Learning to Overcome Fear and Not Give Up When Growing Up Blind

Nancy Shugart on stage for her TED talk.

We all have hopes and dreams for our children, and when they are born with seemingly debilitating issues, it can be hard to know what the future will bring. This TEDx Talk will erase some of those fears.

Nancy Shugart was eight when she was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration, but it wasn’t until she was 20 that she realized she was blind. She just knew it was harder for her to see things. So she struggled through school and life and at times considered giving up.

But she didn’t, and in her talk she tells how she came to be the person she is: someone who is blind but not defined by it.
“It’s not the eyesight,” she says, “it’s the vision that’s important.” Told by her college dean to give up her dream of being a music teacher in the public school system, she went on to do just that, for the next 20 plus years. Fear, she says, is what holds us back, while curiosity pulls us forward.

It took Nancy to the age of 20 to recognize the true origin of the mountain standing between her and her life’s dream, and it wasn’t blindness but fear. It’s clear she overcame that fear and is happy having done so.

Take a look at this inspirational video and let go of the fear about your own child’s future.



Related Posts

Blind little vietnamese girl.

Special Needs, Visual Impairment

Understanding Early Childhood Blindness: Causes and Diagnoses

Vision impairment in young children can be caused by congenital and acquired conditions. Many services are available to help children with low vision achieve their healthy best.

Six blue origami birds being led by one yellow origami bird.

Tactile Art, Visual Impairment

Accessible Origami for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Accessible Origami provides basic text-only step-by-step instructions on how to fold popular origami figures for people who are blind or visually impaired.

Insight Beyond Eyesight logo

Visual Impairment

Insight Beyond Eyesight

Insight Beyond Eyesight provides support, information, and networking for Jewish individuals who are visually impaired and their families.