Valley Life for All: Meet Karyn ReNae Anderson
Special to The Vail Daily
Editor’s note: The Vail Daily, in conjunction with Valley Life For All, continues a monthly series of profiles about people in our community who have different abilities.
Karyn ReNae Anderson is a caregiver, incredible cook, leader for change for the blind and employee at Caregiver Connections. She is visually impaired, but that does not stop her from being a community icon.
“My name is Karyn ReNae Anderson, and I am completely blind. I was not born blind. I was an artist and graphic designer, a career that I loved. When I was 27 years old, I lost my sight due to complications with medication. At that time, I didn’t know what I was going to do. Now, I have found new work that I love. I am on the staff of Caregiver Connections.”
Wendy Miller, president of the board of directors for Caregiver Connections, took that leap, the one where she looked past Karyn ReNae’s challenge. Wendy looked at Karyn ReNae’s passion, personality, vision for Caregiver Connections, ability to build relationships, and her positive energy. Wendy trusted in Karyn ReNae’s abilities.
Karyn ReNae recognizes that being blind has made some challenges that cause her to do things a little bit differently. This does not stop her from serving on numerous community and regional committees. Karyn ReNae holds many leadership roles in a wide variety of organizations.
Her life is so like everybody else’s. “I married my husband after I lost my sight, and we were foster parents in Colorado Springs for a few years. We adopted our one son who is now 18. I love working with kids. I love being with kids. I love hiking and swimming, and I cook and crochet. I just do all things that anyone else would do. I do what I love. There is nothing I can’t do unless I choose not to do it.
“One thing that really frustrates me is that people think blindness associates with stupidity. They think that because I am blind I don’t know anything. They also think I am deaf, and they will yell when they talk to me. Just accept me for who I am because I’m pretty darn good. I’m a cool person.”
Care Giver Connections and their clients are reaping the benefits of having this “cool person” on their staff team.
Local nonprofit Valley Life for All is working to build inclusive communities where people of all abilities belong and contribute. Request a training or join the conversation at http://www.valleylifeforall.org or #voicability4all. Help us redefine the perception of challenge.