Getting Back into the Game
By Mike Moore
I spent 20 plus years in the education field. I was a Special Education teacher, as well as a middle school and high school administrator.
In 2015, my career was interrupted due to some vision issues, which eventually led to – in a short amount of time – the total loss of my eye sight. As one could probably imagine, it was a serious life altering event, and at least initially, I had no idea how to move forward. There was a period of time where things were very uncertain for me, and those were some of my darkest days. I thought a lot about to navigate my new world. How do I interact with family and friends? How do I read and write? What about my career?
I had more questions than answers. And, while I had no clue on what to do, I knew I had to do something. I had spoken to my children throughout their young lives about dealing with adversity, and I knew the time had come for me to model what I had been teaching them. My family did not know how to help. So, I decided that my first step would be to talk about it with my family and eventually with my friends. As it turned out, by talking about it, I was motivated to learn more about my visual impairment. The more I learned, the better I could explain to others – because they had questions as well – mainly on how to best help me if or when I needed it.
Now, with those dark days behind me, I began the process of getting myself back into the game!
With the help of my family, friends, and others, I was able to locate and access services to learn braille, adaptive computer technology, and travel skills. Those skills I acquired were critical in getting me back on the path to success and independence. I was able to continue my career in education, and now I work with a couple of organizations that serve the blind and visually impaired communities.
When I began of this journey, I was not sure how I would get back to enjoying life as I did as a sighted person – but, today I am enjoying it. One of the most satisfying and fulfilling things I can do is spread a positive outlook. The very best thing is when my family, friends, and others see what I am able to do, and tell me that it is inspiring and motivational.
I still cook all of my favorite meals, including outdoor BBQ. I am able to travel to and from gigs with my band, and travel out of state alone. I love going to the gym, grocery shopping, and just hanging out with friends. Not only are these activities fun, but these are some of the things I did when I was sighted, and I was over the moon to discover that I could still do them as a visually impaired person. In addition, it shows others that visually impaired people can lead productive and independent lives full of joy, fun, success, and happiness like our sighted counterparts.