In 1999, I lost all my vision. This was a very traumatic experience. I was like a baby learning to live again. Finally, in 2000, I found my “inner-vision” and started helping other blind individuals. This process was the beginning of my vision loss rehabilitation.
Over the years, I struggled with my digestive problems, and in 2009, I sought assistance from another gastroenterologist. He diagnosed me with a severe case of lymphedema, and told me that I would need to lie down after experiencing the effects of this condition.
In 2011, I discovered alkaline water. This was a blessing to my condition. This water resolved almost all my internal issues, and I’m able to live an almost normal life again.
I hope my story will help others, and further the excellent work you’re doing through the “No Limits” Award Mission.
The following is the transcript from Senator Barbara Boxer as she honored Craig before Congress for his work on behalf of the blind. The text can also be found here. http://capitolwords.org/date/2006/09/28/S10451_honoring-charities-for-the-blind/
Mr. President, today I ask my colleagues to join me in recognizing Charities for the Blind, a nonprofit organization in southern California. This organization continues to make a positive impact on the lives of individuals who are blind or visually impaired.
Charities for the Blind is an organization that provides computer adaptive technology and training to blind and visually impaired individuals. The men and women who volunteer their time and energy to this organization provide an important service to the people of Southern California and our Nation.
Charities for the Blind was created by Craig Schneider in 2000 after he suffered a complete loss of his vision. Craig Schneider is a general building contractor who became blind after complications from radiation treatments and exposure to radon gas. He found it difficult to adapt to a visually impaired lifestyle. He took computer courses with the assistance of computer adaptive technology but found them difficult and frustrating. Other students were similarly frustrated, and when some began to drop out of classes, he knew that he was not alone. After seeking assistance from State rehabilitation authorities and blind charities, Craig Schneider recognized that there is an important need among the visually impaired that needed to be met.
According to the National Federation of the Blind, 70 percent of individuals who live with blindness or a visual impairment are unemployed. This overwhelming number of individuals have the potential to live highly productive lives and gain meaningful employment. Charities for the Blind recognizes this need and works to assist individuals with blindness and visual impairment, providing them with tools they need to overcome their disability.
In addition to providing training, counseling, and computer adaptive equipment to the visually impaired and blind, Charities for the Blind also employs blind individuals directly. Craig Schneider has five employees who work with him who are also blind, who help make Charities for the Blind possible. Craig Schneider funds the organization from his private business, which allows him to pay for computers and equipment, employees and technicians, and travel to and from people’s homes to help train them in the use of adaptive equipment.
In its first year, Charities for the Blind gave away 12 computers. Today, the organization provides roughly 30 computers each month, with a short yet successful history of meeting needs in the blind and visually impaired community for individuals between the ages of 10 and 96. Those who have received counseling and equipment from Charities for the Blind have gained new levels of independence, and more and more blind and visually impaired individuals are being empowered and employed each day.
Today I salute the dedication and service of Charities for the Blind. This organization has recognized a tremendous need and works daily to help empower our Nation’s blind and visually impaired. I applaud the work and commitment Charities for the Blind has made in bettering the lives of many.