Braille Monitor                          March 2020

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What Living the Life You Want Means to a Computer Professional, Athlete, Cook, and Leader

by Randi Strunk

From the Editor: Randi is an incredible person. She is a lead accessibility consultant for Target, meaning that much of what you find convenient and usable on the Target site is because of her influence and competence. She has been at her job for more than eight years and has been married to Ryan Strunk, the president of the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota, for thirteen years. Both her work and home life indicate she is able to handle blessings and challenges at the same time. She is also an acknowledged athlete; she has done more than ten triathlons, including one full Ironman in 2018. She also likes to cook, and with all of this activity, she still has time for reflection and gratitude. She and Ryan are two very fortunate people. Here is what Randi says about her interpretation of our tagline:

Live the Life You Want: The tagline of the National Federation of the Blind is such a powerful statement to me because it's simple, yet challenges me to not let blindness dictate the type of life I lead. It reminds me to push for what I want both personally and professionally, and it motivates me to pursue my dreams. As an uncertain blind kid, I worried about what I would be able to do as a blind person and struggled with these questions: What types of jobs could blind people do? What types of relationships could I have? Where would I be able to live? I didn't understand yet that all of that was up to me to decide. However, once I found my friends in the National Federation of the Blind, I shifted my perspective from one of “What can I do based on the limitations of blindness,” to “What do I want to do based on my interests and dreams?” My younger self would not have pictured herself as a lead accessibility consultant for a Fortune 500 company. She would not have considered living in a large city beyond the borders of her home state, and she never in her wildest dreams would have thought of becoming an Ironman Triathlon finisher. The support, guidance, and philosophy I gained from my involvement in the NFB however, has resulted in all these things being a part of the life I live today. I have a job that challenges me, I live in a place I enjoy, and I am pursuing a hobby I love because I was shown I can live the life I want.

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