WBH Weekly Blind News Digest – Edition 5


Welcome to Edition 5 of Gonz Blinko's Blind News Digest. This edition has about forty stories about blind people and blindness from all over the world. We're certain you will find articles that you think are interesting, informative and, in a couple of cases, funny.

As we do in every edition of the digest, we'd like to acknowledge our friend in the UK, Leon Gilbert. He practically invented blind news and he has a terrific Twitter feed which you can follow at @leongilbert.

Last Edition

If you missed it, you can read edition 3 of the news digest at Gonz Blinko's Blind News Digest – Edition 4. We'll include links to the previous edition in the Introduction section of each week's version.

Never Miss An Issue

If you're enjoying Gonz Blinko's Blind News Digest, you can subscribe by email to this blog and you'll never miss an issue. At this time, we do not have a way to subscribe to the news digest without also receiving my other blog articles which are about a single topic at a time. I never publish more than one blog article in any given week. If you subscribe and enjoy my articles, then you'll be receiving them more conveniently; if you subscribe and don't care for my articles, it's only a single keystroke to delete them.

To subscribe, just find where it says "Subscribe To The New Chris Hofstader By Email" on this page, put in your email address and hit submit. It's really very easy.

How It's Organized

When we add a story to this digest, we put into one of the different categories we have to help keep the articles organized as best we can. Sometimes but not often, stories come to us that don't fit a particular category and I do my best to find the closest match or, in some instances, create a new category for that story and any others like it that may show up in the future. Not every edition has all of the same categories as some weeks no stories fall into a particular one and I try to refine the categories with each issue to make them better.

Categories are all at heading level two and articles are links at heading level three.

Editorial By Chris Hofstader

This edition of the digest has about ten fewer articles than we had included in the previous issues. This was not due to an editorial decision on our part but, rather, it seems to have been a low news week regarding blindness. We used the same GoogleAlerts that we have been using, in fact I added a new one but they found us fewer articles to include than usual. I hope next week is better.

This is also the second week in a row in which we had no articles about braille. It's an incredibly important subject for blind people and it doesn't get much coverage in the mainstream media. The community needs to work harder to increase the visibility of braille and its importance.

In the "Blindness Organizations" section of this edition, we have an article about a new advocacy group focussing on blind musicians. I was recently looking for a new guitar amplifier and the number of choices accessible to a blind person is minimal compared to all that's available these days. Accessibility to music technology is very important to a lot of blind people and I'm glad there are some now working on the problem.

As usual, we have a lot of articles about science, medicine, technology, sports and I think this week's "Arts and Artists"section is especially good.

Science and Medicine

At-Home COVID-19 Tests Exclude Blind People

Testing for the virus has been challenging for blind people, but there are options to modify tests to accommodate. This story came from Healthcare Packaging.

Expert warns teenagers going blind due to delayed treatment of childhood obesity during Covid

"Some of our teenagers are going blind due to obesity-related health conditions. This story came from Irish Mirror.

I Went Blind At 15 – And No-One Knows Why

At the age of 15, Jay Walker went blind in a matter of hours. Now 18 years old, Jay's condition is still a mystery. This story comes to us from YouTube.

###Vision problems after stroke: Causes and treatment###

Sometimes, visual field loss may cause a blind spot or scotoma that affects one or both eyes. This story is from Medical News Today.

Mum going blind delays getting help due to lack of petrol money, car and childcare

A Tūrangi mum who lost sudden vision in her right eye delayed getting help because she didn't have a car, money for petrol or childcare support. This story is from NZ Herald.

Argentine doctors participated in an expedition that restored sight to 1,062 blind people

Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the world. This story came from OI Canadian.

A new vision for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases

USC’s recently launched Center for Neuronal Longevity brings together a multidisciplinary team to address unmet needs in vision loss and other neurological diseases. This story is from EurekAlert.

8 foods good for eyesight

Lack of this vitamin in the body can lead to problems with the synthesis of the visual pigment rhodopsin, resulting in so-called night blindness. This story is from NEWS.Am Medicine.


Haptic feedback sleeve and goggles allow blind people to 'see' with their arm

Two researchers with the Center for Digital Technology and Management, Technical University of Munich, have developed a haptic feedback sleeve and goggle system that allows blind people to partially "see" with the skin on their arm. This story came to us from Tech Explore.

SQU student Asaad al Abri, 21, creates smart stick for the blind

An Omani student of College of Engineering at Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) has made a smart stick to help visually impaired individuals be independent. This story came to us from Muscat Daily.


Arkansas School for the blind and visually impaired share pandemic challenges

Many Arkansas kids in school have had to shift back and forth from in-person to virtual learning throughout the pandemic. Officials with the Arkansas School for the blind and visually impaired told KATV there students are no different. This story came from KATV.

Blind students learning remotely after losing school residence

As students adjust to being back in classrooms in Ontario, there are some who would like to return to school but have not been able to. This story is from Global News.

It's just wonderful': Province reopens lodging at Ontario schools for blind, deaf students

Students at Ontario's provincially run schools for deaf and blind children and youth will be able to stay there overnight again starting Sunday. This story comes to us from CBC.

New Manistee teaching consultant provides 'specialized, unique' service for students

"She's our teaching consultant for students with a visual impairment. This story is from Manistee News Advocate.

NCSU students design playground for the blind

NC State Design students who are members of a club called Freedom By Design want to put their skills to good use to upgrade and modernize this playground on the campus of the Governor Morehead School for the Blind. This story came from WRAL.

Blind Burnley schoolgirl (12) on a crusade to raise awareness of what life is like without her sight

Year 8 Emily is at Blessed Trinity Roman Catholic College and was registered blind after contracting meningitis when she was just two weeks old. This story is from Burnley Express.

Blindness Organizations

Guide Dogs for the Blind Launches Biweekly Podcast to Kick off Its 80th Anniversary

Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB) will have tongues and tails wagging this month, when it launches its new podcast Central Bark on January 27. This story is from Business Wire.

Helen Keller Services receives $100k grant for deaf blind health and wellness programs

Helen Keller Services, a national non-profit working with individuals who are blind, visually impaired, deaf-blind and/or have combined hearing-vision loss to live, work and thrive, today announced it has received a renewal grant in the amount of $100,000 from The Mother Cabrini Health Foundation to support and enhance its Health/Wellness Program. This story is from The Island Now.

Blind Institute of Technology partners up with Be My Eyes to assist professionals with Disabilities

I wasn't sure whether to put this one under technology or blindness organizations so I picked the latter. Blind Institute of Technology (BIT) has announced its partnership with Be My Eyes, an innovative app that provides real-time video assistance for individuals who are blind and visually impaired. Starting on February 2, 2022.This story came from IDK.

Meet Lachi, the Blind Founder of the New Disability Advocacy Group for The Music Industry

Years ago, I wrote an article called The Irony Of Inaccessible Music Technologies, I hope this new organization can help with the problems I discuss there. As the entertainment industry makes strides toward diversity and inclusion blind singer/songwriter reminds the music business that people with disabilities also matter. This story comes from Black Enterprise.

James Morrison Heady overcame early misfortune to excel as advocate for deaf, blind

A boy from rural Kentucky showed the world that misfortune early in life, even of the debilitating kind, doesn’t mean one’s life path is doomed to failure. This story is from NKyTribune.


Blind woman urges other young people to vote

Campaigner Claire Forde, who is registered blind is joining the RNIB to back the 'Welcome to Your Vote Week. This story came to us from Greenock Telegraph.

Discrimination And Inaccessibility

Fischer Skis Seeks to Toss Blind Customer's Website Access Suit

Fischer Skis US LLC asked a federal trial court to dismiss an Americans with Disabilities Act suit alleging the company fails to make its website accessible to the visually impaired, arguing the law applies only to businesses with a physical location. This story came to us from Bloomberg Law.


Police: 2 women arrested after burglary, battery of blind elderly woman

Police: 2 women arrested after burglary, battery of blind elderly woman. This story came to us from YouTube.

Guide Dogs

Woman volunteers time to train guide dogs, puppies

Meghan Watson's passion for training dogs began when she was a kid. Her father is blind, and she saw how much having a guide dog helped him. This story came to us from WFMZ.

Blackpool blind woman grieves the loss of her retired guide dog

The faithful pooch had been her companion since 2014, but ill health meant the German shepherd/golden retriever had to retire. This story came from Blackpool Gazette.

Transportation and Mobility

Pedestrian crossings in New York to become safer for people with visual impairments

We ran a similar story in one of our previous editions. Thousands of new crosswalk signals will be installed in New York City in the coming years with the goal of making it safer and easier for blind and visually impaired pedestrians. This story came from The Bharat Express News.

Art and Artists

Deaf-Blind Bard of Kentucky

This talented deaf-blind person who mainly lived during the 19th-century may not be as well known as Helen Keller, but should be.
James Morrison Heady overcame early misfortune to excel as advocate for deaf, blind. This story came to us from NKyTribune.

Therese Verner brings “Visions of our World” exhibit to Poway

Verner, a self-taught artist, didn't start painting until her 30s, when she lost much of her eyesight to macular degeneration and glaucoma. This story came from The San Diego Union-Tribune.

Blind 90-Year-Old Begins New Career As International Best-Selling Author

Miracles on My Doorstep," is so popular it has become an international best-selling sensation. This story came to us from Longview News-Journal.

Lifelong pianist's memoir explores fulfillment despite blindness

As he made his way through the living room of the home he shares with his wife, Ferne Bowman, he explained he’d forgotten many of his “big classics” he used to be able to play on the piano. He memorized the songs he’d learned with Braille sheet music. This story came to us from Northern Virginia Daily.

Employment and Careers

Meet the UK's only blind town crier with an impressive world record

Losing your eyesight can completely change your life but for one man it's only strengthened his passion for life. It took some time, but after pushing through the dark moments, Billy Baxter is the UK's only blind town crier. This story is from ITV.

Blind man shines at work

Blind car wash worker Mohammed Rosli Asamari is winning customers over with his expertise in washing and polishing car tyres and rims. This story is from The Star.

DeafBlind Services gives man second career opportunity

A student placement with DeafBlind Ontario Services provided Jeremy with valuable learnings and paved the way to a fulfilling second career. This story came to us from Orillia News.

Asheville's IFB, nation's largest employer of blind, visually impaired awarded $20K grant

The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina recently awarded the company the grant through the foundation's Human Services Grant Program. The funds will be used to support a paid training program for people with visual impairments, which includes training in sewing, orientation, mobility, the use of assistive technology and independent living skills. This story came from WLOS.

Sports And Athletics

Blind and low-vision fans benefiting from new technology at Australian Open

I was uncertain as to which category this story falls into: is it technology or sports? Tennis fans who are blind or have low vision are benefiting from new technology at the Australian Open. This story came from The Independent.

Adaptive Sports Connection provides equipment for people with physical and cognitive disabilities

“At the first clinic, where I learned how to teach, the teacher was a blind man in his 60s, and I was hooked. This story is from Columbus CEO.

Blind golf: Why not become a guide to a visually impaired golfer?

When it comes to clubbing, former mobile DJ Roger Cole is now just as concerned with what iron to hit as what tune to play. This story came from England Golf.

Despite being partially blind, Canterbury soccer player Sam Schoensee thriving

Canterbury's Sam Schoensee is partially blind. Despite that, he's a star soccer player. This story came from The News-Press.

A blind cyclist pedals 7,500km for road safety Awareness

You don’t dream with your eyes, but your heart, says Ajay Lalwani, who is 100 per cent blind. And if you are an adventurer at heart like him, then your dreams know no bounds. This story came from The Week.

A dream come true: Blind man commentates basketball game

Bruce Weiler grew up wanting to be a sportscaster, but his disability made it hard for him. This story came to us from KSDK.


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