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Sight Loss Monthly August 2023

Email-Sight Loss Monthly August 2023

August 2023

The Hull Foundation

Monthly Sight Loss News

“The publishing of this newsletter is a service of The Hull Foundation and Learning Center Inc. It 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

For Your Safety: Door Lock Options…p. 4

My White Can is My Tool…p. 6

Reading in the Dark Book Club…p. 11

A Healthier Ice Cream – Blueberry Coconut

Ice Cream…p.13

Hull Foundation Events and Seminars…p. 17

Hull Foundation Zoom Meetings…p. 18
Jokes to Keep You Laughing…p. 19

Contact Us…p. 20

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 with blindness and sight loss.

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For Your Safety: Door Lock Options

  • Marja Byers, Sight Loss Instructor

A group of us blind folks were chatting over coffee one morning when one of the ladies mentioned that her sons had installed a new door lock that allows up to 5 people to use their fingerprints to unlock the door. I didn’t know they made such things! After a rather scary personal event earlier in the month I see that such a lock is now a necessity for me as I live alone, and our apartments no longer have an on-site manager. I looked at a number of different types of locks, including keypad locks and exterior key lock boxes. I settled on a fingerprint lock from Amazon, having a local Amazon distribution center, I received the lock in less than 3 hours after I ordered it. It installed with a Phillips screwdriver, (though I’m waiting until I have sighted help), no drilling required. If you rent, be sure to ask the management for an okay before you install. The features that I liked are:

-can record numerous fingerprints.

-you can set temporary keypad codes, even remotely.

-it has three “tiles” that will also unlock your door.

-it has a backup key system.

-it connects by Bluetooth.

-it works with Alexa and Google home devices.

-it records when the lock has been accessed and when there were attempts to access.

-I read a number of positive reviews for the price, I was able to get it $50 off the list price and it had the features that I was looking for.

I have not yet installed it; I’ll have to let you all know what I think in a future newsletter!

My White Cane is my Tool

  • Meagan Moore, Sight Loss Instructor

This August 2023 will be my two-year anniversary of officially becoming a white cane user. Although I was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) in April 2011, about 12 years ago, I waited 10 years before getting the training to use a white cane. At first, like many, I was horrified by the idea of needing a white cane, of needing to let the whole world know I was vulnerable.

Thankfully, my perspective has changed. I have met several other blind and low vision individuals. I enjoy how diverse the low vision/blind community is and how supportive they are. I was told repeatedly that I have a slow progression of sight loss, and I was told to hold out for a cure, and I was even in a clinical trial that could potentially be the first treatment to help stall my specific type of sight loss. I still was noticing I was slowly isolating myself. I had stopped driving, I avoided uncomfortable situations which were becoming more frequent; crowds, dim lighting, events in the evening, whether my husband was available to go or not, and so forth. I remember watching a zoom call during the Covid-19 Pandemic with other RP individuals and a question was presented: “What would you tell the younger generation now that you have lost your sight?” One lady was very passionate and responded that we must stay ahead of the progressive sight loss, we must learn the tools before we go completely blind, it’ll just make the journey less complicated and less emotional. We already grieve so much. I really appreciated what she had to say, she gave many examples and was very positive about how useful these “tools” are. She talked about learning assistive devices before we need them, to learn about white canes and guide dogs sooner than later and so forth. I looked at my family, my beautiful action-packed kids and adventure seeking husband and I remember thinking, “I need to do this for them.

I did the research; I tried several different ways to get white cane training also known as Orientation and Mobility or O&M. I went to Leader Dogs for the Blind in Michigan where I stayed for a week. It was paid for by the non-profit. I was well fed, housed in dorms on site, and I was given personalized training for my specific needs. I learned how to hike safely, walk at night and I gained confidence. I came home and I have been so grateful since. I realized I do not need to use the white cane every moment but when I do I feel like I can see so much more, instead of having my head bent over and staring at my feet, I can stand tall and look ahead and around and see so much more! I don’t think of the cane negatively anymore but rather that it is a tool that helps me navigate, helps me stay safe, gives my family confidence that I can still go out and about and it lets the public know I have trouble seeing. Sure, it is hard at times, but it has been well worth the awkward moments. Most people were very receptive and helpful.

Stay tuned because we hope to talk about how the white cane does not have to be white… I know an artist who will do personalized paintings on your white cane or maybe it is a bright color you prefer? Just because we’re low vision or blind doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy stylish white canes.

Reading in the Dark Book Club

  • Marja Byers, Sight Loss Instructor

In July we read and discussed “A Tale for the Time Being” by Ruth Ozeki, DB76696. Later in the month we discussed both “Ellen Foster” by Kay Gibbons, DB44846 and “Are You There God? It’s me, Margaret.” by Judy Blume, DB37405. All three books center around three very different young girls emerging as young women. In August we’ll take a different path!

August 8- “We Came, We Saw, We Left; a family gap year” by Charles Wheelan, DB108450, 10:14.

“What would happen if you quit your life for a year? In a pre-COVID-19 world, the Wheelan family decided to find out; leaving behind work, school, and even the family dogs to travel the world on a modest budget. Equal parts “how-to” and “how-not-to” and with an eye toward a world emerging from a pandemic – We Came, We Saw, We Left is the insightful and often hilarious account of one family’s gap-year experiment.”

August 22- “Remarkably Bright Creatures” by Shelby Van Pelt, DB107924, 11:18.

“‘Remarkably Bright Creatures’, an exploration of friendship, reckoning, and hope, tracing a widow’s unlikely connection with a giant pacific octopus. Shelby Van Pelt’s debut novel is a gentle reminder that sometimes taking a hard look at the past can help uncover a future that once felt impossible.”

Both books should be fun, (but still thought provoking), summer reads. We hope you’ll join us on the second and fourth Tuesday’s at 1:00 pm PT, even if you haven’t read the book!

Marja Byers, SLI

A Healthier Ice Cream – Blueberry Coconut Ice Cream

  • Desiree Christian-Sight Loss Instructor


2 Tbs. roasted flax seeds or 4 eggs

2 (15 ounce) cans full-fat coconut milk, chilled

2 cups blueberries

1 Tbs. lemon juice

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. coconut oil

1 tsp. stevia powder or 1 cup regular sugar

½ tsp. xanthan gum, or more as desired If you are using Stevia, you will need this ingredient. If using sugar, you can probably get away without it. Xanthan Gum helps your ice cream not freeze into a block of ice because you are using less sugar.

¼ tsp. Himalayan black salt or Kosher salt


  1. Pulse flax seeds in a coffee grinder until finely ground.

  2. Combine 1 can coconut milk, blueberries, and lemon juice in a blender or stick blender or food processor; puree until blueberry skins break down completely. Add ground flax seeds, remaining coconut milk, vanilla extract, coconut oil, stevia, xanthan gum, and salt, puree until very smooth.

  3. Transfer blender container to the freezer to chill mixture briefly, about 15 minutes.

  4. Pour mixture into an ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a lidded container before serving.

Cook’s Notes:

Use fresh or frozen blueberries (thawed) as desired. Adjust amount based on your preferences and the type of blueberries used. Wild blueberries have more concentrated

flavor and color than domestic, so you’d need less.


Stevia – The stevia can be partially or wholly substituted with about 1 cup powdered erythritol or another sweetener.

You can use other fruit as well, if you are carb or sugar counting raspberries have the lowest glycemic index. You can either Google the glycemic index of other fruits or ask your smart device.

Flax seed – InReplacer (flax seeds, you can use the same amount of ground chia seeds, up to 2 Tbs. Ener-G(R) Egg Replacer (TM), or whatever you like to use in place of 4 eggs.

Hull Foundation Events and Seminars:

-Summer Raffle Fundraiser – June 1st-August 31st Call the office for details

-Summer Adventure August 18th-26th Registration is closed-FULL

-Diamond Jubilee August 20th open to the public everyone is welcome!

-Sighted Spouses Seminar September 6th-8th

-One Day Fun Day to the Fruit Loop in Hood River, OR September 14th

-One Day Fun Day Thorns Soccer Game September 23rd

If you are interested in any of our Recreational Getaway Events, One Day Fun Day Events, Seminars and Retreats, please contact our office and get signed up! The spots can fill up very quickly, so jump in with both feet, save your spot and come out to Hull Park in 2023!

Hull Foundation Presents Zoom Meetings:

Zoom meetings will include topics on tech, cooking, crafting, book club and a class on forgetfulness that has been immensely popular. If you are interested, please join us. 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 that week’s classes and the call-in number and Meeting ID number for meetings you are interested in attending via phone.

Jokes to Keep you Laughing…or Groaning!

Q. What goes up and down but doesn’t move?

A. A staircase.

Two guys walk into a bar. The third guy ducks!

Q. What kind of tree fits in your hand?

A. A palm tree.

Stay well, stay safe, and stay happy!

Contact Us:

The Hull Foundation Family
Phone: 503-668-6195



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