2008 Winner - Laura-Sun Cerfaratti

Photo of Winner Laura-Sun Cerfaratti

Laura-Sun Cefaratti is a bright, enthusiastic 22-year-old young woman from Annapolis, Maryland, who happens to be blind. The Eric Fund awarded Laura a Braille Note device to enable her to continue to excel at her job and to pursue her love of writing. 

Upon hearing the good news, Laura threw her hands in the air as if in victory and announced to all who were in the room, “I won the Eric Fund!”  

While attending the Maryland School of the Blind, Laura was able to use a BrailleSpeak  device, which eventually stopped working and is now an outdated form of technology. As with most devices provided by the school system, Laura had to return the device upon graduation,  leaving her without the device she had used to communicate with and explore the world for so long.  Laura said losing the use of the communication device, “left an enormous void in my life  
in which I am no longer able to express myself through writing.” 

Since graduating from the Maryland School of the Blind in 2007, Laura has been employed at a workshop and has had trouble finding more meaningful work.  She said, “I was surprised to hear back from The Eric Fund because so many times it seemed doors were being slammed in my face.”   Ideally, Laura would like to be an activity coordinator at a nursing home or similar facility 
where she could utilize her musical keyboard playing and songwriting abilities.  The BrailleNote device will better allow her to express those talents, keep a calendar for appointments, record audio, listen to music, read electronic books as well as word processing and hopefully get that job she dreams of.