Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Congratulations to Andrew Bernet on being selected to be featured in NIB’s upcoming Employee-Focused “A Day in the Life” video!

National Industries for the Blind, NIB, recently selected Andrew for his inspiring story to help explain the value of the work NIB is doing to provide meaningful employment for people who are blind.

Read below for Andrew’s story…

At 22 years old, Andrew was attending college at the University of Arkansas when he lost vision overnight due to diabetic retinopathy. He soon returned home to Texas and continued classes at NCTC to finish his core classes. During this time he was not aware of any rehabilitation services, but this did not stop him from making it through his first semester after becoming visually impaired.

Drew began to teach himself how to travel with an identity cane and even persuaded his professors to allow him to dictate his papers onto a cassette tape since he had not discovered screen readers. The following semester Drew discovered vocational rehabilitation services and decided to take a semester off so that he could put all his focus on these services including, orientation & mobility training. While receiving his training he decided to enroll at Stephen F. Austin University, where he received a Bachelor’s of Science in Rehabilitation Services with a focus in Orientation & Mobility.

Drew is now a Certified Orientation & Mobility Instructor at Lighthouse for the Blind of Fort Worth.

Drew has not allowed his vision loss to stop him from living a full life! He lives independently in an apartment in Fort Worth, TX with his guide dog, Jonas. Jonas is his constant companion that hates being separated from Drew.

Aside from working full time, Drew is completing his masters in Adaptive Physical Education at Texas Women’s University in Denton, TX. On days he has class, Drew uses the bus & Uber to get to his casework for the Lighthouse before traveling approx. 60 miles to class. He takes an Uber ride to the train station in Fort Worth, a train to Dallas, a train to Carrollton, a train to Denton, & finally a bus to TWU. After class he has to take a bus from TWU to the train station in Denton, a train to Carrollton, a train to Dallas, a train to Arlington, & from there he has to either take an Uber or taxi home. This takes over 2.5 hours each way!

Drew stays active by organizing and coaching Goalball for the Lighthouse Banditos and is the captain of his Beep Ball team, the Lonestar Roadrunners. He also makes regular weekend trips to visit his lovely girlfriend, who lives 4 hours away.

And on top of this, Drew attends conferences and seminars all over the country and has begun presenting as well.

 “Laughter is my inspiration!” – Andrew Bernet

We are so excited that NIB selected Andrew for their upcoming feature! Make sure to check back, we will share the video once NIB has posted it.