Young and Unsure
Jordan began losing his sight when he was diagnosed with glaucoma at age 12. He had surgery immediately to reduce eye pressure and save the vision that he still had, but over time it progressed.
Jordan started coming to VIA: Visually Impaired Advancement when he was 16, then known as Olmsted Center for Sight. At first, Jordan wasn’t sure what to expect and felt he wasn’t prepared to handle life with a visual impairment.
“I don’t know why, but I had this embarrassment of being around the public,” he said. “I didn’t want to be seen being blind. It was new to me.”
Accepting His Visual Impairment
Through VIA, he met more people who have gone through conditions like his. “There were two kids that were fully blind, and seeing them keep a positive attitude, still doing the things they were doing, I thought, ‘okay this isn’t so bad.’ Being out with everybody else, it was like, ‘This is me. This is normal.'”
Jordan’s vision deteriorated to a total loss by the age of 19. Still, with the help of VIA’s mobility training and vision rehabilitation specialists, he soon gained the confidence he strived for.
“For me, it was more so how to redo things,” Jordan said. “Learning how to cook, how to fold wash, iron clothes, you know, everyday things that people take for granted that we don’t have to think about when we have vision.”
Becoming a Role Model
Now an employee of VIA, he uses that confidence to help others as they find their pathways to independence. “I always want to leave a good impression on the younger people who have lost their vision and let them know it’s not bad. It’s actually great to be who you are. I’ve been there before, and if I can do it, you can do it.”
Jordan also recently welcomed his first child. After finding out he would be a father, he reached out to VIA’s vision specialists. “Learning how to change diapers while being visually impaired is definitely different,” he said. “Learning how to bathe the baby, feed him, make bottles, VIA helps with all of that. They were ready to help me be a great parent … a great father. This is another chapter of my life, and being a part of VIA definitely helped me out with that.”