Learning Ally Blog: Access and Achievement


Now more than ever, people with learning and visual disabilities are flourishing in the classroom, launching productive careers and becoming assets in their communities. This blog spotlights remarkable individuals who demonstrate that having a visual or print disability is no barrier to educational success.

Blinded Marine Goes the Distance
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Michael and Leslie Jernigan at the Learning Ally Roundtable in Washington, DC Great news from a great friend: Since he was blinded by a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2004, retired U.S. Marine Corps serviceman Michael Jernigan has gone the distance - returning to college, advocating for wounded warriors, getting married, and building a vibrant, active life of service to others. We couldn't be more excited to post some good news that Mike and his wife, Leslie, have just sent along. I thought that I would let you know that Leslie and I have both graduated from the University of South Florida.  Leslie finished her degree in psychology and I finished my degree in history. Leslie will be transferring to Kyser University in Lakeland Florida and enrolling in a program to receive a second bachelor's degree in dietetics.  She would like to become a registered dietician.  I will be starting a full time job next week at Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc. as a Community Outreach Coordinator.  I am looking forward to going back to work with such a great organization. We have finally done it!  The degrees are finished and we are both moving on to different positions.  I think that Leslie will be a great dietician and I know that I will thrive with SEDGI.  We hope that you are doing well and I look forward to hearing from you.  Thank you for all of your help over the last five years.  I could not have finished my degree without Learning Ally / RFBD and of course, Barbara Zustovich. I still remember sitting in that presentation that you made to the Blinded Veterans Association in 2007 out in New Mexico.  I was thinking that I will not need this organization.  Little did I know that only a couple of months later I would be calling frantically to get my textbooks!  Again, thank you for all of your help. Semper Fidelis, Mike Jernigan

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