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Blindness news

Podcasts are a great way for you to be both entertained and informed about targeted areas of interest, right on your own digital device.  If you are dealing with vision loss, either long term or more recent, there likely is a podcast to help you adjust to life with limited vision.  Whether you are interested in the latest accessible technology, dealing with the emotions of vision loss, or want to explore new ways to do things or accessible places to visit, there’s likely a podcast for that as well!  Here is a listing of a variety of podcasts you may wish to check out to keep up to date on all things vision-related.  Here’s another list of even more podcasts on blindness…just click here.

Carlene Knight would love to do things that most people take for granted, such as read books, drive a car, ride a bike, gaze at animals in a zoo and watch movies. She also longs to see expressions on people's faces.

"To be able to see my granddaughter especially — my granddaughter's face," said Knight, 54, who lives outside Portland, Ore. "It would be huge."

On March 1st, the Regional Transit Serive (RTS) launched the highly anticipated online trip schedule for RTS Access cutomers. The RTS Access Ride Request mobile app, available through the App Store or Google Play allows riders to book and view paratransit trips for Monroe County, NY. RTS Access registration and approval is required prior to booking any trips.  What are you waiting for? Learn more!

Scientists and innovators keep exploring and expanding the ways that people who are visually impaired or blind can more fully experience the world. The latest "Top Tech Tidbits" e-newsletter includes several items showing how neuroscientific research, applied to our other senses, is creating enhanced sensory input for people with vision loss. We encourage you to investigate these developments:

While smartphones and tablets are helpful in everyday life, those with low vision and blindness may find it difficult or even impossible to use them. Fortunately, smartphone manufacturers and software developers are aware of the problem and work to implement many accessibility features on mobile devices so people with low vision can use them. Click to learn more.

Looking for information on the COVID-19 vaccine in New York State?  COVID-19 vaccination is an important tool to help us get back to normal. Learn more about the benefits of getting vaccinated and find out how and where to schedule an appointment.

Starting college can be overwhelming, but if you find yourself feeling this way, you’re not alone. If you're thinking about pursuing a college degree and you have vision loss, there are additional things to consider beyone the degree programs and financial assistance.  Navigating college with visual impairments is a web resource that can help you make the transition from high school to college, find an academic advisor that can help you navigate your college career, and find on campus resources to help you in daily college life.

Dark Room Ballet is Krishna Washburn’s specialized introductory dance curriculum for blind and visually impaired dancers. It is a toolbox course that teaches specific skills, including finding balance without sight, maintaining orientation with auditory and foot sensitivity, and self-correction with internal alignment.

Filmmakers have always faced an obstacle when it comes to depicting blindness on screen; some topics resist elaboration in a visual medium. But in the essay documentary “Vision Portraits,” the filmmaker Rodney Evans suggests that going blind can lead to new ways of seeing.  Saturday, Feb 6th at 10pm on WXXI-TV.

Touching the Sound documents the extraordinary journey of Nobuyuki (Nobu) Tsujii. Blind from birth, the 24-year-old pianist’s handicap – if a drawback at all – never affected his ability to play the piano. Touching the Sound, part of WXXI and the Golisano Foundation's Dialogue on Disability Week  that uses the power of public media to promote inclusion, airs Thursdays, January 28th at 8:00 p.m. on WXXI-TV., the official website for all things presidential has made changes to improve accessibility for people with vision loss.  Improving access to information is among the first things to be changed up under the freshly inaugurated President Biden.  Two immediate changes made by the new administration are the inclusion of a dark mode, or high contrast mode, and a large type toggle.

Since 1983, The Children's Braille Book Club (CBBC) has been a subscription-based program where National Braille Press (NBP) sends a new print/braille picture book every month for a small fee. Thanks to a generous matching program from the NewCo Foundation, NBP is kicking off a new chapter in the Children's Braille Book Club to include a free 1-year (12-book) subscriptions of the CBBC program to 125 eligible families.

January is National Braille Literacy Month and to encourage advancements for Braille literacy, National Braille press has announced this year's Touch of Genius Prize for Innovation Award.  DEADLINE: January 15, 2021.


During this Covid-19 pandemic, Zoom has become the "go-to" platform, for connecting with co-workers and for social interaction. Of course, there are different levels of familiarity with this technology, and several ways to use it.

According to the World Health Organization, there is an estimated 2 billion visually impaired people in the world with varying degrees of vision loss. Of that, more than 40 million are blind.  People who are blind need and want accessible communications options, just like anyone else.  Enter BlindShell.

We've heard his story before; 50 year old, blind runner Thomas Panek, CEO of Guiding Eyes for the Blind who began running with sighted guides, then ran the New York City half marathon with only a team of guide dogs.  But now Panek has gone one step further.  On November 19th, 2020, Thomas Panek ran a 5K in Central Park, where he used Google's "Guideline" app instead of help from a human or guide dog.

'Tis the season of giving, and WXXI Reachout Radio is here to help connect you to the places where accessible gifts are available for young and old.

The November, 2020 edition of AccessWorld, from the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), features several gift and shopping guides. Deborah Kendrick brings us her yearly gift guide for people with vision loss.

Are you a person who is blind or visually impaired, and curious to learn about "smart home" devices, or learn how to use them? Mystic Access has audio tutorials to help.  " class="wysiwyg-break drupal-content" src="/sites/all/modules/contrib/wysiwyg/plugins/break/images/spacer.gif" title="<--break-->">

In this year when people around the world are celebrating the 250th birth anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven, blind and hearing impaired children in the Tokyo White Hands Chorus, an El Sistema based music education program in Tokyo, are preparing to sing Beethoven's Ode to Joy, the final chorus in his Symphony No.

The Carroll Center for the Blind: Pathway to Independence, located in Newton, MA has a mission of "serving all ages and all stages of vision loss."  In addition to serving children, teens, adults, seniors and business professionals, The Caroll Center offers Rehabilitation, Low Vision, Independent Living, Orientation & Mobility, Assistive Technology services, Employment training and support and much more. Learn more...

As COVID-19 infections begin to rise again in our region, it's a good time to re-think ways you can do what you need to do, while staying safely at home.  One service you might consider is Instacart, a service that connects you with Shoppers in your area to shop and deliver items from your favorite stores in as fast as an hour.  It’s just that easy.

Listen Online here, or tune into Reachout Radio Sundays at 5:30p or Mondays at 10am and 7pm for this Election 2020 special.  Whether you are concerned about the pandemic, foreign policy, health care, education, the economy, or justice and human rights, your voice can be heard, but only if you vote. Throughout this half hour program you'll learn information about the various ways you can cast your vote, and a listing of the candidates running for office in each race in our region.

Periodically, we like to remind you of the updates and information you can find every week in the "Top Tech Tidbits" newsletter. This time around, there are many items about the latest releases from iOs and Apple, including the iPhone 12.

As concerns over the upcoming election continue, so do news and information of interest to voters. Click title to read more.

On Thursday, August 20, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed new laws "that will make it easier for New Yorkers to vote and be counted in November." The legislation allows voters to request an absentee ballot due to risk of illness, including COVID-19, and expands the time frame for when those ballots can be requested and postmarked.

We are excited to share that former CEO of the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ABVI) and Goodwill of the Finger Lakes, A. Gidget Hopf, Ed.D. will receive National Industries for the Blind’s (NIB) highest honor, the R.B. Irwin Award.

When is it time to begin using a cane? What are your roadblocks to taking this step? Is it best to ease into it by using it now and then, or to just dive right in? Join us for a moderated open chat where you will be able to discuss these topics and others surrounding the use of a cane.

A guest post by Nancy D. Miller, LMSW, Executive Director/CEO
VISIONS/Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired

 July 24, 2020

Disney+ has received the 2020 Achievement Award in Audio Description from the American Council of the Blind (ACB), a United States-based organization that strives to increase the independence, security, equality of opportunity and quality of life for all blind and visually impaired people.

Recently Nancy Zimmer, volunteer host of Enabled contacted me seeking advice on an article she had planned to read from Britannica which uses language that labels “the blind” throughout the article. Nancy knew that WXXI Reachout Radio has always adopted a policy of using people/person-first language, and she wanted advice on what to do.