As I wrote in the introduction to edition 20 of this digest, I'm slowly in the process of converting this site from being strictly the blog of Gonz Blinko to being more of a full service news of the blind publication. I publish the digest that you are now reading every Tuesday morning and, on occasion (as we've been doing lately, publish long form articles. The goal is to gather a collection of writers and guest authors and publish articles about news, information, entertainment, culture, fashion and literally anything related to blind people or blindness. We want to show the world that our community is not homogeneous and that different blind people have different values, desires, goals, likes and dislikes and are as diverse as any other population. If you would like to contribute an article, just send me a note using the contact form with your idea (most will be accepted but there aresome topics I avoid for a variety of reasons but they will be very few of the ideas). If you haven't much confidence in your writing skills, I and my informal editorial team will help and make it into a story people will enjoy reading.,
It would be good if more people subscribed to this site as I'm not very good at promotion and it will guarantee you won't miss anything if you miss seeing my announcements on Twitter and sometimes on FaceBook.
To subscribe, go to the item at heading 4 in the sidebar labeled "Subscribe To The New Chris Hofstader" by email, put in your address, hit the button and you'll get the digest and the occasional other article in your email as soon as they're posted.
Editorial By Chris Hofstader
This is edition 26 of Gonz Blinko's Blind News Digest so I'm celebrating half a year of publishing this thing every Tuesday. In that time that started on Louis Braille's birthday (January 4) and continues has included roughly 1690 articles and I've probably rejected about ten times as many. It's pretty much a one man show and I'm proud of all of the work I've done on it this year and look forward to its expansion into the future.
THis edition has a special story written by Douglas Baldwin, the author of six books, two of which are about Helen Keller. A number of weeks ago, I made a terrible mistake in one of the comments I often include before an article's blurb. I used a single source (always a bad idea) and said some very unkind things about Ann Sullivan based upon what I had read. Everything in that paragraph was false, I removed it from the digest as soon as Douglas pointed out my error to me and, in his short piece below, he sets the record straight. I'm truly grateful to Douglas for helping this way, I've wanted this to be a community project and this is one example of it happening.
The average edition of the digest contains approximately 65 aricles. This one has 60 so it's a slower week for blind news than average. Nonetheless, there are a lot of interesting stories here with my typical wide range of topics. I hope you enjoy it.
How It's Organized
Gonz Blinko's Blind News Digest is a very simple page to read. The categories are at heading level 2 and the stories are links at heading level 3. So, navigation to the sections and stories you find interesting is quite simple.
Feature Story: Ann Sullivan and Helen Keller by Douglas Baldwin
I am grateful that Chris suggested I post a few words about Anne Sullivan and Helen Keller. I published two books in 2021 about Helen Keller and fell in love with the three women responsible for the legacy: Polly Thomson, Anne Sullivan, and Helen Keller. They were a feisty trio, best friends, fiercely articulate—as I wrote about them, I began to feel an obligation to their legacy. So, thank you Chris and thank you to those of you who have paused to read these few paragraphs.
My books are called The Esoteric Helen Keller and Helen Keller: A Timeline of Her Life; they are available on Amazon.Com. It took me two years to write the books; I read everything Helen Keller ever wrote and many of the books about her, including the two biographies about her life. I also read a few (excellent) books written about Anne Sullivan.
Anne Sullivan was severely visually impaired. Over the course of her life, she had numerous surgeries that temporarily restored some sight. However, she never saw clearly, and she was never free from ocular pain for a lifetime. On the day she met Helen Keller her eyes were in severe pain from an operation that had recently occurred.
When Sullivan died in 1936, she was totally blind, and Helen Keller was her caregiver. The two women deeply loved each other; in many ways they were co-dependent—they seemed to complete each other. Their relationship was complex (of course) but it was also a magic blending of fiery personalities that resulted in the Hero’s Journey that we celebrate today. Sullivan was amazingly articulate and clear-headed. Mark Twain loved (respected) Sullivan as much as he loved Helen. All those famous people who befriended Helen Keller could plainly see that it (the phenomenon) was a blending of two amazing Souls. Polly Thomson was a strong-willed Scottish lass who became Helen Keller's companion after Sulivan's death. Polly and Annie Sullivan were also best friends.
The women did differ in their religious views. Keller was a Swedenborgian Christian, and she took her spirituality seriously. She took Love and Service as her bedrock conviction. She had no patience for people who did not stand up for Love in the face of hatefulness. She also dedicated her life to Service—she had a mission. She did not dwell on her loss of hearing and vision because she had turned her life into a mission to champion the core values of Christianity, Love and Service.
About Douglas Baldwin
Douglas Baldwin has a bachelor’s degree in visual science from U. Michigan, a doctorate in Optometry from the Illinois College of Optometry and a master’s degree in Blind Rehabilitation (Orientation and Mobility) from Western Michigan University. Douglas taught blind and visually impaired children for 30 years in the Saginaw, Michigan Public Schools., He set up the Special Needs Vision Clinic in 1983 to serve children with special needs The clinic is located at the Millet Learning Center in Bridgeport, Michigan. In the early 1990s, he set up a non-profit agency to study and purchase high technologies that enhanced navigation for blind children, called The Institute for Innovative Blind Navigation. Douglas is the author of six books and is currently working on one about Daniel Kish. Douglas has also been a long term reader of my blog.
ASI protected monuments in Bishnupur, West Bengal, turn disabled friendly with information boards written in Braille and tactile paths. This story came to us from: outlook India.
India has a dearth of innovative art books for the blind or the partially impaired. … “Painting is a blind man's profession,” Picasso said. This story came to us from: The Week.
Josh Miele is a friend of mine. He is one of the smartest people I know in the blindness community but, at the same time, he's also one of the sweetest, most kind and generous people you may ever have the chance to meet. He's very active with LightHouse/SF and, if my information remains current, he works on accessibility at Amazon.
When Dr. Joshua Miele was just 4 years old, he was the victim of a senseless tragedy that cost him his eyesight. A neighbor with mental health problems poured acid over the little boy’s head, altering the course of his life. This story came to us from: InspireMore.
Science and Medicine
New research has shone light on a human ability few even know exists – echolocation using 'click' noises, similar to how bats navigate. This story came to us from: Yahoo News.
Christine Kanetzki takes almost an hour to check the patient for breast cancer. She gently feels each centimetre of her breasts and the lymph nodes under her arms, on her neck and near her collarbone. The inspection gives her an overview of the temperature, shape and tissue firmness. This story came to us from: The Star.
A study by Orbis International found that children with myopia experienced significantly higher levels of depression and anxiety than their peers without vision impairment. This story came to us from: Ophthalmology Times.
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have … benign but can still cause serious medical issues such as blindness. This story came to us from: Interesting Engineering.
We need to end river blindness and other neglected tropical diseases, and we need to do it soon. Otherwise… we may find ourselves back where we started. This story came to us from: gates foundation.
Pfizer said it would extend until 2030 a drug donation programme aimed at eliminating trachoma, an eye disease responsible for blindness. This story came to us from: Digital Journal.
This is a very poorly sourced article and may be the opinion of a single doctor.
An eye doctor has warned that smoking and vaping could lead to blindness. This story came to us from: LADbible.
Previous studies have looked for links between glaucoma-;a neurodegenerative disorder that's the leading cause of irreversible blindness-;and cognitive function, but they've generated mixed results. Findings from a large study recently published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society suggest that any association may be small or absent. This story came to us from: News-Medical.Net.
MEDICAL Director, Eye Bank for Restoring Sights, Nigeria (EBRSN), Dr. Mosunmade Faderin says cornea blindness, the fourth most commonest cause of blindness due to diseases of the cornea, can be reversed through cornea grafting and Nigerians should embrace cornea donation and transplant. This story came to us from: Tribune Online.
Cortical blindness is an eye disease that results from an impairment of the visual cortex, the area of the brain responsible for receiving and processing images captured by the eyes in the form of electrical impulses, giving them meaning and allowing us what we, to all intents and purposes, call vision. This story came to us from: Emergency Live.
Puebloans who are skipping preventative medical care are suffering unintended consequences such as blindness. This story came to us from: Pueblo Chieftain.
A new study has identified a molecular "zipper" mechanism that may be behind retinitis pigmentosa, and yield clues to treating it. This story came to us from: New Atlas.
It's one of the most common causes of vision loss in adults and can lead to blindness. This story came to us from: Healthline.
I would only read this article with a heaping pile of skepticism. It starts by saying that modern medicine is useless and gets worse from there.
These include heart, liver, and kidney disease, peripheral neuropathy, blindness, dementia, and several cancers. This story came to us from: Digital Journal.
A doctor accidentally removed the wrong eye during an operation, leaving the patient blind. This story came to us from: Daily Record.
The number of Americans ages 40 and over with blindness or visual impairment is expected to double between 2015 and 2050. Vision Forward can help. This story comes to us from: The Journal Times.
American Foundation for the Blind Announces Third Access and Engagement Report, Observing Impact of COVID-19 as Students with Visual Impairments Returned to In-Person Education
The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) today announced the release of the third Access and Engagement research report, which examines the continued negative impact of systemic and COVID-19-specific issues on the education of students who are blind or have low vision. This story came to us from: PR Newswire.
NCBI CALLS ON GOVERNMENT TO TACKLE COST OF LIVING AND SUPPORT PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR VISION IMPAIRED
NCBI, the national sight loss organisation, say the Government must develop a roadmap to address the additional costs faced by people with disabilities, informed by the Cost of Disability Report as a matter of urgency because we know that people with disabilities are more than twice as likely to experience poverty and deprivation than those without disabilities. This story came to us from: Dublin people.
The charity's new home is more suited to residents with visual impairments, rather than the current seven-storey building. This story came to us from: BBC News.
Rly intervention agencies and families of children and youth in Washington state who are deafblind, ages birth to 21. Our educational team provides consultation and training to help identify next steps for meaningful learning and access to the general education content. Our services are funded by federal and state grants to increase awareness of the unique developmental and learning needs of children and youth who are deafblind, including those with complex health and significant support needs. This story came to us from: Washington State School for the Blind.
I am distrustful of FFB. They have what I think is the single largest endowment in the world of blindness but they spend relatively little money on programs and seem to spend much more on fundraising. I don't know a lot about them but the numbers on Charity Navigator are accurate as far as anyone can tell.
Jason Menzo is named CEO, while Russell Kelley, PhD, MBA, will become managing director of the RD Fund. Ben Yerxa, PhD, will take the helm of Opus Genetics, the first RD Fund- and foundation-backed spin-off company. This story came to us from: Ophthalmology Times.
We need to end river blindness and other neglected tropical diseases, and we need to do it soon. Otherwise… we may find ourselves back where we started. This story came to us from: Gates Foundation.
Hours after Russia’s invasion started, Serhiy Kit was receiving phone calls from members of the Ukrainian Association for the Blind at his factory’s office in Dnipro. Like everyone else in the country, Ukraine’s visually impaired were terrified when the invasion began. In their case, they had an 88-year-old association for visually impaired Ukrainians to fall back on. This story came to us from: The Guardian.
Some students who are visually impaired are celebrating $10,000 scholarships. Providing the opportunity for students here in Vermont and in New York the chance to further their education. This story came to us from: WCAX.
When Kylie Paddison graduates from Peter Skene Ogden Secondary this month, she will have the distinction of being the first legally blind student to do so in the past 10 years. This story came to us from: 100 Mile House Free Press.
This story is told primarily in the video on YouTube and has little text associated with it.
A social worker tried to tell him about "career alternatives" after he lost his sight, but Chris Downey wasn't about to stop being an architect. This story came to us from: YouTube.
Many of us have dreams of following our passions and starting our own company or side hustle. But what if starting a business was the only way to pick yourself up? This story came to us from: East Anglian Daily Times.
Michael Tornow plummeted off the platform edge at Glasgow's Bellgrove railway station just five minutes before a train was pulling in. This story came to us from: Glasgow Times.
Blind woman 'forced to sleep on floor' as London council left her with blow up bed she couldn't inflate
A blind woman said she was forced to sleep on the floor when she moved home due to council failures. This story came to us from: MyLondon.
Detroit neighbors say 3-year-old boy found dead in freezer was blind; family called CPS 13 times this year
The body of a 3-year-old boy named Chase was found in a freezer in Detroit. Neighbors said they tried to help the mother, who also had other children living at the home, but she refused. This story came to us from: FOX 2 Detroit.
The incident happened on November 5th, 2021 when officers arrived on scene for reports of an assault. The affidavit states that Brandon A. Garcia and the victim were parked outside the victim's sister's work. The victim's sister and Garcia were in a dating relationship. They were waiting for her to leave work and while they were waiting, Garcia was starting to get angry at the victim over a joke he made. Police say that Garcia got out of the car and went to the front passenger side where the victim was sitting and opened the door. Garcia then pulled the victim out of the car and began hitting him over the head with a handgun. This story came to us from: KVII.
According to arrest warrants, 49-year-old David Shankar Smith unlawfully confined the victim, who is blind, from June 11-15 at a home they appear to have shared on Wiregrass Road. Smith repeatedly hit the victim — who has a shunt implanted in her skull — in the head on June 11 and 14, according to warrants. This story came to us from: The Richmond Observer.
Members of the Association of Technology Inclined Visually Impaired Persons of Nigeria have accused security guards attached to the Federal Civil Service Commission, Abuja, of brutalising them during a peaceful protest. This story came to us from: punchng.com.
He allegedly poured petrol over a girl, aged one, and abused her grandmother. The grandmother was allegedly hit over the head with a glass during the incident. He was refused bail in court on Wednesday. This article came to us from: Daily Mail.
[Blind couple had to find own way to Salmon Arm because of guide dogs][
As a guide dog handler myself, I feel like I've been kicked in the gut whenever I add yet another discrimination story resulting from having a service animal. I've been ditched in too many different cities to remember by Lyft and/or Uber, I've been refused service at Middle Eastern restaurants and I've been asked to not come into certain stores with the dog. It just sucks.
A blind Kelowna couple tells Castanet they feel their rights have been ignored as they were refused service by Ebus. This story came to us from: Castanet.
Well, it's about time…
The Biden administration on June 23 rolled out free at-home Covid-19 tests that are designed to be more accessible for people who are blind or visually impaired. This story came to us from: ABC17NEWS.
Another case like this one we included a few weeks ago was lost and the blind people in that state no longer have the right to vote in secret. Let's hope Utah does a better job.
Driving the news: Utah's primaries are set for Tuesday. Leading up to them, blind Utahns only have two ways to cast ballots. They can vote by mail with another person's assistance, which means they can't vote in secret.
Or they can go to a polling place for an audio ballot — but navigating there may be difficult. This story came to us from: Axios.
Insomnia Cookies does not make its website accessible to blind and visually impaired people using screen readers, in violation of the law, a new class action lawsuit alleges. This story came to us from: Top Class Actions.
A former store manager for a furniture company failed to show he was fired for being a blind and Hispanic man, a Mississippi federal judge ruled. This story came to us from: Law360.
Website Accessibility Software Market to Witness Huge Growth by Key Players: Google, Siteimprove, DYNO Mapper, Deque, BoIA, Level Access
The top-notch information research report published by ReportsnReports is a vital asset that offers qualitative and quantitative factors of the Website Accessibility Software market. The research study and methodologies mentioned in the report examine the critical vendors by considering their contribution to the global market. Furthermore, the report offers an in-depth insight into leading players’ performance based on revenue generation and client requirements. Also, the research report reveals market characteristics of fragmentation, dominance, amalgamation traits, and accumulation.
The report also highlights top graded market insights by monitoring market share, trends, and size with all-inclusive information. In addition, the report provides market classification by incorporating information about recent developments, new product launches, geographies, and investments. Finally, the Website Accessibility Software research report offers in-depth insights about future technologies, product developments & R&D activities. This story came to us from: designer women.
The following factors are likely to contribute to the global ophthalmoscope market growth during the forecast period: • Raising Awareness Among Patients Population by Increasing the Eye Care Services in Developed Countries. This story came to us from: Yahoo Finance.
In the event of an eye emergency, Prevent Blindness recommends: Seek medical attention immediately. This story came to us from: InvisionMag.com.
Between June 2 and 14, the Saudi aid organization helped 5,282 patients, carrying out 3,618 consultations and 502 cataract surgeries. This story came to us from: Arab News.
South Africa runs the risk of an added barrier to achieving its national goals if it continues to close its eyes to the increasing number of people who are avoidably blind. Cataracts and uncorrected refractive errors continue to be an under-reported barrier to education, employment, and health. This story came to us from: Health-e News.
King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) inaugurated Tuesday the voluntary medical project to combat blindness and its causes in Seiyun district of Hadhramaut Governorate, in cooperation with Al-Basar International Foundation. This story came to us from: Saudi Gazette.
Helen Keller Day 2022: Little-Known Facts About the History’s First Deaf Blind Person and Disability Rights Advocate
This was a hard one to categorize so, as is my habit, I put into "Lifestyle" as it tends to serve as my catch all. It's nice this article came to us this week as we've Douglas' article about Ann Sullivanand Helen Keller at the top of this edition.
This day is observed as a holiday by international organizations, especially those blind and deaf. It is generally known for the fashion show held on June 27 annually for fundraising purposes. Helen Adams Keller was born on June 27, 1880 and was the first deafblind person to earn a bachelor of arts degree. This story came to us from: Latestly.
This year Dave Hillebrandt, station captain of Blind Guys Station, and Tom Moore, a member, want to show people that anyone can help others. This story came to us from: WESH.
On the evening of my 31st birthday in November 1983, we were docked in Trinidad and a group of us went ashore to celebrate. I still smoked in those days, and by the time I tumbled into my bunk I’d worked my way through a number of rum punches. But when I opened my eyes the next morning, I knew I was suffering from more than just an ordinary hangover. Other than a vague perception of blurry smears of light, I could see nothing. This story came to us from: The Guardian.
Art and Artists
Jon Cauchi uses stand-up comedy to share humor in his experiences as a person with a visual impairment
I'm a big stand-up fan and I really like the thought that a blind person is out there showing the world that, indeed, we can laugh at ourselves.
Cauchi, who became blind at age 12, performed a comedy routine called “The Real and Funny Side of Having a Disability” that brought down the house during Laughfest in March 2020. This story came to us from: Second Wave Media.
This could have gone under "Science" or "Art" but as we've so many articles in the science section this week, I put it under art. This page contains a number of stories, navigate by heading and you'll find this one somewhere in the middle of the page.
The Rossjohn Lab has had a unique addition since 2018 – a legally-blind artist-in-residence. Professor Rossjohn says one of his interests – aside from running a long way, and T cell receptors – is making science accessible. This story came to us from: lens.monash.edu.
Lisa Durden's upcoming documentary "Blind Divas" follows Krystle Allen and Naquela Wright-Prevoe, two Black women entrepreneurs, determined to challenge the stigmas and stereotypes about the blindness community
I wonder where we can watch this documentary as it sounds interesting to me.
Lisa Durden, an award-winning director/producer and media personality leads the production of ‘Blind Divas,’ a documentary following Krystle Allen and Naquela Wright-Prevoe, two blind, Black women entrepreneurs, determined to challenge the stigmas and stereotypes about the blindness community. This is not just a story about two determined women who are everyday champions in the blindness community, it’s also a story of triumph. This story comes to us from: WBGO.
Rachael Andrews initially took up photography to help navigate her sight loss, but soon found an artistic passion. This story came to us from: PetaPixel.
Sitting on a lush green field with coconut trees in the backdrop, he also uses a plastic bucket to create amazing beats. This story came to us from: The Indian Express.
This story has no text associated with it. It's a pretty good YouTube video though. This story came to us from: YouTube.
You’re never too young or too old to face your fears. Just ask Mabel Malveaux and Langston Ashley. Malveaux is 85 and just now learning how to swim, with 10-year-old Ashley’s help. This story came to us from: KLFY.com.
Ollie is a jump performed without the aid of a take-off ramp.
Ryusei Ouchi performed 33 ollies in one minute blindfolded and followed it up with 122 consecutive ollies blindfolded.
Ouchi lost most of his eyesight to the disease retinitis pigmentosa just a few years after he started skateboarding. This story came to us from: Times Now.
Blind and partially sighted fans across the globe can follow the action like never before thanks to UEFA's new audio-descriptive commentary. This story comes to us from: UEFA.com.
A physical education teacher at Governor Morehead School for the Blind in Raleigh is among a group of 26 teachers and coaches across the United States invited to an inaugural coaching summit for the blind. Shawn Whitney is attending the USA Blind Soccer Coaching Education Summit on Wednesday and Thursday at the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind. This story came to us from: CBS 17.
The International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) is officially announcing that Portugal will host the 2022 IBSA Goalball World Championships. This story came to us from: International Blind Sports Federation.
IBSA Vice President, Ilgar Rahimov, and IBSA Board Member, Eigo Matsuzaki, met with Yōhei Sasakawa, chairman of The Nippon Foundation. The meeting took place in Baku, Azerbaijan. The parties discussed the prospects for cooperation between IBSA and the Nippon Foundation. Mr. Rahimov and Mr. Matsuzaki spoke about IBSA activities, the planned reforms within the organization, the ideas of the Paralympic movement, including sports for the visually impaired. This story came to us from: International Blind Sports Federation.
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.
Please Contribute A Story
I hope to evolve this site from my personal blog into a more broad news service serving the blind community. I cannot do this alone. So, if you have a story to tell about literally anything related to blindness from dating to technology, please pitch me the story through the contact form on this site and we can work together to get your story into the digest if it's a short piece or as a stand alone feature if it's longer. If you've little confidence in your writing skills, I'm an excellent editor and we'll make your story good. I know I wrote this up top too but I really want to make as many people feel welcome as a potential contributor as possible.