15 questions kids ask about blindness
Posted on March 26th, 2014 by Beth
That’s us at Daniel Street School in Lindenhurst; clearly, my Seeing Eye dog Whitney is ready for her close-up. I wrote a post earlier this month about how the visits my Seeing Eye dog Whitney and I make to classrooms across the country show me that young readers love learning directly from people who have disabilities. The first, second and third graders we visited on Long Island a couple weeks ago were no exception.
My children’s book Hanni and Beth: Safe & Sound is written from my previous Seeing Eye dog Hanni’s point of view. The presentations gave me an opportunity to introduce them to my new Seeing Eye dog and explain that Hanni is 14 years old now and retired.
Whitney is still young, and she started every presentation we did on Long Island this week with a whine and a moan. She wasn’t scared of the kids. She wanted to play with them! And who could blame her? The kids were cute, cute, cute. Somehow Whitney managed to settle in and lie down by the time we got to the Q & A part of our presentations, and here, for your enjoyment, are some of the questions the kids asked:
- What happens when you have to go down stairs?
- Which is your favorite dog?
- How do you eat ice cream?
- How can you write books if you can’t see?
- How do you plant?
- How can you use the remote to watch TV if you can’t see?
- But what if the ice cream is in a cone?
- Can your dog have babies? Why not?
- How do you know which dog is your favorite if you can’t see them?
- How can you drive?
- How come you have to change dogs so much?
- How do you know what your hair color is?
- Can a Seeing Eye dog work with more than one persons?
- How do you know where your dog is if you can’t see her?
Whew! Whitney and I spent three entire school days with students on Long Island, and trust me, we both slept well each night we were there.The good folks of Saints Cyril and Methodius Catholic School gave us flowers. One of the schools we visited was Saints Cyril and Methodius Catholic School (SSCM). Penny Wong-Matzelle, who has two daughters at that school, wrote an article for the Deer Park-North Babylon NY Patch describing how curious the students were during our visit.
The enthusiastic students of SSCM each had questions burning in their minds and the only thing Mrs. Finke may have missed out on was not being able to enjoy seeing the number of hands that flew into the air when she announced it was time for some Q & A.
The article went on to say that the “most poignant question came a short way into the Q & A session from a small girl in her neatly pressed SSCM uniform.”
The question from the girl in the neatly-pressed uniform proved the point I was making about kids appreciating the opportunity to hear—and learn—directly from people who live with disabilities. Her question: “What does it feel like to be blind?”
If you’re also curious about that last question, here’s a previous post of mine that talks about just that: “What’s it like to go blind?”