By Guest Blogger Angela M. Hooker, Accessibility Specialist, Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, U.S. General Services Administration
The doctor should have listened to my mother.
I was barely a few months old, but my mother sensed that there was something wrong with my right eye. The doctor dismissed her as being an overprotective parent; however, she was correct. There was, in fact, something wrong with my eye. I was born with a benign pigmented growth on my optic nerve — well, as benign as it can be considering that I’m blind in my right eye.
Apparently, this is a somewhat strange and unique phenomenon because over the years when I’d go to different doctors — for ailments ranging from sore throats to sprained ankles to stomach viruses — they were fascinated not with the reason for my visit, but with what hindered my sight.
Some doctors and other people wanted and still want to discuss what they thought were limitations for me because of my eye. Enter my “overprotective” mom, again. My mother’s persistence and determination that I would not think of myself as a victim or an object of pity made me realize that I was and am capable of doing what I want and not allowing my disabilities to limit my goals. Had she not instilled these beliefs in me, it would be hard not to be overcome with self-doubt or allow others to define my capabilities.