Second edition of The Saavi Insight

Second edition of The Saavi Insight


a client run publication                                                                                                     Issue 2; December 2014


This is the second issue of the saavi insight and I am so excited to bring it to you. We have an excellent team being created. The youth from Stepping Out, members of the Mentor Team and Advisory Council, and lots of others have all put in a great effort. I really need to recognize Melody Taylor from Phoenix. A lot of what has gone into building this newsletter has come from Melody. We are still at the beginning of our journey, but we have gotten on the road now. Thanks for joining us on this trip.

In this issue we have some more recipes, more technology, and more fun. And for those who tried their hand at the games in the last issue, we have the awaited

answers for you. There is some Braille fun that may help any beginners on their individual journeys and more short cut keys for the technologically challenged like myself.

We will keep adding new things and new writers every month. One of the new things you will find here now is Scattered Bits. Scattered Bits are bits of information and trivia that are scattered throughout the newsletter. They are just for fun and may not pertain to any of the stories highlighted.

As always, the saavi insight will attempt to stay away from any controversial subjects. We will refrain from addressing religion, politics and anything else that may be viewed as controversy by some. The insight will, however, print the feelings of writers as they write them, and in essence, as they feel them. With great apologies, we hope that the readers do not take offense by anything that is in the insight and recognize that it may just be an opinion of another which is no less valid that our own opinions.

And now for the rule breaking; I am including a Christmas story in this issue. I actually wrote the story some years ago and feel that no matter what one’s beliefs are, it could pertain to the spirit of the season. Above all else, let us not forget compassion for others and allow anyone to feel excluded if it is within our power to prevent it.

One more thing is that we have a new advice columnist. After some deliberation it was decided that our client advice columnist, though changing through the coming years, will always remain anonymous. This will give questioners a stronger feeling of anonymity themselves. So with that in mind, we came up with a

name for our columnist to use. It is Eyesa. And just as you could send your questions to Eyesa at the new email address of you could also send any suggestions or concerns to the same address. They will get forwarded to the proper person. If you would rather send your questions through hard copy you could put them in the suggestion boxes that are found in the lobby of your particular saavi.

If you ever have something you would like to see in The Insight or perhaps you have something you would like to contribute for consideration; contact me at

Living With the Lost Sense by Rebekah Gilbreath

Say you want to go to the store and pick up some groceries for the week. Think about how easy it is to hop on the bus, get the groceries, and head back home to enjoy a lovely dinner. Now, imagine walking to the bus stop with your reusable grocery bags ready for a productive shopping trip when someone comes up to you, stops you in your tracks and asks if they can pray for you. Trying to get them to leave you alone, you missed the bus. Imagine sitting there waiting for the next bus to arrive as a woman comes up to you speaking as if you don’t understand basic English proclaiming that you are a very brave person. As you are stepping on to the tightly packed stinky city bus a man grabs your arm and pulls you to an empty seat. Imagine being at Fry’s trying to pick out which spaghetti sauce looks the most appetizing as an overly helpful woman begins to pick out which sauce she thinks is the best and proceeds to put the sauce into your shopping cart.

Something as simple as a grocery trip can be so much more to a blind person. I have been visually impaired from the day I was born, about 18 years. Ever since I was little I have lived a very sighted life, which means that I never even knew my vision was bad. I did everything that my siblings did and I probably have done it even better.

The moment I knew I was different was in third grade, the teachers always wanted me to sit in the front of the room and they always treated me differently than my peers. The thing with grade school teachers, in my opinion is that most of them don’t know how to treat students with visual impairments, so they treat them as if they are special or in a lower grade level than they really are. Going through the public school system, most of my teachers let me off the hook of big assignments, they wouldn’t make me do certain things that my peers would be obligated to do, and they would give me extra time on everything they assigned.

I honestly didn’t mind these accommodations because I never enjoyed school until later years. Taking advantage of these certain teachers, it actually took away from my education because I wasn’t learning every single thing that my peers were. When I finally started to realize how much these accommodations were hurting me, I was in 7th grade. At this point I started to get it together. Advocating for myself was the most important thing I did in school because it let the teachers know that I was just like everyone else.

Longboarding and skateboarding have been a lifelong passion of mine and because I  have some residual vision in my left eye it’s amusing for me to jump on my longboard and go skate through a busy area of town, using my cane and freaking people out. “WOE! There are stairs in front of you!!!” one person yells.

“How is that even possible?” another passerby proclaims. As you can probably tell I love getting those reactions from people. Provoking is my pastime and I never get bored of it. Although I love to freak people out, longboarding is very serious to me and I will never stop skating. Longboarding is my high, once I’m on the board drifting down the street it feels as if I will never stop. Going faster than the cars, feeling as fast as a cheetah, leaving all my stress behind me. The wind on my face and body

pulls the pain away. As I race faster I notice my fears can”t catch up to me now. Obstacles in my path are no match, I am doing too well to fall or stop. Longboarding is one of my only escapes.

When I was very young life at home was hectic. When I say hectic, I mean children and animals running around everywhere laughing and playing. At one time I had four siblings, one momma cat, five kittens, three dogs, two turtles, and a bunch of fish in the pond that my dad built outback. My dad was always building something and I was always right there by his side helping him out. Once I even climbed up an eight foot ladder to the roof where he was working on fixing a leak and I just popped my tiny four year old head up there to see why there were three guys and my dad up on top of the house. I was a very curious kid.

Although I hung out with my dad most of the time I also spent time with my mom many days. We often made art projects and hung them up. My favorite thing that my mom and I did was hike on Dreamy Draw. We would drive up the narrow curvy roads to a small parking lot full of cars and people to spend the day hiking up the mountain. Once we got there we would find the water fountain to fill up our extra water bottles. Then off we went. Some of the mountain is paved but we would never stay on the trail for long. Dreamy Draw is a huge mountain therefore, we could choose from about fifty paths and every time we went hiking we would choose a different one. After hiking for almost the entire day we would go home and fix a late lunch which was usually sandwiches.

“Mustache! Nugget!, Ghost!, Purr Face!, Scar Face!” Yelling to the cats, my mom fixed their lunch soon after my siblings and I were fed. Owning cats has been an easy thing in my family, none of us are allergic and we all love them so much. Sometimes this gets out of hand because I think at one time the most cats we have had has been around ten. Don’t let this fool you, our house was always

kept clean even with all the animals.

Trying to look back on my life at home and school, I provide anecdotes and dialogue to illustrate my life as a blind child not knowing that there is anything wrong with my eyesight, just living a normal life with my friends and family while I was small. The struggle gradually persists as I grow older.

The struggle although, is not my blindness or how I handle it; it is the people around me, it’s the stereotypes, and it’s the constant thought of whether I will be accepted or not.

Most things that people try to help the blind with are often based on stereotypes. For example I could be walking down the street with my cane, trying to go somewhere and I would get stopped to ask if I want to be healed and the truth is that I don’t. I honestly love being visually impaired. The people who ask these questions are basing what they know on things that they have seen in movies or from other people who are not blind and wouldn’t know firsthand. Some people get crazy when it comes to blind people, they will grab arms and pull or push in the direction that they think is right. Again, more stereotypes being put into action that are very unnecessary.

Stereotypes are everywhere. Judging people is in our nature. Just imagine a young girl walking down the street holding a small baby in her arms. You think “Damn, she is young!” You may even think, “Oh, her family didn’t raise her correctly.” You might even yell something at her in your effort to set her on “the right path”.

No one I know can tell me that they don’t stereotype certain people, because they do. The stereotypes I deal with on a daily basis are as ridiculous as those of the young girl holding a baby. As I already covered earlier in my story people think that I want to be healed; and I definitely do not. They also think that my IQ level is that of a child; and it is not.

These stereotypes make it hard for me to go out in public with my cane. I have to decide whether I want to use my cane, be safe, and endure the demeaning views of people on the street or leave my cane at home and be treated like a human being. I am prepare to educate anyone about my disability whether it be writing an essay, speaking to a group of people, or talking to people on the street.  Maybe someday I could be a person that does not have to explain.  Maybe.

Fun Computing by Eve Sanchez

I am very good at making silly mistakes on the computer. One thing I did while getting this issue ready was turn my whole screen upside down. So what does that matter if I am using the computer non-visually you ask. Well, all of the commands were backwards. I had to set things right, pun intended. I had hit Alt Control down arrow when everything flipped, but hitting Alt Control up arrow did nothing. Actually it did tell me I was not in a table which is a correct function for moving within tables with JAWS. So what to do? With the help of West Lee, I learned that Insert 3, (and this must be 3 on the number line not in the 9 pack) I was able to bypass JAWS for a moment. Once this was done, I hit Alt Control up arrow and everything was returned to normal.  “Hmmm.” I thought. “This might be a fun mistake to remember for those who like freaking people out as they see a blind person reading upside down.”

When You Meet a Working Guide Dog Team reprinted from Guide Dogs for the Blind

As tempting as it may be to pet a guide dog, remember that this dog is responsible for leading someone who cannot see. The dog should never be distracted from that duty. A person’s safety may depend on their dog’s alertness and concentration.

It is okay to ask someone if you may pet their guide. Many people enjoy introducing their dogs when they have the time. The dog’s primary responsibility is to its

blind partner and it is important that the dog not become solicitous.

A guide dog should never be offered food or other distracting treats. Food rewards are used as a motivational and training tool by GDB both in our dog training and by our alumni with their working guide dogs, but those rewards are only given to the dogs by their handlers.

Although guide dogs cannot read traffic signals, they are responsible for helping their handlers safely cross a street. Calling out to a guide dog or intentionally obstructing its path can be dangerous for the team as it could break the dog’s concentration on its work.

Listening for traffic flow has become harder for guide dog handlers due to quieter car engines and the increasing number of cars on the road. Please don’t honk your horn or call out from your car to signal when it is safe to cross, which can be distracting and confusing. Be especially careful of pedestrians in crosswalks when turning right on red.

It’s not all work and no play for a guide dog. When they are not in harness, they are treated in much the same way as pets. However, for their safety they are only allowed to play with specific toys. Please don’t offer them toys without first asking their handler’s permission.

In some situations, working with a guide dog may not be appropriate. Instead, the handler may prefer to take your arm just above the elbow and allow their dog to heel. Others will prefer to have their dog follow you. In this case, be sure to talk to the casino online handler and not the dog when giving directions for turns.

You may encounter a guide dog wearing a head collar, which is a humane training tool that helps a dog become calm and focused when distracted. The head collar is not a muzzle and is designed to permit the dog to fully open its mouth and can even be worn when the dog is eating, drinking, or playing.

Access laws in the U.S. and Canada, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, permit guide dogs to accompany their handlers anywhere the general public is allowed, including taxis and buses, restaurants, theaters, stores, schools, hotels, apartment and office buildings. Guide dogs are trained to stand, sit, or lie quietly in public places when not leading, but they are still working.

**** With an average of 11 hours of sunshine each day, the sunniest place on Earth is known to be Yuma, Arizona. ****

Insight Into the Past by Eve Sanchez

Today I was supposed to attend a gathering, Recipes of the Ancestors. I was eager to go, but when I woke this morning I was greeted by a stiff back and a cold day. As a result, I am instead sitting at my laptop with a lovely cup of tea and I thought it would be good to share with you. Being that this time of year has many days set aside for honoring the ancestors depending on your culture or religion, this is just another way we could all feel closer to our pasts.

The plan of the missed gathering was to share a recipe and a story of how this recipe connects you to your particular ancestor. When speaking of ancestors it should be noted that they must not always be someone in your biological lineage. Sometimes we feel a strong connection to someone in history that may or may not have the same ethnic background. Sometimes we feel there is a traditional ancestral connection as we share with those from the past by living similar lives and practicing our spirituality the same ways.

The recipe I was going to share with my group is an old one, but it is not from far back in my lineage. It was something often made by my mother, Sophie Fotopoulos, though come to think of it, I am sure it had been passed down to her through many generations. I always remember her making this on special occasions such as holidays, birthdays, or events that warranted something

extraordinary. It takes a bit of prep work, but is worth it in the end.  The recipe is for loucoumades, pronounced lou-cou-ma-theys. Perhaps it is Greek to you, but it will make you want to learn a new language. Actually, instead of learning a new language that is foreign to you, I urge you to think of your own heritage. Think of the languages spoken by your grandparents. Think of where your family comes from and of how they lived hundreds of years ago. Think of this while you make loucoumades or one of your own ancestral recipes. Remembering them brings you closer to the past and helps you successfully live for the future.

Loucoumades {lou-cou-ma-theys} (a sweet treat from Greece)

Ingredients;     1 pound flour

                             4 oz. yeast

                             1 teaspoon salt

                             Lukewarm water

          For syrup;         1 cup honey

                             1 cup water

                             2 cups sugar

                             Some lemon rind and a few cinnamon sticks.


First thing is to make sure there is adult supervision as hot oil can be very dangerous.

In large bowl (glass is best), dissolve yeast in a little lukewarm water with a bit of flour. When it gets bubbly and yeasty smelling start adding flour and water alternately until a soft batter is achieved. Add salt with flour. You want batter thicker than pancake batter, but much looser than bread dough. Cover and place in a warm draft free spot to rise at least 5 to 6 hours. Overnight is great.

In a medium pot combine ingredients for syrup and bring to a boil. Let it simmer for a bit before removing from heat and covering. Best if prepared early and left to stand while batter is rising. Reheat when ready to start frying. Lemon rind and cinnamon sticks can be removed and set

aside to cool. They are very good to suck on like candy.

Heat 3 to 4 inches of oil in a heavy pan and drop batter by spoon full into oil. Fry until golden brown, crispy while still soft. Dipping spoon into cold water between each spoon full will prevent batter from sticking to spoon.

Drain hot Loucoumades on an absorbent paper towel. Drop the drained Loucoumades into hot syrup for intense flavor or arrange on plate and drizzle for a lighter treat. Whatever your choice; you can now enjoy.

                        **** It was a Sunday morning. Clear skies and a feeling of relaxation abounded. People were sleeping in, playing football, going to church or starting their work day. Everything changed in an instant though and not just for those that were there. When the attack came our nation was plunged into the second war to end all wars. 2,403 people were killed that morning, many never having time to realize what had happened. 1,178 others were wounded and had to live with the memories. The USS Arizona still lay in the depths as a memorial to those lost and to that day, which will always live on in infamy. Remember Pearl Harbor this December 7th and pay homage with a moment of silence for the fallen. May we never be caught unaware again. ****

Short Cut Keys by Laurence Stone

Enter key activates an item.

Alt Tab = Move Between open programs/Windows

Alt F4 = Close Current Program/Window

Alt key puts focus on menu bar.

Alt a letter = puts focus on a specific menu. Example: Alt f = file menu. Alt h = help menu.

Braille Time

A but can do every from go.

Have I just knowledge like more



People quite rather so that… us very will it you as.

Yes, there are a couple of extra letters that will help it flow when you sing it. Sing it loud and often and you will never forget your Braille alphabet.

                         Christmas Spirit

By Eve Sanchez

The neighbors all agreed that Mrs. Haderly had the most Christmas spirit of all of them. They often said she was an inspiration during the holidays. Mrs. Haderly had to be in her eighties and she lived alone. Every year she opened up her garage and took out her rickety wooden ladder. With many impressed on lookers Mrs. Haderly would climb up and down that ladder hanging lights. She would move the ladder along as she crossed her yard with the strings of colored bulbs.

The neighbors were impressed when they saw Mrs. Haderly pull into her drive-way every year with a fresh cut tree that was purchased at the local charity tree lot strapped to the roof of her car. Many neighbors watched with wonder as she cut the twine holding the tree in place so that it fell to the ground. Mrs. Haderly would then drag that tree into her house and set it up near the front window for all to see. She used her antique Christmas tree stand that caused the tree to lean to one side, but this did not bother her. She would be seen stringing lights around the tree before carefully hanging the most beautiful glass ornaments one could ever see. Mrs. Haderly again used her old ladder to reach the highest branches of the tree while the neighbors watched from outside.

Mrs. Haderly would wrap the posts of her porch with garlands of holly. A wreath of green and gold with silver bells would hang from her door to greet any visitors that might come by. Mrs. Haderly would always bake small

fruit cakes for the mail man who brought her bills and the paper boy. She would wrap these loaves with foil and ribbon. The neighbors saw her leaving these in the boxes and smiled at her generosity. “She thinks of everyone.” they would say.

When walking by Mrs. Haderly”s house, Christmas classics sung by Bing Crosby, Burl Ives, and Nat King Cole could be heard playing. The neighbors would smile at her Christmas spirit. “She”s an inspiration to all of us.” they would say. In the front yard, to go with the carols being played was a plastic trio of carolers that Mrs. Haderly had placed out every year since 1968.  It would stay there until the end of the holiday season when Mrs. Haderly would again get out her rickety ladder and carefully take down the Christmas decorations.

The neighbors were impressed by Mrs. Haderly and her devotion to Christmas. Every night she would turn on the outside lights as well as the twinkling lights of her Christmas tree. Mrs. Haderly could be seen through the window, sitting in her recliner admiring the beauty of her tree topped with a porcelain and satin angel with feathery wings. As Christmas approached and the nights grew chillier, Mrs. Haderly still ventured out to turn on her Christmas lights and inspired the neighbors with her dedication.

On Christmas Eve Mrs. Haderly would bake cookies of many types. When evening came she would take the prettiest of these cookies and place them on a plate with a golden ribbon trimming its scalloped edge. Mrs. Haderly would place these cookies on a small table next to her recliner facing the tree. She would sit and look at the tree with the colored lights and the ornaments from years past and fall asleep.

          On Christmas morning the tree would be the first thing Mrs. Haderly would see when she woke. Outside the neighbors would be coming and going. Upon seeing her lights still on, they would smile about her Christmas spirit. “Mrs. Haderly is an

inspiration to us all.” they would say. Inside, sitting alone in her recliner, looking at her decorated tree, Mrs. Haderly would silently cry.

****”Energy cannot be created or destroyed; it can only be changed from one form to another.” – Albert Einstein****

Managing Your Diabetes During the Holidays

Reprinted from Centers for Diabetic Control and Prevention

Prepare to manage your diabetes during the holidays. Stay on track by taking medications on schedule and choosing healthy versions of favorite dishes. Remember to plan daily physical activities like walking after meals and dancing at festivities.

Having diabetes shouldn”t stop you from enjoying holiday celebrations and travel. With some planning and a little preparation, you can stay healthy on the road and at holiday gatherings with friends and family.

Preparation is the most important step in managing diabetes during holiday travel and festivities. Know what you”ll be eating, how to enjoy a few traditional favorites while sticking with a healthy meal plan, how to pack necessary supplies for a trip, and you”re ready to celebrate!

Feasts and Parties: Before you go, take these steps to ensure you stick to your healthy meal plan.

• Eat a healthy snack early to avoid overeating at the party.

• Ask what food will be served, so you can see how it fits into your meal plan.

• If you”re at a buffet, fix your plate and move to another room away from the food, if possible. Choose smaller portions.

• Choose low-calorie drinks such as sparkling water, unsweetened tea or diet beverages. If you choose to drink alcohol, limit the amount, and have it with food. Talk with your health care team about whether alcohol is safe for you. Limit it to one drink a day for

women, two for men, and drink only with a meal.

• Watch out for heavy holiday favorites such as hams with a honey glaze, turkey swimming in gravy and side dishes loaded with butter, sour cream, cheese, or mayonnaise. Instead, choose skinless turkey without gravy, or other lean meats.

• Look for side dishes and vegetables that are light on butter, dressing, and other extra fats and sugars, such as marshmallows or fried vegetable toppings.

• Watch the salt. Some holiday dishes are made with prepared foods high in sodium. Choose fresh or frozen vegetables with no sauce to keep your sodium intake down.

• Select fruit instead of pies, cakes and other desserts high in fat, cholesterol, and sugar.

You don”t have to give up all of your holiday favorites if you make healthy choices and limit portion sizes. At a party or holiday gathering, follow these tips to avoid overeating and to choose healthy foods.

Science and Technology by Laurence Stone

I was just at the Vision Rehabilitation and Technology Expo in Phoenix on November 7th. There was a lot to see. No pun intended.  And there was one thing that caught my eye. That was the new Blaze EZ, a new device by Hims. The first time I viewed the Blaze was at the National Federation of the Blind’s National Convention in Orlando, Florida this past July. But, I really didn’t get a chance to check it out.

At VRATE, in the afternoon, there was a seminar on alternative media players. It was given by Jose, Manny and Joe of the saavi technology department. Jose started with the Victor reader stream. Most of us are familiar with it and some of us have become dependent upon it during school. It has a light weight and compact design with hours of playing time. It features great storage capabilities and a slot for

your SD card so you could store even more. It allows you to take notes, down load books, music or magazines, read daisy, National Library Services, Book Share and Learning Ally books. You can also enjoy music and books from iTunes. You can play text documents to read back to you with a built-in text to speech feature. Some of the formats that are available to play on the Victor Reader are text file, html, Xml, PDF, docx and epub. It has a simple navigation which allows you to locate books, files, and anything that you have downloaded on to your Victor reader with a touch of a key.

So, what is the Blaze? It is a device comparable to the Victor Reader, but with a few added features. Joe Good introduced the crowd to the Blaze EZ. One of the first things that you notice when you first pick up a Blaze is that it will remind you of a TV controller. It doesn’t have a number pad but it instead uses arrow navigation with a select key in the center of the arrows. It does all the things that the Victor Reader can do, plus it has an optical scanner built into it that allows you to take a snap-shot of a document and have it read back to you. The Blaze also comes with 12 GB of on board storage. It also has a slot on the bottom left for a SD card. Unfortunately, at this time it does not have the ability to download material from NLS. That feature will be coming in the next few months. It has Wi-Fi but you have to use your arrow keys to find the letters and numbers to input anything. Another cool thing is the Web radio.

When reading a book the user can browse the book by chapter, page, paragraph, line, phrases and words. You can also install bookmarks within a book to help you find your place or, if you are in school, to assist you in bookmarking important parts of a textbook. It will also allow you to record your own annotations.

Manny finished up the seminar with the iOS platform used with Apple products such as the iPhone, iPad and iTouch. Using an APP called Overdrive with your

iProducts, allows you to download a book in electronic form for a period of time just as if you were walking into your local library and checking out a book.  It also has Audible, a book service that has books that are read by a person. Another plus is that you will have access to iBooks and Kendall.

The iPhone also has scan and read capability with the new KNFB reader App from the National Federation of the Blind. Text Grabber and Prismo are cheaper Apps and use an audible cueing to help in aligning the iPhone with the document. The unique thing about the KNFB reader is that it uses tilt alignment for page alignment. The tilt control helps to make sure that you are focused directly above the document. The way it works is if you are not perfectly squared above the document it will vibrate. You can even take pictures of street signs and power point presentations.

In my opinion, the iPad is the best when it comes to viewing textbooks in PDF file format. If you still have some sight and use a magnification device, then the iPad is the device you want if you are planning to attend college. The electronic textbooks that you will need are viewed the best on this device. All of these iOS devices are capable of foreign language translation which can be very helpful if English is not your first language.

In choosing a media device will depend on your personal needs and whether or not you care to Carrie more than one device. I presently use a victor reader that allows me to take notes while I listen to a lecture. And when I read my textbook, I use my iPad with its zoom and Voice Over capability. Make sure you really have a use for one of these devices before you purchase any of them.

Dahn Yoga Stress relief for the Holidays courtesy of the Sedona Meditation Center

 Dahn Yoga is informed by acupressure and related energy principles, like reflexology. According to this tradition, there is a direct connection between

the tips of your toes and your brain and sinuses. As you tap your toes together, you release tension in your head as well as your feet and legs. This helps the brain and sinuses cool down. You can achieve a state known as “Water Up, Fire Down.”  Physically, this is a cool head and a warm abdomen, resulting from the circulation of both blood and energy towards the lower body. Emotionally, it means you are calmer and more relaxed.

 How Do You Do It?

 1. Lie down on your back with your knees and heels close together.

2. Keeping your heels together move your feet by swinging your toes apart and together repeatedly.

3. Repeat the motion, quickly and rhythmically.

4. Breathe lightly, emphasizing your exhalation.

5. Focus your attention on your toes and notice any sensations in your feet and legs.

6. Do this for 10 minutes, then slowly come to a stop.

7. Relax and breathe easily for 1 minute.

8. You’re done! Now time to enjoy, celebrate, and give thanks!

****Smile and the world smiles with you. Frown and you frown alone. ****

Events Calendar:

The Tucson saavi is having its client holiday party on December 11th. It will be hosted by the Advisory Council and Mentors. Please plan on attending; it will likely be on your schedules.

The Annual Parade of Lights is December 20th and as usual, saavi will be represented. Volunteers are needed to help with the decorating before the parade and all walkers will be adorned with lights on their canes and/or dogs if they wish. It will be great fun and also a great way for us to make our presence in the community known. If you are interested in participating; contact Roxanne Torres at or stop by her office and say hello.

Roxanne is also looking for those interested in participating in the saavi Adopt-A-Family program. The staff are working on collecting the needed items for our family, but she said she could really use a lot of help with wrapping and getting things organized.

It is a small way to get involved and give back, but it sure means something to the family receiving. This year’s family is a grandmother who recently took guardianship of her two little grand-daughters aged 3 and 5. Come join the fun and feel the spirit of giving.

National Federation of the Blind meetings and events;

The Phoenix Chapter holds their meetings on the first Saturday of each month at 9:30am at the saavi office. Their holiday party this year will be at the Golden Corral at 7609 West Thomas Road in Phoenix from 4 to 8 on the 13th.

The Tucson Chapter also has their meetings on the first Saturday of the month at the saavi office. They are 1:00pm. Their holiday party will replace this month’s regular business meeting and will be catered with lots of fun activities planned.

Northern Arizona is still looking for their regular meeting place in Flagstaff, but usually gathers on the 2nd Saturday of the month. This month they are having a special membership meeting in Page on the 13th at the Dam Bar and Grill at 644 North Navajo Dr.

Yuma has made a change in their schedule. This month’s meeting, which is also at the saavi office (GO SAAVI!), will be on Monday, December 15th at 3:00pm.

West Valley has recently changed their regular meeting time to the first Tuesday of every odd numbered month starting January 6. They will still be eating at Olive Garden at 2710 West North Ln. near metro center and the time will be 5 to 7 pm

Luminaria Nights transforms the Tucson Botanical Gardens into a festive gathering place for

thousands of Tucsonans and their out-of-town guests. Luminaria Nights dazzles with thousands of luminarias and twinkling lights, decorated holiday trees, Santa Claus, a variety of live music, food trucks and the magic of the holiday season. Come enjoy it all on December 5th, 6th, 7th and 12th, 13th, 14th at 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Adult $12, Children $6, Member Adult $10, Children $4

If anybody would like to get involved with and learn more about advocacy you could contact Donald Porterfield at and he will keep you informed.

****Want to sound smart? Here’s some trivia that will get you some attention. The traditional Christmas song known as Jingle Bells was actually written as a Thanksgiving Day hymn by Lord James Pierpont in Fall, 1857.****


The annual youth and adult writing contests sponsored by the NFB Writers’ Division will open January 1st and close April 1st.

NEW THIS YEAR: 2015, being the Federation’s 75th birthday, the contest will, for the first time ever, have a required theme. All submissions will need to somehow incorporate the theme of 75. It does not have to be necessarily about the anniversary of NFB. It could just be the number 75, or perhaps the diamond anniversary, or 75 steps to your destination, or even 75 balloons. Thinking of past entries, 75 aliens would work. Seriously, let your imagination take over. Write the piece you want, just remember to include the theme of 75; this is inspired by the 75 years of the great work that has been happening within, and because of the National Federation of the Blind.

Adult contests, poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and stories for youth are open to all entrants eighteen and over.

The youth writing contest, poetry and fiction, are to promote Braille literacy and excellence in writing.

The contest is divided into three groups, determined by grade level – elementary, middle, and high school.

Prizes for contest winners range up to $100 for adult categories and up to $30 for youth.

All contest winners will be announced the first week in July, at the Writers’ Division business meeting during the NFB national convention, held in Orlando, Florida. In addition, a list of winners will appear on our website,

All winners from both, the adult and youth contests will be considered for publication in our Division’s magazine, Slate & Style.

For additional contest details and submission guidelines, go to our website,

          Ask Eyesa is a monthly column where questions could be sent. The answers may not come straight from the horse’s mouth, but the advice givers will always try their best. Questions could be about anything, but will usually be blindness related for benefit of all readers. Send queries to the editor at for consideration.

                        Ask Eyesa.

Dear Eyesa, I have a friend who is seeing this guy who only seems to want her for you-know-what. He also drinks a lot and uses drugs, which I think she pays for. She recently found out that he has a girlfriend, but she does not want to give up on him. I think she believes that if she stops seeing him she will never get another guy because she is blind. What do I do? Signed, Can’t See the Answer

Dear Can’t See the Answer,

          First this guy is not likely to change, once a cheater, always a cheater. What I mean is; if he

cheated on his girlfriend with your friend, then even if he left her for your friend, he would still probably cheat on her. He is using her, but that is not the big issue. The worst thing here is that your friend has little confidence in herself and is defining herself by her blindness alone. Blindness is not what makes a person. It is only one characteristic of a whole person.

          Your friend needs to learn that she is a person of value and will only meet Mr. Right when she learns to love herself as it seems you do. Try and talk to her. Be there for her, but know that she will only open her eyes when she is ready. You could show her how to see the truth, but you cannot make her.

**** Just like saavi, Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer is celebrating 50 years of helping others.****

Timely Trivia:

1. How many Christmas trees did Hagrid put in the Great Hall?

2. How did Yukon Cornelius describe the fog?

3. What were the first words that Frosty the snowman say?

4. What did Ebenezer Scrooge tell the boy to buy and deliver to the Cratchit home?

Who Am I? My favorite color is hot pink Favorite Movie has to be “It’s a Wonderful Life” I was born in Phoenix, Arizona.  My favorite sport is between basketball and ice skating in the Olympics. And my favorite food is delicious pizza.

A. Shannon Kemlo

B. Shannon Mandodi

C. Shanin Lowe

Insight Trivia

1. What does Becky try to pick out while shopping at Fry’s?

2. What silly thing did Eve do on her computer now?

3. Should a guide dog ever be distracted while working?

4. What 3 letters were included in Braille Time that are not actually short form words?

(All answers to above will be listed in next issue, so you must keep reading the saavi insight

Answers to November’s Insight Games

Who was our potato loving staff member? It was none other than Roxanne Torrez, the Advisory Council and the saavi insight Advisor.

1. How old is saavi? 50

2. What did Pepper sing at the airport? 99 Bottles of Beer.

3. What happened this year on September 22nd? The Autumnal Equinox happened.

4. Where did Stepping Out go for Fundatory-Friday? They went to Golf n’ Stuff.

****Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Blessed Yule, Peaceful Hanukah, Joyful Kwanza and bring in a safe New Year. ****

          From the saavi insight team.