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Posts Tagged ‘#bethespectaclesfortheimpaired’

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When I was about fourteen I got my first prescription glasses.

They didn’t work.

Actually, they did work, but my eyesight deficiencies were so slight that my need of the lenses was not great enough to experience the inconvenience of wearing them.

Over the years I tried contacts, different frames, and lenses increasing in strength. It wasn’t until about two or three years ago that, when my prescription was increased, I wore my glasses more often than not. As a matter of fact I refuse to drive without them now. I need them to watch a movie or play at the theatre, and I certainly need them to see what is written on the board of a classroom.

They are still uncomfortable, annoying at times and frustrating to wear if I am sweating, but their usefulness outweighs the frustrations that come with them.

To try to do much of life without wearing my glasses would be fruitless. They allow me to do and to be my best. Though I am a very competent driver, believe me, without my glasses, no one would want me to be on the roads.

I have had the privilege of working with students who also need assistance in performing to the best of their abilities, to do and to be their best. Often these students are viewed or believed to be stupid or lazy.

Some need what was taught in class to be re-explained, some need technology to assist their written output, others need more time to do an assignment, still others need less options on multiple choice or a word bank for fill-in-the-blanks, and then there are those who simply need to do their work out loud, allowing their ears to actually hear what they are thinking.

One of the greatest examples I have ever known of the assistance that educational assistants can give is of one young man who struggles with written output. For a math test, he was allowed someone to scribe for him, writing onto the paper only what he told them to write. Now, for me, to have someone else scribe a math test would drive me to distraction, but this young man thrived, achieving a test mark well above his average. He knew how to do the work, he simply struggled to get the knowledge in his brain onto the paper.

They are not stupid or lazy, they are simply impaired in an area, as I am in my vision. So, in my job as an educational assistant, I get to be their glasses. It would be irresponsible for them to not receive such help, and it would be negligent to not offer and allow such assistance to those who need it to do and to be their best.

 

 

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