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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Thursday, April 19, 2012

As a Blind Child

by Donna J. Jodhan

I consider myself to be extremely fortunate; as a blind child I was surrounded by loving and devoted parents who were determined to help me live as mainstream a life as possible. I also had two brothers, a granny, and other family members who helped me to enjoy so much. This does not mean that they did not try at times to protect me from certain obstacles, objects, and daily challenges.

I learned to fly a kite and pitch marbles. My dad used a big ball to play football and cricket with me, and he taught me how to swim in the ocean and ride a bicycle. Heck, he even showed me how to surf and ride the waves. Dad was my nature buddy; walking with me in the lush green meadows, smelling and identifying the various flowers, and holding those timid little butterflies in my hand. He ran with me, walked with me, and we had so much fun! He even took me fishing and showed me how to make boats out of large coconut leaves.

My brothers played hide and seek with me, ball games with me, and helped me to embrace the mainstream world. Mom and granny were my teachers of the domestic side of things. I hung out in the kitchen with them, learned how to write printed letters, and got a wonderful education on fashion and design. My cousins filled in so beautifully, helping me to grow up in a wonderful world. They read to me, cut out clippings from magazines for me, and walked with me on the beach as well as everywhere else; from quiet spots to busy streets.

I had pets; big happy dogs and delicate little birds. I played with all of them and I learned so much from everyone. I looked at it like this: Dad was my teacher of all things outside the home; from nature to politics, and from economics to religion and literature. Mom and granny were my tutors of life; from the kitchen to the clothes closet and from the school to the church. My brothers and cousins helped me to have fun.

O what it was to be a blind child and I loved it all! Then came the skates and skis and I was moving on to other things. I grew up but still I continued to be a blind child! I still am in so many ways; if only it is in my mind on those quiet nights as I wait for the Sand man to escort me into dreamland.

I'm Donna J. Jodhan your friendly accessibility advocate 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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