A monthly newsletter of the South Central Association of the Visually Impaired
SCAVI, P.O. Box 2216, Bedford, IN 47421
Newsletter written and produced by President Regina Vonderhaar and Edited by Rita Kersh.
Regina may be reached at 812-675-0065
WHAT'S HAPPENING IN SCAVI
Our next meeting will be our Christmas party Saturday, December 11, at the Bedford Free Methodist Church, 630 R Street in the Fellowship Hall in the basement at 12:00 P.M. We'll have a brief business meeting to hold elections and discuss a couple of items. Then we will have our party. SCAVI will provide the meat, drinks and paper products. Members can bring a side dish or dessert. If you'd like to participate in our gift swap game, please bring a wrapped gift of around a $10 value.
Kari Goodman Dec. 28
Anyone who wants to be a member of the South Central Association of the Visually Impaired, the American Council of the Blind of Indiana and the American Council of the Blind in 2022 and didn't pay dues at our November meeting can still do so by either paying at our Christmas party or mailing the $9 to the above post office box in this newsletter. Growing our membership is going to be one of our projects in 2022. If anyone reading or sharing this newsletter has a friend, co-worker or family member with a visual impairment, our group offers assistance as a helpful support group for resources and education.
Improving Home Safety for Individuals with Visual Impairments
By John Burfield
Vision loss occurs gradually as we age. The American Academy of Family Physicians reports that the leading cause of vision loss is Cataracts. Cataracts affect half of the individuals who are 75 years or older. More accidents happen inside the home than anywhere else, even for individuals who are not blind or otherwise visually impaired. Consequently, it's imperative that everyone develops and maintains strong safety habits in and around the home. For those who are starting to experience vision loss, this is especially true.
There are many practical and inexpensive ways of making a home safer for individuals with visual impairment.
Lighting and Glare Reduction
Make sure their home is well lit, with high-wattage light bulbs and additional lamps or task lighting. The kitchen, bathroom and work areas all should be fully and evenly illuminated.
Under-counter lighting is another type that works well for illuminating the kitchen and other larger work areas.
Different qualities of light (more white or yellow, for example) might make it easier to see depending on the type of vision loss someone lives with. It is beneficial to determine which types of bulbs produce the best kind of lighting to help your loved one see most clearly.
Consider adding gooseneck or clip-on lights to provide adjustable lighting options in work areas.
Keeping lights on during daytime hours helps to equalize lighting from both indoor and outdoor sources.
Reduce Fall Risks
Eliminate small throw rugs.
Keep electrical cords as close to the baseboards as possible and out of walkways.
Keep floor lamps and small items such as low tables, magazine racks, and plants out of walkways.
Clean up spills immediately. If you forget the spill is there, it could become a slipping hazard.
Make sure your bath mat has a non-skid backing.
Look for items that come with larger buttons and print. These items include books, clocks, calendars, checkbooks, remote controls and much more.
Magnifiers come in handy for items that do not come in large print.
Create a list of important phone numbers in large print on bold-lined paper. Include doctors, transportation, and emergency contacts, and put the list in a convenient place.
Clearly, mark stove dials and label all medications.
Label cleaning and toxic products to make them easily identifiable, and store them and any flammable or combustible items away from the kitchen or heating units.
Contrasting Colors are Key
For people with low vision, it is often difficult to find doorways, outlets, furniture, and stairs
Choose outlet covers whose colors contrast with the color of the wall
Select towels with colors that contrast with the bathroom wall and kitchen cabinets or stove
Cups, plates, bowls, and utensils of a color that contrasts with the table and countertop aids in food preparation and dining
Utilize cutting boards whose color contrasts with the food item: dark cutting boards for light foods like onions and cheese; light cutting boards for dark foods like tomatoes and apples.
Pick area rugs that have a solid color. Patterns can make it difficult for the visually impaired to identify edges.
Mark stairs or slopes with brightly colored tape. Eye-catching colors that contrast with the flooring work best.
Suggest purchasing a large-screen television that produces high-contrast images.
Use brightly colored, fluorescent tape to mark the settings you typically use on your thermostat.
Remove unnecessary household clutter. Offer to help with organizing important items and packing up others.
Organize cupboards and specify exact locations for important things. If the cereal is always on the middle shelf of the pantry, for example, your loved one will not need to strain to try to determine if it is cereal or something else.
Set up consistent places for mail, keys, and other important items.
Use markers to print large labels for such everyday items as cleaning or cooking supplies. Be sure to keep cleaning supplies separate from food storage areas.
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT NEWS
Wednesday, November 10, 2021
Justice Department Sues Uber for Overcharging People with Disabilities
The Justice Department today filed a lawsuit against Uber Technologies Inc. (Uber) for charging "wait time" fees to passengers who, because of disability, need more time to enter a car. Uber's policies and practices of charging wait time fees based on disability have harmed many passengers and potential passengers with disabilities throughout the country. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, alleges that Uber violated Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination by private transportation companies like Uber.
In April 2016, Uber began charging passengers wait time fees in a number of cities, eventually expanding the policy nationwide. Wait time fees start two minutes after the Uber car arrives at the pickup location and are charged until the car begins its trip.
The department's complaint alleges that Uber violates the ADA by failing to reasonably modify its wait time fee policy for passengers who, because of disability, need more than two minutes to get in an Uber car. Passengers with disabilities may need additional time to enter a car for various reasons. A passenger may, for example, use a wheelchair or walker that needs to be broken down and stored in the car. Or a passenger who is blind may need additional time to safely walk from the pickup location to the car itself. The department's lawsuit alleges that, even when Uber is aware that a passenger's need for additional time is clearly disability-based, Uber starts charging a wait time fee at the two-minute mark.
The lawsuit seeks relief from the court, including ordering Uber to stop discriminating against individuals with disabilities. Additionally, the department asks the court to order Uber to modify its wait time fee policy to comply with the ADA; train its staff and drivers on the ADA; pay money damages to people subjected to the illegal wait time fees; and pay a civil penalty to vindicate the public's interest in eliminating disability discrimination.
"People with disabilities deserve equal access to all areas of community life, including the private transportation services provided by companies like Uber," said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. "This lawsuit seeks to bring Uber into compliance with the mandate of the Americans with Disabilities Act while sending a powerful message that Uber cannot penalize passengers with disabilities simply because they need more time to get into a car. Uber and other companies that provide transportation services must ensure equal access for all people, including those with disabilities."
"Uber's wait time fees take a significant toll on people with disabilities," said Acting U.S. Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds for the Northern District of California. "Passengers with disabilities who need additional boarding time are entitled to access ridesharing services without discrimination. This lawsuit seeks to assist people with disabilities to live their lives with independence and dignity, as the ADA guarantees."
If you believe you have been a victim of disability discrimination by Uber because you, or someone you were traveling with, were charged wait time fees, please contact 833-591-0425 (toll-free), 202-305-6786, or send an email to Uber.Fee\@usdoj.gov
The meeting of the South Central Association of the Visually Impaired was held on Monday, November 1, 2021 at 9:30 am in the basement of the Bedford Free Methodist Church. Present at the meeting were Kari and Cliff Goodman, Rich and Regina Vonderhaar, Cindy Brooking, Denise Mullis, Doug and Brenda Eads, Rita Kersh, Jim Veem, and Mike and Dolly Sowder.
Jenny Lyman from Vanda Pharmaceuticals spoke to the group about Non 24 sleep disorder and answered questions from the group.
Brenda made a motion to approve the minutes from the October meeting. Rich seconded the motion. All were in favor. None opposed. The motion passed.
Cindy gave a brief treasurer's report. Balance for October was $3505.95. We had a $50 refund from the park and $30 in the sunshine bag. Interest was 17 cents and the total for the chili supper so far is $1298. Expenses are $134 for the PO box and $34.94 for drinks for the chili supper. That makes the ending balance $4716.13. Rita made a motion to accept the treasurer's report. Cliff seconded the motion. All were in favor. None opposed. The motion passed.
The group discussed plans for the Christmas party which will be held on December 11 at noon in the Basement of the Bedford Free Methodist Church. Meat and drinks will be provided. Side and desserts are welcome!
Rita made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Cindy seconded the motion. The motion passed.
We adjourned the meeting at 10:38 am.
Respectfully Submitted by Secretary Kari Goodman