Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Growing Up with Sighted Parents

by Donna J. Jodhan

In a previous blog, I talked about blind persons being parents. I grew up with two wonderful sighted parents who allowed me to go out there and take the world by the tail or the bull by the horns. For the most part, it was a delicate balance of ensuring that I fitted in and at the same time being realistic enough to understand that being blind had its limitations.

The great thing was that my parents never really said no to my requests for adventure but they were naturally cautious and timid towards certain things. My dad allowed me to reach for the stars when it came to education but he was always leery when it came to my choice of career. My mom on the other hand was a bit more outgoing and made very sure that I fitted into the sighted world. With two loving brothers for company, a gentle granny who prodded me along, and wonderful cousins, I managed to grow up in a very unique type of environment.

It was not always easy for me at times and these were times when I wanted to be a bit too mainstream for my own good but I learned fast. These were the times when I was limited by my lack of sight and my parents had to step in and teach me about reality. Nevertheless, I soldiered on and as far back as I can remember it was always my goal to leave home as early as I could in order to be independent as I could be. It has paid off but not without tremendous sacrifice on the part of both me and my family.

Yes! I learned to ride a bicycle and had bike races with my dad along the beach. He taught me how to swim and fly a kite. We went fishing together. He and my brothers played football and cricket with me in the park. My mom and granny taught me how to cook and bake and even played doll's house with me. My dad was my constant source of knowledge while my mom and granny were my constant tutors of life. As for my brothers? Well, they were brothers all the way.

If you would like to learn more about how sighted parents can interact with their non-sighted children, then you can contact me directly at and I would be delighted to give you some useful pointers.

I'm Donna J. Jodhan, an accessibility and special needs business consultant wishing you a terrific day. If you'd like to learn more about me, then you can visit some of my blog spots at:
Donna Jodhan! Advocating accessibility for all:
Weekly Saturday postings on issues of accessibility:
blogs on various issues and answers to consumers concerns:

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