Martha Steele was told at the age of 25 that she would be blind in 10 years due to a degenerative and uncurable disease called Usher syndrome. Martha’s vision loss didn’t stop her from living a full life or succeeding professionally, but she eventually needed help as her condition progressed.
Around 2008, Martha began losing her central vision – the only vision she had left – and she felt her low vision had really begun to interfere with her career and nearly every aspect of her personal life. That’s when she reached out to the Carroll Center for the Blind.
Martha shares, “The Carroll Center changed my life. They taught me how to maximize the vision I had and how to replace lost skills with new ones. They introduced me to assistive technologies like Zoom Text and JAWS that enabled me to read. They taught me white cane skills and gave me strategies that increased my mobility. As my vision progressively worsened over the following 15 years to total blindness, I repeatedly returned to the Carroll Center for additional training to address my latest challenges. Notably, by attending their Independent Living Program, I gained a wealth of knowledge on how to navigate even the simplest of daily tasks. In short, the Carroll Center gave me the chance to live my life to the fullest again and continues to help me stay engaged in my communities.”
Because of the impact the Carroll Center has had on her entire life, Martha has made accommodations in her estate plans by designating the Carroll Center as a beneficiary of her retirement plan. “This place has been transformational for me. I believe we must ensure that the Carroll Center has the financial resources to shape the future so that others can have similar life-changing experiences. That is why I have included the Carroll Center in my estate plans. My hope is that my gift can play a part in the Carroll Center’s ability to equip blind and visually impaired individuals of all ages with the tools they need to live full and successful lives.”