Weekly half-hour program, Mondays at 5:00 p.m. and Sundays at 12:30 p.m. on WXXI Reachout Radio

Enabled is a weekly program designed to help you be confident in saying “I can!”  The program takes a deep look into services, products and issues affecting people with vision loss. Topics are broad in scope, covering such things as adaptive technology; preferred language; election rights; audio description; vision loss & art history; visual hallucinations; the latest information & research on eye disease and even daily living products that can make your life easier.

Ways to Connect

Just a little bit of help would make such a difference. In this program, you'll hear about audio description for our national parks' brochures, new help that is being offered by Google, Microsoft and Be My Eyes. And I'll include a few universal design tips. All of these topics will

provide just a little bit of help.

Puppies in your dorm room? At some colleges they are not only allowed in your dorm room but they also can go to class with you. In this program, you'll hear about guide dog puppy raisers on campus. We'll visit Ithaca College, the University of Maryland and a few others.

If you have low vision and are faced with the decision about giving up driving, there might be a way to continue to drive a car safely. This program will share information about bioptic driving, and it might help you to keep your keys.


You are exposed to blue light from many sources: the sun, the lightbulbs in your house, your TV screen and of course, those ubiquitous digital devices. This week, the program will focus on blue light and whether it's good for you or bad for you.

It’s difficult to think about and difficult to talk about: Violence against people who are blind. In this program I will share two personal stories of domestic abuse with you and then I’ll have information about self defense as well as  background information about domestic violence. I will also include  contact information if you need help.

In this program you will hear lots of new information about glaucoma. The program will include new medications, a new method of administering the drops and even a way to test your IOP at home. Other short topics will be included, too.

This program is in two parts. The first half will bring you information about your social security benefits if you are blind or visually impaired. The second half will feature information about retinal imaging.

This week's program will be in two parts. The first will feature words of encouragement for parents of children who are blind. The second part will be about a free and useful smartphone app called "Be My Eyes."

Floaters and flashes in your vision happen to almost everybody. But at some point, these become NOT normal and should be considered an eye emergency. In this program I'll share the personal story of Reachout Radio Program Director Ruth Phinney and her experience with floaters, flashes and the resulting retinal tear.


Points of Light

Summer camp can be a life-changing experience for all kids and especially for kids with visual impairments. In this program learn about Dr. Lauren Lieberman and the summer sports camp she founded called Camp Abilities.

Enabled #1806: Sports Talk, 02/05/18

Feb 5, 2018

In this week's program, I’ll be bringing you some sports talk, motivated by the forthcoming Olympics in Pyongchang, South Korea. I’ll explain blind hockey, I will reveal a most unusual pastime of the French Paralympic skiers, and I’ll go over what’s happening at the 2018 Paralympics coming up in March in Korea. 

Center For Sight

In this week’s program you will be hearing more from a brochure called “The Art of Living Well with Low Vision.”  There will be information on low vision aids and how to adjust to them. I’ll also have contact information for companies that supply these assistive devices.

Enabled #1803: AMD Research, 01/15

Jan 15, 2018

It is said that research is creating new knowledge. This program will bring you some of that new knowledge about age related macular degeneration. It will include information about research studies on fruit flies, stem cells and the Parkinson's drug, l-dopa.  Learn more about this research.


This week, we will travel into the 3rd dimension. No, not into some futuristic space environment, but into very real and useful 3-dimensional printing. 3-D printing could help you to understand science, math, art, maps or even faces a little better.

Holidays Of Year

In this first program of the new year, we'll take a look back at the top 10 tech innovations from last year. Then we'll look forward, thinking about setting goals for the new year and what happens if you don't reach them. Finally, we'll pay tribute to Braille Literacy Awareness month.

Dermatology Student Club

This program features new topics from a new source, Medical News Today. The new topics will include the connection between glaucoma and exercise, a heliotrope rash and epiretinal membranes.

Enabled #1752: A Train of Thought, 12/18/17

Dec 18, 2017
Orbis International

We'll follow a train of thought, stopping first in Chicago to learn about clocks. Then we'll travel on to hear about a few interesting upcoming fundraisers. Finally we'll leave those train tracks to learn about the Flying Eye Hospital. 

Enabled #1751: Timely Tidbits Part 3, 12/11/17

Dec 11, 2017

Timely Tidbits, a collection of articles on a variety of subjects, will be coming your way once again with Part 3. You'll hear about a new website from the Association for Macular Diseases, about a new electronic mobility wristband, about your vision as you age and about Jennifer Anniston's involvement in an advertising campaign for those with itchy, gritty, dry eyes and blurry vision.


Timely Tidbits, a collection of articles on a variety of subjects, will be coming your way again this week with part 2. You'll hear about an affordable tablet for the blind as well as the Argus II or "bionic eye" as it's called. You'll also journey back into history to find out about Laura Bridgeman.

Enabled #1749: Timely Tidbits Part 1, 11/27/17

Nov 27, 2017

Timely Tidbits, a collection of articles on a variety of subjects, will be coming your way for three weeks. This week, in part 1, you'll hear about a blind surfer, retinal imaging tests, a guide dog named Nadine and about Touch Tours in Philadelphia.

Enabled #1748: Eye Cancer Part II, 11/20/17

Nov 20, 2017
The Myeloma Crowd

The discussion of eye cancer will continue on this program. The main topic will be the available treatments for eye cancer and the possible side effects. You'll also hear a little bit about clinical trials.

Enabled #1747: Eye Cancer Part 1, 11/13/17

Nov 13, 2017
Speciality Medical Dialogues

Cancer, and specifically eye cancer, is a disease that is not easily understood. To help with that, this program will start with the basics of eye anatomy and then move on to cover risk factors, signs and symptoms of the disease, how it is diagnosed and the stages and grading of eye cancer.

Today you will meet some real interesting characters, and they all have some kind of vision problem. You'll find these characters in books, television, cartoons and even in comics.

Enabled host Nancy Zimmer on AMI's Studio 5

Nov 2, 2017

Throughout the U.S. there are nearly 100 audio information or radio reading services that provide access to print content, as we do here at WXXI Reachout Radio.  In Canada, there is a national media company that provides similar services on a national level on multiple media platforms.  It is called Accessible Media, Inc. or AMI for short.

Several of WXXI Reachout Radio's programs are broadcast throughout Canada via AMI-audio, including Enabled, which is hosted by volunteer Nancy Zimmer.  Recently AMI contacted Nancy to be a guest on their Studio 5 interview program hosted by Mike Ross and Joeita Gupta. Nancy spoke to them via telephone from her home in Rochester, talking about how she got started reading for Reachout Radio, how her program started, and what's on the horizon for her continued work.  AMI shared this audio with us for you to enjoy.

In this program you'll hear exciting news about the progress being made toward FDA approval for gene therapy in a specific retinal disease, Leber Congenital Amaurosis. You'll also hear news from the field of stem cell research for glaucoma.

Consider this program to be a postcard that says, "Having a Wonderful Time! Thinking of You!" Chirping crosswalks, talking elevators, a hotel with disorienting carpet are vision-related things that are described in this program. Also, news articles will be shared that introduce a Canadian MP, a skateboarder and a hockey fan who are all legally blind. 



The term "blind justice" refers to the hoped-for ideal of an impartial justice system. In this program you will meet two lawyers who are blind and who are potentially living up to the goal of providing "blind justice."

In this program, you will hear about a simple and effective eye examination method used in Africa, a man from Ireland who is meeting multiple challenges in his life, an Australian program for runners, and a Brazilian surfer.

In this week's program we will journey to China, and you will meet a young man named Cai Cong. He is breaking stereotypes and attempting to re-form public opinion about people who are disabled in his country.

Cataract surgery is a miracle for anyone - restoring sight where there was darkness. In this program you will hear about an organization that is performing that miracle in some of the most remote areas of the world, the Himalayan Mountains of Nepal.