For Paterson’s Parents, the Choice Was Independence Over Special EducationBy Peters, Jeremy W.; New York Times,
Publication Date: December 26, 2010
Article discusses the struggle parents may encounter in finding the right balance between teaching self sufficiency to children with visual impairments and ensuring they have needed technological accommodations. Focus is on New York Governor David A. Paterson, whose parents decided he would attend regular classes in a public school despite his low vision. Unlike 50 percent of his blind school age peers, he never learned Braille, instead using high powered glasses to read with his right eye pressed close to the printed page. However, the governor has stated he feels life would be no less difficult had he learned Braille because of its limitations, as “you can’t Braille the daily newspaper.” During his years in office, Governor Paterson has used aides to dictate daily briefings, newspaper articles, and personal correspondence into a special voice mail system to which he listens. He reportedly has expressed worry about leaving the governor’s office and learning to live on his own again after relying on others for tasks such as wayfinding. Disputing a common argument that learning Braille sets blind children apart as being different from their peers, the executive director of the Jernigan Institute at the National Federation of the Blind argues that blind children who do not learn Braille possess fewer tools for independence in the long term.
Published by: New York Times Company (Website:http://www.nytco.com)
Link to text: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/27/nyregion/27blind.html