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Welcoming and accepting environment allowed Lyra to explore her abilities

Angela Cato - Dec 04, 2019

Tags: Education    Programs   
Three years ago, 13-year-old Lyra Thompson discovered Envision’s Level Up middle school assistive technology program, and she immediately felt at home. Her intelligence, maturity and outgoing nature led her to explore every aspect of Level Up, from assistive technology classes to STEAM sessions to field trips to businesses. Inspired to reach her full potential, she launched a blog and even wrote a book “A Road to Something More” that is available for download on the Amazon Kindle.
 
An active member of the National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation (NOAH), Lyra shares her story with as many people as she can to dispel stereotypes about people with visual impairments. She recently spoke to an audience of nearly 500 people at this year’s Evening with Envision gala and drew a standing ovation for her heartfelt comments about her experiences in Level Up and the many misconceptions about albinism and how it is portrayed in media.
 
“If a fully-sighted person walked into the lounge and saw us playing games, laughing, talking and just having a great time, they probably wouldn’t be able to tell that we are visually impaired and blind,” Lyra told the crowd. “They would later find out that we are, and they would most likely be surprised. What I am saying is that I believe Envision has had a bigger impact on people who can see, more than it has on us. People see us socializing and doing things that everyone can do, and their opinions on us change. What they thought they knew about visual impairments, and what they thought we could accomplish, is changed. We can accomplish so much more than society tells us we can and Envision really proves that.”
 
At Envision, Lyra found a welcoming and accepting environment that empowered her to explore her abilities and express her own unique outlook on life. Envision programs provide life-changing opportunities to Lyra and many others like her every year, and it’s all due to the support and generosity of donors who also believe they are not defined by their eyesight.