What Do You Do When Your CCTV Is Too Old to Repair?

March 23, 2014

The following article is by Lauren Tappan:

I met with Sharon Giovanzo, Director of RLCB,  and John Sherwood, Technical Trainer, at the Raleigh Lions Club Building (RLCB). John showed me the Divinci and we got a chance to look at accessible features on his Ipad. I was not able to see how the Divinci interacts with his Ipad but I hope to do this at a later visit. I understand that the NC Assistive Technology also has a Divinci to demonstrate.


The Divinci is quite an impressive piece of AT Equipment. It appears that the Divinci can act as a CCTV, capturing texts and reading them to you. The camera also makes it available to see objects in the room. There is also a way to have the Divinci directly interact with your Ipad. This means that you will be able to read  the navigational toolbar and apps on the Ipad, which has been a problem for low-vision users in the past. I still have other equipment to evaluate before making a final decision, but when your CCTV is too old to repair, you have to do a lot of research to decide what is the next piece of AT equipment that you will need to buy.

For more info:  http://www.enhancedvision.com/low-vision-product-line/davinci-all-in-one-hd-video-magnifier-with-text-to-speech.html

Phone for a demo :  (888) 811-3161


Risk score system accurate in predicting macular degeneration risk

March 22, 2014

8 predictors were utilized to create a macular degeneration risk scoring system :



education level,


smoking status,

presence of pigment abnormality,

soft drusen,

maximum drusen size.

For more detailed info,  http://www.2minutemedicine.com/risk-score-system-accurate-in-predicting-macular-degeneration-risk/


Blink Often and Completely

March 15, 2014

Optometry and Vision Science reports in their May 2013 issue on a study called, Blink Rate, Incomplete Blinks and Computer Vision Syndrome that “Whereas Computer Vision Syndrome symptoms are associated with a reduced blink rate, the completeness of the blink may be equally significant. Because instructing a patient to increase his or her blink rate may be ineffective or impractical, actions to achieve complete corneal coverage during blinking may be more helpful in alleviating symptoms during computer operation.”

They found that computer users blink less often and less completely.With less blinking and incomplete blinking there is less lubrication of the eye which leads to that irritated eye feeling that my father-in-law experienced.

Computer Vision Syndrome commonly affects almost anyone who uses electronic screens.

For more info,   http://www.webrn-maculardegeneration.com/WebRNMacular_Degeneration_News-computer-eye-fatigue-3.html

Computer Program Allows the Blind to ‘See’ With Sound

March 8, 2014

A man blind since birth is taking up a surprising new hobby: photography. His newfound passion is thanks to a system that turns images into sequences of sound. The technology not only gives “sight” to the blind, but also challenges the way neurologists think the brain is organized.


Voice software

In 1992, Dutch engineer Peter Meijer created vOICe, an algorithm that converts simplegrayscale images into musical soundscapes. (The capitalized middle letters sound out “Oh, I see!”). The system scans images from left to right, converting shapes in the image into sound as it sweeps, with higher positions in the image corresponding to higher sound frequencies. For instance, a diagonal line stretching upward from left to right becomes a series of ascending musical notes. While more complicated images, such as a person sitting on a lawn chair, at first seem like garbled noise, with enough training users can learn to “hear” everyday scenes.

In 2007, neuroscientist Amir Amedi and his colleagues at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem began training subjects who were born blind to use vOICe. Despite having no visual reference points, after just 70 hours of training, the individuals went from “hearing” simple dots and lines to “seeing” whole images such as faces and street corners composed of 4500 pixels.

Amedi’s team recently released a successor to vOICe, called EyeMusic, as a free iPhone app. The new algorithm produces more pleasant tones and can even provide color information.

For more info:   http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2014/03/computer-program-allows-blind-see-sound



Misc. Comments by Lauren Tappan

March 6, 2014

The following is by Lauren Tappan:

Past FFB Visions Conferences with notes and videos


2014 FFB Conference


Dialogue Magazine for Low Vision


Other Low Vision magazines