I’m Thankful for the Wonderful Opportunities


Angela D. wasn’t aware she lacked peripheral (side) vision. For years she just thought she was a little clumsy. So she was shocked when her doctor diagnosed her with retinitis pigmentosa and told her that she likely would eventually go blind.

By 2014, she was no longer able to drive or work at her church where she was a financial officer and community pastor. And, to make things worse, she was losing her balance much more often.

That is when she contacted Braille Institute for help — “not willingly,” she admits. Now Angela is an enthusiastic student. Classes in balance, sensory training, cooking, and independent living skills are giving her a new outlook. “The instructors are incredible,” she exclaims. “Within six months I wasn’t falling down all the time anymore.”

Working with an orientation and mobility specialist, she learned to listen for traffic, sense the sun’s location, and identify neighborhood markers. Angela now navigates safely around her community with the help of a white cane. “Braille Institute builds your confidence so you don’t have to stay cooped up at home,” she says happily.

When it was suggested that learning braille could help her be even more independent, Angela jumped at the chance to take a class. “Reading braille exercises a different part of the brain than listening. There’s a lot of memorization. I tell myself this is my Alzheimer’s deterrent,” she explains with a laugh.

With all the skills she has gained at Braille Institute, Angela stays active and enjoys her life, especially outings with her two grandchildren. “They see me, and it teaches them that one can overcome one’s disabilities. At Braille Institute you get both your body and your brain moving. They don’t let you feel sorry for yourself,” she affirms.

In gratitude for all of the FREE life-changing help Braille Institute has provided her, and to help ensure that for many years to come others will be able to receive this same help, Angela has signed up to become a regular monthly donor.

“I’m thankful for all the wonderful opportunities here,” she says. “How blessed we are to have such quality instructors and to know that we can still have a productive life despite vision loss.”