Family creates DVD on raising blind kids

August 3, 2009 8:26:53 AM PDT
It's a challenge raising a confident child, especially one who also happens to be blind. An East Bay family has created a compelling DVD, sharing their early successes with a powerful message for parent of all kids.

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Meet Milagro, she's a 7-year-old Castro Valley girl who doesn't let anything hold her back from having fun.

"We believe that blindness can be relegated to an inconvenience," said Milagro's mother Graciela Tiscareno-Sato.

Graciela Tiscareno-Sato and her family are champions of the belief that a disability does not define a Milagro, whose name means "miracle" in Spanish. Milagro survived a premature birth at 25 1/2 weeks. Even though she's blind, her parents committed early on to raise her with as normal a childhood as possible.

"She loves horseback riding, downhill skiing," said Graciela Tiscareno-Sato.

Climbing walls, gymnastics -- you name it. Milagro loves movement and exploring the environment around her. As she learns to navigate the world independently, it's not Milagro, her parents worry about.

"I worry about how the rest of the world will try to limit her and what she can do based on just not knowing what blind people are capable of," said Graciela Tiscareno-Sato.

That's why Graciela is on an educational and motivational mission through a DVD they made called "Raising the wild and confident blind baby, toddler and preschooler."

The project shares photos and videos from Milagro's first five years of life. And how her parents encouraged physically challenging activities to stimulate her development. Executive director Julie Bernas-Pierce of the Oakland-based "Blind Babies Foundation" says it's stories like these that help advocate a more accepting society.

"Blind people are competent and confident and independent and worthy of employment and why does that matter? Because there's a 76 percent unemployment rate in the blindness community, in this country," said Graciela Tiscareno-Sato.

It's a community quest for a brighter future -- the Blind Babies Foundation helped Milagro's family early on; as it has for the last 60 years providing in-home services to hundreds of visually impaired children in 14 northern and central California counties. The progress has been powerful and inspiring.

LINKS:

  • http://www.babymilagro.org
  • http://www.blindbabies.org

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