Guest Blog by Mark Fox, Learning Ally Member
In 1973 after filling out the application for Recording for the Blind
(as Learning Ally
was then called), I received a catalog the size of a phone directory and I was so overjoyed! My literary taste was growing, and braille had served me well to a point. However, Recording for the Blind allowed me to flourish in a whole new way. This has greatly affected my life!
Literature is so necessary for the well-being of all of us, blind and sighted alike. In some ways, we are all different. However, we all have aspirations to learn and to grow. That includes stretching our minds and making sure we have what we need to read books of our interest and books that are coming into our interest.
To those who are sighted, there's a book you might want to read called You Can't Say That To Me.
It's a book regarding verbal abuse by Suzette Haden Elgin. Ask people who are blind - we are very often subject to verbal abuse, even if the person doesn't mean to. In little ways, words can really hurt.
To students of all different abilities, my advice is to read your assignments, but also feed your curiosity. Start in your own backyard, and little by little make your way around the backyard and surrounding houses. Maybe move into the fields around the houses, and then explore whatever is beyond the fields. Also, remember to discover the fields within you - fields that create beauty, joy, rapture, love and a sense of togetherness with other students and friends. Share what you discover with parents and people of authority.
I would request everyone to remember the words of Bob Dylan: "If you don't underestimate me, I won't underestimate you."
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We offer the world to explore with over 80,000 human-narrated audiobooks for students and adults with print or learning disabilities.