Thought Wheel

From the mind of Ann Chiappetta

Authors Fans & Fun

| Filed under blindness Fiction Guide dogs Poem Uncategorized Writing Life

Authors, Fans, and Fun

Save The Date: August 2 & 3
Face Book Exclusive
Sizzling Summer Super Release Book Launch Party!

https://www.facebook.com/events/1084437158419463/

Why not drop by, chat, comment and get to know your favourite authors?
Click the GOING button today!
Author Take Over Line UP
August 2, 2019 Author Jo E. Pinto will kick us off on Friday evening (time to be announced) for the opening ceremony & take over.
August 3, 2019 Author Abbie Johnson Taylor will start the event at 12 Noon Eastern with an author take over.
August 3, 2019 at 1 PM Eastern we have author Lynda McKinney Lambert with an author take over spot.
August 3, 2019 at 2 PM Eastern author and editor Leonore Dvorkin take over: Leonore also will cover the books published by both she and husband, David Dvorkin and give a book and editing and publishing assist business presentation.

August 3, 2019 at 3 PM Eastern we have multi genre author Phyllis Staton Campbell taking over
August 3, 2019 at 4 PM Eastern author Trish Hubschman will join us for her author take over hour.
August 3, 2019 5 PM Eastern author social media promotional assist Patty L. Fletcher will be doing a books and business presentation. King Campbell will make a special appearance during this hour and will be presenting a gift at that time, so don’t miss it!

August 3, 2019 at 9 PM Eastern author Annie Chiappetta will join us to close out the takeover event.

New on Audible.com

| Filed under blindness Guide dogs Poem Relationships Uncategorized Writing Life

For Immediate Release
Contact Ann Chiappetta, Author [email protected] 914.393.6605

Local Author releases first commercial Audio Book
July 20, 2019 – New Rochelle, N.Y.
Poet and Indy author of three books, Ann Chiappetta releases Upwelling: Poems C 2016 on Audible.com, Amazon’s premier audio book seller. Go to https://tinyurl.com/y5p7e3hz
To purchase or listen to the sample narrated by Lilian Yves.

I am so happy to finally have one of my books available through Audible. As a writer who is blind, I feel it is paramount to offer my books in as many blind-friendly formats as possible,”

Chiappetta’s books are available in print and all online eBook formats including Amazon.
The author’s other books, Follow Your Dog A Story of Love and Trust C 2017 and Words of Life: Poems and Essays C 2019 are being prepared as commercial audio books and will be released later this year.

Chiappetta is currently planning book readings and book signing events. Information on these and other appearances, including past appearances and future radio interviews and podcasts can be found at her website, www.annchiappetta.com.
To learn more about the author, or view her author’s book page, go to www.dldbooks.com/annchiappetta/

Chiappetta’s blog is www.thought-wheel.com

white daisies on black background bordered in red phot by C. Romanek

by Ann Chiappetta | tags : | 0

Guide Dogs In Rochester

| Filed under blindness Guide dogs Poem Uncategorized Writing Life

Jerry, Bailey and I rode the Amtrak up to Rochester, New York to attend the 2019 American Council of the Blind National Conference and Convention from July 4-12. The train ride was pleasant and allowed Jerry to relax, sparing him from the 7-hour drive. Bailey slept the entire time, except for guiding me to the lavatory. Once we arrived, the walking shoes went on and the convention navigation began. We walked a familiar circuit from one hotel, then on the skyway, and into the convention center and the sister hotel. We also found it quite pleasant to travel on the street level, crossing the streets to go from one location to the other. Bailey was happy to do some street work and did a great job recalling the often turn-heavy and difficult routes to the meeting rooms. Jerry, bless his heart, scoped out the area and made his opinion clear, “don’t go out alone at night,”, due to the higher indigent population. The police presence during the day and evening hours while the convention center was open, while necessary, wasn’t very reassuring.

We had a sleep number bed, a spacious room; our key cards didn’t work for more than a few days at a time. The food was good, but the restaurant choices was sparse, and we got snacks from the multi-dollar store down the street and Jerry walked to Dunkin’ for coffee in the morning. The fridge and microwave helped us save some money on expensive meals.

I was asked to co-host the Friends in Art musical showcase, and I said, “OK”. What was I thinking? But I am, admittedly, a closet performer, and the evening was fun and a confidence-builder.

The exhibit hall also allowed me to meet folks who had read my book and allowed me to connect with new readers as well.

My good friend, Cheryl Lawyer and I received awards from GDUI for being advocates for the guide dog movement. More on that later.
Next year is Illinois and I being not sure I will attend, but I do know we will go home with fond memories and a lot to laugh about and remember.

This image requires alt text, but the alt text is currently blank. Either add alt text or mark the image as decorative.Homefront Vol. 4 cover

Doing The Dog Thing

| Filed under blindness Guide dogs Relationships Uncategorized

Many people just don’t understand the ups and downs of being a guide dog handler. Sure, most folks can appreciate the challenges, like having to be blind or significantly visually impaired to be eligible to work a guide dog, or, the dedication it takes to train with one. Yet, the daily routines and tasks may be a bit esoteric for the non-initiated to appreciate.

Here is a situation my current guide dog and I have been facing; I hope the details aren’t too vague or beleaguered. I would add this situation to the category of occupational hazards for working guide dog teams. Not a deal breaker but something that could become a challenge if not addressed with care and patience.

Our office has a rear entrance with a vestibule. The first door opens out and, on the right, the outer door opens out and to the left. One must open the first door, slip past it, let it close, and then go through the second door. Sounds simple, right? Not so with a guide dog. There is barely enough space for one person to get around the inner door when exiting; when entering, one must let the outer door close, then open the inner door slowly or risk injuring the dog. On the way in, the dog must be given the opportunity to come around on the right of the person, then be ready to step back with the person as the door is pulled open. It is confusing and takes practice to navigate it safely for the handler and dog.

We managed to avoid an issue for five years, but then our luck wore out.
Bailey got bonked with the door one day last week and yelped in pain and surprise. He wasn’t paying attention and got hit in the head while we entered, then the following day, as we were walking past the stairway door in my building, he and I were almost hit as it was swung into our path by our neighbor. Neither of us was hurt, but the next day bailey stopped in the hallway and I had to pressure him forward to walk past the door. I imagined his thoughts as we passed, “Is that door going to surprise us again?”

Being door shy is a problem but totally workable to overcome. We worked on the office door issue first, with treats and praise. First session went well, and I think he will be fine. I also used praise to urge him past the stairway doors in my building, which he seems to have relaxed about when passing.

It is these occurrences that remind me he isn’t quite human and will behave in ways I might not be sympathetic about at first. I must remind myself to think like a dog, and go back to guide dog training 101: how can I help my dog feel confident again? When I apply it, I find the solution to a hurdle like door shyness. The most satisfying part of overcoming something like this is that I helped my dog with the issue, we found a way to solve the problem together. I used the skills taught to me by a group of expert instructors who love what they do. I listened to my dog, applied the tools, and made it easier for my dog to adjust and get past the negative experience. The bond of mutual trust is the cornerstone of a great team — and when trust is present, something like door shyness can be overcome with it, using reliable training tools and care.

PD Yellow lab Bailey lying next to water, blue sky above and his image reflected in the water beside him.

by Ann Chiappetta | tags : | 2

First Book Revamped

| Filed under blindness Guide dogs Poem Relationships Uncategorized Writing Life

Yes, readers, my first book, Upwelling: Poems C 2016, www.dldbooks.com/annchiappetta/ , a slim volume totaling 60 pages, is being recorded and prepared for Audible.com. This is an opportunity that transpired because of who I knew, aka, networking.

I hope this format will help me get my work to more readers. I hope it will help generate income, too; what I am hoping for the most is for an agent or publisher to become interested in my work.

Each step taken is one step closer to being represented.
It is hard to keep going, though, and sometimes it feels like all the effort, the self-promoting, and the book signings and readings are sucked into
a black hole.

What keeps me going is working with other creative professionals, like Lilly, who has done a fantastic job, capturing the nuances and emotions of poetry.

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Upwelling ebook cover white flowers against black background framed in red border

by Ann Chiappetta | tags : | 2

S Is For Success, Sort of

| Filed under blindness Poem Relationships Uncategorized Writing Life

Yes, readers, the new wickedly light and sexy infinity edge Dell laptop is good to go, thanks to much patience and help from my friend, mike. The first model was returned and I even made the first payment. Last Saturday I visited Mike and he helped me configure it. Now I will be using Windows 10, JAWS screen reader version 2018 and adding a few programs I use for writing and blogging. I even purchased an external DVD drive, and found it quick and easy to use.

What I did not allude to in the blog post, “D Is For Dilemma’, was that I’d also upgraded to an iPhone XR from an iPhone 6S. I think this transition was harder due to the change from buttons to haptics, removal of the home button, and new gesturing commands as compared to the older phone.
Here is a little poem about it.
On the Tip of a Finger
By Ann Chiappetta

Tap.
Flick up.
Flick down.
tap tap.
use a digit
drag it around.

press side button;
“Hello Siri” — why doesn’t she talk?
Slide and lift
Thumbs are best to text.
Swipe up with index finger
Tap tap to select.
Tippity-tap tap
Doink doink doink
Try middle finger gesture instead.

Spell Onomatopoeia
 NOT ammonia —

Swish, swoosh blunk

Dexterity demands flanges
To execute a pinch or scrub.

“Hi Siri,”

I didn’t say that

Slide and lift
Thumbs are best to text.
Swipe up with index finger
Tap tap to select.

D is for Dilemma

| Filed under blindness Uncategorized Writing Life

I finally decided to purchase a notebook style laptop. I wanted something portable with gobs of gigs and high-end drivers. What Can I say – I don’t own a car, so I wanted a luxury computer instead. I shopped, researched my required configuration possibilities, and made the call.

The sales person was polite and friendly. I placed the order and the call only took 30 minutes. Not bad, thought I; the new infinity edge 15” weighing only 4.5 lbs. would soon be on the way.

Being blind and a user of a speech program, I made the appointment with an assistive technology expert for the following Saturday. He suggested I plug in the unit to charge it, but not to open it until we were ready to configure it; I confirmed it was getting power and didn’t think any more about it.

Saturday afternoon, we opened and hit the power button. Nothing happened. Suffice it to say either the unit was damaged in transit or it was a Dud, refurbished or otherwise.
I made the dreaded call, spent 45 minutes saying I wanted a replacement, being sifted through customer service, then technical support, and finally a supervisor, who confirmed my request.

I was disappointed, to say the least but based on what the supervisor, Puja stated, my replacement would be on its way Monday.

Monday morning, an email message and phone call from Dell’s technical support/premium warranty and support department explained they required two photos one of the laptop, service number and sticky note with my name and time and date of call, and, 2. , serial number on the charging adapter, to be taken and sent back to them. The first set of photos were rejected. The second set was accepted. Unless they find another “requirement” to delay the replacement, my replacement has been “dispatched,”. This is, from what I can tell, is the confirmation of the replacement laptop.
So, readers, what should have taken a few days in this world of instant gratification and digital access, will most likely take about three weeks.

by Ann Chiappetta | tags : | 3

Meet The Author

| Filed under blindness Guide dogs Poem Relationships Uncategorized Writing Life

Meet The Author Ann Chiappetta
May 16 from 5 – 7 p.m. Westchester Disabled on the Move 984 N. Broadway, suite 400/4th floor, Yonkers, 914.968.4717 or www.wdom.org/

In this new collection, Words Of Life: Poems And Essays, the author once again exhibits the ability to write about both the light and dark sides of life. .

Victory for Web Access for the Blind

| Filed under blindness Uncategorized

From: Disability Rights Advocates
Sent: Tuesday, April 30, 2019 2:14 PM
Subject: County of Westchester Agrees to Make Website Accessible to People who are Blind and Low Vision

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contacts:
Maria Samuels: (914) 260-5837
[email protected]

Monica Porter: (510) 665-8644
[email protected]

Torie Atkinson: (212) 644-8644
[email protected]
County of Westchester Agrees to Make Website Accessible to People who are Blind and Low Vision
Redesigned site will be compatible with screen reader software used by blind and low vision visitors
April 30, 2019 – White Plains, NY –As a result of advocacy by the Westchester Council of the Blind of New York (“WCBNY”) and Disability Rights Advocates (“DRA”), the County of Westchester has agreed to make its website fully accessible to blind and low vision users by the end of 2019. These users will soon have equal access to information and functions such as signing up for emergency alerts, accessing resources in the event of severe weather storms and flooding, reviewing election results, and reserving ParaTransit,
People who are blind and low vision use software called “screen readers” that converts the text displayed graphically on a screen into audible synthesized speech or outputs that same information on a digital Braille display. Counties are required by law to ensure their websites or applications are compatible with screen readers and accessible to people who are blind or low vision, pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and guidelines established in the Web Accessibility Initiative’s Web Content Access Guidelines, available at https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG21/.
Today, accessibility barriers prevent a blind user from orienting herself on the County’s website, using keyboard navigation, skipping to the content of a particular page, or gleaning any useful information from untagged and unformatted PDF documents. WCBNY members have encountered numerous obstacles when attempting to access information and complete functions online, such as making ParaTransit reservations and learning about upcoming community events.
Maria Samuels, President of the Westchester Council of the Blind of New York, said: “This is a joint victory for Westchester Council of the Blind and the Westchester County Government. Together we achieved a significant step in the right direction for the inclusion of people who are blind. People with disabilities must have an equal opportunity to use all the programs and services available in this great County of ours, including the websites. We are delighted to find that the County Executive’s office agrees with us. Website accessibility is a process that must be vigilantly maintained but it is the law and, equally important, it is the right thing to do.”
WCBNY has long advocated for the ability of blind and low vision residents and visitors to have equal access to the County’s website, and they are pleased that the County has publicly committed to making its website accessible to screen reader software by the end of this year.
“Website accessibility guidelines and disability laws exist to ensure that people with vision disabilities have the same access to information and services as sighted people,” said Stuart Seaborn, Managing Director, Litigation, at Disability Rights Advocates. “DRA is pleased that the County has agreed to comply with the law and we hope that other public entities will follow suit as websites increasingly become go-to resources for critical public information.”
About Westchester Council of the Blind of New York
WCBNY consists of blind and visually impaired volunteer members. Through a network of advocacy and support, WCBNY focuses on the needs of people living with visual impairment. We strive to be a voice for all people who struggle with physical and attitudinal barriers resulting from others who don’t understand blindness. Our members volunteer and take part in important initiatives concerning people with disabilities in Westchester County like emergency preparedness, transportation, and accessible and safe streets. For more information, visit www.wcbny.org.
About Disability Rights Advocates
Founded in 1993, Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) is the leading national nonprofit disability rights legal center. Its mission is to advance equal rights and opportunity for people with all types of disabilities nationwide. As part of that mission, DRA has advanced multiple precedent-setting cases related to website access for persons who are blind or low vision; including securing the most comprehensive settlement ever to make online voter registration and election information accessible to millions of blind voters in New York, ensuring that blind voters in Alameda County, California had access to accessible, private voting machines on Election Day, and obtaining a settlement agreement requiring accessibility improvements to all of the roughly 4,000 Redbox video-rental kiosks in California. DRA is proud to have upheld the promise of the ADA since our inception. Thanks to DRA’s precedent-setting work, people with disabilities across the country have dramatically improved access to websites and web applications, disaster preparedness planning, voting, transportation, health care, employment, education, and housing. For more information, visit www.dralegal.org.

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