Blindness isn't slowing down a remarkable pair of Tri-State girl - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Blindness isn't slowing down a remarkable pair of Tri-State girls

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Hailie Hailie
Carmynn Carmynn

Eyesight, it's something many of us take for granted everyday.

Yet imagine finding out your child was blind. It might be a parents worst nightmare, but as you're about to find out, that's not always the case.

Independent...that's the first word that comes to mind when Rebecca Brown describes her 4-year-old daughter Carmynn.

"She's very independent. She loves music. She loves anything with sound. She loves Dora the Explorer," said Rebecca.

But even she admits she's surprised at just how self-sufficient she can be.

"When I first found out she was blind, you kind of think about what's going to happen in the future, and what kind of person she's going to be and everything," she said. "I thought she was going to be very, not clingy, but have to depend of me for so much. And you know, she is very dependent, but she is also very independent," said Rebecca.

To help her gain even more independence, there's Krysti Hughes, Carmynn's mobility instructor.

"I work with traveling, getting around. Using a cane. And then also concepts, so knowing your left and your right, front and back," said Krysti.

Krysti will stay with Carmynn into her teenage years.

Teaching her things we take for granted, like crossing the street, and finding things in a grocery store.

"I think one, people tend to think 'that poor person'," said Krysti. "The main thing we want people to know is there's so many things a blind or visually impaired person can do."

Including succeed at school.

Carmynn is on pace with kids her age, but you may wonder what happens when she gets older? will she be able to attend a "normal" classroom?

If you look inside Mrs. Evan's second grade class, you'll find the answer.

Eight-year-old Hailie Fisher was also born blind, and is on level with her peers.

"A day of school is just great for me. I don't have any problems learning and I know what I'm doing," said Hailie.  

She just has to do things a little differently.

"I usually try to get assignments to me about a week ahead of time and I'm usually about a week to two weeks ahead," said Deborah Feagley, Teacher of the Blind.

Deborah is one of a couple teachers who work side by side with Hailie.

She uses a Braille form of math and when it comes to reading, but when a special Braille textbook isn't available, Hailie's lessons are converted into Braille using a machine called an embosser.

Mrs. Feagley types the text into this computer, and the machine converts it into Braille.

"She communicates just like anybody else, she's just had to adapt," said Teresa Woods, Hailie's Grandma. "When people come up and talk to Hailie, and she don't see em and I have to inform them that she's blind. 'Oh, I'm sorry!' Well there's nothing to be sorry about she said. "Hailies' Hailie....Hailie is a normal child. She laughs, she plays, she has imagination," said Teresa.

Both Hailie and Carmynn have adapted well, and the more you get to know them the more you realize they don't have many limitations.

"I don't see many," said Tara Chance, Carmynn's teacher. "She comes in and feels her way around. She knows where the shelf is with the toys she likes to play with. She really, I don't see any."

"I'm learning a lot from her," said Teresa Woods. "She's capable of doing anything she wishes. Even being president as she tells me. Possibilities, it's endless."

The Evansville Association For The Blind works with both girls.

It's a non-profit that provides resources for blind or visually impaired people in the Tri-State.

You can find more information about the organization here.

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