Welcome to Edition 3 of Gonz Blinko's Blind News Digest. At this point, we get all of our stories from a pile of GoogleAlerts I set up and a few that Aaron and David are monitoring. This edition has more than forty stories about blindness and blind people from all over the world. Because we source our articles from GoogleAlerts, all of our articles come from mainstream publications and not from anything published by and for blind people. If you think we should be following other sites, please mention them in the comments section below and we'll do our best to start including them.
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.
Never Miss An Issue
If you're enjoying Gonz Blinko's Blind News Digest, you can subscribe by email to this blog and you'll never miss an issue. At this time, we do not have a way to subscribe to the news digest without also receiving my other blog articles which are about a single topic at a time. I never publish more than one blog article in any given week. If you subscribe and enjoy my articles, then you'll be receiving them more conveniently; if you subscribe and don't care for my articles, it's only a single keystroke to delete them.
To subscribe, just find where it says "Subscribe To The New Chris Hofstader By Email" on this page, put in your email address and hit submit. It's really very easy.
If you missed it, you can read edition 2 of the news digest at Gonz Blinko's Blind News Digest – Edition 2. We'll include links to the previous edition in the Introduction section of each week's edition.
Editorial By Chris Hofstader
Making Gonz Blinko's Blind News Digest takes a fair amount of work. I need to read through the GoogleAlerts to find stories that might interest readers and then I need to do a lot of copying and pasting into a Markdown source document. The downside to this work is that it is time consuming, tedious and pretty boring. The upside to this work is that I get to read fifty or more articles per week about blindness from all over the world and I feel more well informed than I have in a very long time.
This edition could have had a bunch more articles in it but, because they were all about the same topic, I would only include one or two about a particular subject. In this past week, we could have included more than a dozen different articles all saying that home COVID tests were inaccessible to blind people. This is definitely a hot topic this week but we felt that including a pile of articles that essentially said the same thing would be a waste of time for me and for our readers. If you're interested in this particular issue, I'm sure you can find a lot more than we included by doing a Google news search.
I also left out stories about a faith healer somewhere in the US who rubbed spit into a blind person's eyes in order to heal them. The blind person, quite obviously, did not have his vision restored. We like to stick to real science in the digest and I felt this story to be absurd and, even though three or four publications covered it, I chose to leave it out of the digest.
Another issue with using GoogleAlerts as our primary source for articles is that we get a lot of false positives. Which is to say, we get articles about the Chinese reality show, "Blind Date," we get articles that contain the term "blind spot," we get articles about a town called "Blind River" and loads more that use the word "blind" to mean something other than the inability to see. Exploring other definitions of "blind" is another topic I'm thinking of writing a full blog article about.
January is glaucoma awareness month. In the Science and Medicine section, we have some interesting articles about it and research into a cure.
The Blindness Agencies section once again leads with stories of allegations of sexual misconduct at residential blindness training centers. This story continues to grow and we're seeing an increased number of articles about it in mainstream publications. NFB training centers provide a valuable service and are important to our community; NFB training centers seem to have a problem with sexual misconduct by the staff and they must do something very serious or end up losing the confidence of students and their parents alike. Look for a long form blog article from me on this issue sometime in the next month or so.
Additionally, we have loads of other interesting articles in this edition. We have stories about art and artists, we have stories about sports and athletics, we added a crime section in this edition and there's much more. We very much hope you enjoy this edition too.
January has been declared braille literacy month in Michigan. This story is from Up North Live.
Science and Medicine
The Phoenix99 Bionic Eye, it is an implantable system designed to restore a form of vision to patients living with severe vision impairment and blindness. We've heard a lot about bionic eyes and they didn't work very well, we hope this one is different. This story came from AME Info.
The HSE has said an application to fund a gene therapy that can fight a rare condition which can result in blindness remains “under consideration” amid calls to make Luxturna available to treat adults and children in Ireland. This story is from Irish Examiner.
A blind person can still cry if they damage their eye provided the tear duct remains intact. People born blind can cry like any other since their tear ducts don’t have defects; they might be unable to cry if an accident damages the tear ducts. It is the same as everyone else. This one is from – American News Report.
January is glaucoma awareness month and should serve as a reminder to get regular eye exams. This came from Tallahassee Democrat.
Patients at Great Ormond Street Hospital (Gosh) have become the first in the world to test a treatment that could prevent blindness. This story came to us from Optician Online.
Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in most black people, African Americans and people from the Caribbean, but there is a simple way to prevent the devastating effects of glaucoma, according to Dr. Daniel Laroche, a glaucoma specialist in New York. This story is from Vanguard NGR.
Connie Parke was misdiagnosed with glaucoma after which she lost her vision gradually. She recently discovered that she had a cataract and underwent surgery to regain vision after being blind for 15 years. This story came from Times Now.
An estimated three million people in Uganda live with vision loss, and more than 80,000 of them are blind. The most common cause of blindness in Uganda — cataracts — can be corrected with straightforward surgery. But with only 45 eye doctors for 46 million people, treatment is out of reach in many of Uganda’s communities. This came from scidev.
Doheny Eye Institute Announces the Appointment of Deborah Ferrington, PhD as Chief Scientific Officer
Dr. Ferrington is internationally recognized for her ground-breaking research on age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is the leading cause of blindness among those over 60. This article is from BioSpace.
This remarkable invention has been shown to at least partially restore sight in mice. This story is from phys.
This woman saw numerous doctors, including a number of specialists and it took years for one of the medical professionals to give her an accurate diagnosis. This one came from The Washington Post.
Will the day come when those with sight impairments get behind the wheel of a car? The answer is yes, according to GARY WUNDER, National Federation of the Blind. This story is from KVIA.
Visually challenged students from all over the country will soon have the access to Braille Maps designed and developed using Digital Embossing Technology. This came from The Tribune – India.
January is National Braille Literacy Month. The New York State Commission for the Blind says braille literacy is decreasing because of fewer trained instructors, and with more school age students being educated in their own communities instead of schools specifically for the blind. Educators from the nonprofit Visually Impaired Advancement say technology also plays a bigger role. This story is from Spectrum News.
Building machines that work for everyone – how diversity of test subjects is a technology Blind Spot
Human-Machine Interaction (HMI) is an umbrella term that describes the ways people interact with machines. HMI is a key aspect of researching, designing and building new technologies. This one is from NewsTimes.
Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired opened a CVI Collaborative Center, first in FL, at its pre-k-2nd grade Little Havana school. This story came from Miami Herald.
Despite being capable of working a variety of jobs, people who are blind or visually impaired tend to have low job placement rates, low salaries and an unusually high underemployment rate. But some advocates say that more-accessible tech platforms could be a key to changing that. This came from Ed Surge.
Working and Employment
Born with functioning eyes, Jones lost his sight in 2005 but refused to let the predicament impair his vision and obstruct him from attaining his goals. This one came from Legit.
28-year-old visually-impaired Dahiru Idris was recently given an automatic employment by the Kano State Government in recognition of his effort as a volunteer teacher. This story came from Punch Newspapers.
The National Federation of the Blind earlier this month announced it is ending its controversial practice of tying scholarship awards to its mentor program following an allegation that a former mentor used the program to pressure at least one woman for sex. This story came from Gambit.
At least a dozen incidents of sexual assault or misconduct at Ruston center for the blind, new report says
The National Federation of the Blind acknowledged leadership within its affiliated training centers knew about multiple complaints of sexual misconduct but failed to take significant action. This story came from NOLA.
When Blind Veterans UK was founded In 1915, our mission was to help soldiers blinded during the First World War. Today we offer lifelong support. This came from Blind Veterans UK.
American Foundation for the Blind Announces Workplace Technology Study, Examining Employment Experiences of Blind or Visually Impaired Adults
American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) today announced the release of the Workplace Technology Study, a new report examining how technology in the workplace influences the experiences of workers who are blind, have low vision, or are deaf-blind. This story came from American Foundation for the Blind.
This organization is making using public transit in Israel easier for blind people. The story is from Israel 21C.
Kodiak Sciences Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company committed to researching, developing and commercializing transformative therapeutics to treat high prevalence retinal diseases. This story is from Equities News.
Discrimination and Inaccessibility
The blind often rely on accessible technology or help from others. In the case of COVID-19 tests getting either form of aid can be difficult. This story came from Fox.
In 2017, two blind students in the Los Angeles Community College District filed a lawsuit claiming that they and other blind students weren’t given accessible materials in math classes. The students say that without materials in braille or audio, or tutors to read the material out loud, the classes are almost impossible to pass, effectively barring students from transferring to a four-year college. This story is from EdSource.
Amtrak reached a settlement after the Justice Department said the company failed to make stations in its intercity rail transportation system accessible, including to wheelchair users. This story came from NPR.
A MAN from Winchester who is visually-impaired has spoken of his upset after he was bumped into by students on three occasions. This story came from Hampshire Chronicle.
Having been raised by Deborah and Paul Wydra of Oakton for nearly two years, a black Labrador named Carmen soon will begin guide-dog training at Guiding Eyes for the Blind. This story is from insidenova.com.
It’s 10am and I’m walking down the street to catch my next train for work with my guide dog, Ida. Despite it still being early, I’ve already been shoulder-barged twice, and a member of the public has stepped into my personal space to stroke Ida. This story is from Metro News.
A blind woman from Buxton is calling for action to improve safety after injuring her back when she fell over a protruding tree root. This story is from Buxton Advertiser.
A legally blind man said he swung his knife after he thought he had been punched. This story is from Chicago Tribune.
The St. Augustine Police Department said a bomb threat was called into the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. This story came from Action News Jax.
A man has been jailed for his part in an "extremely violent attack" which left the victim blind. This one came from BBC News.
Sex and Sexuality
How I Have Sex: ‘With My [Visual] Disability, I Can’t Sense What My Partner Wants – They Have to Say It
As a queer person with disability, the “coming out” story doesn’t end when we exit the closet. That I’m also visually impaired is a story that keeps repeating on dating apps. This story came from The Swaddle.
I honestly did not know what to call this section so please offer suggestions in the comments section below.
After years of living in a dilapidated mudhouse under deplorable conditions, 65-year-old blind Wofa Yaw from Pekyi-Tweapeasi in the Ashanti Region has been given a new house. This story is from yen.com.gh.
What would you do if you came across a motorcycle blocking the lane in front of you at a traffic light? You’d wait for the motorcyclist to help a blind man cross the road. This story came from WORLD OF BUZZ.
Art and Artists
Armagan was born completely blind, but he taught himself to draw with colours, shades, dimensions and perspective. This story is from Trt World.
A new art gallery that champions art accessibility and inclusion is opening on Douglas Avenue this weekend, with a grand opening celebration planned for Saturday. This story came from The Wichita Eagle.
For one woman in North Myrtle Beach, words are everything. She uses her words to combat the roller coaster ride of a life she’s lived through. This came from This Is Carolina.
I have a brain condition that acts as a fake brain tumor, so it puts too much pressure on my nerves,” she said. “I never expected to pick up a paintbrush or anything again. This story is from CTV News London.
The Envision Arts Gallery had its grand opening Saturday, and it’s already making visitors see the world a little differently. This exhibit is specially curated by and for the blind, visually impaired, and disabled. This story came to us from KWCH.
Sports and Athletics
Bryce Weiler of Illinois, who is blind, will be at the broadcasters' table on Jan. 13, 2022, as two college basketball teams face off — but his larger message is about pushing through obstacles. This story came to us from Fox News.
The International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Judo has announced the dates and locations for three Grand Prix for 2022. This story is from IBSA.
Brenda Mosby has endured a lot of challenges throughout her life, but none bigger than losing her eyesight in 1994. This article came from Denver Gazette.
Bring on the tears — a video of a toddler’s reaction to seeing her mom’s face clearly for the first time has gone viral. Note: This story has a video attached. This story came from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.