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ABLE Act to Provide Financial Options
New ABLE Act provides financial leeway The Achieving a Better Life Experience, or ABLE Act, has been passed in Congress and the law signed by President Obama. The law will allow people with disabilities to save up to $100,000 in a special account without jeopardizing government pensions or benefits. Though each state must now put regulations in place to allow these special accounts, they are expected to be available within the next few years. The full article can be found here.

What do you think of this new law? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

White House Marks Passage of ABLE Act

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired | 0 Comment(s) | Add Comment
Natural Image Descriptions Now Available From Two Sources
Google and Sanford University providing AI Software for better image descriptionsUntil now, image recognition software was limited to recognizing parts of an image, but not understanding anything more complex with various parts. But new advanced AI software has addressed this issue. Both Google and Sanford University have been developing artificial intelligence software programs that can interpret images and describe them better than ever. To read more about this advancement and how it works, visit the article here.

For more information about assistive technologies, visit our Guide to Living Independently.

Advanced AI Software Provides Natural Description of Images

Posted in Blindness, Living Blind, Low Vision, Low Vision Technology, Research | 0 Comment(s) | Add Comment
Restaurant Skills for Low Vision
/images/restaurant dining can be enjoyable despite low visionDo you find going to a restaurant stressful due to low vision or blindness? In this blog, the author talks about his recent restaurant experiences and the methods he uses to make the experience more enjoyable and less stressful including studying the menu ahead of time and bringing a reliable, understanding friend or partner for assistance.

Do you have any suggestions on how to make dining out a more enjoyable experience? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

Reading Menus
Posted in Living Blind, Living Independently, Low Vision, Real Life Stories | 0 Comment(s) | Add Comment
Kids need eye exams too
Eye care is important for adults and childrenAs adults, we know when our vision is changing and understand that regular eye exams are important for healthy living. But what about children? This article outlines when children should have eye exams by a registered professional and what will be checked during these exams. With 1 in 4 children living with undetected vision problems, it’s important to follow professional advice to find problems early. Read the article here.

For information on how we can help people living with visual impairment, visit our program page.

At What Age Should Kids Start Getting Eye Exams?

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The Blind Film Critic Explains All
The Blind Film Critic rates movies for visually impaired peopleIt’s the time of year that award shows for films are happening. Stars are walking the red carpet and many of us are in a frenzy to watch all of the nominated movies before the award shows. But what happens when you can’t see? How do the popular movies and award winners stack up when the visual component can’t be appreciated? Find out how the Blind Film Critic began his popular film ratings and how he rates the movies in this article. You might never think of film the same again!

Do you have a favorite movie that would be a great candidate for review by the Blind Film Critic? Share it in the comment section.

Watching Films With a Unique View

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Blindness isn’t keeping this man from his passion for cycling
Blindness and bicycles can go hand in handArt Jones lost his sight at the age of 18, but he didn’t give up his passion for cycling. Now 46, Art is a member of the Major Taylor Cycling Club in San Diego riding a tandem bike with a partner in competitions around the area. To read Art’s thoughts on riding and the freedom that it gives him, visit the article in the U-T San Diego.

Visit our Programs Overview to see how we can help.

Can local blind bicyclist get back in the saddle?

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Losing Sight as a Teen
Losing sight as a teenThis is a must read blog post by a teenager who was born with sight but is now legally blind. She not only has managed to graduate high school with straight As, she is now attending college, works part time, volunteers with a charity and is involved in other extracurricular activities! To read more of her story and for a bit of inspiration, visit the blog.

We can help adjust to vision loss. To find out more, visit our First Steps After Vision Loss page.

Going Through Changes
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“Who I Am”
Who I amA new public service announcement (PSA) featuring nine people living with various disabilities is now airing on television stations around the country. The 30 second piece reminds us that we are all a sum of our many parts, much more than just our disability, and we have many roles in life. Entitled “Who I Am”, it is an encouraging video worth the watch!  To read more about “Who I Am”, click here. To watch the video, visit this link.

For information on how we can help with employment, visit our Employment Training page.

Campaign for Disability Employment “Who I Am” PSA Airing Nationally
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Does Simulated Sightlessness Help or Hinder?
Does simulated sightlessness hurt perceptions of blindness?Recent research by the University of Boulder Colorado shows that simulated sightlessness, though intended to create empathy and understanding, may actually do the opposite. It has been common for people without vision problems to wear a blindfold and attempt to perform regular tasks in order to understand the life of a visually impaired person, but the study states that this gives a skewed impression of living blind. For more information, read the report here.

What do you think of this research and the conclusions drawn? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Simulated Sightlessness can have negative effects on people’s perceptions of visually impaired

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Describing visual impairment or defending it?
Blindness doesnt take away the poetryThe author of this article, Emily K. Michael, is a visually impaired poet. She discusses her definition of blindness, living with visual impairment, and her feelings of defending her definition without meaning or wanting to. Her writing is insightful and brings up questions that many others may struggle with. Read what Emily has to say by visiting this link.

For information on how we can help people living with visual impairment, visit our program page.

Answering Blindness: A Poet Makes Amends

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3D yearbooks for blind students in Seoul
3d printer changes yearbook for blind studentsAt the end of the school year, the traditional yearbooks help us remember what we did, who we hung out with and what we accomplished. The Seoul National School for the Blind went one step further for their graduating class. They used 3D printing to create small but highly detailed busts of all the classmates to serve as the annual “yearbook”. To see the students reaction and read more about the amazing gift, visit this link on c|net.

Have you heard of any wonderful yearbook ideas for visually impaired students? Share them in the comment section.

Blind students get incredible 3D printed “yearbook”
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Visual Impairment isn’t stopping her
Blindness and musicBrooke Jostad was born blind but has never let that stand in her way. A recent graduate from a Bachelor’s program, Brooke is now doing her Masters. Also an accomplished musician, she doesn’t let blindness keep her from being involved in the things she is interested in. To read more about Brooke’s outlook on life and her accomplishments so far, visit this link.

Visit our Programs Overview to see how we can help.

Baylor grad sees positives in her blindness

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Do you know the background of Braille?
Braille was created by a 12 year oldBraille was created by a young man who lost his vision in a childhood accident. Louis Braille was only 12 when he developed the system of raised bumps in different patterns to signify different letters and numbers. His birthday is celebrated on January 4th and we remember the inventor of this system that improved life for many.  To read more, visit this link.

For information on how we can help people living with visual impairment, visit our program page.

The Story of Louis Braille
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How to Be Blind Podcast
Listen to a podcastIf you’re a fan of listening to podcasts, visit this link to hear the ladies of “How to be Blind” discuss the arrival of a new guide dog, the problems of traveling with a guide dog, Christmas and Chanukah traditions and gab about life with visual impairments. There’s always something to learn with these ladies.

What are your favorite podcasts to listen to? Share them in the comment section.

We’re Still Talking 15: A Little Bit of Chanukah, A Little Bit of Christmas and a Lot of Dog Extremities
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Gift ideas for the cook in your life
Kitchen items are a great giftChristine Ha, a blind chef who won season 3 of Masterchef, has put together a list of her favorite kitchen items. If you’re still trying to find that perfect, last minute gift, take a look at her suggestions by visiting this link. She includes small and large cooking related items in different budget ranges.

What is your favorite kitchen gift to give or receive? Share it in the comment section!

All I Want for Christmas is _______ for my Kitchen (Part 1)
Posted in Living Blind, Living Independently | 0 Comment(s) | Add Comment
Cooking in the Dark Tips and Recipes
Cooking in the DarkThis week, the regular podcast called “Cooking in the Dark” showcases Vietnamese Spring Rolls and goes over tips and tricks for cooking when you are visually impaired. The hosts make cooking fun and approachable for all of us regardless of abilities. They also feature some kitchen gadgets that help with safety issues when blind. Listen to the podcast here.

Do you have any tips or tricks for cooking delicious meals? Share them in the comment section.

Cooking in the Dark

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Making public spaces friendly for the visually impaired
Public spaces made friendlyThere isn’t a lot of research done on how to make public spaces most effective and easily navigable for people with visual impairments, but 3 professionals recently got together to look at the different aspects that should be addressed in design. Read their conclusions on lighting placement, type and direction in this article.

For information on types of assistive technology, visit our information page.

Designing public spaces for a better visual environment
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Kids Crafts to Delight the Senses
Christmas Crafts for sensory stimulationChristmas is a time of crafts, baking, and fun activities that families can do together to celebrate the special time of year. But when your child lives with visual impairment, how can crafts and goodies be adapted to make use of other senses? This article highlights ten ideas that can be fun for all kids, sighted or visually impaired!

Share your craft and baking ideas for kids with visual impairments in the comments section.

10 Sensory Christmas Activities for Children Who Are Blind
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Braille Letters from Santa
Santa sends Braille lettersThis year, the National Federation of the Blind is acting as Santa’s little helper to provide Braille Letters from Santa to blind and visually impaired children. Parents can request a Braille letter from Santa for a child under the age of ten by visiting this page and filling out the necessary information before December 19th to make sure that letters are delivered before Christmas Day!

Share your Christmas memories in the comment section!

NFB Jernigan Institute Helps Santa Sends Letters to Boys and Girls
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Writing Through Vision Loss

The journey through losing his sight has been a rough road for Jeff Florin, as it is for anyone who goes through it. He uses his writing to deal with the changes and challenges and blogs about his experiences. In this post on his blog ‘Jalapenos in the Oatmeal’, Jeff talks about why he writes, and why you should consider writing too.

We offer programs to help with the difficult transition when losing your sight. To find out more about these programs, visit this page.

Jalapenos in the Oatmeal: Point of View
Posted in Emotional Adjustment to Vision Loss, First Steps After Vision Loss, Personal Stories | 0 Comment(s) | Add Comment
Accessible Gifts for the Holiday Season

Christmas gift ideas for people with visual impairmentWith the holidays fast approaching, many of us are starting to think about what to buy for our friends and family. If you’re looking for a present for a person living with visual impairment, consider one of these gift ideas! This guide offers ten suggestions for different types of visual impairments, in every budget range.

Do you have a great gift idea? Share it in the comment section.

10 accessible gift ideas for friends or family who are blind or visually impaired
Posted in Assistive Technology, Low Vision Technology, Vision Loss Technology & Products | 0 Comment(s) | Add Comment
New Game Available on Apple

Sudoku made accessiblePeople living with vision impairment can still enjoy Sudoku, the number puzzle, thanks to a new app available through Apple. Using gestures on the touch screen, players listen to information in order to play. The screen is black so competition between sighted and non sighted players is on a level playing field. More information is available through this link.

Do you have any favorite games that are accessible for people with visual impairments? Share them in the comment section.

Blindfold Sudoku

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Low Cost Braille Printer Created by Teen

Lego is the basis for a new Braille printerAn amazing 13 year old has created a low cost Braille printer after deciding that the current price tag of this technology is too expensive. He is so successful that he is the youngest person to ever receive venture capital funding for a start-up Watch the video from CBS to find out how he created it and what the next steps are.

For other assistive technology information, please visit this page.

How Silicon Valley’s Teen Phenom Will Help Blind

Posted in Assistive Technology, Blindness, Vision Loss Technology & Products | 0 Comment(s) | Add Comment
Successful Blind Artist Creates Accessible Pieces

Artist makes sculptures accessibleFelice Tagliaferri, a blind artist, wasn’t allowed to touch the well-known sculpture of Cristo Velato. Disappointed that he was unable to experience the artwork, he set out to recreate the sculpture making it accessible for other visually impaired people. His version attracts crowds of tourists, both sighted and visually impaired. To read more, visit the article.

Do you participate in any art programs? Share your experiences in the comment section.

The Blind Sculptor Who Carves By Touch

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The Blind Cook visits Steven and Chris for a Cooking Segment

Visual Impairment doesnt need to impair good foodChristine Ha, winner of Season 3 of MasterChef, lives with vision impairment yet creates delicious, creative meals. She focuses on cooking with the other four senses and was recently featured on the Steven and Chris talk show to create Panang Chicken Curry with them. To watch the show, click here. Christine is featured at minute marker 14:25.

Do you have any favourite tips for creating delicious meals regardless of visual impairment? Share them in the comment section.

Cooking Panang Curry on Steven and Chris

Posted in Blind Living Skills, Living Independently, Low Vision | 0 Comment(s) | Add Comment
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