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"Blind"

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5 People Whose Major Disabilities Only Made Them Stronger


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Everyone loves stories about people who achieved fantastic things despite their disabilities; they make us feel better about the human race and, by extension, ourselves. Well, these stories aren't like that. These are about people who not only overcame their horrific disabilities, but did so in such balls-shatteringly unbelievable ways that they make the rest of us look like shit in the process. Prepare to feel completely worthless when compared to the awesomeness of ...

View list via Cracked 

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Welcoming Art Lovers With Disabilities


ON a recent Friday night, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York held its first public exhibition of original art made in its “Seeing Through Drawing” classes. Participants — all blind or partly sighted — created works inspired by objects in the museum’s collection that were described to them by sighted instructors and that they were also allowed to touch.

In another gallery, a tour in American Sign Language was followed by a reception for deaf visitors. And on select Fridays, new “multisensory stations” invite all guests — including those with a range of disabilities — to experience exhibits though scent, touch, music and verbal imaging, or describing things for people with vision impairment.
“The Met has a long history of accessibility for people with disabilities,” said Rebecca McGinnis, who oversees access and community programs. As early as 1908, the museum provided a “rolling chair” for people with mobility issues, and in 1913 held talks for blind public school children, she said. Today, there are programs for people with disabilities nearly every day...

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/27/arts/artsspecial/welcoming-art-lovers-with-disabilities.html?_r=1&

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Blind People 'Face Increasing Lack Of Support'




Guide dog
Video: Many local authorities are restricting rehabilitation help for the blind
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By Rhiannon Mills, Sky Reporter
Blind people are being left to fend for themselves - and in less than 10 years could have no support from local councils, a leading charity has warned.
The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) said there had been a 43% drop in the number of blind and partially sighted people getting even basic council support.
That is down from 55,875 people to 31,740 since 2005, according to the RNIB's Facing Blindness Alone study.
But the charity fears that in just 10 years' time not a single blind or partially sighted person will receive any support from their council if the trend continues.
The research also found that a growing number of local authorities are restricting access to rehabilitation or only offering a six-week course.
Read more at News Sky
(http://news.sky.com/story/1139513/blind-people-face-increasing-lack-of-support)

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Deaf and blind artist wins award


Minerva Hussain with his award-winning work.Minerva Hussain with his award-winning work.
  • Minerva Hussain with his award-winning work.
  • A close-up shot of the detail Minerva put into his Chester Zoo piece with the monorail, safari truck and a host of animals cheekily peeping from behind the shrubs and trees in their enclosures.
  • Minerva created this textured representation of Tutankhamun when studying at Mid Cheshire College.


A DEAF artist has been commended for his intricate work based on Chester Zoo – made all the more remarkable because he has been blind since he was a teenager.
Minerva Hussain has Usher syndrome, which started to affect his sight when he was 18, gradually getting worse until he was left with just peripheral vision.
But the 44-year-old uses photographs, a magnifying glass and his memory to create vivid, incredibly detailed and tactile work that the viewer can see with their fingers as well as their eyes.
His Chester Zoo collage is full of different animals hiding and peeping from behind thick paper foliage and stiff cardboard fences, the enclosures are covered in glassy plastic, and he has included safari trucks, a ticket office and the zoo’s much-loved monorail.
“It was hard work, especially with my sight, to do everything myself,” he said.
“I cut out everything – there was a lot of sweat involved when I was sat down cutting things out and I had to make sure there was plenty of light so I could see everything.
“It took five weeks to do.”
Read the full article and view the video at Northwich Guardian 

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The Oregon Zoo Invited Visually-Impaired Children To Touch A Sleeping Tiger

by: Ryan Broderick 
July 25, 2013 

Nikki is 235-pound Siberian tiger that was having her physical last week.

Nikki is 235-pound Siberian tiger that was having her physical last week.

When Nikki went under the gas the Oregon Zoobrought in a dozen children who were all visually-impaired, and a few who were completely blind.

When Nikki went under the gas the Oregon Zoo brought in a dozen children who were all visually-impaired, and a few who were completely blind.

According to The Wall Street Journal, a lot of the children were surprised at how rough Nikki’s fur was.

According to The Wall Street Journal , a lot of the children were surprised at how rough Nikki's fur was.

Ten-year-old Zoe Christian-Parker said Nikki’s paws smelled like sweaty feet.

Ten-year-old Zoe Christian-Parker said Nikki's paws smelled like sweaty feet.

Programs like this allow visually-impaired children to learn more about animals.

Programs like this allow visually-impaired children to learn more about animals.

But it also lets the children socialize with other children with similar disabilities.

But it also lets the children socialize with other children with similar disabilities.

And Nikki gets a nice check-up out of it.

And Nikki gets a nice check-up out of it.
Read more at Buzzfeed

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Why Healthful Vending Machines Might Hurt The Blind



Look in any vending machine, and you can find plenty of snacks with dubious nutritional profiles. Take the ones in the state Capitol in Salem, Ore.
"We've got a lot of Cheetos and Pop-Tarts and candy bars and cookies and things like that," says state Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer.
She notes that the obesity epidemic has a direct impact on the state, so she introduced a bill to have vending machines on state property switch to healthful options. Like many public health advocates, Keny-Guyer stresses that she's not trying to dictate what people eat — just make it easier for them to make a healthful choice when they're pressed for time or seeking a snack. But it turns out that this public health campaign impacts an unexpected group: the blind.
In 1936, Congress gave blind vendors priority to operate vending and concessions on federal property with the Randolph Sheppard Act. States then extended the same treatment to state buildings.
Why? To create jobs for the blind. And finding employment is still a struggle for the blind today: Their unemployment rate is 70 percent, which means that the jobs and income from the Randolph Sheppard Act still matter.
Kevan Worley, director of the National Association of Blind Merchants, says "2,300 blind entrepreneurs go to work every day to feed their families because of the Randolph Sheppard Act. That's significant. It's the most successful employment program for the blind ever conceived."
Worley says the program does about $700 million in annual sales, with participating vendors earning a $46,000 median salary. And now blind vendors are worried that if junk food in the vending machines is replaced with more healthful fare, they'll take their business elsewhere. But whether this actually happens is unclear — there's some evidence that mandating 50 percent or more healthful food in vending machines harms business.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been working together with blind vendors and vending machine companies to find ways to positively impact offerings and selections without affecting the blind vendors' bottom line. Together, they are finding snacks that are affordable and actually fit in the existing vending machines, and looking at ways to highlight these options (such as little green tags that can inform and motivate consumers).
via NPR

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For Legally Blind Pole Vaulter, the Sky’s the Limit



May 16, 2013 
Steve Osunsami


At just 15 years old, Charlotte Brown has learned to fly — with a pink pole vault.
She’s not just the best pole vaulter Emory Rains High School, in Emory, Texas, has ever had, Charlotte is one of the best in the nation. She’s cleared 11 feet, 6 inches. And at the Texas state championships last week, the sophomore took eighth place — to a standing ovation.
What’s most amazing, however, is that Charlotte is legally blind. She said her vision was like looking down the inside of little black straws.
“I can’t really make up a blur even,” she told ABC News. “It just blends in for me.”
She frightened her parents, Ian and Stori Brown, when she told them that she’d like to try to jump.
“I said, ‘I have some concerns,’” Ian said.
“We never told her no,” Stori said. “We never told her she couldn’t do something, that we weren’t going to sign her up for an activity or a sport.”





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Blind Paralympian Champion Tim Reddish has Bionic Eye Implant.


Brilliant, Way to Go on February 21, 2013


‘The chip is changing my life’: Tim Reddish with the silver medal he won at the 2000 Sydney Paralympics and the OBE he was awarded in 2009
He’s won more than 50 medals swimming for his country, but Tim Reddish only ever had the pleasure of seeing a handful of them.
Diagnosed with a degenerative eye condition at the age of 31, the former Paralympian went totally blind 17 years ago.
But thanks to the fitting of a bionic eye, the 55-year-old can now see his haul in all its glory.
Mr Reddish – currently the chairman of the British Paralympic Association – told yesterday how a revolutionary retinal chip is enabling him to make out shapes and read a clock face.


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The Sat-Nav ‘smart cane’



London - Elderly people who have difficulty remembering their way home could benefit from a new Android-powered walking stick with built in sat-nav.
Fujitsu’s Next Generation Cane is designed to help the aged find their way around the city, as well as monitor vital signs like heart rate and body temperature.
Concerned family members can also follow the smart cane’s location online and receive e-mail alerts if the user falls over.
The cane comes with a companion app for users’ PCs, through which relatives or carers can programme routes to take.
As yet it cannot be asked for directions like a more typical GPS.
Japan-based Fujitsu showcased the prototype device, which looks a little like an upside down golf club, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.
Technology for the elderly is a key concern in Fujitsu’s home market, where more than 20 percent of people are over 65 – the highest proportion of senior citizens of any country in the world.
The smart cane comes equipped with various connection technologies, including GPS, 3G and WiFi, that allow it to find its way and send back information to the computer it is synced with.
Directions are given via an LED display on the handle. If the user needs to change direction, the cane vibrates and a large green arrow appears indicating where to turn.

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Video games help the blind navigate new environments


By: ROBERT T. GONZALEZ
March 23, 2012

When most of us get lost in unfamiliar territory – a hotel, for example – we consult a map to orient ourselves. But for the blind it's not so easy. With this in mind, researchers have developed a virtual gaming platform that uses other sensory cues to help blind individuals develop mental maps of new surroundings before visiting them in person.


The game platform uses virtual layouts of actual public buildings. Like a level map in a computer game, the simulated environment can be explored with a keyboard (future interfaces will use joysticks, or motion controllers like the Wii remote), but instead of using visual feedback to navigate, players don headphones and rely on auditory cues to orient themselves spatially. Players are then given a mission objective: find jewels within the building and carry them back outside, while avoiding building-roaming monsters who steal the jewels and hide them in a different location. Over time, this interaction helps the player generate an accurate mental layout not just of the simulated building, but its real-world counterpart.

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Propose the use of GPS with vision to guide blind



Posted By Admin On December 19th, 2011

Researchers from the Department of Electronics at the University of Alcala (UAH) wins the 3M Innovation Award 2011 in the area of security for their project “System location and navigation assistance to blind people using computer vision”. His proposal is to develop a tracking system and navigational assistance for the blind that allows guide them in structured indoor environments and in outdoor environments using sensor fusion of GPS and machine vision.
Pablo Fernandez and Luis Miguel Bergasa Sewer Pascual, Department of Electronics at the University of Alcala, are the winners in the Safety Innovation Award 2011 that each year gives the 3M Foundation. The proposal of these Researchers at UAH is developing a tracking system and navigational assistance for the blind to guide them in structured indoor environments (such as corridors, distributors, rooms …), as well as outdoor use fusion between a GPS sensor and a vision. The system indicates the way forward to reach a destination using acoustic information obtained through a voice synthesizer, similar to how GPS navigators do today.

In recent years, have made great progress in the field of satellite positioning systems, and thanks to these advances have been developed based business systems technology sensors Global Positioning System (GPS) for applications of accessibility and mobility of people visually impaired.

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White House tells blind people: the MPAA says we have to kill your treaty, sorry.


Jamie Love from KEI sez, "During the WIPO negotiations on disabilities, the White House has told U.S. Blind groups it will kill a WIPO treaty on copyright exceptions for persons who are blind or have other disabilities if the treaty covers audiovisual works, including those used in education, including distance teaching programs. The fight at WIPO is being fought over the definition of a work. The US wants to limit the exceptions to works [in the form of text, notation and/or related illustrations], and opposes [in any media]. India, country with a large film industry, is among those who want to exceptions to cover audiovisual works, and India is supported by other countries. Brazil has suggested the decision on audiovisual works be left to national discretion. The US delegation has sent a tough message to the blind organizations, effectively threatening to kill the treaty is AV works are included."

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