Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Week 1

Living and working in DC has been a goal of mine for quite some time. I am thrilled to have this internship opportunity with AAPD and cannot wait to start at my placement next week. Of course, this first week in DC could be characterized as an accelerated adjustment period. One particular issue has not left my mind since arriving in DC on Sunday.
As a blind person, there are simply some tools I have become accustomed to having in order to maintain my independence and participate in all that this city has to offer. When have ever moved to a new city, I have always had access to orientation and mobility services. These services allow me to work with an instructor and learn things such as the layout of the city, public transit tips, and all of the little inconsistencies that every city has. I lived here for three days without access to such knowledge. It was incredibly frustrating to feel so dependent on others.
However, the moment I sat down with a fellow member of our community I began to feel my confidence return. I am grateful for the time this person spent giving me the verbal description of the city and a short walking tour. This was an excellent example of interdependence. My confidence and independence have continued to grow after another evening of metro training with an orientation instructor. Now, I feel I have the tools to navigate this city and do what I came to DC to do.

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