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  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. A Digital Content Creator Defined Only by Her Dreams

    My name is Gabriella Mendonca and I am a digital content creator. A singer. A college student majoring in communications in digital media. A daughter. This is my story – because my disability does not define who I am. I was born with vision, but lost my sight at the age of 18 months due to a tumor on my optic nerve. Losing my vision has never stopped me from achieving my goals and chasing after my dreams. I have always attended mainstream schools instead of the schools created for…

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  4. Seeing Without Seeing: Visual Art from a Blind Artist

    Hi my name is Clarke. I’m blind, and I’m also a visual artist. Art is my life – from an early age, all I ever wanted to be was an artist. My mum used to say that I could draw before I could walk. For me, it was escapism because, from the age of 4, I started to lose sight in my right eye. I was going to the hospital every week, getting patches and drops in my good eye in an effort to help, but it never did. I…

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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. On Me

    There has always music in my life, for as long as I can remember. Mom was a professional singer, and dad was an avid vinyl collector who was always making us mix tapes of his favorite songs. Between the two of them, and the piano and guitars we had at the house, I became a musician without really even being aware of it. I admit though, I never expected to play music professionally when I grew up. I’ve been visually impaired/legally blind since birth, but my parents didn’t realize until…

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  8. #MyBlindStory 2019: An Amazing Year in Review

    Your stories are jhe foundation of the #BlindNewWorld community – and there is no limit to who can join us here. Our 2019 contributors came to us from all over the U.S. – and around the world. They’re stars from Hollywood and hip-hop. Champion athletes. Savvy young adults. Internationally recognized gamers. Eloquent bloggers. Published poets. Accessibility-minded inventors. Talented craftspeople. Passionate artists. Innovative businesspeople. Determined doctors! Staunch advocates and committed allies. And above all, they are change-makers. These are people who are willing to share their voices and their stories to…

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  9. Will You Say Yes to My Blindness?

    I’m excited to publish my first book of poetry this year. As I complete the circuit of local news talking about my poems, I keep coming up against the same question: “Do you think of your blindness as a superpower?” My answer is always, “No, I don’t think of my blindness as a superpower.” Instead of taking me at my word — or even asking, “Why not?” — each host invariably insists, “But it makes you special, offers you nuance, helps you overcome challenges.” These routine objections force me to…

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  10. Losing My Sight – and Finding My Way to “This Is Us”

    My name is Blake Stadnik. I was born and raised in Western Pennsylvania. When I was six years old, I began having trouble seeing the chalkboard in school. After a number of visits to the doctor, I was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, a degenerative genetic condition that affects the light-sensitive cells in the retina. I was legally blind within nine months. I had been starting to play sports like many other children in my hometown, but I could no longer see the ball. My mother thought I might enjoy taking…

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