A Child With a Bright Future
“Braille Institute showed me that the whole world is available to my daughter. If I choose to let her experience everything, she can do anything.”
—Melissa, Chloe’s mother
One day when Chloe was three months old, her father, Gil, noticed that her right pupil was dilated larger than her left. “We took her to the pediatrician immediately,” says Chloe’s mother, Melissa. Eventually, their worst fears were confirmed: Chloe was blind, the result of optic nerve hypoplasia, a congenital underdevelopment of the optic nerve.
Searching online, Melissa discovered Braille Institute’s Child Development Program, dedicated to helping families adapt to raising children who are blind or visually impaired and preparing them for bright, barrier-free futures. Soon, Chloe’s family received a home visit from Nancy Waldner, a Braille Institute Child Development Consultant.
Melissa came to consider Nancy “our angel in disguise,” a role she continues to fulfill as Chloe approaches her fourth birthday. “Nancy takes notes at all our doctor visits, because there’s so much information,” says Melissa. “She visits our house twice a month for learning support. She even organized a local playgroup with visually impaired children where I get to talk with other parents who are going through the same thing.”
Nancy also encouraged Melissa to take Braille Boot Camp, a four-day workshop that teaches the basics of braille. “So when I’m reading books with Chloe, I can teach her the letters myself.”
Today, as Chloe begins to be mainstreamed into preschool classes within her local school system, Melissa proudly says, “Chloe is a brave, smart, loving girl. She glows with a light that shines because Braille Institute has given me the confidence to let her be a child. Braille Institute showed me that the whole world is available to my daughter. If I choose to let her experience everything, she can do anything.”