Blind

As the nation approaches Nov. 3, more and more absentee vote requests are coming in. But for voters who or blind or have vision impairment, they face a choice of having a safe vote or a private vote. An alternative still hasn’t been rolled out in North Carolina with early voting starting next week.

In prior elections, Becky Davidson, who is blind, voted in person. One of her biggest challenges was how to get to the polls. This year she’s worried that social distancing won’t help protect her or other voters, especially with the markers on the floor that she isn’t able to see.

A class photo of fifth graders from the late 60s in front of the U.S. flag. There is an even split of Black and white students, mostly grouped in clumps. In the front row, four girls have their legs crossed.
Courtesy of Janet Perez

How do visually impaired students learn best in a virtual classroom? That is Janet Perez’s job to figure out this year. She is the instructional and assistive technology facilitator at the Governor Morehead School for the Blind in Raleigh. Though she is sighted, Perez has plenty of feedback for web designers to make online learning more accessible (including some flaws on WUNC’s website). 

Courtesy Melissa Darrow Engleman

'Now Voyager' is the dreamy fourth album by Greenville, North Carolina-based composer Melissa Darrow Engleman. Through compositions like “In Neptune’s Shadow” and “Jupiter’s Moons,” Engleman carries listeners on a musical expedition. 

Durham, Bull, Blind, Art
Leoneda Inge

There is a new arts program underway in Durham that seeks to make sure everybody gets the chance to enjoy the city’'s growing array of downtown public art – whether they can see or not. And these art descriptions are now just a phone call away.

Lisa Philip / WUNC

On a recent Wednesday afternoon, high schooler Antoinette Ray tried to vacuum her dorm room without bumping into anything.

For the 16-year-old, the task isn't just a chore.

“If I want to live by myself, I’m gonna have to learn how to vacuum my own floor without somebody being there,” she said.

Larry Hester, at the WUNC studios, September 2014.
Eric Mennel

Larry Hester lost his sight at age 33. Last week, 66-year-old Hester had a computer chip inserted into his left eyeball which may help him gain some ability to better navigate his life.

The six-hour surgery – the first in North Carolina – was performed by Dr. Paul Hahn at the Duke Eye Center. 

When the device is turned on, Hester will wear a pair of glasses rigged with a camera. The glasses will be attached by wire to a computerized device that Hester will wear on his belt.