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.

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.


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.

Blindside Fresno on ‘Members Only’

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.

‘Blindside Fresno’ Adaptive Technology

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.



‘Members Only’ Appearance

On November 30. I was honored to appear on a regular feature program at Community Media Access Collaborative (CMAC) call ‘Members Only.’

Just one year ago in November 2015 I worked on the show as a camera operator completing my studio training class. Little did I know back then that just twelve months later I would appear on the show as a guest producer.

The show shares the experience of producers of all kinds of shows with new members and by watching the program regularly you can find inspiration for new ideas and also get to see that those niggly experiences, annoyances and iritations are common to most producers rather than the gods throwing a spanner into your work personally.

I appeared on this episode, Episode 21. I am the second guest on the show. To read about the experience see my blog “In the Studio: Members Only”

By clicking the link below you can see the complete episode of ‘Members Only’


Blindside Fresno: Program 5 Blind Moms (Part 2)

‘Blindside Fresno’ continues its programming with episode five. Broadcast on November 15, 2016 by Community Media Access  Collaborative (CMAC) in Fresno California. This program was part two of an interview with two moms who have low vision and blindness.

Debbie Flowers is a High School teacher of Special Needs Students and has a degenerative eye condition which has caused her to lose most of her vision over her lifetime.

Sarah Harris is a full time mom who was suddenly blinded in a car crash just before learning she was pregnant with her daughter. So had to cope both with vision loss and being a new mom in short succession.

They talk about some serious issues about blindness, vision loss and child rearing, but for the most part look at their lives from the humerous side. Showing blindness and disability breed a love of life and requires a great sense of humour.

‘Blind Date’

Have you ever been on a “Blind Date”?

Blind dates can be nerve wrecking. You don’t know anything about the other person, you don’t know what he or she looks like and you don’t know if he or she can actually see.

Well  a couple of my friends from Community Media Access Collaborative, Anita Fernandez and Alvin Arizaga act in this sketch calld “Mystery Date.”

Anita wrote, produced and performed in the piece about two people meeting on a blind date set up by a mutual friend. The result is funny and there is a really great performance from Alvin who shows his skill as a physical comedian.

So sit back and enjoy “Mystery Date” by Anita Fernandez.



As a visually impaired person myself, I have to say meeting people who perform all these antics is all too familiar. In this skit it is funny, inreal life, well not so. So if you meet someone who you think is blind  do us both a favor and just behave like a normal person. You don’t want me to think you are a complete idiot. Do you?

Remember, Remember My Program About the Gunpowder Plot

One of my interests is history. I have always enjoyed history and recently I created a program about Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot in the year 1605.

Remember Remember a mask of Guy Fawkes a man's face with dark eyes and pointed moustache and beard.
Remember, Remember

Because of the opportunities open to me now at the Community Media Access Collaborative (CMAC) studios I decided to try to create a history program using the green screen fascilities.

So back in the summer, August I began planning “Remember, Remember,” a program about the Gunpowder Plot in England in 1605. Some of you may be familiar with the tale which was also used as a theme in the movie “V For Vendetta.”

The program took about one month to research and put together. I  personally love the historical research part of the job. Then I booked the studio for several hours in September. This may seem early but in order to make the program in time to be released before November 5 it had to be finished and sent to the scheduling department by mid October.

A lot of TV work involves planning backwards. Have a broadcast date in mind. Put in the broadcast request at least two weeks before, arrange to have the program edited at least 72 hours before that last possible broadcast request date to allow you to watch and suggest possible final edits. So that is why many Christmas Holiday programs are recorded in the Summer. You have lots of deadlines to meet prior to that final airing.

Well we had about two hours of recording in the studio, that was edited down to just over thirty minutes. Since I cannot read an autocue machine, a script running under the camera lens, all of the words had to come from memory. Thus makin lots of mistakes is an occupational hazard in such productions. But my crew worked with me. Inputting lots of ideas as we went along.

Then after the recording and making of back-up files we spent two weeks about thirty hours in editing and rendering the final product submitting on time for broadcast on November 3.

You Can see ‘Remember, Remember: What is Guy Fawkes Night” by following the link below.