Rhonda Brown is many things — singer, fiancé, and churchgoer — and she also happens to be blind.
Born three months premature, Rhonda has spent her whole life proving to others and herself that her disability would not get in her way. She attended The Ohio State School for the Blind in Columbus where she participated in band, cheerleading, track, choir, and drama.
After high school, Rhonda went to college to study music at Circleville Bible College, now Ohio Christian University. After attending college for a short time, she moved around the country for various jobs, including being a switchboard operator and a customer service representative in Mississippi. Because of personal hardships, Rhonda moved back to Ohio, where she currently resides in Champaign County.
Although Rhonda didn’t initially know the Champaign County Board of Developmental Disabilities could help her, she’s been able to utilize their services to help make life a little easier. With the county board’s help, Rhonda has begun teaching school children about braille. She also has plans to go into high schools to talk to kids about being different and how it can be a positive experience.
“If I can help someone or be an example, I’ll use all that I have been given to be a positive influence,” says Rhonda. “My disability is not a disability to me.”
She currently lives in her own apartment, cooks, cleans, sings at church, and volunteers. She wants to encourage people to ask questions about her disability rather than make assumptions about what she can or cannot do.
Rhonda chooses to live life to the fullest and find the good in every day. “Every day is a new day, you have a chance to begin and start again,” she says.