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Cooking Podcast for the Visually Impaired
visually impairedPerhaps you have heard of a PBS television program called “Cooking Without Looking.” The show features people who are visually impaired cooking their favorite recipes. Now the program is available via podcast. The “Cooking Without Looking TV Show Podcast” will allow more people to enjoy the series. The show’s creator, Renee Rentmeester, says:

“I wanted to create something that could help anyone no matter their race, gender, religion or economic status. I came up with blindness because it crosses all of those lines,’’ she said. “But, I didn’t know anyone who was blind. No one in my family is blind/visually impaired. That’s also part of the reason I started it. Most people don’t know people who are blind, and we could bring understanding to a whole group of people that many didn’t know, or understand.”

SDCB can help you or a loved one with vision loss; we offer several programs that help people regain their independence. Please contact us to learn more.

“Cooking show for visually impaired is now producing a podcast”

Posted in Visually Impaired | View Post
Preparing for Macular Degeneration
macular degenerationAge-related macular degeneration, or AMD, is a chronic disease that affects millions of people in the United States. In fact, AMD is the leading cause of vision loss among people age 50 or older. By 2020, an estimated 196 million people will be living with AMD, according to the BrightFocus Foundation. Cases vary in severity, and some men and women will require surgery.

Older adults must familiarize themselves with the symptoms, causes, and treatment options for age-related macular degeneration.

If you would like assistance with vision loss, then please contact SDCB. We offer many programs that can improve your life quality.

“A Patient's Guide to Macular Degeneration”

Posted in Eye Disease - Macular Degeneration | View Post
Braille UNO Cards
BrailleIn previous posts we wrote about Braille Bricks: Legos that have Braille on them. The company went a step further last month when it began offering building instructions for the visually impaired via Braille readers.

Now, the toy company Mattel is working on inclusivity. The company now offers a Braille deck of UNO cards. Developed in partnership with the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), UNO Braille makes the game accessible to blind and low-vision players.

"It's a sighted world, so it's important to have accessibility for the blind," said Raveena Alli. "But also to be able to pull out a deck of cards and say, 'Hey, there's Braille and print on this, do you wanna play?' And it will just be really fun."

At SDCB, we offer several vision rehabilitation programs that can improve quality of life for men and women living with vision loss. Please contact us to learn more.

“Mattel debuts first official Braille deck of UNO cards”

Posted in Braille | View Post
Spotting the Signs of Blindness
blindnessThe University of Wisconsin has a health program that aims to spot the signs of diabetes-related blindness early. The project, which involves the use of telemedicine, is headed by Dr. Yao Liu. Dr. Liu is a glaucoma specialist, eye surgeon and assistant professor at UW-Madison.

Early detection and treatment can decrease the risk of severe vision loss from diabetic eye disease by 90 percent, says Professor Liu. Diabetic eye disease is the leading cause of blindness among working age adults in America.

“I think there is so much new technology today. Telemedicine allows us to provide eye care using cameras, smart phones, all kinds of new technologies,” Liu said.

Please contact SDCB if you are experiencing vision loss. We offer many programs that can help improve life quality.

“Growing telehealth program is working to catch blindness early”

Posted in Blindness | View Post
This is Us Casts Blind Actor
blindThe hit NBC show “This Is Us” season 4 premiered on Tuesday, September 24. One of the new primary characters featured this season is a blind musician played by actor Blake Stadnik. Blind characters in television shows is not unheard of; however, it is rare that the actor cast to play this type of role is in fact blind in real life.

“It was an interesting casting process because we wanted to cast a blind actor," said showrunner Dan Fogelman. "We had started our casting process very early, even in our off-season. I was looking for a leading man who was without sight and who could be funny, charming, accessible, and sweet. One of the wonderful things about our casting department was it wasn't like they only found Blake. There were a bunch of really viable, wonderful casting choices that came through our casting department. Blake, when he came to us, was clearly the guy."

“This is Us” is not Stadnik’s first role as an actor on stage. He graduated from Penn State’s musical theater program. Since then, the young man has performed in several theater productions: Newsies, Sweeney Todd, 42nd Street and Guys and Dolls.

SDCB invites you to reach out if you would like assistance with vision loss or blindness. We offer several vision rehabilitation programs.

“Who Plays Jack Damon on This Is Us? All About Blake Stadnik, the Blind Actor in Season 4”

Posted in Blind | View Post
Lack of education around what impacts eye health
A recent poll in the UK found that nearly 50% of people had little to no understanding of what nutrients and vitamins can impact eye health. Only 45% of those polled knew that diet can impact your vision. They also found that although the eye is the fastest moving muscle in the body with two million moving parts, most people take no preventative measures to protect their eyes. 

SDCB vision rehabilitation programs can help improve your quality of life. Please contact us to learn more.

Half of UK Adults Have No Idea Diet Can Affect Eyesight
Posted in Eye Health | View Post
Glaucoma risks and symptoms
Your risk of developing Glaucoma increases after the age of 40. But do you know the early signs and symptoms of the disease? 

Including loss of vision in one or both eyes, cloudy vision, and pain or pressure, this list goes over six of the earliest signs of Glaucoma. It also talks about the types of Glaucoma and the risk factors associated with diabetes, being nearsighted, and having a family history of the disease. 

San Diego Center for the Blind can help you or a loved one with vision loss or blindness. Please reach out to us to learn more.

6 Early Signs of Glaucoma: What You Need to Know
Posted in Eye Health, Glaucoma, Vision Loss | View Post
Changes to make around the home for people with low vision
Anyone living with low vision knows that small changes around your home and living space can make bit improvements in your quality of life. Although, ideally, you will be able to work with an occupational therapist to help you figure out what changes to make, if you are trying to figure it out on your own for the time being, these 13 suggestions might help. 

Advice ranges from changing your light bulbs (the type and intensity may be different for different people with differing low vision), securing your throw rugs or getting rid of them completely, and organize your space by task to reduce complications. 

If your quality of life is affected by vision loss, then please reach out to SDCB. Our programs and services can help you in several ways.

13 Little Updates to Make Your Home Low-Vision Friendly
Posted in Accessibility, Living Independently, Low Vision | View Post
Home Eye Safety Month and Preventing Vision Loss
vision lossOctober is Eye Injury Prevention Month. Did you know that half of all eye injuries happen at home? Take precautions to prevent eye injuries, don't risk a lifetime of vision loss—protect your eyes. Wearing eye protection when working outside and inside can help prevent eye injuries. Read and follow the directions when working with chemicals like bleach. Adequately lighted stairways prevent falls. Safely store chemicals away from children.

Please reach out to SDCB if your quality of life is affected by vision loss. We offer several services that can help.


Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
Regular Eye Exams Help Prevent Vision Loss
vision lossSeptember is Healthy Aging Month! The American Academy of Ophthalmology emphasizes the importance of eye exams for maintaining healthy eyes and preventing vision loss. Regular eye exams result in early detection of common age-related eye diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration, cataract, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma. Early detection leads to treatment, and treatment can prevent vision loss.

If your quality of life is affected by vision loss, then please reach out to SDCB. Our programs and services can help you in several ways.

"Ophthalmologists encourage making eyes part of a healthy aging strategy"

Posted in Eye Health and Preventing Disease | View Post
Stem Cells for Treating Vision Loss
vision lossThe cornea is the transparent front section of the eye covering the iris and pupil. Scientists in Japan are treating damaged corneas using stem cells. The surgeon reports that the procedure has led to improved vision. Stem cells in the cornea may be the future with regard to refreshing and repairing corneas and vision loss.

There is only one cornea available for transplant per 70 needed. Stem cells may be the answer to closing the gap.

SDCB vision rehabilitation programs can help improve your quality of life. Please contact us to learn more.

"World first: Doctors use 'reprogrammed' stem cells to repair cornea"

Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
Hazard Maps for Color Blindness
blindnessJapan is a country located in the "ring of fire." Which means it is highly susceptible to tectonic activity like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. A government task force is planning to redesign its hazard maps to better assist people living with color blindness.

Current earthquake hazard maps utilize colors to indicate the extent to which areas across the nation are susceptible to earthquakes. The new maps would discontinue the use of green; people living with color blindness have difficulty distinguishing between red and green.

"The biggest purpose of using different colors to indicate disaster-related risks, I think, is to allow for the public's fastest, easiest grasp of danger on the way. But if shown in problematic colors, such a method of communication could backfire," said Masahiro Nakade of the Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion.

San Diego Center for the Blind can help you or a loved one with vision loss or blindness. Please reach out to us to learn more.

"Hazard maps to get redesign for color blind"

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Timing Matters for Treating Blindness
blindnessA gene therapy approved by the FDA for treating Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), a rare, inherited form of blindness, has given many people hope. However, new research from the University of Pennsylvania has found that it may only be effective when used at the proper time. The research team worked with canine models of advanced stage LCA; their findings appear in the journal Molecular Therapy.

"Earlier work by our group and others had suggested that if you treated the disease at a time when the retina was degenerating, that degeneration continued, in people and in dogs," explained Gustavo D. Aguirre of Penn's School of Veterinary Medicine. "This was in spite of short-term gains in vision. We wanted to follow up to get details about the extent of retinal degeneration that would still be compatible with a lasting effect."

SDCB offers several programs that can assist people living with vision loss or blindness. Please contact us today to learn more.

"Effectiveness of Gene Therapy for Blindness Depends On Timing"

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Measles Can Cause Blindness
blindnessVaccinating children is a topic of serious discussion of late. Many parents are choosing not to have their children vaccinated. Vaccine rates are plummeting! This trend is putting many children at risk of death and disability from measles. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that there were 110,000 measles deaths globally, mostly among children under age 5, in 2017. Measles can also cause blindness and encephalitis.

"It certainly is incredibly frustrating and upsetting to the public health community that we may lose measles elimination status, because we do have a safe and effective vaccine," said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

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

"The US eliminated measles in 2000. The current outbreak could change that"

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Wearing Sunglasses Can Help Prevent Blindness
blindnessThe sun emits powerful ultraviolet rays that can damage your skin; it's the cause of sunburns and skin cancer. However, the planet's source of light can also do irreparable harm to one's eyes. UV rays can damage eye proteins increasing the risk for cataracts, according to a 2014 study funded by the U.S. National Eye Institute.

Studies show that UV damage can enhance one's risk for macular degeneration— a leading cause of age-related blindness. UV exposure can also cause photokeratitis which may lead to temporary blindness. Wearing sunglasses can reduce your risk of experiencing eye disease.

We invite you to contact the San Diego Center for the Blind if you are struggling with vision loss. We offer many programs that can help.

"How Wearing Sunglasses Actually Impacts Your Eyes, According to Science"

Posted in Eye Health and Preventing Disease | View Post
Vision Loss Discussed in New Book for Children
vision lossSupreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has a new children's book that discusses diabetes and other conditions that kids face, such as blindness and Down syndrome. Justice Sotomayor was diagnosed with diabetes at age 7. She says the impetus for the book came when she was accused of being a drug addict after someone witnessed her take an insulin shot in a bathroom.

"Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You," is intended for kids age 4 to 8. The book encourages young people to ask questions, rather than judge.

"Differences provide not just beauty in life, but they're important to the quality of the world we live in. It's richer because of our differences. We're not lesser because of it. We're stronger because of it. My book celebrates the many ways in which kids and adults are different and do things differently," said Sotomayor. She adds, "I truly believe that if I can inspire the younger generation to see themselves as positive agents for change...that I will leave a more lasting legacy than what I can do as a judge."

If you require help for vision loss, then please contact SDCB to learn more about our programs and services.

"Justice Sotomayor encourages kids to 'Just Ask' in new book"

Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
The Gift of Glasses for Color Blindness
blindnessA student-produced video showing a young man receiving EnChroma Color Blind glasses, has been nominated for a national award. “Jake Loburak: The Colorblind Videographer," is produced by communications and digital media (CDM) majors Sean Spence and Jake Loburak. Jake has Strong Deutan Color Blindness, a type of color blindness which makes red, yellow, green and brown appear similar. The movie is one of four finalists for a College Broadcasters Best Feature News Reporting Award.

"I went up to the set and put them on. It was pretty cool," said Jake Loburak.

Please contact SDCB to learn more about our vision rehabilitation programs and services.

"Color Blind: Neumann student's video captures a life-changing moment for colorblind pal"
Posted in Blindness | View Post
Macular Degeneration and Smog
macular degenerationA new study out of Taiwan shows that smog from automobile tailpipes could be contributing to macular degeneration. The researchers found that people who are exposed to high levels of two car exhaust pollutants are at greater risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

"With the ever-increasing industrialization of cities around the world, and increasing levels of pollution, a close watch on the effects this will have on eye health will be critical in our aging population," said Dr. Mark Fromer, an ophthalmologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

If you or someone you love requires vision rehabilitation services, then please contact SDCB.

“Smoggy Air Might Contribute to Macular Degeneration”

Posted in Eye Health and Preventing Disease | View Post
Braille Instructions for Legos
BrailleWe recently wrote about Braille Bricks that help kids living with vision loss. Now, the company is taking its efforts one step further by offering building instructions in braille and audio for the visually impaired. Using AI, blind entrepreneur Matthew Shifrin is uploading building steps into a braille reader.

"For blind people Lego sets act as miniature 3D substitutes for real-life buildings in lieu of two-dimensional photographs," said Shifrin. "Lego bricks allow me to see things that are impossible to explore by touch."

SDCB offers programs that help people living with blindness to lead more independent lives. Please contact us to learn more.


Posted in Braille | View Post
Police Officer Living With Blindness
blindnessBeing born with blindness is sure to present several challenges. However, vision loss is merely an obstacle, not a dead end. Doug Perez was born premature and without vision. Still, he was able to become an honorary police officer despite blindness. Perez has always been interested in law enforcement, and now he has an opportunity to help.

"It's something that I've always wanted to do and I wouldn't imagine doing anything else," Perez said.

Please contact SDCB if you could use some assistance with vision loss or blindness. We offer several innovative programs.

“Local man defies odds, becomes honorary police officer despite blindness”

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Audio Comic Book On Blindness
blindnessChad Allen created an audio-comic titled “Unseen” featuring a blind protagonist. “Unseen” may be the first audio comic book written by a person living with blindness, that is intended for a blind audience. Even still, anyone can enjoy the story. “Unseen” was chosen for the "Self, Made" exhibition at the Exploratorium museum of science, art and human perception in San Francisco.

"Chad's character is written for a blind audience, but all of us can identify with her because we can identify with the experience of being underestimated," says Melissa Alexander, the director of public programs at the Exploratorium. "His specific experience becomes more broadly applicable."

San Diego Center for the Blind can assist you in leading a more independent life. Please reach out to us to learn more about our programs.

"A blind heroine rules this audio comic book written for a blind audience"

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Braille Messages On Scooters
BraillePeople living in major cities across the country are acutely familiar with e-scooters. They are an inexpensive means of transportation, allowing people to move quickly from point A to B. However, municipal infrastructure has proven ill-equipped to deal with the thousands of scooters littered around the city. When a person is done riding, they need only drop the transport on the sidewalk. As you can imagine, scooter jetsam is hazardous for people living with vision loss. Lyft scooters have Braille stickers with instructions on how to get them off the sidewalk.

"We may not ride it, but if we trip over it, we can read the Braille on it and find out who to report it to," said Shawn Callaway, president of the District of Columbia chapter of the National Federation of the Blind. "We want the Braille on them to identify the company and their contact information."

SDCB can assist you or a loved one with vision impairment. Please contact us to learn more about our programs.

"Why is there a Braille message on my e-scooter?"

Posted in Braille | View Post
Augmented Reality for Low Vision
low visionTechnology is quickly becoming the answer to vision loss. Smart glasses are giving the gift of sight to countless people around the globe, living with varying degrees of visual impairment. Augmented reality (AR) glasses could prove beneficial for those living with low vision – that is vision loss that cannot be corrected by medical or surgical treatments or conventional eyeglasses.

In the U.S., one in 30 adults over the age of 40 are living with low vision. A new study shows that augmented reality (AR) glasses can improve mobility by 50% and grasp performance by 70% in patients living with retinitis pigmentosa.

"Through the use of AR, we aim to improve the quality of life for low vision patients by increasing their confidence in performing basic tasks, ultimately allowing them to live more independent lives," says Anastasios N. Angelopoulos, study project lead.

If you would like to regain some of your independence, please contact SDCB. We offer several services for adult men and women living with vision loss.

"Augmented reality glasses may help people with low vision better navigate their environment"

Posted in Assistive Technology | View Post
Vision Loss and Deafness Would Not Stop Her
vision lossIn 2013, Haben Girma became the first deafblind woman to graduate from Harvard Law School. She has made it her mission to fight for the rights of people living with disabilities, including vision loss and hearing loss. The White House Champion of Change honoree has a new book, “Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law.” She recounts what life is like growing up with a disability, and the obstacles that people with vision and hearing loss face.

"Stop assuming we're incompetent," said Helen Keller achievement award-winner, Haben Girma. "We are talented; we work hard. It's just ableism, the assumption that people with disabilities are inferior, that gets in our way."

SDCB specializes in helping adults who are living with vision loss. Please contact us for more information about our programs.

“Meet Haben Girma, the deafblind woman who conquered Harvard”

Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
Learning Braille in the Wake of Tragedy
BrailleMarissa Gold lost her vision six years ago because of Type 1 diabetes and a virus she contracted. Living without vision meant that Marissa would have to learn new skills to function in the world, such as learning Braille. To support his adult daughter, Gold's father Michael decided that he would learn how to read Braille too.

"My admiration goes out to people who have visual disabilities and who are blind because what they've had to learn in terms of technology is absolutely amazing," said Michael Gold. "They have to memorize so much."

San Diego Center for the Blind is committed to helping adults who are living with varying degrees of vision loss. Please contact us to learn more.

"Father learns braille with daughter after tragedy strikes"

Posted in Braille | View Post
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
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