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for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

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Takeaways from "Medicare Should Pay for Low Vision Devices: Views Through Different Lenses" Teleseminar

On October 4, 2017 AFB and the 21st Century Agenda on Aging and Vision Loss hosted a teleseminar, "Medicare Should Pay for Low Vision Devices: Views Through Different Lenses." We would like to thank all of the panelists (listed below) and participants who joined us for this informative discussion. A special thanks goes out to VFO who generously sponsored the event. Following are a few of the main takeaways from the call: Medicare must determine that low vision devices are eligible durable medical equipment


North Texas Community Comes Together to Benefit the AFB Center on Vision Loss

We did it! Thanks to all of you the AFB Center on Vision Loss (CVL) reached the $5,000 challenge goal during North Texas Giving Day on September 14 . In addition, our generous challenge grant donors contributed another $5,000 when we hit the goal! In total, you helped us raise $13,025 benefitting the Center on Vision Loss. The AFB Center on Vision Loss focuses on increasing the numbers of persons with visual impairment served in the North Texas region. Funding from the giving day will


You Don't Have to Be Afraid of Going Blind

Kirk Adams is president and CEO of the American Foundation for the Blind. This weekend in the New York Times, personal health writer Jane E. Brody tackled a sensitive topic: the fear, isolation, and anxiety that many people experience when losing their sight. The Worst That Could Happen? Going Blind, People Say. In 2007, AFB commissioned a national study on people's attitudes and opinions of severe vision loss


Happy White Cane Day, from the American Foundation for the Blind!

White Cane Day is October 15! Every year since it was first established in 1964, this day has been set aside to celebrate the white cane as a symbol of independence and mobility for people who are blind or visually impaired. In honor of White Cane Day, the American Foundation for the Blind is celebrating across its entire family of sites: The AFB Directory of Services can connect you to agencies around the country that offer orientation and mobility trainingthe use


When You Can't "Catch 'em All": Overcoming Social Isolation As an Individual Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired

Image: Left to right, William Reuschel stands with Aaron Preece, looking at an iPhone, while Aaron's guide dog, Joel, appears to look for a Pidgey. It's time to dust off the old Gameboy, find the faded trading cards, and watch cartoons starring Ash Ketchum because Pokémon is making a HUGE comeback. The makers of Pokémon, Nintendo America, in cooperation with Niantic Labs, have introduced a new mobile app game, Pokémon Go. This international craze has taken over the world. It is in the news, on social media, and all over town. But what


"Yours Is a Different Understanding of Architecture": Helen Keller’s House in Easton, Connecticut

Image: Left to right, Helen Keller standing with Polly Thomson at the door to their home in Easton, Connecticut, circa 1955. AFB is thrilled to publish the third in our series of posts focusing on newly digitized items in the Helen Keller Archival Collection. This week’s post is from historian David Serlin, an associate professor in the Department of Communication at the University of California-San Diego. Enormous thanks to David for contributing such a fascinating, thoughtful, and thought-provoking blog post.


Pokémon GO: Let’s Catch ’em All!

By William Reuschel and Aaron Preece Image: Aaron Preece stands with his guide dog Joel and a Pidgey Pokémon. Pokémon mania is sweeping the nation once again! The latest incarnation of the game that has players collecting and battling fictional creatures is called Pokémon GO, but this version is a little different from past games. You cant play GO on your couch. In fact, youll have a hard time playing it indoors at all. Pokémon GO is all about getting players outside and interacting with various points of interest around their towns.


Four Ways Google Is Building a More Accessible World for the Visually Impaired

On the heels of major accessibility announcements from Twitter and Facebook, tech giant Google recently highlighted its own efforts to build a more inclusive world for people with disabilities. Here are four ways Google is working to improve the lives of people who are blind or visually impaired: 1.


Stevie Wonder Calls for Accessibility at Last Night’s Grammys—Bravo, Stevie!

I am still applauding Stevie Wonders call for accessibility at last nights Grammys; it was fabulous. First, he made everyone laugh when he teased the audience with a na na nana nayall cant read this huh? referring to the fact that the Song of the Year winner was written in braille. And then right before he announced Thinking Out Loud as Song of the Year, he said, We need to make


What Do You Do When Sighted People Grab Your Arm in Public?

Editor's note: We weren't too surprised to read the following question in the most recent installment of "Dear Prudence" on Slate: Q. Blindness: I am blind, and I wear dark glasses and use a cane. My problem is that everywhere I go, strangers will come up and grab me to help me walk and yell at me as if I am deaf. I know they mean well, but it throws off my balance when they grab me and it’s scary. I get a headache from people yelling at me. I can hear quite well so what can I do? Being blind does not mean I can’t walk or hear. I find myself staying home rather than deal with people. Suggestions?


Christine Ha Interview: Visually Impaired Chef, Author, and TV Personality

Christine Ha, Chef and Author Interview 3 with Christine Ha, winner of MasterChef U.S. season 3 on FOX, New York Times best-selling author of Recipes from My Home Kitchen (2013), co-host of "Four Senses, Canada" on AMI, and AFB Helen Keller Achievement Award winner Interview Date: September 11, 2015 AFB CareerConnect: Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. AFB and AFB CareerConnect truly value you, your representation as a role model, and the passion and talent that you bring to the world.


Living (and Succeeding) with Vision Loss

If you havent read this USA Today piece on what its like to be visually impaired, you should. Every year or almost every year, my friend Mickey Damelio includes me in his Florida State University class called the Blindness Experience, which he has designed over the years. I feel lucky to have gone to graduate school with Mickey at Florida State University. He became one of my first friends from the program when he asked me to attend the free MTV on Campus concert with his wife and him. He is also the guy who introduced me to Paralympic sports and goalball. We were in a class on the psychosocial aspects of blindness taught by Lynda


"Nature has the power to renew and refresh.." Helen Keller

Helen Keller reveled in nature. Her enjoyment of physical exercise and her love of the outdoors is beautifully captured in an article written 80 years ago this month and published in "The Guardian," a magazine "For Leaders of Camp Fire Girls." Read the transcription below and become inspired to stretch those limbs and enjoy the spring! Introduction: Among our hundreds of thousands of joyous Camp Fire Girls there are some who are blind, some who are deaf and some who are otherwise handicapped. We thought of them especially when we read Helen Keller’s article in Good Housekeeping which she called "Nature’s


Self-driving Bicycles Add to Transportation, Fitness, Independence for Blind Riders

I heard such exciting news this morning! A well-known drone company, Auto-Fly, and a major bicycle manufacturer, Trekker, have teamed up to make a self-driving bicycle. The new device has pedals and seat much like a conventional bike, but the steering and braking are handled by electronic and mechanical devices based on recreational drone technology. What's exciting about this? Soon I'll be riding my bike to work! Imagine, the only obstacle to riding my old-fashioned bike is ... obstacles. With the new drone-bike, I set my destination on my phone, hop on my bike, and pedal. The bike navigates the streets


February Is Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Month

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss for people aged 60 and older in the United States. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), 10-15 million individuals have AMD and about 10% of those affected have the "wet" type of age-related macular degeneration. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration, here is just a small sampling of resources from the American Foundation for the Blind to help you cope with this condition.


A Blind Professional's Take on the Batman Episode, "This American Life"

A friend of mine sent me a link to an episode of NPR's "This American Life" on Dan Kish. I had not heard it yet, though I do listen to that show often. I listened to the piece right away, and I thought I would share my take on the piece. First of all, Dan Kish is an extremely successful and brilliant individual who is blind. He has trained youth and adults who are blind or visually impaired on how to travel independently for a long time. He founded World Access for the Blind, and trains individuals in the skill of echolocation, orientation and mobility, and independence. I should preface this by


Blind Boy Has White Cane Taken From Him, Replaced With A Pool Toy

Recently, you may have read a story or seen it on the news about the little boy whose white cane was taken away from him because of behavior reasons. I wanted to take a minute to discuss this situation and why this is so wrong. The purpose of the white cane is to be a tool to allow a person or child who is blind or visually impaired independence. As a person who is blind or visually impaired who depends on the use of my white cane for travel and independence, I am truly upset by this. We teach youth and adults who are blind or visually impaired to keep their cane with them. We encourage them to use it. The white cane is a tool and a pool toy is not a