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Julie McGinnity

Student Profile

Julie McGinnityHometown: St. Louis

Major: MM in Vocal Performance  

Year in school: first year masters student

Disability: blindness

What are your future endeavors? 

I am still looking into career possibilities, but I am considering teaching voice at a university, directing music at a church, or something in the disability rights field-or all three!

What are your hobbies? 

In grad school? When I’m not practicing or studying, I enjoy traveling, reading copious amounts of fiction, and planning awesome adventures with my wonderful friends.

What has been your greatest challenge while at MU? 

My greatest challenge has been adjusting to the work load increase in grad school and developing my confidence as a performer.

What would you like people to know about your disability? 

My disability is a part of who I am, but it does not define me. I am a normal person (well, as normal as you can be as a voice student …).  My greatest challenges come from, not my blindness, but the misconceptions of others concerning blindness.

What would you tell a student who has a disability like yours? 

It’s just another characteristic of who you are. Don’t let people set you on a path of fear simply because they are afraid and believe you can’t do something. Being blind doesn’t make you any less capable of participating with your colleagues and pursuing your goals.

What advice would you give to a new student at MU? 

Find a support network. People here are so friendly and willing to give advice and answer questions. Also, go to class, and don’t get distracted constantly by your phones and Facebook. Honestly, those things don’t help you make good grades. 

In what way did the Office of Disability Services make a difference in your education? 

Disability Services actually listened to my needs. They were supportive and didn’t prejudge or make assumptions about what I needed to succeed. And they are willing to provide me with Braille!