Dedicated to Improving the Lives of Blind and Visually Impaired People

Resources for Partners February 5,2021

Recognizing February Observances

This month, truly the heart of winter, also is recognized as Low Vision Awareness Month, Black History Month and American Heart Month. Over the next few weeks, much of the Resources for Partners Bulletin features will highlight news related to these themes.

New to Vision Loss? “Getting Started” Can Help

Getting a diagnosis of visual impairment can lead to uncertainty and many questions.
Getting Started: A Guide for People New to Vision Loss is available through a partnership
Between American Printing House for the Blind (APH) and Reader’s Digest Partners for
Sight Foundation. The Guide offers valuable pointers about tools, information, support
and guidance to those who are new to vision loss – in digital format, large print and as
an accessible PDF. VisionAware, a Partners for Sight grantee, provides more
information on the Guide and how to receive or download a copy: Getting Started

Keeping Up With Eye Care
During the pandemic, many people are cancelling or delaying eye exams. Eye care providers are taking unprecedented steps to insure that in-person visits are safe. An interesting article on this topic was issued by Massachusetts Eye and Ear: Keep Your Eye Exam Appointments

No-Cost Eye Exams

EyeCare America, a public service program of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, offers eye exams through volunteer ophthalmologists across the nation. The goal: Protecting vision through early detection. They offer two programs: The Seniors Program and the Glaucoma Program. The Seniors Program connects eligible seniors 65 and older with volunteer ophthalmologists who provide a medical eye exam and follow up care for up to a year for any condition diagnosed during the initial exam. The Glaucoma Program offers a glaucoma eye exam at no cost for patients who are eligible and uninsured. Insured patients are billed and are responsible for any co-payments. This program provides a baseline glaucoma exam to heighten awareness among those who may not know they are at increased risk. For more information: EyeCare America

Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad

America’s foremost female abolitionist, Harriet Tubman, “received a severe head wound which led to vision impairment and severe seizures. However, this did not stop her from fighting for the freedom of her people,” according to the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP). DCMP offers a dvd and lesson guide on the Underground Railroad and other videos on her life and African American history as well. You need to be a member to access this, though membership is free. To sign up: Harriet Tubman

America’s First Black Music Star: “Blind Tom”

Thomas Wiggins has been recognized as America’s first Black music star by Smithsonian Magazine. Known simply as “Blind Tom” during his lifetime, Wiggins achieved widespread fame as a skilled instrumentalist, paving the way for others and performing in the U.S. and abroad. His performances received extensive media attention and generated large revenues, although he did not benefit. A former slave, Wiggins remained subject to his former enslaver, who became his legal guardian post-abolition and reaped the profits. Hear a recording of Wiggins’ “Sewing Song

African American Educators in the Blindness Hall of Fame

The American Printing House for the Blind inducted two pioneering African-American educators in 2013: Dr. Lawrence C. Jones and Martha Louise Morrow Foxx. Dr. Jones founded the Piney Woods School in Mississippi in 1909 to offer vocational and academic training to children and grandchildren of former slaves. Recognizing the lack of a school to educate black children who were blind, Dr. Jones added the education of children with visual impairment to the school’s program. Mrs. Foxx, who was partially sighted, came to Piney Woods in 1929, and was responsible for the needs of all of their blind students. The school later became the Mississippi School for Blind Negroes, eventually merging with the Mississippi School for the Blind. More on the fascinating work of Dr. Jones and Ms. Foxx can be found on the VisionAware blog: Blindness Hall of Fame

Perkins School for the Blind eLearning Needs Your Help

Perkins is seeking information about the needs of teachers, Orientation & Mobility Specialists, Vision Rehabilitation Therapists and parents for online learning and professional development. Their Professional Development Research Survey takes 5-10 minutes to complete and must be submitted by February 8, 2021. As a thank you, upon completion of the survey participants can enter to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card. For more information, or to take the survey: Take Survey

Work Remotely This Summer in the NLS Aspiring Leaders Internship Program

Current undergraduate and graduate students or those who have graduated within the
past five years and are legally blind US citizens have an opportunity to “gain valuable
experience and explore potential career options while being guided through mentorships
and developmental activities.” Interns are paid at the G-4 salary level (currently $12.40
per hour) and work ten to 20 hours per week. Applicants for Summer 2021 must apply
by March 1, 2021. Learn more about the program, which seeks applicants from many majors,
and the application process: NLS summer internship program.

US Senate Summer 2021 Virtual Internship

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is offering undergraduate, graduate students or recent grads “academic or professional experience in international relations or a similar field” with ties to New Jersey preferred (position is with Senator Menendez’s office.) This unpaid position involves 30 or more hours per week. Applications are due by March 7, 2021. A full list of open Senate positions and internships can be found ” here.

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

Valentine’s Day Treats

With February 14th coming up, here are a few treats that we found:
National Braille Press offers jewelry as well as cards, books and magnets with heart-shaped and other designs in print and braille. National Braille Press Jewelry

The “Chocolate Vault” has a Braille Love You chocolate plaque and other tempting tactile offerings: “Chocolate Vault

We found an abundance of Braille jewelry. Here are a few notable examples:
ONecklace has a large collection of braille gifts, including necklaces, bracelets and earrings, several with heart designs: “ONecklace Braille Jewelry

Braille Design’s unusual finds include a tactile t-shirt and sign necklace, as well other catchy and unique jewelry: “Braille Design

Elegant Insights Braille jewelry, whose owner is blind, has produced a charm bracelet with braille love notes, such as “I’m yours,” “Love you,” and “be mine. Elegant Insights Braille Jewelry

Looking to create your own gift? Paths to Literacy for students who are blind or visually impaired offers DIY Braille Jewelry with step-by-step instructions to make a Braille Charm: ” DIY Braille Jewelry
And – on the lighter side, check out this video from BlindNewWorld on meeting a potential suitor who is blind for the first time: