“I believe in myself, that’s for sure, but I didn’t know if I had the skills, if I had the abilities. But I realized quickly that I did.”
Christian’s story is a common one at the Foundation for Blind Children. He came to the Foundation for Blind Children’s Adult Comprehensive Program to learn how to be independent. Over the last nine months, he dedicated himself to learning all the skills that he needed to be successful. From improving his orientation and mobility skills to learning basic independent living techniques, Christian gained experience and knowledge that he says changed his life.
The Adult Comprehensive Program
FBC’s Adult Comprehensive Program teaches people how to adapt to vision loss. Program participants learn how to navigate the world without sight. They are trained to use new technology to engage with our digital world. They are also shown how to do what we call activities of daily living, such as cooking, cleaning, and laundry.
The instruction that people like Christian get is designed to help them in all aspects of life. To be independent means being comfortable in your home, but it also means being able to gain meaningful employment. Technology, navigation, and independent living skills all work together to build this well-rounded framework.
Beyond just learning these skills, students also practice critical thinking. One of the most important things that people take away from the program is how to develop strategies to figure things out for themselves. Many problems in life don’t come with an easy solution. Planning and strategizing how to adapt to those situations is critical to being successful.
As Christian put it, “It’s impossible to learn everything. I think what they want to teach here is how to give you the tools so you can expand and do things on your own.”
An Emotional Graduation
Christian graduated from the program last week. In an emotional ceremony, his instructors and fellow program participants spoke of how positive, hard-working, and committed to improving himself Christian was. According to him, one of the best things about the program is the sense of community that develops between the program participants. That community was on full display as everyone wished Christian good luck at his graduation.
Everyone in the program is on a journey, and Christian believes that being able to talk about that journey with others who can sympathize was vital to his success. Though others may be at different points on their journey, they all have similar experiences and feelings. The friendships developed along the way only helped strengthen Christian’s resolve.