The following sample of unsolicited testimonials suggest the kind of help that we provide to blind and visually impaired students, teachers, school administrators as well as individuals and families with members who are losing vision. In addition to the web site serving as a reference source, we routinely place individuals requesting assistance in touch with experienced, successful blind and visually impaired teachers, either by e-mail or phone. As the following comments suggest, the site is also used by sighted colleagues as well to augment their classes. Names have been changed to insure anonymity.
"Thank you very much for taking the time to chat with me yesterday. Our conversation was very helpful and enlightening. Also, thank you for the tips for improving my classroom experience. I can not express how much I appreciate you taking the time to talk with me; I now feel a bit less disconnected." (Community college professor who had experienced sudden and significant vision loss)
"Thank you, for all the encouraging and focused guidance you have given me all this time." (beginning college professor)
"Thank you for all the support and advice I have recieved, it has meant an awful lot. I am now able to look for a teaching job for next year."
"My name's Kari, and I wanted to provide feedback on your page. I'm a Chemistry teacher and I'm always surfing the web looking for useful resources that I can provide for my students. Your page has been a tremendous help, thank you."
"My name is Kinsey. I am in eleventh grade. I am totally blind, and I have some questions. I would like to know some of the challenges and difficulties related to being a blind teacher or professor! If you could email me back with some of your thoughts on the matter, I would appreciate it!"
"Thank you very much for the valuable articles [from past issues of your newsletter]. They are all of great help for me and my visually-impaired husband who is also a teacher."
"My name is Amanda. I am a Master's student in North Carolina. I'm having trouble preparing myself to teach in a high school choral classroom, which is where I see myself after I graduate. I have been looking for other vocal music teachers to give me suggestions, inspiration, and maybe just a listening ear. However, up until now, I have not found any. I discovered your website and saw that some of your members teach both music in general and vocal music specifically. I would love to hear from them." )She was subsequently put in touch with several music teachers in our membership.)
“Thank you for helping and empowering me. I am so glad that I happened upon the Association’s web site because you and your chats with me have been so empowering.”
"I really appreciate your collection of Math resources found here: particularly Math Tools, which provides teachers with multimedia methods to teaching mathematical concepts."
"I just had a very nice telephone conversation with Ann, the ESL teacher from New York. We have a lot of experiences in common. We plan to keep in touch and share materials and resources. Thanks again for the referral."
"I am the director of Student Disability Services at my university. I am working with a student who is blind and enrolled in our teacher education program for all learners—meaning that the program tries to prepare college students to teach both regular and special education. Our student is starting the first of her practicum classes this semester. She will be observing students and interviewing parents and completing forms about her observations. I am talking with our student and with her professors to work out accommodations for her experiences. I would like to speak with a blind elementary education or special education teacher to discuss how they have approached any needed accommodations. Can you connect me with someone?" [She was put in touch with several members with the requisite background.]
“I really appreciate you and others who have paved the way for me, which seems that is what I am having to do for those that come behind me.”
"I am currently doing some foot work for my sister, who lost her sight some years ago. She is currently taking courses online and is about to take on algebra courses. Would you happen to know of a FREE online algebra tutorial I could send to her?
[After receiving information] "Oh, bless you, sir! I cannot thank you enough! My sister’s spirits have been lifted up ever since she began taking courses online… She gradually started losing her sight about 20 years ago. She however, decided just two years ago to return to school to further her degree. She is almost back to her old self by means of demeanor/outlook, and we, the family are so happy to finally see the change! We are doing whatever we can to keep her spirits up. I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to help our family."
[The page on study skills] "provides excellent information and I've incorporated it into a couple resource pages as a reference for my students to utilize- thank you."
"thanks for your leg work regarding my request. [for Braille books for my classes]. I appreciate all the avenues listed and will look into them.”
"My name is Laura. I am writing you because I have been using your page, Music
as a reference for a presentation and I have found it to be extremely useful so thank-you."
"I wanted to tell you that I've been using your resource page:
for my students. I'm a new teacher and your page had a lot of great stuff I could use."
"I am a teacher and I have early macular degeneration. I am near the end of my three year training in Special Education. While doing research for a paper on teaching children with low vision, I came upon AABT. What a relief to find that I am not the only one trying to teach with this visual challenge."
"Just wanted to thank you and let you know I've been using your page Lesson Plans and Instructional Materials for Elementary and High School
for some research for my class. It's a great site- so many useful tools for my students!"
"I want to say after looking over the three websites you gave me and reading a bunch of the stories and articles [from past issues of the newsletter], I am even more intrigued. I want to say that I'm quite sure that I would like to continue to investigate the possibility of becoming a [visually impaired] teacher."
"I have been reading the articles from the sections [of the web site] you recommended. I found many of them to be extremely worthwhile and I learned quite a bit."
"I found a wonderful resource for you! National Association of Blind Teachers." (Copy of an e-mail sent from a professor to her advisee)
"My mother is loosing her sight due to Sugar Diabetes. She has not been working for a year now. She is very depressed and we need help. She want to continue working, she is still 55 years old. The family was supportive in the beginning but now think she should just give up and live in home.
[After receiving assistance]"All thanks to you to wake me up, and make me realize that life has more to offer."
"I just wanted to send out a quick thank you letter in regards to your study skills page, Study Skills.
. I'm a librarian and used some of your resources for the student section of our new site. It was most useful, I appreciate it."
"My name is Candis, and I wanted to thank you for putting up your page with such helpful science resources - it was extremely useful for my students! I am an earth science teacher who also loves the ocean, and I am so impressed with all of the work and devotion that you've put into your resource. My students have just started studying oceanography. We're publishing a section on our website with earth science guides and information and we're definitely including your page!"
"The posting [of our job vacancy] looks wonderful. This is an incredible help to our district. Many thanks!"
"You have an extraordinary resource there!" (Beginning blind teacher)
"Words can't describe how thankful I am [for your advice]." (Visually impaired college professor)
"Just wanted you to know that I sent a link to the page with math and science resources to the college students with whom I work and to my colleagues. It is an outstanding and very important resource. This is really terrific though. You really ought to get an award for it.
[A subsequent e-mail read: "One of my clients called to tell me how useful the information is and I told him that I’d pass that along." (Vocational rehabilitation councilor)
"Had a great chat with Carey this evening. Thank you for connecting us; wee plan to stay in touch with each other." (Blind high-school teacher who had been put in touch with another blind colleague teaching the same subject.)
Electronic Books and bibliographies,
provides a great resource for students and educators looking for highly reputable education sites."
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