School and Career
Introduction (1 of 2)
Born with bilateral microophthalmia
Had some vision in right eye until age 3.
Had many surgeries in those three years
including cornea transplant.
Totally blind by age 3 and enrolled in pre-
school for blind children.
Introduction (2 of 2)
Went to college, got a Master's degree, got married and had a
baby, and now work as a genetic counselor in California.
However, today’s talk will focus on:
My experiences growing up as a blind child and what
helped me be successful.
Resources and organizations for parents of blind children
Parents are SO Important!
Even if you think you don’t know how to solve a
problem or what’s best for your child, you are the
most important person in your child’s life.
You know your child best and until they are older,
you will be the only one to fight for them, and it’s
true that “they will thank you later.”
“You’re talking to me
about college, now?
My baby’s only six
and teachers make a big
High expectations are
the key to success.
Get your child involved in early intervention
services provided by the state.
Enroll your child in pre-school early.
Expose your child to as many experiences as
Parents are even more important than
The School Years
Enroll your child in pre-school early to expose
him/her to other children as much as possible.
Think about how you’d treat a sighted child and treat
your blind child similarly.
Braille is one of the
things that will
contribute to your
child’s success in
school and as an adult.
Make sure they are
taught braille and use it
in their classroom.
Even if large print is an
option, it is not as
efficient as braille.
Advocate for your Child
IEP’s (Individualized Education Plans) will be a large
part of the way your child’s education is planned.
Be an advocate for your child - speak up during IEP’s.
If you think something is inaccurate or you want
something changed, say so.
When your child is old enough, include them in
their own IEP.
Having high expectations will affect their success and
how they see themselves.
Advocating for your child early on will help them
learn to advocate for themselves later
Being part of an IEP.
Asking for materials in braille when they need them.
Preparing for college where there are less services
Knowing when you need help and knowing how to
ask for it.
There’s More to Life Than School
Encourage your child to get involved in
Some of my hobbies include music, dancing,
Expose your child to many things, since not all
of them will work out as well. For example:
I'm glad I learned to ski, but it's not something
I enjoy today.
Independent Living Skills
These are the most important
skills because school does not
teach you how to live
Expect your child to do
chores around the house.
Dishes, laundry, setting the
table, cooking dinner.
The more you expect them to
do, the more normal it will
seem to them that they learn
to do these things.
Independent Travel skills
Traveling independently is a
My parents knew it was important,
but it was not one of the things I
Expect your child to take public
transportation at an age-appropriate
Advocate for mobility lessons
especially early .
Recipe for Success
All these skills that your child will learn will
contribute to their success.
I credit my parents more than anyone in my life
for ensuring I had these skills before entering
I was successful in college and grad school
because of my determination, my self advocacy
skills and my belief in myself as a capable blind
My most recent challenge and
joy has been becoming a
mother. My son Alex was born
Just as with everything else, I
do some things differently but
am just as capable as a sighted
I make the same mistakes,
have the same worries and
fears and have the same joys.
National Federation of the Blind
• Parents of Blind Children division
• Career Divisions
• Student Division
• Meet successful blind adults
• American Council of the Blind,
• Lighthouse for the Blind
• Other local organizations