Learning centers to accommadating blind students
Learning centers to accommadating blind students - Adult Chat Rooms
I have come to think of these negative assumptions about blindness as "sighted bias." Unfortunately, you will encounter it in much of the professional literature you read. If I were to lose my eyesight tomorrow, I would be relatively helpless. I would need to learn how to function as a blind person, how to use the tools and adaptations that allow the accomplishing of tasks without eyesight.The skills and tools of blindness are the key to being able to function competitively without frustration and with success.
Now I'd like to tell you what I know about blindness.Editor's Note: Carol Castellano is the very capable president of the Parents of Blind Children Division of the National Federation of the Blind of New Jersey, and Second Vice President of the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children.Over the past few years she has organized and conducted numerous workshops for classroom teachers, aides, and other school staff who are expected to work with blind children in their schools and classrooms.Her own daughter, Serena, will soon be moving on to middle school. She experienced many developmental delays in her early years. Our beliefs are important because what we believe affects the way we behave.Today, however, she is right on track with her peers. Our beliefs about blindness will affect how we act toward the blind children with which we work, our expectations for them, the way we teach them, the messages we give them.Every year my husband and I attend the National Convention of the National Federation of the Blind.
At this convention there are about twenty-five hundred blind people. We (parents and teachers) need to have high expectations, provide good training and education, and keep all the doors of opportunity open for our blind children.
Now, you can learn a lot about blindness by spending a week with twenty-five hundred blind people! There is no one "blind personality," no "psychology of blindness." At Federation conventions, my husband and I have met or heard speak a blind mathematician, lawyer, college professor, industrial arts teacher, elementary school teacher, NASA engineer, chef, car body mechanic, transmission mechanic, Foreign Service Officer, triathlete, and a man who sailed solo in a race from San Francisco to Hawaii, twice, and came in third! I know that blindness certainly does not have to stop a person from accomplishing goals and fulfilling dreams.
Serena's academic success owes much to the effectiveness of the approach outlined in the following article: Most sighted people believe that blind people need a lot of help. I strongly encourage you to examine your feelings and beliefs about blindness frequently as you work with your blind student this school year.
It's almost always the first reaction people have when they meet my daughter-"How can I help this dear, sweet, helpless child? Why do sighted people believe blind people are helpless?
" I have even seen so-called sensitivity exercises, designed to develop awareness and understanding of blindness, which have as their explicit goal, "the understanding of what it is like to be helpless." What do you believe about blindness? I think it is because sighted people can't imagine doing things without eyesight. And we tend to think that anyone who can accomplish tasks without it is extraordinary or amazing.
How do you feel about blindness and the blind child you will be working with everyday? Even professionals in the blindness field who work with and write about people often base their conclusion on what they believe blindness must be like and on ideas about the difficulties, deficiencies, and frustrations they believe blind people must have.