Blind

blind baseball
10:06 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Beeping Balls Allow Blind Players to Step Up to the Plate

Loren Miller takes a few practice swings before coach Troy Leeberg starts the pitch. They're members of the Spokane Pride Beep Baseball team.
Jessica Robinson

It's a warm afternoon in Spokane. The smell of cut grass and barbecue is in the air. And Bee Yang is up to bat.

A teammate who has partial vision directs Yang to the plate.

There are six people in the outfield, and two blue foam pillars that are, in this game, first and third base. Yang listens for the pitch.

Read more
e-books
10:07 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Amazon makes Kindle app to make e-books accessible to the blind

Blind protesters marching outside Amazon's headquarters in December
Ashley Gross KPLU

Amazon has released an app that makes it easier for the blind to read Kindle electronic books on iPhones. Advocates for blind people say it’s a significant step for a company that’s lagged other technology companies in making accessible products.

Read more
Business
3:45 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Blind protesters march at Amazon over Kindle accessibility

Ashley Gross KPLU

Dozens of visually impaired people with white canes and guide dogs protested outside Amazon.com’s headquarters in Seattle today. They say Amazon’s Kindle e-readers aren’t fully accessible to the blind

Read more
Business
8:54 am
Wed December 12, 2012

National Federation of the Blind to protest at Amazon.com

Blind people say Amazon's Kindle devices and apps lack functions that they need
thekellyscope

Update: An Amazon.com spokeswoman did return my call after this story aired, but declined to comment.

Blind people – including former New York Governor David Paterson – are planning to protest at Amazon.com today. They want the company to make its Kindle device and apps more accessible to the visually impaired, especially kids as e-readers start to be used in schools. 

Read more
Sports
9:00 am
Tue August 14, 2012

How NW teens taught blind kids to play tennis

All the supplies need to create your own tennis ball for the blind.
Joan Robinett-Wilson

Take a large foam tennis ball, stuff a rattle in it and play a repetitive chirp to orient a person who can't see and you have the elements of a game of tennis for the blind and visually impaired. 

That's what 15 tennis players from Snohomish High School did during one week this summer for a handful of sightless kids ready to try something new.

Read more
Brain Science
10:30 am
Mon July 30, 2012

How an experiment on blind mice could help blind humans see

The chemical compound - AAQ - that researchers say causes blind mice to behave as if they can see.

A potential new cure for blindness is showing promise in an experiment at the University of Washington and University of California. The study shows that losing your eyesight as you grow older may someday be reversible. 

The experiment used mice – blind mice.

Read more
Public spaces
12:17 pm
Thu September 29, 2011

In Everett, podcast helps blind park goers 'see' the park

Winding paths throughout a park are intended to awaken a sense of discovery but for the blind they can be confusing and even dangerous. So to eliminate potential hazards and enhance the park-going experience for its blind visitors, the City of Everett introduced downloadable audio walking instructions for Lions Park.

It’s called an audio wayfinding system and it’s one of several renovations unveiled today.

Read more
The tactile garden
6:33 am
Fri September 16, 2011

Blind in Seattle take strolls in a (nearly) secret garden

Receptionist Deng Kong in Ethel L. Dupar’s Fragrant Garden at Seattle Lighthouse.
Courtesy of The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc.

At Ethel L. Dupar’s Fragrant Garden a collection of plants is growing for visitors to experience through smell and touch, senses that usually come second to our primarily visual take on plants. The garden is a part of Lighthouse for the Blind, a non-profit serving Seattle’s blind community.

Read more