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  1. 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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  2. #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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. Blind & In Technicolor

    Following the loss of my sight, and about five years of total blindness, I developed a gorgeous, technicolor visualization of myself and reality which my neurologists call non-optic sight, or a type of adaptive synesthesia – but let me back up. Even as I progressively lost my retinal vision, my mind was full of light, and my heart was full of music. I embraced non-visual perception, low vision, double vision, and, difficult as it was, the very abstract phase before final retinal loss. This journey has been one, not into…

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  6. Rucking – While Deafblind

    My name is Brian Switzer. I am deafblind as a result of a condition called Usher Syndrome. As a child, I attended a couple schools for the deaf before switching into a public school. I progressively went blind. I was diagnosed with sight loss at age 4, became legally blind at age 16, and now only possess some light sensitivity. I hold a Master’s degree in Public Policy. I am a co-author on a book on living with deafblindness called, “Walk In My Shoes: An Anthology On Usher Syndrome.” And…

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  7. Why I Love My Cane and What It Means to Me

    Imagine having limited side vision – also known as tunnel vision – where you are not able to see what’s on your sides or what’s coming from up-and-down, such as a step off or a dangerous snake on the floor. This is where the white cane comes in handy. Canes are great because they can feel whether something is in front of you or if there is a step off on the sidewalk or stairs. Well, let me tell you about my experience with using a cane and how it’s…

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  8. Setting my Sights on Medicine – Insight from a Deafblind Medic

    It has always been the case where, if someone told me I couldn’t do something, I would go out of my way to prove that I, in fact, could. Despite going to a residential school geared toward supporting students with visual impairments, nearly all the teachers discouraged me from following my dreams of studying medicine at university, saying that it simply wasn’t possible for visually impaired people like myself to do.  So when I dismissed this advice, and finally got accepted into medical school following my interview, I was elated….

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  9. Don’t Be the Bird in the Box

    Let’s face it, the world will end someday. Zombies and nuclear energy compete for the top method of human demise – but Netflix’s Bird Box has other ideas. In a world overrun by creatures that cause insanity upon first glimpse, it’s only natural that whoever hasn’t seen these beings would attempt to survive by using their vision as little as possible. The story follows one woman as she survives against all odds in order to get herself and her children to safety, training the kids to listen for danger and…

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  10. Surfing and Finding Serenity: What We Can Do When We Have Faith

    I have always been close with my father. I may make fun of his big belly now, but we are best friends. He’s my hero and he has always encouraged me to do anything. Before I was even born, my father had dreams of me becoming a pro surfer. He even named me after champion surfer Derek Ho. However, I was born blind due to congenital glaucoma. It goes with out saying that surfing is a dangerous sport. In split seconds, a crashing wave can slam a surfer against the…

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