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  1. Building the World’s First Multiple-line Braille E-Reader

    There is a perception, especially amongst sighted people, that Braille is yesterday’s format. Printed Braille books are cumbersome and expensive, and after all, more and more books are being released in audio format. For many sighted people, the only contact with Braille is on elevator signs or the keys of an ATM. That perception, however, would be incorrect – and here’s what we’re doing about it. Research tells us that blind people who can read Braille are significantly more likely to be employed. Indeed, in the UK, many blind people…

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  2. It’s Just a Cane

    My name is Ashley Broussard and I am an Orientation and Mobility (O&M) Specialist. I was first introduced to this field near the end of my undergraduate studies at California State University, Los Angeles when I was given an opportunity to observe an O&M lesson. That day at the Braille Institute changed my life forever. Most of the people I saw there were walking around using a long cane and I immediately felt like I was in a new world. It was so unfamiliar to me, and yet, so routine…

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  3. Qualifying for Social Security Disability Benefits with Vision Loss

    According to a recent study by the American Foundation for the Blind, over 20 million adults in the United States live with significant vision loss. Between medical tests, hospital visits, and daily accommodations, it can be difficult for those with vision loss to work and support themselves financially. If you experience severe vision loss, Social Security may be able to help. The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides monthly financial assistance to those in need. Medically Qualifying for Disability Benefits To qualify for Social Security benefits, the SSA must confirm that…

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  4. Sharing Information with My Listeners

    I’ve been a volunteer for WXXI Reachout Radio, a radio reading service in Rochester, New York, for over 30 years. Yes, thirty years! For the past few years, I’ve hosted a show of my own called “Enabled,” a weekly program designed to take a deep look into services, products and issues affecting people with vision loss. We’ve covered topics ranging from adaptive technology and audio descriptions to art history and election rights. In doing my research for this program, I have learned so much, which I have happily shared with the…

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  5. Organization and Lighting Tips to Ensure the Safety of a Person with a Visual Impairment

    My sister-in-law, who has lived with visual impairment for many years, recently came to live with my husband and me – and while we were incredibly happy to have her, we knew we were going to have to make some significant changes around the house to make it more accessible. Knowing that many people likely face similar circumstances, I thought it would be a great idea to share some tips with the BlindNewWorld audience. If you’re tasked with preparing your home for a person with a visual impairment, you may…

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  6. Spectacular BeSpecular

    The number one wish that all blind people have is to be as independent as possible in our daily tasks. Tasks that may seem simple to a sighted person can be next to impossible for a blind person without seeking help. Reading the label on food stuffs, without unnecessarily opening and spoiling the contents, for example, can be so frustrating. No matter how many times I ‘will’ my sense of smell to tell the difference between the contents of two cans, there is always a 50% chance I will open…

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  7. BlindWays, A Free Crowdsourcing App to Help Blind People Find the Bus Stop

    What is it? BlindWays is a new app for iPhone. If you’re blind and looking for a bus stop using GPS, you could easily be off target and miss your bus — because GPS is only accurate to within 30 feet. BlindWays gives people who are blind audible landmark clues they can identify with their cane, so they know they’ve reached a bus stop and not a ‘No parking’ sign. How does it work? VoiceOver software tells people who are blind what landmarks exist as they approach a bus stop. Not familiar with VoiceOver?…

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