Honoring Teachers of the Visually Impaired

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Here’s to the best of us: teachers.

We recently read an article that really moved us here at Braille Works. Consequently, it inspired us to create something that honors teachers of the visually impaired. If you haven’t already, we really encourage you to take a moment and read a little about the work of Keith Christian, link opens article by the L.A. Times in a new window.

Christian is a teacher of the blind and visually impaired, a role that he has filled for over 20 years. The article notes that he isn’t one to want to talk about himself or the awards he’s received (and deserved). Instead, he focuses on his students and their futures. One of the things that this teacher helps his students to learn is empowerment. This is certainly something that we connect with:

“I like to give them a craft, something they can do with their hands. I want to give the sense of: I can make it, I can build it, I can do it.”
— Keith Christian

“I like to give them a craft, something they can do with their hands. I want to give the sense of: I can make it, I can build it, I can do it.” — Keith Christian

There are many great teachers out there who really make a difference in the lives of their students. Teachers who tell them: you are enough, you can learn this, you can do this, you can do anything. We believe this is true. If you teach children everything they need to succeed and you help them to achieve while they are young and in school, then their potential in life is limitless.

Personal Experience

This was the case with Lou Fioritto, the CEO and founder of this company. He has been blind since birth and credits his mother greatly for his success. She taught him braille as a child and instilled in him the notion that he is just as smart and capable as every other kid. Despite not having the kinds of accessible programs that many public schools have today, Lou’s mother insisted that he attend the same classes and get the same education as his sighted peers. However, Lou will be the first to tell you that schools have a long way to go to be totally accessible. But, he wouldn’t have traded that experience now for anything.

Photo showing Lou Fioritto walking alongside his daughter Christine while she's learning to ride a bike. Lou's son Ken is right behind them on a big-wheel bike.

Lou Fioritto walking alongside his daughter Christine as she learned to ride a two-wheel bike back in 1979. Lou’s son Ken is following along on his big-wheel bike.

Even with having to write his homework upside down and backward with a slate and stylus, to Lou, it was his mother that had the hard job. She had to work ahead each new class to transcribe the materials and textbooks into braille. Lou credits his mom with a lot of his success in life and now that he’s raised a family of his own, heads a successful company of over 20 years, and thinks on about a life well lived, he stands as a testament that your potential truly is limitless.

Has a Teacher of the Visually Impaired Touched Your Life?

How could you give credit to those who work so diligently because they honestly care and whose pay, in return for their sacrifice and commitment, could never be enough? It’s a challenge we’re hoping you can help us with. We want to build something actually meaningful and say “thank you” to these wonderful teachers.

Post-it notes with the words "thank you" written on them in 15 different languages.

When faced with the contributions of others who have given so much to the world and have enriched the lives of so many, we feel they deserve to have their stories told and that the world is a better place for having them in it.

With that in mind, please share your stories with us. Connect with us on social media and tell us how they have touched your lives. Or, send us emails of any stories that you want us to publish and share with others.

Ways to reach out and tell your story:

The official Facebook icon The official Twitter icon The official LinkedIn icon Email icon

This is an on-going effort. We’ll work to store and save these stories all in the same place and create a resource that will stand for years to come, paying tribute and saying thank-you to the teachers we hold so dear. Thank you for honoring them and for taking the time to read this.

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This post was written by Braille Works

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