WBH Weekly News Digest – Edition 10


Welcome to Edition 10 of Gonz Blinko's Blind News Digest. This edition has 39 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.

Editorial By Chris Hofstader

This has been a light week for news in mainstream publications about blind people and blindness. As usual, the largest section of this edition is Science and Medicine, we also have quite a few articles in the legal and sports section. In a typical week, we include between 45 and 50 articles so this edition is light by about a half dozen articles.

When editing the digest, there are certain classes of article that I reject and our GoogleAlerts contained a lot of these this week. I do not include stories about an individual being blinded due to an accident or act of violence as I consider those to be articles about accidents and violence and not blindness itself. I exclude articles that promote pseudo-science and, this past week, there were a lot of headlines about a blind woman in Bulgaria who claims to be psychic and is making predictions about the war in Ukraine. I've stopped including articles about a company called Kodiak as they were always about its stock price and performance on a particular day which isn't too useful in a weekly publication. Lastly, we don't include duplicate articles that tell the same story in multiple publications as most of those journalists are just copying and pasting the same press release anyway. I include just about everything else Aaron, David and I can find about blindness

If you have any comments, ideas, complaints or anything else you would like to say, please share it with us in the comments section below or by email via our contact form.


Independence Science receives NSF grant to develop Braille device for laboratory science students

Sci-Dot is a multiline Braille device that collects and analyzes scientific data to create a more inclusive laboratory experience for blind and deaf-blind students. This story came to us from Purdue.

Beijing Paralympic Winter Games to have largest use of Braille with China-developed green printing technology

We realized this story is pretty late but it showed up in one of our GoogleAlerts on March 1. It's an interesting article about braille so we chose to include it.

The upcoming Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games will use an energy-efficient printing technology for the Braille version of the manual for athletes and officials, spectators' guide, venue introduction and maps. It's the largest use of Braille in the history of the Winter Olympics. This story is from Global Times.

The War In Ukraine

I couldn't figure out into which of our typical categories to put this story so I added a section about the war and will use it in the future if we get more articles out of Ukraine.

Guided by strangers through the noise of war, a blind boy awaits his mother

In the eastern Ukrainian town of Voloske, Nastiya and Boris, who are blind, find safety for a time. This story came to us from The Times.

Science and Medicine

Could Brain Implants Offer a Cure for Blindness?

Researchers at the Illinois Institute of Technology have announced that they have successfully implanted the first Intracortical Visual Prosthesis (IVP) that can overcome blindness. An exciting new achievement with the potential to advance neuroscience significantly, this new brain implant could have significant ramifications for those with sensory disabilities and some who suffer from various mental health issues. This story came to us from The Debrief.

Bionic eye technology continues to advance

Why is curing blindness so difficult, what is the Phoenix 99, and why could curing blindness be one of the biggest achievements by medical science? This story came to us from Electropages.

Why avoidable blindness is a public health issue and how it can be tackled

Why are avoidable causes still causing blindness and visual impairment? This story comes from Times of India.

We're Closer to Curing Blindness Than Most People Realize

Bionic eyes, stem cells, gene therapies … visual impairment better watch its back. Here's how scientists are hoping to cure blindness. This story comes to us from InsideHook.

Verana Health Launches Qdata™ Glaucoma to Deliver Real-World Insights into Glaucoma Patient Journey

First-of-its-kind data module is now available for analysis through Verana Health's real-world evidence service offerings to help life sciences organizations shape glaucoma therapeutic strategies. This story comes from Street Insider.

Vision First: Shell, Joint Venture Partners Supporting Integration of Eye Care into Primary Health Care

In Nigeria, the leading causes of vision impairment and blindness include … visual impairments and vision loss as a recurring health issue. This story is from Nigeria Health Watch.

The Prima Implant Gives Hope of Sight Restoration to the Partially Blind Patients

A partially blind woman has been able to detect signals in one eye thanks to a revolutionary new implant that offers hope for sight restoration. This story is from MedicalExpo e-Magazine.

Antigo man trying to get life on track after suicide attempt

He is completely blind. “I had a lonely job. I had a lonely apartment. I hung out with one person,'' he said of a life rife with depression. This story came to us from Spectrum News.

Blindness Organizations

Disability organizations call on DOJ to finalize online accessibility rules

The American Council of the Blind, National Disability Rights Network, National Federation of the Blind and more than 170 other disability organizations signed a letter published today, calling for the Department of Justice to finalize rules for online accessibility. This story comes to us from Yahoo.

New local head of national blindness organization

Glenbrook resident, Fiona Woods, has been elected president of Blind Citizens Australia. This story came to us from Blue Mountains Gazette.

Prevent Blindness declares March as Workplace Eye Wellness Month

March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month at Prevent Blindness, and the group is offering free resources, including an overview of proper eye protection and safety glasses for various industries, and information on the effects of extended digital screen use. This story comes to us from Ophthalmology Times.

Cause of fire at W.Va. Schools for the Deaf and the Blind ruled undetermined

Investigators were not able to determine a cause behind last weekend’s fire at the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind. This story comes to us from WHSV.

WV Schools for Deaf and Blind ready to welcome students back after fire

Faculty at the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind (WVSDB) are preparing for students to return to campus. This story came to us from WVNS.

Student Found Dead at School for the Blind in Fremont

This story comes to us from CBS San Francisco.


Wireless Visual Cortical Stimulator Market Competitive Intelligence and Tracking Report Till 2028

Wireless visual cortical stimulator devices are visual prosthetics that are used to restore functional vision function of a blind user. It delivers an electrical stimulator that bypasses defected retinal cells and promotes viable cells to induce visual perception. This story comes from openPR.com.

Guide Dogs

Legally blind man enters London store and is appalled by staff members' comments

While visiting London, this man was confronted by a store staffed with bigots who wouldn't accept him with his service animal. This story is from Wamiz.


Horizon cooks up new rare disease awareness campaign with blind MasterChef Christine Ha

Her other restaurant also in Houston is called “The Blind Goat.” She added, “NMOSD is a part of me, but it's not all of me – I'm also a chef. This story comes from Endpoints News.

Utah Dept. of Workforce Services to host remote 'open house' for blind, visually impaired

The Utah Department of Workforce Services' Division of Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired is hosting its annual open house. This story came from Gephardt Daily.

Blind computer repairman has vision to uplift his family

Disabled but not deterred is the phrase that best describes the character of Dean Anthony Whyte, a blind man who lives in Longsville Park. This story comes to us from Jamaica Star.

Blind man celebrates 50 years in radio

For starters, he’s a lifer in the industry, as Thursday, March 10 marks Wilde’s 50th anniversary with his employer, WLKR. This story came to us from Sandusky Register.

Visually impaired staff roast popular coffee 'by ear

A blind man who has been attending the workshop since its opening and has accumulated experience now serves as facilitator of the whole process. This story is from asahi.com.


The country has a long way to go with ADA compliance say 2 civil rights lawyers

Although the Americans with Disabilities Act is decades-old, many businesses, including law firms, continue to treat it as a suggestion, rather than federal law, according to Eve Hill and Jason Turkish, two lawyers who represent plaintiffs in disability cases. This story comes to us from ABA Journal.

Disability rights case against LACCD could go to Supreme Court

Roy Payan and Portia Mason, both blind, needed help from their community college: audio recordings of texts, computer screen reading software, classroom materials in a format they could understand, when lecture notes on a whiteboard are the norm. This story comes to us from Los Angeles Times.

ADA Title III lawsuits increase by 320% in 8 years

The latest numbers from the National Federation for the Blind show that 7.6 million Americans are living with some type of visual disability. This story comes to us from Furniture Today.

Shrink Wrap Website Is Said To Exclude The Blind So ADA Lawsuit in SDNY Pushed Off

… Supplies on the MrShrinkWrap.com website had been sued for excluding visually impaired people under the Americans with Disabilities Act. This story comes to us from Inner City Press.

Blind Vietnam War veteran fights for mail delivery after dog attack service halted

For eight months now, a Vietnam Veteran in Cynthiana has had trouble getting his life-saving medications because the post office won't deliver them. This story comes to us from LEX18.

Blind woman Rachael Andrews in new legal fight over voting

A visually impaired woman who won a High Court battle to get better provision for blind voters at polling stations is facing a fresh fight. This story came from Eastern Daily Press.


The link between poverty and blindness

Visual impairment and blindness are one of the most common challenges … Sufferers of impaired and lost vision in countries such as India. This story comes to us from Hindustan Times.

Art and Artists

Kenyan artist draws paintings using braille for visually impaired

Artist Tina Benawra is perhaps the only artist in the world who draws in the braille-a tactile writing system for visually impaired people, giving them an opportunity to experience art. This story comes to us from Daily Sabah.

The Blind Man Who Did Not Want To See Titanic Is a Thrilling, Empathetic Odyssey

I'm always happy to hear a story about a blind character in a movie being played by a blind actor.

Teemu Nikki met Petri Poikolainen during their Finnish national service in the 1990s; they became friends, but lost touch soon after. Nikki went on to be a respected movie director; Poikolainen had just begun to make a name for himself as a stage actor when he was struck with a devastating MS diagnosis, which eventually took his sight and ability to walk. When he reconnected with Nikki more than 20 years after their first meeting, the director suggested making a film together. This story came from Paste Magazine.

Blindness on stage: ‘Until disabled people can tell their own stories, we’ll always be stereotypes

From unreadable scripts to ‘cripping up’, a career in theatre with a visual impairment can be a challenge. Chloë Clarke and Douglas Walker share their successes. This story is from The Guardian.

Blind 7-Yr-Old Takes Internet By Storm With Incredible Piano Skills

Playing the piano takes discipline and time but, at just 7 years old, İpek Nisa Göker is already a star! Rather than taking lessons the usual way, by learning how to read sheet music, İpek plays by ear, all while being blind. She’s able to play numerous classics, but she’s also learned how to improvise her own compositions. This story came to us from InspireMore.

Sports and Athletics

Pandemic didn't stop this blind mountaineer from exploring

Erik Weihenmayer has had to deal with some of those; he's a writer, filmmaker and adventurer. He's also blind. This story came to us from KJZZ.

They're women. They're blind. This Indian cricket team is determined to win, despite the odds

The series We Don’t Play Dolly tells the story of the Karnataka women’s blind cricket team and their determined coach, who must overcome all obstacles in their path to sporting glory in a male-dominated sport. This story is from CNA.

Blind cricket giving the vision-impaired a new outlook

Meet Michael Hamilton, one of Australia's top blind cricketers, who speaks passionately about how the game changed his life. This story came to us from YouTube.

Legally blind 15-year-old Jacob Smith shredding expectations in freeride skiing

In the world of skiing, there are two kinds of skiers. Those who like to stay on groomed runs and be guided gently around obstacles and those who like to ski the whole mountain and ski towards the obstacles, that is called free riding. This story comes to us from CBS News.


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