Christian Thaxton A Journal of Vision Loss Part 3: Moving to Boston

Two Boston Renegade beepball players on green turf, with a group of fans sitting to the right of the photo.
Two Boston Renegade beepball players on green turf, with a group of fans sitting to the right of the photo.

During my time at the Carroll Center I explored the possibility of moving to Boston more permanently. When I signed my apartment lease, I remember being extremely anxious about it. Things moved more and more rapidly as my end date at the Carroll Center approached. Somehow, it unbelievably all worked out. While I worked hard to make this happen, the way I saw several pieces magically fall into place for me I have to give credit to God for graciously helping. I was in shock and awe the first morning I woke up in Boston outside the Carroll Center. It was finally real. I officially lived in Boston now. It was an amazing feeling. But In order to begin classes at University of Massachusetts Boston that fall I still had a lot to do.

 Once  Again, a Summer  Full of Sports

Beep Baseball, Joining the Renegades Just when I realized how much I had to do before the fall, I began playing beep baseball, which was amazing. While the season only lasts from the end of June to the Beginning of August, it was such a blessing to have an opportunity to once again play a sport I loved. A sport I thought I had forever lost the ability to play. I enjoyed every minute of the experience, and I even made the offensive all-star team at the Beep Baseball World Series that season. Link to the Facebook  page of the Boston Beepball Renegades  and their coach: Rob Weissmann

the Sail Blind   Championship I was also fortunate enough to begin sailing soon after I left the Carroll Center. An already established blind sailor had reached out to me looking for another visually impaired person to join her sailing team, and I agreed to try it with no hesitation. This seems to have been the right choice as I have enjoyed every second I’ve spent on a boat the past 2 months. The team, which consisted of the low vision woman who contacted me and two sighted people, even went to the Blind World Sailing Championships in Chicago this year. While it was an incredible trip, after an incident on the boat, I had to get 6 stitches in my foot. I also missed the first week of school to attend this competition, which was just one more challenge as I started school.

Access and Accommodation for My Vision Loss- The Last Minute Rush

I waited entirely too long to set up meetings with my professors as well as attempting to find accessible textbooks. While I had been enrolled at UMass Boston since the beginning of July, I didn’t figure out how to see who my professors were until the week before classes began. This was also the week before I left for Chicago. So as I was preparing/practicing to compete in Chicago, I was also scrambling to set up meetings with my professors that same week prior to the start of class. Talk about a hectic week! Fortunately, I was able to either meet in person or over the phone with all of my professors, and I’m extremely glad I did. Just these brief meetings eased my mind about many problems I had exaggerated in my head leading up to the semester. During the meetings, I would introduce myself, disclose my vision disability early, talk about accommodations, then ask what potential problems my professors could see occurring. All of them were understanding about the situation and open to communicating about it. I also waited longer than I should have to find my textbooks. Previously I had bought accessible eBooks from Amazon without much problem, I didn’t foresee this causing any troubles. I couldn’t even find two of my books on Amazon, and the other two definitely weren’t compatible with Voiceover. Here I am, with less than a week until school starts, I’m missing the majority of the first week of classes, and I don’t have my textbooks. This was not the start I had imagined.

As I’m frantically trying to balance all this madness

, I’m also internally battling with whether I should use a white cane at college…

 Next Month: The White Cane Dilemma as Christian Starts at U. Mass Boston   


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