Thursday, April 30, 2015

How Blind People Use A White Cane

Published on Apr 1, 2014
Tommy Edison, who has been blind since birth, explains how a blind person uses a white cane (guide stick). He is joined by Jackie, from NewsyNews, to help demonstrate how someone might navigate a busy hallway with many obstacles. Note: This video was filmed during Playlist Live 2014.

Directed/Edited by
Ben Churchill

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

You Look Like You Can See By Chelsea Stark

My friend Ashley Nemeth did they post titled You Look Like You Can See. I found it so interesting I did my own version. So here I go. 

My name is Chelsea Stark and I am legally blind. When I tell people I am blind the first thing I hear is "You Look Like You Can See.” I would like you to read this question below and really think about it. Before you read on.
"What does blindness look like to you?

Now that you took some time and thought about this question feel free to read on.
Being legally blind I'm not sure what blindness looks like. I guess they're expecting something different than what they see. I have been told many times that I "don't look blind. I'm not sure what people are expecting me to say after that. So I usually just say thank you just to be polite.

I Count myself one of the lucky ones. Because my mother would not give up on finding a way to fix my eyes and my vision. I believe the credit should go to her because she is a reason why my eyes and visionare the way they are. When I was young I was extremely cross-eyed . Which meant I had double vision. Could you imagine how frustrating it would be being a child and trying to pick up your favorite toy and possibly miss. And navigating was really a challenge. Such as stairs. My eyes also did not track together. Thankfully were able to fix the double vision. And make my eyes track together. Over the years I lost the vision in my left so now only my right eye has vision. So I guess my left basically is there to go along for the ride. 

For some blind or visually impaired people being told you look like you're not blind, or you look like you can see could be interpreted as rude. 
One should not really say to a blind or partially sighted person, " you don't look blind" or " it looks like you can see me". You have no idea what they can see or can't see and that is quite a personal thing to say and it is offensive. It insinuates you think the person is faking it. This is not something anyone would ever do.
Living life as a blind or partially sighted person can be very frustrating at times it is not worth faking it, and this is very offensive. You must think of it from the perspective of the person you are speaking to. Would you be offended if I said to you " you don't look like you are very intelligent" or "you don't look like you work out". Before you decide to say something like "you look like you can see or you don't look blind to me." Think about how you would feel if someone said something to you about your personal appearance.
Blindness comes in many forms. 

It does not mean that your eyes are cloudy or we all have prosthetic eyes. It does not mean that I look out into space when speaking to someone or that I am not able to look in your direction when having a conversation. These are the farthest from the truth. There are many people who do have "cloudy" looking eyes or prosthetic eyes but not all blind or partially sighted people do. There are many many conditions that cause visual impairments of all levels. 

Common causes that lead to vision loss or visual impairment.
Include injury to the eye, inherited conditions, infections ,cataracts, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration AMD, corneal opacities ,diabetic retinopathy,childhood blindness, trachoma and onchocerciasis just name a few. To learn more go to this link.

Using a white cane or even a guide dog does not mean that the person is completely blind. They may in fact have some degree of vision just not enough to safely move through the streets. This YouTube video Are electric cars dangerous for blind people? - an interactive video from Guide Dogs and this post  called Electric and Hybrid cars and Blind and Visually impaired People  touches on this subject quite well.

 Don't forget to check out Ashley Nemeth Post also called You Look Like You Can See.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Allan Pineda Lindo, Jr. better known as (pronounced "Apple D Ap"), is a Filipino-American rapper, record producer, and occasional drummer who is best known as a member of The Black Eyed Peas.

Allan Pineda Lindo, Jr. (born November 28, 1974) better known as (pronounced "Apple D Ap"), is a Filipino-American rapper, record producer, and occasional drummer who is best known as a member of The Black Eyed Peas. EARLY was born in Pampanga, Philippines, to a Filipino mother and an African American father. His father, an Airman stationed at Clark Air Base, ditched the family shortly after his birth; his mother, Cristina Pineda, raised him and his six younger siblings as a single mother. As a child, would make an hour-long jeepney trip to and from school, and helped his family subsist by farming sweet potatoes, corn, sugar cane and rice. Citation needed The Pearl S. Buck Foundation, an organization that finds healthier living environments for young abandoned or orphaned American children, matched him with a sponsor named Joe Ben Hudgens through a dollar-a-day program. He initially came to the United States at the age of 11 to treat nystagmus, an involuntary movement of the eyes. During a trip to Disneyland, Apl expressed his interest in staying in the United States. 
It would take another three years for Hudgens to officially adopt him, but at fourteen he moved permanently to the United States to live with Hudgens.In Los Angeles, he attended John Marshall High School where he befriended William Adams (stage name, the nephew of Hudgens' roommate. He went to college at Holy Angel University.'s early musical influences were Stevie Wonder, The Eagles, The Beatles, A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Leaders of the New School and the popular Filipino rock/folk group, Asin. Apl was introduced to hip-hop by break dancing. "I would take the jeepney all the way to Angeles City, and that's how I got introduced to break dancing," he said. "I would see kids at the corner break-dancing and I'm like, 'I wanna do that.'" revealed to People
Magazine in 2011 that he is legally blind in both of his eyes, suffering from nystagmus and has this condition his entire career. "I'm good at shapes. If I'm not close, even if it's big, I can't read it. I doubted myself for a long time," said. "I'm comfortable not using my vision.
 I weave around my problems." He went on to say in the same article that "Until I discovered hip-hop, I felt I wasn't going to accomplish anything." Two of his siblings are dead: his younger brother Arnel committed suicide (this is referenced in The Apl Song in the lines "I guess sometimes life's stresses get you down/Oh brother, wish I could have helped you out"). His youngest brother, Joven Pineda Deala, was murdered at the age of 22 in February 2009 in Porac, Pampanga
I would like to thank for the information for this posting.
You can find more about blind or visually impaired people at

Monday, April 13, 2015

Electric and Hybrid cars and Blind and Visually impaired People

Nearly silent electric or hybrid cars 'are a risk to pedestrians': Walkers 40% more likely to be involved in accidents. There Was a 54 per cent jump in accidents involving the cars from 2012 to 2013. Visually impaired ,blind and even those who use Guide Dogs are among the worst affected. There should be compulsory noise generators on electric cars. So those who are blind or visually impaired are able to hear the vehicle. Green electric-powered cars are much more dangerous to pedestrians than traditional vehicles with petrol engines. 
Did you know that walkers are 40 per cent more likely to be run over by a quiet hybrid or electric car than by one with a petrol or diesel engine. And as the number of green vehicles grows because of Government tax breaks for eco-friendly cars, the number of injuries they cause has been rising fast. There is a 54 per cent increase in pedestrian injuries in accidents involving quiet cars between 2012 and 2013. Guide dog owners and their animals are particularly at risk from vehicles that they cannot hear coming. They should make noise generating systems compulsory on all hybrids. Quiet vehicles put pedestrians at risk outside schools, in residential areas and in our towns and cities. Specially those who use their ears much like other people use their eyes. 
Car makers should ‘do the right thing and fit sound generating systems to quiet vehicles before it becomes compulsory. Also insist that noise-making equipment is not only fitted to a car but always switched on. Those who are blind or visually impaired  rely on being able to hear cars to judge when it is safe to cross the road. ‘It is terrifying to cross when you are unable to hear quiet hybrid and electric vehicles. Ensuring all quiet vehicles have sound generating systems installed and switched on would ensure that millions of people, like me, who are living with sight loss, would be protected from the growing safety hazard.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has proposed a new rule requiring hybrid and electric cars to make sounds to alert pedestrians, in particular the blind and visually impaired. Hybrids and electric cars don’t rely on an internal combustion engine while driving at low speeds, so they are harder for the blind to detect. The rule would require that hybrids and electric cars traveling under 18 miles per hour would need to emit sounds that are detectable under a wide range of noises and sounds heard on the street. According to NHTSA, vehicles traveling above 18 miles per hour make enough noise to be heard by pedestrians and bicyclists. “Safety is our highest priority, and this proposal will help keep everyone using our nation’s streets and roadways safe, whether they are motorists, bicyclists or pedestrians, and especially the blind and visually impaired,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. Automakers would be required to install sound emitting devices into their hybrid and electric vehicle fleets, but NHTSA says that they would have flexibility when deciding which sound their vehicles will emit.
Electric vehicle warning sounds are a series of sounds designed to alert pedestrians to the presence of electric drive vehicles such as hybrid electric vehicles HEVs, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles PHEVs, and all-electric vehicles EVs travelling at low speeds. Warning sound devices were deemed necessary because vehicles operating in all-electric mode produce less noise than traditional combustion engine vehicles and can make it more difficult for pedestrians, the blind, cyclists, and others, to be aware of their presence. Warning sounds may be driver triggered (as in a horn but less urgent) or automaticity at low speeds; in type, they vary from clearly artificial (beeps, chimes) to those that mimic engine sounds and those of tires moving over gravel. Japan issued guidelines for such warning devices in January 2010 and the U.S. approved legislation on December 2010. The European Parliament approved legislation that requires the mandatory use of "Acoustic Vehicle Alerting Systems" for all new electric and hybrid electric vehicles within 5 years. Several automakers have developed electric warning sound devices, and since December 2011 advanced technology cars available in the market with manually activated electric warning sounds include the Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Volt,Honda FCX Clarity, Nissan Fuga Hybrid/Infiniti M35, Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, and the Toyota Prius (Japan only).Models equipped with automatically activated systems include the 2012 model yearToyota Camry Hybrid, 2012 Lexus CT200h, all EV versions of the Honda Fit, and allPrius family cars recently introduced in the United States, including the standard 2012 model year Prius, the Toyota Prius v, Prius cand the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid. The 2013 Smart electric drive comes with automatically activated sounds in the U.S. and Japan and manually activated in Europe.Tesla Motors, Volkswagen andBMW are not including warning sounds in their electric drive vehicles, as all of them decided to add artificial sounds only when required by regulation. 
GM Teams With National Federation for the Blind to Develop Safe Sound Alert For Electric Vehicles. GM has created a special pedestrian alert signal for the Chevy Volt.  ”It is an active system,” says Chief engineer Andrew Farah, meaning the driver must activate it. Passive systems produce a sound at all times. The Volt pedestrian alert sound is a light volume horn-like sound similar to the chirp of some cars keyless entry indicators. ”It has to be automotive,” says Farah referring to the  quality of the tone. To read the rest of the article go to GM Teams With National Federation for the Blind to Develop Safe Sound Alert For Electric Vehicles.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Are electric cars dangerous for blind people? - an interactive video from Guide Dogs

Help us stop the quiet danger blighting our road safety!
Guide Dogs wants the Government to make it compulsory for quiet vehicles to have sound generating systems built-in and turned on, so anyone crossing a road can hear these cars coming. 
Act now and support our campaign:

Saturday, April 4, 2015

"State ID or Driver's license. Shouldn't matter.” BY Chelsea Stark

A lot of blind friends have been writing stories about their experiences as a blind or visually impaired person. I have got inspired. From reading some of these stories. So I fought I will try my hand at writing some. From things that have happened to me as a visually impaired individual.
So here is my first attempt at this.

"State ID or Driver's license. Shouldn't matter.”

Many years ago. I went to Dallas Texas to spend some time with my sister and brother. This was also the year I turn 21. So I thought it would be a great experience since I would be able to go to a few bars and have some drinks with my family.

One evening while I was there. We decide to go to a bar and have drinks and some dinner. A waiter came up to me and asked what I would like I told him I would like a steak medium rare, mashed potatoes and I'd like a beer. He promptly listed the beers he had. Since this was my first time ever having a beer. My sister helped me pick one that I might like. After I picked a beer the waiter asked for my ID. I reached down and grabbed my purse and took out my ID for my wallet. And handed it to the waiter.

He said he would be back with it in a minute. So we just sat and chatted. The waiter came back and asked if I had a drivers license. They would not  except my Utah state ID.  I said WHAT!! 
I haven't had a problem with this before. He said that they think that this is a fake ID. And they wanted to cut it up.  Luck Lee my brother-in-law is a police officer. He promptly got up went to the back and spoke to The manager and demanded my ID back. We were not sure why this was such a problem. 

So we all decided to leave. We told the manager we were not going to take the food and we were unhappy. We would not be returning to this restaurant.  So we decided to go to another restaurant and have dinner. The other restaurant didn't have a problem with my state ID and I got my steak and beer. 

The rest of the trip was great and hopefully I will never have a problem with people wanting to chop up my ID.  It would've been a real fun experience trying to get on the plane without one. You would think that most places would know what a state ID looks like. Likely I got my ID back so I could fly back home the next week.
Is there something about a drivers license that is more impressive. Or was I just a victim of somebody's stupidity.


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Experience is not what happens to you; it's what you do with whathappens to you.

Experience is not what happens to you; it's what you do with what happens to you.
Aldous Huxley 

The soul can split the sky in two and let the face of God shine through.

The soul can split the sky in two and let the face of God shine through.
Edna St. Vincent Millay 

Write it on your heart that every day is the best dayin the year. Ralph Waldo Emerson


Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time welove, every time we give, it’s Christmas. Dale Evans

Happy Veterans Day Thank you to all our militarypersonnel for the sacrifice you have made for our freedom.

Chelsea Stark A good friend of mine named Jolanta Pilinkaite the...

Chelsea Stark A good friend of mine named Jolanta Pilinkaite the...:

I have tunnel vision and can only see to about two feet in front of me.
I use the live view to compose the pictures since I cannot see through the viewfinder.
for me, photography means that I can pause the World around me so I can get a better view.

Art is not the medium, and art is not the execution; art is the idea.
The best way I can describe it is this saying: I found art is everywhere and all you have to do is look.
With the right amount of inspiration and ideas you can make art out of anything.
What does beauty mean to me as a visually impaired photographer?
I believe beauty is something that moves you and inspires you.
 — with Sense and Chelsea Stark.

See picture below.

Travelling - when you get that amazing photo it's all worth it.
I am legally blind and was born with optic nerve demage.
My most memorable place:
Yellowstone national park . It gave me a little bit of everything.
Since my field of vision is so narrow I photograph close up intimate subjects.
I find inspiration in the majestic mountain sides. The animal that stops and looks at you almost like they're posing so you can take their picture. And the newly bloomed flower that reaches out to the sun.
Animals, flowers and landscape all-in-one.
Makes me feel energized and excited. 
 — with Chelsea Stark and Sense. see picture below

My friend Jolanta Pilinkaite  the owner of  Sense made these panels from my Blind photography.  She did a wonderful job with these two panels. I am very impressed.  Blind  To see more from Jolanta Pilinkaite  go to  Sense Facebook page. Photographer Chelsea stark