Advertisement

Local Teen Seeks to Connect Young People with Visual Impairments

Share:

Taliah Crop
Taliah Braun of Niverville.

Taliah Braun was born in July 2007 with what she calls “a difference.” A few days after her birth, her doctor noticed that one of her eyes wouldn’t open—and after a visit to a specialist, she was diagnosed with paediatric congenital micropthalmia.

In layman’s terms, she was completely blind in her left eye.

Taliah was given a prosthetic cover shell for her eye and since then has gone about her otherwise typical life. She says that she has managed very well and has experienced few difficulties with her eye or with her eyesight. She doesn’t experience any pain as a result of her condition except for when she gets a new prosthesis and the muscles around her eye need to get used to it.

Fortunately, Taliah has excellent vision in her right eye, but she wears non-prescription glasses to protect that eye from any potential harm.

She strongly dislikes wearing the glasses, though, and feels that having to wear them is one of the hard parts of her visual difference.

Another difficulty has been that younger people sometimes comment on her eye, which can make her feel badly about herself or embarrassed by her difference. But as she’s gotten older, those comments don’t come as often.

She credits that, in part, to her ocularist, who has been creating amazingly realistic eyes for her.

Nonetheless, the greatest burden of being born this way is that Taliah sometimes has felt alone and isolated. She adds that sometimes she has felt like the only kid in the world who’s going through this particular journey.

It turns out, there are many others out there.

Some time back, Taliah and her parents began to search for other people going through a similar life experience. They achieved some early success by reaching out to New York Times bestselling author Lisa Bevere, who also has a prosthetic eye.

Taliah was encouraged to hear back from Bevere, but she still felt that something was missing since Bevere was both not her age and lived very far away.

“I wish there was a way that someone would understand exactly what it was like,” she said to her parents one day.

Around that same time, Taliah watched a documentary series called Marvel Hero Project. Each episode of that program showcased a child with a difference and a project that he or she had created to help those around them.

That was when Taliah struck upon a new idea: “Why don’t I use my differences to help others to feel like they’re not alone?”

With a little help from her parents, Taliah has created a website of her own, called Vision Village. Vision Village shares important information, as well as a few inspirational stories, about Taliah and her medical team.

A key feature is that other kids with eye conditions will have an opportunity to use the site to find pen pals to communicate with, allowing them to share their experiences.

Once the site was created, Taliah created promotional postcards and asked her eye specialists if they would be willing to share them with the patients. Not only were the doctors receptive to the idea, they were excited to help. They also began sharing the site amongst their colleagues in other hospitals and other cities.

“I started to notice that I’m not alone,” Taliah says.

In response to her new venture, Taliah recently received a request from Brio, a kids magazine by Focus on the Family. A future issue will include a write-up about her story and about Vision Village.

If you know of a young person who has overcome a challenge, particular one connected with vision, Taliah wants to help share that story and connect them to others who can relate to their experiences.

Taliah’s father, local author David Braun, adds that they are considering registering Vision Village as a charity, although they haven’t done so yet. They have received some early financial donations which so far have been funnelled into the expenses of maintaining the website and printing postcards.

“My hope for the future is that kids feel that they’re wanted and seen, and that they’re not alone,” Taliah says. “No one should feel alone, you know?”

For more information

If you or anyone you know has a visual difference, check out Taliah’s website: www.wearevisionvillage.org

Advertisement
More LOCAL NEWS

Niverville High School Marks Second Outdoor Convocation

For the second year in a row, the Niverville High School marked its year-end convocation under sunny June skies. Once again, public health orders forced students and staff to curtail the usual...

Read more

For the second year in a row, the Niverville High School marked its year-end convocation under sunny June skies. Once again, public health orders forced students and staff to curtail the usual...

Read more

Manitoba to Loosen Summer Restrictions One Week Early

At a news conference on Wednesday, June 23, Premier Brian Pallister and Dr. Brent Roussin announced that the first step in the province’s summer reopening plan is ready to be implemented, one week...

Read more

At a news conference on Wednesday, June 23, Premier Brian Pallister and Dr. Brent Roussin announced that the first step in the province’s summer reopening plan is ready to be implemented, one week...

Read more
Advertisement

Grads of 2021 Reflect on Lost Experiences

Graduation season is here again—and for the second year in a row local, graduates aren’t getting the senior year they desired or deserved. The last two years have been rough for local...

Read more

Graduation season is here again—and for the second year in a row local, graduates aren’t getting the senior year they desired or deserved. The last two years have been rough for local...

Read more

Updated June 24: 23 Local Cases

On Thursday, the province announced 106 new cases of COVID-19. There are 200 hospitalizations, with 52 patients in the ICU. Two new deaths were reported today, bringing the total death toll to...

Read more

On Thursday, the province announced 106 new cases of COVID-19. There are 200 hospitalizations, with 52 patients in the ICU. Two new deaths were reported today, bringing the total death toll to...

Read more
Advertisement

Local Doctors to Address Vaccine Questions at Virtual Town Halls

Residents of southern Manitoba will have the opportunity next week to raise their questions and concerns about COVID-19 vaccines, and get answers from trusted local doctors. Doctors Manitoba is...

Read more

Residents of southern Manitoba will have the opportunity next week to raise their questions and concerns about COVID-19 vaccines, and get answers from trusted local doctors. Doctors Manitoba is...

Read more

Niverville Council Meeting in Review—June 15

Niverville’s town council met virtually on Tuesday, June 15 for their regularly scheduled bimonthly meeting. After some brief, standard housekeeping issues, they opened the first of two public...

Read more

Niverville’s town council met virtually on Tuesday, June 15 for their regularly scheduled bimonthly meeting. After some brief, standard housekeeping issues, they opened the first of two public...

Read more
Advertisement

Niverville Grows Community Gardens Project

There is a new option in Niverville for those who like to garden but don’t have access to their own garden plot. The town’s brand-new Community Gardens are open to anyone to rent for the...

Read more

There is a new option in Niverville for those who like to garden but don’t have access to their own garden plot. The town’s brand-new Community Gardens are open to anyone to rent for the...

Read more

Maxime Bernier Arrested After Speaking at Niverville Rally

This morning, Maxime Bernie, leader of the federal People’s Party of Canada and a former candidate for the leadership of the Conservative Party, spoke in Niverville around 11:30 a.m. in Hespeler...

Read more

This morning, Maxime Bernie, leader of the federal People’s Party of Canada and a former candidate for the leadership of the Conservative Party, spoke in Niverville around 11:30 a.m. in Hespeler...

Read more
Time until next issue
Citizen Poll

Do you know a child whom you suspect has fallen behind this school year due to pandemic-related disruptions to education?

For related article, see link below.
https://nivervillecitizen.com/...