ABOUT AMY BOVAIRD

Author | Inspirational Speaker | Coach

When I was 28, doctors diagnosed me with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP)–a degenerative eye-disease resulting in blindness.  Later, I learned that diagnosis was part of an even rarer disorder called Usher Syndrome, the leading cause of deaf blindness. I was losing both.

Always drawn to foreign cultures, I taught English as a Second Language (ESL). I also wrote avidly about my experiences in Latin America, the Far East and the Middle East. I never dreamed God was honing my skills and preparing me to educate others about vision loss when I could no longer teach in the classroom.

Today I am an author, blogger, speaker, and continue to educate others through my books and talks in spite of my vision and hearing loss.  I’m a Low Vision Motivator with High Expectations. While I feature other cultures in my writing, I also focus on how God has taken my life on adventures of faith through my losses right here at home. I speak about a bright future no matter how dark it physically becomes.

Amy Bovaird sitting on the steps with Cane wearing a beautiful smile on her face and a deep rose colored jacket with coordinating scarf. beautiful.

MY FAITH

I am a born-again Christian delighting in and claiming God’s promises!

I grew up worshiping  in a non-denominational church in Erie, Pennsylvania. At age 12, I was baptized. Every summer, my sister and I attended Camp Agape, a wonderful church camp in New York.  Even with all this exposure to Jesus, my relationship to Him wasn’t an integral part of my identity. In other words, my faith was still only part of who I was.

But it was a big enough part that I chose to study in a Christian environment–Ohio Valley University. In my junior year, I transferred to a sister college, Oklahoma Christian University. There I found my calling, to teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). My plan was to support myself as a teacher so I could enter the mission field.

After three years of living abroad, I came back to the United States and went to the eye doctor. My intention was to get a stronger prescription for my glasses. Instead,  I learned I had an incurable hereditary vision disorder called Retinitis Pigmentosa and was told I would go blind. After an intense communication with God, my faith began to deepen and I chose to continue to teach  abroad.

God blessed me for several years.  My teaching career took me to Colombia, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Japan, Egypt, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates. I was thrilled to live and travel in such diverse cultures, to learn new languages and also share God’s word.

I taught in private schools,  language institutes, colleges and military language programs and worked with churches in the area. I cherished the variety of people I worshiped with around the world and the churches that helped me grow.

After the loss of twins and an unsuccessful marriage, I clung even more to God’s word. In 2006, I noticed difficulty in my hearing.  In 2009, in addition to learning how to use a white cane, I discovered I could have Usher Syndrome, the leading cause of deaf blindness in the world.  Coping with hearing loss is challenging but God remains faithful.  As I lose more physical vision, God heightens my spiritual vision. He ministers to me all the time.

I’m proud to be the woman I am today–adventuresome, optimistic and passionate about God’s love.

God has such a sense of humor! It always makes me laugh when I think about how He let me–a map-challenged young woman losing her vision–loose on the world.  In Sept 2012, I  gave up my 25-year teaching career. I took up a full-time writing and speaking ministry to educate others about vision and hearing loss, and to encourage those coping with blindness and deafness.

To be able to be a successful author of three memoirs and to speak regularly at churches, civic groups, senior centers and schools reminds me how God’s always looking out for me and how blessed I am.

SHORT BIO

Amy Bovaird is a ghostwriter, author, avid blogger and speaker.

She calls herself a “LOW VISION MOTIVATOR WITH HIGH EXPECTATIONS.”

FULL BIO

Amy Bovaird grew up in northwest Pennsylvania. In 1982, she received her bachelor’s degree with a double major in English Literature and Teaching English as Foreign Language (TEFL) from Oklahoma Christian University. In 1995, Amy earned her master’s degree in Bicultural Bilingual Studies at the University of Texas in San Antonio. In 2004, she earned an additional certificate in Language Teaching with honors from Cambridge University in England.

Amy has worked at many unusual jobs over the course of her life, from selling hats at Cedar Point, an amusement park, to bagging glass bottles for the medical industry. She has taught English to children and adults in seven countries around the globe and has visited thirty-three countries. She taught English to all ranks of international military personnel, ranging from privates to generals. Her field was Specialized English, with such topics as the Abrams Tank, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Map Reading, Naval Operations. and Leadership at Lackland Air Force Base.

At age 28, she was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) and declared legally blind. RP is a hereditary, degenerative eye disease that results in blindness. There is no cure to date. Today Amy has no peripheral vision. She jokes that she is at the end of the “tunnel” vision in her eyesight. She suffers from a dual disability: progressive vision and hearing loss. She is currently undergoing genetic testing to discover the cause of her hearing loss.

Amy’s memoirs include: Mobility Matters:  Stepping Out in Faith, Cane Confessions: The Lighter Side to Mobility and a memoir / devotional, Seeking Solace: Finding Joy After Loss.

In 2015, Amy joined a group of blind professionals who volunteer their time to help others cope with blindness at VisionAware.org, an outreach website now under the auspices of the American Printing House.

In 2016, Ohio Valley University, Amy’s undergraduate institution, awarded her the Distinguished Medal of Literature for Mobility Matters.

Amy is an active member of several community groups, which include Pennwriters, West PA Authors, Toastmasters, the West County Lions Club, and the National Federation of the Blind.

Though Amy no longer teaches in the classroom, she still educates by speaking to groups about the challenges of sight loss with anecdotes of faith and humor. She blogs about her experiences in hopes of bridging gaps between the sighted and the blind. In the rest of her time, she fights to stay on track with her writing, finding time to go to the gym or run outdoors, and bemoaning she is at the beck and call of her bossy cat.

TESTIMONIALS

“I smiled and cried with Amy in the book. Thankful she shared her life and all the scriptures.

It was so uplifting. Once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down.”

–Patricia Derby

“These books are not only for those going through the hallway of vision loss but, also for each family member or anyone who loves someone losing their vision. Her books have left me thinking I will now call canes ‘power sticks!”
– Michael Benson, Founder Visual Experiences Foundation

“What a wonderful book. I finished it already. I can relate to everything that happened to Amy in this book because these things happened to me as well. I love the inspiring quotes and Bible verses. Thank you, Amy, for writing such a wonderful book. It’s something I can go back to when I feel down.” – Flo V. Walsh (via iTunes)

“Our church family thoroughly enjoyed Amy Bovaird’s speaking. Her energetic and joyful style kept all who were at the service totally engaged in her faith testimony.” 

—Senior Pastor Girard Alliance Church

“Amy is an inspiring speaker who uses humor in her talks.  She related how God has worked and is working in her life to help her face the difficult challenge of losing her vision. We so enjoyed her presentation.”

Dottie Super, Fairview United Methodist Church

Are You Ready To Step Out In Faith?

You CAN Do This.

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