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Blindness news

CVS Pharmacy announced that it has developed Spoken Rx™, a new feature of the CVS Pharmacy app that can read a specific type of label for patients with visual impairments and those who cannot read standard print labels.

The Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AERBVI or AER) is a professional membership organization "dedicated exclusively to professionals who provide services to persons with vision loss." The organization provides networking and mentoring to members, and a variety of tools and training options to enhance professional development. Its ultimate aim is "to ensure that persons with vision loss will have optimal gains and greater independence" through being served by professionals with the highest levels of knowledge, skills, and abilities.

Since early this year, Driven Blind, a 25-minute documentary about Pro Mod driver and chassis builder Dan Parker, who was permanently blinded in a 2012 racing accident, has been making the rounds and winning awards at independent film festivals nationwide. Friday, July 24th at 8:30 p.m. on WXXI-TV. (Repeat Sunday, July 26 at 5:00 p.m.)

Sticks and Stones, and Braille Phones, and Words that Never Hurt Me

Thirty years ago this month, President George H. W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law. It's just so hard to think that it's been three decades since the enactment of what has come to be known as the Emancipation Proclamation for all people with disabilities.

Mystic Access, "where the magic is in learning," can help you connect with the world. The company strives to support and empower blind and visually impaired users of assistive technology through and beyond the intimidation, frustration and poorly constructed documentation too often associated with learning.  Instead, Mystic Access provides comprehensive, professionally-produced audio tutorials and personalized one-on-one and group training opportunities.

The National Braille Press (NBP) promotes Braille literacy, through instructional programs for children and courses for teachers of the visually impaired. NBP also provides access to information that empowers blind people to actively engage in work, family, and community affairs.  The Braille bookstore offers a wide range of books for adults and children, in a variety of formats, as well as other Braille publications.

For over 20 years Freedom Scientific has provided access to print and computers for individuals with blindness and low vision, and now they are extending their offer of FREE, short-term licences for JAWS, ZoomText, and Fusion to individuals who must remain home during the COVID-19 crisis.  Learn more...

The New York State Board of Elections and disability groups, including the ACB, have reached an agreement that provides voters with a more accessible absentee ballot for the June 23 primary election. Qualified voters with disabilities who submit an absentee-ballot request will receive an accessible, electronically-delivered absentee ballot. Requests must be submitted on or before June 16, 2020

There are 90 accredited schools around the world that train guide dogs for the blind, and many others that train assistance dogs for people with hearing loss or physical disability. Many, like the Seeing Eye in Morris Township, NJ, Guiding Eyes for the Blind in New York, and Canine Companions for Independence in Los Altos, CA have been closed by the coronavirus pandemic, leaving people who need to replace their service dogs or who need training, stuck in limbo. Additionally, hundreds of dogs at these schools need a place to stay during the pandemic.  Learn more.

As we all learn to social distance, it is important for those of us who are sighted to help people with guide dogs know we are there and help keep a safe distance. The Seeing Eye, one of 90 accredited guide dog schools in the nation, has updated their 5 Tips to reflect new social distancing norms.

The Chroideremia Research Foundation is offering three FREE webinars for people with vision loss.  You'll learn about a variety of accessible Apps, get the latest on accessible software, and have a chance to "Chat" with others with vision loss. Here they are the three sessions and what they'll cover. 

The 2020 Census: Facts and Accessibility

May 12, 2020

Every 10 years since 1790 the United States has counted its population. Census results help determine how billions of dollars in federal funding flow into states and communities each year, determining health clinics, fire departments, schools, roads and highways. The results also determine how many seats in Congress each state gets.

During this pandemic, people around the world are once again returning to hobbies that they may not have done for years.  Just because you have lost your vision doesn't mean that you can't take up a hobby as well.  Whether you like to write, do crafts like knitting, crocheting or painting, you garden, cook, or are into tech gadgets, the Hadley School has a discussion group and podcast for you. These FREE groups are open to all and you can call in by phone or on computer. Days and times vary. Learn more.

ACB: A Path to the Future, July 3-10, 2020

Due to the ever-changing restrictions involving the Coronavirus and The American Council of the Blind’s concern for everyone's health and safety, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the in-person 2020 Conference and Convention in Schaumburg, IL.  But fear not, you can register to attend virtually, beginning May 21st (ACB members), or May 28th (non-members). Registration closes June 21st.

Right now we're hearing a lot about distance/remote learning.  But remote learning isn't just for students.  As adults we all have a lot we can learn from experts in various field, and through new learning methods. The Hadley School for the Blind offers a great series of podcasts you can listen to for free anytime at Hadley Presents.

BlindAlive announces Eyes-Free Fitness®, a Free accessible fitness program for all.  These free audio programs allow you to stretch, strengthen, condition, and tone your body, all without the benefit of eyesight.  There's everything from meditation to stretch, balance, cardio (at different levels), yoga, pilates, weight training and more.

The American Foundation for the Blind and the American Council of the Blind are looking for people who are blind or visually impaired in the United States, over the age of 18 to respond to a survey about how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted your life.  Click here to TAKE THE SURVEY.

As everyone is dealing with social isolation and figuring out how to maintain our sanity, while taking care of ourselves physically and mentally during this Coronavirus Pandemic and the need for Social Distancing, people with vision loss have their own additional challenges during times like this.  We aren't going to try to tell you how to do it, or what to do.  But we want to share links to a number of articles and resources from which you may find some good tools or tricks to help you through this time.  Here's what we've found to share...

Regional Transit Service has announced that they will temporarily waive bus fares beginning Friday, March 20 until at least April 19th, or until the current state of emergency is lifted in Monroe County.   More about the decision to waive fares.

Recently CBS 60 Minutes did a story on Matthew Whitaker, a blind piano player who has caught the attention of not just jazz audiences all around the country, but also neuroscientists that are studying how the visual cortex of his brain responds to music.

March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month

Feb 18, 2020

Whether your job requires the use of power tools, or long hours on a computer, it is important to keep eye health and safety in mind as the gift of sight is irreplaceable.

Have you ever wished you could talk face-to-face with the representatives that provide services to people with vision loss in New York State – or that someone would be around to help you fill out that application for Bookshare or NFB Newsline?

The Metropolitan Opera is a vibrant home for the most creative and talented artists working in opera. Nearly 800,000 people attend more than 200 performances in the opera house during the season, and the Met is committed to making these performances accessible to people of all abilities.

January is National Braille Literacy month, a time when we recognize the importance of Braille to people who are blind or visually impaired.  Braille is especially significant in allowing independence in the workplace, and for students in the classroom.  And braille facilitates everything from pleasure reading to music and mathematics, personal note taking, and can be seen in such common places as elevators, public restrooms, ATMs and hotel rooms.

As we move into January 2020, we look back at a year of advancements in the treatment for dry age-related macular degeneration. 

In January 2019 the National Eye Institute (NEI) reported that Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), (adult stem cells that can be reprogrammed back to an embryonic state), hold promise as regenerative medicines. Once positive data turned up in animal trials, the stage was set for human trials.

The American Council of the Blind has a great opportunity for students who are legally blind to earn a scholarship, whether you are going to a technical college, an entering freshman, undergraduate or a graduate student.

Over $55,000 in scholarships are awarded to students each year.

To be eligible, you need to be legally blind, maintain a 3.0 GPA, and be involved in your school/local community.

Introducing a first-of-its-kind news reading app, designed for your TV. Use your remote to browse a curated selection of the most important and interesting stories from The Washington Post. Scroll through articles, watch video, listen to podcasts and browse captivating Post photography.

The app also offers adjustable fonts, text sizes, and color schemes, giving you total control of your news experience - all from your couch.

Recently I learned of a rare congenital (at birth) eye disease that I had never heard of before. I decided to look it up so I could share some information with you about Duane syndrome (DS).

Priscilla Yeung, NOMC, who became legally blind as a teenager due to Optic Nerve Atrophy, is a coordinator for the Senior Impact Project of Society for the Blind in Sacramento, CA.  But the path that brought her to this point had many hurdles.

Service dogs: trained to be a breed above

Nov 1, 2019

Most of us know that service dogs are bred and trained to go above and beyond, and to serve with calmness in virtually any situation.  But this story from Luxury Video News tells us how service dogs in Canada are being trained to be relaxed in a situations with quick movements, a live theater atmosphere and the unfamiliar lights or sounds of a multi-hour live theater production.

The Festival Theatre in Stratford, Ontario was the sight for the training.  Theatre spokesperson Ann Swerdfage said, “they were all extremely well-behaved.”