Tuesday, May 7, 2013

TED Talk Tuesday: Dr. Oliver Sacks - Hallucinations & Our Minds

I've mentioned before that I enjoy watching the presentations held by the TED organization. For more info about the TED organization check out my previous post featuring author Susan Cain A Different Perspective on: Introverts. There are so many interesting TEDtalks that every Tuesday I'll post one up that interests me.

Since May is Mental Health Awareness month I thought

Thursday, May 2, 2013

May Is...

So its the beginning of  a new month, May to be exact and its time to inform you what May exactly is. Yes I know its the fifth month in the Gregorian calendar but there are a ton of awareness campaigns going on. In previous posts it was fairly easy to navigate through the awareness campaigns of each corresponding month but May has campaigns for days I mean literally 31 days to be exact. There are some really great campaigns and then some are just straight-up bizarre like National Hamburger Month, really? I shouldn't judge... to each their own... but really a whole month for ground meat? *smiles*

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The REAL Adventures of Helen Keller

The above image reads in bold black print 'The Adventures of Helen Keller" and beneath this heading there are four black rectangles arranged in a square two by two grid. I personally deem the above image a "F-A-I-L".

Monday, April 15, 2013

A Step in the Right Direction: Braille Burgers

I'm all for when companies strive for inclusion. The mentality is to provide the best experience for each of their customers no matter their circumstance. These altruistic goals should be celebrated but sometimes the execution of them aren't up to par. I'm testing out a new series of post entitled A Step In The Right Direction which will showcase the inclusion efforts of companies and how they can improve upon them.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Driving With Low Vision

The feeling of lost independence is a common experience among people dealing with vision loss. Many of us take for granted the privilege of driving until we no longer have the ability to do so. For many people who do not live in urban areas with mass transit having access to a car and the privilege to drive can make life difficult. Driving influences so many aspects of modern life. It lets us decide where we live, where we work and so much more. So think about what this experience must feel like for those of us dealing with vision loss.

There are several low vision specialists who actually want to give some of this sense of independence back to people with low vision. Many people with low vision have difficulty with their central vision. Our central vision only makes up about 3 to 5 percent of our overall visual field. In driving situations we mostly use our peripheral vision. Central vision allows us to see details like reading road signs and peripheral vision allows us to see bigger details.

Bioptic glasses picks up the slack for central vision loss while driving. The glasses help bring into greater detail road signs, traffic lights and other driving situations that need to be brought into detail. The Low Vision Centers of Indiana has the most comprehensive resource on Bioptic Driving in the US and maybe even the world. (website link below) The video above produced by the company gives a general introduction to Bioptic Driving.

More Information on Bioptic Driving:

Low Vision Centers of Indiana  - This website is a comprehensive resource for information on bioptic driving.

State Driving Laws - See if your state has laws regarding bioptic driving.


Driving With Stargardt's Disease - This is a post from the Low Vision Help blog written by low vision specialist Dr. Armstrong who is based in Virginia.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

April Is...

Photo Credit: Essceejulies
So my fascination with awareness campaigns
continues into the month of April which actually has the least campaigns... well according to About.com. Like I've stated previously in other posts about awareness campaigns they are great as a mass educational tool but should be looked at as a first step in helping to improve society.  

Below I highlight a few awareness campaigns that are being observed this month and their relationship to the visually impaired.

Monday, April 8, 2013

TED Talk - Dr. Francis Collins: We need better drugs

If you're a regular follower (why aren't you?) of the blog you might remember a post entitled A Different Perspective On: Introverts where I sang the praises of the TED Talks. Read the post to find out more. Basically the TED organization motto is "sharing ideas worth spreading." So I came across the above video of a talk featuring Dr. Francis Collins who is  a physician and geneticist. In the video he discusses the need to have better drugs to treat diseases especially rare ones like Stargardt's. There are over 4000 recognized diseases but only drug treatments for 250 of them. Dr. Collins theorizes that if drugs could be redesigned they can treat diseases more effectively. I personally think this is a great first step in improving people's lives as we continue on the path to cures. He also calls for the need for various stakeholders including doctors, scientists, investors and most importantly patients to work together. It's refreshing to hear that there are those individuals and groups in the medical and scientific community who are thinking progressively about solving problems. This is why I love the TED organization because it offers different perspectives to contemplate.

For a transcript of the video click the read more link below.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Teachers of the Visually Impaired Get Schooled

In the above video Ed Summers who is a visually impaired Software Accessibility Specialist at SAS Institute and Diane Brauner a Certified Orientation & Mobility Specialist conduct a workshop with teachers. These teachers work with visually impaired students and are being taught how to use the accessibility features of the Apple iPad to better serve their students. Ed himself who is visually impaired has made it one of his goals to make sure that the visually impaired have every chance to succeed in the world that is heavily being shaped by our technology usage.

Ed and Diane also wrote a brief manual on using the voiceover with Apple ios software here.

(Video Source: BloombergTV)