Friday, March 6, 2009

Can Blind Persons Become Parents?

This is one of the most frequent questions I am asked. My answer is yes, but it is a tempered yes.

It is never easy to be a parent at the best of times whether or not you are blind, but for a blind person the challenges are many. Many significant steps have been taken within the past two decades to make it easier for blind moms and dads to become successful parents, but there will always be many concerns on this topic.

I myself am not a parent but I have several blind friends who are parents. I would hasten to add that if one of the parents is sighted, it makes things a lot easier for the home. Even if one parent has a bit of sight it is much easier than having both parents being without sight. In many cases, if one of the parents is blind and was born with a genetic disease, chances are that their kids will also be born blind. I have seen several situations of a combination of one or both parents being blind and their kids either being born blind or being born fully sighted.

The challenges for both parents being blind and the kids also being blind are different to those for two blind parents having fully sighted children. The challenges for one parent being blind and the kids fully sighted are different to those of one parent being blind and these kids being blind. Confusing you say?

Maybe so but when all is said and done, blind persons are no different in their desire to be good parents to their kids whether they are sighted or blind. There are many techniques that blind persons can use to help them raise their kids and these techniques are improving all the time. The important thing is for persons to be fully educated about the potential challenges that they could face as blind parents. I personally know blind dads and sighted moms with sighted kids, blind dads and sighted moms with blind kids, and blind parents with sighted kids. They each have their own unique suite of challenges to deal with but the ones that I know have done very well for themselves. Parents and kids have managed to overcome.

I was born to two wonderful sighted parents and in a subsequent blog I will tell you what it was like growing up with two sighted parents at the helm along with two sighted brothers. My closing advice to any blind person would be: Nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it but you must be prepared to face interesting and ongoing challenges. The road would be a bit longer and bumpier for you but if you really want it, it can be achieved. One of your biggest challenges will undoubtedly come from the rest of society.

I'm Donna J. Jodhan your accessibility and special needs consultant wishing you a terrific day and reminding you to go out there and help convince others that blind persons can become parents.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Donna,
    I'm so proud of your achievements and to read your blog;I will need to read at least one of your articles each day to keep up with your prolific writing...whew!
    anyway let me reister my progressive admiration for you, from the moment I remember your growing years until now.
    God bless and I hope that this blog spot and your website have many, many hits daily and hourly,