As a young mother 20 years ago, Adrianne Kolasinski lacked access to the resources and services she needed to help her son, who was born with Septo Optic Dysplasia, a disorder that caused him to be 100 percent blind. Help came in the form of a kind stranger who introduced Kolasinski to early intervention options and other resources for the visually impaired and blind, sparking a desire within her to pay it forward. “I understood a long time ago that you cannot save the world, but I know you can make a difference,” Kolasinski said.
After sending her son to the Ohio State School for the Blind in Columbus twice a week for six years, Kolasinski decided to mainstream him in the local school system, but realized there was still a need for more resources. She began to network with people, became an advocate, and even joined a few boards to promote knowledge and awareness about the needs and challenges faced by the visually impaired and blind.
What started out as a plan to create an educational program for school-aged kids became the inception of Sighted Guide of Ohio (SGO), a quarterly magazine dedicated to the visually impaired. First published in 2014, Sighted Guide is distributed in Toledo, Cleveland, Columbus, Akron, and Cincinnati.
SGO aspires to help people and create awareness at the same time. It offers information on resources, services, the latest technology information, and news for the visually impaired community. Each edition of SGO includes a section called “Our Stories,” providing anyone who is visually impaired or blind a forum to share their story with others.
“They are success stories to show that the visually impaired or blind community can accomplish anything, just like you and me,” Kolasinski said.
SGO offers advocacy to children and families by linking them with the services and resources needed by their child. The magazine aims to help remove the gaps in rural communities, to share information and to bring people closer together.
Visit sightedguideohio.org for more information.