Outreach Blog

Welcome to the Outreach Department blog from the Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired. The purpose of this blog is to provide insight and information, share ideas, and to find answers and encouragement.

This blog is edited by David Hyde, Professional Development Coordinator here at WCBVI Outreach. Please feel free to contact him if you have any questions or concerns.

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My Parkour Story

Photo of Chris Matthews

Once in a while I find something that I just have to share. The following caught my interest because it involves an activity I have never done, and, at my age, will never do. The writer is a former student at the Wisconsin School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and one of those who I got to watch grow up. Chris Mathews is now a student at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and doing well. He also interns with our program at Yerkes Observatory, working at the campus radio station, and served as our commencement speaker at this year’s graduation.

An Accidental Mentor

Photo of a white dog

Every summer, I came home from the school for the blind that I attended during the year. I looked forward to the end of school. I looked forward to going home and seeing my mother. I wasn’t excited about the new baby sitter (yes, today they are child care providers, but this was the sixties); I always got to train a new one. The first one I remember was Jeanie. She lived with us.


Photo of flowers

Every April, since I bought my house in Janesville, the same amazing thing happens in my driveway. Now, let me preface with the fact (preposterously well documented) that I am not good with plants. It has often been said that plants come to my house when they are ready to turn brown and die. My wife is a better gardener, but she’d rather look at them than do the work they require. On the other hand, weeds do exceedingly well. I can raise a great crop of dandelions, thistles, every kind of climbing vine that can take apart a fence, and everything else that any garden would rather do without. Bushes and trees are generally safe, although I did lose my shade tree to the Emerald Ash Borer a few years ago, so my arboreal reputation may be in doubt.

A Special Time of Year

Photo of a bird and squirrel

Spring is always a special time. Growing up, I could see a little bit, and I was always excited to wake up and notice the light outside my bedroom. When I lived in the dorm at the school for the blind in Oregon, I could see, through my north-facing window, the rungs of the fire escape from the top floor. The lawns turned from brown to green and, a bit later in the spring, those little yellow flowers pushed through. The blue jays gave out their raucous call and, because we were near a creek, the song sparrows sang their own particular song.

What Happens in March

It is said that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, and sometimes the other way around. Here at WCBVI, March means preschool conference. My first year as an employee of the school, I was given the job of organizing it.