The COVID-19 has changed our lives dramatically.  For The Blind History Lady, all personal appearances have been cancelled until further notice.  However, I am still participating in phone presentations.


If you would like to have a presentation from The Blind History Lady, please send an email to theblindhistorylady@gmail.com


Thanks to the Jacob Bolotin Award, The Blind History Lady is busy with information gathering.  Blind ancestors are popping up right and left and with the most interesting jobs.  One man was a commercial diver.  His story and others will be highlighted in upcoming The Blind History Monthly Emails.  If you would like to get on the list, send an email to theblindhistorylady@gmail.com


At the 2018 annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind, in Orlando Florida the Blind History Lady was awarded the Jacob Bolotin Award for 2018.


Below is the Press Release from the National Federation of the Blind.



Eleventh Annual Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards Presented at 2018 Convention




National Federation of the Blind Awards $50,000 Eleventh Annual Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards Presented at 2018 Convention


Orlando, Florida (July 23, 2018): The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) has presented

$50,000 in cash awards to individuals and organizations that are a positive force in the lives of blind people and whose work advances the ultimate goal of helping transform their dreams into reality. At the National Federation of the Blind annual convention in Orlando, the eleventh annual Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards honored six innovators and advocates who are helping blind people live the lives they want.


Awards of $5,000 were presented to each of the following individuals and organizations:


  * Carol Begay Green of Farmington, New Mexico, who developed a Braille code for the Navajo language and will use the funds to teach the code to blind students and others in the Navajo Nation. 

   * Peggy Chong, also known as the blind history lady, who shares stories of notable blind individuals throughout history through her website, books, and articles, and who will use the funds to take research trips to complete more of these profiles.

   * IBUG (iOS Blind User group) of Houston, Texas, a network of volunteers using both in-person and virtual training methods to help blind people learn to use the iPhone and other technologies.

   * Ski for Light, an organization that connects the blind, sighted, and others with disabilities through annual cross-country skiing events.

   * The Tactile Map Automation Project (TMAP) of the Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired of San Francisco, developers of an automated process that can produce a tactile map of any neighborhood in the United states from an address provided by a user.


The top award of $25,000 was presented to Be My Eyes Inc., the Denmark-based developer of the Be My Eyes app, which connects blind people with sighted volunteers around the world via video conference to provide real-time visual assistance, such as reading labels or identifying colors.


Dr. Jacob W. Bolotin (1888-1924) was the world’s first physician who was blind from birth. He achieved that goal despite the tremendous challenges faced by blind people in his time. Not onlydid he realize his own dream, but he also went on to support and inspire many others.


“Dr. Jacob Bolotin was a pioneer who overcame low expectations and discrimination to become a renowned member of the medical profession without the benefit of the support services and civil rights protections available to blind people today,” said Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind. “The National Federation of the Blind is proud to honor the memory and spirit of Dr. Bolotin by recognizing and financially supporting those individuals and organizations who are doing exceptional work to help achieve the shared dream of Dr. Bolotin and the National Federation of the Blind¬a society in which the blind, like all other Americans, can pursue their goals and live the lives they want.”


The Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards Program is funded through the generosity of Dr. Bolotin’s nephew and niece-in-law, Alfred and Rosalind Perlman. 

The late Mrs. Perlman established the Alfred and Rosalind Perlman Trust to endow the awards. 

Income from the trust is distributed to the National Federation of the Blind and the Santa Barbara Foundation for the purpose of administering the Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards Program. For more information about the Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards Program¬including more about this year’s winners, as well as eligibility criteria and application procedures¬please visit <http://www.nfb.org/bolotin>www.nfb.org/bolotin.





Donald C. Capps
1928 – 2019

Donald C. Capps, 91, passed
 away from a short illness on November 6, 2019. Born on August 30, 1928, he was the 11th and last surviving child of the late Julius Walter Capps and Minnie Viola Snipes Capps. Due to vision problems, he attended the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind. He later transferred to Mullins High School and graduated in 1946. Capps enrolled in Draughon’s Business College in Columbia and, after graduation, joined Colonial Life and Accident Insurance Company. He remained with Colonial Life for almost 40 years until his retirement.

Capps married the late Betty Capps in 1949 and they remained happily married until her death in 2018. Don and Betty had two children, the late Helen Elizabeth Capps Holdcraft and Donald Craig Capps. In addition to his son, Craig, Capps is survived by three grandchildren, Aaron Holdcraft, Michael Holdcraft, Laura Holdcraft Setters and four great grandchildren, Brooke Holdcraft, Mason Setters, Elizabeth Setters and Juliet Setters. He is also survived by Laura’s husband, David Setters, and Aaron’s wife, Jaimie Unitus Holdcraft, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Capps was a member of Kilbourne Park Baptist Church for 65 years. At various times over the years, Don served as a Deacon at the Church and Chairman of the Finance Committee. Don and Betty attended church faithfully until failing health prevented their attendance.

Along with his wife, Betty, Don was a dedicated member of the National Federation of the Blind and worked tirelessly for 65 years to improve the quality of life for blind persons in South Carolina and throughout the United States and world. As part of his advocacy work, Don and Betty traveled to all 50 states and several foreign countries. He served as President of the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina for over 30 years and as an officer of the National Federation of the Blind for over 50 years. In addition, he was a United States delegate to the International Federation of the Blind and attended conventions in Egypt, Spain and Australia. Don served on the Board of Directors for the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind from 1981 to 2005. One of his proudest achievements was his role in the creation of the Rocky Bottom Retreat and Conference Center of the Blind in the mountains of Pickens County.

Don and Betty’s volunteer work for the blind was the result of their compassion, desire to improve the quality of life for blind persons and their deep Christian faith. Although he did not do this advocacy work for recognition or awards, Don received many awards over the years, including the following: Honorary Doctorate in Public Service from the University of South Carolina in 2001, Handicapped Person of the Year by both the City of Columbia and the State of

South Carolina in 1965 and Outstanding Leader in Education Award given by the National

School Public Relations Association in 1994. Along with his beloved Betty, they received the Order of the Palmetto in 2000, the highest honor bestowed by the State of South Carolina. In addition, Don and Betty were honored in 2001 by the South Carolina General Assembly with the adoption of a concurrent resolution by the House of Representatives and the Senate for their service to the blind of South Carolina.

Don’s funeral will be held at 2 o’clock, Monday, November 11, 2019 at Kilbourne Park Baptist Church, 4205 Kilbourne Park Road, Columbia with the Reverend Terry Smoak officiating. The family will receive friends at the church prior to the service, beginning at 12:30 in the Annie Green Building. Burial will be held at 2 o’clock, Tuesday, November 12, 2019 at Red Hill Memorial Gardens, 1932 Old Stage Road, Mullins, SC. Shives Funeral Home, Trenholm Road Chapel, is assisting the family.

In lieu of flowers, living memorials may be made to the Federation Center of the Blind, 119 South Kilbourne Road, Columbia, SC 29205.

Memories and condolences may be shared at ShivesFuneralHome.com.

Published in Anderson Independent-Mail from Nov. 7 to Nov. 8, 2019





Blind Japanese sailor completes non-stop Pacific voyage

A blind Japanese sailor has completed a non-stop Pacific crossing, reportedly making him the first visually impaired person to do so.

Mitsuhiro Iwamoto, 52, sailed the 8,700-mile (14,000 km) crossing with the help of a sighted navigator.

His 12m (40 ft) yacht made port in Fukushima on Saturday morning, ending his two-month trip.

He left California on 24 February with Doug Smith, an American navigator who assisted him.

His first attempt at the journey in 2013 ended in failure after his boat struck a whale and sank. He had to be rescued by the Japanese military.

Speaking at the port of Iwaki, he told Japan’s Kyodo News that completing the challenge on his second attempt was a “dream come true”.

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Mr Iwamoto made port in Fukushima on Saturday morning

“I’m the happiest person on earth,” he said, according to the news agency. 

Mr Iwamoto, who lost his sight aged 16, steered the vessel while Mr Smith gave him verbal guidance, advising him on wind directions and potential hazards.

He is the first blind person to successfully sail across the Pacific without stopping, the JapanBlind Sailing Association says. 

Determined to make the crossing second time around, Mr Iwamoto – a Japanese citizen who currently lives in San Diego – took part in triathlons. 

“We undertake this voyage not only for personal accomplishment, but to send a message that anything is possible when people come together,” Iwamoto wrote on his website.

He and Mr Smith made the voyage to raise money for charity and for efforts to prevent diseases that cause blindness.



Here is an article I thought was interesting.  I usually highlight blind persons from the United States.  This guy may set a record for most arrests for a blind guy.

Blind burglar jailed for his 192nd offence after leading police on chase from school raid into river 

Gibson has been jailed for five months after admitting burglary and resisting a police officerCredit: Yui Mok/PA Wire, Telegraph Reporters 

1 October 2017 • 6:41pm 

A blind burglar has been jailed for his 192nd offence after leading police on a chase from school raid into a river. 

Paul Anthony Gibson, 55, is registered blind but has a degree of partial vision which enables him to walk using a stick.

But Carlisle Crown Court heard last Friday how his terrible eyesight has not stopped him raking up a string of 191 previous criminal offences.

Last August 24th Cumbria Police were alerted to a break-in at the now derelict residential school Eden Grove, near Appleby.

They caught Gibson red-handed but he jumped into a river and tried in vain to escape officers by wading half-blind through the water.

Now he has been jailed for five months after admitting burglary and resisting a police officer.

Prosecutor Sarah Magill told the court how officers caught the blind scrap metal thief red-handed stealing pipes from the boarded-up old school.

Ms Magill said: “A police officer attended the property following reports of criminal damage and burglary.

“The building was in some state of disrepair and had been vandalised.”

At the entrance, the officer found a pile of metal along with seven hacksaw blades, a lantern and a holdall.

“Within the property they found the defendant, who was carrying an armful of metal pipes,” said Ms Magill.

When tackled, Gibson claimed: “The owner said I could have what I wanted.

Gibson resisted attempts to apply handcuffs and jumped over a nearby bridge in a bid to hide. Police tried to apprehend him.

“This involved wading through the river,” Ms Magill said.

Ian Hudson, defending, said Gibson was registered blind, and homeless at the time following a prison release.

He said: “He had entered through an open entrance and the building was already badly damaged.

“None of it (the damage) falls at his doorstep because the Crown have absolutely no proof it was him.”

Judge Tony Lancaster heard the defendant, of Swinton, Manchester, was registered blind and had 191 previous offences to his name.

Of those 191 offences, 54 were for theft or similar dishonesty-style crimes.


James Nyman

Former Director of the Nebraska Commission of the Blind passed away in March 2019.  He was a strong leader and role model for the blind of Nebraska.





1949 – 2019 Obituary Condolences


RoseAnn FABER Obituary

Age 69, was born on July 10, 1949 to Anthony and Eleanor (Nix) Faber. She passed away on March 5, 2019. RoseAnn spent most of her life in St. Paul. She graduated from U of M Morris. She started her career at the State Services for the Blind and retired from MN DHS in St. Paul. RoseAnn loved her family, friends and traveling. She made many trips with the National Federation for the Blind. She is preceded in death by her parents, 2 brothers, many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. She is survived by her brothers John (Ann) Faber in White Bear Lake and William (Jean) in Verndale, MN; niece Allison (Ed) Lusis; nephews Matthew (Megan) and Ethan Faber; great nieces Laila and Lilija and great nephew Jack. A gathering of family and friends willbe March 21st from 6-8 PM at the HONSA FAMILY FUNERAL HOME, 2460 East County Road E, White Bear Lake. Family interment will be at the Resurrection Cemetery in Mendota Heights.


Published in Pioneer Press on Mar. 17, 2019