While a disability may prevent some from doing certain things, it doesn't prevent Justice Richard Bernstein from being any less inspirational. Though Bernstein is blind, his vision for impacting his community is crystal clear.
Last year, Bernstein was elected to the Michigan Supreme Court becoming the first blind justice. While his accolades speak for itself, the work he does in the community serves as a voice for all.
For years now, Bernstein has worked closely with Achilles International. Created back in 1983, Achilles International's mission is to enable people with all types of disabilities to participate in mainstream athletics, in order to promote personal achievement, enhance self-esteem, and lower barriers to living a fulfilling life. As both a board member as well as an active athlete, Bernstein serves as an advocate for disabled athletes and an ideal spokesman for Achilles International.
Bernstein's inability to see makes his accomplishments even more noteworthy. His athletic success is especially impressive. Bernstein has ran as many as 18 marathons and competed in ironman and triathlon races. As a marathoner, triathlete and ironman participate, Bernstein is living proof that a disability does not have always have to be a hindrance.
In 2012, while training for a marathon in Central Park, Bernstein was hit by cyclist, breaking his hip and pelvis. Instead of being completely discouraged by his injuries, he decided to do what he does best, create change. Bernstein filed a federal suit claiming that the city is in violation of the Americans with Disability Act. His efforts eventually led to reform, helping make the park safer and more accessible to disabled athletes.
Despite his disability, Justice Bernstein has been a leader in his community. Through his words and actions he has truly made the world a better place.