Two Ohio State professors honored for aiding visually impaired
Published: Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 22:11
Nolan Crabb was born blind, but he considers himself lucky.
He had parents who cared for him, even though they knew nothing about raising a blind child. And he realized that there are other people who aren’t as fortunate.
“When I worked in Missouri for the state, I provided training to people who lost their vision, most were older people whose eyes have gone bad. I saw in those people a tremendous amount of courage,” Crabb said. “They weren’t willing to pound on the pillow and say, ‘Why me? why me?’ they wanted to move forward even though they had no idea how to do that or where to turn for help.”
This realization motivated Crabb to get involved with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Now an assistant technology director with the Ohio State ADA Coordinators office, Crabb was given the American Council of the Blind of Ohio’s Ambassador Award at the ACBO convention on Oct. 27
“It came as a great surprise -- I had no idea this would happen. It’s one of those things that you get but you always felt you could’ve done more or worked harder, so it’s a humbling thing to be recognized in that way,” Crabb said.
Another OSU employee was honored by the ACBO for his work with the blind and visually impaired community.
OSU’s ADA coordinator, L. Scott Lissner, was given the ACBO’s Employer of the Year Award last month, given for excellence in hiring and accommodating employees who are blind or visually impaired, according to a department press release.
Lissner said he got into his line of work with ADA to promote social justice, as well as equity issues among people with disabilities in the workforce.
“Most things in life is what we do and not how we do it,” Lissner said. “I think it fits with respecting individuals for who they are and doing the right thing by them.”
Lissner said he came to OSU 13 years ago when the university created a position to uphold disability policy and compliance for students and faculty.
Crabb said he came to OSU through an advertised newsletter that circulated to people working in the field of blind and visually impaired technology, and it appealed to him. Crabb said he hadn’t been to OSU more than a day when he realized this was an amazing place to be.
“There’s a magic about this place where good things happen, and people generally want to do the right thing for the right reason. I saw the job as a challenge, but I was fortunate to work with incredibly capable people and very enlightened people,” Crabb said.
Lissner said this year has made him proudest since the award has given him the chance to reflect on the work he’s done at OSU. He said his toughest moments have been seeing people dissatisfied when they are displeased with the accommodations he’s made for them.
“They’re both outstanding gentlemen … both do exceptional work and this honor is well-deserved,” said Jan Bosold, an administrative assistant in the ADA Coordinator’s Office.
Crabb said he hopes to continue to work with people on campus to ensure that anyone with any type of disability can have an equal shot at the very best they can achieve at OSU. But Lissner said he hopes that one day his job becomes invisible and that access for people with disabilities is more seamless in society.