Tag Archives | Blind

Guide Dogs and Guns: America’s Blind Gunmen

Silhouette GunEven if you blindly support the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution (the right to bear arms and all that), does it follow that you let blind people own guns? From BBC News:

In the US, being blind is no bar to owning and carrying firearms. The blind people who do it say they are simply exercising their constitutional right, and present no danger to the public.

When Carey McWilliams went to the sheriff’s office in Fargo, North Dakota, to fill out the paperwork for a permit to carry a concealed weapon, the staff immediately noticed he was holding the harness to a guide dog.

The woman behind the desk pointed out that he would have to pass a shooting test before being granted the licence, but McWilliams said he knew that. He told her not to worry.

“So then she took a picture of me, and my application then went up through the ranks – it got the signature of the chief of police of Fargo, the sheriff and the state attorney general’s office – and they kept calling me and calling me, saying: ‘There’s a shooting test, there’s a shooting test.'”

The day of the test came, and McWilliams duly went along to the police firing range with a friend who was also trying for a permit.

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New Device Lets You See With Your Ears

Photo: Michael Proulx (CC)

Photo: Michael Proulx (CC)

While giving sight to the blind may not be medically possible just yet, we are discovering new ways that allow them to “see.” Discovery News reports:

A new device that links spy glasses, a webcam and a smart phone could make it easier for blind people to “see” shapes by converting visual signals to auditory ones and sending them to another part of the brain.

Its developers also hope that the same device could be used to give a new twist to infrared vision for seeing at night or take sonar to a different level for navigating underwater.

Michael Proulx, a neuroscientist at Queen Mary’s College in London, will be demonstrating the device, know as “vOICe,” at the American Psychological Association meeting this week in Washington.

vOICe works by mapping visual images to sound and then providing blindfolded users with a sense of what an object is and where it is located.

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‘Bionic Eye’ Implant Gives Hope To The Blind

96px-Wonder_eye

Photo: Jalal Volker (CC)

“I see,” said the blind man, with the bionic eye. For centuries the hearing impaired have used devices to aid their hearing, but it is only till now that we may be able to help the blind see again. Bangkok Post reports:

For a man whose view of the world has slowly faded to black over 30 years, a device that allows him to see flashes of light has kindled his hope of one day gazing upon his grandson’s face.

A career electrician who grew up in Greece and came to the United States as a young man, Elias Konstantopoulos first noticed his vision getting poorer when at age 43 he absentmindedly tried on a relative’s eyeglasses and found he could see more clearly with them than without.

Soon after, he visited a doctor who tested his sight and discovered he was no longer able to see his outstretched arms from the corners of his eyes.

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