As the title implies, this is edition number 2 of Gonz Blinko's Blind News Digest. This edition contains links to more than forty stories about various aspects of blindness taken from publications all over the world. We only include English language articles and, if a site is too inaccessible for us to read the story, we don't include it at all.
We had two new members join the team and submit articles this week. The first is my buddy and one who has helped me with research before, Aaron Espinosa.. The other to join us this week is my long time pen pal from Louisianna, David Faucheux. David has a background in library science, is a very good writer and is the author of the book *Selections from Across Two Novembers *, which blind readers can find on BARD.
I tried to separate the articles into subject categories. The section subjects are at heading level 2 and the stories are at heading level 3. The text after each article is a little blurb about the story. This is only edition 2 so I'm not terribly confident in how well I'm categorizing stories, if you have any ideas on how to do this or anything else that will make this digest better, please write a comment below or write to us directly through the contact form on this page.
We would very much like for this digest to turn into a community project. If you find stories that should be included, please send the headline and the URL through the contact form to us and we'll include it in a future edition of the digest. Also, if you have any announcements that you think our readers would find interesting, please send them and we'll find a way to get them to our readers. This and the previous edition of the digest contained only articles from mainstream publications, our GoogleAlerts don't go deep enough in their search to find the smaller publications that also cover blindness so please send us links to stories in such publications as we don't get them from Google.
Lastly, as we'll do in every edition of this digest, we'd like to thank our friend in the UK, Leon Gilbert. Leon more or less invented blind news and you should follow him on Twitter and get even more headlines about blindness. His Twitter handle is@leongilbert.
In Case You Missed It
If you missed edition 1 of the digest you can find it at Gonz Blinko's Blind News Digest Edition 1.
Editorial by Chris Hofstader
This is the second edition of Gonz Blinko's Blind News Digest and the team and I are pretty proud of this one. This edition contains more than forty articles covering many different aspects of blindness from all over the world. I didn't do an actual count but I'd bet that more than two-thirds of the stories in this edition come from outside of the US.
Last week, we published the first edition of the digest. We did so on January 4 and I was so focussed on getting the digest published that I forgot that it was Louis Braille's birthday and it was also World Braille Day. That edition did contain some articles about braille but this one has more both discussing braille and the celebration of it.
Perhaps the most interesting article in this edition is the first one under "Science and Medicine." It describes Mike May's regaining his vision and includes a lot of reasons a person blind from birth or early childhood may not want their blindness cured.
Our most controversial articles this edition are the first two in the Blindness Organizations section. These discuss the ongoing sexual misconduct cases at NFB and Colorado Center for the Blind. Sexual misconduct seems to be in the news a lot lately and why should the blind community be excluded from this discussion?
The largest section we have in this edition is the one entitled Science and Medicine. It has quite a few articles about different research projects and therapies from diseases related to blindness that came from a lot of different parts of the world. I found a lot of these articles very interesting as I was assembling this edition.
As always, we have a wide array of stories from a large number of subjects. Please tell us in the comments or by email via the contact form which you like best, which you'd like to see more of and which stories you might have left out had you been the editor.
Last week I released the first edition of Gonz Blinko's Blind News Digest on Tuesday, January 4, the birthdate of Louis Braille. It was also World Braille Day, something that slipped my mind before I posted the article without even acknowledging this important date. I'm sorry for that and I hope you enjoy all of the articles about braille we have in this edition.
World Braille Day 2022: History, significance and innovation
Every year January 4 is observed as World Braille Day to raise the importance of Braille, which serves as a communication medium for blind and partially sighted people. This story came from India Today.
World Braille Day 2022 Wishes Quotes Images Theme Status and Poster
On World Braille Day, one should raise awareness about inconvenience faced by people who are visually impaired. This story is from Tentaran.com.
Braille still as vital as ever, says Dalkeith woman
Braille, the system of raised dots that has enabled blind people to read and write, is as vital as ever, despite the advances of new technology, says a Midlothian woman with sight loss. This story comes from Edinburgh News.
World Braille Day – how does Israel use braille?
Since Louis Braille's death in 1852, his writing system has expanded all over the world. This comes to us from The Jerusalem Post.
North Berwick man hails importance of braille as anniversary marked
This man has a lot to say about the importance of braille in his life. This story came to us from East Lothian Courier.
New platform allows blind people to 'see' virtual reality
The platform will be used to rehabilitate blind people’s orientation skills and provide them with independence, just like Braille does for reading and writing. This story comes to us from The Jerusalem Post.[
Researchers develop acoustic virtual reality-based archery game for blind people
Researchers' aim was to understand how blind people move and orient themselves in space. This story came from News Medical.
Industry Leading HR and Payroll Company ADP Works with LightHouse to Enhance Accessibility of Products to Blind Users
ADP is working with a leading web accessibility expert to help enhance the accessibility of its Workforce Now solution for the blind or those who have low vision. This story came from Legal Reader.
biped unveils an AI copilot for blind and visually impaired people at CES 2022
Copilot for persons who are blind or have a visual impairment. The company’s eponymous device straps onto shoulders like a backpack and films the surroundings with 3D cameras. Biped then analyzes the environment to detect and predict obstacles. To me this sounds like a massively overcomplicated solution to a problem solved by guide dogs and canes. This came from Design Boom.
Science and Medicine
Stem Cell Surgery Promised Mike May Sight Again. Would It Ruin His Life?
This is the first story we've run in the digest that features a person I've actually met. His story is very interesting and discusses difficulties totally blind people experience after having their vision restored. We found this one at Esquire.
Revolutionary sight-restoring bionic eye will soon be tested in humans
The device itself is designed to restore some vision for patients with severe vision impairments and blindness. We have heard of a few bionic eyes before but none were able to give the patient much more than a few pixels of resolution, maybe this one from Australia will be better. This story ran in BGR.
CRF STRENGTHENS COMMITMENT TO FIND A CURE FOR CHOROIDEREMIA A RARE INHERITED RETINAL DISEASE THAT CAUSES BLINDNESS
This group has already spent more than $4 million on research into cures or treatments for a variety of retinal diseases. This story is from EIN News.
UCI researchers reveal molecular mechanisms underlying mutations within the eye that lead to blindness
Understanding the key structural determinants of a highly specialized membrane in the eye could lead to new treatments, even a cure. We found this story on UCI News. [
TEAM UNCOVERS MECHANISMS THAT CAN LEAD TO BLINDNESS
Here's another story about the research they're doing at U. California/Irvine. It came to us from Futurity.org.
Breakthrough Surgery Restores Blind Woman's Vision
A revolutionary surgery in Israel granted sight to a 60-year-old blind woman from Nazareth, using material from the patient’s bone to form a new cornea. This story is from I24 News.
Scientists make new discovery that may help prevent blindness
Scientists at Switzerland’s Paul Scherer Institute have found a protein in the eye that could lead to treatments that prevent blindness. This story was found in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
WVU receives NIH funding to dissect the mechanism of retinal degeneration
WITH FUNDING FROM THE NATIONAL EYE INSTITUTE, WVU SCHOOL OF MEDICINE RESEARCHERS PETER Stoilov AND Visvanathan Ramamurthy ARE STUDYING THE ROLE THAT SPECIFIC PROTEINS PLAY IN RAPID RETINAL DEGENERATION. This story came from eurekalert.org.
Consumer Health: Treating glaucoma
January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month, which makes this a good time to learn more about treating this group of eye conditions. This story is from Medical Express.
New route for regulating blood sugar levels independent of insulin
A scientific team found a molecule capable of regulating blood sugar levels like insulin. This came from Prensa Latina.
Measles, one of the leading causes of blindness in children, says ophthalmologist
An ophthalmologist, Dr. Chika Ugagu, says measles is one of the leading causes of childhood blindness in Nigeria and third world countries. We got this story from National Accord Newspaper.
Scientists Successfully 3D Print Human Corneas; This Breakthrough Can Be the Solution for Transplant Shortage
Scientists have just recently been able to successfully 3D print a human eye. The 3D-printed corneas will help with the large spread problem of shortage for transplants. This came to us from Tech Times.
Tarsier™ Pharma combats blindness caused by disease in a modern way
Diseases that can cause loss of vision or blindness can rarely be fought without risk. Israel’s Tarsier™ Pharma has developed a new technology to change that. This story came from Innovation Origins.
A new language has been born in the Northwest
It’s not often a new language emerges. But in the last 15 years, a new language was born in the Pacific northwest. It’s called Protactile, and it was created by a group of DeafBlind people who prioritize touch. This story came from OPB.
Improve disability rights? The government can’t even make a tweet accessible
Want to know why #Disabled people are so angry all the time. This is a government department for disabled people and they can’t even make a tweet celebrating something for blind people accessible. This story came from The Independent.
I'm blind and had Covid symptoms but my local testing centre turned me away
Kasia was left 'traumatized' and 'upset' from the incident. We found this story in My London.
Covid tests 'still not accessible' for blind people two years into the pandemic
For most sighted people, they can quickly do a Covid-19 test without a second thought — they just use the swab, measure out the sample then read the result. But what if your eyesight isn’t strong enough to see the test in the first place? This story came from Metro News.
National Federation of the Blind gave leader accused of sexual misconduct a role in investigations
The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) gave a longtime leader a role in investigating sexual misconduct allegations within the organization after he was accused of sexual misconduct himself. This story came from Nola.com.
Colorado Center for the Blind Accused of Sexual Abuse
The question is, why did the Colorado Center for the Blind allow this to happen? And why did they apparently try to conceal past instances of sexual abuse? This story is from Legal Reader.
Prevent Blindness declares 2022 as “Year of Children's Vision
The goal is to highlight and address the diverse and critical vision and eye health needs of children. We got this one from Newswatchman.com.
National Federation of the Blind Enhances Largest Scholarship Program for Blind Scholars
In recognition of the rising cost of tuition and after careful review of the scholarship program, each scholarship winner will receive $8,000. This story came from News Nation USA.
Call for Nominations Issued for 2022 Prevent Blindness Jenny Pomeroy Award
Prevent Blindness, the nation's oldest volunteer eye health and safety organization, is issuing the call for nominations for the 2022 Jenny Pomeroy Award for Excellence in Vision and Public Health. This came to us from Yahoo News.
Macomb Library for the Blind renews contract and changes name
The Macomb Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped has received approval to change their name to now be known as the Macomb Library for the Blind and Print Disabled (MLBPD), which will allow them to “more clearly communicate the breadth of those we serve. This story came from Macomb Daily.
Blind Woman Beats Odds to Earn Rs 50k/Month Selling Ghee & Superfood Supplement
Beating the odds, Geetha Saleesh from Kerala didn’t let her disability get in the way of running her successful online business. We are skeptical about the items she sells but it's good to hear of a successful blind entrepreneur. This story came from The Better India.
Joseph Kemboi, 53, tells how it feels to be a blind farmer
Blind people can do many things that most would expect we could not. Hear this blind man talk about being a farmer. Note: This is a video and not a text article. This came from YouTube.
Visually-challenged man on padayatra for 1% quota to blind
We didn't know how to categorize a story about a blind politician in India so we put it under "Working" as it is his job.
A visually-challenged man, Ponnaluri Srinivasa Phani, who is on padayatra from Narayanadri to Indrakeeladri demanding one per cent reservation to the blind people in all legislative houses, reached here on Saturday. Leaders of local organizations received Srinivasa Phani and felicitated him while other organizations celebrate the 213th birth anniversary of Louis Braille. This story is from The Hansindia.
Media and Entertainment
ODD MAN OUT Immersive Experience to Return to The Flea Theater
Odd Man Out is a LIVE immersive play in darkness. It begins when "passengers" enter a dimly lit space guided by a flight attendant. Passengers put on their headphones and their blindfolds. From there, the story allows listeners to immerse themselves in the tale of Alberto, a blind musician. This story came from Broadway World.
Kodiak (KOD) falls 8.95% on Moderate Volume
Kodiak Sciences Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company committed to researching, developing and commercializing transformative therapeutics to treat high prevalence retinal diseases. This story is from Equities News.
RD Fund Announces Series B Financing Behind SalioGen Therapeutics
Investment in new portfolio company furthering genetic medicine approaches for individuals affected by retinal degenerative diseases. This story came from PR Newswire.
Cleveland woman uses TikTok to advocate for guide dog rights
The Cleveland woman said she’s experienced discrimination for bringing her guide dog inside of businesses. This has happened to me several times as well. This story is from Spectrum News.][
Guide Dogs for the Blind Honors Betty White by Naming Puppy After Her
Animal rights activist Betty White supported Guide Dogs for the Blind while she was here and the group found a special way to honor her. This story is from Movie Web.
Art and Artists
Clarke Reynolds, The Blind Braille Artist, exhibits at The Base
This blind artist uses braille as a form of self-expression. Lots of dots. This one came from Kennet Radio.
Blind Kisumu Woman Marries Man She Met at Friend's Event
The couple tied the knot in a beautiful church wedding in Kisumu. This story is from My Happiness.
Blind groom “sees” his bride's specially chosen dress on their wedding day
Blind groom “sees” his bride’s specially chosen dress on their wedding day. This came from Aleteia.org.
Sports and Athletics
Leeds marathon runner guides blind woman to run 52 miles in 48 hours
A runner from Leeds has taken on an astonishing challenge to guide blind people to run marathons. This came to us from Leeds Live.
This amateur Fort Worth golfer was a world champion. His 'handicap' will surprise you
Most amateur golfers have a handicap. But few have the handicap that golfer Marvin Shannon had: He was blind. We found this story at Fort Worth Star Telegram.
Annual Run with a Vision 5K Held on Saturday, January 8, at the Riverview Club
Blind runners will complete the 3.1 course tethered to sighted guides to raise awareness and funds for The Randolph Sheppard Vendors of Florida. This came from WOKV.
Over 150 Lifters for Blind Powerlifting Trial in Lagos
Over 150 blind powerlifters drawn from across the country will be slugging it out at the maiden Nigeria Blind Powerlifting/ Bench Press Trials. This story is from This Day Live.
Watch the World's Best Blind Climber
What’s ‘non-sighting’? Literally climbing blind. And Jesse Dufton onsights hard British trad climbs without the use of his eyes. This came to us from Gear Junky.
I went BLIND after getting my eyeballs tattooed but getting inked still makes me feel good
A WOMAN has gone blind after having her eyeballs tattooed but says getting inked makes her feel good. This story came from The Sun.