She is quoted as saying, “Blindness can be an unsurmountable disability, or it can be just something else that is part of the human experience. Ultimately, it is up to each individual to determine how sight loss will impact his or her life.” Come join us today as we bring to you another edition of “Interviews to Empower”.
Q: What is your name, and can you tell us a little about yourself?
A: My name is Maria Morais and my family immigrated to this country when I was three years old.
Q: Are you blind or visually impaired?
A: Yes. When I was four, my parents noticed that I was having difficulty in seeing in dim light or small details. They searched for medical help for me but nothing could be done. My sight continually deteriorated until in my early twenties I lost all useable vision.
Q: What kinds of tools, strategies or advocacy about blindness have you used or pursued and why?
A: I routinely use Braille, a talking computer, a long white cane, and other devices to get everyday tasks done independently. I was very fortunate to receive some of the best training available in the United States. If it wasn't for this training I don't believe that I could accomplish everything that I have been able to do including earning two college degrees and raising my children.
Q: What have you learned about blindness that you would like to share?
A: Today I live a very normal life-I am married, I have two wonderful daughters, I have a challenging and rewarding job. I strongly believe that if I could have my sight back, my life would be different but certainly not better.
Q: You mentioned to us about a turning point in your life. Can you talk about that?
A: The turning point in my life was when I met the men and women of the National Federation of the Blind. They taught me that my blindness was not what had to define who I was and what I could do, and that it is respectable to be blind. The NFB gave me incredible role models that demonstrated what was possible. This organization took its positive attitude about blindness and created training centers that put its philosophy into practice. I made life-long friends while I was in training and they are my support network when it comes to blindness.
Q: Do you have any advice for someone who is blind or visually impaired or anything to share with someone who may be in the beginning steps of dealing with blindness?
A: I would encourage anyone experiencing sight loss to seek out the best training they can avail themselves of and to find others who have already successfully dealt with adjusting to their new situation. I sincerely hope that everyone chooses to live the life they want!
Thank you, Maria for allowing us to feature you on our blog, and thank you, faithful readers for being with us today. Don’t forget, we’re also on Facebook, so come and like our page at
To learn more about the National Federation of the Blind, visit their website at
Have a fantastic weekend, and we’ll see you back here next Thursday..