I invite you to take a ride with me; a journey down memory lane. The year was 2000, and like most sixteen year olds, I was ready to take on whatever the world had to offer. On a beautiful, bright, afternoon, I could feel the nervousness in my stomach as I watched the clock draw near to 3:00 p.m. When the time came, I approached the driver’s seat of the car, and proceeded to get into the vehicle. During the whole car ride, all I could think about was hearing those three little words; which to me at that time would have a big impact on my life. When reaching the destination, I put the car in park and turned off the engine. I silently waited for the verdict as my heart started to beat at a faster pace. Then, what seemed to be like a century, I heard those words that I had been waiting so long to hear; congratulations, you passed. Yes! I, Robin Ennis, was an official licensed driver. Like the majority of sighted sixteen year olds, I was ecstatic about the thought of being able to drive myself places. However, I’m not sure my Dad felt the same joy that I had. My Dad said that he was scared about letting me loose in a big machine. LOL. For me, this was one of the happiest days of my life.
Unfortunately, four years later, after losing my eyesight, I had to surrender my license; something to me that held so much meaning. Let’s just say that was a hard day, and my blindness became more of a reality. I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to drive a car again, but what I do know is that I still have those priceless moments that no one can take away from me.
If you’re wondering what sparked this trip down memory lane, and even if you’re not, I’ll tell you anyway. Saturday, January 29, 2011 is a monumental time for the world, especially many in the blind community. It is the unveiling of the adapted car for blind individuals. The car is configured with several technological features that would allow blind individuals to drive without sighted assistance. In fact, at the unveiling in Daytona, there will be a blind individual test driving the car in front of thousands. To learn more about the unveiling and developers of the car, check out http://www.nfb.org/nfb/NewsBot.asp?MODE=VIEW&ID=683. Let me know what you think. By the way, should I give it a try?