Friday, 16 September 2011

A SHORT-SIGHTED APPROACH TO PROVIDING VISION AIDS.

Why didn't my parents buy me even basic visual aids before I attended grade eight? Any thinking person would have figured out that a boy with poor sight would need a monocular to read the blackboard and a proper magnifying glass for reading the textbooks. It wasn't until mid September of 1970 before my parents did anything to get the adaptive tools I needed.

From Deliverance from Jericho (Six Years in a Blind School), here is how I had to scrounge together or do without visual aids when I was reintegrated into the public school system.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

I was ill-equipped, from a visual aids standpoint, to enter the public system. Since teachers scrawled assignments on the blackboard without verbalizing what they wrote, I needed to ask somebody what the teacher had written. Mom solved this difficulty when she took me to the CNIB to purchase a monocular. This visual aid magnified distant objects, allowing me to read the blackboard.

Some solutions to my visual aids deficiency were improvised. When my landlady gave me a couple of magnifying glasses, neither one enlarged print to the size I needed. Then I made a discovery. If I placed both together, the text book print became legible. A few years later, Mom arranged for an optometrist to grind a strong magnifying glass for me. That made reading even easier since I did not need to hold both glasses together.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Deliverance from Jericho contains many more vignettes of what life was like in that government-run institution. These range from poignant experiences of homesickness to hilarious incidents of mischief. Click here to read more about this compelling story. You may also e-mail me directly if the comment form doesn't work.