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  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. Necessity is the Mother of Invention: The Story of Ramble Tag

    The Ramble Tag is a guidance aid, designed specifically to improve the experience of guided walking and sport for visually impaired people. It was invented April 2018 by Laura Maclean and Tom Forsyth. Here’s their story. Laura: Tom is my neighbour, and because he is visually impaired, I’ll help him walk his dog when his partner is away. During these walks we have built a fun, creative friendship – always sharing a love for problem solving. We are “chalk ‘n’ cheese,” but we inspire each other and make each other…

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  4. 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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  5. Blind Hockey and a Burger-hunting Guide Dog (Or, “How I Came Back to Life After Vision Loss”)

    I started to notice my vision going when I was an undergraduate student at the age of 19. I didn’t really know how to deal with it and didn’t know what support was out there, so I tried to ignore it and keep moving on with my life. I was diagnosed with cone-rod dystrophy, a degenerative condition that I was assured there was no treatment for and it was unknown how it would affect my vision loss going forward. When I was 28, I went into a depression, becoming convinced…

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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. A Look Back at 2018: These Are the Stories of the #BlindNewWorld

    2018 has been another incredible year in the BlindNewWorld. We love hearing – and sharing – your stories of adventure, triumph, love, family, learning and so much more. These stories are what keep us going – and what keep our community strong. And we don’t want you to miss a single one of them. So to close out the year, we’re bringing together the full collection of 2018 #MyBlindStory posts. Get to know each and every one of the people who have shared their stories with us this year. And…

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  9. An Iron Will Makes An IRONMAN

    A little bit about me: I am an 18-year-old high-school senior from St. Paul, Minnesota. I have Stargardt Disease and I’m significantly visually impaired. A couple of years ago I started a non-profit called Louie’s Vision that works to help kids with visual impairments find adventure. About a year ago, I approached my parents and told them I wanted to do the Ironman, a one-day race that consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a full 26.2-mile marathon. I was just 17 years old, had no experience…

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  10. Roll Forever

    My name is Dan Mancina, I am from Michigan outside of Detroit. I was born with retinitis pigmentosa (RP), a disease that has deteriorated my vision throughout my life. I have lost about 95 percent of my vision so far. I have been skating since I was about seven years old and am now 31. When I had lost the majority of my functional vision about six years ago, I stopped skating all together, and would not even leave my house without a human guide. I felt very lost and…

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