Fighting Against the Odds

Uploaded by NDdotEDU on 18.10.2007

Ashley Nashleanas: I'm Ashley Nashleanas and I'm a Junior here at the University
of Notre Dame.  I began swimming when I was about 10 years old.  I've always loved
the water and when I dive I get this feeling that I'm in a completely different world.
 My mind is somewhere else besides homework, school and my social life.  I was born with
Hyper Optic nerve dysplasia, which is the underdevelopment of the optic nerves.  I
am classified as totally blind.
Annie Sawicki: When she came on the pool deck a couple of
years ago, I don't think anyone could believe the level of proficiency that she was in the
swimming pool.  Ashley has competed at the world level, the national level, and competed
in Athens, Greece in the paralympic games.  Ashley has not been hindered by her blindness,
shes never seen light, never seen a pool, yet her competence  and her fighting spirit
are absolutely incredible.
Narrator: The University of Notre Dame has created technology
that provides blind swimmers like Ashley Nashleanas, with a greater sense of independence and self-confidence.
 Notre Dame's industrial design team has created a patented lane gate system that dramatically
improves a visually impaired swimmers orientation, allowing athletes to swim straighter and faster.
People here at the university have come together to create something that can hopefully make
a difference to a much broader market with many with visual impairments.  The fighting
spirit, the mission of Notre Dame is that we don't give up, that there are challenges
and obstacles in our way and we just need to find ways to deal with them.
The University of Notre Dame asks what would you fight for?
Sawicki: Fighting against
the odds.
Nashleanas: We are the Fighting Irish.