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46955 No. 46955
Hey there, everypony. My name's Shawn, and I'm writing on behalf of Matthew Palumbo. When I asked around for places where this project would be the best match, a number of Bronies mentioned ponychan. We sure hope you can help us out.

My friend, Matt Palumbo has a degenerative eye condition and is legally blind. He’s been blind in one eye for most of his life, and his "good" eye has been getting steadily worse over the years, with corrective surgeries not really fixing anything, so much as slowing the inevitable. Matthew Palumbo’s medical condition has caused him to go on Medical Leave from his job. He is still determined to do all he can to make the panel a reality and is selling off items from his personal collection to raise money to support the panel and his family. He has a young son, seven years old, named Ethan.

Matt can’t do a lot of outside activities with his son— intense light has become painful, makes his limited vision worse. For this reason, he also can’t go swimming with his son. But one thing they have bonded together doing is creating stories and watching MLP:FiM together— the broad, bright cartoony action is something Matt’s eyes can still track well enough.

Between family expenses and his usable vision going, he’s going to be spending the last Bronycon he’ll have usable vision to take his son to meet all the VAs he wants… and also help others coping with disabilities put on a panel about helping people work with and cope with disabilities, using MLP:FiM as a lens. He’s doing his best to take the “be a better fan” mantra to heart and spread that to others.

I put together a web site all about the panel— he’s looking for inspirational stories, as well as donations to helping the creator of Braillemon brings software demos setups to the convention— and while he’s putting together and moderating the panel, it’s all out of pocket for him. He’s going to be taking the stories he gets and making a free downloadable e-book in lots of different formats, as well as make a free downloadable audiobook of these stories read aloud.

I wouldn’t ask you all for the favor of signal boosting this panel if I didn’t believe in it myself, so I hope you’ll check out the panel website at and sharing your story. At the very least, please consider signal boosting it?

Thanks for reading this, even if you can't help.
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>> No. 46956
The edit function is going all Pinkie on me, so please accept my apolgies for self-replying. The following info is also listed on the web site but if you want an idea of what the panel is all about, here it is, right from the site:

So in supporting Matt, you’ll not only be helping a guy get to Bronycon to spend time with his kiddo before he loses his sight, but you’ll also be supporting his panel about Bronies with disabilities, and potentially helping to bring software demos from “Braillemon” (Pokemon Red and Blue for the visually impaired) to try out too!
Here’s some info on what the panel will be about:
We wish to share how the cartoon My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and its fans have helped to improve the lives of individuals with special needs.

We will use examples from the show and its fandom to discuss how to:

* Dispel negative stereotypes associated with and felt by those with special needs

* Educate participants on how friendship and mentoring can lead to a positive chain reaction in the lives of people who have special needs.

* Learn how to recognize and respect the gray area of accessibility that is often neglected in the development of software and multimedia
>> No. 46986

"Coping With Disabilities Through Pony" Panel get an official date, location and time!

Bronycon on August 2nd, from 1:45pm to 2:45 pm, in Moon Hall.

Now that Matthew Palumbo's panel has an official date, we're halfway towards making it a success. We still need your help to make it the best it can be. If you, a friend, or a loved one have used the show to help cope with difficult situations or cope with a disability in your life-- mental or physical- then we need your inspiring story to share with others. Click the link below, and pass it on.

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