Browse By Topic: Cultural Diversity

New Research: Medicaid Recipients with Glaucoma Receive Substantially Less Testing Than Persons with Commercial Health Insurance

Glaucoma often is called "the sneak thief of sight" for good reason: Many people are unaware that glaucoma has few symptoms or warning signs in its early stages. Early treatment for glaucoma can usually (but not always) slow the progression of the disease. However, as of yet, there is no cure for glaucoma. Because glaucoma has no obvious initial symptoms and is a chronic condition that must be managed for life, regular comprehensive dilated eye exams, consistent monitoring, and


American Foundation for the Blind Leadership Conference Recap: Some Critical Issues for Older Persons with Vision Loss

Guest blogger Kay McGill (pictured at left recording a Public Service Announcement) is the manager of Project Independence: Georgia Vision Program for Adults Age 55 and Over. The Georgia Vision Program is administered by the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency and provides the following services to people who are at least 55 years old and have vision loss or a combined vision and hearing loss: comprehensive


New Research: Ebola Survivors Have Ongoing Risk of Eye Disease, Even When the Initial Outbreak Has Concluded

Although worldwide attention was focused on the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, considerably less attention – until now – has been paid to the eye and vision complications resulting from the disease. This month, a group of researchers from the United States, Liberia, and Uganda have published data describing the ocular findings, visual impairment, and associated complications of Ebola in a group of survivors in Monrovia, Liberia. They conclude that "survivors of Ebola virus disease (EVD) are at risk for uveitis (explained below), which may lead to eye


African-American Patients: Highest Risk for Diabetic Retinopathy and Lowest Rates for Follow-Up Eye Care – What Kind of Education Is Needed?

A retina withdiabetic retinopathy An emerging body of diabetes, vision, and health care research indicates that significant disparities in the quality and equity of eye care exist throughout the United States, more specifically within the African American and Latino patient communities. This research includes an evaluation of the disparities in screening rates for diabetic retinopathy among minority patients, an examination of


A Powerful New Report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine: Making Eye and Vision Health an Imperative for All Americans

The National Academiesof Sciences, Engineering,and Medicine logo Several recent United States-based eye and vision research projects, including the Los Angeles Latino Eye Study and the Philadelphia Glaucoma Detection and Treatment Project, have highlighted significant disparities in the quality and equity of eye care throughout the country, including barriers within the health care and public


Notes on Blindness: A Remarkable Film About Professor John Hull's Experience of Blindness Receives Strong Reviews

"Vision, in ordinary circumstances, is seamless and gives no indication of the underlying processes on which it depends. It has to be decomposed, experimentally or in neurological disorders, to show the elements that compose it." ~Oliver Sacks, M.D., In the River of Consciousness Touching the Rock: An Experience of Blindness Touching the Rock: An Experience of Blindness, first published in 1990, is the


New Research: Results from the Philadelphia Glaucoma Detection and Treatment Project

New glaucoma research, initially presented at the American Glaucoma Society 24th Annual Meeting, concludes that targeting individuals at risk for glaucoma in underserved communities – in this case, Philadelphia – can yield a high detection rate of glaucoma-related diagnoses. The authors conclude that "providing examinations and offering treatment at community-based sites providing services to older adults are effective ways to improve access to eye care by underserved


New Macular Degeneration Research from the Los Angeles Latino Eye Study

New results from the Los Angeles Latino Eye Study indicate that early – as opposed to later and more severe – vision changes resulting from macular degeneration (AMD) are associated with a lower self-reported vision-specific health-related quality of life. According to study co-author Dr. Rohit Varma, "The study results are a wake-up call for both ophthalmologists and those in the Latino community to avoid a quality of life decline due to ocular conditions, especially in earlier stages of eye diseases


During Black History Month: Learn about Two Pioneering African-American Educators in the Blindness Hall of Fame

The Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field honors, at present, 56 individuals who were pioneers in the blindness field and shaped the field's history, philosophy, knowledge, and skills, while providing outstanding service to people who were blind and visually impaired. The Hall of Fame, which belongs to the entire field of blindness, is located within, and is curated by, the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) in Louisville, Kentucky. You can learn more about APH's long and storied history


Announcing the National Federation of the Blind 2015 Annual Writing Contest

As a sister/fellow writer, I was delighted to receive the following update from author Donna W. Hill about the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) 2015 Annual Writing Contest. Donna is a writer, disability advocate, blogger, speaker, songwriter, and author of the young adult adventure-mystery novel The Heart of Applebutter Hill (pictured at left). You can read more about Applebutter Hill, which depicts the adventures, setbacks, challenges, and successes of 14-year-old legally blind heroine Abigail and her guide dog Curly


New Research: "Blindness Simulation" Activities May Do More Harm than Good

New research findings from the University of Colorado indicate that blindness simulations – intended to be bridge-builders resulting in greater compassion and understanding – can sometimes harm rather than help. According to the authors, simulation activities, and blindness simulations in particular, "highlight the initial challenges of becoming disabled" and thus "decrease the perceived adaptability of being disabled and reduce the judged capabilities of disabled people." The lead author is Arielle Silverman, now a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington in Seattle, who is blind and has experienced a variety of reactions from the public, related to people's


Meet Nancy D. Miller, CEO of VISIONS/Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired in New York City

Ms. Nancy D. Miller, LMSW, began working with people of all ages who are blind, visually impaired, and multi-disabled in 1971. Since 1987, she has been Executive Director/CEO of VISIONS/Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired, an 88-year-old vision rehabilitation and social service organization in New York City. Ms. Miller has a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Cornell University, a Master of Science degree in Social Work from Columbia University, and is a New York State licensed social worker. In


What's So Wrong with "Elderspeak," Anyway? Answer: Everything

Hypocorisma: It's the bane of older adulthood. What is hypocorisma, you ask? Here is a helpful (and perceptive) definition from Maeve Maddox at the excellent Daily Writing Tips blog: Hypocorisma is a type of euphemism derived from a Greek word meaning "pet name." The English word hypocorism may be defined as "the diminutive or otherwise altered version of a given name." The use of diminutives and pet names is usually an indication of affection or intimacy, but sometimes hypocorisma is used to diminish, infantilize, or insult. For example, the


Is Glaucoma a Genetic Disease? Three New Research Projects Pinpoint Six Specific Genes

Three new research projects exploring the role of genes – and six genes in particular – as possible causes of glaucoma have been published simultaneously in the August 31, 2014 online edition of Nature Genetics. Nature Publishing Group (NPG) is a publisher of scientific and medical information in print and online. NPG publishes a range of journals across the life, physical, chemical, and applied sciences and clinical medicine. Although research scientists are the primary audience, news summaries and articles make many of


Meet Kooshay Malek, MA, MFT, Marriage and Family Therapist – Who Also Happens to Be Blind

Kooshay Malek, MA, MFT, is a marriage and family therapist in Los Angeles, California. She also writes for the Discovery Eye Foundation Blog, which features lively, up-to-date information on eye disease, eye research, nutrition, low vision, technology, and healthy lifestyle choices. The following essay, in which Kooshay recounts her concurrent personal, medical, and educational journeys from Tehran to Boston to Los Angeles, was first published on the Discovery Eye Blog as


The Imago Maris Foundation: Sailing the Seas with an Integrated Blind and Sighted Crew

The Imago Maris Foundation, headquartered in Warsaw, Poland, recently launched an international program to promote sailing on the high seas, integrate crews of blind, visually impaired, and sighted sailors, and provide meaningful sailing and travel experiences. About the Imago Maris Foundation The primary goal of the Imago Maris Foundation is to promote the rehabilitation and integration of men and women who are blind or visually impaired through active participation in sea voyages; in addition, the Foundation seeks to demystify blindness by utilizing fully integrated (50% blind, 50% sighted) crews. Every person, regardless of visual status, performs all tasks related to the operation of the ship. According to


It's Vision Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT) Appreciation Week: My Life as a VRT

Did you know that this week (June 22-28) is Vision Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT) Appreciation Week? Now you do. As a longtime – and proud – Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist (CVRT), I have been asked by my colleagues to compose a paean, of sorts, to the "greatest profession." What Is a Vision Rehabilitation Therapist? Vision Rehabilitation Therapists (VRTs)


Why Do We Fear the Blind? My Answer: I Don't. Do You?

Rosemary Mahoney, author of the forthcoming (January 14, 2014) book For the Benefit of Those Who See: Dispatches from the World of the Blind, has published a provocative op-ed "teaser" for her book in the January 4, 2014 edition of the New York Times. Entitled Why Do We Fear the Blind?, Ms. Mahoney's op-ed describes her work as an English teacher of blind students at the


Where I've Been: My Blindness Work in Central Europe

Last month, I took a break from my duties at VisionAware.org to visit Central Europe, teach in the post-graduate Low Vision Therapy program at the Akademia Pedagogiki Specjalnej im. Marii Grzegorzewskiej (the Maria Grzegorzewska Academy of Special Education) in Warsaw, and attend a Board of Directors meeting for the Kielce-based VEGA Foundation, directed by my longtime friend and colleague Agnieszka (Agnes) Janicka-Maj.


The International Disability Film Festival Wants to Hear from Blind Film Lovers

The San Francisco LightHouse for the Blind and Visualy Impaired and the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability at San Francisco State University are the new co-hosts of Superfest, the world's longest-running disability film festival. This year's Superfest, to be held on October 12, 2013, at 3543 18th Street, San Francisco, California, will "…take a powerful look backward to explore the worst of the worst in the film representation of disability. We'll feature many telling examples of how far we've come, and we'll highlight the worst of the


Two Pioneering African-American Educators to be Inducted into the Blindness Hall of Fame

The Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field honors, at present, 50 individuals who were pioneers in the blindness field and shaped the field's history, philosophy, knowledge, and skills, while providing outstanding service to people who were blind and visually impaired. The Hall of Fame, which belongs to the entire field of blindness, is located within, and is curated by, the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) in Louisville, Kentucky. You can learn more about APH's long and storied history


Guest Blogger John Miller: Blogging against "Disablism" with a Dual Disability

Guest blogger John Miller is a writer, sports enthusiast, former graduate student, and author of the blog A Blind Man's Journey, whom we first met – and profiled – in Meet John Miller on the VisionAware website. John's blog describes his long and not-yet-finished journey, beginning with his early childhood and diagnosis with Norrie disease, which causes blindness and progressive hearing impairment, to his current life as an employee of


Getting On with Life when the Rules Change by VisionAware Peer Advisor DeAnna Quietwater Noriega

Guest blogger DeAnna Quietwater Noriega (at left) is an Independent Living Specialist and facilitator of the Vision Impairment and Blindness Exploration and Support (VIBES) Group at Services for Independent Living (SIL) in Columbia, Missouri. She is half Apache, a quarter Swan Creek Chippewa, and has been blind since age eight. DeAnna is a poet, writer, legislative public policy advocate, and Peace Corps veteran. You can learn more about DeAnna's life and work at her VisionAware Peer Advisor


My Amazing Amazon Adventure by VisionAware Peer Advisor Michelle Miller, LCSW

Guest blogger Michelle Miller, LCSW, is a licensed psychotherapist and professional grant writer who also serves as Director of Client Services for Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind in Washington, D.C. Michelle has advocated on behalf of clients with disabilities as an expert witness for legal matters and serves as a consultant to "vision awareness" events and documentaries. She is a board member with Guide Dogs for the Blind and the New Hope Development Corporation, a non-profit organization for underserved children and families she


In Memoriam: Professor Whitestick

I have always been an avid follower of blind bloggers – and of arts bloggers who are blind, in particular. My favorite has always been Professor Whitestick, whom I featured in a VisionAware Blogroll Love post last year: Professor Whitestick's Blog Professor Whitestick is the voice (and considerable intellect) that informs the deeply felt cultural and artistic observations on Professor Whitestick's Blog. The Professor describes himself and his reasons for


A New App Including Verbal Imaging Audio Tours at the Guggenheim Museum New York

The Verbal Imaging Tour App The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York has announced the launch of a new app, which includes its first-ever Verbal Imaging audio tour for visitors who are blind or have low vision. The app is free, T-coil compatible, and is available on site with museum admission or from iTunes. The new Verbal Imaging tour focuses on the Guggenheim's full-rotunda exhibition, Gutai: Splendid Playground, with 11 stops that guide visitors from the bottom to the top of the rotunda. It


"My Life in Korea" by VisionAware Peer Advisor Lenore Dillon

Guest blogger Lenore Dillon, CVRT, has over 30 years of experience in all aspects of Vision Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT). Her experiences include both direct service provision (itinerant and center-based) and administration of VRT programs. She served as a faculty instructor at Northern Illinois University and was an associate professor from 2002-2005 at Korea Nazarene University in Chonan City, South Korea. You can learn more about Lenore's work as a VRT on her


Remembering Le Dan Bach Viet: 1961-2011

I first published this tribute in January 2011, on the former VisionAware blog. The blog was on hiatus in early 2012, the first anniversary of Bach Viet's death; thus, I'm publishing it now (updated and revised), so that our new readers can learn about this inspired – and inspiring – blindness professional. A Sorrowful Message from Vietnam Two weeks ago, I received an email with a sorrowful message that had been forwarded from Dr. Minh Kauffman, Director of the Center for Educational Exchange with Vietnam: With great sadness, I must tell you that Le Dan Bach Viet


BlogHer '12: A Whole New Way of Thinking

Last week, I had an excellent (and educational) immersion in all things social media-related at BlogHer '12, BlogHer's 8th Annual Conference, held this year in New York City, from August 2-4. (Bonus: Whenever anyone asked where I was from, I was able to point downtown while saying, "About twenty blocks from here.") About BlogHer for the Uninitiated So what is BlogHer? Here's an explanation from the BlogHer website (i.e., The Mothership):


On Meeting a Sighted Person

I'm guessing that most of us – both within and outside the blindness field – have encountered some version of the classic What to do when you meet a blind person or When you meet a person who is blind. These widely available instructional guides offer tips and techniques to help sighted people interact more effectively with – and avoid offending – people who are blind. Most include


The Traveleyes Blind/Sighted Travel Experience

As many VisionAware readers know, travel is one of my great passions. Thus, I was very interested to learn more when I was contacted by Traveleyes, a United Kingdom-based tour operator specializing in providing holidays for groups of blind/visually impaired and sighted travelers, journeying together "in a spirit of mutual independence." The mission of Traveleyes is to enable blind and visually impaired men and women to


A Dialogue at Lunch with the Blind Food Critic and another Dialogue about Dialogue in the Dark

Many good things have happened in Daniel Aronoff's professional life recently, so I wanted to catch up with him again (and participate in yet another of his semi-decadent restaurant reviews, thinly disguised as a follow-up VisionAware Personal Story). Daniel is New York City's premier (and only, methinks) blind food critic. You can read about his always-interesting culinary experiences at


Final Thoughts about the Meaning(s) of Blindness

It's a well-known fact that I love Twitter; still, the discussion I've been having with my blind Twitter followers about "words for blindness" takes my Twitterlove to new heights! Here's a recap: I asked my Twitter followers the following question via @visionaware: "I'm working on a story about words for blindness. Which words do you like? Which words do you emphatically not like?" That question triggered an intense, intelligent, and


More Thoughts about the Meaning(s) of Blindness: Words for Blindness

Last week, I initiated this somewhat esoteric exploration with a post entitled Initial Thoughts on the Meaning(s) of Blindness, Via Art, in which I explored the (mostly unanswerable) philosophical questions that surround the meanings of sight, vision, blindness, and cognition. But this week it gets real. No more philosophical flights of fancy or theoretical issues. This week, my Twitter followers speak out – and do they ever! Here's the question


Initial Thoughts on the Meaning(s) of Blindness, via Art

Although I report most often on research and breaking news about blindness and vision loss, I also like to take the occasional flight of fancy and explore the (mostly unanswerable) philosophical questions that surround the meanings of sight, vision, blindness, and cognition. My Blog Inspirations Recently, I was inspired by philosopher Alva Noë's series on the National Public Radio (NPR) blog 13.7: Cosmos and Culture.


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