The EZ2SeeProducts October News by Edward Cohen

The EZ2SeeProducts October News by Edward Cohen

The October 2022 EZ2See® News

By Edward Cohen of

EZ2See® Products LLC

 

Hello,

First the Personal Stuff

Sharing a Described Audio Movie

Some of you may not be familiar with such a thing.  When we with limited or no eyesight watch a TV show or movie, we get only the dialogue.  Of course, we hear all the music and sound effects but we can miss a lot.  Think of how much is conveyed by an expression or when characters move about.  Think of all the scenery or costumes we miss.

 

In a presentation with described audio, all of that and more is shared by a person with a great voice who speaks when the characters aren’t talking.  Modern major films come with this extra track.  Your local theater may have headphones you can borrow to hear that track.  Those with hearing issues may like them because you can adjust your own volume.  Newer movies on DVDs will also have such a track.  But there is one more source.

 

This month, a small group from our low-vision support group met at the home of one of our members.  We were there to “watch” a comedy made before such tracks existed.  Our host had downloaded the movie at no charge from an amazing website.  Any of us could have done that from our homes.  The reason is, you are only downloading the sound track and described audio track; the visuals are not included.  A third party creates the professionally-sounding described audio track.

 

So, with popcorn at the ready and our imagination fully engaged, we enjoyed the comradery and the movie together.  I’m sure we’ll do it another time.  Details on where we got the film is at the end of this newsletter as usual.

 

Speaking Up for Ourselves

During my August follow-up eye surgery appointment at the Mayo Clinic, I asked the doctor this question.  Would someone in the department like feedback about a visit to their department from the perspective of low-vision patients?  He responded enthusiastically and before leaving, I had the name and email address of that department’s office manager

 

In September, I asked those in our low-vision support group how many visit the Mayo Ophthalmology Department.  Very many said they do.  I then filled them in on what I was up to.  Immediately after sharing what was on my list, folks both agreed with my list and offered even more suggestions and pet peeves.

 

This month I wrote the office manager and shared that list.  I was very pleasantly surprised at his response.  First, he was grateful to get such actionable feedback.  He then went on to list the various managers who report to him that will be provided with the list.  Lastly, he suggested that certain managers might reach out to me as they work to implement some of the simple fixes and actions we suggested.  While it has been a couple of weeks with no such contact, I remain optimistic.

 

In case you’re curious, there were 11 items on the list.  Some easy ones were:

  • Often the person at the check in desk says to take a seat “over their”. We suggest they say take a seat “on your left” or “on your right”,
  • If we are carrying a white cane; please call it by that name. It is not a stick, and
  • Instead of grabbing our arm or shoulder, ask if we’d like their elbow.

 

While this may be a bit over the top for everyone to do, when it comes to being your own personal advocate you should not forget that you routinely encounter opportunities to speak up and advocate for yourself.

 

A Month of Things Breaking

I wonder how primitive man reacted when their stone tool broke?  “Oh well”, they might think, “there’s another rock over there”.  That might have been their reaction, but it wasn’t mine.  This month, three things I take for granted and depend on all broke within a few days of each other.  Me not happy.

 

First it was my 6 S Apple I Phone.  I know, you gasp that I’m still using such an old model.  But I was and the battery finally said “no more”.  So now to look into the SE series of I Phones.  Did I mention how little I enjoy dealing with smart phones?

 

I’m big on saving energy.  Over 10-years ago, I found at the local home supply store, a cleverly designed product to fit where the hot clothes dryer exhaust leaves the house. Unlike all other dryer vent caps that use a flimsy flapper like a doggy door to seal the opening when the dryer is off, the one we have uses the force of the air to lift up a cup.  Think of a piston in a cylinder. When the dryer stops, the cup drops creating a positive seal.  Clever, huh?

 

But since it sits on the southside of the house, over the years the sun had deteriorated and weakened some of its plastic parts.  The ever so slight contact it had with my knee was all it took for it, in its fragile state, to break.  That is my story and I’m sticking to it.  Sadly, no local store now sells it.  So, onto the internet we go.

 

Lastly, and most annoyingly, my accessibility software stopped working as it always had.  With my vision situation I can only see what is on the screen when the text is white or yellow and the background is black.  Such a setup is called high contrast by some.  Up till this happened, I could sort of see pictures and videos if I changed the brightness and contrast settings in that software.  But now all that is past.  A call to the software technical support folks was ineffective.

 

Casey of Web Friendly Help restored the ability to change brightness and contrast, but several features stubbornly refuse to comply.  Thankfully, he pointed out that pressing the Caps Lock key and the letter C at the same time reverses the screen setting from normal to high contrast or back the other way.  Very helpful in some situations. So, until the issue is resolved, I’m just dealing with the way this rock is working.

 

And Now for the Business News

Update on the 2023 Calendars and Website

September was the end of the 3RD quarter.  This is when sales of next year’s calendar begin to take off.  But they usually don’t really get going until the 4th quarter.

 

Counting sales to lighthouses for resell, to individuals through our website, via phone or mail order and over Amazon, a few over 900 of the 2023 calendars are already sold.  That is 36% of what we printed.  It is fascinating to see how the numbers grow and flow each quarter and each year.  But maybe that is just me; I’m sort of a data guy.

 

Deciding how many to print is part art and part science.  It takes a strong stomach to choose the number to print that isn’t too few or too many.  You have to decide in the Spring of one year and wait till the Spring of the next year to see if you got it right. I’m glad that decision now rests with the ladies at Prevent Products Inc who license my calendar and sticky note pads.  So far, they have been spot on.  Go ladies!

Update on The EZ2See® Organizer and Address Book Project

Names are important.  They can set up expectations.  As a result, after much discussion we think the original product name does not fairly describe what this product can do.  While it certainly can store names and numbers, that is only about 25% of its uses.  Here is our thinking about its value.

 

It allows you to quickly and easily:

  • See in one place, all the birthdays, anniversaries and the dates when we lost loved ones,
  • Keep important local numbers handy,
  • Save all those things you want and need to remember; but who can remember them all?
  • And of course, write down everything you want about someone along with their contact information. And do it in a book where it won’t ever get so marked up as to be unusable.

So that is the thought basis for now calling it, the EZ2See® Organizer and Address Book.

 

No name is perfect.  Well, maybe the Slinkey toy had the perfect name, but other than that we hope the world will come to accept this name.  How about you?

 

And that’s it for September.

Thanks as always for your support and interest,

Edward

 

About Our Described Audio Event

There is a website called Audio Vault. You don’t have to have a vision disability to join.  There is no cost, but you must register and create a password.  The amount of TV shows and movies is in the thousands.  For us with long memories, the listing of TV shows is a walk down memory lane.

 

The clever clothes dryer vent cap system is made by Heartland.

 

The Computer Guy I use

If you’re having some problem finding knowledgeable and affordable computer help you might look into who I use.  Web Friendly help is the company name.  I depend on Casey and have never been disappointed.

 

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.  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

 

Find the EZ2See® weekly planner/calendar and high-contrast sticky note pads at:

EZ2See® Products LLC

*   Amazon.com

*   Select US retailers

Or simply call, 800-234-8291.

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