Beyond the blindness

Ted Hinson and Kansas, his guide dog.

When Ted Hinson became blind from an infection in his optic nerve at age 27, he was determined not to let the setback control his life.

Within a year, he got a job and acquired a seeing-eye dog. Hinson and his wife raised five children while he built a successful career in the energy industry. Now 58, he enjoys running, water skiing, good coffee and interesting audio books.

"If you get your attitude right, you can do a lot of things in life," he says. "I was fortunate enough to have the mentality, heart and faith to stay positive."

Beyond the blindness

In his new memoir, "Beyond the Blindness: My Story of Losing Sight and Living Life," Hinson relays an easygoing and fun-hearted account of the challenges he and his family have overcome. Now available on Amazon, the book shares his experiences as a blind person, including stories about the five patient guide dogs that have accompanied him over the years.

Hinson’s dog Kansas joined the family in February. A graduate of Guide Dogs for the Blind in California, the friendly black lab is a protective companion, helping Hinson navigate streets and board the city bus. "You have to trust the dog, and we work together as a team," he says.

In addition to loyal canine friends, improvements in technology aid Hinson with everyday tasks. He uses VoiceOver on his iPhone and a screen reader on his laptop.

"Things happen when you never expect them to happen, but I’m taking a bite out of life," he says. 

 

Gail Ellis is a communications specialist in Tulsa and enjoys telling stories about the people, places and history of America’s magic city.

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