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Graduating BU Student Overcomes Disabilities

BINGHAMTON -- Thousands will graduate from Binghamton University this weekend and each has their own story.  But the most inspirational one may belong to a young man who has become a trailblazer for disabled students at the school.

Graduating with a degree in computer science has its challenges.  But how about earning that degree both blind and hearing impaired?

"Definitely tough at times.  I felt this is such a hard major.  How am I going to get through this," said Michael Forzano.

Michael Forzano is the first blind student to tackle the major at BU.

"People are like, uh-oh, this is such a visual field.  How is this going to happen," said Jean Fairbairn, Director of Services for Students with Disabilities at BU.

And it did.

"I don't let me disability get in my way or stop me from reaching my goals," said Forzano.

"He had a can-do attitude.  He works hard.  He's very bright," said Fairbairn.

He gets around campus with the help of his seeing-eye dog, Delta.
And the department of disabilities worked thousands of hours to convert graphs and notes into Braile, so Michael could read and learn.

One page ends up being three brail pages, resulting in boxes and boxes of textbooks.

"I had to store them under my bed," said Forzano.

But the long hours and hard work paid off.  Forzano will start a job at Amazon in August as as a software development engineer.

"I'm blind and hearing impaired, and despite that I'm going to work for Amazon.  That should really be an inspiration to people," said Forzano.

And he has paved the way for more students with disabilities at Binghamton University.

"We hope there will be other blind young people interested in computer science that choose Binghamton.  Because we're ready," said Fairbairn.

Samantha McDonald, Fox 40 HD News.


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