June 18, 2014
Clifford Alderson: Blind Man Graduates With Auto Mechanics Degree To Inspire Daughter Who Suffers From Same Genetic Disease

There is something about Clifford Alderson that makes him amazingly different from most mechanics we know. Alderson, who recently graduated from New Mexico State University - Dona Ana Community College Program with a degree in auto mechanics, is blind.

Alderson has retinitis pigmentosa, a condition which eventually led to his blindness. Sadly, he is not the only one afflicted in his family. Alderson's mom has the disease, and so does his daughter, 15-year-old Lydia, who is currently turning blind.

Not wanting his daughter to feel hopeless with her condition, Alderson decided to inspire his daughter by accomplishing something that seemed impossible at first - becoming an auto mechanic.

While some laughed at the idea, Alderson proved most people wrong. He is now a highly-skilled auto mechanic - the only blind man in America with a degree in auto mechanic - who has also trained at All Makes Automative. Clifford can take on car problems most of us are too intimidated to do even with regular eyesight. Alderson does brake jobs, shocks, water and power steering pumps, alternators, and changing hoses.

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So how does Clifford do his work?

Clifford says he "listens" to diagnose the problem of a vehicle and then "feels" his way around the car to get the job done. Damian Orchard, who worked with Clifford at All Makes Automative, says Alderson can "take care of the rest" when it comes to vehicle repair. Orchard says:

"A good majority of (the repairs) I could turn Cliff loose, once I told him what we needed to do"
Joe Retana, who taught auto mechanics at New Mexico State University, described Clifford as an enthusiastic person, who did not let his disability hinder his dreams. Keeping his daughter and his strong passion for cars, Alderson soldiered on and achieved his seemingly impossible goal.

Alderson, who requires a cane to walk around, admitted that there have been times he almost quit learning auto mechanics. Thankfully, his desire to inspire his daughter became his primary motivation for achieving his goals.

Alderson is an inspiring example of a person with disability beating the odds to achieve his goals in life. A similar report here at the Inquisitr tells the story of Lily Diuble, an 11-year-old girl who went blind from a genetic disease called Usher Syndrome. Instead of losing hope and ending his goals in life, Lily's trials inspired her to help others who are currently facing her condition. She has single-handedly raised $100,000 to support Foundation Fighting Blindness, an organization that supports visually impaired people.

Clifford Alderson is currently looking for employment and is optimistic that he'll eventually land a job in the auto mechanic industry.

[Images from KOAT7 Albequerque via Daily Mail]