Browse By Topic: Blind Parenting

This series will provide first-hand accounts of how other parents who are blind or visually impaired have used organizational strategies with adaptive techniques to parent safely and independently. The series will explore everything related to raising a child.

Grandma’s Glory: Tips for a Successful Visit from Your Grandchildren

Editor's Note: In honor of Grandparent's Day (Sunday, September 10th), Mary Hiland, a VisionAware peer advisor with retinitis pigmentosa, has written a delightful post about a recent visit from her grandchildren. Read and enjoy! Grandma's Glory By Mary Hiland My daughter Kara and her family, husband and three children, were just here for a few days, and we had a wonderful time together. When they arrived, they had been in the car for many hours, so I was expecting


ADA for All, Including Disabled Parents of Non-Disabled Children

Unless one studies and interprets the legalese of our laws, it can be quite overwhelming when trying to understand our rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act as individuals with disabilities. While I had been capitalizing on services for students with disabilities during my college years, I recently came across a confusing scenario that snowballed into several departments, agencies, and advocacy groups coming together to ensure my rights be respected and, most importantly, enforced. <img src="http://www.afb.org/image.ashx?ImageID=7701" width="250px" alt="Steven sitting at a desk with a


Breaking Down Barriers for Blind Parents-To-Be, Part 2

Editor's note: VisionAware's Francesca Crozier-Fitzgerald dives into the world of 3D ultrasounds for expecting parents who are blind or visually impaired in this two-part blog post. In today's post, Francesca interviews In Utero 3D founder, Aleksandra Witkowska-Masojc, about the process of creating a bas-relief model of your child. Read "Breaking Down Barriers for Blind Parents, Part 1" for more information on this new company and the inspiration behind this new initiative for blind or visually impaired parents-to-be. Breaking Down Barriers for Blind Parents-To-Be A family-run company in Poland has created a new project giving blind


Breaking Down Barriers for Blind Parents-To-Be, Part 1

Editor's note: VisionAware's Francesca Crozier-Fitzgerald dives into the world of 3D ultrasounds for expecting parents who are blind or visually impaired in this two-part blog post. In today's post, Francesca introduces us to a new company that works to remove barriers for blind mothers- and father-to-be. Breaking Down Barriers for Blind Parents-To-Be We have made unprecedented strides in technology, improving our experience and interaction with the world around us. For individuals who are blind or visually impaired, we are finding ways to adapt iPads, improve refreshable braille mechanics, and broaden the option of VoiceOver technology, so we can all experience the visual world as accurately and interactively as possible. And yet, we have not yet discovered a


Driving on the Horizon: One Story of Parenting a Teen As a Visually Impaired Mother

The reality any parent will tell you is this: as children become teens, their abilities grow along with their independence. We must be there to guide but also to accept and take pride in their accomplishments. I did not expect the bittersweet reality of my daughter’s driving to overwhelm me as it did, but perhaps this story will reassure others that what you are feeling is normal. Driving on the Horizon: One Story of Parenting a Teen “You can come with us, Mom, but don’t freak out, because if you do, so will I.” These grudging words pave our way to my daughter Sophia’s third driving experience. The sapphire dusk is


Chaperoning a Field Trip with My Sighted Child

Editor's Note: This post is part of the Blind Parenting series created to provide visually impaired parents with first-hand accounts of how you can raise a child safely and independently. Today's post from Beckie Horter relates her experiences in taking her child on a field trip. Being a Normal Mom I wanted to be a normal mom, and of course, that proved to be a problem. If, by "normal," I thought seeing 20/20 was the measure. Because I didn't see 20/20, that is. I was


A Time of Joy and a Time of Sorrow: Grandmothering Without Sight

Editor's note: This post is part of the Blind Parenting series created to provide visually impaired parents and grandparents with first-hand accounts of how you can raise a child safely and independently. In today's post, Sheila Rousey shares her experience of becoming a grandmother with vision loss. A Time of Joy and a Time of Sorrow: Grandmothering Without Sight by Sheila Rousey


A Grandma's Thoughts

Editor's note: This post is part of the Blind Parenting series created to provide visually impaired parents and grandparents with first-hand accounts of how you can raise a child safely and independently. In today's post, Mary Hiland shares the importance of teaching children how to interact with individuals who have low vision and how to build positive relationships. A Grandma's Thoughts By Mary Hiland, grandmother


Accepting Life As It Comes

Editor's note: We just celebrated the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. In honor of the significance of this day, VisionAware's International Correspondent, Maribel Steel, from Australia, shares her personal reflections on accepting life with a visual disability (she has retinitis pigmentosa) by observing her granddaughter’s young wisdom in living life in the moment. More Than Child’s Play Have you noticed how the little people in your life know the true meaning of living in the moment? When we take time out of our busy schedule to


Breastfeeding Baby As a Blind or Visually Impaired Mother

Editor's note: This post is part of the new Blind Parenting series created to provide visually impaired parents with first-hand accounts of how you can raise a child safely and independently. Today's post is the first segment on your options of feeding your baby as a parent with vision loss. Blind Parenting: Breastfeeding Baby By Mary Hiland and her daughter, Kara Fay Soon after I was married, my ophthalmologist told me that as a person with retinitis


How Congenital Vision Loss Affects Motherhood

Editor's Note: Not every woman grows up wanting to be a mother. For those living with a congenital eye disease, learning of a pregnancy can cause mixed emotions. The following story, based on an interview with a blind mother who has chosen to stay anonymous, depicts how genetic vision loss can dim the brightness of that maternity glow. How Congenital Vision Loss Affects Motherhood Our blind mom, who we’ll refer to as M, was born in 1966 with cataracts on both her lenses, rendering them completely opaque. Her parents were told the ocular condition was either genetic or from a flu her mother had contracted quite possibly being passed to the baby in utero. M had a few low vision relatives within her family tree. However, in the late 1960s


My Father's Day Gift List for Your Dad Who Is Visually Impaired

Dear Son, I recognize this is a bit selfish, but I am not above offering a few suggestions for Father’s Day, on June 19, 2016 (no doubt this is already on your calendar). You are probably already fretting about what to get me anyway, and searching the internet for appropriate items. So I thought I could make it easier for you and the rest of the family, by highlighting a few things I’ve had my eyes on…besides, of course that stunning Ducati motorcycle! Amazon Echo The whole family will fall in love with Alexa, the text-to-speech voice within the Amazon Echo. Check out my article,


On Being a Blind Mother

Editor's note: This is second in our series for Mother's Day. We hope you will read and comment. Just Like Any Other Parent How do you explain blindness to a two-year-old? You don’t. You don’t need to. As a mother of a son and a daughter and a grandmother of five granddaughters, I have some memories pertaining to my blindness I’d like to share with you. I don’t recall explaining why I couldn’t see to either of my children. Because they grew up with a mother with very limited sight(as a result of retinitis pigmentosa), that was the normal for them. One parent couldn’t see so well,


Motherhood with Vision Loss

Editor's note: This post is the first in a short series on Mother's Day. My First Child Was Born When I Was a Peace Corps Volunteer My eldest daughter was born near the end of my tour of duty as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Western Samoa. Due to a tragic mistake at the hospital in country just before my daughter's birth, a healthy new born baby boy had died. Thus, the country Peace Corps director insisted that all three of the pregnant Peace Corps volunteers be sent eighty miles to give birth at the L.B.J. Tropical Medical Center in Pagopago American Samoa. The wife of the village chief where I lived asked me if I wanted her help


A Father's Day Gift to Your Children or Grandchildren: Quality Time In the Woodshop-Not the Woodshed!

Gil Johnson in his workshop Editor's note: We reached out to Gil Johnson to write this article as a gift for readers who are fathers and sons. Gil is a life-long woodworker and is blind from glaucoma. In his own words, "When I was 10 or 11 years old, I began to acquire my own power and hand woodworking tools (after receiving training in woodworking at the Minnesota State Academy for the Blind) and experimented in designing and building various projects in the basement at home. When I was 16 or so, I built a nine-drawer desk out of birch wood, which we use to this day." by


The Fun and Joy of Motherhood As a Visually Impaired Mom

Editor's Note: This is part of our ongoing series on Laughter is Often the Best Medicine, a series that encourages people who are blind or visually impaired to laugh at blunders and celebrate victories. Celebrating Mother's Day in Style By Audrey Demmitt, peer advisor Dark restaurants are often very difficult to navigate for


Happy Grandparents Day!

I hope that all of you enjoyed the day yesterday! I wanted to share what has happened in the year since I wrote about grandparenting with vision loss, the joys and the challenges. Well to quote an old song "the beat goes on…" A Tip to Adult Children I understand that you are caught in the middle. These are your parents and now visual impairment is changing their lives and yours. Like my children, you have a picture of what a grandparent is probably based on your own grandparents and now Mom and Dad don’t fit that picture. Dealing with vision loss is often frightening for them and for you. There are many times when you are not


Every Day Is Father's Day

Editor's note: Guest blogger Kevin Dunn, who lost his vision due to retinal detachment and optic nerve damage, talks about being a father. Wonderful and Life-Changing Years Kevin and his family Years 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2006 have been the most wonderful and the most life-changing times of my life thus far. After three months of doctors trying to stop the progression of my retina loss, I lost my sight entirely in January 2001. In April 2002, my girlfriend (who decided to keep me) became my wife. We


The Rewards of Grandparenting with Vision Loss

Parenting and Grandparenting Adventures Parenthood was one of the greatest adventures of my life. It was filled with highs and lows, many firsts from sleeping through the night to walking down the aisle at a child's wedding. There were sticky kisses, scraped knees and broken hearts. For my children there was also Grandma. They all have wonderful memories of the time they spent with her, so for me, being a grandparent meant sharing adventures, stories, teas and ballgames. How do you play catch or read stories when the world is a blur? How do pass on a tradition, whether that is knitting or stamp collecting, camping or music when you cannot


Tips for Grandparenting After Vision Loss

Michelle Miller, LCSW A number of older adults have approached our agency about how to spend quality time with their grandchildren. This concern has led me to address this issue for older adults who are new to vision loss. A sudden onset of macular degeneration or other eye condition does not mean that you have to give up grandparenting. With encouragement, time, and training, it is possible to enjoy most of the activities you once did with your grandchildren. For example, with


My Mother, the Wind Beneath My Wings

Editorial note: This post marks the initial post for our new Peer Perspectives on Vision Loss Blog. In honor of Mother's Day, Peer Advisor DeAnna Quietwater shares this tribute to her mother. My mother was seventeen when I was born. I was the first of her five children. Six months after my birth, I was diagnosed as having congenital glaucoma. The prognosis was not good. My mother was told that I would probably be totally blind by age ten. Back then, many of the surgical techniques which are used successfully today, did not exist. The primary treatment was a course of drugs administered in eye drops to


Follow Us:

Blog Archive Browse Archive

Join Our Mission

Help us expand our resources for people with vision loss.