[blindkid] Oak Hill technology services for the blind in Connecticut
bo.page at sbcglobal.net
Sun Oct 12 05:40:15 UTC 2014
For those of you who in live in Connecticut, I want to make you aware that Oak Hill offers technology services for the blind that seems to have been kept a secret. My daughter benefited greatly from their services, but I had to push my school system to utilize them. Not even the services for the blind offered these services to her. I want to make others aware that Oak Hill is underutilized and that these services made a great difference in my daughter's life who is completely blind. If you are in Connecticut and you are not getting enough technology help through the school system or BESB, push to get these services. One of the instructors mentioned in the article, Steve, below has very little sight and uses a guide dog. He taught my daughter so much beyond technology. I want others to know of this service. Below is her story featured in the last newsletter:
NDEPENDENCE THROUGH INNOVATION & INTEGRATION
I want to share our story so other parents will know about Oak Hill’s training program. It has meant complete emancipation for my daughter, Alexi,” explained Bo Page, her Mom. After receiving minimal help in mainstream education, the Page family found the Blind Vocational Services Program at Oak Hill. The adaptive technology evaluation conducted by Nicole Feeney and Steve Famiglietti, along with their subsequent recommendations and training, helped Alexi learn valuable technology skills to prepare for college, connect with friends and boost her confidence.
“If someone told me a year ago that she would be navigating the Internet to do research, complete forms and take classes online I would never have believed it, and within a year’s time!” exclaimed Bo. “Alexi accomplished this with the added challenge of having cerebral palsy. Now she is empowered.”
Steve explained, “No one knew what she could do, so no one gave her a chance. This can lead to hopelessness. Alexi was like a sponge, willing to do all the work and try new things.
That’s half the battle. She could read Braille and had good listening skills. So we said, she should be using a Braille display and listening to audio books. That’s what we do: We match the abilities a person already has to the right technology to move them forward.”
“It’s been a game changer for Alexi,” Bo said. “As parents, it means everything to know that your kids are going to go out into this world and do well.
She is so much happier now.”
Bryan Page, Alexi’s Dad, added, “It’s been a big relief for us. We were quite worried. We weren’t sure what was going to happen.”
Steve said, “As a society, we need to stop thinking that people who are blind or visually impaired can’t do anything. We need to challenge and believe in them. I am happy Alexi finally got what she deserved.”
Alexi shared, “This program made me feel more comfortable and helps me believe that I can be independent. I plan to go to college to study Sociology and live in a dorm with my friends.
I want to thank Oak Hill for teaching me these skills. I hope they can help other blind people to help make their lives easier.”
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