Skip to main content

Book Excerpt: T.J.'s Story

T.J.'s Story: A Book about a Boy Who is Blind

Text and Photographs by Arlene Schulman
Published by Lerner Publications

My name is T.J. Olsen. You can see me, but I can't see you. That's because I'm blind.

People who are blind can see very little or nothing at all. Some people are born blind. Others lose their sight when they get older because of illnesses such as glaucoma and diabetes. I was born with a disease called retinoblastoma. It's a kind of cancer. It affects babies when they're born.

When I was 11 months old, doctors had to do surgery to get rid of the cancer. They removed my eyes. Instead of real eyes, I have plastic ones. Most people don't know that I'm blind until they see me with my cane. It's white and red and it looks like a walking stick.

Your eyes work like a camera. There is a lens at the front of each eye. The lends focuses on what you're seeing. The colored part of the eye, called the iris, opens and closes to let in the right amount of light. At the back of the eye is the retina. It's like the film in a camera. It records a picture of what you see.

Many people wear eyeglasses because their eyes don't work perfectly. They may not be able to see things far away or close up very well. Normal eyeglasses aren't enough for people who are visually impaired or blind. Their eyesight cannot be corrected with regular eyeglasses.

People who are visually impaired or blind may be able to see some things, like shapes or light and dark objects or very large things. In the United States, moe than a million people are blind.


Popular posts from this blog

Women's History Month: What You Should Know

What You Should Know includes a diaspora of women, many from Inwood and Washington Heights in upper Manhattan, and showcases the diversity and strength of women in our New York City. These women are Puerto Rican, Dominican, Mexican, Cuban, Spanish, Korean, South Asian, Irish, African-American, White, Jewish, Episcopalian, Christian, and Muslim. They are breast cancer survivors, teenagers, and women with disabilities. They are straight, gay, transgender, and bisexual. They are mothers and daughters, grandmothers, sisters, women who work and women who work together. And when you go against them. . .

A Tribute to Frank Hess 1941 - 2018

I share with deep sadness the news that Frank Hess, longtime Special Assistant to recently retired Assemblyman Denny Farrell, passed away on February 20, 2018. A longtime resident of Washington Heights and an astute observer of the political scene around the state, Frank could always be found wearing a jaunty hat and with cigarette in hand. Like Community Board 12 members Obie Bing and Pamela Palanque North who served on a number of boards and former Assemblyman Brian Murtaugh, another piece of uptown’s history and heart is gone. He touched so many. And to some, he was like family. ** It’s been said that the real measure of a man is how he treats people, where he stands in moments of controversy, and how he handles power. But - let’s get real. The true measure of a man is in his matzoh ball soup - and Frank made a GREAT matzoh ball soup.

He handed down a recipe that called for about a hundred matzoh balls because his mother cooked for so many. Matzoh balls were planted all over my ap…

My Year (or so) with the New York Yankees

...At the old Yankee Stadium, the press box rose high up above home plate and over to the left side and consisted of a few rows of countertops, outlets and chairs, with broadcast booths, and a smaller press box where I sat with the men of the Black and Hispanic press and TV and radio reporters. The Yankees official box sat off to the left, and Eddie Layton’s Hammond organ called outCharge!from the far right. This was the generation of technology that followed the electric typewriter and before cell phones, email, texting and the Internet. The state-of-the-art computer at the time was a heavy black Radio Shack laptop with a tiny screen of four or five lines. One older sportswriter still used a typewriter, and the clickety-clack of the keys made me think of the movie,The Front Page.

Most of the older men—and almost everyone was older then me—wore plaid short-sleeved shirts under tweed sport jackets, even during the warmer weather. They reminded me of Oscar Madison. At least these men had…