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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 Eye Disease - 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 Research and Medical Advancements | 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 Eye Disease - 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

Posted in Blind and Vision Impaired Heroes Stories | View Post
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 Advocacy and Events | 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 Understanding blindness and vision impairment | 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 What Is Vision Impairment Like and Social Etiquette | 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 and Vision Impaired Heroes Stories | 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

Posted in Blind and Vision Impaired Heroes Stories | View Post
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 Eye Health and Preventing Disease | 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

Posted in Blindness | View Post
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"
Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
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"
Posted in Blindness | View Post
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"
Posted in Blindness | 1 Comment(s)
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
Posted in Blindness | View Post
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"
Posted in Blindness | View Post
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"
Posted in Eye Disease - Diabetic Retinopathy | View Post
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"
Posted in Research and Medical Advancements | View Post
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"
Posted in Blindness | View Post
Blind and Autistic Boy Walks by Faith Not By Sight
BlindChristopher, a young boy with the voice of an angel, came into this world with the deck stacked against him. His aunt and uncle adopted him after a stint in foster care. Christopher was born at 26 weeks with cocaine in his system. He received oxygen for 100 days, but his eyes were unable to adequately develop—which led to retinal detachment in both eyes. Being blind and autistic made it challenging to communicate, so his adoptive parents hired a music therapist who quickly discovered that Christopher has perfect pitch.
"My blindness does not limit me, I just do things differently," Christopher said. "It enables me to see people as they really are. I see no color, tattoos or crazy hairdos. It bothers me that people prejudge each other. How different would it be if everyone chose to see with their hearts?"

SDCB can train you or your loved one in the use of Assistive Technology, tools which can improve life quality.

Teen overcomes blindness and autism with music"
Posted in Blind and Vision Impaired Heroes Stories | View Post
A Cure for River Blindness is Desperately Needed
blindnessOnchocerciasis, aka river blindness, is a disease caused by a parasitic worm transferred to people in tropical environments by black fly bites. The World Health Organization (WHO) has listed onchocerciasis as a neglected tropical disease. Some 37 million people are living with river blindness, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. There are treatments available for the condition, but there is little economic incentive for drug companies to invest in a cure, according to two retired scientists who are searching for a cure. Please take a moment to listen to a short interview with the scientists.

We offer counseling, classes & support groups, vision rehabilitation services; we can help you build your independence.

Two retired scientists volunteering to find cure for River Blindness"
Posted in Blindness | View Post
Technology Helps the Visually Impaired
Visually ImpairedIn the 21st Century, it’s easy to take technology for granted, most of us rely on various gadgets to assist our lives, such as smartphones and GPS. However, for the visually impaired, technological advancements can monumentally improve life quality. A legally blind 16-year-old received the gift of virtual vision, just in time for Christmas. Alyssa Baxter is using Vuzix M300 augmented virtual reality glasses, the device helps her do many things, such as identifying colors, detect moods on faces, magnify surroundings up to 15 times, and read text in more than 100 languages.
"It's really, really amazing," Baxter said. "I think they'll be really helpful, and I think it will be a big difference. And let me do things normal people do."

SDCB can train you or a loved one in using Assistive Technology for the Visually Impaired.

Student receives virtual reality glasses to help sight"
Posted in Visually Impaired | View Post
U.S. Health Officials Approve Treatment for LCA
blindnessLeber's congenital amaurosis (LCA) is a rare inherited eye disease that presents itself at birth or in the first few months after birth. The vision-destroying genetic mutation can now be treated with Luxturna, a gene therapy injection that replaces a defective gene, which prevents the retina from converting light into electronic signals sent to the brain, with a corrective gene. LCA induced blindness only impacts a small group of Americans, but the FDA approved intervention is a significant advancement in the field of vision loss.
"One of the best things I've ever seen since surgery are the stars. I never knew that they were little dots that twinkled," said Mistie Lovelace of Kentucky, one of several patients who urged the FDA to approve the therapy at a public hearing in October.

If you are experiencing blindness, SDCB can help you improve your quality of life.

FDA approves gene therapy for rare form of blindness"
Posted in Blindness | 1 Comment(s)
Fundraiser Raises Money to Purchase a Braille Notetaker
BrailleAn eye care company started a fundraiser called Holiday Lights for Sight. The company was able to raise money for a local child who is losing his vision, using a display of 20,000 lights, set to music. Jalen Rodriguez, is a junior in high school who has a rare disorder causing vision loss. Over $2,000 dollars has been raised to purchase a Braille notetaker for Jalen; the device is a specialized computer that will assist him with his school work.
“With the support of his friends, family and the school community, Jalen has learned skills and strategies to compensate for his visual impairment.”

Assistive Technology for Visually Impaired and for the Blind can help you with many everyday tasks, SDCB can help.

"Holiday Lights for Sight helping Woonsocket student get Braille device"
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Research May Help Doctors Prevent Vision Loss from Macular Degeneration
macular degenerationNew research could assist ophthalmologists in stemming the tide of macular degeneration. Dr. Jayakrishna Ambati and colleagues discovered that an enzyme called cGAS, which plays a vital role in the body's immune response to infections, unexpectedly has a hand in killing cells in the retina. Researchers are currently working to develop drugs that could inhibit the enzymes function.
“Almost 200 million people in the world have macular degeneration. If macular degeneration were a country, it would be the eighth-most-populated nation in the world. That’s how large a problem this is,” said Dr. Jayakrishna Ambati, vice chairman for research of UVA’s Department of Ophthalmology and the founding director of UVA’s Center for Advanced Vision Science.

If you have been diagnosed with macular degeneration, SDCB can help you remain independent.

"UVA Discovers Trigger for Macular Degeneration that Robs Millions of Vision"
Posted in Macular Degeneration | View Post
Looking Toward the Future Despite Vision Loss
vision lossRoughly 21 percent of blind or visually impaired adults over 25 years of age do not have a high school diploma, and only 22 percent have earned a bachelor's degree, according to the American Foundation for the Blind. With help, people with visual impairment can succeed in school, and pursue dreams of higher education. Lindsey Towns experienced vision loss at the age of 13, and yet she continues to excel in school with the help of her visual impairment teacher.
"This is my 39th year of working with blind children or visually impaired students, and we have books and things they can follow through, but they're very difficult for them to understand sometimes, so I try to make it personal for each individual student, however they learn best," said Bill Rogers, a visual impairment teacher. 

If you or a loved one has suffered vision loss, the San Diego Center for the Blind can help your family in a number of ways.

Despite Vision Loss, Student Doesn't Lose Sight of Success"
Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
Blindness is One Result of the American Diabetes Epidemic
blindnessA UCLA study shows that 9 percent of adults in California have been diagnosed with diabetes, a severe health condition that can result in blindness, heart disease, stroke and infections resulting in amputations. High-sugar intake is one of the leading causes of diabetes. A significant number of Californians meet the criteria for prediabetes, which means the need for prevention programs is enormous.
“Investing more now in diabetes prevention and education will save our state billions of dollars down the road,” said Cal. Sen. Bill Monning.

If diabetes has taken your vision, we can help you with Assistive Technology, A Key to Staying Independent.

Diabetes Hitting Hard in California, Costing Billions for Treatment"
Posted in Blindness | View Post
Over 75 Physically Impaired Athletes Inspire Others
Physically ImpairedBlindness or paralysis doesn’t keep people from fulfilling their dreams of achievement. Last week, more than 75 adaptive athletes competed at the 2017 Stance ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship in La Jolla, CA. The four-day competition concluded with Team Brazil taking gold, Australia the silver, and Team USA the bronze.
“This Team Gold Medal will inspire so many others to get into the sport in Brazil and around the world,” said gold-medalist Alcino Neto.

If you are an adaptive athlete your story can inspire other young, physically impaired individuals to consider sports. We’d love to hear your story.

Brazil Crowned World Champs At 2017 Stance ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship"
Posted in Visually Impaired | View Post
Visually Impaired Restaurateur Feeds Service Men and Women in CA
visually impairedRon Long’s service in the U.S. military shaped his life in more ways than one, stealing his eyesight and developing his principles for living a meaningful life. After being blinded by a chemical agent, Long’s honorable discharge for being visually impaired led to becoming a restaurant and mobile food service businessman. His delicious “Santa Maria Style Barbecue” and the speed in which it can be made, and served, landed him a dining contract for the Navy in San Diego. He also has a portable barbecue pit stationed at the U.S. Army National Training Center in Fort Irwin, CA. Long also hosts fundraising events for the Army Emergency Relief Program and Toys for Tots.
“Having served in the military, they really make me feel like I’m one of them,” said Long. “They treat me like family and I even go on vacation with some of them. It’s the least I can do to give back.” 

If you are visually impaired and need assistance, the San Diego Center for the Blind can help. Let us help you rebuild your independence!

"Ron Long: A Blind Entrepreneur Still Supporting the U.S. Military"
Posted in Visually Impaired | View Post
Daily Tasks Made Easier with Assistive Devices
Assistive TechnologyA variety of assistive devices and gadgets are available due to advances in technology in recent years. Often with the goal of granting access to services or products to as many people as possible while minimizing barriers and usability difficulties, various assistive devices are coming to market rapidly. These handy inventions can make daily tasks less challenging for people with disabilities.
Take a look at a few  handy gadgets that are aiding those living with disabilities. 

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

Assistive Tech: Where there’s a wheel, there’s a way"

Posted in Assistive Technology | View Post
Unstoppable Jazz Musician Henry Butler
Blind Jazz Musician, Henry ButlerAt 6 years old, an undeniable musical gift emerged in Henry Butler. Today, at the age of 68, Mr. Butler is a nationally recognized pianist, vocalist, and composer despite losing his sight as an infant due to glaucoma. He explores various genres including jazz, gospel, blues and classical. Mr. Butler’s talent does not end with him being a brilliant musician. He also possesses a passion for photography. His work can be seen in various exhibits and in the HBO documentary “Dark Light: The Art of Blind Photographers.” Learn more about Henry Butler’s unstoppable spirit that allows him to offer his artistic gifts to the world. 

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

"Despite blindness, Henry Butler drives his music career forward — sometimes literally"
Posted in Blindness, Living Blind, Personal Stories, Vision Loss, Visually Impaired | View Post
Making Math Accessible
Lindsey Towns, low vision math studentStatistics indicate that vision loss makes academic success challenging. Low vision and blind students who graduate from high school and college are a minority. Facts like these don't seem to phase 13-year-old Lindsey Towns who experienced vision loss just before entering 8th grade. Lindsey's favorite subject is math although a universal audio tool for learning math does not exist today. She has found creative ways to accommodate her disability. In the meantime, a system is being developed  that can reduce learning barriers for disabled students. Read more about  how a project developed by an alumnus of Lindsey's school may help her and others acheive their academic dreams.

How has assistive technology helped you? Let us know in the Comments section.

"Despite loss of vision, BTW student doesn't lose sight of success"
Posted in Assistive Technology, Low Vision, Real Life Stories, Vision Loss | View Post
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