[blindkid] overseas teaching

Deborah Kent Stein dkent5817 at att.net
Sun Feb 6 15:21:35 UTC 2011

It is hard to read this response without feeling a surge of anger.  I wish I 
could suggest a kind and measured way to point out how much her letter 
reflects the negative, nonsupportive stance for which she blames others. 
You might work from the premise that you know your child best, that you are 
used to problem-solving together, and that your whole family welcomes 
challenges and new experiences.  You might explain how you plan to handle 
issues around school, obtaining books etc., and ask her to be specific about 
her concerns.  (Why is transportation more of a problem for a blind child 
than it is for anybody else???)  If she has to look at her specific 
objections she may discover that she is caught up in a nebulous, generalized 
fear that has no basis.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Joy Orton" <ortonsmom at gmail.com>
To: "NFB Blindkid list" <blindkid at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Saturday, February 05, 2011 10:20 PM
Subject: [blindkid] overseas teaching

Dear friends,

We are looking at possibilities for teaching in another country next
year. In contacting one group that has schools throughout the world,
we received this response:

"We so appreciate that you would like to serve with us but I remember
that we talked last year about the issue of one of your children being
blind.  That must be such a challenging situation but one that you
indicated you have successfully dealt with in the States.

"However, with a move overseas and placing a young child in a country
she is not familiar with, a language she does not understand and the
enormous issues of public transportation with a blind child, this
would be beyond traumatic for her.  This is not something that
directors could entertain with the many demands on their schedules as
this would become a very time consuming thing for the director too.
We just don’t have the staff for special needs like this and foreign
countries are no friends to anyone with disabilities.  They do not
have special accommodations at all and often have a very negative, non
supportive stance on anyone who they consider, not perfect.  It’s very
sad, but true.

"So, I regret to say that this is not a situation we’ll be able to
address.  I do appreciate the interest, so much.  If anything changes
concerning this situation, I’ll be sure to contact you."

That was the email I received this evening. Help me with how to
respond to this, please, friends.
Our 10 year old daughter is blind. She has no other disabilities and
no health issues. Her ethnicity is different from ours, because we
adopted her, at age 4, from another country. She successfully made the
transition to the US and learned English. Currrently she is one of the
top three readers in her school, and last year she was our local
Chamber of Commerce's Citizen of the Year. Her mobility skills are
excellent and on par with sighted ten year olds.

What do I say and do in response to this?

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