Below is a link to an episode of one of my favorite podcasts called A Step Forward by Kassy Maloney. In this episode, Kassy hosts a panel of 4 adults who are blind or low-vision and encourages them to share openly about their Orientation and Mobility skills and history. I could relate to so many of the stories shared and the episode sparked memories of one of Kai’s epic hijinks.
No Fear Kai
One lazy Saturday, there was a knock at my door. I opened the door to find an intimidating, bulky, 6’4″ tall police officer. I could tell by the look on his face that something was wrong. It turns out that he had just had an altercation with Kai and his friends. They were all 12-14 at the time, and up at the school playground. This is a regular occurrence in our small town — kids meet up at the school to play on the playground, ride scooters and skateboards. However, on this particular day, one of Kai’s friends pointed out that there was a built-in metal ladder to the roof which hung about 6 feet from the ground. The boys thought it would be a good idea to climb up and check out the roof (and post IG pics from the tip-top! what!?) A passer-by called the police saying that there were 3 kids on the roof and one was wearing a neon yellow jersey.
The police officer arrived just in time to see three boys dismounting the ladder. And, Kai was wearing a bright yellow jersey. Kai later reported that the officer “bucked up” on them saying if they ever trespassed on the roof again he would “take them in.” He asked everyone for their parent’s names and recognizing our names (he knew my husband socially) he asked Kai if he wanted a ride home in the police car. Kai declined.
The officer told me what happened and that he had done his best to scare them straight. As he walked away he turned back to ask, “Isn’t he legally blind?” “Yep. That’s him,” I replied as the officer smirked and shook his head in disbelief.
Both of our boys (sighted and legally blind) are daredevils, they’ve always loved gymnastics, boardsports, parkour, and climbing. Kai is known by many as “No Fear Kai” (…except for Santa! He hated the idea of a man wandering through houses at night lol!) Thankfully in addition to his adventurous spirit, he’s also a straight arrow, so when he came home to confess and apologize, he felt it and meant it.
This feature is dedicated to Kassy Maloney, Kai’s TVI: Sarah Bussey, Kai’s O&M: AJ Walker and all the instructors who make it possible for our kids to participate in ALL THINGS — even hijinx!
A Step Forward Podcast
What does it take to raise a successful adult? What about a successful adult who also happens to have a visual impairment?
In this episode of A Step Forward, you’ll hear from 4 successful adults who are blind or visually impaired. They talk about everything from skipping school, to the technology they use, to the biggest reasons they resisted using canes while they were growing up.
But most of all, our hope is that you get a glimpse into what’s possible for all people who have visual impairments.
“All it takes to see progress is simply taking one step forward.” –Kassy Maloney
The hostess, Kassy Maloney, is on a mission to empower all people with visual impairments to lead their most independent, successful, and fulfilling lives. As an Orientation and Mobility Specialist, she encourages all of us to avoid burnout by focusing on simply taking one step forward toward progress.
Hi, I'm Kim Owens and my 18-year-old son is going blind from a genetic retinal disease ABCA4 Retinopathy plus Autoimmune Retinopathy. I'm hoping to connect with other parents of blind and visually impaired children to share experiences about navigating blindness.
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