WBH Weekly Blind News Digest – Edition 41

What's Inside

  • California Supreme Court rules that online only sites need not be accessible
  • White cane safety featured in a number of articles
  • Ride share drivers continue to discriminate against guide dogs
  • Beware inspiration porn
  • 21 year old blind woman pilots solo across US
  • Blind man gets black belt in BJJ
  • And, about 55 articles about all aspects of blindness and blind people from the entire English speaking world

Editorial By Chris Hofstader

This edition of the digest has a lot of terrific articles covering a panoply of subjects related to blindness. This is the third version of the digest in which articles about science and medicine have been moved into our science digest published on Wednesdays and this edition has also moved the preventing blindness section into the science related version as well as those are mostly science stories.

In this edition, under the "Legal" heading, you'll find a disturbing story describing that courts in California have overturned its state law requiring all web sites, including online only sites, be fully accessible to disabled people. This is a horrible and discriminatory trend and is the standing precedent in most US Circuit Courts (New York and Pennsylvania include online only sites). Think about online only businesses like Uber and Lyft, we'll these no longer need to be accessible? If they ignore the law on service animals, why would they care about making their software work for disabled people? Think of all of the delivery sites we found so useful during the pandemic, under this ruling, they don't need to be accessible.

If you want to help make a difference in online accessibility for everyone, please look up the bill Senator Tammy Duckworth has introduced recently about online accessibility and make sure your congressional representatives are supporting it. If they are not supporting this bill and their opponent is, you have no choice but to vote for their opponent.

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.


Braille literacy displays out for Blindness Awareness Month

The Talking Book Center in Staunton shows there is more than one way to read a book. The blindness awareness display showcases technology that people who are vision-impaired have used throughout the years. The staff shared that many people are not aware of the service so the display is meant to spotlight braille literacy. This story comes to us from: WHSV.


Google's Guided Frame gives visually impaired folks a voice-over for selfies

Love ’em or hate ’em, selfies are an important aspect of photography; they help us connect with loved ones, and people spend an extraordinary amount of time thinking about how to look good in photos taken of yourself. (I should know; I wrote a whole damn book about ’em in a past life). People who are blind and vision impaired still use phones, of course — there’s a ton of audio guidance available on modern smartphones — but taking photographs is much harder. Well, it was, at any rate, until Google introduced its Guided Frame, which sparked into life at one of Google’s hackathon events. This story comes to us from: TechCrunch.

This Autonomous Driving Startup Announces New Accessibility Network For Disabled Community

In a blog post published on Thursday, autonomous driving startup Waymo announced the formation of what the Mountain View-based company calls the Waymo Accessibility Network. Waymo notes in the announcement the initiative is meant to “formalize and scale our longstanding collaboration with disability advocates, [and will] expand inclusion of their crucial voices and valuable perspectives as we work together to shape the future of transportation. This story comes to us from: Forbes.

A Clear Vision

Good vision is essential to everyday living, yet approximately 12 million Americans aged 40 and over live with vision impairment, including 1 million who are legally blind, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although some affected individuals can be treated with surgery or medication, and recent advances in gene and stem cell therapies are showing promise, no effective treatments exist for many people who are blinded by severe degeneration of, or damage to, the retina, the optic nerve or the cortex. In such cases, an electronic visual prosthesis, or bionic eye, may be the only option. This story comes to us from: The UCSB Current – UC Santa Barbara.

Blindness Organizations

Sightsavers' Lady Jean Wilson is 100: A visionary woman

Lady Jean Wilson and her late husband Sir John have helped millions since founding the Haywards Heath-based charity Sightsavers. As she celebrates her 100th birthday, she is still tirelessly campaigning. ‘There were three of us, me John and John’s secretary, and we had one spare chair hoping for visitors,’ smiles Lady Wilson as she recalls the first morning of the organisation that started on a shoestring. This story comes to us from: Great British Life.

Egypt opens 1st care home for blind elderly women

Egypt has opened the first care home for blind elderly women within the framework of the celebrations of the Charitable Investment Fund to support people with disabilities. This story comes to us from: Egypt Today.

Blind Relief Association to host Diwali Mela 2022 from Oct 15

Popularly called the 'Blind School Diwali Mela', the Blind Relief Association’s Diwali Bazaar is one of Delhi's oldest and most sought-after bazaars. Except for the interruption caused by COVID in 2020, the Association’s Diwali Bazaar has been organised as an annual event for 42 years now since 1980. This year, the Bazaar is a week-long event to be held from 15-21 October 2022 from 10:30 am – 08:00 pm in the Association's premises. This story comes to us from: CitySpidey.com.

Devotees flock Bihar Club pandal based on Eye Donation theme

At the Durga Puja pandal at Bihar Club, Kutchery Road, Ranchi, the divinity of the Goddess is stressing on the importance of the importance of Eye Donation. A theme based puja, the first in Ranchi this year, has been attracting men and women, particularly the younger generation – boys and girls to a special kiosk, set up by Kashyap Memorial Eye Hospital, Ranchi, to enable volunteers to pledge their eyes. This story comes to us from: Daily Pioneer.

Inspirational Milton Keynes mum named as finalist for Woman of the Year 2022

Hannah, also known as local blogger Blind Mum Vs the World, appeared on Lorraine on ITV this morning, as the show surprised her with the news that she has been shortlisted as a 'Woman Of The Year' Trailblazer Award finalist. This story comes to us from: MKFM.

Foundation Offers 2365 Visually Impaired Free Eye Care

An estimated 2,365 visually impaired people in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, have received free eye care services ranging from free eye tests to treatment and surgeries at “Lulu Briggs Foundation”.
Chairman of the Foundation, Dr Siene Lulu Briggs, said the foundation’s goal was to help treat vision impairment and prevent blindness among Nigerians by encouraging timely access to quality eye care. This story comes to us from: The Tide News Online.

RNIB Urges You to 'See the Person, Not the Sight Loss' in New Campaign

The number one barrier faced by blind and partially sighted people in the UK is public misperceptions, the leading insight that inspired the campaign. This story comes to us from: LBBOnline.

NewView a valued partner of blind people, businesses

“We are the largest employer of people who are blind or have low vision in the state of Oklahoma,” said Mark Ivy. This story comes to us from: The Journal Record.

2022 Convention Schedule – National Federation of the Blind of Indiana

National Representative: Ever Lee Hairston. Thank you for joining us for the NFB Indiana 2022 State convention, held virtually using Zoom. This story comes to us from: National Federation of the Blind of Indiana.

Ukrainian War

Let's help blind children refugees from Ukraine

Resource Information Center for blind refugees who found protection in European countries. This story comes to us from: GlobalGiving.


Woman changes how Edenglen learners see disabilities

Legally blind motivational speaker Jessica Pita paid a visit to Edenglen Primary School where she spoke to learners about changing how they perceive those with disabilities. This story comes to us from: Bedfordview Edenvale News.

Accessible literature for blind and visually impaired people

Leipzig University Library, in cooperation with the URZ, supports blind and visually impaired students and staff. This story comes to us from: Universitätsbibliothek Leipzig.

Working with Visually Impaired or Blind Students

The Office of Academic Development can assist with this. This story comes to us from: Arcadia University.


When I went blind at 31, I worried my career was over. Spoiler: It wasn't

Navigating the office and the workforce after losing my sight was scary, but not impossible. And when the pandemic came along, it actually became easier. This story comes to us from: Today Show.

Tamil Nadu: Meet the blind women who make cotton used to bundle currency Notes

Although she is blind, in 25 years, S Hemalatha has never made a mistake with her count because, as she says, she can see every thread she is knotting in her mind.
The 48-year-old is one of the 30 visually challenged women who roll cotton threads that are supplied to the office of the Reserve Bank of India, and branches of Central Bank of India and State Bank of India across Tamil Nadu. This story comes to us from: Times of India.


Deaf, Blind and Ignored: Metro Transit repeatedly left man with disabilities at bus stop

The service dog or white cane were not enough to catch the attention of Metro Transit drivers as Barry Segal waited at the bus stop. Segal is deafblind. In order to safely catch the bus to get to and from his accounting job in St. Paul, he stood exactly where he was trained to wait. But videos show that Metro Transit bus drivers repeatedly failed to stop where they were supposed to. This story comes to us from: KSTP-TV.


What is a white cane? Council of the Blind asking community to help make Wyoming streets safer

With "White Cane Safety Day" approaching, the Wyoming Council of the Blind is working to raise awareness about what white canes are. This story comes to us from: Oil City News.


OTR: Manuel Rodriguez who deputies say attacked his blind neighbor and shot at him

On Wednesday, September 28, BCSO was dispatched to a residence in far West Bexar County for an assault. Deputies arrived at the scene and spoke to a victim, who is blind, and said that Rodriguez who is a neighbor of the victim, had assaulted the victim with brass knuckles. The victim had blood on his face and head. Witnesses and the victim also reported that Rodriguez had shot a weapon at him as well. This story comes to us from: WOAI.

Montana U.S. Attorney Hails Sentences for Elder Fraud and Abuse

In another egregious case, one Butte defendant embezzled over half a million dollars from a blind woman who trusted the defendant with her finances. This story comes to us from: KSEN AM 1150.

Former nurse imprisoned after stealing over £8000 from blind man, 71, she cared for in Northampton

A former senior nurse has been imprisoned after fraudulently stealing more than £8,000 from her 71-year-old blind patient – who has since passed. This story comes to us from: Northampton Chronicle.

Guide Dogs

'They change your life': Blind Newport woman raising funds for guide dogs Charity

A visually-impaired woman says the lifeline her guide dog gave her means she is always determined to raise funds to help others enjoy their independence. This story comes to us from: Shropshire Star.

Rideshares leave blind Dallas man stranded on the side on the road because of service dog

A legally blind Dallas man was left stranded when multiple rideshares refused to pick up the man and his service dog after a trip to the vet. This story came to us from: FOX 4 News Dallas-Fort Worth.


'I have 'seen' 14 presidents lead Nigeria and none of them has cared about blind citizens'

We were young when Nigeria got independence. Before then, between the time of the white man and the time of the traditional rulers, we had a good life. But ever since we got independence, as underprivileged people, we have not seen any progress,” Usaini Musa said as he reminisced about life as a blind man during the colonial era. This story comes to us from: Tribune Online.

Petition on audio verification of VVPAT slips for blind voters sets off debate

A petition admitted by the Supreme Court last month that called for the introduction of technology to allow blind voters to verify their votes has set off a debate, with some disability rights activists raising concerns over the practical issues that may crop up. This story comes to us from: The Hindu.


Modshop class action alleges website not accessible to visually impaired, blind

Retailer Modshop does not make its website accessible to legally blind consumers who use a screen reader, a new class action lawsuit alleges. Plaintiff Rafia Lawal filed the class action lawsuit against Spot International Inc (Modshop) Oct. 4 in a New York federal court, alleging violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Lawal is legally blind and uses a screen reader to browse the internet and interact with companies’ online. This story comes to us from: Top Class Actions.

Online-Only Businesses Are Not a Place of Public Accommodation: California State Appellate Court Follows the Ninth Circuit in ADA-Related Ruling

This is why everyone with a disability or anyone who cares about the civil rights of disabled people, including all of us blind folks, should be writing to your congress people and senators urging them to support the bill Senator Tammy Duckworth is sponsoring in the US Senate. They're chipping away at ADA and we need to take any action we can to not just restore it but make it stronger.

Is an online-only business a place of public accommodation under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)? Yes, claimed the plaintiff in Martinez v. Cot’n Wash, Inc., 81 Cal. App. 5th 1026 (Cal. App. August 1, 2022). The Martinez plaintiff, who was permanently blind and used screen readers (i.e., software that audibly reads website content), alleged that “well-established industry standards” require websites to allow blind or visually impaired people access to websites, which one of the defendant’s websites—an e-commerce site—did not. No, said the California Court of Appeal, disagreeing with the plaintiff. This story came to us from: Lexology.

Blind County Worker's Transfer Warrants $782000 Legal Fee Award

Montgomery County, Md., must pay $782,390 in attorneys’ fees and $55,533 in litigation expenses to a blind employee whom a jury found was discriminated against when she wasn’t moved to a new location with her co-workers. This story comes to us from: Bloomberg Law.

Personal Finance and Investing

Special Allowance for Blind Persons

€332,67 per month since 1/1/2022 (varies according to the wage indexation each year. This story comes to us from: mlsi.gov.cy.


Nigerian Woman Falls in Love with Blind Liquid Soap Seller, Marries Him, Video Goes Viral

A lovely video making the rounds online shows a Nigerian woman expressing her undying love for her blind husband who makes and sells liquid soap. This story comes to us from: Legit.ng.

'My Wife is Always Fussy,' I Complained until I Saw Blind Man Helping His Wife Carry Bags

I always grumbled about how 'fussy and annoying' my wife was but a chance encounter with a blind older man and his wife changed my views. This story comes to us from: AmoMama.

Beware those 'inspiration porn' videos showing how disabled people live everyday life

There’s a blind guy playing a few hymns on the piano at church. And a 12-year-old wheelchair user who’s the next keynote speaker at a community fundraising event. These are often the representations of disability that abound in the media, and they do have something in common: They can make us feel so good. But beware the siren song of “inspiration porn. This story comes to us from: The Record.

11-year-old blind SF girl raises awareness about disability

"Even if you have septo-optic dysplasia, I think it's a blessing, because not everyone has that same kind of diagnosis. This story comes to us from: Yahoo News.

Blind Low Vision Week: 'Blindness is not the antithesis of sightedness

Michael Whittaker says people usually expect total blindness and get upset or feel conned when they realise he's not totally blind. This story comes to us from: Stuff.co.nz.

Adapt-ability" creator on disability, connection and empathy

We talk to the creator of a video series designed to help viewers confront their discomfort with disability and see the world from disabled people's points of view. This story comes to us from: Wisconsin Public Radio.

Independence of visually impaired people

White Cane Safety Day is all about acknowledging the abilities of blind people and educating the community about how they can live and work independently. President of United Blind Persons of Fiji Lanieta Tuimabu stressed this yesterday during an interview with the media. She says the white cane is a symbol of mobility and independence and it is imperative for society to acknowledge the skill of its users. This story comes to us from: – FBC News.

Women Breaking Barriers

WVTM 13's Carla Wade introduces you to a central Alabama woman who found a new perspective on life after going legally blind in college. This story comes to us from: WVTM.

Spartanburg woman gifts handmade hats to students at the SC School for the Deaf and the Blind

Students at the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind (SCSDB) received a special, handmade gift from a community member this week. Julia “Judy” Pitts, 82, visited the school on Tuesday and delivered more than 170 hats that she had crocheted during the pandemic. Pitts said she wanted to ensure each student had a hat to keep them warm as temperatures begin dropping. This story came to us from: WCBD.

Art and Artists

Ways of Not Seeing: A Roundtable on Extravisual Art

In her influential 2017 study More Than Meets the Eye: What Blindness Brings to Art, Georgina Kleege, a blind writer and UC Berkeley professor, visits the Museum of Modern Art in New York to look at some paintings. When she rents an audio tour, the little handheld device that MoMA provides presents Kleege with three options: there is one program produced for mainstream visitors, another for blind visitors, and a third for children. Like a blind art-loving Goldilocks, Kleege decides to try all three. This story comes to us from: ARTnews.com.

Blind musician brings a North Carolina community together

Since the beginning of 2022, Dale has been playing at Summit Place of Kings Mountain. He always draws a crowd of people who are amazed at what they see. “There’s many times, if they’re going down the hall and past my office, they’re crying because they say, how does he do that?” said Denise. “This is who I am. I happen to be a blind man; I’m not a broken-sighted person,” said Dale. This story comes to us from: FOX8 WGHP.

Blind Scottish pianist reaches BBC Young Musician final

An 18-year-old Falkirk pianist, who was born blind, said it was an amazing feeling to reach the grand final of the BBC Young Musician competition. This story comes to us from: BBC.

Sports and Athletes

Story of blind BJJ black belt inspires fighters

A black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) is difficult enough for an able-bodied person to attain, let alone a man without his eyesight. This story comes to us from: Sportskeeda.

Nigeria's 'Star Eagles stars in 2022 IBSA Africa Blind football championship in Morocco

Team Nigeria, known as ‘Star Eagles’ is among the five national blind football teams[Male] that competed in the just concluded 2022 IBSA Blind Football,African Championships, held from September 14 to September 26 in Bouznika, Morocco. Other teams that took part in the competition were Mali national blind team, the Egyptian side, Cote d’Ivoire national blind team and the host country,Morocco. The championships ended in favor of Morocco who were defending their title after defeating seven other African countries. This story comes to us from: The Authority Newspaper.

How the Lionesses inspired a young blind footballer to believe in herself

A 10-year-old blind footy ace who “never believed she could achieve anything in sports” is hoping to turn professional when she’s older and bag “thousands of goals” after being inspired by the Lionesses’ Euro 2022 victory. This story comes to us from: The Independent.

Fort Worth blind soccer player spearheading effort to be represented at 2028 Paralympic Games

Fort Worth’s Ricky Castaneda is spearheading an effort to help make sure the United States in represented at the 2028 Paralympic Games in Los Angeles. This story comes to us from: Yahoo News.

Blind Bowlers Host Annual Tournament

The Erie Independent Blind Bowlers hosted the tournament. Teams from Pennsylvania and New York are made up of people, who are both visually impaired and who can see. Not only is this tournament a competition for bowlers, but it also allows people who may have a hard time seeing to get to meet and play with other people like them. Richard Come, the Treasurer of the Erie Independent Blind Bowlers explained, "These are a lot of people that only get together once a year. They are all good friends, but this is their opportunity once a year they get to see each other and enjoy competing for money."The Erie Independent Blind Bowlers are currently looking for new members. This story comes to us from: Erie News Now.

Beeping cricket ball inventor and Blind Bats founder Paul Szep celebrates progress in modified game

Former NSW and Queensland wicketkeeper Paul Szep says his beeping ball has allowed more people to participate more meaningfully in the sport. This story comes to us from: ABC.

[Blind woman to finish challenge of walking every Dunedin street, by walking up Every St, Dunedin][

This isn't really sports or athletics but I hadn't the slightest idea as to where it should go otherwise. I'll send you a $10 Starbucks gift card if you can send me the name of a category a story like this would fit into.

Three years and more than 1000 streets later, Julie Woods has one final hurdle before she can claim having walked every street in Dunedin. This story came to us from: Stuff.co.nz.

Arizona woman overcomes blindness to pilot plane

21-year-old Kaiya Armstrong lost her sight when she was 14, but that did not stop her from becoming a pilot, and take to the sky. This story comes to us from: FOX 10 Phoenix.

Heartwarming video shows inspirational blind man completing London marathon

A HEARTWARMING video shows a blind man completing the London Marathon whilst being cheered on by his proud family. This story comes to us from: YouTube.

In Memoriam

Blind pianist volunteered 15 years of music at Essentia

Sharon Gill, who died earlier this year, was blind since birth and taught herself to play piano. She played at Essentia Health's St. Mary's Medical Center and cancer center, as well as at her church and for several weddings and events. This story comes to us from: Duluth News Tribune.


Fantastic Four: Even Invisible Woman Admits Her Powers Have a Logical Flaw

The Invisible Woman's strange abilities mean the Fantastic Four's powerhouse fighter should logically be as blind as Daredevil. This story came to us from: Screen Rant.


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