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Listen to Our Stories: Words, Pictures, and Songs by Young People with Disabilities
Listen to Our Stories: Words, Pictures, and Songs by Young People with Disabilities

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Every Day I Learn New Things

Luis Marquez

Luis was fourteen years old and going to Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Massachusetts, when he wrote the following essay and drew the picture of Windrush Farm that accompanies it. Luis was born with vision in one eye and, due to detachment of the retina, became totally blind at the age of nine. When I asked him how it was that he was able to draw even though he was blind, he said, “When I could see, I drew birds and kids playing — stuff like that. Some things I can still remember how they looked, like clouds, and then some things I know how to draw because I touch them and feel the shapes.”


At home I don’t really have any friends, because when kids ask me to go out and play with them, I can’t, especially when they want to play ball or go to a movie. Here at school it doesn’t affect me. I like it here, because there are others like me. We share playing games, telling secrets, and helping each other with our homework or figuring out problems.

I still have a memory of certain things — a visual memory — but I mostly rely on a tactual connection to things to figure out what they are. I’ve learned not to be too hard on myself. If I can’t do something, that’s okay, ‘cause I can do other things. I’m kind of used to the blindness, and I know there are people worse off than me.

I can now do some things that I couldn’t do when I had sight. Like I was afraid of heights when I could see. Now I’m not. I was also afraid of bugs when I had vision, but now I can’t see them so I’m not afraid of them! I can play games like cards and monopoly because they’re brailled. My balance is better now, too.

There are some sports that I can’t do, like baseball or soccer, but I can do gymnastics, bike riding, and riding a horse. Sometimes it bothers me that I can’t join my brother playing ball, but then I can do things he can’t, like play the guitar, ride horses, read and write braille, and play goal ball. I didn’t do any of those things before I became blind.

My mom treats me the same as everyone else in my family. It doesn’t matter that I’m blind. What I don’t like is that I can’t see TV or go off anywhere by myself. But I do like people being with me all the time, because I can talk to them and know they are there, and people explain lots of things to me. Every day I learn new things about the world. I learn new words, new songs, and new games to play.


Drawing by Luis Marquez. In Luis’s words, “This is a picture of Windrush Farm. It’s where I learned to ride horses. This is a barn with two horses, the sun, the clouds, the birds, a boy, a dog, and a horse.”

Click here to read a description of this drawing


For more information about the disabilities discussed in this story, please visit the Resource Links page.

 

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spacerHOMEPAGE
INTRODUCTIONACKNOWLEDGMENTS
TABLE OF CONTENTS PART 1PART 2PART 3PART 4
RESOURCE LINKS
INDEX CONTACT


spacerLinda Hillyer, compiler and editor of Listen to Our Stories
logo art by Adiyana Paramita
The combined contents of this website are © 2006, 2008 Linda Hillyer. All rights reserved.