July 14th, 2012
12:45 PM ET

Legally blind contestant is a first for Miss Florida USA pageant

By Kim Segal and John Zarrella, CNN

Hollywood, Florida (CNN) - Connor Boss appears to be just like any other contestant waiting to sign into the Miss Florida USA pageant until it is her turn to fill out the registration sheet. Boss, with her nose almost touching the paper, has trouble reading the form.

Boss, 18, is the first legally blind contestant to compete for Miss Florida USA. Ten years ago, she was diagnosed with Stargardt disease, a hereditary eye disease that caused her vision to get progressively worse.

"It affects my retina and my central vision, so my peripheral vision is intact," said Boss. "When I'm looking at people, I try and look around. People take me as being rude but it's hard for me to focus straight forward."

Focusing is not a problem for Boss when it comes to her goals. Boss, a freshman at Florida State University, graduated high school with a 4.2 grade point average.

"All of her tests ended up being read to her, even the SAT and ACT for college were read to her," said her mother, Traci Boss. It was not only academia where Boss excelled; she was her high school senior class president and captain of the cheerleading squad.

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soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Niraj

    kathy & dweeb: I agree that you may well be right. What other choices have we? The inner city poor cost us a lot and not only in mreotany terms. Finding a way to fix that problem is worth a lot of time & money.Shuting the poor away in ghettos works ... well sort of works. It is a hard hearted solution. There must be a better way of getting people to see that there is more to life than welfare and crime.Those of us raised in middle class settings find hope for a future to be a relatively easy thing. Those raised in the inner city slums on the other hand ... their ability to think has been stunted. How do we fix that problem?

    September 14, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  2. Tim

    Thi is so stupid, I'm leagally blind but I'm not BLIND. There's a huge difference. This is such a non story. If she were BLIND, I be impressed.

    July 16, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |