The Outlook

Official Newsletter of the Sight-Loss
Support Group of Central PA, Inc

The Sight-Loss Support Group of Central Pennsylvania, Inc.
Turning Darkness into Light Since 1982

P.O. Box 782, Lemont, PA  16851            814-238-0132

Autumn 2017


November 3rd-5th, 2017

The National Federation of the Blind of Pennsylvania is once again holding its annual state convention in State College from noon on Friday, November 3rd, through noon on Sunday, November 5th. The NFB state convention is always an excellent opportunity to connect with the blind community in Pennsylvania and learn about the latest developments in technology, services, and resources, and about advocacy at the state and national levels. The National Federation of the Blind, founded in 1940, has grown to 50,000 members, the largest organization of blind and low vision people in the United States. NFB members work together to improve opportunities for those with sight-loss with the ultimate purpose of completely integrating the blind into society on a basis of equality.

On Friday, the convention kicks off with the meetings of several NFB of PA groups: the Deaf/Blind Division, the Dog Guide Users Division, the Blind Student Division, and a Parents of Blind Children Seminar. On Saturday, the General Sessions are held all day, covering NFB developments at the state and national levels, and reports on services for the blind in Pennsylvania. The day’s events wrap up with the traditional Saturday evening banquet.

To register for the convention online, visit the NFB of PA website: Pre-registration is recommended but you may also register at the door on the day of the convention.


Eat, Share, Connect

Our 2nd Thursday’s lunch group is held each month, rain or shine, at Mount Nittany Residences. If you are new to vision loss or are an old hand, this is a good place to be. We always share a simple lunch, learn from one another, and enjoy each other's company. We share our stories and experiences, learn about services and resources, and offer support to one another. We’re an informal group – sometimes we have a special speaker, sometimes not. Occasionally we’ll arrange a special event; a play, baseball game, or special tour. We hope to meet you soon.

2nd Thursdays is a collaboration of the Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services, North Central Sight Services, and the Sight-Loss Support Group of Central PA. Each month, staff members and clients from each organization come together and find common ground.

When: 2nd Thursday of each month from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. Our next three meetings are October 12th, November 9th  and December 14th.

Where: Mt Nittany Residences, 301 Rolling Ridge Drive, State College, in the activities room.

Details: Lunch is provided and is “on the house.” If you need help with transportation please call Josie Kantner at 238-0132 (SLSG office).




Audrey Demmitt, along with other peer advisors at VisionAware (the online resource for people with vision loss), has compiled a reading list of books written by blind authors who share their life experiences. Audrey Demmitt was drawn to books by blind authors when she was learning to adjust to blindness. She writes:

I found it very helpful and motivating to enter the narratives of others who were sharing their own stories of vision loss. Exposure to books…can be therapeutic and beneficial in helping us process our own life experiences. In other words, literature can be used to help us figure life out, heal emotional traumas, and change thoughts and behaviors. Reading can be a healing experience and, fortunately, there are many ways you can access books today, including the talking book program through the National Library Service.”

I realized that the cumulative effect was that I understood more about blindness, and my feelings about it were changing. Reading books on blindness, and memoirs, and biographies of blind writers has had a very positive influence on my ability to adjust and cope with vision loss.”

The reading list is not exhaustive by any means, but it is meant to get you started. Most of these titles are available through the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) in audio or braille formats. Newer titles are not yet available through the NLS. Many are available on e-book formats through your favorite booksellers (Kindle, Nook, etc.).

  1. A Brush with Darkness: Learning to Paint After Losing My Sight by Lisa Fittipaldi - NLS

  2. A Guide Dog Goes to School by Elizabeth Simpson Smith - NLS

  3. A Matter of Dignity: Changing the Lives of the Disabled by Andrew Potok - NLS

  4. A Sense of the World: How a Blind Man Became History's Greatest Traveler by Jason Roberts - NLS

  5. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

  6. And There Was Light: Autobiography of Jacques Lusseyran, Blind Hero of the French Resistance by Jacques Lusseyran - NLS

  7. As I See It: From a Blind Man’s Perspective by Robert Branco - NLS

  8. Beyond the Bear: How I Learned to Live and Love Again After Being Blinded by a Bear by Dan Bigley - NLS

  9. Blind: A Memoir by Belo Cipriani - BARD

  10. Blind: A Novel by Rachel DeWoskin - NLS

  11. Blind Courage by Bill Irwin - NLS

  12. Blind Fate by Pierre Nubar - NLS

  13. Blind Justice by Floyd W. Matson - NLS

  14. Blind Sighted by Peter Moore - NLS

  15. Blind Tom by Geneva H. Southhall - NLS

  16. Blind Vision: The Neuroscience of Visual Impairment by Zaira Cattaneo - NLS

  17. Blindness by José Saramago, Giovanni Pontiero (Translator)

  18. Blindness: What It Is, What It Does, and How to Live with It by Thomas Carroll - NLS

  19. Brother Ray: Ray Charles' Own Story by Ray Charles - NLS

  20. Cane Confessions: The Lighter Side to Mobility

  21. Cockeyed: A Memoir by Ryan Knighton - e-book, NLS

  22. Coping with Vision Loss: Maximizing What You Can See and Do by Bill Chapman - NLS

  23. Coping with Vision Loss: Understanding the Psychological, Social, and Spiritual Effects by Cheri Colby Langdell

  24. Crashing Through: A True Story of Risk, Adventure, and the Man Who Dared to See by Robert Kurson - NLS

  25. Do You Dream in Color? by Laurie Rubin - NLS

  26. Eavesdropping: A Memoir of Blindness and Listening by Stephen Kuusisto - NLS

  27. Focus by Ingrid Ricks - e-book

  28. For the Benefit of Those Who See: Dispatches from the World of the Blind by Rosemary Mahoney - NLS

  29. Going Blind: A Memoir by Mara Faulkner - NLS

  30. Hanni and Beth: Safe & Sound by Beth Finke

  31. Harnessing Courage: Overcoming Adversity Through Grit and Gratitude by Laura Bratton

  32. How Do You Do It Blind? Answers from People with Blindness and Visual Impairment by Steven Obremski

  33. How Do You Kiss a Blind Girl by Sally Wagner - NLS

  34. If You Could See What I Hear by Tom Sullivan - NLS, available as DVD film

  35. In Dog We Trust: Independence, Thrills, and Dignity with My Seeing Eye Dogs by Sue W. Martin - Bookshare

  36. Lessons I Learned in the Dark by Jennifer Rothschildby - NLS

  37. Living on the Edge of Twilight by Doug Green - e-book

  38. Long Time, No See Memoir by Beth Finke - NLS

  39. Look Up, Move Forward: My Journey of Losing Vision and Finding Resilience by Becky Andrews

  40. Making Life More Livable by Maureen Duffy - new edition available through AFB Press; older edition on NLS

  41. Me and My RP by Dave Steele--Kindle and large print

  42. Mobility Matters: Stepping Out in Faith by Amy Bovaird - e-book

  43. Not Fade Away by Rebecca Alexander

  44. Now I See You: A Memoir by Nicole C. Kear - e-book

  45. Only Bread, Only Light: Poems by Stephen Kuusisto - NLS

  46. Ordinary Daylight: Portrait of an Artist Going Blind by Andrew Potok - e-book, NLS cassette

  47. Out of Sight: Blind and Doing All Right by Art Schreiber - NLS

  48. Out of the Corner of My Eye: Living with Vision Loss in Later Life by Nicolette Pernot

  49. Out of the Whirlpool: A Memoir of Remorse and Reconciliation by Sue Martin - e-book, NLS

  50. Planet of the Blind by Stephen Kuusisto - NLS

  51. ROCKS: The Blind Guy at the Lake by Thomas P. Costello - Amazon print, The Carroll Center Books on Blindness

  52. Scattered Shadows: A Memoir of Blindness and Vision by John Howard Griffin - NLS

  53. Seeing Lessons: 14 Life Lessons I Have Learned Along the Way by Tom Sullivan - NLS

  54. Self-Esteem and Adjusting with Blindness: The Process of Responding to Life’s Demands by Dean and Naomi Tuttle - NLS

  55. Shades of Darkness: A Black Soldier’s Journey Through Vietnam, Blindness and Back by George Brummell - NLS

  56. The Adversity Advantage by Erik Weihenmayer and Paul G. Stoltzby - e-book,NLS

  57. The Barefoot Lawyer: A Blind Man's Fight for Justice and Freedom in China by Chen Guangcheng - NLS

  58. The Music of Silence: A Memoir by Andrea Bocelli - NLS

  59. The Unseen Minority: A Social History of Blindness in America by Frances A. Koestler - NLS

  60. The View from Under the Pew by Diane Winters Johnson, Margaret Freed (Illustrator)

  61. The Way We See It: A Fresh Look at Vision Loss - e-book available at Vision Loss Resources

  62. Thoughts on Blindness: One Spouse’s Perspective on Losing Vision and Living Life by Becky LeBlanc - The Carroll Center Books on Blindness

  63. Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero by Michael Hingson - NLS

  64. Together: A Story of Shared Vision by Tom Sullivan - NLS

  65. Touching the Rock: An Experience of Blindness by John Hull - NLS

  66. Touch the Top of the World by Erik Weihenmayer - e-book, NLS

  67. Undaunted by Blindness: Concise Biographies of 400 People Who Refused to Let Visual Impairment Define Them by Clifford Olstrom, Perkins School for the Blind - NLS

  68. Upwelling by Ann Chiappetta

  69. Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems by Lynda McKinney Lambert

  70. What to Look for in Winter: A Memoir in Blindness by Candia McWilliam - NLS

  71. Who Lost? The Autobiography of a Blind Man with Great Vision by Dale Sheldon - NLS

Audio-Described Performances/Events

For theater productions, audio describers provide pre-show information about the production, characters, costumes, and sets. During theater and dance performances, without interrupting dialog, these professionals describe the ongoing visual elements. Receivers and headsets are provided free of charge for use during performances; the description service is also free. For tours and art exhibits, describers detail individual works, provide background, and often provide “tactiles.”

In theaters, please arrive in plenty of time to acquire your headset and go to your seat before the 15-minute pre-show description begins. Tell your friends and co-workers about these offerings. Those with full-vision may also find the introduction and description helpful and interesting.

Reservations are required AT LEAST TWO WEEKS IN ADVANCE for audio-description. Also, assistance with ticket costs is available for many performances. Please call the Sight-Loss Support Group of Central PA at (814) 238-0132 or email at for reservations, or for further information.


FUN HOME (Musical): Fri, Sep 22, 7:30 pm, Schwab Auditorium.

Fuse Productions presents FUN HOME, winner of five 2015 Tony Awards, based on Alison Bechdel’s best-selling graphic memoir. Described as “heart-gripping and cathartic” this groundbreaking production introduces us to Alison at three different ages, revealing memories of her uniquely dysfunctional family that connect with her in surprising new ways.

Tickets are required (ask for the discounted student price) and are obtained through FUSE Productions by calling (814) 380-8672, or online ( Please arrive at Schwab Auditorium by 7:15 pm to receive equipment and listen to informative pre-show notes. Note: The 2 week reservation is not necessary at this time; audio-description will be provided for this popular show. Please request your equipment at the AD window in the lobby of Schwab auditorium.


FALL FLOWER TOUR: Tue, Oct 10, 10:00 am, H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens, PSU Arboretum.

Join us as we explore the glorious displays of autumn glory at the botanic gardens! We will be meeting at the main parking area entrance of the gardens (corner of Park Avenue and Bigler Rd) at 9:50 am. The tour is free and open to all, but please notify the SLSG office by email at or by phoning 814-238-0132 if you plan to attend.


A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER (Musical Comedy): Thu, Oct 19, 7:30 pm, Eisenhower Auditorium.*

When the black sheep of the family finds out he is ninth in line to inherit a dukedom, he decides to eliminate the other eight heirs that stand in his way. Please reserve the AD service by Oct 5.


STRAIGHT OUTTA PHILLY (Hip-Hop Dance): Rennie Harris Puremovement and Phildanco Dance Company Fri, Oct 27, 7:30 pm, Eisenhower Auditorium.*

Two of Philadelphia’s most spectacular movement companies come together to communicate social and political ideas through hip-hop and contemporary dance. Please reserve the AD service by Oct 13.


THE SOUND OF MUSIC (Musical): Wed, Nov 15, 7:30 pm, Eisenhower Auditorium.*

The hills will be alive with a brand-new production of the spirited, romantic, and beloved musical story of Maria and the von Trapp family. Note: Audio description will be available at the Wednesday show only. Please reserve the AD service by November 1.

*Centre for the Performing Arts, Eisenhower Auditorium, PSU: Tickets are necessary and may be purchased by calling the CPA at 814-863-0255 or 800-ARTS-TIX. A limited number of complimentary tickets are available for Eisenhower shows for patrons with sight-loss and a guest; phone the Eisenhower Auditorium, 814-865- 5011, and ask for Shannon Bishop.

Tip: View the calendar page of the Sight-Loss Support Group's website at for more information.



Several Screen Magnifier Systems have been donated to the Sight-Loss-Support Group. These are available to be loaned at no cost to a visually-impaired individual. If you are interested in using one of these systems in your home, please contact the office (814-238-0132 or 


Remember to check our website ( for announcements, updates, and further information, and to follow Sight-Loss Support Group of Central PA Inc” on Facebook.



Autumn 2017 (September, 2017)

Archived Newsletters (pdf):

Autumn 2017