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Like so many, Simon Wheatcroft was born with retinitis pigmentosa, a genetic eye disease that gradually causes vision to deteriorate.  Through his teen years, he was still able to make out some things.  But by age 27, his vision was completely gone.  But as an avid runner, Wheatcroft wasn't about to stand still.


In a new exhibit by Michael Nye, premiering at the Witte Museum in San Antonio, Texas, visitors get to see and hear first hand from people with vision loss.  "My Heart is Not Blind" features more than 40 people and their personal journey with blindness or vision loss.  See their faces and hear their stories.  Each one unique.  Each one special. Each and inspiration.

World Braille Day - January 4, 2019

Jan 4, 2019

World Braille Day is a reminder of the importance of accessibility and independence for those who are blind or visually-impaired. The reality is that many everyday establishments such as restaurants, banks, hospitals aren’t equipped with braille menus, statements or bills.


Swimmer Tharon Drake has won many swimming medals, including the silver medal in the Men's 100 m Breaststroke in the 2016 Paralympic Games. Then in April 2018 Drake won a whole different position; that of Assistant Swim Coach at Catawba College in North Carolina. Here's how he does it and what the students say about him.


Sendero Transfers iOS Mobile Technology To Aira, Mike May Joins Aira Advisory Board

On November 14th Aira announced that it has acquired Sendero’s iOS mobile navigation products and technology, and welcomed Sendero co-founder Mike May to join Aira’s Advisory Board to offer guidance as Aira expands its independent navigational efforts.

Recently Erica Kram published this article on her LinkedIn page, titled My Journey Into (and a Brief History of) Audio Description at Netflix.

On October 14, 2018, blind teen Louie McGee completed something that only a select few every accomplish.  After years of training, Louie McGee completed an Ironman Triathalon, with virtually no vision. 

McGee, who has been training for three hours per day before and after school for the Oct. 14 Louisville race, was diagnosed with Stargardt disease, the most common form of juvenile macular degeneration, when he was 5 years old. Stargardt's decreases a person's central vision. 

New to Vision Loss? There is help!

Nov 12, 2018

Coping with vision loss can feel overwhelming and stressful, but when armed with the right information, you can face the future with confidence.

With that in mind, the American Foundation for the Blind's VisionAware™ "Getting Started" kit was created to provide hope and help to handle the challenges of vision loss, and to connect you and your family members with specialized services and products available to assist with everyday life with vision loss.

October is Disabilities Awareness Month and over the weekend the National Federation of the Blind held a gathering in Buffalo.

October each year is designated as Blindness Awareness Month or Eye Care Awareness Month. 

We take this month to raise awareness to the importance of eye health and to preventable and treatable blindness. It is said that up to 80% of blindness is avoidable through prevention or treatment. That's why, during Blind Awareness month, we are urging you to take care of your eye health.


For decades, patients with retinitis pigmentosa were told that there was nothing for them and they would have to live with little to no vision. The bionic eye implant has changed that.

Retinal specialists at the Flaum Eye Institute, Dr. Mina Chung and Dr. Ajay Kuriyan introduce us to the eye in the Medical Innovation.

Watch episodes of Second Opinion

So You Think You CAN'T Dance? Guess again!

Sep 25, 2018

Often in our posts to this page we talk about being an "I Can" sort of person.  Just because you've lost your vision, doesn't mean that you "can't" do all the things you used to do or always wanted to do.  Sure, something things won't be possible.  But other things may be, if you are willing to say "I Can Try!"

On Saturday, September 15th WXXI Reachout Radio partnered with area 20E-1 region Lions clubs to provide FREE vision screenings for children age 2 to 7.  We had two great teams of Lions representing four area Lions Clubs to do vision screenings for children attending WXXI bi-annual Open House.  68 children were screened and three children were referred for follow-up care. 

So far we've raised $13,168 toward the $20,000 CHALLENGE Grant.  Which means we are looking for $6,832 to raise to fully meet the CHALLENGE !  The good news is that our Challenger has extended the deadline until we reach the $20,000 goal!  So you still have time to make your gift to support WXXI Reachout Radio.

 Make your gift today to help ensure that Reachout Radio is available to serve those in need. Click the RED DONATE button at the top of this page.

Update on Blitab braille tablet technology

Sep 10, 2018

We've shared information on Blitab before, but here's an updated article from the September 3, 2018 New York Times on the tablet-style device with a glass surface which is perforated at the top into a grid with holes that allows liquid-based technology to present content in Braille.

Rochester-based grocery giant Wegmans becomes the first supermarket in the United States to become accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired using the Aira mobile app for smart phones.  Long known for its commitment to customer service and accessibility for all, Aira is pleased to announce that Wegmans Food Markets is the first Aira-enabled supermarket chain in the United States, according to a report from the American Council of the Blind.

The Foundation Fighting Blindness shares this news which is important for all those who deal with vision loss.

An important bill has been introduced to the US House of Representatives that has the potential to greatly increase research funding for all blinding eye conditions, including retinal diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa, Leber congenital amaurosis, Usher syndrome, and age-related macular degeneration.

Lighthouse International

The Filomen M. D’Agostino Greenberg Music School at Lighthouse International is the only community music school in the US for people who are blind or visually impaired, offering instruction and an accessible music technology center. Founded in 1913, the Music School is dedicated to artistic and educational excellence that unleashes imaginations.

American Foundation for the Blind

Vision loss, to any degree, creates unique challenges for students of all ages.  But making the transition from public or private school where students may have friends and family support, to college and career readiness, where a visually impaired student is often alone and educating the educators on his or her needs, presents all new challenges . 

Burlington County Eye Physicians

MedPage Today recently released the following reports on the effectiveness of anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) treatment for people with diabetic macular edema (DME) and nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR). 

Community Eye Health Journal

MedPage Today recently released a number of reports (July 2018) on a number of clinical studies regarding the effectiveness of anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) treatment for people with age-related macular degeneration.

WeWALK is not just an amazing new digital product that combines a traditional mobility cane for the blind with smart phone technology, it is a movement and a social platform that strives to unite blind people worldwide, creating awareness, accessibility and social inclusion for all people.

The WeWALK smart cane is still in development and will have three main features:

Meet Feelif, the first worldwide provider of multisensory digital games and educational content for the blind and visually impaired, enriching lives all over the world.  Feelif developers invented unique technology that enables blind to feel shapes on a touch screen.  The technology is now being used to make games, educational content and provide a platform for apps.

Did you know that if you are over age 60, you might be one of the one in eight people that will experience some degree of vision loss?  It could be cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration or glaucoma.  And other health problems, such as stroke, may impact vision as well. 


The Rochester Pioneers, the Rochester area's only beep baseball team for blind and visually impaired athletes, from children to seniors, is presenting the film The Renegades: A Beep Baseball Story, this Thursday, June 21 at 7pm at the Cinema Theater on the corner  of S. Clinton and S. Goodman.

News from APH and AFB with deadlines for you

Jun 18, 2018
American Printing House for the Blind

Over the past year, AFB has been implementing a new strategic plan approved by the AFB board of trustees in June of 2017. As we hope you are already aware from our earlier press release and social media posts, the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) will become the steward of several key programs founded by AFB, including AFB Press, and will assume responsibility for ensuring their continued impact.

What do you do when you learn that your child has a vision impairment?  You feel so alone and don't know where to go for help.

The American Foundation for the Blind has a resource called Family Connect where you can find help after receiving a diagnosis of visual impairment.  There's also a Family Connect blog where you can read real stories like you.  There are also educational resources available and information in Spanish.

Learn more about AFB's FamilyConnect and Join the Community.


Many Americans think loss of vision is a normal part of aging. Think again. The number one cause of vision loss is actually a disease called macular degeneration. This episode of Second Opinion describes the disease and how you may be able to prevent it from compromising your vision.

Host Dr. Peter Salgo speaks with Retinal Expert Michael Rivers, M.D., Ophthalmologist Steven J. Rose, M.D.  and Low Vision Expert Dr. Gwen Sterns, M.D.

This June 7-10, 2018 the New York State School for the Blind (NYSSB) and its Alumni Association will be celebrating milestone anniversaries.  NYSSB turns 150 and the Alumni Association turns 100!

You can get in on the celebration by attending the annual reunion of the Alumni Association that will take place June  7 through 10 at the Quality Inn in Batavia.  To reserve your space, contact Alumni Treasurer Chet Smalley at (814) 566-6332.

Re-Imagine RTS, for background Listen Here

May 11, 2018
Democrat and Chronicle

Earlier this spring the Regional Transit Service announced Re-Imagine RTS, a proposal to overhaul, simplify and streamline the Regional Transit Service.  But how might these changes impact you? 

On Wednesday, May 23 at 12:00 p.m. WXXI-AM 1370's Evan Dawson spoke with RTS CEO Bill Carpenter about ReImagine RTS.  Listen Here.

Original Post:

Recently the Democrat and Chronicle reported the following: