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Sight Loss Monthly January 2022

January 2022

The Hull Foundation’s

Picture is of 15 guests in a group looking at the camera, standing in a snow-covered meadow while enjoying snowshoeing on Mt. Hood. during Winter Adventure Retreat 2022.

Sight Loss        

Monthly 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

A Message from Mary Lee Turner …p. 4

Tip of the Month:  When the Weather Outside is Frightful! …p. 5

Tech Tip: Voice Over Gestures …p. 8

Reading in the Dark Book Club …p. 10

Hull Foundation Presents Zoom Meetings …p. 11

January Zoom Schedule…p. 12

Virtual Walkathon …p. 15

Safety in the Kitchen with Kat …p. 21

Winter Adventure Retreat 2022 …p. 25

Ushers Conference …p. 26

Upcoming Events…p. 27

Jokes to Keep Us Laughing …p. 31

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.

*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: 

Message from Mary Lee, Board Member

After serving on the Board of Directors for eleven years, my terms have ended for this time around. In that time, I was privileged to assist in creating programs, seminars, workshops, and modules for training staff and family members of seniors experiencing sight loss and blindness. Wow did we have fun, and we still do!  I treasure the opportunities I have to stand with you as you move through fears and tears to laughter and celebrations. I want to encourage each of you to live your life to the fullest with safety, efficiency, dignity, and FUN!  I look forward to seeing you at our Living with Sight Loss Seminars, which I am co-facilitating, in 2022. 

Thanking you for your ongoing participation and financial support.

Respectfully submitted by Mary Lee Turner

Tip of the Month:  When the Weather Outside is Frightful!

By Marja Byers, Sight Loss Instructor

During a recent staff meeting, it was suggested that I write a tip of the month about mobility during inclement weather. I had to laugh, “The day I got my white cane I asked the Orientation and Mobility instructor what I should do in inclement weather? He said, ‘You don’t go out.’” So, we decided that it might be a very short article. I live less than 150 feet above sea level, we just don’t get much snow and ice. Then Sight Loss Instructor Teresa mentioned that when she moved up from California, she had heard about our terrible ice storms, so she purchased a pair of crampons with heavy Velcro straps. She said that on ice, they are “a complete game changer”! They can be purchased from Amazon for $20-$30 and if you have access to an REI, you can check them out in person. The difference between cleats and crampons are that cleats are often plastic bumps; crampons should have metal spikes. And are designed for mountaineering. As Teresa advised, if you are a guide dog handler these are not a good idea as stepping on a dog’s foot could be career ending.

 If you don’t want to invest in footwear, putting socks over shoes can help with traction in snow and ice. If you happen to have cat litter you can throw it on the ground in front of you as you walk for traction, kind of like an odd flower girl!

Another stability helper are trekking poles, also around $20-$30 on Amazon for the less expensive models, and they come with various tips. I have found that what I need a cane for in snow is to help identify sidewalks versus green spaces such as a yard. I used a cane that had a larger round rubber stopper on the end, I think trekking poles would work better.

These days if we have ice, I am sticking to the advice of my first O&M instructor, I’m staying inside.

Safe Travels!

Tech Tip: Voice Over Gestures

By Marty Sobo and Michael Babcock, Sight Loss Instructors

Here are a few Voice Over gestures to get you started. These would be the main few you would need to get started:

Single finger swipe right and left- This navigates you around. For example, if you were on the Safari icon you would swipe right to go to the next icon. Swipe left to go to the previous icon. This also works inside of apps such as messages and email. You would swipe right to go to the next email or message. Swipe left to go to the previous email or message.

Single finger double tap- This is how you enter an app. For example, you land on Safari then single finger double tap to enter into Safari. This works on all apps. This will also open anything that’s linked. For example, if you come across a link in an email message, you can single finger double tap to open the link.

Two finger double tap- This allows you to answer the phone, hang up the phone, or start and stop any playing audio such as music or podcasts. For example, when the phone rings you two finger double tap to answer. When you’re done you can two finger double tap to end the call. If you’re listening to music and you would like to pause or stop it, you can two finger double tap and it will pause or stop the music.

Single finger swipe up from the bottom- This is how you exit out of any app and go back to the home screen. You place your finger on the line in the center bottom of your screen. You hold your finger on that line while swiping up. When you feel a little bit of haptic feedback you let go. You slide up about a quarter of the way up the screen. Once this is completed, you’ll be back to your home screen and out of any app you were just in.

All of these take just a little bit of patience and a little bit of practice but you should get it in no time. Good luck!

“Reading in the Dark” Book Club

When:  Tuesday January 11th and 25th, 2022 at 10:00am.

In December we read “A Redbird Christmas” by Fannie Flagg DB 58836

After a startling diagnosis from his doctor, Oswald T. Campbell leaves behind the cold and damp of the oncoming Chicago winter to spend what he believes will be his last Christmas in the warm and welcoming town of Lost River. There he meets the postman who delivers mail by boat, the store owner who nurses a broken heart, the ladies of the Mystic Order of the Royal Polka Dots Secret Society, who do clandestine good works. And he meets a little redbird named Jack.

At our first meeting in January 2022, we will be discussing all the books that we have been reading and will pick our next few book selections.

Join us for a fun hour of discussion and comradery! Come prepared with ideas for our next books!


Hull Foundation Presents Zoom Meetings

Our January 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.

January Zoom Schedule
Thursday 1/6/22  1-2pm  Group Chat, 2021 Memories.  Share your good, funny, challenging and memorable 2021 memories with us!
Tuesday 1/11/22 10-11am  Reading in the Dark Book Club.
Wednesday 1/12/22  10-11am  Emergency Preparedness for those with low vision. No one likes to be involved in an emergency but there are ways you can take control of most any situation when needed.

Wednesday 1/12/22  1-2pm  How are you Doing and How are you Dealing?  Let’s talk about “YOU”.

Thursday 1/13/22 1-2pm Group Chat:  Ask a Sight Loss Instructor and learn about upcoming events at the Hull Foundation.

Tuesday 1/18/22 1-2pm HeartMath: The Quick Coherence Technique.

Wednesday 1/19/22 10-11am  Tech Gadget
Q&A plus information about upcoming tech workshops.

Wednesday 1/19/22 1-2pm Group Chat: Sight & Hearing Loss. Come join us with your questions, observations and challenges.

Thursday 1/20/22  10-11am Tips and tricks for hearing aids use with sight loss.

Tuesday 1/25/22  10-11am Reading in the Dark Book Club.

Tuesday 1/25/22  1-2pm  The Difference in Smart Speakers – What they can and can not do. It can be confusing but we are here to sort out the differences.

Wednesday 1/26/22  10-11am How Do You Eat an Elephant?  How to get what you want and need.
Wednesday 1/26/22  1-2pm  All About Bookshare – Bookshare makes reading easier for people with blindness.  You can customize your experience to suit any learning style and find virtually any book you need for school, work or the job of reading.

Thursday 1/27/22  1-2pm  Group Chat: Preparing for Valentine’s Day. Great ideas to share this day with friends, family, loved ones or just YOU!
Thursday 1/27/22  6:30-8pm  How are Doing and How are you Dealing?  Open mic! You determine the topic(s).

Virtual Walkathon

By Kat Rogers, Sight Loss Instructor

Virtual World Walkathon conclusion.

I want to thank everybody who helped us to raise funds during this world walkathon. If any of you have missed any days, just let me know, and I will get them out to you. We were able to conclude in our time frame of fewer than 80 days. Both the education that everybody gained, and the knowledge of geography made it fun. But for those who were able to give sponsorships either to themselves or other walkers, a huge thank you from Hull Foundation and Learning Center.

Here is a little excerpt from the World Walk. Enjoy!

*Day 59

As morning came, we found ourselves right on the northern coast of Oman at the Khasab Port. The fjord-like craggy inlets and desolate mountains had provoked Khasab to be dubbed the ‘Norway of Arabia’ although the rugged coastline and warm climate provide more of a middle eastern touch. For many years the port was the central point for transport. The city was isolated from the rest of the region due to its distance from the other cities and the lack of infrastructure for cars and trains. Recently, however, the city had realized the necessity to make itself more accessible, slowly becoming more tourism focused.

The city still holds strong religious traditions, so the restaurants and cafes around the port area only serve authentic local cuisine and were only occupied by single men. After the hectic lifestyle belonging to Muscat and Dubai, Khasab offers the opportunity for a peaceful break around the shoreline. The port only offers ferry routes to other ports around Oman, including crossings to Muscat, Shinas, and Dibba. The sailings are fairly infrequent and can vary from season to season, so it was advisable to check for updates.

For us women, we chose to have our breakfast in our rooms with food that the guys brought back for us. Our next country is Iran, and we need to cross the Persian Gulf to get there. But as we heard, the ferry was not very regular, so Merle and KAT arranged for us to have a different way across.

KAT said that this was a fun trip across.

Once we gathered at the shoreline, we boarded a traditional boat dhow– which was built in Doha in the early nineteen-seventies. The majority of the dhow’s ribs were left more or less as the tree trunks and branches and were only trimmed at their junctions with the planks of the boat. I don’t know if I understood correctly in referring to dhows as feminine in the characterization of the West. I believe some dhows are male and some female, but I’m not sure which are which. One authority suggests that those crafted with a thick and short prow are female, and those with a long and fine prow are male. But this is not large enough to carry us and the dogs, so we had 2 smaller dhows for the guests with dogs to sail alongside MaryLee and her twin sister Jane as they marked another item off of their bucket lists- swimming across the Persian Gulf! Merle was on one of the smaller dhows with Davey so he could chat with the sea animals and let them know that they were in no danger and that they needed to stay away. Marja and Fritz were on the other dhow with Jane’s dog Dash so that Dash could keep an eye on his Jane. KAT had also added a magic barrier around the ladies, so they were safe and comfortable in the water. With the addition of magical fins on their feet, they were able to make the crossing in less than 4 hours.

Thanks to all who participated and remember to keep active daily.

Safety in the Kitchen with Kat

By Kat Rogers, Sight Loss Instructor

To start, try to declutter your kitchen. Clutter can cause accidents while searching for what you need. First, we’re going to start with making sure that all of your appliances have either raised dots, or some type of identification that you personally can understand. Some of us with sight loss can still see large print while others need the raised dots. I do have some vision left but much prefer the raised dots to large print.

Use your stove cautiously. By this I mean if you are needing only two burners, make sure that you use the back burners. In some cases, if you never use more than two burners it has been suggested that you remove the knobs from the front burners so that you don’t accidentally turn them on. In most newer stoves, the knobs are located to the back of the stove generally 2 on the left and two on the right. When facing the stove if you were to put your hands up and move one out to the left, and the other to the right those outside knobs usually work the front burners. Moving both hands inward to the inside knobs they will usually work your back burners. The oven is different in everybody’s stove. If you have a knob, it will be in the middle. However, most of us have newer stoves that are digital. This is where you will need help of either a sighted friend, or you can use an app on your telephone called “Be my Eyes”. Be my eyes can help you to locate where you need to put your raised dots for your digital stove. I have mine on the bake and the start button. I also have a smaller dot on the timer. I can listen to the beeps and know it goes up 5 minutes at a time. Get to know you stove workings. Using raised dots for your microwave will work in the same way. Look into getting Rack Guards for your oven racks. They will save the back of your hands from getting burnt when removing hot foods. They can be found on Amazon.

Another area that you need to be careful is with your knives. You need to have sharp knives as dull ones cause more accidents when they slip. So, the sharper the better.  It is recommended that if you do not have a butcher block to store your knives, that you get a magnetic knife bar that can attach to your wall. If you do have one of these, you want to also make sure that all of your knives are facing down and facing inward. This makes it easier when you’re looking for a knife not to cut yourself. If neither one of these is an option, consider buying knives that have a sheath covering them. Make sure you keep them in their own section a drawer. You can get drawer separators at many different stores including the dollar store. By using these drawer separators, you can keep your knives from getting mixed up with other utensils that you use.

In our kitchens, many of us use rugs, or standing mats. PLEASE be aware that they need to be skid proof ones only and not have a high profile that you can catch your toe on.

id=11>Winter Adventure Retreat 2022

We are excited to announce our Winter Adventure Retreat happening February 6-12, 2022! Activities will include snow shoeing, cross country skiing, attending a musical theater production in Portland, and more! Spots fill up quickly and registration deadline is January 23rd. For more information and to request a registration form, please contact our office at 503-668-6195.

id=10>Living with Sight Loss Seminar
On February 16-18, 2022, we are hosting an Introduction to Living with Sight Loss Seminar at Hull Park. The schedule will contain immersive, hands-on workshops covering a variety of topics such as daily living skills, orientation and mobility training, functional vision assessments, vision aids, home organization tips, and more! Please contact the office at 503-668-6195 to request more information and a registration form. id=11>Ushers Conference Event

We are tentatively hosting an Ushers Conference. (Date to be determined). There will be workshops and special speakers related to the topic of living with Sight and Hearing Loss. This event is currently tentatively scheduled. The event will go forth based on interest and number of registrations. If you would be interested in such an event, please contact the Hull Foundation and Learning Center office at 503-668-6195 or by email at to reserve your spot and receive a registration.

Upcoming Events
2022 will be an exciting and fun-filled year for our events! If you are interested in any of our recreational Getaway events and Retreats, please contact our office and get signed up! The spots can fill up very quickly, so jump in with both feet and save your spot and come out to Hull Park in 2022!

Winter Adventure Retreat- Feb. 6-12, 2022

A great time of snowshoeing, cross country skiing and jaunts around town!

Spring Fling Getaway- April 5-8, 2022

Come join us for games, crafts, enjoying the beautiful grounds of Hull Park, great food, and comradery!

Friends and Alumni Retreat- June 5-9, 2022

Come meet with old friends and make some news ones! We will enjoy visiting some local attractions, swim in the indoor swimming pool and spa, visit a living history museum, play games, and enjoy Hull Park in the spring!

Moderate Adventure Retreat- Aug. 10-16, 2022

During this retreat, activities may include white water rafting, kayaking, hiking, winery tours, visiting local tourist sights, live action plays, and more!

High Adventure Retreat- Aug. 24-30, 2022

This retreat is designed to give guests opportunities to stretch themselves! Activities may include white water rafting, hiking in the Mt. Hood National Forest, various water sports, challenge courses, horseback riding, and much more!

Monster Mash Getaway- October 24-27, 2022

Come get spooky with us for a seasonal favorite Getaway! We will have theme-based games, movie night, a trip to a local farm for hayrides, corn maize, pumpkin patch, a costume contest, and do the monster mash at the dance!

Winter Holiday Getaway- December 12-15, 2022

Come Deck the Halls with your friends and the Hull Park staff for this festive event! We will have holiday-themed games, treats, crafts, and on the final night a holiday banquet and live music which is open to friends and family.

Registrations are now available for these events! It is never too early to sign up as spots fill up very quickly. Please email the office at or call at 503-668-6195 for more information and to request a registration form.

Jokes to Keep you Laughing…or Groaning!

-What was the frog’s job at the hotel?


-What do cows most like to read?


-What do you call a sleeping dinosaur?

A dino-snore.

-What do you call a bear with no teeth?

A gummy bear.

-What has more lives than a cat?

A frog, because it croaks every day.

Stay well, stay safe, and stay happy!

The Hull Foundation Family
Phone:  503-668-6195  



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