Brailled Money? It Might Not Be Such a Stretch As We Once Thought.

What adaptable item do many countries worldwide have that we in the United States don’t? If you guessed paper money, you’d be right. Most countries have some form of identification on their currency that makes it easy for people who are blind or low-vision to quicly transact business or sales on the spot without having to pull out a bill identifier or app on their smart phone.

Now, granted, talking bill identifiers have been around for a long, long time and are very helpful. An example is I-Bill which many of us have used to sort the cash in our wallets. However, we would like to make our transactions as quickly as anyone else standing in line at the store. Of course, we can pull out the good old credit or debit card. I do it all the time and pay for a lot of things with plastic.

But even with more business being conducted by the bar coded plastic, we still want to remain a cash handling community. Cash is legal tender after all. That, along with getting Harriet Tubman’s pic on the $20.00 bill was on many people’s minds when marching on March 10 , 223. As members of various disability rights organizations marched, they chanted and called for the United States Treasury to start minting currency that will allow us to distinguish between 1’s, 5’s, 10’s 20’s, and so forth.

You can read the press release linked here.



Untangling Transportation, Join the Call and the Cause

Ask any of us who are blind or low-vision to list the biggest barriers we face when getting out and about in the world around us and we will mention transportation. From late buses to cab/Uber drivers that act like they’ve never seen a guide dog before, to paratransit services that may not reach all over the town where we live. We will tell you transportation is a big deal.

Yes, some cities are known to have better public transit systems than others which leads to better paratransit access. For example, Austin, TX and the San Francisco Bay area in California are known for their efficiency.

Add to that the short or long wait times we experience or the number of days in advance of our appointments we must schedule our trips. Transportation concerns mount before us in almost every aspect of navigating life’s contours.

Well, here’s a call you will not want to miss. I heard about it through the American Council of the Blind of which I am gladly a member. But never fear, you don’t have to be part of ACB to jothe call and the cause with us. Here’s the scoop below the asterisks:


Untangling Transportation – Magical Advocacy in the Magic City: 9pm ET, 6pm PT, 3pm HT

Untangling Transportation is turning one in March, and we’re celebrating with a magic show. Sunday Edition’s own, Anthony Corona, will be joining us to discuss the work that two Florida Council of the Blind local chapters and others in the Miami disability community have been doing to advocate for improvements to the region’s paratransit services. Joining Anthony will be Justin Acoino, a student of Miami Dade Community College, and the catalyst for an investigative report by a Miami Herald reporter, which has helped to fuel local efforts to address paratransit challenges in the Magic City. Come and hear Anthony’s and Justin’s story, and get ready to learn how you can take on these challenges at home.

Sponsored by

Accessible Avenue

Listen on ACB Media 6

Say to your Amazon device, “ask ACB Media to play 6.”

Join in Clubhouse

Join the call:

Untangling Transportation

One tap mobile: +13126266799,,84349914041#,,,,*283918#

Phone: 312-626-6799

Meeting ID: 843 4991 4041

Passcode: 283918

Public Health Emergency To End?….Finally!

President Biden has announced that in May the public health emergency will come to an end. What that means for public access, we will find out. Will all mask mandates cease? Will a reduction in COVID testing sites take place?

No doubt we who are totally blind or have low-vision also have our questions, too. Will the NIH continue working with our advocates to ensure ongoing efforts to make medical testing equipment accessible so that we can use it ourselves? Will COVID information lines continue fielding our questions? How will we be sure that conferences and other public gatherings account for attendees who have had COVIDor will accommodations return to prepandemic measures?

You will want to attend a webinar discussing these and other concerns. After all, whether we have expressed fears about vaccines and masking up or not, we will want to enhance our awareness of the disability community’s future following the era of pandemic.

So mark the date, March 15, from 11:00 AM-12:00 Eastern so you can qattend this presentation by the Indiana Department of Health. And even if you are not from Indiana, still come. After all, what affects Hoosiers regarding COVID also affects everyone else.

Getting Social: Hadley’s Monthly Schedule

Many of us know the Hadley School for its online and correspondence courses. The school has offered distance education courses long before distance education was cool and even before the internet first brought a lot of our worlds together.

Hadley also hosts several opportunities for people who are blind or have low-vision to connect by discussing common interests. This link will take you to the Hadley School’s calendar of discussion groups.

Of course, if you do want to learn more about the school’s educational opportunities including their small business and entrepreneurship department, visit the main website,

Navigating Those Intersections Blind

I know this is last-minute since I just found out about this excellent program moments ago myself. Are you concerned about the safety of navigating roundabouts, X-shaped crossings, angled crosswalks, and other tricky layouts? Then tune in at 2:00 PM on Sunday when Lucas Frank from The Seeing Eye will present the latest news for encountering these challenges.

Go here and find out more. If you are sighted, you will want to see the cautions you may want to follow when spotting someone with a cane or guide dog navigating intersections.

Go here for the Clubhouse link.

Calling All Dog Lovers and Friends! Volunteer for a guide dog school near you.

Have you ever wanted to help out caring for dogs, whether you have one at home or not? The various guide dog schools around the country count on the enthusiastic cadre of volunteers that lift up the heads, hearts, hands and health of those forming pups into working companions for people who are physically disabled.

Whether you stuff envelopes for financial campaigns and event invitations or if you give the pups themselves some needed play time, serve as a puppy raiser or speak as an advocate for the guide dog movement in schools, you become a big partner for those training pups to be guides for us who are blind or have low-vision.

One of the amazing events to witness is a graduation from a guide dog school. There, surrounded by alumni with their dogs, perspective students, many volunteers who help on and off campus, and school staff, you get to see just how many people pour their hearts and life into bringing puppies into their four-legged, guiding adulthood. Then more than your heart can be warmed as you explore the possibility of lending your time and support.

Check out these upcoming volunteer opportunities in February and March for some of the guide and service dog schools around the country. Whether you are blind or sighted yourself, you will be welcomed as a part of a loving, compassionate, energetic community.

February 15: Becoming a Leaderdogs for the Blind Breeder Host
February 25, 2023: Guide Dogs of America volunteer orientation

Also check out these volunteer opportunities:
Tampa area with Southeast Guide Dogs
Guiding Eyes for the Blind in Yorktown Heights, NY
Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael, CA
Guide Dogs of the Desert, Palm Springs, CA

Of course, Boldly Blind is always looking for similar volunteer information from any other school to post.

Saturday Safety Tips: Raising Awareness About Acanthamoeba Keratitis

The Lighthouse Guild has news on a fairly rare eye condition called Acanthamoeba Keratitis. There’s no fear arousal intended, just awareness.

Eye infections and diseases can crop up quickly and without much warning. You feel that scratch in your eye. Should you itch it or leave it for some cream or drops to cure? A blurriness swims across your field of vision just as you slam on the brakes at an intersection. Should you hit the icon on your keypad designated for your eye doctor if if you have one or see what happens over the next few days?

For you who are sighted, these questions don’t always have black or white answers. Still, a word to the wide-eyed is in order when some rare condition comes to the fore. You don’t have to panic, refrain from every activity or leisurely endeavor that some may list as risky behaviors. Rather, using common, everyday caution will go a long way toward honoring the sight you do have. Believe me, your blind friends and neighbors want you to retain the sight you’ve been given.

So with no further adieu, here’s a few tips for preventing or minimizing the effects from a rare eye condition caused by an amoeba in more settings than we can count. Notice, the prevention steps look like everyday activities….because they are everyday activities for us who care for our bodies and life. Again, check it out here.

Toast Masters Comes to the Lighthouse

Have you heard of Toast Masters? If so or if not, the San Francisco Lighthouse has a neat opportunity for you which I post from its latest newsletter update.

Join the LightHouse Toastmasters Club!

Photo: A microphone coupled with the Toastmasters logo, a stylized globe with the words “Toastmasters International” over it
LightHouse has an exciting opportunity to start our very own Toastmasters club! What is Toastmasters? We’re glad you asked! Toastmasters International is a nonprofit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs. Headquartered in Englewood, Colorado, the organization has over 280,000 members in more than 14,700 clubs in 144 countries across the globe.

Toastmasters is a place to develop skills of self-empowerment. It’s a place to practice public speaking, improve communication, and build leadership skills. Whether you are embarking on a career that will regularly require speechmaking or if you are simply looking to build confidence and find your voice in casual social settings, Toastmasters can teach you the skills to lead a more empowering life.

In order to be considered an official Toastmasters club, we’ll need to recruit 20 members. On Monday, February 13, we’ll be holding a club planning meeting. We will discuss the next steps for developing LightHouse Toastmasters. David Chan, LightHouse student and former Board member, was the speaker at last month’s demo meeting and has agreed to be our first official club mentor! Join David and the rest of the (hopefully!) soon-to-be LightHouse Toastmasters members this Monday.

Agenda Topics

Welcome, a recap of the demonstration and meeting purpose
Process for Club and membership activation
Membership commitment level
Role of Mentors
What: Toastmaster’s Planning Session (Online)
When: Monday, February 13, from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm Pacific
Where: Zoom (Meeting link will be emailed to those who RSVP)
RSVP: Please contact Sabrina Bolus at or 415-694-7607

Can The Blind Lead The Blind? Yes!

On a recent edition of Insights and Sound Bites, Sarah speaks to the benefit that she gained by learning from and being led by other blind people. She needed to get over her anger and other emotions when coping with her new normal. Does that sound familiar?

Many of us have learned to adapt to the contours and perspective of being blind or having low-vision through rehabilitation teachers, orientation and mobility instructors, and computer techies who introduced us to screen reading software. Some were sighted while others were like us-having some degree of vision loss. There seems to be that unspoken bond when we can glean insights from each other since we know intrinsicly what challenges we encounter.

In telling her story, Sarah mentions how she is glad that the blind led the blind, though the phrase has made her very angry. After all, according to the Grammarist website, “The blind leading the blind describes a situation in which an inexperienced, incompetent or uninformed person is advised and guided by an equally inexperienced, incompetent or uninformed person. The term the blind leading the blind is the first line of a proverb that has fallen out of use: when the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into a ditch. The proverb was derived from a quote found in Matthew 15:14 of the New Testament of the Bible: “Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.””

Unfortunately, the phrase from Matthew 15:14 has been taken way out of context over the centuries to mean in popular parlans what the Grammarist indicates. Because much discrimination has taken place toward us who cannot see, many irrational images of someone lacking sight have cropped up from the unemployed and depressed loner begging for money to that of someone who lacks knowledge just because they don’t see. So the perception has persisted that when the sense of sight is gone so does a person’s ability to work or contribute to society in a meaningful way.

Unpacking the Bible’s meaning, it’s clear that In the time when Jesus Christ spoke of a blind man leading another into a pit, he was speaking to people who kept the blind, the deaf, the mute, and so forth on the fringes of society. It did not mean that he condoned or approved of it Himself. Nor did He consider blindness a personal deficiency or curse. As He showed in one encounter with a man blind from birth (John 9), blindness is what it is in our fallen world and it doesn’t in itself lessen someone’s dignity or value.

Of course, we can be thankful that many advances have taken place in the way of technology, education, and many perceptions toward people who are blind or otherwise physically disabled. The reason why we want to correct our lack of sight if at all possible is to improve our perception and contact with the world around us; it’s not merely to think we’ll be more complete or of a greater value than we have now.

So is it okay to use idioms like “the blind leading the blind”? Yes. After all, we ourselves will speak of watching TV or we use phrases like “I see your point.” Many of us who identify as Christians joyfully sing the final words to the first stanza of “Amazing Grace.” “I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see.”

For the Christian, this means that our Lord Jesus has opened our eyes of faith to trust Him who is our Light and Life for eternal salvation.

We can freely use the idioms and phrases that refer to blindness as they have developed over the centuries while being glad that we have role models and mentors who are blind, the blind leading the blind to navigate life’s contours.

Low-Vision Awareness, Quick Reminder To Keep Up And Adapt

Whether we face vision loss due to Glaucoma or any other eye condition, we want to keep abreast of the latest research on how to treat recurring difficulties that arise. This is true both for us who are totally blind and for those of us who have low-vision. After all, those treatments can and do change. Technology improves our ability to view color contrasts and apps like Be My Eyes allow us to gain help with locating objects at home and when shopping at the store.

In any process of adapting to our environment, we must give ourselves a learning curb. Yes, the technology will be there and we do rightly have expectations that it will make life at home and abroad easier to handle. But, whether working with low tech solutions like different shaded carpeting or magnifiers to read medicine bottle lables, the sudden change hitting us will require us to regain our focus.

Brighter light may make our head spin or make us blink uncomfortably when adjusting to colors we haven’t noticed in quite a while. Conversely, we may get frustrated if we haven’t obtained some corrective measures as our vision blurs or diminishes literally overnight. The hues of blue or red on a shirt may make it less distinct from a blouse or sweater hanging nearby in the same closet. Buses at busy intersections may look a different color altogether and we may have to start listening for the automated voice or a driver’s announcement to know what line is pulling up in front of us.

As part of keeping up to date with new methods of adapting, Vision Aware covers the gammet, which is why we refer to them quite frequently on this blog. For more technical research on low-vision studies, you can read articles from the Journal of Vision Impairment and Blindness. Don’t forget about the books that cover the tried and true solutions for Making Life More Livable, whose 2015 revision updates the thirty year old classic.