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Sight Loss Monthly August 2021

August 2021                               

The Hull Foundation’s             

“Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light. – Helen Keller

Sight Loss            
Monthly News


“The publishing of this newsletter is a service of The Hull Foundation and Learning Center and is not an endorsement of any of its contents.   All products, items and other information may be used at the sole discretion of the reader.”

Editors, Hull Foundation Staff


Mission Statement …p. 3

A Message from Kerith Vance, Executive Director …p. 4

Tip of the Month: To Drive or Not to Drive …p. 5

Gadget of the Month: Wearable GPS …p. 8

All About Alexa …p. 10

Reading in the Dark Book Club …p. 11

Calling All Artists! …p. 13

Hull Park Open House …p. 14

August Mini Summer Social Retreat …p. 15

Hull Foundation Presents Zoom Meetings
August Zoom Schedule…p. 16

Living with Sight Loss Seminar…p. 20

About Hull Park…p. 20

Jokes to Keep Us Laughing …p. 21

Our Mission Statement:

The mission of the Hull Foundation and Learning Center 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, 43233 SE Oral Hull Road, Sandy, OR 97055

Message from Kerith Vance, Executive Director:

July was an exciting month with our annual Tea Party and a celebration of the Gardens of Enchantment.  It is wonderful seeing the return of guests and community members to the park space. 

As I look out the office windows, butterflies and hummingbirds are all around.  I continue to find hope and inspiration in the wildlife and nature of the park, and in the stories you each share in our Zoom presentations and as we start to meet in person. I hope you find inspiration and hope around you. 

Thank you, Kerith

Tip of the Month: To Drive or Not to Drive

Driving a car and the independence it brings, is something that most people cherish and something that is really hard to give up.  As we age, there are physical and cognitive factors that challenge our capability to drive safely.  Sight loss is one of those factors that through aging, eye disease or injury, factor into whether we continue to drive as part of daily living. 

Each state has minimum visual acuity requirements for their department of motor vehicles driver’s license tests. Oregon requires a person to have 20/70 vision in one or both eyes and 110º horizontal field ability.  The article referenced below has information on the other states’ requirements.  Visual acuity measures vision based on how clear vision is at 20 feet.  20/100 vision means a person has to be within 20 feet of an object to see it the same way someone with no vision loss sees the same object at 100 feet away. 

Nowadays there are a lot of different types of corrective lenses, bioptics, night vision glasses and more that can bring our vision within the range necessary to obtain a driving license.  Some challenges are not so easily adjusted, such as color blindness, that may prevent ability to identify signal light status, or depth perception challenges that prevent knowing how close another vehicle or stop sign may be.

Three things you can do to increase your capacity to drive and be safe are:  First, be prepared.  If you wear glasses or other corrective devices, make sure to keep them with you or in your car so they are always on hand and ready.  Plan your route and time of your trip based on when your vision works best.  Second, take caution.  Drive familiar routes, check around you often, and if you are feeling stressed or think you are making mistakes, pull over and consider having someone come get you.  Third, acknowledge your limits and speak with your doctor or family if you feel like it is time to find an alternative to driving yourself.

Also, when you go to get your driver’s license, be aware that your insurance company may require additional coverage depending on your vision condition.  When changing companies, make sure to check for the varying rates they may offer.  For more information, follow the link below:

Gadget of the Month:  Wearable GPS

New wearable with haptic GPS for the blind is now available!

This assistive device will allow the visually impaired to become more independent than ever before.  Developed by WearWorks, the Wayband has the potential to empower the visually impaired to live a life less constrained by their disability. With real-time feedback on their surroundings, they can more easily explore new areas of their city and break up routines.

How does it work?  Within the Wayband, magnetometer and compass sensors work together to provide feedback as to the wearer’s position and direction, (they measure the earth’s magnetic forces and calculate ultra-low frequency signals stemming from the North and South Poles).  Pair that with GPS technology and location data from OpenStreetMap, and you have a responsive navigation device. It all comes together with the use of haptic technology.  The greater the misstep, the stronger the vibration. This creates a “virtual corridor” that helps the wearer stay aligned with their path.  When someone wearing the Wayband is going the right way, they won’t feel any sensations. However, if they start to veer off course, a small vibration helps them get back on track.

The Wayband can be pre-ordered today at a discounted price for $179.

For more information, follow the link below:

About Alexa

Amazon’s Alexa devices are slowly but surely changing the lives of millions of people, including those who are visually impaired or blind.  How can Alexa help blind and visually impaired seniors?  Because Alexa is a voice activated tool, those who are blind or visually impaired can use it for tasks such as texting, phone calls, list making, checking on the calendar, turning devices on an off, calling 911 and much, much more.  Any product that can be initiated by a voice command should be easier for anyone who is visually impaired to use and Alexa fits that very well.

To find out more, follow the link below:

Alexa For Blind Seniors And Adults Who Are Visually Impaired (

“Reading in the Dark” Book Club

The Book Club has decided to take a break for the summer and will resume after Labor Day on September 7th. In the meantime, here are the books that will be discussed at the first meeting:

Even now DB65716

Kingsbury, Karen. Reading time: 10 hours, 18 minutes.

Summary:  Eighteen-year-old Emily Anderson sets out to find her birth parents–Lauren Gibbs, a war correspondent in Afghanistan and Iraq, and Top Gun flight instructor Shane Galanter–who were torn apart by lies at Emily’s birth. Emily finally locates them, but it will take faith and determination to reunite the family. 2005.

Ever after DB66031

Kingsbury, Karen. Reading time: 10 hours, 33 minutes.

Summary:  College student Emily Anderson’s love for soldier Justin Baker inspires Emily’s reunited birth parents, war correspondent Lauren Gibbs and flight instructor Shane Galanter, as they struggle with conflicting views of war, politics, and faith. When tragedy strikes, Lauren and Shane rethink their differences. Sequel to Even Now (RC 65716). 2006.

Calling All Artists!

Calling all artists!  Do you sculpt, felt, paint, draw, sew, carve, weld, or otherwise create works of art?  The Hull Foundation and Learning Center is preparing a new opportunity to raise awareness of sight loss while also raising funds for you and our service programs.  We are planning an online silent art auction for this fall.  Deadline to submit your artwork is September 8th. If you are interested in sharing your story and your art, please contact our office to register by emailing or by calling 503-668-6195.

Hull Park Open House

When:  August 7th 

Where:  Hull Park and Retreat Center

Time:  10am to 4pm

Come join us at Hull Park for an Open House!  We will be giving tours of the beautiful 22-acre grounds, having a barbeque lunch, meet and greet with the foundation staff, hosting a garden tour, pot-a-plant to take home with you, and a Hull Park trivia contest with prizes!  Transportation is provided from designated pick-up locations.  Please contact the office for registration and more information at 503-668-6195.

August Mini Summer Social Retreat

We are planning a Mini Summer Social Retreat this August 25-28!  Come out and enjoy time with friends old and new for a couple days of summer fun and sight-seeing in the Mt. Hood region.  Space will be limited, so if you are interested, please email us at or call our office at 503-668-6195 to be added to our reservation list.

Hull Foundation Presents Zoom Meetings

Our August Zoom meetings have something for everyone and are full of interesting topics that can assist you in your everyday life. Bring a friend or spouse!  Sighted or not!! If you would like to sign up to receive a weekly email with the Zoom schedule for the week and the links to the meetings, please email the office at or call us at 503-668-6195.  If you are not an email user, then you can call us on Mondays to receive the call-in number and Meeting ID number for meetings you are interested in attending via phone.

August Zoom schedule:

Tuesday 8/3/21 1-2pm

Preparing for Camping

Wednesday 8/4/21 10-11am

Why is a Vision Assessment Important

Thursday 8/5/21 1-2pm

Group Chat- The Grandkids are Coming Over

Thursday 8/5/21 7-8pm

Group Chat- Ask a Sight Loss Instructor

Tuesday 8/10/21 10-11am

Group Chat- Adjusting to Sight Loss

Tuesday 8/10/21 1-2pm

Recreation and Leisure with Sight Loss

Wednesday 8/11/21 10-11am

Introduction to iPhone 2

Wednesday 8/11/21 1-2pm

Group Chat- RP/Sight and Hearing Loss

Thursday 8/12/21 10-11am

Northwest Association for Blind Athletes

Thursday 8/12/21 1-2pm

Introduction to Zoom

Tuesday 8/17/21 1-2pm

Accessing Streaming Services

Wednesday 8/18/21 10-11am

Introduction to iPad

Thursday 8/19/21 10-11am

What is Happening at Hull Park?

Thursday 8/19/21 6:30-7:30pm

Group Chat- How are you Doing and How are you Dealing?

Tuesday 8/24/21 10-11am

Life Lessons with Dr. Hoby Webler

Wednesday 8/25/21 1-2pm

Airs LA- Podcasts for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Thursday 8/26/21 1-2pm

Tips for Navigating Windows 10 with a Screen Reader

Tuesday 8/31/21 1-2pm

Be My Eyes, Seeing AI, and Other Assistance When Needed

Living with Sight Loss Seminar

Your Hull Foundation Team is planning an educational seminar September 8-10th. We will cover a variety of topics related to daily living skills, orientation and mobility, and more, through immersion workshops designed to help you adjust to changes brought on by sight loss.  Please email the office at or call 503-668-6195 for more information and registration details.

About Hull Park

We are happy to announce that we have hired a new chef!  His name is Matt Bendel.  He is a Portland native who comes to us from the Jam on Hawthorne Café and Art House in Portland, Oregon.  He specializes in desserts, baked goods, and barbeque.  He also enjoys the Portland craft beer scene and brew pub food.  Matt stated, “I’m excited to bring a fresh face to Hull Park and prepare exciting cuisine.” Make sure when you come for a visit to pop your head into the kitchen and say welcome to Matt!

Jokes to Keep you Laughing…or Groaning!
-Why do bananas use sun cream?  

So they don’t peel!

-Why did the teacher jump into the pool? Because they wanted to test the water!

-What letter is the coolest?

Iced T!

-What is grey has four legs and a trunk?

A mouse going on holiday!

Stay well, stay safe, stay happy!

The Hull Foundation Family

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