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This Man Used His Blindness To Inspire a New Style of Storytelling

"My vision impairment is part of what made me who I am," Michael Lang.


So who is Michael? He defines himself as a storyteller. He's also an author, a musician, and an outdoor enthusiast who was once the lead counselor at a summer camp for boys. All of those roles intersected one fateful night at the camp where Michael worked when he was 17. As the counselor tried desperately to get his group of 13-year-olds to go to sleep, he offered to tell them an epic bedtime story if they would get in their bunks. To his surprise and chagrin, they obliged.

Michael told his campers a Native American folk tale, which led to a second story, then a third, and by morning, he found himself designated as the camp storyteller.

Unfortunately, Michael was not destined to be a leader of young campers for very long. The talented storyteller was born with a degenerative retinal condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa, and by the time that Michael graduated from college several years after his storytelling debut, he was legally blind. Barred by his decreased vision from outdoor activities like hiking and being a camp counselor, Michael decided to pursue a different passion: storytelling.

The initial talent that Michael displayed that night at camp was just the beginning. Today, he is a professional storyteller, who brings his imagination and amazing style of narration to gatherings of both children and adults.

"I find that I'm very conscious about the sounds that I'm using," Michael says, because he relies on his voice rather than eye contact or other sight-based communication while he shares his tales. His innovative style also led him to write a children's book, titled "The Wizards and the Fairies," which has blank spaces for kids to fill in their own illustrations.

In so many ways, Michael turned his challenging condition into a method for inspiring others to overcome adversity, follow their passions, and unleash their imaginations.For more information or to contact Michael, visit http://coyotesink.com/information.htm.

This HooplaHa original video was produced by Lucia Nazzaro, shot by Heather Holloway, and edited by Matt Binetti. To see more inspiring news, follow us on Facebook and sign up for our Only Good News Newsletter.

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