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  1. Blind, But Not Beaten

    At the age of around 18 months, my parents rushed me to the doctor after I fell down a flight of 30 steps. I was diagnosed as being blind as the result of a rapidly growing brain tumor. I had surgery and the tumor was successfully removed—I would live, but I didn’t escape unscathed. Besides being blind, I had no sense of smell, and no endocrine system, which meant that I had no thyroid, no adrenal function and the list goes on. It could have been much worse. It was…

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  2. The Woman Who “Broke the Internet” Demonstrating that #BlindPeopleUsePhones

    While sitting with a good friend one day enjoying her company, she asked me about my phone and to how much I was able to use it. She wondered if she were to send me a web link to something, would my phone read it to me. At the time of our talk, I just responded with a simple explanation that my phone reads any text on the screen, and that I can navigate all of my phone’s apps, settings and features. It was a rather short conversation and we…

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  3. Run Your Day, or Your Day Will Run You

    I vividly remember the incessant hammering of the MRI machine, the seven vials of blood drawn on two separate occasions, the car rides to and from the appointments, preliminary testing by an ophthalmologist that seemed right out of a sci-fi novel, and my parents leaving the pediatrician’s office in tears after hearing the initial findings and dire possibilities of disease. We weren’t prepared for the psychological sh*tstorm that would ensue after the diagnosis of optic nerve hypoplasia was delivered at the age of 9. I began to really suffer psychologically…

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  4. Rock Bottom, Then Rocking the Road to Recovery

    Trigger warning: this post contains mentions of drug/alcohol use, suicide and self-harm   My name is Ashley. I’m 21 years old and I became blind at the age of 17 from a drug overdose. On November 1, 2016, I attempted suicide and was officially dead for 17 minutes. Ever since then, I’ve been learning how to be a blind person and cope with the reality of what I did to myself. As the years have gone on, I have started to understand and accept myself. I have begun to realize…

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  5. The Blind Horse Rider Blazing the Trail for Other Visually Impaired Horse Enthusiasts

    I’m Nikki Watson, a blind horse rider and general horse enthusiast – I’m 53 and I live in Devon in the UK with my husband Hal, my guide dog Quincey, and our three horses Florence, Peregrine and Mr. Mayo. I was born with a recessive form of Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), therefore I have never had good eyesight, and have been totally blind for a long time now. This has caused me a few problems with my equestrian aspirations. But while some people might think you can be blind or you…

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  6. 10 Things You Can Do Today to Support Blind and Visually Impaired Colleagues Working Remotely During COVID-19

    During a recent Zoom meeting with our team, a colleague joked that her biggest concern in the current crisis was that she was having a hard time getting wine delivered. While we all laughed at her comical cry for help, the underlying message was a wake up call for me. That colleague, like many of our colleagues here at Perkins, is blind. If anyone should have been clued into what she, and others in our community, may be needing help with during this crisis, it should have been me. Yet…

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  7. Planes, Trains, Canes – and Me.

    I am a blind traveler and scientist and I am just trying to do my own thing. I stand in a crowd, surrounded by the noise of luggage rolling past, different languages being spoken, and the feel of a slight breeze on my face as people pass me by. I have just landed in London and have chosen to decline the assistance that is offered to blind individuals, like myself, although I do not know the way. I stop for a moment and focus on the sounds around me, identifying…

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  8. What It Means to be Blind During a Pandemic

    People with visual impairments are navigating the Covid 19 pandemic right alongside their sighted friends and family members. At the same time, they’re also faced with some unique challenges of their own. To raise awareness of some of these issues, and to learn how communities can support their blind neighbors and loved ones during this uncertain time, we caught up with Perkins School for the Blind’s Jerry Berrier and Kate Katulak.  Answers have been lightly edited for clarity.  What are some of the challenges you’re facing in day-to-day life as…

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  9. Taking a Humorous Approach – Because Life is Blurry

    For me, life is blurry. One day, while waiting on the Light Rail platform, a man came up to me and proceeded to wave his hand in front of my face. Now, I’m no stranger to men trying to get my attention in obnoxious ways, but I knew the main reason why he was doing this—to see if I am “really blind.” I had my white cane with me, but I had no service dog, and I wasn’t wearing those tell-tale, black sunglasses you often see in movies. I was…

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  10. Breaking Barriers and Feeling Through: Meet the First Deafblind Actor to Star in a Film’s Lead Role

    I was born deaf, but with 20/20 vision. I’ve always wanted to be an actor. My favorite actors were John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Burt Lancaster, Jon Voight, Robert Mitchum, Doug McClure, and Kirk Douglas. When I was a kid, I played sports like football, basketball, and track. When I was at the Arizona State School for the Deaf and Blind, I was a good player, but I kept thinking about wanting to act! I went to a community college for a while in Arizona. I made the honor roll one…

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