Editorial By Chris Hofstader
This is edition 38 of our weekly news digest and it contains quite a lot of stories we think you'll find interesting. This edition also attempts another experiment in the evolution of this site into two separate ones. The news digest has contained an average of about 65 articles per week and I try to put them into categories that will make information of interest to particular readers as easy to locate as possible. I can't predict which articles the mainstream media will publish in any given week so the length of the different sections varies from week to week.
The one category, however, that always seemed to be the largest and dominate the digest was the section with the heading, "Science and Medicine." this is one of the more difficult categories for me as I'm not an ophthalmologist, I'm not a neuroscientist and a lot of the vocabulary in these articles means I need to spend time looking up words in the dictionary as many of these articles are loaded with jargon. Some science and medicine articles are quite accessible and aren't too hard for a lay reader. This edition of the digest removes the "Science and Medicine" section entirely and it will be published tomorrow as a separate science and medicine digest article. I've also been thinking of including the "Preventing Blindness" section in the new separate article.
Please do tell me if you like that we've broken out the science articles into their own digest and do use the comments below or the contact form above to tell us how we're doing as we head toward the launch of World Blind Herald on January 4.
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.
Cahaba Medical Care has partnered with Digital Diagnostics to provide patients living with diabetes access to the first fully autonomous system De Novo cleared by the FDA that diagnoses diabetic retinopathy in its early stages, preventing vision loss and the need for more costly treatments in the future. This story comes to us from: The Bibb Voice.
CVS Pharmacy, Identiv, and the American Council of the Blind joined forces to help people with visual impairments access their prescription information. This story comes to us from: Fast Company.
Visual impairments and legal blindness simply mean that the vision is below a certain threshold and cannot be resolved with common solutions. This story comes to us from: Canton Repository.
The League of Friends of the Blind (LOFOB) in Grassy Park has appointed its first woman executive at the helm of the organisation in almost 90 years of its existence. Last month, the organisation appointed Shahiemah Edwards, who was born in District Six and grew up in Surrey Estate, as acting executive director. “It is a very great achievement for me and I am honoured to step in this role,” she says. This story comes to us from: News24.
The Haddonfield Area Lions Club and American Legion Post 38 will host their first Red Cross blood drive on Saturday, Oct. 1. as part of the borough’s health and wellness festival. Lions Club President Bill Brown initiated the idea. He’s been donating blood for more than 70 years, since he was 17. “ … I just happened to run into a gentleman from Haddonfield American Legion Post 38, and he was discussing that he was thinking of doing a blood drive, so we were thinking of doing it jointly,” said Brown. This story comes to us from: The Sun Newspapers.
Globally, trachoma causes blindness every 15 minutes according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). This story comes to us from: The Standard.
In his new position, Mr. Shaberman will manage science information and disseminate technical and research information regarding retinal diseases. This story comes to us from: Yahoo Finance.
This just could have easily gone into the business section but as FFB is a big part of the story, I put it under organizations. This happens sometimes, an article will fit into two or more categories and I do my best to pick the right one for it.
SparingVision, a genomic medicine company developing vision-saving treatments for ocular diseases, has raised €75 million ($75 million) in series B financing. The round was co-led by Jeito Capital and UPMC Enterprises, with additional participation from 4BIO Capital, Bpifrance, the RD fund, venture arm of Foundation Fighting Blindness, and Ysios Capital. This story comes to us from: Labiotech.eu.
Braille Institute Establishes Partnership With CSULA to Provide Orientation & Mobility (O&M) Internships
Braille Institute has entered into an agreement with California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) to provide graduate students in their O&M program the ability to obtain hands-on experience by working with blind and visually impaired individuals at one of Braille Institute’s seven centers through a formal internship training program. This story comes to us from: Yahoo.
Due to increased production costs, TSBVI will be implementing a 30% price increase on all store items beginning on 9/1/22. This story comes to us from: Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
'Pose' is an educational sex set for the blind created by Polish designer Karolina Kruszewska in collaboration with sex educator Dr. Dagną Kocur. This story comes to us from: Designboom.
Stakeholders on Wednesday called for eye screening of children before school enrollment to reduce the risk of visual impairment and blindness. This story comes to us from: NNN.
A shout out today goes to East Ridge Elementary School teachers — particularly special education teacher Heather Modrow — for an extra effort to help a student with a rare vision disorder.
Modrow asked the community for help by posting on DonorsChoose, a fundraising website for teachers. In less than 24 hours, donors gave more than $400 — enough for Modrow to purchase a Braille keyboard for the student's Chromebook, fluorescent light filters to cover the ceiling lights in all of his classrooms because he is light sensitive, and yellow-tinted gel sheets to reduce the glare of white worksheets. This story comes to us from: times free press.
A blind woman in Meigs County maneuvers around her home and is asking for assistance in building a ramp to help her get in and out safely. Venessa Hill, of Decatur, says she needs a ramp, either wooden or portable aluminum, for the main entrance of her home. For Hill, the steps outside her home near Decatur are old and unsafe. This story comes to us from: WATE.
My mother died two years ago. Our father, 70, can neither work nor take care of us. We are poor and have nothing to eat. Due to poverty, we are unable to visit the doctor for the treatment of our blindness. This story comes to us from: Pajhwok Afghan News.
Cork mother of deaf, mute, blind and autistic woman offered Carer's Allowance of just €4.50 per week
An east Cork mother of a severely disabled adult daughter was offered a Carer’s Allowance weekly payment of €4.50 following an assessment by the State, her local Sinn Féin TD Pat Buckley told the Dáil this week. The woman, whom he identified as Margaret, had a partner living in her house but he only contributed towards the daily bills rather than the care costs for Margaret’s 36-year-old daughter, a woman who is deaf and mute as well as being registered blind and autistic. According to Deputy Buckley, Margaret’s daughter is the only person in Ireland to be registered as a sufferer of Fraser Syndrom, an extremely rare illness. This story comes to us from: Independent.ie.
19-yr-old blind girl, who was impregnated by rape by unknown rapist, cannot have abortion. The RIMS director submitted a report to this effect to the Jharkhand High Court following the latter’s direction. The submission of the director is based on the report of a five -member medical board which states that the 28-week-old baby in the womb is healthy and does not have any problem. Following the report, the high court bench of Justice S.K.Dwivedi has asked the advocate involved in the case to discuss the matter properly and then ask the court regarding the steps required to be taken in the matter. This story comes to us from: Lagatar English.
A Police Woman attached to Okpuala Ngwa Police Division in Isiala Ngwa North Local Government Area of Abia State has refused to grant her blind colleague’s wife bail because the suspect could not avoid N35,000. This issue was brought to the attention of the Abia State Commissioner of Police by a retired Superintendent of Police. The retired Officer introduced himself as Emma.C. Jiakponnah, adding that he was a former Police Public Relations Officer for Zone 9 in Umuahia in Abia State. Jiakponnah has sent a Save Our Soul to the Abia State Commissioner of Police, CP Janet Agbede. According to him, he was constrained to write the petition to the CP to intimate her of the wife of an ex-Police Officer, Benson Azubike, who had a challenge while in active service and is totally blind. This story comes to us from: The Eagle Online.
A blind woman was left feeling "humiliated" after being refused entry to a restaurant because of her guide dog. Joanne Roberts, 55, was told to leave Panda Mami in York while meeting up with her friend last month for the first time since lockdown began. Staff at the buffet restaurant gave the excuse that her black Labrador, named Candy, could trigger a customer's allergy or introduce food poisoning. Under the Equality Act in England, Scotland and Wales, guide dogs and other assistance dogs have the right to enter most services, premises, and vehicles. After pointing out the business' legal obligation to allow her dog, a waiter said that it was at the manager's discretion. This story comes to us from: The Mirror.
A family in Hudson is desperate to find their highly trained service dog after it vanished on Friday. Four-year-old Mila is a yellow labrador retriever and serves as a guide dog for owner Anne Naber, who is completely blind. Mila disappeared from the family home in Hudson around 2 p.m. on Friday afternoon. The dog doesn't tend to run away or wander off, so Naber believes she could be injured or may have been stolen. This story comes to us from: FOX 9.
The abduction of a seeing-eye dog valued at 200,000 yuan (US$28,890) has once again provoked online discussion about guide dogs for the blind in a society that remains skeptical of their benefits. On September 4, a visually impaired shopkeeper in Anhui Province called police to report that his golden retriever guide dog Duosite, left untied by the door outside his shop, was taken by a man in his 50s. Surveillance video confirmed that the dog had followed the man onto his moped. "He usually stayed put when I wasn't using him," the man surnamed Jiang told Beijing Youth Daily. "And he never engaged with strangers. I didn't know why he would follow the man that day." After the news hit the headlines, lawyers said the dog may be worth 200,000 yuan, and the thief could face 15 years in jail. Two days later, a man took Duosite to the police station, and the dog was returned. This story comes to us from: Shanghai Daily.
League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired: Disability Voting Rights Week: Accessible voting equipment for everyone
The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired have launched an educational campaign to promote accessible voting technology. Just in time for Disability Voting Rights Week (Sept. 12 to 16), LWVWI and WCBVI are working to educate voters on the use, benefits and availability of accessible voting equipment–for any and all voters. This story comes to us from: WisPolitics.
As I've written here often, I think these lawsuits are going to end up destroying ADA on the Internet entirely and wish I didn't need to include them in our digest each week. I don't know anything about Playboy's web site but the entire text of the magazine (excepting advertisements) is available from BARD so, if you are looking for Playboy's often excellent writing, it's available to blind people at no cost from Library Of Congress. Years ago, Ted Henter and I would joke about going to a famous nudie bar in Tampa to test the "accessibility" of the place, would they give the blind guys the "braille" version?
Playboy.com was sued Wednesday by a legally blind man who says that the site, as well as Playboyshop.com, aren’t equally accessible to the blind and visually impaired. In the class-action suit, filed Wednesday in federal court in New York, Donald Nixon says that he and other visually-impaired customers are unable to “fully and equally use or enjoy” the site’s offering. And that definitely goes on the Turn-Offs list. This story comes to us from: The Wrap.
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. Three months of negotiations between the Los Angeles Community College District and lawyers for the plaintiffs, Portia Mason and Roy Payan failed. This story comes to us from: Los Angeleno.
Benihana failed to design, construct, maintain and operate its website so that it is fully accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired, a new class action lawsuit alleges. Plaintiff Miriam Cruz claims Benihana’s online website contains “numerous” access barriers that prevent equal access to screen-reading software used by individuals who are blind or visually impaired. This story comes to us from: Top Class Actions.
Luigi Abreu, a self-described blind man, sued Mylec, Inc. under the ADA for having an inaccessible website which barred him from buying the street hockey gear for sale on the site. On September 14, 2022, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. This story comes to us from: BBC.
Daytona International Speedway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway class actions allege websites violate Americans with Disabilities Act
A legally blind New York resident hit two major speedways with class action lawsuits alleging that they don’t make their websites accessible to those using a screen reader in violation of the law. Plaintiff Joseph Ortiz filed the twin lawsuits against Daytona International Speedway, LLC and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC, Sept. 13 in a New York federal court, alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Ortiz is a visually impaired and legally blind person who requires screen-reading software to read website content using his computer. This story comes to us from: Top Class Actions.
The Western Union website is not accessible to blind and visually impaired individuals, according to a class action lawsuit filed Sept. 13 in New York federal court. Plaintiff Miriam Cruz is legally blind and requires screen-reading software to access website content from her computer, according to the Western Union class action lawsuit. Although there is a wide variety of technology available to make websites accessible to blind and visually impaired individuals, Cruz claims Western Union has allegedly “chosen to rely on an exclusively visual interface." As a result, blind people must rely on the assistance of sighted people to access the Western Union website. This story comes to us from: Top Class Actions.
[The socioeconomic effect of curing cataracts][
This is another story that could have gone into the science and medicine category (now in its own weekly article) or it could have gone into an "economics" category but I haven't included an economics category as we haven't needed one before. So, I put it into business as that's close to economics or as close as I could come this week.
The World Health Organization states that around 2.2 billion people worldwide suffer from some type of visual impairment. Nearly 100 million of those people have vision loss or blindness due to cataracts. 90% of all blindness occurs in developing nations, where in some cases cataract accounts for more than half of blindness.
The socioeconomic effect of cataract surgery is significant. Curing someone of cataracts can allow them to increase their economic productivity and support themselves and their families. A study has shown that economic productivity can increase by up to 1,500% of the cost of surgery during the first postoperative year. This story came to us from: Bdaily.
[Tactile Printing Market – Forecast (2022 – 2030][
The report named, Global Tactile Printing Market has been added to the archive of market research studies by JCMR. The industry experts and researchers have offered reliable and precise analysis of the Tactile Printing in view of numerous aspects such as growth factors, challenges, limitations, developments, trends, and growth opportunities. This Tactile Printing report will surely act as a handy instrument for the market participants to develop effective strategies with an aim to reinforce their market positions. This story comes to us from: Fighting Hawks Magazine.
Javier Bardem launches the initiative by 'donating' his iris to raise as much money as possible to fight against avoidable blindness, which can be prevented and treated with the right care and resources. Effectively, the actor's eyes will help to open others' eyes. Starting at $9,000, the auction is for a digital NFT file, and a printed photograph signed by the actor, both authenticated as unique pieces. This story comes to us from: Yahoo Finance.
Prevent Blindness Names Megan Molony, SVP, Chief Merchandising and Managed Care Officer, of National Vision Inc., as the 2023 Person of Vision Award Recipient
the nation's leading eye health and safety nonprofit organization, announced today that the 2023 Person of Vision Award will be presented to Megan Molony, senior vice president, chief merchandising and managed care officer, of National Vision Inc. The award presentation event will take place on March 16, 2023, at 583 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y., in conjunction with Vision Expo East. All proceeds from the event help fund the vision and eye health programs of Prevent Blindness. This story comes to us from: Yahoo Finance.
The ability to control AMD and other causes of blindness, such as diabetic retinopathy, has improved hugely over the years. While fundamental research and new drug therapies are crucial, emerging techniques that scan and assess the eye also play an important role. (Furthermore, eye scans can be used to diagnose other conditions, such as ADHD and heart disease. This story comes to us from: E&T Magazine – IET.
The International nonprofit organization, Sightsavers Nigeria, Saturday, revealed 30 million Nigerians currently living with disability more likely 27 times to go blind. The revelation was made known by the Country Director, Sightsavers Nigeria, Dr Sunday Ishaku, in an opening remark at the Inclusive Eye Health, IEH, Close Out Ceremony held in Abuja. This story comes to us from: Vanguard News.
Arkansas's World Services for the Blind will host a 'Haunted Holidays' haunted house as a fundraising event on October 29, 2022, from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. This story comes to us from: THV11.
This story is told primarily as a video.
This story comes to us from: MSN.
Renee and Roger Toy met while working at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Their son, Mason, also recently got a job there.
Like many schools across the country, the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired has struggled to fill vacancies this year, especially for direct care roles such as teachers’ assistants and residential instructors. “Those are the positions that are typically paid less than our contract staff and we’re really having a hard time getting applications to fill those jobs,” Superintendent Emily Coleman said. This story comes to us from: KUT.org.
A blind woman walked past, led by her guide – even when you can't see the coffin, people want to be here to feel her presence. This story comes to us from: 1News.
Chyomaya Chepang from Raksirang has regained her eyesight after two years of going completely blind. This story comes to us from: The Kathmandu Post.
Canadian Family Travels Before Children Succumb to Rare Genetic Condition Retinitis Pigmentosa, Eventually Blindness
Once the couple had come to terms with the news, they concentrated on giving their kids the tools they would need to succeed in life. Mia's specialist recommended that they engage her with "visual memories." Lemay recognized that there was one truly amazing way that they could do exactly that for Mia and the other kids. Lemay believes it is way better that she will take her daughter to see an actual elephant rather than show her an elephant from a book. Lemay declares that she will give her daughter the best, most beautiful images possible to store in her visual memory. She and her husband quickly started planning to spend a whole year traveling the world with their children. This story comes to us from: Nature World News.
[Beaming girl, 8, who’ll probably be blind, in a wheelchair & have dementia by 15 fulfils dream of meeting Ed Sheeran][
BEAMING Caitlin Passey fulfilled one of her dreams this week when she met pop star Ed Sheeran – thanks to The Sun on Sunday. We told last month how the adorable eight-year-old had been struck down by the rare and degenerative condition Batten disease last October. It is already causing her to go blind and will leave her a wheelchair user and suffering from dementia by age 15. This story comes to us from: The Sun.
Howard Goldberg drove Alisia Townsend and Terry Evans to get their marriage license Tuesday at the Guilford County Register of Deeds. This story comes to us from: WFMY News 2.
A young woman helps a blind old lady at a hypermarket, and her life changes overnight after the lady and her son begin searching for her the next day. This story comes to us from: AmoMama.
Art and Artists
A California architect is helping design buildings for some Hoosiers who are blind or visually impaired. Chris Downey had 20 years of experience in architecture before he lost his vision in 2008 after surgery to remove a brain tumor. “A social worker visited me three to four hours after being told there’s nothing more doctors could do to restore my sight. It hadn’t even been a full day yet!” Downey said. But instead of giving up, he persisted. Today, Downey uses a 3D printer to print drawings in tactile form so he can feel them by touch. He also learned Braille. Downey says his new skills landed him on a team to help modernize the Indiana School for the Blind. This story comes to us from: WISH-TV.
Annie Young, a Burnsville artist who is blind, offers insight on her exhibit at the Ames Center called "Journey To Rock Bottom" that started when she and her husband went to Antarctica to run a marathon back in 2018. This story comes to us from: FOX 9.
On a small stage in Tulkarm, a city in the north of the occupied West Bank, Sherihan El Hadwa emerges from the wings to a Palestinian pop song. Dancing and waving the long white cane she uses to navigate the world, the visually impaired comedian already has her audience laughing and clapping along to the music. Hadwa did not have an obvious route into standup comedy, and the many difficulties of life as a disabled woman in the Palestinian territories are not a straightforwardly humorous topic. But in her mostly autobiographical debut show, No Cherie, Hadwa is challenging lazy narratives about victimhood, and winning fans and accolades all over Palestine in the process. Jokes and anecdotes mainly focus on the absurdities of getting around Palestinian society as a blind person. This story comes to us from: The Guardian.
An interactive mural for blind people and those with visual impairments will be dedicated Sept. 21 at the Lighthouse for the Blind of Fort Worth. This story comes to us from: Dallas Morning News.
Despite having lost her vision at the age of 11, Jessica Pita of Alphen Park has continued to achieve her goals. The 19-year-old, who is classified as legally blind, lives to share her courageous journey with people about how she overcomes day-to-day struggles as a blind person through motivational speaking (Mission with a Vision brand), online platforms and a podcast called Flying Blind. This story comes to us from: Benoni City Times.
Aaliyah is blind and has spina bifida, a birth defect that occurs when the spine and spinal cord don't form properly. This story comes to us from: WRBL.
A visually impaired contestant Aneri Arya shared with megastar Amitabh Bachchan that she is a big fan of his 2005 movie 'Black' starring Rani Mukerji. This story comes to us from: Outlook India.
Sports and Athletes
The Blind Baseball Tournament was won last month by Italy – in Holland. Team USA placed third with a Bronze Medal. And, they were coached by Don Landolphi. The same Don Landolphi who has been involved with baseball for over 50 years as a player and coach – both nationally and internationally. This story comes to us from: Brooklyn Eagle.
How in the world does a blind man know when and where to duck dive? What’s his trick? He listens. Just like with everything else he does day-to-day. Casey Neistat, one of YouTube’s most popular vloggers, is fascinated with how Pete Gustin manages to take on things like surfing, skating, and even how he pulls off day-to-day tasks at home as a professional voice-over artist. This story comes to us from: The Inertia.
How do you hold a water sports day in the desert?
Logan Walker is one of 21 people with the Arizona Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired participating in the organization's water sports day. This story comes to us from: ABC15 Arizona.
Six years ago Lesley Warren-Bird's life effectively fell apart when a series of events turned her world upside down. But tragedy and setbacks – including the loss of her vision – did not stop the plucky Bay of Plenty woman from completing the Rotorua Marathon's 21-kilometre half-marathon course on Saturday. Warren-Bird was among 40 members of the Achilles New Zealand group taking part in the race. Achilles New Zealand is part of a worldwide organisation that enables people with disabilities to take part in mainstream athletics such as marathons. This story comes to us from: NZ Herald.
Playing golf since the age of five, Patterson says he was raised with a golf club in his hand. "I missed it so much," he said. "I [was] just determined to start playing again." James is legally blind and through the support of his wife Carissa, he is back to playing three to four times a week. This story comes to us from: CBS News.
On the trail there’s a common thread among these hikers who have lost some or all their vision: We can do a lot more than people might think. “Both my parents had disabilities and I just never thought of myself as really having one,” said hiker Cynde Vaughn, who has vision and hearing loss due to Stickler Syndrome, a degenerative connective tissue disorder. “I usually thought of myself as having to convince other people that I could do whatever it was that was needed, but I just needed to find a different way. There are many ways to reach the same place." “The advice I usually give people is just think of me like a normal person, because I am a normal person,” said hiker Evan Starnes. This story comes to us from: Rocky Mountain PBS.
Avery, 85, was a lifelong advocate for disability justice and welfare. He lived in Alexandria with his wife, Sabra, for more than 50 years, and served on the Alexandria commission on Persons with Disabilities for 36 years and the city’s Human Rights Commission for more than 30 years.
“Chet was a tireless advocate for full inclusion of our disabled residents in both the Federal government as well as in Alexandria. This story comes to us from: ALXnow.
Bobby McMullen, a Paralympian who refused to let the loss of his sight in law school stop him from participating in the outdoor sports he loved has died, according to an Instagram post from his wife. Born in Redding, McMullen grew to become the face of perseverance, motivational speaker and advocate for mountain biking. This story comes to us from: KRCR.
[[VIDEO] Too much sex causes blindness; orgasm can make BP rise — Expert reveals][
They used to tell us masturbation caused blindness too. I was intrigued by this article and did some additional searching on scholar.google and PubMed and found no other evidence supporting this doctor's claims. It's such bad research that I wouldn't even put it into the science section of this digest.
Dr. Charles Mensah Coffie, Medical Director and Ophthalmologist at Accra's Dziram Eye Clinic, has revealed the negative impact of excessive sexual intercourse despite the health benefits. As it is well known that "too much of anything is bad," an eye expert has revealed that having sex on a regular basis can have an adverse effect on one's eyes. This story comes to us from: Modern Ghana.
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.