Sunday, April 6, 2008

First blind person to receive black belt in karate in Australia stars in TV ad

Dawson Ko, 24, received his black belt in karate in March 2007, making him the first blind person in Australia to earn a black belt. He also won a bronze medal at the World Seido Karate championships in New York in 2006, beating 41 competitors in the men's brown belt event.

Now he is starring in a TV commercial in Australia, which is promoting nominations for the second annual National Disability Awards to be held in Canberra in December 3, 2008 for the International Day of People with Disability, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

Ko says he began karate to combat the depression he felt after losing his sight at age 18 to an auto-immune disorder. His coach says he has reached the top karate level quickly, achieving in three years what it takes sighted people five or six years to accomplish.

Ko, a college business student, started a fashion web site in 2006, Fashionable Eye for the Blind Guy ... & Gal, which tells blind people the latest fashion trends.