ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – From Daytona to Talladega, climbing his way to eighth in the world, a St. Petersburg man was on the fast track to becoming a renowned international motorcycle racer.
Everything came to a halt when Ted Henter was in a terrible car accident leaving a practice run in England.
“I made two big mistakes. First, I was driving on the wrong side of the road and I wasn’t wearing my seat belt. Thankfully the people in the car I hit were wearing seat belts and are okay,” said Henter.
He found himself in a hospital room unable to see.
He knew after the second surgery when his world looked completely gray that he would never see again.
For about ten minutes, Henter sat in his hospital room alone, devastated, when suddenly, he was overcome with a feeling that everything would be okay.
“When I woke up, I was depressed. I was all alone and I got up to go to the bathroom, and I felt like there was a spirit in the room, like an angel.”
“I thought to myself, ‘well blind people have been around for a long time. A lot of them are successful and you can be successful too,'” Henter said.
Henter decided to go to USF St. Pete and soon realized he wouldn’t be able to survive and get ahead in life without being able to access computers.
He partnered up with investors and developed JAWS, which stands for Job Access with Speech Technology, now helping the visually impaired around the world.
“In the beginning, I wasn’t doing it for them, I was doing it for me because I had to get a job. I needed a career,” said Henter.
When Henter got his JAWS technology up and running, he decided to pay it forward and today spends time and donates money to create computer labs fully equipped with his technology.
“It feels great to be able to have contributed to these opportunities and employment,” said Henter.
Using his success to help others is what makes Ted Henter a Gr8 Inspiration.