BAM! Blindness Awareness Month is coming to a close, and we have a hot topic to discuss.  

Joy and I used to think we were the only ones who tried to keep our vision loss a secret growing up and even into adulthood.  Then we started this blog, and we heard from so many people with similar stories of trying to hide the fact that they couldn’t see.  And then we read Not Fade Away and Now I See You, and discovered still more stories of cover-ups, secrecy, and shame over vision loss.  

While it was comforting to learn that we were not alone in choosing to hide our vision loss, it also made us wonder…How many people have tried to hide their low vision at some point in their lives? And why?

Just to be clear, we’re not condoning hiding vision loss, nor are we condemning it.  We’re exploring the reasons behind it.   Continue reading

View and share “DoubleVisionBlog Fight Song” Video on Facebook

Hi DoubleVisionBlog friends! I’ve been secretly working on this video for the past month as a surprise for Jenelle. Happy Blindness Awareness Month!

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In honor of Blindness Awareness month this October, Joy shares her journey of shame, vulnerability and courage. With both humor and insight, Joy and her twin sister, Jenelle, share their stories of life with RP at doublevisionblog.com. Continue reading

I just finished reading To Kill A Mockingbird.  Of course this was not my first time reading this modern classic, and it likely won’t be the last time I find myself engrossed in Harper Lee’s masterpiece.  The story has not changed in the 18 years since I last read it.  Yet, it somehow feels new to me.  While Scout, Jim, and Dill feel like long-lost friends, they also seem different from how I remember them.  While I recall feeling infuriated by the prejudice and injustices in the story, my understanding and analysis of these events has more depth than it did as a teenager.  My own life experiences over the last two decades influence how I interpret this powerful novel. (Side note – feeling so damn old as I write this) Continue reading

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Growing up, we were the best of friends.

Joy: Except for that time, in utero, when she sat on my head for nine months, and then made me wait four laborious minutes while she made her grand entrance into the world.

Jenelle: Or that time when we were 18 months old and she sunk her teeth into my arm after I stole her stuffed bunny.

Joy: Or that time when we were eight, and she poured a glass of milk over my head at the dinner table.

Jenelle: Or that time when we were nine, and she signed my dad’s Father’s Day card, “Love, Joy. p.s. not stinky Jenelle.”

Joy: Or all those times as teenagers when she chased me around the house trying to whip me with a wet bath towel, while I ran away, chanting “Violent lady! Violent lady!” Continue reading

Tip #8: Live Your Life and Allow Your Child to do the Same

 With July upon us, I couldn’t resist squeezing this final tip into the series!
All of our tips are meant to be incorporated into your vibrant, rich lives.  They are not meant to be at the forefront of your mind or schedule at all times.  Focus on the approach you’d like to take and the advice that seems to make sense for your child, integrate it into your lives, and then move forward.

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Tip #7: Seek Out Mentors

My very first mentor was an attorney from Utah.  Mormon.  Married, with children and grandchildren.

I was a 24-year-old teacher from the Midwest, entering a Master’s program, newly married and just on the cusp of adult life.

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Tip #5:  Talk About Blindness in Positive Ways in Everyday Conversation

Your child’s blindness doesn’t have to be the elephant in the room, even if your child struggles to talk about it.  I think it’s possible to help normalize a tough topic when you find ways to bring it into casual conversation.  While you don’t want your child’s eyes to be the thing you’re constantly talking about and obsessing over, you also don’t want it to be the thing you never bring up.

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Tip #4:  There’s No Such Thing As Over-Communication With Your Children’s Vision Itinerant

Growing up, my sister and I had a Vision Itinerant who was responsible for meeting with our teachers and parents to go over our IEPs and any necessary modifications. She came to meet with us monthly in elementary school and every so often in middle school and high school.  I always dreaded her visits, Continue reading

 

Tip #3: Provide Opportunities For Your Child To Play Sports

Sports may not be the first word that pops into your head when thinking of extra-curricular activities for a child with vision loss.  While some traditional childhood sports like baseball and soccer may not be options for children with low vision, that does not mean they want to sit on the sidelines. Continue reading

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I hadn’t set foot in my high school since 1997, when I graduated (eeks, I feel ancient typing this!)  That is, until 2 weeks ago when I heard they were putting on the play, “The Miracle Worker”.  My 3rd-grader had read all about Helen Keller last year in 2nd grade, and she was fascinated with the story of Helen and her teacher, Annie, so my mother-in-law and I decided to take her and my niece to see it. I had also heard that there would be a blind actress in the play, making it even more authentic, and piquing my curiosity. Continue reading