White House Author
Henry Wedler is a graduate student at the University of California, Davis, working towards his Ph.D. in organic chemistry. Inspired by programs offered by the National Federation of the Blind in high school and with encouragement from professors, colleagues and others, Henry gained the confidence to challenge and refute the mistaken belief that STEM fields are too visual and, therefore, impractical for blind people. Henry is not only following his own passion; he is working hard to develop the next generation of scientists by founding and teaching at an annual chemistry camp for blind and low-vision high school students. Chemistry Camp demonstrates to these students, by example and through practice, that their lack of eyesight should not hold them back from pursuing their dreams. Henry was nominated by Douglas Sprei of Learning Ally, a nonprofit that produces accessible audio textbooks for blind and learning disabled students, which is an indispensable resource that allowed him to excel in school. Henry Wedler is being honored as a Champion of Change for leading education and employment efforts in science, technology, engineering and math for Americans with disabilities.