As an avid sports fan, and someone who was a bit more than obsessed with sports growing up, the passing of Stuart Scott after a long battle with cancer was extremely sad news. I will admit that I spent more than my share of time in front of the television with ESPN on. I watched college basketball games late into the night and started my day with "Sports Center" and a few sports pages. For me, Stuart Scott was my idea of the coolest sportscaster on television. I can remember watching him on NBA coverage and "NFL Primetime," prior to his role on "Sports Center."
I knew that Scott had no vision in one eye due to a sports injury around 2002, but I didn't know much else about it. Since his passing, I have seen a lot more coverage about his life and battles with vision loss. He was covering a New York Jets spring training workout when a ball hit him in the left eye, causing a serious eye injury. He had already suffered a detached retina in the right eye from another sports-related injury years earlier. From what I read, he seemed to be facing worsening vision loss and had to make some adjustments to read a teleprompter. I wish I had known this earlier; I definitely would have reached out. I am sure many people did reach out, and he was probably connected to great resources. But, you never know.
Something that the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) has done since 1921 is connect people with resources and quality information. Our founder, M. C. Migel, originally saw the need for a high-quality information clearinghouse for people with visual impairments, and AFB continues those standards. AFB offers connection to resources through AFB VisionAware™ for persons losing vision and with low vision. AccessWorld®, AFB's free online technology magazine, offers input on the latest devices and apps. AFB's FamilyConnect® offers connection to resources and other parents for parents of children who are blind or visually impaired. AFB CareerConnect® offers information on employment issues and the job search for individuals who are blind or visually impaired.
If your friend, coworker, or family member is experiencing vision loss, take the time to reach out and connect them to the resources that will open up opportunities and possibilities. AFB's Directory of Services offers easy access to the services in your state. Find out what is available in your area today. One of the biggest issues people with vision loss face is finding quality resources and the perceived lack of connection to others with similarities.
I got a little choked up writing this piece, as Stuart Scott and others have been a big part of my life. I think back to specific memories about significant sports moments, and I often hear the voices of sportscasters in my head. Yes, I hear sportscasters' voices in my head. Take a moment to share your positive memories about the hippest sportscaster on television.