Becoming a finalist on American Idol is an accomplishment very few people can claim on their resume. But the feat is even more impressive for Scott MacIntyre. Reaching the finals in 2009, he earned the distinction as the first blind finalist in the show’s history.

MacIntyre will share his story of overcoming adversity when the University of South Florida and VSA Florida, the statewide arts and disability organization, host the singer-songwriter for a pair of events Oct. 17-18.

MacIntyre, who finished his American Idol run with an eighth place finish, will perform during “An Evening with Scott MacIntyre” at 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 18 in the Marshall Center’s Oval Theatre, located at 4202 East Fowler Ave. in Tampa.

He’ll also play a few songs and speak to students with vision disabilities at 10 a.m. on Thurs., Oct 17 in the Barness Recital Hall, located inside USF’s School of Music building. His visit coincides with national Disability Awareness Month.

His message of overcoming adversity to achieve success is meant to provide optimism and inspiration to audiences, including USF graduate student Jermesa Lee. Lee has a visual disability and uses alternative means, such as adaptive software, to read her textbooks, convert print information to an accessible format, and to complete assignments.

“I am sure that his story will encourage pressing forward despite challenges and obstacles that may arise,” Lee said, “I hope people walk away with the understanding that one’s adversities are only stepping stones to the top.”

In addition, the work of tactile artist Horst Mueller will be featured Oct. 14-18 at the USF Centre Gallery inside the Marshall Student Center with his exhibition “Even Hands Can See.”

VSA Florida, headquartered at USF, provides, supports and champions arts education and cultural experiences for and by people with disabilities throughout the state, with the goal of making the arts universally accessible. In 2012, the organization served more than 119,000 people with disabilities through programs like artist in residencies, community art classes, and other events.