WBH Weekly Blind News Digest – Edition 50

What's Inside

  • Qualified, educated blind people less likely to get a job as unqualified sighted person, study says
    • New organization forms to fight inaccessibility in music industry
  • Modeling agency opens to provide jobs for blind people
  • Lot's of stories about blind cricket World Cup in India
  • Disability etiquette, how to engage with disabled people
  • Blind people lose time and money to inaccessible medical bills
  • Pokémon GO developers sued over accessibility
  • And, more than 50 more articles about blindness and blind people from all over the English speaking world

Editorial By Chris Hofstader

We made it to edition 50 of this weekly news digest! That's roughly 3250 articles we've brought to our readers from the entire world of blindness.

I had a few favorite stories this week. As there are so many blind musicians, I am very happy to see that Lachi has started a group to address this issue specifically. While disturbing, I found the article showing the results of a study that demonstrated that highly qualified and well educated blind people are likely to be passed over for a job by an entirely unqualified sighted person. While I don't even know the rules to cricket, I found that stories about the blind cricket tournament coming from all over the world to be engaging as, while we cover blind sports every week, there seems to be real international enthusiasm for this World Cup. Lastly, I found the story about the sighted woman who had her eyes tattooed and is now blind to be disturbing and, more so, this was the third article about someone having their eyes tattooed this year.

The most boring part of my job curating this digest every week is seeing the number of duplicate stories about the same subject, especially when the story isn't about the sort of thing we'd include here. The blind woman who had her eyes tattooed, a blind horse that set some sort of world record and a deaf-blind dog who follows its human around dominated the headlines this week and we only included the tattoo story as we don't cover blind animals but they sure got a lot of press this week.

Please think about joining the WBH team as a writer, we're the only independent blindness publication that pays its writers for the content we publish. Also, subscribe to World Blind Herald so you won't miss any of the interesting, informative and entertaining content we publish on this site.

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.


Dolly Parton met a blind fan who can read thanks to her charity

By now, it’s well-known that Dolly Parton is representative of the best of humankind. But in a clip from the Kelly Clarkson Show, fans have been left in floods of tears as Dolly was surprised with a real-life example of just how much her work with the Imagination Library helps people. Since launching in 1995, Dolly’s Imagination Library has given away over 200 million books to children around the world. Dolly set up the initiative to honor her father, a man who she greatly admired but who she felt missed out on certain opportunities because he was never taught to read or write. In promoting equity with literacy, Dolly Parton has become “the book lady” – giving hundreds of thousands of children a free book every month. But proving just how deeply important the work of the charity is, Dolly met with a young blind girl who learnt Braille literacy through the Imagination Library. This story comes to us from: Woman & Home.

Book of short stories now in Braille

Mary Ann Lamont’s book of short stories, Did You See the Love, has been printed in Braille. Mary Ann’s grandson Darcy Britton is blind, and he approached the Blind Foundation, now known as Blind Low Vision NZ in Auckland to get the book printed in Braille. This story comes to us from: nzherald.


GIPHY and Scribely Partner to Improve Platform Accessibility for Users with Screen Readers

1 in 5 people today identify as disabled. Whether that be visual, cognitive, or mobile, there is a significant population who require assistive technologies to navigate the web. Today, GIPHY and content accessibility solutions provider, Scribely, are announcing a partnership that helps fill in the missing content that makes the web inaccessible to those who are visually impaired. This story comes to us from: giphy medium.

Project Aims to Convey Big Data With Sound and Touch

From functioning effectively at work to keeping up with the news, modern society increasingly expects people to not only be data-literate, but also data-savvy. Charts and infographics that can make a sea of numbers tangible often present a barrier for blind users, and existing accessibility tools like screen readers cannot yet provide an overview of large data sets or charts, let alone in-depth searches. This story comes to us from: Maryland Today – University of Maryland.

Can AI smart glasses make blind people more independent?

Using AI-powered smart glasses can improve personal independence for visually impaired people, according to one blind user of the technology. This story comes to us from: BBC News – YouTube.

AI technology can help lower the risk of stroke, visual loss

Millions of individuals could be saved from vision loss or blindness thanks to new artificial intelligence (AI) technology that can spot small changes in the retina. The retinal deep learning model, created by Monash University throughout a three-year study, aids doctors in identifying and predicting the risk of retinal vein occlusion (RVO), which happens when a blood clot clogs a vein in the retina of the eye. This story comes to us from: BloggingBigBlue.

VoiceOver on the iPhone was a miracle for people who can't see, and it keeps getting better

Back in 2009, Apple’s Phil Schiller stood onstage and unveiled the iPhone 3GS with a brief and somewhat surprising aside: the buttonless, glass-fronted device would work even if you couldn’t see it. Schiller was referring to Apple’s not-yet-announced plan to bring VoiceOver, the assistive tool known as a “screen reader,” to the iPhone, a move that over the next decade would become the industry standard for non-visual interaction with a smartphone. This story comes to us from: TechCrunch.

Android accessibility options for blind and hard of hearing users

The newest iterations of Android offer a number of features that can easily enable the mobile device for those who are blind, deaf or hard of hearing. This story comes to us from: TechRepublic.

Startup helps the blind navigate spaces in Tampa

Navigating streetscapes and buildings in complete darkness, due to visual impairment, is an overwhelming task that a new startup is solving for the blind. This story comes to us from: St. Pete Catalyst.

Blindness Organizations

New organization tackles inaccessibility in the music industry

Lachi is a black woman who was born legally blind. However, it wasn’t until a couple years ago, when she was told she would start to lose her vision completely until total blindness, that she slowly started to feel more comfortable with the diagnosis. This story comes to us from: Caribbean Life.

The Story Behind The RNIB's Push To Get Supermarkets To Think Differently About Packaging

The Royal National Institute of Blind People and The &Partnership set out to convince supermarkets to change their ways when it comes to packing – and won the Grand Prix and Best Use of Emotion awards in B2B Marketing at The Drum B2B Awards. This story comes to us from: The Drum.

This Talented Woman Braiding Hair While Blind Will Pull On Your Heartstrings

23-year-old Tusa runs a non-governmental organization (NGO) in Malawi that supports orphans, teen moms, and children on the streets. She takes care of about 50 kids, and she’s constantly bringing us along on her daily journeys and adventures with her family. This story comes to us from: BOTWC..

Indonesia's all-blind radio crew seeks to shed light on perspectives of disabled community

Surabaya's first radio station helmed by blind people shares YouTube video highlighting city's poor infrastructure for visually impaired. This story comes to us from: South China Morning Post.

Evansville Association for the Blind hosts annual 'Cookie Baking Day

The Evansville Association for the Blind hosted a holiday event Saturday. The organization held a “Cookie Baking Day. This story comes to us from: 14 News.

Montana School for Deaf & Blind hosts Christmas program

… routines collectively to the theme of a “Country Christmas," performed by students of the Montana School for the Deaf & Blind in Great Falls. This story comes to us from: KRTV.


ISU to offer fully online master of science in education in low vision and blindness

Illinois State University’s Department of Special Education will be offering a new addition to its program: a fully online master of science in education in vision and blindness (LVB). By the end of the five semester-long program, teachers will be licensed to work with blind or visually impaired students ages 3 to 21. This story comes to us from: The Vidette.


Employment Poor For Poor-Sighted People

Despite a noticeable sector-wide push oThe findings were revealed in new research by the University of Birmingham and the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB). The study also showed that blind and partially sighted people educated to degree level or higher still only have the same chance of getting a job as a sighted person with no qualifications. This story comes to us from: indiaeducationdiary.

Mike Duxbury: The blind farmer who uses his hands as his eyes

A blind man who created his own farm says he wants to help provide opportunities for others. This story comes to us from: BBC.

To create jobs for blind people, Cercil Perú launches modeling agency

Just 23% of blind people in Peru can find employment, according to Lima-based non-profit Cercil Perú. People with low to no vision are also rarely visible in advertising. Tackling two issues with one campaign, Cercil has launched a modeling agency for blind folks: Modelos que se hacen ver, or 'Models that make themselves seen. This story comes to us from: TrendWatching.

Thriving through vision loss: 5 Philadelphians on finding community, good work and independence

In this part of a series exploring what thriving means to different people, Technical.ly spoke with members of the visually impaired community. This story comes to us from: Technical.ly.

Discrimination and Inaccessibility

Couple Who Are Blind Twice Denied Entry Onto Flight, Told to Pay for Escort

An Icelandic husband and wife who are blind were twice prevented from boarding an SAS flight to Iceland after being told that they needed to pay for an escort to accompany them onboard. RÚV reports that the couple, who were traveling with their one-year-old daughter at the time, will be pursuing legal action against the airline. Eyþór Kamban Þrastarson and Emilía Pykarinou had a flight booked from Athens, Greece to Copenhagen, Denmark, and then on to Iceland. However, when they tried to board the Scandinavian Airlines flight, they were denied entry. “The airline insisted that we be accompanied by another person,” explained Eyþór, who said that the couple was also supposed to pay for a third seat for this purpose. They tried to board another flight two days later but were prevented from boarding for the same reason. Eyþór believes that the fact that he and his wife were traveling with their young daughter played a part in the airline’s reluctance to allow them to board, but insisted that they’d have never booked the flight if they didn’t feel comfortable looking after their child while flying. This story comes to us from: Iceland Review.


E-scooters: Blind woman left feeling anxious after being hit

A blind woman who was hit by an e-scooter has said encountering them now makes her frightened and anxious.
Angharad Paget-Jones, who is severely sight impaired, lives in Port Talbot with her guide dog Tudor.
The disability rights campaigner and data analyst said she was left "scraped and bruised" after being hit. This story comes to us from: BBC.

No thought given to dangerous Broad Street, Hereford, changes

Blind people do need to be able to detect kerbs and crossing places etc, and pavements do need to slope slightly for rainwater to drain quickly away. What, however, is the justification for the suddenly steeper gradient in the pavement slope outside Barclay’s Bank in Broad Street? It pains the arms considerably to avoid tipping over there. This story comes to us from: The Hereford Times.


Thieving duo jailed after stealing money from blind man

A thieving duo have been jailed after stealing money from a partially sighted man. Jordan Hodgson and Ryan Oxley approached the victim on the night of March 21 along Robson Street in Shildon. They threated the victim with a glass bottle and threatened to ‘cut him ear to ear’ before taking the victims wallet and running. This story comes to us from: Durham Constabulary.

Guide Dogs

Leader Dogs for the Blind is looking for host families

You have certainly heard of Leader Dogs for the Blind. It’s an organization founded right here in Detroit in 1939, but maybe you are unaware of how many people and animals come together to give people who are blind, visually impaired or deaf-blind skills to gain independence. This story comes to us from: ClickOnDetroit.


[Call for free buses for over 80s and blind rejected][

Editor: One of the best benefits blind people receive in Massachusetts is that public transit is free to use and includes both the Boston Metro T system as well as commutor rail and busses into the suburbs. I wish more places would think like Massachusetts and provide this benefit. We pay taxes that benefit all sorts of things for motorists, we should at least be able to ride the transit for free.

A CALL to allow people aged over 80 or registered blind to use free bus passes earlier in the morning has been rejected by Devon County Council. This story comes to us from: Mid Devon Advertiser.


Bananagrams class action alleges website inaccessible to blind, visually impaired consumers

Bananagrams Inc. faces a class action lawsuit alleging its website is not accessible to blind and visually-impaired individuals in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Plaintiff Lamar Brown is legally blind and requires screen-reading software to access website content on his computer, according to the Bananagrams class action lawsuit. He says he intended to purchase the classic version of the Bananagrams game from Bananagrams.com. This story comes to us from: Top Class Actions.

Developer of Pokémon GO sued by NJ man for lack of accessibility for the visually impaired

Editor: The ADA Amendments passed in 2008 does include Internet content and the only path to enforcement today are lawsuits. This is the first time I've seen an app developer sued and I'm uncertain if apps are included in the law. If Tammy Duckworth's bill currently before the US Senate, is passed, apps will be required to be accessible but this case is in an area of the law that is poorly defined at best today.

A Hudson County man filed two separate lawsuits against Niantic, Inc., the augmented reality mobile game developer behind Pokémon GO, saying the popular app and the company's website discriminate against the visually impaired. Carlos Herrera, a North Bergen resident who is visually impaired, said Niantic's lack of accommodations is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The lawsuit, filed in Superior Court on Tuesday, stated that the law is clear that consumers with disabilities should have similar access to web content and that companies are required to include screen readers and other assistive measures. According to the suit, many applications and websites can use screen reading technology but if content is unable to be rendered into text, a visually impaired person wouldn't be able to access the same content a sighted person can. Niantic did not respond to email for comment. This story comes to us from: app.com.

Personal Finance and Investing

Blind Americans Pay in Time and Money for Inaccessible Bills

Health-care systems across the nation are sending inaccessible medical bills and notices to blind Americans, and breaking disability rights laws by doing so. So far, the patients are the ones being punished through lost time and money. This story comes to us from: governing.com.


Europe Screen Reader Market Continues Rapid Growth | Study Reveals Market Size for Emerging Segments

Screen Reader market exhibits comprehensive information that is a valuable source of insightful data for business strategists during the decade 2019-2029. On the basis of historical data, Screen Reader market report provides key segments and their sub-segments, revenue and demand & supply data. Considering technological breakthroughs of the market Screen Reader industry is likely to appear as a commendable platform for emerging Screen Reader market investors. This story comes to us from: prizmnews.


I Wish Blind Parents Were Considered While Planning Holiday Activities

My family and I have always loved the holidays. We start celebrating early and end late. But my husband and I are both blind, and many holiday activities aren't very accessible. This story comes to us from: Insider.

: Legally blind Chilliwack man builds Christmas display that takes up entire dining room

Editor: This story is mostly told as a video.

Terry Campbell lost most of eyesight in 2018, but still adds to miniature Christmas village every year. This story comes to us from: Hope Standard.

Blind Hertford woman says disabilities 'don't define us as to who we are' on International Day of Persons with Disabilities

A blind woman from Hertford has proudly celebrated her condition to raise more awareness about the talents of disabled people for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Saturday (December 3) was International Day of Persons with Disabilities – a day which aims to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development. This story comes to us from: Hertfordshire Mercury.

Disability etiquette: assisting and engaging the blind

“People who are blind or legally blind actually run the gamut, from partially sighted to totally blind. I am totally blind,” Craig Hansen writes, “and I’m speaking for myself and not the entire blind community. Others may have specific ideas on what would be most helpful to them. This story comes to us from: Star Tribune.

'The Blind Woodsman' — Whose Designs Wow Millions — Says 'No One Would Know' Him Without Wife

John Furniss, who lost his eyesight at the age of 16 after a near-fatal suicide attempt, has turned his life around and become a TikTok sensation. This story comes to us from: People.com.


One of the most neglected health challenges in Nigeria is blindness, with reports suggesting that 4.2 million persons are visually impaired. The Resource Center for the Blind (RCB), a non-governmental organisation, recently called on government at all levels as well as corporate organisations to ensure inclusive opportunities for the visually impaired and people with special needs. “We can no longer turn a blind eye to poor vision. Blindness does not just exacerbate existing poverty in poor countries; it also causes people to become poor,” said RCB Director, Temitayo Ayinla-Omotola. This story comes to us from: THISDAYLIVE.

Art and Artists

Close Your Eyes': Phnom Penh exhibition invites guests to explore blind people's everyday lives in Cambodia

An innovative art exhibition of tactile art and sensorial experiences entitled 'Close Your Eyes' aims to showcase blind people's everyday lives in Cambodia and how they explore the world around them. This story comes to us from: Khmer Times.


A blind Huddersfield girl had always wanted to learn how to Irish dance and within just four weeks she'd made her first public performance. This story comes to us from: Huddersfield Hub.

Sports and Athletes

Runners & Guides Conquer California International Marathon

The 13th United States Association of Blind Athletes Marathon National Championships presented by Allworth Financial took place on Sunday, December 4, in Sacramento, Calif., in conjunction with the California International Marathon. The race featured 25 runners who are blind and visually impaired, along with 45 guide runners helping them navigate the course either for the full 26.2-mile distance or on relay teams. This story comes to us from: U.S. Association of Blind Athletes.

'The goal is to give blind people the same experience as every other football fan

The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 features numerous innovations introduced to enhance the fan experience. One of these is audio descriptive commentary in both Arabic and English for blind and partially-sighted fans – and Doha resident Bryan Kelly is playing a key role in providing the service. This story comes to us from: The Peninsula Qatar.

From 'a dark place' to living his dream: The incredible story of blind St Kilda captain Shannon Jones

“I'm glad I did go because there was some amazing people with low vision and totally blind people doing amazing things out on the football field. This story comes to us from: 7NEWS.

Iraqi blind football team hopes to make it to international games

Visually impaired football has become one of the main events at the Paralympic Games.
Iraq has put together a team that hopes to take part in tournaments held by the International Blind Sports Federation. This story comes to us from: YouTube.

Skiing gives blind students vision

For the past 20 years, Tennessee School for the Blind seniors have been coming to Snowmass through Challenge Aspen. The students have the chance to learn to ski with the help of Challenge Aspen’s adaptive instructors and volunteers, explore downtown Aspen, and visit the Glenwood Hot Springs before heading back to Tennessee. This story comes to us from: Aspen Times.

Yuvraj Singh named brand ambassador of T20 World Cup for the Blind

The Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI) on Friday announced former India cricketer Yuvraj Singh as their brand ambassador for the World Cup. This story comes to us from: Mid-Day.

Yuvraj Calls Shubman Gill A Strong Contender To Open For India In 2023 World Cup

The 40-year-old is also the brand ambassador of the third T20 World Cup Cricket Tournament for the Blind. This story comes to us from: GlamSham.

T20 World Cup for Blind 2022: All you need to know

The third edition of the T20 World Cup for Blind is set to commence on 6 December. … West Indies Women vs England. This story comes to us from: Firstpost.

Pakistan team denied visas to travel to India for T20 World Cup for the Blind

"Indian team very, very disappointed they are not coming," says president of Cricket Association for the Blind in India. This story comes to us from: ESPNcricinfo.

Blind T20 World Cup 2022: Home Ministry gives visa clearance to Pakistan cricket team

The nod comes after Pakistan Blind Cricket Council (PBCC), earlier in the day, in a statement claimed that the team could not get visa clearance. This story comes to us from: Times of India.

Blind T20 World Cup: Bangladesh Beat Nepal For Their Second Win, South Africa overcome Australia

IANS) Centuries by openers Salman and Md Ashiqur Rahman helped Bangladesh overcome Nepal by 114 runs to secure their second consecutive victory in the 3rd T20 Cricket World Cup for the Blind played at the Sledge Hammer Cricket Academy, here on Wednesday. This story comes to us from: Glamsham.

Blind T20 World Cup: India beat Australia to register second consecutive win

India registered their second consecutive win of the ongoing 3rd T20 Cricket World Cup for the Blind, defeating Australia by a comprehensive nine wickets, at the Khalsa Cricket Ground in Indore on Saturday. This story comes to us from: News Room Odisha.

Blind surfer Matt Formston: conquering the world's biggest waves

"People think 'blind' and 'surfing' are like two things that shouldn't come together," says the father-of-three. "But the ocean is the safest place. This story comes to us from: Bangkok Post.

New national soccer team for visually impaired holds tryouts

USA Blind Soccer National Team holds tryouts in Chula Vista, California. This story comes to us from: WBUR.

Sight Unseen at Nazare

Matt Formston is a Paralympic cyclist, a World Champion, a World Record holder, a professional surfer — and a blind man. This story comes to us from: Surfline.

Legally blind Chicago teen has no limits playing basketball and baseball

CBS 2's Jackie Kostek reports on how everyone on his team is now learning from the example that he is setting. This story comes to us from: CBS News.

The First Blind CrossFit Games Athlete

As registration opened for the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games Open, Maijer was itching to get back into competition. But he had no goals heading into the Open. He just wanted to have fun. This story comes to us from: CrossFit Games.


I tattooed my eyeballs purple and blue—now I'm going blind

Anaya Peterson, a law student, was in awe of Australian model Amber Luke, who tattooed her eyeballs a vivid blue and went blind for three weeks. This story comes to us from: New York Post.


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