Cultivating Feelings of First-Class Status

By Justin M. Salisbury, MA, NOMC, NCRTB, NCUEB

Preferred Citation

Salisbury, J. M. (2018). Cultivating Feelings of First-Class Status. Journal of Blindness Innovation and Research, 8(1). Retrieved from doi:


Adjustment to blindness training involves both skill acquisition and emotional adjustment to blindness. Part of the emotional adjustment to blindness is coming to consider blindness a normal characteristic and identify oneself as a first-class member of society. Rehabilitation practitioners must cultivate feelings of dignity in their blind consumers, which must be consistently incorporated into staff and student decision-making. A training center should be a contemporary, professional setting to help students understand emotionally that blindness does not prevent them from blending into such an employment setting. Although funds may be scarce at a training center, care must be taken to ensure that the facilities and technologies are current and well-maintained. Simple skill acquisition may not require these investments, but emotional adjustment to blindness may require capital improvements. Students must come to think of themselves as valuable contributors in society and understand that the claim to equal rights requires equal responsibility.


Emotional adjustment, blindness rehabilitation, first-class status, dignity, Structured Discovery

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The Journal of Blindness Innovation and Research is copyright (c) 2018 to the National Federation of the Blind.