How a Student Overcame His Blindness to Study Coding

michael-griffin-coding-blindness-SP’s: This is an inspiring story of Michael Griffin from Florida, who fought his blindness and overcame it to do something amazing. 

After failing his vision test, Michael Griffin knew that his eyes were no longer fine and he needed to face the reality, instead of ignoring it.
Michael was 24-years old and before 14 years, his doctors had told him that he juvenile macular degeneration. It’s a condition that worsens to result in partial or complete blindness in future. This embarrassed him a lot and he chose not to tell his friends or family.

“I was embarrassed to say I couldn’t see. Looking back I wish I would have said something. I probably would have started college a lot earlier if I had the help I needed,” says Griffin, 37.

13 years after the license denial, he’s working to get an associate degree in computer programming at the State College of Florida. He hopes to attend a 4-year university program and make applications to help the ones like him.

His teacher Elizabeth Dowdy says that Griffin needs to zoom in his screen so close that he’s able to see just one word.

“I’m thinking as a teacher he can’t even see the whole word, how will he read sentences?” Dowdy said. “But he did it; he even developed his own software to keep up.”

With time, Griffin has learned C++, Python and Visual Basic. Now he’s teaching himself C-Sharp, a programming language for phone and computer applications.

Earlier this year, he won a $2,500 scholarship from the American Council of the Blind and $500 from the council’s Sarasota chapter.

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