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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. Boxing While Blind

    I’m a fitness coach based in New York City – my specialties are strength training, boxing, and Muay Thai. A yoga instructor introduced me to my first two visually impaired students. Teaching blind students to box, at least for my own personal teaching style, isn’t too different. In some respects, it can be easier teaching someone who is a clean slate and doesn’t have as many preconceived notions. My teaching method involves a lot of verbal cues. I often teach groups of 12 or more, many of whom are first-time…

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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. Being a Kid is Dangerous…

    I just read that blindness is the third most feared physical condition after only cancer and AIDS. I’m blind, but I’m not scared. Most blind kids aren’t scared. I’m sure that number would be completely different if you only surveyed those with blindness. However, fear is a pretty powerful thing. And feeling the fear of others – parents, relatives, teachers, and friends – can be very limiting for a blind kid. I had a conversation last year with a well-respected leader in the blind community. He is in his 70s…

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  6. The Braille Trail

    Born blind and growing up in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, hiking has always been a part of my life. As a small child, I recall climbing the mountains with the help of my white cane and picking berries. The sound of the creek, crickets, and sweet smell of honeysuckles were a familiar part of growing up. My family and friends have always described the beautiful scenery around me. What I enjoy most is the incredible fragrances, various textures, and sounds of the forest and how the seasons bring…

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  7. 7 Tips For Making Your Super Bowl Party More Inclusive

    Super Bowl Sunday is here! Time to break out the solo cups, hot wings, and foam fingers to cheer on your favorite team. Do you have someone with a visual impairment coming over this year to watch the big game? If you do here are some tips to help make your home more accessible and comfortable.   1.Describe Your Home. Some simple orientation will help your guest feel at home. Phrases such as “the living room has a couch on the left with a coffee table in front of it,”…

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  8. BlindNewWorld Holiday Gift Guide

    Finding the right gift for that special someone can be hard, if they are visually impaired, it might make your shopping trip even harder. But not to worry. We have compiled 7 of our favorite gifts that are accessible and perfect for the techies, foodies, and fashion forward people on your list. Swap Socks  These perfectly mismatched socks are great for anyone on your shopping list this year. Swap Socks creates unique, fun, and eye catching designs that always go together no matter which two you put on. Each pack…

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  9. It Takes Two to Tandem!

    I used to work out constantly! I was teaching 8-10 group fitness classes a week, running a boot camp, and working out at home. I was in the best shape of my life! I worked hard and I played hard! Then, I started to lose my vision and my life got really hard. I gave up teaching some classes, boot camp was too hard to manage, and I rarely worked out at home. I reverted back to old eating habits because it was easy and I didn’t care. Eating is…

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