Massage & Bodywork

September/October 2012

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COMPUTER SAVVY Roderick Parker has a PC with a screen- COMMUNICATION IS KEY Parker offers this simple advice for interacting with blind clients. "Be direct. I can walk into a place independent and alone, but if I am with another person, people don't deal with me directly." Indirectness feels condescending. He also says that in social settings, people have a tendency to avoid talking to those who are blind. He says it falls on him to break the ice. With his characteristic good-natured sense of humor he says, "Hello! Is anyone home?" Just as with sighted clients, Parker says communication is critical. "Do not make assumptions—ask!" He uses the acronym "ASK" to mean awareness, sensitivity, and knowledge. He reminds us that blind and visually impaired people are individuals with different needs and preferences. Don't be afraid to ask, "How can I be of assistance?" Visiting with Parker, it is abundantly clear that he is someone who loves people and loves to help them with his special skills and insights. He says sighted people tend to make judgments based on visual impressions, but that it is different for him. "I see the spirit of the people." Note 1. The Rehabilitation Act, accessed July 2012, www2.ed.gov/policy/speced/reg/narrative.html. The developer of Comfort Touch nurturing acupressure, Mary Kathleen Rose, BA, CMT, is dedicated to holistic health education. She can be reached through www.comforttouch.com or 303-651-9375. reading program called JAWS (Job Access With Speech) that can read text and turn it into speech. Navigation keys tell it where to go to find and read text audibly. (In the past, he has read Massage & Bodywork magazine from a CD that is sent to him as part of his membership. Now, the blind and visually impaired are able to access readable files from www.abmp.com/textonlymags.) He also sings the praises of the new iPhones and the combination of their touchpad technology with audible reading ability. "Blindness has been an asset for me. It keeps me focused. I don't have the distractions of sighted people." Roderick Parker, MT Visit the newly designed ABMP.com. Log in. Explore. Enjoy. 71

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