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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. 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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  3. Inclusion

    I’m a mother to my 17-year-old daughter. She lost her sight 3 ½ years ago to a brain tumor. I have watched her work hard to gain the physical skills necessary to function independently in a sighted world. I have watched her learn and practice the reading and technological skills necessary to participate in school and future professions. The hardest thing to watch is her social struggles. She can do her part, but it requires another willing participant to have a conversion, let alone a relationship. I saw BlindNewWorld and…

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  4. Unseen Obstacles Ahead, but Tapping Out a Positive Future

    Here is a cocktail napkin version of my story. I had excellent vision until the age of 34, never wore glasses. My world started getting darker, and moving objects suddenly disappeared from sight – not good when driving. My initial academic goal was to get a Bachelors in Information Technology (IT). Life hands you a lemon, make some lemonade. I changed my major to Psychology. The brain and the mind for me were analogous to computers and software, just a little more complex. Earned my B.A. in Psychology with a…

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  5. Mission: Live Life Fully, Make a Difference, and Redefine Possible

    With an amazing team of individuals, I am setting off as a blind cancer survivor the day after I graduate from college on May 22nd to climb the highest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro. In the process, my team is working on raising $500,000 for charities and organizations that not only saved my life, but gave me the strength and the tools to start living again. I realize that the amount of support I had greatly contributed to my success, and I want to make sure children facing life threatening…

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  6. Thank you for helping us build a BlindNewWorld!

    One year ago, we launched BlindNewWorld with a specific mission: break down barriers to inclusion for blind and low vision people in the workplace, community and education. This year has been incredible. We started a movement among people ready to change the way they see blindness – and we have raised awareness by sharing so many of your stories. Here are just a few of the highlights: We created a community – and it keeps growing… We built a community of almost 75,000 followers and have reached 50 million people,…

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  7. Walking the sidewalk

    I just have to share something that happened to me today that brought a tear to my eye, but also put a big smile on my face. I was leaving Best Buy on York Road in Towson waiting for the light to change when I noticed a young blind man with a stroller and his young daughter beside him waiting to cross the entrance-way to the parking lot. The car in front of me had pulled out too far, blocking their path from the sidewalk. I was about to gesture…

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  8. Can You Miss What You’ve Never Had?

    Recently I received an e-mail from a good friend named Jean asking a legitimate question, to which I promised a thoughtful response. She knew I had visited Sweden a couple of years ago, and she asked how I enjoyed the trip without the ability to experience it visually.  Her inquiry prompted me to ponder my own blindness and how I approach life. I dislike the cliché, “a person cannot miss what he/she has never had”.  It implies that I as a person with congenital blindness somehow lack the capacity to…

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  9. Blindness has been a positive experience for me

    In May 1972 when I was 10 years old as I ran along the bottom of my school playground in Derry, Northern Ireland, I was shot and blinded by a rubber bullet fired by a British soldier.  Despite losing my sight in such a traumatic way, I was able to bounce back very quickly.  I returned to the school that I attended prior to being shot, went on to university, I am married with two children and have had a very active and fulfilled life.  Where blindness has had its…

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  10. John, my husband the woodworker

    My husband John Furniss has been blind since the age of 16. He adapted to being blind very quickly physically and has always had great spacial awareness. Most days I forget he’s blind. He is a kind and gentle soul, not to mention incredibly talented. He’s a piano rebuilder and artistic woodworker. He doesn’t let his blindness stop him from doing all the things he loves doing. He mows our lawn and chops wood. He loves target shooting, sculpting and baking bread. John and I do blind awareness talks at…

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