Students overcome adversity for new year


by Brittany Allison

Close your eyes and imagine losing your sight. Think aboutaccomplishing everyday tasks without the assistance of youreyes.

This vital part of the five senses is often taken forgranted.

Two women attending Simpson are visually impaired and rely ontheir other senses to aid them in their daily life.

Kristin Mills is currently a junior and originally from AnkenyHigh School.

She is a secondary education and English major. Mills gives alot of thanks to her resident assistants who were a lot of helpduring her freshmen year.

She was introduced to a lot of other students on campus, andoften “borrowed the eyeballs” of her RA’s.

She also comments on the flexibility and sensitivity of theprofessors she has worked with.

The use of technology has aided Mills in the classroom and withher studies.

She uses a Braille Note, a laptop-like note taker with a Brailledisplay, in the classroom to record lectures. Due to the absence ofBraille college textbooks, tapes of the textbook readings are usedif available.

Otherwise, Mills hires people to read her the material.

Freshman Lauren Back from East High School in Sioux City is alsovisually impaired.

Back is an English and Spanish major and plays the flute in theband.

Two other activities she participates in are the Early MusicEnsemble and C.A.S.A. Not widely recognized, the Early MusicEnsemble plays recorders and other early instruments fromRenaissance music. Back is thankful for all the faculty andstudents of Simpson for being so helpful in aiding her in theadjustment to college life.

According to Back, the biggest problems she has faced during herfirst semester are not just special to her, she thinks all freshmenare experiencing homesickness, not wanting to be here all the timeand the overload of homework.

Both Back and Mills have worked with Director of Hawley AcademicLearning Center Todd Little.

Prior to the academic year, both girls visited campus early formobility training, to help them learn the routes to classrooms andother buildings around campus.

Tests and quizzes are taken orally through the Hawley AcademicLearning Center.

Little has had the opportunity to be involved with bothgirls.

“We provide the same services to them as any other student whowould request our services,” Little said. “We will also try toprovide any accommodations that might be needed in theclassroom.”

Both girls have overcome adversity, just as any other freshmanhas.

Back’s attitude is optimistic about the rest of her upcomingyear as a first-year student at Simpson.

“It’s a challenge but it’s definitely doable.” said Back.