2021-02-22 17:08:14

Hi guys.
So, I am wondering about schools for the blind in the US.
I'm wondering if a school exists where the staff are supportive, where the facilities are excelent and where independence skills are tought.
Thanks guys, any answers would be appreciated.

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2021-02-22 17:50:30

I've heard good things about Blind.inc and NFB Colorado Center, but those aren't exactly blind schools, and the waiting list for exchange students are years long.

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2021-02-22 17:54:21

I've heard good things about Texas School for the Blind. But don't do this for independent living skills.  Independent living skills are 2 really intense months of your life at some point, not multiple years.  Only do it if you're in a position where giving up half or more of what you'd get from a mainstream education is worth it for some reason, and if you're willing to spend however long surrounded by social misfits.  U.S. schools for the blind are more like daycare for older kids--they're where your parents send you when they weren't prepared for a blind child and don't know what to do with you so let's offload the parenting, not somewhere where you're going to get an amazing education and a bunch of useful skills.

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2021-02-22 18:04:21

Those are some good points. What would you guys recommend I do? I need to learn these skills and I'd like to be trained by a certified instructor who actually knows what they're doing.
Are there any good places like that?

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2021-02-22 18:13:09

Yes, there are, but I wouldn't count on being able to go to another country for it.  You'll want to find something local if at all possible.

Also, certified instructors are overrated save for perhaps cane skills and really basic stuff.  There's a big difference between certified and good.  Finding someone good is much harder.  The blunt truth of the matter is that you're going to get the absolute bare minimum from training and will need to be prepared to go it alone almost from day one.  Sometimes you can get a safe environment via parents or something, and it doesn't have to be scary even if you don't have that.  But it is what's going to happen.

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2021-02-22 19:25:13

I am going to be going for the training center for the blind in Lincon Nebraska in a month or two. from what I am hearing they are good.

2021-02-22 19:51:12

@5, learning at home is qquite difficult as I'm not in a very positive environment as far as family is concerned, so that's why I want to find someone else to try train me.

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2021-02-22 20:10:06

How do you plan to get to the US lol.

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2021-02-22 21:15:08

What camlorn said in post 3.  I stepped in one for a summer session and never went back.  TSBVI may arguably be the best of the lot... I don't know, and I don't care.  It's not for anyone who really wants to become self-sufficient and integrate into mainstream society.

When life gives you oranges, demand lemons since everyone else is obviously getting them.

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2021-02-22 21:46:49

@7
If you don't have a supportive home environment, how in the world do you think you're going to be able to immigrate to the U.S.?  I'm not even sure the schools for the blind take foreign students and all the training centers have waiting lists.  But even if we say all of that is fine it's not like you can just waltz in without doing a bunch of paperwork and in many cases having to visit a U.S. embassy and etc.  Especially for longer term stays that don't count as vacation.  There are tons and tons of rules.  Even if you're something like a programmer with an employer who actively wants to bring you into the country, there's still a huge headache to make it happen--and I'm sure it's much worse for unaccompanied minors.

I will tell you what I've told many others.  If the home environment isn't supportive, either force the issue or wait to be 18 and deal with it then when people can't tell you no.  I really doubt that immigrate to a different country to go to a school for the blind is more on the table than "parents are now supportive of my independence".

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2021-02-22 22:04:17

Okay, let me rephrase. When I say they aren't very supportive, I'm talking more about the fact that they're hard to live with. They just don't understand anything. I don't know how to put it into words, but living with them is near impossible. I wish I had the words to explain why.

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2021-02-22 22:15:33

@OP, again, Camlorn's point isn't any less valid. How do you think your going to immigrate to the U.S.? Immigration is an absolute bitch. I wish it were easier, especially for people who (genuinely) want to move to the U.S. on a permanent basis, but it won't be for some time, if ever.

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2021-02-22 22:17:41

I’m surprised that no one has mentioned “Hadley school for the blind” Hadley.edu
They have remote learning, discussion groups and workshops for free you can get. The staff is very friendly, supportive and helpful with many topics. Good luck

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2021-02-22 22:18:44

Everyone I know minus one person who has come out of TSB has been fucked up royally in the head by it. I mean, these are the lowest out of the low of blind people. Maybe they're functional, but they have the social skills of a 2 year old.

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2021-02-22 22:45:01

@11
I dunno what to say really.  Are they abusive?  If they're not abusive then "I will immigrate to get away" is an extreme response.  It's not going to work anyway, but it's very extreme.  Easier to work on your issues with them, or to learn how to come to terms with dealing with what I'm going to assume is a generation gap (seriously: be over about 40 and you might use the internet, but man is your worldview different...).

You may eventually not live with your parents, but being able to get along with people you dislike and/or even hate is a valuable life skill which is necessary for lots of things.

@13
this is actually "I want to get away from my family" more than "I want some skills" which means remote stuff probably won't help.

That said I do know people who learned to transcribe braille through them and they're not a bad option because they can supplement whatever else rather than replacing your entire life, social structure, etc etc etc.

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2021-02-22 23:24:50 (edited by afrim 2021-02-22 23:27:09)

The best school for the blind in the US is that public school (inclusive) which has good support for the blind. Otherwise, it's not worth it going anywhere where it's written special school for the blind.
I went through this road mate, and can tell you with unbowed confidence that any inclusive public school will give you more than the best special institution for the blind in the world. Having gone to a special school myself, and counting now the ninth year since I left that place, which is equal to the number of years I spent at that school, I feel the marks it has left in my personality are still not fully undone. In any form and circumstance I fail, I attribute it only to that bloody school which should be pulled down for the sake of the new generation.
Make a favour to your community and to the society around you, go to a public school. Not only will you raise the awareness of your classmates about blindness and blind people, but you will also open yourself doors that you thought were impossible. In the end your social skills will be almost identical to those of your classmates.
Down with Blind schools!

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2021-02-23 01:44:32 (edited by Ghost 2021-02-23 01:52:54)

Ok, so the whole scary thing about independant living skills is really overrated.As long as you have money, assist with your household's chores before you move out, and do all of the chores, you have a good understanding of how to  manage a home, and will be ok for the most part. I would highly advise against blindness schools though, very little is actually taught there, and what you gain isn't really worth what you lose. I mean seriously.The school I attended, they'd collect  your cell phones, so you are without a private and direct contact to your family except weekends, not allow you to keep and take your own medications, not allow you to leave school grounds at any time unaccompanied. I actually heard  the principal wanted some students to stay in boarding school, and wouldn't let some blind kids leave with their families for the holidays. How  fucked up is that? And the school I attended actually was a good blind school. compared to others, so I can't imagine what a bad one is like. Even allowing students as young as 5/6 be a boarding school is a majorly fucked up thing. That kid basicly is raised as an orphin, and that probably would be an extremely traumatic experience. Most sighted children live with their families until college.
As for imigration, forget it. Immigrants in the States are always used as a scapegoat by republicans when there are any sort of issues in the country, and a significant number of people buy it.

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2021-02-23 02:21:07

I'm just going to go out on a limb and say none of them. That doesn't mean they're all bad but I don't think schools are all that supportive blind or not. That's just my experience.

Kingdom of Loathing name JB77

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2021-02-23 05:47:20 (edited by defender 2021-02-23 05:48:13)

Some of you guys really need to start paying attention to the difference between a classic blind school and a training center which uses the structured discovery method and has blind teachers.
The former is common, mostly long term, and usually damaging if not paired with mainstreaming.  The latter is something you do as a teen or adult for around 9 months to a year typically and can be very useful, though of course it isn't going to be perfect either and the intensity isn't for everyone.
These skills can be gained on your own but it can take years for most people, so having a head start is really helpful.  And the intensive nature of programs like this (while stressful) is better than getting bits of training at various levels of quality here and there when going to a public school.
Sadly though, programs like this are very rare, and most of the world doesn't even know what structured discovery is.  I only know of 5 in the states, and one in Canada which isn't quite as good.  There could be more, but it's extremely hard to find them.
This doesn't mean that if a program doesn't use structured discovery or blind teachers it's pointless (there are definitely some high quality traditional classes) but it's really hard to sort the wheat from the chaff if you haven't experienced multiple different types of training before and know what to look for.

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2021-02-23 06:00:19

The only thing I know about it is that it comes from NFB which automatically turns me against it.

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2021-02-23 06:15:16

@GrannyCheeseWheel
And that's your loss.
I don't love the NFB either, but the upsides far outweigh my misgivings.
Also, they aren't the only ones who run centers like that...

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2021-02-23 16:57:03

yeah, but as I've said before: I hate the NFB for lots and lots of reasons, but O&M is the one thing they do better than anyone.  You'll have to swallow their philosophy while you're there, yeah.  But unless something seriously changed they're still the leaders in that area.

It's just a real shame that they're not the leaders in anything else given that they have effectively infinite money.

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2021-02-24 00:53:34

Well look at it this way. Structured discovery is a US exclusive thing, and mostly an NFB exclusive one. You don't need a training center to gain life skills probably,  and most of the world teaches you O&M in your environment, and without trying to indoctrinate you, and  as far as I can tell, it doesn't appear to hold people back for the most part.

A learning experience is one of those things that say, "You know that thing you just did? Don't do that."

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2021-02-24 01:01:45

I went to the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind, and it wasn't bad. It wasn't the best, but it wasn't the worst either. Definitely better than public school. Public school is probably the worst thing that could happen to someone who is visually impaired. It is very hard to get the things you need, and the one year they didn't even have my braille books until the year was almost over

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2021-02-24 01:12:25

Forgetting about schools for a moment, there are many reasons why I'd want to leave South Africa.
I know this is said about many countries, including the U.S, but South Africa is going down the tubes really, really fast.
I'd like to discuss why, but I don't know if that would get me into trouble from the mods or not.

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