News

PSU student ready to reap benefits of Mobility Matters 2020
Author: Jillian Daley
Posted: February 24, 2020
In the four years since Leeahnn Victorio moved to Happy Valley, Oregon, from Santa Maria in the Philippines, she’s reveled in the independence she’s gotten from safer roads and vast public transportation options.
 

Victorio is legally blind, but the Portland State University Bachelor of Fine Arts student can “see well enough to go out without a cane in nice conditions.” In Santa Maria, she said she remembers that the drivers were “so reckless” and road rules weren’t “well-established,” so she was afraid to navigate the streets on foot to catch a bus.

“I was not willing to take the risk to cross the road because I would just die and that’s a ‘no’ for me,” she said.

Besides the safer streets and public transit in the area, Victorio loves the technological developments she now has access to, such as an app to purchase train tickets. She gets her fill of fresh wayfinding and mobility advances that benefit people with disabilities every year at Mobility Matters. She spoke at the event last year and plans to be an active participant in discussions at this year’s upcoming event on March 18.

Victorio has a lot to offer the event as someone who is bursting with innovation. An artist and graphic designer, one of her latest projects is designing an accessible ruler.

“It’s not based on numbers; it’s based on patterns,” she said. “Half an inch is three dots and a whole inch is a big line.”

Although legally blind, she said she is partially sighted and is quite a visual person. She has struggled to adapt herself to tactile learning, but she likes the challenge. She has taken woodworking and metalworking classes designed for students with disabilities, for which students wear a blindfold and rely upon their hands to shape art. An avid painter, videographer, and street photographer, this promising, 20-year-old student’s main focus now is completing her portfolio to stay on track for her 2022 graduation.

“I love art because it freezes you,” Victorio said. “I would like to say an aura. It transfers different kinds of meta things to a person. It’s so subjective. You put so much effort into it, and I think that’s what makes it beautiful because you sync with the piece itself and the process and different tools.”

When Victorio is not in school building her portfolio, she’s spending time with her parents and two younger brothers, 8 years old and 8 months old.

“It’s a mess all day,” Victorio said, then broke into a broad smile.

Photo: Leeahnn Victorio is an artist and innovator who loves Mobility Matters. Photo by Jillian Daley

To share stories on the College of Education, email Jillian Daley at jillian@pdx.edu.

Mobility Matters 2020 Event Details

General Admission: $130
Students: $45
Learn more: For details, view this video from last year’s event or enjoy a recent article on the PSU website

Questions? Contact Assistant Professor Amy Parker at omsummit@pdx.edu. If you are having trouble reading the program, please email omsummit@pdx.edu or access a print version here: https://mobilitymatters2020.sched.com/print