1

So I've never been to one of these. I've always gone to public school like everybody else. I've never been seen as any different. I've been bullied, sure, but who doesn't from time to time? Almost everybody I know who goes to a school for the blind is always sheltered in one way or another and never use their cane or read braille. Now somebody better tell me how that is learning independence? Those schools are supposed to teach that, but instead of inforcing safety and reading habites, they let kids do what they want? And don't even get me started on the accessible technology. When you walk in a computer room, you have the option of jaws, window eyes, NVDA or voiceover. In the real world, that's not what happens. You have to voice your needs and fight for your rights, not have everything handed to you at every given moment you need something. I do not think schools for the blind are needed in today's society, but if somebody has a different view, please share it here. I may also be wrong on some things but that's what i've heard about them. Also, when ever I go to events at the school near me, I actually feel blind, or feel disabled, if you know what I mean. Its like all the staff are silently saying "Hey, your different, you belong here." But I also feel like I don't belong there and usually by the end of the week i'm just wanting to get out. God, I could never spend 10 months of my life locked away in a place like that I'd feel imprisoned, I'd go ensane. How were you people when you came out of there after high school? I've always thought somebody who's always gone to a blind school would be screwed once they left, because they actually have to look for what they need rather than have it there always when they need it. Basically what i'm trying to say is I think there's no reason blind people shouldn't live in the real world like everybody else, why should we be sent away somewhere just because our eyes don't work? I don't even think the accademics at those schools are a the same level as regular public schools.

I am the blind jedi, I use the force to see. I am the only blind jedi.

Thumbs up +1

2

I think it really depends on the school and the student. My mother attempted to put me in mainstream school when I was little, and that school didn't know what to do with me. Maybe things are different now. That was in the late 80's, early 90's. I know nothing about any other blind schools other than the one I attended, so my view is a bit biased. My school does attempt to teach students how to be independent, so when you say most students of blind schools don't do anything for themselves, that really isn't always the fault of the school. Sometimes it's the personality of the student or how the student was raised at home.

Are you against deaf schools as well for similar reasons? Should deaf children also be lumped together with everyone else?

Thumbs up

3

I went to a school for the blind in England and I hated it. I was lucky enough to be able to go home every night but I pittied the poor kids that were residential. you could see the effect it had on them. they had no social skills and were used to being wrapped in cotton wool the hole time so had no concept of the real world outside. a lot of them when they left went on to other colledges for the blind where they mostly went off the rails because they didn't have the support a they were used to and nobody telling them what they could and couldn't do, or when to do or not do it.

as the previous poster said though, it depends on the situation. I too was in school during the 80's and early 90's when mainstream schools here just weren't geared up for blind people or people with pretty much any disability and so we didn't have much choice.

the school I went to now only takes extreme cases who also have other special needs. where possible kids are mainstreamed from the get go now and I totally agree with that. I just wish I'd had the same chance.

if duct tape doesn't fix it, you haven't used enough.

Thumbs up

4

Having attended a blind school myself, I am going to address the significant points you've made in your post and offer my opinions about them:

1. Almost everybody I know who goes to a school for the blind is always sheltered in one way or another and never use their cane or read braille.
ON the contrary, (keep in mind that I cannot speak for all schools for the blind across the United States) using canes and reading braille is actually pretty strongly enforced at the two blind schools I've attended. One was expected to use their cane, and if you don't read braille, well there isn't a whole lot of other opportunities for you to complete assignments. Students were often lectured and told off if seen not using their canes. There wasn't much of a choice for a student whether or not they wanted to use it. Textbooks and most other reading materials were provided in braille. (along with other mediums for students with low vision) I would love to hear more about what you mean by not reading braille though. As far as students being sheltered in this kind of environment, I do agree with you. Even though the schools I went to were extremely adamant about teaching students how they would have to ask for their accommodations once leaving, there weren't a lot of opportunities for students to experience this first hand. I actually understood this concept though having attended public schools for quite a while in my younger years before losing my vision. I know quite a number of students from the schools that I've attended who probably wouldn't know what to do if materials were provided to them in an inaccessible format. I wouldn't say that this is a fault of theirs but more a fault of the school that didn't teach them how to advocate for themselves.

2. Don't even get me started on the accessible technology. When you walk in a computer room, you have the option of jaws, window eyes, NVDA or voiceover. In the real world, that's not what happens.
I understand the point you're making here, but to play devil's advocate, if someone were to stumble across a Mac that they needed to use in the "real world", they would be able to use Voiceover. smile When it comes to other assistive technology though, I think you have a strong point. The two blind schools I attended offered many different assistive technology devices to students to use while enrolled there. These included anything from portable magnifiers, to book readers, to braille displays, and many different others. I do think that students should have exposure to these devices and become somewhat familiar with what they have to offer, but students quickly and easily became reliant upon the technology. Unfortunately, once graduating from the school, students no longer have access to these devices unless they have the financial ability to obtain them. (that gets very interesting though once you start looking at devices that are thousands of dollars) I think the point here is that it would be better if students had the opportunity to work with the technology, but not to become reliant upon it.

3. I do not think schools for the blind are needed in today's society.
Why not? Have you ever had the experience of attending a blind school for any time? Someone who spent all of their years of education in a blind school could say that a public school experience would have been completely useless to them. It's easy to dismiss something you haven't experienced without looking at it from a different perspective. I'm really not trying to defend the blind school experience too much because I do have my issues, but I'm just saying that there's a lot of bias here.

4. Also, whenever I go to events at the school near me, I actually feel blind, or feel disabled, if you know what I mean. It’s like all the staff are silently saying "Hey, your different, you belong here."
Once again, students who have only been exposed to a blind school environment could say the exact same thing about the public school experience.

5. I could never spend 10 months of my life locked away in a place like that.
Define "locked away"

6. How were you people when you came out of there after high school?
In what sense? Mentally? I would say I'm doing pretty well. Emotionally? Not too many problems there that can't be solved. Normal? Point me to one person who is... (blind or not)

7. I've always thought somebody who's always gone to a blind school would be screwed once they left, because they actually have to look for what they need rather than have it there always when they need it.
That is the case. A lot actually. Like I explained earlier, I've always understood the concept of having to self-advocate having had the opportunity to attend a couple different school environments, so I've never had a problem like that. Don't misinterpret that and think that I am putting myself above other blind individuals who do struggle with this. I'm not doing that at all. I'm just explaining that my time in education has been very unique, so I’m just a little different.

8. I don't even think the academics at those schools are at the same level as regular public schools.
I think that this might be the most incorrect statement you've made. smile Of all of the blind schools I've interacted with, there is nothing different about the level of academics involved. Trust me, I've had many different conversations with different teachers/administrators about this. Many do believe that the curriculum is different for blind schools and in my experience, that definitely hasn't been the case. The pace at which classes move through different material is what gives people this impression. One of my biggest problems with the schools I have attended was how slow they moved through materials. I understand why this is done, but when teachers have to slow down to ensure that every student on every level in the class understands the materials, students who grasp the material much more quickly are often at a disadvantage. That aside though, some blind schools do have additional aspects to the curriculum including classes teaching orientation and mobility skills along with other blind specific courses.

Alright I think I'm done. I really didn't mean to write as much as I did, but you might as well finish what you start. smile Hopefully I helped to shed some insight into the blind school experience. (at least from my perspective) I wouldn't say at all that I am 100% against blind schools, but I definitely do think that some changes can be made to make the experience more beneficial for visually impaired students. I've thought a lot about pursuing this, but my motivation was crushed when my thoughts and opinions fell upon deaf ears. It's not easy getting people to listen to what you have to say as a student.

Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company. - Mark Twain

Thumbs up

5

@2
I had a similar experience that forced me to attend my first blind school. I grew up in a pretty bad area with an even worse education system. Once I lost my vision at a young age, my parents (unknown to me at the time) had many different meetings where they fought back and forth with the school's administration to attempt to get them to provide me with any kind of accommodations. While this battle progressed, I met with my teacher twice a week (for half of a school year) I believe who attempted to sum up the entire day's lessons in one hour. To put it nicely, they let us know that they most certainly were not willing to accommodate me and that if we had a problem then we could go elsewhere. The story gets more interesting from there, but to make things short, that was what eventually led to my blind school experience.

Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company. - Mark Twain

Thumbs up

6

@Gamedude, what I mean about not being forced to read braille is a lot of the kids I know use mainly screen readers and only know the basics of braille. At a sports camp a kid asked me to read the room number sign because he couldn't even read contractions at grade 2 level. That is not something I find acceptable, and I think the school should try and make sure kids know it and use it as its reading.

I am the blind jedi, I use the force to see. I am the only blind jedi.

Thumbs up

7

@7
Well I think that this also depends on a few factors like how old the person was, how long they'd been visually impaired, how long they'd attended the blind school, and who knows what else. I'm just suggesting that the school might not be entirely to blame. There also has to be effort put in from the student's end as well. Without that, nothing the school does can make any kind of difference. I'm not saying that the school has no fault.

Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company. - Mark Twain

Thumbs up

8

never been in a blind school myself, but from what I heard, I'm glad. sharing rooms and shit with strangers is 1 thing, but having the blind school teaching you  how to do one thing, their way, stops you from a hell load of adventures, and possibilities, and methods, that you would otherwise miss out on. if I was in a blind school, probably my mobility skills would be better, possibly, my braille skills would be better. but I could list a whole load of things, that would be much worse than what they are now. I suppose what works for most, but I mostly agree with post 1.

some things can never be forgotten, some things can never be forgiven, some damage can never be undone.

Thumbs up

9 (edited by afrim 2017-11-06 00:46:34)

Hi,
I think at some point this is a rushed post.
I attended a special school for the blind and I’d say it was really not the best experience I’ve had throughout these fifteen years in education. The specialisation or the experience you would get there was completely primitive with many things lacking; particularly the attitude they had toward the institution they worked at. They had so deeply made up their minds that no public school in the world can treat you as well as we do, and nobody can teach you to the extent we do in this school. On the contrary though, most of the knowledge I gained throughout my education, I gained it at high school and now on to the university. The biggest problem with the attitude I wrote about some lines above is that once you foster that idea to the blind students, they will fall into a terrifying hopelessness thinking that once we leave this school, we will say good bye to education since no one will support us. Nobody will lend us a hand when we’re in need and so we will fail quickly if we go to a public school. In fact, it is completely the opposite. If you are really a good person, you will find many people that support you; that enjoy staying with you. You just need to be a good chap! And when I say a good chap, I don’t mean being rebellious, being conceited, being the bad guy that causes trouble and loves quarreling. By a good chap, I simply mean being what you naturally feel being, and not what the trends want you to be. In short, you ought to be someone who is able to give contribution of any form to your community. That when you listen to a discussion, you have the capacity to contribute to it, that when one really needs your help, you feel obliged to help, although you may not be able. I went to a public high school, with no past experience in working with blind people, and I can say those three years there will remain the best years of school in my entire process of education. I studied a lot, I hanged out with classmates a lot, and I laughed a lot as well. This was because I adopted to the way the other students lived, although with some differences as I understood that the role of education in my life was crucial and if I didn’t pay attention to it, I know I would end up at home, completely worthless to my friends and my community. But, after five years in public institutions of education, I feel I am someone wanted in society. I have friends whom I really like for what they are and how they see me in front of them. I didn’t write all this to tell that I’ve achieve something in life, but to say that the effects of special schools for the blind last on those who choose to study there. There is a problem, however, how ready are public schools to accept blind students? Do they provide them with the relevant equipment they need to study? Can the schools have the appropriate staff to work with blind students, like knowing Braille, or simply having the capacity to explain things in the way that the student is able to understand? These questions so far have not been answered with total relevance by any primary or high school. For this reason, I am a little bit hesitant when it comes to deciding whether we really need special schools or not.

Thumbs up +1

10

Well I did both, I was at the end of the era, and now days the blind school is like a resource centre.
You get taught the basics, then you go mainstream and tap into resources if and when you need them.
For me it was in transition so often both sides got it wrong but I don't blame either side I was not outgoing as others but still.
I didn't stay full time at a blind school but did courses there as part of my education.
As I understand it now, you do both, mainstream classes and training for other skills and the like.
About the technology thing, its just the nature of the beast.
You should be offered all and then decide what you get.
I do think though unless its changed, that you should try to go with the stuff you can afford, you may or may not depending on funding be able to keep your favorite tech and keep that running for you but still.
University for me was a much better system.
You were monitered to the extent that if you were in trouble you could ask for service, you had meetings every few monthhs, if the teachers had issues they could just call a number.
If I had issues with my notes and texts and other things I or the teachers could get service.
If there was a problem that would effect me such as changes to my rout as I traveled around places I was notified.
I havn't had a bad system as such in uni school mainstream school was worse than the blind school mainly because the schools could take funds and resources reserved for me and use them.
In the new model that exists as I understand it now, they can't there is a large education network of schools and resource centers now in new zealand and a sort of blind student union and they control everything so the mainstream schools can't touch it.
I should imagine that if anyone tried anything they'd get it in the balls quite hard.
Before though in the mainstream world we didn't have a voice as such and now we do.
Ofcause it all depends they like to mix the mainstream and blindness educations now its not like it used to be in the 60sto 80s where it was one big blindy institution.

Thumbs up

11

In the schools I've been to, meterial was always provided in accessible formats, teachers were always understanding and helpful, etc, etc, etc. I'm so glad I didn't end up going to the blind school in my area, as I understand that it is academically slower than what I'm used to in mainstream school. I think it depends on the area you're in.

Sincerely,
Lucas.
Visit my website at: http://lucasspace.x10.mx

Thumbs up

12

In truth, the quality of specialized vs mainstream education has varied with time and location. In the US, laws changed at some point in the 1970s-80s, which made it more possible for blind students to attend public schools, but in practice, this was often folded into special education in general, and a lot of specialist schools declined due to loss of resources. I get the impression that this, more than the technical problems, has a lot to do with the decline in braille literacy: public schools needed either a specialist, or a special ed teacher who happened to know how to teach braille, so it turned into an only-if-absolutely-necessary thing. I've heard from older people who attended specialist schools before the transition, and what I've heard is that they were better back then, also. The biggest complaint I heard was that the particular school they were talking about didn't enforce braille use enough on partially-sighted students, many of whom have progressive eye conditions, so by the time they really need it, they're on their own.
And we have a form of selection bias, in that people who discuss this sort of thing are going to have both reason and means to do so. For example, if all of your information comes from people talking about their experiences online, you're already filtering for people who talk about education online, which excludes the technically illiterate, people who just don't care for online interaction, and people who don't care strongly enough to mention it. I mean, it seems like most people who participate in these discussions around here know braille pretty well, even when the discussion inevitably brings up the awful state of braille education. You have to be sufficiently literate to write articles about illiteracy.
FWIW, I went to public school, and they were unusually accomodating, to the point that my final lesson on braille in the fifth grade was a couple years after I'd already picked up that bit during the course of reading textbooks and such. I got sent to the school for the blind one summer for acting insufficiently teenaged (I regret nothing), and was not impressed. I was one of three students in our age group who was pulled out of the normal schedule maybe 3 times for braille, which was held in a cluttered storage-closet in the basement. Maybe it was because this was the summer program, but not only was the class itself half dungeon-crawl, but finding books involved taking a lantern into a cluttered, not-especially-well-organized library, from which we wound up ultimately grabbing something random just to be done with the place. You could tell the students who attended the school during the academic year from those who didn't, based on factors I'm having a hard time explaining since everyone still had different personalities... And when I got to college, 3 blind students enrolled at the same time: me, one student who went to the school for the blind and hated it, and one who attended mainstream school but who I also met at the summer thing. This went more or less how you'd expect: the one from specialist school was bitter and wound up... I think I heard somethar about a crackhouse? The one from a mainstream background went into law and last I heard was having meetings with the state legislature, and I continued to be that weirdo who never finishes anything. There was a blind student from Italy for a semester or two, and it sounded like the system there was so accomodating that they had no idea what to do outside of it. But I don't know anything else about their background.
Meanwhile, I hear a lot of stories like Gamedude's when it comes to public education, but also a lot like what Rory describes in regards to specialist schools. I get the impression that selection/availibility bias explains most of this, so I have no idea what to think.
If I had to do it over, or advise someone else with suspiciously similar options to mine? I'd look for decent homeschooling options, then go with public school when those turned out to be unavailible. The main thing I took away from the school for the blind was that blind people are not that special. It's hard to explain what that means; it's not like I thought otherwise before, so much as I didn't think about it at all.
TLDR: it's complicated and comes down to a roll of the dice.

Some of my games
Keep up to date by following @Jeqofire on twitter!
Ear Ninja?

Thumbs up

13

I myself had an entirely different experience. When I went to the Governor Morhead school for the blind back in 2010, things seemed OK but needless to say it got ruff while I was there. It wasn't just 1 thing, but it was a series of things. I'll probably right an article up on my website about it, because it's way to long to go into detail on in this post.

You can follow me on twitter @brogar2000, and my Skype is garrett.brown2014. If you want to follow me on any of these things, please tell me you're from the forum, or else I won't follow you back. Also, it depends on who you are.

Thumbs up

14

@1:
Here's my opinion on the matter. I would not go so far as to disagree with the idea of Blind Schools 100%, because I feel they have their uses. For example: a student who just recently lost the vision they were used to utilizing all their life thus far could definitely benefit from a blind school, as the ready made accessible environment would be more conducive for learning and less stressful on them. On the other hand, I completely disagree with parents sending their children to blind schools year round for more than, say, two years. I see it as institutionalization, nothing more. While being in a blind school can help, if you're in one for too long you begin to expect the braille on all the doors, your accessible technology, the tactile queues for navigation everywhere you go, etc. Not to mention that blind people... tend to perform social actions that are considered peculiar to the sighted such as rocking back and forth. My family jokingly calls these blindisms. Anyway, no one ever teaches you that these blindisms are not really socially acceptable, if anything you end up fitting in with people there if you do them.
Bottom line, I think blind schools are good for those who absolutely need them, but not as a long term solution for one's school career. They are just an institution, a shelter for the real world, and, if I'm being frank, sometimes I think a way for parents to not have to take care of their blind child.

Follow me on twitter: @savage_genius16

Thumbs up

15

Well I would have to disagree with you on the freedom part. I my self went to a blind school, wile I hated it with a passion I finely got out of there and did better in public school. We didn't really have freedom. We weren't free to go ware we wanted and we had are entire day structured and planned out for us. I think the school didn't properly prepare the students for the real world. Oh and other blind people can tell if you were in a blind school your entire life. I didn't start going to that school until 2005 and I left in 2012. I feel that the blind school didn't have as much to do after school as public schools did. Oh and also this school was in Indianapolis if that gives anyone a hint. Wile I did have my share of girlfriends at the school it was generally split among the students. Those who were high functioning prefer to hang with those like them, wile the special education kids stuck to them selves. Oh and if you weren't in the popular group then you were lumped in with the special education students by the rest of the student body.

Bitcoin Address:
1MeNca7h6m8du4TV3psN4m4X666p6Y36u5m

Thumbs up

16

good point there in reply 15. most of the kids I was at school with rocked, poked, or sometimes did both at the same time. we were actually told off by members of staff for telling them that they shouldn't do that because that's just not what people do. they didn't teach about social interaction either.
I used to get frustrated when I was talking to a group of people because I'd get ignored all the time. I often put it down to them being nasty. turned out it was because I was never taught to look in their direction when I was talking and so they just figured I wasn't talking or was talking to the table or something. who knows. but sighted people expect you to look at them even if you can't see them or what you say just gets ignored.
another thing that comes with those schools is lack of friends. sure, you'll probably have lots of them at your school, but at home, you won't because none of the other kids know you. you don't go to school with them. why should they play with you etc. and that carries on after you leeve. by the time people leeve school they have usually made a circle of friends who will come and go and change as the years go on. but when you leeve a blind school, you have pretty much nobody and it takes a lot of confidence to get out there and find people who you can get on with.

if duct tape doesn't fix it, you haven't used enough.

Thumbs up

17

There's this "Don't criticize anything a disabled person does unless it's just that disruptive" attitude among certain segments of the population, in these parts at least. That's not how people learn socialization. If you think it through, the implications are pretty nasty, but somehow I doubt these people think it through.

Some of my games
Keep up to date by following @Jeqofire on twitter!
Ear Ninja?

Thumbs up

18

I myself have pretty much tried everything, I started off in a primary school as the only blind student, then went to a residential special school for a couple of years, then a secondary school with a Vi unit, and finally finished  my a levels in another school where I was the only blind student again.

I can say the specialist school experiences I had were pretty dreadful, and I am fairly sure from talking to people I had some of those experiences were universal.
Not so much about the teaching or technology, but about the attitude and the way the hole school was run.
Everything ran to a strict, almost Victorian time table with things like bells for brushing your teeth, you weren't even aloud your own shampoo  in the shower but had to get out and have one of the staff squirt it onto your head. If you disobeyed the rules, or  did something in a  the system didn't allow for you tended to get some pretty extreme reactions, eg, I once got a severe yelling at for the "crime" ofopening a can of pop myself and drinking out of it, or failing to eat any part of the school meal (really this was a major deal).

Contrary to what others have said, I actually felt more an outsider at  special school since I'd not been in the system from the age of five and therefore others saw me as the outsider.

the laugh of course, is that the people I knew at specialist school have grown up as Sir Badger said a large percentage only able to interact with people they were at school with.
A more serious problem is general lack of motivation, since when you've been in an environment where everything is completely controlled by others, you don't get any experience of thinking for yourself.

To take one example, I know someone who happens to enjoy driving  had played Top speed when he'd seen it at some  of blind get together.
I asked if he'd downloaded any extra tracks and cars or checked out other racing games, or indeed other audiogames at all.

he replied no in a rather dispirited manner. This wasn't because he wouldn't enjoy them, but simply because it didn't occur to him to explore anything outside the confines of what he'd been shown to be available. Likewise, he'd done computer science at university (because that's what blind people usually do), but had absolutely no interest in the subject and didn't even know what a programming language was.

This is to me the main issue of special school, the environment is so profoundly artificial, that it encourages far too much reliance upon that environment and discourages a person to think for themselves or act outside familiar box.

Now of course this isn't to say universally sticking people in any old mainstream school will work either, since that depends heavily on the school, the support and technology available etc etc which can vary hugely, but simply on the basis of an artificially created environment vs tteaching someone to function in an environment along side sighted people I'd always advise the latter, plus of course, how the hell are sighted kids going to actually grow up to see blind people as actually the same if they never meet any vi kids?

Btw, in ~Britain these days Special schools are being phased out pretty much, mostly because they're expensive to run and send kids to. The school where I went is now closed.
This is certainly good in the case of visually impared kids, though with other disabilities the question might be a different one.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

Thumbs up +1

19

@17 Agreed, and this is why I'm fully against blind schools in the long term. Lumping people together who all are blind or whatever, eliminates the social diversity that people, not just those who are blind, need to properly learn how to function in society. Also, being told you're doing something abnormal should not be discouraged, as blind people especially in my opinion need those verbal queues at the start because they cannot see what their sited peers are doing.

Follow me on twitter: @savage_genius16

Thumbs up

20

fully agree with this. I have been in so called school for the blind though I would call it the place where you learn to be a good guy and where you get everything when ever you wanted it. That's most likely why I more like being in a mainstream school. Yes, not menny of them know how to exactly to diel with blind people in the terms of speeking. For example, when the teacher asks a question, he doesn't say My name, and even if he does, there are more then one students with the same name. That's why there are some persons called assistance. they help the blind persons do there job while still not making it better for them. For example, he helps me go froo the school because menny kids run froo the coridors, etc. But, for example everyone that were in that old blind school that I was talking about earlier, they always you are all on your own and what ever, While they always say turn there and there, there is something in front of you, Well, That shurely doesn't meen that we are on our own. Although I have less in the mainstream community, that's maybe the main reason Why I stick to the net and stuf, because I don't have any real friends that are not only contact way is team talk or skype or such. Again, I fully agree with this artikle.

Aleksandar
My search criteria on audiogames will never be the age of the developer, what ever someone else may say.
If you wish to contact me, please do it by email or any other way in my profile.
And, give me a thumbs up, that keep me motivated to do stuf, even if I cant do any stuf.

Thumbs up

21

@15
I agree with you here. This is also a problem. From my experience, staff put forth no effort to try to teach students that they shouldn't do things like rocking. They often miss the opportunity very early on and so the student ends up developing an almost unbreakable habit. I also know several very young students from one school I attended whose parents were very transparent about the fact that they were just sending their child to the school to get rid of them. Some parents didn't know what to do with their child, so they just dropped them off at the school. Those are pretty sad situations.

Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company. - Mark Twain

Thumbs up

22

That is an interesting topic. I never thought, that other schools for the blind were run in such strict ways. I guess, I can count myself lucky, that I was visiting a school for the blind, that was pretty progressive in it's ways.
And I must admit, that I am glad, that I was at one of those schools. Today, things would be probably different. But in the early 90s, the technology just wasn't that well developed. Not everyone had their own Braille display. And imagine, you are sitting in a classroom with sighted people, and you have to take notes on your bulky, and very loud Braille typewriter...
I think, it is ok, to be in one of those schools, at least for the first few years. Long enough for you, to learn propper reading, and how to get around with your cain propperly.
Especially Darks post was, well, sort of disturbing. That really sounded more like a prison to me. In my school, they taught us to be independent. Of course there were rules. And there was enough stuff, that the staff was doing for us, simply for timely reasons. But through the years, we were taught, to do more and more stuff on our own.
I guess, in the end, it all comes down to how good a school for the blind really is. You could be lucky, and get to one, were you really get prepared for your life, or you end up in one, where you lose all your independency.

Thumbs up

23

Sadly player the majority of Schools for the blind I've heard of in Britain, and at least a few of those in the states were pretty authoritarian and did cause the sort of reliance on the environment I mention, this might be different elsewhere, but I've seen too many examples  of people who've come out of that system and end up damaged by it, heck, my mum still has lasting issues from  time at specialist school 50 years ago.

The independence teaching was also less than stellar because the specialist school was so bent on doing things one, and only one way, they even had specially constructed liquid level indicators with one bleep for the amount of milk in the cup, and another for the amount of hot water and tea, and no you didn't get a choice on how you took your tea or whether you would rather have coffee. This translated then a few years ago when I ran into someone I went to school with who was horrified at the idea of not! using a liquid level indicator.

If I could also make one miner correction, actually mainstream school and taking notes on  a perkins brailler is quite possible, I did it myself quite a bit, albeit the work then had to be transcribed, my mum still! prefers fast note taking in braille. All you need to do is make sure there is a thick mat or something under the brailler to stop it being too noisy.

Actually, the special school I mentioned had such a rigorous way of teaching typing, I had typing lessons for two years and was literally taught two letters on the keyboard a week, had their teaching been better I could've moved to a laptop a couple of years earlier than I did which would've made a major difference in which secondary school I went to.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

Thumbs up

24

@post24 With all the bullshit you had to go through, I'm surprised you didn't fight back, and for that matter, nobody else seemed to have done so either. I would not have put up with that what so ever, they would have ended their little strict rules game pretty quick if I were there. Sounds like someone ought to clean up their act for them, same goes for the school I was at 7 years ago.

You can follow me on twitter @brogar2000, and my Skype is garrett.brown2014. If you want to follow me on any of these things, please tell me you're from the forum, or else I won't follow you back. Also, it depends on who you are.

Thumbs up

25

dark, some of the things you mentioned don't even seem legal. Sounds to me like this school should be investigated. What were punishments like if you disobeyed rules?

I am the blind jedi, I use the force to see. I am the only blind jedi.

Thumbs up