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Ocular Syphilis Can Cause Blindness
blindnessThe STD syphilis may seem like a condition that no longer affects people; however, there is a marked rise in syphilis cases around the world. This is critical to organizations working with the blind, because people who are exposed are at risk of blindness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that occurrences in the United States have more than doubled from 2.1 cases per 100,000 people in 2000 to 5.3 cases per 100,000 in 2013. A study on the heightened risk of ocular syphilis appears in the journal Scientific Reports.

“The 1990s and 2000s indicated that ocular syphilis was a rare diagnosis, accounting for less than 2 percent of all cases of uveitis [inflammation inside the eye],” co-author of the study, Joao Marcello Furtado from USP, said in a statement. “More recent reports describe cohorts of up to 85 patients with ocular syphilis in the Americas, countries in Europe, and parts of Australasia which shows it’s not only a problem in Brazil.”

SDCB can help improve the life quality of people living with visual impairments. Please contact us to learn more!


Posted in Blindness | View Post
Visually Impaired Man Receives Wonderful Gift
visually impaired"When it rained, he had to sit in certain spots so the rain wouldn't pour in on him," said Mike Graham, about his neighbor's camper. "He had no running water, no heat, no nothing."

Graham decided to take action and organized getting his neighbor, Alex Bustos, a new camper. Bustos, who is visually impaired, had already been receiving assistance from Graham in the way of groceries, accounting, and trailer repairs. Mike decided that Bustos home was too far gone for repair.

If you are visually impaired and need assistance, please contact SDCB. We offer several programs that can improve your life quality.

Good Samaritan surprises man who has blindness with new home

Posted in Visually Impaired | View Post
Young Piano Talent Living With Blindness
blindnessDavid Lai, spent the summer at Brevard Music Center honing his piano talent. Nobody can deny Lai’s skill, which he mastered even though he is living with blindness. Playing the piano has enabled Mr. Lai to traverse obstacles in his life since childhood. Lai’s vision loss stems from oxygen therapy at birth; he was born 10-weeks premature with underdeveloped lungs.

“Find your interest, your passion in life. And to never give up and to hold onto your dreams and never give up," Lai said.

SDCB offers many programs that can assist people living with blindness.

Promising piano player who spent summer at Brevard Music Center isn't defined by blindness

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Reversing Congenital Blindness
blindnessResearchers have found a method for reversing congenital blindness in mice. The technique involves changing cells in the retina – called Müller glia – into rod photoreceptors, light-sensitive cells which help people see in low light. The findings of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded study appear in the journal Nature.

"Rods allow us to see in low light, but they may also help preserve cone photoreceptors, which are important for color vision and high visual acuity," said Thomas N. Greenwell, program director for retinal neuroscience at the National Eye Institute.

More research is needed to determine if the technique could work on humans.

Please contact San Diego Center for the Blind if you are living with vision loss, we offer several innovative programs.

Researchers reverse congenital blindness in mice, study finds

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Making the Most Out of Blindness
blindnessDaria Finley is living with blindness because of glaucoma, but she has not let her condition hold her back, and she is trying things for the first time. Since going blind, Finley is modeling, she has acted in a short film, and she wrote a one-woman play about her experiences and was the star. Blindness can be the beginning of a new chapter in life, not the end of a person’s story.

SDCB offers several programs designed to help people living with blindness. Please contact us to learn more.

Daria Finley uses her blindness to fuel creativity

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Glaucoma May Be An Autoimmune Disease
glaucomaNew research presents evidence that glaucoma may be the result of the immune system deteriorating eye cells; the condition often leads to vision loss. Even though glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the world, researchers know very little about the disease. The findings open “a new approach to prevent and treat glaucoma," says study author Jianzhu Chen, an MIT professor of biology.

The research appears in the journal Nature Communications.

SDCB can help anyone living in California with blinding eye diseases. Please contact us to learn more.

Could glaucoma be an autoimmune disease? New findings raise possibility

Posted in Glaucoma | View Post
Speeding Up Blindness
blindnessPractically every American spends too much time on their digital devices. For many, the thought of life without a smartphone is surreal. While technology makes everyone’s life a little bit easier, a new study suggests that the blue light emitted from smartphones, laptops, and televisions can lead to macular degeneration and blindness. If the research holds true, we can all benefit from moderating our smartphone exposure.

"We are being exposed to blue light continuously, and the eye's cornea and lens cannot block or reflect it," said Ajith Karunarathne, co-author of the study. "It's no secret that blue light harms our vision by damaging the eye's retina. Our experiments explain how this happens, and we hope this leads to therapies that slow macular degeneration, such as a new kind of eye drop."

Please contact SDCB for more information about our innovative programs.

Smartphones Speed Up Blindness

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Bringing Child Eye Health Into Focus
eye healthThe North Carolina Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons and the American Academy of Ophthalmology are observing Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month this August. The goal is to encourage parents to recognize the importance of vision and learning how to protect children's eyes for the future.

The four tips include:

1. Get regular childhood vision screenings.
2. Know and share your family’s health history.
3. Watch children for signs of eye problems.
4. Wear protective eyewear when playing sports.

With the school year on the horizon, parents in every state can take steps to focus on eye health.

Please contact SDCB if you are struggling with a blinding eye disease. We offer several innovative programs to assist you with day-to-day life.

Four tips for children’s eye health

Posted in Eye Health | View Post
A Link Between Human Blindness and Pigeon Wing Patterns
blindnessA team of researchers at the University of Utah discovered a single gene that influences the wing pattern of pigeons and human blindness. Variations in the gene mentioned above decide which of the four different feather patterns a pigeon will develop. The genetic research on pigeon wing patterns revealed a link to humans living with blindness.

“The gene that we ended up finding associated with the wing patterns is pretty well studied in humans in the context of a hereditary disease that causes blindness," said Anna Vickrey, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Utah and the lead investigator of this new research.

SDCB can help you improve your life quality; please contact us to learn more about our programs.

New Study Finds Unexpected Connection Between Pigeon Feather Patterns And Human Blindness

Posted in Blindness | View Post
New Device Helps People Living With Blindness
blindnessPatrick Antaki, a former Olympian and defense contractor, is working on a device that helps older people living with blindness resulting from macular degeneration and diabetes. The Evergaze seeBoost helps the elderly see better, allowing users to sew, read or notice facial cues. seeBoost rests on a person's reading glasses and significantly magnifies what is in front of the wearer. 

The Evergaze product is almost ready to go to mass-market.

Please reach out to SDCB to learn more about our exciting programs for people living with blindness.

How this DFW entrepreneur, and former Olympian, uses tech to combat blindness

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Timing Cues Help Blind People Navigate
blindThere is a common belief that blind people experience heightened auditory and olfactory abilities, hearing and smell. However, a new study indicates that blind people have more of a challenge determining the location where sounds originate. The researchers found that such people needed additional timing cues to accurately decide the location of sounds played from a line of speakers. 

"This work teaches us that our audio-space representation is mediated by our visual experience," says first author Monica Gori of the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia. "In absence of vision, auditory spatial skills are not always enhanced - and in some cases, such as in the space bisection task studied here, these can be impaired."

Please contact us to learn more about our innovative programs for people living with vision loss.

Study finds blind people depend on timing cues for some spatial awareness

Posted in Blind | View Post
A Young Boy On The Verge of Blindness
blindnessA new foreign film titled “Ya Veremos,” centers on a young boy named Santi who is going to have surgery that will either fix his visual impairment or result in permanent blindness. His parents ask the boy to make a list of all the things he would like to see before the big day, just in case the operation doesn’t go as planned. The film was released on August 3, 2018, and will be in American theaters on August 31.

SDCB offers many programs that can help people struggling with vision loss; please contact us to learn more.

Ya Veremos

Posted in Blindness | View Post
IrisVision Helps People Living WIth Vision Loss
vision lossThose living with macular degeneration can experience blurred vision or 'blind spots,' but a new virtual reality headset expands the user's peripheral vision and cancels out the blind spots. IrisVision relies on a Samsung Galaxy smartphone to record what the wearer sees and then it zooms in to make the blind spots disappear. The result: vision acuity goes from 20/400 to as high as 20/30. IrisVision was created by scientists at Johns Hopkins, The Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind, and UC Berkeley.

"Everything around the blind spot looks, say, 10 times bigger, so the relative size of the blind spot looks so much smaller that the brain can't perceive it anymore," said Tom Perski at IrisVision.

Please contact San Diego Center for the Blind to learn how we can help improve your life quality.

Hope for millions with vision loss: Virtual reality headset allows legally blind people to see their surroundings and read

Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
Turmeric Eye Drops May Prevent Blindness
blindnessDo you like Indian food? If so, it may be that you are a fan of a colorful spice called turmeric. The bright orange powder has long been thought to have healing properties, and it turns out that it could prove beneficial for people living with blindness. More than 60 million people are living with deteriorating vision across the globe. New research suggests that the progression of vision loss in people with glaucoma could be slowed by administering eye-drops made from turmeric.

“We believe our findings could make a major contribution at helping the lives of people affected by these devastating diseases,” said study lead author, Francesca Cordeiro.

Please contact San Diego Center for the Blind if you require assistance adjusting to life with vision loss. We offer many programs that can improve your life quality.


Posted in Blindness | View Post
Musician Plays On Despite Blindness
blindnessOne of the planet’s premier keyboardists, composer, producer, and recording engineer has lived with macular degeneration since he was a young boy; but, blindness doesn't deter Rave Tesar! In fact, Rave started performing professionally by the age of 15 and was working full-time by 18. Tesar will be teaching a free master class on the keyboard with fellow musician Jason Miles on Sept. 30.

“I’ve had a very rare condition called adolescent macular degeneration since I was 10,” says Tesar.

The programs offered at SDCB can drastically improve the lives of people living with vision loss; please reach out to our team to learn more.

Blindness doesn’t slow down renowned Warwick musician

Posted in Blindness | 1 Comment(s)
Researchers Discover Blindness Gene
blindnessResearchers from Pakistan, USA, and the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, investigated a recessive genetic disorder that prevents the eyes from developing and leads to childhood blindness, and they believe they have found the cause. The research led to the discovery of pathogenic mutations in a new gene, MARK3. The findings, published in the journal Human Molecular Genetics, could lead to diagnostic services and personalized treatments for the blinding genetic disorder. 

“We can now concentrate on studying the mechanisms behind the disorder with the aim of finding a treatment,” said Stylianos Antonarakis, a professor Emeritus in UNIGE’s Faculty of Medicine.

San Diego Center for the Blind offers unique and innovative programs to assist people living with blindness and visual impairments. Please contact us to learn more!

Blindness Gene Identified

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Testing for Color Blindness in Schools
blindnessThis Fall, students in Roanoke City, Virginia, schools will undergo testing for color blindness, thanks to a local mother who states that Color Vision Deficiency could be a real problem in the classroom. Elizabeth Martin’s eldest son is diagnosed with color blindness. The condition makes doing classroom work a real challenge.

"When we were growing up, everything was black and white so it wasn't as much of an issue," Martin said. "But as the classroom has become more colorful, it becomes more important to try to make it less colorful for kids with color vision deficiency."

Please contact SDCB if you or your loved one is struggling with vision loss. We offer many programs that can help.

Roanoke mom helps bring colorblind testing to local schools

Posted in Blindness | 1 Comment(s)
Faster Treatments and Cures for Eye Diseases Act Funds Blindness Research
blindnessThere are more than 4 million adults and nearly half-a-million children who are blind or have severely impaired vision in the United States. The Faster Treatments and Cures for Eye Diseases Act is a critical piece of legislation for everyone living with blindness and visual impairment. The bipartisan bill, if passed, will fund translational research, advanced treatments, and cures for blinding eye diseases.

“Today we are both proud to introduce a bill that we believe has enormous promise for Americans who are blind and, in the future, for those who suffer from other diseases,” writes Reps. Pete Sessions (R-TEXAS) and Sanford Bishop (D-GA.).

San Diego Center for the Blind can assist people living with vision loss in many ways. Please contact us to learn more.

A vision for curing blindness counts on congressional action

Posted in Blindness | View Post
The National Braille Challenge
brailleWhat is the Braille Challenge? It is an academic competition for the blind or visually impaired; it was created to encourage students living with vision loss to master their braille literacy skills. Honing such skills can pay immensely for academia and employment. This month, Shianne Ramsey (8) competed as a finalist in the National Braille Challenge in Los Angeles. Thanks to Shianne’s hard work and dedication, she reads at a fifth-grade level even though she starts the third-grade this fall.

“Braille is powerful. I’m telling you that right now,” Shianne said.

Please reach out to SDCB to learn how we can help you increase your independence. We offer several exciting programs for people living with visual impairment.

Local girl gets star treatment at Braille challenge

Posted in Braille | 1 Comment(s)
UV Radiation Threatens Eye Health
eye healthJuly is UV Safety Month, an excellent time to practice protecting your eyesight from the sun’s damaging rays. Many people are unaware of just how harmful ultraviolet rays are to the eyes; overexposure can result in cataracts, macular degeneration, and photokeratitis. Each of the above conditions can result in vision loss.

“There is a fundamental misunderstanding among patients about how widespread and damaging UV radiation can be on eye health,” said Dr. Robert Schultze, of Cornea Consultants of Albany. “People assume that wearing sunglasses occasionally will fully protect them from harm, but maintaining healthy vision requires much more consistent protection.”

San Diego Center for the Blind can help anyone who is experiencing blinding eye diseases. We invite you to learn more about the programs we offer.

Healthy vision can be damaged by invisible threat

Posted in Eye Health | View Post
Roads Made Safer by Cataract Surgery
cataractA new study suggests that people who undergo cataract surgery mitigate the risk of traffic accidents, according to a report published in JAMA Ophthalmology. The researchers found that after the operation, cataract surgery patients were 9 percent less likely to experience a car crash. However, Dr. Kevin Miller of the Stein Eye Institute and the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, says that not everybody with a cataract needs surgery or has a difficult time driving.

“Given the mortality and societal costs from traffic crashes, any reduction in these risks would be welcome,” said lead study author Dr. Matthew Schlenker of the Kensington Eye Institute in Toronto, Ontario.

Visual impairment and vision loss can impact life quality. We offer many programs that can help you regain your independence.

Cataract surgery tied to lower risk of car crashes

Posted in cataract | View Post
Eating Oranges May Prevent Macular Degeneration
macular degenerationA study involving more than 2,000 Australian adults aged over 50 reveals that people who regularly eat oranges are less likely to develop macular degeneration. Researchers followed the participants for 15 years and found that the individuals who ate one serving of oranges per day, had more than a 60% reduced risk of developing late macular degeneration.

"Essentially we found that people who eat at least one serve of orange every day have a reduced risk of developing macular degeneration compared with people who never eat oranges," said lead researcher and associate professor, Bamini Gopinath.

Please contact SDCB to learn more about our innovative programs for people living with vision loss.

An orange a day keeps macular degeneration away: 15-year study

Posted in Macular Degeneration | View Post
California State Parks Rehabilitating the Braille Trail
BrailleIn the final days of June, California State Parks announced that the organization has begun  rehabilitating the Three Senses Trail, or “Braille Trail.” Located at Calaveras Big Trees State Park, the Braille Trail was commissioned in 1976 for the blind and the visually impaired; the update will include the addition of new interpretive stations. The Arnold Lions Club and the Calaveras Big Trees Association (CBTA) are working with California State Parks on the project, which is scheduled to be completed in 2019.

We offer several programs to help improve the lives of people living with blindness. SDCB can give you, or a loved one instruction on reading and writing Braille.

“Braille Trail” at Calaveras Big Trees State Park Getting a Facelift

Posted in Braille | View Post
Blindness Is Not A Handicap
blindnessBobby Thomson’s “shot heard ‘round the world” home run in 1951, which won the New York Giants the pennant, was the last thing Ed Lucas remembers seeing before he lost his vision. While blindness was a setback for Lucas, he says it isn’t a handicap; since then, Ed became the first blind graduate of Seton Hall University. If that were not impressive enough of a resume, Lucas is the first father to win custody of children from a sighted wife. Ed Lucas has had 38 books published and has written more than 20,000 articles about baseball.

Please reach out to San Diego Center for the Blind if you are struggling with blindness. We offer several programs that can help improve your life quality.

Lucas Calls Blindness Nuisance, Not Handicap

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Riding With Blindness Across America
blindnessLiving with visual impairments or blindness may slow down one’s life, but not to a full stop. A group of blind and visually impaired cyclists, “Team Sea to See,” took part in the 2018 Race Across America. The race takes riders from the West to the East in under nine days. The brave bike riders say, “I choose for my blindness to be an asset.”

SDCB is fully equipped to help you with blindness and visual impairments. Please contact our team to learn more about our programs.

Athletes with visual impairments, blindness bike across America to inspire others

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Two Blind Brothers Clothing Company
blindBrothers Bradford and Bryan Manning came up with a brilliant idea one day after shopping at Bloomingdales. On that day the two young men bought the same shirt. The fascinating aspect of this occurrence is that both Bradford and Bryan are blind; they made their choice of shirt not on aesthetics but by the softness of the fabric. Their idea: design and create clothing that caters to people’s sense of touch rather than sight. Their profits will go toward fighting blindness.

“We’d always done projects together and are super close,” says Bradford. “We care about helping blindness. We care about raising awareness. And we also want to have fun. We thought this consumer brand might be a way to do that.”

If you would like an overview of the programs we offer to people living with vision loss or blinding eye diseases, please click here. Feel free to contact us for more information.

How Two Blind Brothers weaved Dallas into a touching story of shirts for the visually impaired

Posted in Blind | View Post
New Method for Treating Blindness
blindnessMirabile dictu! Researchers at Washington State University created a prototype that could reduce the cost of treating the two leading causes of blindness in America, diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The prototype is called a microneedle array; apt considering the device consists of a cluster of hundreds of tiny needles. The technology is essentially a patch for the eye which could make delivering drugs to the eye more effectively than the three current techniques: laser therapy, direct eye injections, and eye drops.

“If the concept is proven it will help a lot of people in so many areas,” says doctorate student Maher Amer. “It doesn’t have to only be the eye.”

Please contact SDCB to learn more about our exciting programs for people living with blindness and visual impairment.

Finding an efficient way to treat blindness
Posted in Blindness | View Post
Paying eSight Forward to Kids Living with Blindness
blindnesseSight is the only clinically validated device that “enables those living with vision loss to see, be mobile, and engage in virtually any activity of daily living.” The revolutionary device completely changed the life of Joel Gomez, 14, who was born with legal blindness. eSight helps him see as far as he desires, whereas previously he could barely see five feet ahead. Thanks to gracious donors, Gomez was able to acquire a pair which goes for the daunting price of $10,000. Desiring to give back, Joel is working with eSight to give a device to 13 kids from around the world struggling with blindness. The movement is called #TogetherWeSee.

“Since I know what it’s like to be a visually-impaired person living in a world that isn’t geared to visually- impaired people I wanted to pay it forward to help other kids have the gift of sight,” said Joel of the fundraiser.

San Diego Center for the Blind offers many programs that can significantly improve your quality of life. Please contact us to learn how we can help.

From legal blindness to the gift of sight, CCA student looks to give back

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Supreme Court Justice Writing Book About Kids Living with Autism and Blindness
blindnessSupreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is working on a book about kids with “life challenges,” young people living with conditions like attention deficit disorder, autism, blindness, and diabetes. Justice Sotomayor was diagnosed with diabetes as a child, so the subject matter of her book is something she acutely understands. Her new book is set in a garden and is about "a bunch of us kids working on creating the beauty of a garden."

"I wanted a children's book that would explain some of those challenges, some of the frustrations, some of the difficulties in dealing with such conditions," said Sotomayor.

The book is expected in 2019.

San Diego Center for the Blind offers several programs that can drastically improve your life quality. Please contact us to learn more about assistive technology.

Justice Sotomayor writing book on kids with 'challenges'

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Prevent Blindness Says There is No Safe Way to Use Fireworks
In 2016, fireworks sent 11,100 Americans to the emergency room, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Not surprisingly, 68 percent of incidents took place around Independence Day. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that approximately one-third of the 1,000 eye-related firework injuries in 2017 resulted in permanent blindness. Prevent Blindness argues that there isn’t a safe way to use fireworks and that the only legal fireworks should be those used by licensed operators in public displays.

If you are planning to be around or set off fireworks on the 4th of July, please exercise utmost caution. An eye injury can significantly impact the rest of your life!

Please contact SDCB to learn more about our innovative programs for people living with blindness and visual impairments.

"Backyard fireworks can lead to blindness, other dangers"

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Weed Found In Virginia Causes Blindness
blindnessWeeds are the bane of most gardeners’ existence. Each summer, hours and hours are spent pulling the unwelcome guests from lawns and gardens, an annoyance to be sure. People who are living in Virginia, please be advised that if you encounter Giant Hogweed—an invasive species that originates from Asia—exercise extreme caution. The plant can grow as high as 14 feet, and its sap makes skin sensitive to sunlight causing severe burns. If the Hogweed sap gets into your eyes, it can result in blindness 

A weed-whacker shouldn’t be used to remove the weed, according to officials. Wear protective clothing to pull up the plant or rely on herbicides.

If you are living with vision loss, please reach out to SDCB to learn more about how we can help you regain your independence.

"Giant Hogweed, a plant that can cause burns and blindness, found in Virginia"

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Surgery is Safe for Patients With Macular Degeneration and Cataracts
macular degenerationNew research analyzing 80 eye surgeries on people living with concurrent wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts indicates that the procedure is safe and does not worsen the symptoms of AMD. The study shows that patients receiving anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) treatment for AMD are not at risk from cataracts surgery. The findings stymie concerns that the inflammation caused by the operation could make macular degeneration worse.

“Although there is a small risk of developing a subretinal hemorrhage, AMD patients with visually significant cataracts and macular degeneration requiring intravitreal anti-VEGF injections may successfully undergo cataract extraction, even with fluid on the preoperative OCT, without visually significant worsening of their underlying neovascular process,” the researchers concluded.

Reach out to SDCB if vision loss complicates you or a loved one's life. We offer several programs that can improve your quality of life.

Patients with Concurrent Cataracts, Wet AMD Safe to Undergo Cataract Surgery

Posted in Macular Degeneration | View Post
Laser Surgery Corrects Degenerative Eye Diseases
eye diseasesAn innovative laser surgery, called collagen crosslinking, helps extend Airmen’s careers. The procedure corrects degenerative eye diseases, such as keratoconus and corneal ectasia. Those affected by the above conditions are not commissioned unless they receive a waiver; and, pilots are restricted from flying. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved collagen crosslinking in 2016 for the treatment of progressive keratoconus.

The procedure ends the degenerative process by stiffening and stabilizing the cornea.

“This groundbreaking capability to correct the condition allows us to treat cadets and active-duty members here and from surrounding areas,” said Air Force Maj. (Dr.) Marc Neuffer, chief of cornea and refractive surgery at the 10th Medical Group. “They keep their vision and stay eligible for deployment.”

SDCB offers many programs designed to make better the lives of people living with vision conditions. Please contact us to learn more!

New Surgical Technique Saves Airmen’s Eyesight, Careers

Posted in eye diseases | View Post
Braille Displays Across Different Operating Systems
BrailleMajor tech companies like Apple, Microsoft, and Google have a new USB HID (Human Interface Device) standard for Braille displays; making computers far more accessible to the blind and people with visual impairments. The technology allows people to use Braille displays across different operating systems and devices, no longer having to concern themselves with the myriad of drivers and software.

The visually impaired could be utilizing the advancement early next year.

If you need assistance for visual impairment, please contact SDCB. We have many programs that can help you complete day-to-day tasks.

Apple, Microsoft, Google collaborate on new universal standard for Braille displays

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Seamstress Living with Blindness Empowered by VGS
blindnessBarbara Moore lives with a condition called nystagmus with cataracts; she was born legally blind, and she has limited vision. Despite her blindness, Moore taught herself to sew after deciding she wanted to make a comforter. Armed with a desire to work with needle and thread, she has spent the past 16 years sewing buttons and buttonholes on women’s military trousers while working as a seamstress at Vocational Guidance Services (VGS). Since 1890, VGS has trained and provided employment to individuals living with mental and cognitive disabilities.

“We were kind of pioneers for creating rehabilitation programs,” says Sabrina Selinka, general manager of VGS’ power sewing department. “Our mission is to prepare people with barriers to employment, and 80 percent of our employees in the sewing department have a significant disability or barrier to employment.”   

Please contact SDCB to learn more about our various programs. Assistive technology can significantly improve your quality of life.

Legal blindness doesn't stop this self-taught seamstress from making military uniforms

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Removing Makeup to Avoid Blindness
blindnessIn the  May 2018 issue of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, an interesting case study appears that could prove beneficial for anyone who wears makeup regularly. Every night, millions of women around the world go out with myriad cosmetics on their face; and, when the night comes to an end, it is expected that a few minutes will be taken to wash off mascara, foundation, etc. Of course, there are some evenings that washing one’s face seems arduous and off to bed, people go. So, what happens when people opt to head off to dreamland with makeup in tow?

The case study of a 50-year-old Australian Theresa Lynch who admits not removing her mascara before giving in to somnolence for nearly 25 years. The researchers determined that built up mascara fragments lodged in her eyelids putting her at risk of scratches, scarring, and risk of permanent blindness.

"It was certainly disabling," says Dr. Dana Robaei. "She has suffered permanent scarring on her eyelid and the surface of her cornea. The symptoms are like somebody throwing a handful of sand in your eye — it's constantly irritating."

If you are struggling with visual impairment, please contact SDCB. We offer programs that can help you rebuild your independence.

Dangers Of Sleeping With Makeup On Include Potential Blindness

Posted in Blindness | 1 Comment(s)
A Chance at Employment Notwithstanding Blindness
blindnessLarry Woods was diagnosed with sarcoidosis, the growth of tiny collections of inflammatory cells in different parts of the body, at a young age. He was treated with the steroid Prednisone which wreaked havoc on his optic nerve eventually leading to blindness due to glaucoma. While it seems like life was conspiring against him, Woods pursued his dream nevertheless. Larry completed his schooling at South Arkansas Community College, graduating with the highest grade point average in Liberal Arts, and now wants a chance at employment.

"People with vision impairment need the same opportunities as other individuals to give us a chance to make a difference in our communities, help us provide ourselves with a normal lifestyle financially as well as mentally and emotionally, says Larry Woods.

San Diego Center for the Blind offers vision rehabilitation services that rebuild independence. We have several programs that can help improve your life quality.

El Dorado man says blindness will not stop him from achieving dreams

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Assistive Technology Smart Glasses for Blindness
assistive technologyTechnology can give millions of people around the globe the ultimate gift, the opportunity to see for the first time or see again after going blind. There are a number of tech companies developing smart glasses, such as eSight, Aira, and Enchroma. Below, you can find a breakdown of how the various technologies help people regain their independence.

eSight: electronic glasses that have a high speed and high-resolution camera in the middle of the frame which captures and collects everything a user looks at in real time.

Aira: Smart glasses pair users with company employees helping them navigate around their surroundings. Aira workers see what customers see on a screen; when a customer needs help, all they have to do is call the Aira agent and listen to their instructions

Enchroma: Enhances colors for people living with color blindness; the product doesn’t compromise color accuracy and alleviates the red-green color.

SDCB can help you improve life quality, please contact us to learn more about assistive technology.

The Unlocking of Vision

Posted in Assistive Technology | View Post
Legally Blind Twins Dream of eSight
legally blindKenny and Justin Jongsma were diagnosed with Leber hereditary optic neuropathy—a rare genetic disease. The twin brothers became legally blind at the age 21; they only have peripheral vision now. A special kind of eyeglasses made by eSight of Toronto could help the brothers lead a more normal life, allowing them to do some of the things they did before losing their central vision. The eyewear uses a high speed, high-resolution camera to project real-time images to the wearer.

The problem is that a single pair or eSight glasses cost $10,000. Kenny and Justin are saving money and are trying to raise funds through charities and a GoFundMe.

"The unfortunate reality is that most public sector programs and insurance companies do not yet provide financial support for wearable assistive technologies for low vision–despite their ability to essentially replace the function of a damaged organ," said Laura Chau, a spokeswoman for eSight.

SDCB helps people experiencing vision loss regain their independence; please contact us to learn more about our programs.

$10K glasses? A small price to help blind twin brothers with rare disease see again

Posted in Legally Blind | View Post
3D Printed Corneas Could Prevent Blindness
blindnessAround 5 million people are completely blind because of damaged or diseased corneal tissue; another 10 million people need surgery to prevent corneal blindness. While modern medicine allows for corneal transplants, there is a severe donor shortage. Fortunately, scientists are now using 3D printers to create synthetic corneas which could help prevent millions of people from losing their eyesight. The cornea is a transparent sheath that sits over the iris and the pupil, directing light rays onto the retina.

If you are living with blindness, please contact SDCB, we have several programs that can help.


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Natalie Dormer Acts Out Blindness
blindnessActress Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones) stars in a movie playing a character living with vision loss. In order to learn more about living with blindness for her role as a blind pianist in the movie Darkness, Dormer turned to the Royal National Institute Of Blind People (RNIB). Dormer says she had several challenges playing the role.

“The RNIB helped me very much with navigating my own home, the streets, talking to people who are visually impaired and blind. The pride they take in their day-to-day life and how they navigate the modern world.”

Please contact SDCB for assistance with vision loss, we offer many programs that can improve your life quality.

In Darkness star Natalie Dormer reveals challenges of playing a blind character

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App for Blind and Low Vision People
blindBe My Eyes is a remarkable new app that assists blind people and those living with low vision see where they are going. The Smartphone application pairs users who have questions or need directions. People who have interest in helping the blind get around can download the app and lend their eyes.

"I think the reason for this is that it is very easy to understand the value of Be My Eyes for everyone, and there is something very pure and good about the connection between people," said Alexander Hauerslev Jensen, community director at Be My Eyes. "I think it is very human to want to help someone, but on a busy day, it can be hard to find the time. That is why Be My Eyes works so well — because it is very easy to have a big impact on another person's life."

If you need assistance for vision loss, SDCB has several programs that can help.

Be My Eyes App Helps Blind and Low Vision People

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Legally Blind Boy Plays Little League
legally blindAlbinism can severely impact people’s vision making life more challenging. Ryan Huizdos is legally blind because of albinism, but that didn’t stop him from playing little league with the help of a bright yellow ball. Nobody had any objections about the ball until his team made it to a district tournament game in 2015. When Little League learned of the ball, the organization banned its use. A three-year legal battle ensued, and Huizdos can now use the ball when he's at bat, pitching or playing infield.

"There's always a way to play your sport," Ryan said, "no matter what your challenge is."

SDCB can assist anyone struggling with vision loss, please contact us to learn more.

Legally blind teen takes on Little League

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Legally Blind Art Appraiser Is Not Deterred
legally blindMyrna Hayutin sells fine art and has done so for the past three-and-a-half decades, despite the fact that she is legally blind. Retinitis pigmentosa began stealing Myrna’s vision when she was eight years old and continues to get worse. Hayutin manages a fine-art gallery and is now an art appraiser, thanks to assistive technologies.

"I'm looking at the artwork but honestly thank goodness with my devices I can really zoom in and see them much, much better," Hayutin said.

If you are in need of assistance with a visual impairment, please contact SDCB.

Art appraiser sees success and beauty despite blindness

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Blindness and Singing By The Words You Live By
blindnessBlindness may seem like an impediment when it comes to playing musical instruments. However, time and time again the general public witnesses remarkable feats involving visually impaired people mastering the art of music, i.e., Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder. Before Vincent Young learned how to walk, he was already making a name for himself as a musical prodigy despite his blindness. Today, Young is a professional musician who “sings by the words he lives by.”

SDCB has several programs that can assist anyone struggling with vision loss.

Zevely Zone: Despite blindness, he saw his future in music

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A Swimming Champion Living With Blindness
blindnessVivian Stancil went blind at the age of 19; at the age of 50 her doctor told her that if she wanted to live longer, she would have to start exercising. Even though Stancil didn’t know how to swim, she got into a pool in spite of her blindness. She was morbidly obese when she began learning how to swim since then she has won 220 swimming medals and now runs a foundation that teaches at-risk adults and children how to swim.

If you are living with blindness and are in need of assistance, please contact SDCB.

At 71, Vivian Stancil hasn’t let blindness stop her from becoming a swimming champion

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Vitamin A Can Prevent Vision Loss
vision lossTaking care of one’s health is absolutely vital! You can lead a healthier life by utilizing various vitamins. Eating foods rich in vitamins or taking supplements, such as vitamin A, can strengthen the essential systems in the human body. In fact, consuming vitamin A can prevent vision loss and improve eyesight. Glaucoma, cataracts, night blindness, and other eye disorders can be avoided by regular consumption of foods with vitamin A.

Please contact the San Diego Center for the Blind if you are experiencing vision loss and would like assistance. We have several programs that can help improve your quality of life.

Vitamin A For Health: 5 Benefits Of Consuming Foods Rich In Vitamin A

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Visually Impaired Children Take To The Ice
visually impairedSix-year-old Logan and 4-year-old Zoe Galloway are budding hockey players. While it’s not uncommon for people to begin skating at a young age, what makes these two children unique is the fact that they are visually impaired. Unfortunately, both children are going blind from an extremely rare form of eye disease, Leber congenital amaurosis.

“If you take a piece of cardboard and you punch a bunch of holes in it, that’s how they can see,” explained the children’s mother, Allison Galloway. “The holes will get less and less over time.”

SDCB has several programs that can help you or a loved one. Please contact us to learn more about how we can be of assistance.

Screaming With Glee, Kids Hit By Blindness Find Their Passion On Ice

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A Gender Gap In Blindness
blindnessDid you know that there is a gender gap in eye disease? In fact, studies indicate that women are at a more significant risk of experiencing vision loss, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts and glaucoma. Regular eye examinations are vital to early diagnosis; during Healthy Vision Month, the American Academy of Ophthalmology wants women to prioritize vision. The Academy encourages people to get a comprehensive medical eye exam at age 40; know your family history; eat healthily; quit smoking; protect their eyes from the sun; and perform daily eyelid hygiene.

If you are struggling with blindness, please contact SDCB. We offer many programs that can help you maintain your independence.

Women Face Higher Risk of Blindness Than Men

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Climbing the Highest Mountains with Vision Loss
vision lossErik Weihenmayer was born on Sept. 23, 1968, with a rare eye disease, retinoschisis; his vision worsened through childhood, and he went completely blind in his early teens. Despite living with vision loss, Weihenmayer was introduced to rock climbing and, as he says, was reborn. Since that time, he has climbed or attempted some of the most technical peaks in the world. 

“I’d worried that blindness would be like this prison you can’t escape from,” Weihenmayer said. But rock climbing “was just fully so absorbing.” “It was everything I thought blindness wasn’t going to be.”

If you are losing your vision, SDCB can assist you in maintaining your independence. Please contact us to learn more about our programs.

Blind climber who scaled Mount Everest describes ‘rebirth’

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