Staff member sees the world a little differently


Trinity Norwood

Junior Steven Williams explains his seeing disabilities and how he continues to live through them.

Steven Williams, Writer

Living with poor vision from such a young age has led to much I have not experienced over the years, but more that I have learned about my own abilities and potential to do things not just for myself but for others. I was born with cataracts, with means the lenses in the eye are blurred and must be removed. Typically cataracts form in older aged people, meaning that when removed, new lenses can be put in. Being born with them, however, I was too young to have replacements. Even to this day, I have no lenses in my eyes.

After removing cataracts, many people develop a condition called glaucoma, where pressure builds up behind the eye, destroying the eye’s nerves. I was no exception, as after treatment from this, it left my eyes in a devastating state of 20/400 with glasses on. Even as an adult, if I were to have Lasik eye surgery, it would do very little.

I’ve been through many treatments and surgeries for my eyes, and they aren’t getting any better. A lot of things many people do every day I find difficult or can’t do.  Simple tasks such as reading, driving, or traveling become either hard to do or just impossible. Despite these challenges, I still find ways to make it through every day. I learn to deal with what I have and strengthen my other senses.

My daily routine is pretty similar to everyone. I wake up, clean, eat and get ready all the same without my eyesight coming into consideration. Take traveling, for example; many people would think that would be nearly impossible for a blind person. While that can be true for many, if you know how to use other senses, traveling can just be as easy as anyone. People would read numbers on signs and doors but for me, I would count how many doors and signs there are and memorize which one I need. Over time of doing this, awareness becomes better. It’s at a point now where I memorize building layouts and navigate all by memory, even after just one visit – all because I cannot read from a long distance.

The big point to take away from this is some people with physical disabilities may have harder times with dealing with things, but in doing so it builds strengths in other forms. Over time, this has been the biggest thing to learn. It’s not easy to understand, especially for younger people, as the only real way to learn is over time and experience. Things may not necessarily get better, but the way you deal with things will get better. That I can confirm from my own experience.