One thing everyone should know is that visually impaired individuals are people too. We have feelings. We also have the ability to become smart, young men and women.~Matthew Cho
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Meet Matthew Cho, a recent intern in our Virtual Work Experience Program at Bold Blind Beauty. He has been a valuable asset to our team and is currently co-producing a podcast episode with fellow intern Jadon Lau. Matthew’s story as a Man In Motion, typically published on the first Monday of each month, is being featured today.
I apologize for the delays in our regular publication schedule, as I was caring for my mother in hospice until her recent passing. However, my team and I are still dedicated to advocating for the idea that blindness is a spectrum, and that visually impaired individuals are competent and essential members of society. We believe that by living our best lives and sharing our experiences, we can challenge misconceptions about blindness. ~Steph
Beyond Sight Magazine Cover
Meeting Matthew Cho
Hello everyone. My name is Matthew Cho and I am the intern for Bold Blind Beauty for 2023. I’d like to introduce myself. As I said, my name is Matthew Cho. I am 19 years old and I’m currently a senior student in High School.
So I am visually impaired I have low vision. I have no vision in my left eye, and a little bit of vision in my right eye.
I am an Asian American. Korean American, and I live in New York City. So I was diagnosed with a tumor in 2019. I became blind after my second brain surgery, and I lost my vision. When Covid hit, I was recovering and it was kind of hard to socialize, so I was at home living with my family, but I was, I was with the people who I loved, and when I transferred to the New York Institute for Special Education in 2021, I was a remote student.
Empowerment Through Learning
I got to learn and meet new people, and I was able to kind of learn the different equipment that I needed to use for school. I had my iPad and I quickly learned that it’s quite difficult to, to learn using only your hearing.
Now with the help of the Lighthouse Guild I had a very special technology instructor who taught me about voiceover. Now, voiceover is a screen reader that reads everything on your screen, and that’s how I used and learned remote learning. And when I went fully in person in the fall of 2021, I realized how amazing it was that I experienced the kids and the friendly students around me. I was shocked at how well they could travel.
Now, I wish, like my goal was, that I could become like them one day. And I was placed through O & M instruction, which stands for Orientation and Mobility, and I was taught how to use my cane. It was quite a long process and I still, I’m learning, but it’s, it’s made a difference in my life. I now know how to walk around by myself and get things at the grocery store if I need to.
Learning in the school really helped me. I learned how to enhance my skills of typing and using the screen readers. I learned how to use JAWS, which it’s called Job Access With Speech it’s another screen reader. And I learned how to learn the way a visually impaired individual would. I learned that I really need to advocate for myself and that being blind doesn’t mean that you have to quit everything. You shouldn’t give up. You should just keep trying harder.
Growth In Opportunities
Through my experiences, which include working at different internships, I’ve learned that you should take, all the help that you can get.
When I joined Bold Blind Beauty in the beginning of 2023, I was instantly overjoyed because of the friendly staff. The team is so nice and funny and I really learned a lot at my stay here at Bold Blind Beauty. My experiences helped me to grow, grow as a person. And I know that being blind should not be an obstacle. All it should be is a barrier and that we should go around the barrier to achieve our goals.
I was able to be a part of a wonderful opportunity. I represented the Lighthouse Guild, NASA and Amazon. I was part of the Artemis One virtual crew, and I got to talk to Alexa while she was in space. It was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life, and I realized that you could enjoy things with your hearing too.
One thing everyone should know is that visually impaired individuals are people too. We have feelings. We also have the ability to become smart, young men and women.
I’d like to say that I am truly grateful for all the opportunities that God has given me. Through my passion of music, I was able to lead the worship team at my youth group. Every Sunday I play for my youth group. I play the guitar and the clarinet, and I love to sing. My dream one day is to become a music therapist, and I’m hoping, and I know that this dream is achievable as long as I don’t give up and I continue believing in myself. Thank you everyone for listening to my story.
I am a 19-year old, Korean American, high school student. I love spending time with my family, watching baseball, and playing all sorts of music. My goal is to become a music therapist. I am passionate about Christianity, and want to help eople in anyway I can. I hope to be an influence for other people with disabilities in that they know that a disability is not a barrier, but a small detour to our success.
Connecting With Matthew
- Instagram @Musicmatt13
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- The header shows Matthew standing with a few classmates in front of his school in front of a banner that says congratulations class of 2023.
- Beyond Sight Magazine Cover and YouTube Thumbnail are identical and shows Matthew is sitting in front of some trees in the sunlight while playing the guitar on a bench. he is smiling and wearing a cap that says, NYC. Text on the cover reads “Beyond Sight June 2023 | Men In Motion | Matthew Cho.”
- Matthew is standing in front of two astronauts and shaking one of their hands. This photo was taken when Matthew was a part of the virtual crew during the Artemis one mission in December 2022. Matthew is smiling as he faces the gold reflector, which is placed on the astronauts head.