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  1. Dream Big, Step Small, and Keep Going

    Blindness hasn’t stopped me from being able to run. I come from a small seaside town in Ireland called Youghal. I was born visually impaired with four eye conditions: aniridia, coloboma, nystagmus, and glaucoma. I have just 5% vision and I am registered legally blind. I find reading very difficult on my eyes and they get sore quite quickly. I have a variety of different magnifying glasses to help when reading. I am very sensitive to light and reflection and I have to wear my sunglasses when outside. I don’t see depth and…

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  2. Bringing TV and Movies to Life with Audio Description

    Many years ago, I worked The Great Movie Ride in Walt Disney World, where guests would go through movie scenes with audio animatronics. I narrated the scenes as a host – and later, as a gangster who gets blown up. In a sense, this was my first experience with audio description. For movies and TV shows, audio description (also known as video description) is a special audio track where a narrator voices the visuals relevant to the plot. It’s intended for blind and low-vision audiences to experience the film or…

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  3. Coming to a Crossroads and Finding CrossFit

    My story of vision loss began before I can remember. My parents received my diagnosis of retinitis pigmentosa when I was five years old and they were told that I would most likely be totally blind by the age of 18. Without hesitation they started preparing me for life. I learned cane travel, took mobility and braille lessons and – because they knew that I would never be able to play most sports – I was signed up for dance lessons. Dance quickly became everything to me, and would shape…

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  4. Fore! Moving Ahead, Thanks to Golf

    My name is Chad NeSmith, and I am a professional golfer. I also happen to be completely blind. My hometown is Brentwood, Tennessee, where I practice with my golf teacher and friend, Andy Church. I didn’t always play golf, though. When I was younger, I played football and basketball, thinking one day I would be an NFL star. Then I started to lose my vision and completely lost my sight to retinitis pigmentosa at the age of 35. My wife was the person who insisted that I find a hobby…

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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. Dominating the Gaming World – Without Vision

    My name is TJ – and I play video games completely blind. I played video games my whole life, everything from Halo to Call of Duty. I have been blind since the age of 15 and now spend my time playing video games without any vision, doing what I can to help others like myself experience the joy of gaming with friends. Oftentimes people think playing video games is something where sight is needed, other times people think I can’t see, so why try. I decided to try after losing…

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  9. 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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  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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