Before losing his vision to Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy his sophomore year of high school, Luke Lin admits he may have been too focused on success in school and sports. As an avid golfer and aspiring computer engineer, losing his sight triggered depression and grief as the future he dreamed of suddenly felt unattainable.
To manage his new challenges, Luke sought support from the blind community and Vista Center. During his first few visits, Luke received basic white cane training and support with assistive programs like screen reading software and voice over apps. In conjunction with his lessons at Vista Center, Luke was fortunate to also have a supportive network of teachers, coaches, and family, who adopted new strategies to help him move through new challenges. “There were times when I felt really discouraged, since I was learning so slowly, but at Vista Center, I learned it wasn’t about being the best. They showed me it was about determination, patience, and the strength of community.”
“Vista Center helped me see the joys that other blind individuals cherish every day and accept myself for who I am“Luke Lin
A year of Vista Center services reinvigorated Luke’s enthusiasm to create new goals for himself. “I thought I could never go back to my computer science studies. In the beginning coding was hard and overwhelming. Vista Center services empowered me and helped me to reclaim my confidence. I really believe that I can set goals that initially seemed unreachable after I lost my vision.”
Now a senior in high school, Luke is developing his own smartphone application for users with vision loss, as well as serving as the Vice President for the student run New Visions of Tomorrow. “Vista Center helped me see the joys that other blind individuals cherish every day and accept myself for who I am. I have a goal to inspire other people with what I can accomplish and set an example in the blind community by demonstrating that there is life beyond sight.”