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Legally Blind student learns how to use a chainsaw! Article

Chainsaw wielding student is legally blind

Matteri will head to college this fall, but poor vision won’t dim his chances for a bright future. Source: (CNN/KFSM)SPRINGDALE, AR (CNN/KFSM) – Using a chainsaw seems simple enough, but for Springdale High School student Jackson Matteri, it’s a little more complicated because he’s legally blind.

At first the 18-year-old felt his lack of sight would stop him from learning to use the power tool, until he was inspired and taught by an instructor who, like Matteri, cannot see.

“I really enjoyed being able to cut through what I thought was a restriction, cut through what I thought was an impossibility but, realized this is a possible, hey, I can do this,” said Matteri.

A brain tumor damaged his vision when he was just a toddler, his view of the world is now a narrow window that only allows him to see directly in front of him.

That isn’t stopping him from learning, in the classroom he compensates with technology.

“I used to have a camera called the Onyx that I can zoom in and out and was able to view what was on the board and take notes that way. Now I have a monocular that’s kinda like a binocular except its one end,” said Matteri.

Matteri will head to college this fall, but poor vision won’t dim his chances for a bright future.

“I view my visual limitations as something not as something that limits me from doing things but as a factor of life. It’s not what makes me, but it’s just a part of me,” said Matteri.

Matteri said he’s not sure exactly where he’ll be going to college, but he said he knows he wants to be a counselor.

Copyright 2012 CNN/KFSM. All rights reserved.

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  1. 1

    I had serious reservations about using a chainsaw, but when the price of heating oil got outrageously high, and since my house had a fireplace insert, I spoke with a few buddies about cutting my own wood instead of having it delivered cut and split. I don't know if there is a technique that a totally blind person could use to cut safely, but for somebody who can see a bit, I'd say the most important thing is to pay attention to where the tip of the saw is at all times since this is where kickback occurs, and that is the biggest risk in using a chainsaw. I am on my second truck-load of logs, and so far, I haven't had any mishaps. My next challenge is to sharpen the chain. There is a slight groove cut into each link which indicates the angle at which the link should be sharpened. The trick for a partially-sighted person is to get close enough to see the line, but not too close as to block the action of the file across the link. I expect to have it mastered before the end of this cutting season,.

  2. 2

    matteri i give you kudos on operating a chain saw im legally blind ,& have ran a few saws myself its 1 of the tools that you have to be on top of saftey so be safe & keep those ears open too might give you a chance to avoid the WIDOW MAKER

  3. 3

    j M Isharpen my chain by hand using a 5/32 rattail file put bar in vise release break useing a very thick pair of leather gloves hit chain 2 or 3 times till file has smooth flow its defently cheaper than buyin new chain every time gotta drown chain in wd40 dry chain will get you cut RIGHT

  4. 4

    I actually cut a log using a chain saw at the main NFB center in Baltimore. I'm completely blind as well, although I wouldn't reccomend using a chain saw by yourself. The main problems I had was the chain saw being rather loud, and after the piece of log was cut it starting rolling away from me. do to the motion of the saw apparently. However a hand saw is perfect for me not loud at all, and i'm able to feel where i'm cutting.

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