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Spring 2005 Table of Contents
Versión Español de este artículo (Spanish Version)

Not Alone

By Jaime Wheeler, parent, TVI, TSBVI board member Jamie_Wheeler@birdville.k12.tx.us

Abstract: A parent shares what her daughter gained from participating in an activity with other individuals who are visually impaired.

Keywords: Family, Blind, Braille Olympics, social

Not alone. These two words express the one sentiment that my daughter came away with from her experience in a short-term program at TSBVI this fall. I was stunned to observe my daughter participating in the Braille Olympics this fall. I have never seen her walk tall with so much confidence, joy and pride. She participated in activities with other students her age who also read Braille, and told me more than once that at TSBVI she was no longer in the minority! What an impression that made on me, how could I have underestimated the importance of being with other visually impaired student and adults? My child who has felt alone and misunderstood at times by her sighted classmates finally felt the joy and freedom of being “like everyone else.” Sometimes we forget how difficult it can be, to be the only one at school who is visually impaired. I am so thankful for the opportunity that TSBVI gave my daughter to just be a normal teenager with other teens who understood, used the same equipment and traveled with a cane. How do you assess the benefits of such an experience? Perhaps it is through the laughter and head held high for the first time in a long time. That’s what I observed and it is my opinion that the program was a great success. I can only hope that every student with a visual impairment in Texas can have the same opportunity. Each child deserves to never be alone.

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Last Revision: September 1, 2010