edited by Cynthia G. Hawkins
The announcement of products and services in this column does not represent an endorsement by the American Council of the Blind, its officers, or staff. Listings are free of charge for the benefit of our readers. “The ACB Braille Forum” cannot be held responsible for the reliability of the products and services mentioned.
To submit items for this column, send a message to [email protected], or phone the national office at 1-800-424-8666, and leave a message in Sharon Lovering’s mailbox. Information must be received at least two months ahead of publication date.
Libraries of the Year
The Washington Talking Book & Braille Library in Seattle received the 2022 Regional Library of the Year Award.
The Pinellas County (Florida) Talking Book Library received the Sub-Regional Library/Advisory and Outreach Center of the Year Award.
Lighthouse Guild Announces 2022 Pisart Award Winner
This year’s Pisart Award recipient is Javier Pita Lozano, CEO of NaviLens. The NaviLens system uses improved QR technology with a new type of code made up of four colors that enables it to provide more information than a black-and-white QR code. Using a smartphone, the NaviLens app scans the area. Once it picks up the code, the app provides the embedded information audibly to the user, along with their distance/directionality from the code.
New Brain Implant at Rush University Medical Center
The Intracortical Visual Prosthesis (ICVP), an implant that bypasses the retina and optic nerves to connect directly to the brain’s visual cortex, has been successfully surgically implanted. This procedure was the culmination of nearly three decades of Illinois Tech research dedicated to providing artificial sight to those with blindness due to eye disease or trauma.
The visual prosthesis system of 25 stimulators with 400 electrodes allows devices to be permanently implanted. Since many individuals affected by total blindness do not have intact retina or optic nerves but retain the visual cortex — the area of the brain that allows people to see — an intracortical visual prosthesis may be the only possible advanced visual sensory aid from which they can benefit.
2022 Carroll Society Awards
The Carroll Center for the Blind, in partnership with the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, will induct the following individuals to the Carroll Society due to their outstanding contributions in their place of employment and commitment to their workplaces and communities:
- Muna Abraham, Activity Assistant, Avita of Needham
- Karen Hegarty, Controller, Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute
- Jennifer Ross, Customer Engagement Coordinator, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority - MBTA
- Brian Switzer, Assistive Technology Instructor, Perkins School for the Blind
- Nora Nagle, ADA and 504 Accessibility Coordinator, Boston Museum of Science
McDonald’s Recognizes the 2021 Living the Values Award Winner
The Living the Values Award is given annually to a Global Technology Provider who has demonstrably impacted one or more of McDonald’s values. Vispero®, the global leader for assistive technology products for the blind and low vision community, was selected to assist McDonald’s in providing customers with an accessible kiosk experience. Through Vispero’s TPGi business unit, JAWS Kiosk is being deployed at McDonald’s U.S. company-owned restaurants, as well as newly deployed self-service kiosks in the U.S. franchise locations.
Wolynski Named Chief Technology Officer
Dr. Bryan Wolynski will oversee all technology resources for the organization, including the recently opened Lighthouse Guild Technology Center, and will develop strategies to bring the latest technological advances to people who are blind and visually impaired. He has over 35 years of experience in the eye care field. Dr. Wolynski received his bachelor of science degree in biology from the State University of New York College at Oneonta, his Doctor of Optometry degree from the New England College of Optometry, and completed a residency in primary eye care at NOVA Southeastern University.
SECO Announces 2022 Award Recipients
SECO recently announced the winners of its 2022 awards.
- Southern Council of Optometrists’ Optometrist of the South Award — Dr. Sidney Stern of Miami, Fla.
- Southern Council of Optometrists’ Young Optometrist of the South Award — Dr. Tiffany Li McElroy of Madison, Miss.
- Southern Council of Optometrists’ Paraoptometric of the South — Samantha Denton, CPO, CPOA of Oklahoma City, Okla.
- Southern Council of Optometrists’ President’s Award — Dr. Stan Dickerson of Columbia, Tenn.
Southern Council of Optometrists’ Distinguished Service Award — Dr. Tammy Than of Sun City, Ariz.