Chun (Alan) Chao
My name is Chun Chao, I go by Alan. I was diagnosed with stigmatism at the age of 6. Even then, I noticed a gradual decline of my visual acuity as I progressed through my schooling. It was not until college that I was diagnosed with Retinal Atrophy. It is interesting having grown up in the United States as a second generation Asian American in my family that my ways of life was different from what my parents would have expected it to be. Blindness medical and social services aside, joining my local chapter of the National Federation of the Blind (which was just starting up when I joined) attributed greatly to my confidence and independence as a blind individual. Such examples are having an Associates degree in Computer Information Systems, a Bachelor Degree in Linguistics, having worked for a couple of years as a Contact Representative of the Social Security Administration (Schedule A), and was a small business owner of the Business Enterprise Program where I ran a cafeteria located inside a state office bbuilding. Nonetheless, I also played many rolls in my local chapter as well as my affiliate in the NFB. Because my local chapter was a startup when I joined, membership was low where existing members at the time often waivered that I found myself being the chapter treasurer for a number of years. Afterwards, I thought I test the water of being a chapter president in that original members who stayed from the startup of the local chapter were instrumental in setting up a successful fundraiser for the chapter that it is still being conducted on an annual basis. Even though I stepped down from being a chapter president to pursue a career change, there was a bit of an uproar taking place within the affiliate itself. Again, I was asked to serve but this time as an affiliate treasurer, which I still am today.