Passion Project Portal: Meet DJ McIntyre (by Hindley Williams)

DJ McIntyre’s dedication toLeft to right: DJ; daughter, Rachel; son, Daniel; and husband, Drew all stand at the front of a church wearing various shades of blue. the ACB Next Generation affiliate stems from a passion for blindness and low vision concerns. She currently serves as the co-chair of the Public Relations Committee and is a member of the Convention Committee and Publications Committee. While DJ’s work with Next Generation certainly keeps her busy, she has many additional passions that keep her days fulfilling.

Between raising two children and expecting a third, DJ’s life never seems to have a dull moment. She also volunteers at her church, with her state affiliate (the Georgia Council of the Blind), and her local Lions Club. Her passion for blind and low vision concerns is integrated into all that she does.

Although DJ is sighted, her mother has been blind since birth. DJ talks fondly about taking public transportation as a child alongside her mother and siblings. Blindness was such a large part of her life that when she went to college, she never woke up her roommates when preparing for her early classes because she could get ready in the dark without thinking twice about it. The same woman who taught DJ how to drive with confidence and assuredness now babysits DJ’s children. Her mother now lives with DJ and her family, and DJ delights in witnessing her children grasp the concept of blindness. They enjoy playing accessible games, and they are learning to use their words to ask their grandmother to play with them instead of pointing.

The year 2023 has been an exciting one for DJ as she began releasing episodes of her new podcast, “Children Raised Around the Blind (CRAB).” This podcast platform allows DJ to discuss all types of relationships between family members. Whether a child has a blind parent, relative, or family friend, DJ’s podcast is a celebration of blind and low vision people and the positive effect exposing children to diversity has on their abilities to be accepting of differences from a young age. Her podcast guests help her to explore the creative and innovative ways blind people care for and play with children. She also pays special attention to how nondisabled people can best serve as allies for the community. In May and June, she hopes to release episodes about Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, which will highlight the value parents give to their children regardless of vision.

You can find the podcast “Children Raised around the blind” on Apple, TuneIn, and Google by searching for “CRAB Blog.” Episodes are released on the first and third Monday of each month.

As we celebrate Mother’s Day this month, let us be grateful for blind mother’s like DJ’s, sighted mothers like DJ herself, and the guidance and joy mothers and mother figures bring to our lives. They dedicate themselves to raising and loving children while making the world a better place through the pursuit of their own passions.

Photo Caption: Left to right: DJ; daughter, Rachel; son, Daniel; and husband, Drew all stand at the front of a church wearing various shades of blue.

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