Friday, October 2, 2015

Blind Willie McTell

Blind Willie McTell

Blind Willie McTell was a Piedmont and ragtime blues singer and guitarist. He played with a fluid, syncopated fingerstyle guitar technique, common among many exponents of Piedmont blues, although, unlike his contemporaries, he came to use twelve-string guitars exclusively. McTell was also an adept slide guitarist, unusual among ragtime bluesmen. His vocal style, a smooth and often laid-back tenor, differed greatly from many of the harsher voice types employed by Del...
more on Wikipedia

Monday, August 24, 2015

David Alexander Paterson is legally blind. Also was Governor of New York.

David Alexander Paterson (born May 20, 1954) is an American politician. He was the 55th Governor of New York, in office from 2008 to 2010. He was the first African American governor of New York and also the second legally blind governor of any U.S. state after Bob C. Riley, who was Acting Governor of Arkansas for 11 days in January 1975. Since leaving office, Paterson has been a radio talk show host on station WOR in New York City, and was in 2014 appointed Chairman of the New York Democratic Party by his successor as governor, Andrew Cuomo.
After graduating from Hofstra Law School, Paterson worked in the District Attorney's office of Queens County, New York, and on the staff of Manhattan Borough President David Dinkins. In 1985, he was elected to the New York State Senate to a seat that was once held by his father, former New York Secretary of State Basil Paterson. In 2003, he rose to the position of Senate Minority Leader. Paterson was selected as running mate by then-New York Attorney General and Democratic Party gubernatorial nominee Eliot Spitzer in the 2006 New York gubernatorial election. Spitzer and Paterson were elected in November 2006 with 69 percent of the vote, and Paterson took office as Lieutenant Governor on January 1, 2007.
When Spitzer resigned in the wake of a prostitution scandal, Paterson was sworn in as governor of New York on March 17, 2008. Paterson launched a brief campaign for a full term as governor in the 2010 gubernatorial election, but announced on February 26, 2010, that he would not be a candidate in the Democratic primary.  David Paterson was born in Brooklyn to Portia Paterson, a homemaker, and labor law attorney Basil Paterson. Basil Paterson was later a New York state senator and secretary of state, and served as deputy mayor of New York City. According to a New York Now interview, Paterson traces his roots on his mother's side of the family to pre-Civil War African American slaves in the states of North Carolina and South CarolinaHis father is half Afro-Jamaican. His paternal grandmother, Evangeline Rondon Paterson was secretary to Black Nationalist leader Marcus Garvey. His paternal grandfather was Leonard James Paterson, a native of Carriacou who arrived in the United States aboard the S.S. Vestris on May 16, 1917. Part of his father's ancestry consists of immigrants from England, Ireland, and Scotland, while his mother's side includes European ancestry, as well as ancestors from the Guinea-Bissau region of West Africa.
At the age of three months, Paterson contracted an ear infection which spread to his optic nerve, leaving him with no sight in his left eye and severely limited vision in his right. Since New York City public schools would not guarantee him an education without placing him in special education classes, his family bought a home in the Long Island suburb of South Hempstead so that he could attend mainstream classes there. Paterson was the first disabled student in the Hempstead public schools, graduating from Hempstead High School in 1971.
Paterson received a B.A. in History from Columbia College of Columbia University in 1977 and a law degree from Hofstra Law School in 1983. After law school, he went to work for the Queens District Attorney's Office, but did not pass the New York bar examination, thus not becoming an Attorney at law. He claimed that his failing the New York bar was partially the result of insufficient accommodation for his visual impairment, and has since advocated for changes in bar exam procedures.While he was governor, Paterson's staff read documents to him over voice mail. Paterson was the first governor of New York to be partly blind. Paterson and his wife, Michelle Paige Paterson, separated after 19 years of marriage in September 2012.
In 1985, Paterson resigned from the Queens District Attorney's office so he could join the campaign of then city clerk David Dinkins to win the Democratic nomination for Manhattan Borough President. That summer, on August 6, state senator Leon Bogues died, and Paterson sought and obtained the Democratic party nomination for the seat. In mid-September, a meeting of 648 Democratic committee members on the first ballot gave Paterson 58% of the vote, giving him the party nomination. That October, Paterson won the virtually uncontested special State Senate election. At the time, the 29th Senate district covered the Manhattan neighborhoods of HarlemManhattan Valley and the Upper West Side, the same district that Paterson's father had represented. Upon his election, Paterson became the youngest State Senator in Albany. He won the seat again in 1986 for a full term representing the 29th District in the New York State Senate, and served as senator until assuming the office of Lieutenant Governor on January 1, 2007. Paterson briefly ran in the Democratic primary for the office of New York City Public Advocate in 1993, but was defeated by Mark J. Green.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Blind Devotion | Jubilee Project Short Film

I found this video Blind Devotion | Jubilee Project Short Film and had to share it. I found this video on

How do you tell the person you love you’re going blind? How do you cook? Clean? Go to work? Dress yourself? Care for your spouse? Run your home? A recently released short video, produced by theJubilee Project, poses all of these questions about living with a disability, whether you’re the person who has the disability, or you’re a friend, family member, or colleague of someone with a disability. Several friends in the blind community drew my attention to this video recently. It tells of a married couple’s struggle with the realization that the wife (Cecilia) is going blind, and what that means for her identity as a woman, as a professional, and as a wife, as well as her husband’s(Louie) endeavors to support her despite her denial.Curious about the backlash the short provoked amongst many of my friends, I watched (several times) and still find myself sifting through mixed emotions. Intended as a short film about unconditional love and the challenges of marriage, Blind Devotion instead seems to misappropriate disability for a religious agenda and presents a troubling picture of the ways that fear and denial can damage healthy lives and relationships. However, it also offers us some startling realities about the challenges that people with disabilities face—realities that many of us live with day in and day out, but that we wish would go away.
Firstly, it bears pointing out that this video’s target audience isn’t the disabled, or people who are close to someone with a disability, but that’s all the more reason, in my opinion, that appropriating blindness symbolically to tell a story about marital and life challenges is all the more problematic, because if handled insensitively, such appropriation perpetuates the myths and stereotypes that people with disabilities spend every day of their lives trying to dispel. As for the portrayal of blindness itself, while I disagree with Cecilia’s attempts to hide her disability, I think her story should evoke compassion and concern from the blind community rather than the ridicule I’ve heard from some. To put it bluntly, going blind is scary. Anyone who has gone blind and doesn’t remember the fear has selective amnesia. While those of us who’ve dealt with it know in hindsight (pun intended) that denial isn’t just a river in Egypt, we often forget that we asked many of the questions and wrestled with many of the same fears that Cecilia has expressed. This is a woman who, having lived her entire life with fully functional sight, is now facing the prospect of adjusting to life without it. When she tells us that a disease she can barely pronounce is taking away her vision, many of us can relate to the figurative as well as the literal truth in that statement. The future she’s carefully mapped out for herself is being obliterated. We know, sadly, that despite the ADA, employers still discriminate against people with disabilities, and her career is likely in jeopardy.
As she admits, her domestic devotion to her husband might seem like a throwback to prefeminist domesticity, but let’s not devalue the work of running the household and caring for one’s family—tasks in which she obviously takes pride and which partially define her identity as woman and wife. Because of her denial, and her fear, she can’t recognize that blind people can, and do, live perfectly productive lives as professionals, parents, spouses, and even as single people. While her denial will ultimately make the road she has to travel much rougher and longer than it might be if she would face the truth, the process of acceptance, in a lot of ways, mirrors the five stages of grief. According to,

Monday, August 10, 2015

Louis Braille, a French 12-year-old, who was also blind. And his work changed the world of reading and writing, forever.

Louis Braille (1809-1852) Six dots. Six bumps. Six bumps in different patterns, like constellations, spreading out over the page. What are they? Numbers, letters, words. Who made this code? None other than Louis Braille, a French 12-year-old, who was also blind. And his work changed the world of reading and writing, forever.
Louis was from a small town called Coupvray, near Paris—he was born on January 4 in 1809. Louis became blind by accident, when he was 3 years old. Deep in his Dad's harness workshop, Louis tried to be like his Dad, but it went very wrong; he grabbed an awl, a sharp tool for making holes, and the tool slid and hurt his eye. The wound got infected, and the infection spread, and soon, Louis was blind in both eyes. 
All of a sudden, Louis needed a new way to learn. He stayed at his old school for two more years, but he couldn't learn everything just by listening. Things were looking up when Louis got a scholarship to the Royal Institution for Blind Youth in Paris, when he was 10. But even there, most of the teachers just talked at the students. The library had 14 huge books with raised letters that were very hard to read. Louis was impatient. hen in 1821, a former soldier named Charles Barbier visited the school. Barbier shared his invention called "night writing," a code of 12 raised dots that let soldiers share top-secret information on the battlefield without even having to speak. Unfortunately, the code was too hard for the soldiers, but not for 12-year-old Louis! Louis trimmed Barbier's 12 dots into 6, ironed out the system by the time he was 15, then published the first-ever braille book in 1829. But did he stop there? No way! In 1837, he added symbols for math and music. But since the public was skeptical, blind students had to study braille on their own. Even at the Royal Institution, where Louis taught after he graduated, braille wasn't taught until after his death. Braille began to spread worldwide in 1868, when a group of British men, now known as the Royal National Institute for the Blind, took up the cause. Now practically every country in the world uses braille. Braille books have double-sided pages, which saves a lot of space. Braille signs help blind people get around in public spaces. And, most important, blind people can communicate independently, without needing print. 
Louis proved that if you have the motivation, you can do incredible things.
Braille characters are small rectangular blocks called cells that contain tiny palpable bumps called raised dots. The number and arrangement of these dots distinguish one character from another. Since the various braille alphabets originated as transcription codes of printed writing systems, the mappings (sets of character designations) vary from language to language. Furthermore, in English Braille there are three levels of encoding: Grade 1, a letter-by-letter transcription used for basic literacy; Grade 2, an addition of abbreviations and contractions; and Grade 3, various non-standardized personal shorthands.
Braille cells are not the only thing to appear in embossed text. There may be embossed illustrations and graphs, with the lines either solid or made of series of dots, arrows, bullets that are larger than braille dots, etc.
In the face of screen-reader software, braille usage has declined. However, braille education remains important for developing reading skills among blind and visually impaired children, and braille literacy correlates with higher employment rates.
People often think that braille is a language. Actually there is a braille code for every foreign language you can imagine including French, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, and Hebrew. There are also braille codes for mathematicsmusic, and computers.
Where Can I Find a Picture of Louis Braille?
Learn more in the Louis Braille Online Museum—200 Years: The Life and Legacy of Louis Braille

I would  like to thank AFB For the information for this posting.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Claude Monet - also known as Oscar-Claude Monet or Claude Oscar Monet. He started to go blind.

Claude Monet - also known as Oscar-Claude Monet or Claude Oscar Monet (November 14, 1840 - December 5, 1926) was a founder of French impressionist painting, and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement's philosophy of expressing one's perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein-air landscape painting. The term Impressionism is derived from the title of his painting Impression, Sunrise. His popularity and fame grew. By 1907 he had painted many well-known paintings, but by then he had his first problem with his eyesight. He started to go blind. He still painted, though his eyes got worse. He wouldn't stop painting until he was nearly blind. In the last decade of his life Monet, nearly blind, painted a group of large water lily murals (Nympheas) for the Musee de l'Orangerie in Paris. 

On the first of April 1851, Monet entered the Le Havre secondary school of the arts. He first became known locally for his charcoal caricatures, which he would sell for ten to twenty francs. Monet also undertook his first drawing lessons from Jacques-François Ochard, a former student of Jacques-Louis David. On the beaches of Normandy in about 1856/1857 he met fellow artist Eugène Boudin who became his mentor and taught him to use oil paints. Boudin taught Monet "en plein air" (outdoor) techniques for painting.

When Monet traveled to Paris to visit The Louvre, he witnessed painters copying from the old masters. Monet, having brought his paints and other tools with him, would instead go and sit by a window and paint what he saw. Monet was in Paris for several years and met several painters who would become friends and fellow impressionists. One of those friends was Édouard Manet.

Monet's Camille or The Woman in the Green Dress (La Femme à la Robe Verte), painted in 1866, brought him recognition, and was one of many works featuring his future wife, Camille Doncieux; she was the model for the figures in The Woman in the Garden of the following year, as well as for On the Bank of the Seine, Bennecourt, 1868, pictured here. Shortly thereafter Doncieux became pregnant and gave birth to their first child, Jean. In 1868, due to financial reasons, Monet attempted suicide by throwing himself into the Seine.To learn more go to

Monday, July 27, 2015

Joseph Pulitze was a Hungarian-American publisher best known for posthumously establishing the Pulitzer Prizes (along with William Randolph Hearst) and for originating yellow journalism.

Joseph Pulitzer - (April 10, 1847 - October 29, 1911) Joseph was a Hungarian-American publisher best known for posthumously establishing the Pulitzer Prizes (along with William Randolph Hearst) and for originating yellow journalism. In 1882 Pulitzer purchased the New York World, a newspaper that had been losing $40,000 a year, for $346,000 from Jay Gould. Pulitzer shifted its focus to human-interest stories, scandal, and sensationalism. At the age of 42 Joseph became blind due to retinal detachment leaving him no choice but to retire.Joseph Pulitzer is the namesake for one of the most desired honors, the Pulitzer Prize for literature, music and journalism, and was legally blind. Pulitzer was also a politician with a Missouri state legislature seat. Throughout his career, he had a hard stance against illegal gain as well as corruption. While he acquired multiple newspapers, Pulitzer’s eyes began to fail him leading to him becoming completely blind in 1889. Despite this, he remained a strong watch-dog for injustice and social crimes.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Ray Charles was responsible for the creation of soul music, which combines blues, rhythm, gospel and jazz. He was allso blind.

Ray Charles - (September 23, 1930) known by his stage name Ray Charles, was an American pianist and musician who shaped the sound of rhythm and blues. Ray Charles is one of the most famous American musical performers. He was  allso blind. He wasborn with glaucoma and was completely blind by the time he was seven.

He brought a soulful sound to country music, pop standards, and a rendition of "America the Beautiful" that Ed Bradley of 60 Minutes called the "definitive version of the song, an American anthem. In 1965, Charles was arrested for possession of heroin, a drug to which he had been addicted for nearly 20 years.  It was his third arrest for the offence, but he avoided jail time after kicking the habit in a clinic in Los Angeles. He spent a year on parole in 1966.  

 He left school when he was 15 to pursue his dream of music.  Ray Charles was responsible for the creation of soul music, which combines blues, rhythm, gospel and jazz.  Charles not only helped eliminate many racial barriers since he was one of the earliest black musicians to be played on the radio. Ray Charles Live ShowHe pioneered the genre of soul music during the 1950s by combining rhythm and blues, gospel, and blues styles into the music he recorded for Atlantic Records. He also contributed to the racial integration of country and pop music during the 1960s with his crossover success on ABC Records, most notably with his two Modern Sounds albums. While he was with ABC, Charles became one of the first African-American musicians to be granted artistic control by a mainstream record company.
Charles was blind from the age of seven. Charles cited Nat King Cole as a primary influence, but his music was also influenced by jazz, blues, rhythm and blues, and country artists of the day, including Art TatumLouis JordanCharles Brown and Louis Armstrong. Charles' playing reflected influences from country bluesbarrelhouse and stride piano styles. He had strong ties to Quincy Jones, who often cared for him and showed him the ropes of the "music club industry." Frank Sinatra called him "the only true genius in show business", although Charles downplayed this notion. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked Charles at number ten on their list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time", and number two on their November 2008 list of the "100 Greatest Singers of All Time". Billy Joelobserved: "This may sound like sacrilege, but I think Ray Charles was more important than Elvis Presley".

Monday, July 13, 2015

Homer A legendary ancient Greek epic poet, traditionally said to be the author of the epic poems the Iliad and the Odyssey. He was also said to have been blind.

Image showing a staute of HomerHomer (Unknown):  A legendary ancient Greek epic poet, traditionally said to be the author of the epic poems the Iliad and the Odyssey.  He was also said to have been blind.  The ancient Greeks generally believed that Homer was a historical individual, but modern scholars are skeptical because no reliable biographical information has been handed down from classical antiquity, and the poems themselves manifestly represent the culmination of many centuries of oral story-telling and a well-developed “formulaic” system of poetic composition.  The date of Homer’s existence was controversial in antiquity and is no less so today.  Herodotus said that Homer lived 400 years before his own time, which would place him at around 850 BC; but other ancient sources gave dates much closer to the supposed time of the Trojan War (1194 – 1184 BC).  The formative influence of the works of Homer in shaping and influencing the whole development of Greek culture was recognized by many Greeks themselves, who considered him to be their instructor.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman - (c. 1820 - 10 March 1913) Harriet Tubman was a slave throughout her youth, being treated as an animal until she eventually escaped captivity. When she had reached Canada she did not stay to enjoy her freedom. She returned to the lands and brought hundreds of black slaves back to safety, saving them from slavery by escaping from what they then called The Underground Railroad. After a severe wound to the head, which was inflicted by a slave owner before her escape, she became victim to vision impairment and seizures. Which did not keep her from tossing her fears aside and to keep fighting for the freedom of her people.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Stevie Wonder - Steveland Hardaway Judkins on name later changed to Steveland Hardaway Morris), is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer. Blind from infancy, Wonder signed with Motown Records as a pre-adolescent at age twelve, and continues to perform and record for the label to this day.

Stevie Wonder - (born Steveland Hardaway Judkins on May 13, 1950, name later changed to Steveland Hardaway Morris), is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer. Blind from infancy, Wonder signed with Motown Records as a pre-adolescent at age twelve, and continues to perform and record for the label to this day. It is thought that he received excessive oxygen in his incubator which led to retinopathy of prematurity, a destructive ocular disorder affecting the retina, characterized by abnormal growth of blood vessels, scarring, and sometimes retinal detachment. A prominent figure in popular music during the latter half of the 20th century , Wonder has recorded more than thirty top ten hits, won 26 Grammy Awards (a record for a solo artist), plus one for lifetime achievement, won an Academy Award for Best Song and been inducted into both the Rock and Roll and Songwriters halls of fame. He has also been awarded the Polar Music Prize.

Blind from infancy, Wonder signed with Motown Records as a pre-adolescent at age twelve, and continues to perform and record for the label to this day. He has nine U.S. number-one hits to his name (on the pop Charts, 20 U.S. R&B number one hits), and album sales totaling more than 150 million units. Wonder has recorded several critically acclaimed albums and hit singles, and writes and produces songs for many of his label mates and outside artists as well. Wonder plays the piano, synthesizer, harmonica, congas, drums, bongos, organ, melodica, and clavinet. In his early career, he was best known for his harmonica work, but today he is better known for his keyboard skills and vocals.
His family moved to Detroit when he was four. Stevie took up piano the same year and had mastered it by age nine. During his childhood, he was active in his church's choir. He also taught himself to play the harmonicaand the drums, and had mastered both by age ten.
In 1961, at the age of 11, Stevie was introduced to Ronnie White of the popular Motown act The Miracles. White brought the boy and his mother to Motown Records. Impressed by the young musician, Motown CEO Berry Gordy signed Morris to Motown's Tamla label with the name "Little Stevie Wonder." He then recorded the minor hit "I Call It Pretty Music, But The Old People Call It The Blues."
At 13, he had a major hit, "Fingertips (Pt. 2)," a 1963 single taken from a live recording of a Motor Town Revue performance, issued on the album, Recorded Live: The 12 Year Old Genius. The song, featuring Wonder on vocals, bongos, and harmonica, with a young Marvin Gaye on drums, was a number-one hit on the US pop and R&B charts and launched Wonder suddenly into the public awareness.
Later dropping the "Little" from his moniker, Wonder went on to have a number of other successes during the mid-1960s, including the smash hit "Uptight (Everything's Alright)," as well as "With a Child's Heart," and "Blowin' in the Wind," a Bob Dylan cover which was one of the first songs to reflect Wonder's social consciousness. He also began to work in the Motown songwriting department, composing songs both for himself and his label-mates, including "Tears of a Clown," a number-one hit by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles.
By 1970 Wonder had scored more major hits, including "I Was Made to Love Her" (1967), "For Once in My Life" (1968), "Shoo-Be-Do-Be-Do-Da-Day" (1968), "My Cherie Amour" (1969), "Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday" (1969) and "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours" (1970).
On September 14, 1970, at the age of 20, Wonder married Syreeta Wright, a songwriter and former company secretary for Motown. Wonder and Wright divorced 18 months later, but they continued to collaborate on musical projects.
Along with Marvin Gaye, Wonder was one of the few Motown stars to contest the label's factory-like operation methods: artists, songwriters, and producers were usually kept in specialized collectives, and artists had little creative control. When Gaye wrested creative control from Motown in order to release his innovative, socially conscious album What's Going On, Wonder was inspired to seek similar creative freedom from the label. Wonder argued with Motown owner Berry Gordy over creative control a number of times, and finally allowed his Motown contract to expire. He left the label on his twenty-first birthday in 1971. His final album before his departure was Where I'm Coming From, which Gordy had strongly opposed releasing. The album produced one top-10 hit, "If You Really Love Me."