Some children are afraid of the dark, but darkness in complete silence is especially frightening. Just ask Annie. When she was a child, Annie would often sleep on the floor just to feel the vibrations of footsteps, or the opening and closing of windows and doors. Annie would wake up sore from the hard floor, but it made her feel safe.

Annie received her first set of hearing aids at 18 months old. “I received a diagnosis of Usher Syndrome from my eye doctor. This means I was born with a severe to profound hearing loss, and I am gradually losing my peripheral vision,” explained Annie.

Still Annie dreamed of going to college and living on her own. Although excited when Annie was accepted to the University of West Florida, her mother was concerned for Annie’s safety. To be honest, Annie was a little scared too. “I was ready to be on my own, and I didn’t want to depend on my…

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