How Google Glass Helped This Blind Dancer Pursue His Big Dream

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Thanks to a technological device, the world is a whole lot brighter for one teen.

Ben Yonnatan, 13, from Kalamazoo, Michigan, was diagnosed with retinal dystrophy last year and since then, his field of vision has dramatically narrowed, according to CBS News. Now, his range of sight is comparable to looking through a straw.

Being visually impaired is especially hard on Ben because his passion is dancing. Without the ability to see, the teen feared he would have to give up on his dream of someday being a choreographer.

Luckily, Ben’s mother had the idea to use Google Glass to expand his field of vision. Wearing the device, Ben found that his peripheral vision expanded 70 percent, allowing him to continue dancing.

To watch the world open for this kid the minute he started dancing,” Ben’s dance coach, Kyle Keiser, told CBS, “it’s like freedom emerged.”

Watch the video below to see how Google Glass helped Ben continue doing what he loves:

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Watch the Beautiful Moment These Blind Sisters See for the First Time

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Thanks to an amazing surgery and a fantastic nonprofit, two sisters from India were given the gift of sight.

Sonia and Anita, 12 and 6 respectively, were born to a family that couldn’t afford a surgery that costs $300 to restore a person’s eyesight. As one doctor in the video below notes, most people in their situation end up as beggars.

The girls were saved from that fate by 20/20/20, a nonprofit devoted to making sure this life-changing surgery is made available to those who need but cannot afford it. The procedure only takes about 15 minutes and recovery consists of just a bandage over the eyes for a few hours, according to 20/20/20’s site.

The surgery involves a small incision in the eye where a surgeon removes the defective lens that causes blindness, according to 20/20/20. The surgeon then replaces the defective lens with an artificial one that costs only about $2.

The total expense might not seem too steep, but it’s still out of the price range for the girls’ family. So 20/20/20 paid for their operations through donations.

And a camera caught the breathtaking moment when the bandages were removed and the sisters saw the world for the first time.

Take a look:

To donate to the cause, you can visit the 20/20/20 website here.

h/t National Geographic

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The Incredible Way a Blind and Deaf Photographer ‘Saw’ His Work for the First Time

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Photography might not seem like an ordinary profession for a man who is blind and deaf, but Brendan Borellini is anything but ordinary.

The Australian man was born with congenital deafness and partial blindness, which eventually grew into total blindness. Borellini first picked up a camera as a joke, pretending to snap pictures to get a laugh, according to an Open ABC-produced video’s description (below). However, with proper mentorship, photography soon became a full-blown passion.

Borellini’s interest began after meeting Steve Mayer-Miller. Mayer-Miller is the Artistic Director for Crossroads Arts, a local organization that specializes in bringing fine arts to people with disabilities. Together, they started taking photos with Mayer-Miller giving Borellini a little assistance in pointing the camera.

For so long, the only way Borellini could understand the work that he loved doing was by having other people describe it to him. Mayer-Miller gave him feedback on things like composition, lighting and shutter effect through the use of a device that converts text into Braille. However, it wasn’t long before both decided that this wouldn’t be enough.

“This led to researching devices that would enable a photograph, a two-dimensional photograph to become a three-dimensional photograph, and he would be able to at least interpret the textures in that photograph,” Mayer-Miller says in the video.

Thanks to the power of 3D printing, Borellini can use his hands to feel the composition and style of the photos he takes, according to 3DPrint.com.

“I can recognize the elements of the image; I think it’s very impressive to be able to feel the photos I have taken,” he says, by way of a translator, in the video.

This isn’t the first time Borellini has impressed people with his talents. In 1989 he won the award for “Young Australian of the Year” when he became the first deaf and blind person to be placed into a standard high school curriculum.

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Blind Reading Teacher Loves to Help Children Overcome Their Obstacles

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Jeff Balek loves to be around kids who overcome their obstacles.

Balek, who’s blind, volunteers to help second and third-grade children learn to read at the YMCA’s Readers Program in Charlotte, North Carolina. By following along in Braille, he makes sure the children are learning and helps them if they get stuck on any words.

“What I enjoy most about volunteering at the Y is I love seeing the kids progress,” Balek says in the YMCA’s video below. “I get inspired because I love seeing them overcome their obstacles.”

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Blind Football Player’s Big News Proves ‘There’s Nothing That You Can’t Accomplish’

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Long snapping instructor Chris Rubio told The Boston Globe that Aaron Golub was “average at best” when he started playing football at Newton South High in Newton, Mass.

But the kid is just so … determined,” Rubio told the paper. “You tell him what to do, and consider it done.”

Golub, 17, is legally blind, but he’s one of the top high school long snappers in New England. Now, Tulane University has offered him a walk-on spot to play football for their Division 1 program, CBS Boston reported.

“If you set your mind to it, then you can do it,” Golub tells the station in the video below. “There’s nothing that you can’t accomplish if you really want to do it.”

Watch his full story:

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This Blind Runner's Outlook on Life Is Nothing Short of Beautiful

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“Don’t ever say you can’t do it, people, because you can do it,” Jerry Gatton tells Fox 5 in the video below.  “You try to do it. Don’t say, ‘I can’t do it.’ Say, ‘I can do it.’”

Gatton is a blind runner who loves to compete at Special Olympics Maryland with the help of his coach and friend, Dale Becker, who guides him along the track. Gatton, who’s 100 percent visually impaired, also competes in shot-put and standing long jump events.

“Every year he does it he makes everyone so emotional,” Becker told SOMD.org. “To see what someone with his disabilities does is remarkable.”

But what sticks out the most is Gatton’s incredible outlook on staying positive.

“If something don’t go right, I get down sometimes,” Gattons told Fox 5. “Then I’m like, ‘Wait a minute. What’s the use of me getting down? Then I’ll start singing. That’s what I do to make my day better.”

Watch his full story below:

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