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Glaucoma Research Foundation Launches Audiobook for the Visually Impaired

Glaucoma Research Foundation Launches Audiobook for the Visually Impaired

April 01, 2024

The Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF) has recently released a 48-minute audiobook version of their comprehensive 40-page educational guide, "Understanding and Living with Glaucoma." This project aims to extend the reach of their essential information to those affected by glaucoma, especially individuals who face challenges with traditional reading formats.

Understanding Glaucoma: A Brief Overview

Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that can cause blindness by damaging the optic nerve, which is vital for good vision. This damage is often caused by abnormally high pressure in your eye. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness for people over the age of 60. However, blindness from glaucoma can often be prevented with early treatment. The condition is particularly insidious because it typically starts without symptoms and progresses gradually, which makes understanding and early detection critically important.

Narration by Bianca Beach: A Step Towards Accessibility

Narrated by Bianca Beach, an actress from Orange County who is not only an advocate but also a glaucoma patient herself, the audiobook represents a significant step forward in making crucial health information accessible to all. The narration work is a collaborative effort with the Braille Institute of America, a renowned nonprofit that offers a variety of free services and programs for people with visual impairments. Beach emphasized the importance of the audiobook, stating, "It's so important to have this type of resource available to patients with glaucoma because if you're not able to read the booklet, you need to be able to hear it."

Empowering Patients Through Information

Thomas Brunner, the President and CEO of the Glaucoma Research Foundation, highlighted the audiobook's role in the organization's mission to empower those affected by glaucoma. "Making our flagship publication 'Understanding and Living with Glaucoma' available as an audiobook in collaboration with Braille Institute helps to make this educational resource accessible by anyone including those with visual impairment," Brunner remarked.

Echoing the sentiment, Andrew Iwach, MD, and Chair of the GRF Board, stressed the foundation's dedication to treating patients and their families with respect and dignity. He noted, "The audiobook version of 'Understanding and Living with Glaucoma' will help those with low vision to access key information about glaucoma including symptoms, types, diagnostic exams, treatments, questions to ask your doctor, and more."

Collaboration with Braille Institute

Lisa Lepore, the Director of Library Services at the Braille Institute, shared her enthusiasm for the collaboration, highlighting the benefits of the institute's state-of-the-art recording studio, which was upgraded last year. Lepore's statement underscored the partnership's potential to widen the scope of resources available to the visually impaired community, thereby enhancing their independence and quality of life.

The "Understanding and Living with Glaucoma" audiobook is available for listening and downloading. It can be accessed on the Glaucoma Research Foundation's SoundCloud page and on their official website at glaucoma.org/booklet, ensuring that individuals worldwide can benefit from this valuable resource.