FREEDOM MACHINES:Cast of Characters: Bonita Dearmond
"I wanted to learn computer skills. I thought that with all this technology surely there was something out there a visually impaired person could use."
A single mother of two in rural Tennessee, Bonita’s spare, poignant narrative frames a time when institutionalization of people with disabilities was the custom: “Twenty-five, thirty years ago when I was in the School for the Blind, the expectations were… you open a vending stand which is like selling, you know, cokes, candy bars, a concession stand type thing. That’s what rehab had going. But I wanted more than that. In 1974 they passed a law that said the public schools had to provide an equal education setting. That was the ultimate achievement in my life to come back to the community and to say, I can do it.” Despite a college degree in special education and advanced training in specialized technology, Bonita remains among the 70% of working aged adults with disabilities who are unemployed.
National organizations of blind and visually impaired people:
American Council of the Blind (ACB)
National Federation of the Blind (NFB)
Parents With Disabilites Online
An internet resource for parents with disabilities.
Through the Looking Glass (TLG)
TLG is a nationally recognized center that has pioneered research, training, and services for families in which a child, parent or grandparent has a disability or medical issue. http://www.lookingglass.org (4)