Joe Strechay

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Christine Ha Interview: Visually Impaired Chef, Author, and TV Personality

September 21, 2015
Christine Ha, Chef and Author Interview 3 with Christine Ha, winner of MasterChef U.S. season 3 on FOX, New York Times best-selling author of Recipes from My Home Kitchen (2013), co-host of "Four Senses, Canada" on AMI, and AFB Helen Keller Achievement Award winner Interview Date: September 11, 2015 AFB CareerConnect: Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. AFB and AFB CareerConnect truly value you, your representation as a role model, and the passion and talent that you…

Living (and Succeeding) with Vision Loss

September 16, 2015
If you haven’t read this USA Today piece on what it’s like to be visually impaired, you should. Every year or almost every year, my friend Mickey Damelio includes me in his Florida State University class called the Blindness Experience, which he has designed over the years. I feel lucky to have gone to graduate school with Mickey at Florida State University. He became one of my first friends from the program when he asked me to attend the free MTV on Campus concert with his wife and him. He is…

Attending and Presenting at the Helen Keller Achievement Awards in New York City

June 24, 2015
I’ve made it back to West Virginia after all of the excitement and fun at the American Foundation for the Blind's Helen Keller Achievement Awards. I had the honor to attend last year, when Christine Ha won a Helen Keller Achievement Award; she’s a connection of mine and an inspiration, so that was a real blessing. This year took it to a whole different level, though, as I was able to assist our AFB Board Trustee, Cathy Burns, in presenting Charlie Cox with his Helen Keller Achievement Award.…

The Top Twelve from the 2015 AFB Leadership Conference in Phoenix, Arizona

April 16, 2015
Russell Shaffer, Senior Manager, Corporate Affairs, Walmart, Joe Strechay, AFB CareerConnect Program Manager, and Chris Downey, Architect, talking about success and vision loss We just closed up our 2015 AFB Leadership Conference, and I would love to share some highlights. It was a fast-and-furious conference with no reference to the current Furious 7 film. The conference was jam-packed with unique and informative content from experts from around the United States and abroad. Our final head…

Standing Ovation for Netflix on its Audio Description Announcement

April 15, 2015
Big news from Netflix this week: the internet television network announced that it is adding audio description to its platform as a setting. This is huge news for those of us with vision loss. When I read and started talking to people about this announcement, I literally got chills. We all have our outlets for entertainment, relaxation, and even stress relief. Netflix is one of mine; it’s something I truly enjoy. I view it via my Apple TV or my iPhone. And up until today, unless my wife or a…

Working with Charlie Cox in Preparation for His Role as Daredevil

April 1, 2015
Last night, we got a wonderful shout out from Charlie Cox during his interview with Seth Meyers. I had the pleasure of helping Charlie prepare for his new role as Matt Murdock, a blind lawyer-by-day who fights crime at night, on the upcoming Netflix television show, Marvel's Daredevil. All I can say is that I was truly lucky to work with such a great person and dedicated actor. I was extremely impressed with the care and effort that Charlie put into preparing for his role. In my job at the…
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A Blind Professional's Take on the Batman Episode, "This American Life"

January 14, 2015
A friend of mine sent me a link to an episode of NPR's "This American Life" on Dan Kish. I had not heard it yet, though I do listen to that show often. I listened to the piece right away, and I thought I would share my take on the piece. First of all, Dan Kish is an extremely successful and brilliant individual who is blind. He has trained youth and adults who are blind or visually impaired on how to travel independently for a long time. He founded World Access for the Blind, and trains…

ESPN's Stuart Scott Brought the Cool to Sports Coverage and Dealt with Vision Loss

January 7, 2015
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…

Blind Boy Has White Cane Taken From Him, Replaced With A Pool Toy

December 19, 2014
Recently, you may have read a story or seen it on the news about the little boy whose white cane was taken away from him because of behavior reasons. I wanted to take a minute to discuss this situation and why this is so wrong. The purpose of the white cane is to be a tool to allow a person or child who is blind or visually impaired independence. As a person who is blind or visually impaired who depends on the use of my white cane for travel and independence, I am truly upset by this. We teach…

The Joy of Voting Independently as a Blind or Visually Impaired Citizen

November 5, 2014
Man voting with an accessible voting machine Yesterday was Election Day, the day that we all head to the polls to cast our ballot for our chosen candidates for the many races impacting our lives. By all, I mean a decent amount of the population, especially during a non-presidential voting year. I can't tell you the pride and joy that I get out of being able to vote. It is not even just voting; it is that I was able to go to my polling location and ask to use the accessible polling option.…