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Researchers Uncover a Genetic Disease That Causes Vision Loss
Researchers Discover Gene That Causes Vision LossMany people over the age of 40 experience some form of vision loss. Researchers have discovered a gene that could be responsible. This gene causes a chronic hereditary eye disease which affects night and peripheral vision. There is no cure at this time. Scientists believe that study of the gene will lead to conclusions which bring them closer to healing treatments.

Read more about the research behind this finding.

Have you noticed changes to your night and peripheral vision?

The Gene Responsible For Vision Loss In Middle Age Discovered

Posted in Eye Health, Vision Loss | View Post
Night Driving Difficulty Causes and Treatment Options
Declining Night Vision Sends Many Seniors To The Eye DoctorFor many older adults, night driving becomes more of a challenge with each passing year. There are a number of possible causes for declining night vision which include early cataract formation, glaucoma and dry eyes. Fortunately, there are surgical procedures and treatment options available. In fact many of today's solutions have the benefit of a briefer recovery time which allows patients to get back to their normal routine sooner.

Learn more about eye care and surgical procedures for seniors.  

Has driving at night become more challenging? What are you doing to adjust?

Showing the way to better night vision

Posted in Eye Health, Vision Loss | View Post
Smokers Have One More Reason to Quit
Stop Smoking NowMost people know that smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco can lead to heart disease and cancer. However, many don't realize that sustained tobacco use can deteriorate eye health and lead to vision loss over time. Smoking also worsens diabetic retinopathy. Experts urge smokers to quit as blindness caused by tobacco consumption is often irreversible. 

See what researchers have learned about tobacco use and eye health.

What are some of the ways you take care of your eyes? Let us know in the comments section.

Tobacco may cause irreversible blindness

Posted in Eye Health, Vision Loss | View Post
Researchers Have Developed The Granddaddy of Mangoes
Anti-Cancer MangoesImagine a mango that offers more than sweet tropical flavor. Developed by researchers in Thailand, the Mahachanok mango packs a healthy punch. This super fruit has the potential to slow cell degeneration, reduce cancer risks and enhance eye health. What makes the Mahachanok mango so powerful is its high level of the antioxidant anthocyanin and carotenoid. Even better, this mango is not limited to the normal growing season. It can be produced past the normal April-June cut-off time of other fruits of its kind.

Read more about what makes this mango so special

What’s your favorite mango recipe? Let us know in the comments.

Anti-cancer mango developed by researchers from Thailand

Posted in Eye Health, Research | View Post
Thirteen Year Old Is Living Proof that Hard Work Pays Off
Danito Mondlane, champion adaptive surfer, with his coachDanito Mondlane is an 8th grader full of courage and determination. Although blind, he has worked with coaches to learn the techniques of surfing. Danito built up his confidence by first working with a body board and practiced every week for 2 hours until he mastered his skills. He entered competitions and triumphed over his opponents to win the top position in the South African Adaptive Surfing Championship in Muizenberg. His next challenge? The International Surfing Association World Championship.

Read more about the determination of this courageous athlete.  

Do you know someone who has displayed determination like Danito? Honor them, by telling their story in the comments section.

Blind surfer takes on pros … and wins!

Posted in Personal Stories | View Post
How Google Glass Can Help The Blind
Google glass helping the blindWhen Google glass first hit the scene in 2014, the announcement came with media buzz and excitement. However, the hype soon fizzled out as concerns were raised about security, distractedness and plain creepiness.  The technology has recently been relaunched as smart glasses, a tool used to help the blind navigate their surroundings. The glasses do not correct vision but rather connects the user to a live sighted agent that can see through the glasses and communicate with the user through a headset.

Learn how a blind Kansas City man is responding to this new assistive technology.

What assistive technology have you seen recently? Let us know in the comments section.

Remember Google Glass? Those glasses are back, helping the blind

Posted in Assistive Technology | View Post
Actress Judi Dench Talks About Her Fears and Macular Degeneration
Judi Dench talks about macular degenerationWe know Judi Dench from movies such as Philomena and Shakespeare in Love. Today, the multiple Academy Award nominee is living with a few limitations that come with macular degeneration. She's made some adjustments and says she will start using audio books. The actress has not let the disease stop her from doing what she loves.Look for Ms. Dench this September as Queen Victoria in the film Victoria and Abdul. She will also appear alongside Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz as Princess Dragomiroff in Murder on the Orient Express coming to the big screen in November.

Read more about Judi Dench’s reflections on her 60 year career.

What’s your favorite Judi Dench movie? Let us know in the comments.

Judi Dench confesses she's ‘frightened' of dying as she opens up about losing her sight

Posted in Emotional Adjustment to Vision Loss, Eye Health, Real Life Stories | View Post
Early Detection of Alzheimers Disease is Possible
Eye Scan That Can Detect Alzheimers DiseaseNearly all of us have been touched by Alzheimer's disease in some way. According to the Alzheimer's Association approximately 5 million Americans have been diagnosed. This number is expected to increase to 16 million by 2050. With Alzheimer's disease as the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, researchers have been on the hunt for ways to detect the disease earlier. Recent findings indicate that an eye scan can catch the disease before an individual experiences any symptoms.  

Read more about the high definition eye scan that analyzes the retina. 

Do you know anyone who is dealing with Alzheimer’s Disease? Let us know in the comments section.

Can this eye scan detect Alzheimer's years in advance?

Posted in Research | View Post
Many Wonder If Their Eyes Were Damaged By Watching the Eclipse
Eye Damage SymptomsNews media did a great job warning us of the damaging effects that improper viewing of the eclipse could have. Now that it's over, some have been posting on social media that they are feeling off or having headaches and other symptoms.  While we usually do not experience the symptoms of eye damage right away, there are a few warning signs that we can look out for.

Be mindful of the symptoms on this list. 

Did you wear protective glasses during the eclipse? Post your answer in the comments section.

You saw the eclipse -- so should you see the eye doctor?

Posted in Eye Health | View Post
Marine Corp Veteran Loses Vision But Gains Insight
Technology Helping the Visually ImpairedWhen Steve Walker began to notice symptoms of a rare eye disease, he never imagined that one day that he would live with severely limited vision. As the disease progressed and more of  Steve's vision was lost, instead of losing hope, he trained for triathlons which made him aware of the inner strength he possessed. He began to see blindness similar to other obstacles that he had already overcome in bootcamp. Mr. Walker has competed in dozens of triathlons. Additionally, he is a 2 time Ironman competitor and  is currently pursuing a degree in psychology. Nothing can hold him back.

Read more of Steve’s story and the technology he is using to complete his degree.

In what ways have you challenged yourself? Let us know in the comments.

How Artificial Vision Helps A Visually-Impaired Triathlete Succeed

Posted in Eye Health, Living Independently, Real Life Stories | View Post
Driving School Gives Blind Students the Opportunity to Take the Wheel
Blind Students Given the Opportunity to Drive AgainDriving is part of a daily routine that few of us give much thought tot. However, many who live with vision loss have lost driving privileges too. Chip Sheehan, founded a driving school in Maryland that provides standard driver's ed to high school students but also offers a one day, course that gives blind students a confidence boost and a chance to get behind the wheel.  

Read more about what this program has done for its blind students.
If you are experiencing vision loss, we have programs to help you adjust. Visit our Programs Page to learn more.

Driving School Steers Blind Students In The Right Direction

Posted in Living Independently, Real Life Stories, Visually Impaired | View Post
Hooray for Coffee
The Benefits of Coffee include AMD PreventionA study found that drinking coffee can lower the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the most common cause of blindness in seniors.  Since there are over 200,000 new cases of AMD diagnosed in the United States each year, this news gives hope to many who would like to prevent the disease from stealing their sight.

Learn about many other health benefits that coffee offers.

Do you drink coffee or are other forms of caffeine part of your diet? Let’s chat about it in the comments. 

Drinking Coffee Can Help You Live Longer and Fight Disease

Posted in Eye Health, Research | View Post
Kick Off the New School Year With Eye Exams for the Kids
Eyecare For ChildrenExperts suggest that setting your kids up for a successful school year should include making sure that they can see the whiteboard and read from their text books. An eye exam is the best way to ensure good vision health. There are other things parents can do to protect little peepers.

Learn the cues that signal vision problems and what you can do about it.

Are eye exams part of your school preparation routine? Let us know in the comments.
Posted in Eye Health | View Post
A Device That Makes Washers and Dryers Audible
Jack DuPlessi gives voice to GE washers and dryers Those who live with vision loss, are often excluded from using everyday appliances. The Talking Laundry module was developed as a result of one person’s desire to have appliances speak their settings. The device, developed by 14 year old, Jack DuPlessis, gives voice to GE washers and dryers making them accessible to the blind and visually impaired.

Learn more about the Talking Laundry module.  

If you are experiencing vision loss, we have programs to help you adjust. Visit our Programs Page to learn more.

Talking Laundry Module Makes GE Washers And Dryers Accessible For The Blind.

Posted in Blindness, Living Independently, Real Life Stories, Vision Loss, Visually Impaired | View Post
The Number of People Living with Visual Impairment is Expected to Increase
New Research Indicates Vision Impairment Will Triple Without TreatmentVisual impairment is increasing at an alarming rate.  As our population ages, the numbers will likely continue to go up unless a significant investment is made in the treatment of eye disease.  It is believed that investing in research, interventions and remedies makes good economic sense as it creates the opportunity for to return to the workforce. Without treatment, vision loss often correlates with job loss.

Read more about the new research from Anglia Ruskin University   

If you are experiencing vision loss, we have programs to help you adjust. Visit our Programs Page to learn more.

Number of people with vision disabilities to triple by 2050: Study

Posted in Blindness, Eye Health, Living Blind, Low Vision, Research, Vision Loss, Visually Impaired | View Post
Teenage Science Prodigy Amazes Experts With Her Invention That Can Detect a Common Eye Disease
Teen girl invents a method to detect diabetic retinopathySixteen year old Kavya Kopparapu is an extraordinary young scientist who worked with a team of her peers to invent a simple and cost effective method for diagnosing diabetic retinopathy, an eye disease which is often a complication of diabetes.  Her passion grew out of her concern and love for her grandfather who developed diabetic retinopathy and subsequently suffered significant vision loss. With the desire to change this familiar outcome for many living with diabetes, the young scientist began her research.

Learn more about how Kayva's Eyeagnosis system has caught the attention of experts and doctors.  

If you are experiencing vision loss, we have programs to help you adjust. Visit our Programs Page to learn more.

Teenage Whiz Kid Invents an AI System to Diagnose Her Grandfather's Eye Disease

Posted in Eye Health, Personal Stories, Visually Impaired | View Post
ADA Compliance Includes Websites Too
Website Accessibility for the Visually ImpairedMany of today's consumers are choosing online shopping over traditional. With that, businesses are expected to serve all people which includes making their website accessible to everyone. In fact, Title III of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) takes a stand against discrimination toward people with disabilities. While a number of businesses and organizations have made modifications to their physical structure to ensure accessibility, many are lagging when it comes to making their website accessible to the visually impaired. There have been a staggering 260 website accessibility lawsuits filed in 2016. This number is expected to increase in 2017.  

Learn more about this trend.  

What has your experience been when researching and shopping online? Let us know in the comments section.

Website Accessibility Lawsuits under ADA are on the Rise

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Blindness, Vision Loss, Visually Impaired | View Post
The Super Power of Avocado
Avocado can improve eye healthAvocados have become quite famous. Just check Instagram. You're bound to be hit with a picture of avocado toast, guacamole or maybe an avocado tattoo. Celebrities, foodies and wellness bloggers alike simply can't get enough of this super fruit.  Avocados are known for performing the miraculous such as lowering cholesterol, controlling blood sugar and even supplying high performance intrauterine nutrition. Incorporating avocado into your diet can even improve eye health. As we age, eye diseases like macular degeneration and cataracts become troublesome villains. If claims are true, avocados could be the weapon that will keep enemy forces at bay.

Read more about the benefits of adding avocado to your diet.

How have you incorporated avocado into your meal plan? Let us know in the comments section.

Avocado: Are you missing out on this amazing fruit?

Posted in Eye Health, Visually Impaired | View Post
Meet Big Dog a Blind Cowboy Serving Others Living with Vision Loss
Mike Abell inspires the visually impaired through counseling and support groups Big Dog is not a dog at all. He's a blind man doing what he feels he was created to do - supporting and connecting with others who live with vision loss. He began losing his sight in 1968 due to a firecracker accident. Years later, he eventually lost his sight completely.  Mr. Abell's friends, affectionately call him Big Dog and attach the description of fun loving boot wearing cowboy who happens to be blind. Big Dog lives life with incredible drive and purpose, counseling others to enjoy the journey in spite of low vision or blindness. 

Read more about Mr. Abell's mission focused life

If you are experiencing vision loss, we have programs to help you adjust. Visit our Programs Page to learn more.

Don’t think of him as blind – ‘Big Dog’ is a cowboy

Posted in Blindness, Emotional Adjustment to Vision Loss, Living Blind, Low Vision, Personal Stories, Real Life Stories, Vision Loss, Visually Impaired | View Post
Avoid These Mistakes When Talking About Blindness
Sensitivity When Talking To Those Who Have Visual ImpairmentPerhaps the greatest obstacle for blind and visually-impaired people is not their disability at all, but the ignorance of others. Even when sighted people are well meaning, they can make assumptions that can make the lives of blind and visually-impaired people and their loved ones harder.

Here are 23 quotes from people with blindness or other visual impairment. They will ring true to anyone who is blind, visually impaired, or with a loved with visual impairment. And they are a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the mistakes society makes when talking about visual impairment. 

What’s the most shocking remark you’ve heard spoken to someone living with a disability? What was your response? Let’s discuss in the comments section.

23 Truths Visually Impaired People Want You To Know

Posted in Blindness, Emotional Adjustment to Vision Loss, Vision Loss, Visually Impaired | View Post
Unconventional Retinal Implants Expected to Deliver Exceptional Visual Acuity Results
Retinal Implant ResearchThe number of people who suffer vision loss due to retinal disease continues to grow. In fact, the effects of age related macular degeneration are experienced by 11 million people in the U.S alone. One study indicates that this number will double by 2040. However, development of a new retinal implant inserted behind the eye’s retina, is showing promise. Scientists expect human testing of these bio-inspired retinal implants to be successful offering hope to those facing vision loss from retinal disease.

Learn more about the science behind these implants  

Could fractal implants be a viable treatment for age related macular degeneration in the future?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

Simulations say bio-inspired retinal implants should work

Posted in Living Blind, Research, Vision Loss | View Post
Despite Blindness - Grandpa Keeps On Painting
Created by Hal Lasko - The Pixel PainterFor nearly his entire life, Grandpa Hal had been an artist. He created his pieces using traditional methods that engaged the simplicity of paintbrushes, pencil and paper. At the age of 82, amazing his family members and even himself, he learned to use Microsoft Paint to produce art with his computer mouse.
By the time this World War II veteran reached his early 90s, he had mastered the program. Around the same time, he found out he was losing most of his eyesight due to wet macular degeneration. This disease could not suppress Hal's strong creative spirit though. He pressed forward using his computer skills to create paintings that were later sold around the world.

Read more about Grandpa Hal Lasko plus watch the video, made by his grandson and featured in a Super Bowl commercial

What computer programs do you use? Let us know in the comments section.

Long Live Microsoft Paint! It Helped My Blind Grandpa Keep Making Art

Posted in Personal Stories, Real Life Stories, Vision Loss | 7 Comment(s)
Apps that help with a multitude of daily tasks
a hand holds an iPhone with a thumb hovering over an appEvery day, new apps are being introduced to help those who are visually impaired and blind in a multitude of tasks. This article highlights just a few of the popular apps on the market right now.
Visual Access is an app that connects a visually impaired person to a “Visual Agent”. The Visual Agent can help identify surroundings and objects to complete tasks and remain as independent as possible
Be My Eyes is an app that connects visually impaired and the blind to sighted individuals who can assist in various tasks. The sighted individual will describe things that the user points out to the camera.
The VizWiz app allows the user to take a picture and record questions to send it to someone who will provide assistance. The app works with Web Worker, IQ Engine, email or Twitter.

Have you visited our accessibility store yet? Visit the link to learn more.

Needed sighted help? Get it on demand with these apps!

Posted in Assistive Technology, Living Blind, Visually Impaired | 32 Comment(s)
Making books more accessible to the visually impaired
A drawing of a stack of booksDolphin Computer Access has launched GuideReader, a device that helps those who are blind and low vision by giving easier access to books, magazines and newspapers from around the world.
“With 100,000s of accessible books instantly available and the readers’ preferred daily newspapers delivered direct to their TV, GuideReader offers a rich but instantly familiar experience.”  
Read more about this device in this article

If you are experiencing vision loss, please visit our First Steps page to learn more about how we can help you adjust to the changes.

Dolphin Computer Access Introduces GuideReader Accessible Book Reader

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Assistive Technology | 30 Comment(s)
A new mobile app for movie lovers
Lightning McQueen, a red race car from the movie is on displayA new technology emerges as the Cars 3 movie premieres this summer.
Actiview is a prototype mobile app designed for those who are blind and visually impaired. Cars 3 will be supported by Actiview by providing strengthened audio and audio description.
The app also has voiceover to describe what is happening on screen. It’s available on the Apple Store for free and doesn’t require assistive technology from the movie theater which may make attending a movie more straightforward.
Learn more about this new app in this article

Have you tried an app similar to Actiview? What did you think? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

New Movie Tech for the Blind and Deaf, Actiview, Launches with Disney’s Cars 3

Posted in Assistive Technology | 1 Comment(s)
Running independently with assistive technology
A solo male runner in sunglasses, shorts and a jersey runs outsideUsing old knowledge, a group has given one runner the ability to train without a guide. This article discusses both the runner’s desire to train independently and the sonic tech that is making it possible.
This isn’t basic tech and seems as though there might be a learning curve, but for some who are looking for ways to become more physically active, it might offer some interesting possibilities.

Read more about the runner, the tech and the science behind it in this article

If you are experiencing vision loss, we have programs that may help you adjust and adapt. Visit our Programs page to learn more.

Blind runners are finding their own way thanks to new sonic tech

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Blind Living Skills, Living Blind, Living Independently | 24 Comment(s)
Startups getting involved in educational opportunities for visually impaired kids
A photo of a Croatian city that sits on a large body of water.Some university students in Croatia noticed that visually impaired children weren’t given the same educational opportunities as many sighted children. They sat down and decided to do something about it.

A host of meetings and a whole lot of work ensued before they developed their new educational aid for kids. 

Their idea is now a tangible product and you can learn more in this link.   

What are your favorite educational aids? Share your top picks in the comment section.

Croatian startup developing educational aids for visually impaired children

Posted in Assistive Technology | 8 Comment(s)
A podcast interviews a blind architect about life and work
A towering glass dome shown from insideIf you are a fan of podcasts, you should definitely give this one a listen. The RNIB Radio Connect is a weekly podcast that showcases visually impaired people from all walks of life who are doing the best they can and succeeding in a multitude of ways, big and small.

The podcasts can be entertaining, enlightening and educational, all at the same time.

In this episode, an architect who had brain surgery and woke up blind talks about continuing his work and how he has made that possible. 

Share our comments on the show below.

Episode #028: Being a blind architect, Rock climbing with Red, Amber Trust

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Emotional Adjustment to Vision Loss, Living Independently, Real Life Stories | 8 Comment(s)
A musician and visual artist who is legally blind
A photo of Mark Mothersbaugh, the artist, in front of a yellow screen.Mark Mothersbaugh is known for his musical talents, but he’s also been cultivating other artistic skills. Myopia has made him legally blind, but it hasn’t decreased his abilities.

He currently has an exhibit, entitled Myopia on display in Denver “Walking into Myopia is a bit like entering a parallel world full of comical characters, fanciful creatures and anomalies of nature.” It’s an exhibit that shares his personal life and his visual impairment with all those who visit.

Read more about Mark’s work and his view of the world in this article.

If you are experiencing vision loss, we have programs that may help you adjust. Visit our Programs page to learn more. 

Mark Mothersbaugh: The Artist Within

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Vision Loss, Visually Impaired | View Post
Blind Man Roams the Globe
A close up of a silver Samsung microphoneHere’s a great article of an interview with Peter White, the presenter of Blind Man Roams the Globe. Peter travels and discusses his journeys in his regular radio program. He highlights the amazing experiences, but also the difficult aspects of traveling as a blind person.

In the interview, he discusses Marrakesh as well as a few of the other places he can’t wait to go. 

Share your travel experiences in the comment section below. 

What it’s like to travel the world when you’re blind

Posted in Blind Living Skills, Living Independently, Personal Stories | 8 Comment(s)
Echolocation can be used by the visually impaired to navigate
Two flying foxes hang upside down in a tree with wings wrapped around their bodiesA scientist has taken another look at echolocation and how visually impaired humans can, and do, use it to navigate. Some use the tapping of their canes to practice echolocation, while others make clicking or shushing noises to do so.

Echolocation is the same skill that bats use to navigate without running into objects during flight. The study shows that humans who learn the skill early on have great success with it.

Read more about the potential of echolocation for humans in this article.  

If you are in need of assistive technology, visit our store to learn what we have in stock. 

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Research | 17 Comment(s)
Will a case for accessibility against a retailer make others retailers rethink their own accessibility issues
a cartoon image of a worker in a yellow hardhat holding a sign that says under construction with the word construction written beside the workerA federal judge ruled that Winn-Dixie violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by not making its website available to blind and visually impaired individuals even though the ADA doesn’t specifically deal with websites. Because Winn-Dixie’s website is an extension of its physical locations, the judge ruled in the favor of the visually impaired man who sued.

But that’s old news now.

What isn’t old news is how this recent ruling is going to affect other retailers with online shopping opportunities. Will companies of all sizes have to develop accessible websites and what impact will it have on the visually impaired community?

Read more about the case and what happens now in this article.

Do you do a lot of online shopping? Share your favorite accessible websites in the comment section. 

Winn-Dixie case may compel retailers to make their websites ADA compliant

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Living Independently | 9 Comment(s)
Accessible theater is becoming more popular
A group of actors is on stage in costumeTheaters around the world are slowly catching on the idea of accessibility for the visually impaired, people with autism and the hearing impaired.

A theater in Canada recently took a request from a visually impaired person to heart and created a special performance using a narrator to help those with limited or no vision understand what was happening on the stage. They also kept the lights over the audience on dimly and allowed those who needed to, to enter and exit when needed.

Read more about what they created and why it matters in this article

Have you attended a similar performance? Share your story in the comment section. 

Part of your world: Globe Theatre offers 'accessible' performance of The Little Mermaid

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Blind Living Skills, Living Blind, Living Independently, Visually Impaired | 7 Comment(s)
A designer and an organization find success in a new venture
A stylized ballgown with jewels in the corner of the imageThis is a great article about an up and coming designer, Trish Cox, who needed to scale up her production and came across an organization who trains visually impaired people in a variety of jobs and skills.

The organization was able to implement the project to provide steady, interesting, hands on employment to people who may otherwise have had trouble finding work.

It says a lot about the designer to be willing to give it a shot, but also goes to show that with the proper training and equipment, visually impaired people can do just about anything. 

If you are experiencing vision loss, please visit our Programs page to learn more about what SDCB offers. 

These Gorgeous Designer Gowns are Made By Blind Dressmakers

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Blindness, Real Life Stories | 14 Comment(s)
A successful lawsuit to create accessibility and awareness
The produce area of a grocery store with tomatoes and cucumbers in focus.“We're not suing for damages. We're only suing them to follow the laws that have been in this nation for 27 years,” says the lawyer in the case against Winn-Dixie, a grocery chain in multiple states.

After trying, unsuccessfully, to access the company’s online site, the plaintiff decided to file suit to bring attention to the problem of inaccessible websites. The lawsuit doesn’t request damages, only that the website be changed.

Read more about the issue in this article

What do you think of this lawsuit? Share your thoughts in the comment section. 

A blind customer couldn’t use Winn-Dixie’s website. He sued. Changes are coming

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Assistive Technology, Living Blind | View Post
Left off the sports team he gave music a chance
A treble clef is superimposed over a page of sheet musicIf you’re musically inclined but can’t see to read sheet music, this video may be encouraging.

Jeffrey Lastrapes started playing cello at 12-years-old and hasn't stopped since. He was born visually impaired and learned early on that his vision impeded his sporting abilities. But his musical talents weren’t hindered by his sight.

Watch the video and hear Jeffrey discuss the path he took to get to the successful musician he is today.

If you are experiencing vision loss, we have programs that may help you adjust. Visit our Programs Page to learn more. 

Strings Chair Finds Success With Cello Despite Visual Impairment

Posted in Living Blind, Personal Stories | 21 Comment(s)
Baseball commentary by sound alone
A player leaps horizontal to the ground attempting to catch the ball.Bryce Weiler loves sports, especially baseball though he has never seen the game played. This hasn’t stopped him from becoming a baseball announcer.

From the sounds that most of us don’t take much notice of, Bryce can tell what’s happening in the game. In between the play by play, Bryce announces statistics and insights into the game being played.

Learn more about Bryce’s talents and how he hopes to use them in a full time position in this article.

If you are visually impaired, we have an assistive technology store that may be of use to you. Visit our online store to learn more.

Blind baseball announcer aspires to bring sports to fans with disabilities

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Blind Living Skills, Personal Stories | 19 Comment(s)
New research leads to correlation between traumatic brain injury and visual problems
An orange and black graphic of a single human eyeMany of us have heard of, or know someone who has experienced traumatic brain injury. It is a well-recognized consequence of some of the events that occur during military conflict. What is less well known is that over 80% of combat veterans with traumatic brain injury also deal with some sort of visual impairment that may develop after the injury.

A recent study addresses the lack of detectable changes that cause these visual impairments and led researchers to the identification of early indicators of retinal injury and inflammation that may indicate future risk of visual impairment in people living with traumatic brain injury.

Learn more about the study in this article

If you are experiencing changes in your vision, learn more about the programs we offer by visiting our Programs page

Retina may be sensitive gauge of blast-wave pressure injury

Posted in Research, Visually Impaired | 19 Comment(s)
A new camera with haptic memory capacity
A model of a green frog holding a camera to his eyeA new camera allows for quick social sharing and comes in a variety of trendy colors. But that’s not the coolest part of this newly released camera. Beyond the regular photos that the camera captures, it also records audio and haptic memories with short audio clips. It also features a Braille screen that uses tactile graphics to allow users to feel objects and vibrant colors to know what to focus the lens on.

This article features more information on the new camera and includes a large variety of pictures of the device. 

If you are experiencing vision loss, we have assistive technology that you may find useful. Visit our online store for more information

Photography you can feel

Posted in Assistive Technology, Blind Living Skills, Visually Impaired | 19 Comment(s)
A New Tool to Help People Learn Braille
a close up of a page of raised BrailleA new device has been created to help people learn Braille. Named Read Read, it “allows independent learning through the same manipulative-based instruction teachers use to teach children how to read Braille.” Sturdy Braille tiles printed on metal help those who are learning feel the differences. A voice will tell students what letter is being touched when requested.

Read Read is getting good reviews from teachers around the country. Visit this article to learn more.

Have you tried the Read Read device? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

This Braille learning tool could be a game changer for the blind community

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Assistive Technology | 26 Comment(s)
A career in the arts as a visually impaired man
A close up photo of the body of a cello partly obscured by a music stand with sheet musicVisually impaired as a young child, this man didn’t participate in most sports and team activities. Instead he focused on music. Starting with the piano and moving on to the cello, Jeffrey Lastrapes now plays professionally and teaches others.

Read more about his early years, how he got started in music and how he supports himself in the arts.

If you are experiencing vision loss, please visit our program page to learn how we can help. 

Cello professor Lastrapes overcomes visual impairment

Posted in Blind Living Skills, Living Independently, Personal Stories | 14 Comment(s)
A whole new way to use your tongue
A photo of the Everest against a bright blue skyA device is being used that enables blind people to “see” things using their tongue. Made of two different parts, a camera feeds information to a small plastic piece that is inserted into the mouth. Using haptic feedback, users receive information on the terrain in front of them.

Erik Weihenmayer is the only blind person to have climbed Mt. Everest. He did it with the help of a guide – and this device.

Read more about the unique assistive technology that is available and learn how Erik climbed Everest in this article

Visit our Store location to learn more about the assistive technology we have in stock.

Seeing With Your Tongue

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Assistive Technology, Blind Living Skills, Living Blind, Personal Stories | 14 Comment(s)
Suing for a fair shot at law school
A statue of Lady Justice holds a sword and the scales of justiceA lawsuit has been filed by a visually impaired student who wants a fair shot at law school.

The lawsuit was filed in Federal Court against the Law School Admissions Council stating that the entrance exam isn’t accessible to the visually impaired.

The student who filed the lawsuit states, "I don't want any special treatment. I just want the opportunity to compete equally with everyone else. I really don't think my ability to draw pictures will have any impact on my performance in law school, or in the practice of law."

Read more about the lawsuit in this news release

Share your thoughts on this lawsuit in the comment section.

Blind Michigan Student Files Suit in Federal Court to Give Sightless Equal Chance At Becoming Lawyers

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired | 23 Comment(s)
Two Blind Brothers discusses their success since their appearance on Ellen
The logo for the Two Blind Brothers Clothing CompanyIn January, two brothers who both have Stargatz disease, were featured on Ellen for their clothing business that donates money towards research for the visually impaired.

Their business was already doing well, but the Ellen show has brought positive attention and added sales to their growing business.

They were recently featured a second time on the Ellen show to catch up on how they’ve been doing since their initial visit. Read more in this article.

If you are experiencing vision loss, we have programs that can help you adjust. Visit our Programs page to learn more. 

Life After Ellen: ‘Two Blind Brothers’ Manage Growth, Share What’s Next

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Living Independently, Personal Stories, Research | 18 Comment(s)
Visually impaired kids and the chance to attend space camp
A space shuttle takes offVisually impaired students from around the world come to the space camp each year to experience science, space and interacting with those involved in space programs.

The camp uses the same formula as it does for all sighted camps, but each visually impaired student brings an educator with them to ensure that they get the most out of it. Students are also screened to ensure that the space simulators won’t aggravate their eye conditions.

Read more about the success of the camp and what the students have to say about space camp for the visually impaired in this article.   

Have you or your children attended a camp such as this space camp aimed at the visually impaired? Share your experiences in the comment section. 

Inside the Space Camp Designed for Blind and Visually Impaired Kids

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Blind Living Skills | 23 Comment(s)
Research shows an increase in vision problems for preschoolers in the future
A young, blond haired boy wears a pair of glassesNew research has been released by the University of Southern California Roski Eye Institute, found that visual impairment in preschool children will increase 26% and will affect nearly 220,000 children over the next 45 years.

The study highlights that many children will be able to have low cost intervention to enable them to keep the sight they have or correct the problems that are causing visual impairment.

Read more about the study in this Press Release

If you are experiencing vision loss, we have assistive technology that may help. Visit our Store to learn more. 

Preschool children face increasing vision problems over coming decades according to USC Roski Eye Institute research article in JAMA Ophthalmology

Posted in Research | 18 Comment(s)
An astronomer who do not use vision
A host of stars against a dark skyWanda Diaz Merced was studying astronomy when she began to lose her vision. Working in this field had always been her dream and she wasn’t about to let a change in her sight take that away from her.

She worked hard to complete her education including the completion of her PhD using sound to analyze astrophysical data. She continues to work to make science accessible to those with various disabilities refusing to allow her visual impairment to keep her from the field of science that she loves.

Read more about Wanda in this article.

If you are experiencing vision loss, we have programs that can help you adjust. Please visit our Programs page to learn more.

Scientist studies without sight

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired | View Post
A blind entrepreneur uses tactile skills in massage therapy
A close up shot of a massage therapists hands kneading a patients shoulder.“You don’t need to be sighted to be a massage therapist. It’s totally tactile, about feeling the body,” says Neil Taylor, a successful entrepreneur who lost his sight during an operation on a brain tumor at the age of 28.

After spending a year learning skills to live independently as a blind person, Neil was inspired to enter the massage therapy field because of a massage he had had the night before his surgery. Though he had to work hard to convince a school to accept him and work equally hard to complete the program, he now runs his own massage therapy business.

Read more about Neil in this article

Visit our First Steps After Vision Loss page to learn about the program that can help you adjust to vision loss. 

Manadnock Profile: Taylor lives his life with his hands

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Blind Living Skills, Living Independently, Personal Stories, Vision Loss | 15 Comment(s)
Seeing the basketball for the first time
A basketball net against a blue skyWhen the Utah Jazz learned that a seven-year-old fan couldn’t actually see them play, they got him a pair of eSight glasses and invited him to try them out at a home game.

The glasses make sight possible for people with certain types of visual impairments, and for this fan, the glasses enabled him to finally see the ball enter the basket.

To watch a video of the fan and his eSight glasses or to read more about it, visit this link

Have you tried eSight glasses? Share your thoughts on this assistive technology in the comment section.

Utah Jazz Gives A Blind 7-Year-Old Fan Hi-Tech Glasses, Allowing Him To See For The First Time

Posted in Assistive Technology | 7 Comment(s)
An inclusive chess set
a white cartoon character sits in front of a chess board considering his next move.A young group of entrepreneurs in Argentina have developed the template for a 3D printable chess set. With tactile markings on the board as well as the individual pieces, visually impaired people can now learn, and play, the game without assistance.
The group was originally asked to help with a much smaller project, but during the implementation of that work, they realized the possibilities that could be opened with 3D printing capabilities.
The chess set developed from this realization.
Read more about the group and the development of this tactile version of the game in this article

To learn about the programs we offer, please visit our Programs Page.

3D Printed Chess Set Helps Visually Impaired Children in Argentina Learn the Game

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Blind Living Skills | 15 Comment(s)
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