Dangerous Vision Presents: “Of the Blind Not For the Blind”

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-cxqag-c33e37

This week’s Dangerous Vision is part one of a two-part conversation with Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind. As President Mark leads the nation’s oldest and largest blindness consumer organization. Part watchdog and part entrepreneur, Mark shares with Randy Cohen how growing up in Milwaukee Wisconsin shaped his sense of community and social justice. For more information visiotn http://www.mabvi.org

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Is there a “Right Way To Do Blind” with Chris Meredith

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-2haut-c261cd

In the 8th episode of Dangerous Vision Randy Cohen talks with Chris Meredith, a financial test engineer, and accessibility officer. Randy and Chris cover a lot of topics including how to make a workplace more inclusive to the latest tech, and employment trends. For more information on this episode and others go to https://www.mabvi.org/resources/dangerous-vision/

Dangerous Vision Presents: High Tech High Notes

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-vnhfz-c12097

By day Bill McCann was a computer programmer and by night he was a trumpeter and composer. In this week’s Dangerous Vision Bill McCann opens up about the time of his life when he ditched the day job to focus on his passion–music. This led to the launch of Dancing Dots Braille Music Technology.

Dangerous Vision Presents: Top Dog

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-ez7qd-bfd6ab

Thomas Panek is the CEO of Guiding Eyes for the Blind. He is not only the President, he is also a client. In this week’s Dangerous Vision Randy and Thomas talk about the special bond Thomas has with his guide dog, Gus. What did Gus do that no other guide dog has ever done? What is Thomas doing right now that is advancing medical science? 
For more information visit http://www.mabvi.org

Dangerous Vision Presents: “Blind Dating”

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-4a7j9-bfac27

In this week’s Dangerous Vision Randy Cohen pulls back the covers on widely held beliefs about dating and sexuality with Robin Mandell. Robin is the creator of Ready, Sexy, Able, an online resource tool that navigates the complicated world of relationships. There’s no such thing as normal sex, and ways of having sex that accommodate different bodies and minds aren’t lesser or adaptive. This episode is adult in nature with content that would suggest a PG 13 rating; For more information on Dangerous Vision visit http://www.mabvi.org

American Idol: The Silent High 5

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-ubmm5-bd6e0d

American Idol is perhaps the biggest television show ever. There has been only one blind contestant to make it into the top ten and that is Scott MacIntyre. In this episode of Dangerous Vision, Randy Cohen dives into music and dishes the dirt with Scott. 

To learn more about Dangerous Vision visit https://www.mabvi.org/resources/dangerous-vision/

Act Today Against H.R. 620

 MAB Community Services acts and urges others to contact Congress.

 Hands Off the Americans with Disabilities Act!

 U.S. House of representatives is considering a bill (H.R. 620) that would significantly weaken the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and its protections for individuals with disabilities. H.R. 620 would make it harder for a person with a disability to access their rights under this 28-year-old civil rights law.

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Dangerous Vision: Practical Advice for Those Living With Low Vision

Reprinted with permission.

My name is Randolph B. (Randy) Cohen.  I teach finance and entrepreneurship at Harvard Business School, and I am a partner in ExSight Ventures, a small money management firm that invests solely in technologies and therapies related to vision and blindness.  I created this site to share my experiences with vision loss.

One of my hopes for the site is that I and others can share practical advice with folks who, like me, are living with low vision.  I have received many valuable tips over the years from others with vision problems, and I’ve figured out a few things on my own, and I’d like to use this forum to share such ideas more widely.  Many of the most helpful pieces of advice I have relate to products, high and low-tech  both, that I use to be more efficient at getting around and getting things done.

In addition to technology, I’ll share thoughts on other choices one can make to minimize the ways low vision affects your life.  Plus I have a lot of stories about what it’s like living with this, some of which may help fellow sufferers feel less alone, some of which may give their friends and loved ones a sense of the experience, and some of which are just embarrassing enough to be pretty funny.  And I’ll feel free to ramble on about other subjects if I choose!  With luck I’ll also persuade friends and colleagues to pitch in with their thoughts and advice.

“Low vision” covers people in a myriad of different situations, all I can do is talk about what works for me and add the occasional comment about tweaks that might be valuable for people whose vision is poor in ways different from mine.  But I wanted to put this up because low vision is incredibly common but I haven’t seen that much written about managing it.  Most people who address sight disorders are addressing the challenges of the totally or almost-totally blind, and of course those folks are the most in need of assistance, so that’s fine.  But hopefully I can help some people in weird in-between situations like mine.

Some of the ideas here will be helpful to people who suffer total blindness, but in many cases people in that situation will find other products and services more helpful.
It may be useful for some users to know the perspective I am coming from.  I suffer from Retinitis Pigmentosa, a degenerative condition of the retina that is closely related to the more common ailment known as macular degeneration.  Many RP sufferers have 20-20 vision but with very narrow visual fields (“tunnel vision”).  My situation is quite different.  I have substantially reduced visual fields, but not really a “tunnel.”  In addition I have extremely poor visual acuity and high light sensitivity.  As a result I can see things better on a computer screen than in “real life,” but only if the computer is set to “inverted” colors, i.e. black background with white text, or some similar high-contrast scheme.  Once again, the solutions I personally recommend will be of most help to those whose visual impairments are most similar to mine, though some may be helpful to a wide range of users.

A note on nomenclature.  I will use terms like “low vision,” “partially sighted,” “legally blind,” etc. as seems appropriate to what I’m writing about, and I’ll make little effort to distinguish between these terms.  I will also use the self-mocking term “dangerous vision” to describe what I deal with, as seeing the way I do can be physically dangerous, to myself and to those around me, but also because of the positive sense of living dangerously — my eyesight makes life an adventure.  And of course the name is an homage to Dangerous Visions, the seminal fiction collection edited by the great Harlan Ellison.

Read more from Dangerous Vision. 

RandyCRandolph B. (Randy) Cohen is a Senior Lecturer in the Finance Unit at Harvard Business School.

Cohen will teach FIN 1 and FIELD 3 at HBS this year; he will also be teaching Investment Management as a visitor at MIT Sloan School of Management.  He has previously held positions as Associate Professor at HBS and Visiting Associate Professor at MIT Sloan.

Cohen’s main research focus is the interface between the actions of institutional investors and price levels in the stock market. Cohen has studied the differential reactions of institutions and individuals to news about firms and the economy, as well as the effect of institutional trading on stock prices. He also has researched the identification of top investment managers and the prediction of manager performance, as well as studying the market for municipal securities. 

In addition to his academic work, Cohen has helped to start and grow a number of investment management firms, and has served as a consultant to many others.

Cohen holds an AB in mathematics from Harvard College and a PhD in finance from the University of Chicago.

Here to Help: Meet Steve Jordan, Director of Orientation and Mobility

Steve Jordan guiding an individualBy Brian Klotz

Steve Jordan has devoted his career to helping others achieve their goals. As the Director of Orientation and Mobility for the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI), Jordan helps to train individuals in how to navigate their environments safely and as independently as possible.

This desire to assist and motivate others can also be seen in Jordan’s other passion: coaching youth sports. A Massachusetts native currently living in Walpole, Jordan received his Bachelor’s from Framingham State University, and afterwards worked at Newton North High School as both a special education aide and a coach for football, baseball, and wrestling. Today, in addition to his duties at MABVI and as the proud father of five children (including a set of triplets born last February!), Jordan continues to coach all three sports at the Nobles and Greenough School in Dedham.

Jordan always knew he wanted to help people through teaching and coaching, but it wasn’t until he was working at Newton North that he discovered exactly how. As a special education aide, Jordan found that one of the students he was working with one-to-one would leave for 45 minutes twice a week, and Jordan never knew why until he asked if he could come along. Continue reading