Hunter Wagner

Hunter Wagner has optic nerve dysplasia. He hikes around downtown La Crosse to help with his white cane skills. He finds that the Cass Street Bridge is his favorite place to practice those skills.  


Location: 500 Front St. South

Hello, my name is Hunter Wagner. I’m a freshman in high school and I have a disability. I am blind. I have what’s called optic nerve dysplasia which means I cannot see at all. I don’t have any light perception or anything. I have some experiences in La Crosse where I have walked across a bridge. It’s called urban hiking. So, basically, what urban hiking is you walk around the city for exercise. You go on hills, of course a bridge, or maybe a bluff. I practice my orientation and mobility skills. Orientation and mobility is like my white cane skills. If people don’t know, the cane is what I use to sense things in front of me. What I use is cardinal directions which is like north, east, south or west. Really, my favorite thing is on the bridge, I can hear a lot of sounds, especially construction sounds, and also like when semis pass the bridge wiggles. It feels cool. At first when I walked on the bridge, it felt like it was gonna collapse, but that wasn’t the case. Just take one of your friends and just close your eyes on the bridge, and just think about it. Just think about what it’s like to be on a bridge without sight.