Charlotte in sunglasses, shorts, and tank top high in the air, clearing the bar

Charlotte Brown
Pole Vaulter

"The fact that I can't see is not who I am.  I just happen not to be able to see."

Charlotte won the bronze medal at the Texas state track and field meet in May and enters Purdue University this fall.

link to more info

Chris Downey designing a building using tactile shapes of people and furniture

Chris Downey
Architect

"The blind crowd tends to be pretty resilient and great problem-solvers."

Chris is interested in multi-sensory design, important for the visually impaired who rely on touch, sound or smell to navigate.

link to more info

Justice Bernstein in his robes in court, holding a cane

Richard Bernstein
Michigan Supreme Court Justice

"I genuinely believe as a blind person, I was created this way for a reason."

The state's first blind justice, hopes that his appointment will open doors for others with disabilities.

link to more info

Eleni on the water with an oar in her hands, rowing sweep in a purple t-shirt

Eleni Englert
World Class Rower

"I can understand that it kind of sucks. but I just make the best of it."

A University of Washington student, Eleni competed in the London Paralympics and hopes to row with the U.S. Olympic team.

link to more info

Tim Cordes in lab coat with his guide dog and colleagues, walking in a hospital corridor

Tim Cordes, MD
Psychiatrist

"Just like you, I have a job to do and I figured out how to do it."

One of the few sightless doctors in the country, he also has black belts in ju jitsu and tae kwon do.

link to more info

Pete holding a camera and lifting his sunglasses up

Pete Eckert
Photographer

"I am a visual person.  I just can't see."

He visualizes the image he wants to create and uses sound, touch, and memory to make a photograph to create a bridge between the blind and sighted.

link to more info

Christine, wearing chef's apron competes in a mystery box challenge

Christine Ha
Chef and Cookbook Author

"Just because I'm grown up now doesn't mean I've lost my affinity for popcorn."

Christine is the first blind contestant of MasterChef and the winner of its third season in 2012.

link to more info

Daniel riding his bicycle through water on a wooded trail

Daniel Kish
Perceptual Navigation Specialist

"My sonar works about as well behind me as it does in front of me."

Daniel, called "Batman", teaches echolocation — the ability to observe our surroundings via sound.

link to more info

Photo by Alex DeJong of nine orange circles floating on blue water with horizon beyond

Alex Dejong
Photographer

"With the iPhone and a lot of the photography apps...I have my entire workflow."

He is part of an online community called "Blind Photographers", visually impaired shutterbugs who share their work.

link to more info

David Paterson making a speech with American flags behind him

David Paterson
55th Governor of New York

"I call on all parents to teach their children respect for all people."

He has been district attorney, state senator, and governor of New York, is a marathoner and advocates for the blind.

link to more info

Marla Runyon
Olympian, marathoner, teacher, coach

"As far as I’m concerned, the way the track looks to me is the way the track looks to everybody else."

Marla was the first legally blind American to compete in the Olympics.

link to more info

Richard holds a fanned deck of cards in each hand

Richard Turner
Magician and Card Shark

"...Losing my sight turned out to be a gift from above."

Considered one of the best card mechanics in the world, he’s performed internationally and on television.

link to more info

Derek surfing wave, leaning way over in blue board shorts and a multi-colored rash guard

Derek Rabelo
Surfer

"My faith...is bigger than my fear....Everything is by listening and feeling."

He has never seen what a wave looks like.  Watch a movie about his life called "Beyond Sight: The Derek Rabelo Story"

link to more info

Jamie in leotard and tights doing a practice leap

Jamie Meyer
Professional Ballerina

"What's the point of self-pity?  It's only going to hold you back."

When she dances, she can't see the audience, but she moves in perfect unison with the other ballerinas.

link to more info

Eric with climbing gear standing on peak of snowy mountain

Eric Weihenmayer
Adventurer and Author

"When people keep telling you that you can't do a thing, you kind of like to try it."

The first blind person to climb Mt. Everest, he's transforming the image of blindness to open minds around the world.

link to more info

Robert, holding a cane, speaks with a blind student with a poster of planet earth behind him

Robert Shelton
Lead Simulation Engineer at NASA

"...People around me saw science and math as stepping stones for me as opposed to stumbling blocks."

He makes science and math more accessible to the vision impaired.

link to more info

John painting a woman's face

John Bramblitt
Painter

"The idea of color means more to me now than it did when I was sighted."

John senses the differences in texture and viscosity of oil paint colors to compose his canvases.

link to more info

Laurie Rubin
Mezzo-Soprano and Author

"I have always had to prove myself beyond a shadow of a doubt.."

An international opera singer, her memoir is called, "Do You Dream in Color? Insights From a Girl Without Sight".

link to more info