Lezlie Sterling / lsterling@sacbee.com

Blind since 2002, Karen Parsegian touches 4th grader Christopher Hall's hair and exclaims, "It's curly like mine," Friday, February 21, 2014, during a presentation at Bannon Creek Elementary School. Parsegian is a speaker with A Touch of Understanding, a local nonprofit whose goal is to educate area school kids each year on disability awareness.

Exposures: I Care: Sharing another perspective

Published: Monday, Mar. 3, 2014 - 12:00 am
Last Modified: Monday, Mar. 3, 2014 - 12:16 am

Karen Parsegian approaches a class of fourth-graders at Bannon Creek Elementary School with her white cane outstretched. Blind since 2002, she asks 10-year-old Christopher Hall if she can feel what he looks like and touches his puffy black hair. “It’s curly like mine,” she exclaims and everyone laughs. Helping kids look past a disability and find common ground is the goal of A Touch of Understanding, a local nonprofit bringing disability awareness to 6,000 area school kids each year. Speakers like Parsegian share insights of the challenges associated with their disabilities while students get first-hand experience of what it’s like to be disabled. They do activities like listening to a recording of how a person with autism may hear the world, driving around in wheelchairs, writing in Braille and using mobility canes. “I help kids see with a whole new set of eyes,” says Parsegian. “I get them to see with their hearts.”

To suggest a community volunteer for the I Care column, contact lsterling@sacbee.com


Additional photographs and story.

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