NFB Open to All Conference Call

January 2012


We had great attendance and great conversation and a great subject and speaker! The following is for those who could not make the call and also to provide the resources discussed. Thank you, all, for an informative "meeting."

Our guest speaker was Samantha Green of the Iris Network and we would like to thank her for her time and for the information and the encouragement to get creative before we get expensive as we solve organizational glitches we might run into in our home, work place or dorm room.

First, we opened the call to any "Wins" that people may have had in their lives since we last met. (I like to do this-when I remember to! So, flag me down if I forget and you have something to share on the next call.) We had three people with super "Wins":

Lynn Duplessis shared that she had come across a video made in New Hampshire called, "How Can I Help You?," that is directed to the healthcare profession. Lynn used it for an in-service at her local hospital and it was extremely well received. I think having a blind person presenting and available to answer questions is vital in making this work. Thank you, Lynn, for this link and for doing the in-service!

Next, Bobbie LaChance announced that her second romance novel is due to be out and published in ninety days! What a big project and congratulations!

Speaking of big projects, next was Roger Cusson who told us that he and his team had put in a bid on a huge Veterans' Administration project. Tell us all when it comes in! (it had something to do with computers and .I.T, of course. Or, as we have come to call it:"computer stuff.")

Samantha Green was next to talk about organizing...anything. First, she advises to "get rid of the clutter!" And before that, admit you might, indeed, have clutter! Keep things near where you would use them and try to keep working surfaces clear. Bobbie shared that she had organized with shelves that fit into her fridge. the rule in our house is literally, "don't move my cheese"! But Sam pointed out that not everyone can live in a place and have control over their cheese. for example, when people share an apartment or a dorm room, it is a good idea to have your own space in the fridge, in a cupboard, etc. Not only that, but to also talk about it with the people who share your space,"This is how I can find what I need and be most efficient." We got to talking about the expense of shelving and Bobbie said that they had their friends who go to garage sales be on the look out for just the size that they needed. and it worked! Once again, communicate. I have a box in the fridge for-you guessed it-cheese. It could be an old piece of plasticware with a missing lid, like ours, or anything that can work for you. One woman puts all her condiments in an old shoe box in the fridge that she pulls out as needed. There is also Good Will, sturdy cardboard boxes on their sides for a "cupboard" and shelf and on and on.

Next we discussed labeling. There are Braille labelers and color coding. The Braille labels fall off the oily bottles in my aroma therapy set, so sometimes that may not work. What Bobbie likes is a gadget called "the Pen Friend". It looks like a pen and comes with '"dots" that, somehow, keep the recording on it when you say "ketchup." Alphabetically can be a good way to arrange things and clothes can be matched with tiny pins. for example, the navy blue slacks have a tiny safety pin on the label and the black ones, just like them-only black, do not. Samantha told us that her ideas come from her clients as they brainstorm the situation. It can then be shared with the next client with a similar problem. I call brain-storming,"The Idea Factory." so from our Idea Factory:

*cut cereal boxes in the same shape as the plastic magazine holders or folder holders you'd buy. This kept coloring books, magazines and school papers collected for me for a long time. Do you have any more? I can keep them for the next Recap. I do think that the biggest help is to rid your space of clutter, things that don't belong right there when used, things you may have more than one of and pass it on to Good Will!

Below are the on-line resources and the attachment is also from Samantha. At the end,you will find how to get in touch with her. Again, thank you, Samantha!

I am including here the NFB's Washington Seminar site. One of the bills we are bringing before Congress is the Technology and appliance Accessibility Act. so many things now have flat touch screens and to render an appliance at least minimally usable, a blind person must place dots and orange dashes here and there to label important commands or numbers. Can you recall what all your dots and dashes are for? You shouldn't have to do it all to begin with and we are sending Roger Cusson and Leon Proctor down to Washington DC to talk to our Maine delegation to Congress about this, and two other, bills. Please send along any experiences you have had trying to use touch, flat panel technology and appliances. They can bring your story to where it would do the most good!

Our next Open Call will be on legislative matters, state wide and nationally. be with us on February 16, the third Thursday, at 7:00. Spread the word to others who can come and check us out and see if this call would be of help to them.

Be well,
Patty Estes
President, NFB of Maine
207 344 8292

And from Samantha Green: The document attached to this link is all about Organization. Feel free to share it.


Below are some online sites for organization products:

Samantha Green, MA, CVRT
Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist
The Iris Network
5 Mollison Way
Lewiston, ME 04240
(207) 753-9076

Vision with no limits.

Thank you,
Patricia C. Estes
President, NFB of Maine
207 344 8292

Next Month: A report from our representitives to the annual Washington Seminar


"The Voice of the Blind-Changing what it means to be blind in Maine!"