Editor: Ted Harper
Note: Use heading navigation or search for ** to move between articles.
- Letter from the President
- News from the ACBT 2018 Spring Board Meeting
- ACBT 2018 Conference
- Interest Story One: Royal Blind Charity Creates Video about Mindfulness
- Interest Story Two: Dementia vs. Alzheimer’s: Which Is It?
- Technology Corner: GE’s Scan-to-Cook Microwave
- What’s Cooking: Two Ingredient Lemon Bars
- Chapter Meeting Location
- Mailing Address
**Letter from the President
Greetings to all,
I hope everyone is staying relatively cool. My neighbor, Marsh, who grew up in West Texas tells me it’s “Hotter than a fur coat in Marfa.” Anyone who has lived in this great state of ours knows that Texas had four seasons; drought, flood, blizzard, and twister. Sometimes they happen all happen at once. Talking about heat, the ACB Texas conference is heating up. There’s still time to register so don’t delay. The registration and payments are due September 10th. Register online or download the form on the ACB Texas website at http://www.acbtexas.org/2018%20Conference/2018%20conference.html
We had a great time at our annual picnic this year. You missed out on some good entertainment if you weren’t there. Don’t worry if you missed out because our Christmas part this year will be even better. Our chapter expresses its sincere appreciation to the friends of Bruce Cowart. They raised $1095 for our chapter. This donation came from the heart because Bruce Cowart was a longtime friend of theirs and a former member of our chapter. I’d really like to see more members attend our regular meetings. We’ve been having some great speakers lately. That’s it for this time- stay cool.
President, Dallas Area Council of the Blind
**News from the ACBT 2018 Spring Board Meeting
Excerpt from Notes from the Secretary. Mary Alice Gary. Texas Star 2018.
The ACBT Spring Board Meeting was held April 28, 2018. For those of you who love Austin and have been asking to have ACBT Conferences held in a central location, here’s great news! Ask and you shall receive! Austin, beginning in 2019, is going to host the ACBT Conference/Convention for 3 consecutive years, 2019, 2020, and 2021. Mark your calendars, because August is the month all 3 Conferences will take place. Yes, August in Austin, beginning in 2019. The dates for 2019 are August 15 to 18, for 2020, August 27 to 30, and finally for 2021, August 26 to 29. ACBT Spring Board Meetings are to be held on the last Saturday in April during each of these years. Plan to attend for a fun time in Austin in 2019.
**ACBT 2018 Conference
The American Council of the Blind of Texas (ACBT) will hold its 40th annual Conference/Convention Thursday, September 20 through Sunday, September 23 at the Houston Marriott Westchase 2900 Briarpark Drive Houston TX 77042. Phone: (713) 978-7400 or (800) 228-9290.
The American Council of the Blind of Texas, Inc. (ACBT) and the Houston Council of the Blind, Inc. (HCB) will unite in celebration of their joint 40th anniversaries during the ACBT Conference/Convention. The theme is “Celebrating the Past and Preparing for the Future.” Make hotel reservations by dialing (800) 452-5110 and provide the code “ACB” to ensure that you receive the accurate rate.
Registration forms and payments are due by September 10, 2018.
To learn more please visit www.acbtexas.org/main_index.html
**Interest Story One
Royal Blind Charity Creates Video about Mindfulness
By Paul Cardwell, Third Force News, UK, March 3 2016
Visual impairment charity, Royal Blind has created a documentary about techniques used by the Royal Blind School in Edinburgh to help pupils deal with the stresses of everyday life. The school has created a tailored and structured program for each of its pupils which use mindfulness to help them relax. Narrated by drama teacher Aine Murphy, one of the minds behind the new program alongside mindfulness trainer Stan Godek, it explains how mindfulness has had a “big impact” on the pupils.
“Our pupils have a lot of stresses throughout the day, whether it’s transitioning from one class to another, or whether something unexpected happens or they are worrying about their exams,” she explains. “Sometimes these stresses get too much to manage, so mindfulness helps our young people to find strategies to be able to deal with that. Pupils are a lot more aware of breathing to calm down or using different strategies to calm down in moments of stress.”
Godek, who has authored a book on the topic, Mindfulness Techniques for Children and Young People – a Practical Guide, published by Children in Scotland, based his work with the Royal Blind School last year.
He said: “Changes in the children’s behavior and learning were sometimes quite dramatic and in other cases occurred slowly, over a lengthy period of time. We saw improvements in the children’s understanding of themselves and why they behaved in certain ways; a lessening of anxiety levels; a better understanding of why they got angry about certain things and what to do to change this; improvements in self-esteem; increased understanding of how their behavior affects other people; increased levels of empathy and compassion for others; an increase in concentration levels, in listening skills and in the ability to pay attention in the classroom.”
Mindfulness is the act of paying more attention to the present moment, to your own thoughts and feelings and your environment in order to improve your mental wellbeing. At the Royal Blind School, Murphy, Godek and teacher Caren Bryce developed a mindfulness program with an educational and psychological basis. Staff introduced materials to exercises, bringing different textures, sounds and smells such as fur, feathers, water, sand, peppermint oil, and leaves – even jelly, as an aid to story-telling and as sensory stations for pupils to quietly explore. The program also involved Tai Chi, focusing on breathing and controlled movements, outside in the school grounds where possible. It is now being furthered to develop the students’ sense of empathy and compassion.
Murphy added: “Through working with Stan we’ve realized the importance of look at people’s moods, how they control their emotions, what their emotions are, having power over themselves and also awareness of other young people – empathy.”
**Interest Story Two
Dementia vs. Alzheimer’s: Which Is It? How to understand the difference — and why it matter
By Kathleen Fifield, Health, AARP Online Magazine. June 25, 2018
Doctors usually rely on observation and ruling out other factors to diagnose Alzheimer’s.
The terms “dementia” and “Alzheimer’s” have been around for more than a century, which means people have likely been mixing them up for that long, too. But knowing the difference is important. While Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia (accounting for an estimated 60 to 80 percent of cases), there are several other types. The second most common form, vascular dementia, has a very different cause — namely, high blood pressure. Other types of dementia include alcohol-related dementia, Parkinson’s dementia and frontotemporal dementia; each has different causes as well. In addition, certain medical conditions can cause serious memory problems that resemble dementia.
A correct diagnosis means the right medicines, remedies and support. For example, knowing that you have Alzheimer’s instead of another type of dementia might lead to a prescription for a cognition-enhancing drug instead of an antidepressant. Finally, you may be eligible to participate in a clinical trial for Alzheimer’s if you’ve been specifically diagnosed with the disease.
What it is
In the simplest terms, dementia is a nonreversible decline in mental function.
It is a catchall phrase that encompasses several disorders that cause chronic memory loss, personality changes or impaired reasoning, Alzheimer’s disease being just one of them, says Dan G. Blazer, M.D., a professor of psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center.
To be called dementia, the disorder must be severe enough to interfere with your daily life, says Constantine George Lyketsos, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Memory and Alzheimer’s Treatment Center in Baltimore.
It is a specific disease that slowly and irreversibly destroys memory and thinking skills.
Eventually, Alzheimer’s disease takes away the ability to carry out even the simplest tasks.
A cure for Alzheimer’s remains elusive, although researchers have identified biological evidence of the disease: amyloid plaques and tangles in the brain. You can see them microscopically, or more recently, using a PET scan that employs a newly discovered tracer that binds to the proteins. You can also detect the presence of these proteins in cerebral spinal fluid, but that method isn’t used often in the U.S.
How it’s diagnosed
A doctor must find that you have two or three cognitive areas in decline.
These areas include disorientation, disorganization, language impairment and memory loss. To make that diagnosis, a doctor or neurologist typically administers several mental-skill challenges.
In the Hopkins verbal learning test, for example, you try to memorize then recall a list of 12 words — and a few similar words may be thrown in to challenge you. Another test — also used to evaluate driving skills — has you draw lines to connect a series of numbers and letters in a complicated sequence.
There’s no definitive test; doctors mostly rely on observation and ruling out other possibilities.
For decades, diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease has been a guessing game based on looking at a person’s symptoms. A firm diagnosis was not possible until an autopsy was performed.
But that so-called guessing game, which is still used today in diagnosing the disease, is accurate between 85 and 90 percent of the time, Lyketsos says. The new PET scan can get you to 95 percent accuracy, but it’s usually recommended only as a way to identify Alzheimer’s in patients who have atypical symptoms.
By Becky Collier, A Brief history of the Dallas Chapter. Compiled by Ted Harper
Answers at the end.
- What year did the Dallas chapter form?
- Who was the first president of the chapter?
- George Washington
- Ronald Regan
- Richard Villa
- Rosanne Barr
- How many times had the Dallas chapter hosted the ACB National Convention?
- Location of the chapter’s first official meeting?
- El Fenix in Garland
- Dallas Light House for the Blind
- Circle Grill in Dallas
- Warren Airplane hangar in Addison
- Which month and year was the Big D News newsletter first published?
- April 2011
- November 2016
- April 2014
- August 2017
- Officially formed in 1990
- Richard Villa
- Twice, 2012 and 2015
- Warren Airplane hangar in Addison. Actually the chapter has held meetings at each location.
- May 2014
GE’s Scan-to-Cook Microwave
By Bruce Brown. Digital Trends Home Section. July 17 2018
On Wednesday, July 18, GE will begin selling an Alexa-aware countertop microwave with scan-to-cook technology. To sweeten the deal, for a limited time the company is bundling an Amazon Echo Dot with the GE Smart Countertop Microwave.
According to GE, the scan-to-cook feature will help vast numbers of consumers who never use their microwave ovens’ presets, defrost, or power settings. Owners will simply use their smartphone camera to scan food packaging barcode from the GE Appliances Kitchen app. If the app recognizes the food item, it will send the correct cooking instructions to the microwave. At launch, the app will be preprogrammed with settings for more than 3,000 frozen, refrigerated, and shelf food items, with more items added over time.
“GE Appliances’ research shows consumers don’t use the full capabilities of their microwaves and stick to a few buttons and time cook,” Shawn Stover, vice president of GE Appliances’ SmartHome Solutions, said in a statement. “With our new GE microwave scan-to-cook technology, your son or daughter can head off to college and cook food with the help of their phone instead of relying on mom.”
Recipe from Christine Wasik
Two Ingredient Lemon Bars
16 ounce Angel Food Cake (1 box)
22 ounce lemon pie filling (1 can)
Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line a deep 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment paper. In a large bowl, empty the contents of the box of angel food cake and to it add the lemon pie filling. Whisk it until it’s well incorporated. Pour the batter in the baking pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes. I baked mine closer to 40 minutes, at 30 minutes it was not yet done. In a pinch use foil to line pan.
Editor’s note: Have you been cooking? Share your favorite recipe with us.
**Chapter Meeting Location
Our chapter meets the third Saturday of every month from noon until 2:00 p.m. Currently we meet at JJ’s Café located at 10233 E Northwest Hwy, Dallas, TX 75238. Phone: 214 221-4659, located in a strip mall called North Lake Center. Please be aware that the restaurant encourages you to eat in the main dining room and then move into the meeting room. Make sure you ask for your order ticket to be given directly to you when the wait staff delivers your meal. When you’re done, you pay at the front. Some members have voiced concerns that this arrangement is unnecessarily complicate. Leadership is working with the restaurant to smooth everything out. Patience is required during this transition.
We are always looking for new restaurants that have meeting space. Forward your suggestions to any officer.
Did you know DACB has a Facebook page? Don’t forget to like us on Facebook. Tell others that they can like us on Facebook for up-to-the-minute news and updates. https://www.facebook.com/dallasacb