Monday, February 27, 2012
What's The Answer?
I was intially very excited when Ashley came home with a packet of information from our state agency, the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired. It was an invitation for Ashley to attend a 4 week summer program called LIFE. LIFE stands for Learning Independence, Feeling Empowered.
The brochure said the program was to help students who are blind make the transition from high school to work or futher education. Experience would be provided in how to obtain and keep employment, how to navigate the world as a blind person, and provide opportunities for socialization and group interaction. Sounds great, eh?
Well it did until I started reading the list of qualifications. The one that concerned me the most stated that a student should..."be able to perform self-care activities with minimal supervision."
Ashley is deafblind, not just blind. She has medical issues, specifically seizures which can occur anytime day or night. Because of that, she must have someone very close by at all times. And, she must be monitored at night for seizures. The LIFE program would not provide that kind of support.
This is an issue that I have also faced with Ronnie. There do not seem to be programs that support people, especially young people, who have both a sensory disability and a physical disability/medical issues.
I have never been successful finding a camp for Ronnie. I can find Deaf camps and they aren't accessible for wheelchairs. I can find accessible camps and they can't provide a fulltime interpreter. So he has never gone to camp.
Now I am facing the same thing with Ashley. If she were just blind, she would be welcomed at project LIFE. But because she has significan medical issues which must be attended to, she cannot.
What's the answer...?