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Stephanie Cannon '06 December 7, 2012 4:15 PM

The number 12 holds a special meaning for Aggies. From its origin on the football field when E. King Gill responded to the call to help his team, the 12th Man has always represented a spirit of selfless service, enthusiasm and devotion to Texas A&M.

To celebrate that Aggie spirit of support, The Association of Former Students will feature special stories through Dec. 12 to show how your donation to The Association of Former Students makes a difference.

When you give to Texas A&M through The Association of Former Students, you are supporting traditions, student organizations and students, like Trey Armstrong '11 . When you give, you are strengthening Texas A&M. Learn how to give to The Association of Former Students

Thank you for supporting Texas A&M University! Happy 12-12-12, Aggies!

Books give Trey Armstrong ’11 a headache.

Not fictitious pain self-diagnosed by apathetic students looking for a way out of the library, but real throbbing pain that travels in a burning, aching streak from his eyes, down his neck.

Legally blind, but with functional vision, Armstrong has always known that he could read better and without pain on a computer screen. A digital book can be zoomed in, reducing the strain on his eyes.

“In high school, I just dealt with it,” he said. He was unaware of e-books and e-text as a tool for his eyesight until he came to Texas A&M and partnered with the university’s Disability Services department. A graduate of psychology, he’s now taking graduate classes in counseling psychology while he waits for official admission to the Master’s program. He also works as a student assistant helping to scan books for other students.

“If it weren’t for these alternative formats, you wouldn’t see me and other people continue on to graduate school because we wouldn’t have the GPA for admission,” he said.

If Disability Services hadn’t been there to provide Armstrong with the tools he needed, he’s not sure if he would have stuck it out. If the success of Armstrong is due in part to Disability Services, then it is also due in part to donors to The Association of Former Students who provided funds to help support Disability
Services’ operations.

When Armstrong was a sophomore, he was part of a two-man team tasked with reviving the Aggie Association of Blind Students. Though it started out as a primarily social group, it quickly turned into an advocacy group. Among Armstrong’s most exciting accomplishments: helping to initiate several transportation changes that make using the bus system much easier for visually impaired students. “They replaced all their signage,” he said. “We were able to tell them about the different materials that could be seen better at night.” They posted reflective markers around bus stops, installed brail signposts, painted a textured raised line so riders know where to stop on the sidewalk.  “And the biggest thing they did: They
installed enunciators—it calls the different stops out loud while you’re on the bus,” he said.

Armstrong loves Texas A&M. He loves the traditions, the student body and the memories he’s made here. “And I love that we didn’t have to beg or plead with anyone for these changes,” he said. “It’s good to see that A&M is sensitive to the fact that students need different things,” he said.

“Texas A&M is the best school in Texas,” he said. 

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