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Curt's Story

Dec 17, 2014

For Curt Chaltain, it all started as a kid growing up in Newark, New York. He developed problems learning in school, but didn’t know why. His family was surprised when they learned the reason: he was losing his vision due to retinitis pigmentosa – a degenerative eye disease that has no cure and no treatment. He was going blind.

“Fortunately, ABVI provided the help I needed to develop into a happy, productive adult and live my life to the fullest,” says Curt.

He took ABVI’s classes in mobility, home living skills, Braille and other subjects.

Curt graduated from S.U.N.Y.’s Morrisville State College with a degree in automotive technology. For several years, he worked repairing and installing car transmissions. He got married and had two children.

Every day, Curt and his guide dog Kobie walk three quarters of a mile from their home to the Goodwill store. Kobie helps Curt safely negotiate all the intersections along the way. At the store Curt trains other employees, works the cash register, and interacts with customers while Kobie gets the remainder of the day off.

For Curt, his job allows him to do two things he loves. He has the opportunity to interact with the public and a chance to sing ABVI’s praises. Knowing he is blind, local residents often approach him and say things like, “My mother is losing her eyesight to macular degeneration. We don’t know what to do.” Curt tells them, “We’re fortunate to have a great organization right here in our community that gives blind and visually impaired neighbors all the practical help, encouragement and support they need.

Success stories like Curt’s couldn’t happen without generous support from people like you. Please consider making a gift today so Curt can keep telling people that ABVI is our community’s best resource for those who are blind or visually impaired.