DEDICATED TO IMPROVING THE LIVES OF BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED PEOPLE

Resources for Partners February 19,2021

Time to Apply for Scholarships: A Resource Guide

Scholarships for college or graduate study are invaluable in making educational opportunities more widely available. A number of scholarships exist either specifically for students with vision impairment or for those with disabilities in general. Some notable examples include: Lavelle Fund for the Blind’s scholarships to specified colleges, The See the Future Fund “Education for Life College Scholarships,” Lighthouse Guild’s “College Bound and Graduate School” scholarship program, California State University Foundation’s “The Schoettler Scholars Program,” National Federation for the Blind Scholarship Program, Learning Ally’s “National Achievement Awards,” and the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education’s “Scholars Program.” Some schools offer tuition exemption. A comprehensive directory of these resources is available on Lighthouse Guild’s website: Scholarship Guide

Help With Creating Virtual Internships

Having trouble finding virtual internships for your clients? How about sharing a copy of ” Virtual Internships: A Guide for Employers, published by The John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University, with employers who may be reluctant to take on a virtual intern. It recommends six steps to success: clear objectives, well-planned onboarding and training, defined supervision, excellent communication, virtual community building and mentorship and professional development.

Intergenerational Internships: A Chance to Connect With Seniors

DOROT , “a nonprofit organization whose goal is to alleviate social isolation and provide concrete services to older adults” has virtual or hybrid opportunities in its Summer College Internship Program, and additional internships in its Summer Intergenerational Internship Program, two of which require fluency in Russian. All internships offer college credit with approval of the student’s college or university, and some include stipends. Applicants are selected on a rolling basis which began in January so don’t wait, see ” summer internships.

Honoring Black History Month: A Free Virtual Event: February 24, 1:30 – 5:00pm

Participants in this event, presented by VISIONS/Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired, can “enjoy a discussion of how Black History Month has evolved, and where we go from here, as well as a discussion of the intersection of living with disability and being Black.” The program will also include poetry reading and conversation, along with African drumming and dance. Special guest is Brian Jones, Ph.D., Associate Director of Education for the Schomburg Center for Research in Black in Culture at The New York Public Library. Learn More and Register

Online Survey Opportunity for Individuals With Visual Impairments

The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)’s survey seeks participation from people who are blind or have low vision, have worked or sought work in the past five years, use accommodations (e.g., assistive technology, additional lighting, braille) and live in the US. The survey covers employment status and related issues, as well as the social-emotional impact of vision loss, self-employment and telework. Results will be shared with technology companies, IT and HR staff, vocational rehabilitation agencies and individuals with vision loss. It takes about 30-45 minutes to complete and participants will have the opportunity to enter a raffle to win one of 15 $25 Amazon gift cards. For more information, please contact Dr. L. Penny Rosenblum, AFB Director of Research, [email protected] or 202- 202-469-6837. To take the survey: ../../AppData/Local/Packages/microsoft.windowscommunicationsapps_8wekyb3d8bbwe/LocalState/Files/Users/mkrieger/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/INetCache/Content.Outlook/XXB6IITX/Resources February 19, 2021.doc”AFB Survey The deadline to complete it is February 28, 11:59 Pacific time. 


New Project to Showcase Careers of People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

Nominations are being sought for a new, student-driven project of The Polus Center, highlighting “careers of people who are blind or visually impaired in a wide variety of occupations.” ESP students will learn interviewing techniques and how to showcase featured stories through podcasts, videos and written online profiles. The Polus Center seeks assistance in identifying people for the interviews from many careers and varying levels of experience, from entry-level jobs obtained after high school to professional positions requiring college or graduate school education. To suggest someone to be included, please send the individual’s name, occupation and contact information to:
Josh Pearson
Rick ElyWill McNamara

Agency Toolkit and “Collaboration Event” Offered by Leader Dogs for the Blind

Michigan-based Leader Dogs for the Blind has released its Leader Dog Agency Toolkits, containing “a plethora of materials for rehabilitation professionals and information for clients who are visually impaired or blind.” The toolkits showcase their offerings and demonstrate the benefits of collaboration among agencies for clients. For a free toolkit: Agency Toolkit
Leader Dog also extends an invitation to its Collaboration Event, February 24 at 3 pm EST. The event provides an opportunity for organizations within the blindness and low vision field to share resources. This month’s program focuses on Non-24, the “rare circadian rhythm disorder” that can impact sleep-wake cycles among those who are totally blind or partially sighted. For more information: Virtual Learning. To join the meeting via zoom: Collaboration Event.
 

Action Audio: Online Live Audio Stream Premieres at Australian Open

This augmented audio stream, designed for people who are blind or have low vision, is making its debut at this year’s Australian (Tennis) Open. This technology “turns spatial data from live sports into sound,” making it possible for people who have vision impairment to follow the action in real time. Action Audio will be offered during the Women’s and Men’s Finals as well. Developed through a partnership among Tennis Australia, Monash University and AKQA, Action Audio was refined with creative input from members of the blind and visually impaired community, including Blind Sports Victoria. The goal is to expand the technology to other sports and broadcasts around the world. Action Audio schedule: Women’s Singles Final: 20 Feb, 7:30PM AEDT; Men’s Singles Final: 21 Feb, 7:30PM AEDT. For more information, visit Action Audio

Online International Art Showcase for Students with Vision Loss February 28

Eye Matter, which offers free online art classes for individuals with vision loss, has extended an invitation to their online international art showcase, February 28 at 2:30 pm PST/5:30 EST. Student works will be featured, along with guest speakers. Tickets are free and can be obtained by using “this link. Tickets should be secured for each device joining the zoom program that day.

Graffiti Artist’s Awareness Campaign: Dim the Lights to Protect Your Eyes

Tony Cruz is an activist, muralist, graffiti artist, carpenter, and songwriter. He’s also legally blind. “The B-Boy lingo and thick Bronx accent are definitely New York. As he speaks the conversation about his love of art is on full display. Also prominent at the top of the chat will be Cruz’s insistence that we do more to protect our eyes,” noted an article on ” The Activated People. Cruz speaks with young people and offers street graffiti workshops. His paintings often include messages on the dangers of blue light, and when engaged with youth, he may be “popping caps off of spray paint cans and teaching the art of graffiti painting” while offering advice. Hear Cruz talk about his art and see his Bronx Soundview Mural ” here.

And About Blue Light

With the proliferation of digital media use, more and more is being written about the effects of excessive exposure to blue light on vision and sleep. “Blue light” is found in many places, with the largest source being sunlight. Other sources include lighting, flat screen LED televisions and computer monitors, smart phones and tablet screens. The blue end of the lighting spectrum has shorter wavelengths and more energy than the opposite end, or red light. Current concerns revolve around the long-term effects of blue light through screen exposure due to closeness to the screens and increased length of time spent looking at them. “Almost all blue light passes through the cornea and lens and reaches the retina,” explains Prevent Blindness. “This light may affect vision and could prematurely age the eyes,” resulting in an increase in digital eye strain and retina damage. Scientific studies of the impact to date are short-term, based on the newness of these devices. However, an article in Vision Monday, cites references to National Institutes of Health (NIH) research studies on the topic as well. Blue light, while environmentally friendly, can also throw off the body’s biological clock, result in sleep deprivation and can contribute to the development of serious health conditions, as explained in the Harvard Health Letter. For more information and advice about protecting your eyes from blue light: Blue Light and Your Eyes; Blue light, sleep and more; “”Weighing the Facts About Blue Light

Businesses Move Forward on Disability Inclusion

“Shifts in the way our lives are carried out in the face of the pandemic– working from home, extended periods of isolation – have also had a knock-on effect on the rhetoric around disability inclusion,” wrote Caroline Casey in ” “2020: The Year the Conversation Around Disability Business Inclusion Shifted
Twitter plans to introduce automated captions to audio and video by early 2021. Microsoft launched initiatives to boost inclusivity in AI. Google marked National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) by introducing a Sound Notifications feature for Android phones – alerting those who are deaf or have hearing impairments of loud noises via a flashing camera light or vibrations. Stated Casey, “inclusivity should not simply spike and revolve around disability awareness events. It must be a year-round, constant effort, with disability inclusion systemically integrated” and people with disabilities in the decision process every step of the way.

Retinal Specialist Discussed Macular Degeneration and Other Conditions on Podcast

In a recent episode of Hadley Presents: A Conversation with the Experts audio podcast Dr. Tim Murray of the American Society of Retina Specialists answers common questions and share insights into future treatments.
To listen: Listen Now A downloadable version is available on the Hadley website as well.

Free Fun Online Activities for Children and Adults

Future in Sight , in New Hampshire, has upcoming sessions for food lovers. On February 27 from 10-12, the Youth Adventures group will bake scrumptious Frosted Brownies using an ingredients list provided ahead of time, and on March 4 from 11-1, it’s time for everyone else to join in on Cooking Chili with Chef Michael. Activities like “Name that Tune,” a “Fit and Fabulous” series, tech workshops and more are a chance to “gather online socially and have some fun.” For more information, contact Stephanie Hurd or 603-545-4345.

Partners for Sight Seeking Executive Director

RDPFS is currently looking for a new executive director to lead the Foundation’s business and operations, reporting to the Board of Directors. For more information: Partners for Sight