Audiobook Service Helps Blind Vets Recover Independence

In December 1967, a young soldier lay in a hospital bed after sustaining severe eye injuries from a land mine in Vietnam. Tom Miller, now executive director of the Blinded Veterans Association (BVA) in Washington, D.C., was blind, and his mind raced over all of the things he’d never be able to enjoy again. “I’ve spent the past 44-plus years erasing that list, or finding new things I can do.”

Miller says he owes many thanks to the talking-book program of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), part of the Library of Congress.

Solutions for Seniors Struggling in Today’s Economy

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Turmoil in the economy. Skyrocketing jobless numbers. Budget cuts putting families at risk. And senior services being cut. And cut. And cut.
Whether it is nutrition, housing, or medical needs, seniors and their caregivers are now looking for new ways to keep themselves clothed, fed and housed. In fact, President Obama’s full-year Continuing Resolution for 2011 included a 45 percent national cutback of Senior Community Service Employment Program funding from the fiscal year 2010 budget.
With federal funding at the top of the chopping block, many of our elderly don’t have access to even one hot meal a day. Meals on Wheels, a non-profit agency, had to establish a waiting list at many of its sites across the U.S. this year.
While the world of senior nutrition programs faces trying fiscal times, there are services out there to help. Mom’s Meals (www.MomsMeals.com), created by a family to care for their aging grandmothers, delivers fresh-prepared, nutritionally balanced meals right to the doors of those who need them most. At only $5.99 per meal, far less than the cost of a restaurant meal, Mom’s Meals are designed by a dietician and chef and contain the proper nourishment for seniors.
While transportation options are also being cut, a little digging will show that certain agencies are working for the benefit of seniors. At the 2005 White House Conference on Aging, transportation was identified as the third most important priority of seniors, right under reauthorization of the Older Americans Act (No. 1) and matters pertaining to long-term care, according to the National Center on Senior Transportation. The NCST has made it their mission to increase transportation options for older adults and enhance their ability to live more independently within their communities throughout the U.S. More about the NCST can be found at www.seniortransportation.net.
With these federal cuts also comes added financial burden on seniors and their families. To help, AARP offers their Money Management Program, a daily service to help low-income older or disabled people who have difficulty budgeting, paying routine bills and keeping track of financial matters. More information about it can be found at www.aarpmmp.org.

Ease Your Business Load: Join a Service-Based Franchise!

Working professionals may want to start their own business but fear their chances of success amidst all the economic uncertainty. While understandable, this fear can be assuaged. Diving into the business world is made a little easier by taking the service-based franchise  route.

Not everyone starts out knowing how to make an independent business thrive, whereas purchasing a pre-established franchise tends to be far less challenging. There is a certain amount of risk in all business endeavors. However, service-based franchises in particular require less overhead and initial investment, while offering the support of tried-and-true systems. Since the majority of these sorts of franchises don’t require physical locations, the pressure of finding a perfect location, retail space or facility is lessened. This can also eliminate lease contracts and property expenses.

Neglected Car Service Costing Motorists

In difficult economic times, it’s natural to cut back on spending. But according to the experts at the nonprofit National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), putting off automotive maintenance and service can cost you more in the long run.

Neglecting vehicle maintenance can cause small problems to grow into more expensive repairs. For example, failing to replace worn brake pads or a faulty oxygen sensor – both relatively easy services for qualified auto technicians – can result in an expensive brake rotor service or the costly replacement of the vehicle’s catalytic converter. In addition, a well-maintained vehicle gets better gasoline mileage, pollutes less, is safer to operate and commands a better resale value.

Earth-Friendly Tips for Motorists

Motorists who want to go “green” don’t have to change vehicles to help the environment. Changing a few habits can make a big difference, say the experts at the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), a non-profit, independent organization dedicated to improving the quality of automotive service and repair through the voluntary testing and certification of automotive professionals.

According to Martin Lawson, editorial director at ASE, regular vehicle maintenance and better driving habits are two strategies that virtually every vehicle owner can embrace. The following tips from ASE can put you on the road to environmentally conscious care today:

Ditch the Frustration! Keys to Better Customer Service

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Ever had to wade through scores of automated voice prompts without any way to reach a live customer service representative? Tired of enduring …

No-Cost IT Service Audits Save Money

Voice and Data Systems are crucial to the success or failure of most businesses. Many companies provide laptops, cell phones, and Internet connections that require expensive maintenance by internal IT departments.  However, paying for full-time IT services and multiple telecom providers may be an overlooked and unnecessary expense. A no cost analysis of these computer support and telecommunication expenses can save companies money.

Geeks On Call has been a nationwide leader of on-site computer support to thousands of businesses for over a decade. Recognizing a need for advice with telecom service contracts, this leader in outsourced IT services recently announced a new professional telecom audit service designed for business of all sizes to save money.

Shape Yourself Into a Master Salesperson

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Even if you’ve never so much as sold candy door-to-door for a school fundraiser, you have sales experience. You sell an idea when you persuade someone to your point of view or an image when you meet someone for the first time. So, even if you don’t plan on becoming a professional salesperson, you adapt some of the traits of a master salesperson.

“I’ve met a tremendous amount of talented, successful people. They’ve taught me a great deal, and I’ve appreciated every one of them,” said the late Paul J. Meyer, author of “Pink Slip Proof: How to Control All Future Paychecks.” “When you look closely, it’s no secret how they arrived at their present income and position.”

In his book, Meyer listed five basic qualities shared by every master salesperson:

1. All master salespeople are persuasive and convincing. The ability to persuade isn’t limited to leaders — any time you help someone see something your way, you have made a sale. Top salespeople use every technique at their disposal, including stories, dreams, color and humor.

2. All master salespeople focus on service. Meyer cited the “golden rule” of service — serve others as you would like to be served. A salesperson who goes out of their way to focus on service will likely win their customers’ loyalty.

3. All master salespeople are honest. If you’re a known liar, no one’s going to trust you enough to buy what you’re selling. “Top salespeople are honest, keep their word, work hard, are responsible, incredibly dependable and act with complete integrity in all they do,” said Meyer.

4. All master salespeople are self-motivating. Master salespeople motivate themselves to accomplish goals, no matter how they feel or what other people say. “Self-motivation requires the development of inner strength, conscious will power, overwhelming desire, and the determination to reach any goal you personally want to achieve,” said Meyer.

5. All master salespeople care about other people. The best salespeople genuinely want to leave their clients better off than they found them — they’re not selling to make money, but to give their clients a needed product or service.

For more tips from Paul J. Meyer, purchase the book “Pink Slip Proof: How to Control All Future Paychecks.”

12 Must-Read Car Repair Tips to Find a Trustworthy Mechanic

Car breakdowns are never a good thing. But breakdowns in freezing temperatures and on icy roads are just plain dangerous.

This winter, make sure you and your family are protected when you take to the roads. Get your car checked out by a trusted repair shop as soon as possible.

To help you find the mechanic that’s right for you, check out these 12 car repair shop tips from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE):

1. Don’t Wait ‘Til It’s Too Late: Start shopping for a repair shop before you need one. That means now!

Earth-Friendly Tips for Motorists

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Some day, hydrogen-powered vehicles may be commonplace, but in the meantime, motorists who want to go “green” don’t have to change vehicles to help the environment. The experts at the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), a non-profit organization founded in 1972 to improve the quality of automotive service and repair, say that drivers simply need to change a few habits. “Regular vehicle maintenance and better driving habits are two strategies that virtually every vehicle owner can embrace,” notes Martin Lawson, editorial director at ASE. The following tips from ASE can put you on the road to environmentally conscious care today:

* Keep the engine running at peak performance. A misfiring spark plug can reduce fuel efficiency by as much as 30 percent. Replace filters and fluids as recommended in the manual.

* Keep tires properly inflated and aligned. Inflated tires reduce the engine’s effort and gasoline consumption.

* Find a good technician. Ask friends for recommendations. Check the reputation of the repair shop with your local consumer group. Check out the technicians’ credentials. ASE-certified auto technicians have passed one or more national exams in specialties such as engine performance and air conditioning. ASE-certified technicians wear blue and white ASE shoulder insignia and carry credentials listing their exact areas of certification. Their employers often display the ASE sign.

* Have your vehicle’s air conditioner serviced only by a technician certified to handle and recycle refrigerants. Older air conditioners contain ozone-depleting chemicals, which could be released into the atmosphere through improper service.

* Avoid speeding and sudden accelerations; both habits guzzle gas. When waiting for friends or family, shut off the engine. Consolidate daily errands to eliminate unnecessary driving.

* Remove excess items from the vehicle. Less weight means better mileage. Remove that rooftop luggage carrier after vacations to reduce air drag.

* If you do your own repairs, properly dispose of engine fluids and batteries. Some repair facilities accept these items. Or call your local government for information.

Visit www.ase.com for more seasonal car care tips and for information about the benefits of using ASE-certified technicians for auto repairs and service.