2019 Council scholarship recipient Amy Hatten has learned that the more she accepts herself as a person, the greater her success in life. She is currently a second year graduate student at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, pursuing a degree in Rehabilitation Psychology. She sat down with Katherine Corbett, Council Writer, for a discussion about her goals for the future and what identity means to her.
Katherine Corbett: Tell me about the first time you knew you wanted to be a certified rehabilitation counselor. How did you know that was the field for you?
Amy Hatten: I discovered I wanted to be a rehabilitation counselor when I started working with the state services for the blind and visually impaired in Minnesota. When I went blind, they provided me with adjustment to blindness training, and purchased assistive technology to maintain my daily activities. They encouraged me and made my blindness less scary. They believed in me as a person who is blind and have supported me in my academic studies. The way that they helped me, I want to do the same for other people experiencing visual impairment.
Katherine: Identity seemed to be a theme in your application and throughout your life. What does that word mean to you?
Amy: Identity comes down to how a person describes and thinks of themselves. Accepting my identity as a person who is blind has increased my confidence, and I noticed that I have grown as a person the more I accept my identity. Getting comfortable with who I am as a person who is blind has given me a more positive outlook.
Katherine: What kinds of activities do you like to do in your spare time?
Amy: In my spare time I like to hang out with family and friends, watch movies, read books, swim and go to the gym. I also like to travel.
Katherine: How have you adapted your hobbies to accommodate your visual impairment?
Amy: When watching movies, if audio descriptions are available, I will watch movies containing audio descriptions. I have noticed that since becoming blind, I need to plan ahead more when traveling.
Katherine: What are three words friends or family members would use to describe you?
Amy: Strong, courageous, and positive.