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Students Living With Blindness Sing Their Story
blindnessIn Baltimore, Maryland, high school students living with blindness are participating in a songwriting project called "Seeing Through Music." The program was created to assist young people living with vision loss share their story through songs and poetry.

“I think he appreciates being part of the majority. In that group, everybody has some disability of blindness or visual impairment, but it’s something that he can share with all the students,” says Jessica Kern, whose son Alex participates in the project.

At SDCB, we have several programs that can assist people living with blindness.

Blind Baltimore students tell their stories through song

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Blind Actress Plays Blind Witness On NCIS
blindMovies and TV shows that touch upon disability rarely employ actors who have the condition they are portraying. With that in mind, it is also lovely when directors and producers flip the script, hiring actors living with an impairment. Last week, the 350th episode of NCIS included a blind witness played by Woodland, California, native Marilee Talkington. Aside from being an exceptional actress, Talkington was perfect for the role because she is legally blind.

If you are struggling with visual impairment or blindness, please contact SDCB. We have several programs that can help.

Woodland-native actress may make history with Tuesday's NCIS guest appearance

Posted in Blind | View Post
Visually Impaired Children Become Artists
visually impairedIn New Caney, Texas, on the first Saturday of each month, blind and visually impaired children become budding artists as part of the "Creating with Blind Abandon" Art Club. Visual impairment teacher Kathy Trimm made a discovery; traditional art was not accessible to children living with vision loss. If you have a moment, the video is worth your time.

If you are visually impaired and are in need of assistance, please contact SDCB.

Blind and visually impaired students create "seeing eye dog" art car

Posted in Visually Impaired | View Post
AI Device Screens for Diabetic Retinopathy
diabetic retinopathyPeople who are living with diabetes often experience damage to their retinas, an eye disease known as diabetic retinopathy. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetes and is the number one cause of vision problems among working-age adults. The FDA recently approved the IDx-DR program, which utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) to detect diabetic retinopathy.

"Early detection of retinopathy is an important part of managing care for the millions of people with diabetes, yet many patients with diabetes are not adequately screened for diabetic retinopathy since about 50 percent of them do not see their eye doctor on a yearly basis," said Dr. Malvina Eydelman, director of the FDA's Division of Ophthalmic, and Ear, Nose and Throat Devices.

If you are living with diabetic eye disease, we invite you to learn more about our programs.

FDA Approves AI Device to Spot Diabetic Eye Disease

Posted in diabetic retinopathy | View Post
Novel Method for Diagnosing Blindness in Premature Babies
blindnessRetinopathy of prematurity, or ROP, is a rare form of blindness that strikes people born prematurely. The findings of a new study showing the value of telemedicine eye screenings could lead to more blindness-preventing treatments for infants, especially babies born in areas lacking ophthalmologists. The study, published in JAMA Ophthalmology, shows that telemedicine screens can be as useful as in-person eye exams.

"A lack of access to trained ophthalmologists with experience diagnosing ROP sadly prevents many premature infants from receiving much-needed screening, both in developed and developing countries," said the study's lead researcher, Michael F. Chiang, M.D., a professor of ophthalmology and medical informatics & clinical epidemiology in the OHSU School of Medicine and a pediatric ophthalmologist at OHSU's Elks Children's Eye Clinic.

SDCB can assist anyone living with blindness. Please contact us to learn more about how we can help improve your life quality.

Telemedicine provides accurate diagnosis of rare cause of blindness in preemies

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Going On Blindness Dates
blindnessA 24-year-old YouTuber and motivational speaker shares her thoughts about dating when living in blindness. Molly Burke lives in Los Angeles, CA. She says she isn’t able to experience physical attraction in the same way as most people because she suffered vision loss at the age of 14.

“I’ve learned to accept the fact that it won’t be easy. There are the right people for right times, and the right people for the wrong ones. We all have strengths and weaknesses. We all give and take. That’s why the best relationships are partnerships.”

If you are living with blindness, SDCB can assist you in many ways. We invite you to look at our program overview.

How Dating Works When You're Living with Blindness

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Vision Loss and Charles Bonnet Syndrome
Charles Bonnet SyndromeWhen Kirsty James was just thirteen years old she was informed that she would one day go blind. Before being diagnosed with a degenerative eye condition called Stargardt disease, she hid the fact that her vision was deteriorating; Kristy also came to believe that she might even be losing her mind because of the visions she was experiencing. Her hallucinations persisted without any explanation as to the cause, then she learned about Charles Bonnet Syndrome. It’s a condition that affects some people losing their vision; the brain replaces images with hallucinations because it's trying to make sense of what it is seeing.

“When a person starts to lose their sight, their brain doesn't receive as much information as it used to and it is thought that the brain sometimes responds by filling in the gaps with fantasy patterns or images that it's stored - these stored images are experienced as hallucinations.”

Assistive technology can help people with vision loss regain their independence, please contact us for more information.
“'I thought I was losing my mind, but I was actually losing my sight'”

Posted in Charles Bonnet Syndrome | View Post
Bringing Braille to The Navajo Nation
brailleCarol Green, a blind teacher of the visually impaired, has developed a braille code for people who know the Navajo language. She is on a mission to raise money for her cause, becoming a semifinalist considered for the Holman prize, which awards up to $25,000 for innovative projects by the blind.

SDCB can help anyone living with visual impairment, please contact us to learn how we can help you or a loved one.

Woman hopes to bring braille code to Navajo Nation

Posted in Braille | View Post
Being Blind Does Not Rule Out Swimming
blindJeri Weatherholt has a college degree from Indiana State University. She works as a medical transcriptionist and lives independently, despite the fact that she has been blind since the age of 10. At first glance, it may seem like there isn’t anything Weatherholt can’t accomplish; and that might actually be the case. The Indiana U grad has had a lifelong fear of water, but the 61-year-old didn’t let that stand in her way when she decided to learn to swim a year ago.

“I want to stress to everybody that no matter what age you are, if you have a disability, get out and try new things and try to overcome whatever fear you might have,” Weatherholt said.

If you are living with vision loss, please contact SDCB; we have several programs that can assist you in improving your quality of life and increase your sense of independence.

Blindness, fear of water can’t stop Massillon woman’s dream to swim

Posted in Blind | View Post
Napa Artist Living WIth Vision Loss Gives Directions
vision lossLast week, we shared a story with you about a woodworker living with vision loss that teaches his craft to others with eye diseases residing in Northern California. Napa artist, George Wurtzel, sees life in ways that sighted people can’t begin to understand, a fact not lost on Subaru of America; the favorite car company of outdoor enthusiasts featured Wurtzel in Subaru of America’s television spot called “See the World.”

The advertisement is worth taking the time to watch.

SDCB has many programs that can improve your quality of life, please contact us for more information.

The Unlikely Star of Subaru’s New Ad Has a Magical Way of Seeing the World

Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
Eye Health and Safety Awareness Month for Women at Prevent Blindness
blindnessDid you know that April is Women’s Eye Health and Safety Awareness Month. Prevent Blindness is an organization on a mission to educate, prevent vision loss, and preserve people’s eyesight. A study, The Future of Vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems, shows that 63 percent of those that are blind and 62 percent of those that are visually impaired are women. More women than men struggle with blindness, including age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, and dry eye.

If you are living with blindness, SDCB has many programs that can assist you in day-to-day life.

Putting Focus on Special Visual Needs of Women

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Eye Tattoos Can Cause Blindness
blindnessBody modifications like piercings and tattoos are not a new trend, millions of people around the world display some form of body art. However, there are times when body mods come at a significant, life-changing cost. More and more people are open to cosmetic procedures that can change the whites of the eye to another color. If you are thinking, ‘What could go wrong?’ Then you are not alone, in fact, such eye procedures can cause permanent damage to the eye and blindness.

If you are experiencing vision loss, please contact SDCB. We have a number of programs that can help.

Dangerous eye fads causing damage, blindness

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Braille Watch Provides Users Freedom and Privacy
brailleSmartphones allow the visually impaired a new sense of freedom and independence, thanks to several innovative applications. Now, blind people can utilize smartwatches to improve life quality. The Dot Watch has a touch display in which 24 dots rise and fall, spelling out words in braille; users can also link the watch to a smartphone via Bluetooth. The stylish watch can relay information from social media, texting and GPS apps. The Dot Watch is available to purchase for $359.

“Our mission won’t stop with the Dot Watch, in fact, it would only pave the road to a bigger and better future,” Dot Inc. website reads. “With the technology in our Dot Ecosystem, it will be possible to pursue an entire spectrum of education: from simple braille acquisition to advanced tactile-graphic representations.”

At SDCB, we specialize in assistive technology. Please contact us for more information.

This Smartwatch For Visually Impaired People Has A Braille Display

Posted in Braille | View Post
Blind Woodworker Teaches the Visually Impaired
visually impairedMaster woodworker, George Wurtzel, doesn’t let vision loss stand in between him and his passion. Wurtzel teaches woodworking classes to the visually impaired at the Enchanted Hills Camp, which is now owned by the Lighthouse Center for the Blind. At the Napa workshop, you will find both sighted and blind instructors.

“The only thing I always tell people that I teach is just how to feel confident with yourself,” he says. “Your eyeballs don’t run a saw...Your brain does all those things.”

Are you struggling with vision loss? SDCB can help you improve your quality of life.

In Napa, a blind woodworker makes art accessible for everybody

Posted in Visually Impaired | View Post
Stem Cell Treatment for Macular Degeneration
macular degenerationDouglas Waters developed vision problems almost three years ago. It turns out he was suffering from with severe wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The eye condition causes blurred vision or a blind spot. A few months after receiving his diagnosis he was selected to take part in a clinical trial at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London. A stem cell-based treatment gave Waters his sight back; now he can read the newspaper.

"We've restored vision where there was none," said Professor Lyndon da Cruz, a retinal surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. "It's incredibly exciting. As you get older, parts of you stop working and for the first time we've been able to take a cell and make it into a specific part of the eye that's failing and put it back in the eye and get vision back."

If you are experiencing vision loss, please contact SDCB.

Patients regain sight with stem cell treatment in U.K. clinical trial”

Posted in Macular Degeneration | View Post
Diabetic Retinopathy Linked to Certain Proteins
New research identifies proteins that are linked to diabetic retinopathy, a common form of blindness that can result from diabetes. Two studies published recently could help healthcare providers grasp the connection and develop new intervention methods, potentially sparing patients from both vision loss and heart disease. More research is needed for better understanding the relationship triglyceride levels and the three identified protein pathways.

“These initial findings made us pause for a moment and start asking additional questions about these relationships,” said Stacey Knight, PhD, a researcher with the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute and lead author of the study. “We hope to further explore these pathways to better identify where interventions may occur to help reduce risk for cardiovascular events in diabetic patients.”

SDCB can help anyone experiencing vision loss, we have a number of programs that can improve your quality of life.

These Proteins are Linked to Diabetic Blindness

Posted in diabetic retinopathy | View Post
The Link Between Diabetes and Blindness
If eye problems are identified early enough, blindness can be prevented in many cases. The Lion’s Club has a long history of helping people living in darkness and advocating for vision loss prevention, thanks to a speech that Helen Keller gave to the organization in 1925. At the time, she was encouraging the Lions to partner with the newly formed American Foundation for the Blind. At the end of her talk she said:

“Will you not help me hasten the day when there shall be no preventable blindness; no little deaf, blind child untaught; no blind man or woman unaided? I appeal to you Lion, you who have your sight, your hearing, you who are strong and brave and kind. Will you not constitute yourselves knights of the blind in this crusade against darkness?”

If you are visually impaired, please contact SDCB to see how we can help you regain independence.

Lions Club members discuss link between diabetes and blindness

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Canadian National Institute for the Blind Turns 100
vision lossWorld War I veterans who returned from overseas with eye injuries established the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) a century ago. Last week, the organization celebrated its 100th anniversary of "seeing beyond vision." As you can probably imagine, there were not many resources for people living with vision loss in the early 20th Century; thanks to advocacy groups like CNIB, countless visually impaired people can lead fulfilling lives.

"It marks 100 years that our tremendous staff and volunteers have been helping the blind and partially sighted Canadians lead full and independent lives," CNIB Winnipeg board chair Ken Curtis said. 

If you are living with vision loss, SDCB has several programs designed to help improve your life quality.

Institute for blind Canadians celebrates 100 years of 'seeing beyond vision loss'

Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
First Braille eReader Demonstrated
brailleOn March 16, 2018, professional musicians living with vision loss will demonstrate the world’s first braille eReader at London’s Royal National Institute Of Blind People (RNIB). A “Kindle for blind people,” says Bristol Braille Technology in describing their multi-line refreshable Braille eReader. Are you are wondering why blind musicians will demonstrate using the device? It is because the Canute 360 gives musicians the ability to read multiple lines of music at once, a feature that traditional machines lack.

Assistive Technology can improve life quality for individuals living with vision loss; SDCB can help.


Posted in Braille | View Post
Early Detection of Diabetic Retinopathy
diabetic retinopathyIDX, a company in Iowa City, created an instrument that the Food and Drug Administration calls a breakthrough device. The machine can autonomously detect diabetic retinopathy by taking photos of the eye. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness, causing vision loss in roughly 24,000 Americans each year. Given that more than 30 million Americans have diabetes, preventing vision loss is critical. Early detection can prevent vision loss, and the IDX device can help.

“I see patients who have this disease and many times it’s late, or very late, or too late, and if caught early we could do so much to prevent this,” said Dr. Abramoff, IDX President, and Founder.

If you are losing your vision, SDCB can help you incorporate assistive technology into your life.

Iowa City company creates “breakthrough device” to fight blindness

Posted in diabetic retinopathy | View Post
Artist Living With Blindness Donates Profits
blindnessDiane Krek is a graphic designer who began losing her vision 25 years ago. Like many people living with blindness, Krek refuses to let her condition stand in the way of making art and helping others. In 2016, she launched BLT Art for a Cause; it serves as a platform to sell her artwork. Krek donates a portion of the profits she makes selling prints to vision loss organizations, such as Foundation Fighting Blindness, Pennsylvania Council for the Blind and Lions Club’s Leader Dogs for the Blind program. 

“Where there is a will, there is a way,” said Krek. “Some people feel they don’t have a motivation in their lives. But because you have a limitation doesn’t mean you can stop going.”

We would love for you to share with us inspirational stories about individuals living with vision loss.

Blind Canonsburg artist's vision is to give back

Posted in Blindness | 1 Comment(s)
Food and Beverage Sensory Expert Living With Blindness
blindnessBlindness was a part of Hoby Wedler’s life from day one, and yet he still manages to accomplish remarkable feats. In high school, Wedler he enrolled in honors chemistry and chose to pursue a career in the field as a food and beverage sensory expert. He studied at the University of California, Davis, earning a doctorate in organic chemistry. In 2011, with the help of Francis Ford Coppola, he created 'Tasting in the Dark;' the program takes sighted people through a wine tasting experience in total darkness. A truly blind event!

"I was born completely blind.  As a blind person living in a sighted-world you can pick one of two attitudes and my parents helped me pick the right attitude.”

The San Diego Center for the Blind can assist you in many ways, including Assistive Technology for the Visually Impaired.

Blindness Didn't Stop Hoby Wedler From Being Successful

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Workplace Eye Wellness Month 2018
Workplace Eye Wellness MonthEach day in the United States, about 2,000 workers sustain a job-related eye injury that requires medical treatment, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Did you know that March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month? Sponsored by Prevent Blindness, the nation’s oldest volunteer eye health and safety group, the goal of Workplace Eye Wellness Month is to educate employers on how to keep vision healthy in the workplace.

If you lost your vision from a job-related injury, SDCB has several programs that can improve your quality of life.

March Is Workplace Eye Wellness Month from Prevent Blindness, Group Offers Information on Keeping Eyes Healthy at Work

Posted in Workplace Eye Wellness Month | View Post
Telling Your Story of Vision Loss
vision lossBrad Snyder lost his vision when he came in contact with an improvised explosive device (IED) while serving in Afghanistan. His story is one of inspiration, to be sure, a year after going blind he won the gold in swimming at the Paralympics; he has a loving family, great friends, and an excellent job. While, on the surface, he maintains a healthy perspective on life and it may seem like he’s got it pretty good (all things considered), he says that there is more to his story:

“What I haven’t been able to overcome is how others perceive me and treat me differently now because of my blindness, or how I so often feel as if I’m on the outside listening in on the lives of others.”

Please share with us how you maintain perspective in life despite vision loss?

How to Really See a Blind Person

Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
Be My Eyes App Helps With Blindness and Low Vision
low visionHave you heard of Be My Eyes? It’s a smartphone application that pairs blind people and those who have low vision with a sighted volunteer. Using a phone’s rear-facing camera, volunteers guide the visually impaired; more than 900,000 people are using the app regularly, in 150 countries. Microsoft’s Disability Answer Desk, a free consumer service for customers with disabilities, now offers technical support for Be My Eyes users.

“Every day, volunteers around the world are helping people that are blind or have low vision solve challenges both big and small,” said Hans Jørgen Wiberg, creator of Be My Eyes. “We are honored to have Microsoft’s support to help individuals lead more independent lives.”

Assistive Technology can vastly improve the quality of your life, SDCB can help.

"Microsoft to offer technical support to Blind and Low Vision customers through Disability Answer Desk"

Posted in Low Vision | View Post
Fear of Dogs Leads to Seeing Eye Horses for Blindness
blindnessSeeing-eye dogs significantly improve the quality of life for people living with blindness. Unfortunately, BBC journalist, Mohammed Salim Patel, has a phobia of dogs which led him to give up on the assistance of a service animal, until he met Digby. It turns out that dogs are not the only animals that can serve as guides for the visually impaired, Digby is an eight-month-old, two feet tall American miniature horse.

“Having an assistance animal is something I gave up on,” Patel told the BBC. Digby gave Patel a lot more options, “I can go where I want, when I want.”

If anybody has experience with a seeing-eye horse, we are interested to hear your thoughts.

"Blind Man With a Fear of Dogs Gets a Guide Horse Instead"

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Famed Italian Tenor Born With Glaucoma
glaucomaIf you’ve ever listened to the voice of the Tuscan tenor, Andrea Bocelli, you might think you were hearing the voice of an angel. Bocelli’s story is one of inspiration; he was born with glaucoma, lost his eyesight at the age of 12, and went on to sell more than 80 million albums worldwide. His memoir was adapted into a biopic, The Music of Silence; the film was directed by Michael Radford (Il Postino) and stars Game of Thrones’ Toby Sebastian.

If you are living with glaucoma, SDCB can assist you in a number of ways.

Andrea Bocelli on His Improbable Journey, the Trump Inauguration, and That Ed Sheeran Duet

Posted in Glaucoma | View Post
Considering the Visually Impaired
visually impairedBlindness, or being visually impaired in any way, makes it extremely difficult to navigate through life, especially without help and compassion. Many people don’t understand just how hard it is or the kinds of discrimination that the visually impaired tolerate on a day to day basis. A video that has gone viral shows just what blind people are subjected to, often times.

Are you visually impaired? If so, SDCB can be a vital resource and help to improve your quality of life.

As the commuter video shows, blind people are still seen as a problem

Posted in Visually Impaired | View Post
Students Learn About Life With Blindness
blindnessStudents at a public charter school in Utah had the opportunity to experience simulated deafness and blindness. Vista School students who participated in the simulation learned what it was like to live with deaf-blindness and how to interact with those affected by such conditions. The demonstration was organized and instructed by teachers from the Deaf-Blind Services division of the Utah Schools for the Deaf & the Blind.

“It has been very eye opening for not only our students but for a lot of our staff members who participated as well,” said Chris Barnum, director of Special Education at Vista School.

If you are living with blindness, SDCB has several programs that can assist you.

Vista School students and staff simulate deaf-blindness, gain empathy

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Foundation Fighting Blindness Tackles Usher Syndrome
blindnessUsher syndrome, the leading cause of combined deafness and blindness. ProQR, a RNA-based medicines developer, is joining forces with the Foundation Fighting Blindness to make QR-421a, which targets blindness resulting from Usher Syndrome. QR-421a corrects the mutation that causes blindness. The FFB has awarded €6M to ProQR for research and development.

If you are in need of assistance for vision loss, SDCB can help.

ProQR Tackles Blindness Caused by a Rare Genetic Disease

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Legally Blind Author Publishes Her First Novel
Gail (McGuckin) Cornwell, 61, published her first book in a six-book series titled “The Gates of Avalon.” While she is unable to drive a car, technology allows her to write her novels on the computer, despite being legally blind. She is a testament to the fact that vision loss doesn’t need to deter you from fulfilling your dreams.

“I have the Dragon where I talk and it types what I say,” said Cornwall. “I also use Grammarly and I have a team and editors that I work with.”

Assistive Technology can make possible the impossible. SDCB can help you improve your quality of life.

NHS grad overcomes blindness and publishes first novel
Posted in Legally Blind | 1 Comment(s)
Smartphones Carry the Risk of Transient Blindness
It’s fair to say that every adult stares at their smartphone far too often; some people spend over six hours a day on their phone. Smartphones are still relatively new, which means researchers are still learning the costs of having convenience at our fingertips. Well, troubling news for people who use their phones excessively, LED lights in device screens could damage the retina leading to eventual blindness.

“Transient” blindness, occurs when blood flow to the eye is restricted, what is known as ischemia.

If you have lost vision in one or both eyes, SDCB can help you in a number of ways.

What Is Transient Blindness? Staring At Phones Causes Partial Vision Loss
Posted in Blindness | View Post
A Father Asks His Blind Daughter to Go Skiing
It is not difficult to imagine how vision loss could impact one’s life in a myriad of ways. You might think that living without vision would be cause for losing hope. The truth is quite the opposite, and we can see examples of this all around us. Doctors diagnosed Danielle Umstead with retinitis pigmentosa when she was thirteen, a degenerative eye condition that causes complete blindness over time. Despite being blind, her father invited her to go skiing in 2001; she fell in love with the sport and the activity gave her life new promise.

Umstead would be put to the test again, developing multiple sclerosis in 2010. Seventeen years after first losing her vision, she is competing in the Winter Paralympics starting March 9th. A remarkable story of perseverance in the face of blindness.

Please share with us your remarkable story in spite of blindness.

"I'm A Paralympic Alpine Skier, And I Don't Let My Blindness Hold Me Back"

Posted in Blind | View Post
Cornea Transplant Viability Extension
researchA national clinical research trial led to some promising findings regarding storing corneal donor tissue. Until now, corneas could only be stored for seven days or less, if surgeons are going to use the tissue. The study found that the cornea, our eye's clear outer covering, is still viable for transplant after 11 days of storage. The findings appear in JAMA Ophthalmology.

“Finding ideal donor-patient matches requires time, technology and manpower. Lengthening the timeframe for tissue evaluation will ultimately help expand the donor pool,” said Dr. Macsai, an ophthalmologist at NorthShore University Health System, Glenview, Illinois, and president of the Cornea Society, a U.S.-based international society of corneal surgeons.

If you are experiencing vision loss, we offer several programs that can help.

"NIH study finds donor corneas can be safely preserved for longer period"

Posted in Research | View Post
February is Low Vision Awareness Month LVAM
low visionThanks to modern medicine the average American live longer than their ancestors. However, that doesn’t mean that a person’s body is going to function normally. In fact, eye diseases and vision loss are a significant public health concern; 4.2 million Americans ages 40 and older are visually impaired. Experts project that visual impairment will affect 7.2 million by 2030. As many as 5 million will struggle with low vision.

“Low vision is a visual impairment that cannot be corrected by standard eyeglasses, contact lenses, medication, or surgery.”

If you’re are living with low vision, SDCB can help improve your quality of life.

"Low Vision Awareness Month"

Posted in Low Vision | View Post
Ski for Light Teaches the Visually Impaired XC
Visually ImpairedOn the 28th of January, the 43rd Annual Ski for Light International Week came to a close in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Each year, the event works with visually impaired and mobility-impaired people, giving them cross-country ski lessons. Ski for Light has over 115 able-bodied volunteer guides training more than 250 attendees.

“One of the most critical components to a successful ski week and to the success of Ski for Light is the recruitment of new guides, without whom skiing would not be possible,” Ski for Light Bulletin Editor Andrea Goddard tells The Norwegian American. “Our volunteer guides want to be there just as much as each of the participants does, and this makes for a galvanizing, egalitarian organizational culture that is unsurpassed in my experience.”

Anyone who participated in Ski for Light is welcome to share their experience with SDCB.

"Visually and mobility-impaired skiers meet"

Posted in Visually Impaired | View Post
Happy Birthday Braille Reading and Writing System
vision lossBraille code has helped countless people living with vision loss access knowledge for nearly 200 years. Without the 64 character reading and writing system, it’s hard to say how blind people would have fared in life; although, one can imagine not all that well. Today, computers and software open the doors to education for those experiencing vision loss; begging the question, is the raised dot matrix still required?

Researchers at the University of Birmingham’s Vision Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research (VICTAR), say that technology and braille are friends, not foes.

Assistive technology can help you navigate life with greater ease, please contact SDCB to learn how we can help.

Happy birthday, Braille: how writing you can touch is still helping blind people to read and learn

Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
One of the Hardest Games in the World Played Blind
blindAnyone who has tried their hand at golf knows that it’s a challenging sport. People play the game for decades and still struggle to finish a round under par. Imagine, then, trying to play the game of golf blind, pretty difficult to picture, right? However, there is at least one man who’d disagree, four-time American blind golf champion Mario Tobia. The pro blind golfer has a degenerative condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa, an eye disease in which the back wall of the eye (retina) is damaged.

"When I first lost my vision it was pretty traumatic," Tobia tells CNN Sport. "I had to stop working and things like that. Now I actually tell people that golf saved my life."

We’d love to hear your remarkable stories of playing sports without your sight.

“'You don't have to see it to tee it' — Meet blind golf champion Mario Tobia

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Ending The Cause of Preventable Blindness
blindnessTrachoma, a bacterial eye infection, is the world’s leading cause of preventable blindness. The most significant number of people affected by Trachoma-related blindness live in Ethiopia. Despite the fact that the blinding eye infection is easily treatable with antibiotics and simple surgery, the condition has been neglected. Experts say that the disease is not new, scientists found evidence of the bacteria in Egyptian mummies. The World Health Organization set a global target to end Trachoma cases by 2020

“It is a disease of poverty,” explained Teshome Gebre, the International Trachoma Initiative’s regional director for Africa, in his office in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. “You don’t find it in the developed world or even the developing world.”

SDCB can help anyone experiencing vision loss, we have several programs that can improve your quality of life.

"The Biggest Cause Of Preventable Blindness Just Won’t Go Away"
Posted in Blindness | View Post
Ending Blindness by 2020
blindnessSeven out of 10 people who are legally blind are unemployed and 50 percent battle with depression. TIME Magazine voted eSight as a Best Invention of 2017, electronic glasses which can give people living with blindness the chance to see. The company pledged to help make blindness history by 2020. You can see the first time people see with the help of eSight, at

“More than a quarter of a billion people on this planet lack the incredibly precious gift of sight,” stated Jeffrey Fenton, eSight’s Director of Outreach and Communications. “Their experiences – in the classroom, in the workplace, in the home – are significantly and unfairly limited. Every once in a while, a new technology is introduced that changes absolutely everything. eSight is an example of that.”

Assistive Technology can significantly improve your quality of life, giving you a greater sense of independence.

A Profound Vision of the Future: eSight Pledges to Make Blindness History by 2020

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Protecting Your Eyes Against Vision Loss
Between 2010 and 2050, the National Eye Institute estimates that people affected by eye disease that can cause vision loss will double. Such conditions include age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma. However, there are several steps you can take to protect your eyes from experiencing problems, such as having regular eye exams.

SDCB can provide your loved one with several resources to improve life quality.

Five tips for healthy sight

Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
Artist Chris Visions Blindness Leads to Cornea Transplant Surgery
blindnessChris Visions, an artist who is known for Dead Letters and Gwen-Spider, is blind in his left eye due to Keratoconus, a progressive eye disease. Visions will undergo cornea transplant surgery at the end of the month.  Keratoconus runs in the family; Chris’ father has had three cornea transplants for blindness.

"To catch you up if you don't know, Keratoconus (what I've had since high school) is basically when your round eye decides overtime it wants to be a football. Eyeball, you’re not a football, silly," Visions wrote on Facebook. "The condition stresses the cornea, distorting vision and refracting light in weird ways. Eventually it thins your cornea to the point of a tear, i.e. where I am. So now I'm basically looking through a scar on my eye, which allows little to no visibility, mostly just light."

If you are living with total or partial blindness, SDCB has some programs that can help.

Chris Visions Undergoing Eye Surgery Following Partial Blindness

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Preventing Vision Loss Due to ROP
Vision LossROP (retinopathy of prematurity) is a blinding eye disorder that the National Eye Institute says affects as many as 16 thousand preemies in the U.S. each year. Babies who are born prematurely are at risk of vision loss; Stevie Wonder was six weeks early, and it cost him his vision. Dr. Michael Chiang is an advocate for early screening and ROP treatment, fighting against two common obstacles to early diagnosis: accessibility to experts and a lack of standardized tests. Dr. Chiang uses an eye injection called Avastin in ROP cases:
“In the course of a week, it [ROP] basically reversed itself,” said Dr. Chiang. “If you diagnose it early enough that you can treat it, prevent a baby from going blind for their entire lifetime. We’ve got to make that diagnosis correct. We’ve got to make it on time.”

If you are living with ROP, we have some program features that can improve your quality of life.

Doctor works for early diagnosis of ROP to prevent blindness in preemies"
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Success In Spite of Blindness
BlindnessWarren Moore was born with a condition called Coloboma, which involves underdevelopment of the retina and iris. In his late 30’s, he decided to quit teaching music after his vision began to deteriorate due to cataracts. Moore went on to start a catering company and opened several successful restaurants with his wife, Georjean. In spite of his blindness, Moore shows that following your dreams is possible.
“It was a surprise. I knew how to deal with limited eyesight, but hadn’t counted on the cataracts,” says Moore. “I didn’t want to shortchange my students, so I had to reinvent myself.”

If you are struggling with vision loss, SDCB can assist you in many ways.

Warren G. Moore: Blindness Doesn’t Stop His Business Success in North Carolina"
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Color Blind Artist Can Hear Colors
BlindNeil Harbisson, 33, is color blind but that doesn’t prevent him from being an artist. He can compensate for his achromatopsia, or complete color-blindness, through the use of an antenna that allows him to "hear" color through vibrations in his skull. Harbisson's implant gives him the ability to "see" in UV.
“My understanding of the world has become more profound. The more you extend your senses, the more that you realize exists. If you’re in the same house for years, there’s a repetition of what you perceive there. If you add a new sense, though, the house becomes new again.”

What are your thoughts on using cybernetics to enhance a person’s senses?

How a Color-Blind Artist Became the World’s First Cyborg"
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When You Are Blind Sometimes Going Up Is The Easy Part
BlindExperienced climber Brian Dickinson reached the summit (29,000 feet) of Everest just before he went “snow blind,” a form of photokeratitis that is the result of UV rays reflected off ice and snow. Circumstances led to him soloing the climb; if not for a series of miracles Dickinson, would not be alive today. It would be a month and half before Brian regained his eyesight.
As an aside, Nepal recently banned solo climbers, blind people and double amputees from attempting the harrowing climb, The Guardian Reports. The Nepalese tourism ministry believes the new rules will save lives; naturally, the regulations have led to criticism from multiple fronts.

Are you a blind mountaineer? If so we’d love to hear your thoughts on the Everest ban.

A 'Blind Descent' from Mt. Everest
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Tea May Lower Your Risk of Blindness
BlindnessThere are coffee drinkers and tea drinkers, but it turns out that latter may be at an advantage—at least when it comes to vision loss. A new study indicates that daily caffeinated tea drinkers may be at a reduced risk of developing glaucoma; a group of diseases which are harmful to the optic nerve, resulting in vision loss and blindness. Millions of people worldwide suffer from glaucoma-related blindness.
“More research is needed to establish the importance of these findings and whether hot tea consumption may play a role in the prevention of Glaucoma,” the researchers told Science Daily.

We invite anyone living with blindness to learn about our programs, SDCB can assist you in many ways.

This Common Drink Could Prevent a Leading Cause of Blindness"
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Promising New Treatment for Diabetes Related Vision Loss
Vision LossThere were an estimated 285 million people worldwide with diabetes in 2010, according to the journal Eye and Vision. More than one-third of people with diabetes have signs of diabetic retinopathy (DR), and a third of such people struggle with vision-threatening diabetic retinopathy (VTDR). A potential way of stalling or even reversing diabetes-related blindness has shown promise in animal models by suppressing levels in the eye of the protein that is believed to cause vision loss.

If you are struggling with diabetes-related blindness, SDCB can help.

Method may reverse vision loss from diabetes"
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Stem Cells Treat Blinding Diseases
Blinding DiseasesMost blinding diseases are the result of damage to the photoreceptors in the eyes. Photoreceptors convert light into an electrical signal that is sent to the brain, thus creating an image. Promising new research suggests that stem cells can treat blinding diseases. Doctors can place a stem cell in the deep layers of the retina, creating new photoreceptors. Researchers have successfully used stem cells to treat animal models with retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration.

If you have experienced partial or total vision loss, SDCB can help you maintain your independence.

Stem Cell Research: New Hope for Restoring Vision"
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Becoming a Champion Despite Blindness
blindnessEdward Henry Greb, aka "The Pittsburgh Windmill," was the American light heavyweight boxing champion from 1922 to 1923 and world middleweight champion from 1923 to 1926. While he was a remarkable boxer (298 fights in 13-years), he achieved his championships despite being blind in his right eye. A boxing injury in 1921 resulted in a retinal detachment and blindness, a fact that he hid from the public.  “Greb was one of the greatest fighters of all time," said Tommy Loughran, one of Greb’s opponents.

Reaching for the stars is possible even without eyesight, we’d love for you to share your achievements in spite of vision loss.

Partially blindness couldn't stop Harry Greb taming the boxing world"
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