People with Disabilities Have a Brighter Future

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- Here in Hawaii, many are excited that there is now a high profile "blind" leader that "sighted" people can look up to, because it helps them accept everyone with disabilities more easily.

Don Patterson keeps a close eye on the money at work.

That's because he has to, he's legally blind.

But modern technology has helped him handle the challenges of his disability.

"The better technology gets, the easier it gets," said Patterson.

It also helps that more people are being exposed to those who are blind and their successes.

Some see the swearing in ceremony of now Governor Paterson of New York as a great achievement - the governor is legally blind.

"It just goes to show that whatever disability you have, it shouldn't hurt you from getting where you want to be," said Patterson.

Many who can't see also bravely go where they want to go, on their own. Honolulu gets high marks from the blind community for accessibility and transportation. Key ingredients in keeping them independent.

"Most blind folks that I know tell us the bus system is the best in that regards its great," said Virgil Stinnett, a Waikiki resident.

But some feel Hawaii needs to do even more especially when it comes to education.

"Our society is about access, in order to get anywhere to you need access to information and education," said Brandon Young, a Mauanawili resident.

Educating those who are blind and those who can see about what people with disabilities can do.

Don, who has been legally blind since birth, has worked and lived around the country. He normally stays focused on what he is able to accomplish but sometimes, even he misses some of the simple pleasures that come with sight.

"My friends will be like, a pretty girl walked by, man too bad I didn't see that."