Christian Holtzclaw on the Braille Trail by a tree

Born blind and growing up in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, hiking has always been a part of my life. As a small child, I recall climbing the mountains with the help of my white cane and picking berries. The sound of the creek, crickets, and sweet smell of honeysuckles were a familiar part of growing up. My family and friends have always described the beautiful scenery around me. What I enjoy most is the incredible fragrances, various textures, and sounds of the forest and how the seasons bring such a distinct difference. It’s like never visiting the same place twice. The Braille Trail is an extra special place to me. Throughout the trail is a guide rope and marked Braille signage that tells about the trees, plants and creeks in the area. The guide rope has knots to alert when there are roots in the trails. I often hike with my family, friends, and guide dog, Felicia. And, on the Braille Trail, I can hike alone. Other recreational activities I enjoy are tandem biking and running with the assistance of a guide. Being blind is a part of my life I have learned to embrace. There’s so much for me to see, but in other ways than with my eyes.

My name is Christina and I was born blind. I have a guide dog named Felicia. I graduated Shorter University with a psychology degree. I have been the assistant director at Northwest Georgia Center For Independent Living for 13 years. I work with both the federation and council for the blind.

How has blindness impacted your world?

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