“Vision Rehabilitation Services Helped Me Navigate A World Designed for the Sighted & Helped Me Pursue My Life Goals.”
This powerful message was delivered by Joshua Espinal at the Masters in Ophthalmology conference in Orlando, June 8, 2018.
Joshua spoke about going to the Lighthouse of Central Florida “because I wanted a guide dog,” and ending up learning about safe travel skills that are the prerequisite for all guide dog schools in the US, plus daily living skills and advanced technology skills. “I didn’t even know a blind person could use a computer! Now I use one every day at work.”
Joshua also attended the Division of Blind Services’ Rehabilitation Center which is near his home in Daytona Beach. “I loved my experience at the Rehab Center and I visit it often to mentor their current students and just to chat.”
Today he is fully employed and involved in his community. He is the first (and only) totally blind Police Officer in the Daytona Beach department. “I already had met all the requirements to be a Police Officer before I lost my sight, and now I am a victims advocate and hope to be assigned to the Armory where I will clean and prepare the weapons used by the other officers.” He was in the US Army for 6 years so handling every aspect of weapons is second nature to him.
Joshua is President of the Greater Daytona Beach Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind. This is one of his volunteer roles that gives him an opportunity to spread the message of empowerment to others. He also founded the Martial Science Federation which teaches martial arts skills and principles of respect, discipline, and kindness to children in the poorest sections of Daytona.
He acknowledged that learning these karate fundamentals since the age of 4, and his physical and emotional survival after two tours of duty in the Middle East where he lost many friends, were key elements in helping him overcome his deep depression after losing his sight suddenly to diabetes. However, he reserved his deepest gratitude for his wife and one year old daughter. His family is a constant source of indispensable support for him.
Joshua is a true servant leader in his community, a loving father and husband, and a valued employee. His deeply held beliefs and the many assets of his education and life experience came with him when he engaged with Vision Rehabilitation services. The combination couldn’t be beat!
Watch Joshua’s interview with Kyle Johnson of Lighthouse Central Florida, at the Masters in Ophthalmology conference: https://www.facebook.com/LighthouseCentralFlorida/videos/10156550485187369/?t=547
To get the Physician’s Referral App so your low vision patients can find Vision Rehabilitation Services near their homes: http://www.app.VisionRefer.com