National Association for Visually Handicapped
Serving millions of Hard of Seeing people throughout the world



Although it is well known that lighting has many effects on people in general, few individuals take the time to find out what is best for them. Most people can improve their lighting, and thereby increase their stamina and a sense of well being.

Lighting is actually very important, but frequently underrated, and particularly so for the low vision individual. By including lighting factors in the assessment, the means now exist so that anybody who has at least some vision has the ability to read.

The type and level of lighting affects the assessment and outcome of important functional elements of vision. Depending upon the low vision individual’s personal visual condition, lighting impacts his/her visual acuity, visual ergonomics, and field of vision.

By assessing the individual’s lighting needs, it is possible to combine visual aids with lighting strategies to address personal special tasks such as reading bills and writing checks.

As a result of many trials, a unique approach is proving very popular at NAVH and throughout the country. The Robin Spring 32 model desk lamp, which provides essentially glare free lighting, has been of great help to many "Hard of Seeing" people.

It has been found that lighting which has a low proportion of the blue component of light helps most people, as this allows for a maximum lighting level while still comfortable for the user.

NAVH is pleased to have pioneered in the use of this type of lighting and leads the world in this effort.

For additional information, contact .


55th AnniversaryOn May 21st at Tavern on the Green in New York City and this fall at Taste of the Wild at the San Francisco Zoo, NAVH will celebrate its 55th year of service to the "Hard of Seeing" worldwide.

The New York gala will honor Dr. Richard B. Rosen, Vice Chair and Surgeon Director of Ophthalmology Research, at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, and His Excellency Ebenezer Moses Debrah, Former Ambassador of Ghana to the United Nations. The chairperson of the New York event will be Dr. Stephen A. Obstbaum.

In San Francisco we are pleased to honor Dr. Michael F. Marmor, Professor of Ophthalmology, Stanford University School of Medicine, with Dr. H. Dunbar Hoskins, Jr. Executive Vice President, American Academy of Ophthalmology presenting the award.

In addition a Souvenir Journal will be published to commemorate the event and will be widely distributed. If you or anyone you know would be interested in receiving an invitation or in having additional information about placing a congratulatory message in the journal, kindly contact the New York office via email () or by calling 1-888-205-5951.


Major telephone providers have changed their policy on free 411 service. Please check your bill carefully, and contact your company to understand their policy. However, for free directory assistance, you can use 800-FREE-411 (800-373-3411); 800-GOOG-411 (800-466-4411); or 800-CALL-411 (800-225-5411).

First Aid that is No Aid

The following information is from the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter of December 2008.

Hydrogen peroxide: Contrary to myth, not a good cleansing agent. Damages the outer layer of the skin and can actually retard healing.

Iodine: Irritating: retards healing.

Betadine (povi-done-iodine): Less harmful than iodine, but can also slow healing.

Antibiotic ointments: (bacitracin or neomycin): These may help healing of minor wounds but can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions.

Rubbing alcohol: Kills microbes, but also damages and dries out skin. Should never be poured on a wound. Okay for cleaning a needle or to clean intact skin before an injection.

BEST ADVICE: If possible hold the wound under cool running water – this is far better than any antiseptic you can buy. Or swab it with a clean wet cloth. Use soap on the surrounding skin, but not in the wound itself. Soap, too, can damage injured tissue.


NAVH’s FREE-by-mail loan library throughout the nation continues to grow in numbers of readers and donated titles from publishers.

For anyone interested in receiving the catalog, kindly contact the office by email, snail mail or phone. A donation for non-members of $15 is requested, when possible, to cover production costs.

Among the latest titles:


Finally some definitions that make sense!

Beauty Parlor - A place where women curl up and dye.

Chicken - The only animal you eat before it is born and after it dies.

Committee - A body that keeps minutes and wastes hours.

Egotist - Someone who is usually me-deep in conversation.

Raisin - Grape with a sunburn.

Toothache - A pain that drives you to extraction.

Yawn - An honest opinion openly expressed.

Secret - Something you tell to one person at a time.

Inflation - Cutting money in half without damaging the paper.

And finally,

Wrinkles - Something other people have. You have character lines.


Researchers at the Schapens Eye Research Institute in Boston report that 60 year olds with normal levels of lutein and zeaxanthin in their retinas exhibit the visual sensitivity of 20 year olds.

With advancing age, the likelihood of macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma increases.

A compact fiber-optic probe developed for the space program has now proven valuable as the first noninvasive early detection device for cataracts, the leading cause of vision loss worldwide.


As NAVH is committed to distributing its printed newsletters FREE in order to make certain every low vision person may have access to these publications, we MUST ask for your help in covering the costs involved. Many of you, including family and friends, will probably enjoy this issue. We, therefore, ask you to consider making a donation of any amount to enable us to continue offering this UPDATE.

Kindly send tax-deductible contributions to the New York Office. We extend our deep thanks to all for support of “YOUR” Newsletter!

Electronic edition of this newsletter:  Adobe PDF.