UBCO psychology graduate Kathleen Cusmano and her dog Haven will cross the stage together during the 4 p.m. ceremony Thursday, June 6. (UBC Okanagan)

Vision-impaired students graduate from UBC Okanagan

Two vision-impaired students didn’t let ‘no’ get in the way of their degrees

Earning a post-secondary degree of any sort can be a long and arduous experience.

Amongst the 1,700 University of British Columbia Okanagan students set to convocate today are two who had the additional challenge of being sight-impaired stacked on top of their already expansive workload.

Michelle Jorgensen and Kathleen Cusmano both achieved good academic standing throughout their degrees despite the additional hurdles they had to jump.

READ MORE: Vision revealed for UBCO growth over next 20 years

“The UBCO professors were super encouraging and accommodating with my requests for extra support. The professors okayed my magnifiers (which helped her read), spent extra time with me and buoyed my spirits,” said Jorgensen, who was diagnosed as being legally blind since birth.

“I really enjoy the class environment and energy. The professors have been incredibly encouraging,” echoed Cusmano, who lost her sight in her twenties and had to adapt to this change later in life. “Learning the material was the easiest part for me. Bumping into people, finding the right classes and seats required a huge amount of energy.”

READ MORE: UBC Okanagan medical science student graduates with $10,000 award

Both students—as well as Cusmano’s service dog, Haven—will walk the stage to receive their Bachelor of Arts degrees in psychology today at UBC Okanagan’s convocation ceremony.


Michael Rodriguez
Reporter, Kelowna Capital News
Email me at Michael.Rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com
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