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Blind student ‘wouldn’t change’ despite challenges

With a cane in his hand, Mitchell College student Brian Martin faces adventures in the dark, such as traveling to Newton, Mass., to intern at the Carroll Center for the Blind, independently, over the summer.

Most people interpret being blind as a tragedy, but Martin refuses to use his disability as a crutch. Instead, he takes part of a number of blind communities around Connecticut, such as the National Federation of the Blind, which holds networking conventions around the United States.

These opportunities give Martin, and many others, a chance to become independent.
“When I’m at conventions for the visually impaired, I teach kids how to use their new technologies, like Aria glasses,” he said. “Aria is a special pair of glasses that connects a visually impaired person to an individual who is able to see… The person on the other side of the camera can direct the visually impaired person to his/her destination.”

As he continues to make a positive change within the blind community, Martin maintains his education in early childhood development at Mitchell College. He refuses to stop exploring the world, and strives to inspire others within the blind community to do so.

He is thriving and has a great support system at home. His plan is to get a master’s degree in special education after graduation.

“Although I am blind, I still have light perception; I know when the day switches to night and vice-versa,” he said.

Martin, 21, and his twin brother were born prematurely at 26 weeks. The early birth left his retinas detached, leading to blindness.

Some believe that being visually impaired is highly unfortunate, but he strongly disagrees.

“Being blind has shaped me to be who I am. I have no restrictions, except when it comes to being behind the wheel,” Martin said jokingly. “I, truly, wouldn’t change my life because I like it the way it is.”

Chantel Bailey is a Times intern from Mitchell College.


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