Student’s disability doesn’t deter dream

When he was only 17, freshman Joseph Sehwani’s life changed forever — he had gone blind. But that didn’t stop him from changing the world.

Sehwani, who is Boland Hall Council president, is the founder of the Dreamscape Foundation, a verified nonprofit which serves to benefit individuals with disabilities and diseases. He said he was inspired to start the charity after being diagnosed with Leper’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy, a rare disease that causes a sudden and rapid loss of vision.

Being in high school at the time, Sehwani said he struggled with accommodations, and the whole experience was more difficult than one may expect.

“I didn’t want other kids and not just kids, but other people, to go through that and not get the help they need,” Sehwani said. “That was the whole basis for why I wanted to help.”

Dreamscape’s motto is “sharing the dream,” as Sehwani said it’s important to him to help make others achieve their goals.

“I really wanted to evolve ultimately to something that helps everybody,” Sehwani said. “We all have our own dreams, we all have our own goals and some people aren’t as fortunate as others and it’s about spreading that around.”

For any foundation, funding is essential. That’s why Dreamscape recently held a campaign which sold Sehwani’s artwork to raise $5,410.

For Sehwani, the program was the chance to use his artistic passion to benefit his own cause.

“When I was going blind, I always drew, I always painted,” Sehwani said. “Being creative was always pretty important to me.”

Fortunately for him, Sehwani said he found technology that would enable him to keep on making art even after going blind.

“[The artwork] is me paying homage to what I really liked, stuff I still can do and stuff I can’t do and stuff that inspired me,” Sehwani said.

It’s been a lot of hard work, but Sehwani said he has a feeling Dreamscape will take off — it’s just a matter of time.

“I don’t have any doubts,” Sehwani said. “If I’m going to do something, I’m going to make sure it succeeds.”

Michelle Foti can be reached at michelle.foti@student.shu.edu.

Author: Michelle Foti

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