The larger society may be moving forward in its understanding and inclusion of people with disabilities. But the above stories reported in a study of more than 400 parents of children with special needs illustrates how far behind many religious congregations are in this effort.
Yale student and aspiring actress Nicole Kear learned during a routine eye exam at age 19 that she had an incurable progressive eye disease (retinitis pigmentosa) and would be blind by the time she was 30. There was no treatment available.
Only elite runners have a shot of winning, but all 36,000 entrants can dream, can't they? By this Walter Mitty standard, each entrant is more than five times more likely to win the Boston Marathon than to die running it.
Most of us know the difficulty of learning a foreign language. Now, imagine the triumph of learning a foreign language, blind. Uyanga Erdenebold, has not only done that, but is also the recipient of the first Fulbright Scholarship awarded to a blind Mongolian student.
Avoid bitterness. Let go of the things that people say or do out of ignorance. You would probably do the same thing if you didn't know better. And for the days that your molehill does look more like a mountain, climb that mountain with as much style and grace as you can muster.
Some argue these problems could be prevented by requiring service dog users to carry identification cards. But there's a good reason we're not compelled to do this -- my disability is my business and not yours.
It was a cool blustery morning at Albert Whitted Park in St. Petersburg. It had taken us well over an hour to travel there through the frustrating traffic of Tampa and across the bay to Pinellas County.
The local staff is critical as they are the ones, who before the doctor arrives, go to the villages and seek out the patients. The staff also organizes the place where the cataract surgery occurs. Often these places are primitive in nature.
This World Sight Day, I encourage everyone to support eye health programs benefiting those in the U.S. and around the world so that we can eliminate this unnecessary and costly barrier to education, economic growth and a better quality of life for all.
While some of these stats and stories are very serious, we've decided to have a little fun with our participation in World Sight Day this year: we're asking you to #BESHADY with the TOMS community on October 10.
The economic consequences and social ramifications of visual impairment in the developing world are astounding. It is difficult for visually impaired people to work, and the unemployment rate among the blind has been estimated to be as high as 90%.
As I mourn Homer's death, I celebrate his life. Who could have foreseen, when I first adopted him as a tiny, blind kitten, all the lives he would touch, all the people who would love him, how much of a difference his life would make?