WBH Weekly Blind News Digest – Edition 24

Editorial By Chris Hofstader

This edition of the digest has fewer articles than usual. This is because it contains news from the GoogleAlerts I received over five days rather than the usual seven – the next edition will contain nine days worth of stories to make up for it. Since I launched Gonz Blinko's Blind News Digest, it has been almost entirely a one man show, although some friends send me stories to include in some editions. I am leaving with my wife and our dogs for our annual drive from our Florida home to the one we have in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I can't work on the digest in the car and I don't want to depend on sketchy motel wifi. So, forgive me for publishing this shorter edition and look forward to a bigger one next week.

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.


BindiMaps makes navigation easier for the visually impaired

An innovative idea to assist those with visual impairments has become a reality. People who are blind will now have a new way to navigate their way through places like shopping centres via a unique app on their phones. This story came to us from: The Sydney Sentinel.

Elec­tronic device helps the visually impaired and legally blind see clearly

The device eSight 4 is an electronic eyepiece for the visually impaired and legally blind
It combines camera and lens technology to allow patients to zoom in on objects far away, take pictures and adjust the lens for their eyesight
The goal is to maximize visual information sent to the brain. This story came to us from: Spectrum News.

New WHO report on assistive technology for disabled provides a roadmap for India

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities came into force in May 2008 to bring to centrestage disability as an intersection of health, human rights and development priority. Subsequently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Bank jointly produced the World Report on Disability in 2011. This story came to us from: Khmer Times.

Science and Medicine

The most dangerous tree in the world is found in Florida and it can cause blindness and death

Manchineel is only found in the state of Florida in the Florida Keys and Everglades. The tree is found near the coast and grows in brackish water. It can grow as high as 50 feet tall. Although it is considered to be an endangered species in Florida, it can grow in clusters and it does not depend on birds and animals to spread its seeds. This story came to us from: NewsBreak Original.

Odisha to clear 12 lakh backlog cataract surgeries in three years

For our readers unfamiliar with the Indian dialect of English, lakh means 100,000.

Blindness and visual impairment due to cataract is one of the major public health challenges in the country. This story came to us from: The New Indian Express.

Stem cell research reveals detailed genetic roadmap of glaucoma

The research, one of the largest and most detailed stem cell modelling studies reported for any disease, is published today in Cell Genomics. This story comes to us from: ScienceDaily.

Common Inherited Retinal Diseases: Presentation, Diagnosis, Treatment

— Experts review approaches to retinitis pigmentosa, Stargardt disease, and choroideremia. This story came to us from: Medpage Today.

[Research Confirms Benefit of Supplements for Slowing Vision Loss From AMD][

Before I would accept this story on face value, I recommend looking up the original research paper, reading the abstract, checking the methodology page to ensure the study was properly double blinded, ensure that the sample size can produce a convincing P value, check its confidence interval and, if you've the vocabulary for such, read the whole paper. A lot of articles pop up in the mainstream media suggesting that one supplement or another will help with vision issues and even blindness but few of the research papers published on the topic use fully rigorous methods to perform their research. If you don't know how to read a scientific paper, there are things you can study that will give you at least the things to look for to automatically reject a study on lots of grounds that would suggest the researchers weren't thorough in following the scientific method. Also, this study might be a really good one but the publication may be writing things that aren't actually in the original research as this happens often with scientific papers in mainstream publications as most publications do not have a full time science reporter.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye disease that can blur your central vision. It is quite common in the U.S., especially among older, white Americans, making it the leading cause of vision loss in the U.S. In addition to regular physical activity, quitting smoking, and maintaining healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels, supplements can help reduce your risk for AMD. This story came to us from: SciTechDaily.

One Common Food Could Leave You Blind If Not Cooked Properly – Says New Study

This article recommends against eating raw or undercooked meat. I do not know if this is a good study or not. That the article about it leads with a quote from an expert who wasn't involved in the project raises some questions in my mind.

How? Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite closely linked with cats, is responsible for retinal scarring in one in every 150 Australians, according to new research. “Retinal scarring is often caused by inflammation and can sometimes lead to a retinal detachment,” said Giles Edmonds, clinical services director at Specsavers, who was not involved in the study. This story came to us from: REVYUH.com.

New Research Identifies 312 Unique Genetic Features Of Glaucoma

A new, in-depth genetic map of glaucoma, the world’s largest cause of permanent blindness, will aid researchers in developing new treatments to combat the condition by pinpointing possible target areas for halting or reversing vision loss. This story came to us from: REVYUH.com.

QRCS launches medical convoy to treat eye diseases in Sudan

Red Crescent Society (QRCS) has initiated an eye disease treatment and anti-blindness project in Sudan. This story came to us from: ReliefWeb.

Di Cianni (Amd): "30% of Italians with diabetes have diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a serious eye complication affecting the diabetic population, both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It is a leading cause of blindness in the Western world. The disabling complication is subtle because it does not show signs in the first years of development. This story came to us from: Ruetir.

Restoring vision by recharging cells' batteries

In May, an interdisciplinary MUSC research team won an inaugural Blue Sky Award, which provided $100,000 in funding for its project to restore vision in patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) by recharging the eye cells’ batteries. The Blue Sky Award was created to encourage high-risk, high-reward research that has the potential to make a profound impact on patient care but is unlikely to attract traditional funding. This story came to us from: Mirage News.

Samsara Vision and Lansheng Medical “MyVision” Announce Collaboration to Commercialize the SING IMT™ in China

“With AMD being one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide, it is urgent to provide a medical solution to patients in desperate need." This story came to us from:

Saudi aid agency signs medical campaign agreement

Around 9,600 surgeries for phacoemulsification and minor procedures will be carried out during the campaigns and 24,000 pairs of glasses and medical drops will be distributed, helping 120,000 people. This story came to us from: Arab News.

Blindness Organizations

He looks at people a whole different way: A blind fisherman and the Lion's Club legacy

As fishing is my favorite hobby, I especially enjoyed this story. I'd add, though, that a blind person can learn the fundamentals of fishing with a little practice, tying tiny knots can be a bit tricky but everything else can be learned quickly. I thought this should be a Sports article but, as it's the Lion's Club, I put it here.

Carry Burriss dipped his fishing pole into the rippling water of Lake Hartwell, betting on the automatic tug for him to begin reeling. Some of the volunteers would nudge him, describing the fish emerging out and his wife later told him his face was pure joy. This story came to us from: Independent Mail.

Lions Diabetes Foundation supports research, education, prevention

Lions in the state of Minnesota have been meeting that challenge for more than 60 years through the Lions Eye Bank and Vision Foundations. More recently, in 2008, Lions birthed the Minnesota Lions Diabetes Foundation. The foundation was founded to improve the lives of people with diabetes by raising funds and collaborating with strategic partners to do diabetes research, provide diabetes education and sponsor preventative health activities that provide a caring and valued community service while helping to find a cure for diabetes. This story came to us from: southernminn.com.

Group offers support to visually impaired

Joan Stark founded the group in 2001 after a sharp decline in her vision. She went into the project with three goals: to inform and educate, create a social gathering place to share experiences, and offer emotional support. This story came to us from: Boothbay Register.


Aberdeen blind woman helps others after struggling to get a job

After leaving school at 18, Amanda returned to the north-east to continue her studies at college. But despite graduating with a secretarial qualification, she struggled to find any work due to her health condition. “I tried looking for jobs and wasn’t successful. It can make you lose confidence and get a wee bit depressed." This story comes to us from: Press and Journal.


Blind man struggles with medical transportation, social worker calls it, 'disaster waiting to happen'

Tyrone Pouncil is 61 years old. He suffers from a rare genetic disorder that caused blindness as a child. He uses a wheelchair. Tyrone now needs dialysis three times a week for his liver. He doesn’t qualify for medical rides. It’s something that baffles the social worker trying to help him. This story came to us from: KCTV5.

Blind man gets medical rides following report from KCTV5 Investigates

It's nice to be able to include a happy ending to a story (directly above this one) that started out sad. It's another reason I like editing this digest as this sort of story gets so little attention in other blindness related publications.

Tyrone Pouncil, 61, went blind as a child. He uses a wheelchair and now needs dialysis three times a week. His social worker struggled to find a medical ride for him because he has a blind pension. Recipients of the blind pension are explicitly excluded from medical rides because they already receive state funding. This story came to us from: KCTV5.


Nigerian woman goes blind, loses all her kids to death, cries out for help

A Nigerian woman, Mrs Mulikat Sofiu O. has cried out for public assistance after going blind three years ago and having nothing to fall back on. This story came to us from: Legit.ng.


University of Missouri student is blind, unable to walk or talk after alleged hazing

I rarely include an article about how a person went blind but I found this one so heinous that I put it here in the Crime section.

“He has massive brain damage. He's blind. He's unable to walk or communicate,” family attorney David Bianchi said about 19-year-old Daniel Santulli. This story came to us from: New York Post.

Raped by a 'friend': Women living with disabilities narrate ordeal

This web site loads very slowly but works better in Reader Mode.

If only Sarah Ajayi knew Bayo wanted to take advantage of her disability, she would have prevented any form of relationship between them. This story came to us from: Premium Times Nigeria.

Guide Dogs

Blind man “left in limbo” as Chesterfield taxi driver turns away guide dog

A blind Chesterfield man says a taxi driver “got away with” discriminating against him when he refused to carry his guide dog twice. This story came to us from: Derbyshire Times.

Chelmsford woman declined guide dog due to local paths

A blind woman has been told she could not have a guide dog because the pavements nearby were unsuitable.
Janice Parker, from near Chelmsford, Essex, was registered blind in November 2020 and referred to a guide dog charity by her GP. This story came to us from: BBC News.

Blind woman refused three taxis on Glasgow streets after drivers said no to guide dog

A blind woman was left standing on the streets of Glasgow after three taxi drivers refused to take her home because of her guide dog. This story came to us from: Daily Record.


Accessibility class actions allege many major websites violate Americans with Disabilities Act

This article suggests that these lawsuits have been going on for only "over the past several months" when anyone who has been following this situation knows that the word "months" should be replaced by "years" and even decades if we include the suit NFB ran against AOL.

Blind and visually impaired consumers have hit companies with class action lawsuits alleging they failed to make their websites fully accessible to them. The consumers brought a number of claims against businesses over the past several months that revolve around the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and state-specific consumer protection laws. This story came to us from: Top Class Actions.

[Alcohol Suppliers Hit with ADA Website Accessibility Lawsuits][

The increasing popularity of online shopping is placing e-commerce businesses—specifically those in the alcohol beverage industry—in legal crosshairs. In lockstep with a recent uptick in website accessibility cases, plaintiff firms are sending pre-suit demand letters to alcohol suppliers and, in some cases, even filing a state or federal court lawsuit. These lawsuits—which are typically filed in California or New York—involve claims that a supplier’s website is not accessible to individuals who are blind in violation of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and related state laws. In these cases. This story came to us from: National Law Review.

Dungarees class action claims website inaccessible to blind, visually impaired

Retailer Dungarees does not maintain a website that is accessible to blind and visually impaired people using a screen reader in violation of the law, a new class action lawsuit alleges. This story came to us from: Top Class Actions.

[Visionworks, Dr. Scholl's class actions claim websites not accessible to visually impaired, blind][

Visionworks and Dr. Scholl’s have each been hit with class action lawsuits by legally blind consumers who say the companies have not made their websites accessible to consumers using screen readers in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Yan Luis filed the Visionworks lawsuit June 3 in a New York federal court. Bryan Velazquez filed the Dr. Scholl’s lawsuit the same day. This story came to us from: Top Class Actions.

Alabama suit defends accessible absentee voting for blind

I'm happy to see that the SPLC is now including people with disabilities among the minorities they represent.

The SPLC and its co-counsel, Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program (ADAP) and Brown Goldstein & Levy, filed a federal lawsuit today against the state of Alabama for denying voters who are blind or have print disabilities access to the state’s absentee ballot program in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act (RA.) This story came to us from: – Southern Poverty Law Center.


Vision Care Market Competitive Analysis With Growth Forecast till 2028

According to the latest report published by the company, the global Vision Care Market size is projected to account for over US$ 127,730 Mn, in terms of value, by 2028 end. The report further projects significant growth with an average CAGR of 7.3% through 2028. This story came to us from: Digital Journal.

Global Glaucoma Therapeutics Market Growth Is Fostered by Increase In Awareness Among Population

Glaucoma is a syndrome that damages the optic nerve and its evolution could result in vision loss and blindness. Treatment of glaucoma begins with topical eye drops belonging to the class of prostaglandins, beta blockers, alpha agonist, combination medication, carbonic anhydrase inhibitor, and cholinergic. Administration of these eye drops decreases the production of the fluid inside eyes, thereby deducting the intraocular pressure. This story came to us from: – openPR.com.


Preventing Blindness

Ruzycki receives career development award

… Sciences at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has received a career development award from Research to Prevent Blindness. This story came to us from: The Source | Washington University in St. Louis.


Inspiration on the runway: More than 100 attend fashion show featuring visually impaired models

The women, on a makeshift runway, modeled outfits from multiple designers. This story came to us from: Newsday.

What kind of services do you offer for blind and partially sighted people?

Dates for upcoming Audio Described Performances are listed on our Upcoming Access/Assisted Performances page. We may recommend certain seats in the auditorium to get the best signal for Audio Description. Find out more on the venue or show’s Access tab, or contact the venue’s Access Champion. This story came to us from: ATG Tickets.

"This is going to help…" Blind couple gets a much needed wheelchair ramp at no cost

This was another story that was difficult to categorize. I don't have a section for people with multiple impairments (maybe I should) so I put it into lifestyle as that's my "catch all" category.

Navigating every day life became increasingly more challenging for a blind couple, after they were repeatedly denied special assistance from VIA Metropolitan Transit. It turns out the denials were because the wheelchair ramp they bought online created a safety hazard. This story came to us from: KABB.

Art and Artists

Why a San Marcos author is glad he went blind

Mark Carlson put his guide dog, Saphron, in charge of not only his sight, but also his social life. This story came to us from: YouTube.

Blind graduate of G-Star School of the Arts delivers 'valedictorian' speech from memory

A high school graduate in Palm Beach County is legally blind, but she can clearly see her goals and is aiming for the stars. This story came to us from: WPTV.

[Was 'The Sound of Silence' Inspired by Art Garfunkel's Blind Friend, Sandy Greenberg?][

The song “The Sound of Silence” was written by Paul Simon, not Garfunkel. In 1984, Simon told “Playboy” magazine that the opening line of the song referred to his childhood practice of playing guitar in the dark. Greenberg also wasn’t mentioned when Garfunkel wrote about the meaning of the song for the back cover of the album. This story came to us from: Snopes.com.


Local blind man climbing America's highest peak

A local blind man is about to begin his climb to the highest mountain peak in North America. Back in February, we joined Lonnie Bedwell as he trained to climb Mount Denali in Alaska. This story came to us from: WTWO.

England men's blind squad head to Italy for IBSA Euro Finals

The England men's blind team are in action at the IBSA Blind Football European Championship in Italy this month. This story came to us from: England Football.

Blind Football Euros: Brandon Coleman says England 'strong enough' to win title

England number seven Brandon Coleman believes the team are "strong enough" to win the European Blind Football Championships for the first time. This story came to us from: BBC.

Blind Football: Strong start for Germany and Turkey in Men's Euro

The real show was saved for last. In game 4 between the Czech Republic and Turkey, no one was expecting the goal machine named Hasan Satay to come on so strong! Not only did the Turkish number 11 strike the Czech goalkeeper, but everyone else as well. The end score of 9-0 is raising the expectations for Turkey, not only for the result, but also because of their high performance. This story came to us from: International Blind Sports Federation.

Ninepin Bowling: Shining Elena in the 21st European Championships

The Serbian city of Apatin hosted the 21st edition of the IBSA Ninepin Bowling European Championships. The competition reunited 87 athletes from nine countries and promoted Elena Negrilsecu as a shining star. The Romanian B1 player won four gold medals: team women, B1 single classic, B1 combination, and B1 mix tandem. This story came to us from: International Blind Sports Federation.

Meet the blind woman who scales walls as high as London's 180m Gherkin

Hampshire Guide Dogs volunteer Theresa Osborne-Bell, 41, climbs walls with the agility of a squirrel despite being blind. This story came to us from: The Independent.

The England Women's blind team: From amateurs to athletes in a heartbeat

The GB men got to the final of the 2015 world championship and received support from the FA. But disability women's football has been playing catch-up. This story came to us from: The Athletic.

I bleed blue and white' – Brighton fan ready for FA Disability Cup final

It is one of six FA Disability Cup finals being played at St George’s Park across the weekend with the partially-sighted, amputee, cerebral palsy, powerchair and deaf tournaments also reaching their conclusions. This story came to us from: Alloa Advertiser.

Blind York County man to rappel 10 stories for VisionCorps Eye Drop fundraiser

Taylor, 55, of York County, wants to give back to VisionCorps for what they have done for him. He is doing so by participating in the third annual Eye Drop, set for Friday. This story came to us from: York Dispatch.

Blind Golf Clinic drives visually impaired golfers to the green

Thursday morning at The Club at Indian Creek in Elkhorn saw visually impaired kids and adults practicing their golf game. Despite these players' loss of vision, they're feeling more driven to the green with the help of local golf pros and adaptive sports specialists. This story came to us from: KETV.


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