Welcome to Edition seven of Gonz Blinko's Blind News Digest. This edition has about fifty 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 some 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.
If you missed it, you can read edition 6 of the news digest at Gonz Blinko's Blind News Digest – Edition 6. 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.
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.
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 item of any length 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 you do 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. A confidential source is fine but we can't run a story if the author is entirely anonymous.
Editorial By Chris Hofstader
This is the seventh edition of Gonz Blinko's Blind News Digest and it contains nearly fifty stories about all aspects of blindness that showed up in our numerous GoogleAlerts this week.
As usual, the first section is the one about Braille, it's such an important topic for our community that we like keeping it right at the beginning. This edition has some pretty interesting stories related to braille and I think you'll find them interesting.
As has been the case so far, the single largest section is the one on Science and Medicine. This always seems to be our largest section, this is not an editorial decision on our part but, rather, these are the stories that are run in the mainstream press that make it into our GoogleAlerts. We have a bunch of alerts set up that have nothing to do with science or medicine that simply do not give us much in terms of results we can use. If you have any ideas for more search terms we can use, please send them to us via the contact form and we'll give them a try.
Finally, blind mountaineer Erik Weihenmayer pulled off another amazing feat by repelling down into an active volcano. His story is in the Sports and Athletics section along with a number of other articles regarding blind athletes.
We hope you enjoy this edition of the digest. If you have an ideas, comments, corrections or anything else you'd like to share with us, please post a comment below or write to us through the contact form on this page.
4 Things about Braille you probably don’t know
For those who may be wondering where the idea was born, Louise Braille, inspired by the German cryptographer, Charles Barbier successfully developed a reading and writing system that is still used by the blind to communicate effectively on paper today. This story came to us from The South African.
Braille Institute celebrates “Low Vision Awareness Month” with free services
The Braille Institute of Coachella Valley (BICV) is highlighting its free services during the month of February in honor of Low Vision Awareness Month. This story comes to us from KESQ.
Hadley launches 'Braille for Everyday Use;' new interactive workshop makes learning Braille easy, Practical
Since introduced more than 200 years ago, there have been many misperceptions about braille, including it can take years to learn and is exclusively a language for the blind. This story comes to us from Daily Herald.
Braille’s Place in the Age of Technology
A quick assumption would be that the utilization of braille has decreased in recent years, either due to advancements in technology or the rise of the audiobook industry. However, braille has since evolved from solely embossed paper to its incorporation in accessible technology. This story came to us from New University.
Drive to make life easier for blind, deaf woman
… She was diagnosed profoundly deaf at birth and later clinically blind, a BackaBuddy campaign has been launched to help her learn braille. This story came to us from IOL.
Pioneering Study Gives Hope to Blind Patients
Unfortunately, this was a question that science-teacher Berna Gomez had to face due to an undiagnosed toxic optic neuropathy. This story came to us from The Badger.
Al-Azhar launches trial Braille version of Qur’an
The experimental version that Al-Azhar displayed in the exhibition is characterized by its large size and special thick cardboard, where the dots are clear and prominent so that they can be easily read using the fingertips. This story is from Arab News.
Science and Medicine
Fish and frogs may hold the secret to reversing blindness in humans
Scientists are closing in on identifying the exact genetic components that fish and amphibians use to regenerate their optic nerve after injury. This story came from All In Wisconsin.
Regina woman says she's going blind after being stigmatized for past drug use
A woman says she is going blind after her doctor stigmatized her over her drug use and ignored symptoms that she had a sexually transmitted infection. This story came to us from CBC.
Group continues to fight for accessible at-home COVID-19 tests for the blind
Only 1 of the 13 available COVID-19 tests approved by the FDA is accessible. This story is from WHNT.
Parents warned over TikTok 'eye challenge' which could lead to blindness
Parents have been warned to keep an eye on their children's social media accounts and what challenges they do – the warning comes after several eye challenges have gone viral causing people to harm their eye health and risk going blind. This story came from Glasgow Live.
Lagos launches eye programme for students across schools
The government said the school health programme, which was expanded in 2012, has reached 235,515 pupils with 2,178 pupils presented with eyeglasses. This story comes from Premium Times Nigeria.
Global eyesight epidemic linked to indoor life
A world expert in eye science says the cause of the global myopia epidemic is "the million-dollar question. This story came to us from Northwest Star.
Lagos inaugurates programme to prevent childhood blindness among students
Lagos State Government has inaugurated its Secondary School Eye Health Programme in continuation of its effort to reduce visual impairment and eye conditions that could cause blindness amongst students, particularly pupils of Secondary Schools. This story comes to us from Punch Newspapers.
To increase earnings for female garment workers, quality vision care needed, study finds
The new research from eye care nonprofit Orbis International focuses on female workers in Bangladesh, home to the second-largest readymade garment industry in the world. This story comes to us from Yahoo Finance.
Research identifies mechanisms underlying glaucoma
Glaucoma is the non-curable blindness that affected 80 million people … was published in the 'Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This story comes to us from Devdiscourse.
Tackling Blindness: A Contactless AI Device to Diagnose and Monitor Glaucoma
A new device that uses artificial intelligence (AI) in a virtual reality (VR) style headset aims to help prevent blindness via telediagnosis and remote monitoring of glaucoma. This story comes to us from MedicalExpo e-Magazine.
Optic Neuropathy in an Autistic Child With Vitamin A Deficiency: A Case Report and Literature Review
It is caused by malnutrition and it may lead to ocular disease and permanent blindness. This story comes to us from Cureus.
Alana L. Grajewski, MD, a Pediatric Glaucoma Specialist with Bascom Palmer Eye Institute
Get to know Glaucoma Specialist Dr. Alana L. Grajewski, who serves patients in Miami, Florida. This story comes from Pro News Report.
Progression to severe visual impairment and blindness in POAG patients: pace and risk factors-a cohort study using German health claims data
Glaucoma is a leading cause of severe visual impairment and blindness (SVI/B) worldwide. Hence, it is of utmost importance to explore relevant risk factors and study the pace of progression. This story comes to us from DocWire News.
Anthea Turner reveals she was 'moments away from going blind' following an eye injury
Anthea Turner, 61, sports a pair of oversized sunglasses after revealing she was 'moments away from going blind' following a nasty accident. This story comes from Daily Mail.
Accessibility on Twitch: the complications of streaming
Last month, a new post on the Twitch UserVoice forum requested for a Disability Pride Month. It's something that's celebrated for other minority groups, but is yet to be implemented on the streaming platform for the disability community. This story came from Eurogamer.
MCPD to host blind woman using cutting-edge technology to see
A retired Evangelical Lutheran Church in America deacon and professional musician, Mortvedt is a blind women who has had two double eye transplants due to a rare eye disease called Keratoconus. This story is from Wyoming Tribune Eagle.
Macomb Library for the Blind grant to assist those with limited online access
The Macomb Library for the Blind and Print Disabled was recently awarded the Improving Access to Information Grant to develop a library service for community users with limited online access. This story is from Macomb Daily.
National Association for the Employment of People Who Are Blind Elects Jeffrey Mittman as President
The National Association for the Employment of People who are Blind (NAEPB) today announced the election of Jeffrey Mittman as its new president. This story is from Business Wire.
Beyond Blindness Marks Milestone Year with 60th Anniversary Gala
Paralympic champion Becca Meyers and a dining in the dark experience will celebrate six decades of empowering children with visual impairments and other disabilities. This story comes from prweb.com.
Prevent Blindness declares February as Age-related Macular Degeneration and Low Vision Awareness Month
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, AMD is a leading cause of vision loss in people 50 years or older, and more than 2.9 million Americans age 40 and older have low vision. This story comes from The Highland County Press.
[Blind doctor's panic as London Underground passenger harasses his guide dog][
A blind London doctor was left feeling shaken after an impatient commuter harassed him and his guide dog on a London Underground escalator. A viral video shows Dr Amit Patel standing on the escalator heading down the tube, with his guide dog next to him, when an angry passenger tried to hurry the pair along. An audibly stressed Dr Patel can be heard telling the commuter the guide dog could not be moved. This story came to us from MyLondon.
Parent of Blind Student Template Letter Regarding Inaccessible Education Technology
Letter for Use by Parents of K-12 Students in Response to School’s Implementation of Inaccessible Software. This story came from National Federation of the Blind.
Scholarships For People With Glasses 2022-2023
The scholarships below are for students wearing glasses or have eyesight problems. This story came from tdpelmedia.com.
No limitations for blind workers at Tyler's Horizon Industries
I'm pretty certain this is a sheltered workshop, something to which I object but it's a story related to blindness so we'll include it. “And, let's see, I think we have about 23 of those are blind or visually impaired.” Horizon Industries is part of East Texas Lighthouse. This story is from CBS 19.
Editas' executive shake up continues
Editas Medicine, a biotechnology company focused on CRISPR gene editing, has fired its chief medical officer, adding to a series of executive-level change-ups
This story is from BioPharma Dive.
Bosma Enterprises® Hits Pandemic Milestone, Moves to Online Sales
I think this may also be a sheltered workshop. Today, Bosma Enterprises® announced it has distributed more than 1.4 billion exam and surgical gloves since the beginning of the global COVID-19 pandemic. This story is from Business Wire.
Eye Care Surgical Devices Market: Increase in Prevalence of Diseases Related to Eyes Are Driving the Market
Visual impairment and eye diseases are global concerns that negatively impact the physical and mental health. Eye care surgical devices are consumables, products, and systems which are used to diagnose eye diseases, from an early stage of disease to the last stage and treatment of same by surgical devices. This story comes to us from BioSpace.
Kodiak (KOD) falls 8.22% on Moderate Volume February 10
Kodiak Sciences Inc (NASDAQ: KOD) shares fell 8.22%, … retinal medicines to prevent and treat the leading causes of blindness globally. This story is from Equities.com.
Tom Dillard: One remarkable blind man saw his way to success in early Arkansas
I have always been fascinated by how well our ancestors dealt with physical adversity. Early Arkansans had to cope with everything from birth defects to accidents with little in the way of help. This story came from The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
VAN HOLLEN, HYDE-SMITH, PETERS, PORTMAN MAKE BIPARTISAN PUSH FOR INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION INTO USPS DELIVERY OF FREE MATERIALS FOR THE BLIND & PHYSICALLY HANDICAPPED
Today, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) sent a letter to the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Office of the Inspector General requesting that Inspector General Tammy Whitcomb investigate the USPS Free Matter for the Blind or Other Physically Handicapped Persons program. This story is from www.vanhollen.senate.gov.
One woman's fight to make Halifax accessible
For years, Milena Khazanvicius has been fighting HRM to make sidewalks and construction sites safer and more accessible for people who are blind and visually impaired. This story is from Halifax Examiner.
Crook jailed after stealing cash from partially blind woman's home
A criminal showed "no remorse" after stealing money from an elderly woman's home in Slough. This story came from Berkshire Live.
"Bares for Rares" -Wolfgang turned a crooked picture on a blind woman, now he is deeply ashamed
She wanted to buy a picture from me to surprise her husband, who was on vacation, and it should be 50 by 60 centimeters in size, and there shouldn’t be any animals on it.” So a very clear wish from the interested party. But Pauritsch gave her a painting that did not meet her requirements. “And then I had a beautiful still life with flowers, and there was a titmouse at the bottom. This story is from California18.
Blind Hawker Not Raped, Shows Probe
Police investigations in a complaint of rape lodged by a visually challenged woman have shown the incident did not occur. This story came from Times of India.
Sports and Athletics
Blind Coloradan Erik Weihenmayer Rappels Into Active Volcano With Actor Will Smith
Erik Weihenmayer, a Coloradan known for being the first blind person to summit Mount Everest, is talking about a thrilling new adventure. This story comes to us from CBS Denver.
Blind Team USA Paralympic sprinter Noah Malone shares story in memoir
He is one of the only legally blind Division I track athletes in the nation. This story is from WISH-TV.
Blind man skis, climbs mountains and kayaks
I wonder if this fellow was hunting with Dick Chaney? A Sullivan County man was shot in the face during a hunting accident and lost his sight, but Lonnie Bedwell turned that set-back into a set-up for a life of adventure. This story came from MyWabashValley.
Mikey Poulli: The Blind Cypriot Boy Who Stunned the Soccer World
Being blind stop 10-year-old Greek Cypriot Mikey Poulli from pursuing his dreams of becoming a professional soccer player. This story comes to us from GreekReporter.com.
Search for torball, showdown sport committee Chairs continues
The International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) has renewed its call for experienced individuals from the torball and showdown communities to put themselves forward to lead the sports into the future. This story comes to us from Blind Sports Federation.
Brothers aim to break world records with blind flight
I really didn't know which category to put this one in so, as it's a world record, I put it under Sports. The idea of climbing into a pilot's seat and taking off is nerve-wracking enough. Now, imagine doing that with one of your senses completely taken away. This story came to us from Elkhart Truth.
A Blind Sports Journalist from Burkina Faso Hopes His Work Will Inspire Others Especially
A blind sports journalist from Burkina Faso hopes his work will inspire others especially those living with disabilities. This story is from LatestLY.