Connecting with Community: Meet Logan
When 22-year-old Logan Barrantes talks about his childhood, he describes it as being “on the outside looking in.” Born 10 weeks premature with substantial vision loss, Logan also has been diagnosed with autism, developmental delays and global delays, which he jokingly calls a nice package.
“I wasn’t invited to much of anything,” Logan said. “Playdates and birthdays were off the table, which was frustrating when my sister was invited to so many in comparison.”
He said extracurricular activities weren’t any better, as T-Ball, Karate and Boy Scouts all deemed him a liability. Fortunately, his mother actively worked to find activities and events designed for the blind and low-vision community near their home in Gilroy. About a year and a half ago, Logan’s mother received an email from Society for the Blind about our CareersPLUS podcast program and thought Logan might be interested in participating. She was right.
“I like to refer to myself as a bit of a nerd with a passion for computers,” Logan said. “It feels pretty awesome getting to know more people who are blind and visually impaired who I have a surprising amount in common with in our daily lives and shared experiences.”
Logan said through CareersPLUS, he has learned more life skills, built confidence in learning how to speak to people he does not know, articulate his thoughts and improve his public speaking.
“Nothing can replace the camaraderie you feel being able to connect with people from across the state who can understand what your life is like in a way not many can,” Logan said. “We all have to figure out how to cross the street or get groceries or even just rant about how crazy things are having these shared experiences. Being able to help others figure out the same things is crucial in my opinion.”
Logan does have some vision, 20/400 in one eye and 20/500 in the other, but he has light sensitivity, no peripheral vision and difficulty identifying certain colors. He does not, however, lack a sense of humor.
“All of these vision issues really affect my driving,” Logan said laughing.
Logan plans to use what he has learned in CareersPLUS to pursue a career in video game design so he can help make games more accessible to everyone. He also has especially enjoyed the recent CareerPLUS social hours.
“Nothing is better than being able to connect with people who you can relate to and vice versa. Just being able to talk for an hour or watch a movie together on top of creating a podcast is phenomenal and helps foster a community that I am proud to be part of.”