Ski School for the Blind
Being up in the mountains the last three days made me again think back to my past. Many of you know I am a Teacher of the Visually Impaired, and that is how I got my start in special education. Many of my friends tag me in posts about braille, inventions for the blind, blind entrepreneurs, and I love that! How many of you know that I got my start as a ski guide for the blind? The typical guide would wear a bright orange jacket that the skier could find as a contrast against the white snow, that is unless they didn’t have enough vision to follow and then you would ski behind and call out turns. That was so fun, I’ll never forget being a regular guide for a woman with Stargardt's Disease. She was a really good skier and pushed me to ski better. One morning she asked to pass me, it was a wide-open run, freshly groomed, she did it – she said it was so freeing, like flying, and near the bottom, I caught her, shouted commands, resumed my lead and we jumped on the lift. She was very inspirational to me when I finally chose to apply for the program at San Francisco State University to be a TVI. There were other students I met along the way, often from a school for the blind who were fun to teach, although we rarely left the bunny hill. And another couple that was basically on their honeymoon, both having a visual impairment, they stick out in my memory because they each had a guide dog who left in the hotel room to spend the day together. All these skiers were very capable and fun to work with and made it easy to say yes to a future of working with so many amazing individuals. (Photo is me and a skier with our bibs on in Vail).


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