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Daniel Dintzner is a 24 year old participant of the Adult Family Care Program at Community Enterprises in Springfield. The Adult Family Care Program is designed to care for adults with disabilities in a family home setting. Because he is both blind and hearing impaired, Daniel benefits from assistance with his daily living skills. Daniel has been a part of the CE community for 2 years, and lives at home with his family in Feeding Hills, MA. “Daniel lives the mission of Community Enterprises,” says his Supported Living Coordinator, Lora Cortis. “Daniel is an active and engaged member of his community.” His AFC Outreach Nurse, Amy Ware, adds, “Daniel is the perfect example of a young man meeting his challenges in a positive way. He is a vital and thriving member of the CE family.”
Daniel has achieved a lot for someone his age. He is a nominating Committee Member of the Perkins School for the Blind Alumni Association, the 2015 Treasurer of the Association of Blind Students for the National Federation of the Blind Massachusetts, and has finished two internships with the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind. His most recent accomplishment includes a winning essay he wrote for an international writing contest. The prompt for the contest was “How can blind persons become independent by learning Braille or music?” Daniel’s essay was chosen to be published in the Junior Group Fine Work category for the North American and Caribbean Regions.
Daniel starts the finely structured essay by explaining how he began learning braille in grade school, and specifically recounts learning math. Daniel’s teachers were amazed at how quickly and accurately he could answer any problem they gave him. Daniel had taught himself to read braille on every finger on both hands, allowing him to read the answer of each problem with his pinky finger! Needless to say, the answers were eventually cut off of his math flash cards…
The summer after he finished grade school, Daniel continued to expand his braille reading expertise. Due to renovations at the local library, Daniel and his grandmother had access to the library’s entire collection of Braille books right at home. Daniel spent hours every day reading with his grandmother, totaling 57 Braille books read by the end of the summer.
Thanks to those summer reading days, when Daniel started classes at the Perkins School for the Blind, he was the first student in the school’s history to start with a mastery of the Braille Code. At Perkins, Daniel continued learning to read and write Braille piano music. Daniel eventually started teaching a Master’s Class in Music Braille, and took on the project of organizing and cataloguing the school’s large collection of Braille music sheets. In 2013, Daniel graduated from the Perkins School with the highest grade point average in his class.
Daniel currently attends business classes at Springfield Community College in Springfield, MA. Through his summer internships with the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, he has been able to help others in using assistive technology at Holyoke Community College and the Chicopee Public Library. Daniel says “I will continue to help the Blind and Disabled Community in Massachusetts, in the United States, and around the world for the years to come. With the skill of Braille literacy, the world is my oyster.”
Read Daniel’s Story in his own words! His winning essay can be found here: