Wednesday, January 26, 2011


"High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation." -Charles F. Kettering
The world is full of people asking to be treated in a way different than someone around them. It can be to better enrich their lives, or make life easier- it is not always for me to judge. Disabled individuals want to be treated as their non-disabled peers. It's as simple as that. Yes, someone with a vision impairment may need large print or a screen reader program, or someone in a wheelchair may need access to an elevator instead of stairs. They are not asking to be treated better, only equal. I believe it is sometimes hard to justify this idea to part of the population because most adaptations take additional costs or time, and they therefore use them as an excuse to overlook or ignore the situation. Some may just be ignorant of what can be done. I too believe that it is the responsibility of the company and employees, as well as society, both disabled and non-disabled, to make it aware to the world that differences such as a visual impairment does not limit them. It only redefines the way they check their email or read a computer screen.

This same idea is apparent in the educational settings as well. It has been my experience that a huge majority of teachers, school administration, therapists and others simply do not expect as much from a visually impaired student. I do not know the exact reason for this, whether it be they consciously or subconsciously feel that the child is incapable solely because of the impairment, or because it is just easier for them to make it easier on the student by just letting the student "get by" with the bare minimum. With my daughter, people tend to just want to do things for her. She is cute, sweet and polite. It is easy to spoil her without even thinking. I'm the most guilty when it comes to making her walk. She is still light enough that I can pick her up and carry her, which gets the trip done faster and gives me a chance to cuddle her in my arms. What mother doesn't want to make that last as long as possible!? : )    I have to remind myself to put her back down and make her do it herself. It is this practice that will lead her to explore this beautiful world on her own one day.

It is a constant struggle to make others understand that is she is fully capable. She knows how to do most things she needs to do, but she'll totally take advantage of you if you let her. And the activities she is still learning, well, just teach her how to do them and she'll figure it out. Yes, it may take a while, but that is the only way she is going to learn - is by doing it herself.

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