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 any case, 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.