Friday, May 17, 2013

Describing nature to the blind


I can still remember those nature lessons as a child, as my teachers referred to them, and boy did we learn so much. I thank my grade school teachers for having had the foresight to teach us all about insects, flowers, and so much more.

I learned by touch as my vision at that time was not enough to see detail. I learned what a bird's nest felt like as somehow my teachers procured a deserted one for us. I felt a beetle's back, the back of a crab, and then the fun stuff! Those beautiful sweet smelling flowers, the elegant butter cups, and the roses. We got to hold delicate butterflies in our little hands; they were not alive of course and we even felt caterpillars and moths.

We learned to identify fruits by touch. We felt plants with their leaves and stems. We felt branches and trunks of trees and then we were taken to the river where we felt stones, walked in the water, and were shown how to make boats out of leaves and then float them down the river.

We were taken on hikes and outings in the valley. We felt the grass, sat on tree stumps, and listened to the birds. Our teachers taught us to identify birds by the sound of their voices. We visited with the cows and goats and even got the chance to touch them as they stood quietly. Heck, we even got the chance to ride a donkey.

Oh how I loved those times as a child and shall forever remember them. I thank my teachers for having given me these wonderful lessons and memories.

I'm Donna J. Jodhan, your friendly accessibility advocate, wishing you a terrific day and inviting you to go out there and share my thoughts with others. Visit www.nfb.org to learn more about the world of blind persons.

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