January 3 2012 Vision Issues Newsletter
Your Vision Issues Newsletter: Volume One Issue one
Week of January 1/1 – 1/7/2012
I. EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY:
The issue of employment for visually impaired/blind individuals continues to be a top priority. The idea of a home-based job is an attractive thought, but finding a company and the correct match for the person is a challenge. One government supported company I came in contact with offering several different types of home-based jobs is called; “Abilitylinks.orgg the Company acts as a middle man in matching a visually impaired/blind individual with an employer. The website offers an online method for applying for a job. Just log-on and follow the directions for sending your resume (need to have a completed resume ready for posting). A counselor will review the resume and contact you to begin the process of applying for a position that is suitable for your skills and work experience. The last time I reviewed the site a list of 24 positions was available.
The website address of course, is: www.abilitylinks.org. Good luck with the job hunt. Be sure and post your experiences with the website on the “Vision Issues Forum.” You will find a separate forum for posting Job Hunt Stories. Thanks! Best of luck!
II. HEALTH and MEDICAL UPDATE:
The importance in advancements in the area of vision is becoming more of a priority because somewhere in the world a person goes blind every 5 seconds. Approximately, 6 million people in the United States are losing or have lost their vision to an eye disease and the number is expected to grow in the coming years.
Advancements in the medical field dealing with blindness are reported each year. Two new advancements include the replacement of the Cornea of the eye and the development of an artificial retina. Replacing the cornea of a donor’s eye to the eye of a blind individual has resulted in the development of the first stage of sight. The patient developed the ability to see color and shapes but not definition or depth perception.
The artificial retina is a special pair of glasses fitted with a camera which, develops black and white pictures and then through an implant sends the pictures to the eye via the optic nerve. The artificial retina is currently being tested with patients who are dealing with the eye disease retinitis pigmentosa. You can read more about the developments at:
I do not live my life hoping for the return of vision but I always keep a check on the developments in case I have the opportunity. Never give up your hopes and dreams.
III. FEDERAL, STATE, OR LOCAL GOVERNMENT ISSUES:
I live in the State of Illinois and one issue proposed was to make it illegal for a blind individual to teach travel/mobility skills to another blind individual.
I attended The Louisiana Center for the Blind and was trained by an excellent travel/mobility instructor who was totally blind. In fact, she has artificial implants in place of her eyes. My instructor was well trained and I felt safe and secure during my training sessions. What do you think about the proposed legislation? Go the Vision Issues Forum and post your thoughts on the Blind Travel/mobility Instructors forum! Thanks.
IV. VISUALLY IMPAIRED/BLIND ACHIEVERS:
Blind individuals are making breakthroughs in every area of life. Two great examples in the area of music include Ray Charles and Ronnie Milsap.
Ray Charles (died in 2004) is famous throughout the world as a song writer and singer. Mr. Charles is well-known in Georgia (born in Albany, Georgia) because of his version of the song “Georgia on My Mind”, which is Georgia’s state song since 1979. Ray Charles won 12 Grammy awards. You can find more information on Ray Charles by going to: www.raycharles.com.
Ronnie Milsap is most known as a country singer who was born blind in Robbinsville, North Carolina in 1944. Mr. Milsap attended the Moorehead State School for the Blind where he was taught classical music. He learned to play the piano, violin, and guitar. Ronnie Milsap continues to write and sing country songs.
Who knows, you may be the next famous musician if you check out the free music lessons on the National Library Services site and learn to play by ear. Good luck!
V. EDITOR’S NOTE:
A. New Year’s Resolutions!
Making a new year’s resolution offers an individual a chance to work on an aspect of one’s life. Many people make the resolution to lose weight, improve fitness level, stop smoking, or be a better mate/spouse. As a visually impaired individual, I have decided to improve my skills of interacting with the sighted public. I find it easier to avoid social interaction because of the issue of explaining my vision situation. I have partial vision in my left eye only allowing me to see contrasts in colors and light or darkness along with motion. But I still have very blurred and limited vision. When I travel I am told I do not look like I have a vision problem. Therefore, I have noticed people test me trying to find out if I am really visually impaired. Being more patient and explaining my condition better is my new year’s resolution. In other words, I plan on educating the people around me on my vision issue. Good luck with your new year’s resolution!
B. New Article – Music lessons National Library Services
Check it out! Go to Bella Online, click on Vision Issues, then find the sports and leisure title click and read the article.
The article about free music lessons by the National Library Services site. You can learn to play several instruments such as the piano or guitar.
Some visually impaired/blind individuals learn to play instruments using a method called; “Playing by Ear.” Some of the lessons found on the NLS site follow the playing by ear method. Doing a You Tube search on playing by ear brings up several instructional videos which, help to understand how the playing by ear method works. Check it out! Good luck!
Looking forward to your visits and forum comments until then:
Have a Great Week!
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Dean Ingalls, Vision Issues Editor
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