Re: Improving my teaching approach and/or sensitivity

Carolyn Arnold <4carolyna@...>

Oh, I don't think Barbara uses the keyboard exclusively, but she's really at home with it, as far as I could tell.

Bye for now,


-----Original Message-----
From: Brian Vogel []
Sent: Thursday, February 4, 2016 2:41 PM
Subject: Re: Improving my teaching approach and/or sensitivity

My, but this thread is heating up in a way I'd never expected nor had any reason to hope for. I want to make sure that I thank everyone offering their input, as it is probably going to become impossible to keep doing individual responses and thanks. Now I'll do a quick collective response based on backtracking through the thread.

Gudrun: Oh, I don't ever avoid using color terminology, but I do try to determine whether it has any utility as a cueing strategy or a literal "envisioning" strategy. I have noticed a distinct difference, and it's unsurprising, between how my clients who have or had functional vision as far as color detection and differentiation go use this sort of information and relate to it versus those who have not. It's more a function of customizing how I'm approaching things to the client based on my own past experiences with other clients with similar profiles.

Michael: Thanks. I hasten to add that the, "How blind are you?," isn't the first thing out of my mouth when I walk through the door. I do take a bit of time to feel out the person and then determine how to mesh my direct, sometimes smart-ass-y, approach to what I think are their own sensitivities. There are times where it has been omitted, and it's usually prefaced with, "I never seem to get good information regarding visual status prior to seeing someone, so please don't be offended by my asking . . ." I do think, now that I've thought more about it, that I probably do use terminology with a great deal of interchangeability once I know that won't cause confusion.

Robin: Thanks for the kind words. It's also interesting to hear about one person's experience with "going touchscreen." Not a mechanism of input that would likely be the first that springs to mind for someone who's blind, but just based upon what I've already seen with users of smartphones and tablets, it's not the, "How could they/I possibly do that?!!" barrier that many have that initial reaction toward. It's sort of O&M is O&M, but in a different arena.

Angel: I value your input, but you are, in all honesty, expecting too much. I have never expected my instructors in anything to be able to do things in only the way I do them, and that's what you're asking. And I never asked anyone if they're "very blind," that was a response someone else made to my actual question, "How blind are you?" If you believe that it is not imperative for an instructor to have a very good idea of a client's visual status, in as much detail as possible, before trying to tutor them that is your opinion, but it does not match mine. It has nothing to do with the difference between my being sighted and someone being visually impaired, as that fact is established and entirely out of my control. What I can control is my instruction style based on what I actually know about my client. I have clients who have reasonable residual vision, and who might elect to use a mouse with magnification, but who elect to use the keyboard exclusively, and that's their call to make, not mine. Your reading of my language is just that, yours. I thank God that I haven't yet had a client react as negatively in person as you are here.

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