By Phil Nuar, Guest Blogger “Dancing is just dancing. When you are really dancing you don’t care what is around you. If you bump into people, you keep going. I don’t let my vision affect me.” I have been visually impaired from a young age, and am passionate about dancing. I especially love techno music and break dancing. I have never taken any classes and says that the moves come naturally to me. I like to let my body flow with the music and I feel care free, not to mention healthy when I’m dancing. I always have a positive attitude and keep dancing even with all of the difficult challenges I face in my life. I also enjoy writing poetry although it is difficult for me since I need someone to write it down for me. “Once you get your thoughts you don’t want to lose your flow. I need to figure out a better way to write it down.” I was just four years old when a brain tumor caused me to start losing my sight. I was able to see but lost complete peripheral vision on both sides which caused me to bump into people. The tumor was removed but the treatment for it caused secondary cancer and a secondary tumor in my brain which I have been having numerous surgeries on since 2007. Due to over twenty five surgeries that I have had throughout the years, my vision has deteriorated. This year I was in a car accident which made my condition worse. I can’t read at all and use a white cane to get around. I have been so swarmed with surgeries and recovery over the years that I have not had time to investigate what assistive technology devices are on the market…until now. I heard about the OrCam MyEye through my low vision therapist. When she showed it to me, I responded enthusiastically saying “I need them now.” A family reached out to OrCam looking to donate the OrCam device of a beloved family member that had recently passed away. At the same time, The Smith Center for Healing and the Arts in Washington DC reached out to OrCam requesting a donation of an OrCam device to a worthy candidate, to help improve their quality of life. The family decided that I was a good candidate to receive this donation. OrCam donated the training for the device and now I am an official OrCam user. I received my OrCam MyEye a few months ago and am very excited about it. “I used to be able to read but now I have to listen to everything but with OrCam that is going to change. I have a box full of post waiting to be read,” says Phil. Due to my injuries, I am a slow learner and get frustrated by learning so I know I have a long way to go with the OrCam. “Right now I am in the process of learning how to use the device. It is a lot of information for me. I need to practice every day to get used to it but I know how valuable this device is for my future.”
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