Can-Do-Ability: Answers and Solutions from my personal experiences of living with a disability

Blind Positivity Equals Happiness For Nick Gleeson

24 May 2011Earlier this May, I invited a delightful man, who I met at a conference for people with disabilities, to talk at NOVA Employment. When I first met Nick Gleeson, who works for Vision Australia, I thought he was just such a humorous man, who didn’t seem to let much get to him.

You see, when Nick was seven years old, he had an accident, which left him completely blind. Despite this, he has led a fuller life, than most.

Nick has represented Australia in the Paralympics for Athletics. He has a Bachelor of Arts. He’s a public speaker. He’s competed in the New York marathon. He’s carried the Olympic torch. He’s sky-dived, bungy-jumped, scuba-dived and climbed Mt Kilimanjaro.

Nick married his wife Heather, who is also blind, and they have two children together, who can see fine. They do however, have to be aware of any trauma to their head, as it could cause their retina’s to detach, which is what happened in Nick’s case.

They live a happy life together; Nick and Heather both have guide dogs, Unity and Zeplin, not to mention, some other pet dogs and cats.

It was such an honour to have him and his guide dog Unity, here with us for the day. Nick spoke to some of the NOVA Employment Transition to Work groups. Transition to Work is a program that trains year 12 school leavers, with a disability, how to get into the workforce. They thoroughly enjoyed hearing Nick talk, and were glued to his every word.

I filmed part of Nick’s talk, and then I interviewed him for my blog. Which you can view here – http://www.youtube.com/user/missjoblogs?feature=mhee

Nick and his wife Heather also appeared in The Australian Woman’s Weekly magazine recently, which talks about their life together. You can view that article here - http://aww.ninemsn.com.au/news/inthemag/8246719/being-blind-didnt-stop-us-falling-in-love-and-starting-a-family

I learnt so much from Nick and Unity, and it just goes to show you, even if you have all of your senses, or all the money in the world, or the best car, it doesn’t mean that you will necessarily be happy, it all comes from within, which truly shows with Nick.

Nick Gleeson

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