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2002 NFB:AE Scholarship Class

Editor's Note: Editor's Note: The recipients of the 2002 NFB:AE scholarship awards were announced at the NFB:AE's 2002 Annual General meeting, held in Toronto on May 18,2002. We thought you would like to know a little about these three outstanding blind scholars

TAMMY JAMES (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

My name is Tammy James and I was born with a rare Congenital eye condition known as total achromatopsia. This condition renders me legally blind, without any colour vision, and extremely photophobic. Despite the difficulties I face on a daily basis as a result of my vision impairment, I remain very motivated as I pursue my academic goals. I am currently enrolled as a graduate student within the Department of Psychology at York University, Ontario, where I am undertaking a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.

My future goals include a desire to become registered as a Clinical Neuropsychologist. I would like to specialize in the assessment, intervention, and treatment of cognitive impairment across the life-span. I hope to become employed within a hospital and/or rehabilitative setting wherein I will work with individuals having brain dysfunction. It is my goal to specialize in the development of effective cognitive rehabilitative strategies aimed at the promotion of independent living of individuals living with brain pathology .

As indicated, my academic and career goals involve a variety of clinical and research related activities, all of which are associated with great financial expense. Thank you to the National Federation of the Blind: Advocates for Equality for recognizing my academic success and potential within the community; this scholarship will greatly assist me in achieving these goals.

ROGER BURSEY (CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI)

Roger Bursey was born in Newfoundland in 1963. As a teen, he attended Clarenville Regional High School, and like many other people was given very few employment opportunities. This prompted him to move to Ontario and then to Alberta, but he was still unable to find meaningful full-time employment.

Discouraged and disillusioned by city life, he returned to Newfoundland .

After returning home, he was fortunate to find employment working for a turf management firm building and managing golf courses. During the late 1980s, he took a landscape design course from the University of Guelph, and started his own businesses. He began with a custom golf club and repair shop and, in the 1990s, opened a landscaping company, which he operated until losing his vision in 1996.

Wanting to retrain for another career, he went back to school in 1997.

First, he learned computers and other adaptive devices at ATN (Access Training and Networking for Persons with Disabilities), London, Ontario, where, incidentally, he met Prime Minister Cretien on one of his visits to London, and met his future wife at a friend's house. In 1998, Roger went to the Seeing Eye, Morristown, New Jersey to meet his trusted guide dog James.

Eventually, Roger and James made their way into university. In 1999, they began to attend classes at the University of Western Ontario, and Roger was married. He and James are currently enrolled at the University of Prince Edward Island, taking a major in Philosophy, and a minor in History and Political Studies. Rogers is also serving as the P.E.I representative on the NEADS Board of Directors. When Roger and James graduate with a Bachelors Degree, they plan on applying to law school. As a lawyer, Roger hopes to specialize in human rights and constitutional law.

ANTHONY TIBBS (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)

Anthony Tibbs is the recipient of the 2002 T-Base Communication Business, Education and Technology Scholarship. The NFB:AE wishes to express its thanks to T-Base for its generous support of our Scholarship Program..

Anthony was born, and still lives, in Ottawa, and will be attending the University of Ottawa in September, in a Commerce/Management of Information Systems program. Eventually, he plans to attend law school. Despite losing his vision only 18 months ago, he has continued to excel both academically and otherwise..

In July, 2002, he attended Guide Dogs for the Blind's San Rafael campus, to train with a guide dog..

Anthony was involved in the Key Club (a Kiwanis-affiliated community service organization) during high school, serving on the administration for 2 years. He was involved in a wide variety of service and fundraising projects for charities in this capacity, and looks forward to continuing this work at the university level. Aside from that however, he has a vested interest in computers, and has spent a great deal of time providing technical support and, to some extent, training, to a variety of people. Finally, on the athletic front, Anthony has been cycling for many years, and recently took up downhill skiing as well .

Anthony writes: "The last two years have been anything but easy, however a great deal of persistence, and a refusal to accept defeat, has pulled me through. I believe that the years to come will be an invigorating challenge - but not a barrier."

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