World Sight Day, a global event meant to draw attention on blindness and vision impairment, is coordinated by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) in cooperation with WHO. In 2016, World Sight Day will be on 13th October.
For the event in 2016 IAPB focus on the groups and communities who work together to deliver a better eye care for people with visual impairments, and the theme Stronger Together comes out as result. For a long period the focus of blindness and vision problems has been virtually on diseases or patients; now, time to draw our attention to people, organizations, developers, and ones who shall be brought together for a continued life improvement of visually impaired group. Here are 10 news of blind and low vision area in 2016 covering assistive technologies, eye care researches and community programs. All links will open in a new browser window or a new tab.
A research investigated by Toronto's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health found the reason why pregnant women should abstain from alcohol: among people with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), more than 400 diseases could occur, blindness and low vision included.
One in five Canadian people with vision loss caused by eye disease experienced Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS), also known as visual release hallucinations, according to a study "Prevalence of visual hallucinations in a national low vision client population" conducted by CNIB.
The relationship between ADHD and vision impairments in children was investigated: 15.6 percent of children with vision impairment also had an ADHD diagnosis, compared with 8.3 percent of children with normal vision. This finding suggested that children with vision impairment should be monitored for signs and symptoms of ADHD.
Researchers from Massachusetts Eye and Earof Harvard Medical School developed a Google Glass app to solve the navigation problem when image was zoomed in and only small portion got shown on smartphone screen. Watch the YouTube video here.
A miniature camera using optical character recognition (OCR) technology could assist legally blind people by being mounted onto their glasses with improvement on reading. It can also be programmed to recognize faces and commercial products.
Disney "Finding Dory" adopted new smart-syncing audio description technology to provide blind and low vision moviegoers a breakthrough to enjoy movie with app Disney Movies Anywhere.
Related info: Technological Advances Enhance the Lives of the Blind and Visually Impaired
Vuzix, a technology supplier engaged in Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), announced its M100 Smart Glasses enabled with CyberTimez visual aid software for low vision and blind users.
BlindWays, a new iPhone app aiming at assisting blind and low vision people to locate bus stops, was announced. Its release benefited from the partnership between Massachusetts Department of Transportation and Perkins School for the Blind, and the grant of $750,000 from Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities partially.
Related info: Some apps for low vision/blindness recommended
Temasek Foundation Cares committed $1.3 million to scheme their new initiative to help elderly people with visual problem: Senior EyE Rehabilitation (Seer). Low vision rehabilitation skills trainings through community care would be the new highlight of Seer model.
Related info: Vision Concerns for Older Adults