No physical impairment can come in the way of success if you have the skills and the drive to achieve it. This has been adequately proved by Jack Chen, a Chinese, who is stone blind.
Presently employed as Google’s legal counsel, he daily commutes from his home in New Jersey to his office in New York City through Manhattan’s peak rush hour, using his cane and the generosity of helpful pedestrians.
Chen was not blind by birth, he could see vague images in varying lights and colors, as a youngster. He underwent numerous eye operations to treat his condition. However, at 16, when he once again underwent an eye operation for the eighth or ninth time, he lost his vision completely, but not the will to lead a normal life.
Undeterred by this personal tragedy, he went on not only to excel in academic and professional fields but also took up adventurous activities in a big way. With dedication and hard work, he managed to secure degrees in computer science from Harvard and Berkeley and earned JD degree from Fordham Law School at a later date.
He could have pursued computers, but thinking realistically he opted for the law field since it would have been easier for him to interact with people, rather than work sitting behind computers. His excellent credentials gave him a break in a New York law firm as an attorney, where he worked for five years.
Changing tracks, he joined Xanboo Inc. as a system engineer that produced home automation and security systems. Later, he also interned at AT&T. It was in 2010 that Google picked him up and made him company’s product counsel. In 2014, he was given the charge of Chrome.
Chen overcame his impairment by using a screen reader and iPhone’s VoiceOver function to read the text. He has trained his ears to ‘read’ an unbelievable 620 words per minute. In the high-tech environment of Google, he is doing very well for himself.
This is not all, his adventurous spirit took him to an entirely different direction. Till date, he has competed in five triathlons and has also scaled Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa. Jack Chen is certainly an inspiration to other visually challenged people of the world.