By Alexis Arnold
During their daughter’s freshman year of high school, Paul and Joy Orton spent afternoons describing biology diagrams and illustrations to her. She is blind, and the materials given to her in class were not in a format she could read.
Their daughter had no trouble understanding the material, but she was dependent on her parents. She wanted to learn on her own, like her classmates did.
Her parents successfully lobbied their northern Alabama district for a Braille biology textbook.
“She put her hands on the diagram and said, ‘Oh! I get it now,’ ” Joy Orton says. “It was a really powerful moment that the diagram was helpful to her, but only if it’s tactile or accessible.”