August Newsletter No. 273

Lego’s new Braille bricks allow blind and partially-sighted individuals to read

“One of the best-selling toys in the world, Lego, has taken a step further into exclusivity by introducing building bricks printed with letters and numbers from the braille alphabet”.

Scientists create an ‘extremely promising’ implant which stimulates the area of the brain where sight is processed

Researchers from Switzerland and Italy delivered an electric current directly to the optic nerve of rabbits via an electrode called OpticSELINE. This stimulated the animals’ visual cortex, the region of the brain where information from the retinas is processed. It is unclear whether this would enable a blind person to see, but proves the technology’s ‘potential’, the researchers claim”

What's it like to live with impaired vision

The experiences of someone who lost their sight due to diabetes.

Charity to use hi-tech glasses to help people see again

Deafblind UK has linked up with a tech firm that produces glasses specially designed to help people with visual impairments to see. The partnership involves the charity working closely withOxsight, which has developed glasses using digital technology that expand the field of vision for those with peripheral sight loss caused by conditions such as glaucoma, diabetes, retinitis pigmentosa, and other degenerative eye diseases”.

A blind heroine in an audio comic book written for a blind audience

Chad Allen has created an auditory experience that closely mimics the sensation of reading a comic book. A whooshing sound occurs whenever a panel changes; the intentionally stilted delivery of lines, as well as narration that prompts mental images, conjure a feeling of being inside a high-stakes comic book world. Aside from a slick red-and-black graphic image of Afsana created for the cover, “Unseen” has no visual art whatsoever.

Just 20% of those with sight-loss in Ireland have jobs

It was “disgraceful” that just 20 per cent of people with sight-loss, of working age, were in employment, while Irish universities had only 229 sight-less students, chief executive of the National Council for the Blind (NCBI) said on Wednesday. Further details: