Teen Spotlight – Christian F.
As a teen, with Albinism, I feel unique and different because no one at my school looks like me, and I kind of stand out in a crowd. No one in my school understands what it is like to be a person with Albinism. I face many challenges, like fluorescent lights bothering my eyes, kids teasing me when I was in elementary school, and not being able to see the boards at school. My mom and I love reading the Albinism InSight magazine to learn more about Albinism and to see people just like me. The NOAH organization has helped me understand Albinism better and love myself. I am inspired by all of the stories I read.
I recently, went to the Department of Motor Vehicles to apply for my Learner’s Permit. I have studied and studied and I am ready to take the test, however I am concerned about the visual test. I have a brand new pair of glasses that I love with glare protection that has helped me a great deal in blocking out the red and blue lights, however the DMV clerk stated that my script was not strong enough to see line 12 on the visual eye test. She asked me to go back to my eye doctor and get a new prescription. I have found that the DMV clerk knows very little about Albinism as I see perfectly clear up close. I wish they had more knowledge in dealing with persons with Albinism.
I would love to walk in a Department of Motor Vehicle Department, and be welcomed by signs for people with Albinism, or anyone who needs visual aids or support. I just didn’t know what to do or say at the DMV but I felt a sense of urgency to find out my next step to driving. Upon visiting my eye doctor, he stated that it would be a 50/50 chance that I could get my permit or Driver’s license, and said that my eye glasses improve my vision, but cannot determine if I could drive.
My Albinism vision is short but clear, making me almost legally blind. This can be very discouraging, but I don’t want to give up. I would love to know if there are other teens out there that want their freedom to drive, and if it is possible. I would love to hear your stories of how to be independent as a teen and future college student tackling the transportation needs to be independent.