Editorial By Chris Hofstader
This was an interesting week for news around the blind community. A lot happened in the science and medicine area, there are some interesting crime stories and, as usual, our wide array of different topics related to blindness and blind people.
Having now edited 37 editions of the digest, I'm starting to form a set of opinions on what the mainstream media will say about the blind community and when they will publish such stories. With this edition, we've included something approximating 2400 articles and I have probably rejected (for a variety of reasons) about ten times as many. I don't get every story, Leon often finds stories I don't and you can see them on his Twitter feed.
One major observation is that there seem to be more stories about blindness and blind people in publications from outside the US than we get here. US stories tend to be about lawsuits, legislation, interesting research and science but cover little about the average blind person and how they get through life. The publications in English from the rest of the world show a much broader picture of blindness and blind people than, in my opinion, the US based ones do. I don't know why this is but it's certainly worthy of exploration.
The one thing that is true all across the world, though, is that the more sensational a story, the more likely it is to show up in my GoogleAlerts. The problem with this is that, in the science and medicine section, journalists will put a more sensational headline on a story about something interesting but not earth shattering. For instance, you might see a headline claiming a cure for blindness only to read the story and find out it was a tiny study involving mice and that the scientists said that this may be a step toward a cure for some form of blindness at some in-determined point in the future.
We are planning an article on how lay people can easily determine if a scientific related article is worthwhile or not but that's a hard one to write but it is in our pipeline.
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.
Because Louis Braille is included in this list, I put the story in the Braille category because we don't have a "History" section. I've thought of adding a section on the history of blindness but, having done 38 weeks of this digest, I think only three or four articles would have fit into that section and I've always been able to find a different category into which I could sneak them.
For centuries, famous blind people have been the brightest scientific minds, deep thinkers, groundbreaking musicians, show-stealing actors, and more. People face many difficult obstacles in life that can be challenging to overcome. Most people quit when times get tough or don’t even try in the first place. Then there are those few that won’t let anything stand in their way. Famous blind historical figures and celebrities have helped shape the world. They’ve paved the way for other blind people to achieve their dreams. They’re an inspiration to the visually impaired and anyone that has a goal. These famous blind people were highly influential and transcended time. Some of the most famous blind people made groundbreaking achievements that improved the lives of other blind people. At the same time, iconic composers and trendsetting musicians broke barriers, changing the industry in unimaginable ways. This story comes to us from: Next Luxury.
Well, we've been asking for this feature since iPhone 3GS, the first one to include VoiceOver. How many years did it take to add a start-up sound which they've had on Macintosh since 1984?
Optional accessibility feature will allow blind and low-vision users to tell when the new iPhones have restarted. This story comes to us from: Macworld.
A team of Chinese scientists said they have developed a wearable device that mimics the sensation of touch, which could make it easier for blind people to read and write and for astronauts to handle tiny objects while wearing thick gloves.
They said the technology could also transmit clothing textures to the fingertips of online shoppers and bring the sense of touch to the metaverse. This story comes to us from: South China Morning Post.
Krista Hamilton grew up at McDonald’s. Through her teens, she worked in the family business with her brothers and parents, who are franchise owners of 10 McDonald’s restaurants in Etowah, Shelby, Jefferson and Talladega counties. That was before she lost most of her sight about six years ago. Now she’s helping the visually impaired order meals when they visit the restaurant. “This is possible, not only for people that are blind but all visually impaired individuals,” she said. Hamilton, 29, knew the burger business, having worked in various jobs at the family business prior to heading to Samford University to study Interior Architecture. But an undetected sinus infection six years ago while in her final semester at college eventually placed her in a coma, which led to several mini-strokes affecting her optic nerve, rendering her legally blind. This story comes to us from: AL.com.
The Central Library in Cubbon Park has become inclusive by catering to the visually impaired persons by installing a device which can scan books and read them aloud.
URead, the standalone device, can scan books and other printed documents of up to A4 size. It recognises seven Indian languages, including Kannada, Marathi and Tamil, besides English and reads them out to the user. This story comes to us from: deccanherald.
One of the major causes of blindness is the negligence in detecting early symptoms of glaucoma. Glaucoma is a disease that if goes unnoticed can cause blindness, but if you detect the symptoms in the initial stages, you can actually save yourself from becoming blind. Moreover, according to the statistics, around 90% of the people in Japan are reluctant to go for a glaucoma check-up, and they usually consider it only when it’s too late. Hence, scientists at Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine have recently collaborated with the Japanese television company Sendai Broadcasting Co., Ltd. and developed a special video game that can detect the symptoms of glaucoma in the early stages and can actually prevent you from being blind. This story comes to us from: Wonderful Engineering.
Many businesses have created their website for communication, marketing, and sales purposes. It’s an excellent way to expand their customer reach quickly through helpful and engaging content.
However, attaining a successful online presence doesn’t end in creating a business website that highlights your company profile, products, and services. Your website has to impress users to sell and make a difference. Therefore, it has to be responsive, intuitive, fast, secure, and accessible. Testing your website for accessibility is also essential to enhance user experience. But how does website accessibility impacts user experience? This topic question is the focus of this article. This story comes to us from: Business Matters.
I was entirely uncertain as to which category to put this one into. I tossed it in technology as it's about design but we don't have a category for housing issues or infrastructure as we've never gotten such an article before.
Sometimes, there is almost a hive mind in social movements. One of our worst problems on Cape Cod is the scarcity of housing, affordable and otherwise. The most universally discussed solution is to construct more housing. This is perhaps not the best of ideas. If we sat down and picked a time, the next couple of years could not be any worse. The costs of everything — land, material, labor, services, are the most expensive they have been in years and only look to get worse. But maybe this can be salvaged if we use imagination about what kind of housing to build. We could make these new units a showpiece of universal design. This story comes to us from: Cape Cod Times.
Low vision is a condition that causes vision loss. This can be blurry vision or poor night vision. It is not blindness but it can make it difficult to see. Low vision can be caused by age-related macular diseases, glaucoma, or diabetes. Tools can make low vision easier. This story comes to us from: TechBullion.
Science and Medicine
The Uganda Ministry of Health has declared the Budongo (Masindi, Hoima, Buliisa) and Bwindi (Kisoro,
Rubanda, Kanungu) foci as free of river blindness transmission and reclassified the last endemic area, Lhubiriha focus (Kasese district), as suspected transmission interruption. Uganda/CIA
The 15th meeting of the Uganda Onchocerciasis Elimination Expert Advisory Committee (UOEEAC) of the Ministry of Health held from 3rd to 5th August 2022 at Sheraton Hotel, Kampala concluded that two more river blindness foci have met the World Health Organization (WHO) criteria for eliminating transmission following three years of active surveillance for any infection after halting ivermectin mass treatment. This story comes to us from: Outbreak News Today.
A New Technology ROTA Developed By HKUMed And CU Medicine Can Visualise Axonal Fibre Bundles On The Retina To Advance Early Diagnosis Of Glaucoma And Optic Neuropathies
A research team led by the Department of Ophthalmology, School of Clinical Medicine, LKS Faculty of Medicine of The University of Hong Kong (HKUMed), with collaborators from the Faculty of Medicine of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CU Medicine) and local and international partners, have developed a new technology ROTA (Retinal nerve fibre layer Optical Texture Analysis) to unveil the optical texture and trajectories of the axonal fibre bundles on the retina. ROTA outperforms the current clinical standards, attaining 15.0% to 28.4% higher in sensitivity in detecting early optic nerve damage in glaucoma – the leading cause of irreversible blindness. The research has been published in Nature Biomedical Engineering. This story comes to us from: India Education Diary.
Researchers have developed a gene therapy that rescues cilia defects in retinal cells affected by a type of Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), a disease that causes blindness in early childhood. This story comes to us from: ScienceDaily.
It is evident from most studies that more women (55%) than men suffer from vision impairment or vision loss, mostly living in the low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). This brings my attention to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 presented by the United Nations – Gender Equality. More than half the population of people living with vision impairment or vision loss are women and girls. Addressing the gender differences reported in accessing eye care services will contribute substantially to achieving better outcomes. This story comes to us from: Primepost.
The inherited eye disease retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is caused by genetic changes that are not well understood. For example, mutations in cell proteins known as “splicing factors” can cause RP, though the exact mechanism behind the problem has been somewhat of a mystery. This story comes to us from: Fierce Biotech.
Science Foundation Ireland will provide €1.6 million funding to EYE-D, matched by project partners … and the charity Fighting Blindness Ireland. This story comes to us from: India Education Diary.
Calkins, one of the world’s leading authorities on the neurobiological roots of blinding eye disease and identification of new therapeutic targets based on neuronal protection, repair and regeneration, holds the Denis M. O’Day, MBBS, Chair in Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. He will receive the award and deliver a presentation at the AUPO 2023 Annual Meeting in San Diego in January. This story comes to us from: VUMC Reporter – Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Bayer (BAYGn.DE)said on Thursday its anti-blindness treatment Eylea, jointly developed with Regeneron (REGN.O), has been shown to work as well when given at a higher dose at a longer interval between injections. Two late-stage trials showed that Eylea, which is normally given in doses of 2 milligrams every eight weeks, was as effective when given at 8 mg at longer intervals, without any additional safety issues, the German company said in a statement. The results will help Bayer compete with Roche (ROG.S), whose rival drug Vabysmo was launched this year. The Swiss drugmaker is seeking to win over patients with longer intervals between injections. This story comes to us from: Reuters.
New technology ROTA developed by HKUMed and CU Medicine can visualise axonal fibre bundles on retina to advance early diagnosis
Glaucoma is the most common form of neurodegenerative disease. Whereas clinical diagnosis of glaucoma is predicated on the measurement of retinal nerve fibre layer (RNFL) thickness, typically obtained with a non-invasive digital imaging device, optical coherence tomography (OCT)2, false positives and false negatives are common, which renders clinical interpretation of OCT findings difficult, even for glaucoma specialists. This story comes to us from: Mirage News.
SAP and CleaVision use machine learning to reduce the risk of preventable blindness in premature babies
SAP and CleaVision have an innovative new programme aimed at reducing the risk of preventable blindness as a result of Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) in pre-term babies. Using the power of machine learning and data analytics, the CleaVision solution helps time-pressed doctors to arrive at a more accurate diagnosis while focusing on what’s most important – treating at risk babies. Developed in India, the program is being piloted at Narayana Nethralaya Eye Institute in Bengaluru. It’s estimated that the screening program can be scaled up to further outreach and low-resource settings, minimizing time to diagnosis and maximizing the potential for treatment. This story comes to us from: Our Bureau, Bengaluru.
Vision loss is a common symptom of ageing, but there are many ways to preserve eyesight. Some evidence suggests vegetable oils should be avoided, but studies probing their connection to vision loss have produced mixed results. There is substantial evidence, however, that linoleic acid, found in several cooking oils, can increase the risk of age-related macular degeneration – a leading cause of blindness around the world. This story comes to us from: Daily Express.
Nuclear sclerosis is a primarily age-related condition in which the nucleus, or central part of the lens of your eye, hardens or gets cloudy. Since this part of your eye receives light, nuclear sclerosis can greatly impact your vision. The condition is called nuclear sclerotic (NS) cataracts when it progresses to the point that it's severe. You and others may notice visible changes to the eye at this stage. Blindness can occur unless nuclear sclerosis is treated. This story comes to us from: Verywell Health.
A young Laval boy's family is calling on Quebec to finalize negotiations on a pricey cure for his progressing blindness before he loses his sight. This story comes to us from: CTV News Montreal.
The daughter now says the hospital will find her mother a long term care bed but the story highlights the critical shortage of options for Ontario’s aging population. This story comes to us from: YouTube.
Vision seems to be the first to recognize a potential threat, subconsciously recording and processing the image. Visual discrimination happens at a subcortical level after an environmental image is recorded in midbrain tissues. Aesthetics and beauty have been found to be decoded subconsciously in the amygdala, similar to a frightening threat. Therefore, blind patients can detect beauty by embodied primal senses. This story comes to us from: Cureus.
Diseases not just affect the individuals, but also jeopardizes a country's economy. According to a recent report by Orbis India, India loses about USD 118 billion every year in cumulative gross national income (GNI) due to childhood blindness. This story comes to us from:
Cross-border transport is now regarded as one of the most efficient ways to access eye surgery. This story comes to us from: Irish Examiner.
Many things came back after Covid, but one thing that didn't was the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired of Northern New York. This story comes to us from: WWNY.
Haben Girma Receives the First Dr. Alan R. Morse Lecture in Advocacy for People with Vision Impairment
Lighthouse Guild announced today that the noted human rights lawyer and disability justice advocate Haben Girma is the first recipient of The Dr. Alan R. Morse Lecture in Advocacy for People with Vision Impairment. The Morse Lecture in Advocacy was established this year to honor those who have demonstrated leadership, raised awareness of low vision, addressed barriers, and are working to make a world where no person is limited by their sensory capacity. This story comes to us from: GlobeNewswire.
Blindness and visual impairment have long bedeviled African nations with more than 26 million people in the continent having some form of visual impairment, according to World Health Organization statistics. Though about 80 percent of blindness is preventable and treatable, WHO Africa said millions of people in the African region remain at risk of visual loss due to the lack of eye care services. This story comes to us from: China Daily.
The partnership between Bosma Enterprises and Regions Foundation is helping Indiana’s blind and visually impaired population by receiving additional support, thanks to new grant funding. People who have disabilities face a long list of challenges. Representatives at Bosma say roughly 70% of people who are blind or visually impaired are unemployed. They say this funding will help give them vital skills to help them live more independent lives. This story comes to us from: WISH-TV.
Innovative new program provides hands-on accessibility and digital inclusion training, mentorship, and consulting services to computer science and design students, adults with disabilities, and corporate partners. This story comes to us from: prnews wire.
This story is told as a video. This story comes to us from: Buffalo News.
I've heard this claim made by at least two similar organizations also in the US. I'm not sure if this is a sheltered workshop or not or if they pay at least minimum wage.
Seattle's "Lighthouse for the Blind", a local manufacturing facility, is credited with employing the most blind people in the United States. This story comes to us from: – Q13 FOX.
'It's really empowering': How new CTA bus stop poles will make a difference for the blind and the visually impaired
"I take the bus to and from work," said Wunderlich, Vice President of Partnerships and head of the Forsythe Entrepreneurial Center which helps the visually impaired start businesses. Her commute is one that people with sight might take for granted. Consider the different poles that could be at a stop: bus pole, parking pole, light pole. "The bus pulls up and I'm not in the proper place then the bus drives away and I miss my opportunity to get where I'm going," said Wunderlich, recalling a situation she said has occurred more than once. New bus stop labels in Braille could be the solution. The tiny signs may seem simple but Polman said the Chicago Transit Authority tapped him and others from the visually impaired community for help and a lot of thought went into the design. "Textures, contrast quality of braille, quality of the embossed lettering on the signs," said Polman, Chicago Lighthouse's Vice President of Policy. This story comes to us from: CBS News.
A blind man with cancer died after falling from the balcony of his flat in an assisted living complex, a pre-inquest review has heard. This story comes to us from: BBC.
A 90-year-old woman whose husband is accused of trying to murder her after allegedly losing patience with caring for her said he was a “lovely man” who “adores” her.
Edward Turpin, also 90, attempted to stab Joan Turpin to death while she slept at their home in Ringshall Road in Orpington, Greater London, on September 22 last year, prosecutors claim.
Jurors heard on Wednesday that Ms Turpin, who is blind and needs a catheter, had become increasingly dependent on her husband’s help.
In the hours leading up to the alleged attack, nothing unusual had happened and the evening ended with Turpin telling her: “Goodnight and give me a kiss,” she said.
But Turpin felt he could “no longer cope” and, at around 1.30am, attacked his wife in their bed before turning the knife on himself. This story comes to us from: GB News.
The NDLEA spokesman said that Ehiarimwiam was arrested on Sunday, August 28 on his way to Italy, via Doha on a Qatar Airways flight. He said that the indigene of Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo State was found to have concealed 5,000 tablets of Tramadol 225mg in his luggage. “Preliminary investigation reveals that the suspect is a frequent traveller who often travels with lots of bags containing mainly food items, body cream, hair attachment and drinks. “The suspect was said to have presented his usual large consignment to NDLEA operatives for search but held on to some packages, which were retrieved from him and properly searched during which the drugs were discovered. This story comes to us from: Herald.ng.
A man with a history of assault and break-ins has been charged with sexually assaulting a blind woman multiple times at a South End health care facility for the homeless. Joaquim Fortes, 51, was arraigned at Boston Municipal Court late last month on three charges of indecent assault and battery on a person over 14. Judge James Coffey set bail at $5,000 and ordered Fortes to stay away from the victim and the Barbara McInnis House, the Albany Street health care facility where he is accused of assaulting the victim. This story comes to us from: Boston Herald.
The wife of the police officer identified as Benson Azubike, who lost his sight while in active service, was arrested last Friday. The Abia State Command of the Nigeria Police Force has been accused of demanding illegal over-the-counter money, otherwise known as bribe, before it would release the wife of a blind ex-police officer. Officers at Okpuala Ngwa Police Division in the Isiala Ngwa North Local Government Area of the state were accused of demanding N30,000 bail and N4,000 bribe from the wife of the former police officer. It was learnt that the wife of the police officer identified as Benson Azubike, who lost his sight while in active service, was arrested last Friday for owing someone N50,000. This story comes to us from: Sahara Reporters.
Mr Pugh said he wanted to raise money to help more blind people get guide dogs, and has raised over £1,600 from his latest adventure. This story comes to us from: BBC.
I got both of my excellent guide dogs from Southeastern and plan on getting a third when my ten year old chooses to retire, probably pretty soon. I didn't know that a five year old could get a canine companion. This is a pretty long article but it's one well worth reading.
After Fiaschetti completed training to care for Junie and received approval from a judge to foster the toddler, the veteran started caring for the boy. "He was severely delayed when he came into foster care. At two, he wasn't crawling; he wasn't walking, and he really wasn't talking. He didn't have communication skills," Fiaschetti said of meeting Junie. "I was told I needed to be careful because whenever anyone got near him, he would bite them," she adds. "He was scared of his surroundings and hadn't been approached safely leading up to that." Fiaschetti saw a child waiting for his chance to shine in Junie. "Don't underestimate our kids and the power of love. People see kids in foster care and can immediately think negative thoughts and are scared to give them a chance," Fiaschetti says. This story comes to us from: People.
Personally, I find Hingson to be in the class of blind person we often call "inspiration porn stars." Since leaving the WTC as it was burning, he was helped by his guide dog but also held the elbow of a helpful sighted person. Now, as far as I can tell, Hingson does inspirational talks for a living and is a spokesperson for the terrible overlay product called AccessiBe.
Blind since birth, Michael Hingson relied on his guide dog Roselle to lead him down 78 floors of the North Tower during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. This story comes to us from: All That's Interesting.
A group of Portlanders with disabilities is suing the city for failing to keep public sidewalks accessible. The issue isn’t curb cuts or sidewalk width. The problem, the lawsuit alleges, is tents on the sidewalk, which prevent people with wheelchairs and walkers from passing without difficulty. The class action lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court accuses the city of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by allowing people to camp on city sidewalks. The Americans with Disabilities Act, known as the ADA, bars discrimination based on disability and requires sidewalks be accessible to everyone. Right now, the lawsuit states, Portland sidewalks are only available to those who have the ability to sidestep the camps. The suit names 10 plaintiffs, most of whom use a wheelchair, cane or walkers and say they have to go out of their way to navigate around tents. This story comes to us from: OPB.
Six years after blind students at L.A. City College filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Community College District, their lawyers prepare to argue a second time in front of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. This story comes to us from: los angeleno.
Personal Finance and Investing
As of September 1, the ongoing maximum monthly payment standards for the Aged, Blind or Disabled program (ABD) for low-income Washingtonians has increased for the first time in history. This change comes after a legislative request was initiated by the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) to better support those above the age of 65, and those who are blind or disabled, in addition to ensuring payment standards align with other cash assistance programs within the state. This story comes to us from: Mercer Island Reporter.
Millions of U.S. taxpayers are visually impaired and unable to read print material in a standard font size. As a result of a settlement agreement between the IRS and the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) on July 10, 2020, the IRS agreed to develop a process for taxpayers to request post-filing tax notices in a variety of acceptable formats, including Braille and large print. This story comes to us from: tax payer advocate.
University of Florida (UF) spinout Atsena Therapeutics has closed a $55 million financing that will help take its gene therapy for a common cause of blindness in children into pivotal trials. The gene therapy is already in a phase 1/2 trial for Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA)—a disease that progressively destroys the retina—in patients with a mutation in the GUCY2D gene. This story comes to us from: Fierce Biotech.
According to the latest report published by the company, the global Vision Care Market size is projected to account for over US$ 127,730 Mn, in terms of value, by 2028 end. The report further projects significant growth with an average CAGR of 7.3% through 2028. This story comes to us from: Market Research Blog.
Vision Impairment Market is Expected to Gain Market Growth at a Potential Rate of 12.15% by 2029 & Will Escalate Rapidly
Vision Impairment Market report can be referred efficiently by both established and new players in the Healthcare industry for absolute understanding of the market. It covers various parameters that range from latest trends, market segmentation, new market entry, industry forecasting, target market analysis, future directions, opportunity identification, strategic analysis, insights to innovation. In this market report, industry trends have been described on the macro level which makes it possible outline market landscape and probable future issues. This story comes to us from: Data Bridge Market Research.
APART from making life easier, eyesight also makes it more enjoyable. However, this gift could be taken away by a "common" condition, according to an expert. This story comes to us from: Daily Express.
The prevalence of blindness and vision amongst the people aged 50 and above in Pakistan has reduced remarkably as the fresh data shows this ratio has come down to only two per cent against the seven per cent recorded in 2004, reveals the Third National Survey of Blindness conducted by the Federal Ministry of Health. This story comes to us from: Technology Times.
Bangladesh's Nuzhat Choudhury has won the outstanding service in Prevention of Blindness Award of the Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO). She was named the recipient of the award at the APAO Conference 2022 held online. Each year, outstanding ophthalmologists are recognised for their contributions to advancing ophthalmology and eye care in Asia-Pacific and beyond. This story comes to us from: Dhaka Tribune.
A woman in Los Angeles who was born legally blind is on a mission to educate the public about disabilities and accessibility after gaining her vision at the age of 36. Olivia Durant had extreme nearsightedness throughout her childhood, forcing her to navigate a painfully blurry world with little access to any extra resources at school. "I was bullied a lot, I didn't really know why, and I couldn't see people bullying me," said Durant, now 42. "If somebody would slap me or whatever, I didn't react until I got hit because I could not see. I felt very alone a lot of times." This story comes to us from: USA Today.
The love story of a Nigerian lawyer who tied the knot with a blind woman identified as Amarachi has melted hearts online. The young lawyer identified as ThankGod said he refused to listen to critics who condemned his relationship. This story comes to us from: Legit.ng.
Three children who had never met their blind mother for six years paid a surprise visit to her house on her 65th birthday. They were shaken when a stranger answered the door and revealed she had not lived there for three years. This story comes to us from: AmoMama.
Christopher Backlund didn't think things could become more painful. Backlund, 20, who lives in Sag Harbor, lost his grandfather, Mitchell Mezynieski Jr. in February, 2021. His grandfather was a mentor and someone he loved fiercely, and the loss was profound. Then, in July of this year, he was diagnosed with a rare genetic disease — one that his mother also had — that is expected to leave him blind within months. And now, this week, his mother died suddenly. He never had a chance to say goodbye. Backlund spoke with Patch about the dark days he's endured, and about how he's found the strength to forge a way forward. This story comes to us from: Southampton, NY Patch.
A young man diagnosed with a rare disease that will leave him blind within months has created a GoFundMe page to help deal with the unknown in the days to come. Christopher Backlund, 20, who lives in Sag Harbor, spoke with Patch recently about his illness and also, about losing both his grandfather and mother within a painfully short time. This story comes to us from: Patch.
Art and Artists
"I believe fashion plays an important role as a communicator of information in social interactions and as an aid in establishing self-identity," says Angela Wanjiku, the 24-year-old Kenyan designer behind the adaptive fashion label Hisi Studio. Hisi studio started in 2019 as Wanjikiu's senior year design project at the University of Nairobi, where she studied textile design. Throughout the project, she cultivated a clothing collection that was both fashion-forward and accessible to individuals with visual impairments. This story comes to us from: teen vogue.
A brother and sister from Egypt have created the world’s largest LEGO brick eyeglasses in The Galleria Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi. According to Guinness World Records, Zeyad Ibrahim, 19, and his sister Salma, 17, from Mansoura, Egypt, attempted this record by constructing eyeglasses from LEGO with the dimensions of 6.2m x 2.52m x 0.952m. The brother is legally blind, with the use of only 5 per cent of his eyesight; however, with the help of his sister, Zeyad assembled the eyeglasses in 56 hours and 35 minutes across 17 days. The siblings used 65,108 LEGO bricks with a total weight of over 147kg — about as heavy as a panda bear. This story comes to us from: Khaleej Times.
Blind Willie McTell is considered one of the greatest blues musicians of the 1920's and 30's. This story comes to us from: WJBF.
Retinitis pigmentosa is a rare genetic disease that breaks down the retina and causes vision loss as it progresses. Like many with the condition, Yvonne Shortt was diagnosed as a child when she realized that her sight was different from those in her family when they wandered into dark movie theaters or looked at the stars at night, and she struggled to do the same. Now legally blind as an adult, Shortt cultivates a visual art practice that involves shaping figurative busts from clay, moss, grasses, and other natural materials. This story came to us from: Colossal.
Sports and Athletes
Join us, virtually or in person, for the 13th Annual Breakfast with Champions presented by Anthem. The one-hour program will include the following: Celebration of National Blind Sports Month; Recognition of the inaugural recipient of the Ronald Plassman Gold Standard Award; Listen as Paralympian David Brown shares his journey to secure a spot on the first-ever U.S. National Blind Soccer Team
In-Person. This story comes to us from: U.S. Association of Blind Athletes.
Many sounds reverberate around the Kampala field where a large crowd has gathered to watch a football match: the hubbub of a PA system as the players warm up, the muffled murmurs of hundreds of intertwined conversations, and — once the match has begun — the sound of the ball loudly crackling over the grass, allowing players to locate it. All the players are visually impaired and reliant on unraveling all these sounds from one another to navigate their way around the pitch, so the crowd falls quiet during the match under the direction of some stewards.
The match is the brainchild of Blind Football Uganda, an organization founded last year by disability inclusion advocate Jagwe Muzafaru to promote and develop the sport within the country. This story comes to us from: CNN.
South Melbourne was crowned the first ever National Blind Series Champion following the second and final match of the series against Brisbane-based Olympic FC on July 23. In a historic moment for blind football in Australia, the series is the first time two interstate teams have played off in a competitive setting. The match ended in a tense 1-1 draw, handing South Melbourne a 3-1 victory over the series. This story comes to us from: Football Victoria.
"Running was the easiest to re-attain," Sosalla said.
Sosalla decided she wanted to run the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon. She ran her first marathon at the age of 21.
"Sort of everything I love, I depend on other people to give me access to it. So that's a little bittersweet… I always ran independently. It was always just a really solitary thing for me," Sosalla said.
But it led Sosalla to forming friendships with a group of women.
She got connected with Rachael Bentley through United in Stride — an organization that connects visually impaired runners with guides. This story comes to us from: KARE 11.
Athletes and families from across the Midwest will converge on Greenville for the annual GoalBall Tournament and Youth Clinic. “It was attending tournaments like this that got me excited to play this great game and allowed me to become the person I am today,” says Goalball Tournament Director John Kusku. The Paralymic silver medalist tells us the game is specifically designed for those who are blind or visually impaired. This story comes to us from: FOX 17.
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.