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  1. Up in the Air: Loving Life as a Blind Aerialist

    Hi – I’m Rachael, and I’m a blind aerialist and pole dancer. In fact, I’m currently training in pole dancing, aerial trapeze hoop and silks, contortion, chair dance, fire-spinning and breakdance. And I love it! So, how did I get here? I was diagnosed with sporadic exudative vitreoretinopathy at around two years of age. I never had much useful vision in my left eye but had fairly reliable site in my right. It’s a very unique, very unpredictable degenerative condition that caused me to lose the remaining vision in my…

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  2. Twists and Turns: Personal Growth, Pluma and Pretzels

    My name’s Lupin, and my guide dog is Pluma. We’ve been traveling together since July 2014: from the middle of nowhere (aka, Southern Vermont), the barrier islands of North Carolina where the wild horses run, through a crowd of thousands at Anime Boston, to the seacoast of New Hampshire. She’s my energetic knucklehead, and there’s so much I wouldn’t have done without her. Before I blab about how she and I are doing today though, there’s something else I should say. During high school, I was an active member of…

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  3. “Yes, Let’s Do It!”

    If my vision loss has taught me anything, it’s that I always have to make use of every opportunity that comes my way. Because, one: I never know what the future may hold, and two: I have no idea whether this opportunity that is in front of me right now will come my way again. The society that we live in today always encourages us to be involved in some sort of activity – whether that is employment, domestic work or study, we always have a number of reasons to…

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  4. Why I’m No Longer Calling Myself “Visually Impaired”

    It’s a comic irony that the word “blind” is used as a simile for being unaware or ignorant. It’s ironic because there’s so much ignorance about what blindness really means. Most mainstream ideas about blind people and life as a blind person are extremely exaggerated or just plain wrong. A lot of this has to do with media. We are assaulted by tons of images, videos, and ads every day online. And embedded in this media are ideas. When it comes to being blind, and being disabled in general, the…

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  5. The Blind Werewolf: How Blindness Changed Me

    Like a werewolf, my life been a story of transformations. From a poor visually impaired kid in a Pennsylvania steel mill town afraid he would never achieve anything, into a man whose life is full of purpose and meaning. From a boy who tried to pass as sighted, afraid of who he was, into a man ferociously declaring his blindness. I’ve done many things my younger self would not have believed possible. I have a PhD in English literature and Disability Studies. I have published and presented my research around…

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  6. Say It Loud! I’m Blind and I’m Proud.

    You know that feeling you get after winning a video game on the hardest difficulty level, or baking the perfect brownies on your first try without instructions, or beating your frenemy in a race after you’ve given them a ten-second head-start? That feeling is called pride, a pride sparked from determination, and a determination sparked from a healthy self-worth. Giving society all the cheat codes and a ten-second head-start and still winning – that’s the pride I get to feel every single day as a brown-skinned blind woman. Hi, I’m…

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  7. 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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  8. Evolution and Inclusive Language: Creating a New Term for Visual Disabilities

    The terms we use carry with them significance. They can denote power and strength, or they can also denote weakness and other negative biases.  As a society, we have become more aware of the power of language when describing people who may identify in ways that are marginalized. Even better, we have been adopting language created by those people themselves.  I am a DeafBlind person. This is just one aspect of who I am – I’m also a husband and soon-to-be dad, a graduate student, an instructor at Perkins School…

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  9. 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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  10. Insensitive: My Humorous and Insightful Journey with Sight Loss

    For the past 12 years I have experienced sight loss through macular degeneration. When the pandemic hit last year, I found myself with time on my hands and decided to journal my journey with this life challenge in the form of a podcast called Insensitive. So I have been busying myself with the latest episode. Ahh ha, now I’ve got your attention haven’t I? A podcast! When I was in my early 40s, I started having difficulty with my sight. I have had high myopia (severe near-sightedness that, if left…

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