Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Your New Favorite Read: Blind Ambitition

A turquoise and purple logo that says Blind Ambition with Braille and Large Print font

Hi everyone! My name is Frankie Ann and I am a legally blind, twenty-something who is just trying to live her best blind life! And this is Blind Ambition- a weekly blog column where I will be sharing Accessibility Tips, Expanded Core Curriculum Hacks, Skills for Advocacy, Personal successes, struggles, and so much more!

Here’s a little bit about me! I was born with septo-optic dysplasia which is a really fancy way to say that my optic nerves are underdeveloped. I have poor distance vision (20/400 in my left eye and 20/800 in my right) no peripheral vision (tunnel vision), no depth perception, severe light sensitivity, degrees of night blindness, slight nystagmus, and a partial astigmatism. Mix that all together and you get me: a large print reader (24 print Arial bold font for the win) and partial cane user (at night and in excessively crowded or unfamiliar environments) who has spent her life trying her best to adapt to every situation that comes her way and never back down from a challenge!

I met Robbin back in 2010. At the time, i was going through a serious hard time coping with my vision impairment. I was just about to turn sixteen and while all of my other friends were getting hyped up to get their driver’s licenses, I got my very first white cane and was taking street crossing classes with my Orientation and Mobility instructor.  I felt totally lost, insecure, and frankly embarrassed by my vision impairment. But Robbin helped me to see past all that- both literally and figuratively! She taught me that it’s not about what I could see, but about what I could do. Once that seed was planted, everything changed!

Frankie Ann skydiving with a guide on her back in the air.

an image of Frankie Ann using a rope to pull herself up on a mountain

Though my final high school and college years had their fair share of challenges and hard times, i was equipped with a new found confidence and pride in my self that helped me to rise above and keep pushing through. That confidence helped me to make the decision to leave my home in Connecticut and move to the biggest, busiest, and most visually overstimulating city in the country- New York City! My hope is that by sharing my experiences here, I may be able to help other blind/visually impaired individuals work through their own struggles, find solutions to their challenges, learn that they are DEFINITELY not alone, and chase their dreams!

I am so excited to be launching Blind Ambition! Each week will cover an aspect of living life with a vision impairment. Stay tuned next week for our first topic: “Vision Statements: How Do You Explain Your Vision Impairment to Someone who is Sighted or Just Doesn’t Get It?” In the meantime, follow my Instagram @blindambitionblog for daily posts about Accessibility, Advocacy, and more!

Thanks for reading! I can’t wait to keep sharing with you!

Stay Ambitious,
Frankie Ann

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