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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Walking In A Winter Wonderland

Photo of WSBVI student and O&M teacher walking in the snow

With the strange weather we’ve been having the past couple of weeks, we’ve been experiencing snow, ice, rain and everything in between.  This makes for unpredictable street and sidewalk conditions, and it is very easy to slip and fall, and possibly get injured, if you do not step up your orientation and mobility skills.  As I was walking home the other night on the icy sidewalks, I began to think about how different my cane techniques are in such weather.

Common Sense and a Lot of Heart

Editor's Note: This month, I am posting an article from the convention issue of Future Reflections, a quarterly magazine published by the Parents of Blind Children division of the National Federation of the Blind. I do this for several reasons. First, I know the family. If you’ve been around Wisconsin for a while, you may too. Judy, who writes the article, works in the Watertown school district. You may have seen her helping out at sporting events, in church, or around that community. She is a lovely and vibrant woman.


Photo of David Hyde

A bit over fifty years ago, I almost performed in an opera. It was the winter of 1965, and it had not been a real good year for me. During the summer I spent five weeks in the hospital due to glaucoma. The result was the loss of my little remaining vision. In schools for the blind at that time (or at least at mine), if you had some sight, you were expected to help those who had none. If you had none, you were expected to get helped. Those who could see were asked to do more things, and I had just been moved from one group to the other. I was not pleased, and in fact, was fairly upset by the change. After all, I knew what I could do, and I was determined to continue to do those things, even if I didn’t see any more.

Confessions of a Bibliofile

Photo of a child reading Braille

I love to read and always have. I remember pestering my mother to read the Little Golden Books when I was about three, and trying hard to make sense of those dark marks on the page. Mom told me they were “letters,” but she couldn’t explain why they looked nothing like the ones which came in the mail. All of the marks looked alike to the three-year old me, so I must have thought some kind of magic was involved, or mom had a great imagination.

Thoughts on My White Cane and What It Means to Me

Photo of David Ballmann

October 15 is designated National White Cane Day and Blind Americans Equality Day by the President of the United States, and White Cane Safety Day by the Governor of Wisconsin.  It recognizes people who are blind or have low vision, and shows what the cane means and how it helps make them independent.