Lauren Tappan chooses iPad over Surface 3

August 30, 2015

I recently compared Microsoft’s new tablet, Surface Pro 3 and Apple’s I-pad. My initial experience was more positive for the I-pad. It seemed that there were more steps I had to go through to pull up an accessible feature on Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3. The accessible features on the I-pad were much more available. The I–pads camera was much easier to use. The I-pad air was less expensive than the Surface Pro 3. The local services for the blind has ongoing classes using the I-pad, and it seems harder to find AT classes on Surface Pro 3. This is my initial investigation, and more comments will be made in the future. Lauren Tappan.


The New Duke Eye Clinic and AT Lab

August 30, 2015

Lauren Tappan went to the New Duke Eye Clinic and interviewed Fay Tripp. Here are the results.

The Vision Rehabilitation Clinic is the first door on the left as you enter the new Duke Eye Center Hudsonbuilding.They have a Enhanced Vision CCTV in the lobby area.  Dr. Diane Whitaker, OD, Karen Summerville, certified ophthalmic medical technologist (COMT), and Fay Tripp, Occupational Therapist (OT) are the Vision Rehabilitation treatment team.  Because of the medical model, patient visits can be billed to insurance co. As a clinical team they like to look at the individual patient’s total need and tailor AT equipment accordingly.  Some referrals for individual/ AT instruction can be also arranged.
Dr. Whitaker has envisioned a VRTT/ Vision Rehabilitation Technology Training program in their Media room.  A pilot project is arranged for this coming
Fall.  This pilot project will be teaching individuals how to   incorporate accessibility features with use of a wireless laptop for internet functions and emailing. They hope to be able to broadcast this training to a classroom setting or to individuals at some time in the future.
We will continue to follow the progress of the Media center and their new pilot project.

The French defy pharma over eye drug pricing

August 29, 2015

Drugmaker Roche lost a fight with the French government on Thursday, when the health minister ordered reimbursement of the drug Avastin to treat a dangerous eye condition, Wet Macular Degeneration.

Roche opposes using the drug to treat wet age-related macular degeneration, arguing that since it is not approved for the condition, only the alternative drug Lucentis — which costs much more — should be used. Roche developed Lucentis but it is also marketed by drugmaker Novartis.

But doctors have been prescribing the cheaper Avastin in so-called off-label use, and the decision “will achieve significant savings,” Marisol Touraine, minister of health, social affairs and women’s rights, said.

For more info:

Dry (Atrophic) Macular Degeneration – Drug Pipeline Review

August 22, 2015


– The report provides a snapshot of the global therapeutic landscape of Dry (Atrophic) Macular Degeneration
– The report reviews key pipeline products under drug profile section which includes, product description, MoA and R&D brief, licensing and collaboration details & other developmental activities
– The report reviews key players involved in the therapeutics development for Dry (Atrophic) Macular Degeneration and enlists all their major and minor projects
– The report summarizes all the dormant and discontinued pipeline projects
– A review of the Dry (Atrophic) Macular Degeneration products under development by companies and universities/research institutes based on information derived from company and industry-specific sources
– Pipeline products coverage based on various stages of development ranging from pre-registration till discovery and undisclosed stages
– A detailed assessment of monotherapy and combination therapy pipeline projects
– Coverage of the Dry (Atrophic) Macular Degeneration pipeline on the basis of target, MoA, route of administration and molecule type
– Latest news and deals relating related to pipeline products

For More Latest Reports Under the Same Category –

Marlborough Company Looks to Regrow Cells in the Eye

August 22, 2015

Instead of treating symptoms of macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness, a Marlborough company is looking to figure out how to regrow eye cells that cause it.

The Boston Business Journal reports that Ocata is starting patient trials within the next month and a half to repeat the results of a smaller trial that “attracted worldwide attention last year.”

In the trial, Ocata’s stem cells were used in eye cells of 18 patients with macular degeneration, and it helped improve vision in 10 of the patients.

For more info:

DaVinci vs. Prodigy

August 14, 2015

There was a time when a digital Image magnifier was a simple device. You put a newspaper on a table and an enlarged view appeared on a video screen. Now the number of screen options and alternative features require a guide book. However this flexibility does provide a far superior experience.

Two of the best are the DaVinci by Enhanced Vision and the Prodigy by Humanware.  They both provide an enlarged vision of what you are trying to read in high definition with optional magnification, contrast and type color. They both can read the message out loud for you. They both help you see photos of you grandkids, although in different manners.

The differences between these magical devices are in the hardware construction.

Da Vinci

The DaVinci has a camera on a stand that swivels left and right, forward and back.  This allows a woman to point it at her own eyes as she applies makeup. It allows a student to point it at the blackboard and read the magnified image on the monitor.

The DaVinci lets you connect to your computer or your iPhone, allowing you to read the iPhone screen on your enlarged monitor. It can read your email aloud. You can wander thru Google or watch YouTube on an enlarged screen.


prodigi 2

The Prodigy has a removable camera similar to a smart phone. This gives you the advantage of having two devices in one: a desktop magnifier and a portable magnifier. The portable feature lets you read menus in a restaurant or info at the airport. However this is not a tablet or smartphone.

They both have easy to use controls. The DaVinci has familiar buttons and knobs. The Prodigy has a simple touch screen.

With a 24 inch screen, the DaVinci costs $2,995 and the Prodigy Costs $3,495. For $595 you can buy a Pebble portable magnifier and add it to the DaVinci.

Either one of these devices is a wonderful assistive, well made, expensive, but well worth the cost.

NC Racing Hall of Fame and Museum gives tour for visually-impaired

August 14, 2015

The following is from the Charlotte Observer:

Alvin Ricks slowly walks between a replica of the 1959 Oldsmobile Lee Petty drove to victory in the inaugural Daytona 500 and a 1994 Pontiac Kyle Petty piloted, feeling every inch of the race cars with her white glove-covered hands.

The Fayetteville woman’s right hand carefully examines the 1959 Oldsmobile while her left hand explores the 1994 Pontiac.

“The paint is smoother on this one,” she says, tapping the 1994 Pontiac, “than on this one (the 1959 Oldsmobile).”

Ricks, who is blind, had just discovered one of the key differences between the early stock cars housed in the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame and Museum and those raced in NASCAR’s modern era.


For adults at Camp Dogwood – a camp the North Carolina Lions operate in Sherrills Ford for the blind and visually impaired – weekly excursions to the Mooresville museum have been a new adventure. They’ve been so popular that each trip has been filled to capacity, Camp Dogwood Director Susan King said.

“Just because you lose your sight doesn’t mean you lose your interests,” King said. “If you were a race fan before you lost your sight, you’re still a race fan.”

The tour begins with each camper receiving a pair of white gloves upon his or her arrival. They are then escorted to their seats in the museum. Museum Director Abruzzesa explains the tour’s logistics and then Bob Hissom, the museum’s historian, talks about stock-car racing’s history. Once the tour begins, Hissom explains each race car to the camp’s 14 residents as they explore the car with their hands.