Personal Stories

Yadiel’s Introduction

For some reason, I hate writing introduction posts. I can talk incessantly about blindness and student issues, technology, fantasy and science fiction literature, and many other topics. But I can’t make myself write a good introduction. And trust me, I tried. Still, here I go.

My name is Yadiel Sotomayor, Yado for short. I am a blind college student, I love technology, language, Anime, the act of learning, teaching, and so much more.

I state the fact that I am blind first, not to be pitied, but because it is a part of me. I was borne with Leber’s congenital amaurosis (LCA), although that diagnosis was not confirmed until I was in my teens. Thanks to this fact, and that I was losing my sight rapidly, I began to have depression symptoms. This escalated, and I reached a point in which I wanted to kill myself. I didn’t of course.

To this day, I don’t know what stopped me, perhaps it was a sense of ambition, or a sense of self-preservation. Whatever the reason, I did not hurt myself. I decided to change instead. And what a change.

 

After my failed attempt of suicide, I discovered a blindness organization called The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), and it was here I began to learn the skills I needed to deal with blindness. They taught me how to use a cane, also known as Orientation and Mobility. They taught me Braille, the reading and writing system used by the blind world wide. This is also where I developed a facination with assistive technology, that I still have to this day. And finally, they taught me that blindness is not a handicap, but just another characteristic.

Taking these skills and a new philosophy about blindness, I became more independent. My depression symptoms disappeared (I still have flashes sometimes), and I began to grow as a person. I am now an outspoken student, I don’t let anyone violate my wrights, I write about technology, books, and whatever else strikes my fancy at my blog, and I worked as a mentor on a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) camp for blind teens. My growth as a person also made it possible for me to completely lose my faith in religion and spiritual matters. I stopped being a devout catholic and began to identify myself more as an atheist, in the original definition of the word. I began to look for answers, not inside of faith and religion, but in skepticism and science. I am still looking, but that is part of the fun.

What I hope to contribute to Skeptability, is a new perspective about disability as a whole, and blindness in particular. I live in Puerto Rico, a territory of the United States, and here things are done a little bit different, especially when it comes to treating people with disabilities. Ableism is rampant in this little island, and no one is talking about it. So hopefully I will shed a little bit of light on that subject.

As you can probably tell, English is not my first language. So suggestions, comments, and corrections, not only about the content, but about my writing is welcomed. Trolls need not apply.

Well, that wasn’t half bad right? Hopefully I didn’t made an ass of myself. I’m looking forward, not only of writing for this website, but also reading what others write here as well. So, shall we begin.

Yadiel

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1 Comment

  1. May 22, 2014 at 6:20 pm —

    Great to hear from you Yadiel, and your English is fine. I’m really interested to hear your perspective on disability from outside the states.

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