the near future.

                        Take a look back at the Community Service Division’s
2016 with our annual year in review here:
<http://nfbcommunityservice.org/blog_2016_Reflecting_Building_Succeeding>
http://nfbcommunityservice.org/blog_2016_Reflecting_Building_Succeeding. 


Join us for two exciting conference calls to start off the new year!  The
first of these calls will be brought to you jointly by the Membership and
Outreach Committees, will take place on January 22nd at 7:00 PM eastern and
will focus on how to use community service experience to help win yourself a
scholarship.  Of course we can’t talk about scholarships without talking
about the prestigious National Federation of the Blind Scholarship, which
will be a primary focus  .  National Scholarship Chairperson Patti
Gregory-Chang will join us to talk about the scholarship  and answer any
general questions you might have  about the program.  Past scholarship
recipients will be present to share their experiences in the program and how
they believe their involvement in community service activities helped them
in  applying  and how it might help you, too.


On February 19th at 7:00 PM eastern, The Service Engagement Committee will
be hosting a call for those who would like to involve themselves, or  their
local chapter in a community service project or two,  but could use some
tips on how to overcome doubts they might be having about actually giving
back.      *Both these calls can be accessed by dialing (712)432-0140 and
entering access code 808277.

 

Did you know we have a blog ( <http://www.nfbcommunityservice.org/blog>
http://www.nfbcommunityservice.org/blog) where we host, and are always
looking for community service stories and experiences that communicate that
through giving back we live the lives we want in the federation?  If you
have any, please send them to us at  <mailto:blog at nfbcommunityservice.org>
blog at nfbcommunityservice.org.
Looking for some topics to get you started?  check out these three from our
blog editor Chris Parsons, pick the topic(s) you like and submit it for
posting!     January: National Mentoring Month (mentoring experiences or
tribute to your mentors).                            February: National
Green Week/Great American Cleanup (spring, time to be outside; green- or
nature-themed experiences; gardening).                   March: Alternative
spring break projects.

                        Finally, Please take a few moments to tell us how
we’re doing by filling out this survey:
<https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TR88XPL>
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TR88XPL.  This will help us see where we are
doing well, and where we can improve.  

 

Thank you so very much for your time, and we wish you a wonderful beginning
to your 2017.

 


News in the BEP Program


 

Concerning House Bills 1196, 2230, and 2278

These house bills are attempting to amend Oklahoma Statute Title VII whereby
County Commissaries would become exempt from the statute; thereby removing
opportunities for blind individuals to become self-supporting rather than
depending on a disability check.

In 1994 in the case of Glanz v. McCray, the Tulsa County Commissioners and
Sheriff lost the case where they tried to remove a blind individual from
making an honest living.  Now it seems they are attempting the same battle
on a new battlefield.

Mike Spencer, the current blind individual operating the Tulsa County Jail
Commissary not only employs his regular full time staff but also employs
part-time jail detention officers.

In the year 2016 the following agencies/individuals benefited from the
earnings of this county commissary:

Tulsa County Sheriff’s Department:  $110,492.00

Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitative Services:  $73,662.00

Oklahoma Tax Commission:  $115,016.00

Jail Detention officers & Commissary Employees:  $204,084.00

Aramark (Kiosk and equipment supplier):  $169,060.00

     Oklahoma vendors supplying commissary products:  $ 653,471.00

Mr. Spencer played OU football through two National Championships then went
to work as a dock supervisor until he lost his vision overnight in the mid
nineteen nineties and was forced to quit.  He went unemployed for years
until he learned of the EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES afforded blind individuals
provided by Title VII.

He continues to operate Tulsa County Commissary and deliver commissary goods
to inmates when he is never paid by Tulsa County Sheriff’s Department in a
timely fashion.

Currently the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Department is behind in payments for
goods delivered to inmates by Mr. Spencer to the tune of $77,000.00.
Delinquent payments are very normal for the Tulsa County Sheriff’s
Department but they continue to demand purchase and delivery of commissary
goods which Mr. Spencer must pay for while he awaits his payment.

It seems that the greed of the Tulsa representatives: Kirby, Mulready and
O’Donnell  and the Tulsa County Sheriff’s department is more important than
allowing blind and other disabled individuals the right to earn a living and
contribute to society in a positive manner.

WORKING BLIND INDIVIDUALS ARE BEING TREATED UNFAIRLY.

 


Guidedog Users Mobile App


By Marion Gwizdala

 

Dear All,

 

                 As many of you know, one of our most innovative programs
supporting the civil rights of service dog users is our Mobile app. 

This mobile app contains the text of the implementing regulations of the
Americans with Disabilities Act concerning service dogs, the entire text of
each state law ensuring the rights of service dog users in that state,
specific guidance for industries of particular concern to service dog
handlers, e.g., restaurants, hotels, taxicabs, and healthcare facilities,
and information about the National Association of Guide Dog Users and the
National Federation of the Blind. This app also provides users the
opportunity to connect directly through the app with the NAGDU Information &
Advocacy Hotline, as well as send an email message for more information.
This app is provided free of charge as a public service by the National
Association of Guide Dog Users.

 

This app was launched in September 2015. By December 31, 2015, the app had
been downloaded

1,069 times. We get a weekly update of our app downloads and, on average,
the app is downloaded about 20 times per week. During the week of January 9
– 15, the app was downloaded 35 times and during the week of January 16 – 22
it was downloaded 14 times. According to our analytics, as of January 22,
the NAGDU Guide & Service Dog Mobil App has been downloaded 3,324 times.

 

                 If you have not downloaded this invaluable tool, you can do
so by searching “NAGDU” IN THE APP STORE. We are currently updating the
state law section of the app, adding Canadian laws, developing new dynamic
features, such as a “share” button and utilizing GPS technology that will
bring the laws of the state you are in as your first result, placing the app
in the Canadian app store, and developing the app for other platforms. Watch
for updates to the app in future email messages!

 


Verizon Offers Text to Speech Functionality on Fios


 

Verizon offers Text to Speech functionality for the Fios TV on-screen guide
to enhance accessibility for visually impaired customers. The Text to Speech
feature provides audible voice read out of on-screen text, such as menu and
guide data. This feature can be enabled or disabled via the on-screen guide
and provides normal voice reading of the text displayed within the menu
on-screen.

 

How to enable Text to Speech

 

Text to Speech functionality is available on most Verizon set-top boxes. The
feature can be enabled via the settings menu: Menu > Settings > System >
Accessibility > Text to Speech > on/off

 

If you need help getting the Text to Speech feature working on your set-top
box, contact us anytime at, 800 Verizon. One of our skilled representatives
can enable the feature remotely for you.

 

Set-top box compatibility

 

If you are disabled and feel you would benefit from Text to Speech, but have
a set-top box that isn’t compatible with this functionality, you can swap
your set-top box for a compatible alternative at no charge. If you need help
installing new equipment, a Verizon technician will assist you at no charge.

 

Need more help with this feature?

Contact the Verizon Center for Customers with Disabilities:

Toll free at, 800 974 6006, Voice or TTY, 508 251 5301 Videophone

Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 5:00 pm

Email us at:  <mailto:vccd at verizon.com> vccd at verizon.com

 


New Blind Lieutenant Governor in Washington State


 

As Cyrus Habib, 35 takes over as Washington State’s first blind lieutenant
governor, the Senate has undergone a makeover that incorporates Braille into
that chamber's floor sessions.

 

The second highest position in the state, the lieutenant governor is best
known as the president of the Senate and presides over that chamber during
the legislative sessions, ensuring that protocol is followed and weighing in
on parliamentary questions that arise during debate.

 

Because the lieutenant governor is charged with controlling the Senate
debate, Habib will make the call on who to recognize first when a
parliamentary motion is made, or a request to speak on a bill. Usually a
lawmaker jumps up out of their seat and addresses the presiding officer.
Now, lawmakers will instead push a touch screen installed on their desks as
they stand. A list, in order of those who pushed the button, will be
transmitted to the rostrum, where the Braille display in front of Habib will
go from flat to a series of raised dots that spell out the lawmaker's name.

Habib is a Rhodes Scholar, a Truman Scholar and a Soros Fellow.  He received
his B.A. in Comparative Literature from Columbia University.

 


Save the Date for the Phoenix Seminar


By Donald Porterfield

 

Dear Federationists:

 

Please save the date for the National Federation of the Blind of Arizona’s
Phoenix Seminar. This year’s seminar is going to be held on Monday, February
27 at the State Capitol. The day’s activities will start at 9:00 a.m. with a
briefing on the legislative priorities, and end around 4:00 p.m., or
whenever the last appointment of the day ends,

 

If you are interested in participating, please make sure your chapter or
division president has up to date contact information for you, to include
your address with zip code, and phone number.  Additional information is
forthcoming.

 


How Do We Change the Numbers


By Gabe Vega

 

I was browsing the wanted ads with my cousin in 2001. I was 16, and just
like every other teen ager at the time, new that if I wanted more of a
social life and success I would need to find a job. We found an ad, and
although he chose not to pursue it, I was excited. It said that if you
showed up to this office, took a small assessment, they would do same day
interviews, provide you with training and to hurry down because they were in
need of staff. This was a call center.

 

I arrived with the excitement and the enthusiasm of a boy on his first date.
I dressed with the best clothes I had, and new I was going to hit it big
with this job and use it as a platform to make me fly! But, once I got there
and I met the owner, he asked if maybe I was at the wrong place of business,
maybe I took a wrong turn in trying to find the local Blind Community
Center. I advised him I was in the correct place and I came across his ad in
the newspaper and I was there to take his assessment and get interviewed for
my new job. The big eager smile on my face faded very quickly, to a heart
breaking frown, when his tone of voice changed from pity in helping a lost
blind man, find his way to the local charity of the blind, to one of
disbelieve and disgust of how could a blind man ever perform the task he
wished to hire people for.

 

He spoke to me in the most annoyed voice and said I didn’t get to take the
assessment, and he wasn’t going to take time out of his day to interview me
because he knew I couldn’t do the job. When I explained to him that I was in
fact familiar with Windows, Mac and had a very technical background, he
sighed deeply and said look, I paid 30,000 dollars for this system, and I
know it won’t work for you.

 

At that I turned around with my first employment rejection and my lump in my
throat, my tears burning my eyes and my pride smashed to pieces.

I told myself, I would not ever put myself through this again!

 

How Do We Change the Numbers

Here at Commtech we don’t want anyone to go through that, ever! The
emotional trama such an experience will put one through is great and they
feel of loss, hopelessness and worthlessness is very discouraging.

 

We want to provide a place that the questions of one’s ability is only based
on their skill set and not by another person’s perception of what they might
be able to do.

 

We will, have employment in Tucson,



Read the below article for the rest of the story!

 


Business and Being Blind


One Man’s Winning Combination

Reprinted from the Braille Monitor 

By Gary Wunder 

 

Gabe Vega in his office.As we navigate the job market of the second decade
of the twenty-first century, it is clear that small businesses are coming to
play an ever-increasing role in the workforce of our country and that many
of us who once would have worked for someone else will have to create our
own businesses to thrive in this economy. A number of people have speculated
about this change, opining that it is a good thing for blind people because
they believe we will encounter less discrimination in working for ourselves
than in trying to work for someone else. Still others say that the same kind
of discrimination that keeps us from being hired in private- and
public-sector jobs still exists when we go to look for bank loans, try to
network to create business associates and a customer base, and strive to
work with technology which is either inaccessible or at the least
inefficient.

This article focuses on the former view, and the business we will highlight
is Commtech LLC and its founder and owner-operator, Gabe Vega. Gabe created
his company in 2008. But before we talk about his business, let’s focus
first on the man.

Gabe was born in 1985, and from the first he was considered precocious. He
graduated from high school at sixteen, went to a community college to study
computer and information science, and at eighteen he became certified by the
A+ program run by CompTIA, the Computing, Technology, and Industry
Association. This means he can build, repair, install, and troubleshoot
hardware. He is also certified in computer networking, meaning he can
implement, design, and repair network computers in a corporate environment.

Though he finished with honors, getting a job was difficult. "I found that
the attitude was that disabled people were less valuable than others. No
matter what I said, no matter what I could show on paper, no matter what I
could demonstrate, I never felt as though I was being treated as a
first-class citizen." Beyond the issue of poor attitudes, Gabe realized he
was living in a part of California rich with computer talent. At nineteen he
decided to move to Phoenix and soon found a job working for the state of
Arizona. He was a technical support specialist, a job in which he provided
both remote and in-person repair. "It was a very rewarding job for one so
young. I had a decent salary, got the opportunity to travel throughout the
state, and was able to work with both state and federal computer systems.”
He loved the technical challenges, loved exercising the analytical skills
required to diagnose problems, and enjoyed the feeling that came with making
the systems perform as expected. Of no small benefit were the learning and
confidence that came from each success he could claim as his own.

But not all was rosy when it came to feelings about his job. He was feeling
stressed and eventually realized that it was not the technical demands of
the job but the interaction with fellow employees that was the source of his
discomfort. "I found that I have no patience with office politics. I can
follow directions as well as the next person, but I can't go in multiple
directions at the same time. I would get one directive one day, a different
one the next, and six different demands on the day following. I kept asking
myself why I was putting myself through this. I concluded that I was too
good at what I did to let stress get the better of me and that there must be
a way to do what I enjoyed and was good at without suffering the slings and
arrows of those who were intent on power games and turf battles."

To his surprise and relief, Gabe found that as a vendor/contractor he could
do the same work that he was doing as an employee of the state. “There was
no going to the office, no office politics, just doing the work I loved and
thrived on completing."

Being an independent contractor meant that it was in Gabe’s best interests
for him to get the simplest form of business incorporation, and he became
incorporated as DBA (doing business as). With his own small business, he did
the same technical work he was doing before and avoided the turf wars and
office politics that had for some time been the major source of his stress.

Starting in 2005, things went well. Income was up tenfold, stress was down
to an acceptable level, and Gabe felt as though he had found the ideal job.
But with the downturn in 2008, many of the state and federal customers that
had relied on him for service found their budgets cut. "When the bottom fell
out in 2008, I found myself scrambling. It was quite a shock. All of a
sudden those four-figure monthly checks began to fall, and I knew I had to
do something in addition to contracting with the state and federal
governments." 

Eventually Gabe decided he had to change his business model. While he would
continue to market his services to large customers, he knew he must include
other groups who could benefit from his expertise and could pay for it. A
change in corporate status was required for him to operate the kind of
business that was taking shape in his head, and incorporating took
considerable time and money that he was hard pressed to find. So too did
finding office space, finding people, and putting in the telephones and
servers required to conduct a nationwide business. In changing its focus to
meet more needs from the private sector, the new business found that some of
its contractors stayed and others left. The same was true with staff—some
easily made the change, while others decided to go elsewhere. The new
business focused less on big state, federal, and corporate customers and
more on business-to-business services, as well as direct service to
consumers.

For businesses, Commtech USA, which has become his brand name, provides
website development, accessibility consulting, user experience evaluations,
and accessibility checking to ensure Section 508 compliance. Commtech USA
also provides computer network installation and troubleshooting services for
businesses both large and small.

Despite his success, Gabe confesses blindness is still an issue in his mind,
a fear he must work to overcome. "Sometimes my fear is still blindness. When
I have a meeting with five important people (business owners, executives,
and high-ranking board members), my fear wants to take control, and I start
asking myself, ‘Will they take me seriously, and will I be convincing?’ But
when that meeting comes the next day and I hit it out of the ballpark, the
gratification I feel from that is wonderful.”

A big part of Commtech USA's business has evolved to serve consumers. One
service is selling and exchanging cellular phones, a process many of us
would consider visual given that most of the phones on the market today do
not talk or have any nonvisual interfaces. Gabe has learned the menus for
the phones he sells, and, by repeating the keystrokes necessary to navigate
menus and choices, he is able to configure the phones, change SIM cards, and
update settings required by the carrier his customer chooses. "Mostly phones
are pretty similar. All of them have a menu key, a settings menu, a tools
menu, and a call log. I rely on my memory, and, on the rare occasions when
that fails me, I can always rely on Google if I know how to ask it the right
question. If in doubt, as a last resort I can ask the customer in front of
me to confirm that I am where I think I am by having him or her read me the
screen.”

Gabe uses a screen reader to set up accounts, accept payments, and help
customers choose plans that best meet their needs. "I don't depend on
sighted people, but I do have them on call for the times when they are
needed. I try to use only tools that are accessible or at least as
accessible as they can be. This is my business, and, though sight is
sometimes indispensable, it is important that I do as much of this work as I
can.

“You wouldn't believe how gratifying it is to interact with the sighted
public on a day-to-day basis in the consumer market and to know that they
could not care less that you are blind. I tell them I am blind if we meet in
person, and most generally they say, ‘Okay, can you do what I need done?’ I
tell them yes, and they watch as I help them pay their bill or set up their
phone. They may see me feel around my desk or hear my computer talk, but
what is important to them is that they are the customer, and I can do what
they are paying me to do. Blindness is off the table. To them the important
fact is that money changes hands, and they leave with what they came to get
or to do."

Whether blind people want to learn about assistive technology or learn to
use office products, Commtech USA has a plan to fit their needs. For $60 a
month a consumer can get training and technical support by telephone, and,
for those times when there is no substitute for vision, the plan includes
three sessions in which a person with sight connects to a customer’s
machine, sees what is being displayed, and uses the mouse and keyboard to
perform the inaccessible functions required.

“I’m an NFB member, and I’m on a number of our listservs to talk about jobs,
rehabilitation, education, and how to train the trainers. I see the
questions being asked: ‘Will they hire me? Will they accept me? What kinds
of things can I do if I’m blind?’ I think we have to get out of this state
of mind. The things I have accomplished as a blind man have exceeded my
wildest dreams because, after all the questions, all the anxiety, and all
the self-doubt, I just went out there and did it, keeping in mind that I am
Gabe Vega, I am a technician, and, as long as I can do a job that satisfies
my customers, my blindness isn’t going to hold me back.”

 

About Commtech USA

Commtech USA is a company that provides remote technology consulting,
training and support services to consumers, and businesses with a specialty
in assistive technology for the disabled.. Using the latest in video, VOIP
and telephone technologies Commtech USA is able to provide these services to
those who may use the services based on need or convenients from the comfort
of their home.

Contact Commtech USA:

Web:  <http://commtechusa.net> http://commtechusa.net

Email:  <mailto:info at commtechusa.net> info at commtechusa.net

Phone: 888 351 5289

 


Book Shelf, 2 Selections


 

Do you love to curl up with a good book? Been meaning to read that best
seller? Here are two book selections that you may wish to read! If you have
a book that you absolutely loved and want to share your thoughts about it
with us, please send in your write up to:

 <mailto:debichatfield at gmail.com> debichatfield at gmail.com 

Happy reading!

 


Book Number 1, Radiant Angel


DB81690

Written by Nelson DeMille

Read by Scott Brick

Reading time 10 hours, 32 minutes

Suspense fiction, Spy stories

When a Colonel in a Russian Foreign Intelligence Service posing as a
diplomat mysteriously disappears from a oligarch's party in Southampton,
it's up to John Corey, now with the Diplomatic Surveillance Group, to track
him down. Corey fears this disappearance signifies a possible nuclear
threat, a so called radiant angel. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2015.
 <https://nlsbard.loc.gov/nlsbardprod/download/book/srch/DB81690> Download
Radiant angel 

 


Book Number 2, The Couple Next Door, A Novel


DB85538

Written by Shari Lapena

Read by Kirsten Potter 

Reading time 8 hours, 42 minutes

Suspense fiction, Mystery and Detective Stories, Bestsellers

Anne and Marco are having dinner at their next-door neighbors' house, taking
turns going home to check on their sleeping baby every half hour and using a
monitor. But when they return for the night, she is missing. And each must
hide something from the police. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller.
2016.
 <https://nlsbard.loc.gov/nlsbardprod/download/book/srch/DB85538> Download
The couple next door: a novel 

 


Explore the World with Aira!


By Debi Chatfield

 

Editor’s Note:

I am one of the 200 Aira Explorers, and have found this new wearable
technology extremely helpful.  In just this past week, I have used Aira to
visit a local lake on my own, purchase cards and wrapping paper in a
Hallmark store, and traverse the halls of the VA Clinic alone to a dental
appointment.  Normally, in the situation of purchasing products in a store,
I would find a store employee, and they would help me locate the items I
wish to purchase. But, often times, they are not able to stay and describe
things to me to the degree I need, as they have other customers to take care
of in the store.  Using Aira, I am able to do my own shopping without
inconveniencing a clerk.  I use all of my alternative techniques to
accomplish the tasks at hand in my daily life, but if sighted assistance is
required, I just quickly and easily call up Aira, get the assistance I need,
and go on about my business.  No more waiting and waiting for someone
sighted to come over or have time to help.  Aira is right there, for as
little or as long as I need them! I next plan to shop at the mall and have
Aira help with the reading of some documents as well.  I also hope to
demonstrate this new innovation at the next East Valley chapter meeting.
Imagine the possibilities!  If no one is around, and you need sighted
assistance, just call up Aira!  Aira gives you the freedom to go and do
things whenever you wish!  See below for an interview with Amy Bernal from
Aira.    

 
<https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/4208173/Amy%20Bernal%20of%20the%20Aira%
20Visual%20Interpreter%201-28-17%20edited.mp3>
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/4208173/Amy%20Bernal%20of%20the%20Aira%2
0Visual%20Interpreter%201-28-17%20edited.mp3

 


How Secure are Your Passwords


By Robert D. Sollars

 

Everyone wants to keep their sensitive information on their computers and
devices safe from intrusion, especially information such as banking and
other personal information that no one else has a right to access. But,
invariably, hackers will get into your system and create havoc and be a
general nuisance. In all reality, it is because individuals do not take
enough precautions to keep their information safe. Therefore, it is
incumbent on you to protect your system from hacking and other intrusions. 

 

What is the number one way for hackers to get into your computer and other
devices, you ask? Well, it is through your passwords, simple as that. In
addition, most people are not that proficient in their security protocols.

 

Even the Democratic National Committee was hacked in the summer of 2016 and
emails between the Hillary Clinton campaign and party officials were leaked.
Then, John Pedesta’s emails were also leaked. Most people will ask, how did
this happen and why was it so easy? 

 

One person at the DNC opened a phishing e-mail and hit a link within the
mail. That in effect downloaded malware of a malicious nature to the
network. From there it was a fairly simple matter to attack Pedesta’s mail,
find his password and hack his emails.  Can you guess what his password was
on his computer? It defies logic but it was the single word, Password.

 

This also recently happened to several state legislators here in Arizona.
They opened emails and hit links within those mails. The link was asking
them to reset their passwords for a new system within the state government.
They complied and subsequently downloaded malware, quite by accident. 

 

So, how can you create passwords that are strong and can be used without
being forgotten with the innumerable amount of social media accounts,
shopping, work, and other places that require them? The simple answer is
making it easy enough to 

Remember and long enough not to be easily guessed by a hacker or software
program. Here are a few examples to use, and obviously these phrases are run
all together:

I love tuna fish sandwiches

Cheeseburgers are my favorite

Cheeseburgers in Paradise 

I Love my wife exclusively

Fluffy is the best feline ever

 

            In addition you can take your favorite song or band and use them
such as:

Careless whisper by George Michael

Elton john sang bennie and the jets

Modern English sang ill melt with you

 

You can also use your favorite sports team:

The Kansas city chiefs are the greatest

Royals of Kansas city are world series champs

(Unfortunately some may use this)

Raiders fan until I die

Americas team is the cowboys

            You could, of course, use traditional methods and use upper and
lower case letters, symbols, numbers, and the like. People ask which is
better? No one really knows that fact. But the one thing that all security
professionals will agree on, is simple. Make them as long as necessary to
make it both difficult for a hacker to guess and easy for you to remember. A
hacker can find your password, with available software, within a few hours
for a password with five or less characters. On the other hand, more than a
trillion years to discover one with 15 characters or more.

            And if you have so many accounts and consequently that many
passwords, which you should, you cannot remember all of them. Use word
association and a numbering system.

Twitter: 1! I love my cat @ 2

Facebook: 2 @ I love my cat 3 #

Instagram: 3 # I love my cat $ 4

Linkedin: $ 4 I am the greatest security pro ever % 5

And on and on. Of course, you will want a bit more complicated than that but
you get the drift of what I am trying to demonstrate. 

 

Lastly, about those phishing mails you may get
 If you do not know who sent
it or why they are sending you an email with nothing but a link,
non-personalized greeting, or it doesn’t sound like the person you thought
it may have been. Send it to spam or delete and do not, I repeat, do not,
hit the link for any reason. 

 

If you wish to read more security blogs and workplace violence incidents or
even follow me on twitter:

www.robertsollarssr.com  

Facebook.com/oneistoomany

@robertsollars2

 


The East Valley Chapter is on Twitter


By Tina and Tony Sohl

 

The National Federation of the Blind of Arizona's East Valley Chapter now
has a twidder account. East Valley chapter members, Tina and Tony Sohl have
been hard at work creating the twidder account. If you have a twidder acount
or wish to find the twidder account itself, the link is: 

 <https://twitter.com/EastValleyChapt> https://twitter.com/EastValleyChapt

 

If you do not have a twidder account, then Twidder may ask you if you wish
to sign up for an account.

Come and joine the East Valley Chapter on Twidder and have fun!

 


Facebook is Getting Better at Recognizing Photos


 

Facebook has long been able to recognize the people in your photos and sort
images by where they were taken. But it hasn’t been as precise at
understanding what’s actually happening in a photo. That’s now beginning to
change, thanks to new developments in the Menlo Park, Calif.’s artificial
intelligence software.

Facebook says the new tech will improve its user experience in two ways.
First, it’ll make it possible to search Facebook for photos based on what’s
in them, rather than just by date taken, tags, or location. If you’re trying
to find a photo of a paella dish you cooked last year, for example, you’ll
be able to simply type “paella” in the Facebook search bar. This, Facebook
hopes, will help its users quickly find images without having to remember
when they were taken or how they were tagged.

Second, the upgrade will improve Facebook’s automatic alt text feature,
which describes photos aloud to the visually impaired. Before the update,
Facebook could describe a photo’s subjects on a rudimentary level – when
describing a concert photo, for instance, Facebook might say the shot
contains a person, a stage, and a guitar. After the update, Facebook will be
able to tell users the specific action that’s occurring in a scene, like
“this is a picture of a person playing guitar on stage.” That might seem
like a minor upgrade, but it’s a big step forward for image-identification
software.

Facebook previously said it’s working on improved photo recognition
technology, but the new search capability has only just begun to launch
publicly. Services from other technology firms, like Google and Apple, also
allow users to search their photos by content.

The special sauce powering Facebook’s new technology is its computer vision
engine, called Lumos. Lumos analyzes the troves of images shared to the
social platform each day, giving it plenty of data to crunch and learn from.
Lumos relies on a form of computer science known as “neural networks,” which
aim to mimic the behavior of the human brain. Among many other tasks, neural
networks can be trained to recognize specific pieces of information – a
network designed to recognize images, for example, would learn how to
identify a cat after being shown thousands of photos of different cats.

Joaquin Candela, director of Facebook’s Applied Machine Learning team, says
that being able to recognize specific actions, like running or jumping,
requires a deeper neural network. But these networks are harder to train.
The deeper the network, the harder it becomes for error signals — vital for
the software to learn correct from incorrect — to permeate every layer of
said network.

To solve this problem, Facebook is using a “residual network,” which makes
it possible to send error signals deeper into a network, says Candela. “By
doing that, you open up the possibility to train networks of a depth that
have never been trained before,” he adds.

Neural networks may be able to process billions of images at lightning-fast
speeds, but they’re a long way from understanding single images as well as
humans can. That’s largely because their knowledge is limited to the data on
which they were trained. A neural network may have been shown hundreds of
kinds of chairs, for instance, but it might get stuck when trying to
identify a type of chair it’s never seen. A person, on the other hand, would
be able to use context clues (i.e. “oh, there’s a person sitting on it”) to
quickly ID a previously unknown chair.

There’s no doubt that artificial intelligence’s abilities are progressing
<http://www.wired.co.uk/article/alphago-deepmind-google-wins-lee-sedol>
faster than many observers expected. Still, it’s unclear when, if ever,
computers will be as good as humans at recognizing images. Candela, however,
remains optimistic that new innovations in AI will enable further
image-recognition developments. “I think it’s going to be even more exciting
as we keep making progress on what we call semantic segmentation, or a
semantic understanding of images,” he says. “It’s not only detecting the
objects and what’s going on, but also understanding the relations between
things and bringing common sense into it.”

 


10 Amazon Echo Commands to Try


By Russell Holly

 

The big feature with every connected speaker is the ability to speak and get
something interesting in response. Right now, the connected speaker with the
most spoken word features is without a doubt Amazon Echo. The Alexa platform
is full of amazing skills and features just waiting for you to enable and
test, but that list is considerably longer than most people have time to
sort through.

Here's a look at my favorites, the
<http://www.androidcentral.com/amazon-echo> Amazon Echo commands everyone
should try!

Control Time

Alarms are a big part of how I use Amazon Echo. "Alexa, set an alarm for
6am" is right up there with "Alexa, set a timer for 45 minutes" when I tell
my kids it is time for quiet reading time. You can set quick alarms and
timers for anything, and as long as you're within earshot of the system, the
timer on it can be a lifesaver.

 

Buy Stuff

Your Amazon Echo can order just about anything available on Amazon, and
sometimes you'll find there  are actually sales that are only available by
ordering through your Echo. The best part is that  Alexa looks at your
previous orders, so when you say "Alexa, order more toilet paper" it will  

confirm you want more of the brand you most recently purchased.

Echo can also be used to track existing orders, so you know whether the
FedEx truck is going to be there for you today.

 

Drinks on Me

Alcohol and Amazon go surprisingly well together. Wine drinkers can call
upon the MySomm  Alcohol and Amazon go surprisingly well together. Wine
drinkers can call upon the
<http://target.georiot.com/Proxy.ashx?TSID=15093&dtb=1&GR_URL=https%3A%2F%2F
www.amazon.com%2FAsolana-MySomm%2Fdp%2FB01EZA6O8W%3Ftag%3Dandroidcentralb-20
%26ascsubtag%3DUUacUdUnU59094> MySomm Skill and say "Alexa, ask Wine Gal to
recommend a wine for tacos" and get some thoughts on what you should buy.

 

Not into wine?  

 
<http://target.georiot.com/Proxy.ashx?TSID=15093&dtb=1&GR_URL=https%3A%2F%2F
www.amazon.com%2Fgp%2Fproduct%2FB019D6LR8U%3Ftag%3Dandroidcentralb-20%26ascs
ubtag%3DUUacUdUnU59094> The Bartender lets you say "Alexa, ask the
bartender, what's in a Moscow Mule?" and get everything you need in return.

 

Kitchen Control

Your Echo is the perfect kitchen companion. It will answer any question you
have about measurement conversions when you're trying to tweak a recipe, and
if you're not sure what to make you can ask
<http://target.georiot.com/Proxy.ashx?TSID=15093&dtb=1&GR_URL=https%3A%2F%2F
www.amazon.com%2FNoahs-Arc-Development-Trending-Recipes%2Fdp%2FB01M8J93YF%3F
tag%3Dandroidcentralb-20%26ascsubtag%3DUUacUdUnU59094> Trending Recipes for
the best new things.

Just say "Alexa, ask Trending Recipes for a recent recipe" and you'll get a
detailed breakdown of something new to make!

 

Rules Czar

Family Board Game Night is a lot of fun, right until you're playing the
family version of Monopoly with no paper rules and everyone has a different
idea of how things work.

 
<http://target.georiot.com/Proxy.ashx?TSID=15093&dtb=1&GR_URL=https%3A%2F%2F
www.amazon.com%2FBrandon-Telle-Board-Games-Answers%2Fdp%2FB01FNXM6SW%3Ftag%3
Dandroidcentralb-20%26ascsubtag%3DUUacUdUnU59094> Board Game Answers lets
you step in and say "Alexa, ask board games how much money everyone starts
with in Monopoly" and you'll get started smoothly.

 

Find my Phone

When tearing your living room apart looking for the phone you are absolutely
sure you set down a few minutes ago,
<http://target.georiot.com/Proxy.ashx?TSID=15093&dtb=1&GR_URL=https%3A%2F%2F
www.amazon.com%2FJesse-Friedman-WheresMyPhone%2Fdp%2FB01M6AFH5L%3Ftag%3Dandr
oidcentralb-20%26ascsubtag%3DUUacUdUnU59094> Where's My Phone is a little
closer than your computer.

Just say "Alexa, ask Where's My Phone to find my phone" and it'll start
ringing for you in a couple of seconds.

 

Shut Up!

Sometimes all you really want from your Amazon Echo is silence. If loud
music is playing or Alexa is in the middle of a lengthy explanation you
don't want to hear, just say "Alexa, Shut Up!" and you'll get some silence
in return. Or, if you just want some background noise, say "Alexa, volume
one" and get back to work.

 


Flick, Swipe, and Tap, To Lock or Not to Lock Your iPhone


By Rita Howells

 

If you have added a passcode to your phone at some point, you can remove it
by going into the device's settings and disabling the feature, after you
enter the passcode to prove your identity. Keep in mind that doing so makes
the personal information on your phone accessible to anyone who might find
it and could make the phone easier to steal if the wrong person takes your
phone.

On an iPhone, open the Settings app, go to Touch ID & Passcode and select
Turn Passcode Off.

Other approaches could keep your phone safer. Some systems allow you to
change how often the passcode is requested. For a phone with a fingerprint
reader, you can set it up to let you log in with a thumb or finger instead
of having to manually enter a passcode. You can also set up a lock screen
message that gives basic contact information for anyone who finds your
phone, but without giving the person access to the device's contents. For
example, those with iPhones can use the Medical ID feature to add contact
information there, but anyone finding the phone would have to know to tap
Emergency and then Medical ID on the lock screen to see the message.

You can also use a third-party lock-screen message app or just enter a
message in a text app, take a screenshot of the page and save it as your
lock-screen wallpaper.

 


Blockbuster Buzz


Reprinted from the Audio Description Project

 

Let’s go to the movies!  Below are 10 of the most popular movies that are
out in our theaters at the current time.  Most theaters offer audio
description headsets at the customer service counter, so pick up your
headset, grab your popcorn, and enjoy the movie!

 


The Comedian


Rated R for crude sexual references and language throughout.
Running time  1 Hour, 59 Min.
Synopsis
An aging comic icon, Jackie, has seen better days. Despite his efforts to
reinvent himself and his comic genius, the audience only wants to know him
as the former television character he once played. Already a strain on his
younger brother and his wife, Jackie is forced to serve out a sentence doing
community service for accosting an audience member. While there, he meets
Harmony, the daughter of a sleazy Florida real estate mogul, and the two
find inspiration in one another resulting in surprising consequences.
Cast  Robert De Niro, Leslie Mann, Danny DeVito, Edie Falco, Veronica
Ferres.
Genre  Comedy

 


A Dogs Purpose


Rated PG.

Running time  2 Hours.

Synopsis

"A Dog's Purpose" shares the soulful and surprising story of one devoted dog
who finds the meaning of his own existence through the lives of the humans
he teaches to laugh and love.

Cast  Britt Robertson, Bradley Cooper, Peggy Lipton, Dennis Quaid, Juliet
Rylance

Genre  Comedy

 


Fences


Rated PG 13 for thematic elements, language and some suggestive references.

Running time  2 Hours, 19 Min.

Synopsis

Fences is the story of Troy Maxson, a mid century Pittsburgh sanitation
worker who once dreamed of a baseball career, but was too old when the major
leagues began admitting black players. He tries to be a good husband and
father, but his lost dream of glory eats at him, and causes him to make a
decision that threatens to tear his family apart.

Cast  Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Jovan Adepo, Stephen McKinley
Henderson, Russell Hornsby.

Genre  Drama

 


Fifty Shades Darker


Rated R for strong erotic sexual content, some graphic nudity, and language.
Running time  1 Hour, 55 Min.
Synopsis
When a wounded Christian Grey tries to entice a cautious Ana Steele back
into his life, she demands a new arrangement before she will give him
another chance. As the two begin to build trust and find stability, shadowy
figures from Christians past start to circle the couple, determined to
destroy their hopes for a future together.

Cast  Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Hugh Dancy, Eric Johnson, Jennifer Ehle.
Genre  Drama

 


The Founder


Rated PG 13 for brief strong language.

Running time  1 Hour, 55 Min.

Synopsis

This drama tells the true story of how Ray Kroc, a salesman from Illinois,
met Mac and Dick McDonald, who were running a burger operation in 1950s
Southern California. Kroc was impressed by the brothers speedy system of
making the food and saw franchise potential. He maneuvered himself into a
position to be able to pull the company from the brothers and create a
billion dollar empire.

Cast  Michael Keaton, John Carol Lynch, Nick Offerman, Laura Dern, Linda
Cardellini.

Genre  Drama

 


Hidden Figures


Rated PG

Running time  2 Hours, 7 Min.

Synopsis

The incredible untold story of Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and
Mary Jackson, brilliant African American women working at NASA, who served
as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history, the launch
of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the
nations confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world.
The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations
to dream big.

Cast  Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kirsten Dunst, Jim
Parsons.

Genre  Drama

 


LA LA Land


Rated PG 13 for some language.

Running time  2 Hours, 8 Min.

Synopsis

The story of Mia, an aspiring actress, and Sebastian, a dedicated jazz
musician, struggling to make ends meet while pursuing their dreams in a city
known for destroying hopes and breaking hearts. With modern day Los Angeles
as the backdrop, this musical about everyday life explores what is more
important: a once in a lifetime love or the spotlight.

Cast  Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, John Legend, Rosemarie DeWitt, Finn
Wittrock.

Genre  Comedy

 


Lion


Rated PG 13 for thematic material and some sensuality.

Running time  2 Hours

Synopsis

Five year old Saroo gets lost on a train which takes him thousands of miles
across India, away from home and family. Saroo must learn to survive alone
in Kolkata, before ultimately being adopted by an Australian couple. Twenty
five years later, armed with only a handful of memories, his unwavering
determination, and a revolutionary technology known as Google Earth, he sets
out to find his lost family and finally return to his first home.  Based on
a true story.

Cast  Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, Nicole Kidman, David Wenham, Nawazuddin
Siddiqui.

Genre  Drama

 


Manchester by the Sea


Rated R for language throughout and some sexual content.

Running time  2 Hours, 17 Min.

Synopsis

Lee Chandler is a brooding, irritable loner who works as a handyman for a
Boston apartment block. One damp winter day he gets a call summoning him to
his hometown, north of the city. His brothers heart has given out suddenly,
and hes been named guardian to his 16 year old nephew. As if losing his only
sibling and doubts about raising a teenager weren't enough, his return to
the past reopens an unspeakable tragedy.

Cast  Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler, Casey Affleck, Gretchen Mol, Kara
Hayward

Genre  Drama

 


Sing


Rated PG

Running time  1 Hour, 48 Min.

Synopsis

Set in a world like ours but entirely inhabited by animals, Sing stars
Buster Moon, a dapper Koala who presides over a once grand theater that has
fallen on hard times. Buster is an eternal optimist, okay, maybe a bit of a
scoundrel, who loves his theater above all and will do anything to preserve
it. Now facing the crumbling of his lifes ambition, he has one final chance
to restore his fading jewel to its former glory by producing the worlds
greatest singing competition.

Cast  Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett
Johansson, John C. Reilly.

Genre  Animation

 


The Recipe Box, Easy Pepper Steak


Submitted by Debi Chatfield

 

Ingredients:

1 package, (0.87 oz.) McCormick Brown Gravy Mix

3/4 cup, water

1 tablespoon, soy sauce

1 ½ to 2 pounds, flank steak or sirloin steak, thinly sliced diagonally

1 tablespoon, oil

1 medium, onion, sliced

2 bell peppers, cut in thin strips

rice (optional)

 

Directions:

Combine Brown Gravy Mix, water and soy sauce. Set aside.

Heat oil in large skillet. Saute meat 8 to 10 minutes or until brown.

Stir in Brown Gravy Mixture, bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes.

Add onion and bell peppers, simmer 10 minutes. Serve over rice, if desired.

Makes 4 servings

 


Debi’s List


 

No, this is not Craigs List, but it is the next best thing!  

If you have something to sell, or announce, send us your ad, and we will
post it, as long as there is space available in the newsletter.  

Send your ads to:

 <mailto:debichatfield at gmail.com> debichatfield at gmail.com

 

1.      Would you like to stay safe at home, school, work, online, and
everywhere in your daily life? 

I may be able to help you. 

I can come to your location and give a presentation on multiple areas of
security and safety concerns. 

 

Presentation topics range from situational awareness, home security,
workplace/school violence prevention, and holiday shopping safety. 

I can offer helpful tips for our Arizona community. 

Being blind myself, I have adapted these valuable techniques for our
specific needs. 

Contact me at, 480 251 5197, or 

rdsollars at aol.com 

with Blindness Security Workshop in the subject line. 

My fee is variable depending on travel distance. 

I look forward to assisting all of you with your security needs. 

Have A Safe Day!  

 

2.      With beautiful cooler weather here, now is a good time to be
thinking about the upcoming cycling season! 

There is an email list, specifically focused on empowering the blind into
the  arena of bicycling. 

We are a friendly community, dedicated to helping you to reach the next
level, in your fitness goals.

 

Even if you do not own a tandem, there may be local opportunities that we
can uncover, together. 

So, click on the below link and come join us. 

Introduce yourself and enjoy the ride! 

Federationists greatly encouraged!

 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Ron Burzese, NOMC

916 716 5400

rrburzese at gmail.com

 <mailto:blind_cycling-subscribe at yahoogroups.com>
blind_cycling-subscribe at yahoogroups.com

 

3.      Welcome to Leblond Tech Services, where we put our 20 years of
experience to work for you.

Whether your needs are personal or business related, we have the solution
that is right for you and easy on your pocketbook.

 

We offer Instruction in the latest mainstream and specialized technologies,
such as Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, Power Point, Access, Dragon
Naturally Speaking, JAWS for windows and much more.

 

We also set up and configure all forms of hardware, from single computers to
business networks

 

For more information go to,

 <http://www.leblondtech.com> www.leblondtech.com 

 

4.      Join a Free voice Chat Community on the Web! 

Hey Folks!  Would you like to have lots of fun and meet other blind or
visually impaired individuals from across the country and around the world?
Do you like challenging games, old time radio, adaptive cooking techniques,
a book club, chess instruction, product presentations, Bible Study, iPhone
classes, Python Programming class, real time technical assistance with your
computer, a talent showcase, and lots and lots more?  If this is what you
are looking for, join us at, Out-Of-Sight!  We offer over 40 different Chat
Rooms with something for everyone!  This site is made up of the most
friendly and courteous folks    you are likely to meet on the net!  The
Out-Of-Sight community is made up of a set of free voice chat rooms that are
extremely user friendly, and all you need is a microphone to get started!
To become a member and join our Out-Of-Sight free chat community go to the
website, at,  <http://www.out-of-sight.net/> www.out-of-sight.net  If you
have any questions or need assistance logging in, please contact,
<mailto:oosnhq at gmail.com> oosnhq at gmail.com  

We hope to see you soon!  “Catch the vision--it’s Out of Sight!” 

 


A Round of Applause


 

Thanks go out to you, our extended family here in the National Federation of
the Blind! 

You participate and spend time attending monthly meetings, raise necessary
funds to support our valuable programs, reach out to others needing the
information and resources we offer, and get to know and give support to one
another, so that we may continue to learn and grow. 

Our goal is to be independent, productive members of society, and through
your efforts and working together, we are truly changing what it means to be
blind! 

So, a big thank you to you all, and keep up the good work!  

Lets go live the lives we want!  

 


Stay Connected


 

Sending this newsletter to friends?  

Tell them they can receive this monthly newsletter by subscribing to:

Nfbaz-news-subscribe at az.nfb.org 

 

If you have any changes in your contact info for the state roster, chapters,
or divisions, please write to:

 <mailto:debichatfield at gmail.com> debichatfield at gmail.com 

and we will send your info to the appropriate people and make the necessary
corrections.

 

Contact our President, Donald Porterfield, at:

888 899 6322, or write to:

 <mailto:donaldpfield at gmail.com> donaldpfield at gmail.com 

 

If you would like to submit an announcement or article for publication in
this monthly newsletter, please send your submission to: 

 <mailto:debichatfield at gmail.com> debichatfield at gmail.com 

 


Grins and Groans, the Usual Endings


Submitted by Bob Kresmer

 

Why is a good President like a good carpenter?

    They’re both cabinetmakers.

 

How does a computer die?

It comes down with a terminal illness.

 

What’s a computer’s favorite song?

Thanks for the memory.

 


Debi Chatfield


Editor


 

 

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