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On Sight: July 2015

Protect Your Eyes during Eye Injury Prevention Month

Remember to wear safety goggles for outdoor activities such as home improvement projects, mowing the lawn, or trimming the hedges where debris may come in contact with your eyes.

It’s that time of year when we all want to spend more time outdoors. Activities might include gardening, mowing and trimming, getting around to those clean-up projects, and participating in a favorite sport. Whatever you’re doing, it’s important to protect your eyes from potential risks. The American Academy of Ophthalmology ( notes that accidental eye injury is one of the leading causes of visual impairment in the United States and that 90% of these injuries are preventable.

Remember these three things to keep your eyes safe from flying debris, chemicals, sun, and anything else that might present a risk to your vision health this summer:

Always wear eye protection. This might mean eyewear with side shields or safety goggles, depending on the activity. Your eye doctor can recommend appropriate eye protection for your sport of choice. If your eyewear is meant to be worn in the sun, be sure to choose quality sunglasses that offer 100% UV-A and UV-B protection.

Identify potential hazards before you begin an activity. If you’re going to mow the lawn, check the yard for objects that might become airborne and harm your vision. If it’s a fix-it project, get those goggles on to prevent fumes, dust particles, sparks, debris, or chemicals from making contact with your eyes.

Know what to do in case of an accident. For a chemical splash, flood your eyes with cool, clean water for 15-20 minutes. Afterward, seek medical attention at an emergency room. If you get a foreign body stuck in your eye, contact your eye doctor or emergency room immediately—don’t try to remove it yourself. Even a seemingly light blow to the head can cause a serious eye injury. If a black eye, pain or visual problem occurs after a blow, seek help from your vision professional or go to the emergency room.

An added bonus of filling your summer with outdoor activities is the exercise you’ll get while doing it. Good physical and mental health contributes to good eye health.

Are you looking for more opportunities to spend time outside this summer? Visit the Council’s Recreation and Outdoors page at to find activities near you.

To learn more about protecting your eyes, visit these helpful websites:,, and

You’ve Got to Laugh Sometimes: ABAPITA Moments #2

This month’s featured article from the Outlook from Here blog

This is a second installment of stories that have to do with a wonderful expression in the blindness community: ABAPITA. That stands for “Ain’t blindness a pain in the anatomy.” Dialogue Magazine has carried a column by this name since the mid 1960’s. It sums up those experiences that are both frustrating and funny as blind and visually impaired folks encounter a sighted world and vice versa.

For example:

Theresa writes:

I was hosting company in our winter home in Arizona. We decided to take my cousin and her husband to the “Dolly Steamboat” in Tortilla Flats. While we were in line for the tickets that I reserved, my cousin told me she wanted to pay for the tickets, but I had told already told her that it was on me. So she spoke up in a loud voice to the person behind the ticket window, “My cousin is special needs. She is blind and can’t see!” The ticket taker then handed my credit card back to her and looked at her and said, “Ahhhh… the poor thing.” Obviously my cousin does not know me!

Judith writes:

When I was a student at UW-Madison, I worked for a while answering the phone at the McBurney Disability Resource Center. One day I was told that people who were deaf would be coming in and out of the office because a deaf speaker was on campus. After other staff members left to attend the event, I heard someone come in and go into another office. Then I got a telephone request for the exact location of the event, but I did not know it. Not knowing sign language and assuming the person who came in was deaf, I wrote a note asking for the information I needed and held it up in front of her. Using my white cane, I returned to my desk thinking that she must have recently lost her hearing because she spoke so softly and with no trace of the type of speech sometimes characterizing long-time deaf speakers. I answered the telephone caller’s question. Then the woman in the office said, “Oh, I didn’t know you’re blind. I thought you’re deaf and signed to you!”

Frank shares:

Not long after I lost my sight, I decided to make lunch for my young children while my wife was out. I proceeded to ask my son Andrew, who was age 5 at the time, to tell me if the two cans of soup I pulled from the cabinet were both the same kind of soup. He said that they were. I then poured each of them in a pan and began to warm them up. While the soup was warming up I made some grilled cheese sandwiches. Ten minutes later I called the kids for lunch. I served them each a bowl of soup and a sandwich; feeling rather accomplished at the time. All of the sudden I heard a number of moans and groans from my children and immediately asked what was wrong. My daughter said that I had mixed pea soup and tomato soup and it looked yucky! I then asked Andrew, “I thought you said that they were both the same kind of soup!” “They were” he said, “They were both Campbell’s!” This experience taught me to be very specific when asking people questions!

Now it’s your turn! Send your ABAPITA moments to Kathie at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and more will be shared.

Learn more about our writers on the Who We Are page.

Sign up for July Youth Sports Camp at Marquette University

Do you know any kids entering grades 6 – 12 that are blind or visually impaired that have a love for sports? Check out this upcoming Youth Sports Camp, sponsored by the Vision Forward Association. They will have the opportunity to participate in swimming, track and field, goalball and much more! All sports will be adapted specifically for youth with vision loss. Camp will be 7/15 - 7/16 at the Marquette University Campus.
For more information, click here:

The Youth Sports Camp is being coordinated and organized by Council scholarship recipient, Ian Kloehn. For more information, contact Ian at 262-751-4921 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Sharper Vision Store Product Feature: The Clarity D704

The Clarity® D704 amplified/low vision cordless phone with Caller ID Display amplifies incoming sound up to 40 decibels, and it’s 20 times louder than a standard home phone. For low vision individuals, the D704 features the loudest keypad of any cordless phone, high contrast numbers, a backlit keypad that’s easy to see at night, and a bright visual ringer. For extra convenience, this product has a handset speakerphone so you can listen hands-free at up to 40 decibels, plus it allows as many as five handsets.

Clarity’s patented hearing technology, Clarity Power™ makes hearing easy again by:

  • minimizing background noises
  • eliminating feedback and distortion
  • managing soft and loud sounds to produce clarity
  • offering four tone settings to customize your listening experience

Item #HC704 $99.95

To learn more about this phone and other related products, call the Sharper Vision Store at 608-237-8100 or visit

Telephone webinar update

If you were unable to attend our Telephones and Visual Impairment webinar on June 11, you can access this informative program at your convenience by clicking on Council Vision Rehabilitation Teachers Jean Kalscheur and Virginia DeBlaey discuss and demonstrate the different types of phones (corded, cordless and cell), considerations when purchasing a phone, dialing without vision, setting up speed dial, and helpful telephone tips.

White Cane Appeal Thermometer

As of July 1, we are currently at 82% of our goal and have raised $18,750 since the campaign began in early May.

Thank you for your support!

Save the Dates: Fox Valley Low Vision Fair and Dining in the Dark

The Council is going to be in the Fox Valley area late August. Please join us for the following events:

Thursday, August 27th:
Dining in the Dark at GingeRootz Asian Grille in Appleton, WI
Reservations will start in early August. Email Lori at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to ensure you receive the latest updates!

Friday, August 28th:
Fox Valley Low Vision Fair at Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, WI

For more details on how to become involved, contact Jean at 608-237-8106.