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Do I Really Have to Learn Braille?

Now that blind students can have access to talking computers, why in the world should they have to learn Braille? Computers are fun, even addictive; Braille is hard. Computers are twenty-first century; Braille is nineteenth century. Computers are cool; Braille is, well, old-fashioned. Before looking a little more closely at the issue, a few words of self-disclosure may be in

Secrets to Following Up on the IEP

It’s tempting to think that you’re finished once the IEP is drafted. It may be helpful to remember that the IEP is a means to an end, insuring that your child gets the best, most appropriate education possible, and not an end unto itself. In this final post in the IEP series, we’ll look at some things you can do

Secrets for a Successful Transition Plan

To paraphrase the children’s nursery rhyme, when transition planning is good, it is very, very good, but, when it is bad, it is pretty worthless. Before looking at what you can do to make it “very, very good,” it might be helpful to take a minute to see what transition planning is and why it matters. Purpose. A transition plan

Secrets of a Successful IEP Meeting

In the last post, we looked at what can be done before the IEP to minimize your anxiety and make it a more productive experience for everyone. Additionally, there are a number of things that you can do in the IEP meeting itself to insure that it benefits both you and your child. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Every

Secrets for Planning for a Successful IEP

If you or a family member are blind or visually impaired, you will, or already have, been involved with an individualized education program (IEP). Although it can be very beneficial, the experience can also be overwhelming. The next four posts are intended to be a primer to help demystify the process and help insure that you can make the most

Driver or Passenger

Image from back seat

Several years ago, I was having dinner with two blind friends when the conversation turned to dreams. One person, we’ll call him Bob, mentioned that he had a recurrent dream in which he was always a passenger in the back seat of a car in which there was no one driving. The other friend, we’ll call him Bill, said that

Walking on Hot Coals

Hot Coals

Hearing the phrase, “When I was growing up,” at least for me, is as good as taking a sleeping pill. My mind wonders and my eyelids get heavy. If you can fight the urge to nod off, I’d like to begin by talking about when I was growing up. It was a time (in the 1950s and 60s) before any

Advocating or Aggravating

Confused looking red gumby-type character

What exactly does it mean “to advocate” and how do you do it? Clearly, advocacy has become one of the popular buzz words among disabled people in recent years. I’ve noticed, however, that while blind students and their parents are encouraged to advocate for their needs, very little attention is paid as to what to do and not do. At

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