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Stevie Wonders Speaks Out at the Grammy’s
A close up of Stevie Wonder wearing black tinted glasses and a black shirt.Stevie Wonder, the iconic blind musician, presented the award for Best Song at the Grammy Music Awards this year. When he opened the envelope, he pointed out that the card was written in Braille so that he could read it himself and called for all barriers to be broken down that exclude the visually impaired and people with other disabilities.


The video of his presentation can be found through this link.


Learn more about our work in Education and Advocacy


Watch Stevie Wonder’s Braille Joke and Message about Accessibility at the Grammy’s


Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Living Blind | 0 Comment(s) | Add Comment
Top Tips for Working with the Visually Impaired
A white coffee cup sits on a table in focus while two groups of women in business attire are out of focus in the background.When Julie Delillo started work at the Perkins School for the Blind, she wasn’t sure what to expect and how to interact with people who were visually impaired. But she learned quickly thanks to her understanding and helpful colleagues.


In this article, she shares her top tips for working with visually impaired coworkers and breaking down barriers for people with disabilities in the workplace.


We offer employment training for visually impaired people who are looking for work.


Eye Opening Lessons


Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Living Blind, Visually Impaired | 0 Comment(s) | Add Comment
Lawsuit filed against AMC claiming violation of ADA
People leave a semi-lit movie theatre with an ad for The Walking Dead on the screen.A class action lawsuit has been filed against AMC by several visually impaired Californians. The lawsuit alleges that AMC is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.


Visually impaired movie-goers state that they have been unable to properly access the assistive technology that AMC claims to have available for their needs due to staff’s lack of knowledge and education, improper maintenance and lack of battery charge.


Read more about the lawsuit in this article.


Share your movie-going experiences in the comment section.


Class Action Lawsuit Challenges AMC’s Discrimination Against Blind Movie-Goers

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Visually Impaired | 0 Comment(s) | Add Comment
Teaching visual concepts to children with visual impairments
A child sits on an adults lap to read a storyA teacher for young visually impaired children has taken It upon herself to create multisensory books for the kids in her classroom.


Taking childhood favorites, she adds texture and smell to the pages to ensure that kids with low or no vision are able to fully experience the stories.


In this article, she is interviewed about the books she creates, teaching students with a variety of visual impairments and how she and her teaching colleagues use other senses to help explain visual concepts to children who can’t see.


Visit our store for assistive technology and devices that can be used with children with visual impairment.


Fingertips Make Reading These Childhood Books Come Alive for Visually Impaired


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Research into vision loss using a common food

A stack of perfectly cooked pancakesIt’s always interesting to read about the basics of scientific research. In this article, the author outlines how a normal, everyday item such as a pancake is used to consider the causes and possible methods of treating an eye condition that causes visual impairment.


In this case, scientists look at glaucoma and the perfectly cooked pancake to compare how liquid evaporates and how different thicknesses and sizes affect the evaporation of the liquid.


To read more, visit the article.


Visit this page to find an overview of all of the programs we offer. We can help people with vision loss learn to live more independently and cope with changing vision.


Pancake Day: How Scientists are Using Pancakes to Save People’s Sight


Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Research, Visually Impaired | 0 Comment(s) | Add Comment
Stay active regardless of visual impairment
A red tandem bike stands in green grassVision Aware asked a group of blind and visually impaired people what they do to stay fit and active. This article relays their answers.


Ideas range from specific yoga videos created for the visually impaired, tandem biking with friends, to walks with friends or guide dogs. There are solitary ideas and physical activities to do as part of a social group.


If you’re looking for some inspiration to get moving, check out this article and pick the ideas that appeal most to you.


How do you keep active? Share your ideas in the comment section.


Ways You Can Exercise If You Are Blind or Visually Impaired


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Children’s stories and 3D printing
Noahs Ark, one of the stories printed in 3D.3D printing has come a long ways in the last few years. One of the latest assistive devices to come off the 3D printer is Braille and picture books for visually impaired children.


Taking well known stories, a team from the University of Colorado Boulder has designed books that can be printed using 3D printers. With these new books, visually impaired children can enjoy the stories as fully as sighted kids always have.


The team has made the designs free to anyone who has access to a 3D printer.


To find out more, visit the article.


Call to action


3D printed Braille and picture books to help blind children to read


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Gaming for the visually impaired
A black xbox controllerTypically, many people think about only the visual components of video games. But what if you’re visually impaired?


This article addresses some of the games that are more enjoyable to play as a person with low vision and outlines what to search for when buying a gaming console or new games. From a gamer with low vision, it provides some insight into the gaming world for the visually impaired.


Do you enjoy video games? Share your favorites in the comment section.


How to talk about video games (if you’re blind)


Posted in Blind Living Skills, Living Blind, Visually Impaired | 0 Comment(s) | Add Comment
Legally blind, Justice Bernstein upholds the law
The Hall of Justice, Michigan is where the Supreme Court is located.Justice Bernstein didn’t let his visual impairment keep him from graduating summa cum laude from the University of Michigan. He didn’t let it keep him from law school either.


Now holding a seat on the Michigan Supreme Court, Justice Bernstein shows us all what is possible for sighted and visually impaired people. His tenacity and hard work prove to the legal community around the country that being blind doesn’t impair the ability to be a lawyer and judge. He also proves to the visually impaired community that anything is possible with hard work.


Read more about Justice Bernstein in this article which describes a recent speech he gave.


Justice Bernstein gives inspiring speech to Grand Rapids legal community


Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Living Blind, Real Life Stories, Visually Impaired | 0 Comment(s) | Add Comment
Pixar develops audio description app
Buzz Lightyear from the Toy Story, one of Pixars most popular charactersPixar has recently released a paid app to provide audio descriptions to its movies. Although some theatres have equipment to provide this experience to visually impaired users, many movie goers have had problems with equipment not working or staff being unaware of what is needed.


Pixar aims to avoid these problems for movie attendees by providing the audio description straight to phone or tablet allowing users the ability to control the equipment themselves.


So far reviews of the app are positive although some critics are asking if this just takes the onus off the cinemas who many believe should be providing a better experience for visually impaired patrons.


An Australian and an American review of the app give more details.


Would you use Pixar’s new audio description app? Share your thoughts in the comment section.


Pixar’s New App Bypasses Cinema Audio Description Issues


Pixar’s New App Gives the Blind a New Way to Experience Movies


Posted in Living Blind, Vision Loss Technology & Products, Visually Impaired | 0 Comment(s) | Add Comment
New wearable technology goes live
A Smart Watch, one type of wearable technology, is shownBatsuite, a wearable technology device, allows users to feel their surroundings through sound and vibrations. As a small startup, the founders are passionate about helping people with visual impairments around the world. They are focusing on making their device affordable and reliable in order to help people not only in our country, but also in developing countries around the world where money is a much greater barrier for people living with disabilities.


Read the interview by StartUs with one of the founders to learn more about their product, the timeline and the passion behind BatSuite.


We can help with assistive technology. Visit our online store to find out more.


StartUs Presents: BatSuite


Posted in Blind Living Skills, Living Blind, Real Life Stories, Visually Impaired | 0 Comment(s) | Add Comment
Social media study advocates for visually impaired
The blue Facebook f logo is shown repeated across the imageA recent study interviewed 60 people with visual impairments to ask them about their online experience, focusing mainly on Facebook and social media sites. Many of these sites have a large amount of visual content without accessibility features and the study aimed to highlight the areas where further work could be done to aid those with sight impediments.


The study will be presented at an upcoming technology conference in San Diego to attempt to bring about productive conversation that will lead to change.


To read more about the study, visit the article.


What tools do you use when visiting social media sites? Share your helpful tips in the comment section.


Using Facebook when you can’t see the faces


Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Assistive Technology, Visually Impaired | 0 Comment(s) | Add Comment
An art show for the visually impaired
Meredith Howell’s five year old daughter lives with significant sight loss. As an art lover, Meredith found it unacceptable that her daughter would be unable to experience art, so she decided to do something about it.


She came up with the idea behind reVISION, “a tactile, auditory and spatial experience” that allows visitors to use senses beyond sight to enjoy the works. The art display has been created for, and by, people with visual impairments to ensure that others who are blind or visually impaired can fully experience the displays.


17 artists from a variety of mediums are presented, and if visitors aren’t touching the artwork, they are doing it wrong!


To read more about reVISION, visit this page.


Have you enjoyed a similar show? Share your experiences in the comment section.


Seeing art through touch


Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Blindness, Living Blind, Visually Impaired | 0 Comment(s) | Add Comment
Award for professor who is furthering education for the visually impaired

A close up shot of a computer circuit boardAndreas Stefik, an Engineering professor at the University of Nevada, Los Vegas will be honored for furthering computer science during a January 26 ceremony at the White House. His work is far reaching, but among his noted achievements is the establishment of the first national education infrastructure for blind or visually impaired students to learn computer science. His model is currently being used in 20 states as well as overseas.


It’s encouraging to see work that benefits visually impaired people given such high award. To read the full press release, visit UNLV’s website.


To see how we can help people living with vision loss, visit our First Steps page.


White House Recognizes UNLV Professor as “Champion of Change”


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SDCB featured in San Diego County Optemetric Society Newsletter
Black and white close up of tools used by optometristsThe San Diego County Optometric Society’s January newsletter features an article written by our own Director of Client Services.


The short article discusses the importance that Optometrists have in early diagnoses and finding problems that patients may not yet be aware of. The profession is called upon to work with organizations such as ours to ensure those with vision loss get the help that they need. To read the full article, visit this link.


To find out how we can help people living with vision loss, visit our programs page.


Vision Rehabilitation Services and your Essential Role as Eye Care Providers


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Technology helps new mom see her baby
The tiny feet of a newbornKathy Beitz was diagnosed with Stargardt disease at the age of 11. Though she still has some vision, she is legally blind and has no sight in the center of her field of vision.


With the help of eSight’s glasses, she was able to properly see her newborn child for the first time which is something so many people take for granted.


Learn more about eSight’s glasses and Kathy’s touching story by following this link.


If you are experiencing sight loss, we can help. Visit our First Steps After Vision Loss page.


Kathy Beitz, legally blind mom, sees new baby with special eyewear


Posted in Assistive Technology, Living Blind, Visually Impaired | 0 Comment(s) | Add Comment
Student award goes to inventor of navigational assistive technology
A girl with a backpack stands facing a busy intersectionAs a 12-year old, Alex Deans watched a visually impaired woman struggle to cross the street. Though he didn’t offer assistance at the time, he spent the next 6 years creating a navigation device that would help her and others with similar problems.


Worn around the waist like a belt, his invention uses ultrasonic sensors to locate obstacles in the wearer’s path and notifies them of these obstacles.


Using his nights and weekends, Alex has taught himself what he needs to know to create this technology and has been given an award for his hard work.


Read more about Alex and his invention in this article.


Would you like to try this device? Share your thoughts in the comment section.


Nature Inspires Teen Inventor’s Navigation Aid for the Blind


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Marathon runner doesn’t let visual impairment get him down
A group of marathon runners is shown from the chest down in actionTodd MacAusland decided it was time to get in shape. His short runs on the treadmill soon grew tiring and he decided to try running outdoors. Despite reducing vision, he has run multiple marathons and intends to continue participating in various types of runs around the world.


Armed with running partners who notify him of upcoming obstacles he may not see, he feels confident and comfortable as an outdoor runner and athlete.


To read more of Todd’s story, visit the article.


We have a variety of assistive technology available for purchase. Visit our online store to learn more.


Partly Blind P.E.I. Marathon Runner Inspires Others to Lace Up


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Geared to visually impaired gamers
A black and white icon for a gaming hand held controllerThere are video game fanatics worldwide who couldn’t imagine not being able to play. But for people who are visually impaired, gaming hasn’t been a popular past time. But in recent years, some great games have entered the market that are geared to people who have limited or no sight. Some rely on sound, some on verbal cues, but all can be played without sight.


In this article, a sighted gamer takes a look at gaming for the visually impaired and reviews a host of games that are geared towards players without sight.


Do you enjoy video games? Share your favorite games for the visually impaired in the comment section.


Lost in sound: gaming for the visually impaired


Posted in Assistive Technology, Living Blind, Vision Loss Technology, Visually Impaired | 1 Comment(s) | Add Comment
Tablet with Refreshable Braille in the Works
A basic Kindle is pictured to show the size of the device being created by scientistsScientists at the University of Michigan are working to create a Kindle-style tablet with refreshable Braille. The tactile display, or refreshable Braille as it is known, already exists, but can only display one line of text at a time. The current devices are extremely expensive and not user friendly.


However, with a tablet that could display the same amount of text in Braille as a Kindle currently does would allow for pleasurable fiction reading and easier studying.


Scientists say that it may still be a few years before their device is ready. Find the full article here.


Would you be interested in using such a device? Share your opinion in the comment section.


Holy Braille: Scientists developing Kindle-style tablet for the blind


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Museum offering experiences for blind and visually impaired
A painting of a diner viewed from outside with large glass windows through which the clients can be seen at the eat-in counterBlind and visually impaired art lovers now have another chance to experience art. The Amon Carter Museum of American Art, in Fort Worth is hosting special days where people who cannot normally enjoy visual art will participate in a different style of viewing.


With verbal descriptions, copies of the paintings made with raised edges, and props to be felt by participants, the experience will help them to understand the paintings held in the museum. Read the article to learn more.


Have you enjoyed a similar museum tour? Share your experiences in the comment section.


Amon Carter Museum makes paintings accessible to visually impaired visitors


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Visually Impaired Commentator Shares His Skills
A cricket batsman walks with his head down.Dean du Plessis uses the sounds of the cricket game to know what’s happening and even more impressive, he is able to accurately describe what is happening. He currently works part time as a cricket commentator in Zimbabwe, his home country, and hopes to soon be a commentator full time.


His powers of observation make him an impressive person in a difficult job regardless of his visual impairment.


Visit this video to learn more about how Dean works.


Do you know of any other visually impaired people who are in unexpected jobs? Tell us about them in the comment section.


Commentating Without Looking


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The BuzzClip: Protecting the Visually Impaired from Collisions

A pine bough stretches out from the tree.Guide dogs alert their handler to stairs, curbs and obstacles in their path. White canes help with the same. But there can still sometimes be problems with low hanging branches and other obstacles at shoulder and head height.


A new invention by two Canadians aims to eliminate the risk of hitting the head or upper body. Their small device vibrates to alert the user to upcoming obstacles and can be placed anywhere on the body.


Watch this video from a morning news show to learn more from one of the inventors.


We have various assistive technology tools available in our online store.


Canadian inventors’ tiny device helps blind navigate daily life


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Winning gold and never letting the mountain stand in the way
A gold medal with a red ribbon sits on a flat surface.Kelly Gallagher lives with oculucutaneous albinism, a visual impairment that affects how light is transmitted to the eye due to a lack of pigmentation. But this didn’t stop her from skiing as a child and learning to love the sport. And it certainly didn’t stop her from winning gold in the winter Paralympics.


In this video, Kelly talks about life with her visual impairment and why someone with a disability should never let it stop them from enjoying life and achieving gold.


We can help. If you’re living with vision loss, learn about the programs we offer.


Posted in Blind Living Skills, Living Blind, Real Life Stories, Visually Impaired | 0 Comment(s) | Add Comment
Visually Impaired Wrestler Takes on Sighted Competitors
Two men wrestleLegally blind since the age of 18, Clinton Davies has been wrestling and practicing jiu-jitsu since he was a teenager. He has competed in sighted tournaments though he qualifies for para status.


Married with two children, Clinton has to compete when family life and finances allow, but he is known around his home country, New Zealand, after his multiple wins and people in the sport know he is a “ninja”.


Read more about Clinton in this article.


Dealing with vision loss? We can help.


Blind wrestler fighting for a slot at the top


Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Blind Living Skills, Living Blind, Real Life Stories, Visually Impaired | 0 Comment(s) | Add Comment
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