March Newsletter No. 334

Method for the visually impaired to more easily read non-text information

How to help a visually impaired person from your smartphone

Whether you’re legally blind or just need some extra assistance with small print, apps like Be My Eyes, Aira, and Lookout can help people maintain independence. They are all reviewed at this link together with instructions on      visually-impaired-person-from-your-smartphone

10 daily habits that can permanently change your sight

Some everyday activities can have a significant impact on eye health. These include: Drinking coffee, not getting enough sleep, unprotected UV exposure, staring at screens too long, using old make-up, not eating enough vegetables, smoking, forgetting to remove contact lenses, rubbing your eyes and being stressed. The impacts are all considered at this link:

6 Vitamins you need enough of to support eye health and function

Vitamins including B vitamins, Vitamin C and E, Omega 3s and carotenoids are discussed in relation to their impact on eye health.

Touch2See Puts Sports at Your Fingertips

Even today, 87% of people with visual disabilities feel that sporting events are not easily accessible to them. Nevertheless, there are without a doubt many blind or visually impaired soccer or rugby fans who would love to experience a match with the same intensity as the thousands of other fans sitting in the bleachers. This is now possible with Touch2See, a touch-sensitive tablet invented by young entrepreneurs from Toulouse with support from Orange, CEA and Ericsson.

 At the Mobile World Congress 2023, the demonstration was awe-inspiring. A miniature version of a soccer field was reproduced using a tablet fitted with a magnetic disk. It was connected to a television broadcasting the replay of a game. Thanks to the 5G network and artificial intelligence, the solution transmits sports data captured by cameras in the stadium in real time, analyzes it and converts it into a sensory and immersive experience, all without human intervention, making the solution easily scalable. The movements of players with the ball, passes and shots are all traced in real time on the tablet through vibrations and haptic feedback that the user detects by touch. This spatial understanding of the game is enriched by a digitized and interactive audio description that communicates general information such as the name of the player with the ball, the playing time, score and any fouls, making the experience even more immersive.

Drinks recommended to reduce profound loss of vision

Lemon water and beet juice both contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which are two important nutrients that help to protect against macular degeneration and cataracts.

Visually impaired reporter backs apprenticeships after landing ‘dream job’

A visually impaired regional journalist has hailed the benefits of journalism apprenticeships after landing her “dream job”.

Emily Davison has spoken about how she was able to land a trainee reporting role with the News Shopper, in South-East London, after completing the National Council for the Training of Journalists’ Certificate in Foundation Journalism with Ability Today’s Academy for Disabled Journalists.

Emily, who was diagnosed with Septo Optic Dysplasia when she was born, previously undertook work experience with the News Shopper while studying for the course.

She is now training for her NCTJ qualifications on the job and spoke about her experience to mark National Apprenticeship Week.

Somerset visually-impaired bowlers 'excited' to represent England

Two visually-impaired bowlers are preparing to represent England internationally. Maurice Perry and Ron Homer, members of the Yeovil Bowls Club, will travel to Australia on 24 February to take part in The International Blind Bowls Association World Championships (IBBA). They will have a string down the middle of the lawn and a guide to assist them. “I love the game – it is great that I can get involved in a sport without too many adaptations,” said Mr Perry. He was introduced to the sport eight years ago, after he started to lose his sight.


RNIB bolsters audiobook library

Bloomsbury publishing company has added 600 audio books to the Royal National Institute of Blind People’s (RNIB) Talking Books library and committed to adding all new titles in the future. James Bartlett, reading services manager at the RNIB, said Talking Books grew every day and the charity was pleased Bloomsbury gifted its entire collection. ‘Talking Books are important so that the estimated two million people living with sight loss in the UK can access and enjoy books just like any other person,’ Bartlett said. Popular Bloomsbury titles requested by Talking Books users included Piranesi by Susanna Clarke, Violeta by Isabel Allende, and The Anarchy by William Dalrymple.


Northern Ireland, police sight loss partnership aims to increase awareness among officers

Police and Crime Prevention officers will speak directly to those affected by sight loss, to offer advice on home safety, scams, hate crime as well as a range of other topics. The Royal National Institute of Blind People Northern Ireland will at the same time ensure police have access to best practice guidelines to meet the needs of the 57,500 blind and partially sighted people living in Northern Ireland.

Visually impaired children falling behind sighted peers, RNIB warns

Children with vision impairment may not be receiving the support needed to achieve the same standard of success as fully sighted children, the charity said.