Hello, for those who don’t know me, I’m Edward Cohen of EZ2SeeProducts and this is my monthly newsletter. Please enjoy.
First the Personal Stuff
Overcoming the Internet Gremlins
In one way I say good riddance to July. That is because of the arduous experience I had when the business email address I’d always used to send these news nuggets would neither let me send or receive emails.
Nearly every day for 3 weeks, I researched, tried one or another solution or sought help from those I thought could help. Eventually I learned that the problem was not because the number getting my news was too large or I was sending out too many such emails each month. I certainly didn’t reach the threshold of being a big-time spammer who’s rights should be cancelled.
After Microsoft Accessibility and others were not helpful, I finally turned to a resource who had in the past, always gotten me out of a jam. Sure enough, within 20 minutes after remoting in to my computer, he narrowed down the problem and solved it. It involved diving deep into the scary parts of my account with my domain provider; places I knew better than to go.
After successfully sending and receiving test emails, we both let out a huge sigh of relief. Or maybe that was just me, but he was very happy to have solved this problem
He has always been of great help to me and if your computer or smart phone ever frustrates you or you wish you knew things that would help you, this guy is worth knowing. His name is Casey Mathews and his contact information appears at the end of my news.
The Convention Viewed From a Participants’ Perspective
We arrived Friday night and events were already underway. We stayed through the huge banquet on the last evening.
To begin, convention goers filled much of the large, conference hotel. The connected convention center is where nearly all the schedule events take place. You can count on getting in your steps at one of these events.
Families with children were present. Some of them were sighted with blind parents. Others were blind children with sighted parents. It was interesting to observe the family dynamics. Teens and young adults were there in abundance based on their volume. The remaining balance of attendees seemed to range from middle age to Boomers and a bit older. There were a small number of guide dogs but I didn’t get their ages.
Most days, representatives from companies who make products favored by the vision impaired and federal agencies gave presentations in break-out rooms. Groups already established around something they have in common meet to hear from speakers and to share lessons learned. Some examples of such groups are, blind lawyers, entrepreneurs, those with specific eye conditions and those with vision impairments at various stages of life; Some might even include lunch.
The huge exhibit hall is always a must see. Dozens of businesses from small to mega size show everything you might imagine and yet there are always surprises. For example, a company that showed a device that sits atop the barrier used when a sidewalk is blocked due to construction. When that barrier is approached, it first clearly announces the way is blocked. then speaks how to navigate the detour. With all the construction going on these days, that would be really helpful.
Besides businesses, various federal and state agencies along with many non-profit organizations were in the exhibit hall. There I got information and often received something useful. From the Bureau of Printing and Engraving, I got a small device that reads the denomination of US paper currency as long as you put it in correctly which I did on my second attempt.
Hotel staff and volunteers from the community were everywhere in the lobby of the hotel and throughout the convention center. They approached anyone that seemed to need some help. They’d answer questions, offer directions or if requested offer an elbow and guide you to your destination. I gratefully accepted their help more than once.
There are plenty of fun things to take in as well. Some include dances, talent shows, described movies and even a mock trial put on by the blind lawyers group.
Various off-site tours to all sorts of things are offered for an additional cost. Those at the tour destinations I attended were clearly well aware that the arriving group will be visually impaired. Throughout those tours, my group was effectively guided through their spaces, while they provided clear descriptions and answered all our questions.
One thing above all stands out to me about these events. Everyone understands and pays no attention to your vision challenges; we’re all in the same boat. There you can feel at ease knowing you are among people who won’t judge you by your disability. Frankly, talk of vision loss might come up in a casual conversation; or it might not. You might even make some new friends. Just wear comfortable shoes.
And Now the Business News
The Convention Viewed From a Vendor’s Perspective
Things went well overall. As I have often said, I worried about how I’d describe the Organizer and Address Book sufficiently to peek the person’s interest while not taking too long to do so.
During the mornings of two days, we had a table along with a few others either selling or offering information. It was a thrill for me when someone stopped and said, I use that calendar”. They were surprised and seemed pleased to meet the person responsible for it. In turn, I got great feedback on what they like about it, which turned out to be pretty much everything. I would smile, thank them then show them what new things I was up to.
By the second day, my description of the Organizer book began to solidify. With my wife’s helpful observations of how folks reacted to what I was saying along with my own senses, I started to focus on which of the Book’s features to highlight. I began using those anecdotes that seemed to help the person imagine how this product could help them. Because of the number that sold and those interactions, I left the convention feeling that I’ve got a good product; now to begin thinking about how to market it.
During that week, sales of calendars, pens and sticky note pads sold about as well as the Organizer book; not door busters , but okay. I’m still running into folks unfamiliar with no-bleed pens. I also gave away copies of the 2023 calendar to key people in certain organizations who expressed interest in showing it back home. Making connections at such events often is the most valuable reason for being there; but time will tell.
Launching a 2024 Fundraiser
We are happy to announce that a special interest group within one of the nation’s major blind organizations wants to do a fundraiser using our products. We are happy and honored that they believe we make quality products that truly help people.
Because we’ve learned from previous year fundraisers and have added new products, we hope and believe this group’s earnings will top all those who’ve gone before them. Once our expanded product line is online and their fundraiser starts, I’ll share who is the group in case you’d like your next purchase to help them. It sounded funny to say “our expanded product line”. Grin.
An Update on the Organizer and Address Book
The team of Grandson and Grandson as mentioned last month, are close to having assembled sufficient numbers of them to put out the For Sale sign. This means what lies ahead is crafting the web page that shows and explains its many features in a compelling yet concise manner.
Fortunately, what I learned at convention gives me a start on the plan.
Update on Everything Else
The printer will be delivering the new Academic-year calendar (remember that?) and the 2024 annual-year calendar, my 10th edition, hopefully in August. The pair of the new, EZ2See® no-bleed pens and markers could arrive on our shelves around the same time. What an amazing year 2023 has been and it’s not close to being over!
And that’s it for July.
Thank you for your continuing interest,
I am so grateful to know Casey and thought you should know of him and his business as well.
He answers my questions about my smart phone and my other devices, he suggest and installs free software we agree would help me. He provides handy keyboard commands and obviously can remote in to my computer to fix those problems that are beyond me. His dedication to customer service is admirable and his technical knowledge and skills seem boundless. If the service his business offers sounds like it might help you, check him out.
Makin’ your tech life easy!
If you are a Microsoft user and have a disability or use assistive software or devices, you should know that Microsoft offers free technical assistance. Their phone number is 800-936-5900.
Check out the elderly fall, slip and skin protection products
made by Prevent Products Inc who license and sell my products.
Edward is a low vision senior living in southeast Minnesota.
He is the founder and owner of EZ2See® Products LLC, established in 2015. Visit his website if you or someone you care about is looking for innovative organizing products for those living with vision loss or other challenges.
To receive this monthly news or to connect with Edward, email info@EZ2SeeProducts.com
Where to Find the EZ2See® weekly planner/calendar and its other offerings:
* EZ2See® Products LLC website
* Select US retailers
Or simply call, 800-234-8291.