I’m a Big Kid Now

My Blindness and Visual Services (BVS) case manager came to see me today. I am now officially a closed case. We reviewed everything I had gotten so far. Technology? Yep. Habilitation?  Yep. Mobility? That, too.

I am not a candidate for vocational assessment, counseling or job placement services, although they do offer them. As a matter of fact, my case manager is looking to see if I am on the provider list for those services. Should be. I have done the job before. Now I just have a slightly different perspective on the issues. ::grin::

My case manager wanted to know if he could submit my name as a possible speaker at the Penn State Summer Academy.  Sure. What’s that?

The Penn State Summer Academy is a program at the university that prepares high school students with visual impairment for college. My case manager thought I should go to show them visually impaired people can function as psychologists. Apparently they have a speakers’ panel, but the Summer Academy offers a lot more than that.

According to their website, the Academy offers training in travel skills, self-advocacy and networking, career awareness, social skills, enhancing access technology skills and low vision rehabilitation. They also have counseling groups to discuss fears and other issues associated with going out into the world and team building strategies. The website video shows kayaking, wall climbing and high-ropes courses!  In short, in their words, the Academy teaches its students to believe in their ability to succeed through all sorts of experiences.

The Academy is three weeks in the summer. It looks like it functions as pretty much a summer camp with a serious purpose.

I don’t know what you may think, but if they start one for us older folks, I want to go!

Another thing my BVS case manager suggested is I start going to trade shows. Apparently trade shows are good ways of finding out what is new and exciting and what gadgets you want to help to improve your functioning.

Now I cannot say that I find that a great way to spend my vacation, but it might have its appeal. The International Vision Expo and Conference is at the Sands in Las Vegas in September, 2017. SightCity Fair for Blind and Low Vision Aids is in Frankfurt in May, 2017. The thought of cruising on the Rhine in the spring does stir some interest in me.

Of course, if I don’t want to go that far from home (and who said I don’t?), I can always go to a show by Freedom Scientific. They show all over the U.S.

In short, moving into a new phase of my life as a person with visual impairment. Time to start providing services instead of receiving them. Time to start finding and evaluating my own toys. (Also time to start paying for them!) How soon we ‘grow up’.  I guess I am a big kid now.

Next: Blind Hunters?

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