Welcome to Edition 17 of Gonz Blinko's Blind News Digest. This edition has 62 stories about blind people and blindness from all over the world. We're certain you will find articles that you think are interesting, informative and, in some cases, funny.
As we do in every edition of the digest, we'd like to acknowledge our friend in the UK, Leon Gilbert. He practically invented blind news and he has a terrific Twitter feed which you can follow at @leongilbert.
If you missed it, you can read edition 16 of the news digest at Gonz Blinko's Blind News Digest – Edition 16. We'll include links to the previous edition in the Introduction section of each week's version.
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Editorial By Chris Hofstader
This is another edition of the digest filled with interesting stories about blindness and blind people from all over the world. As usual, a lot of these stories are about science and medicine as those seem to be the articles that mainstream publications like putting out the most.
If you look back over some previous editions of the digest, you will find a number of articles about Second Sight, it's bankruptcy and the 350+ people who have an Argus installed in their heads now having no support. The patients contract with Second Sight included a life guarantee and that appears to be the life of the company and not the client. One woman was walking on a London subway platform when her Argus suddenly blinked out and she found she had no vision nor anyone to call about it. Implants are in their technological infancy, they are very expensive, installing them is quite invasive and the patient is entirely dependent on the manufacturer for support in the future.
This edition also has an article about sensory substitution using ultrasound. This is very new but other sensory substitution technologies have been available for a while and one, The VOICe, has a fair number of blind people using artificial vision to accomplish some pretty amazing feats. I recommend giving The VOICe a try, it is no cost and, assuming you have a smartphone, you already own all of the hardware you'll need.
Otherwise, I think the Sports and Lifestyle sections are particularly good this week.
Inmates near Eloy are taking part in a prison program that translates books to braille, a language of raised dots that allow the blind to read. This story came to us from: 12 News.
For Mike May, who is blind, navigating new spaces can be a challenge. A few weeks ago, he went to a work event at a brewery and had a hard time figuring out where to go. Thankfully, he had a pair of Envision smart glasses on him, which use artificial intelligence to help people who are blind or visually impaired better understand their surroundings. Using a small camera on the side, the glasses can scan objects, people and text, then relay that information via a small built-in speaker. This story came to us from: CNET.
Science and Medicine
Self-reported symptoms of anxiety and depression were higher among men aged 50 years and older with vision impairment, compared with those with normal vision, study findings showed. This story came to us from: Healio.
There have, until now, been no reported cases of synesthesia in a congenitally blind person. This story came to us from: IFLScience.
A new study has just identified a link between Covid-19 and partial or total loss of sight. This phenomenon results from the ability of the virus to cause inflammation of the walls of the vessels in any organ. This story came to us from: – OI Canadian.
Irreversible blindness affects at least 11 million Americans and 170 million across the world, according Michigan Medicine officials.
One of the leading factors of this condition is a disease called age-related macular degeneration, and an $11.5-million gift to the health system seeks to make the irreversible reversible. This story came to us from: mlive.com.
Georgia State University researchers created the device using a new vertical stacking system, allowing it to be scaled down, and operate at micro-levels. This story came to us from: Daily Mail.
The estimations point at unmet need for new technologies to treat vision loss due to diseases of photoreceptor degeneration. This story came to us from: TMR Blog.
The study was a retrospective analysis of data from the Fight Retinal Blindness! Project. This story came to us from: HCPLive.
Legend Capital's Co-founded Company Innostellar Biotherapeutics: IRD Gene Therapy Was Approved For Clinical Trials In China
Founded in 2020, Innostellar Biotherapeutics is a biopharmaceutical startup company focusing on gene therapy for innovative drug discovery, manufacture, and commercialization. Its core team consists of scientists and professionals from world-renowned institutions and biopharmaceutical companies. This story came to us from: StreetInsider.
Comparison of vision-related quality of life in patients with homonymous hemianopia and monocular blindness
To evaluate the vision-related quality of life (QoL) in patients with homonymous hemianopia (HH). The study compared the QoL in 32 patients with HH and 33 patients with monocular blindness. This story came to us from: nature.
Legally blind when he attended college, Gunter Pfau is now CEO of a commerce technology company with 150 employees. This story came to us from: Billy Penn.
A woman who surmounted early childhood challenges and used an extraordinary opportunity for the wider good returns to the country of her birth, Rwanda, and becomes a beacon of hope for the visually impaired. This story came to us from: NTV Uganda.
I didn't know whether this should go under Blindness Organizations or Crime. As the victim is an organization, I put it here.
Two people have been arrested for allegedly robbing the KwaZulu-Natal Blind and Deaf Society. The accused allegedly transferred more than R12 million into personal bank accounts. They have been on the run since the charges were laid in 2019. This story came to us from: News24.
DSB serves Washington State residents of all ages who are blind, low vision or deaf blind. This story came to us from: Governor Jay Inslee – Access Washington.
100 years ago, Helen Keller gave a speech to the Lions national leadership. In part she said: “The opportunity I bring to you, Lions, is this: To foster and sponsor the work of the American Foundation for the Blind. 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 Lions, 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?" This story came to us from: West Bend News.
"You’ve seen these men and women every April, with their bright yellow vests and big smiles, and you may have dropped some change into their container. You have probably also thought, “Who are these men and women and what are they doing?” This story came to us from: The Daily News.
This was another story I was uncertain how to categorize so I put it here.
The Altoona community is rallying behind a high schooler recently diagnosed as legally blind because of rare eye disease. This story came to us from: WEAU.
Heartbreaking footage has emerged of the aftermath of Russian forces firing on residential areas in Ukraine, as a blind Ukrainian woman was found in her bombed-out home with no idea it had been destroyed. This story came to us from: The Daily Beast.
The author and her parents — all of whom are blind — were not able to access bomb shelters in Kharkiv. They finally evacuated despite ongoing bombardment, including a missile attack. This story comes to us from: The New Humanitarian.
Visually impaired students from the Georgia Academy for the Blind recently experienced a planetarium show designed especially for them. Instead of looking up at stars projected on a dome, they each held a model of a constellation in their hands. Dr. Matt Marone, associate professor of physics in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Mercer University, created the models of the Orion constellation using a 3D printer, keeping the needs of the visually impaired in mind. This story came to us from: The Den – Mercer University.
“The largest barrier is societal/employer attitudes and misconceptions about the capabilities of individuals who are blind or DeafBlind,” says George Abbott, CEO and president at The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc., the single largest U.S. employer of DeafBlind employees and the largest employer west of the Mississippi of people who are blind. This story came to us from: The Seattle Times.
Monte Sieberns moves effortlessly between his two studios, interviewing guests, making music playlists, adjusting numerous dials, and producing shows for his internet radio stations Z103.com. And if that isn’t impressive enough, Sieberns does it seamlessly, without his vision. This story came to us from: WPTA21.
On a chilly morning, Beth Gatonye loaded two vibrating chairs into her van and headed to the US embassy in Kigali with three blind colleagues, ready to offer massage therapy. This story came to us from: France 24.
Discrimination and Inaccessibility
Tony Callaghan, 36, claims he was 'pulled off' a tram because his carer didn't have a ticket. This story came to us from: Manchester Evening News.
An elderly blind man who suffers from multiple health complications, asked for help from the Government, since, despite assuring that he has relatives in Santiago de los Caballeros, he has been living alone and abandoned for years in this municipality due to the charity of some neighbors. This story comes to us from: Dominican Today.
Disabled women are twice as likely to experience sexual assault – so why aren't police believing them
Daniel had been pouring her increasingly stronger drinks. Inebriated and unable to find the cane that would help her to get a sense of her surroundings, Naomi lay frozen as Daniel sexually assaulted her for the first time. After the act, Naomi then had no choice but to allow Daniel to guide her to a more secluded car park. Here, he stripped her naked and sexually assaulted her again. This story came to us from: Yahoo Sport UK.
A probe has been ordered against an alleged fake eye clinic in Uttar Pradesh's Jalaun district that treated a woman for poor vision and left her blind. This story comes to us from: Daijiworld.
The victim, who owns the residence, told the officer he had been allowing two men stay in his home so they would not have to be out in the cold. This story came to us from: ABC 57.
Stephen Vallance, 44, says he was refused entry to the Star Cafe in South East London because he had a service animal with him on April 10 – the cafe has since doubled down and refused to apologize. This story came to us from: The Mirror.
It happens to men as well, I've been denied rides by Uber and Lyft in four different cities.
Joy Simmons lost much of her eyesight to a brain tumor and is legally blind. But she’s been having issues with Uber and Lyft drivers denying rides. This story came to us from: News Milwaukee.
[Pennies for Puppies collects donations to raise guide dogs for the blind]
The Seeing Eye has raised $1 million through Pennies for Puppies. This story came to us from: YouTube.
While dogs quickly become part of the family in many homes, they have also provided Mickey Puddicomb with her independence, pride and dignity for the past five decades. This story comes to us from: The Londoner.
Legal experts say they’ve been waiting years for specific federal standards from the Department of Justice regarding website accessibility. This story came to us from: Newsday.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Congress may continue to exclude Puerto Rican residents from a federal safety net program that provides direct payments to poor, disabled, and blind American citizens. This story came to us from: NPR.
Why: The plaintiff says Choice Hotels does not make its website accessible to the blind, violating the Americans With Disabilities Act. This story came to us from: Top Class Actions.
"Students who are blind or have a visual disability, we can provide accommodations such as alternative formats like audiobooks, more time for taking exams and doing assignments, a reader scribe, note taker, and early registration to make sure they have classes in accessible buildings,” said Manelic Alcala. This story comes to us from: The Prospector.
[Justice Zak Yacoob | Blind SA tackles copyright law in fight for right to read][
Copyright law in South Africa was held to be unconstitutional in the high court because it does not provide exceptions to copyright that enable people to convert published works into accessible formats like Braille or audio. This story came to us from: VOICES.
The Screen Reader market study report analyses the overall development potential of global and regional markets in a methodical and in-depth manner. The global Screen Reader industry research digs into the topic, covering classifications, implementations, meanings, and supply chain frameworks. The production position, development objectives, efforts, and cost information are all briefly mentioned in the report. The most recent industry study survey, which is being provided to a global audience, comprises development patterns, and Screen Reader industry prognosis, and the growth status of important areas. This story came to us from: buckeyes101.
Even though delayed, this move by the government has been received positively by human rights organisations who have been demanding such a law since 2008. It may be noted that the present government has been responsible for enacting a number of progressive laws, such as the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2009, the Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Act, 2010, and the Rights and Protection of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2013. This story came to us from: The Daily Star.
If inflammation is recurrent and chronic, eye damage can occur, resulting in vision loss. Causing approximately 30,000 new cases of blindness each year. This story came to us from: Nebraska Medicine.
“We are thrilled that multiple faculty members of the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute have once again been recognized for their expertise and included amongst the world’s 100 most influential people in the field of ophthalmology." This story came to us from: University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
We have a ways to go before products are universally accessible, but these makeup, skin-care, and hair products show we're moving in the right direction. This story came to us from: Allure.
A woman has shared how she lost half her body weight, then put it back on after losing her sight as she was unable to cook, but she's now learning how to make meals for herself again. This story came to us from: The Mirror.
Art and Artists
Patchogue's Christian Guardino is riding high after having made the top 14 of the current season of ABC's "American Idol. This story came to us from: Newsday.
Johnny Depp has said he is legally blind in one eye and claimed he suffered ‘constant physical abuse’ from his mum during his $50 million defamation lawsuit against Amber Heard. This story came to us from: LADbible.
I never saw the pitch thrown to KC Royals DH Hunter Dozier, nor did I see the ball fly off his bat and soar through the air.
But I heard the crack of Dozier’s bat as the ball exploded off it. I heard the crowd erupt in cheers and applause. I knew without seeing that the ball was, as they say, “Outta here." This story came to us from: Kings of Kauffman.
On Saturday, April 23rd, eighteen blind and visually impaired teenagers will have the opportunity to learn how to play a sport called “Adaptive Blind Baseball." This story came to us from: West Side Rag.
The Rugged Maniac obstacle course is a 5K mud marathon. In October, Levi Gobin became the first blind person to run the race, and then over the weekend, he did it again. This story came to us from: ABC Action News.
Maria Williams, who is blind, and her guide, Melissa Moon, won their first triathlon in March. The pair are aiming for the 2024 Paris Paralympics. This story came to us from: Stuff.co.nz.
Mother and daughter Terri and Marley Jane Rupp may be blind, but that did not stop them from competing in a grueling four-week walking/running/biking challenge. This story came to us from: FOX5 Vegas.
This was another article I found hard to categorize as it could just have easily gone into Technology as Sports.
Colton Doherty, a first-year master’s student in mechanical engineering, runs a current through a piezo crystal plate that could be used to produce sound last month at St. Louis University’s Collaborative Haptics, Robotics, and Mechatronics Lab. Doherty is a researcher who has worked on designing a hockey puck for the visually impaired. This story came to us from: STLPR.
A blind man has set off on his latest fundraising challenge, riding 800 miles (1,287km) on a tandem bicycle from Colditz Castle to West Bromwich. This story comes to us from: BBC.
Rob Sanchas of Warren, a legally blind runner who completed his 14th marathon on Monday, crossed the Boston Marathon finish line at 5:09:09, his personal best. This story came to us from: Providence Journal.
The organization's leader, volunteer Sharon Moncrieff, has sight loss condition severe cone dystrophy – and knows how important clubs like this are for people with limited or no sight. This story came to us from: Daily Record.
Goalball is a Paralympic sport played exclusively by athletes who are blind or visually impaired. This story came to us from: CBC.
A blind man who has been cycling for charity from Colditz Castle in Germany to West Bromwich has completed his 800 miles (1,287km) trip. This story came to us from: BBC.
The Toronto Ice Owls Blind Hockey Club took to the rink on Saturday afternoon. The team features players of all ages and genders who are vision-impaired. This story came to us from: CTV News Barrie.
Two farm turkeys harassed a blind woman and a police officer before the officer shot the fowl. This story comes to us from: Press Enterprise.
: The Seeing Eye has raised $1 million through Pennies for Puppies