[nobe-l] New THOUGHT PROVOKER #150- Virtual Blindness, Training The Trainers

Robert Newman newmanrl at cox.net
Mon Oct 12 15:55:40 UTC 2009

RE:  Virtual Blindness, Training The trainers

The new TP is all about education, training professionals, assisting them to
gain insight into their own belief and abilities to function non-visually.
Check it out, what are the benefits?  If you have not read the PROVOKER, it
follows.  Recall that I collect responses and post them upon my web site for
all the WWW to read and learn from and that URL is-
Http://thoughtprovoker.info <http://thoughtprovoker.info/>   If you wish to
receive THOUGHT PROVOKERS sent directly to you, just write me and ask, at-
newmanrl at cox.net 

Virtual Blindness, Training The trainers

The stress lines on the man's face visible beyond where the dark cloth of
the sleep-shade covered, told the story of his first travel lesson with the
long white cane. Probing, tapping, he strove to interpret the information
provided by the cane. "Is this a drop-off --- and this metal thing --- could
be the upright for a handrail?"

The nearby instructor, cane standing vertical at his side, responded, "What
do you think?"

 "I got it!" The woman's finger read the Braille label on the brightly
colored tube in her hand. "F, M --- face moisturizer. Wahoo! I made and read
my own label." The woman was one of four sleep-shaded adults working at a
round table. In the center of the table, were Braille slates, sticky-backed
labels and other materials. In front of each student were bottles, tubes and
other personal items.

"I'm not getting this as fast as you, Marilyn." Spoke up one of her table
mates. "And, you guys, I'm going to need to take my meds, so how else can I
tell them apart, until I get Braille?"

"What do you think you might do?" A third woman responded. "That is what I
think the instructor would say. I know you'll figure out something for today
and you'll get your alphabet tomorrow."

The only man at the table held a green pair of pants over his lap, tying the
finishing knot to a sewing project. "There we go." Finger reading the small
plastic tag he had just sewn into the waist band. "G, R --- green. I like
these tags. And who would ever think you could thread a needle, blind." 

Carrying their canes, all 30 sleep-shaded students met at lunch. "Attention
please. This is your first meal you will handle being virtually blind. It
will be a learning time --- think, experiment, discover and if necessary ask
for instruction. When you look back at the end of two weeks, it will be
interesting to see the contrast between now and then. So line up, get your
own tray, utensils, go through the line, then find your place at table."

"Ah--- need to cut this piece smaller." Spoke up the first person at the
table of six.

"Yeah, cutting takes some concentration, but hey ---" responded a tablemate,
"I suppose I struggled with it back when I was five with my vision and got
it then, so I'll get it now."

A third person said, "I came into this knowing the first part of this
training was going to be stressful. But I know it will smooth out."

A fourth tablemate volunteered, "Giving up your sight for a full two weeks,
from wakeup to lights-out, no peeking, and proving to myself that I can
function non-visually, is going to give me some insights that I'd never have
without this opportunity." 

"You know," contributed a fifth tablemate, "I tried talking my rehab agency
into requiring new staff go through 3 to 6 months of sleep-shade training
like some services for the blind do, but to no avail. And so when I heard of
this two-week training for rehab professionals, I jumped on it."

"It's the method of training, the structuring of the learning situation and
the insistence on self-discovery, making you work and work at it until you
make it yours, that is the part I'm soaking up. These instructors are tough
on it --- but hey, guess the results will be in the expectations." concluded
the sixth.

On screen the leader of the workshop spoke to a camera team from a local
television station. "We have 30 professionals in the field of blindness
participating in this first Virtual Blindness Training in our Train the
Trainers series. They are evenly divided between rehabilitation teachers and
vocational counselors, all working with adult blind persons in their jobs.
The purpose of this training is to provide the student with an experience of
virtual blindness, of being newly blind, needing to learn basic survival
skills. It is 24-7, for 2 weeks. And I underscore: it is not to experience
the reality of what it is to be blind, nor will the blindness skills being
learned be fully perfected. However, the participant will come out of here
knowing that in his guts, with true conviction, and not just intellectually,
that  he or she and others can function competently non-visually. Finally,
we are using the most effective teaching method for this type of learning,
the Structured Discovery Method."

Robert Leslie Newman 
Email- newmanrl at cox.net

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