Blindness Briefs – Edition 61

What's Inside

  • Accessibility isn't just about technology.
  • Reading service needs volunteers.
  • What to know for law students with disabilities.
  • Blind woman claims Air Canada made her feel like a burden.
  • Braille clothing line changing fashion.
  • Artist says blind actors patronized by television producers.
  • Lots of sports stories about blind people all over the world.
  • John Boyer, pioneer in braille translation software dies.
  • And, more than 50 stories about blind people and blindness from all over the world.

Editorial By Chris Hofstader

Welcome to edition 61 of Blindness Briefs. This edition has over 50 stories about blindness and blind people covering a wide spectrum of subjects.

I usually discuss my favorite story of the week in the editorial but, this week, I liked too many of the stories to pick a single favorite. It's such an array of interesting information ranging from fashion to sports to technology and guide dogs and much more. I think this is an issue nearly every reader will find interesting in one way or another.

I'd also like to remind readers that our friend David is helping edit Blindness and Science Briefs each week. This is a huge help to me as it frees up my time to work on other WBH tasks. David is highly qualified for this role with a masters degree in library science from LSU and a history of doing research. We are in the process of updating our web site and, when we put up the new "team" page, you'll be able to read his bio.

I hope you enjoy and benefit from the news in this edition.

How It's Organized

WBH Weekly 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.


For Kai Owens, Accessibility Isn't All About Technology. Accessibility Is About Companionship Too

The 19-year-old Owens, a sophomore at the University of Georgia majoring in music theory and Jazz, went through Guiding Eyes’ program with Pride, his German Shepard guide dog, and the pair graduated last June. A native of Statesboro, Georgia, Owens began experiencing vision loss in early childhood, at the age of 10. It wasn’t long before he started learning about the myriad assistive technologies for Blind and low vision individuals, including starting formal orientation and mobility training. He attended a public high school, enrolled in mainstream classes, and finished by being named valedictorian of his class. This story comes to us from: Forbes.

A Houston woman with low vision is regaining her independence

Four years ago, Donshae Hillary nearly lost hope that she’d ever regain her independence. The Houston native has been beset by vision problems since she was 12 years old. Glaucoma damaged her left eye to the point where it needed to be removed in the fall of 2018, while Hillary was serving time in prison. Doctors hoped that removing Hillary’s left eye would stop the glaucoma from spreading, so she was despondent when she began to experience blurred vision in her right eye just six months later. This story comes to us from: Houston Chronicle.

It is possible for a blind person to “see” and a deaf person to “hear” with his mobile. Apple is working on it

Behind the functionalities that accompany their phones there are always applications that try to adapt technology to blind or deaf people. This story comes to us from: Ruetir.

Doctors Print 3D Ultrasound For Blind Mom So She Can 'See' Her Baby

a physical disability, was able to enjoy a special ultrasound so she could see the baby before the big day! This story comes to us from: GodUpdates.

This Device is Transforming How Blind People Crossroads- Watch What Happens in Thrissur

For the first time in India, a specially designed device has been installed at a Zebra crossing in Thrissur. With the help of the 'Zebra Buddy' people with visual impairments can cross the road without help from anyone else. This story comes to us from: YouTube.

Blindness Organizations

Local non-profit sheds light on the blind & visually impaired; online auction open now

There are about 15000 blind or visually impaired individuals in the tri-county area, but only a handful of resources in South Carolina to help. This story comes to us from: WCIV.

ADAA works on equal opportunities at UTEP

t inclusivity, therefore they assigned a sign language interpreter for the occasion.
The ADAAA is in charge of the development and maintenance of a campus with equal opportunities for people with disabilities. The committee consists of faculty, staff and students that acknowledge accessibility and disability matters. UTEP’s Director of the Center for Accommodations and Support Services (CASS) and the Director for Equal Opportunity are chairs of the committee. This story comes to us from: The Prospector.

AFB Blind Leaders Development Program

The Blind Leaders Development Program, offered by the American Foundation for the Blind, will provide mentorship and leadership development. This story comes to us from: ProFellow.

Reading service for the blind needs volunteers to fill Rochester void

When a decades-running radio reading service for the blind ceased its Rochester operations, it left a big hole for thousands of blind and visually impaired people who depended on it. Now, a Buffalo-based group is expanding its service to the Flower City — but it needs plenty of help. Reading an actual newspaper has become sort of a lost art. Once a week, Dick Schanley comes to a Buffalo area studio to read the paper to others. “This is really wonderful for people because it gives them a mental version of what you and I see,” said Schanley. Niagara Frontier Radio Reading Service is just that — a service where volunteers read the paper for blind and visually impaired listeners. This story comes to us from: Spectrum News.

Center in south-central El Paso assists blind, visually impaired individuals

A new facility in El Paso is helping people who are blind or visually impaired. The Visually Impaired and Blind Experience (V.I.B.E.) facility, located at 5034 Alameda in south-central El Paso, provides mobility training, technology training, home and organization skills, notary services, braille classes, lift application assistance and referral services. This story comes to us from: KDBC.

The JBI Library, for the blind, visually impaired, and reading disabled

JBI offers Large Print, Braille, and Audio Haggadahs, free of charge, for anyone who is visually impaired, blind or print disabled. This story comes to us from: JBI International.

Blind man Pays It 4ward to an 'Angel' at work

Sighted NFB member Albert Chavez receives award. This story comes to us from:

Foundation Fighting Blindness to Host their Spring VisionWalks

These funds have enabled the Foundation to advance research for treatments and cures from the laboratory to the patients who need them. This story comes to us from: Yahoo Finance.

Sukhdeep Aasht, organizes 3rd Global Inclusivity Run by visually impaired for awareness of Glaucoma

Sukhdeep Singh Aasht, organized "Global Inclusivity Run for Awareness of Glaucoma by visually impaired". Around 2800 Visually Impaired along with Guides took confident step forward across 62 countries/regions, leading to Glaucoma awareness to over 300,000. This story comes to us from: ANI News.

Christian Blind Mission Donates Medical Equipment to Kwale

Kwale Governor Fatuma Achani has received medical equipment and hospital related items for optical services from Christian Blind Mission (CBM) organization based in Germany. CBM is an international Christian development organization committed to improving the quality of life of people with disabilities in the poorest communities of the world. This story comes to us from: Kenya News Agency.


Law School Students With Disabilities: What to Know

Know your legal rights, identify who can help you advocate for yourself, and seek accommodations early, experts advise. This story comes to us from: U.S. News.

Northampton College students help visually impaired visitors cook up a storm in college kitchens

catering students have encouraged people with visual impairments to ‘relish their independence’ and get cooking – sharing recipes and techniques to allow them to prepare a meal for their families. This story comes to us from: Northampton Chronicle.

Deaf and Blind School team claims state title in STEM competition

A team of high school students attending classes at the Montana School for the Deaf and Blind (MSDB) has been selected as the State Winner for Montana in the 13th annual Samsung Solve for Tomorrow STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) competition. It’s another achievement for the team, who secured one of 300 coveted spots in the nationwide competition last January. This story comes to us from: Great Falls Tribune.


Blind man selling brooms in Arizona met with amazing surprise

A blind man in Mesa, Arizona has constantly been scammed when people buy brooms and other things from him with counterfeit money. This story comes to us from: Yahoo News.

Overcoming blindness: Philadelphia man fulfills vision for career in media

A surgery left him totally blind at 10 years old. But Michael Jones still pursued his vision to become an author, songwriter, and broadcaster. This story comes to us from: 6ABC.

Discrimination and Inaccessibility

Toronto woman with disability says flying Air Canada made her feel like an 'unwanted burden

A Toronto woman is speaking out about the experience of flying with a disability, saying her most recent flight with Air Canada left her feeling like an "unwanted burden." Georgia Pike, a graduate student at York University, says she has travelled in and out of Toronto Pearson Airport many times, but her latest experience was so bad that it prompted her to come forward about "a system that discriminates against people with disabilities." "I paid the same amount for my flight as my able-bodied counterparts, yet I and other people with disabilities were treated as unwanted burdens by the Air Canada ground crew," said Pike, who described herself as visually impaired. This story comes to us from: CBC.


Texas death row inmate who cut out his eyes seeks clemency

Abbott has the power to stop the spectacle of prison guards leading a blind, mentally incompetent, delusional man to the death chamber,” said his attorney. This story comes to us from: ABC News.

Thieves steal tandem bikes worth £5k from blind Fife woman

Thieves who stole two tandem bikes from a blind Kirkcaldy woman have been described as "beneath contempt". This story comes to us from: The Courier.

Guide Dogs

Calgary cab driver refused to pick up a blind woman and her service dog

Feb. 12 was just another afternoon she needed a lift and used the Calgary United Cabs app in the downtown core to place her order.
She was stunned by what the driver told her.
"I went across the street and my dog was working, so she was guiding me. It's pretty obvious," said Kilpatrick.
"When we got close, (the driver) said no dogs in the car and we explained that this was a guide dog and she was legally obligated to be with me everywhere and then he said well, you could put her in the trunk and we said absolutely not." This story comes to us from: CTV News Calgary.

Service animals welcome on campus

Defined under Florida law and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a service animal is a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. This story comes to us from: The Famuan.

Ingrid's dog Banner 'brought her back to life', then helped her make history

Tonight, Ingrid Barnes will be among the thousands of LGBTQIA+ Australians walking in Sydney's Mardi Gras Parade, but until recently she struggled to even watch the event from the sidelines. Barnes has Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), a genetic degenerative eye disease that has rendered her legally blind. She had now no family history, making her case a shock. "I was diagnosed correctly in 2018 around my 25th birthday. Talk about a quarter life crisis," Barnes tells 9Honey. This story comes to us from: 9Honey – Nine.


Iowa's blind and deaf communities raise concerns over Reynolds' government revamp bill

For many blind Iowans, it isn't always easy to do what some consider everyday activities, like going to school or getting a job. This story comes to us from: Siouxland News.

Urgent and accelerated efforts needed for universal eye coverage: WHO

The WHO on Tuesday called for accelerated action to provide quality, affordable, integrated comprehensive eye care, addressing the increasing disproportionate burden of vision impairment and blindness. This story comes to us from: Business Standard.

Blind Iowans concerned about governor's proposal to appoint Department for the Blind director

Blind Iowans are expressing concerns about the governor's plan to streamline state government. Blind Iowans are expressing concerns to lawmakers that the governor’s plan to streamline state government would lead to worse services for the blind community. The director of the Iowa Department for the Blind is chosen by the Commission for the Blind. Gov. Kim Reynolds’ bill would change that so she would appoint the director. “With this proposed legislation, the director will now be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the governor and be subject to Senate confirmation,” said Molly Severn, the lobbyist for Reynolds’ office. “If Iowans currently perceive a government official to be accountable to the governor, that official should be." Enrique Mejia of Des Moines, who is blind, said he is strongly opposed to that change. He said Iowa’s services for blind people are nationally recognized and made it possible for him to get a full-time job, which he described as one of his proudest moments. This story comes to us from: Iowa Public Radio.


Tactile Printing Market SWOT Analysis | Braille Plus, Nia Technologies, Braille Works

The Global Tactile Printing Market report offers industry overview including definitions, applications, classifications, and chain structure. The report provides a comprehensive assessment of the studied market, including key trends, historic data, current market scenario, opportunities, growth drivers, potential roadmap, and strategies of the market players. this story comes to us from: The Owens Outlook.

Regenerative Medicine Market is Expected to Reach $40.6 Billion

Regenerative medicine is already being used to treat certain conditions, such as diabetes, blindness, and spinal cord injuries. This story comes to us from: Yahoo Finance.

Medical Biomimetics Market Valuation surpass US$ 63 Billion by 2032

During the forecast period 2023-2033, the medical biomimetics market is expected to grow at a value of 7% CAGR, according to Future Market Insights. By the year 2033, the global market for medical biomimetics is expected to rise up to a market valuation of US$ 63.15 Billion. Growing advancement in nanotechnology, increasing demand for prostheses and implant, rise in R&D activities associated with medical biomimetics and strategic activities by key market players are the major factors which are likely to drive the market growth. Diseases affecting the cornea are most important cause of blindness across the globe. According to the WHO, around 2 million new cases of corneal blindness are reported every year. More than 30 million people across the globe are blind in one or both eyes from corneal disease and injury, while several suffer from degraded visual acuity. Numerous attempts to create reliable, robust, and scalable solutions for artificial cornea have been unsuccessful. This story comes to us from:


The Braille Clothing Brand Changing the Fashion Game

I'm always looking out to see how much disability inclusion is actually involved," Jovanovic tells Newsweek. "I was really disappointed in this year's fashion week from the disability angle." The 28-year-old is changing that with her own brand called Aille Design, created to make the space more inclusive. The unique clothing line, pronounced "eye," features fully legible braille beadwork. "[Aille] is "so much more than just a clothing brand," Jovanovic said. "We're creating the braille fashion movement and that means bringing representation to all aspects of disability and inclusion. This story comes to us from: Newsweek.

How a group of visually impaired adults learn together to live with blindness

The Sight Center of NWPA's Wednesday Club is made up of visually impaired adults who help each other learn how to live with blindness. This story comes to us from:

ADOPT ME: Blind, bonded brothers have love to share

Luckily, the woman sought out assistance from a newly formed Ontario rescue that was able to take in these two special-needs. This story comes to me from: Orillia Matters.

How people with disabilities are affecting change in their hobbies

For people with disabilities, hobbies aren't just fun and games, says Chloe Atkins, a University of Toronto political scientist. This story comes to us from CBC Radio.

10 Incredible Stories About Blind People

We tend to think of blindness as a disadvantage But these 10 blind people prove that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. From becoming world-renowned surgeons to climbing Mount Everest, they have accomplished amazing feats. This story comes to us from: Fox Chronicle.

Greensboro woman gets porch repaired with 2 Wants to Know's help

Gladys Dollar missed her outside time sitting on her screened-in back porch. The roof was leaking, so she had to move her furniture inside and couldn't sit outside. This story comes to us from: WFMY News 2.

Art and Artists

Disabled actors patronised by TV industry, says artist

Actors with disabilities are too often cast in roles to make non-disabled people who control the creative industries look good, an artist says. Ruth Fabby said actors with a visible disability were often restricted to playing stereotypes. She said those with hidden disabilities were being excluded in favour of those with a more obvious disability. "I have had friends who have been told they don't look blind enough to play a blind part," she said. This story comes to us from: Yahoo News.

Meet Brenda Mosby, a Denver-Based Blind Ballet Dancer

As a 68-year-old Black woman who’s also blind, Brenda Mosby fits none of ballet’s stereotypes. But she found a pioneering teacher in Diane Page—and together, the duo is proving that the unlikeliest bodies can master dance’s most demanding discipline. This story comes to us from: 5280 Magazine.

Rich Lady Mocks Blind Veteran at Museum Auction until Host Calls Him to Stage

After losing his sight during the war, a veteran gathered the courage to make his first public appearance at an auction, unaware of how a rich lady would mock him there. What happened next left most guests shocked. This story comes to us from: AmoMama.

Perry Mattfeld's Shameless Character Explained (& Her Career Since Then)

Perry Mattfeld’s most notable role after taking the part of Mel in Shameless was In the Dark, however her time as Murphy was extremely controversial receiving criticism from the president of the National Federation of the blind as she, a sighted actress, was playing a blind character. This story comes to us from: GossipChimp.

You feel the music deeper': Studio empowers blind dancers

Hydeia Muhammad, founder of the Blind Dance Company, and star student Kenny Lee talk about how the group is empowering the visually impaired. This story comes to us from: Yahoo.

Blind singer given the runaround over Socso benefits

A blind singer who has been trying to get assistance from the Social Security Organisation (Socso) for the past 10 years. This story comes to us from: FMT.

Sports and Athletes

Massachusetts high school hockey goalie excels on ice despite being legally blind

Aaron Al-Marayati isn't like most high school hockey goalies. He's legally blind. This story comes to us from: CBS News.

Already blind in one eye, CNY wrestler seeks success in states before disease can do more damage

When he looks at the world with both eyes wide open, things appear pretty much normal to Jordan-Elbridge wrestler Jack Lamson. This story comes to us from:

Mississippi School for the Deaf and Blind hosts wrestling tournament

The tournament was hosted by the Mississippi School for the Deaf and Blind at the Physical Education Complex. This story comes to us from: WAPT.

Blind Football: Men's and women's teams for the IBSA World Games

The women's tournament will take place between August 12 and 21 and will have eight (8) national teams competing for the world title. This story comes to us from: International Blind Sports Federation.

Blind tennis players striving for bright future after milestone Australian Open debut

In blind and low vision tennis, athletes use a ball that makes a sound as it moves or bounces. This story comes to us from: International Paralympic Committee.

Blind Saudi Horseman Clears Jumps To Gain Recognition

Badr Al-Sharari refused to let his disability curb his passion, and despite being blind, the Saudi rider has now trailblazed his way to official recognition in horse-mad Saudi Arabia. This story comes to us from: Barron's.

Everything You Need To Know About The 32nd Palm Beach Cavallino Classic

The Cavallino Classic Foundation will continue its tradition of supporting the American Council of the Blind; the A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach, whose students sang the National Anthem at the start of the show; and the Piston Foundation, in this case to fund Motor Valley internships for young people wanting to learn how to restore cars. This story comes to us from:

In Memoriam

John Boyer, blind software engineer in Madison, Wisconsin, dies

Born blind, John Boyer couldn't find enough Braille books to read. The Madison man created software to open access for others. This story comes to us from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.


Man, 67, turned 'functionally' blind for a year after blinking in sun sealed his eyes shut

Robert, an accountant from West Yorkshire, was left functionally ‘blind' for a year after blinking in strong sunlight and diagnosed with blepharospasm, had to be treated with botox injections to be able to see again. This story comes to us from: the Daily Express.

Jesus Decimates Enrollment At Galilee's School For The Blind

Town officials are concerned after receiving multiple complaints from faculty at Galilee's School for the Blind this week after Jesus of Nazareth apparently went on a healing spree and decimated the school's enrollment. This story comes to us from: Babylon Bee.