Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Blind Parents and Sighted Kids

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of seeing first hand how my friends as blind parents interact with their little sighted boy.  I was very impressed and am here to tell you that yes indeed!  Blind parents can and do make fine parents to sighted kids.


My friends have a three year old boy Graham; the light and joy of their lives.  Melanie is partially sighted and Brian is totally blind.  They are wonderful parents and Graham is just a joy to be around.  From my observations, he seems to understand that his parents are blind but sometimes he forgets; he is just a kid still.


For example:  If they are seeking to find out where he is he would say in his tiny voice "I'm over here."  I love the way he describes things to his parents in his childlike way.  Whenever they need to, they would tell him to hold on to their hand as they walk.  Whenever they go walking, Graham seems to know exactly what to do.  I was so impressed when Brian asked Graham to tell him where the garbage was and like clockwork, Graham took him right up to the garbage bin.


Graham is only three but just imagine what a fine young man he will be by the time he reaches his teens.  He would have had years of experience at interacting with blind persons; something that so many of our sighted kids miss out on.  What if we were to have some kind of training session for our young ones?  Maybe put it in as part of a schools curriculum?


When I went on my ski trip to Utah earlier this year, I was privileged to see that one of the schools in the area was teaching their kids how to guide blind skiers.  Good work!


I'm Donna J. Jodhan your friendly accessibility advocate wishing you a terrific day and encouraging you to go out there and help educate our kids on how to interact with blind persons.

Visit www.nfb.org to learn more.

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