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Ava Hansen is a renowned author, motivational speaker, and life coach with 25 years of experience. She is the head of The Eyes and Ears of Children organization, dedicated to ensuring children’s well-being. Ava is also a highly skilled spiritual healer, guiding individuals on their transformative journeys. With her expertise and passion, she empowers others to reach their full potential and live a purposeful life.

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My story


If you were watching the show in the 70s, like myself, the blind school had dim lights in a concrete small building holding a rope all in a row to get to their rooms that are not exactly up to date! They only had Braille books. They didn’t pay $4,000 for a book. But I heard it takes a long time for them to be made. My neighbor told me she and her friends from church were making Braille books and it took them one page a day! (I also heard that’s a bit slow). Today in modern times, they have to learn modern technology designed for the handicapped. Such as BARD which can be used to download books instantly. There is a currency reader that announces a note’s value. It’s called, a “free bill reader device” for those who are blind or visually impaired so they know what dollar amount is handed to them. There is even a scanner for their prescriptions to be filled and sent to the pharmacy. By the way, the children K-12 live in “cottages”, which are dorm rooms they live in. It’s a very spread-out campus with about 25-40 kids. What they don’t have sometimes they have to run across the street at the high school to borrow.
NLS is the National Service for easy access to talking books. This is also beneficial for physical, perceptual, or reading disabilities in high-quality sound. NLS circulates books and magazines in Braille or audio formats instantly downloaded. There is speed control and with that can download even more than one book. The formats can go right to a USB Flash device. These players even have rechargeable batteries.
For more insight into the visually impaired and hearing loss, headphones, switches, remote controls…They are only supplied to eligible persons or loans.
There are BARD Mobile Apps for iOS devices. Braille Equipment is still keeping up with the rest of us, just in a way they can learn and understand.

One computer allows a person to magnify the screen of a laptop. AccessWorld is a magazine of the American Foundation of the Blind. (AFB)
Now, what about the controversy?
For one, it’s leading these severely handicapped children and adults towards illiteracy. Many of them are accustomed to reading Braille by feeling the pages of a book with their fingers. They don’t desire high technology like some of us who are not handicapped. Personally, I’m not very tech-savvy myself, and it’s because it can be overwhelming. Just when I think I’ve figured something out, there’s always something newer. Back in the day, there was no social media, apps, and all these technological advancements. Can you imagine how challenging it must be for the kids?

There are students who use a BrailleNote laptop, but unfortunately, some students are unable to obtain one.

How much does all that equipment cost? The visually impaired technology can cost thousands of dollars. If there isn’t the basic and functional Braille available, how are the students going to learn to read books, which many have expressed their desire to do? This issue extends to adults facing similar challenges as well. It’s a complex situation. Unfortunately, there is no insurance that can cover all the needs of visually impaired individuals. It’s truly heartbreaking.

Right now, there are 10 million people in the US with visual impairments. It would cost a total of 34 billion dollars to provide them with the necessary devices. These individuals truly need these devices! However, Congress is the entity that appears hesitant to mandate the implementation of this new technology.

That is only one part of the story regarding visual impairment. There is much more to learn about that most people are unaware of. There are nearly forty schools in the US specifically for visually impaired students. What are these schools like? Do the students live there? What is a typical day in the life of a student like? These questions can only be truly answered by the students themselves, their families, and their friends. There are many challenges and issues that I would like to bring attention to because the children from kindergarten to twelfth grade already face enough hardships.
Do visually impaired individuals receive service dogs? How much do these dogs cost? While some charities do donate dogs, there are reasons why young children may not have them. In one school where some students live on campus, there is a shortage of laptops. It’s disheartening, considering that donations are being accepted and processed through the state. There are other nonprofits working towards similar causes, but there is an increasing number of blind and deaf people worldwide. Interestingly, India has the highest population in this regard, though the reasons behind it are unclear to me.

I’m not saying the state is taking away the money. It’s that the schoolchildren don’t have enough supplies. They have a swimming pool with murky water that has been unfixed for a long time. It’s depriving the children of a fun enjoyable activity. There are no paddles or toys to swim with. They do that without seeing either. How are they going to swim in a straight line?
The Montana State School for the Blind and Deaf has a stage they’d like to perform on for them playing instruments for concerts and drama plays, but it will take $80,000 to build correctly having it prepped for the blind. They need a ramp, and other gadgets so they can find where to stand without falling off. The school doesn’t have enough for that either. I have spoken to the Superintendent there and also a business manager who both described different frustrating problems. Right now the country is trying to help with the housing issue due to the economy. But these children would be absolutely helpless if they didn’t have their good parents to help or some equipment to do homework on.
Imagine closing your eyes. Try to walk all around your house and see what you run into. What would it be like to know how to get to the kitchen for snacks, or washing dishes, find everything… It was dark the other night in the hallways and I couldn’t find the light switch I ran right into a tall wooden bar stool and bashed my head against it causing me a bloody lip! That was just walking ten feet. Imagine how much the blind especially have to depend on so much help to get around. Each person doesn’t have a service dog and they are thousands of dollars, also. I will say that there are many impaired people who can be completely functional and get around just fine.
What is the answer to doing this in a better way to contribute???
What I think I am going to set up is, “Adopt a parent/impaired child”. They are Parents barely hanging on and running up credit cards just to keep their kid in 12 years of special schooling. Then the graduates have to stay in their own apartments on campus so they can learn to live on their own. This way the person wanting to send money goes directly to the parent to help with all the costs they have strived to keep paying. All we would need are 40 generous donations and it could change everyone’s lives for the better.
Since I am a promoter and a go-getter loyal child advocate of many kinds, I am going to expose this news and wake-up call. There are wounded warriors, The dogs in rusty old cages that we hate seeing. There’s St. Judes for cancer kids. Both of those funds aren’t exactly what you think they are. So watch your money. We even see, “Adopt a Kid in Africa” eating courage. Who gets that money?

The next time we say, “I’m having a bad day.” Ask yourself, “Compared to what???”
My surprise soon!!! I have a plan and I will let the cat out of the bag soon!
Thanks for reading. There are other schools that are more impoverished than Great Falls, MT. Some might be better. If you want to read about them you can look them up online.
Remember, you make a dry run and close your eyes for ten minutes to see how well you get along. The blind students go 24 hours a day.

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