My boys are back in school! And so are many many other kids!
My youngest moved to a new school, less big hills for me to walk up. Did I tell you what happened this morning?
I walked him, and his brother, up the from bus stop to the school, this was a steep incline of a hill, maybe 40 degrees? Unknown by this humble DeafBlind Dad! While I trudged upwards, my feet weaved completely unrecognizable patterns! At the bottom I was walking in the middle of the sidewalk, suddenly, for no apparent reason I veered into the dried grass. I quickly tried to walk straight, but that didn’t work out, because I veered the other way and had two feet in the gutter before my older son grabbed me to steady me! Thanks boy!
Okay, so we are at the school and at exactly 9, the bell rings. The gym fills up with kids, parents, teachers and so forth, all within 7 minutes. I took the boy in, but didn’t stay, because I couldn’t hear anything right?
So, I went and sat close to the office; then it was over and kids and parents were going back out. Now that was expected; as school was only for 20 minutes today! I guess the teachers will spend the rest of the day sorting kids into classrooms?
As I said, this was all expected and everything smooth. But what was unexpected was when I spotted a woman with a white cane walk by. When I looked from the cane to the face of the person, I saw that she was being guided.
Was her guide a friend, volunteer, teacher or parent? I don’t know. But, what I do know is: that is so cool! She was able to get someone to guide her through a sea of short people!
And, yet, I am DeafBlind. Sorry, I need to compare: I use my white cane, and would not mind if someone guided me. But If I were to arrange this beforehand, I would need to ask for someone who can sign. Because I cannot hear what is happening. So, I would need a what? Come on! We all know what I need: An intervenor! Shout it with me!
These professionals can help communicate the environment, tell me that people are concerned about my weaving walk, about what the principal was saying in the 13 minutes of sorting chaos in the gym, who would be teaching my kid, which classroom and instructions for tomorrow. The intervenor would also guide me and make sure that I did not fall over the weird stairs (remember the school is on a hill!).
There are forces at work here, and hopefully the lack of intervenors would be a thing of the past for DeafBlind who live in Vancouver!
Thank you for listening!