Editorial By Chris Hofstader
This is edition 33 of Gonz Blinko's Blind News digest. With an average of roughly 65 articles per edition, we've brought our readers more than 2100 articles already this year and it's only mid-August. As I've been writing here the digest and the other articles associated with our new World Blind Herald will be moving to its own site scheduled to go live on January 4, Louis Braille's birthday and the anniversary of edition one of this digest.
The story of the week is in the Science and Medicine section and is called "Bioengineered cornea can restore sight to the blind and visually impaired." It describes how a group of researchers were able to engineer an artificial cornea from pig skin. While I only included one article on this subject as I don't like cluttering the digest with multiple articles about the same topic, this story must have run in at least a hundred publications around the English speaking world so my daily GoogleAlerts were jammed with stories about it. If you want to learn more about this research, a quick Google search will find you a lot about it. In the study, it was small with a sample size of only 14, all of those who received the implant experienced profound vision improvements and two tested at 20:20, the standard for good vision. This could be the first step in an actual cure for blindness among those who are blind due to problems with their cornea. Look for more on this subject as it arrives in our feeds in the future.
One thing that I've noticed in the process of selecting more than 2100 articles and rejecting about ten times as many is that the mainstream media seems to love stories about potential cures for blindness. Some of these describe what can only be described as a scam and I do what I can to filter those out. Some journalists, however, will take a press release about a scientific project and write a story based on it that makes claims the scientists did not include in their actual paper. We hope to write an article describing how a lay person can read this sort of article and determine if it's real or if the journalists sensationalized the story to get themselves more clicks. Either way, I urge any and all of our readers not to take medical advice from even the best of the scientific articles we publish without first consulting an actual ophthalmologist. Don't take medical advice from a web site. ,
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.
When Williamsburg High School student Nathan Deeds began participating in Braille competitions at age 6, he didn't expect to become the best in the nation just 10 years later. This story comes to us from: press-citizen.
“Our technology opens the world of possibilities to the blind in STEAM – science, tech, engineering, art and math,” says Dan Gardner, CEO of ViewPlus, located on SW Airport Avenue in southwest Corvallis. Gardner, who joined the family business in 2015, is the son of John Gardner, emeritus professor of physics at Oregon State University, who led the team that invented the technology. This story came to us from: The Corvallis Advocate.
Maura Kutnyak is passionate about Buffalo, about being a parent, and about becoming a lawyer. She is currently in her last year of law school at UB and wants to pursue a career that strives toward making Buffalo a more equitable place for all who live here. This story comes to us from: UB Now: News.
At Henter-Joyce and into the Freedom Scientific days, we had a no cost downloadable chess game written by a U. Florida student as his senior thesis who we had do an an internship with us the previous summer. It was based on a combination of WinBoard, a FLOSS chess game which in turn is an interface to GNU Chess, a pretty good chess playing engine. I wonder if FS still has it available on their site.
Chessmart (chess: smart) is an add-on for NVDA that provides a fully featured, completely accessible chess playing environment for blind and visually impaired chess players. This story comes to us from the r/blind page on ReadIt.
Vision inspection system provider EyeC has launched Proofiler Version 4.2. The newest software version offers users of the EyeC Proofiler product line new features in Braille and code inspections. The company has also introduced the EyeC Proofiler 900 RS/1050 RS passage scanner. This story comes to us from: labels and labeling.
Happens with other positions, new roles at the internationally renowned newsroom signal areas that are becoming increasingly relevant for the media industry. Accessibility is no exception.
The Times announced recently that Jaime Tanner will lead these efforts. She will be tasked with the goal of making “the breadth and vibrancy” of its news reporting “available to every curious reader,” Deputy Managing Editor Steve Duenes said. This story comes to us from: ijnet.
Library makerspaces offer community members the opportunity to tinker, design, experiment, and create with a range of technology in an informal learning space. However, because current makerspaces and maker tools are highly vision oriented, blind and visually impaired (BVI) people have limited access to these learning opportunities. A new project being led by JooYoung Seo, assistant professor in the School of Information Sciences (iSchool) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and Kyungwon Koh, associate professor in the iSchool and director of the CU Community Fab Lab, seeks to address this problem. This story came to us from: EurekAlert.
JEDDAH: An electronic Qur’an is being introduced at Makkah’s Grand Mosque to help blind and visually impaired Muslims. Advanced braille-based technology is being used to create the Haramain electronic Qur’an, allowing blind and visually impaired visitors and pilgrims to read and access the verses of Islam’s holy book. This story comes to us from: Arab News.
Science and Medicine
A recent study highlights the range of uncomfortable situations people living with blindness or visual impairment encounter due to interpersonal communication challenges, and outlines strategies people with visual impairment use to navigate these situations. “This work validates the lived experiences of people with visual impairment,” says Lynsey Romo, corresponding author of the study. This story comes to us from: Newswise.
Eye donation in India has changed dramatically over the last ten years. Previously, eye donation was viewed as a medical procedure which required a donor. Now, the success of the Hospital Corneal Retrieval Programme (HCRP) has meant that eye banks do not report shortages. This story comes to us from: The Indian Express.
A four-year-old girl, who had congenital hereditary eye disease, was cured of the condition through a surgery at the Rajan Eye Care Hospital free of cost. This story came to us from: The Hindu.
Everything you need to know about Vitamin A, including where to get it from your diet. This story comes to us from: – Live Science.
Ashton Kutcher has admitted that he was previously suffering from a rare autoimmune disease that left him unable to see or hear or even walk. This story comes to us from: Woman and Home Magazine.
Most cases of blindness and vision impairment in the country stem from non-communicable diseases. This story comes to us from: FBC News.
Researchers and entrepreneurs have developed an implant made of collagen protein from pig's skin, which resembles the human cornea. In a pilot study, the implant restored vision to 20 people with diseased corneas, most of whom were blind prior to receiving the implant. This story comes to us from: ScienceDaily.
Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month is celebrated in August every year to raise awareness about the importance of taking care of young ones’ eyes. According to statistics, one in 20 kids between the ages of three and five has a significant eye condition that, if left untreated, could cause permanent vision impairment. Despite this, worryingly, only one in five preschoolers receives regular eye examinations. This story comes to us from: FMT.
Blind Institute of Technology Celebrates their 9 3/4 Birthday at their Sixth Annual Dining in the Dark
Blind Institute of Technology will celebrate its 9 3/4 birthday on October 8th at The Cable Center in Denver, Colorado. The Office of Accessibility at Salesforce have signed on to be the signature sponsor of the night as they are a main partner with BIT regarding the Salesforce Administrator and Salesforce Developer courses. This story comes to us from: finance.Yahoo.
SPA–King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) has implemented a voluntary medical program to combat blindness and its causes in Tahanaout, Morocco, within the 'Noor Saudi Volunteer Program', during the period from 1 to 8 August 2022.
During the campaign, the center's volunteer medical team examined 3,185 cases, distributed 1,217 glasses, and successfully performed 280 cataract surgeries. This story comes to us from: menafn.
While in the program, Mr. Adams and his fellow graduates received extensive training in leadership, networking, communication, and other key skills for advancing in their careers and improving their effectiveness as they achieve higher levels of authority and influence. Other facets of the program included following the Leadership Challenge curriculum, attending a series of webinars, and being paired with a successful blind or low vision mentor who provided honest advice and feedback about what it takes to succeed in the workforce. This story comes to us from: Montgomery independent.
Drishti Foundation, a Pennsylvania-based charity organization, is hosting a 5K or 1K run/walk at 9 AM on Sunday, Aug 28, in Wayne, Pennsylvania, to support blind children. The in-person event is open to all ages and includes a virtual section for people across the globe. This story comes to us from: my chesco.
On July 27, 2022, the Rotary Club of Thai Town, Los Angeles, and the U.S. Embassy Civil Affairs Team donated a collection of items and sponsored a lunch for students at the Mae Sai School for the Blind. Donated items included three Perkins Brailler machines, Fender-donated ukuleles, basic hygiene supplies, and food items. Local rotary clubs also in attendance included the Mae Chan Rotary Club and Chiang Rai Rotary Club. This story comes to us from: U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Thailand.
The Foundation for Blind Children provides a well-rounded system of programs and services, to optimize the blind, or visually-impaired child’s development. We also offer many opportunities to lead a meaningful and productive life, starting with infancy, through preschool, elementary and secondary education throughout college and adulthood. Many of our children graduate from college, pursue successful careers and lead full lives. This story comes to us from: The Foundation for Blind Children.
NSITE’s award-winning Business Leaders Program was launched in 2003 to prepare individuals who are blind for careers in business by providing educational and employment opportunities through professional development. The Business Leaders Program offers five professional development tracks: Business Essentials
Business Essentials is training that is delivered virtually and teaches participants how to make business decisions and deal with market dynamics as they experience changing competitive environments. Three components provide a challenging learning experience: (1) a simulation about business, decision-making, and entrepreneurship, (2) courses that help participants prepare for the simulation experience, and (3) working in teams using business analysis, teamwork, and leadership skills. This story comes to us from: National Industries for the Blind.
American Council of the Blind of Texas (ACBT). 44th Annual State Conference/Convention. Theme: “A Leading Light Through the Darkness." This story comes to us from: American Council of the Blind of Texas.
We know that given the proper training, blind people can compete in terms of equality with sighted people in today's labor market. This story came to us from: KPVI.
Activities and resources for making science accessible to students who are blind or visually impaired. This story comes to us from: Perkins School For The Blind.
This story is presented as a video on the site.
This story comes to us from: LatestLY.
NSITE, a national not-for-profit that provides a continuum of employment services for blind and low vision job seekers, has announced the availability of Google Certificates scholarships that allow job candidates the opportunity to take career-building courses at no cost. These are available to individuals who have signed up for NSITE’s job board, NSITE Connect that matches blind and low vision talent with employers who are seeking to fill positions ranging from entry to senior level. This story comes to us from: einnews.
I do not know why the gender of the pronouns switches from female to male and then back in this story.
Delia Tolentino arrived in Lima at the age of 14 fleeing from the poverty and the injustices in his native Huaral. She worked as a nanny and receptionist at a clinic in Lince. His dream was to be nurse, but he had no money to study. Today this granny enterprising and brave is 78 years old, she is very conceited with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and is dedicated to selling asparagus and holantao to the best known chifas in Lima. This story came to us from: California18.
Discrimination and Inaccessibility
A differently-abled man had to undergo discrimination at a popular tea cafe named Chaayos in Delhi. The man took to his Twitter handle to talk about the negative experience he had at Chaayos. A Twitter user named Mithilesh Yadav wrote in his tweet that he was ignored at the cafe. No one came to take his order, the reason being he was blind. "@Chaayos CP right now. People working here are ignoring me since I am here. At least for half an hour now. This is totally because I am Blind. This story came to us from: Free Press Journal.
There is no word yet on what caused the fire. Local 12's Paula Toti posted on Facebook that woman, named Jennifer, was led to safety by her guide dog. This story comes to us from: WKRC.
Over the weekend, a local official informed the Register about a developing situation involving a blind woman getting evicted from her Sandusky home. "The landlord is granting her one more week to find a place," said Sue Daugherty, the executive director of Serving Our Seniors. This story comes to us from: Sandusky Register.
“I think that’s him,” Linda Privatte says as we creep down Monte Vista Avenue, looking in all the usual spots for her younger brother, James Mark Rippee, who has been living on the streets right around the Solano County Building here for 15 years now. It is Mark, kneeling beside the 7-Eleven, feeling around on the sidewalk for the debit card he keeps losing. This story comes to us from: The Sacramento Bee.
A blind man who used a wheelchair was beaten to death inside an Illinois home over the weekend, according to investigators. This story comes to us from: Fox 8.
A legally blind rapper who was profiled in an Amazon Prime documentary, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to six years in prison, announced U.S. Attorney Nick Brown. Wayne Frisby aka ‘Mac Wayne,’37, of Snohomish County, Washington was arrested in December 2020, for his role in a large drug trafficking ring. This story comes to us from: Department of Justice.
My blind son was jailed for being at the scene of a murder. Halt this tide of joint enterprise convictions
In 2008, my son Jordan was convicted of a joint enterprise murder, along with two other teenagers. He was 15 at the time of the incident, and blind, with a visual acuity of less than 10%. The victim died due to a single injury to the neck, a kick delivered by a 16-year-old, who confessed in the police station. This story comes to us from: The Guardian.
A couple who jumped in to help a blind man being attacked was training for a charity walk. This story comes to us from: NBC 7 San Diego.
A home healthcare worker is in jail after being accused of sexually abusing an elderly woman with mental disabilities in Preble County. Brandon Velez, 24, was indicted Aug. 1 on two counts of gross sexual imposition and one count patient abuse, according to Preble County Common Pleas Court records. The indictment stated that the charges were in connection an incident that happened in Eaton in March 2022. This story comes to us from: Yahoo News.
When a contractor hired to redo a driveway took the job, and then took money from an elderly and disabled woman and her neighbor without lifting a finger to do the work, they contacted police. The Brownstown Township women have a shared driveway and together came up with about $4,000 to have the work done. According to the women, they got all of his information before agreeing to hire him, but after he was given the money, all he did in return was give excuses about why he couldn’t show up to do the job. This story comes to us from: The News Herald.
A Butte woman who admitted to stealing more than $600,000 from an elderly and blind woman, now deceased, who was under her care, and spending the money instead on lake property, vehicles, a pontoon boat and other items for herself was sentenced on Aug. 10 to one year and a day in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. This story came to us from: Department of Justice.
A blind Detroit woman has gone missing during a trip to Peru, sparking an international investigation, The Detroit News reports. Authorities are investigating the disappearance of Carla Valpeoz, 35, an avid traveler who is legally blind. This story comes to us from: The Daily Beast.
Did her dog have its own parachute or did they do a tandem jump?
Blindness once made Laura Bradley too scared to leave home – until a loving guide dog arrived to help her get out and about and enjoy the world. Having Autumn, a labrador-golden retriever cross, has transformed Laura’s life, boosting her confidence enough to experience evenings out with friends, travel – and even go skydiving. This story comes to us from: Daily Record.
Mackenzie Spillman spoke to the Arts and Flowers Garden Club on July 14. Mackenzie, granddaughter of club member Bev Spillman, is raising and training a Labrador retriever puppy for a future leader dog. She is a member of the Daviess County Underdogs 4-H club. This story comes to us from: Washington Times-Herald.
Angeline Akai Lodi describes her experience as a blind voter in the Kenyan general election. This story comes to us from: BBC.
A blind man wants answers from a major rental car operator after he and his wife were denied a vehicle because of his guide dog. This story comes to us from: Stuff.co.nz.
Unilever has failed to design and maintain a website that is fully accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired, a new class action lawsuit alleges. This story comes to us from: top class Actions.
Fischer Skis US LLC lost a bid to dismiss an Americans with Disabilities Act suit alleging it fails to make its website accessible to the visually impaired, when a federal trial court in New York found the law isn’t limited to businesses with a physical location. This story came to us from: Bloomberg Law.
I was uncertain whether to put this story under Business or Preventing Blindness but as it's about money I put it here.
Seva Foundation recently released a report entitled, “The Social Cost of Blindness in India.” With a population of nearly 1.4 billion citizens, India is an enormous nation with a gigantic economy. The government has set the ambitious goal of growing the country’s GDP even further, to US$5 trillion, within the next decade. However, a number of ongoing problems threaten to derail this sweeping economic plan. One of these is the high cost of blindness and visual impairment. This story comes to us from: The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness.
The rising commonness of eye issues like diabetic retinopathy, refractive blubber, glaucoma, waterfall, and meibomian organ infection is projected to increase the number of outwardly debilitated individuals in North America. According to a 2017 review published by the American Optometric Association, more than 16 million Americans, including twice as many women as men, were suffering from dry eye disease, with approximately 70% of patients suffering from meibomian organ disease. This story comes to us from: Medgadget.
The Night Blindness Treatment Market research report provides all the information related to the industry. It gives the outlook of the market by giving authentic data to its client which helps to make essential decisions. It gives an overview of the market which includes its definition, applications and developments and manufacturing technology. This story comes to us from: Shanghaiist.
She planted a seed that led to vision loss gene therapy Luxturna, and now Jean Bennett, M.D., Ph.D., is behind another retinal gene therapy biotech. Opus Genetics emerged Wednesday with its own seed in the form of $19 million in funding. This story comes to us from: Fierce Biotech.
Research to Prevent Blindness and the American Academy of Ophthalmology Award New Research Grants to Improve Eye Care
The American Academy of Ophthalmology and Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB) today announced the 2022 recipients of the RPB/AAO Award for IRIS Registry Research. The researchers will use the IRIS Registry—the nation’s first and largest comprehensive eye disease clinical registry—to conduct population-based studies in ophthalmology and blindness prevention. This story came to us from: Newswise.
As the Taliban mark one year in power in Afghanistan, four Afghans tell the Thomson Reuters Foundation what has happened to them since they fled their homeland. This story comes to us from: Thomson Reuters Foundation News.
Two blind brothers in Rayong are being hailed for overcoming their disability … Thailand to protect newborns with TDAP shots for pregnant women. This story came to us from: Nation Thailand.
Chris Fendrick knew his visual impairment would worsen at some point. The 51-year-old Ridgeview High teacher was born with an X-linked genetic condition known as retinitis pigmentosa, a rare eye disease that slowly breaks down the retina over time, according to the National Eye Institute. He’s always been night blind, he said, which precluded him from driving after dark. And his peripheral vision has always been compromised to about 20 degrees. But his central vision had been pretty good, up until about 2005. Eventually, he realized he could no longer get behind the wheel. This story comes to us from: bakersfield.com.
When I was younger, I trusted other people's perceptions of my appearance more than my own. After all, they could see, and I couldn't. I lost most of my sight when I was five and couldn't remember what I looked like in the mirror. This story came to us from: ABC Everyday.
Art and Artists
[Don't give up': Blind musician turns heads in Mount Holly][
Customers have noticed a supersonic surprise at a retail shopping area in Mount Holly. Guitarist Anthony Southgate has been a fixture this summer, busking in front of the Food Lion and Little Caesar’s. “I’m out here to give them a show because I’m an entertainer!” Southgate told Queen City News. This story comes to us from: Queen City News.
"Mister Rogers would narrate himself feeding the fish each episode with, 'I'm feeding the fish,' because of a letter he received from a young blind girl who was worried the fish were hungry. This story comes to us from: Upworthy.
Sports and Athletes
A beeping ball and buzzing 4-foot-tall foam bases made for a fun morning for blind and visually impaired athletes and others on Saturday at Hometown Heroes Park in League City. The event, which was open to anyone, introduced people to an adaptive sport that uses sounds to guide blindfolded players in hitting the ball and running bases. This story comes to us from: Houston Chronicle.
Spirit of Hong Kong Awards: how loss of vision gave blind marathon runner chance to live a second life
The Hong Kong resident, who was diagnosed with chronic glaucoma and later lost her sight at the age of 26, recalled that she once sank into deep depression because of her vision loss.
“I was very sad,” she said. “I felt like my life was already over before it had really begun.”
The mood of melancholy persisted until Fu got her first taste of running in 2008.
“The sport turned my life around. This story comes to us from: South China Morning Post.
Starting on August 15, Anne Kinski, who is severely visually impaired, and Ulrich Kons, a multiple world champion and former Olympic champion, will row from Dresden to Hamburg. Other European champions, world champions, and Olympians from Germany will join them. The goal is to draw attention to incurable retinal diseases and to raise funds for research at the TU Dresden. At the same time. This story comes to us from: Informationsdienst Wissenschaft.
For many cyclists, the prospect of biking nearly 5,000 miles from Yorktown, Virginia to Florence, Oregon is a daunting enough affair. This story comes to us from: Corvallis Gazette-Times.
Jay Semple is gearing up for his 11th Paisley 10k Road Race and is urging others to join him. The 43-year-old suffers from a rare genetic disorder called choroideremia which causes a progressive loss of vision. He will be assisted around the race route by a running guide and will take part in the shorter Fun Run afterwards. This story comes to us from: The Renfrewshire Gazette.
A Coleraine businessman is teaming up with a Paralympian to take on a gruelling tandem cycling challenge in aid of supporting blind and partially sighted people. Gary McClarty, founder and owner of MCL InsureTech, and the name behind online insurance brand its4women , will cycle from Paris to Nice on a tandem bike. This story comes to us from: Belfast Live.
A County Down man, who is registered blind, has said a BBC decision to scrap Radio 5 Live's classified football results is "extremely disappointing".
Ken Carson, 57, from Bangor in County Down, is an avid radio listener.
The classified football results list all football results across the English and Scottish leagues and has been on every Saturday at 17:00 BST during each football season since the 1950s. This story comes to us from: BBC.
Lissa Bachner began losing her vision at a young age but didn't let it stop her passion for horseback riding. "CBS Mornings" lead national correspondent David Begnaud speaks with the inspirational equestrian about her journey and book, "Milo's Eyes." This story comes to us from: CBS News.
Pete Gustin faced a bizarre situation in the gym. A woman came up to him and told him to stop staring. Even after he explained he was blind, the woman did not care. Later, the manager of the gym told him to stop making people uncomfortable. Gustin explained the incident through a video on YouTube. This story comes to us from: Times Now.
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.
This web site has ben evolving from being my personal blog into much more of a community effort. Our team and I have decided that it should be two separate web sites. The new one will be called World Blind Herald and will carry this digest and articles by a wide variety of writers. WBH intends to cover as wide a spectrum of the blindness experience from around the world as possible and we plan on it launching officially on January 4, Louis Braille's birthday and, coincidentally, the anniversary of my posting edition #1 of this digest. I will continue using this older site as the home for my creative writing, my occasional piece of fiction and wot not.
Over the past few months, I've recruited other writers to join as regular contributors and WBH 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.
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.
Please Contribute A Story
If you're blind or have something to say about blindness, please pitch us a story you would like to write. When the WBH site goes live, it will also appear there. We're looking for all kinds of writers with as many different interests as we can possibly find. We've run quite a few already this year and they will all move over to the new site when it goes live.