29 Jul The Importance of Blind Mentors
Being blind or teaching a blind person cannot happen in isolation. People will tend to fall back on stereotypes and misconceptions about what blind people cannot do rather than what they can do. Getting them involved with other blind people is eye opening and more importantly getting them involved with successful blind mentors is essential.
I constantly bring my students together so they can challenge each other in reaching higher goals for themselves and seeing their potential. They do not know what is possible until they meet someone who is further advanced than themselves. Bringing kids together also creates a sense of community and the "wow, there are others out there just like me" which is so important in creating a positive identity.
When I bring in successful blind adults this is even more apparent. The blind adults tell about what they have achieved which brings even higher ideals to the growing blind students. They see their potential. Even more importantly knowledge that someone is going through and has gone through the same things they are experiencing: Someone they can ask questions and get answers to very practical situations. How about brushing your teeth. Instead of sticking your finger on the toothbrush and squeezing to feel the amount, just squeeze it directly into your mouth, then brush, keeping your fingers clean.
So get involved with others or if you are teaching, make sure your students are getting involved with other blind students and adult blind mentors. You can only grow if you are watered with possibility and that takes people to challenge who you are and what you know. Here are some possible leads: http://www.nfb.org/nfb/Institute_brochure.asp?SnID=4
Another great aspect of blind mentors is it helps parents and blind individuals accept the blindness because they begin to gain vision of what they can do. If you really want to see what blind people can do…go to the National Blind convention…every year it is held over July 4th weekend–It will be in Orlando Florida next summer–plan on going and enhance your mind of potential
Here are some links: