Editorial By Chris Hofstader
This has been a slow week for news about blindness and blind people so, rather than the average of about 65 articles per week, this edition only has 50, still a good amount of information but I don't write the news, I just gather it and publish it in this digest.
The most interesting news I saw in the world of blindness this past week has been the uproar caused by the article Amanda Carson wrote and I published called NFB: Sex, Crimes; Cover-ups and Excuses. It recaps the history of sexual misconduct at NFB, the decades of covering it up, that no NFB official has been removed from their position over the problem and NFB's attempts to keep victims and witnesses from reporting such incidents. If you read the article carefully, you might notice that Amanda's terrific research provides a source for every factual statement in the article and, if you actually sit down and count the words, there are more that are quoted directly from NFB statements than there are written by Amanda and edited by myself.
This is my personal opinion and may not reflect that of anyone else who helped with this article but it is not my intent to destroy or tear down NFB. I want to see the organization reformed, I want to see it become more democratic but probably less so than ACB, I want to see its officers act like "trusted servants" of its membership and to start following the lead of the younger people in the organization. Molly Burke, the blind gal who discusses fashion, make-up, weight loss and all sorts of more social topics on her popular YouTube channel has something on the order of a million subscribers; that's 10X the combined claimed membership of NFB and ACB. She speaks to a generation we grey hairs who still think and act like it's the 20th century simply cannot reach and they are the future of our community. A youth movement is in order.
I also accept that NFB has accomplished a lot of good things over the years. I just want to see them find a new paradigm for change in the 21st century.
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.
Blind Croydon man 'fears for his means of survival' after DWP fail to send him letters with braille
A blind man from Croydon is terrified he might lose his benefits if the Department of Work and Pensions keep sending him letters without braille. This story came to us from: MyLondon.
Envision unveils AI-powered glasses for the blind, visually impaired
This visual assistant was introduced at California State University Northridge (CSUN) 2022 Assistive Technology Conference. This story comes to us from: BioWorld.
Could this app help blind people navigate public transport?
An app designed to help visually impaired or blind pedestrians use more public trains and buses debuted at a Washington subway station in May. This story came to us from: The World Economic Forum.
Identiv-Powered CVS Spoken Rx Wins NFC Forum 2022 Innovation Award
Designed for those with visual impairments and those who cannot read standard print labels, the technology allows patients to have their prescription information read aloud and makes the CVS Pharmacy app accessible. This story came to us from: print edelectronics now.
Science and Medicine
Secrets of Permanent Blindness Revealed by Stem-cell Research
The research project was led jointly by the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, the University of Melbourne, and the Centre for Eye Research. This story came to us from: The Epoch Times.
Blind woman given 'life-changing' visual aid after charity donation
A Scottish woman has spoken about her joy at being able to ‘read’ a letter from her daughter’s school for the first time after receiving a £3700 OrCam MyEye from North East Sensory Services. This story came to us from: Association of Optometrists.
Eye parasites: Types, treatment, and prevention
Without treatment, these infections can lead to eye pain, vision problems, and in some cases, blindness. This story came to us from: Medical News Today.
The blind spot
In medical school, a few good many years ago, we learnt that the retina has light-sensitive cells, cones, and rods, that transmit messages to the brain about what is seen. Cones transfer colour and are good for daylight vision and perceive fine detail. Rods pick up black and white and are very light-sensitive, perceiving size, shape, and brightness. Rods are also the ones we use for night vision. In fact, babies only see black and white and shades of grey when they are born. Although their rods are mature at birth, their cones are not developed and thus it takes a while for them to see colour. This story came to us from: Trinidad Express.
Blind Veteran grateful to Houston VA Low Vision Clinic
“Staff members with visual impairment issues gave me motivation and hope. This story came to us from: Vantage Point – Veterans Affairs.
NFB: Sex, Crimes; Cover-Ups and Excuses
This story details the sexual misconduct problems surrounding the National Federation of the blind (NFB) in great detail. It was authored by Amanda Carson and is the most well sourced and referenced article ever to appear on my site. It's outrageous, disturbing and NFB admits to all of it.
This story came to us from: ChrisHofstader.com.
Power Moves: John Mascia creates opportunities at the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind
Dr. John Mascia, president of the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind since 2013, says he thinks of it as a civil rights institute. Its mission, he says, is to level the playing field for the blind, deaf and deafblind. This story comes to us from: Alabama NewsCenter.
NEW MIAMI LIGHTHOUSE PODCAST FOCUSES ON ISSUES AND OPPORTUNITIES
Each episode of Vision Insights examines a topic of interest or concern to the visually impaired, including the latest practical developments in treatment, education technology, Internet accessibility and the law. Hosted by Miami Lighthouse Senior Vice President Cameron Sisser, each podcast features interviews with knowledgeable guests who are specialists in their fields, and inspiring blind achievers who excel in the arts, sports, business and other areas. This story came to us from: South Florida Hospital News.
Community newsletter: Resources for people who are visually impaired or blind
The Revital eyes group continues to meet monthly to give insight into living with a visual impairment. This story came to us from: Kenosha News.
Former Goodyear workers donate embroidery machine to blind charity
One of the coolest software projects I ever had the opportunity to work on was writing support software for an embroidery machine made by Brother. It had seriously hard CS problems but we got the job done.
Beacon Centre for the Blind has received an embroidery machine and resin machine, worth nearly £8,500, for its Fab Lab so it can produce items for their charity shops. Volunteers also hope the new machines will help empower visually impaired people and give them vital training which they might not otherwise be able to access. This story comes to us from: Express & Star.
Fundraising car show to benefit Penrickton Center for Blind Children
A relatively new but popular fundraising car show returns July 9 to the Penrickton Center for Blind Children. This story came to us from: The News Herald.
Lothians MSP visits the Royal Blind School in Edinburgh
“I recently had a great visit to the Royal Blind School in Edinburgh, run by leading sight loss charity Sight Scotland, where I was shown around by Lucy Chetty, Head of Learning. The school provides specialist learning and teaching to children and young people with visual impairment. I saw the wonderful resources provided by the school and how these support each young person’s individual needs. I was impressed by the innovation shown by the school in their mission to support every young person. This story came to us from: The Edinburgh Reporter.
NJ Human Services Announces College Scholarships to Four Blind, DeafBlind & Visually Impaired Students
NJ Human Services Announces College Scholarships to Four Blind, DeafBlind & Visually Impaired Students. Students from Bayonne, Blackwood, Weehawken and Scotch Plains Recognized for Achievements During Helen Keller DeafBlind Awareness Week. This story came to us from: Insider NJ.
I am blind, but is the BEO blind? Is the Sub-Collector blind?, asks student over shortage of teachers in his school in Odisha
“I am blind. I can’t see what’s happening around me. But is the BEO blind too? Have the DEO, Collector, Odisha government have gone blind? Can’t they see we do not have sufficient teachers at our school?” Jashobant Chhatria questioned while speaking on the occasion. This story came to us from: Kalinga TV.
Accessible transportation is essential for those with sight loss
"Municipalities have a responsibility to everyone has access to transportation, including people living with sight loss. These barriers go far beyond the design of the vehicle, and could include, but are not limited to, an absence of stop announcements on buses, inaccessible signage, as well as some taxi drivers refusing to allow guide dogs. This story came to us from: SaltWire.
Passengers with special needs: A wheelchair is not what my sister needs at an airport
Flying can be a joyful, exciting, or mundane experience depending on how often one has had the chance to fly, but rarely does one think of flying as an onerous mode of traveling. However, passengers with special needs often have a vastly different story to tell. This story came to us from: Indian Express.
Coroner says man killed Tuesday in car-pedestrian accident was deaf, legally blind
A deaf and legally blind Upper Yoder Township man was accidentally struck and killed late Tuesday on Hershberger Road, Cambria County Coroner Jeffrey Lees said Wednesday. Lees said Joseph Varmecky, 71, often traveled the corridor on his way home. This story came to us from: The Tribune-Democrat.
Woodridge house fire: Hero neighbor saves blind, deaf man
Blind and deaf man 'shaky' after being rescued from fire in Brisbane. A local hero saved his blind and deaf neighbor. This story came to us from: The Courier Mail.
Westfield Hornsby Sydney Dash cam blind man walking into oncoming traffic busy intersection
A blind pedestrian is lucky to be alive after stumbling into the path of oncoming traffic at one of Sydney's busiest intersections. This story came to us from: Daily Mail.
Dragged, beaten and his home demolished: A blind man from Velim’s day of horror as ‘land grabbing goondas’ came calling
Two Chief Ministers, Manohar Parrikar & Pramod Sawant, assured to intervene and help in the 14-year fight for his land but did not; issue raised in the Assembly when Pratapsingh Rane was CM; yet his home got demolished through forgery; today, this homeless Goan is a broken man. This story came to us from: Herald Goa.
Near-blind woman to canoe 444 miles in support of Guiding Eyes
This article contains a number of stories as well as the one in this headline so you may need to poke around a bit to find it. It's a suboptimal site but our low vision and sighted readers might enjoy it.
Near-blind woman to canoe 444 miles in support of Guiding Eyes for the Blind. This story came to us from: WIVB.
Bill would shift control of NC schools for deaf and blind students to GOP lawmakers
Democrats and republicans have been both good and bad on issues regarding people with disabilities, including we blind people. We got Section 504 under Jimmy Carter, we got ADA under George HW Bush, we got 508 under Bill Clinton, we got ADA Restoration Act (adds Internet to ADA) under George W. Bush and we got CVAA under President Obama. At the same time, all of these presidents and the various agencies in the executive branch have done a very poor job of even publishing rules for enforcement, let alone actually enforcing the laws which hs led to the archipelago of lawsuits clogging courts all over the nation.
North Carolina Republican lawmakers want to have more say in how the state's three public schools for blind and deaf students are run. This story came to us from: Raleigh News & Observer.
Blind People in Cameroon Allege Police Abuse During Protests
Blind people in Cameroon were protesting this week against job discrimination when according to witnesses, police bundled them up and dumped them outside the city. Despite the alleged abuse, the protests continue. This story came to us from: voanews.com.
Accessible Voting Systems Are Required by Federal Law and Are Vital to Our Democracy
Now, this is a type of litigation I can support.
Voting technologies designed to improve the accessibility of ballot marking, verifying, and casting for all voters (such as direct recording electronic voting system or other voting system equipped for individuals with disabilities) are required by federal law. The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) and the undersigned organizations declare that any state or jurisdiction that terminates use of an accessible voting system is in clear violation of existing law and is at high risk of litigation. This story came to us from: National Disability Rights Network.
Madame Alexander, Jackbox Games class actions allege websites not accessible to blind
A legally blind woman who uses a screen reader is suing Madame Alexander Doll and Jackbox Games, saying the companies websites are not accessible to those using a screen reader. This story came to us from: Top Class Actions.
Urban Decay, Adore Me class actions violate Americans with Disabilities Act
Adore Me and Urban Decay have been separately accused of failing to design and maintain their websites so that they are fully accessible to blind and visually impaired users. This story comes to us from: Top Class Actions.
DraftKings' Site Inaccessible To Visually Impaired, Suit Says – Law360
… Alleging the sports betting giant is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act because its website is inaccessible. This story came to us from: Law360.
Blind man sues safety company over digital access for sight-impaired customers
I'm sure this plaintiff's allegations are true but I'm equally certain that he is an ADA troll. Cases like this lead business owners to call the Chamber of Commerce and to call their local congressperson. As there are literally hundreds if not thousands of such cases going on in American all at once and they didn't even attempt to use something like Lainey Feingold's Structured Negotiations techniques before going straight to the courts, congress and/or the Chamber of Commerce. The courts or congress will listen to all of these business owners and either weaken or end ADA altogether. The only solution that will work is if the DOJ is willing to do its job and enforce ADA rather than leaving enforcement up to a bunch of attorneys with questionable ethics. I warned about this in my ADA Trolling series years ago but nothing changed.
A legally blind man has filed another federal lawsuit against a company, alleging its digital platforms aren't accessible to those with vision problems. According to the lawsuit, plaintiff Eric Foreman claims that defendant Empire Safety has web and cell phone applications that "are not properly formatted to allow legally blind users such as plaintiff to access its digital content," which allegedly violates the Americans With Disabilities Act. Foreman has filed numerous similar lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. This story came to us from: Madison – St. Clair Record.
St. Clair County man sues company over digital access for sight-impaired users
And, this guy has filed at least two other suits against businesses in his area. Don't get me wrong, I want ADA enforced as strongly as possible but doing so with a bazillion separate lawsuits will cause more harm than good.
A St. Clair County resident who is legally blind has filed a federal lawsuit against a company, alleging that its digital platforms aren't accessible to those with vision problems. In the lawsuit, Eric Foreman claims that Hoffmaster Group Inc. has web and cell phone applications that "are not properly formatted to allow legally blind users such as
Plaintiff to access its digital content." This violates the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), Foreman alleges. Legally blind customers "are deprived from accessing information about Defendant’s products and using its online services. This story came to us from: Madison – St. Clair Record.
Eye Care Surgical Devices Market 2022 Key Drivers and Restraints, Regional Outlook, End-User Applicants by 2028
Demand for eye care surgical devices is increasing globally due to continuous innovation and new product developments in cataract surgery and refractive & glaucoma surgery devices. Additionally, introduction of novel eye care implants and stents for cataract surgery and glaucoma by key players is boosting the revenue share of the implants & stents product segment. This story came to us from: Indian Defence News.
Eye infections and ways to avoid them
This page has a bunch of stories on it so you may have to search for this one.
Summer brings health problems. As the temperature rises, so does the pollution in the atmosphere. Rising temperatures and climate change cause a variety of eye problems in the summer. When the main cities, including the Kathmandu Valley, are unorganized, the increase in garbage increases the risk of direct eye infections. This story came to us from: Khabarhub.
Sightsavers launches mobile vision centre in Pune to prevent avoidable blindness among the urban slum population
Through better eye health seeking behaviour, the intervention aims to boost demand for eye health treatments among the people living in the urban slums of the city. Sightsavers India’s Honorary Chairman and a Former Chief Election Commissioner, Dr SY Quraishi and Ms Rati Forbes, Director of Forbes Marshall Ltd., and Honorary Vice Chairman, Sightsavers India Board served as the flag bearers for the Mobile Van’s launch. This story came to us from: Punekar News.
'My wife says she's too young to stay with a blind man
And she told me her family had advised her to leave me, because she was too young to be stuck in a marriage with a blind man. This story came to us from: Namibian.
How firework shows can impact veterans and those visually impaired
There are a lot of ways to enjoy of the fireworks on the fourth of July, as some people are not able to see them at all, and others would rather see them while hearing them. Jackie Ray Cummings, 72, was raised in a military family, his service started in 1968. He served in Vietnam after touring Korea for nine months, and then served 18 months in the field artillery. He retired from the military in 1971 . He celebrates the 4th of July with a lot of family members, and with a lot of fireworks as well. This story came to us from: Nebraska.tv
Pantene ambassador disability activist Lucy Edwards is redefining beauty
Pantene’s newest ambassador Lucy Edwards is a force to be reckoned with, not just in the beauty industry but in the wider world as well. A wearer of many hats, her most impressive accolades to date include BBC presenter, social media influencer and disability activist.
You might have seen her on TikTok, where she’s often using her platform to spread awareness about life as a blind person. This story comes to us from: IMAGE Magazine.
Blind Chinese make-up artist teaches thousands of visually impaired women to apply make-up using sense of touch
When blind woman Xiao Jia asked a passer-by for directions in a Beijing pedestrian tunnel seven years ago, the person assumed she was a scammer because of her perfectly applied make-up.
“How can you have trouble seeing things when you can apply make-up to your face? This story came to us from: South China Morning Post.
CM Sindh takes notice of blind girl's plight
In the wake of notice taken by Chief Minister of Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah, District Commissioner Sujawal Shehryar Gul Memon and a medical team including Dr. Ahmed Ali Palijo and other concerned officials visited the thatched hut of Nawaz Raho an artisan to evaluate the visual-impairment of her nine-year-old daughter Malala Raho. This story came to us from: Minute Mirror.
Man whizzing to help blind wife in Eastwood with free e-scooter rides
A man has been gifted free e-scooter rides from Nottingham's provider Superpedestrian, which means he can still look after and care for his blind wife. This story came to us from: Nottingham Post.
STEAM camp gives visually impaired JCPS students a unique summer experience
It's summertime, which means many kids across Louisville are spending their days learning at camp. At one camp, a group of Jefferson County Public Schools students has to take a different approach to summer learning. The three-week STEAM camp — focused on science, technology, engineering, art and math — for student with visual impairments has been filled with arts and crafts, making model airplanes, cooking and more, making sure they use every single one of their senses. This story came to us from: WDRB News.
Art and Artists
Blind music instructor inspires children in week-long Jazz camp
About 10 children are attending a week-long, intensive Jazz camp led by a blind instructor who inspires them to be better musicians. This story came to us from: ABC Action News.
Door opens for Hamilton blind golf legend
There’s no stopping now. That’s the approach the Genovese family is taking after learning their father Nick Genovese is being inducted posthumously into the Ontario Golf Hall of Fame. This story came to us from: Hamilton Spectator.
N.J. runner stepping up to raise awareness for blind and visually impaired athletes
After years of perfecting her craft at running, Jasmine Murrell is going the distance to help other athletes who have visual impairments. This story came to us from: NJ.Com.
Legally blind Mayo enjoys VIP experience at Bobby Watson's Carteret County Speedway
“Am I the first legally blind person to do that,” he said. “I don't know. There are probably not a lot of blind guys who have started a race. This story came to us from: Carolina Coast Online.
Ronald Plassman Gold Standard Award
Established in 2021, the Ronald Plassman Gold Standard Award is presented annually each fall to deserving athletes, coaches, and program supporters who demonstrate gold standard values lived out by the actions and support of Ron Plassman (1940-2022). These include excellence on the field of play, sportsmanship, leadership, and championing the sport of goalball. This story came to us from: United States Association of Blind Athletes.
Blind Football seminar in Malta
The International Blind Sport Federation (IBSA) in a partnership with the Malta Paralympic Committee (MPC) delivered a seminar of Blind Football with a theoretical and practical programme to kickstart the development of VI Futsal in Malta. This story came to us from: International Blind Sports Federation.