Andrea W,
Columbia City, IN


My name is Andrea and I am albino.  This is a genetic condition that I’ve had ever since birth.  Although this can mean different things for different people for me it means that I have vision impairment and light skin and hair.  Of all of my siblings (who are also albino). I have the worst vision.  They have the ability to drive without bioptics and to hold a normal drivers license.  This is not a luxury I have.  When I first realized I would have to wear bioptics I recall telling my parents that I would never wear those things, but I’d drive anyway.  As you can tell I have a bit of an independent streak in me.  Little did I realize in my young mind that these bioptics would actually help me keep my independence.

 I began the process of getting my bioptic license when I was 17.  It takes some time to go through all the paperwork and get the approvals, but Dr. Windsor and my Vocational Rehabilitation counselor, Tom Eubanks, were amazing and helped me through it all.  Once it was in place I began training.  Unfortunately, I had to end my training when I began to have health issues. 

I soon went off to college and found that most things I needed could be handled on campus or I could grab a ride with a friend.  I decided I didn’t need to worry about a license right then.  Finally, my junior year I decided I needed my freedom.  I wanted to be able to drive to Wal-Mart if I needed toothpaste without having to ask a friend and make sure they didn’t mind taking me.  I wanted that independence.  We started the approval process again and by March of that year everything was in place.  I began driving with a wonderful instructor from Crossroads in Indianapolis.  She taught me so much and I was soon catching on and enjoying this driving experience.

By the middle of June I had secured my license and I was so happy.  I could now drive anywhere I desired and take care of things for myself.  This has made my life so much better.  I was able to drive myself to student teaching instead of depending on a friend to take me each morning.  I have been able to gain my independence with this ability.  I can get myself to work and home again, and anything else I need.  I am so thankful that I am lucky enough to live in a state that has such amazing support and opportunity for bioptic drivers.  I know that this is not the case everywhere and I know I’m blessed to have all of this.