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.
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.
We have been out of the studio for a few weeks now. Though we have not been taking things easy.
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.
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.
Every month Community Media Access Collaborative (CMAC) produces a studio class which takes new members through a whole studio shows production.
The course takes three days, on the first day you learn about the studio and control room as well as planning a show. The second day you work the various areas of a studio and control room and on the third and final day the members of the class create the show, ‘Members Only.’
The show is hosted by one of the staff members at CMAC and guests are producers of shows aired by CMAC.
I was pleased to be asked to go into the studio at the end of November to appear as a guest producer for program 21 in the series. Exactly one year after I had operated a camera on an earlier edition of ‘Members Only.”
So here is Episode 21 of Members Only aired December 2016.
This program looks at the wide range of adaptive technology available to the blind and visually impaired community.
Tom Randall, Nathan Romo and I meet in the ‘Blindside Fresno’ studio to look at all kinds of gadgets from cheap and cheerful to some pretty expensive tech. As technology expands the good news for blind people is that more technology is being created for the mass market and much of this technology is accessible to the blind and visually impaired.
While we did find one or two gadgets which are more expensive because they are created for the blind and visually impaired market we also found lots of useful and important items at realistically affordable prices.
So if you have been blind or visually impaired for many years or you are just coming to terms with loss of sight then take a look at this video introduction to some of the neccessary technology out there.