First Apple Watch app for visually impaired people

Look out Trekker Breeze – there’s a new turn-by-turn navigation system for the blind and visually impaired!

I like to share new tech. I haven’t tried this and don’t own an Apple watch, but it’s so great to see technology advance in leaps and bounds!

Check out the new ViaOpta Nav app for the Apple Watch, part of the Novartis Pharmaceutical ViaOpta app suite.

ViaOpta Nav is the first turn-by-turn navigation app available for a wearable device which has been designed specifically for visually impaired people. It uses voice guidance and vibration settings that alert the user to upcoming intersections and landmarks.

The users can ask for their exact position, add waypoints to a calculated route, and find nearby destinations or landmarks and save them as favourites.  See original source.

First Apple Watch app for visually impaired people.


Echolocation: The Eighth Sense |

Here’s an interesting article from Discover Magazine about echolocation for the blind. Me, I’m happy with a cane or dog alongside my senses of things like sounds and changes in air pressure.

We can only read part of it without a subscription.

kish biking
Photo courtesy of Discover Magazine

Echolocation: The Eighth Sense |

E6: The Great Guide Dog VS White Cane Debate: My Decision to Get a Leader Dog

Welcome to Episode 6 of the Low Vision Hijinx Podcast, where you get amusing, entertaining & educational stories of living with limited eyesight.

Low Vision Hijinx Podcast Cover

This week’s show is longer than usual, because I’m sharing  some deep thoughts about the great debate among people who are partially or totally blind:

White Cane or Guide Dog?

I have had 2 guide dogs, both of whom I trained myself.

Molly died a year and a half ago, and I just am not happy without a dog. So I decided it was time to apply to a school and get one that was already prepared.

WHile I can and do travel safely with a long white cane, I am simply unhappy without a dog.

This week’s show reveals my own thoughts. Also, if you or someone you know is making this decision, I invite you  or them to contact me. I give the email address on today’s show. You can also contact me on my Facebook Page or LinkedIn or Twitter.

Advantages of a long white cane.

  • It is a lot less expensive than a dog.
  • It’s easy to keep clean.

Advantages of a guide dog

  • Intelligence
  • Can help you avoid dangers a cane can’t warn you about
  • Companionship and comfort
  • Extra set of eyes

Other Considerations about Dogs

If you decide to get a guide dog, you must love dogs and want to do things like:

  • They cost about $700 a year to maintain (food, vet, preventative meds, etc)
  • They require frequent grooming and baths.
  • They shed.
  • Sometimes you’ll have access issues with a place trying to deny your dog

What’s the Best Decision?

The best choice is the one that fits your needs and lifestyle. The decision is yours. Don’t let naysayers in your family detract you if a dog is what you want.

Listen to today’s show for these and other insights. And come back next week for more adventure in low vision living.

Follow your BLISS,

Ronda Del Boccio head shotRonda Del Boccio

# best selling author, speaker and mentor

#003 Low Vision Hijinx Podcast: THe Perfect Travel Roommate

Welcome back to Episode 3 of the Low Vision Hijinx Podcast, which gives you insight into the sometimes twisted mind of mostly blind author Ronda Del Boccio – that’s me.

Low Vision Hijinx Podcast Cover

My friend and co-author Bonnie Tesh, my then guide dog Molly Flagtail & I had a great time going to writers conferences. Here’s a photo of us the year we published our book.


Bonnie always tells me I’m the perfect roommate. “You can put your make-up on in the dark and you don’t hog the bathroom.” This episode is about how I cater to my co-author on the road.

Listen to today’s show.

I hope you enjoy the show!

keep your eyes open!

Ronda Del Boccio

best selling author, speaker and mentor

How I Learned to Love my White Cane

I found this great article about another low vision person learning to use and love their white cane for independent travel. IT’s on the Blindsight blog.

One of the highlights of my life was learning to use one. The white cane gave me security and freedom I did not previously have.

If you are losing your eyesight, are blind or low vision, I  highly recommend you learn to use a LONG white cane. It givwes tremendous feedback about the environment.

How I Learned to Love my White Cane.