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Sight Loss Monthly Newsletter April 2024

April 2024

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.”

Edited by Hull Foundation Staff


Mission Statement …p. 3

Let’s Have an Adventure…p. 4

Upcoming Zoom Call focusing on the importance of Self-Advocacy in Healthcarep. 9

Reading in the Dark Book Club…p. 11

The White Cane Club…p.13

Hearing Loss Tip of the Month…p. 16

Health Tip of the Month…p. 17

Recipe of the Month…p. 18

PFBC 2024 Scholarship Program…p. 21

Spring is Here Poem…p. 22

Hull Foundation Events and Seminars…p. 24

Hull Foundation Presents Zoom Meetings…p. 26

Jokes to Keep you Laughing or Groaning…p. 27

Contact Us…p. 28


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:


Let’s Have an Adventure

Curiosity and Results: What is the Connection?

-Teresa Christian, Sight Loss Instructor


Curiosity has been given a bad rap. Perhaps we grew up hearing that asking questions was rude or conveyed ignorance, or we would get into trouble if we were like Curious George. We might even have been warned that “Curiosity killed the cat!” but then, “satisfaction brought him back.”

The truth is that curiosity is one of the most vital and life-affirming qualities you can bring to your life and your relationships.


Curiosity on the Sight Loss Journey

It is so easy to blame others when things go wrong. Consider being curious about your experience rather than critical. For example, instead of beating yourself up for not Having the courage to cross a street, feeling unsure how to fry a hamburger without getting burned or not realizing that yes, a person with sight loss can use power tools. (Please do not try this though till someone who is experienced with using power tools as a blind person can show you how to do this, but just know there are many visually impaired woodworkers and power tool users.

Try asking yourself what was going on for you, that you were afraid to explore the possibility you might be able to do something you didn’t realize that you could?

Do other people with sight loss do this?

How can I meet other people living with sight loss and find out what they are up to and how they do some of these things?

With an attitude of “how fascinating that I’ve created this” you are much more likely to help yourself find fresh solutions to attaining your goals.


Curiosity in Life

Helen Keller said, “Life is a daring adventure or nothing at all!” When you cultivate an attitude of curiosity, doors open, and adventures begin; questions lead to new possibilities. For example, asking yourself, “What do I want to learn now and where might that lead me?” can set you on a journey of exciting exploration that moves you forward. If, instead, you come from the place of “I already know what I need to know,” you shut off the possibility of discovering something new that could rock your world.


Curiosity in Relationships

How often do we assume we know what someone else is thinking or experiencing? What if we came from a place of not knowing and offered others an invitation to speak? According to Sharon Ellison, creator of Powerful Non-Defensive Communication, “A non-defensive question is innocently curious, reflecting the purity of the child who asks how a flower grows or what makes an airplane fly.” We invite others to share their true experience when we ask questions without hidden agendas and to clarify our understanding.


Practice Cultivating Curiosity

Here are some ways to cultivate a more curious life.

  • Questions. Practice asking questions with openness and neutrality. Practice with strangers in stores and with people close to you. Stop thinking you know all the answers…be open to being surprised!
  • Inquiries. An inquiry is an open-ended question designed to broaden your perspective. For example: “What would make life a daring adventure for me?” “Where in my life do I assume I already know?”
  • Assumptions. These impact how we treat strangers as well as loved ones. Challenge your assumptions by asking, “What if that’s not true?” What other choices might you make then?

If you genuinely want to expand your excitement, joy and fulfillment in life and relationships, sprinkle liberal doses of curiosity and watch your life become the fabulous adventure it can be!


Curious? Let the adventure begin!



Upcoming Zoom Call focusing on the importance of Self-Advocacy in Healthcare

-Meagan Moore SLI, RN


As many of our readers may relate, I find self-advocacy to be challenging at times. Especially, when I am tired, stressed and/or anxious. I have worked as a Registered Nurse in various settings and have experience being a patient in both inpatient and outpatient clinic settings. It’s often easy to feel forgotten, misunderstood and/or an inconvenience. I am excited to have Deb Marinos, a Licensed Therapist, come share with us her perspective on self-advocacy.  Deb has personal and professional experience with self-advocacy.  She has created two OHA approved cultural competence courses for all Healthcare Providers. One focuses on working with patients with legal blindness and the other provides strategies for effective communication with patients who are hard of hearing. One of Deb’s many other qualifications include being an Advanced Practitioner of Mind-Body skills, which can help individuals learn more techniques to add to their toolkit. To learn more about Deb please visit her website at

Please invite friends, family, and healthcare professionals as we talk more about the importance of self-advocacy and what that involves.


Reading In the Dark Book Club

Marja Byers, SLI

In March, our book choice was “West with Giraffes” by Lynda Rutledge, DB102687. Some of our book club regulars loved this book so much that they had already recommended it to friends before we had our discussion! We also read “The Enchanted April” by Elizabeth Von Arnim, DB46007, this is a wonderful springtime book.

This month our books are:

4/9 “Thinking in Pictures” by Temple Grandin, DB119637, 8:40.

“Thinking in pictures, addresses the hurdles Grandin faced before better understanding autism. As a child, she struggled with late speech, social ostracism, ridicule, and anxiety. Her tendency towards intellect and science, however, later turned problems into learning opportunities.”


4/23 “Tell the Wolves I’m Home” by Carol Rifka Brunt, DBC00242, 13:38.

“‘Tell the Wolves I’m Home’ is the debut novel of American writer Carol Rifka Brunt. It follows the life of June Elbus, a 14-year-old girl, who’s gay uncle died of aids in the 1980s, and the subsequent friendship she develops with his boyfriend.”

We invite anyone, with or without sight loss to join in on our book discussions and we have people from several states who join us regularly. We would love to have you join us and hope to see you in April!





The White Cane Club

By Marja Byers, SLI


This is the third time in my life that I have been legally blind, each time my blindness has been different. The biggest difference this time is that I am out of the “blind closet”, and it is so much better and honestly, a lot more fun! I was almost 5 years old before my parents figured out that I was not seeing very much, and I was eventually corrected to low vision with glasses. As I grew from childhood to young adulthood, I gradually lost my sight and worked extremely hard to keep my secret. At 23 I had eye surgeries that gave me 20/20 sight for the first time in my life and I (naively) believed that I had dodged the blind bullet that I had been told to expect (I was told at 9 that I would be a blind adult).

I have learned a very valuable lesson; being with other people with sight loss/blindness can make life so much more fun and less hurtful. Remember; humor can also be the best way to bridge the comfort gap with sighted people.


Boarding a bus with a friend who is total (blind), as we were getting seated, he started to sit in a lady’s lap, then realized his mistake. He was a little embarrassed so my remedy was to kid him and declare, “I just can’t take you anywhere!”. All three of us laughed and we had an enjoyable conversation with her along our way.

Another day, the same friend and I had gone to see an audio described movie. As we exited the theater at the multiplex and handed our headphones to the ticket taker, I was aware the lobby had grown quiet. I turned to look at the lobby (I have tunnel vision and have good central sight), I leaned into my friend and said, “I wish you could see this, everyone in the lobby has stopped and are staring at the two people with the white canes!” We both burst out laughing and laughed all the way out the door. I thought about it later and realized that if I had been alone I most likely would have had tears welling in my eyes by the time I reached the door. I hate feeling noticed and singled out, but it was fun with my friend.

I love my blind friends, when something happens (spilled drinks, dropped whatever) that we may have been embarrassed about, we just laugh! We have a group that goes out for meals together frequently and we often hear comments about how much we support each other and laugh often. I had an experience with a friend who is new to sight loss, she learned that traveling together is a fun adventure, not a scary hurdle to be anxious about. Along our way we met a few blind/low vision people. She also learned what I had learned several years ago; using a white cane gives you membership access to a very exclusive club and we will welcome you in!




Hearing Loss Tip of the Month

By Meagan Moore SLI


Spring is here! Take some time out of your day and focus on the sounds you enjoy!  When I hear someone complain about the racket the birds are making, I choose to focus on how wonderful it is that I can hear the birds with my hearing aids.



Health Tip: Protein for Breakfast 

-Lyn Lindbergh, Life Coach


A protein-rich breakfast is an important way to start your day. Protein is an essential nutrient that plays a vital role in maintaining good health. Eating protein-rich foods for breakfast can help you feel fuller for longer, boost your metabolism, and keep your energy levels stable throughout the day. For people over the age of forty, getting enough protein in their diet is especially important because muscle mass naturally declines with age. This can lead to decreased strength, mobility, and overall health.


Aim for a minimum of 25-30 grams of protein for breakfast each day. You can ask Siri or Alexa how many grams of protein are in your breakfast choices.

Carrot, Coconut, Zucchini Bread

-Desiree Christian, SLI

Active Time: 20 mins

Total Time: 2 hrs

Yield: 1 8-by-4-inch loaf




2 cups all-purpose flour


1/2 teaspoon baking powder


1/2 teaspoon baking soda


3/4 teaspoon kosher salt


2 large eggs, beaten


1/2 cup canola oil or other neutral oil. if you want to up the coconut flavor, replace ¼ of the oil with coconut oil

3/4 cup light brown sugar


1/2 cup granulated sugar


2 large carrots, grated on the large holes of a box grater (1 packed cup)


1 medium zucchini, grated on the large holes of a box grater (1 packed cup)


1 1/4 cups shredded sweetened coconut or unsweetened or desiccated coconut.


Note: you could also add dried fruit and nuts I would say no more than ½ total of one or the other or both.



Preheat the oven to 375°. Spray an 8-by-4-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.


In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the canola oil and both sugars until smooth. Stir in the carrots, zucchini and 3/4 cup of the shredded coconut, then fold in the dry ingredients just until combined.


Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of coconut. Loosely tent the pan with foil and bake for about 1 hour and 30 minutes, until the top is golden brown, and a tester inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Transfer the bread to a rack to cool for 30 minutes, then turn it out and let cool completely.


Make Ahead

The bread can be wrapped and kept at room temperature for up to 2 days.






The Pacific Foundation for Blind Children is accepting applications for the Scholarship Program 2024. A minimum of FOUR (4) $1,500 scholarships will be awarded to outstanding blind/low vision students in the Pacific Northwest (defined as the states of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho). These scholarships will be awarded directly to the selected applicants and the funds may be used for expenses at their discretion.

Deadline for applications is June 30, 2024.



If you have any questions, please contact JaReda Webb, Executive Director, Pacific Foundation for Blind Children, at


Spring is Here

-Tina Christian, SLI


Flowers stand so tall

To love the sun beaming down

Blooms praise spring for all



Springtime at the Pond


From the window,

a joyful symphony nods

The animals wake from their winter plod

The green grasses also perk their way through the winter sod


The sun is plump and jovial

He extends a warm hug to the brook and pond

As if he waved a magic wand


Yellow daffodils and coral tulips curtsy to the wind

while cherry blossoms

Pink and fair

Toss blush confetti in the air


Squirrels in a spiraled tree

Spring to and fro with glee

While the bees buzz and birds feather their nests


As we don our boots

We embrace the playful flair of Spring

We spread laughter through the air

You frolic to that spot

We saw from the window




Hull Foundation Upcoming Events and Seminars:


April 23rd – One Day Fun Day, Bowling


April 23rd– Partner One Day Fun Day, Bowling


May 23rd One Day Fun Day


May 23rd Partners One Day Fun Day


May 22nd – 24th Arts and Hobbies Seminar


May 27th Office closed in observance of Memorial Day


June 1st -August 31st Summer Raffle Fundraiser


June 3rd – 9th Friends and alumni Retreat: This Retreat is open for more guests currently.


If you are interested in any of our social getaways, one day fun days, seminars, and recreational retreats, please contact our office to get signed up! Spots fill up very quickly, so jump in with both feet, save your spot and come out to Hull Park!




Photo Description:

Two guests stand next to each other smiling, one sporting their white cane, in front of a rocky waterfall display at Portland Zoo.






If you would like to volunteer as staff or sponsor an event, please contact the office at 503.668.6195



Hull Foundation Presents Zoom Meetings:

Current zoom meetings will include topics on tech, cooking, crafting, book club, supporting loved ones of people with low vision or blindness and a class on forgetfulness that has been a favorite. Bring a friend or spouse, sighted or not!! If you would like to sign up to receive a weekly email with the weekly zoom schedule and 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!


  1. What do you call two birds in love?
    A. Tweethearts


  1. If a parsley farmer gets sued, can they garnish his wages?


  1. I couldn’t figure out why the baseball kept getting larger.
  2. Then it hit me!




Stay well, stay safe, and stay happy!





Contact Us:      

The Hull Foundation and Learning Center
Phone:  503-668-6195  




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