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Sight Loss Monthly July 2021

Like the high white clouds in the summer sky we are always becoming – Peter Galen Massey

July 2021                                            

The Hull Foundation’s             

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: Safety on Stairs…p. 5

Gadget of the Month: Accessible Thermostats…p. 7

All About Alexa …p. 10

Reading in the Dark Book Club …p. 11

Calling All Artists! …p. 14

Hull Park Day Camp …p. 15

August Mini Summer Social Retreat …p. 16

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

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!”

Hull Park and Learning Center for the Blind and Low Vision Fo For th

*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

Message from Kerith Vance, Executive Director:

There are a lot of amazing things about working for the Hull Foundation and Learning Center.  One that I am enjoying immensely right now is the beautiful 22-acre Oral Hull Park space where our office resides.  As we move further into summer, the park is full of bird songs and our fruit trees are filled with apples and pears.  The Gardens of Enchantment has many colorful blooms including tall lilies whose fragrance greets you as you walk the shady pathways.  It is easy to feel a sense of renewal and hope as you hear the sound of the Sandy River running, and the bees and insects buzzing around in the garden beds.   I look forward to more walks at Oral Hull Park and to getting to know many of you in person as we return to our getaways, retreats, workshops and more. 

Stay well,


Tip of the Month: Safety on Stairs

Poor visibility of the risers and tread on stairs is a high-risk factor for falls.  This includes both indoor and outdoor steps as well as staircases of one or two steps and those that take us up to another floor in the home.  There are several things you can do to improve visibility or tactile feel of stairs.

Non-skid, color contrasting material can be placed at the edges of steps for both a visual and tactile indicator of the location of feet on the steps.  Bright colored paint or another color system to indicate the difference between the rise and tread of a step works well.  There are tread strips you can use, or you could put a different kind of flooring material at the base and top of the stairs to give a tactile indicator of the change from regular floor to the steps. Some even have contrasting color or reflective strips.  Several options exist on Amazon and elsewhere for lighting made for stairsteps. 

Steps that are consistent in size and have even landing areas at the top and bottom will be easier to negotiate.  Railings on both sides of the stairway for easier grip both up and down are also helpful. 

Gadget of the Month:   Accessible Thermostats

With the temperature climbing, you may need to adjust your thermostat more often.  There are magnifying covers for Honeywell thermostats that increase the size of the temperature numbers.    It costs just under $12.

You can also replace the whole thermostat with one that provides large bold print and tactile markers.  This product is more expensive at $86.

Amazon offers those products as well as large print, digital, and programable thermostats for the $30-$130 range.

There is even one for $300 called the VIP 300 that has separate buttons for most functions and many of the buttons when pushed will tell you out loud what the function is and what the current setting is.  The device does not accept voice commands. 

About Alexa

If you’re looking to learn how to use voiceover on your iPhone or iPad while using Alexa, you can say “Activate Voiceover Info”.

Once you have activated the Voiceover Info skill simply say “Alexa Open Voiceover Info”.

You will then be guided through learning different skills on the Alexa device while using your iPhone.

You can also ask Alexa to “Ask Voiceover Info how to start or stop Voiceover”.

“Reading in the Dark” Book Club

When:  Tuesdays, July 6th at 1:00pm and July 20th at 10:00am.

In June we read “Open and Shut-Andy Carpenter Book 1” by David Rosenfelt DB 61089 and “Grub and Stakers-Move a Mountain” by Charlotte MacLeod DB 17825

Summary for Open and Shut: Whether dueling with new forensics or the local old boys’ network, irreverent defense attorney Andy Carpenter always leaves them awed with his biting wit and winning fourth-quarter game plan. Just as it seems Andy has everything figured out, his dad, New Jersey‘s legendary ex-D.A., drops dead in front of him at a game in Yankee Stadium. The shocks pile on as he discovers his dad left him with two unexpected legacies: a fortune of $22 million that Andy never knew existed . . .

Summary for Grub and Stakers- Move a Mountain: Dittany Henbit is a cheeky spinster who appreciates hermits. Sergeant MacVicars polices close-knit Lobelia Falls, where every citizen is an archery addict. Aided by author Arethusa Monk, the crew find out who shish-kebobbed the Water Works man, run a campaign, plan a 25th anniversary party, and inhale unwholesome amounts of Fig Newtons.

The book chosen for July 6th is:

Even now DB65716

Kingsbury, Karen. Reading time: 10 hours, 18 minutes.
Read by Gabriella Cavallero. A production of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress.

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.

Join us for a fun hour of discussion and comradery!  We also talk about other book suggestions. Come prepared with ideas for our next books!

Calling All Artists!

Calling all artists!  Do you sculpt, felt, paint, draw, sew, carve, weld or otherwise create works of art?  Hull Foundation & 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.  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 Day Camp

When:  August 7th 

Where:  Hull Park and Retreat Center

Time:  10am to 8pm

We are excited to announce that we will be hosting a single-day event at Hull Park this summer!  Activities will include, tours of the park, disk golf and field games, guided hike, garden tours, crafts and making a garden planter to take home, barbeque dinner, and live music sing-a-long around the fire pit. Please contact the office for registration and more information.

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.  More details will follow soon.  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 July 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.

July Zoom schedule:

Thursday  7/1/21 10:00-11:00am

Fireworks Safety for you and your Pets

Thursday 7/1/21  1:00-2:00pm

Group Chat – Macular Degeneration

Tuesday      7/6/21      1:00-2:00pm

Reading in the Dark Book Club

Wednesday      7/7/21     10:00-11:00am

Introduction to iPhone and iPad  1

Wednesday      7/7/21     1:00-2:00pm

Latest Research and Q & A about Usher’s Syndrome

Thursday         7/8/21     10:00-11:00am

Group Chat- The Grandkids are Coming Over

Thursday         7/8/21     1:00-2:00pm

Gardens of Enchantment

Tuesday      7/13/21        10:00-11:00am

Guide Dogs for the Blind

Tuesday      7/13/21        1:00-2:00pm

Group Chat- Large Print or Talking Books

Wednesday      7/14/21        1:00-2:00pm

Crocheting with Tyann

Thursday         7/15/21        10:00-11:00am

Hull Foundation Retreats and Getaways

Thursday         7/15/21        1:00-2:00pm

Anxiety and How to Manage It

Tuesday      7/20/21        10:00-11:00am

Reading in the Dark Book Club

Tuesday      7/20/21        1:00-2:00pm

The Cloud- What Is It and Do I Need It?

Wednesday      7/21/21        10:00-11:00am

Introduction to iPhone and iPad 2

Thursday         7/22/21        1:00-2:00pm

Group Chat- To Drive or Not to Drive

Tuesday      7/27/21        10:00-11:00am

Why is My Balance Off?

Tuesday      7/27/21        1:00-2:00pm

Ask a Sight Loss Instructor

Wednesday      7/28/21        10:00-11:00am

Group Chat- Favorite Board Games

Wednesday      7/28/21        1:00-2:00pm

Grief and Loss

Thursday         7/29/21        1:00-2:00pm

IOS 15 Release

>About Hull Park –

The Oral Hull Foundation for the Blind is located in Sandy, Oregon on 22 acres at the foot of the Mt. Hood National Forest.  Among many features of the park, one of the favorites for our blind and sight loss guests is the Garden of Enchantment.  The award-winning Gardens of Enchantment is a self-guiding garden with markers both in print & Braille. The gardens comprise five distinct areas, each containing special elements to highlight its own varied beauty, offering the visitor many unique experiences with sight, smell, hearing, touch and taste. This 1/2 acre of garden is paved for easy in travel and features a large accessible gazebo with restrooms and seating to rest and enjoy the sights and sounds of the old growth forest.  This year we will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Garden of Enchantment with a celebration planned for July 21st. Please call our office for more details at 503-668-6195.

Jokes to Keep you Laughing…or Groaning!

-What is brown, hairy and wears sunglasses?

A coconut on vacation. 

-Why do bananas use sunscreen?

Because they peel

-Do you have any clue what bread does on vacation?

It loafs around!

-What do you get when you combine an elephant with a fish?

Swimming trunks!

-Which letter is the coolest?

Iced T

Stay well, stay safe, stay happy!

The Hull Foundation Family

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