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  1. BlindNewWorld’s Top 10 Assistive Tech Innovations in 2017

    2017 was a big year for assistive technology for the blind and visually impaired. While some products are still in development, it’s exciting to see so much in the works! We’ve compiled 10 of our favorite tech advancements from the last year. Which ones are you most excited about?     Wayband by Wear.Works This wearable device guides users to a specified location using vibration. The Wayband helps the visually impaired navigate the world unassisted, and it was used during the New York City Marathon for the first time in…

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  2. Marvelous Adventures with Marly and Aerie

    My name is Juliet Cody. I am an immigrant from Colombia. When I was a child, to stay in touch with our strong ties to the tropical beaches of the Caribbean, my parents moved our family to the beautiful beaches of Southern California, where I still reside. I have a daughter, and taught pre-kindergarten until blindness struck. Despite this unexpected life event, I chose not to sit in the dark. Instead, I turned on the light of independence – I became involved in the blind community and returned to school…

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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. Lessons Learned from the Story of Gennet Corcuera

    My grandmother lost sight in one eye due to an accident when she was only 18 years old. And this has made me aware, since I was born, of the difficulties and barriers that people with reduced vision have to face – and the effort required for a person who is disabled to do daily, basic things such as reading, walking, or cooking, just to name some examples. My mother, who suffered from sudden and permanent hearing loss in one ear after surgery, has also given me insight into what it means to…

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  7. Unseen Obstacles Ahead, but Tapping Out a Positive Future

    Here is a cocktail napkin version of my story. I had excellent vision until the age of 34, never wore glasses. My world started getting darker, and moving objects suddenly disappeared from sight – not good when driving. My initial academic goal was to get a Bachelors in Information Technology (IT). Life hands you a lemon, make some lemonade. I changed my major to Psychology. The brain and the mind for me were analogous to computers and software, just a little more complex. Earned my B.A. in Psychology with a…

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  8. Changing the World, One Person at a Time

    I was 17 years old when I was told that the life I had planned for myself was simply not possible. I was sitting in an ophthalmology exam room after hours of testing, waiting to get answers. I was very aware that my vision was not normal. I had been wearing glasses since I was in first grade, and every year when I visited the optometrist, they told me I needed a stronger prescription. I had told numerous people, both in school and at home that I could not see…

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  9. What do I use braille for in 2017?

    I started to learn braille when I was only a toddler. By the age of four and a half I entered school being able to read and write uncontracted braille. I then progressed onto grade 2 (contracted braille) and the maths and science codes. Braille was the foundation of my education. It enabled me to access books, to participate in the classroom and to write down my ideas. I was an avid reader, and braille opened up many worlds to me. I have talked extensively about the impact braille has had…

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  10. Growing up blind in 1940s and how I learned to read as an Adult

    Growing up, I went to Catholic school in the 40’s. In first or second grade, the nuns asked the kids to open up a book and read. I opened up the book, but the print was too small to read the page. So I had to put my head very close down to the page in order to read it. A nun grabbed my neck and told me to stop goofing around and to read the book. But I couldn’t see it, so I put my head down again. The…

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