News about Blindness and Vision Loss

Want to know what's going on in blindness research, adaptive technology, independent living products, or general news that can help you live independently?  We'll bring you some of the latest stories and links to information that you can use!

Ways to Connect

New Health Guide

So you see something floating around in your field of vision, and the doctor refers to "Floaters."  What does he mean by this, and what does that mean for your vision?  Dr. Mrinali Patel Gupta answers this and many other questions in an article for AFB's VisionAware about Retinal detachment, floaters, Retinal tears, what you should ask, what you should do, and when it might be appropriate for surgery.

Here's another site with additional information.  Read and research all you can.  Be an informed patient.

Elsevier

The American Foundation for the Blind's website has a section for Everyday Living.  This month, author Steven Kelley share information on how apps and accessible technology have changed what it means to read for book lovers with vision loss.  Read the full article.

https://twoblindbrothers.com/about/

One day while watching the Ellen Degeneres Show, I stumbled upon two guests which captivated me.  Bryan and Bradford Manning are brothers born with a degenerative retinal eye disease that will one day, leave them blind. 

Foundation Fighting Blindness

Experts gathered at the Foundation Fighting Blindness to discuss the current state of therapy, challenges and opportunities in the treatment of Stargardt Disease, an inherited juvenile form of macular degeneration.  The group included research experts as well as physicians and individuals versed in the pharmaceutical industry and developments.  Information was presented on drug development and clinical trials.  

Learn more here.

AbleData

Have you ever wanted to check your email or surf the web on the go? MagWin USB, a truly portable screen reading option, gives you access at a hotel, public library, school, even a friends or family members computer.

MagWin is one of the only screen magnifiers that is completely portable by offering a handy USB. Now you can operate your magnifier anywhere, anytime, on any system you need when you need it with the handy USB stick. No restrictions on public computers against granting rights.

The internet changes how we Watch Television

Feb 7, 2017

The internet has totally changed how people watch television programs, and smart TVs and streaming apps are making a whole new world available for people with vision loss.

Both the Apple TV and Amazon's Fire TV are accessible and include text-to-speech to enable complete access to the menus.

Roku is rolling out an update to their software on many devices, which will include a new screen reader, called "Audio Guide."

And at the rate technology is changing, the technology and apps we know today will probably be more advanced or updated even tomorrow. 

http://www.visionaware.org/info/everyday-living/essential-skills/reading-writing-and-vision-loss/reading-apps-for-booklovers/1235

Thanks to advances in technology, people with vision loss have many more resources and options for accessing print information. 

The American Foundation for the Blind has published an article about Five Reading Apps that can make books, newspapers and other print available on many devices, including a table or smart phone.

Read the full article.

Reachout responds to Changes in the D&C

Jan 24, 2017
http://www.democratandchronicle.com/

We were scrambling at Reachout Radio this morning when we saw this article in the D&C from the Editor & VP of News Karen Magnuson. The D&C is making several changes in the print edition, which is what we read from on Reachout Radio.

The daily Editorials have been reduced and will no longer appear in the newspaper on Mondays through Wednesdays.  Also the ROC Living section has been deleted, although the columnists and television listings will still appear in another section.

http://www.democratandchronicle.com/

The Democrat and Chronicle for Monday, January 23rd tells the story of a program at East High School training students to screen for vision problems and help other students get free eyeglasses to improve their vision and their success in school.

Teacher Logan Newman, a former Navy optician began the career and technical education program in the 2010-2011 school year thanks to a state grant.

Read the full article here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=el-xueE-ZDY&list=PL634968897EAEA4FD&index=3

Tax time is right around the corner. Need help with accessibility? Check out this captioned and audio described video for information on accessible forms etc.

Hundreds of accessible federal tax forms and publications are available for download from the IRS.  You can choose from large-print, text, accessible PDFs, e-Braille, or HTML formats that are compatible when used with screen readers and refreshable Braille displays.

January is Braille Literacy Month

Jan 18, 2017
http://www.pathstoliteracy.org/resources/braille-guidelines-classroom-practitioner

January is Braille Literacy Month. The use of braille in schools is often a topic of discussion and disagreement. There are some that believe braille is no longer needed. Others are firm believers that braille is a key tool for literacy.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/california-girl-12-creates-tools-technology-visually-impaired/story?id=41571866

12-year-old Hari Bhimaraju of Cupertino, California, has always been fascinated by science and technology, and she's putting her skills to good use by creating tools for the visually impaired.

Chippewa Valley Eye Clinic | Eau Claire

If you are dealing with Age-Related Macular Degeneration, you can help with a national research study; but time is of the essence, as there are just two more weeks to participate in this survey.

http://www.visionaware.org/info/emotional-support/for-family-and-friends/introduction-to-blind-parenting-series/123

We've all heard the saying that "kids don't come with an instruction manual," and parenting isn't easy.  But what if you're a blind or visually impaired parent?  You are not alone!

Whether you are just considering having children, or if you're at one of those stages like potty training, sending them off to school, or the dreaded teenage years, The American Foundation for the Blind has resources for you.

Lots of links and resources here.

http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/eye-news.htm

If you saw the new documentary Sight: The Story of Vision recently on WXXI television, you should know that there is now a companion e-book available for download from the iBooks store.

The book is viewable on iPads, Kindles, other eBook readers, other IOS and Android devices, and computers.

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