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  1. There Aren’t Any Shortcuts to Make Beautiful Things

    My name is Ana Cristina and I’m a deafblind jewelry designer. I am 40 years old and I haven’t ever felt as blessed and complete as I do now. But it took me some time to get here, and this is my story. The long road to diagnosis It was 2 p.m., our calculus professor wrote an equation on the board for us to compute mentally: no papers, no calculators. Just our eager young competitive brains crunching out numbers, because whoever won this round got extra credit plus pizza.  I…

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  2. help2type: Tech to Make Smartphones More Accessible

    I’m almost blind, with eyesight of 1%. When I try writing on my smartphone using the common touchscreen, it takes forever. I’m sure you know this feeling! Also, I’m always short on time.  For example, when I get up in the morning and would like to answer some important messages or emails first thing, it could lead to me missing my train or subway to work. Naturally I’m aware of the dictation function on my smartphone and the possibility of using the braille input, but I don’t think anybody feels…

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  3. Action Is the Antidote: Reviving Hope in Hard Times

    My word for 2021 was heal. 2020’s was connect. Instead of resolutions, every New Year’s Day I choose a verb to live by for the year. After an isolating pandemic and inherited retinal disease (IRD) diagnosis, both words seem wildly ironic. Last month – weeks after losing my dad unexpectedly – I was diagnosed with a rare inherited retinal disease called Stargardt’s. Affecting roughly one in 10,000 people, Stargardt’s causes progressive vision loss and eventually blindness. This disease, like many others, is the result of a genetic mutation. There was…

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  4. See Us: a Project 10 Years in the Making

    I’m Jon Marin, author of the soon-to-be-released book See Us, a photographic journey that follows six visually impaired young adults as they balance their lives among work, home, and school in New York City. I had the pleasure of connecting with these students during their time at Career Discovery Project, the program I lead at City Access New York. Building a career program that works for students When I was informed that I would take over the Career Discovery Project in 2014, I was petrified. Too many negative thoughts were…

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  5. A Mom, Memes and an Innovative Way to Raise Money for Assistive Tech

    Braille literacy is so important to visually impaired kids and yet it can be prohibitively expensive to get books in braille. This is a real problem for my two bookworms Hannah (10) and Daniel (7). They were born with Leber’s congenital amaurosis and therefore blind from birth. Not having the same access to books as other children is a real frustration for Hannah especially. She now has grand plans to open a Braille bookstore in the nearby mall so that kids and people like her can get access to Braille…

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  6. My Vision for a Better Boston

    When I was really young, I knew I was going to grow up to be the next great Boston sports athlete. I was thinking Mo Vaughn or Drew Bledsoe. Mind you, this was back when we loved our teams but they never won anything. My dreams changed when I was eight years old and I began to lose my vision. It started in my left eye, then moved to my right. By the time I reached middle school, my dream of playing professional sports came to a sharp end. For…

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  7. Breaking Down Barriers to Become a Blind Scientist

    I have always been so curious about how the world works. I remember I had a keen mind for deduction even when I was a young kid, listening to audiobooks of Sherlock Holmes. The detective said he could tell the height of a person by listening to his or her footsteps. I became more inspired and more interested in science by watching The Magic School Bus and Bill Nye the Science Guy and then by the work of Marie Curie and my mentors throughout my journeys. I loved all I…

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  8. Do You See What I Feel?

    I am completely blind, but was blessed with many years of some vision to store memories of colors and objects in my world. When I take a walk with my husband, he will tell me about the deer in our backyard. I will walk to the place where the deer stood. I will feel the hoof prints, find the direction that the deer traveled and even how fast the deer was running by measuring the distance between hoof prints. From the information, I bring up a memory of a deer…

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  9. Attention and Action: My Campaign to #EndAbleism

    My name is Olivia, and I’m the founder of Attention and Action, an international movement to raise awareness around the barriers and inequalities people with disabilities face in society. This week, from January 11th to the 16th, we are running a campaign called #EndAbleism to raise awareness about how ableism affects people with disabilities, spark discussion and put an end to it. #EndAbleism is open to all ages – we want to get people talking about ableism and to work toward collective action to end it. We’re asking participants to…

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  10. #MyBlindStory 2020: Reflecting on this year in the #BlindNewWorld

    What a year, huh? The good news is that, even with everything that’s happening out there in the real world, we have a strong, supportive community to help us keep it together and keep going here in the #BlindNewWorld. As always, we wanted to take an opportunity to reflect on and highlight all of the incredible stories that have been shared with us this year. 2020 brought us personal insight from artists, musicians, athletes, innovators, actors, scientists, content creators, professionals, bright young adults, chefs, rock-star parents – as well as…

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