Teresa Shea – A Journey into Blindness; the Blind Professional

The description below has been selected as one of 12 finalists for the Next Generation of Government Training Summit Speaker Contest. To vote, simply sign in to your GovLoop account (Not a member yet? Sign up for free now!) and then click the big ‘Awesome’ button at the bottom of the post. Everyone is encouraged to vote for as many lightning speakers as they deem worthy, but only one vote is allowed per description per profile, so don’t forget to tell your friends to offer their support as well!

Teresa Shea, Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, Center for Information TechnologyPersonal Information: Teresa Shea, Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, Center for Information Technology

Title: A journey into blindness; the blind professional


Have you ever closed your eyes and tried to imagine what it would be like to be blind? Or watched a blind person with a cane and thought, I could never do that?

In 2006 that became my reality when at 24 I became blind. What I have come to learn since then is blindness is not life threatening or dream- ending, but it is often misunderstood.

I am a blind professional determined to share my experience and help educate others.

When I began my career at NIH I found too few resources, too little awareness and education about the needs of the blind/low vision community. In June 2011, after meeting two other blind employees, I spearheaded an effort to create a blind and low-vision resource sharing group at the NIH, called 3 Blind Mice. Since then, we have grown from three to 37 members and we are actively engaged in the NIH community. Each time we speak at an event, we are invited to do more.

I am proud that my personal story is helping to increase understanding and improvements in accessibility—across the NIH.

I hope my story will help create similar opportunities for discussion and diversity in your agency.

Don’t forget to VOTE for this story by clicking the AWESOME BUTTON below.

Check out the other finalists stories:

Andre J. Castillo – “The Making of a Government Ninja: The Story of How a 25-year-old new Federal Employee Created His Own Empire and Became ‘Famous’.
Michael Gale – “Nature 3.0 – Using Technology to Connect People with Nature
Michael C. Lawyer & Anthony Soriano – “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bureaucracy
Joseph Linhart – “Rethinking the Federal Family
Kerry O’Connor – “Lessons from an Unconventional Career – Follow Your Curiousity, Transform Your Skills and Become a 21st Century Government Innovator
Emily Sadigh – “Put the “Action” in Your Action Plan
Sabrina Segal – “I’m the Superhero of Information Sharing
Teresa Shea – “A Journey Into Blindness: The Blind Professional
Leonard Sipes – “Accomplishing Public Relations Goals Through Podcasting and Social Media: Demystifying the Process
Tiffany Smith – “GovWhispering: How to Be an Effective Enterpreneur in a Bureaucratic Environment
Mark Sullivan – “Working Together for Our Veterans
Allison Wolff – “Failure is an Option

P.S. Hope to see you at the NextGen Training Summit, 7/26-27. 500+ Gen X/Y govies, topics from workplace savviness to public speaking, speakers from OMB to Olympic medal winners.

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