November 22, 2021
How do you define “bold” in a visually impaired world? At Clovernook Center, it could mean snow skiing one day and working as a Supreme Court law clerk the next. It could entail publishing a book of poetry or attending college (and taking notes).
Acts of boldness are played out every day by the blind and visually impaired, and we wanted to showcase that. So, in April, Clovernook Center hosted its first Boldly BVI™ (bold vision initiative), a virtual program dedicated to elevating what the visually impaired can achieve in how they live, work and play.
Boldly BVI showcased several individuals who are blind and visually impaired:
- Camryn Gattuso, a five-time Ohio Braille Challenge champion and a college freshman at Stark State College. She said the competition has prepared her to take fast notes during lectures. “Be an advocate for yourself,” she advises. “Blindness is not a characteristic that defines you.”
- Brian Anderson, Arts & Accessibility Coordinator in the Braille Printing House at Clovernook. He recently published his first book of poetry and wrote a poem specifically for the event. “Don’t second-guess yourself, use the abilities you have as a launching pad,” his poem states.
- Matthew Whitaker, an internationally known jazz pianist who has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Apollo Theater, the Kennedy Center – and for BVI. He has been blind since birth, yet when scientists studied his brain, they found he uses his visual cortex for processing music.
- Laura Wolk, a Washington, D.C., litigation associate at Kirkland & Ellis and former Supreme Court clerk who graduated from Notre Dame Law School. Laura lost her eyesight due to illness at 15 months of age. “Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. It’s about equality, not extra,” she advises. “It’s not your fault that the world isn’t currently set up for what you need. It wasn’t done right in the first place.”
Supporters like you are helping to make it right. Individuals who are blind or visually impaired can accomplish whatever they set their minds to. The people who care for them ensure they do so with encouragement and support.
How do you define “bold” in a visually impaired world? The same way one would define it in a sighted world: By deciding what you want to do. And doing it.
Wishing you all the best,
Christopher Faust, President and CEO
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