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  1. Breaking Barriers and Feeling Through: Meet the First Deafblind Actor to Star in a Film’s Lead Role

    I was born deaf, but with 20/20 vision. I’ve always wanted to be an actor. My favorite actors were John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Burt Lancaster, Jon Voight, Robert Mitchum, Doug McClure, and Kirk Douglas. When I was a kid, I played sports like football, basketball, and track. When I was at the Arizona State School for the Deaf and Blind, I was a good player, but I kept thinking about wanting to act! I went to a community college for a while in Arizona. I made the honor roll one…

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  2. Access, Audio Games and an Ally: the myTrueSound Story

    My name is David, I’m Spanish, and 20 years ago I moved to Finland. So currently I’m a hybrid, everyday a little bit more Finnish, which is not bad actually. I worked for 15 years as a researcher in acoustics, sound propagation and sound perception, the so-called psychoacoustics. Two years ago, I wanted to do something different than what my boss was ordering me to do all the time. (I could not stand him any longer to be honest.) So I tried to create my own research project. In that…

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  3. #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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  4. Will You Say Yes to My Blindness?

    I’m excited to publish my first book of poetry this year. As I complete the circuit of local news talking about my poems, I keep coming up against the same question: “Do you think of your blindness as a superpower?” My answer is always, “No, I don’t think of my blindness as a superpower.” Instead of taking me at my word — or even asking, “Why not?” — each host invariably insists, “But it makes you special, offers you nuance, helps you overcome challenges.” These routine objections force me to…

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  5. Losing My Sight – and Finding My Way to “This Is Us”

    My name is Blake Stadnik. I was born and raised in Western Pennsylvania. When I was six years old, I began having trouble seeing the chalkboard in school. After a number of visits to the doctor, I was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, a degenerative genetic condition that affects the light-sensitive cells in the retina. I was legally blind within nine months. I had been starting to play sports like many other children in my hometown, but I could no longer see the ball. My mother thought I might enjoy taking…

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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. Look Forward and Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

    I’m Daniel. I live in the UK and was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa at the age of 8. A few years ago, I was featured on the BBC’s Saints and Scroungers talking about my experiences and the traumatic bullying I faced at school. Whilst at mainstream secondary school, when asked if I was blind I would reply, “Not me – I think you’ve got the wrong person” as I didn’t want to admit my eye condition to myself, let alone anyone else. I got angry with teaching assistants who would follow me…

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  10. The Blind Woodsman

    As a blind woodworker, the blueprints for any of my projects start forming as a picture held in my mind. As someone who previously had vision, it allows me to visualize the design and change it any way I need until it feels right. In my own way, I still use sight by forming a physical object that originated from an imagined diagram. The journey in my own wood shop has mirrored my journey through blindness. Each project has brought its own challenge, much like navigating the landscape of a…

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