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

January is Braille Literacy Month

Jan 18, 2017

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.

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.

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.

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.

Just because you've been diagnosed with macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy or cataracts, doesn't mean that you have to give up playing games with the grandchildren.

The American Foundation for the Blind has a number of adapted games, as well as ideas on how you can adapt games for your yourself.  Learn more.

Is a Guide Dog right for you?

Oct 10, 2016

So you grew up with a puppy and dogs have always been a part of your life.  But what if you've never experienced that bond of "man's best friend?" 

When vision loss comes, you may be considering whether a guide dog might be right for you.  After all, what can a guide dog do for you?

Did you know that people of Hispanic and Latino ancestry are more likely to develop diabetes and diabetes-related vision problems? 

As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, here's a look at specific health-related problem related to diabetes.  Resources and information are available in English and Spanish.  Learn more.

What do you know about Usher Syndrome?

Oct 3, 2016

Usher syndrome is an inherited condition characterized by hearing impairment and progressive vision loss. The vision loss is due to retinitis pigmentosa (RP), a degenerative condition of the retina, and usually appears during adolescence or early adulthood. Balance may also be affected. Symptoms vary from person to person and progress at different rates.  Learn more about who's at risk, related diseases and treatments.

WXXI Reachout Radio, is pleased to share an encore presentation of the story of science, technology, medicine, and humanity of human vision. SIGHT: The Story of Vision tells stories of individuals who struggle with vision loss and blindness including, an Iraqi war veteran’s vision loss due to a traumatic brain injury and a woman who is losing both her sight and hearing yet, refuses to stop achieving her dreams. The film also presents the complexities of human vision and the exciting future that lays ahead with new technologies and medicine only imagined a few years ago. The program will air on WXXI-World Monday, January 23 at 9 p.m.   Read More & watch a preview.

As I troll the internet looking for information on vision loss, vision research, treatments, studies and daily living tips, I'm always amazed when I find an organization I've never heard of before.  That is the case with the Bright Focus Foundation, an organization that supports research for Alzheimer's, Macular Degeneration and Glaucoma.  In this article, Dr.

Find out how Joy Efron's surgery went and what contributed to her successful Macular Hole Surgery. 

Joy's story continues.

Why are so many websites inaccessible?

Sep 14, 2016

So you have accessible devices, such as a screen reader or refreshable braille display.  Yet you're still having trouble accessing information or navigating websites.  Why?  This article from sheds light on this subject as well as some compliance information, reflections on the needs of users, and the work that's yet to be done.  Read the full article.

Joy R. Efron, Ed.D. relates her story of surviving the recovery process after surgery for a macular hole.  This story will be related over a series of posts. 

You'll also learn that a macular hole is very different than Macular Degeneration or a Detached Retina.  You'll learn about the symptoms, the surgery, and the challenges of recovery.  Read Joy's Story.

Vision Health USA Today supplement

Sep 9, 2016

Today's USA Today has a wonderful supplement called Vision Health with several articles about low vision and a great cover story about Super Bowl MVP Von Miller who details how his personal battle with poor vision inspired him to help underprivileged kids in Denver.

Read this article and all the stories.

More than 10 million Americans, and millions more worldwide, are affected by retinal degenerative diseases that can cause blindness - such as macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa and Usher syndrome.  So now, celebrities nationwide are joining the Foundation Fighting Blindness for the launch of the #HowEyeSeeIt campaign, the first social media initiative aimed at elevating awareness and accelerating research funding for retinal degenerative diseases.

A Foundation-funded research team reports that a drug approved already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration may also prevent or slow retinal degeneration and preserve vision.  Although more research must be done, the results so far are promising.

Learn More