Archive for August, 2009

Blind cyclist gears up for 212-mile tandem challenge

By Helen McArdle © The Herald, Glasgow, Scotland — Last year, a 11-mile circuit around Cumbrae seemed like a challenge. But today, Kerrie Brown and her tandem cycle partner, Paul McArthur, will set off on a grueling 212-mile journey from London to Paris in aid of their chosen charity, Visibility, which marks its centenary this year. It would be an ambitious undertaking for any amateur cyclist, but it is made all the more striking by the fact that Ms Brown is completely blind, and must rely entirely on Paul to guide the pair through the chaotic traffic of both cities and the long stretch of Channel Tunnel in between…. READ STORY

Teacher helps visually impaired student build strength, resilience

© Las Cruces Sun-News, New Mexico — In addition to being a special education teacher at Vista Middle School, Mike Montoya (not to be confused with Picacho Middle School Principal Michael Montoya) is also a triathlete. But when he went to the Chile Harvest Triathlon earlier this month in Socorro, N.M., he wasn’t there to compete, but to act as a guide and helper to Las Cruces High School freshman Letticia Martinez, 14, who is visually impaired and was competing in her first triathlon…. READ STORY

Guides in the making: 10 Lab pups on way to becoming helpers, friends for the blind

By Devin Felix © The Herald Journal, Logan, Utah — There’s an elite group of specialists undergoing important training in Cache Valley — very hairy specialists with paws and tails. They’re 10 puppies training to become guide dogs for the blind, and a group of their volunteer trainers meets weekly around the valley with their dogs to follow each others’ progress, offer encouragement and enjoy the company of a lot of well-behaved Labradors. The dogs and their trainers are part of Guide Dogs for the Blind, an organization that trains and provides dogs for the blind free of charge…. READ STORY

Blind snack bar operator puts trust in others

By Josh Sweigart © Middletown Journal, Ohio — Judy Good makes it look easy. All she needed, she said, was a loan from the state and a lot of help from God. Good runs Judy’s Snack Bar in the Government Services Center in Hamilton, where county and city employees and people waiting for court can pick up a sandwich, snacks or a drink for cheap…. READ STORY

Heart wide open

By Jaser Marasigan © Manila Bulletin, Philippines — “The man was born blind in order that the works of God might be displayed in him…” –John 9:3.  Every day, visually impaired pianist and vocalist Allan Gonzales lives by this quote from the Bible. His disability has never hindered him from pursuing his passion for music, and in turn, inspiring people…. READ STORY

iPhones for the Blind

By Rebecca Boyle © Popular Science — Quick, get out your iPhone. Unlock it and slide over to that game you’ve been playing when your boss isn’t looking. Now mute it, put the phone to sleep, close your eyes, and try to do that again. Can you do it? Didn’t think so. There’s not a simple way to use touchscreens when you can’t see what you’re doing, which means 10 million blind and low-vision Americans can’t use this ubiquitous technology. But what if you could feel it? What if the “slide to unlock” key was an actual slide? Even better, what if you could have a Braille iPhone?… READ STORY

Legally blind runner is a sight to behold

By Dale Bowman © Chicago Sun-Times — “I only bit the dust once,” Kim Borowicz said. That’s remarkable for any long-distance runner, let alone a triathlete with a vision impairment…. READ STORY

Basalt Lions Club helps man facing blindness

By Scott Condon ©  Post Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado — Matthew Goodwin was prepared for the biggest struggle of his young life last year as his vision in one eye deteriorated to the point where he was legally blind…. READ STORY

Ahearn: Celebrating partners for the blind

By James Ahearn © The Record, Bergen County, New Jersey — On a June day in 1928, Morris Frank, a young American businessman, arrived in New York by passenger liner from Europe. He was accompanied by his dog, Buddy, a German shepherd. They disembarked and walked to the head of the pier and out to the West Street curb…. READ STORY

Blind Missouri man learns part of baritone with keen ear

By Angie Hutschreider © Jefferson City News-Tribune, Missouri — Ken Strong is one of the newest members of the Show-Me Showboaters. Strong is a perfect fit for the group, when you consider his keen ear for notes and his ability to add the subtle note changes and provide that harmonic sound barbershop groups are known for…. READ STORY