Julia’s Story – Visionally impaired Arab student authors book, reaches for the stars

Northeast Alabama
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ARAB, Ala. - An extraordinary little girl is breaking down barriers in her life, and serving as an example to many. The 11-year-old already has a published book, but that's not everything that makes her special.

"Seymour The Snake, and it says by Julia Anne Fleming," says the young author as she sits at a table inside Arab Elementary School. Her long brown hair frames her face as she peers over a book on the table in front of her.

"His head is huge," she smiles, running her finger over the gleaming artwork that surrounds the words she wrote years ago.

That's right - years ago. "Seymour The Snake. This one is Seymour The Snake. I wrote lots of other books," Julia explains.

Lots of other books. I bet many of us can't even say we wrote one book, much less 'lots' of books - by age 11.

That book though, goes a bit deeper than just words and pictures.  It tells another story -- a lot like Julia's.

"I'm legally blind, which means that I'm not totally blind, but that I was born totally blind," Julia explains.

Julia has limited vision now due to artificial cornea transplants.

Seymour The Snake came to be through encouragement from her vision teacher. "She wanted me to be writing books in Braille so I could get my Braille practice in."

Seymour, a little snake, has his own background. "I think I wanted something  a little like me. That's why it's called Seymour The Snake." See-more. The story
follows the little guy as he tries to find something to help him see better.

In the end, he does.

As for Julia, well, her future is looking pretty clear too.

She has a list of aspirations -- a judge, owning Apple -- "or being President," Julia says with a smile.

Shooting for the stars, and those stars are in her reach. "There's some jobs that aren't exactly the safest for a blind person to do, like being a pilot, but there's so many things that you can do," Julia says, with the emphasis on 'can'.

If she wants to, she'll do them all.  We have no doubt about that.

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