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An Attitude of Gratitude

Elena Thomason founded Equal Access and Associates in 1992 and currently serves as their CEO. Elena was born blind and was diagnosed with Glaucoma with Cataracts when she was 5 weeks old.

It was absolutely amazing how the year 2020 got started. Everyone seemed to agreed that it was going to be a very special year. It was almost as though it had magic in it. The world seemed excited.

Corporations were setting big goals for the year. The country was going to experience another national election and some folks were planning to walk for 20 minutes a day. Others committed to reading 20 books a month. It was going to be a great year!

The pandemic brought an abrupt end to many plans. Other plans had to be changed or possibly postponed for a later time. It was almost like the world had flipped upside down. Confusion and fears ran rampant. What to do? Go to whom for advice?

As businesses and schools closed the pressure to do something greatly increased. But what? To add to these fears, no one seemed to have a clue as to when the world might be set right again.

Since a field restriction of less than 20 degrees in both eyes, 20/20, is one measurement for diagnosing legal blindness, our team decided to take full advantage of raising awareness about blindness during the year. Our goal was to sponsor 20 events in our immediate community throughout the year. We were delighted that the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Act was being celebrated during 2020. Perfect!












There is no denying that much has been lost over the past 4 months. People have lost loved ones. Others struggle with food and housing due to lack of money. Industries have been destroyed and restaurants and other small businesses may never come back.

What benefits have come from this experience? Or, are there any? It seems to depend on how you see it. (No pun intended.)

One way to see the world as a legally blind person is to have your normally 180 degree of vision reduced to only 20 degrees of vision. It can be easily assimilated by looking at an object through a straw. A great deal of your world has immediately disappeared. You know the world is still their but you can't perceive it.

Is this not what happened to all of us when the pandemic first started effecting our lives? We know the world is still out there; we just can't access it just now. So, in some ways, we are all living like legally blind people. It seems a bit ironic that this condition would take place around the world in 2020. Just be grateful that some day the world will be set up right again and your vision and access will return.

Elena Thomason can be reached at elenathomason1@gmail.com

~ Elena Thomason









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