the holman prize

Holman Prize applications open in January

By Uncategorized | No Comments

Start dreaming and planning ahead!

photo: 2017 Holman Prize winners standing on beach smilingNamed after the 19th century blind world traveler James Holman, the Holman Prize empowers blind men and women from around the world to complete the journeys and projects of their dreams. Applications open on January 16, 2018. It’s never too soon to start planning your 90-second video pitch. Start thinking about what you’d do as a Holman Prizewinner! For more information visit holmanprize.org.

Click here to read about last year’s Holman Prize recipients.

Audio-described performance of Irving Berlin’s ‘Holiday Inn’ at 5th Avenue Theatre

By Uncategorized | No Comments

December 30 at 1:00pm at the 5th Avenue Theatre.

Holiday Inn is a wonderful new musical inspired by the Oscar-winning film featuring lavish sets and costumes, spectacular choreography and 20 Irving Berlin songs. The audio-described performance is scheduled for Saturday, December 30 at 1:00pm. For more information, please visit the 5th Avenue Theatre Box Office, email GuestServices@5thavenue.org or call 206-625-1900 or 888-584-4849.

Braille and large print programs are both available, free of charge, at Coat Check, located in the lobby near Aisle 3. Programs are checked out with a valid ID and should please be returned at the end of the performance.  Braille programs are subject to availability.


logo for Oath: A Verizon company

Call for website accessibility testers!

By Uncategorized | No Comments

The Accessibility Team at Oath, a subsidiary of Verizon, is seeking people to test the accessibility of websites. Specifically, Oath is looking for people who:

    • Are Mac or PC users.
    • Are familiar with using a computer screen reader and/or screen magnification program to access websites, but are not an expert.
    • Can bring in their own laptop computer, desktop computer, smartphone, as the testing scenario dictates.

(Minors will be considered but would need parental permission, and a parent/adult must accompany the minor during the testing.)

User testing sessions usually run 60-90 minutes, and would take place in Bellevue, WA. For more information, please contact Gary at garymo@oath.com or 408-510-8775.

Audio-described performance of ‘The Humans’ at Seattle Rep

By Uncategorized | No Comments

An uproarious, hopeful and heartbreaking play that takes place over the course of a family dinner on Thanksgiving. The audio-described performance of  ‘The Humans‘ is Saturday, December 9 at 2:00 PM in the Bagley Wright Theatre. Contact the Seattle Rep Box Office to purchase tickets or for more information, 206-443-2222.

The Humans: A new play by Stephen Karam. Directed by Joe MantelloFrom the Seattle Rep website:

Stephen Karam’s The Humans is an uproarious, hopeful, and heartbreaking play that takes place over the course of a family dinner on Thanksgiving. Breaking with tradition, Erik Blake has brought his Pennsylvania family to celebrate and give thanks at his daughter’s apartment in Lower Manhattan. As darkness falls outside the ramshackle pre-war duplex and eerie things start to go bump in the night, the Blake clan’s deepest fears and greatest follies are laid bare. Our modern age of anxiety is keenly observed with humor and compassion in this new American classic that won the 2016 Tony Award™ for Best Play.

  • Run time is 90 minutes with no intermission.
Seattle Art Museum logo

Art Beyond Sight tours at Seattle Art Museum

By Uncategorized | No Comments

There’s a great article in the Seattle Times about Seattle Art Museum’s Art Beyond Sight tours. Click here to read it.

Once a month, Seattle Art Museum sponsors a tour geared to those with low or no vision. For the participants, the Art Beyond Sight program offers a unique chance to connect with art and find community.

Art Beyond Sight tours for visitors with low or no vision at the SAM at 1300 First Ave.

At 1 pm light refreshments.

Tours start at 1:20 pm and end by 3 pm with opportunity for further conversation and refreshments afterward. Visitors will be greeted by docents at our main entrance, on the corner of First Ave. and Union St. This is an accessible entrance, which means that visitors taking ACCESS transportation or taxi can expect a drop off area and a ramp. If you are driving, this entrance is also where the parking garage elevator leads to. Admission to the Museum is free for all Art Beyond Sight participants and their guests with advance registration. To register, email access@seattleartmuseum.org or call Kelsey Donahue at (206) 654-3133.

Saturday, November 18
Art Beyond Sight: Andrew Wyeth Tour

Living With Low Vision

By Uncategorized | No Comments

by Kate Fewel

If someone you know has vision loss, chances are the world appears distorted, blurry or lacking detail.

Some changes in the aging eye are expected, and considered to be normal. People may find that their ability to focus becomes diminished, they need more light, or lose sensitivity to color and contrast. These changes can usually be accommodated with prescription glasses, low power magnifiers, better contrast, or more efficient lighting.

Yet, for more than seven million people over the age of 65, vision-loss isn’t remedied with glasses, contact lenses, surgery or medication. Such eye diseases, resistant to these remedies, are characterized by the term “low vision.” These include Macular Degeneration, Glaucoma, Diabetic Retinopathy, cataracts, and vision loss caused by a stroke. Depending on the disease, people refer to their vision as having a blind spot in the middle of the visual field, tunnel-like vision, scattered blind spots, haziness, or loss of sight in half of the visual field.

As a social worker at Sight Connection, I have the privilege of offering my services to those who are experiencing low vision. To better understand their challenges, I ask “How does your vision loss affect you?” and “What do you wish others understood about living with low vision?”

In response to the first question, most people immediately mention how much they miss driving and reading. These activities have served as vital links to independence, information, and leisure time. They also mention activities that once seemed simple, and now require energy and patience. The simple tasks of using the phone, computer, or telling time, prove to be more difficult than before. Certain household skills such as, managing medications, navigating curbs and stairs, or sorting through mail, are also more cumbersome. Even attempting to continue with leisure activities, such as knitting, painting, or golf, just isn’t quite the same.

A particularly poignant response is the loss of seeing the faces of loved ones. Phyllis Roberts, an accomplished artist and musician, helped me understand the feelings that many people have when they can no longer see another’s face, or one’s own reflection. Through the medium of watercolor, she depicted how people with Macular Degeneration see the world. In a Picasso-like style, amidst a cascade of pastels, she illustrated a half face surrounded by letters and musical notes, fading in sharpness and contrast.

Her painting is a reminder of the incredible importance of face-to-face contact. Studies have shown that from infancy we have focused on faces, and that a baby can recognize his or her mother among many choices. Throughout our lifetime, most of our communication takes place on a nonverbal level. Whether it’s the curve of lips or the raising of an eyebrow, facial expressions play a valuable role in deciphering a range of feelings.

Without the visual cues necessary for “reading” other’s faces, persons with low vision often describe feeling isolated, confused, frustrated or sad when unable to engage in “eye contact.” Instead of facial signals,a person with vision loss might only see a half face. This face could appear to have uneven features, or simply a blank space where a face should be. A world of information, familiarity and connection is lost. “If only I could see the faces of my grandchildren and great-grandchildren,” many reply.

In response to the second question, most people wish that family members and friends understood the challenges, as well as the sense of accomplishment, in seeking out alternative solutions. Whether it is researching optional forms of transportation, discovering books on tape, waking up to a talking clock, calling loved ones on a large button phone, or using a highpowered magnifier, it’s the small accomplishments that bring the greatest joy.

With regard to seeing other’s faces, they offer the following suggestions:

  1. Some persons with low vision ask others to sit closely, as oftentimes a face becomes clearer at close proximity.
  2. Since visual cues may be missing, a person with low vision might learn to inquire about how someone is feeling. “It sounds as if you might be (angry, bored, happy,worried etc).”
  3. Many say that until they come to know someone by the sound of their voice, it’s helpful to introduce yourself by name when beginning a conversation, or upon entering or leaving a room.
  4. Some use a closed circuit television, or “reading machine”, to see photographs.
  5. Magnified mirrors are often helpful to see one’s own face.
  6. Those with Macular Degeneration often become adept at using peripheral vision. By “looking off to one side,” oftentimes the central image becomes clearer.
  7. In a gathering of several people, it may be difficult to know when it is one’s turn to talk, if visual cues are limited. It is helpful to address the person with low vision by name, and to include them in a conversation.

As a loved one with vision loss adjusts to challenges, family and friends become even more valuable assets to them. The more supportive one’s social network, the greater the likelihood a person will benefit from vision rehabilitation. So, while your face may not be seen clearly, patience and care set the tone for understanding and living with vision loss.

For further information contact Sight Connection. Vision rehabilitation services include a Low Vision Clinic (meets in Seattle, Bremerton and Sedro Woolley), social work, rehabilitation teaching, mobility training, computer assistance and volunteer services as well as the Sight Connection retail store. 1-800-458-4888

photo of eyeglasses and eye chart

Free ZoomText classes at Seattle Public Library

By Uncategorized | No Comments

Seattle Public Library is offering three ZoomText classes next month: Introduction to ZoomText, Resume Writing Using ZoomText, and Cover Letter Creation Using ZoomText. Library events and programs are free and everyone is welcome. Registration is required. Please call (206) 386-4690 or email leap@spl.org. All classes are at the Central Library. Click the links for more details.

Part 1: Introduction to ZoomText, Thursday, November 2, 2017, 2 – 4pm

Part 2: Resume Writing Using ZoomText, Thursday, November 9, 2017, 2 – 4pm

Part 3: Cover Letter Creation Using ZoomText, Thursday, November 16, 2017, 2 – 4pm

Northwest association for blind athletes

Northwest Association for Blind Athletes presents: PARALYMPIC EXPERIENCE

By Uncategorized | No Comments

Northwest Association for Blind Athletes will give students an opportunity to learn basic fundamentals and skills for participating in Goalball and tandem biking.

Open to all K-12 students who are blind or visually impaired. Teachers of the Visually Impaired and other family members are also welcome. Parents or Teachers are required to supervise students throughout the entire event.

Rainer Beach Community Center
100 Dexter Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Find out how to register here. Registration forms are due by Wednesday October 25, 2017.

View the event flyer here.

Back to top