FRIDAY, MAY 11: A blind motivational speaker has visited Bermuda to encourage children with visual impairments to fulfill their dreams.
Charlie Collins flew into the island earlier this week to talk to members of the Busy Bees Braille Programme.
Mr Collins was joined by Scott Hegle and his guide dog Ben for the educational trip that was funded by the Bank of Bermuda Foundation.
The trio met with parents, teachers and members of the Busy Bees Braille Programme on the island to talk about the challenges they had faced in their lives and how they had overcome them.
And they helped to provide a bit of extra training to the children on how to use Braille laptops that the group received at the end of last year.
Mr Collins said: “The reception we have received here has been incredible.
“It’s been an amazing experience to come to Bermuda and talk to the children from the Busy Bees Braille Programme.
“The purpose of our trip is to demonstrate to the children just what they can achieve in spite of their visual impairments.
“We try to remove the blind spots and show people with visual impairments what they can achieve.”
Mr Hegle, who is also blind and hails from Wisconsin, added: “We told the children our stories and how we have dealt with being blind.
“Hopefully that helps to show them what they can achieve in life and that a visual impairment does not have to hold you back.
“Ben was a big hit with the children. They loved him.
“And it was great to be able to use the Braille laptops with the children and show them what these incredible machines can be used for.”
William Ridley, who helps run the Busy Bees Braille Programme, said: “It was great to see the way the children reacted to Charlie and Scott.
“There are like role models to the children and show what can be done even if you are blind or have a visual impairment.
“It was a great opportunity for people to ask them questions as well as be inspired at what they are capable of achieving.
“These guys providing their advice and experience to the children helps to level the playing field for the children.”