My apologies that I got a couple of days behind on the countdown posts. The release of the new Everyday Blind Parents podcast pushed things back a bit. In anycase, I want to finish sharing some of my “Back to School” helpful strategies for blind parents, so here goes.
Today my tip is to create an electronic, braille version, or large print version of all the important school info—i.e., district, school, and homework website addresses, log in info and passwords, i.d. numbers, lunch account info, schedules, etc. and put it in one place where you can easily and frequently access it. For example, our daughter’s user id and password to log onto the school’s student portal are written in print on a label inside her take-home folder. She has a separate lunch account number which we use to purchase lunch either at the school or online for her. I’ve created an electronic version for all this kind of information related to her. This way, everything is in the same place and in a format that I can access so I don’t have to always ask her, scan something, search emails, or call the school. I try to compile all this info right after school starts so I have it when I need it. Sure, you could just memorize this info, but having it all together frees up brain space too and is good just in case your memory fails you. . I personally prefer putting it in an electronic version, but a hardcopy braille or large print version posted by your computer or on your refrigerator is also helpful—just not too public of a place if you worry about neighbors seeing your child’s info.
Second, I suggest taking a few minutes with a reader or your child to go over the school calendar right after school starts. I like to do this so that I have all the school holidays, breaks, early outs, and important school events in my phone’s calendar. (This also links up with my computer.) Typically, the school sends out a print calendar when school begins, or you can log onto the schools’ website, but I find that putting it in my calendar ahead of time not only saves me time, but assures that it’s in a format that is accessible to me. This is especially helpful if the website for the school or district isn’t the most user friendly with adaptive technology. If you prefer a hardcopy version, creating a braille or large print list of the important dates to know is also a great help.
So there you have it. Hope this helps make things a little better for you this year. Let me know what works for you when tackling this kind of important information.
I am so excited to write this post! So, my Back to School countdown posts kind of trailed off the last couple of days, but for good reason. I’ve been working on a major project (for me) for quite sometime and it all sort of came together this past week. So, if you are still waiting for the last two back to school posts, they will be coming shortly. In anycase, here is my big news!
For the last year and a half I have been putting together a podcast for blind parents. It has definitely been a labor of love and stretched my brain. I found myself faced with a huge learning curve as I knew nothing about creating a podcast. I should also tell you that I’m not exactly the most tech savvy person either. There are not too many editing and recording software programs out there that are accessible with a screen reader, so it’s taken me a little time to find the right tools to get the job done—still figuring a few things out. So, this knowledge gap, along with some personal family challenges really set me back from my initial deadline last year. After putting things on the back burner for a time, I started up again and was set to launch at the beginning of the summer. But, we ended up spending several weeks in Utah with my family as my mom has had some health problems, , so things got pushed back again. Family first right? In any case, this long explanation is all to say that it’s finally live!!!
Photo caption: Screen shot of EBP podcast page on iTunes
I can’t even tell you how excited I am about this. I don’t even care if anyone listens to it…okay, well maybe a little bit. But I’m just so glad to have it launched. This seriously has been weighing on my brain for so long and I know I’ve driven my husband crazy talking about it endlessly. It’s also taken many long hours and my kids have watched WAAAYYY too much t.v. while I’ve been finishing this up. In any case, I’ve learned so much along the way and developed some new skills, so even if it’s a bust, the lessons learned from all this work were worth it. Last week when I submitted it to itunes for review, I felt as elated as I did when I finished my Masters’ comprehensive exams.
So, if you’re interested, and I hope you will be, please check it out. There are a few ways you can listen. First, you can subscribe through your regular podcast subscription service (i.e., itunes, stitcher, etc.) by searching for “Everyday Blind Parents” or, you can visit the podcast website directly here and subscribe to the feed. . You can also read more details about the podcast and access show notes. The first episode, which you can listen to here, is an introduction episode where Jesse and I talk together about our initial experiences becoming blind parents as well as some of the everyday challenges we face.
Thank you to everyone who has helped support me in this endeavor. Special thanks to my very patient and tech savvy husband who has spent several hours figuring things out with me, searching for deleted files, and been an agreeable participant for a few episodes.
I truly hope that this will be helpful to other blind parents out there. I have so many great ideas and interviews lined up for future episodes. I also welcome feedback, so if you have something to share, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks again and please help spread the word!!!!!