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Meet Brittney Ellis: CORE Program Graduate and Independence Market Specialist

Brittney glamorously poses against a white background in a black top and skirt, wearing red heels, and revealing a confident smile

Brittney’s individual journey is defined by the resilience needed in rediscovering her independence.

With a successful career, full social calendar, and supportive family and friends, Brittney was truly living her best life. However, without warning, her life took an unexpected turn when she lost her sight at age 27 to intercranial hypertension, a condition causing a buildup of pressure around the brain causing vision loss. Her world dramatically changed as she lost her vision, and she now questioned her place in the world and her future as a newly blind person.

Brittney decided that blindness was not going to define her future and she was going to find a way to continue working and living independently.

Through a simple Google search, Brittney was able to find BISM’s Independence Training and Rehabilitation department and she applied to be a student in BISM’s immersive independence residential program, CORE.  The CORE program is designed to teach, train, and give its students the tools they need to re-gain their independence.  Britney learned to cook, clean, read braille, and navigate public transportation with confidence.  During her nine months in the CORE program, she met, head on, all of the challenges, moments of hesitation, discouragement and exhaustion – but her determination to become independent again allowed her to progress and succeed.

Brittney graduated from the CORE Program in December 2018, and, upon graduation, she was able to move back into her own apartment!  This was significant to her as it symbolized her personal, and difficult, journey towards regaining her independence and returning to working and living her best life.

Since graduation, Brittney’s accomplishments have been nothing short of extraordinary. She currently works for the National Federation for the Blind as an Independence Market Specialist.  She has also become a Tik-Tok social media influencer and is an advocate in the blindness and disability space.  She regularly shares her stories on different social media platforms in the public, educates others on blindness and serves as a spokesperson for an Assistive Technology company.  She even graces the runway as a Blind model in many area fashion shows.

Brittney passionately believes that there is no limit to what she can achieve and thanks to BISM’s CORE Program she knows there is more to come in her independence and fulling her life dreams.