Editorial By Chris Hofstader
We've reached edition 30 of this news digest and thus far have featured more than 1800 articles about all areas of blindness and blind people we could round up from the entire English speaking world. This evolving web site is the first of its kind in the blindness space. Other excellent publications like Top Tech Tidbits (TTT) do a terrific job covering a specific aspect of the world of blindness, in the TTT case, it's all about access and other technology used by blind people. This publication tries to cover everything from braille to sports to crime to business to science and more and almost all of our stories come from mainstream publications so we rarely run a piece about access technology as it so rarely makes the mainstream news.. We are unique in the blindness world as nobody has ever done a publication that even tries to tell the whole story of blindness. We hope you continue to follow our work, both the digest and the longer articles we tend to publish on Thursdays will inform, educate and, hopefully, entertain as well. Our team is growing and we'll be publishing more stories as we evolve. Our scheduled date for launching the new and improved site is January 4 (Louis Braille's birthday) so please excuse that it still mostly looks and feels like my personal blog.
We're still looking for a new name for the site so, if you suggest the one we will use, we'll send you a $20 gift card to Amazon or whereever you prefer shopping.
I don't often write the feature articles that run in the digest, I write long form essays in a creative non-ficion style and those stories don't usually fit so we run those on their own on Thursdays. This week, however, Eric Damery is retiring from his long held position at Freedom Scientific. I very much enjoyed working with Eric for the six years I spent at that company and this story describes just how important he was to the entire screen reading industry over the past few decades. One note about this story, nearly all of it takes place before HJ, Blazie and what is now Benetech merged to form Freedom Scientific, the happiest years I had at that company and I think it was when were most innovative and creative in our approach to JAWS.
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.
"Eric Damery was not just the voice and face of JAWS and Henter-Joyce/Freedom Scientific/Vispero on a PR level for more than quarter of a century, his heart and soul were knit with the needs of blind people, more than any sighted person I know. He is one sighted person I can honestly say knew what blind users wanted and needed and who was able to communicate to sighted and blind developers alike to make it happen. Like us few blind developers, JAWS was his baby. He was easily able to use his computer without a monitor, and encouraged other sighted staff to at least know how to do it. He is one hard working colleague who deserves to retire, and we will all miss him dearly. Whether at work or out of work, his passion was the same. He will be a hard act to follow," Joseph Stephen, a 25 year tenured software engineer working on JAWS from his home in Australia.
Before I lost the last of my vision, I hung out with some of the biggest names in the software business during the DOS and early Windows era. At a big convention like COMDEX, I got an invite to all of the best parties and got to meet everyone with a famous name in the software business ranging from Bill Gates to Philippe Kahn to Steve Jobs. I had my own company and, when my business partner and I chose to go in different directions, I became a consultant to a relatively elite group of companies. Then, word got around that I had gone blind and, as graphical user interfaces were the big topic of the day, everyone assumed I couldn't work in the software biz anymore. My phone stopped ringing and I started spending my days getting drunk at the Cambridge Brewing Company all day long. After a couple of years off that, I got sober and started looking for a job I could do while also enrolling at Harvard University to study creative writing. A fellow named Mike Richman, the best man at my parents' wedding and also blind from RP, told my dad to get me a copy of Window-Eyes and my dad bought me a Gateway laptop and the screen reader. After my wife toiled for about four hours with the GW tech support people to get it running, I realized that I could be a software professional again.
The first job for which I applied was at the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind and after going through all of the interviews and such, I got a call from Joe Lazarro telling me the worst thing you can say to someone desperate for a job, he used the words "massively overqualified" and I burst into tears when we hung up. The second attempt I made to get a job was to send my resume to GW Micro showing that I had twenty years experience making software, that I was a low level hacker, something essential to a screen reader and that I would move if they needed me to; I never even got a response from those guys. I started looking around at other blindness companies and saw that Henter-Joyce had an opening. They flew me to Florida for a day of interviews and that was the day I first met Eric Damery.
In all honesty, I don't remember Eric from that day too well. I talked to Ted, to jerry Bowman (then the company's General Manager), I talked to all of the engineers and I talked to a few other people so my head was spinning by the time our late friend Joe Simparosa got me back to my hotel.
Getting To Know Eric
My first few weeks at HJ were a whirlwind of finding an apartment, furnishing it and trying to figure out a plan for organizing the total mess of what they called a software engineering department. Most days would end with my head on my desk and a horrible headache.
Early in my tenure there, though, I would start every day with a meeting in Eric Damery's office. More than anyone else at the company, Eric seemed to know and understand everything that was going on and he was essential to my own success at the company.
After a few weeks, I noticed something a bit odd about Eric's workspace, I knew he was sighted but when he touched his computer, I'd hear JAWS talking and never hear a mouse click. Curious, I asked Eric what was happening and he explained that, for the majority of his day at work, he kept his monitor turned off and used JAWS to get his job done. Color me impressed.
Eric Joins HJ
In the early days, HJ didn't only sell JAWS but was a dealer for other products as well. Eric came to the HJ office to buy a copy of OpenBook for his father who was blind. Ted showed Eric JAWS and Eric was blown away. At that time, Eric was working for an accounting software company run entirely by Scientologists so was having a pretty surreal experience at work. After playing around with JAWS, he asked Ted for a job as a salesperson. Ted told him he didn't trust sales people as he had a bad experience with one in the past. Eric then started camping out on the front steps at Henter-Joyce and became such a pest for Ted that HJ offered him a job with a low salary and a very nice and progressive commission package.
Eric dove into the new job with both feet. He'd Chris cross the US setting up the dealer network and often had to sleep on sofas as HJ hadn't the money around for hotels yet. He worked tirelessly and built both the dealer network and the in house sales teams. After a few years and an incredible amount of work, HJ started making money and started growing rapidly as a company.
Eric and JAWS Features
Because Eric was actually a JAWS user and spent a lot of his time talking to blind people using JAWS, he became more familiar with the product than anyone else at the company, including the blind people like Ted Henter and Glen Gordon. Our morning meetings changed from Eric teaching me about how HJ worked into daily discussions about JAWS design and potential new features.
Shortly before my first anniversary at HJ, Eric, Glen and I held a meeting in my office (Glen worked remotely so was on the phone) and we discussed our Internet support. It was the single feature that Window-Eyes did better than did JFW and we were going to change that. In that meeting, we invented the virtual buffer, one of JAWS most popular features. Glen wrote the code and had a demo in hand within a few days. At the following year's CSUN, we put Window-Eyes on one PC and the new JAWS on another. We opened Jamal Mazrui's web site which had over a thousand links on the home page. JAWS loaded the page in about 20 seconds; Window-Eyes still had not opened it twenty minutes later and GW would never catch up.
When I invented single key navigation on the web, an idea I lifted from the way GNU Emacs handles read only buffers, it was Eric and I who sat down and selected the keystrokes we should use.
When I suggested we use the CapsLock key as the JAWS key, especially for the laptop layout, Eric concurred and Glen got it into the product.
When I thought up the idea for the Speech and Sounds manager, Eric designed its user interface and Ernie Ocampo implemented the code. If I, with my hacker mindset, had done the design, it would have looked and felt like something a hacker might like but everyone else would reject.
Eric helped design JAWS features before I joined the company and has been involved in the new JAWS features that have entered the product in the 18 years since I left the company. I describe the features with which I was involved as those are the ones whose history I know intimately.
Almost all of these features are now in nearly every other keyboard based screen reader today and some of the ideas are even present on the mobile devices with a touch screen interface. If you use any screen reader at all, Eric Damery's ideas are embedded in it somewhere.
Our Debt To Eric
As above, if you use any screen reader at all, you owe some of your experience to Eric Damery. As a sales and marketing guy, he took the screen reader from being obscure even among the blind community and brought it to as many blind people as possible. As a product manager, Eric had his hand in every new and innovative feature that would come to JAWS over the years and later be copied by the competitors. JAWS reached its near monopoly market position largely because of Eric Damery's incredibly hard work and dedication to the users. While he could see just fine, we would often use the term "blink" to refer to him as he was one of us.
Eric Damery is one of the most important people in the history of screen reading and this Friday will be his final day on the job at FS. Eric is retiring and, if there was a Hall Of Fame for access technology, he'd belong there right with Ted Henter, Mick Curren, Jamie Teh, Joseph Stephen, Jim Thatcher and a number of others.
If you know Eric or not, send him a thank you note this week for all he did for the entire community of blind people.
IBCA World Women’s and Junior Championships celebrate solidarity in the global Braille family in times of war
The 11th IBCA World Women’s and Junior Chess Championships for the Blind and Visually Impaired, organized by the IBCA, the French Blind Chess Association, and the Maison d’Échecs de Toulouse Lardenne, chief organizer Mr. Laurent Kruk, took place in Castelnaudary, France, from July 10-18, 2022. The participants, representing 18 federations from three continents, used specialized Braille chess boards, talking clocks, and voice recording equipment. This story comes to us from: fide.
Make your property websites ADA compliant and fully accessible to all visually impaired Americans so their life's experiences are represented. This story comes to us from: Inman.
I love to hear that a technology designed for blind people finds its way into mainstream uses. It means that it's more likely to be maintained and improved as so many blindness related projects run out of money and disappear.
groundbreaking new technology aimed at making every inch of the transit network accessible to people with visual impairments could also help dismantle one of the steepest barriers that many Americans face when they first try to use a shared mode: navigating the labyrinthine underground landscapes that GPS can’t reach. And it’s coming to U.S. transit networks. This story comes to us from: Streetsblog USA.
Phoenix Sky Harbor is working with the "Aira" app to make its airport more accessible to blind and low-vision travelers. This story came to us from: AZFamily.
[Orbit Research Introduces the Orbit Slate Family of Multi-line Braille Displays][
Orbit Research announced the launch of the Orbit Slate™ family of multi-line braille displays today on the eve of the annual conventions of the American Council of the Blind and the National Federation of the Blind. The Orbit Slate is the first and only product in the world to provide multiple lines of true real-time refreshable braille in a single, compact, tablet-sized device. It enables people who are blind or visually impaired to seamlessly and intuitively experience spatially arranged text and information such as spatial math problems, braille music and tables in real time. The Slate offers Orbit’s unique signage-quality TrueBraille™ cells in two configurations – a model with three rows of forty cells and one with five rows of twenty cells. This story came to us from: ein news.
A major update of the ErgData app from Concept2 is now available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store for Android. The app has many new features, including audio guidance in both Apple and Android versions to increase accessibility. This story comes to us from: PRNewswire.
Assistive apps for smartphones could help seniors with low vision regain some of their independence and relieve caregiver burden at the same time. But there’s a problem: Many older Americans who could benefit from apps designed for those with visual impairment do not use them. In fact, while 15.2% of people over the age of 75 reported having vision loss that could not be corrected through prescription lenses, only 6% of older smartphone users take advantage of these types of apps. This story comes to us from: seniors matter.
Science and Medicine
This report summarizes a five-month visioning process facilitated by the National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB) to illuminate state-level priorities. This story comes to us from: National Center on Deaf-Blindness.
Accessible Pharmacy’s 2022 Blind Health Expo will be the largest virtual expo of healthcare information, products, services, and medication for individuals who are blind, DeafBlind, or have low vision. This story comes to us from: Accessible Pharmacy.
I was diagnosed with RP at New York Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat in 1967 when I was seven years old. I was also told that before it got bad enough for me to go blind that a cure would be available. As the decades progressed and I finally lossed the last of my vision in my late thirties, the psychological side hit me as, by then, I had realized that we'd not have a cure probably in my lifetime. Sometimes false hope is far worse than no hope at all.
The way in which a patient is told they have serious eye disease can impact their psychological health and ability to cope with their condition in the long-term, according to new research published in the open-access journal BMJ Open. A research team led by Dr Jasleen Jolly, of Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) interviewed patients across a range of ages who had been diagnosed with eye disease in England over the course of several decades, and assessed the psychological impact of the way their diagnosis was communicated. This story comes to us from: EurekAlert.
Retinal degeneration is a multifaceted disorder with many etiologies, and it is one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide. Some cases of this retinal disorder have a genetic basis. Thus, mutations that cause photoreceptor death are well known. However, the pathophysiology within the retina and along the visual pathway has been impossible to decipher in the early stages of the disease. This story comes to us from: EurekAlert.
Few biological facts seem as irrevocable as brain death. It has long been assumed that when we die, our neurons die with us. But a new study on the neuron-packed tissue of the eye is beginning to challenge that dogma.
In the new work, researchers restored electrical activity in human retinas—the light-sensitive neural tissue that sits at the back of our eyes. This story comes to us from: Scientific American.
Lagos State governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has disclosed that no fewer than 250,000 residents across the state are targeted for a free healthcare delivery programme tagged: Jigi-Bola.
Governor Sanwo-Olu made this disclosure at the flag off of the 4th Edition of BOSKOH Free Medical Outreach tagged: “Jigi-Bola Relaunch Phase II” which took place at the Police College, Ikeja.
The programme is targeted to reach over 250,000 Lagosians in eight Local Government Areas. This story came to us from: The Sun Nigeria.
GOVERNMENT, with help of partners, has successfully rolled out an immunisation programme to fight and eliminate blinding trachoma among communities across eight districts. This story came to us from: NewZimbabwe.com.
A group of leading Australian researchers is collaborating to develop bioengineered eye tissue to treat corneal blindness. Corneal Blindness is a leading cause of vision loss
Corneal blindness is a condition that affects the cornea, the clear window at the front of the eye. This story comes to us from: The University of Sydney.
Research funded by a new grant awarded to Professor Renu Kowluru, Ph.D., from the National Institutes of Health could help prevent the development and progression of a sight-threatening complication of diabetes. This story comes to us from: Today@Wayne – Wayne State University.
The FDA approved Beovu (brolucizumab) to treat diabetic macular edema for people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. This medication could potentially help you or someone you love protect against diabetes-related vision loss. This story comes to us from: diatribe.
[Bad Habits That Could Turn You Blind Say Experts][
This article is poorly sourced and I'd be very skeptical of its contents. We are planning on publishing a long form article about how a lay person can determine if an article or scientific paper is likely valid or not at some point in the coming months. It won't be an easy one for us to write and we'll be consulting actual scientist friends to ensure we're getting things correct so it's going to take some time to get it done.
Paying attention to our eyesight isn't something most people think about until something goes awry. While most of us won't have 20/20 vision, our lifestyle choices could hinder how well we see. According to experts, everyday habits can increase the risk of poor eye health. "Poor vision can significantly impact one's quality of life, and in some cases, it can even lead to blindness. Many different health habits can cause or contribute to poor vision, so it is essential to be aware of the potential risks. This story came to us from: eatthis.
The Fred Hollows Foundation and Novartis Pharmaceutical have unveiled the integrated eye health programme to tackle avoidable blindness in Kenya. This story came to us from: The Standard.
Gokals Limited, a healthcare distribution company, has opened a new laboratory to provide effective ophthalmological services to clients. The laboratory service forms part of the company’s effort to increase access to eye health services and improve the well-being of the people. This story came to us from: BusinessGhana.
This story reads more like an advertisement for NFB but it has some interesting parts too.
Blindness is one of the most, if not the most, misunderstood type of disability. The general masses have their own pre-conceived notions about the blind people that they firmly believe to be true without even getting in touch with a blind person. The National Federation of the Blind defends the rights of blind people of all ages and provides information and support to families with blind children, older Americans who are losing vision, and more. Good news is that they have affiliates in all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. This story came to us from: V101.9.
Now 25 years ago, I founded Ofek Liyladenu (Our Children’s Horizon), an Israeli nongovernmental organization (NGO) dedicated to guiding parents of children who are blind and sight-impaired and helping their children gain access to the resources they need. This story comes to us from: The Jerusalem Post.
The Lake Stockton Area Council of the Blind, an affiliate of the Missouri Council of the Blind, meets at 6:30 p.m. the first Thursday ofeach month. This story comes to us from: Bolivar Herald-Free Press.
The National Federation of Blind Flint Chapter held a meet-and-greet event in Flint Saturday. This story comes to us from: WEYI.
The Penrickton Center for Blind Children is fortunate to have a large network of individuals and organizations who make donations on a regular basis, but a car show fundraiser stands out for one particular reason. On July 9 the Downriver Wanderers Classic Car Club held a car show on the grounds of the Penrickton Center, located at 26530 Eureka Road in Taylor. This story comes to us from: The News Herald.
DougCo residents with visual disabilities or physical disabilities that prevent the ability to handle printed materials are eligible for free adapted reading materials. The Colorado Talking Book Library provides recorded, braille, and large print library materials postage-free to eligible Colorado residents. If residents cannot see well enough to read conventional print, have a physical disability that prevents them from handling printed materials, or if they have reading disabilities, CTBL offers solutions. This story comes to us from: NewsBreak Original.
In the 1930s, Congress passed a bill to establish the National Library Service (NLS) through the Library of Congress. The purpose of the NLS is to provide accessible reading materials at no charge to people with vision impairment. In the 1930s, books were available in either Braille (which was newly standardized in the English-speaking world) or as a record album delivered to the person’s home. This story came to us from: starherald.
Advocates in the Kansas City area talk accessibility and disability pride ahead of the Americans with Disabilities Act's (ADA) anniversary, otherwise known as Disability Independence Day. July is Disability Pride Month. July 26 is the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), also called Disability Independence Day. The ADA is a civil rights law that encourages accessibility by barring discrimination against people with disabilities. This story comes to us from: KCUR.
As we're one of the content creators, I found this one interesting as I've been hearing about disability pride month since June.
If there’s one thing you do this Disability Pride Month, please make it listening to disabled people. You may have spotted awareness-raising posts from disabled content creators on social media, many of which serve as a call to arms to creators’ mostly non-disabled audiences, asking them to publicly support and show appreciation for the disabled community in July and also beyond. This story comes to us from: Mashable.
Walking across the Wits Great Hall stage to accept her PhD, the blind woman beamed for all those with disabilities who were told they couldn’t. This story comes to us from: Tuko.
Javeed Ahmad, anInclusive Educator at Samagra Shikshasays that one particularly hard thing to deal with in education is blindness or other visual impairment issues. The assistive technology for visually impaired students refers to a range of tools, devices, and strategies that allow a CWSN (Child With Special Needs) to accomplish a task that they would otherwise be unable to do, or would have difficulty accomplishing effectively. “Assistive technology can be simple or complex. Examples of low tech tools for students with visual impairments might include enlarged text or raised line paper, while high tech tools may encompass digital tools that “read” to the student, connect to a Braille display,” he said. This story comes to us from: Rising Kashmir.
Kai Wang was in first grade when the pandemic moved his classroom at Cragmont Elementary behind the screen of his laptop. And for all the challenges of virtual learning, Kai, who is blind, faced even more of them. Virtual learning hastened the arrival of a new era in educational technology. The problem, though, was that many of these tools were not built with students with disabilities in mind. This story comes to us from: Berkeleyside.
THis is a difficult web page to read with a screen reader or at least with Safari on my Macintosh.
For the 19-year-old humanities student, who has always studied in a “regular” school, negotiating life is a challenge she had been prepared for from a young age. This story comes to us from: The Indian Express.
Wood working might challenge any of us who have never got to grips with a lathe – but one man who wowed mid Wales last week has told how he picked up the skill in spite of being blind. This story comes to us from: County Times.
A blind man believes a government scheme to support disabled people into work has failed him. Richmond resident Jordan Langley applied for funding for a special high-resolution computer which, because of his disability, he needs so he can work in IT. The funding was denied. However, a disability charity, recognizing Langley’s valuable skills, dipped into its own pockets to fund the gear he requires, and employed him – using money earmarked to hire other staff with disabilities. This story came to us from: Stuff.co.nz.
Wang Tian, one of the founders of Bear Paw Cafe, a cafe that went viral online in 2020 for its coffee being served by a bear claw poking out of a hole in the wall, with most staff hearing impaired, didn't expect the planned opening of his next store to be met with such fanfare. Wang's latest offering again combines the employment of people with disabilities and serving up fresh brews. Seed Shop, a new branch of Bear Paw in Pudong district's Times Square, is shaped like an acorn and its baristas include blind brothers Yin Tianbao and Yin Tianyou. This story came to us from: China Daily – Global Edition.
Blind massage therapists say the lockdown and lack of government support are making life difficult. This story came to us from: BBC.
Chris Mathews has been partially blind all his life. Born prematurely, there was too much oxygen in his incubator, causing blood vessels to burst in his eyes. In his nearly 25-minute YouTube video, Chris shows the difficulty he has navigating downtown. "I just wanted to highlight some of the things I experience the most often. I guess I would hope some people would see those and maybe even just be willing to have an open-ended conversation," said Mathews. "And ask questions to those of us with mobility challenges. This story comes to us from: KAAL TV.
Ever wondered how the blind get to and from work in these streets? For massage therapist Lorna Padilla and her husband Jerry, the two must navigate obstructed sidewalks, slippery overpasses, and unsafe pedestrian crossings to get to their place of work. This story comes to us from: ABS-CBN News.
One in seven people worldwide live with some form of disability and many of them face daily challenges that include just getting around. Al Jazeera’s innovation studio, AJ Contrast, tells the story of three women with different disabilities in Mumbai, Lagos, and New York City. In this episode, we speak with AJ Contrast Senior Producer Viktorija Mickute to learn more about these women and what can be done to make the world more accessible for all. This story comes to us from: Al Jazeera.
Discrimination and Inaccessibility
Seeing blind people singing and begging for money is not an uncommon sight in Myanmar. They are likely to appear the most prominent example of a neglected sector of society – the “disabled” or the “differently abled”. There is little wonder in a society that is attempting to develop economically and culturally after decades of military regime mismanagement that those on the bottom rungs have a particularly hard time. This story comes to us from: Burma News International.
We need to take whatever action is necessary, legal or direct, to ensure Uber and Lyft drivers are required by their contract to accept guide dogs or be fired immediately. I've been ditched in more cities than I'd like to remember and in 100% of the cases, the drivers came from the same ethnic group where some have a religious objection to dogs. With various recent Supreme Court decisions, does this mean these drivers can claim a religious exemption from ADA?
A 19-year-old blind woman was left stranded when an Uber driver refused to take her home because she had her guide dog with her. This story comes to us from: 3AW.
Home Bargains staff saved a man's life after he went blind and collapsed in their store. Liam Johnston was in the Hanover Street store in Liverpool on the afternoon of Friday, April 22 with his partner when he suddenly began to feel unwell. His vision became blurred before he eventually went temporarily blind and fell to the floor. This story came to us from: Daily Record.
A Lancaster man is facing charges of aggravated indecent sexual assaults of a blind, deaf and mute 70-year-old woman. This story came to us from: WFMZ.
The Los Angeles Police Department will pay $300,000 to settle a lawsuit by a legally blind man who said he was beaten, strapped to a hospital gurney, and nearly suffocated during an arrest three years ago, attorneys said Wednesday. The civil lawsuit filed by Michael Moore alleged unlawful seizure, excessive force, battery and negligence. Moore was arrested in February 2019 when he called police to his home in South Los Angeles after he said he was attacked by a family friend. This story comes to us from: 23ABC News Bakersfield.
Mum Karen Tyquin has been by her side ever since, helping Prindable reach her dream of becoming an equestrian para-athlete. But, after a fall from one of her rides, it was decided that a gentler horse was needed for riding. This story came to us from: 9Now – Nine.
An Army veteran who claimed to be blind and was collecting nearly $4,000 a month in federal disability payments — all while driving multiple cars and serving as an archery instructor in the Boy Scouts — was sentenced July 18 to 10 months in prison and ordered to pay $930,762 in restitution. This story came to us from: Yahoo News
Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind are currently recruiting for Puppy Raising Volunteers in the Munster area. Candidates must be no more than two hours from their headquarters on Model Farm Road, Cork, and can be from Cork, Clare, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford. This story came to us from: Breaking News.
Advocates for the blind are celebrating a new law that adds blind Oklahomans to the list of people allowed to vote by electronic mail-in ballot. This story comes to us from: Norman Transcript.
Delmonico’s Italian Steakhouse of Florida does not offer and maintain a mobile website that is fully accessible to blind and visually impaired individuals, a new lawsuit alleges. Plaintiff Windy Lucius claims Delmonico’s website does not interact properly with VoiceOver screen reader software technology used by blind and visually impaired individuals to access mobile websites. This story came to us from: Top Class Actions.
Ally Financial and Morgan Stanley have failed to design, construct and maintain their websites so that they are fully accessible for individuals who are blind or visually impaired, new class action lawsuits allege. Plaintiff Alexandra Hobbs claims in separate complaints against Ally Financial and Morgan Stanley that the companies violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by denying her full and equal access to their websites and the services offered on them. This story comes to us from: Top Class Actions.
I did not grow up as a person with a disability. When the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law in July 1990, I understood its significance, but it was not until I started losing my vision that I experienced firsthand the barriers it helps to remove. This story comes to us from: Terre Haute Tribune Star.
Night Blindness Treatment Market Critical Analysis with Expert Opinion| Merck, Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline
Night blindness is a situation in which affected humans journey terrible imaginative and prescient at some point of night time or at dimly lit places. Night blindness as the title suggests does now not suggest that a struggling affected person will totally go blind at night; alternatively it capability that the affected person can also have difficulties seeing or riding at night. This story comes to us from: Omfut.
[U.S Tactile Printing Market 2022 Size – Future Analysis, Industry Trends,Forecast By 2028 “Lowvision, Brailler, Indexbraille, Brailleworks][
Latest Update: This has brought along several changes this report also covers the impact of Current COVID-19 situation. The rising technology in Tactile Printing Market is also depicted in this research report. Factors that are boosting the growth of the market, and giving a positive push to thrive in the global market is explained in detail. The study considers the present scenario of the data center power market and its market dynamics for the period 2022-2028. It covers a detailed overview of several market growth enablers, restraints, and trends. The report offers both the demand and supply aspects of the market. It profiles and examines leading companies and other prominent ones operating in the market. This story comes to us from: hightimber times.
As the global population continues to age, the ensuing increase in visual acuity loss rates may lead to detrimental effects on population health and have lasting impacts on the healthcare industry. Recently, there has been particular interest regarding disparities in vision care for patients who may suffer from an increased burden of visual impairment, such as older adults and those from underrepresented populations. This story comes to us from: HCPLive.
Dry eye disease (DED) continues to be a difficult problem for patients whose eyes do not provide adequate lubrication. The discomfort that results from dry eyes may affect vision, and if left untreated, the National Eye Institute (NEI), noted that it can damage the cornea. Prevent Blindness has declared July as “Dry Eye Awareness Month” to provide free resources to providers and the public on dry eye, including fact sheets and shareable social media graphics in both English and Spanish, and a dedicated webpage. This story comes to us from: ophthalmology times.
John Furniss is a woodworker whose creations are a combination of his unique outlook on life and his power tool prowess. Jamie Yuccas met with Furniss at his home to find out how his dark past helped lead to a brighter future. This story comes to us from: CBS News.
In an attempt to develop more inclusive tourism, 134 restaurants in the northern state of Coahuila have signed on to an initiative that will provide Braille menus in their restaurants for the visually impaired. This story came to us from: Mexico news daily.
Art and Artists
The book, An Illuminated Darkness, takes its title from one of the poems it contains, The Steps, which is about going to a school for blind children. This story comes to us from: Daily Maverick.
This story contains a video and doesn't have a lot of text.
There’s a long history of blind Black musicians in the US dating back to the 19th century, from Blind Tom to Ray Charles. Join recording artist Lachi and Professor Danielle Bainbridge to discuss the history on why blindness seems like a common thread among Black musicians. This story came to us from: WKNO FM.
I'll bet any of our readers $10 that if they watch this, they won't find the portrayal of a blind person as the director might think as he's not blind either. When a sighted person portrays a blind person in a movie or tv show, they will inevitably add to the already far too many myths of blindness. And, it also adds to the myth that none of the 7.5 million blind or low vision people in America can act.
Weinstock explained that part of the reason they loved Mattfield for the role was her commitment to accurately portraying a blind person. This story comes to us from: The Wrap.
JOHN MCOWAN began writing his memoirs during the coronavirus lockdown, and now his book is finally published. This story came to us from: Peeblesshire News.
Ugandan artist and activist Simon Banga is on a mission to make public artworks accessible to the visually impaired persons by transcribing national historical monuments into braille and tactile formats. This story came to us from: monitor.
Please join us for a descriptive tour exploring New York: 1962-1964. This exhibition explores a pivotal three-year period in the history of art and culture in New York City, examining how artists living and working in New York responded to their rapidly changing world, through more than 150 works of art—all made or seen in New York between 1962-1964. All Access Programs are free of charge and require advance reservation. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 212.423.3289. This story came to us from: The Jewish Museum.
Sports and Athletes
Maryland School for the Blind graduate Jefferson Palacios working to make USA Blind Soccer National Team
In the first week of June, Jefferson Palacios signed up for a “Mortal Kombat” video game tournament for the July 8-10 weekend. Then the 2021 Maryland School for the Blind graduate was invited by the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) to try out on the same weekend for a chance to join the first Blind Soccer National Team. And the decision was simple. This story came to us from: Baltimore Sun.
This feat is all the more impressive when one learns that, while not as tall, Mount Denali is far more dangerous to climb than is Everest.
A Dugger man lost his sight 25 years ago in a hunting accident. Despite being blind, he continues to set big goals for himself. He recently completed a feat many of us would never attempt. He climbed the highest peak in North America, Mount Denali. “It was a challenge. It was a definite challenge, probably the hardest physical challenge that I’ve had since losing my eyesight,” Lonnie Bedwell said as he laughed. This story came to us from: MyWabashValley.com.
It's a common belief that disabilities make it impossible to do certain things. Sometimes that's true—but not nearly as often as people might assume. With the right support and accommodations, people with all manner of disabilities can participate in far more activities than society expects. This story comes to us from: Upworthy.
Cindy Olson was relieved. After a rough opening day at the U.S. Adaptive Open, she slipped into her son Jake’s cart and looked down at the scorecard affixed to the steering wheel. Finally, she saw some good news. There were a number of pars, a handful of bogeys, and … was that a birdie? This made some sense. She’d walked each of Jake’s 15 holes with him on Tuesday, and though she could hardly follow his neon orange golf ball in the air, she sensed he was playing better. This story comes to us from: Golf Magazine.
Mark Arnold, a blind golfer, talked to members of the Brunswick Rotary Club about himself and his experiences with the sport during the club’s meeting Thursday. This story comes to us from: Medina Gazette.
Blind women's soccer has not gained a foothold yet in the United States. But the intent is to field a women's team in time for the 2032 Paralympics. This story comes to us from: Redlands Community News.
This story is presented as a video and it's not the most accessible web site either. This story comes to us from: WMTW.
For the second year in a row, Adam Young has been selected to try out with the National Blind Hockey team. This story came to us from: KING 5.
William “Bill” Pease walked into the tee box and pushed his white peg into the ground, centering his ball almost perfectly between the stone tees. He stood up and stepped back. His son Neal stepped forward and walked a few paces ahead of the tee box, aligning himself between Bill and the pin, which is 385 yards away on the par-4 first hole at Slammer & Squire golf course. This story came to us from: St. Augustine Record.
"I even thought it was impossible for blind people to ride a bike.” Here, they learn they can. This story comes to us from: Spectrum News.
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.
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 fully featured information service for the blind. I publish the digest that you are now reading every Tuesday morning and it averages 65 articles per edition covering all aspects of blindness and blind people from all over the English speaking world.
Over the past few weeks, I've recruited other writers to join as regular contributors and we'll be covering topics ranging from science and medicine to sports to arts to music to the politics of the blind world, employment issues, do it yourself projects, fashion, culture and as much as we can find that might interest our readers.
The migration of this site from being my blog exclusively is slow going and I chose to focus on content before we started rearranging the look and feel of the site. We're working on a new theme and will be moving quite a few things around. I think our readers, new and old, will enjoy this new way of presenting this information.
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.