Blindness Briefs – Edition 73

What's Inside

  • Apple adds more accessibility improvements.
  • Accessibility in outer space?
  • Google can now describe images.
  • Blind school that was victim to arson attack requests armed guards.
  • Blind people at risk due to inaccessible health information.
  • Blind self proclaimed prophet accused of raping two sisters.
  • Shortage of guide dogs causing problems for some blind people.
  • An action packed sports section.
  • And, about 65 stories about blindness and blind people from the entire world.

Editorial By Chris Hofstadter

Welcome to another edition of Blindness Briefs. This week has more than sixty articles and I found many of them interesting.

One article that jumped out at me is the story about Greenpeace doing everything possible to keep Golden Rice from being grown. Greenpeace has an ideological stance on genetically modified foods that, with zero basis in actual science, insists on an absolute ban. Golden rice has the potential of preventing blindness and death in hundreds of thousands of children but the anti-science activist group does everything in its power to keep it from being grown. If we're going to make progress in the blindness space, we need to pay attention to actual science and not a bunch of ideologue vegan hippies.

In the technology section this week, we have yet another article about some students at a university somewhere inventing yet another replacement for a white cane. It feels that hardly a month passes without hearing about yet another high tech cane and I know of zero blind people using these in a real world setting. There are a lot of technologies that we could use to improve the lives and efficiency of blind people, why do so many gravitate to making a new and high priced cane? My follow-up question is "Do these students have the Internet?" as, if they do, why didn't they do a search on high tech canes for the blind and realize that there are dozens if not hundreds of such projects building such out there and that maybe they should work on something novel?

There's a lot of interesting stories in this week's edition and we hope you enjoy it.

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.


Apple accessibility improvements welcomed by disabled people

Yesterday saw the announcement of a flurry of Apple accessibility improvements, including a new “Assistive Access” interface option, Live Speech, and Personal Voice. These have been welcomed by people who rely on accessibility features, though they would like to see greater ambition for one of the features.
The Personal Voice feature was the one to get the most attention, needing just 15 minutes of training in order to allow users to have their iPhone play speech in their own voice. This story comes to us from: 9to5Mac.

Improving Accessibility in the Workplace — and in Space

Sheila Xu is deaf. Sheri Wells-Jensen is blind. Both women are accomplished professionals who work with AstroAccess, a nonprofit with a mission to make space exploration accessible to all. This story comes to us from: Knowledge at Wharton – University of Pennsylvania.

Radio and the Blind: An Evolving Relationship

In the 1920s, newspaper articles called radio a godsend for the blind. It was both educational and entertaining, and it would help them to feel less isolated. Today, many people with visual impairment live independent lives and enter a variety of occupations, including broadcasting. Thanks to technologies like screen-reading software, most internet websites are accessible. And a growing number of movies and television programs now have audio descriptions. So what role does radio play in a world in which blind people have so many information and entertainment choices? This story comes to us from: Radio World.

NextGuide cane guides blind users via a pointer under their thumb

Blind people using white canes are limited in how fast they can walk, as they have to wait for the tip of their cane to hit obstacles before going around them. The NextGuide cane is different, in that it preemptively steers users around obstacles that they have yet to reach. This story comes to us from: New Atlas.

AFB Calls on Congress and Government to Move Swiftly toward Making the Internet Accessible for All

AFB) urges the United States government to close the digital inclusion gap for Americans with disabilities. This story comes to us from: Yahoo Finance.

Education ministry wraps up contests of 'I am an Entrepreneur' programme – Gulf Times

Regarding girls' schools, Al Khor Secondary School came in first place with a project of an electronic stick for the blind that contains lenses. This story comes to us from: Gulf Times.

Google Can Now Describe and Answer Questions About Images

… as Google describes, help people accomplish everyday tasks “like … of those images were not easily accessible to people who have blindness. This story comes to us from: PetaPixel.

Blindness Organizations

AFB Withdraws from AbilityOne Program

After the successful completion of a research and study phase, the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) has chosen to step away from its role as a Central Nonprofit Agency in the AbilityOne Program, with plans to focus its resources and efforts on research activities and other impactful initiatives related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. This story comes to us from: – American Foundation for the Blind.

Acting president of National Society of and for the Blind disappointed with turn out at rally

The acting president of the National Association of and for the Blind (NSOFB), Daniel ‘Danny’ Chambers said that he wants to debunk the stigmatisation that disability equals inability, as the association hosted the Blindness Awareness March and Rally for the first time in over a decade. This story comes to us from: Searchlight.

Five resolutions pledged at National Women's Convention – YouTube

Advocacy, Policy, Audio Description, & Resolutions | National Convention General Session IV. National Federation of the Blind. This story comes to us from: YouTube.

100 Arab American Women Who Care celebrate 10th anniversary, donate $10,000 to local organization

This year, the Penrickton Center for Blind Children garnered the most votes and received the donation. This story comes to us from: The Arab American News.

Prevent Blindness to Host 12th Annual Focus on Eye Health Summit

Prevent Blindness, the nation’s leading eye health and safety nonprofit organization, will host the 12th annual Prevent Blindness Focus on Eye Health Summit on July 12-13, 2023, as a virtual interactive event. Expert presentations related to this year’s theme, “Why the Eye?” will engage diverse voices in discussions around vision health as it relates to public health, stimulate conversations around the challenges to equitable access to eye care, explore new and unique collaborations across stakeholders, and identify opportunities to integrate vision and eye health into public health policies, practices, and research advancement. This story comes to us from: INVISIONMAG.COM.

Sight Savers of America donates to legally blind children of the Big Country, gives tools to help learn & see better

Sight Savers of America partnered with the Education Service Center Region 14 to help legally blind children between the ages of four and 19 years of age. At no cost to those experiencing blindness, several sponsors were able to give these kids thousands of dollars worth of tools. This story comes to us from:


Burnt Salama school for the blind seeks armed guards

The management and learners of Salama School for the Blind that was set on fire last year have appealed to government to provide them with security at their premises ahead of reopening for term two. This story comes to us from: Daily Monitor.

Central Florida nonprofit helps children with vision impairments via confidence-boosting tree trek

More than two dozen children who are blind or visually impaired put on their harnesses and took part in a ropes course Saturday morning. This story comes to us from: Click Orlando.

Nigerian Lady Married To A Blind Teacher Shares Their Inspiring Love Story

A Nigerian lady, Maimunatu Sa'idu who got married to a blind man, Dahuru Abdulhamid Idris, has revealed that it was love at first sight for her. This story comes to us from: Gistmania.

Acid Attack Survivor Kafi Tops CBSE Class 10 Boards With 95.20% Score Despite Blindness

Blind student Kafi determined to become IAS officer. This story comes to us from: Outlook India.

Hardesty not letting legal blindness slow him down; OCHS graduates 105 on Sunday

Hardesty will continue his education at Kentucky Wesleyan College, where he plans to pursue an English major with a focus on linguistics. This story comes to us from: The Owensboro Times.

Web Accessibility Guidelines – UNCW

UNCW is committed to creating an inclusive campus and providing equal access to all aspects of campus life, both programmatically and physically. Part of that commitment involves removing barriers that impede access to our website. This story comes to us from: UNCW.

Blind since birth, Carson man to graduate from WNC

Born legally blind, Aaron Ross began working toward a degree at Western Nevada College more than a decade ago. This story comes to us from: Nevada Appeal.

44-Year-Old Blind Student Defies the Odds, Graduates with Economics Degree From TSU

Despite being completely blind, Julian Walker never lost sight of his goals. … “I wanted to see if I could go to school as a blind person." This story comes to us from: The Tennessee Tribune.


The Surprising Role of Blind Women in India's Health Care System

Tactile breast examinations, or TBEs, are clinical breast examinations specially designed for blind women trained as MTEs. This story comes to us from: Reasons to be Cheerful.

Portsmouth plasterer who went blind becomes massage therapist

A plasterer who went blind after becoming critically ill has described rebuilding his life by training to be a massage therapist. This story comes to us from: BBC.

Discrimination and Inaccessibility

Rishi Sunak alt text tweet criticised for misusing accessibility feature

The prime minister is criticised for excluding blind users by not fully … demonstrating what the images would sound like to blind people. This story comes to us from: BBC.


Blind people 'put at risk by inaccessible' information about health

A BRADFORD woman is backing a campaign to give blind people more accessible information about their health. This story comes to us from: Telegraph and Argus.

Blind and low-vision community calling on federal government to install noise emitters on all electric vehicles

They were marketed for their silence, but now the blind and low-vision community are calling for electric vehicles to emit fake noises. This story comes to us from: ABC.

Frustrated blind Edinburgh woman says wrecked pavements make city 'unsafe

Sylvia has said that the state of Edinburgh's roads, pavements and pedestrian crossings are a disaster waiting to happen. This story comes to us from: Edinburgh Live.


David Boahen Deuces: Inna Real Life Founder Gifts Blind Mom Of 3 Food Items And GH¢6,000, Peeps In Awe

Inna Real Life founder David Boahen Deuces donated foodstuffs and GH¢6,000 to a sight-impaired mother of three after her situation came to his attention. The CEO of the social media brand shared photographs from the presentation to his popular Facebook group. He delivered five heartfelt frames. This story comes to us from: YEN News.


Partially blind Busby woman living in fear after front window smashed by rocks

The partially blind woman was left 'shaken' after a thug hurled rocks through her front window after they attempted to smash the back windows. This story comes to us from: Glasgow Live.

Woman jailed for causing cyclist's death loses appeal

A partially blind woman with cerebral palsy who was found to have killed a 77-year-old cyclist will not have her conviction overturned. This story comes to us from: The Times.

Undress and jump in bed': Blind 'prophet' raped two sisters 'to cure barrenness

Jacob Wekesa, a self-proclaimed prophet, has found himself in a rather uncomfortable situation after a week-long stay at the home of one of his followers.
The Legion of Mary follower, who claims to be able to diagnose women's reproductive health problems with his spiritual eyes, is now facing sexual offences charges in a Nakuru court.
Although he has denied charges of raping his host's two daughters, the court has found him guilty. This story comes to us from: Daily Nation (Kenya.

Guide Dogs

[Guide dog shortage: Blind man from Exmouth says he will struggle][

A blind man has said he is at risk of losing his independence due to a delay in the training of guide dogs. This story comes to us from: BBC.

Blind campaigner faces 18-month wait for replacement guide dog because of national shortage

Callum Fairhurst spoke to Jill Allen-King for ITV News Anglia. This story comes to us from: ITVX.


Viewpoint: Grim consequences of Greenpeace's war on biotechnology — Blindness, hunger

A genetically modified rice variety could save the lives of thousands of children. But now Greenpeace has prevented the sowing because of alleged health risks. Typical: The Eco-activists care neither about science nor about the common good. Your agenda is completely different. “This rice could save the lives of millions of children every year,” said the American news magazine “Time” jubilantly 23 years ago about the successful production of golden rice. This story comes to us from: Genetic Literacy Project.

SSI: Why The United States Will Have Two Payments In June

Federal program offers monthly payments adults and children with disabilities or blindness. This story comes to us from: World Nation News.

Advocates: Government Is Failing Residents on Accessibility

Like many parents, Baltimore-area resident Tony Stephens wants to know how his kids are doing in school. But unlike most of his peers, checking on his son’s grades isn’t as simple as logging onto a website. Stephens was born legally blind and lost the remainder of his sight in his teenage years. As the father of two sighted boys, he uses screen-reading software to access the web. However, it doesn’t work if he encounters a website that wasn’t programmed to be compatible with assistive technology. This story comes to us from: Government Technology.


Lawsuits targeting company websites for ADA violations on the rise

The Americans with Disabilities Act does not stop at ramps and railings. Websites also have ADA requirements to ensure universal access to public accommodations. Peace Coffee found that out the hard way last year when the Minneapolis-based business was hit with a class-action lawsuit. "The website is not equally accessible to blind and visually impaired consumers," the federal suit read. "Plaintiff still intends to purchase certain goods and/or services from defendant's website in the future, but currently cannot." This story comes to us from: Star Tribune.

AFB Applauds Justice Department Settlements Requiring COVID-19 Vaccination Processes To Be Accessible.

American Foundation for the Blind Applauds Justice Department Settlements Requiring COVID-19 Vaccination Processes to Be Accessible. This story comes to us from: American Foundation for the Blind.

Humble Brands class action alleges website denies equal access to blind, visually impaired

Plaintiff Vordaliza Taveras claims she attempted to use the Humble Brands website April 13 to purchase a Moroccan Rose deodorant product but was unable to purchase the item due to access issues. The Humble Brands website fails to use alt text on embedded images, which is crucial for screen-reading software utilized by those who are blind and visually impaired. This story comes to us from: Top Class Actions.


University biotech spin-out completes £62m finance deal

Complement Therapeutics GmbH spun out of The University of Manchester Innovation Factory and is helping in the treatment of blindness. This story comes to us from: Business Cloud.


“It's Given Me A Fire And A Purpose”: Lucy Edwards On Being “Blind, Not Broken

The first thing I think about in the morning, though, isn't fashion or beauty. It's children who are losing their sight." This story comes to us from: British Vogue.

Lawton woman found a new path to an independent future after vision loss diagnosis

A self-described workaholic, Young, who had already been diagnosed with leukemia, worried that losing her eyesight would mean her life was over. This story comes to us from: The Lawton Constitution.

John Craven: the Ramblers' new president will break down barriers

“Having a blind guy as president communicates that rambling is for everyone." This story comes to us from:

Our Readers Write: Air traveling as a blind or visually impaired person

I often travel for work, going great distances to meet with colleagues all over the country. As an executive leader for Bosma Enterprises and as someone who is legally blind, I have had a variety of travel experiences, some great and others not so good. This story comes to us from: Madison Courier.

Art and Artists

Georgia O'Keeffe Made These Works After Going Blind

There is actually one painting on view that she made while blind. But it's not on the checklist or in the catalogue. This story comes to us from:

Texas School for the Blind students create touchable, inclusive art show

Students from Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired worked with Austin art organization Almost Real Things to curate the show. This story comes to us from: KXAN Austin.

Sports and Athletes

Blind Hockey: More than just a developing sport

While blind hockey was invented in Canada almost 90 years ago, the parasport is still struggling to get noticed, especially in the United States. This story comes to us from: Daily Faceoff.

Blindfolded batters, buzzing bases: NJ beep baseball team opens sport to the legally blind

Damien Gonzalez has been the youngest player, and the only one under 15, at all five World Series he's attended. This story comes to us from: Bergen Record.

The Juggling Act That Hooked Blind Football's Greatest Volunteer.

“Dave's been the driver for the whole program,” Blind Sports Australia CEO Matt Clayton said. This story comes to us from: Paralympics Australia.

CHAMPION Mayo blind golfer Eddie Maguire can't wait to get back on the golf course after flying to Spain for a hip replacement operation.

Under the EU Cross Border Directive, EU citizens have the legal right to travel to any other EU country for healthcare, with their own country picking up some or most of the costs. This story comes to us from: The Connaught Telegraph.

Blind target shooting demonstration

Alex Whitton has become the first legally blind Canberran to obtain a firearms licence. This story comes to us from: YouTube.

Blind bowler congratulated on 'fantastic' success at contest

A Johnstone bowler who is registered blind has been congratulated for his success at a prestigious competition. This story comes to us from: The Renfrewshire Gazette.

Blind Football: World Grand Prix São Paulo is coming

One week from today, the 2023 IBSA Blind Football World Grand Prix will kick off at the Blind Football Pitch of the Paralympic Training Centre in São Paulo, Brazil. Eight teams will participate in the competition, divided into two groups: Italy, Argentina, Thailand, and France (group A), and Brazil, England, Chile, and Japan (group B). This story comes to us from: International Blind Sports Federation.

Blind disability consultant takes part in game broadcast

The Orioles showed the club's attempts to broaden their appeal to fans by welcoming their disability consultant who is blind to the broadcast. This story comes to us from: WBAL TV.

Blind football offers new hope in South Sudan

Blind football is still in its infancy in South Sudan but the league organisers hope their teams can eventually start competing in regional matches. This story comes to us from: Africanews.

FA's Catherine Gilby feels women's disability teams' prospects 'hugely exciting

The blind team are set to be involved in the International Blind Sports Federation World Games taking place in Birmingham in August. This story comes to us from: Yahoo Sport UK.

In Memoriam

Blind in his right eye, Tommy Milton became first 2-time Indy 500 winner, died by suicide

But even more remarkable was that Milton was 100% blind in his right eye and had a vision impairment in his left. This story comes to us from: IndyStar.


Anthony Anderson's encounter with Stevie Wonder has people speculating he isn't actually blind

The actor revealed the story which is making people think Wonder is not actually blind and has been faking it all along. This story comes to us from: UNILAD.

I went partially blind after getting sunburn in my EYES. Here's what I wish I knew beforehand

The woman did not wear sunglasses on this trip, and when she got home she felt a burning sensation in her eyes as if sand had been blown into them. This story comes to us from: The Daily Mail.