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Intraneural Stimulation for Blindness
blindnessAn estimated 39 million people in the world are affected by blindness. Advancements in technology are helping scientists discover novel methods for combating vision loss. Researchers from EPFL in Switzerland and Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna in Italy are working on developing techniques for treating blindness that transmit visual signals to the brain that bypass the eyeball altogether.

"We believe that intraneural stimulation can be a valuable solution for several neuroprosthetic devices for sensory and motor function restoration. The translational potentials of this approach are indeed extremely promising," says Silvestro Micera, EPFL's Bertarelli Foundation Chair in Translational Neuroengineering, and Professor of Bioelectronics at Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna.

We invite you to reach out to SDCB if you require assistance for vision impairment or blindness. We offer several innovative vision rehabilitation programs.

"Optic nerve stimulation to aid the blind"

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Braille Behind Bars
BrailleHope Zentz, 43, has been an inmate in the Michigan state prison system for 11 years and has another seven to go before she is eligible for parole. However, Zentz has decided to use her time behind bars productively. This month she earned her literary braille certification from the Library of Congress. When she gets out of prison, Zentz hopes to have a career transcribing braille.

“My focus, since 2009 when I got sober in prison, was to try to pay it forward and make up for some of the wrongs that I’ve done,” Zentz said.

We encourage you to reach out to SDCB if you require assistance with vision impairment. Our programs can help you reclaim some of your independence.

“Women prisoners earn braille certifications, look to future”

Posted in Braille | View Post
Powerlifter Living With Blindness
blindnessCharles King went blind at 39; his blindness stole his will to live. His disability brought him to dark places literally and figuratively. After struggling for years, King managed to rediscover a new sense of purpose through weightlifting. The 69-year-old Philadelphian is a blind powerlifter; he finished first in his weight and age class last month at the United States Association of Blind Athletes National Powerlifting Championships in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

“Mentally and physically, he had to put himself together,” said Joe Braca, owner of Underground Gym in Flourtown, who agreed to help train King.

“I said ‘OK God, that’s it. I quit.’ I literally quit and just went out on the streets and joined the homeless,” he said. “I hoped that because I was blind, someone on the streets would kill me.”

SDCB assists men and women who are living with blindness and vision impairment. Please contact us to learn more.

“Philly powerlifter, 69, overcame blindness, homelessness, addiction, cancer, and the death of his daughter to become a champion”

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Artists With Vision Loss
vision loss“Vision Portraits” is an essay documentary from filmmaker Rodney Evans. The director believes that losing one’s vision can result in people seeing the world in novel ways. The film showcases artists who have different degrees of vision loss. Hopefully, you will have an opportunity to view the movie; it just may change your perspective

“Vision Portraits” addresses blindness in concrete, comprehensible terms,” writes Ben Kenigsberg.

If you are living with vision loss, then please contact San Diego Center for the Blind. We offer many programs that can help you regain your independence.

“‘Vision Portraits’ Review: Blindness as a Way of Seeing”

Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
Technology Combats Vision Loss
vision lossMary Sedgwick was diagnosed with optic neuritis in 1997. The disease causes inflammation of the optic nerve, which leads to vision loss. She always held onto the hope that one day, something would come along that restored her vision. Now, thanks to E-Sight, glasses that magnify and brighten the world, she has a new perspective.

Mary Sedgwick’s vision loss made it so she could not work, but she can now see with 20/10 vision. She recently checked a lifelong dream off her bucket list when she skydived with the Army Golden Knights.

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

“Legally blind woman gets vision back, jumps with Golden Knights”

Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
Our Diets Role in Macular Degeneration
macular degenerationThe food we eat changes how we feel. Those who eat healthily tend to feel better and are better able to function in life. An unhealthy diet, on the other hand, can severely impact one’s well-being, and it is associated with myriad health problems. A new book delves into the role that diet plays on our vision.

In his book “Ancestral Dietary Strategy to Prevent and Treat Macular Degeneration,” Dr. Chris Knobbe claims doctors have been taught that macular degeneration “MD” is the result of aging and genetics. He offers up a different explanation. Dr. Knobbe claims that an unhealthy diet is the leading cause of macular degeneration.

SDCB offers several programs and services to assist people living with vision loss; please contact us to learn more.

“North American diet a recipe for blindness”

Posted in Eye Health and Preventing Disease | View Post
Blindness Will Not Hold Him Back
blindnessLosing one’s vision is a life-changing experience that can severely disrupt the course of your life. However, it is still possible to lead a fulfilling and productive life despite vision loss. Blindness does not hold Curt Jones back; he will not allow being blind to keep him from enjoying life. Jones’ parents never treated him any different after losing his vision at the age of three; which may explain why he has such a developed outlook on life.

“I owe a lot to my parents because they never stopped me from doing anything except what you would stop a normal kid from doing,” Jones said. “They raised me just as a kid, not as a blind kid.”

Please contact SDCB if you require vision loss assistance. We offer many programs that can improve your life quality.

“Randall native refuses to let blindness keep him from enjoying life”

Posted in Parenting and Blindness | View Post
Learning Braille on a Tablet
BrailleTablets like iPads have become ubiquitous in today’s world. Wherever you go, there they are - in the hands of businesspeople or children alike. While often they serve as a distraction for kids, they can also be a powerful tool for learning.

Children living with vision loss are using tablets to hone their Braille skills. A new version of hangman, the word-guessing game, asks kids to run their finger over a paper Braille sheet on top of the tablet screen to pick letters.

“We’ve now taken the boring task of learning Braille and turned it into a game,” says Schultz, co-founder of Boston-based educational games maker ObjectiveEd. “We’re changing the dynamic so that a kid is looking forward to learning.”

Please reach out to SDCB is if you would like assistance with a visual impairment or blindness. Our service can help improve your quality of life.

“How Tablet Games Can Teach Skills to Students with Visual Impairments”

Posted in Braille | View Post
Capturing the Experience of Blindness
blindnessEarlier this year we wrote about Michael Nye's book "My Heart Is Not Blind: On Blindness and Perception," and how he hoped to get people to focus on a diverse group of people living with blindness.  Nye’s book – compiled over seven years – explores the blind experience through personal narratives and photographic portraits.

“I think when the public thinks of blindness, when they think of it at all, they think of disability and of inability,” Nye said. “But the experience of blindness is so unique and different for each person, and I think that is revelatory in terms of experience in a larger way.”

The National Federation of the Blind, as a part of its annual Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards, honored Nye’s work by granting him $15,000. The award recognizes innovators who challenge perceptions and break down boundaries faced by the blind.

Please contact the San Diego Center for The Blind if you require assistance for vision loss. We offer many programs that can help.

“Photographer Michael Nye Reflects On My Heart Is Not Blind and Recent Award”

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Correcting the Mutation that Causes Childhood Blindness
blindnessCRISPR – clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats – is a method of genome editing that allows scientists to change an organism's DNA. The possibilities of this technology seem without limit. A new study is about to begin that plans to use CRISPR to treat an inherited eye disorder that causes blindness—Leber congenital amaurosis. The research will involve 18 patients, both children (ages 3 and up) and adults.

The condition is one of the most common causes of childhood blindness, according to the National Institutes of Health. It affects about 2 to 3 newborns out of every 100,000.

If you require vision rehabilitation services, then please contact SDCB. We offer many programs that can help you or a loved one.

“CRISPR Gene Editing Will Be Used Inside Humans For the First Time in Treatment for Blindness”
Posted in Blindness | View Post
Eye Health and Safety Awareness Month for Children
eye healthHealthy vision for kids is of the utmost importance, which is why Prevent Blindness and the National Optometric Association (NOA) are joining forces to declare August as Children's Eye Health and Safety Awareness Month. Untreated eye diseases can worsen as children grow and inhibit kids from excelling in school. The goal for August is to educate parents and caregivers on how to take action and have children screened for vision problems.

"By diagnosing and treating vision problems early, we can actually help prevent vision loss later in life," said Dr. Sherrol A. Reynolds, president of the National Optometric Association.

San Diego Center for the Blind offers several vision loss services and programs; please contact us to learn more about how we can help.

"August is Declared Children's Eye Health and Safety Month by Prevent Blindness and the National Optometric Association"

Posted in Advocacy and Events | View Post
A Guide to Eye Disease
vision lossIt is prudent that all Americans take steps to educate themselves about eye diseases and to protect their vision. The human eye is a complex organ that is highly susceptible to encountering problems that can lead to vision loss. Taking the time to learn about common eye conditions and prioritizing routine check-ups can spare people from experiencing vision loss down the road. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration.

Please reach out to San Diego Center for the Blind if you are impacted by vision impairment or blindness. We offer many services that could help you lead a more independent life.

"A Patient's Guide to Eye Disease"

Posted in Eye Health and Preventing Disease | View Post
Amoeba Causes Permanent Vision Loss
vision lossAcanthamoeba keratitis is a condition that seems like the stuff of science-fiction. However, it's a real-life condition caused by an amoeba. The microbial is commonly found in water, and it can make its way into a person's cornea. People who wear contacts in water, please be advised that you could be putting your eyes at risk. Acanthamoeba keratitis is a rare eye infection which can cause permanent vision loss.

"It's a difficult infection to treat, and it's usually aggressive," said Dr. Shilpa Register, an optometrist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He adds that it can "cause blindness pretty quickly if it's not treated immediately."

If you need visual rehabilitation services, then please contact SDCB. We offer several programs that can improve your life quality.

"Woman Gets Eye Infection that Can Cause Blindness from Swimming and Showering with Her Contact Lenses"

Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
Vision Loss May Increase the Risk of Dementia
vision lossNew research suggests that vision loss or hearing loss can increase a person's chance of developing dementia. A team of researchers from the University of Washington found that having both hearing and sight problems increased dementia risk by 86 percent. If an individual loses one of their senses, then their risk is much smaller—11 percent.

"With no treatments yet able to stop the progression of dementia, it is crucial that we understand the different factors that impact risk and what we might be able to do to change them," said Dr. Sara Imarisio, Head of Research at Alzheimer's Research UK. "This research suggests that loss of multiple senses may increase dementia risk. This could help us to identify people at risk earlier and empower individuals to take targeted steps to reduce their risk of dementia.”

Please contact SDCB if you or someone you love can benefit from vision rehabilitation services. We offer many programs that enhance people's ability to lead more independent lives.

"Loss of multiple senses increases dementia risk"

Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
Braille Patches Help People with Vision Loss Find Independence
BrailleA mother's determination to help her child knows no limits. Gracie Benedith-Cane's son has a rare condition - septo-optic nerve dysplasia - that causes serious visual impairment. A quest to help him live more independently led her to create adhesive braille patches for his clothing. Cane started a company called Braille Code Inc.; she sells the Braille patches to help others utilize her innovative patches.

"The patches, they're adhesive and you could stick them to clothes. And it has directional cues such as back, left, and right," said Wani. "If the Braille's on the inside that means it's inside-out and if it's on the outside, then it means it's fine."

If you are experiencing sight loss, please contact SDCB. We offer many programs and services that can help you lead a more independent life.

"PARENTS Mother invents braille patches to give her visually impaired child independence"

Posted in Braille | View Post
People Living with Blindness Regain Some Vision
blindnessSix people who were living with blindness had their sight partially restored, thanks to an implant which transmits video images from a camera to the brain. A study, led by a US team of specialists, shows that implanting electrodes in the brain's visual cortex can receive footage from a camera mounted on glasses. Interestingly, the technology bypasses both the eye and the optic nerve altogether.

'It is a real message of hope – I feel within my lifetime we can restore functional sight to the blind,' expert says of successful study.

SDCB specializes in helping people who live with vision impairment and blindness regain their independence. Please contact us to learn more.

"Blind patients have vision partially restored after new brain implant"

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Bad Braille Signage Across America
BraillePeople living with vision loss rely on Braille to lead an independent life. However, an investigation reveals incorrect Braille at many public facilities across the country. Vencer Cotton, 41, said that he once entered the women's bathroom because of bad Braille in Washington D.C. Incidents like the one Cotton experienced are not isolated.

"I swing open the door, I dive in, and I get that screaming group of ladies in a haste to put me out," Cotton said. "And that was simply because the sign ... said 'Men' in the Braille."

Now, almost 30 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act became law, and incorrect Braille appears to be a systemic problem in the U.S.

SDCB can help you or a loved one regain independence and improve your quality of life. Please contact us to learn more.

"Bad braille plagues buildings across U.S., CBS News Radio investigation finds"

Posted in Braille | View Post
Blindness Does Not Slow Them Down
blindnessTwo brothers living with blindness completed a 10-kilometer race (6.2 miles) in 2 hours and 41 minutes. Willard J. Walker and John W. Smith walked side by side with their white canes in opposite hands. They were determined to finish the race and were not concerned with how fast they moved. Onlookers shouted out words of encouragement to support the blind athletes.

"I wanted to show people that while we lost our sight, life goes on," said Walker, 63, who participated in his third AJC Peachtree Road Race but the first one without his vision. "People put those who are visually impaired or blind in a box. Even before they meet us, they start talking louder. I can hear you, I'm just visually impaired. We still have families, friends and obligations. That doesn't stop."

Men and women living with blindness can benefit from the programs we offer at SDCB. Please contact us to learn more about our services.

"Blindness doesn't deter brothers from completing 10K road race"

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Blind Author Completes His First Novel
blindDid you know that John Milton produced "Paradise Lost" and "Paradise Regained" more than ten years after going blind? Joel Burcat, 64, is an environmental lawyer and author in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, who recently published his first novel. While Burcat's book hasn't received much notoriety, it is novel. You see, he completed "Drink to Every Beast" while legally blind.

"I had to prove to myself that I could do something that one would not normally say a blind person can do," he said. "It was really, really important to me."

Please contact SDCB if you are experiencing vision loss. We offer a number of programs that can improve your quality of life.

"Writing With Your Eyes Closed"

Posted in Blind | View Post
High School Student Receive Glasses for Color Blindness
blindnessOn June 17th, Penn State Lehigh Valley (PSU-LV) and Pilestone Color Blind officials gifted seven students and local community members with glasses to correct color blindness. Goshuami “Gigi” Valoy-Tineo, Dieruff High School graduate, is one of the recipients. Students also received a Chrome book. Equipped with her new glasses and computer, Valoy-Tineo will be better prepared for college in the fall.

“It’s amazing all of the people and the effort that went into make this happen for me. I plan to wear my glasses all the time for now, I want to know what I’ve been missing!” Valoy-Tineo said. “Through PCCR, I gained academic knowledge, great friends and college credit.”

People in California who are living with vision loss can benefit from SDCB’s program for the visually impaired and blind. Please contact us today to learn more.

“Glasses that correct color blindness presented to high school student”

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy to Combat Blindness
blindnessA benefit concert was held to raise money for a boy with a super rare disease, panhypopituitarism. The condition led to severe autism and blindness in 5-year-old Terren Weidman. However, there is a treatment that could help the young boy called Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. Unfortunately, it will cost Terren’s family roughly $4,000.

“For kids with autism, it goes anywhere from five words before therapy, to after therapy around 100. We’re hoping because of his rare condition, his cells in his eyes didn’t develop, with this extra oxygen and blood, that he might be able to get some vision before school starts.”

If you are struggling with vision impairment or blindness, then please contact SDCB. Our vision rehabilitation services can help you regain some independence.

“Benefit concert held for local 5-year-old suffering from severe autism, blindness”

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Scientists Rethink Their Approach to Glaucoma
glaucomaGlaucoma is an incurable eye disease that kills vital nerve cells at the back of the retina, which leads to vision loss. More than 70 million people have the blinding eye condition; 3 million of such people are already living with blindness.

Researchers have begun rethinking their approach to glaucoma’s complexities. They envision a time when treatments can protect nerve cells and maybe even restore lost sight. Currently, there is nothing that can be done once vision is lost. However, scientists may be on the verge of breakthroughs.

“We’re making advances with every different type of treatment,” ophthalmologist Leonard Levin of McGill University in Montreal says.

Please contact San Diego Center for the Blind if you would like assistance with vision loss. We offer many programs that can help.

“Glaucoma can lead to blindness. Researchers foresee changing that.”

Posted in Glaucoma | View Post
Learning what it is Like Living with Blindness
blindnessStudents at Texas Tech took part in a simulation to understand what living with blindness is like. The simulation asked participants to put on blindfolds and ambulate with only the assistance of a white can. Instructors taught the students how to cross streets and use public transportation. The exercise was part of the Sowell Center’s Orientation and Mobility Program.

Heather Withrow is a deaf student involved in the program. Her son was born both blind and deaf.

“My youngest son who was born deaf-blind, he has a totally different way of developing and his movement is super important,” Withrow said.

Please reach out to SDCB if you would like to increase your sense of independence. We offer many programs.

“Texas Tech students participate in blindness simulation”

Posted in What Is Blind Like and Social Etiquette | View Post
The Fate of Braille in the 21st Century
brailleLast weekend, the Braille Institute of America Braille Challenge Finals was held in Los Angeles June 21-22. While Braille is invaluable to people living with blindness, there are indications that many children are not learning it today.

50% of all children who are blind learned Braille in the 1950s, according to the National Federation of the Blind. Even though Braille is exceedingly beneficial to the visually impaired, around one in 10 blind children learn Braille.

Please contact SDCB to find out more about our vision rehabilitation services. Our programs help improve people’s life quality.

“Is Braille Literacy On The Decline?”

Posted in Braille | View Post
Preventing Childhood Blindness
blindnessThe World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness has made childhood blindness a significant priority for their VISION 2020 joint global initiative. Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is an eye condition that strikes premature babies.

The disorder can result in visual impairment and irreversible blindness. In an effort to address childhood blindness, Bayer is testing its blockbuster aflibercept eye drug, Eylea, to prevent blindness in premature infants. Eylea is approved to treat wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, and diabetic macular edema.

San Diego Center for the Blind offers programs to help people struggling with vision impairment and blindness. Please contact us to learn more.

“Bayer begins phase 3 trial testing aflibercept in infant blindness”

Posted in Eye Disease | View Post
Scientists Tackle a Progressive Eye Disease
eye diseaseDr. Yutao Liu, a vision scientist, is studying keratoconus’ causes; he hopes to discover a way to better diagnose, treat, and prevent this progressive eye disease. Keratoconus is an eye condition that alters the curvature of the cornea, causing people to experience double vision and nearsightedness. The condition affects an estimated 1 in 2,000. The National Eye Institute is helping Dr. Yutao Liu with his research through a $2.1 million grant.

“We want to help patients better understand what is happening to their vision by better understanding how keratoconus happens, and give physicians better points to intervene,” says the scientist in the Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy at the Medical College of Georgia and James and Jean Culver Vision Discovery Institute at Augusta University.

Please reach out to the San Diego Center for the Blind to learn more about our services.

“Sights are set on better understanding vision-damaging keratoconus”

Posted in eye disease | View Post
Preventing Visual Impairment in AMD Cases
visual impairmentAge-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease that blurs the sharp, central vision. You may find it surprising to discover that roughly 200 million people in the world are living with AMD. Moreover, about one-fifth of AMD cases progress to an advanced stage, leading to visual impairment.

“The causes of AMD include oxidative stress and the resulting protein misfolding and aggregation, so we are developing a heat treatment for the back of the eye, which strengthens the defense mechanisms of retinal cells,” said Professor Ari Koskelainen. “These mechanisms help proteins refold back into their correct forms, and at the same time stimulate the natural healing process.”

There are two types of Advanced AMD—wet and dry. The former can be treated addressed with eye injections. However, scientists have yet to develop an effective treatment for dry AMD. Researchers hope to develop a method to halt disease progression.

Please contact SDCB if you or someone you care about is struggling with visual impairment. We offer several programs that can improve life-quality.

“New laser therapy seeks to halt the progression of age-related vision loss”

Posted in Eye Disease - Macular Degeneration | View Post
Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week
blindnessDid you know that the last week in June is “Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week?” At this time, the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths & Adults (HKNC) recognizes and celebrates the accomplishments of people who are living with blindness and hearing loss.

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan issued a proclamation declaring the week-long observance. This year’s theme is: MAKING CONNECTIONS WITH THE DEAF-BLIND COMMUNITY. The organization states:

“HKNC and its partners are engaging with people who are deaf-blind and making real connections. We all have the power to connect and create relationships that transcend any of our differences and bring enrichment to our lives and to our community.”

If you are facing challenges due to visual impairment or blindness, please contact SDCB to learn about the services we provide. We can help you regain some independence.

“Deaf-Blind Awareness Week, June 23 – 29, 2019”

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Helping Veterans with Vision Loss Read Again
vision lossWhat could be better than giving back the ability to read and enjoy stories to veterans who are living with vision loss? Not much! The National Library Service (NLS) and the Library of Congress have teamed up to create the Braille and Talking Book Program.

Any honorably discharged Veteran who is living with blindness, low vision, or a disability that keeps them from reading traditional print can access talking books, audio magazines, and digital talking-book players for free. The Program mails participants the materials they select online; the NLS has an impressive catalog of best-sellers to classics.

For more information: Call the National Library Service at 1-888-NLS-READ (1-888-657-7323) or visit them on the web.

Please contact San Diego Center for the Blind if you require assistance. We offer several services for people living with visual impairments.

“Free Braille and Talking Book Program for Veterans”

Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
Cataract Surgery Helps People Sleep Better
cataractA new study indicates that cataract surgery may help people beyond giving patients better vision. Research published in JAMA Ophthalmology shows that patients with new lenses following cataract surgery got more REM sleep or deep sleep. They also did better on cognition tests. The findings suggest that the amount of light entering the eye regulates the internal clock of humans.

“The main take home message is that cataract lens replacement may be associated with improved circadian rhythms, better cognitive performance and improved sleep,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Sarah Chellappa, of Harvard Medical School in Boston.

If you or a loved one is struggling with vision loss, then please contact SDCB. We offer vision rehabilitation services that can improve people’s life quality.

Lens replacement because of cataracts may improve sleep

Posted in Eye Disease | View Post
Remedies for Color Blindness
blindnessColor blindness is a condition that affects millions of people around the globe. Dental hygienist, Savannah Allen (22), has been living with the condition since she was a small child. Naturally, her inability to precisely identify colors makes her job more difficult.

“I was scaling a patient and just going through my routine and I had one of the instructors come over and she was like, ‘You’ve missed everything,’ and I was like, ‘What are you talking about?’ and she was like, ‘Look here here, here and here,’ and I’m like, ‘I can’t see. I have no idea what you’re talking about,’” Allen recalled.

The setback forced her to consider quitting becoming a dental hygienist until her classmates came together to help. They started a GoFundMe to buy Savannah colorblind assisting glasses.

Are you dealing with a visual impairment? If so, we can help you regain some of your independence. Please contact us today to learn more.

UC Blue Ash dental hygienist student sees color for first time thanks to classmates

Posted in Blind and Vision Impaired - Heroes Stories | View Post
Seeing the World with Vision Loss
vision lossIan Treherne was born deaf, and then began losing his vision at 15. Treherne has a rare genetic condition called Usher syndrome. Even though the disease stole 95 percent of his vision, Ian is a self-taught photographer who takes stunningly beautiful still frames. "My blindness has spurred me on to achieve more and focus more," said Mr. Treherne.

He hopes to make people living with vision loss more visible to the world.

"We are on the cusp of change but you rarely see a blind person on television unless it's about their condition. They're always completely blind and usually old and helpless.”

People experiencing vision loss can benefit from the programs and services offered at San Diego Center for the Blind. Please contact us today to learn more.

“How a blind photographer sees the world”

Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
Remembering a Pioneer in the Treatment of Cataracts
cataractDr. Patricia Bath was the first African American female doctor to receive a medical patent. She invented a better treatment of cataracts, Dr. Bath passed away last week at the age of 76. She led a remarkable life, being the first African American surgeon at the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center. The pioneer was also the first woman ophthalmologist on the faculty of UCLA's Jules Stein Eye Institute.

"I had a few obstacles but I had to shake it off," Bath told Good Morning America. "Hater-ation, segregation, racism, that's the noise you have to ignore that and keep your eyes focused on the prize, it's just like Dr. Martin Luther King said, so that's what I did."

Bath patented the Laserphaco Probe, short for "laser photoablative cataract surgery."

Contact SDCB to learn more about our vision rehabilitation programs. Our goal is to help men and women lead more independent lives.

“Cataract treatment inventor Dr. Patricia Bath dies at 76”

Posted in Researchers and Leaders in Eye Disease | View Post
Puppies Learn How to Help People with Vision Loss

vision lossIan is an 8-month-old puppy receiving lessons on how to be a guide dog for individuals living with vision loss. Last week, Ian and ten other Labrador retrievers (6 to 17 months old) descended upon John Wayne Airport in Orange County, CA. Guide dogs need to be comfortable in any place a blind person can go. Naturally, people waiting for their planes on June 1, 2019, had big smiles on their faces in response to the puppy parade. 

“This is a wonderful journey,” said Joanne Russell, a volunteer co-leader who has raised nine puppies since 1996. “It’s great for the community. It’s great for the dogs. It’s great for the puppy raisers. In the end, it’s wonderful for the blind person. It gives them the freedom to do things on their own. They can have independence again.”

Please reach out to SDCB if you require assistance with vision loss. We offer several services that can improve your life quality.

Puppies training to be guide dogs charm their way through John Wayne Airport


Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
A Catalog of Clues Helps Blind People Understand the World
blindBlind people show that they do understand what sighted people process through vision, according to a new study. The findings prove that “visual” ideas don’t require vision. The research, published in PNAS, involved 20 blind and 20 sighted adults. Rather than rely on rote learning, scientists found that blind people make sense of the visual world by using a catalog of clues.

“In the absence of direct sensory access, knowledge of appearance is acquired primarily through interface, rather than through memorization of verbally stipulated facts,” the scientists write.

We offer several programs that can significantly improve the lives of blind and visually impaired people. Please contact us to learn more.

“Scientists Discover How Blind People Know So Much About Appearances”

Posted in Blind | View Post
Making Trains Safer for the Blind
blindD.C. Metro’s new trains will now include features to protect the safety of blind riders after some passenger injuries. The safety fixes should be complete this week, such as chain barriers between every car to prevent people from falling on the tracks. Reports indicate that at least two people fell off platforms mistaking the gap between cars for an open door.

The Federal Transit Administration mandated the safety fixes.

If you are struggling with vision loss, please contact San Diego Center for the Blind today. We offer several vision rehabilitation programs.

“Metro set to finish 7000 Series safety fixes for blind riders”

Posted in Blind | View Post
Preventing Blindness During Cataract Awareness Month
blindnessDid you know that more than 25 million Americans are estimated to have a cataract? Prevent Blindness has declared June as Cataract Awareness Month, a time to educate people about the risk factors, symptoms, and treatment. Cataract symptoms may include blurred vision, double vision, ghost images, or the sense of a “film” over the eyes.

“Cataract is highly treatable with early detection and access to quality eye care services,” said Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “We encourage everyone to make healthy vision a priority today to preserve it for years to come.”

Please contact SDCB to learn more about our programs. We can help you regain some of your independence.

“Take Steps Today to Help Protect Eyes from Cataract”

Posted in Advocacy and Events | View Post
Vision and Eye Health Award
eye healthThe National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness (NCCVEH) is accepting nominations for the upcoming Bonnie Strickland Champion for Children’s Vision Award Ceremony. Individuals or organizations worthy of the award are those who demonstrate significant contributions to advancing public health approaches for children’s vision and eye health at the state or national level.

“Prevent Blindness is an organization founded on saving sight in children, and the Bonnie Strickland Champion for Children’s Vision Award provides us with the opportunity to recognize the tremendous efforts of those dedicated to protecting vision and keeping eyes healthy for our kids,” said Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness.

The deadline for submission is July 10, 2019. The award ceremony is Sept. 14, 2019, in Baltimore, MD.    

Living with vision loss can severely complicate one’s life. However, we offer programs that help the blind and visually impaired regain their independence. Please contact SDCB to learn more.

“Prevent Blindness Issues Call for Nominations for Bonnie Strickland Champion for Children’s Vision Award”

Posted in Awards - Vision Related | View Post
Corneal Blindness Treatments In The Works
blindnessCornea donors may be a thing of the past one day thanks to new technologies. Millions of people around the globe have bilateral loss of vision due to corneal disorders. Cornea transplants can help men and women living with corneal blindness, but there are only so many transplants to go around each year.

Pandorum Technologies Pvt., a biotechnology company, is using 3D bioprinted cornea tissue to heal eye wounds. A research team is preparing for human pilot studies in 2020.

“We are working to close this gap using a bio-engineering approach through stage-wise development of a platform, which is ultimately aimed to liberate us from the dependencies on human donor cornea,” said Dr. Tuhin Bhowmick, co-founder of Pandorum with a Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Science.

SDCB can help improve the lives of people living with blindness. Please contact us to learn more about our programs.

“3D Printed Cornea Tissue Aims to Tackle Blindness”

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Two Blind Brothers Contribute to Curing Blindness
blindnessBradford Manning and his younger brother Bryan own a New York clothing company. What’s unique about the company is that its profits are earmarked for vision loss research. The brothers have a genetic eye disorder called Stargardt disease, juvenile form of macular degeneration which damages center vision over time and leads to blindness.

The Manning brothers were never deterred by vision loss. The name they chose for their company is apropos: Two Blind Brothers.

“We now have the unbelievable honor to be able to contribute to curing blindness,” said Bryan. “We do that by donating 100 percent of our profits back to retinal research, primarily through partners, like the Foundation Fighting Blindness.”

If you or a loved one requires assistance for vision loss, please contact SDCB today.

“Two Blind Brothers Defy The Odds To Make Fashion Dreams A Reality”

Posted in Blind and Vision Impaired Heroes | View Post
Goalball is a Sport for People Living with Blindness
blindnessTyler Merren, 34, is a Paralympic USA goalball silver medalist. Merren is living with blindness, but that does not keep him from making a difference in his community and beyond. On top of training for the Tokyo Paralympics in 2020, he is a father of four, personal trainer, and public speaker.

“I was born legally blind, but my vision was clear enough until I was 14. I was born with tunnel vision. I could see in front of me – but as I got older my visual acuity got worse.”

He is training hard for Japan; to compete in the upcoming games his team has to be one of the top two teams at the IBSA International Qualifier in Fort Wayne, IN, this summer.

Many people are faced with the medical field no longer being able to improve their vision. SDCB can help you take steps to promote your independence. Please contact us to learn more.

“Despite Blindness, Physical Trainer and Motivational Speaker Aims for 2020 Tokyo Paralympics”

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Learning Braille Through Play
BrailleIt is essential that blind and sighted children play together! Braille Bricks by Lego allows for children living with blindness to engage with kids with perfect vision. The Lego Foundation, which is funded by the Lego Group, has a new project that will alter the knobs on the regular bricks into Braille dots. Braille Bricks will feature both Braille dots and written letters.

“When they get Lego in their hands, it’s intuitive for them,” said Diana Ringe Krogh, who is in charge of the project for the Lego Foundation. “They learn Braille almost without noticing that they are learning. It is really a learning-through-play approach.”

SDCB’s comprehensive vision rehabilitation program is the next step to rebuilding your independence. Please reach out to learn more about our services.

“Lego Is Making Braille Bricks. They May Give Blind Literacy a Needed Lift.”

Posted in Braille | 1 Comment(s)
Blindness Does Not Stand in the Way of Musical Talent
blindnessGrace Fisher is a junior in high school. Despite living with blindness, she has found a way to sing her heart out in women’s choir. “I’ve always been into music. I wanted to be in choir,” Fisher said.

Some people may wonder, ‘how does Grace receive cues from the conductor?’ The answer involves her choirmates: who hold her hand and squeeze in different ways when it’s time for her to sing more loudly or quietly.

“It brings us all together. We’re all connected. We’re not just all standing there separated and singing. We’re all physically connected in a way and moving together,” said Ellie Holloway, who helped lay out the system that keeps Grace on her marks.

SDCB offers vision rehabilitation services that rebuild lives. Please contact us to learn more about our programs.

“Inspirational singer at Staley High succeeds in music despite total blindness”

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Living with Color Blindness
blindnessAbout 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women in the world see things a little differently than the majority. Such people have what is known as color blindness or color deficiency. There are three types of color blindness: protanopia (the inability to process red light), deuteranopia (the inability to process green light), and tritanopia (the inability to process blue light).

A new photoset shows the average person what the world looks like through the lens of color blindness. The gallery was created by Lenstore for the organization Colour Blind Awareness.

SDCB can help you get back to doing many of the things you did when you were sighted. Please reach out to learn more about our programs.

“These Photos Show What SF Looks Like with Color Blindness”

Posted in What Is Blind Like and Social Etiquette | View Post
Jazz Pianist Living with Blindness
blindnessJazz pianist Marcus Roberts has led a remarkable life. At the age of 5 he suffered major vision loss, resulting in him living with blindness. He recently agreed to an interview and spoke about his experience in becoming a musician despite his condition. At 12 or 13, he had a band while he was in a school for the blind. He taught each member how to play music. Today, he still helps young people hone their ear for music, especially those who live with vision loss.

“I have a soft spot for young people in that situation. The disability may kick into it too. Because I know there are a lot of disabled people who just don’t get a lot of choices. In the blind community, even now, the rate of literacy among blind children is only 10 percent. These are very disturbing facts for me, and I don’t think they get enough attention.”

Learning how to rebuild your independence is what we specialize in at the San Diego Center for the Blind. Please contact us to learn more.

“Navigating Blindness with Marcus Roberts”

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Genetic Variation Contributes to Macular Degeneration
macular degenerationResearchers identified some of the genetic variants that cause age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The study involved stem cells to learn more about this common cause of vision loss. While there is still much scientists do not know about AMD, people with a family history of the blinding eye disease are at higher risk.

University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers revealed the importance of a specific genetic variation that affects expression of a gene that is partly responsible for new blood vessel growth. The genetic variation is the amount of VEGFA produced, which plays a role in AMD development.

"We didn't start with the VEGFA gene when we went looking for genetic causes of AMD," said senior author Kelly A. Frazer, PhD, professor of pediatrics and director of the Institute for Genomic Medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine. "But we were surprised to find that, with samples from just six people, this genetic variation clearly emerged as a causal factor."

SDCB offers counseling, training, community education, outreach programs, and more. Please contact us to learn about our services.

“Personalized 'eye-in-a-dish' models reveal genetic underpinnings of macular degeneration”

Posted in Research and Medical Advancements | View Post
College Softball Despite Blindness
blindnessNicky Dawson was born with a cataract in her right eye. It had to be removed, resulting in blindness. However, being legally blind hasn’t stopped the young lady from being the second baseman for the Baylor University softball team. She learned how to compensate for the disability; Dawson doesn’t just play, she excels on the diamond!

“You think about the softball athletes around the country that can’t play at a low level,” said Baylor coach Glenn Moore. “She’s handicapped in that way and still plays at a very high level. It’s nothing short of phenomenal that she can do what she’s able to do.”

If you are struggling with vision loss, please contact SDCB. We offer several innovative programs that can help you regain independence.

“Dawson thriving for Baylor softball despite blindness in right eye”

Posted in Blind Athlete | View Post
Focus on Eye Health National Summit
eye healthPrevent Blindness is holding its eighth annual Focus on Eye Health National Summit on July 17, 2019. The event is being held at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. This year’s theme is “A Lifetime of Vision.”

Those in attendance will be treated to various presentations from a wide array of speakers. Prevent Blindness will also be presenting the 2019 Jenny Pomeroy Award for Excellence in Vision and Public Health to Cynthia Owsley, Ph.D., MSPH. The award is given to individuals and organizations that make significant contributions to the advancement of public health related to vision and eye health.

SDCB can help you, or someone you love, lead a more independent life. Please contact us to learn more.

“Prevent Blindness to Hold 8th Annual Focus on Eye Health National Summit”

Posted in Eye Health | View Post
May is Healthy Vision Month
healthy visionHave you had your eyes checked lately? The National Eye Institute (NEI) would like to know: what’s your vision of the future? May is Healthy Vision Month! You can take steps today to ensure that you see clearly tomorrow. The NEI is encouraging young adults to prioritize healthy vision during the month of May and beyond.

“Celebrate Healthy Vision Month by encouraging young adults in your community to take steps to keep their eyes healthy today!”

San Diego Center for the Blind can guide you or a loved one toward living independently. Please contact us to learn more about our programs and services.

"Healthy Vision Month"

Posted in Advocacy and Events | View Post
Women Must Prioritize Eye Health
eye healthDid you know that women are at a higher risk of experiencing vision loss and blindness? If not, please know that you are not alone. Less than 10 percent of women realize that they are at a higher risk of suffering permanent vision loss than men, according to a survey conducted by Prevent Blindness.

You may find it startling to learn that one in four women surveyed has not had an eye exam in the last two years. The finding is concerning, especially when you consider that two-thirds of all blindness and visual impairment cases involve women.

“We need to engage women in caring for their eye health,” says Mary Elizabeth Hartnett, MD, of the John A. Moran Eye Center. “Women may be less likely to access health care for themselves, for example, if they forego regular exams to manage family concerns or take care of others instead of themselves. My focus is retinal disease.  It is important that everyone, including women, be aware of symptoms like floaters, light flashes, or distorted vision—all possible signs of more serious retinal conditions. That’s important because if we can intervene at an early stage, we can often prevent vision loss.”

The San Diego Center for the Blind offers many services that can significantly enhance the quality of life for individuals living with vision loss. Please contact us today to learn more.

“Women’s Eye Health: Why It’s Different”

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