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  1. Growing up blind in 1940s and how I learned to read as an Adult

    Growing up, I went to Catholic school in the 40’s. In first or second grade, the nuns asked the kids to open up a book and read. I opened up the book, but the print was too small to read the page. So I had to put my head very close down to the page in order to read it. A nun grabbed my neck and told me to stop goofing around and to read the book. But I couldn’t see it, so I put my head down again. The…

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  2. Can You Miss What You’ve Never Had?

    Recently I received an e-mail from a good friend named Jean asking a legitimate question, to which I promised a thoughtful response. She knew I had visited Sweden a couple of years ago, and she asked how I enjoyed the trip without the ability to experience it visually.  Her inquiry prompted me to ponder my own blindness and how I approach life. I dislike the cliché, “a person cannot miss what he/she has never had”.  It implies that I as a person with congenital blindness somehow lack the capacity to…

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  3. Blindness has been a positive experience for me

    In May 1972 when I was 10 years old as I ran along the bottom of my school playground in Derry, Northern Ireland, I was shot and blinded by a rubber bullet fired by a British soldier.  Despite losing my sight in such a traumatic way, I was able to bounce back very quickly.  I returned to the school that I attended prior to being shot, went on to university, I am married with two children and have had a very active and fulfilled life.  Where blindness has had its…

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  4. John, my husband the woodworker

    My husband John Furniss has been blind since the age of 16. He adapted to being blind very quickly physically and has always had great spacial awareness. Most days I forget he’s blind. He is a kind and gentle soul, not to mention incredibly talented. He’s a piano rebuilder and artistic woodworker. He doesn’t let his blindness stop him from doing all the things he loves doing. He mows our lawn and chops wood. He loves target shooting, sculpting and baking bread. John and I do blind awareness talks at…

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  5. 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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  6. What does visual impairment mean? It’s OK to ask

    My name is Lauren Rosenberg.  I am a 39 year old woman who is visually impaired.  I was a premature birth weighing 3 pounds 5 ounces and most likely experienced apnea which affected my visual field, among other things. As a result, I have poor peripheral vision and depth perception, although I can see well in front of me. Having this condition has been a gift. I can do everything, except drive a car.  Having this condition has made me a very independent woman and hasn’t stopped me from taking…

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  7. Learning from the boss – who just happens to be blind

    Years ago – I guess maybe 20 now, I had a boss at a major insurance company who had lost his vision to retinosa pigmentosa.  Because he was a gifted auditor, he was made lead on a huge project that I was also a part of.  This project included creating a project hub on two floors of a newly constructed building, setting up multiple equipment stations, scanning images, burning CDs (what was then a completely new technology), establishing 2 call centers, documenting security, and a host of other high-level responsibilities….

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  8. Living the (Disney) Dream: How one legally blind woman landed her dream job

    As a child, my parents took me to Disney World frequently, mostly Epcot, which at the time had a variety of attractions that fulfilled the other four senses and the small bit that was my fifth. I was born with a rare genetic eye condition called Autosomal Recessive Ocular Albinism, which affects my vision to the point of legal blindness and makes my eyes sensitive to light. It also makes me face-blind and crowd-anxious. I hated crowds with a passion, but the only public place I felt safe was Disney…

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  9. Blind, confident and proud

    My name is Ashley Nemeth, I’m 31 years old and a mother of 3. I am also a blogger, public speaker and I love to snowboard, golf and write. Oh and I’m blind. I was born legally blind and eventually lost all of my vision, I now only see small amounts of light. My blindness has never held me back, it has been a driving force for me to live an amazing life. I live my life every day the way that I want to live it. There are many…

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  10. Why this actor calls his visual impairment a “blessing”

    Years ago, when I was starting out on my journey as a professional actor in Chicago, I took an acting class that was taught by a well known casting director in the city at that time.  It was our first day and we had just starting rolling camera on a mock audition.  Thirty seconds into my audition the casting director yelled: “STOP!”  After a moment or two they asked: “Okay, what’s the deal with this???  Upon saying the word this, they placed their index and middle finger in front of…

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