Meet a True Front Line Hero

Jean Chun, Catholic Guild for the Blind’s vision rehab and mobility teacher, was just named a “Front Line Hero” by New York Nonprofit Media at its inaugural celebration on April 26 at New York Law School.

In truth, though, she is more than a hero.  She is a miracle worker.

That’s because the odds of landing a job for a visually impaired person are close to insurmountable, leaving two out of three visually impaired people unemployed.  Yet  Jean successfully: 

  • Taught a blind actor to navigate the Broadway stage
  • Taught a blind sculptor to work as a docent with her guide dog at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Taught a vivacious 101-year-old who lost her vision but refused to sacrifice her lifelong independence how to commute to and maintain her business

Meanwhile, the actor was not only blind; he was also from out-of-town.  Jean taught him not only how to navigate New York City streets without getting run over – an achievement, nowadays, even for the sighted – but how to smoothly move across stage in a Broadway musical.  She taught the sculptor not only how to use a guide dog to help her work as a docent, but also how to memorize the Met’s labyrinthian hallways.  And she taught the 101-year-old not only how to safely get to and maintain her business, but that she could achieve this goal despite hurdles faced.

 “Jean makes such a great impact on people she works with,” says her supervisor, Judith Katzen.  “Many hide in their homes after they lose their vision, afraid to navigate the world outside.  Jean truly helps them change their lives.”