And the wonderful world of Grandmom Grode’s Gourmet Goodies”

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Goodies from Grandmom's Heart Grandson, Grandmother create cookbook
David New- Back in Business Cooking without Looking

DAVID NEW Back in Business after Blindness
Four years ago, David New turned 31 while hospitalized with spinal meningitis. He was paralyzed from the waist down, and doctors did not expect him to live. Then he also lost all his eyesight. "It was a shock," he recalled. "I went from 20/20 to zero vision over a period of just three weeks." Despite the odds, David survived, and after two years of rehabilitation, he regained his mobility. But his eyesight never returned. Fortunately, thanks to the Lighthouse, his independence in life has been restored. Our rehabilitation teacher, Sheila Kleinrock, showed David how to organize his kitchen, label appliances, cook meals and handle other "survival" skills non-visually. And orientation and mobility training from the Lighthouse helped prepare him to receive a guide dog. "I also got wonderful braille instruction from the Lighthouse," he added. "It's quite useful for organizing files, labeling medications and taking care of correspondence." With his health on the mend and many basic skills restored, David then took many months of computer classes from Rachael Trinkowsky, the Lighthouse's technology specialist. Using a "talking" computer with synthesized speech, he learned how to handle his address book and email messages, write and keep records. do on-line banking and bill paying, utilize a scanner to read mail aloud, and search on the Internet. "Rachael's training was wonderful," he said. "If not for her, I would not have the skills that I have."~ David now uses three computers one in the kitchen with a database of everything stored in his pantry and where to find it, one in his office, and a laptop that he carries wherever he goes. He's back at work, too, operating his business, American Chair Exchange, over the Internet, selling bentwood high-quality chairs and barstools from around the world to restaurants, homes and small offices. "All of my training enabled me to perpetuate this business," he said. "I am able to run the business by myself, and it's fully accessible to blind users." David has also used his computer skills to complete a labor of love producing a cookbook of recipes from his 94-year-old grandmother, Elizabeth Grode, because, he says, "Her cooking helped bring me back to health." The book, "Grandmom Grode's Gourmet Goodies,"' is available from a website (www.grandmomgrode.com) that David manages. The book includes an audio CD so that blind and visually impaired readers can access recipes. "I feel incredibly fortunate to have this technology available to help me,"' he said. "It's a huge part of my life. I don't know what I would do without it. My independence is paramount, and it has enabled me to achieve that."
     

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