Sneha Girap

Sebastian Demanop

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Name  Sebastian Demanop

Education  University of Delaware, University of Pennsylvania

Sebastian Demanop (born 1928) is a retired blind activist in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the first blind individual from Thailand to receive college training.

Biography

Sebastian Demanop was born in Bangkok, Thailand in 1928. As a child, he became infected with tracoma which resulted in total blindness. At the age of 21, he won a full scholarship to attend the Overbrook School for the Blind in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. During high school, he learned English and Braille and graduated in 1953. He earned a Bachelor's in Secondary Education at the University of Pennsylvania. He earned a Master's in Psychology at the University of Delaware. His wife, from Berks County, is also visually impaired.

Throughout his lifetime, Demanop worked to advocate for and bring independence to people with disabilities. He worked as a rehabilitator at Delaware Commission for the Blind, where he established the first blind bowling league in Delaware. He also worked as a career counselor at the Pennsylvania Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services in Philadelphia. There, he helped to establish a network of volunteers to assist blind individuals with shopping and reading. He served on the advisory board for the public transit organization, SEPTA, and pushed for the installation of "talking" GPS devices on each bus. Later in life, he lobbied in Thailand to push for voting rights for blind citizens in Thailand.

Demanop is one of the few blind members of the The Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania.

References

Sebastian Demanop Wikipedia


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