Game therapy helping the visually impaired

Game therapy helping one albinism kid at a time, okay I don’t actually know that but this video from Extra Credits on YouTube called Because Games Matter is pretty interesting. It is about a girl with Ocular Albinism who was encouraged by her ophthalmologist to play more video games. Game therapy over time helped her brain make sense of the images processed by her eyes.

If you didn’t know or hadn’t read my previous posts albinism is defined by severely impaired sharpness of vision (visual acuity) and problems with combining vision from both eyes to perceive depth (stereoscopic vision). Other eye abnormalities associated with this condition include rapid, involuntary eye movements (nystagmus); eyes that do not look in the same direction (strabismus); and increased sensitivity to light (photophobia). Many individuals also have abnormalities involving the optic nerves, which carry visual information from the eye to the brain.

I wouldn’t normally be an advocate of video games I think there has to be a better way to wile away your teenage years, not that I didn’t partake in the odd game of Donkey Kong or Sonic. In saying that I really would do anything to help Nash so he can get the most out of his life.  Next time we head to the Ophthalmologist I am going to do a little more research on this and see what I can find out. Well until then Merry Christmas all and stay warm. It is finally cold in Houston, yippee!

Featured image – a close-up of the bottom of a Nintendo’s screen.

Petition to Malawian President

Thousands of people with albinism are at huge risk of being abducted and killed in Sub-Saharan African communities, especially among East Africans. Malawi is one such country whose superstitious beliefs are perpetuating attacks on people with albinism. Many people believe that the body parts of a person with albinism are thought to transmit magical powers. These beliefs are exploited by witch doctors and others who use the parts as ingredients for rituals, concoctions, and potions, with the claim that ‘the magic’ will bring prosperity to the user.

The perpetrators of these attacks/killings go unpunished and the rise of the attacks appear to be on the increase. Amnesty International is calling on the president of Malawi Peter Mutharika to:

  • Protect people with albinism from attacks.
  • Give the police force resources to adequately investigate crimes related to albinism.
  • Bring the perpetrators to justice.
  • Tackle the superstitious beliefs that bring about attacks on people with albinism

Below are two examples copied and pasted directly from amnestyinternational.org.uk describing such attacks:

Nine-year-old Harry snatched from his family

Harry Mokoshini was abducted on the night of 26 February when a gang of men broke into the family home in Moto Village, Machinga district. They took Harry from his mother, threatening and injuring her as they kidnapped her son before her eyes.

Police found Harry’s severed head in a neighbouring village on 3 March.

Harry’s uncle has since been arrested in connection with the boy’s abduction and murder, along with another man who has an existing conviction for possessing the bones of someone with albinism. He had been fined the equivalent of $30 USD for the crime in 2015.

Baby Whitney taken from her home

Two-year-old Whitney Chilumpha disappeared on the night of 3 April from her home in Chiziya village, Kasungu District. Whitney’s mum alerted the neighbours and they set about searching for the toddler, but Whitney was nowhere to be seen. The mother reported her missing daughter to the police.

On 15 April, baby Whitney’s skull, teeth and the clothes she had been wearing were discovered in a nearby village.

Police are keeping Whitney’s father and another man in custody over her disappearance and murder.

Please take a minute to click this link Take action and sign this petition to make our voices heard.