No matter the age of your child who is blind or visually impaired, I know you’re utilizing FamilyConnect because you are committed to preparing your son or daughter for a successful future. It’s why you read our resources such as preparing your child with multiple disabilities for his future, planning for the future as a homeschooling family, and preparing for service changes after high school. In thinking about additional beneficial resources to provide you, I realized the enormous value gained from listening to the wisdom of a young adult who is blind share the experiences that have prepared her to confidently embark on adulthood.
Allow me to introduce you to 18-year-old Jenny.
I think you’ll agree that Jenny is poised and assertive, self-aware, artistic, and intelligent. Jenny has a knack for recognizing the opportunities and trainings she has been provided that have shaped her into the young woman she is today.
I wonder what stood out to you. Perhaps you were encouraged or inspired; do share in the comment section!
Here are five of Jenny’s reflections I noted as most significant:
"Besides being a really good chemistry class, the teacher made it clear that she had high expectations for all students, including me." Jenny recognized she matured with the high expectations placed on her—expectations which revealed Jenny’s teacher knew she was capable of quality work with sufficient effort and accommodations.
"I believe that nothing is more important to academic success and achievement than skills for adaptive technology. I think this is what really levels the playing field for a blind student." Jenny understood that the time invested in learning assistive technology equipped her to meet the demands of school and employment.
"When I was interested in science a few years ago, I went on the AFB’s CareerConnect website, and I got in contact with a blind chemist; he told me about the adaptive technologies that he has been using for his job and the hours of his job and what it entails." Jenny appreciated speaking to a professional in a field of interest who is blind—an important opportunity for children with visual impairments.
"I believe orientation and mobility provides empowerment and creates self-confidence." Jenny recognizes the essential skills of traveling safely throughout the community.
"And most importantly, my parents were my first teachers. They first helped me deal with my disability." Jenny recognizes the monumental role of her parents in helping her accept her blindness and learn practical skills in the home.
I daresay we have been given the best advice on preparing a child who is blind for a successful future—straight from a newly minted adult. #ThankYouJenny!