Newsletter for September 2023
By: Nicole Matheny
Table of Contents
• Article One: From the desk of the Executive Director
• 2. Nicole’s Musings
• Three: The Land of Phones
• Article Four: Can you Pick up Someone Else’s Thoughts?
Article One: From the Executive Director’s Desk
We had a pizza party yesterday and it will happen every month. There was a good turnout. After everyone ate, I demonstrated the “My-eye OrCam” and everyone was able to check it out. Although everyone thought of this device as a great tool, everyone understandably thought it to be too expensive for what it did. Vocation Consultants for the Blind will also reinstate game days along with other activities every month. I bought a Braille printer that can not only print braille. It can also print Braille tactile pictures. The company that I bought the printer from sells braille coloring books and I get them free, so I wanted to eventually sell those to make money for the center.
As I said before, we’re going to make this center boom.
Article Two: Nicole’s Musings
Who has heard the saying: “I’m not a mind reader.” That’s right! Nobody has the ability to read minds, however, I’ve heard this saying countless times from my stepmom especially: “I picked up on your thoughts.” Although no one has the gift of mind-reading unless you are psychic, some of us are lucky enough to pick up on others’ thoughts—especially if we are visually impaired. Especially in these uncertain times we must have that innate ability as blind people and this is the reason why self-defense classes are taught.
Even though I’ve had multiple mobility lessons, I am still one for getting lost especially around Bakersfield and Los Angeles City College. Thankfully I had Campus security available to me in both places, but there were times when I absolutely couldn’t wait for Campus security and 90% of the time, I would get a good College student who would help me out of the kindness of their heart. However, there was one day when I did not feel safe about one gentleman helping me. I sensed something off about him, so I let go of his hand and said: “I don’t need your help anymore. Thank you.” I kept walking and found someone who could help me.
Thankfully I’ve always been safe when I traveled.
Phones, Phones, and more Phones Oh My
For this particular section of the newsletter, I will interview different people about their phones, and these will be both visually impaired and sighted persons and I’m interviewing both types of people, because some sighted persons use almost the same assistive technology that we use on our phones. However, they use the same accessibility features we use, but for different reasons. Here is an example: If I say “Hey Google, Call Gabe,”. I want to do it because it’s quicker sometimes than flicking through all the contacts, but someone in a car might say: “Hay Google, or Siri, call Mom” because they’re driving and need to be hands free Call mom.” Because they’re driving, so what does that say about the —technology we use? It says that robotic voices can help everyone—not just the visually impaired. That’s why Bluetooth is so neat!
Today I interviewed my best friend Rosella Tuck.
Question: Rosie, do you enjoy the type of phone you have?
Answer “yes I love my iPhone it’s awesome!”
Question: “What do you like about it?”
“I like the fact that I can say “Hey Siri, tell me a joke. Hey Siri, play my music. I like iPhone versus Android because Voice over is already downloaded into the phone. With Android, you need to download “Talk Back”, or some other voice assistant.”
I myself have an iPad; and I love it because I can call someone on “Facetime”. I wish I had an iPhone, but for now I have an android, and it is what it is. Thankfully I can make calls, text people, and more.