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Personal Stories - Jaxon & Jeren

Sometimes, being a strong advocate is just not enough. With two visually impaired sons, I wanted our school district to understand their visual needs as they entered school for the first time.

“Not every disability

is visible”…

My family contacted South Dakota Advocacy Services to help create a learning place that would encourage our sons to learn, grow, and be their best. Our advocate helped both our School District and our family create a plan that would meet this goal. As brothers with visual impairments, we wanted our sons to have the same opportunities as their peers. Since, they wear glasses, other people assume their vision is normal however, they are still visually impaired/legally blind. The glasses cannot create more vision for them. Advocacy was necessary to help us make sure the boys had the tools they needed in school to be successful. Besides encouraging respectful dialog and creative ideas, our advocate helped our school to think outside the box. Our son, Jaxon is very successful as a first grader. He is an independent learner and thinker. He reads chapter books with enlarged print. He does everything the other kids do just with access to visual aids that bring the world a little bit closer to his eyes. Our dialogue with the school district and support by our advocate laid the framework for Jeren too. He is a very successful preschooler. They are prepared to give him the same resources when he starts kindergarten in a couple of years. Now, the opportunities for the boys are limitless!

~ Jennifer and Justin Scheff