James Boehm currently serves as a Post Masters Fellow at The Refuge Center. James describes himself as a passionate leader and advocate who values collaboration and empowering others to their fullest potential. Through time and experience, Boehm learned that his disability would actually provide the ability to serve and engage in so many opportunities that he would have never imagined! Boehm began attending Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) after fourteen years out of high school. At MTSU, Boehm majored in Psychology, and graduated with the Magna Cum Laude honors. He recently graduated from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, working towards his LPC in the mental health counseling field and has served as an intern at The Tennessee Rehabilitation Center; at the center, he worked with the blind, TBI clients, and individuals with other disabilities. Boehm believes strongly in advocacy and equality for all individuals, including people with disabilities. Thus, he is quite active in many organizations, initiatives, and collaborations, including:
^Serves on the Nashville Mayor’s Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities ^American Foundation of the Blind and Vision Aware, as a mentor and contributor to support groups and articles ^Learning Ally, as a mentor to college students nationwide and as a contributor of writing online curriculum ^National Federation of the Blind Vice President of the state of Tennessee. ^National Federation of the Blind President of the Nashville chapter, as a leader in advocacy, education, support, and legislation ^NFB liaison of testing and promoting the KNFB Reader software, technology which immediately converts text to speech for the blind and others with reading disabilities ^Founder of the Tennessee Association of Guide Dog Users, as he continues to serve on the board and continue their efforts in educating law enforcement, local businesses, and the community about service animals and the rights of those who use them ^Kustom Cane owner, as he customize, personalize, and offer other tactile accessories for the blind to be fully equipped for mobility travel in style ^Founder of The You Cane Initiative with his wife, Wendy Boehm,, as they provide donated canes to the blind around the world who cannot afford or have resources for such empowering, life-saving tools. ^AIRA user, tester, and promoter of site accessibility in cities, universities, and airports ^National Alliance of Mental Illness(NAMI), as Boehm serves as a speaker and representative of In Our Own Voice ^Collaborates with other organizations in the Middle Tennessee area and abroad, including the Seeing Eye, the LIon’s Club, ARC, Achilles of Nashville, and TNABA, Boehm feels that with the proper tools, education, and supports, all individuals can live the life that they were created for.
In order to unwind from his busy schedule and initiatives, Boehm enjoys time with his family, music, sports, and cooking. Although Boehm’s second chance at life has been filled with challenges, blindness has actually been a blessing, almost as a fertilizer for his soul, helping Boehm become deeply rooted as a strong advocate in his community. Check out James Boehm’s Psychology Today profile .
James pictured with Bogey, his trusty companion.