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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. Raising My Blind Daughter in India

    My daughter is blind. She is also funny, cuddly, silly, a lover of music, and has the cutest laugh. Her blindness isn’t the first thing I think about when I am asked about her. It is a part of her, but not something that defines her. We live in India and tend to stand out wherever we go; the white woman dressed in Indian clothing with the brown 4-year old holding a cane. It frustrates me when people wait until I look to the side, and then rush to snap…

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  3. 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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  4. Meeting a Coworker who is Blind

    Starting a new job is riddled with emotions. Current employees are curious if the new employee will fit into the office culture, and wonder how the new employee will react in certain situations. The new employee is excited about starting a new chapter in life, but may feel uneasy while deciding if this is the best career move. Just prior to the new employee’s arrival, current employees learn that their new coworker is visually impaired. How does this realization change a coworker’s perspective? I have been blind since birth, and…

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  5. Sharing Information with My Listeners

    I’ve been a volunteer for WXXI Reachout Radio, a radio reading service in Rochester, New York, for over 30 years. Yes, thirty years! For the past few years, I’ve hosted a show of my own called “Enabled,” a weekly program designed to take a deep look into services, products and issues affecting people with vision loss. We’ve covered topics ranging from adaptive technology and audio descriptions to art history and election rights. In doing my research for this program, I have learned so much, which I have happily shared with the…

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  6. Why We Read, and How We Write

    Twenty years ago this month, our global imaginative landscape was enriched when the first book of the Harry Potter series was published – and those of us so inclined found a new world to escape to. As an avid reader and a passionate writer, I’ve enjoyed sharing my enthusiasm for it with readers of all ages and backgrounds. I’ve been part of online forums about the Harry Potter universe, and I recently published my second novel, Before the Tide, which is a work of fan fiction, telling the story of…

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  7. Organization and Lighting Tips to Ensure the Safety of a Person with a Visual Impairment

    My sister-in-law, who has lived with visual impairment for many years, recently came to live with my husband and me – and while we were incredibly happy to have her, we knew we were going to have to make some significant changes around the house to make it more accessible. Knowing that many people likely face similar circumstances, I thought it would be a great idea to share some tips with the BlindNewWorld audience. If you’re tasked with preparing your home for a person with a visual impairment, you may…

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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. Stand by Me RP

    My story began three years ago when, at the age of 38, I was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa. My life changed forever that day and it was the start of the biggest challenge my family had ever faced. Within the first week of my diagnosis I was declared severely sight impaired (legally blind) and lost my job after being told I’d never drive again. We were plunged in to debt and I fell in to a spiral of anxiety, depression and isolation as my sight began to decline rapidly. We…

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