The Stylus, 3rd Quarter Issue, Sep-2021

News You Can Actually Use

Brought to you by

The American Council of the Blind

of Oregon (ACBO)

3rd Quarter Newsletter

The Stylus

September 2021

——- Presidential Ponderings

By: ACB of Oregon President, Carrie Muth

I can hardly believe my term as your president is almost over. It has been an interesting experience considering all the changes with Covid. I have learned a lot & am grateful for all of you who have supported ACB of Oregon. Changing to a virtual convention in 2020 was a big challenge. Many of us hoped to get together in-person this year; unfortunately, Village Green was sold & we were unable to secure a new location. On appositive note, we learned a lot from last year’s convention & are planning some great things this year. I’ve enjoyed watching ACBO become closer over the past 18 months; we have embraced the Zoom platform making it easier than ever for members throughout our state to work together & become friends. I feel privileged to be your President & plan to run again in October. I would love to hear your thoughts on the direction of ACB of Oregon. You can reach me at 541-269-1993 or

New Secretary – I would like to thank Bobi Earp for her service as the ACBO Secretary since January 2020. Sadly, she resigned in early August. I called a special board meeting on August 16th during which the Board appointed Cassie Trosper to fulfill the remainder of Bobi’s term. Thanks Bobi for your service & welcome Cassie to ACB of

Oregon’s Board of Directors.

Have you thought of serving on the ACB of Oregon Board? Several Board positions will be up for election in October; President, 1st Vice President, 2nd Vice President, Secretary, & Treasurer will be elected this fall. If you are interested in running for an office, or would like to nominate someone, please reach out to James Edwards at 541-272-8214 or

It has been a busy summer in ACB. The national convention was held in July with 8 days of activities. Many of the sessions (over 160) are available as podcasts through ACB Media. They are busily getting more up weekly, so be sure to check them out.

Our state convention is coming soon. Have you registered for our convention October 22-24? The Fun Squad has been busy preparing for an exciting 2021 virtual convention. Our convention will end with our 1st ever Auction at 2 pm (PT) on October 24th. If you would like to donate an auction item or door prize, please contact Cassie Trosper at 541-290-8103 or Only the first 100 registrants will receive a goody bag, so register soon. I am excited to join you all there.

My personal life has been busy this summer. I had a couple of enjoyable camp trips, have spent a lot of time with my grandkids, & gained a grandson. Deluca joined my family July 22nd. He is healthy & a great joy. I feel very blessed to have the family I do.

I hope to hear you all at the convention in October.


======= Did Carrie win?

——- Get Up & Get Moving Campaign

Over 4 million Americans experience severe vision loss and blindness, which, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), puts a $51.4 billion dollar burden on our annual economy. And with statistics that show out of three Americans with diabetes experiencing signs of diabetic retinopathy — now the leading cause of blindness among working-age adults — the negative impact felt by the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the surface many of the challenges to inclusion and opportunity for many individuals experiencing blindness.

The driving force behind the social and economic burden of blindness is the onset of additional debilitating conditions, morbidity, and lost productivity. Collectively, these forces stand in the way of inclusion and independence, deeply weaving their way into the physical, psychological, and social fabric of life for people who are blind and visually impaired. As these harmful barriers assume an even greater impact amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Council of the Blind (ACB) has recognized the potential to elevate a national campaign focused on health and well-being.

Tony Stephens, ACB’s Director of Development and Communications team, shared that “the more we engage individuals most at risk, the better we can create a pathway to empowerment the more they can play a leadership role toward securing full and equal inclusion and independence in our society”.

The campaign aims to increase physical well-being by undertaking a health and wellness campaign entitled “Get Up & Get Moving,” bringing together partners from the public and private sectors to create opportunities for physical activity through safe peer-to-peer and social events, leveraging technology, when possible, to make mobility easy.

ACB’s Campaign committee chair Tom Tobin, affirms that “the more we get up and get moving, the more we can come together and take back our health, showing the world that we can break down the barriers to independence when empowered with the right knowledge, tools, and desire.”

The last 19 months is a powerful indicator of how a diminished physical, emotional, and social lifestyle can place a heavy weight on health and wellness.  Now is the time we must drive a national campaign that gets Americans who are blind and visually impaired up and moving.

The 2021 Get up and Get Moving kick-off event will be on White Cane Day October 15th! Stay tuned for more information.

——- STOP, it’s the LAW!!

National White Cane Safety Day

By Marylee Turner

Have you ever been hit by a car?

Ever known someone who has and perhaps lost their life?

Did you know it is a misdemeanor offence and has legal consequences?

National White Cane Safety Day is celebrated annually October 15th in all fifty states. However, this is something we as visually impaired people must be conscious of all year long, every time we cross a street; drivers must also, be aware of each time, they operate a vehicle be it a car, bike, scooter etc.

Many visually impaired people have been hit by a car and some killed, but always suffering life-long physical and/or emotional trauma. Their family and friends also must deal with the long-term effects of such injuries and loss.

This very special day has been celebrated since 1964 and is designed to raise awareness of the importance of safety for visually impaired and blind travelers while navigating streets throughout America.

The freedom to move around safely is a human right and is necessary for the wellbeing of everyone, blind and sighted alike. To create safe travel conditions for both White Cane users and dog guide users this must be practiced year-round, 24×7, not just on October 15th.

Every year on October 15th, the governor of Oregon puts out a proclamation about the importance of National White Cane Safety Day.

This year we are encouraging every community in Oregon to honor and celebrate this day in some way. Call Marylee if you need ideas.

In the Portland metro area, we are hoping to have a live event in conjunction with Portland Department of Transportation (PDOT.) PDOT is the sponsor of Sunday Parkways, an event through out the summer months (before and after COVID.)

All events are designed to raise awareness and educate everyone about the importance of National White Cane Safety Day.

“Oregon State White Cane Safety Law:

Section 811.035 Failure to stop and remain stopped for pedestrian who is blind

(1) The driver of a vehicle commits the offense of failure to stop and remain stopped for a pedestrian who is blind if the driver violates the following:

(a) A driver approaching a pedestrian who is blind or blind and deaf, who is carrying a white cane or accompanied by a dog guide, and who is crossing or about to cross a roadway, shall stop and remain stopped until the pedestrian has crossed the roadway.

(b) Where the movement of vehicular traffic is regulated by traffic control devices, a driver approaching a pedestrian who is blind or blind and deaf shall stop and remain stopped until the pedestrian has vacated the roadway if the pedestrian has entered the roadway and is carrying a white cane or is accompanied by a dog guide. This paragraph applies notwithstanding any other provisions of the vehicle code relating to traffic control devices.”

For more info, contact

Marylee Turner, co-chair

of the ACB of Oregon Pedestrian Safety Committee.


======= Did Marylee win?

——- ACBO Convention Update

Registering for this years virtual convention

Get registered by Oct. 5 and get in on the early bird pricing, $20.

To register go to the ACB of Oregon website and go down to register for the convention.

Or Call Sue Schwab, 503-871-6175

——- Running for ACB of Oregon Secretary

By: Cassie Trosper, Secretary ACB of Oregon Southwestern Chapter

Hello everyone! I wanted to take some time to introduce myself. My name is Cassie Trosper, and I am going to be running for ACB of Oregon Secretary in our October elections. I am currently serving as Interim Secretary to fulfill the ACB of Oregon Secretary duties that remain after the resignation of Bobbi. I can only hope that I can fill the position as well as she has. I also currently serve as the Secretary of the Southwestern Chapter.

A little bit about myself: I am a single mother of 3 kiddoes ages 17, 13, and 7. Although the only child I have in my household is Abi which most of you hear during meetings. She likes to lead our Pledge of Allegiance and assist in our door prize drawings for Convention. I am also a full-time college student. I will graduate this coming spring with my Associates of Oregon Transfer degree. Then I will be transferring to Eastern Oregon University to pursue my bachelor’s degree in Applied Psychology. My long-term educational goal is to become a Doctor of Psychology and become a Clinical Psychologist for the Veteran’s Administration (VA). I did serve in the United States Army before beginning to lose my vision.

I am very involved with my community and school. I look forward to staying involved with the ACB of Oregon and hope that on voting day during Convention you decide to vote for me as your ACB of Oregon Secretary. I plan to put my best foot forward to continue to serve in this position to the best of my ability.

——- AAVL Fundraiser

By Sue Staley

The holiday season calls for a time of celebration with family, friends or just relaxation.  Alliance on Aging and Vision Loss (AAVL) is producing a holiday season cookbook. Your original recipes are welcome. Appetizers to desserts will round out the cookbook.

The cookbook will be produced in all formats.

You can submit your recipes either by email or you can call and dictate them over the phone.

Deadline for submission is October 1st.

This fundraising activity is a win-win situation.  It will raise much needed funds for AAVL in order to better the lives of blind and visually impaired persons, and a cookbook is always an awesome holiday gift. 

Let your family and friends know about this; they can contribute by submiting a recipe and/or get the cookbook.

Sue Staley

Phone number: (503) 430-1868


——- Southwestern Chapter Happenings

By: Cassie Trosper, Secretary

The Southwestern Chapter has been on a break since our last meeting in May. We are looking forward to returning to meetings September 11th. The hope was to return to an in-person meeting but because of the COVID-19 numbers in our area we have decided to remain virtual for now. We want to do everything we can to help keep our members safe. We did hold our annual summer picnic on August 28th. There were 11 members that attended, they had a great time being able to get out and socialize with each other in the park. The hope is to continue our meetings with another guest speaker in October.

======= Did Sue win?

——- Employment Corner

LinkedIn for Oregon Job Seekers

By Carrie Muth

Are you looking for a job? Do you want to know how to use LinkedIn in your job search? The information below is from a flier sent to me by the Oregon Commission for the Blind; it was sent out by the Oregon Employment Department.

Subject: LinkedIn for Oregon Job Seekers

When: Occurs every month on the third Thursday of the month from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM effective 8/19/2021 until 8/19/2022.


LinkedIn is a professional networking site used globally by over 740 million members with over 55 million companies. 87% of recruiters are looking for candidates on LinkedIn and ac-cording to LinkedIn, job seekers are hired two times faster on their site. This online platform allows you to network virtually, connect with other professionals, show-case your work and build an online resume. You can even show that you are open to new opportunities, join shared interest/industry groups, search for employment and expand your skillsets! Join us to learn more about optimizing your profile and usage for success.

You are invited to join us for: “LinkedIn for Oregon Job Seekers”. Offered on the third Thursday of each month from 9-10 a.m. starting August 19th, 2021. Please join LinkedIn professional and subject matter expert Cecily Hastings via zoom at: Want to know some LinkedIn Statistics?

Good Luck in reaching your employment goals.

——- Parenting on a Dimmer Switch

By: Cassie Trosper, Secretary, ACBO Southwestern Chapter

As a young new parent of a beautiful baby boy, I took my vision for granted. I had no idea the visual impairment was drawing closer to me. When I was 21, I had my first son Travis. I was fully sighted at the time and had no inkling of a visual impairment. I was still driving, working, and living my day-to-day life. I joined the Army in 2006, while I was going through the in-processing phase I was sent to 2 different Ophthalmologists outside of the Army to look at what they said was “patterns” in my eyes. I didn’t understand what they were looking at because I had never had any of my yearly eye doctors mention anything of the sort to me. So, I was cleared by both doctors and was processed into the military. Later in 2008 I had my 2nd son hunter. I was 25 at that time. During one of my routine eye appointments the doctor asked if I would like to have strabismus surgery on an eye that was considered a lazy eye. It was turned out to the right so both my eyes did not look straight. After deciding I was interested in this I was set up for surgery. The specialist who did my surgery deemed the surgery a success. My eye was once again straight. But again he found the patterns in my eyes strange, so, next decided he wanted to do further testing to find out what was going on. I went through a grueling testing process and at the time found out after questioning that I was starting to have vision loss in my night vision abilities. This factor made it so I was not allowed to drive at night again. My doctor finally diagnosed me with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP). A genetic condition with no cure. I was devastated when they told me that I would progressively lose vision and that I was going to be medical boarded under honorable circumstances out of the military. My Army career was over. But my nightmare was just beginning. I had a 5-year-old son and a new baby. At this point I was still able to see them. I was still driving during the day and sometimes I was able to get around at night. After a divorce I moved to Oregon. This is where I met my late husband. We got married in June of 2014. Soon after I had our daughter Abi. I was now 31. I had already voluntarily stopped driving because I did not feel comfortable doing that anymore. I had a hard time judging distances and my depth perception was horrible. My husband passed away in April of 2015 from an undiagnosed medical issue that we later found out was Vascular Ehler’s Danlos Syndrome (VEDS). We also found out my daughter has this condition. She was 8 months old at the time of his passing. So here I was, left with a baby, not able to drive, and a portion of our family here only came around when it benefited them. A few months after his passing I had my biggest significant vision loss. I woke up one morning and my vision was a lot blurrier than normal. I tried to blink and washed my face, but it didn’t help. I began to panic and called my VA provider to find out what I needed to do. I couldn’t read my phone clearly. Anymore. I was soon linked up with the Oregon Commission of the Blind who put me in contact with Carrie Muth. She helped me figure out what I could do to keep myself moving forward.

Now I am 37, almost 38, years old. I have been deemed legally blind. My children are 18,13, and 7. I haven’t been able to see my children clearly since 2017. I am also now a full-time college student with many extracurricular activities within my college and community. I call this article Parenting on a Dimmer Switch because that is what my life has become. My light gets turned down a little bit at a time. It will never go completely off but it will never be turned back up. I used to take for granted being able to see my kids. Looking across a room to see where they were at, being able to read a book to them before bed, or just being able to hop in our car and go where we wanted when we wanted to go. I do take advantage of the vision I have let. I strive to be the best mom I can and stay active in my ACB community. Being around so many people who are so amazing in their own careers and lives gives me hope that I can continue to thrive in my own life and career goals. I hope that as I move forward with my career and aspirations to become a Doctor of Psychology that I can show people around me that it doesn’t matter what disability you have, or challenges that are in your way, if you put your mind to it, you can achieve it. And I hope I can use my career to help people find their way again if they have strayed off their path. Just because you can’t see the stars does not mean you can’t still reach for them.

======= Did Cassie win?

——- Living Healthier

Being Dehydrated Can Make You Tired, Grumpy and Sick by Dr. Mercola

Submitted by Sue Staley

 Have you ever been so busy you neglected to drink even a sip or two of water?

 for an extended period, then suddenly realized you were incredibly thirsty and in need of a long drink? By replenishing your body’s water supply when it tells you you’re thirsty, you can often stave off dehydration. In fact, typically your body’s physiologic thirst mechanism is triggered before you’re dehydrated, giving you a chance to rehydrate before it’s too late.

 There are exceptions to this rule, however, with the elderly and young children being at particular risk of becoming dehydrated. It’s estimated that 20 percent to 30 percent of older adults are dehydrated,

often due to water deprivation and the fact that people naturally have a lower volume of water in their body as they get older.

Infants and children may also become quickly dehydrated, especially if they’re sick and suffering from vomiting or diarrhea.

One study even suggested more than half of American children are dehydrated, while about

one-quarter do not drink water daily.

Among healthy adults, the National Academy of Sciences concluded, “The vast majority of healthy people adequately meet their daily hydration needs by letting thirst be their guide.”

However, if you’re ignoring your thirst or find yourself not drinking enough water during hot weather, especially if you’ve been exercising, it’s quite easy to become mild to moderately dehydrated, with signs and symptoms that may surprise you.

Why Your Body Needs Water

Your body consists of about 42 liters (44.4 quarts) of water, which accounts for between 50 percent and 70 percent of your body weight. Your blood is 85 percent water, your muscles 80 percent water, your brain 75 percent water and even your bones are 25 percent water, this fluid plays in your health.

So, what happens if you don’t drink enough? The Number 1 risk factor for kidney stones is not drinking enough water, for starters. There is also some research showing that high fluid intake is linked to a lower risk of certain types of cancer, such as bladder and colorectal.

Coronary heart disease has been linked to water intake, with a study showing women who drank five or more glasses of water per day reduced their risk by 41 percent compared to women who drank less. Men, meanwhile, reduced their risk by 54 percent.

Your body also needs water for blood circulation, metabolism, regulation of body temperature and waste removal. If you’re dehydrated, even mildly, your mood and cognitive function may also suffer. In a study of 25 women, those who suffered from 1.36 percent dehydration experienced a worsened mood, irritability, headaches and lower concentration, and perceived tasks to be more difficult.

When you don’t drink enough water, you may also pose a danger on the road, according to a study published in the journal Physiology & Behavior, which found dehydrated drivers made twice the number of errors during a two-hour drive compared to hydrated drivers.

How Your Body Reacts to Too Little Water

Your body runs optimally when it’s adequately hydrated, whereas negative biological changes occur when fluid is lacking. When you’re dehydrated, brain tissue fluid decreases,

leading to changes in brain volume. Your blood also becomes thicker and circulates less, which may lead to muscle cramps and triggers your kidneys to hold on to water, so your urine output decreases. Further, according to Toby Mündel, senior lecturer in sport and exercise science, Massey University, New Zealand:

“The thicker and more concentrated your blood becomes, the harder it is for your cardiovascular system to compensate by increasing heart rate to maintain blood pressure. When your dehydrated body is ‘pushed’— such as when exercising or faced with heat stress — the risk of exhaustion or collapse increases. This can cause you to faint, for instance, when you stand up too quickly.

 Less water also hampers the body’s attempts at regulating temperature, which can cause hyperthermia (a body temperature greatly above normal). At a cellular level, ‘shrinkage’ occurs as water is effectively borrowed to maintain other stores, such as the blood. The brain senses this and triggers an increased sensation of thirst.”

Mundel recommends keeping track of your body weight to monitor your hydration levels. First thing in the morning when you get out of bed, weigh yourself for three mornings in a row, then calculate the average of your weights. This is your normal baseline weight, and you should stay within 1 percent of that, if you’re adequately hydrated (assuming other factors haven’t influenced your weight).

 Surprising Signs of Dehydration

When your body is dehydrated, the lack of water can manifest in surprising signs and symptoms, including:

• Bad breath: Saliva is antibacterial, but when you’re dehydrated you have decreased saliva in your mouth. This allows odor-causing bacteria to thrive.

• Sugar cravings: Thirst can disguise itself as hunger, and many people reach for a snack when they’re actually thirsty. Sugar cravings are especially common when you’re dehydrated because your liver, which releases stored glucose, requires water to do so. Further, Amy Goodson, sports dietitian for the Dallas Cowboys, told Health, “When you exercise in a dehydrated state, you use glycogen (stored carbohydrate) at a faster rate, thus diminishing your stores more quickly.”

• Athletic declines: If you’re in the middle of a workout, a 2 percent decrease in body weight through water loss may lead to declines in performance of up to 10 percent, according to Goodson.

• Decreased alertness and increased fatigue: In a 2013 study, 20 healthy women in their mid-20s were deprived of all beverages for 24 hours. While no clinical abnormalities were observed in the biological parameters (urine, blood, and saliva), thirst and heart rate did increase and urine output was drastically reduced (and became darker).

As for mood effects, the authors noted, “The significant effects of [fluid deprivation] on mood included decreased alertness and increased sleepiness, fatigue and confusion.”

Other research has shown that even dehydration levels of just 1 percent may adversely affect cognitive performance.

• Chills: If you’re feeling chilled for no reason, it could be because you need to take a drink of water. When you’re dehydrated, your body limits blood flow to your skin, which can make you feel cold.

Constipation is another consequence of not drinking enough water, as your body will pull water from your stool to compensate for what you’re not taking in. This, in turn, makes your stool drier, harder and difficult to pass.

Other symptoms of mild and severe dehydration include:

Mild to Moderate Dehydration

Dry, sticky mouth

Sleepiness or tiredness

Dry skin




Few or no tears when crying

Minimal urine

Dry, cool skin

Muscle cramps

 Severe Dehydration

Extreme thirst

Irritability and confusion

Sunken eyes

Dry skin that doesn’t bounce back when you pinch it

Low blood pressure

Rapid heartbeat

Rapid breathing

No tears when crying


Little or no urination, and any urine color that is darker than usual

In serious cases, delirium or unconsciousness

 How Much Water Is Enough?

There’s quite a bit of debate about how much water the average person needs to stay healthy. You’ve probably heard the recommendation to drink eight 8-ounce glasses (known as 8×8 for short) of water a day to stay healthy, and it is often stated as scientific fact.

 However, it’s not quite that simple, as many factors affect how much water you need, from your age and health status to your activity levels and climate.

 Further, in a review published in the American Journal of Physiology, Dr. Heinz Valtin of Dartmouth Medical School, could find no scientific basis for the 8×8 rule, which is more aptly described as a myth.

Valtin also put to rest some myths regarding water consumption, such as that waiting to drink until you’re thirsty is too late, because by then you’re already dehydrated.

As Valtin said, “thirst is so sensitive, quick and accurate that it is hard to imagine that evolutionary development left us with a chronic water deficit that has to be compensated by forcing fluid intake.” Update NOVEMBER 2020

——- From Our Kitchen to Yours

Pies, not me!

By Carrie Muth

When growing up, I spent a lot of time in the kitchen. I was my grandmother’s shadow & often cooked with my Mom. In fact, I prepared my first turkey dinner at the age of 14 (ironically, the same age when I discovered I was legally blind due to RP). Anyway, the one thing I never got the hang of was baking pies. I tended to over work the pie crust, so it was never light & flaky like my Mom’s or sister’s. Several years ago, my sister shared an easy recipe for apple crisp. It is amazing warm topped with vanilla ice cream. It is a favorite of my family’s when camping **

Apple Crisp

8-10 Apples, cored, peeled, & sliced (I usually use a tarter apple like granny smith or any apple that is good for an apple pie)

Mix into the apples:

1/2 c. flour

1/2 c. sugar (depends on the tartness of the apples)

2-3 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Spread apple mixture evenly in a 9×13 baking dish


1 cube butter

1 c flour

1 c Brown Sugar

1 c Oatmeal

** Note: I put these ingredients into a gallon zipper bag & mix thoroughly

Spread topping evenly over apple mixture.

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes

** Note: Brown sugar can cause burning; to prevent, cover with foil after 20 minutes


  • Other fruits – I have used the same topping for a mixed berry crisp, blackberry crisp, or any other fruit. It takes 12-14 cups of fruit for a 9×13 pan.
  • You can make a smaller crisp with 9 cups of fruit for an 8×8 baking dish (be sure to adjust sugar accordingly)
  • You can use either brown or white sugar depending on the fruit
  • When making a smaller crisp, I use the same amount of topping because it is delicious)

When having a summer gathering, or camping, I serve the crisp warm with vanilla ice cream on top.

Enjoy the deliciousness **

======= Did Michael win?

——- Tech Corner

 Do You Know that AIRA has a Discount Plan for ACB Members, veterans or free minutes for small business owners?

AIRA uses the latest technologies to connect people who are blind or have low vision with real, highly trained professionals who provide visual information on demand.

When you need to do something where some extra visual information can help you save time and be more efficient, just open the app and give them a call. You’ll connect with someone who can see your surroundings through your phone’s camera.

Protecting your privacy and ensuring you feel secure using Aira are their top priorities. Anyone you connect with will have passed robust background checks, signed strict privacy clauses, and undergone weeks of rigorous training.

A live, trained agent is just one tap away, ready and waiting to help you save time and do more.

If you need eyeballs on something, they’ve probably already done it.

Here are a few things you can do with AIRA

• Simplify Social Distancing

• Identify grocery items and have the directions read

• Identify clothing, colors, see if there are any stains etc.

• Get help with visual things on your computer screen or a website

• Navigate inside an unfamiliar building and find the bathroom or room numbers

• Go shopping for groceries etc.

• Read mail and sign documents

• Adjust temps on heaters or air conditioning units

• Locate the settings on a washer and drier

• set up Alexa smart devices such as a microwave etc.

• Navigate across a parking lot

• Find out what a big, noisy piece of equipment is doing down the street

• Find out what your dog is actually up to in the back yard

• Read restaurant menus

• Call Lyft or Uber and locate the car when it arrives

AIRA has partnered with Walgreens, Target, AT&T, Star Bucks, most airports and more. What this means is that an AIRA Explorer can use AIRA inside those places and it is free, it doesn’t cost any minutes.

If you are a member of ACB, AIRA has two plans at a discount.

• The intro plan normally is $30 for 30 minutes a month.

With the ACB Intro plan you can get 30 minutes for $10 less at $20 per month.

• The second plan is the ACB Enhanced plan.

Normally it is $99 for 120 minutes a month, but with the Enhanced plan you get 140 minutes for the same $99 per month.

Requesting Aira from the Department of Veterans Affairs

If you are a veteran, you can get a truly sweet deal with AIRA. For each two-year contract, costs include: a one-time purchase fee, paid by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and a monthly charge of $29 for 400 minutes of service, paid by the Veteran

If you have a small business, you can get free minutes, in 30-minute blocks, to do tasks related to your business.

1: Download the app, there are several ways to do this.

• It’s free to download and available in the Apple App and Google Play stores.

• You can enter your mobile number to have a link sent to your phone to download the app.

• You can also find it by telling SIRI, to search for AIRA in the app store

It should be the first thing that comes up.

It will say “Information on demand”

2: Create an account

All they need is your mobile number to get started. No credit cards, no commitments, no problems.

Aira is supported in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK.

To get started or get more info

Call customer service: 1-800-835-1934

6AM to 6PM Pacific, 7 days a week.

On the web

——- Making National Parks Accessible

Submitted by  Lynette Kersey

Did you know you can be part of a team to help make national parks accessible and all from the comfort of your own home?

Since 2017, ACB volunteers have assisted Dr. Brett Oppegaard of the University of Hawaii, and the National Park Service, to provide high quality audio description for NPS brochures through the Uni Description Project’s Descript-a-thon events.

There is now a dedicated core group of ACB volunteers who return for each new event, not just to add to the project, but because it is great fun!

Would you like to be a part of a team that co-creates Audio Description for national parks around the world? Would you like to work directly with park staff on a research initiative to make public places more accessible for people who are blind or low vision?

The 8th Descript-a-thon, sponsored by the U.S. National Park Service, the U.S National Endowment for the Humanities, and Google is taking place Oct. 26-28.

The Descript-a-thon idea, created by researchers at the University of Hawaii 2017, is a grant-funded workshop that includes free training about Audio Description but also involves the co-creation of a public product, i.e., the audio-described park brochure, that will be released to the public at the end of the event. These descriptions are available worldwide and for free through The Uni Description Project’s mobile apps (on iOS/ Android). More than 130 national parks already have published new Audio Description through this Descript-a-thon process.

There is no cost to participate – other than your time – but you do need to be committed to devoting three days to this research project when there is a descript-a-thon event, plus be willing to do about 10 hours of prep spread out during the two months beforehand. There will be synchronous Zoom calls and small-group activities during the event days. You will be working directly with staff members at a public place, such as a National Park Service, Parks Canada, or U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service site. All you need to participate is a strong Internet connection, a computer to use for the Zoom calls, and a smartphone.

To find the app that has all the park descriptions search for “uniDescription” in the app store or in the Google store.

To browse the National Park service website, go to: From there you can search for national parks.

If you want to learn more about the uniDescription project and mobile app, go to:

If you are interested in more information and to perhaps be on a future team to help to describe other national parks etc.

please contact me, Lynette, at

541-821-8985, cell

======= Did Mona win this time?


======= Drumb Roll Please! Marylee Turner won this time! Woohoo!

Marylee, get ahold of me and let me know you discovered you won and then I can have Sue Schwab send you your winnings.


The submission contest now has a deadline.

You will have till the end of the month of which the current issue is published, to contact me to let me know you discovered your name as the winner of this quarters contest.

As you all know by now, every Stylus issue has a contest for submitting items that will potentially go in the Stylus.

One name will be selected, and that lucky person will receive a check for $25. The winner must call or email me by the end of the month this newsletter came out to let me know they discovered their name as being the winner for this issue. Your $25 check will be released after you contact me.

Keep those submissions coming and good luck!!

Thanks for reading this issue of the Stylus!

May you always have enough!

In love and light

Your Happy Editor

Teresa Christian


Phone: 971-322-8462

The Stylus is the official quarterly publication of the American Council of the Blind of Oregon.

To change your address, request alternative formats for ACB publications, or request financial documents, contact our State Treasurer Sue Schwab.


Cell: 503-871-6175

For more information about the American Council of the Blind of Oregon, go to our web page at:

President ACB of O Carrie Muth,

Phone: (541) 297-8309