White Cane Versus Guide Dog

Recently in the studio we had a lively debate between two white cane users and two guide dog users. The talked about which was better to use as a mobility device.

So if you are wondering why some people use a guide dog and others use a white cane they have made similar decisions as these people. To see the reasons blind people make these choices click below to watch the video.

Support a Blind Student

I am looking forward to supporting this campaign to help a blind college student here in Fresno.

He is a Honors student with a 4.0 G.P.A. studying for a general AA degree and hoping to go on for a B.A. in Social Work with a future M.A. in counselling.

Of course all this schooling costs a lot of money and sensibly he doesn’t want to take on too much debt with loans. The other added burden for blind students is that in order to gain access to accessible textbooks they must first buy a print edition of set texts. These are very expensive and totally useless to a blind student and selling the book back to a college bookstore means that a blind student only gets a fraction of the purchase price back.

The bag carries a photograph of a black Labrador Retriever and draped behind him the Stars and Stripes. The title of the product America’s Number 1. The Labrador Retriever being the most popular breed of dog in the United States.

So with sales of this tote bag from Teespring.com   All profits  will go to him to fund course costs for the Spring semester and beyond.

Please help us support this good cause.


Living with Retinitis Pigmentosa ( RP )

Recently Jamie Gibson-Barrows was a guest in our studio. Jamie has worked for several blind and visually impaired groups in Fresno over the past few years.

Jamie’s road to blindness began as a young woman, she noticed her eyesight becoming reduced for many years and visits to her eye doctors failed to produce a diagnosis to the problem.

Then when she was in her thirties she was finally diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa or RP. A disease whicauses “Tunnel vision” the vision in the peripheray grows less and less until blindness takes away all vision completely.


Jamie is now left with only a small amount of central vision in one eye, but she continues to volunteer and is a part time student too.


Here she talks about how her life changed on the day when she visited the eye doctor to receive her diagnosis and she became the first person in her family to be diagnosed with RP.


Behind the Scenes at Blindside Fresno


When we get to the studio on the day of recording there is still lots of work to do before we actually record a program.

Take a look at what is going on in the studio as we prepare to record an interview.

This behind the scenes look was recorded as we prepared to interview Lisa Presley-Thomas for the program looking at her experience as a sighted child raised by two visually impaired parents.



Having Blind Parents Helped Me

Recently we recorded an interview with Lisa Presley-Thomas, a prominent member of the Fresno Chapter of California Council of the Blind (CCB).

Lisa grew up the sighted child of two blind parents, this experience had quite an affect on her life, possibly even shaping her adult career as a Certified Public Accountant.

aping her

New Series Recording This Week

We have been out of the  studio for a few weeks now. Though we have not been taking things easy.

Behind the scenes at blindside fresno
Behind the scenes at Blindside Fresno

As with all of life in general we had some problems arranging some interviews, people were busy and there were some puppy shortages at local puppy raising groups to name but two of the obstacles to our calendar.

It is not easy being a producer of a magazine program like ‘Blindside Fresno’, but hey what am I complaining about? The program is great fun to make and we are now just about to go into the studio for some more recording sessions.


So What Will Be In The New Series?

We will be trying a new idea for one of our programs. We will have a series of sketches reflecting blind peoples experiences of “Good Samaritans” insisting on ‘helping’ and how we are often treated by servers in restaurants.  We will show the good way to do things and the bad way to do things.  Servers especially should take notes here, bad service impacts YOUR tip. So see if you are doing the right things and  learn how to make your blind customer a great tipper.


Also we will be taking a look at blind parenting from the other side. The point of view of children of blind or visually impaired children. That will be an interesting show, following our interview with two blind moms last season.


We will also take a look at the world of puppy-raising, talking with current puppy raisers in Fresno and the Central Valley. Asking them about the great work they do for organizations like Guide Dogs for the Blind. What is it like to give back a puppy that goes on to make a guide dog? Is it aas heartbreaking as we imagine?  Watch out for that one, we are hoping they will bring a cute puppy or two into the studio.

Plus we will have more news from the Blindside in Fresno.

Low Vision Kitchen: Make a Real English Beer Shandy

With Summer on the way, my thoughts moved to spending more time outside on the porch or having friends around for an afternoon barbecue.


These ocassions also need something to drink and what better than a real English Beer Shandy?


Shandy is a simple drink, a mixture of beer and what the British call Lemonade, Americans know it better as Sprite or 7UP.  Mixed together you have a refreshing drink that does not make you feel heavy and hungover as drinking plain beer might and It has the benefit that You can enjoy a beer like drink while not getting drunk.


So watch my short video here:  ENJOY

Guide Dog Application Process

Late in 2012, the programs producer, William Elliott, began the process of applying for a guide dog from Guide Dogs for the Blind based in San Rafael, California.


In this interview he talks about what happened during the application process, his two weeks at the guide dogs training school and what it is like to work with a guide dog on a daily basis.


There are some points where building noise interferes with sound quality. We apologize for this and hope that it does not spoil your enjoyment of the program.