Steven J. Wilson lives in Tucson, Arizona. A proud father of three children, Steven has spent most of his career working on yachts, houseboats, speedboats, and personal watercrafts. His career has taken him from bodies of water such as the Colorado River in Northern Arizona, Lake Powell in Arizona/Utah, and Lake Shasta in Northern California to parts of the Mississippi River in Lacrosse Wisconsin.
Born with a severe hearing loss, Steven noticed troubles with his eyesight in his early teenage years. He was never formerly diagnosed until he was 41 years old and has since seized opportunities to start a new path in life. Once he was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa and told that he had Usher syndrome (the combined dual sensory loss of vision and hearing), Steven knew right away to seek out the training he needed in order to maintain his independence.
Having received training in orientation and mobility, braille grades 1 and 2, and assistive technology (and so much more!) from the Southern Arizona Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Steven is now a full-time college student at Pima Community College with plans to attend the University of Arizona. Steven's aspiration is to get a master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling and continue to help others because he knows first-hand how difficult it can be to face such hard life choices as well as the challenges one may face in finding the resources and agencies one may need.
In his own words: “I am a success story in the making. While I've had a successful career as a boat mechanic in the past, my sight loss has prevented me from continuing this career. Because I've enjoyed helping others in the past and found inspirational people who have helped me to get to where I am currently, I would like to rejoin the workforce, help individuals in need, and let them know that they too can continue on with a rich and successful life."
I have returned to college after a very long break from academics and found that hard work and determination are key components to being a successful student. I earned a 4.0 grade point average which has allowed me to join Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society while raising a six-year-old daughter as a single parent. (My two boys are grown and out of the house now pursuing their own interests in life.)
I enjoy telling others my story in the hopes that people with similar deficits can benefit as well as encouraging others from around the world that obstacles such as hearing and vision loss should not be roadblocks on the path to success. My motto for others is "You can do it!!!"
Steven contributes to VisionAware articles and the Visually Impaired: Now What? blog.
- Going Back to School and Succeeding with a Dual Disability
by Maribel Steel on 8/8/2016