WBH Weekly Blind News Digest – Edition 6


Welcome to Edition 6 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 5 of the news digest at Gonz Blinko's Blind News Digest – Edition 5. 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.

Help Wanted

A friend of mine called me with an idea for this digest. He thought that it would be good to add a short featured article to each edition of the digest and put it at the bottom of the categorized collection of links to stories. Aaron, David and I, the current team that makes the digest, agreed this was a good idea with one caveat: where will we find people to write all of these articles?

If you have an idea about any aspect of blindness and would like to write a short piece (1000 to 1500 words) then please go to our contact form and pitch the story to us. If you don't have much confidence in your writing skills but have an idea you'd like to share, we can help by editing your essay for publication; if you are a good writer, then we'll publish your piece verbatim. But, you can write about anything related to blindness, you can write a rant about being ditched by an Uber Driver, you can write about a nice outing you had with friends, you can write about technology, science or medicine if you understand such things, you can write about learning something new, you can write about how youdo your job, you can write amusing guide dog stories as everyone who has a guide dog knows they do funny things from time to time. In essence, you pick the topic and, if it isn't disinformation, then we'll try to run it in the digest.

I know you all have stories, write some down and send them to us. And, if you want to write about something controversial like having been the victim of sexual misconduct by a blindness agency staffer, we'll happily publish your article anonymously as long as I can identify you.

Editorial By Chris Hofstader

This is the sixth weekly edition of Gonz Blinko's Blind News Digest that we've published so far. This was a pretty slow week for news of the blind and this edition has just under forty articles.

I'm happy that we have a few articles related to braille. We had none of these last week and, because braille is of such paramount importance, I'm glad we have a few this week. I think the most interesting one is about the oppressed people in China working to create a braille system for a language the Chinese government is trying to eradicate.

As usual, we have a lot of articles about science and medicine, a number about sports and athletics but most of the other categories have only one or two articles.

We hope you enjoy this edition.


Saudi Public Calls for Eateries to Provide Braille Menus

In every nation and every city across the globe, there are people with blindness and visual impairment, a 2021 report by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness putting the number of people with blindness at 43 million and those with visual impairment at 295 million. This story comes from AboutHer.

US student invents Braille system for visually impaired Uyghurs

A group of Uyghur researchers have created a Uyghur version of the Braille alphabet, at a time when the Chinese government is working to eradicate the language in its western Xinjiang region.
This story came from Radio Free Asia.

Liberia: KEEP Dedicates its First Braille Library

The Kids Educational Engagement Project in partnership with Dan McNaughton Foundation dedicated and officially turned over its first braille reading room to administration of the school for the blind in Mango, Town, Brewerville, Montserrado, Liberia. This project kicked off during the course of 2021 after the school for the blind engaged KEEP to consider refurbishing and restocking its existing reading space for its 41 visually impaired students. This story came from Liberian Observer.

Science and Medicine

USC discovery shows long-term viability of stem cell derived retinal implant

Latest invention from Mark Humayun brings hope to sufferers of age-related macular degeneration, a common type of blindness. This story is from USC News.

Here's how we can provide better eye care for the world

The pandemic has shown the world that we do not have enough healthcare professionals to meet the needs of a growing and aging population, now or in the future. Blindness and visual impairment are more than just health issues, as vision is generally not on the priority list for many countries. This story comes from The European Sting.

[Mathematical content browsing for print-disabled readers based on virtual-world

exploration and audio-visual sensory substitution]55###

Documents containing mathematical content remain largely inaccessible to blind
and visually impaired readers because they are predominantly published as
untagged PDF which does not include the semantic data necessary for effective
Accessibility. This story is from arxiv.

Gujarat: CM Bhupendra Patel launches statewide drive against cataract induced blindness

Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel today launched a drive to make the state free from cataract and cataract-induced blindness. This story comes from News On Air.

How one female CEO overcame adversity to find a cure for Uveitis

I see us building a large company that will focus on the eye, beyond Uveitis. Our technology has tremendous potential to treat other diseases that cause blindness. This story came to us from calcalistech.

Let's fight collectively against avoidable blindness – Optometrist to Ghanaians

Dr Kwame Oben-Nyarko an optometrist called on the public to join the campaign to fight avoidable blindness and visual impairment. This story comes to us from Modern Ghana.


THIS INFORMATION IS FOR INDIVIDUALS APPLYING FOR MEDICAID BASED ON BEING AGE 65 OR OLDER, BLIND, OR DISABLED and living in Vermont. This story is from Department of Vermont Health Access.

Progress In The Fight Against Neglected Tropical Diseases

Community members attend a UNICEF-supported information session to learn about the prevention and treatment of river blindness. This story comes from Forbes.

[Blind people, disability advocates say, need more accessible at-home coronavirus tests19

It's a real, real serious public health issue,” says one blind advocate. This story is from WGBH.

Carers couldn't get emergency drug training before woman's death,

She was blind, had cerebral palsy, learning difficulties and problems with both her speech and mobility. This story is from Wales Online.

Two firms team up to facilitate at-home screenings to prevent blindness

San Francisco-based Spect, a data science and eye care company, … screening for patients at high risk for conditions that may cause blindness. This story came from MedCity News.

New research reveals top three barriers keeping children from cataract treatment in India

Orbis is a leading global non-governmental organization that has been a pioneer in the prevention and treatment of avoidable blindness. This story is from NewsX.


Instagram Outlines Key Updates to Improve the In-App Experience for Visually Impaired Users

Instagram has shared a new overview of how it’s improving its systems for screen readers, in order to enable more people to experience the app in the same way, by focusing on the core elements of utility and action within the Instagram experience. This story came from Social Media Today.

Augmenting perception: How artificial intelligence transforms sensory substitution

What happens when artificial sensors are coupled with the human senses? Using
technology to extend the senses is an old human dream, on which sensory
substitution and other augmentation technologies have already delivered. This story came from Science Direct.

Indian Data Scientist Builds Model For Braille To Audio With 95% Accuracy

An Indian data scientist maximized the computing powers of NVIDIA GPU by creating a model that translates Braille to text and audio. This story comes from India Times.

Discrimination and Inaccessibility

Severely blind mum, 25, forced to learn how to use cane on YouTube

A severely blind woman has been left angry and desperate after Hounslow Council ignored her pleas for a proper cane and training. This story is from MyLondon.

P&G Website Not Accessible To Blind Individuals, Class Action Claims

The Procter & Gamble Company’s website is not fully accessible to visually-impaired individuals, according to a class action lawsuit filed Feb. 2 in New York federal court. This story came to us from Top Class Actions.

Guide Dogs

Leader Dogs for the Blind

Warning, this article is almost all photographs of the subject and her guide dog. If you're totally blind like me, you should probably skip this one. Laura Booth, a client and advocate for Leader Dogs for the Blind, and her guide dog Hanna walk around. This story is from The Times Herald.

Dog vision: How do dogs see the world

I didn't know if I should include this story as it's not about blind people but I found it interesting and put it into our guide dog section as others may like it too. Dog vision is very different from human vision. Dogs see the world in fewer hues than we do, but this doesn't mean our canine companions are completely colorblind. But even if dogs' visual worlds are not as clear or as colorful as ours, their ability to see motion is superior. This story came from MSN.

Man who is legally blind says the snow presents challenges for all of us, but try walking a mile in his shoes

Making your way through the snow and ice even after the storm is difficult for all of us.
But imagine having a disability and trying to navigate through all of this to get where you need to go? Dan Boggs of Lakewood needs the help of his guide dog Mickey because the 36-year-old is legally blind. But having Mickey as his compass is even more critical when navigating the snow. This story came to us from Cleveland 19.


Inherited Retinal Diseases Market 2022 : Size, Growth Opportunities, Current Trends Forecast by 2029

The study and estimations of Inherited Retinal Diseases Market business report helps to figure out types of consumers, their views about the product, their buying intentions and their ideas for the step up of a product. This story came from ihotdesk.

Kodiak Sciences Inc (NASDAQ: KOD) shares gained 2.96%

Kodiak Sciences Inc (NASDAQ: KOD) shares gained 2.96%, … retinal medicines to prevent and treat the leading causes of blindness globally. This story came to us from Equities.com.


Famed blind lawyer Joy Luk has fled Hong Kong and wants refugee status in Canada

Luk, who is blind, rose to notoriety fighting for people with disabilities and helping pro-democracy protesters on the front lines of demonstrations in Hong Kong. This story is from Toronto Star.

Black Parliamentarians Condemn 'White Supremacist' Convoy Protests

As a blind woman living in downtown Ottawa right now, the noise is making it unsafe to leave my home. This story is from Complex.


"I imagine it's funny in the nude" : How does a blind woman dress?

She laces corsets and wears red lipstick. Jennifer Sonntag loves gothic and eye-catching combinations – she can never look at her style in the mirror. Jennifer is blind. This story is from Then24.


This is a new section for the digest but I didn't know where else to put this story.

Blind Lanarkshire pensioner 'at wit's end' as rats run loose in her kitchen

A Lanarkshire woman has pleaded for her legally blind mum to be moved from her home as rats constantly run riot in her kitchen. This story comes to us from Daily Record.


47-year-old blind man allegedly killed, set ablaze by brother over land dispute in Anambra

The joint National Association of Persons with Disability (JONAPWD), Anambra State Chapter, has called for justice for their member, Mr Mmaduabuchi Nnofu, a 47-year-old visually impaired, native of Eziagulu in Ekwulobia community, Aguata local government area of Anambra State, who was allegedly murdered and set ablaze by his younger brother Mr Onyedika Nnofu on Sunday, January 30, 2022, over a land dispute. This story came from Tribune Online.

We'll ensure justice for blind man 'killed' by brother, says Obiano

Following the murder of a visually-impaired man, Mmaduabuchi Nnofu, from the Ekwulobia community in Anambra State, Governor Willie Obiano has inaugurated the Anambra State Disability Rights Commission.
Obiano, while inaugurating the commission in Awka on Wednesday, assured the disabled community in the state that justice would prevail regarding Mmaduabuchi, who was allegedly murdered by his brother on January 30, 2022. This story is from Punch Newspapers.

Casualty spoilers: Will Paula's baby be taken away as she goes into labour?

… James-Davis) are looking after a blind woman who seems to have had a lot of recent injuries. … Could the woman's partner be to blame? This story is from Metro.

Beating, blinding of Black war hero was sadistic

Next week on Feb. 12, it will be exactly 76 years to the very day that 26-year old decorated war hero Sgt. Isaac Woodard — while in full military uniform- was beaten so viciously and so brutally by white Police Chief Lynwood Shull and other white cops in Batesburg, S.C., that he was knocked unconscious, critically injured, and permanently blinded when they used blackjacks to repeatedly bash him in the face and repeatedly gouge both his eye. This story is from The Philadelphia Tribune.

Art and Artists

A New Vision: Blind Author Joel Burcat Finds His Voice In The Darkness

This lawyer reinvented himself after significant vision loss and has become a noted writer of eco-thrillers. This story came to us from EIN News.

Deaf-Blind Artist Behind Card & Clothing Brand: 'Always Be Yourself

Deaf-Blind Artist Behind Card & Clothing Brand: 'Always Be Yourself'. Fuzzy Wuzzy Design features Christian Markovic's handcrafted artwork.
Vision and hearing loss did not stop Markovic from designing interesting cards. This story came to us from New Jersey Monthly.

Sports and Athletics

What It's Like for Millie Knight to Ski Nearly Blind

What It's Like to Ski Nearly Blind. Millie Knight, a world champion Paralympic skier, says, “I ski with my ears. This story is from New York Times.

Heartwarming: Man helps blind friend experience live football match

“Cesar interpreted the game for his friend Carlos, who is blind. Cesar guides his friend's hands at every move and goal. This story is from Tribune India.

IBSA Asia/Pacific Goalball Championships

The previously postponed 2021 Asia/Pacific Regional Goalball Championships will be taking place in Asan, Korea from March 24-30. This story came to us from Blind Sports Australia.

John Harris, Spokane triathlete and mountaineer who continued competing after going blind, dies

When John Harris had a health setback related to his multiple bouts with cancer, including being left blind in his 60s, the question for his doctor remained the same. “He would ask, ‘How much time do I have to take off running?" This story is from The Spokesman-Review.


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