TCAN: Overcoming Challenges Through Determination, Discipline and Community Building
Motivated by the DiversAbility at Yale group, YAANW will be hosting Dr. Matthew Weed for an inspirational evening of stories about overcoming challenges. The event will be free to attend and includes light snacks.
Matthew Weed is the first totally blind and brittle type I diabetic to graduate from Yale University (B.A. in Political Science, 1993; Ph.D. in Genetics, 2004). He also holds degrees from Harvard (M.A. in Genetics, 1996) and Princeton (MPA, 1995).
Low vision was diagnosed when Matthew was six weeks old. Diabetes was diagnosed when he was one year old. By age 8 he had lost all of his sight. When Matthew was 19, his father died of diabetic complications. In spite of all these challenges, Matthew has found ways to live a full and impactful life: besides his spectacular academic achievements, he has completed a rollerblading marathon, skis, engages in other outdoor pursuits, and has traveled around the world—twice. He has done all of these things with his own determination but also the support and assistance of literally thousands of caring, thoughtful people.
Having a versatile skill set, Matthew has contributed to knowledge and opportunity. In 1990, while an undergraduate at Yale University, Matthew co-created one of the first methods for making electronic text available to the reading challenged. Some believe that the “Yale Text Scanning system” was an early step toward E-books. As a graduate student, Matthew worked closely with the NIH to help it make important databases and tools accessible to the reading challenged. From 2010 to 2012, Matthew helped open the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, a $150 million research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Today he helps institutions make their data and facilities more accessible to everyone; works as an educational search consultant for American, Brazilian and Chinese students; and is a motivational and topical speaker in the US and China.
Dr. Weed asks you to bring business cards to facilitate connecting to others about the things you do and care about—which he will ask you to briefly describe at the end of his talk.
Please feel free to learn more about Matthew through this short video. https://vimeo.com/118231144