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Trenton Thunder Recognize Visually Impaired Businessman’s Commitment to the Disabled

John DeWitt & Sherlock Washington

John DeWitt (left) of Midland Park, NJ, was honored at “Covering the Bases, a Night Out with the Trenton Thunder” at Waterfront Park on July 29, 2010, in recognition of his dedicated commitment to serving other individuals with disabilities for over 50 years. The 78 year old DeWitt, who has been visually impaired all his life, owns and operates De Witt & Associates, a company that trains people with vision loss or learning differences to use accessible computer-based products so they can compete successfully with their sighted peers. His greatest legacy is the lives he has enriched as a teacher and mentor. A large number of New Jersey’s employed blind citizens and seniors with vision loss owe their training and computer skills to DeWitt, including many of the customers of the NJ State Library Talking Book & Braille Center (TBBC) who learned the computer skills that enable them to download TBBC’s new digital audio books.

The event was hosted by the New Jersey Department of Human Services’ Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired and the Trenton Thunder Baseball Team, to promote full community inclusion and awareness of the potential and achievements of individuals who are blind and visually impaired. DeWitt was nominated by TBBC to receive the award.

DeWitt brings an extraordinary range of interests and skills to his efforts to serve those with vision impairment, and has had an impact both in New Jersey and at the national level in fields as diverse as radio, assistive technology, and teaching. He is a Julliard graduate who was the National Program Director for CBS’s FM stations from 1966-1972; he continues to serve on the New York Public Radios’ Community Advisory Board for two stations: WNYC and WQXR. DeWitt was instrumental in the early 1990s in inventing the concept that led to the first Windows internet browser that was accessible to blind users: pwWebSpeak.

DeWitt is pictured with Sherlock Washington, a blind athlete and a member and co-founder of the New Jersey Lightning, a team of visually impaired athletes from central Jersey that compete in an adaptive form of baseball called Beep Baseball.