She had great weather, and more than a little New Jersey attitude when Steve told us at announcements she was going on her drop this morning. She still had that attitude when she got back after only an hour.
“I think I spent more time waiting for the light rail than anything …,” she commented.
The drop is the final travel requirement – a big test. Students are “dropped” off somewhere in the Metro area and they must find their way back to the Center asking no more than one question. Of course, our travel instructors know when they are ready, know when they have the experience with RTD and various kinds of street crossings and, especially important on the drop, understand and make use of cardinal directions.
Editor’s Note: An update from our Youth Services Director Brent Batron about what’s coming tomorrow and through the summer for blind youth.
Usually the second Saturday of each month is the FAST program at the Center, however this month we will be participate in the Pioneers Easter Egg Hunt! Information is below.
Other upcoming events include:
Winter Outdoor Adventures at Estes ParkThis is a great time for kids to spend time with friends that they do not get to see all the time as well as make new ones. There will also be lots of good blind adult role models as well as teachers of blind students. This will be a lot of FUN!
FAST Program will be all about cane travel. 10 – 2 and lunch is included.
June 5 – 23
June 9- August 4
Earn & Learn High School Program
June 9 – August 4
Summer for Success College Prep Program
June 12 – June 30
Initiation to Independence Middle School Program
Pioneers Beeping Egg Hunt
Saturday, April 8, 2017
The Elks Lodge
3850 W 69th Pl
Westminster, CO 80030
Kids & parents arrive: 10:00a-10:30a
Trains, Clowns, Projects, Games
Egg Hunt: 11:00a
Lunch: 11:30a – Noon -Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Chips, Drinks
The “Drop”, or independent drop is one of the two final requirements of our cane travel instruction. Ryan and Trevor both completed theirs last week, having been dropped somewhere in the Denver Metro area and permitted one question on their trip back to the Center.
The “support drop” is more or less a dress rehearsal for the independent drop. Everything is the same except that the student’s travel instructor goes along. The instructor, by the way, doesn’t know where they are either and also wears sleepshades. Both Julie and Suzie completed support drops last week.
The drop is the culmination of many months of instruction and daily practice of those travel skills, including how to orient, problem-solve, analyze and cross many kinds of intersections and how to find a bus stop. The confidence students gain from completing this requirement is obvious the minute they walk in the front door of the Center, having succeeded, and the announcement goes over the public address system congratulating them!
We were pleased to have three professionals from Blind Low Vision Services, part of Colorado’s Dept. of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) at the Center for training this week. We spent four days together exploring every topic we could think of, including cane travel and cooking under sleepshades. We’ll let them introduce themselves and the meal they cooked on Tuesday for themselves and our staff involved with the training. For the record, it was top shelf, and so are they!
We had a little bit of snow this morning, but not enough to keep us at home. Snow is just a part of everyday life and for our students, learning to travel in all weather means feeling confident about traveling to their jobs someday.
Okay, this is really not about finding a girlfriend, but it is about Jackson developing the skills and confidence to be an independent blind person. And what’s not attractive about that? He gives his thoughts on the #HowEyeSeeIt challenge as well.
Littleton’s 2016 Western Welcome Week, including our tours and participation in the Saturday parade, was sure a lot of fun! This week has already seen Matt complete his support drop, our canoeing trip postponed due to thunder, our first rock climbing trip today for the (really?) fall!
Even as the 10-day Western Welcome Week celebration was winding down on Sunday, Seniors in Charge students were arriving at the McGeorge Mountain Terrace apartments for a week of taking on new challenges in blindness skills. Offered by our Senior Services staff led by Duncan Larsen, Seniors in Charge gives a week’s worth of intensive training in Braille, cane travel, technology and home management skills.
“Last year I could see,” Ron said in the introductory meeting on Monday morning. This year his vision is significantly limited. Like his five fellow students, Ron wants to learn everything he can to ensure his continued independence.
And that’s the goal of the week – to assist blind seniors to maintain their independence. It includes plenty of opportunities for senior students to talk about their blindness and what they learn as the week progresses. Seniors in Charge is offered twice a year, and this group has four students staying at our apartments and two day students. For those staying at the apartments, Senior Services staff work with them on cooking and more in the evening, staying at the apartments with them.
As Duncan reminds us, the skills and discussions are all pointing to developing a positive, can-do attitude about blindness.
On Tuesday, along with other classes, the Seniors in Charge prepared a sandwich bar, then built their own sandwiches and ate together. The program will culminate on Friday morning with a “Friends and Family” session when Senior students can talk about what they’ve gained over the week. This is also a critical part of the program, because family and friends also have an opportunity to examine the fears and doubts they have about their loved ones’ ability to continue living the lives they want, and they can do so in light of all that those loved ones have learned during the week.
Students and staff are getting ready for tomorrow’s Western Welcome Week Parade – the highlight of the 10-day celebration in Littleton. After opening our doors for tours and at the same time graduating two of our students, it’s a fun way to end the week. What could be better than walking down the middle of the street to spectator applause!
And the weather promises to be perfect!
So keep a lookout for us in the morning on Littleton Boulevard – we’ll be showing some cane!
If you missed the fun on Monday evening, you still have another shot tomorrow. Nearly 70 of our Littleton neighbors (and some who happened to be visiting from out of town) stopped by the Colorado Center for the Blind to find out what we’re up to at 2233 W. Shepperd Avenue. They talked with staff and students in the kitchens, the technology labs, the Braille classrooms and the Woodshop. They discussed techniques of traveling with a white cane and checked out some live goal ball action. And they heard about our programs for youth and seniors.
The best part for us was simply the chance to meet with so many folks – some who live only a block or two away and some who didn’t know that we were even in town. We appreciate all the appreciation our guests expressed as they left, but some of us at the Center were buzzing until bedtime with the fun of it all! So our thanks to all who came!
Okay, if you couldn’t make it Monday, join us tomorrow afternoon! Maybe this will be the best tour yet.
(Spoiler: There might be cookies and brownies at the end of the tour!)