Running For Change

Tag Archives: disability

Losing vision – I will walk a little slower, but run a little faster

I have been reflecting on what has been posted on this blog. There is much about perspective, successes in culture and challenges in culture towards disability as well. I have written about the feelings I experience when I run and what this has meant for others. Many powerful and important topics have been covered on this blog and in my outreach. On the other hand, I have neglected to write about something that is not only important, but inevitable to experience in my life and others who are in a similar situation as myself. That experience is the feeling of realizing when your vision has further dwindled… the feeling of knowing that something just happened that never would have happened in the past. The feeling of telling yourself it was just a random accident and that you were spacing out. Continue reading

Farts, my pink tie and 150 high schoolers… yikes!

I had a blast talking to a small group of high schoolers who were at Perkins this summer for a brief special program.  There were 6 or 7 students and we had an amazing conversation.  Well, I am apparently having another conversation with a group of high schoolers, but the audience will be many times greater than that at Perkins; approximately 100 to 150.  Oh me, oh my.

My friends’ partner works as a high school teacher in the Boston area and she is assisting with the coordination of the National High School Journalism Convention that will be taking place in November of this year.  This convention is sponsored by the National Schoolastic Press Association and from what I have read, approximately 4,000 delegates will be attending this week-long event.  There are many different components to this convention, some of which are featured keynotes, workshops regarding year books, school newspapers and broadcasting as well as writing competitions.  There will be several writing competitions and one is regarding sports.  I have been asked to come and give a 20 minute speech followed by 15 minutes of Q/A with the students in the room.  After the Q/A, the students are given a finite amount of time and are asked to write a piece regarding my story and what came to light through the Q/A with the audience. Continue reading

I hated my cane

Shortly after I was diagnosed with Choroideremia (at age 14), my parents began reaching out to the state to identify what services and resources may be available for me to utilize.  I was also diagnosed as being legally blind, which meant I had vision that was 20/200 or worse.  This status allowed for me to qualify for state services, as well as federal.  In the months following my diagnosis, I was connected with Vocational Rehabilitation for the blind and was assigned to a wonderful case manager named Scot.

Scot then connected my family and I with another gentleman who worked as an O.M. Instructor, otherwise known as an orientation and mobility instructor.  These folks work with those who have mobility impairments to learn how mobility devices are used.  They also offer guidance in navigating various environments which present their own unique challenges.  From what I can recall, I hated this.  I hated it with all of my heart and was silent.  Those first few months and that first year were extremely challenging.  To be honest, I think I have suppressed much of my memory from those days.  However, I can certainly recall some of my first uses and impressions of having a cane. Continue reading