Insight July 2017

7/25/2017

Check out our top headlines this month… 


15 awesome blind YouTubers you'll want to meet

If you go down the YouTube rabbit hole, you can find hundreds (if not thousands) of blind people posting funny, thoughtful and helpful videos about life with blindness. They talk about anything and everything – from technology to relationships, fashion, daily living, overcoming stigmas, working out, shopping and climbing the career ladder. And if you haven't met these talented folks already, you need to. 

Here are just a few of our favourite YouTubers who just so happen to be blind or partially sighted…

1. Sam, "The Blind Spot"

Screen shot of YouTube video featuring Sam from The Blind Spot 

2. Lucy, "YesterdaysWishes"

Screen shot of YouTube video featuring Lucy from YesterdaysWishes 

3. Tommy Edison, "The Tommy Edison Experience"

Screen shot of Tommy Edison YouTube video 

4. Molly Burke

Screen shot of YouTube video featuring Molly Burke 

5. Ashley, "Blind Moving On"

Screen shot of YouTube video featuring Ashley from Blind Moving On 

6. Roberto Cordero

Screen shot of YouTube video featuring Roberto Cordero 

7. Joy Ross

Screen shot of YouTube video featuring Joy Ros 

8. EJ, "Everything Blind"

Screen shot of YouTube video featuring EJ from Everything Blind 

9. Maureen, "BreakingBlind"

Screen shot of YouTube video featuring Maureen from BreakingBlind 

10. Taylor Elizabeth

Screen shot of YouTube video featuring Taylor Elizabet 

11. Casey, "HowCaseySeesIt"

Screen shot of YouTube video featuring Casey from HowCaseySeesIt 

12. J.R. Bjornson

Screen shot of YouTube video featuring J.R. Bjornson 

13. Kody Keplinger

Screen shot of YouTube video featuring Kody Keplinger 

14. Emily, "Fashioneyesta"

Screen shot of YouTube video featuring Emily from Fashioneyesta 

15. Justin Holland, "The Blind Bodybuilder"  

Screen shot of YouTube video featuring Justin Holland 

Could you be a CEO?
The World Blind Union (WBU) is an international not-for-profit organization representing millions of people who are blind or have low vision worldwide, and they're looking for a new CEO! Think you've got what it takes? Read the job description here.

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Seeing the world blind

Group travel tours for people with vision loss

For some people who are blind, travelling independently is no biggie. They can hop on a plane, train or automobile and happily travel to all corners of the globe, just as confident as can be. But not everyone feels comfortable jet-setting solo without vision to help guide the way. That's why travel tours for people who are blind can not only be an easier way to travel, but the tours are often built around tactile, sensory experiences that can really bring your travel destination alive.

Here are three companies offering tours tailored for travellers who are blind:

Five travellers with vision loss stand in front of the New York City skyline, smiling Operated out of New Brunswick by husband and wife Daniel and Michelle Richards, Eye Sea Travel runs intimate tours that have no more than four or six travellers on average – 10 at the very maximum. Unlike a lot of travel tour companies that cater to people with vision loss, Eye Sea's tours don't have a lot of sighted travellers who receive a discounted rate to serve as guides. Instead, Daniel and Michelle take on that role themselves, making for a more intimate touring experience where travellers often become close friends. They do tours, including many cruises, to destinations around the world. The best part? They're flexible about where they travel, so if you have a place in mind, they're happy to try to carve out a custom tour just for you. Visit eyeseatravel.ca to learn more. 

A large group of sighted and blind travellers pose in front of the mountains of Peru If there's somewhere you want to travel to, chances are, Traveleyes can take you there. This U.K. company serves travellers from across the globe and offers tours to more vacation destinations than we could possibly list here –  Italy, Lisbon, Indonesia, Peru, Burma, Lithuania, Zambia, Bulgaria, Iceland, the list goes on. Tour groups are usually made up of 14 to 20 people, several of whom are sighted travellers who serve as one-on-one guides. One of the things that makes Traveleyes special is its customer service; if you have any questions or concerns about booking your trip, you can reach them not only by phone or email, but also through a convenient chat function on their website. Visit traveleyes-international.com to learn more.

A group of travellers smiling on a cruise ship Based in Camden Maine, Mind's Eye Travel offers not only group trips to places like the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, the Calgary Rockies, the Swiss Alps and many others, but they also offer what's called "independent trips", meaning they'll do all the hard work of planning your trip for you, but you do the actual travelling on your own. As someone who has vision loss herself, Mind's Eye's owner/operator Sue Bramhall understands just how important it is for blind travellers to have a sensory experience while travelling, so she plans each trip to highlight not only the sights of the location, but the sounds, tastes, aromas and tactile experiences. Visit mindseyetravel.com to learn more.


How do you consume entertainment? Take this short survey!

Entertainment is for EVERYONE, and we want to help make it as inclusive as possible. If you're blind or have vision loss, we want to know your thoughts and opinions about entertainment, like movies and TV. Take this short entertainment survey now>

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10 great Shop CNIB products under $10

There are so many cool items out there to make life a little easier for folks who have vision loss or blindness – and you don't always have to break the bank to get your hands on them. Here are 10 that you can find at Shop CNIB...

  1. VoiceZone Talking Memo, $7.95

    VoiceZone Talking Memo  

    This device may be tiny, but it can be a huge help around the house. To use it, all you do is press the Record button (located on the side of the unit) and start talking. Then you can press the Play button (located on the top of the unit) to hear it played back. The device records messages that are up to 10 seconds in length, so you can leave a brief message for a family member, or use it to remember things like phone numbers without having to write them down. Plus there's a handy magnet on the back so you can keep it on your fridge for easy access. 

  2. Compact Coin Manager, $5.95  

    Compact Coin Manager  

    It can be tough to identify coins in your wallet when you can't see them, but this Compact Coin Manager makes it a lot easier. It has six slots that are perfectly sized for each Canadian coin (toonies, loonies, quarters, nickels and two slots for dimes) so you can keep your coins separate and easy to identify. The coins are kept securely in place with springs, and are easy to pop out when you need them.

  3. Food Bumper, $7.95

    Food Bumper  

    A lot of people have trouble at mealtime after they experience vision loss. When you can't see your food, trying to avoiding pushing it off your plate with your knife and fork can be, well… a pain in the butt. This Food Bumper is a really simple but great solution. It's basically a big round lip that snaps onto your plate so you don't push anything over the edge. Simple, huh?

  4. Infila Needle Threader, $6.95

    Infila Needle Threader  

    For those of us who love to sew but hate the annoyance of trying to thread a needle, this Infila Needle Threader is a real must-have. There's no batteries or electricity involved. All you do is lay your thread across one end of the device in a little gulley area. Next you stick your needle into the funnel beside it, eye first. Then you just push a button on the side of the device and, voila, your needle is threaded!

  5. Sock Organizers, $4.95

    Sock Organizers  

    There's something mysterious that happens when you put a pair of socks through the wash… one of them inevitably grows legs and walks away. That's why these Sock Organizers are so helpful – they keep those wayward socks from sneaking off by locking them together through both the washer and dryer. For just $4.95, you can get a 20-pack, which will probably be more than enough to cover every pair you have.

  6. Large-Print Playing Cards, $5.95  

    Large-Print Playing Cards  

    If you've tried playing games with regular cards and you have low vision, you probably know that they can be really hard to see – especially when you've got a hand full of cards and they all seem to look the same. These large-print playing cards are traditional size, but the numbers and suit symbols are nice and big – 1.25 inches or 3 centimetres – so the only thing you'll need to worry about is your fellow players trying to sneak a peek at your hand. Better keep these cards close to your chest!

  7. Bump-On Dots, $9.95

    Bump-On Dots  

    If you're blind or have vision loss and you don't know about Bump-On Dots, you need to! These little guys are pretty inexpensive but they have endless uses for identifying things around the house. They're basically just little raised dots with a tacky backing, but you can stick them on just about anything – like commonly used settings on your stove or microwave; tin and packaged foods in your cupboards; pill bottles in your medicine cabinet; the list goes on. You can also come up with different combinations. For instance, if you put dots on every jar in your cupboard, one dot could mean red sauce, two dots could mean alfredo sauce, three dots could mean pesto, and so on.

  8. Bar Magnifier, $7.95

    Bar Magnifier  

    If you have mild to moderate vision loss, you won't want to leave home without this handy-dandy bar magnifier. With a magnification rate of 1.5 times and a guiding yellow line own the middle, this magnifier makes reading restaurant menus, newspapers and mail a lot easier. It's also only 6 inches long by 1 inch wide, so it'll fit nicely in a purse or even a coat pocket while you're on the go.  

  9. Clothing Identi-Buttons: Primary Colours, $7.95

    Clothing Identi-Buttons 

    If you have trouble identifying colours when picking out your clothes, these cute little buttons might make the process a lot easier. There are eight buttons in the pack and each one is a different colour and a different shape. All you do is sew each button on to an article of clothing of the same colour, possibly with the help of the sighted friend who can identify the colours for you. That way, you can learn to identify the colour of the garment by the way the shape of the button feels.

  10. Tulip Tactile Liquid Marker in Yellow, $4.95

    Tulip Tactile Liquid Marker, yellow  

    This tulip tactile paint has so many uses for someone who's blind or has low vision. It's basically a puffy paint that's really easy to squeeze out of the canister and daub onto just about anything to create a raised identifying mark that's not only easy to feel, but might be easier to see if you have low vision because it's bright yellow. You can use it to mark pretty much any surface, including fabric, wood, glass, laminate surfaces, and it's also safe for dishwasher and laundry machines.


Did you know?

Proceeds from Shop CNIB go right back into CNIB's services for people who are blind or partially sighted across Canada. Visit shopcnib.ca to make your purchases securely online, or call 1-866-659-1843 to request a free catalogue.

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'Wow!' of the month

Meet Bin Liu and Arjun Mali

Image of Arjun Malu and Bin Liu, creators of the Buzzclip This month, we want to send some major kudos to Arjun Malu and Bin Liu, two very talented young men who recently created a very cool wearable technology for people who are blind or partially sighted, called the Buzzclip.  

The Buzzclip is a discreet little product that uses ultrasounds to detect objects in one's path, like a wall or tree. The user clips the device onto an article of clothing, and when they get within one or two metres of an obstacle in their path, the Buzzclip will vibrate, alerting the user to stop or change their course. It's kind of like a white cane, except the cane can't detect if you're about to bump your head on something – it can only detect what's at your feet. So the Buzzclip may save you a goose egg or two on the head!

Image of the Buzzclip, a small black device that can clip to an item of clothing What's especially cool is that this product started out so organically for creators Arjun and Bin. Then just 25 years old, Bin knew nothing about assistive technology. But after his father developed inoperable glaucoma, Bin wanted to provide him with a functional and effective solution for when he eventually lost more vision. So he got together with his friend Arjun and – after a lot of hard work – the Buzzclip was born. The ingenious pair set up an Indiegogo fundraising campaign to get their product off the ground, and it took off with a bang.

Now this handy little device is not only helping Bin's dad, but thousands of other people with vision loss here in Canada and around the world. Not bad for two guys in their mid-twenties, huh?

Get your Buzzclip today at Shop CNIB for $249.95.


Check out Bin and Arjun on AMI

"AMI This Week" presenter Anthony McLachlan sat down with Bin and Arjun to learn more about this ground-breaking technology. Click here to watch the entire episode.

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