Blog Posts by Holly Bonner

Accessibility for Individuals Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in NYC

As we approach the 16th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, blind and visually impaired families should consider taking a trip to New York City’s 9/11 Memorial & Museum. The memorial and the museum are located at the World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan at 180 Greenwich Street. Visitors can currently access the memorial at the intersection of Liberty Street and Greenwich Street, at the intersection of Liberty Street and West Street, and at the intersection of West Street and Fulton Street. The memorial features two cascading waterfalls and reflecting pools, set within the footprints of the twin


Administering Eye Drops As a Parent Who Is Visually Impaired: My Experience and Preferred Method

Administering eye drops is quite possibly my least favorite way to medicate my children. However, I always defer to my pediatrician for her recommendation on the best course of treatment for both of my daughters. If eye drops are prescribed, then eye drops they shall have, albeit one way or another. Methods I Have Used I have utilized several methods over the years with my children as noted in my new article, Administering Eye Drops As a


Dealing with Diaper Rash – Holly’s Journey

When my first child, Nuala, was 8 months old, she developed a very severe bout of diaper rash. The problem was, I had absolutely no idea she even had it. Mother Doesn’t Always Know Best I thought I was changing my daughter’s diaper often enough, approximately every hour. My mother had told me to sprinkle cornstarch on her buttocks after each change to prevent irritation. I had a large, stainless steel shaker with handle that I kept next to her changing table filled with cornstarch. I remember feeling like I was powdering a tiny cake every time I changed a diaper. The cornstarch would leave behind


Review of "I Am Helen Keller" by Brad Meltzer

We can all be heroes! That’s the inspiring message of the New York Times best-selling picture book biography series, "Ordinary People Change the World" from author Brad Meltzer and illustrator Christopher Eliopoulos. In honor of Helen Keller’s birthday on June 27, Peer Advisor, Holly Bonner reviewed one of Meltzer’s books from the series, "I Am Helen Keller." Overview "I Am Helen Keller" "I Am Helen Keller" begins with the book describing how Helen contracted a rare disease causing her to become deaf and blind. Both the narrative and the comic book like illustrations help children to understand the fear and isolation Helen


Tips for Toddler Potty Training for Parents Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

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 Holly Bonner shares nine tips for easy potty training. Potty Training Your Toddler As a Parent with Low Vision Potty training your toddler is an exciting time! On one hand, you’ve reached the point in parenthood when you’re ready to bid farewell to diaper duty. On the other hand, the realization that your baby isn’t really a “baby” anymore is enough to break any parent’s heart. <img


Birth Options for Mothers Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

Once a woman learns she’s about to have a child, her attention is immediately directed towards prenatal care. At the mid-point of pregnancy, approximately 20 weeks, doctors will begin discussing a birth plan with the expectant parents. A birth plan is a document that lets your medical team know your preferences for your delivery, including things like how to manage your labor pain. Having your wishes recorded in the form of this written document ensures your healthcare provider understands your wishes with regards to the delivery of your child. It is important to note that although preparation for birth is essential, the new mother may not be able to control every aspect of her labor and delivery. Sometimes the unexpected happens, and you must remain flexible in cases where you may be


Gift Suggestions for Kids of Blind Parents

As the blind mother of two toddlers, the holiday gift-giving season can cause a bit of anxiety. While it’s absolutely wonderful so many friends and family want to purchase something for my daughters, small parts, tiny batteries, and other tripping hazards are serious concerns for me. Parents who are blind or visually impaired may find taking a proactive approach during the holiday shopping season can be beneficial to both gift-giver and recipient. Offering gifting suggestions takes the guessing out of a busy retail season and allows the visually impaired parent to assist in choosing items they deem safe and enjoyable for their child.


Bottle-Feeding Baby As a Blind or Visually Impaired Mother

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 is the second segment on your options of feeding your baby as a parent with vision loss. Blind Parenting: Bottle-Feeding Baby By Holly Bonner Sighted or blind, the decision to breastfeed versus formula-feeding your baby is a personal one.


Blindness and Infertility: A Mother's Story

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. If you are thinking about starting a family or experiencing the daily struggles of parenting, it is the VisionAware Peer Advisors' hope that these stories will encourage and support you on the journey of blind parenthood. Blindness and Infertility: A Mother's Story by


Preparing for Pregnancy: A Blind Mother's Checklist Part 3, Resources and Services

Editor's note: This is part three of A Blind Mother's Checklist from the new series, Blind Parenting. Part 1 covered the basic questions to ask yourself when deciding to start a family. Part 2 reviewed the medical implications and various doctors a mother planning to get pregnant should have as part of her medical team. Preparing for


Preparing for Pregnancy: A Blind Mother's Checklist Part 2, Medical Implications

Editor's note: This is the second post in our new series, Blind Parenting. This series will provide you first-hand accounts of how other blind and visually impaired parents have used organizational strategies with adaptive techniques to parent safely and independently. This is part two of a three-part blog post. Read part 1 to determine if you are ready to start a family. Preparing for Pregnancy: A Blind Mother's Checklist Part 2 By


Preparing for Pregnancy: A Blind Mother's Checklist Part 1, Am I Ready?

Editor's note: This is the initial post in our new series on Blind Parenting. Our new Blind Parenting series will provide you first-hand accounts of how other blind and visually impaired parents have used organizational strategies with adaptive techniques to parent safely and independently. This post is divided into three parts with separate checklists: the first dealing with your personal situation, the second with medical implications, and the third dealing with resources and services that you need to consider. Preparing for Pregnancy: A Blind Mother's Checklist <img src="http://www.afb.org/image.asp?ImageID=7758"


Seven Lessons on Coping with Blindness: A Father's Day Reflection

My parents just sold my childhood home. We shared the house with my maternal grandparents, who I affectionately referred to as “nana and pop.” They occupied the first floor, while our apartment was upstairs. Although by the amount of time I spent with my grandparents, you would have easily been convinced I was actually a downstairs resident. Pop was not an educated man. He never even graduated middle school. Despite his lack of academic credentials, my grandfather was well-versed in the ways of the world. I distinctly remember him sitting at his kitchen table every morning and reading any newspaper he could get his hands on. Pop was both highly


For Mothers of Blind Daughters

Editor's note: This is the third in our series of Mother's Day posts. This post is by new peer advisor Holly Bonner, a Staten Island based psychotherapist. She is also the Director of Education and Outreach for IlluminArt Productions, a non-profit organization that utilizes the power of theater to help children develop solutions for social problems. Holly currently has no vision in her left eye. Her right eye can detect shapes, shadows, and light. In April 2016, she was also diagnosed with alopecia areata, an autoimmune skin disease resulting in the loss of hair on the scalp and elsewhere on the body. Blessed To Be the Blind Mother of Two Little Girls I am extremely


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