Dennis

Dennis casually leaning on the door of his shop

I have loved woodworking for many years. Growing up I watched my father take on home woodworking projects. He built things for the house like a workbench and a bar. He also built wooden  games for kids. Once, he made a football game that I played for hours. As I moved out on my own I tried several woodworking projects. I made a grandfather clock from a kit. Although there wasn’t much cutting, I learned about jointing and basic assembly. From there I made kids tables and chairs as well as end tables and a kitchen table. I got a lot of positive feedback. That was all before I lost my sight.

Growing up in Columbus Ohio I had, what I would consider, a very normal childhood. I went to school, had a paper route, was an altar boy, worked as a cashier and bag boy at the local grocery store.  When I was 20 years old I was diagnosed with a blinding eye disease. This was a total surprise to me since I was still driving and reading normal text. Over the next 6 years my sight reduced to the point where I could not read or use a computer without adaptive equipment. I continued to adapt the way I went about my life so I could continue doing the activities I wanted to do. I learned how to use a computer reader so I could continue being a computer programmer for IBM. I used recordings and computers to read books and magazines. I signed up for transportation services so I could get to work. I got a guide dog, Kandi, in 1984 to help me in get around. I was not going to let something like blindness get in the way of living my life the way I wanted to live it.

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