Meet the Skateboarder Who Happens to be Blind
When Dan Macina lost his sight, he had to relearn everything — including skateboarding. Now, he's fighting to change perceptions of disabilities and proving you don't need sight to skate
Developing a new skating style, while changing perceptions about disability
Dan Mancina is on a mission to “change how people see”. He was only 13 when a routine eye check-up, led to a diagnosis of Retinitis Pigmentosa (R.P), a degenerative eye condition that affects 1 in 4,000 people in the world according to the organization NORD. Growing up in Detroit, Mancina started skateboarding when he was 7. But after losing his sight — 95% of his field of vision is now blacked out, Mancina set aside his board. After posting videos of himself performing tricks online, the videos went viral. Dan has been flooded with thousands of positive comments, congratulating him for acting as an inspiration to many.
Having watched Daniel perform perfect kick flips, grinds and ramp tricks, onlookers have then been left stunned to discover the talented boarder has done it all without almost any sight. “My name is Dan Mancina and I'm a skateboarder who happens to be blind. I'm helping change perceptions around disability. I think most people have an idea of blindness, that's skewed, and that's just from not knowing or not experiencing it. You wouldn't really know what it's like. So trying to do my part to change that. You don't really notice you're losing your vision. It's not like you see blind spots, you always just see whatever vision, or field of view, that you have is all that you see, so you don't really notice what you don't see.”
Mancina went back on his board, developing a new skating style, while changing perceptions about disability. Mancina traveled the world as a motivational speaker. Daniel is now in the process of raising awareness for his non-profit charity, ‘Keep Pushing Inc.’, in the hope to build a skate park specifically for visually impaired skateboarders. The skateboarder turned public speaker has even been credited by the world-famous skateboarder Tony Hawk.