LOUISVILLE, Ky. – At the age of one, Darren Harbor wore his first pair of glasses.
Over time, the glasses got thicker, the frames turned into bifocals, and by the age of 11 his vision deteriorated from limited to legally blind.
What would you like to know
- Harbor was born with degenerative eye disease
- He is an actor, dancer, model, comedian and massage therapist
- Harbor has established a theater company accessible to the blind and visually impaired
- He will launch a podcast to discuss the barriers visually impaired people face
While doctors said his eyesight would not improve, he chose to focus on his passion for the show. A love he discovered when he was in kindergarten.
Harbor is a day massage therapist, but has spent most of his life acting, dancing, modeling and acting.
“I did these activities because I wanted to see what was really going on, and the only way I could see it was to get my hands dirty and figure it out,” Harbor said.
Harbor launched Imagine Blind Players Incorporated, a theater company accessible to blind people to create and enjoy the imagination beyond sight.
“The idea was to do traditional theater like everyone else and not just sit on seats. We want to move, we want to invoke body language and facial expressions and express it on stage like anyone else, ”Harbor said.
He recently made his wrestling ring debut, turning off the stage lights for fight nights.
In the rings, he is better known as Inspire.
“Inspire him, this guy here, he doesn’t mind getting his dukes up and ready to scold in the ring with anyone. He doesn’t know who his opponent is, and it doesn’t really matter. because they better get ready to watch me, listen to me and smell me, ”Harbor said.
As he rolled with the punches in a match, he remembered the obstacles he faced outside the ring.
“The cruelty that came out of this man’s mouth echoed many cruelties, disrespect, inclusiveness, inaccessibility that I have faced throughout my life as a blind person. trying to fit into a seeing world, ”Harbor said. “With every blow to my back, when he put my cane around my back and suffocated me because blindness and depression can feel like suffocating.”
This sense of defeat has left Harbor on the ropes.
“It hurts when I couldn’t play a piece because of my disability, when someone didn’t let me out of town because they thought I needed a keeper, when a job turned me down because they thought they didn’t have any. I have nothing to do, ”Harbor said.
Harbor does not intend to throw in the towel when it comes to advocating for opportunities for people with disabilities.
“I want to make blind people around the world understand that you are not limited to your disability because this world lacks accessibility,” Harbor said.
He is launching a podcast to share the journey of Imagine Blind Players and to offer people living with visual impairments a platform to discuss the issues they face and struggle for.
“Someone has to stand up for it and Inspire Him doesn’t fear a good fight because I walk by faith and not by sight,” Harbor said.
You will be able to listen to the Imagine Blind Players podcast in July.