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Glasses Vs. Contacts During Pandemic

The Coronavirus impacts safety of glasses vs contactsThe COVID-19 pandemic is changing everyone's life in a myriad of ways. Those living with low vision or vision loss can benefit from taking out their contacts and putting their glasses back on. Doing so can help prevent the spread of the virus. The American Academy of Ophthalmology says it can help you stop touching your face.

"You rub your eyes, then rub your face, scratch your face, put your fingers in your mouth, put your fingers in your nose," said Dr. Thomas Steinemann, a clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. "Some people are not very hygienic and may have forgotten to first wash their hands."

San Diego Center for the Blind can assist you or a loved one with vision loss. Please contact us to learn more.

Do you wear contact lenses? You should switch to glasses to stop spreading the virus


Posted in Low Vision | View Post

Blind soprano proves no barriers to career

A man and blind soprano sing to each other on stageCristina Jones, a soprano singer and student at Cal State Fullerton is living with blindness. However, she doesn't let being blind stand in her way. How does one living with blindness manage on the stage without losing their place?

"If I got disoriented one of my cast mates might brush their foot on the floor or make some kind of sound to give me a beacon to go off of," Jones said. "Blindness was not a barrier. They would just say, let's figure out how to do this safely."

Please reach out to SDCB if you require assistance with vision loss or blindness. We offer many programs and services that can help.

Blindness is no barrier for soprano Cristina Jones


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New Phonetics For Blind Singers

Blind Singers now learn enunciation with braille phoneticsEarlier in the week, we wrote about Louis Braille and how he made adaptations for music and mathematics by adding extra symbols. Now, a professor at Vanderbilt University is helping blind aspiring classical singers pronounce lyrics. Cherie Montgomery, a voice professor, has created a new braille phonetic system.

Lacking the resources to teach a student lyric diction, Montgomery found a solution. She published a textbook, "Singer's Diction for Braille Readers," which includes a phonetic chart with visual and tactile symbols.

"[With the chart,] teachers can point to a symbol and say this is the sound you're making [and] I would like to hear for example this sound..." she said.

Please contact SDCB if you are struggling with vision loss and would like to have more independence.

"Professor develops braille symbols to help blind classical singers learn proper enunciation"

Posted in Braille | View Post

New Contacts for Color Blindness

blindnessA new type of contact lens could help people living with color blindness. Researchers say that they could help people with a form of red-green color blindness. The contact lenses restore lost color contrast. The research was published in The Optical Society journal Optics Letters.

"Glasses based on this correction concept are commercially available, however, they are significantly bulkier than contact lenses," said Sharon Karepov, a member of the research team, said. "Because the proposed optical element is ultrathin and can be embedded into any rigid contact lens, both deuteranomaly and other vision disorders such as refractive errors can be treated within a single contact lens."

Contact SDCB if you are struggling with vision loss, we have several programs that can help.

"These high-tech contacts may help correct color blindness"

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The Wonders of Braille
BrailleLouis Braille invented a tactile reading method for blind people in 1829. It enabled people who are living with blindness to read and write. Using Captain Charles Barbier’s “night writing” system, Braille made simplifications to Barbier’s 12 dot system. He reduced it to six dots.

Louis Braille’s six dot method for tactile reading and writing should not be confused with a language; it’s instead a code for reading and writing in every language. He even made adaptations for music and mathematics by merely adding extra symbols.

We invite you to contact SDCB if you are experiencing vision loss.

“Braille music notation: what does it look like, how does it work and who invented it?”

Posted in Braille | View Post
Protecting Against Vision Loss
vision lossRegular eye exams can prevent you from experiencing vision loss. During Save Your Vision Month, we would like to encourage you to prioritize your eye health. Naturally, the American Optometric Association would like you to do the same. Annual eye exams are essential!

“A lot of people view vision as very important, and would be very unhappy if they lost any part of their vision, but yet they don’t require much maintenance so therefore it doesn’t enter our thought process but it is an extremely valuable tool that we need to start taking better care of, and that is why we recommend those yearly eye exams for those things,” says Dr. Bill Holec, an Optometry Specialist. “We are always better catching things at an early stage rather than a later stage.”

Please reach out to SDCB if you require assistance with vision loss.

“March is Save Your Vision Month”

Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
Older Americans at Significant Risk of Vision Loss
vision lossThe number of older Americans at high risk for vision loss rose from 65 million to 93 million between 2002 and 2017, according to federal data. This news is concerning and should prompt more older people to get regular eye tests. The research appearing in JAMA Ophthalmology shows that those at significant risk of losing their sight include people with diabetes and anyone with eye or vision problems.

"The number of adults at high risk for vision loss is high and may continue to increase in the coming years with the increasing population of adults over 65 years and prevalence of diabetes," said study lead author Sharon Saydah, a senior scientist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Please reach out to San Diego Center for the Blind if your life is impacted by vision loss.

"Rising Number of Older Americans at Risk of Vision Loss"

Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
Changes to our services due to Coronavirus
Concerns for the Coronavirus
Governmental guidance, epidemiologic evidence, and all our concerns regarding COVID-19 have registered with the leadership at the San Diego Center for the Blind. In order to ensure the safety and health of our clients, staff, volunteers and the general public SDCB has decided upon the current actions during this time.
All classes and other services to students and community members will cease today, Monday, March 16 2020. Face-to-face services will not resume until early April.  

We urge you to follow official advice and to remain safe and well. This includes proper cleansing of your hands, coughing and sneezing protocol and using common sense for social distancing.

Please call for updated information or questions regarding Classes, the Store and Low Vision Clinic.
San Diego 619-583-1542
Vista  760-758-5956
Low Vision Store 619-583-1542 x161
Low Vision Clinic 619-255-9741
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Young Girl Escapes Vision Loss
vision lossIn January, we wrote about Jade DeLucia, a four-year-old girl in Iowa who experienced vision loss after contracting the flu. We are happy to report that Jade has regained her eyesight. Her mother, Courtney Frey, said in an update on Facebook recently:

"Jade's sight has fully returned! The miracles continue for her!!! She is not the great independent conversationalist who knows her numbers and letters, but we are continuing to believe and hope in her full recovery."

Please contact SDCB if you are experiencing vision loss and would like help.

"4-year-old who lost her vision after rare complication from the flu regains her eyesight"

Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
Millions of Americans at risk for Vision Loss
vision lossA new study published by JAMA Ophthalmology shows that a growing number of Americans are at exceptional risk for vision loss. A team of researchers from the U.S. CDC estimates that 93 million adults across the country were at increased risk for eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma.

"Among adults at high risk for vision loss, just over one half reported receiving eye care," the authors wrote. "Although the percentage has increased over the past 15 years, the increase has been modest, and disparities by race/ethnicity, poverty level, health insurance status, and U.S. region of residence remain."

Please contact San Diego Center for the Blind if you are struggling with vision loss.

"93M Americans at high risk for vision loss, CDC estimates"

Posted in Eye Health and Preventing Disease | View Post
Learning to Live With Blindness
blindnessAdjusting to life with blindness is not easy, and people need assistance along the way. Fortunately, there are many organizations like San Diego Center for the Blind across the country, helping countless individuals learn new skills. The Northern Nevada Center for Independent Living, for instance, is teaching people Braille and how to travel independently.

"It's to help people talk about who recently lost their vision," said Mark Tadder, blindness advocacy and resource officer. "So, they can talk to other folks who [have] been through or going through it now [and] come to grips with it and prepare for the future."

Please reach out to SDCB for assistance with blindness or vision loss.

"Peer support group available for those adjusting to blindness"

Posted in Blindness and Vision Impairment | View Post
Rare Eye Disorder Causes Blindness
blindnessTwo siblings from Arkansas are contending with a rare eye disorder that causes blindness. However, Caroline and Cole Carper will not let Congenital Amaurosis — a mutation that affects the retina of the eye and causes visual impairment early in life — hold them back in life. They both love to ski and swim.

"I mean, I think that blind people can do any sport," Cole said. "It just has to be adapted in a way that they can do it. I consider myself just a normal skier."

Please contact SDCB if you require assistance with vision loss. We offer several programs that can help.

"Arkansas siblings with eye disorder won't let blindness define how they see themselves"

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Adapting to Life with Vision Loss
vision lossRyan Boudwin was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a rare, genetic eye disease that leads to vision loss and blindness. The condition is only found in one of every 3,500 people. His vision isn't completely gone yet, but he is taking preemptive measures to prepare himself for living with blindness.

Boudwin is learning Braille and how to walk with a white cane because he is no longer able to drive safely. He is staying optimistic, thankfully.

"Being blind is going to be inconvenient but it doesn't have to be a crippling disability that controls your life," Boudwin said.

If you would like to learn more about SDCB programs and services, then please contact us at your earliest convenience.

"New normal: losing your vision"

Posted in Adapting and Emotions After Vision Loss | View Post
Scientists Study Piano Player with Blindness
blindnessImprovisational musician, Matthew Whitaker, may be living with blindness; however, a neuroscientist has discovered that Whitaker's visual cortex goes into overdrive when he plays the piano. The prodigy jazz pianist has lived with blindness since the age of 11. Whitaker lost his vision due to retinopathy of prematurity, a disease that can lead to blindness.

Whitaker's talents caught the attention of Dr. Charles Limb, a surgeon and neuroscientist. Dr. Limb uses MRI brain scans to find out how exceptionally creative people like Whitaker can shine.

"I think anytime somebody watches Matthew play piano the first thing that you think is, 'How does he do that?' Except rather than just wondering I'm actually trying to answer the question," Limb said.

SDCB offers several programs and services for men and women living with blindness and vision loss. Please contact us to learn more.

"Meet the blind piano player who's so good, scientists are studying him"

Posted in Blindness | View Post
A Prom Proposal Made in Braille
BrailleUsing Hershey's Kisses and poster board, Jake Schwartz asked his girlfriend to prom in Braille. Jake, a high school junior, made his proposal to Paige Drury in Braille; the two have been dating since the ninth grade. Paige is blind, so it was fitting for Schwartz to ask her to prom in Braille.

"I thought the promposal was really awesome," said Drury. "Since it's only February, I really wasn't expecting it to happen at all, which made it even better. It makes me feel so happy that someone cares about me enough to make the moment as special as possible."

If you are blind or struggling with vision loss, then please reach out to SDCB for help.

"See this teen's sweet braille promposal for girlfriend who is blind"

Posted in Braille | View Post
Preventing Blindness from Rare Eye Diseases
blindnessDid you know that Rare Disease Day is tomorrow, February 29, 2020. Naturally, many rare diseases that affect the eye can lead to blindness and vision loss. In honor of the observance, Prevent Blindness is offering free resources and fact sheets to help save sight from inflammatory eye diseases and conditions. The organization is focusing on two rare eye diseases: Uveitis and Keratitis.

Uveitis is a group of inflammatory diseases that destroys eye tissues in the uvea (the middle layer of the eye that contains most blood vessels), according to the National Eye Institute. Keratitis is inflammation of the cornea—the transparent, protective outer layer of the eye.

If you are living with vision loss or blindness, SDCB can help. Please contact us to learn more.

"Prevent Blindness Offers New Educational Resources on Uveitis and Keratitis for Rare Disease Day"

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Research Breakthrough for Leading Cause of Blindness
blindnessA team of researchers from Queen Mary University of London found a new protein linked to age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The findings could help with diagnosing and treating the disease. AMD impacts over 1.5 million people in the UK and is one of the leading causes of blindness globally.

"This study really is a step-change in our understanding of how complement activation drives this major blinding disease," said Professor Simon Clark, a specialist in the regulation of the complement system in health and disease at the University of Manchester. "Up until now, the role played by FHR proteins in disease has only ever been inferred. But now we show a direct link and, more excitingly, become a tangible step closer to identifying a group of potential therapeutic targets to treat this debilitating disease."

San Diego Center for the Blind can help you or a loved one regain some independence. Please contact us to learn more about our programs.

"International team delivers research breakthrough for leading cause of blindness"

Posted in Research and Medical Advancements | View Post
Stroke and TBI Blindness
blindnessA new study shows that visual rehabilitation is useful for patients who have suffered vision loss or blindness due to strokes or traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Researchers at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine found the NeuroEyeCoach visual rehabilitation therapy improved vision in over 80 percent of patients who experienced a stroke or TBI.

"Up to recently, there was very little treatment available to restore vision loss in this population," said Jose Romano, Chief of the Stroke Division at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, noting that while stroke and TBI patients regain some vision on their own, but "very few regain it completely."

Please contact SDCB if you are struggling with vision loss or blindness in California. We offer many programs and services that can improve your quality of life.

"Vision rehab treatment effective for stroke and injury related blindness"

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Zebrafish Could Cure Blindness in the Future
blindnessAge-related macular degeneration affects 11 million people in the U.S., and it is one of the leading causes of blindness. However, new research suggests that zebrafish can help scientists cure blindness. The fish have the ability to regenerate their retinas, which could help researchers do the same for humans.

"Zebrafish, unlike mammals, are able to regenerate parts of their retina if they become injured," Vanderbilt Vision Research Center director Dr. David Calkins said.

We invite you to contact SDCB if you are struggling with vision loss to learn more about our programs and services.

“Amazing zebrafish cure human blindness: Medicine's next big thing?”

Posted in Eye Disease - Macular Degeneration | View Post
Gene Therapy for Vision Loss
vision lossPatients with a rare inherited eye disorder that causes vision loss and blindness are being treated with a new form of gene therapy. Luxturna (voretigene neparvovec) is a drug from Novartis that carries a steep price—£600,000. However, NHS England has negotiated a lower price with the manufacturer.

The therapy is for patients who have retinal dystrophy; it’s the result of inheriting a faulty copy of the RPE65 gene. The Luturna injection can stop disease progression and may even improve vision.

If you require assistance with vision loss, then please contact SDCB to learn more about our programs.

“Gene therapy to halt rare form of sight loss”

Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
Helping Visually Impaired People Read
visually impairedVisually impaired men and women benefit from the assistance of sighted people. The Braille Association of Mid-Florida is assisting individuals in accessing novels in Braille, whether they live in Florida or Sweden. Volunteers associated with the Braille Association of Mid-Florida transcribe books, classroom handouts, and worksheets into Braille for the visually impaired.

“When you take braille out of the picture for a blind individual, you take away literacy,” said Marianne Witengier, a former teacher of visually impaired students in Orange County, Florida, and president of the Braille Association of Mid-Florida. “So we’re focused so that every child who needs Braille has the opportunity. That’s our focus.”

Please reach out to the San Diego Center for the blind if you are visually impaired or experiencing vision loss. We offer several innovative programs that can improve your quality of life.

“When visually impaired students have the need to read, these volunteers are there to help”

Posted in Visually Impaired | View Post
Drug Could Prevent Blindness
blindnessThyroid eye disease is a condition that can cause blindness. Inflammation in the back of the eye makes them bulge and may also squeeze the optic nerve, causing blindness, according to Dr. Raymond Douglas, a professor of surgery in the division of ophthalmology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Douglas is the lead author of a study that involves a new drug that may prevent thyroid eye disease for causing blindness. Teprotumumab is still awaiting FDA approval.

"Teprotumumab was extraordinarily effective. We hope that people with thyroid eye disease won't have to suffer as they have in the past. With treatment, they're not going to be blind. They're not going to be disfigured. They can even watch their kids playing soccer when it's windy," Douglas explained.

SDCB can help improve your quality of life if you are living with blindness or vision loss. Please reach out to learn more about our innovative services.

"New Drug Could Stop Thyroid Eye Disease Blindness”

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Blindness Would Not Stand in the Way of Marriage
blindnessZaheer Ahmad Zindani is an Afghan poet who was hit by a Taliban roadside bomb while riding in a bus when he was 17. His sister died as a result of her injuries; Zindani was left living in blindness. However, Zindani's mother was determined not to let blindness stand in the way of marriage. Her goal was not easy to accomplish.

"They would all say, 'We would happily agree if he hadn't been blind,'" Mr. Zindani recalled. "My mother would say, 'His eyes will be fixed.' They would say, 'Come back when they are fixed.'"

If you need assistance with vision loss, then please contact SDCB to learn more about our programs.

"His Mother Worked to Find Him Love Despite War, Blindness and Loss"

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Adding Braille to Transit Locations
BrailleBraille is essential to men and women living with vision loss or blindness. The raised dot allows people to read books and navigate through the world. In Canada, the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is adding braille to ten transit locations closely spaced out as part of a new trial.

"The purpose of these signs is to assist people with low or no vision to locate and wait at the appropriate transit stop in locations where there are two transit stop poles within close proximity of each other (around a bus length apart) along a particular block," reads a description of the project on the TTC's website. "The addition of these signs will help to distinguish which routes board at the individual stops, combined with the verification of external stop announcements."

San Diego Center for the Blind offers programs that can help improve your life quality. Please reach out to us to learn more.

"TTC to install Braille transit signs at select stops"

Posted in Braille | View Post
WVU Spreads Awareness About a Leading Cause of Blindness
blindnessDid you know that diabetic retinopathy is a primary cause of blindness for people ages 20 to 65 in America? Doctors at the West Virginia Practice-Based Research Network's Sight Outreach Program are working hard to spread awareness about the condition and helping detect it in patients early.

"Patients with diabetes are supposed to get an eye evaluation annually, however, in West Virginia only about 60 percent received eye care in the past year," Dr. William Lewis, family medicine physician at Harpers Ferry Family Medicine and WVPBRN co-director, said in the release. "This IRIS program removes barriers to access that often prevent people from getting these exams and can help us bring the best care possible to persons with diabetes."

SDCB offers several innovative programs for people living with blindness or vision loss. Please contact us to learn more about our services.

"WVU doctors making impact on blindness, diabetes"

Posted in Eye Disease - Diabetic Retinopathy | View Post
Succeeding Despite Blindness
blindnessBlindness did not stop Charles King from becoming the oldest blind powerlifter in the nation. In the wake of his blindness, King became very depressed and turned to drugs and alcohol to cope. His story isn't unique, but what King was able to accomplish is nothing short of remarkable. The VA helped him learn to cope, and he was able to put his life back together.

Please contact the San Diego Center for the Blind to learn more about our innovative programs.

"This record-breaking powerlifter overcame blindness and homelessness"

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Making Memes Accessible to the Blind
blindSighted people are all too familiar with memes; the internet is littered with the viral posts. From funny to disturbing, memes connect us with one another in a myriad of ways. However, blind people are still not able to enjoy memes. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), for the 2.2 billion people worldwide who report visual impairments or blindness, memes are one of the thousands of images on the internet that are inaccessible.

"There's a tendency in accessibility-related fields for people to focus on making the workplace accessible, and making transportation accessible, because those are daily needs," says Cole Gleason, a Ph.D. candidate at Carnegie Mellon University and the co-author of Making Memes Accessible. "And people usually leave the recreational or silly or leisure activities to the later stages of accessibility, so humor was definitely not high on people's priority lists."

Please contact SDCB to learn more about our programs for the blind and visually impaired.

"'I Wish We Could Connect on This Level.' Memes Still Aren't Accessible to People Who Are Blind. What's Being Done About It?"

Posted in Blind | View Post
Mobile Devices Help People Living With Vision Loss
vision lossDevices like iPads and smartphones are assisting millions of people who are living with vision loss. There exist free and paid mobile apps such as Aira and Microsoft's Seeing AI. These applications enable individuals with vision loss to navigate and identify various people and objects. Assistive technology is improving people's quality of life, quality at home and around town.

"Access to so many options has provided me with a sense of choice and freedom that I felt I had lost. It's empowering," says Chris Lockley.

If you are living with vision loss, then please contact SDCB for assistance. We offer many innovative programs.

“Assistive Technology Lab to Empower Individuals with Vision Loss”

Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
AI Could Help Doctors Treat Vision Loss
vision lossScientists are using artificial intelligence with the hopes of being able to assist doctors in choosing the ideal treatment for patients with vision loss, specifically individuals who have diabetic macular edema. Diabetes is one of the leading causes of vision loss among adults in the United States and beyond. The researchers are using AI to analyze retinal images.

"Our approach could potentially be used in eye clinics to prevent unnecessary and costly trial-and-error treatments and thus alleviate a substantial treatment burden for patients," said research team leader Sina Farsiu from Duke University. "The algorithm could also be adapted to predict therapy response for many other eye diseases, including neovascular age-related macular degeneration."

Please contact SDCB if you are experiencing vision loss. We offer many programs and services that can help.

"Artificial intelligence predicts treatment outcome for diabetes-related vision loss"

Posted in Research and Medical Advancements | View Post
Playing Sports While Living With Blindness
blindnessMost people cannot imagine what it’s like to play a sport with vision loss or blindness, but thousands of individuals manage remarkable feats on the field or ice. Playing sports while living with blindness takes dedication and determination.

Kurt Sloop is a goalball athlete and a board member of the Metro Washington Association of Blind Athletes. Charlie Mitchell is a hockey player with the Washington Blind Hockey Club and a member of the USA Blind Hockey team. The two athletes sat down for an interview to talk about how people who are blind or visually impaired can get involved with sports.

Please contact SDCB to learn more about our vision rehabilitation programs. We can help you improve your life quality.

“From Blind Hockey To Goalball: Playing Sports With Vision Loss”

Posted in Blind Athlete | View Post
Teenager Accomplishes Much Despite Blindness
blindnessBlindness is an obstacle to be sure, but it does not have to stop people from achieving remarkable feats. Fifteen-year-old Rylea Fields may have accomplished more than much older people. Fields was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa. Even though she has lost her vision, she is a cheerleader and a gymnast. What's more, she helps other young people who are living with disabilities.

"I think we're all given talents and things we're good at and we should share those things with others," Rylea added. "That's why we're here. If we can make life better for others, put a smile on someone's face and keep the fairytale alive for someone, it's what we should do."

SDCB helps people living with vision loss and blindness. Our programs and services can significantly improve your quality of life.

"Blindness didn't stop Mansfield Legacy sophomore from cheer, gymnastics, helping others"

Posted in Blind and Vision Impaired Heroes Stories | View Post
Flu Causes Blindness
blindnessFlu vaccinations can stave off blindness. A four-year-old girl in Iowa lost her vision recently after contracting the flu. Jade DeLucia contracted the flu a few days before Christmas and spent nearly two weeks in the intensive care unit. The young girl almost died, so her parents now have a message they would like to share with the world. The message is: Get your children vaccinated.

"If I can stop one child from getting sick, that's what I want to do," said Amanda Phillips, Jade's mother. "It's terrible to see your child suffer like this."

Are you living with vision loss or blindness? If so, please contact SDCB to learn more about our programs and services.

"Flu leaves a 4-year-old girl blind in Iowa"

Posted in Eye Health and Preventing Disease | View Post
Using Computers While Living With Blindness
blindnessTwo blind women living with blindness provide computer training and job services to people with disabilities at a nonprofit called Donka. Ann Byrne and Kimberly Delaney in the suburbs of Chicago are helping others succeed. Byrne lost her vision from congenital glaucoma. Delaney lost all vision in one eye from injuries sustained during a Vietnam War massacre; she went completely blind because of leukemia, which may be the result of Agent Orange exposure.

"Nobody knows your potential," Byrne says. "You have to work for it. Here at Donka, we give our students tools."

Please contact SDCB if you are struggling with vision loss or blindness. We offer several programs that can improve your life quality.

"Blindness, disabilities no obstacle to computer use at Wheaton nonprofit"

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Helping the Visually Impaired
visually impairedBlind and visually impaired people benefit from community support. Those who are living with eye diseases and conditions in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, now have support groups. Such residents living in the area can join the Blindness Support Group and meet once a month to learn how to overcome barriers specific to their disability.

"When people go blind — and by that I mean the whole range of vision loss — they feel very isolated," said Jonathan Ice, the group's founder. "They feel like they're the only one going through this.

If you are visually impaired, then San Diego Center for the Blind can help you in several ways. Please contact us to learn more.

"Cedar Rapids group formed to support blind, visually impaired residents"

Posted in Blindness and Vision Impairment | View Post
Cataract Surgery for Animals
cataractAnimals are susceptible to vision problems, just like humans. A gorilla named Leslie residing at the San Diego Zoo recently underwent cataract surgery. The three-year-old gorilla is the first at the zoo ever to receive lens replacement surgery. The procedure was conducted by a University of California at San Diego surgical team.

"In babies, they've demonstrated that, if you do not correct cataracts quickly, the brain actually starts shutting sight to the affected eye," said San Diego Zoo associate veterinarian Dr. Meredith Clancy. "Gorillas are very social and, in the future, she will need to find a mate, she will want to raise a family. We just didn't want this to get in the way of her chances to live a full, happy life."

If you need assistance for vision loss, please contact SDCB to learn more about our programs and services.

"Leslie, a Safari Park gorilla, undergoes cataract surgery"

Posted in Blindness and Animals | View Post
January is Braille Literacy Month
BrailleOn top of Glaucoma Awareness Month, January is also Braille Literacy Month. We celebrate and honor the birthday of Louis Braille, who was born on January 4th, 1809, this month. January 4th was also National World Braille Day. Louis Braille was twelve years old when he discovered the braille code. In the 21st Century, new technology has allowed Braille to be more accessible for people living with blindness.

"You can create a document, you can go to the internet, you can check emails," says Zahia Althabata, Assistive Technology Instructor at East Texas Lighthouse for the Blind. "And you can download books to read."

Please contact SDCB if you need assistance with vision loss or blindness. We offer many innovative programs.

"Celebrating the 'code:' January is Braille Literacy Month"

Posted in Braille | View Post
EnChroma for Low Vision
low visionLow vision is any deterioration in one's sight that cannot be corrected by glasses or surgery. While the company EnChroma is known for its smart glasses for color blindness, they just released a new line for people living with low vision. The EnChroma® Lx Series will also assist people with age-related eye conditions.

The company will feature its new line at the Opti Munich 2020 International Trade Show for Optics and Design on January 10-12, 2020.

"Until now, the low vision options available to patients have been limited," said Mark Mattison-Shupnick, Master Optician and Vice President of Business Development for EnChroma. "EnChroma's new offering for low vision features a unique spectral filter that reduces the intensity of white light while transmitting colors up to two times brighter than an average lens. A patient using the new lens will experience superior glare reduction and comfort, as well as enhanced color and contrast, which can aid mobility and safety."

Are you struggling with vision loss or blindness? If so, then please reach out to SDCB at your earliest convenience.

"EnChroma Introduces Line of Lenses for Low Vision and Age-Related Eye Conditions"

Posted in Assistive and Vision Loss Technology and Products | View Post
Shedding Light on Glaucoma
glaucomaEven though millions of Americans have glaucoma, a condition that damages the optic nerve, most people are not aware they have the eye disease. It's no wonder that people often refer to the condition as the "sneak thief of sight." During National Glaucoma Awareness Month, it's vital to teach the general public about this disorder.

The majority of people fail to realize they have the condition until it is well-advanced. Peripheral vision is the first to worsen; however, "the visual acuity or sharpness of vision is maintained until late in the disease," according to the Glaucoma Research Foundation.

Please contact SDCB if vision rehabilitation programs can improve your life quality.

"Many Americans don't realize they're going blind"

Posted in Glaucoma | View Post
January is Glaucoma Awareness Month
glaucomaGlaucoma or the "sneak thief of sight" impacts more than 3.2 million Americans age 40 and over, according to estimates from the Prevent Blindness report, "Future of Vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems." Naturally, the number of people who will be affected will steadily increase in the years to come. January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month. This month, Prevent Blindness wants to educate the public about glaucoma and its risk factors. The organization also would like to share treatment options.

"The year 2020 is an ideal reminder for all of us to make the resolution today to save our vision for tomorrow," said Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. "By detecting vision problems and treating them early, including those from glaucoma, we can help to avoid significant vision impairment."

The San Diego Center for the Blind offers many programs to assist people living with vision loss and blindness. Please contact us to learn more.

"Glaucoma, "The Sneak Thief of Sight," Continues to Affect Vision of Millions of Americans"

Posted in Glaucoma | View Post
Library of Congress Increases Resources for the Blind
blindThe Library of Congress, the most important library in the U.S., announced a significant endowment in support of the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS). It will allow the library to increase its resources and services for the blind and visually impaired.

“We are so excited to receive this generous gift from Dr. Diskin and honored by her recognition of our work,” NLS Director Karen Keninger said. “It will allow us to advance our efforts to digitize NLS’s world-class braille music collection much faster and more accurately than we had ever anticipated – a real benefit to the students, teachers, performers and music lovers who use our braille materials.”

SDCB can assist you or a loved one with vision loss or blindness. Please contact us to learn more.

“Library of Congress Announces Major Endowment For The Blind and Print Disabled”

Posted in Resources for Blind and Visually Impaired | View Post
Blind Artist Creates Masterpieces
blindIn January, a legally blind artist’s works will be on display at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts. This will be the first time that Therese Verner will show her art in San Diego. Verner has myopic macular degeneration in her right eye and glaucoma. Despite being legally blind, she was able to teach herself how to paint.

The exhibit, “Art to Brighten Your Life,” will open on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020.

Please reach out to SDCB if you would like to learn more about our vision rehabilitation programs.

“Legally blind artist seeks to ‘Brighten Your Life’ with PCPA art exhibit”

Posted in Arts and Culture | View Post
Preventing Blindness on December 31st
blindnessNew Year’s Eve is just around the corner, which means that countless bottles of champagne will be opened around the world. We hope that you understand the dangers that corks can pose to your eyes. Always point the champagne bottle away from your face when opening. A champagne cork travels at around 50 mph and can shatter glass. If it hits you in the eye, it can cause abrasion, intraocular bleeding, cataract, glaucoma, and retinal detachment, which can lead to blindness.

We invite you to contact SDCB if you require vision loss rehabilitation or assistance with blindness.

“Focus on Eyes: Popping a cork can cause blindness”

Posted in Advocacy and Events | View Post
Today Anchor On The Mend from Vision Loss
vision lossIf you watch the Today show, then you are familiar with the anchor Savannah Guthrie. You might be aware that she recently experienced severe eye trauma. Her retina was damaged when her 3-year-old son Charley stabbed her in the eye with a toy train.

Guthrie, 48, hoped to avoid surgery and vision loss, but laser treatments were unsuccessful, and doctors decided a full retinal surgery on her right eye was necessary.

“The retinal tear had deteriorated sharply, and I lost my vision,” said Guthrie. “And that’s what happens if you don’t fix this: You lose your sight.”

The San Diego Center for the Blind can help you or a loved one regain your independence. Our vision rehabilitation programs can improve your quality of life.

“Savannah Guthrie on Her Difficult Eye Surgery and ‘Challenging’ Recovery: ‘It’s Pretty Ghastly’”

Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
Foundation for Blind Children Prison Braille Program
BrailleBraille allows people living with vision loss and blindness to gain knowledge through reading. What many people who rely on Braille do not know is that prisoners in Arizona make many of the books available. The Foundation for Blind Children’s Prison Braille Program involves inmates who transcribe books into Braille.

The program certifies prisoners to transcribe Braille in order to create textbooks, tests, and quizzes for blind students in Arizona for free.

SDCB can assist you or a loved one with vision loss or blindness; please contact us to learn more.

“Braille Behind Bars: Blind Arizonans receive textbooks made by prisoners”

Posted in Braille | View Post
Navy Shines Light on Blindness
blindnessAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in four adults or 61 million people in the United States are living with a disability. In October, Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) joined the country in celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). The NNSY hosted two events that focused on “invisible disabilities” such as vision loss and blindness.

Guest speaker Dr. Debbie Pfeiffer, Director of Outreach Programs, for the Virginia School of the Deaf and the Blind, discussed the Courtesy Rules of Blindness published by the National Foundation of the Blind. The handbook offers tips for sighted people to reference when interacting with a person who is blind or vision impaired. Here’s an example:

“Understand – I may not recognize your voice. If I don’t know you well, please say, ‘Hi, it’s Sue.’” Another was, “Experience – I probably have years of experience using nonvisual techniques to live my life. Feel free to ask me how I do something, or how best you can assist me if help is needed.”

Please contact SDCB if you are living with vision loss or blindness. We have programs that can improve your quality of life.

“Norfolk Naval Shipyard Disability Awareness Committee ERG Shines a Light on Invisible Disabilities”

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Tattoos and Vision Loss
vision lossThe Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital (RVEEH) warns about a link between tattoos and a severe eye condition that can lead to vision loss. Uveitis affects the inner structures of the eye; it can cause pain, redness, and blurry vision. Associate Professor Lyndell Lim says:

"The public health message should be to consider your vision in addition to other potential health risks when getting a tattoo and if you do have symptoms of uveitis, act quickly to seek specialist care."

Please contact SDCB if you require assistance for vision loss. We offer many effective programs.

"Eye Experts Warn Of Link Between Tattoos And Vision Loss"

Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
Marvel Comic Book in Braille
BrailleMarvel's Heroes Project's "Unstoppable Adonis" is a comic book about a young high school football running back named Adonis. The young athlete is entirely blind; and, the comic book is fittingly available in Braille.

"What caught our attention about Adonis' story is that a whole community came together around him to support his dream - and that he's doing things off the field to show that visual disability doesn't hold people back from making their dreams reality," Liza Wyles, Executive Producer of Marvel's Hero Project and Director, Development for Marvel New Media.

If your quality of life is suffering due to vision loss, then we invite you to contact SDCB.

"Inside MARVEL's First Braille Comic, Inspired by Football Player with Blindness"

Posted in Blind Library - Books | View Post
Playing Hockey with Blindness
blindnessCarl Soderberg plays for the Arizona Coyotes of the National Hockey League. What makes Soderberg unique is that he's legally blind in his left eye. His vision was compromised in 2006 when an opponent's stick hit his eye and detached his retina leaving him living with blindness.

"It was a little different on the eyes, I was scared, afraid to get hit again," he said. "It took me a couple years to fully get back."

San Diego Center for the Blind offers several vision rehabilitation programs. Please contact us to learn more.

"Coyotes' Soderberg thriving despite blindness in left eye"

Posted in Blindness | View Post
A Daily Schedule in Braille
BrailleVisually impaired students may soon benefit from a Braille daily schedule. It was created by the 3D Tech Doves, an all-girls team from Christine Donnell School of the Arts, by using 3D printed plastic letters and number tiles. They call their invention the Teacher Classroom Kit. It’s "usable to visually impaired students so they can be more independent," Amber McVey, the girls mentor said.

"I feel really good, I think we did a really good job and helped a lot of people," Hailey Harwell, member of the 3D Tech Doves said.

SDCB offers many programs that can significantly assist people living with visual impairments. Please contact us to learn more.

“Boise all-girls 3D printing team wins competition for creating a Braille daily schedule”

Posted in Braille | View Post
Field Hockey Player Determined to Play Following Vision Loss
vision lossIn November, a British Olympic field hockey hopeful sustained a significant injury when he was hit in the face by a ball. The damage resulted in vision loss in his left eye. After surgery and seeing eye specialists, Sam Ward is committed to playing for his country in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

"Reports that I am retiring are completely not true and never were true," Ward said. "It's rumor mill... I do have some sight loss in my left eye but I still have peripheral vision and a fully functioning right eye."

If you require assistance for vision loss or blindness, then please contact SDCB to learn more about our programs.

“Olympic hopeful vows to play field hockey again after ball fractures his face, causes vision loss”

Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
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