[nfbmi-talk] blind former saginaw student shares

joe harcz Comcast joeharcz at comcast.net
Sun Dec 5 08:47:22 CST 2010


Hi Fred, Fred and All. Here it is:
Blind former Saginaw student shares her struggles, triumphs with Handley 
Elementary pupils



Published: Friday, December 03, 2010, 4:00 PM     Updated: Saturday, 
December 04, 2010, 8:39 AM

Tom Gilchrist | The Saginaw News





Emily-Rose Bennett

Emily-Rose Bennett | The Saginaw News Jessica Osborn, 39, of Portage speaks 
with third graders about being blind at her former grade school Handley 
Elementary

School in Saginaw. Osborn explained how she communicates and stays mobile 
with her blindness and also the challenges of raising a child without her 
sight.

"I could either sit there and be mad or get up and get along with life," 
Osborn said.

Jessica Osborn Blind Presentation at Handley Elementary

gallery (8 photos)







SAGINAW - Jessica A. Osborn returned to Handley Elementary School on 
Thursday to show third-graders the ways she communicates as a blind person.





Her message, however, resonated beyond the Braille writer, cane and talking 
color detector Osborn, 39, brought to the school at 224 N. Elm, where she 
attended

as a girl when it was South Intermediate School.



After pupils returned to class following Osborn's presentation in a school 
gym, one student in teacher Natelle Richmond's class stated blind people 
"are

just like us," Richmond said.



"It took them by surprise that (Osborn) had to walk her son to school," 
Richmond said.



Osborn, of Portage in Kalamazoo County, has done that and more since losing 
her left eye at age four, when her family dog attacked her after she 
accidentally

shut its tail in a door at her home in Saginaw County's Richland Township.



Osborn, daughter of Connie Griffin of Saginaw Township and Terry Barckholtz 
of Richland Township, lost all sight about 10 years ago. A rare disease 
called

sympathetic ophthalmia - in which the body's antibodies attack its healthy 
eye after an injury to the other eye - was to blame.



Osborn, a 1989 Arthur Hill High School graduate, acquired both a bachelor's 
degree and master's degree from Western Michigan University. She worked for

the Cleveland Sight Center helping blind and visually impaired people learn 
to live independently, but now is a married homemaker who sells baking 
supplies

on the Internet and cares for her 9-year-old son, Christian.



"Raising a child while being blind ... there are so many things that are 
really challenging," said Osborn, whose husband, Michael, joined her at the 
school

Thursday.



"As you can imagine, changing diapers - it's really gross," Osborn said, 
drawing laughs from about 75 third graders and speaking with candor about 
her life.



"I have two prosthetic eyes," she said. "They're plastic. They make them out 
of acrylic."



She also used her talking color detector - which senses colors of clothes or 
objects and identifies them using an automated male voice - to determine 
colors

of pupils' clothes. Eight-year-old Grace Fornwalt couldn't help but giggle 
as the detector correctly announced that classmate Luke Basil's shirt was 
"dark

gray."



Osborn passed a Braille alphabet card among students during her 
presentation, along with other items. Seven-year-old Emma Rodriguez spent 
several minutes

running her fingers across the raised dots on a Braille calendar. Other 
pupils, such as 8-year-old Ayden Cribbs, had questions.



"In college, when you were, like, in your dorm room, was it a little bit 
hard to make your bed and the ordinary things you do when you wake up?" 
Ayden asked.



"Living in the dorms was really a lot different because it wasn't my own 
space," Osborn replied. "I had to share space with a lot of girls."



Osborn's half-brother, 8-year-old Clay Barckholtz, a Handley Elementary 
third-grader, stood at the front of the gym next to Osborn during her 
presentation.



As a girl, Osborn attended Handley Elementary School when it was located on 
the site of what is now Thompson Middle School, 3021 Court. She later 
attended

South Intermediate School, which is now Handley, certified by the 
Switzerland-based International Baccalaureate Organization as an "IB World 
School."



Handley's stated mission is to develop "inquiring, knowledgeable and caring 
young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through 
intercultural

understanding and respect."



Osborn said it was "scary" learning to walk her son to kindergarten, along a 
roughly one-mile-long route crossing three streets. But she did it.



"I had to use a lot of landmarks, and come to know a lot of up and down 
slopes, and different textures, along the way," she said. "Whether a 
driveway was

made of dirt or whether it was paved. I had to count driveways from my house 
to the school until I was able to find my way.



"There was a telephone pole right across from my house, and once I got to a 
certain point on the (route) I had to swing around and look for this phone 
pole.

Once I hit the phone pole, I knew I'd go up to the next driveway, and that's 
when I was right across from my house."



----- Original Message ----- 
From: "fred olver" <goodfolks at charter.net>
To: "NFB of Michigan Internet Mailing List" <nfbmi-talk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Sunday, December 05, 2010 9:19 AM
Subject: Re: [nfbmi-talk] blind former saginaw student shares


> Joe, I went to the link you provided and couldn't find the story.
>
> Fred Olver
>
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "joe harcz Comcast" <joeharcz at comcast.net>
> To: "NFB of Michigan Internet Mailing List" <nfbmi-talk at nfbnet.org>
> Sent: Sunday, December 05, 2010 7:58 AM
> Subject: Re: [nfbmi-talk] blind former saginaw student shares
>
>
>> I'll copy and paste it Fred. Just didn't get around to it yesterday...
>>
>> Peace,
>>
>> Joe
>> ----- Original Message ----- 
>> From: "Fred Wurtzel" <f.wurtzel at att.net>
>> To: "'NFB of Michigan Internet Mailing List'" <nfbmi-talk at nfbnet.org>
>> Sent: Saturday, December 04, 2010 10:19 PM
>> Subject: Re: [nfbmi-talk] blind former saginaw student shares
>>
>>
>>> Hi,
>>>
>>> Well, I attended handley in the 1950's when it was on Court Street. 
>>> Holly
>>> Mahoney who teaches for MCB in Saginaw was in my class.  Mike Geno and 
>>> Gerry
>>> Such also went there and probably some other people that I cannot think 
>>> of
>>> right now.
>>>
>>>
>>> I was in a class with 12 other students.  I was the only 1 in my grade. 
>>> It
>>> was a first through sixth grade classroom.  It was just like a 1-room 
>>> school
>>> like Little House On The Prarie!  I loved it.  Of course, I only went 
>>> there
>>> in first and second grades. I do not know the person from the article,
>>> though.
>>>
>>> Thanks for sharing the article link, though some people will not be able 
>>> to
>>> read it because they don't know how to open a link from email.
>>>
>>> Warm Regards,
>>>
>>> Fred
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: nfbmi-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org 
>>> [mailto:nfbmi-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org]
>>> On Behalf Of joe harcz Comcast
>>> Sent: Saturday, December 04, 2010 10:48 AM
>>> To: nfbmi-talk at nfbnet.org
>>> Subject: [nfbmi-talk] blind former saginaw student shares
>>>
>>> http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2010/12/blind_former_saginaw_stu
>>> dent_s.html
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> nfbmi-talk mailing list
>>> nfbmi-talk at nfbnet.org
>>> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/nfbmi-talk_nfbnet.org
>>> To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for
>>> nfbmi-talk:
>>> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/nfbmi-talk_nfbnet.org/f.wurtzel%40att.
>>> net
>>> No virus found in this incoming message.
>>> Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
>>> Version: 8.5.449 / Virus Database: 271.1.1/3289 - Release Date: 12/04/10
>>> 07:34:00
>>>
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> nfbmi-talk mailing list
>>> nfbmi-talk at nfbnet.org
>>> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/nfbmi-talk_nfbnet.org
>>> To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for 
>>> nfbmi-talk:
>>> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/nfbmi-talk_nfbnet.org/joeharcz%40comcast.net
>>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> nfbmi-talk mailing list
>> nfbmi-talk at nfbnet.org
>> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/nfbmi-talk_nfbnet.org
>> To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for 
>> nfbmi-talk:
>> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/nfbmi-talk_nfbnet.org/goodfolks%40charter.net
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> nfbmi-talk mailing list
> nfbmi-talk at nfbnet.org
> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/nfbmi-talk_nfbnet.org
> To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for 
> nfbmi-talk:
> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/nfbmi-talk_nfbnet.org/joeharcz%40comcast.net 





More information about the nfbmi-talk mailing list