Interview with Renita aka Little Bit:
Q. What was it like growing up blind?
A. It was south but I could read Braille at five years of age. Some kids would play with me for about five minutes then they would run away, leaving me to play by myself. I got used to playing by myself.
Q. What strategies did you learn to help you move around easier?
A. I learned mostly with my cane. I am able to judge the size of a room. I would count the steps at school because things like that don’t change and I can memorize them. Inside our house, things would be changed around and it was/is difficult to count.
Q. What was it like for you in school?
A. It was very hard at times. I suspected that I had a mild learning disability. Math was the hardest subject for me. Trying to calculate the slope of a line took me a very long time. I could not see the slope so it was very challenging.
Q. What are some challenges that you face as a child and as an adult?
A. The social interactions with the people of the world. Facing the fact that I was left to play by myself. I did get to go other people’s houses for birthday parties. I did go to camp and made some friends there. I found that math was hardest thing I had to learn.
Q. How would you describe your experience using a phone?
A. I could not use a phone that you had to dial a phone where there were no raised numbers. I learned to use my first cell phone by counting the numbers on the phone. I knew the number “five” was in the middle of the flip phone that was in Braille phones. Dash and I became friends along with three more girls from camp. One day I tried to call my friend but I could not read and dial at the same time. My brother said that he would help so she was calling out the number 91 and so she repeated the “1” and called instead. So they hung up the phone. She thought they were dead (in big trouble)… So the police came to the house and they explained what they were doing. They did not get in trouble. Then I got and iPod but it had no push buttons. So, I did some research about Apple and their products. They had the leading edge on their phone technology. I read all kinds of stories about different phones. My first cell phone was a flip phone. I could use the iPod so I got a Generation 4 and use it. Today I use an SE iPhone and talk to my friends and text them and listen to music on my phone.
Q. How does your future look?
A. I would like to teach people how to use technology that is available today for the blind. I want to give back to the community. I would like to let people know that I can accomplish anything that I take on and stick with to the end. Every third Thursday, a lady named Gloria comes to the Blind Center and shows us all the new technology that has come out for blind people.
Q. What schooling have you had?
A. I graduated from high school. I went to college and got my two-year associate’s degree in Art. I would like to go to college and talk to people about the different technology that is available to use today I am very determined.
“Today, the sighted people complain about how hard things are at college and don’t even think about how hard it is for the visually impaired. Everything comes a little bit harder for them. I use a Perkin Braille writer, it cost $750.00. It weight ten pounds and is easy to carry from one place to another. A full Braille cell poe consists of six raised dots arranged in two parallel vertical columns of three dogs (like a number “6” on dice). The dot positions are identified by numbers one through six. Sixty three combinations are possible using one of more of the six dots.”