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Low Vision September Newsletter

September 2020

The Hull Foundation’s

Low Vision Monthly News


Editor:  Julie Wright


Mission Statement, p. 2

Starting School Again! p. 3

Thoughts to Consider, p. 5

Staying Active, p. 6

Tip of the Month: Using Zoom with iPhones and iPads P. 9

Gadget of the Month: Writing Guides, p. 11

Hull Foundation Presents…, p. 13

Workshops: “Living with Sight Loss” meetings, p. 14

Book Club… p. 17

This Month’s Book Suggestions, p. 18

Other Publications of Interest, p. 20

Braille Lessons, p.21

A Little Extra Understanding: TedTalks,  p.21

Jokes to Keep Us Laughing, Last Page

Our Mission Statement:

The mission of the Oral Hull Foundation for the Blind is to provide programs, facilities and services including social, educational and recreational activities for people who are blind and visually impaired.

“Keeping Hope & Dreams Alive!”

*If you would prefer to receive this newsletter by email, or to unsubscribe, please call the Hull Foundation at 503.668.6195 or send an email to:
Address: PO Box 157, Sandy, OR 97055
43233 SE Oral Hull Road, Sandy, OR 97055

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Starting School Again!

Hello Friends,

      Many of us remember the month of September to be when we would all go back to school.  After a summer of fun and sun, we’d regroup with our friends, learn where our classes were, and settle in to the school routine.  Ah, the good old days!

      This year, many kids are starting their school year with online classes by embracing platforms like Zoom.  If you haven’t heard, Zoom is a video conferencing platform that allows people with computers and telephones to get connected in the same spot; a virtual spot.  Like a party line, a group of people can be connected at the same time and hold conversations. It’s a great way to stay social and learn new things.  Many young students will be attending school this year using such platforms. 

      In fact, many organizations are offering services on such platforms, too.  The Hull Foundation is one of them and we are asking you to come join us.  Don’t let all the kids have all the fun as they start their exciting new school year.  You can also start school with the added bonus of choosing your own adventures by joining one or all of the workshops the Hull Foundation is offering – free of charge.

      Keep reading this newsletter to learn what the Hull Foundation is offering in the upcoming months.  Be sure to read the “Tip of the Month” and the “Gadget of the Month”, too.  Learning should never stop, and the Hull Foundation is determined to provide you with ways to learn about living with blindness and sight loss.  Of course, if social events are all you seek, we offer those, too. 

      After reading this newsletter, if you have any questions about any events, please call us at 503-668-6195.

      Happy New School Year!


            The Staff at the Hull Foundation

Thoughts to Consider from our Zoom Gatherings

       Clark says that his music (playing the piano) is more meaningful now with his sight loss because he can’t read the sheet music and has to focus on the sound of it.  Becky adds that she now appreciates colors more as she experiences them with her remaining vision.  What about you?  Is there something in your daily life that you have realized is more meaningful to you since you are losing or have lost your sight?

      What about during the pandemic? What things have been more meaningful now that the pandemic is going on?  Darlene said she got some plants and hasn’t done that in a long time.

      One of our members would love to speak Spanish with a small group of people.  Not as a class, just a group to practice English and Spanish.  Are you interested?  If so, call us and we can connect you.  Phone:  503-668-6195

      Otherwise, know that the Hadley Institute for the Blind has a weekly “Spanish Chat” to practice Spanish with others.  You can listen in or speak as often as you wish.  You choose!  “Spanish Chat” is every Thursday at 10:30 am Central Time (8:30 am Pacific Time).  More info is on the next page.

Hadley Info

Phone: 800-323-4238


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Staying Active

      It is so important to keep active during this time of social distancing.  Yet, it can be difficult.  Here are a few ways to keep moving:

1.          Walking Across America

      Our activity group has “walked” all the way to Cape Cod in a grand adventure and we are now on our way back to Oregon.  We are currently in Branson, Missouri enjoying the Dolly Parton Stampede, The Silver Dollar City and Legends in Concert.  We aren’t done yet and we want you to join us!  We now have over 20 members; if you haven’t joined us yet, please consider doing so.  It is a great way to stay motivated to move and you’ll enjoy some great stories as we travel. 

      The Hull Foundation continues to welcome sponsors for our walk. No amount is too small!  Current sponsors have raised $3,328!  This means a great deal to us!  As a non-profit during COVID-19, we have had greater than normal financial challenges.  We are so grateful to those who have sponsored and supported our walking group!

      Please, choose an active lifestyle, too.  Join our walk and help us get back home to the west coast. 

   How to Give us Miles:

Any kind of exercise or hobby time works!  20 minutes of activity equals 1 mile. Just call the office between 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm and leave a message with the amount of time you clocked or the miles you walked.  We do the rest.

   Office Phone Number:  503-668-6195

2.          NWABA:  Northwest Association for Blind Athletes.

      NWABA serves the states of OR, WA, ID, and MT.  Since Aug. 10th, they have been offering live accessible virtual workouts.  You can call in or video chat.  There are virtual athlete orientations coming up on Sept. 3rd and 15th.  Contact NWABA and Megan Ahleman to register or ask questions.

   NWABA Info

Phone:  360-768-5649



3.          Eyes-Free Fitness

      Mel Scott created the free-of-charge Eyes-Free Fitness exercise program so folks wouldn’t have to strain themselves to see the screen while exercising.  She is also adding accessible audio only programs that include yoga, Pilates, cardio, weightlifting, stability ball, Barre Method, a balance series, foam roller, stretching, and meditations. 

For more information, go to Easy Link that explains website and program. (Press CTRL and click on link):




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Tip of the Month: Using Zoom with iPhones and iPads

   Muting and Un-Muting

      The tools for muting and raising your hand and other options will be located at the bottom of your device. There will be a microphone icon either on the bottom left or the bottom right. You can click that for muting or un-muting your sound.  

   Video On/Off, the 3-Dot Button, and Raising Hand

      On the other side, there will be tools such as turning on and off your video as well as a button with three dots. When you click on the button with three dots a window will open up with more options. One of these options is raising your hand.

      NOTE: These buttons may change just a little bit depending on what model of iPhone you have as well as what version of operating system and zoom software you have. You may have to do a little searching around. If you have any questions please feel free to ask us.

iPad Tips with Zoom

   Muting and Un-Muting, Video, and Raising Hand

      These tools should be located on the top right corner. There will be a microphone button for muting and off muting as well as a camera button for turning on and off your video. There will also be a button with three dots. When you click this button there will be an option to raise your hand along with a few other options.       NOTE: Depending on the size of your iPad, the location of these buttons may vary. You may have to do a little searching around. If you have any questions please feel free to ask us.

Android Tips with Zoom

   Devices Vary

      When using an Android, try double clicking on the center of the screen with one or two fingers on the device.  This may bring up the toolbar which will include muting and video options.

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Gadget of the Month: Writing Guides

      Remember the power of communication.  Even if you are unable to see your written notes, others may benefit from your handwritten notes.  There are templates you can purchase that may help you.  For example, the Letter Writing Guide with standard or wide spaces.

      The Letter Writing Guide is a template that covers an 8 x 11 piece of paper.  It has 13 (standard) or 9 (wide) cut-out spaces that span the width of the paper.  You write in these spaces to keep lines straight and unmerged. 

Tips to be successful:

(1) Use print, not cursive.

(2) Use one hand to keep your place and the other to write, this will decrease writing over your own print.

(3) Keep at least one hand on the paper as you change lines, to decrease writing over your own print.  How? When you reach the end of a line, place and keep your right finger at that spot.  Drop your left hand to the next line and backtrack to its beginning.  Keep your left finger there while you bring your pen to that spot. Begin writing again.

(4) Use a paper clip to mark where you stopped writing to allow you to return at a later time.

(5) Practice!  Have others read your writing.  Can they?  If so, fabulous! If not, ask them to give useful tips that could help; no criticism necessary or allowed.  Remember to give yourself some grace and know others have this same challenge.

All items described can be purchased in catalogs

Maxi Aids:

Phone:  800-522-6294



Phone: 800-468-4789



Phone: 800-537-2118


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Hull Foundation Presents….”

Meet Friends during our online/over-the-phone meetings that are semi-social and educational.

First Wednesday

      When:  Wed., Oct. 7

      Where:  Zoom Meeting

      Time:  1:00 p.m.
Call for Zoom sign in info or email to:

Third Wednesdays

      When:  Wed., Sept. 16 and Oct. 21

      Where:  Zoom Meeting

      Time:  10:00 a.m.

Call for Zoom sign in info or email to:

If you have a topic you would like to present, let us know!

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Workshops: “Living with Sight Loss”

      Tips and resources for those new to vision loss.

      The Vision Loss Instructors at the Hull Foundation have been working hard to bring information from our previous 3-day seminars to your home via Zoom.  We host them on the first and third Tuesdays of each month from 10:00 A.M. to 11:30 A.M.  They are free and are a 1-hour presentation followed by 30 minutes of discussion on various topics.  We also send helpful supplies if appropriate which complement the discussion to those who sign up early. 

      Don’t shy away due to technology! You can just use your touch phone.  Or, if you have access to other technology, we will help you become comfortable joining these meetings with “practice runs” before the meeting date.

      It all begins with a phone call! 503-668-6195

Our first “Living with Sight Loss” workshop was successfully held on Tuesday, August 18th, called “Notetaking with Sight Loss”.  We had 15 attendees and discussed many resources to help improve one’s ability to take and successfully use notes.  Some questions were in regards to technology and our Technology Instructor, Marty Sobo, was able to give general answers to the group.  He connected with folks in the days after the meeting, to give more specific answers and instruction to those who requested.

      Other resources shared were practical tips, how to use writing and signature guides, using calendars, and catalogs to find supplies, and so much more.  Some of the shared information is included in this newsletter but not all.  Please sign up and attend our future “Living with Sight Loss” workshops to be part of the full learning experience.

Our 3rd “Living with Sight Loss” class

      When: Tuesday, Sept. 15th at 10:00 A.M.

      Topic: “Magnification”. 

      Summary: We will discuss the different kinds of magnification and equipment, simple techniques to hold magnifiers, Functional Vision Assessments and the professionals who give them, and what type of magnification you can access with a smartphone.  Have your magnification aids next to you during the meeting as we may give you some specific tips for your devices.

Future Topics

      Future topics include Safety in Your Home, Home Orientation, Connecting with Others, Communications and Technology, Tools for Walking Safely, The Power of the Mobility Cane, Maintaining Hobbies, Games, Getting Ready for the Holidays, and Access to Braille.

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Book Club

Our Book Club meets on the first and third Thursday of each month from 10:00 – 11:30 A.M.  It is very important to RSVP at least 1 day before the event.  (503) 668-6195

When:  Thurs., Sept. 3rd

Where:  Zoom Meeting ID: 85862522455

      Phone Number: (253) 215-8782 US (Tacoma)

 Or (346) 248-7799 (Houston)

Time:  10:00 a.m.

Thursday September 17th   
 Zoom Meeting ID  83776825172

      We recently read and discussed “The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain (DB 92569). Each person described how they got so into the story that their heart rate went up, even jumping during suspenseful parts.  Questions presented by readers included (1) Has anyone been in a situation in their life that seemed unbelievable, but you eventually accepted it? (2) If time travel were possible, where would you want to visit?

      See the following Book Selection for the next book we are reading.  It’s called, “Sold on a Monday” by Kristina McMorris (DB 93331).

      This virtual book club gathers online. If you want to join us, it will be easier if you already have the Zoom app downloaded onto your smartphone or computer.  Does this sound like a different language?  It’s okay, give us a call before that day and we can help you get started.  (503) 668-6195

This Month’s Book suggestions   

The following book title starts with a DB number.  This is a catalog number given when using the free Talking Book service through the National Library Service.  Don’t have Talking Books yet or need to sign up for BARD, their online book library?  Call them at 1-888-657-7323

      These books were recommended during our Book Club. Did you have a great read recently?  Share it with us and we’ll put it in the newsletter.

·    DB 93331 “Sold on a Monday” by Kristina McMorris.

     Historical fiction.  While out on assignment, a reporter reads a sign, “2 children for sale”, with 2 brothers sitting beside it.  The accompanying article he writes has devastating consequences that must be set right.

·    DB “This Tender Land” by William Kent Krugar.

      Historical Fiction.  Odie, his brother, his best friend and Emmy use a canoe to travel down the Mississippi River, intent on finding a new place for themselves.

Want more?  Join our Book Club!

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Other Publications of Interest

There is so much information out there that keeps us, as folks with blindness and low sight, informed and supported.  If you like what you read in the Hull Foundation’s newsletter, you may also want to consider reading publications from other organizations, too. 

Let us introduce you to the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB).  They focus on education for professionals and consumers and offer a few publications that may be of interest to you. The free ones are listed below. You can visit their website at or call (212) 502-7627

  1. “AccessWorld®” – Objective information, smart and informed commentary, and news/trends concerning technology and visual impairment are published monthly in this publication.
  2.  “Focus on AFB” – Keep up to date on AFB’s latest activities with this quarterly newsletter.

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Braille Lessons

      The Hull Foundation offers braille lessons.  If you want to be part of a beginner’s class that begins in September, please let us know! It is free but there is limited spacing.  If you already know braille but would like to refresh what you know, we have an intermediate group that meets virtually on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month from 10:00 A.M. to 11:30 A.M.  Contact us for more information.

      Phone: (503) 668-6195

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A Little Extra Understanding: Ted Talks

      A great wealth of information and inspirational stories are available on a platform called “Ted Talks”.  You can access them through (1) Netflix or Apple TV, (2) your computer at

or (3) the Ted Talk App for your smartphone

      One Ted Talk, called “Making sense of life, loss, and love through music”, is relevant to the sight loss journey, although it never speaks of sight loss.  It is told by Zoe Keating, the famed Canadian-born cellist and composer.  She tells her story of losing her husband to cancer and how she used music to move forward. She ends with a beautiful cello piece she admits to not being finished; because she is not yet finished.  She calls it, “Possible”. 

      If you are reading this newsletter on paper, you can find the Ted Talk online by doing a general search for “Zoe Keating Making Sense of Life”.

      If you are reading this newsletter online, you can press CTRL button and click the following link for quick access:

Continued on next page

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Jokes to Keep Us Laughing!

Here are some jokes to keep us laughing this month…

  1. Q: What did the duck say when she bought lipstick?

A: Put it on my bill.

  • A teacher asked her students to use the word “beans” in a sentence.  “My father grows beans,” said one girl.  “My mother cooks beans,” said a boy.  A third student spoke up, “We are all human beans.”
  • Q: What do you get when you cross a fish and an elephant?

A: Swimming trunks

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The End, thanks for reading!

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