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Celebrate Vision Awareness Day!

Celebrate Vision Awareness Day!

Over 200 years ago, an innovator changed the way the visually impaired were able to learn forever. Louis Braille, who went blind at the age of 3, invented a revolutionary tool that the visually impaired use for independent literacy. This amazing system, now known as Braille, is utilized every day, all over the world. Louis’ quest for knowledge drove him to create such a system at just 15 years old. That passion and drive to learn is why today, the country is celebrating Vision Awareness Day. This day highlights those who are living with vision loss and promotes ways to help make their lives easier through education and helpful resources.

Education for the visually impaired can drastically improve their options in life. Over 70% of visually impaired people are unemployed, but with all the new technology and training, employers will be more apt to hire them.  Purchasing large-print and tactile versions of text, Braille devices, electronic notetakers , global positioning systems, hands-free computing solutions, scanning systems, screen reading and screen magnification software, and video magnification devices  are all quick and easy ways to help the visually impaired people in your life.

Even though there are numerous new, trendsetting technologies that can help the visually impaired with their day-to-day activities, knowledge and access to these resources are few and far between.  90% of how we learn is visual, so those who are visually impaired face a great challenge when attempting to get an adequate education. Most schools are simply not equipped with the training and the tools that they would need. This day reminds us that drastic measures need to be made to help change that.

The 1 million people in America who are legally blind are often forgotten by the rest of the country. This day helps celebrate them and their contributions to society. With just the right amount of guidance and the appropriate resources, everyone has the ability to excel and live life to the fullest.  Celebrate this day by supporting the visually impaired people in your life and advocate for better resources for the visually-impaired in your community.

 

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9 comments

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9:02AM PST on Nov 16, 2011

thanks for the article!

6:27AM PDT on Nov 4, 2011

Thanks for the article.

11:32AM PDT on Nov 3, 2011

While my own vision has always been 'correctable' to 20/20 or better, I've always had an interest in how someone who lacks a major sense cluster (vision, hearing) perceives the world. From experiments with a basic speech synthesis card for an XT back in the 80s to modern times with my current arrangement helping a blind roommate with his software - JAWS screen reader, Dragon NaturallySpeaking command and dictation system, OpenBook scanner interface - I've learned quite a bit about how the same world differs greatly with different senses.

One of the biggest things 'normals' should get used to is to offer, not force, help. A blind person waiting for a crossing signal will be much more open to an offer to grasp a sighted leader's elbow than to be hustled, like some rowdy or vagrant protester by a cop, by well-meaning but rude 'helpers'. The same model should apply universally; most blind folks are fully competent and only need occasional help. Their continual needs are usually met by the equipment they already have.

9:21AM PDT on Nov 3, 2011

My vision used to be over the top perfect!..I could read the tiniest writing...
Now,I can hardly read the back of a movie and I sit here with glasses on--
All started in my 40's. Happened fast.

8:14AM PDT on Nov 3, 2011

my vision is all messed up.. amazing how much we take for granted these days

6:49AM PDT on Nov 3, 2011

I have impaired vision. All my life I have found my biggest trouble is not having protection from my protectors - those who always say "you can't see well enough." Yes I can if you will kindly get out of my way and stop discriminating against us!

5:45AM PDT on Nov 3, 2011

I had a short 24 hour experience of what blind people deal with every day of their life. Over 20 years ago I tried contact lenses that my eyes didn't agree with and the eye doctor had my eyes covered for 24 hours, I decided, as he put it, rather use glasses than no sight from contacts. Never tried them again since.
I learned what energy means from a blind man that I helped from time to time. He is an older man who preferred human assistance rather than a canine. He was interviewing someone to assist him and when she left he said that she would not be appropriate for the job. He explained to me that she was not 'with him'. He said that when I was with him he knew I was there for him, but this other woman wasn't 100% there. This person, who I know, told me later on that she didn't see herself fit for this kind of work. He also had a very good sense of time, we rely on our watches, he obviously had a watch, but without looking at it he knew the approximate time that had gone by. And the amount of memory he uses, it's amazing.
So I learned to appreciate my sense of sight and I learned to appreciate what this person who had lost his sense of sight has.

7:50PM PDT on Nov 2, 2011

been blind I think is one of the worst disabilities I can handle being schizophrenic. Which I quite enjoy I love talking to my voices(michelle) and seeing mother nature(michelle)

7:07PM PDT on Nov 2, 2011

Petition signed previously, thanks.

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