Let it be noted, I do hate asking people for help. But this is something I can’t accomplish alone. So, I’ve made first contact with the Montgomery County Association for the Blind (MCAB). To see about Orientation and Mobility (O&M) services.

O&M teaches you how to get around in public, so you don’t get lost. For people who can’t see well or who are blind, it’s very important. They also teach things like how to ride a bus, make transfers and get to places you need to go. Obviously I don’t drive.

It all sounds simple. But, if you can’t read the bus signs or street signs, it’s not easy. I can see, but can’t see well. For example, I would have to be almost right under a street sign to read it, and I can’t see house address from the sidewalk. 

I had some of this training in Elementary School, and Middle School.. But not High School, and I never progressed far enough to move to unassisted travel.

Robin (social worker from MCAB) hooked me up with Eliane a Mobility Instructor. BUT… Eliane is there only O&M Instructor for adults in Montgomery County. (Bummer). At this time, there is a 3 month wait list to have her see me. So, we’ll have to see what’s up in about 3 months.

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Morpheus GlassesMorpheus: I’m trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You’re the one that has to walk through it.

A great quote form a frik’n awesome move. But life is not like the Matrix now is it? I don’t know Kung Fu, but I do know judo (We’ll get to that some other time).

So, how do you start this blog thing? You just type and others reply to your rambling thoughts? I’ve thought hard about how to start this, and what to expect. But I guess you could say I’m tired, tired of it all.

I was borne with Congenial Nystagmus; I have a visual acuity of 20/400 with out correction. Legally Blind as they say, stuck between seeing and not seeing, seeing enough to get around and do many normal things, (including photography) but not enough to be able to drive, or at least at this point for various personal reasons get around independently. Congenital Nystagmus affects about 1 in 2000 people. One survey in Oxfordshire, England identified 1 in every 670 children by the age of two. Like all vision problems there are many levels. Each person is different.

I’m in a bit of a; I guess you would say, mid life crises. I’m 28 years old, living at home, do not drive, and from a sheltered life have had little get around experience. Though I am not blind, I feel as if, maybe I would have been better off blind.

To get over the fear of traveling and other such things. In school, there was my Mobility Instructor from the schools Intermediate Unit… But with over protective parents, I was never sent to suggested camps, bus rides, and public transpiration outings. Only simple around the block skills.

I find this severely limiting now… As mom gets older, I am scared to death at where this leaves me. And the realization of childhood, and the well-meaning aunts, uncles, and grandparents who professed “We will always be there for you, and take you where you need to gois not the reality of my life today.

This innate fear of independent travel and alone travel has potentially cost me a spot on the USA Paralympic Blind Judo Team, to say the least an opportunity to train with them.

I am at this point taking steps to overcome this, the fear of travel, and the fear of independence. This web site is the start of a journey. With the inspiration of a friend, and his own journey, a will to walk with his service dog, and be less limited by Cerebral Palsy.

Cole and Ilia… simply… THANK YOU!
Yes Cole, even sensei is scared sometimes… 

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