My name is Dean Ingalls. I am originally from Louisiana but have lived in Urbana, Illinois for the past 7 years. I am 52 years old. I enjoy sports, comedy shows, science fiction, animal shows, listening to music, seafood/crawfish, Cajun/southern cuisine and surfing the Internet. I have spent the last few years learning to live in a sighted world as a visually impaired individual.
I earned a B. A. degree in physical education and in 1983 began teaching and coaching in a junior high school in Louisiana. In 1989 I returned to college and gained the qualifications to teach mathematics and worked until 1998 coaching high school sports and teaching math. My life goal was to become a college basketball coach. I experienced vision loss in 1998 and soon was forced to give up teaching.
After resigning my teaching job, I spent two years trying to save my vision but lost the battle to a retinal nerve disease in 2002. Presently, I have no sight in my right eye and only light perception and movement ability in the left eye. Later in the year 2002, I realized I lacked the skills necessary to live in a sighted world as a blind person. I contacted the rehabilitations department in the State of Louisiana and enrolled in the Louisiana Center for the Blind. I completed an eight months residency-training program at the center. I have since attended several other training centers, low vision conferences, worked with different blind organizations and rehabilitation programs. I also, in November 2009 earned my Master’s degree in curriculum design/assessment and computer education from an online university. I have training in Braille, cane travel/mobility, screen reader assistive technology called JAWS, and a variety of other products used by individuals dealing with vision loss. Because of the training I received I live a fully independent life.
My desire is to continue to improve my skills and learning to overcome the obstacles faced by a person dealing with a visual impairment. In the meantime, I hope to use the Bella Online Website to share the knowledge and information I obtain to assist other individuals dealing with vision issues to help them overcome vision loss and live safe, productive, and happy lives. Thank you for your interest in wanting to learn more about me!
Vision related Experiences:
1. Attended the Louisiana center for the blind training program
2. Past member National federation for the Blind
3. Attended Affiliated Blind of Louisiana program
4. Past president/member of Affiliated Blind of Louisiana Bossier City Chapter
5. Completed Vendors training program of Louisiana
6. WindowEyes training Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind
7. Braille certified
8. Proficient user of JAWS screen reader program
9. Attended National federation for the blind conventions – states of Louisiana, Arkansas,
Texas and the national convention in Kentucky
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