Day #21 - $17!
Day #21 – Visiting the Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Two times, I met Jeff and his students out on the bus route. I figured this was fate, so I scheduled a time to go visit Jeff and his students at the Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CBVI). I also had a chance to visit with Greg, the building supervisor.
Students come from all over the nation to this organization to learn how to become independent and self-sufficient. They focus on five critical aspects of the blind person’s life:
1. The blind person must come emotionally, as well as intellectually, to know that he or she truly can be independent and self-sufficient.
2. The blind person must really learn and become competent in those skills (alternative techniques) which will make it possible for him or her to truly be independent and self-sufficient.
3. The blind person must learn to cope on a daily basis with the public attitudes about blindness – with those things that will be said or done to him or her because of other people’s misunderstandings and misconceptions.
4. The blind person must develop self-discipline, be reliable, have proper appearance and grooming, and have a healthy work ethic. This must be equal to or exceed the standards of a similar sighted person.
5. The blind person must develop the confidence and competence to willingly and meaningfully contribute to the personal growth and advancement of other blind individuals, and to his or community in general.
Certainly, a creed our students can follow as well. I am so thankful for Jeff, his students, and Greg for sharing their time with me. As I reflected on the visit, I came back to a discussion Greg and I were having about the many opportunities he has had to visit places around the world – as a blind person (he was formerly a sighted person). He talked about how special it was to touch the Christ the Redeemer statue, swim in the Mediterranean, or to walk the Great Wall of China (and discover through his own senses than there seemed to be no particular standard to the step heights – some steps were 9”, some 12”). Without sight, you get better at using your senses, and your awareness grows significantly. You touch Christ the Redeemer . . . you float in the Mediterranean . . . you hear the steps of the Great Wall of China.
It was such an inspiring visit.
Incidentally, I had a back-to-back appointment schedule that morning, and I had to leave my bike at CBVI, take an Uber to the VA and another Uber back to CBVI to get my bike and get on the bus. Two quick trips, not more than a couple miles each way.
$17!!!! My ENTIRE BUS TICKET for the MONTH was $17!!
Uber is very convenient, but WAY too expensive to use frequently. Ugh.
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