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  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. What does visual impairment mean? It’s OK to ask

    My name is Lauren Rosenberg.  I am a 39 year old woman who is visually impaired.  I was a premature birth weighing 3 pounds 5 ounces and most likely experienced apnea which affected my visual field, among other things. As a result, I have poor peripheral vision and depth perception, although I can see well in front of me. Having this condition has been a gift. I can do everything, except drive a car.  Having this condition has made me a very independent woman and hasn’t stopped me from taking…

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  5. What it’s like to climb blind

    Six years ago a friend invited me to go to a local climbing wall to have a go at climbing. I loved it and I was good at it. I found out about competitions for people with disabilities, but had just missed the series for that year. The next year I entered the National Paraclimbing Series and gained a place on the GB Paraclimbing Team. I was hooked. I have now been on the team for four years, and promote Paraclimbing at every opportunity. At the time of writing it…

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  6. Blindness as a paradox

    I often see blindness as a great paradox. There is a vast difference of thought as to what it means to be blind according to someone like me, who has only experienced such, versus sighted individuals. For me, blindness is the richness of sound; the ability to use air-conditioning hums to realign me so that I can find home. The auditory object perception that helps me to locate the trash dumpster, in conjunction with its smell of course. Smell also plays a role. I notice the scent of freshly done…

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  7. When is it OK to offer help? One blind woman’s perspective

    Ever since the Blind New World campaign began, I have really become aware of how people’s perceptions of blindness appear in my everyday life.  Some are very obvious.  Comments like “You are amazing!”, “I don’t know how you do it.” and frequently “I’m sorry.”  These emphasize that people simply cannot imagine life without vision. Tonight I experienced another form of reaction to my visual impairment.  Getting onto the subway with my Seeing Eye dog, a woman kindly offered me another person’s seat.  I smiled and said “No thank you, I…

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