As we evolve into the future, more opportunities are growing for people in disability communities. People with disabilities have always been at a disadvantage to the regular work world, but with the help of technology, North Kingstown freshman Ryan Lukowicz has set his mind on his future career.
From birth, Ryan has had a visual impairment called “Coloboma of the Optic Nerve”, which makes him legally blind. Yet there are a lot of false perceptions about blind people, such as the idea that they cannot see anything. For example, Ryan does actually have light perception. Only 10% of people in the blind community can see absolutely nothing. This is called total blindness.
Due to his lack of vision, Ryan has had things modified to fit his needs, such as: screen reader on his phone and iPad, “which reads whatever is on screen.” But his absolute favorite thing that he uses is a device called Refreshable Braille Display. A Refreshable Braille Display is a mini box that hooks up to the Bluetooth of a device. Once hooked up, it will read out in braille, on the device, whatever the screen of the device it is synced too.
Yet despite his lack of vision, Ryan has proven to have a great intellect, with one focus in particular: weather.
Lukowicz is a fourteen-year-old meteorologist who discovered his love for weather about “four years ago. [I just liked] how it changed everyday, just really watching the T.V. everyday, and the different events.” For someone so young to have already determined their career choice is quite rare. Since the summer of 2020, Lukowicz has had a very popular podcast called Behind the Weather, mainly streamed on Spotify.
Ryan has gained recognition for his weather knowledge and work. He is continuing his passion to this day.