Friday, 31 August 2012


Have you ever had a traumatic psychological wound that took decades to heal? I have had many in my lifetime. One of the deepest was being sent to an institution for blind children for six long years.

What made matters worse was when people, unfamiliar with institutional life, condemned me for hating it. Even my parents couldn't understand why I called the place a jail and complained bitterly about my lack of freedom there.

I related many of these misunderstandings in my Deliverance from Jericho: Six Years in a Blind School memoir. Even when I attended public school, sighted friends doubted what I said about the institution.

Below is an excerpt relating how a well-meaning acquaintance inadvertently struck a raw nerve during the summer of 1974.


I had absolutely no wish to see the institution in which I had spent six long years. Regrettably, our bus driver parked on Eighth Avenue and said, "This is the Jericho Hill School for the Deaf and Blind on your left."

I stared at my lap, refusing to gaze out the window. "Aren't you going to look at the school?" a woman next to me asked.

"I spent six years at that lousy place," I sourly replied. She sensed the bitterness in my voice and wisely changed the subject.


Deliverance from Jericho abounds with vignettes of what life was like in that government-run institution. These range from poignant experiences of homesickness to hilarious incidents of mischief. Please feel free to click on the link to my books or contact me directly for more information about them.

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