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News & Views from ameside lind ssociation

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Issue No. 18

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Winter 2010

A newsletter for visually impaired people. 1


Editor: Journalists/ contributors: Photos provided

Editorial Team: Vicky Kay Morag Taylor, Debbie Mutch, Margaret and Ray Carter, Philip Singleton, Glenis Lee, John Howard, Judy Grant, Betty Wade, Margaret Shorrock. Vicky Kay, Jill Doidge.

Cover: Gwen Cooper tells us about her memories of past Christmases, see page 6. Note from the Editor. Seasons greetings! Well as I‘m sure you all know, Winter is well and truly upon us! I hope you are all keeping warm and cosy, and getting ready for the festive season. Here in the office we are keeping busy as always. Jill and Glenis have been wanting to get the office decorated for Christmas for a while now, however Philip and I managed to put them off until December, which seems to be quite good going! We have all been busy trying to get that ever growing ‗To Do List‘ shrunk; and Glenis, Philip and myself have been busy trying to get through all our home visits before we break up for Christmas! Speaking of which, the details of when the office is closed over the festive period is on the back page, so don't forget to read that and get any requests for the new year in before we break up! Now on to this edition of the newsletter! In this issue we have a smattering of seasonal articles, as well as the usual sprinkling of technology reports, interesting pieces and news from other organisations who also help people with vision impairments. You will also find our new leaflet within the newsletter, which explains about all the services we provide, both for visually impaired people and members of the public. If you would like more copies, please get in touch! (Contact details on back page). And now there's nothing more to say, other than that we at the office wish you all a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year! Written by: Vicky Kay, Editor and Development Worker, TBA CSP. 2


Volunteers “Get Together”

A Full office: The CSP office full of volunteers for our „get together‟.

Volunteers who work for Tameside Blind Association either directly or through the Community Support Project (CSP) and for the various clubs in Tameside joined in a training and social ―get together‖ event on August 11th. The session gave people the opportunity to meet fellow volunteers who work in different aspects of the Association‘s activities and also to see first hand some of the latest gadgets and technology that help people in their daily lives. Particular interest was shown in accessible mobile phones and in a portable (rechargeable) daylight style reading lamp. The ―get together‖ gave people the chance to chat to Project staff and Committee Members and to meet our new Admin Assistant – Jill. Jill joined us in March and most people will have at least spoken to her on the phone but the get together was an opportunity to say hello in person and discover her hidden talent of making delicious cupcakes. Thank you again to all the volunteers working with Visually Impaired people in Tameside; whether in clubs, as committee members or for the Support Project. The time and effort you put in is very much valued by everyone. We are looking for some additional volunteers in the Support Project and particularly those able to guide and transport people to appointments and those who could do ―odd jobs‖ in peoples homes. If you would be interested please let us know, or if you know someone who could be interested please pass on our details! Written by: Philip Singleton, Project Manager, TBA CSP. 3


A Pagan Yule-tide. Christmas, Xmas, Holidays, Nativity, Noel. Call it what you will, but it all boils down to our ancient tradition of ―Yule‖. Yule tide has both Saxon and Norse origins: ―Lul‖ is the Norse meaning of ―Wheel‖, and ―Hweolor-tid‖ is Saxon for ―turning time‖; this represents the turning of the year, from dark to light. In the Pagan calendar Yule begins on the 21st December and last for five days. Yule remembers our origins before Christianity came to the shores of this island. Many pagans were reluctant to give up their pagan pathways and their mid-winter celebrations (and who can blame them!), therefore ―Yule‖ was replaced by ―Christmas‖ or ―Christ-Mass‖, as people were already used to celebrating a festival at this time of year. Yule, December 21st marks the turn of the wheel from the old to the new, after the shortest day and the longest night. The sun begins its return to the earth, without which life on earth would be impossible. We also have our own version of ―Father Christmas‖: The ―Holly King‖ was also commonly known by Pagans as ―Old Nick‖. He gave gifts especially to children and rode his sleigh across the sky, pulled by reindeer (remember this is a Norse tradition) through the ―Yule tide‖ eve. When the Christians took over the Yule festival, ―Old Nick‖ became a saint and ―Old Nick‖ was destined for lower things… This holiday is one that Pagans and Christians alike can relate to, as ―The light of the World‖ is reborn demonstrating how both Pagans and Christians have blended together over the centuries. Whatever your religious pathway may be, remember loved ones that have passed; keep these people in your thoughts and close to your heart. And may I wish you a happy and peaceful time this holiday season. Bright Blessings. Written by: Debbie Mutch, Visual Impairment Team. 4


TBA committee secretary and treasurer report. First of all, many thanks to those members who attended the AGM on Friday 22nd September. The following members were elected as Trustees for the year 2010-2011: John Price Chair  Ray Carter Treasurer  Margaret Carter - Secretary  Beryl Williams Membership Secretary  Gordon Collinge - Trustee  Phil Dewsbury Trustee It was somewhat disappointing that we have been unable to attract new active members to be Trustees. Anyone interested can contact Margaret Carter at TBA 330 7778 or at CSP at 343 4090 or e-mail tba@tamesideblind.org.uk. In the next year we will have to decide the future of the Community Support Project as the present Big Lottery funding finishes in January 2013. If we are unable to secure funding then we will be unable to carry on with the Project. This is going to be a very challenging time for the voluntary sector as we are increasingly called upon by some of the most vulnerable in our society. Over the past year several vision impairment associations have found it difficult to continue and have had to amalgamate. We would like to thank the few people who have arranged for a monthly standing order from their bank as a donation to TBA. People may not be aware that under the Government GIFTAID scheme, we, as a registered charity, can claim back the 20% tax already paid for on a donation that a person makes, providing they are a tax payer. For every £100 we would claim an extra £25 from the taxman for the Association. Any queries contact Ray Carter at the above phone/email numbers. Written by: Margaret and Ray Carter, Secretary and Treasurer, TBA. 5


In Christmases gone by... Gwen has a friendly smile and twinkling eyes as bright as the scarlet sweater she is wearing on this cold winter afternoon. She is a lady with quite a history. Having been an only child she was brought up in Hollingworth where she attended the Gwen is all set for this local primary school. Christmas. Gwen remembers Christmas times back then when Hollingworth was covered in a blanket of snow and she joined her friends in snowballing and sledging and, as the song says; chestnuts were roasted on an open fire. The war had broken out when she was about 12 years old and Hollingworth had been host to a number of evacuees from Liverpool. Gwen became friendly with one evacuee called Audrey who was a tall, Cheerful, buxom lass. She has vivid memories of this fearless creature frequently being the first to try out the safety of the ice before the rest of the children ventured onto the ponds to ice-skate. Unfortunately, because of her size Audrey became known as Bella the Barrage Balloon. Eventually Gwen married and spent the following Christmases with her 5 children. Christmas with her husbands family was a special occasion and they all made their own entertainment. Her husband was very fond of playing music for the gathering and he was one of those talented people who could play any tune by ear on the piano. He also loved to sing and so did his brother, which meant for lively Christmas entertainment. Eventually it became apparent that Gwen and her husband were not destined to remain permanently in Hollingworth; they spent 10 years in Zambia as her husband‘s work produced materials for copper mining. She loved the climate and the lifestyle with its pony club and golfing; the luxurious lifestyle of the Brits living 6


and working there at the time, which was completely different from what she had been used to. Christmases in Zambia were also completely different from what she was used to; Instead of celebrating Christmas with cold wintery snowy weather there were barbecues by the swimming pools adjacent to the house. Gwen continues to have a lively enquiring mind and is fascinated by new technology; she keeps in touch with her friends and family via e-mail, has the latest phone and also owns an iPod Touch music player that even her grandchildren are jealous of! She is looking forward to Christmas this year with her children and grandchildren, and is thinking of asking Santa for the latest hand-held video magnifier for Christmas! Written by: Betty Wade, TBA CSP volunteer.

BEWARE – Council Cut Backs

The economic recession and the results of the Government‘s recent spending review have had a major impact on Council staff and services available in Tameside. Support for Vision Impaired people in Tameside has been better than the average across the country in recent years but the recent cutbacks are eating away at services available. Most recently we have seen the loss of a staff post providing Counselling Services and now the withdrawal of transport to and from events and appointments at Vision First. This comes after earlier cut backs leading to the withdrawal of funding for the Talking Book Service, withdrawal of the specialist Welfare Rights worker and previous restrictions on transport facilities for people to attend Social Clubs etc. We understand that the proposed Independent Living Centre has also been put on hold. Transport is one of the biggest issues facing people with sight loss and these cut backs will further reduce independence and increase isolation amongst this part of the community – some of whom are amongst the most vulnerable in our community. If you feel strongly about these cut backs, we suggest that you contact your local councillor and make your feelings known. Written by: Philip Singleton, Project Manager, TBA CSP. 7


Pioneering eye implant trials deemed a success. A trial in Germany‘s University of Tuebingen fitted 11 people with an experimental microchip behind the retinas. The chip – known as a subretinal implant – sits under the retina (the layer at the back of the eye which holds the light sensitive cells) and has a cable protruding through the skin behind the ear which connects to a battery. The implant converts light that Where the implant is placed. enters the eye into electrical impulses which are then fed into the optic nerve behind the eye. The brain is then trained to interpret the signals it receives into lines and blocks, and therefore the patient can detect objects in the real world. Miikka Terho, a 46 year old Finnish man, was one of the participants in this medical pilot study, and produced the best results. He lost his sight because of the inherited condition Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), which progressively degenerates the cells in the eye‘s retina, starting with night blindness, then tunnel vision, until (usually) permanent blindness. Mr Terho described his experience: ―In the first couple of hours of the testing it was mainly seeing flashes of light; they didn‘t form anything meaningful… Then day after day when we started working with it, practising, I started seeing better and better all the time‖. With practice Mr Terho was able to identify and find objects placed on a contrasting coloured table in front of him, as well as walk around a room independently and approach people, read a clock face and differentiate between 7 shades of grey. Mr Terho explains that ―It‘s not the same kind of seeing as you 8


have when you look out of a window and you can see... It was like black and white… For example with the letter ‗L‘, I saw the vertical line clearly, I saw the horizontal line clearly, but they didn‘t connect. The horizontal line kept bouncing a little bit, but then after a couple of days, when I got used to the chip, all of a sudden, the letter ‗L‘ was nice and complete.‖ The implants have now been removed from all the participants, but with the promise of an upgraded version that keeps all of the device underneath the skin, with the power device clipping behind the ear delivering power discreetly through the skin. Charities such as the Retinitis Pigmentosa Fighting Blindness (RPFB) society give this news a cautious welcome. David Head, Chief Executive of RPFB said: ―It‘s really fascinating work, but it doesn‘t restore vision. It rather gives people signals which help them to interpret.‖ Prof. Dr. Zrenner has a more positive position: ―The present study… presents proof-of-concept that such devices can restore useful vision in blind human subjects, even though the ultimate goal of broad clinical application will take time to develop‖.

Doggy Poo Bins The local council in Tameside have changed the way dog poo is to be disposed of. The special bins for dog poo have been removed throughout the borough and additional general refuse bins are to be made available. All litter, including dog poo, should now be placed in any of the general litter bins. This follows a national campaign to clean up the streets and as the campaign poster says:- ―There‘s no such thing as the dog poo fairy. Bag that poo – any rubbish bin will do‖. Written by: Philip Singleton, Project Manager, TBA CSP. 9

Dog Poo awareness poster.


Tameside Talking News goes High-Tech! Tameside Talking News (TTN) is changing to digital recording and providing new players for their listeners. After thirty three years of using cassette tapes, TTN have decided to move on to the more modern technology of memory sticks (sometimes known as flash drives, thumb drives or USB sticks). We are currently in the process of supplying the ‗Boomboxes‘ that play the memory sticks to all our registered listeners. These are specially designed independent players for people with vision impairment, meaning no computer is needed. The change will bring TTN into the modern age, speeding up recording and copying on each production evening, and giving a ‗crisper‘, clearer sound, along with ease of use for the listener. The cost of the changeover was assisted by the former Mayor of Tameside, Cllr John Sullivan, who donated funds to facilitate the buying of a computer and from a generous grant from the Tameside Community Chest (the funding body born Protective from the money saved by the borough introducing the sheath recycling scheme.) Volunteers have been organising home visits with the current listeners to Orange show them the new equipment tactile and how easy it is to use. Each bump memory stick swivels out of a plug protective sheath and has an orange tactile bump on the left-hand- Swivel point side, which helps to make sure you stick: multiple have it the right way up when fitting it into Memory views the vertical slot on the Boombox. The Boombox has an on/off switch on the back, and a set of 4 red buttons on the front in the middle. The top one is a swivel switch for the volume; the next button down is the pause/play button; and the two below that are the back and forward (in that order). The vertical slot that the memory stick fits into is to the left of these lower buttons. As soon as you plug in the memory 10


stick it will automatically start playing so you don‘t Volume Swivel have to do anything. It also has the Switch added features of being able to skip articles or go back to the Pause/play Button beginning of an article with the touch of a button, and of course, Back Button you can still pause it if you get Forward Button interrupted when listening! Slot for John Howard, co-ordinating Memory the change with technician Stick Ian Jones says, ―The new system will bring our listeners into the digital age, with ‗purer‘ sound still delivered in the familiar padded yellow envelopes. As our teams of volunteers have been going around to prearranged meetings we have been The boom-box, and close up delighted at the response from our of buttons. listeners, who have made lovely comments about the service, which is all provided by a large team of local unpaid volunteers and free of charge.‖ When the changeover is complete, listeners will start to receive the memory stick recordings and should find the new equipment easy to use. The group will begin to record the weekly news onto memory sticks early in the New Year. If you don‘t already receive Tameside Talking News and you would like to, get in touch through our friends at TBA; they will give us your details, then you can leave the rest to us. Written by: John Howard, TTN volunteer.

Lost in Translation? One of our members is willing to help with translation into Polish, Russian, German and Ukrainian. If you are interested in his services, please get in contact with us here at the office and we can organise it (see back page for contact details). 11


RP – Fighting Blindness On 21st September Sue Drew from the above society kindly visited Tameside Blind Association (TBA) to talk about Retinitis Pigmentosa. Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) is the name given to a group of inherited diseases of the retina that all lead to a gradual progressive reduction in vision. Difficulties with night vision and peripheral vision are the first things that are noticed. Later, reading/detailed vision and colour vision are affected. The age at which symptoms start is variable. The rate at which vision deteriorates is also variable but is generally very slow, with changes occurring over years rather than months. In around 50 to 60% of all cases there are other family members with RP. RP affects approximately 1 in 3,000 to 4,000 people. However the number of people with RP in Britain is not really known. If you or a family member have RP, the RP charity can link you with people who have had similar experiences. Meeting others who have faced similar challenges can help in itself. There is a telephone HELPLINE: 0845 123 2354, and EMAIL HELPLINE: helpline@brps.org.uk. Sue has several copies of the DVD ―Living with RP‖ and if you would like a copy please do contact us here at TBA. Written by: Glenis Lee, Development Worker, TBA CSP.

Top tips for keeping warm and well this winter. Heat your home well: By setting your heating to between 1821°C/64-70°F you can keep your home warm and lower your bills. If you feel cold at night, use a hot water bottle or electric blanket—but never use both together. Eat Well: Food is a vital source of energy, which helps to keep your body warm. Try to make sure you have hot meals and drinks regularly throughout the day. Look after yourself: On cold days try to avoid going outside; however, if you do need to, remember to wrap up warm. Get a Flu jab: You can get a free jab to protect against seasonal flu from your GP if you are over 65 or if you have a long-term health condition. 12


Visionary Vicky and Glenis represented Tameside Blind Association at the Visionary Conference held in York in September. Visionary is the new name of the National Association of Local Societies for Visually Impaired people (NALSVI). Visionary‘s purpose is to support local sight loss charities such as ourselves in enabling blind and partially sighted people to achieve their full potential as independent citizens, and to influence and work in partnership with others to improve the quality of life for visually impaired people. Visionary believes that local organisations are best placed to Visionary‟s eye logo, made offer support – providing as they do, from green and blue information, advice and practical help umbrellas! around living with sight loss. Glenis and Vicky attended a number of workshops and exhibitions and played a role in launching Visionary‘s new name! They joined others for an aerial photo-shoot by proudly raising green and blue umbrellas to form the shape of their ‗eye‘ logo!! Written by: Glenis Lee, Development Worker, TBA CSP.

2011 Census Every 10 years a Census is held in England and Wales. The next census will take place on 27th March 2011. The Office for National Statistics will be sending out questionnaires for around 25 million households to complete. The answers will be turned into statistics used to build a picture of today‘s society. Census population statistics are really important in understanding peoples needs and making sure all communities get the services they need where they live. Visually Impaired people who need help will be offered a wide range of options, such as large print questionnaires and census field staff will be on hand to help. There will be more information available nearer the time so please do not be too concerned about it just yet! Written by: Glenis Lee, Development Worker, TBA CSP. 13


Five Ways to Well-being Foresight‘s ‗Mental Capital and Well-being‘ Project has drawn on state-of-the-art research from across the world to consider how to improve everyone‘s mental capital and mental well-being through life. This review suggests that building the following five actions into our day-to-day lives is important for well-being:  Connect… With the people around you. With family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. At home, work, school or in your local community. Think of these as the cornerstones of your life and invest time in developing them. Building these connections will support and enrich you every day.  Be Active… Step outside. Cycle. Play a game. Garden. Swim. Dance. Take up yoga. Exercise makes you feel good. Discover a physical activity you enjoy and that suits your level of mobility and fitness.  Take notice… Be curious. Perceive the beautiful. Remark on the unusual. Notice the changing seasons. Savour the moment, whether you are walking, eating lunch or talking to friends. Be aware of the world around you and what you are feeling. Reflecting on experiences will help you appreciate what matters to you.  Keep learning… Try something new. Rediscover an old interest. Sign up for that course. Take on a different responsibility at work or home. Fix a bike. Learn how to use a computer, play an instrument, or how to cook your favourite food. Set a challenge you will enjoy achieving. Learning new things will make you more confident as well as being fun.  Give… Do something nice for a friend, or a stranger. Thank someone. Smile. Volunteer your time. Join a community group. Look out, as well as in. Seeing yourself and your happiness linked to the wider community can be incredibly rewarding and creates connections with the people around you. 14


Game of football, anyone?

We have been contacted by someone who is interested in setting up a blind football team. If you do not know, this is where people with varying vision play a game of football blindfolded (to level the playing Blindfolded field) and the ball has a bell in it. The crowd has to players stay quiet so the players can hear the ball and the shouts from their team-mates. Only the goalie is sighted, and to set up for a penalty both metal poles of the goal are tapped with something metal so the player can orientate him/herself to where the goal is. If you think you would be interested in learning how to play, please get in touch (See back page).

Vision First drop in sessions. On the 1st Tuesday of every month at Vision First, Wilshaw Lane, there is a Drop In Session between 2pm-4pm. Come along and have a look at various pieces of electronic equipment i.e. computer software, small hand held video magnifiers, and magnification devices that link to your TV or come with a monitor. We sometimes have a rep from a vision software company who can provide product information. You do not need to make an appointment; just call in and spend as much time as you want trying out the equipment! Written by: Judy Grant, Vision Impairment Team.

Changes to the Visual Impairment Team. The Visual Impairment Team (formally at Vision First) has now moved to Stalybridge Resource Centre. Vision First is still running as a resource Centre with the Low Vision Service still being based there. Activities such as Braille classes, IT introductory sessions, daily living groups and Drop In Sessions are held at Vision First. The gardeners group meet on Fridays (except in Winter) and there is a monthly book club run by library services. For information about these activities or any other queries please ring the Visual Impairment Team at Stalybridge Resource Centre on: 0161 342 2570. Written by: Margaret Shorrock, Vision Impairment & Deaf Services. 15


Living Paintings. This charity provides a FREE library of tactile books and packs bringing the visual world to life for blind and partially sighted people. It makes special raised versions of pictures‘ that come to life when fingers feel them. Audio recordings tell the pictures stories while directing the finger tips across the raised image, describing what is being touched, felt and ‗seen‘. Colour reproductions of the pictures are included, making it possible for the packs to be shared with sighted family, friends and peers. Thousands of books and packs are available and are delivered free via the post to members across Britain and Ireland. Titles available to borrow include: British Wildlife, English Gardens and Works of Art, all in tactile albums specially designed for adults. For children (of all ages!) there is a range of titles of well known children‘s books, in both tactile and Braille versions. Here at Tameside Blind Association we have ‗samples‘ of both the above – Monet‘s Paintings for the adults and ―Angry Arthur‖ for the children. You are most welcome to call in for a ‗touch, feel and listen‘ session! Please let us know when you are coming on the usual number. Alternatively, Living Paintings can be contacted directly on 01635 299 771 or info@livingpaintings.org Written by: Glenis Lee, Development Worker, TBA CSP.

Fuel Bills Going up! Winter is the time of year when we all spend the most on keeping warm. Energy companies have just started announcing price rises of around 7% from December 2010 but there are some things you can do to help. We have heard from one of the major energy suppliers (British Gas) about their ‗Essentials Tariff‘ which is available to some members of the community. The price increase of 7% will not be applied on this tariff until 1st April 2011 – hopefully after the worst of the cold weather. If you are already on this tariff with British Gas you will automatically get the benefits of the delayed price rise. If you are not on this tariff then it is available for people who are:16


1) receiving DLA or Attendance Allowance or Assistance Allowance or suffering from a Chronic Illness or over the age of 70, and 2) receiving one of the means tested benefits (e.g. Council Tax benefit), and 3) have savings of less than £15,000. If you can answer YES to these three sets of conditions, you may well be eligible for the British Gas Essentials Tariff which has reduced prices to start with and the delayed increase in price rises this year. For more details contact the British Gas Enquiry line on 0800 072 7100. Written by: Philip Singleton, Project Manager, TBA CSP.

We have our equipment on show! Anyone is welcome to call in to TBA‘s Community Support Project office to try out the range of equipment and gadgets that we have on display or to browse through the catalogues of equipment from the RNIB and other suppliers. We have just bought in some new software, including a screen magnifying and screen reading computer software called iZoom, and a computer simplifying and screen reading software called Guide, as well as two hand held video magnifiers. We also have a selection of accessible mobile phones, and other magnifying devices, as well as the new talking digital TV box.

Are you on Facebook? The social networking internet site is becoming more and more popular with people of all ages and abilities, as well as groups and organisations like ourselves. We have joined the masses and now have a fan page with information about what is going on in TBA‘s community support project office, news on events, and pictures from previous events. We also have a discussion board, information about the types of things we do, and links to other websites that people may find interesting or useful. You can find us at www.facebook.com/tba.blind. Keep in contact and come and join us! 17


Three New Audio Books at Dukinfield Library:

 The Other Family by Joanna Trollope Chrissie always believed that Richie had loved her for all the 23 years they‘d been together, loved their daughters and their happy, chaotic existence. But if she really was the love of his life, why did he not give her the security of marriage. That belonged to Margaret, back in Newcastle. Margaret and her son never saw Richie, and had never met his daughters. They were his other family. Then suddenly, Richie is no longer there, so Chrissie has to manage without him. The presence of the other family becomes impossible to bear - not least because they are in Richie‘s will. Old resentments, feelings of abandonment and loss, must jostle with the practicalities of money and property.  Almost Dead by Lisa Jackson The first victim is pushed to her death. The second suffers a fatal overdose. The third takes a bullet to the heart. They‘re people who deserve to die; they‘re in the way. When she‘s finished there will be no one left. Cissy Cahill‘s world is unravelling fast. One by one her family are dying. Hidden in the shadows of the Cahill family‘s twisted past is a shocking secret that will only be satisfied by blood. Cissy must uncover the deadly truth before it‘s too late. Fear is coming home - with a vengeance.  Ghost light by Joseph O‟Connor Dublin 1907, a city of whispered rumours. An actress in her teens begins an affair with a damaged older man; the leading playwright at the theatre where she works. Rebellious, irreverent, beautiful and watchful, she has dozens of admirers. But there is a secret. Her lover, John Synge, is a troubled, reticent genius, the son of a once prosperous landowning family, a poet of fiery language and tempestuous passions. Yet his life is hampered by Edwardian conventions and by the austere and god-fearing mother with whom he lives… Written by: Morag Taylor, Library Assistant. 18


New Talking TV Set Top Box

The RNIB have worked closely with Goodmans to design a new Freeview digital TV box for use with existing TV‘s that is easily accessible for people with a vision impairment. The box provides a wide range of functions including: Audio Description of TV programmes; Talking on-screen help and menus; Talking reminders; Easy to use Remote Control; Easy to use on/off buttons for Audio Description and Talking functions; and a 7 day talking programme guide which speaks the channel name and number, the programme title and start and finish times, and also shows the schedule for up to a week ahead. Brian MacKenzie has been trying the new box out and is very pleased with the results. He says: For people with little or no sight it makes a big difference being able to hear which channel you are tuned to by name and what the programme title is and its start and end times.  I can listen to the programme guide and hear the names of all programmes and their timings so that I can plan what I want to watch, for up to a week ahead.  The voice is generally very good and clear.  The Remote Control is well designed with large buttons and good separation and is easy to use. Talking Digital box and  Sometimes a little patience is required when remote. switching on or changing programmes to give the unit time to collect the information before it can speak it.  The new unit is very good and I have enjoyed trying it out. It provides far more information than any other TV system I have tried. So – well done RNIB and Goodmans. The unit is called the Goodmans Smarttalk set top box and is available from the RNIB and some high street retailers. RNIB price is £85.10 excluding VAT., which is a one-off price and doesn't involve any contracts. Thank you Brian for testing out this device. If you would like a demonstration of this unit, give us a call at the Project office. Written by: Philip Singleton, Project Manager, TBA CSP. 19


Please remember Tameside Blind Association when you make your will. This local charity works for all visually impaired people in Tameside - serving the Community for 30 years. 4 Wellington Parade, Dukinfield SK16 4LE Committee Contact Number: 0161 330 7778 Charity No: 504063

Office closed over Christmas The Community Support Project‘s office will be closed over Christmas and New Year; closing at 12pm on Friday 24th December and will not be open again until 9.30am on Tuesday 4th January. If you have any appointments for the first 2 weeks in January, please get in touch before we close in December.

Is this format right for you? This newsletter is available in different formats: It comes in large print as standard, but then you can also get an audio version on CD or tape (although we are moving away from tapes so we prefer to provide CDs). If you receive the audio versions of the newsletter, you automatically get the paper edition as well. This is so you can share it with friends and family etc. If you wish to change format please get in touch (contact details below). AMESIDE Published by:

LIND SSOCIATION

3 Wellington Parade, Dukinfield, Cheshire. SK16 4LE

Community Support Office Tel: 0161 343 4090 / 6903

Printed by P.D. Print, Hyde.

email:csp@tamesideblind.org.uk www.tamesideblind.org.uk www.facebook.com/tba.blind

20

Registered Charity No. 504063

News & Views 18  

Tameside Blind Association’s Newsletter. Issue from Winter 2010.

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