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Sight Loss Monthly June 2021

Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow – Helen Keller

June, 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: How to Get Around Safely When Outdoors …p. 5

Gadget of the Month: Apple Accessibility Updates …p. 8

All About Alexa …p. 9

Reading in the Dark Book Club …p. 10

Calling All Artists! …p. 12

Virtual Luau Party …p. 13

Hull Park Day Camps …p. 14

Hull Foundation Presents Zoom Meetings
June Zoom Schedule…p. 15

Kat’s Gardening Tips with Sight Loss…p. 19

About Hull Park…p. 22

Winner of our Membership Drive Give-away! …p. 23

Jokes to Keep Us Laughing …p. 23

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, Sandy, OR 97055, 43233 SE Oral Hull Road, Sandy, OR 97055

Message from Kerith Vance, Executive Director:

At our park space and office, the gardens are coming to life with new blooms and color and the sound of bees and birds all around.  The sense of new beginnings and the potential for adventure and change is all around.  I hope that you are finding elements of potential in your homes and daily lives.  As we begin to add in person services and retreats back to our schedules for later this year and into 2022, I hope that you are able to continue to join us on Zoom and by phone but someday soon in person as well.

Stay well,


Tip of the Month: How to Get Around Safely When Outdoors

Having low vision doesn’t mean you have to be confined to your home. Several low vision devices are available to help you feel more comfortable outdoors and get around in even unfamiliar surroundings.

Light and glare sensitivity is a common problem for visually impaired people, especially among both pre- and post-op cataract patients and those with macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy. 

Special glare-reducing and blue-blocking lenses (so-called because they absorb the blue portion of the visible light spectrum) can be worn for more comfort outside, whether it’s cloudy or sunny. They come in light and dark gray, yellow, orange and various shades of amber.

Glare-reducing and blue-blocking lenses come in prescription sunglasses, nonprescription clip-ons for your regular eyeglasses and side-shielding “fit-over” styles that can be worn either alone or over your glasses.

Finally, canes generally are thought of as aids for completely blind people or people with trouble walking. But if you are missing part or all of your peripheral (side) vision, or if you’re having a problem with night blindness, canes can help you navigate unpaved areas and keep your balance.

This is very important, because falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths among older people, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

Foldable or telescoping aluminum canes, or walking sticks are light and sturdy and can be stored in a carrying case on your belt or stowed in a bag. Adding reflective tape to a cane makes it more visible to drivers at night.

Gadget of the Month:    Apple Accessibility Updates

Later this year, there will be software updates across all of Apple’s operating systems. iPad will support third-party eye-tracking hardware for easier control, and for blind and low vision communities Apple’s industry-leading VoiceOver screen reader will get even smarter using on-device intelligence to explore objects within images.

In support of neurodiversity, Apple is introducing new background sounds to help minimize distractions, and for those who are deaf or hard of hearing, made for iPhone (MFi) will soon support new bi-directional hearing aids. Apple is also launching a new service on Thursday, May 20, called SignTime. This enables customers to communicate with AppleCare and Retail Customer Care by using American Sign Language (ASL) in the US, British Sign Language (BSL) in the UK, or French Sign Language (LSF) in France, right in their web browsers. Customers visiting Apple Store locations can also use SignTime to remotely access a sign language interpreter without booking ahead of time. SignTime will initially launch in the US, UK, and France, with plans to expand to additional countries in the future. For more information, visit

About Alexa

Did you know you can call someone using your Echo device like a speaker phone? Get started by setting your echo devices up. Open the Amazon Alexa app (on your compatible iOS or Android phone).

Double tap the Communicate tab from the bottom menu.  Follow the on-screen instructions to enter and verify your phone information. 

Once set up, simply tell Alexa to call the contact you may want, or dial a number by saying “Alexa, call (and speak the digits to dial).

To hang up, say “Alexa, Hang up”.

NOTE: Alexa does not currently support inbound calls from mobile or landline phones.

Here is a podcast for new tips on what Alexa can do every day.

“Reading in the Dark” Book Club

When:  Tuesdays, June 8th and 22nd at 10:00am.

In May we read “Angels Walking” by Karen Kingsbury DB 81036 and “A Street Cat Named Bob: and How He Saved my Life” by James Bowen DB 77202

Summary of Angels Walking: When baseball star Tyler Ames suffers a career-ending injury, all he desires is to put his life back together and restore a lost love. When he finds a job in a retirement home, Tyler befriends Virginia, an old woman with Alzheimer’s, who provides him with the answers he seeks.

Summary of A Street Cat Named Bob:  and How He Saved My Life:  London street musician and recovering drug addict Bowen recounts his 2007 discovery of an injured stray cat he named Bob, with whom he became inseparable. Describes the ways the companions have helped each other and become known around the world.

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.  Each artwork will feature an overview of the artist and their vision loss to raise awareness.  When the artwork sells, proceeds will be divided between the artist (40%) and Hull Foundation (60%).  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.

Virtual Luau Party!

The Hull Foundation would like to invite you to a Zoom Luau Party!

When: Friday, June 18th

Time:  6:30-8:30pm

Where:  On Zoom! 
Cost:  FREE!!

Come join us for a Virtual Hawaiian Luau Party!  We will have Hawaiian themed trivia, games, music, cultural facts and traditions, hula dance lessons and a contest for the most original decorated sunglasses!

Please register by emailing the Hull Foundation office at:

Hull Park Day Camps

When:  August 7th and 28th

Where:  Hull Park and Retreat Center

Time:  10am to 8pm

We are excited to announce that we will be hosting two single-day events 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.

Hull Foundation Presents Zoom Meetings

Our June Zoom topics have something for everyone and are full of interesting topics that can assist you in your everyday life.  We encourage you to sign up for all that piques your interest.  Bring a friend or spouse!  Sighted or not!! Also, when attending, remember to log on 5-15 minutes early as we close the class 5 minutes after it starts.

June Zoom schedule:

Tuesday, June 1st from 1-2pm:

How to Prevent Slips and Falls:  Balance and Sight Loss

Wednesday, June 2nd from 10-11am:

Intermediate IOS and iPhone

Wednesday, June 2nd from 1-2pm:

June Garden Ideas

Thursday, June 3rd from 1-2pm:

Group Chat- Our Favorite Cat Stories

Tuesday, June 8th from 10-11am:

Reading in the Dark Book Club

Tuesday, June 8th from 1-2pm:

Hull Park Day Adventures

Wednesday, June 9th from 10-11am:

Access Technologies

Wednesday, June 9th from 1-2pm:

ACB and Hull Park- Who we are and what we do

Thursday, June 10th from 10-11am:

Group Chat- Ushers Syndrome

Thursday, June 10th from 1-2pm:

Group Chat- Are we ready to go out yet?

Tuesday, June 15th from 10-11am:

Group Chat- Zoom Login and Mute Practice

Tuesday, June 15th from 1-2pm:

CBD Presentation

Wednesday, June 16th from 10-11am:

Sight Loss Instructors- what they do and ways they can help.

Wednesday, June 16th from 1-2pm:

Group Chat- Favorite Board Games

Thursday, June 17th from 1-2pm:

Group Chat- the Guide Dog Lifestyle

Tuesday, June 22 from 10-11am:

Reading in the Dark Book Club

Tuesday, June 22 from 1-2pm:

Android Accessibility 1

Wednesday, June 23 from 10-11am:

Intermediate IOS and iPhone

Wednesday, June 23 from 1-2pm:

Group Chat- Dry Eye

Thursday, June 24 from 10-11am:

Lions Hearing Aid Program

Thursday, June 24 from 1-2pm:

Hosting Friends at Home

Tuesday, June 29 from 10-11am:

Helpful Kitchen Gadgets

Tuesday, June 29 from 1-2pm:

Android Accessibility 2

Wednesday, June 30 from 10-11am:

Northwest Association for Blind Athletes

Wednesday, June 30 from 1-2pm:

Birds in your Backyard

Kat’s Gardening Tips with Sight Loss

Greetings fellow sight loss gardeners!

Gardeners in the Pacific Northwest can expect sunny days and mild weather this month. Deadhead early blooming roses, weed, edge and mulch flowerbeds, and build a compost bin.

June in the Northwest:

Plant corn, winter and summer squash, cucumbers, melons, green beans, and other heat-loving veggies in Northwest gardens in June when the soil is warm, generally about two weeks after the last frost date in your area. You still have time to plant beets, carrots, and other root crops too. If you have not yet gotten your tomatoes in, get them in now. With tomatoes, remember to remove any leaves that are touching the dirt and leave the branch clear at least 2 inches above dirt level. This helps to discourage diseases. Also, plant deeper than suggested to give the root system more stability in high winds. 

Here are some suggestions for vertical gardening- many of your vegetables can be grown this way. It helps to produce more fruit in a smaller space as well as helps to keep the slugs off the fruit. Pruning and harvesting are made easier as well.

You can do vertical gardening in the garden plot or on your patio. Use a store-bought trellis or make your own with wire, wood, or bailing twine. I have used the white plastic lattice that you can get at any hardware store and rebar to stake it up with. Or nail it to the railing of your patio. As your plant grows, keep loosely tying it higher up the lattice.  All types of squash and tomatoes can be done this way. You are not limited to pole beans.

Happy Gardening!

Link to more Vertical gardening:

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 our indoor pool.  It is a heated 42×24 foot pool with access to a changing room and showers in the adjacent recreation room, Morgan Hall.  Guests love swimming laps and playing pool games!  Did you know the pool can also be rented for private pool parties? Please call our office for more details at 503-668-6195.

Winner of our Membership Drive Give-away!

Congratulations to Rantu Press for winning the $200 prize drawing for our Spring Membership Drive! 

Jokes to Keep you Laughing…or Groaning!

-What did the tree say to spring?
What a re-leaf.

-Why are trees very forgiving?
Because in the Fall they “Let It Go” and in the Spring they “turn over a new leaf!

-What was the name of the girl with a frog sitting on her head?

-What goes up when spring rain comes down?
An umbrella.

-Can bees fly in the rain?
Only when they wear their yellow jackets.

Stay well, stay safe, stay happy!

The Hull Foundation Family

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