The Life After Blindness Blog and Podcast (or LAB Cast) strives to be a great resource for the blind and visually impaired and their sighted friends and family. We do this through the sharing of news, walkthroughs, reviews and personal stories.
This may include news concerning:
- Access or assistive technology; i.e., Apple products and apps, screen readers, and other helpful websites and gear
- Medical advancements specific to a certain disease like Macular Degeneration or Retinitis pigmentosa
- Events, facilities or other venues that are found to be accessible for the blind
- Personal stories of achievement from the blind community
The Life After Blindness Blog and Podcast offers more than just news. We also provide the following:
- Reviews of audio described DVD movies
- Reviews of audio books
- Walkthroughs of apps for your IPhone that are compatible with Voice Over
- Reviews of audio only games for the PC designed with the blind in mind.
Also, we are most proud to share the stories of our friends around the blind community. We feature interviews highlighting a personal journey or a roundtable discussion that delves into all facets of what it means to be blind today. Our goal is to show the world that there can truly be a life after blindness.
The following visual and concept description was written by a LABCast contributor, Jessica Green and was approved by the designer Christen Barbercheck:
On the left side, there is a dark shadow that covers bright, vibrant colors (magenta, cyan, yellow, orange, and chartreuse). these colors form overlapping, organic shapes that symbolize creativity and difference within our world. As you move right across the image, the dark shadow gradually dissipates. This visually represents how out of the dark of blindness, individuals see the world. Explaining that even though vision loss changes one’s vision, there is still a life after blindness. This life is just as beautiful, and vibrant as before.
Yes, this life is different, but difference is what makes our world more interesting and makes us all better people. We also realize that this life includes challenges, parts of transitions and adaptations to new normals, which can often be difficult and trying, but that is not the end — there is still a life after blindness. And this life encompasses newfound friends who will help you navigate your way in your new normal, and offer you new and exciting ways of seeing the world.
My name is Tim Schwartz and I am a husband, father, musician, gamer, a baseball fanatic, computer geek and so much more!
I am also blind.
For several years, I have been involved with the Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, having worked there in the early 2000’s. In the past, i have played beeper ball as well as ridden tandem bikes in the beautiful parks of Cincinnati, Ohio. I am an avid reader and love playing games on my home PC and iPhone. I also enjoy attending plays, movies and musicals especially whenever described for the blind. In the summer you can usually find me catching a Cincinnati Reds game at Great American Ballpark.
Above all, I value spending time with my family as well as giving back to the blind community.
I was not always blind however
At the age of 13, a routine sports physical led to the first visit to an Ophthalmologist. There appeared to be a growth found behind both of my eyes. This growth was more prevalent in the right eye than the left.
Like most teenagers, this was a very active time in my life. I played basketball and ran track as well as performed in the school band and choir. Vision impairment did not stop me from dating or participating in other social activities however.
It was a couple of years before I really started to notice a difference in my eyesight. There were black areas or blind spots emerging inward from my peripheral field of vision. It eventually affected schoolwork and extra-curricular activities like sports and music. I was still able to find ways to perform the music I loved. This was done by memorization and working closely with others. Thankfully, my family and friends were there working hard to help me succeed.
To this point, vision loss was more of a slight annoyance than a hindrance.
I graduated high school in 1996 and went on to study Music Education at Northern Kentucky University. Unfortunately this was short lived as I only attended for one year. Before moving on however, I was able to study music for a summer in Salzburg, Austria.
This is when the vision started getting worse causing somewhat of a downward spiral.
I decided to stop driving at age 21 after a severe car accident. Then, through my mid to late 20’s, my vision got dramatically worse and I became very depressed. This was a very isolated and withdrawn time. I held multiple jobs and I allowed my social life to suffer dramatically.
Now, in my late 30’s, I have no usable vision at all. It turns out that there were extra blood vessels growing around my optic nerves. These blood vessels squeezed my optic nerves causing my vision loss.
The wonderful thing is that through the help of a great support system and years of hard work, I’ve been able to put most of that behind me. I am now married and have a daughter. Also, I’m now working at a national call center for the government.
I enjoy sharing my passions and experience with others. The Life After Blindness Blog and Podcast is an outlet for that.
Being “dedicated to the exploration of an enabled life with blindness” isn’t just a tagline. for me, it’s a mission statement.