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Chris Downey: Design with the blind in mind

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Blind signal icon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


What would a city designed for the blind be like? Chris Downey is an architect who went suddenly blind in 2008; he contrasts life in his beloved San Francisco before and after — and shows how the thoughtful designs that enhance his life now might actually make everyone’s life better, sighted or not.


Chris Downey is an architect who lost his sight and gained a new way of seeing the world.



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The National Braille Challenge

English: The Perkins Next Generation Brailler

This Saturday in Los Angeles, top blind students from the U.S. and Canada will meet to compete in the 12th Annual National Braille Challenge.   These students, ages 6 to 19, must  transcribe, type, and read braille at an amazingly fast speed, using a Perkins Brailler. reports:
The National Braille Challenge
“This competition is unique in that it tests a very specific skill. It gives us the opportunity to bring the issue of literacy for blind children to the attention of the public,” said Nancy Niebrugge, director of The Braille Challenge. “Most of the participants who make it to the national competition are the only blind students in their school. They go through their entire lives being the exception. The Braille Challenge® gives them the opportunity to build camaraderie among kids who have shared similar life experiences.”
This year’s competition will feature a diverse group of high achievers from across the country. Most were born blind, others lost their sight due to cancer or viral infections, but they all share a tenacity that drives them to succeed in spite of their challenges. They were chosen from among more than 900 blind students—representing 42 states and two Canadian provinces—during the preliminary round at Regional Braille Challenge events held across