The Roanoke Star’s Article About Dinner in the Dark


Picture of Roanoke Star Logo

The Roanoke Star recently published an article about Dinner in the Dark, an upcoming event benefiting New Vision, an presented by the Vistar Eye Center. To read the article see the link below. If you’d like to buy tickets or learn more see the snippet and link below. Roanoke Star Article

Tickets for Dinner in the Dark on August 17th can now be purchased. This event will be held at Hotel Roanoke.

Eventbrite - Vistar Eye Center presents Dinner in the Dark to benefit New Vision Logo of Dinner in the Dark

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December 2016 Tech Center Newsletter

New Vision News and Updates

Your Financial Support is Appreciated

Community support has been vital in achieving our mission. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, it has only been with our donor’s generosity that we are able to provide our necessary services. Your support is desperately needed more than ever so that we might continue to fulfill our critical mission for those with visual impairments.

A donation of:

  • $25 can provide large-print calendars to 12 individuals with significant vision loss.
  • $50 can provide special frequency radios to 2 listeners of the Radio Reading Service.
  • $100 can provide 5 hours of audio information via the Dial-In News Service.
  • $500 can provide more than 15 hours of individualized instruction at the New Vision Adaptive Technology Center.

No donation is too small! We welcome your contribution in any amount, and it is tax deductible! For your benefit and to help us finish the year well, please consider donating by December 31.

By Mail: New Vision, 4504 Starkey Rd Ste 120, Roanoke VA 24018

Holidays and Inclement Weather Closings: The Tech Center will be closed on Monday December 26th and Monday January 2nd. These days follow the Christmas and New Year’s Holidays. Should Roanoke County or Roanoke City Schools be closed due to inclement weather we too shall be closed.

Braille Calendars: You can order 2017 Braille Calendars by emailing the following Non-Profit your address and request a calendar.


Here’s a recent Press Release from the NFB on the new regulations governing nearly silent hybrid cars. See the link below for the full article.


Have you heard of the Google Home Appliance? Its brand new and a direct competitor to the Amazon Echo. So the Google Home operates as a Virtual Voice Assistant and sports many features comparable to the Amazon Echo. On this Blind Bargains Episode, number 82, you’ll hear J.J. and Joe talk about its features. See the link below.

Joe Steinkamp was also interviewed on ACB Radio’s Main Menu Program about the Google Home. Check out the team from Main Menu as they put the Google Home through its paces. See the link below.

Check out Main Menu’s program where they inteview Dr. Robert Carter from “The Tech Doctor” podcast. Dr. Carter takes the crew through his experiences over the years with Macs, iPhone, Windows, DOS, and JAWS. Have a listen at the link below.

This Blind Bargains episode, number 80, has Jeff Bishop on to discuss his recent trip to the Microsoft Campus. On this episode you’ll also hear J.J. and Joe talk about JAWS 18, the new MacBook Pro, and the Microsoft Surface Event. See the link below for this and much more.

In this Mac Accessibility Roundtable Podcast hear the team talk about the new MacBook Pro, Paypal, Siri, and the future of the Apple laptop. See the link below for episode 121.

In episode 120 of the Mac Accessibility Roundtable hear the team talk all about the Apple Press Event. The event started off by discussing accessibility and hear the team breakdown the topic. See the link below.

Shelly Brisbin is a blind author and journalist. Her most recent work is the iOS Access for All Book. She recently was a pundit on the Daily Tech News Show. Listen to her talk about accessibility in a mainstream setting with Tom Merrit. The youtube link below jumps you part way into the episode where Tom turns to Shelly to ask some questions but after the conclusion of the episode Shelly and Tom continue to have an awesome discussion. Have a listen at the link below.

New Vision Interview

Picture of John Netzel. Wearing Suit.
We recently had the opportunity to record a 30 minute interview with WRVL – “The Journey” which broadcasts throughout the Roanoke and Lynchburg region. The interview aired this past Saturday at 6 AM, December 3rd. See the links below, where the interview was broken out into three segments.

Interview Segment 1

Interview Segment 2

Interview Segment 3

Student Spotlight

The following article is soon to be published in a Veteran’s Affairs publication, about one of our students, Leonard Hubbard. See the article below.

A Veteran’s Personal Journey: Horsemanship And Therapeutic Riding

Picture of Leonard Hubbard on horseback. Next to fence outside with two other people.
Leonard Hubbard, 57, a consumer of the HUD VASH Program since 2012, has been challenged by the “ups and downs” of addiction throughout his life, including homelessness and impaired sight. Now enjoying the rewards of sustained sobriety which include stable housing, improved health and consistent family support, he sought what he describes as “something to fulfill my idle mind.”

Machele Huff, a Salem VAMC Social Worker and a Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International Certified Riding Instructor, responded to the Veteran’s interest in riding a horse. According to Hubbard, “I was raised on a farm and I had never ridden a horse before. Just a mule.” Sparked by the Veteran’s request, Ms. Huff connected the veteran with a Paint Thoroughbred mare nick named ‘Tay Tay’ who had recently retired from competing as a show hunter With this mare, he learned how to safely groom and lead a horse. “I fell in love with ‘Tay Tay.’ I learned how to lead and take care of her. She was the first horse I had ever been around,” Hubbard describes.

Subsequently, Ms. Huff and the Veteran’s HUD VASH case manager, Katie Poulos, brought to the Veteran’s attention the Ride with Pride Therapeutic Riding Center in Staunton, Virginia which had a Veterans Riding Program. Hubbard then independently completed his referral packet and secured his medical clearance to ride. “ I received a scholarship to attend the program during the summer and the fall sessions.” Hubbard’s sessions began in June 2016. “Since being in the program I have learned how to care about things other than myself. I have learned how to care about people more through caring about the horse. It helps me with my sobriety and when I have nothing to do, I can think about the horse. Now I have something to look forward to it in the week and now next spring,” according to Hubbard.

For Hubbard, the most difficult aspect of participating in therapeutic riding was “making up my mind to do this because of my mental health issue. Some people think you can’t do certain things when you get older and that’s not true. When I put my mind to something I can do it. The most rewarding thing is the reaction I get from the horse, case workers and my riding instructors when I can control myself and accomplish something I want to do.”

Since his sixteen week participation in the Ride With Pride Program, Hubbard has now learned how to ride various gaits on the different horses that are assigned to him. “I have learned how to maneuver the horses through cones, change directions in the arena and ride a figure eight.” He also participates in trail riding on the center’s grounds as part of his riding lesson.

Each week, Hubbard prepares for his next riding lesson by reviewing videos taken on his phone. With the assistance of adaptive equipment provided by the Salem VA’s Visually Impaired Services Team, he is able to review his weekly riding progress at home.

Recently, he was invited to compete in Ride With Pride’s Therapeutic Fall In-House Show. According to Hubbard, “it is gratifying to actually engage with something you have never been around before. I think it’s amazing when you can care for something and the horse lets you know that they realize you are caring for them.”

The Ride With Pride Veteran’s Riding Program is made possible by various Veteran Service Organization donations in the Staunton, Virginia area.

Respectfully Submitted,
Machele Huff, LCSW

iPhone & iPad Apps

Check out the AppleVis’ Unlimited Newsletter for November 2016. Are you an adventurer? Then you might enjoy playing a game as Edward Blake, a Blind Knight, in medieval times; Or perhaps a Gladiator in Roman times. These games and much more are discussed in this months AppleVis Newsletter. Object Recognition Apps and the new MacBook Pro are also discussed. See the link below.

Local News and Events

Reoccurring Events:
“The Roanoke Alliance for the Visually Enabled (RAVE) will hold its annual Christmas banquet on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at the clubhouse of the Cave Spring Lions Club, located at 4801 Merriman Rd., SW, Roanoke. The evening will be catered by Adell’s of Rocky Mount, with music by the 3-D Trio. Reservations required by December 14, 2016. For information, directions or reservations please contact Dianne Decker at” from Dianne Decker.

Your Thoughts

If you have any thoughts about what could be mentioned in an upcoming newsletter or comments on this newsletter feel free to reply or fill out the following form. See the following link.

Contact Info

New Vision
4504 Starkey Rd. Suite 120, Roanoke, VA 24018 (South Park Office Building)

Phone: 540.985.8900

David Ward – Assistive Technology Instructor for the Tech Center

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July 21st ‘Dinner in the Dark’

Logo of Dinner in the Dark

Organizer Vice-Mayor Dave Trinkle to Benefit New Vision

Thursday, July 21, 2016 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM (EDT) Add to my Calendar Roanoke, VA

Ticket Information

  • Tickets Available Now!!
  • Price $80.00 (Fees may Apply)

Share with Your Friends!

To order go to our EventBright page. Click this link.

Who’s Going

Outgoing Vice-Mayor, Dave Trinkle will host a Dinner in the Dark to benefit New Vision, a non-profit organization that provides support to the visually impaired in the Roanoke region. Guests’ senses will be challenged – and heightened — as they dine completely in the dark to simulate the experience of a visually impaired person. As an added twist, servers will be wearing state-of-the-art night vision goggles provided by the Roanoke based Harris Corporation, the world’s leading manufacturer of Generation 3 vision intensifier technology.

“It’s cool that the vice-mayor changes every two years,” said Dave Trinkle “The dinner is a fun way to celebrate the rotating position while developing a new tradition in Roanoke where the outgoing vice-mayor hosts a farewell event to benefit an area charity. Vice-Mayor Elect Anita Price has already accepted the challenge to carry the torch when her term is up in 2018.”

The event will take place July 21, 2016. To ensure elegant food and complete darkness, the dinner will be held in the AKA Room under the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center. Guests are asked to gather in the Pine Room by 6pm where they will be escorted to their tables in the underground space. There are fewer than 100 tickets available at $80 per person which includes dinner and wine. Interested parties are encouraged to secure their reservations early. For more information or to request a Vegetaran option, contact:

“It is a unique opportunity for us to gain insight into what the visually impaired experience every day” says physician and Vice-Mayor Dave Trinkle. ”Furthermore, we live in world of information overload, where visual stimulation is everywhere. Imagine how amazing it will be, for just a few hours, to abandon the visual world in exchange for a new, more stimulating dining experience where you recognize friends by their voices and identify food by only smell, texture and taste.”

Sponsors for the event include the City of Roanoke, Harris Corporation, Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center, The Fork Restaurants, and Vistar Eye Center.

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June 2016 Tech Center Newsletter

June 2016 Technology Newsletter

New Vision News and Updates

News: New Vision has moved! Our new address is 4504 Starkey Rd. Suite 120, Roanoke, VA 24018 (SouthPark Office Building). This location is accessible via RADAR Bus, whether you’re located in the City of Roanoke or in Roanoke County. Our Office suite is located in a complex beside the Carilion Wellness Center, formerly Roanoke Athletic Center (RAC). Our offices are located on the ground floor, in the front eastern section. The new Tech Center classroom space was completed ahead of schedule and is now all setup to go! So there won’t be any need for students to enter the office from the side entrance; instead simply use the front entrance.
When Arriving on RADAR
Picture of SouthPark Office Complex
When entering the grounds on a RADAR bus you’ll pull into the parking lot servicing the Carilion Wellness Center; hang a left and you’ll find the complex on the right. I’ve been told at this point there is signage that says “SouthPark Office”. The Address 4504 is located in large letters beside the front entrance. Some photos are shown below of the new facility which we hope to serve us for many years to come. Picture of the Front Entrance of the SoutPark Office Building.

Important Note to Students: The Tech Center is up and running. Despite some heating and air duct work we got done this past Tuesday, the 31st, we’re back up and running. We are also looking to update the Tech Center with some new workstations and equipment so stay tuned in!

Additional News: New Vision will be participating in the First Friday event. We’ll have volunteers from New Vision helping out and we’ll be a beneficiary from the event. First Friday’s has expanded to include the first and third Friday of the month, during the summer season. We’ll be participating on August 5. Stay tuned via our Facebook page or Twitter to learn more. Below is a link to the events webpage.


Check out Blind Bargains podcast number 63. Here you’ll hear JJ and Joe talk about Google IO conference, free courses from Deque, and an interview with the Makers of the Guardian Circle App. Oh, I almost forget you’ll hear about Pickles the guide cat. See the link below for more.

Apple’s been making some further strides in the accessibility field. Learn more about their new described video offerings in this episode of Blind Bargains, episode 62. Additionally, you’ll hear about some of the new accessibility tools being sold in the Apple Online store; this includes a refreshable Braille display. This and much more, please see the link below.

On episode 61 of Blind Bargains hear about the NFB’s settlement with Uber and about ZoomText now supporting Microsoft Office 2016. See the link below for more.

Check out this Main Menu episode dated May 27th. We’ve already got our socks blown off with the $49 Amazon Tablet. Take a listen to this episode where Peter Korn, Accessibility Architect, and Mark Mulcahy, Developer on the VoiceView Team talk about something new. VoiceView, is a screen reader, that is now running in Beta on the Amazon Fire TV. The Amazon Fire TV is a set-top-box for your TV that allows you to stream movies and TV shows. See the link below for more.

In this episode of Main Menu Scott Davert shows off the Amazon Echo Dot. Two popular apps, Roger and Alexa get together. Dan Kysor talks with Mike May about Seeing Eye GPS and then Larry Skutchan tells us about Nearby Explorer another GPS app. See link below.

Tech Center Workshops

We’re entertaining ideas about having more workshops now that we’re in our new space. What technology topics, with an accessibility twist, might interest you?

Here are some ideas I’ve had but feel free to give me your feedback at the comments link below.

  • How to protect yourself Online? Avoiding fraud and your financial information from being stolen.
  • How to use an Amazon Fire Tablet to read books, play audiobooks, watch movies, and read email for $49.
  • How to rent movies, watch TV shows, using an Apple TV and Amazon Fire Stick?
  • Apple Devices Advanced Workshop. We’d cover power features of iOS and Apps. Such as image recognition Apps, custom keyboards, Braille Reference tools, and the like.

Let us know what you think either at the Tech Center when you attend classes or via the link below. Or feel free to respond to this email.

iPhone & iPad Apps

For more about what’s going on in the App Store check out the latest AppleVis Unlimited Newsletter for May 2016. A few neat Apps discussed include a BBC Music App and the Big Finish Audiobook App. See the link below for more.

Did you know?

That in Microsoft Word you can select text and press the Control Key and the letter D to access the Font dialog box. From here you can quickly modify a font for a specific section or an entire document. Additionally, you can use the F12 key to prompt Microsoft Word to open the Save As Dialog box. I find this last shortcut, especially useful, it saves you several confusing steps in Microsoft Word 2007 and above.

Local News and Events

Annual Lake Event: Saturday June 25, 2016, at Claytor Lake State Park they’ll be the annual Lions on the Lake Event. This is presented by Blacksburg Breakfast Lions Club. Here’s a little about the event from Mrs. Ament.

“The Blacksburg Breakfast Lions Club is hosting the annual ‘Lions at the Lake’ event for visually impaired individuals. People of all ages are welcome especially children, to enjoy boat rides and being out on the lake, snacks and good company. Family members are of course welcome as well.

When: Saturday, June 25, 11 am to 2 pm, at Claytor Lake State Park, Picnic Shelter 2 (see map overleaf) If you, your family member or a friend are blind or visually impaired and are interested in more information please contact

Suzanne Ament
Tel: 540-381-0963″

Annual Picnic Event: Roanoke Alliance for the Visually Enabled (RAVE) meets the third Wednesday of each month. The next meeting of the Roanoke Alliance for the Visually Enabled (RAVE) will be on Wednesday the 15th of June at 7:00 PM. This will be the Picnic in the Park, that RAVE holds annually, it will be held at Waldron Park. For more information contact Dianne Decker at 540.562.0455 or at

Your Thoughts

If you have any thoughts about what could be mentioned in an upcoming newsletter or comments on this newsletter feel free to reply or fill out the following form. See the following link.

Contact Info

New Vision 4504 Starkey Rd. Suite 120, Roanoke, VA 24018 (SouthPark Office Building)

Phone: 540–985–8900

David Ward – Assistive Technology Instructor

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