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A Device That Makes Washers and Dryers Audible
Jack DuPlessi gives voice to GE washers and dryers Those who live with vision loss, are often excluded from using everyday appliances. The Talking Laundry module was developed as a result of one person’s desire to have appliances speak their settings. The device, developed by 14 year old, Jack DuPlessis, gives voice to GE washers and dryers making them accessible to the blind and visually impaired.

Learn more about the Talking Laundry module.  

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

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

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

Read more about the new research from Anglia Ruskin University   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Learn more about this trend.  

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

Website Accessibility Lawsuits under ADA are on the Rise

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

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

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

Avocado: Are you missing out on this amazing fruit?

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

Read more about Mr. Abell's mission focused life

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

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

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

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

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

23 Truths Visually Impaired People Want You To Know

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

Learn more about the science behind these implants  

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

Simulations say bio-inspired retinal implants should work

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dolphin Computer Access Introduces GuideReader Accessible Book Reader
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Croatian startup developing educational aids for visually impaired children

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

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

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

Share our comments on the show below.

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

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

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

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

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

Mark Mothersbaugh: The Artist Within
 

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

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

Share your travel experiences in the comment section below. 

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

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

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

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

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

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

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

But that’s old news now.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

These Gorgeous Designer Gowns are Made By Blind Dressmakers

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

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

Read more about the issue in this article

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

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

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

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

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

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

Strings Chair Finds Success With Cello Despite Visual Impairment

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

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

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

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

Blind baseball announcer aspires to bring sports to fans with disabilities

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

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

Learn more about the study in this article

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

Retina may be sensitive gauge of blast-wave pressure injury
 

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

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


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

Photography you can feel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cello professor Lastrapes overcomes visual impairment

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

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

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

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

Seeing With Your Tongue

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

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

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

Read more about the lawsuit in this news release

Share your thoughts on this lawsuit in the comment section.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Inside the Space Camp Designed for Blind and Visually Impaired Kids

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

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

Read more about the study in this Press Release

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

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

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

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

Read more about Wanda in this article.

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

Scientist studies without sight

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

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

Read more about Neil in this article

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

Manadnock Profile: Taylor lives his life with his hands

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Blind Living Skills | 8 Comment(s)
Hackathon produces prototype of technology to help the visually impaired
a tangle of colored wires sits on a white canvasA new device, still in prototype, uses a small camera to translate written text to Braille in real time.

The first stage of the device was designed during a Hackathon for MIT students. The group wanted to improve accessibility options for the visually impaired and were able to complete the first prototype within the 15 hour window.

Since that event, they have continued to work on the portable device to ensure it is affordable and accurate. Learn more in this Smithsonian article.

To learn more about the assistive technology we have available, visit our Online Store

This device translates text to Braille in real time

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Assistive Technology | 29 Comment(s)
Student develops synthetic retina
Petri dishes and test tubes sit on a laboratory desk. An Oxford University student has developed a synthetic, soft tissue retina that may be able to treat some degenerative conditions such as retinitis pigmentosa.

Up until this breakthrough, all possible replacements were created from rigid materials that did not closely compare to human tissue. Researchers believe this breakthrough may assist not only vision loss,, but that the same material may possibly be used for other areas of the human body.

Read more about this new research in this article

If you are experiencing vision loss, we have a program that may help you adapt. Visit the First Steps After Vision Loss page to learn more. 

New Synthetic retina could offer new hope to visually impaired people

Posted in Research, Vision Loss | 11 Comment(s)
A mother tells her story of acceptance and growth
A woman and a young boy crouch on the beach as a wave rolls towards them.Kristin Smedley was living a charmed life when her first child was born with CRB1-LCA, a genetic mutation which causes visual impairment and blindness. In this TEDx talk, Kristin shares her journey of learning to accept the disability that her son has but also learning to help him experience life in the best way possible. For this open and honest story from a mother who struggled with the concept of blindness, visit this link.

Share your story in the comment section.

How I learned to see through the eyes of my sons - TEDx 

Posted in Emotional Adjustment to Vision Loss, Personal Stories | 14 Comment(s)
A tablet that allows 3D access
Green art that could be the inner workings of technology twisted in spiralsA lightweight and configurable tablet has been created that generates shapes, graphs and maps in 3D to allow people who are visually impaired to access previously difficult to understand images. The idea is that the tablet may help people find their way around new areas or learn difficult subjects such as geometry. For more information on the new assistive technology, visit this link.

Visit our store to learn more about the assistive technology available. 

Here comes a touchscreen tablet to help visually impaired people


Posted in Assistive Technology | 14 Comment(s)
A second wedding so the groom can see the bride
a brides bouquet of yellow, pink and purple flowers sits on a set of concrete stepsAndrew Airey had significant vision loss on his wedding day 15 years ago. He wasn’t able to see his wife walking down the aisle or view the guests who had come to share their special day.

eSight was looking for a good news story to promote their technology and they stumbled upon Andrew’s story.

The company worked together with Andrew and his wife of 15 years to recreate their special day in the same location, with the same guests. Andrew was given a pair of eSight glasses which allowed him to see much of what he had missed in the first version of his wedding day.

The event was streamed on Facebook live to share the power of eSight’s product and the emotions behind the day for Andrew and his wife.
To read more of the touching story, visit this article

If you are experiencing vision loss, visit our First Steps page to learn about one of the programs we offer. 

15 years later, a blind man sees his wedding, thanks to VR  

Posted in Assistive Technology, Personal Stories, Vision Loss | 10 Comment(s)
A sudden loss of sight brought out her artistic side
On a wooden table sits paint bottles, a paint palette and an assortment of brushes and pencil crayonsArtist Sharnita “Shugg” Smoot experienced drastic changes in her vision in her 20s when she was at university involved in extracurricular activities. The loss of vision was dramatic and sudden. She was forced to re-evaluate where she was headed, leaving school and many of her hobbies. During the changes, she started sketching which led to her now successful career as an artist. In this article, Sharnita talks about her success and what led her to this point in life. 

If you are experiencing changes in your vision, visit our First Steps After Vision Loss page to learn more about the programs we offer to help you adjust. 

For these artists, limited vision expanded their horizons

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Blind Living Skills, Emotional Adjustment to Vision Loss, First Steps After Vision Loss, Living Independently, Low Vision Technology, Vision Loss | 10 Comment(s)
Free or reasonably priced apps for the visually impaired
A kaleidoscope of pink, blue and green shapesSometimes we get so wrapped up in the way we are currently doing things that we don’t go looking for new and potentially better ways. This article highlights a list of apps that are helpful for the blind and visually impaired. Some of them you may not have heard of before, some you may be using now. Although there are more assistive apps than could be listed in one short article, you may find a new app in this list that could be helpful. 

Visit our Assistive Technology Store to learn more about the products and services we have available.

Helpful Apps for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Posted in Assistive Technology, Vision Loss Technology & Products | 9 Comment(s)
A marathon runner with a guide accessible only through technology
A black and white photo showing only the silhouettes and shadows of runners on a dark streetFor many of us, running the Boston Marathon would be challenge enough, but for Erich Manser, he is adding to the challenge. He is visually impaired and running with the aid of a remote assistant who will be based 3,000 miles away. He will be wearing the AIra glasses and testing the ability of the technology, and the human who will be guiding him with the technology.

Erich has run 16 marathons in the past, but this will be his first attempt with his current level of low vision without anyone right beside him to guide him during the race.

Read more about Erich’s technology trial and the way he approaches it in this article

If you are experiencing changes in your vision, find out more about the programs we offer on our Programs Page

Visually impaired Littleton man to run Boston Marathon with a remote assistant 3,000 miles away

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Assistive Technology, Blind Living Skills, Emotional Adjustment to Vision Loss | 12 Comment(s)
An interview on the differences between losing sight and being born without sight
The moon is hiding behind a thin layer of cloudsTwo well known visually impaired personalities get together in this short video to discuss the difference between being born blind and losing vision later on in life.

Tommy Edison, from The Blind Film Critic, sits down with Christine Ha, winner of MasterChef 3, to discuss the differences between never having experienced sight (Tommy) and losing it as an adult (Christine). Tommy was born blind and Christine experienced vision loss as an adult. They delve into some preferences and thoughts on various topics within this subject area.

To find out what they have to say on the differences, watch the video. 

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

What are the differences between being born blind and becoming blind?

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Emotional Adjustment to Vision Loss, Living Independently, Visually Impaired | 17 Comment(s)
Advice on Moving Forward After Vision Loss
A long, paved road stretches through dry scrub landChristie has been dealing with Retinitis Pigmentosa for twenty years, but only recently had to deal with becoming legally blind. In this blog post, she talks about the deterioration of her sight and her emotions surrounding the changes that had to be made in her life. She is encouraging and forward thinking and gives advice on how to move forward.

If you are experiencing vision loss, visit our First Steps After Vision Loss page to learn how we can help.

Women on the Move: Christie Smith

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Blindness, First Steps After Vision Loss, Vision Loss | 14 Comment(s)
Self Driving Buses with AI and Augmented Reality
Blue fabric covered seats on the interior of what could be a public bus.“Local Motors and IBM are equipping an autonomous electric shuttle bus with technology that assists people with a range of disabilities.” Using smartphone apps, artificial intelligence and augmented reality, the buses may be available as early as next year. Though the earliest models are still in design, they have plans for later models to incorporate the ability to direct a visually impaired passenger to an empty seat. For deaf people, a screen could be deployed to allow for text or signing. If all goes as planned, these buses could be among the earliest self-driving vehicles on the road. Read more here.

Would you try these buses for a commute? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

A Self Driving Bus that can Speak Sign Language

Posted in Assistive Technology | View Post
The true story of Louis Braille
A sketch of a young child reading a bookSix dots is a tribute to the life and work of Louis Braille, creator of the Braille system that so many now use to read. The illustrated book is now available.

Louis was only three when an accident in his father’s workshop caused an infection that would take all of his sight. As a young child, he was sent to a school for the blind where he realized that it wasn’t possible for blind people to read with the current systems. After hearing about the invention of Morse Code, Louis decided there must be a way to communicate in a similar fashion for the blind. He set his heart of figuring it out. It took many years and many sleepless nights, but what he finally created is Braille, the raised bumps that form letters making it possible for the blind to read long before technology came about.

Learn more about the inventor and his accomplishments in this article on Louis Braille.

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

Six dots: the Remarkable Life and Legacy of Child Inventor Louis Braille, Illustrated


Posted in Emotional Adjustment to Vision Loss, Real Life Stories | 10 Comment(s)
Respect in the workplace will get us far
A graphic of a man sitting at a computer against a bright yellow backgroundChris Nagle is a software engineer who has earned respect in his workplace by getting the job done well regardless of his visual impairment. Chris was entering college when his eye sight started deteriorating. He entered the computer programming field because he thought it would require less reading which was a strain on him at the time. He was naturally good at many of the skills needed in his course and he now excels at his job.

Read more about Chris and his take on “respect” being the most important part of any workplace in this article.

What do you think of Chris’ ideas on respect in the workplace? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

A visually impaired programmer explains how he does it – and what he wishes more tech companies knew

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Living Independently | View Post
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