WBH Weekly News Digest – Edition 1


This is the first edition of what we hope will become a regular feature of the ChrisHofstader.com blog. It is also the first article I've ever published here that is not mostly original material. Years ago, when I was still writing the BlindConfidential blog, I tried to publish an article three times per week. On many days during those years, I'd not have an idea for an article so would turn to Leon Gilbert's Blind News mailing list for inspiration. Leon stopped publishing Blind News a number of years ago and I thought he had given up curating stories entirely. I was wrong and Leon has an excellent Twitter feed (I rarely look at Twitter so didn't see his posts) which publishes headlines and links to many stories about blind people all around the world. One of the stories in this edition of our digest was sent to me by Leon via Twitter DM. If you're interested in getting a lot of articles about blind people and the things we do, I highly recommend following Leon on Twitter where he is @leongilbert.

Other than the one article Leon sent me, I found all of the articles linked to in this post by using a bunch of GoogleAlerts each containing different search criteria. In a week, I found about a dozen articles I thought were interesting enough to share covering a wide range of subjects from a lot of different places around the world. I chose not to include "feel good" articles like a story about a man in England getting a new guide dog or a story about some blind kid graduating from high school in some small town. I just don't find such articles interesting and thought our readers would find them boring as well.

This edition of the digest is broken up into sections that are at heading level 2 and has its headlines and links at heading level 3. This is the first edition of the digest so I was a bit uncertain as to how to categorize the articles. Thus, some of the subject headings have only one article under them. I hope to refine this in the future and would welcome ideas on how future editions should be arranged. Each article also has a sentence or two after its link giving a little description of the item to which we link.

I hope for this digest to become a community project. If you see a story about blindness or a blind person you find interesting, please send the link to us and we'll consider including it in an upcoming edition of the digest. If you have a project going on and want to make an announcement about it, please send us links to that too as we'd be happy to help promote cool projects.

I've been using the word "we" to describe the team who will be working on this digest. I have two others who've volunteered but, as I did this issue by myself with a little help from Leon, we'll introduce the others in a future edition. If you'd like to join our little team, please send us an email through the contact form on this site and we'll try to get you plugged in.

I guess this isn't an actual editorial but, rather, a description of what I envision for Gonz Blinko's Blind News Digest. I don't want this section to get too long so I'll end it here and try to do more relevant editorials in future editions.


A new smart white cane, made in Rwanda

Smart white canes seem to be popping up all over the world. This story came to us from The New Times.

Dot Inc. selected to be participant in Google for Startups Accelerator: Sustainable Development Goals program

This story from PR Newswire discusses a Korean company who is working on a 700 character braille display.

Indiana Dunes' audio brochure helps blind experience park

“We don’t need to focus on exactly what we see, we need to focus on describing what we see,” said Steve Rossi, a park ranger who was instrumental in developing the park’s audio brochure. This story came to us from [wlfi]28].[


Braille: Life through tactile touch

This article from UN News describes a number of reasons that braille is important, especially during a pandemic.


Judge orders NYC to install signals to aid blind pedestrians

Audible traffic signals are often very helpful and now a judge has ordered New York City to install 9000 of them. This story came to us from New Haven Register.

They refused to take her in Uber 14 times, now they will have to pay her US $1.1 million

I have been ditched by both Uber and Lyft because I had a guide dog. I suppose judgements in France are more generous then they are in the US. This story is from Paris Beacon News.


75 percent of people with eye diseases risk going blind

The Ghana Optometric Association (GOA) says about 75 per cent of persons with eye diseases risk going blind if treatment is not started early. This story came to us from Optometrist News Ghana.


Hall of Fame status for man who founded first Iowa school for the blind in 1852

We didn't even know that there was a hall of fame for people who made terrific contributions in the world of blindness but this guy sure belongs in one. This story is from Radio Iowa.

Audio Universe: Tour of the Solar System is helping blind people to ‘Hear’ the Universe

If you're blind and interested in astronomy, this article is a must read for you. It's from Disability News.

Blindness Organizations

A pandemic and an aging population have the Earle Baum Center of the blind doing more these days

How is the pandemic effecting smaller blindness related organizations? Here's a story from the California based Press Democrat that tells the story of one in northern California.


Untrained blind student lands starring role in Netflix second world war epic

Who says a blind character in a movie must be played by a sighted person? Read this story from The Guardian to hear a story of a blind person who stars in a Netflix production.

21 facts about Feliciano blind composer of Christmas hit, "Feliz Navidad

Feliz Navidad may just be the most popular Christmas song on Earth. Here's a story about the blind musician who wrote the popular tune from PM News Nigeria

Orchards man’s radio station aims to help blind, visually impaired, disabled vets

A story about a radio station dedicated to the interests of blind people from The Columbia.


Blind Man In Northern Nigeria Chooses To Repair Generators Instead Of Begging For Alms

Most blind people in Nigeria beg on the streets to support themselves. This is a story about an ambitious blind man who learned to repair generators as a job. This story came from Sahara Reporter.

Of enterprising, imaginative blind individuals

An interesting story about how some blind people in Afghanistan are making it through times we can't imagine in wealthy western nations. It came from Pajhwok Afghan News.

Fun Stuff

Blind Hanoians more than give dancing a whirl

This is a story of a remarkable dance instructor and his blind students. This came from VN International.

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