• From: "Jake Joehl" <jajoehl@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 6 Nov 2005 10:59:54 -0600

I attended a rehab facility for part of my training too. I never heard the term "orientation center" until very recently, but maybe that's what this place is that I attended. I had O&M, and my instructor once asked me to walk across to the student union which was part of the University of Illinois at Chicago campus, and buy him a cookie. The streets around this orientation center were very busy, but thanks to his top-notch instruction I was able to accomplish the mission unscathed. Not only did I buy him a cookie, but I treated myself to a cookie too. He and his wife both taught at the orientation center. She was visually-impaired and taught activities of daily living, but sadly she has since passed away and I'm told he is living and working in Florida. I had some other excellent instructors there too, but the dorm was pretty lousy. One of the former IT instructors there is under investigation for something, but I don't know any details beyond that. Another problem was that the technology was rather outdated. My sister started there last week and I'm probably seeing her later today, so I will ask her how things are now.
----- Original Message ----- From: "Dana Niswonger" <dniswonger@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Sunday, 06 November, 2005 5:45 AM

Hi Mary:
I too enjoyed my first taste of real life in the big city at the Orientation Center in 1973. There were a lot of really neat folks who worked their that set me strait on a lot of my problems with blindness. It turned out that I was a great cane traveler and gained the respect of the other students as I new and could remember all the streets in the areas where I went on mobility lessons. Mike Higgins was one of my instructors and failed every time at confusing me on those wonderful drop off lessons they all loved so much. Once, he drove me around for 45 minutes of the hour, stopping in the middle of the block to make me think I was at an intersection and then dropped me off right behind the wood shop at the center. He was so upset when I simply walked through the back gate by the cafeteria arriving back in the complex proper, meeting him in the coffee room, laughing my ass off. Dianne, Jim and even Rich did everything they could to mess with me but none of it ever worked, lol! It still makes me laugh when I think about that great place. I was very saddened to hear of its demise and subsequent closure. I have since learned of many who both taught and attended OCB. from Marsha who also attended. Have a great Sunday!

----- Original Message ----- From: "Mary Emerson" <maryemerson@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Saturday, November 05, 2005 2:26 PM


I went to the Orientation Center in 1969 and for the most part, enjoyed my time there; too bad the optacon was only in its beginning stages then. I knew someone in college who was involved in testing it; he showed it to me in early 1970 and I was impressed with it, but wasn't sure I really wanted one until a few years later.


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