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  1. Rock Bottom, Then Rocking the Road to Recovery

    Trigger warning: this post contains mentions of drug/alcohol use, suicide and self-harm   My name is Ashley. I’m 21 years old and I became blind at the age of 17 from a drug overdose. On November 1, 2016, I attempted suicide and was officially dead for 17 minutes. Ever since then, I’ve been learning how to be a blind person and cope with the reality of what I did to myself. As the years have gone on, I have started to understand and accept myself. I have begun to realize…

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  2. A Digital Content Creator Defined Only by Her Dreams

    My name is Gabriella Mendonca and I am a digital content creator. A singer. A college student majoring in communications in digital media. A daughter. This is my story – because my disability does not define who I am. I was born with vision, but lost my sight at the age of 18 months due to a tumor on my optic nerve. Losing my vision has never stopped me from achieving my goals and chasing after my dreams. I have always attended mainstream schools instead of the schools created for…

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  3. Planes, Trains, Canes – and Me.

    I am a blind traveler and scientist and I am just trying to do my own thing. I stand in a crowd, surrounded by the noise of luggage rolling past, different languages being spoken, and the feel of a slight breeze on my face as people pass me by. I have just landed in London and have chosen to decline the assistance that is offered to blind individuals, like myself, although I do not know the way. I stop for a moment and focus on the sounds around me, identifying…

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  4. What It Means to be Blind During a Pandemic

    People with visual impairments are navigating the Covid 19 pandemic right alongside their sighted friends and family members. At the same time, they’re also faced with some unique challenges of their own. To raise awareness of some of these issues, and to learn how communities can support their blind neighbors and loved ones during this uncertain time, we caught up with Perkins School for the Blind’s Jerry Berrier and Kate Katulak.  Answers have been lightly edited for clarity.  What are some of the challenges you’re facing in day-to-day life as…

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  5. What It Takes: Four Ways to Become More Independent as a Visually Impaired Young Adult

    Over the years, I have grown into an independent, successful young woman with dreams of helping other blind and visually impaired children grow into successful adults. This wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind, my family, Iowa Department for the Blind, Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired, National Federation of the Blind and other blind services that have helped me. These services helped me figure out who I was as a visually impaired person, and I’m hoping that what…

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  6. #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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  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. 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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  9. 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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  10. 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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