Stem cells used to fight Macular Degeneration

November 7, 2017

The following is from Lauren Tappan:

UCSB scientists near cure for blinding eye disease.
Once thought impossible, a cure for a blinding eye disease is in the works at UC Santa Barbara.

Researchers are in a phase one clinical trial with a procedure that would improve or cure the vision for those suffering from Macular Degeneration. The blinding eye disease is the leading cause of blindness in older Americans and impacts the sight of 20 million people worldwide.

It’s a sophisticated procedure that places stem cells in the back of the eye to repair damaged areas.

Those cells would last for the patients lifetime and would be implanted in a one-time procedure.

Getting this treatment to the most people could still be years away but the work being done at UCSB is groundbreaking in the world of vision restoration.

“In five years my hope is that we’ll be ready to get this approved and out to patients to help people who currently don’t have a therapy to use,” Professor Clegg of UC Santa Barbara said.

For more info:


SuperVision + magnifier App

November 3, 2017

SuperVision+ is the only magnifier (magnifying glass) app on the market that offers a supreme live image stabilization capability. Highly magnified images are usually shaking. It is a problem especially for old people. No more image shaking with SuperVision+ magnifier (magnifying glass).

Highlighted in Technology News for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired published by the American Foundation for the Blind.

From reading small print at near distance to seeing signs at far distance, SuperVision+ magnifier (magnifying glass) is your go-to app for seeing better and clearer.

Place your phone camera close to small objects, the app can also be used as a microscope. You can see something small that even normally sighted people can’t see.

– Easy to activate stabilization. Just press the screen and hold.
– Option to only stabilize vertically, allowing horizontal reading movement.
– Large and highly visible buttons.
– Freeze images at high resolution for seeing details.
– Easy to use either with one hand or two hands.
– Landscape mode
– Flash light support.
– Save images to gallery.
– Share images to social network.
– No advertisement.

for more info:

Keyword searching in physical world

November 3, 2017

Super Vision … A vision assistive app for keyword searching in physical world as Google search does in digital world.

A smart magnifying glass!

You use Google search in digital world.
Now you can use SuperVision keyword search in the physical world.
Point your camera to documents, product labels, bank statements, or restaurant menus. Speak your keywords, the app will locate the areas of interest for you. Then you may zoom in to read details.
The app can tolerate typo in your keywords and errors in OCR results.

For more info:


Lions Club Assistive Technology Article

October 22, 2017

Peter Crumley of the Beaufort Lions Club, has written an excellent document –

Title: Technology to Aid the Visually Impaired to Achieve an Independent Lifestyle in the 21st Century.

This document lays the foundation for how technology is now able to give the blind & visually impaired an opportunity for new freedom never experienced before.

Please go to their online article. It is well worth reading. Both  Lauren Tappan & John Logan endorse it.

Apple Seeing AI App

October 22, 2017

This is a brief comment about the use of assisted tech. devices from a low vision user. It’s clear to me that one size does not fit all when looking for an assisted technology device. It is very much of an individual process and that is why I think that working with a low vision occupational therapist is extremely helpful in making this decision. There’s so many factors that need to be taken into consideration. The Low Vision Occupational therapist has more resources available. My brief observation is that many of the eye wear devices assist with reading, magnification, face recognition, in various ways.

I am very fortunate to be able to purchase and begin to use and apple iPhone 6S Plus. There is a learning curve to this process and an initial expense, but I have found that the Free Seeing AI App has been worth the effort.

Seeing AI is a free app that narrates the world around you. Designed for the blind and low vision community, this ongoing research project harnesses the power of AI to open up the visual world and describe nearby people, text, and objects.

You can download this free app to the apple iPhone and it works best with the 6S Plus. As soon as this app is downloaded it immediately functions as a reader of short text, documents, and product recognition, as well as face recognition. You’re able to point the app at a product code and it immediately will read you the name of the product and can give you more detail of the description of the product. This is able in a grocery store or at home looking for various products in your cabinet. This app can read the dials on your microwave, your washer dryer, elevator buttons, etc. There is a data plan involved with this phone, which will add to additional expenses. But again, I think it is worth it considering how quick and easy this app functions as a reader.

Again, all of these products are helpful in maintaining independence in your home and out in the world.

Lauren Tappan

Durham Community Low Vision Center

October 19, 2017

Community Low Vision Center
New To Durham!

Join us for an Open House
to celebrate the opening of our
Community Low Vision Center.

Thursday, October 26, 2017 from 5:30-7:30 pm
Community Low Vision Center
Erwin Terrace
2816 Erwin Road, Suite 201
Durham, NC 27705

light hors d’oeurves served with beer & wine

Helping preserve & create independent
lifestyles for persons with all levels of low vision.

RSVP to or
Barbara Soderlund at 336-245-5691

New Drug Slows Dry Macular Degeneration

October 14, 2017

An international team of researchers has found a way to slow the progression of an advanced form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of irreversible, severe vision loss in Western countries.

Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing a platform of novel therapeutic compounds for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, developed a new compound called the complement factor 3 (C3) inhibitor APL-2 for treating patients with dry AMD.

The Phase II FILLY trial of APL-2 was sponsored by Apellis Pharmaceuticals and included 246 patients across 40 testing sites, in the United States, Australia and New Zealand.

“These results are very exciting for all people afflicted with dry AMD,” said team member Dr. David Boyer, of Retina-Vitreous Associates Medical Group.

“It is currently an untreatable condition, and the reduction of the progression of atrophy in this trial offers new hope for vision maintenance for our patients.”

for more info: