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  1. Blind Sprinter: Setting Records and Aiming for the Paralympics

    My name is Karlee and I am a 17-year-old blind sprinter in the sport of Track & Field. I compete for my state New South Wales, and I have also represented Australia. Since starting two years ago when I was 15, I have broken many Australian records in the 100m, 200m, 400m, and 800m events. I was born with Lebers Congenital Amaurosis and Macular Coloboma – two eye conditions that resulted in me being classified as legally blind. When I was younger, I could see colour, light and shadows, as…

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  2. 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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  3. #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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  4. Sharing My Story from the TEDx Stage

    At my first meeting with the TEDx Minneapolis team, I met six speaking coaches – all professional speakers. They shared what the next four months of editing, refining and training would be like. It’s a very rigorous process and I quickly understood why all of those TED Talks I’ve seen are so good. Then they launched into their first and most important piece of advice. They said there would be three monitors at my feet – one monitor with a clock, one with my notes, and the final monitor with…

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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. An Ally – and Innovator – for Accessibility

    This past April, I started my 50th year of working with and for persons with disabilities. With a goal of becoming a teacher out of undergrad, I started out as an O&M instructor at a state rehab center Kentucky, and then went to graduate school to become an O&M Specialist. From there, I moved on to private rehab services in Charlotte, the Veteran’s Administration in Texas, state rehab in NC, then to UNC Chapel Hill. I retired from UNC in 2013 and now consult for the Association on Higher Education…

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  8. Dream Big, Step Small, and Keep Going

    Blindness hasn’t stopped me from being able to run. I come from a small seaside town in Ireland called Youghal. I was born visually impaired with four eye conditions: aniridia, coloboma, nystagmus, and glaucoma. I have just 5% vision and I am registered legally blind. I find reading very difficult on my eyes and they get sore quite quickly. I have a variety of different magnifying glasses to help when reading. I am very sensitive to light and reflection and I have to wear my sunglasses when outside. I don’t see depth and…

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  9. Look Forward and Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

    I’m Daniel. I live in the UK and was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa at the age of 8. A few years ago, I was featured on the BBC’s Saints and Scroungers talking about my experiences and the traumatic bullying I faced at school. Whilst at mainstream secondary school, when asked if I was blind I would reply, “Not me – I think you’ve got the wrong person” as I didn’t want to admit my eye condition to myself, let alone anyone else. I got angry with teaching assistants who would follow me…

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  10. Coming to a Crossroads and Finding CrossFit

    My story of vision loss began before I can remember. My parents received my diagnosis of retinitis pigmentosa when I was five years old and they were told that I would most likely be totally blind by the age of 18. Without hesitation they started preparing me for life. I learned cane travel, took mobility and braille lessons and – because they knew that I would never be able to play most sports – I was signed up for dance lessons. Dance quickly became everything to me, and would shape…

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