We are Christopher Keemer and Heather Kadrich. Christopher is a full-time master’s student, currently in his second semester at MSP. Heather is a third-year doctoral student working on her dissertation at MSP.
Heather and I are both visually impaired due to genetic eye conditions at birth. In spite of these circumstances, we are on our way to accomplishing our goal of becoming clinical psychologists. To ensure our goal is met, Heather and I fully utilize the accommodations that MSP provides and our own visual aids.
Heather and I are also part of a support group called Blind with A Vision. Blind with A Vision encourages, supports, and helps individuals who are visually impaired find resources for accommodations in education, living, and more. There are many resources out there, like Blind with a Vision, available for individuals with visual impairments and other disabilities. Resources include: support groups, rehabilitation services, psychotherapy, job training, financial aid, and medical care. These services can be instrumental in changing the life of a person with a disability.
I (Heather) am currently working with a client population who has recently lost a significant portion of their vision. A metaphor that I hear a lot from people is that they feel like they are “in a cage.” The services mentioned above can be very important in helping people come out of that cage and regain their lives. I had to do the same at one point in my life. Education services helped me.
Being visually impaired affects every facet of our lives, and it gives us a unique perspective on life in general. We are able to fully accept people for who they are, which relates to our humanistic approach to psychotherapy. At some point in your career you might meet a client who has a disability of some sort. Speaking as people with disabilities and as clinical psychologists in training, these clients need what we have been given: compassion, understanding, and the opportunity to succeed.
By Christopher Keemer (MA)
and Heather Kadrich (PsyD 3)