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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 | 12 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
California State Considers New Eye Exams for Children
A young boy wearing glasses sits with his chin in his hand“The vision tests administered in school fail to detect one in three children with significant vision and eye health problem,” says a recent report. Because the exams aren’t comprehensive enough, some important problems are being missed during routine exams.

A measure, currently being considered by California state lawmakers, would make it possible for all children to have comprehensive eye exams and necessary treatment for any issues that were found during the exam.

Find out more about what is being proposed by reading this article.

 What do you think about the proposal? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

Need to keep a sharp eye on school vision tests


Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired | 9 Comment(s)
Youth with Diabetes are at Risk of Vision Loss Due to Low Numbers Receiving Regular Eye Exams
A sketch of the typical eye chart with letters in descending size.An American study recently showed that children with diabetes may not be getting the eye exams that are needed to avoid vision loss from complications of the disease. "Diabetic retinopathy is the number one cause of vision loss in ages 20-74, so screening is an important component of diabetes care," says one of the researchers involved in the study.

The study leads those in the field to believe that a lack of education surrounding the risks of vision loss for anyone with diabetes. Read more about the study and its conclusions in this article.

If you are experiencing vision loss, we have programs, counseling and assistive technology that may help you adjust to the change. Visit our First Steps After Vision Loss page for an idea of what we offer.

Youth with Diabetes are in Need of Vision Screening, According to Recent Study


Posted in Eye Health | View Post
Traveling the world as a solo visually impaired adventurer
the reflection of an airport is shown in glass windowsIn 2007, Susan Mellsopp experienced unusual retinal detachments that took most of her vision. She had always wanted to travel internationally, but hadn’t had the chance yet. She decided not to procrastinate any longer, and to go while she still had some limited vision remaining.

In this post, she writes about travelling with her guide dog or on her own and the assistance she receives as well as the questions she gets when they realize she is visually impaired and traveling solo.

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to try solo travel as a visually impaired person? Share your tips in the comment section below.

Meet the woman who won’t let being blind ruin her travel plans


Posted in Blind Living Skills, Living Independently, Personal Stories | View Post
Blind from birth versus vision loss later in life.
A pink swirl of color with no definition or obvious meaningChristine Ha, who won Masterchef 3 as the first blind contestant to be a part of the show, joins Tommy Edison to discuss the question that many fans are asking. What is the difference between being born blind and losing your sight later in life? Christine was in her 20s when her sight loss began and Tommy was born blind. The two discuss dreams, what their field of vision currently is like and some other fun topics.

Both are inspiring people and together this 10 minute video is full of laughs and honest answers to difficult questions.

What do you think of their answers? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

What are the differences between being born blind & becoming blind (featuring Christine Ha)


Posted in Emotional Adjustment to Vision Loss, Living Independently, Visually Impaired | 6 Comment(s)
Technology to help us navigate
An ornate street light is shown against autumn leavesHere’s a great article highlighting some of the assistive technology that is being used by cities around the world to help people who are visually impaired navigate more safely, easily and independently. From Bluetooth technology in the underground to mobile apps that give users directions and cautions when needed, there are new technologies available on a regular basis.

The article also looks at areas that still need attention for safety reasons and calls on cities to make a more concerted effort to create inclusive transportation and city streets.

If you are experiencing vision loss, visit our Programs Page to learn more about what we offer to help you adjust to the changes.

Using Technology to Help Visually Impaired People Navigate Cities

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Assistive Technology | 6 Comment(s)
3D printing during pregnancy helps visually impaired couple see their baby
A woman lies on a bed with a monitor showing her unborn childAssistive technology and devices such as 3D printers have made a big difference for many people living with a disability.

For one couple, both visually impaired, the use of a 3D printer has allowed them to experience what many people see in an ultrasound. The couple approached their obstetrician about what options might be available to help them experience their pregnancy more fully. The doctor used the first ultrasound machine with built in 3D printing capacity to create the model of their son.

About the experience of 3D printing, the expecting mother says, “Thanks to the exams and printing, we were able to not only know that our baby was growing healthy, but also to have a very real contact and establish a very strong involvement with our son.”

Read more in this article about the family and the doctor who made it happen.

If you are experiencing vision loss, we offer programs, counselling and classes that can help. Contact us at (619) 583-1542 or have a look through our website for more information.

3D Printing Helps Blind Brazilian Couple to Feel Their Unborn Child

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Assistive Technology | 10 Comment(s)
Project Torino teaches coding basics to kids who are visually impaired
3D blocks of various colours form a square patternMicrosoft has released a new program to explain coding to kids who are visually impaired. Named Project Torino, their creation uses tactile 3D pieces that fit together in a variety of ways to illustrate how coding works. Microsoft says the aim of the program is to, not only teach new skills, but also help kids find new career paths that may not have been open to them before.

Read more about Project Torino in this article.

Have you heard of other programs that teach career skills to kids? Share your information in the comment section.

Microsoft Teaches Visually Impaired Kids Coding Basics

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired | 7 Comment(s)
Two sets of pedals but only one bicycle
A man pilots a tandem bicycle along a busy path with a young boy in the second seat“Founded in 2007, Blind Stokers is the largest and most active tandem club for blind riders in the country, according to the U.S. Blind Tandem Cycling Connection.” Dorothy Deans was at our Center when she heard about the club and decided to get involved.

After a pair of strokes took most of her vision, Dorothy decided to adapt and thrive. She is now 83 and riding regularly with one of three pilots she was paired with.

Read more about Dorothy and her love of riding in this article.

If you are looking for ways to adapt to vision loss, please visit our Program Page to learn about what we offer.  

Blindness can’t slow 83 year old cyclist

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Blind Living Skills, Personal Stories | View Post
A new television show features a blind carpenter and a DIYer
Fresh wood shavings sit on a wooden benchA DIY renovations YouTube star and a blind carpenter get together to do some home renovations in a new TV series set to air this spring.

They hope to show people that anyone can do anything they put their mind to with a little ingenuity and creativity, the right tools and a great partner.

Read more about the upcoming show and the stars of the series in this article.

Will you be watching? Come back and share your thoughts on the show after it airs.

Home-grown DIY Show Hopes to Inspire

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Assistive Technology, Blind Living Skills | 9 Comment(s)
Just a man and his camera
A close up shot of a camera lens. The camera sits in the background.Vladir da Silva was injured in a work-place accident that took his sight. He was only 24 and thought that his life was over. But he was able to hook up with an organization that taught him Braille, helped him learn to navigate and be independent again. And then someone suggested he try his hand at photography. At first, he thought they were a bit crazy, but now he is an avid photographer, using his other senses to know where and when to shoot.

Read more from Vladir in his article here.

If you are experiencing vision loss, we have programs that can help you learn to adjust. Visit our First Steps After Vision Loss Page for more information.

Shooting Blind, How I Mastered Photography After Losing My Sight 

Posted in Blind Living Skills, Emotional Adjustment to Vision Loss, Living Independently, Personal Stories | View Post
Assistive Technology aids this musician in her craft
A dark colored guitar sits in green grass with sun shining through the trees overheadRachel was born prematurely and went blind due to Retinopathy of Prematurity. She has perfect pitch and has been a music lover since she was a toddler. She uses assistive technology to produce her own music and has released her first album.

In this article she discusses the assistive technology she uses and where it is still lacking in the industry. 

If you are adapting to vision loss, we have programs to help you adjust. Visit our Programs Page for more information. 

This blind musician uses assistive technology to help develop her own unique sound

Posted in Assistive Technology, Blind Living Skills, Living Independently, Personal Stories | 6 Comment(s)
Inspiration from a triathlete
A hand stretches through clear blue water as the person swims“To give the most I have to give, not in just in triathlon but in life. It’s about discipline and structure. That’s what triathlon gives me.”

Ashley Eisenmenger is a triathlete who is blind. She competes with her guides who lead her through the course giving details on where the other competitors are.

She started running in high school and soon found out how much it helped her.

Read more about Ashley’s competitive nature and how she got into triathalons in this article.

Have you found an activity to help you deal with vision loss? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Trailblazer: Blind triathlete wins national title, hopes for repeat

Posted in Blind Living Skills, Emotional Adjustment to Vision Loss, Living Independently | 7 Comment(s)
Aira connects users to sighted assistance via an app or glasses
A sketch of a young man wearing glassesConnected to a live agent, the app allows visually impaired users to get assistance with daily tasks that would have otherwise been difficult or required the help of a store clerk, friend or family member.

In this article, one user describes how she uses Aira to get through the mall and find the shops she wants without having to ask a security guard or clerk for assistance. 

We have a store with assistive technology. Visit our online page to learn more.

This technology helps guide the blind and visually impaired

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Assistive Technology, Visually Impaired | 6 Comment(s)
Accessibility Issues Brought to Broadway
A street sign shows the intersection of Broadway Street and West 34thA class action lawsuit filed recently against the producers of ‘Hamilton’ and the theatre in which it is showing has brought attention to the overlooked area of Broadway accessibility for people with disabilities.

Although there are some areas such as wheelchair accessibility that are acceptable for many performances, those that need sign language translation, audio headsets or performances that are appropriate for people with autism are held infrequently or not at all for many shows.

Learn more about the lawsuit in this article.

If you are experiencing vision loss, we have programs to help you adjust. Visit our Programs page for more information.

‘Hamilton’ Lawsuit Turns Spotlight on Broadway Accessibility

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired | 5 Comment(s)
Helpful ways to save money and reduce costs
A cartoon of a pink piggy bank and a stack of coins symbolizing saving moneyThere are many ways available to save money, you just need to know where and how to access these discounts and special prices. This website outlines many of the places that people with disabilities can access special prices and shows you how to find more information. The website also outlines ways to access assistive technology for free or deeply discounted prices.

We have a store that may be useful if you are visually impaired. Learn more by visiting out online store center.

Retail Savings Guide for People with Disabilities

Posted in Assistive Technology, Living Independently, Vision Loss Technology & Products | 6 Comment(s)
Research leads to a new process that halts keratoconus
A sketch of a human eyeResearch has led to recently FDA-approved surgery for a patient with keratoconus in Los Angeles. Although the process doesn’t cure the disease, it does normally halt the progress of the disease and sometimes partly reverses some of the effects that have already occurred.

Read more about the new process and the research that is being done in this article.

If you are experiencing vision loss, we have a program that will help you adjust. Visit our First Steps after Vision Loss page for more information.

First patient in Los Angeles to receive FDA-approved corneal cross-linking procedure treated at USC Roski Eye Institute

Posted in Research | 7 Comment(s)
How technology changes life for people who are visually impaired
A womans hand holds a smartphone taking a photographAssistive technology is changing from the bulky, oversized, expensive items from years ago to apps that may be free or low cost and can be added to a mobile phone. This article looks at how these mobile apps help people living with a disability and what is still left to be addressed. The author points out that some of the basic elements such as internet connectivity can still be improved even though there are some great apps already out for other areas of life.

What do you think of the author’s consensus on how helpful mobile apps are? Share your comments below.

Tech and disability: Can Mobile Apps Make a Difference?

Posted in Assistive Technology, Vision Loss Technology & Products | 3 Comment(s)
Video games and visual impairment
a young girl and boy cheer in front of a Mac as they play a video gameThis article, based on a study released last year, looks at the impact that some specialized video games had on children who had a visual impairment. Because kids who are visually impaired are focused so much on seeing straight ahead of them, they often neglect the use of their peripheral vision. Using video games to encourage children to use their entire field of vision aided in mobility and awareness.

If you are experiencing vision loss, we have programs that can help you adapt. Visit our Programs page for more information.

Playing video games helps the visually impaired

Posted in Blind Living Skills, Research | View Post
A simulator to show what life is like with a visual impairment
A street view shot of a busy shopping area in Rome with 4 story orange buildings on both sides of a narrow street.This new online simulator may help sighted people understand a little bit more what it’s like to be visually impaired. The simulator uses Google street view and puts a filter on the images to show what it would be like to see places that you already know through the eyes of a legally blind person. Though it doesn’t illustrate what it’s like to walk through life with vision loss, it may help some people understand a little bit more of what it’s like to look through eyes that have cataracts, glaucoma or retinopathy. (The three filters available to users of the simulator.)

Do you think that simulators like this are helpful in raising awareness and understanding of life with a visual impairment? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

This online simulator will show you what it’s like to be legally blind

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Assistive Technology | 12 Comment(s)
New study shows link between cataracts and depression
An older woman with mid length gray hair faces away from the cameraA study published by the American Academy of Optometry states that older adults with cataracts are more likely to experience depression.

"Our study sheds further light on the complex relationship between aging, vision loss, cataract, and depression, and suggests that there may be a role for cataract surgery in improving mental health in the elderly," the researchers write.

Read more about the study and the conclusions that those involved reached in this article.

If you are experiencing vision loss, we offer programs to help you learn skills and get the support you need. Visit our Program page for more information.

Cataracts Linked to Increased Odds of Depression in Older Adults

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Eye Health, Living Independently, Research | 6 Comment(s)
An app that connects people for a bit of help
A close up of woman showing only half her face which is in shadowsWatch this BBC piece on the app, Be My Eyes which connects visually impaired users who need help with a small problem with volunteers who are willing to help. The app has been around for a few years now but it’s still gaining in popularity. The video walks you through an actual call between a mother who needs to find the right color thread and the volunteer who has offered a few minutes to help. 

Have you used the app Be My Eyes as either a volunteer or someone requesting assistance? Share your experiences in the comment section below.

An app to help blind people ‘see’

Posted in Assistive Technology, Living Independently | 7 Comment(s)
SDCB in the news
The blue logo of the San Diego Center for the BlindOur work was recently highlighted on ABC 10 News! They spent time at SDCB with Chris Summer who lost his sight after an accident at work discussing the assistance he’s received and how it has helped his daily life. They also spoke to Kim Gibbens, CEO, about the needs of our organization and how we are meeting the needs of the community despite government funding cuts. Read the full article and watch the news clip. Thank you so much to ABC 10 News for coming to our center and helping us raise awareness. 

Living with slow or sudden vision loss? Please get in touch with us. We offer counselling, training and support groups. Email us at info@sdcb.org or call (619) 583-1542. 

Center for Blind helps give people their independence back

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Emotional Adjustment to Vision Loss, First Steps After Vision Loss, Living Independently, Personal Stories, Visually Impaired | 6 Comment(s)
Some thoughts on the documentary Notes on Blindness
The sun rises over a city seen through a thin curtain“To gain full humanity, blind people and sighted people need each other.” So closes the documentary Notes on Blindness from the BBC.

In this Huffington Post article, the author discusses her own life living with visual impairment, the reactions she has received to her disability and her thoughts on how Notes on Blindness opens the door to conversations and broader understanding.

If you are experiencing vision loss, we have programs that can help you adjust. Visit our First Steps After Vision Loss Page to learn more. 

My Notes on Notes on Blindness

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Living Blind, Personal Stories | 6 Comment(s)
Describing the sky at night without visual comparison
stars in the night skyWhen people describe items, scenes or experiences, they often use visual references. But for someone who is blind or visually impaired, these descriptions might not mean a lot.

In this article, the author, an astrophysicist describes the night sky without using visual cues instead attempting to use references that a visually impaired person would be able to relate to. It’s an interesting read for the sighted and visually impaired alike.

Share links to other articles featuring non visual descriptions in the comment section below.

Pinpricks and spilled milk: describing the textures of the night sky

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired | 7 Comment(s)
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