“As architects, we’re visual animals. The interesting riddle…is if you take sight out of the equation, what makes for good architecture?” –Chris Downey

A few weeks after Chris Downey started work at an architectural firm in San Francisco, he noticed something wrong with his vision. It turned out he had a tumor wrapped around his optic nerve. After surgery, he eventually lost all of his vision not to mention his job.

Today, he is a key architectural consultant for a rehabilitation center for a VA hospital in Palo Alto. Funny how the door closing on your vision can often open new doors elsewhere. Downey must’ve felt like he hit rock bottom when after having to deal with a tumor and subsequent vision loss, he also had to deal with unemployment. In a city full of unemployed architects, he was sure he was the only blind one. Where does one go from here?

Downey’s story is just one example of how, despite vision loss, one can become empowered to do even bigger, greater, and more compassionate things. To read his story in The Atlantic, click here.

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