Future Reflections April 1982, Vol. 1 No. 3

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By: Doris M. Willoughby

(Portions of this article are reprinted from the descriptive brochure published by the American Brotherhood for the Blind.)

One of my young blind students once asked me, "Are there any other kids like me?" I described some of my other blind students to him, and also assured him that he was like his sighted classmates in many more ways than he was different. But I also resolved even more firmly to see that he would meet other blind youngsters and adults.

That was several years ago, and it is still vital for blind boys and girls to meet other blind people in person. However, there is now an excellent book from the American Brotherhood for the Blind which helps in this regard as well. Questions Kids Ask About Blindness, is primarily used to acquaint sighted children with the methods used by the blind, and thus will help classmates and siblings understand your blind boy or girl that other blind youngsters are indeed living busy, normal lives.

The first part of the book has a question-and-answer format, such as:

What is blindness?
What are blind people like?
What is a white cane and how is it used?
Where can blind children go to school?
Are any blind people famous?

The second part of the book, "A Day with Joe Jones," is a practical and entertaining description of a blind sixth-grader who is successful in public school. Joe Jones attends a variety of classes; is surrounded by a group of very normal sixth-grade friends at recess and after school; and takes his share of responsibility at home. The resource teacher for blind students at his school helps him, but Joe doesn't need a lot of help.

This excellent and entertaining book contains several photographs which will interest the sighted child and can easily be described to the blind child. The reading level is suitable for the elementary grades, and the vocabulary and style make it suitable for reading aloud even to pre-schoolers. If you or your library wish to order this excellent book, send $3.50 to the American Brotherhood for the Blind, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, MD 21230.

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