Adventurous international teacher, Amy Bovaird, is diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a hereditary eye disease that will blind her. In spite of that, she manages to continue teaching overseas. Then her father's final illness brings her back home for good. There, friends and acquaintances begin to notice that she doesn't always recognize them and sometimes stumbles as if drunk! Insensitive students ridicule her in the classroom. Unwilling to accept that she is truly losing her eyesight, Amy resists when the Bureau of Blindness schedules a mobility specialist to begin training her to use a white cane. How can she, an independent world traveler, use something that screams "I am a blind person"? Will her faith prove strong enough to allow her to move forward and accept herself as she is?
©2015 Amy L. Bovaird (P)2016 Amy L. Bovaird
I wanted to like this book. The tones of the narrator are quick and clipped and super pleasing to hear. The writing style, for what it's worth, is engaging... and I would never demean anyone's process of coming to accept their vision loss. But I have some serious problems with the book itself.
Not five sentences in to the introduction, this quote appears:
"Restricted sight hinders movement. People with poor vision trip frequently, run into objects or knock things over."
While this might be true for some people, especially if they are not given the training and tools to move gracefully as a blind person, it is not the experience of everyone. And if prospective employers, educators, and parents of blind children read this book with such sweeping generalizations, what will they think about having a blind student in their class or workplace or home?
I also found the frequent God references disconcerting. It's not because I don't believe (because I do) or that I want to discount the role that faith plays in an author's life and journey... but because Bible verses were sprinkled throughout the text. Full prayers were written down, and Amy mentions reaching a high school classmate "for Jesus."
The whole thing just left a bad taste in my mouth. Disability should never be viewed as fun, fluffy, light INSPIRATIONAL reading, but when lived experiences give way to preachiness and sweeping generalizations, it's not something I can stomach.
Mobility Matters elegantly shares Amy Bovaird's emotions and experience which anyone going through vision loss can identify with. The transformation as she overcomes her fear and the enemies voices that her loss of vision will now define who she is as a person and dictate the rest of her life, will inspire hope to each reader. Amy's journey stepping out in faith and how the Lord's Word gave her the strength to keep going, is a must read.
This book is not only for those going through the hallway of vision loss, but for each family member or any one who loves someone losing their vision would also benefit by reading.
Mobility Matters Stepping out in faith, has left me thinking I will now call canes power sticks!!!
Michael Benson Founder
Visual Experience Foundation
It is such a blessing that Amy Bovaird’s book, Mobility Matters: Stepping Out in Faith, is now available in an audio version. This will be a valuable format for anyone whose visual impairment won’t allow them to read printed material. I also have Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) and can relate to the struggles Amy writes about. I can still read printed books on Kindle Fire when I darken the background and enlarge and whiten the text. Last year, I read Amy’s book on my Kindle and was moved by her story. I know how she feels about not wanting to pick up that cane. It’s a psychological hurdle that most people who lose sight gradually must overcome. I enjoyed the literary voice that Amy brings to her printed book and the audio voice that Sandy Weaver Carmen brings to the audio version. It gives Amy’s work an added layer of meaning to hear her visual mishaps in action. She mixes humor and wit with pertinent information that makes her book a highly recommendable read not only for visually impaired people but also for sighted people as well. I wish Mobility Matters: Stepping Out in Faith was around when I was diagnosed with RP back in 1981.
When Amy's mobility instructor came to her house, and she realized he was totally blind, I could feel her anxiousness about her travel plans, which included a trip through the neighborhood tapping her cane and wearing sleep shades.
This is the first performance I have heard. She did a fabulous job.
I listened to it on several different occasions and enjoyed it very much.
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