Blind student lives life to the fullest at WKU

Henderson Graduate student Sam Moore has been blind since he was seven months old. Moore has recently returned to WKU in order to pursue his Masters degree and hopes to work in radio. (Ian Maule/HERALD)

Anna Lawson

When Sam Moore arrived to the Hill in 2006, he had more things on his mind than just who he would eat lunch with or what parties he wanted to go to. The incoming freshman faced one problem that very few others had to deal with— he was blind.

To say he didn’t let that stop him would be an understatement. Moore said that he was anything but nervous as he took this next step in his life.

“In some cases it was scary, but it was also exciting,” he said. “I knew I was lucky to be here.”

Looking back at it now as a graduate student, Moore said his biggest challenge was similar to most freshman: finding his way around campus.

“I had an orientation and mobility instructor, Tim Nelson,” he said. “He really helped me get acclimated and learn a route to all my classes.”

The process took longer than Moore had expected and was at times frustrating. However, Moore received support from his parents who live at his home in Henderson, KY.

“We were nervous but it is probably universal that parents are nervous when their child goes off to college,” Susan Moore, Sam’s mother, said. “We knew it was something he needed to do to gain independence.”

“We thought of what we would have wanted as a kid. We wanted him to have the same experiences we did,” she said.

Part of Moore’s decision to come to WKU was based on WKU’s Disabilities Office and how well they could accommodate him.

Student Disability Services helps students with a myriad of things. Students can find assistance with anything from scheduling classes or receiving more time on exams to relationships between students and teachers.

They also help to make the campus more accessible for students. They do this by making sure that every student is able to attend classes comfortably and without barriers.

Matt Davis, Coordinator of Student Disability Services at WKU, is no stranger to the hill. Davis went to WKU as well and used Student Disability Services when he was here.

“After graduating I moved away and when I heard the position was open I came back,” he said. “When I was here services were limited. I think I have a unique perspective.”

“I want to get the campus community to know what we’re about. Some students are afraid to get help and get service. We are trying to break that barrier.”

Moore has begun to bridge that gap around campus. The graduate student compares his education experience very closely with everyone else’s.

“I had aides helping me all through elementary school and high school,” Moore said. “So I got to have the same experience as everyone else.”

Like most parents, Susan Moore said she just wants her son to be happy.

“I want him to be healthy and independent,” she said. “ I want him to find a job that will allow him to use all his education and fulfill his desires.”

Moore came to WKU to do just that. In 2006 he came to study Broadcasting and loved it.

“I was drawn to the Broadcasting program here. It is one of the top programs in the country,” he said.

After graduating in 2010 he worked in radio, but realized it would be difficult to find a full time job. He then returned to WKU in the spring of 2013 and began studying communication and is set to graduate in December.

Moore claims he owes a lot of his “can-do” attitude to his parents.

“They have always been supportive, and served a very meaningful purpose in my life especially in my time as an under-grad,” he said.

Moore’s mother said he has always had a positive attitude.

“He was a very creative and funny kid,” she said. “He has always found a way to make it work.”