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A blind man whose trusted guide dog helped him escape the World Trade Center on 9/11 is sharing his story with East Tennessee students.

Michael Hingson spoke at Walters State Community College Tuesday afternoon as part of National Disability Awareness Month.

Hingson was in his office on the 78th floor when he smelled fuel and smoke on September 11th, 2001. His guide dog, Roselle, helped him and others to safety.

Long before the attacks, Hingson worked as the regional sales manager for a major company. He hopes his story will open the minds of students and employers, and make our world more inclusive.

"We treat blind people, deaf people, people who happen to not be able to walk and many others as different, and in fact, as less than equal. Even the terminology 'disability'. The only change in the ability is what I can see, " said Hingson.

Hingson says 9/11 taught him the importance of people working together. He wrote about his experience in a 2009 book called "Thunder Dog."