By Randy Pierce
Spring has brought us some fantastic weather here in New England and it also ushers in a return to our school presentations. Most recently, Quinn and I did a presentation in Ashland, NH which inspired a lively round of questions. One question was so important to the student that he convinced a teacher to seek me out afterwards to obtain the answer: “What does Randy see?”
While I am totally blind and have absolutely no light sensitivity at all, this doesn’t mean as some might assume that everything is black or dark. In fact, because I remember my time with full vision and the time where I was transitioning to total blindness, I have developed a way to describe and demonstrate the actual sight within my mind.
Keep your focus forward and hold a finger uplifted in front of you. Keeping those eyes looking straight ahead, slowly move your arm and finger steadily towards the side until it reaches the very edge of your side (i.e. peripheral) sight. Hold it there–what do you “see” when you look just a little further back than the edge of that sight? I call it a sort of “gray nothing.” It isn’t necessarily dark or bright and is probably a bit more of the nothing than the gray, but that is what I “see” unless deliberately trying to imagine an image.
A important (and flattering) question came from a teacher after our talk: “Why do you charge nothing for this fantastic presentation?” The answer is that our 2020 Vision Quest mission supports and believes in the educational and inspirational aspects of this project. We require absolutely no donations to 2020 Vision Quest from schools and non-profit presentations, though we do, of course, welcome them. For our corporate and other presentations, we do request a donation to the charity, as this helps encourage and support our efforts and alleviate some of our time spent fundraising for the two charities, NHAB and Guiding Eyes, to whom we send our full fiscal support.
Ultimately though, the answer is very simple: we hope to reach many more people than peaks through our outreach efforts.
If you want to host us for a presentation please send us an email at Randy@2020visionquest.org or visit our For Educators website! We are always eager for the opportunity to spread the word for our cause.