MEDIA ADVISORY: Technology Showcase Helps San Diegans Affected by Vision Loss

MEDIA ADVISORY: Technology Showcase Helps San Diegans Affected by Vision Loss
April, 2017 Client News


  • Braille Institute is dedicated to helping people live well with low vision. Teaching Braille is a very small service offering, as nearly 90 percent of their students (youth and adults) have some remaining vision, and it’s their mission to support independence as their students’ vision changes.
  • Their 17th annual technology showcase is an opportunity for San Diegans affected by low vision or who are blind to remain independent and engaged – whether they are a student with a vision impairment or a senior with macular degeneration.
  • People with sight rely on their portable devices like smartphones and tablets to stay engaged and informed. But what if you are experiencing vision loss? There are additional technology solutions to empower people to remain independent, informed, and connected to others, living a life without barriers.
  • Handheld and desktop technology to help people with vision loss read medicine bottles, menus, photos, books, emails, letters, cookbooks, etc.
  • Talking book software as well as “readers” reading the text out loud.
  • Digital book machines and downloadable books available in the award-winning Braille Institute library.
  • Presentations about the latest in eye disease research and social and emotional impact of sight loss.
  • Free Admission. Free parking offered on a first come, first served basis.

WHEN: Wednesday, April 19. Doors open to the public: 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

WHERE: Braille Institute San Diego Center, 4555 Executive Drive, San Diego, CA 92121


  • 200+ San Diego residents expected to attend who are affected by vision loss, either themselves or loved ones.
  • People with vision loss who have either cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration or other related eye conditions.
  • Anyone who has permanent vision loss affecting their daily living activities (like reading, cooking, driving) are encouraged to attend.

RSVP: Online at or call 858-452-1111.


  • Tour the most unique library in San Diego. Braille Institute provides access to free digital book machines and downloadable books, book clubs, and more for people who can no longer read traditional paper books.
  • Hundreds of guests and students with low vision learning more about the adaptive technology available to increase confidence and remain engaged.
  • Types of technology include:
  • Using portable devices such as handheld video magnifiers to read small print “on the go” which can fit in a purse or bag.
  • Classroom use: Students can see the board, read assignments, take notes.
  • Business use: Read, write and view business presentations.
  • Large print keyboards provide low vision computer users an easy-to-read keyboard with bold, high-contrast keys for fast accurate typing.
  • Software and devices that read text aloud.


  • Dr. Nikolas London, MD, MS can speak to the latest research in current eye disease.
  • Bill Takeshita, OD, FAAO, FCOVD can speak to the social and emotional impact of sight loss.
  • Jay Hatfield, executive director of the San Diego Center can answer questions about classes and services offered, and the mission of Braille Institute.
  • Inspiring students, volunteers and teachers who can speak about the impact of the classes and programs on their lives.
  • Technology experts available for interview to demonstrate products.
  • Spanish language spokesperson, Gigi Lagunas, available.


  • According to a recent National Health Interview Survey, 20.6 million adult Americans reported vision loss that cannot be corrected with glasses or contacts – this is just more than six percent of the U.S. population.
  • It is a stereotype that Braille Institute only teaches people how to read and communicate using Braille – this is a very small part of what they offer to the public, and is usually taught to students who are born blind or with significant vision loss.
  • All classes and services offered by Braille Institute are free of charge. By learning about tips, tricks, and technology to help maintain independence despite vision loss, students who attend classes regularly experience a renewed sense of confidence, gain independence, and are given the necessary tools to live well with low vision.
  • Programs are available in English and Spanish, and include one-on-one consults and small group classes to help adults with little to no vision build practical skills, and gain or regain independence.
  • Classes are developed and taught for those who are blind and visually impaired. Some of the students who have benefitted from Braille Institute services have become teachers themselves!

The following classes are just a few of the programs offered at Braille Institute San Diego campus:

  • Beginning Kitchen Skills
  • Braille
  • Computer Keyboarding
  • Computer Zoomtext
  • Computers Talk Back
  • Cultural Exploration
  • Fun Social Bridge
  • Gardening Projects
  • Healthy Smoothies
  • iPhone / iPad Instruction
  • Microwave Cooking
  • Move Your Body
  • Music Ablaze and Old Time Radio Shows
  • New Independence
  • News and Views
  • Paper Crafting
  • San Diego & California History
  • Sensory Awareness