[Ohio-talk] FW: Final Paper

Deborah Kendrick dkkendrick at earthlink.net
Wed Apr 20 14:54:58 UTC 2016

Every time I meet a student or parent of a student attending OU, I ask if
they know you.  If the answer is no, I tell them they should!
I now believe that with increased intensity!
You are a wonderful ambassador for us all.  

By the way, which film did you use?
I attended a screening in California last year of an independent film
featuring a collection of blind teenagers.  Not sure if it is available now
for colleges, but if so, it would be perfect.  They were rich and poor,
black and white, achieving and not so much.  It was just a great glimpse
into the lives of young people who were just like everybody else, and blind.
Anyway, thanks for sharing this student's words with us and for doing what
you do!


-----Original Message-----
From: Ohio-Talk [mailto:ohio-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Smith, JW
via Ohio-Talk
Sent: Wednesday, April 20, 2016 9:47 AM
To: NFB of Ohio Announcement and Discussion List (ohio-talk at nfbnet.org)
Cc: Smith, JW
Subject: [Ohio-talk] FW: Final Paper

My NFBO Family, Friends and Colleagues:

Please indulge me as I share a response from one of my students to a class I
taught this semester and a particular activity.

I think that she will be fine in terms of communicating with those of us
that are blind and visually impaired wich is always at least one of the
goals of this class for me.

If you'd like, please read her response wich starts right aftr my signature
and know that our work goes on!


Dr. jw Smith
School of Communication Studies
Scripps College of Communication
Schoonover Center, Rm. 427
Athens, OH 45701
smithj at ohio.edu<mailto:smithj at ohio.edu>
T: 740-593-4838

From: Crowley, Kelsey
Sent: Monday, April 18, 2016 2:26 PM
To: Smith, JW <smithj at ohio.edu>
Subject: Final Paper

Thank you for a great semester! Here is my final paper:


I have thoroughly enjoyed this class this semester as a whole. It was really
great to get an understanding of some of the disabilities that people live
with every day that I do not live with every day. I really feel like I am
leaving this class with more knowledge on some disabilities.Truthfully, I
really came into this class with very little experience with people with
physical disabilities, so I really wanted to take this as an opportunity to
learn about people who are not like me. Being a Communication Studies
student, I find it extremely important to be well versed and well rounded
when it comes to communicating with people. Since I did not have much
experience prior to this class with people with disabilities, I really
wanted to make sure that I learned as much as I could. After I graduate in a
couple of weeks, I (thankfully) landed a job/internship for Walt Disney
World where I know that I will be encountering all kinds of people from all
over the world. For me, it is crucial to be able to go into that job with as
much knowledge as possible on how to properly communicate with not only
people who speak a different language, but people with disabilities as well.
I will be working in attractions and the potential of me having an
attraction that is ADA accessible, etc, is very high. I feel that after
taking this class, I have a better understanding.

Overall, I very much enjoyed the topic of blindness. Particularly, I really
enjoyed our class session about blindness when we were blind ourselves for
an elongated amount of time. I have, personally, very little experience with
people who are blind, so this section of our class really opened up my
perspective to many things I had not thought of before. But, overall, I very
much enjoyed the class topic of blindness as a whole because I went in with
such little knowledge of the topic. Someone that I went to high school with
was blind, so I would occasionally escort her around the school, but that
was few and far in between. I have had more experience with the other topics
we have discussed throughout the semester, such as physical disabilities
(i.e. being in a wheelchair) and deafness, however. I took ASL for a
semester last year, so I have a little bit of experience learning about the
deaf community already. I am also a campus tour guide, so I've learned over
the years some things about people in wheelchairs since we need to
strategically plan out routes and ways that are accessible for everyone on
our tours. Having the opportunity to experience something like being blind
for an amount of time was truly an experience to put everything we had
learned about the blind community in perspective. It was definitely tough to
be blind for those thirty minutes and do everything I usually do on a daily
basis. For me, the everyday things I do became obstacles. Even though I can
say that they were obstacles for me, it put into perspective that these
probably aren't every day obstacles for those people who are blind. It's
probably all that they know and it's how they live everyday of their lives.

            I also genuinely enjoyed watching the film a few weeks ago. I
firmly believe that this film, even though it's not the most up to date,
really put the cherry on the cake on the topic of blindness. It was a way
for us to truly see what happens when you try to make someone with a
disability "normal," whatever normal is, and how different their worlds can
be when that happens. It demonstrated to me that there are many people in
the world who see people who are blind as blind people; as people as their
disability and not just the person who happens to be blind. This also
affirmed why I wanted to take this class. To learn about different ways that
people handle situations with people with disabilities and what we can do to
ease their minds or help them think of things in different ways. All of
these things bring me to the handout that we received in class about the
Courtesy Rules of  Blindness, which I found extremely resourceful both in
context of this film and the exercise of being blind for class. I was afraid
to use the word "see" around people who are blind or knowing if I should put
my arm out for someone who is blind and walking near me or next to me. These
rules were brought to light when I was blind for 30 minutes. I still found
myself using the word "see," things that were out of place were a hazard for
me, I wanted to know who was in a room with me and what was around me as
Conor guided me to a chair or showed me a door, etc.

            This film also really highlighted the work of Elaine Bass Jenks
from our class text.  I enjoyed reading her essay on family relationships
with people who are blind, specifically siblings of those who are blind,
because it was something that I never really thought about or gave much
consideration to. When Jenks said that the siblings of those who are blind
often feel neglected because the family is always taking care of the person
with the disability. Also, I thought that Elaine Bass Jenks made a very good
point about how some siblings will become the "carers" to the siblings who
are blind to try and help out the parents. But because of this, they never
really have the chance to cope with much of their own stress and problems in
life. When the time actually comes for them to cope with things in their
lives, it may be too late or years and years later. I really appreciated
reading and learning about family dynamics with siblings that have siblings
who are blind.
            As mentioned above, I think that these two exercises were
extremely effective at helping me get the insiders view on what it is like
to be blind. There were many things I had not thought about before we did
these activities or read that material that now I try and think about. This
class as whole truly did me a lot of good and I really feel a lot more
confident leaving Ohio University with the education I have received. I hope
that I can take what I learned these last 15 weeks and effectively apply
these practices when I go to Disney World in the fall. I also hope that I
can share these practices with my co-workers if they are unfamiliar to make
sure that our workplace is as educated as possible. Perhaps they can even
teach me a thing or two as well. Thank you for a wonderful 15 weeks and for
the guest speakers, presentations, and great time."

Kelsey Crowley

Kelsey Crowley
Ohio University '16
Communication Studies & Social Media | Scripps College of Communication
Theater | College of Fine Arts Tour Guide Coordinator | Ohio University
Undergraduate Admissions

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