Interview: Theatre by the Blind Production ‘Sit’

Today Nearsighted welcomes back singer and actress Caitlin Hernandez, who tells us about Theatre by the Blind’s new production, Sit.

How would it feel being the only child in the neighborhood who never chased, or tumbled, or played hide-and-seek, not because you couldn’t, but because you were forbidden to do so? How would it feel to be the only student in your school who didn’t walk to class on your own, not because you were unable, but because you were never permitted to, because no one ever gave you the tools to be independent? How would it feel being the only child in your family who never had a voice, not because you relished silence, but because you were ordered, constantly, to listen, to wait, to stay still, to sit meekly in your chair by the window? Read More

CRE Outreach: Acting Beyond Emotional and Physical Limitations

Today, Nearsighted welcomes a post by blind singer and actress Caitlin Hernandez.

There are certain times when family, friends, and specialists, however diligent, well-meaning, and highly-trained, cannot find catch-all solutions. Patience, expertise, and time aren’t always enough to help a soldier fight depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Bullying and ostracism wear on many teens, but for those who are raising younger siblings or supporting other family members, the effects can be devastating. And for individuals who have lost sight or haven’t been adequately taught to adapt to blindness, the clamor of the outside world can be next to impossible to navigate. Read More

Independently

As it has for many, the meaning of the 4th of July has changed tremendously for me from the time I was a nerdy kid in San Jose to a writer in San Francisco.  Images of barbecues and city parks have been replaced by feelings of patriotism when I listen for the mechanical bird to sing at an intersection when crossing a major street.  Ironically, the biggest change in the definition of Independence Day occurred when I lost my sight. Within days of going blind, I was contacted by social workers and representatives from city programs and non-profits that were eager to help out. As I assimilated into my world of darkness, the Department of Rehabilitation purchased blind technology that otherwise I would have not been able to afford on my own.

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Super Madge

I had been walking for about five minutes up and down the numerous hallways when I heard a man offer me help. I told him where I needed to be and he asked, “No problem! Should I write the directions down for your dog?” A loud laugh tumbled out of my mouth and I realized the stranger was not kidding when he began to talk to Madge, “Ok puppy, just go down this hallway and make a left at the elevator.” Read More

Downward Facing Dog

I arrived at the Yoga studio where I was welcomed by serene music, possibly Enya, and asked the room, “Where do I sign up?” A calm voice answered, “Hi there, I’m so happy you’re here. Will your dog be showing you the movements?” Assuming the woman was joking, I replied, “Absolutely! Her favorite pose is the downward facing dog.” I chuckled and was startled when I heard the same woman cry, “Wow, that is great that she can do that for you.” Before I could think of anything to say I heard the woman shout, Read More

The Giant

Madge and I walked through the automatic doors and were greeted by an air conditioned gust of wind. Like most blind people, I depend on store clerks to help me with my shopping. Some clerks really get into the “helping mood” and even suggest deals and products, while other clerks channel their first school dance experience, making us both feel like a pair of seventh graders. I called out, “Can I get some help please?” and Madge lay down on the floor, almost as if she knew the service was going to be slow. A few more seconds went by and I called for help again. It was my first time visiting this particular pharmacy near school, and I began to grow restless. Read More