Future Reflections Winter 1992, Vol. 11 No. 1

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Edited by Kenneth Jernigan
A Review by Lorraine Rovig

Dear Parents of Blind Children,

Are you looking for a good way to tell nosey, rattled, or tearful folks that blindness doesn't have to be a sentence of doom and gloom over your little one? Do you wish that some of the successful blind adults you have met, or read about in Future Reflections, could sit down and talk about blindness and their lives to relatives or neighbors who persist in either making a big fuss over, or totally ignoring, your blind youngster?

Then this little inexpensive paperback--What Color Is The Sun—is just what you need!

Published by the National Federation of the Blind, this little 120- page paperback has 14 short stories, all but one told by a blind child or adult. (One is a thoughtful reporter's story on mobility, rock repelling, and the Colorado Center for the Blind.) All stories are of actual events. The shortest is 4 pages, the longest is 20. Most would be good for reading aloud at bedtime or to a classroom of children or adults. Ten black and white photographs illustrate the point that these authors are normal, active Americans who happen to be blind. The cover is an attractive color photograph of a red and orange sunset.

This print gem costs $3.00 each (includes postage), or only $1.00 each plus a $5.00 shipping charge if bought in quantities of 50 for a total of $55.00.

Reading What Color Is The Sun, I was reminded of a library school lecture on "bibliotherapy"--the belief that mind and spirit can change for the better if one reads the right story for what ails one. Let me prescribe the following:

Problem A: Your daughter's teacher needs to update Victorian attitudes, demand more from your child, and stop settling for less than your daughter is capable of doing.

Rx: The whole book, but especially, "Back to Notre Dame" by NFB President Marc Maurer; "A Blind Teacher on the Job" by Judy Krecek; and "Growing Up Blind in Tennessee during the Depression" by Kenneth Jernigan. Your daughter would enjoy them, too.

Problem B: Your neighbor has a gushy sappy attitude about your son's blindness and won't let her son play with your son because he "might get hurt."

Rx: The whole book, but especially, "Mean as My Mom" by Dan Ryles, a junior high school student; "Blind Faith" by Mike Pearson; and "Growing Up Blind" by Jan Bailey.

Problem C: Your brother Frank and his wife treat your blind son as though every least thing he does is amazing or alternately as though he will never be a success in anything.

Rx: The whole book but especially "Homemaking after I Became Blind" by Ramona Walhof; "One Small Step at a Time" by Heidi Sherman; and "What Color Is the Sun" by Lauren Eckery.

I can think of so many places this little book could do some good. How about on the table in the teacher's lounge (by the coffee), the eye doctor's office, the high school counselor's waiting room, local libraries--public, university, elementary, junior high, high school--and so forth?

The book makes a wonderful gift, too. You could give it to your babysitter, to your daughter's Brownie Scout leader, to the Sunday School teacher, your minister, the Red Cross swimming instructor, teachers, relatives, and friends. Just about anyone who comes into contact with your blind son or daughter would appreciate, and benefit from, this little paperback.

What Color Is the Sun is a fun, small educator you can carry in your pocket. It is a polite and painless way of answering most of those questions--those that are asked, and those that should be asked--about blindness that come your way.  

To order your copy(ies), send check or money order made payable to National Federation of the Blind with your request to: Materials Center, National Federation of the Blind, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230. You may also use your MasterCard, Visa, or Discover card. Call (410) 659-9314 for information or to place your credit card order. Again, the cost is $3.00 per copy, or $50.00 plus $5.00 shipping charge (total: $55.00) for 50 copies.

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