|Hall Braille Writer. Picture by Patti Smith.|
The Exhibit & My Interest in Helen Keller
Called Child in a Strange Country: Helen Keller and the History of Education for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired, the exhibit is up through Wednesday, June 25th (coincidentally, the next school board meeting), in both the lobby and on the third floor of the library. So yes--that means you can see the exhibit before you go into the school board meeting! Convenient, huh?
Most people don't know that I have had a special interest in Helen Keller ever since Skyline High School did The Miracle Worker as its very first play, when everybody in the school was a ninth grader. My daughter played the role of Annie Sullivan, and as a result, I learned a lot about Helen Keller.
Guest Blogger Reviews the Exhibit--With Pictures, Too!
"Wait," I thought--"I know somebody who teaches children with visual impairments, and she's a blogger. I wonder if she would review this for me? And she did, and she took pictures, too!
About the guest blogger: Patti Smith is a special education teacher of the visually impaired and learning disabled. She lives in Ann Arbor with her fiance and their two cats. She also blogs at teacherpatti.com.
Thank you, Patti! And I hope the rest of you enjoy the review and pictures, and then are motivated to go see the exhibit.
One of the things that I do in my job as a special education teacher is to try to show people what it is like to have a disability. Of course, a ten-minute demonstration in no way compares to a lifelong condition, but it’s often an eye-opening experience for the participant.
|Moon Type. Picture by Patti Smith.|
Currently, the Ann Arbor District Library has an exhibit on Ms. Keller. On loan from the American Printing House for the Blind, the exhibit features a brief history on Helen’s life as well as a larger display of the educational tools that are used to teach students who are blind and visually impaired.
|A Braille slate writer. Picture by Patti Smith.|
|A tactile modern puzzle map of the U.S. from 2001.|
Picture by Patti Smith.
Seeing this exhibit reminded me of how far we have comes in terms of special education. In Helen’s day, most students with disabilities were not educated. Today, we have students who are deaf-blind sitting in classrooms alongside their peers and learning the appropriate curriculum. It’s cliché to say “you’ve come a long way, baby," but if the shoe fits….
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