When freshman Jesah Jackson receives a student services pass to deliver, she feels for the hallway and room number in Braille, unfolds her cane and departs, requiring no outside assistance.
Students often become runners for the counselors, social worker or psychologist if they have a free period in their schedules, which was Jackson’s circumstance.
Teacher of the blind and visually-impaired Rhode Fernandez said she feels proud of Jackson’s involvement within the school.
“[Jackson] is capable of so much,” Fernandez said. “In the beginning, it was very hard. She didn’t know what to do, but […] she’s learning to use her hands as her eyes and to rely on the sense[s] of hearing and movement to access her environment.[…] She’s regaining confidence in her skill.”
When Jackson first became a runner, Fernandez typed the location of the classrooms in Braille for her, but student services receptionist Grace Boinay soon started doing the task herself.
“[Successfully] handing out a pass makes me feel very content and accomplished,” Jackson said. “I want to prove to [others] that people who can’t see can do as well as people who can.”
Fernandez said there is not enough awareness of how much people with visual impairments can accomplish, which is why Jackson independently delivering the passes surprised some students and teachers.
“I like talking to people,” Jackson said. “I know people don’t have very much experience with [those] who can’t see and they get […] stuck up on what to say. But simply saying ‘hello’ is helpful too.”
Jackson said though she gained experience with helping others as a student runner, she won’t continue next year since wants to take Culinary Arts.
“[Jackson] is an amazing student runner [and] she’s very reliable,” Boinay said. “She’s a lovely person [with] great disposition and she brightens my day. She makes me happy.”