Teacher of the Blind and Visually Impaired Uses Martial Arts Bringing Dedication, Discipline and Empowerment to the Class Room

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Sherry Kay Cataldo, a teacher of the blind and visually impaired and avid martial artist, hosted a Brazilian JiuJitsu Seminar on January 10, 2015 at White Tiger Taekwondo & Martial Arts in Cary, NC, in support of the Blind Judo Foundation and their efforts to empower the visually impaired through the sport of Judo.

Sherry Kay Cataldo - Demonstrating the Mountain Stance in Hapkido (Photo Courtesy: Stace Sanchez of Kickpics)

Unity is strength... when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.... Mattie Stepanek

Sherry Kay Cataldo is not your ordinary teacher of the blind and visually impaired. She has a Master of Education with emphasis in Special Education for the Visually Impaired, is a National Board Certified Teacher as an Exceptional Needs Specialist, with under graduate studies in psychology and counseling.

During her graduate work at North Carolina Central University she served as President and Founder of the student chapter of the North Carolina Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AERBVI). Formed in 1984, the AERBVI’s mission is to support professionals who provide education and rehabilitation services to people with visual impairments.

Sherry recently served a two-year term as a Board Member at Large for the North Carolina chapter of the AER. Her professionalism and dedication to the blind also includes a yearlong study of Braille for students with additional cognitive impairments. It’s been reported that only 10% of the blind know Braille. If ones do not know Braille they are considered “illiterate."

Her commitment to the blind and visually impaired is not limited to the traditional classroom at Wake County Public School System. In 2005 she and her family were introduced to the Martial Art of Taekwondo. Four years later she earned the coveted 1st Degree Black Belt which lead to training in another Martial Art called Hapkido where she holds a 2nd Dan.

Sherry along with Grand Master Rondy, of White Tiger Martial Arts and Sensei Derek TC Richardson have accelerated her commitment to martial arts and the life-lessons learned transferring them to her classroom of blind and visually impaired students. Discovering the Blind Judo Foundation and its history of enhancing and empowering the blind through Judo only intensified her commitment to her “art” and commitment to make a difference.

Combating Disability through Martial Arts in abledbody.com, a news and media platform, Sherry said “there is nothing like the feeling you get when they [her students] look at you with this amazed, proud expression and announce, ‘I did it’.” She continues by saying “the skills and lessons learned on the martial arts mat are transferable to the classroom of my blind and visually impaired students.”

Instructors and leaders like Master Rondy and Sensei Derek working with Sherry are having a positive and lasting impact not only on her students but are transferable to all areas of life for those who dedicate themselves to training in Hapkido, Taekwondo or Judo.

Consequently, legendary Willy Cahill, former US Olympic Judo and US Paralympic Judo Coach and Ron C. Peck, Co-Founders of the Blind Judo Foundation were contacted. All registration fees to attend the Brazilian JiuJitsu Charity Seminar would be donated to the benefit of the blind and visually impaired of the Blind Judo Foundation.

“This is just the beginning” says Sherry “in developing a program for the blind and visually impaired at Wake County Public School where martial arts will become part of the learning process for her students.”

About us:

The Blind Judo Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c) (3) organization that introduces and trains blind and visually impaired children, young adults and returning blind and visually impaired military men and women in the sport of Judo. Supporting our blind athletes to train, travel and compete relies upon tax-exempt donations.

All members of the Blind Judo Foundation are volunteers. A select few of our elite athletes go on to represent the USA as members of the US Paralympic (not to be confused with Special Olympics) Judo Team. Check out the foundation and our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/BlindJudoFoundation or by contacting Ron C. Peck at roncpeck(at)blindjudofoundation(dot)org or 1-425-444-8256.

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