Lincoln school helps the blind and visually impaired live life to the fullest
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – A school in Lincoln is teaching the blind and visually impaired how to do the things they love.
The Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired teaches a six-to-nine-month course that encompasses many aspects of everyday life.
“We want people to do the things they would normally do if blindness wasn’t a part of their lives,” said Jeff Altman, the travel instructor. “We want them to be able to go places and enjoy things.”
Students learn a variety of skills, from using technology to grocery shopping to home improvement.
Tim Meisner began losing his vision over 20 years ago.
Now he is legally blind.
He started the course about three weeks ago.
“The first week was tough, I will admit,” Meisner said. “But if you can just stick it out, it gets easier every day. The one thing they do here, though, is they challenge you.”
Meisner is in classes for eight hours a day, learning how to read Braille, cook food, and use a phone and computer.
But he said the most difficult thing so far is traveling on his own.
“That’s been tough, getting my mind to comprehend how that works,” he said.
Altman is his teacher, and he often reminds him of the tips on how to slow down when he’s feeling overwhelmed.
Students are able to stay in an apartment and learn how to take bus routes to and from school.
After completing the course, if a student wants to go to college, the commission will help them pay for it.
And if a student wants to join the workforce, the commission will pay for their training.
“It’s a way to have blind people contribute to society,” Executive Director Carlos Servan said. “It’s challenging seeing a lot of different obstacles, but it is rewarding to see how we conquer those obstacles.”
Meisner said ultimately, it was an easy decision for him to take the course.
“I don’t want my blindness to control me; I want to function,” he said. “And I want to enjoy the next years of retirement. I want to get out and do things, and I want to feel confident doing them.”