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803.898.8731

1430 Confederate Avenue
P. O. Box 2467
Columbia, S.C. 29202
publicinfo@sccb.sc.gov

News

Total Eclipse 2017 Eye Safety Tips

(Columbia,SC)- South Carolina, along with several other states across America, is preparing for a brief total eclipse on Monday, August 21, 2017.  A total eclipse is when the moon completely blocks the sun lasting up to 2 minutes and 40 seconds. During this time, day will turn into night.

Looking at the sun during a total eclipse is very dangerous. Viewing the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun without protective eyewear or "eclipse glasses" can damage your eyes.

The South Carolina Commission for the Blind recommends the following eye safety tips compiled by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to safely view the total eclipse:

  • Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up at the bright Sun. After glancing at the Sun, turn away and remove your filter - do not remove it while looking at the Sun.
  • Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed Sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device.
  • Do not look at the Sun through a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while using your eclipse glasses- the concentrated solar rays will damage the filter and enter your eye(s), causing serious injury.
  • Seek expert advice from an astronomer before using a solar filter with a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device.
  • If you are within the path of totality, remove your solar filter only when the Moon completely covers the Sun’s bright face and it suddenly gets quite dark. Experience totality, then, as soon as the bright Sun begins to reappear, replace your solar viewer to glance at the remaining partial phases.

For more information about eye safety during a solar eclipse contact a qualified eye-care professional.

SC Commission for the Blind to host First Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Career Exploration Week for blind students in the state

(Columbia,SC)-The South Carolina Commission for the Blind (SCCB), will host the First Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Career Exploration Week for blind students in the state, June 19th – 23rd 2017. The STEM Career Exploration Week will be held at the SC Commission for the Blind’s headquarters in Columbia, South Carolina.

During the week, blind students will explore career options in professions that advance the understanding of our planet and universe. A team of Physicists, Engineers, and Scientists will work with blind students in exploring STEM careers using tactile 3-D prints of the universe and nebula. The team includes scientists from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, San Jose State University, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, the Hubble Space Telescope, and the International Astronomical Union, among others.

“The Commission for the Blind is very excited to host the STEM Career Exploration Week and these scientists. Our program is a model program for students who are blind to explore meaningful careers in science and mathematics,” stated Kyle Walker, Director of Consumer Services at the Commission for the Blind.

All STEM professions include people who are blind who excel in their careers and who have contributed greatly to society. For example, Dr. Wanda Diaz-Merced is a blind physicist who is conducting research on cataclysmic stars using sonification techniques that allow her to listen to the universe. Dr. Diaz-Merced will participate in this year’s STEM camp using the latest distance training technology.

STEM careers are great options for blind students who are curious about their world, but how do they explore these options in South Carolina?

The South Carolina Commission for the Blind’s Career Exploration Lab, located in the Ellen Beach Mack Rehabilitation Center in Columbia, South Carolina, is equipped with the most advanced 3-D printer technology and accessible design hardware and software. The lab provides tactile learning experiences in many careers such as STEM, manufacturing, microenterprise development, product design, marketing, and many others.

Free Eye Exams and Eye Glasses

The Prevention of Blindness Program is now offering Free Eye Exams and Eye Glasses to the public.
To qualify one must:

  • Provide income verification.
  • Not be covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or any other health insurance.
  • Be a resident of South Carolina and a citizen of the United States.

Applications for the free services can be found on our website under the Prevention of Blindness link.  All applications should be returned to Lynn Gonzalez in the Prevention Department. For more information, contact Lynn Gonzalez at 898-1380.  

Financial Assistance for Cataract Surgeries

The Prevention of Blindness Program is now offering financial assistance for individuals needing assistance paying for cataract surgeries. Cataracts are one of the leading causes of blindness; but they are usually treatable with surgery.

To qualify you must:

  • Provide a current eye report (within the previous 12 months or less) from an ophthalmologist.
  • Have cataracts in both eyes.
  • Provide income verification.
  • Not be covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or any other health insurance.
  • Be a resident of South Carolina and a citizen of the United States.

Applications for the service can be found on our website under the Prevention of Blindness link. All applications should be returned to Lynn Gonzalez in the Prevention Department. For more information, contact Lynn Gonzalez at 898-1380.