Originally published in Cayman Marshall International Luxury & Lifestyle – August 2021 (page 15)
by Martha Uniacke Breen
At age eleven, Taylor Gaudon was diagnosed with macular degeneration, a crushing discovery for her at an age when most kids are just figuring out who they are in the world. “I still had some vision, and I had this image of blind people as helpless and disabled. I did not see myself that way at all. So I rebelled.”
Fortunately, she says, she was blessed with family and others who supported her, but she had no interest in becoming involved with CNIB and its support programs. “It just wasn’t who I was,” she says.
“But as I grew older, I needed a job, but I wasn’t comfortable in the typical teen jobs like fast food or retail. So my mum applied to CNIB for ideas. They suggested becoming a program facilitator, which is a kind of counsellor, at CNIB Lake Joe.”
She’d gone to camp for sighted individuals all her life and assumed CNIB Lake Joe would be the same. What she found was like nothing she’d ever experienced.
“For one thing, they have many different types and ages of kids, and with different kinds of disabilities, not just sight loss. But more importantly, it came just at a time when I felt helpless; I had let my disability stop me, but then I met all these people who hadn’t let it stop them at all. I learned so much about my community – and that I had a community! – and found an opportunity to do so much.”
Today, at 22, she’s a musician and songwriter and just graduated from Sheridan College’s film production program.
“I feel like that experience did so much for me. It made me realize who I am, to come to terms with my disabilities and do the things I want to do.”
Help Wanted! Laughter, fun, empowering activities – essential ingredients for the perfect camp experience. Do you want to be part of the fantastic team that helps make it all possible? Join our team! Visit our CNIB Lake Joe Employment Opportunities page for a list of available positions.