I want to make a difference in my community

I want to make a difference in my community on their initial thoughts/opinions about blindness and Braille. I want to have the opportunity to work with my community so it can become more "normal" for the future. That way when my son gets old enough and into school, I hope it won't be the school/teachers/students and other parents first time being introduced to Braille, blindness, a cane, etc. any ideas how I might do this?

Topics: Advocacy
Add New Answer

Posted by Hillary Kleck on Sep 30, 2015 - 6:18am

Some ideas I have would be to advocate to make your community more accessible for people with visual impairments. You can request your local movie theaters to install audio description services (and captioning for hearing-impaired viewers) if they don't already have it. You could talk to museums and other kids destinations about their accessibility of braille maps, audio described tours and braille signage. A zoo is another place that kids frequent that can be made fun for a child with visual impairments but if not planned ahead of time, often do not make a fun activity for our kids.

You could also start an event for White Cane Day (October) like organizing a blindfold walk or handing out info pamphlets in your community, or ask/help your local library to set up a special display and section for books related to blindness including books with braille and print. Just a few ideas! I think it's great that you're thinking about this when your son is younger, and he and others will benefit so much!

Posted by Amber Bobnar on Sep 30, 2015 - 10:32pm

Another thing is just to think about the example you are setting by being out and about in your community. I know it sounds small, but every time you go out to a restaurant with your son or visit the library or attend a children's concert or whatever you are showing the people in your community that kids who are visually impaired are just like any other kids and that your family is just like any other family. You're also creating an environment of inclusion for the other children who will see your son and interact with him.

And as you attend events or go out to restaurants, you'll notice things that aren't accessible and you can ask nicely if they can be changed. Next thing you know, there's a lot more accessibility in your community too!

A few weeks ago our neighborhood held a block party and one of the moms organizing the event asked me how they could make the day more accessible for Ivan. They were planning on having activities for the kids and they wanted to make sure there were things there that Ivan could enjoy too. I can't tell you how much it meant to me that they even had that on their radar, you know?