Blindness in the News – Oct. 6, 2017

“Blindness in the News” for the week ending Friday, Oct. 6, 2017.

A weekly compilation of news stories highlighting items of interest about people who are blind, visually impaired and other disabilities.

1. Disability Advocate Yetnebersh Nigussie Receives Right Livelihood Award
By: Aarni Kuoppamäki

Yetnebersh Nigussie is a pioneer for the rights of disabled people in Ethiopia. Among her achievements are the establishment of a center for students with disabilities at Addis Ababa University and the Ethiopian Center for Disability and Development. For this work, she has been given the Right Livelihood Award. Deutsche Welle spoke with her about her achievements, what it’s like to be a disabled woman in Ethiopia, and people’s attitudes towards those who have disabilities.

Source: Deutsche Welle | Read Here

2. Sight Loss and Sport
By: Selina Powell

This report details a study indicating that visually impaired and blind people are more likely to be inactive. The report is based on a self-reported study conducted by Dr. Keziah Latham from Anglia Ruskin University. The study’s findings are important, because blind and visually impaired people face more barriers to being physically active than their sighted peers, and physical activity is vital for leading a healthy lifestyle. The report also explains what these barriers are and makes suggestions for solving the problem.

Source: Optometry Today | Read Here

3. Change Through Humour! Meet Nidhi Goyal, India’s First-Ever Disabled Woman Comedian
By: Jovita Aranha

Nidhi Goyal is the first disabled woman comedian in India. The Better India speaks to her about her experiences. With humor she shares some enlightening anecdotes about living as a visually impaired woman. In addition to her comedy, she is a writer, trainer, advocate, and artist.

Source: The Better India | Read Here

4. Africa and Asia Lead in Proportion of Blind Adults
By: SciDev English Desk

Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia have the highest percentage of blind older people worldwide, a study says. It was published in the Lancet Global Health on August 2. The researchers, who form the Vision Loss Expert Group, an international network of eye care specialists, conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of population-based datasets relevant to global vision impairment and blindness published between 1980 and 2015. This data helps educators, researchers, and service organizations know where the need for aid is greatest.

5. Researchers May Have Discovered a Way to Reverse Blindness
By: Dom Galeon

Gene therapy may be able to restore vision to those with retinitis pigmentosa, a common form of inherited blindness. RP results in photoreceptor cells gradually dying off over a person’s lifetime. Photoreceptors are responsible for light perception. Researchers at Oxford University recently completed a study in which mice with the condition were given injections containing a virus carrying a light-sensitive protein called melanopsin. That protein bound to cells at the back of the retina that are not sensitive to light, and was able to restore some vision in the mice.

Source: Futurism | Read Here

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