Saavi Insight March Edition

Saavi Insight March Edition

the saavi insight

a client run publication                                                                                                     Issue 5; March 2015



March Madness is the theme. It is the theme of our mentors and will be carried in the insight as well to help give recognition to the client mentor program. You will see here that they have a lot of things planned for the month and all are encouraged to get involved. This is also a great time to get involved with the saavi insight. Try your hand at writing an article or story. Send in your events to be included in the calendar. Try your hand at writing and think about taking over for the anonymous position of advice columnist in the future. We need dedicated writers and clients to keep things strong among all of this madness.

Ask Eyesa is a great source of answers and advice on a myriad

of blindness related subjects. Even though there is no Ask Eyesa included in this issue, it does not mean that Eyesa is no longer available to answer your questions. You could send in your questions to Eyesa at the email address of and 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

So now that we begin, remember to keep a little sanity during the month of madness, but let’s have some fun while doing so.

****The March Hare took the watch and looked at it gloomily:  then he dipped it into his cup of tea, and looked at it again:  but he could think of nothing better to say than his first remark, “It was the best butter, you know.”****


The Phoenix Mascot by Lauren Heimerdinger

In July of 2014 an Orientation & Mobility instructor by the name of Jennifer Skay, now Jennifer Donovan, transferred from the Tucson office of saavi to the Phoenix office.  She brought with her a puppy being raised for Guide Dogs for the Blind.  His name was Millhouse. Millhouse would soon be known as being the sweetest, most gentle and motivating furry friend for clients and staff alike. By some he was considered a mascot. Over a few short months a close bond grew between him and me. I loved playing with him before and after my O&M lessons. Of course he loved playing with me too. He always made me feel good when I interacted with him. The reason I used all the verbs in past tense is because Millhouse is sadly no longer here. No he did not go to doggie heaven. He moved to California to be in a guide dog training school. The goal is for him to graduate from training so he can be matched up with a handler in need of his assistance. Millhouse is greatly loved and will be missed. He will always hold a special place in my heart and in the hearts of the staff and clients at saavi!  The picture of Jennifer and Millhouse being celebrated and recognized is from the last day he was at the Phoenix office.

****“A single lemon contains more than 100% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. Pucker up! ****


Congratulations Brandy Turner! She recently returned home from Columbus, Ohio with a new partner. The Beast, as he is

affectionately called, is a beautiful Golden Retriever from Pilot Dogs.

****“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” Norman Vincent Peale****

My Waterfall by Melody Taylor

Have you ever personally experienced something so exhilarating that it thoroughly transformed your life? There are times in life when all is taken upward to a new, enlightening level. Once you’ve risen above the past limited way of living, you can never return to the previous ignorance. On mine and my husband’s 21st wedding anniversary, I experienced inspiration and invigoration beyond anything I had ever known before.

 My husband, Mark, and I have a favorite place in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains called White Oak Canyon Falls. We have climbed and curiously explored this mountain dozens of times, however on this specific anniversary, we had no earthly idea the heights that we would climb that day. That spring, there had been more needed rainfall than there had been in many years. Consequently, the gorgeous waterfalls in the Blue Ridge Mountains were flowing abundantly and some surrounding trees had become uprooted.

 Early in the fresh morning, on a warm summer day, Mark and I donned our hiking boots and a backpack loaded with food and water, and began our trek up the mountain. As we traversed the extremely familiar path, we noticed slight differences in the moist landscape surrounding us. Some of the large rocks, that were once firmly positioned, had lost their grip and tumbled downhill a ways. Additionally, large, strong trees that had been rooted in the mountain for decades were lying across the rolling hills.

 As we crossed the familiar bridge and ascended the foothills of the mountain, we talked about all the changes that had taken place in our favorite spot. Mark led me around the fallen rocks and guided me through the small path

that remained before us. I wondered aloud, “How do you think that all this rain has affected the waterfalls?”

Mark just responded, “We will have to see when we get there. I’m sure that it will be an adventure.”

While we hiked and talked, I thought about how the water and the rain are metaphors for the washing of our spirits and asked Mark if he thought that our experiences could kind of shift things around in our life like this mountain landscape.

As Mark pondered my question, he had me switch from holding his shoulders to grabbing the crook of his arm since the path had broadened. This is how, with my visual impairment, we traverse the mountain trails. When the path would narrow, he would alert me so that I would get behind him and grab either his hips or his shoulders depending on whether we were ascending or descending respectively.

 “Yes, I suppose so. The water carries away the loose dirt, and detrimental things that are rooted in our lives become uprooted making way for beneficial things to be planted in their place. With the wind of the Spirit, the roots release their grip on the saturated soil and harmful things lose their hold on us. Since man is made from the earth, the soil can represent us and the trees are things that grow out of our soil. That is definitely something to chew on.”

Eventually, we rounded the bend and found that the usual place where we crossed the waterfall to get to the other side had a fallen tree perfectly placed from shore to shore above the swelling stream. Mark scoped out the situation and tugged and pulled on the tree to discover that it was securely in place. He stood on the fallen tree, walked across it and found it to be immovable, so he led me atop the huge log and, step by step, walked me across the overflowing waterfall below. As we slowly made our way, I listened to the rushing water

below and felt the mist coming up off of the spray from the fall. I trusted my husband completely. He had led me through challenging pathways and circumstances for many years. I had no reason to doubt his judgment. We carefully, methodically placed our feet one after the other knowing that we would safely find ourselves on the other side in due time. I thought of how this trust in one another would always bring us safely across to the other side where we would find new things we are meant to experience.

 As we neared the other side, a realization swept over me. We can journey through the adventures of our lives with excitement and expectancy instead of fear and dread. If done, they will be anything but boring.  As I listened to the tumultuous waters below and the peaceful singing birds above me in the trees, there was an increasing thrill that rose deep within my soul, although there are numerous unknown outcomes in this life, I now know that I have the strength of spirit to navigate them all.

 After some time, Mark and I came to the end of the fallen tree and safely climbed down to the solid ground on the other side. We, carefully, made our way toward our hidden, secret place, our favorite secluded spot. Our anticipation grew as we neared the cool, refreshing pool that waited for us at the foot of the next waterfall. Climbing down the bank, it seemed that the pool and the rocks were awaiting our arrival like an old friend. As we had done many times before, we left our backpack and shoes on the rocks and slid into the welcoming, sweet water. I swam as close as I could to the waterfall to feel the spray of the pounding water into the pool that surrounded us. When I began to tire, Mark led me, by the sound of his voice, back to the rocks that line the pool. We climbed out onto the large rocks and rested for a while in the shade.

 That was a day that will always be etched in my memory: a

beautiful day, a gorgeous waterfall, a loving husband, and a faithful Creator. It’s always amazed me how the events in our lives speak to us if we have eyes to see and ears to hear.

****For all Braille readers – or those who don”t know this fact!  When using a Braille display, there is a setting called “Expand Current Word” and this can help in learning the spelling of a word that is contracted. When this special feature is activated, then the word is spelled out, letter by letter. And so when you see the contraction dot five q, you may know it is the word question, but if you are struggling with its spelling, then making sure the “expand current word” is on, then when you place the cursor on the word, it is spelled out.  Otherwise, yeah, some folks do become not so good of a speller if they only do contracted braille.****

Short Cut Keys by Laurence Stone

Ctrl spacebar = selects the nonadjacent items in a folder.

f2 = rename file or folder.

Shift f10 or applications key = open context menu.

Esc key = close dialog boxes, message boxes, and context menus.

****“Other people’s opinions of me are none of my business.” Rupaul****

Finger Pulling 

The Chinese developed a theory, which is actually really interesting and a bit fun to try. If you look at your left hand, each finger is a representation of the past, present and future generations within your family. For example, the thumb represents your parents, your index finger represents your siblings, the middle finger represents yourself, your fourth finger represents your life-partner and the fifth finger, your pinkie, represents your children whom may or may not be born yet.

Now it’s time for a little experiment. Place your hands together and bend your middle fingers together, allowing for your knuckles to touch. When doing

this, allow for your other remaining fingers to touch.

Begin to pull each finger apart, individually. You will see that your thumbs will pull apart because you are not destined to be with your parents forever. Now do the same action with your index finger and pinkie; you will see the same results. According to the Chinese theory, you are not meant to be together forever with your siblings or your children, who will leave the home and start families of their own.

Now try to do the same action with your ring finger, which represents your life partner. When you try to separate these fingers apart, it does not lift as easily as the other fingers, right? This is because you and your life partner are meant to be together forever.

Fun Fact: Did you know that not every country uses the wedding ring on the left hand? Countries such as Spain, Venezuela, Peru, India, Norway and Denmark wear their wedding bands on the right hand, however still on the fourth finger. It is said that the wedding ring is worn on the right hand because it is the more dominant of the two, symbolizing the strength of the marriage between a husband and a wife.

****Every year, March starts on the same day as November.” ****

A Small Accomplishment on the Road to Independence by Connie LeBlond

I am one of the rehabilitation teachers in Phoenix. Every month, students gain skills, confidence and perspective.  I would like to celebrate and recognize some of those accomplishments so others can feel the positive interaction I encounter as students move through their program. Whether the students know it or not, these little moments often teach the teachers as well as the students.

In January, Robert, a student that I work with in Activities of Daily Living, joined me to visit our store.  It is located on the second floor of our building. We took a wrong turn getting there and I could tell he was a little nervous. I

said, “Don’t worry, we’ll figure this out.”

When we did, we laughed about the detour.  Later, as we returned to class, he said, “It was fun getting lost with you.”

This situation made me think of the many times we do get turned around, such as when we get lost in parking lots.  The key, I told Robert, was not to panic.  Trust your skills and your senses and you will find your way.  This was a new experience for this student and one that I hope will remain with him as a positive experience.  Judging by his reaction, I would say that it will be.  Never underestimate, either as a student or an instructor, the influence you have on each other.

Events Calendar:

March 3rd is National Pancake Day! Celebrate at IHop with a free short stack, but mind the syrup folks.

On March 4th, at the Tucson saavi, there will be an M&M Mixer for the Mentors and Mentees. This is the first event in a month of Madness with the Mentors and Advisory Council Members. The events will continue with a Spirit Week full of opportunities to get to know the mentors and learn all that saavi offers. And towards the end of the month, your participation will be rewarded.  Of course we must all realize that the knowledge gained is the best reward.

Coming to theaters near you! On March 13th, the new Frozen short will be released and playing with Cinderella. So get your “Princess” on and let it go.

                         March 14th is National Pie day. Get it? It’s 3.14. Celebrate with a slice of pie and some math.

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.

The Tucson Chapter also has their meetings on the first Saturday of the month at the saavi office. They are at 1:00pm, but contact one of the members or send your questions to to learn about all the fun learning opportunities that they now offer for those who come early.  For some, RSVP’s are requested.

Yuma will be meeting at the saavi office also (GO SAAVI!), be on the third Monday at 3:00pm.

The East Valley chapter meetings are held every 3rd Saturday of the month. They meet at Fiesta Mall from 1pm to approximately 3:30pm. The address is 1445 W Southern Ave in Mesa.

 To get to the meeting room, enter the mall through the Best Buy entrance on the lower level. Walk straight through to the mall. The meeting room is to the right once you get out to the mall entrance. If you have any questions or can”t find the room, please call Megan Homrighausen at 480-510-6196.

After the meetings some of the chapter members will meet at Old Chicago to have dinner and talk from about 4pm to about 6:30 or 7pm. It”s something the members look forward to every month. The address to Old Chicago is 1665 S Alma School Rd, Mesa.

West Valley will be meeting the first Tuesday of every odd numbered month. They will be eating at The Olive Garden at 2710 West North Ln. near metro center and the time will be 5 to 7.

Northern Arizona is having a special meeting in Page on the 14th. The Page Public Library is at 479 S. Lake Powell Blvd. They will be meeting from 3:00 to 5:00pm. There will be a general membership phone meeting later in the month to be announced. Contact Eve Sanchez, President, for information at

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.

The annual youth and adult writing contests sponsored by the NFB Writers’ Division, comes to a close on April 1st. For further information check out the website,

On March 21st, from 10 until 2, saavi will hold its scrabble match in Yuma. Refreshments will be provided and you may even walk out with a door-prize. Everyone is welcome, so feel free to bring a friend.

Munchie Madness

Munchie Madness is brought to you by the D.D. Crew in Tucson. Come get a great lunch, a yummy snack or just say “Hi.” Your donations will assure that this new program could be continued, so let’s support the Crew. They are open from 11 to 1pm on the select listed days and be sure to listen for the announcements and come over to the DD kitchen.

Combos include a main entrée, side dish and a drink. They need to be pre-ordered and are set at a donation price of $5.

All Options may be enjoyed separately and ordered in advance. Any allergies or diet restrictions can be accommodated when ordering.

There will be items served on the day of as a “first come first serve” style.

Suggested donation prices for Separate Items

Sandwich-$3, Potato Wedges- $2, Chicken casino online Tacos- $1 each, Cheese Quesadilla- $3, Side Salad- $2 or with Chicken $4. Drink- $1, Smoothie- $2.

For March 10, please place orders before the end of March 6th.For March 12, please place orders before the end of March 10th.

March 10th and 12th selections:

A BLT with Mayo or a Grilled Chicken sandwich with Lettuce, tomato and Chipotle Mayo is served with Potato Wedges, and Lemonade or Smoothie.

For March 17, please place orders before the end of March 12th.For March 19, please place orders before the end of March 17th.

March 17th and 19th selections:

Two chicken tacos with shredded chicken, cheese, lettuce and tomato on corn tortilla served crispy. Or a Cheese Quesadilla made with cheddar cheese and flour tortilla. Both are served with Smashed Beans and Salad, Sweet Tea or Unsweetened Tea.

The Crew continues to guarantee a satisfying product. All individuals helping in the kitchen are being instructed and observed by Served Safe Certified staff. All food products are made in our non-commercial kitchen setting and are ensured to be handled and prepared within health and safety standards.

The Crew appreciates and thanks you for the continued support which will help to fundraise for future garden projects and activities.

The Arizona Renaissance Festival is being held at 12601 East Highway 60, Gold Canyon on Saturdays and Sundays from February 7th to March 29th (rain or shine). They are open from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

From Phoenix, take the Superstition Freeway (US Hwy 60) East, past Gold Canyon Golf Resort. From Tucson take the Tucson shortcut, the Pinal Pioneer Parkway (Hwy 79) to Florence Junction. Go West 7 miles on US Hwy 60 to the Festival Village. The cost is $20 for adults and $10 for kids from age 5 to 12. Kids under the age of 5 are free. These prices are good in advance from Fry”s Food Stores throughout Arizona. Or at the festival box office, add an additional $2 to the price.

The festival is a medieval amusement park, a 13-stage theater, a 30-acre circus, an arts and crafts fair, a jousting tournament and a feast — all rolled into one non-stop, day-long family adventure! There is a festival marketplace including shops centering on everything that you could imagine from the time of the renaissance.

Seminars@Hadley Presents: Braille Exchange: The Changing Braille Code: How Did We Get to UEB and Why?

Date: Thursday, March 12, 2015 Time: 9:00 AM.

There is a lot of buzz surrounding the new Unified English Braille code (UEB). What is it? How did we get here? And why make a change to the existing EBAE code? Join Seminars@Hadley as Hadley instructors Danette Johnson, Vileen Shah and Jennifer Ottowitz discuss how braille has changed through the years and how UEB came about. Basic changes from the current EBAE braille code that occur in UEB will be discussed along with resources to help you learn more. While not intended to be a comprehensive in-service in UEB, this seminar is meant to answer basic questions and serve as a foundation for further learning.

Dean of Educational Programs and Instruction Doug Anzlovar will moderate this 60-minute seminar. A question and answer session will be included as part of the seminar. After attending this seminar, participants will be able to; describe various tactile codes for reading and writing used by people who are blind or visually impaired throughout history, demonstrate understanding of the reasoning for the development of the Unified English Braille code (UEB) and identify basic changes adopted in UEB from the current code (English Braille American Edition).

Earn Continuing Education Hours: This seminar has been approved by the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP) for earning continuing education hour(s).

As always, listening to the seminar remains free of charge. To register for the free live seminar, select the “Registration” link below. If you wish to go on and earn CE Hour(s), you must also register for 1 CE Hour(s) and complete a separate registration form and pay U.S. $25 fee. Once registered, you will receive instruction on how to login and take the online quiz to earn your CE Hour(s).

This seminar is an audio presentation. Space in this

seminar is limited. Please only register if you are available to attend so that others are not closed out. Register at

National Federation of the Blind 2015 Scholarship Program Deadline: March 31, 2015 Are you a legally blind college student living in the United States or Puerto Rico? This annual program offers 30 scholarships worth from $3,000 to $12,000 to eligible students, from high school seniors beginning their freshman year in the fall semester of 2015, up through grad students working on their PhD degrees.

These merit scholarships are based on academic excellence, community service, and leadership. In addition to the money, each winner will receive assistance to attend the July 2015 NFB annual convention in Orlando, Florida from July 5th  through July 10th, providing an excellent opportunity for high-level networking with active blind persons in many different professions and occupations.  To apply, read the rules and the Submission Checklist, complete the official 2015 Scholarship Application Form (online or in print), supply all required documents, and request and complete one interview by an NFB affiliate president (unless the president requests a later date). Applications are accepted through March 31, 2015.

Go to for complete rules and requirements.  Please also consult your state president as many of our state affiliates also award scholarships.  A list of state affiliate president information can be found at: .

****Igor Sikorsky invented the first helicopter. It took him 30 years to get it off the ground, but he never gave up. Inspired by reading Jules Vern as a child, he knew that for his idea to work, he had to wait for technology to catch up.****

For the Blind Parent by Grayson Stogsdill

I have two kids, and when they were younger my wife and I would put jingle bells on their shoes. You can get jingle bells at Walmart, Target, or any arts and crafts store. This really worked out for the two of us when needing to keep track of our kids.

****3D printing is coming to the culinary world with ChefJet. ChefJet can create anything from confectionary delights to ravioli or whatever your mind could imagine. Hmmm, is this a Gene Roddenberry innovation?****

Artist Review of Chvrches by D’Anna Barrandey

Chvrches is a newer group that has an 80’s sound, so much in fact that they have been compared to other artists such as Depeche Mode and Prince.  The group consists of three members, Lauren Mayberry, Ian Cook and Martin Doherty. All three of the members originate from Glasgow, Scotland and they have been producing music since 2011. Some of their most popular songs are The Mother We Share, Recover, and Get Away. If you are looking for something new with an up beet 80’s sound give them a listen.

****Neil DeGrasse Tyson put it this way, “…not only do we exist in this universe; it is the universe itself that exists within us.” He said this when comparing the make-up of a human being to the make-up of the universe. We as humans have the same ratio of hydrogen, oxygen, carbon and nitrogen as does the universe. He also said, “…we’re all connected to each other biologically; to the earth- chemically; and to the rest of the universe- atomically.”****

American Sniper- My Review by Aubrea Dean

The lights are dim and the audience is silent. My friend, Damon is to my left and many strangers sit to my right. I hear people munching on popcorn and sipping on milkshakes, but I pay no attention to them. My eyes are fixed on the screen. Chris Kyle crouches down in the dirt, gun in hand, intensely watching his surroundings. He and his companion see a woman and

child walking cautiously through the dust. The woman discretely hands the small boy something and nudges him forward. Kyle prays the object isn’t what he thinks it is, but as he gets a closer look, he realizes that it is in fact a grenade. He begins to grit his teeth and desperately hopes the child will drop the grenade, but sadly he doesn’t. Suddenly, the boy starts to run and Kyle has no other option than to shoot the woman and the child.

          American Sniper, directed by Clint Eastwood, is a film based on a true story about Navy Seal, Chris Kyle. Kyle was considered to be legendary. He was the best of the best and had more kills than any other Navy Seal. He was a husband and a father who had to learn how to deal with the struggle of killing families in the name of freedom.

When I first heard about this movie, I didn’t know what to expect. I was a bit hesitant to go see it because I heard it was a tear-jerker and I didn’t want to cry, but in all honesty, I am incredibly happy that I went. It truly changed my perception of the war and made me realize how many hardships our veterans have to overcome. I am aware that there is a great deal of controversy in regards to this film, but I still believe Chris Kyle is a hero who changed lives. I highly recommend this movie to everyone. You will definitely come out feeling like a different person, I know I did.

****It’s a mad, mad world.****

Tree by A. B. Labes

I want to be a tree

When I grow up

But you can’t see the sun

Why don’t you just be a fern instead?

Maybe some moss?

I can feel the stars

And dance in the wind

I will be a cherry tree

And bloom in the spring

A grand maple

And change my leaves in the fall

 I will be who I am

Now and down the road

**** There is a spike in heart attacks during the first week of daylight saving time, according to a study published in 2008. The loss of an hour”s sleep may make people more susceptible to an attack, some experts say. When daylight saving time ends in the fall, heart attacks briefly become less frequent than usual.****

My Experience at the State Capital by Lauren Heimerdinger

On Thursday February 19th I got an awesome opportunity to go to the Arizona Capital building with a few people from the Phoenix saavi. On the way there we discussed why we were going and what we might say if we were chosen to speak. We went there to oppose a bill and hopefully stop it from passing.

Upon arrival Phoenix saavi Manager, Shannon, Sharonda, an Accessible Technology instructor, a peer and I had to register on a computer to speak. Afterwards everyone walked into a room in which the Chairman of the Higher Education committee and his committee members read a draft of the bill. The language in the bill stated that restaurant owners could ban service animals from being in their restaurants. The reason why this bill was written was to prevent potential health hazards that “bad actors” posing as service animals may cause.

I watched as the room was filled with members of the disabled community and its supporters to oppose this discriminatory bill. Many people were given the chance to tell why they do not approve of it. Surprisingly, we four ladies got a chance to speak too. After an hour and a half of everyone speaking against this bill the committee as a whole took a long recess. This was needed because some of the committee members were confused where they were in the voting process. I found it funny because after that long break a committee member was still confused.  At the end, all of our advocating paid off. The results were that every member,

except one, and the chairman voted against the bill. That one member that was originally in favor of the bill, had abstained. When it was over the room filled with elation and cheers!  Some of the House of Representative members were so proud of and for our group!  They even asked to take a photo of us. I was proud of my group and myself for the accomplishment we made. We made Arizona history.

****What does Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Thomas Edison and Steve Jobs have in common? None of them graduated college. Unless you are a visionary of equal merit to these men though, you had better get an education.****

Getting Chipped by Elizabeth Hafford

In a Swedish office complex called Epicenter, the employees are getting around using the small chips embedded within their hands.  The employees have the option to get radio frequency identification (RFID) chips installed under their skin.

Why would employees agree to get micro-chipped?  Sjolblad, Epicenter”s “chief disruption officer” and a member of the Swedish biohacking group, BioNyfiken, sees the micro-chipping as inevitable. He wants biohackers to figure out the implications and understanding of the technology before big companies and/or governments decide that it’s a good idea, or when the time comes to require that the public be chipped.

At Epicenter, these chips literally provide access; doors open at the wave of a micro-chipped hand, access office equipment that would have required using a employees card to activate the door and or the office equipment. Now the employees just have to press their hand against a chip reader. Whoever activates a door or office equipment it will recognize which person used that particular equipment creating a digital log of behavior once too mundane to record.

The strangest thing about this is that the chip is place under the

skin on the hand, and being a chip it can also contain personal information, but it is not much different as having a smart phone, fitness trackers, etc. and the information these devices hold are also personal and revealing enough that last summer a circuit court ruled that police need a warrant to access it.

Again we have a sign of technology. My only concern would be that by this getting into the hands of the government, then the people would be made to be chipped and everything would be on the chip i.e.; pay-check, medical records, IRS (taxes) etc. I would not like for myself to be micro-chipped.


The Federation at Work by Eve Sanchez

It is often heard that the efforts of the National Federation of the Blind are to no avail. I have been actively involved for a number of years now and can personally attest to the work and effort done by, and on the behalf of, the Federation. Many people, who know me, know that I get involved in various aspects, committees, divisions and chapter work. I was recently on one of those committee calls that really made a difference.

I must elaborate here; it was not what was said at this meeting that made the difference. Actually, it was the work that followed. The Arizona Legislative Committee was having a regular call between its members and led by the committee chair, Donald Porterfield. After reviewing the many issues at hand, Donald emphasized the importance of our being organized in case of an immediate need for action and when that need arose, we acted. The next day, after our meeting, the Porterfields got word of a bill that was going to be voted on, on the following morning, in the hopes of its sponsor, to be passed into law. The bill was House Bill 2179, and was an attempt to amend the Arizona service animal

law codified at A.R.S. §11-1024.  The language being proposed for amendment is in violation to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This was scheduled for a hearing in the House Government and Higher Education Committee meeting on Thursday, February 19, and here I reiterate, the very next morning.

As with so many other things across the nation lately that are being passed into law, this was a violation of Federal law and the state would, if passed, then need to petition the Federal Government to change the Federal Laws and regulations. This was not our point for objection though. The points listed in the amendment were detrimental to the rights of disabled persons which use service animals. There were six main points that they proposed;

Individuals who use service animals would be required to obtain and regularly renew a permit from the Arizona Department of Health Services in order to take their service animal in to a public place.

In the application process for such certification, the applicant must provide documentation from a medical professional attesting that they have a disability.

Requiring that the service animal must wear a vest at all times that would display their certification eligibility information.

Allow restaurants to deny services to persons with service animals by way of local and state health codes.

Not only allows, but requires the Department of Health Services to develop a sign for food service establishments that states service animals are not permitted.

And last, but not least, requires the Department of Health Services to petition the U.S. Department of Justice to update the ADA to comply with state law.

On that Thursday morning, less than 18 hours after first receiving the news, we were on our way. There was a large gathering of Federationists and many other

individuals and groups from the Arizona disabled community, all coming to the capital for one reason, to put a stop to this bill and fight for our civil rights. And it must be noted, that so many others who were not able to attend sent in their emails and tweets, flooding the committee with their words of objection. It truly was a fight. We filled two rooms past capacity and were such a spectacle that others at the capital for other reasons became aware and interested in what was happening. The two groups that came from both the Phoenix and Tucson offices of saavi were prepared when we arrived. While in route, Donald held a briefing via conference call. The first thing we did after stepping through those glass doors was register to speak to the committee. We all got our chance.

I could tell you that when I got up there, I was nervous. I tried to put that aside though and think about what I was counseled to say.  At one point the Committee Chair interrupted me to again make his point about the “bad actors”. I waited patiently for him to finish and then continued on. That in itself was very difficult for me to do. One of the points that they tried to make was the disruptive behaviors of the dogs in the public, and again, they kept talking about the “bad actors”, what I call the “fake service dogs”. Amy Porterfield, when speaking, pointed out that there were numerous service dogs in that crowded room and not only were there no disruptions, but they were all behaving perfectly, as they were trained to do.

What it came down to, was that the Representatives involved with the bill were trying to find a way to deal with these imposters. The problem was that they never consulted any of the concerned parties and that the language they used was wrong and detrimental. Not only was it a slap to those who use service animals, but it was a huge step backwards for equality of all disabled persons and a means to broaden that stretch even more. If the National Federation of the Blind, and other advocacy organizations, were not

organized and ready to act, we would surely have missed this, and a law that ultimately could have hurt us all, would have passed.  Am I proud of that? Yes. Not that I did anything special, but that I was able to be a part of history. I am proud of the work the Federation does every day and I know that even when we do not hear about it, someone is listening and someone is acting. I urge everyone to get involved, learn and take part so we could all live the lives we want.

If it is unclear to you as to why any of the points listed above were not acceptable, talk to those who were involved, educate yourself and learn the full meanings of those words. This battle may have been won, but the war is never over. Something does need to be done to protect our rights that are being threatened by those “bad actors” and their detrimental behaviors. This will continue, but now, hopefully, it will continue with the appropriate input and cooperation. Certifying bodies, training schools, Veterans groups and yes, the National Federation of the Blind will be a part of it. Will you?

Timely Trivia:

1.  Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta was born on March 28, 1986. By what name is she better known as?

2. Arizona is not the only state that does not recognize Daylight Saving Time. Name who else is sleeping in.

3. In Shakespeare”s “Julius Caesar” before being stabbed to death, Caesar is told by a Soothsayer: “Beware the ides of March. What or when is the Ides of March?

4. Name the four March sisters.

Insight Trivia:

1. When is Pi Day?

2. What does the middle finger represent?

3. What did the Stogsdills’ put on their children’s shoes so they could keep track of them?

4.  How much does a combo meal cost from Munchie Madness?

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

Answers to February’s insight games:

Timely Trivia:

1. Valentine’s Day is mentioned by which character in which play by William Shakespeare? Valentine”s Day is mentioned ruefully by Ophelia in Hamlet (1600–1601):

“To-morrow is Saint Valentine”s day,

All in the morning betime,

And I a maid at your window,

To be your Valentine.

Then up he rose, and donn”d his clothes,

And dupp”d the chamber-door;

Let in the maid, that out a maid

Never departed more.”

—William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act IV, Scene 5

2. What year did Arizona become a state? Arizona was granted statehood on February 14th, 1912.

3. When was the first officially recognized President’s Day? In the 1880’s it became practice to recognize and celebrate the birth of President Washington. In 1968 congress started changing the celebration dates of holidays so that they would always fall on Mondays to provide longer weekends for workers. It was proposed at this time to change the celebration of Washington’s Birthday to President’s Day so that it would officially recognize President Lincoln as well, but congress rejected this. The bill was finally passed in 1971 to move Washington’s Birthday to the third Monday in February. Retailers started calling it President’s Day for their sales and that has been the popular assumption as to what the holiday is, though officially it is still just Washington’s Birthday.

4. How many states gained statehood in the month of February? Massachusetts;

February 6, 1788. Oregon; February 14, 1859. And of course Arizona on February 14, 1912 makes 3 states in all that gained statehood in the month of February.

Insight Trivia

1. What did Malcolm X say? “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”

2. How many jobs has an Oxford University Study predicted to be potentially lost? The study predicted that 47 per cent of jobs would be put at risk over the next two decades because of technology.

3. What is the new class called that is offered through Hadley?  Independent Living: Personal Care.

4. What did Aristotle Onassis say? It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.”

Irish Soda Bread


3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 tablespoons caraway seeds (optional)

1 teaspoon baking-soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups (about) buttermilk


Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly flour baking sheet. Mix flour, caraway seeds, if using, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Mix in enough buttermilk to form moist clumps. Gather dough into ball. Turn out onto lightly flour surfaced and knead just until dough holds together, about 1 minute. Shape dough into 6-inch-diameter by 2-inch-high round. Place on prepared baking sheet. Cut 1-inch-deep X across top of bread, extending almost to edges. Bake until bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on bottom, about 35 minutes. Transfer bread to rack and cool completely.

****And now for something a little mad… We think of the Irish in the month of March and soda bread is very Irish, but let us see

who is brave enough to try this variation of “soda bread”.

Soda pop biscuits

4 cups Bisquik

1 cup sour cream

1 cup 7up

½ cup melted butter


 Mix Bisquick, sour cream and 7 up. Dough will be very soft – don”t worry. Knead and fold dough until coated with your baking mix. Pat dough out and cut biscuits using a round biscuit / cookie cutter. Melt butter in bottom of cookie sheet pan or 9×13 casserole dish. Place biscuits on top of melted butter and bake @ 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until brown.


It is windy out this March, so…

Let’s go fly a kite.