June 4, 1995 |
When you're unable to see what you're doing, a task as seemingly simple as counting change can be a major undertaking. Pennies and nickels are nearly indistinguishable. "Now imagine doing that in a store, while the people behind you are telling you to hurry up," said Patty Silver, during an at-home demonstration of what it's like to live without sight. Silver, 42, who has been blind for almost 12 years, has developed many methods for meeting such challenges. When she speaks at schools, clubs, church groups and other organizations, she uses a crateful of materials for a hands- on demonstration of how she copes with blindness.
April 18, 1993 |
Amanda Reighn, 59, sits hunched over the table, carefully fingering the pin-size dots in the Braille reading book. She is blind in her right eye, and is slowly losing sight in her left. Andrew Bemesderfer, 84, sits at a another table, learning how to use the Braille typing machine. He suffers from a degenerative eye disease and expects to lose his sight. These two, along with 20 or 30 others, come to VISCOP three days a week in a room in the Pitman Church of the Nazarene to get out of the house, meet friends and prepare for blindness.
March 13, 2008 |
Sabriye Tenberken has experienced firsthand the prejudice that blind people are subjected to in her adopted homeland of Tibet. She has heard the curses directed at students from her training center, Braille Without Borders, when they venture out on the streets of Lhasa. This shocking treatment stems in part from ignorance and in part from religious beliefs in this Buddhist country. There is a remarkable scene in the new documentary Blindsight, capturing the attempt of six of Tenberken's blind students to scale a 23,000-foot peak in the Himalayas, that shows a Tibetan boy musing about the crimes he must have committed in a previous life to have earned the terrible karma of blindness.
August 21, 1986 |
What we've got here today is a celebration of quiet courage. Of a woman who despite a terrible handicap, made it to an important corporate position with one of the best-known companies in America. Her name is Kathy Letterman, and this is her story. The first thing you need to know about Kathy Letterman is that she is a zone manager for Southland Corp., which owns the 7,000-odd 7-Eleven stores that dot America's landscape like an outbreak of acne. Kathy is responsible for about 100 stores in northern California, and one of her responsibilities, apparently, is to keep up with legislation that could affect those stores.
April 10, 1986 |
The sun shone brilliantly on Jim Ganter's tanned face as he prepared to tee off at the 15th hole of the Hidden Springs Golf and Country Club in Horsham Monday afternoon. In the distance, beyond a sand trap flanked by the rolling, grassy slopes of the course, the green could just barely be seen, marked by a small numbered flag whipping in the breeze. But Ganter didn't see the flag, or the sandtrap, or the sun. Like half a dozen other golfers out on the course that day, Ganter is blind.
September 21, 1989 |
Despite the light mist that clung to the roads early Sunday, Greg Gontaryk, who is blind, took a downhill portion of that road at 45 miles per hour on the back of a tandem 10-speed racing bike. Gontaryk of Upper Darby and bike pilot John Weisgerber of Ardmore were two of the 36 riders who turned out for the May Davidow Memorial Bike for the Blind on Sunday. Four of the 36 were blind. The two were among only 12 of the riders who braved the 50-mile loop that went from Jenkintown to New Hope and back to Jenkintown.
September 10, 1995 |
Patricia Kelly has always considered herself a competent, contributing member of society. Although blind, she has been employed since 1974. But because of gaps in the public transportation system that Kelly considers unfair, she is facing the likelihood of being fired as early as Tuesday because she lost her ride to work two weeks ago. The county's paratransit service provides free or reduced-cost rides for pregnant teenagers, people...
June 25, 2004 |
Patrick Molloy devours words with his fingertips. So keen is the 11-year-old Newtown boy's ability to read and write braille that tomorrow he will compete against some of the country's best blind readers. Patrick is among the 60 blind and visually impaired students who scored highest on a test distributed by the Braille Institute of America, a nonprofit organization based in California that aims to help blind people achieve independence. Another local student, Karly Deitrick, 9, of Royersford, is also a contender at the National Braille Challenge.
December 25, 2010 |
After more than a century in Philadelphia, the nation's oldest library for the blind is facing the potential loss of most of its materials and services to its Pittsburgh counterpart. A state-commissioned study has recommended that the Philadelphia Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped be significantly downsized - at a savings of about $600,000 a year for the Pennsylvania Department of Education, which funds it. Although the principal heir would be the Carnegie Library for the Blind, the study also suggests moving Philadelphia's Braille collection - at 95,000 titles one of the country's largest - to Iowa.
May 3, 2012 |
Keri Wilkins is incensed. She is a librarian passionately committed to serving the blind and physically handicapped in 29 counties, the entire eastern half of Pennsylvania, sending out almost a million digital books and recorded cassettes a year. "I am appalled. I am angry," she tells me at the branch at Ninth and Walnut, founded in 1882, the nation's oldest library serving the blind, where almost a half-million mint-condition recorded cassettes are, by state mandate, headed for "recycling," that is, the trash.