Blind Bartender Gets Second Chance

Blinded after a car accident, a Washington state woman goes back to doing what she loves -- serving up drinks.

It is often said that pessimists think the glass is half empty...
"Do they want them on the rocks?"

While optimists see it half full.

There is little doubt which side maria federici falls on.

"You having fun?"


The young woman is back behind the bar seven years after a horrible accident changed her life.

Maria was driving down interstate 405 when a piece of furniture flew off another vehicle smashing through her windshield.

She completely lost her vision and with it, her ability to work.

"It gets old, it does -- I'll be honest"
"How is everything?"

Until Rita Dixson, owner of the bridge bar in west Seattle, gave Maria a chance.

"I expressed interest that I missed bartending, and she said, why don't you come and try it one day."

"And she took me up on the offer and she loves it."

Maria now serves up drinks three hours a week.

"So that is a double rum and coke..."

It took only minutes to settle into her corner of the bar... Learning where everything is.

"I mean, I don't have it completely memorized, but I'm working on it."
"It's pretty much memorized."

Maria says each bottle has its own feel...
"Nothing else feels like Ketel One..."

Next, she plans on memorizing the order of the bar's 18 tap beers.
While challenges are inevitable...

"Nope, over." "Oh yeah, I'm like, wait a minute - thank you."

Maria is clearly an inspiration.

"Like it doesn't surprise me she can do that - because she's already been through so much. It's just who she is."

"I love seeing you behind the bar..."

Perhaps her partner in life puts it best...

"If you ever believe that something can't be done, tell Maria and get out of the way."

Her glass isn't just half full. it's overflowing.

Maria works at the bar voluntarily.
A few other bars have since asked her to be a guest bartender.

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