image of a man and women at a table reading braille

November 16, 2021

Meet Ryan Miller, a certified proofreader for Clovernook Center’s Braille Printing House. He works tirelessly to meet the high standards that make Clovernook Center a leader in the production of braille materials.

In February 2013, Ryan was hired as part of a feasibility study conducted by the National Federation of the Blind to launch a braille proofreading certification course. The in-house course allowed Ryan to become certified while also receiving an income. Ryan was the first student to be part of this program, and by March 2013 he was hired as a certified proofreader.

Ryan was born blind with a detached retina resulting from a condition called Norrie disease. The disease is characterized by vision loss at birth or shortly thereafter when an eye lesion like retinal detachment. Research shows that Norrie Disease is more common in males and progresses through childhood and adolescence. In addition to visual impairment, Norrie disease causes hearing loss over time. The disease occurs due to a mutation of the NDP gene located on the X chromosome. Due to the progressive nature of the disease, Ryan was forced to surgically remove his eyes and replace them with ocular prosthesis, artificial eyes.

At five years old, Ryan began learning braille. He spent a short time at the Ohio State School for the Blind before his family temporarily moved to California. It was at this point in his life when he was introduced to and mastered computers.

Ryan’s family found their way back to Cincinnati, where he completed the rest of his schooling at Loveland City Schools. At school, Ryan had a TVI (teacher of the visually impaired) and a teacher’s aide to help throughout the day. He was involved with the program Everybody Counts, where he worked with younger kids, participated in charity walks and was able to go on various school field trips. After high school, Ryan attended Wright State University as a Rehab Services major, where Psychology and Sociology were his favorite classes.

Ryan is an adventurous soul, fascinated by cars and aircrafts. His parents made model kits of cars and airplanes with him when he was younger until he was introduced to PlayStation, where he could play games like Gran Turismo and the Need for Speed Series. As he shared, “it is fun and the closest I will ever get to driving.” Ryan would love to be able to drive and feels like transportation is the biggest problem for blind people, especially during the pandemic.

Having Ryan at Clovernook Center is a real treasure. He is always willing to jump in and help make experiences for the visually impaired accessible and enjoyable. He even took a tumble for the team when venturing out to the Western Wildlife Corridor to make the nature trails accessible. Recently, Ryan tested the new WeWalk Smart White Cane, which uses Aira, a service that helps visually impaired people connect with visual information.

Thank you Ryan for being such a cool person, and for your daily contributions to Clovernook Center.

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