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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


Posted in Braille | View Post
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 | View Post
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


Posted in Blindness | View Post
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.

FIRST-EVER 3-D PRINTED HUMAN CORNEAS COULD ONE DAY TREAT A LEADING CAUSE OF BLINDNESS


Posted in Blindness | View Post
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


Posted in Blindness | View Post
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


Posted in Blind | View Post
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



Posted in Legally Blind | View Post
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


Posted in Legally Blind | View Post
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


Posted in Blindness | View Post
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


Posted in Blindness | View Post
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


Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
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


Posted in Visually Impaired | View Post
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


Posted in Blindness | View Post
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’


Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
ELIA Frames vs Braille for Blind Readers
brailleA former equity research analyst hopes to create a tactile alphabet that echoes the Roman characters; the goal is to help people who experience vision loss later in life maintain the ability to read. It turns out that some people struggle to learn braille, Andrew Chepaitis’ grandmother had the same experience; as a result, Chepaitis founded ELIA Life Technology. Ike Presley, National Project Manager for the American Foundation for the Blind, has concerns though regarding ELIA citing inaccurate statistics about braille literacy, but he is not entirely against the idea.

“It is a very interesting concept, and it’s neat that they’re trying to come up with something that could be usable,” says Presley.

SDCB offers many programs to help blind people manage everyday tasks with a greater sense of independence.

Could This New Tactile Font Help People Who Lose Their Sight Late In Life?


Posted in Braille | View Post
Unlocking the Secrets of Blindness
blindnessExperts believe that “blue light’ can disrupt sleep patterns, diet, and people’s vision. Purdue assistant professor of biochemistry, Vikki Weake, led a blindness study in fruit flies. The findings of the vision loss study could prove useful in understanding human ocular diseases.

“We’ve found that blue light exposure in flies causes a particularly nasty type of cellular damage called lipid peroxidation,” Weake said. “This is a hallmark of many age-associated eye diseases, so we hope that this model might help us to study this process.”

If you are living with blindness, please contact SDCB. We have several programs that can help improve your life quality.

Purdue research uses fruit flies to study human blindness


Posted in Blindness | View Post
New Contact Lens for Diabetic Retinopathy
diabetic retinopathyPeople in the advanced stages of diabetes are at risk of losing their vision; the disorder is known as diabetic retinopathy. Given that hundreds of millions of people around the globe, including millions of Americans, have diabetes there is an urgent need to find ways of preventing diabetic-related vision loss.

There exist various treatments for this type of blindness. However, Caltech graduate student Colin Cook, along with Yu-Chong Tai, Caltech’s Anna L. Rosen Professor of Electrical Engineering and Medical Engineering, believes there is a better method; a glow-in-the-dark contact lens worn during sleep that interrupts the process that destroys cells of the retina. 

“This is an innovative solution with a potentially huge impact on diabetic retinopathy,” says Tai.

If you are losing your vision, SDCB can help you maintain your independence. We invite you to learn more about our programs.

Caltech Researchers Invent Glowing Contact Lens That Could Prevent a Leading Cause of Blindness


Posted in diabetic retinopathy | View Post
Being Blind Does Not Hold Back Kathy Martinez
blindWhen Kathy Martinez began her career, a counselor at the California Department of Rehabilitation said that Martinez would probably never make it further than working at a lock factory. Why would someone rain on the parade of young women with aspirations? It might have to do with the fact that Kathy is blind. The counselor couldn’t have been farther from the mark! It may have taken her 13 years to finish college, but since that time Martinez has worked with the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, served under two administrations, and led Wells Fargo’s Disability and Accessibility strategy.

“My counselor at the California Department of Rehabilitation had minimal expectations for people with disabilities and tended to offer low-levels jobs with no hope for growth,” explains Martinez. “Although his expectations for me were low, I had people in my life who knew I could do more, and were behind me every step of the way while I pursued my degree.”

If you need assistance due to vision loss, please contact SDCB.

This Latina Is Using Her Own Experience With Blindness To Bring About Change In The Workforce


Posted in Blind | View Post
RNA Injection May Prevent Blindness
blindnessA couple of months ago we shared a New York Times article written by columnist Frank Bruni. Those of you who read the NYT are probably familiar with the author's op-eds. Bruni wrote an eloquent essay about discovering that he had nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy(NAION); it is often referred to as ‘a stroke of the eye.’ There isn’t a cure to the condition which usually results in blindness, but his doctor said he could take part in the world’s largest clinical trial of NAION; scientists are testing a groundbreaking injection of RNA that could prevent such patients from going blind.

If you are struggling with vision loss please contact SDCB. We have several programs that can help you.

Inside Frank Bruni’s Revolutionary Medical Trial


Posted in Blindness | View Post
Students Living With Blindness Sing Their Story
blindnessIn Baltimore, Maryland, high school students living with blindness are participating in a songwriting project called "Seeing Through Music." The program was created to assist young people living with vision loss share their story through songs and poetry.

“I think he appreciates being part of the majority. In that group, everybody has some disability of blindness or visual impairment, but it’s something that he can share with all the students,” says Jessica Kern, whose son Alex participates in the project.

At SDCB, we have several programs that can assist people living with blindness.

Blind Baltimore students tell their stories through song


Posted in Blindness | View Post
Blind Actress Plays Blind Witness On NCIS
blindMovies and TV shows that touch upon disability rarely employ actors who have the condition they are portraying. With that in mind, it is also lovely when directors and producers flip the script, hiring actors living with an impairment. Last week, the 350th episode of NCIS included a blind witness played by Woodland, California, native Marilee Talkington. Aside from being an exceptional actress, Talkington was perfect for the role because she is legally blind.

If you are struggling with visual impairment or blindness, please contact SDCB. We have several programs that can help.

Woodland-native actress may make history with Tuesday's NCIS guest appearance


Posted in Blind | View Post
Visually Impaired Children Become Artists
visually impairedIn New Caney, Texas, on the first Saturday of each month, blind and visually impaired children become budding artists as part of the "Creating with Blind Abandon" Art Club. Visual impairment teacher Kathy Trimm made a discovery; traditional art was not accessible to children living with vision loss. If you have a moment, the video is worth your time.


If you are visually impaired and are in need of assistance, please contact SDCB.

Blind and visually impaired students create "seeing eye dog" art car


Posted in Visually Impaired | View Post
AI Device Screens for Diabetic Retinopathy
diabetic retinopathyPeople who are living with diabetes often experience damage to their retinas, an eye disease known as diabetic retinopathy. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetes and is the number one cause of vision problems among working-age adults. The FDA recently approved the IDx-DR program, which utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) to detect diabetic retinopathy.

"Early detection of retinopathy is an important part of managing care for the millions of people with diabetes, yet many patients with diabetes are not adequately screened for diabetic retinopathy since about 50 percent of them do not see their eye doctor on a yearly basis," said Dr. Malvina Eydelman, director of the FDA's Division of Ophthalmic, and Ear, Nose and Throat Devices.

If you are living with diabetic eye disease, we invite you to learn more about our programs.

FDA Approves AI Device to Spot Diabetic Eye Disease


Posted in diabetic retinopathy | View Post
Novel Method for Diagnosing Blindness in Premature Babies
blindnessRetinopathy of prematurity, or ROP, is a rare form of blindness that strikes people born prematurely. The findings of a new study showing the value of telemedicine eye screenings could lead to more blindness-preventing treatments for infants, especially babies born in areas lacking ophthalmologists. The study, published in JAMA Ophthalmology, shows that telemedicine screens can be as useful as in-person eye exams.

"A lack of access to trained ophthalmologists with experience diagnosing ROP sadly prevents many premature infants from receiving much-needed screening, both in developed and developing countries," said the study's lead researcher, Michael F. Chiang, M.D., a professor of ophthalmology and medical informatics & clinical epidemiology in the OHSU School of Medicine and a pediatric ophthalmologist at OHSU's Elks Children's Eye Clinic.

SDCB can assist anyone living with blindness. Please contact us to learn more about how we can help improve your life quality.

Telemedicine provides accurate diagnosis of rare cause of blindness in preemies


Posted in Blindness | View Post
Going On Blindness Dates
blindnessA 24-year-old YouTuber and motivational speaker shares her thoughts about dating when living in blindness. Molly Burke lives in Los Angeles, CA. She says she isn’t able to experience physical attraction in the same way as most people because she suffered vision loss at the age of 14.

“I’ve learned to accept the fact that it won’t be easy. There are the right people for right times, and the right people for the wrong ones. We all have strengths and weaknesses. We all give and take. That’s why the best relationships are partnerships.”

If you are living with blindness, SDCB can assist you in many ways. We invite you to look at our program overview.

How Dating Works When You're Living with Blindness


Posted in Blindness | View Post
Vision Loss and Charles Bonnet Syndrome
Charles Bonnet SyndromeWhen Kirsty James was just thirteen years old she was informed that she would one day go blind. Before being diagnosed with a degenerative eye condition called Stargardt disease, she hid the fact that her vision was deteriorating; Kristy also came to believe that she might even be losing her mind because of the visions she was experiencing. Her hallucinations persisted without any explanation as to the cause, then she learned about Charles Bonnet Syndrome. It’s a condition that affects some people losing their vision; the brain replaces images with hallucinations because it's trying to make sense of what it is seeing.

“When a person starts to lose their sight, their brain doesn't receive as much information as it used to and it is thought that the brain sometimes responds by filling in the gaps with fantasy patterns or images that it's stored - these stored images are experienced as hallucinations.”

Assistive technology can help people with vision loss regain their independence, please contact us for more information.
 
“'I thought I was losing my mind, but I was actually losing my sight'”


Posted in Charles Bonnet Syndrome | View Post
Bringing Braille to The Navajo Nation
brailleCarol Green, a blind teacher of the visually impaired, has developed a braille code for people who know the Navajo language. She is on a mission to raise money for her cause, becoming a semifinalist considered for the Holman prize, which awards up to $25,000 for innovative projects by the blind.

SDCB can help anyone living with visual impairment, please contact us to learn how we can help you or a loved one.

Woman hopes to bring braille code to Navajo Nation


Posted in Braille | View Post
Being Blind Does Not Rule Out Swimming
blindJeri Weatherholt has a college degree from Indiana State University. She works as a medical transcriptionist and lives independently, despite the fact that she has been blind since the age of 10. At first glance, it may seem like there isn’t anything Weatherholt can’t accomplish; and that might actually be the case. The Indiana U grad has had a lifelong fear of water, but the 61-year-old didn’t let that stand in her way when she decided to learn to swim a year ago.

“I want to stress to everybody that no matter what age you are, if you have a disability, get out and try new things and try to overcome whatever fear you might have,” Weatherholt said.

If you are living with vision loss, please contact SDCB; we have several programs that can assist you in improving your quality of life and increase your sense of independence.

Blindness, fear of water can’t stop Massillon woman’s dream to swim


Posted in Blind | View Post
Napa Artist Living WIth Vision Loss Gives Directions
vision lossLast week, we shared a story with you about a woodworker living with vision loss that teaches his craft to others with eye diseases residing in Northern California. Napa artist, George Wurtzel, sees life in ways that sighted people can’t begin to understand, a fact not lost on Subaru of America; the favorite car company of outdoor enthusiasts featured Wurtzel in Subaru of America’s television spot called “See the World.”

The advertisement is worth taking the time to watch.

SDCB has many programs that can improve your quality of life, please contact us for more information.

The Unlikely Star of Subaru’s New Ad Has a Magical Way of Seeing the World


Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
Eye Health and Safety Awareness Month for Women at Prevent Blindness
blindnessDid you know that April is Women’s Eye Health and Safety Awareness Month. Prevent Blindness is an organization on a mission to educate, prevent vision loss, and preserve people’s eyesight. A study, The Future of Vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems, shows that 63 percent of those that are blind and 62 percent of those that are visually impaired are women. More women than men struggle with blindness, including age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, and dry eye.

If you are living with blindness, SDCB has many programs that can assist you in day-to-day life.

Putting Focus on Special Visual Needs of Women


Posted in Blindness | View Post
Eye Tattoos Can Cause Blindness
blindnessBody modifications like piercings and tattoos are not a new trend, millions of people around the world display some form of body art. However, there are times when body mods come at a significant, life-changing cost. More and more people are open to cosmetic procedures that can change the whites of the eye to another color. If you are thinking, ‘What could go wrong?’ Then you are not alone, in fact, such eye procedures can cause permanent damage to the eye and blindness.

If you are experiencing vision loss, please contact SDCB. We have a number of programs that can help.

Dangerous eye fads causing damage, blindness


Posted in Blindness | View Post
Braille Watch Provides Users Freedom and Privacy
brailleSmartphones allow the visually impaired a new sense of freedom and independence, thanks to several innovative applications. Now, blind people can utilize smartwatches to improve life quality. The Dot Watch has a touch display in which 24 dots rise and fall, spelling out words in braille; users can also link the watch to a smartphone via Bluetooth. The stylish watch can relay information from social media, texting and GPS apps. The Dot Watch is available to purchase for $359.

“Our mission won’t stop with the Dot Watch, in fact, it would only pave the road to a bigger and better future,” Dot Inc. website reads. “With the technology in our Dot Ecosystem, it will be possible to pursue an entire spectrum of education: from simple braille acquisition to advanced tactile-graphic representations.”

At SDCB, we specialize in assistive technology. Please contact us for more information.

This Smartwatch For Visually Impaired People Has A Braille Display


Posted in Braille | View Post
Blind Woodworker Teaches the Visually Impaired
visually impairedMaster woodworker, George Wurtzel, doesn’t let vision loss stand in between him and his passion. Wurtzel teaches woodworking classes to the visually impaired at the Enchanted Hills Camp, which is now owned by the Lighthouse Center for the Blind. At the Napa workshop, you will find both sighted and blind instructors.


“The only thing I always tell people that I teach is just how to feel confident with yourself,” he says. “Your eyeballs don’t run a saw...Your brain does all those things.”

Are you struggling with vision loss? SDCB can help you improve your quality of life.

In Napa, a blind woodworker makes art accessible for everybody


Posted in Visually Impaired | View Post
Stem Cell Treatment for Macular Degeneration
macular degenerationDouglas Waters developed vision problems almost three years ago. It turns out he was suffering from with severe wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The eye condition causes blurred vision or a blind spot. A few months after receiving his diagnosis he was selected to take part in a clinical trial at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London. A stem cell-based treatment gave Waters his sight back; now he can read the newspaper.

"We've restored vision where there was none," said Professor Lyndon da Cruz, a retinal surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. "It's incredibly exciting. As you get older, parts of you stop working and for the first time we've been able to take a cell and make it into a specific part of the eye that's failing and put it back in the eye and get vision back."

If you are experiencing vision loss, please contact SDCB.

Patients regain sight with stem cell treatment in U.K. clinical trial”


Posted in Macular Degeneration | View Post
Diabetic Retinopathy Linked to Certain Proteins
New research identifies proteins that are linked to diabetic retinopathy, a common form of blindness that can result from diabetes. Two studies published recently could help healthcare providers grasp the connection and develop new intervention methods, potentially sparing patients from both vision loss and heart disease. More research is needed for better understanding the relationship triglyceride levels and the three identified protein pathways.

“These initial findings made us pause for a moment and start asking additional questions about these relationships,” said Stacey Knight, PhD, a researcher with the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute and lead author of the study. “We hope to further explore these pathways to better identify where interventions may occur to help reduce risk for cardiovascular events in diabetic patients.”

SDCB can help anyone experiencing vision loss, we have a number of programs that can improve your quality of life.

These Proteins are Linked to Diabetic Blindness


Posted in diabetic retinopathy | View Post
The Link Between Diabetes and Blindness
If eye problems are identified early enough, blindness can be prevented in many cases. The Lion’s Club has a long history of helping people living in darkness and advocating for vision loss prevention, thanks to a speech that Helen Keller gave to the organization in 1925. At the time, she was encouraging the Lions to partner with the newly formed American Foundation for the Blind. At the end of her talk she said:

“Will you not help me hasten the day when there shall be no preventable blindness; no little deaf, blind child untaught; no blind man or woman unaided? I appeal to you Lion, you who have your sight, your hearing, you who are strong and brave and kind. Will you not constitute yourselves knights of the blind in this crusade against darkness?”

If you are visually impaired, please contact SDCB to see how we can help you regain independence.

Lions Club members discuss link between diabetes and blindness


Posted in Blindness | View Post
Canadian National Institute for the Blind Turns 100
vision lossWorld War I veterans who returned from overseas with eye injuries established the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) a century ago. Last week, the organization celebrated its 100th anniversary of "seeing beyond vision." As you can probably imagine, there were not many resources for people living with vision loss in the early 20th Century; thanks to advocacy groups like CNIB, countless visually impaired people can lead fulfilling lives.

"It marks 100 years that our tremendous staff and volunteers have been helping the blind and partially sighted Canadians lead full and independent lives," CNIB Winnipeg board chair Ken Curtis said. 

If you are living with vision loss, SDCB has several programs designed to help improve your life quality.

Institute for blind Canadians celebrates 100 years of 'seeing beyond vision loss'


Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
First Braille eReader Demonstrated
brailleOn March 16, 2018, professional musicians living with vision loss will demonstrate the world’s first braille eReader at London’s Royal National Institute Of Blind People (RNIB). A “Kindle for blind people,” says Bristol Braille Technology in describing their multi-line refreshable Braille eReader. Are you are wondering why blind musicians will demonstrate using the device? It is because the Canute 360 gives musicians the ability to read multiple lines of music at once, a feature that traditional machines lack.

Assistive Technology can improve life quality for individuals living with vision loss; SDCB can help.

BLIND MUSICIANS TO PILOT WORLD’S FIRST MULTI-LINE BRAILLE E-READER


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Early Detection of Diabetic Retinopathy
diabetic retinopathyIDX, a company in Iowa City, created an instrument that the Food and Drug Administration calls a breakthrough device. The machine can autonomously detect diabetic retinopathy by taking photos of the eye. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness, causing vision loss in roughly 24,000 Americans each year. Given that more than 30 million Americans have diabetes, preventing vision loss is critical. Early detection can prevent vision loss, and the IDX device can help.

“I see patients who have this disease and many times it’s late, or very late, or too late, and if caught early we could do so much to prevent this,” said Dr. Abramoff, IDX President, and Founder.

If you are losing your vision, SDCB can help you incorporate assistive technology into your life.

Iowa City company creates “breakthrough device” to fight blindness


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Artist Living With Blindness Donates Profits
blindnessDiane Krek is a graphic designer who began losing her vision 25 years ago. Like many people living with blindness, Krek refuses to let her condition stand in the way of making art and helping others. In 2016, she launched BLT Art for a Cause; it serves as a platform to sell her artwork. Krek donates a portion of the profits she makes selling prints to vision loss organizations, such as Foundation Fighting Blindness, Pennsylvania Council for the Blind and Lions Club’s Leader Dogs for the Blind program. 

“Where there is a will, there is a way,” said Krek. “Some people feel they don’t have a motivation in their lives. But because you have a limitation doesn’t mean you can stop going.”

We would love for you to share with us inspirational stories about individuals living with vision loss.

Blind Canonsburg artist's vision is to give back


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Food and Beverage Sensory Expert Living With Blindness
blindnessBlindness was a part of Hoby Wedler’s life from day one, and yet he still manages to accomplish remarkable feats. In high school, Wedler he enrolled in honors chemistry and chose to pursue a career in the field as a food and beverage sensory expert. He studied at the University of California, Davis, earning a doctorate in organic chemistry. In 2011, with the help of Francis Ford Coppola, he created 'Tasting in the Dark;' the program takes sighted people through a wine tasting experience in total darkness. A truly blind event!

"I was born completely blind.  As a blind person living in a sighted-world you can pick one of two attitudes and my parents helped me pick the right attitude.”

The San Diego Center for the Blind can assist you in many ways, including Assistive Technology for the Visually Impaired.

Blindness Didn't Stop Hoby Wedler From Being Successful


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Workplace Eye Wellness Month 2018
Workplace Eye Wellness MonthEach day in the United States, about 2,000 workers sustain a job-related eye injury that requires medical treatment, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Did you know that March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month? Sponsored by Prevent Blindness, the nation’s oldest volunteer eye health and safety group, the goal of Workplace Eye Wellness Month is to educate employers on how to keep vision healthy in the workplace.

If you lost your vision from a job-related injury, SDCB has several programs that can improve your quality of life.

March Is Workplace Eye Wellness Month from Prevent Blindness, Group Offers Information on Keeping Eyes Healthy at Work


Posted in Workplace Eye Wellness Month | View Post
Telling Your Story of Vision Loss
vision lossBrad Snyder lost his vision when he came in contact with an improvised explosive device (IED) while serving in Afghanistan. His story is one of inspiration, to be sure, a year after going blind he won the gold in swimming at the Paralympics; he has a loving family, great friends, and an excellent job. While, on the surface, he maintains a healthy perspective on life and it may seem like he’s got it pretty good (all things considered), he says that there is more to his story:

“What I haven’t been able to overcome is how others perceive me and treat me differently now because of my blindness, or how I so often feel as if I’m on the outside listening in on the lives of others.”

Please share with us how you maintain perspective in life despite vision loss?

How to Really See a Blind Person


Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
Be My Eyes App Helps With Blindness and Low Vision
low visionHave you heard of Be My Eyes? It’s a smartphone application that pairs blind people and those who have low vision with a sighted volunteer. Using a phone’s rear-facing camera, volunteers guide the visually impaired; more than 900,000 people are using the app regularly, in 150 countries. Microsoft’s Disability Answer Desk, a free consumer service for customers with disabilities, now offers technical support for Be My Eyes users.

“Every day, volunteers around the world are helping people that are blind or have low vision solve challenges both big and small,” said Hans Jørgen Wiberg, creator of Be My Eyes. “We are honored to have Microsoft’s support to help individuals lead more independent lives.”

Assistive Technology can vastly improve the quality of your life, SDCB can help.

"Microsoft to offer technical support to Blind and Low Vision customers through Disability Answer Desk"


Posted in Low Vision | View Post
Fear of Dogs Leads to Seeing Eye Horses for Blindness
blindnessSeeing-eye dogs significantly improve the quality of life for people living with blindness. Unfortunately, BBC journalist, Mohammed Salim Patel, has a phobia of dogs which led him to give up on the assistance of a service animal, until he met Digby. It turns out that dogs are not the only animals that can serve as guides for the visually impaired, Digby is an eight-month-old, two feet tall American miniature horse.

“Having an assistance animal is something I gave up on,” Patel told the BBC. Digby gave Patel a lot more options, “I can go where I want, when I want.”

If anybody has experience with a seeing-eye horse, we are interested to hear your thoughts.

"Blind Man With a Fear of Dogs Gets a Guide Horse Instead"


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Famed Italian Tenor Born With Glaucoma
glaucomaIf you’ve ever listened to the voice of the Tuscan tenor, Andrea Bocelli, you might think you were hearing the voice of an angel. Bocelli’s story is one of inspiration; he was born with glaucoma, lost his eyesight at the age of 12, and went on to sell more than 80 million albums worldwide. His memoir was adapted into a biopic, The Music of Silence; the film was directed by Michael Radford (Il Postino) and stars Game of Thrones’ Toby Sebastian.

If you are living with glaucoma, SDCB can assist you in a number of ways.

Andrea Bocelli on His Improbable Journey, the Trump Inauguration, and That Ed Sheeran Duet


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Considering the Visually Impaired
visually impairedBlindness, or being visually impaired in any way, makes it extremely difficult to navigate through life, especially without help and compassion. Many people don’t understand just how hard it is or the kinds of discrimination that the visually impaired tolerate on a day to day basis. A video that has gone viral shows just what blind people are subjected to, often times.


Are you visually impaired? If so, SDCB can be a vital resource and help to improve your quality of life.

As the commuter video shows, blind people are still seen as a problem


Posted in Visually Impaired | View Post
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