Sunday, August 08, 2004

Blind Man Who Can See

6 days ago, I arrived here in Tampa, Florida.

And I want to tell you

I came for a mastermind meeting with my coaching group and then to stay for a seminar.

At the end of the master mind metting, my coach, Matt Furey, said to me,
"Laura, you know sign language, right?"

"Yep," I said.

"On an advanced level?" he asked.

"Yep." I said. Maybe I should have answered that so quickly.

"Well," he continued, "I have a deaf man coming to the seminar and his interpreter bombed out at the last minute. Would you be able to do that?"

"Sure. No problem."

"Great," Matt said. "There will be a deaf man and a blind man attending."

I was really interested and curious. I've been around the hearing impaired a lot, learned sign language in college, interpreted and tutored in elementary school, and interpreted in our church. I knew it would be a struggle for the deaf man coming.

But, a blind man at a seminar that I knew was going to be highly visual? I was interested to meet them both.

I'll have to tell you more about my marathon interpreting later; but, this I have to tell you first.

His name was Michael. He was quiet, sat with his friend who helped him get around, and didn't say much the first day.

No one said much to him that first day. I felt kinda bad - people just don't know the right way to respond to people with "disabilities".

But, this man had no disability.

When he wanted to get around, he used his stick to navigate between tightly packed tables and an aisle with video/computer equipment.

He walked around the hotel hall by himself, moving his stick side to side to find his way.

The second day, I got opportunity to learn more about him.

First, he can't see a single thing.

Secondly, he makes money online!! Not what I would expect from a blind person.

Third - he can see! Now, he can't see with his eyes; but he had an incredible "sense". He could tell how far you were standing. He copied and did stretching exercises he had never seen. It was amazing. I wish you could have seen it. I swear it was like he was wearing sunglasses "pretending" to be blind.

But, I know he wasn't because he was kinda reaching out in my general direction to shake hands when I introduced myself.

Anyway, on the last day of the seminar - today - he said a few words.

He reminded all of us "seeing" people...that we needed to know what we wanted, and when we knew that, to know that there was nothing to stop us.

"You need to use your imagination to figure out a way to do something you want when everyone around you is thinking that it's impossible."

Man.

And I thought I could see.

He saw with his mind things that most of us never see. The eyes in his body never reveal a image to him; but without those, he saw one of the greatest things most people never see...what your imagination, determination, and spirit can dream and see for you.

I'm blessed to have met Michael. He has the best eyes I've seen in a long time.

Sincerely,
Laura Bankston

P.S. Do you have any blind children? It just occured to me when talking with Michael that the blind people want to enjoy life just like everyone else and use technology adapted to help them experience it. And, with the homeschool cooking in a box, the included audio tape with all the recipe instructions would work perfectly for the blind children who may still be learning braille or can't find a braille cookbook.

Maybe in the creation of this product, God had in mind that someday I'd be meeting Michael and he would reveal this unique aspect for blind children to have an awesome cooking experience.



Laura Bankston is author of Internationally selling Cooking with Kids Curriculum: “Homeschool Cooking in a Box” and the “Homeschool Cookbook”. She currently home schools her three children, maintains home school support websites, and manages their family-owned service business. For information on her curriculum and free home school support services, please visit http://www.homeschoolcookbook.com

Copyright 2004, Abundant Learning Publications. All Rights Reserved.

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