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  1. What is Art Worth to a Blind Painter?

    It is often said that “a picture is worth a thousand words,” but what is art worth to a blind painter? I’m Kimberley and I was born prematurely with underdeveloped optic nerves and congenital cataracts that were overlooked until I was four years old. I lived with severe sight-impairment, with only a small visual field in my left eye, until I went blind in 2018 through double retinal detachment. I now suffer with ongoing high pressures in both eyes, with frequent ocular migraines, and have a small shard of light…

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  2. Dance Beyond Boundaries

    I open my eyes but see nothing. I feel the smooth marley floor under my feet and gently move my toe over the tactile marker on the ground. The music begins to play, and light begins to flood my field of vision. For a moment, I am disoriented. I take a few steadying breaths and begin to move. I trust my body. I trust my knowledge of the stage. I allow my proprioceptive instincts to carry me; these instincts let me know how far and which direction I move. With…

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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. #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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  8. A Bad Blind Moms Holiday Gift Guide

    Happy holidays, season’s greetings and all the other fa-la-la we hear this time of year. It’s been an interesting year. Between kiddos at home 24/7, working from home, a worldwide pandemic, and – oh, yeah, did we mention kiddos at home 24/7? – some of us may be a bit Grinchy. The Bad Blind Moms have your back. We are bringing you a gift guide to send to relatives, friends and, of course, significant others. With the help from the virtual mom squad, here’s a finely curated gift guide we…

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  9. A Lifelong Love of Sports Leads to Building Beautiful Lives

    My name is Bryce Weiler. I was born almost four months premature, and shortly after my birth – due too much light or oxygen in the hospital – I developed an eye condition called retinopathy of prematurity, which caused me to become blind. Today, I’m the cofounder of The Beautiful Lives Project, a nonprofit that helps people with disabilities across the United States live their dreams in sports, performing arts, visual arts, nature and more. A Lifelong Love of Sports… During my time at the University of Evansville from 2010 through…

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  10. 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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