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Living in the dark

Future teachers experience life with vision impairment

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Insightful learning \\ Freshman Hope Contractor and practicum of education students participate in a simulation of what everyday life is like for students with vision impairments. “I asked Mrs. Self to come speak to my classes about her job as an orientation and mobility specialist,” education teacher Mrs. Jessica Taylor said. “She brought blindfolds and canes for the students to navigate the hallways, with little or no vision.

Insightful learning \\ Freshman Hope Contractor and practicum of education students participate in a simulation of what everyday life is like for students with vision impairments. “I asked Mrs. Self to come speak to my classes about her job as an orientation and mobility specialist,” education teacher Mrs. Jessica Taylor said. “She brought blindfolds and canes for the students to navigate the hallways, with little or no vision."

Addie Orr

Addie Orr

Insightful learning \\ Freshman Hope Contractor and practicum of education students participate in a simulation of what everyday life is like for students with vision impairments. “I asked Mrs. Self to come speak to my classes about her job as an orientation and mobility specialist,” education teacher Mrs. Jessica Taylor said. “She brought blindfolds and canes for the students to navigate the hallways, with little or no vision."

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Up until this morning, she had 20/20 vision, but now she uses a cane to guide her through the dark halls of her school.

Freshman Haley Messer, and the practicum of education students in Ms. Jessica Taylor’s third period class, were put in the dark during a simulation representing what it is like to be blind Feb 8. The simulation gave education students a taste of what professionals in their pathway may experience.

I liked how it showed me what visually impaired students go through on a day-to-day basis, and those canes are so hard to walk with. I almost fell a couple times.”

— Krista Whipple, freshman

“I like how there are so many different careers down one paths. I thought I wanted to be a regular teacher until I took Ms. Taylor’s class, but now I have no idea, there are so many choices within the path,” freshman Krista Whipple said.

Ms. Taylor brought in the district specialist to walk the kids through the simulation and provide insight on what she does.

Mrs. Self did a wonderful job showing my students what it feels like to be blind, or visually impaired. She taught them some basic cane skills, and gave them some great information about her job responsibilities,” Teacher Jessica Taylor said.

Students got to see what Mrs. Self does everyday. She is an orientation and mobility specialist in the district.  She works with students who have a vision impairment, and helps them to build the skills they need to be independent.

“She was amazing. It was so interesting to see what she does and it raised awareness about like wow, this is actually happening,” Whipple said.

After the simulation, the future teachers sat down to ask Mrs. Self questions as she shed light on her career.

“She was a really good listener, and explainer and was good with interacting with a bunch of kids at the same time,” Messer said.

“I enjoyed getting to see how people with vision impairments live throughout their everyday lives,” Messer said.

Students were provided canes and eye-masks and goggles. The goggles allowed some, but very little vision. Mrs. Self also brought canes in and taught the students how to navigate the classroom, once the students mastered that, Taylor and Self brought the students down the hallways and around the school, where they were only allowed to use the cane and their ears to guide them.

“I liked how it showed me what visually impaired students go through on a day-to-day basis, and those canes are so hard to walk with. I almost fell a couple times,” Whipple said.

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