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  1. It’s Just a Cane

    My name is Ashley Broussard and I am an Orientation and Mobility (O&M) Specialist. I was first introduced to this field near the end of my undergraduate studies at California State University, Los Angeles when I was given an opportunity to observe an O&M lesson. That day at the Braille Institute changed my life forever. Most of the people I saw there were walking around using a long cane and I immediately felt like I was in a new world. It was so unfamiliar to me, and yet, so routine…

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  2. Raising My Blind Daughter in India

    My daughter is blind. She is also funny, cuddly, silly, a lover of music, and has the cutest laugh. Her blindness isn’t the first thing I think about when I am asked about her. It is a part of her, but not something that defines her. We live in India and tend to stand out wherever we go; the white woman dressed in Indian clothing with the brown 4-year old holding a cane. It frustrates me when people wait until I look to the side, and then rush to snap…

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  3. Qualifying for Social Security Disability Benefits with Vision Loss

    According to a recent study by the American Foundation for the Blind, over 20 million adults in the United States live with significant vision loss. Between medical tests, hospital visits, and daily accommodations, it can be difficult for those with vision loss to work and support themselves financially. If you experience severe vision loss, Social Security may be able to help. The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides monthly financial assistance to those in need. Medically Qualifying for Disability Benefits To qualify for Social Security benefits, the SSA must confirm that…

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  4. Meeting a Coworker who is Blind

    Starting a new job is riddled with emotions. Current employees are curious if the new employee will fit into the office culture, and wonder how the new employee will react in certain situations. The new employee is excited about starting a new chapter in life, but may feel uneasy while deciding if this is the best career move. Just prior to the new employee’s arrival, current employees learn that their new coworker is visually impaired. How does this realization change a coworker’s perspective? I have been blind since birth, and…

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  5. Disclosure of Blindness During the Job Search

    Upon graduation from college in 2006, I was faced with finding a full-time job. Fellow graduates were in the same situation; everyone frequently talked about the type of company they thought they wanted to work at, and details about the jobs being considered. I was also faced with another hurdle to overcome: disclosing blindness to a potential employer. Research indicates that Americans fear blindness more than any other disability. Therefore, when a hiring manager learns that a candidate is blind, uncertainty, fear and a feeling of trepidation sweep over them….

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  6. Lessons Learned from the Story of Gennet Corcuera

    My grandmother lost sight in one eye due to an accident when she was only 18 years old. And this has made me aware, since I was born, of the difficulties and barriers that people with reduced vision have to face – and the effort required for a person who is disabled to do daily, basic things such as reading, walking, or cooking, just to name some examples. My mother, who suffered from sudden and permanent hearing loss in one ear after surgery, has also given me insight into what it means to…

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  7. Boxing While Blind

    I’m a fitness coach based in New York City – my specialties are strength training, boxing, and Muay Thai. A yoga instructor introduced me to my first two visually impaired students. Teaching blind students to box, at least for my own personal teaching style, isn’t too different. In some respects, it can be easier teaching someone who is a clean slate and doesn’t have as many preconceived notions. My teaching method involves a lot of verbal cues. I often teach groups of 12 or more, many of whom are first-time…

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  8. Sharing Information with My Listeners

    I’ve been a volunteer for WXXI Reachout Radio, a radio reading service in Rochester, New York, for over 30 years. Yes, thirty years! For the past few years, I’ve hosted a show of my own called “Enabled,” a weekly program designed to take a deep look into services, products and issues affecting people with vision loss. We’ve covered topics ranging from adaptive technology and audio descriptions to art history and election rights. In doing my research for this program, I have learned so much, which I have happily shared with the…

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  9. Why We Read, and How We Write

    Twenty years ago this month, our global imaginative landscape was enriched when the first book of the Harry Potter series was published – and those of us so inclined found a new world to escape to. As an avid reader and a passionate writer, I’ve enjoyed sharing my enthusiasm for it with readers of all ages and backgrounds. I’ve been part of online forums about the Harry Potter universe, and I recently published my second novel, Before the Tide, which is a work of fan fiction, telling the story of…

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  10. Organization and Lighting Tips to Ensure the Safety of a Person with a Visual Impairment

    My sister-in-law, who has lived with visual impairment for many years, recently came to live with my husband and me – and while we were incredibly happy to have her, we knew we were going to have to make some significant changes around the house to make it more accessible. Knowing that many people likely face similar circumstances, I thought it would be a great idea to share some tips with the BlindNewWorld audience. If you’re tasked with preparing your home for a person with a visual impairment, you may…

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