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Sight Loss Monthly September 2021

Two people in a canoe on tranquil summer lakeSeptember 2021   

The Hull Foundation’s             

Text Box: It’s hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed. – Theodore RooseveltSight 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 Jeannemarie Moore …p. 4

Eyesight and Balance, Part 1 …p. 7

Tip of the Month:  Getting an Annual Eye Exam …p. 10

Gadget of the Month:  The MiniVision …p. 13

Tech Tip:  Device Storage Tips …p. 14

Reading in the Dark Book Club …p. 15

Remembering Mitzi Friedlander …p. 17

Calling All Artists! …p. 18

Hull Foundation Presents Zoom Meetings …p. 19

September Zoom Schedule…p. 20

Living with Sight Loss Seminar…p. 23

Upcoming Events…p. 24

Jokes to Keep Us Laughing …p. 25

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!”

A picture containing a mountain, trees and Hull Foundation and Learning Center

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

Message from Jeannemarie Moore- Board President:

In The field of Vision by JeanneMarie Moore, HFLC Board President

There have been many changes at Hull Park: the name, for starters. The board had a discussion about what phrase to use, “sight loss,” “vision loss,” or “visually impaired”.  The final decision was to use the phrase, “sight loss.”  I want to share why this is such a big deal for me. First, let me say that I know that losing sight is scary.  I represent, as a woman who is totally blind, a place where most people facing sight loss don’t want to end up. I represent their deepest fear.

In the early 1960s, the disability rights movement began slowly in Berkeley, California and the Independent Living movement was born.  I continued my learning about infantilization of people with disabilities because, at that time, “independence” meant “do it yourself.” Now my definition, which I learned from a coworker with quadriplegia, is “independence means being in charge of how it gets done.” And interdependence is what most people want really- connection.  Vision can increase that connection for you- inside your heart.   

Vision comes from your heart, your consciousness. Helen Keller said something like, “The only thing worse than a sighted person is a person with no vision.”   Helen Keller was blind and deaf.  If she could not just survive but thrive while being both deaf and blind, then I tell myself that I can face a new change or adjustment in my life.  Would I want to lose my hearing too?  No.  But could I adjust if I had to? Yes.

Memory can fill things in for you. Writing about what you used to see can stimulate you, if you choose to let them. The joy of what you had can sustain you.  And now you can look forward to learning about whole new universes. 

What I want to share with you here is HOPE. That there IS a way to adjust to change. After you acknowledge what you are feeling, then it becomes a choice what you do with and about it. You can turn your acknowledged feelings into the fuel that powers you forward.  Try one new thing a day. Put a blindfold on for an hour and listen.

Fear is “false evidence appearing real”. The best way to learn what is real or not for you is to risk, to experience, to keep on going!  I look forward to participating and learning more about my journey and yours.

Eyesight and Balance, Part 1

Did you know that our vestibular system is the only fully myelinated system that we are born with? That means the nerves of this system are covered and functioning at birth. When I was a new support staff person in Labor and Delivery, I remember the nurses showing me that if you lower a baby in your arms, they will startle. That is their developed vestibular system at work! As babies, movement guides and develops our sight. As we get older and our sight improves, it starts to influence our balance.

 There are three components to our balance, sight being the most influential. The other pieces are proprioception, the information we get through our feet, muscles and joints that help us to understand where we are in space and our vestibular system, the inner ear that helps with equilibrium and balance.

 If you consider about 20% of the information from the nerves of the eye goes into our vestibular system, it makes sense that, as we lose sight, we tend to lose balance. Fortunately, our brains have neuroplasticity, meaning our nervous systems can adapt. In my own personal experience, when I experience more sight loss it usually takes my brain around two weeks to adapt. In the mean time, I feel a little unsteady on my feet and I may have trouble understanding where I am in space. During such times I find I need to decide if I’m safe to travel by bus, maybe consider paratransit instead or should I take Uber or Lyft or should I go out at all? If you know your balance is off please consider your personal safety!

Look for Balance, Part 2 in October.

Tip of the Month: Getting an Annual Eye Exam

Sight loss may occur at any age and may change as we age.  There are some changes or eye conditions that may occur without sending obvious warning signs.  That is one reason that having an annual comprehensive dilated eye exam is so important. 

A comprehensive dilated eye exam is different from the more routine visits we may have to get an update for our eyeglasses.  Also, if the warning signs are hidden, we may not think that we need to visit our eye doctor each year.  When you do get a full eye exam, the provider will dilate your pupils which allows them to examine the back of your eyes.  Some of what they may find are:

Age-related macular degeneration, which gradually destroys the macula, the part of the eye that provides sharp, central vision.

Cataract, a clouding of the lens in the eye.

Diabetic retinopathy, a complication of diabetes that damages blood vessels in the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye.

Glaucoma, a group of diseases that can cause fluid and pressure to build up in the eye and damage the optic nerve.

By finding these conditions early, there may be a treatment plan that will slow the process of sight loss.  Even if they are not able to slow the process down, this will let you prepare for what is happening to your sight and determine what preparation you can do to be safe and to continue to enjoy your daily routines.

Even if you are already diagnosed with a particular eye disease, it is possible to develop another one as well.  Please make sure to get regular comprehensive eye exams with your provider and return again if you have any sudden changes to your vision.

Gadget of the Month:  The MiniVision

The MiniVision is specifically designed for people who are blind and visually impaired and the other, the RAZ Memory phone, is for caregivers of someone with dementia.  Brief descriptions of the phones are below:  

  1. MiniVision phone is designed for people who are blind and visually impaired. It’s current carriers are T-Mobile and AT&T. The VA is buying some of these phones for their clients, apparently. The MiniVision is also covered by STAP.
  • Raz Memory phone is their best seller for caregivers who have a loved one in their family with dementia. It is a Motorola phone with software designed by Raz Mobility.  The interface does one thing – it has up to 24 contacts with their pictures on the interface so that with one tap, the person can make a call to a familiar friend or family member. It is popular in nursing home facilities. There is a dashboard that caregivers can manage remotely. It comes unlocked so that any carrier can provide service, AT&T, Verizon, etc.

Tech Tip: Device Storage Tips

Do you ever find that your iPhone or iPad is running slowly? One cause of this could be that your hard drive is getting full. You need at least 20% of free space on your devices hard drive to run at optimal speed. To check your device’s storage, go to Settings, General, Storage. Here you can see how big your hard drive is and how much you have used. You will also see what apps and data are taking up the most space on your hard drive. This will give you a good idea of what you need to delete to make space on your hard drive to be back to running at optimal speed. Once you have deleted some apps and or data make sure to restart your device.

“Reading in the Dark” Book Club

The Book Club has decided to take a break for the summer and will resume after Labor Day on September 14th. In the meantime, here are the books that will be discussed at the first meeting:

Even now DB65716

Kingsbury, Karen. Reading time: 10 hours, 18 minutes.
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.
Ever after DB66031

Kingsbury, Karen. Reading time: 10 hours, 33 minutes.
Summary:  College student Emily Anderson’s love for soldier Justin Baker inspires Emily’s reunited birth parents, war correspondent Lauren Gibbs and flight instructor Shane Galanter, as they struggle with conflicting views of war, politics, and faith. When tragedy strikes, Lauren and Shane rethink their differences. Sequel to Even Now (RC 65716). 2006.

Remembering Mitzi Friedlander

Louisville – Mitzi Friedlander, 91, passed away on 8/11/21.

Mitzi was a performer (actress and singer), narrator of Talking Books, social activist, teacher, mentor, and friend to many across Louisville. Her light brightened many rooms and lives. She loved big parties with friends, especially the legendary Friedlander Christmas parties. She is enshrined in the Atherton Hall of Fame, a U of L Alumni award winner, and is an American Federation for the Blind Alexander Scourby Awardee for excellence in narration.

Calling All Artists!

Calling all artists!  Do you sculpt, felt, paint, draw, sew, carve, weld, or otherwise create works of art?  The Hull Foundation and 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.  Deadline to submit your artwork is September 8th. 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 Foundation Presents Zoom Meetings

Our September 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.

September Zoom schedule:

Wednesday 9/1 1-2pm

Introduction to Apple Watch

Thursday 9/2 1-2pm

Group Chat- How are you Doing and How are you Dealing?

Thursday 9/2 7-8pm

Ask a Sight Loss Instructor

Tuesday 9/7 1-2pm

I Lost the Cap on the Toothpaste, Now What?

Wednesday 9/8 10-11am

Group Chat- Macular Degeneration

Wednesday 9/8 1-2pm

Hull Foundation Retreats and Getaways

Thursday 9/9 10-11am

Let’s Get Moving:  Yoga and Cardio with Leslie Spoone

Thursday 9/9 1-2pm

In the Kitchen with Kat

Tuesday 9/14 10-11am

Reading in the Dark Book Club

Tuesday 9/14 1-2pm

Way Around- What is it and how it can be used in your life

Wednesday 9/15 10-11am

Introduction to Mac Computers

Wednesday 9/15 1-2pm

Group Chat- RP/Sight and Hearing Loss

Thursday 9/16 1-2pm

Group Chat- Back to School Memories

Thursday 9/16 6:30-7:30

Group Chat- How are you Doing and How are you Dealing?

Tuesday 9/21 10-11am

White Canes and More- Orientation and Mobility Information

Tuesday 9/21 7-8pm

Supporting our Loved Ones with Sight Loss

Wednesday 9/22 10-11am

Help! I Have Wardrobe Challenges!

Wednesday 9/22 1-2pm

Overlooked Resources

Thursday 9/23 1-2pm

Group Chat- Dry Eye

Tuesday 9/28 10-11am

Reading in the Dark Book Club

Tuesday 9/28 1-2pm

Tackling To-Dos- Tools for task management

Wednesday 9/29 10-11am

Money and Financial Transactions

Wednesday 9/29 1-2pm

Group Chat- RP Support Group

Thursday 9/30 1-2pm

Group Chat- Blind Culture

Living with Sight Loss Seminar

Your Hull Foundation Team is planning an educational seminar October 13-15. We will cover a variety of topics related to daily living skills, orientation and mobility, and more, through immersion workshops designed to help you adjust to changes brought on by sight loss.  Please email the office at or call 503-668-6195 for more information and registration details.

Upcoming Events

Monster Mash Getaway- Oct. 26-29, 2021

Winter Holiday Getaway- Dec. 7-10, 2021

Winter Adventure Retreat- Feb. 6-12, 2022

Spring Fling Getaway- April 5-8, 2022

Friends and Alumni Retreat- June 5-9, 2022

Moderate Adventure Retreat- Aug. 10-16, 2022

High Adventure Retreat- Aug. 24-30, 2022

Jokes to Keep you Laughing…or Groaning!

-Don’t interrupt someone working intently on a puzzle. Chances are, you’ll hear some crosswords.

-I’m a big fan of whiteboards. I find them quite re-markable.

-Q. Which country’s capital has the fastest-growing population?

A. Ireland. Every day it’s Dublin.

-Two windmills are standing in a wind farm. One asks, “What’s your favorite kind of music?” The other says, “I’m a big metal fan.”

Stay well, stay safe, stay happy!

The Hull Foundation Family

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