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A Bridge to Independence & Opportunity

A Bridge to Independence & Opportunity image description is in the body of the post.

When we share our stories we go beyond giving hope—we offer confirmation and affirmation that life is not over because of sight loss. Shoulder to shoulder we stand, a network offering a human bridge to carry others through their sight loss.   

Sue Lichtenfels, President, PA Council of the Blind

A Bridge to Independence & Opportunity

Thursday evening was the opening session of the 82nd Annual Conference of the Pennsylvania Council of the Blind (PCB). I was so excited for this year’s 4-day event because it was hosted in my hometown of Pittsburgh. What this meant was I could easily travel to and from the hotel each day. Adding to my excitement was the anticipation of reconnecting with friends from across the state and meeting new people.

Sue Lichtenfels, President of PCB, opened the conference with a powerful and heartfelt message on transition. Our new tagline “PCB, A Peer Network for All Impacted by Vision Loss” extends beyond the organization. The new message is an outreach to include family, friends, caregivers, and professionals in the field.

Hope Lost Then Restored

As I listened to Sue speak I thought of my transition from living with sight to learning how to live without it. Like a flame of hope shriveling and dying, back then it seemed everything in my life relied on my eyesight. I couldn’t see past the dark days that threatened to consume me.

Crossing the bridge to grab hold of my new life without sight by becoming involved with PCB saved my life. I met and befriended so many positive, passionate people who were living their purpose and it’s because of them my view of the world has changed. Even when life doesn’t go as planned I’m more appreciative of the beauty surrounding me.

This year, I was excited to once again be a part of an organization working to improve the lives of those who live with blindness. Even though I got sick, and could only attend a portion of the event, I represented Bold Blind Beauty. It was here where I shared the importance of how we as blind people can live fulfilling and productive lives while eradicating misconceptions around blindness and sight loss.

Like our stylish fashion icon Abby, being confident and radiating a positive attitude of empowerment despite our blindness enables us to navigate the world with our white canes or guide dogs and our heads held high. Being Bold, Blind, and Beautiful is less about how we look and more about who we are. When we are beautiful on the inside it shines forth on the outside.

Featured Image Description:

A wooden bridge from the perspective of someone walking on it. At the end of the bridge is Autumn foliage. The sky appears to be clearing as the sun peeps between a mixture of dark and white clouds.

Additional Images:

  • BBB Gift Basket – contained donated BBB Abby branded items. Ball cap, tee-shirt, coffee mug, Abby cookies, and tote bag.
  • Abby Cookies – Oval shaped cookies with the Abby icon stamped in the center. The icing is BBB’s brand colors white and teal.
  • BBB Coffee Mugs & Tabletop Sign – Assorted Abby branded coffee mugs and a sign with Abby on it.
  • BBB Wristbands – Teal and white braille and text BBB wristbands.

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