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An Organization of Writers with Disabilities

Who are We?

Who are we?

Our lifestyles, family ties, causes, and challenges are as diverse as those of the general population. Writing brings us together; encourages us to explore opportunities; and spawns friendships across the USA and beyond.

Many members have not contributed to our publications, but are active on our Email list and in our phone conferences. Below you will find bios for authors published in our anthology and our online magazine. Learn what we write individually; where our books and articles can be found; and how to contact or visit us on the net.

Board of Directors

  • Bobbi LaChance, President
  • Marilyn Brandt Smith, Vice President
  • Abbie Johnson Taylor, Secretary
  • Anne Hodgman, Treasurer
  • Lauren Casey and Ernest Jones, Members at Large

Contributors to Behind Our Eyes: Stories, Poems, and Essays by Writers with Disabilities

Nicole Bissett lives in La Mesa, CA, with her husband Harry. She holds a bachelors degree in journalism with a minor in English.

Her profile articles appear regularly in Today’s Vintage Magazine and the Insurance Journal. She has written for “The Jonestown Report,” and has been a volunteer transcriber for the Jonestown Institute. Several of her pieces appeared in “The Gratitude Book Project,” which became a number one Amazon best-seller in December, 2010. She also acts as a ghost-writer for Kevin Cole, a life coach who founded Empowerment Quest International.

Nicole can be reached at nicolebissett1969@gmail.com.


Bonnie Blose grew up in Pennsylvania Dutch country. She studied social work at the bachelor’s level and attended business college. Reading is her passion. Bonnie hosts a weekly radio show, “Books and Beyond,” where she interviews authors and others associated with the publishing business. She moderates a local book club and coordinates telephone reading on the Philmore voicemail system. She writes essays and enjoys music. Bonnie earned a lay-speaker’s award in her region. She lives with her cats in eastern Ohio.


Kate Chamberlin, M.A., became blind when her children were young. Her teaching career continues through her Study Buddy Tutoring Service, Feely Cans and Sniffy Jars Program, and popular lectures. She is a published children’s author, Anglican educator, newspaper columnist, and proud grandmother. Visit her website at www.katechamberlin.com.


Jennifer Childs was raised in Des Moines, Iowa. She has always loved writing and has published several articles in her local newspaper. Her poetry and short stories appear in three anthologies. Jennifer lives in Red Oak, Iowa, with her husband, two dog guides, and a cat. E‑mail her at: Jennicorn@msn.com.


Michael Coleman (from County Galway, Ireland, B.S. from Louisiana State University, law degree from University of Denver) was blinded after childhood accidents. He has worked as an instructor and an interpreter in several languages and enjoys outdoor activities. He has visited and lived abroad for years and supports communication and mutual understanding among people, as the best means of promoting disability acceptance.


Albert Cooper Jr. of Americus, Georgia, earned a football scholarship to the University of Louisville. At twenty-four, he was blinded as a result of a gunshot. He taught chess and karate to older children through the AmeriCorps program. He speaks and writes about advocacy issues for the disabled. Albert has a gift for making humorous stories come alive.


Brenda Dillon of Hermitage, Tennessee, is a state and national leader in the American Council of the Blind. She taught visually impaired children and served as a foster parent. Brenda speaks and writes about disability issues. She enjoys traveling and performing music with her husband, Dan. They have four grandchildren living close enough to spoil.


Diane Fenton earned certificates in early childhood education, family day-care, foster parenting, and infant/toddler development from San Jose City College. She volunteered at facilities for multi‑handicapped children, delinquent girls, and autistic children. She writes short stories and poetry for children and adults. Diane enjoys dancing, music, reading, birdsongs, and horseback riding.


Elizabeth Fiorite, O.P. is a Dominican Sister of Sinsinawa, Wisconsin. She has a Master’s Degree in Education and has been a teacher and principal in Catholic elementary schools. Presently, she is a social services counselor at Independent Living for the Adult Blind in Jacksonville, Florida. Elizabeth has been legally blind since 1990 due to retinitis pigmentosa.


Brad Goldstein was born in northern Illinois. He earned his B.A. in multimedia from Columbia College in Chicago. Brad works as a web designer for the American Alliance, a company that aids the disabled in job searches and advocates on their behalf.


Tanja Heidman enjoys working as a customer service operator for a large corporation in Hamburg, Germany. Nights and weekends are reserved for visiting with friends at retreats or at home. She enjoys singing and playing her guitar, and composes much of her own material.


Judith Hendrickx holds graduate certification in rehabilitation counseling and art therapy. She provides individual and support‑group counseling regarding vision loss for a community resource program in Santa Rosa, California. Working through grief is often necessary. She uses art therapy as well as experiences gained through her own vision loss after six retinal surgeries.


As a young person Tara Arlene Innmon loved writing almost as much as she loved drawing. She kept an extensive diary. When she started going blind she asked herself, “What will I do when I can’t draw anymore?” The answer came down like a bolt of lightning. “You will write.” She could have guessed. In 2000 she was a finalist in the SASE Jerome Foundation Fellowship grant. She went to Hamline University, graduating with an MFA in Creative Writing in 2008. She published poetry and short prose pieces in numerous literary journals, including Verve, River Image, and Wordgathering. Many poems are inspired by dreams.


Ernest Jones, Sr. worked as a registered nurse until failing eyesight forced his early retirement. He has one published book, and his monthly newspaper column, Different Views, offers encouragement to other blind people. Ernie’s monthly church newsletter column delights the young. Hobbies include gardening, walking with his guide dog, and writing. E-mail him at: theolcrow@charter.net.


Heather J. Kirk, a writer, photographer and graphic designer, is the recipient of a Vermont Studio Center Poetry Fellowship. She published a book of poetry titled We…a spirit seeking harmony for a world that’s out of sync and contributed to Chicken Soup for the Latino Soul. Her photography has shown nationally. Visit www.HeatherJKirk.com. E-mail: HJKirk@juno.com.


Bobbi LaChance resides in Auburn, Maine with her husband Richard. She has two grown children and three grandchildren. She loves to snuggle with her Maine Coon Cat, Sassy, while listening to talking books. Her romance novel, “Wishes,” can be purchased through Amazon. Bobbi’s short story, “Beyond the Call of Duty,” can be found in the anthology “Behind Our Eyes.” She is active in her church and does volunteer work in her community. Bobbi loves to bake and has a passion for writing and ice cream.


Mary-Jo Lord has a masters’ degree in counseling from Oakland University, and has worked at Oakland Community College for nineteen years. She writes poetry, fiction, and memoirs. A section of her work is published in a Plain View Press anthology called “Almost Touching.” She lives with her husband and son in Rochester, Michigan. She has been blind since birth.


Valerie Moreno, age 56, has been writing since she was twelve years old. Always inspired by music and fascinated by people around her, she’s written fiction, memoir, poetry and articles.

Publishing credits include many articles, stories and poems in “The Troubadour,” newsletter/magazine of the Secular Franciscan Order, “The Answer,” newsletter of DIAL, “Dialogue,” “Matilda Ziegler,” and the “Dot-to-Dot” Magazine of The Michael Jackson Tribute Portrait. Several stories and poems appeared in “Behind Our Eyes,” an Anthology of twenty-seven writers with Disabilities, and a poem appeared in the e-book “Fans in the Mirror,” published by the Michael Jackson Tribute Portrait.


DeAnna (Quietwater) Noriega is half Apache and a quarter Chippewa. She lost her vision at age eight. She has been a writer/poet, advocate on disability issues and story teller since childhood. She currently is teamed with her eighth guide dog, Reno, a chocolate Labrador retriever.

Her writing has appeared in magazines such as: “Dialogue,” “Angels on Earth,” “the Braille Forum,” “Generations–Native Literature,” and in the anthologies “Behind Our Eyes,” “2+4=1,” “My Blindness Isn’t Black,” and “Where We Read the Wind.”

She lives in mid-Missouri with her husband, youngest daughter, three grandchildren and a host of critters.


Gertie E. Poole’s fantasy novels include “Realm” (2007) and “Magic Trash” (2008.) She received multiple awards from the Florida Writer’s Association for her books and stories. Visit www.elfwood.com to read her work. We recently received word of her passing. She served as a critique editor for the “Behind Our Eyes” anthology. “Fantasy is the respite of a weary world.”


Andrea Pulcini spent time abroad as a child. She will complete her memoir while earning her M.F.A. in creative writing. She has worked for large maritime corporations and, recently, for an independent living program. In 1998 she was diagnosed with bipolar syndrome and spent two years in and out of rehabilitation facilities.


Sanford Rosenthal facilitated the Written Word Workshop which spawned our first anthology. He edits a cassette magazine and works with PAIRS to bring relationship skills classes to participants in South Florida. Memorable moments include hot air ballooning, sailing, tandem biking, horseback riding, and canoeing.


Janet Schmidt and her husband live in Utica, NY. Though visually impaired since birth, she earned several college degrees and pursued careers in education, rehabilitation, and psychology.
Janet has written a memoir, several essays, and is currently editing her memoir about serving as a blind, protestant- principal in a catholic school. Her articles and short stories have appeared in several newspapers. e-mail her at: theolddame@yahoo.com


Nancy Scott, Easton PA, is an essayist and poet. Her over-500 bylines have appeared in magazines, literary journals, anthologies and newspapers, and as audio commentaries. Her third chapbook, co-authored with artist Maryann Riker, is entitled “The Nature of Beyond.”


Marilyn Brandt Smith has taught social studies, Spanish, English, and special education. She is a licensed psychologist, and worked in rehabilitation.

She has edited magazines and newsletters since 1976, and was the first blind Peace Corps volunteer. She lives with her family and many animals in a hundred-year-old home in Kentucky. Her first book, “Chasing the Green Sun,” will be published in 2012, with a recipe book to follow soon. She loves writing flash fiction stories, and is the primary editor for our first anthology as well as our online magazine, “Magnets and Ladders.” Another interest is music–barbershop harmony, folk and Americana, and current hits.


Roger Smith taught blind and multi-handicapped children in Texas and Kentucky. He tunes pianos and breeds snakes. He marketed screen-reader software for the visually impaired and developed a portable speech synthesizer. His publication credits include an article regarding vocational choices in the Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness.

In addition to his family and hundred-year-old-home in Kentucky, he loves music, good food, sports, and Facebook.


Abbie Johnson Taylor’s novel, We Shall Overcome, was published in July 2007 by iUniverse. Her collection of poems, How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver, also published by iUniverse, was released in December 2011. Her fiction has appeared in “Emerging Voices” and “Behind Our Eyes,” her poetry in Distant Horizons and Serendipity Poets Journal, and her creative nonfiction in Christmas in the Country and SageScript. She is visually impaired and lives in Sheridan, Wyoming, with her totally blind husband Bill who is partially paralyzed as a result of two strokes. Please visit her Web site at www.abbiejohnsontaylor.com. Eligible subscribers can read her books at www.bookshare.org.


Additional Contributors to Magnets and Ladders

Bruce Atchison is a legally-blind Canadian freelance writer with articles published in a variety of magazines. He has also authored “When a Man Loves a Rabbit (Learning and Living with Bunnies),” a memoir. “Deliverance from Jericho (Six Years in a Blind School)” is his recollection of being sent five hundred miles from home. Both paperbacks are on sale at www.inscribe.org/BruceAtchison. Contact him at batchison@mcsnet.ca or on Facebook or Twitter.

He posts portions of his published memoirs, along with his upcoming How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity memoir, on www.bruceatchison.blogspot.com. Atchison lives in a tiny Alberta hamlet with his two house rabbit companions, Mark and Deborah.


Myrna Dupre’ Badgerow is a graduate of The Louisiana School for the Blind and makes her home in the bayou country of southern Louisiana. She enjoys writing, reading, helping young writers, and spending time with family. She began writing seriously in 2000 and was nominated for the 2008 Pushcart Award by the editors of Mississippi Crow magazine, named 2004’s Poet of the Year at The Writing Forum, and also has a credit as lyricist on a CD released by the band Against the Wall. Myrna serves on the Board of Directors of the National Federation of the Blind’s Writing Division.


Mark BurningHawk Baxter attended mainstream school in Vermont and earned a Bachelor’s degree in English from Dartmouth. His work-arounds for blindness were complicated by the fact that he knew his family’s trait of hearing loss was likely to add to his issues.

He wanted a career in music and literature. By reaching outside those fields and investigating spiritual study and succeeding at martial arts, he earned confidence and independence.

He uses a guide dog, and is now in a position to help others find their way through music and expression so blindness and partial deafness need not limit one’s aspirations. Visit his work and share yours at http://markburninghawk.net.


Placeholder for Lindsay Bridges.


Jimmy Burns survived a stroke in 2005 and writes his poetry from his wheelchair parked at his home near Houston. Recent disability theme poems appeared in “Chest,” “Edgz,” “Nomad’s Choir,” “Pegasus,” “Writer’s Bloc,” and “Wordgathering.” Burns won the 2009 Inglis House prize for a poet with disabilities. He was nominated for a Pushcart award in 2010. His poetry serves as a proof of life.


Elisa Busch writes fiction, poetry, children’s stories, memoir and songs. A CD of her compositions should be available soon.

She won an online science fiction short story contest with her story, “Twelve Hours,” and has had a poem, “Common Dusk,” published in a magazine for disabled individuals called, “A Joyful Noise.” She is totally blind. Elisa has also published articles in church newsletters.

She published articles about the “Behind Our Eyes” group in “Our Special” magazine and “The Braille Forum while she was the group’s secretary.”


Phyllis Campbell has been writing professionally since the 60’s. Her work has appeared in “The Christian Herald,” “The Lutheran Woman,” the publications of the McFadden Woman’s Group, and in “Dialogue.” She has written two books “Come Home My Heart” and “Friendships in the Dark.” She is the editor for the crafts and hobbies columns for “Our Special.” Her first mystery, “Who Will Hear Them Cry,” is available in digital form from smashwords.com, the Apple store, Barnes & Noble, Sony, and other locations.

Mrs. Campbell lives in Staunton, Virginia with her husband Chuck. She teaches piano and voice with an emphasis on Braille music, and serves as organist at Faith Lutheran Church.


Lauren R. Casey is a member of Behind Our Eyes and enjoys participating on the conference calls as often as possible. Through Behind Our Eyes she has taken writing classes with Becky Hein and feels she has gained a great deal. She did a little writing mostly in poetry in high school and college but didn’t start doing more writing until she joined Behind Our Eyes a couple of years ago. Lauren has a bachelor’s in sociology and a master’s in counseling; she lives in Lawrenceville, New Jersey with her husband and their Seeing Eye dogs.


Manny Colver was born with a rare eye condition that left him with 10% of normal vision, an extreme sensitivity to light and a view of the world devoid of color. He holds an undergraduate degree in communications and a masters degree in business finance. He is author of an unproduced screenplay, an unpublished novel and a darkly comic novella, also unpublished. He lives with his wife in Florida where he writes and bowls as much as possible.


Robert Feinstein grew up in a Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College, and his Master’s from Middlebury College in Vermont. Robert studied and worked in France, then returned to New York for a twenty-year career as a language teacher for children with English as a second language. He speaks French fluently, and has conversational background in Hebrew and Yiddish.

Robert was a volunteer telephone communicator for the deaf community. He learned rudimentary sign language and became friends with several deaf-blind individuals. He researched the life and writings of Helen Keller.


Ellen Fritz, visually impaired since birth, lives on a small holding on the East Rand of Johannesburg, South Africa, with her husband, also visually impaired, and two other visually impaired friends. She writes stories about animals, as told from the perspective of the animals. She has spent most of her life in close contact with animals: as a trainer, commercial breeder, competitive horse rider and pet owner. Although some of her stories are fictional, most of the incidents and events really happened. She can be contacted at ellen@mr-music.co.za.


Donna Grahmann lives in Magnolia, Texas with her husband, David, and her guide dog, Huey. Her vision loss is due to diabetic retinopathy. She organized and continues to maintain her neighborhood’s Crime Watch program. She is an accomplished equestrian and dog handler. Donna and her horse, Rebel, won the 1978 Texas State Pole bending Championship. She and her Border Collies, Scotti and Clyde, placed second at the Texas Sheepdog Finals in separate years. Writing children’s books drawn from her experiences with her animals gives her endless enjoyment. Her current working titles include ALONGSIDE HUEY, BORDER PATROL, and EYE ON EWE.


Christine Faltz Grassman was born blind due to congenital microophthalmia on October 9. 1969. She attended parochial school through the fourth grade in Brooklyn, after which she attended public elementary, middle, and high schools in Nassau County, New York. Christine holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Princeton University, a Master’s in Science of Teaching from Pace University, and a J.D. from Hofstra University School of Law. Christine is a certified English Language Arts teacher and a licensed attorney, who currently teaches at-risk youth in an alternative program called GED Plus in New York City. Christine is married, has two children, and has published a short novel, The Sight Sickness, which is a satire in response to Jose Saramago’s Blindness.
Christine is the author of a no-holds-barred blog on WordPress.com, where she frequently indulges in both gentle and violent wordplay, and where she less frequently posts poetry.


Doris Hampton has been published in many confession magazines. Her book for young readers, Just for Manuel, was published by Steck-Vaughn in 1971. Hampton’s poems, stories and finger plays have appeared in numerous children’s magazines, including Highlights and Humpty Dumpty. Her poem, “Pete Bixby Died This Morning,” was a winner in one of Writers Digest’s poetry contests. Her short story, THE TELLING STONE, was a first place winner in the 2011 NFB Writers’ Division Writing contest.

Hampton, blind from Retinitis Pigmentosa, lives in Oregon with her husband, Chuck, eight rescued cats and a dog named Sally who thinks she’s “people.”


Rebecca Hein is the author of A Case of Brilliance, her memoir about the discovery that her two children are profoundly gifted. She publishes two quarterly newsletters, The Music of Writing and The Special Needs of Gifted Children, and blogs about these subjects at www.musicofwriting.wordpress.com and www.caseofbrilliance.wordpress.com. She has a master’s degree in cello performance from Northwestern University, and teaches writing classes via telephone conference call. Her disability is chemical sensitivity.


Shawn Jacobson was born totally blind and gained some sight through several eye operations. He attended the Iowa School for the Blind before finishing at Marshalltown High School. He attended Iowa State University where he received a BA in Political Science and an MS in Statistics. He currently works for the Federal Government and has been a federal employee for 28 years. He is treasurer of the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland and participates in a variety of NFB activities.


Sharon King-Booker has been totally blind since 1973. She began writing when she was in the third grade and has been writing ever since. She is a published author. She writes a “Mew Interpretation” for her local cat rescue group once a week in her local paper. She also writes music and sings in her church choir. Her first passion is cats. She has nine.


David Kingsbury has been published in Defenestration, the Boston Herald and West Roxbury Transcript. He lives in Stoughton, Massachusetts and is currently working on a novel.


Chris Kuell is a writer, editor and advocate living in Connecticut. A former research chemist, he lost his sight at thirty-five as a result of diabetic retinopathy. A few years later he learned how to use a computer with speech output and turned his efforts to writing. He’s had more than two dozen articles about blindness published, and his fiction has appeared in “Spillway Review,” “Bewildering Stories,” “Breath and Shadow,” “Apollo’s Lyre,” “Gambit,” “Mountain Echoes,” “Decomposition,” “The Sun,” and “Dialogue.” His stories also appear in the anthologies, “Coping with Vision Loss,” “Northern Haunts,” and “Mountain Voices: Illuminating the Character of West Virginia.” Fan and hate mail should be sent to ckuell@comcast.net


Lynda Lambert is a writer and studio artist who lives in the small village of Wurtemburg in western Pennsylvania. Her studio is surrounded by the woods along the Connoquenessing Creek.

Lynda has advanced degrees in English Literature, and Fine Arts. She is a former professor of Fine Arts and Humanities at Geneva College, in Pennsylvania.

Lynda Lambert is blind. She is the author of Concerti…Psalms for the Pilgrimage published by Kota’ Press.


Nancy Lynn was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Halloween of 1952 and grew up in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey. She attended Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pennsylvania where She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. She did a little telemarketing over the years, but her main job was as a communications assistant for AT&T in the relay center for the hearing impaired. Her interests include reading, travel, and anything that involves creative self-expression. She has lived in St. Louis, Missouri for the past 10 years. She is an active member and former officer in the Toastmasters organization.


Deon Lyons lives in the central Maine town of Clinton along with his wife of thirty years. Deon worked for the past twenty five years as a Regional Sales Rep, until June of 2010 when he suddenly lost his vision due to lingering complications from cancer as an infant. Deon is currently involved in a vocational rehabilitation program, and is also learning many forms of assistive technology in hopes of re-entering the workforce. Along with a lifelong passion for writing, Deon has many hobbies, but they all play second fiddle to family.


Barbara Mattson graduated from the SC School for the Blind in 1967. At Spartanburg Methodist College and Columbia College, her poetry was published in the schools’ literary magazines. She also contributed to the book Women, Their Names, & The Stories They Tell by Elizabeth P. Waugaman, Ph.D. Most of her writing has been published in periodicals such as Dialogue Magazine for the Blind.
Barbara has served as editor of a tape club’s periodical and currently edits the Diabetics in Action newsletter.


Ria Meade lost her sight at 27, half her lifetime ago. For the past three years, she has attempted to chronicle this experience in poetry, especially those of her 27 years with 5 guide dogs.


Darragh O’Riain has always been considered a jack of all trades but writing short stories and poetry was his calling. After losing his sight in 2003, he sharpened his skills and focused on his poetry.


Roselyn Perez is one of six siblings, three of whom, including herself, suffer from retinitis pigmentosa. She is the first in her family to attend a University and is currently studying at California State University, Northridge. Her poems have been featured in “Eclipse journal,” and “Think journal.”


Wendy Phillips was born blind and yet was very independent from the beginning and always used her imagination in many areas, play, music and theater and writing. She began writing short stories and poems at a very young age but found little time for that when raising her 3 grown children. With grandchildren in sight, she took up writing poetry again using life situations to write about. She attended a school for the blind but when she was 12 was integrated into a public school in central Canada.


Michael Price had been writing creative fiction for more than fifteen years prior to his initial bipolar diagnosis in 1996, although–in retrospect, according to his doctors–he most likely had been in the formative stages of the disease for considerably longer than that. After receiving his BA in Theater from the University of Minnesota in 1980, he struggled off and on with various degrees of unpredictable behavior and substance abuse. His writing takes on a myriad of styles, structures, and themes, and his work reflects an important coping mechanism in dealing with his affliction.


James Ruane holds Fine Arts degrees in creative writing and philosophy from the University of Toledo. He writes fantasy and science fiction as well as poetry; and has four short stories ready for publication. He has benefitted from workshops with accomplished fiction authors and poets. His disability is visual impairment due to an auto accident twelve years ago. Contact him at captainmagicpants@Bex.net.


Virginia Lee Small is an artist and writer who lives in Denver Colorado. She has OCA albinism.

She has a BA in fine art and an MA in arts management. She is also a graphic designer and has worked on several websites. At one time she ran a gallery for artists with disabilities.

She currently owns two websites. Zebracorn Art Journeys www.zebracorn.com is a blog for her art and graphic design. The Golden Child www.goldenalbinism.com is an informational site for pan-African persons with albinism.

She can be reached at virginials@hotmail.com.


John Wesley Smith is a blind writer from central Missouri. Most of his writing is done on his blog site at www.destinysurvival.com.


Due to retinitis pigmentosa, Frances Strong stop teaching about 20 years ago. The JAWS program has allowed her to write and publish several children’s books.

Frances enjoys singing in her church choir and helping her retired husband with cooking and gardening.


Leonard Tuchyner has had Stargardt’s disease which was first noticed in his teenaged years. He is now seventy-one. He reads through the media of Braille, recordings, and electronic voices produced by Open Books and Zoom Text. He lives with his wife of thirty-two years and their two dogs. He is active in the local writing community, which includes attending a poetry critique group, a broad-genre critique group, and he facilitates a Writing for Healing and Growth group at the Charlottesville Senior Center. His hobbies include Tai chi, and gardening. Leonard is semi-retired and still has a small counseling practice.


Cheryl Wade spent more than 30 years as a newspaper journalist in Michigan. She now is completing a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling at Michigan State University. She divides her time between free-lance newspaper journalism and counseling at a women’s center in Lansing, MI.


Betty Ward was born in San Antonio, Texas, but Grew up in Luling.

She became blind at the age of nine years, after surgery for a brain tumor, in which her optic nerve was nipped. this, was due to the location of the tumor.

She attended the School for the Blind in Austin. She graduated in 1978 and returned to Luling for a short time.

Betty was married and had one child. She raised her son, and then returned to Austin, where she now works at Travis association for the blind, as a sewing machine operator. She enjoys playing games on her computer, camping and going on trips.


Lillian Way is visually impaired. She resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and enjoys writing, watching television, reading books, and listening to music. She also enjoys collectables, ranging from knick-knacks, dolls and
music boxes to books, which are predominantly reference in nature. She likes the trivia from talk shows as well as factual information gathered from the many news broadcasts she records for her personal use.


Terri Winaught was born in Philadelphia and moved to Pittsburgh to attend college. She graduated in 1976 with a B.S. in Secondary Education.

In 1979, Terri received her Masters Degree in Education from Duquesne University with a specialization in counseling.

She currently works at a mental-health organization where she takes calls from a confidential toll-free number, and is assistant supervisor and director of training.

Terri writes a weekly column for the Matilda Ziegler Magazine for the Blind; contributes to her workplace newsletter; writes a monthly newsletter for an organization called BOLD (Blind Outdoor Leisure Development), and is a freelance writer for firstclasswriters.com.

Contact her at songbird1953@access995.com or tmariew313@gmail.com.


Kathleen Winfield has a master’s degree in English Literature from Temple University in Philadelphia. She grew up as a sighted person, later losing a lot of vision at age 23. After much juggling of terms such as “visually impaired” or “legally blind,” and so forth, she now prefers to say she is blind with some residual vision. She is a singer, and an artist in clay sculpture, painting, and charcoal drawing. She lives with her husband, who is blind, in northern Colorado.


Non-disabled Guest Authors

Susan Gottlieb is an artist, poet, and creative writer. She lives in Tomball, Texas with her husband. Her writings have appeared in Lone Star College’s Inkling Magazine, Static Movement, Cell2Soul Journal of Humane Medicine and the Medical Humanities. She is a member of SCBWI, Women’s Institute of Houston, and Inprint literary arts organization. Visit her latest publication at www.cell2soul.typepad.com.


Margo LaGattuta edited multiple anthologies. She specialized in poetry, memoir, and essay. She taught beginning and advanced writers to sharpen their skills through her workshops at various universities and in private settings. She wrote a monthly column called “A Word in Edgewise.” She won the Mark Twain prize in 2005, and was nominated twice for a Pushcart prize. She passed away on August 22, 2011.


Linda Leschak lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and son. She has a B.A. in creative writing from Vermont College. Her work has appeared in the Lone Star College’s Inkling Magazine, the anthologies of the International Poetry Festival at Round Top Texas, the Rose & Thorn Journal, and The Criterion. A member of The SCBWI, Linda is writing a young adult novel while working toward the publication of a middle grade novel. Find out more at www.LALeschak.com.


Dana Strange lives in Cypress, Texas. She enjoys writing children’s stories inspired by her three children and the family dog. She is an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Prior to becoming a writer, Dana was a Civil Engineer and is an Air Force veteran.