Special guest inspires at Olmsted Center for Sight

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- Ollie Cantos may need a cane to guide him around, but he’s leading others on an important path; one to self acceptance, understanding, and success.

“We as members of the disability community are one of the most untapped resources of human capital that exists in this country,” Cantos told News 4.

The activist and attorney for the U.S. Department of Education visited Buffalo’s Olmsted Center for Sight from Washington, D.C. Friday with an important message: you decided what happens in your life.

“He gets people to just realize they’re no different from others. People with sight, people without sight, have bad days. And you can have fun with it and don’t have to be so hard on yourself,” said Tammy Owens, president and CEO of the Olmsted Center for Sight.

Cantos is the highest ranking person in the U.S. government with a disability. He’s also a leader in the disabled community, which led him to his most important role yet, dad.

“My boys, Leo, Nick, and Steven, first came into my life as mentees, but what ended up happening very quickly was the development of a father son relationship.”

His three triplets are also blind, they’ve been so since birth. They’re now teenagers getting ready for college. One of them plays in the band and is student body president.

“It is such a wonder thing to have them in my life and we are such a united family. Even though they’re 17-years-old, they still like hanging out with dad,” Cantos laughed.

He’s now a successful attorney, but his life wasn’t always easy. Ollie was reminded of his experience as a young man when his sons went through similar struggles

“I was victimized by bullying as they used to be. And to see them thrive the way that they’re thriving now, and to see them give back to the community is such a wonderful thing,” he said.

Cantos not only found his family, and his path in life, he found a voice. His goal now is help others do the same thing.

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