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Session Discussion question
1 D: Let’s Introduce Ourselves
Please introduce yourself. Tell us something important and something fun about you. You are welcome to post a picture of yourself if you like.
D: What exactly is a Visual Impairment?
I would like you to begin a conversation on what you believe constitutes a visual impairment. You have many resources from which to draw. Your own cultural background and belief systems, your readings, and encounters you have had with people who self-identify as having a visual impairment and many other supports. There is no right or wrong answer to this question. Please comment on the NFB paper and any of the readings

D: Impressions of People with Visual Impairments
Please describe an impression of people with visual impairments you picked up while you were growing up. It can be either positive or negative. Also tell us (if you know) how you formed your image of people who are blind. If you can please describe where you feel your impression came from - a book, movie, a family story?

3 D: Defining Self-Esteem for Persons with Visual Impairments
Based on your reading how would you define self-esteem for people with visual impairments? Do you feel the issues surrounding the development of self-esteem are different for children with vision limitations? What about people who are congenitally blind versus adventitiously blind?
D: Two Thumbs Up!
Please name which movie you watched and tell us what the most striking aspect of the character's portrayal of visual impairment was for you.
4 D: Contribution of Rehabilitation System to Social Roles
Do you think the American Vision Rehabilitation system contributes to American attitudes towards people with vision impairments? If so please name one attitude you noticed either in your reading or through personal experience.
D: Self-Advocacy
Describe whether or not you think the ability to self-advocate is connected to self- esteem. Do you agree that people with visual impairments feel dependent upon the rehabilitation system? If so how would you assist someone to advocate for themselves effectively? Within their support systems?
5 D: How Do you feel about being an Advocate?
Please define what being an advocate for visually impaired and/or blind people means to you. Include one skill you have which you regard to be essential to your capacity to be a powerful advocate.
D: How Do the Blind Advocacy Groups Define Advocacy?
After reviewing the three web sites please focus on one of them and discuss how you feel the organization teaches the blind consumers who belong to it how to be a good advocate. Each one of these organizations has mission statement and they serve as role models for blind people throughout the country. Name one thing about the organization which stands out for you.
6 D: Social Aspects of Our Villages
As O/M instructors and TVIs please discuss how you would begin assisting your clients to engage their villages. What issues do you feel you would address in helping someone to recognize their village and communicate with the people around them.
D: Engaging Your Own Village
Name one way you feel you engage with your own personal village. Use the definition of a village I put in my lecture. Do you think that the way you engage your village is different for people who are visually impaired or the same. What skills do you use to engage your village?
7 D: Can People with Visual Impairments be Effective O/M Counselors?
Please reflect on whether or not people with visual impairments can be effective O/M counselors. There are some very interesting social roles embedded in the discussion going on over whether blind people can be O/M counselors.
D: Public Perceptions of Independence
I want you to imagine that you are someone who doesn't see well. A friendly woman asks you if you want some assistance crossing the street and you say yes. While crossing the street the woman expresses some anxiety about how well she is helping you. She then says that she offered assistance to another blind person she saw and the individual yelled at her.
How would you respond to this woman's remark about being yelled at for offering assistance? Why do you think she is telling you this story and Are there any cultural beliefs or social issues hiding in her comment?

D: Does Technology Foster Independence?
I would like you to discuss your view of how technology either supports or hinders independence from a psychosocial perspective. Do you think technology reduces the social interactions which contribute to a person with visual impairment's independence?
D: Technology and Social Engagement
Please discuss whether or not you feel that technology enhances or hinders the socialization of children and youth with visual impairments. By socialization I mean how well children and young people are able to participate socially in their age groups. If you have any experience with sighted children and youth please compare your view against how sighted children use technology for socialization.
D: Playing Games
You only have to post one time to this I want you to tell us what you thought of the game web site and how you liked the game. Pretend you are a blind child and comment on how you think a child's social life would be enhanced by the play activities on the site.
D: Assistive Technology
I want those of you who looked at the Adaptive Technology Consulting site to comment on which piece of equipment would be useful to enhance a person with visual impairment's social life. It can be either a child or adult. Remember that this site provides equipment for people with several different disabilities.

9 D: Relationship of Visual Impairment to Employment
In this week's discussion I would like you to name one positive attribute which you imagine could grow out of an individual's experience of visual impairment and then describe how you would communicate that attribute to a perspective employer. If you feel there are no positive life experiences which come with blindness please tell us that and explain why you feel that way.
D: Disclosing a Disability to a Potential Employer
Please discuss what you think are some aspects of the decision a person with a visual impairment may go through to decide when and if to disclose a visual impairment to a possible employer. What is the self-esteem issues, what are the social consequences linked to the decision on self-identifying, and what would you suggest to a client who is in the middle of making this decision?

D: Visual Impairment as Minority Status
In chapter two of the Million books the concept of "multiple identities" is discussed. Based on your reading do you feel that the disability of visual impairment is a classification of minority status the same way racial, ethnic, cultural, or linguistic minority categories are defined? Likewise are other types of minorities’ disabilities? I am blind and Euro-Caucasian. Does that mean that I only have one disability?
D: Addressing Cultural Sensitivity with a Student
Please describe what advice you would give to a student or client you were assisting to learn a new shopping area. The shops are owned by people from other countries. If you were going to address the fact that other cultures have different attitudes towards disability what would you suggest to your student as a good strategy for working with the shop owners when asking for assistance?

11 D: Some Enchanted Evening
While at a party you see a very attractive person across the room and you give that individual your most charming smile. You are puzzled when the amazing person doesn't smile back. After watching a few minutes you realize the lovely person cannot see you. Since making eye contact won't work how are you going to communicate your romantic interest to the person across the way? Remember that there are cultural norms and social rules for romance. (Have fun!)
D: Advice to a Student on Dating
One of your students is about to go on his first date. He really wants to impress the girl he is going out with and is anxious that he doesn't know how to create a fun experience for the two of them. How would you guide your student through his decision-making about the date and what would you suggest to him to make him feel more comfortable and more empowered about going on a date?
12 D: With the concern about the separation of church and state in this country do you think you would be working with a student's spirituality in any way? Please explain why you would or wouldn't do so.
13 D: Please discuss the social implications of Braille Literacy. Do you think the social aspects of literacy are different for people with visual impairments from the rest of the population? How does Braille assist someone to function well in the wider society? You may want to include your own definition of literacy in your discussion.
D: Would being fluent in Braille help someone be more employable?